Links 6/20/2020

Breathtaking new map of the X-ray Universe BBC

Pilot Test Begins for Tech to Connect Everyday Vehicles SpectrumIEEE (David L)

Combining therapy with the psychedelic drug psilocybin results in large reductions in anxiety and depression PsyPost (Chuck L)


When Your Best Friend in Quarantine Is a Squirrel, You May Be Going Nuts Wall Street Journal (David L)

About that ‘two-metre rule’ FTAlphaville (vlade). A must read.


Rare, super coronavirus antibodies likely to yield vaccine, say Stanford, UCSF experts Houston Chronicle

Mayo: Plasma from recovered patients safe for treating COVID-19 MPR

‘Recovered’ COVID-19 patients suffer major ongoing physical, cognitive problems Times of Israel (furzy)

Is the Coronavirus Death Tally Inflated? Here’s Why Experts Say No New York Times (David L)


Coronavirus latest: Brazil infections surpass 1 million DW


Apple Closes Retail Stores in Four States as Virus Cases Rise Wall Street Journal

Five Phillies players test positive for coronavirus in Florida NBCPhiladelphia

Watch: A time-lapse view of how the coronavirus spread across California Mercury News


Fed Seems to Skirt the Law to Buy Corporate Bonds Bloomberg (Scott)


US calls China ‘rogue state’, cites border attack Hindustan Times

Brutal details emerge of deadly China-India border clash Financial Times


Nothing to see here Chris Grey

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

U.S. Watched George Floyd Protests in 15 Cities Using Aerial Surveillance New York Times (David L)

How to turn on/off COVID-19 contact tracing on iPhone 9to5Mac (BC)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Middle East intelligence agencies closely monitoring American Spring Duffle Blog (Kevin W)

Navy upholds firing of carrier captain in virus outbreak Associated Press

Trump Transition

Trump says some wear coronavirus masks ‘to signal disapproval of him’ CNBC

Bruce Springsteen to Donald Trump: ‘Put On a Fucking Mask’ Esquire

White House dismissal of COVID-19 concerns draws criticism The Hill

Trump rejects Fauci’s warning about football’s return Politico (resilc)

The Trump campaign’s unsteady effort to bend reality Newsday (furzy)

The Trump Administration Paid Millions for Test Tubes — and Got Unusable Mini Soda Bottles ProPublica (resilc)

Roberts Rules Trump Out of Order Atlantic (furzy)

US attorney who investigated Trump allies REFUSES to quit: DOJ in chaos as Manhattan prosecutor who led the Rudy Giuliani probe says he learned in a press release he was ‘stepping down’ and has ‘no intention’ of resigning Daily Mail

Oklahoma Supreme Court denies appeal to enforce social distancing at Trump rally The Hill. Oh, and: OKLAHOMA GUN SHOWS (resilc)

Tulsa COVID-19 Case Infection Hits New High as Trump Will Facilitate Transmission at Saturday Rally BuzzFeed

Trump Has a Half Billion in Loans Coming Due. They May Be His Biggest Conflict of Interest Yet. Mother Jones (resilc)

Consumer Group urges FDA crackdown on ‘abortion reversal’ procedure Florida Bulldog (Chuck L)


Former cop Demings faces progressive pushback in veepstakes The Hill

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Officer Brett Hankison being fired from Louisville police after Breonna Taylor shooting Louisville Courier-Journal

Elderly Black Lives Matter protester injured by police and trolled by Trump in hiding after death threats Independent

How Police Infiltrate, Create Violence, & Target Journalists Lee Camp

Police State 2: Alternatives to Policing Counterpunch (heresy101)

Just Because They’ve Turned Against Humanity Doesn’t Mean We Should Defund the Terminator Program Cross Greaves, McSweeny’s (Barry R)

Canada Among Very Worst White Supremacist Countries: Report Vice (resilc)

Marjorie Taylor Greene: Republican candidate caught on video making racist and Islamophobic remarks Independent

Rising Seas Threaten an American Institution: The 30-Year Mortgage New York Times (David L)

U.S. Disneyland workers say proposed July reopening may be too early Reuters (resilc)

New York & Co. Parent Preparing Bankruptcy That Shuts All Stores Bloomberg

The North Face Joins Advertising Boycott Against Facebook Complex (David L)

20-Year-Old Robinhood Customer Dies By Suicide After Seeing A $730,000 Negative Balance Forbes. I hate to sound cruel, but this is Darwin Awards stuff.

Class Warfare

Over 500 Strikes in Last 3 Weeks as BLM Strikes Surge on Juneteenth Mike Elk

Opioids, Inc. Frontline (Kevin C) and Wall Street, bribery and an opioid epidemic: the inside story of a disgraced drugmaker Financial Times. Non-paywalled. The Frontline production was a joint effort.

For the Rich to Keep Getting Richer, We Have to Sacrifice Everything Else Charles Hugh Smith (RR)

Government’s university fee changes mean humanities students will pay the entire cost of their degrees – Kevin W: ‘I could see this idiotic, short-sighted idea spreading to the US.” Moi: If so, in five years, it would become a status item.

Antidote du jour. Tracie H: “This is Bitsy, daughter to Sphynxie (of desk-hogging fame from a previous picture), caught in the act of napping on the job.”

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Winston Smith

    SDNY prosecutor attempted removal…why would that be? Five months from the election…however they can’t just removed him, he stays on the job until a replacement is approved by the senate

      1. allan

        For someone who rose to fame by saying, `You’re fired!” on reality TV,
        in real life Trump seems to be incapable of actually doing the deed.

        Zoe Tillman @ZoeTillman

        NOW: AG Barr says in a letter to Manhattan US Attorney Geoffrey Berman that Trump has now officially fired him, and that’s that, rejecting any argument by Berman that a judicial appointment means he can’t be removed. … Note that Barr’s letter changes the succession plan from last night — deputy US atty Audrey Strauss will take over as acting US atty …

        Since Barr has lied so many time before, should we start believing him now?

        Edit: And of course Barr is now conceding that he was lying last night when he claimed that Berman had resigned.

      2. Sacred Ground

        An opinion by Carter’s Office of Legal Council 39 years ago is just that, an opinion, and likely outdated at that, and holds no legal weight. Of course the OLC argues consistently in favor of Presidential power, that’s its purpose.

        Let me know when an actual Court rules on it. Until then, its just another self-serving argument by an interested party.

    1. allan

      The gang that couldn’t shoot fire straight:

      Mark Knoller @markknoller

      “That’s all up to the Attorney General,” said Pres Trump of the firing of US Attorney Geoffrey Berman. “That’s his department, not my department,” says Trump of Barr. “I’m not involved,” he said to reporters before leaving the WH.
      4:20 PM · Jun 20, 2020

      So, sounds like Berman is still USA SDNY :)

      This would all be hilarious if the stakes weren’t so high.

  2. timbers

    The chief justice expects the federal government to adhere to basic standards of honesty and fidelity to the public interest.

    Roberts wants his world with all the proper check boxes marked and submitted correctly. Because that makes everything and anything right and legal. It would never occur to Roberts that he has in his own way partially contributed to the norms violator in the White House that he is telling to follow the rules and mark the boxes correctly. HIs rulings that corporations are people that can spend any amount of money buying governments and other rulings that essentially legalize bribery of government officials, helped pave the way for the government we have now. If only because the ones allowed to run for office under Robert’s Rules and so horrible, enough voters saw thru his rigged system and kicked the card table in an effort to change Robert’s Rules on the rigged game and put Trump in.

    As long as the boxes are checked properly and submitted respectfully, it’s ok to assasinate American children or wipe out an many nations states of hundreds of millions. Just make the correct boxes, my man!

    Deep down, John Roberts is a superficial snob who pretends he does not know what kind of system he’s helped create, right in front of his eyes on the streets today.

    Order in the Court. I must have order!

    1. Carla

      “Deep down, John Roberts is a superficial snob who pretends he does not know what kind of system he’s helped create, right in front of his eyes on the streets today.”

      YES, and he shares these character flaws with every more “progressive” or perhaps I should say “somewhat less regressive” member of the Supreme Court as well.

        1. Upstater

          Sotomayor wrote the 5-4 majority opinion in the McNeely decision which gutted “implied consent” in DUI arrests, which stood for 50 years, a precedent set by the Warren court. Implied consent allowed for mandatory blood draws from persons that failed field sobriety tests. Upon getting a drivers license, consent was implied. Police now have to get a warrant for blood draws, which takes time and is usually not during normal business hours.

          As we know, blood alcohol drops fairly quickly; a delay of hours creates imprecise results. The challenge of getting a warrant from a judge at 3:00 AM is not insignificant.

          The consequences of McNeely is MORE drink driving and MORE injuries and deaths. While offenders have “rights” victims have fewer rights. Sotomayor’s opinion leaves blood on her hands. Speaking from familial experience.

    2. DJG

      Thanks, timbers: And don’t get me going on Li’l Sammy Alito, whose “jurisprudence” is all false originalism, class warfare, resentment, and a syndrome that I have seen among people like Santorum–sucking up to the powerful to prove that Sammy is white enough. Wouldn’t want the dreaded Italian genome to show through when one can cover it over with truly nasty politics!

      1. Michael Fiorillo

        Let’s be honest: are Italian-Americans (“Eyetalians”) even “white” to begin with? They certainly were not a century ago, and no matter how hard some of them work to prove it now, many people still question it.

        Then there’s Italians themselves: it’s not at all uncommon for a Milanese to think of and refer to Sicilians as being African; it’s basically the reason for the emergence of La Lega (originally The Northern League) in Italy.

        Complicated stuff: many years ago I worked as a organizer and rep for the musicians union in NYC. On my first day working with a band at Lincoln Center, the principal flutist of the orchestra (herself Italian-American and later the head of the Local) came up to me and said, “Hmm… Fiorillo…Fiorillo: are you from the part of Italy where they’re really African, or are you from the part of Italy where they’re really German?”

        1. Big Tap

          Well they weren’t part of the ‘Nordic Race’ at the beginning of the 20th century. Like you mentioned many people at the time did not consider Italians white. Eugenics was thought of as sound science then.
          Also people are not aware particularly Italians that between 10000 to 12000 Italian Americans were interned in camps and we’re dispossessed of their property mainly in California just like the Japanese were.

          1. MLTPB

            Thanks for that information about Italian Americans. Wasn’t aware of that, but not too surprising, given that German aliens and German Americans were also interned.

            I think the difference was that for Japanese Americans, almost all of them, regardless of how many generations here, were sent there. Some were given the chance to fight. Was the same offered to interned Italian Americans?

            1. JBird4049

              >>Some were given the chance to fight.

              The internees were considered in-American enough to be sent to concentration camps after being stripped of everything but what they could carry and American enough to be drafted and be sent to fight in Europe. Understandably, some strongly resisted going. I don’t know about the thousands of Japanese Americans in the military before the war. I guess that they were all transferred to Europe.

              1. MLTPB

                I understand some were drafted and some volunteered.

                Like everyone else, or any group, not monolithic.

                1. JBird4049

                  True, but still drafting someone supposedly to fight for freedom after that “putting them and their families into concentration camps complete with barbed wire and machine guns because of your ancestry“ takes serious chutzpah.

