Links 8/16/2020

Reminder from Yves: our regular comment moderator Jules takes a mental health day off on Sundays, which means comments that wind up in moderation will be liberated much later in the day, as in when Yves gets on the grid. Please be patient.

Furry engineers: sea otters in California’s estuaries surprise scientists Guardian

People slept on comfy grass beds 200,000 years ago Ars Technica (MJL).

Warming Greenland ice sheet passes point of no return

Interview: Challenges and Opportunities of the Northern Sea Route The Maritime Executive

Watching mushroom clouds from the beach in LA. Apocalypse…maybe not now, but soon! Yasha Levine

It’s Still Unclear When I-70, Closed By The Grizzly Creek Fire, Will Reopen. That’s Wreaking Havoc On Businesses CPR News (Per Iol).

Epic Games’ Founder Tim Sweeney Is Fighting Apple, Google. He’s Been Preparing for Years. WSJ. “‘At the most basic level, we’re fighting for the freedom of people who bought smartphones to install apps from sources of their choosing, the freedom for creators of apps to distribute them as they choose, and the freedom of both groups to do business directly,’ Mr. Sweeney said in a tweet Friday.”

Travel startups cry foul over what Google’s doing with their data Google

Citi’s $900 Million ‘Clerical Error’ Is Worst Wall Street Bungle in a Long Time Bloomberg

Ford CEO says the company ‘overestimated’ self-driving cars Engadget (dk). Ford CEO Jim Hackett: “Its applications will be narrow, what we call geo-fenced, because the problem is so complex.” As I’ve been saying for years: If your algorithm is broken, control your inputs.


FDA clears saliva test for Covid-19, opening door to wider testing STAT and Quick and affordable saliva-based COVID-19 test developed by Yale scientists receives FDA Emergency Use Authorization Yale News. Commentary, threaded:


This could open the door to universal testing.

Cheap, frequent COVID tests could be ‘akin to vaccine,’ professor says Harvard Gazette

HHS Releases July – December COVID-19 State Testing Plans HHS (ptb).

* * *
How Close Are We to a Safe, Effective Covid-19 Vaccine? Johns Hopkins Hub

Russia vaccine thrusts little-known state research unit into spotlight FT

3 Covid vaccines under development in India: All you need to know Times of India

* * *
Measure the risk of airborne COVID-19 in your office, classroom, or bus ride National Geographic. Interactive.

Can Air Conditioners Spread COVID-19? NPR. Based on what we know now, I’m guessing that the key point on AC — as opposed to AC being, by definition, indoors — is whether it merely recirculates air, or brings in fresh air from outside, which would to dilute the virus, and what the circulation patterns are. I remember, years and years ago, I worked in Alexandria in a complex with an enormous system of (air-conditioned) underground tunnels. Every day, walking home through the tunnel, I would pass the same dust bunny rotating in the same corner in a draft. Of course, this was a terrific metaphor for my life in Alexandria, but today, I would bet the air around that dust bunny would have a higher concentration of virus than the surrounding air. Circulation patterns matter (and sadly, are unique to individual structures). Comments from HVAC mavens welcome.

* * *
SARS-CoV-2 RNAemia in a Healthy Blood Donor 40 Days After Respiratory Illness Resolution Annals of Internal Medicine (Howard Beale IV).


Exclusive: U.S.-China trade deal review postponed as China ramps up farm, energy purchases Reuters

As I’ve been saying:


A return to the fields Globe_. From a series, Cambodia in Quarantine.

Hungry and homeless: Philippines’ jeepney drivers hit by coronavirus Straits Times

South Korea

US, SKorea to begin scaled-down drills amid virus spike AP. Obviously, it’s hard to run an empire if your troops infect the population of your client states.

Last I checked, the Sermon on the Mount was conducted outdoors:



The illusion of a revival in the country’s agricultural sector Live Mint

The disjunct between the promise and reality of GST Hindustan Times

Facebook’s Hate-Speech Rules Collide With Indian Politics WSJ

Lukashenko says Putin has promised security assistance for Belarus FT


A-Level results 2020: How have grades been calculated? FFT Education Datalab. For more on the A levels debacle, see NC here.

Protests and the pandemic bring chaos to Bolivia The Economist. Not to mention that coup….

Trump Transition

Firm Helping Run U.S. Coronavirus Database Refuses Senators’ Questions NYT (marym).


25% in U.S. Say Neither Candidate Would Be a Good President Gallup. The dogs won’t eat the dog food:

Rahm Emanuel: Democratic Party needs to turn ‘Biden Republicans’ into Democrats The Hill

Battle looms over Biden health care plan if Democrats win big The Hill. “[S]ome Democratic congressional aides and outside health care advisers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said they expected the party would start next year with a more modest package of fixes to ObamaCare that did not include a public option in an effort to get some early points on the board.”

“Change,” “Hope” … Why They Must be Talking About Joe Biden! Alexander Cockburn, Counterpunch

Biden’s China Policy Can’t Help but Be Incoherent Foreign Policy

Under-rated tweet:


Well, well. To revise Mackender: “Who rules the supply chain commands the Heartland; who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island; who rules the World-Island commands the world.” By “the Heartland,” I mean the United States, the imperial heartland, and by “World-Island” I mean the North American continent. Obviously.

How three conspiracy theorists took ‘Q’ and sparked Qanon NBC. “Part of the Qanon appeal lies in its game-like quality. Followers wait for clues left by “Q” on the message board. When the clues appear, believers dissect the riddle-like posts alongside Trump’s speeches and tweets and news articles in an effort to validate the main narrative that Trump is winning a war against evil.” If The Bearded One had deployed Das Kapital that way….


Postal Service will stop removing mailboxes WaPo

Where Have All the Collection Boxes Gone? USPS. From 2016, still germane. I think the sorting machines are the bigger worry.

Erie loses mail-sorting machines in USPS purge Go Erie

Internal USPS Documents Outline Plans to Hobble Mail Sorting Vice. Note that a plan to reduce sorting machines predates DeJoy. OTOH, “never let a crisis go to waste!”

Saying the quiet part out loud once more:


Police State Watch

Climate Apartheid Is the Coming Police Violence Crisis Dissent

ICE guards ‘systematically’ sexually assault detainees in an El Paso detention center, lawyers say Texas Tribune

Realignment and Legitimacy

The Country That Was Built to Fall Apart Slate (Re Silc).

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Woody High & the Black Union Reps, Who Made Me an Autistic Fighter Mike Elk, Payday Report

Ferguson Prepared America For This Moment HuffPo. Ferguson at street level, not national media “voices” like Deray et al.

Guillotine Watch

“All These Rich People Can’t Stop Themselves”: The Luxe Quarantine Lives of Silicon Valley’s Elite Vanity Fair. For “luxe quarantine lives,” read “cuddle puddles.”

Class Warfare

Kudos to Jeff Stein for watching r/unemployment:


Watching when nobody else seems to be….

The Trouble with Disparity Adolph Reed, Common Dreams

A Black Marxist Scholar Wanted to Talk About Race. It Ignited a Fury. NYT

Woke Inc. Michael Lind, Tablet

Is 2020 the year of the introvert? FT. I’m sorry. What?

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:


Greatest of all time…

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here

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About Lambert Strether

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


    1. flora

      adding: here’s item 12 from the 1980 Libertarian party platform. (Glad NC is rerunning the Libertarian articles from 2011. )

      12. Postal Service

      We propose the abolition of the governmental Postal Service. The present system, in addition to being inefficient, encourages governmental surveillance of private correspondence. Pending abolition, we call for an end to the monopoly system and for allowing free competition in all aspects of postal service.

      1. rob

        the reagan army of libertarian stripe… has been into this “engineering a trainwreck” to derail policies they take issue with since the eighties….. like “the post office”…WTF?… but just to prove their moronic bona fides…. they push the “penny wise, dollar stupid” approach to their list…. what they should focus on ,is to defund the military… Funny how that platform goal got forgotten… but these morons think getting rid of the post office is “helping”

      2. The Rev Kev

        It is amazing how the aims and proposals of libertarians lines up exactly with corporatists and neoliberals. I was reading the rest of that document in relation to America and it would be a neoliberal hell on earth for most people. I am trying to think of a period in history that would resemble what they are working towards and the only things that come to mind are periods after devastating wars or where an entire society has collapsed. The period when much of society in Russia collapsed back in the 90s is the nearest I can think of recently and tens of millions died in that little episode.

        1. mary stromquist

          The U.S. has been an increasingly unlivable Neocon nightmare for the past 40 years. We past critical mass in 2007…..and we’re now sliding over the edge. Thatcher’s “There is no such thing as society.” rings in my ears.

          1. JBird4049

            Actually, as one of my college professors said, you can use Victorian England as an example of libertarianism (and I would argue a kind of extreme neoliberalism) in action. You can also see colonial Ireland and India as examples as well. The word libertarian was not used to describe the political economic doctrine, but it was the same.

        2. hunkerdown

          Not really. “Libertarianism” is exactly neoliberalism rebranded for maximum appeal to stunted adolescents and other people unable to think at other than the micro level, exactly as the Prussian system was designed to generate. I make a point to refer to the ideology as neoliberalism and its adherents in neoliberalism in casual conversation, because I reject the effete conceits of sociopathic liars.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            > “Libertarianism” is exactly neoliberalism rebranded

            I’m not sure that, historically, that’s true. You’re making a claim about intellectual history that needs to be backed up by evidence.

            1. Mookie

              hunkerdown’s assertion may have been hyperbolic but it feels right to me. US libertarianism and neoliberalism both fetishize markets as a panacea, prefer supply-side solutions, and advance the interests of the wealthiest in our societies in the name of seeking a perfect society.
              US-libertarianism is a Koch-led movement that adopted the ‘libertarianism’ label that was historically associated with left-anarchist movements to sell the ideology of privatization and property rights for the rich, and legal weed for the rest of you to suburban teens; while neoliberalism offered the meritocratic class a readymade, academy-approved package to (quietly) offer privatization and property rights to the rich and (loudly) an eternally-unfulfilled yearning for social justice to the rest of you. The End of History for all, once we pass this law that will kill some government program, create a market to replace it, and eliminate racism once and for all!

        3. Billy

          Kev, And the same usual suspect parasites would move in and seize whats left of the common good for sure. Here’s how some of it was transhipped out of Russia.

          “an informant had tipped the FBI that a handful of Russian immigrants were throwing huge sums of cash around San Francisco. And shortly after that, Customs had noted the same men bringing a Russian helicopter into San Francisco International Airport. The men were diamond merchants, Davidson read, who had opened a state-of-the-art diamond center called Golden ADA. They had forged ties to politicians and city officials. They had posed for photos with Vice President Al Gore and Hillary Rodham Clinton. And their helicopter was a gift to San Francisco police — although Golden ADA held the right to use it to ferry shipments of Siberian diamonds from the airport to its center downtown.”…”

          “Estimated illegal profits from commodity sales [in $ millions]

          Crude oil 1992: no net theft 1993: 61 1994: 972 1995: 828
          Petroleum products 1992: 642 1993: 1,272 1994: 2,148 1995: 1,528
          Natural gas 1992:364 1993: no net theft 1994: 885 1995: 1,152
          Aluminum 1992:59 1993: 655 1994: 1,419 1995: 899

          How it was bought on the cheap at search terms:
          Russia yeltsin looting by west

        4. jr

          In my encounters with libertarians I have met a significant number who have very high opinions of their mental faculties. They often go out of their way to let you know that they have it all figured out. It’s always snark and snideness.

          When I ask them how such a society as they describe would protect the weak from the strong, which could very well include themselves, they usually smile and shrug. It occurred to me that they quite possibly believe they have that all figured out too. Why bothering worrying about the weak when you know you’re on the winning team?

        5. Procopius

          Speaking of the collapse of Russian society in the 1990s, always remember the name Andrei Shleiffer from Harvard University.

      3. lordkoos

        They are worried about postal “surveillance”? I believe it requires a federal warrant to enable the opening of someone’s mail, unlike with private carriers.

        1. hunkerdown

          Exactly right. They’re whiny teenagers trying to lie their way into getting the family car to sell to the chop shop for coke. Neoliberals are sociopathic liars. Remember this in your daily dealings.

          1. JBird4049

            Not exactly.

