Links 8/1/2020

Fox found with impressive shoe collection in Berlin BBC

Seth Klarman Says Fed Is Infantilizing Investors in ‘Surreal’ Market Bloomberg

Fitch cuts US outlook as federal deficit climbs FT

Congress forced Silicon Valley to answer for its misdeeds. It was a glorious sight Matt Stoller, Guardian

I Tried to Live Without the Tech Giants. It Was Impossible. NYT

Australia now has a template for forcing Facebook and Google to pay for news Ars Technica (KW).

Florida Teenager Is Charged as ‘Mastermind’ of Twitter Hack NYT. Wait ’til they get all their college curricula digitally on Zoom….


Estimating Global Epidemiology of Low-Pathogenic Human Coronaviruses in Relation to the COVID-19 Context Journal of Infectious Diseases (via). Correspondence: “Monto et al have nicely presented the seasonal distribution of the identified cases in Michigan according to the 4 LPH-CoV types [3]. We performed similar analyses by pooling 5 studies with relevant data, and all these studies were from countries in the northern hemisphere. We confirmed their findings that more cases were detected in the winter season (Figure 1C). However, we are cautious about the interpretation of these seasonal distribution data (Figure 1C) [3] because they only specified the identified cases and not the rate of infection, as the total number of tested cases in each month was not given. More importantly, whether SARS-CoV-2 will develop into a seasonal and/or endemic virus only time will tell.” But see also Reply to Li et al from the same source: “To enable valid comparisons, meta-analyses necessitate careful scrutiny of eligibility criteria to ensure standardization of study design, including case definitions and denominator data, the period of observation, and stratification or adjustment by age and illness severity. Li et al [1] have not described their study inclusion and exclusion criteria. Hence, it is not possible to examine the validity of their pooled estimates.”

What are coronavirus risks from riding trains? A new Chinese study analyses passenger data South China Morning Post

* * *

‘A huge experiment’: How the world made so much progress on a Covid-19 vaccine so fast STAT

Bill Gates: We will have a coronavirus vaccine, but the disease will keep coming back if there’s a US ‘leadership vacuum’ Business Insider

AstraZeneca to be exempt from coronavirus vaccine liability claims in most countries Reuters. Handy!

Reflections on the 1976 Swine Flu Vaccination Program Emerging Infectious Diseases (ED). From 2006, still germane.

* * *

L.A. County’s tracing team repeatedly failed to detect coronavirus outbreaks at workplaces Los Angeles Times. “Many of those getting sick are low-wage workers who fear financial ruin if they stop working and are too afraid of retaliation to report unsafe work conditions.”

‘Mini surge’ of coronavirus among Greenwich teens blamed on house parties The Hill. “Contact tracers say they have had difficulty finding teenagers who will admit they were at any of the parties, making it harder to keep the virus in check.”

More than a quarter of Victoria coronavirus patients not at home when doorknocked by ADF ABC Australia

Florida Man Arrested For Enforcing Social Distancing By Firing Shots In Hotel Lobby Jonathan Turley. Wouldn’t “stand your ground” laws cover this?

COVID-19 Hospital Data System That Bypasses CDC Plagued By Delays, Inaccuracies NPR. Before we get too worried, remember that a key CDC technology was fax, and there has been no national, standard digital process for data submission (granted, I have priors).


China says Hong Kong election delay ‘necessary and reasonable’ Channel News Asia. Xi [musical interlude].

Hong Kong’s top public prosecutor quits, says he was cut out of new national security cases Reuters

Police order journalists from five media platforms to leave press conference Hong Kong Free Press

$17 Billion China-Backed Subsea Baltic Tunnel Is Set Back Bloomberg


Scheduled international flights suspended till August 31; travel bubbles with more countries soon Times of India

The Koreas

(LEAD) Shincheonji leader arrested on charges of obstructing anti-virus response Yon Hap News Agency


37.8C = 100.04°F. Equatorial! From alert reader Clive:

Maybe flipping the Atlantic Conveyer wouldn’t be such a bad thing. at least for the UK.

New Cold War

Election Spotlight: Russia Council on Foreign Relations

Pompeo Says U.S. Will ‘Do Everything’ To Stop Nord Stream 2 Project Radio Free Europe

Exclusive: White House to lure U.S. firms to Latam from Asia in nearshoring drive, senior adviser says Reuters. Important!

Media Cover for US Clients’ Covid Catastrophes in Peru, Ecuador and Chile FAIR

Trump Transition

Stimulus negotiations latest: The Senate’s not in town as $600 unemployment benefits are set to expire CNN

Trump threatens to ban TikTok from operating in the U.S. USA Today. I would rather have China steal my data, because what can they do with it? Also, isn’t TikTok Vine, and didn’t Jack Dorsey deep six Vine? Anyhow, if TikTok goes, where will we go for content like this (dk):

Not DFC’s Best Kodak Moment: Five Questions About the Development Agency’s First Domestic Investment Center for Global Development

How Jared Kushner’s Secret Testing Plan “Went Poof Into Thin Air” Vanity Fair


Burn the Republican Party Down? Peggy Noonan

Council to the rescue for President Trump Page Six

Inside the Massive Foreign-Policy Team Advising Biden’s Campaign Foreign Policy. Read all the way to the end.

Two Economic Ideas for Biden Robert Kuttner, The American Prospect

Most Loved Brands 2020 Morning Consult. Note #1.

Obama Legacy

Bill Clinton credits Barack Obama for Super Tuesday’s “Night of the Long Knives” at 0:15:

Clinton looks bad, like Dorian Gray after he stabbed his portrait.

Barack Obama Storms Out Of Michelle Obama Podcast Interview After Questions About Administration’s Drone Use The Onion

Health Care

It’s the healthcare system, stupid Thomas Frank, Le Monde Diplomatique. This is a must-read. (Le Monde is, I believe, French. That Frank got blackballed after Listen, Liberal! implies, at the very least, the necessity of a hermenutic of suspicion for those who continue to be allowed to publish.)

Frank comments:

But how can professionals tell us “Noble Lies” if we aren’t credulous? Think, Tom!

How To Pretend That You Are Smart Current Affairs

L’Affaire Joffrey Epstein

Unsealed Epstein documents detail alleged abuse by Ghislaine Maxwell The Hill. The “trove” nobody is talking about is Epstein’s video. All agree Epstein’s homes were wired and that recordings were taken during the festivities. Not to go all CT, and don’t you either, but given Epstein’s Rolodex and flight logs, these videos are almost certainly high-grade intelligence and unlikely not to have been convered into power. The press seems curiously silent on this point, preferring the focus on the foibles — granted quelle foibles — of the individual actors. Odd.

Our Famously Free Press

When Corporate Power Is Your Real Government, Corporate Media Is State Media Caitlin Johnstone

Different from editing, apparently:

No copy editing, but sensitivity reads. Not to mention RussiaGate. That is where we are at the Times.

The psychology of misinformation: How to prevent it First Draft (TPH).

The Prophecies of Q The Atlantic. Symbol manipulation for the uncredentialled and disempowered?

‘Unidentified Aerial Phenomena,’ Better Known as UFOs, Deserve Scientific Investigation Scientific American

Police State Watch

From 9/11 to Portland, it was inevitable ‘Homeland Security’ would be turned on the American people Will Bunch, Philadelphia Inquirer

Kentucky town hires social workers instead of more officers – and the results are surprising Wave3


How Portland became nation’s hotbed for clashes between protesters and federal agents ABC

Class Warfare

Is the National Day of Action for Safe Schools (Aug. 3) a Precursor to a Nationwide Teacher Strike? Ed Notes Online

Why we need to talk about caste in America FT

If “Cancel Culture” Is About Getting Fired, Let’s Cancel At-Will Employment In These Times

Researchers Discover How Human Sperm Really Swim Smithsonian

Man who lost penis to blood infection has new one built on his arm NY Post

My Cat Wanted to Blog, So I Let Him Write This One Gizmodo

Antidote du jour (via):

No time for tears!

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Wukchumni

    We live amongst the forest for the trees and every summer the ants invade, but never like this. There are 3 different sized armies that i’ve been using chemical warfare on (we deploy a product called ‘Terro’ and fancy ourselves to be ‘Terroists’) and have personally been responsible for the mass murder of many thousands, but it’s all relative with ants, as there is no PETA (people embracing the ants) to get in your way.

    Occasionally you get the feeling pissants might prevail and the only thing that can save you would be a precise drone attack on your own position, oh the humanity!

    1. CuriosityConcern

      In my home, I’ve had a little luck with diatenaceous earth as well as lemon juice, but I have had to resort to stakes as well.
      Currently the ants are staying out, but they have started aphid farms on the broccoli rapinni.

      1. polecat



        I’ve used diatomaceous earth around the bases of our beehive stands, with good results. Better than going full-on war, with said ants trying to establish a nest inside the hive roof. I had spent an entire hour mushing ants, as they scurried around, exposed, until their numbers were reduced sufficiently!
        Need to reapply after rainy weather though.

        1. howseth

          Central California Coast: Santa Cruz County – The invasion of the Argentine Ants. I gave up with the boric acid/sugar traps recommended for ‘Eco’ reasons. Works too slow – the little fu*kers shrug it off. Multiply. Got the stuff they sell for ants at Home Depot/ Costco. That worked. Less stress. Forgive me Mother Earth.

          1. Wukchumni

            It’s a different kind of summer, the Sierra Nevada is engulfed with its answer to Cicadas in the guise of Tussock Caterpillars en route to being Tussock Moths that show up only every once in awhile, say every 7 years.

            They’re super annoying in that they tend to drop from the skies, er trees, on you and can cause nasty skin irritation. That said, they’re awfully cute.

            1. juliania

              If your ants are fire ants, be careful. I used to be blase about the welts and itching, but one summer discovered I was extremely allergic – two trips to the emergency room got that sorted out. (Fortunately before the health system went stratospheric.)

              One trick to destroying their nests (or at least encouraging them to go elsewhere) is to bury grapefruit around the perimeter – carefully. It’s at least an earth friendly solution. We got rid of some nests outside our property that way.

    2. td

      Borax mixed with some kind of syrup works well – it gets taken back to the nest and works slowly.

      1. Keith

        Borax with cat or dog food works for wasps and hornets. Have to be careful, though, as any animal is quite will to dog/cat food, too.

    3. Medbh

      Try chickens! My flock gets super excited when it finds a hill, and they will keep scratching it until the ants are gone.

    4. furies

      I bet they’re Argentinian ants. They’ve created an underground mega-tropolis underneath the entire west coast. I’ve fought battle with ’em for years–what I’ve learned was that switching your repellent (Terro, diatomaceous earth, sprayed Citrisolve, sprayed peppermint, CINNAMON) as the little co-operative engineers seem to learn to cope with the various substances over time.

