Links 8/31/2020

Bacteria on the outside of the International Space Station survived for years in the vacuum of space Salon (original).

How Bacteria-Eating Bacteria Could Help Win the War Against Germs NYT

The Fintech Debt Trap The Intercept

The Next Frontier Investor Amnesia. Real estate.

The Conscience of Silicon Valley GQ. Jaron Lanier

Electric car costs to remain higher than traditional engines FT

The Big Tesla Hack: A hacker gained control over the entire fleet, but fortunately he’s a good guy Electrek

The Mystery House: How a Suspicious Multimillion Dollar Real Estate Deal Is Connected to California’s Deadliest Fire Pro Publica

California’s Prison Chief is Retiring Amid Virus, Protest Pressure NBC


Genomic Evidence for a Case of Reinfection with SARS-CoV-2 (preprint) The Lancet. From the Abstract: “Herein, we describe the data from an investigation of two instances of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the same individual. Through nucleic acid sequence analysis, the viruses associated with each instance of infection were found to possess a degree of genetic discordance that cannot be explained reasonably through short-term in vivo evolution. We conclude that it is possible for humans to become infected multiple times by SARS-CoV-2, but the generalizability of this finding is not known.”

FDA Chief Promises Transparency for Covid-19 Vaccine Review Bloomberg

LG has designed a wearable air purifier for your face CNN. When will creativity similar to this be unleashed for masks:

U.S., Britain record worst anti-pandemic performance: poll Xinhua. Ouch.

The Case for a Coronavirus-Vaccine Bond The New Yorker

Surprising COVID-19 side effect: More companies adopt the 4-day workweek Fast Company


China censors Thomas Piketty’s book that touches on nation’s growing inequality South China Morning Post. I bought it; I’m reading it. Heavy going!

US to declassify Taiwan security assurances FT. Hoo boy.

Chinese-Made Smartphones Are Secretly Stealing Money From People Around The World Buzzfeed

One Drought and One Volcanic Eruption Influenced the History of China: The Late Ming Dynasty Mega‐drought Geophysical Research Letters

China promises its Mekong neighbours priority access to a coronavirus vaccine developed in China South China Morning Post.

Mutated coronavirus strain found in Indonesia as cases jump Reuters. Fourth largest country in the world by population….

For some Indonesians, COVID-19 stigma worse than disease Jakarta Post


India Has Record Single-Day Infections as Virus Hits Hinterland Bloomberg

Tata: transforming a conglomerate for India and the world FT

Japan looks to AI as coronavirus challenges go-and-see quality control mantra Reuters


Emmanuel Macron’s big Beirut challenge Politico

Saudi Aramco Discovers Two Oil, Gas Fields in Kingdom Bloomberg. Maybe we can make them World Heritage sites?


Five tense years since the 2015 migrant crisis Agence France Presse

New Cold War

‘Something Broke Inside Belarusians.’ Why an Apolitical People Rose Up NYT (Re Silc) vs. Anatomy of coup attempt in Belarus Indian Punchline (VP).

Trump Transition

Shutdown politics set to collide with coronavirus aid The Hill

Trump Program to Cover Uninsured Covid-19 Patients Falls Short of Promise NYT (Re Silc).

The Politics of Postal Reform Have Always Been Part of USPS History Time


‘DemExit’: virtual convention aims to create US leftwing alternative Guardian. Oddly, or not, very thin coverage.

Biden campaign adviser: Trump ‘has been trying to incite violence this entire summer’ The Hill

The Money Says Kenosha Is Helping Trump Bloomberg

We Don’t Know How to Warn You Any Harder. America is Dying. Umair Haque, Medium. “We survivors of authoritarianism have a terrible, terrible foreboding, because we are experiencing something we should never do: deja vu.”

Protests and Riots


Trump Is Visiting Kenosha on Tuesday. The Mayor Would Rather He Didn’t. Slate. On Kenosha, a thread:


Marred by trauma after George Floyd’s death, Minneapolis hit with second wave of looting. NBC

Minnesota Paramedic Speaks Out Against Police Use Of Ketamine Injections The Intercept (Furzy Mouse). Ketamine was one of the drugs used to sedate the Thai cave boys, while divers pulled them out of the complex through underwater tunnels. So, yikes.


Man fatally shot after pro-Trump caravan was Patriot Prayer ‘friend and supporter’ Aaron Danielson The Oregonian. The caravan, a thread:

One local’s view:

Wheeler Condemns Protest Shooting, Offers Few Solutions to Continuous Violence Portland Mercury

Governor Kate Brown Announces Unified Law Enforcement Plan to Protect Free Speech, Bring Violence to an End in Portland State of Oregon. Including more cops. Naturally.

Biden condemns violence in Portland and calls on Trump to do the same CNN

* * *

A ‘Scary’ Show Of Force: D.C. Police Ramp Up Aggressive Tactics After March On Washington DCist

‘Queer Eye’, Jordan Peterson and the battle for depressed men Open Democracy

Police State Watch

Officer charged in George Floyd’s death argues drug overdose killed him, not knee on neck ABC

Police PR machine under scrutiny for inaccurate reporting, alleged pro-cop bias LA Times

Failed State

The Lesson Americans Never Learn The Atlantic

Imperial Collapse Watch

Air Force’s ‘Skyborg’ Robotic Wingman Will Revolutionize How Air Warfare Is Waged—And How Weapons Are Bought Forbes

Pontifications: WA State frets about Boeing brain drain, but it’s already happening Leeham News and Analysis

Class Warfare

Agricultural Workers Lose Millions of Dollars Each Year to Employer Wage Theft In These Times

The New Face of Union-Busting The Baffler

Jackson Heights, Global Town Square (photo essay) NYT. Life’s little ironies….

Seeing like a city: how tech became urban Theory and Society. Dense but interesting; relevant to NC posts here, here, here, and here.

The Fever Wallace Shawn. From 1992, still germane.

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

Any Bostonians here who remember Robert J. Lurtsema? What a great way to start the day….

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. Livius Drusus

    Re: Biden campaign adviser: Trump ‘has been trying to incite violence this entire summer’.

    Trump might benefit from the chaotic summer so I think there is some truth to this. There is some evidence that people are souring on BLM.

    However, I don’t know how much of the chaos can be blamed on Trump. When Republicans point out that the worst unrest is happening in Democratic cities they are not lying. Trump will try to shift the narrative away from COVID-19 to the riots and try to make them stick to Biden even though Biden has come out against the riots and against the more extreme policy proposals like defunding the police.

    I still think that Trump will lose in November simply because 2020 has been so terrible and he is the incumbent but on the other hand I could see a repeat of 2016 if Trump can get just enough moderate suburban voters to vote for him out of fear of the riots. “Law and order” is Trump’s Hail Mary pass at this point.

    This article from The Atlantic sums up what I think the danger is for the Biden campaign:

    1. a different chris

      >When Republicans point out that the worst unrest is happening in Democratic cities they are not lying.

      Yes but did you read the tweet?

      I’m out in the Portland suburbs, where hundreds of Trump supporters are gathering for an event. They say they will be driving into Portland later tonight.

      This is the problem. This is where the violence (as opposed to broken windows) comes from. Will people see that? I dunno, but you seem pretty ready to somehow blame some generic thing called “Democrats”. Do you really think that suburb is “blue”?

      can get just enough moderate suburban voters to vote for him out of fear of the riots

      Which aren’t happening in said suburbs? Hard to picture how they could, actually…

      But yes, if people are dumb enough to

      a) Blame those whose communities are being invaded for not responding like Mr. Roger’s neighborhood
      b) Fear things that are not and will not happen in their suburban community

      Then Trump gets some votes. But then believing those two things requires a person to be some sort of idiot, and if idiots are going to vote they are going to vote for Trump anyway.

      This country is going down the authoritarian well because it has become the Idiocracy in full flower. I’m far from sure a Biden victory will stop it. The other article “We don’t know how to warn you any harder America is dying”, instead of triggering the fear I expected just triggered a depressed acceptance.

      Democracies never last.

      1. Carolinian

        This is the problem.

        How so? You could just ignore them. It seems dubious that Portland is in any danger of turning Republican.

        The territorial assertions about “defending” Portland sound more like gang warfare than a political dispute. And indeed Saturday night one of the right wingers was shot and killed, allegedly by a self proclaimed antifa member and “pro snowboarder” with a BLM fist symbol tattooed on his neck.

        I think it’s time for both sides to admit that once you accept violence as a tactic you will attract supporters who are more interested in the violence than the politics. Sadly, in the US, there are lots of those sorts or people hanging around, many ex military as McVeigh was and as the above suspect claims to be.

        1. Lynne

          Last year, the BBC had an “in-depth” segment on Portland and interviewed several individuals who identified themselves as Antifa members, although I always thought that Antifa is not an organization and has no members. One of them insisted that it was his responsibility to react with violence to the mere presence of anyone he believed was right-wing to drive them out of Portland. It mattered not whether the person to him he reacted was actually right-wing or, for that matter, doing anything more offensive than (in the reporter’s version) walking down the sidewalk wearing a MAGA T-shirt.

        2. ShamanicFallout

          Reminds of Ken Kesey’s and the Prankster’s (famous Oregon son) speech at the 1965 anti Viet Nam war rally at Berkeley (memorialized of course in the Electric Koolaid Acid Test). Everyone expected that he would give a great speech about the evil of war and fighting and the importance protesting against it. Instead, he played a weird version of ‘Home on the Range’ and interspersed between melodic lines, he basically said ‘you’re never going to stop this by protesting and holding rallies. This is what they do. This is their game and they’ve been doing it for thousands of years. You will never change it by being sucked into their game. The only way to change it, is to turn your back on and say “F*ck it”‘.
          If no one paid any attention to ‘right wing agitators’ coming to Portland and just ignored it the situation would be drained of energy. What if you had a protest and nobody showed up?

          1. mpalomar

            “What if you had a protest and nobody showed up?”
            For a possible scenario of what might happen take a look at the cascading capitulation of the left over the last decades of the twentieth century when, ‘tune out, turn on, drop out’ became a ‘counter culture’ mantra.

            Perhaps more appropriately, consider Italy as it resisted the onset of fascism in the 1920s; leftist strongholds like Bologna conceded the streets to the black shirts. Or the Spanish Civil War… not all salutary examples for my point of course…

            I certainly have no answers, there may not be an answer; it does seem the US is coming apart. The abandonment by the Dems of the middle and working class during the neo liberal era has created the conditions for a demented hate monger to set a fractured society, with (most likely) small violent factions at odds, contesting issues ad absurdum while the obvious, crucial and critical issues go ignored and unaddressed.

            I thought Kesey and the Pranksters created a compelling, momentary Kōan ( a succinct paradoxical statement or question used as a meditation discipline…to exhaust the analytic intellect and the egoistic will, readying the mind to entertain an appropriate response on the intuitive level.) to contemplate the imperial reaction to the sixties rebellion, though ultimately it seems to have proven ineffective. Perhaps not enough time has passed though the planet is currently short on time.

            1. ShamanicFallout

              Yes, I think you can definitely see this in a number of different ways. But how about the story today in the Water Cooler about 19 black families buying 90 acres. Or an example from my own world- the former owner of (what’s now our) company offered everyone who had been there a number of years ownership in the company- company bonused us for the stock purchase plus the tax. Not everyone took it (I know some of their reasons. but for me a no-brainer) but now we are moving toward a full ownership model. I know of other companies (I am in the wholesale food business) that either are employee owned and run, or who are moving that way. Maybe more of this kind of thing is a real direction for change. What would it take for more of this to start appearing?

            2. Phil in KC

              You nailed it when you wrote that the Dems abandoned the middle and working classes. Yes, this large class of votes is angry, vengeful, and seeking redress of the their many grievances. Donald Trump picked up on this brilliantly, Obama before him, and so one. I don’t know if Joe “Lunchpail” Biden has the street cred to sway this sector of the electorate. We’ll soon know!

      2. km

        The United States has long been neither a democracy, nor a democratic republic.

        The United States is an oligarchic republic with a veneer of democratic institutions.

        1. jefemt

          Precisely. Two sides of the same coin— who carries the water next term?

          BUT, I would rather Trump not be the pool boy!

          I’m thinking ‘we’ should create a No License/ No Consent form. Outline grievances, state that our Vote for Biden-Harris is neither License nor Consent, but merely the first step toward an orderly reform.

          Mail the forms in to some honest repository.

          Imagine if millions of somewhat like-minded folks did this.

          I don’t want to keep voting for the entire system. But we are at a moment, and the direction Trump and the condoning enabling Repugs are all headed is NOT my cup of tea, and not good for the world.

          1. km

            “I’m thinking ‘we’ should create a No License/ No Consent form. Outline grievances, state that our Vote for Biden-Harris is neither License nor Consent, but merely the first step toward an orderly reform.”

            Unfortunately, voting does not work like that. The only leverage you or I ever will have over a candidate, Team R or Team D, is before we vote and not after.

        2. Pelham

          That’s may be approximately true. What has changed, I think, is the nature of the oligarchs. At one time, SOME of their interests roughly aligned with those of the rest of us. Over the past 4 or 5 decades that has ceased to be the case.

      3. Code Name D

        This is the problem. This is where the violence (as opposed to broken windows) comes from. Will people see that? I dunno, but you seem pretty ready to somehow blame some generic thing called “Democrats”. Do you really think that suburb is “blue”?

        This doesn’t let the Democrats off the hook. The article from yesterday, The Thin Blue Line presented evidence that the police departments, at best, turn a blind eye towards right wing counter demonstrators. They are even working with the demonstrators and providing them tactical information.
        And the police operate under Democratic leadership.

        Democrats also made the mistake of trying to co-opt the movement while ignoring the message they are trying to promote. This gave the appearance of indorsing the more extremist elements of the moment. Democrats then double down by indorsing the rioting (Or at least endorsing the looting, not sure how that argument works – but they are trying to make it none the less.)

        And to date, Democrats have not echoed the observation that its right-wing counter demonstrators causing the violence. Even though it has been known for years police-provocateurs were quite common. So one is force to ask if they really oppose the counter demonstrators at all.

        1. Offtrail

          Democrats have not echoed the observation that its right-wing counter demonstrators causing the violence.

          If you have specific evidence that “its right-wing counter demonstrators causing the violence” feel free to present it.

          I’m a Democrat myself, I live in the Portland OR area, and I don’t see it.

      4. flora

        The stress of two economic crises in 10-12 years with no relief from either party for the working and middle class but tons of relief for the rich; the stress of high unemployment and pandemic; the ongoing 30 years stress of millions of decently paying jobs with benefits being outsourced away to other countries…

        The stress is so high and the govt does nothing under either dem or gop control, now the people turn on each other instead of against the pols in both parties who created this mess. imo.

