Links 7/24/2022

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.

* * *

Rocky Mountain Massacre: Was Yellowstone’s Deadliest Wolf Hunt in 100 Years an Inside Job? The Intercept

Why Rain Smells So Good But Tastes Really Bad Laughing Squid (reŠilc)

Elon Musk’s Neuralink Brain Computer Startup is Beat Again Fortune (furzy)

A Classic American Concession was First Fried in Oregon: The Corn Dog OPB (David L)

The Investment Drought of the Past Two Decades is Catching Up with Us Financial Times

The Role of Colleges in Intergenerational Mobility NBER

Myanmar: Fighting a Brutal Regime With the Help of a Video Game New York Times

In Delhi: Sheltered but Homeless Pari Education

Latin America’s Resurgent Left with Rene Rojas Jacobin AV


Like the Rest of Us, Biden Learns to Live With the Risks of the Virus New York Times (reŠilc)

No President Is Safe From His Own COVID-19 Policy FiveThirtyEight (reŠilc)

More Than 50 Long-Term Effects of COVID-19: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Nature

The Ridiculous New Covid Panic National Review

If You’ve Never Had COVID, Are You a Sitting Duck? The Atlantic (reŠilc)

Reinfection Will be Part of the Pandemic for Months to Come. Each Repeat Illness Raises the Risk of Long COVID The Conversation

America Was in an Early-Death Crisis Long Before COVID The Atlantic

Swedish study on COVID vaccines and DNA misinterpreted AP News


WHO Declares Monkeypox a Public Health Emergency of International Concern CNN

2 Children Diagnosed with Monkeypox in the U.S., Officials Say PBS

The Monkeypox Vaccine Hunger Games Are On The Cut


Northeast Heat Wave Turns Deadly, Set to Intensify This Weekend Accuweather

With Record-Breaking Heat, Europe Glimpses Its Climate Future Scientific American

Greenland loses 6 Billion Tons of Ice in Three Days, Harbinger of Unprecedented Coastal Flooding Juan Cole (reŠilc)

Protesters in UK Decry Climate Change After Record Heat Wave ABC News

Climate Activists Glue Themselves to Botticelli Masterpiece at the Uffizi Museum in Italy USA Today

Climate Change is Making the Tour de France More Extreme Washington Post

How Well Do You Know Your Heatwave? A Study of India Data The Wire

Spanish Worker’s Death Shows Need to Adapt to Climate Change ABC News

Do These Heat Waves Mean Climate Change is Happening Faster Than Expected? MIT Technology Review


Italy’s Meloni: Right-Wing Government is ‘Nothing to Fear’ Politico

Italy Will Keep Supporting Ukraine if Right Wins Vote, Says Meloni Reuters

The Future Is Italy, and It’s Bleak New York Times

Paul Krugman – Wonking Out: What’s the Matter With Italy? New York Times


China Won Over Southeast Asia During the Pandemic The Diplomat


Britons Say They’ll NEVER Travel Through Dover Again and Abandon All Hope of Making it to France After Sitting in Traffic All Day Daily Mail (reŠilc)

New Cold War

Sinking Germany New Left Review – Sidecar

Imperial Collapse Watch

Empire Burlesque Harpers


Chartbook #138: Build Back Better, Dead Again Adam Tooze


The Cult of Donald Trump The Intercept (reŠilc)

Jan. 6 Committee Has Done Little to Sway Republicans: Poll Axios

‘It’s a Kangaroo Court’: In Key state, Trump Backers Dismiss January 6 Hearings The Guardian (reŠilc)

Inside the Remote California County Where the Far Right Took Over: ‘Civility Went Out the Window’ The Guardian (reŠilc)


Donna Edwards Loses Maryland Primary Following $6M pro-Israel Spending Bonanza Jerusalem Post

AIPAC Hails Democrat’s Defeat for not Being Sufficiently Pro-Israel The Guardian


MBS’s $500 Billion Desert Dream Just Keeps Getting Weirder Bloomberg

Saudi Citizen Arrested After Non-Muslim Journalist Sneaks into Mecca The Guardian (reŠilc)

Sri Lanka

The Hope and Fear of the Sri Lankan Protest Movement The New Yorker

Sri Lanka Won’t Get a Bailout From the IMF Until Chaos Ends, Johns Hopkins Professor Says CNBC

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

DHS Broke its Own Rules to Buy Huge Trove of Warrantless Phone Data: ACLU Ars Technica

Guillotine Watch

Elon Musk’s Inner Circle Rocked by Fight Over His $230 Billion Fortune Wall Street Journal

Class Warfare

Can Laws Spur Labor Militancy? Eric Blanc Substack

Antidote du Jour (Tracie H):

I followed this little bird around for a good 20 minutes trying to get a picture where he was reasonably sharp and unhidden by foliage. He didn’t seem to care that after a while one’s arms and eyes get exhausted holding a camera up and squinting through its eyepiece.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Bugs

    “If You’ve Never Had COVID, Are You a Sitting Duck?”

    Another infuriating Atlantic article. No mention of masks or ventilation. Insane. Will there be a day of reckoning for these elites?

      1. jefemt

        You two gave my nose a coffeve nasal cleanse.

        Does nothing for covid, a bit of discomfort, but the glow of my smile lingers. Thank you!

      1. Art_DogCT

        I had the J&J vaccine when it became available in early 2020. Based on my own reading, I decided some while ago that I will not undergo another round of vaccination or ‘boosters’ until better vaccines come along. I am relying on non-pharmaceutical means to avoid infection. Since I’m on my own in this (like everyone else) I seek the grace of the Many and Several, that the odds be ever in my favor.

        1. Mark Gisleson

          Still vax-free but I’m still living in social isolation in an area where most folks think standing six feet apart is an intimate conversation. I feel rude using all the vaccinated folks as my guinea pigs, but from my perspective…

    1. hunkerdown

      “Priesthood reproduces capitalist monotheism” is right up there with “dog bites man” on the surprise scale. Platonic class collaborationism was always a lie. If there happens one someday, it will be because we brought it ourselves.

    2. Lee

      To be fair, Ed Yong also writes for the Atlantic and his views on the pandemic and our overpriced underperforming healthcare system are in line with those most often expressed here at NC.

      1. Will

        Ed Yong is great. His latest for the Atlantic (America’s Early Death Crises) is in todays Links and well worth a read. It discusses a study (to be published) that quantifies annual excess deaths (if any) since 1933 using peer country death rates as a baseline. In line with what many here would expect but also expands on that knowledge to show how America is failing all its people, not just the poor or minorities.

        “There are thousands of racial-disparity studies that compare Black people to white people—but white Americans are a terrible counterfactual,” Bor told me. They’re frogs in the same pot, boiling more slowly but boiling nonetheless. By using them as a baseline, we ignore how “everyone is harmed by the status quo in the U.S.,” Blackstock told me, while also underestimating how dire things really are for people of color…White Americans living in the richest 1 percent of counties still have higher rates of maternal and infant mortality than the average residents of wealthy countries.

        The article does a good job of hitting on everything that’s wrong with the status quo.

        More generally, wonderful lecture by Ed Yong on science journalism and his experience covering Covid.

        1. hk

          I think that’s an unfortunate consequence of our obsession with race and racism: the difference between races is pretty trivial or non-existent for many quality of life indicator, especially when socioeconomic status is accounted for. So the alleged “white privilege” is that their life expectancy might (if!) be falling just a little bit slower. But this divide-and-conquer game certainly makes the elites feel righteous and absolves them of trying to do something about the more fundamental problem.

          1. nycTerrierist

            “But this divide-and-conquer game certainly makes the elites feel righteous and absolves them of trying to do something about the more fundamental problem.”

            This — can’t be said too often.

    3. Kouros

      It has been observed throughout history that only massive wars (including civil wars), pestilences would affect in a quantifiable way the elites… The question is whether it is worth the price? I guess maybe, but only if the blame is put squarely in their court, and for generations, and made a global celebration, the way the English remember the 5th of November, burning the body of that Guy.

      1. Joe Renter

        Evolution is slow for human consciousness. I take the position that there is reincarnation, and karma for one’s actions. So, one life prince next life pulper. Through the thousands of lifetimes in the physical body, one finally figures out there is more than greed and emotional centered desires. In the big picture we are one humanity, and if we realize this and act on that premise we will solve individual as well of collective challenges. We are in the thick of Kali Yuga.

    4. Lee

      This Week in Virology features an in person panel of virologists unmasked and in close proximity to one another addressing an audience that is largely masked.

      Although I have been regularly watching this program during the pandemic and have learned a great deal from it, the host, virologist Vincent Racaniello, has been a consistent minimizer of the pandemic’s ill effects and a mask skeptic. In contrast, the other weekly TWIV program, COVID-19 clinical update with Dr. Daniel Griffin, the eponymous doctor seems to me much more on the ball so far as clinical and public health measures are concerned.

      1. Lambert Strether

        > TWIV program, COVID-19 clinical update with Dr. Daniel Griffin

        Thanks for the tip.

        Racaniello is a very good podcaster, I have very often fallen asleep to his show because he has a soothing voice, but then, if you start listening to the content….

    5. WhoaMolly

      Wife has covid and I am caring for her. I’ve never had covid. Surprisingly I have not caught it from her.

      We were both vaccinated early in the pandemic, but everything I’ve read says the vaccinations are no longer “working” after months and years.

      We have double fans running, circulating cooled air through the house. We also have a large electrostatic air filter in the sick-room.

      The advice from her doctor, and mine were the same: “Go to emergency room if you have trouble breathing.” No prescription of anti-virals, advice on early treatment, nothing. Something about this situation has triggered my BS filter. I suspect we have been lied to from the get-go about this virus. Why such suspected deception, and where the possible lying began is over my pay grade.

        1. WhoaMolly

          I know these protocols exist, as do my doctors. We’ve talked about them in the pre-illness past. (None of my doctors have been enthusiastic about any of them).

          The point I was trying to make was that even with “good” health insurance, they are unavailable to “average” people.

          I think an “average” person in the US is pretty much dependent on a strong immune system, whether we like it or not. I believe such an immune system is optimized by the traditional stuff: exercise, diet, sleep, meaningful work and a habit of optimism.

          1. Lee

            “(None of my doctors have been enthusiastic about any of them).”

            They’re not enthusiastic about Paxlovid or, if drug interactions are a problem, Remdesivir? I wonder why. They appear to be effective. Maybe your doctors are seeing something in their clinical practice that isn’t reflected in the current data?

