Links 7/23/2020

Animals Sense Earthquakes Before They Happen. Can They Help Us Predict Disasters? Discover (David L)

Earliest evidence for humans in the Americas BBC (Kevin W)

Top Scientists Just Ruled Out Best-Case Global Warming Scenarios Bloomberg (David L)

First active leak of sea-bed methane discovered in Antarctica Guardian

Renewable Energy Is Seizing Market Share During The Pandemic OilPrice

OpenAI’s new language generator GPT-3 is shockingly good—and completely mindless MIT Technology Review (David L)

How Extremophile Bacteria Living In Nuclear Reactors Might Help Us Make Vaccines Forbes (UserFriendly)

Experimental Blood Test Detects Cancer Up To Four Years Before Symptoms Appear Scientific American


Coronavirus latest: Global infections top 15 million DW

Why Armed Groups in Latin America Are Enforcing COVID-19 Lockdowns MSN (Kevin W)

Keeping Canadians safe: Canada-U.S. border closure extended Canada Immigration News


Covid-19 Vaccines With ‘Minor Side Effects’ Could Still Be Pretty Bad Wired (resilc). Acetaminophen? Are you kidding? I refuse to have that stuff in the house. IMHO it should never have been approved as an OTC drug. From StatPearls at the NIH site:

Acetaminophen toxicity is the second most common cause of liver transplantation worldwide and the most common in the US. It is responsible for 56,000 emergency department visits, 2600 hospitalizations, and 500 deaths per year in the United States.

T-cells may hold the key to Covid-19 vaccine Asia Times

Now French, German studies say HCQ doesn’t prevent, treat Covid in primates, human lung cells The Print (J-LS)

Covid-19 is pushing doctors to the brink. Medicine needs to recognize they’re human and need help. Washington Post (Dr. Kevin). As we warned. Anti-Covid measures are significantly about keeping the medical system from breaking down.

MIT scientists design a reusable SILICONE face mask with replaceable N95 filters that will cost just $15 DailyMail


US tourist boat at Niagara Falls is PACKED with people while those on Canadian vessel next to it are socially distanced Sun (resilc)

How McKinsey Is Making $100 Million (and Counting) Advising on the Government’s Bumbling Coronavirus Response Mother Jones

A public health employee predicted Florida’s coronavirus catastrophe — then she was fired: ‘This is everything I was trying to warn people about’ Yahoo (J-LS)

Almost 8 Million Americans Are Out of Work Without Childcare Bloomberg. Several school districts in AL just announced remote learning for the first nine weeks of the school year.

The Latest in School Segregation: Private Pandemic ‘Pods’ New York Times (resilc)

NFL-Total of 95 players test positive for COVID-19, union says Reuters

Political Responses

ALEC Develops Bill for Corporate Liability Protections Amid Pandemic Intercept

“Trump Voters Are Old and They Don’t Want to Die”: Why Trump Finally Flip-Flopped on Mask Wearing Vanity Fair (Dr. Kevin)


Small Businesses Brace for Prolonged Crisis, Short on Cash and Customers Wall Street Journal. As we predicted, but the stories are still very sad.

Turns Out Mass Death Is Bad For The Economy Huffington Post (UserFriendly)

Bay Area Tech Workers Consider Moving Amid Layoff Fears Axios


Oil and gas fueling South China Sea tensions Asia Times (Kevin W)

U.S. Move on Houston Consulate Risks American Footprint in China Bloomberg

Chinese consulate in San Francisco is harboring a military-linked researcher wanted for visa fraud, FBI says CNBC

7 things to know about the EU virus recovery plan RTE (PlutoniumKun)


House Democratic Leadership Teams Up With Republicans To Keep US Troops in Afghanistan Antiwar (resilc)

If Congress Wants the War in Afghanistan, Trump Should Force them to Authorize It American Conservative (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Predictive policing algorithms are racist. They need to be dismantled. MIT Technology Review (David L)

New York Bans Use of Facial Recognition In Schools Statewide VentureBeat

Security Breach Exposes More Than One Million DNA Profiles On Major Genealogy Database BuzzFeed

Trump Transition

House passes major conservation bill, sending it to Trump’s desk The Hill (UserFriendly)

Why Did Republicans Abandon American Idealism? Literary Hub (resilc)


Trump Vincibility Watch: How the Horrifying Comeback Could Unfold Slate

Re-animated Strom Thurmond to speak at DNC Convention Beet Press (UserFriendly)

The states at the center of the 2020 voting crisis Axios

Black Injustice Tipping Point

How Many U.S. Presidents Owned Enslaved People? History (Chuck L)

Police State Watch

Former Bush DHS secretary rips Trump for treating department like ‘the president’s personal militia‘ The Week

Trump to send ‘surge’ of federal agents to cities BBC. Oof. After our Middle East “surges” did so well!

Trump announces he’s sending federal agents to Chicago The Hill

Mothers across U.S. stand up to federal agents at anti-racism protests Reuters

Portland Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty Has a Message for Trump and the Feds Marie Claire (David L)

Plastic Handcuff Use by NYPD During Anti-Brutality Protests Strikes a Nerve The City

Ohio corruption case throws focus on US nuclear plant troubles Financial Times

Tesla Turns a Profit For the Fourth Quarter In a Row, Chooses Austin For Next Gigafactory The Verge

Guillotine Watch

The Sacklers Could Get Away With It New York Times (resilc)

Class Warfare

The Debt Predators Project Syndicate (David L). Important.

Homeless Encampments Springing Up in Pittsfield Parks iBerkshires (resilc) :-(

Antidote du jour. mgl thinks this is a moth, found on Park Strip in downtown Anchorage:

And a bonus (guurst). So handsome! Enough to make me think I should run a banana plantation so I could have birds like these.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Wukchumni

    I see John Muir got cancelled yesterday in the ongoing assault on our past, here’s a worthy replacement (until somebody finds dirt, that is) for him.

    Norman Clyde was attracted to the Sierra Nevada Mountains sometime after 1911 while in his mid-20s. The High Sierra was to become for him, as Walt Wheelock writes, “as familiar as one’s own backyard.” Clyde spent more than 50 years perfecting his mental maps, locating crashed airplanes, and rescuing lost souls and climbers in trouble – or retrieving their bodies.

    Clyde’s name was legendary. Many climbers would rank him second only to John Muir as an intimate pioneer of places inaccessible and second to none as a climber. Apart from legend, few people knew much about this quiet man who minimized his achievements. Asked about his climbing feats, Clyde might downplay them by saying they weren’t really so many when you considered that he was 350 years old.

    Other than his carefully crafted newspaper and magazine accounts of climbs and the few recorded recollections of fellow mountaineers, Norman Clyde’s long High Sierra tenure passed with sparse biographical record. Not so Clyde’s backpacks. Heading for the mountain backcountry one day, Clyde, weighing 140 pounds then, weighed his pack: 75 pounds. He spent that night with a survey crew who were amazed at the size of his pack. In the morning, the crewmen as a prank badgered Clyde about the dangers of running out of food in the wilderness. First one survey crewman and then another urged “extra” cans of their food on Clyde. Never one to turn down free supplies, Clyde set out that day with a pack that had grown to 95 pounds.

      1. Janie

        Someone else to become acquainted with: Hulda Crooks. She went from couldn’t walk to the mailbox to climbing Mt Whitney regularly, as well as other peaks. Top-drawer politicians vied for a spot in her entourage.

    1. rd

      Trout Unlimited has been doing extensive stream restoration due to imapct of legacy mine sites in Montana. A new mine in the permitting phase could undo that. Reclamation bond and financial assurance values need to be increased across the board so that when mines and O&G wells invariably shut down and go bankrupt, the money is there to bring them back to an acceptable standard.

    2. Carolinian

      I have an old poster with a Muir quote hanging on my wall. Guess I should take it down, huh?

      There are some racist passages in books by famous authors. F. Scott Fitzgerald–perhaps influenced by his Alabama wife–comes to mind. Huckleberry Finn of course is out. North Carolina’s Thomas Wolfe has some big time race baiting amid all that prose poetry. The past it seems is a different country. We may have to cancel the whole thing.

      1. lordkoos

        I never thought of Twain’s Huckleberry Finn as racist, rather more like a snapshot of the era the story was set in. Twain himself was not a racist as far as I can tell.

        1. Carolinian

          It’s regularly on lists of books that some people (not me) want to expunge. There is the “n” word and the last section of the book is cringe worthy as he panders to the then audience desire for black baiting humor.

          In the big picture it is of course a landmark of interracial humanism.

          In his autobiography there are sections where he talks about his easy childhood friendship with the slave children of antebellum Missouri. No, he wasn’t racist I think.

        2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Yes, lordk, but that’s the point. “Snapshots of the era” are verboten: we must change how people thought in the past. Once that has been corrected we can turn to changing what they did.

      2. Dirk77

        If I recall correctly, one guiding principle of history is that you needed to judge a person’s views and actions by the time in which he or she was living. Since when was this lost and why?

        1. JBird4049

          History, people, is complex, messy, and confusing; as one writer said: The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.

          Understanding this foreign country needs real, often difficult thinking as well as compassion, and maybe looking at yourself as you are, not what you want to believe that you are.

          For example, current Western belief that our society is always in the general path of improvement, much like how the implicit, sometimes explicit, American belief that one generation should and would always do better than the previous generation.

          Maintaining this ideology of progress requires distorting, simplifying, even erasing the past, and often the present, as well. Why change anything if something naturally goes the way you want it? The natives are/were savages responsible for their own destruction. For that matter, why keep anything if the past is so inferior? The country was obviously created by evil people, so why look at and keep anything that they made? Like this country? The deplorables, those people, that hero have flaws which means that they are bad for only those without sin are acceptable. Black and white; evil and good; past and future.

