Links 6/25/2022

Lambert and I, and many readers, agree that Ukraine has prompted the worst informational environment ever. We hope readers will collaborate in mitigating the fog of war — both real fog and stage fog — in comments. None of us need more cheerleading and link-free repetition of memes; there are platforms for that. Low-value, link-free pom pom-wavers will be summarily whacked.

And for those who are new here, this is not a mere polite request. We have written site Policies and those who comment have accepted those terms. To prevent having to resort to the nuclear option of shutting comments down entirely until more sanity prevails, as we did during the 2015 Greek bailout negotiations and shortly after the 2020 election, we are going to be ruthless about moderating and blacklisting offenders.


P.S. Also, before further stressing our already stressed moderators, read our site policies:

Please do not write us to ask why a comment has not appeared. We do not have the bandwidth to investigate and reply. Using the comments section to complain about moderation decisions/tripwires earns that commenter troll points. Please don’t do it. Those comments will also be removed if we encounter them.

* * *

CatMeows: A Publicly-Available Dataset of Cat Vocalizations Zenodo (Micael T)

Safari-goers in Namibia have close call with cheetah after it tries to climb into vehicle YouTube (Li). Darwin Award entrants.

Connected-up-brains aeon

Fin-tastic! Growing ‘mermaiding’ subculture makes a splash Associated Press (David L)

Curiosity rover finds more evidence of ancient watery regions on Mars TechSpot (Kevin W)

‘Superworms’ may hold the key to world’s trash crisis NPR (David L)

World’s biggest bacteria discovered in Caribbean mangrove swamp Financial Times (David L)

60% of high school students in northern Thai city have HIV Thaiger (furzy)

Couple sues Boston hospital over loss of baby’s body Associated Press (resilc)

The philosophy of selfhood became real when my mother got dementia Psyche (Chuck L)

Kurt Vonnegut documentary took Robert Weide 40 years to film Sydney Morning Herald. Anthony L: “So he was unstuck in time.”



Antibody profiles of internal viral proteins predict severe COVID-19 outcomes (Kevin W)

So far being ignored by mainstream types. Paper is a pre-print:

SARS-CoV-2 escapes direct NK cell killing through Nsp1-mediated downregulation of ligands for NKG2D BioRxIv (guurst)


Covid infections rise 20% in England as new Omicron variants spread Financial Times (Kevin W)


Thailand discovers 200 cases of Covid-19’s newest subspecies strain of BA.4 and BA.5 TPN National News (furzy)


Who Was Responsible for the Botched Pandemic Response? Midwestern Doctor (Glenn F)


Germany Pushes for G-7 Reversal on Fossil Fuels in Climate Blow Bloomberg. Many of you have likely noticed that it’s the German Greens that are super hawks on Russia.

Biden Snubbed Oil Firms And Met With Offshore Wind Partnership OilPrice (Kevin W)

Lake Mead is less than 150 feet away from becoming a “dead pool,” making much of the Southwestern U.S. uninhabitable Natural News. Furzy: “Amazing shot of nearly empty Lake Mead….(only on NaturalNews tho!!)”

Dutch power grid can’t handle influx of electric car charging points NLTimes


We need a reset in US-China relations Asia Times (Kevin W)

Chinese banks lend Pakistan $2.3bn to avert foreign exchange crisis Financial Times

Old Blighty

Charles tells Commonwealth leaders dropping Queen is ‘for each to decide’ Guardian (resilc)

New Not-So-Cold War

Europe Gorges on Russian Oil Ahead of Ban EnergyIntel (Kevin W)

Germany: Consumer gas prices could triple amid Russian threats, official warns DW. Um, that Gazprom St. Petersburg part for Nordstream 1 really is still stuck in Montreal and Trudeau hasn’t come up with a way to release it. In the mean time, Russia has offered to open up Nordstream 2. But the EU is also acting as if Russia will agree to an edict that it won’t buy gas if the price rises above a certain level…when Russia had urged EU utilities to sign up for fixed rather than floating rate contracts. So the EU is about to revoke a contract and Russia acting accordingly is somehow a “Russia threat”?

However…Germany plans to nationalize parts of Nord Stream 2 – report Teletrader. Remember Russia created “special retaliatory economic measures” for parties that steal property or intellectual property of Russians, broadly defined, and parties that do business with the perp. Russia has only made a very limited use of these provisions. This nonsense after stealing the Gazprom assets could lead to sterner and more wide-ranging countermeasures.

Factbox: The three stages of Germany’s emergency gas plan Reuters

“Russia is taking the whole world hostage” Tagesschau (via Google Translate, original here, courtesy guurst)

Norway blocks food delivery to Russian miners in Svalbard MailBD

Halting Ukraine war ‘only chance’ to avoid economic crisis, Hungary tells EU Financial Times. The skunk at the party.

* * *

Ukraine SitRep – Zolote Cauldron Closes – Lysichansk Blocked (Corrected twice) Moon of Alabama. Consistent with Alexander Mercouris’ account. Mercouris notes that an attempt to break out of Lysychansk resulted in Ukraine troops being “shot to pieces” and more details of surrenders.

For those who want more detail: Ukraine. Military Summary And Analysis 24.06.2022 YouTube. By the time this post is up, he’ll probably have his 25.06.2022 talk up.

Lisichansk sector disintegrating, likely 100’s of Ukr prisoners taken, 1000’s more coming, Ukraine General Staff’s new position (not kidding) is roughly “Severodonestk? We don’t know anything about Severodonetsk, not our problem” – meanwhile, Ukr terrorism against “collaborationists” in the south accelerates, regional official blown up in Kherson, someone tell Mitch McConnell what a “real” State Sponsor of Terror looks like; Russia hints it is preparing to strike Kharkov hospital (we can assume it is being used as a command center and/or arms dump – but ohmygod they’re killing pregnant women ohmygod!!!) Jacob Dreizin

Ukraine War Day #121: Return To Snake Island (continued) Awful Avalanche (guurst). Contradicts quite a few not-buying-what-Ukraine-is-selling commentators, who see Snake Island as a PR asset, although Russia has put a few S-300s on this not very large rock.

* * *

BRICS+ meeting: Vladimir Putin attended a BRICS+ meeting involving the leaders of several invited states, held via videoconference Kremlin

Russia’s Finance Ministry remits payment on 2028 Eurobonds using new settlement arrangement in rubles Interfax

* * *

Russia will not join Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons — MFA TASS

* * *

Microsoft Compares Russian Hacks of Ukraine to Assassination That Started World War I Vice. Resilc: “Got back from WalMuerto in North Adams, MA. poor, sad zombies walking through the store. USA USA. I could give a rat’s ass about the Ukraine.”


Expert groups call Biden’s dithering on Iran deal return ‘perplexing’ Responsible Statecraft (resilc). Um, it may already be over, see Scott Ritter (remember an arms control guy) on this YouTube starting at 122:30

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions at a joint news conference following talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Tehran, June 23, 2022 Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. See remarks on the JCPOA and the bombing of the Damascus airport.

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

The Federal Bureau of Tweets: Twitter Is Hiring an Alarming Number of FBI Agents MintPressNews (Kevin W). We linked to another report on this practice, but this one has good detail.

D.C. Power Players Are Paying Thousands of Dollars to Find Dates Politico. The finding part is not what they are paying for. It’s the snooping part. Paul R flags this section:

You could do it, too. For several thousands of dollars a month — double what the average person spends on rent for a one-bedroom in D.C. — this matchmaker will not only seek out potential soulmates with your exact criteria in mind but will do the sort of investigative work that, coming from you, would seem invasive and creepy — trawling LinkedIn for singles with degrees from prestigious universities, or NextDoor for homeowners in affluent zip codes, or LegiStorm for Congressional staffers’ bios, salaries and contact information.

Lawmakers Want FTC to Investigate Apple, Google Over Mobile Tracking Wall Street Journal (David L)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Boeing Wants More Money For New Air Force One, USAF Official Says Defense One

Abortion. I no longer recognize this country. Lambert also covered this development yesterday in Water Cooler, with considerable attention upon the flaccid response of Team Dem.

LIVE It’s a sad day for the US, says Biden after abortion ruling BBC. Live blog.

Biden Allies in G-7 Aghast at US Abortion Rights Reversal Bloomberg. Lead story at 6:00 AM EDT.

‘Blood on their hands’: world’s medics condemn US overturn of abortion rights Guardian (Kevin W)

Truck plows into pro-abortion activists in Iowa and troopers fire tear gas in Arizona while LA erupts in protest after SCOTUS overturned Roe v. Wade Daily Mail

‘Matter of National Security’: Democratic Veterans, Advocates Call For Codifying Right To Abortion Defense One. Resilc: “Ruskies overturned Roe.”

Collins, Manchin suggest they were misled by Kavanaugh and Gorsuch on Roe v. Wade NBC (resilc). Help me.

We’re Not Going Back to the Time Before Roe v. Wade. We’re Going Somewhere Worse New Yorker (furzy)

EFF security and privacy tips for people seeking abortion Electronic Frontier Foundation (Paul R). OMG this is a complete and utter disgrace. Do they think women are too stoopid/lazy to take the necessary (strict) precautions if they are in a prosecution gung ho state? We’re talking jail time and end of life as you once knew it as consequences. Yes, the good news is even these punitive states will have limited police/investigation resources, but they will get tips and women getting abortions will want to leave no attack surface.

They don’t insist on burner phones and strict separation of it from the rest of your activities as essential? They don’t tell readers that deleting stuff from your computer does not mean it’s deleted unless it’s overwritten? And if you used e-mail, your ISP and recipients have records? How about the just about universal recommendation of NC readers when I asked about how to set up a FB account w/o tipping FB off about my meat world identity, a dedicated burner laptop to be used anywhere but at my regular IP address? There’s also no mention of avoiding geolocation (these phones all do have backdoors, I don’t buy for a second you can fully turn it off) like by leaving your phone at home or getting in the habit of using a Faraday bag pretty much all the time?

And they say nothing about cars, that newish cars are full of tracking goodies, and if you use interstate and many state roads, your license plate is tracked too? This article isn’t just unserious,it’s affirmatively dangerous.

Clarence Thomas: Supreme Court should ‘reconsider’ rulings on contraceptives and same-sex marriage The Week (resilc)

Federal appeals court puts FDA ban on Juul e-cigarette sales on hold NBC

How Singapore Got Its Manufacturing Mojo Back Wall Street Journal (resilc)

Class Warfare

Who’s Going to Save Local Businesses From Amazon And Other Monopolies? The U.S. Postal Service. Washington Monthly (resilc)

Rental crisis driving up cost on mobile homes CNN

‘I’m Retiring From Sex Work With $1 Million. What Next?’ The Cut. Resilc: “Move to Costa Rica.”

UK’s Biggest Rail Strike in 30 Years – Tunisia General Strike – Migrant Worker Kicked Out of Singapore Over Facebook Post Mike Elk

Antidote du jour. This is Bob H’s Tippy, coming out of a skunk cabbage swamp:

And a bonus (dk):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Antifa

    Proud Boys
    (melody borrowed from “Proud Mary”)

    A Proud Boy’s a manchild who’s frightened
    He don’t amount to much so he lives with shame
    He lives with dejecton, and feminine rejection,
    He’s workin’ hard to find somebody else to blame

    He’s all done being quiet
    Proud Boy wants to riot
    Lookin’ Lookin’ Lookin’ for Antifa

    One Proud Boy is a coward
    Two Proud Boys together are out on a date
    Proud Boys need plenty, fifteen or twenty,
    To jimmy up a riot if someone takes the bait

    Hey, look at us rebellin’
    Proud Boys out here yellin’
    Lookin’ Lookin’ Lookin’ for Antifa

    Lookin’ Lookin’ Lookin’ for Antifa

    Thinks he’s a smooth operator
    Thinks he’s in the know on an inside job
    Has no education, marches in formation,
    A tiki torch tantrum for a fascist mob

    Proud Boys aren’t hardliners
    Sad sorry bunch of whiners
    Lookin’ Lookin’ Lookin’ for Antifa

    Lookin’ Lookin’ Lookin’ for Antifa
    Lookin’ Lookin’ Lookin’ for Antifa
    Lookin’ Lookin’ Lookin’ for Antifa

    1. Wukchumni


      I once saw an Antifa member who was obviously a voyeur as he as watching a unicorn get it on with bigfoot on Atlantis.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Nowadays it is a more a case of-

      ‘Proud boys, Proud boys whatcha gonna do?
      Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?
      Proud boys, Proud boys whatcha gonna do?
      Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?’

    3. DJG, Reality Czar

      One Proud Boy is a coward
      Two Proud Boys together are out on a date

      Do we have some problem here with boys going out on dates together?

      [We’re not back at Trump is Putin’s buttboy, tee hee hee, again, are we?]

      1. Michael Fiorillo

        No problem with the guys dating thing, but the panic-induced, closeted homoeroticism, melded with glorifying violence that’s endemic among these “hard” fascist types… yeah, no shame in pointing that out.

      2. ambrit

        No, we are not. At least, as long as the girl they are going out with is cool with it.
        (Some of the stuff I saw when I worked down in the French Quarter…..)
        One thing you would occasionally hear a young waiter say to a ‘forward’ patron of the establishment. “I’m sorry sir. I’m not available for “Private Parties.”
        The Proud Boys do somewhat remind one of Ernst Rohm and his Brown Shirts before the purge. This should not be an inducement to merriment. The Brown Shirts did a lot of the “heavy lifting” that established the NASDAP as a viable political force. Properly led, the Proud Boys could do the same. Wait till this time next year. If events turn out as dire as many now predict, the ground state from which a demagogue could create a “National Movement” would be in place. If there is a real “Left” in America, it had better get organizing now. This could yet end up in actual street fighting.
        See, ‘German Revolution’ (1918-1920):

        1. JBird4049

          You are thinking of Rosa Luxemburg? Or perhaps of Fred Hampton, MLK, and RFK? I am thinking that it might be more modern Joe Hills and a number of people will be found with child porn on their pc/phone.

          People forget or were never told just how brutal American politics can be. The relatively calm politics since the Vietnam War is an aberration as is the weakness of the American Left. Of course, the reason that there hasn’t been an organized Left is because it was suppressed often using extremely illegal tactics.

          Lovely. I just made myself depressed.

          I just hope nobody thinks about Operation Condor, or the Jakarta Method, or looking at the revolutionaries, Chairman Mao and his bit of class warfare. The United States government was responsible for the formation of Operation Condor and Jakarta Method. It did not pull the triggers, do the electro-shocks, and bury the bodies, but encouragement, organizing, training, intelligence, and funding from the government was substantial.

  2. Kevin Smith MD

    re: “…absolute risk of serious AE from mRNA vaccines exceeds the absolute risk reduction of serious covid-19 infection.”

    I’ve run lots of clinical trials, and helped write some protocols: …. so, depending on the definition of “serious adverse event” {SAE}, I might prefer to have the SAE than to be so sick with covid that I wind up in hospital.

    I think the headline would be likely to mislead the casual reader.

    1. IM Doc

      I feel this is one of the most important studies put out in the past year. The more I have thought about it, it may be one of the most seminal papers in my career over decades.

      They are fairly clear what their definition of sae is and not sure I would feel the same way as you do.

      This paper is a direct result of the dissembling and obfuscation of Big Pharma and our government agencies. The authors used multiple back door approaches with multiple data sets to come up with these results because the real genuine data that would answer the questions remains under lock and key. It is an absolutely fascinating study on how one may get answers in more than one way. Indeed, this will be required reading for students on my IM rotation from now on. It is important in two ways. The fascinating ways they deduce this data and a warning for the future about trying to subvert science and hide data. We cannot allow this to go on.

      And these are not just Twitter bot writers. They are quite frankly the shining lights of medical data studies and epidemiology. Sander Greenland writes THE medical epidemiology book used by medical students everywhere. His book sits proudly on my shelf. Doshi is the editor of BMJ, the last of the Big 4 with its reputation not in tatters, and Kaplan is the CSO of the AHQR. These people live and breathe math in medicine and how to do approrpriate trials. They are our supreme experts in this realm. This simply cannot be ignored. And as someone who has spent decades on IRBs and journal clubs, I am just blown away by this work.

      And the basic end result is that they found many more had to endure side effects from the vaccines than the vaccines prevented hospital stays. Damning. And it was much worse for Pfizer. Furthermore, as they state, and is clear from careful reading, they very likely are very much understating the ratios and the effect is likely much larger. But they cannot know for sure. Because the raw data has not been released from either Pharma or our govt agencies. As far back as my original post more than a year ago on the vaxxes, I stated that was a HUGE problem with the initial studies. Something did not seem right and the only way to find out is the raw data. And here we are 18 months later and not a step further down the road. We now have lived experience that they are a huge disappointment in containing infection despite the “triumph” framing, and we have all kinds of red alert signals about side effects. And still no data. These vaccines have been coerced on our population. Our leaders must step up to the plate and demand the data to be released. There is no other way to get to the bottom of this. The authors of this study have laid out in the best possible way what we can know and they too are begging for the data to be released. They assert this is critical because the raw data can lead us safely to risk stratification for vaccine administration for demographics, something we cannot do even remotely now. We are blasting them into everyone.

      Where is the data? How is withholding data consistent with science? Given all that is happening around us, why is this being allowed to happen? Why are we allowing these vaxxes in our kids without the most full picture of benefits and risks freely available to the parents and their doctors? Why is there not an Act of Congress or Executive Order to do so?

      This paper, by these experts who cannot be ignored, is a blatant indictment of our current situation. And given the reputations of these authors, it is an indication of the shift happening in my profession about these therapies. We cannot allow our current status to continue on.

      1. hunkerdown

        Well, we can’t stop it from going on under regular order, because regular order is designed for a specific result. What is the next step? Letting these people walk free and rebuild a name only encourages the predation to continue. I mean, we know a bike lock can end bad ideas, but I don’t condone that for a number of reasons. How can subjects of a Western liberal republican society destroy their tormentors’ lives and futures, so that those who would be otherwise convinced to lend value to the regime do not? Does five or twenty minutes shattering (or polluting) every piece of glassware in a lab end a career in ascendance? The time return on time seems pretty high. How about the compilation of dossiers and spread of emotive propaganda (and a refusal to let the “forgiveness” narrative take)? How about subverting their presentations? Lawfare? Denial of tenure?

        I suggest, Doc, that you and others in the field are going to have to start spending as much time as they are on sandbagging, sabotage, and generally making their experience of time as hostile and noxious as practicable. Ultimately, you decide whether your field represents a body of valuable knowledge or a body of privations.

      2. Randall Flagg

        >Our leaders must step up to the plate and demand the data to be released. There is no other way to get to the bottom of this.<

        I have no hope of this happening until either the life insurance companies get into the ring or it all finally finally collapses into a smoldering pile of stink. Then the truth can/will be outed.
        Were our "leaders", not the same actors that coerced the "vaccine's" upon the populace in the first place? And continue to market it today?
        IM Doc, I can only hope that the next generation of Physicians your are training will be as admirable and ethical as you are in every way possible. Thanks for all your efforts!!

