Links 7/4/2020

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Dead fish are popping up all along the Hudson River New York Post (David L). Eeew.

Nagaland dog meat: Animal rights groups hail ban as ‘major turning point’ BBC (David L)

Take a Flight Over Korolev Crater on Mars Universe Today (Kevin W)

After Fighting Plastic in ‘Paradise Lost,’ Sisters Take On Climate Change New York Times (David L)

Microplastic in terrestrial ecosystems Science (David L)

#COVID-19

Mexico vastly underestimating virus death toll, studies say Financial Times

Science/Medicine

Risk Factors for Mortality in Patients with COVID-19 in New York City Journal of General Internal Medicine (RR)

WHO Sees First Results From COVID Drug Trials Within Two Weeks Reuters

Chloroquine and COVID-19: A western medical and scientific drift? European Journal of Internal Medicine (RR)

UK/Europe

Ireland’s official coronavirus death toll likely to have been overstated, report finds Irish Times. PlutoniumKun: “Shorter version – they think Covid deaths are over-counted, but long term impact likely from delayed elective treatments.”

US

‘We need to live with it’: White House readies new message for the nation on coronavirus NBC

The week America lost control of the pandemic Atlantic

It’s not just coronavirus: America repeatedly fails at public health Los Angeles Times (Craig S)

U.S. Cases Rise 2.1%; WHO Uncertain on Vaccine: Virus Update Bloomberg

Mexico closes border in Arizona as coronavirus cases in both countries surge The Hill (Kevin W)

31 MLB players positive for coronavirus after first round of tests ESPN (resilc)

Finance/Economics

Walmart is turning some of its parking lots into drive-in theaters Engadget. Resilc: “Walmart to drive another industry into bankruptcy?”

How the pandemic is reshaping American manufacturing PBS. Craig S:

This (from the PBS Newshour) is the first MSM piece I’ve seen that acknowledges the tragic impact on the US (counted in COVID deaths due to lack of PPE) of the loss of manufacturing capacity and expertise due to offshoring.

The big factor holding back the U.S. economic recovery: Child care Washington Post

As Coronavirus Cases Rise, American Airlines Is Booking to Capacity Again Popular Mechanics (resilc)

China?

U.S. Sends Two Aircraft Carriers to South China Sea for Exercises as China Holds Drills Nearby Wall Street Journal

US has been exposed for funding last year’s Hong Kong protests South China Morning Post (Anthony L). Sigh (in anticipation of overreactions). I have seen this sort of thing in business regularly from early on in my career, people claiming credit for deals they didn’t do (I knew it wasn’t theirs because I knew first hand who had done them, the brazenness always stunned me). I can’t recall who made this observation re Russiagate, but a skeptic pointed out that anyone connected to the GRU who’d been spending $ in the US would use the hysteria as proof that they’d been effective and try to get more funding. The US is not even remotely good enough to have made a difference in HK. Look at the failed Venezuela coup. Spending money is no proof of influence or impact. The support for the protests extended very deep into the population. Fleeing protestors be pulled into houses in working class homes en masse to keep them from being arrested. The US agencies don’t have enough people who speak Cantonese with the right accent to make a dent.

China, US in row over quarantining of diplomats Asia Times (Kevin W)

Brexit

Fresh Calls For Guarantees on Digital Taxation in Future UK-US Trade Deal CityAM

New Cold War

In ‘Russian Bounty’ Story, Evidence-Free Claims From Nameless Spies Became Fact Overnight FAIR (furzy)

The Rise of Strategic Corruption: How China, Russia, and Others Have Weaponized Corruption Foreign Affairs (Dr. Kevin). Hold your nose.

Syraqistan

Mysterious Explosion and Fire Damage Iranian Nuclear Enrichment Facility New York Times

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Inside the Invasive, Secretive “Bossware” Tracking Workers Electronic Frontier Foundation (Bob H)

Imperial Collapse Watch

The U.S. Is Lagging Behind Many Rich Countries. These Charts Show Why. New York Times

This U.S. Navy Ship Was Actually Built by the Soviet Union Popular Mechanics (resilc)

Trump Transition

Trump used looted Venezuelan public money to build border wall with Mexico Grayzone

House Democrats, Working With Liz Cheney, Restrict Trump’s Planned Withdrawal of Troops From Afghanistan and Germany Intercept

Trump Delivers Divisive Culture War Message at Mount Rushmore New York Times (furzy)

Sour grapes: California governor Gavin Newsom shuts down wineries in 19 counties hit hard by COVID-19 – but keeps his OWN tasting room in Napa open Daily Mail

2020

Biden seeks to supplant Trump in Georgia The Hill

Charles Booker, Jamaal Bowman And The 7 Competing Camps In Black Politics FiveThirtyEight (resilc)

Big Business Still Has Enormous Control of American Politics at Every Level Tom Ferguson, Jacobin.

L’affaire Jeffrey Epstein

The Ghislaine Maxwell I know Alan Dershowtiz, Spectator

‘G Max’: How Ghislaine Maxwell used numerous bank accounts and aliases to avoid detection Telegraph (Brian C)

Photo of Ghislaine Maxwell and Kevin Spacey in Buckingham Palace Stirs Social Media Sputnik (Kevin W). Clive points out:

Disappointingly perhaps, a fake or, to be more accurate, not the actual Throne Room at the Palace (having been there, the one in the picture is far too spic and span and made from modern materials — the real one has that mellow hued fading of age you get with real historic decor). It’s also using American gold tones and that cheap processed lumber or fibreboard you get there. It could be in Donald Trump’s NYC apartment though, it matches his “house style”.

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Rudy Giuliani calls Black Lives Matter ‘a Marxist organization’ MarketWatch

How advertiser boycott could yield ‘watershed moment’ for Facebook NPR (Craig S)

Fig & Olive, New York Restaurant Chain, Files for Bankruptcy Bloomberg. Another restaurant I patronized occasionally in trouble.

Slimy Deal Allows CalPERS President and Staff to Hold Secret Star Chamber Discipline of Dissident Board Member Margaret Brown Tony Butka, LA Citywatch

Guillotine Watch

Petition for Zuckerberg to stop “colonizing” Hawaii island doubles in a day Newsweek (David L)

Class Warfare

I used an algorithm to help me write a story. Here’s what I learned. MIT Technology Review (David L)

Antidote du jour (Cliff V):

And a bonus (guurst):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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195 comments

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Cleveland Indians outfielder Delino DeShields Jr. was one player announced Friday as testing positive. Chris Antonetti, the team’s president of baseball operations, said DeShields tested positive before coming to Cleveland.

      San Diego Padres outfielder Tommy Pham is another player who was announced as testing positive for COVID-19. General manager A.J. Preller said Friday that Pham is asymptomatic and has begun self-isolation.

      Wait, what……?

      Reply
    2. voislav

      All teams were instructed to do this, place COVID positive players on the 10-day injured list. Then it’s up to the team what to do.

      For example, my Blue Jays did this with 4 of their players (Perez, Drury, Luciano and Davis), without providing any cause. Then again, these 4 are fairly inconsequential, so maybe team is just not bothering with press releases.

      Reply
    3. Leroy R

      I’m surprised more has not been made of the total lack of sports for the last few months. It must be a significant chunk of all entertainment revenue, with a very large number employed as a result. For sports fans, it makes for a kind of desultory TV lineup. Maybe argue that it’s a lot of commercialized crap, but a good game, or series, makes it more than bearable. The history and tradition enters into it too, for better or worse. Unfortunately, I suspect the return to action is going to work out about as well as some other recent reopening fiascoes around the country.
      Good brief clip from one of the sharper commentators, Charles Barkley, about the NBA resuming play.

      Reply
  1. fresno dan

    The Ghislaine Maxwell I know Alan Dershowtiz, Spectator
    In addition to presenting factual defenses, Maxwell’s lawyers may argue that the Statute of Limitations have expired on these 20-plus year allegations. They may also argue that Maxwell is protected by Epstein’s original plea deal that expressly included Maxwell as someone who received immunity. So stay tuned. The case against Ghislaine Maxwell is far from over.
    =====================================================
    The US legal system – so, so many laws against sex crimes, so many DoJ lawyers, so much law enforcement yet somehow billionaires that should have been put away for life with a fair reading of the applicable laws and facts, somehow, SOMEHOW, gets off with a slap on the wrist….
    its a funny old legal system…

    Reply
    1. John A

      I seem to recall that Dershowtiz’s defence against accusations that he had ‘lain down’ with Epstein’s girls was that he always wears underwear in bed and therefore he was unsullied.

      Reply
        1. chaco52

          The man is such a turd. Which is an ad hominem attack. But as he is an ongoing turd the Statute of Limitations has not expired

          Reply
    2. Pelham

      Isn’t this Dershowitz article a fairly naked bid to persuade Maxwell not to rat on him specifically?

