Links 7/27/2023

Canadian Oil Worker Fired for Putting a Moose Calf in His Work Truck Field & Stream

Astounding Diversity of Giant Viruses Discovered in Massachusetts Forest The Messenger. But do they have opposable thumbs?

Fed raises US interest rates to highest level in 22 years FT

Birth, Death, and Wealth Creation Morgan Stanley. Power curve: “Professor Hendrik Bessembinder, studying results from 1926-2022, documented that nearly 60 percent of the stocks of U.S. public companies failed to earn returns in excess of Treasury bills and that only 2 percent created more than 90 percent of the aggregate wealth.”


Forget wildfires in Greece and Italy. Enjoy your holiday, say tourism chiefs Politico. “Everybody hates a tourist.”

Interactive map shows which US cities will be underwater in 2050 The Hill

‘Sentinel of Southwest’ saguaro cactus is melting, dying in Arizona heat, report says USA Today


The role of COVID-19 vaccines in preventing post COVID-19 thromboembolic and cardiovascular complications: a multinational cohort study (preprint) medRxiv. From the Abstract: “Results from this multinational cohort study showed that COVID-19 vaccination reduced risk for acute and subacute COVID-19 heart failure, as well as venous and arterial thromboembolic events following SARS-CoV-2 infection.” On the methodology: “We used four routinely-collected population-based healthcare datasets from three European 140 countries: the UK, Spain, and Estonia.” Perhaps readers will weigh in.

You can’t measure what you don’t manage:


Ten questions concerning indoor ultrafine particles Building and Environment


Henry Kissinger Meets Li Shangfu Stephen Roach, Bill Totten’s Weblog

Why was Wang Yi brought back as China’s foreign minister after Qin Gang’s abrupt exit? South China Morning Post

* * *
China’s Gen Z graduates pushed into cleaning jobs as it’s ‘better than staying home’ Channel News Asia

Will Mongolia’s crackdown on graft unlock its mineral riches? FT

China’s data ‘black box’ puzzles economists FT

* * *
‘Mayhem’: China warned by US, France on air safety during COVID Al Jazeera. The headline is deceptive. “Mayhem” = more ground crew time, hence lost profit.


Myanmar’s military reportedly plans to move Aung San Suu Kyi to house arrest Channel News Asia. The NGOs love her brand. So, a human bargaining chip.


Modi Believes In Rule by Chaos in Manipur The Wire

The Koreas

Why some S. Korean children refuse to ditch masks The Korea Herald


What Israel’s judicial overhaul means for Palestinians Vox. A land-grab. Who knew?

Why Biden Is in a Bind on Israel Foreign Policy

South of the Border

Mexico requests reopening of lawsuit against US gun manufacturers Mexico News Daily

O Canada

Province directs Alberta Health to investigate Calgary clinic charging membership fees CBC. John Conly’s province directly assaulting Canadian Medicare.

European Disunion

In Spain, the left’s resistance thwarts a PP-Vox majority and leaves all possibilities open El Pais. Four days ago. Still, quite the headline.

Exit Rutte New Left Review. The Netherlands.

Dear Old Blighty

Natwest CEO resigns over ‘serious error’ in Farage row Al Jazeera. The error was not closing Farage’s account, but talking about it.

Surge in ill health will have major impact on NHS BBC. I wonder why. And so does the BBC. ‘Tis a mystery!

So they told you that my serious patient safety concerns were just angry, irrational outbursts and you fell for it Chris Day, LinkedIn

New Not-So-Cold War

Military briefing: Ukraine switches to artillery power for eastern push FT. No more meat in the locker?

Russia will not be able to implement blockade of Black Sea – ISW Ukrainska Pravda

* * *
Russian President Putin to visit Türkiye for talks with Erdoğan Daily Sabah

Russian cybersecurity chief jailed for 14 years for treason Al Jazeera. “A top cybersecurity executive.”

* * *
Six Extensively Drug-Resistant Bacteria in an Injured Soldier, Ukraine Emerging Infectious Diseases, CDC

The Bomb Didn’t Beat Japan. Stalin Did. Foreign Policy. From 2013, still germane.

Biden Administration

Whistleblower tells Congress the US is concealing ‘multi-decade’ program that captures UFOs AP. Show me the ships or it didn’t happen.

Mitch McConnell escorted away from cameras after freezing during a news conference NBC (Furzy Mouse).

After decades of delays and broken promises, coal miners hail rule to slow rise of black lung AP

Nearly $1B ‘mystery’ land purchase near Travis AFB shows lack of federal transparency, officials say ABC7

Spook Country

Keir Starmer Joined Secretive CIA-Linked Group While Serving In Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet Declassified UK

Feral Hog Watch

‘Lion’ that triggered huge police search in Germany was probably a wild boar NBC

The Bezzle

Prosecutors Want Sam Bankman-Fried Jailed Before Fraud Trial WSJ

Digital Watch

Nefarious Data Collection Masking as Public Art? An A.I. Company Has Placed Mirrored Spheres Around the World in a Massive Eye-Scanning Project ArtNet

Can AI Make Up for Its Climate Impacts With Innovation? GovTech

Can AI Replace Humans? We Went to the Fast-Food Drive-Through to Find Out WSJ. Not, say, the executive suite. Odd.

Mission: Impossible’s inadvertently smart take on AI policy Politico

Class Warfare

Child labor violations involving 388 minors at McDonald’s uncovered since May, feds say Tri-City Herald

A Flood of New Workers Has Made the Fed’s Job Less Painful. Can It Persist? NYT. Rather like the Ukrainian meat-grinder….

How Workers Really Spend Their Days WSJ

‘A very disturbing picture’: another retraction imminent for controversial physicist Nature

The First Room-Temperature Ambient-Pressure Superconductor (preprint) arXiv. Commentary:


Room-temperature superconductor ‘breakthrough’ met with scepticism New Scientist

Antidote du jour (via):

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. The Rev Kev

    “Forget wildfires in Greece and Italy. Enjoy your holiday, say tourism chiefs”

    I was reading the other day that tourism companies were refusing to give refunds to those who had booked holidays in places that are now in flames and are considered disaster areas but said that people had to go. This is no different to how businesses pushed to have restrictions eliminated, masks removed and wanted everybody to go to restaurants, movie theaters, sports venues in the middle of a pandemic because other wise it would have made the economy sad.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      A suggestion in the age of Overshoot and climate collapse:

      You don’t have to go out the door
      to know what goes on in the world.
      You don’t have to look out the window
      to see the way of heaven.
      The farther you go
      the less you know.

