Links 9/23/2020

More Synthetic Microfibers Now End up on Land Than in Water TreeHugger

“Fungi Can Teach Us a New Way of Looking at the World” Der Spiegel

A History Of Wheat American Conservative

Facebook suspends environmental groups despite vow to fight misinformation Guardian

What the OAS Did to Bolivia Counterpunch

Instagram model who poses as Catwoman jailed for masked robberies New York Post. Meow.

Shoppers search for a final bargain as the city’s most famous discount retailer closes FT

How coral transplants could rescue Turkey’s threatened reefs Guardian

Avoiding a Climate Lockdown Mariana Mazzucato

Advertisers strike deal with Facebook and YouTube on harmful content FT

Moody’s downgrades Kuwait on liquidity squeeze, weak governance Economic Times

RIP Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Romney backs vote on Supreme Court nominee, clearing way for Trump Politico

Fact check: Trump baselessly claims Democratic politicians wrote Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dying wish CNN

End the Poisonous Process of Picking Supreme Court Justices NYT. Guido Calabresi

#COVID-19

Nearly 200,000 deaths, millions of ripples. Each covid-19 fatality shifts attitudes about the virus. WaPo

More than 150 nations join global coronavirus vaccine plan, but US and China absent SCMP

FDA to announce tougher standards for a coronavirus vaccine that make approval by Election Day unlikelyb WaPo

COVID-19: US passes ‘unfathomable’ 200,000 death toll Al Jazzera

Coronavirus: Fans may not be able to return to sporting events until at least end of March BBC

CDC guidelines urge families to avoid trick-or-treating this Halloween CBS 880

The Road Ahead: Charting the coronavirus pandemic over the next 12 months — and beyond Stat

COVID ‘firepower’: Britain imposes six-month curbs against second wave Reuters

House Approves Short-Term Bill to Avoid a Shutdown NYT

Nearly 9 million people didn’t get stimulus payments. A GAO report asks why the IRS isn’t doing more to help. WaPo

A city in Brazil where covid-19 ran amok may be a ‘sentinel’ for the rest of the world
So many people have gotten sick in Manaus that researchers say the virus is running out of people to infect. MIT Technology Review

Walmart experiments with using drones to deliver COVID-19 self-test kits CNET

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

Despite Denials, LAPD Reportedly Used Facial Recognition Nearly 30,000 Times Since 2009 NBC 4

Judge rules Snowden to give up millions from book, speeches The Hill

Class Warfare

CIA’s new tech recruiting pitch: More patents, more profits MIT Technology Review

Big Pharma’s Covid-19 Profiteers Rollin Stone. Matt Taibbi. From last month still germane.

Elon Musk Shows the Germans How to Move Quickly Der Spiegel God, not the Germans to, drinking the Kool-Aid. Musk must have a boffo PR team.


China?

US vs China: two new world orders on display as the UN turns 75, with Xi calling for collaboration and Trump slamming Beijing for coronavirus pandemic SCMP

Trump’s tick is louder than his tock Asia Times

China-Australia trade ties remain strong for some businesses despite worsening political relations SCMP

India

India, China say won’t send more troops to Ladakh frontlines, agree to avoid misunderstandings The Print

Why India farm reforms have sparked protests BBC

How and Why Gilgit Baltistan Defied Maharaja Hari Singh and Joined Pakistan The Wire

2020

Just posted: I wrote in @thenation about progressive Democrats who want Biden to win but are worried about his foreign policy advisers, many of them with a direct role in the military industrial complex. That’s a big issue for Muslim Americans, too. https://t.co/24ik9sPujz

— ‘I just want you to know I can see thru your mask’ (@TimothyS) September 21, 2020

Trump Transition

Woodward: Historians examining the Trump era will ask ‘What the F happened to America?’ The Hill

Did Trump really spoil America’s Asia alliances? Asia Times

Trump administration asks court to act quickly on census appeal Scotusblog

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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207 comments

    1. Judith

      I am just finishing Merlin Sheldrake’s book and I recommend it highly. (Much more interesting than presidential elections.)

      Reply
    2. zagonostra

      Yes, great article…contrast below ending quote in the article with Margaret Thatcher’s assertion that “society does not exist, just the individual does”…if only the ruling elites would take some psilocybin containing mushrooms.

      Sheldrake: Yes, I look at the world differently. I have realized that the idea of the individual as a biological unit is in question. The individual is not a clear, clean category. It’s more of an assumption than a fact.

      Reply
      1. Bruno

        Is Merlin the son of Rupert? Bet he is. Heredity counts. Greta Thornberg is the great-granddaughter of Svente Arrhenius. And that’s a lovely picture of amanita muscaria (aka Baal Zevuv, or “Beelzebub.”)

        Reply
      2. caucus99percenter

        I conclude that everyone, not just royalty or newspaper editors, may now justifiably refer to themselves in the plural first person — “we.” And I bet a solid majority of my microbiome agrees.

        Reply
      3. Dan

        Lynn Margulis was a real trend-setter in this area with her early argument that instead of individuals we should think of most organisms as holobionts (“A holobiont is an assemblage of a host and the many other species living in or around it, which together form a discrete ecological unit. The components of a holobiont are individual species or bionts, while the combined genome of all bionts is the hologenome”). This, as far as I can tell, is essentially where evolutionary sciences have gone–especially ecological developmental evolutionary biology and microbiology–even if their are a few neo-Darwinian fundamentalists still kicking around (the amusing thing, for example, about watching someone like Dawkins debate with creation/evolution with some Christian fundamentalists is that *both* parties are representing outdated conceptions–the form of Christianity that was influential in the early modern period, the form of science that was influential at the same time–without realizing that they’re a couple of dinosaurs fighting, unaware that they are both extinct). Sheldrake’s work is a good popularization of some of this stuff, especially as it pertains to fungi (which, admittedly are absolutely incredible and, should we annihilate the earth in a nuclear disaster, it will be the radiotrophic fungi who end up becoming the foundation of all the multitudes of life that will arise afterwards–in other words, if we nuke the world, in 500 million years the fungi-based life forms may look back at us and say, too bad for the tigers and stuff, but hooray for us, just as we look back to when the cyanobacteria oxygenated the atmosphere–and annihilated anoxic lifeforms that dominated at that time–and then created the environment that hosts all the forms of life we know and love). But it goes on all over the place. Microbiology–especially studies of our microbiome and ecoimmunology–really drives this home. Even virology is learning that, more and more, viruses actually contributed to life in really positive ways. So, much as we used to think bacteria was all bad but then learned that it is almost all good, what matters is how it is balanced with other forms of life, so we are learning the same lessons now with viruses (even if mainstream virology refuses to officially viruses a life form). Really, at the end of the day, what is an “organism” and what is “an environment” depends on where you create boundaries and how much you zoom in or out. I am an ecosystem with consciousness. I tend to think that other ecosystems that resemble me also have consciousness. But, from the perspective of other ecosystems–a forest, a lake, a planet, a cosmos–perhaps different conclusions are drawn.

        Reply
  1. Krystyn Podgajski

    RE: More Synthetic Microfibers Now End up on Land Than in Water

    When ever I am re-reminded about this I get so depressed. Do you know how hard it is to find all cotton clothing these days? I cannot even find a new cotton T Shirt because they want to add synthetics to them for some rea$on. The same is true with jeans. And when I do I have to pay such a higher price because I am charged not for the cost, but I am charged for the appearance of being “environmental”.

    This is a problem that no one wants to fix. Not the producers or the consumers nor the politicians. We cannot even get on the same page when threatened by a pandemic never mind the subtle threat of microplastics.

    No one wants to sacrifice. Everyone loves Christ but no one wants to follow him.

    Reply
    1. shtove

      Or everyone wants a Second Coming, with vengeance and violence. His first incarnation was underwhelming – unAmerican, if you will.