      Reply
    3. Susan the other

      It is a funny old legal system and it gets even funnier when you speculate on what is really going on. I’m sure we are being told basically nothing. Because something (not sex with a 16 year old) was important enough to kill Jeffrey E. and make it look like he hanged himself… this incident has gone without investigation in our funny old legal system. And wow, Gislaine suddenly turns up on a luxury estate in New Hampshire – gosh the FBI are so dumb, right? Besides, she’s got immunity because she cleaned up her act after Jeffrey was convicted. So… why on earth did she hide out like that? My best guess is because the FBI protected her and whoever killed Jeffrey was trying to find her to kill her too. So what does Gislaine know? I’m further guessing that the thing that is at the crux of all this is that Jeffrey compromised several (rumor) US politicians by filming them having sex with 16 year olds and then he blackmailed them. Who was the beneficiary of all this blackmail? And etc. Whoever killed Jeffrey is very powerful; that was a blatant act.

      Reply
      1. barefoot charley

        Whatever Epstein was, his girlfriend’s dad Mogul Maxwell was an all-but-acknowledged Mossad asset, as the Prime Minister’s eulogy at his Israeli state funeral made plain. Mossad is better at intelligence than the US but does cooperate with us, so it’s almost inconceivable to my little brain that the FBI had honeypot interests in conflict with the greater intelligence-industrial ecosystem. Epstein may have bootstrapped himself into the big leagues by blackmailing that visionary pervert who created Victoria’s Secret, but Gislaine then gave Epstein access to the world’s most prominent pigeons. With high-level impunity, as prosecutor Acosta asserted–meaning his blackmail skills were for governmental hire–I’ve got to think she must be protected, not prosecuted, by her longtime employers. So her discovery and arrest surely have been well scripted. And we won’t learn much of anything, which our country’s got good at.

        Epstein may have just got too bloated for his britches, too publicly putrid for further employment. Maybe what happened in that jail cell was, he got fired.

        Reply
        1. Harold

          If she is cooperating with the FBI, doesn’t that mean she has been granted immunity? Or would that have been made public? Of course if she has been granted immunity, wouldn’t that have protected her from arrest? It is a puzzlement.

          Reply
        2. sd

          Did Epstein and Maxwell live together? New Hampshire has common law marriage. I just wondered if that would in some way protect her even though he’s dead.

          Reply
      2. Maritimer

        “It is a funny old legal system and it gets even funnier when you speculate on what is really going on.”

        One of the things that fascinates me about the US Injustice System (call it what it is) is the books that are never written about it. Maybe it exists but I have never seen a book analysing how Prosecutions really work, a really detailed, in depth analysis. What the motivations are etc. One possibility in a prosecution, for instance, is that the Prosecutor will tank it like a fighter in a fixed boxing match. Try to make it look good but set it up to lose. And there are many, many ways to lose both at trial and on the multiple, years later appeals. That is only one example.

        The US Injustice System may not have invented omerta but it is a master practitioner of it. Yes indeed, “…what is really going on.”

        Reply
      1. Geo

        Love that one of his “defenses” is that he was with fine, upstanding people like the Clintons and Rothchilds while hanging out with Maxwell and Epstein.

        “My wife and I were introduced to Ghislaine Maxwell by Sir Evelyn and Lady Lynne de Rothschild, and we subsequently met her on several occasions — generally in the presence of prominent people such as Bill and Hillary Clinton.”

        Reply
        1. km

          That seems to be the real crux of Dershowitz’ defense.

          We can discuss later whether it also is la Ghislaine’s real defense, or whether that was the real reason behind Epstein’s original sweetheart deal.

          Reply
          1. km

            Also, is not “she might maybe be shielded by Epstein’s original sweetheart plea deal!” not a de facto admission of guilt?

            Reply
            1. cripes

              “Also, is not “she might maybe be shielded by Epstein’s original sweetheart plea deal!” not a de facto admission of guilt?”

              Not necessarily.
              Immunity would stop the inquiry before it reaches the merits of any criminal accusation, although you are free to reach your own inferences or conclusions as you wish.

              Normally immunity deals are in exchange for incriminating testimony against other co-conspirators, so yes, that would support your theory. But here it seems she was granted immunity in a deal negotiated in Jeffrey’s prosecution and presumably did not require Ghislaine’s cooperation. Just a gift!

              Therefore her lack of cooperation likely would not negate the terms of immunity if she did not contractually agree to provide evidence against co-conspirators. No breaking of terms she never signed on to, no quid pro quo, no foul.

              That’s what her defense attorneys will argue if any real prosecution happens.

              Reply
    4. Alex morfesis

      Bang bang Maxwell silver hammer…and if you handwave the prosecution deal and come up with some other distraction about protecting “other” children from evil adults, you get made Governor of flow read duh…and when that doesn’t work out they make you congresskrityr of your hometown and the only whispers about you are about your purported knack for cross dressing… You get to keep your fake tan and fake smile right there in your home district and with not one media person (especially not anyone visiting the wondrous Poynter) asking you not one question about miss bang bang and her suicided friend…but hey…what a beautiful brand new Pier there…

      ah…the Poynter…

      you may not get anything other than the “approved” tough questions there… But you can certainly have a lovely wedding there…

      Reply
  2. Bugs Bunny

    On the photo of G Max and K Space, it looks like it was shot in a wax museum or maybe on a film set, which might explain the cheap appearance.

    Madame Tussauds had Jabba the Hut’s throne room, which was probably a model for Epstein’s interior decorating.

    Reply
    1. jefemt

      I was betting on the secret room in the secret building on the private island. Some sort of skully-bonezy rituals

      Reply
  3. The Rev Kev

    “Trump Delivers Divisive Culture War Message at Mount Rushmore”

    I don’t think that the latest rant from Trump was the most interesting thing about the Mt. Rushmore performance. It was in fact the reaction of Democrats and the media that was. In the past you have had people like Bernie, Hillary and Obama visit Mt. Rushmore and it was all hunky-dory. But Trump goes there and suddenly a CNN reporters is labeling Mt. Rushmore as “A monument of two slave owners and on land wrestled away from Native Americans.”

    Fact check – the land wrestled from the Native Americans was actually everything from New York to L.A. so not just a patch in South Dakota. Also, if CNN wants to get so finicky about past people, then surely they will be demanding that the Broadway play “Hamilton” be banned as Alexander Hamilton sold slaves in his career and married into a slave-owning family. In fact, all those who went to see Hamilton should immediately donate an equivalent sum of money that was paid into tickets as donations to BLM, amiright?

    https://www.rt.com/usa/493782-cnn-about-face-rushmore/

    Something else of interest was when Trump announced a new national park – a National Garden of American Heroes. Who will be in it? Here are the names suggested in the Executive Order as a start-

    ‘The National Garden should be composed of statues, including statues of John Adams, Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, Daniel Boone, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, Henry Clay, Davy Crockett, Frederick Douglass, Amelia Earhart, Benjamin Franklin, Billy Graham, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King, Jr., Abraham Lincoln, Douglas MacArthur, Dolley Madison, James Madison, Christa McAuliffe, Audie Murphy, George S. Patton, Jr., Ronald Reagan, Jackie Robinson, Betsy Ross, Antonin Scalia, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Harriet Tubman, Booker T. Washington, George Washington, and Orville and Wilbur Wright.’

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-building-rebuilding-monuments-american-heroes/

    Reply
    1. John Beech

      I’m waiting for the day an enterprising reporter gets a camera in the President’s toilet and the Gray Lady’s headlines – above the fold, of course – are all to do with how he wipes wrong.

      Honestly, the guy hasn’t caught a break during his entire presidency! Does this matter? It does to my neighbors, an older couple who said they’re voting for him again come Hell or high water because . . . “He’s never gotten a fair shake!”

      Me? I’ll probably vote for him again despite changing my registration to Democrat to support Senator Sanders when the circus came to town in the spring. Why? Simple; it’s because I believe the former veep is a racist. This, added to a long list of disqualifying issues. Disappointed in the Democrats, but there you have it.

      Reply
      1. Pelham

        I doubt either Trump or Biden is racist in any fundamental sense, but I’m sure that my estimation doesn’t jibe with the loud pronouncements of self-appointed experts on the matter. Still both candidates are abominations by quite a number of other measures. As for Trump’s speech, I would have to listen to it firsthand. I’ve long since learned not to trust any network’s summations and excerpts.

        As for this whole business of slaves and seizing land from Indians, of course. That’s part of our history. But name another nation that’s any better? Consider this: The US is now 39% “minority,” yet we don’t have one major (or minor) political party that’s openly racist or neo-fascist. Now look at Europe. There’s not one country there with more than a 10% minority population, yet every one has a major neo-fascist or racist political party. In some of these countries, these parties are the largest and play a role in government.

        What about other parts of the world? The Middle East: rabidly racist, even holding active slave markets. Africa: Rampant tribalism in many parts that periodically erupt into genocides. South Asia: caste system. East Asia: Perhaps the most racist nations on earth. Australia, New Zealand: Look at what happened with the Aborigines and Maoris. Latin America: ravaged by conquistadors (though some have since improved).

        One could go on. I wouldn’t claim the US is the least racist nation around, but we’re doing quite well by comparison with others. Having said that, I suppose I’ve marked myself as a prime candidate for re-education.

        Reply
        1. Aumua

          How about this: “As for this whole business of slaves and seizing land from Indians, of course. That’s part of our history, and it’s the part that really sucks. The consequences of our brutal, genocidal early history have continued to reverberate down through the past few centuries, and are still with us today. It’s time we more fully came to terms with this aspect of who we are, and begin to make amends wherever we can.”

          The end.