          True change, reform, and improvement is hard work, which means that reformers often fail at seeing at what is working, what is not, what change is needed, and then keeping the first, discarding the second, making the third, then finally combining the old and the new into a new, whole existence.

          Again, it can be hard, difficult, even painful to see what is, and so societies and the people of which they are comprised of, often they refuse to do the work of looking. Just burning or ignoring all the inconvenient stuff is so much easier. Or at least it appears to be. Having a year zero might seem so, but really is just a kind of suicide.

          1. GettingTheBannedBack

            There seems to be a hubris in each generation, whereby many think that their forebears were not as smart as them.
            And these days that’s turbocharged by technology, when a 6 yo can scoot round the newest piece of tech like it’s child’s play whereas grandma and grandad are baffled.
            A work colleague retired a while ago, from a senior position, and within a year he was back, because he was sick of his kids taking for granted that the would mind their kids. I think he felt devalued in the role of retired grandparent.
            In other cultures, age and wisdom have been revered but not so much now. And that is a loss to the younger generation because then they make mistakes in their lives that they could have avoided, and the world starts heading to war yet again.
            What would a world look like if people consulted their elders about the realities of war, debt, and division.

    3. Off The Street

      Wondering if Muir Woods, just over the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County, will be next on the Hit Parade?

      1. Milton

        Meanwhile, the class solidarity bonds of the .01% grow ever stronger. They have to be chuckling at us poor rubes.

      2. Michael Fiorillo

        I DEMAND we rename Muir Woods to the Robin Diangelo Smash White Fragility Woods, and you have racist cooties if you disagree…

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Wait! Wait! Isn’t DiAngelo ” of Italian ancestry”? Who died and made her White?

      3. Anthony G Stegman

        The John Muir Trail should be renamed; perhaps given an American Indian name instead.

        1. juno mas

          . . . and maybe let the native American ancestors select the name?

          (Around 30 years ago, while parks commissioner in the capital city of Nevada the Washo Tribe leader asked a local park to be renamed after “Dat So La Li” (a reknown native basket weaver). I agreed, but was in the minority.)

        2. ewmayer

          “perhaps given an American Indian name” — D00d, they may have been the first Americans, but they were half a world away from the Indian subcontinent. Racist! Yves, Lambert, I demand this poser be cancelled and his entire forum history erased!

          [ .msacras si evoba eht, sey]

        3. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Sure. Just wondering what the new new name of the Washington Redskins will need to be, they just changed it to “The Washington Football Team”, which has a nice je ne sais quoi ring to it. But clearly the be-wigged gentleman named Washington engaged in badthink about slavery so that part of the name will need to go too. Maybe “People Who Sometimes Run Around With An Inflated Oblong Pigskin”, but that would imply discrimination against swine so I’m sure the animal cruelty people will object.

          Eventually we will reach the idpol event horizon, and all references to who you are and where you came from will be expunged. All mankind will become a happy joyous family of GoodThink. Just be sure to always download your Daily Guide To Goodthink so you don’t get caught out.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Eventually some citizens may notice that Beautiful GoodThink does not do anything to materially improve their lives in any way. These citizens can be taken to local GoodThink Struggle Sessions so they can understand why it’s important that Material Improvement is restricted only to members of the GoodThink Imperial Council and their immediate families. Competition for entry to the Council will be intense since GoodThink Decree #254-A-25J states that entry must continue to be restricted to 0.1% of the population.

            Side note: citizens should be aware that GoodThink Decree #261-A-31R passed unanimously in the Council yesterday. The decree states that the month of August, with its reference to Roman-era BadThink, will hereby be renamed Thermidor. The new number of days in Thermidor was not specified.

    4. Janie

      Thanks for reminder. Lots of stories about Norman Clyde and his days as school principal, too. Like the one where he fired a warning shot at a Halloween celebrator trying to knock over the outhouse. The mother wanted an attempted murder charge filed, but the sheriff said nope, he’s a crack shot and if he had intended murder, the kid would be dead.

      1. Wukchumni

        I’ve signed only one register on top of a peak with Norman Clyde’s in it as well, on the Black Kaweah.

        The register was a who’s who of famous climbers since the 1920’s and perhaps I was the 88th name in it, with my 3 friends being 89, 90 & 91.

        Somebody made off with it, a decade ago.

      1. Wukchumni

        Harvey was quite something, going off-trail in the Grand Canyon. Most hikers stick to the trails and that’s daunting enough in the big ditch.

        I’ve hiked to the Phantom Ranch a few times for overnighters and did one rim-to-rim in a day walk with a couple friends. We started @ 4:30 am on the North Rim and finished @ the South Rim @ 6 pm.

        It’s all backwards from my usual haunts where instead of gaining a few thousand feet starting out, you descend first.

    5. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

      your Muir replacement is: white. cis. male. presumably hetero. So he’s disqualified right out of the gate.

    6. Dirk77

      I read the letter of Michael Brune, the executive director of the Sierra Club. He talks about a number of changes the Club will be making, to help undo the supposed decades of implicit racism within the Club. One thing stood out: the executive body is not going to put these changes to a vote of its members; only the approval of the board will be sought. Which reminded me that indeed the Club has a corporate governance now. The members can vote for the board candidates, and can in principle collect signatures for a write-in candidate. But in practice all one gets really is a panel of board approved candidates to choose from. Which I guess explains the type of liberalism that the Club adheres to now.

  2. grayslady

    Antidote is a White Admiral Butterfly. We see the Red Admiral quite commonly where I live.

  3. Nikki

    I once walked up to a higher level police officer and said: ‘If I break
    the law in front of you you would arrest me. If an ICE agent broke the law
    in front of you what would you do?’ After hesitating told me that he could not discuss
    that. This exchange occurred at the start of ICE agents appearing New York City courts in order to whisk
    away undocumented people.

    In the above article, the Philadelphia DA states that he’d be happy to arrest
    federal agents, and exactly why.

    1. Bill Smith

      Supremacy clause in the constitution will limit that tactic’s effectiveness. Clearly if federal officers commit a crime that wouldn’t hold easily, but in the end it would have to be a crime in the eyes of a federal court.

      1. Romancing The Loan

        The Federal court applying Pennsylvania law, mind you, in front of a jury. Larry Krasner was a public defender for many years before being elected DA very much against the wishes of the existing establishment. He knows the law very well.

      2. Anthony G Stegman

        Perhaps arrest, book, detain for 72 hours, and release would send a sufficient message.

        1. ambrit

          The problem with that is that arrest without probable cause always ends up in a series of unmarked mass graves, always.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            Unmarked mass graves for the arrested Federal agents?

            Or do you mean unmarked mass graves for every Philadelphian the Feds feel was involved in the arresting of Federal agents?

            1. ambrit

              Why be so specific? Other revolutions, and today we live in the collapsing carcase of America’s Counter-Revolution, have moved into the Terror phase. As the Terror phase unfolds, the process needs ever more victims to justify it’s own existence. Thus, the guidelines for who gets “re-educated” at the FEMA camp keep going down in ‘quality’ of evidence needed. The Terror process is ‘dumbed down.’
              So, I could reasonably expect to see mass unmarked graves filled with people who voted ‘Green’ in the 2020 election. It gets that “silly,” murderously silly.

    2. Keith

      That is a fair response. My guess is you are referring to sanctuary cities vs enforcement of illegal immigration. Like another poster said, the Supremacy Clause stipulates the federal law is supreme, and the SCOTUS has upheld this view when enforcing immigration law. Cities and states just do not have the authority to prevent ICE from enforcing immigration law against violators, even when granting the 10th Amendment wide latitude.

      1. hunkerdown

        That may be true, but it is also irrelevant. A pair of cuffs in place beats 10 whiny middle-class parasites explaining why it’s wrong, at least for a few hours, when the balance of power elsewhere can make whiny middle-class aspirations basically impractical to enforce.

        1. Keith

          True, but the other side is law enforcement knows the media is out to get them, as well as those upper middle class wokesters causing trouble. They need to be able to stick together, as society is turning their backs on them for the expediency of virtue signaling during a pandemic that has shut down many of avenues of distraction.

        1. Keith

          That can be quite concerning, but it is also a tactic law enforcement uses. It can also be case specific, although I do not believe that would be the case you are referring to in Portland. To be honest, I do not have enough details to really make a sound decision. That being said, the optics are poor and Fed LEOs should not be involved in the local keep the keep issues, it is the state’s job, hence us being in a federal republic, but sadly the states accepted subservience for some federal dollars.

          1. juno mas

            That should be: ” accepted subservience for the RETURN of tax dollars by the Feds.” (The Blue states subsidize the Red states.)

            1. Keith

              Yes and no, blue states did well for the bailout in 2008. That being said, perhaps if we went back to an apportionment style of taxation, along with sound money, i.e. abolish the income tax and the Fed, states would have more authority and would be able to keep the money within their own borders.

      2. lordkoos

        ICE are not enforcing immigration laws in Portland. It’s not clear what, if any, laws they are enforcing, since the right to peaceful assembly is guaranteed in the US constitution.

        1. ambrit

          Of course, if one were an agent provocateur, twisting the peaceful assembly into outright riot is not too hard to do.
          I wish some enterprising undergrounder hacks into the Organs of State Security personnel files and outs the agents in place before they enter the peaceful assemblies. Then the violence can begin, but aimed more specifically.
          Nothing terminal, mind you, but a lesson.

          1. Keith

            Or it is just a bunch of white upper middle class kids with nothing to do but engage in mischief.

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              Or is the bunch of white upper middle class kids strategically seeded with undercover federal secret trumpolice in false-flag white upper middle class kid disguise with instructions to encourage the white upper middle class kids to riot?

              1. ambrit

                Not just Trump. Really, everybody who has ever run a Police state, say, every President going back at least forty years.

        2. Keith

          Protecting federal property. They have that authority as a LEO. As for peaceful protests, that distinction ends once the vandalism starts.

