Links 7/3/2020

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Yves here. We are on a holiday schedule through Monday. I nevertheless am busy with eldercare matters (interviewing new agencies, gah) which is why no original posts today. Hope your 4th is fun or at least restful.

A ‘Viral’ New Bird Song in Canada Is Causing Sparrows to Change Their Tune Gizmodo (David L)

Elk Return to Kentucky, Bringing Economic Life New York Times (resilc)

5 Minutes That Will Make You Love Mozart New York Times

World’s Pile of Electronic Waste Grows Ever Higher: Study Associated Press

Climate change threat to tropical plants PhysOrg (Kevin W)

Scientists make light ‘flow’ like a river in incredible breakthrough experiment RT (Kevin W)


Czech Republic scraps face mask rule as Prague hosts outdoor party Guardian (resilc). Hope vlade will pipe up.


The coronavirus may have mutated to become more infectious, Dr. Anthony Fauci says CNBC (David L)

World’s dominant strain of coronavirus ‘is 10 TIMES more infectious than the one that jumped to humans in China’ because it mutated so its vital spike protein doesn’t snap as often in the body, scientists say Daily Mail (furzy)

Study shows SARS-CoV-2 can infect heart cells in lab dish MedicalXpress. Resilc: “Long term death rates have to go up too because of Covid attacks on various organs.”

Coronavirus: Testing sewage an ‘easy win’ BBC (David L)

CDC Director Redfield and NIH Director Collins Address Congress on a Coronavirus Vaccine C-SPAN (Kevin W)


This will increase the cost of Sweden’s “do very little” approach:


‘It Makes No Sense’: Alabama Students Host Parties to Spread COVID-19 as US Cases Skyrocket Sputnik (Kevin W). This story appears to have gotten coverage all over the US.

‘We don’t live in a communist country!’: battle over masks rages in Texas Guardian (Kevin W)

CDC Criteria Not Met (out of 4), by State Menzie Chinn

U.S. Seeks Large-Scale Expansion of Blood-Plasma Collection for Covid-19 Wall Street Journal

Secret Service Agents Pulled From Pence’s Arizona Trip After Contracting COVID-19: WaPo Daily Beast

‘The barn’s on fire’: The Phoenix mayor and Arizona’s former health director detail how the state’s coronavirus response went from successful to catastrophic Business Insider (Kevin W)


Fear, Lockdown, and Diversion: Comparing Drivers of Pandemic Economic Decline 2020 NBER (Dan K)

U.S. farmers scramble for help as COVID-19 scuttles immigrant workforce Reuters (resilc)


Hong Kong Security Law Stuns International Business Wall Street Journal

China sterilising ethnic minority women in Xinjiang, report says Guardian (resilc)

Petrol sold to Nigeria from Europe ‘dirtier’ than black market ‘bush’ fuel Guardian (resilc)


Seriously, Get The Hell Out Of Afghanistan Caitlin Johnstone

What Blocked Netanyahu from Beginning Planned Theft of Swathes of Palestinian West Bank on July 1? Juan Cole (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

How Police Secretly Took Over a Global Phone Network for Organized Crimen Vice

Hundreds arrested as crime chat network cracked BBC (furzy)

The New EARN IT Bill Still Threatens Encryption and Free Speech Electronic Frontier Foundation. Dan K: From that letter, a point that the article doesn’t articulate as clearly:

Finally, the amended bill creates a practical problem: by exposing online service providers to potential liability for user-generated content in over 50 jurisdictions, operators of these platforms would have to contend with following dozens of varying state mandates about how to run something as simple as a comments section.

The Security Value of Inefficiency Bruce Schneier (David L)

Trump Transition

President Trump and Treasury Secretary Mnunchin News Conference on the Economy C-SPAN (Kevin C)

Trump’s War on Asylum Seekers Struck Down by a Trump-Appointed Judge American Prospect (resilc)

Thousands of U.S. judges who broke laws or oaths remained on the bench Reuters (resilc)

America’s Two Right-Wing Parties Keep Accusing Each Other Of Being Far-Left Caitlin Johnstone (Kevin W)


Biden Outraises Trump Again, With $141 Million June Haul New York Times (resilc)

L’affaire Jeffrey Epstein

Ghislaine Maxwell, longtime Jeffrey Epstein associate, arrested for recruiting and abusing girls in sex-trafficking ring CNN

Ghislaine Maxwell played ‘critical role’ in helping Jeffrey Epstein groom underage victims, US investigators say Sky (furzy)

Black Lives Matter

Gen. Milley: Some soldiers mobilized to DC amid Black Lives Matter protests were issued bayonets USA Today

How Did Police Unions Get So Powerful? Nation (resilc)

Dr Disrespect: Mystery surrounds Twitch suddenly banning one of the world’s most popular gamers Kevin W: “Dr Disrespect was in a Water Cooler link once. Article interesting for the details of the gaming scene.”

Why the Fed thinks Goldman is America’s riskiest bank Financial Times

Boeing Quietly Pulls Plug on the 747, Closing Era of Jumbo Jets Bloomberg. I know they are terrible fuel hogs, but I loved flying on 747s. Have many good memories of flights to the coast, the UK, and Australia on them.

Driving Older Cars: Light on Tech, Heavy on Fun DNyuz. Moi: I don’t need the fun, just the tech avoidance. Resilc confirms:

Tech is bad. Heat cooks all the connectors and electronics. Quicker fails and more limited life. The amount of tech on my 38hp John Deere tractor is bad enough, yet alone the Toyota.

Here Come the 4 Horsemen of the Techopolypse New York Times (David L)

Class Warfare

How Companies Fleeced American Workers Out of Wages and Benefits Bloomberg

There is no such thing as a millennial Financial Times

Antidote du jour. From LaRuse in VA:

Offering a story and a photo. Last Friday, an animal control officer turned up on my porch – said my neighbor had called regarding a kitten on her deck. The kitten had fled under my deck. The officer couldn’t really take the kitten forcefully because it didn’t appear injured, but said we could call to have it collected if it came out. He didn’t know that I am a desperate cat lover married to a person that has allergies so bad he gets 4 immunotherapy shots a week.

So I instantly put out a can of tuna by the deck. It was all I had. That evening, the food had been hit so I walked the yard. The kitten was in my shed, so weak and near to death she couldn’t get away from me. She kept blacking out in my hands as I inspected her. She never bit or scratched me. I put more tuna and water out and put her back where I found her since she could not come in the house and if she was there in the morning, I would go get kibble and such for her.

Well, she was there. And she was more lively. And friendly. Not feral at all. She was nothing but bones under all her fluff. So kibble and dewormer was achieved and she began recovering from near death.

This photo was taken last night, 5 days after her discovery. We think she is at least part Maine Coon and she is absolutely smitten with my family. Even Allergic Husband cannot resist offering her a few scritches now and then (followed immediately with handwashing and maybe a benedryl).

She is going to be a stunningly beautiful cat. We have several people interested in offering her a forever home but no one has committed quite yet. Today, she is zooming around the back yard tackling acorn caps and hunting grasshoppers. I named her Purrmengarde (after Ermengarde, the grandmother of Henry Plantagenet because I am a super 12th century history nerd).

Anyway, that is a long story for a tiny 5 ounce kitten, but I thought the Blog might find her Antidote-worthy.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Redlife2017

    So, even England (not a typo – the 4 countries in the UK are NOT alligned on travel) is not going to let Americans into the country on the random: US Included on England’s Covid-19 Red List

    That will effectively kill business travel between the two countries for some time. It’s a shame that I can’t see my family (physically) for a long-time as well. I often wondered when the time would come…

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I doubt if any UK rules will be applied consistently or logically considering who is in charge. I was talking to a friend in Birmingham yesterday who said that a friend with family in Pakistan was astonished that she faced checks and quarantine leaving Pakistan last month, but just walked straight through Heathrow without a question.

      I’ve also heard that the Scottish are considering restrictions on English holidaymakers – Scotland is close to being Covid free (or so they claim). I think it’s likely we will see a dance of indecision and inconsistency for many months to come on travel. And I suspect that if international travel fuels further outbreaks (which I would consider highly likely) over the summer, then things may be even more confused later in the year.

      1. Redlife2017

        I agree. The English (not UK, necessarily) have been quite crap at this all. So for those going on holidays and visiting families, I think that people will probably do that nonsense. The confusion will come in for business travel, as I doubt they will send people over as their insurance wouldn’t cover travel to the US since it is on the red-list. That’s big chunky money for hotels, restaurants and of course airlines. And if a large firm finds out that a person travelled on holiday to the US and didn’t tell the office? Ohhh boy. The Mothership to my firm (pre-lockdown) was forcing people to go on 7 – 14 day quarantines if they visited specific countries. Big firms will do what the government won’t do (i.e. enforce the quarantine).

        1. MLTPB

          I read that a man (not sure which country in South America) solo sailed across the Atlantic to visit his family in Europe, because flights were all cancelled.

          1. RMO

            Well, a solo transatlantic crossing should certainly have fulfilled any requirements for quarantining by the time he got to his destination as long as it was non-stop.

            1. BlakeFelix

              You sure want a test before you leave though, you don’t want to get symptoms a week in!

    2. Ignacio

      I thought that precisely for visiting familiars at both sides of the pond flights wouldn’t be cancelled and other measures could be applied, such as testing and quarantines.