        2. John k

          Sicily had a large Greek colony…
          I would say Italy, like the rest of the Mediterranean countries, are pretty mixed. North Africans are not black, granted darker than those on the northern side, presumably bc the Sahara is a really good barrier between north and south. Better transmission up and down the Nile valley, probably a main route for the waves of hominids from South Africa.
          The us is gradually becoming a mixed shade. Blacks here seem to me to be mostly mixed.

          1. MLTPB

            The Nile Valley…the main route.


            The Sahara was greener many thousands of years ago, I read.

            Was it green as well when humans migrated out of Africa? If so, was the Nile Valley still the main route? Maybe because early humans were mostly in East Africa? I recall they moved around and were also in the western part of that continent.

            1. ambrit

              The other main route for migration out of Africa by hominids is the narrows at the southern end of the Red Sea, where modern day Djibouti is. That long ago, southern Arabia was much greener, with the added resources of the shoreline. From there, it was but a few generations of ambling to southern Persia and India, and on East.
              Evidently, the genetic drift suggests that this southern route was the primary one. Any earlier northern migrations seem to have died out. This far back, we are talking about not just Homo sap, but also Neanderthals, Denisovians, and other little understood variants. Most of these variants have remnant genes in our “modern” human bloodlines. The Tibetans have a gene traced back to the Denisovians that allows them to function at high altitudes. Many of European stock have Neanderthal genes, some ‘working’, some passive.
              As for the genotypes in North Africa, well, a lot of those ancestors came from the north and west in waves of invaders such as the Phoenicians, Romans, and finally, the Vandals (by way of Spain.)
              The consensus about prehistoric Africa is changing.

              1. MLTPB

                Thanks, ambrit.

                It says North Africa could possibly (postulated) be the exit point of the early humans, instead of East Africa.

                1. ambrit

                  I saw that too. However, there is the severe human population bottleneck resulting from the Toba eruption of 75,000 years ago. In theory, those initial human colonists of Europe could have been wiped out by the effects of the Toba supervolcano eruption.
                  Human prehistory is so messed up that I almost give credence to the theory of a Professor Quatermass that humans were a biological experiment by the now extinct Martian Civilization.
                  For the ‘original’ report:

                  1. JBird4049

                    Two genetic bottlenecks actually. As a species we have little genetic diversity. The chimpanzees are more diverse.

                    It does not look like we were completely extirpated from any continent, but when you get down to maybe 10,000 breeding pairs or less for the planet, it was a close thing.

                    1. ambrit

                      It makes me wonder what population level would be needed to establish a self replicating human population Offworld. Split that population up between the Moon, Mars, the Asteroid Belt, the Oort Cloud, (an iffy proposition there,) and who knows where else and the problem keeps growing like Topsy.
                      After a few dozen generations, would those daughter populations become a new sub-species?
                      One can only hope.

                    2. The Rev Kev

                      In some of Robert Heinlein’s books, he has people raised in the Moon or places like Ganymede that can face extreme problems going to Earth because of our more robust gravity pull. Their bodies had adapted to a lesser gravity well in the first generation so to go to Earth, had to work out in centrifuges to get their bodies used to the extreme pull.

                    3. ambrit

                      The Soviets also established that the human body loses bone density with extended weightlessness. Something to do with the loss of calcium.
                      The cable show “The Expanse” has this very item as a minor plot point with future Arean Humans trying to adapt to Terran gravity.

            2. JBird4049

              Classical Egyptian civilization likely arose from those people being forced to the Nile because of the drying of the Sahara.

              1. ambrit

                There is also the Eden in the East hypothesis that posits the Fertile Crescent and Nile littoral being colonized by populations fleeing the sudden inundation of the Sundaland, Persian Gulf basin, and other now submerged coastlines.
                There is still a strong case to be made that the Nile littoral was the site of a sophisticated culture as far back as 25,000 BP. The Saharan peoples can have co-existed with a working Nile Civilization. As the Sahara dried…..

        3. DJG

          Fiorillo: Capito. I inherited my Italian citizenship (I also have U.S. birthright citizenship, being born and still living in Chicago) from my Sicilian grandmother, who was born in Palermo. So I am a palermitano = a Greek = a Berber or Arab = racially suspect by U.S. racial categories.

          And that’s what I refer to. People like Alito, Santorum, Scalia are like colloborators and snitches: Desperate to prove that by supporting the current toxic racial categories and economic arrangements they somehow aren’t “Africans.”

          Am I “white”? These days, I am trying to detach from the racial panic as much as I can.

          1. Laughingsong

            Don’t forget the Normans also had Sicily for a time. My dad’s half of the family is all Siciliano, from St. Elia, 20 miles or so from Palermo, but my grandmother (a Tarantino, no relation to Quentin) had dark, mahogany-like red hair and small freckles that faded in winter.

            Sicilian language is also similarly mongrel, apparently, with a few recognizable Moorish and Greek adhesions, but I don’t know it very well. My dad’s generation (the third in the US) was the last one where all the kids were fluent.

            1. Felix_47

              The gothic style of arch which looks pretty much like the Arabic arch came through Sicily. It was a pattern for Notre Dame they say. I never thought of myself as white and no one ever saw me as white but I was raised in the 1950s. Italians were the majority population in the New York area at the time though, it seemed. Now things seem to have changed and I am accused of being some sort of white person and I am thinking I was excluded all those years and now they are calling me white. I think I have a lot of Arab blood in me because Sicily was Arab for a long time. But even with the newly arrived Muslims I am seen as an old white man. I know my color did not change except the hair… white and unmodified and untransplanted like Joe BidenÄs..

              1. JBird4049

                Welcome to the club. The various categories of race do seem to shift. 150 years ago and I might not have been considered white. Irish, Slavs, Jews, Italians, Sicilians, Greeks were all lumped into the other category of not white. Only the Northern Europe or broadly the areas of what are now France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Scandinavia, Great Britain and I guess Spain, originally was where white people came from and Celts, especially the Irish, were often not included.

                It’s all about how close one came to being Anglo-Saxon was what they were really saying 150 years ago with acceptable distance slowly expanding each generation over about 150 years or so. The Irish became generally white after 19th century. Italians especially Sicilians really didn’t enter that broadening area of acceptance except after the Second World War. Really, I think, in the 1960s. It is an interesting subject and it’s all kinda… whacked.

                I look on that history and wonder just what does the subject of race mean? I know that the created American categories of white and black races, where, and to some extent still are, maintained as a means of dividing and controlling both the general population and the designated slave/worker caste; some American concepts like felons or white trash are attached to this system of race and control. Again, it’s whacked and it is evil.

        4. DJG

          Michael Fiorillo: The Lega? Currently, the Lega is a branch of the U.S. Republican Party. On Tuesday, Trump tweets out some, errr, infelicity, and on Wednesday, Salvini repeats the tweet Italianized–while stuffing his face and waving his rosary. It’s remarkable how the Lega is now the repository for every bad Republican idea–including the flat tax.

          After what has happened in Lombardy with regard to the failures of the semi-privatized health-care system, after years of domination by the Lega (and Salvini is Lombard), I’m not sure if the Lega is going to be able to remain viable.

          Of course, that opens the way for Giorgia Meloni and the so-called Fratelli d’Italia. Meloni is Marine Le Pen without the je ne sais quoi

          1. Kurt Sperry

            M5S, for some reason I could never figure out, embraced the flat tax as well.

            La Lega vis the US Republicans reminds me of the American copaganda TV they run so much in Italy, all just US right-wing boilerplate, awkwardly dubbed into Italian.

            The Italians, like Europeans generally, often seem radically culturally conservative to me. In Italy, women in media are still commonly treated as flagrant sex objects and getting caught with a small quantity of cannabis is still treated as a serious offense. Just boggles my mind they could be so stubbornly regressive, when in some other ways like health care they can be so enlightened.

            1. DJG

              Kurt Sperry: Yet in daily life, away from the media, it is obvious that Italian women have enormous economic and social power. In Piedmont, they seem to own all of the stores and restaurants–not true but close.

              There are times when I am Italy when Italian men seem to be ornaments. One coddles them, listens to their problems, but doesn’t take them seriously. But Italian women–especially the owners of the stores–are a force to be reckoned with.

        5. MLTPB

          A few hundred years ago, it was the reverse.

          The cathedrals in France was said to be Gothic, meaning barbaric by Italian Renaissance writers.

    3. rd

      I am sure he is annoying both the Administration and Congress. He is demanding that an Administration show some modicum of competence in drafting Executive Orders on subjects that Congress really should be addressing. So Congress is annoyed, because they thought somebody else was doing their dirty work but those other people can’t do it competently.

  3. The Rev Kev

    “Tulsa COVID-19 Case Infection Hits New High as Trump Will Facilitate Transmission at Saturday Rally”

    I can only assume for Trump, that he has decided that the risks would be acceptable – for him. He would argue that Florida went ahead with Spring Break and did not do so bad. He would also argue that Mardi Gras went ahead in New Orleans too and that Louisiana wasn’t hit that bad. One might counter argue that the total number of people that got sick was hidden because people that attended those events scattered to scores of other States and were never counted then. I hope that Trump eventually remembers that he still needs those supporters to be still alive come November as that is when he will need them.

    Of course if this event proved to be super-spreader of an event, that the guest list would be handy to track all attendees down to get them tested and establish patterns of infections but I am guessing that the Trump organization will never agree to releasing that list in order to ‘protect people’s privacy’. Hmmpph! I am certain that Charlotte in North Carolina is watching this rally and its aftermath with keen interest as it could have been them. I haven’t seen a bullet dodge like that since “The Matrix.” If I lived in Tulsa, I would be hunkering down right now and would not be going anywhere for the next two weeks to await events.

    1. TroyIA

      You forgot to mention the BLM protests of the past few weeks. Health officials deemed that since it was a worthy cause then the health risks no longer mattered. If protests in cities around the US and the world were acceptable from a health perspective then the Trump campaign can justifiably argue that a single campaign event is acceptable as well.

      Plus the Trump campaign will have the added bonus of pointing out the media’s hypocrisy in covid-19 coverage. For the past 2 weeks one would have thought that covid-19 no longer existed yet suddenly it matters again.

      Health officials taking sides in a political matter rather than remaining neutral and maintaining a consistent message will ultimately prove to be a major mistake.

      1. Carla

        I agree with you about the toxicity of health officials taking sides in a political matter. A deadly error, and one they committed earlier by pretending mask-wearing was inconsequential or even counterproductive.

        One significant difference between the BLM protests and the Trump rally: the latter will be held indoors, and despite pleas from the mayor and other Tulsa officials, Trump has refused to move it outdoors. Also, most BLM protesters are masked; Trump has chosen to spin face masks into a political line in the sand.

        So no one has any credibility. As Dmitri Orlov or Masha Gessen. I think they would tell you: this is what collapse looks like.

      2. Billy

        No one mentions the tidal flows of exhaled air. A wide line of people hundreds deep, yelling, screaming, jumping around in physical exertion, as in a demonstration marching down a street, means that, unless the wind is blowing, every person is walking through stagnant infected air left by the person in front of them.
        The analogy is second hand cigarette smoke. Ever walk along behind a smoker?
        Then there’s confinement in paddy wagons and jail for those arrested.