      E.O. Wilson says that ants comprise over %60 of all biotic life on Earth.

      I have to admire them.

    5. CanChemist

      A little late to the party, but as a chemist and ant-fighter had to put in my 2c :)

      Terro Liquid Ant Bait, if that’s what you’re using, is one of the best on the market. As someone mentions above, it’s basically borax and sugar, but they’ve optimized the ratio and it’s quite effective.

      Aside from the nature of the bait, the other thing that matters is delivery. I actually buy the indoor bait, which is the liquid in the little tray, and wait until there is no rain predicted for a few days, and then put like 4-5 traps ringing the ant hill. Then I poke the ant hill so they go crazy and investigate ;). The indoor stuff is easier for them to smell and access but obviously you can’t leave it out in the rain or in heavy morning dew. I leave it for a week, if I have to I take it indoors during rain, and usually it’s about 1-2 weeks until the ants have met their unfortunate demise. They take it back for the other ants to consume so there is a lag time.

      I only do this if they are too close to the house, otherwise they are entitled to co-exist.

      1. Janie

        I think our ants are in the walls or right along the foundation. There are no hills. Terro works well, but its a constant struggle because we keep it away from the dog and the cat. Ours are small pissants we used to call sugar ants.

    6. CuriosityConcern

      Don’t forget, ants are pollinators(or at least in my understanding, hope I’m not wrong).

    7. Roady

      An ant killer called SURRENDER is devastating, but it can only be shipped to 15 states. It’s the best ant killer I’ve seen for fire ants. Be very careful in handling it. Use gloves & wear a mask.

  2. allan

    As bad as Clinton looks in the clip, he sounds worse.
    But we should be grateful that his inhibitors have declined enough to make a slip like that.

    Speaking of which, kingmaker Clyburn seems to have given permission for Joe to
    nominate a non-Black woman:

    Clyburn says more important to have Black woman on Supreme Court than as VP
    [PBS Newshour]

    Judy Woodruff:

    One final thing, Representative Clyburn.

    Vice President Biden, as you know, is saying he’s going to announce next week which woman he has chosen to be his running mate.

    You have said you think it would be a plus, but not a must, for Joe Biden to choose an African American woman.

    My question to you, though, is with the — what we have seen happen in this country over the last few months, the push for racial justice, the sensitivity around racial justice, do you not think it would be better if he chose an African American woman as his running mate?

    Rep. James Clyburn:

    I still maintain it would be a plus.

    I do believe that it is a little bit foolhardy for us to be focusing on the vice presidential choice, rather than other things as well.

    I long for an African American woman to sit on the United States Supreme Court. It’s a shame that we have had three women to sit on the United States Supreme Court, and no one has ever given the kind of consideration that is due to an African American woman.

    That, to me, is priority.

    The V.P. is good on style, but, on substance, give me an African American woman on the Supreme Court. That’s where we determine how our democracy will be preserved. …

    So, Whitmer for VP and Michelle for the first SCOTUS seat that opens up?

    1. pjay

      I’ve got to go back and listen to that entire Clinton appearance. He seems to have made a few such truthful slips there. I’d like to think the pressures of a possible day of reckoning are getting to him. But I know that’s just my own fantasy.

      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        I was thinking the same. That’s the second clip I’ve seen where he’s said a MAJOR quiet part out loud. I don’t hear someone facing recognizing though. I hear someone who knows he has zero reason to GAF anymore offering head pats to the faithful.

        1. Dr. John Carpenter

          reckoning, I meant, not recognizing.

          Also, Bill looks and sounds real bad. Like worse than Biden’s most recent bad.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        Especially since he can’t get the number of women who have been Supremes correct.

        Is there anyone in DC who isn’t a doddering old fool?

      2. Olga

        That was my sense, too, a bit sloshed. But who knows – maybe he’s at a nothing-to-lose point in his life, what with the steady trickle of E/M case disclosures. Be interesting to see how Hills stands by her man this time.

        1. km

          I suspect that the Team D loyalist response will be something to the effect that, even if this is an admission,, it’s old news (because DNC apologists have been denying, stalling and obfuscating for so long) and we should be grateful for whatever crumbs the DNC deigns to toss us.

          This also begs the question why Sanders puts up with this, why he’s so willing to accept crumbs.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            If his leftist sensibilities were formed by the events of the 1930s, either at the time or in hindsight, it could be that the question the Communist Party inSISted on posing about whether Leftism would rise through semi-leaderless broadly democratic mass movements or whether Leftism would be led to power by a superior vanguard of elite revolutionaries.

            He probably picked the mass-movement side of the controversy and so would not/ will not/ can not do anything bold in the way of seizing any power whatsoever at all. To him, building the further-self-building mass movement was all, and doing something bold and real to at least destroy the Bidenite Clintobamacrats would have struck him as Vanguard-type Leninist behavior.

            That is a way to explain his refusal to kick shit over sideways and stomp on it without having to invoke “sheepdog” concepts.

    2. Dan

      This scenario would be so much better than either Rice or Harris as VP… But I doubt Joe’s handlers are smart enough to go there

    3. Keith

      Michelle for SCOUTS opens up an interesting door of bringing in politicos, rather than judges, for seats on the bench. Not that is wasn’t part of the makeup before, but recent history it has been taboo.

      1. Berto

        Making the heads of your enemies explode is now part of SCOTUS nominations.
        Keapernick, or the two Obama daughters would make great SCOTUS choices by Biden

    4. neo-realist

      I don’t think Michelle wants the burden and aggravation of working in government. She’d rather be an Oprah 2.0 and enhance her brand (and her wallet) with TV and Movie production (including her own tv show) and speech making and public appearances, where she dispenses anodyne morsels of advice and advocacy for her fans to gobble up.

      1. Olga

        Huh! Michelle as Oprah v2.0 – makes perfect sense. Watch out for her starting to sub on the show,,, then, we’ll know for sure.

        1. neo-realist

          More likely she will have her own show on Netflix – Obama’s have a deal with them to produce series and film.

  3. jackiebass

    I read an article today that said the head of Kodak bought a lot of Kodak stock the day before Kodak announced they were going to get into the medical supply business.

    1. Wukchumni

      You haven’t seen anything yet-as they’ll soon dominate high tech, heck i’m using a Kodachromebook right now, in fact. I can see Kodak branching off into other profitable businesses such as slides, you know the fiberglass ones where you’d walk up a flight of stairs and get into a gunny sack at the top and down you went.

      1. Wukchumni

        Then: “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job”

        Now: “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job”

        1. ambrit

          Think outside the box (camera.)
          Or, [NSFW: Not Safe For World], a feminist version of Cabaret? I am a box (camera?)
          How to guarantee verisimilitude, Coda-chrome.

          1. John Anthony La Pietra

            WTF-stop with these in-camera puns!
            They’re giving me a case of . . .
            (wait for it)
            Polaroid rage.

            1. ambrit

              My brain is on strike. I suffer from a lack of focus. Maybe later on something will develop.
              (At least you don’t suffer from Bi-polaroids. Then you wouldn’t know which way to swing.)

        2. John Anthony La Pietra

          My eyes are filming over, too. *sigh* I guess bad puns are my SLR reaction.

      1. HotFlash

        In an alternate reality, wait till they announce Barron has been appointed to the board. It’s a big club….

        And who they bribe doesn’t really matter to them.

  4. John

    The Kentucky social workers embedded in the police department seems like a pretty great thing. This whole militarized were tough! Respect my authoratay! This has put us on a Dictatorial harsh path Lacking compassion and further fueling resistance as people resent domineering control over And insurgence Into their lives. Get rid of the spying, let people live without micromanagement. Start giving people a fair playing field *cough reign in corporates) we all thrive together or we will crumble from within. Everything breathes together as they say

  5. Otis B Driftwood

    Frank’s article is an excellent review of the history of populism, but here’s the money quote:

    Donald Trump’s prodigious stupidity is not the sole cause of our crushing national failure to beat the coronavirus. Plenty of blame must also go to our screwed-up healthcare system, which scorns the very idea of public health and treats access to medical care as a private luxury that is rightfully available only to some.

      1. wilroncanada

        I would be willing to wager that both the GOP and the Dems have long since abandoned “nooners” …Age, you know.

  6. fresno dan

    Pompeo Says U.S. Will ‘Do Everything’ To Stop Nord Stream 2 Project Radio Free Europe

    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has told lawmakers that the United States intends to impose sanctions on firms that continue to help Russia build a natural-gas pipeline to Europe as he sought to dispel concerns about Washington’s commitment to halt the controversial project.

    “We will do everything we can to make sure that that pipeline doesn’t threaten Europe,” Pompeo told a senate hearing on July 30, adding:We want Europe to have real, secure, stable, safe energy resources that cannot be turned off in the event Russia wants to
    Almost perfect example of how most media “narratives” as so divorced from reality.
    Is Trump in Putin’s pocket – if Trump were, one would imagine that the Trump administration would do nothing to thwart the completion of this pipeline. No, I am sure that Trump is in the pocket of Texas oil men any old billionaire.
    And of course, in the neoliberal era, the fact that business and billionaires control US foreign policy to enrich themselves cannot be spoken about…

    What Pompeo said was true enough – just incomplete:
    We want Europe to have real, secure, stable, safe energy resources that cannot be turned off in the event Russia wants to – we want to supply that energy AT A PRICE THAT MOST PLEASES OUR TEXAS MONOPOLY SUPPLIERS and we sure as heck will turn it off if we don’t get the price we want – whadaya think we are – a charity? What are you – some kinda commie?

      1. Expat2uruguay

        What would really be useful is a system that would allow me to know when somebody replies to my comment. If this comment community truly wanted to be a great place, there would be a feature for that. As it is, the comment community here is nothing more than a exclusive clique of people who can constantly review The Stream in order to maintain any kind of dialogue

        1. ambrit

          Dear Expat;
          I’m allowed, (so far,) in this commenteriat, so, it has absolutely no right to be considered “exclusive.”
          I understand that there are systems that filter your comments through a third party. Over at Sic Semper Tyrannis, my comments were routed through Disqus for a while. Disqus would notify me of replies. However, there was a ‘difficulty’ about how Disqus managed their data stream, and the Colonel stopped using them. To use this sort of system, one would have to ‘sign in’ through the third party to comment. All sorts of shenanigans are possible as the number of parties involved in the process increases.
          I do agree that the format somewhat limits the size of the “engaged” population of the commenteriat. “Having a life” of necessity limits an individual’s ability to adequately keep track of threads that they are involved in. (The opposite is also true. I have to self-impose sabbaticals from commenting in the interests of mental hygiene and personal task completion interests.)
          That said, I have to go back to the back yard and pick the ripe muscadine grapes off of the volunteer vine that has taken over a part of the back hedge before the birdies get them all. I got a quart yesterday, and expect about the same today. They are small grapes, about the size of a kid’s marbles, but very flavourful. We made grape jelly with them last year.

