Links 7/19/2020

Fire destroys organ, shatters stained glass at Nantes cathedral in France Reuters

A local bank wants your coins, and it will pay you above face value for them Journal-Sentinel

Private Equity Titans Turn to Europe for Mega-Deals Bloomberg. “No U.S. targets featured in the top five for the first time since 2003.” The locusts move on. Tomorrow to fresh woods, and pastures new.

Companies Made Millions Building Unemployment Websites That Didn’t Work The Markup. If by “work” we mean “deliver benefits on time,” yes.

Weird Monopolies and Roll-Ups: Horse Shows, School Spirit, Settlers of Catan, and Jigsaw Puzzles Matt Stoller, BIG


Children are not COVID-19 super spreaders: time to go back to school (free) Archives of Disease in Childhood vs. Contact Tracing during Coronavirus Disease Outbreak, South Korea, 2020 CDC (summary). So we have conflict. Since the result of opening the schools is, potentially ruin — granted, not for the 1%, at least not yet — the Precautionary Principle would seem to indicate that we should keep the schools closed.

Coronavirus: characteristics of cases in pediatric Florida residents <18 years old (PDF) State of Florida Department of Health

Detection and Genetic Characterization of Community-Based SARS-CoV-2 Infections — New York City, March 2020 CDC From the abstract: “The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene [(DOHMH)] conducted sentinel surveillance of influenza-like symptoms (ILS) and genetic sequencing to characterize community transmission and determine the geographic origin of SARS-CoV-2 infections. Among 544 specimens tested from persons with ILS and negative influenza test results, 36 (6.6%) were positive. Genetically sequenced positive specimens most closely resembled sequences circulating in Europe.” But note also: “During the weeks of March 8 and March 15, there was an increase in confirmed cases of COVID-19 among persons aged <18 years in NYC. During this same period, DOHMH estimated an increase in prevalence and undetected cases of COVID-19 among persons aged <18 years with ILS and negative influenza test results. These reported and estimated increases suggest that further investigation is warranted into the role children play in community transmission and the effect school closures might have as a mitigation strategy." Covid-19 and Disparities in Nutrition and Obesity NEJM. From the abstract: “Though the factors underlying racial and ethnic disparities in Covid-19 in the United States are multifaceted and complex, long-standing disparities in nutrition and obesity play a crucial role in the health inequities unfolding during the pandemic.” Social determinants of health.

* * *

Israeli doctor reinfected with coronavirus 3 months after recovering Jerusalem Post

* * *

Short-range airborne route dominates exposure of respiratory infection during close contact Building and Environment

Forced Air The Architect’s Newspaper. Air conditioning takes command.

* * *

“We All Want To Pretend This Isn’t Happening”: Mask-Free Pandemic Parties Are Popping Up In NYC Gothamist

‘Remember to smile with your eyes’: how to stay safe and look great in a face mask Guardian. It works!

Are Anti-Mask Masks Legal? Jonathan Turley. Exceptionally American.

* * *

Inside Trump’s Failure: The Rush to Abandon Leadership Role on the Virus NYT

Trump says he won’t issue national mask mandate The Hill

Ousted Florida data manager Rebekah Jones’ whistleblower complaint takes aim at DeSantis Palm Beach Post

Saline Shortage Feared With Hurricane Season Threatening Production Bloomberg

School Reopening

Performing Arts Aerosol Study (PDF) National Federation of State High School Associations. High school bands

For parents who can afford it, a solution for fall: Bring the teachers to them WaPo and In the Same Towns, Private Schools Are Reopening While Public Schools Are Not NYT. You say “destruction of the public school system” like that’s a bad thing.

‘Welcome to Typhoid Mary Middle School’: Why an Educator and Dad Thinks Reopening Our Schools Is a Non-Starter Common Dreams

Please Don’t Make Me Risk Getting Covid-19 to Teach Your Child NYT

Biden rolls out school reopening plan amid coronavirus pandemic The Hill

Snares Empty Forests in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam Southeast Asia Globe. Hence, zoonotic disease.


Despite the cheery font, I can see how many would not find this re-assuring:

Hong Kong third wave: civil servants ‘to resume work-from-home arrangements’, city faces daily record-high of ‘more than 100′ confirmed Covid-19 cases South China Morning Post

Why Ukraine is a secret weapon for China’s airpower Middle East Institute


EU leaders deadlocked on recovery fund in marathon summit FT

A third of British company audits failed quality test, watchdog says Retuers

Revealed: How Britain’s profiteering spymasters ignored the country’s biggest threats like coronavirus—and endangered the public Declassified UK. From May, still germane.

Former Black Country MP Ian Austin lined up for life peerage Express & Star. If I understand the UK context, this would be like President Biden awarding the members of the Lincoln Project the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Trump Transition

The U.S. Set Up These Programs to Offset Covid Hardship. They’re All About to Expire. Bloomberg. Handy chart:

Televangelists take a slice as churches accept billions in US coronavirus aid Guardian. I’ve always felt that religion should be run like a business.

How Dr. Deborah Birx’s political skills made her the most powerful person on the coronavirus task force CNN. Birx.


The World Has Changed Too Much for Biden to Erase the Trump Effect Bloomberg

Failed State

Can the United States be United Again? Eugene Robinson v. Ian Bremmer, Pairagraph, “A hub of discourse between pairs of notable individuals,” in this case running the gamut from Bremmer to Robinson.

Vehicle Ramming: The Evolution of a Terrorist Tactic Inside the US Just Security

Police State Watch

The Border Patrol Was Responsible for an Arrest in Portland The Nation. A welcome caveat:

And about those uniforms:

And more:

Not all would agree that ths is a “misuse of DHS,” but the revulsion spans people not usually in alignment.

Border Patrol’s Dream of Becoming A National Police Force Is Becoming a Reality Jenn Budd, Southern Border. Budd is a Border Patrol whistleblower. For those who have not seen this map, here is the Border Patrol’s jurisdiction:

Feds, right-wing media paint Portland as ‘city under siege.’ A tour of town shows otherwise The Oregonian. Interestingly:

Were the Actions of Federal Agents in Portland Legal? NYT

Federal Asset Forfeiture May Undermine Efforts to Defund Police ShadowProof

Health Care

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear Wants to Give Black Residents Health Coverage Truthout

Victory for whom?

Our Famously Free Press

These McClatchy financials are a window into how much damage Covid-19 has done to the newspaper business Nieman Labs

Imperial Collapse Watch

U.S.S. Bonhomme Richard prompts questions about lessons learned San Diego Tribune

How much does the F-35 actually cost? Speaking Security

U.S. General Discusses Status Of U.S. Troops In Afghanistan NPR

The Long, Lingering Death Of The U.S. State Department The American Conservative

The Making of Neoliberal Globalization: Norm Substitution and the Politics of Clandestine Institutional Change (PDF) American Journal of Sociology. Ah, norms.

Class Warfare

The Double Horseshoe Theory of Class Politics Michael Lind, The Bellows. Well worth a read (though the diagram omits the billionaires).

Drinking Alone Commonweal (stefan). Very, very good.

How constant Slack messaging has made work more taxing FT. A tax on time….

Owen Benjamin Vs Patreon: Dissident Comedian Set To Deal Massive Blow To Big Tech Censors Aletho News (LS).

Antidote du jour (Richard Smith, via):

And upping my dog game:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


      1. jackiebass

        Increasingly a lot of state revenue is from legal gambling. That revenue stream has also been reduced. You also have a revenue problem in health care. Doctor and dentist offices were closed.These workers were laid off. They were not spending and they weren’t paying state income taxes in many cases. State income taxes are a big source or revenue in many states. Gasoline consumption is down because people weren’t driving to work. There is a huge state tax on gasoline so that revenue is lost. States are in big economic trouble. This will trickle down to school districts and local governments. This slow down is going to have negative economic effects on all levels of government for decades. Looking at the surge in infections tells me this pandemic is a long way from over. The damage will continue to mount up and take decades to repair. Also overlooked is the damage to school age children without regular schooling for at least 2 years and perhaps longer. This also includes children in college. The world will never be the same as it was. If we had leaders that could look beyond the end of their nose and planter the future there might be some hope. Unfortunately I don’t see any leaders, so our future looks bleak.

        1. Pavel

          Grim reading but I have to concur. Covid is going to make the post-911 disruption look like a picnic (albeit one with gitmo, torture, illegal wars etc. All of which persist, of course).

          If the Fed, Pelosi, Repubs et al hadn’t completely botched the Covid aid things might be OK. (Cf Canada, France and others where they gave aid directly to the masses.). Instead they gave the monies to the 1% [including, it seems, Pelosi’s husband] and thus there will eventually be outright class war in the USA along with Covid health issues and recession. Well done, chaps!

          1. D. Fuller

            Sections 2203 & 2204 of The CARES Act that relates to real estate investors/developers that include Donald Trump and Paul Pelosi, friends, donors, family members, members of Congress with investments in real estate.

            Sweetener to get the legislation passed.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Nancy was probably taking orders from The Kremlin when she refused to include state and local aid in CARES. She promised it would be coming soon, that was 3 months ago. Seems to me states would not have had nearly the same pressure to open early and she knew a big second wave would be bad for Orange Hitler (oops and bad for the country too but we all have to make sacrifices).

              I cannot wait until we get President Harris in so the pandemic can finally be over. And all this hoo-haw about protecting the border and trying to fight back against China can end too, we need more uneducated people willing to work for nothing coming over and we need to get Hunter back on that plane to Beijing so he can come back with more fistfuls of cash. And this business of Trump not bombing Iran yet, what’s up with that? President Harris can just ask her boss Barack how to do a surge, he really showed them in Kabul, didn’t he?

                1. Massinissa

                  I was 100% confident it was sarcasm before you posted, and still am 100% confident it was.

                  “And this business of Trump not bombing Iran yet, what’s up with that? President Harris can just ask her boss Barack how to do a surge, he really showed them in Kabul, didn’t he?”

                  Hal is employing great wit here, the earlier stuff might have been a bit ambiguous but this part makes it very fairly obvious Hals just joking a bit too hard for you and Briny.

        2. timbers

          That’s all perfect, everything is proceeding as I have foreseen….(quote). Vulture capitalists get interest free loans and blatant government subsidies while the Fed only offers much higher rates and no subsidies to state & local. Perfect setup for privitzation. “Anyone can own a share in OCP. What can be more democratic than that?” – RoboCop CEO “the old man”

        3. lordkoos

          I really don’t understand what our so-called leaders are thinking – what is the end game here? If things continue with people getting no relief (the end of mortgage & rent moratorium, extra COVID unemployment payments etc), it seems a recipe for massive social unrest.

          Perhaps that is the plan – create this unrest and then use it as an excuse for draconian new “security” regulations. Or perhaps our “leaders” are simply idiots who completely fail to see what kind of future they are creating…

          1. km

            To answer your question – Our so-called leaders look at this country as a sheep to be fleeced, they look at it the way vultures look at a dead cow.

          2. Aumua

            A lot of the recent protests have been more driven by people having the time to think about what’s going on, through economic assistance. They don’t have to work, they get checks. Things are covered for now so what are we going to do with ourselves?

            However we can expect the character of the unrest to change dramatically when the same people are faced with homelessness, hunger and sudden lack of the luxuries we’re all so used to.

          3. Swamp Yankee

            I’m going with incompetence and ignorance — in short, the Idiots answer to your question.

            They assume something like “that” — whether it’s Paris, 1789, or St. Petersburg, 1917 — can’t happen here and to them; until it does. The UK ruling class used to be very good about gradual reform and letting talented proles into the club during the 19th century, partly a result of having both lost America in the 1770s and observed France in the 1790s across The Channel. They’ve really lost their touch.

            Of course, we don’t teach history much to many people anymore at any level of our society, not in any real way. I say this as a community college history/politics professor whose position is being cut — along with many others — post COVID. Higher ed looked bad for small colleges before the plague; now I just don’t see many of them surviving.

            If they don’t do something like UBI or a new WPA, there will be a revolt or revolution, no two ways about it.

        4. Otto

          “Take decades to repair”, maybe if there wasn’t climate heating and what appears to be the start of a civil war by trump to take advantage of all the hate there is.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Now that a Republican has said it, maybe Pelosi and Schumer will call for someone to do something.

      1. Susan the other

        I’m enjoying the panic and discomfort of our dear Congress almost with relish. Forking over the necessary billions to the necessary people is their Karma. They are now damned if they do and damned if they don’t. But less damned by far if they do. It’s just the end of the road for their worldview. The surreal scene last week-or-so of Congress “taking a knee” really isn’t gonna save any of them. Game’s up.

        1. timbers

          And the dear Congress has to deal with Trump, who’s in outer space. Have you read anything about Ivanka’s kicking off a jobs “program”? Hysterical, absolutely mind blowing so out of touch. Wonder if any R’s even listen to him any more?

          1. Michael Fiorillo

            Trolling and bull×*#”ting a virus is something even The Original Troll can’t pull off.

        2. chuck roast

          The Repub. side of the duopoly seem to have a serious issue with the underfunding of state worker defined pension funds. They may view the plague as an opportunity to stick the shiv in. Or more precisely, find a way to permit their masters to take over the funds and do their usual looting routine.

  1. jr

    Re: COVID chart

    I was pleasantly surprised this morning to find out my UI has run out. Fortunately, I have a couple of pots on the stove, so to speak, but wow, not even an email. They let you get all the way through the system, after collecting your personal data, to the very end to tell you abruptly that your account is empty. Especially galling is the fact that they threaten you the entire phone call, including a patent “gotcha!” style question at the very end asking you if you have returned to work AFTER you get done telling them you haven’t. We, as a nation, are such slaves

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        There is a confusion between “nazis” in general and the GermaNazi Hitlerian Nazis in particular. Many countries had/have their own style and flavor of nazis. This included the United States.
        Most of the American Elite Establishment was pro-Nazi/ pro-Hitler before and into the start of World War II. Pro-Nazi Americans within sensitive parts of government paper-clipped numerous EuroNazis from various countries into the US and other countries to keep them alive and held in ready reserve for possible use in the future.

        Canadian journalist Jeff Wells wrote a blogpost about a tiny corner of that effort. Here is the link.

        So the answer to your question of ” who? Nazis? ” is. . . yes. Nazis. Not the foam-rubber nostalgiasts for specifically GermaNazi Hitlerianism, with their LARPing and playacting. But rather the class descendants of the Old AmericaNazi Elite Ruling Class and all its various EuroNazis ratlined and paper-clipped into this country, and their descendants both physical and spiritual. Including all those Enforcement Officers trained by Naziform trainers.

        Part of a huge long-running Culture of Teach-In by which a critical tipping point mass-load of Americans would have to rediscover and re-inform themselves and others about how we got here would have to involve detailed study of the AmericaNazi Ruling Class Elites up to the World War II time, and all their descendants and ratline paperclip recruits unto this very day.

        I doubt the effort of mobs of stupid Protest Kiddies and White Guiltmongers pulling down statues and breaking windows will advance that education and knowledge-recovery effort.

        Occupy’s Zucotti Mothership Library might have platformed a halting advance towards such an effort. Which explains why Mayor Bloomberg was so very careful to bulldoze that little library in hopes the concept would not catch on, endure and spread.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      aye. With all such “Helping” Programs…you know…stuff for those lazy poor people…the Default Assumption is that you are a fraudster, looking to hang from the government teat and live the life of Riley.
      The farther down the Poor People continuum you go, the worse it is.
      I guess that it’s maybe a silver lining to all this mess that more and more people are learning about this aspect of what remains of the Safety Net.
      Disability is this way…and SSI…and Foodstamps…and Unemployment…every program I’ve come in contact with.
      and they can be sneaky about it, too…lots of gotcha questions designed to “catch” you in a lie.
      Be careful.
      (although, i suppose, that enforcement would be problematic, what with the sudden influx of millions of newly poor people…so there’s that,lol)

      1. Katiebird

        And it has been this way a long time. In 1977, my then boyfriend was being trained for a job approving Food Stamp for applicants. He was told the first day that the priority was to find a reason for rejection. This job was NOT a good fit for him.

      2. a different chris

        Ah yes but everybody knows that if you’re a “blah” person they drive right up to your door with a trunk full of cash! /s

      3. jr

        Agreed, my experience as well, and to katies points below, yes, I saw similar dynamics as an adult ed teacher in Philly. If you want to see someone turn on their community, give them a job doling out social benefits, suddenly they feel empowered to lecture people and jerk them around with paperwork shenanigans…

        1. Oh

          Yes, all of a sudden they lose their empathy for their fellow human beings. They think it’s their own money.

      4. herman_sampson

        It’s another illustration that the rich and high level managers assume that the 99 per cent have the same low level of morals that they do. The rich have always been the first in line for a hand out or for grift.

    2. Billy

      If you have money placed in your Bank of America account as part of the PUA–WITHDRAW IT AS CASH–ASAP.
      If you have to pay part of it back, because of their bookkeping mistakes, or changes in your work circumstances, make them request it in writing, a step they may not get around to.
      If it’s sitting there as an electronic balance in the account, they can withdraw it out from under you.