          Reply
          1. expose

            What exactly does “It’s time we more fully came to terms with this aspect of who we are, and begin to make amends wherever we can” mean?

            I know history (not all, of course). I know that Horrible Things happened in the past. I know that all of humanity has blood on its hands. I also know that human history did not start in the 1600’s.

            What exactly do you propose for “amends?”

            We can choose to move forward, or end up like a number of muslim countries, some of the oriental countries, Africa, and so on, with nothing but thousands of years of hatred fueled acts and a future filled with the same.

            Reply
            1. Pelham

              Fully agreed. How would anyone today make amends for what slave owners, politicians and cavalry officers did in the 19th century? Or Jim Crow defenders did up to the middle of the last century.

              I don’t see how the amends making advocates avoid the concept of blood guilt, the very foundation of anti-semitism and other ongoing horrors. If this is the direction they’re going, they should check their premises (the only suggestion Ayn Rand ever made that made any sense).

              Reply
            2. Aumua

              To make amends means more than a simply apology. It means to set right the wrongs that were done, and that can take the form of many actions, big and small. It’s no trivial matter in this case. It’s almost too huge to even look at, and the strong pushback against the very notion of doing anything at all, here and elsewhere is evidence.

              Many of the actions that could be taken would benefit all of the working class regardless of their country of origin. Such as ending the war on drugs for instance, which disproportionately affects people of color but does affect us all. The reason things like poverty, police violence, drug use affect minorities more goes all the way back to the process of colonization. It’s a different situation than the middle east.

              We can move forward with a dead albatross around our neck, but not much. Just look around at the ‘progress’ we’re making.

              Reply
              1. flora

                Many of the actions that could be taken would benefit all of the working class regardless of their country of origin.

                Well, yes.

                It’s odd that the msm and the Dem party estab and most network stations seem to assume the ‘working class’ is white (what have they conditioned you to see when the words ‘work class’ are uttered?) when in fact the working class is now mostly black and brown. I mean, most of the working class is Black and Latino. So dissing the working class as deplorable is in reality… what? Is it a declaration that working class people have no purchase in the Dem party? man o man.

                Reply
                1. flora

                  adding: an unpaywalled version of Taibbi’s latest. Pretty good, imo.

                  It’s the Fourth of July, and revolution is in the air. Only in America would it look like this: an elite-sponsored Maoist revolt, couched as a Black liberation movement whose canonical texts are a corporate consultant’s white guilt self-help manual, and a New York Times series rewriting history to explain an election they called wrong.

                  https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/taibbi-americas-birthday-celebrate-corporate-sponsored-revolution

                  Reply
                2. flora

                  If my last comment including a link to Taibbi’s latest doesn’t make it out of mod land, there’s this from his column:

                  It’s the Fourth of July, and revolution is in the air. Only in America would it look like this: an elite-sponsored Maoist revolt, couched as a Black liberation movement whose canonical texts are a corporate consultant’s white guilt self-help manual, and a New York Times series rewriting history to explain an election they called wrong.

                  The people who run this country have run out of workable myths with which to distract the public, and in a moment of extreme crisis have chosen to stoke civil war and defame the rest of us – black and white – rather than admit to a generation of corruption, betrayal, and mismanagement.

                  Reply
                  1. Berto

                    BLM is a repudiation of the status quo. What’s Taibbi’s problem with that?

                    BLM isn’t a “distraction”. It’s an ally.

                    Reply
                    1. Biph

                      It’s been co-opted by the corporate elite and their henchmen. While I.D.-pol is not without merit the way it’s being used right now has more than a whiff of “paying one half of the working class to fight the other”. White privilege is a thing if one is white and middle class or higher, but not much of thing if one is white and poor. Put another way poor minorities in this country are given a fecal matter sandwich on moldy bread, poor whites are given a fecal matter sandwich on day old bread. I don’t think it does much good to tell the latter group how privileged they are because their bread is day old and not moldy.

                    2. Aumua

                      Yeah sure, BLM has been around for a while so there’s been some opportunity for it to be infiltrated and/or co-opted in various ways, but I don’t really know where the distortion begins.

                      In spite of that though, the impetus that started that movement, as well as other current aligned movements i.e. indigenous protests at Mt. Rushmore yesterday are genuine phenomena. They’re not astroturfed or controlled from above. And if there is distortion in Black Lives Matter then that still doesn’t negate the truth of privilege in general, of which privilege based on race is a prime example.

                      For the poorest, the benefits of those privileged may be very small these days, although it was bigger in the past. The echo is still reverberating. The nation is only a few hundred years old. We’re still just starting out. We’re still just emerging from the violent truth of colonization and slavery. Black and brown Americans still have to deal with more sh*t over the course of their lives.

                      So, there is still work to do.

                  2. expose

                    Taibbi mentions a generation.

                    Crap, it’s been for generations. And it is hardly “mismanagement.”

                    Reply
              2. expose

                Well, I asked for specific examples, and you had one: end the drug war.

                Then you say, “Many of the actions that could be taken…,” yet you list none.

                Bromides just don’t do it.

                I personally think that we are addressing everything backwards.

                Reply
                1. flora

                  an aside: I’m jumping in with a thought which your words “everything backwards” brought to mind.

                  MLK’s “I have a dream” speech. where he envisioned a future when his little children would not be judged by the color of their skin by by the content of their character, was a profoundly good aspiration for the country: Everyone should be treated as equal individuals.

                  The old idea that different races were irreducibly different in human character and abilities was behind the Jim Crow laws. Striking down those laws benefited everyone, in part it made the nation closer to the ideal of having one law for everyone. (rich and poor is still a divide)

                  My problem with White Fragility’s book thesis is that it stands MLK’s dream on it’s head; it returns the ‘irreducible differences’ argument as valid, which is going backwards. That argument, if widely accepted and acted on, opens the door to new forms of Jim Crow laws. My 2 cents.

                  Reply
          2. steve

            At the end of the American Revolutionary War, the Chemung Indian tribe in central NY deserted their land and fled north to Canada with their Torie fellow combatants. US soldiers in support of the Minutemen were granted land in the Chemung Valley for their service. No one can claim this land is or was “stolen” except bloodthirsty Marxists who claim all property is “stolen”.

            Reply
          1. juno mas

            Only if the zeroes are to the right. Otherwise, we’re moving toward miniscule (undetectable).

            Reply
            1. ewmayer

              No, 0.000…0001, with the ellipsis standing for ‘infinitely many of the digit on either side’ is very much a real number. In fact it equals 0. Just as 0.999…999 = 1, and similar.

              In fact your example 100…000 is much less obviously a real number, since “infinity is not a number” and one must agree on a proper extension of the real line in order to accommodate such “sequence of reals increasing without bound” cases. Further reading:

              https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/750777/is-infinity-a-real-number

              Reply
      2. diptherio

        If being a racist is reason for you not to vote for JB, why is it not enough to keep you from voting for Trump? Really scratching my head over that one…

        Reply
      3. voteforno6

        Simple; it’s because I believe the former veep is a racist. This, added to a long list of disqualifying issues.

        Just out of curiosity, is there nothing that Trump’s done that you consider to be disqualifying?

        Reply
    2. timbers

      Interesting point. I agree. But I don’t do mainstream media viewing so am limited, so am going by your account and reasoning…

      “…a CNN reporters is labeling Mt. Rushmore as “A monument of two slave owners and on land wrestled away from Native Americans.”

      This is really an angry, unintelligent, and skill-less way to go about what I think the reporter and CNN is trying to do – get Trump out of office. Because saying these kind of things will help cause Trump’s base to rally to him more. It’s very difficult almost impossible for a large part of Trumps base to accept in any way America isn’t pure and good in the world. America trashing like this, is so way off topic it really doesn’t apply to the event reporting, is awkward and ineffective.

      Regarding Trump resigning, many realize that will give us President Pence, right?

      Full disclosure: I’m an American, and am very anti-American.

      Reply
      1. marym

        The bounty issue, like inappropriate crony contacts with Russians, phone calls to Ukraine, or the mental disability accusation of the day, allow Team Blue and NeverTrump Republicans their self-righteous tantrum without any need to address the wealth transfer, arms deals, and government-gutting of the Trump years. They’re fine all that and with the potential evils of a Pence presidency and a Pence incumbency.

        Reply
        1. Pat

          Let me correct that for you:

          “…without any need to address the wealth transfer, arms deals, and government-gutting of the Bush/Clinton/Bush/Obama/Trump years.”

          The bull shit reasons are deliberately bull shit because the items you cited ARE business as usual, Trump.is NOT under attack for what he has been doing but for adding others to the winner list and thus lessening the take for the long-term shareholders. Oh and for essentially exposing how empty the civility is and has been. His corruption, deep and disgusting as it is, is not different or greater than we have seen previously. Biden included.

          Reply
        2. Procopius

          “The bounty issue,…” I’m thoroughly offended by the Democrats using this unfounded story to side with some Republicans (Liz Cheney!!!) to prevent withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan. I’m retired Army, but completely out of touch with other soldiers, so maybe I’m the outlier, but my opinion is that we should have declared our objectives met and brought them home in 2002. The idea that a bounty would encourage Taliban to kill more American soldiers than they already are determined to kill is ludicrous. The Taliban kill American soldiers because they are an invading and occupying foreign force, just as the Russians were in 1989 when we were paying mujaheddin to kill them.