          1. Yves Smith

            Expat2, while I have appreciated your comments, I have no tolerance for attacks on the site.

            The idea that there is exclusivity is false. Pretty much everyone who bitches about comments has not bothered reading our Policies. Most people lack the time and/or are intimidated (not making that up, some have said that via e-mail).

            1. Some comments are picked up by third party spam software. If you try commenting repetitively when your comment is in moderation, you may get picked up by that. We get 3000+ spam comments a day and we lack the resources to hoist out the very intermittent bona fide comment as spam.

            2. As we have explained God only knows how many times but Expat2 and others persist in refusing to understand, comments are NOT moderated in the way MSM outlets do it. The overwhelming majority comments go through automatically with no human intervention.

            The ones that go into moderation were not the result of some human dicking with it. They go into moderation, AS WE CLEARLY EXPLAIN IN OUR POLICIES WHICH APPARENTLY NO ONE BOTHERS TO READ, because we have set up tripwires. Some words are disproportionately (>50%) in our experience are likely to be associated with comments that violate our Polices, are are abusive, ad hom, in bad faith.

            We have also put some commentors into moderation due to past questionable conduct. Some have the moderation undone after we’ve had a better look at their behavior, some stay in moderation, and some engage in worse behavior and get blacklisted.

            3. The functionality that Expat2 asks for, of getting an e-mail when someone has replied to a comment is not standard and costs money. In my experience, only the FT offers it and the FT costs over $350 a year for a mere online, no Lex column sub (which adds another $100 a year). And then you have have to register to comment, which is a privacy intrusion we do not inflict on our commentors. I know of NO pub that allows for a “button” to find one’s own comments. Do you not know how to search? We even offer the functionality searching comments, if you had bothered to look at our sidebar.

            It is bloody cheeky for a reader who does not contribute to this site to demand more free service. In our entire 13+ year, approaching 1.5 million comments history, no one else has asked for it. If you are prepared to fund it, fine. Otherwise, stop whining.

        2. John k

          It would be nice to at least be able to hit a button to go to the next comment you made as you scan thru.
          Also nice if my info filled in automatically when I make a comment.

          1. Yves Smith

            No MSM site offers this functionality. And frankly we don’t want to encourage readers to be interested in only their own comments at the expense of others.

            Most browsers do autofill your own information if it is your actual information, as opposed to an alias.

          2. Jeff W

            It would be nice to at least be able to hit a button to go to the next comment you made as you scan thru.

            I said this below: I just stick my screen name in the browser’s Find in page box (standardized as Ctrl+F on Windows) and find each instance.

          3. Briny

            My various browsers’ Find In Page does that to perfection here, even on my tablets where figuring out where the feature is hidden.

        3. Mel

          What I do is bookmark my comments in my browser as I make them. I can look back any time after that to see if anything’s happened. Firefox keeps track of my screen name and email address when I’m filling in my ID.

        4. Jeff W

          What would really be useful is a system that would allow me to know when somebody replies to my comment.

          I’ve been waiting for the next invitation for comments regarding enhancements to the site to suggest that also.

          It would be nice to at least be able to hit a button to go to the next comment you made

          I just stick my screen name in the browser’s Find within page box.

        1. Yves Smith

          Please think this through.

          Only the FT does that, at $350+ a year for actual registered subscribers. And as one of those subscribers, I find their notifications are erratic.

          Our readers don’t pay remotely that on average, nor do we want to force everyone to register when they comment. That would reduce the # of comments to >1/5 of what it is now.

    1. John A

      European companies are demanding their politicians stand up to the US, in an article in Frankfurter Allgemeiner that quotes CEO of Austrian oil and gas company OMV, Rainer Seele, ‘as a European company we expect measures will be taken at political level to ensure Europe does not lose its attractiveness for investments’.

      Basically, his argument is that if the EU folds to US pressure on Nordstream 2, who would dare to invest in any european project if the US could step in an block it down the line.

  7. David Carl Grimes

    “The election itself is another front in this undeclared civil war. How exactly did the Democratic Party come to settle on a candidate with no credible capacity to serve as president? Who is Joe Biden fronting for, and who do they think they’re fooling? How can he possibly deliver an acceptance speech three weeks from now without giving away the game? That will be something to see — but I doubt we will actually see it. If the Dems don’t switch him out, there is no way Mr. Biden can survive the three-month homestretch of an election campaign. He can barely make it through a ten-minute appearance in front of twenty-three hand-picked partisans in a TV studio. Life imitates art, as Oscar Wilde tartly observed. The Manchurian candidate is truly here.”

    1. The Rev Kev

      This is no civil war. The definition of a civil war is a war between political factions or regions within the same country. This is more a tiny wealthy elite and their enablers declaring war on the people but I am not sure if there is a term for that. But the casualties have been horrendous.

      1. rob

        I’ve got a term,
        TVA… total virtual awareness.
        However you parse it up…. it means nothing… or anything you want it to.
        It is what we have at the forefront of the future.
        We , the great unwashed, believe there is a turf war going on that has something to do with us… but we don’t realize we are only the spoils.
        The “battle” is akin to competing organized crime syndicates fighting each other for total control of the market of our lives…. both of them want it all… one of them may get it…. but neither of them has any intention of EVER letting any of us have ANY of it.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          The acronym TVA has already been assigned. It already stands for Tennessee Valley Authority.

    2. anon in so cal

      > “Who is Joe Biden fronting for?”

      imho, the CIA. His campaign transition manager, Avril Haines, is an Obama CIA analyst who compiled the daily “kill list” for dronings. They’ve got unfinished business in Ukraine—and in Syria. Even though the State Dept just slapped sanctions on Assad’s oldest son, and Caesar Act sanctions are starving Syrians, they don’t yet have that long-sought hot war w Russia.

      1. Harold

        That sounds plausible. I have often had an uncanny feeling that the menacing atmosphere in the US these days resembles that of France in 1961.

    3. Mark Gisleson

      I love tweeting Kunstler links but for the last couple weeks he’s been very nasty about the people protesting.

      Still love him when he focuses on the leadership of either party, just wish he’d pass on the punching down stuff.

      1. JWP

        Agreed. Have not been a fan of his overreaction to protestors. Maybe a little disconnect with what he expects protestors to do and how it unfolds in reality. He was great early in the pandemic about how the crapified handling will thrash the economy long term.

  8. timbers

    Stimulus negotiations latest: The Senate’s not in town as $600 unemployment benefits are set to expire CNN

    Surprising. Are Republicans really this clueless, or have some of the insiders decided it’s time to throw the election to Biden? Or are they dug in because the Fed at present thinks it has all the tools it needs to “infantilize” Wall Street and protect the rich by keeping stocks artificially elevated? If GOP sticks to it’s position, we’re likely to get some bad economic numbers as we approach election.

    One thing is for sure. If Wall Street starts plunging dispute the trillions the Fed can give it to make the stocks go up, Republicans will rush to pass a new stimulus.

    1. doug

      ‘Surprising. Are Republicans really this clueless,’
      I was sure they would pass something before they left.
      I was wrong as I could be.

      I am going with ‘clueless’ at this point as my current guess.

      1. Wukchumni

        They’re a motley lot the pachyderms. Louie gets the Covid and if he dies the last thing we’ll remember him for is how he blamed the mask for his malady.

        Add in the antics of AIPAC, and they do resemble the Judean People’s Front in manner.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        It’s a vote suppression effort. The GOP knows how much work goes into their defeats on the voter registration side. They also know the allure of Biden was the expectation the win would be easy: the appeal of swinging GOP votes.

        The $1200 checks with personal messages by Trump weren’t enough and too half asked to help the GOP, so they have swung to full on suppression. They also see divides between urban democratic party electeds and leadership on the street. The people who would go out andrinking worry about voter registration which is thankless and often hot are doing something else. So there is Covid. Who is going to make sure those Biden voters who never voted for a Republican in homes actually vote? These people believe Obama is a Muslim and despise Muslims. They don’t have a high opinion of Biden even if they don’t like Trump.

        Again, the GOP is a negative based party, but they understand you attract more flies with honey. This is what they are doing. It’s why they didn’t put in automatic extensions months ago. Throw in mass murder of black senior citizens, Team Blue’s most reliable voters.

        A few GOP types are publicly upset because they are on the outs, but they are simply expecting a weak Biden and GOP wins in 2022 and 2024 bringing them back to win. They aren’t worried about vote suppression as they will rely on it in the future. This is the party of Reagan and Jeb! Bush. Mass murder and vote suppression are who they are. It’s why people who cry out for bipartisanship should be treated as morons.

    2. curlydan

      Very true. It doesn’t take too many weeks of $18B gone missing (or $600/wk * 30M recipients) to start hitting the bottom line of our corporate overlords. Once the profits and P/E ratios start dropping for the consumer companies (even Amazon!) or Trump’s numbers stay in the tank too long, the stimulus will be returned.

      Somewhat related govt stats quandary: The BLS says non-farm employment is down 14M since December, yet unemployment compensation claims are up 28M YOY.

      1. Kurtismayfield

        The BLS does not count gig workers.. the federal stimulus bill extended unemployment to those workers. So the numbers are misleading.

        Wolf Richter estimates unemployment to be around 30-32M.. Shadowstats has it higher, around 46M

      1. allan

        The liability shield in the HEALS Act is beyond belief.
        It basically weaponizes the Federal court system against plaintiffs and their attorneys.
        Some details are in this thread from Max Kennerly.

    3. Procopius

      Wait… I thought (from Krystal and Saagar at The Rising) the unemployment benefits expired Friday, July 31. What is this “set to expire?” It’s also pretty clear that when they come back, at 3 p.m. EST on Monday, August 3, that they will not be able to do anything because the Freedom Caucus will vote “no” for any (that is, ANY) extension of unemployment benefits.

  9. Wukchumni

    The claim is that August is really the cruelest month, but alphabetically April is closer.

    August is the cruelest month, breeding
    Wildfires out of the dead land, mixing
    Memory and desire, burning
    Dull roots and a lack of rain.
    Winter kept us warm, covering
    Earth in fireproof terra firma, feeding
    A little life with flowers festooning.

    1. Wukchumni

      Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep the postmen from their appointed rounds, but what do you do in regards to political hijinks?

      1. Keith

        LOL, not where I live. If it is too rainy, snowy or icy, she doesn’t deliver. Also, if the package is heavy, no service. Lastly, if it needs to come to my door, no dice. Went to management to complain, said nothing they can do. Best part, now, when a package needs picking up, it is kept in a rural post office open Mon-Fri and closes at 4PM. Since I have a job, it means returns to sender. Just had one start making its way back to my elderly aunt.

