Links 7/15/2020

Barack Obama’s Presidential Library Hits a Major Roadblock Architectural Digest

Trump sporting more natural gray hairdo amid the pandemic NY Post

Inside America’s Secretive $2 Billion Research Hub Forbes

USS Bonhomme Richard Burns, Likely A Victim Of Lax Fire Safety Practices Forbes. Includes a list of fires, with links.

Fertility rate: ‘Jaw-dropping’ global crash in children being born BBC

Ginsburg hospitalized with possible infection The Hill

Bari Weiss on why she left the New York Times NY Post

How “Cancel Culture” Repeatedly Emerged in My Attempt to Make a Film About Tennis Legend Martina Navratilova The Intercept Glenn Greenwald.

Philosophy without a philosopher in sight Times Literary Supplement

#COVID-19

Global surge in coronavirus cases is being fed by the developing world — and the U.S. WaPo

Not going back to the office will be ruinous for Britain. But here’s why it’s even worse for YOU, writes social historian Dr ELIZA FILBY Daily Mail

Profile of a killer: Unraveling the deadly new coronavirus AP

As pandemic rages out of control, CDC head warns of darker times this fall Ars Technica

Federal stockpile is thin amid coronavirus surge, internal documents show NBC

Hong Kong hopes infections will peak by weekend Asia Times

Alas, HK’s cases are spiking – to roughly north of 1500, with 8 deaths. This in a city of 7.5 million. By way of comparison, NYC has 8.5 million people and many more cases and deaths. So the following tweet resonates. Cuomo’s performance: failure. I will concede he’s better on public health than Trump. And, to be fair, NYC has seemingly gained control over the pandemic. But in no possible sense – especially in comparative terms – should it be regarded as a success.

Andrew Cuomo Ascends to the Mountaintop With His Pandemic Poster NYT. Despite his sorry pandemic performance, the Grey Lady provides space for such stuff.

22 States Now on Tri-State Quarantine List as Cuomo Ups Ante With New NY Emergency Order NBC

Coronavirus pandemic sparks Greek house-hunting frenzy among foreigners Deustche Welle

‘This Is Not a Normal Recession’: Banks Ready for Wave of Coronavirus DefaultsWSJ

Italy

Revealed: Italy’s call for urgent help was ignored as coronavirus swept through Europe Guardian

United Kingdom

Coronavirus: nurses not wearing masks led to A&E closure, inquiry finds Guardian

Mass confusion as Matt Hancock says masks must be worn to get takeaway coffee but NOT in pubs, and DENIES they will be compulsory in offices – as official advice reveals anyone who finds coverings ‘distressing’ doesn’t have to bother Daily Mail.

Science/Medicine

India’s Zydus begins human trials for potential Covid-19 vaccine Times of India

Moderna’s Covid-19 Vaccine Moves to Bigger Study WSJ

First data for Moderna Covid-19 vaccine show it spurs an immune response Stat

Class Warfare

Seattle’s Socialists Are Now Enemy Number One for Jeff Bezos and Amazon Jacobin

Different Names, Same Address: How Big Businesses Got Government Loans Meant for Small Businesses ProPublica

White House tells 18 million unemployed workers to ‘Find Something New’ in ad campaign WaPo

Tim Cook Joins White House to Tell Unemployed Americans to Learn to Code Gizmodo

Imperial Collapse Watch

Julian Assange

Damage to the Soul Craig Murray

Syraqistan

Media Conceal—or Celebrate—Depriving Syrians of Food and Medicine FAIR

After nine years of war, who is helping the Syrians? Qantara

2020

‘We see an opening’: Biden makes a play for Texas Politico

Biden steps up his clean-energy plan, in a nod to climate activists MIT Technology Review

Tom Steyer’s Never-Ending Fight Capital & Main

Biden plans to reduce waiting time for Indians for work-based green cards Business Standard

Joe Biden turns to friend and confidante Chris Dodd to help him choose running mate Hartford Courant

l’affaire Jeffrey Epstein

Judge denies bail for Ghislaine Maxwell after she pleads not guilty in Jeffrey Epstein sex crimes case CNBC

China?

US President Donald Trump signs Hong Kong Autonomy Act, and ends the city’s preferential trade status SCMP

Chinese media calls for ‘pain’ over UK Huawei ban as Trump claims credit Guardian

China vows retaliation against US over Hong Kong sanctions Al Jazeera

New York Times to move Hong Kong staff to Seoul over press freedom fears BBC

Trump on UK’s Huawei ban: ‘I did this myself’ Reuters

US tech groups resist Hong Kong data-sharing proposal FT

India-China Joust

India Asks Chinese E-Commerce Platforms for “Country Of Origin” Addition Jing Dail

India

India’s lockdown policy to contain Covid-19 is being undermined by poor public communication Scroll

Delhi: He fed thousands over 3 months till Covid got him Indian Express

Moratoriums, a debt trap for microfinance? LiveMint

Waste Watch

House Democrats back EPR, other recycling mandates in new climate plan Waste Dive

Food Security

Sustainable agriculture is fundamental to food security, need to bring seed diversity back: India Financial Express

Don’t Buy Birdseed — Grow It TreeHugger

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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216 comments

  1. zagonostra

    >Bari Weiss on why she left the New York Times

    Weiss is an embarrassment. I think one of Jimmy Dore’s most viewed clips, over 4M views, shows just how mind boggling it is that the premier newspaper in the U.S. has had this person working for them. Truly revealing on how far down in quality/veracity the NYT has sunk.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jS-sxJFn6O0

    Reply
    1. Pelham

      I’m no great fan of Weiss although I’ve found some of her commentary worthwhile.

      However, if she truly feels hounded at the Times, it’s terrible and speaks poorly of journalism in general at this sorry stage. If the Times had let her go, that might have been justified. But her departure under these (apparent) circumstances is another matter entirely.

      Reply
      1. hunkerdown

        People who are obsessed with career should be treated as if they were obsessed with career and willing to lie, cheat, steal and kill to keep it. Ambition must be tempered not with ambition, but with seething, pointed, white-hot disregard.

        Reply
      2. a different chris

        >if she truly feels hounded

        Think of the worst professional sportsball player in whatever sport you like.

        Did they get “hounded” out of their sport? Or did they just suck at it and teammates said so loudly and clearly? Note: their opinion actually doesn’t matter, really. Does my opinion that I’m smarter than the CEO of my company mean I should be CEO? Obviously and sadly not.

        If you can’t stand the heat then stay away from public professions.

        Reply
    1. John A

      Yes beautiful photo. I guess the mother is the one with the all cream breast as size wise the offspring look as big. Is that really one brood?

      Reply
      1. juno nas

        As JLS mentioned yesterday, click on the “via” link (above the photo) and it will take you to the original source of the photo (Audubon). Scroll down, The photographer describes the method of observation and photo capture.

        Cheers.

        Reply
    2. Olga

      The plan shows a building that looks like a mis-shapen mausoleum. And even the original mausoleum was a vanity project.

      Reply
  2. Amfortas the hippie

    Re; Sustainable Ag in India
    sorry in advance for the long post/threadjack, but this has been worrying me like a bad tooth:
    As y’all know, i’ve been concerned of late about the availability of seeds for this coming year, given what we saw this year…with panic buying and a very large and sudden increase in “victory gardens”.
    The thing that really put a point on this, for me, was the related panic buying of things like baby chicks and goats…the latter, according to my contacts in goatworld, was suburban people buying up goats at the auctions to put in their back yards by the pool. This was an unexpected development, to me…and I saw it as in indicator, potentially, of things to come, as our new reality sunk in with folks, and all the uncertainty led them to consider things like food security.
    From 30000 feet, I reckon this new awareness of the fragility of our supply lines is a good thing…i’ve worried about it for decades, but could get little traction in getting others concerned, because the “shelves were always full”.
    But it’s also a bad thing, because our common practice of Just In Time Inventory Management means that there’s no wiggle room to accommodate disruptions and unforeseen craziness.
    This is especially concerning when it come to seed production. Nature is our partner when it comes to the provision of seed…you can’t just “make some more”.
    So I went a-wandering on the web this early AM. Much of what I found was anodyne “Everything’s Fine” from the retail seed vendors…like this, from my own main supplier:
    https://territorialseed.com/pages/a-message-from-territorial-president-tom-johns-may-2020

    This sort of sentiment was reflected on every such website I visited…and in digging through their online catalogs…still for 2020, of course…there are many out of stock notices, but still apparently plenty of seed from this year available.(I’ll be making as much of an order as I can afford, given that today is our payday…but I have the cool dark space to store seeds, while many, I’m sure, do not)

    I also perused as much of the trade rags and industry groups as I could gain access to….much of this is, of course, behind paywalls,lol.
    Some samples:
    https://agrilifetoday.tamu.edu/2020/04/20/need-for-vegetable-seed-strains-supplies/

    https://seedworld.com/adjusting-to-a-new-normal/

    https://seedworld.com/isf-reports-on-current-outbreaks-of-covid-19-and-the-international-movement-of-seeds/

    and this dude mentions that the seed growers are ramping up in anticipation of higher demand next spring in the home grown market.
    https://georgeweigel.net/georges-current-ramblings-and-readlings/the-great-2020-seed-surge

    Of note…i saw mentioned in several places, including some of these industry level sites, reference to the importance of Seed Saving…I’m a nut for saving seed, and it’s important for maintaining local ag. It’s surprising to see it even mentioned at that level, since the industry trend in the last 30 years has been exactly the opposite, including the move towards terminator seeds that make sure you cannot save seed from this year, and must instead, go and buy more from monsatan, or whatever.

    Wife and I are off to San Antonio manana for a scan…which takes less time than Chemo…and instead of hanging around the parking lot, I’ll visit the nearest garden supply place(preferably mom and pop) and talk to whatever fenceposts I can find, and try to get a read on the outlook, going forward.
    Again, forgive for the long post and multiple links, please…but I think it’s important.

    Reply
    1. Phillip Allen

      Thank you very much for your links.

      I recommend checking out the Experimental Farm Network (experimentalfarmnetwork.org).

      “The Experimental Farm Network (EFN) works to facilitate collaborative plant breeding and sustainable agriculture research in order to fight global climate change, preserve the natural environment, and ensure food security for humanity into the distant future. We believe participatory plant breeding on a massive scale can lead to breakthroughs to help us not only adapt to climate change, but one day actually stabilize the climate.”

      The seed list is very interesting, and if one is inclined to do some ag/hort research, there are many opportunities for collaboration across the country.

      Reply
      1. Samuel Conner

        Thanks! This is very cool. Another illustration of how home-growing could make a difference.

        And it might be a good example of a useful Job Guarantee target.