    3. lordkoos

      I was caught in a nice catch-22 when last week I was informed that the WA state unemployment office had reevaluated my unemployment claim and determined that I would no longer receive any benefits (this was after getting payments weekly since March). As a musician, there is no work in sight and likely won’t be for a couple of years. I was supposed to respond by July 16th but when I tried to call the office to plead my case was told that they weren’t taking any incoming calls for the week so that they could have the lines free for outgoing calls. Perfect.

      1. Oh

        Bureaucracy has their favorite trick – a deadline you didn’t adhere to, LOSER! Courts do that all the time as well as finance companies.

        1. Massinissa

          The trick is to throw so many deadlines at people they can’t possibly meet them all at once.

  2. PlutoniumKun

    How much does the F-35 actually cost? Speaking Security

    It’s probably even worse than this. The F-35 was intended to replace a whole suite of existing and proposed aircraft, from the F-16 and F/A-18 to the A-10. But its so late and useless that in reality many of these aircraft will have to be kept going for many years to come (and the price of keeping aircraft in the air long after their design lifetime tends to rocket), plus new aircraft to fill the many gaps, most notably its poor range. It’s fast becoming the ultimate self licking ice-cream.

    I’m waiting for someone to blame the Russians (the F-35B is actually based on Soviet technology)

    1. The Rev Kev

      If the damn things worked like they were supposed to, the astronomical costs may not be so bad. But the outstanding flaws that they exhibit such as short range, small payload, can’t shoot, etc., etc., etc., means that they will always be a dud. And the limitations that it will impose on operations will be several decades in playing out. If US pilots flying these things come up against a peer competitor down the track, then you know it will end in tears.

      On the bright side, the US Navy has woken up to itself and are now dumping the Littoral Combat Ships much to the relief of the sailors that have to man these self-propelled target barges-

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Ah yes, they have kept the disaster of the LCS ships quiet. This is one of the problems of course – there is rarely the courage to kill off a failing system, so they are allowed to hang on for years, soaking up resources until they die of natural causes.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Such as the nuclear-power aircraft? It took years to kill that program off even though everybody knew that it was hopeless as a concept. Good thing that it never crashed-

          The crews of this plane shared something in common with the crews of the Soviet Union nuclear-powered submarines back during the First Cold War. They both glowed in the dark.

          1. occasional anonymous

            “First Cold War”

            Jesus, we’re really going to have to start calling it that aren’t we?

            1. Olga

              Meet the new cold war, same as the old cold war!
              Or – it is all just one war. In the same vein, as some historians are talking of WWi and WWII as just one war, with a 20-year interruption.

          2. Michaelmas

            @ Rev Kev —

            You’re right about the Littoral Combat Ship.

            Building a warship out of aluminum — which has the potential to burn down to the waterline when hit, as everyone at the Pentagon should know —
            — so as to send it into coastal waters where it’ll be at close quarters for land-to-sea missiles to target is military-contractor greed of the most malign kind, given the non-elite sailors who’d actually crew the thing and die in it when it’s hit.

            You’re wrong about the Nuclear Bomber, on the other hand.

            They got the lightweight reactor for it working. That’s the thorium reactor and it would have been powerful enough for when the thing was airborne, though the plane would need a second set of conventional jet engines to take off. That may seem impractical, but actually was not a game-stopper.

            What ended the Nuclear Bomber program — and USAF General Curtis LeMay and SAC’s dominance — was the ICBM program created by General Bernard Schriever. It was quite the epic Pentagon turf battle —

            But since the U.S. Nuclear Bomber never actually flew with its reactor hooked up to its jets, how can I claim to know it was flyable?

            Because the U.S.S.R. built its own nuclear bomber — or maybe three, it’s hard to find out much about it — and flew it till the mid-1960s. It had one small, non-technical problem: every one of the thirty-some airmen in the Soviet unit assigned to flying the thing died of leukemia or some other radiation-caused cancer within 5-7 years.

            It was definitely flyable, however

      2. D. Fuller

        The US Navy awarded the contract to the same contractor that was involved in the failed LCS debacle.

        No lessons learned for the Navy.

        None, whatsoever. I suspect that some GOFOs at the Pentagon will be very well compensated as corporate board members, after retirement.

        On an interesting note, all veterans receiving a pension from the military are still subject to UCMJ.

      3. D. Fuller

        Who says it is not working like it is supposed to?

        Because it is.

        The F-35 has been under “development” since the early 1990’s.

        Engineering designed to be costly and very expensive. A perpetual revenue stream for a select few.

        Like AT&T monopoly. AT&T failed to innovate, delaying products & improvements, to protect the guaranteed revenue streams already in existence.

        Defense contractors know what to do.

        Another component? Awarding contracts to contractors who have already failed in delivering systems that the new contract is for. Contract issued. Contractors fail. Contract canceled. New contract issued. Same contractors get new contractor.

        The Navy contract that Trump showed up in Michigan for is a fine example of such contracting. Or name a government software system that has failed. The new contracts are usually awarded to those same contractors who failed prior. Or to “subsidiaries”.

        Perpetual revenue stream through fine American engineering.

      4. rtah100

        According to that article, one of the variants of the LCS is built in… Wisconsin! Presumably the variant with wheels.

    2. a different chris

      >(and the price of keeping aircraft in the air long after their design lifetime tends to rocket)

      Why is that (and is that a pun? :D).

      By “keeping in the air” do you mean maintenance to the point of rebuilding? Because keeping a model in the air, that is continuously acquiring new ones, should show drops in price as manufacturing efficiencies increase.

    3. Synoia

      I’d deem the F35 program a spectacular success for Military Careers , Defense Contractors and our Politicians.

  3. jr

    Re: Our Famously Free press

    I can’t believe the McCloskeys have somehow ruined publishing, can no one stop these people?!

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      Great link. The author understands that the UBI is the bridge required by degrowth:

      The stronger the social floor provided, the lower the potential ceiling on economic activity can be set. A robust social floor includes both universal social programs and tolerance of worker scarcity, which tends to raise wages. Beyond universal healthcare and affordable education, a key feature of a Green Folkhem would be a Universal Basic Income (UBI). UBI functions as a sort of release valve, setting a hard floor below which it is not possible to fall, socioeconomically. As demand for labor wanes due to automation or décroissance, a UBI provides workers with a frugal “public option” to opt out of commodity production. UBI also addresses the impacts of technological automation, a process that replaces many workers with machines that are built and maintained by fewer workers. As automation works against worker scarcity, UBI acts as a balancing outlet that, in turn, reinforces worker scarcity by allowing others to opt out of the workforce. This social floor can be financed by tapping into the fiscal exuberance of MMT.

      A JG is fundamentally at odds with the absolute requirement of reducing economic activity to the extent allowed by essential human needs (this would not include our current cultural lynchpin, the bars and restaurants). The difficulty that many have with the solution suggested by the virus and elucidated in this article is that it means no “rebuilding the middle class” dream, no “full employment” as a goal. Instead, the goal is reducing economic activity and environmental damage along with it.

      1. JWP

        Great article, thanks Kasia. Henry, what about using full employment as a means to create an economy and infrastructure where degrowth is the outcome once it is in place. Clearly the current system is set up to where it can only survive with growth and consumption, but with the necessary safety guards in place such as those Kevin suggests (public hc, renewables, free education) plus mass public transit/ implementing the 15 min city where possible, both full employment and degrowth could be possible. Especially through a different version of the CCC where people work en mass to replant forest, clean up rivers, and other projects

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          The question is whether the jobs are created–with all the churn attendant to jobs, their creation and supervision–because the restoration work is essential now or because full employment was the goal. In my view, full employment must surrender place of prime position to reducing environmental damage, and more jobs mean more damage all other things being equal.

          The deeper question is whether we’re able to give up the “middle class dream” as the real goal when it is that nightmare of a dream that has done much to lead us to this desperate point.

          1. JWP

            I would want to have the end game of “the dream” to be something attainable regardless of wealth. Access to nature and a community can provide that and is not far fetched from a regional and urban planning perspective. So long as the barriers to living are provided universally, I think changing what “the dream” is is within society’s grasp. Now is that american society or elsewhere, is another question.

          2. Kasia

            “full employment must surrender place of prime position to reducing environmental damage, and more jobs mean more damage all other things being equal”

            Yes, I have read a much longer version of Kevin’s ideas. Obviously through the “green protectionism” and the relocating of production and consumption this will both tend towards “full” employment and at the same time reduce overall global environmental damage by replacing faraway “dirty” factories with much cleaner local ones. Also a key goal of a Green Folkhem would be to start unwinding the Industrial Revolution’s tendency to depopulate the rural areas and to concentrate people and wealth in urban centers. A renewal of small organic agriculture would be less “efficient” than huge agribusiness practices but would provide local employment to all who wanted it. The goal is that increased agricultural employment is used to ameliorate some of the environmental damage done by the supposed “efficiency” of Big Food.

            But you are 100% correct to point out the tension between full employment and environmental damage.

            1. Henry Moon Pie

              I’d agree that involving more people in agriculture is beneficial, even essential, if we’re going to produce double the food by 2050 without destroying what’s left of our soil and waterways. That could be done on a “forty acres and a mule” model rather than a jobs program from the feds provided our new farmers were given the training they’d need to restore the land as they worked it using permaculture and other techniques.

  4. PlutoniumKun

    Why Ukraine is a secret weapon for China’s airpower Middle East Institute

    I suppose we should look at the bright side and see that this is something that the US and Russia can find common ground on. The Chinese have invested massively in defence tech, but they are continually limited by a number of choke points, most notably in aero engines. Russia has suffered very badly from Chinese pirating of military tech, much of it via Ukraine. Of course, if they can master engines for combat aircraft, they’ll be able to produce viable commercial high bypass engines (they will probably look at what the french do, they are the masters at merging defence and civilian tech in order to save time and money).

      1. Olga

        The whole country is but a faint shadow of what it once was. Before 1989, Ukr was the closest to a ‘jewel in the crown’ that the USSR could have – with agriculture, heavy industry, natural resources, and aerospace industry, among other treasures. Kiev was always considered as one of the more beautiful cities in Europe. The disintegration and devolution of this country is almost too painful to watch.

        1. Massinissa

          Yeah I remember some of my Poli-sci professors saying they remembered that back in the 90s that there was thought that Ukraine would become like a breadbasket of Europe or something and have tremendous economic growth, but none of that really ever materialized.

          Get ready, that sort of disintegration is coming to a USA near… I would say near you but I don’t want to presume I know where you live, so, to a USA near Canada and Mexico I guess.

      2. Massinissa

        I didn’t realize they even still had one. Thought they got rid of it after the split. I guess like nearly everything else in Ukraine it just sort of petered away over time?

  5. jackiebass

    Churches are operated like a business. Mega churches are little different then major protestant churches or the catholic church. Mega churches are individual churches where the head gets obscenely wealthy because they control all of the funds. Kind of like a locally owned business except most locally owned businesses aren’t obscenely profitable . Other religions have a more complicated structure because the have more locations. They operate more like a major corporation. Both want to have their cake and eat it. They want to enjoy their tax free status. This means they should stay out of politics. Increasingly the line between church and state has eroded and churches now wield a lot political power. Since this is the case, I believe they should lose their tax free status.It should be one or the other but not both.

    1. John Wright

      I remember hearing in high school to the effect that “Churches aren’t taxed because it would allow the government to destroy them”.

      It would seem the same logic would apply to any taxed entity such as a business or individual.

      I suggest churches should be taxed for the all the public services that are provided to them, whether the church is nominally apolitical or not.

    2. griffen

      I was surprised to learn that both Swaggart and Bakker were still alive. Wouldve thought one would have kicked the bucket by now .

      Anywho, the larger organizations are fairly despicable. Running any ministry ought to be run like a non profit but then again, non profit doesn’t exclude said organization from being able to spend on their leadership or a lavish gulfstream.

      Rev Jim Jones would be, perhaps, envious.

        1. Swamp Yankee

          Yeah, for some reason Swaggart’s network, such as it is, is part of the cable package I have from Verizon. Still grifting after all these years. And if you think Pops Swaggart is bad, you should get a load of his son Gabriel.

          A lot of overt Sectionalism and weird, archaic anti-Catholicism between the pleas for support and donations. (“Fifty dollars from Louisa in Paducah, Kentucky! One hundred dollars from Dom in Ontario, California!” etc.)

      1. GF

        jackiebass –

        Dream City mega church, the one where Trump lectured, arranged by Pence I believe, the Republican youth in Phoenix a month or so ago, has many locations:

        The one on Cave Creek Road is where the Trump event occurred. Looking at the photos closely I was struck by their commitment to solar electric power generation on the three Phoenix area building roofs and parking shade structures. I’m not sure if religious entities receive extra funds for installing solar, which is generally a tax credit but can also be a direct payment if it is a non-taxed organization.

    3. pricklyone

      Might be interesting if churches were only allowed exempt status after filing balance sheets year by year. No blanket exemption. File for it, like everyone else.
      Wouldn’t be a complete solution, but it sure would open some eyes!

    4. Synoia

      The big advantage of Churches is their tax treatment, the low cast of their product (unoriginal words), their products’ high price (eternal damnation), complete lack of proof of the efficacy of their claims (eternal life in heaven), and their zero returns practice.

      I pointed this out in my UK school divinity lessons. and promptly receive another detention. Eventually I was able to achieve a record in detentions by gaining one if I raised my hand in a divinity lesson.

      Detentions were excellent for reading the “good book” looking for more ambiguities, for example Job and the concept of a Merciful Lord God).

      The book of Revelations is a treasure trove of nonsense.

      My excuse was that I was in the Science stream, and science is advances by rigorous query and rigorous proof.

      However I discovered that life in the corporate world was more similar to Church than Science.

      1. Oh

        I think your statements would apply to every organized religion that uses scare tactics to join their fold and provide them with funds. I despise them all.

        Non profit status should be revoked for any organization that has annual revenue (contributions) in excess of $1,000,000.

      2. Winston S

        Funny cause it is true. Made me chuckle! I did something similar during my Norwegian school religious classes, with similar results.

    5. LifelongLib

      I wonder how many working-class religious people read stuff like the above and decide the Left isn’t for them.

        1. Massinissa

          That’s the problem: Most people don’t. It doesn’t get taught in college, and even if it did, working class people don’t always have access to college. Most people who want to read Das Capital or something have to read it on their own, but its not something any political party will ever bring up, while both parties talk constantly about how great ‘free markets’ are, without even bothering to define what that even means.

        2. LifelongLib

          People of any religion or none might decide that. And the Left should welcome them all, not impose (even rhetorically) gratuitous religious tests.

  6. dcrane

    Fun cat-related news from Down Under: 66% of 150 people tested had antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii.

    Toxoplasma gondii is famous for manipulating the brains of infected mice so they run towards cats, instead of away from them – raising questions about what it could be doing to human brains.

    ““It cannot just live in the brain and tissues and do nothing,” Dr Molan said.”
    Ever since toxo’s mouse-mind control powers were discovered, scientists have been intrigued by the possibility the parasite could be manipulating our brains too.

    One study published in 2016 found people with the parasite were quicker to anger and more likely to take risks. Other studies have suggested infected people are more likely to be involved in car crashes

    Next step — linking T. gondii to fury over mask requirements…

  7. PlutoniumKun

    Former Black Country MP Ian Austin lined up for life peerage Express & Star.

    My first job was in the Black Country (the old industrialised area west of Birmingham) and I got quite a shock when as part of my work I had meetings with Labour local elected representatives. I honestly thought they were Tories when I first met them as they were so obviously right wing. I learned later that the area had a tradition of very conservative Unions and a generally fairly reactionary politics. Dudley if anything was the worst – one of the oldest industrialised areas in the world, it was the site of Merry Hill (known locally as Merry Hell), the first big mega mall encouraged by urban grants from the Thatcher Government. It enriched a number of local business people at the expense of nearly every traditional shopping street in a 20 mile or more radius.

    Austin is typical of that type and generation of labour politician. What has marked him out is that he seems to have taken the shilling, as we’d say in Ireland – giving him a Lordship is a blatant post-bribe to thank him for the damage done to Labour. Its intended of course as a message to others in Labour – do a little damage, and get yourself a nice retirement pension in ermine.

  8. fresno dan

    Drinking Alone Commonweal (stefan). Very, very good.

    The Luzerne County Coroner told NBC News in 2017 that as things continued to look bad economically in the region, “people have gradually gone from the corner bar mentality to ‘I’m going to do some drugs’ to escape the situation that they’re in.” The rate of death by overdose nearly tripled between 2010 and 2017 in Luzerne County, which includes Wilkes-Barre. The coroner could barely keep up with his autopsy caseload. As the morgue filled up, I heard longtime white residents blame “outsiders”—by which they meant black and Hispanic people who had moved in from New York, Philadelphia, or abroad—for bringing drugs to the Valley.

