Links 7/26/2022

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.

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As Vermont’s bears get bolder, officials worry about more frequent interactions VTDigger (resilc)

Woman on Florida boat gored by 100lb sailfish that jumped from water Guardian

Naked 75-Year-Old Shoots Exhibitionist Dead for Nude Beach Etiquette Breach: Cops Daily Beast (resilc)

Wild brawl at DisneyWorld started when one family refused to let woman cut in line to be with hers Daily Mail

Epic Potery: Drinking with the Ancients Antigone (Anthony L)



Could Genetics Be the Key to Never Getting the Coronavirus? Atlantic (resilc). Looking for new excuses to encourage people to be reckless.


Coronavirus: Japan struggles with record-setting seventh wave DW


Get medication for COVID-19 HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (resilc). Inept drafting: “You must take oral COVID-19 medication within 5 days of your first COVID-19 symptoms.”

The Biden administration’s new policy: Everyone will get COVID WSWS

Omicron BA.5 Surge: 5 Ways to Stay Safe New York Times. Resilc: “Buy 20 acres in Vermont and don’t leave the plantation.”

From IM Doc:

I was in the doctors lounge this evening with two other docs.

Tucker came on. A 20 minute monologue about Big Pharma and the corruption Thereof. I simply could not believe what I was seeing.

He took 20 minutes and decimated opiates, SSRIs, COVID vaccines, Fauci, Birx, and the Biogen Alzheimer’s drug.

If you want an idea what I am barraged with daily even by the MSNBC crowd, look no further. I hear these same issues from patients all day long.

Tucker clearly has his problems but he also clearly has balls of steel. The execs at Fox with Big Pharma providing about half their revenue must clearly know the gig is up or they would not be allowing this on TV.

People are getting more enraged by the day. It is clips like this that make me certain the day of reckoning is coming soon.

Both the other docs in the lounge tonight, MSNBC watchers, agreed with me that there is not a thing in this monologue to be quibbled about.

Since the mid 2000s, right when Tom Cruise did his SSRI interview with Lauer – Tucker played part of it – the original Lilly Pfizer papers have been a standard the world over on how data is manipulated and how relative risk is abused. I have used them as examples of inappropriate data manipulation in classes for more than a decade. Most physicians with a questioning mind have known these drugs were a problem for years. And this is the first time I have ever heard this discussed on national TV in my life.

The Birx clip he features “I knew they were not going to be effective stopping the spread of the virus” was played today in a conference. Immediately followed by the Fauci, Walensky, Biden, and Maddow clips detailing that the vaxxes were a dead end, that you would never catch it, etc.

The ID fellow presenter, whose hospital and clinics are now being overrun with vaxxed and boosted COVID patients, after the above clips were played, in a dull monotone said, “One needs to ask WHAT exactly did these people know and more importantly WHEN did they know it?”

I could scarcely believe it. That kind of talk would have garnered intense guffaws and probably a trip to the chairman’s office just a few weeks ago. Now silent resignation.

The Fauci clip where he is asked about menstrual problems and states “we are going to study it….”. An epidemiologist commented “Seriously, you forced this upon millions of young women, and ONLY now we are going to study it? Did anyone have a hint this was a problem before the mandates? Knowing Pfizer’s history, my gut tells me they knew all too well.”

And yet another zinger from a retired ID professor – “If they knowingly released a non-sterilizing vaccine into an acute coronavirus pandemic and forced millions to take it, that may be the greatest act of medical malpractice in the history of this whole world.”

I am slowly seeing the return of “science” in my profession. Tough questions are being asked. Finally.

What do I feel tonight ….. the sun is shining, the scales are falling out of the eyes…and we are on the Road to Damascus. This may take quite a bit longer than you would expect, but I am fairly sure this is going to get really interesting


Wildfires Are Setting Off 100-Year-Old Bombs on WWI Battlefields Vice (resilc)

Climate change resistant structures that are designed to keep humanity safe in the future YankoDesign (David L)

US to plant 1 billion trees as climate change kills forests Associated Press (David L)


Monkeypox is ′almost certainly′ sexually transmitted DW (resilc). That does not necessarily mean exclusively sexually transmitted.


SMIC’s 7-nm chip process a wake-up call for US Asia Times (resilc)

UK PM hopeful outlines anti-China plan BBC (Kevin W). The Chinese ought to laugh out loud over this but instead I am afraid Global Times and others will dignify this Sunak silliness by getting testy.

On Taiwan and China, is the US ignoring the real lesson of Ukraine? Responsible Statecraft (resilc)


Myanmar: Military executes four democracy activists including ex-MP BBC

Old Blighty

Energy bills will push millions into unmanageable debt, MPs warn Guardian (Kevin W)

By Denying Proven Failures in Tory Government, Sunak and Truss Will Repeat Them CounterPunch

Boris Johnson ‘does not want to resign’ and ‘wished he could carry on’ as PM, Tory peer says Independent (Kevin W). “He would say that, now wouldn’t he?”

Italy’s access to share of €800bn EU Covid funds in play after Mario Draghi’s exit Financial Times

Pope dons Indigenous headdress as he makes apology for decades of abuse of at Catholic schools Daily Mail. Resilc: “And the cleveland indians HAD to change their name….”

New Not-So-Cold War

Congressional Delegation in Kyiv Wants US Military Advisors Sent to Ukraine Antiwar

With advisers like this…Ukraine tried to hijack a fighter jet with the help of Bellingcat, says a Russian pilot Frontier India. See also Military Summary, starting at 1:55 and Bellingcat Denies Officials’ Responsible For Failed Ukrainian Plot – Zelenski Fires Said Officials Moon of Alabama

* * *

Russia’s Gazprom to disable second pipeline turbine RT (Kevin W).

Sharp rises in energy prices are jeopardizing production in Germany DIHK (original here)

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Istanbul grain accords do not bar Russia from continuing operation in Ukraine — Lavrov TASS. Lavrov says UN confirmed Russia’s reading.

* * *

Ukraine Government issues blacklist of ‘Russian propagandists’ Unherd

Here’s How To Neutralize NAFO Trolls & Get Cartoon Dogs To Promote Pro-Russian Posts One World (Micael T). A little late for Russia friendlies to try to stop sucking at the propaganda war.


Google Is Selling Advanced AI to Israel, Documents Reveal Intercept

Israel can now strip away 48 Palestinians’ citizenship Middle East Eye (guurst)

Imperial Collapse Watch

The War Party Parties Andrew Cockburn

American Empire is marching into the sunset — can we handle it? Responsible Statecraft (resilc)

Most Americans Think Government Is Corrupt, According to a New Poll Reason


Hunter Biden evidence wrongly labeled disinformation by FBI: Whistleblower Washington Examiner/

Democrats en déshabillé

Revolving door creates questions and complications for Kamala Harris The Hill

Newsom Hardest Democrat to Beat in 2024 Presidential Race: TPUSA Straw Poll Newsweek (furzy)

Democrats’ high-stakes math game Axios (resilc)

GOP Clown Car

On the campaign trail, some Republicans talk in violent terms Washington Post (furzy)


The Right to Travel Out of State for an Abortion Isn’t as Secure as You May Think Wired (Dr. Kevin)

Post-‘Roe,’ People Are Seeking Permanent Sterilizations, and Some Are Being Turned Away Kaiser Health News

Our No Longer Free Press

Introducing the World’s Fakest Journalist Micheal Tracey. Ooh, this is fun.

Police State Watch

Police intervention training gains momentum after calls for reform News Nation (Tom H)

Supply Chain/Inflation

In another pandemic fallout, used car prices are way up, and the repo man is back Yahoo

Transformative Times: Update on the U.S. Transformer Supply Chain T&D World (Chuck L)

Nouriel Roubini says predictions for a mild recession are ‘delusional’ as severe financial crisis looms MSN

Walmart Cuts Profit Outlook, Lowers Prices on Goods Wall Street Journal

Politics Series: Government Ian Welsh

Coinbase Faces SEC Investigation on Cryptocurrency Listings Bloomberg

Class Warfare

Smuggling Migrants at the Border Now a Billion-Dollar Business New York Times

Why Trader Joe’s Workers Are Joining the Fight to Unionize CounterPunch (resilc)

Antidote du jour (Tracie H):

And a bonus:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Sardonia

    I was going to post that Tucker Carlson clip from Monday evening, along with a short summary. So glad to see that Yves and IMDoc beat me to it.

    On Friday, Tucker hit Big Pharma et al with a baseball bat. Last night he went Medieval on them.

    “Balls of Steel” indeed. I hope he has a body double…..

    1. Sardonia

      Oops – I just noticed that that Tucker Carlson Twitter clip posted here is only 4 minutes of his opening segment. Here is the whole thing – it’s about 30 minutes in total (if YouTube has not yet pulled it down) – very wide-ranging – Opioids, SSRI’s, the mRNA vax, the “new” Alzheimer’s drug – and the horrendous politics and public policy involved.

        1. jr

          Thanks for the link. That’s a powerful presentation. Once again the Right has taken the banner of truth and justice unto itself while the synthetic Left does jack.

        2. flora

          Thank you both. The short Tucker clip had Birx saying, oh, I knew. She said that with no hint that I could see of apology or contrition or embarrassment. She looked, imo, like someone who’s delighted with herself for pulling off a prank. Wrecking people’s lives. And getting away with it. …no words…

          1. GF

            Did she say anything to the then president whose last name starts with T? If so, when? And, did T OK the go-ahead to keep on with the deception?

            1. Vic

              Birx said she lied to T. Hid information. Vaxs campaign was demanded under Biden. Thats when all the threats of losing jobs, silencing of dissenters, etc really began. With Biden sling8ng the threats too

        3. Janice

          Speaking of directly to source, did anyone look into the sources Tucker was quoting? I caught journal names but not enough info to verify for myself. Help appreciated!

    2. griffen

      They are lying, they were lying, and all along the COVID vaccine was the sole hope against the spreading pandemic. I am not stating this to pontificate how smart I pretend to be, but I am not nor will I be getting a booster. No thank you sirs. I was double vaccinated with the Moderna in late 2021.

      FUBAR. The word for the day.

      1. Arizona Slim

        Thanks to what I read on NC two years ago, I decided not to take any of those shots. Why not? Well, here goes, Slim’s reasons:

        1. They were rushed to market with…
        2. Inadequate testing
        3. If you had any adverse reactions, well, too bad, so sad. That would be 100% on you.

        So, here we are in mid-2022. Slim still hasn’t taken a single, solitary shot, and guess what. I’m perfectly healthy.

        1. Utah

          I don’t blame you, Slim. I didn’t really want to get vaccinated. I got my two doses about 6 months apart. After my armpit swelled from the second dose (7 months ago and my lymph nodes still hurt), I won’t be getting my booster. I did manage to escape the omicron surge. My partner got covid and I did not, and we didn’t have the luxury of isolating from each other. Nobody is harassing me about the booster anymore, except my doctor.

          I’ll admit I’m a bit worried. I’m a new teacher, no mask mandate. But I do have an air purifier, I’ve harassed everybody about the scheduled maintenance and feel confident it will keep up, and I’ll be wearing a mask, so here’s hoping.

          1. Pat

            Fingers crossed for you.

            If your class parameters will allow discussion regarding ventilation you might include it in your lesson plans. Giving students tools would probably be a good thing.

            1. John

              Ventilation makes all the difference and if the classroom gets a bit cold in winter, sweaters and coats take care of that.

            2. Rod

              Tell it Pat —Math/Materials/Biology/History/Reading/Writing/Physics/ and more packed in that Class Corsi Box Project Lesson Plan.
              Easily attachable/embeddable to Curriculum Requirements.
              Simple, or more-It Is your crowd.
              Hands on for a Treat before the weekend-give it away-cause somebody will give you the money for another one if you ask.
              Worksheet/Group Writing/Presentation/Critique.
              Keep it Dynamic
              Sandbagging XC Points never hurts.
              Break a Mold.
              Change the World

          2. Questa Nota

            My sympathies to those who were forced to get the jab(s) to retain their jobs. Many were uncomfortable with what I have heard called the Sophie’s Sophistry’s Choice presented by our overlords. Now all are realizing just how amoral they are. It will get worse and the unwinding will cause many disruptions.

            1. Stephen V

              And similarly for those who have (teenaged) kids in liberal-so-called communities. I have a friend who was ragged to filth –manure flows downhill from the school–by her 2 daughters and finally gave up after months of trying to educate them.
              And we see that young women are most at-risk for er, adverse events. Sigh.

        2. britzklieg

          I was never going to get near them. No way, no how. I remain unvaccinated, unboosted, and uninfected.

          1. dermotmoconnor

            Had to do a major flight (from US to Ireland, had I gotten sick it would have been a disaster). Took the Pfizer & booster, got Covid finally 2 weeks ago, VERY mild case.
            I will NOT be taking any boosters. They can get stuffed.

        3. John Zelnicker

          Slim – Very wise!

          I took the Johnson/Janssen single shot since I refused to be a guinea pig for barely-tested mRNA vaccines.

          Now, thanks to the information here at NC, I will not be taking any more jabs.

          I live alone, have a Corsi-Rosenthal box in my office, and see very few people, so I’m not too worried. I also wear an N-95 whenever I’m going to be in a building with others.

        4. Paul Jurczak

          4. Broad legal immunity for “vaccine” makers with details unknown in many parts of the world.

          5. 75 years to release trials data.

          6. Stalinist quality campaign to silence any criticism.

        5. polar donkey

          My wife and I got J&J shot in April 2021. Felt like snake venom going through my arm. I felt bad for a day. My wife had no side effects. We both finally got covid recently, her the beginning of June and me the beginning of July. Her’s was mild and I had only a slight headache and a bit of a cough for a couple days. We both took vitamins, antihistamine, Mucinex, famotidine, and “I” drug that cannot be named. Our 8 year old we believe got COVID when my wife did, felt under the weather for half a day. The 6 year old tested positive when I got sick. He had runny nose/cough for 36 hrs. My kids’ pediatrician office pushes vaccine. I have been following IM Doc, reading about vaccines, and seeing how things have been going at their schools. My boys haven’t gotten COVID vaccines. If they had medical conditions that put them at risk, perhaps we would reconsider, but at this point COVID vaccine risk to young children still outweigh benefits. My sons aren’t taking part in a global myocardial science project.
          School starts back in a week. I’m more concerned about monkeypox outbreaks in schools in the near future. How piss poor the government handled COVID gives me serious pause about Monkeypox. At least I have a home test for COVID and symptoms appear relatively quickly. Monkeypox in daycares, pre-schools, and elementary schools seem like a nightmare.

        6. Tom Bradford

          TB has had the twoxPfizer course and two boosters and, guess what, I’m
          perfectly healthy.

      2. Lexx

        Wise, as it turns out. I ended up in urgent care, then the emergency room. Pretty sure the vaccines were responsible. So when the vaccines came out for the ‘5 and under’ demographic and all those parents responded with ‘hell no, not my kids’ and didn’t show up, who was surprised? You have to wonder how many parents needed medical care themselves, and then shared with others their experiences . Whisper campaigns ran through the tribal grapevines across the country far ahead of Carlson.

        Equally, I’ll be interested to see what the response will be for the next round of boosters this fall. My guess is that we won’t be the only ones sitting this one out.

        FUBAR… my hairdress is from Iran and has been in this country for 30 years. Her English is excellent and she’s still learning. When I saw her a month ago she was telling me that FUBAR was the latest acronym she’d learned. It seems to be making a comeback.

      3. Bugs

        I’ve never chimed in on this before. I’ve had severe asthma from age 5 so my worst nightmare is to die suffocating in a hospital bed on a respirator. I’ve a masters in microbiology from Institut Pasteur and I’m able to read medical papers. I don’t condemn anyone who refused to get vaccinated. I did heterogenous vaccinations along with my spouse – AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Pfizer, Moderna. We mask FFP2 indoors and avoid gatherings. No Covid yet. No side effects. No vaccine injuries. No changes to menstrual cycles. AstraZeneca jab made me tired for a day.

        1. darms

          Bugs, similar here except no biology study, (married to retired RN however) have had bad asthma in the past so I take long covid very seriously. Moderna x 4 along with wife, still mask in public, No noticeable side effects from vax other than not getting covid…

      4. kareninca

        ” I am not stating this to pontificate how smart I pretend to be”

        I don’t claim to be unusually smart, but I can tell when stupid people are lying to me.

