Links 8/12/2020

Please Throw Away Your Onions New York magazine

Japan’s unknown indigenous cuisine BBC

A taste of honey: how bees mend fences between farmers and elephants Guardian

New UK company brings sustainable farming to shoppers The Pig Site

‘One thing I’ve learned about modern farming – we shouldn’t do it like this’ Guardian

Pandemic a wake-up call to consider sustainable farming alternatives Shareable

Analysis: Diab was meant to fail. He did it well Al Jazeera

A dwarf planet between Mars and Jupiter has a salty ocean beneath its surface, making it a contender for alien life Reuters

40 Ignorant People Getting Shut Down With Science Facts Bored Panda, Some of these are rather funny.

Boeing 747s Still Use Floppy Disks to Get Critical Software Updates Gizmodo


To Escape Covid-19, Grandma’s Living in the Backyard Bloomberg

With no end to the pandemic in sight, coronavirus fatigue grips America WaPo. To be fair, this phenomenon is by no manes unique to the US, and is occurring in other places that have not yet come to grip with the pandemic (see the Ilink filed under India below).

Experts: COVID-19 is spreading in Hawaii at a faster rate than anywhere else in the nation Hawaii News Now

San Quentin’s coronavirus outbreak shows why ‘herd immunity’ could mean disaster Yahoo

Big Ten and Pac-12 Are First Marquee Conferences to Postpone Football NYT

Delay routine dental checkups, WHO urges, until COVID-10 risk is known Thomson Reuters

Winter is coming: Why America’s window of opportunity to beat back Covid-19 is closing Stat


How Much Worse Will It Get for New York’s Restaurants? New York magazine

Retail Chains Abandon Manhattan: ‘It’s Unsustainable’ NYT


Evidence is growing, but what will it take to prove masks slow the spread of COVID-19? Seattle Times

Russia says it has a covid vaccine called “Sputnik-V” MIT Technology Review

Russia’s approval of virus vaccine greeted with some alarm AP

Antibody drugs could be one of the best weapons against Covid-19. But will they matter? Stat

Population immunity is slowing down the pandemic in parts of the US MIT Technology Review

Trump Transition

White House clarifies limits of jobless aid plan as talks with Congress dim Wapo Reminder that executive orders are often no more than press releases.

Trump weighs blocking Americans at the Mexico border, but legal authority is shaky and no decision has been made WaPo As a US citizen stranded for the moment outside the US, I nonetheless watch such legally questionable musings with trepidation.


Covid-19: UK economy plunges into deepest recession since records began Guardian

United States Postal Service

Trump’s Attack on the Postal Service Is a Threat to Democracy—and to Rural America New Yorker

Waste Watch

Which Fabrics Are Most Sustainable? TreeHugger

Class Warfare

Cuomo Is Protecting His Wall Street Donors From Democratic Tax Bills TMI


MSM Smear Merchants Target Critics Of Establishment China Narratives Caitlin Johnstone

South China Sea: Chinese military told not to fire first shot in stand-off with US forces SCMP


The Rise of Nationalism Has Led to the Increased Repression of Minorities Counterpunch. Patrick Cockburn.

Delhi riots: Young residents share the trauma of profound loss, betrayal and injustice The Scroll

Too Many Questions Remain Unanswered in India’s Proposal to Regulate Non-Personal Data The Wire

China-India border talks stall, sparking calls for Modi to get tough on Beijing SCMP

Bengal: With vegetable prices soaring, residents feel the lockdown heat Indian Express

Indian villagers tire of coronavirus rules just as rural cases surge Reuters. Echoiing what is occurring in much of the rest of the world.


Kamala Harris an underwhelming VP pick by Joe Biden: Goodwin NY Post I’ll say.

Why Did It Have To Be Kamala? American Conservative

Omar fends off primary challenge in Minnesota The Hill

New GOP headache as candidate condemned for racist videos wins Republican primary Politico

Just because you might not like the source doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a point:

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Amfortas the hippie

    As Cleese used to say, “and now for something Completely different…”:

    I’ve been reading this guy for a long time:

    you can generally pick any one of his posts from this blog, or his former one, “dark age blog”, and get the gist…because he’s been hammering away at that same set of concepts for 20 years….using Blake, Nietzsche, Gebser and Rosenstock-Huessey(which is how I stumbled onto his blog in the first place)>
    Single Vision is also polemically and poetically (if sometimes pedantically) run through with the sword in Theo Roszak’s “Where the Wasteland Ends”…which, in spite of a few passages that are stuck in 1971 or so, reads as breathlessly contemporary to us, here today, as this morning’s Wapo.(I’ve been thinking about Roszak a lot lately, in the moonlight)

    anyhoo…it’s worth a look, especially just before whatever y’all’s version of the Naked Jointwalk at 5 am is…we’re certainly all aware that there’s something terribly wrong with the world, and it turns out that it’s Us…
    Particularly, how we see ourselves within it.
    Neoliberalism can be thought of as the nadir of this Single Vision(TINA), and to break out of it’s trap, we need another, more Wholistic method of understanding the world….where human beings are something more than Instruments, Cogs and Consumption Machines.
    Now, I’ve got a hogleg rolled, coffee in my TCU cup, and Falcon fully charged…there’s a waning crescent moon, and the Winter Stars rising in the East, and I’m off to the Cattle Guard to contemplate.

    “For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern” — William Blake

    1. zagonostra

      I find it helpful to keep in mind Roszak’s statement in “Where the Wasteland Ends,” (pg223) that “ethical rhetoric and not statistics is the language of politics; action not analysis is its culmination,” it says a lot, and not favorably, about the world we’re living in…

    2. Watt4Bob

      Thanks so much for the Single Vision link, been re-reading Jung lately and the connections are strong.

      I’ve been noting the tendency of my employers to immediately spew Randian/Thatcherite nonsense when any discussion veers too close to contemporary economic reality.

      It would seem to me that our betters are getting nervous and defensive, their “single vision‘ offers little help when their discomfort reaches the red zone.

      My boss thinks everybody is sitting on a bunch of cash, and he wants them to start spending again. He doesn’t realize that “Savings Glut‘ is an illusion, or at least very concentrated in the hands of the very wealthy, and it’s not going to be coming his way any time soon.

    3. Sid

      Amfortas – sorry to see your feeling so tender today. Well maybe we are the the problem and maybe not. I was asked today why we people weren’t wiped out by the dinosaurs. Timing I said – 65 million years to be exact. Gia is fine, we people, well maybe we have run our course and that is ok too. Nothing lasts forever. I’m much more East Civ then West. I find nothing of merit in Blake or Elliott thus no need to respond. The World has many voices voices.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        extent of my education in eastern philosophy/mythology/anthropology(need new word for interdisciplinary study)
        is that part of the reading list i got from Joseph Campbell and Huxley(perennial Philosophy).
        I found Indian and Daoist things most to my liking…Indian, partly due to the simple age of the culture,how long ago they were thinking about such things….but i also have an affinity for the “Naked Saints”. Reckon those guys are welcome around my fire any time.
        my window for a decade of world travel to rub up against the sheer diversity of human culture has likely closed.

        Too,the names always threw me…especially Indian.Reading the Gita’s or the Gatha’s or whatever, i often had to keep a chart…never had to do that with anyone else but the Celts
        I’m definitely Occidentally Oriented(lol)…and that’s ok.
        as for non-western european, i’m most familiar with Native American(Iroquois and derivatives) and all the once flourishing subcultures of the South…Cajun, Creole, etc….in prolly a subconscious effort to understand my own peeps.

        1. OpenthepodbaydoorsHAL

          Amfortas brother, the image of you on your 5AM Naked Jointwalk def gave me my smile for the day, if enough of us are visiting The Green Muse while contemplating the firmament then surely together we can conjure a better vision for how people can get along. Peace, brutha

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          I see lots of meteors(and satellites!), but don’t know which ones.
          Pleiades and Taurus were up a month ago, now Orion is way up before dawn.
          when i wake up too early(2am, sometimes…it’s a lifelong, likely congenital thing), there’s still the Milky Way.
          and even without any clouds…prolly from the dust(we’re in a drought…which we used to call “august”)…we still get rhododáktulos Ēṓs,( ῥοδοδάκτυλος Ἠώς)….which is nice.

          the arrival of the winter stars makes me want to cut more firewood.

  2. Musicismath

    Reactions to Kamala Harris’s VP pick I have seen so far today on Academic Faceborg.

    1. Dogpiling of a Latino academic administrator careless enough to call out the DNC for its centrism.
    2. Massively favourited response to the above criticism along the lines that Harris simply can’t be a centrist, because, as a Black woman, “her very existence is radical.”
    3. Ancillary response that any policy-based critique (or “clapback”) of Harris is pointless, due to her aforementioned identity. (I wish I were making this up.)
    4. An assertion that, due to her membership of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, Harris will be a “force multiplier” for Black turnout.
    5. An assertion that Harris will also bring the Indian American vote.
    6. An animated GIF of Rihanna donning a crown (because all famous people of Afro-Caribbean descent are the same, right?)
    7. A suggestion that, although she might perform badly with young Black progressives, she’ll do great with “white suburban voters,” and these are the voters who will matter in 2020. (Possibly some astuteness in this.)
    8. Quotes from Heather Cox Richardson to the effect that the Republicans are already claiming Harris is a “radical,” so she needs to push back against that by emphasising her law and order bona fides.

    Most of the above, I should point out, comes from tenured US academics and academic administrators, mostly former Warren supporters.

    1. Pat

      Let me guess, many of them:

      thought Hillary would win in a landslide.
      Denounced any questions regarding policy or the campaign with Hillary as misogyny.
      Wept when she lost.
      Consider themselves the resistance.
      Have yet to consider that anyone who voted for Trump, third party or stayed home in 2016 had any sensible, even urgent reasons to do so.
      Never understood that the Impeachment was a political farce, and were actually disappointed when it didn’t change anything.
      But Russia!!!

      Mind you this assessment could mean I am as close minded as they appear.

      Indian Americans…really?

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Indian Americans…really?

        She is being variously described this morning as “african-american,” “asian-american,” and “a child of immigrants.”

        A veritable gish gallop of id pol with something for everyone, including H1-B visa holders who could get a mail-in ballot that doesn’t need to be witnessed or notarized.

        1. Lee

          Speaking id pol, I am in quandary about how to answer the race question on the census form as regards my son. On my side it’s relatively simple. Although descended from various European groupings who not that long ago were killing each other, we are smooshed together as white. It’s a daily struggle for my Irish side to get along with my English side.

          It’s on his mother’s side that things get tricky. Her grandfather was a Mexican with some indeterminate Native American heritage, who married a Spanish speaking woman from New Mexico who was descended from Spaniards that for hundreds of years kept their blood “pure” by never intermarrying with indigenes.

          Wait there’s more. My son’s mother’s biological father’s identity is a big family secret. But based on my son’s mom’s physical appearance she could be taken as having a healthy dose of African, Native American or combination of both genotypes. I’m guessing he has more Native American blood in his veins than Elizabeth Warren.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            we write in “Human”, and don’t care if some bean counter takes issue with not staying within the lines.

            (and I’m Czech(with potential Bohemian Jew)/Irish/Choctaw/Mugwump…wife’s Mexican and prolly Yaqui. One day, we’ll all be a lovely shade of brown, if we pass the various and sundry bottleneck tests)

                1. Amfortas the hippie

                  i’ve never even considered the actual definition or origin of that word,lol…entered my lexicon with mother’s milk(as if!), from the coon ass/choctaw side of the family…connotative meaning among my people, a Mutt…a hybrid… of shadowy origins…used not as a pejorative , but as a self identification(like “coon ass”).
                  given the actual meaning and etymology, i’ll hafta think about our family usage.

