Links 7/12/2020

Everything You Need To Make Beer, Wine, Cider, and Mead Wired

Jack Charlton: a footballing giant who was forever a man of the people Guardian

The death of the bra: will the great lingerie liberation of lockdown last? Guardian.

The ugly truth behind the First World War’s Chinese labourers Independent. Robert Fisk.

Survivors recount Bosnia’s Srebrenica genocide, 25 years on Al Jazeera


Coronavirus deaths take a long-expected turn for the worse AP

COVID-19 Cases Are Rising, so Why Are Deaths Flatlining? Atlantic

US withdrawal from WHO is unlawful and threatens global and US health and security The Lancet

Bill Nye Makes A PSA On TikTok About How Effective Different Face Masks Are, Goes Viral Bored Panda

Trump wears mask in public for first time during pandemic AP

You Can Make Millions Selling Masks to the Government in Three Easy Steps ProPublica

The lives upended around a $20 cheeseburger WaPo My cooking skills fall far short of those of a chef infa fancy restaurant. But I never press down on my burgers when I’m grilling them or you lose the juices. And I’m told I make a mean burger. My husband often opts for one rather than a steak when given a choice. Readers?


A plasma shot could prevent coronavirus. But feds and makers won’t act, scientists say LA Times. I took one of these shots, back when an Oxford student, when I wanted to protect myself from hepatitis A during a trip. Twinrix wasn’t available then and this type of jab was the only option.

All about Biocon’s Itolizumab, psoriasis drug approved for emergency use in Covid patients The Print

WHO still skeptical SARS-CoV-2 lingers in air—despite what the NYT says Ars Technica

If the coronavirus is really airborne, we might be fighting it the wrong way MIT Technology Review

Travel Tumbles

AirAsia’s future in doubt as share price tumbles Asia Times

Bar Harbor Closes its Port to Cruise Ships for 2020 The Maritime Executive

Chinese Travelers Will Be Ready, Will You? Jing Travel

American Passports Are Worthless Now (Map) India Samarajiva

Imperial Collapse Watch

After the Liberal International Order Project Syndicate. Joseph Nye, Jr.  This is about the same as the pope saying it’s time to think of what will replace the Christianity thing.

Waste Watch

Mountains of Microplastics Forming at the Bottom of the Ocean TreeHugger

House hearing highlights political divide over plastics and pandemic response Waste Dive

Class Warfare

Airline Industries Laid Off Workers, Then Got Money Meant to Prevent Layoffs TruthOut

Nurse Strike Wave Grows – Latina Nurses Face Retaliation for Reporting Racism – Houston Nurses Strike Payday Report

Left Behind By the Coronavirus Der Spiegel

NYT Acknowledges Need for Economic Change—Without Crediting Those Who Would Bring It FAIR

It’s Official — Steven Pinker Is Full of Shit Jacobin.I met him once at a literary festival and see no reason to disagree with this assessment.

Health Care

The Scandal of Our Drug Supply New York Review of Books

Failed State Watch

Flailing States: Pankaj Mishra on Anglo-America London Review of Books

The BBC World War Two Porn Page Craig Murray


Robert Mueller: Roger Stone remains a convicted felon, and rightly so WaPo

Liberals Are Crazy Idiots Caitlin Johnstone. Could have filed under many categories, but I think it  fits best here.

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Police Execute Search Warrant At Home of Gun-toting Couple AP

Portland Place couple who confronted protesters have a long history of not backing down St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ISS urges companies to disclose ethnicity of directors FT


Narendra Modi Is Not Creating the India That Returning Indians Will Want to Live in The Wire

Acute financial distress brought on by the COVID-19 lockdown is leading to suicides Caravan

Food Security and COVID-19: Why India’s Public Distribution System Requires an Overhaul Economic and Political Weekly

Amitabh Bachchan and Son Abhishek Test Positive for COVID-19 The revered septuagenarian  Indian movie star and his son, also an actor. A bit like Tom and Colin Hanks, but on a much bigger scale. His Mumbai residence is now a containment zone.

India-China Joust

India’s China Strategy Is Changing Project Syndicate, Shashi Tharoor.

Why India and China’s latest dispute could cost both sides greatly SCMP

l’affaire Jeffrey Epstein

‘I’m no Cruella de Vil’: Ghislaine Maxwell insists she is not an ‘evil villain’, had not seen Jeffrey Epstein in 15 years, did not introduce Prince Andrew to him and is being moved from cell to cell in prison for her safety. Daily Mail.

Julian Assange

THE REVELATIONS OF WIKILEAKS: No. 8—Busting the Myth WikiLeaks Published Nothing on Israel & Syria Consortium News

Antidote du jour. TH: Chukar partridge in Trona, California (Mojave desert)

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. John A

    ‘I’m no Cruella de Vil’: Ghislaine Maxwell insists.

    Exactly, nobody is accusing her of dognapping dalmations, to the best of my knowledge.

    1. ambrit

      I would believe her to be possible of singing “See My Vest.” It is also a very apt association with “Beauty and the Beast.” Unfortunately, as is all too true in ‘real’ life, the Beauty is also a Beast.
      Ye Simpsons (too appropriate on too many levels,):

    2. DJG

      John A

      Indeed. She is Mother Teresa, rescuer of animals, heart as big as all of Kolikata.

      A weird detail in the article:
      –However, the friend adds, Maxwell continued to work for the twisted tycoon. ‘She hired Epstein’s pool guys, the IT guys.

      –‘She managed his household. They weren’t that close. It was a professional relationship.’


      What was a woman as rich and well-connected as she was doing “managing” the household of someone with major, errrr, reputational problems?

      The whole article reminded me of how daft the English upper class is. “She has as rescue dog. She tips the servants. She’s one of us!”

      1. km

        There should be numerous photographs available to disprove the “I hadn’t seen Epstein in fifteen years no really!” schtick.

        I am waiting for La Ghislaine to blame the whole thing on eevil russkies that tricked poor Jeffrey into becoming a sec offender and also for making him take the original sweetheart deal.

        1. Michael McK

          I second that recommendation. I had scrolled down after reading John’s comment to leave a link to that video (over an hour long) but you beat me to it. Here it is again to help it fight the algos.

          One interesting nugget the second guest claims is that it was not Mossad, rather the military intel outfit (Shin Bet?) running the operation. I often forget many nations have multiple intel agencies who are rivals in many ways.

      2. km

        I suspect that the adoption of a dog and cat (note one each) was done for cynical reasons, to soften up La Ghislaine’s image for later.

        1. edmondo

          Now that the Catholic Church qualifies to get $1.4 billion, it’s just a matter of time before Epstein’s pedophile operation is eligible for a bailout too.

  2. GramSci

    I am *so* gratified to finally see Steven Pinker taken down. For me, he is emblematic of everything that has gone wrong with higher education in the US. When I was like 12, I won the local Junior Optimist Oratorical Contest, but by the time I was 14 I realized my prize oration was a pile of bullsh!t. Steven Pinker never had such a road to Damascus moment.

    I first encountered Pinker when he arrived at Harvard back ca. 1977. (From a distance, across the river.) Back then I managed to convince my dissertation advisor, George Miller, Chomsky’s erstwhile mentor, that the then-fashionable AI model was bankrupt and needed to be replaced by a neural network model of language. But no one nor nothing could convince Pinker. He was an inveterate optimist and sycophant, and he remained so. For the next thirty years, he led what passed for critical linguistic, psycholinguistic, and neurolinguistic “thought”, regurgitating towering edifices of scholarly (and not-so-scholarly) verbiage built on willfully unexamined premises, protected under Chomsky’s mantle. I guess there is some kind of “nobility” in Chomsky’s protecting his old students and standard-bearers, long after he himself had quit the field.

    1. jr

      This may sound odd, but it’s true. As a culinary instructor, I’ve literally taught tens of thousands of students, my old buddy who kept the numbers told me it was between 35K to 40K over eight and a half years. A kind of scientific sampling, if you will.

      One thing I learned quickly: watch out for guys with hair like Pinker. 40+ white guys with busy hair tend to be arrogant, disruptive, entitled, and far more confident in themselves than is justified. There is a reason why a man at that age feels the need to preen and strut like a rooster, more than one. It was so consistent that my assistant and I used to look at one another when one came into my kitchen, we knew it wasn’t long before I would have to shut him down…

      1. nycTerrierist

        Oscar Wilde got it right:

        “It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances.”


        1. jr


          You shouldn’t judge books by their covers….but you should make in initial assessment…

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            I always thought it was how many accouterments a man has was a pretty good sign. More than two should set off alarms. Pressures on women make this a little different. Bow ties, ostentatious watches, boat shoes at inappropriate times, seersucker suits, elaborate tattoos, earings, vests, elaborate facial hair, now men’s makeup, and so forth alone might not make a person bad, but when a man gets to three watch out.

            Bow ties alone make a person awful. Expensive clothing meant to be noticed as expensive clothing as opposed to it being tailored and comfortable is usually sufficient alone. My guess is Pinker has his hair, expensive clothes, and a watch. He also looks like he wears boat shoes at inappropriate times.

            1. jr

              If one is promoting a particular look, I believe its permissible. I was a flaming metrosexual when I was single; eyeliner, girls jeans, studded belts, and jewelry but I had a particular look in mind, a goal if you will. Other nights it was Argyle sweaters and khakis…ah, Manhattan is a stage…

              But when a guy makes such accoutrements his actual, everyday look?
              Watch out! His ego walks in the room five minutes before he does.

            2. Amfortas the hippie

              so I’m ok, then.
              (half naked running big sprinklers all over the place)

              ((I did finally run a brush through my tangled mop this morning. “all is vanity and vexation of spirit”))

            3. Darius

              When I was 20 pounds lighter, I was rocking slim-fit, color coordinated, slightly flashy clothes that got me a lot of compliments and some turned heads. Now that I have put back some of the weight, I’m back to late middle-aged guy.

              1. jr

                I’ve recently lost a bit of weight, sadly a portion of that was my hairline so….no more skinny jeans! :/

            1. Adam Eran

              Personally, I’ve oped for the “reverse Mohawk” for the last few decades. As one friend told me: “Grass doesn’t grow on a busy street.”

          1. John Beech

            66?!?!? But, but, but why did you wait? I can only image you cut quite a dashing figure wearing your bright blue mohawk! Did you eventually lose it due to chemo? And did you ever grow it back?

            Inquiring minds

            1. polecat

              I’m waiting with bated breath for Mr. Stone to give us a preview of his new tattoos ….

        2. Otto

          How’d that work out for Oscar, down & out in France. A truly better to burn out then fade away kind of guy. And burn out he did.

          1. ambrit

            With a little help from a Lettered Lord.
            Despite the Marquess of Queensbury being involved, nonetheless the gloves came off.

      2. JohnH

        An aspect of appearance people have much latitude over. It is there as a signal, and I think you correctly interpret it, even if these guys themselves don’t consciously understand what they are doing.

        My own 40+ white guy hair has not been cut since January 2019, and I have noticed those who do not regard me as potentially indigent assume I’m countercultural and cool (as in easy going, not as in hip) which I like to think is the case. What I hope to telegraph anyway.

        1. ambrit

          Try over 60 something white guy hair, (or what’s left of it.) You know, the Late Lyndon Johnson look.
          Your observation about the “public” assessment of long hair on older males sounds about right, if my region’s behaviour is any guide. I have noticed that the public reaction to long hair on a male is culturally conditioned. Older “Uppers” and hipsters take the long hair as a sign of “cool,” while most younger “Uppers” view it askance. I’ll venture the observation that the younger PMC crowd are beginning to look and sound like old fashioned small ‘c’ conservatives. The “Lowers” are much more complex in their acceptance of ‘eccentricity.’ I’ve encountered everything from ‘high fives’ to threatening gestures from “Lowers,” in a much more pronounced fashion as my hair grows longer.
          My basic reason for letting my hair grow long is laziness. Phyllis has always been my barber. Of late, she has shown less enthusiasm for the task. Plus, I will not pay for a haircut. I’m too cheap.
          Who am I trying to impress? (Oh boy. Do you have a few hours for the list?)

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            my long hair was initially a response to ear-pulling in junior high…big, dumbo ears apparently invite this behaviour.
            just kind of stuck after that.
            haven’t had a haircut in more than 20 years…save for cutting out the odd knot with whatever is to hand(like wirecutters)

            it used to be a cop-magnet, as well as a signal to redneck good ol boys that i wanted to get stomped…but Willie and Waylon’s quiet revolution finally took hold, and all the GAC guys(“great american country”) sport hair and beards and ear rings to rival any mid-70’s garage band.

          2. BoulderMike

            My over 60 long hair is a response to (a) hating hair cuts, (b) being retired and not having to please employers anymore, (c) a return to my hippie roots from my teens and early 20’s.
            Now that I haven’t had a haircut since September 2019, and it was already long then, I find the interesting thing to be how I have any hair left at all. Does anyone else with long hair find that more hair seems to “fall” out of their head now that their hair is long? Everytime I run my hands through the hair in my ponytail I have at least a couple of hairs in my hand. And, don’t even get me started about the tumbleweeds on the floor.