              1. SocalJimObjects

                Taiwanese hospitals love using Remdesivir for whatever reason to treat patients with Covid 19. There have been a couple of deaths among the under 20 population in Taiwan. Thankfully they are rare, but whenever one is announced, inevitably you’ll see something along “patient was treated with Remdesivir, etc”

        2. marku52

          Griffin says “Don’t use untested protocols.” You mean like a second round of Paxlovid? NO clinical data on it, St Fauci proudly does it anyway…

          1. Lee

            Griffin believes that the post-Paxlovid rebound is a manifestation of the typical course of the disease and occurs during the post-viral phase when the virus is no longer active and symptoms are the result of one’s own immune response. At which point anti-virals are useless. If Fauci can’t “follow the science” how does he expect the rest of us to do so?

      1. Lambert Strether

        > The advice from her doctor, and mine were the same: “Go to emergency room if you have trouble breathing.”

        I would advise getting a pulse oximeter, which measures the oxygen levels in the blood. You can get one for twenty bucks. From Advanced Critical Care (2022):

        Patients with COVID-19 often present with life-threatening hypoxemia without dyspnea or signs of respiratory distress. Termed silent or happy hypoxia, it has puzzled clinicians and challenged and defied our understanding of normal respiratory physiology. A range of host- and pathogen-related factors appears to contribute to its development, including SARS-CoV-2’s ability to produce different COVID-19 phenotypes; induce endothelial damage and elicit a vascular distress response; invade cells of the central nervous system and disrupt normal interoception and response; and modulate transcription factors involved in hypoxic responses. Because hypoxemia in COVID-19 is associated with increased mortality risk and poorer survival, early detection and prompt treatment is essential to prevent potential complications. Interventions to prevent hypoxemia and improve oxygen delivery to the blood and the tissues include home pulse-oximetry monitoring, optimization of patient positioning, judicious use of supplemental oxygen, breathing control exercises, and timely and appropriate use of ventilatory modalities and adjuncts.

        In silent hypoxia, the normal bodily signals for low oxygen in the blood are suppressed (e.g, no yawning or “shortness of breath”). The oximeter allows you to check oxygen levels in the blood yourself. (In other words, exactly as with CDC’s “Community Levels,” the doctor’s advice would kick in too late, although I would attribute that to lack of knowledge in your doctor’s case, as opposed to malice in the CDC’s).

        Silent hypoxia got a lot of coverage in 2020 (here; here) and some in 2021; and now, not so much, so at first I was worried this was only for wild type SARS-CoV-2; that’s why I went and found a 2022 source.

        Like drugs that cannot be named, a pulse oximeter is a low-cost, low-risk, high-reward practice…..

        UPDATE Pulse oximeters work by shining light through the skin, and hence are affected by skin pigmentation. So far as I know, device calibration is not an option. I think it should be possible to apply a proper “discount” using figures in sources like this while skipping over the aghastitude. Compensation for home pulse oximeter reading would have been part of scientific communication on Covid management from 2020 onwards*, if we had a public health establishment that wasn’t trying to kill us.

        NOTE * A cursory search on the CDC site turns up nothing:

        JFC, I now see that search is down. What kind of sick organization puts the fact that search is down under the search results instead of at the top of the page, and doesn’t have some sort of alert icon? Caltrops literally everywhere at CDC.

        A search of CDC turns up a PDF document on using a pulse oximeter in the context of delivering “oxygen therpy” in a hospital (and naturally mentions nothing about skin pigmentation).

        1. WhoaMolly

          Lambert — Thanks for the explanation. I had somehow dismissed the oximiter test as ‘not useful’, without any real basis for my decision.. My son sent us a $20 oximiter. Will pull it out and use it.

    6. Lambert Strether

      > If You’ve Never Had COVID, Are You a Sitting Duck?

      I don’t know why this is the headliine given in links when in fact the headline is:

      America Is Running Out of ‘COVID Virgins’

      I also find the formulation “COVID Virgin” especially offensive, since it equates losing one’s virginity to becoming infected with a potentially lethal pathogen. That’s as sick as anything the Victorians ever came up with, and they set a high bar for sickness.

  2. Sibiryak

    New Not-So-Cold War ODESSA

    There’s been a lot of speculation about if and when a Russian assault on Odessa might occur.

    Several days ago I wrote that:

    …well-known military analyst Yuri Podolyaka (Юрий Подоляка) was asked on the pro-government show “Time Will Tell” (“Время Покажет”) what was going to be next after the Donbass. Podolyaka replied “the southern Kharkov region.” When asked about Odessa, he said that would probably have to wait until next year.

    The fact that such a direct question about Odessa was asked and answered on one of Russia’s preeminent pro-government programs lends a good deal of credibility to Podolyaka’s prediction.

    Since then there have been at least three further indications that a Russian offensive on Odessa is planned for the start of next year. (See Alexander Mercouris’ July 24 video.)

    First, the recently concluded Russia-Ukraine-Turkey agreement expediting grain shipments out Odessa contains–on Russia’s insistence–a limited 120 day time window in which Russia has agreed not to take any military action that would impede those shipments. For obvious political and public relations reasons, it wouldn’t make sense for Russia to start a full-scale military offensive against Odessa during that period

    Second, a recent Foreign Policy magazine article, “Russia has its Sights on Odessa ,” informs us that:

    Western officials believe that Russia will likely begin another major offensive in Ukraine early next year, including a possible effort to advance on the blockaded strategic port city of Odesa, in an effort to seize the country’s southwestern coast and cut off Ukraine from the sea.

    Finally, a newly formed “Odessa Brigade” has announced its readiness to initiate offensive operations against Nikolayev and Odessa in the near future. This brigade consists mainly of volunteers from southern Ukrainian regions such as Kherson, Nikoleav and Odessa, trained and armed by the Russian military.

    “In the near future, together with the allied forces, we will begin to liberate the city of Nikoleav and the city of heroes, Odessa. There will be no mercy for the Ukronazis, mercenaries and any Bandera scum from us,” [a representative of the brigade has stated.]

    * * * *

    “The composition of the brigade has once again shown that these hostilities are not between Ukrainians and Russians, but between ideologies and value systems.”

    Komsomolskaya Pravda

    It makes perfect sense from both a military and political/propaganda standpoint that Russia would want to repeat the same “allied forces” formula they used in the Donetsk and Lugansk campaigns. Certainly, Russia will try to argue that the upcoming battle for Odessa is in no way a Russian imperialist land grab but rather part of the same internal Ukrainian civil war as the battles for Donetsk and Lugansk, with similar legal, humanitarian and geopolitical justifications.

    1. Yves Smith

      Russia has long specialized in deception.

      The deal over grain is limited to port operations related to the grain equipment and restricts naval operations near the port. You provided a link showing that Russia shelled military targets in Odessa. Those are still on.

      Shoigu made a statement to the effect that they would respect the agreement and all he specifically mentioned was no naval operations in the direction of the port.

      When Russia took Mariupol, they did not make any naval assault even though towards the end, the defenders retreated to the port area.

      I don’t think anything in the port would be well suited to a last stand. Warehouses typically have thin walls.

      This deal does not rule out Russia taking the rest of the city and cordoning the port from land.

      It is in Russia’s interest to over-comply unless and until they decide to take Odessa.

      You are also assuming Ukraine does not break the deal. They could by trying to smuggle weapons in on returning ships (not that they need to with the West supplying them….).

      1. Michael Ismoe

        The Agreement is for 120 days. That should give you an idea of how long they think they need to attack Odessa. You might want to spend Christmas somewhere warmer.

      2. Brunches with Cats

        Russia reportedly has admitted to launching the missiles, but says it was targeting nearby military weapons — which as you note weren’t part of the deal — and that there was no damage to grain shipping operations. An unnamed UN source said as much to the NYT yesterday, which of course got walked back today as the spin went into overdrive.

        1. Lambert Strether

          > Russia reportedly has admitted to launching the missiles, but says it was targeting nearby military weapons

          Russia doesn’t care what the West thinks (or, more precisely, what the state propaganda organs of the West think).

          Russia does care what Turkey thinks. and if Turkey is fine with the missile attack, then everything’s jake with the angels.

    2. Tor User

      First paragraph of the article:

      The Russian Federation will help the Ukrainian people get rid of the “anti-people and anti-historical” regime in Kyiv, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Sunday.

      Last paragraph of the article:

      Lavrov said that the Ukrainian and Russian people “will continue to live together.” He pointed out that Russia would help the Ukrainian people get rid of the “absolutely anti-national and anti-historical” regime.

    3. The Rev Kev

      That 120 day window is just to get the grain out and has little to do with military operations. But by the end of that 120 window I fully expect the Russian armed forces to have gone all the way to Transnistria and cut off Odessa and those other two ports from the Ukraine. In fact, I would guess that the Russians would have taken on all that territory too right up to the borders of those three ports. But the formation of that Odessa Brigade is important. Each of the two Donbass republics have their own military which will be in due course be adopted by the Russian Army. Therefore it is only logical that the liberated territories have their own military to take part in the fighting. It is one thing to have another country free you but you have far more skin in the game when it is your own people taking part in the fighting to do the liberating. In an American context, think how many black soldiers fought in the US Civil War against the Confederates to free their people.

      1. Greg

        This is an interesting point. Russian strategy appears to favour encirclement and minimalisation of their own casualties, so a seizure of all the surrounding territory and a siege of Odessa would suit them well.
        If this speculation comes to pass, it will be very interesting to see what a city under siege looks like when food is intentionally allowed to pass through the encircling troops and out the port on the other side.

        Regarding an Odessa brigade, they’re not going to be anything like as effective as the DPR and LPR troops that got 8 years of battle experience before Russia’s explicit involvement this year. Even taking into account the high rate of losses and replacements in the DPR and LPR brigades, they are some seriously experienced “volunteer” troops. I’d expect the Odessa brigade to be present on the front but getting supported much more than the DPR needed.

  3. Louis Fyne

    —With Record-Breaking Heat, Europe Glimpses Its Climate Future —

    Media is being too simplistic (as usual about this and many other things)

    Europe’s main climate change problem aren’t heat waves. It’s less freshwater (from melting ice) moving south diluting the Gulf Stream current.

    Weak Gulf Stream = less warm water movement from the south west. Less warm water = EU getting weather more appropriate for its latitude, that is Canadian prairie-like winters

    1. JAC

      I agree Louis, and to add, I really do not know why we talk about anything else (politics, war) but climate change, because nothing else matters and all our other problems are being driven by climate change. Maybe, MAYBE, talking about ending capitalism would be another suitable topic, but nothing else matters. Yes, maybe abolishing capitalism, maybe that trumps talking about climate change, and war, and politics.

      How do we end humanity’s lust for power and control over the environment and other people? Is it just too late? If God is dead was God replaced by Capitalism? Can I stop caring yet?

      1. responseTwo

        In the book “To Govern The Globe”, Alfred McCoy suggests (page 319) that climate change will become so severe there will be a need for an empowered world order that will supersede national sovereignty, in order to pursue survival. I hope it happens.

        1. The Rev Kev

          No, you don’t. You will own nothing, you will not be happy, and you will be living off bugs for your meals. And if you protest, they will turn off your digital money.