      Reply
      1. Samuel Conner

        Amusingly, I think that in future one will see increasing appreciation of the idea that the “2nd coming” texts in the New Testament have in view imminent “this generation” events surrounding the coming war with Rome and the AD70 destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple.

        James Stuart Russell first advocated this view, which has come to be called “Preterist,” in the late 1800s in a book called “The Parousia”. It’s a view that is increasingly respectable in academic study of the New Testament.

        Heads will explode at the idea that Jesus returned with wrath and vengeance already, in the late 1st Century AD.

        What will these churches use to control their members if they don’t have the threat of being “left behind”?

        Reply
        1. H

          Luke 21.32:
          “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.”

          Matthew 16.28:
          “Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.”

          Mark 9.1:
          -“And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.”

          After describing the second coming.

          The 3 most ignored verses in the Bible.
          I’ve even heard them say the Devil himself put these verses in it.

          Reply
    2. ObjectiveFunction

      Here in the tropics, any kind of elastic or stretchy fabric disintegrates within 1-2 years. So my jeans have become baggy while my undershirts have that Wham! MTV video look. CHOOSE LIFE

      Reply
      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Somewhere a million people under the Woke Yoke cried out in pain…because if they choose natural fibers they are Choosing Life lol

        Reply
    3. jef

      Oregon alone has nearly a half million acres of grass seed fields for what?

      Each acre of HEMP can yield up to 3 tons of fiber.

      “Hemp fabric is deliciously soft on the skin, and is known for growing softer with each wear. Hemp is naturally resistant to bacteria and provides natural UV protection. That means it protects your skin, and retains color better than other fabrics.”

      https://ministryofhemp.com/blog/hemp-fabric/

      By the way we have known this for over a hundred years and probably thousands.

      Reply
      1. furies

        I worked retail at a store called “The Hemp COnnection” with a big ol’ marijuana leaf sign in lovely (not) downtown Garberville. The heart of the “Emerald Triangle”.

        Besides selling bongs and rolling papers they featured hemp clothing, fabric and paper. After 34 years of Marijuana Dizneyland I was fully saturated and so so over the culture, which dominated so much so that every event, program, classes…were about dope.

        I was and am a textile artist. My favorite part of the job was the textiles…I bought many items made of hemp–backpacks, luggage, skirts, Ts etc etc and I noticed that my hemp clothing do not get stinky like cotton does. So I speculate there’s some anti-microbial action going on…and my 9 year old backpack still endures after daily use; looks good as new.

        Henry Ford made car bodies out of plasticized hemp.

        Free the weed!

        Reply
        1. H

          Only hemp jeans I have found are 50% poly blend & $80 to $100 or more online. Reg store brand all cotton denim jeans less than $15. Where is all the hemp going?

          Reply
    4. Moe Knows

      Which is to love each other, everyday or not. I try. Hmm, I get 95% cotton t-shirts, the other 5% silk adds with durability. But, you know there is a market for such shirts.

      Reply
  2. allan

    Protesters report menstrual changes after tear gas exposure [WXXI]
    Surely impossible. The manufacturer assures us that it’s safe and effective when used as directed.
    And besides, anecdote is not the singular of data … oh wait, what did you say …

    … It’s not only Rochester protesters who are reporting menstrual irregularities.

    Activists in Minneapolis and Portland, Oregon have also said they had similar symptoms. …

    Reply
  3. timbers

    Regarding: Why Biden is stiff-arming the left on court-packing and the filibuster Politico

    During a speech in Philadelphia on Sunday, rather than threatening retaliation with changes to the Senate and Supreme Court, Biden pitched himself as the voice of calm between two parties locked in a procedural arms race.

    “Action and reaction, anger and more anger, sorrow and frustration at the way things are in this country now politically,” Biden said. “That’s the cycle that Republican senators will continue to perpetuate if they go down this dangerous path that they put us on. We need to de-escalate, not escalate. That’s why I appeal to those few Senate Republicans, the handful who really will decide what happens. Please, follow your conscience. Don’t vote to confirm anyone nominated under the circumstances President Trump and Senator McConnell have created. Don’t go there.”

    Kudos to Biden for not plagiarizing this time by using new and different words to arrive at the same meaning.

    But gee, that sounds like 8 years of familiarity to me. And what is this about a procedural arms race? Team Red doesn’t care one bit about procedure. As the slogan says “Just do it.”

    Been down that street, seen that movie. No interest in doing it again when the other side again shows zero indication of any compromise on any front in any way.

    Blow the system – the “procedures” – up. Like maybe when Dems rule, shirk not expand the court – to three. Terminate the 6 Team Blue so chooses. (Just a suggstion to get the brain cells working).

    .

    Reply
    1. Lee

      Opting for weak sauce instead of red meat, he’s intent on not spooking the suburblicans with the prospect of something closer to majority representation and rule. Can’t have that.

      Reply
    2. John Beech

      Interesting how Team Red didn’t advocate court packing when the leftward tilt of the court gave them Roe. Team Blue has been happy enough to have their boot on the necks of Americans who view abortion as murder yet the moment the status quo is threatened, then it’s . . . “Let’s change the rules!”

      Reply
      1. Adam

        I prefer not to live in a Christian religious dictatorship, and ‘your team’ has shown a willingness to do anything to acquire and keep power including changing the rules by fiat when necessary.

        Reply
        1. Adam Eran

          Actual Christianity prominently features “love your enemy” and compassion literally thousands of times more than “no abortions, ever.” Rev. Barber calls the evangelicals who simply focus on abortion and the gays, practitioners of “theological malpractice” in light of this.

          Meanwhile, prohibition doesn’t work. The Dutch legalized abortion (and everything up to and including prostitution) and had fewer abortions than the Irish (no abortions ever!…until more recently). Prohibition also betrays Jesus’ basic message: “By their fruits shall you know [they are my genuine followers]” Results matter to Jesus.

          And the cynicism of the right in connection with this knows no bounds. Jerry Falwell, for one, was very pro-abortion when he thought it might reduce the family sizes for people of color. When his right-wing masters gave him marching orders to oppose it, he conveniently switched sides.

          Jesus has a phrase describing the whole thing: “Straining at a gnat, while swallowing a camel.” (Matthew 23)

          Reply
          1. Adam

            Are there plenty of reasonable Christians who get along with their neighbors? Sure! But that is never enough for many true believers who wish to enshrine their requirements/laws/needs above everyone else’s and that is when the trouble starts.

            Reply
      2. marym

        Congrats on finding an example regarding SC nominations where Republicans didn’t change the rules!!! though there are many groups on the necks of whom “social conservatives” do favor and, with or without Dem complicity, succeed in placing the boot.

        Anti-abortion has been an electoral bonanza for Republicans. They’ve used the results at the state level to subjugate women to a huge extent already, while working to fill the judiciary at all levels with people who will preserve the fetus (in a very narrow definition that doesn’t include maternal healthcare, nutrition, etc.) and, just coincidentally (/s) support every other aspect of a right wing agenda. They played a long game.

        Reply
        1. km

          In 1976, Jimmy Carter attracted a lot of the nascent pro-life movement’s vote.

          For that matter, Jesse Jackson had some choice words condemning abortion, before the issue became a part of Team D orthodoxy.

          Reply
      3. Brooklin Bridge

        Both “teams” seem to take great pleasure in killing our children with every sort of unnecessary adversity man can create, but that of brutal poverty most of all. Team “Red” simply prefers the kill after children are born, mostly for reasons of ideological team building and general propaganda. Given their behavior in everything worldly, to accuse them of any spiritual advantage or simply advantage in moral values is deeply insulting to the truth. Begs credulity would be a euphemism.

        That said, it does appear the “Reds” are slightly less hypocritical when it comes to the pleasure derived from making moral judgements and self flattering comparisons with the impoverished victims of their own cupidity.

        Reply
      4. Jessica

        Team Red didn’t advocate court packing because Team Blue had large majorities in both houses of Congress for a prolonged period of time.