        1. flora

          Biden wants the riots to stop. He also supports TPP and TPIP which if passed will outsource more jobs than NAFTA did.

          T wants the riots to stop. He also wants to privatize the PO – there go more good jobs – and give away more tax cuts to the rich and deregulate business.

          Chose your economic neoliberal poison.

        2. lordkoos

          Adding to the distress will be the coming mass evictions of people who can no longer afford to pay rent or their mortgage.

          I assume that that the aim here is massive civic unrest — what else can explain the lack of any financial relief? Mass unrest gives the establishment plenty of cover to institute draconian security measures, which is perhaps the true goal.

          I am already reading that many liberals are becoming disenchanted with the BLM movement as the unrest continues while the media primarily focus on the most sensational aspects of the protests rather than the actual issues.

          1. flora

            Do recently evicted (within 3 months of an election) people still have a currently valid voter registration now that their address has changed from what it was to who-knows-where ?
            If not, the coming evictions will be a voter suppression of people suddenly made poor from losing their jobs due to the pandemic. Meanwhile, congress is on vacation.

          2. flora

            Civic unrest is roiling in many countries against the results of the world wide billionaire neoliberal thought collect, for lack of a better description. If WWIII is here, it’s not country v country, it’s neoliberal economic control of govts vs countries’ citizens control of their govts. Explains, imo, the rise of T, of Brexit, of yellow vests, and many other citizen push backs against the predatory neoliberal economic structure that aims to control govts.


      5. Arthur Dent

        I live in a suburb.

        Went downtown in the main city associated with my suburb in June for a BLM protest to show support. Got lunch at a downtown take-out place and sat in a park. We had noticed some boarded up windows of stores and asked about them. Turned out there was a night of window-breaking and looting during the initial George Floyd reaction. We had no idea that had happened. The suburbs where we live were and still are very peaceful. The actual BLM march and rally was very peaceful and welll organized. The state police stayed way out on the perimeter. No city police to be seen anywhere. Everybody but the police wore masks.

        The fear-mongering is just whipping up a bunch of fear in people who have no reason to be afraid.

        1. pasha

          your experience reflects mine, at the BLM march in grand rapids in june. marchers were masked and peaceful. those looters/ glass-breakers that were arrested were all white wilders, kids from the suburbs.

          the march had an effect. the city commission is considering lowering police share of budget from 38% to 32% and diverting 6% to community policing and social workers.

          small steps but forward steps

      6. drumlin woodchuckles

        This may be part of what Black America sees as Black America buys so many of the newly sold guns and ammo. I read recently that half the new guns sold are being sold to our Black fellow Americans.

        Meanwhile, the Liberal Fascistt Pigg elites still support Gun Control, against Black People most of all . . . though they are not yet prepared to come right out and admit it. And this basic fact about the Liberal Fascistt Pigg elite points to another way that Biden may lose the election ( aside from conspiring to throw the election on purpose). And that is if enough Black voters decide to realize and admit to themselves that the Liberal Fascist Pig elites want to disarm them most of all in the face of a hyper-armed and hyper-violent demi-Nazi right-wing police-militia complex, they may decide that black lives matter far more than Catfood Democrat electoral victories matter.

      7. Laputan

        This is the problem. This is where the violence (as opposed to broken windows) comes from. Will people see that? I dunno, but you seem pretty ready to somehow blame some generic thing called “Democrats”. Do you really think that suburb is “blue”?

        Remember when the right-wingers and police chiefs were referring to the riff-raff at the BLM protests as “outside agitators”? I also seem to recall a similar sentiment attributed to a bunch of people from out of town in the deep South a while back. Funny how the normie left forgets how this tack has played out in the past. Does it really matter if these people are from the burbs? Unless your object is just other-izing them?

    2. timbers

      Dems are reaping the bounty of their choice to wipe from their agenda and the Media headilnes anything about policy their donors don’t approve of but would be big vote magnets like M4A, cutting war spending and putting the dollars into America, ending wars, ending big Pharma monopoly pricing. And the sad part is they won’t connect the dots that it is all due to their own choices.

      Just as Dems learned nothing from the Hillary titanic, the same thing is happening with Biden. Likely they will be just as clueless and do another Russia did it type of distraction and learn nothing. Unless they know all this but still think it better to lose than abandon their donors, which is a popular and likely accurate theory.

      1. Acacia

        This is pretty much my reading, too. Dems aren’t offering voters much beyond “Mommy, make the bad Orange Man go away!” and they’ll try to blame shift, again, if/when they lose, again.

        Because meanwhile, the Portland shooter has been ID’d (by 4chan — doing the FBI’s work, as usual) as a guy who has claimed on social media that he’s “100% Antifa”, and Trump is now trolling Biden and Democrat mayors for not taking a stand against this group. We’ll see whether the Portland perp has been correctly ID’d, but needless to say this brand of violence easily plays into Trump’s hand.

        1. Laughingsong

          Yes I saw that Bit about the shooter supposedly being antifa. A little too perfect an outcome for Trumps philosophy and expectations, for me to just take without corroboration.

          1. JTMcPhee

            Is there a real thing called “antifa,” as opposed to a media/propaganda creation that might be becoming a reality as the personal identities of disaffected and anomic people get drawn to it, like little blobs of liquid mercury coalescing? Sure seems from the results of net searches that it’s an open question. To me the “antifa” thing is of similar provenance with “Russia/China did/is doing it.” With, of course, the potential to solidify into something more concrete.

            “We will know our disinformation program has succeeded when nothing the American public believes is true.”

            And if the shooter in fact self-identifies as “antifa,” what “organization” does he belong to that might be analogous to “Patriot Prayer,” which appears to be an actual thing?

            So we so far, in the Big Deal Shooting category, have one score on the board for each nominal “side,” Kenosha and Portland. But my bet is that these are trigger events, pun intended, that are going to lead to a lot more of this.


            [Biosocial criminology Broken windows Collective efficacy Crime analysis Criminalization Differential association Deviance Labeling theory Psychopathy Rational choice Social control Social disorganization Social learning Strain Subculture Symbolic interactionism Victimology]

            In sociology, anomie (/ˈænəˌmi/) is a societal condition defined by an uprooting or breakdown of any moral values, standards, or guidance for individuals to follow.[1][2] Anomie may evolve from conflict of belief systems [3]and causes breakdown of social bonds between an individual and the community (both economic and primary socialization).[4]
            The term, commonly understood to mean normlessness, is believed to have been popularized by French sociologist Émile Durkheim in his influential book Suicide (1897). However, Durkheim first introduced the concept of anomie in his 1893 work The Division of Labour in Society. Durkheim never used the term normlessness;[5] rather, he described anomie as “derangement,” and “an insatiable will.”[6][need quotation to verify] Durkheim used the term “the malady of the infinite” because desire without limit can never be fulfilled; it only becomes more intense.[7]
            For Durkheim, anomie arises more generally from a mismatch between personal or group standards and wider social standards; or from the lack of a social ethic, which produces moral deregulation and an absence of legitimate aspirations. This is a nurtured condition:

            Most sociologists associate the term with Durkheim, who used the concept to speak of the ways in which an individual’s actions are matched, or integrated, with a system of social norms and practices…anomie is a mismatch, not simply the absence of norms. Thus, a society with too much rigidity and little individual discretion could also produce a kind of anomie…[8]

            And our Elite rulers don’t gain anything of value to them by tamping down the root causes — quite the opposite.

            Hold on to your hats, it’s going to be a wild ride down…

            1. Acacia

              Google image search for “Antifa flag street demo”.

              I’ve seen dozens of people carrying these flags at protest events. Of course, who they’re working for (themselves? the FBI?) is unknown.

              Wikipedia has a page that explains the history of Antifa.

              Is that “real” enough?

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          The Russians made Biden work with Mittens to cut Social Security. It’s how they work. Those crafty slavs.

            1. km

              Oh, those Russian scamps!

              How is it that they have this pied-piper like power to lead ordinary Americans astray?

              For that matter, if they can flip a presidential election or start riots with nothing but FB post, what will happen if those rascally Russians use this power to elect a new Congress, or make Stoli the best selling beverage in the land?

              1. Wukchumni

                Stolichnaya was the only Soviet exported consumer item available in these United States back in the day.

              2. Procopius

                Yes, it’s astonishing. According to Facebook, the Russians spent $100,000, and half of the ads came after the election, so they were really, really, effective. That’s a super-power, indeed.

        3. drumlin woodchuckles

          This Portland shooter could be a false-flag secret agent from Deep CREEP. Why wouldn’t the Inner Circle Republicans be willing to shoot one of their own expendable supporters? The Nazi GermanGov was perfectly willing to disguise some German special operators in Polish uniforms to have them false-flag kill some German soldiers at Gliewicz.

          1. The Rev Kev

            I few years ago a tape came out where Erdogan was planning on having Jihadists kill a few Turkish soldiers in order to seize a part of Syria. And if I recall correctly, those killed German soldiers were actually political prisoners that had been dressed up in German uniforms. I bet though that those special operators did not have a long life expectancy. They knew too much.

      2. Eureka Springs

        The only thing they’ve learned or tried since at least Mondale Ferraro is DLC – Third Way – Lincoln Project.

        1. D. Fuller

          The DLC, whose co-founders include… The Koch Brothers. Before corporations took over funding.

      3. D. Fuller

        Ever notice that Democratic leadership are mostly lawyers? Been that way for decades. They act like they are in a courtroom. Their mentality, by training, blinds them to other viewpoints and experiences of non-lawyers, the “hoi polloi”.

        Democratic leadership can not think outside the “court room”. Their own lawyerly mentality has boxed themselves in.

        1. timbers

          Going to share with my 85 yr old Republican father, a retired lawyer. He’ll get a chuckle out of that!

        2. lordkoos

          A little research online turned this up, as of 2019 —

          Of the 535 elected members who make up the 116th Congress, 40 percent had attended law school. A legal education was even more common among senators—54 percent attended law schools, as opposed to 37 percent in the House.

          They also employ numerous staffers who are attorneys.

    3. timbers

      About Dems running these cities that get riots…I don’t think that is proof of Dem incompetence with riots, because most Dem voters are in urban areas and vote for Dems, and urban areas have population density that makes riots more likely to happen.

      So the riots are not happening in Dem run areas, they are happening in dense urban areas. Dems just happen to hold office in these.


      “More Than Half Of Those Arrested During 7 Days Of Kenosha Unrest Were From Out Of Town, Police Chief Says”

      1. marym

        Maybe it’s partly (pun unavoidable) good-cop/bad-cop theater, as both Democrats and cops serve the ruling class, but there can be tension between a mayor/city legislature and the cops, with cops resistant to attempts at reform or constraint. I think there can be intervening bureaucracies, like commissions or boards between the mayor/legislature and the cops, and police unions that stand between cops and would-be reformers.

        Police can be aligned with extreme right-wing views. It’s not the case that cops and mayors are on the same “side” even within a general pro-ruling class scenario. Link:

        There’s twitter-level evidence (long-standing, not just BLM) of how cops react during the actually peaceful phase of a protest. I don’t see comparable evidence of how they react during the looting and burning. Maybe this is a function of time and place, but I also don’t see much about arrests or whether there’s evidence to judge whether it’s movement activists, “antifa,” opportunistic local vandals, etc. Is it that people don’t get kettled, shot with rubber bullets, and arrested during the “riot” phase? Or cops/media aren’t reporting it? Or I check the wrong twitter accounts?

        1. Lynne

          On cops during a “riot phase,” consider the position of the Minneapolis authorities, who ordered the police to stand down and abandon the precinct building because it would be too dangerous for the cops. And the Seattle mayor, who pulled police out of certain areas because it would be dangerous for them, with the weak excuse that their presence would be “inflammatory.” Don’t recall much concern expressed for anyone else.

          1. marym

            Thanks for the references. I did a quick search and found the Minneapolis mayor’s order for the cops to abandon the precent headquarters; and the Portland mayor considering a stand-down order for the demonstrations (not the looting) but deciding it was too risky. Maybe there’s more, I’m not claiming any thorough research.

            The pattern of peaceful demonstrations followed by looting/burning/etc. has been going on for decades, not unique to BLM. In my opinion activists have been too tolerant of people claiming to be allies, but, as the decades have shown, not contributing to the cause, and often contributing to the cause being discredited.

            However, I still question where the police have been in all this. I don’t think it’s decades of stand-down orders. It’s certainly not Democrats in positions of political power cheering on the potential for violence in the way we’re sometimes seeing in Trump’s twitter feed or Republicans referring to the Kenosha shooter as a “citizen soldier,” though Dems do in some cases talk about underlying causes.

            1. Lynne

              In my opinion activists have been too tolerant of people claiming to be allies, but, as the decades have shown, not contributing to the cause, and often contributing to the cause being discredited.

              +1000 In the process, they drive away those who might otherwise be allies. I realize that the counter-argument is that protests alone don’t move the needle, but I’ve seen too many times “outsiders” conceding that protestors may have a point and then slamming the door when violence starts.

        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          While lefty-wingish circles generally preach “working-class support”, an exception will have to be made for the demi-nazi fascist unions representing the demi-nazi police departments.

          These unions will have to be crushed, broken and abolished before any disinfection and decontamination of police departments can be forced upon those police persons and forces which are recalcitrant. And such police forces as are kept in existence for legitimate purpose will have to be monthly-salaried professionals for whom Gangster Unionism is forbidden on paid of immediate firing and years of prison hard time.

          Prison guard unions will also have to be crushed, broken and exterminated. Exterminate those unions and you will exterminate a major lobbying force for Three Strikes And You’re Out laws as in California.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        So the riots are not happening in Dem run areas, they are happening in dense urban areas. Dems just happen to hold office in these.


        1. Aumua

          As I’ve said before, the whole idea of “democrat cities” is some dog-whistley, muddy b.s. If a city’s mayor or some part of its council professes to be democrats then does this mean they operate and make all their decisions according to some kind of mandates from the democratic party? It could also be that many of America’s largest cities happen to have democrat mayors, and there may be several reasons for that. Dividing entire cities and/or states into “democrat” or “republican” in order to blame and condemn one or the other is some grade-school level, divisive and disingenuous propaganda.

      3. USDisVet

        You have to wonder who’s paying the expenses of the out-of-towners; or the pallets of Acme Brick Co bricks strategically placed at major city intersections; or the numerous delivered bats and more lethal weapons; or the professionally done (and costly) signage that is visible in all the riot zones. It should be easy for the FBI/ATF to determine the source of funding, but…..crickets. So the obvious must be that FBI corruption and Deep State agendas are still at play.