          1. Aumua

            It’s law enforcement that is out of control, much more so than the people. That’s what this was all about, remember? Out of control police budgets, out of control police behavior. Mission creep. No accountability. Systemic racism. The Blurred line between domestic law enforcement and the military. None of that has changed. Clearly it’s getting worse.

            1. Keith

              Debatable. Are there some bad actors, sure. Are they an easy target, absolutely. I think there was a piece listed here about Ferguson (good shoot, BTW), about how pressures to generate revenue was the focus of the policing. The city was controlled by black politicians, who will hem and haw about laws they pass being enforced by the police, but they never seem to curtail the action. They just complain about while collecting the funds that end up in the general revenue.

              1. Procopius

                Keith: Are you sure Ferguson is/was controlled by black politicians? I can’t find verification, but my fallible memory or reports at the time is that the political leadership was all white, even though the city is (slightly) majority black. My memory also is that at that time there were no black officers serving on the police force, but that could be wrong.

          2. furies

            One more time

            “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

            [Remarks on the first anniversary of the Alliance for Progress, 13 March 1962]”

            ― John F. Kennedy

            There is no instrument of change available to us slobs in the lower orders…just like Palestinians.

            1. Keith

              In the end, it is usually violence that gets change done. Case in point is MLK, easy to ignore his peaceful protests, but when he was killed and blacks rioted throughout major cities, was there impetus to push civil rights legislation. That being said, violence begets violence, and so people on the other side will push back, rightfully so. However, those “protesters” do not seem to be capturing much public support and seem more like bored youths looking for trouble. Defund the police and prisons in favor of handouts is not a popular slogan in America. I doubt it will become one anytime soon.

              1. pasha

                your history is off: civil rights act passed in 1964 and voting rights act passed in 1965. then came violence: watts riots in1965 stalled progress on civil rights legislation, detroit riots in 1967 ended it. MLK wasn’t assassinated until 1968.

                maybe these police riots against peaceful demonstrators — reminiscent of chicago convention of summer 1968 — will begin the pendulum swing the anti-fascist way

                1. Yves Smith Post author

                  More specifically, MLK was a pariah the 18 month before he was shot because he was regularly speaking out against the War in Vietnam.

                  1. ambrit

                    He was also beginning to turn towards more class based causes, such as fair pay issues, thus the Memphis sanitation workers strike venue where he was killed.

          3. drumlin woodchuckles

            But who starts the vandalism? The protest kiddies, or the secret police?

  4. Wukchumni

    I’m a big fan of oral history, the fanfare of the common man.

    Usually its utilized to assay the past, but I see a real use in assessing the situation on the ground that is unassailable in it’s veracity in a world full of misconceptions.

    I started asking my family who they knew that had tested positive for Covid-19 about 6 weeks ago, and told them to include anybody in their lives, and an English friend of my sister had a friend that had it bad in the UK. That was it.

    Now 3 employees at my mom’s assisted living place have tested positive. The tendrils are closing in on us.

    Now i’ve branched out to friends, and here are a couple of the responses:

    “Our nephew and his fiancé had it a couple of weeks ago (in their 20’s and live in FL)

    Our neighbor had it back in March – his kids and wife did not get it. (he is in his 30’s)

    All recovered.”

    “The brother of the owner of the Mammoth condo we rent died of COVID and lived in New Jersey. My daughter sees 20-30 each day but has only had one of her patients die.”

    1. Winston Smith

      Just after selling her house in February and moving into a reputable nursing home, our neighbor contracted COVID and passed away.

    2. Lee

      If what’s being posted on the city of Alameda’s website is accurate, then we have only 153 confirmed cases out of a population of 78K. I have been asking various people to let me know if they or any one they know have become ill or tested positive. At first their were none. Now, a close friend reports that there were two cases at his work place, Trader Joe’s in north Oakland frequented by U.C. Berkeley students. A neighbor says her sister got it and was quite ill but recovered and the sister’s husband tested positive but has remained asymptomatic.

    3. Dr. John Carpenter

      I’ve known three: a friend who lives in Belgium and a close friend and his wife (she’s a nurse.) Technically a fourth, someone in my office tested positive, but they won’t tell us who, just that they haven’t been in the office since they got sick, yada yada. I had my first test last week. I’ve never been so happy to find out I just had a plain old upper respiratory infection.

    4. lordkoos

      A musician friend of mine’s wife was sick with the virus back in May and was on oxygen for weeks, although she was not hospitalized. Her husband then caught a milder case of it.

    5. posaunist

      1. My mother, 85, is recovering from it. Her memory, especially short-term, took a hit, probably permanent. She does not remember telephone conversations we had while she was in the hospital. She had broken her leg and no doubt got it in the hospital, or in the nursing home where she was sent to recover.
      2. An old (but estranged) friend died from it a couple of months ago.
      3,4,5. Our “handyman,” a family friend, probably had it in February, along with his wife and son. Took them a couple of months to recover.

      FWIW, I’m 66 and live with my wife in Denver.

    1. Wukchumni

      Sadly, all part of the Bizarro World narrative of the collapses of Communism & Capitalism.

      When the former went away it was largely peaceful (countries starting with ‘R not so much) as there was something to look forward to for once, while our situation is of course already, a longing for the lives we knew before the virus came in without knocking.

      Italians sang to one another from their balconies in the midst of their bout of miasma, we lined up to buy more guns & ammo, with the ad hoc armories deemed essential.

      I’ll mention it for the nth time, but we very closely parallel the Anasazi in Chaco Canyon in our respective collapses.

      Climate change did them in, and in retreating from suddenly inhospitable land often turned to cannibalism (Christy & Jacqueline Turner’s Man Corn is quite the read) and all they had for weaponry was crude short range stuff. And mobility was still 4 centuries away, everybody walked.

      Our situation is a little bit more lethal & mobile.

      1. MT_Bill

        Americans sung and bought guns and ammo.

        “I like big guns and I will not lie,
        Try to steal my food and you will die,
        When the big Igloo comes lead will fly,
        I like big guns and I will not lie..”

        America had a pretty good run. Obviously lots of issues, but still infinitely better than what’s next. It’s a real shame that as always, the people least responsible for causing the crisis will be the ones that suffer the brunt of it.

        1. montanamaven

          I hope this conversation continues somewhere in the Water Cooler as I’d like to post Dimitry Orlov’s latest ideas on collapse and how we are collapsing opposite of the Soviets. i.e. Our cultural collapse which is the last stage of collapse is happening here first. And “financial collapse” which was first in USSR is not happening.

          1. lordkoos

            The financial collapse is happening, but to households rather than capitalist institutions.

          2. Massinissa

            I agree with LordKoos, although only up to a point, because I believe the real financial collapse, the one that will effect the stock market, has not happened… ‘yet’. It will come.

            As Koos also says, the financial collapse for working people is happening, albeit slowly and largely hidden from the PMC and above, right now. Its too early to say “Nah, there won’t be a financial collapse, the FED can just puff the stocks up forever and everything will be fine”. We’re only 6 1/2 months into the first year of what may, like the great Depression, be a multi year crisis, we don’t yet know what the second half of the year may hold. Hell, even the formal dissolution of the Soviet Union took about almost 2 years.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              In March the Fed actually stated in their minutes that “absent a rising stock market the U.S. Treasury market ceases to function”. CARES pledges $454 billion of U.S. taxpayer funds as “first-loss” equity which will then be leveraged 10X, and that leveraged amount of $4.5 trillion will be used to make purchases. The authorization reads as follows: “The appointment (of BlackRock) includes the authority to act as agent and attorney-in-fact for and on behalf of the account (New York Fed) with full and complete authority to purchase, sell, exchange, convert, and otherwise transact in any and all stocks, bonds, cash held for investment and other assets as BlackRock Financial Management, Inc. may select”.

              So it’s not accurate to imagine that there are “markets” any more, and my guess is they will do anything and everything to stave off a stock price collapse as long as they possibly can. That they were so quick to go all the way to national socialism is the tell.

          3. drumlin woodchuckles

            Doesn’t Orlov hide all his current stuff behind subscription-only paywalls nowadays?

      2. The Rev Kev

        Is it true that Alex Jones brought himself a book off of Amazon called “To Serve Man” in case things get tough?

    1. juno mas

      Yes, it is a butterfly and not a moth, suggested by the Right Click on photo method.

  5. Nikki

    First half is an interview with the inestimable Robert Gallo. Those of us of certain age will recall
    that he discovered the HIV virus. He and colleagues weren’t surprised that antibody production to
    SARS-CoV-2 is poor, because it resembles HIV. Also, he is recommending the oral polio for a few months
    of immune boosting, which might be delivered along with our annual fall flu shot. In short, he is
    a delight to listen to.

    1. Milton

      Actually the French did but we can’t let facts get in the way of American exceptionalism.

      1. c_heale

        I thought they both discovered it around the same time. Arguments about who discovered or invented something first are not uncommon, and rarely resolved. And usually unimportant.

  6. The Rev Kev

    At the risk of starting an unnecessary thread of comments, I believe that today is the day that all of us in an alternate time-line would be commenting on the Opening Ceremony of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Games.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      “Congrats to the Boston youth for saving Boston from this monstrsity. Hey, can you imagine how much worse 2020 would be if Boston had the Olympics? I would definitely be complaining about how the Red Sox shouldn’t have to deal with this crazy road trip because of the Olympics. It’s just like when interleague play started and the Sawx would get the Braves a day the Yankees would play against the minor league team in Queens.” -me this day in alternate 2020 with no Covid

      In an even better world, Tom Brady gracefully retired.