        The second wave is not the problem. It’s the First Serious Wave that’s about to happen, to certain kinds of people: Spring break morons, bar hoppers, BLM demonstrators, mega church goers and Ralliests.

        The indoor rally will be in an air conditioned space. Easy enough to blow exhaust air out the roof and cool incoming fresh air.

        1. Clive

          The indoor rally will be in an air conditioned space. Easy enough to blow exhaust air out the roof and cool incoming fresh air.

          Unlikely, I just checked the forecast for Tulsa, which is going to be in the high seventies or low eighties with 60+% RH. In these conditions, the economisers on the HVAC air handlers will be set to minimal outside air intake because the latent heat load of all that humidity will be punishing in both energy use terms and also unit capacity — especially with a high sensible heat load from the convention-goers in the audience (plus their latent load, too). There’ll be a smidge of outside air allowed, maybe the economisers will be at 10% outdoor air intake. There might also be makeup air from dedicated outdoor air supply units. But it’ll be, at best, 20% of supply air. Probably a lot less. So 80% or so of the conditioned space will be recycled air.

          Let’s hope someone changes the filters regularly. It couldn’t possibly be that building owners are ev-ah tempted to skimp on preventative maintenance or compromise on air quality…

        2. Peter VE

          “Easy enough to blow exhaust air out the roof and cool incoming fresh air.” Not exactly. Most HVAC systems recycle the inside air through filters, and add a small percentage of make up air.

          1. a different chris

            Also, you know, people don’t exhale out of the top of their heads like narwhales.

            >A wide line of people hundreds deep

            Which is still way less packed than an arena, open air or not.

            PS: let us (white) Pittsburghers once again mourn the Civic Arena, which did sort of suck for it’s original purpose (light opera mostly) but when rock music came along with its big amps and the roof opened up, wow! I still remember the members of Chicago looking up and pointing for each other as it peeled open. I mean the song almost peter’d (not a Cetera pun!) out.

            For you who don’t know, the white part is the problem that they screwed the black community but good building it. So I can understand their lack of love for it. Sigh.

        3. Cuibono

          Umm, in a word, no.
          In Wuhan only one case of outdoors transmission was well documented.

      3. dcblogger

        people at the BLM protests are wearing face masks and that makes all the difference.

      4. juno mas

        The best scientific advice I’ve seen on avoiding Covid contamination is: Stay Outside.

        Then: wear a mask.

        The co-morbidities likely to be present at the Trump Rally should make Tulsa a hotspot in 7 to 9 days.

        1. Chris

          “Then: wear a mask”

          Associate only with mask-wearers, to be fair.

          Consumer grade masks (including home made) are pretty good at stopping droplets coming out of the face, less effective at stopping the ones going in.

          Hence mask wearing in public is a sign of kindness to others.

            1. MLTPB

              Perhaps kindness to others can be expressed in various ways, or perhaps something else can override it.

              The US is near the top in charitable giving, from what I know.

              Now, charitable giving is not necessarily the same as respect or kindness for others. Perhaps the motivation is pity.

              In any case, we are not exceptionally unkind, I would like to believe.

              1. Sacred Ground

                Public mask-wearing to protect others from one’s own conservative agious disease has been longstanding social practice in Asian countries for about as long as contagion by germs has been understood.

                The revulsion that so many Americans express at the thought that they should be expected, even just as a social nicety and not a legal requirement, to inconvenience themselves at all for any reason other than self-benefit is evidence that, yes, we as a culture are exceptionally selfish.

                Other ways to express kindness are irrelevant here. THIS specific way is essential and necessary. If your stubborn refusal to protect me from your contagion KILLS me, then any other alleged kindnesses are worse than useless, they’re just a way for the selfish to deny their selfishness.

                Smiling kindly and sadly at my funeral isn’t a kindness.

                1. Sacred Ground

                  I’m seriously struggling to see what kindness could possibly override the appalling selfishness of choosing to spread contagion.

      5. Sacred Ground

        I’m going to need some evidence that ANY local or state public health officials lifted their recommendations for masks and social distancing.

        That a lot of the marchers themselves didn’t follow those recommendations isn’t evidence that public health officials deemed it safe or took their side.

        Did you expect that people would be locked up for not wearing masks? That public health agencies have or have exercised the power to enforce mask wearing and social distance? That they ever really could do anything more than suggest and recommend practices and policies? You really need to get out more. The actual country you live in is not the place Fox News pretends it to be.

    2. Wukchumni

      Diary entry from I Will Bear Witness 1933-41 by Victor Klemperer, a little over 3 years into the 3rd Reich:

      March 23, 1936

      “He flies from place to place and gives triumphal speeches. The whole thing is called an “election campaign”.”

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      100% of the rally attendees are consenting adults who have evaluated the “risks” for themselves.

      Where were all the concern troll national nannies when andrew cuomo was stuffing known covid positive patients into new york nursing homes with the most vulnerable, not-yet-infected elderly residents without so much as informing them or their families of what he was doing, let alone asking them if they were willing to take such chances, and thereby creating the largest locus of covid cases / deaths by an order of magnitude in the country?

      1. Riverboat Grambler

        Yeah, those “”””””risks”””””” are such a joke that rallygoers will have to sign forms waiving their ability to sue if they catch it. Only the best and most responsible intentions there.

      2. CarlH

        “100% of the rally attendees are consenting adults who have evaluated the “risks” for themselves.”

        This is false logic and misleading as well. The risk is not only to themselves. If it were, you might have a point. The fact that once any of those people gets it they then become potential transmitters of the disease to anyone and everyone who they come into contact with, and without any visible signs for others to know they are infected, nullifies your argument. This the kind of selfish logic that has gotten us into all our predicaments to begin with, IMO.

      3. Sacred Ground

        And the guy they’re clamoring to see has been telling them all along that the risk is exaggerated and now saying that wearing a mask is a mark of identification with his political opponents. He is telling them not to do it.

        So, I question their “evaluation” of the risks. And echo others pointing out that this isn’t about the risk to them, it’s the risk they pose to everyone else around them when the event is over and they all go back to their towns, homes, jobs, and spread it around some more.

        Anyway, we have laws against all kinds of dangerous behaviors precisely because people in general are **really bad** at evaluating risks to themselves and others. This is why we have things like speed limits on highways, DUI laws, etc. Hell, the whole legal concepts of “negligence” and “duty of care” exist precisely because people fail all the time at evaluating risks to themselves AND OTHERS.

    4. The Rev Kev

      Turned on the news a little while ago and it said that six campaign workers connected with that Tulsa gathering and working for Trump have tested positive for Coronavirus-

      When I think about it, after Trump eventually leaves office I can see him trying something different. He could start up his own religion. Why not? It worked for L. Ron Hubbard. Think of the tax angles of having his hotels re-classified as religious churches. Think of the crowds of his worshipers. Think of the bevy of gorgeous acolytes that he would be surrounded by. It could work. You disagree? You got something against the First Amendment?

      1. griffen

        Don’t give them any more ideas ! This world can be cruel as it is. Plus, I’d view Trump as a modern day potential Jim Jones than a Hubbard.

        This kool aid, its the best ever. Trust me.

    5. rd

      The good news is that he could only get 6,200 people to show up thereby reducing the likelhood this would be a superspreader event.

      What happens if they hold a Republican Convention and only a third of the people actually show up?

  4. FreeMarketApologist

    The NYT article on the 30yr mortgage is really a hash of ideas, only a little of which actually points to the potential demise of this particular financial product. The tl;dr version: Banks are less interested in providing long-term loans to housing that is at increased risk of damage/loss over the period of the loan. They’re reducing their risk of these loans becoming problems by a) requiring higher down payments, b) selling off the loans to gov’t entities (something they have always done, and which puts losses on taxpayers), and c) offering different loan terms for these properties.

    For properties not in high risk locations, the 30-yr remains a perfectly fine product. The scare quote: “A retreat from the 30-year mortgage could also put homeownership out of reach for more Americans” is misleading. It should be “A retreat from using 30 year loans for properties at risk of loss from climate change could put those properties out of the reach of people who would be hardest hit if they were to lose those properties”.

    And maybe that’s a good thing.

    The article spends far too little space on discussing the transfer of risk from property owners and lenders to the taxpayer, which is the real crime here.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      “A retreat from the 30-year mortgage could also put homeownership out of reach for more Americans”

      Oh, please. “Homeownership” of coastal properties has been out of reach to normal americans for a long time now. The idea that the multi-millionaires and billionaires depend on “conventional” 30-year mortgages to buy their luxe beach houses is some kind of bad joke. Does anyone seriously believe that obama was sweating out whether he would be “approved” for a mortgage when he bought his $15 million martha’s vineyard beach house recently because climate change?

      And in one of the clearest signs that banks are worried about global warming, they are increasingly getting these mortgages off their own books by selling them to government-backed buyers like Fannie Mae, where taxpayers would be on the hook financially if any of the loans fail.

      I call bullshit. Banks have been making bad mortgage loans and offloading them through securitization or onto Freddie and Fannie-i.e. taxpayers–for years. It’s what caused the GFC. It’s what made jamie dimon a billionaire. This climate change thing is just a ploy to use a current issue to “legitimize” continuing to do it.

      PS. Losses on these coastal or flood-prone properties are already the “responsibility” of taxpayers through the grossly mismanaged government “flood insurance” program.

      PPS. Since when have “the banks” ever had to worry about anything? The fed keeps them whole, always and everywhere.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Freddie and Fannie loans have a maximum amount of $510,000. The private label securitization market isn’t what it just to be. “Jumbos” heavy with coastal property would not be well received. Banks do wind up keeping a lot of “jumbos” on their books and flatter themselves that they’ve priced in the extra risk.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Risk? Banks? That concept has receded so far as to be barely in view, the All-Knowing Fed *always* has their backs. There’s still the performative kabuki but when the going gets tough the bankers ring Powell on speed dial and then head out to their yachts.

          I can’t say why but I am reminded of the epic label on Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap:

          “Only those who united worked hard to survive ice-aged persecution evolved into Humane Beings, like Jesus – Mintz – Sills – Straus – Stasz-Zamenhof, brave, to help teach all, every slave, the Moral ABC of All-One-God-Faith, for we’re all-One or none! Listen Children Eternal Father Eternally One! Exceptions? None!”

          All-One-God-Faith: yep, pretty well describes the belief in our lender of last first resort.

    2. rd

      FHA mortgages have a limit of $366k in “low-cost” areas and $766k in “high cost” areas.

      If you want to avoid mortgage insurance, you need to put at least 20% down. The mortgage insurance will pay the lenders if you default and your application met the underwriting criteria. So, if there is a property in these mortgage ranges, then the typical American can get a mortgage (median household income $61k).

      You can also get FEMA flood insurance, but that is limited to $250k for the structure and $100k for the contents. This will generally cover the structure if it is of the value that an FHA mortgage would cover.,purchase%20policies%20with%20lower%20limits.&text=Higher%20coverage%20limits%20are%20available,Get%20more%20details%20from%20FEMA.

      I think the tooth-gnashing and rending of clothes is over the more expensive properties that the typical American can’t afford anyway. So this is a classic moral hazard problem. People want to buy expensive land with an expensive house and then have somebody else assume the risk.