        Reply
      5. Procopius

        Back then, there was no Team Red and Team Blue. Nixon was our last progressive President. The terms Red and Blue weren’t even used then. Also, there were still creatures known as “moderate Republicans.” Those no longer exist. We now have “centrist Democrats.”

        Reply
        1. pasha

          i collect old campaign signs, and over the last 30 years the color attribution switched. dems signs used to favor red, the repubs blue (borrowed, i think, from labour and tories).

          Reply
  4. WobblyTelomeres

    “Folks don’t want to see how the sausage is made. Folks don’t think they know how to make the sausage. Folks like to think that electing people who know how the sausage is made and who have extensive experience actually making sausage are the best candidates. I mean, look at him, folks, and see what happens when we elect someone who has never made sausage in his life.”

    [Biden steps forward like Al Haig on the Whie House steps]

    “I AM THE SAUSAGE!”

    Reply
  5. tongorad

    Woodward with the TDS pearl-clutching. It is exactly these kinds of hysterical “history began at 2016” reactions that fuel Trump’s supporters.
    Bush 2 was worse than Trump by a factor of 10, not to mention that Bush’s presidency is Clinton’s legacy, just as Trump is Obama’s legacy.

    Reply
    1. The Historian

      “Bush 2 was worse than Trump by a factor of 10…..” so therefore, we should be willing to tolerate bad presidents so long as they aren’t as bad as Bush? I hate that kind of apologetics that keeps us willing to accept the bad behaviors of politicians because of whataboutism.

      Yes, we should have done something about Bush, but we didn’t. Shame on us! But that doesn’t mean we have to continue to accept bad presidents and the damage they are doing to this country. If that refusal starts with Trump, so be it!

      If you wish to define me with the cheap label of TDS because I refuse to put up with whataboutism any more, so be that too!

      Reply
      1. hunkerdown

        We shouldn’t tolerate parties that welcome the 10x baddie in as an icon, even a mascot, for what and who they really are. I am not an employee of the Party and I have no legitimate duty or obligation to the middle class.

        Really, we shouldn’t tolerate a burgher class at all, but I already know you disagree on that.

        Reply
        1. The Historian

          “Really, we shouldn’t tolerate a burgher class at all, but I already know you disagree on that.”

          ?????
          Where did you ever get that from my posts?

          Or are you making an assumption because I am not going to vote for Trump? You do know what they say about assumptions, I presume.

          Reply
        1. The Historian

          Sadly no. This country is going down a very bad path and Biden isn’t going to stop it. But he will lead us down that path at a slower rate – maybe give us more time to get more progressives elected. If we are not going to have a third party, then we need time to change the Democratic Party from within.

          Reply
          1. Donald

            I think that’s about right. My analogy is that the Republicans drive us towards the cliff edge at 60 mph, while the Democrats want to slow it down to 30.

            I vote lesser evil, but don’t vote shame people who don’t. I think they are mistaken, but there are no good solutions afaik. The problem with lesser evil voting is that it gives no incentive for politicians to move left. Quite the opposite— they go chasing the right.

            Reply
          2. Acacia

            “… to change the Democrat party from within”… sounds like hopium to me.

            How did that work out after eight years of “we tortured some folk” Obama?

            Reply
          3. km

            “I’m voting National Socialist, but my plan is to join the Nazis and change the party from within!”

            Beyond a certain point, any institution becomes de facto unreformable. This follows from The Iron Law of Institutions.

            Reply
          4. tegnost

            Disagree about the slower rate. Screeching Russia Russia Russia slowed down the freight train heading towards the cliff. When Biden gets in it will be full steam ahead. Thats why I say Biden 2020, he’ll crash it faster. All the momentum of the globalist war mongering dems (lets call them what they are, imo historians won’t be baffled by trump, they’ll be baffled by the democrats inability to respond to their base of voters, choosing instead to lecture and bloviate but trump when they’re obviously just as venal but in a more PMC friendly manner) was brought to a screeching halt in 2016. They plan to get right back up on that horse.

            Reply
          5. CarlH

            During my lifetime it seems the left goes into a narcotic like sleep when a Dem assumes the Presidency. In this case when I say left I am mostly talking about liberals, not true leftys.

            Reply
      2. Milton

        Can you honestly say that a H Clinton presidency would have resulted in fewer Covid deaths? I’m definitely not certain of that. But I do know that the imperial state would have run roughshod with less resistance than under Trump. That I am certain.
        So bottom line – a Biden presidency is no less evil than a Trump presidency and in many ways much more so. So, its not about “whataboutism”, but about the continued trajectory towards oblivion this country is heading. Sometimes you have to say ENOUGH! and refuse to play the elites game and not participate in this quadrennial charade.

        Reply
        1. anon in so cal

          A Biden presidency is terrifying.

          A bigger military budget, “protect Idlib, Syria,” move NATO eastward, more weapons to Ukraine, etc.

          Michele Fluornoy in a position of power? (1997 Quadrennial Defense Review aka ideological foundation for endless wars… the US would not be bound by UN Charter prohibition against threat/use of military force).

          Reply
          1. tegnost

            don’t worry, I’m sure all those work from home PMC’s are signing their kids up for military service right now to enforce the world order /s

            Reply
          2. neo-realist

            You’d get just as big a military budget with Trump, arguably bigger (55% of the federal budget is to go to the pentagon according to his FY 2021 budget). At least Biden wants to go back to the nuclear deal. Trump broke it and just a few days ago, a carrier strike group and missile carrying cruisers passed through the Strait of Hormuz, presumably to enforce the sanctions. Looking for a false flag? The administration will also be selling large air to ground weapon systems to Taiwan, systems capable of hitting inland Chinese cities. Poking Beijing ever more into waging war with Taiwan, and potentially by extension with us.

            While Trump hasn’t started a war (yet?), he’s creating the conditions for war.

            With covid-19 and the strong possibilities of war, maybe MAGA really means more americans get annihilated?

            Reply
        2. Pookah Harvey

          With the frequency of potential pandemics rising the probability of one occurring in the next 4 years is pretty high. I can’t wait for Jared to get a second shot at leading a response. How about you?

          Reply
            1. Pookah Harvey

              The reality is it will be Trump or Biden. The vote for progressives should be for harm reduction not a leader. That is the discussion we need to have.

              Reply
              1. hunkerdown

                It’s Trump or Harris, you mean. Trump can be pushed somewhat by his vanity. Harris, and most Democrats (no, you’re just a voter, stop thinking above your station) relish selectively being immovable and cruel to their inferiors.

                Reply
              2. notabanker

                The way I see it, the US is in a death spiral and American’s, of which I am one, are hosed either way.
                Trump is oblivious to it and is going to pretend the problem doesn’t exist and continue to bumble along creating more internal division, including brushing off the military industrial complex.
                Biden / Harris are well aware of it, and are also going to pretend the problem doesn’t exist, whilst looking for a distraction to shift the blame on anything but capitalism. If you are going to crash and burn, why not go out with a bang, Russia, Russia, Russia, because it can’t be, you know, us.

                Harm reduction, lol.

                Reply
      3. JTMcPhee

        Guess what? It doesn’t matter what position you or I or most of us stake out. It’s a small club and we ain’t in it. Being a singular warrior for team blue’s “he’s not Trump” won’t result in any change for the better for the huddled masses or the planet.

        Reply
        1. John Wright

          Here is a list of the menu of US Presidential and VP candidates from 2000 onward.

          Bush-Cheney vs Gore-Lieberman
          Bush-Cheney vs Kerry-Edwards
          Obama-Biden vs McCain-Palin
          Obama-Biden vs Romney-Ryan
          Trump-Pence vs Clinton-Kaine
          Trump-Pence vs Biden-Harris

          Neither party has provided much of a choice.