        1. griffen

          Lying to the populace. The Patriot Act…Global war on terror (see what we did for 20 years is pour trillions into a gaping abyss)…We can’t fund infrastructure because America just can’t do so. But we can definitely save Citigroup and AIG – we have the money.

          Still an all time personal favorite.
          We can’t prosecute bankers, not ever, from Wall Street, because there are reasons. Keep the runways foamed Timmy!

    3. Hank

      Since when did Naked Capitalism become a platform for Tucker’s 2024 campaign though?
      Even a demagogue populist clock is right twice a day.
      There are a lot more, better sources, that don’t slip in the indignation, fake equivocated arguments, the cherry picked quotes, fear mongering, and the flat out lies.
      (“we were told the vaccines gave 100% immunity and we forced everyone to do it before we knew what would happen” Christ almighty is that bad faith in so many ways.)

      Should we all be anti-vax now because I can’t really be epistemologically certain about anything?
      Obviously the boosters were a scientific wish and a prayer, and a broad money grub, but when these next version come out for flu season. will we have wanted to endorse this vague big boogieman message and celebrate this media flak?

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Oh, so now we have Tucker Derangement Syndrome too?

        Sorry, but IM Doc, disagrees with you, and he has a vastly better foundation than you both clinically and in terms of his interactions with patients who in turn are big media consumeers for assessing the accuracy and impact of what Carlson is saying. And sadly it appears that only someone with his size of audience and on a Dem-narrative-defying network like Fox is in a secure enough position to call out the lying about the vaccines. This humble blog, as well as the members of the Covid brain trust, has had to engage in a lot of self censorship on this topic.

        It is NOT bad faith to say the public was promised 100% immunity. Both Rochelle Walensky and Biden said if you get vaccinated, you will not get Covid. You are the one who is making shit up, big time, via revisionist history.

        IM Doc has many cases of bad side effects, including death and permanent damage, from the vaccines. I had to have a surgical procedure. One of our aides had to go to the ER. My medical records attribute my condition (massive post menopausal bleeding, to the degree I was becoming anemic) to the vaccines, and the ER also volunteered that the aide’s reaction was due to her vaccination, and if she had waited another 12 hours to get treated, she could have been in serious trouble. These are first hand stories. I have a lot more second hand ones.

        So you have zero basis for defending the risk/return tradeoff of vaccines, particularly since there were aggressive efforts to mandate them, when the risks were never properly measured. IM Doc, who unlike you was on an Institutional Review Board (as in spent nearly 2 decades overseeing clinical trials) has been clear from the get go that the process for vetting the safety of the vaccines was grossly deficient, and certain key metrics (most of all, all factor mortality) were NEVER collected.

        Tucker also correctly points out that the basis for the mandates was that the vaccines supposedly prevented contagion when they never did that and were only incidentally assessed after the fact for that. They may have reduced contagion for wild type, but Walensky was forced to admit they didn’t for Delta, and they sure don’t for Omicron.

        1. zagonostra

          “This humble blog, as well as the members of the Covid brain trust, has had to engage in a lot of self censorship on this topic.”

          Maybe some day, when appropriate, you could expound on this. This may be a “humble blog” but your experience is probably indicative/emblematic of a much larger alt-media universe, one in which more and more people are turning to for accurate, truthful reporting.

          1. Arizona Slim

            I forgot to say something in the comment I posted above. I forgot to say thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to Naked Capitalism.

            I owe my current state of good health to what I read here two years ago.

            1. The Rev Kev

              Same here. I would probably have eventually gone with one of the mRNA vaccines but reading what they were all about here, gave them a total miss. I ended up having to take two Astrazeneca vaccines but after a reaction, will no longer take part in that experiment thanks again to NC and all the information that they were coming out with here.

            2. Screwball

              Same here Slim, and I can’t thank NC and their COVID brain trust enough. IMO, this site has been, and continues to be, the best site for COVID I have found.

              This should all get very interesting in the future once more people are aware of what’s going on. Too bad this has to be Tucker, which will only turn off 1/3 of the population because real news only comes from MSNBC.

              Denial is a powerful drug too.

            3. Randall Flagg

              I’ll pile onto that Thank You to NC and many commentators as well!’
              The saddest part of this is the damage done in that when a truly effective drug/medication appears someday, when hyped by the CDC, or whomever, the canyon of mistrust they have to climb out of, they may as well be starting at the bottom of the Mariana Trench

            4. ambrit

              A Ditto to the ‘thank you to NC.’
              Because of what I read here two years ago, Phyl and I confirmed our decision to not take the “vaccines.” It has all been non-pharmaceutical interventions for us, and successful so far. (Knocks on wood, [head,] for luck, {to avert Divine Displeasure.})
              Adding, the sheer volume of “officially approved ‘nudging'” going on to force compliance with the “Unofficial-Official” “vaccine” mandates is breathtaking. This fact alone lends credence to various Conspiracy Theories concerning the Coronavirus and it’s attendant Pandemic.
              One general rule I follow in analyzing ‘social movements’ etc. is that proper Science requires strict evidence based analysis. Show me the data is the key phrase here. Socially oriented “science” only requires a lesser level of evidence, ie. “preponderance of evidence.” So, we get a lot of “Listen to the Experts” argumentation. Data is often suppressed if it contradicts the “officially approved” narrative.
              Stay safe. Think for yourself.

              1. christian

                I really shudder to think how long this pandemic, and how rough all the future covid/flu seasons are going to be because of egotistic folks who decided to “think for themselves” while having no training in the issue.
                I sure hope you’re not driving around with bald tires or no catalytic converter because you thought for yourself and realized you get better mileage this way.

                1. Fiery Hunt

                  I would amend ambrit’s comment to:

                  “Think for yourself. (If you can).’

                  Pretty obvious some of us need to be told what to do.
                  Unfortunately, those same some of us listen to the wrong people/media.

                  And just to be crystal clear…by wrong, I’m not talking about NC or Carlson.

                  1. ambrit

                    Thank you Fiery Hunt. “Call me, grateful.”
                    I ‘like’ how some “critics” like to indulge in character assasination, rather than come to grips with the issues at hand.
                    I’ll not indulge in a “flame war” over this.
                    Stay safe, and keep commenting!

          2. dougsinSB

            Of course our Gov’t. lies, its agenda differs from ours. This can’t be shocking to Yves readers. What Tucker is reading off his Fox teleprompter is significant ONLY in our responses. What’s our responsiblity for passively watching (for 40 years) as BOTH Political Parties voraciously dismantled our Gov’t. regulatory Agencies? The principal function of these apolitical, professionally staffed Departments was to protect us from charlatans.

          3. Glen

            I can sort of see the self censoring happening at a couple of places I look for news.

            It’s got a real Nineteen Eighty-Four vibe.

            This is VERY not good. Not much point in having freedom of speech or a good “free” press, and it’s not like this was a super strong aspect to our society before.

        2. Telee

          A similar situation with reporting on the Russian, US proxy war. Judge Napolitano interviews Scott Ritter and Col. Douglas MacGregor while Carlson occasionally has Glenn Greenwald, Tulsi Gabbard and MacGregor on his show. Meanwhile democrats appear to be completely united in their support for the war and “left wing” shows like the Young Turks tell you not to believe what Ritter or MacGregor have to say about Ukraine and Ana Kasparian actually gave Aaron Mate the finger for his counter narrative. While I disagree with the overall politics of Napolitano, Carlson, MacGregor etc. I do think they are a good source when it comes to Ukraine. During the Vietnam War there were democrats who expressed their opposition but those days are over. I suppose we should acknowledge common ground when we see it without committing to the sources overall political views.

          1. britzklieg

            Carlson was also the only one in the last several years giving regular air time to the late, great Stephen Cohen, who in previous decades was the go-to-guy on Russia for most of the MSM.

        3. shinola

          “It is NOT bad faith to say the public was promised 100% immunity.”

          I guess I wasn’t paying enough attention to the msm to catch the “immunity” claims. IIRC, when the vax’s 1st came out it was stated that they did NOT provide immunity but only helped to prevent severe illness. I don’t recall if it was specifically stated, or I just assumed that meant that one could still carry the virus & therefore still spread the infection.

          Both wife & I had the Pfizer vax + 1 boost with no ill effects (other than dread on my part – I’m needle-phobic) but still continued to take precautions such as always masking in public places, minimizing going out anywhere that isn’t necessary (grocery & pharmacy mainly) and then only those places at off-peak times. I’m unpleasantly surprised at the number pf people who are not wearing masks in the stores – we are definitely in the minority.

          We’ve not been inside a restaurant or visited my elderly mother for nearly 2 years.

          Caveat: Fortunately, we were both recently retired when this thing hit, so no worries about having to go to the office/workplace & we live in a detached, single family home so our situation is probably somewhat atypical.

          Broken record time: This thang ain’t over yet!

          Y’all take care, stay cautious & try to stay well as best you can

          1. Pelham

            Your experience and recollections pretty much parallel mine. I’ve seen video of Biden saying that, once vaxxed, you don’t have to worry. But then I also recall the early emphasis on the vaccines’ main purpose being to reduce hospitalizations. As a result, my wife, daughter and I never went anywhere without a mask after getting the second vaccine dose. We wouldn’t have bothered if we had believed ourselves immune.

            1. will rodgers horse

              You might want to revisit the timeline on that. The vaccines were approved based on RCTs showing a 95% decrease in symptomatic infection. Those trials did NOT set out to show decreases in severe outcomes. That was how they got the FDA nod.
              Moreover , Walensky, Biden and MANY OTHERS told the public ” You are not going to get covid. Period”

              1. Basil Pesto

                Yes, and the endpoint for EUA was >50% prevention of symptomatic infection. CureVac was rejected for this reason as it fell short of that goal

          2. marcyincny

            Same here for two retirees who felt some social obligation to take an experimental vaccine in the hope of avoiding added pressure on medical care services.

            I too had no idea MSM was telling the public the vaccines would prevent transmission. I thought everyone understood “what doesn’t kill you mutates and tries again”…

          3. Tom Bradford

            It is NOT bad faith to say the public was promised 100% immunity. Both Rochelle Walensky and Biden said if you get vaccinated, you will not get Covid.

            Speaking only for my neck of the woods, New Zealand, the official line was never a promise of immunity. Only that “you are far less likely to get really sick and have to go to hospital if you catch COVID-19. You are also less likely to pass COVID-19 on to other people.”


            As best I can recall the PM, Health Minister and Public Health officials on TV or in the news have always been careful to make that point, ‘tho I daresay there are journalists enough and others that haven’t appreciated the distinction and/or like most people believed that vaccination = immunity to suggest it.

            Similarly the line on masking was always that it was as much about protecting others from you should you be infected as about protecting yourself.

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              Carlson was speaking to a US audience only.

              “Our data from the CDC today suggests that vaccinated people don’t carry the virus, don’t get sick and that it’s not just in clinical trials, but it’s also in real world data,” said Walensky.


              So Walenksy also misrepresented the clinical trial data.

              This statement was widely picked up, see for instance:


              And Biden did say if you were vaccinated, you would not get Covid. See video in this article:


              1. Fiery Hunt

                Yeah, the sheer number of people/clients I’ve had tell me, “You don’t have to wear a mask, I’ve been vaxxed! boosted! double boosted!” is anecdotal proof that LOTS of people heard the “get vaxxed and you’re immune!” bullshxt.

                Straight from Biden, Wallensky, Fauci and the rest of the Sociopaths of the Day crowd.

          4. eg

            I credit NC for my understanding very early on that the vaccines were non-sterilizing. In fact, I’m pretty certain that NC was the first place that I ever heard of the concept of a sterilizing vs non-sterilizing vaccine.

            Regardless, I took whichever ones were available as soon as they were offered (AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer and Pfizer) and consider myself fortunate not to have contracted the disease that I know of. I remain hopeful for the development of a nasal vaccine.

            I still mask and avoid indoor settings as much as possible — I’m a firm believer in layered protection and consider the dropping of mask mandates as sheerest folly. I’m also disgusted by the abandonment of the testing regime in Ontario.

        4. SE

          The voracity of all this information aside, this type of cherry picking a single “outsider” medical professional, and then relying on a bunch of anecdotes and personal testimonials, is exactly what I see a lot members of me family and friends go through when they go down the anti-vax rabbit hole.
          I’ve got catholic cousins really go down the vaccine-causes-autism rabbit hole with their kids and pretty much lump it all together and tell me what do I know about medicine, here’s everything that they’ve found online.
          With all due respect, it really doesn’t make for a convincing argument and feeds into the superstitions that are already sweeping the country and effecting these health outcomes. All too many of the same people in my circle who were anti-vax got into the Goop and “supplements” craze as well. It’s clearly a systemic trust problem, but trying to crucify officials who’re doing the best they can to dilute down a message for people who didn’t take a biology class after 10th grade isn’t the solution.
          I for one am glad my house got vaxxed, and while we’ve had covid by now, haven’t gotten long covid, and the old folks and immunocompromised around us haven’t had any bigger complications than a normal flu.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            This is not anecdata. There is now evidence that the Covid vaccines do more harm than good.

            Peter Doshi, a BMJ board member and top medical statistician (he’s published books on analysis of clinical trials) was one of six authors (and the others were highly reputable) of a paper that concluded that patients who took the vaccines had more serious adverse outcomes than ones that didn’t.

            Serious Adverse Events of Special Interest Following mRNA Vaccination in Randomized Trials SSRN. This is a preprint but the Covid brain trust and others say it is methodologically solid.


            See also Doshi’s earlier work:

            Will covid-19 vaccines save lives? Current trials aren’t designed to tell us BMJ


            1. James

              They obviously sold a bill of goods re: waning, variant protection, and much of the pandemic, but Doshi is not reliable.

              His claims on VE misread the studies and make false assumptions about PCR testing. He claims:

              “According to FDA’s report on Pfizer’s vaccine, there were “3410 total cases of suspected, but unconfirmed covid-19 in the overall study population, 1594 occurred in the vaccine group vs. 1816 in the placebo group.”

              With 20 times more suspected than confirmed cases, this category of disease cannot be ignored simply because there was no positive PCR test result… A rough estimate of vaccine efficacy against developing covid-19 symptoms, with or without a positive PCR test result, would be a relative risk reduction of 19%…”

              But the studies PCR tested anyone with symptoms for covid. No positive PCR is a curious way to describe people who tested negative for covid. These suspected cases were excluded bc they were PCR negative for covid.

              Moderna for example:

              “SARS-CoV-2–infected volunteers were followed daily, to assess symptom severity, for 14 days or until symptoms resolved, whichever was longer. A nasopharyngeal swab for RT-PCR testing and a blood sample for identifying serologic evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection were collected from participants with symptoms of Covid-19.”

              Doshi then goes on to fault covid vaccines for not preventing covid like illness.

              “If many or most of these suspected cases were in people who had a false negative PCR test result, this would dramatically decrease vaccine efficacy. But considering that influenza-like illnesses have always had myriad causes—rhinoviruses, influenza viruses, other coronaviruses, adenoviruses, respiratory syncytial virus, etc.—some or many of the suspected covid-19 cases may be due to a different causative agent.

              But why should etiology matter? If those experiencing “suspected covid-19” had essentially the same clinical course as confirmed covid-19, then “suspected plus confirmed covid-19” may be a more clinically meaningful endpoint than just confirmed covid-19

              But no amount of false negatives would substantiate his claims, and etiology does matter. Assessing VE means determining whether vaccines prevent symptomatic covid, not influenza, rsv, or the common cold.

              The Moderna Study and Doshi’s article for reference.



          2. Fiery Hunt

            “…haven’t gotten long covid, and the old folks and immunocompromised around us haven’t had any bigger complications than a normal flu.”

            And yet, that risk continues and probably grows.

            It’s all good til it ain’t.

          3. Raymond Sim

            …but trying to crucify officials who’re doing the best they can to dilute down a message for people who didn’t take a biology class after 10th grade isn’t the solution.

            Huh? Which officials do you refer to?

            Also, in what circumstances would ‘diluting’ the message ever be the right approach?

