Needs Must

I submitted an article today and returned to the piece I was writing when I had COVID. I swear, I don’t even remember what I wrote because I was very poorly but I’m re-reading it now, and it’s very good. I couldn’t do anything else when I was sick, not even eat. But somehow I still managed to produce a good third of an article. In Spanish. On a completely new author.

This isn’t because I love working or anything of the kind. I simply have a hard deadline, and I really want to get into this project. As they say, needs must when the devil drives. If you look at the calendar where I mark how much I wrote every day, you won’t even see COVID. It’s so weird. I’m a weird, weird person.

30 thoughts on “Needs Must

  1. Interesting Idea:

    JUNE 3, 2021

    A Palestinian Writer and an Israeli Writer Exchange Emails — and Seek Common Ground

    In the wake of the recent fighting in Israel and Palestine, The Washington Post Magazine asked two writers — Sam Bahour, a Palestinian American writer and entrepreneur who lives near Ramallah; and Nadav Eyal, an Israeli journalist who lives near Tel Aviv — to correspond with each other. Their exchange, which was lightly edited, took place between May 24 and May 31. To get the conversation started, we posed an initial question: Realistically, where do Palestinians and Israelis go from here?


    1. Sick, sick bastards. But try telling them anything about it, and they’ll bite your head off. I had to temporarily ñock down my Twitter account because two Australians went completely rabid when I mentioned these policies. It’s not true! And if it is it’s a good thing! Totally insane and bouncing off the ceiling.


      1. And as Israel’s booster program starts rolling they’re having record numbers of cases (not necessarily a big deal) and the highest daily death rate (7 day moving average) since February…

        I think the tentative hypothesis is the more you vaccinate the non-vulnerable the higher the case (and then death) rate will be… vaccinating older people and/or those with special vulnerabilities (or just those who really want it) is one thing but universal vaccination seems to be a bad idea. How long will it take the Israelis to figure this out?

        Since Alex Berenson was banished from twitter (for repeating a quote by a US official) information about this is not as widespread as it probably should be….


        1. Yes, it’s cute how all of the discussions about Israel’s immense success with vaccination suddenly disappeared.

          People who were telling me back in February how great Israel was doing, now is the time to say “yes, you told us so.”


            1. Mortality rate is lower everywhere. Deaths lag. But Sweden has zero mortality, no “Delta variant” and they didn’t do any of the Israel ridiculousness. Or US ridiculousness, etc.

              If announcing that vaccine passports are invalid without a third shot is “doing great,” what’s doing poorly?


              1. “announcing that vaccine passports are invalid without a third shot ”

                I keep thinking the ‘booster’ is an intentional attempt to raise case rates (a largely meaningless metric) to justify further lockdowns and restrictions (and wealth transfer but many poor saps still think ‘the shots are free! who is Pfizer profiting?”)

                Every big vaccination drive has been accompanied by a big rise in case numbers… and people still haven’t noticed?


              2. “This is really working!” happily exclaimed Yael as he returned to the 18th lockdown after his 15th booster shot.

                Israel’s largest wave of COVID deaths happened exactly 6 weeks after the start of the mass vaccination. This pattern repeated in every highly vaccinated country. Shit really works!


    1. This is a strawman argument. Everybody knows all this and doesn’t deny any of it. But wasting tons of space passionately debating the arguments that nobody made is a neat trick to avoid discussing the arguments that people actually do make.


    1. What are we debating, exactly, if your own government recognized that these vaccines don’t work by mandating a 6-month booster? Any vaccine that needs a booster so fast, fails to stop the spread, and leaves some people sick while also causing a lot of side effects can only be said to “work” in the vaguest possible sense.


  2. On another interesting topic:

    China Slashes Kids’ Gaming Time to Just Three Hours a Week

    China will limit the amount of time children can play video games to just three hours most weeks, a dramatic escalation of restrictions which dealt a blow to the world’s largest mobile gaming market, as Beijing signaled it would continue a campaign to control the expansion of large tech companies.


      1. I was teaching my class on the conquest of the Aztecs today. “And as we can see, a self-assured, unified culture that is convinced it is in the right easily defeats a weak culture that is riven by internal conflict and uncertain that it deserves to survive. Aztecs were great warriors but they felt that they deserved punishment. So they sabotaged themselves at every turn.”

        That’s when I realized it all really reminded me of something.