            The U.S. Postal Service regularly photographs the front and back of every piece of U.S. mail, or about 150 billion parcels, envelopes, and postcards every year. A longstanding practice known as the “mail cover” program enables law enforcement to obtain address information and images of the outsides of mail as part of an investigation without the need for a warrant through the Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Postal Service’s policing arm.

            “Unbeknownst to most citizens, the government now photographs and records the exterior of each of the roughly 160 billion mail parcels delivered by the USPS every year,” wrote Rooney. “Still, despite its ability to allow governmental authorities to uncover a startlingly accurate picture of citizens’ daily lives, the long-abused mail covers program continues to be implemented without any judicial oversight.”

            The bolding is mine. The articles state that the practice has been around since either the late 18th century or more precisely the 1880s. If you are comfortable with Joe Cop being able to see where all your mail comes and goes to, just as the NSA does with all your emails and phone calls, I guess that is okay. But just because someone’s ideas might be generally execrable does not mean that cannot have some good ones.

            I am a big government socialist, but let’s be honest here. Americans currently are under the governance of a corrupt, power mad regime run by egoistical, megalomaniacal,
            venal, and small-minded man(and woman)-babies. Should they be allowed this power?

              1. JBird4049

                (Please forgive my rambling. Late at night on my phone.)

                Respectfully, I must disagree. Saying that they cannot open your mail makes complaints about recording everything else okay is a mistake.

                I really do not agree with libertarian ideology, and their screeching about the government is really annoying. However, I believe downplaying or belittling their reasonable fears of government surveillance is extremely unwise.

                It is good that they cannot read one’s mail. However, the police are also interested in who is communicating with whom. So while the mail’s contents cannot read without a warrant every else can be recorded. Names, addresses, when and how often a letter is sent. medical bills, donations to different organizations, private letters, and so on. All stored routinely and available to the police upon request.

                It’s as if there is a camera aimed at everyone’s front door recording every visit. Although they might not record what was said, everyone’s privacy, (the who, when, and where) has been violated for “safety” reasons. Or like the license plate readers that record when and where your car was. Or maybe those cameras, especially in some cities’ poor areas that do the same with people.

                Our very real security state wants this information because it wants know everything about you that it can find out about you. Supposedly, it’s to do a better job protecting us all, but really, what they do with your information will not be in your best interest.

                1. Olga

                  After 9/11 (maybe 2003), I got mail from Canada (to a US address from official govt office) that had been opened and then taped with a green tape. IIRC, there may have been a note that it was opened. I doubt very much that a warrant was involved.

    2. Richard H Caldwell

      Perhaps more meta, the enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend, let alone my ally.

  1. Katiebird

    Re: Jeff Stein tweets.

    And Congress dilly-dallies around for 6 months taking (how many?) vacations and making speeches.

    In Real Life people are desperate. Driven to go back to work (no matter the danger) but what about the children? Is sending them back into the school buildings really the answer? What if your kid goes to school with a Sturgis kid? Or a child from a family that thinks this is all a hoax and wearing a mask will be worse than the virus?

    How DARE Congress ignore this? Why is it tolerated? All I’ve heard is lectures about how we can’t pay people to stay home because they won’t want to go back to work like decent people. Which is pure BS in a Pandemic. AND crazy talk from people who haven’t worked full time in most of their adult lives.

                  1. S.V. Dáte

                    As the 7th, somethings are poetry some prose. Plenty was expressed. Are not emotions valid as a response? I think they are.

      1. griffen

        I see little reason to disparage what you wrote. Just simple obvious truths.

        Their world is just different, and problems like rules and laws are for the little people.

      2. DJG

        I eighth your “rant”: And I like the advice from Colleague Seven, who points out that you have put in a kind of edgy lyric what we all know is happening factually.

    1. Noone from Nowheresville

      Because they believe life is cheap and plentiful. Each cog / widget is easily replaceable. Billions on deck waiting for the opportunity. Computer code and robots being built as we type.

      Of course any cog or widget loss will be a tragedy. But it’s not a crisis unless enough of the powerful either start dying like the cogs or are personally impacted or the rules of the games are dramatically changed.

      Right now they can still extend & pretend and rely on the magic keyboard money tree of the fed and casino stock market to buy up excess capacity and assets. It’s a beautiful beautiful thing from their perspective.

      Never let a tragedy go to waste.

      Katiebird. Your comment asked legitimate questions for those in the middle of the tragedy. Unfortunately the answers seem to be that we need an actual crisis to get anything more than business per usual. And believe or not, that would be a scary thing indeed. Unfortunately, for all of us, that would seem to be where our “masters” are intent on taking us.

    2. Pat

      Righteous rant.

      Simple Answer – Because it advances the aims of their sponsors and that pain is easy to ignore since they have no concept of it. To them the struggles of so many of their constituents is like reading Dickens, sure it sounds horrible but everything works out in the end for the “right” people. Makes it easy to say things and sit back.

      I don’t know how to burst the bubble they live in, but until issues hit them personally it is all posing and PR.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        “I don’t know how to burst the bubble they live in…”

        we’ll get there. To paraphrase the common retort by whatever that guy’s name was…
        neither River Oaks nor the Dominion…,_Houston

        …are defensible positions.
        and every one of their neighbors…for a radius of miles and miles…knows it.
        In Austin, it’s Westlake Hills, and Rollingwood(i think), and all along the Highland Lakes.
        Even way out here, we have our Rich Hill…but as i keep saying, the dynamic is different, here.
        and wasn’t there a meme a little while ago…or comments on a “Lifestyles” type article about uberrich folks’ doombunkers…where everyone was talking about bringing the cement trucks….
        to wall them in?
        if our current trajectory remains the same,it could get real ugly, real quick.

        1. Chris

          Prof. Mark Blyth : “The Hamptons are not a defensible position.”

          I think things will get ugly. I don’t think the ugliness will burst anyone’s bubble. We don’t even have the system in place to make substantial changes in the face of the problems we have as a country right now.

          What I’m telling my friends and family is that they should prepare as if no change is coming and no help is coming. We are on our own. Whatever the election decides won’t change that :(

          1. S.V. Dáte

            One doesn’t have to be Jared Diamond to know things aren’t going to stay the same. And having read, his books, I can tell you exactly why. But I need to switch polymaths here, to – Matt Stoller who does an excellent job of documenting exactly how things were changed from the 1920’s with Mellon and his gang of really awful human beings to the 1930’s, where in defiance of every attempt by Oligarchs to steal even more money, all were defeated and we the people established a fairly equitable society that lasted to the 1970s. It can be done. And more important it must be done. Climate change at 2C° must be the Max. There isn’t enough money in world to protect our current crop of oligarchs from a heating planet. Money’s not the constraint. Its’s – (Civilization) people co-operating.

        2. Glen

          Mark Blyth – “The Hamptons are not a defensible position.”

          He is an anti-austerity political economist who “predicted” both Brexit and Trump. Here he is discussing his latest book The Economics of Anger: How We Got a Rigged System:

          Long, but worth a listen.

          1. TMoney

            The Hamptons are a defensible position. A good spot for a last stand. Water on 3 sides, narrow access roads. On the other hand, finding loyal retainers to go down for you is still a challenge. I don’t see the Ancien regime doing their own dirty work in the United States.

      1. Tom Bradford

        Yes and no. Ranting can be good if it powers action. Pointless if it just lets off a potentially dangerous head of steam, enabling the system to chug on as it was.

        Ranting can become a battle hymn inspiring combination and collective action, or the echo-chamber in a bubble of self-righteous masochism and martyrdom.

        People only take to the streets demanding change when they have nothing left to lose and, not being a USAian I don’t know how close that point is. Yet rants alone are not enough for this for, if they are to succeed in bringing change, they also need the support of enough of those who are threatened by it (such as the police and the army) who will be able to trust that the change will not be chaos.

        This needs a leader or a focus with a constructive view of what those changes will entail. Ranting on its own is not enough.

        1. Temporarily Sane


          I fully agree but in my experience this is not a popular view. People often bristle when I mention that political change takes a lot of work and and requires a clear alternative vision, a plan on how to achieve it and competent leadership to motivate and inspire the faithful and to adjust the sails when required.

          The New Deal and the victories of the Civil Rights Movement, to name two examples, didn’t just spontaneously happen…a lot of people put in a lot of work before they were realized.

          Righteous anger can act as an initial spark but without a realistic plan and good leadership the end result will be an Occupy style fadeout as soon as the going gets tough or co-opted “defund the police” type vagueness.

          Had Bernie Sanders been a competent leader prepared to take risks, instead of a milquetoast Democratic Party sheepdog who scuppered his own candidacy, his ‘revolution’ might have amounted to something. Alas, that wasn’t the case and now it seems we’re back to pipe dreams and hoping that next time the Neoliberal Party really will change. (AOC 2024!) Not gonna happen.

    3. John Anthony La Pietra

      Another piece of the puzzle re: the Righteous Rant (seventy-sixthed!) may be related to the other question in the polls which consistently say that citizens really don’t like the job Congress (and thrir state legislature) is doing. Respondents answering that other question tend to say they do like their own Congress- or legis-critter.

      So “we elect ’em again and again” — for some seats, it seems there’s more intergenerational than substantive turnover. (De-gerrymandering may help, though it might help more if it were truly non-partisan and not just bi-partisan . . . But The Alternative(s) Will Not Be Televised.)

      If the risk of losing their positions by popular vote is negligible, there are no consequences for missing (innocently or otherwise) the problems of the 99%. Of course with the magic Revolving Doors of Corporate Lobbyism, there may not be many consequences anyway. (Not to mention that the swarms of lobbyists for each representative limits the benefits of term limits.) But if we want our representatives to be more, well, representative, there aren’t many other sticks big enough to get their attention. And we don’t have the carrots individually to distract them from their current geeding troughs.

      End of my Supporting Rant.

    4. John k

      My theory is congress, no matter what the leaders say, has relief spending fatigue.
      Remember that Pelosi, now proposing 2.5t relief bill, famously supports domestic pay go, meaning a dollar of new spending must be offset with a dollar of cuts… and cuts cannot come from mil spending, which can only rise.
      IMO she proposed 2.5t knowing the reps would never agree above 1t, and officially neither side wants to budge, so no negotiating may mean no deal before election. Only vulnerable pols running this year favor a deal… plus, of course, the few lonely progressives.
      IMO the mtg and rent payment delays end in nov at the latest. Just in time for a white Xmas… or maybe Jan 1?
      30 mil unemployed… 30b/month support ending, savings gone, cards maxed, big Corp lay-off delays ending, congress unwilling to spend… unemployed and dependents moving to the streets? and you wannabe pres…
      Stop the virus! But schools opening, imagine newly homeless packing shelters…

      1. Procopius

        The MSM report 10.2% unemployment. In 1982 during the Volcker recession unemployment hit 11%. What that 10.2% ignores is about 20 million unemployed who were receiving the $600 a week from the feds, even though they weren’t/aren’t eligible for state unemployments. They haven’t been getting that since the end of last month. There are several millions more who aren’t even eligible for either, and who cannot find work. October, 1929, wasn’t really so bad, nor was the rest of 1929 (although it was pretty bad — remember there was, basically, no unemployment insurance then). It was 1931-2 when the people started going through garbage dumps looking for food. I think the effects of this failure are going to be felt before the election, and every incumbent is in danger, but they’re in denial.

    5. remmer

      Katiebird, your rant should be on the front page of every newspaper and the lead story on every news program. Don’t apologize for it.

    6. Oh

      Well said, Katiebird! Elections in our country are fixed. There’s no accountability for Congress. There’s too much money in politics. If we noycott huge corporations and refuse to buy their products, it might help a little.

    7. Katiebird

      Thank you all so much — I really appreciate your responses. I’ve crafted other replies to specific comments through the day. But I really don’t know what else to say. (I’m speechless)

      But I do appreciate everyone here so much. What a wonderful site this is!

  2. Clive

    Re: Can Air Conditioners Spread COVID-19?

    Well… It’s a topic which, as with a lot of such topics, is susceptible to glib partial and resultant poor understandings through skimming the surface of a complex subject and the all-too-common problem of people wanting to see a particular answer so that’s what they go looking for.