        Reply
    2. christofay

      For the last few years any seed I tried to sprout, tomato, various lettuce, carrots, sunflowers, have refused to sprout. So I forced to buy the starter plants at $5 to $12 or more.

      Reply
      1. Samuel Conner

        Try germinating the seeds in a “DIY humidome”. Provided that you don’t damage the radicle when you explant from the ‘dome (some species do not tolerate this well) this should give you good germination results that don’t depend on outdoor conditions.

        Get a “wider than tall” container with a clear lid and a watertight base. Chinese take-out containers work great, but many other kinds will do.

        Put some folded paper towel, well dampened, in the bottom of the container.

        Coffee filter on top of that. Make sure the filter is well dampened by the PT; add water if needed

        Optional: put 1/2 to 1 inch of sterile growing medium on top of the coffee filter (you can supplement with a few particles of slow-release fertilizer if you want. This may help tiny seeds that don’t have much in the way of resources in the cotyledons)

        Sow the seeds, with some space between them (to simplify removal of the seedlings) on top of the filter paper (if no medium) or on top of the medium,

        Close the container and set in a warm bright location. Check daily and add water if too dry. But don’t over-water; I have had problems with mold growth.

        The seeds should hydrate and germinate more quickly than if sown in soil.

        The tricky part is deciding when to transplant to growing medium in conventional starting trays or small pots (don’t transplant directly to outdoor soil — or try it with just a portion to see if the germinants can handle it). Some species are quite robust and will do fine whatever you do. Tithonia is an example of this. Others seem to be very delicate. I lost 200+ Echinacea, three 12×6 trays, earlier this year when the radicles almost all died after transplantation. What a disappointment, and they didn’t just die; the cotyledons lingered for weeks as they were still getting some moisture through the stump of the radicle, but they didn’t grow. I find that tomatoes, peppers and squash tend to be pretty robust. Cardinal Flower, Agastache Cana and Mint Leaf Bee Balm all did very well this way this year too.

        If you start numerous seeds, or multiple domes with multiple seeds in each, you can try to remove the seedlings one at a time at different stages of growth and note how they do to determine what is the best stage for transplantation to a conventional growing setup.

        A tricky point is that because the seeds are on the surface of the growing substrate, they have no soil around them to help scrape off the seed coat as they grow toward the surface. You may need to provide some manual help to some of them. Seedlings that have developed a hair-pin bend in the hypocotyl, with the seed coat pointed “down” are, I think, trying to shuck off the seed coat. Most of mine do so by themselves, but some need help.

        ——

        If this is too much trouble, you can also simply use a conventional 10×20 starting tray (use one with no holes so that you can water from below) with 6×6 or 12×6 inserts filled with growing medium. You can sow the seeds at the prescribed depth in such a setup. Cover with a clear humidity dome to get a similar effect to the above.

        Aside: I have found that Rosemary, which is pretty hard to start from seed, does very well in humid conditions. The seeds swell a lot, developing a thick gel-ish coating before they germinate. 80+% germination is normal in these conditions. Peppers, which are notoriously slow to germinate, will germinate a bit sooner in a warm humidome, and they transplant well. I find the biggest problem is forgetting to check daily, or getting so busy that i don’t have time to explant at the right stage, so that the plants overgrow in the dome and get moldy.

        Reply
        1. Amfortas the hippie

          yeah. I’ve still got peppers germinating in the now shady greenhouse.
          figure they’ll go through october, at least.
          and re humidomes/cloches from recycling packages…the hard plastic things that croissants and pastries come in(from HEB, in my case) are great for this…and they last for years so long as you store them during summer some place shady. the black lids, i use as plates for the paper towels for seed saving, but they’d be good for a base, like what you’re talking about.
          as far as the more woody herbs(rosemary especially), i rarely bother with seeds any more, and instead do rooted cuttings…often from plants i see out in the world, like the drivethrough of the burger joint,lol.
          root stimulator(i like the powder better than the liquid for this purpose), wet soil with good drainage, and keep it moist till they get going.
          i do this with pretty much all of my perennial herbs…from lavender to rosemary to thyme. Snagging cuttings from other people’s(businesses) landscaping keeps the cost down(ha!), and adds genetic variation. I rarely go anywhere without coming home with pockets full of seeds and acorns and sprigs of one thing or another.
          this year, i did do seed with a bunch of different bee plants…Monarda, Hyssop, etc…with pretty good results. they’ll be hopefully coming up by themselves next year….but they do take time to germinate.as with most seeds, the trick is to keep them damp, but not too damp, lest the fungi/mold get going…but it’s generally dry enough here that “damping off” hasn’t been an issue
          mom, unbeknownst to me, had a cache of old seed from as far back as 2004 in boxes in her closet…all manner of esoterica,lol.
          after the first flush of things were out the door and in the gardens proper, i seeded out a whole lot of that…weird medicinal herbs, many flowers, and a bunch of things that i didn’t have much hope for(guava? really?)…still waiting on some of them…costs me little to run a mister over everything, so we’ll see what happens.

          Reply
        2. marieann

          I have a set up in my basement with the tiered lights and a heating cable for under the trays. I have had success with most plants, this year I had some failures but I notice most of my seed is old and I plan to buy all new this time. I hadn’t even considered a seed shortage.
          I use potting a medium and just try to keep them watered and misted and of course life gets in the way.

          I also have a small greenhouse…just a plastic shelter to which we add a heater for overnight…this year we had snow on May 15th so I had trouble getting my wee plants out to the greenhouse early enough…our growing season is Zone 6 so usually have enough time to get a good crop in.
          I grow tomatoes,peppers,beans,salad fixings, broccoli, turnip and a few beets and carrot.
          I also grow herbs and fruit

          My neighbours huge tree is coming down this year so I may have room for a potato bed.

          Reply
        3. JE

          The best seed starting container I have found is clear plastic egg cartons. Individual water tight segments for the seeds, allowing customization for each species if needed and clear lid that is not fully air tight.

          Reply
      2. kareninca

        christofay – that is odd that you can’t even get them to sprout, and that it is a general problem. That makes me think it is your tap water. I wonder if it would help to let it sit for 24 hours in a bucket before using it to sprout seeds, to let the chlorine in it burn off.

        Reply
      1. Amfortas the hippie

        Thanks, Carl! I was wondering where to go.
        My habitual nursery places are in Fredericksburg and Kerrville.
        and, when i go see my Dad in clear Lake, my favorite nursery in the world:
        https://maasnursery.com/
        a magical place,lol.
        I can spend a fortune…and all day…there.

        Reply
        1. Eureka Springs

          I try to buy or trade seed as close to home as possible. Don’t want seed grown in climate and soil different than mine. Local Amish, Mennonites and organics at the farmers market are good for this.

          Reply
    3. Alternate Delegate

      We had a serious gardening disaster this year: our straw ground cover turned out to be contaminated with persistant herbicide. The beans and peppers suffered the worst, although some varieties were resistant. This is after we had given up on grass clippings from the city yard waste place because too many people started putting herbicides on their lawns. We had to rake up the straw, and I guess we will have to do manual cultivation to keep down the weeds.

      At first, we thought our purchased straw was contaminated with glyphosate (Glyphosate Contamination in Food Goes Far Beyond Oat Products, from the Environmental Working Group 2019).

      Then we talked to a helpful lady at a testing company who enlightened us about the fact that most feed and forage is now contaminated with a class of persistant herbicides called pyridine carboxylic acids (Contaminated Compost Equals Gardening Problems, from 2014).

      At least glyphosate isn’t persistant. These pyridines will go right through the cow, come out the other end, compost for three years, and then STILL poison your garden after that.

      Cut it out with the poisons already, people!

      Reply
      1. Phenix

        Use contractors paper and wood chips to keep down the weeds. If you can find a good compost resource use the lasanga method with multiple layers of contractors paper. I am doing that now with my first year food forest.

        Reply
        1. BillS

          If you use woodchips, be sure to avoid Black Walnut chips, which will poison your plants. Also, keep in mind that woodchips are great at suppressing weed growth, but can cause nitrogen impoverishment of the underlying soil as they decompose. Be sure to use lots of composted manure to counteract this effect.

          Reply
      2. HotFlash

        Yeah, mulch can have some bad stuff in it. Got a lot of lovely free sawdust, yay — oops, it was from exterior ply which contains formaldehyde. I have been reducing use of regular mulches (straw, wood shavings, bark etc) and moving to live mulches/cover crops. So far I have introduced chickweed, purslane, pineappleweed, mallow, and camomile, all low-growing, self-seeding, and edible, as living mulches and am very happy with the results. When it cools off I will try some lettuce and radish in the barer spots and just thin (yum) when the leaves touch. The soil underneath the living mulch stays cool, soft, and moist. Meanwhile, the taller stuff (beans, tomatoes, peppers, even my bush zucchini) just grow right through it. In my tiny yard I haven’t got even one square inch to waste.

        Reply
        1. Amfortas the hippie

          I like Vetch…and it’s apparently edible, too(per the Romans)
          I also use foxtail millet, in the hot part of the year after the garden’s waning(although i usually have tomatoes well into october/novmber)
          I had intended this year to be a soil building year, so planted a lot of both everywhere last fall.
          But pandemic and all, and i put all the beds into production anyway.
          now, i’ve been covered up with it,lol…and continually pulling great heaps of both out all year. into the compost piles it goes. Vetch breaks down really well, and is a legume, and has pretty purple flowers.
          I also like buckwheat, for late summer bare spots(makes a decent flour, gluten free)
          the neat thing i’ve discovered about the vetch and millet is not only that they prevent our native and problematic weeds from coming up(everything here has thorns), as well as shade the soil around the actual plants….
          but I’m finding carrots and radishes and beets growing up through it even this last week(it’s unheard of to have those in July around here)
          given, it’s been a strange year, weatherwise…late cold snaps, clouds when there shouldn’t have been, very early heatwave, etc.
          I’ll be planting them again all over this fall, too…just not as thickly.
          I’m amazed at how much biomass they produce.
          …and as i said, none of it is wasted, just moved around and mixed with the various manure and kitchen waste.

          Reply
      3. Amfortas the hippie

        Yep. We had that same disaster about 10-12 years ago. I only learned about those particular herbicides after we had hauled….by hand!…about 5 tons of cow manure from the feedlot.
        Tomatoes looked like they’d been hit with 2-4-D.
        a very hot compost…as in adding dry molasses and chicken manure, and keeping it wet and turning it a lot…will help break that stuff down quicker.
        research i’ve seen says that normal composting, it takes 3-5 years.
        and for grins, make a formal complaint to the EPA. They can’t do anything(if that part of them remains functional) without a complaint to start the process.
        folks i talked to there, again 10 years ago, were aware of it, and frustrated that their hands were tied.
        dowpont apparently has a soil test for the presence if this crap, but won’t let anyone have it, since it’s proprietary.
        so only real test is the Bean Test.
        Good luck.

        and, btw, horse manure is better all around…and better about that stuff, too, since horse people are pretty finicky and protective of their animals.
        I’m planning on adding a couple of burros to this place, both for guarding the goats, as well as for their manure(they tend to make a pile, just naturally)

        Reply
        1. Alternate Delegate

          Thanks. Yes, the lady at the testing place also informed us that while they could test for glyphosate, they couldn’t test for pyridine carboxylic acids.