            Perhaps you’re confusing pedagogy with governance? Confronted with a complex threat most of the population won’t fully understand it’s key to lay out unambiguous guidlines and/or mandates. That’s not new news, you can probably find discussions of it in cuneiform

            All that said, in what universe do outright lies and transparent fallacies characterize doing one’s best as a public health official?

      2. reprobate

        So you’d rather swallow lies from the “right” people than the truth from Carlson. Class loyalty counts more for you than your health and that of the people around you. And you want to impose your warped sense of priorities on all of us.

        1. Mark Gisleson

          I loathed Carlson in the ’90s for saying things I’m glad I no longer remember because I’m no longer sure I would still disagree with him.

          I hate when I watch these clips and find myself nodding along but the truth is that nature does not forbid snakes from telling the truth. When our govt is lying nonstop, what could possibly be more subversive than some in-your-face truths?

        2. Basil Pesto

          Meh. Carlson is not needed to point out these failures and he adds nothing of value to the pandemic ~discourse~ except gratifying dopamine hits to cynics.

          Quite the opposite in fact. That he is the first to loudly point out some by-now obvious failures loudly does little to impress me, and this weird regard for him seems merely a reflection of America’s inane tribalism, of which Carlson is such an expertly cynical manipulator, and which has hobbled not just the American but, in turn, the global pandemic response. It is a sheer Divide & Conquer exercise. NC readers are usually hip to this – or maybe only when it happens in the realm of axiomatically silly “wokeness” issues, rather than the now Identitarianised pandemic – but seem to go weak at the knees when Carlson offers up some demagogic triteness, even if it is partially truthful demagogic triteness.

          It is surely only in this bland context of inane tribalism that a professional would proclaim something like the mediocre vaccines (which, if they’d been used properly, could’ve been even more genuinely useful) are “the greatest example of medical malpractice in history” and not… the pointlessly, unnecessarily accelerated and protracted pandemic which has killed nearly 1.1m Americans – Americans alone! Carlson and Fauci serve this same purposes not just among laypeople but, going by what I’ve seen over the last 3 years on the twitters and such, many medical and scientific professionals too: To trick them all into thinking that this pandemic status quo was a scientific inevitability, an innocent and unavoidable mistake, rather than the political fait accompli that it truly is. Perhaps I’m guilty of breathless hyperbole myself but GM has pointed out that this pandemic constitutes the largest deliberate mass killing since WW2, and I’m inclined to agree. That’s not the kind of sentiment you’re likely to hear on Tucker Carlson, courageous, no-holds barred, ball-laden truthteller that we’re supposed to believe he is, and something tells me it’s not because he has a firm technical grasp of the issues that have arisen in the last 3 years – issues that are not especially complicated to grasp.

          It’s worth remembering that (again, as GM has oft pointed out repeatedly) Covid is a solved problem. That is the most important, fundamental truth of this whole saga. It wouldn’t be easy but it would hardly be the most trying thing that most countries have been through in relatively recent human history, would be over in most developed countries within 6 months, and the benefit of such an undertaking speaks for itself. Such an undertaking would of course require considerable social welfare to pay for, inter alia, mass testing and for people not to work temporarily in order to avoid exposure and break chains of transmission. Of course, the destruction of social welfare is Tucker Carlson’s raison d’etre, a mission which he and his class has succeeded at over the past several decades. Which is why he will always be a pro-Covid activist, and as psychopathically indifferent to preventable death as Anthony Fauci apparently is.

          The only purpose this tediously predictable divide-and-conquer spectacle serves, though, is to obfuscate that fundamental and vital truth that GM describes, that covid could be controlled in most of the developed world in a matter of months. In this respect, Carlson is more or less identical to the Faucists. Their ‘solution’ to the pandemic is to pretend it isn’t a problem. Carlson’s is to not only pretend that it isn’t a problem, but that it never was a problem and everyone should just shut up about it. In this respect he is unambiguously dangerous and vile, his perfunctory drawing-of-attention to the perfidy of Big Pharma – some pretty low-hanging fruit, if we’re being honest – notwithstanding. In this respect he is every bit as deserving of being fired out of a cannon into the sun as Fauci is. I mean, did this guy not just dedicate a segment recently to berating a journalist to his own audience of millions for a wearing a respirator on stage while interviewing someone at some conference? This guy is our pandemic Profile in Courage? Spare me. Dangerous and worthless, and unambiguously responsible for a surely non-negligible amount of suffering of his viewership by inculcating falsehoods of this sort for the sake of “the message” when he could have said something, anything of any practical benefit to his audience at all, as this site and select others have done since the beginning of 2020. Instead, we get “masks don’t work”. Just like Fauci, circa Feb 2020. And no, Carlson may not be head of NIH, but he sits at a locus of considerable power in the American political-economic-media landscape: as a totemic figure in the mainstream media marketplace. He would prefer to use that position to spread malignant falsehoods (and the occasional half-truth – yes, pointing out the vaccines suck at the same time as minimising the pandemic and berating respirator usage is tantamount to a half-truth, and that is being generous). I wouldn’t piss on him if he was allergic to piss (h/t Malcolm Tucker).

          Of course, this is broadly the outcome that was predicted by many here last year: that by so brazenly lying about what the vaccines would be capable of, and not being honest about their safety profile, their inevitable failure would give oxygen to fuckwits of exactly this sort: their partial, selective and ultimately misleading truthtelling giving them a veneer of credibility. The crime is that vaccines were used to undermine the pandemic response by not being used as vaccines should be, and traditionally have been: in combination with NPIs and other techniques to embark on a campaign of elimination (I think this would have been relatively easy technically; I think one can reasonably conclude that the vaccines did have some beneficial impact on the dynamics of onward transmission in the first half of 2021). This is the unvarnished truth of the pandemic: that instead of uniting against a common threat we obfuscated, lied, scolded, propagandised on behalf of the virus and expended vast reserves of energy pitting the public against each other, in part by sowing doubt exactly as the pro-smoking/pro-climate change lobby has done in the past, and using smoke and mirrors to hide the role of the political, pharmaceutical and, yes, media elites who have all helped make this pointless technicolour hellscape ~The New Normal~. I doubt this bothers Carlson one iota, given that, it is precisely his exploitation of these dynamics that I’ve described that juices the value of his contracts, and given his utter lack of humanism and integrity, albeit one that he papers over with his horse face of mock incredulity (also h/t Malcolm Tucker) flecked with faux-concern. He is, beyond question, beyond any shadow of a doubt, part of the problem.

          1. Bazarov

            “It is surely only in this bland context of inane tribalism that a professional would proclaim something like the mediocre vaccines (which, if they’d been used properly, could’ve been even more genuinely useful) are ‘the greatest example of medical malpractice in history’ and not… the pointlessly, unnecessarily accelerated and protracted pandemic which has killed nearly 1.1m Americans – Americans alone!”

            This comment hits the nail on the head.

            IM Doc wonders why the powers that be allow all this Golden Truth to be aired from Tucker’s cherub lips–the answer is that they were happy to as it advances the divide and conquer strategy that forms the basis of elite power.

            You’re correct that the real malpractice is the 1.1 million human sacrifices to the alter of mammon. The Chinese case is proof positive that our elite chose to kill them all and to use their media power to ensure that any debate on the matter redounds to their benefit.

            Doctors are screwed–this is what Tucker’s segment means. In order to proletarianize the medical field entirely, first it has to be stripped of any regard by the wider public. The field will be vilified just like teaching has been. Soon, doctors will be mere employees in private equity owned hospitals. They’ll experience what it’s like to be “too expensive” and be replaced by “cheaper” alternatives: midlevels that will do what they’re told (over prescribe medicine and the most profitable procedures).

            As hatred for doctors grows, expect to see a lot more hospital shootings, as well.

            1. Noone from Nowheresville

              Soon, doctors will be mere employees in private equity owned hospitals.

              To me that’s why they are referred to as PROVIDERS instead of doctors.

              1. Yves Smith Post author

                Not soon. Now. We’ve been writing for over 6 years about the rise of corporatized medicine. And Obamacare accelerated this trend by requiring doctors to be members of accredited care organizations. The only place you see a lot of holdouts, as in solo practitioners, is NYC. That is why I still go there for care.

            2. IM Doc

              I could not agree with you more. The push to “employ” physicians has been one of the greatest coups in modern history.

              Take a trip back to 2009. The H1N1 vaccine. It was a lark in the park compared to this one. But at that time, the critical mass of physicians were beholden to no one but their patients. They were not employed to near the extent they are today.

              They were free to question without censorship or threats. That H1N1 vaccine had a minimal problem list compared to these COVID vaccines but because of the outcry – and the obvious problems – it was pulled within months.

              Physicians have signed their own death warrant as a profession. They have handed over their independence and their patient safety to Mammon. I have been decrying this for years.

              With regard to what the professor said yesterday about this being malpractice. I think we have to wait for what the future may hold. Things are already starting to be very concerning. We have done this experiment on animals with non-sterilizing vaccines in the past – and it takes years to unravel – and at times is quite ugly – we will see how this goes.

              With regard to vaccine injury – I believe it was in August 2021 – when Pfizer was finally forced to release further data on their initial trial. At that time – it was noted that the all cause mortality was HIGHER in the vaccinated group than the placebo group. At that point, there should have been an all stop. That is a simple tenet of medical ethics. It is not that the product will ever see the light of day again – it is that much work is needed to understand why that might be happening before being dispensed more. That assessment is from decades of IRB experience. Not only was this fact that never discussed in the media – it was just a mere weeks later that we doubled down and went for the vax mandates.

              There are lots of questions that need answers.

            3. hunkerdown

              But you still haven’t provided a reason why any PMC or gang thereof should be allowed to act or speak as a class having moral property without swift, immediate retaliation.

            4. Lupana

              As hatred for doctors grows, expect to see a lot more hospital shootings, as well.

              I apologize if I am taking this personally when I shouldn’t but my daughter is in training to be a doctor. She and her friends all work very hard and very long hours to train for the purpose of helping people. They are not responsible for the system within which they will work. I do know that they all are kind, good hearted people not deserving of anyone’s hatred or hateful actions.

              1. Bazarov

                I personally believe doctors answer a high calling and that your daughter should be honored and respected and allowed to practice her profession in a system uncorrupted by the profit motive. I believe the same thing about teachers.

                But the honest truth is that the American owner/profiteer elite are coming for doctors the same way they came for teachers and that puts hospitals and clinic staff in the crosshairs, literally.

                1. Lupana

                  I can agree with you there. She would like to have her own small office with patients she knows well but with $400,000 in debt, it’s just not possible right away.
                  As to the second part of your comment, violence is never an acceptable response …ever.

                  1. ambrit

                    The problem is that, as Kennedy famously said; “Those who make peaceful revolution impossibel make violent revolution inevitable.”
                    Events will play out “at their own pace and in their own agenda.”
                    Serious good luck to your daughter. $400,000 in debt is no laughing matter.

          2. DJG, Reality Czar

            Basil Pesto: Thanks for this. I find little to disagree with in your assessment.

            I think it is important to underscore that, from outside the U S of A, American preoccupations and American politics are notable for (1) taking up too much space in the media, (2) consisting of vicious pettiness that means that the poor and powerless suffer (those late, lamented “essential workers,” for instance), and (3) causing death and destruction inside the country and outside.

            Internally, we witness fights to the death over mask policy, and externally, the U.S. imposes sanctions so that other peoples can suffer.

            As you write, the main crime is the deaths of millions. Yet the deaths of millions of Covid and of endless war have been caused by a series of crimes, none of which has been taken to trial.

            Unless one considers Assange part of the problem.

          3. Bluehatman

            All so very true. What Carlson doesn’t mention is the intentional design to get everyone back to work and back in school because, profits. And, China’s got it right..

          4. Oh

            That rattlesnake will say anything to up his viewership. After all, most of the flyover country love this rhetoric. He’s no more against Big Pharma than Fauci is. I will not be a fanboi. I’m sorry to see so many that are.

          5. Jeremy Grimm

            Indeed Carlson is not needed to point out the failures of u.s. Corona policy. But who else with a following of similar size and weight has made these failures so plain? I believe you misapprehend the nature of such applaud for Carlson as you see in this and yesterday’s comments here regarding Carlson. I believe the Divide & Conquer exercise you note is not at all occult to the u.s. readers of NakedCapitalism in their apprehension of issues other than wokeness. The Corona broadcasts by Carlson are comic and ironic. I like to believe that few if any readers of this blog have become Carlson admirers or avidly tune in to Fox News — any more than they avidly tune in to MSNBC or NPR.

            The Corona pandemic was a solved problem the minute it appeared, through the application of centuries old public health practices. Of course such an undertaking would require considerable implementation of social welfare to bear its costs. Testing is one component of public health present science might have greatly improved upon over the ancient methods of waiting for signs and symptoms, and tracking exposures. The application of present science could have much more quickly discovered how the Corona spreads and the pathways by which it attacks the human body. I believe much was already known but ignored — and there is more to be discovered. Clearly Elites in the West have other goals and intentions than providing for the general Welfare.

            Rather than applaud Carlson’s “brass balls” for his revelations of the gross mendacity and avarice of team Dem and their supporting Corporate Elites — revelations supposedly made in spite of the heavy support some of those same Corporate Elites provide for Fox News — I wonder how much Carlson’s broadcast might reflect some shift in the relative power of different factions within the Corporate Elite … perhaps impacting Fox News’ expectations regarding the best prospects for future funding support. I agree with what I believe is your suspicion that this may be a harbinger of a new wave of u.s. anti-science conservatism. I think it hardly surprising that the team Dem Corona campaign might foster a new wave of u.s. anti-science. Many scientists, journals, and much of the Medical Profession have all been too complicit in this degradation of their prestige. The Neoliberalization of medicine and science will continue, accompanied by continued and growing distrust of experts, and government agencies, enabling ever greater impacts for present and future campaigns of agnotology to blunt and disperse the conviction required to foment action. But if, as I suspect, there has been a shift in the tectonic ‘plates’ of the factional continents of the Power Elite, what new shapes and patterns might they define? These times grow ever more ‘interesting’.

            1. Basil Pesto

              Indeed Carlson is not needed to point out the failures of u.s. Corona policy. But who else with a following of similar size and weight has made these failures so plain?

              I suppose that if I could both respond to this & precis my rant, I’d say something like:

              If Carlson is selectively, cyncically, and mendaciously pointing out some failures – accurately – and not others, all the while positioning himself as an anti-mask crusader and general pandemic minimiser, then he is not actually shining a light on USA’s pandemic policy failures, but contributing to and propagating them. Thus he is not making anything plain, but contributing to the morass of confusion, and the civic learned helplessness that is our infinite covid reality.

              The Corona broadcasts by Carlson are comic and ironic.

              To whom?

      3. Sardonia

        “There are a lot more, better sources”

        Well, please do pass along any links.

        How many of those “better sources” get 4,000,000 viewers a night, most all of whom got this info for the first time last night when they watched Carlson – and will be asking hard questions of their doctors, who will have to then actually do their job and find the answers?

          1. Pat

            To expand oh griffin’s point:

            You mean some of the same ones that get to keep their Pulitzer for coverage of Russiagate even though the Pulitzer committee was presented with evidence it was a false story and they could have told the real story if they hadn’t acted as glorified marketing flyers selling a narrative…
            Those trusted sources?

            1. Diogenes

              Why not? They kept the one on their warrantless wiretap reporting…

              …after suppressing it until after an intervening presidential election had passed.

              At the request of the incumbent.

              You know: journalism.

          2. orlbucfan

            I stay away from POX “News” and the caught craporate media. Cos I have an unusual internal medical condition, I am immuno-compromised. I did my own Covid research, and let me tell you: it was a ROYAL headache separating the facts from the screeching propaganda. I complained about it on this site as well as one other I frequent. To compound the problem, I’m a Floridian. My work paid off. I am Covid-free even after having to fly on a “Covid tube” to another state for a funeral. To the young teacher who commented on here. My sister teaches high school Math. She is full-time. One of the most important things she and my BIL did was research portable air purifiers. She was vaccinated, masked up, and that air purifier was worth every cent they spent on it. She, too, is a Floridian. She has not contracted Covid, and is prepping for the new school year. I hope this info helps, FWIW.