      3. Stephen V.

        For those who are interested, there’s an open source ecosystem of academics and researchers on the Twitter and beyond compiling data on injuries and deaths.
        A good place to start is Jessica Rose, mathematician/ biologist. Search for JesslovesMJK on Twitter.

      4. Tom Stone

        The United States has abandoned any pretense of Civilization or the Rule of Law, one could say that the “Velvet Glove” has been replaced with a Calving glove.

      5. Ghost in the Machine

        I am very curious as to the ultimate benefit (or lack thereof) of the vaccines for long Covid and the immunological concerns cited in the other links about Covid today. I was worried about AE for my kids but went ahead with the vaccination due to my fears about long Covid. I imagine potential things like early onset dementia in those infected by Covid. If vaccines lower a risk like that I would tolerate a higher AE risk. This is a really tough situation and I absolutely hate the political and corporate leadership that has put us in this situation. I know hate is corrosive, but I hate them.

        1. Objective Ace

          Agreed, Robert Malone suggested these MRNA vaccines are so bad specifically because they tell your body to create the toxic spike proteins. If they had targeted a different part of the virus the results may have been different

          1. OnceWereVirologist

            The virus also tells your body to produce toxic spike protein and in far greater quantities, so that’s not a very persuasive argument (barring some really unlikely contingencies).

            1. ambrit

              Adding your two comments together I get the sense that the mRNA “vaccines” are pathogens in and of themselves. That doesn’t sound right.

              1. OnceWereVirologist

                Trivalent oral polio vaccine, for example, is an attenuated live virus which is known to be able to revert to a virulent form in the vaccinee. Thus the vaccinee can become infectious and pass the disease on to the unvaccinated. So vaccines can be in a certain sense be pathogens in their own right and this shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone given that attenuated live vaccines are the oldest vaccine technology of all. mRNA, however, can not reproduce itself and is quickly degraded and recycled in the body so it’s a bit of a stretch to call an mRNA vaccine a pathogen in and of itself.

        2. Yves Smith Post author

          Please use a search engine.

          The vaccines would never be approved as a preventative for long Covid. Only 15% efficacy, and that was before Omicron, which is more vaccine-evasive:

          Vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 lowers the risk of long COVID after infection by only about 15%, according to a study of more than 13 million people….

          “Generally speaking, this is horrifying,” says David Putrino, a physical therapist at Mount Sinai Health System in New York City who studies long COVID.

          1. Ghost in the Machine

            That paper is well after the date when I had to make the decision.

            And, the ultimate effects of the virus, vaccines, etc. won’t be known for decades.

      6. Joe Well

        If they are minimizing adverse events, why was there such a freakout about the very small risks of cardiac problems from the J&J and Astrazeneca vaccines?

        1. square coats

          Indeed. The mrna vaccines have seemed stinkier and stinkier to me (not because of mrna technology per se but because of just about everything else).

          1. JBird4049

            I am reminded of the company that made thalidomide, Grünenthal, which was founded by Nazi doctors who had prisoners for their often lethal tests during the war. The company not only quickly knew about the problem, they suppressed the information and kept encouraging thalidomide’s use worldwide because of the profits they were making. I have forgotten anything more about the mess except that the FDA prevented its use in the United States and IIRC the legal prosecutions in Germany ended in very lenient settlements.

            Considering the past, it would be unsurprising to me if American officials were making bank off of the mRNA vaccines. I wonder what the people in the 1960s FDA would think about today’s medical establishment including its regulators.

            1. IM Doc

              This is a story I tell every year to my students in medical history. Her name was Frances Kelsey, MD. She was the FDA official who through sheer will cut through all the hubris and crap and greatly minimized thalidomide in the USA. We all owe this women a debt of gratitude. Her name is largely forgotten today but not by my students. She is one of the greats and one to be emulated.


              The NIH makes quite a bit of royalty from the Moderna vaccines. It is unclear to me how much Fauci and his top lieutenants are personally making – the news is a bit opaque – but I am certain if we have a GOP wave this year, that is all going to come out in the wash.

  3. Henry Moon Pie

    Mermaid dreams–

    Hendrix was on this as far back as the Electric Ladyland album with “1983…a Merman Should I Turn to Be,” without the trans overlay:

    oh say can you see its really such a mess
    every inch of earth is a fighting nest
    giant pencil and lip-stick tube shaped things
    continue to rain and cause screaming pain
    and the arctic stains
    from silver blue to bloody red
    as our feet find the sand
    and the sea is strait ahead..

    And it’s a beautiful song as well. Sadly, I can no longer find the original version on the Web.

    1. voteforno6

      Or, from the same album (“House Burning Down”):

      Look at the sky turn a hell fire red
      Somebody’s house is burnin’ down down, down down
      Down, down, down

    2. johnherbiehancock

      Happy to see this one mentioned… that song always blew my mind.

      In some of his best songs, his guitar itself seemed to me to be speaking, not just playing musical notes.

  4. Jessica

    “60% of high school students in northern Thai city have HIV”
    The article actually says that 60% of those who have HIV are high school students.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Sorry but the headline is the headline. Too bad they can’t write them properly. Sorry not to have taken the time to flag the miscue.

      1. .human

        It’s a feature, not a bug. In our deceitful times headlines are purposefully clickbait, eg Kevin Smith’s comment above. It really is all about monetization and has been for centuries.

    2. Angelo

      “60% of new HIV cases in a northern Thai province are from high school students”

      IS (very much) NOT THE SAME AS

      “60% of high school students have HIV”.

      The first instance points to high school students being more exposed to HIV than the rest of the population. The last instance would be an apocalypse.

  5. Nikkikat

    Beautiful photos today. Dog in picture looks so happy. The cat eating raspberries, it’s funny.
    My cat loves cantaloupe and honey dew melon. Thank you NC always makes my day.

    1. griffen

      Yes the cat eating berries is cute…now the cheetah video linked above is a different kind of cute. Cute of those humans to think a cheetah wouldn’t plant it’s jaws on a forearm or bicep. Unbelievable, it’s either bold or boldly stupid.

      I vote for stupid. Must watch that video clip to the end.

    2. Rod

      Thanks TH
      Tippy looks like a dog pleased with their walk to that point, and, from their ears, looking forward to what is going to come next.
      Those cabbages just pop in the understory.

      1. the last D

        I couldn’t last that long. Citing ron johnson as one of the few honest apples among the political class, was too,too much. Hoping that Tippi is able to run for the Senate in Wisconsin. The bones he (or she) finds and brings back to the table will be far preferable to the bones that johnson digs up and drops at his master’s feet. An honest apple? Corrupt to the core.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Russia’s Finance Ministry remits payment on 2028 Eurobonds using new settlement arrangement in rubles”

    Russia is determined on paying all its debt in spite of all the western sanctions and the workaround that they put together is an interesting way to avoid a technical default while paying their creditors. But a little while ago I read about an interesting twist to this story. In the US the sanctions prevented the Russians from paying back their debts, even though this workaround is ready and waiting for them. So the Credit Derivatives Determinations Committee (no, I never heard of them before either) ruled that Russia missed an interest payment of $1.9 million on a sovereign bond, which is seen as a failure-to-pay event. And now a ‘group of 13 banks and asset managers have asked the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to temporarily allow trading in credit default swaps (CDS) on Russian government bonds.’ The reason is that there is about $1.5 billion on offer as they are pretending that Russia defaulted and there are thirteen banks and asset managers who want that money so want a one day window so that they can grab that money and cash out. Not sure what that means to those entities that hold that debt-

  7. Jon Cloke

    The link to the Midwestern Doctor “Who Was Responsible for the Botched Pandemic Response?” includes this:

    “I cannot reveal my source, but I am relatively certain Donald Trump’s youngest son developed a high functioning form of autism from a childhood vaccination”

    You what now? NC is going anti-vaxxer?

    I agree with most of what this says about corruption, but quoting Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson as reliable media sources just makes it GOP propaganda…

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Posting a link does not constitute endorsement. For instance, in this very Links, we also posted Microsoft Compares Russian Hacks of Ukraine to Assassination That Started World War from Vice.

      And on that piece, the praise of De Santis bothered me more, but on the vaccines for toddlers, he may be the stuck clock that is right twice a day. But Midwestern Doc is asking an important question, even though his analysis is very uneven.

      1. chris

        Thank you for continuing to be a source of information that does not attempt to tell readers what to think. I appreciate getting a chance to read everything, even if I don’t agree with it.

      2. DanB

        Yeah, I had an anti-vaxer friend send me this article yesterday for my comments and I told her, “This guy seems to be half-right, and pretty wrong on the other half.” I elaborated a bit on stuff NCers are familiar with.

      3. square coats

        It’s really funny to me now, back when my mom first told me about nc and I started checking it out, there must’ve been at least half a dozen times I’d come across a link that was seriously rankling and later that day I’d exclaim to her about it and how can they be pushing that nonsense and such and she’d always patiently explain to me that posting a link doesn’t mean agreeing with it and often links get posted to show what kind of trite and/or serious garbage is out there or get posted as some kind of food for thought (to name a few reasons), and for whatever reason I just didn’t get it, until I finally got it.

    2. YankeeFrank

      The explosion in the type and schedule of vaccines for children over the last 30 years, esp with the benefit of seeing how “well” the recent covid vaccines have performed (as well as the long, sordid history of pharma industry study-doctoring and suppression, outright murder and hawking dubious medications) should give anyone pause. Being “anti-vax” is not really a thing for most of us. Being extremely skeptical and cautious in the face of an industry that has spent decades putting profit over health, capturing govt regulators, academia, and industry, is.

    3. Rod

      Tough slog first thing in the morning.
      I agreed with the premise of corruption and collusion evaluation, but citing DeSantis, amongst the others, as a beacon of ethical independent thought and action not so much.
      Yves busted clock analogy applies.
      Duty done, I went back to looking at Tippy in those cabbages to get re-centered.

      1. lambert strether

        Midwestern Doc is a herd immunity advocate, a policy that worked so well in the UK I don’t see why Japan didn’t adopt it.

        1. Mel

          I don’t like playing medical and scientific debates as team sports. That’s why we weren’t told to mask up when Covid-19 arrived. If we’d been told to mask up, the old Miasma Theory team would have claimed they’d won.
          Are we being told to mask up against Monkeypox to keep the Fomite Team from scoring points?

          1. Lambert Strether

            I fail to see how pointing out that herd immunity was a lethal fantasy is playing a team sport, especially when it was ultimately adopted by both liberals and conservatives.

  8. thoughtful person

    On the story about HIV in a N Thai province, it turns out to be 60% *of new cases* not 60% of all students.

    Big difference in total numbers.

    The article said sex ed. and use of condoms is to be encouraged, which does remind us in the USA what’s at issue if Thomas gets his way and contraception is banned.

    1. SocalJimObjects

      Please don’t blame her. She’s got other things on her mind like Porschegate. I mean at this point, she’s only got two choices, either spend her political capital for love or “fix” Roe Wade. Tough choice there.

      1. ambrit

        She’s been Speaker of the House for how long now? She was Speaker during Obama’s ‘Golden Years’ when almost anything could have been legislated and did nothing. She has had all that time to “fix” Roe v Wade. She chose not to. That says it all.

        1. TimH

          Exactly. Congress must have known for years that RvW was shaky, and yet chose not to raise leglislation. Oooh, but can’t risk the Catholic dem voters!

          Venal is too light a word for it.

        2. Lambert Strether

          > She was Speaker during Obama’s ‘Golden Years’

          Pelosi was Speaker from 2006, when she could have impeached Bush over warrantless surveillance, torture, and WMDs. Impeachment was the very first thing she took off the table after election night. It was quite a blow at the time, but unremarkable in retrospect, since she supports the first two, and imperial war in general.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Not only did Pelosi read a poem, its a poem about the feelings of Israeli soldiers expelling people from their homes. Its no wonder she was so willing to work with Trump.

      1. Big River Bandido

        Same with me, flora. I moved from NYC to Iowa 4 days before the 2020 general election — in which I didn’t vote because whether the American leadership screws the people missionary or doggie style is of zero import to me.

        I did not re-register to vote until about 8 weeks ago. After 35 years as a registered Democrat, I registered No Party, with zero regrets. I hope that Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are left without a caucus to lead this fall.

        1. Martin Oline

          I grew up in Iowa and it has closed primaries, which are called caucuses. In order to participate you will have to register (up to the date of / at the caucus) to choose or push a certain candidate. Being independent allows you to decide if you want to throw your weight behind a certain person of either party. When I went as an observer in 2020, Tulsi Gabbard had only 2 votes out of about 120 people in the precinct I attended, which was not enough to elect a delegate for the next stage.
          Here in Florida they are also closed. I finally registered as Republican because, unless you live in Miami, the Republican candidate is usually the winner. This way I can at least help effect the ultimate ballot choice in November. The only downside is solicitations for donations.

        2. Rolf

          Flora and BRB, agreed. This is my hope as well, although I think she will have to be forced out. Her exit, along with many others of ‘Team Blue’, is decades overdue. IMO Pelosi and her ilk are a disaster more destructive than the GOP. As Bouie writes in his opinion piece, “the ideologically moderate Republican Party that Pelosi seems to want resurrected was largely dead by the time she entered national politics in the late 1970s, bludgeoned into submission with the notable help of Ronald Reagan [who she praises effusively] among other figures.” She exists only to siphon donations from the wages of panic her feckless strategies create. Enough.

          Democracy needs an alternative, and she offers none. Zero.

        3. Jason Boxman

          I registered NPA when I relocated to NC for the pandemic. I like the idea that I can keep my options open during the primaries, which I did this year, because NC allows for open primaries (whole ticket).

        4. albrt

          I hope that two other democrats besides Pelosi survive this fall, so they can vote her out as minority leader.

  9. iron tablets

    Collins, Manchin suggest they were misled by Kavanaugh and Gorsuch on Roe v. Wade

    Hey Collins and Manchin, who’s stupid now? Or are you just bullshitting the people?

    1. griffen

      Driving to work I sometimes tuned into the ’80s channel on Sirius XM. There was a song back that sometimes played called Misled, and I think it was Kool & the Gang.

      I don’t think the video holds up though, compared to say Thriller…

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      They are simply lying. They know a rationale reaction is to simply make their lives miserable until they break or scare other republicans that they could be next. Right now, Biden et al aren’t using Manchin’s daughter as leverage, but if the local committee dims ever figure this is a possibility, Biden might be forced to respond. Manchin owns coal mines. Has he been hit by safety inspectors? Manchin and the Supremes know Biden is weak and will simply roll onto his back on his own, but local committee dims are the bulwark that has protected Biden and Pelosi for years. This is such a stark event, they may be gone. The Era of good feelings is over. All those people upset about Sanders negativity are going to find this out.

      Congressman Andy Levin and at least one other person thought posting him doing yoga because he was dealing with emotions was a good idea.

      1. voteforno6

        I don’t know…it’s entirely possible they’re that stupid and that they’re lying.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Manchin was fast with his response, and Collins know this is her schtick all these years to make her palatable to Mainers. They both know they are the weak links and how laws are actually passed.

          “But the Supreme Court” has been the rallying cry for tolerating “moderates” for years. And now Biden’s pal Clarence has done the deed. There is a reason Collins responded to the sidewalk chalk. She knows if people understand how government can actually work under constitution she’ll have to make all her meals if she wants to eat anything without human body fluids ever again.

          They likely bought the faux tough guy act by Biden when he’s simply a bully who picks on the weak. The GOP knows Biden et al are going to admonish voters for insufficient fealty.

    3. hunkerdown

      Whatever ideology claims that the republic is anything but the committee of the collective affairs of the landed is disinformation. Goldman Sachs wants the birth rate up → birth rates are going up and the Voices can only cry about it. The process is but a shiny bauble.

    4. CitizenSissy

      They should just say nothing, because that’s just blindingly stupid. If a SC nominee has passed muster with the Federalist Society, it’s pretty much a done deal that his/her views on reproductive rights are to the right of Cotton Mather; any protestation to the contrary is just BS.

    5. Art_DogCT

      “Hey Collins and Manchin, who’s stupid now? Or are you just bullshitting the people?”

      The answer is, “Yes”. The answer to this sort of question is always, “Yes”.

  10. griffen

    Boeing is searching their contract for loopholes, as they are behind schedule and face higher costs than planned to complete a pair of new flying fortress Air Force One planes. I am shocked, I tell you.

    I’m thinking if delayed movie sequels or refreshed originals are the thing lately, whether in a theater or direct on streaming, the ’90s fictional film “Air Force One” is due for an upgrade. Rather than a presidential looking Harrison Ford invoking the command to get off his plane, the new film features a president asking if they really trust Boeing to build stuff like they once did.

  11. timbers

    From Dreizen Report “Ukr terrorism against “collaborationists” in the south accelerates, regional official blown up in Kherson…”

    Apparently the Moscow appointed transitional governor of Kherson Oblast – who among other things is maybe partly responsible for administrating/restoring pensions in rubles, granting Ukrainians Russian citizenship, restoring public services, and other acts to help the people of Kherson – was killed in a terrorist act presumably by Ukraine nationalists.

    IMO this is the type of issues Russia will face by holding the southern Oblasts. Not saying Russia ought not do so and further take Odessa, just saying this will be the nature of the challenge and threat she faces from the West.

    On direct military to military confrontation, I have little worry Russia is more than up to parry any challenge presented to her by the West. But this terrorist type act is what she’ll need a plan for…if she doesn’t already have one.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      They have not taken control of all of the oblast, and Ukraine troops are close enough to Kherson (the city) that they had a PR-level assault, took a town-let. So troops are not all that far away.

      I anticipate that when Russia has fully captured the territory, the refusniks will either leave or be tracked down. The Chechens really like this sort of duty.

    2. scarnoc

      The Russian regional governor of Kherson was not killed. One minor official survived a car bomb, another minor official did not. The Russians are quite good at domestic counter-terrorism. They learned in Chechnya and then in Syria.

      1. timbers

        Good to hear that. Read an early report the governor was killed. That he was not is nice to learn.

  12. Pat

    Tippy made me as happy as his adventures in the skunk cabbage made him. Thanks for sharing, Bob H!

    The sweet ginger kitty enjoying the raspberries was just icing on the cake.

    Thanks for the much needed joyful antidotes, Yves.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Norway blocks food delivery to Russian miners in Svalbard”

    At first thought, this sounded like Norway just being a bunch of d**** but there may be more to it than that. The sovereignty issue is a bit of a Schrödinger’s sovereignty. It is kinda Norways but it shares the place with Russia and I am certain that the Norwegians would love to squeeze the Russians out so that all resources, including offshore resources like petroleum, would fall to them. We have most of us heard about this place already in any case. It is where the Global Seed Vault is located.

    In any case the Norwegians are blocking food which I am sure is still permitted under the sanctions regime so this is all on Norway. But the Russians may go in for some payback. Norway was given sovereignty over the island under the terms of the Svalbard Treaty but they had to allow access of goods for other countries as part of it. But if the Norwegians are doing this, then the Russians can claim that the treaty has now been broken.