          Double secret poisons. There’s no test for it, so no one can prove it’s there, so it doesn’t exist. Magic!

          We’ll probably try leaves next year to keep the weeds down, with something to counteract the acidity.

          Reply
          1. hunkerdown

            2,4-D is actually an endogenous plant growth hormone. It works in much the same way as nerve agents and neoliberalism: overstimulate until the target destroys itself.

            Reply
    4. Procopius

      I remember from the late ’40s talk about the need for the Evernormal Granary and farm price supports and The Octopus, by Frank Norris, that we read in high school, before government regulation and price supports and crop control, farming was very much boom and bust. If in one year soy beans brought a high price, next year every farmer with suitable land and many without planted soy beans, and the price dropped so they couldn’t even recover their costs, while the farmers who planted corn made good money. I suspect that may happen with the seed companies. This year tremendous demand because of panic, next year …?

      Reply
  3. LawnDart

    Re: Obama’s residential Library

    That thing is a monstrosity (which in itself is appropriate); far South Side or maybe West Side along Madison Avenue would be far more appropriate. Best of all would probably be the bottom of Lake Michigan, where it could benefit the fish population as a natural reef so at least be something worthwhile.

    Reply
    1. Clive

      I asked my good friend the Obamamometer (well, I sent him a Tweet which as we know is the same thing isn’t it?) what was the problem with something a little more along the lines of this design.

      When he gets back to me, I’ll copy y’all in on his reply.

      Reply
      1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

        A Bookmobile! I remember those from my way pre-Amazon, pre-chain bookstore youth.

        Reply
        1. Angie Neer

          Bookmobiles have not gone away. Around here (King County, WA) they’re called “Library to Go”. Many are equipped as WiFi hotspots, too. Support your local library!

          Reply
      2. montanamaven

        As someone who actually grew up in Chicago, I applaud your idea. This park and surrounds have been there for over a hundred years. BHO spent 8 years doing worse than nothing except for the banks. So a vacant lot with bookmobile and an ATM machine seems appropriate although some of the quarries on the South Side might work.

        Reply
      3. Oh

        Excellent idea! The mobile library could be driven around many neighborhoods and beckon people with tones like those used by the ice cream truck. Sometimes, we could have Michelle and Barack ride in the van and step out to make “hopey changey” speeches. Of course books in the library would only consist of those written by these two.
        Biden could pitch in along with Trump with their forthcoming book “The audacity of grope”.

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile to go with the Bookmobile!
          Throw in the Kool Aid Man giant pitcher and you have “The Obama Experience! [Are you experienced?]”
          The OMW: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wienermobile
          Grifters gotta grift.
          Trump was a ‘reality show’ host who became President. Now, Obama is reversing the process. He is an ex-President who is trying to break into the world of “reality shows.”
          The “real” ‘reality’ here is that the lot of them are characters ready for “the Hook” in an Amateur Night on the vaudeville stage.

          Reply
    2. LawnDart

      Phoney reef,” not natural.

      Need caffeine, sorry.

      (Awesome, Clive, are the wheels already off the thing, in reflection of his legacy?)

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Despite Trump, there is a suspicious lack of Obama hagiography. There were a couple of memoirs about writing jokes about the Al Smith dinner and well Lily Bedletter which Obama singed the second version which Pelosi held up for months so the new President in ’09 had something to sign.

        Reply
          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            He appeared to sign whatever was put in front of him. It appeared Shrub believes (I tend to see him as a believer) the veto really is for constitutional worries. That particular Congress passed almost everything they promised to which wasnt much but they did it. There is a certain amount of horse trading going into it, but the we’re very successful. I think W’s willingness to sign caught them off guard.

            Reply
    3. divadab

      Now Now – it’s good that the monument to Obama’s ego and (inadvertent) symbol of neoliberal conversion of public assets to private wealth, is being held up and we hope will be built somewhere anywhere NOT an Olmsted-designed historic public park.

      The sheer arrogance and entitlement of Obama and his people, building a pyramid, a temple to his own wonderfulness. In a public park, FCS!!!!

      Reply
      1. Darius

        Were there not an abundance of old abandoned industrial sites in impoverished communities just waiting to be revitalized? Nothing but a premier trophy site for the Awesome One. If it was New York, he would have claimed the Great Lawn, the Sheep Meadow, or the North Woods. Worshipping Obama is more important than preserving some old landscape or other.

        Reply
    4. The Rev Kev

      I am given to understand that when you enter the planned building, that you will find yourself in a massive indoor space. It is only later that you will learn that it is named the Barack Obama Hall of Achievements.

      I have studied today’s Antidote du Jour and I have positively identified them. They are definitely birds.

      Reply
      1. Samuel Conner

        > it is named the Barack Obama Hall of Achievements

        I would think that a large bust of BHO’s successor, decorated with gold leaf, will be given prominent place, as that is one of the most significant “achievements.”

        Reply
      2. christofay

        After purchasing your entry ticket to the Obama World PyramidScheme Building you are first required to drop your bag which is checked and umbrella for a $5 fee into a secured location. Then your progress is blocked by a Make-a-Donation kiosk.

        As all rooms are reserved for public-private functions, you are forced to exit via the gift shop where the turnstiles are activated by scanning a bar code off of one of the Barack / Michelle hagiographies available for purchase.

        Reply
        1. Amfortas the hippie

          you forgot that the “Make-a-Donation kiosk” is means tested, and requires the last 2 years tax forms, in triplicate, and a note from your mom.

          Reply
  4. voteforno6

    Re: Bari Weiss

    Are we supposed to feel bad for her? She strikes me as someone who’s intellectually lazy, and rather intolerant of any criticism of what she writes – not the qualities that you want in an opinion writer. What really seems to have pushed her over the edge, though, is that some of the real reporters at the Times had the temerity to disagree with her characterization of internal deliberations at the paper. These are people that, unlike the opinion writers, are actually subject to at least some fact-checking.

    So, no, she’s no hero, or martyr for free speech. She’s just another thin-skinned, entitled person who, when she didn’t get what she wanted, took her ball and went home.

    Reply
    1. PlutoniumKun

      As Katie Harper has pointed out on Twitter, a number of other neocon writers have left their jobs recently – it looks like there is a new right wing publication brewing – I suspect she just used the current controversy of cancel culture to brush up a bit of publicity for her pre-planned exit.

      I’ve only read a few of her articles – they seemed to me to be just tired rehashes of mainstream right wing opinion. She doesn’t even have the ability to craft an elegant paragraph or so – that’s the minimum I’d expect from the right wingers I read. Joe Rogans beautiful take down of course showed just how intellectually shallow (i.e. stupid) she really is. There is either a very shallow talent pool among her generation of conservatives or the someone at the NYT decided to deliberately appoint a second rater so that she wouldn’t overshadow their favourite liberal voices. I suspect she knew all too well that she was out of her depth at the NYT so is doing her best to extend her value to the usual conservative moneybags.

      Reply
      1. voteforno6

        That would be good news…putting them all in the same place would help the rest of us know who to ignore.

        Reply
        1. hunkerdown

          It would also help us discipline them, in case marches for in-person discussion are required. Forget pledging allegiance to the President by asking him for a favor it’s not in his interest to grant. Take the menace directly to the source.

          Reply
      2. The Rev Kev

        The New York Times are very flexible in their codes of conduct which Weiss would have known beforehand. The NYT will defend gay people but will then use a cartoon of Trump & Putin as gay lovers to attack them because, umm, they are gay? And remember when the NYT hired Sarah Jeong which showed that that were inclusive and not racist. But then discovered that Jeong actually was when she tweeted out things like “white men are bulls***” and “oh man it’s kind of sick how much joy I get out of being cruel to old white men.” forgetting that white men and women are a big chunk of their readership? How toxic is the workspace over there anyway?

        Reply
        1. hunkerdown

          Yet there are communities of women who are much more directly pleased by the idea of keeping men barefoot and poor than Veblen countenanced in his writing on this particular leisure class, and they are starting to become more explicitly political.

          Reply
      3. Procopius

        “… mainstream right wing opinion.” That’s called “centrism,” don’t you know. I’m not going to re-read any of her letter, but didn’t she call herself a centrist? Or was it Dean Baquet who said he had hired her because she was a centrist?

        Reply
    2. Donald

      There are people who are victims of cancel culture, but Bari Weiss is a leading practitioner

      https://theintercept.com/2017/08/31/nyts-newest-op-ed-hire-bari-weiss-embodies-its-worst-failings-and-its-lack-of-viewpoint-diversity/

      https://theintercept.com/2018/03/08/the-nyts-bari-weiss-falsely-denies-her-years-of-attacks-on-the-academic-freedom-of-arab-scholars-who-criticize-israel/

      I think someone linked to one of these pieces yesterday, but since Bari is now being marketed as a free speech martyr it doesn’t hurt to post them again.

      Reply
    3. occasional anonymous

      “intellectually lazy”

      She’s literally an idiot. As in she uses words to accuse other people, and then can’t actually define those words when pressed to.

      The Jimmy Dore segment has already been posted, so I’ll just add this take down from an Australian: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tTqyZQsG5A

      The Rogan interview she did is something of a goldmine of idiocy.

      Reply
  5. Cocomaan

    Historian Dr ELIZA FILBY and her concern trolling about working from home apparently uses zero history.

    Speaking as a millennial, I don’t want to get a sandwich at lunch with my coworkers. I don’t want to socialize with them. I want to go home.

    Reply
    1. Mr. House

      I liked some of my coworkers, but yeah generally i’m not crazy about the “social” aspects about work.

      Reply
      1. cocomaan

        One thing I’ve read about French working culture, and maybe a native can chime in, is the lack of a bridge between work life and social life. The French have long meetings and are confrontational at work, so that might be why they don’t use work for the social life.

        I like some of the people I work with. But I like to keep a firewall between work and personal.

        Hey I saw your comment from yesterday about Ms Weiss, too I laughed. You’re totally right, she’ll be fine. As I posted down thread, that was a job application, not a resignation letter.

        Reply
        1. Bugs Bunny

          Some people make friends at work, some don’t. I’d say the vast majority don’t. Never, ever seen anyone socialize with their boss unless they both came to the firm together.