          1. spud

            BINGO, SO WELL SAID! i hope some day that people will finally realize what globalism really is.

          2. Joe Renter

            What is transitory and what is eternal? Buddha said, to cling, is to suffer.
            We need basic, simple stainable living for this planet and it’s population to exist. I would venture that capitalism was to go in it’s current form and most are starting to understand this. Of course the rich and powerful will fight that as long as possible. I hope we make it. Looks pretty touch and go right now.

          3. Lambert Strether

            Always something to look forward to!

            Incidentally, it’s very hard for me to imagine food-centric cultures in Asia ever permitting this. Down-trodden the masses may be, but that downtrodden?

          4. drumlin woodchuckles

            People who think they will get to be part of the Aristoklatura who make us all eat the bugs while they keep eating the caviar do in fact favor an empowered world order, because they think they will be among the people giving the orders, or at least among the better-paid kapos carrying out the orders.

            “International Co-operation” is where fond hopes and wishes go to die. If a cultural insurgency of Lean Mean Greenists could somehow conquer America from within and take over all levels of government and purge and burn all pro-fossil-fuel personnel from out of government; then they would be free to take America out of every international trade agreement and trade organization which exists. America would then be legally self-freed to impose harsh and total rigid belligerent carbon protectionism around its borders.

            If we could do that, then it would be safe for us to impose a Full Metal Hansen Fee-Tax-Dividend against every fossil fuel at its original point of entry into the market, because we would be legally self-freed to rigidly exclude from entering the territory of the United States anything entering America from any country which adopted anything the slightest bit less than the same Full Metal Hansen FeeTax Dividend within its own borders. That way we could protect ourselves against Carbon Dumping Aggression from our Evil Trading Enemies.

          5. drumlin woodchuckles

            One might also note that the kind of people who say . . . ” You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs” . . . are the kind of people who think they will get to be the chef and we will get to be the eggs when The Revolution comes.

        2. c_heale

          An empowered world order isn’t going to happen imo. What is likely to happen is dissolution of the current cast of priests and kings (the global elite and supporting academics), and return to a peasant society, of a far smaller global population. Or the evolution of the human species and the extinction of homo sapiens (due to our inability to adapt to much higher temperatures).

          1. thoughtfulperson

            Agree for the most part. How severe warming is likely to be depends on how successful we humans (primarily wealthy humans) are in releasing every last atom of carbon into the atmosphere. If we achieve runaway warming, we won’t just be facing overshoot and collapse of our current “civilization”.

            I guess if extinction of currently existing humans is what you have in mind by evolution, that seems possible, with the caveat that evolution usually takes longer than it appears we have. So possibly small groups of evolving humans might survive long enough on the periphery of the poles in relatively cool oceanic zones?

        3. neo-realist

          If you’re middle aged or old, you may be fortunate enough to not live long enough for a deterioration of life on earth such that fascist world order starts calling the shots.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        The political grid-matrix people of an area live trapped within will pre-set what social-scale responses they are permitted to make or even contemplate in response to climate change within their area . . . unless they can mass-slaughter the people who adjust the knobs and dials on the political grid-matrix generator which generates the political grid-matrix those people live in.

        So politics matters as much as global warming matters.

        The politics of coal, gas and oil worship in America matters in that a hundred million people worship coal, gas and oil and are prepared to defend their fossil fuel religion with civil war levels of violence. That makes it hard for global warming realists to discuss or even suggest reality-based global de-warming initiatives that “America” might take.

    2. Paul Jonker-Hoffren

      I live in Finland. I wonder how cold it could become here without the Gulf Stream – despite global warming.

      1. Polar Socialist

        Finland would be more like Alaska or Yukon. Would probably need switch to fast growing slash-and-burn barley and reindeer herding for the rest of the year.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Finland is probably socially organized enough to be able to do that, if it can physically-biologically be done.

    3. Lex

      That’s all I’m hearing in the news about Greenland. The Atlantic conveyor is essential to western Europe’s habitability. Europeans don’t know actual winter, certainly not the sort their latitudes would suggest. And while average sea level rises over time predictions are likely accurate, based on the paleo climatology information we posses, presenting it that way is misleading. We should expect a punctuated equilibrium where the long term average is the equilibrium and events like mass failure of Greenland’s ice can lead to rapid and catastrophic sea level rises (if only local/regional).

      To illustrate latitude confusion, part of my family came from SE Europe just before 1900. They were vintners so they drew a line, emigrated and ended up in Milwaukee which was not conducive to growing wine grapes.

      1. JTMcPhee

        I wonder if there’s enough Neanderthal DNA fragments in the population of Europe to eventually lead to a sustainable population in the apparently inevitable coming conditions there…

        1. spud

          any environmentalist that either ignores free trade, endorses free trade, or is ignorant about free trade should never be taken seriously.

          “Steve Keen [intro/music]

          If you look at just the shipping involved in international trade, it’s something of the order of 20%, I think, of our carbon production comes out of the entire mechanics of shipping goods around the planet. And we realize we’ve massively overshot the capacity of the biosphere to support our industrial sedentary civilization. So, one way to reduce that is by reducing international trade.”

          this was all quite predictable, many people who were real environmentalist did speak out.

          “1) Environment, Safety and Labor Regulations are Undermined:
          Free trade does not allow for environmental labor or safety regulations that might limit profits. This obviously causes everyone’s standards to drop to even out with the country with the lowest standards involved in the trade agreement.”

          1. rhodium

            It’s unfortunate but true that enforcing health and safety regulations costs money. Free trade encourages the production of goods to go to the cheapest bidder, so any country willing to relax their standards wins commerce. Freedom sounds good, but in our trade agreements it’s more about the freedom to make profits than it is about people being free from injury, illness, and early death.

            1. Noone from Nowheresville

              enforcing health and safety regulations costs money.

              Money is a social construct to keep score. So any country willing to relax standards allows those who turn money into real resources* and wealth to accumulate more.

              *or control of said resources be they animal, mineral, human or otherwise.

          2. drumlin woodchuckles

            I suspect I may have left comments here as long as two years ago noting that Free Trade was a major cause of global warming.

              1. drumlin woodchuckles

                But it doesn’t hurt to keep on peating it and re-peating it over and over and over again.

                Free Trade causes global warming.

                People who support Free Trade deserve to die of heat stroke. And I hope every Free Trade supporter does die of heat stroke. We have reached the point where we can’t make any progress until the militant regressionaries have departed from existence one way or another.

    4. icancho

      The melting ice provides for MORE cold FRESH water, that floats at the surface instead of diving down to join the hitherto usual deep-water circulation. It is such surface COLD water that will be slowing the Gulf Stream pumping its oceanic heat towards the n.w.

      It is thought that this melting during the most recent interglacial that provoked the sudden return to glacial conditions during what’s called the Upper Dryas period.

      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Why does it float?

        I’m under the impression the melting ice water is heavier than the sea/ocean water around it, therefore it sinks to the bottom while the warmer water is lighter, rising to the top.

        Maybe there’s a difference between Heavy Artic Bottom Water and Greenlands equivalent?

        1. ewmayer

          Because saltwater is denser than fresh. That’s why the technical term for the Gulf Stream / North Atlantic Deepwater Current includes the term “thermohaline circulation” – driven by both temperature and salinity gradients.

        2. Ana Claybourne

          Because water already in the ocean includes dissolved salt. Fresh water floats over saline.

          There are very interesting currents off Istanbul. Different depths have different salinity levels. Long long ago, one could get a free tow in either direction past Constanople depending on the depth of your drag anchor. Ocean currents matter big time for sailing ships.

          I have a very odd BA in anthropology specializing in pre industrial technology. I’m 70 now and thought all this would happen sooner. Back in the day, I went off and got me some useful skills early on so I would be valuable when the lights went out.

          Ana in Sacramento

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Turbulence could mix them some, but they would not naturally mix. The lighter fresher water would float upon the saltier denser water as a cap preventing its own self from sinking and mixing, thereby preventing the heat-bearing Caribbean Water from being slowly pulled up from the Caribbean to the High North.

          This innate non-mixing of the fresh water cap into the salt water underlayer was taken advantage of by some solar energy researchers to create a salt-gradient pond whereby the deep layer was so salty that even as it heated up it could not rise into the fresher upper layer. So the heat would build up in the deeper saltier layer waiting to be harvested.

          I don’t know that this ever got beyond the experimental and demonstration state.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “Reinfection will be part of the pandemic for months to come. Each repeat illness raises the risk of long COVID”

    Hard to have a Conversation when the basic premise is flawed. Months? Try years – if not decades. That article says ‘Perhaps most crucially, reinfection may now become a feature of the pandemic for at least the next 12 to 36 months, raising the risk of long COVID with each repeat infection.’ but I have no idea where they are getting that 12 to 36 months timeline from. Unless they are going by the example of the Great Flu Pandemic of a century ago. A better model would be the Coronavirus which came out of Russia and which took about 12 years to work itself out. In any case, there is something important missing from that 12 to 36 month projection and that is the constant mutations that we are seeing. By 36 months we could easily see three or four more variations and who knows what characteristics they will have. Hell, in 36 months time we might have a variant that will causes guy’s d**** to fall off.

    1. anon y'mouse

      from your lips to Dog’s ears. if d**** fall off, something might actually be done.

      the quarantines couldn’t happen fast enough, then.

    2. Nicodemus

      More likely to affect women’s menstrual flow irregularities. That has been seen to be affected by vaccines. Talking long term speculation, what if vaccinated prepubescent girls can never have children?

      We already have GMOs affecting women’s fertility–every podunk town around here has a strip mall fertility clinic, unheard of a generation ago, but commensurate time-wise with introduction of genetically modified junk food into the market. Add ongoing vaccine regimens to that and Bill Gates may get his population control wishes granted.

      The middle class and poor are the greatest intellectual, numerical and financial threat to the super rich. Already have them obediently wearing masks when alone in cars or on the beach. Onward!

      1. Yves Smith

        Making Shit Up is against our site Policies. There is no evidence that GMOs impact fertility. Far more likely culprits are pesticides, other chemicals, and drugs in municipal water.

        1. RamedSingh

          GMOs are designed so that plants can be doused with and tolerate pesticides. Indirect causation?

          Plus there are some studies:

          2 N. Kumar and A. Singh, “Trends of male factor infertility, an important cause of infertility: a review of literature,” Journal of Human Reproductive Sciences, vol. 8, no. 4, p. 191, 2015. View at: Publisher Site | Google Scholar

          See in References

          1. Yves Smith

            The article says the reverse of what you are intimating:

            Our findings indicated that GM products had no adverse effects on infertility indices such as the sperm head, sperm motility, sperm abnormality, and fertility indices.

            And if you mean Roundup, it’s an herbicide, not a pesticide, and a possible carcinogen to those who apply it, not those who incidentally consume it. Hate to tell you but a lotta studies have found glyphosate to be safe to consumer, as opposed to farm worker and yardmen.