      2. // China seems to be gearing up for armed conflict…. where?

        Why do you think that? Is there a connection between gaming time and war?

        Apparently, limiting kids’ gaming time is only one of the numerous steps China started taking. This short article gives more examples such as

        // China’s government banned effeminate men on TV and told broadcasters Thursday to promote “revolutionary culture,” broadening a campaign to tighten control over business and society and enforce official morality.

        The party has reduced children’s access to online games and is trying to discourage what it sees as unhealthy attention to celebrities.

        Xi’s government also is tightening control over Chinese internet industries.

        It has launched anti-monopoly, data security and other enforcement actions at companies including games and social media provider Tencent Holding and e-commerce giant Alibaba Group that the ruling party worries are too big and independent.


        1. “Why do you think that?”

          You then partly answer the question yourself… there’s also bits and pieces over the last few months. By themselves none of them mean that much but…. you reach a point where things become kind of clearer.

          It’s not sure, by any means, an alternate theory I’ve come across is that they’re gearing up for a second cultural revolution (mass purges of potential challengers to the communist party and its leader) in which case China would be done for as a global power for the time being.


          1. // an alternate theory I’ve come across is that they’re gearing up for a second cultural revolution

            This seems likelier.

            I am sure and heard something re many Chinese being unhappy about their government’s lies and failures with covid virus too. The attempts to hide truth and jailing the first doctor who went public in the attempt to warn the nation hurt Chinese people in addition to hurting other countries.

            When economy goes down, protest potential rises, so the government may be trying to kill it with increasingly repressive measures.


        1. “Afghanistan”

          The Taliban have already jumped at the chance to be in their sphere of influence, so…. no. The CCP has made public mention of invading Taiwan (in terms of ‘when’ and not ‘if’).

          But the 2nd cultural revolution idea is also very possible (supposedly the current official rhetoric has a lot of echos of the ramp up to the first).


  3. If you are interested, Latynina published a long, researched article on burning forests in Russia, Australia and other parts of the world:

    Сады не горят. Исследование Юлии Латыниной
    Все ли природные пожары — катастрофа, и как сделать так, чтобы люди от них не страдали


  4. Have you heard of the new abortion laws?

    “The new Texas law effectively bars abortions after six weeks, and allows any citizen from any state to file a civil lawsuit against any person who helps a pregnant woman obtain an abortion there. The range of potential defendants who could be sued is virtually universal, from medical clinics on down.

    This law comes perilously close to a repeal of Roe v. Wade in practice, and the Supreme Court, by refusing to accept the legal request of abortion rights advocates to halt execution of the law until it could be litigated in court, has essentially given its approval without requiring formal court proceedings and legal arguments from both sides.

    The Mississippi law that is pending before the Supreme Court prohibits abortions at 15 weeks, and would give the court the formal opportunity to render a decision that outright repeals Roe v. Wade.”


    1. Honestly, how can anybody fall for the abortion drama scam again? This law is a nothing burger and it’s being used to whip idiots into a frenzy over nothing.

      People never learn. I’m sure another gay wedding cake drama isn’t far behind.


  5. And the state officials are not the ones to enforce laws now? Am unsure what this means:

    “Abortion-rights advocates typically challenge new restrictions before they go into effect by suing the government officials who would be in charge of enforcing the law. But Texas lawmakers devised a measure that shifts enforcement from the state to private parties. Under the terms of the six-week ban, private parties can file civil lawsuits against any person who allegedly performs or aids a banned abortion, or who intends to do so. Under the law, a successful suit entitles the plaintiff to collect at least $10,000 in damages per abortion challenged.

    State officials emphasized this feature of the law in papers filed Tuesday afternoon with the Supreme Court, arguing it was among many reasons abortion providers weren’t entitled to an emergency order blocking the law.

    “This court cannot expunge the law itself. Rather, it can enjoin only enforcement of the law. But the governmental defendants explicitly don’t enforce the law,” Texas Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton and other state officials told the high court.”

    A quote from this locked article:


    1. It means that there’s absolutely no penalty for abortion under this scary new law. What a snooze.

      The whole “performs an abortion at 6 weeks” language should be a tip-off. How exactly is it “performed”? The pill is performatively introduced into your mouth? No, you take it on your own. And then good luck to anybody proving in court that you did take it instead of just miscarrying.

      El, you are a very smart person. Don’t you see it’s a dud?


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