      Tao te Ching #47 (Le Guin rendition)

      Maybe everybody should try staying home for a while. Plant a tree. Take a meal to a shut-in. Play ball with your kids. Those are “experiences” too.

      1. Lee

        “To see a World in a Grain of Sand
        And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
        Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
        And Eternity in an hour…”

        Auguries of Innocense
        William Blake

    2. griffen

      Baghdad Bob reprises his role as tourism spokesperson. Welcome to our locale, enjoy our weather and scenic backdrops.

    3. enoughisenough

      it’s not heatstroke! It’s Stendhal Syndrome! You’re not near death, you’re just enjoying art *really hard*


  2. griffen

    Between Mitch and the leader in the clubhouse Sen Feinstein, who is closer to reaching the 19th hole at the country club in the heavens? Apologies, maybe a golf analogy isn’t best applied here but clearly our most geriatric, elderly persons of leadership in the Congress, and the White house respectively, are pretty far into the “back nine” of life.

    Fresh blood at this juncture in time might be presented by…a youngish, whipper snapper, above 60? Asking for a friend of course. Egads. And Trump is not a spring chicken either.

    1. timbers

      Look at the bright side – they (Feinstein, Biden, Pelosi, McConnell) make some of their best decision choices when they are in that 19 second state of brain freeze paralysis. Now if we just find a way to keep them in that state. And if we could just get likes of Nuland, Blinken and company is similar state, a lot of problems would heal themselves over time.

      1. Mildred Montana

        I watched the video of McConnell’s freeze very closely. He literally did not blink—repeat, did not blink—for thirty seconds. I’ve never seen a dead man standing until I saw that video of Mitch.

        Perks in the Capitol must be pretty sweet for him to hang on so long, so self-humiliatingly.

        In related news, work on the long-term care wing of the Capitol continues. /sarc

          1. JBird4049

            This is all “funny,” but it is scary as well. It is not even that we have very old people in “charge,” but that it cannot be acknowledged, which means that we as a country are increasing unprepared for anything. They could be a century old, but they can and must be mentally fit.

            It might not look it, but the Congress is supposed to be as institution as important and powerful as the presidency, in some situations more powerful and centrally important. But saying all this is not to the benefit of the elites or the professional managerial class, and so it is ignored.

            What happens if VP Harris, Deity protect us, becomes the President? Or if there is an election that it is such a mess that it gets thrown to the House(for President) and Senate (for VP)? An economic collapse? Something that requires all the resources of the nation? It would require having a functional Congress.

    2. Wukchumni

      …are you talking in regards to a 2 stroke penalty?


      I could see it was a rough-cut Wednesday
      Slow-motion weekdays stare me down
      His lack of reflex got around
      There were no defects to be found
      Video image froze without a sound

      Thursday morning was a hot flash-factor
      His frozen face still focused in my mind
      Test-strip, proof of senility is hard to find
      By Friday the spotlight will no longer grind
      Stop-time for Kentucky if he lost his mind

      Freeze-frame (freeze-frame)
      Freeze-frame (freeze-frame)
      Freeze-frame (freeze-frame)
      Freeze-frame, now freeze

      Now I’m lookin’ at a flashback Wednesday
      Zoom lens feelings just won’t disappear
      Close-up quiet, no sweet-talk in my ear
      His bot-spot moment was so strong
      This freeze-frame moment can’t be wrong

      Freeze-frame (freeze-frame)
      Freeze-frame (freeze-frame)
      Freeze-frame (freeze-frame)
      Freeze-frame, now freeze

      Freeze-frame (freeze-frame)
      Freeze-frame (freeze-frame)
      Freeze-frame (freeze-frame)
      Freeze-frame, now freeze

      Like a freeze-frame (freeze-frame)
      It’s like the freeze, he’s a quiet breeze
      It’s like the freeze, he’s

      Freeze Frame, by J. Geils Band

      1. griffen

        Well there is OB or Out of Bounds but this “stroke” play went into distinctly wooded territory. I’m calling it, an unplayable “lie” ! \Sarc

        My late grandmother had a series of TIAs starting in the mid to late 1990s, so I don’t want to make light if this was an issue of oxygen not flowing into the brain cells. At least my recall is that it was the designated term. However, Grandma was living the retired life in eastern TN at the time and not serving in the US Senate.

    3. Feral Finster

      Feinstein, McConnell, etc. could be replaced with Chat GPT programmed to recite party talking points and nobody would be the wiser, just as soon as they invent an AI that can cash checks.

    4. CanCyn

      I was surprised to learn that McConnell is ‘only’ 81! I’d have guessed over 90 if you’d asked me and that was before seeing that video.
      Compare and contrast Mitch McConnell at 81 vs. Mick Jagger at 80:
      His face shows his age but his physicality belies it by miles.
      My father had a stroke when he was 80 and even paralyzed on his left side he was more vital than the Mitch McConnell in that video. Clearly the man has some kind of brain problem. My mother had TIAs (aka mini strokes) and she would freeze like that sometimes. Regardless of his age, the man is unwell and I would suggest that it is time for home to retire.

  3. The Rev Kev

    “Why some S. Korean children refuse to ditch masks’

    Could it be that some of these kids and their parents are not stupid? And that they realize that the Pandemic has not gone away? And that more to the point, they realize that the government will lie about this and put people’s health at risk in order to prioritize the economy? And that more to the point, that the media will be a willing accomplice to this? As an example, this article of theirs really tap dances around the possibility that these kids do not want to get Covid but slings off against them and implies that they should be willing to show their smiles.

    1. Steven A

      I lived and worked for three years + in South Korea, 2002-2005. Back then it was not unusual to see people on the street wearing surgical masks. It was because of some strange cultural quirk that made them concerned about spreading a cold or the flu to others.

      1. c_heale

        Japan is the same. I don’t know about China, or Taiwan, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

    2. VietnamVet

      There will never be a recap of the 2020 pandemic because then it becomes obvious that this was Shock Capitalism at its peak using pestilence to create nine new pharmaceutical billionaires. Masking and public health mitigations worked in Asian and South Pacific nations for a year but the bulwarks where overcome by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and fellow drug NGOs seizing control of the WHO’s response plus the spread of Omicron variant due to no quarantines of international travelers, lack of contact tracing, and the failure of the public health institutions due to the lack of funding.