    And since the Norwegians unilaterally declared a fish protection zone around these islands and get huffy if anybody challenges on it, then the Russians could send a fishing fleet now in this same area – with a friendly, local neighbourhood Russian Naval vessel nearby in case the Norwegians try to arrest those ships again. And what are the Norwegians going to do then? Take the Russians to a court of law? Which court would that be exactly?

    1. digi_owl

      It is less that it is blocking food, and more that it is blocking border crossings.

      This has been an ongoing problem since sanctions kicked in. Early stores were of Russian truck drivers that found them stuck in Norway as they were forbidden from going back across to Russia, complete with locals providing them with food and such.

      As for the fish thing. It is about regulating the fish stocks for sustainability. Anyways, nobody was throwing a hissy fit until Brexit. After that Norway reduced the EU share accordingly, transferring that portion to UK directly. Brussels wanted nothing of it.

      Even the Russians played nice, as least as much as they ever do, some years back, while dividing up an areas of water that at the time was a no-mans land between Russian and Norwegian claims.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I don’t think that it is anything to do with sustainability with fish stocks at all. Remember that Norway did this unilaterally which did not please those other countries. Their position is that they have to share the local waters with other countries under that Treaty but that beyond that 12 nautical mile zone, it all belongs to Norway under the 1958 Continental Shelf Convention which includes all underwater gas and oil reserves. I think that only Russia is present on those islands but if they were gone, the Norwegians could end that Treaty, claim those islands plus all external zones and keep the profits for themselves. Ka-ching!

        1. digi_owl

          Do not underestimate how important fishing can be.

          It is what has kept Norway, and Iceland, out of EU proper.

          Back when the 2008 finance crash happened, Iceland was particularly negatively effected (and perhaps the only nation that actually prosecuted a banker for it).

          Afterwards they entered negotiations with EU about membership again, but as best i could tell Iceland ended them pretty much the day fishing became a topic.

            1. digi_owl

              Believe me i know, but i also know that there are a lot of internal struggles surrounding the topic. In large part thanks to having lived there my whole life.

              There is a very big push by the geen side of politics to stop opening new areas of the coast for extraction. In particular as the southern coast is mostly tapped out, and thus things have to move further north.

              And there is where you find the age old fishing communities, that has since virtually forever sustained themselves on cod and herring. Dried cod used was one of the first exports of the nation, sending shiploads to places like Spain and Italy.

              And the fear is that should a oil platform or tanker in that area ever have an accident, it would devastate the fish stocks.

              Also, the further north you go the more complicated it gets to run a platform or similar. The prices has to be at a certain minimum to make the costs worthwhile. There were a number of projects up there that was put on hold after the Saudis crashed the price in order to fund their side of the Syrian war.

      1. Thistlebreath

        Time for John Cleese, Eric Idle, Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam to interpret Norway’s latest action.

        Wonder who’ll play the harpooned whale?

      2. chuck roast

        The knucklehead Jens Stoltenberg walked away from the Norges Bank gig in favor of being Secretary General of Nato. What a chump. He’s been very quiet lately. I’m guessing that he has that medical condition that you get when you jam both feet into your mouth.

        1. digi_owl

          Because NATO begged him to stay on once Ukraine hit the fan (his appointment to NATO had apparently been extended at least once already).

          Never mind that his bank governor appointment was controversial, as it seemed like AP had pulled strings to get him considered as a candidate ahead the then deputy governor (who happened to be a woman, and thus there was a gender angle to it as well).

          As for him being quiet, he is either busy trying to arrange back room deals between the member nations or finding out just how useless the position is as EU, UK, and USA decide things unilaterally.

          After all, NATO has zip all say in the recent antics in Lithuania even as it risks triggering article 5 depending on how Russia responds.

  14. FredsGotSlacks

    That link to the Lake Mead story seems to be going to a site called “Citizens News” and not “NaturalNews”. The picture doesn’t show a low Lake Mead but just the outlet side of the dam. That site also shows a story in its side bar where it looks like they painted a Hitler mustache on Anthony Fauci’s face. I’m not a huge fan of the guy but that does make me question the veracity of that site. Wrong link?

    1. Wukchumni

      Yes, we launch kayak trips about 1/2 a mile downriver from the dam in that photo, a fabulous flatwater voyage by the way, about 30 miles from the LV Strip, but it feels hundreds of miles away and the only gamboling you see is bighorn sheep on steep cliffs dong their thing.

      1. FredsGotSlacks

        That sounds amazing. Kayaking is something I discovered later in life and was ready to get really into. But with two small kids now my own hobbies and recreation are kind of on hold, at least until the little one gets a bit bigger. Luckily it’s the kind of thing you can do for all your life if you have a modicum of health and physical ability remaining. I’m looking forward to future adventures in that regard again someday.

        I’ve spent a decent amount of time in the southwest (for a northeasterner) and it’s one of my favorite places on earth. Hoping to get back out there someday.

        1. Wukchumni

          I can’t recommend this kayak trip enough, we’ve used this outfitter for 20 years now, and the way to do it is to do a self-guided tour and it’ll run you around $125 per person with kayak rental & NPS launch permit included.

          The first 3 miles have canyons full of hot springs and you have all day to explore them before camping overnight @ Arizona Hot Springs. The next day you paddle 9 miles to Willow Beach where the outfitter picks you up and takes you back to the parking lot of the Hoover Dam Lodge where you started from the day before, easy peasy and so much fun.

          I think i’ve done it 25 times now, and only go in the fall in the spring, summers are way too hot.

    2. heresy101

      That is the downside of the damn. If anyone has toured the generating turbines at the bottom of the dam, they know it is not Lake Mead. The bridge in the photo is for most traffic to avoid driving across the dam, where traffic is slow. Also, the dam is concave to the left side where the water is. This is not Lake Mead above the dam.

  15. Pat

    If a nation sanctioned by half the world is able to take you hostage, perhaps you (meaning the leadership of those countries sanctioning it) underestimated not only Russia’s resources and abilities but your dependence on it.

    Perhaps it is time to stop overestimating your position and actively negotiate with Russia.

    I know it is a hard nut for some, particularly the US, to find out that they no longer have enough power to hold the whole world hostage anymore. Still they really need to stop living in denial about doing this and their loss of ability to do it.

    1. LifelongLib

      I agree we’re returning to a multi-polar world with regional powers. But we shouldn’t fool ourselves that more autonomy for (say) Britain, France, Germany, and Russia will necessarily make the world a better place. History c. 1914-45 suggests otherwise.

  16. Tom Stone

    Private suites for the wealthy, wire coat hangers for the poor.

    Half a Century of $ Ka-Ching for the Dems “Fighting for” a Woman’s right to choose and how many times have they introduced a bill at the National level to legalize abortion?
    Either Women are Citizens with rights or they are chattel slaves, that is the essence of this debate.

    My suggestion might strike some as a bit extreme, I recommend that two dozen or so Women announce that they are traveling to a State that allows safe abortions in a convoy and without mentioning this part arm those women with an AR-5 and and six 30 round magazines each.
    When the cops try to stop them fight to the death.
    Make it crystal clear that banning abortion is sentencing thousands of Women to death every year in a way that can’t be ignored.

    1. WobblyTelomeres

      Your suggestion of an armed convoy fighting to the death might carry a bit more weight if that convoy included YOU. Just saying…

      1. Tom Stone

        Pay for my food, lodging and travel ( Because I’m broke) and provide me with a decent quality AR with a red dot and I’ll leave tomorrow.
        And yes, I am serious.
        A woman’s right to choose is a hard limit for me and I am quite willing to lay down my life in opposition to slavery.
        Because THAT IS the issue, Women are either Citizens or Chattel Slaves.
        However from a PR standpoint an all Female convoy would be better.
        Videos of the Cops killing pregnant women would get people’s attention in a way nothing else could and these abortion bans are going to cause many thousands of deaths every year.
        If YOU are willing to finance my trip you can find me through the California Department of Real Estate.

        1. WobblyTelomeres

          > Pay for my food, lodging and travel ( Because I’m broke) and provide me
          > with a decent quality AR with a red dot and I’ll leave tomorrow.
          > And yes, I am serious.

          And Rosa Parks had a nickel.

          I get it. I do. I understand what you are saying. But, you gotta learn to walk that talk, chief, otherwise you’re just another big mouth telling others to go die for a cause. Personally, I’ve seen enough of that.

          FWIW, my big butt made the news again! Back left, changing a CD.

          1. Tom Stone

            WT, I was not blowing smoke.
            I have put it all on the line more than once when it was a matter of principle and although I have survived ( Mostly through luck) I paid a price for doing so.
            And in this cause I am willing to do so again.
            Unlike Rosa Parks I would have to travel several states away which is simply not something I can afford to do, nor can I afford the price of an AR15 with a red dot on a paltry fixed income.
            The reason I never had a problem with the kind of men who have “88” tattooed on their foreheads during the nearly two decades I did volunteer work in Jails and Prisons is that they could read me.
            Is opposing chattel slavery worth my life?
            Yes, but I won’t go gently.

            1. WobblyTelomeres

              Tom Stone: I believe you.

              If it came to it, some of the women who escorted at the Alabama clinics would supply you a weapon. A few being former military, they, as a group, were usually very well armed on procedure days. And justifiably so. Credible threats were received daily. I carried a 642 and was seriously outgunned by a bunch of 5′ nurses in scrubs, nurses who weren’t about to take any sh*t.

      2. hunkerdown

        Not necessarily. Women who are carrying the fetish objects of both principles of American middle class social reproduction are far more symbolically powerful than women or men carrying either one alone.

    2. hunkerdown

      To really ruin the morality play, the pregnant women can stand in front with their “hostages” daring the “Forces For Life” to shoot.

      Pregnant women with ARs and alert (not resting) bitch face. Photographers, event planners, there’s an image for you.

    3. scott s.

      No, your characterization of the essence of the debate is what is extreme, in that it does not in any way engage the arguments of those who oppose your beliefs.

      1. ambrit

        I’m reluctantly with Tom here. The anti-abortion groups are heavily infiltrated by absolutist ideologues.
        His point about women being either Citizens or Chattel Slaves is very much to the point. To have control over a woman’s fertility is an absolute power. One has declared that the woman is inferior to the ones making the decisions regarding said fertility. Such is nothing less than slavery.
        I occasionally make jokes and asides about the Patriarchy. Have no doubt, such a social ‘force’ is very much extant and active.
        This contest has been ongoing since Terran humans first established social relations as a core function of society. The big game changer was the “discovery” of effective and easy birth control. Now any woman could, theoretically, control her own fertility. This is a truly liberating phenomenon. I suggest that the fight over abortion, which is essentially a late form of birth control, is a proxy for the overall control of women’s fertility. Thomas “said the ‘secret’ part outloud” in his opinion; the next target for the “Forces of the Patriarchy” will be birth control in toto.
        It is, as usual, all about power and control.

        1. norm de plume

          ‘I occasionally make jokes and asides about the Patriarchy. Have no doubt, such a social ‘force’ is very much extant and active’

          And as you say, it has been around since Day 1. I have just finished helping my son with an HSC (senior high) assignment on Othello and though I had read it many moons ago, I was struck by how relevant its attitude to the control of women remains 400 years after it was written. Desdemona’s father reacts to her elopement with Othello not as a father worried about the well-being of his daughter, but as the owner of a prize chattel which has been stolen from him, by a ‘blackamoor’ no less! Even Othello makes remarks that indicate his unthinking belief that Desdemona in the strictest sense belongs to him. Desdemona is too innocent for her own good, though Iago’s wife Emilia knows the score and makes wry comment on how most female ‘transgression’ can ultimately be traced back to the behaviour of men.

          I think feminist critics are right to point to the almost insane fear of cuckoldry as evidence of the threat independence female sexuality posed to a patriarchal society in which all inheritance of power and position and therefore reputation, passed through the male line. Everything was moot if you couldn’t be sure your children were actually yours. However I think those among them that think Othello is evidence of Shakepeare’s general agreement with this attitude go too far; it seems to me that WS, as with the equally threatening issue of race, leaves plenty of room for interpretations (Brabantio’s possessiveness, Emilia’s contempt for men, the Duke’s admiration of Othello) which go against that grain.

          Fun fact: it is striking, given the play’s focus on sexual jealousy, that ‘when Paul Robeson played Othello during a six-month US tour in 1944, he was having an affair with his Desdemona, Uta Hagen, who was married to his Iago, José Ferrer’ and that ‘the cuckolded Ferrer was having an affair of his own with the production’s Bianca’ and finally that ‘Ferrer exacted his revenge when he later named Robeson to the House Un-American Activities Committee’, the vehicle for Senator Joseph McCarthy’s communist ‘witch-hunts’.

          Life was imitating art, which had been created by imitating life.

        2. hunkerdown

          Be careful about these just-so stories about the human condition. In general, “Human nature” is whatever original sin story gets one through the current argument; they are almost always bullshit. When land tenure started to matter, only then could the blackmail inherent to the state take root and perpetuate an inequitable gender structure. There’s always more floodplain to throw some barley down.

          What the abortion spectacle are talking about, more or less directly at long last, is social reproduction: the right to determine the game and the options in the next round. A woman who aborts denies society access to not only her reproductive apparatus (for nine months) but society’s reproductive apparatus (for 18 years). No ifs, ands, or buts: does society have a right to reproduce against its inmates’ will, or not? That is, does the right of a set of ideas to perpetuate itself supersede the right of people to be left as they are? (The term “rights” is a clumsy attempt to address the notion of cosmic propriety, but it’ll have to do for now.)

  17. IM Doc

    Just one more comment about Roe v Wade.

    On three completely different occasions in the past 24 hours, I have witnessed a very similar conversation.

    Pro Choice supporter – “we no longer have choice over our own bodies”

    Pr life supporter – “where were you during the vaccine mandates? I remember you actually cheering them on….”

    Pro-Choice supporter – DEAD SILENCE

    I will say again, and it is becoming more apparent by the day. The vaccine mandate disaster may have been the biggest strategic political screw up in my lifetime. It most certainly has not been forgotten and will not be in November when all the people I know who used to be reliable Dems and have been screwed by it go to the polls. And it has tentacles into all kinds of issues like abortion.

    Again, the single biggest political screw up in my lifetime.

    1. Pavel


      And on a non-Roe note, we are seeing all the flight cancellations (Lufthansa just announced several thousand for the summer) with all the ensuing personal misery, business disruption, and widespread downstream negative effects especially on the tourist industry.

      Who could have predicted that forcing pilots and flight attendants to take a vaccine with potentially severe side effects could lead to staffing problems?

    2. Gawr Gura

      Are they silent because they’re too busy rolling their eyes? “Pro life” hypocrites are the last people that should be wagging their fingers at other people deciding what they can do with their own bodies, last of all when it comes to something that affects only the individual, versus something that affects everyone that individual interacts with.

      “Pro life” has always meant “no choice” and should share be told to stfu.

      1. IM Doc

        Actually no they are not rolling their eyes. I happen to be of the camp that this should be between a woman and their doctor. But I personally am pro life. This was one of the first indications that I was no longer welcome in the Dem Party. I was told to my face in front of others on multiple occasions that I was a horrible misogynistic mansplainer. Please note, I never one time have ever expressed a desire to get in the way of someone else who has different opinions to have an abortion. But because I expressed an opinion that I MYSELF would never be ok with a child I sired to agree to an abortion, I am worthy to be damned to hell. Now, I just never bring it up. I wonder how many like me out here who used to be reliable Dem voters are out here. I think it may be substantial. But it is hard to hear them through all the screaming.

        You leftists can have it. The authoritianism in your actions is revolting to the vast majority of us in the middle. It is not just abortion. It is the entire framework of how you relate to the world. It is a form of authoritarian Manichaeism that is getting quite concerning. It is also fascinating to watch the many ways it is imploding on itself just as it has so many times throughout history. Your comment above, stripped of any nuance about this very complex issue, is a textbook example of Manichaeism. It does nothing but harden those of us who have struggled with this issue all our life that the Dem Party and its leftist core are not our home. The sad thing you cannot see through all the righteous screaming is that much of your base – the Latinos and the African Americans – have similar feelings that I do. I think November may be a surprise for you.

        I am still struggling with the fact that my side of the spectrum has become far more authoritarian than the other side ever dreamed. It is unsettling. Even more so is the fact that the partisans on what I used to call my side cannot even seem to see the problem. The huge number of what I call New Deal Dems out here in the heartland who I have contact with regularly feel the same way I do. We need to start working on issues of the common working people and put the identity politics aside. They are absolutely toxic to a functional society.

        1. JohnA

          As a European with no religious beliefs other than people should be able get on with their lives in as much peace and freedom as possible, I can never grasp why this is such a huge issue in the US. The sad fact is that there will always be demand for abortions, and surely it is better that this be done in a proper medical clinic rather than reverting to back street abortionists with the attendant far higher risks and possible criminal punishments.

          1. super extra

            As a European with no religious beliefs other than people should be able get on with their lives in as much peace and freedom as possible, I can never grasp why this is such a huge issue in the US.

            Because it has been the topic of a 50-year society-wide propaganda campaign that kicked into high gear in the mid 90s when it joined hands with evangelical christian churches and the Koch-bros Chamber of Commerce business interests to create the divided maps you see today. In the states where abortion has been banned, there are also strong power blocks formed by the churches and businesses that assist in promoting the platform. The power blocks may or may not believe in oppressing women – it is about the power inherent in the block. Most of the states with the strictest laws are also the poorest and most corrupt. In Oklahoma, where I live, we have a sh!tty governor who came to power thanks to this block, and he signs any abortion-related legislation that crosses his desk. That is what he agreed to do to get the backing of the people who funded his campaign. He was then allowed to feed at the trough for four years while he passed the other tax-related stuff he was installed to do. The abortion stuff is NOT about personal belief for the majority of these people, it is purely a red meat topic to motivate the voting base since most people are fully checked out of voting. In Oklahoma a solid majority support legal abortion. This was not a factor in the laws.

            The real passion in this argument is on the surface about women’s rights but at a deeper level it is about the unseen power players who, seemingly without opposition from people who were supposed to have known better, coordinated a capture of the critical chokepoints of ruling power in approximately half of the country using the old boogeyman of white christian calvinist business with all the tax-free advantages and social control of religion.

            1. jr

              “The abortion stuff is NOT about personal belief for the majority of these people…”

              Chris Hedges gave a talk I caught on Youtube in which he described attending a “pro-life” convention. As an ordained minister, he was shocked at how little the people involved knew or cared about the actual nuts and bolts morality of their cause. For that matter, most of them didn’t know jack-$hit about the Bible. It was all money grubbing and networking. When he revealed that he was an ordained student of divinity, they scampered off.

              1. amechania

                If I’m reading my constitution right, with the Senate, House of Representatives, and the Vice Presidency, the ‘Democrats’ could pass a law tomorrow. Any law.

                They’ve had at least a month to get ready. Its remarkable nobody is even talking about the democratic process right now.

                Can’t they Joe Manchin this one?

          2. NotTimothyGeithner

            European countries at least western ones have stronger social structures such as the state of your unions. This is about control. It has nothing to do with babies and fetuses.