          In my view, the absolute pick of the litter is Al Gore and he would have brought Joe Lieberman a heart-beat away from the presidency.

          The President is certainly important, but when 77 out 100 US Senators voted to give George W. Bush the “blank check” to start the Iraq War it is an indication, to me, that the focus on who is President is misplaced.

          If the US political system cannot compensate for a well-characterized reality show actor-pro wrestler-con man’s bad leadership (or the misdeeds of a legacy Bush Jr.) , then the political rot and media rot in the US is very deep.

          The assumption that installing the Harris-Biden administration will make much of a positive difference, given overall US politics and media, is not at all clear to me.

          The Democrats may be even worse in foreign affairs pushing even more military actions to “bring democracy” overseas supported by all the Democratic humanitarian hawks and CIA/NSA Democrats.

          Reply
    2. Off The Street

      Woodward is another fossil whose best years were decades ago. He, Bernstein and a host of other superannuated, or superirrelevanted, pundits should just do the dignified thing and go retire quietly somewhere. That is about relevance and awareness, not age.

      On another note, how much would you love to see Matt Stoller grilling senators and getting them to answer substantive questions instead of the current dysfunctional kabuki?

      Reply
      1. Tomonthebeach

        Matt makes a great point. By focusing on abortion – which might never change anyway, Dems are missing why the GOP wants to pack the court with conservatives. “Follow the money” as W&B used to say. Megamonopolies are a far bigger threat to democracy (Citizens United) than abortion rights. Fix democracy and you likely fix women’s reproductive rights.

        Reply
        1. hunkerdown

          Fix the economy for everyone, and you fix a broad panoply of social ills including a lack of democracy. That’s exactly why they don’t. “Institutions try to preserve the problem to which they style themselves the solution.” -Clay Shirky

          Reply
    3. The Rev Kev

      You have to feel sorry for Woodward. The poor guy found himself in a terrible dilemma earlier this year. In February he got it from the horse’s mouth exactly how infection Coronavirus was. So what to do? Give out a general warning that may have saved at a minimum thousands of American lives OR keep mum about it and wait until September when he can put it in his book which he will use to campaign personally against Trump with. What is a responsible journalist supposed to do? ‘Deep Throat’ was asked for a comment about what Woodward did but what he said sounded more like it came from ‘Potty Mouth.’

      Reply
      1. a different chris

        >What is a responsible journalist supposed to do?

        I was following you until there. What does “responsible journalist” have to do with Woodward? ROTFLMAO

        Reply
      1. JTMcPhee

        Ah, but those statistics do not embrace “people who count,” for us exceptions they are “not real humans.” Just like the millions of “deaths from despair” in the Homeland are also “not real humans.” Many of those deaths of despair are laid to policies carried forward for eight years by Saint Obama.

        Reply
  6. bmeisen

    What about Airbus’s announcement of plans to produce hydrogen-powered aircraft? For passenger service by 2035. Hydrogen fuel-cell propulsion appears to be dueling still with hydrogen combustion. The hydrogen combustion model would allow airlines to continue to offer high-speed transport while the fuel-cell model would slow everything down dramatically, wouldn’t it?

    Reply
    1. Yik Wong

      Hydrogen is a clean fuel, emitting only steam, but whether it is green depends on the carbon footprint of the fuels used to produce it.

      Hydrogen makes a fine fuel rockets, particularly satellite launchers for geocentric orbit as it gives higher exhaust velocity (but less launch energy). Ignoring safety issues, and they are big (like hydrogen imbrittles metal and composite fiber) even Cryogenic Hydrogen has a low energy density, so only (very) short hauls or low freight/passenger density. Which is why turboprops are first in line if they ever get there. I see this more as a stabilizing propaganda, giving government investors in Airbus political cover. In systems of systems things get so complicated it’s really easy to fob off laymen.

      Reply
      1. Bruno

        The proper use of hydrogen fuel cells is to power *lighter than air* vehicules–airships! Yes, slower is better, much better.

        Reply
    2. hunkerdown

      Le Hindenbus! Maybe they’ll make a better job of it than the Germans did.

      A commenter on the Nikola article from yesterday had an interesting theory: battery EVs are entirely too appealing, as far as spurned hydrocarbon interests are concerned. The MOTU including Blackstone wish to pull the system toward hydrogen instead, to preserve the virtual system and physical plant by which broadly essential energetic substances are delivered to every street corner, and the book value, revenue and authority that their insinuation into a major nexus of economic life provides them.

      Reply
      1. RMO

        Long distance air travel is the only field in which I can see a possible use of hydrogen technology. This is because of the amount of energy it can potentially contain for a given volume and weight. In ever other application the losses inherent in making, transporting, storing and finally converting the hydrogen to propulsive use make it unattractive compared to battery power.

        Of course, in order to make that hydrogen in a way that actually reduces CO2 emissions it also would require a large investment in renewable powered plants that produce the hydrogen from water. Right now almost all hydrogen is made by steam reformation of fossil fuels so about the only thing any of the fuel cell vehicles is doing at the present is reducing direct emissions into the local environment – though the greater efficiency over an ICE engine could also see some gains on overall CO2 emissions depending on the vehicle it is being compared to.

        Reply
    3. Glen

      Lockheed did extensive research on hydrogen powered aircraft in the late 50’s while researching a replacement for the U-2. They eventually went back to kerosene for the SR-71 (A-12). Reason being, the energy density of hydrogen is extremely low, and the airplanes looked like flying natural gas tanks, and could not fly very far:

      Lockheed CL-400 Suntan
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_CL-400_Suntan

      It would be interesting to see progress. Here are two good series on the subject:

      Bjorn’s Corner: The challenges of Hydrogen. Part 9. Hydrogen Gas Turbines
      https://leehamnews.com/2020/09/18/bjorns-corner-the-challenges-of-hydrogen-part-9-hydrogen-gas-turbines/

      Bjorn’s Corner: Electric aircraft, Part 5
      https://leehamnews.com/2017/07/28/bjorns-corner-electric-aircraft-part-5/

      Reply
  7. Stephen V.

    Re: GAO trying to shame IRS. In my experience, IRS never fully recovered from the shutdown–over 1.5 years ago. I have cases that have languished since then.
    IRS recently announced that no $tim payments unless you file 2018 by Oct. 15th. A tad draconian in the current situation?

    Reply
      1. Noone from Nowheresville

        Net receiver requires that one look at the entire global resource pool and see exactly how it is divided.

        As far as CARES Act is concerned, the transfer allotted to the bottom via one time cash payment & extra dollars for unemployment insurance if one qualified and could get through the under-funded state systems, was minor in comparison to the other goodies handed out.

        But I do think it’s a worthy goal. One that more should aspire to since the who pays for whom is a major part of the political game play. (ETA: Downward as opposed to upward where the true game is played.)

        So where should we start and what accounting method should we use as far as the CARES Act is concerned to determine who the net receivers are?

        Reply
  8. jr

    Re: Musk und Boden

    “ He is adored by his followers because, as an entrepreneur, he refuses to accept any limits.”

    How could anyone write this who claims to be a serious writer? I’m assuming writing for “Der Spiegel” is considered a serious writing job. Really, no entrepreneurs accept limits? Legal limits? Ethical limits? Age limits? And billionaires having adoring followers should be chilling if you think about it for half a second. Unless you are one of those followers. The fact that this breathless line came only a paragraph after a resident of the town expresses concerns for the environmental impact of a Tesla factory is a crude way of stacking the deck against those concerns in the rest of the article.

    “ But reality has long since overtaken that idea: Tesla is now worth five times as much as Volkswagen on the stock exchange.”

    Ok, but then I found this:

    https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/why-tesla-shares-skyrocketed-in-august-2020-09-06

    which says the shares skyrocketed because they split the share into fifths or something, making them more affordable to more investors. But that’s just a kind of gimmick no? It doesn’t speak to long term value. “ridiculously high valuation…”

    The rest of the article is just a standard neo-lib lapdog saliva spray of blithely dismissing the concerns of anyone but the powerful and wealthy. This writer is a hack.