          Lunches, however, are taken together and very rarely at your desk. If someone sees you at your desk at lunchtime, they’ll ask you to come join a group because it looks sad.

          Reply
          1. cocomaan

            How long are lunch breaks?

            Lunch breaks in America are “an hour” but most people don’t do it. Most eat at their desks because taking your lunch break is seen as luxurious and sometimes frowned upon. “Where were you?”

            Socializing with your boss is seen as normal. I felt the pressure to do it at my last job.

            Reply
            1. Bugs Bunny

              Lunch is one hour, 90% of the time starting at 12:30PM on the dot. Some people take a little more and do some quick shopping, etc.

              My boss once said, if you’re going to rob a bank, do it at 12:45PM. Why? I asked.

              “parce que la police mange”

              Reply
  6. mle detroit

    Today’s antidote is great. They’re all distancing, and six appear to be wearing masks. Very wise!

    Reply
  7. Wukchumni

    Trump sporting more natural gray hairdo amid the pandemic NY Post
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The picture of Dorian Gray winked at us, becoming just another age appropriate geezer, but why would a narcissist do that?

    Reply
    1. Maritimer

      What about Maxwell’s $1 million house with 150 acres outside Concord NH? That’s not exactly Backwoods, USA. Pretty impressive structure and serious land to boot, all for $1 million. She can be my RE agent anytime. Or maybe…….

      Surprised no media asking questions about the price or who may have sold it for a song.

      Reply
    2. hunkerdown

      Madeline McCann disappears, Maxwell takes a week off of reddit that very same day?

      “You want to break it? You better win.” And this is why we purge during revolutions instead of playing patty cake with the defeated adversary.

      Reply
  8. PlutoniumKun

    Re: Matt Stollers tweet

    It always amazed me at how easily the US allowed its once very diverse and competitive aviation industry to become such a cosy and rotten mini-cartel. Much of it seems reminiscent of how the UK managed to allow its once mighty aviation sector to fall to pieces. Even Russia and China seem to have more internal competition for big military or commercial aviation contracts and France manages to maintain an element of internal competition between Dassault and Airbus Military.

    In a healthier political context, the current travails of Boeing and the F35 would be a perfect scenario for the government to simply wipe out the shareholder value of Lockheed and Boeing by cancelling all current contracts, nationalise them both, fire every single lobbyist and Washington consultant attached to them, and then reconstruct them as 3 or more self standing companies with all or partial government ownerships, with a strong engineering centred ethos. It’s not going to happen of course.

    Reply
      1. WobblyTelomeres

        At an Arbor Day seminar a few years ago, I asked the county agent what he recommended I do about some Chinese privet growing at the back of my little half acre of Alabama heaven (“But it’s a wet heat!”). He quickly went from happy chatty expert to stone cold serious, telling me to cut it as close to the ground as I could, pour poison over whatever was left, and burn everything, every scrap, I had cut off.

        Reply
    1. JTMcPhee

      I find most interesting that Freudian slip about nationalizing “other parts of the Air Force that are currently competitive.” So the National Socialist melding of state and corp is apparently complete, de facto if not de jure, in the minds of the Pentagram procurement cadres…

      Reply
    2. Synoia

      Twas ever thus: I refer you to the Austin Champ, a wonderful vehicle which could go as fast backwards as forwards (excellent for retreating,) and was designed to compete with the Land Rover.

      However, it had a high center of gravity, and rolled easily killing occupants.

      Reply
    3. Nameless

      Given all the potential infrastructure work our country needs, it would’ve nice to have some large capable engineering based companies around, but honestly, Boeing is now managed like a Wall St bank. Design a bad airplane? Doesn’t matter, I’ll be gone, you’ll be gone, and we get big fat bonuses on the way out.

      The engineering talent has been largely pushed out (too expensive), or outsourced. The R&D has been slashed so a company that once was quite capable is a shadow of it’s former self. But hey, a couple of CEOs got rich so it was worth it to trash one of the finest engineering companies in the world.

      Reply
    4. VietnamVet

      The C-130 has been in production for over 60 years. I got a few rides in them half a century ago. This shows how corrupt and incompetent the Praetorian Guard has become.

      I hate to be a Centurion in Syria right now. The bad news is that the Western Empire is dead. The USA is in quarantine. The good news Jerri-Lynn posted above. Only one sailor died on the USS Theodore Roosevelt out of the thousands infected. Possibly due to MMR vaccine given to all military personnel.

      Reply
  9. rob

    so the fertility rate in humans is falling. GOOD.
    I don’t see how this is a bad thing.
    And all the people smart enough to stop reproducing should be applauded.
    Why would some fool think this is a problem we need to “fix”? What we need to do to “fix” this is to enlighten people that it is not “good” to just have children. Children happen… but we don’t need to push growing families as is the case for various religions who want to “grow their own” followers.
    (I am not talking about anything radical like eugenics ,or anti-child zealotry… just common sense. moderation..)

    Considering the fact that people don’t seem to have the collective capacity to IMPROVE the world around them…We; cannot get behind “the good fights” out there , which “WE” ought to…
    We are led around by religious fundamentalists,or financial wizards,or just “the strong”… and leave the good fights to happen aka obscurity…. perennially…
    We as people , as a virus…. have effected the organism of life on this planet… in a detrimental way.
    We subjugated nature to get here… we were “smart”…
    But the game is played by bigger actors than us… for a longer time…. and I would bet on “the long game of nature”… that which finds balance….
    maybe our demise, through dwindling populations,; be it from low birth rates, or a pandemic culling the herd…. or climate adaptation ,or lack thereof …. is better for nature as a whole….
    That is only fair.

    It is also the way to a “green new deal”

    Reply
      1. hunkerdown

        It’s not the 19th century anymore. Marxism is the battle plan for the last war, not the current one. Adversaries respond and they learn lessons. Mises and his fellow ur-neolib reactionaries did respond directly to Marxism, and successfully contained and diffused revolutionary conditions then and on many occasions since.

        The only thing that super-replacement breeding is going to do is give the neoliberals more free labor.

        Reply
    1. Susan the other

      A crashing human population is just another free-market emergency. Gotta think up another way to make a profit if there is no population boom. We operated on a population-ponzi-economy for 70 years. Of course, why else would stranded corporations, addicted to profits but with nothing to sell, do their present campaigning to become the partners of government? If they thought a “good” economy could actually come back at this point they’d be competing like the mafia. Sometimes a silver lining.

      Reply
      1. JTMcPhee

        See article on US corps (actually, SUPRAnational corporate entities that somehow are still allowed to exist) privatizing the planet as fast as possible to accelerate the looting profits in the run down to the cliff…

        All this “legal” ownership, corrupt national governments “selling” public lands (and private too, via various versions of “eminent domain” — the real purpose of “rule of law,” to make dispossession and theft of the Commons “all nice and legal, see?”

        And it’s not like the mopes can just burn down the courthouse and the land title offices and run the looters off the range any more. So on back to the days like in Angola where Cuban troops defended US corporate “assets” against attacks by CIA-backed UNITA “insurgents…” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angolan_War_of_Independence.

        As we head down the path described here at NC years ago: “Journey into a Libertarian Future,” https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/11/journey-into-a-libertarian-future-part-i-–the-vision.html (first of five parts.)

        Reply
        1. Olga

          The BBC article makes not one mention that perhaps, just perhaps… neoliberal policies have made the raising of children unaffordable, both in time and money.

          Reply
      2. HotFlash

        stranded corporations, addicted to profits but with nothing to sell,

        Well, they could always become religions. Just sales dept and admin overheads, no need to spend on expensive stuff like inventory, shipping, or customer serrvice.

        Reply
        1. newcatty

          Stranded corporations could be rebranded as NGOs or foundations. All “non-profit”, of course, doing “humanitarian” and spreading ” democracy and freedom” to oppressed and poor countries around the world.

          Reply
      3. sam

        I don’t know but I’ve been told that pregnancy and childbirth is not an altogether fun experience. I guess until quite recently (50-60 years or less depending on location) it was an unavoidable side effect of intimacy but in addition there has always been and continues to be substantial social pressure for reproduction in most cultures. I wonder whether there will be a tipping point when the declining birth rate results in pregnancy becoming weird and not socially supported. If so the decline in fertility could be far more abrupt than current forecasts.

        Reply
    2. Pookah Harvey

      Now all we have to do is figure out how to give people who don’t procreate a Darwinian advantage.

      Reply
      1. hunkerdown

        What exactly is not sociopathic about believing one has the right to externalize the effects of their private pleasures onto others?

        Reply
  10. Amfortas the hippie

    The thing on Philosophy without Philosophers is interesting.
    I was first introduced to all that Indian strangeness by Joseph Campbell, long ago(the 4th volume of his wonderful “Masks of God” was laying around the house for some reason).
    I’ve read a bit…but never had the time(let alone the calm surroundings i deem necessary for such things) to really get into it….it is so very different from practically the entire canon of western mythology and philosophy.
    (The names of people and places made it extremely difficult, as well)
    a fragment of a quote from one of the Upanishads that Campbell kept returning to was ” Wherefrom words turn back, together with the mind, not having attained”…in describing that indescribable ineffable “place” one goes to sometimes to confront the “Divine Ground of Being”>
    ….in quiet moments in the Falcon, way out on a hill under a tree…and often with beer and a hogleg joint, in the manner of various laughing saints i have loved…I remember that fragment….and am momentarily–albeit timelessly—swept up in the wonder of existence(Thaumazein).

    Reply
    1. mpalomar

      “Wherefrom words turn back, together with the mind, not having attained”
      Maybe along the lines of Wittgenstein’s fulminations on the inadequacy of language?
      His response to the question, “What is your aim in Philosophy?”
      – “To show the fly the way out of the fly-bottle.”

      Some ponderin’ from the Rigveda:
      “There was neither non-existence nor existence then;
      Neither the realm of space, nor the sky which is beyond;
      What stirred? Where? In whose protection?

      There was neither death nor immortality then;
      No distinguishing sign of night nor of day;
      That One breathed, windless, by its own impulse;
      Other than that there was nothing beyond.

      Darkness there was at first, by darkness hidden;
      Without distinctive marks, this all was water;
      That which, becoming, by the void was covered;
      That One by force of heat came into being;

      Who really knows? Who will here proclaim it?
      Whence was it produced? Whence is this creation?
      Gods came afterwards, with the creation of this universe.
      Who then knows whence it has arisen?

      Whether God’s will created it, or whether He was mute;
      Perhaps it formed itself, or perhaps it did not;
      Only He who is its overseer in highest heaven knows,
      Only He knows, or perhaps He does not know.”