      4. PhilK

        I don’t think that is proof of Dem incompetence with riots

        The issue is not incompetence with riots, it’s complicity with the rioters. Durkan, Wheeler and others actively encouraged the rioters, and continue to do so. Democrat prosecutors drop charges and release rioters almost as fast as the police arrest them. One of these DA’s wants police to consider if a rioter might “need” the loot before making an arrest.

        So the riots are not happening in Dem run areas, they are happening in dense urban areas. Dems just happen to hold office in these.

        Oh, the urbanity! Good luck with that narrative! As if Republican DA’s would be telling police to consider the “needs” of rioters. Come on, man!

        1. Procopius

          One of these DA’s wants police to consider if a rioter might “need” the loot before making an arrest.

          Does this DA have a name or a location? Like, what city does he work in? Where did you read his announcement? Also, I’m curious where you read the story that DAs are releasing rioters. Fox News? Hannity? Carlson? Limbaugh? Infowars? Actually, I could imagine a DA dismissing a whole bunch of cases because the police had failed to collect evidence, or had failed to maintain the integrity of the chain of possession of the evidence.

      5. KB

        As someone who lives in one of the cities with riots, Minneapolis, and it has been run by Dems for 50 years it absolutely is the policies of the Dems…Second round of riots/arson etc. happened last week on an unfounded rumor…..The current crop of council members/mayor and gov looked the other way with the first one for the first 4 days…said they just needed to express themselves. Have voted to defund the police dept even though we’ve been on the underside of need by 400 per police chief. Voted to remove singe family zoning in the entire city and on and on….From what I read locally when they all come up for re-election next year many will be gone. Have to live here to get it IMHO.
        Sometimes what they say happens to be true.

    4. cocomaan

      In some of the landed class circles I run in for work, June and July was all about posturing for BLM. Proclamations, blacking out their profile photos, and people going to protests who had never been to a protest before. These are the cancel culture types who are addicted to outrage and hating trump and so on.

      This month? Silence from those people. Dead silence. Many are saying things like, “I stopped watching the news.” Down the road from me, maybe twenty minutes to a half hour, is a picture perfect suburban area of new housing developments and lots and lots of financial and Pharma types. There’s a gun store in that area, an old business from when that area was all farms. I rarely go there because they mark up prices like mad. I went by back at the beginning of August and the place was filled with these same types, rich suburbanites, picking up guns and ammo. They were all neophytes. The store’s normally stocked shelves were empty except for a few broken-looking bolt actions and a few competition-style .22 pistols. Even if the store had more guns, I think they kept them in the back to create the illusion of scarcity.

      From my perspective in the exurbs, people have been sour on the “protests” for a month now. With the protests simply turning into rioting and looting and fighting, you’re seeing a lot of the cancel culture types and their support drying up. The protests have rounded a bend and managed to alienate suburbia. Whether that translates into support for Trump, or just a lack of enthusiasm for Biden, remains to be seen.

      1. Arizona Slim

        I don’t think the “shouting at people in restaurants” tactic is working the way the BLM-ers hoped. If anything, it’s turning a lot of people against BLM.

        Now, about those signs. Here in Tucson, I am still seeing quite a few BLM signs in neighborhoods where the PMC lives. Outside of those neighborhoods, especially in the poorer areas, no signs.

        1. cocomaan

          The level of involvement you point out is interesting. For people who live with police presence, in the poorest areas, the involvement in BLM is probably marginal. And I don’t see signage for it. I do see it in the bourgeois areas, like you.

          On the other hand, the people creating confrontations in restaurants are younger, in their 20’s, and often white. There seems to be an attitude among the protestor set that you can’t even sit down to eat without becoming political and radical. Most people don’t lead their lives that way. It’s totalitarian and it’s not what people are interested in doing.

          1. D. Fuller

            As one police chief put it when the Ferguson protests were happening?

            Police, when they start arresting affluent suburbanites for crimes… those affluent suburbanites call the mayors office and complain. Police then tend to patrol elsewhere. Mayors would like to keep their jobs since affluent suburbanites vote.

            The other issue with police is that when their feelings are hurt… or it is time to negotiate new contracts and pay raises… police stop policing. “Either give us our pay raise or watch crime increase.”

        2. Wukchumni

          It is the CVBB after all, but to give you an idea of the flavor of the place, what was previously spray painted on the side of a building: ‘Black Lives Matter’ had the first word painted out and replaced to read: ‘Dad’s Lives Matter’.

          1. Wukchumni

            Added CVBB bonus: Lots of evang deniers

            The Central Valley continues to be one of the country’s COVID hot spots according to one of the top health officers on the White House coronavirus task force. In an exclusive interview with Alexan Balekian on Sunday Morning Matters, Dr. Deborah Birx says there is heightened concern over the spike in COVID cases due to protests and large gatherings.


        3. TroyIA

          Shouting at people at restaurants – I am beginning to question if these protesters even care if Joe Biden and the Democrats win in November. How can they be so trapped in their bubble that they think this a good tactic? The last time I changed my mind because someone yelled at me I was 5 years old and it was my mom doing the yelling.

          1. Arizona Slim

            Years ago, there was a restaurant just north of Downtown Tucson. Place was called The Coronet, and it had outdoor dining along 4th Avenue. There’s a lot of foot traffic along the avenue, always has been.

            Any-hoo, some local vegans thought it would be a great idea to go to The Coronet and holler at the meat-eating patrons who were seated in the outdoor dining patio.

            Well, guess what. The hollering vegans got a lot of publicity. Suffice it to say that it didn’t put them — or veganism — in a positive light.

          2. neo-realist

            I’m wondering of some of those protesters shouting at diners are provocateurs? If I wanted to discredit BLM in the eyes of the bourgeoisie, another way of doing it besides encouraging property destruction and violence is force feeding your dogma to them while they’re dining.

          3. Aumua

            Why do you assume that they want Biden to win? Why should they? Maybe a good number of them are beyond believing that electoral politics is a viable avenue for change and are involved in more direct action. For better or worse. I’m not necessarily saying that yelling at people at restaurants is the best way to get your message across, but I do see some logic behind it. Can we not prepare our own food and feed ourselves? Do we really need to be served our food? I mean it’s nice and all, but when we get down to brass tacks…

        4. hunkerdown

          Maybe they’re not trying to “win” converts, but simply reinforce the existing official partisan camp boundaries and stop people comparing notes across the line. That would benefit both oligarch parties.

        5. JTMcPhee

          What is “BLM”? Is there a place where people can pay a fee and sign up? Is there a platform people can download and read at their leisure? Or is it just another one of those ridiculous collective nouns and umbrella terms that fit nicely with Humpty Dumpty’s postulate:

          “When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

          ’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

          ’The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.”

        6. Pelham

          A technical legal question: If you’re confronted by one person or more shouting very loudly and angrily just inches away from your face (let’s forget the Covid threat for the sake of clarity here), is there any appropriate defensive response? Keep in mind, the offender hasn’t touched you.

          As a lay person, I should think that the confronted person would be entitled to deliver a shove or a punch. But maybe not. Then again, maybe the law hasn’t touched on this sort of situation. Any thoughts?

          1. Romancing The Loan

            The law has litigated this sort of situation ad nauseam for years. There are some local tweaks in terms of what jury instructions/burden of proof for this and that, but essentially someone yelling threateningly in your face is technically assault (threatened assault and battery), and while prosecuting them for that likely would not be successful, it does mean you could probably get out of a corresponding assault and battery charge for pushing them away or maybe even punching them as self-defense – based on a reasonable fear of imminent serious bodily harm blah blah legalese that juries barely pay attention to. If you push them away and they fall, hit their head, and die, it would also most likely end up as manslaughter at worst.

            Of course this depends on individual circumstances – for example, if the person yelling at you is a child and you respond by punching them full force in the face, good luck getting a jury to buy this argument however it is phrased.

            Hope this helps and please consider retreat if at all possible, it is far less expensive for everyone.
            – criminal defense attorney, not your attorney, etc.

          2. rowlf

            I usually carry ear plugs with me as I am sensitive to loud noises. If I put in my ear plugs is that an act of aggression?

            1. ambrit

              It’s an act of ‘passive’ aggression.
              The traditional punishment for that “crime” involves flogging with wet noodles.

            2. neo-realist

              I’ve never needed ear plugs for restaurants, but definitely for flying – crying babies and little kids can make for a very painful flight if you can’t block out the noise. If it’s passive aggressive, or plain ole aggression, so be it. Respect my need to be free of passenger noise.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Republicans were always going to vote for Trump. Virtue signaling is one thing. Hillary picked up votes in safe districts and states, but outside of that, they never were going to support anything other than claims to sensitivity training.

        1. The Rev Kev

          One thing that I have not come across is articles about how regular Republicans regard so many top Republicans crossing the line to ally themselves with the Democrats against a sitting Republican President. Sorta like the dog that is not barking as far as the media is concerned. How did they react when they saw so many top Republicans at a Democrat Convention? There were certainly no top Democrats at the Republican Convention. Or did I miss Nancy and Chuck’s appearance there?

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            My gut is there is a panic starting in Team Blue circles that the Salute to Bob Dole isn’t paying off.

            Powell was always just a tool. The others aren’t high profile enough. Kasich only had a weekend show on FoxNews. Bloomberg is too obviously a toad, and the Teabaggers moved against Eric Cantor for the same reason they don’t like Bloomberg unrelated to his natural charisma.

            Given the way, Trump thrashed the GOP field and made them kiss the ring, there isn’t a Republican with any kind of standing who might make a difference. Mormons out West love Mittens, but they hate non whites more. They’ll settle.

            1. pjay

              A concise and accurate summation, IMO. It demonstrates how oblivious the Democrats are; what constituency did they think would be dazzled by this crew of “centrists”? Not a Zell Miller in the bunch.

              “… the Salute to Bob Dole isn’t paying off.” That made me laugh; I’m going to use it when friends ask why the Dems are tanking.

              1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                Curious that they did not bring Bush and Cheney themselves to their “convention” as headliners, after all the signal is that they’re bringing the full menu of Bush era policies back, especially for some shiny new wars. But why not bring along the absolute rock stars of said policies? Gormless Geo Bush, snarling Dick Cheney, ever-incendiary John Bolton? Were they worried that the cognitive dissonance would be too much, even for the legions who have had the TDS virus pumped into their veins for so long?

                (But as I think about it, that’s not the case at all, why would they think there is cognitive dissonance between the Bush administration war crime policies and the mainstream Dem Party? The signal is perfectly orthogonal: they’re one and the same).

          2. Dr. John Carpenter

            Heck, they didn’t even have a Lieberman at the RNC this year.

            I’ve been curious about the Republican thoughts also as it’s a pretty big break from Reagan’s sacred 11th Commandment. I’d wonder if they’re trying to compartmentalize it as “he’s not a real Republican” or something similar, but I’ve not seen anything either way. You’d think someone would be curious.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Err…technically Trump did this, though Jeb’s sheep dogs might have been first in that cycle back in early fall/late summer of 2015 when they started with the “he’s not a real republican” routine and that Trump was “foolin’ people” from not worshipping Jeb. I think this moved Trump from the none of the above placeholder to their guy.

              RINO and “not a real conservative” foamed the runways for GOP voters to simply dismiss any criticism of their guy.

          3. Louis Fyne

            i think you already know the answer…McCain, W, et al. have been pushed to the dustbins of the rebooted GOP.

            to be cynical, that lame endorsement of Biden by DC PermaWar types was self-promotion for a job.

            GOP have rebooted and DC media’s hatred of Trump has blinded them to that fact. Dems can’t do the same—-as all the levers of DNC power are controlled by friends of Hillary-Nancy

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Err…McCain was always subservient after what Rove did in 2000, and given McCain ‘s record, support for apartheid, Keating 5, general blood lust, there hasn’t been a reboot.

              The GOP is the same as its been since ’68, and it’s not like Bob Taft wasn’t a colossal prick before that.

    5. The Rev Kev

      Meanwhile in another timeline, the BLM riots never happened so the fight for medicare for all and government support for people in the middle of a pandemic never got pushed aside. Although Sanders still stood down in favour of his friend Joe, as this nationwide movement led to constant strikes and endless demands for answers, Biden was finally forced to give some half-hearted promises which led Trump to actually introduce relief measures in order to remain competitive at the pols.

      Am I saying that the BLM riots should never have happened? No. They were going to happen sooner or later regardless – and if anything were overdue. But what I am saying is that as far as Wall Street is concerned, the BLM riots came at a very opportune moment for them and at very little personal cost to themselves. The Black Caucus shows how you can buy off a movement and Obama short-circuiting a sports strike in return for the promise of a committee was very instructive in how it is done. The historians are going to have a field day working out the mechanics of 2020.

      1. nippersdad

        IIRC, Obama short circuited the initial BLM Movement in Ferguson by both sending in the “Fusion Centers” to crush it and proposing a committee. Six years now and no new ideas. Or is that being too generous?

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            2009: Occupy Wall St

            Obama’s response: Crush It!

            2020: Occupy Main Street

            Obama/Dem response: Go For It!

            1. Aumua

              I had to chuckle at that one.

              Then again… Biden’s response when he is actually in power might be significantly different.

    6. PlutoniumKun

      In many countries, a ‘cling to nurse for fear of something worse’ is a strong force aiding inept incumbents, especially right wing ones – this has happened in numerous elections – the most recent UK one as an obvious example. This is especially so in times of uncertainty and fear. So I think the assumption so many make that the chaos on the streets and Covid will destroy Trump are very dangerous. If people start thinking that Biden is yet another cause of uncertainty in their lives, then he is sunk electorally. It seems to me that the Dems policy of focusing on a strategy of capturing suburban ‘moderate’ Republicans and relying on Trump to keep screwing up is deeply wrong-headed, even on a purely pragmatic basis.

      Biden has one huge advantage going into this – he seems to have a strong perception among regular voters as being personally likeable, competent and a safe pair of hands. This should see him well ahead of HRC at the same stage of the cycle. But its clearly not working. But I don’t get the impression that anyone around him sees the dangers.

      1. a different chris

        >But I don’t get the impression that anyone around him sees the dangers.

        Me either, but even if they do what exactly should the response be? This has spiraled out of everybody’s hands, and although you can call Trump a “Master of Chaos” he is so incompetent all you can really say is that he thrives in chaos like a duck thrives in water.

