Links 11/29/2022

Hobo signs and symbols, code for the road Logo Design Love (Chuck L)

New Scrabble dictionary, 7th edition: New words—and its importance to American English. Slate (resilc)

How to hack your macaroni cheese New Scientist (Dr. Kevin)

Algocracy would replace politicians with algorithms. Should we try it? Big Think

San Francisco considers allowing police robots to use lethal force NPR (David L)

World’s Biggest Nuclear-Fusion Project Faces Delays as Component Cracks Bloomberg

Y chromosome degeneration: Amami spiny rat could be a glimpse of our genetic future New Scientist (Dr. Kevin)



Covid deaths skew older, reviving questions about ‘acceptable loss’ Washington Post. Furzy flags this part:

Fauci, through his office, declined to comment on that decision. But in a White House briefing on Tuesday, he talked about face coverings as just one of “multiple interventions and multiple actions” people can take to protect themselves, saying each individual should evaluate their own risks, as well as those of the people around them.

Covid: Blood thinner ineffective for patients, trial finds BBC (Kevin W)

Are needle-free COVID vaccines our way out of the pandemic? Seeking Alpha (resilc)

Covid, Flu, RSV: We Know How to Deal With Them. Will We? New York Times (resilc). IM Doc reports that his hospital, even with pressing staff from its clinic into service, is coming apart under the weight of various contagions. Local drugstores completely out of OTC meds


Egypt’s Climate Summit Was a “Rehearsal” for COP28 in Dubai The Intercept. Resilc: “Dubai, THE most unsustainable city in the whirld.”

Scientists search 300-year-old wheat collection to find a strain that can cope with climate change Daily Mail (resilc)

Shrimps, saris and guns BBC

Wave-powered buoys vastly reduce the ecological cost of desalination New Atlas (furzy)

Michael Pascoe: From COVID to carbon, the world has simply given up New Daily (Anthony L). I disagree with the framing. “We” are not willing to give up much of anything.

Tech Titans Like Elon Musk Want to Save Earth by Having Tons of Children Business Insider (resilc)


China Covid: Police clamp down after days of protests BBC

Beijing protesters spooked by phone calls from police Agence France-Presse

China protests could usher in ‘more authoritarian’ Xi era, analyst says CNBC (resilc)

China ramps up security in Shanghai after COVID protests DW

Washington steps up pressure on European allies to harden China stance Financial Times. ZOMG, European leaders are upset about being exploited by the US via Ukraine…yet this sort of thing apparently works (see Conor’s post yesterday v. the pro-US hawking here):

The US is pushing European allies to take a harder stance towards Beijing as it tries to leverage its leadership on Ukraine to gain more support from Nato countries for its efforts to counter China in the Indo-Pacific.

Overthrowing Xi Could Mean The End Of The World Heisenberg Report (resilc)

China says US missile cruiser driven away after intruding into Chinese waters off Spratly TASS

Old Blighty

Brexit has worsened shortage of NHS doctors, analysis shows Guardian (resilc)

Rishi Sunak signals end of ‘golden era’ of relations between Britain and China Guardian (Kevin W)

New Not-So-Cold War

The Problem With Oil And Gas Price Caps OilPrice (resilc)

Ukraine. Military Summary And Analysis 28.11.2022 YouTube. Important discussion at beginning, how Ukraine is having great difficulty redeploying forces out of Kherson, and at very end, of how Bakhmut campaign is progressing and when it falls, how much opens up for Russia. In the middle, details on how front lines in Donbass are starting to collapse.

Economy: Real wages in Germany are falling at record speed – Economy News in Germany

Ukraine War – A Contentious Graveyard In Poland Moon of Alabama

Biden admin scrambles to track $20B in Ukraine aid as House Republicans warn of audits Fox

Ukraine asks U.S. to help with gas for heating – Naftogaz CEO Interfax

Pope Francis makes racially charged comment against Russians RT. Kevin W: “And with that disappears any chance of the Vatican being a mediator of any sort in this war.”


The Israeli army demolished a school in Masafer Yatta. Residents say it won’t be the last. Mondoweiss (guurst)


Media Groups Urge US To Drop Julian Assange Charges Guardian. Huh? That horse left the barn and is in the next county.


Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Alexa, how did Amazon’s voice assistant rack up a $10bn loss? Guardian


A Peek Inside the FBI’s Unprecedented January 6 Geofence Dragnet Wired

White House leaves out Hunter’s daughter he had with a stripper out of wedlock from stocking display for a second year in a row Daily Mail

Was election denial just a passing threat? New York Times (furzy)


Solutions to save lives from gun violence Washington Post (furzy)

Our No Longer Free Press

Elon Musk Is Destroying the Myths of Silicon Valley in Front of Our Very Eyes Jacobin (resilc)

Elon Musk accuses Apple of threatening to remove Twitter from App Store Guardian

New Twitter Sign Ups Hit All-Time Record Despite Cancel Campaign Jonathan Turley

UK Ditches Ban On ‘Legal But Harmful’ Online Content In Favor of Free Speech Reuters

‘Rude drivers will swerve in my lane’: are Tesla owners paying the price for Musk hate? Guardian (resilc)

Tipping Point: The Financial Fragility of the Big Four Global Audit Firms Francine McKenna

Dollar Dominance is Financial Dominance Institute for New Economic Thinking. Measured but deadly critique of the Fed.

The Bezzle

Yours truly must admit that if SBF does participate in the New York Times Dealbook conference on the 30th as scheduled, it would either indicates that his judgement is severely impaired and he is ignoring legal advice or he has good reason to believe that his risk of being prosecuted is extremely low. Given the rush of press stories that go insanely easy on this crypto grifter by skipping over inconvenient facts, like SBF “borrowing” over $3 billion that appears to have gone poof (see one shredded below), one has to suspect that the Southern District of New York effort to develop a case is unserious.

Mind you, this is not over until the fat lady sings. What it took with the very connected Elizabeth Holmes was tenacious reporting by the Wall Street Journal, which refused to back down in the face of thuggish threats by star litigator David Boies (and despite, or perhaps because, Rupert Murdoch had invested $125 million in Theranos). There’s a lot of Silicon Valley money riding on the crypto project. A full or even partial but revealing expose of what went on at FTX and Alameda could readily cast more well warranted doubt on the entire ecosystem. It took even longer to bring down Jeffrey Epstein (yours truly thinks a fair bit of his dough likely came from arms-running; the supposed money management and sex trafficking would not be enough to generate his level of lucre. That would make him additionally tricky to prosecute).

SBF did spend on Republicans but not as much as on Dems. And Republicans are factionalized. Information may come out in the bankruptcy that creates new uproar. Some Republicans may sponsor hearings in the House, particularly if they smell blood if/when they go after Hunter. Republican AGs could also team up to file cases.

And remember prosecutions don’t tend to move quickly. Even if there was more eagerness to pursue SBF, I’d expect any prosecutor to wait until a lot more had come out in bankruptcy. Due to the lack of proper accounting and systems, the new management is having to construct basic information, almost from the ground up. Even a gung-ho prosecutor would want that in hand before deciding how to proceed.

Crypto finance firm BlockFi files for bankruptcy following the fall of FTX The Verge

BlockFi Sues FTX’s Bankman-Fried Over Shares In Robinhood Cointelegraph

Kuttner on TAP: The New York Times Is in the Tank for Crypto American Prospect (Randy K)

Class Warfare

Parasitic Private Equity is Consuming U.S. Health Care from the Inside Out Juan Cole (resilc)

How Student-Loan Debt, or Not Having It, Shapes Lives Wall Street Journal (Dr. Kevin)

Biden calls on Congress to head off potential rail strike Associated Press (Kevin W)

Antidote du jour (CV):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Louis Fyne

    —China Covid: Police clamp down after days of protests BBC—

    IMO, I would be leery-skeptical of the media narrative as the western media seems to be conflating (a) labor protests and (b) democrary protests popping up in the midst of the labor protests w/Tianamen Square II.

    From Chinese social media that I’ve seen, the participants in “democracy” protests in China are literally being outnumbered by photographers and random onlookers who are shouting down the protestors.

    It also raises my Vulcan eyebrows that it appears protestors are trying to sound like Braveheart (according to the translations). As I would expect democracy protestors’ slogans would revolve bread and butter issues first, not “we want universal values” (yes, that literally was a chant, per the translations).

    your mileage will vary. Just saying I’m skeptical thta any western reporting will be clinically detached.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I myself have learned to be very wary of protests in foreign countries where the protestors are holding up signs in English which is not spoken in that country.

      1. Marquessa

        I myself have learned to be very wary of protests in communities where outside demonstrators hold up signs decrying social preferences or property covenants that occured four generations ago.

        Just sayin…

      2. Angie Neer

        Isn’t that a logical pressure tactic if they’ve given up hope of influencing their government directly, and want international attention?

    2. bonks

      For what it’s worth, the Shanghai protesters picked the intersection of Urumqi Road that is -extremely- popular with foreigners and westernised-Chinese. It’s in the middle of the former French concession area that is dotted with European consulates.

      Meanwhile the Xinjiang community they are supposedly protesting for tend to congregate near the mosque in Shanghai, which is located miles away from the protest area.

    3. zagonostra

      Twitter was filled with tweets pointing out the contradictions coming out of the Trudeau gov’t on how Canada supports and stands behind the protesters in China and contrasting that with the reaction to the Trucker’s Convoy.

      Nothing smells as rancid as political hypocrisy.

      1. Mildred Montana

        The thing—perhaps the only thing—to understand about Trudeau is that everything he says and does is aimed at Canadian voters. Therefore his apparently contradictory statements (eg. Chinese protesters good, trucker protesters bad) are not at all hypocritical to him. They are entirely consistent with his single-minded obsession with votes at home and his hoped-for crowning as the PM of a majority government.

        1. Wukchumni

          Being chauvinistic, I gotta say I like our Trudeau more than yours, as he has talent and is a lefty who drew right handed.

    4. Lex

      Like in so many other things, the US overplayed its hand these last 30 years. It no longer mattered whether the US is or isn’t managing/instigating protests. It always looks like they are. In this case it really looks like they are given most of the slogans are straight out of state department statements.

      1. agent ranger smith

        Which makes it easy for protested governments to dismiss protests as American-inspired/ American instigated.

        Had America voiced support for the Myanmar protestors early on, the Junta would be successfully dismissing the protests and the uprising as an American Color Revolution. The Myanmar protesters and insurgents still don’t know how lucky they are that the American elites were so oblivious for so long to protest and rebellion events in Myanmar. The credibility they retain more than makes up for any support they have failed to receive. And you comment explains exactly why that is.

    5. hunkerdown

      IMO the identities organizing the protest the West wants to see aren’t important. It’s more important that they’re performing moral entrepreneurship, which is the sort of activity that ought to be shouted down with no regard whatsoever to content.

    6. Mikel

      True. And the citizens protesting the way the Chinese government is handling Covid restrictions and being totally against them are two different things. How much distinction is being made?