    Reply
    1. a different chris

      >of blithely dismissing the concerns of anyone but the powerful and wealthy.

      Well to be fair, can you point to anywhere the non-powerful/non-wealthy people’s concerns matter in this day and age?

      The gay mainstreaming was successful, I dare say, because there were a lot of successful white males that came out of the closet. Unlike minorities and women, they had been able to infiltrate the halls of power beforehand.

      Reply
      1. Michael Fiorillo

        Yes, and it didn’t cost anyone a penny; if anything, it opened up new markets and made available new “human capital” for deployment.

        Meanwhile, a fifty-cents-an-hour raise in a machine shop generates WWIII…

        Reply
        1. cnchal

          Me. Hey boss, can I have a raise?

          Boss. I heard you broke a tap. I haven’t broken a tap in twelve years.

          Me. You have been sitting on your ass for twelve years and haven’t touched a tap since then. How abouit a raise?

          Boss. Get out of my office.

          Or this one.

          Me. Hey boss, can I have a raise?

          Boss. No I don’t have the money.

          On Monday there is a new Porsche 928 in his parking spot.

          I fired them all.

          Reply
      2. jr

        Well I had to finish the comment somehow! I can’t help it if tragedy is cliche’…

        “gay mainstreaming”

        Agreed. The proverbial “seat at the table” of power. I know a number of youngish queer people, late 20’s, early 30’s. They most all seem to look up to any queer media or political icon as heroes to be emulated, by their talk and high volume media consumption choices. No talk of meat and potatoes issues like health care or free higher ed, it’s all identity all the time. These people made it, ergo I can. The lines between politics and celebrity seem to blend and the status quo stays intact.

        To be fair, this was all before COVID. I wonder how they are viewing things these days. Probably all hyped up for Harris because identity.

        Reply
        1. rl

          Selection bias has a hand there.

          There are deep divides among (Western) “queer” people precisely over identity politics, especially among younger gay (i.e. homosexual) men and women who are—to say the least—put off by the (no longer even thinly-veiled, e.g. “cotton ceiling,” “boxer ceiling”) implications of the “queering” of absolutely everything under the sun … largely by heterosexual academics in pursuit of transgressive theory credentials.

          Little note is made of these divisions because (a) the political platforms and the media, including “alternative media,” are (knowingly or not) generally in lockstep with the new “identitarian” framing of sexuality and gender, courtesy of the Queer academy; and (b) “gender-critical” LGB fora (“platforms” for “TERFs” and “TEHMs,” cry the initiated!) are suppressed with specific and increasing vigor. This summer, for example, Reddit permabanned longstanding and increasingly popular subreddits r/GenderCritical, r/GenderCriticalGuys, and r/LGBdroptheT, without warning, over the course of a single week.

          Meanwhile: Breakaway organizations like the UK’s LGB Alliance are defamed or “questioned” when they aren’t ignored, and a cofounder of Stonewall, Simon Fanshawe, provoked an uproar last year by voicing his concerns about the new direction that organization has taken in recent years.

          On a personal level, I don’t know a single gay man under the age of 30 who, for instance, didn’t see through Pete Buttigieg from the day his campaign was announced. Most of these young(er) men are about as politically invested as the general public in their country and/or state of residence: California gays average more identity-liberal or fakeleft; Georgia gays tend to be more conservative issue-by-issue; etc. And I know many gay men and lesbians who consider themselves politically homeless, who have no attachment to “the community” and generally just live their gay lives and receive their gay wages without … (gasp!) … attending the meetings.

          I’ve observed that, aside from heterosexuals self-IDing as homosexuals of the opposite sex, those who are most invested in the Queer spectacle tend to be (a) heterosexual white women and (b) bisexuals. In general, more and more gay people are exiting left politics every day, precisely because actually-existing left politics has obviously discarded them (for being too “normative”!). Those that remain, jr, are with few exceptions just those who’ve acquired the taste for Kool-Aid, or else the stomach for it (example: Nathan J. Robinson).

          But the real point of all of this is: What has happened to gay politics, and by extension to what once really was a gay community (again, in the West—the situation is very different in e.g. Egypt, Russia, or even, say, Greece), is exemplary. It is exactly what is well underway for every “identity” that the establishment takes hostage.

          Reply
          1. DJG

            rl: Yep. As you write, “largely by heterosexual academics in pursuit of transgressive theory credentials”

            Queer theory, besides sounding fairly desperate as a name, has the problem of thinking that everything is socially constructed, except that it was all socially constructed in the Anglo world in the last couple of centuries. And if everything is socially constructed, then aren’t we a bunch of queer fish who just discovered water? Oh, there’s water out there. Further, the term “queer” is way too stretchy and inaccurate, a specialty of U.S. categorization. “Queer” has all of the charm of “Caucasian.”

            Gender theory tends to be radically dualistic. The academics involved, with their constant intoning of body, mind, and soul, all sound like refugees from Methodist Youth Camp. So gender theory is already a kind of intellectual and theological dead end.

            Pete Buttigieg is somebody’s grandma’s idea of a nice, well-spoken gay man.

            Reply
          2. jr

            Thank you for this excellent comment. I was aware there was division in the gay community over identity politics but you’ve laid it out in detail. I appreciate it. I should note that living in Manhattan the goodhearted kids I mentioned are in the heart of IDpol, they get the stuff uncut from the source.

            And the pressure to conform is intense. Media icons come to the bars. People they know work in media or academics or politics and they all talk that jive. Young gay people in NYC have a lot less freedom to express their real points of view than in other places, I would hazard to guess.

            A lesbian friend from Poland found this out to her detriment when she questioned the wisdom of blindly supporting the Democrats every election. She was scared when she told me the story, she had been screamed at by her friends. It was telling that she came to me, a straight man, because she literally said she didn’t know who to ask amongst her friends without pissing someone off.

            Which, I am becoming convinced, is the point. “Left” identity political discourse, Wokeness, whatever, is designed to generate drama, literally triggering anger and confusion, and to shut down dissent with hypervictimization of it’s chosen groups, it’s passive/aggressive approach to discussion and it’s Orwellian ability to turn inclusiveness in an exclusive entitlement. I really wonder if it has any shared roots with Spartacus style Trotskyists in that the point is to generate conflict, to literally never be able to find common ground.

            I’ve railed against the fact that at it’s heart there seems to be no identifiable definition of knowledge that allows for other interpretations of the same questions. I don’t agree with monarchists but I bet a monarchist and I could agree on the terms of our debate. Not so with the Crit-dentitarian, who favors bubble tea bead blobs of ideas squirming around to taking any sort of position, any framework that can be latched onto, critiqued, nailed down.

            And that’s the nut of it, it’s a kind of intellectual acid that can never find any sort of balance with another point of view, it’s always in opposition, it is not an honest intellectual position but a subterfuge. And I mean that quite literally. It’s not that every Wokester is engaging in malfeasance but that their ideology is deliberatively obstructionist.

            Reply
            1. rl

              I am quite convinced that the whole project is the maximally-efficient mass production of the fear of one’s neighbors.

              I’m sorry to hear about your Polish friend, though not surprised, as I’ve had an abundance of similar experiences myself. And heard exactly the same complaint time and again, privately: it’s difficult to know who you can talk to, even (or especially) “in-group,” without stepping on a mine (potentially with immediate concrete consequences).

              The relationship between the Democratic Party-liberal establishment and gay Americans is effectively a hostage relationship. “No one else is going to look out for you” is all the more effective when “your people” are distributed in the world essentially at random.

