Links 8/15/2020

NYC’s Bedbug-Sniffing Dogs Prepare for Retirement The City

‘Canary in the coal mine’: Greenland ice has shrunk beyond return, study finds Reuters (Kevin W)

Pollution linked to antibiotic resistance PhysOrg (Robert M)

Digital content on track to equal half Earth’s mass by 2245 EurekAlert! (BC)

Google Resumes Its Attack on the URL Bar, Hides Full Addresses on Chrome 86 AndroidPolice

Study discovers how certain gut bacteria enhances cancer immunotherapy New Atlas (furzy)

#COVID-19

Let This Online Tool Fill Your Home With the Annoying Office Sounds You Secretly Miss Mental Floss. Kevin W: “Yes, this is for real. Here is the website-https://soundofcolleagues.com/”

Thailand Elite Card aims to lure expats seeking virus haven Bangkok Post (resilc)

Science/Technology

A look within cytokine storms Nature (David L)

Virus Vaccine Rush Leaves Little Recourse for Anyone It Harms BloombergLaw

Top Russian doctor quits over questionable ethics that rushed through coronavirus vaccine approval Pharmafile

US

The Real Pandemic Gap Is Between the Comfortable and the Afflicted New Republic

Are bread riots coming to America? The Week (resilc)

States Secretly Stockpiling Food for Need Ahead – “To the Roof!” YouTube (J-LS)

Home prices climb to record in coronavirus pandemic as buyers seek space Fox (J-LS)

Surge in Covid cases among children fuels fears over US school reopenings Guardian

Asia

Hong Kong confirms 48 new coronavirus cases as outbreak at European slaughterhouse sparks fears South China Morning Post (J-LS)

Finance/Economy

AMC Movie Theaters Will Reopen On Aug. 20 With 15-Cent Tickets Fortune

China?

U.S. Carrier Group Conducts Operations in South China Sea Bloomberg

Trump sets deadline for sale of TikTok operations in US Financial Times

Google Has Stopped Responding To Data Requests from Hong Kong Authorities CNet

China Sets Trial Run For Digital Yuan in Top City Hubs Nikkei

India

Tagore’s ‘Deenodaan’, Independence and the Gods’ Last Laugh The Wire (J-LS)

Syraqistan

Centcom Chief Expects Long-Term Presence in Iraq Antiwar

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Clearview Hires Prominent First Amendment Lawyer To Argue For Its Right To Sell Scraped Data To Cops TechDirt (Chuck L)

Imperial Collapse Watch

US sees embarrassing UN defeat over Iran arms embargo proposal Guardian

Lights! Camera! Kill! Hollywood, the Pentagon and Imperial Ambitions. CounterPunch

Trump Transition

‘Do you regret all your lying?’ White House reporter’s question startles Trump Guardian (resilc)

He does not include 9 million largely preventable foreclosures, getting rid of habeas corpus, and expanding the surveillance state:

2020

‘The President Was Not Encouraging’: What Obama Really Thought About Biden Politico (UserFriendly)

The Rise of Kamala Harris Wall Street Journal. Nooners.

Progressives cool on Biden foreign policy The Hill

The first ‘second gentleman’? Meet Kamala Harris’ husband, Doug Emhoff NBC

Forget the Nasty Insults. Trump Plans to Sabotage the Election. The Nation

A Geopolitical Earthquake Just Hit the Mideast New York Times

Post Office

Postal Service warns 46 states mail ballots may not be delivered in time to be counted The Hill

Why is the US Postal Service’s role in November’s election under scrutiny? – Guardian (Kevin W)

Michigan’s Postal Workers Say the Fix is In Mother Jones (resilc)

Why We’re Planning For An Election Day That Could Last Months FiveThirtyEight

Power to Protect the Mails Article I (dk)

The millions being made from cardboard theft BBC (resilc)

U.S. Probes Former NASA Official’s Contacts With Boeing Executive on Lunar Contracts Wall Street Journal

The New ‘FICO Score’ CalPERS and NY Common Are Using to Push Managers on Diversity Institutional Investor (jpr)

Dr. Ed’s Blog: Another Roaring Twenties May Be Ahead Eric Yardeni. Although my auto industry supplier friend says her sales have rebounded to nearly pre-Covid levels….but this is due largely to Mercedes orders.

Charter Can Charge Online Video Sites for Network Connections, Court Rules ars technica

Facebook abandons broken drilling equipment under Oregon coast seafloor OregonLive (Chuck L)

Facebook Goes After Apple Axios

The Scramble to Pluck 24 Billion Cherries in Eight Weeks New York Times. Resilc: “I thought they just grew in little bags.”

An Alphabet company is designing a road for autonomous cars in Michigan Endgadget (Kevin W)

Antidote du jour. Kris K: “Morpheus, the gentlest cat in the world”:

And a bonus (J-LS):

And an additional bonus (dk):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here

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293 comments

  1. Wukchumni

    Back from a 4 day family backpack up to the majestic Franklin Lakes (named after Lady Franklin-not Benjamin) in Mineral King, where we were treated to quite the meteor show Tuesday night in particular, with a good many ‘Buck Rogers’ varieties where a long streak flashes across the horizon for a few seconds with a sparkly tail. We watched the reflection of them in the lake about 40 feet below our perch, just spectacular.

    To give you an idea of mask wearing in the wilderness, 2 out of 75 people we came across, were so adorned. You’d never know there was a pandemic in the back of beyond, where social distancing comes with the territory, so no big deal, and when a hiker is coming the other way, you just move off the trail about 6 feet-easy peasy.

    Reply
      1. griffen

        Those damned human walkers blazing a wider trail, next thing they’re putting a freeway where the trail once was.

        Pardon my snark on Sat morning.

        Reply
      2. Wukchumni

        I’m not too worried about the trail being besmirched by me stepping off of it momentarily, in fact i’d prefer to not be on trail, making my own.

        But thanks for your concern.

        Reply
        1. newcatty

          Thanks Daniel O. Please continue to comment on NC with real concern and actual fact based protection guidance on protecting the environment for the trails in our National Parks. It is refreshing to read comments not based on just a personal pov on what is the right or acceptable behavior when in the wilds.

          Reply
          1. barefoot charley

            The disconnect here is simply the difference between Yellowstone NP (where that rule/plea comes from) and wilderness trails. The difference being several million people every year, vs several each day. It’s a defining difference.

            Reply
            1. Wukchumni

              All the umbrage over me seeing somebody hundreds of feet away coming the other way, and the nerve that i’d find a dirt patch or some granite to perch on away from the trail, is hilarious.

              This ain’t my first rodeo…

              Reply
      3. Kurt Sperry

        I’ve got a friend who hikes long-distance, mostly off-trail. He must be a monster to you. I’ve even stepped a bit off the trail to urinate or photograph a wildflower. I am apparently a monster as well.

        Reply
      4. Janie

        Daniel O: yes, don’t widen the trail. I was taught that early and have passed it on; it’s how erosion gets started.

        Reply
        1. JWP

          I’ve noticed a move to line with stones or build boardwalks along more busy ones. Hurricane Ridge (Olympic) and Grove of Titians in Jedediah Redwoods have both undergone large infrastructure projects because of the off trail trampling going on.

          The only answer to the increase is to create more national parks and preserves as to disperse the adventuring population. Around here, even many back country trails are seeing the amounts of traffic the main ones do.

          Good to see people getting outside and in touch with nature, now give us more protected areas to explore.

          Reply
    1. sd

      I was just up in Sequoia for a few days, most of the tourists were wearing masks in and around other people but taking them off if no one else was within 50 feet or so.

      However, Hume Lake is another story altogether. No masks at all. That’s a bit of a heavy lift to expect Jesus alone to be a mask.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        I couldn’t imagine walking up to Moro Rock where there are a good many places on the way up or down where you practically have to be kissin’ cousins, as you pass so very close to one another or other popular frontcountry locales such as the Sherman (formerly known as the Karl Marx) tree, but the backcountry is completely different. In 16 miles of hiking we saw another person approx every 1/2 mile when you consider very few people are walking alone, mostly in minimums of 2 to as many as 6 in a group.

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          p.s.

          My sister just sent me a picture of the backup to get into the main part of Sequoia NP, it’s backed up 3 miles, or about a 2+ hour wait going nowhere fast, merely to get to the entrance station.

          This used to only happen on July 4th & Labor Day, but is a regular occurrence on every Saturday this summer, as our National Parks are one of the few places open.

          Reply
          1. Carolinian

            I’ve read that RV sales are soaring. So good luck finding a campsite after that 2 hour wait. Of course it would be a good thing for Americans to spend more time getting exercise away from their screens. But in our local state park they RV to the campground and then ride around the park in the golf cart that was mounted on the back. “Roughing it” isn’t what it used to be.

            Reply
            1. Wukchumni

              RV names are almost completely inverse to the sedentary lifestyle they promote, such as ‘WILDERNESS’, ‘BACKCOUNTRY’ or the like.

              Reply
      2. JWP

        Up here in the cascades, lots of gaiters being worn for a simple pull over the face when passing. Haven’t encountered a serious problem of no face masks yet. Will be a good testing ground to see how people do in more rural places on the upcoming trip to Crater Lake/ SE Oregon.

        Reply
        1. Brian (another one they call)

          Crater may get closed shortly. Numerous less than neandertal “campers” recently decided to treat it as though it was a playground. They jumped in, brought all kinds of crap they put in the water, and left garbage. They were so numerous, the park ranger could not deal with them. Crater Lake is still pristine, and hasn’t been destroyed like almost all lakes with fertilizers causing algae blooms, among other invasive creatures. It was pristine. Now we have to hope.
          I hope that they close it to all if they can’t keep morons out. It is 50 miles from my home and most of us for 500 miles around revere the spot as do the native tribes.

          Reply
        2. HotFlash

          JWP, I do not understand how ‘gaiters’ could be used for face masks. I looked them up and (totally skipping ‘spats’), was still baffled. What? How?

          PS: I am now getting a ton of adds for gaiters. My conclusion, businesses are paying google for vapour.

          Reply
    2. upstater

      My son and I paddled 4 days in wilderness areas of the Adirondacks this week. Before leaving, I called an outfitter and she said this summer is the heaviest use they’ve seen in 38 years. We found a campsite, but there were a LOT of people out. On our way out on Thursday many parties were headed in, but all designated sites were taken. Not easy to find non designated decent tent sites. Masks are not an issue canoe camping.

      All the car camping grounds had no vacancy signs up.

      Obviously people are vacationing in-state. Very few non NYS plates in the parking areas.

      The state has cut capital and maintenance spending on parks and wilderness areas, so increasing use will have a toll.

      Reply
      1. jsn

        I’ve been camping at Lake George for 19 years, this year is the first time I’ve seen every campsite in use.

        About doubles the boat traffic as most sites are only accessible by boat where I go.

        Reply
  2. Krystyn Podgajski

    “An Alphabet company is designing a road for autonomous cars in Michigan”

    I hear they are going to call these new roads “Train Trax”.

    Reply
  3. jr

    Let the Good Times Roll

    I had a mild shock this morning over coffee at my spot. There were apparently two gang fights last night, a medium size one near 6th and Bleecker and a big one down by the notorious Hudson waterfront. I scanned the news but couldn’t find any mention. Two people told me they had seen a crime scene marked out near 6th.

    My GF is asleep, when she wakes up and gets going we are having a serious talk.

    Reply
  4. Eureka Springs

    I had to laugh when the bison camera woman says “these people are fkn stupid” as she’s right there with them.

    Reply
    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      I was waiting for someone to pull out a handgun and act like they were going to do something and I was not disappointed.

      Reply
  5. timbers

    Imperial Collapse Watch

    US sees embarrassing UN defeat over Iran arms embargo proposal Guardian

    Last few lines:

    Suzanne DiMaggio….said the ultimate US aim was also to try to provoke Iran into a reaction, possibly leaving the JCPOA itself, or even expel international nuclear inspectors.

    “It is a scorched-earth approach, destroying the JCPOA in order to make it difficult for a Biden administration, and for the Iranians, to return to it,” DiMaggio said. “They’re not concerned with keeping a lid on Iran’s nuclear program. They really want to kill this deal.”

    Suzanne seems she might be taking for granted that Biden is going to win vs Trump as do some of my friends. When Hillary lost, sort of expected Dems to look in the mirror just a little bit and ask themselves what did they did wrong to blow a sure thing?….and stumble on one or two things that might help them going forward. Nothing major, but maybe one or two small things they could do to make themselves more attractive to voters policy wise. That they did no such thing speaks to how they will react if Trump wins again. A very destructive feedback loop.

    Reply
    1. a different chris

      Dude. This is the entire part about Ms DiMaggio

      Suzanne DiMaggio, senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment Institute for Peace, said that the US focus was not on building coalitions on the issue but on provoking a diplomatic confrontation at the UN to please Trump’s core supporters.

      She said the ultimate US aim was also to try to provoke Iran into a reaction, possibly leaving the JCPOA itself, or even expel international nuclear inspectors.

      “It is a scorched-earth approach, destroying the JCPOA in order to make it difficult for a Biden administration, and for the Iranians, to return to it,” DiMaggio said. “They’re not concerned with keeping a lid on Iran’s nuclear program. They really want to kill this deal.”