        This is also why I was surprised at the USPS being #1. Heck, when I attempted to purchase a second batch of ducklings, box was delivered late to facility (you have to pick up livestock) and half of the ducklings were dead. A couple more died after I got them home. Who knows what kind of rough handling occurred.

        1. Copeland

          Given all the hurdles set up before the USPS, amply described here for years, what do you expect exactly?

          I cant tell if you’re saying: “they’re so terrible they should be killed” or “look how bad they have become a a result of all of these intentional degradations” ?

    2. jo6pac

      Of all the articles I’ve read about the Post Office never talk about the retirement plan from hell. Corp media propaganda.

    3. mle detroit

      I think it’s time to protest at the Post Office, with signs saying “Deliver US from evil.”

  10. Krystyn Podgajski

    RE ” I Tried to Live Without the Tech Giants. It Was Impossible”

    One maybe just could not use the internet at all, but then any business you buy something from will most likely be using all of these services.

    I think that article is a BigTech plant actually PRO big tech companies because she ends with:

    After the experiment was over, though, I went back to using the companies’ services again, because as it demonstrated, I didn’t really have any other choice.

    So is it all or nothing? No! she could have said that while she cannot avoid them she can minimize using the services or even use ad blocking. Talk about a purity test. She links to an article with alternatives but dismisses them saying that they are harder to use.

    And try avoiding these when you are poor. She says “Not being able to use tech giant-owned services I love was a hazard of this experiment”. What, she can’t choose to pay for several of the open source and privacy focused Apps?

    1. EMtz

      Ridiculous article. I use more secure Protonmail, not googlemail, except for public commenting like this because it’s… public. DuckDuckGo, not google. Order from anyone but amazon, which takes a little more time but is not difficult. Lots of other phones and computers out there besides Apple, and who needs ApplePay? Even better, use a function phone. Avoid apps as much as possible. Ditch time-wasting Facebook. And expensive PayPal. And the rest of the data-hoovers. This is not rocket science. It just requires not being lazy and exercising a few brain cells.

      1. TB

        Everything uses Amazon Web Services. Everything uses Google for maps and fonts. That’s the point. She used a so-called dumb phone, Linux, no Apple, she didn’t order anything on Amazon but Amazon shipped things anyway because the vendors use them. Read the article before you call it ridiculous? It might teach you something.

    2. Alex Cox

      It read like one of those articles where the reporter tries a Linux desktop for a week before freaking out and scurrying back to window$.

  11. fresno dan

    Man who lost penis to blood infection has new one built on his arm NY Post

    A British man whose penis fell off due to a severe blood infection had a new one built – on his arm, where he even got an extra 2 inches, according to a report.
    Uh, should the need ever ….arise….I wouldn’t need an extra 2 inches… than again, maybe the recipients should be…polled….for their opinions…
    I wonder if they could add pigments, put a nice design on it. Maybe like hummingbird fluorescent colors. I mean, if they can grow it on an arm, seems like pigmentation would be a minor adjunct.
    And I wonder when he goes to a pub and puts his…armpenis on the bar and asks for a beer, what he says….could I have a pint for my little friend here….

    1. f

      “I was like any other man, I just couldn’t leave it alone to begin with. I thought it was the best thing ever,” MacDonald continued.
      my sentiments exactly

    2. WobblyTelomeres

      New fashion statement : men’s business attire soon to feature absurdly loose sleeves.

      In unrelated news, Cialis found to cause spontaneous Nazi salutes in 5 star NYC hotels and restaurants.

  12. NVL

    Paul Jay conducted a three part interview with Frank on the history of populism. Worth the listen- am
    about to start on last segment.

  13. Wukchumni

    The last time I was bounced for not being appropriately dressed was at the Vatican in my 20’s, and was amused to see a Home Depot ‘bouncer’ outside the entrance, the vizard of gauze, no mask-no entry. He was 6 foot 3 and would’ve fit in perfectly in front of Studio 54.

  14. crittermom

    “Florida Man Arrested for Enforcing Social Distancing…”

    >Wouldn’t “stand your ground” laws cover this?

    Or maybe ‘justifiable homicide’ if I ‘take them out’ before they infect/kill me? (I’m high risk not from my former cancer, but from suffering Pericarditis in January & February this year, requiring brief hospitalization–plus my age).

    I was pumping gas two days ago when an idiot approached me on their bicycle, panhandling, wearing no mask. (I was wearing both a mask & gloves, the latter supplied by the gas station for the mere asking).

    Before they could get within 6′ I told ’em to back off.
    When they backed up mere inches I shouted “farther!”.
    When they asked for ‘a few dollars for gas’ I replied, “No”.

    I watched as they approached each driver that pulled in, whose occupants weren’t wearing masks since they were still in their vehicles.

    I finally shouted at the cyclist, “Wear a mask! It’s the law!” (currently enacted here in Colorado).

    Their reply? “Oh. Thank you”… before approaching yet another vehicle.

    Can ya hear me scream?!

    1. trhys

      So I’m out hiking at a local park the other day. I carry my mask in hand and put it on if I come upon others. (Ohio; it’s currently the law) I come upon a couple (no masks) with two large dogs, fortunately on leashes. They go out of their way to walk near me and the guy struggles to hold his pit bull back as it is lunging towards me. Oh yea, and it was my fault because I had a mask on!

      I don’t leave the house without pepper spray any more.

      I’m sure this sort of incident is common. I fear for the coming violence.

      1. Keith

        I think for a pit, they are determined enough on attack mode that you may need a firearm to repel an attack.

      2. EMtz

        Mask and sunglasses here. Double trouble with some dogs. I now carry a broom handle after my leashed dog and I were attacked on a walk. People see it and usually move out of my way.

        1. ambrit

          Roaming dogs is the main reason oldsters I meet who are doing their daily walk tell me they carry a ‘walking stick.’

          1. Kevin

            Triple duty, put a big nail into the end of it, then grind off the head, leaving a sharp point. You now have a device to pick up litter, to ward off attacking dogs/people, a club, and a device to “accidentally” jam into the spokes of bikes endangering you or others by speeding by on the sidewalk.

    2. CuriosityConcern

      I’m no saint, but I can empathize with both you and the panhandler. Having extra masks to dole out to panhandlers(if your own financial situation allows) might be a great help to your community, absent civil initiatives to address both the lack of mask and presumed lack of work/housing leading to panhandling.
      Again, I’m no saint and just offer this as a different way of looking at the situation, with the acknowledgement that 1 person acting alone cannot provide the help to address the structural problems of our society.

      1. Mr. House

        People are scared because everything has gone crazy, its been turned up to 11. 2008 Destroyed alot of trust in the system, this is destroying the remaining trust it had, and the trust that people have for other people. Genius really

      2. crittermom


        I understand what you’re saying & in truth, if they’d had enough respect for others to have worn a mask I may have even given them $1. (I’m sure the local clinic would have even given them one if they’d asked).
        It was the fact they were not wearing one that left me cold.

        And no, I don’t have the financial means to hand out masks since losing everything when the banksters stole my humble home of 20 years in 2011.
        I’m currently renting a room from someone while trying to make a former shed on their property livable for me, & praying he lives long enough (he’s older than me, with health problems), for me to make enough money to afford another home for myself. (His kids would sell this place in a heartbeat, leaving me homeless).

        I suppose I should just change my handle to “Bitter Ol’ Woman”. Probably more accurate! *groan*

        1. ambrit

          Get a Concealed Carry permit and use the handle; “Dangerous Ol’ Woman.” A plain old .380 “purse gun” would do the trick. No one in their right mind wants to be shot with anything.
          Good luck with the shed idea. I have noticed that there are several small businesses around here that sell sheds in the 8′ x 12′ up to 12′ x 24′ range with tiny front porches and windows on all sides that look suspiciously like tiny apartments.
          If you go that route, do locate somewhere out of the sight of the general public so as to minimize the chances of being turned in to Zoning and Building Code Enforcement. Making the structure look like a plain old shed also helps in a sort of ‘hide in plain sight’ manner.

        2. Briny

          Exact same situation here so I understand. I’m not only worried about contracting it myself, due to emphysema, but giving it to her, an 81 yo great-great grandma. Lovely lady who I get along great with as she ran the chip fabrication for Intel back when it was just five people. We share the engineering mindset and view the rest of the human race as totally insane!

        3. CuriosityConcern

          I thought about my reply to you yesterday throughout the day, read your response last night and did more thinking. I apologize for scolding, I don’t think you are a bitter old lady.
          Haven’t lost my little place to the banksters but I do worry I could find myself in the same boat.

  15. Keith in Modesto

    Regarding: “Why we need to talk about caste in America” — FT

    Could someone with access summarize that this article says? I’m curious.

    1. pricklyone

      @Keith Try this:
      Clear your browser cache/cookies.
      Search for the title of the article (NC uses the article title as link text, thankfully)
      Click on the article in search engine.
      Works for me for NYTand FT articles, but WSJ seems to block everything. YMMV
      Even simpler if Google is set as search in Firefox, just right click link and select “search with Google”, but then, of course, you may not wanna use Goog…

  16. The Rev Kev

    “More than a quarter of Victoria coronavirus patients not at home when doorknocked by ADF”

    The ADF refers to ordinary soldiers in case any are wondering. Of course you are going to have idiots like this not doing the right thing but as more and more people keep on getting hit with $1,652 (US $1,170) fines, this sort of thing will drop off. But I am calling this tantrum by the Victorian Premier a deflection exercise. His government had one job as far as people returning from overseas were concerned. Keep them in hotels for a fortnight to see who is infected. But instead of using the police and soldiers to do this like everywhere else, he tried a business solution in the form of a bunch of wonky security companies who outsourced the jobs.

    So these hire-a-guards got infected themselves and spread it into their communities. From there it went into different suburbs of Melbourne and eventually a lot of the State. From here, there was cross-border infection into New South Wales and so now hot spots are breaking out all over Sydney. You are having mini hot-spots in other States, several hundred new cases are being detected daily, the national death toll has about doubled in the past three weeks with plenty more deaths on the way, about a thousand people at risk in retirement villages in Victoria alone and Scotty from Marketing’s plan to revive the economy is deader than Caesar. Of course the Victorian Premier is still wobbling about putting the State under Stage 4 lockdown but all he can do is have a rant about people not staying at home when he himself caused this massive disaster.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Scotty from Marketing has been adamant that there will be NO eradication of the virus but only a mitigation of it while his government is running things. A major reason for this is that he wants to open up the country to foreign tourists on January 1st, I kid you not. I am sure that he will be able to find cut-price airlines willing to fly tourists in from such places as America, the UK, Brazil, Mexico, India, etc. Idjut!