        1. jr

          I pictured witches and warlocks running through airports to embrace ravens, black cats, serpents, and toads…

      1. Redlife2017

        My firm will definately quarantine me coming home and I have no health insurance in the US if I get sick. Travel insurance will basically be impossible on that until they are off the red-list.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I would imagine that any firm that tries to send their people to a place like the US, Russia, Brazil or India would face a mini-revolt by their staff which is a shame for those people that like the thought of international business travel.

          1. Clive

            Big problem in the industry is people shirking from home quietly taking up residence in another country surreptitiously (i.e. not telling their employer) for one reason or another — very very difficult to detect as VPN masks the routing pretty well — which causes all manner of problems such as data processing outside of declared jurisdictions and regulatory regimes, tax issues, security concerns etc. etc. etc.

            So trying to keep ‘em at home is sometimes the difficulty!

  2. PlutoniumKun

    Boeing Quietly Pulls Plug on the 747, Closing Era of Jumbo Jets Bloomberg. I know they are terrible fuel hogs, but I loved flying on 747s. Have many good memories of flights to the coast, the UK, and Australia on them.

    2020 might be known as the year of the commercial aircraft massacre. The A380 is dead too, the final one will roll off the assembly line next year. The Mitsubishi Spacejet seems to be in a slow motion death by a thousand cuts, the Japanese are slowly withdrawing support for it. The Sukhoi Superjet is in serious trouble and may never recover from its crashes. And we all know about the 737Max – and I suspect the Max’s travails will drag other Boeing aircraft with it into extinction.

    1. Wukchumni

      1920 speed: 50 mph

      1969 speed: 25,000 mph

      2000 speed: 600 mph

      2020 speed: 50 mph

    2. cnchal

      It’s insane to build thousands of cludgy planes and put them in the sky for the next three to four decades.

    3. Glen

      The 747 line had been sharing workers with the 767 line at the Everett factory for quite a while to try and cope with the low build rates. The passenger version was not a good seller, but the sales for the freighter had remained OK.

    1. Cocomaan

      Yves, how can you post that story and leave me in suspense for the kitten photo??!? Are you a democrat forever dangling M4A???

    2. John k

      I’m sorry too, especially coon, friend has a beautiful one. Bait and nada… sad.

  3. GettingTheBannedBack

    Re Epstein. I agree with Ricky Gervais’s comment at the Awards. So do his lawyers.
    Interesting that Maxwell is being charged after the FBI have had her under surveillance for a while – why not just arrest her months ago, there were enough people willing to testify against her. Maybe there were some high level negotiations that had to be done first with another country before she was pinged, but that’s just my conspiracy theory.

    1. fresno dan

      July 3, 2020 at 7:34 am

      In the same email, the line prosecutor wrote to defense counsel about a meeting
      outside the U.S. Attorney’s Office: “Maybe we can set a time to meet. If you want to meet ‘off
      campus’ somewhere, that is fine.”
      On September 21, 2007, Palm Beach County State Attorney Barry Krischer wrote the line
      prosecutor about the proposed agreement and added: “Glad we could get this worked out for reasons I won’t put in writing. After this is resolved I would love to buy you a cup at Starbucks and have aconversation.”
      Epstein’s counsel was aware that the Office was deliberately keeping the NPA secret from
      the victims and, indeed, had sought assurances to that effect.

      On September 26, 2007, the line prosecutor sent an e-mail to Lefkowitz in which she“Hi Jay – Can you give me a call at 561-[xxx-xxxx] this morning? I am meeting with the agents and want to give them their marching orders regarding what they can tell the girls.”
      U.S. Attorney Acosta then met with Lefkowitz for breakfast and Lefkowitz followed up with
      a letter stating, “I also want to thank you for the commitment you made to me during our October
      12 meeting in which you . . . assured me that your Office would not . . . contact any of the identified
      individuals, potential witnesses, or potential civil claimants and their respective counsel in this
      If one looks at how Epstein and his lawyers were treated by US prosecutor (Acosta) it was nothing but overly solicitous, attentive, obsequious, groveling behavior. Now the US government yammers incessantly about how bad child trafficking is. So many, many layers at the DoJ, yet somehow, there is absolutely no follow through on why the prosecutor cut such an outrageous deal, and why the judge accepted it.
      Just as the first question regarding the news media should be about all the questions not asked, the question should be why is the US government so incapable of asking common sense questions about Acosta’s motivation?
      Of course, the answer is evident – billionaires get special treatment and that is just standard operating procedure…

      1. Briny

        Or as has been reported elsewhere, Epstein was connected with one, or more, intelligence agencies. I’m absolutely certain we will not find out the Truth.

    2. Brindle

      Just a guess that she will get a seemingly stiff sentence but only serve maybe 3-4 years before being released. Anyone doing basic on online digging for an hour or less would come to conclusion of involvement by intelligence agencies of one or more countries.

      1. pasha

        from what i’ve read elsewhere, only states give time off for good behavior. with the feds, you serve full sentence

      2. norm de plume

        I did a bit of online digging and came across this:

        It rang a bell, so I fossicked back thru other links and found that one of Epstein’s best buds is the daughter of a man whose aviation company was based out of Teterboro:

        This fact stunned me almost as much as the one about Bill Barr’s dad giving JE a job back in the day. Coincidences I guess, but still.

        It’s a big club, and we ain’t in it…

      3. norm de plume

        The father’s company changed it’s name to Meridian but is chaired by the son, Lyn’s brother:

        Teterboro has five fixed-base operators (FBOs) responsible for aircraft services including passenger handling, aircraft fueling, parking, maintenance, charters, rentals, and more.
        The airport’s FBOs, like the award-winning Meridian Teterboro, offer some swanky amenities including lounges, a gym, a private movie theater, and hotel and limousine concierge services.

        This is rather disturbing:

        The Transportation Security Administration currently plays no role in addressing human trafficking at smaller airports including Teterboro. Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D – Paterson, and Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D – Wyckoff, have said that should change.

    3. Bugs Bunny

      Funny how it happened a day after Israel was supposed to annex the majority of the West Bank. And then unexpectedly put it off.

    4. Pelham

      Hmm. Maybe those negotiations involved ways to make for a credible show trial without revealing any country’s state secrets or damaging any key players. For Maxwell, this would mean conviction but the assurance she would serve little or no prison time.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Being naive on occasion, Epstein and Maxwell had accomplices. We focus on the “clients”, but the pilots, guards, staff, etc had to know and be in on it at some level. Then there are connections like MIT, so seeing if she reaches out or is reached is important. All things considered, I would rather let the accomplices turn over evidence in exchange for lighter sentencing than Maxwell.

        I’m sure Dershowitz will tweet he never once used a rotary phone to contact Maxwell in the near future.

        1. m

          Dershowitz just had a ruling in some case and Virginia Robert’s attorney must destroy all of his “illegally” obtained records. When Epstein was arrested Dershowtiz was on Fox dropping the name lady Rothschild, then Clinton in an article did the same. That Lynn Rothschild brought Epstein to the White House to introduce them. Then there is that NYC mansion given to Epstein by Wexner. Bury the truth, focus on perverts and mutant baby ranches.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            I still don’t think that the firing of the top US law enforcement official responsible for the case (Obama-era Berman), then *one week later* them “finding” her…is a coincidence. My partially-supported hunch is that they have photos of Trump partying with Jeffrey but little else, whereas the evidence on Bubba and the wonderful Mr. Gates is probably pretty awful

    5. David

      I’ve no privileged insight into this but, if you think about it a pedophile ring of this kind is essentially a conspiracy, which means that you want as much evidence against others as you can get, to take the whole structure down. The easiest way to do this, once your main target is fixed, is to see who she’s in touch with and what they are doing and saying. The evidence itself might not be usable in court (human rights reasons depending on the country) but it would tell the investigators where to look and what to look for. That would lead to other arrests (unless the FBI have been defunded of course) but those arrests might not come immediately, while the investigators follow leads. So it will be interesting to see if this arrest is just the first of many.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Giant assumption that the FBI and DoJ are at all serious about protecting the public against the predations of creatures like Epstein, the Duke, Clinton and the rest. As opposed to doing the J. Edgar Hoover thing and creating dossiers to be used to control or extort from the rich and famous and politicians.

        The corruption is built into the kernel and manifest in the operating system of this thing we mopes continue so stupidly to think of, so wistfully and wishfully, as “government.” Just how it’s always been, of course, and no amount of BLM wokeness and now the suborned energies of righteous remanufacture of the thing with the monopoly on “legitimate” forces, to serve homeostatic and general-benefit purposes.

    6. praxis

      By waiting, the FBI allowed: time for potential witness’s to be tampered and unprotected; time for maxwell to negotiate a plea; time for criminally implicated individuals and organizations to manage the form of the plea; time to move the explosive nature of the case away from public consciousness.

      Imagine if she had been apprehended during the time Epstein was suicided? I think it would have been more difficult to manage the public relations of the case. At this point, conspiracy is all we really have with this case.

    7. The Rev Kev

      By the sounds of it, by waiting they have learned a lot. They managed to map out a lot of her contacts, her bank accounts and how much she has in them, all the people that she rang in spite of her changing phones constantly. Of course the question remains. Was she in hiding from the FBI or was she in hiding from the Clintons?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        My pet theory is a former local government official with tons of cash and direct connections to the police state in NYC.

