Links 1/6/2023

Think you have it bad? The Reformed Brokerx

ChatGPT Creator in Investor Talks at $29 Billion Valuation WSJ

Automakers are pouring millions into “flying taxis” Axios. Reassuring that stupid money is still around.

Sign of the times? US stocks up on Amgen’s radiation sickness drug Nplate Fierce Pharma (Fred).


The Most Hopeful Climate Stories of the Year Distilled

How climate change exacerbated the 2021 Henan floods China Dialogue

Extinction Rebellion says ‘we quit’ – why radical eco-activism has a short shelf life The Conversation


China seeks to minimize COVID-19 risk during travel rush AP. I remain baffled by Xi’s timing. The only reason I can think of to end Zero Covid before Chinese New Year’s is mass infection. Is that now the strategy? If so, why Zero Covid in the first place?

China’s CanSino reports ‘positive’ interim data from COVID mRNA booster trial Reuters

EU offers free Covid-19 vaccines to China to help curb outbreak FT

Chinese researchers claim to find way to break encryption using quantum computers FT. Big if true.

Southeast Asia Is Getting Squeezed by America’s Embrace Foreign Policy. “Playing the elephants off against each other is as important as keeping them from fighting.”


Coronavirus found in samples from 96% of flights WWJ. Wastewater samples taken from 29 flights in Kuala Lumpur.

India finds 11 Omicron subvariants of COVID-19 in international travellers Reuters

* * *

SARS-CoV-2 Infection, Hospitalization, and Death in Vaccinated and Infected Individuals by Age Groups in Indiana, 2021‒2022 American Journal of Public Health n = 267,847. From the Abstract: “All-cause mortality in the vaccinated, however, was 37% lower than that of the previously infected. The rates of all-cause ED visits and hospitalizations were 24% and 37% lower in the vaccinated than in the previously infected. The significantly lower rates of all-cause ED visits, hospitalizations, and mortality in the vaccinated highlight the real-world benefits of vaccination. The data raise questions about the wisdom of reliance on natural immunity when safe and effective vaccines are available.” Of course, the virus is evolving, under a (now global) policy of mass infection, so these figures may change. For the avoidance of doubt, I’m fully in agreement with KLG’s views on the ethics of vaccine mandates (“no”). And population level-benefit, as here, is not the same as bad clinical outcomes in certain cases (again, why mandates are bad). As I keep saying, we mandated the wrong thing (vaccines) and didn’t mandate the right thing (non-pharmaceutical interventions). So it goes.

SARS-CoV-2 Omicron subvariants evolved to promote further escape from MHC-I recognition (prepring) bioRxiv. From the Abstract; “Collectively, our data suggest that, in addition to escape from neutralizing antibodies, the success of Omicron subvariants to cause breakthrough infection and reinfection may in part be due to its optimized evasion from T cell recognition.”

* * *

More Americans Stay Away from Church as Pandemic Nears Year Three The Roys Report

Endemicity Is Not a Victory: The Unmitigated Downside Risks of Widespread SARS-CoV-2 Transmission COVID. From the Abstract: “ur modeling suggests that endemic SARS-CoV-2 implies vast transmission resulting in yearly US COVID-19 death tolls numbering in the hundreds of thousands under many plausible scenarios, with even modest increases in the IFR leading to unsustainable mortality burdens. Our findings highlight the importance of enacting a concerted strategy and continued development of biomedical interventions to suppress SARS-CoV-2 transmission and slow its evolution.” Not just “biomedical.” Non-pharmaceutical!

New Not-So-Cold War

Victory to Come When Russian Empire ‘Ceases to Exist’: Ukraine Parliament Quotes Nazi Collaborator Haaretz. Bandera.

* * *

Putin orders weekend truce in Ukraine; Kyiv won’t take part AP but Biden says Putin trying to find ‘oxygen’ with truce proposal Reuters

Christmas Cease Fire Moon of Alabama

At last, Ukraine gets Western tanks Politico. Pre-postioning for NATO troops when Ukraine runs out of pig farmers and sixteen-year-olds to throw into the meatgrinder?

Ukraine Broadens State Of Emergency, Calls Up Military Reservists Radio Free Europe. Commentary:

* * *

Makiivka: Russia blames missile attack on soldiers’ mobile phone use BBC. Nonsense. The officers are responsible for their troops. That’s why there are officers.

Why the HIMARS is so difficult to target Scott Ritter Extra. Good background, but see MoA on counterbattery warfare.

Pro-war Russia enraged over military failings Politico. Telegram.

* * *

Biden’s unsentimental foreign policy strategy David Ignatius, WaPo. Revised headline: “Spook cut-out: ‘Stay the course'”

How the Ukraine Crisis Can Be Solved The National Interest. The deck: “It’s time for Washington to consider direct negotiations with Moscow.”

What’s Next: The Long Year 2022 Valdai Discussion Club

“African Labor in the World Community”: CLR James’ Political Economy Internationalist 360°

Dear Old Blighty

Health service and real wage decline: why are we only now talking about trends that began over a decade ago? Mainly Macro

U.S. looks for opportunity in demise of Guaidó, whom it recognized as ‘interim president’ of Venezuela LA Times. Poor Greedo. How embarrassing.

The Importance of Lula’s Presidency in an Increasingly Multipolar World Brasilwire

Bolivia: Spanish, Chilean lawmakers meddled in local affairs AP

Domestic airlines cancel flights to Sinaloa after cartel arrest Mexico News Daily

Republican Funhouse

Becoming House speaker shouldn’t be a cakewalk for McCarthy — or anyone NBC. But:


So this sounds like yet another case of auto-kinbaku-bi, to me, this time bipartisan.

Do We Suspect, To Our Horror, That There May Well Be Some Frankenstein Coalition Created From This Impasse, An Abhorrent Manifestation Of House Rule That America Has Never Witnessed And The American People Have Never Authorized? Defector


SC Supreme Court tosses out 6-week abortion ban, leaving it legal through 22 weeks Post and Courier

Our Famously Free Press

How the FBI Hacked Twitter The Tablet


Wastewater surveillance for public health Science. “At a focused spatial scale, wastewater can be used for monitoring at the level of individual or small clusters of buildings to enable reliable detection of even a single infected person (10, 12). Such monitoring is of particular importance to vulnerable communities and high–population density sites, such as health care (e.g., nursing homes) or educational facilities (12), as well as airports, where detection can be acted on to contain pathogen spread.”

The Bezzle

Celsius founder Mashinsky sued for fraud by New York attorney-general FT

“I Heard It Was Safe” The Lever

This is what the future holds for cryptocurrencies World Economic Forum


Twitter data dump: 200m+ account database now free to download The Register

What to Know About Cellphone Radiation ProPublica

Class Warfare

Get Ready for the Richcession WSJ

‘I’m Working So They Can Hire a Private Jet:’ NYC Uber Drivers Strike Over Blocked Raises NBC

The Future of Industrial Process Heat Austin Vernon

Finding Awe Amid Everyday Splendor NOEMA

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

Double bonus antidote:


This is real work. Catch a cat doing it!

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. griffen

    South Carolina Supreme Court ruling. I don’t often pay heed to the local news outlets, unless weather is rolling through. But that is a fairly big ruling, even if the majority is ruling in a 3 – 2 decision. I have contended or thought since the US Supreme Court decision of May/June last year, this would fall into the jurisdiction of each state. Whether it falls to the voters, such as Kansas or here in the courts.

    I’m not a pregnancy maven but six weeks honestly does not seem that long to make such a crucial determination. So of course old white men should make that choice for everyone, just like we’ve always done. \sarc

    1. Carolinian

      The basis for the ruling was that the South Carolina constitution, unlike the national, does have an explicit right to privacy. No doubt it comes as a shocker to those who think red states are all under the thumb of megachurches (Texas–maybe). Instead we are under the thumb of business Republicans who are leery of any controversy that might keep investments from rolling in. Growth and real estate are the principle religion these days.

      This New South idea is decades old and helped drive the turnaround on civil rights. For sure other areas in the South may still be clinging to the past but here’s suggesting that the blue state need for a convenient drawling villain may end up being the true Lost Cause. Still there’s always Putin.