          Reply
      2. Ook

        “land wrestled away from Native Americans”

        Good lord, the term is “wrested”, not “wrestled”. I don’t think the WWF existed back then.

        Reply
        1. periol

          They did intentionally starve the Sioux, so it wouldn’t have been much of a wrestling match anyways…

          Reply
    3. Katniss Everdeen

      To my mind, minorities and Native Americans should be thanking their lucky stars that Trump was elected.

      If he hadn’t been, the media and the democrats would have just kept on ignoring them like they always have.

      What do they think biden’s promise to restore things to “the way they used to be” actually means?

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        I am told that General George Armstrong Custer is to blame here with the state of Native Americans. He was put in charge of the Bureau of Indian Affairs just before heading off to Montana and the Little Big Horn. His last words before leaving his Bureau office were “Don’t do a thing until I get back!”

        Reply
        1. barefoot charley

          It wasn’t just Custer by a long shot, but he deserves credit as efficient cause of stealing the Black Hills from the Sioux, just a few years after the sacred hills were specifically bound by treaty. But prospectors famously muttered “There’s gold in them thar hills,” which Custer wanted to confirm. Vini vedi vici, there was gold enough. That outrage increased the tribal alliance come to meet him that summer at the Little Bighorn.

          Reply
          1. Procopius

            What I understood was that the tribes were not meeting in order to oppose Custer, but for religious ceremonies and a political conference. Custer just happened to blunder into their midst and probably would have been left unmolested if he hadn’t attacked.

            Reply
    4. marym

      An executive order for task force to provide options for a garden by 2026! How patriotic! How timely!

      And not at all a culture war!

      All statues in the National Garden should be lifelike or realistic representations of the persons they depict, not abstract or modernist representations.

      …consider the availability of authority to encourage and accept the donation or loan of statues by States, localities, civic organizations, businesses, religious organizations, and individuals, for display at the National Garden.

      He prevented the Harriet Tubman $20 bill.

      Reply
      1. jsn

        Your last quoted paragraph: a retirement home for white suprematist statues!

        The extra double inclusive list of includees is “Woke Insurance” so ID Dems can vote for it!

        Reply
      2. Alfred

        Thank you, marym. But for your comment I would not have bothered to read the transcript, or the Executive Order, and therefore I’d have failed to learn about the President’s proposed National Garden of American Heroes. The proposal piques my curiosity because Washington already has two famous sculpture gardens, one at the Hirshhorn and the other across the Mall at the National Gallery. Indeed the whole of DC amounts to one vast sculpture garden, as James Goode’s Guide to The Outdoor Sculpture of Washington, D.C. (1974; revised edition 2009) demonstrated. Admittedly, those displays do not confine themselves to that subset of sculptures called statuary, as the National Garden is intended to do. Admittedly also, the Order does not necessarily place Garden in DC, just “proximate to at least one major population center” (Minneapolis-Saint Paul, perhaps? I do rather doubt San Francisco-Oakland). But there in the US Capitol we have Statuary Hall, already an exhibition of likenesses of various alleged worthies, but problematic for the very reason that the National Garden will also prove to be if developed (which, seriously, I doubt it will be) per the Order with “the donation or loan of statues by States, localities, civic organizations, businesses, religious organizations, and individuals.” We already have, too, the National Portrait Gallery, which to my knowledge is the country’s only existing institution that has the explicit mission of preserving images of Americans who have found some place in respectable history books, and hence arguably national recognition. But in the very opposition to that Gallery, perhaps, lies the core idea of this remarkable National Garden. For the latter appears to promise a display where respectability (or even notoriety?) is no criterion for inclusion, but only the free choices of those federally unregulated “States, localities, civic organizations, businesses, religious organizations, and individuals” may govern, albeit through certain “Task Force agencies.” It might therefore constitute a reified counterpart of neoliberalism’s Musée Imaginaire of individual actors, a precinct full of things whose realism and tangibility specially appeal to ‘conservative’ taste (whose conservation in perpetuity will require an enormous cost that — surely! — the public rather than the private interests must be expected to bear). Yet the selection will be fair and balanced enough to satisfy even Fox news, including as it should “Founding Fathers, former Presidents of the United States, leading abolitionists, and individuals involved in the discovery of America.” On the requirement of realism (which may by implication forbid gilding?) the Order is indeed explicit: “All statues in the National Garden should be lifelike or realistic representations of the persons they depict, not abstract or modernist representations.” That provision is jaw-dropping because even the monumental ‘Confederate’ representations now being dismantled in Richmond were not so reactionary in conception, for even among those “statues” one finds (or found) not just realistic depiction of persons (not to mention animals) but also symbolism, allegory, inscription, and even abstraction; and the exploitation of negative space as well as the expression of Ideas, that have been the defining features of western three-dimensional art since Rodin.

        Reply
        1. marym

          An executive order rattling off a list of people in US history who didn’t choose to fight for the dissolution of the country and kill its people in defense of slavery doesn’t really compensate for defending statues built to express the values of the confederacy, jim crow, and segregation as “our” heritage.

          Ironically, the controversy over confederate statues has at times included proposals that they be moved to an indoor or outdoor setting to document and preserve whatever educational value they may have. Apparently for confederate statue defenders a garden wasn’t good enough – which says something about who controls public space and for what purpose.

          Reply
    5. timbers

      I’ve arrived at a solution for CNN. Instead of breaking their back reaching for silly stuff on Trump, instead every time they cover a White House story while Trump is President, they open with an explanation of why the House is White. It doesn’t have to be accurate as long as it bashes Trump with appropriate social identify stuff and deflects from any of the actual bad stuff Trump is doing against working folk.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        Should it be mentioned that the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in DC is awful white as well? If woke warriors or CNN (or do I repeat myself?) are not ready to take issues with that, they could take issue with MLK’s infidelity when alive. The FBI would be happy to provide their tapes proving this. In any case, it has been documented that the White House was originally built partly by slaves so they could try and nail Trump for living in a place like that (rolls eyes).

        Reply
    6. Geo

      1. Billy Graham should have a statue of him surrounded by his worldly wealth while burning in a lake of fire.

      2. This obsession with statues as markers of our history is fitting because, like our officially approved history, statues are empty shells which have been sculpted to represent an idealized form of the original. And after a number of years we realize they are mostly just bird sh!t.

      Reply
    7. periol

      Rev, you are correct that this continent had others living in it before white men came, and the details of conquering this land are not pretty. The Black Hills of South Dakota, represent a particularly nasty part of the overall story of the USA and their dealings with indigenous tribes. Even the below article doesn’t really begin to go into all the horrible details of the US takeover of the Black Hills.

      https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/native-americans-mount-rushmore-symbol-broken-treaties-white/story?id=71594501

      In 1868, the Fort Laramie Treaty guaranteed a permanent “Great Sioux Reservation” to the Sioux tribe, which included the Black Hills. Under this agreement, “no treaty for the cession of any portion or part of the reservation” could be sold or traded unless 75% of “adult male Indians” agreed to the change.

      But despite this treaty establishing the Black Hills as part of a reservation, white settlers began moving onto Lakota land searching for gold. Tribes in the area tried to fight them off, but they were also facing a threat of starvation as many of the bison herds in the area were destroyed.

      In 1873, a group of Lakota men agreed to cede the Black Hills in exchange for the U.S. government providing food. That group of men made up just 10% of the male population of the tribe. But the U.S. government proceeded to take that land, and by 1941 the four presidents’ faces were carved into the mountainside.

      After years of legal challenges, the Supreme Court in 1980 upheld the Indian Claims Commission’s ruling that the taking of the Black Hills was illegal under the Fifth Amendment, based on the fact that 75% of the tribe’s men had not consented to the agreement.

      “A more ripe and rank case of dishonorable dealing will never, in all probability, be found in our history,” the majority opinion stated in United States v. Sioux Nation.

      The Lakota tribe has been offered monetary settlements now worth about $1 billion, according to Jeff Ostler, a historian at the University of Oregon, but they refuse to accept it saying they will only accept the land back that was illegally taken from them.

      Reply
    8. Alfred

      Chamberlain I had to google. “Que diable allait-il faire dans cette galère?” I could but wonder. After my googling I still wonder. Was it because he acknowledged the salute of General Gordon’s troops at Appomattox? Is Chamberlain really as well known as the rest of those characters, even in the North? Or is his name (much, I would say, like that of Booker T. Washington) a kind of dog-whistle audible mostly to certain partisans of the South?

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        First heard about Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain nearly thirty years ago from the 1993 film “Gettysburg” so started researching his career. It is one helluva story. A Professor who took leave to join the Union army and went up the ranks, he earned a Medal of Honour for holding the extreme left flank of the Union line at Gettysburg with his 20th Maine Regiment. Here is an excerpt from that movie showing this in part-

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGXyqJrb97o

        His action at Appomattox showed the quality of the man. Many Union officers wanted retribution against the surrendering Rebs but Chamberlain knew that if they were to be once more brought back into the Union, then it was to be done with honour. He arranged Union vet Regiments that had been in the war since the start to be there and soldiers from both sides honoured each other that day. There was to be no ritual humiliation. After the war he served in many positions but the details are all there-

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joshua_Chamberlain

        Reply
        1. Leroy R

          Thanks for posting that clip. It has been a long time since I last saw that movie and the reminder of what happened on July 3 so long ago was quite stirring. My family were farmers and longtime residents of Frederick, Maryland, at the time a vital little burg through which passed huge numbers of Confederate and Union troops (and their wounded; Antietam was 20 miles away). Thanks, Ted Turner, for that film. The book it came from,The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara, is very much recommended.