    8. Watt4Bob

      I can foresee a situation where she makes a deal to plead guilty to misdemeanor child endangerment, and in return, is deposed about Epstein’s operation.

      But the only thing she can clearly remember is that DJT was a frequent ‘visitor’ and that the girls didn’t like his ‘style’.

      The election is getting closer every day.

      1. Maxwell Johnston

        My understanding is that DJT was the only one (out of many rich and powerful potential witnesses) who cooperated willingly with the prosecutor way back in 2009. Try running “attorney bradley edwards trump” on your favorite search engine and read the results.

        1. Watt4Bob

          With all the stuff that has been floated about Trump, you’re not going to tell me you think they’d never do anything so crazy are you?

          My comment is more about the possibility that GM might skate somehow by colluding with the deep state, and the obvious full-court-press to defeat the president in the coming election, than it is about attacking Trumps behavior.

    9. John k

      Us attorney for southern district of ny, Berman, in charge as Maxwell was monitored but not arrested, was dismissed by trump and replaced by Audrey Strauss on June 20.

      1. Fíréan

        While busy connecting the dots “, consider that the “dots” may only have been made visible and then strategically placed that your conclusion be inaccurate and not the truth , yet a conculsion to which another party wishes that you arrive. ( criminals read the news too)

        If Maxwellś business was blackmail , she could be a danger to her mentors as much as to the “victims”.

      2. J.k

        John k,

        I do not think thats quite accurate. From my limited understanding, Barr wanted Berman gone, however Barr was unable to replace him with his own preferred pick due to appointment rules. Instead, Berman was removed and his deputy Audrey Strauss stepped up instead of Barrs pick. From my understanding even Strauss is a temporary place holder. I do think Barr wanted control over the SDNY since they have been a thorn in the side for Trump and co.
        Agreed that the timing is very sketchy.

  4. Wukchumni

    How does the dismal failure of the grand reopening play on the psyche of the populace at large who have reached heard immunity and are at the ends of various tethers, precariously perched in the midst of nouveau risk?

    1. Bugs Bunny

      Not too family blogging well, Wuk. It’s awful. I can’t see my family this year at least. And some of them could very well not be there next year.

      Now imagine millions of stories much worse than that.

      1. Arizona Slim

        I’m acquainted with someone who had her college student daughter living with her for three months. The daughter had been sent home from school early because of the pandemic.

        Well, for some reason, the daughter isn’t there now. Methinks that being stuck at home with Mom got on her nerves, and she flew the coop.

        Mom just told me that she’s planning to drive to the LA area in order to see her elderly father. Under normal circumstances, she’d fly, but not now. Instead, she’s going to make that all-day drive by herself.

    2. The Rev Kev

      I am not sure but I suspect that we will find out – on July 4th. I am curious what the links for July 5th will be saying.

      1. Wukchumni

        Ad hoc fireworks displays breaking out in the Big Smokes is really no concern for steel & cement are hard to ignite, but here in the bone dry hinterlands its a huge concern and not just limited to July 4th, and seeing as my fellow citizens seem to be in a destructive rage, I wouldn’t put it past them.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Wuk, you have mentioned that you have a big load of new people in your town, mostly from Los Angeles I think you said. Do you think that there might be trouble with these people and fireworks due to them not being familiar with the fire hazards in your area? I take it that you are having a dry summer there from what you said.

          1. Wukchumni

            I was doing burn piles as late as early May-now any sort of outdoor fire is forbidden, and no matter the winter, everything dies back with it’s roots on and becomes highly flammable, in essence the very ground floor is a 360 degree fuse in search of a spark. Ground fires of recently formerly alive stuff are kind of akin to sprinters, they’re no good at lasting very long, it almost looks like that silly wave people used to do at baseball games to ward off boredom.

            In regards to los Diablos from the City of Angels?

            There have already been reports of guests at local vacation rentals lighting fireworks.

            “We saw all the stands selling them on the way and had no idea they were illegal,” one visitor told a sheriff’s deputy.


  5. Fellow Minnesotan

    Yves, I woke up this morning thinking about you and your mother. Do you require an agency, or would you be open to hiring a single full-time care worker? If the latter, a call to a local church or church school to explain your situation and the type of person you’re looking for might serve up a few inspired leads. In our case, the local long-time Catholic preschool director was a great source of directing us towards otherwise un-discoverable “living saints” out in the community when we were looking for childcare coverage in the midst of a family health crisis. In my experience, Mennonites, Catholics, and Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod cultures all seem to self-select for or create a cadre of solid, service-minded individuals that won’t beat you over the head with their bibles (undoubtedly other good faith-based sources exist, these are just the ones I’ve had experience with). Some within their ranks may appreciate the opportunity to be of use and earn some income during the pandemic. Regardless, best wishes to you and your mother. I know many of us are thinking of you.

    1. mpalomar

      Absolutely agree. Very hard to find a non agency, full-time care worker but in my experience it was essential in making a difficult and trying situation bearable.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Thanks for the thought. The problem is everyone I know who has hired people privately had to go through several before finding someone (and those eventual somones were terrific). We can’t handle the coverage gap if the first person does not work out.

  6. Krystyn Podgajski

    RE: ‘It Makes No Sense’: Alabama Students Host Parties to Spread COVID-19 as US Cases Skyrocket

    One has to ask; What, or who, are they rebelling against?

    1. Cocomaan

      In the article the kids say they wanted to “get it over with.”

      Considering there’s not much risk and the cluster had no casualties, they’re probably just doing what kids do: pushing boundaries as far as possibld.

      1. Pelham

        And in the process endangering untold numbers of other people they would subsequently come in contact with. Another example of what Lambert calls American roulette.

    2. ex-PFC Chuck

      Perhaps they’re subconsciously telling us they have no hopes for their futures.

      1. anon74

        There’s lots of potential messages there including “Who are the ‘snowflakes’ now?”

        1. rowlf

          Revenge on the “I’ve got mine, screw you” crowd? Payback on anyone who thought Reagan was a good president?

          I’m surprised we don’t have a lot of new names on the 2020 ballots for congressional positions.

      2. Ghost in the Machine

        I think this thought has merit and likely applies to other self destructive behaviors we are witnessing.

        1. CuriosityConcern

          This brings to mind Lambert’s Dignity post yesterday in WC. Front row kids involuntarily transitioning to back row? Realizing the front row is slowly disappearing? Just the folly of youth?
          My money is on folly, having been an exemplar in my on youth, but I wouldn’t dispute that the other factors are contributing.

        1. hemeantwell

          This degree of hostility clamors for interpretation of unconscious motives. But what slaps me upside is how ISIS would so much want to do this. It’s like a scene from the Pitt – Willis film, 12 Monkeys

            1. rowlf

              The use of international travel to spread the infection rapidly part of 12 Monkeys was very scary.

        2. occasional anonymous

          ‘People are just idiots’ is a conclusion I’m increasingly being pushed towards these days. All the fumbling around for deeper motivations, whether conscious or subconscious; maybe there isn’t one. Maybe some people are simply morons.

        1. Krystyn Podgajski

          I’m so sick of the internet and the fake news machine that pushes out these articles with no fact checking just for clicks.

          I thought i left facebook but the whole internet is facebook now.

        2. L

          Yep. If you follow the wired story it looks like it started with a rumour that was followed by warnings not to do it which led credulous legislators to assume it was a thing and then we are off to the urban-legend races.

          It isn’t just RT, it is being reported in other countries too.

  7. Watt4Bob

    There was a great graphic article linked to few days ago, describing evolution of the angry/fragile militarized, American male yahoo, blacked-out pick-up trucks and deaths head symbolism.

    I meant to share it, but now have been unable to find the link?

    Anybody recall where that article was published?


      1. shtove

        Interesting, and in the end it relies on one of the markers of that culture – payment in cryptocurrency for commenting.

      2. Fireship

        From the introduction to The Mass Psychology of Fascism by Wilhelm Reich (1942):

        Fascist mentality is the mentality of the “little man.” who is enslaved and craves authority and is at the same time rebellious. It is no coincidence that all fascist dictators stem from the reactionary milieu of the little man. The industrial magnate and the feudal militarist exploit this social fact for their own purposes, after it has evolved within the framework of the general suppression of life-impulses. In the form of fascism, mechanistic, authoritarian civilization reaps from the suppressed little man only what it has sown in the masses of subjugated human beings in the ways of mysticism, militarism, automatism, over the centuries. This little man has studied the big man’s behavior all too well, and he reproduces it in a distorted and grotesque fashion. The fascist is the drill sergeant in the colossal army of our deeply sick, highly industrialized civilization. It is not with impunity that the hullabaloo of high politics is made a show of in front of the little man. The little sergeant has surpassed the imperialistic general in everything: in martial music; in goose-stepping; in commanding and obeying; in cowering before ideas; in diplomacy, strategy and tactic; in dressing and parading; in decorating and “honorating.” A Keiser Wilhelm was a miserable duffer in all these things compared with the famished civil servant’s son, Hitler. When a “proletarian” general pins his chest full of medals, he gives a demonstration of the little man who will not be “outclassed” by the “genuine” big general.