      It simply is not a coincidence that the whole world now says masks are not necessary and the pandemic is over even though both coronavirus and HIV are endemic. Just like climate change and the proxy world war in Ukraine, there is no political/economic alternative available to address these looming catastrophes. If not a nuclear war or a famine, the next variant or a new germ will evolve and cause the next mass human die-off.

    1. The Rev Kev

      When it’s 2023 – and Mitch McConnell’s operating system is still running Windows 3.0.

    2. Jason Boxman

      My first thought was he briefly had a conscious at that moment, and it paralyzed him with the horrors he’s personally responsible for inflicting upon American citizens these past decades of his life. If so, I’m surprised he didn’t drop dead right here.

    3. FUBAR111111

      “Windows has encountered an unexpected problem and had to shut down”

      His install of WindowsXP on a chip has become corrupted.

      Nothing to see here folks, move along.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “Russia will not be able to implement blockade of Black Sea – ISW”

    ‘Experts at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) have suggested that Russia is unlikely to succeed in implementing a blockade of the Black Sea.’

    Shouldn’t that be the Kagan Institute for the Study of War? Doesn’t matter. Where would those ships dock properly? The Russians have already wrecked the ports. Would any insurance corporation on the planet be willing to underwrite a ship heading to the Ukraine? If a ship tried to make a break for the Ukraine, it would be up for debate whether it would be hit by missiles, Lancets, gunfire or maybe a helicopter’s missiles first. As a method of smuggling in western weapons, that route has now been shut down.

    1. Lex

      I haven’t checked in a while, but in the summer of 2022 the Russia “expert” at ISW was a 24 kid in his first job out of college. I dug into his resume a little and couldn’t find any indication that he spoke Russian, which seems like a resume item for a Russian expert. I unspectacular that ISW’s expertise is similar across the board.

    2. Polar Socialist

      The (sort of) amusing thing with these experts is that one glance at or similar shows that a blockade has already been implemented – by the shipping companies.

      Of course, what the experts are actually saying in that article is that if NATO flagged vessels would try to sail to Odessa or Nikolayev, Black Sea Fleet wouldn’t dare to stop them. Apparently because Russia tries to avoid a direct conflict with NATO, they seem to assume.

      1. digi_owl

        What NATO vessels are even in the Black Sea to try such a dare?

        Turkey has slammed the strait shut for military traffic since the SMO started, no?

    3. Louis Fyne

      ISW suffers from the “Costanza Effect” — “If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right”

      No for-profit insurance company is going to insure a ship heading to a Ukrainian port.

    4. ilsm

      I recall the evens during iran-Iraq war when Kuwaiti tankers were ‘threatened” and us flags were put on the ships.

      I suspect isw thinks usa will send flags.

      I also suspect the isw experts see that half of usaf tac air and most of usmc f-18 will fly out of Rumania and bulgaria to cover the U.S. flagged shipping.

      blockade breaking is easier said than done, and losing ships in deep water is no light matter

      isw and expert in same sentence?

    5. FUBAR111111

      “‘Experts at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) have….”


  5. Amfortas the hippie

    re: the sealevel map.
    defaults to closeup of NYC, of course.
    but i scrolled out and moved over to the Texas Coast.
    Galveston Island, toast(guess i was right when i wrote the Cheney Administration and said that putting a BSL4 Biolab right there in downtown Galveston was a bad idea)
    much of the pipe farms and tank farms around Galveston Bay, toast.
    same with Freeport.
    and, on a personal note…the 5 acres of “Spoil”/salt marsh i inherited…that makes me too rich for things like medicaid in Texas…will be wholly underwater.
    like any of this was difficult to predict.
    like, by 1999

    1. JBird4049

      >>>Galveston Island, toast(guess i was right when i wrote the Cheney Administration and said that putting a BSL4 Biolab right there in downtown Galveston was a bad idea)

      The United States is a big, big country with plenty of land that will be dry and isolated for the predictable future like the Great Basin or the deserts of the Southwest. The winter weather alone makes the Rockies somewhat safer. Yes, there are towns and cities everywhere, but it is nothing like the coast. What gives? Convenience?

  6. Jabura Basaidai

    is the “existential threat” of AI real or just more obfuscation and diversion? – it certainly has no effect or affect on my life that is apparent – trees still grow birds still fly clouds pass overhead mosquitos still annoy and strong storms keep on coming – step outside the electronic world and why is it a concern –

    1. turtle

      I’ve been wondering the same thing. AI is still pretty damn stupid in terms of generalized intelligence. Have they even reached insect-level intelligence yet? I’m not talking about pattern recognition and pattern synthesis (like the currently touted examples of “AI” like ChatGPT and Stable Diffusion), which is something that computers have pretty much have always been good at and we’re seeing reach new levels of refinement. I’m talking about understanding the world around it and making its own unguided conclusions, much less acting on it for its own benefit.

      Then you see billionaires funding university departments to study the “AI existential threat” (see WaPo article from a week or two ago), and something smells fishy. I figure it’s more diversion away from the radical and fast changes that are needed to have any chance against the impending doom of climate change.

      For anyone to put the AI threat anywhere on the same level of concern as the climate change threat is absurd. To even consider it a threat at the moment I think is absurd, unless I’m woefully out of touch with progress being made in generalized intelligence AI.

      1. hunkerdown

        There is a real threat, but it’s to the social order. People can’t have their minds and time dissipated as waste by their superiors, if they can simply program and align their own AIs to behave in impolite ways toward relentless salesbots and distill the actual information out of the emotionally abusive spam that the West celebrates as “conversation”.

    2. hunkerdown

      It’s an existential threat to the Sacred Division of Labor (where some people don’t do it) and the state’s ability to waste people’s time.

      What really scares me is ““Worldcoin is an attempt at global scale alignment,” the founders wrote in a statement.” That’s a very good reason to take hammers to these Worldcoin orbs on sight, and (I don’t advocate this irl) perhaps to Altman himself.

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        the Worldcoin eyeball scanning is beyond Orwellian – and there is that palm scanning by Amazon – Altman is a world class POS – these techno-ghouls are sticking to the plan – if ya’ get your hands dirty the AI ain’t no existential threat – excuse me while i clean my nails after tending to my orchard and picking jap beetles off the trees – seems the water is swirling faster and faster around the drain –

      2. ChrisPacific

        And all the sanctimonious talk about privacy even though it’s blatantly obvious that they can’t be fully disclosing their use or collecting consent from users. They would almost certainly be illegal in the EU (I’m not sure about the US).