    To skip to the answer (or at least, or currently best-understood answer) the WHO’s guidance is very comprehensive and seems to pass the neutrality (i.e. of experts, negating any inherent agenda being pushed or biases on show) test. It is also one of the first serious attempts to bring a degree of scientific modelling and repeatability to what should be now standard-setting in our indoor environment. A good, if wonkishly detailed, explanation can be found here

    As the WHO’s conclusions state, it’s ventilation that is key. So here I will get in my pre-emptive chastising of “fresh air nuts” who think that just because you’re in a conditioned indoor environment, you’re automatically getting “bad air”. In the HVAC industry, there’s no such term as “fresh air”. The correct terminology is “outside air” — denoting that, just because the air comes from outside, doesn’t mean it’s inherently “fresh” or particularly wholesome. If you need convincing, just take a look at the coil on your A/C’s outdoor unit and see all the stuff that’s been caught there. It’s not nice, unless you live in a mountain resort maybe. If you’re in any other sort of environment — even if you’re surrounded perhaps by chaparral, heathers, dusty fields and suchlike rather than urban pollution — you’ll be able to literally see what I mean. Remind yourself that you are breathing that lot in. Which tells you how fresh “fresh air” really is.

    So it’s not merely a case of bringing sufficient outside air into the conditioned space. The outside air itself may need filtration. “Ventilation” also encompasses a consideration of filtration. Or it should do. Plus temperature and humidity considerations.

    To give a worked example, you might think that by opening a window and bringing in outside air into an indoor environment (totally uncontrolled by the way, unless you can influence how windy a day it is and the prevailing direction of the wind which determines how much of the outside air will get blown indoors), you’re automatically fixing any indoor-air air-quality issues which might increase the prevalence of COVID-19.

    You might be doing that. Equally well, if you are also bringing in air which is 60-80% RH (or higher), natural or man-made air-quality reducers (pollens, dust, particulates …) which can act as biofilms that are an ideal media for viral or bacterial propagation, raising air temperature ambients to 80-90F (where I can guarantee you your face will sweat and you will mop yourself, thereby touching your face with your unwashed hands) then you are likely to make matters worse.

    The indoor environment is a system. It needs, therefore, a systematic approach to air quality. Ill-considered and simplistic “horse sense” attempts to fix it (“why can’t we just open a window…”) are just as likely to make matters worse.

    1. Katiebird

      > Remind yourself that you are breathing that lot in.

      Which is why I have worn masks on my walks for years. I apparently don’t have allergies (that show up on tests anyway) but my lungs are sensitive to something floating around out there. And masks seem to help keep my chronic cough at bay.

      1. The Historian

        The young woman who cuts the grass in the park behind my house has always worn a mask when mowing. She isn’t allergic to grass either but there are also molds and fungus in the grass that bother her.

      2. lordkoos

        Do you live in a rural area? Where I live all kinds of chemicals are sprayed on crops & I’m sure many people are sensitive to them.

    2. Off The Street

      Air levels can be adjusted in commercial HVAC systems for more or less outside air based on many factors such as aspects of air quality and cost. People may notice how various buildings seem to have a type of stale air. Some building engineers or supers may have more or less interaction with outside air adjustment, perhaps seasonally, or with routine filter, duct and damper maintenance.

      Air quality can be extremely local. In this era of ongoing budget disasters at commercial and retail properties, like zombie-trending malls, that becomes more of a concern. On the margin that can influence decisions to visit a petri dish, especially without a mask. In prior eras, say, last year, there was less, but not no concern about whether a building was being maintained adequately.

      For those playing along at home, here is an HVAC UV light add-on to help with healthier air. That will help with non-COVID issues like mold, mildew, fungus and bacteria. Your local environment may indicate a good application of a UV light.

      1. Billy

        That may help to sterilizes the surfaces upon which things can accumulate and grow within the ductwork and pumps, but it does nothing to disinfect the air flowing through the system.
        Sure it’s possible to build an AC/Heating system that would be 100% safe, but the cost to retrofit all the existing structures? In the Trillions, I’m sure.
        One more nail in the coffin of the sunbelt and arctic winter zones and another reason to move to a gentle Mediteranean climate where neither AC nor heat are essential.

        I worry about AC in the car. Let’s say you have peole wearing masks in there, or, a load of groceries handled by? AC blows the recirculated air in everyone’s face and stirs up the dust tracked in, which is where most covid falls.

        Just elect Joe Biden and Mistress Kamala, then all this paranoa and emergency over covic will be put behind us as we all roll up our sleeves and get to work restoring the tax and spend and endebt economy without that nasty orange man out there to screw up the elite’s plans.

    3. Tomonthebeach

      An affordable home option we installed 5 years ago is a gizmo called the REME HALO that attaches to the supply duct. It zaps air entering the supply duct with Ionized hydroperoxides and ultraviolet light. Our goal was to prevent mildew and mold which is a common problem for those of us living on the beach in FL. Apparently, NIH says it also kills bacteria and renders viruses harmless.

    4. anon in so cal

      This Der Spiegel article discusses one low-tech potential remedy:

      “Scientists Weigh the Benefits of Air Purifiers in Fighting COVID-19”

      “In recent weeks, Kähler, who heads the Institute of Fluid Mechanics and Aerodynamics at the university, has been testing a mobile room air filter. The device has two wheels and is as big as a refrigerator. It isn’t completely silent in normal operation, but it’s quiet enough. And it is capable of filtering out up to 99.995 percent of even tiny aerosol particles with a diameter of 0.0003 millimeters. The physicist believes these devices could be the solution for the safe operation of restaurants, shops, offices and schools, especially in winter when ventilation becomes even more difficult.

      The filtration device halved the concentration of the aerosols in question after only six minutes of operation in Kähler’s 80-square-meter (860 square foot) test room. The device also uses heat to destroy the trapped viruses, while at the same time fighting pests like bacteria or mold. “If you keep this system running constantly,” the physicist says, “no one will be able to create an aerosol concentration at an infectious level in a room.”

      These aren’t hi-tech devices, and they’re easy to make. “The air purifiers are comprised of a tin cabinet and a fan,” says Kähler. They use a class F7 prefilter for the larger impurities, while a special high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter of the quality class H13 or H14 must be installed to protect against viruses.”

  3. John Beech

    25% in U.S. Say Neither Candidate Would Be a Good President Gallup.

    I’m struck by two things. First, how something is badly wrong, and second, by how strange life can be. Just yesterday, a pal and I were on the phone having a political discourse (he’s a staunch Democrat and I an equally staunch Republican who for the first time since 1980 switched voter registration to support Senator Sander’s run). Anyway, I was making the point that if Bernie ran as an independent in November, I’d vote for him because neither of our candidates is especially palatable. Heck, he could run as a Socialist, or a Communist, or as a Green, and I’d support him but of course, it won’t happen. And now Gallup publishes this poll, which indicates to me I’m not as far out on the margin as I once thought.

    Anyway, I’m especially saddened the only guy in the race possessed of a heart was betrayed by the very black voters he marched for as a young man (and stood up for his entire life). Especially because he was rejected by them in South Carolina of all places, where Biden actually eulogized Strom Thurmond! Good grief.

    1. thoughtful person

      Seemed strange that 2016 was left out of that table. Maybe the resultsthat year didn’t fit?

      1. Jomo

        The fine print on the table shows that the question was not asked in 2016, so no data manipulation by Gallup. What I see in that Table is that the incumbent President has a higher favorability rating, except for Trump. Republicans should be concerned.

        1. pasha

          pew did ask a similar question in both years, with the added “if you had to vote for one, even tho you hated them…”
          in 2016 this groupbroke 2-1 for trump. 2020 poll showed this group 70% for any democrat

    2. jackiebass

      I agree with your comment. The same was true of the last three elections.Obama won on Hope and change . He delivered little change. Trump won on a poor campaign from Hillary and his Make America Great Again slogan. How has that worked out?We actually have a choice of a republican or a moderate republican. I probably will write in Bernie. If that isn’t possible I’ll vote for a third party candidate. Money has corrupted our elections. Very few candidates care about the average person except to get their vote. You may not agree with Bernie, I don’t on everything, but he at least discusses issues and his position doesn’t flip flop. You know what he stands for.

      1. Judith

        As Lambert pointed out a few days back, voting for the Green party can help them get to 5%. Which would be the start to making inroads into our current one-party (effectively) system.

        1. edmondo

          Which would be the start to making inroads into our current one-party (effectively) system.

          That sounds like a hope rather than a plan. Really? “Vote for the Greens” is your answer? I think we might all might be better off if we all bought a gun. This voting thing ain’t working.

          1. hunkerdown

            I can see some logic in using what force is at one’s disposal in a direction against the incumbent operators, consistent with an ultimate goal of defeating them. If nothing else, given an electoral revolt such as that, they’ll prove their own unwillingness to count the votes and continue to delegitimize themselves and the poll-driven aristocracy as viable governing concepts. Wars are won by eliminating the opponent’s good options.

            That said, why not both.

          2. Michael Fiorillo

            I’m not sure about the current status of the Green Party in NYS, but I know that until very recently it was heavily influenced by members of the International Socialist Organization, a recently-disbanded (due to a sexual assault coverup involving the leadership) Trotskyist groupuscule that is/was simultaneously ineffective (unless you admire Left sectarianism and divisiveness) and grossly unethical. Many former ISO members are now heavily involved with DSA, which is a bad sign.

            I’ve never found the Greens to be anything other than ineffectual, and would not waste my time with them. Better to work towards a Labor Party (which the Greens will never be), despite the obstacles.

              1. ambrit

                My take on this is that the “nudge” theory of political activism has passed it’s “use by” date.
                I noticed elsewhere that a National Strike was being floated. I don’t know how well that could be organized, but, since a big chunk of the working population is now sitting around practicing being ‘structurally unemployed,’ now might be a very good time to try.

                1. rob

                  maybe the “strike” is an “astroturf” way to eliminate the most disaffected among us,from voting. it could be a trick. After the “strike”… the winner’s people come out and say,”the people who voted, put us here”… you know … and “elections have consequences”… and we have to ignore reality for another 4 year go-round.

                2. flora

                  The Libertarian Party’s 1980 platform envisioned something like “none of the above” winning, and they’re waiting to put it into action, just like they’ve worked to defund the Post Office and eliminate limits on campaign spending. See SC Citizens United decision on campaign spending.

                  15. None of the Above

                  In order to expand the range of choice in federal, state and local elections of government officials, we propose the addition of the alternative “None of the above is acceptable” to all ballots. In the event that “none of the above” wins a plurality of votes, the elective office for that term will remain unfilled and unfunded.

            1. chuck roast

              Yeah, ineffectual would be the right word. I’ve been a Green since the Donkeys betrayed working people with NAFTA. We had a number of near-successes in New Mexico in the late 90’s…scared the bejeezus out of the Dems. However miniscule, the Greens have ballot access in many states. It’s worth keeping them alive if for no other reason then they are a functioning refuge for disaffected lefties.

              1. a different chris

                Exactly. I always vote green because

                1) I’m an Enviro-Nazi
                2) I only have to hold my nose, the other two parties make me likely to projectile vomit.

                And those are both messages I would like to send with my vote. If you don’t vote, nobody hears you.

              2. edmondo

                It’s worth keeping them alive if for no other reason then they are a functioning refuge for disaffected lefties.

                They can’t masturbate alone?

            2. Eureka Springs

              If leftists would just realize once and for all you can’t catch a liberal with honey.

              All third parties left of Neo-liberalism, including Greens and to a large extent DSA (party or no) share the same problems. They are not democratic. Their platform is not binding. And at some point they all consider D’s worthy of respect, even endorsement, rather than continuous contempt in the extreme.

              When Greens have one decent web site as good for their cause as the old firedoglakers were for progressives I’ll consider them again.

              For now I’m with the super-plurality, I just think it’s most important not to legitimize the entirely corrupt system with a vote at all. And I’m going to be loud about it.

              1. barefoot charley

                I wish I had the courage of your convictions, because I completely agree, except that I’m going to vote for 2016.2. Because. And my ‘progressive’ community mostly piles on me because I still loathe both of them for no reason to do with Bernie. Seems Dem voters have a hard time voting for someone they admit is loathesome. I don’t know why after all this time. What a sickening election, and it will be close–so many people to vote against!