      4. Sutter Cane

        Tucker’s shtick has long been to break kayfabe and utter some truths that never get spoken on TV, and then turn everything he’s just talked about towards whatever rich Republicans elites want, that will only make whatever problem he’s just talked about even worse. Sure, big pharma is bad. I don’t see Tucker Carlson advocating for universal healthcare as a solution.

        1. Paul Jurczak

          Perhaps universal healthcare by Fauci, Walensky, Pfizer and their ilk wouldn’t be what you wish. The fact that Carlson is not Jesus, doesn’t diminish the value of questioning the official narrative on mainstream media.

        2. Jeremy Grimm

          Perhaps it might benefit the negative jump on Tucker Carlson’s schick of the moment “to break kayfabe and utter some truths that never get spoken on TV”. Should kayfabe not be broken. Should not truths that never are told be told on TV?

      5. Lex

        Hank, you’re doing a great job of encapsulating perhaps our most significant national issue. It doesn’t matter who speaks the truth, only that they do. As participants in a democracy, we have the burden of being political analysts. It doesn’t work if we’re not. As analysts we need to gather information, process it and develop a defensible reasoning for our conclusion. We can only do so with a variety of good information. We also need to take from lots of other analysts (or neighbors, coworkers, newspapers, etc.). To do that, we must analyze the analysts. It’s ok to disagree with tucker vehemently on any percentage of the issues, so it’s important to analyze tucker’s ideology and understand. But the fact of the matter is, when tucker (or anyone) is correct that we acknowledge it. In this case, it’s important because his reach is vastly bigger than almost any other source that might say the same thing.

        It’s counterproductive to silo ourselves in outward manifestations of ideology and only listen to those sources we agree with on all or most of the issues. In fact, that’s precisely what our oligarchs want us to do.

        1. Fiery Hunt

          Always this.

          I listen to lots of viewpoints but I do my own thinking, thank you.

      6. Raymond Sim

        Should we all be anti-vax now because I can’t really be epistemologically certain about anything?
        Obviously the boosters were a scientific wish and a prayer, and a broad money grub, but when these next version come out for flu season. will we have wanted to endorse this vague big boogieman message and celebrate this media flak?

        For me to believe that this part of your argument is made in good faith I’d have to be aware of at least one of the ‘better
        ‘ sources you claim are so numerous. And they woud have to have explicitly addressed at least the obviously shoddy, not-malfeasant-only-if-incompetent nature of the vaccine development and rollout. If you’ve got some to list for us then I implore you to please change my mind. I’m clearly terribly misguided on a matter of life and death.

        On top of that though, your position would seem to have it that Yves should not have so much as noted with approval that Tucker said something correct. And that notion is simply unworthy of a grownup.

    4. .Tom

      I won’t cry if Pfizer has Carlson seen to and uses his steel balls in a new patent remedy. But I’m glad Carlson’s doing this and curious how Pfizer’s commercial relationship with Fox develops. My guess is Fox can largely replace big pharma ad revenue fairly quickly and in the long run may grow ad business by developing audience trust through telling important truths.

    5. Ghost in the Machine

      Does anyone have the reference for the Lancet article Carlson is referring to about an increased risk of infection following vaccination? I am looking over the recent Covid related articles on the Lancet website and can’t find it. The things I am finding are the typical results of pretty effective against “severe disease” and prevention of death. My primary physician refers to the Israeli studies when talking about Covid vaccines. He mentions that they could do a better job at these type of studies due to their national health care. Anyway, this study should be put in context with all these other studies.

      1. Tom67

        You don´t need the Lancet to know that. NHS Scotland showed that load and clear until they stopped publishing the numbers. Here from last January:
        In fact I am sure that Fauci and our very own pharma shills (I am German) have known that for a long time. I hope and pray that IM doc is right and these people will all go to jail. A super max at that with no parole. My wife´s beloved cousin, a fabulous man of 47 died after Astra Seneca. His sister, a family doc had trusted the pharmaceutical industry and our government and had advised him to take the jab. She is utterly distraught. The cause of death was officially Covid 19. But his sister found out that his bodiy was riddled with Thrombosis.
        As to Tucker Carlson: I don´t care who he is and what his politics are. From the reaction here I get that he is VERY BIG in the US. Good for you and ultimately also good for us. If in the US you will put your Fauci in the dock our modern day Dr. Mengeles here in Germany won´t be far behind.

        1. French75

          NHS Scotland showed that load and clear until they stopped publishing the numbers. Here from last January

          Are you sure? I’m looking at table 13 and the confidence intervals of age-standardized mortality rates overlap — except for the (best-performing) boosted population which you can tell, just by the far lower rate, is much larger than the other populations.

          At any rate @”Ghost in the Machine”, the original claim seems to be here:

          Recently, The Lancet published a study on the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines and the waning of immunity with time [1]. The study showed that immune function among vaccinated individuals 8 months after the administration of two doses of COVID-19 vaccine was lower than that among unvaccinated individuals.

          and the referenced [1] is here:

          In fact this paper shows no such thing. [Table 3, second-to-last line] The incidence rate (per-100k people per day) was 1.8 among vaccinated people older than 80, and 1.0 among unvaccinated people older than 80 (here’s the source of tucker’s “80%”); but this difference is not statistically significant. That is to say, there is insufficient evidence to say that the vaccines have a positive or negative effect in this cohort.

          Yet again chicanery on the part of a mainstream media source.

          1. tom67

            Table 11 in the NHS report is very clear. The incidences of infection were much higher among even the boosted than among the unvaccinated. These are stratified numbers.
            Table 12 shows twice the rates for twice jabbed. Only the boosted are significantly lower. And now I will let you on to a dirty secret: the definition of boosted starts only two weeks after the jab. Just as the definition of 1 times jabbed only starts two weeks after the jab. By now it is well known that there´s an initial suppression of immunity by the jabs (intentionally so the MRNA doesn´t get destroyed by the immune system). During this time the rate goes up. So when looking at the table and seeing that two times jabbed look so much worse than three times jabbed it is nothing but a data artifact. In reality for the crucial first two weeks the boosted where still counted as if they had only been twice jabbed, And so on back to the unvaccinated. So the numbers are in reality much, much worse.
            What kind of shennanigans were used is detailed here:
            You can also check out the web page of Norman Fenton, a mathematician at Queen university London where there is even more information: normanfenton.,com

            1. French75

              Are you sure you posted the correct link? Table 12 has, for unvaccinated, twice-jabbed, 2+boost:

              43, 46, 4
              64, 45, 7
              84, 78, 20

              The first 3 rows are the only reliable ones as the final row has incomplete data (which is why it is shaded). The twice-jabbed is showing equivalent or lower rates.

              Table 11 shows infection rate, not hospitalizations. It’s been clear for a very long time that the vaccine does not prevent infection; and the vaccinated having a higher infection rate can be easily explained by behavioral differences: there were significant social restrictions on the unvaccinated that were not present for the vaccinated.

              1. Tom67

                Here please:
                Table 11: Age standardised case rate per 100 000:
                01 January 2022 – 07 January 1,092.80 for unvaxxed vs. 2,499.52 for two vaxxed and 1,466.76 for boosted. As explained above the data are heavily skewed by counting the first time vaxxed for two weeks as unvaxxed; the 2 time vaxxed for two weeks as one time vaxxed and the boosted for two weeks as two times vaxxed.
                Table 12: it is easy to see there is either as much or more hospitalisation among the vaxxed as among the unvaxxed. The numbers for the boosted are better but there´s the above mentioned fiddling of the data.
                In Table 13 (death rate) the twice vaxxed are worse than the unvaxxed but the boosted look really, really good. Then again for the most dangerous period (two weeks after inoculation) the boosted are counted as two times vaxxed.
                Some time in April or May NHS Scotland stopped showing such detailed data.

                1. French75

                  > Table 11: Age standardised case rate per 100 000:

                  As mentioned, this is case rate. The vaccines do nothing to prevent infection; and in fact encourage behavior that leaves people more likely to be exposed. I agree that the goalposts have shifted (“preventing severe symptoms” versus “preventing infection”) since the onset of the vaccination problem; but this is not evidence of poorer immune function.

                  > Table 12: it is easy to see there is either as much or more hospitalisation among the vaxxed as among the unvaxxed [but] the numbers for the boosted are better

                  i’m not sure how 45 > 64 or how 78 > 84. But even if these numbers were reversed the confidence intervals overlap so you can’t say vaccinated are performing better or worse than unvaccinated; all you can say is that the effect is small enough that it’s not measurable in such a small population.

                  > In Table 13 (death rate) the twice vaxxed are worse than the unvaxxed

                  same comment about confidence intervals — there are just too few people between 2nd vaccination and booster to tell anything. If there were lots and lots of people in that 2-week period between receiving the booster and being counted as “boosted” then the counts would be a lot higher.

                  In addition — by what mechanism do you have a drug that is harmful in 1 or 2 exposures; but produces a benefit in 3 exposures?

                  At any rate; this data is pretty clear about efficacy (benefit side). This is a separate question from risk (adverse events); which itself is separate from a cost-benefit analysis which, it appears, is not in the vaccine’s favor; except perhaps in the elderly population:


                  tl;dr: I really don’t think you’re interpreting the data correctly. For small populations, you really need to look at confidence intervals to establish whether the observed difference is likely to extend to the whole population, or whether it’s likely to be seen simply due to chance.

        2. Basil Pesto

          The cause of death was officially Covid 19. But his sister found out that his bodiy was riddled with Thrombosis.

          but Covid is very well known to cause clotting. Was he infected?

      2. Lee

        The other question that came is the assertion that most people currently dying from Covid are vaccinated. Looking at recent stats for my own state of California, and assuming the data are at least in the ballpark in terms of accuracy:

        “From June 27, 2022 to July 3, 2022, unvaccinated people were 5.9 times more likely to get COVID-19 than people who received their booster dose.

        From June 27, 2022 to July 3, 2022, unvaccinated people were 7.1 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than people who received their booster dose.

        From June 27, 2022 to July 3, 2022, unvaccinated people were 7.1 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than people who received their booster dose.”

        Of course, none of this speaks to the immediate or long term adverse side effects of the vaccines. I have not experienced the former, and as to latter, time will tell. But at my age, long term effects are not my primary concern. What I am more concerned with is whether or not being vaccinated has produced any positive effect at all. The one thing I can say with certainty is that uncertainty abounds.

        1. IM Doc

          I would ask you a very simple question – what is the definition of unvaccinated vs vaccinated? –

          Why do they never explicitly state what they are actually talking about when putting out these types of numbers? A very simple breakdown of how many have NEVER been vaccinated, how many have been partially vaxxed, vaxxed times 2, boosted times 3, boosted times 4 , given the J&J, and given the J&J _ one booster.

          I have been providing for weeks these very exact granular numbers from my practice to the COVID group here. To put it simply IT IS NOT DIFFICULT TO DO. So then, why all this opaque vague categories and numbers? Why the need for X times this or percentages? Why can we not release to the public the actual raw data – like it was done for years during the AIDS crisis?

          It actually may not convey the same narrative story as what we are trying to tell the public.

          I am really tired of the statistical games and manipulations that continue to this day with these numbers.

          1. Raymond Sim


            Ditto for getting clincially and epidemiologically useful PCR tests to where they were needed in early 2020, and for predicting infection numbers and hospitalisations three weeks ahead during the first half of 2020.

            None of what’s been needed has ever been all that hard, especially if undertaken expeditiously That it would have been is the Big Lie.

            1. Jeremy Grimm

              Between this and the comment of yours that follows below, I am not sure what you believe. Are you quibbling with particulars while unconcerned with the larger swath of the Corona pandemic and its implications to/for the future of Public Health services? What most troubles your mind about the Corona flu and its remedies?
              “None of what’s been needed has ever been all that hard, especially if undertaken expeditiously That it would have been is the Big Lie.” Please elaborate the train of your thoughts for those of us who run at a slower rate —

              1. Raymond Sim

                The resources and knowlege needed to deal with the pandemic and to predict the results of different responses to it have never been in short supply.

          2. Joe Well

            Is it possible the data would show that Moderna is vastly superior to Pfizer, and Pfizer wouldn’t want that?

        2. Paul Jurczak

          hospitalized with COVID-19

          These are not the droids you are looking for. Hospitalized for COVID-19 is the key.

        3. Lee

          I made a cut and paste error and didn’t include:

          “From June 20, 2022 to June 26, 2022, unvaccinated people were 9.9 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than people who received their booster dose.”

          1. tegnost

            I appreciate your effort and all of your comments over the years, but it’s really not that simple.
            The rich have lower mortality than the poor, and I see the potential for major selection bias.
            If more rich than poor are boosted, they get a boost in your numbers as well
            and if more poor people are unvaxxed (meaning unboosted? Does that include people with 2, what is unvaccinated, your comment doesn’t say.)
            I recall you posting something last week i think where unvaxxed were 14 times more likely. Why the decrease?
            Also, how many boosted also had paxlovid. I say there’s an income element to that drug as well, the richer you are the more likely you’ll be getting it.
            “A publicly well-accepted measure versus an academically desirable measure of health inequality: cross-sectional comparison of the difference between income quintiles with the slope index of inequality”



        4. kareninca

          Per Tom67’s post almost directly above your post, what counts as “vaccinated” is something that has been gamed from the start.

          I have never had any covid shot. If I got a shot tomorrow, and then a second shot six weeks later, and then 13 days after the second shot I caught covid and died of it, I would be counted as a deplorable unvaccinated person who had caught covid. And if I then died, I would be a deplorable person who had died of covid caught when “unvaccinated.”

          You only count as “vaccinated” if two weeks have passed after your second shot.
          You only count as “boosted” if two weeks have passed after your booster shot.

          Given that the shot itself is a hit to your immune system and makes you more likely to catch covid for a couple of weeks, it would be easy for someone to catch it in that time frame. And in fact a LOT of people did. You may or may not recall, but early on when the vaccines just started, catching covid soon after being vaccinated was a “thing.” And those people who were hospitalized or died due to that were counted as unvaccinated.

          That make your stats look very different.

          1. norm de plume

            The key point, one that is almost always absent in commentary and analysis of Covid data. I would only add that Covid is not the only thing you are more likely to ‘catch’ in those few weeks post-shot, and indeed thereafter. Consider the ominous increase in all cause mortality in the Pfizer trials.. this is IM Doc from above:

            when Pfizer was finally forced to release further data on their initial trial. At that time – it was noted that the all cause mortality was HIGHER in the vaccinated group than the placebo group. At that point, there should have been an all stop.

            Lies, damn lies and statistics.

      3. OnceWereVirologist

        Nordström P, Ballin M, Nordström A. Risk of infection, hospitalisation, and death up to 9 months after a second dose of COVID-19 vaccine: a retrospective, total population cohort study in Sweden. Lancet.

        It’s just a retrospective cohort analysis of Swedish infections that comes to an entirely predictable conclusion at this stage of the game – that the protection from two doses of vaccine fades to essentially zero beyond 8 months. This study does not say what Tucker or the Yakamoto fellow he quotes says it does, i.e. “the study showed that immune function among vaccinated individuals 8 months after the administration of two doses of COVID-19 vaccine was lower than that among unvaccinated individuals“. The Lancet study is not even an immunological study but it IS the article that Yakamoto’s “Adverse effects of COVID-19 vaccines and measures to prevent them” references in support of the above quote. Yakamoto must be something of a charlatan if he’s using an article about “apples” to reference his conclusions about “oranges”. I doubt Tucker or his people ever even leafed through the actual research paper.

        1. Lee

          And complicating things even further is the emergence of immune escaping variants which reduce the effectiveness of vaccines even during the period before the immune response to the vaccines wanes.

          1. Paul Jurczak

            emergence of immune escaping variants which reduce the effectiveness of vaccines

            True, but in most cases, the subject doesn’t have a choice of a variant to get infected with. Efficacy of COVID-19 vaccination as a public health policy can be honestly measured only in aggregate. Picking and choosing is likely a sign of deception.

      4. Raymond Sim

        I see that OnceWereVirolgist has addressed this already, but I’m going to chime in, in solidarity – Yakamoto is full of it.