      1. griffen

        All else equal, I think you’re closer to being right about Texas. The state is pro-growth on tilt, and building freeways and tollways as far as the eye can see. I witnessed the building of such roadways in Dallas / Ft Worth from 2006 to 2015. I don’t envision a tollway from Charlotte to Atlanta, exactly, but over 50 years who can say.

        As long as this state (SC) manages to avoid the worse of the inclinations (like hosting a big city US professional franchise, which is idiocy and hands out dollars to billionaires), I tend to think it’s positioned quite well. And the ports aren’t that far at all. North Carolina by comparison, is run and managed by perhaps the worse lot of the Republicans and that is per family who live in NC.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > I don’t often pay heed to the local news outlets

      I think that’s a mistake, unless your own local outlet is terrible. But then you can check other local outlets.

      It’s not, I think, a coincidence that “Coronavirus found in samples from 96% of flights” was broken — at least in the US — by a locally owned, century-old outlet, WWJ. That’s why we need a lot more local papers.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      While the Legislature has the authority to set limitations on “that utmost personal and private” decision in order to protect “unborn life,” Justice Kaye Hearn wrote in the lead opinion, women must be allowed sufficient time to know they’re pregnant and decide whether to end it.

      “Six weeks is, quite simply, not a reasonable period of time for these two things to occur, and therefore the act violates our constitution’s prohibition against unreasonable invasions of privacy,” reads the conclusion by the high court’s only female.

      Well, DUH, under “normal” circumstances.

      But no one should forget that, despite the considerable efforts of fauci & co. to downplay and obscure medical reality, the “vaccine” has wreaked havoc on the menstrual cycles of women of childbearing age, rendering time limits of a few weeks one way or the other effectively moot.

      How long that will last is anybody’s guess, but no one’s making any effort to find out as far as I can see, preferring to pretend it isn’t happening or never happened in the first place.

  2. The Rev Kev

    “At last, Ukraine gets Western tanks”

    No, they’re not. The French AMX-10 RC armored fighting vehicles are just recon vehicles that run on tires, not tracks. Brian Berletic was saying in his latest video that their armour will stop bullets but that is about it. All the Russian weaponry in use on the battlefields the past year such as artillery, rockets, tanks, ATGMs, etc will shred them. It’s France clearing out all their old junk and shipping it off to the Ukraine. So of course a repair center will have to be set up for them in Poland where damaged and broken AMX-10s can be shipped a thousand kilometers across the Ukraine to them, get repaired, and then shipped a thousand kilometers back to the front. It will be the same story for the Bradleys that the US will be sending to the Ukraine. It too is a very old vehicle so unless sent in very large numbers will be picked off as well. If people do not remember how the Bradley came to be, here is a useful video reminder- (10:59 mins)

    1. Samuel Conner

      Being lightly armoured, methinks that when they are knocked out by direct hits by drones, artillery or infantry antitank weapons, they will likely be very badly damaged and not amenable to rapid repair and return to service. Also, the intended use appears to be rapid penetration of Russian lines; if they are knocked out in such uses and the Ukrainians do not gain control of the territory where they were knocked out, they will not be recoverable for repair.

      There was a proposal some years ago to constitute a new type of land unit organization, the “Reconnaisance Strike Group”, for example as described here:

      IIRC, one of the motivations for this proposal was to reduce the cost of defending NATO’s eastern flank from a Russian “fait accompli” territory seizure.

      IIRC, the mobile antitank component of this organization would be provided in part by lightly armoured wheeled vehicles armed with 105mm cannon, roughly similar to (though much more modern than) the old heavy-armament “armoured cars” the French are sending.

      It is a bit difficult for me to imagine that these vehicles will survive long operating against well-equipped numerically superior Russian ground forces that also have the advantage of air superiority.

      1. Samuel Conner

        My bad — the RSG heavy-armed vehicle component in the above link is a variant of the Puma infantry fighting vehicle. It’s tracked and can be equipped with a 120mm cannon, so it has significantly superior mobility and fire-power compared to the AMX. Like the AMX, it’s only lightly armoured.

          1. Irrational

            The official narrative seems busy walking this back. According to both Wirtschaftswoche, Focus, Business Insider (.de) and others, an internal MoD report supposedly shows the issues were not as big as initially claimed and was mainly due to maintenance errors or lack of training of the soldiers – so blame the people. Doubt we’ll ever know the truth.
            In other news, Germany seems to feel obliged to send “Marder” (Marten) tanks, which do look to be tracked, to Ukraine in order not to be outdone by the French.
            Escalating merrily…

          2. Irrational

            Guess my reply was eaten in moderation a couple of hours ago.
            1) The new story on the Pumas is very different (widely reported in German media).
            2) German is committing to sending Marder tanks (also widely reported).

    2. hk

      Kubinka Tank Museum (of Russia) thanks US and French governments for their new donations, even if these aren’t really “tanks.”

    3. Chris Smith

      Indeed. I saw we are sending Bradleys and my first thought was that we are clearing out the junk.

      1. Wukchumni

        It’s tantamount to Uncle Sam’s used scars, and the lineup includes the military versions of Edsels, Corvairs, Vegas, Pintos, Cadillac V8-6-4’s and Azteks.

        Is it any wonder the Donkey Show was so eager to send our junk to the Ukraine even though there isn’t a Chinaman’s chance of being paid, especially now when the Middle Kingdom is net sellers of our bonds.

    4. VT Digger

      Thank you, IFV != Tank. These are all just thinly armored APCs with a chaingun and an AT rocket launcher strapped to the roof. Things will vaporize with one hit from an actual tank’s main gun…

    5. XXYY

      My impression is that a lot of the NATO-country “arming” of the Ukraine is mostly wheeling and dealing between NATO governments, the US government and the various armed forces and military industrial complex players. By giving away old and broken down stuff that’s been sitting around for decades to the Ukrainian Army, they secure money and/or promises for more up-to-date equipment for themselves.

      This latest exercise of giving “tanks” to the ukraine, which are really APCs and other similar things, fits right into this. If you can give away 3 APCs you are never going to use, and in return get one current-technology tank that you might use, that probably sounds like a good deal to a lot of militaries.

      Thus the energetic collective pretense that almost everything that moves under its own power is a tank.

      1. juno mas

        Where, but at NC, would you get such lucid description as “energetic collective pretense”. I love the commentariat for their language!

      2. tegnost

        By giving away old and broken down stuff that’s been sitting around for decades to the Ukrainian Army, they secure money and/or promises for more up-to-date equipment for themselves.

        yes to this, demand needs supply, and uncle sugar can pay for anything they (I’ll use the gender neutral pronoun) want to pay for

  3. Yves Smith

    Upon reflection, I wonder if those cats are chasing Vitamin D. Both of my last 2 cats were indoor cats and both died of cancer, admittedly at pretty decent ages (18 and 16). But they had been very healthy otherwise and I had hoped for longer.

    There is (some, but not conclusive) that Vit D3 supplementation can help with advanced cancer ( but jury seems out. But indoor cats get such abnormally low sun exposure that I wonder if this creates particular health risks for them. Of course considerably offset by not getting hit by cars or eaten by coyotes.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Going for Vitamin D makes sense. I have seen cats liking to lie in the sun and wondered if they were not uncomfortable because of their fur being heated up. It would have to be a compelling reason to do so and chasing Vitamin D seems to be an explanation for this behaviour.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      So far as I’m aware, cats cannot generate Vitamin D through their skin, they are 100% dependent on dietary sources. I suspect that cats enjoyment of direct sunshine is more to do with temperature regulation. Domestic cats are mostly descended from tropical/desert wild cats so far as I know so default house temperatures may be a little on the low side for them. Its also possible that the light is important for them – iI’d speculate that house cats crave sunlight to reset their body clocks just as it seems that its important for humans too.

      1. Lexx

        Second this. Cats and dogs run on average about the same, between 101 and 102, give or take a degree. We set our house thermometer at 68 by day and allow it drop to 55 at night (though it rarely drops below 60). This is too chilly for our short-haired dog, who can be found burrowed under the covers with us when it time to get up and start the day.