        But a duck doesn’t control the flow and Trump doesn’t either.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Well, in the unlikely event that I was hired as a political advisor, I’d be telling Biden to get out ahead of the messaging, go out on the streets and make it plain that violence isn’t the answer and that real change on the ground is needed. The message itself doesn’t have to make sense, the important thing is that he has to be seen as someone who ‘gets it’ and who is willing to do whats needed to bring order and justice. He cannot allow the perception that Trump can ‘sort out’ the problems on the street if they look to be threatening regular folks. It can’t be emphasised enough that it doesn’t matter if people think Trump is to blame for the violence, if they also decide that he is the person who can solve the problem.

          The second point is that he has to give something – anything – to enthuse young supporters. He needs enthusiasm behind him and he needs it fast. Take your pick – M4A, student debt, a big jobs programme – something to make it look like he’s not just going to sit around and admire the furnishings if he is elected. On a purely pragmatic level he needs to promote a policy that gives potential ‘stay at homes’ a reason to go out to vote. If it worries the donors he can tell them its a lie to get elected (as Obama did on trade). And after the election he can decide who he breaks the news to that he was lying.

          1. Hepativore

            Continuing on a previous topic, this is assuming that the Democrats care about Biden winning. At this point, it almost seems like Biden’s sole purpose is to serve as a sacrificial lamb to to lock down the candidacy to prevent any sort of further insurgency from the left. Biden does not really care if he wins or loses as neoliberalism prevails either way.

            1. PlutoniumKun

              I certainly get that, although it must surely have occurred to the political consulting class that if they lose two Potus elections in a row that they should win, then:

              1. Some donors will start to realise they’ve been taken for a ride.
              2. A lot of centre-left types might start to think that the populist left have a point when it comes to winning elections.

              Their main ‘job’ is of course to preserve the status quo. For that, it is very important for them that Biden wins. Then they can say ‘I told you so’ to all those critics of the move to the right.

              The problem as I see it is that they have decided on an ultra cautious approach, trying to keep Biden under lock and key while quietly luring in those mythical cautious anti-Trump Republicans. Two months ago, I would have said that this would probably work, all they had to do was let Trump self-immolate over the summer. They could even risk tying a Kamala sized turkey to Biden and still get away with it.

              But right now, I’m not so sure. I’m only judging from a great distance, but for me, all the polls and other indicators are ringing out alarm bells for Biden.

              1. HotFlash

                donors will start to realise they’ve been taken for a ride.

                Well, AFAIKT, the donors pay for results they want. If they want things like more tax cuts, more biz bailouts, more govt $$ to MIC, BigBanks, BigFinance, BigPharma, BigHealthCare, nada to the working class, then the Dem establishment are being paid to take a fall, and they will.

                This round the donors paid them to finally scotch that Bernie guy, which they did, egregiously. Medicare4All, dead for a decade. Ditto free college, student debt forgiveness, etc. So, no ride taken, clients happy, and Dem establishment happy.

          2. Zamfir

            I am not sure you can ‘give something’ to likely stay-at-homers. By and large, people stays at home either because they do not know (or care) what politicians say, or they do not believe them.

            You have to build trust first, before you can begin about policies. If anything, offering policies is redundant – people who listen and believe you, would vote for you anyway, and people who won’t vote for you, won’t believe you no matter what you offer.

            Usually, politicians sell policies to their (already converted) supporters. The goal is to minimize losses when they actually enact the policy. Policies are mostly vote-losers (they generate much stronger haters than lovers). You gain supporters in order to pass policies. You don’t offer policies to gain supporters.

    7. a different chris

      So it looks like the guy who made the kill shot was an older, white veteran. Hasn’t said yet if he was an actual resident of Portland. Did allude to him being a bit of a mess as a human being.

      Not real surprising. That’s the problem with guns, doesn’t matter if your political views are correct or not, it’s whoever shoots better. This wasn’t even a contest.

      1. Wukchumni

        That’s the problem with guns, doesn’t matter if your political views are correct or not, it’s whoever shoots better.

        That’s the kind of society many hunger for in these not so United States, who’s the best Annie Oakley or Carlos Hathcock?

      2. John Wright

        It would be interesting to see a consumer caution sheet, as is supplied for power tools, for a gun “tool”.

        1. Misuse of this tool can cause death/injury to the user or others nearby
        2. This tool may be used very rarely, and then, possibly with little user training/experience or with long ago experience.
        3. The use of this tool may require split-second life-threatening decisions at the time of use.
        4. This tool may be used when the operator is experiencing anger, depression, a manic phase, paranoia or incorrectly assesses they are under attack, possibly leading to life ending actions.

        On the slightly positive side, I did acquire a camp lantern as a result of a gun killing.

        My brother’s friend (Joe) was kicked out of the house by his wife and the friend asked my brother if he could store some camping equipment at my brother’s.

        Joe decided to visit his old house late one night (he had a key) and entered the house.

        The wife’s new boyfriend thought Joe was a home invader and shot him dead.

        Later, my brother asked me if I wanted Joe’s camp lantern that was left with him.

        My brother didn’t want to give it to the wife.

        I got the camp lantern.

        1. km

          I was home from university, went out to see some friends.

          Came back late, the door was locked and I didn’t have a key. No problem, I knew that one window by the roof was open.

          I climbed onto the roof, opened the window and was climbing in when I heard the sound of a shotgun racking up.

          Let me tell you, there is no sound like a round chambered into a shotgun, especially when you are fat, dumb and happy and totally not expecting to hear that while you fumble around in the dark.

          I just about crapped my pants.

          There was my Dad, standing in his underwear with a pump action in his hands. “Oh, it’s you, [familyblog] for brains. Go to bed.”

          I was lucky that Dad was a combat veteran and former inner city cop, ’cause that’s how people get hurt. Adrenaline does a lot of things to people, but it does not make them smart.

          1. Wukchumni

            35 years ago my friend’s fiance was at his sister’s house, and despite a court order that her estranged husband couldn’t be near the domicile, he showed up and got into an argument with his soon be very ex-wife, pulled out a gun and shot her, and said fiance despite never having met the gunman before, was also shot dead while trying to call 911, she was simply in the wrong place at the right time.

            Hollywood loves to glamorize gun violence, and maybe they’ll give a scintilla of a few seconds of grieving after the deed has been done on film, but there’s no money in it for them.

            My friend was an absolute wreck for years afterwards, the unseen toll of gun violence in our country.

            1. John Wright

              A former co-worker and long time hunter grew up on a farm on the Great Plains.

              As a kid he would shoot rabbits / pests on the farm.

              He related how one time he shot at something in a rock pile and then heard the bullet whistle past his ear.

              He never told his father about the near self-inflicted shooting.

              I’ve done enough machining (mill and lathe) to appreciate the beauty of the work that goes into making a quality gun.

              But having a staple gun at home is enough gun for this household.

            2. CitizenSissy

              A fellow parishioner had a PFA order back when domestic violence was met with eye rolling with TPTB. Estranged husband shot her and two daughters to death in the parking lot following 1985 Palm Sunday service.

    8. Charger01

      I still think that Trump will lose in November simply because 2020 has been so terrible

      Can’t beat something (trumps awful policies) with nothing (biden’s vague platitudes and awful record), its the DNC way!

      1. lordkoos

        Offer nothing, get nothing.

        The Dem playbook so far this season mirrors most of their past electoral defeats — run an unexciting centrist who basically stands for nothing and who then proceeds to lose. Wash, rinse, repeat.

    9. Lynne

      I also think Trump will lose, because he botched the coronavirus issue so badly, BUT Democrats seem to be trying very hard to help him out. Just last week, a hard-core Democrat I know was insisting that all the violence and damage in Minneapolis was PROVEN to be done by right-wing white nationalist reactionaries. The coverage of the Target looting, for example, that showed people of all colors lugging stuff out of the store was apparently a figment of my imagination. He then fell back on the argument that it was all triggered by right-wingers, so that meant it was all Trump’s fault.

      That kind of overreach is really not helpful to defeating Trump. But my biggest problem with his argument and position by many Democrats I know is that it seems (to me, at least) to be the ultimate in racism. Their belief is basically that many black people are so incapable of being highly functioning adults that their only possible response to seeing a white guy break out some windows at an Autozone is to loot a Target and burn down buildings. How everyone cannot see that such a conclusion is repulsive and reprehensible is beyond me.

  2. Tom67

    About this article “we don´t know how to warn you harder”. The writer writes:

    “What happened there? A young man was radicalized by the movement that fascist President led. The fascist President spoke of hated minorities as animals and vermin. He led his faithful in chants of hate, moments that built the bond of the tribe between them. Soon enough, that President was speaking of peaceful protesters as anarchists and revolutionaries and seditionaries. And the question that the fascist raises was left hanging in the air. “My people, my flock — what do we do with traitors?”

    Sorry, but this seems to be wrong on a very important angle. These were not “peaceful” protesters. And in an interview with the Daily Caller just before the shots this young 17 year old doesn´t come across as a typical Trump supporter. Nor is Trump in control of the security apparatus. Witness the Russia hoax.

    1. a different chris

      >And in an interview with the Daily Caller just before the shots this young 17 year old doesn´t come across as a typical Trump supporter.

      I can find no such interview, link please? (and some clarification on what you think a “typical Trump supporter” is…yeah the kid was 17 not 70 I’ll grant that..)

      1. Lost in OR

        Here is an interview on The Rising with a reporter who was at the shooting and interviewed the shooter immediately before the shooting.

    2. Toshiro_Mifune

      Yes. Both this article and the one Trump ‘has been trying to incite violence this entire summer’ both seem to be lacking in any form of self awareness.

      From that Medium article;
      And the question that the fascist raises was left hanging in the air. “My people, my flock — what do we do with traitors?
      So what are the unasked questions that arise from 4+ years of large segments of the MSM breathlessly labeling the President and his supporters as racists, fascists, deplorables, etc? I mean, I recognized the move to categorize a large group of Americans as “others”…

      1. hunkerdown

        Wow, the neoliberals are really scared of being held to account for their treason against the people, aren’t they.

      2. m sam

        I don’t know. Seeing those guys driving around in trucks in Portland, ramming them into crowds, getting out and beating counter protesters—Trump supporters all—describing them as fascist thugs incited to violence seems to be quite fitting to me. You may say those articles “lack self awareness,” but it looks to me like armed Trump supporters roving through downtown Portland in giant packs are the ones who are in need of self awareness in this situation, not authors merely reacting to what they see.

        1. Wukchumni

          The truckies* are ‘Max Mad’ kinda similar to the movie** with a similar name, except there’s no shortage of gasoline, as they’re running down people.

          * homage to the lingo down under

          ** my favorite is the 2nd one, maybe the best chase scenes on film ever.

            1. Wukchumni

              If you like films that are mostly CGI maybe it’s not bad, but doesn’t hold a candle to #2.

              1. Aumua

                The film is full of real props, vehicles, stunts, sets and locations. What cgi there is does not distract from the glorious live action and immaculate attention to detail, imo. This movie was written, directed and produced by George Miller, the creator of Mad Max. You should give it another chance.

                1. Carolinian

                  Right. He went out of his way to avoid CGI as much as possible. Think we can assume they didn’t cut Charlize’ arm off.

            2. Philip Martin

              Masterpiece? Try “Thunder Road,” Robert Mitchum’s ode to running moonshine. Americana at its finest!

    3. cocomaan

      That’s exactly what I thought on reading that piece: it’s jumping to a lot of conclusions about Kenosha. A trial is needed to sort out what happened that night and why people got shot, and I doubt that it will be as clean as “Trump resulted in people getting shot in Kenosha.”

      It’s important that people take a deep breath when tragedy happens and not jump to conclusions to support their own narrative.

      Mainstream media seems to have primed everyone to do what they do.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        It’s important that people take a deep breath when tragedy happens and not jump to conclusions to support their own narrative.

        No kidding.

        In kind of a weird coincidence, I watched the movie Richard Jewell last night. The similarities between Richard Jewell and Kyle Rittenhouse are eerie. Both were (Jewell is dead) / are pudgy, LEO-worshipping, only sons living with their single mothers in apartments. The movie set prominently featured a framed picture of the movie Jewell wearing some kind of “law enforcement” uniform, similar to the pictures of a “uniformed” Rittenhouse that have appeared since the incident. A younger Jewell had been arrested for impersonating a police officer which was held against him after the olympic bombing, and Rittenhouse apparently claimed to be an EMT during an interview prior to the Kenosha shootings.

        Jewell was almost instantly convicted by the media, and he and his mother were relentlessly pursued by the fbi in their rush to “solve” the crime. The intense pressure was emotionally devastating. Under the current toxic political circumstances, you can only imagine the effect the label “murderer” or “white supremacist” is having on the tiny Rittenhouse family, and the Jewells did not have social media to contend with.

        I have no idea what kind of a platform the author of this article had, but I’m glad it got yanked. We have more than enough homegrown hyperbolizers and we don’t need to import any more “experts” who add to the confusion with emotional, unsubstantiated crap like this:

        The answer, to a young man like that, is what it was in Nazi Germany, in the Islamic World, in every fascist collapse since time began. We kill them. So off he went with his rifle — and killed innocent people. Perfectly innocent people.

        1. adam

          Ah yes, the poor kid and his family. Maybe, just maybe an angry, violence prone young man with little self control and fed a diet of hatred,
          shouldn’t have been given a gun by his own family and put himself in a situation that he was completely unprepared for.

          This poor kid and his family richly deserves the ‘rewards’ they have coming to them.

    4. PlutoniumKun

      I think his reference to ‘peaceful protestors’ was a general reference to BLM marchers, not the specific ones who were there at that shooting.

      As for Trumps control of the security apparatus – history shows that authoritarians don’t need to control all the security apparatus – just sufficient elements to allow them to suppress dissent. As he points out, what is important is not that the security apparatus are entirely on the side of authoritarian, but that any opposition ‘blinks’ at the crucial moment and does not interfere.

      That said, I find it very hard to see his scenario unfolding. Bad and all as Trump is, I don’t see the US being ruled by El Presidente for Life Trump in 5 years time. For all the decay, the US’s institutions are still – just about I think – strong enough to prevent this. But I do think that there are very ominous signs of slippage and decay. I think a scenario of a type of scloretic political/institutional stalemate developing, something like modern Lebanon, is not an unrealistic possibility.

      1. Oh

        “For all the decay, the US’s institutions are still – just about I think – strong enough to prevent this.”

        What institutions? PK, might you be talking about the SC that selected Bush the despicable the office of President? Or the one that ruled that Corporations are people and money is free speech?
        Perhaps you were referring to the Congress that passed the War on Terror legislation?
        Maybe the one that closed Gitmo? /sarc off

        1. witters

          “For all the decay, the US’s institutions are still – just about I think – strong enough to prevent this.”

          I dunno PK, the Dems might have you on board as a political advisor.