      Where do you get “Suzanne seems to be taking for granted that Biden is going to win”?

      Maybe, given the first name use, Suzanne is one of your friends and has thus confided? Otherwise, calm down.

      Reply
      1. timbers

        Thanks. And I know the quote and did shorten it for brevity…

        Where did I get Suzanne might be assuming a Biden win? From what you and I just quoted:

        “It is a scorched-earth approach, destroying the JCPOA in order to make it difficult for a Biden administration, and for the Iranians, to return to it,” DiMaggio said.

        Feel free to disagree.

        Reply
    2. anon in so cal

      >Imperial Collapse Watch: Iran:

      Putin acting like the adult in the room, yet again:

      “Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday (Aug 14) proposed a video summit with the United States, Britain, France, China, Germany and Iran in a bid to avoid “confrontation and escalation” at the United Nations, where Washington is trying to extend an arms embargo on Tehran.

      “The issue is urgent,” Putin said in a statement, adding that the alternative was “only further escalation of tensions, increasing risk of conflict – such a scenario must be avoided.”

      https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/putin-proposes-world-powers-summit-to-avoid-un–confrontation–over-iran-13022914

      Reply
  6. The Rev Kev

    “States Secretly Stockpiling Food for Need Ahead – “To the Roof!”

    Sounds good and logical this. Until like happened with PPE equipment, the federal government swoops in to clean out those warehouses for their own needs. i.e. sending it overseas to countries like Saudi Arabia and Israel to help those countries. Colour me cynical.

    It seems that the States are figuring that there may be problems with the supply chain if they are going to so much trouble. The people that made this video put their own spin on this development but is it more that the States realized that in a food crisis, that Trump will say that they are on their own?

    Reply
    1. sam

      The linked video (who is Ice Age Farmer anyway?) seems a little over the top. From reading the newspaper story referenced in the video it seems that that this is an effort to address food insecurity resulting from rising prices and loss of income, not a secret response to impending mass starvation.

      Reply
      1. The Historian

        Ice Farmer sounds like a bit of an idiot.

        Kudos to the State of Washington for thinking ahead. Reminds me of the commodity program that existed before there were food stamps.

        There are other reasons why the State of Washington has warehouses full of food – like maybe for their institutions, like maybe their prisons? They are going to need food too.

        I can remember going to a warehouse full of food that was for the Federal Hot Lunch Program. It seemed like a lot of food but in reality, considering the amount of schools in the area, it probably wasn’t all that much.

        Reply
        1. wilroncanada

          Thanks for the more common sense comments, in contrast to the pseudo-conspiracy theory utube video. In Canada, the federal government just allocated millions of dollars to be used by provincial food bank organizations to increase their stocks in preparation for what looks to be a difficult winter because there are still hundreds of thousands who will be unemployed all winter.
          I’m sure, to conspiracy theorists here, the allocation of money will lead to “competition of one province against the other, or one food bank against the others, and the federal government itself will compete against all of them.” That sounds like what this video maker is doing.

          Reply
          1. Sharron

            Retired last year from a school district school food service department that serves 70,000 meals a day. My nutrition department would use about 15 million in food alone for 10 months of service. The amounts of food purchased were not that big for a state to provide for food banks and hunger relief. I don’t see anything evil in this.

            Reply
    2. EGrise

      I knew that the feds seized PPE from some states and sent it to others, priority being given to swing states like Florida. This is the first I’ve heard about it being sent overseas, and I can’t find anything in Google. Not that I doubt it, but do you have a good source on that?

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        ‘Fraid that this was several weeks ago in comments where I quoted a source that said a lot had gone to Saudi Arabia so it is buried in there somewhere. Several weeks before that here was a story of how a load of medical supplies had landed in Israel from the US and they were boasting at the time that they had all the medical supplies that they needed. As around this time the feds were intercepting medical shipments for States and seizing them, I suspect that this was the source of this medical largess.

        Reply
        1. EGrise

          I did finally find the Israel story, where they tried to claim that a report that the DOD provided huge amounts of PPE to the Israeli army was a “mistranslation,” but hadn’t seen the Saudi stuff. I’ll look through the archives. Thanks!

          Reply
    3. Procopius

      Bear in mind the feds didn’t actually seize PPE from the states after they had received it. They did hijack PPE shipments in transit, which some statute enacted to “enhance security” allows them to do. If the Dems win, they really ought to seriously restructure Homeland Security and find a non-fascist name for it while they’re at it. On second thought, a fascist name is entirely appropriate for it. The Dems won’t say it out loud, but they will never reorganize Homeland Security until after they implement M4A.

      Reply
  7. jr

    Re: Idiots and Animals

    Years ago, when was in high school outside of Orlando, our class took a trip to the wild preserve around Canaveral. We got off the bus at one stop, after seeing a gorgeous six foot indigo snake, and about 20 yards in front of us was an 7-8′ gator sunning itself.

    At the same time, a bus of tourists unloaded and began to snap photos excitedly. As we watched, a British mother picked up her toddler and advanced towards the gator intently. We waited for her to stop but she got closer and closer.

    Finally someone screamed and then everyone did. She turned around looking perplexed and annoyed. When she got back to safety, one of my classmates told her “Watch this.” and flung a stick at the gater. The stick hit it’s side and it instantly coiled up and hissed like a dragon, jaws wide open.

    The woman burst into tears, explaining that she thought it looked so torpid she assumed it would be okay to put her baby on it’s back for a photo op. Why in the name of God anyone would think that would be safe in any context is beyond me. It’s an >alligator<.

    This may have been posted here on here in the last few months but maybe not. The detachment from reality on the part of the victim rivals that of the deepest mystic or the farthest flung psychotic. She apparently lacked the smallest sliver of instinct.

    https://news.google.com/articles/CBMicmh0dHBzOi8vd3d3Lm5iY25ld3MuY29tL25ld3MvdXMtbmV3cy93b21hbi1raWxsZWQtYWxsaWdhdG9yLWF0dGFjay13YXMtbWFuaWN1cmlzdC1ob3VzZS1jYWxsLWR1cmluZy1zb3V0aC1uMTIwMTc1MdIBLGh0dHBzOi8vd3d3Lm5iY25ld3MuY29tL25ld3MvYW1wL25jbmExMjAxNzUx?hl=en-US&gl=US&ceid=US%3Aen

    Reply
    1. griffen

      The harmless gators. Why can’t they just idly sit in the sun for a cutesie photo op?

      Maybe the Darwin award needs an expanded category, for stupid & clueless.

      Reply
      1. Lee

        Crocodilians preyed upon and outlasted dinosaurs. They may well outlast us. They are passive aggressive ambush predators that just lie in wait for stupid to show up.

        Reply
    2. Jeotsu

      We raise livestock. We do public education stuff, and take some of our animals in the local Christmas parade.

      Too many Townies are clueless about livestock. Even ones trained to go out and do PR work. “Do they kick?” they ask. “It has legs, it can kick… if you annoy it sufficiently” I reply.

      In NZ this is somewhat generational. People over 40/50 have a good chance that their childhood holidays were spent on a relatives farm. Now? Not so much.

      The average modern urban, westernised citizen is wildly detached from the realities of nature.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Years ago we were in Crescent Meadow in Sequoia NP and a passel of deer were frolicking a hundred feet away, and a couple of tourists asked my wife: “Are they live?”

        What else could I say other than, no of course not, they’re computerized replicas, and they look so real, don’t they?

        Saw a 10 point buck the other day, by the way.

        Reply
      2. juliania

        Yes, I did. Would not swap those experiences for a tourist adventure anywhere you like. I saw sheep dogs do incredible things, what it means to introduce a strange lamb to a grieving mother sheep by skinning the dead lamb and clothing the orphan in that skin. And all the while my uncle’s sheepdog was keeping the mother away from the scene until her newly alive and hungry baby could approach. Just me and my uncle it was — unforgettable!

        Small farms, privately owned. Richness beyond measure.

        Reply
    3. shtove

      That British mother was never allowed back from America, thus increasing the average IQ of both nations at the same time.

      Reply
  8. Merf56

    I frankly don’t know where to drop this info so someone smart gets a hold of it and runs with a massive public exposé. So:
    http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.405.5725&rep=rep1&type=pdf

    It is a pretty clear read. It is 2009 paper about the WTO GATTS that prevent us basically from having single payer healthcare. It’s insanity personified though I am sure you all know about it and I am just super late to the party.
    I really think if the American people knew right now how the Clinton Administration gave away our rights to better healthcare there would be pretty spectacular fireworks. The otherwise well informed people I have sent this to are incandescent with rage and are furiously emailing and texting me about it and wondering how to get this in from t of the public. I know it was big news when it happened but people’s memories fade pdq.

    Reply
    1. rob

      the WTO and GATT are useful for multinational corporations to supersede the will of the people, and we are told these rules are “made” and we have to abide by them. Sure they can “sue” the united states if we violate the rules….
      It will give cover for any corporatist who doesn’t want to do anything good for the population, and allow them to claim, ” we are constrained by treaty stipulations”…. while they secure future employment and status in the political class…
      But really WTF?
      Trump can blow off any treaty he wishes… look at what he did with the treaty with IRAN… just blow it off, and now the pundits are still saying iran should abide by the framework…. WTF? you mean the framework of the treaty we don’t abide by…
      But why should any real progressive politician be hamstrung by bad treaties. If some moron like trump can break treaties, break contracts on a whim… and suffer nothing…
      why should we as a country EVER allow some corporatist politician to ever hide behind restrictions of fascist/corporatist “treaties”…
      After all the american revolution, broke the rules…and we seem to “break with international standards” all the time when money is to be made…Our foreign policy breaks the laws all the time.. and everyone else goes along with us.
      Let the population take control of our politics… and let these rags, called international treaties… be put in the recycling bin…or trash…
      I am sick of these bad laws, being treated as if they meant anything.

      Reply
      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Too many laws if you ask me.

        Legalese is the new Latin.

        Only known by a few and used to control the many.

        Reply
        1. Procopius

          Somewhere in the Tao Te Ching is a verse that says something like, “The more laws you make the more law-breakers you make.”

          Reply
        1. rob

          i make no claims about being a treaty or agreement…. I don’t know all the details.. sure I could look it up…. but….
          i do believe that this was not a two-party agreement… or treaty… or ?… but there were other nations involved… we ALL agreed… somehow… but trump unilaterally withdrew. That I do know. Some other countries besides iran… were still involved when the US, breached the contract/ agreement…
          Whatever the language… international agreements…don’t really have any teeth. They can fine us, for breaching wto or gatt…. but we don’t have to pay them.
          I’m sure someone will point out the error of my recollection, but I still say
          if trump can say “anything he wants, and do whatever he wants… and no one seems to be able to say or do anything about it…. why on earth should we ever let some corporatist apologist scare us into thinking we ,as american citizens , are not able to make our situation better, by doing what needs to be done.
          As americans,
          our gov’t makes us complicit in the war crimes and crimes against humanity, perpetrated against everyone else , and some of us too, … so we already break the rules for bad reasons….
          I for one ,am supportive of breaking the rules(of the international elites) for a good reason

          Reply
    2. S.V. Dáte

      If you really want to know why we don’t have univerisal health and why neoliberalism exists (for about the sixth time since the start of America), read Matt Stoller’s ‘Goliath’, and Thomas Franks ‘The People, No’. MDs for most of the last 100 hundreds were adamantly opposed to having anyone telling them what to do (funny how that worked out).

      Reply
      1. hunkerdown

        Actually, both of them are liberal capitalists and believers in bourgeois society, three essentially exhausted ideologies. Therefore they have a limited capacity to engage in the deep systemic critique required to address the problem of ruling classes and the PMC in particular. Nicer, more polite aristocrats are a solution to exactly no problems outside the aristocracy.

        Stoller and Frank write children’s stories to save bourgeois liberalism from itself and bourgeois liberals from reaping the just deserts of their depredation as a class. Philip Mirowski’s narratives, on the other hand, are explanatory and predictive, and useful for someone seeking to operate against the parasitic class system. Pradhan and Pandit’s models and others explain how the middle class is literally guard labor to keep the working class at subsistence levels and dependent on the whims of the comfortable.

        Reply
          1. hunkerdown

            Gramsci, paraphrasing Trump:

            Unhealthy old ideology goes to die, gets pumped with massive shot of many new ideologies struggling to be born, doesn’t feel good and has a crisis – INTERREGNUM. Great variety of morbid symptoms!

            Reply
        1. Dirk77

          Philip Mirowski – that’s the name! I have been struggling for a week to remember the title of a really interesting talk that was linked to in NC months ago now. But it was “Hell is Truth Seen Too Late” by Mirowski. Thanks.

          Reply
          1. apleb

            We have socialized health care in Europe and while our societies aren’t as bad as the US, we are simply only slightly behind.
            Look at the NHS in the UK. It is better than the US by miles, but it’s still clearly going downhill and the society itself is on the same trajectory as the US, just slightly less extreme.

            So yes, we need perfect or at least something radically different. And radically basically means an actual revolution. This current ancien regime needs at least something to the magnitude of a french revolution to die and get superceded. With all the entailing catastrophes and “instability”. And I don’t mean the jacobinite terror regime, that is only one of the very minor hiccups compared to the real upheavals.