        A cold-muscled kitty is a slower predator. Staying warm and limber is instinct.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          On the other hand, my friend has two gorgeously furry Welsh corgis. She says they refuse to snuggle up to her at night, instead choosing the coldest part of her home (beside the draughty the kitchen door) to sleep. We recently took them up to snow covered hills for a walk and they went crazy, running and rolling around in the snow, far more energetic than on the same hills in summer.

          It made me wonder whether keeping well furred cold weather dogs in hot climes is a form of cruelty. Even huskies are quite fashionable in parts of Asia.

          1. Norge

            I came for the news I stayed for the animals. I love this site for its content, for its hosts and for its community. Happy New Year all!

      2. Steve H.

        From Stephen V. in 2020:

        > Another reason to love cats? They sun themselves, this creates Vit D in the oils on their fur, then! They clean themselves by licking their fur and obtain D that way. Amazing.

  4. WobblyTelomeres

    Herding vanities.

    Joe Biden, resplendent in leather bomber jacket and aviators, drifts, full throttle in a cloud of smoke and noise, onto the world stage in his ’67 vette to negotiate Minsk II and is awarded The Nobel Peace Prize.

    That’s it. That’s the ticket. Up the Cliffs of Insanity, then down through the Fire Swamp. So, once again, how is he different from his predecessor?

      1. Tom B.

        Ask and you shall receive:

        On the Effectiveness of Aluminium Foil Helmets: An Empirical Study:


        Among a fringe community of paranoids, aluminum helmets serve as the protective measure of choice against invasive radio signals. We investigate the efficacy of three aluminum helmet designs on a sample group of four individuals. Using a $250,000 network analyser, we find that although on average all helmets attenuate invasive radio frequencies in either directions (either emanating from an outside source, or emanating from the cranium of the subject), certain frequencies are in fact greatly amplified. These amplified frequencies coincide with radio bands reserved for government use according to the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). Statistical evidence suggests the use of helmets may in fact enhance the government’s invasive abilities. We speculate that the government may in fact have started the helmet craze for this reason.

    1. CanCyn

      I found myself feeling annoyed by yet another research confirmation of what I see almost as common sense. Not to mention that people holding down three jobs in order to make ends meet have little time to pursue moments of awe in their day. This paragraph in particular caught my attention: “Proponents of this new science believe that experiencing awe may be an essential pathway to physical and mental well-being. By taking us out of ourselves and expanding our sense of time, it counteracts the self-focus and narcissism that is the root of so much modern disenchantment.” It seems to me that any activity that can take us out of our selves and shift our focus from inwards to outwards would be good for us. I’d be more impressed if someone was studying that phenomenon and providing reams of suggestions to help us get out of our own heads and seek community rather than striving for everything as individuals. Meditation, a walk in the woods, a pause of just a few minutes to do some deep breathing, helping a stranger, expressing gratitude, I’m sure there are more. Much I would love everyone to have the fun and intellectual satisfaction of a tenured Berkeley prof at work, I find this kind of psychology self-indulgent and not helpful to very many people. Such a bubble this guy lives in.

    2. The Rev Kev

      If you look for awe, sometimes you can find it. Like being out at night under a moonless sky and looking up to see a blazing starfield and the edge of our galaxy. You can find awe in all sorts of places. Like looking at a Roman coin and considering the journey that that individual coin must have made to get to your hands. And there is a twin for awe and it is called grandeur. And as the following clip says, it is good for the spirit- (1:40 mins)

      1. Mildred Montana

        Many years ago I lived in a rural area. My city-slicker friend came to visit me. We went for a night-time walk under a moonless sky. Judging by his reaction I don’t think he’d ever seen the glory of the stars before. He was, indeed, awed, almost beyond words.

        I feel compelled to repeat this quote from Martin Amis: “The universe is far more bizarre, prodigious, and chillingly grand than any religious doctrine, and spiritual needs can be met by its contemplation.”

        1. doug

          Yes the dark sky is not seen by many, and it is something to behold. I can find awe in a sunflower bloom, and don’t need to go to a state park. I appreciate the nudge by the author to find awe/be amazed/stop and really smell the roses.
          At least that is how I read it.

        2. Lexx

          “The one contains the many and the many contains the one. Without the one, there can not be many. Without the many, there can not be one.”

      2. Wukchumni

        Like looking at a Roman coin and considering the journey that that individual coin must have made to get to your hands.

        Gresham’s Law shows up in the Roman Empire in the 3rd century AD after a bit of high technology allows them to mint bronze coins and silver-wash them to give the appearance of being 95% silver in content as Denarii always were for centuries.

        This led to a dual economy of sorts in no different than today, a 1964 silver Quarter will purchase a gallon of 87 octane @ it’s current melt value-the very same as it’s buying power of 59 years ago.

        I haven’t received a pre-1965 silver coin in change since the early 1990’s @ a liquor store in Malibu, how about you?

        So in this 2-tiered economy, an old Denarius was worth a lot more than one of them there silver-washed ones, and assayers of the time used a pretty straight forward method in that they would file into the edge of the coin and see if it was silver, and sometimes you’ll see Denarii with 6 or 7 test cuts, a lot of doubting Thomases back then.

        These are the most interesting to me from a story standpoint, but the collector marketplace treats them like damaged goods, often selling at steep discounts versus a similar Denarius sans cuts.

        A similar thing happened in China when we sent off our silver Trade Dollars there, merchants would hammer chopmarks into the surface of the coin-often the more the merrier. These too are discounted quite a bit from Trade $’s w/o chopmarks in the collector field.

        The most valuable of older coins are the ones in perfect condition-brand new-never used.

        I always thought this was a bit unfair in that they had no tales to tell, as opposed to say a 1/2 Ecu of Louis XVI from 1792 that eerily looks as if Louie has already been beheaded, whoops

        Coins never did it for me from a sense of awe though, only Mother Nature can come through consistently in delivering the goods, and i’ve been fortunate in seeking the treasure.

        1. Tom Bradford

          As an older child in the UK 1950’s it was still possible to find pennies with Queen Victoria’s head on them in the handful of change you’d get buying an ice-cream with a pocket-money sixpence, and even then I could wonder about the tens of thousands of hands it had passed through to reach mine, wearing much of the detail off the stamp, and the stories it could tell of war and a changing world.

          That occasional coin with the intangible power over shopkeepers it gave me just as it had for all who has possessed it before me, had an intimacy that made me more aware of my own continuance of a history, community and society into which I had been born and was now a part of – far more so than any ruined castle or medieval church could. With coinage today having almost ceased to exist I cannot think of anything a child today might interact with to gain the intimate same sense of ‘belonging’.

          1. Wukchumni

            While we never had living Presidents on US coins except for Calvin Coolidge once upon a time, it was a way for the rest of the world to connect with their king or queen, as it was commonplace for them to grace the money, and would have been the most common way to interact with the populace when imagery was scarce.

            It went that way pretty much from the first of the Roman Emperors after Julius Caesar, they’d always have their mug on the coins.

    3. CanCyn

      Just figured out perhaps why I was so underwhelmed by this guy’s research. I remembered this Canadian, Neil Pasricha, has been writing about and talking about finding awesome since 2010!
      He was a keynote speaker at a conference I attended many moons ago. No PhD for Neil, just sayin’

  5. Wukchumni

    Kevin can wait
    And the band of Freedom wrapped up another loss
    Will take him through the lonely night
    Through the cold of the day
    And I know, I know
    Kevin can wait
    And all the GOP whackjobs come here just to zing it, the Trump joss
    And the Caucus ain’t gonna make it fly
    Without pain, without fear

    Give me all of your Speaker dreams
    And then go alone on your way
    Give me all of your players talking dismay
    And he’ll turn another vote into the same score on a different day
    He got a taste of paradise
    He’s never gonna let it slip away
    He got a taste of paradise
    It’s all he really needs to make another vote
    Just like a child again, another revoke

    Kevin can wait
    And all he’s got is time until the end of time
    He won’t look back
    He won’t look back
    Let somebody else shine

    And I know that he’ll soon be released
    But I don’t know to where
    And nobody’s gonna tell me now
    And I don’t really care. No, no, no
    He got a taste of paradise
    That’s all he really needed to make him stay
    He got a taste of paradise
    If he had it any sooner you know, say in 2015
    You know he never would have to have run today

    Kevin can wait
    And all he’s got is time until the end of time
    He won’t look back
    He won’t look back
    Let somebody else shine

    Kevin can wait
    Kevin can wait
    I won’t look back
    I won’t look back
    Let the dais shine
    Let the dais shine

    Heaven Can Wait, by Meatloaf

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Opinion | The messy GOP speaker vote isn’t embarrassing. It’s democracy.”