                  1. td

                    My father was descended from a random selection of Hudson’s Bay men and various indigenous people from the Canadian side of the Great Plains. There was a generic term, Metis, which had a some significance in the 1800’s when they rebelled twice with Louis Riel against the Crown to get some recognition for land rights and other issues.

                    In the 1920’s and Dirty Thirties, there was no advantage at all, as the Status Indians at least had some land and meager support. Dad was a cowboy when WW2 broke out in 1939 and leapt at the chance to get paid in money, clothes and food for merely agreeing to kill Germans.

                    Now the Metis are a recognized group and have their very own treaty and benefits. I wish those who have need of the support Godspeed. My family is doing OK these days but we have a somewhat cynical attitude towards both government and officially designated ethnic groups.

                    1. Amfortas the hippie

                      the choctaw bunch were historically alligned with the cherokee…all mixed up in the trail of tears. My bunch is of the “Texas Band” of the Cherokee Nation, which is not recognised by the official Cherokee in Oklahoma…100+ years of what amounts to a family feud.
                      this history likely has something to do with it…maybe a borrowed term from algonquin neighbors in OK, corrupted by time, distance and illiteracy(grandad was born on a dirt floor)
                      I doubt it has anything to do with the political definition, given who they were.
                      I love little unlooked for easter eggs like this.

              1. drumlin woodchuckles

                This is interesting. I had always thought the Mugwumps were a group of torn or indecisive fence-sitters with their mug over one side of the fence and their wump over the other side of the fence.

          2. polecat

            Census …

            Why bother, as it matters Not anymore with regard to domestic policy where the maniacal machinations within D.C are CONcerned!
            And the all trends going forward, point to a countrywide breakup of Tectonic proportions .. resulting in new, smaller political plate-spinning archipelagos, of which some will subduct into rather questionable stability .. where others dock into viability.

      2. Swamp Yankee


        That’s interesting, my corner of Academic Faceborg has been surprisingly cool to (i.e., reasonable) Harris; many of them remain suspicious of her law-enforcement credentials; I was pleasantly surprised.

        It is primarily haute bourgeois types I know from undergrad and high school, living in upper-crust suburbs and/or gentrified urban neighborhoods, who are changing their profile pictures to display “Biden-Harris” banners.

        One person I know, a particularly politically naive data scientist, did say that an anti-war/anti-imperialist critique of Harris was dangerously similar to what “the Russians” will/are saying [sic]. A third said that the idea of Harris as a capitalist warmonger is, like the idea of Hillary as a capitalist warmonger, a function of misogyny and/or racism — rather than, you know, being a capitalist and a warmonger.

        I’m much more used to this nonsense than I was in 2016, but it’s still nonsense.

        Been taking a page out of Amfortasthehippie’s book (and Voltaire’s) and am cultivating my own garden. It’s better that way.

    2. voteforno6

      The U.S. tends to elect rather mediocre Presidents and Vice Presidents. So, both Biden and Harris certainly fit that mold. That being said, having just mediocre people in those offices seems like it would be quite an improvement right about now.

      I think people tend to focus too much on the President…with what’s been going on at the state level (particularly in New York), it seems like the left is finally starting to re-learn politics.

      1. ObjectiveFunction

        All agreed, but as I’m sure you understand perfectly well, by 2022 if not earlier this particular VP *is* our President.

        1. JacobiteInTraining

          Yeah, once cop harris is in charge of the jackboots and the machinery of the fed persecuters – i just cannot *imagine* what could possibly go wrong. cannot fathom a thing.

          not. one. thing.

          oh well, as i like to say…it will be just one more step on the road to Cascadia, once protesters are being beaten and gassed by a *dem* oppressor, lol… the most nefarious of us realize is mostly the case now *anyway*.

          1. Mike

            Prepare to wield the pitchforks – some people need a buttjab.

            Other options are slowly and quickly disappearing. Thanks, Dems…

          2. 1 Kings

            So your Cascadia police force is gonna go back to pre Patriot Act style? Well, good for you… but just in case, don’t count on it.

          3. Copeland

            I always wonder what will become of the Bangor Submarine base and the “ammo dump” on Indian Island, in the case of Cascadia rising.

            I saw a household proudly flying the “Doug” on a neighborhood walk last night.

      2. Eureka Springs

        Mediocre? First of all we don’t elect. Two minority factions legitimize what/who is selected for them on election day. Second, I think those minority factions do a very good job of selecting self defeating sociopaths to chose from.

        Walk away.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          With Biden “mediocre” is probably the nicest thing once can say without obvious lying. You can’t say “smart” or “forward thinking.” Biden is worse than mediocre, but it sounds better than better than Trump.

          1. John Wright

            I remember when Nixon promoted two Supreme Court Justices who were not well received.

            They didn’t get the nod (Haynesworth and Carswell)


            “with one Senator infamously arguing unsuccessfully for his confirmation by saying, “Even if he is mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers, and they are entitled to a little representation, aren’t they?”

            The Democrats may have taken a page from the 1969/1970 Nixon Republicans and decided a political winner is having a mediocre Biden appeal to all the assumed mediocre voters..

            Being mediocre and relatively harmless could be acceptable (Warren G. Harding) but a mediocre, greedy, cleaving to the wealthy and war mongers Biden could be very bad.

            1. Carla

              Well, in case Biden turns out to be harmless, we have Harris.

              We’re covered!

              And whoever above said Biden was “better than Trump” — not on the TPP he ain’t, and Harris won’t be, either.

            2. drumlin woodchuckles

              I remember that. I remember it as being from Senator Roman Hruska of Nebraska, but I could be wrong.

              I also remember him having said, ” we can’t have all Cardozos and Brandeises and stuff like that there.”

      3. Pat

        Pardon me, but why am I supposed to find the mediocre Harris and Biden an improvement?
        Biden’s apparently more acceptable groping of women, or his more acceptable insults to journalists or voters.who challenge him? How about his improved stands on civil rights (pushing the Patriot Act before it was the Patriot Act), his racist support of the crime bill, or his long attempt to push seniors further into poverty by cutting Social Security? How about both of their long record of dancing to the tune of large donors for the right quid pro quo (MBNA, Muunchin, Herbalife…) How about their pushing private for profit health during a pandemic? Which includes being hounded by collection agencies because of increased blocks to bankruptcy courtesy of the Senator from MBNA? Their obvious embrace of a foreign policy that includes more military actions? Their trade policies aka globalization and less.local control?

        I care about education, nope not really helped.
        I care about the Post Office, no not helped.
        I care about Social Security, really not helped.
        Medicare for All, they want to kill it.
        More power for voters and limited donor influence, oh please they are both poster children of politicians for sale.

        Nothing about Biden/Harris is an improvement for me and AFAIC, or for the problems facing this nation. But apparently changing out the Nacissist at the top is good enough for some if it means less freak outs over overnight tweets.

        1. anon in so cal

          Overnight tweets are way worse than endless regime change wars (with the promise of additional Biden high-risk malfeasance in Ukraine)…
          If Biden is elected, Kamala Harris becomes president well before 2024. Voters rejected Harris in the Dem primaries, she was in 4th place in her home state, yet Harris gets foisted on the populace?

        2. deplorado

          But Chomsky said that whoever doesn’t see the tremendous difference between the “choices”, is living under a rock, don’t you know?

      4. JTMcPhee

        Personnel is policy. What policy are you/we going to get out of Viden/Harris? People hoping for “better than Trump” have their heads up and locked. Of course thanks to Obama and MSM, the optics will be differentiable…

        Still have a basic problem of getting to 270 riding these broke-backed bags.

      5. Tom Burkleaux

        I for one look forward to protesting the Biden/Harris administration.

        They represent the worst of the Democratic Party, and I don’t expect them to lead on progressive policy. Wishful thinking perhaps, but I see the battle for policy happening within their party. And with a real economic crisis seeming inevitable for 2021 and beyond, I think the opportunity for progressive policy is there (M4A, even UBI which amazes me). Biden and Harris won’t deliver, but I think progressives within their party will have an opportunity to push left.

      6. Lee

        As the bite of deprivation and injustice is felt more deeply by more of us, I think the most important political developments of the moment are not occuring in the halls of power but in the streets.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          get out there and learn about yer neighbors.
          mutual aid in crises, or even merely knowing each other enough to make eating you problematic.
          fedgov looks like a lost cause…local is where we can more easily have influence…without having to purchase a cable network or whatever.

          1. Swamp Yankee

            That’s my view, too, Amfortas. Fortunately in New England we have the Town Meeting, which is directly democratic, which makes it a lot easier to exert a voice in local politics. Why, just the other week we (the Town Meeting) bought a 1696 farmhouse, with the only intact 17th c. pasture in all of Massachusetts, so a greedhead developer didn’t knock it down and put up luxury condos.

            That was by an overwhelming majority, too, so I feel good.

            That and tending my garden and fishing are all I can do right now as the world system quakes and begins to collapse.

            Speaking of which, have got to pick some blackberries for my older neighbor this afternoon.

            1. The Rev Kev

              A 1696 farmhouse with the only intact 17th c. pasture in all of Massachusetts? That is incredible that and would have no price. Nothing could ever replace it. I salute your town. Perhaps your town should next call out archaeologists with geophysical survey equipment to check this place out thoroughly. That is a lot of history in that one farm.

        2. Lambert Strether

          > the most important political developments of the moment are not occuring in the halls of power but in the streets.

          I agree. And there’s no aggregated coverage at all.

          1. Tom Burkleaux

            I know many people out most nights protesting. If it wasn’t for their first hand accounts, or freelance journalist on Twitter, one would have a completely distorted picture of what was going on. This in Portland, Oregon.

      7. John k

        I agree we’ve had mediocre pres for decades. Mediocre at best Reagan shied away from wars, as has the according to you less than mediocre trump. Between these bookends every pres started a new war in their first term… this is the new normal.
        Based on both his advisors, the support from bushies, and his own past votes, Biden is more likely than most to start a war in his first term. Almost certainly IMO oily Venezuela. Will he do Israel’s bidding with oily Iran? That’s the real question.
        I had thought trump was worse on fossil fuels. But with that female advisor, I’d now say Biden’s just as bad. Resurrect the voluntary Paris accord? Maybe. So what?
        There’s just one party, and they agree with nearly every donor interest. Just now the war wing is on the left.

    3. bob

      “she’ll do great with “white suburban voters,”

      They’ve been putting them at the center of everything for decades now. They keep failing. On every single level. Federal. State. Local.

      1. Kurtismayfield

        And why wouldn’t Whitmer do well with “White suburban voters?”

        I want arguments for why Harris is better than all the others that were on the possible VP list.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Biden already promised a non-white woman. The recent push to drop that promise didn’t play well.

          Whitmer is a Tim Kaine redux. Klob is out. The records of many of the available centrists are like Harris’ anyway. So the simple reality is she’s a non-white woman. A random neoliberal congress person would probably be met with a “what?” given the likelihood of that person running things from day 1. Harris’ race and gender does give Team Blue partisans something to say when asked about her instead of staring blankly, trying to make sense of the Comcast PR screeds. The “electability” argument is the Team Blue version of the “I’m worried about the national debt.” They don’t want to say they are against taxes on the monstrous wealthy and for kicking the poor, so they something that is very hard to quantify.

          Warren is probably seen as a snake and gave up her leverage for nothing.