              The overwhelming majority of gay people are born into heterosexual (by which I do not mean nuclear!) families, neighborhoods, etc. Usually this is not the case when the condition of your domestic-social-economic-political “precarity” is racial, ethno-religious, or even sexual (women are roughly half of the population at just about every locality; lesbian women are not), and if that is understandably cold comfort, it is nevertheless psychologically significant to be able to take that kind of “innate” solidarity for granted. Until very recently in our civilizational history, gay people have been disabused of such naivete almost as soon as (or even before) they consider “coming out.”

              And the transition from one (apparent) cultural consensus to another happened so rapidly that, IMO, most of us (young-ish gay people) feel something akin to whiplash—an abiding sense of lurking danger.

              Point is, the Leviathan has always been just as clued-in on that last bit. Recent developments are just a refinement of technique.

              Reply
    2. John A

      I think the refuse any limits refers upwards to their bank balance and downwards to how low they are prepared to stoop to shaft their employees, the planet and anyone else that gets in their way.

      Reply
  9. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Just posted: I wrote in @thenation about progressive Democrats who want Biden to win but are worried about his foreign policy advisers, many of them with a direct role in the military industrial complex.

    In addition to Blinken, Democratic activists have focused on Michèle Flournoy, a former Pentagon official and military investor reportedly slated to become secretary of defense; and Avril Haines, the former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency, who will lead the foreign policy side of Biden’s transition team if he wins. She crafted President Obama’s policies on drone warfare as well as the administration’s tough approach to North Korea, which Biden has promised to revive.

    Damn! The dems sure loves ’em some bloodthirsty wormen. Who the hell are these people and where did they come from?

    Really makes me want to vote for grandpa biden so he can putter around in the basement while this new generation of madeline albright ghoul wannabes latch onto the permanent washington bureaucracy like ticks and keep suckin’ it dry.

    Certainly wouldn’t want a misogynist like Trump keepin’ these lovely gals down.

    Reply
      1. Off The Street

        Half a million here, half a million there, soon you’re talking about real deaths.

        Our modern age has seen Everett Dirksen’s billions phrase polluted by the spirit, if one could call it that, of Madeleine Albright.

        Reply
    1. Carolinian

      Well Trump did have Nikki but she was more Bloodthirsty Woman amateur division. Nevertheless the press insisted on taking her bumbling performance seriously.

      Which may be your explanation. With someone like Flournoy you get your idpol and your elite favored warmongering wrapped up in one handy package. People like Flournoy are around because they help the MIC sell things like R2P.

      Reply
        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Something tells me there’s more going on here than good old-fashioned grit, stick-to-itiveness and a STEM degree.

          I think someone has “invented” a new version of teflon with estrogen as the main ingredient.

          Reply
    2. km

      Don’t you know. when a woman or the proper sort of oppressed minority starts a war of aggression, then that results in a shattered glass ceiling, which makes it Okay!

      Notice how Bloody Gina sailed right through the Senate.

      Reply
  10. fresno dan

    https://the.ink/p/billionaire-wealth-just-got-wealthier

    Imagine you’re just finishing your shift as a picker at an Amazon warehouse.

    All day long you’ve been carting items for other people, under giant letters on the wall that spell “work hard. have fun. make history.” …..

    Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive of Amazon, has decided to give you a bonus. In fact, he has decided to give every single employee of Amazon — some 876,000 people — a one-time pandemic bonus. A $105,000 bonus…..
    The crazy thing? The money he is giving you — it’s merely the extra wealth he gained during the pandemic, wealth that you built. After he has paid out those $92 billion in bonuses, he will still be comfortably off. In fact, as rich as he was before coronatime.
    ….
    The pandemic has thrown millions to the ground. But the Oxfam report makes clear that they continue to lie there because the plutocratic class is standing on their necks — advocating for relief measures that favor companies over everyday people and resisting calls for even just a one-time pandemic tax on extreme good fortune.

    Reply
  11. The Rev Kev

    “Nearly 200,000 deaths, millions of ripples. Each covid-19 fatality shifts attitudes about the virus.”

    I have my doubts about that total if for no other reason than that the worldometers site says that the total is already over 205,000 Americans dead. There is no good spin that you can put on this death toll except to say that America has had it far worse. No, I am not talking about the death toll from the US Civil War which was bad enough but the deaths during the world pandemic of 1918-1919. At present, over 205,000 Americans have died so far out of a population of some 330,000,000 people. A century ago the death toll was 675,000 people killed out of a population of only about 105,000,000. The generation that lived through that experience had to deal with something far worse.

    Reply
    1. CitizenSissy

      Not to spoil a lovely autumn morning, but the likelihood is pretty good COVID could hang around well into 2021 with the accompanying body count. IMHO the actual fatalities are considerably higher.

      Reply
      1. John Beech

        If we look at excess deaths, the number hovers around 250k instead of the 200k. Thus, I’m going with the COVID-19 death count being higher.

        Meanwhile, I’ll vote for Trump again come November. Why? Simple, it’s because I agree America isn’t a nation of you ‘shall’ wear mask. That said, I’m saddened he fumbled the ‘you should’ message.

        Which approach do you prefer? The one that proposes, or imposes?

        Notwithstanding he did a shit job of proposing, I still prefer an appeal to what I should do versus the ones who would force me for my own good. My advice? Be careful what you wish for because it may come with unintended consequences. Or have you forgotten how as Mayor, Bloomberg wanted to stop sales of large soft drinks?

        Is ‘Mother may I?’ the government what you really want? This starkly paints the side that actually represents fascists, wouldn’t you agree?

        Reply
        1. Yik Wong

          The mask you put on (mostly) isn’t for your own good. I think that’s why it’s not popular with right wing. The idea that I should do something to keep my neighbor healthy smacks of social medicine to people who’s grandparents were busy shooting First Nation and Chinese labour for their personal gain.

          Reply
          1. The Historian

            +100

            How dare we think we are a community and should do what is necessary to protect other members of our community! Apparently we need an amendment to outlaw the Golden Rule because it is completely against our belief in American Individualism!
            /s

            Reply
          2. Oh

            I agree that the right wing detests doing anything to help their fellow human beings. I must also add that most Americans only care about themselves and will not lift a finger to help others. There’s so many greedy people in our country and that’s why we have the crooked Congress with the other two branches of government following suit. And this country’s a Christian nation?

            Reply
          3. Katniss Everdeen

            C’mon, man.

            Upwards of 70% of the population favors national healthcare, which surely includes some of those “right wingers” “who’s [sic] grandparents were busy shooting First Nation and Chinese labour for their personal gain,” however that’s relevant to the current discussion.

            Despite the fact that there are some loudmouthed dickheads among us usians who get off turning mask-wearing into some sort of existential constitutional crisis to get attention, most americans, both “red” and “blue,” are actually concerned enough about the welfare of their neighbors and themselves to wear masks without whining. It’s the dickheads that make the “news” in an election year. It’s why they do it.

            And in case you haven’t noticed, it’s not only the “red” team that has problems with “social medicine.” biden only interrupts his protestations against being called a “socialist” to declare that he would veto M4A if the bill was placed on his desk because it’s too expensive to give “healthcare” to everybody. But he’s wearing a mask when he says it, so he’s supposed to be one of the good guys.

            Reply
            1. Yik Wong

              “C’mon, [sic] man.”
              Karen, I can’t make much from your word salad. You are correct though that your use “who’s [sic] grandparents were busy shooting First Nation and Chinese labour for their personal gain,” is irrelevant to the current discussion. Drawing Venn diagrams might help you figure out your error. It may help you with bringing so lucidity to the word salad too.

              Reply
              1. tegnost

                I understood k(aren? Huh?)atniss very well, while your comment sounded like playing cards clipped to the wheels of a tricycle.

                Reply
              2. Norge

                This sort of nastiness ((gratuitously calling another commentator a “Karen “) shouldn’t be tolerated on NC. I have seen sites effectively destroyed by these sorts of flame wars.

                Reply
                1. CitizenSissy

                  +100. Karen’s now the putdown to level against any woman whose postings a misogynist or misogynist-adjacent commentator may disagree.