    I’ve heard that three main reasons for the rebellion of those Republicans is the failed leadership of the party itself. The Republicans under-performed during the recent midterms and a lot of Republicans are blaming McConnell for sabotaging fellow Republicans during these elections But then to have the leadership sign off on that $1.7 trillion omnibus bill as the old House was dying was a bridge too far. This was made worse when the Republican leadership stated that their main priority was the Ukraine, not America. These Republicans have seemed to have had a gut-full. And it is not like that in the past that there weren’t multiple ballots taken for this job-

    3rd Congress (1793-1795): Frederick Augustus Conrad Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania. Voted House speaker on the 3rd ballot.
    6th Congress (1799-1801): Theodore Sedgwick of Massachusetts. Voted House speaker on the 2nd ballot.
    9th Congress (1805-1807): Nathaniel Macon of North Carolina. Voted House speaker on 3rd ballot.
    11th Congress (1809-1811): Joseph Bradley Varnum of Massachusetts. Voted House speaker on 2nd ballot.
    16th Congress (1819-1821): John W. Taylor of New York. Voted House speaker on 22nd ballot.
    17th Congress (1821-1823): Philip Pendleton Barbour of Virginia. Voted House speaker on 12th ballot.
    19th Congress (1825-1827): John W. Taylor of New York. Voted House speaker on 2nd ballot.
    23rd Congress (1833-1835): John Bell of Tennessee. Voted House speaker on 10th ballot.
    26th Congress (1839-1841): Robert Mercer Taliaferro Hunter of Virginia. Voted House speaker on 11th ballot.
    30th Congress (1847-1849): Robert Charles Winthrop of Massachusetts. Voted House speaker on 3rd ballot.
    31st Congress (1849-1851): Howell Cobb of Georgia. Voted House speaker on 63rd ballot.
    34th Congress (1855-1857): Nathaniel Prentice Banks of Massachusetts. Voted House speaker on 133rd ballot.
    36th Congress (1859-1861): William Pennington of New Jersey. Voted House speaker on 44th ballot.
    68th Congress (1923-1925): Frederick Huntington Gillett of Massachusetts. Voted House speaker on 9th ballot

    1. Alice X

      Here’s Jeffrey St. Clair’s take. Roaming Charges: No Speaker, No Cry

      + There are 100 members of the “Progressive Caucus,” who capitulated within seconds to nearly every demand Pelosi made, and 40 members of the Freedom Caucus who don’t mind waterboarding their own leader in public to get their way & ditching him if they don’t.

      Perhaps a reason to put progressive caucus in quotes and freedom caucus not.

      1. Carolinian

        If they are really protesting against Pelosi-ism Republican branch then I’m all for it. Down with TINA.

        But one doesn’t want to make too much of the potential altruism since the dissenters–a neighboring congressman is one–seem to be all for conservatism when it comes to society in general. What the Congress really needs is an antiwar caucus. There used to be such a thing.

      2. hunkerdown

        A better reason to put “progressive” in quotes as the religious phenomenon it is.

        Yes, it’s a religion, centered around the idea that the future owes the believer something.

        1. Alice X

          Does the future owe anyone anything?

          What if any one is extended to a collective all life on earth? Not that said caucus has such concerns, necessarily.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Tucker Carlson made the point last night that it should be hard to get elected speaker of the house. That person is second in line for the presidency and, given the current occupant of the white house, that is no small thing.

      Not to forget that, according to the 25th Amendment, if the president dies in office and the vp assumes the presidency, the new vp must be confirmed by both houses of congress. An undisciplined mccarthy is liable to go with a buttigieg or similar cretin. Because “bipartisanship.” Or “comity.” Or “civility.” Or something else equally useless and weaselly. (This paragraph is me, not Tucker.)

      PS. Here is the latest pearl of wisdom from president mush-for-brains, “paraphrasing a phrase from his old neighborhood” (OMG more CornPop chronicles) and uttered in deadly serious tone–“The rest of the countries, the world is not a patch in our jeans, if we do what we wanna do, we need to do.”

      Too inspirational.


        Thank you once again Katniss To me there are much better things to speak of and for than some dullard running for speaker. When we have a President that can’t even string a whole sentence together. A Congress that is completely corrupt. A government that is completely corrupt. Why should any of us spend one second dissecting who’s up or down today. None of their ignorant party crap matters. Because to them we don’t matter. Between incompetence and greed nothing done there makes any difference at all to me. I do not read anything from the mainstream. I do not read social media. I have voted for the last time ever.
        I did see a magnificent woodpecker today. My cats are marvelous creatures and I’m reading a great book on the Oregon trail for the second time. I’ve checked out of the show. By the way I tested negative all week for Covid. The hospital didn’t manage to kill me after all. They can stuff it too.

  7. PlutoniumKun

    China seeks to minimize COVID-19 risk during travel rush AP. I remain baffled by Xi’s timing. The only reason I can think of to end Zero Covid before Chinese New Year’s is mass infection. Is that now the strategy? If so, why Zero Covid in the first place?

    My personal guess: Zero Covid was never really a strategy, it was a default that Xi found on his lap after the first wave was successfully suppressed. Chinese public bodies and companies are notably risk averse, and as the initial success was popular and seen as a victory for the Party, then it was kept in place until they could think of something better. But they never did. Sadly, its clear now that if there was an exit strategy, it was never competently put in place. We are now seeing an epic wave of gaslighting from Beijing to cover their tracks. They’ve obviously been looking and learning from the west.

    As to the timing, I think this was the virus’s timing, not Xi. The sheer speed that it emerged after the ‘official’ end of zero covid strongly suggests to me that they’d already lost control, it was spreading rapidly. Ending the policy was solely about saving face by getting ahead of the parade. I would not rule it out that anti-Xi factions and business interests may have had a role in ensure that local health authorities lost control.

    While it may be coincidence, its been widely noted in China that a significant number of high profile people have died in the past couple of weeks, which is leading many to the conclusion that the death rate is very high. My guess is that the government are buying into the notion that getting it all over in a month or two is better than a long drawn out campaign. However, if ‘kraken’ and possibly older strains start arriving and hitting the population in waves of rapid succession, anything could happen.

  8. Not Again

    I had no idea that you could contact your Congress Critter if you had a beef with the IRS. I guess paying your congressman a $2000 bribe –oopps I mean campaign contribution – is a hell of a lot more cost effective than paying your taxes in full.

    This is wholesale corruption right out in the open. (Again.) I hope they never elect a Speaker.

    1. Wukchumni

      Instead of Martin Luther showing up to rail against political indulgences, we get Lex Luthor.

    2. IMOR

      Constituent service- not just to donors- used to be one of two top priorities for any House office that wanted to be more than a one-term wonder. It dovetails with the number one priority, and every citizen has the right to expect the House’s assistance with the operation of the bureaucracy it itself helps create. With IRS, it mainly consists of overcoming stonewalling or getting them to comply with statutory or internal action deadlines. Please substitute ‘VA’ or ‘FHA’ for ‘IRS’ in your blurt and take a mo to reconsider.

      1. Not Again

        Do you really believe that donors and non-donors are treated the same way in any Congressional Office? I’ll bet you believe “justice is blind” too.