    3. Pelham

      Sounds about right given the current trajectory of nearly everything. However, let’s hold out a bit of hope. I keep reading that development of sterilizing nasal vaccines against all forms of Covid is proceeding, albeit at a pace that none of our authorities have seen fit to accelerate.

    4. Lambert Strether

      > a variant that will causes guy’s d**** to fall off

      Covid-19 Damage To The Male Reproductive Tract Forbes (summarizing two animal studies).

      Hard to see why an Administration that’s devoted to controlling Covid isn’t banging that drum in its marketing message on a daily basis. Unless… Oh, wait….

      As soon as you get the picture that Covid has vascular effects, it all falls into place. (Of course, there could be counter-suggestible reactions like “This won’t affect me, my d*** is rock hard at all times,” or “Frankly, I could stand to lose a little testicular mass.” People are strange.)

  5. Lexx

    ‘Why Rain Smells So Good But Tastes Really Bad’

    Over the last few months, the rainbarrel had accumulated a nasty brown sludge on the bottom, so I emptied it out and Husband cleaned it and returned it to the garden.

    Last night it poured and despite the description of the taste, I went out to taste the water… cuz YOLO! But he had not plugged the hose back in, so it was bone dry and that taste test will have to wait… till this afternoon. Such a weird weather cycle this summer.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      havent read that art, yet…busy doing honey-do before the heat. my experience, rainwater tastes pretty good…but it’s good to run it through a filter first, because of bird poop, cowpoopdust blown off of neighbor’s pasture ,squirrelpoop etc that might be on yer metal roof.
      best tasting water i ever had was rainwater run passively through a large sand biofilter(biofilm does the work) on that hippie commune i stayed at that time.
      unfiltered, it’s also pretty nice for washing one’s tangled mop.
      hair squeaks afterwards.

      1. hunkerdown

        That’s alkalinity. Wash with castile soap and follow with a citrus rinse for the most luscious, touchable head mop you’ve ever had.

      2. Eureka Springs

        Glacier Bay National Park. Far up Muir inlet. As in a day long ferry ride with kayaks, food and gear enough for two weeks. After boat drops you off you paddle about 5 (18 hour) days further on up. There were no other people seen the entire trip beyond ferry boat drop off. The tide rises and falls 36′ twice a day. Such a dramatic and quick drop leaves chunks of freshly calved mile high glaciers scattered on the ground the size of a house. Like spilled ice cubes from a Goddess cup. Best, what, ten thousand year old water I ever had. Ice which made the best martini I ever had as well. Brought one bottle of stoli for a birthday celebration. One morning I woke to a humpback lazily scratching itself on the rocky waterline not thirty feet from me, looking me straight in the eye for several minutes. By that point they knew us, they had been watching us for days. Considering my fish karma and the enormity of it all it was rather unsettling in the beginning when they swim under your 17 foot tandem kayak in 5,000 foot deep ice water.

        If I were a rich man (beyond the richness of that experience) I would have my ashes scattered right there.

        1. Wukchumni

          On a backpack trip 20 years ago in Sequoia NP, we were way off-trail on the backside of Pants Pass when I heard the slight roar of water underfoot and dropped my pack and proceeded to pull off one 3 to 4 inch thick slab of talus after another until i’d reached the underground stream which was the most glorious tasting water i’ve ever had, and then I put the pieces of the puzzle back where they came from after filling my bladder and was gladder for the experience.

      3. Lexx

        Best water I ever had was drawn from a deep well in the backyard of my great-grandmother’s house in Texas. The day was hot, we many grandkids were thirsty, and the water was cold, clear, and little mineral-y. I haven’t tasted its like since… but maybe it was the context and the sweetening of time on memory.

        1. AndrewJ

          Among the blessings of living in the Pacific Wonderland is the water… our municipal water in the big smoke is delicious, unflouridated, and aggressively protected, but still isn’t as tasty as the water found on Sunset Spring off highway 26. You’ll see people filling up a dozen carboys there. Our immigrant Russians in particular seem to love it. There used to be many more roadside springs, publicly available to the thirsty traveller, but like so many other things this country has allowed them to disappear.

      4. Glen

        It’s the spring water that bubbles out of the hillside above my house, and runs down into the cistern, and then down to our house.

        All of the homesteads where I live were situated to use the springs on the hillside above the homesteads. We’re one of the last homesteads to still be using it. Most switch to wells.

      5. square coats

        I haven’t tried collecting my own rainwater to drink yet but last year I came across Richard’s Rainwater which says they only use rainwater with no chemicals. I haven’t looked into their process (though they do fully describe it), but it’s definitely the best tasting water I’ve ever had. I also really like the idea behind it which is to collect local rainwater, minimize transportation from bottle to shelf, and they only use metal cans and glass bottles, no plastic.

        Wrt the scent of rain, there’s a page on a perfume website I mentioned once here on nc that discusses the smell of rain (you have to scroll past the list of perfumes with rain notes to get to the short article). Mentions geosmin & petrichor.

        One of my favorite perfumes is Black March by CB I Hate Perfume which smells to me exactly like dank and profusely damp early spring soil / forest floor. Christopher Brosius (CB) says “This perfume is inspired by one of my favorite poems, Black March by Stevie Smith. It begins: ‘I have a friend at the end of the world. His name is a breath of fresh air.'”

      6. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Best water I’ve ever had came from a Roman Water Fountain. Can’t remember where, but it was hot and near the touristy Piazzas.

        1. SocalJimObjects

          For me its somewhere in Interlaken, Switzerland. I joined a local tour, and around the quarter point, we took a break, can’t quite remember where, but I recall there’s a water fountain whose source was ultimately a mountain nearby. I think that’s the only time I tasted what’s called fresh clean water. It’s glorious.

    1. griffen

      I just can’t finish because of the bullsh*t I’m reading. Holy crap on a cracker. This is taking the company town concept and multiplying it to the nth level. Throw in some opulence because of the money spigot and you get a hot mess bordering on a wet dream from a PK Dick novel.

  6. smashsc

    Re: 6 Billion Tons of Ice
    Some Greenland ice melts every summer. Looking at the historical data from the Denmark Polar Portal one can see that this daily ice loss is around the mean for this time of year in the 1981-2010 timeframe. If you click on the “Acc” tab immediately above the Greenland map, you’ll also see that the total ice accumulation for the year is running well above the 1981-2010 mean. Lots of good news that the Greenland yearly ice melt that bottomed out around 2013 has reversed and now is accumulating more than it is melting. Hoping that trend continues. Sharing here as you won’t hear this on CNN.

    1. LawnDart

      Actually, smashsc, you’re quite wrong– perhaps you’ve mistaken weather for climate?

      The sea ice cover is one of the key components of the polar climate system. It has been a focus of attention in recent years, largely because of a strong decrease in the Arctic sea ice cover and modeling results that indicate that global warming could be amplified in the Arctic on account of ice-albedo feedback. This results from the high reflectivity (albedo) of the sea ice compared to ice-free waters. A satellite-based data record starting in late 1978 shows that indeed rapid changes have been occurring in the Arctic, where the ice coverage has been declining at a substantial rate. In contrast, in the Antarctic the sea ice coverage has been increasing although at a lesser rate than the decreases in the Arctic.

      Also see:

      And for an even more depressing take (“settle your affairs” stuff:

      You’re holding an icy cocktail on a warm Summer day. Notice it stays cool until all of the ice melts… …then what happens?

      1. smashsc

        I guess I am confused. My comments were specifically directed at the recent mention of billions of gallons of meltwater rushing off the Greenland ice shelf. The information I pointed to shows an increase in the Surface Mass Balance. How else is ice supposed to accumulate than at the surface?

        The myriad replies referencing arctic sea ice is a non sequitur to my note above.

    2. Rui

      You are commenting on surface ice, not overall ice mass. Surface ice increases have been due to rain increases in many places of Greenland and that is bad, not good.
      If you look to TOTAL mass loss:
      “Based on this data, it can be seen that during the period 2003-2011 the Greenland Ice Sheet has lost 234 km3 of water per year, corresponding to an annual contribution to the mean increase in sea level of 0.65 mm (Barletta et al. (2013).”

      Look at the pics here:

      So no, there is no good news or reversal. There is more temporary ice accumulation on the surface because of increases in temperature and humidity. The overall picture is the complete opposite.

    3. LawnDart

      smashsc, don’t get your hopes up:

      The Arctic Death Spiral

      What is the Arctic Death Spiral?
      The “Arctic Death Spiral” refers to a scientific chart generated from satellite data in order to visually depict the disappearance of Arctic ice since 1979. According to Skeptical Science, the first Death Spiral graph is ‘visually striking and clearly shows the loss of sea ice.’

      Since the first graph, there have been many different adaptions of the original. The graph even provides a tidy disappearing point for when months start hitting zero. Although, this is something that we should avoid. If we lose all of the Arctic sea ice, we will also lose the jet stream as we know it, the troposphere will expand causing droughts and fires on many continents, food production in the Northern Hemisphere will be threatened, more viruses and pandemics would be unleashed, and we would be well on the way to what climate scientists refer to as a Hothouse Earth state in a 4-7°C[1] world of monster storms and mass extinctions.

      But hey, I shouldn’t be pessimistic– look how the world came together to defeat the coronavirus, right?

      1. Milton

        Yeah but, but, what about the global temperature pause after 1998. Global Temps haven’t increa… Oh wait, but at least it hasn’t gone much past that anomalous year unless you want to count that big spike in 2016 but it hasn’t gone past that since. So it looks like we’ve finally topped out as far as this global warming thing goes.

        1. LawnDart

          Topped-out? Maybe in a parallel universe. Just wait for the first Summer free of sea ice in the Arctic, then we’re iff to the races!

          Global Temperature

          Earth’s global average surface temperature in 2020 tied with 2016 as the hottest year on record, continuing a long-term warming trend due to human activities.

          Global temperatures over last 24,000 years show today’s warming ‘unprecedented’

          The magnitude and rate warming over the last 150 years far surpasses the magnitude and rate of changes over the last 24,000 years.
          “This reconstruction suggests that current temperatures are unprecedented in 24,000 years, and also suggests that the speed of human-caused global warming is faster than anything we’ve seen in that same time,” said Jessica Tierney, a UArizona geosciences associate professor and co-author of the study.

          Arctic temperatures are increasing four times faster than global warming

          A new analysis of observed temperatures shows the Arctic is heating up more than four times faster than the rate of global warming. The trend has stepped upward steeply twice in the last 50 years, a finding missed by all but four of 39 climate models.

            1. LawnDart

              Forgive me. I’ve been dealing with a dementia patient/(patient(s)? 24/7 for the past several months while being blasted by faux knews throughout the same period– it’s all surreal, literal and relative at this point, and sanity is only a matter of perspective.