        Just to start with, ‘lower immune function’ is a phrase that requires a lot of fleshing out with specifics to be meaningful. Conversely, lots of specific immune function data would be needed to establish that something that might warrant being called ‘lower immune function’ is occuring. The Lancet article can’t even be regarded as addressing, let alone justifying, Yakamoto’s vague yet dire conclusion, which appears to already have acheived received wisdom status in some quarters.

        It appears to me that this is going to be one of the bases for the initial Covidohphile propaganda counterattack against the rapidly growing evidence that SARS-2 is causing societally significant immune system injury in populations whose governments failed to check the virus. If anyone wants to go after Yves for ‘platforming’ Tucker this might be a place to start. But you’ll be starting from somewhere well past ‘CDC delenda est’.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          “…SARS-2 is causing societally significant immune system injury in populations whose governments failed to check the virus.”
          OK that makes sense and seems consistent with other journal articles noted in past NakedCapitalism postings. I am a poor stupid layman. I suppose that explains why I can readily believe that the Corona injures the immune system AND given that belief-knowledge I can even more readily believe that the Corona vaccines might injure the immune system. Please forgive my self-indulgence — the mRNA profiteers — not terribly sorry for this self-indulgence — focused their attentions on the spike protein as a target for their vaccine efforts. Their vaccines result in a proliferation of spike proteins attached to cell walls local to the site of injection or not — and who really knows or took the effort to study whether the spike proteins did indeed remain or remained attached over time. There were various reports suggesting that spike proteins alone floating around in the blood might not be too wonderful. Does a Corona infection or do spike proteins in the blood lead to ‘lower immune function’? As a poor ignorant layman I am inclined to think that if a Corona infection, which implies a proliferation of virus particles with spike proteins results in ‘lower immune function’ — I cannot be greatly surprised that a proliferation of spike proteins alone might also result in ‘lower immune function’. Where is the defining study that explains the nature, origins, and mechanism of the lowered immune function which the Corona virus or one of its components seems to confer?

          1. OnceWereVirologist

            Here are a couple of articles on coronavirus immune suppression


            You’ll notice that these articles have very little to say about spike protein because viral immune suppression involves a whole suite of non-structural viral proteins and features of the viral RNA genome.


            This is a more layman-friendly article on how COVID deranges the immune system in infected patients. There’s no evidence and little likelihood that such thorough-going effects on the human immune system can be mediated by isolated spike protein.


            This is an article on molecular mimicry of COVID spike protein and the possibility of antibodies to it cross-reacting with human proteins. That certainly seems to be a part of the pathology of the disease, but at this point we’re talking about autoimmune disease rather than suppression of immune function. However, the mechanisms behind the production of auto-antibodies in response to viral infection aren’t clear and there’s a study that looked at COVID vaccination, in which none of the healthy volunteers developed auto-antibodies. Again, the development of auto-antibodies probably requires the disregulation of the immune system produced by live virus infection rather than the spike protein alone.

            1. Jeremy Grimm

              I am not at all sure what lesson to draw from your references.
              1) Does a Corona infection lead to suppression of some human immune systems for some duration past the time a patient no longer manifests that infection?
              2) Do some patients experience some suppression of the immune system for some duration after receiving the mRNA vaccine?
              The answer to the first question is yes and the second question is not directly discussed in any of the papers you referenced. There was some suggestion of a mechanism involving the spike protein referenced in the introduction section of the NIH article you referenced but that was all I found of direct significance. I guess that leaves the question #2 unanswered. However after re-reading IM Doc’s discussion of the Carlson rant:
              “Both the other docs in the lounge tonight, MSNBC watchers, agreed with me that there is not a thing in this monologue to be quibbled about.”
              I infer that there has been clinical evidence of some kind of immune response suppression from the mRNA vaccines. From the papers you referenced, there was some suggestion that autoimmune responses to the Corona virus can lead to lasting immune system suppression. Similarly the spike protein may also lead to some autoimmune response which may lead to lasting immune system suppression and such suppression has been observed by some practicing clinicians.

            2. Jeremy Grimm

              I very much appreciate your links — although they seem … to me … little related to our argument — points of contention.
              How extensively have researchers sifted through the extent of peptide sharing with the human proteome in their studies of the many human disease viruses? That would seem an extremely rich substrate for the kinds of research I believe only research grants could effectively — and should — mine in search for more Knowledge.

          2. Raymond Sim

            For my own internal organizational purposes I think of excessive focus on the spike protein as ‘Maloneism’. I think OnceWereVirologist’s recommedations show where Maloneism goes astray – i.e. in ignoring the genuine complexity of the phenomena we’re trying to get a handle on.

            The spike is obviously a key functional element of the virus, and it’s the home of the virus’s superantigen, which clearly plays a key role in making much, or maybe even all the worst bad things the virus does to us happen.

            But the immune system is incredibly complex – it has aspects that are legitimately described as ‘memory’, it learns, and if it does not possess some form of intelligence then I think we need a new word for what it does possess. SARS-2 repeatedly fools and undermines it. It would be astonishing if a few changes to the spike were all it took to do that, and beyond astonishing if disembodied spike could do these thing all by itself. This does not however appear to be what is happening.

            1. Jeremy Grimm

              Do some patients experience some suppression of the immune system for some duration after receiving the mRNA vaccine?
              I had the impression that ‘yes’ this has been observed though little studied, much as the other side effects of the mRNA vaccine have been little reported or studied. If the answer is ‘yes’ then it is not a leap to suppose the spike protein or some aspect of its construction is the cause of that observed suppression of the immune system. While it is interesting to discover the mechanisms involved along with the fine details of the operation of the human immune system such knowledge is not necessary to reasonably conjecture that the spike protein, like other Corona virus proteins might cause suppression of the immune system.

            2. Jeremy Grimm

              “…the immune system is incredibly complex” and the interactions between the Corona virus and the immune system are especially complex. That makes a compelling argument against issuing a EUA to race a new vaccine into use, without keeping track of any side effects reported.

              The NIH article and the KHN paper OnceWereVirologist referenced discusses mechanisms which could trigger autoimmune responses to Corona virus infection. A great many areas of the Corona virus seem to contain molecular structures similar to molecular structures found in human tissues. This suggests to me that any vaccine using the Corona virus or some constituent of the Corona virus could trigger autoimmune responses just as the wild virus might. I would think that suggests exercising far greater caution in using minimally tested Corona vaccines and far greater concern about allowing the spread of this virus. Too little is known about what long term effects it might have and how they might progress.

    6. fresno dan

      One of the most interesting things to me about Carlson (and the Murdoch NY Post) is an implicit acknowledgement that the origin of the corruption is the pharmaceutical companies in their quest for ever greater PROFIT (you could say the same thing about the MSM and social media). Finally, FINALLY, a realization on the right that the love of money is the root of all evil, and that corporations will take shortcuts and even endanger health, and will certainly not be forthcoming about the drawbacks of their products. Gee, if only some widely read publication, acknowledged as a source of wisdom and ethics for millennia, and widely respected as a moral abiter, had pointed this out…

      1. fresno dan

        fresno dan
        Oops! old age I guess – I didn’t complete my final sentence – it should read:
        Gee, if only some widely read publication, acknowledged as a source of wisdom and ethics for millennia, and widely respected as a moral abiter, had pointed this out…maybe we wouldn’t have had 50 years of neoliberalism worshipping the market and all the attendent catastrophes that have befallen us because of that misguided faith in the marketplace*.

        * you know, I very well remember hearing the term “entrepeneur” for the first time. And then the hero worship of businessmen followed – it was all pervasive (ask yourself this – WHY was there ever ANY article ever written about Trump? What did he ever do in the 70’s, 80’s, or 90’s that was actually newsworthy?). It was as if the common knowledge of how every market was full of scams, cheats, griffters, and products sold on the basis of exaggerated and FALSE claims was entirely forgotten and discounted. It really was quite astounding, but it does show what rich people can accomplish when they put their minds (and their MONEY!!!) to work…

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          I very much respect entrepreneurs. I have met and talked at length with a very few — far too few — of them and based on that small sample my impression from appraising the character and motivations of each of them was a strong sense of their drive to build, make, and create, and to do it on their own terms. The money that resulted from their efforts was like a tasty frosting to top the efforts of building — a prize of accomplishment to reward the quality of what they built and made. Most of them risked their own usually meager funds to slowly build up their business enterprise. Pride in work well-done and done their way was their daily reward. Each of them was at heart a simple honest person, generous and genuinely caring of employees, suppliers, and customers — manifesting the best qualities of the petty bourgeois — but now gifted with the power and prestige that wealth confers. To a one, the only thing that wealth and power evoked was greater generosity, and drive to continue building their enterprise — for its own sake — and to do things well. I can only hope that something might not happen to their second or third generations to debase the spirit and character that built their enterprises, although, again based on very little immediate evidence, most of the enterprises begun with such pride and care became the chattel of larger Corporate entities which twisted and distorted them to squeeze out profit with little regard for any pride of product or service — except for that remaining within the hearts of those initial employees who survived the buyouts.

          I have little regard for those financiers who attempt to wear the title of entrepreneur to cleanse the brutal piracy and cold cruelty characteristic of their natures. I have to remind myself that many of the great “I very much respect entrepreneurs. I have met and talked at length with a very few — far too few — of them and based on that small sample my impression from appraising the character and motivations of each of them was a strong sense of their drive to build, make, and create, and to do it on their own terms. The money that resulted from their efforts was like a tasty frosting to top the efforts of building — a prize of accomplishment to reward the quality of what they built and made. Most of them risked their own usually meager funds to slowly build up their business enterprise. Pride in work well-done and done their way was their daily reward. Each of them was at heart a simple honest person, generous and genuinely caring of employees, suppliers, and customers — manifesting the best qualities of the petty bourgeois — but now gifted with the power and prestige that wealth confers. To a one, the only thing that wealth and power evoked was greater generosity, and drive to continue building their enterprise — for its own sake — and to do things well. I can only hope that something might not happen to their second or third generations to debase the spirit and character that built their enterprises, although, again based on very little immediate evidence, most of the enterprises begun with such pride and care became the chattel of larger Corporate entities which twisted and distorted them to squeeze out profit with little regard for any pride of product or service — except for that remaining within the hearts of those initial employees who survived the buyouts.

          I have little regard for those financiers who attempt to wear the title of entrepreneur to cleanse the brutal piracy and cold cruelty characteristic of their natures. I have to remind myself that many of the great “entrepreneurs” of early America obtained their startup capital as privateers.” of early America obtained their startup capital as privateers.

  2. RookieEMT

    It appears the right will own the narrative of what big-pharma and the healthcare system did to the American people. NC was a fantastic source but was only one blog against overwhelming support for corporate censorship and mindless vaccine cheerleading by liberal media outlets.

    Could this actually end up being fatal to the democrats long term and a serious blow to the left for years?

    Wouldn’t it be funny if Pelosi and congress gave Fauci an award ceremony timed perfectly just before the critical mass of outrage really breaks into the mainstream.

    1. Arizona Slim

      There are many people, myself included, who used to be Democrats and on the left. No more.

      Not that we’ve gone over to the Republican Party or have become part of the right. It’s just that we no longer feel at home among the Ds and on the left. Primary reasons:

      1. Years of Trump Derangement Syndrome and Russiagate
      2. Relentless promotion of those COVID shots and virtue signaling by those who got them

      Call us what you will. I agree with Joe Rogan’s terminology, “politically homeless.”

      1. hunkerdown

        Political parties behave more like churches than homes, though both forms, along with the form of the state, embody systems of values, which always eventually become obsessions, then excuses or justifications for atrocities).

        Both churches are set up to betray people and set up situations that enforce the feeling of commitment and subordination to someone else’s private ideals. Non-participation discredits the whole enterprise of childish contest to make adult decisions, and I encourage it.

        1. Sardonia

          “Political parties behave more like churches than homes”

          “The first priest was the first rogue who met the first fool.” – Voltaire

          1. hamstak

            I have the utmost respect for anyone who cites Voltaire!

            A semi-related quote form another French author/thinker: “The world will not be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.” — Denis Diderot

            1. anon y'mouse

              Diderot omitted lawyers from his Human Centipede chain.

              thank goodness for Shakespeare.

        2. GramSci

          “Political parties behave more like churches than homes”, the Mass media are their priesthood, Hollywood and politicians are their stars.

          “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”

      2. christian

        Wow, if this doesn’t exemplify the mindset of the “disaffected liberals.”
        Must really be comfy knowing you have less at stake than the next guy.

        1. Fiery Hunt

          Nothing says “toe-the-line liberal” like “you should do what I want and what you think doesn’t matter!”

        2. ambrit

          And this means exactly what? Try adding some semblance of rational thinking to your word salads with extra added ominous overtones.

      3. orlbucfan

        Pelousy and the DNC aren’t “left.” They’re fakes, bad ones, and have plenty of powerful company.

      4. jefemt

        My odd way of viewing the world saw this all laid at the feet of T Rump and his administration, Fox and Carlson abandoning T Rump and possibly triangulation on a Carlson run, or at least elevating him to be THE post-El Rushbo Oracle?

        Hannity has gone quieter…

      5. Mark Gisleson

        Now that I’m surrounded by rural Republicans again after decades of inner city life, I’m amazed at how easy it is to agree with most of the loose talk. We can argue about political leadership and parties, but we have no trouble talking about the WTF?s: COVID, Ukraine, Russiagate, stock prices, used car prices, etc.

        Rank and file Republicans as a whole scare me far less than the leaders of both parties. Among their many lies, the media has distorted our view of average conservative Americans who are as ill-served by their party as I am by my former party.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          I agree with you. I too have moved to a much more rural area and discovered that my views and the views of those I meet are not so very different when it comes to the WTFs you mentioned. I have encountered the view that the Corona flu is yet another scare tactic to manipulate the public, masking, quarantines and shutdowns are a scam, and some few who evince belief that global warming is a scam — but I am not sure there is any greater proportion than I encountered in more urban settings. This area leans Republican and displays a strong distaste for Biden and all things Democrat. This strong distaste for Biden hardly seems confined to Republicans. I do not believe it takes a crystal ball to predict a difficult mid-term election for Democrats, and 2024 is a real wild card. But standing outside and looking from Republican to Democrat, and from Democrat to Republican, and from Republican to Democrat again — already it grows impossible to say which is which.

        1. Michael McK

          Agreed, but sadly ‘the left’ gets lumped in with ‘liberals’ in many people’s minds.
          I enjoy being a proud leftist when with ‘conservatives’ and agreeing with much of their analysis of liberals. I present a left-populist, MMT program they love phrased in the terminology of classical Capitalism (Smith and Ricardo, perhaps some Marx (C-P-C vs C-C) without attribution, don’t call it eco-socialism). I blame the corporate corruption of the system for preventing functional government. No need to point out their leaders are bad too, they know that already.
          While going door to door in a purple area in the 2020 primary I was heartened by how many conservative seeming people said they would only vote for Trump or Bernie. My favorite Trump crew loved the concept of public financial reserves funding solar panels on their roofs instead of Wall st’s priorities. They also liked strong land use regulations to protect the river they lived near so there was good swimming and fishing.
          The Liberal ecosystem has been so effective at crushing anything to their left for so long (as they moved to the right on all but identity issues) that many people can not even envision anything but right populism as capitalism collapses. That is why it is sooo important to share visions of functional systems, even as you prepare for potentially less functional times.

        2. flora

          Once the Dems had leftists. When the two big parties wanted to capture the electoral energy of the original Populist Party, which was an farmers/laborers revolt against the two big parties – GOP and Dem – actively harming them, cheating them economically. The Populists started winning state houses and seats in Congress in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Both parties want to capture that for themselves. Interestingly, the GOP with Teddy Roosevelt got their first with monopoly busting and protection for farmers against railroad transportation price gouging. (One reason so many Midwestern states left the Populist Party for the GOP was because of serious GOP outreach to them.) When miners, factory workers, and farmers started striking in larger and larger numbers in the late 20’s and 30’s, the Dems saw their chance to capture the still existing Populist movement energy for their party by enacting the New Deal, which had many of the old Populist Party’s reform demands.