          Rice might be political, but she’s never run for office. Who knows how she would react to the spot light? Her doofus kid is the President of the College Republicans at Stanford. I mean yeesh. In this day and age, a CR is weird as hell, but a non-white CR….

        2. hunkerdown

          Whitmer absolutely would *own* West Bloomfield and the better parts of Troy, no doubt about that.

          But Democrat internal politics celebrate the forms and functions of the PMC, and it just wouldn’t be right for Whitmer to cut in front of “seniority” like that.

          It’s either that, or Whitmer doesn’t have enough blackmail material on file yet to hold Federal office.

        3. drumlin woodchuckles

          I am happy to see Whitmer stay right here in Michigan. If she runs again I will vote for her again to piss off the Typhoid MAGAtard germ-spreaders.

    4. MT_Bill

      Her selection was all about White Suburban Women. The Karen’s can virtue signal how “progressive” they are by voting for the black woman, but rest assured she’ll lock those n***** up if they step out of line and start rioting in their neighborhood.

      There was a meme of a rainbow-colored park bench designed so people can’t sleep on it floating around a few weeks back. Kamala is a humanoid representation of that ideal. No access for the poor.

      1. rl

        rainbow-colored park bench designed so people can’t sleep on it

        Poetic in the bitterest and most vile of ways, seeing as gay youth continue to suffer homelessness on a scale vastly disproportionate to their absolute numbers as a demographic.

        Yes … I’ll hazard a guess that the world-vision that rejoices at (let’s be frank) President Harris is exactly the same one that produced that rainbow bench.

      2. workingclasshero

        Why would’nt i want “them” locked up if they rioted in my neighborhood.o by the way if you can say karen’s can i say kwanza’s?probably not.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Well, I would certainly want the Proud Boys and the Antifas locked up if they rioted in my neighborhood, too.

    5. km

      An aside, but from what I understand, the Indian American vote is 1. already concentrated in urbanized states that are already Team D locks; and 2. already very solidly for Team D (as the official Party of the PMC, and because Team R is seen as the official Party of White Christian idpol).

    6. L

      It’s not just on facebook. Or for that matter twitter which was already alive last night with people cheering the “inevitable” victory over Trump and angrily denouncing anyone who dares to talk policy. Even the ordinarily sane Guardian has an illustration of this dynamic in their “panel” view:
      What to make of the Kamala Harris VP pick? Our panel’s verdict.

      If you read Jill Filipovic’s comment her strongest positive is:

      Harris, like Biden, is a remarkably malleable candidate. She is not an ideologue; she’s a political animal, someone who will move with the changing tides – a representative, one might say.

      That comment is supposed to be a sop to progressives for whom her failures are well documented especially by Malaika Jabali in the same article. And I suppose it might be if you believe that she will pivot in the face of public outcry, but since she didn’t do that during California’s prison crisis it is hard to see how she would now. More importantly it says something about the absolute weakness of the “centrist” case. If having principles is a liability, and being an empty vessel that blows with the wind, a “representative one might say”, is what we are supposed to want then what guarantees to do we have? And, of course one should ask “representative for whom?”

      But ultimately in her comments as in most of the PMC justifications I’ve seen it all comes down to the abusive threat:

      And there is absolutely no question that any progressive who takes issue with Harris’s record should be terrified of another four years of Trump – there is no comparison. Vote accordingly.

      It beggars the imagination that people think this is an inspirational strategy. Especially after 2016.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I was watching the news here in Oz earlier when it came to the story of Kamela Harris’s nomination. It went for three or four minutes and I swear to god that although it was an Aussie news presenter talking, that the spiel sounded like it could have been written by the DNC. It was a white-wash of her career and made her sound like that she was the most qualified candidate ever. Weird that.

        1. Pat

          It wouldn’t surprise me if it was taken from a DNC press release.

          Most Australians won’t have any say in the matter. So it is largely academic.

        2. Amfortas the hippie

          nbc in the living room where wife spends her time has been all a-gush all day…susan rice took one for the team in an extended orgy of effusive jibber jabber.
          year zero…memory holes abound.

          yesterday, they had jamie demon on in what was supposed to be homely, average guy attire and setting, going on and on about, essentially, “learn to code”.

          this is where the folks who most reliably vote get their information about the world.

          I was muttering into my bruschetta while it washed over me.

          second breakfast, today….wife was on a zoom thing with the “administration”(all coaches, as near as i can tell), about what they’re doing about the school shooter threat…answer…even after stating the 3 minute response time for sheriff…armed guards and armed teachers. so it’s ok to have would be doc holliday’s around the precious ones…but masks took arm twisting and threats…and any other pandemic considerations are moot.
          eldest is delivering stacks of the little newspaper to bidnesses in town(mask/sanitizer/avoidance)…says a letter to the editor warns us about the democrats as communist satan worshipers.

          —-related observation: I’m generally done with my labors by noon or 1 or 2…and then the arthritis takes over, and i read or watch tv. I tried to watch Battlestar Galactica(the one with Selena’s dad)…but the philosophical leit motif is “do we, as a species, deserve to survive”…and i had to try something else.

        3. a different chris

          >the most qualified candidate ever.

          By their standards she may be! She ticks almost every box. It’s down to her and Hillary Clinton who has the husband abuse, but Kamela is black(ish) and as we raise the age (and situations) of consent upwards and upwards she is only another ratchet or at most two from being a rape victim of Willie whats-his-name.

          So… I really can’t tell but my moneys on Kamela.

      2. Laputan

        Filipovic unwittingly gives away her entire neoliberal political philosophy – one that doesn’t have a coherent ideology or set of bedrock convictions. But, instead, is devoted to identity representation and to go along with current prevailing fads. A hollow, parasitic cult that uses shallow symbolism as cover for all the amoral stuff it actually does…sort of the political equivalent of The Thing. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it laid so bare in a supposedly left publication like the Guardian before.

      3. a different chris

        >It beggars the imagination that people think this is an inspirational strategy.

        Well actual scientists (not economists) have found that people will, if offered $50 or given good odds (1 in 3 IIRC) for $100 the majority will pocket the $50. And that’s based on fear of losing something they didn’t even have to start the day with.

        They don’t need inspiration, they just need fear of Trump among people who still have it decent and think it will be at least roughly maintained. Like Trump is the actual problem…. but the suburbs won’t realize that in another 1/2 dozen Novembers, let alone this one.

      4. Barbara

        How about Geoffrey Kabaservice’s comment:

        – and others may note that on an ideological scale, Harris ranks as the second-most progressive senator, behind Warren but ahead of Sanders.

        Like me, there are areas where we are “typical” of our generation, but I can’t see Bernie wanting to put poor mothers in jail because of their children’s truancy or wanting a prisoner who has been exonerated to continue to rot in jail.

        Harris is no progressive.

        1. L

          Yeah, I looked at the site he linked to, it appears to do a simple counting of votes rated as left or right. No word on their methodology but no apparent weighting so I suspect voting to name a post office for a minority veteran postperson would rank equally with voting for the Defense budget.

    7. Jeff W

      Massively favorited response…Harris simply can’t be a centrist, because, as a Black woman, “her very existence is radical.”

      Mind-boggling on so many different levels.

    8. anonymouse

      > An animated GIF of Rihanna donning a crown (because all famous people of Afro-Caribbean descent are the same, right?)

      No. Because local girl (and yes, many of us West Indians do think of it as a neighborhood) makes good is a heartwarming narrative.

      1. ShamanicFallout

        Yes, I think this is something to keep in mind. I have a number of “Indian-American” friends who are right now very proud that she got the nomination (although would it have been the same for Tulsi??). As if it affirms them themselves. Then I was thinking back to my Irish roots- I think a lot of us can remember or had heard of so many Irish households (and actually some Italian too) that had two pictures on the wall- the Pope and John Kennedy.
        It seems to be (whether imagined and/or divorced from actual realities of political stances) a very powerful thing

    9. Oso

      Musicismath +++++ particularly for black and brown ppl numbers 7 and 8 on your list.
      when we went to protest her appearance at Oakland city hall to launch her presidential run, that was the most white people i’ve ever seen at one place in Oakland. her support of gang injunctions and her introduction of jailing parents for truant schoolchildren as AG will play well with those voting groups as well. Harris always looked away from killer cops as DA and AG.

  3. Kevin C. Smith

    Russia’s first satellite Sputnik was very crude and simple.
    I wonder if Putin’s Covid vaccine Sputnik-5 will be similarly crude and simple? Like the original Sputnik, more of a publicity stunt than anything else?

    1. Martin Oline

      Sourced through Moon Over Alabama, an extract from Science mag:
      In a startling and confusing move, Russia claimed today it had approved the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine, as the nation’s Ministry of Health issued what’s called a registration certificate for a vaccine candidate that has been tested in just 76 people. The certificate allows the vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow, to be given to “a small number of citizens from vulnerable groups,” including medical staff and the elderly, a Ministry of Health spokesperson tells ScienceInsider. But the certificate stipulates that the vaccine cannot be used widely until 1 January 2021, presumably after larger clinical trials have been completed.

      A website for Sputnik V says a phase III efficacy trial involving more than 2000 people will begin on 12 August in Russia, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, and Mexico. Mass production of the vaccine is slated to begin in September.
      No need to start pearl clutching yet.

      1. timbers

        Thanks for this.

        I read some comments here yesterday that Russia should comply with protocol and did not because it skipped the large scale testing.

        Now it appears this is not really the case. And…is it fair to slam Russia for not following Western protocol, when the West has aggressively built just short of a modern day Iron Curtain around her? Russia it seems is a bit different. Can you blame her as the West tries to isolate her?

        From the article you mention:

        All the above (gives a long list of Western headlines attacking Russia), just as this typical statement below, are based on a willful misinterpretation of the Russian announcement:

        “By skipping large-scale clinical trials, the Russian dash for a vaccine has raised widespread concern that it is circumventing vital steps — and potentially endangering people — in order to score global propaganda points.”

        Except Russia has not approved a vaccine against Covid-19 and it is not skipping large-scale clinical trials, because:

        The Russia regulator gave a preliminary approval for a vaccine candidate to start the large-scale clinical trial. This is similar to an emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

        1. farragut

          The MIT article was a welcome measure of objectivity compared to much of the MSM assault on Russia’s new vaccine. MIT also mentions China has a vaccine as well.

          Further, the AP article says,
          Fast-tracked approval will not make Russia the leader in the race, it will just expose consumers of the vaccine to unnecessary danger,” said Russia’s Association of Clinical Trials Organizations, in urging government officials to postpone approving the vaccine without completed advanced trials.

          Curious, I googled Russia’s ACTO, thinking I’d find an organic, home-grown organization concerned only with the well-being of Russian citizens. Instead, I see an organization comprised of many of the world’s pharma companies, including AstraZeneca, Amgen, Bayer, Bristo-Myer Squibb, Eli Lilly, & Pfizer. See the organization’s full membership here:

          1. pjay

            Thanks for your example of what should be automatic for all of us these days.

            Whenever I read anything about Russia (or Syria, Venezuela, China, etc., etc.) in the MSM, I simply *assume* it is either completely false or seriously distorted until I can cross-check it with more reliable sources. This is especially the case when a similar or identical story suddenly explodes in multiple mainstream outlets, like this “OMG Putin is pushing an untested vaccine!” story. These days, it usually doesn’t take long for the truth to come out — at least in the alternative press. In those stories where sources are actually named (which is itself no longer a requirement for many elite “journalists”), identifying those sources as you have will usually account for the story framing.

            On that subject, following Caitlin Johnstone’s post in today’s Links, that is why I think the Grayzone is such a valuable source of information. They name names, link names, identify interests, and follow the money — just like real journalists used to do! There are few better sources for uncovering Western propaganda — which is why I sincerely worry about them.