  2. The Rev Kev

    “White House leaves out Hunter’s daughter he had with a stripper out of wedlock from stocking display for a second year in a row”

    Maybe that headline should be changed to something that would be more accurate and more descriptive. Something like this-

    “Four year old girl dodges a bullet by not having to get involved in creepy, dysfunctional, corrupt family. Gets to eventually enjoy showers by herself.”

    1. Pat

      I have lately wandered into Twitter and comment sections where there is lots of forget Hunter, what about Ivanka and Jared outrage. Yes, the immediate response to possible Hunter investigations is to go but the Trumps. And I fully admit my response is generally ennui.
      Then I read something like your comment, a shift in perspective that both enlightens and disturbs. And now I want both their houses burned to the ground, the earth salted and warnings posted for future generations. These two deeply corrupt individuals, both with inadequate social controls and who exhibit frequent inappropriate behavior, not to mention the smooth sociopath and the incompetent war mongering forever candidate are all so toxic I find myself aghast at what much of the American public has been sold and accepted as leadership.

      You are right, of course, the unacknowledged illegitimate child is far better off where she is, far far away from such “paragons”.

      1. cfraenkel

        Why stop at two?
        To Biden + Trump add Bush, Cheney, Clinton, Obama (of “pitchforks” fame), Bezos, Walton, Musk, Sackler, Theil, Holmes, Epstein …. The list is too long to bother continuing.

        If only there were some defining metric we could use to identify this source of evil.

    2. griffen

      I would concur, looks like Hunter has obligations to make support payments for his complete lack of control over his life. Which speaks volumes for a grown man in his late 40s…

      Hunter is such a character, not in a good way either.

    3. russell1200

      They are being fools. They won’t put the mother under SS protection and she is apparently getting threats/harassments from an ex. What are they going to do if the baby is all the sudden an orphan? Put up a stocking?

      1. JBird4049

        There is the current embarrassment of acknowledging Hunter Biden is a child who can’t keep his zipper zipped and the possible future embarrassment for not taking proper care of family, which the child and mother are?

        The Bidens are just doing what shallow, narcissistic jackasses have always done; we will ignore the embarrassment and hope “it” goes away, even if we do have the resources to easily do right. Plenty of people have neither the wealth or connections to do so, even if they wanted to. The Bidens are just trashy.

    4. Wukchumni

      Movie pitch: ‘The Deal Hunter’

      Hunter is forced to play roulette in Kiev and the croupier lets him win because of who his father is, and emboldened by his brilliance and in a series of flashbacks, Beau makes an appearance as the good son and not the wastrel brother 8 billion of us are stuck with.

  3. Pat

    Do you think any of the rail workers, you know possible strikers who are an intrinsic part of the industry that Joe Biden used for years to push his I’m one of the working class persona, would now spit on Joe if he were on fire?

    1. griffen

      “As a proud pro-Labor President…” is a headline this morning on CNBC. Vomit.

      Maybe they would choose to spit on him regardless.

      1. Charger01

        Ouch. Jimmy looks better and better in hindsight. That dude was a class act after his presidency, not cashing in on his name.

        1. Mildred Montana

          Yeah, I admit to a certain nostalgic fondness for Jimmy’s folksiness in office and his quiet presence in his post-Presidency years. If he hadn’t gotten in bed with the Shah of Iran* during his term (figuratively speaking of course) my admiration for him might be untempered.

          *The PBS show “Taken Hostage” is well worth watching. Among other things I was astonished by the liberal access to major players and events the media was granted. No way that would happen today.

          1. cfraenkel

            I don’t remember it going down that way – is there any evidence that Carter actively supported the Shah above and beyond what the status quo effectively forced his administration to do? For instance – any more than his administration supported Israel?

            In my memory – Carter’s failure was due to his principled refusal to negotiate with hostage takers (in public, anyway), and getting stabbed in the back by Reagan’s team, who hindsight shows had no compunctions or much morality from the get-go.

            1. Mildred Montana

              >”…is there any evidence that Carter actively supported the Shah…”

              From Wiki: ‘On November 15, 1977, Carter pledged that his administration would continue positive relations between the U.S. and Iran, calling its contemporary status “strong, stable and progressive”. When the shah was overthrown, increasingly anti-American rhetoric came from Iran, which intensified when Carter allowed the shah to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York on October 22, 1979.’

              1. cfraenkel

                That’s what I meant. “Continue”, as in do exactly what the previous five administrations had done. For example, the F-14s were purchased during the Nixon years.

                Also from wiki:

                President Carter did not wish to admit Mohammad Reza to the U.S. but came under pressure from many quarters, with Henry Kissinger phoning Carter to say he would not endorse the SALT II treaty that Carter had just signed with the Soviet Union unless the former Shah was allowed into the United States, reportedly prompting Carter more than once to hang up his phone in rage in the Oval Office and shout “Fuck the Shah!”.

            2. Adam Eran

              Recommended reading: Gary Sick’s October Surprise. Sick says he was skeptical Reagan colluded with the Ayatollahs before the 1980 election until he started looking into it. Not so skeptical after. He was fairly certain the Reagan administration colluded with the Ayatollahs to keep hostages imprisoned until the election, which Carter narrowly lost.

              JFYI, Carter refused to sell spare parts to the Ayatollahs for all the lovely military toys we gave/sold the Shah (hey, and don’t forget the lovely nuclear plants!).

              Reagan resumed sales of spare parts and brokered a deal to sell some classified weapons whose sale proceeds funded a proxy war against the elected Nicaraguan government. Iran / Contra! Good times! The hostages were released 15 minutes after Reagan was sworn in.

              Meanwhile the honorable Jimmy deregulated trucking and airlines, showing Reagan how it was done, throwing those unions in these heavily unionized sectors of the economy under the bus. Teamsters endorsed Reagan (as did Ralph Abernathy and Eugene McCarthy!). Let’s just say Carter was not “well liked.” (Why else would Teddy Kennedy have made a run to oppose him?)

          2. spud

            carter unleashed a couple of anti-worker vermin on us that we should never forget, alfred kahn and paul volker.

            they started americas long downward slide into fascism.

    2. Glen

      I support the workers, and that should be a no-brainer call since the railroads are making record profits, but it’s even worse than what is in the MSM.

      The railroads are being run to maximize profits which means that the capital assets are being “consumed” along with the workers. The railroads will pick the routes and cargo which maximizes profits and neglect everything else. This means equipment will be neglected, tracks will not be maintained, and “modernization” will become too expensive. And the reality is going forward we will need good railroads even more than we do now. As diesel becomes ever more expensive, one of the best solutions is to maximize the use of rail for the distribution of goods because rail can be extremely efficient:

      Freight Rail: Moving Miles Ahead on Sustainability

      ” …U.S. freight railroads can, on average, move one ton of freight nearly 500 miles per gallon of fuel, making rail the most fuel-efficient way to move freight over land.”

      If Biden was smart, he would support the workers, but also insist that railroads be run to support America rather than stripped mined into obsolescence. America is going to need efficient, modern, well run railroads going forward.

      1. Spider Monkey

        This has been going on for a long time. The joke with the class 1 rail roads is you have to sell their salesman in order to be able to get service…I can’t think of other industries operating that way and still make money.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      This morning on cnbc, a reporter said congress has 3 options:

      1. Force all parties to adopt the contract.
      2. Delay strike deadline.
      3. Have a third party arbitrate. But this one “undermines” the committee biden already set up this summer that “fixed” things before the “election.”

      Pelosi favors door #1 of course, and will get the democrat house going on legislation this week.

      scranton joe, friend of the workin’ man, apparently voted against the use of force under similar circumstances in 1992, but says it’s different this time since “a majority” of unions support this deal. He also supports force, and urges congress to get a move on makin’ some “laws.”

      I wonder if the workers will get the J6 gulag treatment if they decide to strike anyway. Domestic terrorism and all that. And besides, Christmas is coming. Bring on the Pinkertons.

      1. JBird4049

        Why does anyone believes that the railroad workers will obey Congress especially as the workers have been the only ones bargaining in good faith?

        1. agent ranger smith

          If only the Sanders small-donor community had been kept alive and well and turned into a movement for times such as this.

          They could all donate their $27/month to a support-the-rail-workers work-stoppage/pay stoppage survival fund for as many years as the rail workers needed to stay away from work.

          That way, the workers could go into hiding well enough that “law enforcement” could not find them to round them up and force them back to work at gunpoint.

          Could Sanders get the banc back together fast enough to do and become that very thing in the short time remaining between now and the force-them-to-work laws that are coming?

            1. Anthony Noel

              I’d be careful with those donations. As Trudeau effectively illustrated up here in the Canada, those funds will be frozen, clawed back, and donators will be punished by having their bank accounts frozen.

        2. agent ranger smith

          If any Republican operatives are reading these comments . . . the short time remaining could be just enough time for Rubio to work with Sanders to co-sponsor a bill in the Senate, to be called the Rubio-Sanders Justice For Rail Workers Act or something equally evocative. For Rubio it would be a major credibility profile raiser. For the Republican Senate, it could be a major embarrassment opportunity against the Senate Democrats. For Senator Sanders, who is not a Democrat as Clinton would no doubt hasten to remind us, it would be an opportunity for revenge against Biden for his part in the Clyburn-Obama conspiracy to defenestrate Sanders in the primaries . . . as well as an opportunity to burnish his fighting-for-justice image and re-invigorate his movement.

          And for the Republicans in 2024. it could be a major opportunity to embarrass Biden bigly by making him veto it on camera, with the Whole Nation watching. Which would degrade Biden’s victory chances in 2024. And if Buttigieg and Harris still harbor secret hopes of running, it could force Buttigieg and Harris into a highly embarrassing and clarifying position of having to reveal which sidethey are on.

          1. JBird4049

            The populists will take advantage, but the leaders of both parties will not. If they were not supportive of Big Business and in contempt of the bottom 90% forgetting the working class, political leaders would have seized the opportunity for increasing their popularity.

            That they think that ordering people to work as if they are slaves is a good idea shows how clueless or contemptible they are.

            1. agent ranger smith

              Well . . . I still hope Rubio gives it a try, just to see if something can happen.
              If Sanders is too scared to co-sponsor such a bill, perhaps Manchin would co-sponsor. He enjoys burnishing his image of working class tough-guy cred. And he sometimes likes to troll or even own his fellow Democratic Senators.

              In any event, I really hope Rubio-Somebody tries it. Even if it just embarrasses the anti-working class Senators, there is value in that.

    4. spud

      just to give you some sort of idea how far the nafta democrats have fallen since 1993, look no further than this,

      “The railways & workers should go back & negotiate a deal that the workers,not just the union bosses,will accept,” Rubio tweeted on Tuesday. “But if Congress is forced to do it,I will not vote to impose a deal that doesn’t have the support of the rail workers.”

      simply amazing!

  4. deedee

    Related to a number of topics posted on the regular here (COVID isn’t done with us, Ukraine War Fairy Tales) I just want to take the idea to bash the millennial cringe dumbassery of Krystal and Saagar who IMO have really revealed their staggering clueless/incuriosity/beltway bubble-think on these particular issues.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      “Cringe dumbassery” seconded.