            1. LawnDart

              Yeah, I shed like a dog. First started noticing that as my hair approached shoulder length. Doesn’t seem to really thin-out though.

              I do notice that the long hair does tend to provoke hostility in some, but I never did like bullies, people who like to boss others around or otherwise forcefully impose their views, so I really don’t mind the negativity– helps keep me clear of (family blog) I wouldn’t want to associate with anyway.

            2. CanCyn

              You’re not losing more hair than you did when it was short… it is simply that the long hairs are more noticeable.

              1. BoulderMike

                Makes sense, but it is a strange feeling to see all the hairs. I can emphasize with LawnDart though: shedding like a dog. That is how I feel these days.

            3. ambrit

              Right about the hair loss problem. I don’t know if the “excess” hair loss is real or an artifact of the strands that do fall out being longer and thus more liable to being noticed. I do notice that, when bathing erect, I have to clean the errant strands out of the shower drain cover more often than of old.
              I do notice that it takes more time and effort to “control” the chaotic coif, the longer it gets.
              On reflection, I do wonder about the pragmatic reasons for men having short hair. An early reason being military, in that a man at arm’s armoured cap could use hair as a shock absorber, but otherwise flowing locks would pose a tangling hazzard and point of control if grabbed. Long hair can definitely be of detriment to one’s chances in a hand to hand fight.
              Another ‘reason’ for short hair I deduce is in the realm of the sexual. Long hair, pace the ancients, was often seen as a sign of virility. The legend of Samson of the Old Testament comes to mind.
              Thirdly, in the industrial age, long hair is a danger to the individual in the mechanical realm of production. Spinning reels, and other machinery with moving parts can grab long hair and draw the individual into the machinery, with generally disastrous results.

              1. rowlf

                I went with short hair when I became a mechanic working under things that dripped turbine oil, jet fuel and Skydrol. Lots easier to clean after a shift at work. Long hair is too much bother/hot and shaved shows all the times I didn’t duck low enough. (We used to bet on how many stitches a coworker would get per injury as it was common to get dinged up.) Having a little bit of hair can act like cat whiskers if your ducking reflexes are tuned up.

                I’m too lazy to have a beard or mustache, and besides, it feels like I am wearing an animal pelt that traps dirt, snot, food and sweat.

                Others can do whatever they like.

          3. Lambert Strether

            > long hair on older males

            Well, there’s the Unix guru look* (good)

            And the Richard Branson look (bad)

            My hair is short, but if I let it grow — as I did for three months when I self-quarantined — I would grow to Unix guru (grey ponytail) length. The intermediate three months look was awful, however

            Or Grateful Dead roadie look (also good)

        2. neo-realist

          My experience with longer hair vs. shorter – Older upper middles and middle middles, particularly professional class, like short hair and are not all that comfortable with longer hair…….and most women across all age and class lines like shorter hair.

          Hipper artsy people are fine with either long or short.

          But I’m also coming at this from a POC experience.

          I suspect whites have more opportunities to skate with a variety of hair lengths in multiple social circumstances.

          1. furies

            My opinion–just *my* opinion…is that long hair on old guys is not attractive. It’s usually super thin and stringy.

            Also a pet peeve; old guys without shirts on makes me wanna retch.

            But I’m one of those very superficial people.

            Yeah, I know…

            1. ambrit

              Old men, seeing themselves shirtless in the mirror, experience a similar desire to retch.
              What, that we were young, and comely! [Now, no longer young, no longer desired, no longer valued.]
              I’ll venture to observe that in old men, the ‘fashion’ for long hair is often a repudiation of the strictures and impositions of the work world that so constrained their personal appearance in their younger days. The World of Work is an amazingly oppressive milieu. Power and Control are the constantly unvoiced but relevant subjects. Control is most easily enforced and displayed through “codes” of various sorts; a Code of Dress, a Code of Decorum, a Code of Piety, etc.

              1. The Rev Kev

                ‘The World of Work is an amazingly oppressive milieu.’

                Been that way for a long time as seen by the book & film ‘The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit.’ To quote Wikipedia-

                ‘The book deals with the ethos of the American Dream that was strong during the post-War ’50s. The business suit is a symbol of that culture. The American aesthetic was that the gray flannel business suit came to represent middle-class success. A man wearing such a suit belonged to that ideal and the image of that culture.’

            2. Charlie

              Well, my 53 year old thin self was sans shirt yesterday. The neighbors didn’t seem to mind too much.

              But pants I haven’t forgotten yet.

      3. ShamanicFallout

        Very good! Every time you see one of those overly tan, 50s + CEO types with too much hair standing on a stage wearing a tight black tee-shirt and one of those stoopid microphones hanging from his ear you are about to hear some serious bullish*t. Book cover judged and I don’t care!
        Or another way to put it- you’ll never get close to enlightenment with too much hair

        1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

          My edging close to 63 head is low maintenance as in electric shaved all over once weekly. Occasionally of late I get some added spit & polish on the dome from a scallywag black Shi-Tzu puppy going by the name of Molly.

      4. JoeK

        So true. Just look at photos of him, obviously a legend in his own mind.

        Not to single out our cousins across the pond, but the several Englishman I’ve had dealings with over the decades who sported a pony tail and other hippy-ish style elements coupled with a posh accent, showed me quickly they were really all about piece (as big as possible), love (of £££) and understanding (your weaknesses so they can ruthlessly exploit them).
        Again, not limited to the English, of course, but the public school accent is a unique and obvious tell. Run away!

    2. Kris

      “Chomsky’s protecting his old students” – by also being a signatory on the letter? Wasn’t this what Taibbi was pointing out?

      1. flora

        Protecting an old *liberty and ideal* – free speech.

        Amazing that optimism – like holding ideals – is now suspect. I can understand, given pandemic unemployment wages debts falling life expectancy, why optimism seems too optimistic, unrealistic. But without optimism why try to improve anything? Why think neoliberalism can be changed? Despair in us makes the neoliberal hold on power much easier.

        1. ambrit

          I’ll go out on a rotting branch and posit that “optimism” is useless in the present situation.
          I’ll agree that neo-liberalism cannot be ‘changed.’ It has to be destroyed. Some things cannot be ‘improved.’ [Burn it with fire.]
          Despair in us allows us to jettison unusable methods and turn to darker and more “robust” forms of change.
          Interesting times.

          1. JTMcPhee

            This discussion seems to assume that there will be some “agency” by “us” in what’s coming, in the way of “change.” As well as in the process of destruction. I doubt that is true, except maybe if the means of change is the release of some CRSPR-modified biostructure, or the “agency” of the earnest young exam-cheating Air Force officers who get to turn the keys in pairs, down there under the prairie lands…

          2. Otto

            Have to, must. Do or die time. By which I mean we the weak, poor and down trodden die. Ya, it’s tough to go from having a 100 billion to 1 billion, but that’s the best offer I’ve got. I know all about MMT. It’s not the money it’s the 50,000 square foot house, etc.,. No more of that. Not any more.

            1. scoff

              It’s the conspicuous consumption that grates. Seeing someone gleefully consuming the resources of a hundred while a hundred others live in want and destitution. That’s why I hate the billionaires class.

    3. CoryP

      There are many many reasons to dislike Pinker, and I feel some sort of shame at having enjoyed his work.

      But, Pinker being someone I liked and who I now hate (how fickle) notwithstanding… I still think Taibbi is on the right side of this argument.

      Even if I’m angry that I was snookered by his intellectual prose and think he’s a horrible person, I think it’s a bad precedent for him to lose his job because of popular pressure (which is what I believe people were clamouring for).

      However on the other side, I was just reading in WSWS about the not so stealthy rise of the neo Nazis and their infiltration within governmental and security bodies in Germany. One of their main criticisms is that the (bourgeois Democrat. Whatever) powers that be did not speak out strongly enough as these fascist views were being normalized, and so now we are stuck with a situation where they are widespread.

      And it’s interesting because I think usually WSWS comes down hard on the side of being pro free speech (and definitely anti ID-Pol)… but I guess this is a situation where I can see the merit in the side that wants to cancel people.

      “If we canceled and shamed and shouted the nazis into the wilderness they wouldn’t be in the positions of power they now occupy”(imaginary paraphrase).

      Okay fair enough. I don’t know what I think is right. But I’ve been happily Saying I’m a free speech absolutist, and then I run into this situation and then oh shit I’m not so sure.

      But I’m glad people are discussing it.

      1. David

        It’s delightfully naive of the WSWS to imagine that the Nazis could have been stopped by the equivalent of Twitter. The Nazis, in fact’ had by far the best social media operation of the day, but more importantly they had a militia (the SA) which meant they dominated the streets. The only serious challenge to the Nazis came from the Red Front fighters of the Communist Party, who were, unfortunately equally uninterested in free speech and political pluralism. You have a Twitter account, I have an iron bar. Not a fair fight.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          The modern equivalent of the Nazis of course are very good at using twitter and other forms of social media for harassment of people they don’t like. Just in the last week, a newly appointed Green Irish government minister, who is openly gay, was subject to a systematic and clearly planned social media assault intended to link him to a UK gay rights campaigner who was very tenuously connected with advocating underaged gay sex.

          The second hand connection was laughably weak, but it successfully put the politician on the back foot and no doubt some of the smearing has stuck which means he’ll have to be especially careful in future. This is something left wing Idpol campaigners fail to recognise – once you weaponise vague accusations, they can be used against you, and the far right are always more ruthless with this type of thing.

          1. David

            Oh yes, I do wish that the NottheLeft would finally realise this. You start this kind of thing and you are tangling with people who are more interested in power than in performance art.

            1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

              & don’t forget the FreiKorps ( GKSD ), Hitler got I think 9 relatively comfortable months for insurrection but Rosa Luxemburg got a rifle butt to the head, followed by a bullet headed in the same direction before being thrown into a canal for planning to do a Red version of the same.

          2. Aumua

            The far right also very much advanced in the use of rhetoric, symbols, memes and other techniques to ensnare susceptible minds, particularly young people, and indoctrinate them step by step to their ‘redpilled’ way of seeing the world. It always starts with the ‘I’m a reasonable guy’ kind of arguments, and I think that the extreme end of the ‘woke’ perspective i.e. the cancel culture is at least in part a reaction to the organized and concerted recruitment campaign online of the alt-right/far-right. But it also ends up feeding into the proto-fascist rhetoric, making all egalitarian ideas look crazy. It’s like a kind of finger trap that gets tighter and tighter on both ends the more each side pulls.

    4. PlutoniumKun

      Nichola Nassim Taleb has been pointing out for many years that Pinker does not understand basic statistical methods when applied to risk. His projections which claim to show a steady reduction in violence worldwide over a long historical period actually just reflect a changing pattern of violence.

      1. Otto

        Ah, Taleb says that to just about everyone. Sat at the feet of the master. The fact that’s he’s right, hasn’t changed the nature of reality though. Pinker isn’t the only one that makes the less and or different violence claim. Which would include Jared Diamond, at which point I fold. The issue of censorship of speech has been going on since recorded history (7000 years ago). Different labels, same process, same outcomes. All of which to me misses the point. CV19 is the least of our problems. Let me posit the money and the use of energy to get something done are the same thing. Now a Taleb tested prediction, there’s going to be less and less of both on the immediate and long term future timeframe. That means coming up with different living arrangements with reality because from here on everything matters and everything counts. Progress was always overrated. Call it a decline or call it a simpler way of living, we can do it and like or just do it. Them’s the choices. No there will be no flying cars. No Self driving cars. Eventually no cars. Horses sure. 100% solar powered.

    5. flora

      One of the best tricks the neoliberal thought collective has managed, in the face of their obvious economic failure, is keeping too many of us worked up over perceived bad-faith or bad-thought in our contemporaries. What better way – and what more invisible way – than by making it seem organic to to 99% themselves, to keep us all divided and suspicious of each other for whatever reasons? Keeping us all divided and unorganized keeps the neoliberal capitalists unchallenged and in charge. Divide and conquer. Old idea.

  3. FreeMarketApologist

    Burgers: I learned that no, you do not press down on the meat, whether you’re doing it in a pan or on the grill. Put the patty on the heat, and don’t touch it until you’re ready to turn it.

      1. jr

        He’s doing it because he is overworked, it speeds up the cooking time considerably. Those seconds add up when you are flying a grill with dozens and dozens of burgers in the rack. Also, I can pretty much guarantee his demotion to line cook did NOT free him from his duties as a former sous chef, it wasn’t a demotion really, just a pay cut with a title.

    1. Off The Street

      Also let that burger, or steak, or meatloaf rest for a few minutes after taking off the grill or out of the oven. That provides a chance for the juices to reabsorb and still allows time to serve a hot, tasty piece of beef.

      1. anonymoose

        Yes. Keep handling to a minimum during shaping and cooking, flipping only once; otherwise don’t touch it. Let cooked meat rest before serving.

      2. John Zelnicker

        @Off The Street
        July 12, 2020 at 9:03 am

        I put my steak on the plate and cover it with a piece of foil and a kitchen towel to hold in the heat while it rests. Four to five minutes later it’s still almost as hot as when it came out of the pan.