      More and more, the waterfront property in hurricane and sea level rise impacted areas is being bought by people who can view these properties as consumables. Essentially, they pony up cash, buy them, and if they vanish in 20 years then they will just buy another one.

      I think we need to keep the FEMA and FHA limits stay where they are. If people want to spend a lot more on these proeprties, then they can pony up the cash. As a taxpayer, there is no reason for me to subsidize them, unless they are in an essential waterfront industry like fishing etc.and those people can be easily covered within existing programs.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Just had something similar happen in Australian Rules football. One player turned up with the virus after returning from Ireland and so now the entire team and all their staff is on lockdown for a fortnight which has caused chaos in scheduled games-

      In case anybody is wondering what the hell Australian rules football looks like when it is at home, here is a five-minute clip explaining it-

      1. carl

        I used to watch Australian Rules football on ESPN back in the 80s and could never figure out what the rules were. Fascinating.

        1. a different chris

          Yes it always cracked us up that “Rules” was literally part of the name and we couldn’t ascertain any particulars either.

          1. juno mas

            The term “rules” was used to distinguish Australian football from American football which has more rules (and officials) than any other game on the planet. ;)

        2. Milton

          In the 70s we played a similar game at recess called smear the . We would come back to class with plenty of cuts, scrapes, and deep contusions.

      2. Laughingsong

        I don’t like Ozzie rules as much, Rev, I am a big fan of the mess that is the Ruck

  5. diptherio

    Re: 20-Year-Old Robinhood Customer Dies By Suicide After Seeing A $730,000 Negative Balance

    Darwin award material, perhaps, but you have to admit that this sounds an awful lot like predatory behavior from Robinhood (and it sounds like they’re not the only ones)

    Millennial-focused brokerage firm Robinhood, which offers commission-free trading, a fun and easy-to-use mobile app and even awards new customers free shares of stock….“Tragically, I don’t even think he made that big of a mistake. This is an interface issue, they have slick interfaces. Confetti popping everywhere,” says Brewster referring to the shower of colorful confetti Robinhood routinely deploys after customers make trades. “They try to gamify trading and couch it as investment.”

    Lure in the naive with free stock (that’s basically free money, right?) and then push their dopamine buttons with gamified UI design to get them hooked. It’s like Vegas only worse: everyone knows that gambling is a vice, whereas trying to make money on the stock market is somehow seen as virtuous “investing.” Turns my stomach, tbh.

    1. Wukchumni

      Casino gambling was only legalized in Nevada in 1931 in the worst part of the Great Depression, and it has brought us to the point now where stories of gambling vast amounts on Wall*Street don’t even faze us all that much, the only part of the suicide saga that catches our attention is that the punter is only 20. If he was 42 it would’ve been a non story, right?

      Las Vegas was about to go tilt soon anyhow on account of the Colorado River slowly but surely going broke, why not put it out of it’s misery, and make casino gambling illegal across the land?

      1. barefoot charley

        Then banksters would have to trade their pens for pistols! I guess that would slow them down.

      2. ambrit

        Wukchumni, you miss the social purposes of casino gambling. Such as, the transfer of wealth from the middle classes on up to the casino investors and managers. Second, the sedation of the small ownership class to what is going on in the Wall Street casino scam, through all those flashing lights, bells, buzzers, whistles and, free drinks!
        What if the Colorado River does go dry? In fact, it already does go dry before it reaches the Gulf of California! The diversion of that water from the G-ds given right to profit to some fuzzy headed ideas of Earth Stewardship is nothing less than, *gasp!* Populist Socialism! (Sorry for the dirty words.)
        Anyway, no human vice can be fully suppressed. Prohibition being the object lesson in that field.
        I mean, if it were not for Prohibition, Joe Kennedy would not have made his fortune rum running, and thus, his decadent offspring couldn’t have ended up so prominent in American Politics. (Everyone knows that in America, political power is directly related to wealth.)

        1. Wukchumni

          if it were not for Prohibition, Joe Kennedy would not have made his fortune rum running, and thus, his decadent offspring couldn’t have ended up so prominent in American Politics.

          It’s a myth that became true, that tall cocktail.

          Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition by Daniel Okrent is a ab fab tome on the subject matter, and he could find no accusations of that ever happening until they started popping up in the mid 50’s probably as a slur aimed more @ JFK, and being a bootlegger is the last thing Joe Kennedy would’ve done, it’d be tantamount to Jamie Dimon doing something illegal in the same regard, kid’s pay compared to the fortunes both acquired on Wall*Street.

      3. juno mas

        Clark County (Las Vegas) has been angling to acquire underground water rights along northeastern Nevada basin and range for decades. If the Colorado runs dry they have contingencies (And the casino’s have lots of cash.)

        1. vegasmike

          The Southern Nevada Water Authority backed out of a planned water pipeline on May 22, after an unfavorable court decision. The local water authority does encourage the removal of grass lawns from older properties and prohibits grass lawns in new construction. The construction of a water pipeline is expensive, complex and a very long term project. The local Sheldon Adelson paper seemed happy with the decision.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      god, these millenials had better wise up and fast.

      First they get scammed by the colleges and universities into “investing” in themselves with overpriced degrees paid for with usurious, never dischargeable student loans, and now two too-cool-for-school silicon valley ripoff artists from their own generation decide to kick ’em when they’re down and shower them with confetti while they’re at it.

      Just out of curiosity, what would happen if this kid actually HAD “lost” three-quarters of a million dollars? I mean how would “Robinhood” collect? These millenials seem to be overly fond of the F word which I normally regard as intellectually lazy. But in this case, I’d have no problem if the response was “Fuck you and the horse you road in on.”

      1. periol

        “the F word which I normally regard as intellectually lazy”

        Serious question, why do you normally think this?

        There came a point in my life that I realized our “swear” words express depths of meaning and emotion that other words don’t quite capture. That’s why they’re not used in “polite” society, where too much meaning and emotion is considered a bad thing.

        I would argue the millenials you think are overly fond of certain words might actually be expressing the growing angst inside and with our culture as it collapses. Certainly the impact of that collapse is felt quite strongly by younger generations.

        1. ambrit

          In some sort of support for KE’s point about language.
          Resort to the ‘F’ word is intellectually lazy. It indicates the disinclination, or, more troubling, the inability to express oneself with nuance. I view it as similar to a nation going straight to the nuclear missiles at the beginning of a conflict. All or nothing. What ‘F’ word aficionados miss is the state of mutual communication between individuals, rather than shouting past each other. Resort to the ‘F’ word, as you point out, is an indication of anger. Angry people make angry decisions, not smart ones.
          I am with those Ancients who counseled; “Moderation in all things.”

          1. periol

            “In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” – John 2:14-16

            I would argue that Aristotle’s Golden Mean does not equal moderation. Appropriate action in the appropriate moment. Personally I think too much moderation can be a bad thing too. But you may not have been talking about Aristotle. Regardless, I say with Radiohead, everything in it’s right place.

            And I strongly disagree with unequivocally stating that “resort to the ‘F’ word is intellectually lazy”. That statement is intellectually lazy. Nuance is not always required, or even best.

            1. ambrit

              Well, without the resort to nuance, communication is pared down to basics, and so are the possible decisions for action ensuing.
              So, “Put up or shut up” is often the prelude to physical combat. Perhaps that is ‘worthy,’ but not as a general rule. Having physical combat be the default position is the ethos of savages. (Savages can be of any cultural and technical level.)
              My best defense here is to remark that the Myth of the Noble Savage is just that, a myth.
              Putting the theological aspect aside, we all know what eventually happened to Jesus, and John the Baptist, and James the Apostle.

            2. MLTPB

              Is being too moderate in hand washing good or bad?

              How do we know what too moderate hand washing is?

          2. MLTPB

            In Chan, the ‘He’ shout is liberating, enlightening.

            Better decisions are said to be made after that.

            (In Zen, it is the ‘kwatz’ shout).

              1. MLTPB

                The first Chan patriarch Bodhidharma introduced southern Indian Kalaripayattu martial art to the monks at Shaolin temple, the story goes.

                Maybe that’s the link?

                1. ambrit

                  Interesting that.
                  Yet the character of Pai Mei is generally portrayed as quiet, if a bit unsufferably arrogant.
                  I used the Ki focus technique at work when I needed to lift something heavy. (Always lift with your legs, not your back!)

            1. ObjectiveFunction

              Can you possibly elaborate on this a bit? ‘He’ being a Chinese character for what?

              A quick search didn’t turn up anything but diatribes against various forms of patriarchal violence….

            1. The Rev Kev

              “The secret of a happy life is to know when to stop – and then go that bit further.”

              – Inspector Morse

                1. The Rev Kev

                  He always did have style. You would never catch him driving around the streets of Oxford in a Prius.

        2. Angie Neer

          This is a pet topic of mine. I’m detail-obsessive by nature, and grew up in a family that uses language carefully and thoroughly. I certainly relate to Katniss’s point. It’s taken me most of my life so far to reconcile with the ways language is used in the wider world. I have had to learn and accept that language is organic, decentralized, and constantly evolving. One type of evolution I’ve observed is that individual words, if widely used, become less specific and less intense. For example, “Awesome” used to be a powerful word, evoking actual awe. Then it went through a vogue, was drastically overused, and eventually became an appropriate response to someone successfully placing an order at McDonald’s. Recently I’ve noticed the same thing happening to “perfect.” Certainly “unique” has been diluted, and not replaced by another single word. So…what about F___? As periol says, people use it because it is an intense word, and we need such words to express our intense emotions. True that. In fact, it is just about the most intense word we have, because of its taboo status. But when people routinely wear it on T-shirts, it can’t possibly retain the same impact. What will succeed it? I’m very curious to know. For now, I still save it for very special occasions, or disagreements with my computer.

          1. jonboinAR

            Actually, I agree with those of you who think it’s a lazy-person’s expression, used to mean emphasis of whatever type the expressor intends, with the listener supposed to understand by context.

        3. farmboy

          What the F by Benjamin Bergen dives on the emotional hooks, good read. Got invited on a date to go hear him talk at Powell’s, effete snobs don’t know how to swear
          from a review “On the whole, I really appreciated the light Bergen shed on the role swearing plays on our basic emotions. The Tourette syndrome example shows how deeply ingrained swearing can be and beyond conscious control. Being a former French professor and very fluent in French, I found that swearing in French has features that are quite different from the standard model Bergen seems to set up. I wonder how well he knows non-English languages. (The suggestion that the Japanese don’t swear, on the face of it, strikes me as preposterous.) I do recommend this book to the non-specialist, although specialists might find it quite enlightening in spite of the pop style Bergen seems to use. Some of the brain experts might protest against his adherence to the distribution of functions to certain parts of the brain. But that’s totally beyond my ken. Or interest, for that matter.”

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        periol, sorry, got delayed in my response.

        In my opinion, “swear” words are, or were, powerful precisely because they were only used sparingly.

        When “effin’ ” is the only adjective you reach for rhetorically and it precedes every noun, it becomes more of an affectation than communication. It no longer has any meaning. Overuse even destroys the shock value that it once had.

        I was always taught, and still believe, that always defaulting to “cuss” words erodes your ability to put any other words together accurately and precisely. The more you do it, the more erosion. Pretty soon it gets hard to make yourself understood because you’re so out of practice, and people tend to dismiss you because you “don’t have much of interest to say.” I also have come to regard searching for just the right word as an interesting mental exercise that, as I get older, keeps me somewhat sharp. In my own mind, of course.