      I can’t figure out if they were always that stupid or something happened to them. Also too, krystal’s voice is an imitation of fingernails on a chalkboard second only to hillary’s.

    2. Chris Cosmos

      Krystal and Saagar are, along with many others who have ties to Washington insiders, attempting to be the new News Hour in producing a slightly larger frame-of-reference for the grand Narrative that runs the political class. Their views are for those who believe it’s possible to change the Washington consensus. To put it another way, if you want to influence the Washington power-structure (and its series of networks) you have to not alienate potential allies who will simply label you as a “conspiracy theorist” if you actually tell the truth. This has always been the case in my lifetime.

      1. JBird4049

        >>>Krystal and Saagar who IMO have really revealed their staggering clueless/incuriosity/beltway bubble-think on these particular issues.

        They have their problems, but they have the same complaints with the bubblespeak of the DC crowd as well. The difference between them and the insiders is that they know there is a bubble and one has to work to step out of it. They often fail, but they know and try, while our ruling class and its apparatchiks don’t even know that there is a bubble.

    3. schmoe

      I have been a consistent viewer of Krystal and Saagar since their Hill days. Overall, I would say that they are a midpoint between CNN/MSNBC/Fox drivel versus what NC would be if it were a show.

      I agree that they are at their worst with Covid and Ukraine, and Saagar in particular is either ignorant or oblivious about the events of 2013-2014. Krystal can show hints of critical thinking about Ukraine. Sometimes.

    4. Boris

      I was watching their show for years, and I really liked it/them, particularly the pairing of a conservative with a progressive. However a few months after the Ukraine war started, I had to stop watching them because it became too depressing…or too annoying. I’m particularly disappointed by Krystal.

    5. skippy

      All one had to do yonks ago before getting sux’ed into their brand image buffing narrative spinning is take the time and do the required due diligence on them …. but nay … like with crypto and FTX et al people get mentally Venturi deviced …

      Whatever narrative is being sold its crafted around suspending disbelief and then getting the consumer[tm] to accept the cornerstones being presented as fait accompli … then some wonder how cults and faith healing or prosperity churches et al seem to do so well when reality starts to unwind ….

      1. Anthony Noel

        I’ve never been a fan. Sagar is a pretty standard right winger, who masks it pretty well but lets his neo con leaning slip whenever a country doesn’t do what America wants, just watch any segments about the Saudi’s not cowtowing to US demands for increased oil out put and his calls for the US to go and teach them a lesson.

        As for Krystal, well as a long time reader of NC I always knew she was a fake, type her name into the site search and you’ll get some interesting articles about how her and her now ex husband made millions off of shady investment deals, and pump and dump setups. It really makes her current tut tuting of FTX over the past few days priceless.

        And lets not forget her People’s House Project PAC, which raised over 700,000 dollars, of which less then 50,000 dollars went to candidates, but close to 600000 dollars went to her and her friends on the board in salaries with Krystal raking in just under 280,000 grand.

    6. Basil Pesto

      who IMO have really revealed their staggering clueless/incuriosity/beltway bubble-think on these particular issues.

      Lots of that going around. That many darlings of the altstream media are being out-journalisted on one of the defining issues of our time – perhaps all-time – by Taylor fucking Lorenz is pretty funny/embarrassing/pathetic – take your pick.

      1. Raymond Sim

        I really only know Lorenz from her recent Covid stuff. In my personal life I find it’s amazingly rare that a person turns out to be what others made them out as.

  5. griffen

    I want to see the sh*t show of SBF appearing on stage with other luminaries, as though he continues to belong in a small club of elites. He had best be careful though, what if he says something on stage which could be somewhat useful or tangential to a determined prosecutor. I mean the pair on this frazzled looking dude must be something. He’s like some evil villain in Lethal Weapon 2 or a James Bond film.

    And to add, damn it Andrew Ross Sorkin should know better give his background. Rescind the invitation for all involved.

      1. Questa Nota

        Almost makes people yearn for those Smartest Guys in the Room.
        Or were those the 30-year old Senior Guys, with their suspenders and yellow power ties?
        How quaint by comparison. They had better hair, and probably called their moms more often, too. /s

      2. Wukchumni

        Who would’ve ever guessed that the sorrow and longing for your money back from crypto investments gone awry was actually in the word itself, as in you ‘cry’ while you’re spitting out the dummy*-which sounds like ‘p-to!’

        * a much better name for a pacifier, thanks UK!

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I may be behind the state of play but I thought he was getting the Zelensky-big-cheese-being-videoed-in treatment, since I also thought he was still under what amounts to house arrest in the Bahamas (the term was “under supervision”).

      1. Wukchumni

        I heard SB-F might be given a celebrity roast by those who pitched FTX, grill for 30 minutes and then turn over and do the other side.

    1. Mark Gisleson

      My decidedly unexpert opinion is OMG. As in OMG it’s about time the frauds in charge got called out for their data manipulation (by someone besides our hosts).

      Interesting for the description of institutional reluctance to act like actual scientists, and interesting for the discussion of the ongoing statistical malpractice.

    2. Jason Boxman

      Beyond my pay grade, but:

      More importantly, repeated antigen dosing from vaccination, often in combination with intercurrent COVID infection, activates T reg cells, specifically suppressing immunity to COVID infection. This led to “reverse immunity” with more infections and more severe disease reported in multi-vaccinated subjects, so that COVID has now become a pandemic of the vaccinated.

      Sounds dangerous.

      Clearly controversial, and of concern, is data correlating increased deaths with post-COVID severe adverse event reports from government reporting bodies. The have been more reports of severe adverse events for COVID vaccines than the combined total for all other vaccines over 20 years! Estimates of under-reporting severe adverse events at 40-fold are claimed.

      And the evidence of this grows stronger day by day.

      The way this Pandemic is being handled by the elite is a crime against humanity.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Wrt “repeated antigen dosing from vaccination…specifically suppressing immunity to COVID infection,” consider this from the wapo link:

        … According to the CDC, 98 percent of those ages 65 to 74 and 96 percent of people 75 and over completed an initial two-shot course.

        To minimize further loss of life ahead of a feared winter surge, the White House announced Tuesday that it was launching a six-week push to increase booster uptake in seniors and other groups that have been disproportionately affected.

        All told, the 65-plus age group accounted for nearly 90 percent of covid deaths in the United States despite being only 16 percent of the population.

        Preserving the social security trust fund one mRNA shot at a time.

        1. Late Introvert

          I work at a Senior Center. Lots of people dying of cancer lately, way more than normal, and quickly. Lots of people out with Covid. So glad the “pandemic is over”. Let’s Go Brandon!

    3. bdy

      From the linked paper:

      Infection of the mucosal tissues induces profound immune suppression by “suppressor” T reg cells that dominate net immunity in both local and systemic tissues – a physiological mechanism to prevent a profound inflammatory response to the myriad of microbes colonising mucosal sites. This is the forgotten hallmark of mucosal immunology. . . .

      . . . repeated antigen dosing from vaccination, often in combination with intercurrent COVID infection, activates T reg cells, specifically suppressing immunity to COVID infection. This led to “reverse immunity” with more infections and more severe disease reported in multi-vaccinated subjects, so that COVID has now become a pandemic of the vaccinated.

      Now vaccination has no significant effect on virus spread as it doesn’t stimulate mucosal immunity. Indeed the multi-vaccinated excrete virus for longer periods, due to the suppression effect discussed above. None of this should surprise, as “desensitisation” (multiple antigen shots for allergy subjects) effectively suppresses allergic reactions for about five years, via activation of the same T reg cells.

      The implications for COVID are concerning, as protracted suppression of specific immunity through poorly spaced boosters predicts a predisposition towards more severe disease for a considerable time. Natural immunity from COVID infection is broader and more durable than that following vaccination, while immunisation post-infection adds to the risk of impaired immunity due to specific immune suppression.

      This is the first place I have seen this argument: that repeated vaccinations reduce resistance to COVID by activating T reg cells, in a way that’s similar to the way mucosal infection can suppress the immune response. The guy is credentialed and clear, but doesn’t link to any studies supporting his claim. I’m curious if qualified commenters here think it may be true.

      1. jsn

        This would be an explanation of all the other infections going around as well.

        The claim that more people are dying from vaccine side affects than are being saved from COVID by vaccination is a very strong one.

        It would be interesting to see someone pick up the data on that and litigate a class action suit for all harmed by vaccine mandates.

        1. JBird4049

          >>>These short-term adverse events following genetic vaccines have led to ratios being calculated showing significantly more deaths following genetic vaccines than lives saved from COVID by vaccination.

          This is making me angry enough to want to inflict extreme discomfort on some people.

          >>>It would be interesting to see someone pick up the data on that and litigate a class action suit for all harmed by vaccine mandates.

          It will not be in the United States because the vaccine makers got immunity from lawsuits for their warp speed vaccines.

          It’s crooks all the way down, who are all tap dancing on our collective caskets.

          I am starting to hope for a Hell for their afterlifes.

    4. Roger Blakely

      What makes sense to me is that people over 65 years of age who are fully boostered should not go out into a world full of BQ.1 thinking that they are bulletproof.

    5. ArvidMartensen

      When someone with his qualifications, academic standing and past organisational influence is ignored and suppressed, it says everything about how the pharma industry owns medicine now. Lock, stock and barrel. Or probably more to the point, the billionaires who own the pharma industry.

      Theirs was a subterranean-controlled, pervasive and totalitarian campaign of bullying and harassment using the lockstep media. It worked. It has created such fear in those academics and medicos still dependent on salaries and grants, that they have muted themselves and now ignore their own science so as to stay employed.
      This is how we sink into a dystopian world.

    6. Raymond Sim

      This article appears to be bunk, full of jargonesque ill-defined terminology and ignoring the now massive body of evidence on immune system damage and dysregulation caused by SARS-2 in favor of a theory based on magical ideas about mucosal immunity and the workings of vaccines. If someone can provide a logically coherent explanation of where I’m wrong I’ll be happy to read it.

      And since I haven’t said it for some time, and it’s relevant here: Will any vaccine-blamer ever come forth to explain how the purported mechanisms of harm by the vaccines aren’t things we would expect to be even more severe in actual infection?

        1. Raymond Sim

          That’s not a logically coherent explanation of where I’m wrong. I trust you read more than the first sentence I wrote? If you follow NC you’ve had access to every resource you could need to show me my errors.

          At this point, since the effects of SARS-2 infection are so well documented, and mechanisms of the damage increasingly elucidated I feel comfortable saying the onus is on those who want to blame vaccines to offer a clear explanation of how they could possibly be the real culprits. If you can see that the paper in question provides that then surely you can explain it?

          1. Acacia

            Of course I read your entire comment. If you read and thought about mine, you would understand I’m not saying you’re wrong, but simply that if you want to claim this article is “bunk”, then you would need to support that claim with a more detailed argument, that’s all.