        It does all have a very FTX/Sam Bankman-Fried kind of feel to it – the grand statements about global alignment, claiming to do one thing while obviously and self-evidently doing the opposite, etc.

    3. semper loquitur

      Well, there are the AI enabled fighter jets that will probably have a nuke clipped to them at some point:

      AI Just Flew an F-16 for 17 Hours. This Could Change Everything.

      An AI agent recently flew Lockheed Martin’s VISTA X-62A for more than 17 hours at the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School (USAF TPS) at Edwards Air Force Base in California—the first time AI was used on a tactical aircraft. The experimental training aircraft is expected to lay the groundwork for a coming wave of jets piloted entirely by computers.

      What could go wrong?

      1. Polar Socialist

        the first time AI was used on a tactical aircraft.

        Not to take the wind out of Locheed Martin’s sails, but Russian S-70 Okhotnik-B dropped bombs already in 2021. With news from the beginning of this month that it has been seen over Ukraine.

        Unlike F-16 it doesn’t have space for pilot, so maybe it doesn’t count as “tactical aircraft”. Even if the Ohotnik project is very, very similar to VISTA, robot wingmen and all.

      2. Jabura Basaidai

        Geez you guys just took the fun away for me – what could go wrong, indeed – f#@king g-damn mo fo’s – just when i thought it was a good thing – oh well, better take some more lisinopril to calm down –

  7. The Rev Kev

    Working link for “Why Biden Is in a Bind on Israel” article at-

    Then again, maybe not. He could do to Israel what he has done to the EU – by offering easy visas to members of Israel’s tech industries to come to live and work in America. To the cost of Israel of course but would Biden even care? Plenty of Israelis are already considering moving out of Israel because of the change in laws over the court system so what not take advantage?

    1. britzklieg

      and speaking of visas:

      “Next year, Americans will be required to obtain travel authorization to enter 30 countries, ending visa-free travel in Europe for U.S. citizens…

      The application will require you to provide personal information, including your passport details, your job and where you live, as well as your upcoming travel plans and travel history. The EU encourages those looking to travel to apply before booking flights or hotels in case your application is denied. The visa, which will cost about $8, is similar to the one that European tourists are required to get when traveling to the U.S., which costs $21. Parents and legal guardians can apply for minors.”

  8. pjay

    – ‘What Israel’s judicial overhaul means for Palestinians’ – Vox. A land-grab. Who knew?

    But don’t you dare call it *apartheid*! We’ll wash your mouth out with soap. Rather, it’s a “bind” – on Biden. Poor guy.

    1. pjay

      Well, the last pandemic had a few drawbacks from a PR standpoint, so they tweaked their “exercise” a little this time:

      “Participants grappled with how to respond to an epidemic located in one part of the world that then spread rapidly, becoming a pandemic with a higher fatality rate than COVID-19 and disproportionately affecting children and young people.”

        1. JBird4049

          I thought that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention already existed despite the cutbacks and regulatory capture from the last thirty years?

          Instead of doing an official review of what went right and wrong, followed by refunding, even beefing up the agency with qualified employees who are not hidden lobbyists and employees of Big Med and Pharma, they are going to create another agency. An agency that will be duplicating much of what the CDC is already tasked with doing and for decades was good at fighting diseases. How f—-ing corrupt.

          And how about the dysfunctional FEMA? Another dumpster fire. It has been a while since I did any serious reading, but nothing I have read during the past decade has shown improvement. It used to be that the Republicans would hollow it out and the Democrats would restore it to an effective agency. In the last twenty years, nobody restores it. Not really and anyways they seem to expect that any survivors will be good with paperwork, have access to a place to work along with power, internet, computer, and phone, or will be able to get to the central field office handling the disaster.

          I guess that major disasters like earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, even blizzards are nothing to worry about? Or the many past and present diseases that would make the Covid deaths unimportant?

      1. jsn

        Cut social spending and raise the Social Security age.

        Nothing will fundamentally change.

  9. Wukchumni

    We’ve had a strike for transdev rights going for 3 weeks in the nearest Big Smoke-Visalia, er bus drivers wanting more pay. The rub here is that those bus drivers drove shuttle busses in Sequoia NP, so there have been no shuttle busses in the NP, its every car for itself!

    VISALIA – After months of trying to negotiate better contracts, dispatchers, utility workers, drivers and supervisors from Visalia Transit strike outside the transportation center until their needs are met.

    Transdev bus workers, represented by the union Teamsters Local 517, have taken to the streets to express their need for better pay and benefits at work. Dozens of picketers were outside the Visalia Transit Center this week with signs asking for better wages, healthcare and more holidays off.

    This is the third time Transdev has caused Teamsters to strike in California in less than three months, according to a press release from Transdev Teamsters. According to Landers, negotiations between Transdev and Visalia employees have been going on for a couple of months now.

    According to Mickey Freitas, one of the negotiating committee members for Teamsters, these issues were exacerbated by the pandemic when drivers were still required to show up because they were considered “essential workers.” Considering the harsh consequences that came with taking time off and a minimal health care plan on top of the issue of low pay, the threat of COVID was high for Transdev drivers amid the pandemic.

    After the economic repercussions of the pandemic hit, the low wages became an even bigger issue for Transdev drivers who were trying to combat the issues brought on by COVID, especially as the cost of living increased. Even the most experienced employees working for Transdev are struggling to get a livable wage, according to Landers.

    “One of the workers has been there 20 – almost 25 years – and he’s making $18 an hour. That’s not good enough,” Landers said.

  10. Ignacio

    Six Extensively Drug-Resistant Bacteria in an Injured Soldier, Ukraine Emerging Infectious Diseases, CDC

    According to the article the risk factor for such proliferation of drug-resistant bacteria was the previous hospitalisation of the injured in Ukranian hospitals suggesting these, almost certainly overwhelmed hospitals, cannot deal properly with infectious bacteria.

    Could Ukraine be the origin of MDR bacterial epidemics? The longer the war lasts the higher the probability.

    1. doug

      We have an answer for Edwin Starr. ‘War is good for drug resistant bacterias.’ Worse than ‘absolutely nothing’.

    2. flora

      Could all of the biolabs in Ukr be contributing to this? Are the labs secure in a war zone?

      1. Polar Socialist

        The labs were evacuated/destroyed early in the war. This is more likely due to the massive amounts of wounded packed in hospitals causing delayed care and failing antibiotics discipline.

        Besides, armies have been the breeding ground of diseases ever since the dawn of warfare.