        Reich was highly influenced by Freud and finds the source of this fascistic drive in repressed sexuality. I can’t help but be reminded of the weird prohibition, no-fap, of The Proud Boys and others in the alt-right. Do white men also fear having to compete with black men for mates? I don’t know but would not rule it out as an (un)conscious fear of many. In American society, unless you have achieved wealth/fame you are by default a loser. As the amount of losers grow, I expect to see fascism grow also. It is already here in embryonic form. What will it grow into? That is the question.

        1. Briny

          Reminds me of a Hitlerian fantasy written as a science-fiction novel whose name, remarkably, escapes me. [Remarkable as I have a near-eidetic memory of what I’ve read, dammit.]

          1. Sully

            Norman Spinrad’s Iron Dream. I think you were thinking of. Hitler as a bad science fiction author.

            1. ambrit

              Actually, Hitler gets his start in American films as a set designer.
              Norman Spinrad did really outre plots that were funny and infuriating at the same time.
              His “A World Between” is a savage send-up of sexual politics. NSFW would be an understatement, but not pornographic.

      3. Watt4Bob

        Thanks Rev,

        I was thinking about how much more useful Powell’s art was to understanding the mindset of supremacists, as opposed to that best selling ‘White Fragility’ by Robin DiAngelo.

        I’m weary of abstract, academic bloviating that treats topics better handled in straight-forward language oriented toward the sort of people and behavior we encounter in every day life.

  8. RabidGandhi

    Re: China sterilising ethnic minority women in Xinjiang, report says Guardian

    I highly suspect the CCP is committing crimes against humanity against its non-Han minorities, but I have a very hard time confirming my suspicions when the evidence on the matter comes from articles like this Guardian one, which is wholly based on a report by a Senior Fellow at the rabidly anti-communist Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, and published by the US national security linked think-tank the Jamestown Foundation (board members include a motley assembly of potential Hague defendants: ex-NSA head Michael Hayden, Michael Vickers, Brig. Gen. (ret.) Robert Spalding, GWB Nat’l Counterintelligence Executive Michelle Van Cleave…).

    Certainly I am guilty of ad hominem here because I don’t really have the time to pick through the underlying report, but it would be helpful to find more reliable sources than this. And of course, the one who should be supplying these alternative sources and doing a deep dive into the report itself should be the Guardian reporter, but silly me to expect actual journalism from the MSM.

    1. furies

      This is the way it should be done.

      Sniff out the funders…tells you all you need to know.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      For what its worth, a friend of mine lived in Urumqi for several years back in the mid 00’s. He had no sympathy whatever for the local muslims, but he said he saw many disturbing things in the way they were treated even back then and was predicting back then that a hammer would fall on them as soon as the government felt secure enough to do it (i.e. as soon a sufficient Han population had been moved in). I’ve been following Chinese politics from afar for many years and I don’t doubt that the reports are substantively true – while in years past western attention usually focused on Tibet and the western fringes, people I know who have travelled and lived in the region have said that overt oppression was always significantly stronger in the north (and I witnessed enough travelling in Tibet to see how bad it is there). I’ve also, back in the 1990’s, travelled in border regions in the Mongolian region and the aggressive treatment of minorities was very visible. The Chinese have invariably treated those ethnic groups they’ve absorbed as either threats to be diluted and assimilated, or as a sort of pet to be paraded for tourists.
      The Chinese government barely even bothers to deny the existence of concentration camps, all it says is that they only holds criminals. There is, in fact, a form of mutual admiration between China and Israel in how to deal with ‘problematic’ muslim minorities.

      1. Ignacio

        And certainly the Chinese can comfortably self-justify counting these news as rabid anti-Chinese propaganda. Muslims in Xinjiang are doomed but I wonder about the relations of China with Central Asian countries and the RBI increasingly seen as a colonial strategy in some of them (at least to my knowledge in educated circles).

        1. rowlf

          This seems like a recycling of the stories of the Vietnamese sterilizing women that were published over the last 40 years.

      2. RabidGandhi

        Thanks PK, its great to have data points from a more reliable source.

        And I very much concur with Ignacio above; the true effect of the unhinged propaganda outlets’ publications will only be–as Radio Free Europe obligingly did for the USSR–to provide a shield for the CCP to cover up any atrocities.

        1. Fíréan

          ” In 1993, WHO announced a “birth-control vaccine” for “family planning”. Published research shows that by 1976 WHO researchers had conjugated tetanus toxoid (TT) with human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) producing a “birth-control” vaccine. Conjugating TT with hCG causes pregnancy hormones to be attacked by the immune system. Expected results are abortions in females already pregnant and/or infertility in recipients not yet impregnated. Repeated inoculations prolong infertility. Currently WHO researchers are working on more potent anti-fertility vaccines using recombinant DNA. WHO publications show a long-range purpose to reduce population growth in unstable “less developed countries”. By November 1993 Catholic publications appeared saying an abortifacient vaccine was being used as a tetanus prophylactic. In November 2014, the Catholic Church asserted that such a program was underway in Kenya. Three independent Nairobi accredited biochemistry laboratories tested samples from vials of the WHO tetanus vaccine being used in March 2014 and found hCG where none should be present . . .

          Given that hCG was found in at least half the WHO vaccine samples known by the doctors involved in administering the vaccines to have been used in Kenya, our opinion is that the Kenya “anti-tetanus” campaign was reasonably called into question by the Kenya Catholic Doctors Association as a front for population growth reduction. ” .

          1. Briny

            This is literally sickening to me. It’s far from the only such report concerning such actions by the WHO that I’ve come across concerning Africa and Asia.

    3. Dan Cox

      On a similar theme, I was sent this a few months ago. It’s an article in a journal I’d never come across before regarding the horrific treatment of the Uighurs in Xingiang. It all seems credible and there are articles on line which seem to confirm what the article reports, but extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence. I am interested to know what readers of NC think of it? I really wish it isn’t true – there are a number of suspicious details – but I can’t quite shake the feeling it is real.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        There have been videoed accounts from women who have escaped, and they including being drugged so as to prevent them menstruating at all. Also reports of medical experiments.

    4. J.k

      Its happening in American prisons, so its probably not too much of a stretch to imagine it happening in China. The sheer hypocrisy of it all gets under my skin.

      And some “voluntary” sterilization for men and women in exchange for reduced sentences……

  9. Amfortas the hippie

    while waiting for links, read this:
    ….and ruminated on it while dragging my mortal remains around to turn on sprinklers and let the chickens out….the confusion of tongues is maddening!
    I don’t consider the wokerati/purge enthusiasts to be “of the Far Left”, at all. That’s a Center-Left(at best) thing.
    and Class is only mentioned in this article to ridicule it in an infuriatingly passive-aggressive manner.

    fact is, there IS a potential for a “red/brown” alliance….Sandernistas and Hawleyites.
    and to counter this dangerous turn of events, that Big Center Party I’ve been warning about is attempting to not only claim that ground, but pass off their own two Legions of Purity as representative of Sandernista and Hawleyite, respectively.
    It is almost exactly what happened during Reconstruction, when the Planter Class engineered our current idea of Racism to head off the Po White Folks aligning with the Newly Freed Blacks.

    How to counter this…with the Mighty Wurlitzer of Confusion set against us?
    If I can manage to look away from the National Car Wreck this holiday weekend, I’ll attempt to focus on this conundrum.

    (it appears that I feel worse than my chemo-laden Wife,lol…amazing what driving an hour and a half there and back and merely sitting in a car for 5 hours can do. I feel like “…a pair of ragged claws…”.)

    and while i’m at my morning threadjack: on Prime(sigh), a film called Peterloo is worth a look…they get the contemporary North Country(Manchester) dialog right enough that I needed subtitles….and the rhetoric from both sides could be lifted from Caitlin Johnstone or NYT, respectively. The images of troops and Hussars laying into a peaceful protest is illuminating.

    and also on that platform, is Richard Harris’ Cromwell…which is germane, as well to our current situation….so many of Harris’ utterances could be lobbed right now and fit right in.
    Happy Fourth.
    Read the Declaration out loud to your kids this weekend….especially the Enumerations of Grievances.

    1. rowlf

      It is almost exactly what happened during Reconstruction, when the Planter Class engineered our current idea of Racism to head off the Po White Folks aligning with the Newly Freed Blacks.

      I always wondered how the CSA could get the lower classes to fight for them, what kind of information system did they use. I ran across this article again recently and it seemed to have some answers to how so many people got motivated. Such a worldview sounds to be hard to extinguish considering “Who am I better than” is an appealing concept to people.

      Why Non-Slaveholding Southerners Fought

  10. jr

    “ But there are drivers who still prefer the challenges and potential perils of the machines of the past, feeling that they provide a more pure driving experience.”

    “ It is just you and your steering wheel and your right foot and the road.”

    “ “So you kind of feel invincible when you’re driving it.”

    The link says it all by not saying enough. At no point in this article is the safety of others mentioned. It’s not just you and the road, it’s everyone else your car could injure or kill, too. Those exciting “potential perils” put people at risk. The sense of personal invincibility inevitably leads to risk taking, putting people else at risk. For the “rush” or the “performance.” Total disregard for the other in the pursuit of fetishized material goods and the flash of wealth and power it displays. I understand driving is an art and a skill, but go rent some race track or something…

    Another angle on automobiles: the sub/urban tank preferred by coke dealers and Karen’s alike, the SUV:
    (Old but relevant!)