            Reply
      2. Senator-Elect

        If this is the reporter who asked Trump the lying question, congratulations! It’s too bad he didn’t try to answer it. Has anyone asked him whether his businesses are going broke in the pandemic? That should get a rise out of him….

        Reply
        1. CarlH

          I’m no Trump fan, but I do wonder why that question was reserved for him and not asked of all our Presidents. Name one President who didn’t lie through his teeth. I took it as yet another reporter taking an opportunity to project his moral superiority through virtue signaling. Our media is as diseased and polluted as all our institutions.

          Reply
    3. hunkerdown

      I don’t believe Sanders mentioned that angle in particular, but surely he could/should have known about it. That could be a point in favor of the sheepdog theory.

      Reply
    4. Ignacio

      I is a pretty clear read. It is 2009 paper about the WTO GATTS that prevent us basically from having single payer healthcare.

      I didn’t read the paper but if I remember correctly each country voluntarily decides what services to include or remove in the WTO (though removing a service from the list is said to be too complex). So if the US included HC providers as a trade-able service it could make implementation of single payer problematic, but not necessarily because any foreign provider should demonstrate that the public monopoly is reducing market access. Anyway I believe that most if not all HC providers in the US are already American companies. I don’t know if HC insurance providers are all American and if this particular service was voluntarily deemed as trade-able by the US.

      Reply
    1. lyman alpha blob

      Too bad the union can’t check to see how Biden voted on the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act which sandbagged it with those onerous pension obligations. I went to check and there is no record of individual votes since it was a voice vote taken during a lame duck session of Congress. How convenient!

      I wonder if the union bothered to at least ask old Joe how he voted before offering their endorsement? My guess is they didn’t. But it passed the senate using Unanimous Consent meaning at the very least Biden didn’t bother to object.

      Reply
      1. DJG

        lyman alpha blob: Confirming, I clicked through.

        Here’s more detail:
        12/09/2006 Passed/agreed to in Senate: Passed Senate without amendment by Unanimous Consent.(consideration: CR 12/8/2006 S11821-11822)
        12/08/2006 Passed/agreed to in House: On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by voice vote.(text: CR H9160-9179)

        Pretty much unanimity all around. What was the rush?

        Democratic co-sponsors, Danny Davis and Henry Waxman.

        Reply
        1. lyman alpha blob

          I’m so old I remember those 2006 midterms where Pelosi urged everyone to vote in a Democratic Congress to prove to the neocons in charge that “elections have consequences”. Except they didn’t.

          And while I’m familiar with the legislation, I hadn’t remembered it being rushed through prior to that consequential Congress being sworn in with barely a peep of opposition from anyone casting a vote on it.

          Carlin, big club, etc.

          Reply
  9. Wukchumni

    Friends are about to walk the High Sierra Trail, my favorite long distance backpack trip (72 miles) which really captures the essence of the Sierra Nevada…

    In somewhat of a panic, they told me they’d gone to REI in Fresno to buy freeze dried food for their sojourn and the shelves were mostly barren and I suspect the reason being that since they have such a long shelf life (we ate 10 year old Mountain House entrees this week, delicious!) that prudent people are stockpiling them for the looming food shortage that will be hitting us soon.

    I’ve mentioned that its about 90% Hispanics who are on ventilators in Visalia, and they are the ones who grow our food, combined with the midwest getting hammered hard, along with other crop failures around the world. It’s tantamount to a slow drip-this crisis.

    Ever wonder why the Mormons are so big on having ample supplies of stored food?

    They all very nearly starved early in the game in Utah and learned a lesson they never forgot…

    Reply
    1. Amfortas the hippie

      i don’t have a link at my fingertips, but the Mormons have a pretty good website about How To Prep For Dummies.
      lots and lots of practical info, from canning to how to prepare taters for the cellar to water purification.
      maybe 16 years ago, they had a big downloadable database available on this sort of thing.
      at the time, there was little there that i didn’t already know about, but i made sure to print out the canning and pickling stuff for future(hard copy) reference.
      Prepping/Putting By is apparently a religious thing for the LDS.
      I was surprised at how serious they were and at how comprehensive their site was.
      worth a look.

      Reply
      1. marieann

        We just finished canning 7- 500ml jars of Chili Sauce, using the tomatoes,peppers and onions from the garden. It will take us about 2 years to use it all up.

        I am not really a prepper just someone who likes to be prepared for anything. When my sons were small sometimes the grocery money ran out before the end of the shopping list. I learned then to stock up on all the sales, especially non perishable items, we still shop that way…..so we were never in the ranks of folk desperately looking for toilet paper.

        I shall have a look at that website they may have some ideas I could use.thanks for the link

        Reply
      2. wilroncanada

        From LDS friends, several years ago, was the ‘necessity’ of keeping one year worth of stores in perpetuity. Not sure whether this was just staples.

        Reply
    2. MT_Bill

      Until recently (last 6-12 months) you could also shop at any of the mormon “food stores” and buy long-term storage items whether you were LDS or not. That seems to have been discontinued in my neck of the woods.

      It was all rice, pasta, wheat, beans, etc., in #10 nitrogen-purged cans at a reasonable price. Worth checking out if your local one is still open and you’re into that kind of thing.

      Reply
    3. a different chris

      Love your post Wukchumi but Mountain House are somewhat short of “delicious” on the day they are made.

      Agree the level doesn’t change in 10 years… :D

      I loved my time on the John Muir. Racist he was or not.

      Reply
  10. Tom Doak

    I can confirm the slowdowns at the USPS are severe. For the past few months I have been mailing books to overseas customers, and in the past couple of weeks the number of inquiries about pending deliveries has gone up exponentially. When we dug up the tracking numbers for the customers, we discovered that many of the books had sat in a postal sorting center in Chicago for three weeks, before being put on a plane.

    Certainly, there are enough things going on in the world that there is plausible deniability for this being a deliberate slowdown, but there is surely a slowdown.

    Reply
    1. allan

      In what is surely completely unrelated news,

      Trump’s Postal Service Chairman Has Led Senate GOP’s $100 Million Super PAC [Too Much Information]

      In the months before the 2020 election, Donald Trump and Washington lawmakers put the postal service under the control of a former Republican National Committee chairman who has also led the Senate GOP’s major super PAC, according to federal and state documents reviewed by TMI.

      The Trump administration is facing allegations that it is deliberately sabotaging the United States Postal Service to try to prevent an expansion of vote by mail and swing the 2020 election …

      In the lead up to those developments, Trump nominee Mike Duncan was appointed to the USPS’s board of governors in 2018, and he was unanimously confirmed by the Senate in December 2019 to a full seven-year term. Duncan currently chairs the board.

      In 2018 federal disclosure filings during his confirmation, Duncan listed himself as the current chairman of the Senate Leadership Fund — a $100 million Senate-focused Republican super PAC whose 2020 electoral goals could hinge on vote-by-mail systems during the coronavirus pandemic. Duncan was listed as a director of the Senate Leadership Fund in an annual report the super PAC filed in Virginia in August 2019. CNN reported in January 2020 that the Republican effort to retain the Senate includes “McConnell’s super PAC, the Senate Leadership Fund, which is helmed by Mike Duncan, the former RNC chairman and a Kentuckian.” …

      Duncan recently announced that the board of governors that he leads had appointed Trump donor Louis DeJoy as the new postmaster general. …

      Mitch plays for keeps while Chuck is trying to peel off that GOP soccer mom in the suburbs.

      Reply
      1. Katniss Everdeen

        The corona virus “panic” is 6 months old, and this sudden imperative for mass mail-in voting as its result is even more recent than that. The degradation of the USPS has been going on for decades.

        This idea that Trump is “destroying” the post office to stop mail-in voting in order to get elected, is just the latest iteration of the “history began in 2016” and “Orange Man Bad” explanation for the fact that decades of congressional / executive corruption are finally coming home to roost, and those responsible are desperate not to admit it.

        As for mitch mcconnell, IMNSHO any derision or opprobrium that can be heaped on him is equally deserved by democrats, who refuse to nominate and support a viable challenger to “the most hated senator in america,” who is seriously underwater, even in his own state.

        https://www.politicususa.com/2019/07/18/mitch-mcconnell-is-the-most-hated-senator-in-america.html

        Reply
        1. dcblogger

          the degradation of the Post Office has been going on for a while. But Trump’s sabotage is way above what has been going on. The removal of sorting equipment, the removal of mail boxes, this goes way beyond privatization.

          Reply
        2. Cuibono

          i dont think so. If you have not seen a massive escalation in recent months you have not been paying attention. Hell he as much admitted to it yesterday,

          Reply
        3. pasha

          two days ago trump admitted that his administration’s activity re: the post office was to reduce mail in votes for democrats. it is on the record now

          Reply
          1. flora

            That implies disrupting Dem states’ and swing states’ post offices more than GOP states’ post offices. Interesting to me that I’ve had more delays receiving packages shipped from what’s considered Dem or swing states and almost no delays from what’s considered GOP states. Could be a coincidence.

            Reply
      2. marym

        2018 was quite the year then. There was a task force:

        NALC [National Association of Letter Carriers] submits postal workforce recommendations to White House
        “In a meeting with the White House today [06/05/2018] , NALC President Fred Rolando delivered policy recommendations to the White House Task Force on the Postal Service. The Task Force, comprised of the heads of OPM, OMB and the Department of the Treasury, was established in April via executive order from President Trump. It has been charged with evaluating the finances of USPS — including its pricing, operations and workforce costs.

        NALC coordinated with the other three postal unions (APWU, NRLCA and NPMHU) to prepare a comprehensive analysis of the Postal Service’s current situation and to offer concrete recommendations that can be taken to stabilize the USPS, a treasured and Constitutionally mandated agency.

        At the meeting NALC made it clear that the Postal Service, an agency with an 88 percent favorability rating with the American people, does not need a new business model or a fundamental restructuring. Instead, Rolando called on the Task Force to focus on the real source of the Postal Service’s financial crisis: The mandate to prefund retiree health benefits decades in advance, which accounts for 92% of the agency’s reported losses since 2007.” (First link below)

        According to the second link below the administration’s 2021 budget included recommendations on postal worker pay and benefits (less), rates (more), and service (less). Interesting, fwiw (emphasis added):

        Absent from the budget blueprint was a plan to sell off the Postal Service to the private sector, which the administration previously pitched in its government reorganization strategy. Asked on Monday if the administration is still pushing that goal, Office of Management and Budget Deputy Director for Management Margaret Weichert said, “Our thinking has evolved over the last 18 months.””

        Third link is to a summary of the 12/2018 task force report.

        https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/nalc-submits-postal-workforce-recommendations-to-white-house
        https://www.govexec.com/pay-benefits/2020/02/trump-proposes-97-billion-usps-savings-package-including-pay-and-service-cuts/163020/
        https://www.govexec.com/management/2018/12/postal-task-force-recommends-eliminating-workers-rights-bargain-over-pay/153272/

        Reply
          1. savebyirony

            Where is the weather underground of our days? When will its 21st century incantation arise. Protests with that sort of “public servant” will start getting through when we start seeing those mansions being burnt down, and I do not know whether to fear or accept as justifiable retaliation in a long going and deadly class war that such actions will probably be sooner rather than later.

            Reply
            1. Dan

              I agree. That protest isn’t going to scare anyone. In fact, they’re probably laughing at it. Nothing will change until the fear of god is put into this people.

              Reply
              1. flora

                People say without much information that the Great Depression didn’t result in violence because FDR forced the Dems to step into the crisis and alleviate the people’s fear and desperation. That’s not correct. People’s desperation drove them to thousands of acts we’d call anarchism today. Those acts have been erased from the history books. FDR saw the country was driving people to violence (threatening to hang judges who ordered foreclosures, armed break ins of store houses of grain to just to get food), saw the country was on the brink. FDR saved capitalism from itself. That’s been erased from most history books.

                Reply
    2. timbers

      Ditto for me. I sometimes buy/sell small items like collectible movies on ebay and use Media Mail. It’s slowed incredibly.

      FWI, the Postal Service frequently comes up in other sites and is relentlessly attacked…ones listed on Blogroll here (2nd one from bottom).

      The lack of knowledge about the Post Office in that blogs comments section is breathtaking. No knowledge of the deliberate policy either past or present to destroy the PO. It’s routinely used as an example of failed government socialism in urgent need of replacement by wonderfully perfect free market private capitalism and a great injustice that it receives socialist tax dollars…as if something mandated in the US Constitution isn’t supposed to get tax dollars? Like the military for instance? Where did that come from? Similarly, Venezuela or Cuba or Iran are regularly sited as failed socialism while any mention that hardships are caused by illegal US sanctions is ignored and dismissed…it’s all because attributed to socialism.

      Reply
    3. Skip Intro

      The great thing is that announcements by the USPS and concerned Democrats warning of delays and dysfunction also serve to undermine confidence in the institution, which, with mail delivery, is pretty important. So even nominal opponents of the dismantling of USPS are participating in its destruction.