    2. Amfortas the hippie

      “Crude and Simple” things sometimes work better than Elegantly Complex things.
      I , for one, hope it works…and then good on them.
      We won’t be first to the plate, any way…with any vaccine.
      a little screech owl told me that if one or more of these warped speed vaccines go badly(touch wood)*, it will be a further indictment of the neoliberal religion.
      Need to have the words ready.

      (* I’d never wish for such an outcome, but i sure as heck anticipate it, given past efforts to rush to market.)

      1. Am Expat in Mindanao

        “Crude and Simple” works for the Russians.
        They set-off their Soyus space rocket with a big fancy match. From Wikipedia:
        The engines are ignited by electrically initiated pyrotechnic flares, mounted on birch poles, which are ignited at approximately T-20, a few seconds before fuel components are introduced into the combustion chamber.[12] This sequence rarely fails due to its simplicity.
        Not to imply their vaccine is that. I too hope it works and, yes, good on them.

        1. The Rev Kev

          It sounds like they are believers in the Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) principle and their military equipment is certainly renowned for working under all sorts of conditions. It works for them and I recall how the initial testing kits in the US did not arrive on schedule because someone wanted it packed with a you-beaut feature which led to a failure to deliver at all where, without this addition, the more simpler testing kits may have been developed on schedule.

    3. Quentin

      Well, Kevin, as crude and simple as Sputnik may have been it was the first satellite to be put into space by man. If you were alive then, you certainly remember the admiration and fear the feat generated in the US. The first man to orbit the earth was also a Soviet, wasn’t he. And today, if I’m not mistaken, the US is reliant on Russian motors to acces the space station.

      More fame to the Russians. May they develop an effective vaccine. How can any well-meaning person hope otherwise? Nevertheless I expect that, unfortunately, over year we still won’t have one if ever.

          1. ivoteno

            western civilization, if you can call it that nowadays, has “woke holidays.” let’s see what we have 10 years down the road, should be interesting…

      1. Michael Fiorillo

        The Russia has been infiltrating the precious bodily fluids of our polity for years (at least, according to the #McResistance TM), yet you’re not willing to express shock horror at their so-called “vaccine?”

        More MSNBC for you!

    4. Polar Socialist

      It may have been simple, but crude it was not. Two thermal switches, a pressure switch and a one watt radio told everybody who wanted to listen learn about electron density of the ionosphere and temperature and pressure inside the satellite.

      This, of course, required three brand new silver-zinc batteries (that exceeded their expected lifetime by 50%) packed into a hermetically sealed sphere made of brand new aluminum alloy. And new antenna design to let people hear that radio signal from 500 km away.

      The thing with the vaccine is, though, that it uses 30 year old tech, adenovirus vectors.

      1. WobblyTelomeres

        Sputnik also led to the creation of the NSF Student Science Training Program (NSF-SSTP, of which Jerri-Lynn is an alum) as the US needed scientists to win the Space Race/Cold War.

        1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

          Yes I am. Spent the summer of ’78 at Georgia Tech, in a program organised by their school of textile engineering. I was once lounging in a hot tub in Switzerland (after skiing), along with some scientists from CERN, and all the Americans were NSF-SSTP alums.

    5. NotTimothyGeithner

      I mean the proposed vaccine doesn’t even have a way to get access to the app store!

    6. MT_Bill

      Much of Russia’s military equipment would also be considered crude and simple.

      But I don’t think anyone would consider AKs or RPGs ineffective.

      We’ll have to wait and see on the vaccine.

      1. Phacops

        Crude and simple? Ya mean like the RD-180 engine, closed cycle, that the US tried to license but did not have the technical ability to manufacture? Or perhaps our scrambling to play catch up with Russian hypersonic technology which has a 10x smaller budget than our military?

        But then, to answer that, and even questions about vaccine development and manufacturing, one would need to understand just how much America has lost when it no longer has a depth of capabilities in development, engineering, manufacturing, or even things as simple as statistical quality. Specialized manufacturing, as with some of our military hardware, carries with it an inbred ignorance of solutions that we used to recruit from other manufacturing skills that we no longer possess.

        In ’67 would you rather have fielded a Kalashnikov made to function in the real world or that platonically ideal rifle that replaced the M14?

        1. MT_Bill

          My bad, that was the point I was trying to make. Crude and simple is sometimes the best solution.

          And not implying that all Russian military equipment is crude and simple. Obviously the US and others have adopted a lot of it into our own Weapons Systems when it has become available to us. Look-down, shoot-down being one of the obvious examples.

    7. Oh

      When the sputnik was launched in 1956 or so, there was nothing crude anad simple about. The US was shocked to see that the Soviets had leapfrogged US capabilities of the time. If this vaccine works it would be ‘deja vu all over again’.

      1. Phacops

        I wonder how much of the shock was the realization that Russia had ICBM capability compared to our rocketry at the time?

      2. ivoteno

        oh how i hope this happens. will not be reported in the press mind you, but still hope it happens, yes, i’m going heavy on the hope.

        it worked out last time, right?

    8. Randy G

      “Russia’s first satellite Sputnik was very crude and simple.”

      That’s understandable — because the Russians are crude and simple people — unlike the Americans whose technological novelties are sophisticated, dazzling, and, due to the immense modesty of Americans, never mere “publicity stunts”. (sarcasm alert)

      Few people today recall that the Wright Brothers built an F-35 in their basement for their first flights.

      Or that the first American computers were essentially IMacs — although maybe slightly larger and running a little bit hotter.,_the_Electronic_Numerical_Integrator_and_Calculator_%28ENIAC%29.gif

      Ironically, the world’s first nuclear weapon — dropped on people by Americans, naturally — has been described as “incredibly crude and inefficient” by author Eric Schlosser.

      Apparently, the bombings were done as a ‘publicity stunt’ to intimidate the Japanese and, perhaps more importantly, the Soviets.

  4. allan

    New Zealand considers freight as possible source of new coronavirus cluster [Reuters]

    New Zealand officials are investigating the possibility that its first COVID-19 cases in more than three months were imported by freight, as the country’s biggest city plunged back into lockdown on Wednesday. …

    The source of the outbreak has baffled health officials, who said they were confident there was no local transmission of the virus in New Zealand for 102 days. …

    Investigations were zeroing in on the potential the virus was imported by freight. Bloomfield said surface testing was underway at an Auckland cool store where a man from the infected family worked.

    “We know the virus can survive within refrigerated environments for quite some time,” Bloomfield said …

    Would you like a freezer bag PPE for your ice cream?

    1. The Rev Kev

      (Nancy Pelosi seen to be suspiciously eyeing her $13 a pint ice-creams in her $20k refrigerators)

      1. WhoaMolly

        Pelosi snubs the small local SF gourmet ice cream Businesses to import her ice cream from out of state.

        And gets away with it.

    2. anon in so cal

      Saw that last evening in the Straits Times. Underscores that both aerosols and fomites are a problem, and calls into question the reassurances of ‘no known transmissions’ from food. An article a while back discussed a scenario where an outbreak re-occurs out of the blue when someone gets inoculated from a frozen dinner from their freezer….

    3. Jeff W

      While Dr. Emanuel Goldman, professor of microbiology, biochemistry and molecular genetics at Rutgers University, says pretty confidently that the risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from surfaces is “negligible”—you can see his comment in Lancet here—it very well might not be zero. (He might be assuming room temperature in his assessment of “real life situations”—who knows?)

  5. Martin Oline

    It’s good to see the New Yorker defending the interests of rural America (Trump’s Attack On Postal Services)
    I hope they don’t hurt their back stooping so low.

    1. flora

      That is a good article. I’m mystified why all the GOP Sens from the plains and great plains and mountain states go along with this continued assault on this basic essential govt service to their voters.

      1. JTMcPhee

        $$$$? Not really so mysterious, the end of the game is pretty visible. But maybe you were snarking?

        1. flora

          I wasn’t really snarking. Maybe the Dems not caring about rural states at all, indifferent to losing state houses and govs and ignoring rural state Dem party pleas for support, maybe that means the GOP doesn’t have to care about opposition in rural states. Dems walked away. I can imagine some self-satisfied Dem operative saying “Serves them right for voting T” if the USPS is destroyed, the same way Dem operatives said it served coal miners right to lose their insurance after T won. (Nice folks, those Dems. /s)

          1. flora

            as seen lately, a lot of state Dem parties and their voters are moving away from the Nat Dem estab… and winning. That doesn’t make the Nat Dem estab happy.

            Both nat parties are facing a revolt from their voting base. The only thing both nat parties run on now is ‘lesser evilism’.

        2. hunkerdown

          Ii’s never directly about the money. It’s about enforced dependence, even in the decidedly friendly condition of two nine-digit-having ruling class animals sniffing each other to establish one another’s ability to help support the grand scam and determine which predator should be nearer the front of the pack when it comes time to harvest the populace again. Money is just a convenient, reductive shiny object that enforces that power relation.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        They support it because it is Trump that is doing it. Trump’s base-voters are also IdPols. They just have a different Id(enty).

  6. Ignacio

    Antibody drugs could be one of the best weapons against Covid-19. But will they matter? Stat

    Monoclonal antibodies are expensive. Never to be used to control the epidemic IMO but could be useful to treat the most demanding clinical cases.

    1. Winston Smith

      Exactly. The challenge in producing therapeutically efficacious and structurally stable mAbs is quite daunting. Also, I believe there are very few examples of these medicines being taken orally. Infusion makes it more complex

    2. Jeotsu

      ~22 years ago I was at a presentation from Monsanto, being given at the Pharma company where I worked, where they were talking optimistically about growing monoclonal antibodies in GM corn. It was a very interesting idea, especially given that some of the therapeutic proteins we were testing (both antibodies and other human proteins and protein chimeras) would have cost about a billion a kg to manufacture with the available technology.

      The Monsanto rep was happily talking about ‘how many tons do you want? We plant that many hectares of the modified corn’.

      I have no idea if that technology ever got progressed, but it certainly seemed a more socially useful application than just another roundup-ready corn variant. A bit of ‘Warp Speed’ research there might (or might not) be useful.

      And this is one of my main complaints with the overall approach we seem to be taking against C-19. The vast majority of the effort is simply slightly different versions of the same thing — vaccines against the spike protein. Yes, it is the most likely way to find success, but it is also putting 100% of our bet on Red. In a better led approach (where not everyone was scrambling for profit) we’d be investing in some of the lower-probability paths. If bet-on-Red fails to give us a viable vaccine, then we’re back to square one.

      1. VietnamVet

        Yes. The USA federal government is putting all its eggs in one basket and will kill a projected 300,000 Americans this year. It is incredibly stupid and amoral to depend solely on developing a vaccine against the spike protein. But that is where the revolving door technocrats and politicians get their money. Also, the alternatives that would work now, a six-week strict lockdown or daily rapid cheap antigen testing need a functional national public health system. Fat chance the ruling class will fund healthcare for the riff-raff, the exact target of all their exploitation scams that get paid with a credit card.

  7. Amfortas the hippie

    guardian thing on industrial meat:
    ” …farms are inevitably dark and not conducive to cinematic beauty –”
    Is all i need to hear.
    That that statement can be made about, not just a “farm”, but “Farms”…then of course we’re doing it wrong.

    (i foresee…depending on whatever lower rung of complexity we land on…farm tourism being a thing….which, hopefully, will exert some pressure upwards. People think about my place when they think the word “Farm”, after all….not an industrial death factory.)