        So, just my two cents. Thanks for asking. It’s actually a lesson I keep harping on with my own millennial daughter, with limited success.

        1. HotFlash

          I defer to Dachine Reiner, who, in Room at the Inn, noted that ‘jive is a language poor in vocabulary, but rich in syntax’. If they got room (in the inn, or elsewhere) from pulling down statues of Robert E Lee and Preston Brooks, perhaps they could recycle a pedestal for Ms Reiner. The language, it is a changin’.

      3. Riverboat Grambler

        Stupid Millenials, getting scammed into going to college just because their parents, teachers and society as a whole pushed it as the thing you after high school to get a job. What a bunch of suckers. Also they swear too much, a uniquely Millenial problem! Tut tut

    3. Kevin Carhart

      Yes, if the interface uses the addictive variable-schedule-reward techniques, then I don’t think it is Darwin Awards stuff. It is very much like Vegas – the Frontline programs about Facebook say this.

      The responsibility chain for this terrible event should travel up, to the fintech startup. And then to their investors. And then to the limited-partner investors in VC/PE. And then to the captured boards – Jelincic excepted. And then to the investment committees making dissembling, airless presentations. And then to the beneficiaries who read “XYZ PARTNERS II, L.P.” on a statement and are at best, not especially encouraged to find out what that line item means in terms of values.

      This typically does not happen, but what would it take to erode the firewall between investment group and portfolio company, not based on returns but based on the human valence of what the portfolio companies do in the world? When and how can this happen, and should it?

      What are the contours and limits of the divestment campaigns that have actually gone places? Those campaigns actually reach through to talk about the valence of portfolio companies. Why one thing and not another? Why addictive tobacco but not addictive interfaces?

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Sorry, that is just not correct. Anyone who trades options normally just risks the invested amount; the point of options is the loss limitation. Trading them levered obviates the reason for their use is rank stupidity. Anyone who invests and admits they don’t understand what they bought, which this kid did in his suicide note, is Darwin Award material.

        He did the equivalent of walking into a lab and playing with explosives. Most people know that some chemicals are toxic; most people who have heard of investing know you can lose money, and even more with borrowed money.

        He has to have signed some sort of agreement regarding the borrowing and looks to have paid as much attention most people do to software licenses.

        1. Kevin Carhart

          Is there any amount of social messages, advertising, addictiveness and dark-UX tricks that should ameliorate a contract? Is it a different situation than asking who’s responsible for the fog-a-mirror mortgages a decade ago? Isn’t that an example where we were willing to consider the idea that something other than freedom-to-choose, like premeditated structuring, was relevant?

        2. Felix_47

          Our Congressman and Senators are doing the real investing in this country. They invest based on what they know the government is going to support and guarantee because they arranged it.The rest is just speculation.

    4. fajensen

      Still, the kid should’ve talked to some adults who would have told him to (get a lawyer to) refuse to pay up.

      If it ever went to collections, it would have been the easiest bankruptcy ever.

      I’d suspect that Robinhood would have put the whole thing down as a “software error”, never to be spoken off again (NDA), rather than going all the way to court.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Just Because They’ve Turned Against Humanity Doesn’t Mean We Should Defund the Terminator Program”

    In an update to this story, Cyberdyne Systems has had their contract with the Department of Defense terminated when it was found that their Twitter account had the banner “Robotic Lives Matter” displayed which was grossly offensive to all those black people shredded by their gunfire. Fortunately, another corporation was found to fill the breech in the form of the Detroit-based Omni Consumer Products (OCP). According to OCP executive Dick Jones, “We are ready to deploy our mainline product – the ED-209 – but we are already experimenting overseas with new models to be deployed at home as soon as the bugs were worked out. Dick Jones did admit that this was due to the ED-209 having “the Dalek problem” in that they are not so great on stairs-

    1. chuck roast

      Actually, I keep thinking about that robotic yellow dog that was seen wandering around Boston Common. What did they say…$45 grand a pop? And I keep thinking that this is a robot life that I could give a severe curb-stomping to.

  7. zagonostra

    >Charles Hugh Smith

    That’s a nice Les Paul that he is playing…the man is spot on, thanks for introducing me to his site. Also below dove tails nicely with a piece on secular talk linked below on lines for unemployment.

    What all the entrenched insiders in America’s parasitic, predatory institutions don’t dare admit is that to rig the system so they’ll keep getting richer, we’ve had to sacrifice everything else. Having stripped the society and economy bare, there’s nothing left but sound and fury, as if they’re hoping the endless circuses and trails of bread crumbs will forever distract us from their plunder and the inequalities built into America’s financial system.

        1. JBird4049

          Because somehow that the Dreaded Socializhum. Free Market Capitalism and the God Mammon all the way… or are you a real American?

          There has been a strongly utopian, even socialist, strain in America even before all Thirteen Colonies were founded. Same with abolitionism and general equality for all men regardless of class. Well, always for White men with some radicals including Blacks and Indians with women tacked on occasionally by the really radical. But it’s always been present.

          It has varied in prominence over four centuries, but whenever it seems to be gaining strength and threatens the Elites’ wealth a backlash happens. The use of class, race, gender, and religion have been tools for control and acquisition. The unwashed mustn’t be allowed to threaten the family fortune after all. Fortunately, it’s never completely destroys the positive changes made.

  8. Tom Stone

    The more I think about it the more I believe that Joe Biden is the perfect candidate for today’s Democratic party, a personification of their values, so to speak.
    The only thing progressive about Joe is his Dementia, that matches the party’s ability to completely ignore the plight of 30 Million plus unemployed Americans many of whom will shortly become homeless in an election year, in the midst of a pandemic.
    Viciously corrupt, Racist, a warmonger and credibly accused of rape.
    A perfect match for the policies pursued by the Democratic elites, although I suspect that Nancy Pelosi has better taste in gelato.

    1. DJG

      Tom Stone: And if I may add, Biden seems to be the perfect candidate because he now most likely has turned into a hologram developed by a series of focus groups run by the Democratic National Committee and one or other of the Clintons, with some extra-spicy oh-so-subtle backup by Obama.

      And his program is the usual holograms of the usual Democratic Party authorized positions: Less horrible health insurance. Less obvious endless wars with nicer bombs. A pension system we’d rather not discuss because it would tax your beautiful brain. Lack of support for unions–because they’re kind-a icky. A jobs policy that consists of precariousness and at-will employment. A flickering mess of slogans and the status quo.

    2. BlueCollarAl

      Today’s NY Times published (in Op-Ed) some reader letters under the title, “Joe Biden’s Running Mate Should Be…”

      The first five letters The Times chose to print recommend in order: Amy Klobuchar, Susan Rice, Michelle Obama, Condoleezza Rice, and Kamala Harris. Of course I was not surprised. Goes with the Biden territory already staked out by America’s newspaper of record.

        1. DJG

          flora: From your lips to the ear of the Goddess

          But let’s not pretend that this event will happen.

        2. Pat

          Well he might get my vote if he did. Which means Lindsay Graham will be his VP before that happens. Maybe even the return of Lieberman. (And yes I know neither matches the Id pol requirements.)

          1. DJG

            Pat! Joe Lieberman! I may never forgive you for this!

            It is too early in the day to start drinking the rubbing alcohol.

            1. Pat

              Sorry about that. Just picked a couple of people who may make me sick but tick off some box on the idpol list. Since I’m not a drinker, and the ‘acceptable’ choices for his VP not only make me want to drink they make me want to shoot up as well, I figure pushing one towards the rubbing alcohol means I was on the right track.

              For the record everything about Biden’s candidacy makes me long for alcohol poisoning.

            1. ambrit

              Explicated snark: in other words, from an idpol perspective, a mix of Harris, Graham, and Michelle Obama.
              I’m feeling increasingly that this election cycle has become completely unmoored from objective reality.

        3. John Wright

          I suggest Joe will chose a true “I’ve realized the error of my ways” VP candidate.

          That could be Anita Hill.

          And she has experience with both Joe and a current Supreme Court Justice

      1. edmondo

        I guess Tim Kaine was too flashy for the Biden folks. The only problem with the “4 years of Biden then 8 years of super duper black woman” is that the voters may have other ideas.

        1. Tom Stone

          If Kamala Harris wants the VP slot she should start rubbing $100 Bills in her hair.
          It’s a scent no politician (Especially Joe) can resist.

      2. Billy

        Kamala Harris is scandal ridden hard.
        Trump’s campaign would have a field day mocking her.
        Harris is responsible for the local disaster of San Francisco crime and was part of corrupt local politics, responsible for the state disaster of not enforcing the law as attorney general, and as senator, she’s been a pliable puppet for Republican warmongering and financial mismanagement of the nation.
        Her presence on the Biden ticket would repel more voters, disgusted with Trump, than she could ever attract.

        If Biden actually wants to win, he needs to name a young white man as his running mate. A cross party ticket could defeat Trump, i.e. Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri, At 40, he is the youngest member of the U.S. Senate.
        He is one of the primary investigators of privacy invading Tech in the senate, has won cases argued before the Supreme Court and is advocating for Americans affected by opiods with legal action at the state and federal level.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          Josh Hawley is too lefty for the Dems.

          he’s been sounding like a small-c conservative version of Huey Long.
          That said….I, a libertarian socialist, with antiauthoritarian tendencies, would prolly vote for Hawley, if given the chance.
          …which indicates just how muddled and chaotic our political language and landscape has become.

            1. dave

              I’ve been wondering this as well.

              The next few years are most likely going to be gruesome, with no reason to think US or world leadership will be of much help.

              Let Trump take the fall and try again in 2024.

              1. Kurt Sperry

                It’s not inconceivable that both Trump and Biden will be trying to lose. I doubt Trump ever really wanted to win in the first place.

            2. Billy

              Who says Trump wants to be in charge of an imploding country?
              Maybe they could decide it with a coin flip?

        2. Katniss Everdeen

          Let’s face it. There are only three requirements for biden’s vp:

          1) Black

          2) Female

          3) As thin and blank a previous record as possible, ala barack obama, so that democrat voters can delude themselves into thinking that the first two qualifications actually mean something.

          1. ambrit

            That’s if “Creepy” Joe makes it through the convention, indeed, if there is an actual convention at all this year.
            Imagine a ‘virtual’ convention. Sometime, very late at night, the credits roll. Hidden away deep in the technical rollcall is the squib: “Mr Biden’s appearance courtesy of Industrial Light and Magic.”
            Soon enough, as the trend accelerates, we will be left with a ‘virtual’ nation.

      3. RMO

        “Joe Biden’s Running Mate Should Be…”

        Blisteringly radioactive. 1,500 R/hour or more.

      4. JBird4049

        Condoleezza (bleeping) Rice? President Shrubs National Security Advisor and later Secretary of State? Whose is a member of the all war, all the time club?

        We’re being trolled, gaslighted, or just insulted. That or some people are smoking too much hasheesh at least metaphorically. Or not.

      5. integer

        I think it’ll be Susan Rice. I bet $10 on her a few weeks ago when she was at 50:1 odds, which seemed crazy as she is black, female, and can hit the ground running on the neocon foreign policy front. If I’m right I’ll send a few bucks to NC.