        1. Ignacio

          Yep, those humid trenches are like bacterial storages and the flesh of war injuries provide the culture broth they need. Continuous emergency, hurry with treatments, absence of analytics and disposal of antibiotics in those conditionsvdo the rest with an efficiency that no biolab can match.

  11. Ignacio

    In my summer Mediterránean retirement the minimum home temperature, so far is 27.5°C (81.5°F) as per the home thermostat. Hard to sleep. The shrimps fished do not need further cooking.

  12. flora

    From Nature journal. I think by now, after reading NC for the past 3 years most of us already have some idea this is going on.

    Medicine is plagued by untrustworthy clinical trials. How many studies are faked or flawed?

    Investigations suggest that, in some fields, at least one-quarter of clinical trials might be problematic or even entirely made up, warn some researchers. They urge stronger scrutiny.

    1. jefemt

      Can’t recommend enough the first hundred pages of RFK, Jr’s book on Fauci, Gates, and big med big pharma. Introduction and first 70 or so pages.

      Anyone else notice that the RFK, Jr. slamfest always has others opining, and that the principal has no opportunity to field hard questions from the dubious Fourth Estate?

      I worked at a smallish company of high reputation for a few years .
      One of the first ‘office rules’ was that one could not bring up a grievance with a co-worker to others if one had not first had a discussion/ confrontation with the source of grievance . Managers and co-workers were to cut off the offender with that point:
      Have you discussed this with that person?

      Anyway, not to shanghai your comment, but there is a lot of untrustworthiness out there these days.

      Defend The Narrative!

  13. ajc

    This is a nice thread by someone who actually researches superconductors about the room-temp superconductor paper, that lays (by going into the weeds a bit) out the positives and negatives, as well as the shortcomings, while also suggesting even if the ceramic isn’t superconducting, it could still prove useful for many high-temp applications.

    It should be noted another paper was released prior to this with 6 authors, and the arXiv pre-print was dropped to 3, which is the max number of people who can win a Nobel. Which to me means the Korean researchers believe they have something here.

    1. ajc

      Here’s another interesting thread speaking to publishing weirdness surrounding this paper and on the bona fides of the scientists behind the discovery.

      An interesting note that the 3-man pre-print was published 6 hours before the conventionally better written 6-man pre-print, apparently to freeze out an author who had been brought on to help get their paper published in the Anglo-American journals.

      Regardless of the validity of the original pre-print, this is a great underdog story.

  14. Carolinian

    re Declassifieduk–wow Trilateral Commission–talk about your golden oldies.

    David Rockefeller, who was chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank, was close to the CIA at the time he set up the Trilateral Commission. Declassified files show him being invited in as a guest speaker to lecture the agency’s staff in 1978 and, in 1980, he went into CIA headquarters to meet its director Stansfield Turner.

    As far back as 1958, Rockefeller had been exchanging letters with CIA director Allen Dulles on strategy in the cold war with Russia.

    Declassified has seen the Trilateral Commission’s membership records from 2011 to 2022 (posted at the end of this article). In this period, Starmer was one of only two British MPs who were members while serving in parliament.

    Perhaps there is a Deep State but it’s more Haunted Mansion that shiny new 21st century phenom.

    1. pjay

      Here’s my theory. These young future leaders are selected for “education” and “networking” by our various globalist organizations. Starmer, Arden, Marin, Baerbock, Macron, etc., etc. They attend meetings, and while there something happens to them. They then return to their home countries where they wait until it’s their time for their activation. Then, after a subtle signal, or maybe a switch is thrown…

      I haven’t quite figured out whether The Manchurian Candidate or The Stepford Wives is the better model. I’m still working on that part.

    2. digi_owl

      CIA has reeked of being a place to park the bored male offspring of rich US families, all the way back to when it was called OSS.

  15. Tony Wikrent

    I am wondering what the quid pro quo was in the Bidens’ dealings with Ukraine, according to the (anti)Republicans seemingly now intent in impeaching Biden. Hunter Biden getting his dad to join a phone conference call? Influence peddling, obviously… but criminal?

    Well, what about the allegation that it was Biden who withheld loan guarantees to pressure Ukraine into firing the Ukrainian prosecutor investigating the Ukrainian gas company Burisma? Burisma was paying Hunter Biden $50,000 a month — but for what? The EU, World Bank and International Monetary Fund was already pressuring Ukraine to dismiss that Ukrainian prosecutor because of his own corruption. I have yet to see any details on how a Vice President of the US has the power to withhold loan guarantees by the US government. What did VP Biden do? Did he chime in with Obama and say “You know, those Ukrainians might get rid of that prosecutor that the EU, World Bank, and IMF don’t like, if you, Mr. President, withhold those loan guarantees.” Or does a US Vice President have some sort of power or influence at the EU, World Bank, and IMF that could result in those institutions officially disapproving of some government official somewhere in the world?

    And where is the evidence directly related to the US loan guarantee? Is there a paper trail that includes VP Biden’s name? Is there a record of a phone call or calls?

    It all seems just so much smoke being blown by extremely partisan (anti)Republicans, desperate to find some way to win back the White House and transform the USA into their ideal theocratic “republic” before the shifting demographics toward a white minority make it impossible for them to ever hold transformative national power again,

    Readers? Lambert or Yves?

    Burisma paying Hunter Biden $50,000 a month is a bad enough optic to rile up Americans’ anger over the unfair advantages enjoyed by elites: less than half of Americans make even that much in a single year. But I imagine the (anti)Republicans fear this angle could too easily boomerang on them.

      1. Anthony K Wikrent

        Thanks – Greenwald’s explanation is very useful. Though I note again that it all amounts to charges of influence peddling, not criminality. Further, under the tenets of civil republicanism, such influence peddling is definitely political corruption (which has been basically decriminalized in the past century plus, as Zephyr Teachout documents).

        The most interesting line of inquiry would be how Biden and USA “micromanaged” Ukraine’s internal politics and affairs, but that is not what the (anti)Republicans talk about. Probably, I think, because they are as deeply implicated in the management of USA empire as the Democrats are.

        In short, I would rather see Biden and his people being raked over the coals for violating the now lost tenets of civic republicanism, and for the imperial war mongering, as Chris Hedges talks about. Otherwise, the meme of the “Biden Crime Family” is a focus only on one particular small set of oligarchs, and does little to restore the moral sense of a republic overrun by many, many other oligarchs.