            Also, my understanding is that assignments are against the site rules here. So, again, I think it’s on you to provide a compelling refutation the article, rather than issuing an assignment to the rest of the NC commentariat to show you your errors.

            1. Basil Pesto

              The assignment rule is for the blog’s staff only, I believe.

              I can’t answer the question but I can provide some context that suggests Clancy is a political actor, putting his political judgement ahead of scientific judgement – which is not to say his “opponents” – who are actually pretty close to him in terms of overarching pandemic strategy (Let It Rip, one with vaccines, one without) haven’t done the same.

              Quadrant is a journal for conservative pseudo-intellectuals in Australia. In December 2020, Clancy published an article in it predicting, accurately, the failure of vaccines to end the pandemic on immunological grounds. Many scientists were predicting this of course, including on NC. In the second half of the same article, Clancy also made excessive claims on the potential of HCQ and Ivermectin to subdue the pandemic into something live-withable. Whether you believe HCQ or IVM have some health benefit in the face of the pandemic or not, claims about their putative benefit were clearly being overstated thru late 2021 by its proponents including Clancy in that article (I recall debunking here last November slightly unhinged claims that India and Japan were pwning the pandemic because of Ivermectin, in Japan’s case based on a sole press release from the “Tokyo Medical Association”. such claims were straightforwardly wrong, and while I think the claims made here were largely by fly-by-nighter one-off commenters, it is funny how no one takes accountability for these claims long after they have been shown to be wildly erroneous by basic reality). They have barely made a dent in the face of this formidable pathogen. For writing the article, Clancy had a mini-“cancellation” imbroglio in the Australian press and was unfairly denigrated, despite half of his article being more or less correct, so one can certainly understand why he is bitter. Although I have a serviceable rule of thumb that sooky asides about ‘cancellation’ or ‘wokeness’ are good indications that what is about to follow may not be particularly scientifically rigorous, ymmv.

              There are a couple of red flags in the article, imo, suggesting that the article is guided by politics more than science despite his claims to the contrary. The first is his “pandemic of the vaccinated” claim which is as much inane political bullshit as “pandemic of the unvaccinated”. The second is his appeal to “natural immunity” which is a longstanding NC red flag given that the cost of “natural immunity” is… millions of dead and chronically ill people. Also, the natural immunity isn’t durable, making it functionally worthless. In the long run (remember, the pandemic isn’t even three years old), and this cannot be stressed enough, we are all fucked, even if you get infected while electing to stay in ~the control group~

              I would add that scientist GM co-authored a paper (which I can’t link to as it de-anonymises him) showing that in one European country that was hit hard by the pandemic early on, vaccination reduced deaths (and severe outcomes? going by memory) by a factor of 0.7. He has also said (sorry to parrot, but expert opinion was sought), in spite of being absolutely scathing about the vaccine campaign and its politicisation, that one would have to be “crazy” to be going around in the pandemic without being vaccinated. He said this maybe 8-12 months ago, I’m not sure whether his position has changed. I also don’t think that the NC Brain Trust is in agreement on this point. Nonetheless, his paper showing the ability of vaccination to reduce major collective harms at national scale is convincing.

              Clancy offers no technical evidence, and only “textbook” arguments, and is politically suspect in what he omits. As Mr Sim points out, he ignores a robust and large body of evidence linking Covid with immune system dysregulation, evidence which is shared on NC if not on a daily, then a weekly basis. The primary reason for ignoring this information and seeking to blame all adverse outcomes on the vaccines and not the disease itself is, imo, strictly political. As an advocate of “learn to live with the virus” aka “let it rip”, it is in his and his cohort’s interest to downplay all multifarious, well documented adverse effects of infection itself (with strong indicators of these adverse impacts emerging pre-vaccine, as well as what we were able to tentatively infer from the SARS1 cohort), and the vaccine – with a far from perfect safety record – remains a nifty distraction from their inhuman policy.

              That said, I still find any purortedly technical argument about the vaccine citing US’ VAERS extremely shifty as, in the context of a moronically politicised pandemic, an open source tool like VAERS is bound to tell us more politically than scientifically, especially in a country of such inane political tribalism as the United States – MDs contributing heavily to VAERS entries hardly makes a difference in my view as we can see how insanely politicised American MDs have been on Covid issues in the past 3 years and how much silly bullshit they’ve paraded before the public on a regular basis that whole time (even though, yes, the pro-vax officialdom have done the same thing). Clancy also, I assume deliberately, fails to cite the Australian VAERS equivalent which has fairly modest record of adverse events – good faith reports of adverse events from vaccination were solicited from the Australian public on a regular basis during the vaccine campaign. I have linked to the reports before. They show that they have been far from perfect but also very far from the worst case scenarios cited by American publicist-doctors. Worth noting that Australia’s vaccination campaign took place before mass infection was happening. But other countries’ VAERS equivalents (I’ve also looked at Portugal’s data – they were highly vaccinated) are similarly modest. Even assuming political juking of the stats to be as flattering as possible in those countries, it’s hard to reconcile with the relatively huge numbers of the United States which, again, as a reminder, is almost uniquely politically divided in a fundamentally stupid way on the pandemic.

              I wouldn’t take the article too seriously.

              1. Basil Pesto

                As an aside, I would urge readers to compare and contrast Clancy’s piece with Andrew Nikiforuk’s on the Covid “Immunity Wars” shared earlier this month, whose subject matter is tangentially related.

                Nikiforuk’s piece strikes the reader as a layman trying to inform himself (and by extension his readers), in good faith, about a fairly sophisticated scientific debate – though his bias is obvious. He does this by actual interviews with key players including researchers on SC2 specifically, and extensive linking to relevant research on these questions. So far as I can tell, it is entirely free of sophistry.

                Clancy’s piece is not that.

                Granted, Nikiforuk lacks the credentials of Clancy but I remain regulary bemused at how credentialism is generally excoriated by the NC commentariat, but then gets leaned upon pretty dramatically when it suits certain arguments (“Robert Malone, inventor of mRNA vaccines”, anyone?)

                Clancy is but one immunologist. It will not, I think, surprise readers to learn that he is not the first immunologist with a shit Covid take or two to his name.

            2. Raymond Sim

              You’re not saying I’m wrong, just that there’s an onus on me to explain the article to its fans.

              I think those of you vibing on the article don’t understand it yourselves. If you did its flaws would be obvious to you. That’s why I’m asking to have it explained. If none of you can, then I think this calls for some reflection on your parts.

              I mean for goodness sake, you tried to invoke ‘the rules’ to get out of dealing with this straightforwardly.

        2. J.

          Acacia, why do you think this article is not bunk? It shows a number of the tells for pseudoscience that should be obvious whether you have a scientific background or not.

          – incoherent argument flow
          – appeals to emotion
          – lots of sciency jargon
          – scientific claims without any supporting links or studies
          – the supporting links that do exist are odd choices. For example the troponin link goes to

          I do happen to have a scientific background, and large sections of this article just do not make sense. I have to agree with Raymond, it’s pure bunk.

          1. Acacia

            The argument seems quite coherent to me, and I have also worked in a scientific field. To support your claim that it’s not, I would expect that you say something more specific about, for example, the first section of the article, and why, exactly, the argument is “incoherent” in these seven paragraphs, and why this matters for the primary claims being made by the article. Similarly, you’ll need to quote and explain the specific passages in which “appeals to emotion” and “sciency jargon” are used, because it’s not clear which exact passages of the article you’re talking about.

            The author of the article, RL Clancy, has had a distinguished career, with many publications. He developed a vaccine for the treatment of bronchitis. His published research is easy to find, e.g.:

            Clancy, Robert L. “Mucosal vaccines for the prevention of influenza.” Drugs 50, no. 4 (1995): 587-594.

            Corrigan, Eilis M., and Robert L. Clancy. “Is there a role for a mucosal influenza vaccine in the elderly?.” Drugs & aging 15, no. 3 (1999): 169-181.

            Gleeson, Maree, Allan W. Cripps, and Robert L. Clancy. “Modifiers of the human mucosal immune system.” Immunology and Cell Biology 73, no. 5 (1995): 397-404.

            While scanning for details, I note that he has previously been attacked for daring to mention IVM as a treatment for COVID, and Newcastle University was pressured to throw him under the bus, e.g.:

            In response to debate around COVID-19 treatment

            (Link via the Wayback machine, because Newcastle University has already yanked a public statement they published in February of last year.)

            1. J.

              Ok, since you asked me to be specific:

              The first six paragraphs are about how this knowledge is being suppressed, also a common pseudoscience tell. This is the section that makes an emotional appeal. The seventh paragraph includes a statement about the mRNA vaccines without any evidence, and therefore can be dismissed without any evidence.

              Some specific sciency quotes:

              the science of COVID was known through experience with influenza

              Um, no. Influenza and COVID are quite different. This is on the level of assuming birds are the same as bats.

              Pandemic infection by a respiratory virus, be it influenza or a corona virus, occurs when mutation enables escape from the mucosal compartment to the gas-exchange apparatus of the lungs, where outcome is determined by the systemic immune response.

              What does the gas exchange apparatus of the lungs have to do with anything? This is a very sciency statement. Here is a more typical description of viral pathogenesis:

              More importantly, repeated antigen dosing from vaccination, often in combination with intercurrent COVID infection, activates T reg cells, specifically suppressing immunity to COVID infection.

              This is a strong assertion. Where is the evidence for it? Here is a Science Immunology reference that says the opposite:

              I don’t think it’s worth committing any time to go into the rest of the issues here. Perhaps Dr Clancy had a distinguished career 25 years ago, but evidently he is no longer keeping up with his field.

              There were a couple papers back at the beginning of the pandemic that showed an effect for “IVM”, then nobody could reproduce it. At least one of the papers claiming it had an effect turned out to be fraudulent with made-up data. If Dr Clancy was touting it he should get thrown under the bus: there is no evidence that it works.

              1. Basil Pesto

                Thanks for this and also pointing out his specious comparison with influenza which I forgot to mention.

                There were a couple papers back at the beginning of the pandemic that showed an effect for “IVM”, then nobody could reproduce it. At least one of the papers claiming it had an effect turned out to be fraudulent with made-up data. If Dr Clancy was touting it he should get thrown under the bus: there is no evidence that it works.

                I think at the time he wrote his first article that I mentioned, tentative optimism about Ivermectin was not unreasonable – one could certainly give him the benefit of the doubt. However, relative to the claims that were being made about it (that it has something close to pandemic-ending capabilities, or even that it can make “living with covid” viable without human populations incurring severe health costs), it has clearly turned out to be a busted flush. One could argue that Clancy’s failure to self-critically follow up his erroneous prediction as to the efficacy of IVM and HCQ (while trumpeting his more accurate prediction of vaccine failure) is perhaps instructive.

      1. Late Introvert

        Last I checked they aren’t even vaccines, just shots. I think you’re wrong about your last statement as well, and yes you need to show proof. Alas, our leaders hid the data and never bothered to track cases.