        1. Wukchumni

          Didn’t the various Australian states have different gauge railroads once upon a time?

          Must kind of feel like that going forward, eh?

          1. The Rev Kev

            Indeed there was different guages. Same way that all those Silicon Valley companies want to establish standards, each of those old State/Colonies wanted to establish the standard guage and it became totally politicized. It was a mess. A 1435 mm gauge started as the standard in the 1930s, and was only completed in 1995-


        2. Wukchumni

          There’s still time to embrace the suck and become the East Island. This will of course involve the need for vowel movement while speaking.

        3. ambrit

          I wonder where he would locate the sex tourism hubs? All those horny Japanese night trippers scared of Thailand and Cambodia would love to get a hold of the ‘goods’ Down Under.
          My suggestion for Whore Central would be Canberra. It’s a natural fit, or unnatural if that’s your kink.

    1. Keith

      This may not be popular, but I do not think it is idiocy to not stay home, even with a positive finding. I am not condoning going to crowded markets, but I think going for a drive or a walk through the woods or a park is fine, provided taking the reasonable precautions, social distance or mask or for double protection, both. I think the media is riling people up with a lot of fear and paranoia regarding the issue of outdoor spread.

      I am recalling my visit to my girlfriend at the hospital over three days and my recent doctor’s visit for a COVID test. No panic or paranoia, just a little common sense. Even while I wait for my diagnosis, the Dr first line of advise was not to be a hermit holed up in part of the house. Just do common things, mask around people and wash hands.

      Then look at the BLM protests. No social distancing, but no real outbreaks, either. So it seems that, provided you have your own transportation, going out in the world is still reasonable, as long as you take some reasonable precautions. In fact, it may be better to get out and do something, as staying sedentary makes a healthy body unhealthy, so imagine what it does to a sick body. Further, it may help alleviate all the anger and frustration that is out there.

    2. Foy

      My sister used to work at Qantas checkin,got furloughed, now got 10 hours a week at Woolworths and was applying for additional work. She applied for a job as a quarantine security guard a short while ago, but then found out that while the money was ok, it involved 12 hour shifts 7pm – 7am. She was used to doing late and early shifts at Qantas but she said this would be too much and that she might be falling asleep on the way home.

      12 hour night shift, standing in the same spot, bored out one’s bracket, not properly not trained, no wonder the thing failed. Three 8 hour shifts would make sense, but nope.

      She’s now got some extra work as first interaction at a hospital vetting pregnant women for COVID (questionnaire) due to give birth on arrival at hospital. Much less pay but she feels safer and hours more reasonable.

  17. dk

    Kentucky town hires social workers instead of more officers – and the results are surprising Wave3

    Here in Albuquerque NM the mayor proposed a revamp of the police role when he took office in 2018, and has worked to keep his promise. The program is now in the early roll-out stages.
    We’re building the new Albuquerque Community Safety department to send the right response to the right call every time.

    Here’s the city’s info page (posted 7/15/2020), scroll down for a TL;DR graphic:
    Mayor Tim Keller to Refocus Millions in Public Safety Resources with First-of-Its-Kind Civilian Response Department

    1. chuck roast

      Good luck with that. I lived there from ’89-’01. With all due respect, it’s the most backward place I ever lived. I had far more stuff stolen off me during this period then the rest of my long life put together. I once made a written complaint to the Civilian Review Board and appeared in person to testify to my experience. I was sent home without any explanation and was never advised about the outcome of the complaint.

      1. dk

        Offloading response to domestic disputes and drunks sleeping it off on bus stop benches should free up LEOs to concentrate on more serious crime like theft and rape. Civilian Response is not Civilian Review.

  18. Polar Donkey

    I wonder if Clinton had 2 underage girls under that podium while he gave that speech about sinking Bernie? He likes to fly with them.

  19. MarkT

    The WHO copped a lot of criticism here at NC. I have vivid memories of the man in charge at WHO saying, day after day, that countries needed to take action immediately, that there was no time to lose. Here is the New Zealand experience:

    1. Wukchumni

      Given my druthers and the idea that a Yank can spend six months in Godzone at a go, i’d much rather be there than here, when all hell breaks loose in these not very United States. Wouldn’t need a bunker, just a nice rental bach.

      1. vlade

        No Yanks (or almost anyone else) in NZ at the moment, thank you very much. I’m not sure even my wife would get in (I’ve got a Kiwi passport, she doesn’t).

        1. Wukchumni

          I was fanasizing up the situation knowing exit routes have been sealed off, i’d be lucky to be able to go to Catalina at this point, forget about Wanaka.

  20. Michael

    “”I’m pretty sure it was Chekhov who advised writers never to introduce body armor or rubber bullets in Act One unless someone’s going to use them in Act Three…””

    I haven’t read Will Bunch at Phila Inquirer in a long time. Great history lesson. This is another look back at the policy errors made at the earliest moment of crises that we come to regret. DHS passed the Senate 90-9 in 2002. Rumsfeld even panned it. Now its another GE conglomerate that needs dismantling and defunding.

    Add in Peggy Noonan and the first day of August seems to foreshadow something big coming our way.

  21. flora

    re: Congress – Silicon Valley, Guardian

    The nation lost 100,000 independent businesses from 2000 to 2015, a drop of 40%, many due to Amazon’s exploitation of legal advantages from the avoidance of sales tax to its apparent violation of antitrust laws in underpricing rivals.Hundreds of thousands of merchants now depend on Amazon’s platform to sell goods, and Amazon has systemically hiked fees on them. Just a few years ago these third-party merchants paid 19% of their revenue to Amazon, now it’s up to 30%,

    Amazon is the early 21st C. equivalent of the late 19th/early 20th C. railroad trusts. The Northern Securities Company is one example of a predatory railroad trust. Farmers and businesses had to ship their products to market; the only way to ship was by a railroad monopoly that price gouged them nearly out of business. Farmers and businesses “got railroaded”. Amazon is doing the same.

    1. Wukchumni

      Frank Norris wrote The Octopus which was all about the railroads gouging wheat farmers in the Central Valley a couple of turns of centuries ago. The methodology changes-but the motive doesn’t.

      1. polecat

        If only there were Lawmakers who would DO what’s Right against something like this …


        1. Briny

          We have the best politicians money can buy, or rather Big Tech. All of them learned from the case of Microsoft.

    2. CuriosityConcern

      I have been thinking that the only way to fight this in our current political and regulatory environment is a Mondragon like business, centered on worker ownership. I’m envisioning a store(s) in every town(starting in only one of course), paying living wages, a web-based voting system to obviate a need for executive roles, eventually branching into other aspects of everyday life that are being used as platforms for extraction. Dare to dream, right?

    3. cnchal

      Amazon kills the entire feild, so characterizing them as a predator is an insult to predators.

      A link from watercooler.

      Amazon’s revenue from seller fees has grown so large that sellers are now effectively cross-subsidizing Amazon’s retail division. The $59.5 billion that Amazon took in seller fees last year covered more than three-quarters of its total fulfillment and shipping expenses.[11] These expenses include most of Amazon’s e-commerce costs, including the costs of operating its distribution facilities, shipping and delivering products, providing customer service, and processing payments. This suggests that sellers cover the distribution expenses for their own sales and cover a substantial portion of Amazon’s first-party expenses. Amazon not only competes with sellers, it subsidizes that competition through the fees they pay.

      A predator takes one until hungry again. This ugly beast want’s it all and get’s it whether you sell your labor or stuff.

      1. Fritzi


        Now if only we could introduce Jeff Bezos close up and personally to the antidote du jour, so they could defend the honor of predators everywhere against the guy giving them a bad name.

        1. flora

          T supposedly thinks Bezos and Amazon are cheating the public with postal rates. He could instruct the DOJ to investigate monopoly and trust law violations and bring an anti-trust suit against Amazon. Break Amazon up if found in violation of anti-trust laws.

          1. cnchal

            > Break Amazon up if found in violation of anti-trust laws.

            Surprise! Amazon is on an aggressive expansion and has obtained permission to put over 3,000 satellites into orbit. Besides the buck rogers personal rocketry funded by selling stawk. Which is supposed to be a “seperate” entity, wink, wink.

            As for the post office, Jeff got preferential treatment just by the type of product being mailed, books. Media mail is heavily subsidized at USPS, up to today. That was a long time ago, wasn’t it? Now look where we are. The USPS is on the verge of dieing in the feild, much of it brought on by abuse at the hands of Amazon,

            Planet earth is the ugly beast’s feild.

  22. Jim Hannan

    Re Bill Gates and a leadership vacuum. One of these days Gates, Buffet, Bezos and others will realize that they have to start competing with Koch, Adelson and Mercer. As long as we are under the rules of Buckley v Valeo and Citizens United, we need to have a level playing field. The right wing billionaires understand how the game is played. Folks like Bill Gates still don’t.

    1. Mr. House

      all those people you mentioned have one thing in common, they’ve got tons of money, and that is the only thing they’re worried about. That and power.

    2. Mookie

      Lol buddy there is no such thing as a good billionaire. They are all getting exactly the outcome they desire, and more of it, every day it gets worse for the rest of us. Billionaires should be taxed to extinction; their very existence is evidence of the rottenness of the system. None of these ghouls are on your side.

      1. chuck roast

        You wanna’ tax all the billionaires to extinction…you’re gonna’ have to fight through a People’s Army of 501c(3)’s to do it.

    3. Massinissa

      If you think the non-right wing Billionaires are on your side, do you want to buy that bridge in Alaska that I own? I’ll give you a good deal on it!

    4. Maritimer

      One can easily envision a future where the Bills or even Trills having already surpassed Nation States fight it out amongst themselves. 2100 Bills and counting. Many sociopathic and some psychopathic. Probably even bigger egos than the 536 in DC.

      One Bill, a big player in the generic drug biz, and his wife were recently murdered in Canada. Book is The Billionaire Murders by Kevin Donovan. The murders are unsolved which is quite remarkable. One theory is that some players in the drug business were not happy with generic competition.

      Anyway, very unlikely the 2100 Bills will reach consensus on whether to escape to Mars or duke it out here on the deteriorating planet.