      3. neo-realist

        Consider a dry brine for a steak: Apply kosher salt to both sides and let it rest for 45 minutes at room temperature on a wire rack, or something that will allow air to circulate around the meat and not have it sit in its own juice. The brining will cut out the added water by using the natural moisture of the meat to create a brine that is naturally absorbed into the meat before cooking, thereby creating a favorful steak that tastes more like itself.

    2. dougie

      I agree with your spousal unit. I was raised “pore”, as we say in the South, and never tasted steak until I was 15-16. I think it is the most overrated dish in America. But then, grits are groceries at my house! A very rare burger is a delicacy to my provencial palate. As long as you don’t put salad on it…

      1. The Rev Kev

        You should try hamburgers like we make them in Oz. We put beetroot slices on ours. Yum!

          1. Wukchumni

            Beets on a burger is hard to beat, but there’s something so very wrong about biting on a purple tinged bun.

            1. Hepativore

              Call me old-fashioned, but I still think that nothing beats the classic mushroom, grilled onions, and swiss cheese topping on a hamburger, especially with a good brand of barbecue sauce like Sweet Baby Ray’s.

              Still, I like pork and lamb burgers as well. The meat in these two cases seems to have more collagen which gives it a very nice mouthfeel and adds to moisture retention.

        1. tegnost

          My alternative burger is ground dark turkey with bread crumbs, minced onion and minced jalapeno mixed in, with the standard american garnish of cheddar,bacon tomato spinach and a good solid slice of onion…

        2. Rod

          also if it’s Aussie Beef it will taste different–not being finished in the feed lot with grain and hormones
          like dougie, i was 9 before i tasted a steak (what Mom called it) that wasn’t ground(chuck)

    3. jef

      Grilling meat of any sort what you are doing is chasing the juices. You cook one side until you see the top side start to sweat then flip it. If you wait too long you chase too much juice out and you lose it when you flip. After you flip keep a close eye on it until you see the top start to moisten then flip again. Basic rule of thumb is two flips is rare, three is rare/medium rare, four flips med, etc. This is where the cross marks happen as you walk the meat down the grill. If done right you are chasing the juice back and forth through the meat keeping as much in as possible.

    4. GlobalMisanthrope

      Retired chef here.

      We used to say “set it and forget it.” Plus cook it hard on one side and light on the second, salt it when you flip it, and rest it a minute before putting it on the bun.

      Here endeth the lesson.

        1. eg

          I salt the side I put on the grill initially, then salt the other side shortly before I flip it

          And I only flip once

    5. shinola

      Appears there’s not many fans of my fav. – the wide, thin “smashburger” style; preferably cooked on a griddle well seasoned by years & years of burgers & grilled onions.

      1. ambrit

        Phyllis prefers the, what you call, the “smashburger” style. She mixes the fresh ground meat with wetted down bread ends, chopped green onions and parsley. Portion it out thin and flat. Make enough for a week or two, stack them up, with parchment paper between patties, freeze until needed.
        Not being bar-b-cuers deluxe, we fry the morsels in an old frying pan. Heat the pan, add some coconut oil and butter, perform amazing phase change process.
        Me, I’ll eat just about anything that doesn’t eat me first.

    6. Darius

      I would say that if it puffs up, it’s time to turn it and cook it on the other side. Don’t try to flatten it.

    7. Procopius

      And what’s with that “spiralling into the air” when he flipped it? That’s ridiculous.

  4. jr

    Re: hamburgers

    Never squeeze a burger, not only while it’s cooking, but when you are making it. Gently pat and form the burger, the reason being you don’t want to destroy the texture of the ground beef. It’s much more appealing this way instead of a Play-do patty, dense and heavy…

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      but….one’s audience matters.
      my mom and my wife both prefer dry, wooden meat.
      it’s especially galling when it’s steak,lol.
      i must put theirs on a long time before everyone else’s and be mindful of which one’s are theirs throughout.

      and, a thing i’ve noticed lately(anyone else have a taste/smell memory?)
      Hamburger once had a lot more fat in it, and it had a great effect on the taste when eating, and the smell when cooking.
      now, unless you pay extra to the butcher, you gotta do other things. I often mix jimmy dean sausage into the hamburger before making the patties.
      similar to childhood memories of exquisite burgers, but not quite.

      1. jr

        Once, as a kid at my father’s parents, I grabbed a piece of steak intended for Pop Pop off the serving platter. It was the texture and flavor of a boot tongue. I cried because it was terrible and I had to eat it or face Dad’s wrath. Gramps laughed at my tears and traded cuts of meat at Grandma’s insistence…wow, that was 40 years ago…

        My butcher shop has wonderful meats and poultry; clean, quality, and the animals are treated well. I know there is a lot of BS with animal welfare claims but the owners are serious about it; my GF knows people who know them personally. They inspect the farms, etc.

        The meats, dairy, and poultry are incredible, the best chicken I’ve ever eaten, hands down. Eggs like golden orbs, rich and good. To your point about dryness, well their burger ain’t dry but if you need more umami they make a ground beef/bacon mix. Heritage pork.

        You’ll fall on your knees and thank God you have tastebuds….

      2. GramSci

        I remember my mother carefully trimming the fat from the cheap cuts of beef she served up to her family. And then eating the fat herself! She lived to 99.

        But back in the day, there were fewer toxins dissolved in the lipids.

      3. dougie

        Amfortas,as you know, the quality of meat today sucks. My wife and I have been raising our own pigs and chickens to eat for about 5 years now. There is no comparison. Once it cools off in NC, we are going to buy a steer from a neighbor, and finish it on grain for 3 months in a paddock. That is the time of year when we raise pigs and chickens, too. Otherwise, there are flies in biblical proportions…. My wife can have her steak, and I my hamburger, and not worry about all the nastiness involved with commercially raised meat.

        We spend 4 months growing our meat supply for a year (or two). Plus, we were able to donate the meat from 4 pigs to a local orphanage, and sold a few hundred pounds of sausage in a local farmers market. That was break even, and we won’t do that again. But it was fun for a quick minute.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          i’m slowly but surely getting closer to infrastructure readiness for meat, here.
          after this heatwave, the meat chickens will get sequestered and fed grains and compostables intensely….finally have a place to do that(mom is notoriously hard headed about many rational farm initiatives,lol)
          and i’ve just about got mom talked in to letting “real construction guy” cousin build what should have been done years ago…a screened in porch for the now open to sun and rain and wind abattoir, with actual plumbing instead of a hose….and I’m insisting on an attached plucking room, too(all screen) to prevent feathers from blowing all over(good compost fodder).
          until that’s done, i’ll hafta hold off on pigs. I think we could prolly handle them right now,
          but to do any butchering at all, i must first gather together material and tables and water hoses and all manner of stuff…and then do it in the mud and open air.
          I’d like to include a way of easily collecting the blood, too…fermented and reduced/dried, it’s awesome for the garden, if applied in winter.
          there’s a reason i refer to mom’s part of the place as “the Land of Harder, Not Smarter”.

          1. dougie

            It is labor intensive, and HARD work to do that yourself. When I was a young hippy, I learned how to do it all. Now, I pay $5/bird to have my chickens processed, and vacuum packed. I am about $15/chicken from day old to in the freezer, organic. I am working on an acre and a half, so I don’t free range anything.

            I buy Berkshire feeder pigs, top them out in 4 months on 24/7 grain availability, have them butchered to my specification, and vacuum packed. They grind the sausage and season to my specification. I smoke my own bacon, because the nitrate free bacon they make is garbage. Last year, we made chorizo, hot and mild breakfast sausage, hot and mild Italian, brats, and Cajun. I also smoke my own pork butts and shoulders, and make my own BBQ( the noun, not the verb. The Holy Grub). I have about $3/lb in “retail” cuts, and about $5/lb in my sausage. It’s not cheap, but it’s easy. I need a whole lot of easy in my life.

            I have no idea why I am posting this on an economics site. Perhaps someone will find it of value.Or blow me up for not eating algae.

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              I think NC has evolved way beyond a mere economics sight,lol.
              a political economy site, perhaps, which encompasses a much broader and deeper scrutiny of human lifeways….which necessarily includes the provision of foodstuffs(in order to further reproduction in the Marxist sense)
              anyhoo…I’ll be getting my piglets, when we’re ready, from neighbor, who traps them from the wild.
              and from my former cafe, i have a 1950’s gigantic bread oven(900#) that i’ve converted into a smokehouse.(got it for a token $100, since they just wanted it gone, and somebody else to move it,lol)
              so far only done deer jerky in it.
              The gutting and cleaning and skinning and cutting up don’t bother me much(but dedicated space/infrastructure sure makes it easier. see: above)…it’s the lifting and manhandling i can hardly do any more.(we have winches in the unfinished abattoir, but they are poorly placed(i wasn’t here when they were put in, when that building was a slab with a pole)…really needs an upgrade/re-arrange)
              That’s why I’ve stuck to birds for so for the occasional sheep, deer or wild pig.

            2. td

              Getting good quality food that you like and can afford is very much an economics issue. Many places appear to be moving to an Sauve qui Peut model and those who value eating must take some appropriate steps.

            3. Rod

              good on you for making that acre and a half so productive. it is the definition of work, imo.
              your zoning must be tolerable. either you have good closure for your swine or no neighbors.

              thanks for including cost brackets–very useful general info that should NOT be so sequestered in general discourse on commodities( ever notice how just about everyone holds cost as a state secret–ie: well that was a big tree you had cut down-just like the one I have–how much did you spend??–well my man gave me a good price-want his ph. number?)

              and 5$ for a killed, clean and cut chicken–no second thought there (I still abhor the aroma of singed or soaked feather–initial cleaning being my chore of childhood)

              1. dougie

                Yes, zoning is tolerable, for the time being. The place was country, when we moved here 30 years ago, but suburbia is encroaching from all sides. We are so fortunate to have a 20 acre farm field behind our property. It’s a nice “back yard”, and I don’t have to pay property tax on it. The downside is that his Roundup resistant soybean crop ends about 12 feet from my “organic” blueberries and blackberries. There is a lot of lip service being paid to not losing our agricultural heritage in the area, as several thousand cars and construction vehicles speed past our house every day. Color me skeptical.

                Our pigs are raised on dirt, where they can dig to their hearts content. It’s a large enclosure that gives them plenty of room, shelter, and shade. I feed them kale from our garden, because the doctor said I needed more greens in my diet.

                Years ago, we purchased about 30 sections of 6 foot high x 10 foot long portable dog kennel that we are able to move every few days, so when we raise chickens they always have fresh grass to scratch around in. They have a small barn to wander into at night, to protect them from predators (except me, when the fateful day arrives). They are much more work than raising hogs, and they are 10 times as stupid. My wife is the chicken lady, otherwise I probably wouldn’t bother with them.

            4. Janie

              @dougie: why am I posting this on an economics site? Because this commentariat is free-range. Lol. Also the best ever. Water cooler Friday (?) on philosophy. I really need to read more, but my NC bookmarks are out if control.

      4. Wukchumni

        Our family would stop a McDonalds in it’s tracks, as we were all really finicky eaters and hamburgers had to be plain, or with only ketchup, or perhaps only pickles, or merely mayonnaise.

        It would take the eatery as long as 5-10 minutes to recover from a visit.

      5. Phacops

        The only cuts that I really like anymore, even though they are lean, are skirt and flank steak. I’ve also experimented with Achiote paste based marinades with great results. But these cuts should never be overdone.

        Alas, no 4H fairs here this summer. At my local grocery after such fairs is a meat locker with the ribbons of prizewinners proudly displayed. A reminder of where our food comes from along with some fine, tasty, meat.

      6. pricklyone

        Yeah, fat adds flavor. 90/10 burger is a disappointment. GF once “treated me” to some ground sirloin. Bland and tasteless. Even grinding my own was disappointing.
        On cooking, though, I disagree with the “juicy burger” crowd. I will cook through. Ground meat is not steak. Bacterial nasties are mixed throughout. Needs to be cooked until done.
        Good luck to the guys with rare burgers.
        I know, some food freak disagrees with this,somewhere. Probably even has an M.D. behind his name, too…
        I think I’ll go with the accepted science on this one.

      7. kgw

        I order from, Amfortas. Sourced from small ranches, mostly in PacNW. Single-cow , pasture-raised, grass-fed is what I order…They do have ranches that finish with corn. Minimum order $100-25.

        They also source pork, lamb, and seafood. Good stuff ? The order can be mixed items. Juicy burgers!

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          we get all our beef from the mom and pop butcher shop, 20 miles north. Gotta keep those guys around.
          that said, it’s all ibp/cargyll Big Ag industrial stuff.
          there’s one sort of local usda inspected slaughterhouse..but one must bring one’s own cow, and i don’t have the land for that.
          (it’s also rather expensive to have one killed and butchered, there—it’s a boutique place for our he-man rancher types to show off their steaks to their buddies)

          I’ve considered getting a steer from my neighbor(wonderful black angus), but i’d want to do the killing/butchering myself,lol.
          I probably could…but without a bigger wench, that would be a very long day.

          we’ll be eating barbado sheep this winter, though.