          Reply
          1. The Rev Kev

            Agreed about “Killer Angels” being a good book and Chamberlain certainly created some innovative tactics to hold Little Round Top. Credit goes to Union General John Buford too who, being first to arrive at Gettysburg, deployed his Brigade to stop the arriving Confederates from seizing the high ground before the rest of the Union Army could arrive. The Confederate defeat at Gettysburg stemmed from this courageous decision of his-

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nD42HP-cn8M

            Reply
    9. Grebo

      I propose that the National Garden of American Heroes have two sections: a Hall of Fame, and a Rogue’s Gallery. Visitors (only) can vote to have a statue moved if they feel it is in the wrong section. The votes would be tallied once a year and statues swapped according to the results. There should be a statue of the sitting president as s/he appeared at their inauguration.

      A record should be kept of all movements and the vote tallies published.

      Reply
  4. jr

    Re: Fig & Olive

    A wonderful sushi house, in the West Village for 30 years, has shuttered. It’s terribly sad. Some of the best food, let alone Japanese food, I’ve ever eaten.

    It’s a struggle everywhere. There are a couple of neighborhood places with outside seating and they are often filled with hopeful souls but it can’t be generating enough cash to really keep things afloat. My local coffee spot owner told me he has received permission to put tables out front, normally it would cost several thousand dollars a month but the city has waived all fees. His place does a brisk business but the higher end dinner and cocktail joints don’t have a dedicated queue of caffeine junkies lined up every morning…

    It’s a really weird time here. There is a strange sense of calm: the weather is relatively nice; the moronic tourists, be they from Brooklyn, Bulgaria, Britain, Bali, or Botswana, are not here so the streets aren’t crowded. Usually it’s packed with drunks and heat and vermin riddled trash piles. Even the heat hasn’t been terrible so far.

    It’s peaceful….until a sustained screaming match breaks out in the middle of the day, or night, in the middle of the street. Now that’s nothing new around * here but it seems to happen more often and at odder, earlier hours. Even when it’s at full pitch crazy around here, you note the odd stuff. Just a subjective perception, one confirmed by a neighbor.

    * Tip: to gauge the seriousness of a fight involving male transvestites, listen to how their voices change. If it’s serious, the high falsettos shrieking “B!T<#!” will drop to deep baritones shouting “M¥T#R F*€<ER!!” in seconds. Best to detour…

    Reply
    1. Baby Gerald

      …’ the moronic tourists, be they from Brooklyn, Bulgaria, Britain, Bali, or Botswana, are not here so the streets aren’t crowded.’

      Guess what, jr? Brooklynites are New Yorkers. We’re not tourists, no matter how much you elite Manhattanites would like to think otherwise.

      Reply
      1. jr

        I have been a Brooklynite AND a Manhattanite AND a near northern New Jersey-ite and I can assure you that I have always held the other two in an equitable contempt when inhabiting the third! Don’t try to box me into your polarized, hierarchical vision of geographical status shaming! My disdain is fluid

        Reply
    2. Carla

      Thank you, jr, for this little snapshot of life in the Big City. One of the many things all of you in the NC Commentariat do is that in so many ways, you bring the world to me. I am forever grateful — and especially now, as I face the fact that I may never really travel again.

      Reply
    3. Pat

      The Korean place near my building is making do with two to three employees depending on time of day. They can have three tables, a four top ant two two tops. I do take out from them, But unless they can keep those three tables full and drinking constantly they are probably goners. Currently they aren’t even making the rent.

      The popular Cuban place maybe making rent. They have more tables (five), longer established client relationships and a menu better for drinking with snacks. But if they are covering anything more than rent (food, liquor, payroll etc) I would be shocked. Same with the Tavern down the street. Those two have both beat the restaurant odds and been here over a decade. I will be shocked if they are still around in the fall.

      Reply
      1. edmondo

        Just out of curiosity….

        Why would you assume that the person preparing you meal in the kitchen is not infected?

        Reply
        1. BlakeFelix

          From what I hear takeout seems to be safe, which makes little sense to me, but almost no one has gotten COVID that way to my understanding.

          Reply
      2. JTMcPhee

        Dumb question: When is there going to be a ‘rent adjustment’ booked into the political economy? Seems vastly overdue.

        And how about those house prices? How does it all float so high in the water, when the hull is so worm-eaten and all the underwater fittings have corroded away?

        Starting to see the stories about the heartless evictions and foreclosures being fast-tracked by the judicial branch and the b@stard Rentier class. At what point is there a critical mass of disaffected and dispossessed to set the whole place on fire?

        Reply
  5. Carolinian

    Re Walmart drive-in–if you go to the sponsoring Tribeca site these are all old movies such as you’d find at your local video store, assuming you still have a video store. Back in the spring our library did something similar by showing a film at the city fairgrounds. The movie they picked was the inferior remake of The Lion King so not worth bothering with.

    Meanwhile the re-opening of hardtop movie theaters has been pushed back to August with everything still in flux. Those movies, however, will be new.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      I understand that a lot of homeless people in cars and vans park in Walmart parking lots at night-time. Would this new development mean that they would have to pay to stay and watch that film or would they have to move on and only come back when all the screenings are finished then?

      Reply
      1. jefemt

        Being an occasional urban bivvy’er at the Wal when I have work in urbania, my experience is that the van life is in a marginal, back-of-the-lot area. I imagine the theaters will be in front, not the most proximate parking to shopping, but not far off.

        When is the Wal going to take over health care?

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          It has already tried to set up WalMed clinics adjacent to the pharmacy. The idea slowly sank out of sight. They do provide flu shots in the Pharmacy.

          Reply
      2. Carolinian

        Details seem skimpy all around. And I’ve heard that Walmart has cut back somewhat on their open invitation to RVs (it was never officially extended to cars) at many, not all, of their locations. They will probably just rope off a section of the vast parking lot as it sounds like the stores will be open during the movie.

        Reply
      3. Keith

        Too early to tell. Walmart parking lots is also home to RV overnighted and in smaller towns a hang out for kids. Other thing is closing off the parking area for the movie. In a ZH article discussing it, they are trying pick up service with it. Add in commercials (when the owned Vudu, they tied their commercials in nicely and made it easy to buy). My guess, if it will be old movies, it could very well be free to encourage foot traffic and consumption onsite. If I understand cinema movies, owners made their money thru concessions, which could be the move here.

        Reply
        1. Carolinian

          If you follow the links they say that at the places where this is already being done they charge admission per car. Although they are old movies Walmart can’t just pull a Blu Ray off their shelf and show it. They need permission from the owner and to make payment.

          I don’t think Walmart’s really hurting for business these days. They may be one of the Covid winners insofar as their competition is being clobbered.

          Reply
          1. Keith

            I know not free, I was thinking loss leader. Admission makes sense, though. They are a definite winner in the Corona games and just furthers their lead. Movies theaters are hurting and unlessCorona, is cured, I do not really see a comeback for them.

            Reply
      4. JTMcPhee

        For a while last year, I owned a Class A motor home which I tried to operate on the cheap. Back then, there were some Walmarts where the managers sort of overlooked the rabble parked in the outer darkness of the huge parking lots that (after bribery and chicanery re-zoned for them and the Monster Stores) destroy so much precipitation-holding and groundwater recharge land, but more and more in the popular RV magazines and web sites it appeared that the corporate types, citing “liability concerns,” were ordering the RVs and campers kicked out and told “your kind aren’t welcome here I’ve if you buy groceries and stuff from us.”

        Reply
    2. Kurtismayfield

      Our local drive in has been showing classic movies.. Jaws was on the lineup this weekend.

      Before anyone blake’s Walmart, Disney has been doing a marvelous job raising the costs for movie theaters. The equipment that they require theaters to have costs a bundle, and since they increasingly control more and more new movie releases the small theaters and drive ins have no choice but to comply with every request.

      Reply
      1. Carolinian

        That’s not just Disney and not new. All of the studios basically declared film release dead a few years ago because of the vast cost of printing 3000 prints of a film that likely will run for a month or less. I believe they offered some incentives to theater owners at the time for the changeover.

        Drive ins were practically dead by the time this happened and therefore unable to afford new equipment where they did still exist. In Atlanta, where I lived for a long time, they only had one. I believe they still have it.

        Reply
        1. JBird4049

          It is too expensive, or was squeezing more profit? The film in a can was the only model for around a century, maybe a little more and I do know of anything increasing the cost of that economic model.

          Reply
    3. Pelham

      My dad had a drive-in in Kansas from 1948 to the ’70s. He had to be there in the evenings, and my mom, afraid to be home alone with a mere tyke, hauled me out to the show and made a bed in the backseat of the car for me. These were wonderful evenings. I remember at times seeing thousands of stars, and no matter how hot the day had been, it would cool quickly and be quite pleasant at night.