    Mary Douglas saw antipathy toward an out-group as a common characteristic of the low-grid, high-group societies she called “enclaves,” a category that can encompass both small, traditionalist communities and terrorist cells. In a lecture she gave a few weeks before her death in 2007, Douglas said that an enclave under threat will often put up “a strong moral wall against the outside. This is where the world starts to be painted in black and white, saints inside and sinners outside the wall. It is a strategy aimed at making exit seem frightening.” With the mines shuttered, the Church weakened by attrition and scandal, and opioid deaths surging, the Valley’s social classification system was in disarray. To preserve their group identity, those who imagined themselves as “from here” cast the outside world as impure, and they dug in.
    Since I have been reading NC, said in so many different ways, but still the same story; leave people without a livelihood and their world collapses.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      And then inform them that the values they grew up with are wrong and must be changed. The one “value” left is “What do you do for a living?.” No wonder opioids look good to them.

    2. jr

      Re: drinking alone

      I spent part of my miserable youth in Scranton. The author has nailed the region to the letter: desperation, drugs, drinking, and deaths of despair. Really insular types mostly, as a kid there in the 80’s I knew people still duking it out Italians v. Irish style, as in “Don’t move on that street, the (insert ethnicity) live there.” Slurs and pejoratives from a by-gone age, sometimes I had no idea who my step granddad was ranting about because the words were no longer in use elsewhere in Western civilization.

      Also, don’t be poor. My stepmothers family, with typical peasant/slave attitudes about “personal responsibility” in the face of desperation and suffering, would go on about how the “nicky-hoakies”, poor whites, who were little better than the “N’s”. All the ills of the world were due to “laziness” and “those” people. My step monster assured me, with a smile that told me instantly she knew she was lying to herself and me, that no one in her family was racist, it was “just the way they talked.” I can’t imagine what would have happened if a black family moved onto the block. Probably arson.

      A Scranton joke: There is a statue of C.Columbus in downtown Scranton. No one has any idea why, as Scranton has absolutely nothing to do with C.C. So the joke is that the only thing Scranton is famous for is being the birthplace of Columbus.

      Unless the statue got trashed. (Yay!)

    3. CletracSteve

      I believe the story is even deeper here. Wife and I, both from blue collar neighborhoods, have graduate degrees from Buffalo. We go to our local bar here in PA and order ‘lager’, while we drink IPAs at home (while watching the Met Opera streaming service). We identify with the author’s plight.

      We’re stuck. We’re both retired so don’t have work communities anymore and need to rely on our ‘neighborhood’. We’re pulled to the bar because of our blue collar roots, but have grown past their common humanity and bond: complaining. The clientele (at least pre-COVID) all had jobs (farming, timber, auto, small manufacturing) and their bond was bitching. We can talk their trades, but we just can’t talk ‘bitching’ all the time. But we love to order a pitcher of ‘lager’ – there just isn’t any other choice and it helps us feel as members.

      On the other hand, the town 15 miles away affords us contact with the community the author is more comfortable in. But, there is no bond in that community. You can be a member, come and go as you please. But, there is no bond. Wife and I need a group with a bond – a larger family – as we grew up blue collar. The town has places for fun and polite conversation; political discourse more aligned with our views. But it is just transient – both in members and in attachment. It all seems so superficial. Joining groups/bars in these towns is more for personal or job reasons, not for belonging.

      What saves us is our immediate neighbors, by luck perhaps, are stuck between worlds as well. But, by irony, two of them have gluten allergies, so we can’t just down a case of ‘lager’ together.

      Off to weed the Victory garden before the midday heat strikes.

    4. Mr. House

      If you’d like to see what was killed in wilkes barre by our “service economy” watch the deer hunter.

      1. roxan

        You got it! Some of the Deer Hunter was filmed in my home town, in W.Va. Not much town left with the mill torn out, just a big ‘brown field’ I think they call that sort of polluted, destroyed area. When I had to go back to care for my mom, I was amazed to encounter neighbors who said, ‘I heard you was out in the world! What’s it like?” Where can people go with no skills, no way to sell a house?

        1. Basil Pesto

          I watched it for the first time a couple of months ago. A very evocative setting – I suspect moreso in 2020 than in 1975 – and I couldn’t help but wonder what that filming location was like now.

    5. Susan the other

      I liked this one too. It reminded me of the PBS documentary on Elvis, with Alec Baldwin narrating. A metaphor for all of America, really. This one is good in the same way but it leaves me too sad, I wanna buy the guy a beer. Wouldn’t it be nice if in our coming renaissance we institutionalized the corner bar once again. Like an ongoing William Saroyan play just down the street. But not franchises of the “Corner Bar Corporation.”

      1. Duck1

        I thought when the old fellow told the story of working at the Wheelmen House in its later incarnation, and then the porch crowd demurred offering the fellow a requested drink, they got their comeuppance when everything was stolen from the porch.

        1. Michael Fiorillo

          Indeed… you and I may not have been there, but wtf was that?

          Good article, all the same.

    6. Oh

      Yes, it is an excellent article. It seems to me that people go to bars to find some kinmanship, albeit a short lived one. Having a few drinks provides a haze in which they can approach strangers. Perhaps this haze help them forget their helplessness they feel because of the wretched economy. Gradually, they move on to stronger drugs and opioids. A sad commentary on today’s America. No wonder many folks fell for the MAGA line. Now, in 2020 it’s going be another grifter promising that America will go back to normal!

    7. dcrane

      Yes, this from the end summed up one of the key points well:

      Our economic system depletes communities, and you can gain wealth and status within it if you’re willing to pull up your own roots again and again, even living suspended in the air, while others, more firmly planted, wither together.

  9. PlutoniumKun

    Snares Empty Forests in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam Southeast Asia Globe.

    Years ago, while cycling in the uplands of northern Vietnam, a man hopped out of dense roadside jungle with a strange wriggling animal on his back, clearly the (live) victim of a snare, destined for the local markets. It looked vaguely like a mini pig or very large hamster, and it occurred to me that it could be a very rare creature, or even one unknown to science (they regularly pop up in wildlife markets there). The man just gave me a grin as he walked past. The only thing protecting those animals is the very density and impenetrability of parts of the forest in the mountain areas, although of course its rapidly shrinking.

    There would be no point reporting it – on my very first day in the country a year previously a taxi driver had pointed out to me a restaurant where dog meat and supposedly protected animals were openly served. There was a line of blacked out SUV’s outside the restaurant. ‘Government bigwigs!’ the driver told me.

  10. dcblogger

    It seems to me that coronavirus has created a giant power vacuum. Our elite’s failure to respond is creating chaos.

    combined with the police brutality crisis the election seems irrelevant to people’s lives. power will shift to those organizing mutual aide and rent strikes.

    it blows my mind that our elites think that they can sit back and do nothing will millions of people become homeless and it will have no impact on their careers is mind blowing.

    1. Bugs Bunny

      It does seem like a tidal wave is coming and the elites are hiring more contractors to build beach houses, doesn’t it.

      1. JWP

        Contrasts nicely with the recent reports of huge flooding increases. Billionaires can’t defy nature.

    2. Amfortas the hippie

      the Harvest is almost complete.
      I came across this, in one of the go-to windows into the Hive Mind of one of the factions of the Machine:

      WH wants to zero out testing,lol.
      what possible dirty lens could there be to justify this?
      and does it originate in the mind of the orange bad man, or some demon whispering in his ear?
      to what end?
      Looking more and more like my worst tinfoil visions are true….cull the herd, and impoverish the rest, so that they’re more manageable.

      1. Brindle

        ….”cull the herd, and impoverish the rest”–a campaign slogan for the GOP ?….but also describes the Dems.

        1. Jomo

          Reporting from Florida, in the midst of an ever growing and increasingly fatal pandemic, I see public health policy being driven by the desire to have a large mask free gathering for the televised Republican Convention. In pursuit of this goal Governor DeSantis will not issue a mask order for the state, will not impose reasonable restrictions on the public, and wants to reopen schools. Trump now wants to eliminate testing, will not issue a mask order, and wants students in chairs at schools. We have a month to go until the convention. Lots of sick and dead to come. All for a few days of TV image making.

        2. Briny

          Perfect encapsulation of the USA: We’ve two parties doing the exact same thing rather than one so it can extract at least twice as much money.

    3. Phillip Allen

      “power will shift to those organizing mutual aide and rent strikes.”

      One can certainly hope this happens. I do not see, however, even nascent organizational structures that could form and empower such things. What does exist is atomized – some great grass roots stuff happening, uncoordinated, under-resourced. All confronting a system that, while cracking under it’s load of corruption and it’s fundamental contradiction of shrinking resources on a finite planet, remains far more coordinated and equipped for repression than anything the working class seems able to present in opposition and defense.

    4. PlutoniumKun

      I’ve been referring to Coronavirus for a while as the worlds most effective stress test of institutions, maybe the biggest such experiment in history. It has unerringly found the weak link in every country and society its hit – whether that weak link being weak institutions, stupid politicians, sclerotic bureaucracies, religious nutcases, institutional groupthink, authoritarian tendencies or whatever. In the US its found not just one, but a whole series of weak links it can exploit. The results are not pretty.

    5. tegnost

      sadly I disagree. It seems to me power is concentrating. What seems to be incompetence is also explainable as the powerful just don’t care anymore about appearances. Bezos will likely double his fortune this year alone, the article from bloomberg that biden can’t change what trump has done so don’t expect much (some of us expect nothing or worse…almost certainly cash and infra for silicon valley, means testing for everyone else) the protests look good on tv but cell phone data is ubiquitous and the protesters don’t get any info from that tracking, it belongs solely to the bosses, goons, and minions. Just like people can’t truly imagine how rich a real rich person is (your landlord who owns 4 or 5 houses is not a rich person, a rich person wouldn’t waste their time on something so small time), they also can’t fathom just how cruel our own country is, and so it will likely imo become even crueler…

      1. Lupemax

        If Biden “wins” and does nothing for the people as I expect to happen, 2024 will yield a truly slick, powerful and very evil fascist. Assuming of course we are all still here?

        I also think it’s a possibility that Drumpf might “win” and that will be something terrifying to watch, once again assuming we all still here. What’s happening in Portland will be nothing to what will be coming up.

        I watched the following excellent interview with Matt Taibbi and Bret Weinstein this morning on Weinstein’s “DarkHorse Podcast” on “Corruption and Its Consequences,” about “unity2020” which might catch on? And I feel some hope, as did Taibbi… Weinstein, no so much.


  11. ChiGal in Carolina

    “five insurance carriers have applied to offer public option plans”

    Wait, wha—?

    1. Arizona Slim

      They are trying to stay in business. Because they see the handwriting on the wall. It says M4A.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Obamacare was effectively an insurer bailout, but spiking premiums and the general state of the economy means the current subsidies can’t save the insurers anymore.

        They are likely hoping for another round of subsidies. Biden is the nominee with Republica so teeing up for 2024 as “west wing liberals” spend the next four years baffled why the Lincoln Project people started to attack Biden as attack communist.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Private Equity Titans Turn to Europe for Mega-Deals”

    If they were just patent for a little while, then they would be able snap up a whole raft of busted businesses in Fire-Sale America. And the way that the Federal government is refusing to do anything to help, they won’t have to wait for long.

    ‘Tomorrow to fresh woods, and pastures new’? Somebody is remembering their Milton.

    1. a different chris

      The problem with “busted businesses in Fire-Sale America” is that, without the Feds helping the consumers rather than the owners, said businesses are going to stay busted.

      Europe has been following the US path, of course, but they are still far enough “behind” that there is wealth left to be sucked out.

    2. Tom Doak

      Private equity does not buy struggling businesses and fix them. Private equity buys thriving businesses and loots them. The business has to be doing pretty well or it won’t last long enough to generate massive fees [that they only have to pay capital gains taxes on].

  13. jackiebass

    The Patriot Act rushed through under Bush II watered down he fourth amendment protections. It was renewed again recently. The government can size, not charge, and detain a person in secret indefinitely without disclosing it to anyone.

    1. Carolinian

      Right. If you are going to militarize society in response to a “War on Terror” then you have a new hammer looking for a nail to strike. George W gave us DHS but the Dems were on board because “9/11 changed everything.” Actions have consequences.

    2. Duke DeGuise

      Yes, the #McResistance TM helped give Hitler (no, wait: Putin? Mussolini? Berlusconi? A dementia patient?) a renewed Patriot Act and Space Force.

      Isn’t that what real opposition forces always do?

      1. Briny

        They were certainly thinking that they had 2016 in the (black) bag, so no worries about the powers remaining with the State. Apparently that thinking still holds as these were just renewed. Only a few months remaining in the “wrong hands.”

  14. Bugs Bunny

    “Owen Benjamin Vs Patreon: Dissident Comedian Set To Deal Massive Blow To Big Tech Censors” National Justice

    I think National Justice is a neo-nazi site. Please take a look. Didn’t expect that here.

  15. allan

    Re: “within the 100-mile zone—that is, within 100 miles of a U.S. land or coastal border.”

    Note that the ACLU article lists Chicago. Last time I checked, Lake Michigan is wholly within the U.S.,
    so Lake Shore Drive is not an external boundary. And Chicago is far more than 200 miles from Canada.

    So, if Chicago really belongs on the list, it seems like the only possible reason is O’Hare.

    The wording in the regulation is `external boundary’:

    (a)(1) External boundary. The term external boundary, as used in section 287(a)(3) of the Act, means the land boundaries and the territorial sea of the United States extending 12 nautical miles from the baselines of the United States determined in accordance with international law.

    Was there a court case or administrative decision in which CBP got permission to interpret this
    so as to include all international points of entry?
    I can’t find one, but if applicable nationwide, that would add a 100 mile radius disk about all interior airports
    with international passenger or freight service: Chicago, Las Vegas, Denver, Dallas-Fort Worth,
    Memphis, Louisville, Atlanta, and probably many others. Is that the real situation?

    1. Tom Doak

      I think they figure rogue Canadians could get on a boat and work their way to Chicago from Lake Superior or Lake Huron, so that justifies their patrol along the lakeshore — which also includes every square inch of Michigan!

    2. Phillip Allen

      A reading of the law could hold that a point of entry like an international airport is in effect an external border, and thus by extension CBP could assert it’s authority anywhere within 100 miles of one. They already have broad authority within airports and other ports of entry to detain people without warrant. I don’t believe the more expansionary interpretation of the law has been tested yet, but we should certainly expect such a testing.

  16. Martine

    >Not all would agree that ths is a “misuse of DHS,” but the revulsion spans people not usually in alignment.

    Since Obama signed the NDAA of 2012 which authorized the President to order the arrest and indefinite detention of anybody anywhere based on a mere allegation of membership in, or support of, an alleged terrorist group, this looks explicitly legal.

    Blisteringly infuriating head-fake in the NYT article to the 2002 act and Bush rather than the 2012 Obama signing that made the Bush admin’s claim of such power into actual law.

    We who warned of this at the time of Obama’s signing were largely sneered at for being alarmist. Bitter doesn’t come close.

  17. LawnDart

    Reopen schools? The evidence is clear that this is a very, very bad idea:

    In my opinion, officials who push the premature opening of schools, who thereby endanger the lives of children and their families, need to be stopped, need to be held to account immediately and by any means necessary.

    Of course as a parent, you should simply refuse to send your child/children into harm’s way.

    1. Carolinian

      On the other hand there’s Sweden where the primary schools never did close. And there are also those who say keeping kids out of schools for an extended time can itself be harmful–not so much for rich and middle class parents but for poor parents who need to work and aren’t equipped to teach their kids at home. I’m not claiming any answers, but surely that Precautionary Principle should apply to all aspects of childrens’ lives and not just to a disease they are unlikely to get.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Totally agree with your suggesting that the Precautionary Principle should be the the one to follow. There are just too many unknowns with this virus. Personally, after learning about the damage to people’s systems such as their lungs, heart, kidneys, testes, etc. done by this virus, I want nothing to do with it. Having Coronavirus is playing Russian roulette with your lifetime health and kids are not immune either. Earlier today I was reading about a County in Texas that has 85 babies under the age of 1 that have this virus. That must be a nightmare for those parents-

        1. Carolinian

          Sounds like you don’t agree with me. I’m saying the Precautionary Principle can become a potentially damaging substitute for evidence based medicine and policy. I’m also saying that I don’t claim to know enough–and unfortunately I’m not sure the authorities know enough–to say with absolute certainty what is right in this instance. But let’s be clear that keeping schools closed may be harmful to kids.

          1. Darthbobber

            As can opening them. And your whole “disease that kids are unlikely to get” point ignores their close interaction with both their teachers and their families.

            1. Carolinian

              Returning to my original comment there is a country where primary, not secondary, schools did stay open throughout and it should be easy enough to see how that went, see whether teachers or family members got sick as a result. Which is to say if there is a test example available we should use it rather than speculating.

              1. Aumua

                Sweden also had many thousand more deaths than their neighbors. So I guess it’s really just a question of how many additional thousands of deaths is OK? Where do you draw the line?