      Reply
    4. Jomo

      I can confirm this as well. I live in a very rural area, but due to an interest in archaeology (which I can pursue on my property), I order books from university presses. I also track these orders. Books delivered by USPS seem to be held at large processing centers for 4-5 days. Then sent forward, and then when the books are at a location when I think the delivery will be the next day, the books are sent to another processing center in the middle of the state to be held another 4-5 days. This has happened multiple times beginning this year and delivery which used to take a week, now takes 3 weeks. I don’t get it. My brother, who is retired from USPS, says humans aren’t touching these packages, it’s all done by machines based on the coding on the packages. So trying not to be paranoid, but this could be accomplished by a bad actor manipulating software. Two or Three weeks delay, could disqualify a lot of ballots. Data on party preference is now down to zip codes and streets, so delaying mail from certain zip codes could change election outcomes. I’m not a conspiracy nut, but these are my observations on tracked mail delivery. Anybody else see this?

      Reply
    5. sd

      I ordered a small computer cable, it got stuck in St. Louis for 3 weeks and looked like it was lost. So I ordered another cable, both arrived on the same day….

      Reply
    6. Dr. John Carpenter

      I can fifth or sixth this. I buy a lot of music via mail and I’ve had a couple Media Mail packages which usually would take less than a week taking three or more. The first one happened before anyone was talking about this in the media.

      Reply
    7. flora

      Also thinking about all the people in this country who get their prescription medicines by mail.

      (T and Barr requested absentee ballots, aka vote-by-mail ballots, for this election and past elections. )

      Reply
      1. jr

        We had to cancel one bed order, never showed, and the second was very late. Also, paper towels seem in short supply in the area.

        Reply
    8. anon in so cal

      >USPS

      Anecdotal, but I order medicine for our dog from a company in NYC, which they ship to me in California by USPS. Always arrives on the tracking info’s arrival date.

      If Democrats were really serious about the USPS, they might have taken steps to rein in Dianne Feinstein’s husband Richard Blum’s activities.

      “GOVERNMENT SAYS COMPANY PART-OWNED BY FEINSTEIN’S HUSBAND ABUSES POST OFFICE CONTRACT

      CBRE, a giant real estate company partially owned by Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s husband, Richard Blum, is costing the U.S. Postal Service millions of dollars a year in lease overpayments, and its exclusive contract should be immediately canceled, the service’s inspector general has found.”

      https://theintercept.com/2015/05/05/watchdog-slams-company-part-owned-feinsteins-husband-abusing-huge-post-office-contract/

      Reply
      1. flora

        The Michigan story says removing the mail sorting machines has slowed mail sorting by 700,000 mail pieces per hour.

        The Washington Post has reported that Michigan USPS facilities have seen their ability to process mail reduced by 700,000 pieces per hour.

        I wonder where all the removed post office mail sorting machines have gone? Where are they?

        Reply
        1. allan

          Thank you for the link to the FT story. It’s from February, right before the pandemic began destroying the market for Manhattan office space and reducing malls from distressed assets to smoking craters, making this all the more hilarious:

          The money was needed, Mr Flatt explains, to pay for a big wager on US malls — a sector that many investors have left for dead. BPY consummated the bet in August 2018 when it merged with retail landlord GGP, whose shareholders received cash payments worth $9.3bn. Yet that was also the month when some of BPY’s cash was committed to 666 Fifth Avenue, the office lease in midtown Manhattan that is still jangling nerves from Washington DC to Doha.

          Smart money. But they did flip quite a bit of it to the Qataris, who apparently will eat anything.

          Reply
    9. flora

      From the Michigan USPS article:

      “I think it’s absolutely true,” said Steve Wood, a mail clerk who works at the Michigan Metroplex, a massive mail sorting center near Detroit. He says he was convinced in recent weeks as he and his colleagues saw the removal of almost a quarter of the facility’s mail sorting machines, ….
      (my emphasis)

      Where did those mail sorting machines go? Where exactly did the removed mail sorting machines go? To storage warehouses? To DeJoy’s private company? To the FedEx or UPS or other private companies? (Which could then “rent back” the sorting machines to the USPS their own equipment.) To the auction block via an outfit like CBRE? To landfills?

      Inquiring minds want to know.

      Reply
    10. Glen

      USPS has pretty much been on a path destruction since the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act was passed. We’re watching the death throes and it will be destroyed by the end of the year. This has been a bi-partisan effort supported by both political parties, and I expect that although US citizens will demand it be protected or whatever, it’s not going to happen.

      This is the tip of the iceberg, the powers that be will use the current crisis to destroy much of what was considered “normal”. The states are running broke, and will have to start cutting services, people, and selling off infrastructure. The only parallel to this that I can think of is what happened after the USSR collapsed. The oligarchs moved in and stole the good stuff that was left to steal from the public.

      Be prepared for a vastly reduced and sucky mail “service” run by Bezos which costs at least ten times what USPS did. Be prepared for toll roads run by Blackstone, fire departments run by private equity, and police departments funded by Wall St banks. We will be told TINA!

      It will be neoliberal/neocon heaven.

      Reply
  11. Paradan

    Russia isn’t skipping phase 3 trials. It hasn’t approved the vaccine. All they did is register it, so that they can begin doing phase 3.

    Even if I’m misinformed, I’d still trust a rushed Russian vaccine more then a BigPharma syringe full of lies.
    If the Russian vaccine has something wrong with it, we’ll definitely hear about it. The BigPharma one could kill a million people and they deny it for years, then say “..but it saved millions more.”

    Reply
    1. Skip Intro

      At this point, there is a very productive industry generating negative stories about Russia. I don’t believe anything about Russia until I read the opposite in the WaPo.

      Reply
    2. jo6pac

      Phase 3 is the first roll out and they hope to have every one in Russia done at the end 2021. Then in Amerika only few will be able pay. Those commie are evil;-)

      Reply
    3. Maxwell Johnston

      Russian doctors are skeptical about this vaccine::

      https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/08/14/1-in-2-russian-doctors-distrust-new-coronavirus-vaccine-poll-a71153

      That said, I commend the Russian govt for pushing hard for a viable solution. Long-term lockdown of the economy is not sustainable. I think a vaccine that’s 90% effective with some side effects is better that one that’s 95% effective with slightly fewer side effects. I would like to see the Russian govt publish the vaccine findings and data on the Internet, and let the world see what they’re doing. And then we can be free to choose.

      Reply
      1. hunkerdown

        If the only doctors complaining are those heard and amplified by State Department imperialist organs and their courtiers, then the vaccine is probably fine.

        (For those of you who dislike this logic, has changing your own down-predatory behavior as a member of the middle class never been an option?)

        Reply
        1. Maxwell Johnston

          I linked to Moscow Times for the benefit of people who don’t read Russian. If you prefer a Russian source, then either cruise the Runet or read it here (and run it thru Google or Yandex translate):

          https://regnum.ru/news/3036437.html

          There is skepticism within the Russian medical community re this vaccine; most Russian doctors are very professional and their viewpoint has nothing to do with imperialist organs. I’m all in favor of a decent vaccine, but I’m also in favor of transparency and scientific honesty.

          Reply
          1. hunkerdown

            The Moscow TImes’ purpose for existing is well known, and it’s not news. They have no business being regarded as a legitimate source of anything other than the US State Department’s private fancies. If oligarch-controlled sources are the only English sources talking about this, then we are only hearing about it because the oligarchs and their PMC minions want us to hear it. Cui bono?

            Which is absolutely reason enough to disregard it as a malicious act, and to punish every class involved severely and forever in every way we can.

            Reply
      2. Alex Cox

        If you visit the Sputnik V website (it is in English) you will see that this is a Stage III test, not a finished vaccine.

        Interesting that no English speaking journalists have managed to do this.

        Why, it’s almost as if they were being paid to generate anti-Russian propaganda!

        Reply
    4. heresy101

      Rather than trying to get a new patent to pillage all the vaccine users, the Russians are taking advantage of previous work.
      https://www.rt.com/russia/498057-vaccine-ebola-mers-covid-19/

      “A whole generation of biotechnicians, virologist, immunologists… have been for more than 20 years developing the technology that was used to create this vaccine along with at least six other drugs,” Gintsburg explained. He added that the work on the Ebola vaccine GamEvac-Combi several years ago was particularly helpful is determining things like the composition of the drug and immunization doses.”

      I’d take the Russian vaccine before the wall street vulture’s vaccine!

      Reply
    5. Maritimer

      “Even if I’m misinformed, I’d still trust a rushed Russian vaccine more then a BigPharma syringe full of lies.”

      You highlight the dilemma, who you gonna trust? A number of the drug corps involved in vaccine development have criminal records and also significant civil judgements against them.

      So, we need more than just scientists to assess these vaccines, we need a sleuth who is familiar will all the techniques used to falsify and fake a study, who can investigate those involved in the study to see if they were involved in past malfeasance, etc. Is there a Dr. Harry Markopolos in the House?

      It really astonishes me that people complain about anti-vaxxers when, in fact, most of them are just doing due diligence which in this day and age of fear and hysteria has gone out of fashion.

      What is also ignored is that there are alternative approaches to vaccines and they are being ignored. All the eggs in one basket—should work!

      Reply
      1. Ook

        Indeed, what I’ve been hearing is because this vaccine is based on a proven platform, the stage 3 tests are more to focus on determining efficacy, as it’s basically already been shown to be safe.

        Reply
  12. The Rev Kev

    “AMC movie theaters will reopen on Aug. 20 with 15-cent tickets”

    Ummm. So these movie theaters will wind back prices to what they were in 1920 when they were founded. Considering the pandemic was still sweeping through America at that time, will a dose of the present pandemic be complimentary or will they charge extra for that? This is just nuts this. You would be sitting in the dark just waiting for the first person to start coughing. A fart would be a more welcome sound. It would not be so bad to see idiots go packing themselves into these movie theaters but you know that they will take their kids as well.

    Reply
    1. Paradan

      They make most of their money off concessions, and alcohol now.

      Gotta to admit though, that this a great way to kill off more poor people.

      Reply
    2. Retaj

      Only 15 cents, with free SARS-CoV-2!

      I wonder if negative pressure tents would be workable for infection control. They would have to be transparent and pass sound.

      Reply
    3. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Sorry, NC, but Becnels gotta support his Movie Theaters.

      My childhoods been strip mined of every entertainment. No Arcades. No Blockbuster. No ToysRus.

      Reply
      1. JWP

        Our local theater has been selling popcorn on weekends, which there has been a lot of support for. I imagine there’s safer ways to support. To each their own in doing that.
        I have always loved the cinematic experience they offer at an old school one room theater with a balcony too. Shame to see them go and hopefully we can keep them afloat, but maybe the drive in can stage a large enough comeback to keep the industry going.

        Arcades are staging a major comeback around town pre pandemic. All sorts of bar/arcade hybrids popping up.

        Reply
    4. Wukchumni

      The Great Depression was the effective end of vaudeville-it never recovered, and aside from a few movie theaters with expansive screens, most of the ones locally are more of a really big screen HD TV, why bother. I’ll not miss the $9 tub of popcorn with that ever so curious ‘golden flavoring’, by the way.

      Their days were numbered before Covid, and charging 3 nickels to risk being in a giant air conditioned room seems on the dear side.

      Reply
    5. Adam

      I wouldn’t just be worried about coughing. Don’t go to a movie that will make people laugh or scream either!

      Reply
    6. griffen

      If they are really interested in attracting people again to the theater, they could do a double feature. For example Jaws and Jaws 2. Or the original Alien and the impressive sequel.

      But not Jaws 3. One horrible time seeing that is sufficient !

      Reply
  13. Tom Stone

    Nooners is in fine form today, as a lifelong Californian I had NO IDEA that Kamala Harris was just Chock full of goodness.
    I hope Willie Brown’s feelings didn’t get hurt, Nooners didn’t mention him even once.
    It revealed a new side of Kammie to me, she’s a liberal snugglebunny rather than the high functioning psychopath I always took her for.
    My bad, I ordered two “I was that little girl” T shirts in size XXXL to make up for it.

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      Man! When you need to learn the fine art of constructing a hagiography, go to the masters of the game. She is just superb in her “superiority” to we ‘lowly proles.’

      Reply
      1. John Anthony La Pietra

        Anybody who can look at Kamala Harris now and see in her “a woman of the left” has achieved something I must admit I will never manage to do.

        Reply
    2. Librarian Guy

      OMG, my email inbox had a link to a Joan Walsh “Nation” piece today, with the subtitle,

      “The bravery and radicalism of Joe Biden’s choice will become apparent over time”!! How stupid do they think the tiny slice of “the Left” that remains in the Dem Party (which doesn’t include me) is? And I’d imagine the Abolitionist founders of the Nation must be doing fast 360 revolutions in their graves. . .

      Kamala Harris goes with Radical about as well as John Bolton does with warm ‘n cuddly. Just appalling what they think they can put over on people!!

      Reply
      1. Aumua

        Equating establishment Dems who are right wingers for all intents and purposes with “radical, far left communist” agendas serves multiple purposes for the (far) right wing: It is a dog whistle for Trump’s base, whipping them up into a frenzy and motivating them to vote no matter what. It is a threat to the Democratic party that they better stay in the center-right lane they have boxed themselves into, or else be smeared as commies. And it compels Democrats to bend over backwards to veer further right prove that they are not radical leftist revolutionaries out to destroy America. It also runs general interference and confusion on people’s understanding of political terms like left and right, keeping them off balance and easily controlled.

        Basically the establishment (far) right can now attack the Democrats with these lies viciously, without consequence, because of the Dem’s own refusal to embrace any policies remotely friendly to the working class. It’s brutally effective, and pretty scary stuff. It would be laughable if so many people did not sincerely believe it.