                  Reply
          4. km

            The right wing are butthurt about masks because it amounts to an admission that the COVID is serious, and by extension, that the response of the Trump Administration has been less than serious. (Of course, even if COVID were “just the flu”, we’ve now seen how the Trump Admin. reacts to a crisis, and what we have seen is not good.)

            In addition, about the kindest grade one could give Trump after three years is an “incomplete”. No Wall of Ignorance. Mexico isn’t cutting a check. HRC isn’t locked up. In fact, she’s as free as a bird. Trump could not even get a Team R-dominated Congress to repeal Obamacare.

            Other than a tax cut for billionaires, all the cult can point to are forgotten initiatives, failed pullouts, cosmetic changes, distractions and twitter beefs. And lots and lots of golf.

            The one concrete achievement that Trump cultists could point to was the economy, or rather, the stock market. Never mind that the Obama/Trump Economic Miracle” was entirely the result of massive federal budget deficits. It was the one thing that the Trump could call a “win”. (I don’t intend to discuss MMT here.)

            Well, the COVID sure makes that particular achievement look a lot less rosy.

            Of course, if a President Obama or a future President Biden were to say that we gotta re-open the economy because stock market, the same MSM lackeys who excoriate Trump’s response would be praising a Team D president’s hardheaded pragmatism. The same Team R apparatchiks who insist that “a few thousand deaths” is a small sacrifice we must all to make to save our shareholders would be screaming that Team D is trying to kill them and also something about a “Culture of Death”.

            Reply
        2. Amfortas the hippie

          but it’s OK when, say, Piggly Wiggly mandates masks, right?

          do you also feel oppressed by traffic laws?
          by laws making it illegal to dump used motor oil in creeks?
          do you feel you have any responsibility at all to the other people you share the planet with?
          or is it really “i got mine, go pound sand”?
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Categorical_imperative

          Freedom has limits, necessarily…and comes firmly attached to responsibilities.
          and, as much as you might not like to hear it, there is such a thing as the Commons…in this case, the civilisation, itself.
          when faced with a pandemic, certain measures must be taken for the good of all. this will necessarily limit the freedoms of some, in order to get past the pandemic, and reinforce the freedoms of everybody. for all the rhetoric from you folks about “personal responsibility”, y’all sure don’t seem to understand it, let alone practice it.
          a mask is not the same thing as a firing squad or a reeducation camp. sorry, that’s just hysterical toddlerism….and it’s exactly why this mess continues on and on and on.
          well done.

          Reply
          1. Wukchumni

            Wouldn’t a civil war over the wearing of masks or not be quite something, and it solves the whole uniform thing.

            WinCo supermarket had a mask bouncer in front of the store for about 6 weeks, but now for at least the last fortnight there’s only a sign that you must wear a mask to go in the store, and I see no scofflaws within, and this in the very heart of the CVBB. There’s also another perverse thing about not being a mask wearer in public that might be more of a driver, in that they are one of the few faces you see, in a see me-dig me fashion for the sans cortex kind.

            Reply
          2. hunkerdown

            It’s the young, dumb, and full of familyblog adolescent nature, and our society’s enforcement of that ideal, that large-L Libertarianism (aka neoliberalism) and its predatory glamor appeals to. Toddlers, OTOH, can generally be redirected.

            Reply
          1. RWood

            http://worldoceanobservatory.org/wor/climate-equity

            Are there moments in time when the world stands still? Is our globalized planet now so integrated as a socio-politico-economic space that there is now no meaning to nationality and ideology that can withstand these new hyper-phenomenal forces? Have we passed the tipping point when the balance of our experience and knowledge is not just challenged, but upset and inundated by pandemic change and we are paralyzed by ignorance and inaction, poised on the verge of collapse and descent into caterwauling chaos? Paradoxically, there is equity in this condition, in that regardless of origin, rich or poor, north or south, east or west, we are all equally in this disconnected elemental mix, joined psychologically in angst and apprehension

            Reply
        3. the suck of sorrow

          Do conservatives love or loathe stop signs? I have not seen any discussion on this topic.
          But, should a conservative oppose an elected official for stating that stop signs always be obeyed?
          Let’s say that advocating for stop sign adherence is not dangerous position for a conservative candidate. Why?
          It seems to me that any justification for obeying a stop sign also justifies mandating a mask that covers your mouth and nose when in the presence of others.
          I’m interested in how a conservative feels about my formulation …

          Reply
            1. marym

              The position should have been that there have been mixed messages from scientists and politicians, but we should choose to do it for a while because it’s easy enough to do and maybe will protect other people, rather than choose the risk of spreading disease.

              Reply
        4. HotFlash

          Hi John, just a thought or two here. RE Which approach do you prefer? The one that proposes, or imposes?

          Notwithstanding he did a shit job of proposing, I still prefer an appeal to what I should do versus the ones who would force me for my own good.

          This is a very important point. Government is legitimized by, and (IMO), only by, the consent of the governed. If the metric is, for instance, an ample majority of the voters, we haven’t seen a government like that in the US for a long, long time. Maybe never. ‘Winners’ often don’t have a plurality of the votes, and approx a third of voters can’t find anyone they are moved to vote for.

          Leadership, persuasion? What are those things? And I leave aside the pernicious influence of the (biased) media on the (deliberately uneducated) populace.

          What the governed seem to consent to is Medicare4All, end to wars, fair taxes for the rich, a living wage, fair elections (such as hand-marked paper ballots counted in public), and getting money out of politics. According to a Princeton study, The People get about 8% of what they want.

          What are we to do?

          Reply
        5. Noone from Nowheresville

          Masks: I think a more apt comparison is smoking.

          If smokers could stop smoking at work, restaurants & bars to protect others from dying or getting smoking related diseases then why is it such a big deal to wear a mask when out in public for say 18 – 24 months to protect others?

          Or is it because smoking is considered basically a lower class thing after all these years of smoking regulations? So imposing regulations and special vice taxes is no big deal.

          Reply
      1. FluffytheObeseCat

        It’s not over yet. It won’t be over per se in any likelihood within our remaining lifetime. COVID is now endemic in the U.S. and will kill that many by some point in the future. It’s going to take maybe a decade, but it will happen.

        Reply
        1. Procopius

          Saw an article somewhere yesterday (or probably a comment on some blog) that the 1918-19 flu had a death toll of 675,000, whereas COVID-19 only had a total of 205,000, so wasn’t even in the same ball park. I should have responded to that by pointing out that the Spanish Flu lasted two years, and COVID-19 has only had 8 months, so far. We’ve got lots of time to catch up, especially since a Second Wave is likely in the next month or two.

          Reply
      2. Katniss Everdeen

        It’s not hard to imagine a scenario, with a different person in the white house, in which 200,000 deaths would be lauded as a massive win for a consummate “leader.”

        Reply
        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          This. We’re not electing a president, we’re electing a narrative. We’ll be told Covid is over, all hail our Covid rescuer. We’ll be told more wars is more peaces, as Herr Allbright and her Atlantic Councilers finally get their way again. We’ll be told more China outsourcing is more jobs for Usasians. That more black women on company boards is more justice for workers. That more censorship by Silicon Valley is more freedom of speech. That The Woke Yoke is more freedom of thought and freedom of religion.

          On another note, I see that the $1.5B that Hunter received from the Chinese Communist Party is now being invested to acquire assets for the Chinese military. I know of a planet, not too far from this one, where this level of treasonous corruption would immediately disqualify a presidential candidate. Instead we had to endure 4 years of lies about how the current WH occupant is the one corrupted by a foreign power.

          Reply
      3. pasha

        worldometer reports confirmed covid deaths at 206,593. on may 28 there were half as many, only 103,000 confirmed deaths. we are now doubling every 117 days, so just two and a quarter doublings gets us to two million deaths in less than a year.