    3. John k

      Yes, a match made in heaven.
      Just like 2016. And the grifters running the campaign this time look to be just as incompetent as the last.
      The dnc has managed to hang on to one competency… stopping the progressive at the national level. But they seem to be losing their grip in certain local races… which means they are brittle, unable to offer any progressive bone to the electorate bc the donors won’t tolerate any such change.
      The Soviet Union shattered bc they couldn’t bend to the slow change of glasnost, or the openness of a free press. I see the same thing here, congressional successes in 2016 and 2018 encouraged more to run in 2020… in most cases, win the primary In these blue districts and you win the race.

  9. IMOR

    Too much info demanded on the ‘free’ Alphaville reg page. Yes I know I cld fake it all but it’s earlyish here. Anyone summarize?

    1. barefoot charley

      It highlights that British medical advisors are as scrambled in their communications and knowledge base as American advisors. Interesting tidbit: 2-meter distancing gives you much longer likely safe times (still measured in minutes) of potential exposure than 1-meter distancing will, but one meter with mutual masking is still pretty safe. That’s all I got, along with its further example of professional-class Anglo-Saxon rot from the head.

    2. Biologist

      This worked for me, on laptop: use chrome, open private window, go to, copy-paste the link in search bar, use first hit.

    1. flora

      Good for TNF. The whole of Google and FB self-reported ad metrics have been hinky for a long time.

    2. Maritimer

      Facebook’s Kryptonite

      Hey where are all those clever, shrewd, make-a-buck geeks anyway?

      One way to possibly blow Facebook up is to set up a searchable site where Facebook friends/users who have access to Facebook private accounts can post info from those private accounts. Site would be searchable. Lots of enmity, envy, etc. from one’s Facebook Friends. The more Friends, the more leaks to that site. How private do you really think your FB account is? Only as private as your weakest/unfriendly Friend.

      The site might even charge for info useful in lawsuits, divorces, business dealings, etc.

      ”False friends are like our shadow, keeping close to us while we walk in the sunshine, but leaving us when we cross into the shade.” – Christian Nevell Bovee

      Hmmmm, why do I think of David Bolton?

  10. dbk

    Just wanted to note for those interested that the Mass Poor People’s Assembly is being broadcast live (organized by the Poor People’s Campaign / Dr. William Barber – Dr. Liz Theoharis) – extraordinary, powerful testimonia.

    Also, for the Tulsa Rally tonight, looks like The Guardian will be running a live blog as the day progresses.

    1. newcatty

      Thanks dbm. Reverend Barber and Theoharis are so extraordinary because they exemplify genuienemoral values and virtues of compassion and honest leadership. I have noted that some “folks” take issue that they are Christian reverends. Well, so was MLK. The fact that they are truly inclusive of all poor people, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender or geographical place is the way to help empower people.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “Canada Among Very Worst White Supremacist Countries: Report”

    So I was listening to an interview today between Mark Blyth and two dudes. They made the point that NGOs and their methods have been used overseas during the colour revolutions to bring down entire governments to spread ‘democratic, liberal values.’ Of course it was no such thing at all but a grab for power and resources but putting that aside for the moment. Their methods are hardly secret but the point is that a lot of conservative groups like these Canadian groups are making their presence felt. So what if all this is blowback that we are seeing? That groups which are ultra-conservative, nationalistic, supremacist, etc. saw how well these methods worked overseas and said to themselves ‘Hey, we can do that too here!” Gene Sharp’s 198 methods of nonviolent action work just as well in the US as they do overseas, you know. Not that would be epic blowback that.

    1. epynonymous

      Australia’s so racist (love them anyways) that they don’t even let black people play football still.

      Haven’t watched in 10 years, since I was on their soil. Plenty of women in their military, but no blacks/ aborigines. (even the name aboriginals needs serious revision)

      They live in ghettos or missions. The ghettos I never saw (although the ‘homeless’ were quite evident) , but the missions are insane. It’s prayer services all day for those inmates. I don’t know if its secretly wonderful or just the worst.

        1. Sacred Ground

          Segregated pro sports leagues is evidence against racism in Australian society? Huh.

      1. integer

        IME indigenous Aussies vastly prefer Aussie Rules Football to Rugby. Also, there are plenty of indigenous Australians, in both metropolitan and rural areas, who lead productive and meaningful lives. That said, there is a lot of dysfunction in the indigenous population (most of which, IME at least, involves alcohol), and it is fair to say that the legacy of white Australia’s treatment of the indigenous population is the primary cause of this. This is not to suggest that the past is solely responsible for the current state of affairs, as there are structural inequalities that persist to this day. Considerable amounts of resources are deployed in service of improving the current dynamics, however dysfunction has inertia, so there are no easy answers. I should point out that I am no expert on this topic, however having lived in various Australian cities, I like to think I have a pretty good idea of the dynamics in metropolitan areas. I have also spent a significant amount of time in an indigenous majority town in rural Australia, and am close to a couple of people who work closely with indigenous communities (teaching art, childcare), one of whom has been inducted into the local indigenous tribe, ceremony and all.

      2. integer

        Adding: I have also seen, and heard, plenty of unabashed racism towards indigenous Australians first-hand.

      3. integer

        By the way, unless you were joking it appears you have totally misinterpreted the title of the article you linked (Rugby: All Blacks snubbed in RugbyPass’ top 30 players of 2019). The All Blacks are NZ’s premiere rugby team.

    2. divadab

      IMHO it’s a reaction to the ultra-wokeness of the Trudeau administration. Conservatives think it’s ridiculous. Plus the Western conservatives in mostly Alberta are up in arms about the failure of Trudeau to get the pipelines open that would get Alberta oil to market. And Alberta’s finances are in terrible shape due to less oil revenue. Add to this the historical western alienation from what they view as Quebec-pandering liberal politicians who throw money at Quebec but beggar the West and yes conservatives are exploring options on the internet. They have lots of time with the covid shutdowns.

      Does this make people “white supremacist” – whatever that is? IMHO no, just angry reactionaries doing what they do – react!

      1. Pelham

        No doubt there are white supremacists. But I agree that the term is thrown around much too carelessly. Angry reactionaries may be just that and no more. And if they’re considered as such, it may be possible to address at least some of the grievances in a just and peaceful way — though extracting oil from tar sands doesn’t strike me as something that the province of Alberta or any entity should pin its future on.

        1. divadab

          If peoples’ legitimate grievances are not addressed, they are much more likely to be radicalised. Today’s aggrieved reactionary is tomorrow’s fascist – to them, Trudeau’s woke posturing is ridiculous, and dare I say it, triggering.

    3. Olga

      I think you mean this…
      And yes, it seems the book extensively illustrates ‘blowback,’ though they do not call it that.
      Re-listened to the talk after a few days; still seems like interesting insights
      But what caught my ear today was the discussion about the ‘reserve dollar hegemony’ – or, rather the fact that a book on exit from hegemony apparently does not discuss the role the reserve currency status plays in the entire scheme. A big omission – although the authors acknowledge it (and maybe will do another book).
      Towards the end, one author makes the point that if this long-term ‘reserve dollar hegemony’ is used for not much else but one giant wealth transfer to a few chosen ones, then it has basically lost its constructive purpose (or, perhaps, a purpose that is fit to be defended by plain folk). Which would be just another nail in the coffin.

      1. martell

        I have been paying attention, and I’ve noticed lots of articles like the one to which you linked. There’s a great deal of hedging: “possibly,” “may,” “might.” All for the sake of a worst case scenario conclusion. And no relevant numbers. How many young and previously healthy individuals who test positive for Covid come away with seriously degraded respiratory systems? How does this compare with the total number of known cases? How does this compare with the total number of infected? How do these numbers differ from those for other age groups? How do they differ from those for persons with pre-existing respiratory problems? These questions need to be answered in order to know what the risks are and take sensible steps to address them.

        1. Wukchumni

          We have the perfect petri dish in our prisons which are increasingly full* of convicts testing positive for the Coronavirus, and according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons only 85 have died from it country-wide, kind of a tiny number. What age groups prisons have, I couldn’t tell you, but i’d guess it’d skew younger.

          *Marion Federal Penitentiary in Ohio had about 80% of the inmates test positive, to give you an idea of how widespread it is.

        2. The Historian

          Are you looking for certainties? Like if you aren’t this that or the other, then Covid-19 won’t hurt you if you get it?

          We are still in early days knowing about Covid-19 and its longer lasting damage. All we can go by is what is being reported in countries that got it first, like China and Italy.

          Seems to me the only smart thing to do in a situation like this is to assume the worst and hope for the best, i.e., NOT take risks.

        3. Yves Smith Post author

          Given the lack of comprehensive testing, your demands for perfect knowledge are unrealistic and you know that. This is sophistry.

          It’s been modeled that isolating the elderly is ineffective in preventing disease spread.

          And many people in their 30s to 50s wind up hospitalized, and over half the people hospitalized show very serious long term damage. 1/3 wind up with kidney disease, for instance. Deaths are hardly the full picture.

          Did you not bother reading this in Links above?

          Young people with mild cases of Covid-19 are dying of strokes:

          1. dcrane

            I read the one from the Times of Israel and wasn’t sure what to conclude other than some younger people probably do suffer significant long term effects of the infection. A set of anecdotal cases was discussed, with no way to tell what fraction of the infected young population these represented. The fact that some cases exist doesn’t tell me how high the risk is to the average young person who gets infected.

        1. The Historian

          I read your article.

          Don’t you realize that those taking care of the elderly are younger people? If you don’t protect them, exactly how do you protect the elderly? Should we wall off the elderly and let them take care of themselves?

          Yes, I know, deaths are higher among the elderly. But more and more studies are being presented to show that survivors of this disease are not immune to serious health problems. Do you really want to expose all those who are not elderly to those health problems?

          1. Jason Boxman

            This I have wondered about frequently lately; other than the number of deaths and ‘recoveries’, we don’t know much. In what kind of health are people that have recovered? There are reports of some that can’t even complete activities of daily living. Is that common, or not? We don’t seem to know. Is having ‘recovered’ something to be excited about?

            1. Mr. House

              if the goal was to create chaos and get everyone to fight among themselves then i’d say mission accomplished

          2. GF


            The article doesn’t say anything about not protecting the workers who care for the elderly. The PE firms that own most nursing homes don’t supply enough high quality protective equipment or enough staff to fully protect the workers, so just don’t bother caring for the patients. NYC sent elderly patients to nursing homes right out of the hospital after “recovering” from the virus. This act alone made lock downs in NY meaningless as more died in nursing homes than were theoretically saved by the lock downs.

            Face coverings and the 6 foot rule are the best preventative measures we can take at this time no matter what your age. You miss the whole point of the article – elderly with pre-existing conditions are 23 times more likely to die from the virus if exposed than the younger set. There is no mention of letting the young run wild as is happening now with bars and parties everywhere resulting in a huge increase of infections.

            This is the original article on which the posted article is based. It is pay walled and I can’t open it. You are welcome to try.

      2. John Wright

        Is the author of the piece the Joseph Mercola with a Wikipedia page at

        If so, this has some interesting background information about Mercola that tends to greatly undercut his credibility with me.