              2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                Dangerous Truthiness detected! Did you not get the memo? That all actions and words must rigidly conform to Orange Man Bad orthodoxy?

                It’s a perfect setup. You want to change nothing so the final looting of Empire can continue unabated. The threat is from people who want that to change, they must be assuaged on a four-year cycle. So you lump Everything Bad in the person of the current WH occupant and when he is railroaded out you can say “See? Look what we did! Now we all live in the best of all possible worlds again!”

                My one worry is for CNN revenues, simple stenography of how great things are again will wear thin. So I assume we will see “We Want To Do Good Things But Republicans Russians Whites Rednecks Dumb People Won’t Let Us.”

                1. Berto

                  My worry is Trump apologists joining CNN and the rest of the corporate-owned media (AKA the media), calling for austerity during a pandemic.

          2. Rod

            Like you, I’ll also claim I don’t know enough.
            I would like to know what the kids that are going to have to go back into schools are thinking, and I have not seen a 1k plus survey of that population about their concerns.
            Wouldn’t it be terrible if a majority thought of themselves as guinea pigs??
            References to such would be appreciated.

            imo, our options are being limited by our imaginations and want of the one size fits all cost effective solution— preferably endorsed by an recognized authority.

        1. newcatty

          Think it is important to keep in mind the plan of the current fearless leaders. When Betsy was appointed Secretary of Education it was as plain as the crumbling walls of old school buildings in this country. She and her fellow travelers are using the conflict between the let us save the children by opening schools with let us save the society by keeping schools closed. The erosion of public schools has been going on for a long time. The obvious examples were and are the glaring differences in the physical infrastructures of classes in any community in the country. Wealthy enclaves in a city or county have such different physical facilities it is like going from a “third world country” to a ” First world country”. The differences are in every aspect from teaching materials, intact text books, computer and science labs, cafeteria menus, playground equipment, theater and sports facilities, even the family blog teacher’s “lounge”. Many high schools have fencing around them like a prison.

          The goal? Use parent’s fear for their child’s health and their family’s as the ultimate divide and conquer strategy. Almost any parent with the financial means, or a winner of a voucher contest, will be choosing private or charter schools this fall. Exception being some of those who already live in affluent districts. As noted, that leaves the poor people with what is left of the local public schools. As the local economies in states crater, the public schools almost always come last in funding. The poor, disabled and lower classes who truly need the safety nets of SSI, SNAP, and housing assistance will be in even more dire circumstances. So many do not have ways to make money “on the side”. Many have no access, as it is, to basic healthy food. Homelessness. Recklessness.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        If public education was half as important in this country as it is in Sweden, and just about every other developed country that’s not the u.s., this problem would get solved pronto.

        It’s getting beyond embarrassing watching the same people who dedicate much of their political lives to dismantling public schools and crushing opportunity for those who depend on them, pretend to such a profound angst at the dire consequences the poor little children and their families will suffer if schools reopen.

        Take a look at biden’s “blueprint” for reopening schools. It’s a good thing his basement bunker wasn’t built with the same level of detail and “specificity,” or he’d be zooming his ramblings from under a pile of construction rubble.

        As far as I’m concerned, you’d get a lot more bang for your covid buck if you shut down the airlines and opened the schools, but then I don’t need a soapbox to “campaign” from.

        1. John Anthony La Pietra

          Did you actually finds copy of that blueprint? I didn’t see a link to a plan anywhere in the mass of vague generalities in that Hill article.

          1. Jeff W

            It’s apparently this, entitled “Joe Biden’s Roadmap to Reopening Schools Safely” (which is linked to from here).

            Where is it on the official campaign site? Looks like nowhere, actually.

    2. ShamanicFallout

      Yes closed schools! More opportunity to cash in! This covid thing is quite the boon, if you’re in the right spot. Now we can have something called “remote learning”. What in the hell is “remote learning” for a Kindergartner, or 2nd grader? Complete fantasy. But! we need tablets, Chromebooks, laptops, meeting software, other ‘learning’ software (hopefully with monthly subscriptions), ‘facilitators of remote learning’ to get a piece of the action, hopefully with nice government contracts. Create a generation of kids learning via screen interface! KaChing!

      1. Late Introvert

        You don’t have a kid, clearly.

        Distance learning is a crock, agreed, but it’s better than exposing millions of kids to the virus. How is that so hard for people to understand? I’m guessing most of you don’t have kids.

        My local district announced online classes and 3 days later Trumpette Reynolds announced that would not be happening in Iowa.

        1. ShamanicFallout

          Oh quite wrong assumption. Father of a daughter who’s wife committed suicide 2 years ago when my daughter was 4. I am her only care giver and I must work. There is no ‘work’ from home, or home ‘schooling’ or facilitating ‘remote learning’. If you noticed I didn’t make a recommendation one way or another. If this were another site I might have had something more pointed to your retort. But this is a civilized place

          1. Late Introvert

            Thanks for the civil response. I’m too emotional on this topic. Sorry about your situation sir.

  18. Edward

    The Hong Kong National Security Law is probably intended to block the CIA and similar outfits from meddling there. Victoria Nuland might want to think twice before she passes out cookies or spends $5 billion for regime change in Hong Kong. The law may be too open ended, though, like the Patriot Act, and the Chinese may be not letting a “crisis go to waste” to claim new powers there. I don’t know how much one should trust the Chinese government to respect boundaries/constraints.

    1. rtah100

      This has actually been done, in a roundabout way. Mortality rates were much lower in men being prescribed testosterone suppression treatment for prostate disease. It has been mooted that chemical castration would be an effective prophylactic and possibly a disease-modifying therapy.

      I think I first read the article here – Yves has done a great job opening a coronavirus review journal on the side!

  19. The Rev Kev

    “Companies Made Millions Building Unemployment Websites That Didn’t Work”

    Does anybody know if Deloitte has the Obamacare Website on its resume?

  20. Amfortas the hippie

    Re; Lind

    ” Only the most primitive Marxists believe that a tiny group of individual capitalists—to the manor born or self-made—controls modern societies from behind the scenes. I will not pay further attention to old money in this essay.”

    In spite of the clarity of folks from C Wright Mills, to his successor, Domhoff(sp-2), to Bertram Gross(the latter two pointedly ignored/unknown to far too many), analysis of the Class Structure has been woefully absent in all the wrangling around political economy for most of my life.
    “We’re a Classless Society!” has been shouted and whispered in my ears since at least the mid-80’s.
    To the above list of thinkers, I’d add Chomskey and Adolph Reed, and Lind.
    I like Lind…he enjoys a reserved log-seat around my campfire.
    If we want to figure out the shape of the world, and try to understand what’s happening…beyond the various cheerleading factions of our “free press”…we really need to understand who it is that grasps the steering wheels.
    who are they, what do they want, what are they willing to do to get there?
    people in the proverbial feed store are even less amenable to this sort of discussion than they are to questions of foreign policy.
    It’s something they know is there, more or less…and filtered through their various silos…but are loathe to acknowledge, because it’s too big and powerful and complex.
    what can one do?
    I still think it’s important.
    the “Far Right”(think Birchers) imagine an Illuminatii of some kind…monolithic in it’s evil machinations.
    The “Far Left” think a little more clearly, and talk of “Capitalists” and “Davos Man”>
    But from that list of thinkers above, i reckon it’s way more complicated than that…and that, like any random grouping of humans, there are factions within this group…often at cross purposes, and often attempting to undermine one another.
    That this battleground is largely invisible to the hoi polloi is no accident…the defining feature of this cohort is that they pretend not to exist(aside from a few who can’t control their need for adulation or whatever…Kock Brothers come to mind,lol)
    There’s not some Walnut Paneled Room somewhere where 10-30 men in suits gather to sit in wingback chairs, sip really good scotch and decide the fate of humanity(X-Files)…there are thousands of such rooms.
    in the last 20 years, the cohesiveness of this cohort has been fraying…they held it together long enough to effectively undo the New Deal, as well as the sentiments and emotional attachments, as well as the sort of Nousphere that allowed that to happen in the first place.
    “Society”, “the Human Family”, etc etc.
    now they’re fighting with themselves over what to do next…and what to do about the growing awareness among us little people that the Bosses are corrupt and incompetent.
    so Hillary vs Trump was godzilla vs mothra…with mothra being a stalking horse that got loose and unexpectedly won.
    both are merely rubber suits, operated by wires and midgets.
    From under my Big Oak, I see terrible things on the horizon…neither rubber monster has our best interests in mind…we are merely a herd of sometimes useful beasts of burden…and there are too many of us for the world to maintain…at least if the current power structures are to remain in place: hydraulic despotism, heirarchical authoritarianism, facilitated by informational chaos and ontological confusion.
    There’s a growing awareness of all of this out there in the world…muddled and confused, yes…but the idea that the Bosses exist, and that they’re bad at their jobs, is there…even in my feedstore.
    But to talk seriously about this…this shape of the world…is too complex for such settings…especially given how much tinfoil must be peeled from the heads of one’s interlocutors.
    This is sad…because i see that we’re running out of time to “find the others”, and to make the necessary changes in awareness that are needed to even begin to extract ourselves from the machinery of control.
    I’m focused on building as much autarky way out here as i can.
    within “a day’s ride”, essentially(that’s why these towns are 30 miles apart, BTW…a day’s ride on horseback)

    I’m rambling, because i’m set to run out the door and tend to the gardens ere it gets too hot.

    1. Mikel

      I don’t see why he thought “old money” wasn’t worthy of discussion as part of the power plays. Let the “managerial” or “professional” elite try something that threatens that money and see how far they get.
      They are for the most part managing systems that keep that money in tact. That’s why the old money donated so much to the schools where they received their “learnin'”.
      Lind included

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        aye. I disagree with Lind on that, too.
        But the “Old Money” is even further in the shadows than the other big piles of money.
        when i got to this part in my study of the American Right…the part about the Big Movers and Shakers of the Counterrevolution(1970-present)…joseph coors, mellon scaife, mercers, and on and on…
        I noticed the absence of the old “Old Money” families…vanderbilts, carnegie, etc.
        from a previous age.
        they were hard to track down, even then, before the enclosure of the WWW.
        they’re still there, as near as i can tell.
        like trying to find someone today descended from hitler.
        overall, i was rather astounded at just how hard it was to get an accurate picture of the “Ruling Class”, so much is hidden…and there’s a lot of churn at the levels just below them.
        Mill’s taxonomy is still pretty accurate, as near as i can see…and i think Lind tries to update that model for the 21st century.
        this much should be pretty clear, though…that we’ve never been a democracy, or a republic…but have been, instead, ridden by the same bunch that has always ridden the masses…just with a set of new faces from time to time…generally coincidental with the advent of new tech and systems theory.
        fixin to enter feudalism 7.0

        1. pjay

          Yes. Lind’s portrayal of the real “upper class” is underdeveloped. As the “old money/new money” distinctions indicate (or the old “Yankee/Cowboy” thesis, etc.), there are some important differences and conflicts of interest even among the “billionaires.” But I don’t think Lind’s “managerial elite” quite captures the power of Capital at the top.

          Where his model is valuable, however, is in emphasizing the class-interests of a group NC readers are quite familiar with — the ‘professional-managerial class’ (Lind’s ‘professional bourgeoisie’). This group is influential beyond its numbers through control over the media and academia, giving it the ability to shape dominant narratives. Identifying their interests explicitly helps explain their cluelessness (“Its hard to get a man to understand something…” etc.). His ‘small business bourgeoisie’ is also very important in understanding politics and ideology, especially outside the elite urban enclaves.

          One other observation. The older I get, the more I realize the importance of integrating the Deep State (or whatever you want to call it) into any useful theory or model of political power. Even most of the good ones don’t do this very well.

          1. Tom Doak

            You might have to re-think who controls the media. Bezos, the Sulzbergers, and Rupert Murdoch are not members of the PMC. Their editors are “just following orders”.

            1. pjay

              I agree, which is why I think Lind’s depiction of the upper class is underdeveloped. When I say the PMC “controls” the media (or academia), I mean they are employed by Bezos et al. to provide legitimating narratives, and trained and selected to do so. As Chomsky has famously said, they probably also believe what they are saying; otherwise they would not be there.

    2. Brian (another one they call)

      There is at least one thing we don’t discuss in this miasma. I propose that if we continue to allow governments to create money as though it were real, insanity will become more and more normal. They have over the decades done everything they can to try to convince us that they are just the hands of god doing the work that only they can do. When just any individual suggests that they can do such a thing we typically consider them nuts. Humanity has been correct about this assessment for eons. It has repeated for 4000+ years so far and every time we cause the god printers to stop, or they destroy their illusion on their own. It always causes disease because it always causes upheaval. Always.
      I am reminded of those that say the oil is all we have and if we stop using fossil fuels we will be doomed. That a green revolution is not possible because it can’t possibly do what oil has done. These are the same folks that create money too folks. But they are correct at the same time.
      No, it can’t do what oil has done and life will change. We will get by with what we have or we won’t. Paranoia about change is not going to help find solutions. Paper money will demand no solution is found because profit.
      The extreme reactions today guarantee chaos spreads another mile every minute. People do not prefer chaos, but they do have to adapt to it being forced upon them. Gravity sucks and entropy blows.

    3. Pope Mollusk VI

      I was quite amused to discover I am part of the Overclass. Now which goes better with a T-shirt, cravat or bowtie?

  21. Richard H Caldwell

    And you linked to a piece by Eric Striker at National Justice because why, exactly?

      1. Richard H Caldwell

        Got yer back. Thanks for all you do; it’s got to be tough to stay on top of it all.

      2. ex-PFC Chuck

        As the one who recommended it I thought the post was significant because it describes what may be an effective legal attack on opaque censorship by social media. I was concerned by the anti-Semitism language but thought it was worth the read in any case.

        I actually first saw the post on The Unz Review and because of that site’s wobbly reputation looked else where for an alternative and found it at NJ of which I’d never heard. Admittedly I should have done some homework about the site, but it was late evening so I just sent in the link. So don’t blame Lambert.

    1. Olga

      Perhaps – to illustrate the many ways in which censorship works in the US? And a way to fight it – perhaps, just perhaps (though it is likely futile)?

  22. Carolinian

    That vehicle ramming story is hair on fire CT stuff suggesting without evidence that this is all a tactic that white supremacy “terrorists” learned from Palestinian “terrorists” whereas it’s just as possible that the ramming incident in question had more to do with typical American road rage rather than organized terror. Perhaps demonstrators should bear in mind that marching in the middle of a freeway is going to have certain risks given the generally aggressive Mad Max conditions on many of these urban roads.

    1. a different chris

      >Perhaps demonstrators should bear in mind that marching in the middle of a freeway is going to have certain risks

      You think they don’t? I dunno about the white kids, but the black ones sure aren’t doing this for fun. And they aren’t stupid, so where do you get the idea that they think this is riskless?

    2. super extra

      Perhaps demonstrators should bear in mind that marching in the middle of a freeway is going to have certain risks given the generally aggressive Mad Max conditions on many of these urban roads

      I dare you to watch the video of the Seattle protestors being run down and tell me they were at fault, that they were in the driver’s way.

      1. Carolinian

        Fair enough but does that prove that the driver was a white supremacist who got the idea from Middle East groups? My objection is to the linked article.

        1. epynonymous

          Actually, white people got the message that it’s okay to run over protestors from our elective government after white panic over Ferguson just a few years back.

          I bring particular note to Massachusetts (bi-partisan!) bill regarding protestors on highways, specifically… hrmmmm.

          Would provide for harsh new penalties for individuals who impede traffic in the course of a protest or demonstration. The bill creates a broad offense of intentionally blocking, obstructing, impeding or otherwise interfering with the “normal and reasonable movement of vehicular or pedestrian traffic” on a public street or highway, punishable by up to $5,000 and a year in jail. Under the bill, police may arrest without a warrant any person they have probable cause to believe has unlawfully impeded traffic. The bill further makes any person convicted of unlawfully impeding traffic liable for the costs incurred by public and/or private emergency services in responding to the incident.

          Status: defeated / expired”

          The law wasn’t enacted, but you can hear plenty of people openly saying it’s okay to murder people on our highways and byways for protesting brutality in connection with this bill.

          Most conservative facebook groups on the subject are half a step away from bringing back firehoses and dogs. Historically, the difference between that ugly past and tasers and tear gas is just one of tactics.

        2. super extra

          well you also said this:

          it’s just as possible that the ramming incident in question had more to do with typical American road rage rather than organized terror

          …which is why I suggested you watch the snuff videos and correct your thinking around ‘typical American road rage’ since you turned your objection from one about the article into one about where the protestors chose to exercise their right. I agree the link between ‘Middle eastern terrorists’ and ‘white supremacists’ is stupid. Train your fire where it is deserved (the idiot who wrote the article) not those who have been murdered, don’t take the idpol/socjus bait else you’re locked into the form of the argument (‘protesting is bad, otherwise you’ll get rammed by an angry car!’)