      1. Winston Smith

        The Olympics in Boston? That was a big joke meant to enrich developers and their acolytes (according to an architect friend in the know). Added to which the state would have been on the hook for cost overruns. No wonder that was a galvanizing torches and pitchforks moment for most of the citizenry. I commuted from Cambridge to the Boston University Medical Center for work during 12 yrs and on good days the traffic was barely tolerable. A terrible idea with zero credibility

        1. wilroncanada

          That’s exactly what happened to Vancouver in 2010–winter olympics. Many Vancouverites remember it fondly even now, civic pride,you know. Of course, not the hundreds of poor who were made homeless as a result–the real beginning of Vancouver’s homeless and addiction crisis, still ongoing, even worsening.

    2. savebyirony

      Sports fan here. Love the athletics and stories of the Olympics, and hate all the national flag waving. I am wondering today if next year this time we will be seeing them, or no developed vaccine and completely cancelled Olympic games.

      1. Mr. House

        Would it be better if they had a giant mcdonalds flag instead? Perhaps more truthful

    3. Burritonomics

      Not unnecessary at all. The Olympics are one of my favorite things – I had been looking forward to these games since last year. Another 2020 bummer.

    4. Maritimer

      “If anyone still believes in the “Olympic ideal,” please give me a call: I’ve got a stadium in Rio de Janeiro I’d like to sell you.

      Discredited long ago by the very corruption and nationalism they were meant to transcend, the Olympic Games are embroiled in a wave of scandal that’s embarrassing even by the sorry standards of this hypocritical “movement.””

      Lots of books available about the corruption of the Olympics. Just a lot of Global TV Fodder to sell the usual anti-food, booze, autos and other consumption economy items.
      Along with athletic Bling. The quants working overtime to squeeze every dime out of this touchy-feely spectacle.

      Better to get off the couch and get some unsponsored, unorganized, uncertified, unprofessionalized exercise.

      1. juno mas

        Yes. I did my 1500 meters of ocean swimming this morning. Didn’t make the podium, but feel great!

    5. ewmayer

      And the Tour de France would have finished last weekend – start officially postponed to 29 August, but we shall see whether the event ends up being, as the Germans say, “aufgeschoben, oder aufgehoben” (“postponed, or canceled”).

  7. Krystyn Podgajski

    RE: T-cells may hold the key to Covid-19 vaccine

    Let me translate that for you. “Making people healthier holds the key to COVID-19 outcomes”

    Yes, that is seriously what they are saying, healthier people with better nutrition fight off COVID19 better than unhealthy people becasue healthy people have higher T Cell activity.

    That is not a vaccine, that is ending neoliberalism and inequality and pollution.

    Nutritional effects on T-cell immunometabolism

    T cells are highly influenced by nutrient uptake from their environment, and changes in overall nutritional status, such as malnutrition or obesity, can result in altered T-cell metabolism and behavior. In states of severe malnutrition or starvation, T-cell survival, proliferation, and inflammatory cytokine production are all decreased, as is T-cell glucose uptake and metabolism.

    So you could have filed this under several topics, like class warfare.

      1. Krystyn Podgajski

        Lee, My mother was diagnosed with ME at the Mayo Clinic years ago. Pretty sure I have issues with it at times as well. Look up malondialdehyde and ME. I have had the luck with focusing on aldehyde metabolism. Then look up Aldehyde dehydrogenase in regulatory T‐cell development.

        I feel that an inability to metabolize aldehydes is at the bottom of it all.

    1. SKM

      Great comment on the T cell link and thanks for the useful link (and all the others you post!)

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Probably the least examined aspect of the covid hysteria / blame game currently gripping the country is the general unhealthiness of the population pre-covid, which has been cultivated and nurtured for decades by a for-profit “healthcare industry” that depends on a never-ending supply of customers who get sick and stay sick for as long as possible, preferably for their lifetimes.

      Not to mention the pre-covid epidemic of hospital borne infections that was rarely acknowledged and pretty much never addressed.

      In other words, two of the most intractable aspects of this covid crisis–“comorbidities” and grossly inadequate institutional infection control–were not just tolerated, but literally built in to “the best ‘healthcare system’ money can buy. That system has made itself increasingly vulnerable to a pathogen like covid, and trying to lay responsibility on the Orange Man’s bad “management” is nothing more than a weaselly attempt to cover up colossal institutional failure.

    3. lordkoos

      It’s not simply “healthier people”, it’s also younger people. T-cell production declines with age.

    4. campbeln

      …so… America is screwed then.

      So often, doctors avoid or otherwise discount nutrition in rectifying disease here in the US. This, coupled with our… overall state of non-wellbeing… gives me great concern.

      COVID-19 will be the Chernobyl for the American Empire, methinks.

    5. Cuibono

      “That is not a vaccine, that is ending neoliberalism and inequality and pollution”


  8. Winston Smith

    Keep that Canada-US border closed, I intend to go back and take refuge there if necessary…

    1. The Rev Kev

      Trump may get his dream of a US-Mexico wall paid for by Mexico. But it would be the Mexicans building it, for a fraction of the cost, to stop infectious ‘gringos’ slipping over the Rio Grande. But who am I kidding? Mexico’s President Obrador is handling the pandemic there as well as President Trump, President Bolsonaro and Prime Minister Modi are handling the pandemic in their respective countries.

  9. Michael Redd

    The article concerning HCQ being ineffective for treating or preventing Covid 19 contains an important point in the last paragraph that has been neglected in the press and apparently in the laboratory. “The authors of the German HCQ-chloroquine paper explained that in previous experiments on chloroquine that showed positive results, the crucial TMPRSS2 enzyme was missing.” Susan Weiss Professor of Microbiology, co-director of the Center for Research on Coronaviruses and Other Emerging Pathogens, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, suggested several month ago in a podcast about virology (TWIV episode 609, May 3 2020), that HCQ should be tested in combination with a drug directed against TMPRSS2–camostat mesylate. The reason for this that this drug combinationis might prove effective is that Covid 19 invades cells through two pathways: one that requires TMPRSS2 at the cell surface and another that is internal and is blocked by HCQ. Blocking only one of these pathways simply shunts the virus down the other infection pathway. It is frustrating that I can find no evidence that anyone has followed up Susan’s prediction.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I was watching a Chris Martenson video recently when he introduced an interesting chart sent in by someone. It was one featuring country Case Fatality Rates by HCQ Usage and is worth looking at. Yes, there may be other factors at play for different countries such as social distancing, good contact tracing and the like but still, you look at that chart and wonder. It is only two minutes long and can be found from 12:20 to 14:45 at the following link-

    2. SKM

      thanks for drawing attention to Weiss and TWiV 609… really interesting. I still really want to see a trial using Zinc with HC trying to exploit the fact that HC is a Zn ionophore and intracellular Zn blocks viral replication. The story isn`t clear yet – the Cubans are using it, at the right stage ie early and say they get positive results (clinical experience/anecdotal) but it is part of a wider protocol using other approaches including interferons. The UK is going hysterical this week about how brilliant they are to have a small firm producing interferon beta getting preliminary good results. Others say that Russia, China and of course Cuba have been using it for a while.
      Some minor observational trials exist with seemingly good results using Ivermectin and comparing it with HC – it performs better than HC. It beggars belief that we haven`t got a proper trial on HC (plus Zinc) 6 months into the pandemic.

      1. campbeln

        No patent, no windfall profits, no press or money to study.

        This is why, IMHO, we have so many people distrusting our institutions across the spectrum. Be it the “anti-vaxxers” or the “9-11/steel beams” or the “gun nuts” or… different people have seen the abject failures that our “public” institutions pump out and have learned to distrust them as a matter of course.

        When framed in this way… I have a hard time discounting the core of each argument (not that I support anti-vaxxers, for example, but I can’t fault them on a general distrust of the FDA/CDC).

    3. Ignacio

      RE: Covid-19 Vaccines With ‘Minor Side Effects’ Could Still Be Pretty Bad Wired (resilc). Acetaminophen? Are you kidding? I refuse to have that stuff in the house. IMHO it should never have been approved as an OTC drug

      I find the article somehow hysterical, so the comment. It is true that Acetominophen must be carefully administered to avoid damaging overdoses. I think that for this reason it has been used in suicide attempts. Otherwise it is a safe treatment to mitigate vaccine reactogenicity. According to the Oxford study, Moderna and Pfizer candidates results we will have to accept that any vaccine based on the Spike protein will be highly reactogenic with more or less the same symptoms after vaccination in all cases: fever, headache… plus local symptoms at the site of inoculation (pain, warmth…) This of course when tested in bigger numbers and different age cohorts will have to be carefully addressed again and a compromise between response and reactogenicity will have to be found. One of the objectives of the first trials is to help find that compromise with different dosages.

      Nothing of real concern is in there. If anything it seems the humoral response looks much better with the RNA vaccines after two doses that with the Oxford Adenovirus-based vaccine. For me the real problem is that some important preclinical steps have been skipped and this could backfire later. We will see.

      1. Dean

        I agree that these effects seem to be fairly mild in the subjects tested. We do need to see if it holds true in a larger sample.

        I would think that the fever and local inflammatory responses are good indicators that the immune system has been activated by the vaccine.

        1. Ignacio

          The RNA vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna), as far as I have seen seem to have similar reactogenicity compared with the Oxford vaccine and none of them used paracetamol to mitigate those effects. In the Oxford trial Paracetamol was added as an arm in their more extensive assay (by number of volunteers qualifies as phase I/II) and added later when they saw the relatively high reactogenicity probably associated with the Spike protein, to see how this could work immediately after vaccination). Both RNA based vaccines (Moderna and Pfizer) give, after a second boost high titres of neutralizing antibodies with average/median levels well above those seen in the plasma of Covid convalescent patients having thus good possibilities to provide immunity. Yet there are still many more analyses to be done, particularly test the possibility of adverse reactions such as ADE, and duration of the response. But we can say that so far, so good.