  23. Anthony K Wikrent

    The closest Peggy Noonan comes to telling the truth is “the great and increasing social and cultural distance between the movers and talkers of the national GOP, its strategists, operatives, thinkers, pundits and party professionals, and the party’s base. He came from algorithms that deliberately excite, divide and addict…” What she avoids writing is the role of the reactionary rich, who carefully and deliberately created and funded movement conservatism and libertarianism to restore the dominance of capital over labor after the New Deal shifted the balance in favor of labor. For example, “gun rights” did not become an issue until after control of the NRA was seized by a faction of radical reactionaries, funded by the Coors and others, at the May 1977 annual meeting — google – the “Revolt at Cincinnati.” Another example: abortion became a national issue SIX YEARS AFTER the Roe decision when Paul Weyrich noticed that Roe could be used to mobilize the biased conservative base. Writing in Politico May 27, 2014, Randall Balmer of Dartmouth College notes:

    “….it wasn’t until 1979—a full six years after Roe—that evangelical leaders, at the behest of conservative activist Paul Weyrich, seized on abortion not for moral reasons, but as a rallying-cry to deny President Jimmy Carter a second term. Why? Because the anti-abortion crusade was more palatable than the religious right’s real motive: protecting segregated schools….”

    Weyrich’s career clearly shows the outsized influence the one percent have in USA. As press secretary to Republican U.S. Senator Gordon L. Allott of Colorado in 1966, Weyrich met Jack Wilson, an aide of Joseph Coors. In 1973, Weyrich and Edwin Feulner persuaded Joseph Coors to fund the creation of The Heritage Foundation. Through the 1970s and 1980s, Coors would be the second largest source of funding for the conservative movement, after Richard Mellon Scaife, of the Mellon banking family.

    Why is the left so ineffective? I suggest because it has rejected the founding principles of republicanism, especially the principle that the rich are as much a threat to a republic as a standing military. So, as MMT shows, government does not need to tax beforehand to spend. What MMT has yet to articulate is that a major reason to tax is to prevent the accumulation of large concentrations of economic wealth which can be used to corrupt the political system. This should be the primary reason to break up Amazon, Google, Facebook, and the media monopolies: in a republic, you just cannot have a small number of rich people owning so damn much, especially of the media needed to keep citizens informed.

    1. rob

      I think the reason “the left” is so ineffective, is because it has no champion. It is perennially a bastard child. The “left” is too dangerous to let live… so infanticide is the only option every time “the left” is born.
      And in its place, so the masses never know they killed the “left”… the “establishment” makes known to all, “their left/democratic party” and “their right/republican” party(both of which are firmly “the right/fascist) are vying for control… and one wins,only to then lose to the other…. and on the story goes…
      But “the left”…. can NEVER play… that would be “unsophisticated”. The “establishment” has never experienced a vacuum, each century extends to the next… but the game remains the same.

      1. Fastball

        Rob the left (depending on how you define that) been doing “championing“ for 16 years.

        Even if you say Obama and Sanders only posed as leftist champions and we’re never champions at all — a proposition I would agree with — I would still disagree with your conclusions.

        Champions co-opt. They develop cult followers. Eventually all principle is lost in service to the cult following of the fake “champion”.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Looks like what’s happening with AOC and others. Go along to get along. Love to be wrong, but I’ve seen this movie too many times.

          The “progressive” fundraising pitches via my email have gone to the “we have to get another $5,234 from your community by midnight to let our campaign continue.” Coming in on Team Blue’s ActBkue channel. “Act Blue” is right — act being the operative word.

    2. GF

      “What MMT has yet to articulate is that a major reason to tax is to prevent the accumulation of large concentrations of economic wealth which can be used to corrupt the political system.”

      Hallelujah! Finally the actual reason taxes were forced onto the rich is articulated. If we go back to the MAGA days of Trump (mid 1950’s) and return to the income tax rates for the wealthy in place then (90+%) and increase the capital gains tax to 75% along with 75% corporate income taxes, the rich would have no money to buy politicians. Small donations would fund campaigns and the people could again determine the direction of the country.

      1. fresno dan

        August 1, 2020 at 2:49 pm

        Funny how all those people nostalgic for the 50’s and how prosperous it was never bring up the tax rates back than, or really how the minute tax rates fell the country went to h*ll

        1. The Rev Kev

          With the wealthy being taxed at about 90%, there was not much left over to buy politicians, set up Think Tanks, fund ‘grass-roots” movements and all the rest of it. Only enough to finance a luxurious life style. Be interesting if you asked some people if the US should have the same tax rate as when Reagan became President. If they agreed, then you could say good – that will be 70% then.

  24. Jim Hannan

    Peggy Noonan in brief: Please, please don’t vote out Republican senators, they will protect us from the nasty Democrats.

    1. Keith

      I think it is more about maintaining some sort of divided government, so there is some obstruction and a check on overzealousness. As an old law professor used to say, “You never want all the govt you pay for.” :)

    1. WobblyTelomeres

      Ha. Everytime I went to JPL, I used to bug the locals to show me the Jack Parsons exhibit.

      Usually, I got the Radio Shack Manager response: “You’ve got questions? We’ve got blank stares.”

        1. WobblyTelomeres

          No problem. Most don’t know the link between Scientology/L.Ron and JPL. The wikipedia page barely hints at the history.

          1. ambrit

            There is also the link of L Ron to Bob Heinlein to Jack Parsons and the “Mysterious Case of the Science Fiction Writing Crook who Absconded With the Girlfriend and the Money.”
            The early days of most sciences began with visionaries and crackpots and proceeded to bureaucrats and ideologues.

            1. ambrit

              I have the book. I highly recommend it as a cautionary tale concerning the “thought leaders” of the latter part of the twenieth century. Alas for our pedistalled culture “heroes,” they would have fit right in with the Epstein crowd.

  25. The Rev Kev

    “Today’s 37.8 °C at Heathrow makes it the UK’s 3rd hottest day on record”

    In Australia we call that February. Not sure what they would call it in a place like Arizona. July perhaps?

    1. Clive

      No, it’s not exceptional by hot region standards. The main reason for mentioning it is that when we had our first 100F day in a series of continuous robust records stretching back nearly 140 years, it was said that the return period should be around one hundred to two hundred years. But it only took 12 years to exceed the 100F threshold again. Then only another four years after that. Now, it’s become a year-on-year event.

      And the U.K. has a polar maritime climate with any heat being (or should be) tempered by a strong influence from a chilly Atlantic Ocean and zonal westerly winds. We simply should not be getting these sorts of summer hot spells on a regular basis. If we lived in Arizona, we’d expect it and it should be predictable. But we don’t.

      1. flora

        Even Arizona is suffering record heat. 118F.

        The heat is coming from a high pressure loft that is “parked” above Arizona, Sawtelle said. The high pressure loft is “unusually strong,” blocking out the usual moisture cycles from Mexico that Arizona would normally be experiencing this time of year.

        Instead, the moisture tracks have been cut off and disrupted, making “for a very dry situation,” Sawtelle said.

        1. GF

          So the forest service has responded by allowing campfires in the national forest surrounding our place effective today.

    2. pasha

      i first visited london in summer of 1964, and was struck by a headline: “75 degrees again tomorrow, no relief in sight.”

      1. John Anthony La Pietra

        That sounds like the flipside of one of my undergrad memories. One January evening in Saint Paul, some friends and I got a chuckle from the national news reporting that Washington, DC had been buried under an inch and a half of snow! . . .

      2. witters

        My favorite example of the genre:

        September 1931, The World Tomorrow (New York, NY), pg. 288, col. 1:
        The “Tight Little Isle”
        During a recent storm the London Times carried the following headline: “Great Storm—Continent isolated!”

  26. CuriosityConcern

    Thanks to our hosts for links, and to the commentariat for making this my daily ritual.

    Estimating Global Epidemiology of Low-Pathogenic Human Coronaviruses in Relation to the COVID-19 Context
    I worry about COVID and the coming winter because we will have environmental conditions exactly like meat packing plants, plus less sunlight/uv(and consequent vit D defs), plus more time inside, plus influenza co-infections.

    Reflections on the 1976 Swine Flu Vaccination Program Emerging Infectious Diseases (ED). From 2006, still germane Hehe

    COVID-19 Hospital Data System That Bypasses CDC Plagued By Delays, Inaccuracies NPR
    I don’t like this cause I don’t trust their vendors with the data, but I now believe that it doesn’t matter anymore. We know what to do and we aren’t doing it. Senate going on vacay is a nice, subtle middle finger to all the recently jobless(thank my lucky stars I’m not in that boat(yet?)) and jobless to come. This country needs to get on the right track, I’ll be holding my breath…

  27. Wukchumni

    Sequoia NP decided not to open the 2 car campgrounds in Mineral King this summer, taking away about 65 overnight possibilities for the rest of the year.

    Toilets are of the long drop variety and no sinks. There is a water spigot for every 2 to 3 camping spots, another vector NPS must’ve considered in deep sixing them.

  28. Andrew Thomas

    The Tik Tok cat video is hysterical. It will get me through at least the weekend. Thank you for making me lol. God knows we need as much of that as possible. Save Tik Tok!

    1. Paleobotanist

      It is pretty good. I’m glad I’m not alone in being out-manoeuvred by my feline overlords…

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      If Trump really can ban Tik Tok, and if he really does, many young Tik Tok users will be made deeply unhappy.

      If the Biden campaign were to promise to unban Tik Tok if elected, and if the unhappy Tik Tok users chose to believe the Biden campaign about that, the Biden Candidacy might get millions and millions of Tikker Tokker votes.

      1. The Rev Kev

        There may be more to the Tik Tok story than might be apparent. Trump was saying yesterday that he might ban it within 24 hours, even though Tik Tok was in discussions with Microsoft to have them “safe guard” the data. To me, this sounded like a pressure tactic to get them to sell for a cheap price to a buyer. So consider this.

        If US investors buy this company, then basically all popular social media will go through the US such as Facebook, Snapchat, etc. Tik Tok was beyond US control which may account for this financial attack in coordination with the White House. So was this the whole point of the exercise? To bring a poplar app under the control of US interests – and US spooks – so that the data stays under US control and analysis? I note that MoA is thinking along the same lines as is Caitlin Johnstone.

        So the spooks get a popular app and its data under their control, US investors get money by buying this popular app off the Chinese, Trump gets to ding the Chinese with a message that we can steal any companies that they have operating in the US and for all we know, Tik Tok will be moderated for un-woke like content or any political messages put on it for this election year. Everybody wins.

    3. richard

      yes, i like the cat thing too, and it has really made me think
      almost nothing in real life is as funny as a cat being clumsy
      they walk around like pierce brosnan all the time
      i mean, the universe is just waiting for them to get a snootful of banana cream pie
      (not so funny with elder cats of course!)

  29. tegnost

    From Stoller…
    Lies and the lying liars who tell them. Bezos knows damn well he runs a malevolent corporation built on cheating and his corp represents him 100% he built it by cheating and will lie at the drop of a hat to get moar for himself. A truly despicable weasel.
    “Take Amazon, whose CEO, Jeff Bezos, often seemed off-balance and unaware of his corporation’s own practices. Congresswoman Lucy McBath played audio of a seller on Amazon tearfully describing how her business and livelihood was arbitrarily destroyed by Amazon restricting sales of their product, for no reason the seller could discern. Bezos acted surprised, as he often did
    Acted surprised…what a crock.