          So what happened since then? The McCarthy hearings were used to drive out any real leftists from academia and media. Academic leftists were replaced by “academic leftism”. The big unions made a push against leftists in their ranks under the banner of fighting the evil Bolsheviks. Academic leftism became about “lifestyle choices” and “identity” instead of working class economics. The last, great leftist movement in the US was the Civil Rights movement in the 50’s and 60’s.

          The Dem party, starting in the 1970s, used its Third Way and DLC plans to triangulate the blue collar workers against the white collar class (the so-called “new left”, a left that ignored working class economics). Dem’s played blue-collar and white-collar sides against the each other to the benefit of Wall St. The GOP picked up the disaffected blue-collar class by reaching out on social issues.

          Imo, there’s no independent working class economic political energy now, no modern Populist Party. Both parties can ignore 99% of the voters because there’s no outside challenge to the GOP/Dem party dominance. Not sure I’m even talking about a 3rd party. The strikers then weren’t striking as appendages of some party. They weren’t striking for identity solidarity or self-fulfillment, (whatever that is). They struck for economic and working condition improvements.

          hmmm, long ramble. My 48 cents. / ;)

      6. Copeland

        Disappointing, especially here on NC, that so many go on conflating Democrat with Left.

        No wonder we’re in such a pickle.

        1. RookieEMT

          The left should be hard divorcing the democrats now. No more voting for them ever. I stopped voting Dem’ by voting for Howie.

          Too many leftists associate with the Dems and it doesn’t look good for them. Like I said, a big step back.

    2. anon y'mouse

      why him, why now and this all has been known for years?

      everything in our society appears to be scripted, with Good and Bad guys picked for certain topics in advance most times.

      although i did come across a writeup of media and message analysis that showed that on covid, the two sides had to work a little bit to find which role they’d been cast in and sent mixed messages due to not knowing in advance. someone failed to hand out the soap opera script the night before, it seems.

    3. Hank Linderman

      I attended a “Town Hall” on medical cannabis in Hopkinsville KY last night, set up by our Dem Gov. Lots of stories from people who had serious health issues that cannabis helped. Despite being warned not to *make this political*, never mind that I’m the D nominee for Congress in KY-02, I pointed out that of course it’s political, what with the funding of candidates by Big Pharma. I also pushed back on the idea of *this is not about recreational* – medical-only is a half-way measure that will lead to problems like illegal pot having fentanyl in it, not to mention the ongoing loss of tax revenue in a state with serious financial problems.

      Anyway, when I say, “You know, neither one of our parties is doing a great job of taking care of the people” I get 100% agreement. And, Rs want no input from Ds any more than Ds want advice from Rs, so fixing the R party is a problem for Rs. Fixing the D party is up to Democrats. I ask for 2 changes: reach out to the largest group of voters, working people, and to the most over-represented voters, rural folks. The idea is to connect with the grassroots, which seems obvious to me, but it gets lots of pushback from party officials. They prefer a top down model with no feedback from the ground. So, I’m encouraging county parties to look sideways to their neighboring parties instead of simply reporting upwards. (We have a LOT of counties, the most per population, Microsoft had to change their OS to accommodate.)

      I truly believe rural states, places like Kentucky where Democrats have their backs against the wall, are the best option to change the Democratic Party.


      1. orlbucfan

        I have worked several federal government campaigns. They all followed the-50-state-strategy. It is just a sensible way of campaigning. The candidate visits in person every area of the state, county, town or as much of a nation as they can. That is reaching out to all the voters and citizens as well as the grassroots. It works. I appreciate your comment, HL. The very best of luck to you and KY from a long-suffering Floridian.

      2. Lex

        If KY decides to allow marijuana, run as far away from every consultant and representative of big weed as you can. Do not listen to the organized states and their tales. Every one of them has family blogged the issue up every which way (including sideways). The promised tax revenues will fall woefully short in a commercial system. The only ones who manage are the first states and those fully surrounded by states where it is illegal. Except in those cases your licensed facilities will be backdooring product to illegal states as fast as they can. Do not, under any circumstances, fall for the METRC scheme. It’s a rentier scam.

        Build out a good medical program that’s distributed production. Michigan’s original medical program is a good model. You can’t stop issuing cards being “not exactly medical” so don’t try. If you must tax, collect from registered caregivers on a yearly plant count. Don’t try the sales and excise tax route at specially licensed distribution points. It will fail sooner or later. Weed world doesn’t need legalization the way states have done it, and the black market will undermine your state’s carefully laid plans.

        Most importantly, commercial weed is run by the worst of the worst. These are the Gail sons of investment bankers and minor venture capitalists. They’re chasing hot money and selling the company (or going public), not building sustainable businesses. Most of them know literally nothing about the product or the process of getting it to market. And I have not yet encountered a Big Weed operation that isn’t criminally dysfunctional and generally sleazy.

        Lots of small time growers in KY and have been for generations. Empower them and brings them out of the shadows. They’re the only ones who can help you build a legal weed structure for the state that works.

          1. hunkerdown

            I’ll add, don’t forget personal home growing and non-monetary transfers. They are the escape hatch that keeps the commercial interests (more or less) honest.

          2. Lex

            I would be willing to share opinions offline. I’m not “in” the industry and even avoid consulting for it because it’s so bad. I’m what they call a “legacy” participant but now amuse myself with doing cultivation science experiments for light manufacturers and freely sharing the excellent varieties commercial weed won’t touch. But I do see a place for commercial scale cultivation. A good program would resemble the beer or wine industry. It’s a matter of containing the big weed players (MSOs in particular) because they will spend big for your laws to establish monopolies/cartels. And they will undermine whatever safety analytical program you institute. So do that through state university labs or be very, very careful in writing those rules.

            You will need an enforcement agency. Staff it with people who actually understand the plant, the market and the science. These agencies have been corrupt failures in most states (MI had to recall half the product on shelves because of one lab, owned by former state cops that produced clearly fraudulent analytical results and used unapproved methods for their primary customers: the big weed operators. MI didn’t have regulators with specific technical knowledge and the laws were badly written for the same reason.)

            And hunkerdown is right. Eliminating home growing is a disastrous path but it is the top priority of Big Weed and its lobbyists. Taxes are important, but economic activity produces indirect tax revenues too. Tax projections for cannabis are sketchy because most of the big numbers are based on either law enforcement street valuations (a joke) and/or the idea that even with increasing supply by orders of magnitude, the traditional retail street price will remain the same plus tax. $50/eighth of generic dispensary weed (plus tax) only works so long as the novelty of legal weed lasts. Your tax revenues go down when oversupply brings the price down and/or people move back to the black market.

      3. Michael McK

        Your running for Congress?! Hooray! Are you the defund the CIA guy I recently contributed to or do I need to make another donation to a KY candidate?

          1. Fiery hunt

            My better half and I are hoping to move outta California to your state!
            We’re exactly where you are politically and I hope to things work for us to join you.

    4. HotFlash

      Wouldn’t it be funny if Pelosi and congress gave Fauci an award ceremony timed perfectly just before the critical mass of outrage really breaks into the mainstream.

      Would be convenient to have them all in one place, don’t you think?

      1. griffen

        I think it was in recent discussions this past weekend, the value in annual dollars of Fauci’s retirement pension was up for debate. That value was well north of $400,000, and making assumptions about end of career earnings it would go even higher by 2024.

        He can play golf in the Villages near Orlando, like all good retirees are inclined to do. Unless he gets crowned herein for the all time hall of sociopaths (among many applicants, I must add), no ceremonies are necessary.

    5. jr

      The Right is owning a lot of narratives these days. It bodes ill that they get to present as the voices of reason. If and when a broad reaction comes, they will have delineated much of it’s form.

  3. upstater

    re. Transformative Times: Update on the U.S. Transformer Supply Chain T&D World (Chuck L)

    One important takeaway is the article is mostly focusing on replacement of existing infrastructure, not for new capacity . How do the politicians that hallucinate seeing everyone driving EVs and using heat pumps, increasing demand by 30% think this problem is going to be solved?

    We can blame the likes of Jack Welch and the financialization of everything and the madness of deregulation of electric generation and transmission on decrepitude of the grid. Welch shut down GE’s high voltage R&D labs (“best in the world”, my PhD EE uncle said 30 years ago) and manufacturing. Like lemmings, Westinghouse and others followed suit. Boy, didn’t that juice share prices! In the 90s and 00s, there was minimal investment by utilities, because light touch regulation gave them a pass. How else can we explain the 2021 Texas blackout, PG&E’s 100 year old Caribou-Palermo transmission line causing the Paradise fire, the 2003 blackout and literally dozens of major failures before or since.

    Planning and operations engineers are very skilled at restoring service after catastrophic failures or other events. I’ve heard enough stories about how major cities have been hanging by a thread for months at a time after major catastrophes (hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, etc) to know how fragile things become on the grid. The point is for decades redundancy has been viewed as a cost to be minimized by executives and their Wall Street minders and not an essential part of the business.

    1. Steve D

      “Because Markets!”
      Indeed – this is a stark example of the need for “industrial policy” as Stoller puts it. Assuming that we DO need to decarbonize, that means more electrification, which means policy support for all of the unglamorous ‘low tech’ elements of the grid; not just ‘smart grid’ stuff.

    2. digi_owl

      Because they are economists and lawyers, not engineers.

      Thus they have next ot zip idea of the logistics involved in keeping this world running.

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      I did not spot mention of lead time specifics other that the 28 months figure, and I did not see some details about different types of transformers — where they fit into the Grid and how their costs, availability, and lead times varied. How much redundancy remains in the Grid? If one of the very large transformers fails, how well can the Grid ‘heal’ itself around the failure? I did not spot mention of how deep or shallow the inventories of replacement transformers were at the electric utility companies. I would like to be corrected in my belief that inventories are generally very shallow and particularly shallow of the very transformers that have the highest costs and longest lead times. I also noted how little this link discussed the impacts of the private ownership of the electric utilities and the impacts of the energy legislation of the last decades in increasing the fragility of the Grid.

  4. Mikerw0

    It is simple. The government sold another lie. Get vaxxed and return to normal, all else be damned. I hear from my friends multiple times a day ‘I am vaxxed so I can do what I want’. And they wonder why they are all getting COVID.

    Is anyone really surprised.

    1. SocalJimObjects

      That’s not the worst. A lot of people have also internalized that it’s ok to get Covid multiple times because Omicron is less severe.

      1. Sardonia

        That, too, is not the worst. While some may wonder and complain about getting repeated Covid infections, almost NO ONE will understand there there is cumulative damage to multiple organs with each infection. So when years down the road there are increases in neurological, pulmonary, cardiac, renal, vascular, immunological disorders, etc., no one will ever consider that there is any connection between those and their multiple previous Covid infections.

      2. CloverBee

        My grandmother (95) has survived cancer and COVID these past 2 years. She still lifts weights daily, with assistance, and has one of her daughters with her 24/7. She still gets off the farm 2x a day. She was a teacher, and is saddened to suddenly be losing her former students to heart attacks and strokes at young ages (50s-60s).

        I don’t bother to explain it to my far-right family (I am sick sounding crazy in explaining things I read on NC), but I sure hope Tucker Carlson does.

        Not sure how the friends I lost and who berated me for not getting my child vaccinated are going to learn about it.

        1. fresno dan

          One can only hope people will catch on that the right left dichotomy is nothing but propaganda and the only thing that matters is truth. And I think that in this country, the business of America is business, is that people are FINALLY catching on that so much of what comes from the firehose of media (all media) is first, last, and always to advance someone making money at our expense. ANY reality that gets in the way of ANY money making is expunged.

  5. fresno dan

    Most Americans Think Government Is Corrupt, According to a New Poll Reason
    Another sign of growing discontent in America? A new poll from the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics finds a majority of Americans think the government is corrupt and stacked against them.

    To probably no one’s surprise, 73 percent of poll respondents who identify as “strong Republican” respondents agreed with the statement that the government is “corrupt and rigged against everyday people like me.” But Republicans are far from alone in this sentiment. Fifty-one percent of “very liberal” voters agreed with the same statement.

    Overall, 56 percent of survey respondents said that the government is corrupt. This included 66 percent of all Republican respondents, 63 percent of independents, and 46 percent of Democrats.
    Is anyone wrong to think that?
    What is amazing is that apparently 46% don’t think the government is corrupt. (see discussion on following the science, i.e., covid vaccines…)

    1. Watt4Bob

      Overall, 56 percent of survey respondents said that the government is corrupt.

      That’s the good news.

      The bad news is the fact that much of that 56 percent thinks the corruption is resident in the ‘other‘ side.

      It’s well past the time when any thinking person should have ‘woke‘ up to the fact that the Right-Left political compass is no longer useful, and that we’re victims of a spectacularly unified criminal class whose public face is our national political leadership.

      Right-Left, Republican-Democrat, all the traditional political labels have become less than useless in describing our problem, and as to suggesting solutions, forget it.

      We’re in a situation much like a public housing building infested with roaches, it’s us against them, and ‘they‘ represent an ocean of filth, and it cannot be divided into good vs bad filth, it’s just filth.

      We somehow continue to think we can vote in a new exterminator and all will be good.

      We don’t understand that all the exterminators are friendly to roaches because roaches are capable of paying exterminators 100x what we can afford.

      1. fresno dan

        and that we’re victims of a spectacularly unified criminal class whose public face is our national political leadership.
        Exactly, EXACTLY right. When people tell me that I am wasting my vote when I vote for a third party, I can only marvel that they can’t see that they are wasting their vote by voting for a dem or a repub…

    2. Pat

      I wonder how much of that is constant exposure to the extremely limited definition of corruption that legislators and their donors have used to craft the anti-corruption laws they have allowed. (It took me a long time to realize those laws weren’t meant to stop corruption but were all about redefining clearly corrupt actions as SOP and legal.)

      And it isn’t just those who write the laws but those who interpret them. Think about Bridgegate. The Supreme Court overturned the convictions for those involved in deliberately snarling traffic in a NJ town where the Mayor had the audacity to speak out against and not support the then current governor, Chris Christie. At least one death was attributed to those traffic jams as the ambulance was unable to get through. The people who manipulated the lights and closed the tunnel were all Christie administration personnel. Yet the Court just couldn’t see the quid pro quo. Sure it wasn’t a direct payment, but the advantages of both being in and remaining part of a powerful political administration for current and future employment apparently were a mystery to the judges. And a narrow reading of what constitutes a quid for the pro quo justifies ignoring the obvious.

      I’m pretty sure that 46% know there are corrupt players in government, but they kid themselves that it is limited, or that only Donald Jr but not Hunter sells influence because of team loyalty. (The other team is rife, but mine is fighting the good fight.). Still you put the die hards together and the numbers seem higher. I may not understand people who buy Pelosi’s bs about insider trading but a small percentage do, same with McConnell and Cho’s front.

        1. Adam Eran

          See Sarah Chayes book on corruption. She opens with a story about a Virginia government convicted by lower courts of corruption ($75,000 shopping sprees, plane rides, etc.). SCOTUS unanimously acquitted him, saying, in effect, “that’s how we do politics in the U.S. now.”

          There’s every effort to make this “team red vs. team blue” — i.e. divide and rule — but the truth of Ralph Nader’s observation (“There’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the two major parties”) is slowly becoming evident.

    3. John

      How could it be corrupt? It is all bought and paid for. Well, mostly bought and paid for. There are a few bad apples who abuse their positions for personal profit. Seems I heard rumor of that recently.

      1. Tom Stone

        It’s interesting to see who is protected and who gets hit upside the head with a 10 Lb hammer.
        Here’s the 1917 Espionage act in action and inaction.
        Assange published accurate reports of US War Crimes, an action clearly protected by the First Amendment.
        He has been persecuted unmercifully since and faces life in a US Supermax prison.
        Among HRC’s numerous lapses in security many confidential and top secret emails were found on the laptop of Anthony Weiner, Huma Abedin’s Hubby and a convicted sex offender.
        Howzabout the Biden Family?
        R Hunter’s laptops (Plural!) and Ashley’s diary are apparently genuine and full of WTF
        How soon will a White House reporter ask Prez Joe how old his daughter was when he stopped taking showers with her?
        The voicemail from Father to Son on Hunter’s laptop was endearing…and more evidence that when Joe Biden lies he tells stupid lies for little apparent reason, “The NAACP has endorsed me every time I have run for office” comes to mind.
        And the biz deals…

    4. fresno dan

      An astonishing percentage of Americans have been prescribed SSRIs and are on them for long-term use. A survey in 2015–18 showed that 13 percent of Americans over age 18 took anti-depressant drugs in any given month. Millions of people, even very young people, are on SSRIs for depression.