          1. Carolinian

            Well if you want to know what I think rather than trying to make it up I’d say that protesters should stay out of freeways period and protest somewhere else, not that protesters deserve to get run over. You are straw manning big time.

            If you are blocking a freeway then ninety percent of those affected don’t even know what is going on and are unlikely to be sympathetic when they find out. Of course there is the example of the Yellow Vests in France but they were protesting an economic system in general and therefore engaged in an economy blocking activity. They did at least have a point. Random anarchy, IMO, is not a good plan. The same goes for looting,tagging etc.

            1. super extra

              but I’m still confused – are you mad because ‘people who ram protestors with their cars’ = white supremacists? or are you mad because protestors were in a road, blocking ‘economic activity’ that may be ‘affecting’ those who are ‘unsympathetic’ to their cause?

            2. furies

              I guess you haven’t noticed, but it takes *a lot* to get any attention for whatever issue is being protested against.

              That’s why they do it. For the media coverage.

              Maybe if it wasn’t so difficult to actually try to CHANGE thINGS!

              1. a different chris

                Bingo. As soon as somebody in range says “so ridiculous to ‘Defund The Police’ (my wife) I immediately point out that they have tried, and tried, and tried tried tried to get reform and have been nearly completely ignored.

                This was not their starting point.

                Now they’ve got your attention. Not really their fault they had to go well past where anybody thought they would have to go, is it?

                This whole website has properly crushed Obama for “starting negotiations in the middle” and I think the young ones now get that.

    3. D. Fuller

      Except that one driver in CA IIRC (maybe Seattle) explicitly ignored barriers and possibly drove up a ramp the wrong way, in order to target protestors.

      Or Charlottesville. Definite case.

      Or the videos of police practically encouraging a driver. This has happened in perhaps a handful of cases. Where there are a few videos, there are usually more that go unrecorded.

      Perhaps drivers should bear in mind.

      Road rage or not. The use of vehicles as weapons has been discussed on RW extremist forums.

  23. Mikel

    Re: Drinking Alone

    “The Wheelmen’s residents descended our grand staircase and went outside to see what was happening. Among us were a doctor, a chemist, a counselor, and various other professionals, some from the region, some not…”

    I don’t get what this guy supposedly learned at all.
    That’s the root of his “alienation”…can’t think of people as people, only as a job title.

    1. edmondo

      How would you know if you should “like” someone until you know what they do for a living? We can have the hoi polloi mixing with their betters, can we?

      1. BenLA

        What community? Some poor sleb from the community tells of the building in yesteryears, but they cant even give the guy a drink. Can’t mix with the lessors. F#$%k that guy.

    2. farmboy

      Eggs in your beer? “The point of drinking was to experience otherworldly visions,” Pilcher says. “The Spanish just went ballistic at this. It was associated with ‘profane’ religions and seen as evidence of lack of civilization.” Conquistedores justified in murder and obliteration of indigenous peoples from fear of hallucinogens. Another justification for colonialism, still haunting us today.

    3. anon y'mouse

      that he thinks that education and the right magazines make him a separate, better species, and can’t get over this thinking because he knows it is morally wrong on some level but believes it to be factually correct. he obviously wants the illusion that we all stand alone, and don’t owe each other anything, thus never being called upon to sacrifice anything. narcissism, in a nutshell or maybe pretend solipsism. he’s what that dude that is so beloved here would call a “front row kid” who feels sorry for himself yet superior at the same time.

      a parasite who sometimes catches himself in reflective surfaces, and knows what is shown there to be repugnant. but he’s formed most of his identity around it, and it personally benefits him to do so in this system we have, and maybe all of those poor left-behind people are really just backwards and deserving of their fate anyway.

      all cultures drink, by the way. notice he mentions imbibing plentifully by himself and by “hipsters”. but it is only called out as a vice in the poor, who have “nothing better to do” in their non-drinking time.

      1. CoryP

        I found myself nodding along with that article, and I also think your criticism is on the money.

        My conclusion is that I am the same sort of asshole as the author who can’t get away from his own smugness and unwillingness to engage with the community. The author of his own alienation.


    4. lyman alpha blob

      Good article, but it seemed like the author got to the root of the problem and knew what the right thing to do would be, but then bailed anyway to be with people more like himself, thereby exacerbating the problem.

      The article and its description of the overturned shot glass as a marker, etc., made me miss my own old corner dive bar in Seattle which I understand while still there, is under new owner ship and has been gentrified beyond recognition. But a few decades ago It was the smokiest bar in the city and you could quench your thirst with beer and shots of port. There was no liquor and it was cash only, although if you were a trusted regular they’d cash your check. Back in the day you could see young hipsters and rock stars, mixing with old poets and construction workers. Lawyers, cab drivers, landlords, waitresses, contractors, drug dealers, black, white, Asian, straight, lesbian, you name it. There was even a white supremacist or two. On occasion I even witnessed the sitting governor of WA state come in for a beer. And he was really coming in for a beer and to chat with a friend presumably because he liked it there, not for some phony I’m-a-regular-guy photo op.

      For the most part (there are always some disagreements when alcohol is involved) everyone got along just fine. Everybody knew everyone else’s name and as a young person from a rural white background at the time I learned a lot about life from that place. I felt a real sense of community there, although it became fractured as tech money reworked the entire city, and not in a good way if you ask me.

      1. ShamanicFallout

        Seattlist here too. I don’t think any of those old bars exist anymore, certainly the smoky ones. Or the smokiest ones where we use to hang out. The bar you describe sounds like one of our old regular places, and I would just add, lots of old school bikers (but no colors allowed in the bar), Harley’s parked on the sidewalk out front. Where did grungy, smoky Seattle go? The city really has changed dramatically in pretty short order.

      2. Kurt Sperry

        I enjoyed the piece but hearing a beer dealer complain about “drugs” in an unironic way was a major “wooooosh”.

        l a b’s place sounds like the Blue Moon or one of its type. A good dive bar is a wonderful thing.

    5. nick

      The article runs through structural factors sure, but throughout it the author is taking shots at himself for his personal failures to make meaningful connections with people and forge solidarity while liking in W-B. The guy obviously learned that he went about things the wrong way, and the article serves as a cautionary tale.

      It makes sense for him to mention his housemates’ occupations here because he goes on to talk about how they hit it off swimmingly, in contrast to the hard time he has connecting with non-professional workers.

      Some good material there for thinking through contemporary left movements I think.

  24. The Rev Kev

    “Israeli doctor reinfected with coronavirus 3 months after recovering”

    He should take a number. I have been reading about such cases for months now here and there. They have not been in the news much and Chris Martenson has suggested a reason why. Consider that if you have been infected for a second time, that you got your first infection at least three months ago which was what, mid-April? But the numbers of infected people were much lower back then so fewer people were being infected. And as well testing capacity was much more limited so it may be that you did not get a proper test back in April. With numbers booming now, I would expect to see more and more of such cases in the news.

    1. TroyIA

      From CNN just yesterday – I can’t shake Covid-19: Warnings from young survivors still suffering

      A 29-year-old lawyer tested positive for Covid-19 twice
      When Jordan Josey got Covid-19 the first time, he felt like he was suffocating. The disease partially collapsed one of his lungs.
      “Shortness of breath was my biggest problem,” he said. “Coronavirus takes your energy away completely. You’re always dazed and tired. I could sleep for 13 hours.”
      Josey, who works as a lawyer in Macon, Georgia, tested positive for coronavirus on April 1. He shared details of his 103-degree temperature and stabbing chest pains in his local paper.
      He eventually started feeling a little better and tested positive for antibodies. He donated his blood plasma so that others might also benefit from his immunity.
      But then in late June, that same shortness of breath and lightheadeness returned. He was winded just folding laundry. He tested positive again.
      “I just sat there and shook my head,” he said. “I didn’t want to go through it all again. It was awful.”
      On July 1, he dropped that bomb in a text message to his family. With a mother who’s immunocompromised and a grandfather undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, Josey’s second Covid-19 diagnosis has the whole family nervous.
      “Nothing about my test indicated it was a second strain,” he said. “I thought, ‘How is this possible?’ And really, no one knows. The doctors think it may have flared back up.”
      One of the things that irks him is a common belief that people will be fine after they contract the coronavirus and test positive for antibodies.
      “I don’t buy that at all,” he said. “My doctor said I might even test positive a third time.”

      Is it tinfoil hat crazy to suggest that since SARScov2 behaves like HIV that people aren’t actually clearing the virus?

      COVID-19 Research: Study Finds That SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus Behaves Like HIV To Evade Immune Response

      Leading Chinese virologist Dr Zhang Hui and a team from Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou also said their research discovery added weight to clinical observations that the SARS0CoV-2 coronavirus was showing “some characteristics of viruses causing chronic infection”.

      The new study involved collecting killer T cells from five patients who had recently recovered from Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus. Those immune cells are generated by people after they are infected with Sars-CoV-2 and their main role is to find and destroy the virus.

      However it was observed that the killer T cells used in the research were not effective at eliminating the virus in infected cells.

      Upon closer inspection, the researchers discovered a molecule known as major histocompatibility complex, or MHC, was missing.

      This critical molecule is an identification tag usually present in the membrane of a healthy cell, or in sick cells infected by other coronaviruses such as severe acute respiratory syndrome, or Sars. It changes with infections, alerting the immune system whether a cell is healthy or infected by a virus.

      The HIV virus uses the same strategy to evade the human immune system by eliminating the MHC molecules.

      . . .
      However many medical experts are now questioning as to what will actually happen to these so called ‘recovered patients’ as there is no proof that the new coronavirus is totally eliminated from their bodies and how the residual or dormant viruses that are remaining would react and behave in the short-term to long –term considering all this emerging research data.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > He should take a number. I have been reading about such cases for months now here and there. They have not been in the news much and Chris Martenson has suggested a reason why.

      I haven’t seen any aggregation, or anything in “the literature.” Got a link to Chris Martenson?

      1. Phillip Allen

        Martenson’s site is Peak Prosperity.

        Not sure which of his articles or videos may be referred to above, as he’s done a lot on the pandemic. A good deal of his current work is delivered via YouTube, and I have a real lack of patience for listening to what I could otherwise read faster. I’ve found his and his colleague’s writing on Covd-19 and related subjects interesting and worthwhile.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Not going on YouTube for an hour to end up with something I can’t link to. Surely some blogger with medical qualifications has aggregated the links, even if there’s no formal study?

          1. Kurt Sperry

            It’s a *lot* easier to bury someone in BS via video than by text. The expert BSer’s palette requires the broad bandwidth of video. Try quickly fact checking an untranscripted video. Yuck.

            1. CoryP

              Amen. I would find some of the corona CT people (Martensen is not one of these) a lot more convincing if they could give me a decently footnoted essay vs a 60 minute video full of Gish Galloping.

              You’ve put into words why I find such argumentation distasteful but didn’t know why.


              As an aside, I generally like Chris’ writings but the fact that his website is selling stuff left and right makes it hard to take him seriously.

      2. The Rev Kev

        Lambert Strether
        July 19, 2020 at 2:18 pm
        Hi, I went back into his videos and found the one about that point. It is one of these obvious things that you do not think about until it is pointed out to you. It is talked about within the first fifteen minutes or so at the following link. The whole video can be pretty brutal hearing-

    3. Cuibono

      IMO these isolated cases might be fact or might be fiction. There are so many variables at play. But frankly, why we would be surprised? If someone told you they caught the same cold twice would you be surprised?
      Even then, it does not matter unless this is common

  25. flora

    Matt Taibbi and Katie Halper interview Thoman Chatterton Williams, the Harper’s writer who helped put togethter “the Letter”, about cancel culture and what is happening in newsrooms and around the country.

    Listening to the interview I started wondering how much of this modern social media vigilantism (my take) is an extension of junior high school and high school online bullying. It really sounds so much like that emotional level and thinking – or not thinking. But these are adults, supposedly. Utube starts at the interview.

    1. DJG

      flora: Yes. For years, I have suspected that the U S of A is Eternal High School. Bill and Hill are the class president and Most Likely to Succeed. Americans seem to fall readily into the hierarchy over and over–an endless desire for approval by the cool kids, an endless course in how to bully the kids who are at the lower reaches of high-school society. The Lincoln Project is all of those kids who thought that the height of daring is to become a tax accountant.

      I will take a look at the link: I have been reading Williams’s columns in the last few issues of Harper’s Magazine and am not particularly impressed. I hope that he acquits himself better with the incisive Taibbi-Halper combo than he did in his article about Portugal in which it appears that he never spoke to a Portuguese (except maybe a waiter) or consulted a source in Portuguese. Yet he normally lives in Paris these days–so he has the necessary distance that expatriation gives.

      1. Stephanie

        Meg Greenfield wrote a book on that thesis back in the 90s:

        She saw Washington as high school, complete with freshmen, terms, classes, summer vacations and ”put-downs by the big kids.” ”Political/governmental Washington,” she argued, ”is psychologically fenced off from the larger community within which it makes its home, free — like irresponsible youth — of all but the minimal obligations of citizenship to that community, and absorbed to the exclusion of all else in its own eccentric aims and competitions.”

    2. Darthbobber

      Have you seen that Greenwald was initially to be a signatory but some of the other signers forced his cancellation?

      1. flora

        It wasn’t the other signers who forced the decision. Williams and the 4 or 5 other Harpers writers who started this letter idea and put it together took a vote among themselves about including Glen.

        Matt and Katie guess he wasn’t included because Glen’s done a lot of debunking of the russiarussiarussia stories; they guessed that any one signing with a history of debunking that story would have been used to instantly discredit the letter regardless of its content. Makes sense to me, given the msm hysteria on the topic and ongoing political play in this election year.

        Watch the video.

        1. Darthbobber

          But the opinions of other individual signers were used to discredit it anyway. So it makes little sense after all.

          1. flora

            Except the russiarussiarussia issue is front page straight-up partisan politics which would change the focus of the letter in this political season. Glen also wasn’t the only writer whose name was mooted and finally voted against for several reasons. There were several, which Williams in the video said was the result of trying to create a piece of rhetoric about ‘free speech’ and nothing else. Also, they set the cap to 150 people, so if well-know Glen and his opinion is included, do they have to drop a less well-known or publicly obscure signer who has, for example, lived under fatwa (sp?), or been imprisioned?

            Watch the video. Its seems like you haven’t yet.

        2. Darthbobber

          Just the inclusion of Bari Weiss by itself made the enterprise hilarious. A person brought to the Times in the first place to push a political line, and who had spent years working to suppress the academic freedom of insufficiently pro-Israeli professors.

          One can say many things about “cancel culture”, but one cannot blame it for the reactionary slant of the Times, Post, and others.

          And her letter of resignation… She complains that she suffered because other journalists at the Times said mean things about her positions on Twitter, and that the bosses didn’t sanction them for that sin. So apparently this tolerance thingies is only supposed to work one way.

          1. flora

            They actually talk about that. Watch the video. It’s an interesting exploration of several ideas.

            1. flora

              Watching the video doesn’t mean you have to agree with it.

              Watching it doesn’t mean your arguments or ideas are wrong or invalid. If you watch the video and you disagree with some of the points then knowing what exactly those points are will help you make a stronger counter argument against the points you disagree with. If we don’t know ‘their’ points and argument then we’re just left with generalities as a counter argument.

              1. Darthbobber

                Well, that was nearly an hour I’ll never get back.

                I suspect that the big difference in the “social media era” is that a much broader range of people can now, by pooling their efforts, participate in this game than used to be able to do so.

                There have been lines to be toed on peril of unemployment at most of the institutions of our free press since before facebook or twitter were even heard of.

                What I think has changed recently at places like the NYT is that they’ve decided to go with a business model in which they self-silo and write specifically for a preferred demographic. They have effectively given up the pretence that they “set the agenda” for the nation, and are content to help set the agenda for a faction.

                And vacuous wokeness happens to be at its most virulent among the chosen group they’re relying on for readership. So going along with it to some extent is just part of the price to be paid for maintaining the ability to push neoMcCarthyism and reactionary economic to that audience.

                (For what it’s worth, I suspect Bennett and Weiss would still be happily ensconced at the Times had their reign at editorial been producing the desired results.)

                  1. barefoot charley

                    But as Taibbi, Bret Weinstein et al explore, this isn’t just media at all. It’s also taking over the academy, corporate HR and (to me most weird-and-wackily) the professional caste of the Democratic party, as a quite crazy subreddit here yesterday demonstrated. The discussion below equates the movement to something more akin to witch-burning and satanic child-snatching than simple siloing of demographics. It is serious. If you take time to watch some of this, know that Bret Weinstein was the biology/sociology prof hooted out of his tenured seat at Evergreen State in WA, for refusing to admit to a student mob his melanin-deficient racism, and concatenated thought crimes thereafter . . .

                    1. flora

                      Thanks for the link.
                      In academia the woke sjw’s ascribe motive, usually bad motive, to the targeted person’s actions for which there’s usually no proof, or the action could be interpreted entirely differently by another person. The motive the sjws ascribe often exists only in their mind. They see what they want to see. Then they elevate the supposed ‘motive’ to the status of “truth” and make that “truth” more important than facts. They start bulling people on their idea of their ascribed motive “truth”.