  30. The Rev Kev

    “Exclusive: White House to lure U.S. firms to Latam from Asia in nearshoring drive, senior adviser says”

    That would be great that. America just has to make sure that Latin America has a disciplined, highly trained and highly-educated workforce, has an extensive, well-maintained transport grid and has a reliable electricity supply that can be ramped up to meet these new demands. Once all that infrastructure is in place and there is the stability of not being threatened by whatever government is in Washington, I am sure that they can start production. Next Tuesday sound good?

    1. Olga

      Lordy, talk about crying over spilled milk! Perhaps the sentiment is not wrong, but ain’t it a bit late?
      OTOH, maybe the US can bribe Brasil to chop down whatever remains of all that Amazon forest and develop the space into one giant industrial site. Everything in one place! We’ll show China!

      1. RMO

        “Nearshoring” strikes me as similar to treating people suffering from starvation by bringing the food closer to, but still just out of reach of their mouths…

        Though it could presumably somewhat reduce the energy consumed by transporting the goods in question to the North American market which is something at least.

  31. a different chris

    “How to pretend that you are smart”…

    As a white male, I almost fell off my chair laughing at Mead’s idiocy. Of course, it’s not so funny for “The Blacks” as my racist (but otherwise loveable) grandmother and I’m sure Mead himself would refer to them.

    Either he never played a minute of football (or he did and is still nursing his hurt feelings) but I could imagine him as a young man getting knocked flat on his butt on the first day of scrimmage at some D2 college by some equally young black man (and future MD) who knows that an athletic scholarship is the only avenue available for him out of the ghetto. Despite the fact that he’s happier in the classroom.

    And thus worked hard in a way posers like Mead could never, ever imagine, because that young black man had to be 10x better in every aspect of his life than a white kid to even get a chance.

    PS: and meanwhile Mead has a job-for-life and virtually nobody today, no matter what color or sex, can get tenure anymore. I stopped laughing at that realization, and felt more like vomiting.

  32. David Carl Grimes

    A Facebook post from a friend:

    “There are many reasons I am not in favor of government-controlled healthcare, including incompetency, lack of accountability, decision making being the hands of bureaucrats, under-paid healthcare workers (not attracting the talent), etc., but honestly the issue that frightens me the most is the entry of political beliefs into the decision making process. It has already started and we are not even there yet. Be careful of what you ask for because you might not get it. This is just a symptom of the bigger problem in placing decisions in the hands of bureaucrats and others versus yourself and your family members. Place you and your family members on the other side of any other healthcare issue that is the opposite of this one and you would be unhappy if you were on the negative outcome side! Wow, this is downright frightening.”

    “Pennsylvania hospitals are tilting the scale in favor of patients from “disadvantaged areas.” If you’re middle class, you’re toast. To “redress social injustices,” Pennsylvania is applying a “weighted lottery” statewide, to hike the odds that the scarce drug remdesivir for COVID-19 will be given to patients from poor neighborhoods.”

    1. RMO

      “Place you and your family members on the other side of any other healthcare issue that is the opposite of this one and you would be unhappy if you were on the negative outcome side!”

      Can anyone decrypt that for me? I have no idea what it could mean. I would like to know who she thinks is making the decisions in the US healthcare system as it currently exists if it’s not bureaucrats. Elves perhaps?

      1. Kurtismayfield

        Can anyone decrypt that for me? I have no idea what it could mean. I would like to know who she thinks is making the decisions in the US healthcare system as it currently exists if it’s not bureaucrats. Elves perhaps?

        She prefers God money to be making those decisions, because she has more than the poors.

      2. Fritzi

        It’s bureaucrats with added motivation to want to help as little people as possible.

        In the end who delivers results IS right here, and goverment bureaucrats do a more competent job than private ones even in dort poor countries.

        Another case of someone apparently completely (and willfully?) blind to the world outside the US.

        I don’t always agree with David Graeber, nonetheleast because I don’t think anarchism works outside smaller communities, but he certainly has shown how capitalism (and neoliberalism) have inevitably lead to ever more and ever vaster bureacracies.

        The idea that it is somehow not so or even the opposite is definitely one of the biggest lies ever foisted on humanity, and that people could be brainwashed into believing that lie is all the more impressive since it is so egregiously self evident that it is total bull.

    2. Pat

      One of the biggest drivers of public hatred of ACA was the divide between what poor, poorer, poorest citizens got for insurance. Some was the subsidy where the income levels were too low to actually allow all those struggling to purchase adequate insurance much less have funds to use it. And even those with a subsidy didn’t necessary have the funds to use their insurance. But then there were poor people who got free medical care.

      There were bigger issues, but the idea that someone was getting something they needed but were denied by the system coupled with our stupid puritanical notions of hard work trumps all meant a lot of resentment.

      The person writing this has that going on, but they also have the slowly disappearing notion that private insurance means everyone gets the same care probably because they have never struggled to 1) pay for an adequate insurance policy and the deductible/copays/co-insurance required to get health care. And 2) had to struggle and put the time in to get the insurance company to approve and pay for that healthcare.

      They have seen the disadvantages of our means tested system, and aren’t willing to risk further tiers. They don’t get that what is proposed is to eliminate that. Personally I don’t think we can get it up and running without hitting speed bumps from our broken system, but it would still be an improvement for most of our population, for a multitude of reasons. Sadly its PR isn’t getting that across.

      1. fresno dan

        August 1, 2020 at 5:49 pm

        It was always amazing to me when I was seeing people at HICAP having problems with the cost of health care, most people always believed the cause was people even poorer than themselves – never the CEO’s of insurance companies or hospitals or doctor groups, or that the driving purpose of markets is to increase profits. Although repubs frequently attribute laziness and fraud to the poor, when has the dems (until just recently with Casio Cortez and Sanders) mounted an aggressive counter argument that the MARKET is the problem. But mostly, I think the 50 year indoctrination of market primacy, with no serious explanation of why market economics are not appropriate for medical care, are just never brought up in the MSM or the culture. Making as much money as possible is what most Americans think solves any problem…

  33. fresno dan

    A Fresno County teenager is the first child to die from coronavirus in California.
    Public health officials confirm the victim was a teenager and had underlying conditions, but privacy concerns are keeping them from giving many more details.

    CDC data show more than 40 American children who were 15 or younger have died from COVID-19, a much lower death rate than for older patients.

    The death comes as Central California coronavirus cases have continuously surged over the last several weeks, and as local politicians in Fresno County debate whether children should return to schools for in-person learning.

    1. Wukchumni

      A friend relates that it’s overwhelmingly Hispanic names (read: Mexicans) who are in hospital on ventilators in Visalia.

      Who’s going to pick up their considerable slack in tending the agricultural bounty if Coronavirus runs rampant through their ranks?

      We’re in the midst of cascading failures coalescing, and there’s not a damned thing you can do about it but watch in a fashion never even dreamed about in past bouts of collapse.

        1. Wukchumni

          Its the attitude of the people, an 83 year old cabin owner flew to Texas with her 2 sons in their 50’s for a wedding and there was around 180 evangelicals playing rushing roulette there on that joyous day in Dallas, and then they flew back to Fresno mostly maskless the whole way. They’re kind of strident in their disbelief anything is happening, and live in the most infected county in the state.

  34. flora

    re: Thomas Frank essay in Le Monde

    Frank points out the medical experts too often protect their class position at the expense of the entire public’s health.

    Here’s a thread about experts and the WHO.

    What the person just chosen to lead the “Technical Advisory Group on Behavioural Insights and Sciences for Health” for WHO wrote on February 28 (“if you’re worried about COVID, it’s irrational panic”) and what I wrote one day before (“We have to get ready so we can lessen risk”).

    Read the whole thread.

    The person just chosen to lead the new WHO group is Cass Sunstein: Harvard Law, recently famous for ‘Nudge’ theory. ( Nudge theory for pandemics?)

  35. JWP

    NYT piece on cutting tech giants out of life was originally from a much longer series by Gizmodo in 2019. Opportunists for asking the same writer to dumb it down for them right around the hearings.

  36. pjay

    I’ve been waiting for someone to bring this up, but no one has so far. So… what’s with all this UFO stuff appearing now, in the likes of Live Science, the NY Times, and now Scientific American, in just the last 10 days?

    One thing I know is that until a few years ago anyone bringing up UFOs (or “UAPs”) would be either ignored or ruthlessly CT-ed by any “legitimate” scientist, academic, or media source. Another thing I know is that among all the usual goofiness there have been credible sightings of UAP by credible observers for many decades going back to WWII. So why is it ok now, all of the sudden?

    My first instinct is to agree with Caitlin Johnstone that the military-intelligence community must be up to something, especially when the reporting is linked to Luis Elizondo.

    Today’s offering is a little different, however. First, it mentions — *favorably* — two of the most reputable UFO researchers, J Allan Hynek and James McDonald. Second, it calls into question the Condon Report. For those who don’t know, that government-funded study was the “Warren Report” of UFO inquiry, a whitewash intended to cover up legitimate questions. Like the latter, it has often been used to silence any type of UFO “conspiracy theory.” Third, Eizondo and his crew are not mentioned. And fourth, it appears in Scientific American, usually a bastion of scientific orthodoxy.

    So what’s up? It’s hard to believe things could get any crazier, but I keep getting surprised.

  37. Tom Stone

    A few slices of moldy rye bread and a whiff or two of the right solvents will definitely help you understand what’s going on.
    Trust me, I’m a Realtor.

    1. ambrit

      Moldy rye bread and organic solvents means you’re talking paleo antibiotics; that or rye ergot and solvents, which is a whole other plane of existence.
      The outbreak of “insanity” at Pont-Saint-Esprit in 1951 was blamed on ergot poisoning in the local bread shop’s product. However, ergot was an initial source of early forms of LSD-25. That’s how Hoffman did it.
      There is also evidence that the outbreak was a field trial of aerosol transmission of LSD to a population to gauge the possible effectiveness of the military use of LSD as a way of degrading an opponent’s troops. This trial run by the CIA through the Fort Dietrich CBW labs in Maryland.
      Given the “Intelligence Community’s” penchant for similar stunts elsewhere, (Laurel Canyon?) I would not be a bit surprised to find out that this theory is true.
      I realize that you are a Realtor and all, but can I get a second opinion? I know a reputable surveyor I could ask.