        1. semper loquitur

          I dunno. The wealthy donor buying the 1st Fail-son’s art to the tune of 800K$ and then landing a political appointment sure stinks of bribery to me. That’s illegal last I heard; it’s definitely worth investigating. Sure, all of “them” are guilty but this is the President after all. Let’s start with him, why not?

    1. hunkerdown

      In your epistemically closed world of Civic Republicanism™, flex nets don’t exist and admission against interest is not admissible.

      That is why your gloss on Platonic submission is as trash as every other.

      1. Anthony K Wikrent

        I’m not sure I completely understand you, but I think “Biden Crime Family” would be an example of your “flex nets” — and I quite accept that they exist. Though I would prefer the old terminology of Madison’s “factions.” See my reply to semper loquitur.

        And what do you mean by that last sentence, “That is why your gloss on Platonic submission is as trash as every other” ? Am I correct in assuming you reject Plato’s epistemology in favor of Aristotle’s ?

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          I don’t think “Flex Nets” are the same as factions, not if one accepts, with Madison, that factions are based on property (the property that everyone dances around in the Federalist papers being slaves). I don’t think one can classify symbolic or social capital as property per se, and that’s what Flex Nets are based on. (If one could, then one could sell their Harvard diploma to somebody else, and it would still be just as valid*.) I do think that parties, from what little I know of party formation in the Washington administration, were similar to Flex Nets, but that doesn’t make them factions. (Indeed, I’m thinking that my long-held position that parties are bundled factions is wrong.)

          NOTE * For some definition of validity.

          1. Bazarov

            I don’t think you have to accept Madison that factions are based on property.

            For instance, you could theorize factions based one’s social relation to production. In this case, a faction would not be determined by the property one holds or that one can alienate, but rather on one’s place within the capitalist system.

            So you could conceivably have a faction of laborers, who due to their position in the social relations of production own very little and rent everything of import. Their dependence on wages to pay their expenses forces them, in turn, to rent themselves to capital. This puts them in an antagonistic relationship to capital (because capital wants to pay them as little as possible), thus making labor a faction apart from captial.

            You could, I’m sure, theorize a faction out of the holders of “symbolic capital” in terms of how they fit into the relations of production. It matters less whether they can “sell” their symbolic capital stock and more the function that stock allows them to fulfill in the social system of production. If that objective function creates tension within the system (a contradiction), you might see that tension manifest in terms of a political faction in bourgeois politics.

            I’m not saying such a faction necessarily exists–I’m just saying that you could theorize “pressure group” type factions in bourgeois politics based on social relations and not merely on property-holding.

            1. Anthony K Wikrent

              I quite agree. I think it is an artificial constraint placed on Madison by modern scholars to focus only on factions based on property. Even in Federalist No. 10, iirc, Madison designates debtors as a faction, which would be a faction based not on property, but lack of property.

              More importantly, religious factions are mentioned in some of the other Federalist Papers, and are even designated the “most dangerous” of factions because of the history of Europe’s religious wars. And there is also discussion of the danger of factions based on particular states and geographic regions. Montesquieu’s warning that a republican form of government was suitable only for geographically small states was rejected exactly because the large size of the United States would make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for one geographically based faction to dominate the whole.

              This is partly why I agree to some degree with the concepts of flex nets and policy flexions. Though allow me to wonder out loud whether symbolic or social capital is perhaps best understood as a means of acquiring, seizing, maintaining, and conglomerating “property.”

              I also want to observe that the concepts of flex nets and policy flexions do not explain the present problem of gerontocracy adequately. Nor does Marxist theory. However, civic republican theory explains it quite while, by plumbing the mental, emotional, and personality effects on an individual or group of individuals who exercise and accumulate both economic and political power. “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” And, I insist, wealth also corrupts, and great wealth corrupts greatly. The effects on mental, emotional, and personality states of elites is also dissected by Thorstein Veblen — part of what makes Veblen superior to Marx imo, and, moreover, imo Veblen’s work is a natural product and development of American republicanism. And as I’ve noted a few times over the past years, there is nothing in Marxism that explains why socialist states become authoritarian, while Veblen offer a quite understandable explanation, based on the changes in the mental condition of elites as they acquire more and more power. Which, as I suggest, dovetails exactly with classical republican analysis of how elites turned into authoritarians.

              But back to gerontocracy. I do not see how the concepts of flex nets and policy flexions adequately explain the clinging to power of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Diane Feinstein, Mitch McConnell or Joe Biden. Oh, certainly, it makes sense that the staffs of these people would cover over the senility of their patrons, in order to maintain their staff sinecures. But what of the wider circle of a flex net? Would not the “Ukraine flexions” not in the immediate orbit of Biden want a more vigorous and more energetic leader (or tool, if that’s what you consider Biden to be)?

              By contrast, the damaged mental conditions of oligarchs, and their refusal to accept that their time is over and they should step away from power, is fully explained in the historic accounts handed down to us by civic republicans such as Plutarch, Cicero, and Machiavelli. (Iow, just basic human nature! Another reason I reject Marx: I think it is either foolish or idealistically wrong headed to believe that eliminating property will alter basic human nature that much.)

              So it would seem to me that the problems that flex nets, policy flexions, and Marxism seek to address all boil down in the final analysis to the question of what philosophy of government you embrace. As I have argued before, a key tenet of civic republicanism that is entirely overlooked today is a positive requirement to do good. Not “make good ” or do good for yourself, but do good for others and for society. I think that the “self-interest” of classical economics is, and has been, at war with that positive requirement to do good, making it nearly impossible for most people today to accept that such an idea can exist, or be a powerful force in organizing society. Or, as Lambert would write, “Rule 1.”

    2. JOhn

      Dirty politicians and other government employees are caught with their pants down routinely. Whether it’s a housing inspector on the take, or the President of the United States, the dirty need to be taken out. Party affiliation is not a factor.

      That DOJ is going easy on the son is proof of malfeasance (sufficient for me). Look, I switched voter registration from team-R to team-D a couple years back so I don’t feel I can be accused of acting as a Republican apologist.

      Bottom line? I don’t want the dirt in my house. Biden looks really dirty, slimy, even.

    3. John

      Tony, review this.

      . . . hard to say it’s all a 100% hit job, chum because it’s printed within a right-wing news source – but – only because the left-wing news sources are keeping schtum.

      Anyway, if you don’t want to see what’s before you, then I can’t help. Or if your point is polishing your left-of center bona fides, then the same thing, except you’re also seemingly uninterested in learning the truth. Whatever!