          1. ObjectiveFunction

            but without a bigger wench, that would be a very long day.

            Nothing at all wrong with bigger wenches!

            (Texas: Heaven for men and dogs, hell for women and horses)

    2. Pavel

      Very topical as I just bought some steak haché at the market this morning. My first meat in ten days…since returning home after lockdown it’s been a mainly vegetarian diet apart from some salmon and a delicious trout pâté.

      Rambling a bit: After three months with my elderly mother I was able to get back to my intermittent fasting. For those interested, it really does seem to work. I break my fast at 4pm each day and aim to start again 4 or 5 hours later. Coupled with exercise (60 mins walking previously but now I do T’ai Chi, picked up during lockdown and loving it) there is a consistent, steady weight loss and I have gone from 85 to 80 kg over six months. Curiously I never really feel hungry. (A low carb diet also helps, of course.)

      /ramble… apologies, all! And looking forward to my burger this evening:)

      1. Ragabhava

        Low Carb/High Fat + Lots of greens & intermittent fasting & at least 60mns of some exercise = 10 Kg lost in 3 months and I feel 20 years younger (really!).

        The best effect is indeed the freedom from the hunger pangs/Cravings !
        This will be my lifestyle from now on – I’ll just have to rethink it once my optimum weight is reached.

      1. jr

        I do but I am very selective, not only for quality but for humane treatment of the animals. I do buy cheese and sometimes eggs from other sources when I have to but my flesh is either from my awesome butcher or from a place that I know uses humanely raised animal products. I’m extremely lucky to happen to live in a place with restaurants and stores that a. care, or at least seem too and b. can demand the astronomical prices that these products require and stay afloat.

        If an animal is given the space to do the things they like to do as they are being raised I do not have an issue with harvesting their meat and eating it. It’s my understanding that these species don’t have a sense of personal mortality. I know they are intelligent, emotional, and have personalities. But the biggest fear we all face is absent from their minds, they have no clue they’re being fattened up. The ones I eat live pretty decent lives, allowed to engage in activities they find pleasing, wild foraging, sunlight, socializing, play. They are not treated as mere commodities, rather as a living things with a very specific purpose. When their time comes, I understand it’s quick and clean.

        The farms are small, local, family concerns. They are the antithesis of Big Ag and hopefully the future of farming as well. Having access to a market like ours is crucial for their survival, so I don’t mind putting out the money because it is supporting a healthy local economy.

        Hunting I have problems with, unless it’s to put food on the table. And I understand that at least with deer and elk, there is a terrible disease and consuming their flesh could expose humans to a mutation that leaps species:

        Trophy hunting, from “popping” birds with a BB gun to shooting lions is the mark of a savage.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          I get your concerns about hunting…and since we live in deer hunting mecca, I’ve encountered far too many jumped up city folks playing Mighty Hunter out here.
          However, given our species continuing decimation of apex predators…as well as the hunting industry’s effects on local deer populations(feeding them, breeding them, letting their numbers get too great)…well, the result is far too many deer for the environment to handle…and those deer are worse off because of it.
          feeding them corn is the most common practice, which wears their teeth to nubs, leading to malnutrition that you can see from 100 yards if you’re paying attention.
          ergo, i allow whomever wants a deer to come get one every winter.
          helps to keep them out of the gardens/orchards, too.(lower population=more forage=fewer hungry deer looking for my blackberry vines)
          that Mad Deer Disease does worry me, though.
          game wardens test for it at all the processing places during the season…so far, not here, yet.

          1. Eureka Springs

            My uncle has a large wild tusked boar on his place which I’m aiming to harvest. And down south in the cyprus swamp where the White, Arkansas and Mississippi rivers meet is my favorite, deer, duck, geese, and crappie supply… now loaded with alligators. I’m not fishing, much less deer or duck hunting with a 12 foot alligator. Got my first gator permit last week. We hope to add it to the family menu in September. If we wait any longer it will be larger than the boat.

          2. jr

            Oh yes, I agree fully that there are good reasons for culling. And I understand the hunter is filling a role in the ecosystem. And I wouldn’t let a gator take me either, to the gentleman’s point below yours.

            For me, it’s really about intent and I should have made myself more clear. Do you respect what you take? (Not you.) Or are you, as some slack jawed dolt said recently on a Youtube video, just “popping” blackbirds. That random senseless killing, for laughs, sends a rage through me that’s almost exhilarating sometimes.

        2. anon in so cal

          We don’t eat meat. But if someone wants to splurge, Niman Ranch sells sustainably farmed / raised meat that can be purchased online or in stores.

          “All Niman Ranch livestock are humanely raised by small, family farmers and ranchers according to the strictest animal handling protocols.”

          1. jr

            The link is dead but it kind if says it all anyway:

            “Deceptions in the Food Industry: Applegate Organic …
            Search domain
            APPLEGATE FARMS was purchased by HORMEL several months ago. This is a FACT! One of the worlds worst; if not THE worst factory farm, now owns a company that continues to present itself as humane, sustainable, safe to eat, etc. The sale was spoken of on the Nightly Business Report on PBS. Check it out for yourself.”

            I dropped Applegate years ago because they weakened their standards…now I wouldn’t touch their products if my life depended on it. Hormel? Ugh!

    3. WhoaMolly

      I use Paul Newman’s recipe from the 1985 edition of his book ‘Newman’s Own Cookbook’, page 62-63

      Key points:
      – Cook on a grill
      – Don’t make mistake of using ground round or sirloin. Chuck is best suited for grill.
      – Pat lightly to form patties. Keep them fluffy.
      – Never put salt, pepper or any other seasoning in meat before cooking
      – Put meat on grill when charcoal is uniform grayish white
      – Sear burgers on one side and turn them only once.
      – After turning patties, lower the grill to sear again (my grill doesn’t lower. Sigh)
      – While Newmanburgers are cooking, toast buns around edge of grill.
      – Accompany with tomatoes, sliced onions, pickles.
      – Serve with frosty mug of beer, or occasionally a bottle of 1962 Mouton-Rothchild or equivalent. (I think the $750 Mouton-rothchild is whimsy… It certainly would be whimsical to ask for this at the Molly compound.)

    1. timbers

      “They charge a fortune off of intravenous drugs in the hospital. They don’t want to devote the manufacturing plant to something that won’t make oodles of money,” said one infectious disease expert, who has advocated for coronavirus IG shots but asked not to be publicly identified.

      Well that’s a surprise.

      Maybe China or Mexico could make this. The spectacle of Americans (with now worthless passports) streaming into such countries to get medicine.


  5. Samuel Conner

    Re: the Stone pardon, me thinks that Roger Stone should be very happy that DJT does not read Craig Murray

    Per Murray, Stone’s lies to Congress supported the flawed Russiagate narrative and injured DJT while making RS appear to be a more important part of the story than he actually was. I really didn’t think that DJT would pardon this kind of behavior, but then he doesn’t read Murray or, it seems, much else. Good thing for RS that Fox News doesn’t read Craig Murray.

    Of course, I suppose it’s possible that there are other things that DJT did not want RS to speak about under oath.

      1. jr

        The photographs of him in that bowler hat, evil scientist sunglasses, and surrounded by his goons…..the image of a super villain…this can’t be a good look for the Orange Office…

        1. anon in so cal

          Agree, though he pales in comparison to the goons who perpetrated the Russiagate psy ops, including the liar and torture-supporter who investigated it. Hoping there are enough non-brainwashed out there. Plus, the stupidity of the celebratory dance versus the SWAT team / CNN arrest.

    1. Howard Beale IV

      If Stone lives in FL, I believe he may have fines to cough up and pay before he will be allowed to vote. He’s lucky that FL changed their disenfranchisement laws recently that prevented any felon from voting.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      Stone should be happy that Trump doesn’t seem to remember what Trump thinks about Roger Stone:

      Stone worked for Donald Trump as an occasional lobbyist and as an adviser when Trump considered running for President in 2000. “Roger is a stone-cold loser,” Trump told me. “He always tries taking credit for things he never did.”

      Considering that Stone was most recently convicted for telling investigators he had ties to Wikileaks when in fact he did not, Trump’s remarks from over a decade ago were ironically quite precscient.

      Stone has been a political r@fvker for decades, involved in all kinds of dirty tricks that have made the world a worse place. And yet the Democrats once again go after him for all the wrong reasons, like they do with pretty much everyone. If I had to guess, I’d say it’s because they probably don’t disagree with most of the really bad things Stone has done.

      The Democrats are simply not serious people.

      1. JP

        Mueller, a republican, went after Roger Stone. I don’t know the politics of the jury. I don’t read too many opinion pieces.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          I love how we are still supposed to listen to the learned opinion of one Robert Mueller as though he is anything but a sad, wrong, and old failure. I seem to recall a very large-scale initiative he ran to try to force from office a clearly treasonous president taking secret orders directly from The Kremlin. He did not succeed, if I recall correctly.

  6. Bugs Bunny

    re: the burger – there are a many schools of burgers, there are even ones in Milwaukee where some people mix onion soup mix with the ground beef. The famous Solly’s burger is cooked in butter.

    The smashed burger is hot right now. It needs to be done on a griddle and has the advantage of getting a crispy edge to it. I like a California burger with fresh ground meat on the grill. Sometimes I stick a thin slice of roquefort in the middle of a patty and finish with fried onions on top. Delicious. I don’t know what you’d call that one.

    1. Job

      I like a burger cooked in olive oil for added umami flavor. Top with Roquefort crumbles and a thick slice of tomato. Good stuff.

    2. Amfortas the hippie

      I snuck some stilton into burgers on the pit meant for my boys and stepdad(none of whom thought they they could like such stinky stuff(“but it’s rotten!”))
      now they’re all big fans.
      it’s my favorite “blue” cheese:
      kept a wheel onhand when i had my cafe…and that was the blue cheese,lol.
      all were amazed at how different mine was compared to the factory garbage all the other eateries served.
      inside the patties like that takes careful patty prep and handling, or it’ll end up in the fire.

  7. FreeMarketApologist

    AirAsia’s future in doubt as share price tumbles“.

    Well, no: The share price tumbled after their auditor issued a qualified opinion about their ongoing viability given the current dismal state of travel.

    But, I wonder how many knots US finanicial auditors are tying themselves into while trying to issue clean opinions for the US airline industry?

    1. GF

      Speaking of air travel, sorry, I can’t find the link right now: With recent polls showing that the number of people infected, testing positive or recovered from the virus wishing to fly is much greater than the number on people unaffected who wish to fly, the major airlines have decided, due to onerous ongoing changes in procedures and protocols caused by the pandemic, that only travelers, flight attendants and pilots who have tested positive for the virus, recovered from the virus or are currently infected by the virus will be allowed to fly. Airport workers will be subject to the same rules.

      This will eliminate the need to wear ugly masks, stand spaced apart and will allow drinking in the airport bars and mixed drinks, coffee and actual food being available on flights. The changes and number of airports will be phased in as more people become infected. It is understood that some major cities will eventually only have flights with virus impacted passengers.

      And, there are rumors the entire leisure travel industry will be following suit. So, no more worries about dining in packed places, drinking in packed bars,sleeping in unsanitized hotel rooms, attending concerts, going to plays etc.; all will be or have been infected. /s or is it?

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Somali-American congresswoman Ilhan Omar is working to get the US to pay compensation to people killed by US drone attacks in Somalia.”

    Is this suppose to be progressive? Sounds more like something she wants to make her popular with the people that vote for her. Since the US never declared war on Somalia and “Black Hawk Down” was twenty-seven years ago, maybe they shouldn’t be bombing people in a far away country when they are not sure exactly who they are bombing first. Playing the devil’s advocate, suppose Al-Qaeda was setting off a series of bombs in places in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Washington, etc. to kill specific targets.

    But when a lot of innocent bystanders kept on getting killed, Al-Qaeda offers to throw the surviving family members a few grand to make it cool again. When you think that American companies have to throw survivors some money of people that they have killed in their line of business such as the Pacific Gas and Electric litigation case back in 1993, you could be forgiven if you said that they had a point and there is legal precedent. Doesn’t make it right though.

    1. Tomonthebeach

      Of course it’s political. While I agree that imprecise drone attacks that are likely to kill innocents should be curtailed, throwing money at the problem probably increases hatred and resentment toward the USA because it trivializes the suffering.

      Throwing money at the unintended consequences of our reckless policies is what we do. But we kid ourselves if we think that reparation payments are sufficient atonement or that such payments prevent re-occurrence.

      1. rowlf

        Isn’t a drone strike in another country’s airspace a war crime? I know the concept may sound quaint, but why is everyone normalized to it?

      2. JTMcPhee

        The US has paid millions in “condolence payments” (aka “blood money”) to cover up and reduce the blowback from the imperial murdering going on around the globe. Mostly it seems to depend on whether the families and clans of mopes murdered by “our sacred troops” have the ability to , you know, take revenge in kind. And every once in a while, some War Department PR person might personally offer a “nopology” for some really egregious f**kup or intentional killing. Being sure to protect the careers of the Brass, of course. “Sorry we blew up your hospital that looked to our best intelligence people and the Afghan government we installed and prop up just like a Taliban operations center. We’ll consider changes to procedures, if they appear necessary…”

        My Lai, over and over, over and out…
        Just a cost of doing business.