            One aspect has to be understood is Biden is possibly the weakest President since Buchanan, the US President before Lincoln. To a large extent what is happening is the direct result of knowing Biden won’t be transformed by the office and that he is Obama’s sidekick. Obama already was a weak President. Biden has options. As leader of the Democratic Party, he can really demand non-stop voting to codify Roe. He largely controls the election purse strings. Then he can simply appoint new Supreme Court Justices. 9 is just recent tradition. As it is, Marbury v Madison is garbage anyway.

            Don’t think for a second that the right wing in Europe wouldn’t do this if they had the chance.

            1. hunkerdown

              “Transformed by the office”? Ew, what is this gross scam ideology and how do we make it go away?

        2. voteforno6

          I am still struggling with the fact that my side of the spectrum has become far more authoritarian than the other side ever dreamed.

          I don’t know…I think we’re going to get a taste for just how authoritarian the right wing can be, as they try to enforce these bans. Not to mention what else they’re going to try to do next.

          1. jr

            I tend to use authoritarianism as my metric for political polarity. The Right and the other Right, or synthetic Left, are all about dictating peoples lives in a manner that buttresses their own power and wealth. Blue plus Red gives you Purple, the color of monarchs. Levelers are the real Left.

            That being said, I have a streak of Lenin in me. The time may come to drag every tenth priest, bureaucrat, and politician up against a wall. Maybe every fifth.

            1. CanCyn

              I no longer see it as left and right. Most things come down to power and money for both Republicans and Democrats. They are simply doing the bidding of their lobbyists. As has been said many times here at NC, left and right are no longer meaningful labels

        3. thoughtfulperson

          I appreciate your equating the vaccine mandates to the SCOTUS decision. I knew I didn’t like the idea of the mandates, while I do have personally gotten vaccinated, I hadn’t quite gotten why the mandates make me uncomfortable.

          I happen to be a father as well. I certainly agree with you that everyone should be able to make their own choices about things that affect their bodies.

          I don’t believe I would argue with my daughter about her choice.

        4. Sean gorman

          Is the question not more narrowly do you support laws to remove this right from women rather than are you troubled in your soul on the matter?

        5. The Historian

          I’m pro-choice simply because I have a deep seated moral belief that the one thing I own is my body and no one, no matter how innocent, has the right to take ownership of my body away from me. I don’t think legal abortion is a good thing, but I believe it is a necessary thing. I also don’t believe that vaccinations should be pushed on people who don’t want them.

          But I agree 100% with your view of the authoritarian left. I can’t tell you how many ‘leftist organizations’ I have stopped participating with because of that. I don’t believe in ‘isms’ but I consider myself most definitely a leftist. My main issue is economic justice, but every organization I join seems to insist that if you don’t agree with every word they have to say about social issues such as abortion, gun control, racism, feminism, etc., then you must be a right wing troll come to infiltrate them. I believe you must get a grip on the economic situation BEFORE you get torn apart by social issues – and that makes me persona non grata.

          Ryan Grim had an excellent article that may have been linked here – I’ve been busy lately and haven’t had time to read everything – that explains some reasons why the left is so feckless:

        6. Noone from Nowheresville

          Universal health care could certainly be a rallying call to undo some of the damage from losing the class war. To get better terms from our unconditional surrender.

          But even in health care, we can easily see the corruption and the rot. The foundation is in shambles even with all the new shiny, shiny windows being installed.

          I fear that this deeply personal issue is nothing more than another fire to put out as those who’ve won the US class war do another smash and grab as they tear up the latest version of our terms of surrender.

          This time, of course, the entire world is on fire, and honestly, for most – perhaps all, there are simply too many fires to even keep track of let alone know where they might lead. Too many players on too many stages trying to hold our attention.

          “Frodo: I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.
          Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”

          ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

        7. cgregory

          IM Doc, I suppose you’re earning in the $160k range. If you spend per capita on adopted children what my parents had to spend on raising us 11 siblings (in today’s money, $3,500 per capita), you should be able to adopt 45 kids and shepherd them to adulthood, just like my folks did.

          So, how willing are you to save your unborn child from the following fates?

          This is what I found from research about a decade ago:

          When a woman bears a child, she undertakes a great responsibility— to raise that child well. Intelligent pregnant women know what the odds against that are, and they might well decide they cannot do it. Here is a list of the dangers they will have to protect their child against:

          In America a child is born approximately every nine seconds, about 7 per minute, about 400 per hour, 96,000 per day, 3.5 million every year. Due to the sheer force of probability, each one of them has a destiny fairly well shaped for it as soon as its mother decides to carry it to term:

          Every eighteen seconds a child is born who for most of his life will barely, if at all, know his biological father
          Every 27 seconds, a baby is born whose parents never intended for him to exist
          Every thirty-six seconds, a baby is born who will not graduate high school
          Every thirty-six seconds, a child is born to a life without health insurance
          Every thirty-six seconds, a baby is born who will live in a family with an alcoholic parent
          Every forty-five seconds a child will be born to live in poverty
          Every sixty-three seconds a child is born who will be left alone at home unsupervised between the ages of five and fourteen
          Every eighty-one seconds a baby is born who will come home after school to an empty house
          Of the ten babies born every minute and a half, four are born to mothers weren’t “elated about their condition.”
          Every minute and a half a baby is born whose family pays more than half of its income for rent- two and a half times the national average
          Every minute and a half a baby will be born to a child
          Every minute and a half, a child is born who will experience lifelong depression
          Every minute and forty-five seconds a child will be born at an extremely low birth weight, at risk for school failure and for a felony conviction
          Every two minutes and twelve seconds, a girl baby will be born whose sexual abuse will begin at about age two and continue until about age 14
          Every three minutes, a girl will be born who will herself become a pregnant teenager
          Every three minutes, a child is born who will live in a household with no parent present
Every three minutes and 18 seconds a boy will be born to suffer sexual abuse
          Every five minutes a child will be born who will run away from home. Almost every other child will be running away because of intolerable family conditions
          Every six minutes and forty-five seconds a child will be born who will have to receive state custody to protect him from his own parents
          Every 8 ½ minutes, a child will be born to suffer child abuse.
          Every twenty-two minutes and 20 seconds a child will be born who will go to jail
          Every hour, a baby will be born to die within the first year of life
          Every hour and fifty minutes, a child will be born to die from a gunshot wound
          Every third hour, a baby will be born severely damaged for life by alcohol while in his mother’s womb

          To avoid almost all of these fates costs about $300,000: food, clothing, education, respite care, law enforcement, strong social services, and so on. The woman who decides she is not ready to have a child knows what she’s talking about. Anyone who thinks they are doing a fetus a favor by forcing her to bear a child had best step forward with the money needed to make sure the child is indeed raised well.

          1. flora

            The people you have to convince are your fellow state residents and your state legislators. That’s where the Choice decisions and laws will be made for the foreseeable future.

          2. chris

            What are you talking about? IM DOC didn’t say anything even vaguely related to your post. All he said was he was not in favor of abortion but he wouldn’t get in the way of anyone who wanted it. He did not pretend he was doing anyone a favor. How is someone who disagrees with your position, but won’t interfere with your freedoms, a problem?

          3. Felix_47

            C Gregory: These are excellent points. I think the Chinese one child policy was a major factor in their decreasing poverty so dramatically. The US should have one especially given the points you have listed. I think that a mandatory federal takeover of child support would also make sense. All women who have children should be getting a living wage. Very few men pay child support. One third of working age men in the US do not work on the record, do not pay SS, and do not collect unemployment and they make babies they do not support significantly. They survive and have babies they do not support in the cash economy often selling drugs and doing theft. Having children and not supporting them is being a deadbeat dad. In this case allowing more children and not supporting them is being a deadbeat nation. I think the reason the democrats have never pushed through a federal abortion bill is that they are afraid they won’t be reelected the next election. A lot of Americans don’t want abortions. It seems quite dishonest for politicians to use the judicial system to enshrine abortion rights. Our politicians need to stand up and be counted…….for and against…..that is what they are paid for. Vote for it and enact and fund a national, funded abortion policy and child support policy or STFU. Blaming Clarence Thomas is simply diverting attention from the people who have the power to pass a federal law and program and who have not done it for decades.

            1. JBird4049

              I will step into this shootout by saying that personally I really, very much, do not like abortion so I guess I might be labeled as pro-life or reluctantly pro-choice despite my very leftist social and economic views (I reserve the right to be confusing) I look at the parties and aside from the fringes, I see a bunch of hypocrites using the issue, and other like it such as guns, as wedge issues to divide, conquer, and make money.

              For the right, it is all about the pre-born, but once you are out you’re on your baby. Aside from being pro-choice, the ostensible left and liberals also blather on without doing jack. Healthcare, education, jobs, the environment, the massive endemic corruption, inequality are all ignored, but a woman’s right to choose is sacrosanct, we will just ignore the difficulties of giving birth without going into bankruptcy, and the problems of feeding, clothing, housing adults have for themselves, forget about raising their children.

              So now, we will have desperate women and men desperately, covertly looking for a way to get an abortion being hunted by others being encouraged by, as I see it, opportunistic scum who play god while ignoring to provide the ability to safely have children and having the resources needed to raise them. I can also go into the willingness to create another layer of the police state to better hunt the desperate.

              Here we are making a Hell on Earth of our creation, step by step, because reasons.

        8. Pelham

          Thank you for this contribution and observation. I’m conflicted on the issue, so I’m asking you — a doctor and one of the most valuable contributors here — whether there should be a cutoff point in pregnancy past which nearly all abortions should be illegal. I ask because I’m somewhat confused by your stance on the question of a particular abortion involving you. Perhaps this is due to a religious conviction or some other factor that would make you feel uncomfortable imposing your belief on anyone else.

          Pro-lifers suggest there’s strong evidence that fetuses can feel pain as early as 15 weeks, and abortions are barred past 12 or 14 weeks in much of Europe, where the whole issue isn’t so fraught. But what do I know? BTW, I’ve been somewhat embarrassed over the years in regard to this subject as I’ve assumed that any adult at my advanced age should have reached a settled opinion on such an ancient issue. So I’m comforted to learn that even someone with a much more distinguished background also struggles and is conflicted.

          Also BTW, I completely agree on the Manichean fulminations of so many leftists.

        9. marym

          Not defending the libs on this or other pandemic policies, but when anti-vax and also anti-mask protesters had signs saying “my body my choice” it seemed more sarcasm than solidarity.

          I wasn’t there, only saw photos and tweets. I’m only guessing a comparable “where were you during anti-choice legislation/court cases” dialogue would end not with silence but shouting about their (own and no one else’s) freedom.

          Was this a missed opportunity to find common ground on working class issues and putting identity politics aside? Maybe, but I don’t know if a more robust left or a less corrupt liberalism would suffice, without some realization on their own on the “other side” that suppressing everyone else won’t make their lives better. Currently they seem very gleeful about progress toward the right wing version of an authoritarian agenda.

        10. CanCyn

          I am pretty sure that a person who believes that abortion is between a woman and her doctor is pro choice not pro life. I hate those labels. How you personally feel about abortion is not anyone else’s business. Many (most?) of us who think abortions should be available to all who want or need one are not authoritarian Manichaeists’ just simply people who believe in access to reliable healthcare for everyone for all aspects of their health. I was lucky enough to never have to make the choice during my child bearing years. If it had come down to it, I don’t know what I would have done. One scare would probably have been an easy decision, the other not so easy. I have accompanied friends to abortion clinics and supported others after the fact. For me and many others, it is not pro choice or pro life. It is just about full spectrum health care for all. My husband has 2 friends (men) who are anti-abortion. I only once tried to engage the one who actively protests (on Mothers Day in front of hospitals) about it. There is no room for dialogue, it got ugly fast. I no longer see the friend. I hate this whole issue and what it does to people who take a stand publicly on either side. It is absolutely the Democrats who had more than one chance to make this a non-issue and the fact that they’ve chosen instead to use it to raise funds and do nothing while simultaneously allowing healthcare and public health to decline to such a state is truly disgusting. And yes, I understand that both parties are to blame for the healthcare and public health crises. I address them with abortion because to me abortion is about healthcare. I thank my lucky stars that I live in Canada and live in hope that the would-be healthcare privatizers here continue to be kept at bay.

          1. CanCyn

            Sorry tried to edit to add… I deplored the vaccine mandates because they just didn’t make sense. Non sterilizing vaccines for a highly mutating virus! Huh?

        11. Cat Burglar

          Divide et impera.

          Bases of both big political parties are fracturing. Remember how the bank bailout bill failed on the first vote because the far right Republicans and the left-wing Dems voted against it, and they had to do it over again after making some deals? The not inconsiderable number of imperial-skeptic Republicans Trump appealed to with his skepticism about NATO? Readers here followed the efforts to beat down Sanders.

          Our handlers have to keep the herds from mixing, and one thing that helps keep them apart is moral panic.

          The stigmatizing behavior you describe is pretty familiar to me from years on the left. It came originally from Marxist-Leninist groups that used it in internal faction fights, and then used it to take over non-party left organizations (“The people in charge of this coalition are objectively a]racist, b]sexist, c] against workers — so let us run it!”), but then spread out into the Dems during the 70s. For leaders of the parties, it is a shaming technique used to confine discussion — remember, “Medicare-For-All won’t stop racism,” from the Dem campaign against Sanders? It shifts the discussion away from the real issue, turns the burden of proof around (prove you’re not a racist!), and shuts down the interaction on the terms of the accuser.

          I try to avoid talking about issues blessed by the parties, and when talking with people about politics, talk about stuff in daily life. We laugh about medical insurance companies. We wonder why all our crummy tools are made in China and not the US, and why all mechanics are currently suffering a huge shortage of parts for repairs. It gets people thinking and laughing, and wondering why things have to be the way they are.

          A Lutheran surrealist friend of mine developed techniques to break down identity rhetoric. Most people that use PC-shaming are often a member of at least one privileged group. If they are stigmatizing you, keep a straight face and look concerned. (And really, you are: you want to make the world better for everybody.) Race, Class, and Gender are the three big deals of identity politics — so if they hit you with one, say gender, you hit them with, say, race. In the case of the Medicare For All smear I just mentioned, it would be time to look pained and concerned that the health needs of working class black people are very severe and urgent, and what are we going to do about it. In other cases I have been very concerned about the white supremacist tradition in feminism that goes back all the way to the Seneca Fall conference in the 19th Century, when white feminists refused to seat Sojourner Truth!

          It sounds a little cynical, but not if what you’re trying to do is open up an honest dialog and end the false moral stigma that is designed to shut it down.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            Great comment but one nit: the reason the TARP passed the second time was not primarily the pork, which was gross. It was that Mr. Market had a total hissy. The pork was to improve the optics for particular Congresscritters for capitulating to Our Finance Overlords.

      2. scott s.

        Well, let’s agree that “Pro-life hypocrites” are the last people who should be “wagging their fingers”. But you don’t define what “pro-life hypocrite” is so it’s hard to tell. From what I’ve seen from others, a “pro-life hypocrite” is one who doesn’t see government solutions in the form of “programs” to societal problems as helpful or appropriate. If that is also your meaning, then I will have to disagree, though not so much about the “finger wagging” bit which I’m not sure is really a thing.

        The people I see as most influential in the pro or respect life community all happen to be women, though they might not be the noisiest.

        1. anahuna

          As to the “pro or respect life community”:
          Someone recently offered a link to Ivan Illich’s biography. He was prescient in seeing the forms this culture was incubating decades ago. He pointed out the ways that a pretended reverence for the abstraction “life” (one of his “plastic words”) was replacing a respect for the mystery of each individual life. (This is not to enlist him on either side of this particular question.)
          Someone in the comments suggests that the real question is whether you would vote to deprive women of the option of abortion. Admirable clarity. Let the troubled souls find their own way to light.

        2. marym

          Pro-forced-birthers support “government programs” enough to give government the authority to require continuation of pregnancy and forced birth.

          Not supporting “government programs” is no excuse for those among them who claim to be “pro-life” but don’t care about the impact of government enforced pregnancy on the well-being of pregnant girls and women, the condition of the fetus, or the lives of the post-born.

          Also, even pregnancy and birth into material security, not in need of “government programs” can pose great danger and hardship and should be the woman’s choice not government’s.

    3. Carolinian

      Thank you sir. Biden seems to have a real knack for always making the wrong decision.

      Or perhaps that’s a generous way of looking at it and these decisions are made to enrich favored special pleaders like the pharma companies. Evil or stupid is the eternal question for mere citizens as we grapple with the mess the country is in.

    4. Katniss Everdeen

      While “control over our own bodies” should go without saying in a country that was supposedly founded on individual “freedom,” this has always been the absolute wrong framing for the abortion issue in my opinion. As has become increasingly evident lately–abortion, “vaccines,” gun control–there’s always a case to be made that one person’s exercise of “freedom” impinges on someone else’s, and that someone else must be considered first for whatever reason.

      The abortion issue is clearly one of separation of church and state, a supposedly bedrock constitutional principle. Without religious belief, there is no way a fertilized egg becomes a “person” with a “soul,” and those contentions should never have been allowed in the debate.

      In every instance other than this one, the beginning of “life,” according to the state, is the date of birth. A pregnant woman does not get to claim the unborn fetus as a tax deduction, for instance. Fertilized eggs are not given SSNs. “Age” on everything from public school admission to draft registration is calculated from the date of birth. The state has de facto established that secular life begins at birth.

      While religions are “free” to believe otherwise and “free” to “punish” those who do not comply by excommunication or some such, this is not the business of of either the state or federal government. I would think separation of church and state is something that even the neanderthals on this “supreme” court could understand whether they “believe” it or not. That’s why they are given lifetime appointments.

      1. Aninnymouse

        Be careful what you wish for…
        Clarence Thomas has already expressed the view that the establishment clause doesn’t apply to states. With a little judicial akido the SC (Scrotus, as I’ve heard it labelled recently) may use an argument about religious rights to allow red states to declare themselves officially Christian.

        Also expect the demise of the administrative state, since the conservatives have always viewed with contempt congressional delegation to agencies. Nice way to hobble the federal government and leave it with few manageable responsibilities– think highways and a military. The states would be left with everything else, like policing pregnancies for instance. In their view a utopia (one that might more accurately be called a Confederation of American States. Just sayin’). And don’t believe for a second that they’ll respect the sovereignty of blue states.

        From being a longtime lurker here, I know a common perspective of commenters is that this country ain’t so great at being kind to its citizens (or, god knows, people in far off lands). It’s true, and getting worse. Sure would be nice if we had a political party that would stand up for compassion.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          …policing pregnancies…

          I “eagerly” await the videos of the burly Uvalde, TX police force–buzz cuts, wrap around shades, and loaded down with guns, tasers and kevlar–breaking down the bedroom door of a 15-year-old rape or incest victim for the crime of googling “abortion.”

          Because all lives are precious.

          1. Michael Ismoe

            The only way that cop goes in is if the kid is unarmed. Aim high, save the baby.

            Has anyone else noticed that the only reaction the Dems have had to overturning Roe V Wade is fundraising letters?