                      Search on ‘moral clarity in journalism’ for the latest batsh*t idea that’s gaining traction in newsrooms.

                      “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”

                      ― Voltaire,

    3. CoryP

      My impression of “cancel culture” is that is a way for the powerless to exercise power and get a quick win (even tho it changes nothing in the end)

      I found myself falling into this trap when I watched the video linked from Jonathan Turley’s blog with the anti mask nutcase in the liquor store. I checked out the Twitter sphere and found people tagging her employer and asking if she is the kind of employee they want to represent them.

      She certainly comes off as heinous during the video. In the heat of watching an inflammatory video it’s easy to feel like “this person is awful! [family blog] her! I should forward this to her boss and then she’ll get her comeuppance!”

      It’s quick and painless revenge after seeing something online that has riled you up. I can relate but man, this is not the makings of a healthy society.

      As someone implied the other day, I think unplugging the internet is really the only solution for this.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Unplugging the internet means unplugging this blog.

        Perhaps you might want to be a little more narrow focus? Like say, unplugging Social Media is the only solution for this? But leaving the rest of the internet as plugged in as before? So we can keep having Naked Capitalism?

  26. Merd

    RE: Owen Benjamin Vs Patreon: Dissident Comedian Set To Deal Massive Blow To Big Tech Censors National Justice (CL).

    Anyone else surprised to be linked by NC to an article that includes gems like “the Jewish media,” “Jewish organizations will not allow their most powerful tool for stifling debate to be nullified without a fight.” On a site with articles by an author going by “Patriot Front Supporter.”

    SPLC has an article on their Editor in Chief “Eric Striker,” whom they describe as a “Prolific Alt-Right Propagandist.”

    I know linking does not indicate endorsement, but I’ve never seen links to strange anti-semitic right-wing “news” sites without at least an acknowledgement of the dubious source. Or a balancing link to something like DailyDot’s paper thin, but oppositional coverage. True, googling has not found me much coverage of this story outside of alt-right propagandists or gloating “leftists”, but perhaps it’s not so newsworthy (nor linksworthy) as the title and article suggests, as it looks totally unclear to me who will win Patreon’s lawsuits, as opposed to Owen Benjamin being “set to deal massive blow.”

    From a daily reader, and true and loyal fan of NC.

    1. Yves Smith

      1. Even neo-Nazis and white supremacists have a right to speech as long as it does not cross the line into being hate speech or advocating violence. They admittedly have a hard time not doing that given their world view. But people seem to have lost sight of bedrock American principles.

      2. Dismissing the commentary on the lawsuit due to the source writing about it is ad hominem. If the suit tracks the summary of it, and if it succeeds, the blow to mandatory arbitration would be very important. Mandatory arbitration is a pernicious and widespread contractual requirement meant to 1. prevent plaintiffs from getting in front of a potentially sympathetic jury and 2. keeping evidence secret. So this may be a bad looking guy but the attack on mandatory arbitration is a salvo against a pernicious corporate practice.

      3. If you find another source on this case, I’d be happy to substitute, but this stands otherwise. Curiously I didn’t find any other on a quick search.

      1. Olga

        Thank you, Yves. Censorship is a slippery slope, indeed (hate speech and violence exempted, of course). (And, sometime, it can even have an opposite effect.)

        1. Yves Smith

          Incorrect. The US with its strong freedom of speech protections, does not deem Holocaust denial to be hate speech. We as a matter of law tolerate a lot of ugly stuff.

          And you seem to forget how rapidly censorship is progressing here. Did you miss the way ZeroHedge was kicked off Twitter and it took five months for their account to be restored, merely for running CT on the origin of the coronavirus?

          From U.S. Supreme Court justice Benjamin Cardozo:

          Of that freedom [of thought and speech] one may say that it is the matrix, the indispensible condition, of nearly every other form of freedom.

          And labor leader Samuel Gompers:

          The freedom of speech and the freedom of the press have not been granted to the people in order that they may say the things which please, and which are based upon accepted thought, but the right to say the things which displease, the right to say the things which may convey the new and yet unexpected thoughts, the right to say things, even though they do a wrong.

          And Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes:

          If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other it is the principle of free thought — not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate.

          1. Darthbobber

            For an indication of how slippery the slope is, one need only pay attention to how the British press handles the reporting of speech that government bodies find objectionable on one ground or another. Usually, if you want to know what was said, so as to make your own judgement about it, you have to hope that non-UK media picked up the story and provided a quote.

            It seems that within the UK quoting the evilness just compounds the original offense. The state decided it was bad, and that’s all you need to know.

          2. Bugs Bunny

            I understand your point of view Yves and I know that freedom of speech (protection from government forbidding that speech) is defined broadly in the US. I’m a lawyer after all.

            In most of Continental Europe, denial of the holocaust is a crime, as you may know. I’m no snowflake but if you do want to link to sites like that, perhaps a warning is in order. As a Jew, I’m personally very upset to see a link to such a site on NC. It may not legally be considered hate speech under US law, but it is deeply hurtful.

            1. Yves Smith

              On the one hand, I can appreciate that openly anti-Semitic venues are deeply offensive. On the other, one link in the entire history of this site is no foundation for your sweeping claim that we “want to link to sites like that”. Because the fellow suing Paetron over what looks to be a bona fide beef about mandatory arbitration, which is a widespread abuse and really needs to be restricted, just as non-competes are in California, is himself seen as toxic, only ugly sites will present his case. I would have linked to another account but Lambert and I have not found any (we’ve only found it copied on other sites like Unz Review), nor have we been able to find a copy of the filing to link to that directly.

      2. Steve

        Great dialogue by both Merd and Yves. In writing the tone and respect for NC parties was in evidence and it is great to be a part of the ecosystem.

        Would note the article did stand out to me and was able to separate the message from the medium.

        IMO- the defect is found in the Terms and Conditions of use for the Service. This will not be a game changer although for the affected parties there may, and to state again, may, be some justice. From a broader perspective defects in allowing any third party beneficiary rights to accrue will be stripped out based on any actual loss suffered. Once cleared of any privity, will again be very hard to overturn forced arbitration for a consumer. To many S.C. cases like Carnival to overcome.

        Real my opinion now…. the Terms of Service can be structured so businesses get one and consumer users get a second. This controversy at best may have platforms update terms and do not seeing breaching the arbitration wall of crapified remedies available to John Q. Public.

        1. Yves Smith

          Thanks for that. I though the tortious interference might give the argument some extra juice in a platform context, since most arbitration agreements are either in an employment context or a purchase of goods and services, so a binary relationship.

      3. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Thank you Yves, I’m always amazed that the people yelling that we must have “Diversity!” are actually terrified of diversity. Of thought and opinion. If their opinion is strong enough it will be fine, shielding it from any competition in the battle for ideas just signals it is weak and can’t really compete.

      4. Aumua

        It’s your site Yves, and you can link to whatever you want. I do understand about free speech, but is this really the hill you want to make a stand on? I personally would never go to that site for any kind of information, except perhaps to keep my finger on the pulse of the currents of propaganda that these groups are putting out, and to track those currents through other media circles that I’m monitoring.

        1. Dan

          I do understand about free speech, but is this really the hill you want to make a stand on?

          With all due respect, the second half of your statement belies the first. You don’t understand free speech at all.

          Thank you Yves.

        2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          “I do understand about free speech, but…”

          There are no ifs, ands, or “buts”. It’s always the stuff that comes after that “but” that counts.

          It’s binary, like pregnancy. You have it or you don’t. “We had intercourse, and now I’m pregnant, but that doesn’t mean I’m having a baby”. Is meaningless.

  27. Ignacio

    Today I am having trouble with this links section. After a minute or so the page is substituted with an advertisement even If I don’t scroll the mouse through links. And no way to go back.

    1. TroyIA

      Here is a study from your area and all I can say is this is not good.

      Study Shows 39 Percent Of COVID-19 Recovered Healthcare Workers Developed Pericarditis Or/And Myocarditis 10 Weeks Later When Examined

      In a new detailed study conducted by researchers from the University Hospital of Salamanca in Spain that was funded by the Spanish Ministry For Science, in was found that more than 40 percent of 139 health care workers who had recovered from COVID-19 were found to have Pericarditis Or/And Myocarditis when they were examined about 10 weeks later. More than 42 % experienced symptoms associated with cardiac issues such as chest pain, dyspnoea or palpitations, shortness of breath or dizziness. Cardiac Magnetic Resonance(CMR) imaging abnormalities was seen in 75% of them!

      The implications of the study are that recovered and asymptomatic individuals are at a very high risk of Pericarditis Or/And Myocarditis, cardiac inflammation and injury and also other heart issues and that all recovered and asymptomatic individuals should be constantly monitored for potential heart issues as its one of the long term health issues associated with COVID-19.

    2. CuriosityConcern

      Try a different browser maybe if you are on a device with multiple browsers? Clear cookies if your browser has the ability?

    1. a different chris

      Interesting point.

      Another one is that, names on badges or not, “Border Patrol” pretty much says that their job is keeping people from crossing the border, and nothing beyond that. They have no business at all breaking up US citizens doing things in their own country. Can they write a ticket for speeding? I bet not.

      But I guess words mean what our betters think they mean, nothing more, nothing less.

      1. JBird4049

        From the reading I have done over the years, without going into hyperbole, the Border Patrol is probably the most corrupt, violent, poorly trained, and, with the possible exception of the ATF, incompetent federal agency that we have. That there is any chance of it becoming a truly national agency implies some disturbing things about our political leadership.

        It’s as if someone wanted an incompetent, but violent version of the Order Police, when we really need are competent, law abiding, public serving Criminal Police. I am thinking that getting goon squads is easier from the former while the latter less so. Again, this has some disturbing implications.

    2. edmondo

      The map isn’t entirely correct. CBP also claims “jurisdiction” within a 100 mile zone of any “international airport or port of entry” as well. That basically covers the entire US except for a couple hundred miles in Wyoming. Sadly, then you have to deal with the Cheney family. Choose your fascists carefully.

      BTW – the third largest employer in the state of Arizona is Customs and Border Patrol. Helps explain why Bernie did so poorly here after he called for their disbanding.

      1. CoryP

        Thanks for mentioning this! I was also under the impression airports counted. Not that I have much personal investment, having no interest in visiting this country unless it’s for an NC meetup.

    3. Keith

      The 100 mile marker system has been up and runnng for a long while. It became famous under Obama with the ability to seize electronic equipment (e.g. phones, laptops), but I believe it does predate him, though. There is some jurisprudence about it, specifically when Fourth Amendment protections kick in after a border crossing. I don’t believe the actual distance has been ruled on (I could be wrong), but just govt expanding its ability to harass and monitor its population under the guise of fighting terrorism, white supremacy, BLM, or whatever the bogey man of the day is.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        I tried to chase that 100 miles from an airport thing several years ago…around the time when all my neighbors were freaking out about Jade Helm(funny, how the Memory Hole works).
        I couldn’t find any case law, or anything official , at all…just the opinions of a bunch of people with varying degrees of trustworthiness.
        with the Patriot Act, etc still in effect, I suppose that it doesn’t matter…Habeas Corpus is dead, until proven otherwise.
        By the time it’s obvious to everyone, it will be too late.

  28. Jim Hannan

    Re the Bloomberg article in the 2020 section.

    So, the Chinese are hoping that Trump wins. I think now the Trump campaign can put together an ad with endorsements from Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin and Jair Bolsonaro. Talk about a hat trick.

  29. Jason Boxman

    Ha, funny you quote “Tomorrow to fresh woods, and pastures new.” That was part of the plot in the last Sharpe I watched, recommended here by someone.


  30. Pelham

    Eight percent of children who get the virus end up in an ICU. And Sweden is hardly an example of success.

    1. Late Introvert

      No way my kid is going back to school in 5 weeks, no matter what Trumpette Reynolds says.

  31. The Rev Kev

    “Why Ukraine is a secret weapon for China’s airpower”

    Hey, it is not only China that discovered that you can buy anything in the Ukraine. It was not that long ago that the North Koreans brought missile technology off them and suddenly they had working missiles which changed everything in the east-

    1. Darthbobber

      Pity that due to their mysteriously bad relationship with Russia none of the Ukie aerospace companies can sell any longer to the customer their entire output was designed for.
      Pity too that so many of their better plants were in the Donbass. What a shame.

      The article reads as preparation for a plea that the USA bailout the firm to prevent the dire Chinese purchase.

      1. km

        I know plenty of folks who worked in the Ukrainian aerospace industry.

        It’s been a long time since there was anything there worth buying.

  32. jr

    A terrific book review on atheism as seen from the perspective of a theologian. Makes the case that both belief and non belief can inhabit the same mind. One can believe in the morn and question in the eve. His arc from non belief to belief matches my own in some ways and the writer has the expansiveness of mind to respect an honorable atheist over a cut-rate believer…

    1. PlutoniumKun

      John Gray has argued that the problem with modern Anglophone atheists is that they don’t understand theology, if they did they would realise that atheism is itself a Christian concept. He’s pointed out that the concept of atheism means something very different to an Indian or Japanese (if they recognise the concept at all). You could extend the same to catholics – I recall a study many years ago indicating that 10% of Catholic priests and monks didn’t believe in God. Most saw no contradiction whatever in this.

      1. occasional anonymous

        That Commonweal article is insufferable. I don’t need failed philosophers to tell me the ‘truth’ about what I think.

        Atheism is a Christian concept? Oh, get off. Atheism long predates Christianity in the West, and has a very long intellectual tradition in India. As for Japan, you don’t need some singular God for atheism. A Japanese atheist would get on just fine with not believing in kami or the divinity of the Emperor.

          1. occasional anonymous

            Atheism is lack of belief in a god. It is not an assertion that there is no god.

              1. occasional anonymous

                Atheism = ‘No-Theism’, lack of belief in a god.

                Agnosticism = ‘No-Knowledge’, not being convinced one way or another if there is a god or not.

                The two are not mutually exclusive. If you believe in a god, then by definition you can’t be an agnostic.

      1. Ken Murphy

        In my life I define atheism as ‘without theism’. So no god or gods, no rituals, no sacraments or (religious) sins (I don’t worry about transgressions against an imaginary thing; I do worry about transgressions against my fellow Man). There’s no religion in my life, although I have examined many religions (and philosophies) in search of what could be called best practices for life. But those practices aren’t religious, they’re human.

        You can call that a belief (of some sort, not really clear on what that is), but I don’t.

        1. Yves Smith

          I suspect the basis for the difference of view is some atheists are aggressive about their views, like Richard Dawkins. Your position doesn’t sound as if you have a definitive view as to the lack of of a higher power but a distaste for organized religion and trying to personify/put in a human framework what any organizing energy might be. Or am I reading too much into your remark?

          1. occasional anonymous

            Perhaps it’s useful to distinguish between a Weak Atheism and a Strong:

            Weak Atheism = lack of belief in a god.

            Strong Atheism = an active belief that there is no god.

            So you could criticize the Strong variant as being a belief, I suppose (but so what? Most people actively believe Marduk and Thor don’t exist, and those convictions are never criticized. There in fact is such a thing as justified belief. Trying to act like all belief is blind faith isn’t honest argumentation).

            There’s also further categories like theological noncognitivism (also called ignosticism), which is that a position on ‘god’ can’t even be taken because a coherent definition of ‘god’ has never been provided. They’d basically say that whenever they try to find a meaningful definition they either get a bunch of flowery poetry that doesn’t actually say much (“God is the Logos”, or “God is the Universe itself”, or similar), or “uh, magic”.

            And then there’s secular humanism, or rational skepticism (or apistevist, or antifideist, neither of which are official dictionary words), which boil down to the philosophy that regardless of whether the divine exists or not, you shouldn’t conduct your life based on faith. This entire concept seems to be a huge stumbling block for a lot of people, who apparently just cannot grasp the concept of not having faith.

            “Well, you have to believe in something” is a phrase I’ve encountered regularly. No, you don’t. Certainly not in the supernatural sense that people almost always mean. Perhaps that’s where the idea that atheism is itself a belief comes from; some people cannot grasp the idea of no faith at all, so they have to reframe atheism as something they can start to comprehend.

          2. Ken Murphy

            Probably reading more into it. I’ve had atheistic tendencies since about 12 years old, and It derives more from my having read the Bible cover to cover than from any distaste for any organized religion. I do have a definitive view as to a higher power, which is that it is imaginary barring evidence to the contrary. Consequently, I don’t see any guiding force or entity or energy. The universe is, and it doesn’t give a gnat’s fart about humanity or what we think or believe. If I want the world to be a better place for my having been here, then I am the one who has to take responsibility for that.

            And that was part of the drive to examine religions and philosophies for best practices. I have no intent to do harm to others, but know that I have done so in the past. Those transgressions I have to carry on my conscience to my grave, as I don’t perceive there as being a higher authority that can absolve me of those sins. This provides a strong disincentive to doing things that might harm other people.