    4. jrkrideau

      Well, what about the allegation that it was Biden who withheld loan guarantees to pressure Ukraine into firing the Ukrainian prosecutor investigating the Ukrainian gas company Burisma?

      Well, Joe did not say it was to stop the Burisma investigation but he was boasting about the firing,

    5. Young

      In the land of the free, anyone can sue anybody for anything.

      So, why doesn’t Biden Inc. sue the republicans, NY Post, fox news, etc. for defamation?

      I think there are at least 51 law firms in the U.S. line up to represent thr Bidens for free.

    6. JBird4049

      Joe Biden bragged about this. I forget where, but it was during some panel in front of an audience. It might have been on C-SPAN as it was one of those affairs that only international politics and public policy nerds would be interested in. Honestly, it took me a bit to understand just what the creep was saying as he was so openly brazen about his abusive, perhaps illegal, certainly unethical behavior. He was absolutely clear on how he got the prosecutor fired.

      I would compare his bragging with Kamala Harris’ speech about arresting the parents of truants with the difference being that Biden was less annoying about it. It seems that some kinds of people are drawn to positions where they can abuse others.

      Poor and working class families or entire countries. Whatever is vulnerable enough to be available for the ego gratification.

  16. Mildred Montana

    >Whistleblower tells Congress the US is concealing ‘multi-decade’ program that captures UFOs AP. Show me the ships or it didn’t happen.

    Show me too. I call BS on the whole BS show. The so-called whistleblower will only go into detail “behind closed doors”. Why? Afraid of lying under oath? Thinking of starting a blog and cashing in? This despite the protestations of some Congressmembers that the public is entitled to the truth.

    It’s all another scam, a diversion, a distraction, another excuse to ramp up “national security”. If it’s not then 𝘩𝘢𝘣𝘦𝘶𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘳𝘱𝘶𝘴: Show the bodies or shut up.

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      Whenever they bring out the UFOs, I instinctively look around to find the story they don’t want me to see.

      1. jefemt

        The wag-dog story (apologies to Commander, different shaggy dog story…)

        It is NOT The Bidens(tm).
        At least Trump has candor on this one The Trump Organization. Uncharacteristic candor

    2. flora

      Yep. That’s my take on these stories. The whistleblowers are a little too smooth and eager in their public statements, imo. More like actors than whistleblowers, imo.

    3. Wukchumni

      If somebody went into detail in regards to explaining to the public the Unidentified Financial Obligations, it could open a can of worms.

    4. NotTimothyGeithner

      I’m not sure its intentional distraction as much as propaganda offices like VoA no longer have any oversight and can simply put out whatever entertains them.

      Did you know the “whistle blowers” combed their hair and showered? They must be telling the truth. Harry Reid didn’t find the goods despite his personal beliefs, but maybe, its with the dry powder.

    5. Give Them Housing

      He isn’t a whistleblower. The whole exercise is really obviously manufactured nonsense meant to distract from the utter failure and likely collapse of the Ukrainian military (who have just failed at one of the most pathetic attempts at an offensive in military history, against an enemy fighting with one hand tied behind its back).

  17. britzklieg

    Myocardial Injury after Covid-19 mRNA-1273 Booster Vaccination Department of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Research Institute Basel

    from: Department of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Research Institute Basel (CRIB), University
    Hospital Basel, University of Basel, Basel

    “This article has been accepted for publication and undergone full peer review …”

    Sex-specific differences in myocardial injury incidence after
    COVID-19 mRNA-1273 Booster Vaccination

    “We hypothesized that COVID-19 mRNA-vaccine-associated myocardial injury
    following booster vaccination may be much more common, as symptoms may be unspecific,
    mild or even absent, escaping passive surveillance. Due to waning immunity months after
    mRNA COVID-19 vaccinations there is an apparent need for (repeated) booster vaccinations
    for billions of people worldwide.Thus knowing the true incidence of mRNA vaccine associated myocardial injury is of major importance for informed decision-making by patients,
    physicians and public health authorities

    “This prospective investigator-initiated, industry-independent study was performed to test the hypothesis that mRNA-1273 booster vaccination-associated myocardial injury may be more common than currently thought as symptoms may be unspecific, mild or even absent, escaping passive surveillance detecting only hospitalized cases. We report four main findings. First, our findings confirmed the study hypothesis. mRNA-1273 booster vaccination associated elevation of markers of myocardial injury occurred in about, a one out of 35 persons (2.8%) greater incidence than estimated in meta-analyses of hospitalized cases with myocarditis (estimated incidence 0.0035%) after the second vaccination.”

    and to be fair to Yves’ post

    “It is mandatory to put our findings into perspective with the incidence and extent of
    myocardial injury associated with COVID-19 infection. Before the COVID-19 vaccine were
    available, the incidence and extent of myocardial injury associated with COVID-19 infection
    was much higher than observed in this active surveillance study after booster vaccination.
    Data on the incidence of COVID-19 associated myocardial injury in populations with high
    immunity against SARS-CoV2 are not yet available.”

    We were first told that vaccination prevented illness from covid. “You will not get sick” – wrong. Next we were told it prevented transmission of the virus – wrong again and the number of infections continued to increase. Still, the vaccines were mandated and the dodgy results undermined confidence in all vaccines, including those which are good at what they are purported to accomplish. We were subjected to an abhorrent and politicized rhetoric (“pandemic of the unvaccinated”) designed to frighten and shame and the irony is that before the vaccines, those who weren’t masking were admonished (correctly – from the self described “liberals”), yet after the vaccines and with Biden in the WH those who continued to mask were admonished (incorrectly -again from self-described “liberals”) – “let’s see those smiles” “masking interferes with breathing and childhood development” etc. – wrong again. The jabs are all that is needed, we were told, with minimal efforts at developing therapeutics, repurposing safe existing drugs (except the already failed remdesivir – see ebola) or safer and more easily administered/accepted nasal vaccines despite the promise of better results through mucosal immunity – we’ll have none of that because mRNA is “miraculous” and the final word from on high. Now, 3 ½ years and 4 – 5 jabs later, we are offered proof that mRNA protects “much better” against thrombotic events (which early in the pandemic were mostly ignored) even as “much better” can not be understood to be good enough since infection, illness and death still occur in both the vaccinated and unvaccinated and the virus continues to mutate and to thrive (see Japan). Meanwhile, nobody knows what the long term effects from all of this will be down the road. Informed consent is not possible. On the other hand, masking, social distancing and air filtration are. We know that the collection of data, regarding who is sick, who isn’t, etc is desperately compromised. We still don’t know what “fully vaccinated” really means. We know many who say they are vaccinated in actuality aren’t and many who aren’t have avoided illness through other measures. The most important conclusion from the study highlighted above is that ill effects from the vaccines are underestimated and under-reported. I won’t even address the profit motive from Big Pharma.