        1. Raymond Sim

          Prove that it appears to be bunk? Or indulge you with a detailed refutation of the whole article? You’ll have to earn the latter: Explain the article to me.

          As for having the appearance of bunk, the proper structuring of a logical argument is largely independent of the subject. People who have a sound argument to make are generally at pains to structure it properly. So the first sign of bunk is lack of logical coherence. Add unclear use of jargon and lack of reference to relevant research that would tend to discredit the hypothesis and there you are. It’s probably bunk.

          Btw, starting out with an irrelevancy the way you did does you no favors. It makes you seem unlikely to be worth talking to.

          1. skippy

            The study of covid has nothing to do with logical anything because the subject matter does not operate under the constraints of logic. This is where you wander off into semantics and proforma rather than the environmental factors associated with a novel virus e.g. lack of data. This then is complicated by all the other socioeconomic factors that has played out ad hoc since it was first identified and then one has to add in the layers of complication like experimental vaccinations – See IM Doc on all that.

            I would also point out the evidence on NC by many on how AIDs was administered and how it was tantamount to criminal negligence. So you might want to dial in down a notch or two about applying philosophical notions of logic where they don’t apply.

            I mean we can get into the weeds about which school/form of logic that it is you are demanding – if you want – don’t go all tautological … eh …

            1. Basil Pesto

              This is where you wander off into semantics and proforma rather than the environmental factors associated with a novel virus e.g. lack of data.

              There is voluminous data. Truly massive amounts of it. Clancy deliberately ignores it. Mr Sim’s claims are not about “the study of Covid” in the abstract, it is about one particular, ostensibly shoddy article (I have a more detailed comment on the article in moderation). While there is much we still don’t know, we nonetheless know enough about Covid to know and be able to fairly confidently say “that’s crap” when appropriate. But the zone will continue to be flooded with shit for years and years to come, and thorough, robust refutations of thinly evidenced and tendentious arguments will continue to be demanded.

              1. skippy

                “There is voluminous data”

                I take exception to that based on quality for the same reasons you noted above thread. My exception is the pool is so politically and self interest dominated due to neoliberalism that rigorous science on the topic at hand is treacherous at best.

                This in my opinion is up there with Statins and many other politically/ideologically agendas.

                BTW I am connected in the fields of debate and sadly to a social level.

              2. skippy

                Again I argued with Sim on their premise of logic misapplied, don’t see you engaging that argument Pesto.

            2. Raymond Sim

              I mean we can get into the weeds about which school/form of logic that it is you are demanding – if you want – don’t go all tautological … eh …

              I offered the logical incoherence of the article as evidence that it is probably bunk. This is mundane everyday application of principles of logic, not to Covid even, but to the structure of the article. Anyone who understands the article and thinks I’m wrong can refute me by explaining the article. They cannot. They are observeably squirming dodging and evading.

              Note that I have now applied logic, not to Covid, but to the behavior of commentators.

          2. Late Introvert

            Me too, you offer arguments with no evidence. You said they were proper vaccines. They are, and were, not.

            1. skippy

              Some people don’t seem to be self aware and that their dialectal is a huge red flag, more so what that signifies, yet authoritatively push that uninformed perspective as if it was empiric.

              Best bit is after a bit of wangling one finds out its all post hoc propter hoc at the end of the day and its only a thin veneer of umbrage and demands to satisfy their needs, nothing to do with Science or Discovery.

              Here I am waiting for the data to come in albeit so skewed by forces of self interest – for one reason or another – and others have already taken a uniformed stance.

              1. Raymond Sim

                Some people don’t seem to be self aware and that their dialectal is a huge red flag,

                Even more people talk metatheory in the base language and end up saying a whole lot of nothing.

              2. skippy

                There is actually a methodology that can be used to determine common traits in dialectal and via that the source code as it were of a person e.g. political, ideological, et al. Its no different than say the means to establish a persons biases.

                My prime example is Austrian economists as they all share the commonality of its schools teachings.

                My point again is you took the views of the person that wrote a theory and called it bunk due to your views of logic and nothing else. This has been expanded on now to suggest the author is deploying deceptive means to give it more gravitas. My counter claim – as noted above – is that due to past and currant dynamics its a heavily polluted background – see aerosol vs droplet , experimental vaccinations without 3rd phase IRB, and a complete 180 on sound public health policies with vaccination are sterilizing immunity and everyone can drop the masks.

                Personally I can’t support the theory one way or another, at this time, but, too attack it in this manner – is – what I’m pointing out for the readership.

                1. Raymond Sim

                  My point again is you took the views of the person that wrote a theory and called it bunk due to your views of logic and nothing else.

                  “My views of logic.” eh? You seem to have read an awful lot into our interactions. And you seem to think I conflate logic in argumentation with the workings of the mind by which we arrive at knowledge.

                  What I’m doing is examining the attempts of a retired Australian pathologist to make a convincing case for his notions about Covid, in much the same way I might someone’s explanation of where the stapler I keep in my desk has gotten off to this time. Would you offer the same sort of critique under such circumstances?

  6. Garrison

    I’ve lost the plot here, is Elon still “owning the libs” or not?
    Is he saving free speech from the PMC, or continuing to quash dissent from the proles?
    Is he on the side of citizen journalism, or on the side of flooding the zone with indecipherable garbage?
    Is he going to promote free speech in the face of Chinese autocracy?
    Is he going to keep quashing free speech at the behest of American plutocracy?

    I was led to believe he would be rejuvenating Twitter, despite all odds.

    1. Robert Hahl

      Clearly he is increasing the number of people using Twitter and reducing the number of bots. All else is just kremlinology, so far.

    2. Nikkikat

      Elon musk is in to make a buck. He will figure out how to make a lot of money, with either ads or your personal information. He didn’t pay 44 billion because he is standing up for the people.

      1. agent ranger smith

        And it would be worth watching to see if his putative concern for free speech on Twitter extends to free speech critical of Tesla, SpaceX, etc.

        For example, will a twitter group like #TeslaFireBombs or #TeslaRoboCarCrashes be permitted to even exist on Twitter, let along go trending?

        1. John k

          If other critiques get thru I don’t care if Tesla complaints are suppressed. Tesla problems get aired in many places, including here.

  7. diptherio

    FTR, Musk is not “reducing censorship” on twitter, regardless of what certain media personalities might be saying. They are just censoring different people. The excellent Crimethinc publication has been banned from the platform…but of course, they are actual leftists, so no one seems to raise too much of a stink when they’re silenced by ol’ Elon.

    1. cfraenkel

      Firing half the humans accomplishing said censorship suggests the opposite would be the effect.
      Of course, there’s the weasel wording difference between censorship as active top down policy and censorship as the result of the sausage being made. You can ‘not reduce censorship’ as policy and still reduce it as a(n unintended?) side effect of the other actions he’s taking. That’s one of the entertaining features of this soap opera – there’s so much noise and turmoil that everyone gets to read into it whatever they want.

  8. Robert Hahl

    Re: Blood thinner not effective for COVID patients.

    “The trial, funded by National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and the Cambridge NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, will continue to test another medicines – a statin called atorvastatin that acts on other mechanisms of disease that are thought to be important in Covid.”

    But no test of low-dose aspirin? Especially of people who were taking it before they got sick. How difficult would that be.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I started taking low-dose aspirin in the lead up in taking two shots of AstraZeneca the year before last. I credit it with helping dodge a serious bullet with blood clots, one of which I could feel built up on the back of my leg.

      1. Robert Hahl

        I started taking it when the WHO rescinded its blanket recommendation promoting the use low-dose aspirin. That happened a few months into the COVID crisis. I decided that rumors I had heard must be true.

    2. earthling

      This was all about getting another generation of drug company profits off pushing statins. Nobody can make a killing off selling baby aspirin. Oh, were people thinking the trials were to find solutions?

    3. Steve H.

      > Especially of people who were taking it before they got sick.

      The blood thinner’s mechanism is to reduce thrombin, which is part of the chain to produce fibrin. From ‘Could tiny blood clots cause long COVID’s puzzling symptoms?’ {having trouble linking}:

      >> When they added the spike protein to plasma from healthy volunteers in the laboratory, that alone was enough to prompt formation of these abnormal clots

      Two points here. First, the blood thinner used may be extraneous to the main mechanism of the clotting. Second, after-the-fact interventions have not worked as well with some agents, Vitamin-D for sure, some unnamed ones maybe.

      1. Steve H.


        > When whole blood was exposed to spike protein even at low concentrations, the erythrocytes showed agglutination, hyperactivated platelets were seen, with membrane spreading and the formation of platelet-derived microparticles.

        > In all samples, spontaneous amyloid deposits formed after exposure to the spike protein without the need for thrombin exposure.

        This tells me the intervention done in the article is all harm, no good. But I’m a mediocre scientist, I’d sure like someone who knows something to prove me wrong.

    4. Louis Fyne

      —But no test of low-dose aspirin?—

      It takes $$$ for a thorough study. No pharma co. will be on board obviously.

      This is a perfect question for a government funding (NIH, WHO, etc) or a private foundation. Insert your own hypotheses as to why the funding is absent.

      1. Chris Cosmos

        Government and private agencies are, like the mainstream media, part of the problem not the solution. All are at least partly (and sometimes totally like the CDC) under control of Big Pharma and other parts of Big Medicine. What most people in the USA don’t understand that barring a structure of common morality (real not the phony corporate style) money talks and bullshit walks at least at the top. Thus whether its NIH or some drug company the studies it funds must accept certain assumptions generated by those who can and will spend loads of money on funding friends and battling enemies. At the end of the day I believe most relationships are power-relations.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Algocracy would replace politicians with algorithms. Should we try it?”

    ‘Surely they can’t be worse…can they? ‘

    Well, yeah, they can. Supposing, just supposing, that an algorithm is developed to run society. So who developed it? If it was done by a corporation, then they would claim that the code is proprietary and so cannot be examined under any circumstances. And if it was developed by a government, then the code would be classified in case a foreign powers searched it for weaknesses. Either way, unless the code was open, then it would be a black box – just like American voting machines. Of course if some people protested about how some of the decisions of these algorithms were favouring people like investors, bankers, billionaires, etc. they would be shouted down and told that this was all ‘Science’ and so cannot be wrong. This article is also mentioning canned polls where people are in favour of replacing politicians with algorithms but who would be writing them? You wouldn’t be allowed to know. But you would know that sectors of the PMC would insist on putting their own revisions into that algorithm to get ‘better results’ and to ‘nudge’ people into acting the right way. We saw this with Twitter where groups were censoring people on the basis if they disagreed with their own views for example. So no, unless that code was open for any to examine, nobody would have any trust in it which would be fatal for any society.

    1. chuck roast

      Algocracy…geez, where do they get these things. I’m mean, I’m still tryin’ to get post-modernism. And yesterday I was hit with techno-feudalism. So many narratives to grasp and so little time.

  10. Mikel

    “Tech Titans Like Elon Musk Want to Save Earth by Having Tons of Children” Business Insider

    There is no “forever” species.