              1. Greg

                That sounds not fun, I’m sorry to hear you’ve been going through that. I hope things get better for you at some point, although from the sounds of it it is going to be one of those “worse before they’re better” situations.

    1. JBird4049

      This isn’t surprising, or even shocking, at all.

      It all comes down to “”Rules? We ain’t got no rules. We don’t need no rules. I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ rules!” (With apologies to Alfonso Bedoya.)

      Honestly, between things like the various gangs in places like the L.A. Sheriff’s and Vallejo’s with their murder squads, Chicago’s Homan Square, the Secret Service’s deletion of its records, and so, so much else without consequences, DHS’ sidestepping of the Bill of Rights is small beer. There are also other “law” enforcement agencies that also buy information. Or heck, the SFPD’s attempt to have mass surveillance using private cameras is also another example.

    2. Fraibert

      *Deep Breath* I’m sure the ACLU is very concerned about cell phone data. So VERY concerned I once got text messages on my cell phone from the New York affiliate (one of the largest, shares offices with the national organization’s NY office) encouraging me to vote for certain candidates in that state. Not sure how they got my number. I told them right off then and there…

      With that said, not surprised, but not good.

  7. Judith

    The Gods were not happy about the massacre of Wolves in Yellowstone and sent floods in retribution.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Said it before and will say it again. There seems to be something in the DNA of hard Republicans where they hate wolves and would like nothing better than to elimination them from the continent. I thought at first that it was a case of them being encouraged by ranchers to take this stance but it seems to be more than that and they really want to see them all dead. One wonders if the present Supreme Court will get around to saying that having wolves being protected in a National Park is illegal or something and so declare open season.

      1. Eric Anderson

        From one living in the Rocky Mountain West: It’s called the convergence of NRA induced machismo disorder and elk hunting, Rev. Back before wolf reintroduction the elk populations exploded and were easy prey for all the 12-pack swilling obese 4-wheel drive hunters cosplaying Daniel Boone fantasies. Just drive up a logging road and fill your freezer with free meat (and it’s a lot of meat). Then, drive back down to the bar and regale all your cronies about your prowess as an “outdoorsman.”

        No longer. The wolves provide competition and the elk populations are more flighty and difficult to access — thereby increasing their hereditary fitness. It’s a good thing. But not for aging conservative boomers that actually have to hump it in the mountains. Essentially, their rights to brag about their masculine prowess have stolen by the wolves. So, take it out on the wolves, naturally.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          What percent of the fat 4-wheel-drive hunters are aging conservative boomers?

          What percent of the fat 4-wheel-drive hunters are middle-aged conservative X-ers?

          What percent of the fat 4-wheel-drive hunters are young conservative millenials?

          What percent of the not-fat-yet 4-wheel drive hunters are very young conservative GenZees?

          Do you have any figures and statistics on how the different age groups break out?

        1. polar donkey

          Republicans hate wolves because they work collectively as a pack. They even hate unions in the animal kingdom.

    2. JAC

      COVID is a punishment for humanity’s sin’s against nature. A miniature modern Frankenstein…

      1. Anthony Stegman

        The Covid death rate is far too low to be adequate punishment for man’s sins against nature. At least 2 billion need to die.

        1. ambrit

          Apply “The Jackpot” figure of an 80% die off and you get to about 1.5 billions left. So, at least 6.25 billions need to go. That’s Neoliberal Rule #2 writ large. (Go large or go home!)
          [Then we wait for the Vulcans to come calling?]

  8. BeliTsari

    They need to distract from: fundamentally, NOTHING will change before we’re all re-re-reinfected with cascading PASC, by kids intentionally exposed as asymptomatic vectors; to flip homes, upward-redistribute equity & indenture MORE of us into gig-serfs (as mid-terms are thrown, again; Fascist insurrection becomes a misdemeanor and Israel bans Black female representatives in the House, to install MAGA Sturmabteilung). We’d started re-streaming Babylon Berlin, BOSS & The Wire, simultaneously, this hot weekend!,the%20sinus%20and%20the%20nose

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Climate Activists Glue Themselves to Botticelli Masterpiece at the Uffizi Museum in Italy”

    I know that they think that they are helping but they are not really. I suspect that this is yet another case of people virtue-signalling among their peers and really only their peers. It is this sort of stuff that alienates ordinary people, marginalizes their cause, and in act aids the fossil fuel industry by making it easy for the later to depict climate-change activists as part of the loony-left fringe. If they had glued themselves to the doors outside the headquarters of a major fossil-fuel corporation then I might admire their stand but they never, ever attack the elite. Now why is that?

    1. José Freitas

      Absolutely. I did not initially realize they had glued themselves to the glass, and thought they’d glued themselves to the actual painting… my heart skipped a beat and my thoughts veered towards homicidal.

      1. KLG

        Having stood before that painting for 30 minutes, and driving my better half and son nuts as they got several rooms ahead of me, in my one and only time in Florence (so far!), I was having the same feelings regarding those of the Rev and José. I did not remember the glass!

        1. Swamp Yankee

          Yes, agreed with all of you that this is so stupid it hurts. You want to be associating yourself and your cause (climate change) with the preservation of human civiliation, of the conditions that produced works like Botticelli’s — it’s absolutely insane and pathologically solipsistic to let the fossil fuel interests somehow depict you, the Green, as opposed to the corpus of Western Civilization.

          It’s almost designed to have the opposite effect as the stated intention. I hate to be tin foily, but one always ought to wonder about agents provacateur…

          1. Anthony Stegman

            As great are the works of Botticelli, the works of Nature are far greater. I would prefer to lose all the works of the great artists than lose entire species, ecosystems, and the like. These are truly irreplaceable.

            1. JBird4049

              I would think that preserving it all is what should be done. Too often people either discount all that is created by civilization (Human society, really.) or by nature.

            2. drumlin woodchuckles

              If Man is a part of Nature, and a Botticelli is a Work of Man, then a Botticelli is a Work of Nature.

    2. jr

      That’s a really good question, Rev. There was a video of some climate activists blocking a major highway posted on Youtube recently. One driver got out and pleaded with them to let him through as he was going to miss work and violate the terms of his parole. “Not until Biden curbs greenhouse gas emissions!” or some such was the response. Because raising awareness and striking media coverage is going to tilt the scales against the internal combustion engine.

      I’m totally willing to believe that there are plants in those organizations, urging on ridiculous stunts in order to discredit the overall effort. But I suspect there is a more abstract influence at work as well: these are liberals and progressives. They view these things through a moral lens: they are the righteous and everyone else is equally wrong, be it Joe Schmoe on his way to work or Joe Oil Company Executive. They have no analysis of power relations. They simply see it as a right and wrong polarity.

      I say this because I worked for an environmental “action” organization years ago. The management wasn’t into empty direct actions, they were more about empty lobbying efforts in the state capitol. They were big on moralizing. They were very much against any notions of class analysis regarding environmental issues. They were big on awareness raising and they loved them some networking too, boy did they love that. And they all called themselves, with a straight face, leftists. When the organization collapsed, they all went to D.C. for lobbying jobs.

      1. Swamp Yankee

        jr — re: “s. They were big on awareness raising and they loved them some networking too, boy did they love that. And they all called themselves, with a straight face, leftists. ”

        Very much know what you speak of — just totally clueless upper-middle class [redacted] in so many cases.

        That guy could go to jail! If you had ever been to jail, you would let the guy through. The Self Exculpation Through Un-Self Aware Moral Monomania shtick…. they’ve been defeated now, the Kiss-a** kids who just followed the Establishment line their entire lives.

        The question is what comes in their place. Up here in SE Mass., I have been thinking very much of building a flourishing society at the level of my Town and my Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Federal Government is the modern equivalent of the 18th C. Polish Diet — it cannot and will not govern.

        Meanwhile, Massachusetts has a very powerful State constitution, and extremely powerful and democratic (small ‘d’) local governments. Actually Green and Actually Social Democracy in One State, is my strategy, at the moment.

        p.s. FWIW we are actually having a lot of successes on the grassroots level here in terms of getting some anti-nuclear dumping (into Cape Cod Bay) legislation moving.

        1. jr

          Thanks for the layout of the local politics. I have family in Massachusetts. If I could ever get my partner to move from NYC it would be to there.

          Hearing you on the $hit-libs too. NYC is full to the brim with them. I know a bunch of them: they recycle but they fly everywhere. They hate Bezos but use Amazon all the time. They decry the loss of Roe but never gave a d@mn about the prior 50 years of state level attrition of poor women’s rights. Trump is the biggest villain in history but home-wrecking, state-spying, Libya-bombing, rights-trampling Obama and Co. are heroes. I have heard some push back against the Dems re: Roe but $hit-libs always come slouching back to their voting rituals. It’s just the right thing to do, you see.

      2. Emily

        Me too. Worked at Earth Island. John, the boss had his pick of attractive young interns to romp with. Never saw so much blatant hypocrisy, cringe worthy solicitation of money and so many loathesome opporunistic and gullible hangers on. Walked away in disgust.

    3. Louis Fyne

      Because their parents are in the same country club as the CFO of Exxon!

      The stereotype is that a big minority of activists are refugees from top 2% households.

      Saw some of that at college….legacy admits LARPing as serfs

    4. liam

      I’m noting an increased tendency to associate green activism and politics as an elitist playground that is anti ordinary people. Is that part of the fossil fuel industries play book by any chance?

        1. LawnDart

          Green activism is playacting for the children/adult children of the elites, kinda like poverty tourism. They do that shit til they “grow up” and get seated on a board or accept a managerial role on the recommendation of a family friend.

    5. Dave in Austin

      My first thought was “Leave them there”. Put them in hand cuffs and leg cuffs; give them tubes to drink water from; put the lower halves of their bodies in 42 gallon Hefty bags half-filled with Kitty Litter DuckTaped around their waists to retain the fragrence; put them on the internet. Then after three days take them down and arrest them.

      In the case of the folks who glue themselves to the road, jackhammer-out a square foot and let them take it to jail while they are awaiting trial. With luck they will get the tender care that the Jan. 6th people are getting- an 18 month delay before we can gather the evidence and schedule a trial.

      A 72 hour glueing is a little more painful than the dunking stool but not as permanent as the scarlet letter branded on the forehead. I wonder if Google will index the video channel? Or will it be deemed to violate their Code of Conduct?

    6. liam

      I’ve twice tried to write replies to various comments in this thread, but at the end of it all I don’t see a point. We’re staring down the barrel of full force climate change. What you guys are focusing on are the individuals, who whether for genuine reasons or not, and whether wisely or not, are trying to make a point. I don’t know who most of them are. And in the case of the Botticelli story, unless you’re from Italy, nor do you. Green activism is tiny. It tends to often involve school kids. Even that often gets scorned.