        Reply
  14. Lex

    Please leave the tatanka (buffalo) the fuck alone.

    Mmmmmm, delicious! Just the thing with my morning cuppa.

    More please. I promise to tip well.

    Reply
  15. Carolinian

    Re Hollywood and the Pentagon–while one should certainly question the movie biz love of violence and guns this article is more than a bit over the top. The central premise is that American love of militarism would somehow go away without film industry support and that

    Without Hollywood to inform and educate young people and their families to the dangers and horrors of the world, the military would be hard pressed to fill its ranks

    So the rah rah imperialism of our national press or the pornographic celebrations of war making on cable and network news (Brian Williams’ “beautiful” cruise missiles) seemingly have nothing to do with it and it’s all on the moguls. The article ignores other consideration such as that films, by their nature, have a pro action bias and that’s especially true now that the industry is highly dependent on foreign sales where subtlety and dialog are downplayed in favor of visuals and simple comic book style plots.

    Arguably what Hollywood really loves is not the Pentagon but rather money and so they follow the social trends that will generate ticket sales. In the 1970s this produced a decade of decidedly anti-war films and some anti-war projects–George Clooney’s excellent TV version of Catch-22–are still getting through. Kathryn Bigelow is hardly a wheel in the business and Zero Dark Thirty encountered some Oscar backlash for its suckuppery to the CIA..

    Reply
    1. Plague Species

      I’m currently watching a decent series entitled Snowfall on FX on Hulu. They portray the CIA’s involvement in the crack cocaine business in the 80’s as rather innocent and stumbling fumbling — that it was more by accident rather than a strategy conjured at the very top and implemented with precision and cunning. It’s unabashed containment and this show is a hit with the generations who were not exposed to this phenomenon during their formative years. For them, it’s a history class and this history class is whitewashing their minds. My eighteen-year-old son is watching it and I have to keep him straight about the history. I will not let Gary Webb’s incredible work and his murder be in vain.

      Reply
      1. Carolinian

        I’d say The Americans was pretty much propaganda. On some topics–i.e. Russia–H’wood really is joined at the hip with the FP deep state. But it’s more by inclination than for the free stuff.

        Reply
        1. chuck roast

          I had some time on my hands today waiting for the 60 bus, so I went to a nearby Barnes & Noble. I headed for FICTION and didn’t see too much. Then I saw WORLD HISTORY backed by US HISTORY. WORLD HISTORY looked pretty ho-hum, so I turned around and checked out US HISTORY…it was a wall of propaganda…I started mumbling…”Jesus (family blogging) Christ”…realized I better head back to FICTION post haste before the citizens got upset. I bought a literary piece called A Gentleman in Moscow which, mercifully, appears to have no pretensions towards objectivity.

          Reply
    2. hunkerdown

      Synecdoche. The “news” is every bit as much a fictional narrative production as Hollywood.

      What every powerful person loves and needs is to deprive others of power. Money is just how they keep score. To claim that money is the end is not only to propagate poisonous neoliberal agnotology, but also to actively serve the ends of the neoliberal endgame. Please reconsider your model.

      Reply
      1. Carolinian

        No I think for H’wood it really is about the money, the perks, the lifestyle. Their notional left ideology is how they assuage their guilt for all that conspicuous consumption. See David Cronenberg’s Maps of the Stars for a dipped in acid view of the place.

        Of course for the studio heads money as power is a thing but they are not the “creatives” who turn out the product.

        Whereas the news media are more agenda motivated. Most are owned by fat cats who are actively seeking influence.

        Reply
    3. km

      I saw Narcos as a three-season long justification for imperialism and torture, because bad guys.

      I could not finish it.

      Reply
  16. Amfortas the hippie

    New Repub’s art about the two classes.

    my stepmom has been calling me every 3-4 days since my dad died…mostly for comfort, which i provide as best i can(i am far from skilled at such social graces).
    today, she was apparently into politics…and sounded just like my mom, and just about any other person i know of that age cohort that isn’t dirt poor.
    the launch pad was what this life insurance policy would do to me and mine.
    i’ve determined that it will be counted as income for the month i get it, and assets thereafter…most certainly kicking wife off medicaid, and causing us to spend 10k up front for regular insurance through the school.
    stepmom is a retired school admin person, and in in the same teacher systems as wife, but apparently got in when things were good…because she denied that there could be any problem getting insurance through a school. direct quote:”everything’s fine”(i actually bit my tongue)
    for wife, school insurance would cost us a quarter of her income, at least….what with premiums, copays, deductables…and the threat of them not paying would always be there.
    all of that info is from the school person who handles all that as well as the financial gal at the oncology clinic….i did not get it from infowars,lol.
    but this is denied as even a possibility…we must be doing something wrong.
    so i tell the brief version of my 6 1/2 year struggle to get a hip….and again” it doesn’t happen that way”.
    but this is my dad’s widow, and i didn’t want to yell at her.
    this…right here…is one of the most crazy-making features of our current situation…and has been for a long while now: this total denial that anything is wrong with the world…and that the dems are decidedly not on the side of the poor and the disabled.
    “you must have done something wrong” is the excuse ive heard for most of my adult life…from the insane crusade against me by the cops, back when(“that doesn’t happen, you must have been beaten by someone else”(!!!))…to the incredible kafka hoops wife had to crawl through to get certified to teach spanish in texas….to my own difficulties getting a hip.
    all of these require a not soundbite friendly narrative, due to the esoteric nature of each of those things.
    if you’ve never tried to get certified for spanish, you can’t know…similarly for poor people programs, and for being terrorized by cops.
    each of these narratives challenges so many sacred cows that it’s near impossible to educate anyone about it who isn’t there already…ironically, especially democrat voting pmc types.
    “everything’s fine”
    the impossibility of successfully navigating any of those systems from within them is totally lost on so many folks….wife’s spanish cert and my hip felt more like accidents than anything…as if whatever beakwetter sitting in the works had got their fill and allowed us to pass.
    of course, stepmom hasn’t been poor since the 50’s…certainly not since she met dad…and she lives in clear lake, and never sees a poor person unless they’re cleaning the pool or mowing the yard…and those are all brown people with little english…and one doesn’t talk to them, merely points.
    sorry for the rant, but it has to go somewhere

    Reply
    1. diptherio

      I believe the term is “gaslighting.” Sorry you’ve got to deal with it. I don’t think I’d have the strength not to scream at her. I’ve gotten into some pretty heated arguments with the pops over this same kind of thing (the world is a fundamentally good place where the people in power do their best to do the right thing – except the Republicans, of course), hence we try to avoid talking politics at family gatherings.

      Reply
      1. km

        Lol, my mother is a full-on, Kool Aid guzzling Team D cultist, the kind that when The Party says the sun lights up the night, then she switches off her headlights, the kind who insists that Joe Biden is the greatest and most inspirational leader that is, was (since 2016) or shall be, because Team D.

        She is also extremely intelligent, well-read and extremely argumentative, and cannot handle differences in opinion or agreements to disagree. Every year, the State Bar sends her a birthday card to thank her for never going to law school.

        Reply
    2. Janie

      Sounds like a really tough time for you, lots of things coming together and not in a good way. I picture you like that poster of a cat hanging on to a tree limb by his front claws – he survived.

      Lots of people like that in So. Cal. I blame the large financially segregated neighborhoods where one has several circles of friends who don’t intersect, but they are all alike.

      Can’t find the right words of commiseration; cuts deep this morning. Hang in there!

      Reply
      1. Amfortas the hippie

        when i review my life, i’ve been gaslighted for most of it…as have we all, to one degree or another.
        ‘obama fixed healthcare!’,”poor people are lazy’,’gay guys are predators’, but ‘bankers are upright and virtuous’.
        ‘dems are on the side of the little guy’
        ‘joe biden is a progressive/liberal/of the left”(“as was hillary, of course”).
        they expect social security, etc to be there for me, because it’s been good to them.
        and my all time favorite:”if you work hard, you can succeed”.
        it’s been a wagnerian lietmotif all my life:
        “the things you say you experienced didn’t really happen…or if they did(unlikely), you must have done something(or failed to do something) to cause it.”
        maddening.
        …and not just from pmc/petit bourgie in my own life…that’s bad enough,lol.
        I’ve felt this same thing from the clinton wing since they first emerged from arkansas.
        it is a feature of “new democrat” political chicanery, and i’ve never seen an adequate treatment of it….sort of the necessary flip side of goptea’s lunacy that dems are just like Fidel and Che.

        the funny/tragic part is that, given who i am…with socratic perplexity embedded deep in my rootcode…I naturally question everything…especially whatever i think i know.
        you see the problem, i guess,lol.

        think i’ll have a whole half of a brownie, and watch star trek all day(106…s’posed to be frigid upper 90’s next week)

        Reply
        1. Susan the other

          Actually, The Hill article on the coalition of progressive groups asking Biden good questions and not letting him get away with typical political blabber was encouraging. Made me think that everybody and their step-mom had had it with being gaslighted. When the “progressives” demand clear answers from the Dem candidate… wow. The verbiage used was to the effect that they wanted honest answers about Biden’s slippery foreign policy and they didn’t want him to create any circumstances that would continue to allow our military aggressions, etc. I was impressed for an old cynic. Biden himself is clearly aware of the problems he faces if he tries to use the old tactics. I still won’t vote for him.

          Reply
        2. sam

          I sympathize with your predicament. I have a son with medical issues who receives expensive medication through Medicaid and therefore cannot ‘afford’ to take full time work because a dollar of income above the cutoff (around $15K for a single person) will cost him tens of thousands in medical expenses. This is an under appreciated feature of the establishment fetish with means testing – a marginal tax rate way over 100% at the cutoff that acts as a powerful incentive for the poor to stay that way.

          Reply
        3. Wukchumni

          My 62 year old sister told me that they raised the minimum age to claim SS benefits to 64, which was news to me.

          Can anybody verify whether this is so?

          Reply
        4. The Rev Kev

          If people believe what happened to you and who did it, then they would have to accept the possibility that this could very well happen to them from the same people. That is one worldview I doubt that many people are willing to make, hence the denialism.

          Reply
          1. Amfortas the hippie

            that’s the rub, right there…if they had to amend their worldview to account for a crusade by the local cops to ruin me(due to my being a knight errant and helping a friend(black and blue girl on side of road), who’s dad happened to be a Pillar of the Community, rich, and with a half brother who was chief of police)….if they could accept that, then they might feel compelled to revisit a whole lot more of the worldview, and that’s a scary thought.
            if enough chinks in the wall were to be so removed, they might see the Wasteland beyond, and feel compelled to Do Something….but the Problems are overwhelming, hypercomplex and insanely intertwined.
            my curiosity, and inherent need to try to understand the myriad contradictions led me to confront this…but then, i’ve never been comfortable,lol.
            my material wellbeing was already threatened by my interactions with these contradictions, and i had the time(no tv for most of my life, then disability) and inclination to go wherever my intelligence led me.
            I also think the contradictions are more readily visible, and unavoidable, the further down the ladder you are.
            as far as poverty, pigmentation or strangeness.
            the main silver lining in our current clusterf^ck is that millions of people who just recently were comfortable enough to deny such problems, are now being forced to learn about them.
            twitter/fb are filled with anecdotes about this sudden and forceful ejection from the Cave.

            Reply
    3. griffen

      Something worth researching more is how that insurance policy is treated for tax purposes. This was many years back, but when Dad passed I don’t believe my Mom was required to pay or treat the proceeds as taxable income. That was North Carolina, & I strongly suspect dad paid for it with AT funds. Given the mid 80s work environment in small town USA and such.

      Seriously, it should be spelled out in the policy or by the insurance company.

      I know youre resourceful from your many posts. So this is only intended to offer help.

      Reply
      1. Amfortas the hippie

        thanks. but everything i’m seeing says that ssi/medicaid counts it as income for the moth it gets cashed/deposited…and unless you spend it all in a month, the remainder is counted as assets. the funky trailerhouse already counts as assets, and brings us up to the hard limit.
        of course, i won’t know until i speak to a lawyer…and even then,lol…won’t know for sure until all is said and done.
        opaque hypercomplexity is a tool to hide the stick and the invisible hand in your pocket.
        and that opacity and complexity are choices…not natural and necessary occurrences.
        i still don’t know how much we’re even talking about, here(neither does brother)…and it feels taboo to ask directly, even solely for planning purposes.
        if it’s enough of a chunk, none of this will matter near as much.

        Reply
        1. Amfortas the hippie

          and i hadn’t even thought about income taxes.
          i’ve owed income taxes exactly once in my life.
          wife and i go to nearest H/R block…to the tax preparer who she’s known all her life, no less. I used to do mine myself, but started going to them when we got married.
          if this is any substantial sum, i doubt that will be adequate,lol.
          so…the first person i’m going to see is that bank president i’m always using as an example of the utility of Smallness.
          surely he can point me to a trustworthy person with the right kind of machete to cut through all this mess.

          and on a different note: talking to cousin on the phone about the crises, and it occurred to me that by picking failing to send bailout $ to the states and cities, the gop are, in effect, defunding the police…
          which i find pretty hilarious.
          saw several things yesterday about just how big a chunk the cops get out of the average city budget, and it’s ridiculous: usually the largest budget item, because we’re stuck in 1985 or 1995, depending on the letter after their name(plus the cop unions…which…why are those unions A-OK, but food service are not?)
          austin just cut their cop budget by a third, and sent that $ to mental health or whatever. Abbott immediately sent the DPS to Austin to “guard our capitol city!”…while Radio Preacher pirouetted and, in a high screechy voice, went even further into mad hatterland than usual.
          hell with it…thanks to you all. NC has the best commentariat, and my brownie is thawed.