  8. zagonostra

    >Tulsi Gabbard/Kamala

    Tulsi destroyed Kamala in the Dem Debates and yet JB or his handlers select her for VP. What I’d like to hear is TG tell me how now she is going to support K. I’d like to see how she tries to claw back her view that K is not fit to be President, and with JB teetering on Dementia, that’s what will most likely happen.

    The Dems are shoving sh&t down the the voter’s throat and telling all that TINA will not be put off, TINA, is a raving sociopath b&tch and you better learn to love her cause leaving her is not in the cards…

      1. a different chris

        No, sadly.

        >I’d like to see how she tries to claw back her view

        Somebody needs to point a TV camera at her in order for that to happen, and…well.. Tulsi Who? is the current and probably forever stance of the news media.

      2. JTMcPhee

        She was neutered by the CorpoDems and their MSM accomplices.

        I’m getting a lot of YouTube campaign ads for a woman named Something Something Luna. She’s apparently all for God, guns And Old Glory, and against socialism. An attractive young ex-military who demonstrates her firing stance with Special Ops sub machine gun. Shooting for a spot as Representative, no doubt aiming higher. I bet there’s lots more where she comes from. And her target is the unappealing milksop who is the Dem Rep from my district, Charlie Crist.

        1. a different chris

          Oh lordy. For everybody smart enough not to read the link:

          I look forward to protecting our veterans and service members,

          Because nobody else really counts, do they? Hope you can keep up, it’s the one profession that keeps expanding and expanding its members..

          the Constitution

          Um, ok. So which party are you running in again? Libertarian, right? No?

          and our natural environment

          …and at this point it was coffee meet keyboard. Does she actually *know* anything about Florida Republicans?

      3. Mel

        It’s a theoretical question: is relevance transitive?

        If Gabbard is irrelevant, and Gabbard destroyed Harris, how can Harris be relevant?

        In my take, Harris was meant to be coronated all along, but Biden was introduced as a front-runner, so they could “prove” that it wasn’t a coronation when Harris pulled past Biden to win her “contested” crown. Tulsi Gabbard messed that whole plan up. But it’s still Harris’s turn, therefore she’s the veep.

        1. montanamaven

          Yes, that’s my take. Harris was the PTB-behind-Obama’s pick. She is Obama 2.0. But Tulsi screwed that up. You’re right. But it was Obama 1.0 ( or Clinton/Bush 2.0) who made it possible for a Trump 1.0. And I don’t see that the populist uprising has gone away. Although from the way the MSM reports, you would think the populists have disappeared. In my neck of the woods, it really feels like it is more vocal than it was in 2016. More than some mumbling. There’s more rumbling.

        2. a different chris

          >If Gabbard is irrelevant, and Gabbard destroyed Harris, how can Harris be relevant?

          Are you posting from a sane, logical country? :D Us Americans take the complete lack of such in our politics as an essential element.

      4. zagonostra

        No, she’s not. That’s the point, should could be, as could Bernie, but they’ve drank the cool aide and they are complicit in foisting on to the people a potential President that they have already resoundingly rejected…this country’s putative democracy is a becoming an intolerable farce.

      5. drumlin woodchuckles

        I imagine Gabbard is in Deep Retreat from politics for the time being, to avoid being besmirched and befilthed by contact with it.

        But I can imagine the Establishment trying to make sure she NEVER comes back . . . by the simple expedient of ambushing her and getting her to answer questions about what she thinks of Harris nowadays.

        The best answer Gabbard could give in such ambush conditions would be to say that ” I am open to having my mind changed and I am watching Harris with interest to see if she does something to change my mind.”

  9. John A

    One interesting point about Kamala Harris, that also applied to the blessed Obama. Neither is a typical African-American in the sense of being descendents of slaves that have since climbed the societal ladder. I doubt either of them really relates to African-Americans as they both had relatively privileged backgrounds.

    1. ObjectiveFunction

      … Which is the whole entire point of the neolib IdPol movement, that our ‘Meritocratic’ Overclass shall look like United Colors of Benetton.

      So as MLK doubtless intended to say, but was prevented by a poor editor, we shall not be judged by the color of our skin, but by the content of our Character… which in turn shall be measured in terms of our academic and professional pedigree* and unblemished record of fealty to the global PMC monoculture. (And hey, catching the eye of a powerful machine politician sure doesn’t hurt….)

      *… which may or may not be defined in turn by our eye-catching summer internship at our parents’ country club golfing pal’s well known media company.

    2. marym

      We don’t know if Harris is a descendant of slaves who (or whose descendants) then climbed the social ladder, only that her father claims one slaveowner ancestor from the 19th century. The two are not mutually exclusive.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        I find myself wondering if ardent advocates of reparations for the descendants of american slaves, like, say, Ta Nehisi Coates, would consider harris representative enough of that group to deserve compensation.

        That is the group, after all, for which this vp pick is supposed to provide a long overdue material benefit.

        I know I am and always have been white, but harris’ personal and political history suggest more than a bit of melanin-justified carpetbagging to me.

        1. marym

          I’m not sure what “melanin-justified carpetbagging” means, but if candidates for office should be judged not by identity politics, but by their actual reprehensible past and what that portends for their likely future political objectives, we ought to concentrate on that critique imo, not some other version of idpol.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            It means playing black on TV in order to psychologically hook black people into feeling that her success somehow honors and vindicates their struggle and suffering.

            It is something like Hillary’s cynical hijacking of feminist concerns toward elevating Clinton’s career as an emotional surrogate for their own.

    3. Jomo

      I think being subjected to busing to school as a child (evidence of growing up in a racist and segregated society) would allow Kamala Harris and her family to be able to “relate to African-Americans.” I also think it makes her “a typical African-American.” I also don’t think that “typical African-Americans” believe that being descended from a slaver in Jamaica makes one “privileged.”

      1. CNu

        The failure of public school desegregation is the living memory hole in almost every American’s bucket. Seriously doubt that Harris/Biden debate exchange registered and resonated deeply with most Americans, particularly those with BLM signs in their yards living in lily white neighborhoods and by extension, school districts..

        As for her reception on the black side of the electorate, outside bourgeoisie black women and older members of the AME network, Kamala has been thoroughly scrutinized and roundly rejected.

    4. The S

      Both have demonstrated their willingness to throw other Black people under the bus to make rich white people richer, that is for sure.

      1. anon in so cal

        Speaking of slaves, loosely defined, Harris was loathe to approve early release of non-violent offenders on grounds that the prison system needed a source of cheap labor.

        “Ordered to reduce the population of California’s overcrowded prisons, lawyers from then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ office made the case that some non-violent offenders needed to stay incarcerated or else the prison system would lose a source of cheap labor.”

    5. montanamaven

      “privileged” seems to be the operative word. Picking a real cop that came from working class roots rather than “the top cop” aka attorney general” would have been a working class pick. But that’s the old timey Democratic Party. And Joe Biden is a phoney blue collar Joe. So Trump using “phoney” for Kamala might work for the whole ticket. If I were on the Trump campaign team, I’d skip the whole “commie” scare angle and go with the phoney and crooked angle again.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        The Trumpers could also refer to Candidate Dead Joe Walking and point out that Harris would be the Acting President almost from the start.

    6. Oh

      That’s what I always felt and couldn’t for the life of me understand why African-Americans support that shyster-imposter!

  10. crow

    Please Throw Away Your Onions

    Not me, we grow our own, like you’re suppose to we’ve been told. We grew over 200 pounds last year from seed, for two people, and yes, we ate them all. This year it’s a different story, sadly.

    1. a different chris

      Oh man, what happened?

      I couldn’t garden either, but it was because of a good thing, actually buying an abandoned farm which needs a lot of, well re-standing up of infrastructure. Doesn’t even have water anymore, long story.

      Next year will be amazing, I hope.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        for my part, it’s been a strange year in the gardens…heat wave in feb. …freeze in april…cloudy when i didn’t want it to be…and maybe something ineffable: plants are confused…i have lettuce, that has been full of bitter sap for months, just now going to seed(i let it roll in order to save the seed, and i’ve been patiently waiting)…similarly with other plants.

        …but the birds and lizards and frogs and dragon flies and ground beetles are back in force(maybe ending the 4 year plague of grasshopper oblivion)…which doesn’t gel ecologically with the above weirdness.
        I reckon i might not notice any of this, if it was 10,000 acres, seen from a tractor cab….remember, “the best fertiliser is the farmer’s footsteps”.
        My Mom insists that “there’s something wrong with the sun”…i mess with her and tell her it’s the cia.

        embarking on a project like yours…abandoned farm= sort of clean slate …is both exciting and daunting to think about. I wish you well, and hope you keep us informed.

      2. Chas

        We bought an abandoned farm 40 years ago and have been working away at it ever since — off grid — and it’s been the basis of a mostly happy life. My advice to you is what was given to me 40 years ago: “Do it right the first time.”

        1. a different chris

          Thanks maybe I will share an occasional probably misfortune in Water Cooler from time to time.

          Looks like we may have finally got the iron under control from the old well that we discovered in a bunch of weeds way, way far from the house. Now to get the water somewhere useful….

      3. polecat

        I had a nice crop last year (from seed and bulb repectively) of Wallawallas and some white and red onions, taking up half of one of our raised beds. So July shows up, turns into Julyuary .. with a solid week of rains, thus turning our almost mature crop into moldy stinking mush! Same as for our sweet cherries, which were just ripening to perfection …
        Had I’d know how the weather was going to turn, I’d have covered the entire onion bed.
        The hens had a windfall, where the cherries were concerned.

        Gaia can be a cruel mistress.

    2. BillS

      Don’t throw the onions away! Cook them! The heat will kill the Salmonella bacteria. The waste of valuable food should never be tolerated. These can be used in many cooked dishes, if you observe good food handling procedures.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        or stick ’em in a pot, or in the ground, somewhere(me, i’d think about under one of the window units)…green onions till hard freeze…longer if you straw them. sunlight and natural processes should kill the bug….which, to my knowledge, likely comes from sewage sludge and/or lack of port-a-potties and/or contaminated wash water.

        .—i grow french shallots and elephant garlic, as far as onions go.
        scattered throughout the beds and containers and old water troughs and poking out under fruit trees.
        always meant to to grow regular storage onions, just never incorporated them. But I do use this method with any store bought 10-15’s that go green.

      2. Harold

        “Boiling does kill any bacteria active at the time, including E. coli and salmonella. But a number of survivalist species of bacteria are able to form inactive seedlike spores. These dormant spores are commonly found in farmland soils, in dust, on animals and field-grown vegetables and grains. And the spores can survive boiling”—NYTimes

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          rinsing well in running water should be standard practice, of course.
          with a dab of bleach if necessary.
          most of late winter and well into the spring, i’m generally covered in manure at some level of decomposition….it’s all over the place, due to composting, hauling , mucking out, and tossing the piles
          but i clean up real good…and so do my veggies…root crops get extra attention if they’re to be eaten raw.
          the newer, super strains of some of those bugs worries me, but from what i can tell, i’m unlikely to import them here(horse manure, well rotted, is my biggest import…and store bought veggie remnants get hot composted.)
          I try to keep in mind that he entire natural world is bent on our destruction.

          as for immortal spores…there’s a particular fenced off acre of my neighbors spread where he won’t let cows or sheep run, because wife’s grandaddy burned a handfull of cows with anthrax there 70 years ago. apparently, that’s a thing…or at least he thinks it is.
          pretty sure i remember reading that an anthrax spore can “live” essentially forever.(and don’t get me started on prions,lol) That acre is covered up with live oaks and brush, inadvertently providing wildlife habitat and a rather pretty copse/mott on a hillside.