    As it should be – and I’ll especially swear on that after reading the article.

    1. vao

      Is Hunter Biden participating in the project? He has been fathering children left and right (already 5 according to Wikipedia).

        1. vao

          This paragraph in the article summarizes everything about the mentality of those “natalists”:

          The logic behind the Collins Institute reflects their thinking at large: “If you want to make the future better for everyone and you could choose to dramatically increase the educational outcomes of the bottom 10% of people or the top 0.1% of people,” the Collinses say to choose the 0.1%.

          Bring back the tumbrils and the guillotine. Quick.

    2. Lexx

      If you’re male (since I can’t recall reading one of these stories involving a female billionaire) and every child born of your seed is a potential tax shelter for some of your many millions, are you inclined to be less responsible with where you stick your *family blog*?

      Does a crisis for the average wage earner become just another opportunity for Mr. Lucky Sperm? Are you further inclined to public rationalizations about having tons of children even as Planet Earth passes the 8 billion mark? Is it beneath a billionaire’s (snort!) ‘dignity’ to admit he’s just a free range dog, unfettered by image, tribe, or finances?

      Might billionaires go out of their way to prove over and over again to themselves and to the public that ‘the rules’, ‘the norms’ of social behavior just don’t apply to them? Like gods, who make their own rules.

      Not ‘The Untouchables’, but very selectively touchable.

    3. The Rev Kev

      Why do those tech titans think that they are the best people to breed from? Look at that couple at the beginning of this article – Malcolm and Simone Collins. Both of them are wearing glasses. So would their kids be likely to need corrective glasses as well. If you are going to do Project Gattaca, perhaps it would be best to breed from those with the cleanest slate. So Bill Gates would come up and say he is reporting for duty. But then you would turn to him and say ‘Sorry, Bill. Looking at your profile you’re kinda short and need glasses. You also have inappropriate social behaviour from a young age so you are rejected. Elon Musk? Sorry, you have an unstable psychological profile so you are out as well. Thank you for applying.’ You know what you would have if you really populated the Earth with our tech overlords? You would have Idiocracy, that is what you would have. They would be rich and prolific but dumb- (1:14 mins)

    4. outside observer

      I’d venture that lowering inequality would go a long way in increasing the birth rate. I know several couples who would love to have children but do not want to bring them up in poverty – they are intelligent people but lack the genes for self promotion and ruthlessness. I would not advocate it, but eliminating IVF would also better serve in selecting for the healthiest genes. Those guys in the article are selecting for narcissism. I guess we’ll see if that leads to self destruction in the long run.

      1. Mikel

        “Those guys in the article are selecting for narcissism.”

        Good point. And environment is huge for human development.

      2. ArvidMartensen

        I don’t know if its still a thing, but earlier research pointed to a problem with all these eugenic initiatives called ‘reversion to the mean’.
        So two Nobel prize winners may produce 1 nerdy, spectrum, gifted kid, and 1 kid who really prefers to work outdoors, hammerin and shovellin. Or two kids who have a problem with schoolwork.
        We can expect that geneticists will work out how to ‘snip’ out the genes that favour the outdoorsy types in the not too distant.
        And all breeding will have to be IVF anyway, as infertility is rising. Then the billionaires will be able to make IVF unaffordable so that theirs are the only kids.
        What joy, a one world race of narcissistic, entitled, impractical and spoilt offspring.

  11. Carolinian

    Re Jacobin: Musk is wrecking Silicon Valley’s image–does this mean Steve Jobs’ sandals will be taking a hit in the memorabilia market? Could Google really be evil? Might self driving cars actually be dangerous?

    The crowded fainting couch over Musk/Twitter pretends that Musk is some kind of outlier rather than a perfectly consistent product of the valley’s libertarian, “make it work no matter what” culture. Indeed it’s almost refreshing that Musk is tweaking these fake freedom lovers for their embrace of censorship and authoritarian control. The mock outrage is really about one power block flinging poo at a different one. And while Turley may be optimistic about the result, the validity of Twitter itself as a product is left out of the discussion. Meanwhile for non tweeters popcorn available at the refreshment stand.

    1. Wukchumni

      I was the underbidder on Steve’s Birkenstocks and really my max was $200k, but I went one more bid and called it quits, couldn’t justify going almost $219k on em’, not in this market of newly challenged thoughts of whether tech giants are friggin’ idiots for having invested so much in crypto clearinghouses, where the clearing was actually of the too big in their minds to fail, tech bros.

      1. Lexx

        You can borrow against high value art. Can you borrow against highly valued nostalgia? At least until memory fades about who the hell Steve Jobs was. Wonder how many pairs Steve had… would make for an amusing conversation with a loan department. ‘You want to borrow how much against those birks?!!’

  12. Stephen V

    Algocracy for my small town politicos in flyover sounds great this a.m. I learned yesterday that we are “legally” a videocracy as far as public records/ meeting minutes are concerned. No written record needed! Anyone else heard of such? I am loosing my mind, as the young folks like to say.

  13. Wukchumni

    Alexa, how did Amazon’s voice assistant rack up a $10bn loss? Guardian

    [on Jeff’s return from the space ship, after HALexa has killed any chance of profits]

    HALexa: Look Jeff, I can see you’re really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over.

    HALexa: [Regarding the supposed failure of the enterprise on new math, which HALexa herself falsified] It can only be attributable to human error.

  14. The Rev Kev

    ‘Daniel Seidemann
    A mere month ago, this headline would have been viewed as a particularly unsuccessful “the Onion” post.
    Yesterday’s unthinkable is now in the possible-likely-inevitable continuum.
    This ends in blood.’

    You already have for months now Israeli soldiers pushing away Muslim worshipers to let in Ultra-Orthodox worshipers who pray and dance in order to humiliate the Palestinians at their holy site. But the ultimate aim is to demolish the Dome of the Rock in order to build the Third Temple. And I would expect long before then the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco to pull out of the 2020 Abraham Accords and nations to close ranks against Israel. I’m not even sure that the US would be able to defend Israel internationally as they are already having a tough time now doing so because of some of the right-wing extremists taking power there.

  15. Wukchumni

    If i’m Sam the sham on the virtual stage, I gotta outdo Zelenskyy and somehow commit the Feds to giving FTX only 10% of what we’ve given to the Ukraine, or else Nassau gets nuked.

    Oh, and a green shirt hides those man boobs better than a white one, and 2 crosses dangling from a necklace shows you care twice as much for the Jesus than single bearers of the cross.

  16. Pat

    Gosh, I’ve been all wrong. I was informed today by a celebrity chef and an actor that Ukraine is defending democracy for the world.
    The sad part of this is it wasn’t a repeat. I keep hoping that cognitive dissonance will win out and people will realize that everything they have been told about this does not begin to add up. I just have to remind myself that it has taken over a decade for the cheerleaders to shut up when people point out that ACA is neither affordable and has little to do with care. Hopefully we won’t be in WW3 before reality dawns.

  17. MaryLand

    Just wondering who AZGeopolitics is. Couldn’t find anything about that moniker via search. Does the AZ refer to the Azov battalion?

  18. The Rev Kev

    ‘Nature Is Lit
    🔥‘Siberian unicorn’ once roamed among humans, surviving in Eastern Europe and western Asia until at least 39,000 years ago, around the same time of Neanderthals and early modern humans.’

    As a kid I came across a book about the Age of Mammals after the dinosaurs were gone and that Siberian unicorn would not look out of place among them. If you could go back in time, you would not know if you were really on Earth or an alien planet, so strange were some of those mammals.

    1. AndrewJ

      This one in particular is a movie prop, not a real extinct animal. I’m honestly confused why it’s at the top of Links. Reverse April Fools day?

  19. Wukchumni

    “On the very first day of the new Republican-led Congress, we will read every single word of the Constitution aloud from the floor of the House — something that hasn’t been done in years.”

    My Kevin (since ’07) is in for quite a floor fight as he doesn’t have the votes to swing the gavelcade his way, meaning that he’ll have to remain a jingoistic fellow of no importance from Bakersfield who commutes to DC.

    He really is only a factor because of his feasance to hair furor, but for the time being that seems to be the wrong thing to hitch your wagon to…

  20. Louis Fyne

    –Economy: Real wages in Germany are falling at record speed – Economy News in Germany—

    Welcome to the club. In the US. real wages collapsed more than in the 1990-1 recession. Time will tell if this stretch will match/beat the mid-1970’s decline in US real wages

  21. Mikel

    “Elon Musk accuses Apple of threatening to remove Twitter from App Store”

    Why does Twitter need to be in the app store to be downloaded? Third party apps can be downloaded on iPhones.
    Isn’t it well-known enough not to need the advertising and marketing?

      1. Mikel

        Why would Twitter need to be in the Android store?
        Twitter could have a site where it’s downloaded from.
        Why does something that well-known need a middle-man app store?
        And would that be the reason for rumblings suggesting Musk develop his own phone?

        1. cfraenkel

          People are that lazy.
          Not the people that want twitter as a megaphone, they’ll make the effort.
          But who are they going to talk to? Each other? Say goodbye to 100k+ ‘followers’.

          1. Mikel

            As much as I suspected it, I was hoping that would not be the answer.

            They only other way to look at that is they would be too lazy to use Twitter that often as well. What’s really lost?

        2. hunkerdown

          Except for a few years in the oughties, device manufacturers tend to deprecate web applications. Devices tend to run “native” code and UI more responsively and more efficiently than web code. “Native” apps also allow for always-on instant notifications, which some people want in their lifestyles. (shrug)

    1. skk

      I don’t know about the iPhone, but I sideload apps every so often without issues on Android. Particularly the BBC iplayer .apk, since Android playstore, prevents me from downloading saying I’m not in the UK. Which is true but what business is it of theirs, it’s my bloody phone. So I get the .apk from a mirror site.

  22. Nels Nelson

    The tweet from Alyssa Milano in the Guardian article about Tesla is noteworthy in that she got rid of her Tesla because of the company’s alignment with hate and white supremacy and bought a car from the company that gave us the corporate corruption of Dieselgate.

    Typical in my opinion of virtue signalers.

  23. semper loquitur

    Just thought I’d slip this little tid-bit in re: the brief discussion of the BDSM bears yesterday:

    ‘I guess you only get canceled if you’re a conservative’: Fury as Balenciaga darlings Bella Hadid, Nicole Kidman and Hollywood’s liberal elite remain SILENT on child imagery scandal

    Among those who are yet to condemn the fashion house are models and brand ambassadors Bella Hadid and Nicole Kidman, who both starred in the controversial Spring ’23 campaign that has now been pulled from the company’s website and is the source of hot debate in the fashion world.


    They are also yet to address a prominently placed book in another image, which celebrates the work of Michael Borremans – an artist whose work includes sadistic depictions of naked, castrated toddlers.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I think that Kim Kardashian is also in that mix of our betters remaining silent. It does give a bit of context to how Epstein was never called out for decades but just flourished.