  9. jr

    Re: the McCloskeys

    Wow, these people are the pits. Trying to use medieval law to claim property in a nation that didn’t exist at the time time the law was in use? Trying to steal land with “squatters rights”? Are those legitimate legal avenues? Worst of all, destroying bee hives ?! Degenerates.

    How much of our legal “system” is tied up with the chicanery of sociopaths like these? They should be institutionalized, for their own good and for the public’s good as well. As I mentioned before, if they aren’t in prison soon, one of them will surely run for office. For these monsters, it’s a natural step, and they can always waste the publics time and money suing if they lose.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      squatter’s rights are, indeed , a thing: adverse possession.
      if you occupy/use(depending on the state and specific statute) a bit of land for a specific number of years(10, in Texas), pay the taxes, and otherwise behave as if it’s yours, then yes…you can obtain title under adverse possession.
      we had reason to pursue this, with wife’s familia’s blessing, no less, when we lived in a family house in town that was technically owned by her drunk and crazy uncle(didn’t even have a driver’s license, and we paid 10 years worth of back taxes)…who didn’t have a will, couldn’t be troubled to get one, and lived a life of drugs and drink. He ended up dying before we could get it all done(from liver failure), and rich uncle swooped in and bought the place on the courthouse steps.
      so there are legitimate/moral uses for this law(keeping it in the family, and out of the vulture slumlord’s hands)…although, when researching it, i found more than one instance of misuse, like in that story.

      1. jr


        Thanks, I’d heard the term kicked around for years but didn’t understand the details…

      2. Henry Moon Pie

        Adverse possession is indeed a thing. While it arose under common law, its specifics are determined by statute in each state, so there are differences in the law across the country.

        In some states, adverse possession requires “color ot title” which may be no more than a quit claim deed from someone arguably in the chain of title.

    2. maria gostrey

      readers of henry james will recognize “portland place” as the residence of maggie & the prince, while adam & charlotte verver live at grosvener square. james takes great care to anchor his london characters with specific geographical references such as these & i have found while reading james its instructive to keep my london a to zed handy. i once purposefully stayed in a hotel at lancaster gate to see what kate croy was up against as she tried to resist the plans laid for her by her aunt maud.

      1. LifelongLib

        FWIW I could never get through either “The Golden Bowl” or “The Wings of the Dove”. Really liked “The Ambassadors” though, especially Lambert Strether and Maria Gostrey :)

    3. Maxwell Johnston

      I wouldn’t want to have the McCloskeys as neighbors, and their gun handling skills are atrocious. But I’m not ready to condemn them for standing up for their legal rights. The article seems very one-sided, and I imagine that every legal dispute described therein has ‘another side of the story’ that the author downplays in order to portray the McCloskeys in a negative light. Even for the beehive incident, we don’t know the whole story. Were the beehives installed on the McCloskeys’ land, or on the edge of adjacent property? Doesn’t St Louis have zoning laws to ensure that beehives are placed in a safe manner? Portland Place appears to be located right in the middle of the city. I would think it’s pretty irresponsible to install beehives there without getting the consent of your neighbors, regardless of the legalities of the matter. For all we know, the McCloskeys might be allergic to bees, discovered the beehives one morning, tried unsuccessfully to contact the owners, and then decided to protect their own safety by destroying the beehives. We just don’t know, and the article doesn’t tell us.

      1. mega mike

        I live down the street and around the corner from that street (for real) and St. Louis is heavily divided by color (black/white) and income. These people were not good neighbors

        1. Maxwell Johnston

          I’m curious about these ‘private streets’ in St Louis. What an odd concept, right in the middle of a big USA city! I understand gated communities, but I’d never heard of ‘private streets’ before. Is this unique to St Louis?

          1. Bugs Bunny

            Paris and the posh areas around it have plenty of private streets. Some with guardhouses.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Wait, is this the same situation as the heroes who bought the private drive way and demanded a toll?

              I don’t remember enough details except thinking “not all heroes wear capes.”

          2. Massinissa

            They’re not unique in and of themselves, but the scale of them in the middle of the city? That’s mostly a St. Louis thing. Usually private streets are either outside cities or maybe in a corner somewhere. St. Louis has an unusual amount of these due to local historical political circumstances.

            1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

              A long time ago when I was a landscape gardener I had a garden maintenance gig on a private estate whose roads resembled the surface of the moon. The residents did not pay rates to the local authority but could never agree among themselves to all pay up to get it fixed.

              The fella we did the garden for was a retired Colonel Blimp who had a feud with a neighbour who wouldn’t allow us access to paint the other side of his fence – we would always ask about it just to watch him turn purple.

              He had us painting rocks white in army camp style & always appeared as though he expected us to salute & stand to attention. One leaf on his pristine lawn he regarded as an invasion force, which had to be repelled instantly – the hardest part of the job was the effort needed to keep a straight face.

      2. jr

        You’re correct, it’s the thought of him destroying them that sickens me but your points about the hives hold, they could be a threat. All the other legal wangling may be legal but people like these work the system to their own benefit, wielding the law like a club, for that I extend them no leniency….wasting the publics time and money, harassing people…

      3. ForFawkesSakes

        Huh. Look, an enlightened centrist in the wild! It’s fine to want to review the situation from a place of good faith, but the history of litigation and actions against his own family indicate these people DO NOT operate in good faith.

        The note left by the destroyed bee hives is telling, don’t you think? Think it through. Do you think the hives were removed in a proper manner? Were the bees relocated?

        1. Maxwell Johnston

          I only read this article because ‘jr’ mentioned the beehives, which struck a chord with me because we also own beehives. We keep them way out in the countryside, far from the madding crowd, certainly not in a crowded city right up on someone else’s property. No, the beehives were not removed in a proper manner, but probably they should not have been there in the first place. Without knowing the whole story, whether about beehives or some dysfunctional rich family squabble over money, I’m not ready to crucify the McCloskeys. They look like fat, unhealthy, unhappy, paranoid Americans with way too much money. But they have rights, and they know how to use the USA legal system to protect their rights. I don’t live in the USA, but if those are the rules of your game and they are playing by those rules, then I see nothing wrong with that. But I’m glad they’re not my neighbors.

          1. jr

            Our legal system is in ruins; it supports the wealthy, the powerful, and the insider to the detriment of everyone else. I’m none of the above so these people and their ilk are my class enemies. I mock them as I would anyone who represents a threat to me and my world.

      4. RMO

        @Maxwell Johnston: I think that taken in isolation many of those cases would leave me giving them the benefit of the doubt. Add them all up though… Kind of like the old saying about how if you run into a complete and utter (familyblog)hole every now and then it’s normal and you’re just encountering an unpleasant person on occasion. If you’re running into complete and utter (familyblog) holes multiple times a day every day though odds are you are the real problem.

      5. Darius

        They should have known that when their neighbor ran for mayor, that was the end of their gated community. The McCloskeys should take it up with Mayor Krewson. If they want to maintain their baronial manors and keep out the raging peasants, they should pressure Krewson to leave. It’s not a matter of the law, it’s a matter of maintaining the social order in sociopathic, winner-take-all USA. Krewson raised their profile too high by becoming the chief magistrate.

    4. Billy

      Everyone, from illegal aliens to absolute jerks are entitled to their
      Constitutional Rights, even if you don’t think so.

      “Medieval law” is the basis for English Common Law, which is the basis for Amercian property law, even if you don’t think so.

      jr, when you become a sr, you will probably understand.

      I’m pissed off about the beehives however, because nature’s law is more important than any manmade law.

      1. jr

        Clever word play aside, Billy, I don’t know where it says in the Constitution that waving around automatic rifles at, yes, even protestors, is constitutional. In fact it infringes on the rights of others…assembly and free speech come to mind right away. And don’t give me crap about the gate…the issues the people are fighting for outweigh an almost certainly garish gate.

        As for your legal philosophizing: I asked a question, is that “medieval” talk actually legal? From the descriptions of these two loonbats, I could easily see them trying to pull off something crazy. So no, I didn’t think so because I didn’t know so. An approach I recommend to you.

        I do agree with your final point wholeheartedly.

        1. Basil Pesto

          they were clogging up the court system (from those who might use it as a shield, rather than a sword, for instance) with archaic and tenuous legal bullshit. That’s about the sum of it. As someone astutely pointed out above, taking those cases in isolation one may be inclined to give the benefit of the doubt, but one can pretty plainly see that they will use the judiciary as a first resort for any given dispute resolution, and, when making a legal argument, will throw any old shite at a judge in the hope that it sticks (which the judges, by the looks of things, tend to see right through). It doesn’t take a sr to conclude that this is utterly jr behaviour.

          In Australia, we call them wankers.

        2. Billy

          Where does it say in the Constitution that you have the right to sit at a device not yet invented to type out words and disseminate them across space electronically which might offend or intimidate others, or be heretical?

      2. hunkerdown

        English property law is just an opinion that creates sociopaths. There’s no reason to support that ancient nonsense that only serves to empower the enemies of the working class.

  10. timbers

    “He made your American passport worthless”

    Sounds like a campaign slogan. If only it could benefit someone besides the Dementia One who is aghast at the idea that Americans get healthcare instead of not healthcare insurance..

    Oh well. Back to Federal Government priority #1: Making the stocks go up and the rich, richer.

    1. Redlife2017

      It gets even weirder…so the State Department has stopped issuing visas as well as passports. And not just the passports of people who are already physically in the US. I mean American ex-pat passports cannot get renewed. So if you do not have a secondary citizenship, you will be [family blogged] if your passport is expiring soon. You can only get an emergency passport 10 days before you are due to travel (and ONLY for travel). It will have “limited validity”. Which I suppose would make it only useful to go back to the US (I don’t see how other countries would accept it coming back, though). The State Department will not say when they will start issuing passports (or visas) again.

      If you don’t have a passport now…you won’t get one for a while. Mine’s about to expire, but I have a UK one (hence why I looked it up but am not freaking out, mostly).

      Not only can’t you go anywhere as an American, you can’t even get / renew a passport to LEAVE or prove that you are an American if you live overseas. That’s quite the “Beautiful Wall” you guys got over there…

      1. Redlife2017

        I should also mention that the State Department has also stopped expatriation, that is, applying for the loss of your US citizenship. So, basically, I can’t prove that I am a US citizen, but I can’t get rid of it either. That’s some kafkaesque stuff right there, my friends.

        1. Billy

          But, you still owe taxes to the IRS on all your worldwide income.
          Othewise who would pay the interest on Federal Reserve issued debt?

          At least there’s some stability somewhere.

          1. eg

            The US Federal government does not use anyone’s tax dollars to pay the interest on its debt.

      2. rd

        The President insists that everything be open, including bars etc.

        However, pretty much every US agency I deal with is still hiding in their basements trying to work remotely.

  11. The Rev Kev

    Glenn Greenwald: It’s not remotely “unprecedented.” Bush 41 pardoned Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger before trial in order to shield himself, while his son W commuted “Scooter” Libby’s sentence for lying to FBI to protect Rove & Cheney. But we’re required to lie about history for The Cause.”

    Does that mean that if Donald Trump wins the Presidency once gain this November, that ‘The Cause’ will then become a just and heroic “The Lost Cause 2.0”?

    1. timbers

      The things Mitt gets riled up about seems odd and doesn’t usually have populist traction. Maybe the stuff Mitt comes up with will resonate with a few inside the C Suites at Bane or whatever is the current “it” vulture capitalist firm…but otherwise who cares? If only he could channel his efforts towards more broad based outrages, he might be a more marketable candidate. On the other hand, this might put him in Hero of the Resistance category.

      He’s trying too hard to be the Republican Presidential Candidate – instead of Trump, IMO. Or maybe he’s just vocalizing his regret that time has passed his Presidential aspirations by and there’s nothing he can do about it.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Mitthas always been dull, out of touch, and not the brightest bulb. I wouldn’t overlook his personal pique at simply not being President. The guy lost in 2012 against Obama’s record.

        There might be a path forward, but he’s not going to suddenly become a firebrand or even pick a couple of issues Team Blue has dropped or wont pick up.

        Without the late release of the Iowa caucus results, he might have lost the nomination to Rick Santorum.

    2. Pavel

      Let’s not forget Bill and Hillary’s extremely cynical last-minute pardon of Marc Rich. It’s not just the Republicans.

      1. Lambert Strether

        Obama was much more subtle. He never allowed indictments to go forward in the first place.

        “Pre-pardons,” as it were, were issued for CIA torturers and many bankers, thereby greatly solidifying the Democrat base.

  12. NotTimothyGeithner

    Woj was suspended by ESPN. Will the proponents of civility who signed the letter warning about cancel culture come to the rescue?