    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      Why throw them away? Why not boil them for an hour down to boiled onion mush? Which could be used in cooking later? That would kill any salmonella dead dead dead.

  11. ObjectiveFunction

    > As a US citizen stranded for the moment outside the US, I nonetheless watch such legally questionable musings with trepidation.

    Where are you presently ‘stranded’, Mam Jerri-ji, may I ask?

    1. Winston Smith

      I’m also interested to know. As a permanent resident, I am considering a visit to my 91yr old father in Canada but am concerned about returning. The election is coming and the border will not be re-opened easily, as far as canadians are concerned. An ideal situation for a tit for tat Trump maneuver given the upcoming election

      1. Jessica

        Last time that I checked, the rules for flying down into the states from Canada were looser than for driving down or for entering Canada by air or land (for the latter three, essential travel only).
        Re-opening the border would be a tiny boost for Trump. I doubt that Justin would want to do him any favors. If Biden wins, the tone might well change. At least for a honeymoon period.

    2. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      Kolkata (India). Where regularly scheduled international flights are still shut down until the end of the month. I hope they open up then.

  12. Ramon

    Kamala Harris. Possibly the worst choice as demonstrated by Tulsi Gabbard. I assume the DNC wants another shot at impeaching Trump so they are going to throw this election and then they have four more years to re impeach Trump.
    Trump appears to be the least electable politician if you exclude HRC and JB.
    When I’m not crying I’m laughing. More laughter than crying as it’s healthier

    1. The Rev Kev

      I was musing earlier today on the first Vice-Presidential debate between Kamala Harris and Mike Pence. So the stage is set and Kamala advances towards her podium. At that point, the announcer states that Mike Pence has taken sick with a sore throat and will not be take part in that night’s debate. But as allowed under the rules of the debate, a substitute is allowed to be nominated by the person who cannot take part. And at that point Pence’s substitute debater enters from stage left – Tulsi Gabbard.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        doesn’t pence have some weird issue about being alone with a woman? (assuming social distanced, audience-less debates?)
        he’ll say its a cold, but he’ll call in sick due to portnoy’s complaint.

        these people are the best we can do.
        how exceptional.

      2. ObjectiveFunction

        … or Pence announces his resignation in favor of Gabbard due to being nominated to SCOTUS (where, it’s the darndest thing, a seat just became vacant!), thus sustaining the loyalty of the Evangelical Right but ensuring wailing and gnashing of teeth among the Unraptured.

        [/fever dream]

      3. pjay

        “…a substitute is allowed to be nominated by the person who cannot take part.”

        Yes. The debates as trial by combat, where candidates select “champions” to defend their honor. Just like Game of Thrones. Sounds about right.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      I would argue the neoliberals wouldn’t be electable in open seats or without misplaced nostalgia. Biden and HRC would have gone no where without 8 years in the public eye with no real job. Does HRC have any talent that Boxer or Feinstein don’t have?

      Tim Kaine didn’t touted his executive record as Governor of Virginia except for the anti union best place for business stuff for reasons. He was terrible. Beta, Abrams, Harris for that matter, Mayo Pete, and so forth are all effectively worse candidates than HRC or Biden.

      1. Off The Street

        Ever since the title of Most Qualified Ever was taken by Her Almost Highness, where does that leave subsequent entrants in the hyperbole sweepstakes?

        Those memes aren’t going to write themselves, or are they?

        1. newcatty

          Harris is being ID polled to counter Biden’s many awful flaws and background. The meme that she isn’t “really black enough” is not important for many people. After all, she is a POC and woman. There will still be TINA played out by the Democrats. Lesser of two evils still in the propaganda machine. She is safe for the suburban moms, and connected to the PMC. Joe will be the good cop and she will be the tough one. Joe will mouth faux progressive pablum, and if any flak is said about her awful background on being ruthless with her stance on not easing the overcrowded prisons and shaming black mothers for their kids truancy , it will be drowned out by accusations of racism, misogyny, and that she was doing her job. Get ready for Albright like crap statements like she did for Hillary: It can have a new spin, If you are a woman and/ or black, and don’t vote for Kamala on the Democratic ticket , then there is a special place in Hell for you.
          And, as has been mentioned here before…Do the Democrats really want to win the White House? And are the parties really just players for the PTB?

          1. integer

            and if any flak is said about her awful background… it will be drowned out by accusations of racism, misogyny, and that she was doing her job.

            Yep. A group called We Have Her Back, which includes Valerie Jarret, Tina Tchen (Time’s Up), and people from Planned Parenthood and Emily’s List, has already been formed to monitor the media for any perceived identity-politics-related transgressions against Biden’s choice of VP:


            This was sent to “the most powerful people in media” on August 6th, so shortly before it was official that Harris would be chosen, however I expect insiders already knew by then.

    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      Neat! I’m glad I’m not the only person who thinks the Democrats may be conspiring to throw the election.

  13. Polar Donkey

    I have family in a rural county in middle Tennessee. Schools opened about 3 weeks ago. Not much thinking through covid procedures and precautions because it isn’t real and chinese/Democratic plot to sink Trump. A week in 2 schools close for a week. Today, closed schools indefinitely, going online starting next week. Those damn commie liberals!

    1. sleepy

      Here in Iowa schools start in a week or so. The governor has decreed that at least 50% of instruction time must be face to face. I have grandkids in the system and their dad suffers from a medical disorder. So I have immediate concerns.

      I suspect that like the Tennessee schools the opening will be a disaster and they will quickly shut down again in a couple of weeks–assuming the governor allows it.

      1. Late Introvert

        My 14-year-old is doing online first trimester, and yes the schools will be closed within a month and there will be even more blood on the hands of Trumpette Reynolds.

  14. Polar Donkey

    Governor of MIssissippi declared football essential yesterday. Mask ordinance will expire Friday though.

        1. The Rev Kev

          History records that when the Visigoths entered Rome through its Salarian Gate on 24th August 410 AD, they found no defenders to fight – because they were all at the Colosseum watching the latest Gladiator games :)

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              geese are excellent guard animals.
              kept in the yard(where they mow and fertilise for very low wages(coffee can of grain in the evening)), they raise holy hell if something is amiss.
              I’ve observed them atall hours.
              at night, at least one is always awake and on watch…as that one settles in for sleep, another will rise and stand watch, and so on.
              if they are nesting or have babies, they are quite vicious…I’ve seen them attack raccoons and possums and cats…killed one of the latter…and watched one of the aplha males rip a small rattler apart, place his foot on the remains, spread his wings like a dragon, and trumpet.
              perty impressive display.
              when we had them in town, they were initially freaking out all the time with the constant comings and goings(made sure all the neighbors had eggs and veggies)…but they eventually got used to “city” life.
              out here, where it’s quiet and lonely, if the geese are upset…something’s wrong and must be investigated.
              haven’t counted in a while, but we have around 30(and no babies this spring, nesting until june…more of that confusion of the world i was talking about)

              1. Keith

                My two French Toulouse keep my ducks safe. I plan to get some more next year (anothe Toulouse and either Romans or Pilgrims). Funny thing is they have traumatized my girlfriend’s big German Shepard. She was used to all animals (and many people fearing her) and grew complacent. A bark here and there let everyone know who was in charge. Then one day she lying next to the bird pen, and the geese just attacked. It didn’t help that the dog got caught in the electric fencing. Either way, she does not mess with the birds, which is good, as she has caught a wild pheasant or two in the yard.

              2. susan the other

                thanks for that info. makes me want to buy some geese – maybe a pair as harriet and george looked so happy in that antidote a while back.

                1. Amfortas the hippie

                  I like to hang out with them, sometimes…and they’ve been stand ins for the Tea Party when i was studying the Right…very conservative birds…will stare at an open gate to fresh pasture for a week.
                  I’ll be bringing them over here for fall, and they’ll bivouac under the big oak and create a 4″ thick layer of crap and feathers and grass clippings that will go onto the beds as a top dressing come february(when the goose pool there gets pumped/shoveled out, too…also into the beds)
                  in the fall, so long as they have clean water in the pool, they mate…a raucous, violent affair…with non-participants standing around yelling…like goose cinemax or something.
                  they’re pretty entertaining.
                  takes about 2 weeks for them to forget that they “belong” over at mom’s…and 2 weeks in the spring for them to forget that they live over here. It’s a pita to keep the gates closed during this forgetting, lest they waddle back,lol.

            2. newcatty

              Well, bread and circuses. Football is essential for modern day gladiators. What will be interesting is the replacement for bread. We all can’t grow our own food, even if it’s a good thing to do. Sustainable small farms, coops, family gardens are an answer, but how is the transition from Big Ag going to happen before a big crash? We just bought some organic onions and trust they are safe and sound.

              1. wilroncanada

                At least two conferences in US college football have cancelled their seasons so far: the PAC 10 and the Big 10. I wonder how much of the fear of the conference boards is because of the morbidity of so many of these “athletes.” The 350 pound linemen who push/run for 3 plays and immediately go to the sidelines and suck on oxygen to keep them going for 3 more plays 15 minutes later. The speedy backs who have been seriously weight training since their fathers began at the age of 5 pushing them to become “pros” for dad or “Jesus”, complete with later adoption by pedophile coaches, managers, administrators, and other takers of advantage of kids for fun and profit.

              2. wilroncanada

                To Yves and Lambert
                I realize that so much is happening in the US now that coverage of Brit/European and even wider coverage of the world is difficult. This is a leading into asking if there is a reason I’m not aware of, not to be hearing at all from the formerly frequent contributor from Mauritius. That island is in the middle of a serious env.ironmental catastrophe

              3. drumlin woodchuckles

                People who currently have enough money to be able to pick and choose what food to buy might consider buying enough local and hyperlocal . . . and also organic from as far away as necessary . . . in order to maintain and then grow those little parts of the food system.

                Praise is moral support. Money is real support. The more we increase real support to an emerging Little Ag sector, the more it will be able to emerge.

            3. The Rev Kev

              During the Vietnam war, the US military kept flocks of geese at some bases as they were so territorial, that no Vietcong sapper could hope to get anywhere near them with the geese picking up on them.

        2. hunkerdown

          And one could also argue that they have been so consistently misused over the course of history, that the children who rule us need their toys broken and be physically forced to do their chores.

          No, really. What’s with the hierarchicalism fetish which, apparently, everything else can be killed and destroyed in order that it may live?

      1. Pat

        It may be if you consider that for one of the poorest states in the nation, football is a way out. Sure, like boxing and basketball, only a few hit that lottery. But it is a chance.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Yeah, I think it’s because the auto dealers might hyperventilate.

          Though, I really wonder what restarting would cost if a season is lost and what the alums would do given the state of the economy.

        2. Keith

          It is also a major source of community pride and entertainment in the more rural areas, especially the south. People without kids in school even follow their local high school football team. It is built into the culture, so canceling it is a big deal in those areas. Sad thing, for the players, for the vast majority of them, this is their peak and it is downhill from there.

      2. km

        Bread and Circuses, how do they work?

        Especially with bread prices getting outta hand, the circus show is all the more critical.

        1. ambrit

          Panum et circensis were specifically for the City of Rome mob. It was a system tailored to keep the most dangerous demos quiescent.