      Reply
  11. Tom Doak

    That photo from 2007 in the story about Chris Dodd’s role in picking the VP was beautiful: Obama sticking close to the power broker, Edwards and Biden trying to keep up but falling behind, and most of all, Hillary in back chatting up Mr. and Mrs. Harkin [I think] and misreading who the real power broker was!

    Reply
    1. Mark Gisleson

      That is most definitely Ruth and Tom Harkin with Hillary. Good people who, over the decades, really disappointed me. I also think you misunderstand where the power is with the Harkins. Here’s Ruth’s “career” info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruth_Harkin#Career

      If I had a foundation working overseas. Ruth Harkin is someone I’d want to be friends with.

      Reply
  12. verifyfirst

    Wowie zowie.

    First time I have seen a rendering of the outside of the proposed Obama library–what a horribly ugly building! I’m surprised though–no Tutankhamun like throne statuary outside, lining the entry way?

    No Hyde Parker I know would be sorry if it were never built in Hyde Park.

    Reply
    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Descriptions of the monstrosity as a mausoleum weren’t hyperbole. It occurred to me that it reminds me of British nobles who created their own little monstrosities based on classical ruins but never grasped there were often other accompanying structures and installed art.

      My favorite but was when Obama whined about how there was no save our park committee until Obama tried to build his library. He’s just awful.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        For a “Constitutional Scholar,” Obama certainly missed the cause and effect involved in how the Save the Park movement arose.
        Over the entrance-way the ‘O’ team can have a parody of Caesar’s famous dictum carved;
        “We came, We saw, We stole.”
        For the theme music, something by Patti Smith and Albert Bouchard (they were an “item” at the time,) as rendered by the Blue Oyster Cult.
        “Career of Evil”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HY3NQUoT89k

        Reply
        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Obama is first and foremost about Obama. I can’t imagine he grasps people even use the oak when he’s not there, so the idea he might be causing problems can’t even register. This whole thing should have been easy except for explaining the empty space in the hall of accomplishments. Bill managed a monstrosity in a state where Huckleberry could be governor. Hell, he probably could have conned the city into building it if he simply asked and gave some room, but he’s such a narcissist he can’t see beyond his desire for a monstrosity to outdo Bill’s and have it in a park.

          For the “now do republicans” crowd, no one who remembers W would believe he could be associated with anything called a library unless it killed a person.

          Reply
          1. GF

            They could build the whole complex underground and not disturb the park.
            Then use the bookmobile as the main entry way.

            Reply
  13. Romancing The Loan

    At least, it seemed clear, there was no way in the current climate to produce a nuanced film without spending the rest of our lives being treated the way Reed College students treated Kimberly Peirce when she tried to show and talk about her own groundbreaking film.

    I was enjoying the Greenwald piece until I got to the end, above. Really? The guy Bolsonaro wants whacked is too afraid of being heckled by college students to make a movie? I came off with more respect for Navratilova. And Peirce – that outfit is fierce.

    Reply
    1. a different chris

      Yup that was weird. And “rest of our lives” — how dramatic. Sorry, but “this too shall pass”.

      Transitions are hard. The whole thing he described seems in retrospect like a Monty Python comedy, the People’s Front of Judea attacking the Judean Peoples Front.

      Why the screamers weren’t escorted out is interesting in and of itself. I forget (thankfully) if there was any crowd control in the more recent right wing college (eg Milo Y) speaking events?

      Again, cowardice from the supposedly controlling authorities. Nobody is “getting Canceled”, somebody is letting them get canceled.

      Reply
    2. Alex

      Psychologically that’s understandable. Being hated by a villain confirms one is a good person and is doing a right thing whereas being ostracised by an ingroup is a very unpleasant experience. I don’t think a lot of Greenwald’s friends are Bolsonaro fans.

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Greenwald does do quite already, so regardless of what he says, I would guess the real answer is stretching himself. Besides his journalism, he has his shelters and homeless work, two adopted kids (so there is a bit to go with that; do those kids have ear problems for example), and his husband is in the Brazilian legislature formerly held by a friend who was murdered by allies of the regime.

        The effort needed to make that kind of film and promote it require a full time commitment.

        Reply
  14. The Rev Kev

    “Profile of a killer: Unraveling the deadly new coronavirus”

    This could have been a much better article by covering more about what has been learned and unlearned. An example? Remember when we were wondering if hot weather would slam this virus down? Current proof is that it actually thrives in hot climates such as in the American south & west and countries like Brazil. And remember when ventilators were all the go? Instead, it does not go so far but on the way out the door boosts remdesivir and takes a swipe at hydroxychloroquine with no mention of things like zinc or vitamin D.

    In other news today, Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia won the inaugural Ron DeSantis Award for Pandemic Management. His name was put forward by Doug Ducey of Arizona and seconded by Gavin Newsom of California. A Fox News team at the Awards questioned the patriotism of awarding such a prestigious prize to a non-American but Greg Abbott of Texas protested ‘No, No. He deserves it!’ He added. ‘I mean, the country had the virus under control and the death toll was stuck at just over one hundred people but through Scotty’s forceful management, he managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and now the virus is breaking out everywhere and the death toll is ticking up nicely. Give a few months more and our own States won’t look so bad after all.’

    As the Fox News thanked him for his time, Abbott then demanded to know ‘And while we are on the subject, why the hell are you wearing masks? What are you – a bunch of p******? Damn liberal media!’

    Reply
    1. mike

      Naming the award after DiSantis is very unfair to Governor’s Cuomo and Murphy. Their records speak for themselves on how to mismanage a pandemic response. After all, following the data would show us that NY and NJ have had far worse per capita outcomes.

      Reply
      1. newcatty

        Well, as an Arizonan, I am just plain outraged that our Governor Duffy was not the first receipient of the prestigious Ron DeSantis honor for Pandemic Management. There was a “poll” that put him at about same popularity as DeSantis regarding his management of the pandemic in their states. He is, an American! He is cute and likes ice cream, too.

        Reply
    2. JohnMc

      can you link to proof the virus likes hot climates? i’ve only heard speculation that hot weather drives people indoors for AC and that might lead to higher number of cases.

      Reply
  15. Alex

    Re Fertility rate: ‘Jaw-dropping’ global crash in children being born BBC

    How can a serious journal (the Lancet ffs!) publish a scenario according to which Burundi, the country of the same size as Massachusetts is going to have a population of 43 mln (confidence interval 23-73 mln)? Even now they have one of the highest population densities in the world. And Afghanistan 130 mln? The number will certainly be lower either because of migration or because the fall in fertility comes much faster – which can happen for ‘good’ and ‘bad’ reasons.

    If this is is what their models predict, then the model is BS.

    Reply
    1. a different chris

      You take two points really close together, straight line extrapolate it to at least 20x the initial span, and call it science.

      See? Easy. And you, like me, probably do real work for a living at a fraction of the income. We are so stupid.

      Reply
      1. Alex

        I’m afraid it’s much worse than that, I think they are using some kind of a model with a thousand parameters which can be tweaked to provide any result

        Reply
  16. The Rev Kev

    “Mass confusion as Matt Hancock says masks must be worn to get takeaway coffee but NOT in pubs, and DENIES they will be compulsory in offices – as official advice reveals anyone who finds coverings ‘distressing’ doesn’t have to bother”

    Been saying for months now how people should mask up like they do in Asia to flatten the curve but today I watched a girl give a series of compelling arguments why this might not be a good idea so now I am rethinking my position-

    https://twitter.com/deadeyebrakeman/status/1282376398242410496

    Meanwhile, another girl named Jess Dweck tweeted ‘Can’t believe LA is shutting down again. We did everything wrong and everything still went wrong.’

    Reply
  17. jr

    Really interesting piece about the Upanishads. I have some differences though with the authors arguments.

    “The Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita: ancient Indian texts that challenge Western categories, yet influenced the course of modernity”

    Why does the author present this as a contradiction? I would imagine challenging something is influencing it, no?

    “Who impels us to utter these words? Who is the Spirit behind the eye and the ear?” are among the first lines of the Kena Upanishad.”

    I believe this actually is the conception of Divinity the author thinks is lacking from these texts. Unlike a “concrete” Divine figure like Jesus or the Father, this understanding focuses on the primal Mystery of mind and existence. Of the “Word” (mind) made “Flesh” (matter). To not know God is in some ways closer to knowing God as God is ultimately a Mystery we can only ever approach and never reach. Our best conceptions are fragments of glimmers of reflections, with dark sunglasses on. Understanding the limits of one’s conceptions provides more information than banging your head against concepts that can never be fully conceptualized, only adored…

    This Divinity is nowhere (can’t see It) but everywhere (can see it and the panopoly of it’s It consists of.) The Divinity is a place (everywhere in existence) without a location(nothing to relate its position to, unless someone has pinpointed the location of another universe. Maybe Sean Carrol has, he seems to think he knows where everything is in this universe…)

    The Upanishad’s conception of consciousness – “He moves, and he moves not”; “He is far, and is near” – complicates the point of origin”

    No, I think it actually reveals the point of origin. Small “c” consciousness is big “C” consciousness reflecting upon Itself. The self revelation of Jesus, the Logos, the god-man who straddles the Divine and the Mundane. Small “c” moves (mortality, life) big “C” moves not (immortality, Life) yet the “two” are One. To say this complicates the issue is to argue that there is some definite answer. Again, these are Mysteries, not questions to be answered but questions to be pondered…

    “Their language is critical rather than sacerdotal”

    So? Criticize, worship, dance, fling mud at, rage against, beg, burn incense, whatever. There is no real difference. There is Truth in any attempt to understand Divinity, even It’s absence, since all such questions ultimately are Divinity reflecting on itself.

    “dismantles the causality of creator and creation, not through assertion, but a series of negations and inversions”

    No it doesn’t, it just present a different kind of causality, if you will. God didn’t make the Universe, like the Far Side cartoon of Jehovah playing with a model kit of Earth. God IS the image of existence, God caused creation by being creation, by seeking self knowledge. God is the Prime Mover and the Final Product. And every single atom in between.

    “These are not assertions; they’re subversions. Idols are not being ejected from a sacred space, as they were by Moses; structures of thought are being challenged”

    I think he is confusing the intentions of these “paradoxes.” I don’t think they necessarily were in opposition to some other set of ideas, that they were challenging anything specific.( Although this is a historical point I am not sure of and the author indicates the history hasn’t been written.) But no matter their origins, this is what they have become. They are not to be solved or reduced or answered, they are to be mulled over.

    “They can’t occupy the space of established thought, being opposed to that space”

    Then we must expand the definition of established thought to include unestablished thought, as both perspectives are valid approaches to understanding the world. In short, Mystery is baked in…it’s to be celebrated, not ignore or demoted to mere ignorance.

    “There’s certainly no single controlling power in it commensurate with God in the Old and New Testaments, or with Allah in the Qur’an.”