          As you say such reactions are proof of immune response and for some reasons the Spike protein seems to cause more inflammation and associated adverse effects than other antigens. The Oxford trial compares the Covid vaccine with a second adenovirus-based vaccine previously developed against a bacterial disease. This second vaccine showed significantly milder reactogenicity.

  10. Pat

    Not just Harris. Former Vice Presidential nominee Kaine, and never met a military enfingememt she didn’t like from super liberal California Feinstein voted against Sanders measure. Oh and that sensible lefty Sherrod Brown did too.

    More depressing to me Sanders inability to do fractions. Seventy Seven votes against does NOT mean almost half voted for it.

    1. Carla

      No lefty Sherrod. He’s so anti-M4A, he’ll be clinging to the public option with his last breath. What surprised me was Klobuchar and Schumer were yes votes !!!

      1. tegnost

        K and S must be worried about challenges from the left, so inoculation votes….tag team kayfabe

        1. Olga

          And/or – those were safe yes votes ‘cuz they knew the thing would fail regardless of how they voted.

        1. Oh

          Most people are guillibe and they believe these villains. Woke actors like Thom Hartman further this guillibility.

          1. Massinissa

            I don’t know much of anything about Thom Hartmann. How does he further the public’s gullibility? I know essentially nothing about him other than that I vaguely know that someone by that name exists and has some kind of media following.I could look him up, but I don’t think that would answer my question about how he allegedly further’s the public’s gullibility. I’m not asking this question out of doubt, but more out of ignorance.

      1. Pat

        I apologise to the Senator. He can do fractions. I, on the other hand, cannot read on the fly. Mea Culpa.

        Still depressing. Especially when you look at the House numbers and make up.

      2. Massinissa

        Wooooow, upwards of 40%! That means we only need to force 55% of Dems out before we can get anything meaningful done!

        Sigh. If it weren’t for ballot access and the fact that most of the law favors the duopoly, just forming a new party might be easier.

    2. DJG

      Pat: Also, too, champion snarker and VP candidate for an instant (at least in the mind of Frank Bruni), Tammy Duckworth, voted with Timomentum Kaine, Walking Rich Fossil Feinstein, and Integrity Brown.

    3. JohnnySacks

      I’ll go so far to say that the ones who voted for it in deep blue states (e.g. Markey/Warren in the Kingdom of Ratheonistan) did so with the knowledge that their blue dog scum brethren would carry water for the MIC. It’s all performance theater in a rigged game.

      This is why their blue checklist majority scorecard is completely irrelevant, as if that wasn’t made crystal clear during the RomneyCare for all days of the Obama administration, not even a public option with a filibuster proof majority.

      1. juno mas

        Yes. The Republicans are not part of the “caucus” that the Independent Sanders sits in.

  11. Michael Redd

    Chloroquine as a treatment/preventative for Covid 19 has been so politically charged it appears impossible to fairly assess. The Print article concerning HCQ being ineffective contains an important point in the last paragraph that has been neglected in the press and apparently in the laboratory. “The authors of the German HCQ-chloroquine paper explained that in previous experiments on chloroquine that showed positive results, the crucial TMPRSS2 enzyme was missing (in the lung cells used in the study).” Susan Weiss Professor of Microbiology, co-director of the Center for Research on Coronaviruses and Other Emerging Pathogens, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, suggested several months ago in a podcast about virology (TWIV episode 609, May 3 2020), that HCQ should be tested in combination with a drug directed against TMPRSS2–camostat mesylate. The reason for this that this drug combinationis might prove effective is that Covid 19 invades cells through two pathways: one that requires TMPRSS2 at the cell surface and another that is internal and is blocked by HCQ. Blocking only one of these pathways simply shunts the virus down the other infection pathway. It is frustrating that I can find no evidence that anyone has followed up Susan’s prediction.

  12. CletracSteve

    Regarding Portland.
    Finally, after almost four years, DJT has finally started his own war. Unfortunately, is is against his own country.

      1. Mr. House

        I concur Katniss (sigh)

        What we got here is a failure to communicate. It feels as though it is impossible to get people to understand that only cosmetic differences exist between the two parties.

        1. mpalomar

          “only cosmetic differences exist between the two parties.”
          -Hard to argue with that, both parties are lucrative money mills for the entrenched players. The cosmetics boil down it seems to the adroit application of lipstick on pigs.

          Yet the Iran nuclear deal, the withdrawal from the INF treaty and the possible withdrawal from START. Also Trump’s appointment of 150 lifetime federal judges, Cuba, withdrawal from WHO, Republican tax policy giveaways, cancelling CAFE that pushed automakers to produce more fuel efficient vehicles. Oh and the space farce, may the farce be with you.

        2. Massinissa

          I agree. I’m not actually that confident Biden won’t pull these same stunts if the protests continue into his first term. Might even adopt the same ‘the protesters are all anarchists and anarchists are bad m’kay?’ line Trump is using to justify it. Though to be fair its entirely possible the protests will evaporate on Biden’s election the way anti-war protests did when Obama was anointed, though personally I believe the protests will continue due to ongoing and unabated impoverishment of working class communities that I doubt will stop just because the White House changes team colors again.

    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      The lack of MSM coverage is a feature, not a bug. He’s doing this at the behest of the deep state, especially the most important private sector element of it, Wall Street. It has also suggested to the MSM poobahs there’s “nothing to see here; move along.”

      1. Massinissa

        They’re also probably hoping electing Biden will defuse all the public anger, protests, and strikes. I very much doubt that will happen this time, but then, I’m also just barely old enough that I think that I doubted that the last time, in the late 2000s…

  13. timbers

    US tourist boat at Niagara Falls is PACKED with people while those on Canadian vessel next to it are socially distanced Sun (resilc)

    I’m reading that the real reason the US is closing Chinese Consulates is not because of spying (they do of course but so do we and everyone else since…FOREVER), but because US diplomats stationed at China’s Wuhan Embassy want to return, but refuse to comply with China’s mandatory 2 week quarantine and testing before re-entry into China, and China is in a NO EXCEPTIONS mood as it just suffered another outbreak from a foreigner before the rule kicked in. To punish the Chinese for not taking orders from the Most Exceptional Nation Of All, we’re launching a Fake News attack against them and shutting their embassies in the States.

    And the above example must make China especially leery of letting Typhoid Americanos into their nation.

    1. The Rev Kev

      You would think that the solution would be simple. Sure, let the diplomats come back. But only on their own American aircraft. From the plane they would be passed through by Customs on the tarmac itself, would be loaded aboard some buses, and driven straight to a hotel with police guarding it for the next two weeks to stop people going for a wander. People would be restricted to their own room.

      If nobody comes up sick in frequent testing, then they could go back to work. But we all know that that will never happen. Trump would demand special treatment. I suspect that the Chinese would be suspicious that some of the ‘diplomats’ might not be beyond trying to spread the virus there again to slow up their economy. And you know that there would be members of Trump’s team who would think this a good idea.

    2. Oh

      China has the upper hand. We’re so dependent on China for almost everything we buy from masks to machinery and they know. i went to buy some PVC pipe fittings today and both the (greedy) big box stores, Home Depot and Lowe’s near me were out of what I needed and their shelves are getting bare. Our buy cheap consumer mentality and the greedy importer have landed us in this situation and it’s only going to get worse.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “US tourist boat at Niagara Falls is PACKED with people while those on Canadian vessel next to it are socially distanced”

    In all fairness, when you look closer you will see a lot of people wearing masks and perhaps they are depending on those blue rain jackets to help protect them like the ones that nurses use. The smarter ones are probably the ones on the lower deck who are more spaced out between each other.

    1. lordkoos

      The combination of being outdoors and wearing masks seems not all that risky, the piece is click-bait. Much worse are indoor parties, bars, churches etc etc.

  15. FriarTuck

    RE: Acetaminophen

    I think Acetaminophen abuse is quite common, I personally know people who pop them like candy because they think they’re not potentially toxic. Feel even the slightest pain, or slightest headache? Pop. Symptoms come back before your next dosage schedule? Pop. Who cares, it’s just Acetaminophen.

    I don’t know if removing them as an OTC product would be a good idea, though, as doctors don’t seem to think it’s strong enough for pain management or its other uses.

    Which is crazy considering when I had my wisdom teeth removed my dentist prescribed me Vicodin, to which I had a strong negative reaction. I got through the pain on Acetaminophen, which mitigated most of the pain and allowed me to heal.

    1. Brian (another one they call)

      My doctor recently prescribed that I take 1500 MG, or 1.5 grams of Ibuprofen, daily. Why would my doctor do such a thing unless he was under duress? Why are all the OTC drugs commonly called NSAID’s being prescribed in doses that are harmful to biologic processes? They are supposed to be anti-inflammatories, but the tradeoff on kidney or liver damage don’t seem to be of any concern to the doctors.
      Has the corporation set the rules for treatment? My doctor told me that he can’t prescribe drugs his corporation doesn’t approve of. I can’t get another doctor though. My previous doctors that weren’t corporations, would never prescribe these meds. Anyone else wondering if their doctor is trying to kill them?
      The FDA is a dangerous entity owned by pharma to dictate their terms to the public and justify terrible substances to make money as though they were medicine.

      1. furies

        Yeah, “evidence based medicine” is a pr term

        and the protocols in place cause many harms.

        “But it’s the standard of care!!”

        We are not all identical biological machines as much as they would like to paint the picture that way…efficiency and all that, assembly lines, oops, can’t wait for the genetic variations we are all cookie-cutter the same yo!

      2. cwalsh

        Was insured with Kaiser for 17 years. I don’t go to the doctor much, but inevitably they would prescribe 800mg ibuprofen at 8 hour interval. I wouldn’t take all that, but the few times I questioned the hazard to my stomach lining elicited a hostile response.