  15. Keith

    Regarding the “Winter is Coming” article, winter may be the best time to get a lockdown going. Reality is people are going to push back against a summer lockdown. Add in the “invincible” youth, especially the ones graduating high school, especially as they dreamed of their summer of partying to say good bye to friends and such. At this point, it seems if a lock down is in order, to just try and contain the virus as best as you can, such as encourage activities to be outdoors as opposed to in, and for the underage, crackdown on drinking only indoors. Then, wait for winter, and to an extent, the fall. Kids will be in some type of school by then, be it live or online. The weather will turn, keeping people inside, naturally. Then you can focus your message and enforcement on maintaining the lockdown. If you want to control the population, you need to use nature and their natural tendencies against them. That’s my two cents, at least.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      but…the holidays.
      i’ve thought it was irrational to have the big family holidays in november and december since i cracked the cognitive shell…cold weather, often dangerous ice and snow, and yes, disease.
      my brother brings his brood up here every thanksgiving, and a week later, my mom and stepdad get the flu(she refuses the flu shot, he gets it at the VA)…while we have been social distancing as best we could for 15 years, during this holiday.
      (didn’t have that word for it…boys grew up with “quarantine procedures” for avoidance and hygiene…making me feel rather prescient, these days)
      I’ve begged all of them to move our feast day to may or even april or something…which is when it’s the most heavenly out here, any way…but no dice.
      If snow storms , enormous crowds, highway carnage, and repeated “normal” epidemics don’t stop people, why should this?

      1. Keith

        COVID is a little different because of the hype surrounding it. Flu and car accidents are mundane. I forgot about the holidays. Having family so spread out, we seem only to get together for weddings and funerals. That being said, if the govt wanted to do a lockdown during those times, I think it would be easier, at least for the western world. A combo of shaming, propaganda and obstacles (perhaps gas station holidays around Turkey Day and Christmas). I think the original plan was two weeks, now Kashgari is going for six, I still think it could be doable. After all, people stopped going to funerals, until Lewis’, that is.

        The other side of it, though, if it is implemented and still fails to curb the virus, I doubt you would get a second bite at the apple.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          I still like Wuk’s idea about rationing gasoline…but our rulers would never go for that.
          we ain’t going nowhere, and i’ve forbad brother from coming up here with his whole crew(just him is one thing).

          1. Keith

            Rationing would be a bridge too far, in my opinion, as there would be lots of logistics to deal with, on top of the people working to get around the restrictions. I think it could be doable for a holiday weekend, though, to limit travel, along with plenty of doom and gloom along with advance notice so people can stock up and be prepared.

            Side note, we have people coming up from CO to visit my girlfriend, who is a nurse at the local hospital. For all the talk about nurses protesting for masks, those are the ones trying to get on TV. From what I have seen, medical people aren’t taking this more serious, either. However, my observations are just anecdotal.

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              my anecdotal experience with healthcare types is the opposite…they’re taking it seriously, while everyone else is not.
              and this is rural texas…but, like you said, anecdata.

  16. cocomaan

    If we’re doing HL Mencken quotes, my favorite is his analysis of Warren G Harding’s speechwriting. Harding, of course, won a strange election that happened at the tail end of the 1918 pandemic (1920 cycle) and involved an addled Woodrow Wilson trying to run for a third term while suffering the lingering affects of influenza. There’s a great podcast about it here.


    “He writes the worst English that I have ever encountered. It reminds me of a string of wet sponges; it reminds me of tattered washing on the line; it reminds me of stale bean soup, of college yells, of dogs barking idiotically through endless nights. It is so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it. It drags itself out of the dark abysm of pish, and crawls insanely up the topmost pinnacle of posh. It is rumble and bumble. It is flap and doodle. It is balder and dash.”

      1. The Rev Kev

        My god, if H.L. Mencken were alive today he would find what fighter pilot’s call a target-rich environment. But no main stream media sites would publish him today and he would have to resort to a Twitter account and a YouTube channel.

        1. Off The Street

          Visualize a younger HL in his backyard, rug beater in hand.
          Or, as he also wrote, inside with a slingshot, aiming those lemon rind pieces at pesky flies.

          Some images are kinda timeless that close to DC.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Perhaps. But something about the modern campaign to denigrate the man seems a bit to ‘organized’ for my liking. Look at his Wikipedia entry to see what I mean. But for all his faults – and he was never a man to cast the first stone – he did have a wicked wit-

        1. Carolinian

          I did

          As an admirer of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, he was an outspoken opponent of organized religion, theism, populism, and representative democracy, the latter of which he viewed as systems in which inferior men dominated their superiors

          Bedside reading for Hillary? (Although she is sincerely religious–apparently)

          1. ambrit

            (…she is sincerely religious….)
            One could also point to many Cults of Personality that partake of the form of religion. I can see her involved in one such. (One of that cult’s ‘objects of veneration’ is a mirror.)

        2. hunkerdown

          Mencken just happened to be a good wordsmith and happened to write some interesting things now and again. But how was he not a bouglib, working to advance bouglib interests and, wittingly or unwittingly, his contemporary Lippmann’s dictatorship of the technocrats?

          Last week some members of Ecosophia’s commentariat stumbled onto the very interesting postulate that industrial society seeks to feminize its constitutents on several planes of identity, to eliminate the masculine. I would point the cognitive maiming charges at neoliberalism and observe that masculinity (in the form of predation) will be an exclusive property of the Market™ and in turn those who pretend they aren’t managing its every detail.

  17. Jeff W

    Delay routine dental checkups, WHO urges, until COVID-10 risk is known

    Maybe I was the only one who thought “Wait, there’s some other coronavirus disease, dentistry-related, that we have to think about?” (I realize “COVID-10” makes no sense, at least until 2110, as the name of a new disease but still…)

    1. Off The Street

      Awaiting 2021 news of pre-existing condition exclusions from dental work. They’ve been awfully quiet around the chair, maybe too quiet. /s

  18. Shonde

    “Fateh, a former state House candidate who has worked in city and state government, will likely be both the only Somali-American and the first Democratic Socialist to serve in the state Senate.

    “It is not enough to elect Democrats,” he said in a video on his campaign site. “We also need to elect progressive Democrats that will fight for a bold, progressive agenda.”

    Some good wins in Minnesota following the trend in other states.

  19. jr

    Re: Onions, Garlic, and Dracula Harris

    I don’t use a ton of raw onion or garlic for that matter. I hate discovering I’ve taken up gardening in my crisper. Garlic I roast whole then snip the tips, squeeze into a bowl, mash thoroughly, and put it into small jelly jars in the fridge. Be careful not to burn it; a longer, lower temperature roast is preferable. Say 325F, when you start to smell them check. I stick a cake tester into a big clove, when it runs right through I give it a scant few minutes longer. Lots of caramelization. Watch the tips of the bulb for liquids bubbling out, if that starts to blacken yank em.

    It spreads easily and melts away in soups and sauces. Whisk a little with canola oil and softened butter and spread on bread for garlic toast. You don’t need a lot and you can freeze any extra. It seems to keep reasonably well. I leave mine unsalted. I have no garlic waste except for the husks.

    For onions, leeks, shallots, what have you, I chop them up rough but small, oil them lightly with canola, and then bake them in a covered pan for a long time on a low heat, say 300F. When they have softened and darkened, sweetened, take them out and blend or process them into a wet paste. Back into the covered pan and bake until it’s a thick paste. Jar it up. I recommend glass because plastics will pick up the smell.

    “US Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) speaks during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing titled “Examining Best Practices for Incarceration and Detention During COVID-19,” in the Dirksen Building in Washington, DC on June 2, 2020.(Photo by TOM WILLIAMS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)”

    This is chilling, imagine this sociopath in charge of the COVID effort. It will be hell for those prisoners, doubtless a VP Dracula Harris will transfer that utter lack of humanity into her new role.

    1. Late Introvert

      Yum. I make a wicked refried* pinto beans recipe and use lots of roasted garlic.

      *don’t fry them, just simmer for 10+ hours starting with enough water to keep them covered at first, and then cook it down to a paste – I can post my recipe if requested (add oil and tomatoes too). I make 12 pints at a time and freeze them.

      re: Kamala – Byedon made it easier for me to NOT vote for his stank @zz.

        1. Late Introvert

          In a big pot/crock pot add:
          – 6 cups dried pintos, that have been sorted for rocks (not sure the equivalent to canned)
          note: this will expand a good 50% so reduce the recipe if you don’t have a big pot

          If you soak overnight they will cook faster. If you have done so, drain and add:
          – 10 cups water

          If you did NOT soak, add:
          – 14 cups water

          – 3 bay leaves

          Cook on high with a lid until boiling vigourously, simmer partially covered for 2 hours or until soft. Then add:

          – 3 Tbs salt (or less, or none)

          – 2 cups oil, I use 1 1/2 cup olive oil and 1/2 cup grapeseed oil, I’ve used canola too (you can use less but the beans will be chunkier and less smooth)

          – 3 medium sized fresh tomatoes, or 1 12 oz. can

          – 1 bulb roasted garlic, use jr’s method above, way better than my current method, make extra and jar it up like he or she or they did

          – you could add jalapeños or other peppers here, rough chop them because it all gets turned to mush

          Bring to another boil then simmer uncovered on lowest heat for 8-12 hours, depending on how thick you want them to be. You will need to stir frequently towards the end, even in a crock pot, or they will burn. Plan accordingly so you’re not up at 3 a.m. stirring.

          Makes about 12 pints.

      1. HotFlash


        1.) Thanks for the refried beans recipe, will make some this week. I use epazote but have never roasted the garlic first.

        2.) re I have no garlic waste except for the husks, I keep a container in my freezer for tasty discards (onion skins, lemon rinds, apple cores, squash skins, corn husks and cobs, outer leaves of lettuce, bones, etc.). When the container is full I chuck it in my slow cooker, water to cover, simmer on low overnight and strain off the nice broth. Solids go to compost.

  20. DJG

    Great photo, from Audubon’s 2020 contest.

    The credit from Audubon’s site:
    Photo: Vayun Tiwari/Audubon Photography Awards
    Species: Northern Jacana
    Location: New River, Orange Walk District, Belize

  21. Dr. Roberts

    Re: Kamala Harris, What did we expect? Biden was never going to pick someone unambiguously good, but at least in terms of her professed policies Harris is probably the best Democratic VP candidate in recent history. Look at her competition: Tim Kaine, Joe Lieberman, John Edwards, Joe Biden…

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The Iraq war vote is a problem and you might find him disingenuous, but the “Two Americas” messaging well was in reality behind its time but ahead of even progressives. From a messaging perspective, Edwards was light years ahead of this group, Obama for that matter with his 2004 DNC trash ahead out how the problems were all in our head and not material.

      1. neo-realist

        And when Edwards darted to the left of the field in 2008, he was cancelled, not vilified for his polices, but ignored, until his affair was exposed. It was never stated that he was too far left for the elites, but it appeared to be implied that it was the case.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          -the Iraq war vote was a problem
          -pro-Obama seemed too good to be true from a cursory examination
          -there is only so much oxygen in that environment.
          -Hillary was still there
          -there was a highly funded GOP primary in the media scape too
          -Trippi ran the organizers in Iowa down like he had in 2004 for Dean. This had an effect in Iowa.
          -the anti-Clinton/Hillary vote was real and wanted a winner.

        2. Montanamaven

          Edwards ran on an “anti-poverty” campaign. In an interview, he worried that if he failed, no one would ever take up that mantle. He urged/begged Obama to go to Appalachia as part of his support, but Obama didn’t. Robert Kennedy, Jessie Jackson and John Edwards were the only Dems to go to Appalachia and mean it.
          Edwards was/is wicked smart. I’m a bit prejudiced because I worked on both of his campaigns and I’m not sorry, just sad. During the 2008 campaign I said that Obama was the “bright shiny brochure” but Edwards had a Users Manual. For every policy idea he had, he also had a way to make it happen. I didn’t like his Iraq vote that Schrum urged him to do despite Elizabeth’s warnings. I didn’t care for his hair, but I understood how a millworker’s kid would like to look snappy. His law partners were great guys. I’ve always got a kick out of good trial lawyers. It’s why I loved Perry Mason including the new HBO.
          He was too populist. They destroy populists whether on the right or the left.