    Yes there is, it’s Consciousness……..through the imperfect lens of consciousness. It is ultimately powerful, knows all, yet it sits dumbfounded at it’s own reflection. This taken together is the controlling power of Creation.

    Reply
    1. Rod

      Thanks for taking the time for exposition.
      Faith, in the western tradition, works well with mysteries, imo, while understanding often becomes a power struggle.

      Reply
      1. jr

        Thank you for your comments. I struggle with the concept of faith myself. I’m not religious although I do have what may be termed a spiritual life, I just don’t see faith as a component of it.

        Reply
        1. witters

          Never can quite grasp what ‘spiritual’ means. So its not a religious concept (no invocation of the Sacred or Divine?), and it has no element of faith (so its a matter of evidence grounded knowledge claims?)…

          So its either a secular notion faking it, or its a religious notion faking it?

          (I must say, I tend to run away when I hear “I am a spiritual person,” but that’s mainly because I can never grasp what is being claimed except some superior-to-mine grasp on some ‘deep reality.’)

          Reply
    2. ShamanicFallout

      From Patanjali “When thought ceases, the spirit (purusha) stands in its true identity as observer of the world; otherwise the observer identifies with the turnings of thought.” And what do we make of the distinction in the Baghavad Gita between Consciousness and the contents of consciousness? What is it that’s primordial and unchanging behind manifestation? How would one know ‘it’? Who ‘sees’? Who ‘acts’ in the world?

      This cannot be known from the ‘outside’ by ‘thinking in the usual way’ about it. In a way, it’s something almost unheard of in the west or in the modern world in general- a real spiritual discipline; a Way as it were. But this can be the only direction, and of course it can take years and decades to begin to understand, even embody (in a certain definite way), the inner reality. And we can’t deny the authentic instantaneous flash either. We’ve all had them. So where to begin? At the beginning, exactly where we are! But as it is said in the Upanishads (and frankly almost all traditions say something similar) this is the most difficult of all difficult things. So many lies, tricks and traps in the human being

      Reply
    3. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      I like the idea that places are sacred, not men or divine entities.

      I’m reading Vine Deloria Jr’s God Is Red . The book explores the differences between Western and Indigenous religious traditions. The prime difference in Western and Indigenous belief in Deloria’s view is the location of the sacred: time in Western belief and space in the Indigenous belief. The West’s focus on history and progression separates it from the world around them. The Westerner, instead of seeing the natural world as a partner in life see nature as a set of tools to further their own historic progression with. The intangible nature of Western belief also makes its followers prone to orthodoxy as it has no material connection to the natural world to ground practices in.

      I don’t think this idea of place as being sacred was a unique view of the Native peoples of North America, but one that is, and was shared by many cultures around the world.

      The Greek and Roman paganism fits that mold of sacred place well with it’s spirits of place and mythic ages. Something changed though, I don’t know if it came directly came from the prophetic monotheist religions or from within the Greco-Roman world itself to shift thought away from a life rooted in place to a world rooted in history.

      Reply
      1. newcatty

        Yes! Sacredness is in the realization that we humans are not separate from the natural world or whatever we may name as Spirit.

        Reply
        1. witters

          Yes! Sacredness is in the realization that we humans are not separate from the natural world or whatever we may name as Spirit

          Because the the natural world as a whole is sacred? So its pantheism?

          Reply
          1. CoryP

            Pantheism and Process Theology seem to share some attributes and you could easily mash them up into a coherent belief. As coherent as any other, at least.

            I love reading about theology and yet in the back of my head I’m reminded of the quote that “theology is a subject without an object”

            Reply
          2. CoryP

            Pantheism and Process Theology seem to share some attributes and you could easily mash them up into a coherent belief. As coherent as any other, at least.

            I love reading about theology and yet in the back of my head I’m reminded of the quote that “theology is a subject without an object”

            Reply
  18. fresno dan

    https://cen.acs.org/pharmaceuticals/vaccines/coronavirus-help-mRNA-DNA-vaccines/98/i14

    “They have been described as the vaccines of the future,” says Dan Barouch, director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “However, they have not yet been pressure tested,” he adds. There are no approved mRNA or DNA vaccines, and neither has ever been tested in a large-scale clinical trial for an infectious disease. “The COVID crisis is a great opportunity for those technologies to be pushed.”
    ===========================================
    Buyer beware – the Moderna vaccine is a mRNA vaccine

    Reply
    1. Susan the other

      Don’t know if this is even pertinent, but a year or so ago the Israelis announced they had a vaccine that could call any and all viruses. A breakthrough technology. And the first thing I thought was, Well that’s probably not a very good idea since viruses are such an intrinsic part of life on earth, and etc. I wondered at the time if viruses had an ongoing role in human evolution and what would we do without them. And then there is the giant virus just discovered that is said to manufacture its own DNA… could be complicated.

      Reply
  19. Carolinian

    Chris Hedges weighs in on the cancel culture debate and says it is nothing new–having long applied to discussions about Israel and more generally to corporate control of American discourse.

    Corporations have seized control of the news industry and turned it into burlesque. They have corrupted academic scholarship. They make war on science and the rule of law. They have used their wealth to destroy our democracy and replace it with a system of legalized bribery. They have created a world of masters and serfs who struggle at subsistence level and endure crippling debt peonage. The commodification of the natural world by corporations has triggered an ecocide that is pushing the human species closer and closer towards extinction. Anyone who attempts to state these truths and fight back was long ago driven from the mainstream and relegated to the margins of the internet by Silicon Valley algorithms. As cancel culture goes, corporate power makes the Israel lobby look like amateurs.

    https://consortiumnews.com/2020/07/14/chris-hedges-dont-be-fooled-by-the-cancel-culture-wars/

    Perhaps what is new is that the censoriousness is filtering down to the general populace with friendships threatened over things like gay rights or Trump. The mass media and those corporations are doing their work all too well.

    Reply
      1. CoryP

        Perfectly describes my love and disappointment with his work. Granted, much less talented authors than he also publish the exact same thing every week so i think repetition goes with the territory.

        Also thanks for posting this. With the demise of truth dig I haven’t entirely figured out where to find Chris’ weekly missive. Consortium doesn’t carry all of them I don’t think. Maybe ScheerPost ?

        Reply
  20. Phacops

    Re: find something new.

    Isn’t that precisely the message of Democrats too? As Bill Clinton created the conditions that savaged manufacturing and led to the loss of millions of jobs, we were told to train for the “jobs of the future,” i.e. being minimum wage service peons. Then we had Obama promote higher education credentials even as he used student loans as a profit center for his government.

    Trump has done nothing positive for working Americans, but unlike Clinton or Obama I have not seen him damaging their employment as effectively as our Democratic presidents.

    Reply
      1. Amfortas the hippie

        yeah. be careful what you wish for in glass houses, and all.
        of course, resistance(tm) can take many forms.
        my version is that of one Wulf Zendik(crazy/wise person i met once):
        “dropping out is a revolutionary act”.
        it is only when you begin to try to disentangle yourself from the Empire, that you become fully aware just how entangled you really are….and that “it surrounds us, and penetrates us…”(Obi Wan)
        But like Destiny’s Child says, “Free your mind, and the rest will follow”

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvI96oJROG4

        (Obviously, I had a brownie for Second Breakfast, in preparation for the slog into san antonio tomorrow)

        Reply
        1. newcatty

          The struggle to be enlightened is a trap itself. I’m always loved that line:

          Free your mind and the rest will follow .

          I have found some peace of mind, when I just keep an open mind ( keeping as much as possible my own traps of cognitive bias, and projections) and, yes, drop out in not just a physical way( though that is a big part of the solution), but mentally. I am older now, so absolutely admit that both kind of revolutionary choices are much easier to follow. I am able to escape childhoods race to be “somebody” or to really be responsible for other’s. Not that I have l estranged myself from my loved ones. It can be a gift of older age. Now, the “virus” has further emphasized feeling like living in splendid isolation, a refuge, or a prison. Perceptions.

          When I talk with my family, so far away, I am always amazed at their resilience. Maybe it’s like being a young person who was born in other strange and turbulent times. The world wars, where if in England you had kids sent to the countryside to avoid bombings. In America, young men and women serving “over there”, but even in the safe cocoons of our country the wars hit home. The Great Depression and the Dust Bowl…hungry and homeless vagabonds. “”Grapes of Wrath” heartbreaking story. But, this pandemic seems stranger to me. It is, if nothing else, a wake-up call. Separation from the natural world is a karma kick to us. Is it the time to grow-up? What if the prime directive can be a call to join the rest of the cosmos? Maybe…

          Reply
  21. savebyirony

    Re:How Cancel Culture Repeatedly…” My, does that article bring up memories and feelings. Many good, like how fantastic the on court rivalry between Navratilova and Evert was. (Off court, they were good friends and even were double partners early on.) However, Greenwald left out another compelling factor in the popularity of the tennis rivalry. One was a base liner and the other a serve and volley pro. Tennis fans often are as passionate about rooting for a style of play as they are for who is playing it.

    As for Navratilova and “transgender” athletes (not transexual, of course, “we” do not talk about them as that would cloud so many of the “transgender” arguments and silencing techniques), after studying the topic thoroughly she came back even more convinced that biological males should not be allowed to compete in female leagues. Not an uncommon occurrence, and still a very brave stance to take.

    Reply
    1. barefoot charley

      And so perfectly obvious. The most glaringly bad feature of contemporary canceling is that nuance is impermissible. Rowling makes the obvious point that it’s not fair to all women that a larger, stronger, testosterone-basted man can choose to compete against smaller, slighter women rather than his peers–it’s certainly easier–and he’s the only person to get anything good out of what’s now his politicized decision. If “The greatest good for the greatest number” weren’t communistic, we might be able to see the scale of injustice Rowland and others are criticizing. But we can’t. Because she’s thinking something through, she’s a transphobe, and that’s that. In the same way, truth-telling bearers of bad tidings like Greenwald, Snowden, Manning, Assange are equally double-unthunked in advance by mainstreamers protecting the purity of their ignorance. And there’s nothing to do about it, because they’re unpersons. Yes, cancel culture is nothing new.

      Reply
      1. flora

        I agree with your point about ‘nuance being now impermissable.’

        an aside, a small quibble re: … if “The greatest good for the greatest number” weren’t communistic,…

        The ‘greatest good for the greatest number’ is part of John Stuart Mill’s philosophy of Utilitarianism. Nothing to do with ‘communistic’.