        1. Cat Burglar

          When an agency screws up, and violates their procedure or the law, you can get a legislator’s case worker to get action in your favor — every US House member and Senator has a staff of caseworkers to do it. I have used it on the IRS and BLM. But you’re not going to change policy or the law that way (that’s where being part of the large donor class comes in, as you point out).

          It is basic retail politics: they do you a favor, you support them. The Great McGinty is an excellent comedy account of how it works.

      2. skk

        that’s what I’d figured – that it was the equivalent of contacting your MP in the UK to get oneself on the inside-track so to speak in resolving bureaucratic crassness.

        That’s what I expect to do via my Congresswoman if my 3 monthly medicine package from India gets confiscated at customs. I expect to cause some real bad publicity if this happens. So far, so good though.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      Contact your legislator any time you have a problem. They aren’t all equal for various reasons depending on your legislator and area. A legislator near a major base is going to be sharper on veterans issues than one without a base, but the process is the same.

  9. SufferinSuccotash

    Regarding Lever’s FTX piece, this could be a good reason for the Feds to revive an institution that was founded expressly to protect depositors from fly-by-night scammers, namely the Postal Savings Bank.

  10. Festoonic

    I wonder if Extinction Rebellion had dubbed itself Extermination Rebellion instead — and tried to direct attention to the actors profiting from the demise of life as-we-know-it on the planet — if might they have attracted more support? As I type this, I realize I know the answer to that question: humans being humans, after all, probably not. Still, it was nice for a while to see young people having a good time.

    1. Rod

      Extermination Rebellion —truthfully brilliant insight there.
      imo- Does seem the learned label for a still much needed Phase 2 reboot.
      there was an interesting companion piece on that site:

      In short, the Messenger often gets shot although the message gets through.
      Thankfully, Financing and Insurance are getting more spotlight with actions at the Corporate and Personal level.

      -and let’s keep/force Radical Conservation in the conversation-

  11. Lemmy Caution

    SARS-CoV-2 Infection, Hospitalization, and Death in Vaccinated and Infected Individuals by Age Groups in Indiana, 2021‒2022

    If I’m not mistaken, the authors of this study present the results in a highly deceptive way. According to the report details, a group of vaccinated people will get infected, visit the ED, be hospitalized and die at a higher rate than a similar group of people with previous infections – the opposite of the conclusion that the authors would have you believe.

    First, let take a closer look at the report’s “Results” section:

    Results. We matched 267 847 pairs of individuals. Six months after the index date, the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection was significantly higher in vaccine recipients (6.7%) than the previously infected (2.9%). All-cause mortality in the vaccinated, however, was 37% lower than that of the previously infected. The rates of all-cause ED visits and hospitalizations were 24% and 37% lower in the vaccinated than in the previously infected.

    The findings that mortality, ED visits and hospitalizations are 37%, 24% and 37% lower respectively for the vaccinated vs previously infected are impressive. It seems like an airtight case in favor of vaccinations, right?

    Well, if you take into account the fact that the vaccinated are far more likely to get infected in the first place, it flips the picture upside down.

    Before showing an example that proves the vaccinated are more at risk, not less, first let’s clarify how the authors derived those 37%, 24% and 37% figures.

    Here’s the section that reports the cumulative findings for all age groups:

    At 6 months, 6.6% (95% CI = 6.5%, 6.7%) of the individuals with previous infection and 5.0% (95% CI = 4.9%, 5.1%) of the vaccinated individuals had recorded ED visits.

    Six months after the index date, 1.9% (95% CI = 1.8%, 1.9%) of the previously infected individuals and 1.2% (95% CI = 1.1%, 1.3%) of the vaccinated had recorded hospitalization.

    Six months after the index date, mortality rates were respectively 0.51% (95% CI = 0.48%, 0.54%) in the previously infected and 0.32% (95% CI = 0.29%, 0.34%) in the vaccinated.

    This information allows you to confirm where the authors got the 37%, 24% and 37% from:

    ED visits: 6.6% (previous infection) – 24% = 5.016% (vaccinated individuals)

    Hospitalizations: 1.9 (previous infection) – 37% = 1.197% (vaccinated individuals)

    Mortality: 0.51% (previous infection) – 37% = 0.311% (vaccinated individuals)

    Armed with this information, and factoring in the crucial fact that the vaccinated are more likely to get infected in the first place, let look to see which group is really more at risk – the vaccinated or people with previous infections. We’ll use 10,000 people as our group size for the calculations.

    Vaccinated: 10,000 x 6.7% infection rate = 670 infected.
    ED: 670 x 5% = 33
    Hospitalization: 670 x 1.2% = 8.04
    Mortality: 670 x 0.32% = 2.144

    Previously infected: 10,000 x 2.9% infection rate = 290 Re-infected.
    ED: 290 x 6.6% = 19.14
    Hospitalization: 290 x 1.9% = 5.51
    Mortality: 290 x .51% = 1.479

    This calculation seems to lead than a different conclusion than the authors of the study would have you believe. Feel free to point out any mistakes or different ways of interpreting the study results. All I’m after is some straightforward information to base medical decisions on.

    1. ven

      Thanks for working through the paper – that was my sense, that the authors had conveniently ignored the lower infection rate of the previously infected, in trumpeting the vaccine success.

    2. OnceWereVirologist

      All-cause mortality in the vaccinated, however, was 37% lower.

      The paper reports on all-cause mortality. Multiplying the COVID infection rate by the death rate from all causes doesn’t make a lick of sense. You’re multiplying the COVID infection rate by the death rate from car accidents and heart disase and fentanyl overdose, etc, etc in addition to the death rate from COVID.

      1. vao

        All right, but then, in the first place, why do the authors of the original article indicate the all-causes deaths according to the vaccination status, if this does not make sense?

        1. OnceWereVirologist

          They probably didn’t think that they could reliably determine the cause of hospitalization or death – deaths of COVID vs deaths with COVID. Therefore they attempted to control for all factors other than vaccination status by pairing the subjects so that all things being equal the difference in outcome should be a result of the factor under study and nothing else.

    3. albrt

      The numbers in each category appear to be based on the total in the pool of participants – the individuals who visited the emergency room, were hospitalized, or died are percentages of the total, not percentages of the number who got COVID. Results are summarized here:

      The number of participants got much smaller over time because the pairs were removed from the study whenever an unvaccinated person got vaccinated or a vaccinated person got COVID.

      1. Greg Taylor

        In these supplemental figures, 31,454 in each group (vaccinated, prev infected) are described as “at risk” at the beginning. There were 267,847 matched pairs at the beginning of the study. I can’t figure out why all 267,847 weren’t “at risk” at the beginning. The 31K would be far more than just those infected, assuming infections rates of 6.7% and 2.9%. I’m not sure what to make of it.

    4. IM Doc

      You must have been an IRB member at some time in this life or a previous life.

      This is exactly the type of analysis of papers that would have been done in my time on the IRB.

      When you literally have people’s lives in your hands as a member of an IRB, you tend to focus on every possible avenue when doing analysis. You get very adept at seeing how writers with an agenda ( almost everyone nowdays) can make things appear not exactly how they are. You have a list of tricks in your brain that you go through with every single paper.

      Is it not interesting that the entire EUA procedure has completely dispensed with the very concept of an IRB? We start basically a phase III trial on the population of the entire Earth, and there are literally zero local clinicians, researchers, ethicists, etc guiding and making sure of safety and efficacy issues. Folks who are steeped in recognizing all the deceptive tricks instantly. And I am not just talking about the initial trials – I am talking about the countless piles of data that accumulate during the research phase. NOTHING LIKE THIS GOING ON AT ALL.

      It is really “in the weeds” type stuff. Thinking through confounding variables is not intuitively obvious. And your underlying concern is correct NOW compared to months ago – that an assumption has been made that the vaccinated are less likely to be infected. This is simply not consistent with the current data and negates the entire line of thought of the paper.

      This is very subtle stuff. And this kind of subtle problem in a paper is why I will be keeping this paper in the “show the students the effects of subtle modeling on data evaluation” pile.

    5. cgregory

      How many of the “previously infected” were excluded from the study because they were already dead?