    More ignorant individualism, another bubble to hide in, another way to “off shore” danger instead of trying to lower its occurrence. Living in NYC, I’ve come to hate cars. I hope the street seating the restaurants have put out never goes away.

    I wonder what the McCloskeys drive…

    On the other hand: old mech vs new tech

    Working in food, I’ve used a ton of different kinds of appliances from home units up to the “Buffalo Chopper”, the Sasquatch of food processors:

    I tell this to my students: buy simple, buy metal, buy good glass, buy high heat silicone, don’t buy American with some exceptions. Plastic becomes discolored, smells, melts, breaks. You can’t ever really clean it. Plastic buttons crack, the covered “protected” kind, with repeated use, allowing moisture and food in. Food particles get ground into the seams and you cant disassemble it to clean it fully. Circuit boards and cheap motors burn out, etc.

    I am starting a job as a recipe developer for a small ice cream company and I’m using a very simple small ice cream machine out of my home kitchen. It’s beautiful, shiny polished stainless steel, one timer knob, a whip button and a freeze button. Simplicity itself. It makes a wonderful ice cream, like a flavored cloud. And it will last forever, maybe some minor repairs here and there, springs etc. You could jazz up the design with a thermostat or secondary gear assembly for gelato but otherwise it’s a peach. If it were “new tech” it would have a lot more options available but it’s also often unrepairable and undesirable for the reasons mentioned above.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        That books a new one on me – thanks for thinking of me. The writer is I think a food writer for the Irish Times (I can’t say I spend a lot of time reading recipes).

        1. Basil Pesto

          the interest goes beyond the recipes though, it touches on the whole of Irish history, and how agriculture has changed along with the historical developments (the potato famine is covered of
          course, but the book makes the point that there’s a lot more going on in Ireland’s food history and agriculture than that).

          I got it on a whim of curiosity knowing next to nothing about the subject or the cuisine (which has limited appeal for me as it’s seafood-heavy and I sadly have an aversion to seafood) but it’s one of the more impressive cookbooks I’ve come across

      1. jr

        @ bugs and Sylvia: there is literally no information on it, not a clue to be found…I’m going to ask my employer where he found it…

        1. Supenau

          Could you post a picture of it? My curiosity has lead me to Italian ice cream makers so a photo would be helpful. Ice Cream maker search=a worthwhile diversion
          Thank you

          1. jr

            I found a data plate! It’s small and on the bottom. I’m using it at the moment but I’ll post what I learn ASAP.

    1. carl

      Could you give a source for some of the better items you mentioned? We spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so good cooking equipment is important to us.

    2. Carla

      Your ice cream maker (and your advice about kitchen equipment) reminds me of the excellent Schneier on Security piece in today’s Links. Sometimes the less “efficient” systems are just the ones we really need. Turns out the costs of “efficiency” can just be too high.

    3. Michael

      We toured Gelato Univ outside Bologna several years ago and marvelled at all of the original eqpt they had on display. Simple and effective, from cone molds to bicycle powered delivery units (without music!)

      Sampling after was amazing as fresh gelato made that morning was offered. Loved the beetroot!


    4. jr

      @basil pesto: yeah, it’s actually a little surreal in these times, I feel like Willy Wonka at the Apocalypse, weighing the value of date vs. brown sugar while Hunger stalks the streets below…that recipe sounds delicious and I will explore the link. I just made a double chocolate/cocoa three peppercorn sweet soy custard, tomorrow I’m making coffee Stracciatella and brown buttered banana.

      A tip: to reduce iciness gently reduce the dairy a long time before, I try to go an hour and I use a double boiler atop a flame tamer. Try to keep the temp around 130F or so and whisk constantly. If your arm isn’t cramping, your not doing it long enough. Sugar of course reduces ice but you can only get so sweet. Glucose/dextrose will give you less ice with less sweet but only so far and it’s bad for you, unlike ice cream. So get the water out before you make the base. You will lose a lot of volume but the light creaminess is divine….

      And get one of these, especially for custards:

      Just not from Bozos…

      @MT Bill : man I wish, there is nary a data plate, emblem, or label to be found on it. It’s a real mystery. Just polished stainless and simple knobs/buttons. If I find out I’ll let you know.

      @carl : ok so I would start with seeing what kind of manual machines you can use. Here are some ideas:

      Always go with simple and sturdy over fancy and fine. Kitchens quickly weed out the junk. Like deep frying? Buy a sauce pot and basket combo for your stovetop over a plastic, non stick stand alone@basil pesto: yeah, it’s actually a little surreal in these times, I feel like Willy Wonka at the Apocalypse, weighing the value of date vs. brown sugar while Hunger stalks the streets below…that recipe sounds delicious and I will explore the link. I just made a double chocolate/cocoa three peppercorn sweet soy custard, tomorrow I’m making coffee Stracciatella and brown buttered banana.

      A tip: to reduce iciness gently reduce the dairy a long time before, I try to go an hour and I use a double boiler atop a flame tamer. Try to keep the temp around 130F or so and whisk constantly. If your arm isn’t cramping, your not doing it long enough. Sugar of course reduces ice but you can only get so sweet. Glucose/dextrose will give you less ice with less sweet but only so far and it’s bad for you, unlike ice cream. So get the water out before you make the base. You will lose a lot of volume but the light creaminess is divine….

      And get one of these, especially for custards:

      Just not from Bozos…

      @MT Bill : man I wish, there is nary a data plate, emblem, or label to be found on it. It’s a real mystery. Just polished stainless and simple knobs/buttons. If I find out I’ll let you know.

      @carl : ok so I would start with seeing what kind of manual machines you can use. Here are some ideas:

      Always go with simple and sturdy over fancy and fine. Kitchens quickly weed out the junk. Like deep frying? Buy a sauce pot and basket combo for your stovetop over a plastic, non stick stand alone unit. It will become irredeemably dirty and land in the trash decades before the stovetop version. And you won’t develop blood poisoning.

      Next, electrical: Braun makes decent stuff in my experience. I had a Black and Decker blender you could grind gravel with, tempered glass and silicone gaskets for hot liquids, sweet. I have a Hitachi rice cooker that has been running for 20 years, another simple design with little to break.

      Quality can vary widely within a brand let alone between competitors so take nothing at face value. When reading reviews, bear in mind a lot of people use their stuff once, or for one thing only. Every blender on the planet makes a great smoothie. Look for items that can can hold up to multiple tasks and stresses. Don’t buy combo equipment, like dual blender/ food processors, when one side goes they both go.

      Look out for plastic inside metal: I had a really nice immersion blender once, metal and rubber, which rocked until I blended a hot sauce and the plastic axle inside melted down.

      I do have one or two tech items: digital thermometer is very useful, laser is better, but not irreplaceable by any means. A battered old food processor, also replaceable.

      As to specific sources, well that’s a toughie, you’ve got to hunt around. Thrift stores, church sales, home sales are gold mines for older mechanical equipment. It’s fun to repurpose too, a George Foreman grill turns meat into shoe leather but it makes a great panini press… unit. It will become irredeemably dirty and land in the trash decades before the stovetop version. And you won’t develop blood poisoning.

      Next, electrical: Braun makes decent stuff in my experience. I had a Black and Decker blender you could grind gravel with, tempered glass and silicone gaskets for hot liquids, sweet. I have a Hitachi rice cooker that has been running for 20 years, another simple design with little to break.

      Quality can vary widely within a brand let alone between competitors so take nothing at face value. When reading reviews, bear in mind a lot of people use their stuff once, or for one thing only. Every blender on the planet makes a great smoothie. Look for items that can can hold up to multiple tasks and stresses. Don’t buy combo equipment, like dual blender/ food processors, when one side goes they both go.

      Look out for plastic inside metal: I had a really nice immersion blender once, metal and rubber, which rocked until I blended a hot sauce and the plastic axle inside melted down.

      As to specific sources, well that’s a toughie because most of the stuff available “mainstream” is junk. Yard sales, thrift stores, church sales are gold mines for solid, old school cooking equipment….

          1. jr

            Thank you! There was another point I wanted to add about cooking equipment. Look for synchronicities. Example: I bought a medium small sauce pot a few years back as well as a small frying pan. I bought them together because I discovered by playing around that the pots sturdy lid fit the pan perfectly. The pan came with no lid, but now it does. Lo and behold, I just discovered today that lid works well in the ice cream machine, a stand in for the one weak link on the unit, a plastic top.

            Or take the humble cooling rack. I use mine for cooling bread, as dish racks, for dehydrating in the oven, for air drying herbs, and as a pasta rack. Look for things with multiple applications and things that work together well…

      1. Basil Pesto

        coffee stracciatella sounds like a winner for sure.