              2. Aumua

                Go ahead and cast your vote for whoever has policies you support. I think we need to all remain acutely aware that voting is not enough. We have to be working to build alternatives to a collapsing system that is at this point pretty irredeemable.

            3. rob

              that sounds like a made up story.
              No details in there anywhere, I would like to see any actual links to any bit of that..
              except the part about the green party being associated with “socialists”. I don’t think they would consider it a “slur”.
              But as someone who will vote for neither establishment candidate and will choose to use my pathetic one vote for something… like adding to the count of americans who will not participate in the fraud of a choice provided by the establishment with its two co-equally bad choices. And it may be spitting on a forest fire, but what the hell? do nothing?
              A vote for a progressive party like the green party, establishes a record of people supporting ideas… not people.
              I , choose to support IDEAS…. because people always let you down… and ideas are bulletproof.

          3. rob

            “getting a gun”…. isn’t a plan.and it’s not a hope. It is just a purchase.
            what isn’t working is voting for the left wing or the right wing of the establishment party,and expecting a change, for a hundred years.
            some plans are large,some are small.
            A journey of a thousand miles begins with but one step.
            It may be a small action, but it is part of a larger plan.

          4. Oh

            Look at it this way. Registering to vote will get you a jury notice and you can “serve”! Who cares if your vote doesn’t count? /s

          5. Darthbobber

            I can’t think why I would be more interested in expanding the green party than its own members have ever seemed to be.

          6. km

            As far as I can tell, the Greens aren’t really interested in wielding power, especially not with the compromises and hard choices that are a necessary part of wielding power.

            Especially when kvetching from the sidelines is so much easier.

    3. Mark Gisleson

      Just saying, but in October 1998 a poll came out showing that Jesse Ventura was running a strong third place against Skip Humphrey and Norm Coleman for Governor of Minnesota.

      There was no discussion, no big rallies, no visible surge for Jesse Ventura, but that one poll signaled that he had a real chance and 10,000s of Minnesotans flipped their vote to Ventura. Some because he advocated for legal marijuana, others for his conservative positions and still others, like me, who hoped he’d blow up the duopoly.

      Ventura accomplished little (other than provoking a four-year hissy fit from local media who were incensed at not being leaked to constantly), but Ventura convinced me that Americans are desperate for viable third party candidates. But they have to be on the ballot! I don’t think anyone thinks they’d count write-in votes, not consistently.

      The USA could bolt and vote third party this year. All the elements are there…except a Jesse Ventura.

      1. jefemt

        I was working in a remote county in flyover county and overheard the election official/ clerk and recorder state that her vote count was off, until she remembered the write-ins. They don’t even get tallied in Bumphuc.

        Not sure if this is a policy, allowed by law, local policy…. I was distressed, degree in poli-sci, and even with an empty indoctrination Kool-aid vat, I still have pollyanna flashbacks about republic and democracy- one woman, one vote. I write-in in earnest.

        Silly me.

      2. philnc

        Go listen to Hawkins. Really _listen_ to him, at his best when talking to young candidates or organizers. In many interviews he makes the point that the only way an independent left party can gain power is from the ground up, but that the perversities of our patchwork of state election laws requires running a presidential campaign every four years to secure ballot lines for the next cycle.

        Note that Hawkins was the only candidate from any party that managed to qualify for federal _primary_ matching funds this year. That’s something only serious organizers can accomplish.

        I’m contributing and voting Green this year mostly because that party’s platform represents my values, but also due to my suspicion that, given redoubled efforts by the Democrats across the country to keep the Greens off the ballot, it may be my last opportunity to do so.

    4. timbers

      Obama could have been part of that poll, because the MSM is now saying he is among the 25% who say neither candidate would make a good President.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Facebook’s Hate-Speech Rules Collide With Indian Politics

        New headline, dateline the first of never:

        Facebook’s Hate-Speech Rules Collide With American Politics

    5. John Anthony La Pietra

      What else struck me about the poll was the flipside of the highest-yet Neither Of The Above figure: only 5% of those polled said either Biden or Trump would be okay.

      The 25% figure is also notable (IMO) for being 2/3 of the 38% plurality in the latest of another poll series — voters who told Gallup they don’t identify themselves as either Republicans or Democrats. Of course, one thing which didn’t surprise me about either of these polls is that Gallup always assumes that “non-duopolists” must still be leaning toward one neo-corporate wing or the other. I’ll know we’re making progress when those who do declare an affiliation with Ds or Rs are asked something similar — maybe, “Well, which party would you really prefer to support if you knew your vote would swing the election?”

      1. a different chris

        Yes i thought that was actually the most interesting part by far.

        Why I keep saying the election is baked, even though I for sure have no idea what the result will be. There is no place to go for votes.

      1. Eureka Springs

        When nearly 50 percent never vote for any of it how can they say with a straight post face only 25 don’t like the two big choices?

        Sounds to me like it could 60 plus percent who don’t like it.

      2. John Anthony La Pietra

        A fair question, certainly. My offhand guess is that, especially in these days of caller ID and the like, pretty close to the only people who answer phone surveys are those who want to answer. Otherwise, they’d hang up — or nore the call in the first place.

        And it seems possible to me that those who do respond to this survey would want to answer with preferences about this — The Most Important Election Ever (TM).

    6. Jim Thomson

      Excellent comment, especially the last paragraph.
      Well written.
      I am saddened, too, and somewhat in despair.

    7. eg

      As a foreigner I don’t know whether or not US Federal elections allow the option to publicly decline a ballot? In Ontario Provincial elections that is an option generally recognized as a vote for “none of the above” …

      1. John Anthony La Pietra

        Can that “Ontario-style” None Of The Above option win an election? If it does win, does that election get re-run with new candidates or what?

  4. Amfortas the hippie

    on Cambodian Ag(and thanks for this!):

    “Koma’s agrarian background has translated into his political vision, and now he speaks frequently to the possibility of state guidance to push productivity into more effective cultivation and higher-value crops. To that effect, he promotes an emphasis on “transforming” subsistence farms to commercialised outfits, thus making entrepreneurs out of smallholders and building an industry that provides paid work to more farmers, who might today make their actual money driving tuk-tuks or labouring in construction.”

    the balance of the article before this paragraph extols the resilience…in economic AND social welfare terms…of the extant Subsistance Model of agriculture.
    so, since that seems such a success, both for individual’s bottom lines as well as for social cohesion, lets abandon it and be more like Amurca!…”Go Big or Get Out”.
    “let’s grow for export, instead!”
    “what we really need is more debt, to get bigger machines and more unsustainable inputs!”
    “Subsistance farmers are far too independent! Don’t you Liberty, sheep?”
    IDK, just jumped out at me.
    the cambodian subsistance model is pretty much what i hope happens here, at least at the local level…but, sadly, it’s gonna take a lot more pain…including even emptier shelves…for that to be seen as necessary.
    I remain unashamebly for Jeffersonian Yeoman Farmer-hood as a necessary ingredient to a free society.

  5. Toshiro_Mifune

    Epic Games’ Founder Tim Sweeney Is Fighting Apple, Google.

    While I support opening these platforms I have to be somewhat dubious of Epic’s purity of intention in launching this. ArsTechnica has an article noting that Epic wasn’t launching a similar campaign against console makers who follow the same practices with the same amount of control.
    It would be a slightly better bit of PR to accept from Epic if they hadn’t been spending millions on getting developers to sign exclusive deals to force traffic to the Epic game store. I.E. Epic is paying software developers $$ to make sure whatever game they develop is only available via the Epic game store. It’s a land grab in the world of digital content distribution.

    1. JohnB

      Why is picking their battles something to be dubious of, though?

      What’s wrong with limited-time exclusives?

      Am curious to hear well developed criticisms/skepticism of this (maybe in future NC posts/links) – though the criticisms I’ve seen so far online, appear to aim at stuff which isn’t directly relevant to their actions against Apple/Google.

      Full disclosure: I contract with Epic, so am biased :) (but yea, I don’t really scrutinize the company much – so am curious)
      Views are only my own, though – just happen to be a longtime NC reader as well.

      1. Toshiro_Mifune

        What’s wrong with limited-time exclusives?

        It’s an attempt to stamp out competition by forcing consumers to the Epic game store. It’s isn’t hard to see limited-time exclusive switch to being Epic game store exclusive thanks to Epic’s revenue stream from Fortnite and Unreal Engine and their ability to throw money at developers for that exclusivity. In other words, their looking to guarantee that the only place you can get “Game X” will be via them. Given the traditionally open platform the PCs have been this doesn’t sit well with some.

        Why is picking their battles something to be dubious of, though?

        Because I cant believe they care for a second about the openness of the IOS or Android platform. They’re using Apple and Google’s current public unpopularity to help set a legal precedent that will allow them to force the same sort of “side loading” onto other digital distribution systems (Steam, GOG, etc.) to help cut revenue from the latter and further plans for Epic Store monopolistic control of PC distribution. Further they are fairly bald faced about doing so.

        1. Basil Pesto

          I pretty much share your scepticism, but could it not be argued that the Epic store’s exclusivity deals are a counter to the monopoly power of Steam?

          unfair in a way because few companies have the power and inclination to throw money at that problem in the way that Epic have, but then, how could anyone come close to countering Valve any other way? (unless it’s an Origin or UPlay-esque walled garden of publisher content)

          (icymi: the latest entry in a long running series of strategy games launched for free on Epic Games’ store this week: )

        2. JohnB

          Aren’t the exclusives just competition between different stores, competing to provide a better deal for the game developer, in order to drum up more business/traffic for their store?

          Other stores can always offer a better deal to game developers, in order to get an exclusive. The main example I see, of when that becomes anti-competitive, is when e.g. a publisher locks competitors out of the physical hardware/device a person is using – as then the consumer really doesn’t have a choice.

          I do agree though, that I preferred the times when games weren’t integrated with stores/online-platforms, like Steam/EGS/Origin etc. – and that has been a monopoly problem for a long time, for consumers and developers. I don’t know whether or not competition between different growing platforms/stores, will resolve those monopoly concerns – not entirely sure what I think of that, yet.

          What is wrong with side-loading, though? That’s just another word for people being able to install whatever they like – without a platform being able to tell them they (or an app developer) can’t do that, due to arbitrarily enforced platform rules.

          I don’t see how this is a threat to Steam or GOG – because neither of them control anybodies physical device/phone/console etc., and neither of them try to prevent side-loading on devices – so I don’t think they can be targeted by this.

          I could be wrong, though – there do seem to be possible anticompetition grey areas between stores/platforms which are integrated into a device/OS, and devices/OS’s where there is a plurality of stores/platforms, though with a handful of dominant stores – not sure what I think about that.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      Speaking of purity of intention and Silicon Valley, I just ran across this one by Yasha Levine when reading the other Levine link posted above – Shahid Buttar, the cheesy Silicon Valley astroturfer challenging Nancy Pelosi from “the left”

      I know we have a lot of Pelosi haters here and justifiably so, but this guy seems to be taking on Pelosi as a way to shill for Silicon Valley interests if Levine is correct here. I wasn’t previously aware of EFF’s angle either – I’d thought they were more of a grassroots group of free internet Grateful Dead adjacent hippies. But hey, I can add one more to the list of things to be cynical about.

    3. David

      Whenever I see Silicon Valley types use the word “freedom” I reach for my wallet to make sure it’s still there. This is “freedom” in the classic neoliberal sense of purely theoretical rights that you need to have money and power to access. In other words “shut up and give us the money.”

      1. chuck roast

        They say freedom, but they mean liberty. Read the preface to Man and God at Yale by Buckley and you may see that he was the modern precursor to and ideological godfather of all of the great swath of the self-absorbed.

    4. PKMKII

      The short answer is, they’re not going after the console platforms because that’s where the money is. I was watching a CNBC but about the suit and they noted that only 20% of Fortnite’s player base is solely or primarily playing on mobile. Also, this is a hunch rather than stat, but my gut says that the mobile players are more likely to be the younger players who aren’t spending as much on cosmetics, where Epic makes its money off Fortnite, as older console or PC players.

      So there’s a lower financial hit by taking on Apple and Google, plus allows them to pool resources/efforts with a bunch of the other app developers who’ve launched similar suits. If this is successful, maybe then they’d try it against Sony or Microsoft.