    6. Mikel

      “EU offers free Covid-19 vaccines to China to help curb outbreak” FT

      Headlines still giving the impression that the shots are sterilizing vaccines.

      An attempt to claim a victory on the back of the temporary anti-bodies being generated in China’s wave of mass infection?

    7. Nikkikat

      Just from my observations. No one any where I go has a mast on or takes any precautions what so ever. Hospital didn’t even bother to test me for Covid until I had been there a full 24 hours. Not one of these so called doctors, nurses or staff wore a mask.
      When I objected. I got a line of BS about what those bought corporate d…weeds at the CDC said. Every friend we have goes out to dinner, movies, parties, bars, flies on planes and on and on. Their response when I question them about such stupid behavior is that they are fully vaccinated. I go no where see no one and do not do any of those things. I wear an N95 that I just had to almost become violent to keep wearing in a hospital.
      Of course the vaccinated are dying more. They believe a lie because it doesn’t inconvenience them.

    8. Raymond Sim

      I’m late to this, thanks to the storms here in CA. To me the big takeaway from this study is that two tendencies apparent in healthcare worker anecdata, which seem potentially contradictory, both do seem to reflect reality.

      To over-simplify, on the one hand there are physicians, exemplified for us by IMDoc, who report more, and more severe Covid and Covid sequelae in vaccinated patients, on the other there are doctors and other medical personnel working in a variety of fields and specialties, who report excessive prevalance of a variety of serious conditions, often in patients not fitting the usual profile for those conditions, with the excess seemingly disproportionately made up of the unvaccinated.

      I’m very happy to see the study is structured as it is, because it strikes me as the only approach that might start to get a handle on what these reports signify. There do seem to be some shenanigans re efficacy in acute disease, and I’m going to want to go over the all-causes stuff quite a bit more closely than I’ve had a chance to, but the results definitely have my attention.

      Under normal circumstances lumping traffic fatalities with strokes and heart attacks might be questionable but under current conditions, political as well as epidemiological, I think examination of all-causes morbidity and mortality is a very good thing.

      Also, Nikkikat’s point is well-taken, and I think perhaps underappreciated – for epidemic contagious disease one’s most important risk factors are behavioral, arising from one’s own behavior, and the behavior of one’s close contacts. This is especially true for Covid – small differences in behavioral tendencies can produce big differences in rates of transmission. It’s both a potentially huge confounder, and a not-to-be-discounted potential explanation for differences between cohorts.

  12. The Rev Kev

    I’m beginning to wonder if Extinction Rebellion was simply a canned protest movement. Remember the Black Lives Matter protests? They were huge and then it seemed that one day that they just went away. About the time that old Joe got elected. It was like somebody just terminated a program – but not until a few of the “leaders” made sure to get their mansions first. If it came out years down the track that the Extinction Rebellion was just a psyops program to discredit environmentalists using a bunch of gullible, self-entitled dupes, I would not be in the least surprised.

    1. Realist

      I think the BLM protests were so big because people just really wanted to get out of the house again. Because 99% of US towns are little more than a charmless strip mall, the novelty wore off pretty fast!

      1. Mikel

        You must mean they wanted to be in crowds again.
        Nobody was ever confined to their residence in the previous Chinese style.

      2. Angie Neer

        I attended a BLM protest in Seattle in June 2020, the only mass protest I’ve ever attended in my 60 years. I’m not comfortable with mass protests because it’s hard to know what a mass of people will do, or whether some bozo will be propped up in front and make a speech I don’t support. But this was a silent march. Virtually everybody masked, and no speeches or chants, not even many conversations. Just “black lives matter”, something that I believed (and still do) needed to be said with my presence. The only unfortunate part of it from my perspective is the ambiguity between “black lives matter,” the wholesome sentiment, and “Black Lives Matter” the highly suspect organization riding on that sentiment. But I don’t regret it. And it was not because I just wanted to get out of the house.

        1. JBird4049

          I am guessing that Black Lives Matter started as a legitimate protest movement, but got co-opted and the Democratic Machine including their network of NGOs, the grifters who infected, transmogrified, and killed the movement. The Democratic Party and its The Left™️ are quite serious about their politics, but the goals are to embalm any movements or organizations threatening to be real, not a façade, which might might the Monied Class unhappy, distrust the gatekeeping, and ultimately threaten the money stream.

          Unlike the Democrats and their masters, the masters of the Republicans want such vast changes that even very conservative or libertarian Americans, many of whom have already been disenfranchised because they are not the right kind of Republican Conservative™️, would be very opposed to it; the kind of libertarianism that the wealthy and corporations that Republicans want has already existed. It was Victorian Era. The Dickensian England. As over eighty percent of Americans are extremely against the goals, they just don’t know it, yet, which means vast amounts of propaganda is needed to hide it. The IdPol used by The Left™️ helps the Republicans with the propaganda. Both sides help each other.

          Because the goals of the Republican Party and its organizations are not what most people want, if they got their Constitutional Convention and then rammed through the changes, I think that the Constitution would not long exist afterwards. Every change in the Constitution has only happened after a lot of open debate with many not being happy with the results, but kept content by the process of debate and voting. The existence of a government or a country depends, ultimately, on its acceptance by the population, its legitimacy.

  13. LawnDart

    Re; Automakers are pouring millions into “flying taxis”

    Yes they are, and they’re not the only ones. But the article provides almost no insight into the state of the industry, of civilian-use eVTOLs used for passenger transportation and cargo logistics.

    Right now, and I mean right now, China, the CAAC (Civil Aviation Administration of China, or China’s counterpart to the FAA) is in the final stages before issuing Type-Certification to a two-passenger autonomous eVTOL– no pilot on board– that already has 30K+ flights under its belt. The USA is so, so far away from this tech and production-capabilities that its going to be a major blow to the ego when China’s bird is licensed for commercial flights while we’re still years or even a decade or more behind.

    To make up ground, the US military is pouring money through a program called “Agility Prime” in an attempt to help domestic eVTOL makers catch-up to the Chinese.

    But it won’t help: the USA has already lost this race and will never have more than a token presence in the eVTOL or civilian drone industry.

    1. Adam Eran

      I was acquainted with a marketing advisor to a “flying car” manufacturer a decade or so ago, and remember his advice to them: The FAA will never make this a commuter vehicle, but would authorize it as a flying ambulance or some other commercial (taxi?) use. The technology has been mature for some time now, and the thing is apparently much easier to fly than a helicopter (short Sikorsky?).

      1. LawnDart

        There is a Canadian biotechnology company– they want to use the drones for urgent or emergency last-mile delivery of precious, bodily-stuff and whatever doc, attendent, or specialist need travel with; human hearts, lungs, and other transplantable things that have a short shelf-life. I think they have ordered 1000-or so of these aircraft.

        I’ve seen videos of firefighting drones too, used for high-rises and stuff.

        I think the FAA may address public-safety use first, followed by cargo/logistics, and pax transport last. I can see fixed air-taxi routes; piloted concierge service for rich assholes, but no Jetson’s stuff for you and me.

  14. Wukchumni

    Knew a fellow who was an atmospheric river guide, used a wooden dory and oars. Would do the Class 5,000 rapids and of course he needed supplemental oxygen all the time when paddling as air is thin in the jet stream…

    There’s a few videos out of impressive coastal damage in the first act of what could be a fortnight of flooding all over the state in a role reversal from the long playing drought. This storm is like no other i’ve watched develop-as its a Great Lake that has to be emptied with the bomb-bay doors opening overhead, and you just know they’re using a Norden Mk 15 bombsight.

    Went to Oktoberfest once in Munich with friends and we were there for opening day and had given our waitress 22 DM to ensure we’d get one of the very first liters of barley soda, which was duly done after the keg popped and the oompah band struck up a jaunty number, and how we all powered through that stein and signaled for another and like Jana on the spot, there she was caressing at least a dozen, 4 of which were ours-oh happy day and the band played on and down it went slower than the last one, and not as eagerly did we relish the 3rd round and went out and got something to eat-having the endure the horrendous aroma of mackerel-on-a-stick and amusement rides that would make you hurl even before that 6 pack of strong German brew you just drank, but refreshed after our repast, back into the giant beer hall full of ANZACs soldiering through on what must have been their version of Lourdes, turning beer back into water but only after a voyage through their kidneys.