      2. Pookah Harvey

        Here is an article from a former FBI agent who infiltrated white supremacist and neo-nazi organizations. He portrays a law enforcement culture with fairly significant ties to right wing militias. The recent protests has made the ties between the militias, the police, and Trump much stronger. As you pointed out “history shows that authoritarians don’t need to control all the security apparatus – just sufficient elements to allow them to suppress dissent.”
        As Covid-19 should have made clear, in risk management worst case scenarios need to be taken seriously. Public pressure can stop a slow slide to authortarianism, nothing will stop it if you fall off a cliff.

    5. Paradan

      Yeah this writer seems like a good example of people getting an narrative lock, like some incident happens and the initial reports are confused so you lock on to the version that fits your world view and can’t see past that as more info comes out.

      Of course he could just be another MIC crony…lions, and tigers, and BEARS, oh my!

    6. Acacia

      We survivors are experiencing this terrible feeling of deja vu right now…

      And déjà vu is a glitch in the Matrix, you know.

    7. southern appalachian

      I don’t know. I read that just after reading GQ’s “The Conscience of Silicon Valley” about Jaron Lanier. Thought they reinforced each other in a remarkable way.

      But have also have been thinking of just how much the US has internalized violence, think maybe that’s a result of being permanently at war.

      1. Cú Chulainn's Third Eye

        It’s maybe not a long road from permanently at war externally to most everybody at home permanently packing and waiting to return fire.

  3. fresno dan

    File under observations related to police impartiality
    So I’m watching a true crime documentary about Jeffery Dahmer. I believe at the time there was public reporting about this event, i.e., that there had been a report to the police about a naked male on the street who had escaped Dahner, and that the police had returned this male to Dahmer.
    But I did not know how inept the police response had been. There was an interview with the woman who made the report. And it shows that black complaints against whites just aren’t taken seriously by the police in many situations. Dahmer is a special case, so one wonders how often something like this happens and doesn’t get attention.
    One of the things – the woman who did the initial report wanted to know what the police follow up was. The woman had her aunt call the police (as she believed, accurately in my view, that she was being “yesed” by the police) and one could hear from the police that the police had DETERMINED that the male was an adult – this was a lie, the male was 14 years old. The article below states that the police had been convinced by Dahmer, but the recording of the Aunt’s call to the police, played in the documentary, the police say that they had DETERMINED that the male was an adult – I would take that to mean that they had looked at an ID, not that they took the word of the character involved in a pretty sketchy situation. The documentary had the recording.
    Another point I would bring up is that apparently 3 police were involved in this call. So much for police “intuition” with regards to discerning who is telling the truth and sizing up a situation. If not incompetence, than sheer laziness…
    Revelations about Milwaukee police actions prior to arresting Dahmer have added fuel to existing complaints that police are indifferent to black concerns. The family of one of Dahmer’s victims has filed a $3 million federal lawsuit against the city alleging that police officers improperly investigated a complaint by minority citizens. Two months before Dahmer’s arrest, Glenda Cleveland, a black woman living in the neighborhood, reported seeing a bleeding, naked Asian youth outside. Three officers questioned Dahmer but ignored her suggestion that the situation was serious. Police recordings of radio transmissions show that the officers returned the 14-year-old boy to Dahmer’s apartment; they said Dahmer convinced them that the youth was an adult. They cracked jokes about the situation, calling the incident a “boyfriend-boyfriend thing.” Ms. Cleveland’s repeated requests for further information were rebuffed. In July, the boy’s body was found in Dahmer’s apartment. Many black community leaders say that had Dahmer been a black man, he might well have been arrested at that time.

  4. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    Just like the Dems wished they could run out the clock with Covid (but can’t) I think Team Trump hopes to run out the clock with “law and order” but I’m not sure they can either. Even after scything society down the middle by playing the race card the hapless D’s may be able to pivot fast enough, especially if the violence abates. They’ll say it’s all Donald’s fault, and I’m sure The Man Who Would Be King is burning up the phone lines from his mansion on Martha’s Vineyard trying to get that message out

  5. Krystyn Podgajski

    I gave up fighting external fascism in 2004. People found it hard to believe my phone was tapped after a wrote a short poem about the everyday terrorism that existed well before 9/11 and posted it online. No one really cared because the money, wow the money. Friends were buying houses and getting degrees, looking so good on paper. And here I am talking about fascism? It was like trying to explain water to a fish, as the saying goes. And the people who were under the boot were kicked out of town, a result of their own failures. If they just followed the rules of capitalism they would be fine! But they did not, so no soup for them.

    When I was in college I saw the fascism within myself, which put me on a spiritual path. So that little Nazi is kept in check and has cured me of any situational depression. It also kept me free from the urge to seek more and more money, control, and power. And internally where fascism festers. People will usually only fight the external fascist, never the internal, and since they do not learn they cannot teach their children. So here we go again.

    So it is not enough to go back to Biden, because he is a fascist. Softer and kinder, but still a fascist. And capitalism at it’s core is fascist, always pulling us away from community. And the ego, it is the capitalist of the soul. I will not vote because I am against fascism and authoritarianism.

    So all I care about now is helping other get rid of their internal fascists. Economics, politics, it is all superficial fluff top me now, an external manifestation of an internal disorder.

    1. ChiGal in Carolina

      Dunno, maybe if people like you who are onto the inner fascist outnumbered the oblivious in the public square, it wouldn’t be such a cesspool out there.

    2. Carolinian

      If everybody is a fascist then nobody is a fascist. IMO time to drop this buzzword–admittedly also popular in the ’60s–which has a specific meaning tied to militant nationalists in post WW1 Italy.

      1. Krystyn Podgajski

        No one can deal metaphors anymore…another sign that we are far from God.

        There is a little fascist in you too, go look for it!

        1. Carolinian

          I have never been a supporter of Mussolini. As to whether there is such a thing as “human nature”–that I believe absolutely. But if we are part of “nature red in tooth and claw” that doesn’t mean we should go around describing lions making a kill as “fascist.”

          IMO the left should stop living in the last century and pretending it’s always Munich or Weimar 1933 and Hitler must be stopped. Arguably what happened then had a lot more to do with the 19th century than the 21st. With global communications and finance we have new forms of oligarchy now and ones that are even opposed to the fanatic nationalism that characterized the first half of the 20th. These new oligarchs are more than happy to have us argue and fight over something that no longer exists–at least not in the same way that it did 100 years ago.

          1. Krystyn Podgajski

            Your ego is not black and white. There are times we need the little fascist. You see, I said we need to keep it in check, not kill it, because we can’t. Just be aware of it and not think it is “you”. If you cannot see it that is the biggest problem! I was an anarchist and still I saw it there! Do not assume for a moment that since you are not wearing a brown shirt externally there is not one tucked away in your psyche.

            There is a

            “fascist style”: a political aesthetic of romantic symbolism, mass mobilization, a positive view of violence, and promotion of masculinity, youth, and charismatic authoritarian leadership.

            of which I am speaking. Could be Obama as much as Mussolini.

            And do not bring lions into this, they have done nothing wrong.

            1. Carolinian

              Never an Obama supporter either and have always viewed charismatic leadership with suspicion.

              But you are missing my main point which is that “fascist” has become a general purpose epithet that now serves as little more than a scare word. It’s empty rhetoric.

            2. Laputan

              So we’re all fascists now and we must do the work of “keeping it in check”? Anybody else sense a similarity in this kind of rhetoric?

              1. Krystyn Podgajski

                I know it is hard to see the tiny bit of fascist in yourself, but you are always in control. This is no different than what Gandhi taught:

                “If you love peace, then hate injustice, hate tyranny, hate greed — but hate these things in yourself, not in another.” – Gandhi

                It is easy here to get stuck point the finger out at how bad the world is, but you are not separate from the world.

                1. Laputan

                  Replace “fascist” with “racist” in your posts and you sound exactly like Robin DiAngelo.

                2. Carolinian

                  I’m not disagreeing with you–or Gandhi. I just think you should pick a different word.

        2. Wukchumni

          Adolf in a similar fashion to Donald, embraced dogma albeit only as an avenue to entice a certain segment of the population.

          I’d be hesitant to invoke a God that’s gonna save us from ourselves…

          A few choice quotes from der fuhrer:

          As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice.

          We are a people of different religions, but we are one. Which faith conquers the other is not the question; rather, the question is whether Christianity stands or falls… We tolerate no one in our ranks who attacks the ideas of Christianity … in fact our movement is Christian.

          The National Government will regard it as its first and foremost duty to revive in the nation the spirit of unity and cooperation. It will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life.”

          There’s more of these sort of quotes than I could shake a proverbial stick at, but you get the idea.

          1. Carolinian

            But wait I thought Putin was Hitler. Or is it Maduro? How many Hitlers are there? Perhaps The Boys From Brazil was a real thing.

            The real Hitler was a crazy man whose mind had been warped by the trenches of WW1, the general and virulent racism of the time, his own personal failures. Trump’s megalomania on the other hand is all bluff and he can’t even control his own administration. Comparing speeches doesn’t tell us very much. If anything Trump seems like a closet pacifist–not interesting in fighting either now or when he evaded Vietnam.

            The real fascists of all stripes were very much tied to militarism. American versions are best sought in the Pentagon, not on reality shows.

            1. Wukchumni

              Don’t kid yourself, Adolf was all bluff early on, had the rest of the world hoodwinked.

              You would have not wanted to play 7 card stud against him…

              1. Carolinian

                Exactly my point. Hitler was crazy but an Einstein compared to Trump.

                Recently watched season 10 of Curb Your Enthusiasm and it occurred to me that the character Larry David plays and Trump have a lot in common. In the show Larry opens a “spite store” to try to drive a coffee shop owner he doesn’t like out of business. I’d say what we have in the US is Trump’s “spite presidency” to get back at Obama for humiliating him at that correspondent’s dinner. It could be nothing more than that.

                There are some who say Trump is desperate to be reelected because of legal trouble in NY. But they aren’t going to put an ex president behind bars–even one named Trump. The elites just want him out of power.

        3. Wukchumni


          Why do we fervently believe in a being that watches our every move and judges us accordingly, that is until we’re around 10 years old, when we realize it’s all bullshit promulgated by our parents, and yet that other being that in theory does the same thing, is sacrosanct?

          1. Krystyn Podgajski

            I believe in no such “beings”. God is just a law, like gravity. You only sense gravity when you are tired of standing or when you are falling off of a building. Always when it is too late.

            And I cannot help if people do not think past the metaphors they were told when they were children.

              1. Wukchumni


                Using your logic, although nobody has ever seen Santa Claus (except at the mall) must we accept that he’s real?

                1. Krystyn Podgajski

                  Can you see gravity?

                  Sure, you can see and feel it acting (a verb), but can you see it (the noun)? No. Can I give you a cup of gravity? Ha!

                  Santa Claus as a noun is not real, but Santa Claus the verb is very real. When someone wears a Santa Suit they are “Santa Clausing” yet they are not Santa Claus

                  I use the term “God” and everyone has a fit because you cannot see past what you have been taught. God, Dao, Nature, Gaia, Love, Reality…all the same.

                  When love is still, love is dead, and when God is still, God is dead. Turning God into a noun collapses the quantum wave that is the verb.

                  1. Wukchumni

                    God was invented to explain mystery. God is always invented to explain those things that you do not understand. Now, when you finally discover how something works, you get some laws which you’re taking away from God; you don’t need him anymore. But you need him for the other mysteries. So therefore you leave him to create the universe because we haven’t figured that out yet; you need him for understanding those things which you don’t believe the laws will explain, such as consciousness, or why you only live to a certain length of time–life and death — stuff like that. God is always associated with those things that you do not understand. Therefore I don’t think that the laws can be considered to be like God because they have been figured out.


                    1. Krystyn Podgajski

                      And when science discovers what God is? Will they just call it by another name? And then they will say look! We have proven that God doesn’t exist!

                      You see, I’m not anti-science.

        4. witters

          “There is a little fascist in you too, go look for it!”

          I keep it in the corner, with my white privilege.

      1. newcatty

        Our children and society have been desensitized to violence in all of its forms and manifestations. This is evident in the manipulation of their minds and, yes spirits, by most powerfully media: of course TV, films and the stimulus of gaming. It doesn’t matter if the genre is beautifully it artfully created, the images and sounds are hypnotically fascinating. Think about the productions most watched and/or celebrated. Films: the Godfathers, modern westerns like Dances with Wolves, coolness like Kill Bill, comic heroes like Black Panther. Yes, purposefully point out some with “minority” actors or mileiu. Tee Vee: Breaking Bad, Justified, West World, Sopranos, Longmire, Shameless, Orange is the New Black. Every one of these productions have the spin that crime is evil, doesn’t pay in the long run or , wait, look, at the amazing character development! So many others can be pointed out. But, desensitization can be considered helpful. It’s the preferred treatment for phobias. Like most things, it can also be detrimental to developing a moral and compassionate mind and spirit.

        Kids are not just “young adults”. No matter how we try to rationalize it, they are still children who are developing their personalities and values. Watching influencers or pop stars or athletes show them what is important or a model is being used to exploit them. I am not saying all the kids should just watch sugar coated Disney. I am saying it has gotten more violent and without kindness or love being as what is important.

        Couple this with the glorification of the military. Not as obvious now, with gladiator games on hold with no military fly overs, star spangled songs, salute to brave men and women on the fields of Friday and Sunday night lights. A lot of our law enforcement are funneled from veterans. Is it surprising that anyone who goes through basic training or actually doesn’t have desk jobs, and “serve” in our endless wars or conflicts and actually face shooting at other humans , comes back home with some kind of PTSD? Just read that some 20 veterans a day commit suicide. This is not to say that since the fact exists, that veterans should not be cared for in this country. The desensitization and the fact that any of us rationalize or see now as the norm, that violence is in our streets is a symptom of the despair of our society’s separation from the common good as a guiding principle in our country’s elite with any power. Greed is not good. A bitter rain is starting to fall. And fires and the Wild winds. Oh yeah, kind of of along rant.

    1. JeffC

      I remember Robert J. Lurtsema as well. It’s been 45 years since I heard that name!

      Brains are weird. How do they DO that? I can’t remember what I had for dinner last night.

  6. zagonostra

    > Movement for a People’s Party

    It doesn’t exist, at least in the public consciousness. Nothing in Google News, nothing on the cover of NYT and WaPo and since these are the organs that determine what is news is in that strange space called the “Public Mind,” the MPP is not “material.”

    With half the country hating the other half and neither able to see a third way out, it’s all but certain what the trajectory this country will continue on for the next 10 years, if it doesn’t annihilate itself first.