    5. Deschain

      The 30% the console makers charge is a different circumstance. First, while that is the ‘rate card’, in practice the effective rate is less because the console makers subsidize through co marketing and payments for exclusive content. For Apple/Google, the 30% is the rate, period.

      More importantly, though, Sony and Microsoft invest a lot in the console ecosystem for the benefit of gamers. Sony’s operating margins at their gaming segment are around 10%, excluding any allocation of corporate overhead – the 30% take subsidizes hardware which is generally a money losing endeavor. In contrast, Apple’s operating margins are in the mid/hi 20% range, and that includes corporate overhead (and the iOS ecosystem is ~80% of their revenue). They have a toll booth, and their stance is ‘(family blog) you, pay me.’

      Part of my job is talking to gaming industry execs. They of course would love if the console makers would charge less, but it isn’t a significant point of contention – they accept that it is an ‘earned’ 30%. In contrast, everybody thinks Apple/Google is flat out gouging them.

      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        Thank you for this comment. I’d been among the skeptics also for the reason that they were focusing on mobile but your comment brings some perspective to the situation I was not aware of.

  6. rob

    1) the story about the systematic sexual abuse of immigrants at the ICE detention center in El Paso.
    2) “woke Inc.”

    These two stories both show how little changes….
    We the people are faced by a constant set of assaults….

    Before 9/11..
    60 minutes ran a story about the border patrol agents abusing immigrants in every way: rape,assault, theft,etc… In that story they said that @ 1/3 of the border patrol agents had open cases of abuse or theft charged against them…. and there OUGHT to be a serious investigation leading to disciplinary actions….yada yada… then 9/11 happened…. and all of a sudden this rotten bunch of apples who obviously had a serious ; culture issue/personnel type “problem”, became warriors against freedom in the name of the war on terror….. which meant all sins absolved…. but it never went away… and here we are….same place we were…funny how that works…

    And the Woke inc…..
    about the switching of teams running the ball… in whatever direction… but the game is always… labor vs. capital.
    And “we” the labor…… be gettin’ stomped by “the capital”….. damn…. this is getting old.

    Now throw in the stories of blackouts during heatwaves… throw in the assault on the post office… all the stories showing we live in a dysfunctional country.
    ” The capital” claims they are good for something…. but I don’t see it. this country is being run by teams of incompetent morons. And for some reason… the people are so screwed up, they think either voting for trump or biden… is the answer… WTF?
    congress has shown itself to be incompetent still.

    1. ivoteno

      The capital” claims they are good for something…. but I don’t see it.

      i disagree, i think the rest of your comment shows that you do see. “The Capital” is doing it’s job, and doing it well. That’s what it’s good at. now, is it doing “good?” not in my estimation.

  7. Mark K

    “As I’ve been saying for years: If your algorithm is broken, control your inputs” (Lambert’s comment on “Ford CEO says the company ‘overestimated’ self-driving cars”)

    Sounds like a description of mainstream economics to me.

    1. The Rev Kev

      If you have a technological device that works only under certain circumstances and only in particular places, then you don’t have a device – you have a gimmick.

      1. WobblyTelomeres

        Sorry to say, but your statement is rubbish. One example (among billions) would be a wind turbine inside a warehouse.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Those self-driving cars were suppose to replace cars in general which is why so many billions were pumped into their development. Now it turns out that they can only work under highly-controlled conditions in special technological “parks”. So in my mind I put them in the same box as flying cars and personal jet-packs. Have we developed the latter two? Yes, but we do not have them in our garages now, do we? So they are gimmicks.

          1. WobblyTelomeres

            I agree with you on most things. I probably agree with you on what you are trying to say here (I feel the same way about silicon valley apps). Your statement, as written, however, was so broad as to be nonsense.

            Consider a solar panel in a mine shift. Or an ion thruster, use for station keeping on satellites, in a swimming pool. Or a bicycle on the sun. There are many devices which require special circumstance and location to work. That doesn’t mean they are necessarily useless, necessarily poorly designed, etc.

            1. The Rev Kev

              Must be the way that I am saying it. Sorry. What I am getting at is that this was something that was supposed to be used everywhere and would end up replacing most manually-driven cars. Maybe most personal cars too for that matter. Sort a like when automatic transmission cars came into general use over manual cars even though both types are on the road. But in the end this effort has been a failure and with present technology can only be used in very limited circumstances. So it is something that you might find in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland rather than one you would have in your garage.

      2. hunkerdown

        A device is something that has been devised. Automaton is a separate, orthogonal descriptor that applies equally well to some ostensible life forms such as Homo economicus.

        If you want a friend in technology, get a dog.

    2. skippy

      “algorithm is broken” – imaginary inputs.

      “control your inputs” – behavioral economics.

      “overestimated” – were all going to be rich beyond our wildest dreams first in best dressed all you savvy investors.

    3. Lou Anton

      Same sentiment as Taleb’s ‘Bed of Procrustes.’ Too tall for the bed, weary traveller? No problem, we’ll just cut your legs shorter so they’ll fit the bed.

  8. griffen

    On the blunder by Citi. Proving that amid all signs of disorder and mayhem, there is order and a semblance of sameness to the world.

    Thats an epic fail, by the by.

    Sarc intended, they earn it every time for their screw ups ( plentiful and documented ).

  9. dave

    25% in U.S. Say Neither Candidate Would Be a Good President Gallup.

    How is that number not much, much higher?

  10. Pavel

    Re the 2008 piece by Alex Cockburn on Biden, an interesting passage in light of the Tara Reide accusations:

    Vanity is the most conspicuous characteristic of US Senators en bloc , nourished by deferential acolytes and often expressed in loutish sexual advances to staffers, interns and the like. On more than one occasion CounterPunch’s editors have listened to vivid accounts by the recipient of just such advances, this staffer of another senator being accosted by Biden in the well of the senate in the weeks immediately following his first wife’s fatal car accident.

    Disgusting if true. And I suspect Cockburn’s record for veracity is a bit better than Biden’s.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Profound irony is one joy I can hopefully still cling to.

      That the party of Woke nominated a hair-sniffing fondler who did more to incarcerate people of color than anyone else.

      That they chose a right wing cop for “VP” when their national “peaceful protests” demanded defunding police.

      That the SecState apparently we’ll get in WokeDemWorld is the African-American woman who smashed the African country with the highest standard of living on the continent, thereby restarting modern-day slavery there.

      That the SecTreasury apparently we’ll get in WokeDemWorld is the CEO of the bank that had to pay out $34 billion in fines in 151 cases of rampant consumer and investor abuse since 2000:

      1. Pavel

        Always nice to hear from you OTPBDHal… though as always you are appropriately the voice of doom and gloom, and never so aptly as in these dark days.

        This Biden-Harris (and no doubt Rice-Klobuchar-Buttigieg-other-neoliberals-ad-nauseum) ticket is the worst Democrat ticket I can remember — and considering HRC in 2016 that is saying a lot.

        I told a long-standing Dem friend of mine (he was a delegate in the 1980 convention IIRC) that I’d almost prefer to see Trump win and thus destroy — one assumes — the DNC & neoliberals for once and for all. It would be 4 years of dire Trump and a rebirth– again, one assumes– of the Left versus 12 years of neolib/neocon reign by Biden/Harris/Buttigieg etc. He agreed.

        As for SCOTUS SCOTUS SCOTUS let’s just remember Biden shamelessly enabled Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, as Alex Cockburn reminded us:

        Another shining moment in Biden’s progress in the current presidential term was his conduct in the hearings on Judge Alito’s nomination to the US Supreme Court. From the opening moments of the Judiciary Committee’s sessions in January, 2006, it became clear that Alito faced no serious opposition. On that first ludicrous morning Senator Pat Leahy sank his head into his hands, shaking it in unbelieving despair as Biden blathered out a self-serving and inane monologue lasting a full twenty minutes before he even asked Alito one question. In his allotted half hour Biden managed to pose only five questions, all of them ineptly phrased. He did pose two questions about Alito’s membership of a racist society at Princeton, but had already undercut them in his monologue by calling Alito “a man of integrity”, not once but twice, and further trivialized the interrogation by reaching under the dais to pull out a Princeton cap and put it on.

        Cockburn — Change, Hope … Why They Must be Talking About Joe Biden!

        Christ what a world we live in. :(

  11. Wukchumni

    When it is devilishly hot in the CVBB (110 today), that means thunderstorms in the higher climes of the Sierra Nevada, and anytime there’s as many clouds in the air @ 6 am as there is now, hiker beware don’t go out there.

  12. CH

    Re: Watching mushroom clouds from the beach in LA. Apocalypse…

    That last part…interesting contrast with the sunny rhetoric pitched to the PMC by the likes of Steven Pinker and the “New Optimists” crowd, (Ridley, Kristof, Brand, the late Rosling, Diamandis, etc,) all of whom are in love with neoliberalism and globalization. They write books, give TED talks and marshal mountains of statistics claiming that “we literally never had it so good,” and “[current year] was the best year for humans in history EVER!”

    What to make of the contrast???

  13. Noone from Nowheresville


    PS. PS. Per yesterday’s medical discussion: If your wife has to pick up a new insurer there is generally a waiting period and possibly pre-existing condition restrictions plus potentially out of pocket expenses / co-pays. Make sure that those are knowns for your family and how it would impact the current treatment regiment.

    Might be a good time to figure out inheritance structures as well. If you would inherit anything from your step-mom or mother if they pass. As well as what might be passed on to your kids. I expect the Medicaid clawbacks to get more extreme as we move forward.

    Isn’t it hilarious how much cheaper it would be for all concerned to just scrap the system and have real health care? Yeah, I’m splitting a gut here. Of course if we did that it might lead to real discussion about the entire global system, not just health care.

    1. CitizenSissy

      The belief that America’s “healthcare” system is just A-OK is still widely entrenched. If anything has been made abundantly clear the last six months, decoupling health insurance from employment status should be number one with a bullet. Joe has been making noises about lowering the Medicare eligibility age to 60, which would be a good start. No doubt there are a whole lotta people out there hanging onto jobs just for the insurance.

      I’ve never understood why employer groups aren’t at the forefront of M4A; the current system is a historic anomaly, isn’t working, and needs to be scrapped.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I’ve never understood why employer groups aren’t at the forefront of M4A; the current system is a historic anomaly, isn’t working, and needs to be scrapped.

        Its about power. Nominal money values mean nothing. In theory, the antebellum Southern oligarchs were paupers because of nominal cash values. Despite gross incompetence, they managed to field professional armies capable of major campaigns and arguably revolutionary warfare in weeks once they decided to move and make European relationships. Northern oligarchs didn’t have that power. They may have had more cash, but they had to settle for buying Senators.

        Groups like the Chamber are captured. They have nothing in common with the local members. Its not dissimilar to Trumka and the state of unions.

        The first thing that would happen with M4All is a rush to the exits of countless corporate jobs. All kinds of “lousy” jobs would become good enough jobs. In theory, companies would make more money, but their employees would have power instantly.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Even within the context of unions, M4All would very much undermine guys like Trumka who don’t do anything, constantly worried about all the unions they represent. With M4All, there is more freedom to strike because no one has to worry about being this close to Medicare or if little Billy gets sick other than the getting sick part.

          1. sd

            With Medicare for All, the savings from shifting to a public plan from the private plans could go into lower dues, buffering pensions or direct wage increases.

            Union leadership tends to be more about power trips than leadership.

            1. pasha

              depends on the union, some i’ve belonged to turned out to be corrupt (u.a.w. turned rogue) but most teachers’ and professional unions have definitely worked on their members’ behalf. s.e.i.u. has accomplished a lot for its members

        2. S.V. Dáte

          “Despite gross incompetence, they managed to field professional armies capable of major campaigns and arguably revolutionary warfare in weeks once they decided to move and make European relationships.” I’m not trying to be disagreeable, but that statement taken as a whole is not true. It took months for the confederacy to form. Longer to field an army never mind armies. Not all slave states were in it. Neither side possessed anything in the way of “revolutionary warfare”. The British had eliminated slavery they did not support the confederates. And wouldn’t.

          As to “Northern oligarchs didn’t have that power. They may have had more cash, but they had to settle for buying Senators.” What? Care to cite some sources? The Unites States (what you call the ‘north’ had plenty of power, if ‘power’ means getting things done. In three years all confederate territory was surrounded by a naval blockade. If the confederacy was so powerful they wouldn’t have allowed that to happen. Or Grant to take Vicksburg, or Sherman and his little March.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            By the US Army, under the Constitution of the United States. It wasn’t random oligarchs.