        (Ironic the neoliberal philosophers reimagine ‘utility’ as only ‘economic utility’. Society and the demos disappear in their ‘ economic utility’. aka money. “There is no such thing as society…”)

        Reply
        1. flora

          and a longer aside:

          Here’s a Spark Notes bit on Mill’s Utilitarianism:

          Mill defines utilitarianism as a theory based on the principle that “actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness.” Mill defines happiness as pleasure and the absence of pain. He argues that pleasure can differ in quality and quantity, and that pleasures that are rooted in one’s higher faculties should be weighted more heavily than baser pleasures. Furthermore, Mill argues that people’s achievement of goals and ends, such as virtuous living, should be counted as part of their happiness.

          Mill argues that utilitarianism coincides with “natural” sentiments that originate from humans’ social nature.

          Whenever you here a neoliberal talking about ‘utility’, know that they aren’t talking about Mill’s definition and philosophy. They’ve redefined the term for their own.. uh…”utility”. /heh.

          Reply
          1. barefoot charley

            Thank you flora, and isn’t it fun to reflect that stern old-school liberal Mills nowadays would be a wild-eyed Jacobin-reader? I meant to imply that, per Thatcher’s once-deranged shot in the dark that “Society doesn’t exist,” much falsehood has become true in the tide of neoliberal derangement. Nice to be reminded that liberals were once idealists too . . .

            Reply
    2. flora

      I remember those Navratilova/Evert matches, too. Breathtaking in the intensity and the drama.

      Reading that Navratilove is now being attacked by people in the very communities she fought for makes me wonder if the left really does eat its own. Or if the cancel mob are as dumb as a box of rocks.

      Reply
      1. savebyirony

        I would argue that the trans and “transgender” communities Navratilova fought for back in the seventies and eighties are not philosophically the same communities as they are now. (And if one looks at the funding behind much of the “transgender” movement, nor are they economically.) I do not think she or they back then were fighting for a misogynistic “transgender” agenda nor especially an elevation of “gender”/biological sex based social stereotypes becoming the be all and end all of that which defines who is a woman/female. Certainly the lesbian community was not; and there are plenty of feminist lesbian communities not on board with the current “transgender” movement. Navratilova fought to defy the social stereotyping of females along “gender” stereotypes. Being both a lesbian and a “gender” non-conformer, now days this incredible FEMALE athlete would very likely be pressured within that community , especially at an early age, to “transition”.

        Reply
      2. barefoot charley

        Pre-op transsexual men have been kryptonite to elements of the women’s movement–the celebrated Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival closed down over it. Non-nuanced:

        https://www.advocate.com/michfest/2015/04/21/years-michigan-womyns-music-festival-will-be-last

        Survivors of male sexual abuse didn’t want to see pre-op organs in womyn’s circles and showers, nor get man-splained why that d*ck was a womyn. It remains hugely divisive–but you can’t say so out loud!

        Reply
        1. savebyirony

          I worked 10 years straight for the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival (Michfest), right up to the year before it closed . It did not close because of the controversy regarding transgenders (not “transexuals”) attending (or because the owner was unwilling to say “males are females if they say they are”). It closed because of money; both the festival’s economic situation and its attendees finances. The demographics and infrastructure were aging and for all festival goers this was a well run, high service event considering it was held in a very rustic camping environment that strove to supply a healthy and safe camping experience for both able and many,many disabled womyn, all at a modest and sliding scale price for seven days all included. It was an incredibly impressive festival in both its running and community creativity and work ethics but the upkeep was becoming compromised, which led to a serious scare at one point. Yes, the interference and at times criminal activities (theft, property damage, harassment, physical threats, physical exposure) of some transgender activists did not help the gate but there were far more diverse economic forces happening that caused the Producer to close.

          She has a nice retirement, now, and still somehow managed to preserve the “land” environmentally, which was another big ethic of the festival.

          Reply
  22. allan

    The Good, the Bad, the Ugly and the Hilarious in yesterday’s Texas primaries:

    The Good: progressive candidates Mike Siegel and Candace Valenzuela defeated centrist candidates
    in the Democratic runoffs in TX-10 and TX-24.

    The Bad: centrist, MILO , Schumer-supported candidate Mary `MJ’ Hegar defeated more progressive Royce West
    to take on John Cornyn in November.

    The Ugly: Pete Sessions, perhaps best known for his saying the House GOP would use Taliban-like tactics against Obama when he was inaugurated, won the GOP primary in TX-17, a safe district.

    The Hilarious: everybody’s favorite dispenser of Mother’s Little Helpers on Air Force One, former WH physician
    and failed nominee to be VA Secretary, Dr. Ronny Jackson, won the GOP primary in TX-13, also a safe district.
    This will be good news for any members of the upcoming 117th Congress who need some sunshine in a bottle.

    Reply
    1. neo-realist

      Royce may be a superior candidate to Hegar, but considering the culture and politics of Texas, she may be the best that you can get at this time. And she is waaaay better than a stone cold right winger such as Cornyn.

      I suspect that more organizing and consciousness raising will be needed in Texas and progressives aren’t going to succeed overnight. Movement Conservatism after the defeat of Goldwater arguably needed about 15 years to get themselves into a position of power and influence in America Maybe progressives need to prepare for a longer term game to do the same.

      Reply
      1. Amfortas the hippie

        likely a lot longer…since we don’t have billionaires, nor a tv network, nor radio stations, newsletters of any reach, churches throughout the state with true believer pastors….or even a somewhat reliable definition of terms like “progressive”, “liberal”, “left”, and the like.
        large disadvantage, there.
        especially that last one.

        Reply
        1. newcatty

          I am not a Texan, though I loved driving through the hill country in springtime. Wish Molly Ivins was still with us. Bless her fierce soul.

          Reply
  23. Matthew Saroff

    One of the things that most of the coverage of Bari Weiss’ (יִמַּח שְׁמו) resignation is missing are the previous reports that she (Like Bret “Bedbug” Stevens, was a profoundly toxic cow-orker, doing things like excoriating real journalists at the paper, who were then forbidden by policy from responding, and reporting an editor for declining to have coffee with her.

    It is quite possible to hire conservative columnists who, though they might frequently misstate the facts (Brooks and Douthat come to mind) do not contribute to a toxic work environment.

    Reply
      1. Matthew Saroff

        That is not her name. That he Hebrew. יִמַּח שְׁמו, pronounced, “Yemach Shemo” means, “May their name be effaced.”

        It’s a curse, and a pretty strong one at that.

        I don’t like her much. She has trafficed in false accusations of antisemitism her entire career, which consider to be a direct threat to my safety as a Jew, because it renders real accusations of antisemitism not credible.

        I loathe the Bed Bug, but Weiss I see as a threat to our existence as a people, hence יִמַּח שְׁמו.

        Reply
      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        Yeah . . . . is that like when Alt Righters use the ” 3 parentheses” around a ((( insert jew-name here ))) ?

        Reply
        1. Matthew Saroff

          I am cursing her, OK?

          It’s one of the worst curses possible in Hebrew.

          Please don’t make me sound like a sensitive new age guy!

          Reply
      3. Bugs Bunny

        OK, got it. I read quickly and saw the shin and thought it was “Weiss Bari” inversed, like spelled letter by letter. I don’t think she deserves such a curse though. My opinion.

        Shalom.

        Reply
  24. The Rev Kev

    “After nine years of war, who is helping the Syrians?”

    I think that I need a barf bag after reading this. I was watching the author – Christian Hanelt – do an interview and he seemed like a German version of Tony Blair. Yeah, that bad. The problem here is that Europe is like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. How so? Well you have the European Union, aka Dr. Jekyll, who does all this aid to poor Syria because won’t someone think of the children?

    But then you have the EU’s evil side, aka Mr.Hyde, in the form of NATO (basically the same countries remember) that is sending probably more money to destroy the Syrian nation and impoverish its people. Washington has said that any country that tries to rebuild the country will be punished with sanctions until Assad steps down and hands the country over the the Jihadists that he has been fighting and the EU says zip about this. Meanwhile they continue to pump in weapons, munitions and the like to the opposition in Syria.

    Then he comes up with a cheap shot saying ‘EU pays 80% in emergency aid for the Syrians, Russia 0.3%’.’ without mentioning that the EU/NATO has been trying to destroy Syria while Russia spent billions stopping the Jihadists from tearing the country to pieces and massacring the people. If the EU considers itself “an advocate for the Syrians”, I am betting that it is the moderate, head-chopping Syrians that they are advocating for. In so many ways, this situation reminds me of the Spanish Civil War with every power involved in one side or the other.

    It is going to be a long road back but I think that Syria will win in the long run. China and Iran are near to finalizing a trade and military pact and if this goes through, then Syria will have access to more resources to finish this war and start rebuilding their country again.

    Reply
      1. Olga

        80% Jekyll and only 20% Hyde… or 10%.
        On the bright side, there have been reports recently that even villagers are taking matters into their own hands to defend the country.

        Reply
  25. flora

    an aside that’s not about Weiss specifically:

    Weiss, one of the few centrist voices at The Times, said she faced bullying at the paper for her views, and that the free exchange of ideas on the opinion pages was now dead. The search for truth has been replaced by “orthodoxy already known to an enlightened few whose job is to inform everyone else.”

    This complaint is about cancel culture and an insistence on monoculture of thought.

    Taibbi on Useful Idiots last week made some points about ‘the letter’ that also apply here, I think. This link starts at the point he and Katie start talking about Harpers letter craziness.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8c5PuKQdXY&feature=youtu.be&list=PLL0ooGQ0asg4upSXzZA1Oinn3ALqVCndA&t=1437

    Reply
    1. Mr. House

      Ms. Weiss has it where it counts: All the right credentials but not really anything going on upstairs.

      Reply
      1. flora

        Won’t change a thing at NYTimes.

        Taibbi’s link was partly about twitter and facebook online culture.

        When Taibbi talks about internet culture he probably means just the users and what users post, the stuff you see online, the apparent stuff.

        But behind the scenes there’s algo tailored news feeds for example. The internet ‘culture’ is being, not sure how to put this, ’shaped’? guided? Maybe only for commercial ad revenue ends, but there’s no way to know.

        In 2012 Facebook and Cornell ran “mood” experiments in secret on Facebook’s unwitting users looking for “emotional contagion” and how it could be generated. Facebook altered a user’s (many users) news feeds based on algos to produce x response in user.

        https://www.huffpost.com/entry/facebook-experiment-psychological_n_5540018

        The DoD seemed involved with the research funding.

        https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2014/07/military-already-using-facebook-track-moods/87793/

        and

        Twitter along with its spin-off start up call Dataminr helps police surveillance of protests.

        https://theintercept.com/2020/07/09/twitter-dataminr-police-spy-surveillance-black-lives-matter-protests/

        Reply
            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              And Virus Versus America makes CNN money. Not hard to figure out which side they’re on

              Reply
    2. Grant

      What exactly is Weiss in the center of? I always hear that centrist word thrown around, and I have yet to hear anyone explain what these people are in the center of, other than their own elite bubbles. Of all the people in power, on TV and at major papers, I have yet to hear an original, thought provoking idea among them. Maybe it refers to people that can’t think? Shouldn’t someone be in the center of popular opinion on issues to be called a “centrist”? I mean, Bernie is a centrist if we consider popular opinion on a wide range of issues, not that what regular people think matters much. How can anyone defend this rotten system and be considered anything other than right wing? Who looks at modern America and thinks, “Yeah, pretty good, let’s just tinker around the edges”?