            I can say it’s not much fun being in the most reviled demographic group on the planet. If only I wasn’t a libertarian to boot. And something of an Objectivist as well. Not winning any popularity contests over here, of that I can assure you.

    2. JWP

      Thank you jr.Being torn between the comfort of believing and the realism of not, this was a great read. As the Catholic church is completely losing credibility and keeping in being a racket, many young people face deciding whether believing must include being a part of the church or going about it on their own. I cannot speak for other faiths for I have little exposure to them, but it is common to see the church get in the way of how and why people believe, often atheists come from anger at an institution supposed to support a belief, like Bradatan says. Much like politics, it is difficult to form one’s own belief system independent of the controlling institutions or parties.

      1. jr

        Thanks JWP and the commenters above. The only thing I’ll add is that for me and my particular point of view belief isn’t necessarily a comfort but it does provide a purpose to all this. Which is a kind of comfort I suppose but not the kind of “wubby” comfort often sought by the seeker.

        What is the prize? Self knowledge, just as we seek it here (and here ;)) so does the Unity seek to know itself. This idea rocked me to my core when I encountered it. Nothing changed but everything was suddenly different. The universe became a Universe, a living symbol, not a message but all messages. Much like the psychonaut, the Unity had stepped outside itself to see what It could see. This is it’s “trip”, it’s lucid dream. Pure Consciousness fragmented into consciousness, the panoply of life. Life, your mind and mine right here and right now is the union between the Unity and the Multiplicity:

        where hangs the Cross?
        the fruited Vine?
        the shining Cup
        brimmed red with Wine?
        the simple answer’s
        quite sublime
        it’s merely Me
        it’s only I.

        1. Dan

          In youth I sought the prince of men,
          Captain in cosmic wars,
          Our Titan, even the weeds would show
          Defiant, to the stars.

          But now a great thing in the street
          Seems any human nod,
          Where shift in strange democracy
          The million masks of God.

  33. David

    For those who may be interested, here’s the latest on the fire at Nantes Cathedral – one of the finest in France by the way. Some of the treasures destroyed are irreplaceable .
    A 39-year old Rwandan man who has been in France for five years and was denied refugee status is being questioned by police, who haven’t yet said whether they are charging him with starting the fire. He was a volunteer helper at the Cathedral, and apparently there was nothing in his behaviour to suggest he might do something like this. He’s expected either to be charged or to be released this evening. It’s highly probable that the fires were started deliberately, and the person who’s being questioned had volunteered to close the cathedral that night.

  34. David

    The Declassified UK article is sort of worth reading as an example of what happens if you do a great deal of research without any understanding of the underlying issues. It’s a bit like reading a scorching appraisal of Brexit by someone who hasn’t taken the trouble to find out how the EU works.

    Very briefly, two major sets of misunderstandings.
    First, it’s not the job of intelligence agencies to warn about diseases. Other parts of government, and international organisations, do that. The job of intelligence agencies is to collect and analyse information that other people don’t want them to have, to help governments make decisions. If (as may have been the case here) the Chinese were hiding something, then it would be reasonable for intelligence agencies to try to find out what that was, but that’s about it. Likewise, agencies are providers and analysts, not policy-makers. They follow priorities set by central government: they do not make their own (yes, I know the US is different, but we’re talking about the UK here). All of this is freely available information that can be found in half an hour with Google.
    Individuals who have retired from the intelligence and security area may have their own opinions about threats, but they are personal ones only. Anyway, if you think about it, it’s impossible to compare cyber warfare and Covid as threats: which is a higher priority for you, not catching flu or not having your email account hacked?

    The second thing is this “revolving door” stuff. If you’ve ever used a revolving door, you know it, well, revolves, which is to say you come back to where you started. The term was invented to describe the practice in the US of people moving between government and the private sector and back freely. This isn’t entirely unknown in other countries, but it’s not common. In the UK it’s extremely rare, and the article doesn’t even suggest it’s happening in this case, in spite of the click-bait term. The issue, insofar as there is one, is controls on what former government officials do in retirement, which is an important question ,but a completely different one. If you can’t tell the difference between a revolving door and an ordinary one, then you’d better be careful, because you might do yourself an injury.

  35. Pelham

    Re the double horseshoe theory of class politics: Here’s an eye-opening (for me) graf:

    “The goal of so-called progressivism in 2020s America is to expand employment opportunities for college-educated, center-left professionals, while adding new wings to the welfare state that are tailored to their personal needs. The slogan “Defund the police” is interpreted by the bourgeois professional left to mean transferring tax revenues from police officers, who are mostly unionized but not college-educated, to social service and nonprofit professionals, who are mostly college-educated but not unionized. The enactment of proposals for free college education and college debt forgiveness would disproportionately benefit the professional bourgeoisie, not the working class majority whose education ends with high school. Likewise, public funding for universal day-care allows both parties in a two-earner professional couple to maximize their individual incomes and individual career achievements by outsourcing the care of their children to a mostly-female, less well-paid workforce at taxpayer expense.”

    I hadn’t thought of that motivation behind defunding the police — though the call for free child care is more nakedly class-based. But maybe it makes sense. As Chris Arnade has noted, while people in poor neighborhoods have their problems with stuff like stop-and-frisk, on balance they want more policing. And the early defund demand in Minneapolis was oddly (to my ear) accompanied by a call for social workers to take their place. Social workers?!

    Anyway, like Lambert, I recommend the full article. My solution: Political parties that exclude anyone with a four-year degree. I know, I know, we appear to be clamped firmly in the maws of a two-party system. But new parties with such clear and class-consciousness-heightening boundaries could catch on pronto.

    1. anon y'mouse

      i have a four year degree, and am a lumpenprole by birth and by (lack of) occupation.

      my interests don’t lie with the PMC, and never will.

    2. Milton

      Rather than a 4 year degree, the disqualifying factor from membership in any new worker’s party should be if the person voted for Obama twice.

      1. Jen

        I voted for him twice, and thanks to NC and the commentariat, have come to see the error of my ways.

      2. JP

        I voted for him twice. Was there some better alternative? May the qualifier should be who you voted for in the primary.

        1. edmondo

          Obama got 3.5 million fewer votes in 2016 than he did in 2012. It seems that they found a “better alternative”.

    3. a different chris

      >Likewise, public funding for universal day-care allows both parties in a two-earner professional couple to maximize their individual incomes and individual career achievements by outsourcing

      Sounds a little over the top, hysterical even.

      Two earner couples aren’t always the yuppies you see on tv. Also, you know in a sane country, and there actually are some, they tax those “professional” versions of two-income couples back enough to even everything out.

      And social workers can be pretty good at their job. Police would be more than happy to have one of them along for the tiresome “neighbor called because the Joneses are fighting again” to do all the talking.

      So if you “hadn’t thought of that motivation behind defunding the police” maybe you should give yourself some credit actually. This just isn’t the type of thing the “professional bourgeoisie” actually come up with. If they did the Dems would be all over it, that’s their base baby!

    1. PlutoniumKun

      This is the same situation everywhere – there is no medical consensus on how to describe a ’cause of death’ when there might be multiple health problems. Many countries simply go on post-mortem tests for the virus, and ascribe it as a Covid death without confirming the precise cause – presumably this is why that motorcycle death was ascribed to Covid. Others go the other way, only ascribing it to covid if the virus unequivocally caused the death, which can result in very significant undercounting, especially of older people. Its quite likely that people with non-standard symptoms are dying of it without being counted. I suspect it will be years before anyone will come up with accurate standardised comparisons.

    2. CoryP

      Yeah this is disappointing to see. Gives a lot of fuel to theories that I think are unreasonable.

      I don’t agree with trauma deaths being attributed to Covid, but it seems when assigning causes of death we have mostly been guessing, and this is only now being spotlighted.

      “Patient died due to interruption of oxygenated blood to the brain”. — and then work backwards from there. That can be anything but simple.

  36. William Hunter Duncan

    “Price also said the company [Deloitte] had worked on systems in states including Minnesota and New Mexico, which he said have weathered problems relatively well.”

    I wish I could show you all what a colossal joke the MN unemployment website is. It looks and functions like something from IBM in about 1989. I am self-employed, yet it only recognizes that I was last “employed” in 2013, despite that I have filed my taxes here every year since. Nor does it give me any opportunity to question this assessment. I have been mostly out of work since mid March and the Website continues to tell me that I haven’t made any money since 2013, despite that I have written the Dept twice. It is a minimum 2 hour call to talk to someone on the phone.

  37. Jason Boxman

    On the Goya boycott, what’s wrong with American in a nutshell:

    But Pamela Ramirez, a 48-year-old Mexican-American small-business consultant in East Los Angeles, said she strongly opposed the Goya boycott. Since there is a large number of Latinos employed by the company, she thinks that boycotting the product could harm her own community. For every one of her Facebook friends who has posted about boycotting the product, Ms. Ramirez bought $10 worth of Goya products and donated them to a food bank, she said.

    “You’ve got to put your money where your mouth is,” she said. “If you don’t, then you’re just part of the problem.”

    Tell that to all the people that can’t afford to dump money into politics, eh? And if you can’t, you’re part of the problem!

    And it seems like if you want to help your community, funding a large privately held company because it employs Latinos isn’t exactly it. Why not just donate money to the food bank, instead?

    1. Olga

      Why not just donate money to the food bank, instead?
      Or – work to change the system, so we don’t need food banks in the first place?
      (Not easy, admittedly.)

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      If Pamela Ramirez is Mexican American or some other flavor of Latinoa American, then the latino workers at Goya ARE her community at one level. So by buying food from Goya she is helping “just that much” the Latinoa workers who work there. And then giving the food to a food bank, she is helping the geographic community which the food bank is part of.

      So she appears to be helping her ethnic community AND her geographic community by the same spending of money. Two rounds of help from one round of spending.

      1. Massinissa

        I find a problem in that logic: Most of the money spent on Goya products will go to executives, and not laborers at the ground level. She may be better off giving to her community more directly than going through capitalist megacorporations.

  38. semiconscious

    Children are not COVID-19 super spreaders: time to go back to school (free) Archives of Disease in Childhood vs. Contact Tracing during Coronavirus Disease Outbreak, South Korea, 2020 CDC (summary). So we have conflict. Since the result of opening the schools is, potentially ruin — granted, not for the 1%, at least not yet — the Precautionary Principle would seem to indicate that we should keep the schools closed.

    my problem with ‘the precautionary principle”? what happens when it collides with the ‘cure being worse than the disease’ principle? how do we determine if & when that happens? are we even attempting to?…

    1. D. Fuller

      What is worse than 140,000 dead (and climbing) given that the government has the means to mitigate economic disruption?

      By neutering the response to contain Cv-19? The economic costs are now even greater.

      To such people who lie and hamper the response? An American life is worth $0. If Bountygate would have been true, the Russians would have put more value on an American life. Far more value.

      Now, the only desire for Capitalists is? How do I make money off of dead Americans? Remember Dead Peasants Insurance? Not all Capitalists get to win, as they to are in competition against each other.

      For these Capitalists? Dead Americans = money.

      American society, when viewed in this way? We are a savage society.

      The “cure” we have now? There is none, other than some mythical herd immunity nonsense that has cost far more in terms of economic damage, than a “cure” ever should have cost in the first place.

      The “cure” you speak of being worse than the disease? That would be the Trump Administration and Congress.

    2. What?No!

      While I’m all for lots of excellent ongoing research, when it comes to COVID we “get it” now: if you’re human, breathe, run around screaming at each other in close proximity with slimey little hands touching everything, you’re part of the problem.

      It’s not about which ones die and which ones get which lingering damage (leave that to the research). If the only thing we do is masks, indoor air quality, and hand washing in that order, we’d get this under control and back to our not so great state of things from the beforetimes.

    3. tongorad

      my problem with ‘the precautionary principle”? what happens when it collides with the ‘cure being worse than the disease’ principle? how do we determine if & when that happens? are we even attempting to?…

      There are professions that require a willingness to put one’s health/life at risk. Is public school teaching one of them?

      After years of “failing schools” rhetoric and charter school expansion, all of a sudden public schools are the one-and-only firewall against student health issues. Bollocks.
      Opening schools is not about education, it’s about warehousing kids so that they can force parents back to work.

      1. a different chris

        After years of “failing schools” rhetoric and charter school expansion, all of a sudden public schools are the one-and-only firewall against student health issues. Bollocks.
        Opening schools is not about education, it’s about warehousing kids so that they can force parents back to work.

        I just had to repeat that. Schools are so horrible, schools are this, schools are that, now it’s suddenly WHAT DO YOU MEAN MY KID DOESN’T HAVE TO GO TO SCHOOL!??!!???

      2. The Rev Kev

        ‘Opening schools is not about education, it’s about warehousing kids so that they can force parents back to work.’

        You got that right. It is never stated but that is the real reason that the Prime Minister on Oz has been pushing for all schools to open regardless of the consequences. And when a few schools get infections, they close the school for a day to clean it and send a few kids home for a fortnight. Rinse and repeat.

    4. Otto

      In medicine the prime directive is – first do no harm = the Precautionary Principle. Simple as that. Having examined a number of poor medical outcomes that supposedly were based on evidence based medicine to provide a precision diagnosis and treatment plan, I sadly found none of that to have been done. Sure docs will say there doing it, but under oath a different story emerges. The Koreans say kids under 11 seem not to pass the disease on (but they do get sick), over 11 is just as bad as 25, 50 or 65. If people really want to go through with this then it should be decided by local school boards, teacher unions, patent groups, and kids.

    5. Late Introvert

      Semiconscious and proud of it? You don’t have a kid either, and if you do I feel awful for them.

  39. D. Fuller

    The DHS activities in Portland are part of an escalation strategy to provoke the public. If the public reacts in a sufficiently “violent” manner – or can be spun that way, the authorities then justify further actions using harsher methods.

    Trump needs his cassus belli.

    Trump uses the rhetoric and DHS response to appeal to his base.

    If one cannot start a war overseas for distraction? Start one at home.

      1. Mr. House

        Same kind of stuff was happening during the G20 summit in pittsburgh about a decade ago. We didn’t hear anything about it then. If you are a group or movement in our society and your platform does not include the repeal of the patriot act, i can’t take you seriously.

        1. D. Fuller

          WTO protests, for a very long time, have included State agent-provocateurs in among the protestors to generate a violent response by authorities.

          Seattle, 1999. And many others.

          Black Bloc is a favorite of mine. As reporters note, Black Bloc do not smash surveillance cameras as a favor to the police who use the evidence against others.

      2. D. Fuller

        Stories of Portland PD working with or allowing RW groups to intimidate the Left and protestors are well documented prior, also.

        Regarding politics in Oregon, here is a direct observations…

        In 2016, Democrats recruited a Republican to run for a State Senate Seat. Meanwhile, The Secretary of State was involved in some shady dealings to eliminate all other challengers (3rd party and non-affiliated voter candidates). We actually had a woman who worked for the Oregon Secretary of State who risked her job to inform us of certain ways that the Secretary of State was sabotaging ALL CHALLENGERS to their Republican Candidate on the Democratic ticket. We did ask the local Democrats for that State Senate seat why they nominated a Republican… the response was, “We were told to.” Tina Kotek hand-picked that Republican to run for that State Senate seat.

        How do I know this? I was intimately involved in attempting to have a NAV candidate put on the ballot. Direct knowledge.

        Let’s expand further? To Washington State. I was very well informed by a certain Chief of Staff of a State legislator (Democratic) of the backroom deals occuring between D’s and R’s in Washington State. There is very little difference between D & R in WA State.

        NY? Cuomo and Republicans cooperating to protect Republican seats in return for favors.

        NJ? Democratic Party – not all of them – backed Chris Christie. I was very aware of certain issues that arose especially regarding Menendez and Corey Booker through close contacts.

        Democrats and Republicans put on a good show for the public. They are still opponents. More like “frenemies”.

        At the Federal level, the actions of D’s and R’s against each other are far more pronounced. State level? The amount of cooperation between D’s and R’s in many States is simply astounding.

        1. JWP

          When both parties have the same goal, money and power, there’s no difference no matter what they say.

    1. neo-realist

      I don’t think it’s merely directed at people suspected of being violent protesters, but at anybody who dares protest the American Police State, including non-violent protesters and anybody that innocently happens to be walking around in an area where demonstrations have happened. Ultimately, it’s about cooling off opposition to the PTB and pacifying the public at large.

  40. pricklyone

    RE: “Forced Air”
    The use of passive means to cool buildings can only work when the outdoor environment is comfortable. It was 92F here yesterday, with a dewpoint temp of 79F, as reported by NWS at our local airport. It is forecast to be hotter still next few days.
    Just sitting in the shade, I was soaked in sweat within minutes. No passive cooling is gonna remove that humidity.
    You can remove heat gain from the sun by shading, and promoting airflow, definitely.
    You will succeed only in replacing the indoor air with outdoor air.