      I could go on, but this brings me to the point I want to make. The ramps at my dad’s place were covered in a thin layer of fine gravel that shed heat quickly after the sun set. At a Walmart, you’re talking about asphalt. I’m not sure, but I believe asphalt bleeds heat for quite some time after sunset. And in a suburban setting the unpleasantness may be extended. My dad’s place was way out in the country and surrounded by cow pastures (plus one small junkyard across the two-lane highway), not miles of suburban asphalt and breeze-blocking structures. So the pleasant cool evenings I remember after 100-degree days may not be possible in parking lots. Or urban parks, for that matter.

      Reply
      1. Carolinian

        Cool story. And down South summer drive ins may be a hard sell even without the heat sucking Walmart asphalt. More than likely customers will sit there with their car air conditioners on.The story did say the Walmart portion of the plan would carry on through October.

        Growing up in SC we still had drive-ins but they often showed “b” pictures. I think it was out West and the Midwest where drive-ins were once so wildly popular–never any lack of breezes, fewer bugs, lots of available real estate.

        Reply
      2. Medbh

        I loved going to the drive-in theater as a kid. I took my kids to one last year, after a 20 year or so break. I had the weirdest case of deja vu. The drive-in played countdown cartoon clips that I hadn’t seen in decades. It was a really weird feeling and brought back good memories I didn’t even realize I had.

        Maybe drive-ins will have a resurgence, but the economics of it are rough. Drive in tickets are at least $10 a person. For $200 you can get a large screen and a projector for your backyard, endless cheap popcorn, and send your kids to bed if they won’t be quiet.

        Reply
    4. lordkoos

      I wonder how long will it be before Americans run out of new movies and TV shows to watch? I assume all productions have been shut down by the virus, so I wonder how much is already finished and in the pipeline, as at some point there will be nothing but re-runs. The Rotten Tomatoes site is already touting older shows and films.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        About two weeks ago the soapie “The Bold & The Beautiful” started production again but I would assume without bed scenes. No, I don’t watch it – my wife does.

        Reply
      2. John Anthony La Pietra

        Has anyone else here read the Spider Robinson short story “Melancholy Elephants”?

        Reply
  6. Jesper

    About the ‘Bossware’.
    I am a believer in calling things by their proper name, the different ‘bossware’ offerings are sold and marketed as being productivity tools. The different offerings do not measure output so how can productivity be measured? The definition of productivity usually is output divided by something so without measuring the output then what is it?
    The bossware measures effort, nothing more and nothing less. If effort is measured and rewarded then what might happen is that unproductive behaviour gets rewarded.
    One related example might be: Attending meetings is of questionable value but it does increase visibility and visibility is what gets people promoted. Then start having meetings discussing what can be done to improve productivity, when those meetings do not improve things then increase the frequency of meetings and increase the number of attendees. Next step is to hire more people as it is impossible to find the time to attend the meetings and also get things done, final step usually is to to offshore the now very inefficient and ineffective department/company to a place where the hourly wage is lower – the increased number of hours are too costly to have done locally…

    I suppose there is the slight chance/risk (depending on point of view) that the bossware will actually lead to workers becoming more effective and more efficient (less hours needed to be worked and paid for). But I doubt it. I believe the collected data will be processed and the processed data will turn into something similar to, but not quite, information thus leading to flawed knowledge -> Extra work without improved outcome which to me is almost the defintion of worsening productivity.

    Installing and using the software will make it easier to fire employees, for that reason I suspect that bossware will be used even after (if it happens) people return to offices.

    Reply
    1. Bugs Bunny

      There’s software that spoofs working by faking random mouse movements and nonsense typing. It keeps messaging apps from shifting from “busy” to “away” as well. Actually not that much different from what a lot of managing directors do all day (and night, of course).

      There will likely also exist software that can detect the spoofing apps & so on & so forth.

      Reply
    2. Pelham

      If we were to have a true uprising in this country, the bossware makers and their headquarters would be among the prime targets, not statues and monuments.

      Reply
      1. Duck1

        Assuming business as usual lasts a few more years I haven’t heard the discussion of how worker rights change when working at home. This article mentioned that intrusive monitoring might be a different animal on the employee’s own property. How does workman’s comp work at home? I literally hadn’t thought about these questions, have to look into it. Everyone seems to breezily assume that working at home is an unqualified good (assuming the next step isn’t a layoff when the work is transferred to a cheaper area) when there is the question if the employer is shedding liability or the employee assuming unwanted liability.

        Reply
        1. Pelham

          Excellent points to ponder.

          Another one: How would at-home workers ever organize in any way (not necessarily in a union) to contest these awful developments? Physically, they’re spread out far beyond any possibility of human contact. And with the monitoring of their home screens, an employer could quickly fire anyone trying to organize opposition online.

          In my more apocalyptic moments, I fantasize about getting a ham radio license and learning Morse code. If enough of us did that AND we developed the modern equivalent of an Enigma machine, we’d have a chance of escaping the surveillance state’s clutches.

          Reply
  7. cnchal

    > ‘We need to live with it’: White House readies new message for the nation on coronavirus NBC

    Dr. Anthony Fauci, for his part, has been issuing dire warnings on the future of the pandemic from other perches. He testified on Capitol Hill this week that if current trends continue, Americans could see as many as 100,000 new cases daily.

    In an interview with BBC Radio on Thursday, Fauci said: “What we’ve seen over the last several days is a spike in cases that are well beyond the worse spikes that we’ve seen. That is not good news, we’ve got to get that under control or we risk an even greater outbreak in the United States.

    Happy Fourth of July. Jawb one is don’t get it.

    Reply
    1. divadab

      Yes you don’t want to get it. In this Fauci is right. But I have a hard time believing anything he says without checking several times because he: a) Admittedly lied, saying masks make no difference, when he knew they did. This is NOT a “noble lie” – it’s a clear indication of lack of good faith, contempt for the masses, and incredibly poor judgement; and b) is actively suppressing not only the use of quinine drugs, but also suppressing research on its effectiveness, and most terrible, suppressing information on these drugs, which are the standard of care in much of the global south – which has a lower infection and death rate than the HCQ-suppressing West. Incompetence at best; and it sure looks like malevolence is a distinct possibility.

      PLease read the articles Yves posted in the Covid section esp the NYC covid-19 mortality risk study – chloroquinine is a significant negative risk factor for death. (strange way to put it but it seems clear that the anti-HCQ hysteria is political and probably malevolent and clearly false). My own doctor has succumbed and will not prescribe HCQ – so I bought 8 oz of chinchona roja bark and can make quinine tea with it if exposed or infected. HCQ and CQ are salts of quinine and so the action of quinine tea should be similar.

      OH but Trump was promoting it so it must be false since Trump is bad and everything he says is wrong! what a bunch of morons they take us for and they are generally right I am very sorry to say…..

      Reply
      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Thank you for this. Fauci has zero credibility IMNSHO, and should have been sent back to the lab, or wherever it is he does what he does, a long time ago.

        To the extent that he is responsible for coordinating “public health” policies in this country, it’s no wonder this has turned into such a chaotic, politically exploited, desperate mess.

        Reply
      2. Milton

        I have a hard time embracing Dr Fauci mostly due to his portrayal in Randy Shilts’ “and the Band Played On”. Dr Fauci’s most notable “contribution” during the early years of the AIDS epidemic was his non-denial of the claim that AIDS could be contracted via casual contact. In fact, Dr Fauci, as well as the entire, NIH facilities (including NIAID), come across as petty, bickering school-persons more interested in protecting their small areas of turf than finding a solution to the crisis at hand.

        Reply
        1. KLG

          There is apparently no one listed at IMDB as a cast member who played Dr. Anthony Fauci in And the Band Played On, so who are you talking about? Robert Gallo maybe (who was played by Alan Alda)? I was in the beginning of my career as a biomedical scientist during the beginnings of the HIV/AIDS, and along with other colleagues read Nature, Science, and Cell every week with the latest work. Fauci was not a major scientist involved at the time. His initial work was apparently on a vaccine, for which we are still waiting, though that is not the “fault” of anything other than HIV. Larry Kramer certainly didn’t think much of NIAID in the early/mid-1980s, but according to the New Yorker, he changed his mind…reference at wiki page on Fauci, latter calling him “the only true and great hero” among government officials in the AIDS crisis.

          Reply
      3. ddt

        Why not just drink tonic water? (As a single dad, I survived SIP and homeschooling with a daily gin and tonic).

        Reply
    1. Clive

      Darn, yes thanks for reminding me as well. I always manage to forget the date. Happy Independence Day!

      Of course, we Brits always knew they’d come to regret it! I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before they all come crawling back… oh and that extends to you lot down under too. If you get tired of Scotty from Marketing, we’re still willing to offer you this generous counter proposal.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        I saw Boris muttering about Tim-Tams and swapping Marmite for Vegemite the other day but the whole thing seemed like, I don’t know, like whistling past a trade graveyard.

        Have you ever thought Clive that we could swap our Scotty from Marketing for your Boris – and yet both countries would still end up losing?

        Reply
        1. Clive

          Yes, just different kinds of bad. I also wondered if they could do a job-share like the new Irish government — they each take turns in both countries and switch over every two years. It would add a bit of variety if nothing else. We’d get badly managed bush fires in the Surrey Hills, you could have a pay-to-play government contract scandal with a blonde that has a poledancer’s dancing pole in her suburban Melbourne living room.