    Time to move on to “strengthening the things that remain.” Watching the daily Trumpism or Demagoguery of the Dems is just too tiring.

    1. philnc

      … and yet over 100,000 people tuned in on various platforms and at least 85,000 stuck around long enough to respond positively to the snap poll at the end. On The Guardian’s coverage: typically, they didn’t mention one of the most powerful speeches of the night: given by ex-New York Times journalist Chris Hedges. Hedges led with the sobering assessment that direct action in the form of civil disobedience was going to be necessary no matter who wins in November, but he also ended with a plea for people to vote Green (other speakers, notably some who had run in Democratic primaries this year, asked people to “vote your conscience”, which I _do not_ think was code for Biden/Harris). For those who can bear slogging through an hour long debate over independent left party vs. DEMTakeover, this recent exchange might be interesting:

      1. edmondo

        How could you not love a political party that can’t even ask you to vote for it?

        Others speaking at the People’s Convention, however, are reluctant to give up on the Democrats altogether. Nina Turner, a co-chair of Sanders’ primary campaign in 2020 and member of the Democratic national committee, said: “I support the movement and I am very clear that there are some progressives who want to ‘#DemExit’ but there are some progressives who believe, ‘It’s my party, I can cry if I want to and I’m going stay inside and push’.

        “I support both of those forces because I think at the end of the day, even though they might be going down slightly different roads, they are parallel and the end point is the same. That’s why I’m speaking at this convention: that yearning that some have to form another party, and also I do recognise and support those who say that they’re gonna stay inside the Democratic party and give ’em hell and keep pushing them to the left. Both of those forces are needed. I consider those yin and yang.”

        So basically, we had a Zoom meeting, someone should do something, voila, new political party.

        I think I am starting to understand what happened to Bernie Sanders’ campaign.

    2. Rod

      nada from what i see also–pretty constant 10-11k watching on the Tube from 4-9pm + whatever the Dore Show had for viewers.
      Speakers invited represented the America I see in the grocery store or WM or work(b4 Covid).
      No lack of enthusiasm and optimism from the guest list–as well as solutions available.
      As a Citizen and Veteran I felt Civic Duty to watch/listen to alternatives to the 2+Party System–forming and registering another Political Party over 53+ voting feeds will not be easy peasy.
      I liked that the Convention ended with a Strategy and a Working Agenda to get that done in the next 12 months.
      The established D/R Politcal Strategy of having to Vote for Lesser of Two Evils was soundly trashed by all.

      my take away is the intent to create a Vote Block that has to consulted by any Politician that wants to win any Election.

      The Concern and Consideration of the Climate Crises as a REAL issue was raised constantly–certainly more than both other Party Conventions for sure.
      … because Established Capitalism is incompatible with Climate Solutions–imo.

    3. Brian (another one they call)

      a people’s party may not exist, but there is a component that is waiting for someone tolerable to vote for.
      and the most simple convincing element might be medicare for all.
      The one that acts is going to be the one that wins. Remember it is the straw that breaks the insurance lobby’s back.

    4. Amfortas the hippie

      “strengthening the things that remain.”

      that’s where i’m at.
      I avoided news for most of the last week(2 hurricanes and a trip to chemo had me on my back), and i stick a toe in yesterday to find that it’s all gone to hell even more.
      “doomscrolling” is hardly productive,lol.
      Meanwhile, i can’t get a straight answer out of anybody as to ramifications to wife’s healthcare of cashing this life insurance check.
      cpa’s telling me essentially to launder it,lol…because that’s how it’s done, apparently.
      so we’re going to deposit it today, set aside for health insurance, and go on my long planned and well thought out spending spree…which includes a seed bank each for the food bank and for the community kitchen, as well as some $ for the cancer board and a little for the numerous po folks who are in arrears on their city electric bill.
      My usual practice with that sort of thing is strict anonymity…but i need the receipts this time, in case ssi/medicaid comes after us.
      anyway…local is where it’s at….i lament that there’s so many in my little corner of the world who so readily lap up the Q and the trump train nonsense…opposed, ineffectively, by a rump of Team Blue Bourgeoisie who believe whole-heartedly in the System and Norms, etc.
      all that is very unfortunate…but hardly a new development,lol.
      They’re all still my people…and i must coexist with them.

      1. zagonostra

        Good to see the Texas Sage back…Rick Roderick – Philosopher extraordinary – was from West Texas. His YouTube video on the “Master of Suspicion” is a must view for anyone with a philosophical bent and a great anodyne for the philosophy coming from the Richard Rorty end of the spectrum. All his videos are worth the viewing…

      2. Lil'D

        Yep. Don’t doomscroll much (though I’m here now, eh?)

        Do not have a concrete plan.
        Fought hard for Bernie. I don’t think we the people have remedies through the existing institutions. I have little hope from Biden but I think there is enough chance that Trump re election is an existential crisis for the US to root for team Blue.

        What can we do? What can we do to redirect the massive anti democratic, anti egalitarian flows even slightly towards what is IMO sensible activity supporting the public good?

        Seems cowardly to run away to New Zealand – it’s only a matter of time before there is no survivable bunker remaining.

  7. PlutoniumKun

    Seeing like a city: how tech became urban Theory and Society.

    *whew* it is dense reading. But its an important reminder that cities really matter and that they are incredibly resilient. Covid will probably change patterns of development, but it takes a lot to fundamentally undermine the processes that cause people and money to move to successful urban areas. Rome is still a great city, 2,000 years after it lost its entire reason for existing.

    One obvious takaway from so much research on urban economics is just how little we know about why some cities thrive and grow, and some seem to struggle, least of all we don’t know much about how to invest in a city to guarantee a sustainable, people centric economy. Some things definitely work – public transit, attractive urban areas, good quality education at all levels, a plentiful supply of relatively cheap work/living space – but they are not always necessary (there are plenty of exceptions), and they are not always enough.

    A few years ago I was at a lecture given by an official who worked in the Irish development agency, and who was responsible for getting so many IT companies to set up in Dublin. He was pretty much dismissive of academic/economic discussions on tax incentives, hand outs or infrastructural investment. He said that in his experience most major tech companies are quite lazy institutionally. They mostly set up in Dublin because Ireland has a legal system that is familiar to them, an English speaking environment makes it easier to attract staff, and if it was good enough for Apple and Microsoft, they didn’t see any particular reason to choose anywhere else. It really was that simple. Oh, and it helped that there were some good golf courses around the city.

    But I think the final part of that article highlights the real threat facing so many cities. It isn’t economic decay or a flight to the suburbs, its the deep damage caused by the financial sector and speculation – or rentier behaviour as Marx would have called it. If NY or London do die, they wont’ have been killed by Covid, but by greedy investors. If you want to create a simplistic model of urban life and death, see it as a conflict between productive investors and rentiers. When the latter dominate, the city is in big trouble.

    1. neo-realist

      Re: IT companies setting up in Dublin, I believe the unmentioned part of this story is that Ireland has presumably invested more at the UK equivalent of the K-12 level and in higher education such that the IT companies have had an easier time attracting good employees. In the U.S., we’ve decided to let public education rot in the cities, so we don’t generate as many talented employees except from those that lucked out in good public K-12 and private education in good middle to upper middle neighborhoods.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        A key element in Irish FDI policy from the mid-1970’s was a massive investment in technological colleges (in fact, a lot of EU money earmarked for roads and railways was diverted to education). It was reasoned that Ireland couldn’t compete with the MIT’s and Cambridges, but it could focus on providing a constant steady stream of competent tech workers, of the type that run a typical pharm or tech plant from the shop floor level. This was a key attractor for several decades. Quite simply, the Irish government said ‘what type of worker and what qualification do you need?’ to any incoming investor, and the local tech college would immediately create the courses to provide those needs.

        It helped of course that Ireland had a demographic bonus then of a lot of young people, and a pretty decent secondary school system. This was a key driver for Irish growth in the 1990’s and later, until some idiots realised it was easier to make money building houses in the middle of nowhere. More laterly, Ireland maintains a ‘generous’ visa system for foreign workers which keeps that investment system going. Although Irelands tax status is an advantage, its no better nowadays than in many other EU countries. From what I’ve heard, its access to a steady stream of qualified staff that is the key reason why Amazon, Google, etc,. keep pumping in further investments despite very high costs.

      1. judy2shoes

        Why yes it is, Rev, and apparently it hails from your neck of the woods. From the source link:

        “The Gouldian Finch (Erythrura gouldiae) is a colourful passerine bird endemic to Australia. The Gouldian finch was described by British ornithological artist John Gould in 1844 and named after his wife Elizabeth.”

        Beautiful bird. At first, I thought it wasn’t real.

  8. TomDority

    The police using Ketamine injections – Makes sense in a bad way.
    Ketamine is a date rape drug – so the police are using it to rape their victims of any due process and constitutional rights.
    The way the preditor police act – I would be very afraid that those peditors now have a Date Rape drug available for their recreational activities.

    1. ambrit

      Ketamine is but one in a long list of “Date Rape” methods available to the police. A shiny badge and a gun are the traditional methods. See the original “Bad Lieutenant,” and Herzog’s sequel, “Port of Call,” for a slightly ‘sensationalized’ treatment of the subject.
      You feel adventurous and want an extreme treatment of the theme of “Official Impunity?” Try Pasolini’s graphic, (definitely NSFW,) “Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom.” It is based on the work of De Sade.

  9. Olga

    ‘Something Broke Inside Belarusians.’ Why an Apolitical People Rose Up NYT (Re Silc) vs. Anatomy of coup attempt in Belarus Indian Punchline (VP).
    I’m pretty sure Mr. Bhadrakumar has a much better understanding of what just happened in BR than does the Times. After the brazen Ukr. coup d’etat, it was clear that BR would be next – sooner or later. The empire never sleeps!

    1. Polar Socialist

      On the balance, though, it looks like the Longest Dictator of Europe, Djukanovic of Montenegro, lost the current elections, and there will be a more pro-Russian, pro-Serbian and anti-NATO government than in the last 30 years.

      I understand Montenegro has been run pretty much like Belorussia, but since it joined NATO, the policy is called ‘maintaining stability’ and not ‘oppressing the opposition’.

    2. The Rev Kev

      I hope that the protestors keep in mind what happened in the Ukraine. No, not the civil war. What I mean is the de-industrialization of the country and the stripping of all assets not nailed down. As an earlier example, when the Berlin Wall fell western companies went over to the east to buy up companies that were in competition with them. They then sacked all the staff and junked all the machinery before selling all assets off. Tough luck if you had a steady job in that company. And the same would happen in Belarus if it went to the west. I saw an interview with a young city type in London before the Ukrainian troubles started and he was looking forward to the tens of thousands of unemployed Ukrainians that would flow on to the UK as cheap workers. I imagine that would have been looking forward to tens of thousands of unemployed Belorussians flowing west but the pandemic has put a stop to that. But Belarus would have a lot of assets worth buying up.

      1. Olga

        One of our sad experiences is going by train through Central Europe, and seeing all the abandoned – previously productive – facilities, just rusting away. But hey, progress… (complete with US military “advisers”)!

  10. Drake

    “When will creativity similar to this be unleashed for masks?”

    The Jack Vance short story “The Moon Moth” (1961) puts some pretty impressive creativity into masks. Recommended highly.

  11. Fireship

    Re: Minnesota Paramedic Speaks Out Against Police Use Of Ketamine Injections

    Just when I think America cannot get any more depraved. Even the medical services have been weaponized against the poor and marginal. Not much longer to go till full-blown fascism, American style.

  12. maplesugar

    re Investor Amnesia – “The Next Frontier”, “………Sales fell 23.1 % in NE.”
    This is, of course, very local & hearsay…but…I live in a dinky town in central VT. & the buzz is that properties (residential) are flying off the shelves here and elsewhere locally. So “drop” is curious.

    1. Lee

      I imagine the work-from-home techies and PMCs are moving to your town and others like it where social distancing is easier than amongst the urban throngs. As a pensioner, and probably exquisitely vulnerable to the worst Covid-19 can do, I’ve been thinking of moving to one or another middle of nowhere. Where exactly is it you say you live?

  13. Watt4Bob

    Our country is suffering a decades-old plague of economic injustice, that due to a wildly successful propaganda campaign, is not understood by the vast majority of Americans.

    The working-class does not understand itself was a class, and certainly does not understand that all its economic woes are rooted in the callous behavior of the rich who control our government.

    The rich and powerful have successfully divided us into a multitude of factions, all of which have been encouraged to believe themselves oppressed by something, or someone other than the actual repressive plans of the rich and powerful.

    We all exist in a sea of humanity that we’ve been taught to fear and mistrust, and whom we’ve been encouraged to think bear the responsibility for our discomfort. We have been slowly convinced over the last fifty years that all our problems are rooted in racism, sexism, homo-phobia, and a vast panoply of ‘isms’ that stand in the way of our experience of a good and decent life.

    What we are missing is the fact that our confusion as to the cause of our economic misery, goes hand-in-hand with the actual process by which we’ve been robbed of what used to be called the American Dream.

    It is not a natural situation for a very small number of people to own everything in this world, and that reality begs an explanation, and so, for at least the last fifty years, that very small group of rich and powerful people have spun a fairytale, a web of lies that tell us that our problems are caused by the people we see around us, people who look different than we do, people who do not share our gender, people who do not speak english, people who’s lives are not as hard as ours, and of course, people who don’t work as hard as us.

    All of this is intended to distract us from the truth that the love of money has perverted our systems of governance until the common good is no longer the focus of those we mistakenly believe represent us in government.

    Now, at this advanced point in the process of our collective economic ruin, we find ourselves mired in mistrust and hatred of our fellow man, not realizing that not only has it never been easy to be Black, Female, Queer, Indigenous or ‘Different‘ in America, it’s been increasingly difficult to be any sort of member of the working class, and that includes the white guys with pick-up trucks.

    The process of the rich and powerful stealing everything not nailed down has reached the point where the white working-class is experiencing the same level of precarious economic health as the rest of the oppressed working-class,
    and they, like everyone else has been marinating in propaganda that encourages them to believe that their pain is caused by their government coddling all those folks they’ve been taught are the ‘other’.

    So now, when what is needed is a New, New Deal, what is being imposed on us is a civil war, intentionally set in motion to preclude any hope of working-class solidarity in opposition to the real enemies of our collective prosperity, the rich and powerful who own our government.

    So the guys with the pick-up trucks and the flags are three months delinquent on their truck loans, and they worship a president who encourages them to believe that their problem is they are besieged on every side by the ‘other‘ and that there is a 2nd amendment solution to this problem.

    Trump has it backwards, in reality, when the shooting starts, the looting starts.