      3. Otto

        It’s a concern, to those docs who know. Most don’t. There is no pain course in either classes or rotations in med school. You have to make it a point of study. Considering that by federal law pain is a vital sign, the ignorance of docs and the mbas running the medical practices never ceases to get me angry. I sued (won) a 900 doc practice to get them to adhere to terms of their license – to treat each patient as present. You can’t make a corporate edict that says we do and don’t use not use these drugs –> see list. That is illegal. After I got yanked a couple of licenses, suddenly they found god. Good for them. God I’m sorry.

      4. Yves Smith Post author

        The least problematic NSAID Is naproxen sodium (Aleve). Ibuprofen is more strongly correlated with higher heart attack risk.

        If aspirin doesn’t bother your stomach, use that instead, since it lowers heart attack and stroke risk. Or take in on alternate days with a NSAID.

    2. amfortas the hippie

      on my fone so from memory
      vicodin contains apap at the insistence of the dea, who wanted to include it to “discourage” abuse with acute liver failure
      just one more factoid in the “evil empire” column

      1. lordkoos

        I believe that combining an OTC analgesic with a narcotic pain reliever such as Oxycontin makes the Oxy work more effectively.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            last i looked, at least.
            DEA, under pressure from pain advocate groups, dropped the “recommended” dose of the apap in each pill, to 325mg.
            This was maybe 10 years ago?(I’ve always been rather timeless…and i’m too tired/painful to go hunt for links. sorry)
            The reason for such advocacy was due to the liver toxicity, and the finding that apap didn’t really add enough analgesic relief to justify the danger of the apap, itself.
            there was a dea memo or something floating around all that committee hearing stuff that essentially admitted as much, and stated(pretty clearly for govspeak) that the danger of liver failure WAS the deterrent.
            I’m in the “Pain Community”. I keep one of my many eyes on that stuff.
            it’s a whole other world of injustice and cruelty than what we usually deal with here.

            Likely have all the docs on an old hard drive i don’t know how to access.

      1. ambrit

        I’d like to meet your dentists. Here in the NADS, cheap seats section, dentists now will not prescribe narcotic pain relievers. When I had a tooth out, all I got was a prescription for high dose Acetamenaphin and Ibuprophen in tandem.
        Serious pain relief has become a Federally mandated racket. The system set up for dealing with any ‘serious’ pain medicines is now exactly like what used to be called a “Pill Mill,” and prosecuted as such.

  16. Dalepues

    Love the Toucans chomping on papaya.

    For several years we kept a large bird bath on the ground outside our home in Nicaragua. The first year our visitors were mostly robins and groups of tiny yellow birds, and once in a while a snake or a possum. Then one day a Toucan appeared. I had to laugh at the way it stood on the edge of the platón (a broad, shallow, pottery bowl), then flipped around and backed down into the water, hooking its ponderous beak where its feet had just been. They were actually a pair of Toucans. One would bathe while the other acted as guard.

    They stayed mostly in the grove of avocado and papaya trees, but only for a couple of weeks, then they were gone. That was the first year. The second year they returned with a smaller member, we guessed a chick. Their routine was the same. One bird would watch while the others bathed and drank. They left just as before and returned for the third year, just about the time the fruit was starting to ripen in the grove below us. We had to leave after the third year but a friend said the new neighbors were making sure the platón was always filled with fresh water for the birds.

  17. jr

    Re: OpenAI’s language generator

    Really interesting piece on AI language generator and it struck the right balance between genuine excitement and a cautionary perspective on claims of the imminent arrival of the Machine Gods. I still think it and the Twitter commenters make the error of confusing consciousness with intelligence or at least seeming to try to create a different standard of intelligence:

    “It’s also no surprise that many have been quick to start talking about intelligence. But GPT-3’s human-like output and striking versatility are the results of excellent engineering, not genuine smarts.”

    What exactly are “genuine smarts”? This sounds like a “weasel word” for consciousness. I would say that it’s fine to start talking about intelligence vis a vis this AI but no matter how many “poems” or “short stories” it cut n pastes together it will never write from the heart…

    “For one thing, the AI still makes ridiculous howlers that reveal a total lack of common sense.”

    Finally, evidence of a human like intelligence!

    “But even its successes have a lack of depth to them, reading more like cut-and-paste jobs than original compositions.”

    Sounds like the NYT’s political commentary. But I digress. There will always be an abyss behind these texts because there is no one behind them. Interesting new patterns may emerge but ultimately it’s just the interplay of gates, honed by iteration but never understanding anything.

    “Oh, it writes poetry”

    Nope, just patterns of words that resemble poetry. Poetry has meaning and intent, AI has neither.

    “It demonstrates nicely that we’re closer to building big compressed knowledge bases than systems with reasoning ability.”

    Yes but I’m leery of the term “reasoning ability”, does he mean consciousness or is this that ambiguous “real smarts” mentioned earlier? The “C” word is awful scary for techies…

    ” it a kind of vast, eclectic scrapbook created from millions and millions of snippets of text that it then glues together in weird and wonderful ways on demand.”

    It’s not an AI so much as it’s the deluxe leather bound box set edition of Word Scramble…

    Which leads me to this Turing fellow. I had no idea he had fudged so badly on that test of his:

    “The test was introduced by Turing in his 1950 paper, “Computing Machinery and Intelligence”, while working at the University of Manchester (Turing, 1950; p. 460).[3] It opens with the words: “I propose to consider the question, ‘Can machines think?'” Because “thinking” is difficult to define, Turing chooses to “replace the question by another, which is closely related to it and is expressed Turing’s new question is: “Are there imaginable digital computers which would do well in the imitation game?”[5] This question, Turing believed, is one that can actually be answered. In the remainder of the paper, he argued against all the major objections to the proposition that “machines can think”.[6]” Wiki

    Ok, he asked “Can machines think?” Upon discovering what a toughie defining thinking (consciousness) is, he must have skipped his history of philosophy classes for the Math Club meetings, he replaces it with a question that proposes that a good “imitation” of thinking is……….actual thinking. Like a cubic zirconium is actually a diamond. Or “White Fragility” is actually literature. Or HRC is actually a human. Or Joe Biden is actually sentient.

    Then he goes on to argue, based upon imitation, that machines can think. Except he already took a pass on defining thinking, substituting imitation instead. So is he defending the imitation of thinking as thinking because it’s “closely related” or is it actual thinking to his way of thinking? Or his imitation real thinking? Or is that real imitation real thinking? Come to think of it, is this thinking or just a good imitation? Can anyone out there help clarify? Any thoughts? Or reasonable facsimiles a la Turing?

  18. Chris

    In today’s installment of how the powers that be are trying to create a conventional wisdom to support things we’ll all regret later (see prior examples of Russiagate, WMDs, Assad gassing his own people, anything related to Ukraine, etc.) we have that old standby Slate. Here is there latest attempt at trying to make contact tracing apps happen.

    Is it necessary? No. Am I happy that Google and Apple conspired to update my phone to support this kind of thing? No. Do I expect people to actually care about real intrusions on our freedom as opposed to wearing masks and being polite? Also no.

    1. Oh

      I wonder if I can download the app, collect the $1000 and then delete it or change my phone? They’d probably disallow deletion or automatically download the app in your new phone since they know your identity!

  19. The Rev Kev

    “OpenAI’s new language generator GPT-3 is shockingly good—and completely mindless”

    They can pat themselves on the back all they want but no, it is not ‘shockingly good.’ As an example of their work, they put up “The importance of being on Twitter,” written in the style of Jerome K. Jerome. Well I am here to say that as a Jerome K. Jerome fan with several of his books on my shelves that no, it is not in his style at all. Not even close. And it is bad writing to boot. Jerome had a great sense of the absurd as well as humanity and none of it is to be found in that short story. Here is a page of sample quotes from him for comparison-

  20. The Rev Kev

    Biden says Trump is America’s first racist president: “We’ve had racists, and they’ve existed, they’ve tried to get elected president. He’s the first one that has.”

    The ghost of President Woodrow Wilson begs to differ. But at least Biden is not racist. Oh, wait- (some swearing)

    1. Carolinian

      Andy Jackson comes to mind. In fact it’s probably a fair sized list including Lincoln according to some in the cancel contingent.

  21. jr

    Re: homeless encampments

    A few years ago the City erected these pylons along the sidewalks, they have a display for ads (of course) along with public info etc. You can actually make phones calls from them I think. You can definitely charge your phone there.

    Not surprisingly, some homeless people camp out at them, slinging around on the ubiquitous busted office chairs that seem to grow wild on the sidewalks around here, playing music on their phones and what not. It just struck me as so sad to see them clinging to this trickle of energy as a lifeline to normalcy while around them gigawatts get frittered away to light up empty buildings. It doesn’t take much to improve peoples lives, at least relative to the all the waste…

    An interesting note about CoinStars. I was talking with two grocery clerks about them once and how I love them; it’s always a fun treat to cash in coins and see how much was in the jar. One of the kids told me the homeless really love them, they are essentially banks or ATMs because they can convert coins to paper…

    1. edmondo

      CoinStars rips off 12% of each transaction as a “service fee”. That seems somewhat excessive, no?

      1. jr

        Hey Im not defending them, believe me, just sharing the tale. Its fun for me cause I don’t live off of the haul. In a related note, I got jacked for around 30$ total in ATM fees so I could draw my unemployment funds from my card over the entirety of the crisis. I’m no fan of the “convenience fee” whatever the heck that means…

        @wuk lol

    2. Geo

      Improve people’s lives:
      “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” – Quotation from some radical communist hippie millennial probably.

    3. John Anthony La Pietra

      Reminds me of the classic description of the then-new trash compactor on “The Great American Dream Machine”: the machine that turns 40 pounds of trash into 40 pounds of trash! Except now you only get back 35. . . .

  22. Dr. John Carpenter

    I don’t know why people are giving Biden grief for just saying what the Dems believe re:Trump being America’s first racist president. I’m sure they’ll explain it away as another gaffe, which I guess it is, if saying the quiet part out loud is a gaffe. Can’t say I’m shocked that’s what he thinks though.