    I could go on but suffice it to say that it is my belief – and yes it is only a belief – that the continued pushing of the mRNA vaccines backed-up by studies few can understand or question and delivered from on high by compromised voices is a disservice to humanity. Coupled to flora’s comment above regarding the plethora of untrustworthy “studies” – some apparently made from whole cloth – it appears to me that the vaccines, whatever their benefits, should be de-emphasized not highlighted, that the potential benefits may not be completely crap but that the selling of them, exclusive to other approaches is crapola x 10, and needs to be called out vigorously. IMO. Any and all pushback is welcome. I would love to be proven wrong or convinced that my logic is illogical.

    1. Yeti

      britzklieg, you beat me to it. This study is not peer reviewed unlike your link, and also funding came from pharma sources according to acknowledgments. Since the above study has such a large cohort and good data according to authors would be nice to see all cause death rate between cohorts.

    2. Dagnarus This letters shows that a previous Israeli paper, showing that booster reduced cv19 mortality by 95% was probably flawed. While the treatment group had 95% reduced mortality for CV19, the treatment group also had a 95% reduced mortality for everything else, I.E. the treatment group was just generally more healthy than the control to begin with. (This is my opinion, I think doctors are reluctant to give these vaccines to extremely ill people because they are afraid they will kill them, thus biasing such individuals to not be vaccinated/boosted.)

      My personal belief here is that all these observational studies are about as worthwhile as looking at chicken entrails. The two populations are different before vaccination. Any reliable result would require applying corrections to the data in order to take this into account. Any corrections made will basically be up to the authors.

      This is an uncontrolled experiment, there is no data.

    3. skippy

      IM DOC warned about the way it was all being handled, so far from all the past knowledge about how to deal with the situation after yonks of hard won experience. That in a nutshell tells us that there is something more important too push past the post than dealing with a known known with pandemics.

  18. Screwball

    In other news, it is being reported that federal prosecutors have moved to drop campaign finance charges against Sam Bankman-Fried.

    Federal prosecutors drop campaign finance charges against big Democratic donor Sam Bankman-Fried – Marketwatch

    IIRC, there were other charges dropped a few days ago. I’m too lazy to do the research, but I wonder how many charges are left? Is he about off the hook? :-)

    To top things off for the US injustice system, will we get another indictment on Trump today? They need to move some things out of the headlines, and he’s not in the “big club.”

    1. griffen

      Maybe more people are rolling over on each other in a bid to plead forgiveness before the mercy of the courts? I’ve started to lose track of all the SBF dealings in recent weeks. I did think this to be a compelling headline which I caught a few days ago. Alas tis a paywall and I’ve not the time this moment to circumvent but I conclude this individual was like “hmmm, what is in this for me and in my sole interest? Time to add to that nest egg!”

      As for the one and only Trump, our 45th POTUS, he will be indicted for kicking puppies when no one is looking. ( sarc ) I’d expect a fresh news drop tomorrow about say, 5:30 PM EST, but no idea as to what that might be. UFOs, or perhaps a strange cylindrical shape in or around the national parks in Moab? Wow it could be anything after all.

  19. Sub-Boreal

    Province directs Alberta Health to investigate Calgary clinic charging membership fees.

    The Canadian federal health dept. was quick to point out that such fees would contravene the Canada Health Act which prohibits direct charges to patients for medically necessary services.

    Of course, Trudeau will be privately delighted if Alberta’s nutbar Premier, Danielle Smith, tries to let the clinic get away with this, because he can link any threats to Medicare by Conservative-run provinces to the federal Cons as the next election approaches. More here on the politics in play, as well as the fondness of the clinic’s owner for Porsches.

    Note to outsiders: although health care is under provincial jurisdiction, the feds cover a share of the costs, so they have some leverage in saying how it should be run. However, when a previous Liberal federal government unilaterally reduced its transfers for shared-cost programs in the mid-90s, this of course reduced their effective leverage. So they too have form when it comes to weakening universal health care.

    1. jrkrideau

      However, when a previous Liberal federal government unilaterally reduced its transfers for shared-cost programs in the mid-90s, this of course reduced their effective leverage

      My somewhat hazy memory says the Feds gave tax points in lieu. Can they claw back some ?

      Besides, given the cry for more health money from the premiers it’s not going to look good if the Feds explain that the provinces are allowing patients-gouging while the provinces are getting more health dollars.

      Is Danielle Smith a Liberal agent?

      1. Sub-Boreal

        Yes, you’re correct about tax points, but the feds have never been strong enough about attaching useful strings to such transfers. This whole fiasco points out the dangers of an overly-decentralized federation which makes it hard to do anything in a coordinated, coherent way, as we saw with the pandemic response, as set out in gory detail in the BMJ earlier this week. And even if there was a widespread public appetite for more doing things in a more coordinated way, Quebec would whine predictably.

  20. desert dog

    The bomb didn’t beat Japan……My dad was scheduled to attack Japan on Nov 1st. I remember him saying that he probably wouldn’t have survived that attack. Those bombs killed many but saved my dad…..

    1. griffen

      We’ll have this debate oh every so often when talk turns to ending WWII and the bombing of those two cities. My connection to the decision, reprehensible by Truman and military alike it may be, was a decision sparing and saving American men from further loss and more time at camp or at sea fighting a war. Probably saved my grandfather, and most likely helped to ease the path to freedom for many Americans, Australians, British and others held as prisoners of war in Japan camps.

      My grandfather’s brother was liberated from a camp in Burma, added. That uncle survived an actual hell in that camp, after being aboard the USS Houston CA30, cruiser class which was attacked.

  21. some guy

    About those eyeball-scanning mirror spheres . . . I wonder whether a way to handle them might be to put on mirrorshades before approaching them and then spray painting them so they can’t “see” to scan.

    Over and over again. All over the world.

    1. ambrit

      An Alt strategy for defeating those silvery orbs would be to become a vampire. [See what I did there? No? Oh, garlic!]

  22. spud

    birth, death and wealth. if everyone identified those stocks, which is just 2% of the stocks, the bubble blown in those stocks will exceed the size of the solar system, and when it popped, it would wipe out the solar system.

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