      Then this morning, Dan McLaughlin shared with me an article in Science showing fraud marring the work of Alzheimer’s research, undercutting the entire theory of what Alzheimer’s is. As the article notes, billions of dollars in NIH research grants were dedicated to research partly based on a premise that may be entirely false. Not just entirely false, but almost obviously so. It’s actually an astonishing piece of journalism that makes the FDA, NIH, and the scientific journals themselves look absolutely awful.
      As we have been having a big discussion about corruption. And he forgot CDC
      And to Pat: An aphorism of Michael Kinsley – the scandal isn’t the illegality, the scandal is what’s legal…

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        As the article notes, billions of dollars in NIH research grants were dedicated to research partly based on a premise that may be entirely false.

        Not to mention a huge increase in Part B Medicare monthly premiums in anticipation of paying for a bogus drug developed to treat Alzheimers based on the bogus definition of that disease based on that bogus “research.”

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Climate change resistant structures that are designed to keep humanity safe in the future”

    Yeah, these are really only solutions to wealthy people who have no idea that the sea plays rough and is as corrosive as hell. My bet going forward is hobbit homes-

    Just a quick glance show you that being partially buried that they will not heat up so bad under a blazing sun nor will fierce winds have much effect on them. And if proper precautions are taken, fierce fires should just run over the top of them.

        1. amechania

          While I respect Saurumons long history of service as the white wizard, his recent stance on orc rights is appalling. Im voting for Sauron because he is strong on defense and lower taxes.

          This so called return of the king thing seems fishy to me.

        2. juno mas

          Actually that is an earth-covered home; not a cave. Build to height, cover with EPDM and then add the earth. The livability issue is lack of natural light. (The video linked by Lexx shows two separate windows on the hallway to the left, but there appears to only be one set of light admitting windows from the exterior.)

          In any case, climate change is likely to induce a systems/civilization collapse and lack of food would eliminate the need for toilets.

      1. eg

        No surprise there — it’s an Oxford Don’s dream of a quiet, rural life; without all the messy bits that actually characterize rural life, bien sur …

    1. notabanker

      The Class Arithmetic article posted in the WC yesterday was excellent. It appears our approach to climate change will be the same as COVID. Just deal with it.

    2. Tom Stone

      If you live in earthquake country building under ground safely and affordably might pose a problem.

  7. CanCyn

    Pope’s apology
    Here is the text of his actual apology:
    If I were an indigenous person, this wouldn’t make me feel any better. It may go one step further than his ‘bad apples’ apology issued earlier this year, but I read this as a mistakes were made kind of apology. Never once does he claim the policies for the Catholic Church. He feels personal shame, he mentions all Christians, but not once does he say that the Catholic Church’s policies and systemic and deliberate actions were responsible.
    Yeah sure he’s talking about funding mental health initiatives, working together, blah, blah, blah. Not enough.
    Also of note, his visit to Canada costs $30M and his first stop is to a reserve that has problems with clean drinking water. Sigh

    1. John Steinbach

      How revoking about the dozens (hundreds?) of Papal Bulls justifying the conquest of the Global South, including the trans-Atlantic slave trade, the dispossession and genocide of indigenous peoples, and Colonialism/neo-Colonialism? Seems like virtue signaling.

      1. CanCyn

        For sure. The Catholic Church supported the notion that the ‘new world’ was free for the taking. They held debates about the humanity of indigenous peoples. Their schools and churches banned ceremonies and languages. There are many indigenous people who won’t be satisfied until the papal bulls and justifications are officially revoked. Pope’s statement seems like a bit of a legal dodge to me. Trying not to provide any admittance of guilt to be quoted in lawsuits. Indigenous people also want actions, not just words. Eg support for education and healthcare. I can only imagine the strings that will be attached to any help from the Catholic Church who are trying to build up their congregation numbers. I’d be leery of creating the opportunity for more abuse from current Catholic bad apples were I indigenous.

    2. GramSci

      Yea, if the man had any integrity, he would abdicate. He could continue his priesthood by becoming a Unitarian and professing that “there is at most one god”.

  8. DJG, Reality Czar

    The article on binge drinking in the Mediterranean world. Hmmm. Many interesting antidotes, but the overall tone is “we were drunk all day long in Vegas!”

    I may have found this originally because of a mention here at Naked Capitalism. In any case, some observations said to be from the god of wine himself:

    Euboulus, fragment, Semele or Dionysos

    In the Greek play Semele or Dionysus, written around 375 BC, the god of wine himself delivers this speech:

    I mix three drinks for the temperate:
    One for health, which they empty first,
    The second for love and pleasure,
    The third for sleep.
    When these cups are emptied, the wise go home.
    The fourth drink is ours no longer, but belongs to arrogance,
    The fifth to uproar,
    The sixth to drunken revelry,
    The seventh to black eyes,
    The eighth to lawsuits,
    The ninth to anger,
    And the tenth to madness and the hurling of furniture.

  9. GramSci

    Is Jacobin a fifth column operation? My first tell was when a glossy print copy of the magazine appeared on a friend’s coffee table, very much wanting to look like a Condé Nast publication. I guess that pleases their donors.

    Then, yesterday, the following nugget appeared in my spam folder:

    A Russian sociologist explains why Putin’s war is going even worse than it looks.

    I can deal with a different point of view, but did Jacobin have to make jingoism the headline of their email blast? (There were other stories in that spam sandwich.)

    I can understand that Jacobin is “socialist” like Nancy Pelosi is “progressive”, or that they are “imperial socialists” like Bernie Sanders. My concern is that Jacobin is having a corrupting influence on the kids in the Democratic Socialists of America, who read it like the gospel.

    1. The Rev Kev

      You do have to admit that if nothing else, the present NATO/Russia war has shown us which publications and media are to be trusted – precious few – and which ones you can see are compromised or are just spouting pure bs.

      Come to think of it, the same applies to people as well so people who hang a Ukrainian flag outside their homes or have the Ukrainian flag emoji on their social media account tell you what you can expect from some people. Unfortunately it has also led to divisions with friends and family just like has happened with the Pandemic. Not good.

      1. digi_owl

        Was already using the presence of “preferred pronouns” as a easy filter for “don’t bother with” on social media. In particular when they easily match the image attached to the profile anyways.

        And as one would expect, the very same people would fly the Ukrainian flag highly and proudly pretty much the second news broke that Russian forces had crossed the border.

        The crazy part is that quite often they seem like highly educated and very bright people, often working on complex electronics etc.

    2. KD

      There was a link the other day at Marginal Revolution to this guys Twitter thread who proves Russia is losing based on Russia’s increasingly bellicose communications. No maps. No analysis of balance of forces. No analysis of changes to the balance of forces since the beginning of the war. No examination of changes in control of territories, or offensives and counter-offensives.

      The New American Ontology is Platonic, in the sense that the Real Reality is now mass media, and the mundane world only exists to the extent that it reflects mass media. Hence, if Ukraine wins on Twitter, the mundane world is sure to follow. (It is nice to see cancellation replace genocide on the human rights front, though. . . )

      1. digi_owl

        Adam Curtis has a weird documentary involving the term “hypernormalization”.

        Apparently it was coined as a way to explain the state of soviet behavior right before the collapse.

        I am not sure i fully grasp it, but i think it had something to do with everyone, from the street to the top of Kremlin, knew the system was broken. But as they were unable to envision an alternative or a way to fix it, they doubled down on pretending everything was fine.

        It may well be that “the west”, with USA in the “lead”, is having its own hypernormalization moment.

        1. Polar Socialist

          Or people were able to envision alternatives and figured none of them was better, so they stuck with something they knew how to work with.

    3. hunkerdown

      “Socialism” means social capitalism these days. It’s another dissident word recuperated by the status quo, just like “libertarian”.

  10. DJG, Reality Czar

    Monkeypox as a sexually transmitted disease.

    Why am I skeptical? I will appeal to our local experts.

    I have a feeling that dance halls, partying, and displays of flesh may be a vector. But I think that the outbreak shows that moneypox, like any disease-causing agent, finds a convenient vector. I’m reminded of the problems of salmonella on eggs in the U S of A. It turns out that the egg-raising business is filthy and the distribution system doesn’t do a good job of protecting the public.

    I’ll also mention puritanism, rearing its ugly head once more. I recall all the times the “wet markets” in dirty, heathen China have been blamed for the outbreak of Covid-19–and we still collectively haven’t clarified the virus’s origin.

    1. GramSci

      I’m reminded of stories of the U.S. Army distributing smallpox-infested blankets to the American Indians. It seems sharing blankets will do. You don’t need to share precious bodily fluids.

      1. Chas

        I think the primary psychopath there was the British Lord Jeffrey Amherst. A town in Massachusetts and Amherst College were named after him. And it was the Cleveland Indians who had to change their name. Probably the U.S. Army followed Amherst’s lead and also distributed smallpox-infected blankets too.

    2. Tom Stone

      The good news is that Monkeypox ( Like Smallpox) is no longer an airborne disease.
      A VERY recent triumph of Science that I’m surprised WHO and the CDC haven’t made more of. it’s been almost a Month since they revised their guidance on these illnesses and not a peep from their PR people.
      Go figure.

    3. Raymond Sim

      Back in the early 70’s here in the US there was a big public health education campaign targeting what we then called ‘VD’.

      A big part of it seemed to be aimed at getting it through the heads of kids my age (I was in Jr High) that while you could conceivably catch syphilis from a toilet seat, and definitely could from kissing, it was sex without a condom that was going to get you. That and “Don’t fool yourself kid, there’s lots of it going around, and ‘nice’ girls get it too.”

      Now we’ve got monkeypox as an STD you can catch from a toilet seat, or sex without a whole-body condom, but “Don’t worry, it’s a gay thing.”

    4. Ignacio

      Monkeypox cannot be characterised as sexually transmitted disease in the sense that Monkeypox is not restricted, exclusive or more abundant in semen/vaginal fluids than in other body fluids (particularly skin pustules are considered the main source) or in respiratory fluids. In any case, and puritanism apart, the close contact that comes with sex and pre-sex is almost certainly a factor that favours transmission by a lot. If so, sexual promiscuity is indeed a risk factor to account for. This said, I confess not to be expert on Poxvirus transmission. In the past most Monkeypox contagions were considered mainly animal-human contagion events. Little or very limited human-to-human contagion was reported. Today, we can speculate…

  11. just a rat

    Could Genetics Be the Key to Never Getting the Coronavirus? Atlantic (resilc). Looking for new excuses to encourage people to be reckless.

    Possibly worse than that. One theory being circulated is that people who don’t get sick can still be ‘dangerous superspreaders’, so they might well be looking for an excuse to send people to the camps based on their genes.

    1. rob

      I also wonder if “people who don’t get covid” are people who have no symptoms and never had a test WHILE they had covid?..
      When all the other members in my household had covid, and had symptoms… I was the caregiver. I never had symptoms. I did take a test after, and it said I had covid… but if the tests weren’t lying around the house, I would never suspect that I had. And would say, I have never had it.
      How many people are like me?

      Or are they using some tests to test the blood (or something) that show yes… you actually never had covid. Can that be done? showing the difference between vaccination and virus?

      1. HotFlash

        Rob, the answer is yes and no. I am not a immunologist or anywhere close, but consider myself a well-informed layperson. After all, I read Naked Capitalism. As I understand it, the vaccine contains corona virus (CV) spike protein and elicits antibodies to that. If you contract CV, your body produces antibodies to other of CV’s characteristic proteins, such as the nucleocapsid (N) protein, membrane (M) protein, and the envelope (E) protein.

        An antibody test can, in theory, determine which antibodies you have in your blood, therefore should be able to show whether you have been neither exposed nor vaccinated (no antibodies), whether you have been vaccinated but never exposed (antibodies to spike protein only), or have been exposed and either got or fought off the actual infection (antibodies to multiple CV proteins) . BUT!!!! the antibodies in your blood wane over time, however acquired. So, a year or so later you can’t tell anything.

        Furthermore, antibody tests are really hard to come by. I am, um, in the control group and wished to verify my immunity for my own and work purposes back in early 2020. I tried to arrange an antibody test, was soundly discouraged by providers. I finally found a lab that would do it for $220 but no one would accept it, only a vaxx certificate would do.

  12. flora

    From Stoller. (Some Dems are talking up Buttegieg as pres material, and that reveals a big problem in the Dem party.

    The Pete Buttigieg Fake Governing Problem

    Biden antitrust enforcers and bank regulators are cracking down on the powerful. Pete Buttigieg is doing the opposite. This administration is a contest between real governing and fake governing.

    imo, This applies to the GOP as well. Both parties are still enthrall to the neoliberal worship of The Market. In neoliberal world, no govt agency should impede The Market in any way, but instead should be subservient to The Market.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Epic Potery: Drinking with the Ancients”

    I think that there is more than enough archaeological evidence to establish that the ancient Greeks and Romans knew how to organize a p***-up and really tie one on. But there is something that I have wondered about the past and that is how many events happened and how many decisions were made because the people involved were drunk. No, seriously. It must have happened far more frequently that recorded but was not mentioned afterwards due to the stigma involved. So let me take an example from the ancient world – the siege of Troy. Now the official story was that the cunning Greeks came up with a ploy to get a squad of soldiers within the walls. But suppose it wasn’t. It took them ten years to come up with this idea which opens up that maybe something else was involved here. So let me set the scene.

    The Greeks are sloshed after a drinking session in their main tent after failing to defeat Troy yet again. Then one guy, slurring his speech badly through too much heated wine, comes up with the idea of building a gigantic wooden horse. And then stuffing a squad inside while everybody is pretending to leave to go back to Greece. I can identify which part of the evening that it happened. It was when people were drunk enough for someone to come up with that stupid idea and the others not too shoot it down straight away. Any sooner, and it would have. Any later, and nobody would have remembered the next strung-out morning. So this idea got brought up early enough when people were drunk enough and not late enough that they would still remember in the morning. And that is one example.

    1. Mark Gisleson

      Give me a couple cases of distilled alcohol and a time machine, and the rest of you would suddenly find yourselves living in a world where all the post offices are named after me : )

    2. PlutoniumKun

      What I find interesting is that they nearly all watered it down or mixed the wine in with spices or honey. A local restaurant to me specializes in ‘natural’ wines which are wines made by simpler, older methods. Apparently its now the in thing with lots of European winemakers. Some are very odd to a palate used to the standardized industrialized wines we usually get (they remind me of better quality home made elderflower/blueberry wines some friends of mine make), but some are very nice, I’d not feel the need to add anything to them. I wonder if it was a cultural thing (like wanting to drink lots and lots in one sitting) or if the wine was just that bad. In northern climes, flavoured beers were very common, I’ve assumed that this too is down to poor quality, but maybe just tastes change over the centuries.

    3. lyman alpha blob

      The ancients had their checks and balances too. Herodotus recounts how the ancient Persians would make a drunken decision and then reconvene the next day when all were sober to see if it still sounded like a good idea, and vice versa if the original decision was made sober.

      Always seemed like a very good idea to me.

    1. .Tom

      My poor wife will be stuck in Munich for a couple of days after Lufthansa closed the gate door on her and the others transferring from the Budapest flight. The plane was there, the air bridge was in pace but Lufthansa chose to not reopen the door for them after having already cancelled their flights to/from MCH tomorrow because of the strike. The last time I spoke to her, poor thing, she had been waiting 5 hours in line at a Lufthansa service desk. Sounds typical for commercial air travel in 2022, doesn’t it?

      You’d like to think airlines would not offer for sale more tickets than they are able to honor but there we are. It’s the new normal.

  14. Henry Moon Pie

    I’ve been wondering how our billionaires might react to the idea that things are developing in a way that their desire to run things for the entire planet is being thwarted right now. This morning, Jim Cramer, as is his wont, was intimating he’d been communicating with “businesspeople” who wanted Jake Sullivan’s head on a platter. “People think he’s afraid of Putin. He’s a coward.”