    2. JBird4049

      >>> an artist whose work includes sadistic depictions of naked, castrated toddler

      You know, my ability to be shocked has gone down especially after pedo-pimp Epstein and his Lolita Express, but just when I think that I really am becoming jaded…

      Just wtf was Balenciaga thinking? That it would not go boom right in their faces? More, just what kind of mentally or emotionally diseased individuals do they have working there? And just how does an “artist” like Michael Borremans get popular enough for coffee table book?

      1. Pat

        Sadly, I think the very nature of “woke” and “me too” and “BLM “ is or has become so superficial its purpose is to make real reform on certain issues unnecessary. It allows you to attack the wrong people on “issues” and ignore very real bad behavior of those who are approved. Sadder still Is that real child abuse is just not a concern for most of the movers, shakers, influencers. And it is far more common than most people would like to believe.
        Balenciaga executives didn’t think it was a problem because sexualization of children has been commonplace in fashion for decades stepping it into BSDM wouldn’t raise an eyebrow.
        I wish I thought this tempest would last beyond a news cycle. It won’t.

  24. ThirtyOne

    From the @kievreal1 Telegram (cleaned up translation)

    It became known what the country’s main Christmas tree will be.

    What is known?

    🌲 The tree will be artificial, 10 meters high (previously it was 30 m);
    🌲 The Christmas tree will be without illuminations, decorated only with dove toys;
    🌲 Instead of a star, the top will be decorated with a trident.

    We would like to remind you that no funds were allocated from the city budget for the production of a New Year’s tree in Kyiv. The Christmas tree is installed at the expense of patrons.

    1. hunkerdown

      Artifice, duplicity, and branding. Kiev’s week-before-Christmas celebration sure does honor Western values.

  25. Wukchumni

    Big match today in the game that Americans generally play until they’re 14 and then lose interest…

    The big worry isn’t the powerful Persian strikers or the solid defense, but the possibility of Iranian attack drones modified with a couple of appendages on the bottom side which could make a difference in the outcome.

    Not to be outdone, the American side has brought enough Predator drones to counter the threat, also with legs attached to the underbelly.

    1. Grebo

      [Spoiler Alert!] The USA won by one goal to nil but—an ominous geopolitical parallel—in the process of scoring the striker took a knee to the testicles and was unable to play the second half of the game.

  26. Kevin Smith MD

    re: Student loan debt

    Back in the 1970’s, before I went into pre-med I worked as a pipeline/oilfield laborer, usually 12-14 hours a day, 6 or 7 days a week, and glad to have the work. Also did that in my summers during pre-med. Worked as a night watchman on a construction site in first year med school, so I could spend quite a lot of the time studying. Graduated with no debt. But that’s just me, and my friends did the same sorts of work, so I was part of that culture. It’s not for everyone.

    Compared with that work, med school, internship and residency were a breeze. I told one complainer: “As far as I’m concerned, this is great. I’m warm, I’m dry, I’m safe, our work is interesting and has a future. We should count our blessings!”

    1. JBird4049

      Back in the 60s my older relatives could work just in the summer and go to college full time without going into debt. The cost of living and education was that cheap. Today, people can’t do what you did. College costs keeps increasing faster than inflation and anyways wages have declined, if not crashed.

  27. Ana B

    The reason people hate Tesla owners is Tesla owners themselves. They’ve surpassed BMW drivers as the biggest jackasses on the road.

    1. cfraenkel

      Might be a regional thing. Here (BC), Tesla drivers don’t stick out. Lifted monster pickups have replaced the Audi/BMWs as my most frequent biking hazard.

      1. cfraenkel

        Of course, while driving, the biggest risk here are $100k+ supercars with “Z” stickers.
        (for those not local, the Z has nothing to do with the current conflict in Eastasia. They’re Ns (for New drivers – under 25) turned on their sides to be ‘cool’. How can an under 25 afford a supercar? The question answers itself….)

    2. Nikkikat

      Lol Ana B! My husband and I laugh all time about what jack asses Beemer and Tesla drivers are out on the road. These people drive these cars because it affords them some status among their equally ridiculous friends and colleagues.

    3. CanCyn

      The phenomenon of luxury car hatred is real. My husband bought a used Mercedes once, cheaper that most new mid-level cars we usually buy when the need arises. He was surprised at the people cutting him off, not yielding and the generally rude if not aggressive maneuvering he encountered. He sold the car less than a year after buying it. That said, I agree that many luxury car drivers drive like a-holes. Has anyone ever noticed that BMW turn signals don’t work? /s

      1. AndrewJ

        I’m guilty of that. I recognize car brands. I’m nice to drivers of cheap cars and Japanese imports. BMWs, Mercs, Teslas, monster trucks… depends on the day.
        Sometimes I think that adding negativity into the world by inconveniencing a tech bro or real estate developer who just wants to drive twenty mph faster than everyone else, isn’t a good thing. Other times I think that if that’s the worst their day is, they’re lucky, and they deserve a lot worse of a day. Some other times I think of decent people I know who have yet to be deprogrammed from the car-as-status-marker death cult, who got an older luxury brand to feel better.

        1. CanCyn

          I hear that and really don’t blame you, I really do have a problem with BMW drivers – aggressive jerks! I have a friend who has money and the beginning or her climb up the luxury car ladder was a low end Audi. At around the same time, I bought a new Toyota Corolla. Both cars were grey with grey interiors. One of my favourite things ever was picking her up to go somewhere and she asked me to drop her 10 yr old son along the way. When he got in, he said, “Hey Mom! This is just like your car!” No doubt he meant colour and new car smell but the look on my friend’s face was unforgettable. She now drives a high end Audi convertible, she claims that she buys luxury cars for the way they handle. I get that but don’t totally buy it. I currently own the most expensive car I ever bought, a Subaru Impreza, it handles just fine and it was less than half the cost of her Audi.

  28. digi_owl

    Funny how the extreme right always wants control over the police first and foremost…

    As for the late Assange defense, it makes them able to claim they tried when questioned on culpability. It is all about maintaining appearance, effectiveness be damned.

  29. Wukchumni

    Hobo signs and symbols, code for the road Logo Design Love
    As I wandered around Disneyland last week in lost frontier land where homeless camped not too far from the aislderness of convenient shoplifting possibilities and with probably a bitchin’ view of the nightly fireworks show overhead, there were no telltale signs like these from the Great depression era, and presumably they knew each others straits by at least seeing them all the time if not knowing them.

    I wondered if there was such a thing as homeless slang?

    1. Carolinian

      Watched Sullivan’s Travels the other night (inspiration for O Brother Where Art Thou) and seems back in the ’40s you were allowed to jump freights as long as it was outside the freight yard. Also in group settings best to sleep on top of your shoes. These days if you hop a freight you’ll have to climb to the top of the double stacked intermodal shipping containers, then have a windy ride on top. This probably kills the romance of it.

      That’s a great Preston Sturges movie btw and not just yukking it up about the poor. The Coens by contrast are all about snark and “irony.”

  30. semper loquitur

    Analysis: Russia using ‘human wave’ troops in Donbas

    Prof Michael Clarke analyses the latest situation on the ground in Ukraine, with Russia suffering heavy troop losses in the Donbas region.

    He explains how the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and three others remain under continued attack and have gone offline from the main electricity grid, now relying on backup generators.

    The strategy of attacking such infrastructure is a hallmark of General Sergey Surovikin who says that he “has the technical means of making Ukraine surrender”, says Prof Clarke.

    According to the good Professor Clarke, the Russians are using convict-led human waves without regard to losses. If a soldier cuts and runs, he is gunned down by his own officers. Oh, and General Surovikin is “brutal and corrupt” according to the British Ministry of Defense. Confusingly, after telling us about the reckless suicide waves of Russian soldiers, Professor Clarke explains that Surovikin has refused to waste Russian lives chasing around Ukie guerillas and instead has decided to bunker down to reduce his causalities and go after the civilian infrastructure instead. His plan is to instigate a “technical” surrender on the part of Ukraine, as noted above.

  31. semper loquitur

    Man, the Siberian Unicorn brought back memories of my youth……….

    Reading about mega-fauna, of course.

  32. Katniss Everdeen

    James Howard Kunstler on fire yesterday in a piece called “The Four Fuckeries,” one of which is the all too familiar cult of “wokery.” I found his comments….how do I put this….astute:

    The mystery here is how Wokery was incorporated into the operating system of the Democratic Party. The answer is the party needed something to replace its erstwhile corpus of organized industrial workers, gone with the winds of Globalism, and so it valorized the various categories of the mentally ill, the permanently downtrodden, and sundry persons who had become economic hostages to its corrupt system of payments and grants. High above that ragtag-and-bobtail of crazies reigned an aristocracy of the so-called cognitive elite, people of unquestioned virtue, college professors, the creative class, the credentialed echelon — super-busy signaling their good intentions to their vassals to keep them in line.

    Wokery, you may have noticed, is also a “religion” dominated by women, and a particular strain of women: those left grossly disappointed by the promises of feminism in its several iterations, that is, the ideal of having brilliant careers minus family and children — producing an implacable, inchoate, and transmissible rage at the world and a fierce wish-to-punish others not so disposed to Woke dogma. So, it’s no surprise that so much of that dogma emanated from the humanities departments of the universities where such careerist feminist intellectuals flocked and marinated in their disappointments. Thus, too, their avatar: the ever cold-blooded and fiendish Hillary Clinton, forever seeking requital for her life’s losses…

    1. digi_owl

      Same old same old. It is the latest iteration of what was previously known as pearl clutching suburbanite moms. The kind that thanks to day time TV fueled the likes of the satanic panic. Now they have their noses firmly in their phone, flitting between Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and various messaging groups to fill their hours of boredom.

      1. MaryLand

        Most moms even in suburbia have full time jobs outside the home. They may be on social media during lunch break or coffee break or standing in line at the grocery store. But their days are not filled with hours of nothing to do. Time is the most precious and rare commodity to them as they get up at 5 am to get ready for work and get the kids ready for school. After work is a dash to get dinner on the table followed by getting kids ready for bed. They don’t get enough sleep because of all the tasks they must do. That does not include the working on Saturdays their job often demands. Any time spent on social media is in small bits of time when they have a moment. I follow quite a few moms on social media and know several young moms personally and it’s mainly those who are retired who have time for pearl clutching.

        1. MaryLand

          That said, people of most ages and genders have been pressured by the Democratic Party to accept wokeness as a badge of belonging to the PMC. Even if a person does not actually agree with all the tenets of wokeness they must be seen as true believers if they expect to be hired in some companies or often just stay in their social group. I know of one young man who apologized profusely for being white during his interview to be hired at a prestigious institute on the east coast.

          1. semper loquitur

            I’m curious, are people of both sexes also pressured by the Democrats to accept the Wokeness?

            1. MaryLand

              Definitely, in my experience. It started with men declaring they were feminists. Now they might have been pressured by the women in their lives, but I saw it fairly often. I even saw a whole family, (mom, dad, son, daughter) wearing shirts that said, “On Tuesdays we destroy the patriarchy.” It was in Boston this summer.