          1. chris

            I would be happy if those in California would leave the Union and stop making life miserable for everyone else. The look on the faces of the Democrats when they have to campaign in more places than Chicago, LA, and NYC, would be priceless. Just imagine what it would be like if you didn’t have one state holding the rest of the country hostage when it came to environmental standards, venture capital, immigration, nationwide NIMBYism?

            This is the “LeBron James” problem on a massive scale. On paper, it looks like California could make it on its own due to its size and the strength of its economy. In practice, the only reason its size is an asset and its economy is successful is because it’s part of the USA. Without help from the feds for wildfires, earthquakes, research, coastal defense, and resources from other parts of the country, CA would be a miserable place with extreme city state like enclaves guarded to keep the zombie plebes out. Caltech, Berkeley, UCSD, are nothing without fed help. The biotechnology scene is nothing without the NIH and FDA. The start up bros are nothing without Wallstreet to whore themselves to. The entertainment industry is nothing without IP protection and support from the US government. Let’s not forget water, electricity, and fuel too – none of which CA can sustain itself without resources from other states. And so it goes. The only people who seriously think CA to survive with the current standard of living are Brexit fantasists.

            But sure, throw us into that briar patch. Go on. I dare you… :D

            1. albrt

              I am 100% in favor of California leaving the US, even more so if Texas and the Confederacy also leave.

        2. Lambert Strether

          > the administrative state, since the conservatives have always viewed with contempt congressional delegation to agencies.

          Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency, presumably to be handed down on Monday.

          It would be nice if Congressional staffing were beefed up enough for Congress to actually legislate to a granular level, but that won’t be happening soon….

      2. Carolinian

        I agree with your reasoning but one should say that bringing religion into it–especially back then with Time mag “Is God dead?” cover and school prayer controversies–would have made legalization that much more controversial in many quarters. And despite the typical yen to blame this on Falwell and the evangelicals, the Catholic church is arguably even more at the bottom of the opposition with–arguably–more power and influence.

        At the end of the day cooler heads need to prevail on both sides. Doesn’t seem likely at the moment.

        1. Michael Ismoe

          Since religions are now political arms, perhaps it’s time to look at those tax-exemptions?

        2. Katniss Everdeen

          I don’t really blame falwell or catholicism for grossly overstepping their constitutionally allowable boundaries. I blame all branches of government for blatantly disregarding the unchallangeable principle of separation of church and state, and not only allowing that overreach but indulging it.

          I also blame the abortion rights movement for even participating in any discourse on a religious level–engaging with concepts like “soul” is particularly egregious. And accepting the “pro-life” framing as not only legitimate, but in opposition to abortion rights was just stupid from the get go.

          I would have much preferred an acknowledgement that, while some religions teach that “life” begins sometime before birth and adherents “believe” it, that cannot be the basis for secular legislation, as all laws must be based ONLY on conditions that are true for ALL people regardless of any religious belief to the contrary.

          “We” seem to have no problem acknowledging that life legally begins at birth under all circumstances except for this one. That should have been enough to put this issue to rest long ago.

          1. VietnamVet

            There are six Catholics on the current nine member Supreme Court. Their Imposing of Catholic beliefs about human reproduction on other Americans is a violation of the separation of church and state. It is just one of many aspects of the U.S. Constitution that are ignored to the benefit of rich 21st century Insiders. Another one is saying a corporation is a person and has the constitutional right to free speech to buy American elections.

            The American entitlement to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and the rule of law for all was taken away. Only the restoration of government by and for the people can prevent the inevitable splintering apart of North American States.

            1. The Rev Kev

              Probably not so much Catholics but a very conservative strain of Catholics. They is why they were really nominated – as well as their belief in corporate over people’s rights. The Democrats could have delved into their motivations more during the nomination process but are now protesting that they were lied to or something. That is like the girl that goes home with a guy and the next morning feigns annoyance when she finds that he is not an airline captain who is also a Top Gun pilot after all.

      3. Lambert Strether

        > In every instance other than this one, the beginning of “life,” according to the state, is the date of birth.

        Good comment. The whole notion that “life” has “rights”… Well, if one is an animist, it does; Lake Erie, the person, should have rights. But I don’t think the religious right believes that.

        The whole notion that from the moment of concept we have “life,” “a baby,” and a “citizen” (since only citizens have rights) has always seemed more than a little sketchy to me. Enormous category errors, plural.

      4. SteveB

        I agree with your post:

        Just one dilemma to resolve, when a pregnant women (who intended to give birth) is murdered, do we charge the criminal with one or two murders?

    5. Roger Blakely

      In yesterday’s Osterholm Update Dr. Osterholm was discussing data from Minnesota Public Health that was indicating over a period of six months after full vaccination an over-sixty-years-old person’s risk of getting a breakthrough SARS-CoV-2 went from something like sixteen to one to three to one. Dr. Osterholm does not say this, but the point that I take away is that the vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 were not enough of a silver bullet to warrant the life-and-death struggle over a vaccine mandate. If the vaccines had definitively prevented reinfection and transmission, the fight over a vaccine mandate might have been worth it.

    6. Pat

      As I live in deep blue, Hillary was robbed territory, I don’t think you would have gotten the same silence. I happen to agree with you. But I don’t think most people here have gotten how much magical thinking there was behind the vaccine mandates, when it wasn’t just we have to get people back in the workplace. I also think it will take most of my neighbors a really long time to understand how huge the miscalculation was trying to strong arm Russia into letting the globalist oligarchs steal their resources using Ukraine. It is like so many have turned off their ability to think logically.

      I really hope that Justice Thomas doesn’t get to see the America he wants (or if it happens he also gets to have his marriage declared null and void first). I don’t know how far our pendulums are going to be swinging. I am still gobsmacked at how fast the so-called left trashed freedom of speech.

      We live in interesting times.

    7. Milton

      At least I can say I was consistent. No mandates or coercive measures were applauded by me. I still get grief from all the S’libs I come across but when I say I also back a women’s right to choose (among the many other liberal keystones) they give a rat’s patooty and still call me a Trumper anti-vax cretin. (they don’t actually say that. I just image that from their facial expression)

    8. Henry Moon Pie

      I’m with you, IMDOC. It seems to me that there should be some prerequisites for any government to even consider something like abortion regulation, regardless of what may or may not be in the Constitution. Any society contemplating such regulation should unconditionally promise every girl/woman:

      1) that she will never be a victim of incest or rape;

      2) that if she finds herself pregnant, she will never lack quality healthcare (NOT ACCESS!) for herself and her child;

      3) that any child to whom she gives birth will never lack for decent housing, nutritious food, healthcare or quality education.

      Those might seem like radical commitments for a government to make since we’re living in such a fanatically YOYO society, but I’d argue that those are the bare essentials for a society that cares about women and the next generation.

    9. Kouros

      The conversation can be started from the other end as well, when the vaccine mandate was on and the pro-lifers were protesting against it…

    10. Martin Oline

      I married at 17 for the usual reason. I have always been fairly ambivalent about abortion because it was not a choice I would have to make. My attitude has changed somewhat over the last 62 years although I still believe it is up to the individuals involved.
      I worked as a mold maker for a number of years at a large medical company which supplied disposable medical products. One of the items we made was a rigid plastic curette, of which we did not make a tremendous number. The engineers and QC people were always asking us to improve the ‘smoothness’ of the working orifice. This area was a shut off between the cavity in the mold and the inside core and could flash or burr if not correctly fitted. I did not understand the necessity as it always felt smooth to me. I was eventually informed of the function, but still didn’t know it worked as a vacuum.
      I feel that abortion should be limited to the first trimester. Anyone who believes a longer wait is permissible should investigate the use of curettes. The orifice of a curette fairly small.

  18. The Rev Kev

    Say, was just thinking here. If there was a massive, unarmed crowd that stormed the Supreme Court Building, aka “The Marble Palace”, in the coming months would they be invading ‘sacred spaces’? It wouldn’t matter that they just took selfies and maybe shot a few hoops on the fifth floor basketball court, would the DC establishment again flip their official wig? After all, the place is only protected by about 200 Supreme Court Police (yes, there is such a thing). Would there be Jan 6th style Show Trials like they are having now for the Capital Building rioters? Probably not a good idea but it is fascinating to consider what the different reactions would be to this happening from the Dems, Repubs, media, etc.-

    1. griffen

      I think a few justices are getting visited at their own dwellings instead. That was on the coverage this morning here in the US.

      Surely there are a couple Yukon SUVs escorting these justices where they go. In addition to the enforcement mentioned above.

    2. Pat

      My bet is more than one protestor would meet their end via Supreme Court police bullets.

      Sorry I have no doubts that the January 6 protestors were not only allowed to invade the Capitol, they were meant to do so. As such any protestors who weren’t redirected from the Court building would face tear gas, rubber bullets and if the cops were overwhelmed actual bullets from most of not all of those left at the gates, unlike the “paraders”

      1. flora

        This decision was telegraphed from a Court leak 6 weeks ago. What did Pelosi and team D do with that early warning? Did they rally to pass legislation that would codify Roe? Did they rally to pass legislation to codify any protections? No. They were pretty much silent, too busy with the Donkey-Kong parade trial and boosting Liz Cheney’s profile.

        “The Court follows the elections” is an old saying and it’s true. What kind of Dems have we elected over the past 30-50 years. That’s the problem, imo.

        1. super extra

          > What kind of Dems have we elected over the past 30-50 years

          the kind of Dems who think their role is to be a political character figure on tv and properly emote as a symbol for their ‘side’ of the debate, while servicing donors and trusting lobbyists to filter, process and write donor-acceptable legislation so they can keep their ‘job’.

          gotta repeal citizen’s united and get public campaign finance (and no private financing) in place before anything can really change, I think. Probably a multi-decade effort to get to that point just like it was to get here

        2. Skip Intro

          I think you weren’t paying attention. As soon as it was leaked, they went into fundraising overdrive… while propping up Cuellar and kicking Cisneros to the curb. Aside from the fact that they fatally betrayed a key demographic, this ban will be a goldmine for them.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Oh, it will be a goldmine alright. They get the gold and everybody else gets the shaft.

  19. Solarjay

    I don’t know what Biden actually believes or wants or what he could have said or done with the wind exes.
    But if he wants to help off shore wind in this case, he/govt has to provide long term stable tax regulations at the very least. That would require actually passing a bill, like doing something, not just talk. Betting pres Manchin isnt going to want to do that.

    Offshore wind is much more expensive than on shore but generally does produce more energy per $.

    East coast offshore is much easier install as they are anchored to the sea floor. West coast are floating platforms which are even more expensive.

    And while the article says with such glee 30GW by 2030 that is pretty much impossible. That is only 7.5 years away.
    They have to sell the leases, do EIS’s for all of them. Figure how to bring the power on shore and hook to the grid after they got a deal with the utilities. Deal with what’s sure to be a staggering mix of “environmental “,anti wind groups, and NIMBY’s which takes an amazing amount of time and money.
    Then once that’s all complete they need to get the turbines, and install everything.

    So while everyone points to the time to build a nuclear plant, this isn’t all that much shorter.

    The defeated wind project in Northern California, was about 5+ years in the planning, EIS, working with the utilities etc. once it was approved, it was going to be another 1-2 years for installation. Than that was on shore and only 150MW.

    Could it all be done by 2030, yes but it’s got to get a move on. Oh and 30GW , is really just a drop in the bucket. For serious numbers it should be 300GW +

    1. heresy101

      Agreed that 30GW is a drop in the bucket but it is NOT insignificant. Using the current 14MW turbine size, 30GW would be 2,143 turbines. For comparison, Tehachapi pass has 4,731 turbines. The 2,143 turbines would produce 118GWh at a 45% capacity factor (the ocean number that I have seen is in the 60’s). This amount is almost exactly 1/2 of the annual 250GWh electricity usage in California.

  20. digi_owl

    It is distressing how much more Norwegian media frets about US abortion law than it does about events up north.

    And on that note, the Svalbard Treaty has been under pressure since Brexit. For years Norway has been assigning EU a fishing quota in the waters, and after Brexit the EU quota was reduced because UK was no longer a member and thus got its own. Brussels basically went ballistics and demanded it get the same as it always had, while swinging the treaty around like a cudgel.

      1. digi_owl

        Decades ago more like. 12 back when he came to Norway, 42 now.

        And has a history with the police apparently.

        While born abroad, his history is likely a classic second generation immigrant one where he has to deal with one reality at home and another around town.

        In the end, had he been white he may well have joined a neo-nazi group or similar.

  21. Pat

    Biden just signed the faux gun safety law. Woohoo! I know I feel safer./s

    I realize I am supposed to be impressed but I just can’t anymore. Especially as it was followed by an ad for NY’s current Governor touting her work on gun safety and women’s rights.

    It is important to remember that one of her biggest “accomplishments” is 1.4 billion in state funding for a stadium in Buffalo, a project where her husband’s company will see lots of money. And that to get some of the money she froze Seneca Nation bank accounts.

    Seneca President on Hochul’s taking account hostage

    1. Wukchumni

      Who can put on a price on 8 1/2 weekends of gridirony, yeah on the face of it…$1.4 billion seems high, and yes the Ralph was still perfectly usable for many decades to come, but who really gave a tinkers dam in regards to luxury suites in 1973?

    2. flora

      And boy-oh-boy did they get that passed fast. Lightening quick. On another issue, they had 6 weeks warning from the Alito leak that Roe would be struck down. Did they move lightening fast to pass Choice protection? crickets….

      1. Pat

        In the symbolic vote on women’s health President Joe “I’m aghast that those judges lied at their hearings” Manchin voted no. It was 51 to 49 against. Amazing how that big tent works against doing anything.

        Democrats biggest smokescreen spoiler strikes again

        Of course without sixty votes and no will to end the filibuster it was pretty useless anyway. Should have been done in 2008, but even then it would have been uphill because of that big tent thing.

    3. griffen

      Pro sports is one of the biggest tax freebies going. Build this stadium or arena, or else I will depart for the green pastures of…wherever it is they want a pro team. Be forewarned though, cities and counties can be on the hook and in this instance below stuck with an uncompleted project.

      David Tepper is playing his cards like a pro owner, first class. Carolina Panthers now have, or never had, an abandoned future training facility and team headquarters. The bankruptcy seems odd.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I think it was Atrios who did the math some years ago. Showing a baseball or basketball/hockey arena as a gain was really easy, but football could never work out no matter how you goose the numbers.

  22. Wukchumni

    Gooooooood Moooooorning Fiatnam!

    There I was back in the day on an extended R & R leave, another spermatozoa on the make in the naked city, and then she asked me out on a date, and i’ve been on active duty since.

    It turns out it was all about the kill-ratio back in the world with the various hangers on in the Supreme Court laying down the law as they saw fit in a blatant attempt to further divide the country, mission accomplished.

    1. Questa Nota

      Echoes of Mo Dean and those Watergate capers.

      Of course, that was so last Millennium with old technology like 8×10 glossies, address books and duct tape. ;)

    2. Milton

      There should be 10’s of thousands of Ukrainian hotties available. A quick plane ride to Lviv should result in a young nubile life partner after only a few hours of searching. Ladies looking for a partner will find it nary impossible as president Z has mostly annihilated all eligible men.

      1. super extra

        I think ‘dates’ here is code for ‘socially acceptable partners for mutually-advantageous benefit’. ukie hotties are available for other roles to the men seeking this service, no doubt.

      2. griffen

        I am sensing a reboot for the movie series “Hostel”. Just update the names and places accordingly.

        If one is not familiar with the original named film, well this is a family blog and the film gets pretty grotesque and uniquely violent. The timeless allure of the foreign women.

  23. PlutoniumKun

    Re: Brexit tweet.

    This is I think entirely true. Brexit exhausted the EU top level. I think the view is that the UK can stew in the consequences for a few years and then real talks can take place (hopefully without the Tories). EU watchers will be well aware of headlines in the right wing press about how angry British people are about things like being forced go into the ‘other countries’ queue on their way to their summer holidays. I don’t think its sunk in with British people yet that their growth rate is falling behind other EU countries already (obviously, its hidden behind many other things). But in time it will.

    I suspect they see the howling over the NI protocol as like a toddler throwing a tantrum for attention. And they’ll treat it as such.

    The one fly in the ointment is Ukraine. I wonder if EU leaders are noticing that all roads from Zelensky seem to run back through Boris Johnson, and this particularly applies to some of the horrible military decisions they’ve made. Stirring the Ukraine pot may well be the Tories revenge on Europe.

    1. Revenant

      Not going to happen, PK. “The only cure for Europe is more Europe” is breeding political forces that Brussels cannot control. Brexit is the beginning, not the end. But Brussels can draw up the bridge and look East. The dustcloud on the horizon is not a friendly cavalry….

  24. Alice X

    From the ‘Onion isn’t taking any prisoners today’ link:

    Supreme Court Votes 5-4 to Reclassify Women As Service Animals

    Down ACB’s alley?

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Not sure why that is considered “satire.” Sounds like the god’s honest truth to me.

      1. Robert Hahl

        It would have been funnier as companion animals.

        This might be a good time to consider amending the US Constitution to eliminate the Supreme Court and make each State’s highest court the final stop.

        1. hunkerdown

          “Service” is the ideology of the West, though. So it’s more true than funny.

    2. Mildred Montana

      I’ll add to the satire by mentioning that in a surprise 5-4 ruling the Supreme Court found that “breaking on the wheel” is not cruel or unusual punishment.

      In overturning the 8th Amendment the justices cited many medieval precedents and said, “It’s clear those kings and queens had it right.”

  25. Wukchumni

    Clarence Thomas: Supreme Court should ‘reconsider’ rulings on contraceptives and same-sex marriage The Week (resilc)
    Life is a Cabaret, old chum. Funny how perhaps the most useless Supreme ever is finally strident on an issue after 30 years of doing nothing.

    On the business front though-good news, new closet sales are up dramatically.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      His pal Biden is President, and based on the “failure” of BBB last Summer, he knows Biden won’t resort to activities that kept them in check. It’s really that simple.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      The sticking point for thomas is, apparently, something called “substantive due process,” defined here by nbc “news”:

      Substantive due process is a term in constitutional law that essentially allows courts to protect certain rights, even if those rights are not explicitly enumerated in the Constitution. It has been interpreted in many cases to apply to matters relating to the right to privacy — including over matters like love, intimacy and sex — which is not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution.

      Conservative jurists have long dismissed the legal reasoning that supported that interpretation of substantive due process…

      While thomas wants to “revisit” decisions justified by “substantive due process” guaranteeing “rights” to the things you cite, he does not mention a similar decision from which he benefits–Loving v. Virginia–which struck down bans on interracial marriage.

      In Friday’s opinion, Thomas made no mention of Loving v. Virginia, the landmark 1967 ruling by the Supreme Court that struck down laws prohibiting interracial marriage. That decision relied in part on the substantive due process doctrine — and was cited in several subsequent decisions that did as well, including Obergefell in 2015.

      But Thomas, whose wife is white — meaning their interracial marriage could have been deemed in illegal in certain states had the court not ruled the way it did in Loving — did not mention the 1967 decision as one that should be revisited. In their own opinions, Justices Samuel Alito and Brett Kavanaugh both referred to Loving, writing that it should not be revisited despite its reliance on substantive due process.