        I’ll save you a book purchase on the recipe and post it below (and since there seem to be a lot of icecream makers here!) but I recommend the book anyway if it might be of interest. The other icecream recipes incidentally are brown bread and whiskey/sheep’s yoghurt/extra virgin rapeseed oil ice cream with honeycomb and, amusingly, hay (!) icecream, which is made similarly to this barley one (assuming US measurements):

        – roast 7oz barley in an oven preheated to 350 degrees f until it’s dark and malty

        – put the barley and 12 fl oz milk into a medium pan and simmer over medium heat for ~15 mins

        – remove from the heat and let steep for an hour, then strain

        – cream 6 egg yolks and 3.5 oz sugar together in a heatproof bowl

        – return the barley-milk to the boil then pour it over the eggs, whisking all the time

        – place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk for 10 mins until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon; remove from heat and allow to

        – fold in 5 fl oz of whipped double cream and churn in an icecream machine, or transfer to a freezerproof container and freeze, whisking/stirring
        every 30 minutes until frozen in 2-3 hours

        -serve doused in a shot of Baileys (optional, but it’s an option I’m fond of. it would also go beautifully with any number of cakes or pastries, I reckon)

        Nancy Pelosi eat your heart out

    5. Amfortas the hippie

      aye. I was a chef?glorified cook for 25 years, and i have never had a “food processor”…unless one of my many knives counts.
      I like old stuff…built to last.
      Inherited my grandmother’s Waring blender…circa 1950’s, i think.(among numerous other weird and ancient kitchen stuff)
      original everything, including the power cord. Thought the motor might be going out, and learned that there’s apparently a warehouse full of replacement parts somewhere,lol…even down to the little rubber feet.
      This has outlasted no fewer than 10 of my Sister in Law’s walmart blenders.
      that and a little handheld mixer(also older than me) are the only electric kitchen appliances we possess.
      for new old stuff(!), I like these people:

      I’m currently lobbying mom(the one with disposable income) to obtain sausage making equipment. she wants electric/modern…which is fine(I picked it out)…but I’m insisting on the cast iron hand cranked stuff, too(again, Lehman’s).
      Modern, efficient, etc are all well and good…so long as the Big Machine that is modern life is functioning well.
      But, as with any complex system, that ain’t always the case.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            a few of our welder rednecks call them “woks”..they make them out of discs from the old disc harrows that litter everybody’s grampaw’s place.
            just about every store around the square has them.
            I’ve got a large disc(about 2 foot across) reserved to fashion one, but haven’t gotten around to it.
            another 2 footer is the bed for one of my blacksmithing forges

            as for Indian cooking implements, I’ve wanted a tandoor oven since i first saw one…Indian place in San Antone let me in(I showed up right when they opened) to better scrutinise it.
            don’t quite know where i’d put it,lol.

            1. tegnost

              I’m kind of hooked on cast iron, but steel is right behind it when going for non reactive when I’m cooking tomatoes and etc

            2. Watt4Bob

              I had a cast iron wok for a few years before it was shattered in an accident, a friend bought it for me in San Francisco.

              I came to think it was the most magical thing I owned, not counting musical instruments.

              I can only guess that it’s some sort of coefficient of heat transfer that makes iron so well suited to frying.

              Someday I’ll find another, and be more careful with it.

              I’ve thought about try to make one out of a harrow disc, I should have guessed it had been done before. (those cheap steal woks just don’t do it for me anymore)

          2. jr

            It’s a karhai, used for deep frying and apparently serving, according to the best book ever on kitchen equipment:


            “The advantage of deep frying in a wide rimmed, round bottomed pan (karhai, wok) is that it requires less oil than a flat pan to fry limited amounts of food.”

            Now what I really want is an Ethiopian cutting bowl, it combines a cutting board and a bowl into one:


        1. kgw

          In Richard Olney’s “Simple French Food,” the French for the “new” electric choppers translated to “robot knives.” They whizzed meat into pate so fast all the aroma, and some of the flavor, went away in the air. The preferred method to make good pate was with two strong, sharp knives. Put the deboned meat on the block, and begin double-handing the meat until it was minced to your style…

      1. Eureka Springs

        I’ve recently discovered it’s nigh on impossible to find a new thin metal spatula.

          1. jr

            In my collection of cooking oddities, I have a slightly gimmicky spatula that fans to three times the size with a flick of a lever…my buddy called it the Bat-ula because of its resemblance to a Bata-rang…

          2. Eureka Springs

            Thank you.. I’m going to give that one a try. Some all cotton kitchen towels as well.

  11. LaRuse

    I am touched that Purrmengarde was selected for an Antidote. She has been a complete joy to watch come back from the brink. I put the same photo on my Instagram account if you want to see her (my emailed photo might not have been sent in the correct format or something to cause the difficulties on the blog).

    1. Kitten Daddy

      If one doesn’t have an account in instagram the link just dumps you into a sign up page. Obviously I don’t have a account so still no kitten pic. ;(

      1. barefoot charley

        Try scrolling down. I don’t have an account either but I did soon see that adorable kitty.

        1. CitizenSissy

          +1 — Purrmengarde is adorable; LaRuse, you are a wonderful person. Your story is the highlight of an otherwise crap week.

          1. The Rev Kev

            After all that that kitty has been through, I reckon that it deserves the honorific of The BattleCat.

  12. Arielle

    About the Guardian Uighur article: Adam Zenz is being regularly skewered on twitter by @CarlZha, among others, for pushing unsourced and politicized anti-China propaganda re: re-education camps and now forced sterilization. I value the critical faculties of NC commentariat: readers?

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I know nothing about Adam Zenz, but Carl Zha is about as reliable a source on Chinese affairs as Thomas Friedman is on US affairs.

      1. rusti

        What makes you say that, PK? I was a bit surprised by Zha’s description of “re-education camps” on Radio War Nerd that made them sound like after-school detention, but I don’t find the Guardian to be a very reliable source when it comes to criticizing China or Iran or Russia.

        1. Olga

          Yes, not sure where the opinion on Carl Zha comes from… as for Zenz… it is not Adam, but Adrian Zenz. One description of him (
          “Dr Adrian Zenz is said to be a leading researcher into “the Chinese atrocities against the Uighurs”. I decided to check him out.Zenz is a fundamentalist Christian. Whilst religious affiliation does not discredit one, nevertheless the specific nature of his beliefs situate him (even as a German) on the most extreme right of the American evangelical wing bordering on lunacy and outright hysterical. Yet this individual is being used to ferment a global narrative concerning China, with total silence or background information offered on what he actually believes in. However, this is not all it seems. Zenz is an individual with extremely questionable personal views, even ones which push on legal boundaries in many countries. … because he is a zealous anti-Communist voice, he is instead…”
          These types of articles are really getting tiresome; not clear why anyone would highlight them.
          I think NC ran this previously:

    2. Olga

      Adrian Zenz, not Adam… a longer response stuck in ether/moderation. He is hardly credible.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “A ‘Viral’ New Bird Song in Canada Is Causing Sparrows to Change Their Tune”

    Very strange that. What it says is that the sparrow songs that fathers and grandfathers listened to when growing up were probably very much different to what is being heard now. And the songs are still changing. I wonder if the original Native Americans took note of the change of songs over the years. Somehow, you would think that birdsong is set like concrete but apparently it is dynamic.

    1. MT_Bill

      There’s been a lot of work on birdsong “dialect” evolution in chickadees.

      Seem to remember them looking at how all the small coastal islands in Maine had their own variations of language.

      Just like the people.

    2. Eureka Springs

      Featherless bird that I am I generally prefer leaving things on a high note. I’m wondering if the new sparrow ending leaves things on a higher or lower note? Rhythm or Blues?

  14. The Rev Kev

    “It’s incredibly creepy Germany lost control of part of its military.”

    Germany has had trouble with some of the Bundeswehr having Wehrmacht mementos and the like but it seems that one of the four companies of their elite forces went full nut job. The article below says that the worse of them are being booted out the Bundeswehr while the other 70 soldiers will be re-distributed among the other three companies where I imagine a close watch will be kept on the them. It may be embarrassing this for Germany but better that than have that rogue commando company do something reckless and stupid down the track-

    1. Tomonthebeach

      Fire all the Nazis with special training in 50 ways to kill with precision. What could go wrong?

    2. ewmayer

      Maybe they could ship them off to Ukraine, aside from some language issues they’d feel right at home in the latter’s military.

  15. CanChemist

    National Post: “Section applying Chinese national security law to whole world chills Canadian activists”

    “But the legislation’s Article 38 says the rules also apply to infractions that occur anywhere outside Hong Kong, committed by foreign citizens.
    Activists in Canada call it an attack on their activities that at the very least will keep them from visiting Hong Kong, and could lead to more intimidation here.
    “It sets the stage for an unprecedented, massive assault on the civil rights of Hong Kongers, as well as all citizens of the international community,” said Gloria Fung of the Toronto-based Canada Hong Kong Link. “This is very scary.””

    And that’s after the multi-year campaign of intimidation already being run on Canadian Uni campuses towards Chinese and Chinese-Canadian students who don’t toe the line…

    1. Olga

      Not any scarier than expecting US sanctions to be obeyed by the whole world. Or having Canada detain a Chinese person because of US sanctions. How is that saying … ‘what’s good for the goose…’

    2. Ook

      I’d like to see a point by point comparison of the Hongkong security law and their equivalents in the USA and Canada. Based on my partial knowledge of both Canada’s and Hongkong’s laws, I’m pretty sure Canada’s will come out a lot nastier.

    3. The Rev Kev

      Just now thought. There is the upcoming Sens. Cruz and Shahee’s ‘Protect European Energy Security Act’ which is directly aimed at Russia’s construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Note that this is not a ‘Protect American Energy Security Act’ but European. Washington is making a law about the infrastructure of a country in Europe as if it was an American State. Is that not an example of passing laws on other countries in the world?