    1. hunkerdown

      That is the correct definition for gaffe, before the mainstream noise machine decided that a word pointing out the difference between the quiet part and the loud part was detrimental to class discipline, and sought to add noise, the only thing it can really do.

  23. Frank Little

    Thought this might be of interest to NC readers: Derek Chauvin (the cop who kneeled on George Floyd) has been charged with tax fraud along with his wife. In addition to not reporting almost $100k in off-duty pay, he also did not pay any MN tax on a BMW he bought and drove in MN by claiming Florida residency. Read that and remember that George Floyd lost his life over allegedly using a counterfeit $20.

    Here’s a good write up from the Minnesota Reformer:
    Derek Chauvin charged with felony tax fraud for claiming Florida residency

    1. Maxwell Johnston

      Speechless. Claiming FL residency while being a cop in MN takes some nerve. Cops often think they can flout the laws and not be caught. Not only in the USA. And they are always shocked when they get caught and realize that they’re not untouchable.

      1. Frank Little

        Yeah it is pretty despicable. There’s been a lot of attention here and elsewhere about how few cops live in the cities they police. Rather than allowing cities to institute some kind of requirement to that effect the MN legislature…..authorized cities to use special tax incentives to “encourage” officers to live where they are already paid from public budgets. They’ve been looting from the city for years.

        1. lordkoos

          Most cops cannot afford to live in the cities they serve, but must commute from the suburbs. It is no doubt a contributing factor as to why many cops don’t care that much about the places they patrol.

          1. chuck roast

            IMHO most cops have no interest in living in the cities they serve because: race, schools, taxes, housing. So, they are happy to abuse or otherwise beat the s#!t out of any urbanite they encounter.

          2. Frank Little

            Yeah I don’t think it’s true that they “must commute from the suburbs.” I and many others I know make less than the starting salary of a cop and I live in the city, but like many the prospect of owning a home is remote at best and I consider myself one of the lucky ones. I also cannot get paid in off-duty time like most cops can, which I have on good authority is quite lucrative, especially if, like Chauvin, it is completely tax-free. There are cops in Minneapolis who commute from border towns in Wisconsin, which may save them money but it’s not an arrangement borne out of necessity.

    2. juno mas

      “along with his wife.”

      The full article shows that Chauvins wife (Realtor) was part of the scam. The BMW was likely for escorting clients. She filed for divorce from him weeks after the Floyd murder. Likely to isolate assets from “community property”. Grifters are forever!

  24. John Zelnicker

    School Daze –

    My granddaughter is starting kindergarten this year in the Saraland, Alabama, school system (a mostly bedroom community just north of Mobile).

    Parents have the choice of remote learning or in-class teaching for the first semester. My daughter chose remote learning, but when she registered, early in the registration process, she was the first to choose remote learning and the school officials had no idea how many others might choose that option.

    They seemed completely unprepared to create a competent remote learning experience. Issues such as scheduling sessions, how many students would be assigned to each teacher, or any information about the curriculum were not addressed, although they must have known for some time now that parents might be reluctant to send their kids into a petri dish.

    Or, considering the mindset of the local population, perhaps they just stuck their heads in the sand like too many of our national and state politicians.

  25. McWatt


    Once again a service the banks used to do for free. And now no longer even do.

    1. divadab

      It’s worse than you think. A local bank in the PNW is charging a “processing fee” to businesses who deposit cash.

    2. jr

      Dropping off the coins ain’t so smooth either, intentionally. I tried taking my coins right to the bank once, BoA, about 3 years ago. They gave me instructions for rolling them up, a plastic bag whose label had to be filled out, and a sheet of paper to fill out. Then the lady told me I would get the money credited in a few days.

      They literally handed me their work. These guys who take 12$ a month because I don’t keep a minimum balance. After reeling up my jaw, I walked over to the grocery store and got railed by a CoinStar so I could get my cash and get on with my life. It was that or get railed by BoA doing the work of some guy they railed by laying him off from the coin counting department. That choice is a luxury that a lot of people can’t afford, I know.

      1. ambrit

        Oh boy. The actual counting is done by a machine. How many times does the machine goof off at work, or go out on strike? The bank still needs to count the coins from the overnight business deposits, so I don’t see the coin counting machine as being discontinued.
        Pure greed. But, that’s what banks do.

      1. polecat

        I’m saving mine, for when the time comes that I feel the need to melt them down for spear points … One just never knows when the VirtSig crowd will try to over-run one’s cave/crib….

        I hear tell nickle is the most durable. I’ll save the copper .. what little there is of course, for axe heads. Otsi, I think, would approve. Maybe set some side for a homemade radio … along with any silver, for the purpose of soldering wire. Any jade or gold .. should I ever come across any, will be saved for the fashioning of totems.

        Desperate times call for Desperate measures – Think like an Ancient!

    1. diptherio

      Perhaps you weren’t paying attention to what they’ve done to peaceful protestors. You can only brutalize people so much before they start fighting back.

    2. martell

      Pretty disturbing comments in the thread. I’ve considered claims about fascism in the US wildly exaggerated up to now. But judging from recent events in Portland and reaction to them elsewhere, I’ll have to reconsider.

      The comments in the thread are also ill informed. The Portland mayor, Ted Wheeler, attended a protest directed at the federal agents and was gassed for his trouble. True enough. But he also had a water bottle thrown at his head by someone in the crowd at about the same time.

      Protesters jeered the mayor and demanded his resignation. Meanwhile, city commissioner Hardesty, about whom there is a linked article today, has accused the mayor of collaboration with federal agencies (with some justification, as the mayor is police commissioner and the Portland police have been conducting joint operations with federal agents). She’s asked that the mayor resign as police commissioner and assign her the job, since, she claims, the mayor has lost control of the police department, as evidenced by the latter’s repeated use of excessive and possibly illegal force against protesters and continued cooperation with federal agents despite recent orders from the mayor to the contrary. Hardesty even went so far as to accuse the police of employing agents provocateurs at rallies (which I suspect is true, given the track record of that department), but has since had to apologise for saying so due to lack of evidence.

      In any case, the mayor has not been passive in regard to the protests; nor has he been unequivocally supportive of the protests. It seems to me as though he’s tried to walk a line: lending vocal support to nonviolent protests while curbing violent protest at the same time, all while attempting to control a police department which has historically consisted of far too many incompetent, racist, and trigger-happy officers. Now that the even less competent and more violent federal agents have shown up, he sees an opportunity to unite the city against them and distract attention from his administrative failings.

      1. JWP

        Wheeler is being forced into attending the protests because toeing the line doesn’t fly in portland. His mayoral challenger has been a part of the Wall of Moms every other night and is far more solid in her views and policies. He knows he will lose if he doesn’t show up. Maybe some first hand experience will be a wake up call for Ted. The city council passed a measure banning police from cooperating with the feds. There’s a start.

    3. hunkerdown

      Good. People should be able to sabotage and destroy their oppressors, especially when they’re the “middle class” and other aspirants to bourgeois aristocracy. Ngo, like every US partisan, is part of the neoliberal noise machine and should be gulaged along with all the other psychopaths who believe private property is a natural law.

      1. chuck roast

        Brutal out deh bro’! I’m looking forward to you and Polecat having a “dialogue.”

        1. hunkerdown

          You could say it’s the art of the ambit claim. Not the ambrit claim; he claims for himself.

          Anywho, private property ain’t a natural law. There are multiple examples through history of exclusive relationships to objects and factors of production, very often with far fewer exclusive rights granted, and some public rights explicitly protected (passage, usufruct). Only a particular few fetishists took the liberty to elevate fee simple ownership to a quasi-divine superior life form that justify killing any who attack it. Any claim of rights based in natural law is an assertion that simply cannot be backed but by power.

          1. ambrit

            Ouch! A good meta pun on my internet ‘handle!’
            Heaven forfend that I make claims for my “circle of friends.”

    4. JoeK

      Andy Ngo, that’s a hoot. Why would I waste energy reading something Andy Ngo posted? You’re going to have to look for an audience more amenable to that specific genre of right-wing propaganda posted by self-loathers. Good luck.

    5. CarlH

      The amount of deference to authority exhibited in the comments since the protests started has been surprising to me. The push back from other commenters has not been a surprise and I am thankful for it.

      1. ambrit

        I am a bit suspicious of some of the pro-authority commenters. Their provenance seems suspect.
        Does the DHS have a Hasbara Division?

  26. Billy

    Predictive policing algorithms are racist.

    “According to US Department of Justice figures, you are more than twice as likely to be arrested if you are Black than if you are white.”

    Behavior is often predictive of arrests–unless one claims that an equal number of Whites, Asians and Hispanics commit the same offenses in front of police, or witnesses that identify them to the police, and yet Blacks are arrested in higher numbers.

    It is my personal observation all through a public school setting and on the streets, that blacks are more physical and violent and thus are more likely to be arrested. Others may agree, or disagree based on real world experiences.

    Some police are guilty of excesses as well.

    1. marym

      Actual quote: According to US Department of Justice figures, you are more than twice as likely to be arrested if you are Black than if you are white. A Black person is five times as likely to be stopped without just cause as a white person.

  27. jef

    Silicone mask takes the surface area of an N95 mask and cuts it down to about a quarter of the area. Filtration is all about surface area. The finer the filtration the lower the flow so the larger the surface area. I am willing to bet that wearing that mask feels like someone has their hand over your mouth. The only way to make that mask work is if the filtration discs were about a 1/2″ of non-woven media layers.