        “Mercola’s medical claims have been criticized by the medical, scientific, regulatory and business communities. A 2006 BusinessWeek editorial stated his marketing practices relied on “slick promotion, clever use of information, and scare tactics.” In 2005, 2006, and 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Mercola and his company that they were making illegal claims of their products’ ability to detect, prevent, and treat disease. The medical watchdog site Quackwatch has criticized Mercola for making “unsubstantiated claims [that] clash with those of leading medical and public health organizations and many unsubstantiated recommendations for dietary supplements.” Of Mercola’s marketing techniques, oncology surgeon David Gorski says it “mixes the boring, sensible health advice with pseudoscientific advice in such a way that it’s hard for someone without a medical background to figure out which is which.”

    1. Keith

      I think that will be the plan for the next wave. Lockdowns did not really work well and the economic damages were not worth it. Also why states keep moving forward with the openings.

      1. Tom_Doak

        Exactly what is your formula for netting out dead and debilitated people, vs. “economic damages,” pray tell?

        1. furies

          This thinking scares me.

          The US has basically decided that economics is more important than people’s lives and health.

          I feel so helpless–have no power to change the trajectory of where this is all headed. Like Queen Margery in Baleor’s Sept crowded for Cersei’s trial–she knew when Cersei didn’t show that something was up. The Sparrows prevented the gathered crowd from leaving. (forgive me–binge watching GoT obviously)

          Then *BOOM*

          I wish I could leave cuz it’s all gonna blow~

          Cuba sounds nice…

        2. Keith

          I do not have any formula, just being realistic. The people with the biggest risk or the elderly, pre-existing conditions or life choice issues. For the rest of the population, they are less affected, albeit a few can be hit hard, like any other illness.

          People do not like being confined to quarters like they are under house arrest, and they will defeat any lockdown order. Secondly, people need to earn a living. We can talk about UBI all we want, but it isn’t happening anytime soon. Need to face facts that people have to do for themselves. I personally know a lot of people that did such, because in the end, family first, not society.

          To deal with the issue, you need compliance. In order to get compliance, a balance has to be struck, such as focusing efforts at those at risk, while letting the general population move on with their lives. You also need their trust. Having the main doctor admitting to lying about the mask issue or the media celebrate looting as a safe COVID activity does not create the trust needed for the population to blindly accept what their government tells them.

      2. juno mas

        Lockdowns were effective in slowing the spread of the virus. They also created economic pain because the US doesn’t have universal healthcare, UBI to offset wage loss, and does have a stratified social order (class issues).

        States are moving “forward” in fits and starts. Getting the populace to wear masks, respect others need for distancing, and to understand that transmission of the virus by the asymptomatic still keeps the virus vibrant. That means nurses and doctors are put in danger and diverted from providing healthcare for those uninfected but in need of medical care.

        Selfishness is a strong cultural trait in the US.

        1. Bill Smith

          Universal health care would not have eliminated the economic pain. Look at how countries that have universal health care are doing. They have plenty of economic pain.

          That doesn’t mean that there should not be universal health care.

        2. Massinissa

          Bill is right. It would have helped, yes. It would have helped ALOT. And we should have it. But it wouldn’t have been a magic bullet.

      3. MLTPB

        It’s a bit foggy in this war.

        I read 80% or 100% mask wearing can do a lot.

        Enough to lessen the need to lockdown?

        I look at Hawaii and American Samoa, the former is at about 500 total accumulated cases per million population, and the later, zero. In comparison, California is about 4,000 total cases per million. (I estimated from the Guardians cases state by state map).

        Is it like real estate – all about location, location, location?

        1. Bill Smith

          Being an island helps. Hawaii has even all but turned off even intra island travel. Plus almost all the tourists are gone.

          No preprint non peer approved study but… Otherwise those interstate highways…. I-95 north and south from NYC.

          1. MLTPB

            Hawaii is almost our New Zealand or Taiwan.

            Notwithstanding today’s or yesterday’s spike, maybe it will get there yet…one small step or giant victory for America?

      4. Sacred Ground

        120,000 dead so far n the US, a fraction of the death toll to come as we’re still just 5 month into it. God know how many more permanently injured- only God knows, because we refuse to do the testing that would yield real data.

        Is the economy worth YOUR life? If you would volunteer your own life, be willing to DIE to keep the restaurants open, then I guess that’s your priority. But it isn’t, is it? You want other people to sacrifice.

        120,000 *other people’s* lives. And not a single one of the most volunteered.

        How brave and noble you are, so willing to die to keep the economy, such as it is, going. Business must go on, no matter how many of us must die. Oh wait, I mean no matter how many *other people who aren’t you* must die.

        If you aren’t willing to sacrifice your own life to prevent a Depression, then STFU. Because nobody else is either.

    2. Harold

      Vulnerable people, such as those in nursing homes and their caretakers require extra care and protective equipment. But all ages are vulnerable to the disease and should observe lockdown masks and physical distancing..

    3. Cuibono

      because that is easier said than done.
      who takes care of these elderly? the young and the poor.
      go figure.

  12. farmboy

    DOJ tip of the iceberg Seth Abramson’s 1,000 page book on Barr, et al
    “My book doesn’t come out until later in the summer, but I’m going to tell you now one thing that you’ll find in it: all of the reporting indicates that Barr is involved in the dubious funding of the Trump 2020 campaign by foreign sources. This is all a lot worse than you realize.”

    1. Pelham

      I don’t doubt it. But then, Israel and many nations have been sending swarms of lobbyists over Capitol Hill for decades. And of course the US has quite a record of coups and decapitations abroad. So new disclosures of foreign meddling here should barely register in context.

      (I know I may be accused of whataboutism. But sometimes raising a what-about is a perfectly valid way of applying useful perspective. So I reject knee-jerk charges of whataboutism. )

      1. Winston Smith

        The context is that the SDNY USAG was appointed by Trump and is actively pursuing multiple investigation concerning the Trump organization. Michael Cohen is collaborating. Friday night, Barr said Berman had resigned but no one told Berman and he is refusing to step down. It appears that he can be replaced, but only after his replacement has been approved by the senate…until then he stay on the job. That particular context is markedly different than the ones you describe as leading to knee-jerk charges of whataboutism.

      2. Amfortas the hippie

        “whataboutism” is the Foreign Policy version of accusation=>deplatforming/cancelling(skipping Due Process and/or Debate/Investigation) in the spheres of Metoo and other IdPol/Woke Robespierrestans.
        often nonsensical, but effectively shuts down and shames anyone who questions the Orthodoxy.

        1. ambrit

          Extreme indeed. In the face of that, where moderation has been mooted, the only workable strategy is to go all out in trying to destroy the orthodoxy. It’s a situation where resort to the ‘F’ word is appropriate.

      3. hunkerdown

        Whataboutism is PMC code for “Don’t point out my ethics are selective and my pretexts are cynical”.

        Man, when will poison pen letters become a fine art again.

        1. ambrit

          Poison pen letters never went out of fashion. They evolved into talk radio and the present day cable news culture. Also, doxxing.

  13. fresno dan

    So, in 1968, the US passed a law mandating seat belts in all new vehicles.

    This was strongly opposed by various anti-seat belt groups – this was “socialism” and impinged on their individual freedom. Many people refused to wear the seat belts, so eventually most state required the use of seat belts.
    Dang communist laws that make me stop at red lights /s

    1. Copeland

      My parents, both 79, never did begin using their seat belts, and still don’t to this very day.

    2. wilroncanada

      Yes, fresno dan, but think of all the houses you’d wreck otherwise.
      I went through a red light once–completely destroyed the house.

  14. Pelham

    Re sacrificing everything so the rich can get richer: I think it would be useful to do a double-column timeline graphic dating back at least to 1980.

    On one side would be listed various social eruptions, wars, indignant ideological campaigns, marches, protests, etc. On the other would be listed various economic and financial shenanigans: PNTR for China, the WTO, various bubbles, manias and bailouts.

    Perhaps this would clarify the distraction factor, whether intended or not, served by social upheavals that allow the power brokers to get away with their repeated banditry.

  15. anon in so cal

    >Time-lapse view of coronavirus spread across California

    So, it’s accelerating at an accelerating rate? Second derivative is positive? Where is this headed? Bars reopened yesterday in Los Angeles County….

    1. MLTPB

      1. At constant acceleration, the second derivative (of distance) is a fixed number.

      2. If the acceleration is increasing at a constant rate, the third derivative is fixed.

      3. And if the acceleration is increasing at an increasing rate, it could be the 4th, 5th or higher derivative that might be constant.

      Not sure ‘an accelerating acceleration’ refers to 2 or 3.

      1. @pe

        If the underlying function is an exponential (as expected in reproductive systems), then the derivative is … the same exponential scaled by the time constant … and thus so on and so forth, so all higher derivatives are exponential (but some may become teeeeny-tiny, if the time constant is right). Thus A*A – accelerating… acceleration.

        This is why evolution works.

    2. The Rev Kev

      In visualizing the spread of Coronavirus, I tend to think of it as like watching slow-motion fireworks. You would over time have big explosions in places like New York followed by a spluttering of sparks as in cases and clusters of cases. You would have further explosions of cases in areas like Texas, Florida and Louisiana. Something like this-

      1. MLTPB

        Don’t know if Xi is going to like this circling Covid19 back to Wuhan (the original show) via fireworks, which China proudly claims, and rightfully so, as the inventor.

        Hopefully Beijing does not see this as anti China.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I’ll say this for the Chinese. As soon as they found out that the virus was back again and in the Capital this time, they dropped the hammer on it but hard. No debate, no dithering, no checking the calendar to see what the virus might clash with – just a straight state medical response. I think that what we are seeing is a template of what a standard response to an outbreak of this virus is going to have to look like down the track. Either that or just admitting that you are not serious in fighting the virus.

          1. MLTPB

            Some countries are more set up to do that.

            People complaining on the net doesn’t stop the hammer. Maybe complaining is not allowed.

            Also easier to make the trains run on time, I think.

            1. ambrit

              Also much easier to make the trains stop running to certain places.
              Isolation is used in wildfire fighting. Everything inside the firelines is allowed to burn itself out.
              Will this pathogen evolve into a weaker strain, ever? Or will the human population have to evolve into a ‘tougher’ species?

  16. Expat2Uruguay

    Live coverage of the Poor People’s Campaign event to bring a Moral Revival. I can’t determine if this is affiliated with the Reverend William Barber, but it is being carried on MSNBC, so God only knows what it’s about. Heh.

  17. Wukchumni

    Was told by a friend in the NPS that if people catch the Coronavirus while in Sequoia NP, it’ll be cause to shut it down again, probably for the rest of the summer.

  18. lordkoos

    Re the connected vehicles – color me suspicious. I don’t want my car to be online or part of a Bluetooth network. Seems like just another data-harvesting opportunity.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      aye. I loathe that stuff.
      when my current truck dies(the simplest of computers that runs the fuel injection. manual roll on windows, etc), I hope i’m in a position to get some ancient truck with a mayonnaise jar in the engine compartment.
      If not, I’m seriously considering a buckboard and a mule.
      That truck is a farm truck, and is exclusively used for on-farm stuff, and maybe a weekly(or bi-weekly…or once a month) trip to the feed store or beer store.
      never had a buckboard, but i grew up with donkeys…have no idea how long the 22 mile round trip would take.
      I suppose that, depending on the mule, it could be a rolling party(leave room for a keg, or something)

      1. BobW

        My father could drive a mule team – his job in the US Army between the wars. The oldest thing I drove was a ’62 Chevy with 3 on the tree. That straight six was a great engine. Mules, backyard chickens, cow for milk, all may be making a comeback. Clearing room on my apartment balcony now.