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Republicans who want to be thanked for trashing Hollywood’s liberal values by Hollywood and want to be hailed as intellectuals for dressing up bits from rehashed conservative screeds. This is msm centrism.

        Reply
      2. hunkerdown

        > What is she the center of?

        Power. The one thing everyone around her agrees on is that the world must be bossed no matter how many other people they have to kill to maintain that condition.

        Reply
  26. Susan the other

    Thanks for the update on the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. Nice to know they are including “Extended Producer Responsibility” (EPR – not to be confused with a black hole altho’ there probably a metaphor there) – it looks like Congress is getting interested in recycling, even the Senate, as a way to recover once-raw materials. And they seem to have a good focus on plastic pollution. No mention of ocean cleanup – but maybe it is folded in with solid waste efforts. This is good news.

    Reply
      1. ambrit

        Sounds like the National Waste and Recycle Association needs to be composted. Let something useful grow out of the results.

        Reply
  27. Wukchumni

    My friend, a 7th grade school teacher for 25+ years, officially called it quits, goodbye Mr. Chips.

    He’d been threatening to do so for years, but the thing that made him follow through was the virus. He’s my age in his late 50’s, a prime target for a science experiment gone wrong in the classroom.

    Must be a lot of other educators doing the same…

    Hot For Teacher by Van Halen

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6M4_Ommfvv0

    Reply
    1. jr

      My sister, teaches in the Bronx, said it’s been a real problem. She’s about 15 years into teaching of various types, from brain trauma to spectrum to developmentally challenged, but only 2 in the Whack-a-Doodle world of NYC public schools. She said the lack of experienced teachers is really starting to show, especially in this time of crisis.

      Reply
      1. newcatty

        The lack of genuine respect for teachers, especially public school teachers is one more thing being highlighted by the virus. The consternation and Sophie’s Choice being given to almost every public school teacher is to be willing to work in an unsafe environment or be asked to quit , retire their jobs. It also is a dilemma for a teacher, who quite rightly knows for the elementary aged kids, especially, that this is a real disruption in their education and socialization at critical learning periods. If “hybrid” classes are offered, then the teachers will be juggling lesson plans online and in the clasroom. How does she or he manage to group kids who need much more attention in person with kids more likely to handle the more independent study online? I don’t blame any teacher at all who can either afford to quit or retires. As it stands, I am already hearing whining from adults that those teachers, who speak up about inherent problems in opening up schools this fall as being “selfish”, not being like other “front line workers who have to “step up”, neglecting their “callings”, etc. Kind of like cancel culture…a teacher who doesn’t want to sacrifice her or his health is a scourge on society. Not to mention the other staff it takes to run a school. Not to mention the other People that would be exposed to the virus, inevitably.

        The fact that we have Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education is suspect. Her, and her fellow travelers, lust to dismantle public education to foster charter and private schools will be enhanced. Already read about some parents saying that the charter or private schools will be “safer” for their kids and families. The caste divide will deepen.

        Reply
  28. Ignacio

    RE: India’s lockdown policy to contain Covid-19 is being undermined by poor public communication Scroll

    It may not be coincidental that the latest WHO report included as Subject in Focus the “Infodemic Management: Communicating Uncertainty In The Context Of Re-opening Societies”. Not being able to communicate properly with the population (in the case of the US probably the cacophony of contradictory communications) about the uncertainties and rationales of going masked or lockdowns is another failure to annotate in the large column of bad responses to the epidemic.

    Reply
  29. ambrit

    The Qantara piece on Syria came off as a slightly more ‘nuanced’ neo-liberal screed. The Assad regime came in for quite a bit of bashing. It sounded like a version of the early “Syrian Regime Change” argument. That Brussels is shouldering much of the ‘humanitarian’ burden in Syria is well and good, but it begs the question as to whether Europe can expect to mould Syria into a mini European state. The Powers have been meddling in the region since at least the Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916.
    See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sykes%E2%80%93Picot_Agreement
    A hundred years later and look where we are.

    Reply
  30. John Beech

    Fertility rate: ‘Jaw-dropping’ global crash in children being born BBC

    Seriously? Is anybody wondering why the birth rate is down? Are they willfully blind, or just stupid? Look at the curve, which begins its descent just entering the 60s and think back, what technological achievement came into being then?

    Birth control pills! FDA approved in 1957, approved for wide use in 1960.

    Could it be having women be in charge isn’t the smartest thing for the well being of the race? I ask this with tongue fully in cheek, and with both a smiley and flame suit fully deployed but, res ipsa loquitur.

    Anyway, as a man that’s my opinion. Were I woman, it would be different. How different? If my man wasn’t sticking around – as happens with so many black women, and/or my man wasn’t a good ‘earner’ as happens with both black and white women, than I wouldn’t want to be bringing children into the world either. Seems like this speaks to a wider issue, don’t you think?

    Reply
    1. John Anthony La Pietra

      +1 for the first two paragraphs; – several more for the latter two if there is any speck of seriousness in the suggestion that the invention of the birth control pill put women “in charge”. (I’m a man, FWIW, and even I know better than that.)

      Reply
  31. Ohnoyoucantdothat

    Just an update to the ongoing saga that is my return trip to crimea. I’ve been lurking in and around Santa Fe for the last 6 weeks or more, waiting until the air lanes open enough so I can fly, dividing my time between the local wally mart parking lot which has nice shade and the rest area on I25 where many locals are allowed to crash every night in relative safety. Got to know the guy who cleans the place and the security guards who are there during the day so I’m allowed to ignore the limits on time spent in the area. Slowly shedding the detritus I’ve acquired over the last 6 visits as I wind down my presence in New Mexico. Unfortunately, one of my cousins passed in June and I now expect the other to follow by year’s end. With them gone I no longer have a reason to make the long trip from Crimea every year. This will be my last extended visit to America I think. From now on I will fly into LA for no more than a week to deal with the ongoing effects of sanctions which have destroyed crimea’s banking system.

    I do want to make one observation. I was in Crimea during the Russian incursion. My flat is less than a mile from the Crimea legislature which was seized by the “little green men” in 2014. I saw all the troops and hardware. I filmed part of the referendum day. According to putin, Crimea is a fortress with the latest weapons. His jets routinely break the sound barrier over Simferopol. Since I’m one of only 2 Americans living in Crimea, we assume all our communications are being monitored by the FSB. And yet, with all that, I don’t feel nearly as watched or intimidated as I do when in the states. The crimea police are almost comical riding around in their tiny Lada cars with gumball lights on top. Our interactions with the immigration service are always friendly. I’ve never felt any threat, even during the annexation. And here in America, I avoid the police. I try to not have any dealing with officials. I feel strange in my bank, having to be careful about how much money I withdraw because of the reporting requirements. I see cops everywhere in their intimidating black and white cruisers. And the whole kit with flack jacket and the big gun on their hip. I’ve never seen a Crimea cop dressed like that. So how strange is it that I feel safer in Russia than I do here? Land of the “free”? Really?

    As for the trip it now appears I will be able to leave in August. Wife told me that Russian border opened today and all international flights will be allowed on August first. Crimea also officially dropped all quarantine requirements effective today so that’s no longer an issue. And flights from Turkey to Moscow started today so there is now a route from NYC to Moscow via Istanbul. Still awaiting word on direct Aeroflot flights but their website is selling tickets for August 1. Only requirement is, I think, a negative Corona test. So, there may be an end to this 4 month torture. About fricken time!

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      I had forgotten about Crimea and the virus. A coupla months ago there was a story of a professor that went to Turkey (?) and got herself infected and then returned back to her job without telling anybody where she had been. She then started infecting those around her and I wondered at the time if Crimea was going to be in for a bad bout with this virus. Sounds like they pulled themselves clear eventually.

      Reply
    2. Joe Renter

      re: Ohnoyoucantdothat
      What an interesting post. I would like to hear more about your life in Crimea. Your observations on the Police state hear in the US is telling of our failed state. If I was younger I would want to travel in your neck of the woods and Federation in it’s totality.
      I think that is because of all the great literature from Великая Россия. Gurdjieff painted an interesting picture of Crimea as well. I must have had a previous life there, I love Vodka straight out of the bottle.
      Good luck in your travels

      Reply
  32. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    Just a propos, from The Police:

    Turn on my V.C.R.
    Same one I’ve had for years
    James Brown on the Tami Show
    Same tape I’ve had for years
    I sit in my old car
    Same one I’ve had for years
    Old battery’s running down
    It ran for years and years
    Turn on the radio
    The static hurts my ears
    Tell me where would I go
    I ain’t been out in years
    Turn on the stereo
    It’s played for years and years
    An Otis Redding song
    It’s all I own
    When the world is running down
    You make the best of what’s still around
    When the world is running down
    You make the best of what’s still around
    Plug in my M.C.I.
    To exercise my brain
    Make records on my own
    Can’t go out in the rain
    Pick up the telephone
    I’ve listened here for years
    No one to talk to me
    I’ve listened here for years
    When the world is running down
    You make the best of what’s still around
    When the world is running down
    You make the best of what’s still around
    When I feel lonely here
    Don’t waste my time with tears
    I run ‘Deep Throat’ again
    It ran for years and years
    Don’t like the food I eat
    The cans are running out
    Same food for years and years
    I hate the food I eat
    When the world is running down
    You make the best of what’s still around
    When the world is running down
    You make the best of what’s still around
    When the world is running down
    You make the best of what’s still around
    When the world is running down
    You make the best of what’s still around
    Turn on my V.C.R.
    Same one I’ve had for years
    James Brown on the Tami Show
    Same tape I’ve had for years

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRTyjWDPAG8

    Reply
  33. Wukchumni

    Walked 4 miles out on the Hockett trail from the still closed Atwell Mill campground (supposed to open July 29th is what I heard) to one of the larger concentrations of wild strawberries i’m aware of around these parts, and too early to harvest by a fortnight I reckon. The big ones will be the size of your pinkie fingernail and taste so good, compared to the flavor of giant ones in the supermarket.

    Reply
    1. Bugs Bunny

      You’re a lucky man to get your hands on those in the wild. I started some this year indoors in February, nursed them to about 2 inches tall, planted in late April and then they got zapped in a freak cold snap :( There’s always next year.

      Reply

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