  28. amfortas the hippie

    re:applebaums missive on america and trump

    for all the lamentations about our lost morality and idealism and trust in out vaunted exceptional nature… not a single mea culpa
    i lost my faith in america quite naturally,thank you…. and pretty reluctantly
    didn’t require russians
    america itself is to blame

  29. TC

    Tesla Turns a Profit For the Fourth Quarter In a Row, Chooses Austin For Next Gigafactory The Verge

    No, they really didn’t, and the headline notwithstanding, even the article eventually makes this clear:

    “Tesla once again wasn’t purely profitable based on its sales, though, as it also sold $428 million worth of regulatory credits in the quarter, an increase over the $354 million in credits it sold during Q1 of this year (and a record for the company). Its overall revenue was down year-over-year, thanks in large part to the pandemic. And yet the company’s run of profitable quarters may now put it in the vaunted S&P 500.”

    This company is a disaster in waiting by just about every sane metric you can imagine.

    1. Oh

      Yup! Along with the other Tech stocks it’s coming down hard (almost 5%). More to come for this company. I’ll betcha the VC’s are cashing in and running for the exits.

  30. Billy

    Trump announces he’s sending federal agents to Chicago
    Yet more fascism.

    Joe Biden’s crime bill? Progressivism.

    “Chicago police say the children, ages 10-17, have been on a carjacking spree across Chicago’s South Side, which started in late June.
    The group of kids, in two incidents, have discharged weapons in broad daylight as they approached their victims.

    People in the community are terrified about these armed kids:

    “I’m scared to use my garage. I don’t feel safe in my neighborhood,” carjacking victim and school teacher Alyssa Blanchard told Fox 5. Blanchard said her BMW was stolen and used by the kids to carjack a woman at Trinity Hospital.”

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Tucker Carlson interviewed a Chicago alderman last night regarding Trump’s “invasion” of Chicago. It’s only three minutes long and authentic–check the accent. Almost made me homesick.

      Bottom line–the city needs help, and they don’t want Trump in there because he might be successful and it could help his reelection. (They’re worried that so many people are fleeing the violence, that they’re going to come up short in the census.)

      So, the people of Chicago will be sacrificed for a guy who’s too afraid to come out of his basement, and a political party that’s too corrupt to give a shit.

      1. marym

        The head of the Chicago police union, who “also noted that for a few years, he has “proudly and repeatedly” spoken in the City Council chambers wearing “Trump 45” gear,” invited the feds. We should possibly not jump to conclusions just yet as to what the goals are here and who is likely to be protected and defended in this go-round.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Maybe I was unclear. The “bottom line” I cited above came from the interviewed alderman, not me, as did the comments about the census and Trump’s reelection.

          Having said that, IMNSHO, when you’re facing funeral shootouts and 11-year-old carjackers in
          the space of a couple of days you do need some “help,” and should have the good sense to ask for it, wardrobe choices and upcoming national elections notwithstanding.

          1. CuriosityConcern

            Katniss, what are your thoughts on Flint, MI? Everyone who consumes lead tainted water faces immediate and cummulative risk. Lead poisoning has also been associated increased propensity of violence by those poisoned.
            Heck, how about COVID19? That a 1/100 risk of dying.
            My point is that there are manifold risks more dangerous than Chicago that are still unaddressed by our dear leader(and yes, past dear leaders and also legislative), but it sure is easy to blame the gangs in IL.

      2. allan

        “he might be successful”

        As leaked documents showed, and facts on the ground confirmed, the DHS paramilitary forces deployed in Portland have no training in law enforcement or crowd control.
        They’re basically highly militarized security guards.
        There’s no reason to think that they would be any more successful in a more complex urban environment
        like Chicago.

        On the other hand, as a provocation inserted in the hope of justifying further escalation, they might just work. “You furnish the pictures, and I’ll furnish the war.”

  31. amfortas the hippie

    nothing leaps out from my aimless bored-driving in san antone
    traffic is pretty light
    more for lease signs
    half empty parking lots remain the most obvious roadside indicator

    i did hear some weirdness on npr/tx public radio
    woman hawking her book about how our language is irreparably racist,sexist etc
    grandfather clause is the one that sticks in my ear
    essentially that we must chuck all of history and language and start over again
    it’s the Year One
    ill hunt that segment down(!) when i get home
    pretty remarkable display of well meaning honky chick and obvious potential for unintended consequences

    1. hunkerdown

      I see you know of the Thermordorean calendar. Ah, the oh-so-indispensable “middle class” of petty martinets “making their mark on the world”…

    2. paintedjaguar

      I caught some of that NPR segment while on my latest grocery run. The woman’s arms must ache from all the reaching she’s engaged in… the usual SJW hodgepodge of hoary complaints (white-hat/black-hat is RACIST), dubious etymology, selective interpretation of words with multiple definitions, and of course defining the meaning and intent of a word by supposed “damage” to motivated listeners rather than by context or common usage. No to mention the dredging up of long forgotten racial or ethnic connections, propping them up for our perusal like a hanged corpse in the public square. Which reminds me — I’m personally offended by attempts to enclose/appropriate vocabulary, like erasing history in an attempt to convert “lynching” into a word with exclusively racial connotations. The state and corporate persecution of Wobblies and other lefty organizers springs to mind.

      Not so sure about the “well meaning” bit — I think most such people are actually grifters looking to reap both monetary and social profit. I wish they’d leave English alone and go meddle with Esperanto or Klingon. Or maybe have a go at the gendered grammar of Romance languages. That would keep them busy for a while.

  32. Pelham

    Re Trump dispatching federal troops to various cities: So is Trump just trying to stir up trouble by sending troops to provoke peaceful demonstrators, as much of the media would have it? Or are the demonstrators not so peaceful, instead hurling objects at overpowered local police, defacing property and burning down buildings, as Fox News footage appears to show? Which came first, chicken or egg?

    1. hunkerdown

      Yes, this is a campaign season, and being a festival of predation, it is necessary for candidates to demonstrate their prowess using their whole extended wherewithal. See the DNC pass-through to HRC and rehabilitation of the IC high into the Democrat Party ranks.

      Get used to campaign season being ugly. These are feral hogs playing the game now.

      1. chuck roast

        You be rockin’ today bro’! I think the Portland deal has raised everybody’s annoyance factor.

        1. hunkerdown

          I don’t want to be right. My more foily thoughts have to do with this street LARP providing convenient distraction for actual leftist disappearances and other actions. If local organizers/leaders start to go missing or take mortally ill in disproportionate numbers, or if we start losing our economists like Chile did, those are kinda casualties and that’s kinda war, innit.

          1. ambrit

            Good catch. A lot of the ‘Sons of the Chicago School’ are in positions of influence in the government today.

    2. KevinD

      IMO: He’s not trying to protect anyone, that would require empathy. He is catering to his base.
      He’s thinking “look at those bad democratic-run cities, I’ll fix them!”. Playing “Mr. Tough Guy” always resonates with his base.

      There’s not a lot left for him to run on and in typical fashion, he is forever creating boogeymen and playing the victim. If people get hurt in the process, he is blind to any side-effects of his actions. There are a lot of sociopathic tendencies in him I find hard to ignore.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        He’s thinking “look at those bad democratic-run cities, I’ll fix them!”.

        Dunno. Why bother? He’s just getting a lot of shit for it. I’d think he’d get more mileage from his “base” if he just let ’em burn, while relentlessly pointing out who’s in “control.”

        And, a couple more months of this, might just get those coveted “suburban moms” wondering if that same criminal chaos could be coming to their neighborhood. I mean a teacher getting her BMW carjacked by an 11-year-old can really mess with even a woke mom’s mind.

        Can anyone say “willie horton?”

        1. Otto

          Can any say 32 years ago? Those voters don’t exist. trumps base is getting less by the day.

    3. marym

      Cops murdering black people with impunity came first. As to the specifics of a particular protest, consider these factors when viewing reports and images. What does the configuration of cops look like during a large peaceful daylight anti-police-brutality protest? What does it look like when armed, pro-disease-spreading, pro-Confederacy protesters show up at a government building? What does it look like when a small number of people are doing damage at night? Which came first when protesters throw a tear gas canister back?

      1. Jeff

        “Cops murdering black people with impunity”: have you ever looked for data on this? I’m not talking about anecdotes, as those are always available.

        If not, I’d suggest you look for the number of unarmed black people killed by police. Those stats are available. Then come back here with that data and see if this idea of “Cops murdering black people with impunity” holds water.

        Or just carry on believing the BLM propaganda.

          1. juno mas

            Well, there was the officer (Sanger?) who was caught on video fatally shooting a Black man in the back in South Carolina. Oh wait, he took a plea to a Federal charge (not homicide) and sits in a federal prison (7 years?).

        1. Massinissa

          You’re right those stats ARE available, but uh, as far as I’ve seen they don’t really do your argument many favors.

        2. Otto

          Ya, the FBI database. Over a thousand blacks shot dead in 2019, 2018, & 2017. Apparently, cops shot you for any ‘ole reason. I thought their life (cop) had to be in danger – nah, any reason, no reason will do. Have to say cops kill whites, Latinos, Greeks, really anyone. Not their job.

  33. Paradan

    So if the FEDs start shooting protesters, then maybe Russia will claim Responsibility to Protect and launch a couple hundred cruise missiles at us.

    1. hunkerdown

      Unfortunately, the only people who would be able to make good use of Russian military assistance are firmly aligned and brainwashed into the neoliberal far-right, and therefore worse than useless as equal members of a community. And China surely doesn’t want to help another country’s sizable working class, especially not a near-peer with latent capabilities. There’s no outside rising-great-power assistance to be had on the side of the working class, for now.

  34. Cuibono

    Cancer story is so full of holes i would nt know where to begin.
    WE already very good at detecting too many cancers and in the course of doing that cause untold suffering

    1. Dan

      Cuibono, could you expand on this please. I’d like to know more about cancer over-diagnosis. And, aside from the obvious emotional suffering from any cancer diagnosis, are you also referring to the physical suffering due to what may be unnecessary chemotherapy? Just curious…

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