    That third liter was a challenge but we drank on, and by mid-4th I knew I was done for the day as i’m not much of a drinker by trait and that was a 12 pack-yikes! To add insult to injury-I clinked steins a little too hard with Lisa’s, leaving her holding the handle after the rest exploded onto the floor, whoops.

    Made our way back to our digs on the subway and slept it off and rallied ourselves to go back to the scene of decline of steins into mouths if only passive observers this go round at night, and our down under contingent all wore green commemorative t-shirts, and with ever liter drank they’d put tally marks on said shirts with a black sharpie pen.

    The most I saw on one Ocker was 18…

    …I couldn’t imagine drinking 54 beers

    That was just the first day of drinking for team down under, we were spent after a day-they’d obviously been in training.

    Thats what this atmospheric river (by the way i’m naming it ‘Eric’) feels like to me, a fortnight of XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXL fire nozzle.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “How the Ukraine Crisis Can Be Solved”

    ‘It’s time for Washington to consider direct negotiations with Moscow.’

    At the moment Washington won’t even consider it., They want this war to go on for another decade at least. Biden has even criticizing the 36-hour peace in Ukraine right now and wants the fighting to continue. Maybe the only chance for peace is to tell old Joe that he will get a Nobel peace prize if he does it. It must really burn him still that Obama got one just for being elected President and he hasn’t. More so when he once said that in the old days, somebody like Obama would be the one bringing him his coffee at his table.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Biden and Democrats live in constant fear of being called frenchies by republicans. The Team Blue performance in the last election is a problem. Ukraine is one of the few spots where Biden has followed through and Team Blue base performance declined. If he walls away, he won’t have much except that eff up Buttigieg to run on. It’s especially true with EU politicos. The more dire economic problems are yet to come, even with peace as markets rearrange.

    2. Lex

      I don’t think they want it to go on forever, and articles like this are leading indicators. This is bad for the empire – even if it’s short term good for the MIC contracting officers – because it wasn’t supposed to go on forever. The Ukrainians were supposed to smack the Russians around. The sanctions were supposed to crush the Russian economy in weeks (or maybe a few months). The Russian people were supposed to rise up to overthrow Putin and replace him with Yeltsin’s vodka-preserved corpse. And Joe was supposed to get his historic due as the man who defeated Russia.

      Now they’re in the sunk cost phase of gambling addiction with massive reputational repercussions if this fails. But I am beginning to wonder how managed information to the top is in the admin. Granted, Joe’s never been the brightest bulb but his recent statements about how Putin offered a truce because he needs a breather and that the Patriots are already showing their worth in Ukraine only leave a few options for analysis: Joe’s lying or Joe’s being lied to and believes those lies. I’d guess the latter, not because Joe’s above lying but because he’d be very easy to lie to and he wants to believe the lies.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        “The sanctions were supposed to crush the Russian economy in weeks,,,”

        What worries me is if that’s what Bidenites believed would happen, what other crazy shi-t do they believe about other stuff?

        These people be trippin’.

      2. digi_owl

        They want to, but can’t. Not while also trying to sanction China as the MIC has made themselves dependent on Chinese parts. Thus they can’t get the munitions factories going to keep the “Ukrainians” supplied.

      3. Maxine

        I’d say both, when it comes to Biden. On one hand, he has always been one to push for the more detrimental policies in the US, such as Sally Mae. His solutions for the problems he has contributed to have also been half baked at best. Not to mention that he has become senile with old age and unwilling to admit his mistakes.

        On the other hand – Mr Mercouris stated on his channel, having the information from an ex-CIA officer, that the Anglos are taking Ukrainian intelligence at face value, apparently. If true, this could end up catastrophic for the West

      4. ACPAL

        I still believe everyone is thinking way too small. The US oligarchy has declared war on the entire world, not just Russia. Look how badly the EU, NATO, Europe, many Middle East, South American and African nations are being battered by US actions and policies, as well as many Asian countries. Look at the conflicts the US is trying to inflict on China, Taiwan, and other nations and how the US is trying to drag Australia, Japan, South Korea, and etc, etc, etc into these conflicts. And that’s just the physical part.

        In the meantime the US is loaning money to everyone at high enough interest rates that they’ll never pay them off while destroying their industrial capacities. The US is collecting personal information on everyone around the world, especially world leaders, so they can blackmail them. What the US can’t control it destroys. Who the US can’t control it assasinates or has Israel do it for them. The Oligarchs control what the US population hears and believes and now they’re going for control of the money through digital currency.

        And the US, relatively, doesn’t even have a scratch on it yet. There are far more trees in that forest than Ukraine and Russia.

    3. britzklieg

      Not to deny Biden’s own brand of racism (Strom Thurmond – nuff said) but the “he’d be fetching us coffee” line is from Bill Clinton, in South Carolina, when he realized his wretched wife was gonna lose to a negro.

      No one whistled at dogs more or better than the big dawg.

        1. Wukchumni

          While its easy to whisk the all grown up version of Anthony Fremont in Peaksville into the scorned field, you just know he has that kinetic ability to render any man running again him to be a bad man, a very bad man.

          1. ambrit

            Are you suggesting that I have succumbed to “magical thinking?” Geez. All I’m doing is trying to stay out of the popcorn field of dreams.
            As an expert in Terran human political double dealings put it, which judgment perfectly describes former Speakers of the House; “..and yet they are all honourable men.”
            (I am told on good authority that the preferred pronouns of Speakers of the House in general are “me/mine.”)

  16. Irrational

    Re. “Hopeful climate stories” and ” Industrial Process Heat” – the first link seems to present heat pumps as some sort of panacea, the second link rightly points out that heat pumps are useful in a limited temperature range only. When it gets cold like in Europe before Christmas and in the US over Christmas, your poor heat pump will be very stressed and your house may not be as warm as you’d like. If the grid is down, that is of course another complication.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I added the website for “Industrial Process Heat” to my bookmarks. There appear to be several similarly knowledgeable and insightful blog entries on Austin Vernon’s blog which I intend and sort through as I can.

  17. Reader

    Google search for the original thread on Ukrainian mobilization pictured above shows the account @alexeyburov73 but on Twitter I get “this account doesn’t exist.”

    1. ambrit

      Hmmm…. Do I sense the “cold, dead hand” of Dulles upon the tiller of the Electronic Agora still?

    2. MaryLand

      I had a similar result in the past for a different Twitter account name. I then used the “advanced search” (or something like that) on Twitter and came up with the name. It was temporarily “in Twitter Jail” or shadow banned by Twitter so that most people would not find it.

    3. magpie

      The line where Alexei wrote, “I was hoping that human rights within Ukraine would not take a toll from its own government during the time of war…” in 2023.

      And “Means justify the ends, sure.” Intended facetiously, maybe?

  18. Jason Boxman

    Not just “biomedical.” Non-pharmaceutical!

    As always, our elite can end this Pandemic at any time. With some provisioning of social goods, like a temporary basic income, and proper planning and stockpiling of food stuffs, we can lock down for 60 days, and then emerge virus free. Thereafter, strict travel quarantines would be necessary forever, but so what? That’s an issue for the elite. (And why it therefore won’t happen.) With expansive wastewater testing, random population testing, improved ventilation, and early masking, it seems reasonable we could at least attempt to prevent outbreaks that inevitably occur.

    Sadly, because markets.

    So we get death and disability instead.

    None of this requires even one new magic technological intervention, either. It’s been possible since day 1.

    So in the end, there isn’t a single country or governing system in the world that has chosen this path. Not those with the most advantageous geography, like Australia or NZ, or China, with its authoritarian structure, which recently folded on zero-COVID for reasons that might never be known. Rich and poor, technologically advanced and under developed, democratic or authoritarian.

    Every country folded in the end.

    Is there no capacity left in this world amongst the leadership class?