          Reply
        2. Noone from Nowheresville

          Yep, each state has their own asset and income limits for Medicaid plus clawbacks. Even some lovely lovely different rules for different ages too. Makes complexity even more complex.

          Ask now for an estimate. It’s absolutely not taboo, given your family’s medical situation. You’ll absolutely need to plan for it and most likely spend it all in one month. Possibly pre-paying expenses like property taxes and other monthly bills. Extra food stock., etc. Perhaps set up an irrevocable funeral account trust. (know the rules on this one for your state)

          Make sure you keep every receipt showing how it spent. Nothing which could be considered asset purchase under the state’s Medicaid asset rules. Nothing which increases the value of any current assets under the Medicaid asset rules like the funky trailerhouse.

          Make sure any lawyer you use is well-versed in Medicaid rules, not just a great lawyer.

          And, I know, you know much if not all of this. Even so good luck and best wishes. Given the complexity of the system, good luck is a key requirement these days.

          Reply
    4. Robert Gray

      > “you must have done something wrong” is the excuse ive heard for most of my adult life…
      > from the insane crusade against me by the cops, back when (“that doesn’t happen, you must
      > have been beaten by someone else”(!!!))

      As somebody said, there are two kinds of people in the world: those who can’t believe that the police would ever rough somebody up, plant evidence, lie in court, &c,; and those who know that it happens every day.

      Reply
    5. rtah100

      Amfortas,

      – are you sure the life policy was not written in trust? This is standard practice in the UK so that it falls outside of the deceased’s estate and, potentially, the recipient’s estate (we have the same issue with directly held assets and social security eligibility). If it was, your problems may be solved.

      – in the UK, you can disclaim an inheritance. Do you trust your brother and other beneficiaries? Would you disclaim in their favour so that they would then settle what was your share on you in trust?

      – is it possible to execute a deed of variation in the US? In the UK this mechanism permits the beneficiaries, if acting unanimously, to alter the will. In the UK, you would never receive the assets for income or asset purposes but you would be treated as having owned them most recently for inheritance tax or trust law purposes.

      – if all else fails, can you accept the bequest but then put it in trust (for you / your wife / children) or, if the rules would deem these still your assets, could you and your brother execute mirror trusts, you put your bequest in trust for his family and he puts his in trust for yours? It would be income in the month of receipt but then you would have divested the asset.

      You should definitely find out how much is at stake and get some legal advice!

      Reply
      1. flora

        “…get some legal advice!”

        Yes, preferably from an elder law specialist atty. That said, there’s a lot of general info on the web.

        This article is 3 years old, info might need to be checked against your state’s current medicaid rules and any changes to the ACA. Assume nothing, check everything, etc etc.

        https://blog.stevebaileyal.com/2017/07/medicaid-and-life-insurance-policies-what-you-need-to-know.html

        Medicaid rules are so convoluted it would drive Kakfa crazy.

        (Interesting that so many bad changes to Medicaid, Medicare, and SS grandfathered in current at the time recipients to the old rules when making changes. Clever, that. )

        Reply
    6. HotFlash

      what this life insurance policy would do to me and mine.
      i’ve determined that it will be counted as income for the month i get it, and assets thereafter…most certainly kicking wife off medicaid, and causing us to spend 10k up front for regular insurance through the school.

      Exceptional indeed. In Canada, ‘windfall’ amounts, such as insurance policy proceeds, lottery winnings, awards, up to %50,000 are reportable but not taxed. Oh, and if you win a million $$$ in the lottery here, you get the million bucks, not an annuity. Our medical insurance, of course, is free. We pay no, repeat, no, premiums. Your government is so stingy, it is as if the entire country is run by an HOA.

      Reply
  17. Lex

    Please leave the tatanka (buffalo) the f**k alone.

    Mmmmmm, delicious! Just the thing with my morning cuppa.

    More please. I promise to tip well.

    Reply
  18. The Rev Kev

    “Another Roaring Twenties May Be Ahead”

    I cannot disagree with this article any more strongly. I mean seriously. Compare the economies between now and then. I will use something that Kunstler wrote recently-

    ‘The economy then was emphatically one of production, not the mere consumption of things made elsewhere in the world (exchanged for US IOUs), nor of tanning parlors, nail salons, streaming services, and Pilates studios. The economy was a mix of large, medium, and small enterprises, not just floundering giants, especially in the retail commerce of goods. We lived distributed in towns, cities not-yet-overgrown, and a distinctly rural landscape devoted to rural activities — not the vast demolition derby of entropic suburbia that has no future as a human habitat. Banking was only five percent of the economy, not the bloated matrix of rackets now swollen to more than forty percent of so-called GDP. Government at the federal and state levels was miniscule compared to the suffocating, parasitic leviathan it is now.’

    The technology that this guy writes about was new at the time. My grandfather rode a sulky and then switched to a Ford. You look at what he mentions and all we have done is to refine it over the past century. Oh, except for penicillin. Big Pharma just priced that out of poor people’s budgets is the only thing that changed. You could argue that innovation of new technologies has mostly been stalled the past few decades as so many engineers now only work on apps. There are few major new technologies being introduced into our lives like our grandparents had to learn to adapt to. And look at the present pandemic. Silicon Valley has been mostly missing in action as far as technological solutions are concerned. This guy is dazzled by technological toys while most people find their standard of living drop year after year. At least with the original 20s, they knew how to have fun with style-

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8qu38IQN88

    Reply
    1. Burritonomics

      I had the same reaction to that article.

      “Economics is about using technology to increase everyone’s standard of living”

      Like hell it is.

      Reply
    2. Janie

      Didn’t read – headline was enough. There was a recent link to Charles Hugh Smith, Of Two Minds. Yesterday and the day before he wrote about the high fixed costs, relative to variable, of so much of our economy. Picture idled ocean vessels, empty arenas, nearly vacant malls, auto plants and Google headquarters. Downsizing is out of reach, and the customer base is not coming back any time soon.

      Reply
      1. JBird4049

        Of those high “fixed” prices, I think it is the insistence of the wealthy to keep charging what they think is the right price, regardless of utility or affordability, or if anyone else will or can pay; just think of those homeowners who refuse to sell their palatial three room marsh shack for less than 1.5 quadrillion dollars because reasons. They can ask. They might even get some money for the location, but that spot might as not exist, because it has been priced out of the market.

        Reply
    3. griffen

      The mass produced vehicles, electricity , lighting , and all sorts of modern inventions especially rendering the outhouse obsolete.

      Comparing with today’s inventions – one can yell at another on the tweet machines or on the faceborg. Ride sharing. Real zenith of accomplishments. I know I’ve probably missed some golly gee whiz that will cure the Covid ultimately or dare I say cures forms of cancer.

      Yikes, but I’m not enthused like yardeni appears to be.

      Reply
    4. Foy

      “…I have been writing about disruptive technologies for some time…the awesome range of futuristic “BRAIN” technological innovations includes biotechnology, robotics and automation, artificial intelligence, and nanotechnology. There are also significant innovations underway in 5G for cellular networks, 3-D manufacturing, electric vehicles, battery storage, blockchain, and quantum and edge computing”

      Blockchain is just a glorified spreadsheet, AI is an inherent ‘bad’ used for wrong purposes. Other than better battery storage, I don’t see much that is going to improve people’s lives, I do see lots that might end up eliminating way more jobs than they create, can’t see a Roaring Twenties with that scenario.

      And if I see the word ‘disruptive’ again I’ll throw up.

      Reply
  19. jr

    Re: Hollywood and War

    Here is a great book I read for a Vietnam history class my friend and then professor conducted. He’s a fantastic professor and he designs classes with a variety of resources for students to learn. We had a couple of vets in the class and they said this book opened their eyes.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sorrow_of_War

    It’s a work of fiction about a Viet Cong soldier written by an actual VC veteran. Hard stuff.

    We also had guests who addressed the class. One was a former Special Forces squad “point man”, the guy who goes first. He said the jungles were so dense that at times the VC would be only 10-15 feet away but no one knew. On either side. So he carried a stumpy sawed off double barreled shotgun, said it would clear a hole in the brush real good.

    I knew some Nam vets in Orlando too, crazy guys. One guy, a roofer, had been in a long range recon patrol or LRRP. He had killed guys with his hands. He knew how to hit you in the kidney so you would die an hour, two hours, or three depending in the force and/or angle applied.

    He once started a fight with three dudes out of boredom. One guy pulled a kitchen knife on him. When the cops arrived, he had knocked two guys out cold. He was pummeling the third. What blew the cops mind was the knife jutting out of his back as he wasted this guy. He told me later they pulled out a shotgun, assuming he was flying on meth. After they cuffed him they showered him with admiration, no one liked those three around town. He was not the one who went to jail that day.

    Another guy was a former Marine sniper in Nam. He told me that one day his colonel ordered him to the Command tent. When he got inside, there was the “full bird”, a “spook”, and a VC colonel. The guy was a little surprised. That changed to amazement when the US bird told him the VC bird wanted a political rival for a general’s star dead. The CIA guy had arranged everything. The VC had good money to pay.

    So this guy was given a time and location and like a 1000$ US. He blew the guy away and got a medal for it. He never found out if the VC colonel got his star.

    Reply
    1. Maxwell Johnston

      Many moons ago I was an army officer, four years on active duty in an infantry division. One afternoon we (the officers in our battalion) were herded into an auditorium to hear an old infantry veteran relate his experiences of actual combat. We were expecting gung-ho tales of derring-do, etc. The guest speaker turned out to be an older fellow, WW2 vet, not a big man, very soft spoken and humble. He did not have a good time in the war and he related his experiences in brutally honest fashion. I’ve never forgotten him.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        I’m a big fan of oral history of the common man & woman, and Barry Broadfoot’s Six War Years is quite the tour de force. He traveled all over Canada in the early 1970’s gathering some of the most amazing 1 to 6 page vignettes of those involved in an array of capacities from the home front to the battle front.

        highly recommended!

        Reply
      2. Tom Stone

        When the subject of Vietnam comes up I remember Barney, a year older than I, he lived two doors away.
        Barney wanted to be a Doctor and didn’t want to be drafted and sent to Vietnam as a grunt.
        So he volunteerd for the Navy, not realizing that the Navy provided Medics for the USMC.
        He lasted 3 days in Country and 3 years in Oak Knoll before he died at age 22.
        I visited him several times at Oak Knoll, he had been shredded by a mine,
        Most of his left side was gone including most of his face and an eye.
        He was an only child…

        Reply
        1. VietnamVet

          In my third and last year in the US Army I spent a month in the neurological ward at Madigan Hospital. There were four paraplegics from Vietnam being prepped to be transferred into the VA system. They’ve vanished except for their family’s and my memory.

          Reply
    2. 430 MLK

      Sorrow of War is great. My favorite of that era is still Tim OBrien’s The Things They Carried, though I may be partial from a long hazy night out with him in Charleston, SC.

      Reply
    3. Alex Cox

      I would guess he meant a South Vietnamese colonel. I don’t think the Viet Cong had colonels, and don’t believe the VC or NVA were likely to ask the CIA for political favors.

      Reply
  20. lyman alpha blob

    Are we sure those snow leopards are just playing and being cute for photo ops by biting their tails? These are animals which have ranges of hundreds of miles in their natural habitats, and these photos all look to be of animals in small cages.

    I saw some snow leopards in a cage in a Rhode Island zoo once and they were pacing around anxiously like they had gone nuts.

    These days I’m not necessarily anti-zoo considering the chances species like this have in the wild against poachers, but just saying…

    Reply
  21. S.V. Dáte

    As to: “Dr. Ed’s Blog: Another Roaring Twenties May Be Ahead Eric Yardeni”. I don’t think so. First, yes cars are being sold because no one wants to use mass transit and somewhat less want anything to do with any kind of ride sharing. And there is this from David Wallace Wells:

    Climate Change
    “One plague, when big enough, occludes others, and the coronavirus pandemic has, for six months now, almost fully eclipsed the very real, very large, and very pressing threat of climate change. Even as the United States normalizes a pandemic plateau producing roughly a thousand deaths every day, with continuing national failure to contain the spread of the disease becoming maddeningly familiar old news, COVID-19 is still preventing us from seeing clearly the wreckage being done by global warming, particularly elsewhere in the world, in parts of the global South where Americans and Europeans prefer not to look.” – via the New Yorker

    In the end climate chaos consumes all the money (even using MMT), and causes a permanent decrease in the amount of energy available. At least if things keep going the way they have, for what seems like forever and that is greed from the Klept stays in full force. denial by the PMC. Leaders that won’t lead but seem determined to kill citizens. And the citizens who seem determined to kill themselves and those that annoy them. Then there is China. It may very well serve their purposes to use a nuke or two. They have a very different idea about suffering then we do.