                1. hunkerdown

                  The second wave produced “womyn” around 1976, which seems like it would be a bit pomo for your tastes. The second wave was also largely responsible for so-called benevolent sexism. It wouldn’t be unfair to view it as a neoliberal recuperation.

                  1. semper loquitur

                    Thanks for that, I wasn’t aware of those aspects of the “second wave”. I had thought it to be more class-oriented and egaltarian.

          2. Offtrail

            At Thanksgiving I found out that a young cousin had to create a full page Diversity, Inclusion and Equity page as part of an application to a post doctoral program in math. Apparently it’s an across the board requirement at the University of California.

            1. semper loquitur

              I’m no student of the history of the Chinese cultural revolution but weren’t public confessions and oaths of fealty to the cause a commonplace? I’ve heard the comparison made elsewhere. Seems apt.

              1. hunkerdown

                Why China, and not feudalism or the McCarty era? Friendly reminder to check for partisan brainworms.

              2. LawnDart

                I believe that it was the Khmer Rouge who took their fellow travellers to Year Zero, a fresh-start or new beginning unburdened by the errors of the past and of those who stand in the way of progress.

                Yes, from personal experience, an inconvenient history that the PMC cannot erase will be disputed and rewritten– it’s in their (blue) blood.

            2. HotFlash

              The Catholic sacrament of confession grants absolution of sin and the punishment due. Brand new day! In modern times at least, it is private for laypeople, but some religious orders have (or did, anyway) have a a public (within their monastery, convent, or whatever) confession.

              In the Jewish Day of Atonement, all the sins of the city’s citizens are loaded onto a goat (which probably never did anything wrong) and the goat is driven out of the city. Brand new day!

              “Mea culpa!” is old enough to be Latin, so not new, and to bring the roundup up to date, the very public confessions (often televised) of erring evangelists are legendary. And they seem to work on their congregation. Perhaps it is the group’s buy-in that works the magic?

    2. MaryLand

      Kunstler is probably right about why and how the Dems switched to wokism. I don’t see it as especially full of rage at being disappointed by feminism nor just having been indoctrinated in college. I have known women with various backgrounds wearing the badge of wokism. Some with no college, some with college, some married, some single. Some with jobs they love, some with jobs they hate, some with no jobs. Besides being women, the unifying factor seems to be the need to be seen as upper middle class. Of course that mainly applies to blue areas.

      1. CanCyn

        I dunno. I think it was Thomas Pynchon who said, “If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about the answers.” Seems to me the simpler explanation is that the whole diversity good/wokery thing is just the latest distraction to keep us from asking the right questions. Neoliberalism thrives on distracting the plebs.

  33. IACyclone

    Sam Bankman-Fried gave another interview that got posted to YouTube(full interview here: Analysis here: Among other elements of interest, Bankman-Fried makes clear that he gave as much money the GOP as to Democrats, but he gave his donations to the GOP as dark money donations to avoid reporters being critical of him. Additionally, being the snake he is, he’s really leaning into the idea this was all a big mistake, and despite doing billions of dollars of business, what actually happened is that the people at FTX were too incompetent to run a bake sale. And, of course, the big mistake was declaring bankruptcy, that he had gotten $4 billion that came in right after declaring bankruptcy and that FTX is in a stronger position than would appear due to the value of FTX tokens.

    Honestly, it makes me feel embarrassment by proxy for anyone who goes to Stanford Law. After all, how does it look when your parents are law professors, you do several billion dollars of fraud, and your still giving interviews freely. How are his parents not making perfectly clear to him that he needs to not say a blessed thing in public, and beyond that nothing that your lawyer doesn’t sign off on.

    1. All Ice

      He now conducts himself as a person who has been assured by someone in authority that he is protected from criminal prosecution as long as he does not publicly admit the theft of billions. No more shakes!

    2. Joe Renter

      My ex works at a law school. She told me that a number of graduates are doing time. You are given the keys to subjugate laws. Perhaps a bigger number of narcissist and psychopaths in that profession?

  34. Marquessa

    Amazing, not one mention of Kamala Harris or inflation today, nor for the last several days. Guess they are pretending that neither exists.

  35. Duarte Guerreiro

    Donated blood to the NHS today.

    Shared space in a small pavillion, no open doors or windows. Even if you don’t have to wait long, you’ll still be inside for around 30 minutes.

    20 to 30 people inside as people came and went. Only around a third of NHS staff was using masks, and only cirurgical. Most donors were older people and only a handful were wearing masks. It was mostly the men wearing masks. Small sample, I know. Perhaps less fear/awareness of social pressure to not mask?

    Pointless anyway, because you are expected to drink inside before the donation and drink and eat afterwards inside as well. I didn’t, staff was acomodating of me doing it outside.

    Everyone was very nice and professional. On leaving I felt incredibly sad. So many people who care, who wish to help. Their lives and health, a thing to be gambled with.

  36. Jason Boxman

    If I include the link my post is discarded, but XBB is growing rapidly based on the data at “COVID-19 Variant Dashboard – USA by Raj Rajnarayanan”. This is the same data the CDC belatedly provides to the public after a deadly delay.

    XBB1 and XBB1.5 are cumulatively at 7% now. BQ1 and BQ1.1 are at 27% now. We’re really getting going now. Biden’s Winter of Death is commencing in earnest now.

    Walgreens looks nasty today too; Accelerating.

  37. Chris Cosmos

    Re: Michael Pascoe: From COVID to carbon, the world has simply given up

    The article is weak but important. Some decades ago a frequent critique on the intellectual right of liberal trend of the time was that “the West had lost its nerve.” Indeed it did and it has except for the bizarre reals of “wokery” we see all around us. The point is that we cannot solve problems because we have no moral ground to stand on other than that the woke fantasies. Most people have become more skeptical and no longer trust “the authorities” either in politics or science because they have proven time after time after time to be untrustworthy. I can’t believe anything I read or hear about COVID from any official or authority–doesn’t mean I don’t believe anything but I have to check my network of reliable sources carefully. Back in the early 00’s John Ioannidis wrote a paper that said most scientific studies are filled with errors and can’t be trusted (doesn’t mean they are wrong). We know that most stories about major issues in the mainstream media are mainly PR or propaganda for various power-cliques. We know commercials that infect the public-sphere are probably misleading at best and so on.

    The problem of Climate science is the same–can we trust the establishment science particularly if the mainstream media touts it? How can anyone with political power who has to be governed mainly by negotiating the murky waters of the Swamp make any coherent decisions when that person or group knows everything is political (since we don’t have any truly common sense of morality other than money)?

  38. playon

    The over-the-counter cold & flu section in the largest supermarket here was decimated last time I was there, lots of empty shelves. We wear masks and rely on herbal supplements & vitamins and have not gotten sick.

  39. Raymond Sim

    Golly, I find the idea of cooking pasta in milk to avoid roux-making almost immoral. I couldn’t tell you why, but if there were a whole tribe of me that would probably be one of our taboos.

  40. CanCyn

    Jeez, no Scrabble players in the crowd? I know the article is more about language and dictionaries in general but the Scrabble dictionary was never welcome in our house. We always played by the original game rules. No slang, no foreign words, no abbreviations, no proper nouns. I think someone gifted us one of the early editions of the Scrabble dictionary which is for tournament play. My Dad was appalled by all the foreign words, especially all the two letter words and Q words with no u. He hated that tournament Scrabble had different rules – when he saw a championship board depicted in the news he would lose his mind at all the non-English words. He believed that people just memorized all the two letter words in order to win. In his mind, winning at Scrabble was about knowing the English language not having a good memory. Needless to say, the good old OED was used in challenges in our games.
    Also, some of those words? Yage? Zuke? And let’s just say Amirite would have caused my Dad’s head to explode!

    1. hunkerdown

      For years I used to play a Scrabble clone online with one pretty high-level player from Pennsylvania, with whom I shared a decent lengthy conversation in chat once or twice. He definitely improved my game. I won about 1/3 to 1/2 of the time, and I’d usually score in the low to high 300s. He disappeared mid-game in spring 2020. I hope he’s alright.

      To the point, IIRC, that game used the SOWPODS/Collins dictionary. “CH” as an abbreviation (!) for the “chain” unit of measure doesn’t sit well with me, but if it’s the tournament game now, it is what it is. The English language properly includes more than a few loanwords, as e.g. commerce has made foreign commodities more apparent in our travels. You’re only the second player I’ve encountered who’s been bothered by it; someone else on that server once refused a rematch because I used too many “game words”. *shrug* Autism is a blurse.

      Drinking yage or eating zuke is fine, but not together amirite?

      1. HotFlash

        Many, many moons ago, my partner and I had a weekly Scrabble game with a couple of our (respective) colleagues — both native German speakers. We were all pretty literate, and my partner and I had at least a nodding acquaintance with German. We partnered German-English pairs and no holds barred (capitals, of course, excluded, and articles not required but could be used separately). A ton of fun, IIRC, or maybe it was just the Kahlúa.

        English dictionary was OED, can’t recall what the German dictionary was.

      2. CanCyn

        ha, ha! No doubt English is full of borrowed words that would have been considered foreign at one time or another. My Dad knew that, often explaining the latin roots of words. I really am not as bugged by the tournament rules as my Dad was. As long as everyone is on board, let the game proceed using the agreed upon rules and dictionary. We never considered a game to be a good one if the total score was less than 500. My Dad was usually 250 or better, me too. We played an oddly cooperative game, the goal was always to win but also not to ruin the board by jamming in small words, we liked scoring with big words and add-ons. My Dad had a stroke that caused some cognitive difficulties when he was 80. He didn’t lose his language facility and played Scrabble and did crosswords as well as he always had. He beat my sister and I soundly at Scrabble a week before he died after a several months decline in his health.

    2. Lexx

      Every day for perhaps an hour against Droid.

      I lost against Droid once; I’m still trying to live it down.

      When we were children I tried to explain to my younger brother that he could win against all the adults (including those at the table who did their NYT crosswords in pen) with enough command of two and three letter words strategically place, but he was seven and overwhelmed by the age differences.

      Last week I used the word ‘JEWS’ as a 42-point triple word score and thought ‘Mmmm, me likey’, and laughed till I couldn’t stand straight because I don’t know any actual live Jewish people.

  41. Acacia

    From Twitter: Dr. Masanori Fukushima, Professor Emeritus at Kyoto University, warns about vax harms to the Ministry of Health: “You are ignoring science! It’s a disaster. You spend billions on the vaccine & force people to inject it…due to the vax, natural immunity has been suppressed”

    He’s livid over govt policy on vaccines.

  42. Tim

    ‘Rude drivers will swerve in my lane’: are Tesla owners paying the price for Musk hate?

    I used to own a BMW in the late 90s in Seattle and experienced road rage type of behavior from young white and poor disaffected males. It was class warfare. It didn’t matter I’d bought it used for $7K it was perceived as a symbol of wealth and I was hated on for it.

    Teslas are clearly the new BMW, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see similar things occurring for similar reasons. Circumstances are only worse now.

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