      Before anyone goes thinking it. I’m not from any elite background. Nor am I American. I don’t identify as progressive or liberal. They’re just media/marketing buzzwords to me. I’m also not a member of an NGO or a political party. But I do identify as green. I’ve had an enduring love for nature since I first dug my fingers into soil as a kid, and I’ve tried to live my life commensurate with that, even when it has cost me. If we don’t have a habitable planet, your dislike for elitist kids, Mark Rutte, neoliberal Greens or Ukrainian fascists won’t matter a damn. The problem is not that it “marginalizes their cause”, but that it’s seen as their cause in the first place. Wherever you are, it should be your cause too. Our house is on fire.

  10. griffen

    For climate and outdoor activity enthusiasts, a note of warning about those waterfalls popular here in the western NC mountains. Rocks are slippery!! This location is incredibly popular in the spring and summer. It is a pretty cool spot, and among many waterfall options in this forest.

    1. LawnDart

      A friend in SWPA has a waterfall near his property that’s fairly popular, just off of Slippery Rock Creek. It usually claims 2-3 seriously injured victims a year, with an occasional fatality. You’d think that the name of the creek alone would serve as a reminder…

  11. The Rev Kev

    “Spanish worker’s death shows need to adapt to climate change”

    Just gunna spitball it here but why can’t they have these street-cleaners do their work from midnight to dawn? There are hardly any people or vehicles on the roads at that time of night, it is far cooler to work then and each day would start with the city being clean.

    1. WhoaMolly

      When i visited Paris, the street cleaners worked before dawn. They were quite angry at me for watching, and warned me not to take pictures. They appeared to be sick of tourists like me.

  12. ex-PFC Chuck

    re: “Jan. 6 Committee Has Done Little to Sway Republicans: Poll Axios”

    Swaying Republicans was never an objective of the Jan. 6 Committee. It’s yet another distraction cooked up by the Dem establishment to divert the party’s Vote Blue No Matter Who sheeple from the fact its only loyalty is to its big money donors.

    1. Larry

      I’d argue it’s more about swaying the vast population of independent voters and potentially people who never vote that Republicans are bad. In the Axios article it notes that a majority (not clear that it was polled) of independents are following the hearings closely.

      1. Michael Ismoe

        Nope. It’s a fund-raising tool. It’s for Democrat Party consumption. “Protecting our Democracy” (registered trademark) costs money. And the Dems have so much of it that they are picking their own opponents. Now all they have to do is win.

        Note to Democrats: “Winning” is what happens when you get more votes than the other guy, except if there’s an Electoral College.

        1. CarlH

          I am convinced that “winning” to dems is actually losing sometimes. I think they make more money while in the minority.

    2. pjay

      But wait. Distinguished Pulitzer Prize winning journalist James Risen says this in the Intercept article linked above:

      “Donald Trump is a murderous cult leader who incited the mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, hoping that his supporters would kill his own vice president, Mike Pence, and as many members of Congress as possible so that he could become a dictator.”

      “That was the inescapable conclusion from Thursday night’s chilling prime-time, nationally televised hearing of the House January 6 committee…. On January 6, Trump was not much different from Jim Jones at Jonestown, as he urged his rabid followers to kill American democracy.”

      Surely such a distinguished Pulitzer Prize winning journalist would not use this kind of language unless Trump was truly a Jim Jones – or a Hitler – would he?

      I disagree with the headline. In my opinion, every day the “Jan 6 Committee” continues its clown show, Trump gains a few more points. Even if the Dems weren’t too oblivious to realize this, they have nothing else to run on.

      1. Michael Ismoe

        “… the admission of Rep. Cheney on CBS’ “Face The Nation” as to what the Jan. 6 Commission’s real job is: “I can tell you that the single most important thing … is to ensure that Donald Trump is not the Republican nominee and that he certainly is not anywhere close to the Oval Office ever again.”

        1. Screwball

          Correct. They must save our democracy by making sure the guy who got 74 million votes in 2020 doesn’t run again. I wonder how much this show trail costs? Between paying a Hollywood producer, spending all this time by members of congress, as well the preparation to do so has to be quite a large sum of money.

          I read yesterday the administration wants to send another countless millions to Ukraine. How much are we up to now? When will it end?

          I also remember Joe Biden owes me $600 bucks. Add up all of the above $ and I’m sure that money could actually help people in need, but they have priorities – funding a proxy war and a dog and pony show – and not like there is a pandemic still going on.

          If there was ever clear evidence they don’t give one good $hit about us, this should be it.

        2. pjay

          The electoral dynamics are interesting. The Democrats have shifted their political machinery to subvert the interests of its former base, therefore discouraging and shrinking it. On the other hand, the Republican successes over the last 40 years have come by rejecting the Party of Big Business framing and using fake populism to expand its “populist” base. Does the Republican Party or the bipartisan Establishment have the capacity to overcome this popular support?

          This is why the Establishment is so desperate to find some way, *any* way, to legally bar Trump from running again. He cut through the pretenders in 2016 like a hot knife through butter. He’d probably do it again. Someone like DeSantis, another fake populist but much more predictable and less dangerous to the status quo, is probably their best bet.

      2. griffen

        He wrapped up his hyperbole by detailing it as the darkest day in modern American history. I mean that is worthy of a Pulitzer, is it not ?

        It was a dark moment but it’s as though anything which happened prior just pales in comparison. Wow. Watergate was a mere ripple, the two decade war on terror ending in Afghanistan as it did, the debacles in the middle east. It’s all second fiddle.

      3. HotFlash

        Can’t find the link*, but I do remember when Aaron Mate, at that time at the (old and real) RealNews was interviewing Risen and Risen got so pissed off he hung up on Aaron. The unflappable Aaron deadpanned into the camera, “And I guess we’ll just have to leave it there.”

        Postscript: found it on a reddit site: Aaron Mate interviewing a somewhat testy James Risen.

    3. ChrisRUEcon

      Ding! Ding! Ding!

      “We won’t have to worry about delivering tangible material benefits to the suffering masses if we can ride a another wave of #OrangeManBad/#VBNMW Dem voter turnout!”

    4. Dave in Austin

      All my Liberal friends in Austin are glued to the set. My conserative friends don’t bother. My apolitical friends says “What Committee is that?”

  13. Amfortas the hippie

    just an on-farm observation, regarding Koyaanisqatsi:
    hootowls are very early this year.
    usually dont start talking like this in pre-dawn until october.
    giant Easter Lilly i liberated from wife’s grandmother’s house ere it was torn down…in full bloom in late july.
    ive seen our biannual “whistling” or “tree” or “long legged” ducks 2 months before normal…coming to visit the geese(they might have given up on migrating, but idk)
    and there’s like a million of those big black and yellow “swallowtail” butterflies on the place right now(i have flowers), also a month or more early…and putting on quite a show: serious, live-action butterfly porn.

    and…i’ve seen and spoken to 3 horny toads in the last week…haven’t seen one of those in almost 30 years(attributable to successful imported fire ant control(beauvaria bassiana, diluted and injected deep into mound where queens live))

    1. HotFlash

      Swallowtails like to lay their eggs on carrot, Queen Anne’s Lace, celery, parsley, and related plants, the apiaceae family, many of who are poisonous. I have read that this renders the larva toxic, or at least possibly toxic — birds can calculate their own risk. Ahem. I always grow some of the non-toxics for the swallowtails. Apparently they will eat milkweed in a pinch, but I have lots of that, enough for them, the monarchs, and me — my noblesse only obliges to a certain degree.

      Hope you and the boys are doing as well as may be expected. Funny how there are these little time-bombs in the most innocuous of things, a sale on Aero minis had me in tears today. To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.

    2. orlbucfan

      “just an on-farm observation, regarding Koyaanisqatsi:
      hootowls are very early this year.”
      I know exactly what you are talking about. I am ready to go to war. I’m an old PMC class fart who has known about this merde since I was a teenager. I’m talking wrecking havoc on the environment cos of stupid human greed. Someone, smarter than me, answer this simple question: why does the stupidest, ruthless mindset keep rising to the top??

      1. ambrit

        My take on that question about why the “stupidest, ruthless mindset keep rising to the top” is that such people are so self absorbed that they see nothing wrong with breaking things to get what they want. More “civilized” people consider the externals of a situation before deciding what to break in the pursuit of their aims.
        “Move fast and break stuff” is the motto of maladjusted youths and sociopathic adults.
        Until the “moderates” decide that enough is enough and that the “fast movers and breakers” must die, nothing will change for the better.
        I was prompted by Amfortas’ comment above to search for my copy of “Koyaanisqatsi.” and later remembered that I loaned it out to my then therapist, and never got it back.
        We have had Parliaments of owls hooting out back the last few nights. Orange butterflys and dragonflys have reappeared this year. Here’s hoping.

  14. griffen

    Civility going out the window article, does not take that long to learn this is State of Jefferson territory. County leaders and health agency department heads being shouted down and eventually either recalled, or just stepping down, means there is a brain drain happening and it’s unlikely those roles can be easily, or locally filled. The crazy, it burns.

    We’ve got several here who chime in about CA politics, so I’d be interested in hearing further anecdotes. Being uncivilized to people choosing to mask up or take health precautions, I never got the reasoning why.

    1. Nicodemus

      Civility has gone out the window wherever normal family oriented people try to assert their rights within public institutions all over California.
      “Racist” “homophobe”, “White privileged”…

      The blood is going to run blue in the gutters this fall.

    2. Sutter Cane

      As in the National Review article linked above, the hostility towards anyone still trying to prevent themselves from getting infected is palpable.

      It’s not enough that no public health measures be taken, but even an individual choosing to mask is threatening.

      1. LawnDart

        I saw Tucker Carlson on tv going apeshit over a video of someone wearing a mask a few nights ago– “What is that thing on her face?!? She looks like…”

        Astute observation. I am ready to run into the jungle and away from Jonestown, if my legs will carry me.

    3. marym

      Harassment of working people doing their jobs is a pretty standard part of right wing activism on many issues now, not just pandemic restrictions. In some cases like, bounties and partisan poll workers, it’s being afforded legal sanction.

        1. marym

          Whatever one thinks about the politics of BLM protests or the Capitol riot, or about cops, there are legal penalties for protesters fighting with the cops. In your link “Six women and four men were charged with disorderly conduct, obstructing governmental administration, unlawful assembly and assault”

          I was thinking more about “sue your neighbor and collect damages” or “report your neighbor and collect a bounty” or “harass librarians and shut down the library” for example.

    4. Socal Rhino

      Maybe not what you’re looking for, but like many states political affinity in CA is not evenly distributed. The heavily populated coasts and sparsely populated inland areas run blue and red respectively.

    5. WhoaMolly

      I live in Northern California, within a short drive of Redding.

      The article comes across to me as hysterical propaganda. In the last two weeks I’ve visited local gun shops, grocery stores, appliance stores, and coffee shops.