  13. chuck roast

    Interesting story about the immuno-suppressant Itolizumab. I have a mild case of psoriasis which means that I have an over-abundance of T-cells continuously goofing on my body. Under ordinary circumstances this is a small price to pay for more infection fighting capacity. Krystyn’s early warnings about cytokine storms really creeped me out. Here is a case where having too much of a good thing can be dangerous in the extreme. It’ll be a while before I head down to the corner tap to catch a hockey game.

  14. flora

    re: It’s Official — Steven Pinker Is Full of Shit – Jacobin.

    He’s a target of cancel culture, too. From Taibbi’s latest:

    Last Friday, over 500 students and lecturers signed a letter denouncing Harvard professor Steven Pinker. Citing five tweets and one line from a book, the signatories demanded Pinker be repudiated by the Linguistics Society of America for a history of “speaking over genuine grievances” at “the exact moment when Black and Brown people are mobilizing against systemic racism.”

    Taibbi describes an incredibly hysterical list of denunciations against Pinker you have to read to believe. This quote is in the paywalled version of Taibbi’s essay.

    What exactly has he done to get on cancel culture’s sh*t-list? And why is cancel culture screaming like it’s 1964 and the last 50 years never happened? It’s a puzzle.

    As Adolf Reed jr has some interesting remarks about idpol (it’s a career path) and critical race theory in this interview.

  15. JacobiteInTraining

    It may just be that I am an alcoholic, but the 2 things I gravitated to in my beer making were using the malt extract syrup (instead of starting with grains in the boil) and also ditching the whole bottling aspect and using kegs instead.

    I had a great time making various recipes…but inevitably, zymurgists-in-training start going to increasingly esoteric flavors and combos and once you find yourself drinking a well-aged ginger-lemon-raspberry-chocolate-malt-IPA (and it tastes hideous) …you start to think, ‘hey man, lets just lose the fiddly-bits-recipes and do some good basic quick bulk beer’. For this, reasonably fresh syrup extract is just peachy.

    On the bottling front: Having boutique 6-packs of bottles is neat to give to friends I suppose, but i really rapidly decided that the sheer tedious hassle of the bottling process was just too much labor-to-reward. (labor-to-beer-buzz?’) and being able to do a few kegs at a time instead of dozens and dozens of bottles was so much more efficient. And dont get me started on the ‘fun’ of trying to sani all those damn bottles.

    Then again, for a time I worked at a brewery in Juneau AK and (dont tell my supervisor, lol) …when I was on night shift and the kegging run was complete we just couldn’t bring ourselves to drain *all* of the leftover beer out of the hoses and down the drains so we would fill up 1 or 2 5-gallon bucketsful each to bring home and store in the fridge.

    Sure, it went flat quick…but….5 gallon buckets in the fridge!!! Seemed pretty cool at the time anyway.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      yeah. bottle washing was my least favorite part of my temporary beermaking insanity.
      my career as a homebrewer ended when i accidentally mis-measured the finishing sugar(that gives it the fizz in the bottle), and had an unexpectedly hot january…pop-pop-pop!
      all of my bottles exploded….then the ants arrived,lol.
      (and i never bought any, but saved bottles from Real Beer from both my own debauchery as well as from the german restaurant i was working at prior to this experiment.—i particularly liked the heavy wire-topped kind with the porcelain stopper(like grolsch or oberdorfer))

      1. JacobiteInTraining

        heeheee….shhh….do we really want to rob zymurgists-in-training of the joy of popping bottles!!?? They need to pay their dues!! bwaahahahaha.

        ps, almost forgot – to anyone getting into beer making, Michael Jackson’s ‘Beer Hunter’ series falls into the category of both de rigeur, and old-school-cool.

        Loved that series, part 1 of 6:

      2. The Rev Kev

        I used to share a two-story place with a dozen or more people when younger and one English girl there was into the home brew deal. She had all these glass jugs on top of the cupboards in the shared kitchen but apparently had the lids screwed down tight. I slept through it but early one morning one jar blew under the internal pressure which started a Chinese fire-cracker effect with all the other jars, one after another. There was a helluva mess in the kitchen and those people that were awoken were cleaning up the mess at about three in the morning. I took it as a divine message not to screw around with stuff that you did not understand.

        1. Hepativore

          One thing that I would like to see is a larger movement to legalize alcohol distillation for human consumption like there is currently for marijuana. I think that it should be like brewing beer or wine in which you are perfectly free to make the stuff as long as you do not try and sell it. As for the argument that many state governments would miss out on sin and duty taxes beer and wine are taxed at the same percentage in my state yet brewing beer and wine has been legal since the 1970’s.

          There is some risk of accidental poisoning if the homemade spirits are improperly distilled, but I think that if that is a risk that a person wants to take, you should let them. This is much like there is a risk of injury with improperly using power tools you can get at any hardware store.

          I have always wanted to try “moonshining” just to say I have done it and to look at the interesting biochemistry behind it. I have made beer and mead, so to me this would be a similar craft.

          1. Wukchumni

            About 5 years ago my then 92 year old aunt was visiting and she wasn’t all there for the most part, but when I inquired about her father’s famous still, it was as if i’d flipped a switch and out spilled 5 minutes of info, and then as quick as she started talking, she clammed up and that was the last conversation I ever had with her, as she passed away a year later.

            The gist was, that my grandfather’s hooch was so good, the local mountie from the RCMP was quite the loyal customer, so he never had an issue with the law, nor lack of customers.

          2. .Tom

            In some parts of Europe home made schnapps and brandy are legit. Hospitality in Austria and Hungary often involves it.

            1. The Rev Kev

              In Germany I was given Tresterschnaps which was made from the remains of grapes that had been pressed for wine. It had quite the bite to it but warmed you up inside after a hard day’s work in the outside cold.

          3. Lambert Strether

            > One thing that I would like to see is a larger movement to legalize alcohol distillation for human consumption

            Agreed. Perhaps some licensing would be worth it, as with cars (albeit, sadly, not guns).

            > if that is a risk that a person wants to take

            Can you really be sure that you will be the only one affected by a poisonous batch? Especially when alchohol, well used, promotes convivality?

      3. polecat

        Definitely so! Gotta measure that corn sugar ..

        I use spring caps, and the requisite bottle type when racking a batch. After almost a decade of use, they still hold back the fizz. If it’s a mead, or derivative thereof, it matters not .. as a mead really doesn’t need carbonation to quell the palate. And there’s nothing flat about an aged mead/melomel.
        Next time I brew a batch of beer, I will use malt, rather than grains. I just don’t have the equipment/stove setup to do it right.
        Incidentally, when brewing mead, whatever you do, DO NOT boil the honey. Keep just under boiling. If a melomel is to be the end result, add the fruit after turning off the heat, and let stand for about 15-20 min. before dumping the whole lot into your primary to cool – chances are that enough wild bacteria/yeast in the wort will be lessened to such an extent, that when the time comes to pitch the yeast, it will take over nicely. What one gains in microbial purity, one loses in nutrition, flavor, and a chance at creating a libation fit for the Gods of old!

        Also, be vigilant with regard to equipment sterilization procedures …. A funky brew, will just not do!

        1. Lambert Strether

          > Incidentally, when brewing mead, whatever you do, DO NOT boil the honey

          I agree 100% — you’d boil off all the honey flavors and scents! (The corollary is don’t start with Pasteurized honey either; use only raw honey, preferably with a known mix of flowers; and ideally wild).

          It”s been a long time since I made made; back in the day, the recommendation was to boil, so I am pleased the link does not recommend that!

          However, I do not agree with the recommendation to use sulfites; with proper sterilization techniques, I do not think sulfites are needed.

      4. Cuibono

        I remember in my early days of brewing running out of bottles and running down to get a few cases of empties at the local liquor store.
        Turns out i grabbed empties from a chewing tobacco lover.
        Weird thing is that beer tasted pretty darn good after a few weeks in the bottle

        1. polecat

          Talk about ‘liquid smoke …!! A special flavor enhancement perhaps .. ?

          Sounds like a might good on a burger.

    2. Billy

      Everything You Need To Make Beer, Wine, Cider, and Mead

      is a just a giant advertisement with partner links to suppliers.
      They then send you off to other sites to learn how to actually make the beverages.

    3. Peerke

      I started doing serious all grain home brew last year – but I found here in AZ that temperature control can be a problem and also cooling after the boil stage when tap water is too warm here in the summer. I ended up copying the Aussie trick of no cool brewing by just putting the hot wort in a polypropylene “cube” at high temp. The beer sterilises the container. Then just chuck the container in the pool to cool. Next day fish it out and decant into a fermenter and pitch as normal. To avoid chill haze due to this method I add an enzyme for gluten free beer during pitching and Sheilas your auntie. Also found that Norwegian zveik yeast is great in AZ as it will happily ferment at 80 to 95F! I can do boil to keg in 7 days. So just shows you can use prevailing conditions to your advantage.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Here is a list, in total, of all the places Americans can go. Most of them are small Caribbean islands.”

    Hey, aren’t those all the places where all those corporations have their dodgy bank accounts and headquarters?

    1. Wukchumni

      Movie pitch:

      ‘Irates of the Caribbean’

      Watch American know how swoop down on the islands like we did in Operation Urgent Fury (a scouting run, as it turned out) but this time for keeps. It isn’t so much about seeking the treasure this go round, but securing one’s heave ho in a mutiny from a formerly bountiful land, now scuttled.

  17. flora

    re: It’s Official — Steven Pinker Is Full of Shit – Jacobin.

    I have a longer comment in mod land, so I’ll try a shorter version.
    from the article:

    As both Pinker and Alston note, according to this line, the number of the world’s people in extreme poverty has fallen from 36 percent in 1990 to 10 percent in 2015. But this measure is “scandalously unambitious,” says Alston.

    Alston’s belief we can do better is a good aspiration. But reducing world extreme poverty from 36% to 10% using the existing measures is a very good thing, imo. Should the measures be changed now? Maybe. But the line that the world hasn’t gotten better is wrong. Could it get better than it is now? Sure.

    Also. the data in the article could be presented without the ‘Steve Pinker is a bad thinker’ hook. I say that because Pinker is currently in the crosshairs of the ‘good thinkers’ for being insufficiently good thinking. Read Matt Taibbi’s whole (paywalled, sorry) article to read some nearly unbelievable examples of the attacks on him. Is this article another attack?

    1. flora

      an aside: Pinker is a tenure prof, and if they can get him ousted (hard to do) then a tenured faculty job position opens up in a world of shrinking tenured faculty positions. ;) The tighter the job market gets in journalism and academia, the louder the ‘good thinkers’ complain about the – to them – ‘not good thinkers’. Must be a coincidence.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Yes, this is the other side of cancel culture – I’ve seen cases where its pretty clear that there is an economic motivation at work – what better way to open up some jobs/promotion prospects than to have a few old fossils with dubious views driven out of their offices? Its hard not to see this as the motivation for (for example) seeing Ian Buruma driven out of the NYRB.

          1. polecat

            Ok ..
            Who’s odds ? …. and in Who’s favor ??

            Any gamemakers out there care to take an arrowshot ?

    2. PlutoniumKun

      I also have a comment on this stuck in mod land.

      Nicholas Nassim Taleb has been calling out Pinkers dubious use of statistics for years – if you search through his Medium articles he has some in depth dives into the problem with Pinkers use of data. Pinker pretends to be a deep and wide thinker, but he’s really just a credentialed bullshitter who picks and chooses data to back up whatever pro-establishment nonsense he wants to push.

      However, Taleb has been very clear (on his twitter feed) in defending Pinker from the attacks. As he’s pointed out, the articles Pinker has been retweeting are from respectable researchers – you may not like his conclusion, but its entirely wrong to mob assault him for the horrible crime of retweeting legitimate (if controversial) research.

      There is a lot of gaslighting and poor thinking going on – as Taibbi has been saying, you either believe in free speech or you don’t. If you don’t support free speech for people you disagree with, then you are not a believer in free speech and you should be honest about this – those attacking the letter don’t seem to get (or are wilfully avoiding) this conclusion.

      1. diptherio

        Freedom of speech means you can say what you want, and that other people can respond how they want. Pinker is a tenured professor and gets published in many widely read publications. He not only has free speech, he has a megaphone, as it were. So to claim that people on twitter saying mean things about him (whether justified or not) is somehow limiting his free speech is an interesting position to take. Does your defense of free speech not extend to the people comprising that mob on twitter? If not, why not? Why is Pinker’s freedom of speech (or rather, freedom from other people’s speech) more important than the twitter users freedom to criticize him?

        1. flora

          In the 50’s and 60s, if I publicly disagreed with you on substantive facts that would be fine. If I tried to bolster my authority in the argument by claiming you were a member of a politically dangerous ideology, when that claim was untrue or unproven but likely to get you fired and had nothing to do with the arguments points, that would not be fine.

          1. flora

            College admins have been using twitter whisper campaigns against certain profs and rising academics as an excuse to get rid of those academics who challenge the admin’s (mis)treatment of faculty and lecturers. I’ve watched it work.

          1. GramSci

            Not exactly. They are calling for him to be removed from the LSA’s list of (a) distinguished fellows and (b) media experts.