      Come to think of it, the US is also in the business of kidnapping people from other countries and having them sent to the US for trial in their law courts. That Chinese executive in Canada is just an example though she is still in Canada so far. Another example is when Bush had a Texas judge try and stop the Russian government buying Russian oilfields in Russia. But you get the idea.

  16. The Rev Kev

    Listening to Dr. Birx on Arizona’s Governor Doug Ducey’s twitter account, I had a temporary problem with my speakers. I am not sure but it sounded like she said at one point “Ducey, you’re doing a heck of a job.”

      1. Arizona Slim

        Sad thing is, we have some excellent public health physicians in this state. Notable example: Richard Carmona, who was Surgeon General during the Bush years.

      2. rtah100

        Careful, Wuk! Berk is rhyming slang. Not a twit but a tw*t.

        Short for Berkshire Hunt….

  17. Carolinian

    Re cars and the vulnerability of electronics–part of this may depend on where you live (I believe Reslic lives in Vermont?). Supposedly cars in areas like the Northeast have greater corrosion problems due to road salt and the long winters. At any rate, unless you are Jay Leno good luck finding a functioning car that doesn’t depend on electronics. Even as far back as the early ’90s computers were controlling the engines.

    And I do agree with the above comments that safety is more important than “fun.” Far more people die from car accidents every year than from the world shaking Covid this year. Add in AGW and the need for fuel economy (greatly helped by all that tech) and the hot rod era is over.

    1. False Solace

      > Far more people die from car accidents every year than from the world shaking Covid this year.

      Nope. US motor vehicle fatalities 2018: 36,560

      I’m afraid Covid is multiple times that that now.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        But what happens when someone with Covid dies in a car crash? Based on how counting is currently happening, and based on the financial incentives for hospitals to apply the “Covid” label…I would not be surprised if these ended up being deaths *with* Covid.

        The American system:
        A: Grandma is sick.
        B: OK great can we make some money from her on the way out?

        1. occasional anonymous

          I’m pretty sure that the fraud you’re suggesting has been debunked multiple times.

        2. BlakeFelix

          Possibly correctly, hypoxia is capable of causing car accidents. One of our EMTS transported 2 old ladies with broken hips and they both tested positive. It could be a coincidence, but I bet the disease caused the falls.

      2. Carolinian

        In 2013, between 1.25 million and 1.4 million people were killed in traffic collisions,[2][80] up from 1.1 million deaths in 1990.[2] That number represents about 2.5% of all deaths.[2] . Approximately 50 million additional people were injured in traffic collisions,[80] a number unchanged from 2004.[4][81]

        India recorded 105,000 traffic deaths in a year, followed by China with over 96,000 deaths.[82] This makes motor vehicle collisions the leading cause of injury and death among children worldwide 10–19 years old (260,000 children die a year, 10 million are injured)[83] and the sixth leading preventable cause of death in the United States[84] (45,800 people died and 2.4 million were injured in 2005).[85] In the state of Texas alone, there were a total of 415,892 traffic collisions, including 3,005 fatal crashes in 2012. In Canada, they are the cause of 48% of severe injuries.[86]

        Current world Covid deaths at around 500k.

        1. Aumua

          Almost all the COVID deaths were in the last 4 months. 4 months of traffic deaths at that yearly rate would be 450,000. So that is less people dying from car accidents, not that that comparison even really means anything.

    2. Aumua

      Yeah that might have been true in March, but this ain’t March anymore. Gotta try and keep up with a changing situation.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Gen. Milley: Some soldiers mobilized to DC amid Black Lives Matter protests were issued bayonets”

    That may not be the real story. OK, you had some soldiers that went to DC issued with their bayonets but they are gone now so what, stop living in the past? Not so fast. Everybody knows how police departmnets are issued military gear like rifles, MRAP vehicles and the like but the police have also been issued with bayonnets. I am trying to think of a good reason why a police officer would need a bayonet but have come up short here. That is the bayonnet story people should be asking about.

    Which reminds me. I read a soldier’s comment on those MRAPs issued to police and he made an interesting point. The full name of those vehicles are Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles. OK. But lots of police that have these vehilcles have been welding handle bars and foot pads on the outside of those vehicles so that they can ride into action while hanging onto the side. Doesn’t that negate the whole purpose of those vehicles then?

    It somehow reminds me of the woman who took care to wear a mask but cut a hole over the mouth so that she could breathe easier.

    1. jr

      I would suspect those grips and handles are for transporting troops in a pinch, when the cab is full and when threats like mines etc. are negligible. Or when they aren’t negligible and you just have to haul booty….

      1. ambrit

        It’s just taking the militarization of the domestic police forces a step further.
        Now we have domestic Panzergrenadier units. Such as the 1st NYPD Panzergrenadier Regiment, “Gotham.”
        During WW-2, Germany created military units comprised of policemen. They were run by the SS and were responsible for many of the atrocities.
        Read, for what America faces:

    2. ewmayer

      This struck me as likely being one of those loud clickbait #resist non-stories. I mean, soldiers are routinely issued all manner of lethal weapons, like, oh, rifles and handguns with large-cap magazines. So we should worry about the bayonets as being somehow beyond the pale? If they were facing protesters with bayonets fixed on their rifles, that would be a different matter entirely. Basically, they wrote the fake-news headline with the deliberate intent that their so-busy-surfing-the-social-media-for-my-daily-dose-of-retweetable-outrgae-headline-that-I-have-no-time-to-read-the-actual-articles “readership” – and I use the term very loosely – would mentally amplify the word “issued” into “at the ready to be used to kill! kill! kill! anything that twitches.”

    1. Arizona Slim

      Key passage from the story:

      Nightclubs and bars across the state were “totally packed, no masks, no distancing, no mitigation.” Some handed out free champagne on reopening night.

      And note the riskiest venues on this list, which was linked from NC a while back:

      Q: Is this slender Arizonan going to bars or nightclubs?
      A: Nope. Uh-uh. No way!

      1. Wukchumni

        You wouldn’t catch me going to LA these days-not a chance!

        …but i’ve been in close proximity to Angelenos in Mineral King as of late, and peer pressure overcame me when with a troika of friends whose hands I shook, what was I thinking, well, I wasn’t.

        No harm-no foul for letting my guard slip so shod, i’ll have to do better, as this is no drill.

        1. Arizona Slim

          That, Wukchumni, is why I am so worried about my acquaintance’s trip to the LA area.

          I understand her longing to visit her elderly father, but I hope she doesn’t deviate from that effort. As in, no bars, no restaurants, no gatherings of any sort.

      2. Amfortas the hippie

        wife trolled/surveilled local facebook this morning, to try and get a read on local reactionary reaction(!) to Abbott’s Order yesterday.
        so far, just a handful of our still rather small coterie of hard core teabilly types(all of whom are keyboard warriors, at best), yelling about Freedom, and posting William Wallace quotes.
        I went on a rummage through Freeperland and Townhall and American Thinker(sic)…and it was unexceptional. contradictions abound: doctors weighing in that virus is real and very scary, but masks don’t work(with links to what appeared to be medical sources included)…opposed to non-doctors railing about the commies and their virus hoax and how the Biden Mob of Commie Thugs(tm) are coming for our guns.
        the more thoughtful actual columnists(lol) were engaged in contortions to rival Cirque de Soleil…saying the virus/pandemic is real, but…a whole bunch of exceptions and caveats and such, ending with calls for Liberty, and running off to Idaho to wait out the rapture.
        Both wife’s and my observations in these somewhat connected specimen pools are worrisome, of course…it’s uncomfortable to learn that your neighbor is bat%hit crazy,lol…but i question whether this all represents some great, looming groundswell of an emerging Movement.
        local anecdata(we know all those people yelling on local FB) and the various surveys about national sentiments over the years, indicate that this is the same rather small fringe of under rock dwellers that have always been with us…Birchers, Birthers, Sovereign Citizens, Militias, etc.
        Of course, if one wanders over to KOS, et alia, you’d think they’re assembling in stadiums across the country.
        america’s lunatic uncle, rattling around in the attic.
        opposed by america’s crazy aunt, collecting cats and obsessively correcting your grammar and choice of fork.
        their constant yelling, and throwing trash at each other, is as a shiny ball rolled through our romper room.
        I reckon we’ve got bigger problems, now

  19. Wukchumni

    Picked about 75 very special once every decade plums from a beautiful ornamental plum tree about 25 years old that has now fruited twice. You wonder what sort of mechanism tells it to do that?

    1. CuriosityConcern

      I think it could be chill hours. In my understanding, a lot(all?) of stone fruit trees require a certain number of chill hours over winter, chill hours defined as hours where the temp is below 40 deg F. I’m no expert but I’ve seen ranges on nursery tags between 100 and 400 hours. I’d be certain that outliers exist.
      Writing this comment has just made me aware of yet another potential climate change problem.

  20. vlade

    Re cz masks – the number of cases in the CZ went actually up recently, to numbers last seen in early April.

    The MoH says it’s all concentrated around coal mines in a north-east region bordering Poland (and that the cases were imported from Poland originally, as the Polish Silesia on the other side of the border had a rather bad run with over 5000 cases recently, which for comparison is about half of all the Czech cases since March), but Prague I know is still on the list as the second most hit region.