        3. Procopius

          Its about power.

          Adam Smith nailed it:

          The pride of man makes him love to domineer, and nothing mortifies him so much as to be obliged to condescend to persuade his inferiors. Wherever the law allows it, and the nature of the work can afford it, therefore, he will generally prefer the service of slaves to that of freemen.

          In the late 19th and early 20th Century, The Oligarchy were quite straightforward about “imposing the discipline of the factory.” Or, as we say now, “The cruelty is the point.”

      2. hunkerdown

        In regards to an offhand comment about public health care, one 0.1%er of my brief acquaintance told me he liked having something special to make his employees want to work for him. Put another way, they value the limitation of mobility on their inferiors that they couldn’t have if health care were a public good. And, since they value rank and get more of their relative benefits from the class order instead of from public goods, they will sacrifice the public good and private benefit in order to maintain their class interest in the upper hand in the wage relation.

        Here’s another situation where the ambient neoliberal tendency to gamification (i.e. imparting positive moral qualities to maximization of quantities) fails to explain or predict a phenomenon very well. I maintain that, in most cases, and especially where entrepreneurial culture is present, rank is a more powerful motivating factor than money. Admittedly, money is a motivator among the entrepreneurs.)

        (Aside to Carolinian, thank you for elaborating on that good counterexample of the performers themselves yesterday, which I hadn’t considered, but I think directors and other creative managers can be swayed by access to good tools and materials…)

      3. John Zelnicker

        August 16, 2020 at 11:00 am

        “I’ve never understood why employer groups aren’t at the forefront of M4A”

        “No doubt there are a whole lotta people out there hanging onto jobs just for the insurance.”

        Answered your own question. Employer based health insurance gives them a chain to keep employees tied to the job and to pay them lower wages in exchange for the coverage.

        1. S.V. Dáte

          Well the reason Frank Thomas gives is that MDs didn’t want the either the people being their bosses (being made by) or the government telling them (mds) what to do. How’d that work out?

          1. tegnost

            If I am deciphering this correctly, you refer to T Frank who in turn referenced Canada as an example from my recollection
            But it wasn’t always like that. Canada experienced massive upheaval and protest when its single-payer system launched in 1962. Back then, Canadian single-payer opponents were making the exact same arguments against the program as American single-payer opponents do today: that it was too much government in medicine, that physicians would no longer be able to practice medicine in the way they saw fit. The doctors even went on strike (for more than three weeks) when the system launched.

            “It was a very close call,” says Greg Marchildon, a professor at the University of Toronto who studies the history of Canadian health care. “The doctors were totally against it, half the population was totally against it and the other half were totally for it. It could have gone either way.”

            So I guess it worked out pretty good in spite of doctor opposition. To the original question it’s seems clear to me that it’s important to have the power over ones employees, and also that the level of care available to the masses be dramatically worse which we seem to have achieved in our typically exceptional way.

    2. griffen

      As is stated here often, its a feature not a bug. One should not have to leap around hurdles and hoops. But we gots the best health care evah and evah !

  14. Wukchumni

    Watching mushroom clouds from the beach in LA. Apocalypse…maybe not now, but soon! Yasha Levine
    When we slipped under the wire and made good our escape from the City of Angles 15 years ago, I never really looked back-why bother?

    The one thing about LA is the utter anonymity of the place, it’s very common for neighbors a few doors away to not know one another, as in there is very little community. Make your pile and somehow get closer to the ocean is the Angeleno way of life, for sum.

  15. ptb

    Re: Covid saliva test

    This is great news of course. To reach the vision of having this be a cheap off-the-shelf item that everyone can apply frequently (as per yesterday’s article), we are talking about manufacturing ramp-up to produce billions of devices per year. That is not unheard of. Add the desire to do the ramp-up in a short time (like 6 months)? Would be a first, but I don’t see why not. I am actually very impressed by how fast US industry has moved on another test manufacturing project being implemented near here… but that is relative to what is normal for US med/diagnostic industry (sorry).

    As yesterday’s article mentioned, the scale of the project, in devices-per-year, is at least an order of magnitude higher than any other covid technology under discussion. It would for sure have to be subsidized, because the demand can disappear if a better competing product comes (especially if there are ambitions for global sales), or if the epidemic ends, whether on its own, or especially with a vaccine.

    So: biggest project, biggest funding need, might be unsuccessful, might be unnecessary by the time it is finished. And if successful, it would put a lot of other Covid technologies out of business. From what I can tell, the lion’s share of covid related manufacturing funding is in the hands of the HHS secretary. As a former drug company exec and lobbyist, he has a lot of relationships to juggle in a situation like this, so we’ll see what happens.

  16. Wukchumni

    It’s true, it’s true, the Senate has made it clear
    The climate in DC isn’t perfect all the year

    A law was made a distant moon ago here
    July and August can be too hot
    And there’s a 6 year limit to the show here for Kamala

    Senate is forbidden after December
    And exits not having done a lot
    By order, Senate lingers through at least November for Kamala

    Kamala: Camelot?
    I know it sounds a bit bizarre
    But for Kamala: Camelot
    That’s how conditions are

    Her Senate reign may fall after election
    By November third, when the possibility looms near
    In short, there’s simply not a more presumptive spot
    For happily ever after in than here for Kamala

    Kamala: Camelot
    I know it gives a person pause
    But in Camelot: Kamala?
    Those are the legal laws

    The show may never be thrust upon her spot
    By for of November, an answer must appear
    In short, there’s simply not a more PC slot
    For happily ever after in than here in the White House for Kamala

  17. The Rev Kev

    “A Black Marxist Scholar Wanted to Talk About Race. It Ignited a Fury.”

    Reed is lucky that the Democratic Socialists of America’s New York City chapter did not have him cancelled. Criticizing St. Obama? Believing that ‘Lasting victories were achieved…when working class and poor people of all races fought shoulder to shoulder for their rights.’? That is heresy that. I am pretty sure that that is not how the Black Caucus works either. Yes I believe that BLM but if you limit it to a race issue, nothing will ever really change. As a divide and rule tactic, it works brilliantly though the number of white people standing with the BLM protestors must have given some people pause. If you have a whole class stand together, then that is when real change is possible.

    1. flora

      Lee Fang has some good tweets about this ‘new left’ (sort of like ‘new dem’, aka ‘corporatist dem’. /heh). He sums up what I’ve been thinking for a while.

      There’s a defining distinction on the left: those who believe in fundamental human economic rights and those who want a politics based on racial exclusion because of past wrongs. The latter has all the momentum among corporations, cultural elites, media and the highly educated.


      In the old Dem Party, the conservative wing was white & male, leading many to believe identity pol would bring progressive values. Today the Blue Dog caucus chair is Asian, the most pro-Trump Dem senator is an LGBT woman. It’s an illusion that diversity has any inherent ideology.

      1. flora

        adding: It’s not hard to see the clientelism built into a politics based on racial exclusion because of past wrongs and why corporations would find that sort of workforce clientelism so useful for discouraging demands for higher wages and better benefits, for example.

      2. nycTerrierist

        great bit from today’s link to Reed/W. Benn Michaels:

        my bold

        ….”In its insistence that proportionality is the only defensible norm and metric of social justice, anti-racist politics rejects universal programs of social-democratic redistribution in favor of what is ultimately a racial trickle-down approach according to which making more black people rich and rich black people richer is a benefit to all black people.

        Complaints about disproportionality are neoliberal math. They tell us that the increasing wealth of the one percent would be okay if only there were more black, brown, and LGBTQIA+ billionaires. And the fact that anti-racism and anti-discrimination of all kinds would validate rather than undermine the stratification of wealth in American society is completely visible to those who currently possess that wealth—all the rich people eager to embark on a course of moral purification that will make them less racist but with no interest whatsoever in a politics that would make them less rich.”

      3. L

        Yep, I’m not sure the Afrosocialists recognized the irony when they chose to silence a voice of a person of color and seek division within the DSA on the grounds that, per the NYTimes Article:

        “We cannot be afraid to discuss race and racism because it could get mishandled by racists,” the caucus stated. “That’s cowardly and cedes power to the racial capitalists.”

      4. Billy

        Let’s further subdivide the game:

        Get out your social chisel and the hammer of justice to examine white privilege and income disparities:

        Household income of U.S. religious groups, percentage with more than $100,000 per year family income:

        Jewish 44%

        Hindu 36%

        Episcopal 35%

        All U.S. Adults 19%

        Catholics 19%

        Southern Baptists 16%

        These are 2016 numbers. With Silicon Valley’s rise, the numbers will be more extreme.

      5. Dirk77

        Come the revolution, capitalist oppressors will be pardoned, but idpol liberals will definitely find their backs against the wall.

    2. S.V. Dáte

      Kev, explain something for me. I have one neighbor a union plumber who makes $85 (take home after benefits) a hour and works full and has for years. I have another neighbor a tenured professor who makes $150k a year. What is working class here? Neither one’s political views are that conventional. And neither is very radical as well. I don’t think class, race, IDpo, ways of viewing reality are particularly good for actually solving problems. Indeed a lot of injustice and poverty and in general just being messed around with endlessly. Which we know is a feature not a bug.

      1. ambrit

        Do a thought experiment.
        Take both of your neighbors and move them to the North American Deep South. Both will take cuts in pay. However, it is in the nature of how those cuts are structured that will be important. Your Union plumber down here might figure on getting $25 to $30 an hour, with no guarantee of hours. So, he takes a big cut in his standard of living. Your tenured professor will take a cut of about half, and ‘drops’ down to $75,000 per year. Here, that is very good money and will support you in the ‘high life.’
        The big difference that I can see is that the plumber is treated as a disposable asset by the oligarchy, while the professor is a PMC and thus has some political power to protect his position with.
        Adding, your professor did not have to go out on a picket line and undergo the physical oppressions that the Union activists did. When is the last time you read of a sit-in of faculty at a University being broken up by mace spraying, club wielding thugs?
        There’s your class war at work.

        1. LifelongLib

          Dunno. I basically agree with Orwell that if you live off paychecks and can be fired, you’re working class. Selling your labor, whether physical or mental. Rather than being a separate class the “PMCs” are workers that have been granted special privileges for the convenience of owners — privileges that can be and often are withdrawn. Like the guy who said he could hire half the working class to kill the other half, except it’s 10% to control the other 90%…

          1. ambrit

            You bring up an interesting point.
            The definition of “class” is not all cut and dried, is it.

      2. hunkerdown

        Blair Fix observes that rank has the most profound effect on income. Do your neighbors consider themselves to have earned their station? If so, then it’s obvious they’re telling themselves narratives that enable their clear-conscience predation on the working class.

        Read Pradhan and Pandit for a working, usable model of class systems: Here you will see why it is necessary to sabotage the lower ranks in order to keep the system stable.

      3. tegnost

        “after benefits”?
        Does he have any business costs that are not mentioned here.
        Does your tenured friend have to rent his office from the uni?
        I’d say not a very balanced equation.

      4. The Rev Kev

        What is class? If I had to find one word that would describe how it works in day to day life in America I would use the word ‘precariousness’. If you are one paycheck away from an emergency, one sickness away from financial bankruptcy, working in a place with no union to speak up for you, with your medical benefits tied to the job that you have, no political choice to speak your concerns, then I would call that a class. And that is exactly how those at the top wish it to be so that they can deny people a voice while cutting their pay and conditions and whatever else they think that they can get away with. Yes, it ruins the citizens of a country and puts them behind other developed countries but that is where Lambert’s two laws come in.

        1. WobblyTelomeres

          What would be revolutionary would be to have the oligarchs think their lives precarious. The last time that happened, in my opinion, was 1918. We are still living through the repercussions of that day (Hiroshima, Korea, Vietnam, Cold War II).

    3. jr

      The idPol swarm has to avoid any analysis of class. They would immediately start to lose their choice teaching positions, corporate consulting gigs, and any chance of advancing in politics. It’s where the rubber actually hits the road, it’s how the human world is made.