    And the folks so anxious to start shooting are going to be surprised how fast they come to understand that it solves nothing, and that it makes their lives infinitely worse.

    1. jef

      “All of this is intended to distract us from the truth that the love of money has perverted our systems of governance until the common good is no longer the focus of those we mistakenly believe represent us in government.”

      This is exactly right and needs to be widely understood if we want any chance of stopping the trajectory of ignorance and hate.

      No Lives Matter!!!! to the 1%

    2. Oh

      Good comment. Unless we can get rid of the corrupt politicians in both parties (by electing honest people) we will not be able to get rid of this propaganda. The media are in cahoots with the rich and the corrupt politicians and will never allow honest communications. We need to somehow change the Supreme court ruling that makes corporations people and money free speech. If we start at the local level and get rid of the rigged primaries, we can start making headway. There’s no easy solution and the road to success is long and ardous. On the bright side, it only takes 5-10% of the people to start making a difference.

    3. ArvidMartensen

      Yes you are right, propaganda has worked, essentially.
      But perhaps the propaganda is a more sophisticated homo sapiens version of predation, which is core to survival of omnivores. Perhaps homo sapiens live, in varying degrees, in predator/prey societies, depending on the strength of the civil society stabilisers.
      Where the apex predators are the mega-rich and the huge corporations.
      Then down a level in the predator pyramid we have the people who work for the apex predators (the media, state sanctioned churches, state bureaucracies, the complex of police + secret services + the military, banks and financial companies and others).
      Then underneath there is the prey in varying levels of “classes” eg, middle and working class and immigrant precariat,. That makes the vast bulk of US inhabitants prey.

      To investigate that hypothesis, I look at all the countries that the US has “brought democracy” to. How many are vibrant with equalish rights and opportunities for citizens? (Japan? Germany?)
      How many are having their natural resources stripped away for a pittance (Iraq, Ukraine? )
      How many have become warzones in a US proxy wars for resources and power (Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Sudan ? etc).

      This looks to me like in this world the US is really the apex predatocracy with very few stabilisers of civil society. Worse, it has forced itself onto the rest of the world, in all ways, culturally, militarily and financially. Because. It. Can. It’s the bomb.

  14. Lee

    China censors Thomas Piketty’s book that touches on nation’s growing inequality South China Morning Post. I bought it; I’m reading it. Heavy going!

    Thank you for your service. I’ll be looking forward to your Piketty for Dummies interpretations. If you can boil it down to something like r>g, I’ll probably be able to wrap my brain around it.

  15. zagonostra

    >Weekend Mask/COVID protest

    Over the weekend in London +10K or more people gathered protesting wearing masks and listening to likes of Ickes and others. The pictures show no one wearing masks, no social distancing, and easily over 10K gathered to listen. Incredible pictures.

    In Berlin, same. massive protest, but you will be hard pressed to find it in the press, although once I initially stumbled onto the story I was able to find a link to CNN.

    1. lordkoos

      The anti-mask movement is big here in my county. They started a facebook page that has over 900 members.

  16. Clive

    A General Bank-Holiday* Musing on Rights, Freedoms, Entitlements and Their Proponents

    All Hell has broken out (at least on social media it has, which isn’t like real Hell — or perhaps it is!) about the UK government’s moves, just announced, to ban pavement (sidewalk) parking here.

    It has instantly, of course, been opened up as another battle in the culture wars. But it’s interesting — and I can’t explain it for the life of me — why the two sides in the debate have taken the stances they’ve taken. For COVID-19, as an example, it’s usually the #KBF (“Keep Britain Free” — although free from what, I’m never entirely sure) types who are anti-lockdown, anti-mask orders, pro-return to work and school reopening etc. The #FBPE (“Follow Back, Pro-Europe” — although who you’re following back and why that’s especially pro-Europe and how you can’t be pro-Europe and anti-EU simultaneously is lost in the mists of time now) gang are your basic zero-COVID adherents.

    The #KBF’ers are frequently in the chanting “my rights, my freedoms!” school of argument. The #FBPE cohort are, as you’d probably expect “we should be part of a system of rules, rules should be adhered to and the rules should protect everyone in society — we can’t just do as we please and not think of others” believers.

    So you would expect that tightening up on sidewalk / pavement parking rules (it’s basically a misdemeanour to park on the sidewalk, but the law is vague and enforcement virtually non-existent) would be latched onto by the #FBPE brigade and derided and resisted by the #KBF grouping.

    But no! The #KBP platoon is firing salvos saying that sidewalks are a shared community resource, they can’t just be occupied by drivers of vehicles merely because they can and might isn’t right, if you can’t afford somewhere to park your vehicle, don’t buy one in the first place then claim you’ve “no choice” but to take up some of the pedestrian pavement to find somewhere for it to sit when you’re not driving it. The #FBPE army is countering with a volley that says if I can’t park anywhere else what choice do I have but to take up space on the sidewalk, developers shouldn’t build houses without parking being considered, it’s not really harming “anyone”, shouldn’t the UK government be doing “more important things” and if rules are dumb and un-adherable to in real life, then of course you have no choice but to ignore them.

    Well. That’s all taken me by surprise anyway. Possibly underneath it all is the hopeless partisanship in UK politics at the moment, where even a broadly-neutral — politically-speaking — policy decision gets insta-radicalised and subsumed into the “anything the Conservatives in government do is automatically ba-aaa-d” reflexology of modern-day society.

    More broadly, if we, as a society, can’t even have a sane, non-politicised debate on whether to park cars on sidewalks, what hope is there for the really contentious issues of the day?

    *It is here in the UK, anyways. But you guys have Labour (or Labor as you insist on calling it) Day coming up, so don’t despair!

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Oh, thats interesting. I had a quick glance this morning at tweets from a local cycling group here I follow and there was widespread incredulity that a lot of UK campaigners are taking what seems to be a pro-pavement parking stance.

      Of course, having said that, its hard not to be suspicious that the Tories are up to something mendacious when they pursue an apparently perfectly sensible policy as its such a rare occurance.

      1. Clive

        It’s a tricky one. Many of the left are saying, not without merit perhaps, this is an example of individualising a collective problem. And in that respect, it’s classic Toryism or even neoliberalism (since you’re expected to buy your way out of a predicament).

        As an aside, apart from plonking pedestrians at the bottom of the transport pecking order, there’s a lot of motorists who also seem to view cycle paths as “back up” parking, just in case there’s not enough provision, when they reach their destinations, to accommodate their chosen transportation modality — but it’s amazing what getting behind the wheel of a car seems to do to some people’s thinking,

  17. The Rev Kev

    Working link for “Officer charged in George Floyd’s death argues drug overdose killed him, not knee on neck” article at-

    Maybe there is a fair test of this that they could try. Have Derek Chauvin lay down in court and have this black guy knee his neck for the same amount of time. I am sure that they could get a volunteer from the NBA or the NFL willing to do this. But to make it safe, Chauvin could shout out a ‘safe word’ if he thinks that it is too much.

    1. pjay

      Thanks for this. Chilling. And another example of the absolutely contradictory depiction of these events depending on one’s particular information bubble.

  18. Wukchumni

    D(ecision) Day for evictions in the Golden State, with talk of a moratorium until February for Covid sufferers, while regular Joe 6 Pack and/or Jane Chardonnay renters would have to pony up 25% of back rent in order to keep current.

    This brings us to another interesting juncture in my ongoing Bizarro World comparison of the collapse of the USSR & the USA.

    Nobody owned real estate in the Soviet Union with rents being a relative pittance (that is if you were lucky enough/connected enough to have one of those ‘finely appointed’ places and not on a waiting list for eons) and we’re fast approaching the same scenario with landlords being the point of the spear in terms of losing money bigtime.

    This will blow a lot of lords’ out of the water, and who knows who ends up with the properties, but it isn’t as if they’ll get filled up by people kicked out after a credit check, so i’d guess we’ll turn into a squatter society where ownership on rentals is vague at best, and nothing is done to push the occupants out, and they become de facto owners of abodes, just like what happened after the USSR fell.

  19. Wukchumni

    We’re in 1930 of the Great Depression @ present, things didn’t real take that much of a turn for the worse until 1931, and stocks rebounded a bit from 1929 lows, in a early 1930 rally.

    1931 & 1932 on the other hand, wow!

    Imagine buying a bushel of apples (125 of them) for 25 Cents in 1932? There was simply no money in the system, and no credit cards, all cash & carry.

  20. The Rev Kev

    “The Big Tesla Hack: A hacker gained control over the entire fleet, but fortunately he’s a good guy Electrek”

    ‘In principle, if someone was able to say hack all the autonomous Teslas, they could say – I mean just as a prank – they could say ‘send them all to Rhode Island’ [laugh]’

    As a hacker, he is quite polite. I am sure that what he mean to say was this-

    ‘In principle, if someone was able to say hack all the autonomous Teslas, they could say – I mean just as a prank – they could say ‘send them all to Elon Musk’s Bel Air Mansion’ [laugh]’

    1. RMO

      I just saw a headline that said the F.B.I. is claiming a “Russian associated” individual attempted to bribe a Tesla employee to inject malware into the gigafactory… I don’t have enough energy to read the story myself as yet but maybe someone else wants to look into it. I’m not able to as I suspect it will (like almost every story in mainstream western media for the last several years that has “Russia” in the headline) require hip waders at the minimum and preferably a fully-sealed, pressure resistant environment suit before one dives in.

      As for the Tesla hack you mention, I think one would have to be naive, stupid or crazy to want a car where not just your personal location data etc. etc. but the software that is used to control the car itself is accessible via wireless. It’s been done to Fiat/Chrysler vehicles too. I can see why the car company considers it desirable (both for a few legitimate and many, many more evil reasons) but as a customer?

  21. freedomny

    Love the photo essay on Jackson Heights. Really miss that section of Queens – used to go to Patel Brothers all the time. There is also a shop further from Roosevelt Ave – called DeSpana on Northern Blvd that has some of the best Spanish food. On Saturdays they open the shop for what can only be described as an impromptu party – you can taste all their cheeses and chorizos for free and the owner hands out plastic cups of red wine. It’s really a lot of fun!

  22. The Rev Kev

    “One Drought and One Volcanic Eruption Influenced the History of China: The Late Ming Dynasty Mega‐drought”

    While all this was going on, the English civil war was just getting underway. I did some checking and found that the population of China back then was around 180 million people. If the same weather and drought conditions were repeated again, I am not sure how China with 1.4 billion people would cope now. Wukchumni has mentioned in previous comments ferocious droughts that California has experienced in its past so the same thing would apply. How would a larger population cope?

    1. Wukchumni

      Indeed Rev Kev,

      There was 1/160th the population of California in aboriginal times here, compared to now.

      They learned that they had to be very close to reliable water sources. Hardly any lived in what are now SD, LA or SF.

  23. Bandit

    The Conscience of Silicon Valley

    Should have read “The Lack of Conscience of Silicon Valley”

    One prophetic and sincere voice cannot hold much weight against the sociopathic tech companies. Most of ’em just don’t give a fu*k.

  24. CoryP

    The Umair Haque piece seems pretty hysterical in tone (as is a lot of his writing).

    He makes points I’ve seen elsewhere from non-TDS sources, and I don’t want to discount his and others’ experiences with other authoritarian governments. But.. (I’m not an American)

    The US has been building up the infrastructure for “authoritarian rule” since at least 2001 (surely earlier). DHS is scary and unaccountable, and the US has been torturing and kidnapping and claiming the right to assassinate for a while now. And too many people have been getting killed by the police for many years.

    I see the word “fascist” used in so many different ways that I’ve given up on trying to understand what people actually mean about it (maybe it is clear, but it seems as vague to me as “liberal”).

    I appreciate there is a difference between a vain megalomaniac type personality like Trump, vs a …. whatever you would call Obama or GW Bush for that matter. But given that the levers of power he’s holding are the same, does his personality really justify this level of alarm?

    Maybe it does justify this level of alarm, but we should have been alarmed a long time ago?

    Anyway I could take the article a bit more seriously if he gave some non-partisan historical context. This situation is baffling to watch and it’s hard to know how to interpret anything after it’s been filtered through our terrible media and the equally terrible internet hivemind.

    Reading the news is like watching season 6 of a series and regretting it because it sucks, but the sunk cost fallacy has me continuing to do so.

    1. Ranger Rick

      A lot of us saw this happening in the 90s, when the encryption wars gave rise to the Clipper chip and the FBI’s Carnivore program. It was oft-opined that the government was intercepting all Internet communications (it notably featured as a plot point in the conspiracy-minded videogame Deus Ex) but for what purpose was anyone’s guess. When PRISM got revealed it confirmed that surveillance had developed far beyond simple traffic interception. After the crushing of Occupy Wall Street and the subsequent Arab Spring revolutionary wave that swept the Middle East (which turned out to owe much of its success to online organizing) it became apparent that governments worldwide put great importance on surveillance of their own citizens to prevent anti-governmental protests from reaching critical mass. China, obviously, was way ahead of anyone else in realizing this from the very beginning with the Great Firewall. At the time I thought, “we’ll never have a revolution, ever again, because they’ll always see it coming.” Now I’m not so sure.

      1. lordkoos

        I find it curious that with all of their surveillance technology, law enforcement is seemingly incapable of catching would-be mass shooters even when they’ve announced their intentions on facebook or an online forum etc.

    2. Amfortas the hippie

      Things like this,” The odds are now very much against American democracy surviving.”…assume that we somehow had a working democracy prior to trump.
      I think this is false…at least since 2000. as near as i can tell, trump won the gop primary fair and square(they still do democracy over there, incredibly)…and appears to have won the EC. If true, this is pretty ironic…that there was just enough democracy machinery still working to subvert the will of the aristocracy. I think we can be sure that they will move heaven and earth to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

      and I agree …Umair is a hysteric…but i’ve been seeing the same doom he sees now for most of my life…and watching people deny that it was there. For 40 or so years, at least, awareness of that doom has been inversely proportional to the individual’s level of comfort…whether actual, animal comfort…or the perception of comfort, as with so many people i’ve known in rural Texas who drank the koolaid of the weird hybrid christianity that has emerged since 1971 or so, wherein a first century jewish protosocialist was turned into jamie dimon and/or donald trump.
      now suddenly, millions of formerly comfortable…or more or less comfortable…people are thrown into the underclass…applying for foodstamps, etc.
      …and learning first hand that all of that is pretty much exactly as shitty as people like me have been telling them it was.
      Except that now they believe it…and since it’s happening to them, it’s an emergency.
      “Sow the wind”, and all.
      Nothing looks good, from where i sit…and i don’t see a way out of the multiple and interlocking clusterf&*ks we’re still just beginning to enter.