    That said, “most hit” means 800 active (virus detected) cases, with mostly single-digits/low teens cases per day in the last couple of weeks. These regions still have mask rules – the mining region basically the same as before, Prague limited. Not that it’s going to do much good to the mines, as it’s pretty much impossible to do either social distancing or masks there – they are deep mines (up to 800m), so crowded lifts, crowded working conditions, crowded changing rooms – you’d be hard pressed for a better virus transmission environment.

    The fascinating thing was how quickly the people dropped the masks when they could – literally, as the measure was taken off, the masks came off. I was on a train on Monday, and everyone was masked (few cases of “sticking noses”, but that was all). On Wed (when the mask were not mandated anymore), I went to the local supermarket and the only people with masks were two young mums.

    Technically, Prague’s tube is still “masks only” area (as are any hospitals and doctors), and the public transport has “please still wear masks”, even if unenforceable. I’m going to Prague on Sun, so will see how much people do/don’t respect that.

    That said, I don’t believe anyone threw their masks away, as a lot of people expect the numbers to go up post summer.

      1. tegnost

        Why is this site called “Eat Liver”? Well, because beef liver with onions is delicious! You should eat it daily!

        is that so?…every day?

  21. Jason Boxman

    Can add a story in the NYTimes today about the resumption of in-person classes at colleges to class warfare. Without such classes, what is the point of the administrative class at a university, anyway? So this puts in sharp relief that which is actually important to a university that purports to offer an education: professors and teaching assistants.

    I wonder how many colleges will ultimately close up shop for good in the coming years; Remember the overabundance of law schools a decade ago? I think NC even had a post about it.

    And this is in addition to foreign students that pay full freight not necessarily coming to study here anymore, magnified by Trump’s disruption of that funding source these past years.

    It’s odd that if the US had the operational capacity to manage the pandemic, this wouldn’t necessarily even be an issue.

    A Problem for College in the Fall: Reluctant Professors

    1. tegnost

      Because 5 horsemen would ruin the headline?
      What will happen when the leaders of Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon appear before Congress? We are about to find out.
      Yeah, congre$$ is going to roll over and beg for a belly scratch.
      Some guard dog…

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        The Bloomberg wages/AMZN article is appalling, how I wish the current hate/hysteria mill was churning out people smashing the place up because of this form of slavery, no, not 160 years ago: today.

        The timeline is absolutely grotesque. Man opens online bookstore. Taxpayers subsidize his workforce (wages paid are so low that 1/3 of his workers must receive government payments. Some live in their cars in the company’s parking lot). Taxing authorities give him a pass on collecting local taxes. Taxing authorities nationally give him a pass on *any* taxes on billions of revenue. Company bankrupts tens of thousands of Mom and Pop main street stores. Man becomes richest person on Earth and a “New Economy” hero. Man buys formerly credible newspaper to megaphone the wishes of his biggest customer: the CIA. Man then makes sure any of the slaves working for his online plantation cannot organize, ask for a safe workplace, or ask for a living wage.

        I no longer recognize the country I thought I grew up in. Q: which of the candidates to lead this country is more likely to do *something, anything* about it?

    2. mpalomar

      From the article: “While it’s convenient to apply the catchall term “Big Tech” to them, they are not a monolith and some in this group are further along in understanding that with great power comes great responsibility — and, more important, accountability.”

      Forgot to include Lord Acton’s useful attribution regarding power, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

      This ‘big tech’ piece along with the failure of neoliberalism and the NY Times is showing shocking signs of relevance.

  22. Wukchumni

    This just in…

    Finding a last minute corporate sponsor, the gridironists in Humordor will henceforth be called:

    The Washington FEDskims

    1. ewmayer

      In a similar move, the Cleveland Indians have announced that the team will be changing its name to the “Cleveland H1-B Visa-Holding Tech Workers”, or just “Rajahs”, for short. The old offensive feathered-headdress-wearing-and-grinning Chief Yahoo mascot will give way to a fierce-miened full-bearded Lionheart Singh, who strikes fear into the opposing team with his fearsome glower and jewel-encrusted ceremonial dagger. Sure not to offend anyone, especially with the ethnic/religous metaphor-mixing: the turban appeals to the Indian Muslims and Sikhs, see, and the “Rajah” is for the Hindoos. It’s a brilliant stroke of marketing genius, I tellya!

    2. wilroncanada

      I would have suggested the Washington Grifters, but that’s already been taken by the Administration.

  23. David

    It’s been an interesting week in French politics, and it’s not over yet.
    This morning, Philippe, the Prime Minister, resigned, as widely forecast (including by me a few days ago). In France, the resignation of the PM is not a political crisis, it’s a fairly usual event. In the French political system, the fundamental distinction is between the President (elected for five years and almost impossible to remove) and the Government, headed by a PM appointed by the President, who can be changed at will, especially when things get rough politically. It’s not uncommon for there to be several changes of government during a Presidency. In this case, the curiosity was that Philippe was considerably more popular than Macron, because of his handling of the Covid crisis.

    So it probably suited them both if Philippe left. Macron gets to appoint someone who will be no threat to his image and re-election campaign, and Philippe gets a clear run to be the Right’s preferred candidate in 2022. But his replacement was a surprise: Le Monde has headline asking “who is Jean Castex?”
    In fact, Castex, a former civil servant like so many French politicians, was “Mr De-confinement”, and generally thought to have done a good job. He seems to be respected by all, and is a technocrat and a manager, with no obvious Presidential ambitions. He should make a good PM. But he (like Philippe) is not from Macron’s own party, but from the main Right-wing party, the much renamed Republicans. Philippe’s nomination was part of an attempt by him to occupy all the available political space, but it seems to have backfired. Voters who left the Republicans for Macron’s mob seem to be going back. Likewise, Castex will also be in charge of making the government’s policies “greener”, in an attempt to win back those who defected to the Greens in the recent municipal elections. The trouble is, that from the analyses that have been done this week, it looks as though the voters behind the so-called “Green Wave” were simply tired of Macron and were looking around for an alternative. The Greens are currently a holding area where liberally-minded PMC voters go while they make up their minds what to do next. In 2017, Macron was “none of the above.” Now he’s part of the above. “Green Wave” voters are unlikely to go back to Macron; many will just not vote.

    One final point: Castex has no background in Foreign Affairs, and it’s unlikely that he will have any real impact on the French Brexit position – though he’ll be deeply involved, of course, in the consequences. His government will probably be announced tomorrow.

    1. flora

      I think you (I think it was you but maybe I’m misremembering) made a comment about French politics earlier this week to the effect that politics had become entirely self-referential, divorced from wider concerns. Something like that. If that was your comment, I wonder how you see the current shakeup in terms of any cracks appearing in the political self-referential bubble, is the bubble opening up to wider world voter concerns?

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Apparently the big takeaway is the complete fracturing into political chaos with many many parties and nothing but IdPol of local figureheads. With super-low turnout. With multiple parties the polity is atomizing (still perhaps a better outcome than a 2 party system that can only fracture into two warring camps). But if you don’t believe in the system (turnout), and only barely believe in a local lesser-of-evils…can you really ever have another Bastille moment? Seems to me this further heralds the euthanasia of the plebes as actors *in any capacity* in their system of governance.

      2. David

        It was actually about UK politics and probably applies fractionally less in France, partly because most French politicians (including the new and former PM) are mayors of towns or cities and so obliged to bump up against reality from time to time.

  24. tegnost

    How this article can have no mention of the MAX is .(not). a mystery to me, retroactive to may 2019, covering layoffs through mid june 2022
    and the opening line?…
    “Though labor unions have lost much of their leverage against giant corporations, they still retain political clout in Congress.”
    ya sure, youbetcha…I want some of that lutefisk this guy is eating

  25. occasional anonymous

    Driving Older Cars: Light on Tech, Heavy on Fun DNyuz

    This gives me a reason to post a clip from possibly the greatest cartoon (for sheer entertainment value) ever made, about a guy winning street races with an outdated, underpowered vehicle that ‘trains the driver’:

  26. jaaaaayceeeee

    Dear Pummengarde and LaRuse,

    If you start weekly baths of a kitten, it is possible to greatly reduce the protein in their saliva, that humans are allergic to. When the cat grooms itself, it deposits the protein onto its hair, from which it is eventually shed.

    Having the person who is NOT allergic brush the cat even more often, which reduces shedding, makes a significant difference.

    Going through the long process of desensitization shots did not cure me of my biggest allergy, which is to cats, but it also made a significant difference.

    I have kept cats despite my off-the-charts cat allergy, running low fevers but toughing it out for love. If I were to get another cat, I would definitely bathe the cat weekly from infancy, which I never knew to try, because that might just make it worth it.

    All the usual avoidance strategies are also worth it, like not letting the cat sleep in your bed and using hepa filters, and hot water washing of bedding and clothing, to inactivate the protein. But unless I could train a cat to take baths, I don’t think I can get quite to the point where I could feel great and have a cat).

    1. jaaaaayceeeee

      Oh, I forgot to mention that not only do you have to start bathing the cat in infancy (so they don’t develop the saliva protein), but you can never let 2 weeks go by or they will start producing the allergenic protein. It’s a ridiculous commitment, which I would also never inflict upon a grown cat, but I have read that it works and a kitten can be taught to submit if not given any alternative.

  27. Tom

    All this bad news and Americans still keep voting for biden. What an enlightened bunch.

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