      Legal “reasoning.” Yeah, OK.

  26. PlutoniumKun

    Ukraine War Day #121: Return To Snake Island (continued) Awful Avalanche (guurst). Contradicts quite a few not-buying-what-Ukraine-is-selling commentators, who see Snake Island as a PR asset, although Russia has put a few S-300s on this not very large rock.

    I don’t want to labour the point, but this is not convincing. Snake Island is just too small for a long term sustainable garrison with hostile forces in the vicinity. From the article:

    Another expert, named Maxim Klimov (also a retired Captain, and also hides his face), adds his opinion: If the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) had continued to hold Snake Island, then this would have permitted them to threaten the entire Russian Black Sea fleet, thanks to American Harpoon missiles. “This new modification to the Harpoon,” Klimov points out, “would permit it to land missiles from Snake Island all the way to Sebastopol.” It logically follows that Sebastopol would fall under Ukrainian fire control, if a Harpoon battery were to be installed on Snake Island.

    Distance from Sebastapol to Odessa – 295 km
    Distance from Sebastapol to Snake Island – 270km.
    Range of Harpoon H/K (the latest version) – 250km (older versions had a max of 120km, the US is unlikely to have sent them the most up to date ones for security reasons). Air launched versions have longer ranges.

    So, in short, it has minimal value to Ukraine in hitting Crimea. Its existing missiles can hit any ships in the area from the mainland. Any air launched missile from either within Ukrainian airspace or Russian airspace can hit far deeper than a land launched missile on Snake Island.

    I’m sure Snake Island is very useful for monitoring activity in the Black Sea, and it has some tactical value – in particular, it would be useful for the Ukrainians in making a Russian amphibious assault on Odessa very difficult. But certainly not to the extent of justifying losing so many highly trained men.

    While the S-300 can cover much of the south coast of Ukraine, it would already be covered by similar systems in Kharkiv, although no doubt overlapping kill zones make life even harder for Ukie airmen. I suspect its mostly there to protect from missiles.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        If you want to be pedantic about it, you are wrong. The city in Crimea is Севастополь or Акъя́р, depending on which Crimean language (Russian, Ukrainian or Tatar) you speak. As the Crimea, like much of the Mediterranean, is not monolingual, there is no one ‘correct’ local pronunciation. The name originates from the Greek Sebastus, the Greek name for Augustus.
        As a result of this history, it is transliterated as both Sevastapol or Sebastapol, depending on the source (hence the many Sebastapols in Australia and the US). Sebastapol was the older spelling in latin script, probably because of the Greek connection. In recent years the ‘v’ has usually been chosen as the approximate sound of the Russian ‘B’, but they are not the same sound. Some publications (including the Economist) still use the old version, Sebastapol.

        1. DZhMM

          The cyrillic в has only the one sound (though it can be slightly softened or hardened by its neighboring sounds). That sound is represented in latin letters by either ‘v’ most commonly or ‘w’ (if we are using, for example, Polish or German).
          There is a cyrillic letter which makes the sound ‘b’. It is the letter б. It is a different sound.
          As the current name of the city was given by Russia under Ekaterina II, theirs would be the ‘correct’ version

          The city on Crimea is Sevastopol (even the ‘ukrainian’ spelling and the Tatar version of the city’s official name do not deviate on the second consonant). Its name comes from a Greek adjective meaning ‘venerable’, whose Byzantinian (the local greek dialect) pronunciation was [sevastos]. Augustus is a Latin adjective with the same meaning, which became a title for Roman rulers. The city’s name is a description.

          The Californian (and apparently Australian and perhaps other anglo) variant seems to be a mis-transliteration of a mis-pronunciation.
          At least the USA is rife with those – think of “Illinois” as the end result of trying to record the local’s placename [ee’yinwah].

  27. The Rev Kev

    “Lake Mead is less than 150 feet away from becoming a “dead pool,” making much of the Southwestern U.S. uninhabitable”

    Now might be a good time to do some preliminary planning in what to do if that dam hits bottom and what to do with people in States like Nevada, Arizona and California. Maybe setting up water pipelines (god knows where from) and maybe evacuating millions to go east. But if nothing else, events from this year have proved that nothing like this will happen, there will be no budgets authorized for planning this happening, and when it starts to happen it will be a matter of politicians saying ‘Who could have ever predicted this?’ while indulging in magical thinking for solutions. And then there would be the inevitable fights in Washington whether it was Democrats or Republicans responsible for this happening while a coupla corporations try to snag billions from the ‘American Water for the American West Act’ which will be bogged down in the House as it has a rider for Covid relief attached to it. Meanwhile, tens of millions of SW Americans will be headed for DC to storm the entire city.

    1. Tom Stone

      Rev,the US has made no preparations for what is likely to be the worst fire season in recorded history.
      And if the Hayward Fault lets go before the rains come it will be”Katie Bar the Door”.
      Not only will we lose thousands of acres of farmland when the levee’s collapse salt water intrusion will render the pumps that send water to SoCal unusable for many months at best.
      Along with thousands of dead and tens of thousands of destroyed homes.

    2. Paradan

      Maybe some celebrities could donate palates of bottled water for us to empty into the lake?

    3. curlydan

      I think the U.S./Congress/Army Corps of Engineers should start planning on taking down Glen Canyon Dam. It seems like the removal of that dam could solve 2 problems: 1. Glen Canyon may go below minimum electric pool levels (and even dead pool levels) before Hoover Dam. 2. The release of Glen Canyon should (I think) help keep Lake Mead above minimum power pool for much longer.

      From what I’ve read, while Glen Canyon Dam’s electricity supports many communities, only a few small communities (mainly Navajo reservations) draw a substantial amount of power from it. So removing that dam while figuring out a way to get more power to Navajo lands could help Lake Mead’s long-term viability. I also think that removing Glen Canyon eventually could draw more tourists to that area than the current boaters since new National Parks/State Parks might be just as big or even bigger draws.

      1. Shannon

        Glen Canyon is used as the dividing line between the upper and lower basin states on the Colorado River. The Feds use it to help balance the flow of water between the two groups.

        Removing the dam will not solve the long term issue that more water has been allocated then the system actually has in a “normal” year. Permanently reducing everyone’s allocation is the only way to keep Lake Mead above dead pool.

        1. curlydan

          Totally agree that allocations need to drop. In terms of removing the dam or other methods of making Glen Canyon a “canyon” again while balancing and measuring upper and lower basin water usage, here’s what the Glen Canyon Institute says:
          “No straws currently dip into Lake Powell except for Page, Arizona (pop. 8,000) and the Navajo Generating Station. Both of these water users could easily extend their intake pipes into a free-flowing river, should the mission of GCI succeed in the future. The reservoir is essentially a measuring point used to regulate how much water is released into the lower basin annually. If reservoir levels at Lake Powell were lowered, allowing a more natural river to bypass the dam, upper basin water delivery could easily be measured downstream at the Lee’s Ferry gauge and subsequently stored in lower basin reservoirs.”

    4. Lex

      Mass migration. As a direct neighbor of the most tantalizing source of water to flow through (an enormously long) pipeline system, I say no. There are plenty of rock farms they can purchase for relocation. Indeed, winter can be deep and long. Summer is rife with swarms of bugs and high humidity. But we have water. It’s staying here except for its current path to the Atlantic. This is non-negotiable and one of only a tiny number of things I’d take up arms over.

  28. thoughtfulperson

    “By abolishing longstanding legal protections, the U.S. Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade serves American families poorly, putting their health, safety, finances, and futures at risk. In view of these predictable consequences, the editors of the New England Journal of Medicine strongly condemn the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision.”

    Not every day the editors of the New England Journal of Medicine condemn a decision of the SCOTUS.

    1. IM Doc

      I write this as a medical historian.

      There may be very well thought out reasons why this ruling is bad. I am struggling with it myself. However, I know for sure that I will not depend on the NEJM for help with this issue. They do not have a very good record when you look at the big arc of history. They were avid supporters of things like eugenics, forced sterilization, and frontal lobotomies in the past among many others. These editorials are written not by actual practicing physicians but by the most ivory tower detached academics who would not know how to handle a patient in any way. The same is true today.

      The NEJM should be used as a gauge of how elite physicians are feeling at the time it was written. And not of how something should be viewed going forward. Their opinions often appear quite embarrassing to the medical profession many years later. I often use these kind of editorials from decades ago for student readings. It shows us how the “cool kids” thought at the time and how ridiculous they sound now. It does not even have to be decades. Their editorial pronouncement that the COVID vaccines were a “triumph” 18 months ago seems a bit off today.

    2. Tom Stone

      Roe Vs Wade has been a cash machine for half a Century which is why a Woman’s right to choose has not been codified in law.
      To put it more bluntly Roe Vs Wade would be irrelevant if the Democratic party were not full of venal hypocrites.

  29. jr


    A priest, a rabbit, and a minister walk into a bar. The bartender asks the rabbit “What are you doing in here?” The rabbit replies “Autocorrect.”

  30. nippersdad

    My apologies if this has already been discussed here and I failed to see it, but it looks like Nordstream I has a scheduled work period, from July 11 to July 21, that will cause all gas deliveries to cease during that period, per iEarlGrey at the 5:01 mark:

    So I guess we can assume that we will be hearing about implementation of Germany’s third stage of the emergency gas plan sooner rather than later.

    1. Tom Stone

      Give each German a $20 gift certificate to Taco Bell and the gas shortage would be solved in short order.

      1. nippersdad

        Ooooh! Thanks for the link, I just saw your last post:

        June 20, 2022 at 6:50 pm
        TurkStream down for maintenance. NS1 operating at 20% capacity to extend time until maintenance is required.”

        I really don’t know how they will hold out until September. Maybe someone should come in with a July bet because the under is looking pretty good right about now.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Right, scheduled = the customers were informed well in advance. This is a nothingburger except the various EU pols can’t be bothered to talk to anyone who knows anything about anything real world. They thought they could pump nonstop to fill storage before the fall. If anyone is unhappy, it’s due to not making basic inquiries.

  31. Noone from Nowheresville

    You know, I bet most women would like actual codified legal rights equal to those of their male counterparts. Not legal rights derived historically from their male patron be they father, brother, husband, lover.

    In the case of ending pregnancy, our society has given non-HIPPA compliant laypersons the legal right to lie, to practice medicine without a license, invade privacy, stalk, and directly interfere with whatever legal autonomy a woman may have under the guise of protecting a woman from herself.

    In my view the issue is whether women have full legal autonomy equal to men or they don’t.

    1. Tom Stone

      The SCOTUS ruling has made it official, Women do not have equal rights.
      They are Chattel, the State is their owner.
      Like IM Doc I believe that the decision to have an abortion or not is a matter between each woman and their Doctor.

    2. John H

      Men have no comparable reproductive rights or legal recourse. After the act, if she decides you are gonna be a dad, congratulations. If she decides she doesn’t want to have it, that’s also her perogative.

      I’m not sure inequal biology allows a truly equal legal solution on this. I think the last thing women should want is men with equal legal standing and thus input into carrying a child (or not). What a mess that equality would make.

      1. Noone from Nowheresville

        For me, the question is whether or not women should have full legal autonomy. Do they get to have privacy? Do they, as approx. 50% of the population, get to make medical decisions about themselves without others directly questioning their competence or interfering with said decisions? This to me comes before and sits above any talk of reproductive rights.

        My laypersons take is that the Supremes say that women as a group do not have full legal autonomy and that the State’s interest in women’s reproductive capabilities; i.e., fostering the development of fetal cells into birthable humans, trumps any partial autonomy women as a group may have been granted.

        What does the State owe in exchange for their partial granted favor? What responsibilities / duties does the State have to potential birthable humans they’ve grant full autonomy to? What laws need to be codified to ensure that the State meets its duties and responsibilities?


        I think the last thing women should want is men with equal legal standing and thus input into carrying a child (or not).

        The Supremes just stated that women do not have full autonomy. The state’s interest (be it federal or state level at this point) trumps all, except those with the power and resources to subvert the State. To me granting men additional rights in the such a fashion, would only solidify the notion that women don’t have any autonomy based on their own personhood. Instead any rights women are granted are favors derived from men.


        After the act, if she decides you are gonna be a dad, congratulations. If she decides she doesn’t want to have it, that’s also her perogative.

        This makes it sound as if men have no agency when it comes to reproduction. Men do have the ability to control their own reproductive systems. They can get reversible vasectomies, hormonal implants, learn how to use multiple forms of birth control properly as opposed to relying on the birth control of their female sex partners. Or they could choose not to have intercourse or donate sperm. Yes, there are reproductive risks and outcomes regardless of the choices men make. Just as there are reproductive risks and outcomes for women. As a group, in our current society, the risks are much greater for the woman than the man.

  32. jsn

    So, at least Thomas reciprocates the love from Pelosi and Schumer, “it’s important to have a strong GOP.”

    Thomas wants to prop up the rotting corpse (D Party) for another couple of election cycles to keep the 4 dimensional, universal corporate grift were all being digested by going until we’ve all been stripped of any nutritional value for the vampire class.

    Way to motivate the IDPol base!

  33. Brian (another one they call)

    I feel bad being the first to comment on the Kurt Vonnegut story. Mr. V was opening eyes for people that had them closed. He demonstrated to us how our governments would kill us in unimaginable ways. Unimaginable for us, but not him. He had to live through it in Dresden. Every book gave me a reason to enjoy the opening my mind to a new world.
    I have yet to find an author that comes close. I am far better for knowing what he had in mind and would happily join him unstuck in time and cross paths once every millennium.
    Perhaps I will find a leak myself. I watch for them always. Out of the corner of my eye because you can’t see them coming or they will pass you by. and so it goes

    1. jr

      Well said. I started reading Vonnegut in high school, my first encounter was with Breakfast of Champions and it was hilarious. I have read all of his books as far as I know and I cherished his sense of the ridiculous as a kind of fun house mirror to compare the world against.

      But now I see that he wasn’t being so ridiculous at all. People truly are as clownish, brutal, short-sighted, and hands-down stupid as he depicts them. I had always thought of him as a comedic author but now I consider him a prophetic author with a comedic twist. I cannot recall which book it was in but he definitely foretold the rise of Trump with one of his characters. The zany atmosphere with a backdrop of grim foreboding he captured time and again has, if anything, been outpaced by reality. It turns out the fun house mirror was just a mirror, after all.

  34. The Rev Kev

    “Halting Ukraine war ‘only chance’ to avoid economic crisis, Hungary tells EU”

    It would also stop the present bloodbath going on in the Ukraine, not that Zelensky and company care about the lives of those soldiers. Maybe Hungary will never be the flavour of the month in the EU but they are stating the obvious here. There is a huge mack truck heading for the European economy and not one of the EU leaders are willing to lead or let their people leave that highway. Pretty bad when you have to say that Macron may be the best of the present European leaders. The fact is that Russia won, NATO lost and nothing short of nukes can alter that equation. But at least the lives of those soldiers trapped in those cauldrons could be saved if Kiev instructed them to surrender. They are going to lose them anyway so they may as well let them surrender and save their lives They will be needed to rebuild the Ukraine when this is all over. Can’t build nothing if you are dead. Right now Turkey wants to be at the center for negotiations for Russia and the Ukraine but I think that Hungary may be a better choice as not only because of its location but because it is in both the EU and NATO while having decent relations with Russia.

    1. Stephen T Johnson

      As I see it, the problem is that no one with any real power over the situation could give a tinker’s cuss about those poor sods, indeed some of the collective west seem to want to maximize the casualty level. It’s pretty horrifying, really, especially when you combine it with the long-term indifference to deliberate bombardment of the Donbass civilians by the glorious heroes of Ukraine.

  35. Socal Rhino

    Interesting to speculate about water in the context of a future dissolution of the country or devolution into more radical federalism.

  36. Lexx

    ‘We’re Not Going Back To The Time Before Roe vs. Wade. We’re going Somewhere worse.’

    I was thinking about Max Brooks and his book ‘World War Z’. Written like a screenwriter, where you have to consider the point of view of each character in telling the story to bring a drama to life. It was the result of the informal training he received because of his parents, but also their friends in the Brooks’ house around the dinner table. It was a good story, a detailed story about how the virus and the zombies affected the characters in what happened next; the disaster as seen from characters we might otherwise never know or overlook. Each character pointed to the invisible forces at work. Ever since I read that story, I’ve been looking for the characters in the story I can’t see, who don’t have speaking roles, but play gods nevertheless.

    We’ve heard the stories of individuals who sought abortions before roe v. wade, and in the coming months we’ll read of the consequences of overturning this federal court decision on yet more. But I’m not really interested in them now – I’m old, and it’s no longer as personal. It’s the unseen players alluded to in these stories that interest me more – the church and the state, tithing and taxes, money and power through the reproductive capacity of women’s bodies, and of the fathers who can be compelled – one way or another – to support their ‘dependents’. The institutions of tribalism who must grow their bases or perish for lack of funds and relevance. Never mind we already have 8 billion on the planet; the future success of their business models require endless growth. For them, there can never be too many people. Tribes large and small seem to exist as social leverage, and in practice are coercive and anti-social to their core.

    It’s so easy to pit human beings against each other, to pull their strings and push their buttons, and slowly herd them in a more secure and profitable direction. We don’t have ‘leadership’ so much as tribal elders, and they’ve just pulled off another victory for control over the American people.

    1. Noone from Nowheresville

      Just think about one could do if one could harness all that energy described in the article for a common public good like universal health care or perhaps reversing the losses of the class war to rebuild the societal safety nets and prepare us for the next phase of The Jackpot.

  37. simjam

    Will the Supreme Court decision provide an opportunity to reverse our outdated Constitution? Majority should rule!

    1. Tom Stone

      I’m going to get personal here.
      My then girlfriend stopped taking birth control without telling me and got pregnant, she informed me by saying “I’m going to have an abortion unless you marry me”.
      I married a woman who is highly intelligent,very talented and on the spectrum.
      She also has severe emotional problems due to childhood abuse.
      My sister asked what odds of success I gave our marriage and I told her 5%.
      The pregnancy and birth were difficult.

      My wife spent 3 days in the hospital under the care of Psychiatric nurses and the Physician in charge of the unit was concerned enough to recommend that she be institutionalized.
      I refused because I knew that doing so would be devastating to the Mother of my child.
      I carried an emergency number from Child Protective services in my wallet for two years and very nearly called them on several occasions.
      That marriage lasted seven years and I tried every thing I could think of and every thing the experts I talked to to make it work.
      It was a very expensive seven years financially and emotionally and worth every penny and every tear.
      Because I have a daughter that I like, love unconditionally and respect.
      It doesn’t get better than that.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        Thanks very much for that, Tom. You’ve reminded me that one of the things I enjoy about being old is the added perspective that time and experience brings to difficult experiences in our pasts. Your way of putting the puzzle pieces of your life together made for a very human and life affirming picture.

      2. Screwball

        Good on you Tom. I have true respect for you. It’s a shame there are not more like you. If I could I would gladly buy you a beer. Oh, and your daughter is a lucky girl.