          1. neo-realist

            I vaguely recall reading that the Bush campaign in 2004 feared Edwards in the general election more than Kerry. He was a charming southern populist who connected well with people and could challenge them in the red states with his strong populist economic message. The Bush campaign felt they could define and conquer the stiffer than stiff Kerry as they did, barely.

            A shame for cheating issue. Would have gladly supported his campaign if he ran today, but he probably would have received the Sanders treatment if he did.

    2. Carolinian

      WSWS is not pleased.

      Objectively speaking, there is little to distinguish Harris, with only four years in the US Senate, from other potential alternatives for the vice presidency. She is not notably more qualified than dozens of other senators, governors or representatives. But in the eyes of the advocates of identity politics, in and out of the corporate media, Harris’s mediocrity and right-wing politics count for nothing compared to her skin color and gender.

      In her unbounded opportunism and ruthless pursuit of her own career and economic interests, Harris personifies both the social psychology and class basis of identity politics. It is the politics of privileged layers of the upper-middle class, including but not limited to minorities, that use race, gender and sexual orientation to conceal the fundamental class divisions in capitalist society, channel social opposition behind the Democratic Party, and carve out a greater share of the wealth of the top one percent for themselves. It is organically hostile to the interests of the working class and socialism.

      Buf from a Dem party frame–everything is about defeating Trump (without upsetting big finance)–perhaps a valid choice.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        But in the eyes of the advocates of identity politics, in and out of the corporate media, Harris’s mediocrity and right-wing politics count for nothing compared to her skin color and gender.

        I disagree with this. Harris’ mediocrity and right wing politics were what mattered most. Skin color and gender are simply what put her ahead of Whitmer, Beta or Book because false woke politics is all the neoliberals can do.

      2. a different chris

        I would disagree that her right-wing politics didn’t count for anything. I suspect they put her over the top.

  22. The Rev Kev

    “Experts: COVID-19 is spreading in Hawaii at a faster rate than anywhere else in the nation”

    You would think that Hawaii and Alaska would have the best shot at putting a lid on this virus. No doubt a lot of it is coming from mainlanders but I do wonder about all the troops that stage through Hawaii that have also been spreading the virus in Okinawa. Are they required to quarantine for two weeks before getting liberty?

    1. Carolinian

      I wonder if tourism doesn’t have a lot to do with spread. NC is doing better than SC and while North Carolina does have a minor tourist destination in Asheville, South Carolina’s coast is crowded with summer tourist meccas including Myrtle Beach and Charleston.

        1. Carolinian

          And yet many have been breaking that quarantine?

          We have a quarantine too against New Yorkers or did. It would be interesting to scan the license plates in M.Beach and Charleston and see what states are represented.

        2. Cuibono

          the quarantine is a JOKE.

          But the spread has more to do with a complete failure at the health department to institute a decent education al campaign and do contact tracing. Combined with the general public having way to many parties in homes, beaches, restaurants etc etc etc

          Seems stupid is everywhere

    2. ChrisPacific

      Hawaii lacks some of the tools available to sovereign states for managing spread – it can’t shut its borders to travellers from the mainland US, for example (it can quarantine them, but reportedly it’s getting reluctant compliance at best on that point).

      As for the military, there is a long-running argument that Hawaii is actually a separate nation under military occupation by the US. As yet that’s never been successful in court to my knowledge, but as a description of the arrangement in practice it’s reasonably accurate. To give one example, Homeland Security has announced that military personnel arriving in Hawaii aren’t bound by the state quarantine rules. The state government can issue lockdown orders and the like, but they aren’t binding on the military population if the Federal government chooses to exclude them.

      1. newcatty

        ChrisPacific, thank you for pointing this accurate fact. Hawaii is nation that was taken over by corporations and with full cooperation of American military. There is a group of Native born, and supportive, people who have argued for the kingdom to be freed and the lineage of her queen to be returned to sovereignty. This ties into the protest of another large telescope being constructed on the Big Island without regarding the native people’s spiritually and the greater environmental impact . This latest example of military personnel just blatantly being able to enter the islands without any quarantine rules is telling of their hegemony and exploitative views of the people.

  23. Lark

    About Ilhan Omar: The national media coverage of our primary was shockingly bad. If you’re actually from the 5th district, you know there was never any doubt that she would win. This was not a “horse race”. She did not face a “strong challenge”. A popular, charismatic politician with a committed base won, exactly as expected.

    1. The media have to frame everything as a dramatic contest for clicks. “Popular politician will probably win” doesn’t do much.

    2. The need to pretend that “The Squad” promulgate unpopular policies instead of policies unpopular with the wealthy.

    3. Racism, basically – the idea that someone like Ilhan Omar can’t be actually popular and must somehow have snuck in.

    4. Coastal media being dumb about the midwest. “Minnesota is a land of almost all white people living in small towns like Lake Wobegon, probably hicks and right wing, so obviously Ilhan Omar will face a huge battle”.

    Omar won a left-leaning, multiracial district that has routinely returned some of the country’s more left-leaning politicians. The Minneapolis area is liberal with left pockets – flawed though we may be, we are exactly the type of place that does elect left-leaning politicians.

    And actually the Minneapolis area has a pretty large Somali population, which means a large Muslim population, and this is also one of the parts of the state with the most Black, Latino and Native people. So not only are there plenty of Muslim and/or POC voters, there are a number of white people for whom Somali and Muslim people are our colleagues, neighbors and friends. I’m not saying there’s no bigotry here or that everyone has some kind of sophisticated analysis, but it’s a lot harder to whip up paranoia about Muslims in an integrated area. Voting for Omar isn’t some weird kee-razy thing we got fooled into doing.

    What’s more, the kind of racist smears (like the whole “she married her brother” thing from a while ago) that play so well outstate just firm up her support in her actual district. When it comes to actual voting, it doesn’t matter that wealthy right-wing retirees outstate don’t like her, because they don’t vote for her.

    Also we’re not dummies. The people who vote in primaries are smart enough to recognize a lot of out-of-state money when we see it.

    Ilhan Omar is not an outlier. She is an extremely plausible representative of her district. While she isn’t a perfect politician, she has done a really good job in these godawful times and it’s no surprise that she won the primary. I don’t know whether the media will try to gin up some kind of “but the GOP candidate might win in November” nonsense about this overwhelmingly Democratic district or whether that would be too stupid even for them.

    1. Pat

      It isn’t. (The fact that media ownership want her gone isn’t going to help either.)

      I’m pretty sure they would be writing the same thing about AOC, but too many people consider NYC monolithically blue. (Ignoring Staten Island.)

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        With AOC, it was how she abandoned the district with dreams of stardom, but they did try it.

  24. Brian (another one they call)

    I wonder if the team D has just put forth candidates they know are so repulsive that they will lose to the Orange man? I have to wonder if they were expecting the economy to collapse on Mr. T’s watch and are surprised that it continued to fester this long. Their only hope now is to lose and let the country blame it on bad man.
    Only in America could two mental defectives be nominated for the head job.
    What does it mean when you can’t vote for either one no matter how bad each are? Look at their potential replacements. Pence and Harris? Are you kidding?
    My advice to those of you living near Washington DC; move away. The likelihood of the world getting together to stop the plague is going to begin in DC. The rest of the world can’t tolerate this kind of stupid behavior any longer. It means too much to the future of the planet.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      This is the long term consequences of Bill Clinton’s neoclan’s candidate recruitment. There aren’t secretly good neoliberals. How would a hypothetical Obama do in 2020? His record on behalf of developers wouldn’t be anoutvpter registration, and his speeches would be shared in text form. Obama isnt exactly quoted for his wit or wisdom these days because he was just a neoliberal hack.

      1. John k

        No, but most of the dem party still love him, and IMO he would easily beat trump.
        Nobody loves Biden or Harris so far as I can tell, while trumps base remain enthusiastic.
        Turnout and suppression in the swings will determine this… IMO trump needs just a modest bump to reach 272. Things just now aren’t much different from 2016.
        About 85 days… plus maybe a couple weeks to find out. Lotsa ballots will be tossed…

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          People love Bill? The Hillary fanfics are about Hillary divorcing Bill before he was President and HIllary somehow managing to become a national figure.

          1. a different chris

            I think John was speaking about Obama. The only guy you could argue has even better Teflon than Reagan.

  25. diptherio

    On the farming tip:

    Farms That Sell Directly To Consumers Are Thriving Amid Coronavirus Downturn

    A former software engineer turned regenerative farmer, Newman set up his website for direct orders of meat and eggs early on. Now that decision is paying off, he says. “Business is really good.”

    In Northern California, Megan Brown also has a boutique farming operation that’s doing surprisingly well. Brown raises heritage breed pigs. “I have sold out of every pig I have until next year,” she exclaims. “I’ve never had that happen.”

    Much like Newman, the work Brown put in before the pandemic is now yielding results. “I have my core group of buyers that have been buying from me for a long, long time and now their friends know who I am,” she says. “I have so much business. If it stays like this, it’ll be life-changing.”

    Good for them.

  26. jr

    Re: Wasted F’n Time

    So I’m trying to renew my Zipcar account that I let lapse a few years back. I had tried to do so back in October of 2019 and it was a total mess. After an hour talking with some kid I was told there was a problem with the website and I had to contact the accounts department, that they would get back to be in around a week. I hung up in disgust.

    Jump ahead to today. After discovering how insanely expensive rentals have become, I returned to Zipcar.

    Literally the same scenario played out today. Half an hour wait, cause “more people than ever are calling!” and hiring more phone help by anyone let alone Zipcar is apparently impossible for some reason. Finally, a person picks up.

    This time the accent was Russian, maybe every fifth word was hard to understand between that and the frequent static. It’s probably not super “woke” of me but I’m of the opinion that people hired for phone assistance centers should be clear communicators in the language they are working in. It’s nothing personal and I wouldn’t want anyone to lose their job but it makes little sense and wastes an enormous amount of time for all concerned. Bear in mind as well I live in Manhattan and I’m pretty handy understanding a multiplicity of accents from all around the world. These ladies were outliers.

    After an additional 45 minutes, we arrived at the same place: I have to contact applications although I was told the wait would be shorter. Again, I was told “website problem”, it apparently hasn’t been dealt with since October 2019.

    1. Jason Boxman

      That’s unfortunate; I thought about signing up and instead canceled my trial years ago. Ultimately I’m going to buy a car, I think.

  27. John Anthony La Pietra

    It’s indisputable that Kamala and Beau took on the big banks as aggressively as the Obama/Biden administration.

    Did anyone else read this and think “Well, yes, of course — zero still equals zero”?

  28. Late Introvert

    If the DNC think Kamala is going to go over well here in the Midwest, well, it goes without saying they are venal and clueless and would rather lose than stop being neoliberal warmongers on the corporate payroll.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      If indeed the Democrats are secretly planning to throw the election, maybe Kamala for VP is secretly part of their secret plan. To throw the election.

  29. lion


    The situation at Tesla with Martin Tripp is really escalating. He is disobeying a court order.

    “So, I’m not even trying to play their games. Links coming soon, and I will never be silenced again, until I stop breathing.”

    If our media and system were as fair as they were a mere 18 years ago during the Corporate Scandals era, this would surely be the top business news item. If you want help digging into this, please contact me. I can point you to the right people.

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