          Reply
  8. Wukchumni

    California severely short on firefighting crews after COVID-19 lockdown at prison camps

    As California enters another dangerous fire season following a dry winter, the COVID-19 pandemic is depleting the ranks of inmate fire crews that are a key component of the state’s efforts to battle out-of-control wildfires

    This week, state prison officials announced they had placed 12 of the state’s 43 inmate fire camps on lockdown due to a massive outbreak at a Northern California prison in Lassen County that serves as the training center for fire crews.

    Until the lockdown lifts, only 30 of the 77 inmate crews are available to fight a wildfire in the north state, prison officials said.

    https://www.fresnobee.com/news/california/article243977827.html

    Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        We had a little 120 acre fire break out last month in our neck of the woods and despite being in a roadless area, the aerial assault in tamping it down was something to behold.

        The armada included helos with snorkels scurrying back and forth from the lake with their bounty, fixed wing prop planes and a jet that made big looping turns a thousand feet above steep terrain before dropping loads of fire retardant.

        We were kind of the only game in town, er state pretty much, and the attention paid was simply overwhelming, and in a couple days the conflagration was no more. If it had gone unchecked and allowed to burn, could’ve been a catastrophe.

        Reply
  9. a different chris

    Chickens – birds in general, but chickens are the ones I know best – mystify me.

    No they are not smart but — they’re brain is the size of my thumb. Yet they have clear thoughts, different personalities, emotions, you name it.

    WTF. And everybody important acts like we are at some pinnacle of knowledge, astride the earth, but the only thing I see us do is damage it in our clueless clumsiness. We can’t even understand the mechanics of how a chicken can think.

    And then you encounter a crow…

    Reply
    1. Bugs Bunny

      I watch the crow couple in my yard do all kinds of strange things. The other day the male got angry with some finches who’ve been pilfering the tender sweet pea pods from the garden. He would wait until they got a decent number together, chattering away and then swoop around the yard and down in the middle of them, scaring them off. I could be wrong but I think he’s got his mind on eating the peas when they’re a bit more ready to harvest. Corn is next to the peas so maybe he’s protecting those plants too. The female actually seems to get a kick out of watching the male. You will see her off to the side when he’s doing stuff.

      Happy 4th of July mes ami(e)s américain(e)s.

      Reply
    2. polecat

      Yeah, Chickens … they’re idiosycratic little dinosaurs for sure, always in the pursuit of tasty bits .. while giving you guff for not producing the goods!

      Then there is the Honeybee to consider- the Hive Mind comprised of multiple thousands of barbs, that you absolutely do not want to cross!

      I know of which I speak.

      Reply
    3. jsn

      Yes! We’re beginning to experience the ecology of hubris.

      Beyond economics or politics, I can’t think of an industrialized society with any inkling of our embedded-ness in ecology.

      Japan maybe comes closest, but only through cultural conservatism.

      Reply
    4. fresno dan

      a different chris
      July 4, 2020 at 9:57 am

      Americans – humans in general, but Americans are the ones I know best – mystify me.

      No they are not smart but — they’re brain is the size of my hand. Yet they have clear thoughts, different personalities, emotions, you name it.

      WTF. And everybody important acts like we are at some pinnacle of knowledge, astride the earth, but the only thing I see us do is damage it in our clueless clumsiness. We can’t even understand the mechanics of how an American can think.

      And then you encounter an Englishman…

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        More properly, we ‘experience’ the English.
        Let us not get started on our Russian ‘handlers’….

        Reply
  10. flora

    Re: The Rise of Strategic Corruption – Foreign Affairs
    and
    Big Business Still Has Enormous Control of American Politics at Every Level – Jacobin

    Thanks for both articles. I think they are related. The neoliberal philosophy that markets always know best, markets function best when “unhindered” by govt, govts are embedded in markets, govts are part of markets and not the other way around, has finally come to fruition. Paraphrasing Milton Friedman, ” Markets are pure. Any govt interference of market actions by regulations or restraints “corrupts” pure markets. Real corruption is any attempt by govts to restrain markets.” Markets are supposedly the best arbiter of outcomes. So whatever outcome is an inevitability brought about by the market. There Is No Alternative. Everything is for sale at this point, including govt policies, because markets. imo.

    The neoliberal thought collective created a weakness in UK and US thinking about the role of govts in relation to private markets that resulted in govt services and public planning no longer work very well anymore.

    The neoliberal thought collective created a strategic weakness in UK and US and other western govts for market purposes that Russia and China are successfully exploiting.

    Reply
    1. flora

      As Robert Kuttner writes in 2019:

      <i.Neoliberalism's premise is that free markets can regulate themselves; that government is inherently incompetent, captive to special interests, and an intrusion on the efficiency of the market; that in distributive terms, market outcomes are basically deserved; and that redistribution creates perverse incentives by punishing the economy's winners and rewarding its losers. So government should get out of the market's way.

      The culprit isn't just “markets”—some impersonal force that somehow got loose again. This is a story of power using theory.

      https://prospect.org/economy/neoliberalism-political-success-economic-failure/

      Reply
      1. Carla

        Yes, but I would choose to address “Neoliberalism — Political Success, Democracy Failure” — because that’s much more important than “the economy” (since the latter as used today scarcely hardly ever has anything to do with lived reality).

        Reply
      2. Jeremy Grimm

        I probably shouldn’t quibble the matter — but — I would not rely on Robert Kuttner as my authority on Neoliberalism. After reading the link you pointed to — his article on Neoliberal political success — I believe he fails to make clear the distinctions between Neoliberalism and Libertarianism, or old school classical economics, or Keynesian economics. I don’t disagree with most of what he has to say, but I believe his analysis doesn’t quite fit. Perhaps this is unimportant?

        “The neoliberal story of how the economy operates assumes a largely frictionless marketplace, where prices are set by supply and demand, and the price mechanism allocates resources to their optimal use in the economy as a whole.” How is this story different than classical economic theory, or Libertarian economics, How does this story make clear the ubiquity of the concept of Market to Neoliberal thought?

        Reply
        1. flora

          Thanks. I think your assessment of unimportant argument vs important argument goes to the heart of neoliberalism’s success, imo, in terms of its political strategy. My take is that neoliberalism’s philosophy deliberately represents itself to the public in a shape-shifting form for political reasons in order to present an indistinct ‘target’ to its philosophical opponents. e.g. “What, your think we’re this? Oh no, we’re not ‘this’, we’re ‘that’. ” This is strategic, imo.

          Thanks.

          Reply
  11. The Rev Kev

    “We need to live with it’: White House readies new message for the nation on coronavirus”

    Throwing your hands up in the air and saying “Meh! What you gonna do?” is not a public health policy.

    Reply
      1. GramSci

        The fruits of meritocracy. When your only option is death, embrace it. For some, it’s a revolution.

        Reply
      2. The Rev Kev

        I don’t think that Trump can be blamed here for all of this. I recall reading an article from when Obama was President talking about the hostility of some politicians to government employees. You might have one giving testimony in front of a committee about say, geological structures in a region but some of the politicians on that committee (usually Republican) would be giving them the hostile witness treatment as if they resented their expertise.

        I have not read it but there is a book that might be relevant here and it is called “The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America: A Chronological Paper Trail” by Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt. Went looking and found it online as a pdf-

        http://deliberatedumbingdown.com/ddd/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/DDDoA.pdf

        Just got a shock reading the Introduction as we had to do the same exercise as kids in Oz. WTF?

        Reply
  12. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: In ‘Russian Bounty’ Story, Evidence-Free Claims From Nameless Spies Became Fact Overnight FAIR (furzy)

    “Funny” isn’t it that just about the only “outrageous” Afghanistan story that has failed to get any traction was the one from the beginning of the year that reported “US government repeatedly misled Americans on war in Afghanistan as top officials vented in private, report says.”

    This particular story had actual NAMES of actual PEOPLE in actual, verifiable positions to know attached to the quotes, was also “broken” by wapo, and was round-filed faster than you can say “Orange Man Bad.”

    In case anyone was wondering, this is how propaganda works, and america is hopelessly steeped in it right now. You just cannot believe anything you read about anything.

    https://www.foxnews.com/us/us-misled-public-afghanistan-officials-vent

    Reply
    1. Mammoth Jackstock

      Propaganda is high-volume multi-channel information disseminated simultaneously with a laundry list of different reasons why the info is so. Just a waterpark of analysis. The actual truth moves like tree sap because it needs to be discovered. Truth gives a big “donut” as for the reasons why. Nada. Motivations are undiscoverable. The good news is people always forget the cover stories; they are without mnemonic foundation. The truth endures… Look for the “no comment” folks mentioned in the story. They are the sources. Because everybody has an opinion. The comment may not be on the record, but people like to talk, want others to listen. Documents speak without additional declarations.

      Reply
  13. jr

    This author is trying to make a case that “Oh No!” Joe has a progressive taxation plan that will go after the “indolent” rich and make them pay. As opposed to the hard working rich, the ones that can only afford knock off castles, I suppose. Anyway:

    “Seen in its full breadth and scope, the Biden tax plan is a progressive tour de force. Biden would fund his poverty-fighting education, housing, retirement and health-care reforms with $4.3 trillion of tax hikes on the rich.”