      3. jr

        A truly heroic tale, Tom, in an age of cowards and fools. I have much respect for you; I faced a similar situation once. It turned out my then girlfriend, also mentally ill, was lying about her pregnancy but I was fully committed to the child’s welfare before the lie was revealed. (To be clear, I am firmly in support of the right to an abortion on the grounds of women’s bodily autonomy as well as on the grounds of the separation of church and state.)

        If I were to ever end up in a trench, I’d want you at my side.

      4. juliania

        Thank you, Tom. You gave your wife a great gift, even as hard as that was. There’s none so blind as those who will not see. I heard a good saying once: if you don’t want to go to Albuquerque, don’t get on the train. It’s what happens to a woman once that potential person is inside. And unless it is medically necessary, she, her whole entire being, is on that train, and denial is a river in Egypt. That is nature, her nature. She cannot help feeling devastated once, for whatever reason, that process stops. Nobody is mentioning that hidden cost but surely everyone knows it is there; it is part of being a woman.

        It is all about the child. But IMDoc is right; it has to be a free choice and I would not be an obstacle in the way of any woman who disagreed. I am only glad I could never have made that choice myself, even though doing so would have made my life infinitely easier. It isn’t easy, sometimes; but it is all about the child.

    2. .human

      A problem with a new constutional convention is that it would bring together every single-issue constituency in existence and smother under it’s own rules.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        It would bring all the billionaires together to work out a “deal,” and that would be imposed on us the way the current system is.

        The pot is still simmering and bubbling pretty briskly. The billionaires are so distracted by some divisions among them over who gets the biggest piece of pie that they’re missing out on how the world is coming to a consensus that they’re no longer welcome in large parts of the planet. Let the stew cook a little longer before we try dishing it out.

        1. JBird4049

          >>>It would bring all the billionaires together to work out a “deal,” and that would be imposed on us the way the current system is.

          Even dictatorships, kings, and emperors usually need legitimacy to exist and those that last listen to their subjects. If they just tell their subjects to shut up and obey, they tend to fall. You could call it “the consent of the governed.”

          All the previous amendments, along with the Constitution itself happened after public debate; the laws were approved from the bottom up with the elites merely giving their formal approval afterwards. Restated, the elites did have final say and oversized influence, but society wide approval was gotten. Ramming a new Constitution or even a heavily revised one with the extensive and prolonged input of the whole nation is an excellent way to make them unacceptable. Perhaps even by those who might approve of the changes.

          Legitimacy… increasingly the elites, the government, and the police are lacking it. With it, they have control, without it, they will always be tottering, out of balance, and in danger of falling.

      2. flora

        The Koch Bros and ALEC have model legislation all teed up and ready to go hoping for a Constitutional Convention. It’s one of the Right’s hoped for dreams. They only need a few more state lege’s to go to the GOP to have enough states that will call for a Constitutional Convention. (You didn’t know it was up to the state lege’s to vote for a Constitutional Convention?) The Dems have been abandoning state Dem parties in flyover since O and maybe since C. The “left” will be brushed aside like so much dust.

        1. nippersdad

          My Dad has been going on about this for the past twenty years now. He has no answer to why he would want to live in a Lithuania or a Montenegro, though. I don’t think this has been terribly well thought out by those who support it. The rationale appears to end at owning the libs.

          It is not like this hasn’t been tried before; the Continental Congress lasted about twenty minutes.

    3. Pstuartb

      If the majority ruled in this country, we would have to abolish the electoral college and the Senate, along with the Second Amendment, and we would have a new amendment (the 28th?) that would codify abortion rights. Not a bad start…

  38. petal

    Just ran to work and the grocery store and passed a yard(nearly million dollar house with all the toys-new truck, a boat, etc) with new homemade signs up along one of our main streets: “Stop the war on women”, “Separation of vagina and state”, “no forced pregnancy”, and I can’t remember what the other one said. Obviously quickly made up last night and done in crayon. They looked very angry. It’s just down the street a few houses from the former LMIAL house.

    1. jr

      There is an angry sign in our foyer with the motto “I can’t believe our country hates women more than it loves guns!” I’m a bit confused by it, to be honest, but anyway it will be interesting to see how the PMC types around here react. More vagina hat style “resistance” or meatier stuff? And how long before one of those pickup truck types rolls through a group of protesters and gets his brains blown out the passenger side window? Good times ahead.

      1. flora

        Will any of the PMC types bother to learn the rules for submitting petitions, collecting signatures to get legislation items on the ballot in their state, lobby their state lege members regardless of party affiliation? Or will they focus on “Brunch and Whine”? I’m guessing the later. The former is long, hard, work. (Been there, done that.)

        1. Objective Ace

          Not to mention voting for democrats who actually have spines and do what they promised. Obama said one of his first actions would be codifying Roe vs Wade.. he didnt, and yet these people still listened to him and voted for his VP in the primaries.

          Unfortunately the opposite seems to be happening–my wife says many of her PMC friends are doubling down and donating to the DNC in light of the decision. That just incentivizes them to drag their feet even more rather then getting anything done

      2. petal

        Yes, jr, agree with you that it will be interesting to observe how they react. Looking forward to reading about people’s local observations.

      3. jr

        @flora and petal

        I’m willing to bet it will be a lot of “brunches with bottomless nervosa” at first. But with the coming recession and food shortages in time for the holidays, brunches will be drying up, and out, for many. I know I am expecting to be unemployed in about three months. I won’t be alone around here, lots of symbol manipulator types with few concrete skills. Freshly infused with a notion of second class citizen status and garnished with a sense of abandonment by their political icons. What then?

    2. Lambert Strether

      > They looked very angry

      The pink pussy hats were angry too. They marched, and then… went away. As if the whole effort had never been.

      Too bad Capitol seizure is now ruled out because “our democracy.”

  39. sd

    I just received a fundraising text from Pelosi. Talk about tone deaf…I took out the links. This from the Speaker who endorsed Cuellar over Cisernos…

    It’s Speaker Pelosi.

    The Supreme Court just confirmed our worst fears and voted to overturn Roe v. Wade.

    I can’t change what these far-right justices have done to our country…

    …But I can make the Congressional Republicans who brought us to this moment regret ever coming after the right to choose.

    In all my years as your Speaker, this is the most important request I’ve ever made of you: Please, stand with me on the right side of history and rush $20 to protect and EXPAND our pro-choice House Majority. >>

    I’ve seen my fair share of history-defining moments — and I know this is one of them. So believe me when I say: NO ONE can sit this moment out.

    Please, help me defeat EVERY anti-choice Republican for what they’ve done to our country by rushing $20 to the DCCC to elect House Democrats. >>


    1. Katniss Everdeen

      In all my years as your Speaker…

      Since there are sooooo many ways to complete that sentence, I’ll go out on a limb and say that that text won’t be as compelling as she thinks it will.

      I’ll nominate: “In all my years as your Speaker, I haven’t done a goddamn thing to prevent this from happening. I’m a fundraiser not a fighter.”


      1. nippersdad


        She ceased to be “my Speaker” about two seconds after I heard that she had taken impeachment off the table.

        1. caucus99percenter

          Who says that Democrats can’t play the long game?

          Pelosi & Co. probably already foresaw in November 2006 that, down the road, the party would eventually be staging a “Dubya gave Michelle Obama candy” / “BFFs and partners in crime” moment.

          Full rapprochement with the Bush and Cheney clans! All buddy-buddy now! Completely rehabilitated! “Lied us into war? Torture? Sorry, I haven’t the faintest notion what you’re talking about.”

        2. GramSci

          What’s this I hear?? Nancy P is going to impeach Gorsuch and Kavanaugh for perjury and Collins and Manchin will vote to convict??

          Just kiddin’

        3. albrt

          I wonder if it would be possible to work out a package deal to impeach Kavanagh, Biden, and the Notre Dame Handmaid all at the same time? You could go after them all for perjury, but I don’t think any of Biden’s bogus campaign promises were under oath. He is clearly senile, but no one knows whether incompetence is a high crime or misdemeanor.

          Oh well, as the great constitutional scholar Gerald Ford once said, “An impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history.” I would definitely make that deal, since Biden is unlikely to last much longer anyway.

    2. none

      Please, help me defeat EVERY anti-choice Republican for what they’ve done to our country by rushing $20 to the DCCC to elect House Democrats. >>

      You mean house democrats like Cuellar? Not in this universe, Nancy. You and the DCCC are the problem, not the solution.

  40. Appleseed

    re: “Posting a link does not constitute endorsement.”
    I hope there is an exception to this rule, to whit, the link to the Kurt Vonnegut documentary review. I highly recommend seeing the film. Saw it in a theater this past Spring here in Kurt’s hometown. Half full theatre, half (or fewer) masked. There’s a tradition of uncomfortable embrace of KV in Indy. In 1969 he appeared at a book signing (in a building designed by his grandfather’s architectural firm) for Slaughterhouse Five. He sold 3 copies; all of ’em to relatives. My excuse for not attending; I was in grade school. Didn’t read him until high school and between him and Firesign Theatre, I was able to navigate that awful time. Later in life I was able to meet and chat with him and it felt like talking with a favorite uncle. Great sense of humor. Now that KV’s safely dead he can be honored in Indy with a public mural and a “library” in his name. Weide shot an astonishing amount of film that wasn’t used plus hours of video/audio that Kurt shared with him. Weide’s personal tragedy is woven in well (and appropriately IMO) with a touching scene of Kurt reaching out to express his love and condolences in an answering machine message. Says a lot about both men. So nice to read the Aussie’s upbeat review. Please do yourself a favor and check it out.

  41. Jeff Chimen

    Yves, as a dues-paying member of the EFF I’m mailing a copy of your criticism to them. It’s spot-on. I need to copy-pasta your stuff more often to these groups.

  42. Jason Boxman

    You think that Walmart is bad, come out to western NC; At my local, everyone looks sickly. Many overweight or obese, always see several mobility carts for those too obese or sick to walk, occasionally see an oxygen tank on someone. Few if any masks anymore. The pharmacy there is always packed to the brim with bags filled for orders. The whole experience is other-worldly.

      1. Jason Boxman

        These are overwhelmingly locals, but yes we get way too many Florida plates overall as well. No one ever looked quite this awful in Sarasota that I recall during my brief 8 month tour there.

        1. IntoTheAbyss

          Agreed, most in Sarasota are in good shape, which stands out from the redneck towns surrounding it.

  43. Geo

    There’s a lot of focus on the Roe v. Wade ruling (rightly so) but find it necessary to also share a list of other recent rulings that put in plain context just what kind of court we now have.

    Gun control not a state’s rights issue
    Limiting EPA ability to regulate emissions
    Limiting Miranda Rights protections

    And they’ve openly stated they are going after gay marriage, contraception, and more.

    1. Jason Boxman

      The Roberts Court has been huge on removing standing for ordinary Americans to seek redress in the courts, and this has been going on under the radar for a decade now sadly.

  44. Michael Ismoe

    Chinese banks lend Pakistan $2.3bn to avert foreign exchange crisis Financial Times

    It cost Brandon $55 billion to buy Ukraine for 4 months. We need better negotiators.

  45. etudiant

    Basic courtesy for writers is not to hit their readers with undefined abbreviations such as PMC, especially when they are central to his thesis.
    Still waiting for enlightenment.

    1. griffen

      If someone beats me to the punch, oh well.

      PMC = Professional Management / Managerial Class. In varied circles, it’s the level of the top 10-15% serving their superiors. Others mileage will likely vary.

      PMC may also be code for professional travel in the correct / elite circles, attend the right institutions.

    2. nippersdad

      Professional Managerial Class, coined by Thomas Frank in Listen Liberal.

      You must be new here.

        1. nippersdad

          I stand corrected. I am always amazed by the caliber of this site and its’ commentariat. I have been a fan of Frank since What is the matter with Kansas, and Listen Liberal did not disappoint.

    3. flora

      Professional Managerial Class. The PMC class of workers is not the Blue Collar class of workers, for example. ‘PMC’ is also an acronym for other entities – ‘Planet Minecraft’ for example, – however at NC (Naked Capitalism) it almost always refers to Professional Managerial Class.

    4. GramSci

      PMC Per Wikipedia:

      «The term was coined in 1977 by John and Barbara Ehrenreich.[4][5] The term became widely used in American political discourse in the late 2010s as a shorthand to refer to technocratic liberals or wealthy Democratic voters.»

      1. albrt

        I re-read Road to Wigan Pier recently, and was fascinated to see this quote, discussing Orwell’s own background in the “lower-upper-middle-class”:

        Practically the whole family income goes in keeping up appearances. It is obvious that people of this kind are in an anomalous position, and one might be tempted to write them off as mere exceptions and therefore unimportant. Actually, however, they are or were fairly numerous. Most clergymen and schoolmasters, for instance, nearly all Anglo-Indian officials, a sprinkling of soldiers and sailors, and a fair number of professional men and artists, fall into this category. But the real importance of this class is that they are the shock-absorbers of the bourgeoisie. The real bourgeoisie, those in the £2000 a year class and over, have their money as a thick layer of padding between themselves and the class they plunder; in so far as they are aware of the Lower Orders at all they are aware of them as employees, servants, and tradesmen. But it is quite different for the poor devils lower down who are struggling to live genteel lives on what are virtually working-class incomes. These last are forced into close and, in a sense, intimate contact with the working class, and I suspect it is from them that the traditional upper-class attitude towards ’common’ people is derived.

        And what is this attitude? An attitude of sniggering superiority punctuated by bursts of vicious hatred. Look at any number of Punch during the past thirty years. You will find it everywhere taken for granted that a working-class person, as such, is a figure of fun, except at odd moments when he shows signs of being too prosperous, whereupon he ceases to be a figure of fun and becomes a demon. It is no use wasting breath in denouncing this attitude. It is better to consider how it has arisen, and to do that one has got to realize what the working classes look like to those who live among them but have different habits and traditions.

        A shabby genteel family is in much the same position as a family of ’poor whites’ living in a street where everyone else is a Negro. In such circumstances you have got to cling to your gentility because it is the only thing you have; and meanwhile you are hated for your stuck-up-ness and for the accent and manners which stamp you as one of the boss class. . . .

        Full credit to Ehrenreich, but this class relation has been around for a while.

        1. LifelongLib

          I think though that class in today’s U.S. is much more closely tied to income/wealth than it was in Orwell’s England. In his day there were still people who could claim class based on ancestry, even if they didn’t have a lot of money to go with it. An Oxford-educated priest from a genteel family might be sent to a parish where he had less income than the local grocer. In the U.S. today there is some income overlap today between (say) lower-level professionals and the skilled trades, but generally class follows income.

  46. juno mas

    RE: Return to Snake Island

    Russia, obviously, understands the strategic importance of the island. But they seek control to prevent Ukraine/NATO from threatening their military; they are not using it to set up attacks on Ukraine. It is clear that if Ukraine were to dislodge Russia from the island it would only be temporary (PR). The Russian military is fully capable of reclaiming the island with greater intensity than shown to this date.

    What the MSM hasn’t explained is that this recent NATO guided attack failed miserably. NATO is no peer to the Russian military. And it is Ukie conscripts that are paying the price.

  47. antidlc
    Biden officials to keep private the names of hospitals where patients contracted Covid

    Despite a spike in infections earlier this year, U.S. officials opted to guard the institutions’ names, citing privacy.

    The Biden administration during the Omicron wave considered publicly releasing data detailing how prevalent Covid-19 spread was inside individual hospitals, but ultimately chose to keep that information private, according to two people familiar with the discussions.

    The decision to withhold the names, based partly on concerns about duplicative data and partly on fears of embarrassing hospitals, denies patients the opportunity to steer clear of health systems with poor track records and allows facilities to avoid public scrutiny, patient advocates say.

    Covid cases and hospitalizations have fallen from their winter peak and the administration pushes personal responsibility to combat infection, but many disability-rights advocates are encouraging the government to make the information public, arguing it is necessary to make safe choices, especially for people with chronic conditions and weakened immune systems.

    Still waiting for someone to wake me up from this nightmare.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Wachter says one reason it was OK to remove the mask mandate on airplanes is that there was too much “conflict.” Meaning liberals were unwilling to fight back, as usual. Their personal comforts are everything to them. And so the anti-maskers won, against science, and what’s worse, against the very notion of public health.

  48. Dave in Austin

    “60% of high school students in northern Thai city have HIV ” headline is incorrect.

    60% of cases in the town are in the high school students.

  49. jr

    @ lambert

    Related to the comments yesterday about the NFL player/Dredd Scott case (The man was black FYI.) I recently saw a video of some Republican senator grilling a Planned Parenthood type. He asked her if she would kill a birthed child and she responded she would not. He then asked why it’s ok to kill an unborn child that’s a mere “eight inches up a birth canal” and she had no viable response. The comments oozed with approval.

    This really is a war on women. It’s coming from both parties on the Right, albeit in different forms. Where the rights of women go, so go all human rights.

    1. Objective Ace

      While I dont disagree with your last paragraph/point, I dont understand how this is related to the “eight inches up a birth canal” fact? There is a middle ground here that “pro-choice” advocates tend to ignore. Most european countries only guarantee abortion access for the first trimester. That should be sufficient for all of the reasons and anecdotal stories the left trots out. If there are additional reasons why you need to legally abort a child/fetus that is 9 months old, by all means I’d be curious to hear. I have yet to hear a reasonable one

      1. jr

        I was pointing to the language use. The speaker was ignoring the fact that both the child and the birth canal were inside another person. This is intentional. It’s related to the comment I posted yesterday about the NFL player referring to pregnant women as “apartments”. It’s dehumanizing them, turning them into objects.

      2. Kfish

        Most of the medical problems that make a pregnancy ‘incompatible with life’ – that is, a child that is unlikely to survive until its birth – aren’t detected until a scan at 20 weeks of pregnancy. A ban on those abortions condemns a woman to carry a dying or dead baby inside her for the next 18 weeks.

    2. Lambert Strether

      I think a problem with the edge cases constantly hyped by — what’s a better word? — pro-lifers is that these are the cases best decided by a woman (possibly in consultation with a doctor) precisely because they’re edge cases that you can’t regulate for. Also, eight inches?! Unlikely.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Its a ticking time bomb farce to justify torture. The situation simply never happens, and at that point, a pregnant woman isn’t being listened to. Of course, that delivery is happening.

        If this was real at all, we would be inundated with stories, not hypotheticals, all the live long day.

  50. etudiant

    Guess I don’t get it.
    How is it a war on women? Is it not rather recognizing the conflict of interest between mother and child?
    Admittedly, putting the decision back into the political arena seems unhelpful. Eisenhower, when asked, said he could not think of an issue less suitable for Federal involvement. Not sure state legislatures are better.
    I’d note that this issue would be moot under Roman law, where the child could be dumped into the wilderness up to about age two iirc.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Women always have the obligation of raising the child. Male involvement is optional. Not letting a woman terminate a pregnancy even in the event of rape or incest illustrates the abusive view of women. I know one woman who was pregnant at 13, at a girl’s school, so presumably sex with a staff member who had power over her. Another woman I know was pregnant at 11 due to rape by her uncle. How about women who are using contraception but it fails (and no contraception method is perfect). The US already has terrible levels of teen pregnancy by world standards. This will make it much worse.