      2. Ana

        My first car was 1930 Model A Towne Sedan. An ancient Ford that pretty much did have a mayo jar in the engine compartment. I loved that car and while in high school I rebuilt the engine and carb and ground the valves by hand. No syncro on the tranny so double clutching every time I had to shift. Now I drive a 1998 Ford 150 with a big chunk of Detroit iron under the ratty hood. Ahh. For the old days sans computers.
        Ana in Sacramento

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          I’m not an engine guy, to say the least(mechanical work is my least favorite task around here)…so it’s been a million years since i’ve seen an engine with a mayonnaise jar in it…and i still have no idea what they were for.(great uncle collected and played with Model T’s and Model A’s, but i remember them in a bunch of old vehicles, when i was a kid)
          deep, fuzzy memory says something to do with manifold vacuum.
          I’m curious, now,lol…and google is less than worthless on this.

      3. rowlf

        How much of a farm truck? Does it still have doors and do you always have to park it on a hill? Daylight only operation? How many blankets on the front seat?

        My wife is a foreign national from an urban area. Soon after she came to the US we went to a party at a friend’s property in a rural area. As we walk up to the house where the party is we turn a corner to where all the guests are hanging around a keg and the entertainment was the neighbor (wearing a motorcycle helmet) driving his Ford Ranger farm truck in a figure 8 in the back area while guests are loading up potato cannons to shoot at the truck. We showed up just as a taillight was taken out.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          lol, not as bad as all that.
          02 dodge double cab.
          dented,ugly, filthy. no a/c and the heater is an exposed hot water line in the caved in dash, where the bones and interesting bits of wood and whatnot collect. windshield sticker expired more than a year ago, no wipers, dim headlights(but a q-beam on the seat, just in case). muffler full of holes.
          beer cans and various implements of destruction in the bed, among the millet and corn and such growing back there.Essentially theft proof.
          dump and feedstore mostly(using dirt roads to avoid Imperial entanglements), and moving stuff around the farm that’s too big for the Falcon(golf cart with lift kit, knobby tires, rifle rack, a flat bed and iron baskets full of tools. tie wire hanging all over-this is my main vehicle, as it fits everywhere, and is silent….for to sneak up. Falcon is the best vehicle i’ve ever had, although it’s pretty nippley in the winter)

          1. rowlf

            Essentially theft proof.

            (Nobody else knows how to start it) ;)

            I need those little Mad Magazine characters rolling on the floor laughing images they put in the margins.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          now, now…
          like packaging decisions, that engender a larger trip to landfill than i would like, that’s way above my pay-grade.
          One does what one can.
          I didn’t decide that efficiency would be coupled with embedded surveillance and tracking…nor did i decide that anything more efficient than a 69 chevy pickup would cost as much as my house(30k)…or that a tiny, $3 sensor burning out would lead to a cost/benefit analysis that makes it cheaper to buy a beater than to fix the fancy fuel efficient space ship.
          I require the occasional trip to town, the ability to pull a trailer, and the simplicity that allows shade tree repairs more often than not.
          I don’t care if it runs on gasoline or hamster wheels….although i would prefer the latter, due to the same concerns you allude to.
          I am constrained in such matters by the choices made by people more powerful than i…and they don’t ask my advice….ever.
          so again, one does what one can.
          surely, in the grand scheme of things, my “steampunk” is balanced by coming out of the landfill with tons more than i enter with, wasting zero water at our house, and setting a ready example for whomever cares to look, for regenerative agriculture, extreme recycling, and ethically coexisting with birds and lizards.

  19. flora

    re: Opiods, Inc.

    Thanks very much for the link. Glad the feds threw the book at them and won.

  20. Wukchumni

    Re: Statue of Limitations

    Statues of Junipero Serra, Ulysses S. Grant, Francis Scott Key & Don Quixote were all vandalized by being toppled over in Golden Gate Park the other day.

    It’s open season on the past…

        1. The Rev Kev

          It’s all fun and games until conservatives start counter-defacing & toppling statues dedicated to people like Susan B. Anthony and Eleanor Roosevelt. Wasn’t there one bust of a suffragette that was covered in ‘I voted’ stickers by women after voting for Hillary in 2016? Can you imagine the uproar if that one was defaced?

          1. newcatty

            Not fun. But, to just be cleaver and put all of the toppling of statues into the same ideological baskets is disingenuous. It really is projecting one’s own values and ideas onto others. I may not like Don Quixote being defaced. Someone else may not like Eleanor Roosevelt being defaced. Here in AZ a native American author’s statue was defaced on a state university campus. In the town of Flagstaff a very old Catholic church was desecrated by defacing its doors, windows and statues. What is important: Why are people so angry, despondent or, as the priest of the little chapel, said: so emotionally or mentally hurt in their heart and mind to do such a thing? These things are just the outer crys of our country’s ongoing travesties.

            1. The Rev Kev

              Personally I am against the toppling of any statues – as in at all. It is too much like editing history for my tastes. What I am in favour is giving context to statues to show what they were really like. As an example. In Washington the other day a statue was toppled. It was one for General Albert Pike and it was toppled because he was once a Confederate general. But for the life of me after reading his bio, the only reason that I can think of that led to a statue being erected for him was the fact that he was a Freemason. So his record should have been reviewed and then his statue removed to the back of a museum somewhere while a more worthy person found to replace where his statue once stood-


              1. Sacred Ground

                A statue of a general isn’t just a historic marker, it’s a glorification. You are literally putting someone on a pedestal as an examplar to be admired and followed. You are assigning heroic status. The statue is a statement of support for what that person represents. It is an overt political statement.

                Stautues of Confederate generals were always intended to express the locals’ support and admiration for the cause those generals fought for. You want them to stay, then you share the sentiment they represent. You want them to remain admired and held up as heroes. If you don’t, you don’t. It really is that simple.

  21. Amfortas the hippie

    from the sidebar of one of the links:

    and, from my wandering around:

    and from a link adjacent to that link:

    given trumps idiotpalooza and superspreader event, today, i’ll likely just avoid the news,lol.
    I’m fortunate in that all i have to do is step outside to forget that there’s a world beyond the cattleguard.
    I dreamed of thermite and a large bronze bull.

    1. Daryl

      Now that bull would really liven up the decor around here.

      I’m going to ignore the news too. Have a good weekend amfortas.

    1. GERMO

      “Decline” is a funny way to describe far-right nutjobs coming in and murdering hippies. Preceded by encouragement to do such things from many, many quarters. Or maybe it refers to the cops’ 100% insincere attempts to solve such crimes.

      1. Late Introvert

        Where is our Lenin? Not exactly being sarcastic.

        An organized defense of the left. Where is it…

  22. Yeo

    In other news, Australia now charges you a dollar a minute to borrow humanities related books from public libraries. This is the kind of stuff that degrades societies for generations

    1. MLTPB

      One US or Australian dollar a minute?

      I am reminded of this one Happy Days episode where Cunningham tried to impress a girl in the library with speed reading. He did it in about 5 seconds

    2. Massinissa

      Wait what? Is this real? Do you have a link? This is insane, why would they do that? This is even worse than the tuition change.

    3. The Rev Kev

      I’d like to see a link to that as well. Our public libraries are free and I can’t wait to get back to mine.

    4. integer

      The juxtaposition of the the-onion-like content of your first sentence with the seriousness of the second appears to have been lost on some.

  23. ewmayer

    “About that ‘two-metre rule’ FTAlphaville (vlade). A must read.” — not for non-subscribers, it’s not.

      1. ewmayer

        I just tried link again, hit the same paywall as yesterday:

        “Alphaville is completely free.

        All you have to do is register.

        Ready to subscribe, View our subscription options”

        So it seems to be a YMMV kind of thing.

          1. ewmayer

            Fine, “subscribe-walled”. You’ve seen the raft of personal infor they ask for as part of that “free registration”, I trust? And they don’t use any markers to differentiate the items which are required from those that aren’t. I filled out the minimal info they legitimately might need, name/e-mail, notify-preferences … no you don’t get my phone number, or name of first pet … then clicked ‘submit’ just to see what would happen. Got a cryptic “it looks like you’re trying to access the page from another site” (I paraphrase) error message, which I’m gonna treat as my older browser’s way of saving me from all that “free stuff” on offer. No thanks. As Lambert might say about that “…is free!”, “for some definition of ‘free’.”

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              Most people set up fake e-mail accounts for that purpose. In fact, accounts like that serve to muddy/distort your real world identity and are therefore a plus in terms of snooping protection.

  24. Retaj

    Three restaurants here in the capital of Florida have closed for “deep cleaning” due to COVID outbreaks among the employees. I do not know what their policies have been on mask wearing among the staff. Driving around, I have noticed that many restaurants do not require their staff to wear masks.

  25. kareninca

    Update from the vicinity of Palo Alto, CA. University Avenue, the main shopping strip, was jammed today; the parking spaces adjacent to the avenue were full (I don’t know about the spaces in the parking lots, or the garages). There were loads of people eating while walking and eating in open air arrangements. There were not any vacant storefronts, but there were a number of closed restaurants that were not trying to get the foot traffic on a Saturday. I am guessing they will be giving up.

    But how are these places going to be staffed, if customer numbers increase? I have a friend who is in her 70s and she now has to do her own gardening. This is because she can no longer hire the “casual labor” she used to hire. It is not that she has suddenly become disagreeable or is paying less (she pays a generous amount by the standard of that sort of thing and she is amiable). It is because the people whom she used to hire don’t own cars. And they are terrified of taking the bus. And they are right to be terrified to take the bus.

    So if she wants help, she will have to pay someone enough for them to buy and own a car in Silicon Valley. Actually she could afford that. It wouldn’t be so enjoyable to her to pay that much, but she could.

    1. Sacred Ground

      A wealthy retiree’s sudden loss of easy access to cheap under-the-table manual labor doesn’t strike me as anything anyone should be concerned about.

      Do they not have licensed, bonded, and insured landscaping companies, who employ documented labor at market wages and pay taxes on that labor, where she lives? Of course they do. They cost more though, what with all that compliance with laws and such.

      I don’t know your friend but if that’s actually a serious complaint of theirs, your friend can go to hell.

  26. The Rev Kev

    And this is one of the reasons that I do not do social media like Twitter-

    ‘ Twitter is ‘canceling’ Joe Rogan again after he said MSM ignores Joe Biden’s mental decline’

    And this is what the regular media is ignoring. The fact that Joe’s better days are long behind him. Would it really be wise to give him the nuclear codes if he became President?

    1. Duck1

      Well consider, he would have a hell of a time getting the launch codes entered, so maybe there is a lesser evil argument for the man.

    2. ambrit

      Which just goes to prove that ‘Twitter’ is a tentacle of the MSM.
      What the Culture Warriors don’t consider is that, when the Conservatives gain control of the MSM, (if they don’t already and hide that fact well,) the same tactics will be used against them.

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