            1. flora

              You might find the history of the 50’s and 60’s purges in academia interesting. I had to sign a ‘loyalty oath’ several decades ago, too. (Thank you, John Foster Dulles. /s) They finally did away with those. But it’s easy to imagine new repressions springing up.

              1. flora

                And, the Philidelphia DSA and Lower Manhattan DSA political education session cancelled Adoph Reed’s May 30th talk, calling him a “class reductionist”.

                Apparently, economics and social policy is to be seen, not thru the lens of economic class relations, (which (they claim) would be ‘marxist’), and anathema to the neo left’s belief that everything should be seen through idpol. I have to wonder how ‘left’ it is when billionaires supporting both parties are fine with an idpol critique of economics and social relations.

                Are neoliberals getting nervous?

                1. Lambert Strether

                  > And, the Philidelphia DSA and Lower Manhattan DSA political education session cancelled Adoph Reed’s May 30th talk, calling him a “class reductionist”.

                  Which is fine, as long as you don’t call yourself a Socialist. There seems to be no way to follow DSA closely, but there does seem to be a certain aroma.

                  I would bet that the rural DSA chapters — and by rural, I do not mean white ffs — would have no problem with Reed at all. But they are not seeking to make the leap from Brooklyn (or the Borough of Philadelphia) to Manhattan for their media careers as “voices,” either.

        2. Laputan

          This is the most reductive take on cancel culture I’ve encountered.

          The problem is not the online dragging of pseudo-intellectuals like Pinker or Haidt, it’s the Twitter mob trying to get people fired at for voicing the wrong opinion, being mistaken for the wrong person, or essentially being documented doing anything that could be represented (or misrepresented, doesn’t matter) as intolerant. And it’s not a phenomenon relegated only to elites – who are so well-insulated from any real consequence that this tack only works in exceptionally awful cases – everyone is subject to doxxing and being reported to HR now.

          These are mostly adolescent reactionaries whose only conception of political activism is to participate in social media culture wars. Perhaps worse are the supposed adult blue checks who either endorse this behavior out of both-siderist references to blacklisting or union busting, who tolerate it with a kind of “mistakes were made” moral cowardice, or act as though it’s not happening at all. It is in fact happening and only because it doesn’t actually threaten real power, but it gives the fake woke crowd the fleeting sense of political expression for every mole they whack. Which, in turn, feeds the algos to keeps this BE constantly in our purview…all the while we still don’t have a functional healthcare system or a living wage or a coherent climate policy. On the other hand, we definitely have the political will to drum up signatures to fire Steven Pinker or take the Karen in Central Park’s dog away.

          1. Laputan

            Edits: BS not BE and, as confirmed above, the signatures were not to fire Pinker but to remove him from the LSA’s distinguished fellows and media experts.

            1. flora

              In the event, the LSA did not demote him or remove his ‘distinguished’ title.

              Reading the letter makes it clear the 500 had no objections to or weren’t talking about his academic work.

          2. Lambert Strether

            “I don’t like what you tweeted, so I’m gonna call your boss and get you fired” isn’t a play the politically weak can play for long, without stronger players adopting it.

      2. fajensen

        I think Taleb also said somewhere that academic infighting is extraordinarily vicious because the stakes are so small :)

    3. diptherio

      You’ve totally missed the point, flora. The problem is not that the WB’s definition of extreme poverty is unambitious, it’s that it’s completely meaningless. According to their definition, a person living in the US in 2011 with $60/month of income would not be living in “extreme poverty.” The fact that there may be fewer people living on less than $60/month now than there was a few years ago is not cause for celebration, or, in fact, cause for anything at all. It tells us nothing worth knowing. It’s the same kind of bogus categorization that allows BLS to claim that anyone working 1 hour and making $20/week is not unemployed.

      The WB’s definition of extreme poverty was not designed to shed light on reality, it was designed as a propaganda tool, so that they could make claims like Pinker’s, and hide the reality of what globalization has actually led to. And Pinker is a completely justifiable target, as he is 1) well known, and 2) prone to calling those of us who question neo-liberal capitalist triumphalism dumb and ungrateful. The fact that he may be being attacked by people you may find annoying is no reason to give him a pass on his long, long history of being full of s**t.

      1. JBird4049

        There’s a book called $2.00 a Day by Kathryn Edin and H. Luke Shaefer about the growing number of Americans living on that or less per day in cash. This is one of the reasons why some cash out their SNAP cards. Those cards will not pay for gas or shoes.

        Anyways, the number of Americans living bountifully on $2 has been increasing. Since inflation is a thing that is really not good.

        I think that much of that “increase” in income was merely the transfer of income from the lower classes in the United States to the lower classes in other countries with the wealthy slurping up much of the income as a kind of service fee.

        1. diptherio

          Everyone who thinks they could live “bountifully” on $60/month, please raise your hands (and then send me the remainder of your income).

        2. newcatty

          This is anecdotal observations: Going back to some years ago in my longish life I have lived with people in many social and economic strata. In many different communities. The first group was insular, immediate family, extended relatives and small, home town. After that, I moved on my own to college and a larger city. As I became aware of the many different types of people, something always struck me as interesting regarding human nature. The obvious fact that people were basically decent or not. The greedy and opportunists in power were blinding to the eye. It was the fact that in every class of people I met there were greedy and opportunists. The people that were most vexing were the ones who were usually the most passive aggressive. The ones I remember most were the ones who whined most about being “poor”. This clan of family sucked off the meager wealth of a grandmother. They practically lived at her house. When ever going out to eat, they smugly let her use her credit card. Or others’. Yet, proudly disdained “being in debt”. They ended up living in a beautiful home in mountains of their state. Long story: All paid for in cash or bartering. Not a cent of their off the book’s work was hardly declared on any tax forms. Every member from Medicare age down to babies were on Medicaid. Every social net service in existence was used. SNAP, housing assistance for some, WIC, heating allowances, etc. Kids all on federal school lunch programs and lowered fees for school activities. They always had nice “work trucks” or cars, decent clothing, and a full freezer. Ate out more than anybody I knew. Laughed at libtards and hated big gubment. Defended repubs. When a son joined military talked him up like a hero. When he was sent to Iraq cried and asked for Christmas gifts sent to him.

          Contrast this with working men and women who choose to not, or are unable, to work under the table, but live on poverty or near poverty wages. Too much to qualify for Medicaid and SNAP. Lucky, if employ offered insurance. Pay deductibles and co-pays. Can only afford dumpy apartments or decrepid houses. Sacrifice any pay, besides necessities, for kid’s sports or activities. I am not putting down people who live in real poverty in this country. I am pointing out that the system has to change. The grifters are just as guilty as the monied bankers and PMC ones. I don’t buy the rationale: But wait! The banksters, politicians, etc, are so much worse! From a systemic pov, yes. But, the opportunistic nature of some “every day ” people is a reason, we have the country in this awful state.

          1. JBird4049

            As a society we’re so concerned about someone not of the upper classes getting away with something; the federal and local governments sometimes spend more effort trying to catch the cheaters than helping the needy. There’s always going to be some jackasses who will take advantage even when they don’t have to. We see it everyday on the news when some arrogant f*+* legally steals millions while there are some people who still haven’t gotten their unemployment pay or are in the miles long line for the food bank. And I have known some grifters who were poor as well.

            However, California’s SNAP benefits are comparably generous at a maximum of $194 or 198 per person per a month. Renting an apartment still cost about 2k and all forms of housing assistance waiting lists are either closed or have waiting times of years. If you can pay rent, you make to much generally for SNAP.

            Most benefits are cliff like in their income requirements and since California’s costs of living is fairly high every in the state applicants are sometimes economical with information. After all having $2001 in cash/bank account makes you ineligible for some forms of assistance while $2000 people is fine. Does the eligibility specialist really need to know about that $100 you have on you? If they catch you, the financial consequences can be severe. A denial of benefits for months or years. Perhaps some fines. Might not seem much to many, but those who are deemed frauds are often making maybe $20k per year it can really be devastating.

            I have no one problem with throwing into prison someone who stole grandma’s life saving. I would also have no problem throwing the many members of Congress who are breaking the laws on investments and privileged information or are taking bribes via rigged investments in prison as well. No, it’s more likely that grandma will be jailed for violating some requirements for her welfare.

      2. Michael McK

        Furthermore, and I apologize for the laziness shown by not searching for it, I remember an account of an East(?) African nation touted as having fought poverty through some industrial mega project where local incomes rose. Upon closer examination, however, people did have a bit of cash while before they had basically none but they lost a food producing ecosystem and a rich, communal cash-free (and untaxable) social network. They were worse off now, though they did have a tiny smidgen of cash with which to attempt to meet their needs in the global economy.

  18. Tom Stone

    The McCloskey’s are not that unusual, they see themselves as victims standing alone against a world intent on denying them what is rightfully theirs, surrounded by crooks, liars and thieves, doing only what is necessary to protect themselves.
    I’m looking at my dictionary for sympathy, I know it’s half way between shit and syphilis but I can’t seem to find it.

    1. JWP

      Having money doesn’t get anyone respect or give anyone a right to something. Too difficult a concept for elites.

  19. Amfortas the hippie

    re FAIR on the NYT’s sudden change of heart

    “What is striking here is that everything being argued in this editorial was in the platform espoused during the Bernie Sanders presidential campaigns of 2016 and 2020. Yet there is no mention of Vermont’s junior senator or his campaign platform in this surprisingly radical proposal on the Times editorial page. Nor is there any mea culpa for the many times that the paper sought to ignore, dismiss or trash Sanders in covering both of those primary races.”

    lol. Like it never happened, and all this stuff…that they so recently decried as pretty much Pol Pot…was their own idea, arrived at after careful consideration of the facts…and a deep-felt sense of moral clarity and fellowfeeling with the “huddled masses, yearning to be free…”..
    if they turn out to be sincere, I’ll welcome them into the fold and take the win. But i ain’t holding my breath.

      1. chuck roast

        After Trump was elected several of my friends took out subscriptions to the NYT. The presumption was that they were looking for some sort of truth telling. My only response to them was I had given it up years ago. If Biden wins the election, perhaps their need for the ruling class’ version of truth telling will diminish along with the NYT’s roster of paid subscribers. Not a bad thing entirely.

    1. Basil Pesto

      I screencapped the reaction shots from the NYT editorial board’s filmed interview with Bernie for ~the endorsement~ this year. The affronted, not to say repulsed, looks on their faces. I draw on them for succour because they are, frankly, very funny. I also like to bring it up when the NYT tries to pull some brazenly hypocritical bullshit like this.

    2. Aumua

      The Times started this almost immediately after Sanders dropped out. Suddenly they now have class consciousness and are concerned about economic inequality and such. They couldn’t talk about any of this stuff before without drawing attention to Sander’s platform, which was a big NO NO when he was still in play.

  20. PlutoniumKun

    COVID-19 Cases Are Rising, so Why Are Deaths Flatlining? Atlantic

    I talked to two doctors (both family members) who treat Covid patients. They say that the reason for the flatlining death rate is quite simple – critically ill patients are now being kept alive for 2-3 longer than previously before dying thanks to better immediate intervention. Combine that with quicker diagnosis of cases and you have probably an additional month ‘lag’ time compared to March or April. There is no evidence that there has been a significant reduction in overall mortality.

      1. ambrit

        It looks like an actual Darwin Event. The human population is being filtered for people who can naturally neutralize the coronavirus. Think the populations in England that acquired resistance to plague back in the day. That inherited resistance, so, by definition, a genetic mutation, also turns out today to confer immunity to HIV, if you get the mutation from both parents. If you only get one ‘dose,’ you develop a partial ‘resistance’ to HIV.
        Pray for a weakening of the coronavirus. A ‘smart’ parasite keeps it’s host alive for as long as possible. A ‘dumb’ parasite kills it’s hosts off so fast, it dies out along with the host population.
        And our “best and brightest” think that we are the Crown of Creation!

    1. td

      Deaths lag new cases by a substantial amount. The time from diagnosis to death has been averaging several weeks in any case, but there are also games being played.

      Florida takes between one and seven weeks to add a COVID death to their count. For a while, the UK didn’t count anyone who didn’t die in a hospital. And so on. Russian death numbers are disputed by their own doctors and some brave Brazilian doctors say that their totals are at least five times greater than the official numbers. Death is a political issue in most places and in some jurisdictions, you can be disappeared for trying to be too accurate.

      In any case, deaths are now rising quickly in several states so people will soon get numbers that will answer their questions.

    2. Harold

      They have started to rise, as predicted, according to this morning’s news, I thought.

    3. John k

      IMO two things… deaths in nursing homes down from horrendous numbers.
      And, old people are now terrified and careful, younger ones are fearless and careless.
      So the age of infected is far lower, I saw avg is down from 60 to 40. That alone is enough to account for much lower mortality.
      The reckless young are causing the south and west spikes, so death numbers will rise even as mortality continues down,

      1. Lambert Strether

        > The reckless young are causing the south and west spikes, so death numbers will rise even as mortality continues down,

        Let’s also remember that the young work in the service industries, which involves facing customers all day. And let’s remember that partying, going to resorts, etc., all involve discretionary income and and free time, so they skew upward on the class scale; I don’t think the Walmart worker with two other jobs and children to feed is going to be spending the weekend in a hot tub somewhere, passing joints with Chad, Amy, and the rest of the crowd.