      —“.And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground.”

      soon, at a white house presser, hot spokes-blonde du jour says that President has ordered the BLS to just stop counting unemployed people, and the unemployment problem has magically vanished, and America is truly Great!, again….

      1. skippy

        Chill man … you can’t fix it … but you can live it …

        You have a lot on your plate and focus on abiding that, your judgement is your own and is how you will pass …

  25. Wukchumni

    We Don’t Know How to Warn You Any Harder. America is Dying. Umair Haque
    Great article!

    My father endured the wrath of the Nazis coming into Prague without an invite when he was a newly minted teenager, and then the Soviets when he was barely an adult, a couple different kinds of authoritarianism, the Nazis stole his family’s wealth and the Soviets took their land, a 1-2 punch.

    I’m watching from the sidelines in the near wilderness in shock horror at what is going on, the giant pickup trucks with oversized flags and the occupants doing the bidding of somebody that could care less about them, not that they’d know.

    It’s going to end badly, which brings on the demise of the Dollar being the world’s reserve currency, with inflation of a sort where few Americans will be able to afford previously cheap Chinese goods.

    Imagine a now $7.99 cloth and metal fold-up chair being priced @ $159.99?

    China would simply stop exporting them and everything else to our country as we lose financial stability, and then a scramble of looting begins, ‘whadya got?’ when presented with the business end of a gat in the hands of somebody that lost their morality long ago, but only proven recently.

    1. Carolinian

      Well during the Depression my father was a country school teacher and principal getting paid 10 dollars a month. So there was not a lot of wealth there to confiscate in any case. We are a lot richer than we were then, but also a lot less agrarian so hard to know how it will go when it all falls apart. But I suspect those on mountaintops like yourself or small towns may fare better than the big cities.

      Here Kunstler says the future for megacities like NY may be grim indeed.

  26. chuck roast

    Great article from The Intercept on the Fintech usurers. Predatory capitalism at its best, and more evidence, if any were needed that banking should be a public utility. It bunches Fintech’s capital accumulators and lenders with payday loan-sharks and portrays borrowers as cornered rats on a hamster wheel of debt. The regulatory apparatus is again captured and compromised and proven not to be up to the task. More likely the hamster wheel IS the regulatory apparatus. George Soros, the uber-champion of bourgeois democracy figures prominently in the piece, and who better to make the physical nexus between the democratically elected legislator and the plutocrat payoff.

    I’d like to sit with Elizabeth Warren while she reads this article and hear her thoughts about what is to be done. Doubtless she would immediately develop a plan that would kinda’ prevent this shameless exploitation

    1. Wukchumni

      The same Elizabeth Warren that prioritized this last year?

      Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) vowed Thursday that as president she would read the names of transgender victims of violence in the White House Rose Garden every year.

      “Here’s a promise I made: I will go to the Rose Garden once every year to read the names of transgender women, of people of color, who have been killed in the past year,” Warren said during the PBS News Hour/Politico debate in Los Angeles.

  27. Wukchumni

    One Drought and One Volcanic Eruption Influenced the History of China: The Late Ming Dynasty Mega‐drought Geophysical Research Letters

    Megadroughts over eastern China are usually caused by the weakening of East Asian summer monsoon

    This is precisely what’s happening in Arizona, the last couple of monsoon seasons have been a bust, and our last winter of missed content is advancing more rapidly into drought in just one year than I can remember. And erupting volcanoes have played no part, yet.

    If our recent 5 year drought had gone a couple more years-as in the length of the Ming Dynasty drought, California would’ve rapidly emptied out, but a 7 year drought here is small potatoes in the historical scheme of things, as we’ve had ones lasting over 2 centuries in the past, all recorded in the tree rings of Giant Sequoias that survived the epochs.

  28. .Tom

    > Xinhua: U.S., Britain record worst anti-pandemic performance: poll

    It excerpts (afaict) from this Pew research

    It has an appendix with a Classifying parties as populist section that has a kind of hilarious political logic. Pew reviews what experts say is the meaning of populist, who agree it usually involves high levels of anti-elitism. Since pro-/anti-elite orientations are pretty much congruent with pro-/anti-expert orientations, Pew is asking members of one political class that they identify (experts) to label and define the political class of those who dislike them.

  29. Lil'D

    I suppose Woody Allen is quasi cancelled, but

    “More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.”

    Used to be funny. But I suppose a lot of humor is unexpected pain of truth.

  30. DJG

    We Don’t Know How to Warn You Any Harder. America is Dying. Umair Haque

    This article has received much comment upthread. Some take it as a warning, and some take it is panicky shouting (although he may be Cassandra shouting into the wind). Also, I note a couple of good comments from our esteemed colleague Plutonium Kun. Specifically, the comments are about what Biden is doing to show that he is in favor of change, how Biden should appeal to younger voters, and the general sturdiness of U.S. institutions.

    Here is a synthesis that I’m putting out there:

    U.S. institutions aren’t in a state of collapse. They are designed not to work all that well, and they have met the challenge–they aren’t working all that well. Power in the U.S.A. is split to the point of ineffectiveness–even a small town has a city council, a separate park district (and its board), a school district (and its board), a flood-control district (and its board). Everything is designed to check-and-balance into non-existence.

    Plutonium Kun makes one mistake: The U.S. Democratic Party is not committed to change. I’m seeing this anecdotally among some upper-middle-class white ladies I know. They have no commitment to major changes–many of them are Hillary diehards who believe in that former slogan of “incremental change” and whose main goal in 2020 was to kneecap Bernie Sanders. I am surprised to keep hearing from them how they voted for that put-up job, Buttigieg. So there is no strong pressure within the Democratic Party for change.

    Meanwhile, what I am seeing among Republicans isn’t fascism. What I am seeing is the “ethos” (to use the term loosely) of the Ku Klux Klan, that gift from the South that just keeps on giving. You are aware that the Klan’s choice of subhumans includes blacks, immigrants, Catholics, and Jews.

    The Republican Party may make some (very limited) room for Jews and Catholics (of the ilk of serial-wife-loser Newt Gingrich and of the ilk of the ex-Catholic Pompeo, converted to religious nuttery). And there’s always Rick Santorum.

    But Umair Haque is wrong in the sense that he sees a sea-change. There is no sea-change. What we are seeing is traditional Ku Klux Klan in action–down to the roving bands of white people who think it their divinely ordained task to keep the lesser beings under control.

    I am reminded of the book This Indian Country by Frederick Hoxie, in which he talks about the repeated attempts to dissolve the tribes. He also writes about white people hunting Indians for sport and raping Indian women as a kind of joke. This is part of the eternal “unredeemed” United States.

    And that is where we are, once again. The nation again has lost its virtue. Imagine that.

    Soon the cross-burnings will start again, and we all will know that we have never left the nightmare of U.S. history because it would require too much effort to do so.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      So Dems are kindly old ladies and Repubs are KKK. OK, got it.

      Good luck with your theory of change if those are your mile markers.

      I’d argue that the nation has not lost its virtue, not by a long shot. But we are a gullible lot. When a handsome young black guy comes along and says he’s not just another billionaire errand boy and war monger, we take him at his word.

      I’ll take the Founding Fathers for $100, Alex. They put in place institutions that even repaired the rent torn in the unpleasantness that began in 1861. The torn rent this time is the aristocracy versus everyone else, and the sooner everyone realizes that reality the better. They have all of the heavy artillery but we have all of the numbers.

      So what path is there to that Great Realization? My theory is that one of the subsidiary institutions (parties) needs to be burned to the ground and salt thrown on the ground it was on. This will reveal the remaining institution for what they obviously are: representatives solely of the interests of the aristocracy. I see an outside chance that can happen in 2020 but it’s kind of like buying a great property with a tear-down on it, you’ve got to have the stomach for mud and chaos and destruction before you get the new home you really want.

  31. Sheldon

    “Air Force’s ‘Skyborg’ Robotic Wingman Will Revolutionize How Air Warfare Is Waged—And How Weapons Are Bought”

    Recall the bumper sticker from the 2000s.
    “It’ll be a great day when schools are funded and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber”

    “Belorussian crisis”, the heartrending anecdote of the woman who lived for 37 years with Lukashenko, no problem, but let him offend her gynosensitivities and it’s time to overthrow the dictator. How much you want to bet this has to do with his not cooperating with the New York Banking system, nor acquiescing to the neocons?

    Just another CIA sponsored, humanitarian R2P, intruding on the Russian border. Long line of pretexts:
    “Protecting women in Afghanistan,
    avenging the babies dumped from incubators in Iraq,
    saving homosexuals in Iran,
    saving the Libyan People from a despot,
    working for stability in the Middle East,
    liberating the Venezuelan people,
    supporting the moderate rebels in Syria–“

    how dumb do they think we are?

  32. Wukchumni

    The Next Frontier Investor Amnesia. Real estate.

    Space, the vinyl frontier. These are the voyages of the U.S. Enterprise. Its twenty five-year mission: to explore strange new financial bubbles. To seek out new life in an old metric. To boldly go where no man has gone before!

    For what it’s worth dept:

    Real estate developers in LA in the 1880’s would pin oranges to non citrus trees, in order to make the lots they were selling more attractive, in that boom.

  33. jr

    Re: America is Dying

    I think the author gets a lot of the current dangers correct but fails to connect the whimsical horrors of Trump with the duplicity of the Democrats. As for getting involved, please tell me how because what I see around me is chaos. The protestors, with stated intentions and goals I agree with, are infected with “wokethink”. I think there are issues of fascistic authoritarianism at the top of that ideological camp as well as the Trumpers and Co. It’s changing a lot superficially it seems, lots of women of color on Netflix suddenly, but who can say whats underneath. Two things seem certain: they aren’t making a ton of allies in the white working class and they don’t realize anything they have achieved can be rolled back and then some.

    All of this is framed by COVID, of course.

  34. jr

    Culinary Corner:

    I thought I would pass along a simple recipe and some techniques for the home cook. One if the ideas I want to impart is how scaling back a recipe makes foods you would avoid due to mess etc. much easier.

    Here is a very basic dough recipe:

    3/4 cup AP flour
    1/4 cup H2O
    1/4 tsp sugar
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/3 tsp bakers yeast
    1 tsp oil

    If you are using a wild levain, which I highly recommend, use 2 tsp of it and allow for an 8 hour rise minimum as opposed to 45 minutes with the bakers yeast. I do 8 hours then pop it in the fridge to slow it down till morning. Cold proofing:

    adds a lot to the flavor and structure. Wild yeast bread is also healthier and easier to digest than bakers yeast bread. And as long as you have flour and water, you have yeast:

    This guy gets into it; I just started one in a plastic quart with holes in the lid and fridge it. Feed it weekly and then an hour before use and let it sit out a few to activate. Sourdough bread is somewhat different than wild yeast bread too. The flavor of wild levain bread is phenomenal.

    The point of this is that with the quantity above, everything from mixing to kneading to shaping can be done in a large, even medium mixing bowl. With one hand, I keep my left hand clean up until I shape the dough.( Learning to do things with one hand in cooking saves you a lot of hassle. When you bread, use one hand. That way you wont find yourself touching everything with a breading mitten.)

    No flour all over the place. All he mess is in one or two bowls and a wooden spoon. It literally takes about 7 minutes to make a batch. This will make two smaller but still substantial bagels or one medium one.

    7 minutes to make, double the recipe you have tomorrow too. The more you make at once, for only a little bit more effort, is time you save down the road. Extra goes in the fridge, where the flavor continues to develop, or the freezer.

    2 minutes in a sub boiling, baking soda bath, a minute per side, then into the oven, 475F for 15 or so, watch the crust.

    This morning my GF and I had fresh, scratch bagels that took around 9 minutes to make total. And the house smells heavenly. Two bagels got me less than a dollar, it would be closer to five at the cafe and thats without a topping. Healthier too.

    Would you fry an egg? Then why not a cheese sauce to go with?Many would balk but it’s literally as easy:

    1/4 tsp butter
    1/4 tsp flour

    +Gently+ cook these together until they start to darken slightly and look sandy. I do this step with a med high heat but hold the skillet above the flame. You want to cook the starchy flavor out. If it burns, it’s trash but if it’s just a rich brown thats fine too. Different flavor but still good to eat. To this add a half cup of heavy cream and low the heat to let it thicken a little. Half cup of room temp cheese which does NOT go into the pan until the sauce is nice and thick and the heat is off. Fold it in and gently turn it over. This will literally take you as long as making the egg itself.

    And as always, buy bulk when you can. I got the munchies yesterday, for cheese popcorn. The feather light bag at the store was four dollars. The bag of kernels, about 6 times that of the prepared corn, was also four. I took the kernels. A little oil, salt, a pot and a lid. Again, hold it over the heat.

    But wait, you cry, the cheese!

    Fear not, for I know a secret. It’s those cheese powder packets from mac n cheese boxes. You can dust it onto popcorn, add it to beans or meat for tacos, rehydrate and add to doughs, and can probably just make a cheese sauce with it. It’s handy stuff to have around.

    My enormous bowl of cheese corn, bigger than the four dollar bag, cost me about 75 cents.

    All of this is going to matter, a lot, in the months and years ahead.

  35. skippy

    Trump supporters a contago of angry bumper sticker outrage – movie Falling Down/The Gun that Won[tm] the West – with a side of Messiah complex – ????

    What happens to a nation that’s popular history is fake news and the indoctrinated fight tooth and nail to preserve it …

        1. skippy

          Look on the bright side … the DNC is the enlightened ones because they embraced the market as an agent of social change … now the machine is rusted on thingy … where Greens are usurpers of the true faith … and Sanders is just a faint echo of a brief bygone era … commie free market Eisenhower – pre monetized reality …

          Meanwhile I’m living in one of the places on earth where no one is wearing masks due to early policies and my rather large black German Shepard insists on playing ball whilst I type too you … heck of a world Sir …

  36. Mummichog

    “FDA Chief Promises Transparency for Covid-19 Vaccine Review Bloomberg”

    Since three, if not more, of the major vaccine developers have criminal convictions and civil settlements against them, will this review be more rigorous than it would be if there were no convictions? For convicted humans, they are put on parole, supervised, their lives scrutinized, etc. Employment and the ability to enter into contracts are severely impacted by having a criminal record.

    Any curious gumshoe, for starters, would ask this question: did any of the humans involved in this vaccine development have any role in the past criminal convictions or civil settlements against these vaccine developers? Many, many other questions arise and when dealing with criminals there is a higher standard of due diligence which must be met; anything else is negligence.

    To date, I have seen no evidence that the “scientists” have any interest in the past illegal histories of their partners which they must realize calls the quality of their science into very legitimate question.

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