    Reply
    1. Phillip Allen

      Why, you sound just like that famous humanitarian, General George Westmoreland:

      “The Oriental doesn’t put the same high price on life as does a Westerner. Life is plentiful. Life is cheap in the Orient.”

      Claiming the existence of some kind of ‘national character’ for any nation is so 20th century. (19th, really, but we won’t quibble.)

      Reply
      1. mary jensen

        A quote from “Shanghai Express” film 1932:

        “You’re in China now, sir, where time and life have no value.”

        Reply
      2. jax

        Phillip Allen – Regarding Westmoreland. That sentiment was in the U.S. Armed Services long before Westmoreland said it out loud because my father, a WWII Coast Guard vet, drilled that kind of casual racism into us as kids. It was the Yellow Peril who were going to outbreed us, and Reds who would send the nukes. The paranoia level in the mid 1950’s was oh, I’d say ‘orange’, on the 9/11 metric.

        Reply
      3. Noone from Nowheresville

        Who do we think we’re kidding? “The West” thinks life is quite plentiful and cheap too.

        Look at the systems we set up. Our sacrifice & exploitation zones. Our go-die neoliberlism or simply globlist rules. Look at our military, economic and social histories. Our current events.

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          You’re preaching to the choir here.
          A lot of the commenters here see that side of Neoliberal America very clearly.

          Reply
  22. The Rev Kev

    “U.S. Criminal Probe Looks at Former NASA Official’s Contacts With Boeing Executive”

    Perhaps this explains in part Boeing’s fall from Grace with NASA-

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/04/a-nasa-analysis-of-boeings-lunar-cargo-delivery-plan-is-very-unflattering/

    As an aside – Those snow leopards chewing their tails are kinda remarkable. An average one will weigh between 50 to 120 pounds (about 22 to 55 kilograms) and yet they act like your average backyard tabby.

    Reply
  23. Jeffrey Leeroy

    Snow leopards

    I used to work with snow leopards. My main kittaeh was named Lapis. His sister’s name was Lazuli. Named so for the color of their eyes. I have some pics but do not see a way to upload here in the comments….

    Reply
  24. Fight Fire with Fire 'til it all Burns

    Inspired by the Facebook & Apple article, a proposal for a new NC sportdesk headline.

    Bum Fights
    = two or more vile persons, organizations fighting each other trying to throw moral, legal, cognitive accusations against each other while being just as debased themselves. In short, the pot calling the kettle black.

    First entrants to watch:
    Biden vs Trump
    Facebook vs Apple

    Who else should be the league?

    Counterargument: it would be insulting to vagabonds and the place where the sun don’t shine to be associated with these vile people and organisations.

    Reply
    1. CarlH

      Will you call the millions of newly homeless due to this pandemic “bums” as well as the other victims of the 40 year neoliberal assault?

      Reply
  25. McWatt

    As I understand it, funds from insurance are not taxable, as they just, “make you whole”. Also, I believe, funds from law suits are not taxable as they also just make you whole.

    Reply
    1. sam

      Yes but once received they become assets that may affect eligibility for public assistance under means testing schemes that include a ‘wealth’ component.

      Reply
    2. HotFlash

      If that is the reasoning, then I don’t think that life insurance payments would qualify as ‘making you whole’, unlike payouts for damage to property, or to cover medical expenses, etc.

      Reply
    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      He’d never come out and say it, but intentionally leaking comments like those quoted (which have been coming for a while now) firs his style.

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Its Politico, so its tantamount to Obama putting out a Netflix special about how he thought Biden was a swell guy but…err…umm…

        Though with Biden obsessed with pretending to be FDR and Obama’s concerns with his legacy (protecting ACA as such as it is by preventing positive legislation), I wonder if Biden could be convinced to support M4All as a move against Obama.

        Reply
        1. Dr. John Carpenter

          Is Biden even sharp enough to know when he’s been dissed? I’m thinking of the “what did he say? What did he say?” moment with Julián Castro in whichever debate. Plus, Biden seems to have a “he just not that into you” relationship with Obama. Lol

          Reply
        2. Pat

          Not a chance, most of our worst offenders hold too many of Biden’s markers. This includes both insurance and Pharma. If you listen to his objections to MFA he tells you exactly who he is protecting.

          Stuff is still unraveling regarding the illegal surveillance of the Trump campaign. I think Biden has a better shot at being “shocked” there was illegal campaign activities by the Obama folk. If he really wants to knife Obama, that is.

          Reply
    2. pasha

      please go back and reread the article, it was much more nuanced than that (especially for politico!)

      in summary, obama was much more in synch with, and became somewhat enamored of, clinton because they are both cerebral academics and “inside the beltway” technocrats, whereas biden has always been a practical politician who knows how to read a room and get things done. where obama and clinton would lecture in meetings (which professional politicians really dislike), biden would try and find out what the other side would need in order to reach agreement.

      thus, when biden was uncertain about running after his son died, clinton announced her run for the presidency and got obama’s unofficial support. by the fall of 2015, obama was apparently unsure whether biden could successfully make a run for the presidency. biden has shown us that he can

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Yawn. You do realize this is in Politico, right? It means its leaked and has a point. Hillary’s acumen? Really?

        Now, Obots are making dishonest arguments about the Post Office, ignoring Pelosi and Obama’s decision to both not undo the lame duck 2006 pension fund scam and Obama’s own insistence on privatizing nut jobs. I think Obama’s out to protect his legacy.

        Biden hasn’t shown us that he can win. He has shown two failures before. Did you know who Joe Biden was before Obama made him his running mate?

        “they are both cerebral academics and “inside the beltway” technocrats,”

        Really? How much is Brock paying you guys? You would probably be better served working on voter registration than this.

        Reply
        1. pasha

          i was taking issue with your interpretation of what thompson’s article actually narrated, so i gave a summary of the article. the article is about their different governing styles, not really about obama dissing biden.
          further, obama didn’t think biden could win a national election on his own, but 2020 has shown obama wrong.
          i also stated i was surprised to find such a nuanced article at politico, notable for its right wing bias

          Reply
          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Right, and why would Obama’s people be leaking that now? This isn’t like a middle school reading comprehension where one only addresses the article. Politico is a gossip rag more so than anything and is usually a source of politicians leaks. If you were a politico follower, you would have picked that up by now.

            Yeah, its really because Obama respects Hillary. Do you want to put in an offer on my bridge in Brooklyn?

            Reply
        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          “they are both cerebral academics and “inside the beltway” technocrats,”

          Referring toe Hillary and Obama. This says it all.

          Reply
          1. km

            I keep hearing about how smart HRC supposedly is, but in 2016, she lost the closest thing to a rigged election, an election in which even the FBI ran interference for her.

            Not only that, but she lost because she didn’t take the EC into account, which is something that every C- remedial high school civics student ought to know about.

            Then there’s the fact that she flunked the DC bar, the easiest bar exam in the country.

            Reply
          1. The Rev Kev

            Obama was the one organizing Gabbard and Sanders to be knee-capped to clear the way for old Joe. When Biden talked about making a run for the Presidency last, year, Obama tried to talk him out of it. For whatever reasons, Obama is now backing him.

            Reply
            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Obama was behind the campaign staff of O’Rourke and then moved them to the Biden campaign. O’Rourke is too much of a doofus to have much of an agenda and not charismatic enough to make people forget about Obama, so Obama could see a way to stay in the limelight without the risk of embarrassment. But he likely underestimated what a doofus Beta is.

              Pete is like Obama. He’s a climber. Obama won’t want to back him. Harris had Clinton staffers, so that was out.

              Reply
              1. Late Introvert

                That would be extremely unfair km, I fixed it for you. And I was there with my teenager at the Iowa Caucus when Bernie was clearly the winner so yer concern for fairness is quaint. Update your app km.

                Dem Rats would rather lose with Biden than win with Bernie.

                Reply
          2. NotTimothyGeithner

            obama was apparently unsure whether biden could successfully make a run for the presidency

            Typos aside. Biden has managed to get on ballots before. My suspicion is you don’t know much about Biden pre-2008, so it stands to reason that he could successfully run. Then as the former VP, its fairly easy to win the nomination.

            Mixed in with the story with the suddenly cerebral Hillary Clinton which stands in stark contrast with pretty much every story ever about her. Did they go over spanish words for grandmother?

            Reply
  26. Susan the other

    The story on Facebook drilling along the central coast of Oregon to lay a new cable to our “partners” Japan and the Philippines sounds more than incompetent. Pacific City is an obscure little place – I’d bet that’s why it was chosen – to eliminate political hassles. But it didn’t work because Facebook obviously blew it off when it came to geography – simple analysis of the underlying sediment. And who would go off half cocked like that when any geologist worth his salt would advise against it because of the clear behavior of the Cascade fault – the Pacific side is pushing under the continental side. Because the continental side is bedrock. Deep bedrock. And claiming that bore gel is environmentally neutral is not only a lie, it is totally beside the point. Facebook should be sanctioned, fined and suffer an injunction against any more irresponsible behavior like this mess.

    Reply
  27. Ignacio

    A look within cytokine storms Nature (David L)

    I think this goes in the right direction. It is increasingly clear that Covid-caused ARDS is a specific kind of immunopathologic development and Science recently published a paper in which the biomarkers for this disease seem to be fairly well identified. Covid-ARDS specifically correlates with the expresión of three proteins in lungs (TNFSF24, EN-RAGE and OSM) that look like the best targets to follow under immunomodulatory treatments. This is promising though I have no idea how long will it take to tackle this. ARDS is tissue-specific and wouldn’t address other complications but this is by far the most important one to be addressed. Articles like this make me feel more optimistic for future treatments.
    It is amazing to see the results of very powerful single cell analytic methods.

    Reply
  28. occasional anonymous

    Funny how the Lakota always omit the part where they themselves were colonists who forced out the people already living in the Black Hills.

    Reply
    1. The Historian

      But the Lakota were also forced out of their own homelands by the pressure of colonists moving westward – don’t forget that! Kind of like how the Huns put pressure on the Goths and then the Goths put pressure on the Romans.

      Reply
        1. Oso

          the fact you even try to make this point – that the people who’s land you squat on and pollute is instructive. Why not look in the mirror. Literally. look in the mirror and look at history. who tf is a settler to criticize anything on stolen land.
          for anyone interested, the settler is referring to other native tribes armed by europeans who drove the Lakota/Dakota/Nakota westward.

          Reply
          1. polecat

            Okay, let’s delve further back into time, shall we?

            I mean, we could go waaay back, and point fingers at the new interglacial ‘settlers’ stealing the lands from under the feet of all those now extinct North American fauna .. both mega AND minor … and they All didn’t succumb to the effects of a changing climate either!

            So we could go on like this until the Moon turns into green cheese.

            Reply
  29. Amfortas the hippie

    one more thing, ere the brownie kicks in:
    Ryan Cooper on Bread Riots:
    cousin lamented that his “government check” didn’t come in(which would be stupidly funny if y’all knew him)
    he said that he’ll be fine…knows how to hunt, live in his truck, or come up here if it gets too bad…but that he worries about all the other folks all around him(north houston).
    i’ve seen mention that eviction judges are dragging their feet, in an already sluggish process…that’s been made more sluggish by covid…because they understand what an added catastrophe that would be.(Texas news site, more than a week ago, mentioned in passing)
    I think, therefore, that the first rumblings of the wheels actually falling off for reals, will be robberies…specifically, folks stealing food and diapers and toilet paper.
    I wonder if our crime reporting systems are adequate to report on this in anywhere near a reasonable…let alone actionable…timescale.
    …or will we learn about it on twitter and FB, like those “Toaster Bath” threads that have been linked here.
    anything like that out here, and i’ll know about it by the end of the day, even though my scanner doesn’t pick up the cops any more.
    anybody with fancier scanners in more populated places?
    might be something to listen for.

    Reply
    1. jax

      Amfortas – Re: scanners. Recently saw a VICE segment in which cops nation-wide are encrypting their radio scanners. Might be the reason your scanner doesn’t work, and why a fancier scanner may not work either. Looks like this issue is going to court in several states.

      Reply
      1. Amfortas the hippie

        sheriff’s office got a homeland security grant in 06, maybe…million or so bucks.
        big chunk went into the fancy digital radio upgrade.
        prior to that, my 20 year old analog scanner worked just fine for coppers….when they wanted to be secretive, because they knew lots of folks were listening(scanners are “local news” out here, with people my age and older), they’d “public service”…which means “call me on my cell”.
        so on a sunday morning at 4-5 am, when a cop would come on and ask to be “public serviced”, you knew that a drug bust was fixing to go down.
        now, cops use the same frequencies, but it’s garbled to sound like darth vader speaking Breen.(https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=VNJOeIurBKc)
        I think it’s a public ownership issue. Cops work for Us, after all….and while i understand their arguments for secrecy(except for the “privacy” argument they use to cover their asses), they…as a class…have so abused trust that they’ll hafta be totally transparent for a long while to earn it back. it is a further indictment of our political discourse that this opinion remains in the minority.
        My government, my business…no exceptions.

        Reply
    2. Tom Stone

      Amfortas, 21 Million are facing eviction.
      One third of American Families own guns.
      Millions of frightened and angry newly homeless people with guns looking for someone to blame.
      During a pandemic, in an election year.
      And Congress goes on vacation for a Month.