      The gun shop visit was to investigate vermin shooting rifles, as a last resort way to rid the garden of ground squirrels and gophers. (So far have decided not to. Don’t want to shoot small critters. We’re getting a big grumpy outdoor cat instead.)

      Every where I’ve been life is pretty much live-and-let-live. Politics in my local areas is 50/50. Half blue, half red. I notice that the red folks are open to discussion. The blue folks are hostile and refuse to debate me.

      1. WhoaMolly

        PS: I’ve lived in Northern California for 30 years and never once thought of Redding as a “remote Northern California” city.

        Wikipedia says: “Redding is the economic and cultural capital of the Shasta Cascade region of Northern California and the county seat of Shasta County.”

        The Guardian article makes this urban area of 100,000 sound like a primitive, right wing enclave, barely past the stage of having indoor toilets. Maybe. I just haven’t seen it.

        1. LifelongLib

          FWIW, in 1978 I took a Greyhound from Seattle to San Francisco, and IIRC it stopped in Redding. I don’t recall feeling like I was off in the wilderness…

          1. Joe Renter

            I took a bus that year (1978) from Bend Oregon to Santa Cruz CA. I do not remember stoping at Redding. I do remember that I had to spend the night in the SF greyhound station waiting for the last leg of my journey. It was Halloween. Saw some things I won’t forget. I lived a shelter life it seems.

            1. The Rev Kev

              “The horror of that moment,” the King went on, “I shall never, never forget!” “You will, though,” the Queen said, “if you don’t make a memorandum of it.”-

              Lewis Carroll “Alice in Wonderland”

        2. ambrit

          Don’t feel too bad. There are probably still places in the UK where indoor plumbing is a “new innovation.”
          Too, to call Redding part of “Remote Northern California” suggests that there is an ‘Easily Accessible Northern California’ lying around somewhere.
          Clark Ashton Smith lived most of his life in Auburn, CA. He managed to be “wyrd” and have an unchallenged lifestyle. The ‘Northern Bear Republic’ has a lot going for it.

      2. Tom Stone

        Consider a raptor perch or two, every little bit helps.
        And why not an air rifle if you end up having to kill the critters?
        A little quieter than a .22 or .17 ,easier to get ammo and there are plenty of choices available.

        1. WhoaMolly

          Air rifle too likely to injure instead of kill instantly. Considering a rifle chambered for Hornady .17 frangible round. Instant kill, no ricochet if I miss.

          I swore off hunting long ago. Still reluctant to kill critters despite damage they are doing to garden and trees. High gopher and squirrel population also attracting rattlesnakes.

          Have tried everything else. Barn cats not hunting critters so far either.

          1. ambrit

            You might have to go the .17 calibre route. Something with a suppressor would help to keep the neighbours quiescent.
            Squirrels, gophers, and rattlesnakes. What next? Feral swine? (Sorry, you’re too far away from Sacramento to have problems with roving gangs of politicos.)

        2. LawnDart

          There are some excellent air rifles out there that are both powerful and whisper quiet– see “airgun depot” for details, esp. PCP rifles, everything from .177 to .50 and bolts. Look for subsonic, less than 1118 fps, in .25 or .30 which are good-sized critter-calibers. And I believe that you can sort by noise-level on that site, once you get into the hunting section.

          Me, I still use old school .22 subsonic rounds for dispatch work: a single-shot, well-aimed, no complaints from the neighbors, especially if you pay attention to the given factors surrounding discharge. They do come in hollow-point too, so easy to top-off, if you know what I mean. Note that these can be tempermental in an auto/semi-auto firearm: for close-up, a revolver is ideal. For a bit of distance, within 100 meters, best to stay with bolt or lever-action in case a follow-up shot is needed. If you do use auto/semi-auto, you may need to cycle chamber with a frequency contingent upon the brand or load of ammunition, with a risk of time-consuming jams.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Biden Learns to Live With the Risks of the Coronavirus”

    Sure he did. Just like Trump did. Of course it is easier to do so when you have access to some of the best doctors on the planet and access to the best medical facilities as well. And too being able to take drugs that may be denied to most people. But for everybody else, you’re on your own.

    ‘It’s good to be the President.’

    1. Lex

      At least trump disappeared and came back when he was recovering. Press conferences dedicated to how the president slept and whether he finished his breakfast are (or should be) really weird. Maybe this is a facet of the gerontocracy?

    2. Milton

      I’ll give even money that the prez is skipping the paxlovid and opting for the real deal (IVM) instead.

      1. ambrit

        Now if we could only suborn the Court Astrologer. Tell “Creepy” Joe that bathing in the blood of a freshly sacrificed Red Heifer will protect him from infection. Then watch the fun.
        Yahweh versus Mithras versus the Christos. Ecumenism for fun and profit.

    3. WhoaMolly

      When the wife tested positive for Covid, the advice from both our doctors was, “Stay hydrated, and go to the emergency room if you have trouble breathing.”

      No antivirals. No therapeutics. Nothing.

      (We both have “good” health insurance.)

      1. ambrit

        Here in the North American Deep South, I can find no GP who will prescribe the “I” substance. Two have flat out refused, and given no reason for why the proscription.
        I am beginning to seriously consider the possibility that “The Jackpot” is a conscious policy being implemented as we type.
        I am beginning to get the Evil Eye from other riders on the City bus now. Not before. I’m wondering if those of us who are taking “personal protective strategies” seriously are being set up as scapegoats for when the real destructive Pandemic waves begin.
        Also, destroying the public’s trust in the Frontline Medical Workers serves a dual purpose. One, it limits the socio-political power of a previously respected high status group. Second, as the numbers of active practitioners of the Medical Arts decline, the death rate in the general population will rise. Result: a consolidation of power at the top, and a decline in the population, thus easing stresses on available resources.

        1. JBird4049

          Just wait until the inevitable mutations arising from the mass infections of both COVID and Monkeypox not only even more infectious, but lethal as well making it truly impossible to ignore.

          We are sliding back to those ancient days of my Grandparents, when lethal pandemics were common. I cannot blame the foolish for their abuse of those wise enough to take precautions as those who were suppose to protect them have not only failed, but worse, lied and deceived. It is hard to be wise when so many are determined to make you a fool.

          1. Imaginary Solution

            Yep. If you think of public health as a bellwether of governmental competence, you can draw your conclusions about what’s happening to governmental competence. What may turn out to be worse than emerging viral infections is that we’re losing capability to fight bacterial infections. We have new pharmaceuticals galore, but not always for the things that we really need. That’s what happens when you let profit motives drive development.

        2. JBird4049

          Just wait until the inevitable mutations arising from the mass infections of both COVID and Monkeypox not only even more infectious, but lethal as well making it truly impossible to ignore.

          We are sliding back to those ancient days of my Grandparents, when lethal pandemics were common. I cannot blame the foolish for their abuse of those wise enough to take precautions as those who were suppose to protect them have not only failed, but worse, lied and deceived. It is hard to be wise when so many are determined to make you a fool.

          The blow back is going to be so epic.

  16. SocalJimObjects

    Not looking good down there in Australia:

    “Nik, who has cancer, works in the IT department of a tertiary institution. He’s been wearing a mask to work and asks that his co-workers do so when approaching his desk. “I’ve been called ‘bubble boy’ by email to the entire office,” he says.

    “Every day I fight the urge to just lie down and cry. Or give up. Every day I wear a mask hoping just maybe someone on the fence about it will be encouraged by my example.”

    For immunocompromised people and their families, the pandemic never abated, and they don’t have the luxury of being bored.”

    “It’s almost like society is throwing “a tantrum in the hope that it will lurch us back into pre-pandemic life”, says Weaver.”

    1. The Rev Kev

      This was only made possible by our political leadership and the appointed medical authorities doing a Biden-like “Mission Accomplished” stance which led to people thinking (hoping?) that the Pandemic was over. And like in the US, the media was happy to push this narrative as well for all they were worth. It was not that many months ago I saw a news-crew in a cafe getting three girls working there to take off their masks and throw them away in celebration as if it was New Years Eve. The worse of it was that all that good will and trust built up to get people to mask up, social distance themselves and to isolate themselves was all burned down in the name of what exactly? To bring back the 2019 economy?

      1. Vandemonian

        What is this “political leadership” of which you speak? I haven’t noticed any.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Italy will keep supporting Ukraine if right wins vote, says Meloni”

    Appointed Prime Minister Mario Draghi threw away the friendly relations that Italians had with Russia, got Italy into one helluva mess that will take years if not decades to fix, and then engineered his resignation as PM so that he would not have to deal with the consequences for what he has done. So by the time Italy is going though a catastrophic winter, Draghi will be in a think tank or working at the World Bank or something else safe and warm. So what does Melon say? ‘Hey, let’s keep pushing Super Mario’s policies because they have worked out so well!’

    1. tegnost

      …and then engineered his resignation as PM so that he would not have to deal with the consequences for what he has done

      “Take the Money and Run” should be Goldman Sachs motto, engraved above their doorway…
      paraphrasing Osmandyas “abandon all ethics, ye who enter here” in smaller script below it

      I can also see rebranding as “Gold Sacks”…think of the money they can save by getting rid of “man”

      1. Noone from Nowheresville

        Nah, they aren’t abandoning ethics. They are living the ethics they created for themselves.

      2. Glen

        It’s such a shame that the Italian populace didn’t shower Draghi with the same love and attention that Mussolini got when he left office.

    2. Michael Ismoe

      Well, Biden is just continuing the same policies that Trump began. Look how well that’s working out for him.

    3. spud

      why bother voting, whats a matter with italy, is whats a matter with any country under the massive iron fist of free trade. you can vote, nothing changes, ask greece.

      “2) Sovereign Governments Cannot Make their own Decisions about their Market:
      Free trade does not afford governments the sovereignty to provide support or subsidies to some industries or to tax foreign goods. Therefore, it lowers the ability of the government to regulate the market and lessen the blow of major economic shifts. It also prevents countries from providing incentives in the form of a subsidy for innovations. That is, we cannot subsidize a local green energy company unless we provide the same benefits for foreign companies in countries that are part of our free trade agreement.”

      we can see this playing out right before our faces world wide, except countries like China and Russia that refuse to be colonized.

  18. Lex

    So far as I know, I’m one of those Covid virgins. But I also have an immune system that seems like I’d be the asymptotic type. More careful than average (wife is immunosuppressed) but also spend all day every day thinking about things like airborne exposure to contaminants. So maybe atypical in how I perform the vaunted personal risk assessment. Also don’t like people that much, that helps a lot :)

  19. David in Santa Cruz

    Populism is such a threat to democracy!” the Op/Ed pages shrieked, clutching at their pearls.

    Tangible material benefits, or the voters will continue to extend their middle finger the only way that they can, ideology be damned. They are not going to be distracted by the spectacle of watching their “betters” consuming a diminishing supply of inflated assets while social infrastructure collapses under the weight of overpopulation and climate change. Liberal calls for more “executive action” is just woke authoritarianism, so why should they fear the real thing?