    The real problem I see is in the sentence:
    “It was as if I existed in my own bubble of suspended economic development, enviously waiting for that promised land of modernity, of careless, 72-degree comfort.”
    I have one window unit 115volt, keeping my 1100 sq ft. at 80F. Just takes the edge off.
    Jeez, theres your sign!

    1. Clive

      Excellent points.

      How many times do we have to remember — it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity. In RHs of 65%+ you will get damage to fabrics, carpets, wood (including framing warping and mould/mildew buildups in internal wall cavities) and that’s before you get to the humisery index for comfort.

      In Japan, the government recommendations are for A/C thermostats to be set at 80F. This is what you’re doing and this is very sensible. I do the same here. Yesterday here in southern England we had much more a bearable 77F with a 55F dew point that you had to endure but there wasn’t a breath of wind so come time to go to bed, upstairs it was 90F with 65% RH and climbing; I defy anyone to get a really good nights sleep in that so I set the A/C to run at 27 centigrade and the humidity to 45% — both the temperature and the dehumidification were satisfied after a few hours and it went on to fan only.

      Hardly wanton extravagant living or the height of sybaritic excess. A lot of the problems here in the U.K. are now due not to poor architecture but to highly insulated and air-tight homes designed for energy efficiency in the heating season but no real answers for how to simultaneously cope with increasing fierce summer heatwave conditions. “Better architecture” is a bit of a hand wave because there are limits to it as a solution.

      I should finish by saying I *love* Kate Wagoner’s writing as a rule though!

  41. super extra

    Field report from Eastern Oklahoma, the area covered the recent SCOTUS ruling

    (Before I launch into this I must apologize for some non-woke language; I’m using the terms used by my extended family, who are older and do use ‘Indian’ instead of ‘Native’ and ‘anglo’ as a euphemism for all non-tribal, US gov-backed people, whether they are ‘white’ or not.)

    For those who are unfamiliar with Oklahoma’s tribal jurisdictions and the sheer amount of the state that is covered by tribal lands, here’s a helpful map from the OK Department of Transportation (which is easier to read than the Bureau of Indian Affairs map here). You will notice more than half the state is under tribal jurisdiction. The ruling, however, only impacts lands from 5 tribes; I believe these are the (I’m sorry to use this gross phrase but it is Historic for those who want to do more research on this) ‘Five Civilized Tribes‘ who fought wars and made treaties with the US government prior to the 1820s.

    Because one has to broadcast their provenance prior to speaking with authority on any topic in this cursed day and age, I will share that my extended family descends from a pair of two Cherokee sisters, one of whom is on the Dawes Roll and one who is not (feel free to read about the Indian census and how that happened!). I am a direct-line descendant of the sister who did not make it on the Roll, ergo I am not considered eligible for Cherokee tribal membership. Several family members are; of those, some have obtained the card and others have not. This is EXTREMELY common in this region; literally everyone I know out there has a similar family makeup, not necessarily the same tribe. I say this because in a lot of other areas with tribal lands intermixed with anglo lands there is a lot of tension between ‘Indian Country’ and ‘US land’ and this simply does not exist in NE OK.

    I discussed the ruling with ~12 people, about equal distribution between ‘indian’ and ‘anglo’. As I said here prior to leaving for the trip, the media interpretation of the ruling is completely, wildly speculative with terminology like ‘ruling the eastern part of the state as a reservation’. What the ruling actually says is that if a case is brought against or impacts a tribal citizen of one of the 5 nations, it will be tried in Federal rather than OK State court. Check those maps again – that is a big chunk of NE OK, but not all of it. Many tribal lands are not covered by the ruling.

    The general consensus among everyone I spoke to was:

    – the ruling was, generally speaking, a ‘good’ thing (remember my tribal affiliation is one of the affected; I do not know how, say, the Miami tribe feel about it) in that it removed a layer of ambiguity regarding which court to deal with (if you’re a sovereign you deal with the other sovereign, not a state gov, which may have conflicts of interest around natural resources like water or oil lands)
    – the ruling was likely the result of a successful lobbying push that include(s) the Cherokee Nation US Representative, which was exercised last year but has not been brought to the floor for approval (as in most believe the motion to have her seated in the House is also being worked towards)
    – the most likely mid-term outcome of the ruling (and the CN US representative being confirmed to be seated) would be to use this jurisdictional power to protect and improve environmental conditions in the region, with the Sardis Lake case linked above as an example of what may come. There is a significant amount of fracking and oil drilling in the area, as well as a major Superfund site (Tar Creek).

    Regarding the economic/social conditions out there, I was shocked to see that the handful of towns I visited were doing… well?! These are places that have been hollowed out the majority of my life, deeply impoverished and with major drug problems. Yet over the last ~4-6 years, it seems to have slowly recovered. There were many successful newer businesses, people engaging in the community, children out and playing… yes there was also a lot of visible poverty, but there was new construction and, most stunningly, a great (worker-owned) grocery store chain that blew everything I have to deal with in OKC out of the water in terms of quality. I am so used to seeing flyover and indian country immiserated that the economic success was what floored me more than anything else. I am now considering moving out there full time because it is so much nicer than being in the city!

    1. DJG

      super extra: Much to think about here–down to the success of the grocery chain. Thanks for the report. Indian Country is sorely neglected in news and commentary in the U S of A.

      1. super extra

        In addition to the successful worker-owned grocery chain, there is also a fiber optic cooperative that has very good internet. this was established a decade ago as part of the existing rural phone coop and has been very successful in building out the infrastructure in the rural area. It is now expanding to the ‘city’ (pop: 12,000) in the area!

    2. Olga

      Thanks, I wondered about the decision. Also, wonder if it sets some sort of a precedent.

    3. ChrisPacific

      Your final observation brings up an interesting point that I’ve been thinking about, namely the potential for indigenous community models to offer workable local and regional alternatives if/when capitalism metastatizes and starts eating the world. It does offer a pretty good antidote to the shareholder-value-above-all ideology if done right – one of the local corporations with an indigenous governance and mission structure maintains a 500 year strategic plan, for example, which would be unimaginable to an average publicly traded company.

  42. Stephen V.

    Was not aware of this aspect of ‘insider trading.’ Methinks we are running out of the road we are kicking the can on…
    Graph: following the financial part of the Great Recession, American corporations took advantage of low interest rates to refinance and increase their debt. Many used the money from issuing new debt to buy back stock, which raises the value of the stock options that executives grant themselves. Having the Federal Reserve buy this debt effectively removes it from the market. This allows executives to issue more debt to buy more stock, which raises stock prices. This entire scheme was considered ‘insider trading’ before Reagan made it legal it in the 1980s. The bottom line is that companies are made fragile through excessive indebtedness to benefit executives, not the corporations they run. Source: SIFMA.

  43. jr

    I just received some terrible news: one of my friends dog is dying, I’ve known him for years. I’m his second owner essentially. I’m a wreck.

    Now it gets weird: I’ve been talking on the phone all afternoon about my little man, he’s dying of kidney failure. Don’t you know when I just picked up my iPad there is an ad for kidney disease on the site. I haven’t searched for that topic or anything. Is my iPad listening to me?

    1. jr

      And if your dog doesn’t have ALL it’s shots, don’t delay. My friend skimped on his lyme shot, now she is in her own personal Hell…

    2. Synoia

      What phone and what carrier?

      And now you know they have voice recognition and a deal to supply apple with info, and a way to identify cross platform (phone and IPad).

      1. jr

        It’s an iPad 4 mini, WiFi connection, Spectrum…my phone is an ancient iPhone 5 with StraightTalk carrier…

    3. ChrisPacific

      Most of the rigorous studies I’ve seen have concluded that it’s not actually happening and indications that it is are coincidental. Less reassuringly, the reason it isn’t happening is that they have more than enough ways to target you without it. For example, IP/location based targeting is definitely a thing, as is social network connection targeting, so if your friend has been searching on it and they have a way to connect the two of you then that would account for it. I received German language ads for a week or two while we had a German-speaking friend staying (and connecting to our Wifi) for example.

      Sorry about your (plural) dog.

    4. Oh

      This is the umpteenth time I’ve heard of this happening. It has to be the phone, carrier and/or some IOT device that listens in your home (Alexa, are you there?)

    5. Yves Smith

      I am so sorry about your dog friend. Kidney disease is a bad way to go. As painful as it is, it will be better to put down before it goes too far. Hopefully his main human will have a clear sign.

      Regarding the ads, yes they listen to you. This sort of thing happens to me regularly with my Mac. I don’t know of an easy way to disable the mike.

      1. pricklyone

        Cant speak to the Apple stuff, I haven’t any except ancient I-pad, never use.
        For those with a Intel/Win type laptop, though, you probably can.
        On all mine, the screen bezel just clips on, and loosening it at the top, can unplug camera/mic module.(Assuming one does not need to Zoom/Skype for work or play)
        I would worry about the Alexa type device much more seriously, as we KNOW that it sends an audio stream back to HQ. It has to, to function.

      2. jr

        Thanks Yves, he is on pain killers but yeah, it’s best to have him put to sleep. I would hope for the same.

        And the ads, however they came about, are sickening. They must know that when people search for these things many do so because they are in fear and pain but no matter….you get to see your disease etc. thrown in your face when you visit a site for new shoes or something…

        I’m going to tape the mic over, if I can find it. And I am seriously considering losing my F’ing smartphone too.

    6. kareninca

      jr, I highly recommend this group: They helped me help my neighbor’s dog who had kidney disease. If the poor dog is actually dying, rather than just suffering from kidney disease, then this is not relevant. There are in-between cases where fluid treatments can be very helpful and bring back appetite and mood. In either case I am very, very sorry. Yves is right that things should not be dragged out if the pup is dying.

      1. jr

        Thank you, I’m not 100% certain if he’s dying or sick. My friend isn’t being clear in her texts, understandably. If it’s terminal I am going to gently suggest sleep..

        1. kareninca

          A “kidney dog” can live for years happily and feeling well, if s/he is on the right meds and being fed the right foods. We’re all terminal. The big question is whether this is chronic kidney disease or end stage kidney disease. I have a friend whose elderly dog had very bad numbers but after a several months of specialized home cooking Sparky’s numbers are back to normal. In the case of my neighbor’s dog, saline flushes caused Sandy to feel just fine (cooking would have been better but wasn’t an option). So whoever is deciding really has to know what the situation is, and what s/he is willing to do.

  44. Mr. House

    As the fabric of democracy
    Left tattered in the dust
    We could put, another greedy man
    Into the dictatorial
    Puppet-show, now
    Tell me, who do you trust
    Who do you trust

    And an abominable hemisphere
    Would perpetuate a heart-whole
    Call it a threat
    To national security
    Call it just a poor-sick face
    One more place
    To export cheap labor

    Hail the monarchy
    Hail the oligarchy
    A potential for anarchy
    And we pat ourselves
    Firmly on the back

  45. Jim Hannan

    It’s interesting to see that China hopes for a Trump victory (Bloomberg story in 2020 section).

    Along with endorsements from Vladimir Putin and Jair Bolsonaro, I think that Trump could go the distance.

  46. a different chris

    So an alleged (but probably likely) murderer is actually a better pol for the people than the crap we have for politicians. I figure let bygones be bygones, everybody is no doubt better off without those particular “businessmen”:

    During his two years in office, Mr. Furgal earned a reputation of being “the people’s governor.” He cut his own salary, ordered the sale of an expensive yacht that the previous administration bought, met with protesters when rallies happened and significantly reduced flight fares for residents in remote areas.

    PS: it is unbelievably weird to someone of my age that you can simply go and GoogleDrive most of a city in the very hinterlands of the former Soviet Union.

    1. Massinissa

      What kind of administration BUYS A YACHT? Imagine the headlines if some city did that here.

  47. occasional anonymous

    I’ve seen people pointing out for a while that the shift from ‘minorities’ to ‘BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color)’ was going to have the effect of recategorizing Asians as White.

    Well, I think that time has come:

    I can’t wait for identity politics to hurry up and finish eating itself alive.

    1. Massinissa

      That person has since tweeted she did not mean to insinuate that asians are not POC. I don’t see any reason to not take her word for it, seems like an accident taken out of context to me, but who knows?

      1. occasional anonymous

        She’s the head of NYT’s 1619 Project and a serial liar. Her entire grift is being deceitful about race.

        1. Massinissa

          Ah, good point. Thought it was a rando on twitter. In that case, very well could have been intentional damage control then.

  48. Olivier

    What on earth is the antidote creature? It can’t be a cat. Some unholy cat-bat hybrid?

      1. Yves Smith

        No, it has fur. But the poor thing is as ugly as a Sphnx without the hairless bit which makes them attractive to cat lovers with cat allergies.

    1. Barry

      Right Click on image
      ¨Search google with this image¨
      Black Oriental Shorthair Kitten

  49. Mikel

    Re: Birx…CNN.COM
    “She’s an outside-the-box thinker but also not afraid to get dirt under her fingernails,” said Kushner, who credits Birx for coming up with an idea earlier in the year to speed delivery of supplies to hospitals, many of which were complaining they still didn’t have what they needed. Rather than sending supplies to governors, Birx suggested sending them straight to the hospitals.”

    Really? That occurred to no one else? That’s not a testament to anyone’s skill, that’s a testament to the BIG trouble we’re in.

  50. Mikel

    Re: Are Anti-Masks Legal

    Should have seen it coming. Businesses have requirements for shoes and people show up in flip-flops.

  51. rtah100

    Shouldn’t that border map show the 100 mile radius around the inland ports (airports, river ports etc.)? You’re not safe just because you are 100 miles from the frontier….

  52. Kris

    This is the best article I’ve read on whether/how to reopen schools – a must read. It directly addresses the black-and-white thinking we are bringing to the issue by looking through the lens of meeting the needs of those most affected and vulnerable. Well worth reading, and applying its holistic, context-rich approach to all aspects of functioning in the pandemic.

  53. VietnamVet

    The fall of the Western Empire has knocked the wheels off. The USA is careening towards who knows what. The failure to address the coronavirus pandemic is bipartisan. Working at home, protests to defunding police, shuttering of the travel and restaurant industries, mainstream media losing touch with reality, and wartime in ICUs; all have direct impact on the professional managerial class. Donald Trump is the old/new aristocracy. He is inequality. Reopen and die. The haute bourgeoisie have dogs in this fight. There really are only two options; reestablish Constitutional Democracy that serves its citizens or North American will splinter into smaller cultural governable regions with no man’s lands in between.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Which would be some of the likeliest “smaller cultural governable regions” in this scenario?

      1. Massinissa

        I honestly think that kind of thinking VV is displaying in his last sentence is somewhat outdated. The divide is largely rural/urban, not cultural like it was in the 19th century. Can Atlanta and its urban and more racially diverse population become its own ‘smaller cultural governable region’ in the middle of the white rural south? The rest of the country has the same sort of problem. It won’t be like the civil war where things are cut apart cleanly like a cake. Then again, maybe that’s what he meant by ‘no mans land’, but then by that estimation wouldn’t most of the country be ‘no man’s land’ in a similar way to how 2/3 of the population lives in the ‘border region’?

        I have no objection to the rest of his post, which I deem to be insightful.

  54. drumlin woodchuckles

    If the Greater Atlanta Metropolitan Area tried to buy as much of its food from right around Atlanta, how much area around Atlanta would be needed to keep Atlanta fed? At least with its basic survival staples?
    If Atlanta made a point of moving towards buying as much of its survival food from its own “local foodshed” as possible, would all the surrounding countryside full of rural people consider themselves to have a cynical interest in Atlanta’s continuing survival or even well-doing? Because a doing-well Atlanta buying all the food its own concentric circle of surrounding area could grow would be good for the bussiness survival of the farmland people surrounding Atlanta?

    And would those surrounding farmland people around Atlanta then buy what urban/urbane goods and services they need from Atlanta in order to keep Atlanta business-healthy enough to keep buying food from the foodshed around Atlanta?

    And if that all happened, would Atlanta and surrounding land and people begin to evolve towards a kind sense of co-shared co-mutual co-survivalism? Something like the City-States of Classical Greece?
    Perhaps a Greater Atlantastan?

    1. jr

      ” buying as much of its survival food from its own “local foodshed” as possible, would all the surrounding countryside full of rural people consider themselves to have a cynical interest in Atlanta’s continuing survival or even well-doing”

      Thanks for this. I’ve talked about my nice butcher shop which relies solely on local producers, if that situation could be replicated NYC wide we could see:

      – better, healthier food made widely available, especially to lower income neighborhoods who either live in a food desert or have access to poor quality foodstuffs with better results for community health.

      – an emphasis on cooking at home or at least local takeout over Krapt macaroni & cheese or other anti-foods…

      – a boost to the regional economy that beggars adjectives/stronger economic ties in both directions

      – as you suggest, a reduction in the very real sense of animosity between town and country. Especially around here, there is real, and often deserved, resentment towards the City in the region.

      The prices are astronomical at the moment because of the small scale, I’m no econ head but I assume they would come down significantly as the market grows. I would guess it would require some kind of subsidy to get it rolling.

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