        I think the pictures — particularly the beach photos*, which are ubiquitous and used even for articles that are not about beach exposures — are an ugly combination of prurience at the scantily clad young and working (or at least lower) class shaming. The beach-goers are not the people who brought the virus from New York, or spread it elsewhere, starting with the Hudson Valleys and the Hamptons.)

        * Outdoors, often breezy, so certainly not the most dangerous environment.

    4. chuck roast

      Or, maybe it’s just that vulnerable, wized-up geezers like me are avoiding indoor crowds.

    5. rd

      I think there is also a temporary decline in the median age of the people with Covid as the at-risk elderly are still in hiding. The younger people have a lower risk of death, but are more mobile and are interacting with people, so they will likely pass the infection into the at-risk populations that are more likely to die.

      Also, the hospital system in NYC was utterly overwhelmed. The ICUs in the south are nearing capacity but are not buried under a tsunami yet. That will likely come, at which time the deaths from triage will increase. Exponential growth is not a problem until it suddenly is.

      It is astonishing to me that these states watched what NYC went through in March and have been jumping up and down ever since with their hand in the air wanting to be next. At least they understand from the NYC experience that they need refrigerated trucks and have started ordering them.

  21. The Rev Kev

    “WHO still skeptical SARS-CoV-2 lingers in air—despite what the NYT says ”

    I sometimes think that Trump has a point about WHO. They have given shocking advice over the past few months and this is one of their worse ideas. If they were not sure – and there was proof that droplets did linger in the air – then they should have said ‘Look, we don’t really know but using the precautionary principle, act as if it was to be safe.’ If they had done that, then we would have been in a far better position as far as this pandemic was concerned. Instead, they flubbed it and made themselves untrustworthy which is not what you want for the WHO. This is actual dereliction of duty here.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Controversy over the definition of ‘airborne’ was not what I expected at all when I saw the headline.

      I wonder if WHO has determined how many coronavirus can fit of the head of a pin yet.

  22. Edward

    Some years ago I read a story about bacteria that were engineered to eat plastic (or was it oil?) I haven’t heard any more about these bacteria. It might offer a remedy to the microplastic problem, if it actually worked.

    1. jr

      It appears there are wild and manufactured versions:

      Years ago I had an online buddy, an Aussie microbiologist. He told me in some places these normally rare bacteria were slowly becoming more and more commonplace. There were concerns about them eventually altering the dominant ecological order in those locales in unknown and conceivably unpleasant ways.

      1. Edward

        Nature strikes back. The bacteria could spell bad news for people with plastic possessions or create health hazards like mold. Anyway, I will take the bacteria over something like incineration.

      2. pricklyone

        In “The Andromeda Strain” the bug mutates to dissolve or consume rubber. It dissolves the oxygen mask of a fighter pilot, and all the rubber seals in the plane.
        I always think of that when I hear about some genetically engineered “fight fire with fire” scheme.

        1. Edward

          There might be controlled ways to use bacteria to eat plastic. That is how sewage treatment works.

  23. PlutoniumKun

    Jack Charlton: a footballing giant who was forever a man of the people Guardian

    For anyone who thinks sport is just sport, they should read up on what Jack Charlton did for Ireland. Its hard to explain to people who never experienced it just what a miserable place Ireland was in the 1980’s. The rotten stench of economic and social failure was everywhere – the smartest and best all left as soon as they could, the rest either lived on the dole or used family connections to become rentiers of one form or another. People put up a brave front, but it was very hard not to feel you were part of a miserable failing society, one entirely dominated by the mediocrities and bullshitters who ran politics, the media and business at the time.

    Jack Charlton came with his bloody minded north of Englishness and made his (admittedly very talented) bunch of Irish and vaguely-genetically-connected-to-Ireland players into near worldbeaters. The fact that they did it by annoying everyone else in the world with the crudity of their long ball approach made it even more fun. Nobody took it too seriously, but he made people feel happy and proud and I’ve no doubt whatever but this enabled at least in part the Celtic Tiger. The latter might have had its enormous flaws, but for the first time in decades, Irish people felt they had a future in their own country. It also helped that the Irish team under Charlton, with its children of emigrants and prominent mixed race Irishmen like Paul McGrath, made people expand their own definition of nationality.

    1. David

      I’ve never been a fan of football (“soccer”if you prefer) but reading about Jack Charlton made me think back to the 1966 World Cup final, in which he played with his better known brother, Bobby. I think the whole of England was listening or watching, and the country went nuts when England won. But there was no violence, no nationalism (though the war had been over barely twenty years then) and a recognition that the Germans had played well. But it was a different world: professional sportsmen earned a decent but not excessive living, and they were basically ordinary lads you might run into in the supermarket.
      The 1966 victory was in many ways the high point of the 60s – a good humoured triumph, at a time when we had full employment, free education and a sense of optimism about the future which it’s hard to understand now. Oh and the Beatles were still making records.

      1. Copeland

        >The1966 victory was in many ways the high point…

        I swear, if I hear one more data point about how everything went to [family blog] after 1966*

        * The year of my birth! But yeah, I pretty much agree.

        1. The Rev Kev

          The decline seems to date from about 1973 or so on which coincided with the Oil Embargo when elements like the Powell Memo were being prepared. The election of Reagan and Thatcher sealed the deal as far as which direction the world was going to head. And you will see wages flat-lining on the US in the early 70s and that have never gone up since that reinforced the new neoliberal direction the world was taking.

      1. ShamanicFallout

        And I’ll raise you a Houghton over Shilton against England in 1988.

        “Jack Charlton cannot believe it!”

    2. Lambert Strether

      > Its hard to explain to people who never experienced it just what a miserable place Ireland was in the 1980’s. The rotten stench of economic and social failure was everywhere – the smartest and best all left as soon as they could, the rest either lived on the dole or used family connections to become rentiers of one form or another.

      Just read Ulysses…

  24. PlutoniumKun

    Chinese Travelers Will Be Ready, Will You? Jing Travel

    I heard recently that one major University in the UK has chartered a 747 to fly medical students from China for the start of next academic year – the main reason being to persuade them that they are serious about safety (and avoiding flights via major hubs). The cost of this is very low compared to the astronomical fees being charged for medical degrees. It certainly shows imagination, whether it works is another question.

    1. Basil Pesto

      one wonders if any of the brains trust stopped at any point to wonder if this was a sensible way to run a university.

  25. PlutoniumKun

    Flailing States: Pankaj Mishra on Anglo-America London Review of Books

    Mishra is always well worth a read, this is a great overview of the growth of the non-anglo States.

    Although he doesn’t express it clearly, I think the main conclusion is that the failure of UK/USA is that, in short, they fell into the trap of believing their own free market anti government BS. For most of their history, they proclaimed a belief in the power of free trade and markets, while actually manipulating markets and providing massive direct and indirect government backing to corporations in order to achieve their own aims. But sometime around the 1970’s they started believing the slogans, and fatally undermined their own institutional strengths.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      yeah, that part remained pretty subrosa, but it was a withering blast nevertheless.
      i’ve usually got music playing in my head…but for the last six months, the words “failed state…failed state…” have been repeating on track 4 every time i open the news.
      nemesis forever stalks hubris, and i reckon we’re way overdue in that regard.

    2. Olga

      Or – in other words – one could say that the contradictions in their positions finally bopped up to the surface and caught up with them. A BS position can only be peddled for a time – until it finally reveals itself for what it is. Or, maybe … karma.

    3. ObjectiveFunction

      Yes, lots to chew on in the Misra piece. Although reading him always seems like overhearing half a conversation, with the interlocutors seemingly being other cosmopolitan Indian pundits. Fair enough though, nice to hear views not centered on USA USA.

      Also, much of his history (e.g. Bismarckian Germany, and then Japan, as a global rival to the Anglo-American capitalist model) is more than a little tenuous and simplified.

      And then there’s his dutiful echoing of the revisionist grievance studies line on American race relations, e.g.:

      When inequality grew intolerable and meritocracy began to appear a fraud, the American ruling class answered its social question more ferociously than many tyrants, with mass incarceration – removing many of the long-term victims of slave society from public life.

      It occurred to me as I read that the same, umm, praxis could be used to rubbish the entirety of Indian civilization and culture as a 5000 year exercise in religiously sanctioned eugenics, enslavement and mass murder. Evil, irredeemable (they even use swastikas, wot a giveaway)! Burn it all down and start again.

  26. Wukchumni

    Odds of a given place going feral are tightening up in the just the FACT states, with the Sunshine state in feverish demand as of late, but never count out Arizona and the dullard governing them, or the 800 pound elephant in ICU, California. Texas seems to have lost it’s ‘I do what I want’ mojo, maybe too late?

    Az: 1-1
    Fla: 8-5
    Tx: 3-1
    Ca: 9-2

  27. allan

    Mediapocalypse, Sunday edition:

    Chatham wins auction to buy McClatchy, will seek final approval from bankruptcy court

    Chatham Asset Management, the New Jersey hedge fund that is McClatchy Co.’s largest creditor, has won an auction to buy the bankrupt local news company.

    Under the proposed deal that will be submitted to the bankruptcy court for approval, Chatham would buy the entire company, McClatchy said Sunday.

    “As long-standing supportive investors in McClatchy, we are pleased with the outcome of the auction,” Chatham said in a statement. “Chatham is committed to preserving newsroom jobs and independent journalism that serve and inform local communities during this important time.” [insert Brooklyn Bridge joke] …

    Chatham is the majority owner of Canada’s largest news chain, Ottawa-based Postmedia Network Canada Corp., and also owns American Media, publisher of the National Enquirer. [in other words, Pecker-adjacent] …

    Catch and kill – why should supermarket tabloids have all the fun? And just in time for the election.

    1. Yves Smith

      I am not being flippant. The two drivers of growth are population increases and productivity increases. That’s it.

      Sustainability is an entirely different matter, as is whether GDP makes any sense as a metric.

    2. polecat

      The Bee IS a market tabloid .. for the super benefit of the IdPol crowd!

      An increasingly dirty dish rag, if you will.

  28. Mikel

    Re: American Passports Now Worthless

    Looking at the list, they are only good for getting on a floating petri dish.
    Still encourging cruises…learned NOTHING!

  29. JWP

    Been increasingly concerned about other progressive outlet’s coverage the past few week, in addition to the rest of the media. Besides focus on Trump, dem corruption and hypocrisy, and virus numbers, the economic underpinnings and damage to people of all types is being left behind. This has been pronounced over at The Intercept and Automatic Earth. Railing against Biden for being as bad as Trump, which in almost every way he is, is counterproductive. Regardless of who wins, there will be evictions, deaths of despair, virus death, social collapse, and economic collapse on a unforeseen scale. Bickering about the obvious corruption of our elected officials and corporate overlords means the public is uninformed about the causes of their own demise and turn to elected officials for answers instead of finding them themselves and organizing around them. This wild time has easily made this case for NC as the best frickin place out there and I am so so grateful for it. At the same time, I am very concerned about people blindly walking into another crisis and hoping some combination of BLM and Never Trump Policy will be able save anyone. Our solutions may be vastly worse than even the putrid response if there’s no wakeup call.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        From the head of the link you referenced: “…we should at least consider the possibility of the bottom falling out, and prepare accordingly.”
        I believe the CARES Act is indeed preparation for that possibility. The plan is that the bottom will fall out, and the top — the roof — can buy it up at fire-sale prices using money the Fed gives them for their buying and consolidation spree.

        1. polecat

          Just you wait… That Roof can, and will, eventually catch fire.

          The Elite are not as invulnerable as one might think they are.
          Ants vs Grasshoppers, and all that comes with it. I’m not talking about votes, either!

  30. Cuibono

    “Brosseau, however, says that though masks can limit the spread of larger particles, they are less helpful for smaller ones, especially if they fit only loosely. “I wish we would stop relying on the idea that face coverings are going to solve everything and help flatten the curve,” she says. “It’s magical thinking—it’s not going to happen.” For masks to really make a difference, they would need to be worn all the time, even around family.”

    She seems awfully confident about that. Given what we see in places like Japan, and Hong Kong, and even Germany I would be willing to be she is wrong. Masking cant be the ONLY thing we do. but it may well be the most important

    1. wilroncanada

      NO Cuibono, and all you others here who think masks are magic. It’s number 5.
      1. Keep your distance–at least 2 metres.
      2. Wash your hands, and keep them away from your face.
      3. Maintain a small bubble of people you MUST associate with.
      4. If you do not feel well, stay home, and seek medical help if feeling persists for any length of time.
      5. If you cannot do number 1 at any point (perhaps while shopping), wear a mask! Make sure it fits properly and is not leaking, especially to the sides. And, get back to the previous four as soon as possible.

    2. John k

      Viruses are very small, but my guess is they are attached to enough mucus/spit that most gets stopped by most masks. Granted loose fit is hardly ideal.

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