      Instead, a focus on amorphous “identity” issues, declaration of victimizations from on high, public rituals of abasement, and a “War on Terror” style monolithic framing of the enemy as an implacable, generally incurable menace. It suppresses the white working class as the enemy of progress, deludes people of color into thinking they offer substantive change, and provides the ruling classes and their PMC schweinhund a chance for a redemptive secular-spiritual enema.

      They have the Academy and the moron-a-thon MSM. Now they are moving into politics and the corporate suite. Their ideas are toxins with the sugary coating of social justice around them. Who doesn’t want social justice? Some are “Frankfurtian” BS artists, some are well meaning, and some are zealots. It is a cabal of idiots, a true confederacy of dunces, offgassing unanchored intangibles hither and thither and declaring the stink to be the bouquet of reason.

      Years ago, I cannot recall, someone wrote that when fascism comes to the US it will come proclaiming liberty for all. idPol has a lock on the “all” part since they claim to be the one’s finally allowing everyone to sit at the table. And since they practically create a new “all” on a monthly basis with the ludicrous identity and gender word games they are uniquely, um, fluid in terms of generating the illusion of a big tent. Old school fascists hate people, the idPol ideologue in theory accepts everyone. Even whites are welcome, after the proper displays of abasement.

      I don’t think fascism is here quite yet or maybe it’s that the US has always been on the verge of a fascistic formation so we don’t notice. Regardless, when it does arrive I’ll bet it flies a Rainbow flag and proclaims itself to be for everyone, inclusive, diverse while simultaneously crushing the white workers and gaslighting the workers of color. Rainbow fascism.

      1. rl

        it flies a Rainbow flag and proclaims itself to be for everyone, inclusive, diverse while simultaneously crushing … and gaslighting

        Correct. The crushing and the gaslighting have already been full-steam ahead against (actual, not “identifying as”) lesbians and (actual, not “identifying as”) gay men for at least a decade at this point.

    4. Aumua

      If you have a whole class stand together, then that is when real change is possible.

      Right then we should be standing with our Black comrades, in solidarity.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Exactly. As Benjamin Franklin once said-

        “We must all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.”

  18. Retaj


    One of your ad providers serves an ad to a fake flash upgrade website which might be malware.

    Just wanted to let you know.

  19. The Rev Kev

    “The Country That Was Built to Fall Apart”

    America was always a divided country and at one point I understand that it was touch and go if English or German would be the national language. I think that was why at the beginning that the founders used the Constitution as a way to unite the different elements of the country. You see an echo of this when officials & servicemen swear an oath not to the country or the people but to the Constitution itself. Think of the changes to America since the original colonies, the tens of millions of emigrants that poured into the country in the 19th century, the turning of an agricultural economy to an industrial State and yet the Constitution has served as an anchor point with the occasional modifications known as Amendments. Real trouble starts when you have wise guys saying that they can ignore the Constitution and break the laws. If you doubt this sentiment, consider what sort of country America would be if the Amendments alone were strictly and thoroughly enforced.

    1. hunkerdown

      I imagine Ukraine, under Poroshenko, blended with the comically effete make-believe of English feudalism. The result being a low-industrial totalitarian aristocracy sitting on a resource extraction economy, with a seamless facade of bourgeois “development”.

      Have you forgotten so quickly that the American system was explicity and intentionally designed to keep the general people out of power? There’s a word for that and it’s not democracy.

      1. JBird4049

        The American system was designed to limit the power of everyone with the lower classes being more limited true. The fear was of tyranny and of not only mob, which was likely their greatest fear, but also of the dictator and the corrupt oligarchy using the government to oppress everyone else.

        For example, this is why the bills are that deal with taxation and spending are supposed to originated from the House of Representatives. The House (supposedly) better understands and represents the population.

        Of course, like the rest of the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, it is more theory than form now. Just look at the recent “stimulus” follies where Speaker Nancy Pelosi had Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and some of the Republican leadership of the Senate write the whole CARES Bill and guaranteed that it would be passed by the House. It was blatantly unconstitutional.

        Money has become the determinate of what is right and wrong, which is something the Founders feared. Our current magnates, like many of the past have amass so much money(power) that they no longer are bound by the law, forget the rights of others.

    2. S.V. Dáte

      The plan to speak German was if we lost WW2. We are not built to fall apart. No state can leave the union – there is no process to do so. One would have to create a constitutional amendment. Which requires a super majority. These days no chance of that. I am unaware of any legal scholars saying only Amendments are being enforced. All Amendments rest on the law established in the rest of the constitution. Strange logic. Where does this go?

      1. The Rev Kev

        With the German languages I was talking about the early days of the American colonies when it was a second language in the same way that Canada has French for a second language. And this was from the 1680s through to the early 20th century. And my point about the Amendments was that they are not being enforced which is leading to chaos in American political life.

        Freedom of the press? Only if a bunch of billionaires lets you. Freedom to protest? Yeah, we have seen how that works out. Unreasonable search and seizure? Imprisonment without due process of law? A speedy and public trial? Excessive bail and fines and cruel and unusual punishment? My point was that if the Amendments were actually being enforced in everyday life, I do not think that you would recognize the country-

        1. PeterfromGeorgia

          People forget how entrenched and separate the German culture was in America before WW 1/2. The “Dutch” kept separate schools, papers, societies, and towns for hundreds of years. Anecdotal, but my Dad was the first family member born in America to NOT speak German fluently as a first language. He was born in 1943 . . . and his family had moved here before 1700!!!!

  20. Brian (another one they call)

    I have a question for the community; What if Trump orders Medicare for All? It would be a savvy move on his part to act to help people that have no help.

    How many people would then vote for bad Orange?

    1. Phil in KC

      He can’t “order” it; the change would have to come from Congress in the form of a bill. Trump can champion such legislation and sign it. Of course, he’d have to turn most of the Republican party on its head. The great deal maker has found making deals very difficult in Washington DC. he couldn’t get this done in time for the election even with a special session of Congress.

      He might pick up a few votes, but most people would see right through this. The time to have done this was last year, instead of trying to dig up dirt on Biden.

      I wouldn’t trust his mere championing of MFA. I would want to see him sign the bill before considering his re-election. He’s a slippery one, that guy!

    2. JBird4049

      A lot of people would vote for the Orange Man, if he got Medicare for All, considering COVID19, regardless of any ideology.

  21. sd

    Yale COVID saliva test – unlike Mina’s Rapid Test, still has a gatekeeper. I wonder if that’s why it received FDA approval. Surely Harvard and Yale have the same access at the FDA.

    The test, which also avoids a key step that has caused shortages of chemical reagents used in other tests, can run approximately 90 samples in fewer than three hours in a lab, although the number can be greater in big labs with automation.

    1. VietnamVet

      I am stuck at home, going stir-crazy, waiting for something critical going out of stock. Afraid mail delivery of my medicine will stop.

      I am a proponent of ending the pandemic now. Antigen testing together with a functional national public health system, can stop viral transmission before year’s end. The current US for-profit healthcare system is incapable of fighting the pandemic and ending the spread of COVID-19.

      However, the Trump administration will do nothing except spread PR that the virus is no big deal; despite, the Pandemic Depression and tens of millions of Americans out of work. Unfortunately, it is bipartisan. Congress is out of session. Billions of dollars were transferred to multinational vaccine manufacturers, 4 trillion to Wall Street. Revolving door technocrats and crony capitalists benefited. So far, no new stimulus checks or unemployment payment extension for out of work Americans. Let alone, money for a national testing program.

      The fork in the road is here. Either democracy, good government and public health are restored or a new Dark Age starts in the West.

      1. Janie

        You and Katiebird, the first comment today, make a good pair. Your rant is also spot on; well done on that last paragraph, sadly.

        About meds, time to find a local source and try to fugdr little bit ahead for backstock.

      2. Procopius

        Wait… Antigen testing shows whether you’ve already had COVID-19 and recovered from it. It does not detect people who are infectious. How does that help to track active asymptomatic cases? What percentage of false positive and negative results do the current antigen tests have?And I’m sorry, but “… together with a functional national public health system…” is not something I expect to see in my lifetime.

        I am not an economist, but from what I see on the internet the Pandemic Depression hasn’t started yet. Wait until October. You’re going to really see the effect of the deadlock in the Republican Senate. The money notbeing sent out now is really going to destroy small businesses, and about fifteen to twenty million more people are going to be homeless. I expect it to make 1931-2 look like a cakewalk.

  22. Carolinian

    Re Cockburn/Counterpunch/Biden–St. Clair has said it’s a pity that Cockburn–who had tangled with Trump in the past–didn’t live to comment on the current regime but surely Biden would have made a better punching bag. Trump is the joke that writes itself (perhaps consciously so). And for those curious about the SC reference in the article, Cockburn said on C-Span that he would buy his beloved ’60s gas guzzlers from a friend in nearby Landrum and then set sail for his Petrolia, CA headquarters–having long since deserted NYC while still writing for The Nation. A love for the American landscape and tolerance for its deplorable millions another feather in the AC cap IMO. St. Clair is a lot more crabby when it comes to the latter. Here’s one of Cockburn’s appearances on C-Span.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Trump is the joke that writes itself

      Like Shrub, this is why every time Trump gets “destroyed” nothing happens.

    2. furies

      I met Alex a few times while domiciled at a local newspaper compound. (my 5 minutes of fame)

      Drove the car that picked he and said editor up after hiking the Lost Coast in Humboldt County.

      It was a time of hope and change. RIP Alex.

      1. Carolinian

        I long ago sent a mash note to The Nation about one of his Central America columns and got a Cockburn post card reply–a thrill!

        He was a big drawing card for The Nation but may not have gotten along with the post Navasky regime. He joked that Navasky lured him to The Nation with pay in the high two figures.

  23. Olga

    Col. Lang’s blog on the UAE-Israel agreement:
    “Netanyahu has managed to get himself out of a mess. Israel was already decided not to go ahead with the annexation of property on the West Bank.”
    That was my sense… there was a lot of opposition to this proposed “annexation,” just not many reports about it (part. not in the US). A way out had to be found…
    Compare to Tom Friedman’s take from NYT

    1. M.P

      Typical Zionist-Wahabbist games which want to manipulate Middle Eastern people to point starting totally mess which they really make good money of it

  24. Howard Beale IV

    When I relocated up to watch after my mother, her domicile had all original HVAC (and no ductwork in the crawlspace, which played havoc with the electric bill to cool down the house.) In addition to ripping out and replacing all of the HVAC and installing ductwork, our summer energy bill is way lower than it would have been in the past. Oh, and I also had the contractor install a UV disinfectant bulb in the exhaust duct when the furnace was replaced.

    So far, so good.

  25. 430 MLK

    To revise Mackender: “Who rules the supply chain commands the Heartland; who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island; who rules the World-Island commands the world.”

    Is this part of the geographical pivot of history, from British geographer Halford Mackinder? Nice pull!

    I read about Mackinder in a great quasi-academic biography on Isaiah Bowman (Wilson and Roosevelt’s geographer) by Neil Smith. Smith was a marxist geographer who used the pivot to build on his larger idea of the changing geographies of capital markets and capital’s general need to ‘touch down’ and temporarily fix itself in particular places.

    I remember liking it in my academic days. Not sure how it holds up now.

  26. anon in so cal

    >Yasha Levine on Mushroom clouds from the beach in Santa Monica

    Levine has great insights, and not wanting to detract….but this has been an unusually cool summer in Los Angeles. It’s only the past three days (and the upcoming four) that will be unusually hot. Last year and this year, also, things have also been somewhat under-average as far as fire seasons go. That giant pyrocumulonimbus cloud? It looks a lot like the regular cumulonimbus clouds that form over the mountains every August and September, as chubascos aka thunderstorms roll in from the south and east. Santa Monica beach on a Saturday during a heat wave is the last place anyone would venture who’s lived in Los Angeles for a time. During the pandemic, even more perplexing. Granted, the beach looked deserted in the photo, but give it a half hour. Head farther north or farther south, on a weekday, if one must. Sorry to be grumpy.

  27. Basil Pesto

    Readers of a certain stripe might enjoy this video showing the graphics of Microsoft Flight Simulator from version 1.0 in 1982, to the version launching this week, which apparently recreates Earth at 1:1 scale:

    a bit more on it:

    1. The Rev Kev

      Those are great videos those. They are almost a history of how far we have come with computers since the late 80s. I liked the neat bit about slipping in a Wright flyer into one of the sequences.