      It’s going to get right lively and very messy real soon.

      Reply
    3. td

      I wish you joy in your brownie.

      There is always a background of people doing what they have to do to survive and most of it gets edited out of the collective consciousness because it just hurts too much. We can, however, see the steady evolution of the process. In the time of the collapse of the Mayan city states, the peasants said:

      All I have in the world is this sharpened stick.

      That has progressed to:

      All I have in the world is this gun.

      I wish good fortune to anyone who reads this.

      Reply
    4. Glen

      My sister-in-law lives in north Houston and has been gravely concerned for years with the Muslims which are “very soon” going to come pillaging over the southern border. She bought hand guns for all of her grand kids (like when they were 6 and 8) so they had protection. She got very pissed at us when we told her she should be more worried about global warming and getting flooded. Her home has flooded twice since then. She still denies CV is a “real thing” despite having her son get very sick with it, and her losing at least one uncle to CV. All I can wonder is, what is it with Texas? She used to not be so detached from reality until she moved to Texas.

      As to scanners, most police department switched to packet mobile radio quite a while ago (which is all encrypted):

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

      I wonder if all the cops using packet radio know that all of these systems record EVERYTHING.

      Reply
      1. HotFlash

        A Portugese-Canadian neighbour was recently wondering the same thing about his older brother-in-law to moved to Florida 5-10 years ago. SO, the FL b-i-l is an immigrant to the US, the son of immigrants to Canada, and he’s rabid about (family blogging) immigrants i FL. My friend said his b-i-l never used to be like that. Is it something in the water? In the airwaves?

        Reply
      2. km

        Because Mexico is just chock full of crypto-Muslims looking to swarm over the border, and eeevil Syrians and Palestinians are preparing to paddle their vast fleets of war canoes across the ocean, yes, even as we speak.

        Better make sure that the kiddos have hollow points.

        Reply
  30. Ignacio

    Virus Vaccine Rush Leaves Little Recourse for Anyone It Harms BloombergLaw

    This is well above my pay grade but I believe it can have an easy solution: use the compensation scheme in case of moderate adverse effects and go for the vaccine compensation scheme in severe cases. Both should be funded by the Federal Government.

    Reply
  31. Wukchumni

    ‘Do you regret all your lying?’ White House reporter’s question startles Trump Guardian (resilc)
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    My to the right of right of right brother in law was a big wheel for a defense firm, and early on in the game I asked if all the constant lying by our President was an issue, and he said something to the effect of, ‘as long as he advances the goals & aims of the GOP it didn’t bother him’.

    I then inquired what he’d do with an employee that lied constantly about everything and how he’d handle it, and man oh man did he clam up.

    By the way, he’s still enthralled with glorious leader, and so it goes.

    Reply
  32. foghorn longhorn

    As NY Yankee manager, Billy Martin, famously said about Reggie Jackson and George Steinbrenner, “One of them is a known liar and the other one is a convicted liar”.

    Meet your nominees for potus 2020.
    Go team go
    Rah, rah, sis boom bah!

    Reply
  33. Ella

    I was called for jury duty in November. I was able to postpone it to next October, but seriously? I won’t send my young daughter to school this fall, my partner is teaching 100% remotely (university professor) and they are asking people to sit in a courtroom with a bunch or random strangers?

    Gross.

    Reply
    1. Jason Boxman

      Indeed, but it is a topic that hasn’t seen much ink spilt. Almost none, actually, I haven’t read a single article anywhere about the breakdown of our judicial system, such as it is, due to an ongoing country-wide pandemic. And for better or worse, I diligently click through links at NC about daily.

      Reply
    2. pasha

      have the court clerk send you an exemption request. notify them you are now home schooling your child. around here that would, at the very least, get it postponed to next summer

      Reply
    3. HotFlash

      I always have to balance the ‘no way!’ response from most everyone. Not me, I would *love* to be on a jury. I was called once but not selected — alas — but spent many hours listening to ‘normal’ citizens explain to the judge why they should not have to perform their duty as citizens in a state which specifies the right to trial by a jury of one’s peers.

      In addition to the very educational experience of seeing how the judicial/penal sausage is actually made, first hand, my thinking is that if it was me as defendant, I would really, really like sensible people to show up to decide my case, and not just a bunch of white pensioners. Ahem. I believe that it is a very serious responsibility of every citizen to carry out the duties of a citizen in the judicial process. No matter how inconvenient it may be.

      Reply
      1. Fiery Hunt

        Sat on a malpractice jury once.

        My fellow jurors were some of the stupidest people I’ve ever encountered.
        Very clear case, both plantiff and defendent were vile, justice could have been served, but the rich doc’s attorney was much more likable than the personal injury kid/attorney.

        Never again.

        Reply
  34. dcrane

    Re: annoying office sounds.

    The ambient recordings on Youtube from coffeeshops are nice lockdown therapy while missing my favorite cafe.

    Reply
  35. Jim Hannan

    Does anyone still get DVD movies on Netflix? They should be fussing big time if this mail delay is happening.

    Reply
    1. Eureka Springs

      Yes. The speed of DVD mail slowed to a crawl well over a year ago. I get half the number of disks for the same price per month. Surprisingly I have had speedy mail service on everything else up to and including this week. Except on international parcels.

      Reply
    2. VietnamVet

      I still get Netflix DVDs from Trenton NJ. Postal Delivery never quit during the Pandemic but the delivery was ragged for a time in March-April like they didn’t have enough drivers for the final mile. But, the delays while in transit didn’t start until about two weeks ago. The Postmaster General is sure acting like he is obeying a Presidential order to eliminate mail-in voting to prevent Republicans losing the 2020 election. I am dumfounded that Trump/Pence ticket has a chance of winning after causing the Pandemic Depression. But then the USA is not a democracy anymore.

      Reply
  36. Jim Hannan

    Perhaps the federal agents sent to Portland to quell the protests can be re-deployed to Michigan to help deliver mail.

    Reply
    1. Jessica

      I’m picturing those thugs rampaging through a post office beating the mail sacks with their batons and wondering why that doesn’t help.

      Reply
  37. Wukchumni

    NYC’s Bedbug-Sniffing Dogs Prepare for Retirement The City
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    A couple of the motels in town have bedbug issues, and those offended are quick to voice their outcry on Trip Advisor/Yelp.

    Do your best to avoid the Western Holiday Lodge, here’s a recent review:

    Do yourself a favor! Do not stay! It’s infested with BED BUGS!!!!!

    Stay clear. This place is infested with bed bugs!!! Bed dealing bugs!!! Just don’t for the sake of your own good. We booked through Chase travel portal thinking that nothing can go wrong with that. Oh well….lesson learned.

    Reply
    1. HotFlash

      Oh jeez. A Major International Orchestra that I was peripherally involved with, which was to perform at a Major North American Venue, found themselves unable to load in and rehearse for their performance and was narrowly on time for the downbeat, due to all their luggage and some instruments having to be fumigated before clearing customs. Port of exit NYC.

      Almost as weird as the Italian *baroque* cellist not being able to board her instrument as ‘it might be a weapon’. Hello, the customs-weenie thought a metal cello foot could be used to kill (true) but baroque celli don’t have feet. Ignorance is … ignorance.

      Another of my friends who performs internationally snickers, “In Europe we can get real cutlery on airplanes, in the US they give us only plastic.” Home of the brave, indeed.

      Reply
  38. Wukchumni

    My late 50’s friend who was a 7th grade teacher for 30 years or so, and just retired on account of Covid told me that a 34 year old teacher will not only be taking his place, but 2 other classes as well, and for no more pay as an added bonus.

    You can see the breakdown of our schools happening, all it needed was somebody to kick in the creaky door and the whole shooting works fall apart.

    Reply
  39. Jason Boxman

    As I survey the vast wasteland of the world and my life, it occurred to me that if I asked for classic movie recommendations from the NC commetariate, I would not be disappointed. Any suggestions?

    Granted, this is an invalid post; and I can appreciate if this is as far as it ever travels.

    God speed to all.

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      Oh man! This is indeed the place to ask that question.
      At the risk of pissing off the site admins more than I usually do, this would be an excellent subject for a Post.
      Perhaps a New Category: Covid-19 Survival Strategies.
      A) Good books.
      B) Good films.
      C) Educational syllabi.
      D) Resources for good meditation.
      Etc. etc.

      As for your request, I would first counter with the question; what kinds of films do you prefer? Romantic. Action. Dramas. Comedy. Documentaries. Etc.

      For me, given the sombre times we are living in, I would go with Noir.
      Look up Film Noir on whatever search engine you prefer. Early French New Wave films are pretty d—-d good too.
      Noir: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Film_noir
      French New Wave: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_New_Wave

      As for that “vast wasteland,” do not feel alone.
      As usual, Stay Safe!

      Reply
    2. The Rev Kev

      Just a few random titles though as ambrit says, it all depends on what sort of films you like watching-

      Big Chill
      Educating Rita
      Gattaca
      Gettysburg
      Revolution
      Twelve Angry Men
      We’re No Angels

      Reply
      1. John Anthony La Pietra

        A few more “ICYMI movie” suggestions:

        The Flim Flam Man
        A Little Romance
        Melody
        What’s Up, Doc?

        Reply
    3. Yves Smith Post author

      M
      Maltese Falcon
      Patton
      The Lives of Others
      The Marriage of Maria Braun
      The Third Man
      The French Connection
      Michael Clancy
      Spirited Away

      These are very good for what they are, see if the genre appeals:
      Lawrence of Arabia
      The David Mamet version of Winslow Boy
      Brazil
      Minority Report (despite Tom Cruise)
      Magnolia (not despite Tom Cruise, great ensemble cast and Cruise plays a total jerk, which is refreshing)
      Nashville. Trust me, the ending justifies the movie if you have your doubts.
      LA Confidential
      Under Suspicion (the one with Liam Neeson, a total sleeper)

      Reply
      1. CallMeTeach

        I heartily second M (The 1930’s version.) Last year I had to teach a film class, and in researching what to show, this film came up. It blew me (and later my students) out of the water, both with the film making and the very modern plot.

        Reply
    4. Lambert Strether

      His Girl Friday
      Holiday
      The Wrong Box
      Godfather I
      Michael Clayton
      The Big Short <-- Yves hates because they get the finance wrong, but it hates the right people and its very funny Stop Making Sense McCabe and Mrs. Miller Topsy Turvey Alien Mad Max: The Road Warrior Galaxy Quest Also I vociferously second Yves recommendation of Spirited Away. If you want a gorgeously animated movie that's not Disneyfied and that's "positive" without being sappy or sticky, watch this. Also vociferously second Yves' choice

      Reply
    5. Janie

      Mr. Roberts
      A Man for All Seasons
      Some like it hot
      Blazing saddles
      Support your local sheriff
      American in Paris
      Around the world in 80 days
      African queen
      Casablanca
      Teahouse of the august moon
      The court jester, (which is a parody of Errol Flynn’s Robin Hood)
      The third man

      Reply
    6. witters

      Citizen Kane
      Third Man
      Brazil
      Monty Python and the Holy Grail
      Limelight
      Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
      Metropolis
      Young Einstein
      The Castle
      The Jerk

      Reply
    7. Judith

      Ida
      Blue
      The wind rises
      Millennium actress
      The lives of others
      Unbearable lightness of being
      The turin horse (Bela Tarr is not for everyone, but the ending of this is one for our times)

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Forbidden Planet
        Things To Come
        A Matter of Life and Death
        The General
        Lawrence of Arabia
        Soldier of Orange
        From Here to Eternity
        Broken Arrow
        Gun Crazy
        Treasure of the Sierra Madre
        Stalag 17
        Best Years Of Our Lives
        Twelve Angry Men
        The Sting
        Citizen Kane
        Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
        Once Upon a Time in the West
        House of Games
        D.O.A.
        Goldfinger
        Being There
        Dr. Strangelove

        Reply
    8. Sue

      The Leopard
      Battle of Algiers
      Dr. Zhivago
      Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
      A Man and A Woman
      The Rose Tattoo
      A Streetcar Named Desire
      On the Waterfront

      Reply
  40. RMO

    So, I recently started feeling under the weather. Not the sort of thing that would cause concern in normal times but I went through the online Covid self-assessment the BC Government has and it told me to get a test and isolate (it seems that if you answer the last question “yes” to having any one of a variety of symptoms that are common to a lot of minor illnesses it tells you this). I called the test center that is about ten minutes from my house at 11:00 and they gave me an appointment for 2:45 the same day. The test was done with me in the car. It was the “deep back in your nose” type. Not as uncomfortable as I had feared. The nurse told me that if the test was positive I would be called by BC Health and that I could call in 48 hours “to get my negative results.” So it seems that they are turning the tests around in maybe 24 hours usually. No payment, just had to give them my personal information. Hadn’t heard anything by the time the 48 hour period passed so I phoned and they confirmed the test was negative. A great relief. No idea how I could have got it considering the precautions we have been taking but I wanted to be sure. All in all it went very quickly and smoothly. Even getting through on the phone to get the results only took about ten minutes.

    Reply
      1. RMO

        It’s Looking Glass Land up here I tell you! We all have to do six impossible things before breakfast or the socialistnazifascistislamofemicommies have you dragged to relocation camps on Hudson’s Bay!

        Reply

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