    1. hunkerdown

      Yes, but values are those things that take priority over life itself. Preserving the relations of followership is more important to “civilization” than preserving the lives of potentially disgruntled people on the losing end of them.

      1. Jason Boxman

        But we’re all on the losing end. Long-COVID doesn’t respect class. The risk might be lower, but it’s still very much non-zero, even for the elite. This is just self immolation.

    2. Noh1

      Good idea, except that the virus might persist in the immunocompromised, continue to exist in animal reservoirs that could spread back to people, etc.

  19. Wukchumni

    $4.01K update:

    Crypto looks ready for the crypt and yet my investment in Bitcoin continues on a more or less stable pace since the FTX imbrogliowe, checking in at a little under $17k today.

    The boringness of these horse latitudes has to be stifling for Bitcoin Bros with a position larger than my modest low one figure investment, which if it has gone sour for me on the ride from top (bought in on $56k basis @ Coinstar) to here we are now, imagine them?

    I’m not sure what the saving grace is of Bitcoin but it obviously matters while the rest of cryptocurrencies are anti-matter, so there’s that.

  20. Kid doc

    Lemmy Caution is most correct, but there is more.

    The percentages/conclusion presented in the abstract and discussion include a statement that matched data was for the first 6 months, after either vaccination or infection. The gross data presented in Figure 2 extend for a full 12 months, though limited detail is provided. It is quite odd to have 12-month data available, then present and discuss outcome for (only) the first 6 months, leaving out the longer term follow up data.

    That is particularly important for two reasons. First, we know the vaccine effectiveness drops rapidly after the first few or several months (depending on the variant involved/patient age/risk), and several studies have shown elevated infection rates afterwards (for unclear period of time, maybe from 5 mo to 10-12 months – Cleveland Clinic ).

    Second, there is substantial asymmetry in group exclusions. The vaccinated are excluded when they get re-infected – hence, the associated ED visits, hospitalizations and deaths are also excluded. Previously infected are excluded when they get vaccinated, but apparently not when reinfected (no mention). One would expect far fewer complications from vaccination than reinfection – yet this important raw data is missing.

    1. Raymond Sim

      Second, there is substantial asymmetry in group exclusions. The vaccinated are excluded when they get re-infected – hence, the associated ED visits, hospitalizations and deaths are also excluded. Previously infected are excluded when they get vaccinated, but apparently not when reinfected (no mention). One would expect far fewer complications from vaccination than reinfection – yet this important raw data is missing.

      As I mention in another comment above, the CA storms made me late to all this. I second your concerns. At this point I’m sorry to say, I simply take it for granted that information unflattering to the vaccines was suppressed if it was at all convenient to do so. So I find the higher infection rate in the vaccinated quite striking. On the other hand the described all-causes troubles of the unvaccinated corroborates a great deal of healthcare worker anecdata I’ve seen.

      I don’t really give a fig for vaccine efficacy in acute disease anymore, I’m much more interested in long-term outcomes, since that’s what will matter for my grandkids. My first impression is that the size of the study and the magnitudes of the described effects make me want to know more.

  21. JTMcPhee

    So there is a real insurrection going on in Sinaloa, Mexico, for the elucidation of the Jan. 6 fakers. Interesting that there’s so little US news on the events. Drug cartel taking on the Mexican (vastly corrupt) federal government that some part of dared to seize, in part at US instigation, one of sons of former cartel head Guzman. The “technicals” of the cartel, looking like the favored weapons of ISIS and other such groups, a heavy machine gun mounted on a pickup truck, are in the streets, along with home-built armored personnel carriers on a heavy truck base. looting it loose, right back to the “state of nature, red of tooth and claw.”

    One wonders what parts of the American body politic are nearing the same state of dis-aggregation…

  22. Val

    What the matched vax/infection cohort study actually demonstrates is that seeking healthcare in Indiana is incredibly dangerous. Nationwide, I think we already knew this. Funny missing that, though authors had to know this particular analytical result would publish toot suite. Better cubicles for everyone!

    The categorical handwave/statistical hairball is that subset “unvax’d who had to go to the hospital for some reason” are treated as a singular statistical identity, “unvax’d”, ignoring citizens thriving out on the corn steppes. Clever heh? Even though the state immunization registry would give them another useful denominator and estimate that would most certainly have been deployed to reduce/ignore effect size had the initial calculation not been so agreeable.

    The real question from this should be, Do the unvaccinated receive equal care in US clinical settings? But such a question would be indicative of an actual functioning healthcare system.

    There are some real gems in the discussion section, for those with the fortitude to venture beyond the abstract.

  23. pjay

    – ‘How the FBI Hacked Twitter’ – The Tablet

    This is a very informative piece, not only about the specific mechanisms of Twitter censorship exercised by the FBI and other intelligence agencies, but also about Russiagate, with James Baker smack-dab in the middle of both. It’s long, but the details are important. The author, Lee Smith, knows what he is talking about. And please don’t wave off Smith or Tablet for being “partisan” unless you can point to anything that’s false in this article (bet you can’t).

  24. Wukchumni

    The rumble in the Humordor jungle is now in the 12th round and My Kevin (since ’07) has already lost the round by consensus, but formality has form and decorum demands the charade continue, there being no mercy rule in a House divided against itself.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Your Kevin should take heart. Nathaniel Prentice Banks only became Speaker on the 133rd ballot so Kevin has a ways to go yet.

    1. hunkerdown

      In 1969, the late, great Bob Widlar, semiconductor pioneer and raconteur, wrote and presented a conference paper arguing that monolithic voltage regulators were infeasible.

      His first-of-its-kind three-terminal monolithic voltage regulator design, LM109, was released the very next year. The paper and regulator were likely submitted within days of each other.

      China could be trying the same prank, inverted, as a retaliation for all the sanctions business. But it would be irresponsible for other players in the quantum computing game not to speculate. And it probably set the USA field back at least one day just to find the loophole.

  25. Pat

    Not sure that new unseated congressional representative’s excuse for not helping a constituent is really going to work. Their office could still be trying to make sure the constituent either had or was contacting the right part of the IRS, that they had the necessary paperwork, etc. And if they were at a blocking point, the staff could still have all information or documentation sent to them in order to try unlock the process. None of that Russia dependent on the ceremonial part of the job. People who call or the ones that advise people to call their representatives, know how it is SUPPOSED to work.

    Admittedly this is a new Congress critter, but the staff is either inexperienced OR trained and fluent in nothing but donor service and inadequate to the most important job of the office, constituent service, if you want to hold office for any real length of time.

    This is a little something I learned in the Rangel years. Whenever Beltway media is confused about how one or another elected official keeps getting elected, check to see if you can find out their record on constituent service and how their district views calling the official’s office. Almost always you will find that they have top scores for coming through for their constituents and that most of those constituents know the staff will help them if it is at all possible. Rangel was top of the charts for ease accessing his office and constituent services. Every time I have looked into other confusing long term incumbents, almost always they also scored well on these things.

    This may be changing, but I am pretty sure it is still a good means of ensuring job security.

  26. The Rev Kev

    “U.S. looks for opportunity in demise of Guaidó, whom it recognized as ‘interim president’ of Venezuela”

    Poor Greedo indeed. Even the Venezuelan embassy in DC has had to shut down after he got the boot. This was the Embassy that activists tried to occupy against Greed’s stooges but FBI goons helped the later-

    But no way would I ever feel sorry for a Benedict Arnold wannabe. He would have sold his own country out for a fat bank account and seen his country descend into into chaos and poverty. That is why whenever he went out into public, Venezuelans would go to beat his a** – and they weren’t Maduro’s people either.

  27. Richard H Caldwell

    I remain baffled by Xi’s timing” — it is truly stunning to see a volte face of this magnitude. Personally, it’s the scariest event I’ve seern yet in the history of COVID — a nation of one billion people just throwing up its hands… Who can imagine how, if even ever, this saga ends? I struggle with optimism. Nihilism seems a closer fit.

  28. Richard H Caldwell

    Austin Veron “The Future of Industrial Process Heat” — more like this, please.

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