    So the billionaires’ reaction to the possibility that their exploits will heretofore be limited to the Five Eyes and EU is that the U. S. must play nuclear brinkmanship to defend their title to the entire world.

    1. John

      Jake Sullivan is a disaster in his position, but not for that reason. Money does not make you intelligent or thoughtful. Even billionaires die if you start flinging nuclear weapons hither and yon … or are they different, immune.

  15. Quentin

    Burning question of the day: why does Nancy Pelosi find it at this moment imperative to go to Taiwan? She and her hubby are running out of funds or whatever? Apart from the cheap snark, has she anywhere stated the purpose of her journey?

    1. amechania

      Somebody else in politics did it. So she wants to do it too.

      Nothing epochal. Just monkey see, monkey do.

    2. Tom Stone

      Pelosi needs to feel important,as she gets closer to Death that need grows.
      Thus Taiwan.

      1. anon y'mouse

        hogwash and armchair psychologist claptrap.

        you don’t risk war to feed one rich old lady’s ego.

        it’s some kind of business (posturing to China, so what could that be about? neverending WWIII?), nothing “personal”.

        if’ nothing else, it’s to show that China being upset won’t stop us from being the U.S.

    3. PlutoniumKun

      I’ve wondered the same thing. Perhaps those who know Californian politics could comment, but I suspect that the political power of some Am-Asian political lobbies could be quite influential. She may be repaying some favors.

    4. Lex

      It speaks to the learning lessons of Ukraine link. We refuse to learn lessons from even history not yet 6 months old. There’s a Putin quote that boils down to, “history is not a teacher. It is a supervisor.” We simply don’t believe in history. At all.

    5. Henry Moon Pie

      She’s trying to keep up with the dimwit “Ukraine Caucus” seeing the sights in “Kyiv” and demanding U. S. advisors be sent to help the Azovers.

    6. The Rev Kev

      I heard that she will lose her Speakership in November so the establishment is trying to get as much use out of her as possible while they can. After she loses her job, the Chinese could care less where she goes.

  16. jr

    “ Revolving door creates questions and complications for Kamala Harris”

    I’d bet escalators, ATMs, and self-checkout lines do as well…

    1. Jeffers

      The Hill forgot a story that they already covered:

      Kamala’s Secret Masonic Police Force working out of her office:

      Aide to Kamala Harris accused of helping mysterious ‘Masonic’ police force
      “A staffer for California Attorney General and U.S. Senate candidate Kamala Harris (D) has been arrested and accused of participating in a mysterious group that impersonates a police force.

      The staffer, Brandon Kiel, is alleged to have been involved in the Masonic Fraternal Police Department, the Los Angeles Times reported.”

      The KamalaTurd in the political punchbowl is getting really hard to ignore.

    2. Questa Nota

      Jill, er, Doctor Jill Biden, has her own staff turnover with the pending exit of a spokeshole, so perhaps a trend. On the heels of Kamala’s, with Bidet cycling through press secretaries, not fast enough, and others, one could be forgiven for envisioning rats leaving a stinking s**t.

  17. The Rev Kev

    ‘China has forced some of its biggest companies, including iPhone maker Foxconn and oil producer CNOOC to operate within a “closed loop” restricted system for seven days to battle its latest Covid outbreak. Emma O’Brien reports @BloombergTV’

    It’s amazing how China’s Zero Covid policy really bothers Bloomberg and it’s talking heads. They just can’t leave it alone. At one part they were talking about how the market was unhappy with the protective measures that the Chinese were undertaking. In the west when the market is unhappy, we have to do whatever the market wants. But the fact that the Chinese can tell the market to go fly a kite is something that they cannot understand much less deal with.

    1. digi_owl

      Because they are seeing a nation where the government actually govern, and with an eye to the 99% no less. The place is pure heresy to the media class and their benefeactors.

    2. Raymond Sim

      Maybe our oligarchs secretly wish their government would be forceful with them sometimes.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Ukraine Government issues blacklist of ‘Russian propagandists’”

    You wonder who was really responsible for that list and I suspect that Washington had a lot to do with the names on it. After all, the Ukrainians already have an enemies list going to back to 2014 and some people on it end up dead as that list provides where to find these people-

    Of course they put anybody on that list and it has been found that at a minimum scores of children are on that list, some as young as 8 years old-

  19. Raymond Sim

    Gosh, I was expecting to see a bunch of ‘open carry’ jokes. You guys are a lot more mature than I am.

    1. ambrit

      Come on now. Some of us understand that “open carry” of our penis fetishes will lead to arrest for “deceptive advertising.”

  20. digi_owl

    Between climate change resistant buildings and the Saudis planning a city in a building, one may wonder if Nordhaus has spurred our leaders into adopting a Simcity 2000 view of the future. A future where we are all packed into archologies for survival of the species.

    1. ambrit

      Not all of us. Only the “deserving few” will be chosen for survival.
      This is where Hubris will turn out to be Terran Humankind’s greatest “friend.” The present day elites imagine that “The Jackpot” can be engineered and directed in it’s effects. Nature, being a contrary b—h, will beg to differ, and show the elites that she cares f–k all for social status and wealth.
      Stay safe. Stay alive.

  21. polsini

    Brother (Dutch) was into history. Claimed that in 1700’s in Holland a contract that was signed after 3 o’clock was not valid: head not clear because wine (or beer ?), and that judges could throw out contracts signed after 3.00 p.m . Read somewhere that in 1700’s wine production in Europe was more than today. Connecting idea: water not safe to drink, lower classes drank beer, business types drank wine. For both items Google no help yet, me not good at search terms.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      It all depends on the period and country. Very light beers (often little more than grain gruels allowed to ferment a little) were normal daily drinks in much of northern Europe for centuries – people would have it for breakfast. Safer than water and gave everyone a bit of a lift. It was the importation of coffee and tea that changed this as people found of course that a simulant was better before nightfall for getting things done. Some attribute the growth of industrialization and capitalism to the growth of coffee houses from the 17th Century onwards. It sharpened peoples minds in doing deals, and was a safer drug for people working in dark factories with heavy machinery.

      The consumption of alcohol in parts of Europe was staggering up to the middle of the 20th Century in many countries. In rural areas, taking cider or beer or watered wine was entirely normal with every meal. People worked hard, they generally worked it off. In England, farm workers would often drink cider and beer while they worked in the fields. Popular drinks changed a lot depending on who or what country was in favour and where the taxes were, although of course the poor generally drank what was available. Gin was highly destructive in urban areas in the 18th century (essentially, very cheap lethal grain alcohol with herbs added to make it taste less vile). The British government actively encouraged the building of breweries as beer was considered healthier and less socially destructive. Famously, the Guinness Brewery was built in Dublin using government money, the intention being to stop people drinking gin. It worked.

      Much of the gradual reduction in alcohol consumption over the past 2 centuries or so comes down to government policies – centralizing alcohol production meant more money for capitalists, more tax for governments, so they suppressed local alcohol production. Sometimes (as in South Korea in the 1960’s), super cheap alcohols were deliberately promoted by the governments to undermine the economics of home brew and keep overworked labourers semi happy. This is one reason why Korea manages to combine marvelous cuisine with dreadful beers.

      1. digi_owl

        It may well be that coffeehouses as a place of gathering was more vital than the coffee consumed there.

        From what i have read, it acted as a common ground for people. Where you could sit in on some lecture on various topics cheaply, or make business arrangements, or debate politics all night. Loyds was started in one such place supposedly, as merchants and captains agreed to cover each other in case of accidental losses.

        I seem to recall a passage from the era, where a young wife laments that her husband spends his nights at that god awful coffeehouse rather than come home to her.

        1. witters

          I think the anti-constipation properties of coffee (and chocolate) were entirely welcome to those stuck with the typical diet of the time.

      2. lyman alpha blob

        The artist William Hogarth helped out Old Blighty’s public health campaign with his prints Beer Street, where everyone imbibing was hale and hearty, and Gin Lane, were the drinkers were beset by various pestilences –

        One of my favorites from one of my favorite artists, but it did not succeed in putting me off the gin which is still find delicious.

        1. eg

          I recall being fascinated by the print of “Gin Lane” in a high school English textbook.

      3. The Rev Kev

        Have you ever read about the drinking habits of late 18th century/early 19th century British Army officers? It was like they were trying to kill themselves with drink and I stand in awe at the quantities of hard liquor that they were able to drink.

        1. ambrit

          Add to that the American drink habits around the time of the Rebellion against our late Majesty, George III.
          I remember reading a mention of a dinner given for George Washington after the Revolution was done where there were something on the order of thirty toasts given, and in everything from hard ciders to whiskey drinks. They mixed their drinks a lot too. It’s a marvel that anything got done at all back then.

    2. jr

      There was an interesting Rogan show a while back where the guest argued that the introduction of coffee and tea into Europe not only increased mental alertness and labor output but helped to reduce the dangers of drinking water due to boiling it. I suspect people still drank booze at the same levels.

      1. Polar Socialist

        Having had several days ago an Irish Coffee as a dessert, I can – with authority – state that the two are not mutually exclusive.

    3. Joe Renter

      I was in German and the story is, the church brewed beer as the water was tainted. Maybe it took too long produce wine and or the climate and ingredients made beer more practical.

  22. Matthew G. Saroff

    Re: Police training: It will not make a difference. A culture of aggressively violent cowardice is ingrained.

    Only firings and prosecutions will change this.

    1. Raymond Sim

      That and … well, defunding, not to put too fine a point on it. That’s the cudgel you use on a bureaucracy.

      1. John k

        Problem is that unions and tradition force ‘last on, first off’. You can be selective in hiring, but in firing. So you keep those whose habits are most ingrained.

        1. Raymond Sim

          One can see how ‘abolish the police’ can start to sound appealing no?

          But anyone doing genuinely punitive defunding ought to know better than to let them use it as an excuse to get rid of the good apples. Rather than, for instance, using it oneself as an excuse to put good apples in places where they’ll useful.

          I’m pretty sure that’s what nitty-gritty governance looks like in a serious country.

  23. Brunches with Cats

    Zelenskiy strips oligarch Kolomoisky of Ukrainian citizenship

    Saw this coming, meant to mention it in comments on the Consortium News link posted by Yves on 7/23 as more evidence that the two had a serious falling out (started more than two years ago, over land reform legislation) and that we need a new meme. As I’ve written previously, should ill fate suddenly befall Z, K will be among my top suspects … although it’s a safe bet it will be blamed on you-know-who.

    P.S. Note who broke the story!

    1. lyman alpha blob

      I would gather that the falling out occurred after the spooks got to Zelensky, probably at about the same time they were impeaching Trump over his call with Z while also trying to cover up the Bidens’ corruption in Ukraine. Kolomoisky financed Zelensky’s campaign which featured making peace with Russia, something that was clearly opposed by the US. Z must have been given an offer he couldn’t refuse by the US spooks and threw in his lot with Uncle Sugar instead.

      1. Brunches with Cats

        > after the spooks got to Zelensky

        Obviously no way to know for sure, but for once it might be pretty much what it looks like: Blob v. Mob, one on either side of Zelensky with a gun to his head. Some BG:

        Zelensky’s “Servant of the People” Party essentially was a project of his entertainment studio, which created the comedy series by the same name, starring Himself, and sold it to Kolomoisky’s media network. When Z announced he was running against Porkshanko — K’s sworn enemy — K started running back-to-back episodes of the series. Presumably he also contributed cash, but I don’t know how much.

        Zelensky’s first act after winning the election in April 2019 was to dissolve the parliament and call for early elections (July instead of October). What a shock it was when Servant of the People candidates — none of whom had any political experience — won enough seats to have a one-party majority for the first time in the Rada’s history. So now it was possible that Kolomoisky had not only the president in his pocket, but a majority vote in the Rada. Nonetheless, while there were rumors that they were going light on K, Z and his party managed to do OK in public polls. And then all hell broke loose.

        Ukraine is perennially on the brink of default, saved only by more IMF loans — a vicious circle, to be sure — and there are always strings attached. In March 2020, with an already shrinking economy ravaged by COVID, default was imminent. The IMF agreed to a $5 billion infusion, under two conditions, both requiring approval by the Rada: an end to the moratorium on selling agricultural land, and a prohibition on former owners of failed banks resuming control. The first was a hot potato that had been tossed for nearly 20 years and was a no-win situation for Z. The second, however, was clearly targeted at Kolomoisky — political suicide for Z, if not actually life-threatening.

        The brawl that ensued in the Rada pitted members of Z’s party against each other and by some accounts destroyed the party itself. Kolomoisky sympathizers started a publicity campaign to let the country default rather than continuing subservience to the US and EU. There also were reports of anonymous death threats against lawmakers who supported the “Kolomoi law.”

        As for the “offer he couldn’t refuse” — cooperate, or share a cell with K while awaiting his own corruption trial?

      2. Raymond Sim

        I would gather that the falling out occurred after the spooks got to Zelensky, probably at about the same time they were impeaching Trump over his call with Z

        This seems plausible. At the time the phone call struck me as a bit of Kabuki by Trump and Zelensky, telling the ‘interagency consensus’ to back off. The idea that withholding weapons from Azov was any kind of threat to Zelensky never made sense, and sizing that kind of situation up seems to be Trump’s actual forte’.

  24. Andrew Watts

    RE: American Empire is marching into the sunset — can we handle it?

    I wondered how much recent events like the collapse of Afghanistan had an effect on people like Bessner. He was one of those people that proclaimed the empire wasn’t in decline and could be run via drones, artificial intelligence, and algorithms. I guess the answer is not much.

    The restrainer crowd mostly struck me as lightweight imperialists who were too stupid, or cowardly, to resolve what a world without American hegemony would look like. Where the best case scenario or end goal would be the establishment of a fragile strategic equilibrium to keep the kinetic action to an absolute minimum. The war in Ukraine only exposed these people for what they are. Providing that country with arms and intelligence is what you’d expect if they were a member of NATO with Article V invoked. Which only underwrites Moscow’s justification for launching their operation in the first place. Nor do I expect it to change the outcome.

    That’s all I have to say about these liberal pro-war/NATO people who masquerade as left wingers. Last time I checked being on the left meant embracing the class struggle, anti-imperialism, and third worldism. Not fueling conflict abroad or embracing organizations whose sole purpose is fomenting those outcomes. It’s a good thing Bernie didn’t win otherwise it’d expose how hollow the people he’d surrounded himself with would be on foreign policy. It has never been subject to public debate or opinion in recent memory.

    1. Daniil Adamov

      Re: Ukraine, for me it underwrites how little it matters in reality whether it is a NATO member or not. That’s just symbolic. If it were a part of NATO, I suppose it would’ve been harder for NATO not to escalate their involvement to a greater degree than this… but not impossibly hard if that was judged politic. Still, obviously NATO didn’t want that kind of trouble.

      1. Andrew Watts

        In theory it matters, but in practice I think it’s highly overrated. I imagine the Lithuanian government was surprised by the response from both the US and EU when they decided to unilaterally impose a blockade on Kaliningrad. Just a guess though.

  25. Glen

    So, high prices are still with us because of the coof and a world shutdown, we’re sliding into a recession, and the Fed is STILL going to raise rates.

    Looks like the Fed mandate to make rich people richer is now being executed by making everybody else poor.

  26. roxan

    I would like to know if the covid vax effect on the menstrual cycle means it raises estrogen? As a cancer patient who hae an estrogen sensitive tumor, that is important to know!

  27. lyman alpha blob

    Thanks for the Ian Welsh piece today. He is correct to remind us that it’s the institutions that matter, and not what they are called. We can debate public vs. private, secular vs. religious, etc. but if a church or a corporation of a labor union gets large enough, then the institution is a de facto government even if not officially recognized as one.

    This is an important concept, especially in the hyper capitalist US where we are often told private institutions (ie corporations) function better and more efficiently than government. That is a dubious claim at best. And does it really make a difference if one if being overtaxed by the government or price gouged by a private corporation? Either way a powerful institution has unfairly lightened your wallet.

  28. ebirah

    “The #Anthropocene is going to be a wild ride. View as we evacuate #oakfire”

    “Is going”? We’re already solidly in it. And it sucks

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