  20. Expat2Uruguay

    Referring to the article about extremism in North California, wow! I worked in Redding California for a short time around 1995 and it was just a normal community. Anyway this story brings me to something I have wanted to share…

    For the last month I have been vacationing in Mexico: I spent three weeks in Mexico City and a few days each in in Cozumel, Valladolid, and Puebla. The local people have a very high mask rate, even in the open air, I would estimate about 80%!
    Mexico has a fairly new program that they call “Pueblos Magicos”, where tourism is encouraged among a variety of charming smaller towns possessing special cultural or natural attributes. It is great because the crowds in certain coastal tourist towns are big, and by focusing on the Pueblos Magicos a visitor can avoid those crowds and be around the local people who have such great mask discipline! There are over 130 small towns that have earned this designation, and the two that I went to are truly fantastic places.
    I also recommend Mexico City, which is absolutely full of culture, museums and parks. What I really noticed in this capital city was the large number of police that served to keep crime down. (I also saw that the government closed the large square in the middle of the city in front of the government buildings, I’m assuming to deter protest…)

    I’m not aware of anyone in this group who lives in Mexico and talks about it. It’s such a pity, we have people here who talk about living in different parts of Europe and in Australia, New Zealand and a variety of Asian countries, but almost no one who lives in Central and Latin America. On that note, reporting from Caye Caulker, Belize it is very expensive here and almost no one wears a mask. I am told that gasoline on the island cost $14 a gallon!!

    1. Maxwell Johnston

      We visited Mexico City in 2019, because offspring number 1 was living there for 6 months on a university exchange program. Amazing city, so much to see, so glad we went (would never have visited there otherwise). Very strong police presence; at no time did we ever feel threatened or uneasy. We also did a side visit to Merida (Yucatán), mainly to see the pyramids, but Merida itself was wonderful. Our tour guide there spoke good English and Spanish, but he admitted that Spanish was his second language. At home he spoke the local tongue (don’t remember the name), which amazed me but in fact this is quite common in Mexico. On the subject of drugs and violent crime, all our guides said that the dangerous areas are up north, closer to USA border.

      Mexicans seemed proud of their country and generally struck me as happy people. Maybe my false impression as a 1-week tourist, but there we are.

      Worth a visit. Avoid the tourist beach resorts and see the real country. An incredible mix of cultures.

      1. Joe Renter

        I agree. I spent 2 weeks in Ciudad de Mexico. It is an awesome place. Did the pyramid trip as well. I plan to do an Spanish emersion course there at some point. As I will be living south of the border somewhere when Mom goes to see the big guy upstairs.

    2. Grebo

      I think gas in Belize is around 14 Belize dollars, which is 7 US dollars. Still shocking to USians I suppose, but a bargain if you’re European.

  21. Jason Boxman

    On The Ridiculous New Covid Panic:

    The result of the pandemic for public health’s reputation and trust in our institutions has been horrific. Even by the end of last year, one of the doctors advising the White House had to admit that the cloth masks that most people wore to comply with the mask mandates were “little more than facial decorations.”

    But earlier claims:

    But in fact it’s been obvious since the first Omicron variant that the seasonality of Covid outbreaks overwhelms and obscures all differences in public policy. New York State reimposed mask mandates ahead of the Omicron variant, and cases rose here just as precipitously as they did in neighboring states without mask mandates, such as New Hampshire.

    So Michael Brendan Dougherty is a dishonest hack, who also thinks readers are stupid. You can’t have it both ways, either masks are useless or most people are wearing useless masks and we therefore can’t speak to their efficacy, except we can because there’s ample evidence that high quality respirators do work.

    1. jr

      For a libertarian take, I was watching Robby Soave on The Hill the other day. He was scoffing at calls for new mask mandates because they didn’t work and, I’ve heard this a million times now from a number of sources, we are all going to get infected anyway. No mention of long COVID, no mention of the debilitating effect of constant reinfections, no mention of the rise of new variants, lot’s of talk of freedumb though.

      1. Jason Boxman

        And I sincerely wish for the COVID to be with each of them, as often as it happens. They surely are earning it. This is a future they all want and clearly want to share in. I look forward to learning how it works out.

  22. jr

    The Hill interviews a railway worker who took an impromptu poll of 100 of his coworkers to see what issues are the most pertinent to them:

    Not surprisingly, Ukraine didn’t rate much concern. Inflation and gas prices were big players, especially to the one woman the guy talked to who is living in her car. I don’t think the climate got a lot of interest as well.

      1. Anthony Stegman

        Yes, but it is the economy that is killing us all slowly. Most people don’t think too hard. Their brains are mostly dormant.

        1. JBird4049

          >>>Their brains are mostly dormant.

          Maybe, but it can be hard to think hard when hungry, exhausted, anxious, and depressed, which our Beloved Elites have imposed on many.

          1. hunkerdown

            And simply dulled by the sheer noise volume of neoliberal society. “Coase was convinced that the masses should be provided with as much of the ‘shoddy, the vulgar and the sensational’ as they could stomach, and then some.” -Philip Mirowski, “Hell is Truth Seen Too Late”

            The more people who unplug from the public myths, the better a chance we will all have to get a worthwhile handle on reality and figure things out for ourselves.

  23. flora

    Amazon/Bezos move into health care. How reassuring. When your bottom is Amazon’s bottom line, what could go wrong?

    Amazon Moves Into Primary Care With One Medical Purchase

    My opinion: it’s all about collecting patients’ data, which data can be sold tax free by the rules of the first WTO trade agreement. There’s big money in data.

    “The AI will see you now.”

    1. neo-realist

      I think Bezos is anticipating that long covid will be a bonanza for the health care industry, so he’s just getting a piece of the action.

      1. SocalJimObjects

        I am not a fan of Bezos, but I don’t think he is doing this because of Long Covid. A couple of years ago, Bezos teamed up with Buffett and Dimon to disrupt healthcare, but then the venture went bust, Bezos wants to be in the healthcare industry because there’s lots of money in it, that’s all. Doesn’t mean he is going to be successful, after all his ventures into the video game industry didn’t go well either.

  24. jr

    So I was just watching some of the right-wingy meme channels on Tube and I was informed that the best way to avoid monkeypox is to stay out of strange men’s basements. Here we go.

  25. jr

    Professional m0r0n Chris Cuomo says he has no regrets and that CNN rocks:

    Clueless re: ethical standards. This reminds me of that recent tweet from some doctor who was like “No big deal!” to doctors taking pharma money for research. Or was it a journalist? Probably both.

    1. tegnost

      yeah, and it’s also no big deal that congress does insider trading…there’s no way it would impact their votes…
      but as Noone from Nowheresville points out above, they do have ethics…
      The ethics of rapists and murderers…but they’re good people because they’ll let you have an abortion, and they only murdered you to save social security so don’t be so damned selfish.

  26. Karl

    RE: AIPAC hails Edwards’ defeat for being insufficiently pro-Israel

    Guardian quote:

    Aipac’s political action committee, the United Democracy Project, has received substantial donations from Trump campaign funders Paul Singer and Bernie Marcus, as well as the billionaire Israeli-American Democratic donor, Haim Saban.

    The Guardian story specifically highlights AIPAC’s targeting Edwards for her support of Obama’s deal with Iran. This means Israel is trying to steer U.S. foreign policy to support Israel’s strategic interests, perhaps in the belief that Israel and U.S. interests are the same. This strikes me as dangerous.

    The outsized influence of energetic groups with a foreign policy cause (Israel, Taiwan, Ukraine, Cuba) does seem to explain why our military ends up intervening in so many places peripheral to most voters’ concerns.

  27. Jonathan Holland Becnel

    My money’s its a con to build a Saudi Arabian Intelligence Agency.

    The only thing they’ve built is a Data Center?
    They’ve broken ground on the Hydrogen plant?

    It’s Madness that they hired Dystopian Blade Runner Artists to envision the future tourist attractions.

    The New Industrial Revolution! Yay!

    1. Brunches with Cats

      But, but … They DESTROYED the bridges and CUT OFF THE INVADERS FROM THEIR SUPPLY LINES! Left them disoriented, in disarray, now STRUGGLING to repair the horrendous damage! Ukr forces MOVING IN FOR THE KILL!

      Here’s an image from two years ago of the bridge across the Dnipro, not far from the Inhulets River bridge, hit a couple of times in the past week. Other than a few holes — not much worse than the potholes where I live in upstate NY — doesn’t look a whole lot different:,32.7202637,3a,75y,206.83h,61.9t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sAF1QipPuUlWpdfaQXuI1pjlun682z_Yv0ixncxkkZHU5!2e10!3e11!7i6912!8i3456

  28. Jason Boxman

    For what it is worth, today is day 864 since WHO declared a global pandemic with regards to COVID. The state of affairs remains grave. I also continue to refuse to lowercase COVID, as if it is somehow normalized.

    Stay safe.

  29. malchats

    Thanks for the article on the Pronto Pup. Never thought I’d see in NC links a story about a place from which I’ve actually gotten my dinner, but there it is. The Rockaway Beach shop featured in the story is about 10 miles up the highway from my house. I was surprised to learn that the Pup there only opened in 2016–the first time I ever visited this area (Tillamook coast), about three years before I moved here. I saw the story about the invention of the corn dog there–it’s played up in wall hangings in the shop–and thought it was just hokum; figured that the corn dog would have been native to one of the big corn-growing states (Iowa or Kansas seemed natural)…but I guess if it’s being said so by NPR, or at least its Oregon affiliate, it must be true…

  30. ambrit

    Looking through the Nextdoor e-mail portal, I came across a local who says that they have caught Covid and need someone to help with their volunteer work at the Humane Society during the sickness. So far, so good.
    Next, this person says: “Thanks everyone. It’s going around. I didn’t wear a mask. Now I’m sick. I should have worn a mask. I had two vaccines but I’m still sick. :( ”
    The truth is slowly getting out into the wild.
    I had to try twice to get the portal to accept the term “FLCCC Alliance.”
    There is so much plain old evil going on just now I half suspect that those crying out in the Wilderness to beware the coming Apocalypse might have a valid point. [After all, what better Terrestrial analogue for the Forces of Darkness than the Neo-liberal Order?]

  31. Amfortas the hippie

    another full moon has passed.
    6 weeks by the calendar.
    and at 13:06 Lima, i was there.
    at the graveyard in the grove.
    easter lillies, this time.
    because they’re blooming right now, for some reason.
    (perhaps this is the reason)
    song in my head from very early:
    from before the owls, even.
    or the coyotes.

    doesn’t sit right.
    still can’t believe it…even after all the forewarning.
    still so surreal/

    no comments are necessary, nor really wanted…merely to contemplate.
    and kiss the heads of those around you.

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