  38. anon in so cal

    > LA County failing to detect workplace outbreaks

    Workers’ fearfulness about reporting workplace outbreaks is an ongoing problem. Unsurprisingly, they also individually fear reporting they are possibly ill with Covid. How many would lose their livelihood with no compensation? Probably quite a few.

    Somewhat relatedly, the veterinary practice I use just reported a cluster. They probably had cases several weeks ago when they briefly closed for a “deep cleaning.” The category of “essential workers” includes veterinarians and veterinary staff. Even with the “concierge” drop-off service, they can get exposed. Are dogs and cats fomites? Buddy, the dog who developed Covid, passed away the other day. I bought our dog some canine PPE in case I need to take him in (but miscalculated the size).

  39. Wukchumni

    Pedophiles are the lowest of the low in our society, but they get a mulligan on minor incursions if it happens at the highest levels.

      1. John Anthony La Pietra

        Someone just needs to be a little boulder.

        (For the bonus points: should the pun above be a Capital offense?)

  40. juno mas

    Covid-19 and Hand Sanitizers

    A few weeks back there were comments made about using methanol as a substitute in making homemade sanitizer. (Don’t recall the commenter.) I responded that methanol is toxic and a bad idea. Here is a link that gives comprehensive info on the sanitizers DISAPPROVED by the Food and Drug Admin. (FDA).—MCTRL-073120-TS2-4750403&ET_CID=4750403&ET_RID=50891128&encparam=DYmS3ItEzX3TNtlYGwLXnqUT2kVoxl5rlSgOsyAa6AI%3d

    Use a spray bottle with 70% Isopropyl alcohol instead.

  41. NotTimothyGeithner

    American liberals really are sick. My banner ad is I believe the Pete Buttigieg PAC calling on people to “thank President Obama” for standing up to Republicans. Its really twisted.

        1. edmondo

          Or just being a Republican. Barack and Nooners. Now there’s a pair. Two people talking and nobody listening.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Obama knew who he was. In an interview once he said that if he were President 25 years ago, his economic policies would make him a moderate Republican.

  42. FrenchPasserby

    “(Le Monde is, I believe, French…” Please do not confuse Le Monde (corporate owned, centrist) with Le Monde diplomatique (independent, left) — an entirely different story.

  43. Harold

    Re: the Frank article on AMA opposition to socialized medicine. I read a book some time ago (several decades) about the failure of progressives to implement universal health care in the early years of the 20th c at the time of Teddy Roosevelt. At that time anyone could hang out a shingle and call himself a doctor, and thus the medical profession’s chief concern was an attempt to impose some standards. The author’s thesis, backed up by (to me) convincing documentation, was that the progressive reformers of the time were extremely overbearing and antagonistic to the doctors, & worse, didn’t consult them or include their input in any way, thus incurring their lasting enmity.

    I’m sorry I don’t remember the name of the book, which I happened to read when my son, then a senior in high school had to write a paper about health care. The lesson is, If you are going to make big reforms and regulate professionals, it really helps to get them on your side first.

    1. LifelongLib

      I recall my family doctor saying that when he started working for Group Health (an early HMO based in Seattle) he was not allowed to join the AMA because that organization considered Group Health to be “socialistic”. This was in the late 1960s and Group Health was an entirely private entity (it’s since been bought out by Kaiser). This suggests that the AMA’s opposition to health care reform was (is?) broader than just being anti-government regulation.

      1. RMO

        When the Obama administration went to make “big reforms” in health insurance with the Affordable Care Act they certainly made great efforts to get the professionals in the insurance industry on their side… notice how well that worked out for the majority of US citizens?

        Conversely when the first province in Canada went to enact the single-payer system that would later spread to every other province the doctors were largely against it, rabidly so. To the point of trying to prevent it from happening by pulling gambit right out of Atlas Shrugged and refusing to care for the sick. In the end we all got good and relatively inexpensive healthcare – inexpensive both from the point of view of people needing care and in terms of total expenditures.

        1. HotFlash

          the doctors were largely against it, rabidly so

          That was *important* doctors, *rich* doctors, *city* doctors, and especially specialists. You know, the ones who were powerful in the Canadian Medical Association, the Conservative Party, and society in general. My friend, daughter of a country doctor in Ontario, told me her father was 100% for it: “We’ll get paid.”

  44. juno mas

    Peggy Noonan is an inveterate Jackass!

    She and David Brookes share a special talent for describing a world that does not exist. Both the Republican and Democrat parties should be burnt to the ground with her skivvies ignited first.

  45. dcblogger

    Three Tenants Were Facing Eviction Threats. Amid A Summer Of Protest, Dozens Of Activists Mobilized

    Sifu and Lovell say their landlord, Robert Miley, ignored their explanations of their situation and references to their legal rights, and threatened to come by on Friday and change the locks to the house. But unlike many tenants facing threats of eviction, the roommates had a next move: they got in touch with advocates they knew in the D.C. housing activist community.

    The D.C. Tenants’ Union, Stomp Out Slumlords, and the local Democratic Socialists of America chapter organized a protest to coincide with when Lovell and Sifu said Miley planned to change the locks.

    1. allan

      It turns out that attempting to engage in congressional oversight is now a comorbidity.
      A thread from Radley Balko:

      This is infuriating. Grijalva chairs the committee investigating the clearing of Lafayette Square. He wanted his hearing to be via video. The Trump administration said it wouldn’t cooperate unless Grijalva flew from Arizona to DC to appear in person. 1/6

    2. Pat

      Rep. Grijalva is one of the good ones, largely on the right side of the issues. Perfect no, but we need more like him.
      Sending good thoughts to him.

      1. edmondo

        If he’s one of the “good ones” then what are the bad one’s like?

        In 2015, Grijalva settled a complaint accusing him of drunkenness and a “hostile workplace environment” with a female staffer who’d been at her job for three months. The payment of $48,000, was made from House of Representative funds

        Sorry, but when they start using public money to atone for private sins, I stop voting for them.

    3. VietnamVet

      As noted above the Elite are totally against public healthcare. Only the White House and the NBA are protected by daily testing. The House of Representatives, Miami Marlins and the northern Georgia Y summer camp where 260 kids got infected are all in the same boat with no return.

      Coronavirus is so contagious that only daily testing, pods of eight or so students or workers, and isolation of the infected can prevent super spreader hot spots. Reopening schools now is stupid. It is simply horrible that Americans are being put through this calamity so pharmaceuticals can earn billions of dollars maybe next year and to prevent a public health system.

  46. Mark K

    Re Thomas Frank’s “It’s the healthcare system, stupid”

    There are additional interesting and relevant bits of history that can be filled in concerning the formation of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) in Saskatchewan and the establishment of socialized medicine in Canada, some of which illustrates the permeability that the 49th parallel has sometimes enjoyed.

    In between the populist intensity of the 1890s and that of the 1930s was a period of progressive populist unrest in the 1910s. Much of this activity took place in the wheat belt of the northern plains (in Canadian parlance, “the prairies”), where it was fueled by anger at the monopolistic practices of the banks, the flour mills, the grain elevators, and the railroads. The movement’s first major breakthrough in that era was the election in 1916 and solidification in 1918 of the Nonpartisan League (NPL) in control of both the legislature and executive branches of the state government of North Dakota. The NPL proposed a number of progressive reforms, primarily aimed at democratizing agriculture, but including a state-run health insurance program. (Two of the NPL’s reforms persist to this day, the Bank of North Dakota, and a state-run Mill and Elevator).

    The manner in which the NPL seized control of the machinery would resonate with today’s progressives; they primaried establishment candidates in the Republican party. (1) Needless to say, the coup by these “Socialists,” as they were labeled by the opposition, met with fierce resistance from the establishment, including – quelle surprise – the New York Times, which published two editorials excoriating the NPL. (2)

    The “counter-revolution” was successful, and the NPL’s tenure was short-lived. Establishment Republicans were back in control of the North Dakota government by 1922. But during its time in office, it sparked great interest across the border, especially in Saskatchewan and Alberta. There were active NPL groups in both of those provinces, although they never enjoyed electoral success, at least not under the NPL banner. However, two of the organizers for the NPL in Canada, William Irvine (3) and J.S. Woodsworth, went on to become influential founding members of the CCF. Woodsworth, in particular, was a mentor to Tommy Douglas, the Saskatchewan premier who introduced Canadian Medicare.

    The development of single-payer medical insurance in Saskatchewan certainly had other origins than the lineage from the NPL to the CCF, not least of which was a heritage in Saskatchewan of community provisioning of medical services much like what Thomas Frank describes occurring in Oklahoma. (4) Indeed, the NPL connection likely was of lesser importance in the development of Canadian Medicare per se. However, the history of the NPL and its cross-fertilization into Canada and connection to the CCF (later NDP) is a part of the story of progressive populism that is worth telling.

    (1) The NPL also primaried some Democrats, especially in the cities. They were completely strategic, choosing whichever party was stronger in a particular district. But mostly it was Republicans; North Dakota was a one-party state in those days, probably even more so than today.
    (3) Irvine was a key figure in yet another progressive party of the era, the United Farmers of Alberta, which formed the government of that province from 1921 to 1935.
    (4) One part of the development of Canadian Medicare that Frank leaves out is the medical insurance was actually round two in the socialization of health care in Saskatchewan, and in Canada generally. Tommy Douglas’ CCF initiated a province-run, single-payer hospital insurance program in 1946. Comparable programs in other provinces ensued in the following years, and in 1957 the Federal Government inaugurated single-payer hospital insurance across the country.

  47. Wukchumni

    Sports Desk: based on watching 1 game in each sport

    NHL seems the most comfortable in a fanless vein compared to MLB & NBA, which both struggle under the new aegis sans adulation.

    In terms of masks, the only masks worn in the NHL are when the goalies are in the crease, nobody else-not the coaches, refs or players, nada-none-zip.

    In the MLB the 1st & 3rd base coaches wear masks along with most players & coaches in the dugout along with the umpires-but not the ump behind the plate. There’s a few players wearing masks on the field, but not many.

    NBA coaches, staff & the refs are mostly masked, none of the players.

  48. ThereCanOnlyBeOne2

    Useful idiots with Matt Talibi and Katie Halper recently had an interview with Dr Robert Gallo, co-founder and director of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and co-discoverer of the fact that a virus, (HIV) caused AIDS. The interview is about the possible uses of oral polio vaccine, OPV, against covid-19.
    Unfortunately, between HCQ being sooo controversial and all of the Pharma Industries products being sooo hyped for Market, we haven’t heard much at all about the OPV. This is probably due in part to the fact that the OPV would not provide a long-term solution for covid-19.
    However, my interest in the OPV would be to take it before I make a trip to the United States, that is to give me short-term prophylactic protection (3 months) so that I can visit my family.
    Here’s the most recent video I could find on YouTube (8 minutes):

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