    2. voteforno6

      From what I understand, asking women if they’re pregnant is pretty standard for all types of medical appointments. So, this affects pretty much all aspects of medical care for women. Some have described this as criminalizing health care for women. I don’t think that’s entirely hyperbolic.

    3. CanCyn

      Possibly beating a dead horse at this point and almost didn’t comment knowing that JLS has a post in the pipes but here goes… Woman, albeit rarely in comparison to men, can and do abandon their families. I don’t see this as solely a women’s rights issue. If anti-abortionists (I prefer this term to pro-life because I don’t see a lot of love for people after the birth of the child in these activists). Have to agree with Henry Moon Pie in his earlier statement about caring for children beyond birth. If anti-abortionists also supported universal childcare, welfare and healthcare then I might consider thinking of them as ‘pro-life’. I see it as an issue of parenting and childcare vs. conception & childbearing (props to Katniss Everdeen for her comment about states’ recognition of citizens at birth). If the state isn’t going to allow abortions then it really needs to step up on universal social safety nets. This also speaks to Yves’ example of young girls being raped – they are children who need to be cared for. In the developed world, we spend billions of dollars saving premature and ailing infants at birth in our neonatal wards. Then parents are left to cope on their own with all of the costly and time consuming care of their often severely disabled children. I am not arguing that these children should not have born but rather that the continuum of care needs to be greatly expanded. And of course the rich don’t care because they can afford child care and health care and whatever else they need. We are building a powder keg of inequality, I dunno when it is going to blow but surely we’re getting close.

    4. NotTimothyGeithner

      Eisenhower, when asked,

      He isn’t the last person I would go with for advice on the matter, but I’m not sure what point you are trying to make with this.

  51. jr

    Here is a sassy video from Nerdrotic on the worthless pile of $hit “The Rings of Power” series that Amazon is trying to shove down Tolkien fans’ throats:

    High points include “Girl Boss” Galadriel, dwarves and hobbits of color, and synthetic “superfans”. The host has some choice words for George R.R. Martin as well. I write all this as someone who thought the Peter Jackson movies were garbage, for context.

  52. drumlin woodchuckles

    I am reading the article ” Who was responsible for the botched pandemic response” by Midwestern Doctor and I reach this paragraph . . .

    “•One of the most important characteristics of the virus was that it spared the young and was primarily dangerous to the elderly. For this reason, a targeted approach that changed depending on one’s age was by far the most appropriate way to handle the pandemic (children were excellent candidates for developing herd immunity within the population and should have never been locked at home, whereas protecting the elderly in nursing homes should have been prioritized). Despite Atlas repeatedly banging his head against a brick wall for these policies, the rest of the task force refused to consider his position, and most of the public never knew their actual risk of dying from Covid.”

    And I wonder, why does Midwestern Doctor make quick death the sole metric of danger? Why does Midwestern Doctor suppose that covid-infected children would develop immunity to any future covid infection when no other coronavirus bestows such immunity through infecting a child? Why does Midwestern Doctor not mention the problem of long-term silent health-decay down through time as an effect of seemingly-recovered-from covid infection? Since it is this belief in the possibility of “herd immunity” which motivated Governor DeSantis’s policy approach in Florida, perhaps we should look at whether proportionately more children got infected and then seemingly recovered in Florida then in other states. And then see whether long term health-decay effects in childhood-infected post-children show up as those ex-children age.

    The comments about Fauci seem very very on point, though. One hopes the coming Republican Majority Congress holds very extensive and exhaustive hearings on every aspect of Fauci’s actions during the Covid events, and then goes on to hold very extensive and exhaustive hearings on every single aspect of every single day of Fauci’s career starting from its very beginning, so that no early roots of later behavior go undiscovered and unstudied.

    I just thought I would mention that before I get back to reading the article.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Midwestern Doctor was an extremely mixed bag. I thought the medical stuff was mostly garbage*, and the institutional stuff was reasonably perceptive.

      NOTE * Yes, yes, I’m fine with zinc, vitamins, and various drugs that shall not be named, as part of a multilayered defense.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        I circled back and read the rest of Midwestern Doctor’s article. Then earlier today I saw the Wikrent Weekly Roundup which Ian Welsh runs every Sunday at his Ian Welsh blog. One of the articles Wikrent offered in his Weekly Roundup was this Miami Herald article, titled . . . ” Florida undercounted COVID cases and deaths, failed to get test results, state audit says ”

        Read more at:

        ( I gather that this “link” that self pasted as I pasted the article’s title is the link to the article).

        I have to get my bus in a few minutes, not enough time to read the article. All I have time for is to say that the title reminds me of DeSantis’s attempts to persecute his public health head into lying about case numbers on her website, firing her when she wouldn’t, and trying to deface and erase the website itself. So when Midwestern Doctor talks about DeSantis studying the experts to make up his best informed opinion and strategic plan going forward, I am reminded of something I heard on a radio show ( ” Hidden Brain”?) about how DeSantis picked out one particular Doctor Expert whose advice to take. It made me think that DeSantis liked the way that Doctor thinks because that Doctor thinks the way DeSantis likes.

        So a lot of this article read to me like a piece of Trumpanon apologetics for the younger stronger up-and-coming Trump figure named DeTrumpis.

        I would still like to see our upcoming Majority House and Senate hold hearings on Fauci where they “saw Fauci in half” in order to “count his annual growth rings”.

        ( If any Republican strategists are reading these threads to gain intelligence on “the left”, I hope those strategists report back that some on ” the left” would also like to see exhaustive forensic hearings about Fauci. And a person those hearings might well want to hear from would be . . . of all people . . . Professor Emeritus of Plant Pathology Don Huber of Purdue University. Based on my own impromptu conversation I had with Prof. Huber at the last Acres USA conference, plus what I overheard Prof. Huber telling somebody else the next day, I think such hearings could get some very powerful and damning revelations about Fauci and his early career, if they really dare to want to dare to actually find out about that.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          I expressed my strong reservations about Midwestern Doc’s take on DeSantis. However, the lying about Covid# is widespread. Recall Cuomo hiding a very large number of nursing home deaths.

    1. Lambert Strether

      > Wachter is a heavyweight in SF and California politics, his opinions matter.

      That’s unfortunate, since he chivvied his wife into attending a superspreader event, and she got long Covid.

  53. The Rev Kev

    Lots of comments about the Supreme Court decision but if I had to use one word to describe how more than a lot if people are feeling, I would use the word ‘betrayal’ and no, not on just the part of those Supremes but all those who made it possible over the past thirty years.

    1. flora

      Linda Greenhouse, a noted NYTimes Court reporter who won a Pulitzer for her work, has written a very good op-ed. I’ve always enjoyed her reporting as neutral on issues and expert on the process and case points. This editorial is unusual: she takes the Court to task in a way startling for her. “The arrogance and unapologetic nature of the opinion are breathtaking.” :

      A Requiem for the Court

      Consider the implication of Justice Alito’s declaration that Roe v. Wade was “egregiously wrong” from the start. Five of the seven justices in the Roe majority — all except William O. Douglas and Thurgood Marshall — were appointed by Republican presidents. The votes necessary to preserve the right to abortion 19 years later in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Roe follow-up decision that the court also overturned on Friday, came from five Republican-appointed justices.

      In asserting that these justices led the court into grave error from which it must now be rescued, Justice Alito and his majority are necessarily saying that these predecessors, joining the court over a period of four decades, didn’t know enough, or care enough, to use the right methodology and reach the right decision. The arrogance and unapologetic nature of the opinion are breathtaking….

      Very strong language from Ms. Greenhouse. If I had to name an ideological successor to Rehnquist I’d nominate Alito.

      I recommend reading the op-ed for a good review of what happened at the Court.

  54. none

    re EFF page and stuff like burner phones:

    Do they think women are too stoopid/lazy to take the necessary (strict) precautions if they are in a prosecution gung ho state?

    I wouldn’t say “women” and would instead say “everyone”. I did the burner phone thing for a while (against a religious cult, not against law enforcement which has far more investigative resources) and it was ridiculously easy to slip up, and I’m supposedly a security goon (infosec programmer). Also, as a lifestyle, it warps your personality.

    Some other people who slipped up:

    * Ross Ulbricht, the silk road guy. He was very careful about using Tor except the one or two times he slipped, and that was enough
    * Laura Poitras, who broke the Edward Snowden story. Her electronic communication chops were fine (PGP, Tor, Tails, etc). But she filmed him in his fancy hotel room in Hong Kong, and her video showed a fancy light fixture in that room, that a few viewers familiar with Hong Kong recognized as coming from that specific hotel. So the next day the rest of the press showed up en masse looking for Snowden, and Snowden had to flee in a panic instead of slipping out gracefully. The two movies Citizenfour (by Poitras) and Terminal F (by a Swedish director whose name idr) show that flight in detail, though they skip the part about the light fixture.
    * Your favorite cyber crook or regular crook who also takes precautions with this stuff. Many go uncaught but they do catch a lot of them.

    Anyway, techno solutions like this are oriented towards the PMC, who aren’t really who the GOP wants to restrict. Remember the definition of conservatism as having an in-group and an out-group. The restrictions are supposed to be against the out-group, i.e. poor and POC.

    One thing that might help is for large heallthcare orgs to put their call centers in states where abortion is legal. The orgs would each have a single phone number rather than separate phone numbers for different departments like surgery or billing. You’d call the same number if you had a headache, cancer, sniffles, or needed an abortion. So unless there was a court ordered call-contents wiretap (or maybe subpoena, in the absence of some record keeping changes), they would only get the call detail record saying you had called the number, not giving them the subject matter. The HMO’s here in my blue state actually have separate phone numbers for different departments, which always struck me as a huge privacy fail (call the oncology department=>your phone records show that you probably have cancer, etc).

    There is other stuff like that too, but it has to happen at an organizational level. Shifting responsibility for something as messy as computer security (it amounts to that) to end users has long been seen to be total fail, even when the users are supposedly trained. It is hard, best not to underestimate that. A burner phone all by itself is nowhere near enough.

    Btw, did you know that it’s considered bad practice to separate out and shred the sensitive documents from your wastepaper stream? That means any shredded paper in your garbage means you handled something sensitive that day. “Correct” is to shred all your wastepaper every day, whether it is sensitive or not. The saying is that “a good disguise does not reveal the person’s height”. That’s another example of security-goon thinking (given for illustration purposes) and even that probably doesn’t go far enough.

  55. The Rev Kev

    Might be a bit naive here but perhaps now would be a good time for a force the vote on making abortion a federal law. Technically they still have the numbers but let voters see who actually votes for it and against it on the floor. Pretty sure that those who vote for such a law would have massive support going their way but those who side against such a law, particularly democrats, can be effectively targeted. Of course Pelosi would never countenance such a measure and if it came to a vote, would end up on a voice affirmation to hide who does and who does not vote for it. In any case, this Supremes decision is just the talking point that the Democrats need for their fundraisers.

    1. none

      Might be a bit naive here but perhaps now would be a good time for a force the vote on making abortion a federal law.

      Nah. It’s much more important to keep the powder dry. /s

  56. Jason Boxman

    This Mid Western Doctor person has some interesting opinions. From another of his posts:

    Like many of you, I firmly believe the COVID-19 pandemic response was horrifically mishandled and was likely worse than having done nothing at all. In the previous article, I made the case that the cornerstones of the pandemic response: hand washing, masking, testing, and social distancing, and worst of all lockdowns were for all practical purposes theater and based on the existing scientific evidence should never have been implemented.

    I’d agree with him that the Pandemic response is botched, and that the media is captured, but outside of that we seem to mostly part ways. He seems to be functionally a Great Barrington Declaration person in spirit. But the shout out to DeSantis was the obvious tell something here was amiss.

    One of the main reasons why Covid killed so many people was because the majority of healthcare providers were not willing to go against the existing guidelines, and no serious effort was ever made to develop treatment guidelines, especially for patients who had not been yet been hospitalized. Throughout the pandemic, I can remember desperate healthcare providers soliciting each other for guidelines that had been developed by academic institutions, but they were never willing to go out on a limb to try developing their own treatment protocols.

    This seems to track with his fondness for DeSantis, who seems to emphasize treatment, which would be great if getting infected didn’t lead to long-COVID and likely persistent vascular and neurological damage.

    Even better would be an elimination strategy, but on that Biden and DeSantis agree — We Can’t Disrupt Capitalism (CDC).

    On the other hand:

    Unfortunately, because our monopolized medical system is extremely hostile towards anything that threatens its revenue, the model of medicine I am suggesting has never been implemented. The primary approach instead is to sell as many (often harmful) medical treatments to the elderly as possible, prematurely shorten their lifespan, and warehouse them in abysmal living centers until they pass away. Because we have an increasing number of elderly adults in the population, the existing approach is on the edge of no longer being sustainable, and as the years go by, suggestions to address the problem through mass euthanasia continually increase.

    It’s hard to times to both agree with someone and be entirely unable to grasp the conclusions that same person reaches in other areas.

    The most common way this occurred was by discharging patients with COVID-19 from hospitals to nursing homes rather than having them wait out the last part of their disease process in the hospital.

    Andrew Cuomo says “hi”.

    The first what is that the high death count that was amassed by placing the Covid patients in nursing homes was then subsequently used to justify the hysteria around Covid and the draconian policies that followed from it (sadly there is a past precedent for the government sacrificing civilians so their deaths can be used to promote a narrative).

    (bold mine)

    And yet we get hints that this is “just the flu” and with COVID there’s really nothing to see here. Which is it?

    I think in the coming years a vast number books are to be written about the pandemic response.

    1. Basil Pesto

      It’s impossible to take such nonsense as you highlight seriously. To purport to be concerned about prematurely shortened lifespans while at the same time arguing that the optimal response to a SARS pandemic is to do nothing? How stupid can you get? At some point basic reality will leave these people with nowhere to hide, but of course by the time the damage has been done and cannot be denied, the human population will be quite distraught and anonymous substacks of this sort peddling in Covid remedy identity politics to distract us from the the nature of the shared threat we’re all facing will be long forgotten.

      I think most NC readers understand the folly of pandemic do-nothingism and the fundamental barbarics of the GBD but the bits you’ve quoted draw attention to something that’s worth pointing out: This pernicious use of the word “lockdowns” to conflate two different pandemic strategies, one of which is useful and effective, the other is not. There’s a difference between “lockdowns” as practiced in the USA et al, which were actually mockdowns (which is not to say they weren’t challenging for many people – that is also not to say they were universally tortuous for all), and ‘lockdowns’ as part of a TTIQ strategy: the former are only strict enough to slow the spread of the disease to obviate the need for piles of bodies in the streets, until a vaccine arrived (which was then duly falsely promised as the solution to the pandemic. Going forward it seems like vaccines will not be adequately updated unless/until the risk of bodies piling up in the streets). This is merely to use the extreme tool of lockdown for delaying death and morbidity rather than actually solving the problem at its root, and is bad.

      This is opposed to a TTIQ (Test, Trace, Isolate, Quarantine) strategy, with the IQ part of the initialism culminating in broad jurisdictional lockdowns if a pathogen of this nature is allowed to get out of control (as in Shanghai, as in Victoria 2020 – but not Victoria or NSW in 2021, when the lockdown-to-delay strategy I detail above was used). Done properly, life is normal most of the time for most parts of a country, but without the sword of damocles of a dangerous infectious disease dangling over everyone’s head. In those countries using a TTIQ strategy, lockdowns, if they do become necessary, need last no longer than two weeks at most if applied at the right time. Vaccines to the extent they help with transmission (for this to be the case they have to be strain-matched) and potentially other pharmaceuticals, as well as NPIs such as respirators and air purifiers can help us attain and keep the goals of the TTIQ strategy, and help make lockdowns shorter if they do end up being needed (alas, unfortunately from the position we’re in now, longer and more challenging lockdowns would be required. They would also need considerable New Deal-style government support, which is one reason they will never happen). This strategy has been proven to work against SARS2 several times, and not just in China. The rest of the world will regret not meaningfully working together to fight against this relentless common enemy; the question of how to defeat it is already a solved problem. “prematurely shortened lifespans” doesn’t even begin to cover what the consequences of what our failure will be.

  57. Tom Stone

    I reregistered as a Dim to vote for Bernie in the primary and haven’t bothered to change back to no party preference.
    Which means I’m on a list and I also got an email from Miz Nancy begging for $ so that the Dim party can “Fight for” a woman’s right to choose.
    I responded via email saying that I would send the entire $600 Joe Biden still owes me as soon as his check clears.
    The Biden has done something I would not have believed possible,they are making Trump look sensible and empathetic in comparison.

  58. Lex

    I’m way late, but The Who’s to blame for the pandemic piece is correct in the general sense of corruption in the US, weird in ideology, and wrong in the nuts and bolts of pandemic response. I’m a broken record but there was/is a ready to use model for pandemic response. In fact, I’ll bet that there is a plan that runs to several feet long card on three ring binders in several DC offices.

    The model was developed by WWII vets working in the USFS to combat wild fires. It shows its roots in being fairly top-down and military like. But it has remained because it is incredibly effective. It’s been fine-tuned and adjusted over the decades. It’s standard from local responses that might involve a few fire departments in a county all the way up to events like Deep Water Horizon. Sometimes it is performed by private organizations (companies) and sometimes the government. Sometimes the government has a place in private responses. It is quite flexible because it’s designed for responding to emergencies as a concept rather than specific to a type of emergency. One can attend trainings on it through various organizations, including the federal government, for certification. It works.

    And in this case, it would have removed the medical profession from the prime decision making capability … or could and should have because the medicine component of the response was actually fairly small. And where it was big was mostly a matter of logistics, which isn’t what the medicinal profession is good at.

    POTUS will always be the incident commander in this sort of situation. But they could (and should) appoint a more hands-on IC. It could be anyone, surrounded by a smallish group appointed to support the IC. And here we see representatives of needed, specialized knowledge. In this group you get the doctors, but also logistics specialists, business leaders, political representation, etc. They have difficult meetings behind closed doors, reach consensus via the IC and then actions are communicated through the lower levels of the IC structure (down to states, hospitals, etc) as a single and consistent communication.

    If I was POTUS, i’d be a hands-on IC, but would have appointed an true IC from either the American Council of Governmental Industrial Hygienists and/or the American Industrial Hygiene Association. These are people who are A. Familiar with emergency response actions and B. the most capable of responding to what is effectively respiratory exposure to an airborne contaminant. They’ll also have the science chops to understand the doctors. If an industrial hygienist had been in charge of this, I guarantee that respiratory protection and ventilation would have handled appropriately and we’d have been far less dependent on medical intervention. I also guarantee that the question of aerosol vs droplet would have been answered immediately because it changes (almost) everything from our perspective. We also wouldn’t have wasted so much time sanitizing everything. I don’t know an IH who wasn’t scoffing at that from day one.

    The most disheartening thing about Covid for me is knowing we have a better way and didn’t use it. The next most is watching us completely blunder through the most basics aspects of my profession.

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