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/liberals-arent-giving-joe-biden-credit-for-a-radical-tax-plan-that-goes-after-the-indolent-rich-2020-07-02?mod=mw_more_headlines

    Does anyone care to debunk this? It can’t be the case that Biden is taking the hammers to his donor class masters tax exempt status, can it?

    Reply
  14. jsn

    With Sanders safely out of the way, it’s nice of Leonhardt to publish something extolling the virtues of that now dormant platform. What do you suppose might be done for this rising mortality, the absurd cost of US care and the vast wealth inequality the pandemic is expanding, David? Sleepy Joe will no doubt know.

    The Foreign Affaires piece is a truly nauseating epic of projection: appalling when other nations do exactly as we do! The nerve!!

    And it’s so hard to distinguish the bad cash from the good cash in the American policy market, the only people we can possibly trust are all those former NatSec talking heads, otherwise how can we tell who’s an honest, hard earned plutocrat (as opposed to a nefarious foreign oligarch) and who a devious foreign agent?

    Reply
    1. Geo

      “appalling when other nations do exactly as we do! The nerve!!“

      Kind of our whole foreign policy in a nutshell. No other country even comes close to doing exactly as we do but any who even try to exert any influence beyond their own border are immediately deemed dangerous. Whereas the US starves through sanctions and bombs more nations before breakfast than any other individual country has in decades.

      Oh yeah, Happy 4th!

      Reply
  15. The Rev Kev

    “Inside the Invasive, Secretive “Bossware” Tracking Workers”

    After reading this, I can see how you would want a dedicated laptop/computer to use with a company and have your real life on another computer. Having a feature where administrators can jump in and take over remote control of a user’s desktop sounds like it could be really abused though, especially by a vindictive boss.

    But capturing passwords to workers’ personal accounts sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen. if there is a criminal act that involves a person’s account, then that person would have to say that the people at his company probably also have access to that account and should be investigated by the police as well.

    You want to know what worries me? The thought that some of these programs may be able to hook into home programs like Siri and Alexa. If something like that could happen, then that would mean that the company would have a pair of ears wherever one of these things was located in a home.

    Reply
    1. CanCyn

      Your own PC and email may not save you …I know of someone who was dragged into a bullying and harassment investigation at my former place of work. One of the things in the complainant’s accusation was that she was left out of after work socializing (don’t ask me how that is bullying or harassment). Someone gave the complainant copies of emails planning an outing which she shared as part of her ‘evidence’. My acquaintance had used her personal gmail, outside of work hours to respond to an invite. No insults or negative comments in the thread but still she was hauled in by HR and presented with her emails as evidence of her participation in the bullying. The workplace has become really crazy and I am very glad to be retired.

      Reply
    1. Procopius

      Errr… you understand that it’s possible to train monkeys to do this because it’s something monkeys do naturally, without training, right?

      Reply
  16. TimmyB

    Regarding the article “The Rise of Strategic Corruption” the most fascinating thing about it was the authors’ unstated assumptions and hypocrisy.

    For example, the article discusses the attempts to have the US Ambassador to the Ukraine relieved of her post because she opposed replacing the head of a major Ukrainian gas company. Why a US Ambassador has the power to veto replacing the head of a Ukrainian gas company is never explained or examined. We really do run that country.

    The article casts aspersions on China for monitoring its people’s electronic communications and discouraging dissent. Have the authors never looked at the US?

    Finally, the article claims China is financing the building of infrastructure in countries around the world because it learned from the British empire that if you control the line of communication in a country, you can exert influence.

    However, the article also provides as an example of corruption how a bank in Turkey attempted to avoid US sanctions on Iran by using gold as a medium of exchange for trade with Iran.

    It is fascinating to learn that the authors believe Turkish bankers disobeying American laws against trading with Iran is “corruption.” Leaving that aside, here we have the US government using its control of the worldwide financial system and its criminal laws to jail Turkish bankers for trading with Iran, but China building a railroad in Uganda is a threat to that country’s sovereignty? Yikes! Talk about pot meet kettle.

    In sum, the article is most interesting because it provides a window into the thinking and assumptions of the people behind US foreign policy. And what they say goes.

    Reply
  17. curlydan

    Local Anecdote from Kansas: Kansas just announced its highest COVID counts in a day (657 for July 3rd). My neighbors two doors down are having an early morning July 4th party and parade. Not a mask in site even though the state has a new mandatory mask policy for inside and outside if you can’t social distance more than 6ft. There is a nice drink machine in the driveway for beverages and selfies with friends. Will the police come by and issue tickets? Ha ha. We’re upper middle class. Not gonna happen.

    A wise person once told me that the opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference. So on July 4th in my neighborhood and countless other places, we celebrate indifference.

    Reply
  18. antidlc

    Re: L’affaire Jeffrey Epstein

    Does anyone else find it odd that Ghislane Maxwell stayed in the US, within a day’s driving distance of SDNY? She evidently had several passports and could have hid out in other countries.

    Or, was she just confident that nothing would ever happen to her in the US?

    Also, are there any photos of her being taken into custody?

    Reply
      1. John k

        Or France, no extradition. Climate on Côte d’Azur usually bearable.
        Maybe she thought she had protection here?

        Reply
        1. Daryl

          She clearly did, given how long she avoided arrest. I enjoyed the article about her complex banking setup and nicknames as though that would take more than a day for the modern surveillance state to untangle, if it was motivated to do so.

          Reply
    1. SubjectivObject

      Whitney Webb asserts she is coming out in order to be processed through the compliant legal system on weak charges that ignore her documented egregious behaviours.

      Reply
  19. Glen

    The article on the off shoring of manufacturing is nice to see. As a guy involved in manufacturing, it was very easy to predict what the result of off shoring would be all the way back in the early 2000’s.

    What is NOT being discussed is that off shoring is STILL happening (despite Trumps or because of take your pick), and the chickens are going to come home to roost in more numerous ways. American corporate R&D was long ago severely cut back, and government R&D (which was ALWAYS the bulk or R&D in America) is also being cut back. The trashing of American colleges will also impact our industrial base, as the quality of the education available in the US is also flushed down the toilet (and yes, I have noted this in my workplace too.)

    The tip of this iceberg is the whole 5G Huawei issue. Cell technology was originally developed in America, but apparently that’s gone. Think what other technologies we will learn are gone. A Green New Deal (or call it whatever you want) is now required to re-invigoration and re-fresh the American industrial base.

    Indeed, we seem to be regressing at times rather than making progress. I would not be surprised to see steam punk pickup trucks which are literally rolling coal to get down the road.

    Reply
    1. JWP

      Great point about the broader impacts of the ow quality higher education system. Students taught to function in a globalized world where the US is the nucleus of everything is going to make the road ahead very choppy. Being taught to follow education models basically built by the corporations who fund the universities lends itself to few critical thinking skills. Adjusting to slow or no growth, a China centric world, and deglobalization requires a league of thought not present here.

      Reply
  20. anon in so cal

    Matt Taibbi:

    “Year Zero

    On America’s birthday, celebrating the corporate-sponsored revolution”

    “It’s the Fourth of July, and revolution is in the air. Only in America would it look like this: an elite-sponsored Maoist revolt, couched as a Black liberation movement whose canonical texts are a corporate consultant’s white guilt self-help manual, and a New York Times series rewriting history to explain an election they called wrong.”

    https://taibbi.substack.com/p/year-zero

    Reply
  21. ewmayer

    “The big factor holding back the U.S. economic recovery: Child care | Washington Post” — “WTF?” headline of the day courtesy of the Bezos Daily Shopper. Lack of affordable quality childcare has always been a problem in the US, and it didn’t seem to prevent ‘recovery’ from previous economic crises. So maybe that tiny little “a still-raging pandemic which is now resurging all over the country due to way-premature reopenings-of-the-economy” might be the main thing holding back the U.S. economic recovery, guys? And 30 million still-out-of-work-due-to-pandemic USians not having to go to work might suck in many ways, but would seem to actually alleviate the childcare problem that bedevils so many working parnets, no?

    This line near top of the piece betrays the who-is-peddling-this-meme: “A consensus is emerging among top economists and business leaders that getting kids back into day cares and schools is critical to getting the economy back to normal…” — because children whose parents and other-elders-with-contact got sick and in many cases died because the kids brought the infection home from the their prematurely-reopened shcools are happier childen, and more likely to go out shopping!

    Reply
  22. griffen

    Happy 4th everyone. Repubs, Dems and anything in between.

    What a horrible f*ing year, but look at”the stock market !!

    I wish I were joking.

    Reply
    1. polecat

      I watch the bees come and go, thus getting lost inside their whole alien gig! I consider that’s a pretty good thing for a suppose higher-being to grok on .. a totally different morphology/ biology from mine own, but yet we communicate somehow. When engaged in that kind of space, I think of nothing else.

      For myself, it’s VERY therapeutic!

      Reply
  23. Fabian

    The US/Hong Kong interference link goes to yet another Ghislaine Maxwell story. As to Yves’ comments, US incompetence accompanying US interference is no surprise to anyone much – the problem is its persistence.

    Reply

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