      1. RMO

        I haven’t been willing to spend much time on a flight sim program ever since my Microsoft Sidewinder Force Feedback joystick became unusable. It’s old enough that the cable has a game port termination and it came with an adapter so you could plug it into one of those new-fangled USB things. I lost the adapter and apparently all the available aftermarket game port-USB adapters don’t work with it. What I loved about it was that if you unplugged the separate power supply that was these just for the force-feedback motors the joystick still worked and left me with a beautifully smooth moving control with so springs to fight against. I actually found this much much more like flying a real aircraft as neither the feedback nor the spring system really behave anything like the variable forces you get from a real control stick depending on airspeed, deflection and rate of deflection change. I really do want to try Condor, a soaring flight sim as not only is it popular with many pilots in my soaring club (they play together online in the winter) but we also use it as the basis of a training simulator for students.

        Funny thing is that I started using Flight Simulator 98 and actually taking real flying lessons at the same time. I could perform a good circuit and landing in a real glider months before I could do it in the sim!

      2. Basil Pesto

        I love the graphics of 1.0 and 3.0/4.0. Strangely elegant considering what was available at the time.

  28. Ep3

    RE: Jeff Stein posts (I feel terrible for these ppl)

    Yves, this is part of the philosophy of America right now. That when you drive ppl down to their lowest point, somehow they will have a magical change that will make them turn into a better person. Then at this lowest point, You will discover the cure for cancer and become mega rich. And this belief system thinks that if you don’t have this change you either aren’t at your lowest, or you are truly someone who does not deserve to survive (survival of the fittest). Why can’t, in the richest country in the history of the world, Everyone have some sort of minimum standard of living that does not involve eating cat food or drinking water from a nuclear power plant. Why is my only purpose on this planet to work 12-15 hour days, 7 days a week at a job? I only get one life yet it’s only purpose is flipping burgers?

    1. hunkerdown

      According to Mitch Altman, because that’s how hierarchies work: the top takes a share of everything, the next takes a share of what’s left, and so on down the line until there’s only a flat payoff left for everyone else. According to Pradhan and Pandit’s recent work on class systems, then you make sure nobody can exit the system, you have just created a civilization, containing two classes — a minority class (or many) that does what they will, and a class (always a majority of the population) who suffers what they must.

      We can upset many woke capitalists by calling this relation what it is: class slavery.

  29. kareninca

    “Last I checked, the Sermon on the Mount was conducted outdoors.”

    The earliest Friends (Quakers) held many of their Meetings for Worship outdoors because the places where they met had been padlocked or destroyed by the authorities. This was in the 1600s in England in winter; it was not nice weather. They stood together for hours on end in the snow and sleet, waiting for the holy spirit of Christ to speak through them. It was not physically comfortable but they did it and it is still possible. Special accommodations could be made for elderly or ill people. And, well, there is also Zoom.

    1. Foy

      Also “do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues…to be seen by others. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father in private.” Matthew 6:5-6

      Maybe should never be in church in the first place, that’s for the show ponies! He said go home and pray by yourself in your room in secret. Can’t get more explicit than that.

      1. kareninca

        Actually not all Christian sects hold that you should take the bible literally. So even if the text says that you should pray in secret, you still have to interpret it. You can understand parts of the bible allegorically, for instance. In the case of the question of how to pray, you might look at what the earliest Christians did, as a sign of what is closest to what Christ taught, and read the text you cite in light of that. The idea is that the bible was written by people who were inspired by the word/essence/spirit of Christ, and that when we read it we are to be guided by that same spirit in our attempt to understand what they wrote.

        The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. Don’t be trapped by literal mindedness. The ark was not actually literally 40 cubits (or whatever that measure was). It didn’t literally rain for 40 days – 40 was a number that had a particular (not literal) significance at that time; it meant an important time period. In fact, the ark may well not have existed at all; the entire story may be an allegory.

        If you would like my interpretation of the text you cite, it is not to be taken literally. Its spiritual significance is that you shouldn’t pray boastfully, so as to show off. It is fine to get together to pray with others in a humble manner. It is also fine to get together with others to wait silently upon the Lord (as Quakers do). But your spiritual mileage may vary.

        1. periol

          “you might look at what the earliest Christians did”

          In all seriousness, how do you propose to do this? The earliest manuscripts of the NT we have date a couple of centuries after the early church, and much of what we know about the early church comes from looking at textual differences between manuscripts from different places and times, along with the anti-heresy writings of Tertullian and Irenaeus. Surely if one is open to a non-literal interpretation of the scriptures, it is easy to understand the book of Acts is not quite pure history in the way we think of it now. So how do you propose to “look at what the earliest Christians did?”

          1. kareninca

            If you are actually a practicing old time Quaker (for instance)(a few still exist), you wait for the Spirit of Christ to help you in this endeavor. An omnipotent God can help one past gaps in the availability of texts. If you don’t believe in God, well, yes you’d have a real textual problem. I was raised and atheist and it really is funny how spiritual problems appear in a different light when one is no longer an atheist.

            The earliest Friends (Quakers) felt that they had rediscovered – with Christ’s help – the Christianity of the time of the historical Jesus. Per William Penn: “Primitive Christianity Revived.” You are saying that they couldn’t have because they didn’t have the right texts. Really I’m not sure you could have convinced them as they died martyrs in English prisons.

            1. periol

              We have no idea what went on in the early church outside of some texts that were produced by the church itself, and those texts quite honestly read as stories rather than history. It isn’t until around 250-300 AD that we can start to fill in what the church looked like.

              I completely acknowledge that our complete lack of knowledge about the early church does not stop people from claiming an affiliation with early church Christians and their practices. Obviously, Christianity didn’t “exist” during the time of the “historical Jesus”, but sure it’s possible the Quakers rediscovered primitive Christianity.

              I would just point out that the more we do learn about the history and practices of the early church, the less it corresponds with what the church (the vast majority of xian denominations) teaches and believes about early church history. Pre-Nicea xity was all over the place.

        2. Foy

          Thanks for your comment karenica.

          I hope I’m not trapped by literal mindedness, I tend to take/prefer a mystical interpretation of verses. I do believe that there are two sections there, one as you mentioned is not to pray boastfully. But the second part of praying in a closed room by oneself (and not ‘babbling like a pagan’ which is in the next verse), is advice given so that one may discover that the ‘kingdom of heaven is within you’ (Luke 17:21), which I believe are the most important words he said. You need to be still and quiet in order to do this, as most of the mystics of various persuasions have tried to explain in the past. If you are distracted by outside things/senses then this much harder to do. It is meditation at its essence.

          This is a very similar approach as the Buddhists and various Eastern philosophies. That advice is one of the common pillars and essence of spiritual practices across belief systems (I feel they have a common foundation) so I believe even more emphasis should be placed on those words. So I do believe that this advice was meant to be taken literally in this case. I believe it has been misunderstood and deliberately ignored by many Christian churches for their own reasons, which is a long discussion in itself.

          Have a great day!

          1. kareninca

            Hmm, we are nearly in total agreement here; how can that be possible on the internet, haha.

            I would only say that I feel great empathy for people who want to pray in the talking way, and I would not try to dissuade them; maybe that is the right way for them despite the text.

            1. Foy

              Yes agreed kareninca, I think there are many paths to the top of the mountain, some might be faster than others, so I wouldn’t be trying to dissuade them from doing it either, something is better than nothing at all, and might be right for them in their current circumstances.

            2. Foy

              He also said to the disciples “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables” Luke 8:10. So I think its fairly clear that there was various levels, at least two, of knowledge and method, basic stuff for the masses and in depth stuff for those who were serious about it.

    2. Janie

      Druid ceremonies were outdoors, I believe, as were some early Celtic Christian ceremonies. And there’s Stonehenge and the other henges.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        There is still a strong tradition in Ireland of outdoor ceremonies – often at holy wells or traditional patterns. Many seem to have pagan roots. Ironically, these seem to be getting more popular as catholicism declines as people see them as having deeper cultural roots – plenty of atheists love Reek Sunday, although most draw the line at climbing the mountain barefoot.

  30. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: FDA clears saliva test
    I hope the saliva test becomes available soon and really does deliver all that is promised in today’s link and the tweet thread.

    Just out of curiosity … I have read about efforts to make molecules that would selectively attach to some characteristic feature of the Corona virus — like some part of one of its spicules as a component of a vaccine. I wonder whether such a molecule might be produced and then coupled with one of the proteins or other compounds used in microscopy for UV florescent molecular markers. With a medium like saliva I would think virus particles could be aggregated and separated from the saliva and any unattached florescent markers using centrifuge or perhaps electrophoresis or some similar technique. I have no idea of the practicality of this idea … just curious … swimming in water way over my head.

  31. Glen

    Rahm Emanuel: Democratic Party needs to turn ‘Biden Republicans’ into Democrats

    Rahm wants to ensure that whatever tiny bit of New Deal Democrats (with Democratic policy born in the FDR’s New Deal answer to the Great Depression) left in the Democratic party is smothered by the addition of Republicans that voted for forty years of Reaganomics. Trump can be annoying (especially to the elites because he sometimes says the quiet parts out loud), but he is the result of forty years of Reaganomics. Voting for more of the same, whether Republican or Democratic changes nothing. In fact, that’s exactly what Biden said he would do – NOTHING.

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      A lot of progressives debate taking over the Democrats. I think they miss that a take over is already in progress by the “moderate” and Never Trump Republicans. What’s more, they’re being welcomed in with open arms. Rham is just saying that quiet part out loud.

  32. Jeremy Grimm

    I ran across a comment exchange on Matt Stoller’s post “Warren Buffett: America’s Folksiest Predator” that may be of interest:
    The comment by “Bob Aug 10” is first in line:
    “The link to your book, Goliath, at the bottom of this page goes to Amazon. Why?”
    Matt Stoller replied:
    “Because it doesn’t matter where you buy from. Monopolies are a political problem, not something consumers can do anything about.”
    I found some comfort in Stoller’s reply because it’s becoming very difficult to purchase books without going to Amazon. [I tend to think the little book company in Seattle is squeezing extra margins I prefer not to pay. The guy up on Main Street is open again but half the time he ended up going to Barnes and Noble or ??? when I ordered books from him … and I’m still a little reluctant to go inside a small retail store.]

    1. DJG

      Jeremy Grimm: Goliath was published by Simon & Schuster, which is indeed big. Yet you can order directly from S&S, which means not ordering from Amazon. Admittedly, I am in publishing (an editor for years), but I have been ordering directly from publishers during the pandemic. They can use some money right now.

      So: I don’t agree with Stoller on this point. Most others. Not this one.

  33. stefan

    My local US Post Office is three miles away. My local UPS office is 15 miles away. My local FedEx office is 30 miles away

    1. sd

      Even better, my mailbox is about 50 feet away and it’s possible to pay for postage online, though I still like to buy and use the decorative stamps.

  34. Tom Stone

    You can kiss the grape crop in Sonoma County goodbye.
    it was 72 degrees with a light rain at 5:30 AM, the showers stopped a little after 11 AM and it’s currently 90 and 90 with little wind.
    Perfect for mildew.
    There have been supply chain problems this year, if you are lucky enough to have laid in fungicides early and you were out spraying before dawn you will only have a small loss.
    5% or so.
    If not, kiss all or most of your crop goodbye.
    And there’s a shortage of skilled vineyard labor this year.
    Or there has been, lose enough of the harvest and there may be enough crews to harvest what’s left.

  35. Zagonostra

    #comfortable grass bed 200k

    ‘Listened to The People of the Abyss’ by Jack London who went undercover to study the East Ender’s in London about 115 years ago after downloading from Librovox. His conclusion after living with and studying the Denizens of early Capitalism was that ‘Civilization ‘ was a bum deal for the great mass of people. He noted that primitive man at least had fresh air and a comfortable straw bed to sleep on instead of the squalor that he witnessed.

  36. kareninca

    I just went in and volunteered for a couple of hours. A heat wave is going on in CA, and it was kind of hot, but I’m not elderly and I’ve worked at such temperatures plenty of times before. But I nearly passed out. It was the mask. You really do breathe differently with a mask on. So yes, wear a mask, but expect your response to the heat to be different.

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