        Reply
    2. Yik Wong

      Deaths should not be the only indicator, but the science isn’t there (because humans…). 1918/1919 survivors were almost all able to go back to a normal life. This time a large swath of the infected will lose both quality of life and length of life, and will incur far higher medical costs for the balance of that life.** Plus as others have noted, this thing is anything but over. Could have been, should have been, but again… humans.

      **Anyone want to bet the kidney dialysis machines won’t be there in quantity in the neo-liberal economies when kidney failures start flooding in? Theaters and surgeons to preform heart valve replacements? UK book keepers will take bets that even Vegas cant grock.

      Reply
          1. Carolinian

            Well the Swedish disease statistics are public record–not one man band. Of course one could argue they are making up their death count or using a different method but that would involve more than one man and indeed be an honest to gosh conspiracy.

            And for the second link, the “open letter,” guess you missed this link.

            https://docs4opendebate.be/en/signatories/

            Definitely not one man band.

            As for “peer reviewed” and academic, haven’t these been all over the map and indeed NC today has a post on the flaky CDC which may or may not be politically controlled. There have also been allegations that peer reviewed isn’t what it used to be and journals are increasingly shills for pharma and others.

            Reply
            1. Yik Wong

              There are approximately 34500 physicians, and the letter was written by one man, and signed by roughly 300 harried doctors, most of of whom were GP, and none of whom were also PhD in medical science, ie: they were not qualified to teach medicine in Belgium, only to practice it in a narrow field that does not include immunology with one exception in the list(hence one man band).. That is why peer review is critical.

              It’s the same problem with your Swedish blog post, by an ER physician (I can’t confirm if he is a PhD or not). One could craft a blog post claiming anything, and what is interesting is the link to non-peer review journal articles, journals who purpose is to stimulate interest in observations in hopes of getting someone to cough up the resources for properly structured studies that could be considered for peer review.

              Reply
              1. Carolinian

                My objection to your original comment is that you are making a broad brush pronouncement without supporting links.

                This time a large swath of the infected will lose both quality of life and length of life, and will incur far higher medical costs for the balance of that life.**

                Whereas I–not a doctor obviously–am at least offering up some medical opinions from people who are doctors and presumably have first hand knowledge of the disease.

                IMO what the “peer reviewed” appeal to authority is doing is creating a great deal of FUD and a demand for maximum govt control of a disease which may indeed turn out to be like most other viruses in it’s long term effects. Assertions to the contrary with certainty are obviously unreliable since we are nowhere near “long term” as yet.

                Reply
                1. ShamanicFallout

                  I try to abide by the the ‘thou shalt not tempt the Lord”, or fate. I mask, I’ve cut my grocery shopping down to once a week (used to go almost everyday for just what needed at the local market), basically I stay in, no restaurants, gym. All of that. I do not want to get covid, and I don’t want to spread it.
                  BUT- it feels to me like some people actually really want this to be as bad as possible. Like a dark wish- It’s not 200k dead, it’s 2 million! We will never be rid of it! Is catastrophist a word? Idk, spell check let it go

                  Reply
                  1. HotFlash

                    Agreed. This virus is uncharted but deadly territory and we (scientists, health officials, or’nary folks) are still feeling our way. In the face of such uncertainty, I would expect that the precautionary principal prevails. The precautions — masks, handwashing, distancing, small groups — are so minimal, and will (most likely) help others as well as oneself. It seems such a small thing to throw a tantrum about.

                    Reply
                  1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                    Credentialism. Why not debate the substance? Like whether the non-specific PCR test mistakenly showed (and shows) exponential growth when the actual viral load may not satisfy the levels of the Koch postulate?

                    That there even is a debate about these factors calls into massive question whether a societal reaction that entails the complete destruction of the economy is “worth it”.

                    And if “public health” is the justifier for economic evisceration, then what of the WHO’s definition of health: ‘Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or other physical impairment’.

                    Reply
        1. Cuibono

          Supposing Sweden DOES have heard immunity: they still have more than 10X the per capita deaths of neighbor Norway and a worse economy in the second quarter.

          Reply
        2. HotFlash

          Paging Ignacio! This is not my line of country, I am going by memory, and Ignacio He is an actual immunologist. I don’t recall whether it was him or someone else who figured that to achieve ‘herd immunity’ it would require approx 80% of the population to be exposed and (hopefully) not die. Percent depends on transmissability, mortality, and built-up immunity from surviving the virus. Prob’ly other factors, too. If it’s antibodies and not genetic immunity, ‘herd immunity’ depends on the length of time the recovered person is protected. Two years, which is what I am seeing now, is not all that impressive, IMHO.

          If surviving the virus is simply a matter of innate (personal genetic) immunity, for whatever reason (inherited zinc metabolism, whatever), this immunity is not necessarily hereditary. What if the gene (or childhood vaccine, or dietary, environmental, exposure, or ???? situation) for whatever it was that allowed you to survive the virus is not inheritable? Or is a recessive? Do we get to do this ‘herd immunity’ charade again every generation?

          Reply
  12. The Rev Kev

    “Farm bills: Are India’s new reforms a ‘death warrant’ for farmers?”

    If India is wanting to develop their economy to compete against China, I have news for them and it is all bad. They are letting neoliberalism take over the country including its farming system. By coincidence, I came across an article talking about this in relation to these new land laws. It starts of saying-

    ‘In a 2017 article, I asked what might a future India look like and concluded that, if current neoliberal policies continue, there could be dozens of mega-cities with up to 40 million inhabitants and just two to three hundred million (perhaps 15-20% of the population) left in an emptied-out countryside. And it could also mean hundreds of millions of displaced rural dwellers without any work.’

    China will end up having them on toast.

    https://off-guardian.org/2020/09/21/neoliberal-death-knell-for-indian-agriculture/

    Reply
  13. Krystyn Podgajski

    Is it just me or is it obscene to think we should base nominating a new justice on a “dying wish” by Ginsberg?

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      After much deliberation including but not limited to anguished peevishness, the Donkey Show figured it was their best shot.

      Reply
    2. Kasia

      Imagine being on your deathbed, knowing that the hour is near – and instead of reflecting upon your life and times or spending your last breaths telling your family and friends how much you love them . . . you leave a verbal memo about unfinished business at the office.

      Disproves the old expression: no one, on his deathbed, says “I wish I had spent more time at the office.”

      Reply
    3. DJG

      Krystyn Podgajski: We are in a (deflating) baroque era, and many people on my FBook feed and elsewhere, people who are “spiritual but not religious,” are building shrines to Ginsburg. You’ll note, too, that Americans, being squeamish of death, keep referring to Her Passing. There are now lots of bouquets around the Supreme Court Building. It is all symbols in search of significance.

      And: As I have mentioned often in the past, it is the Continuing Crisis of Monotheism.

      Obscene? No. Melodramatic? Yes. So much of U.S. life is badly scripted melodrama, which means cultural forms that strongly signal the correct emotion that one must display. We are getting a good dose of melodrama from the Mauve Party and the Aqua Party.

      Meanwhile, the baroque structure of religious fanaticism, worship of money, belligerence, showy display, big jewelry, and talkiness is, at last, in jeopardy.

      Don’t forget to order that all-cotton RBG t-shirt!

      Reply
      1. judy2shoes

        “Uhh, Brett Kavanaugh was nominated based on a “living wish” by Anthony Kennedy.”

        So? Do you think it’s a good idea for dying justices to attempt to select their replacements via living wishes?

        Reply
        1. Tom Bradford

          “Do you think it’s a good idea for dying justices to attempt to select their replacements via living wishes?”

          Where the Court concerned exercises judicial functions according to the Law of the Land, no. Judges should be, and in many if not most jurisdictions are, appointed by their peers according to their knowledge of the law and its application, and are expected to keep their political opinions out of it.

          However in the US’s case where justices are political appointments and administer the law according to their political beliefs I see no problem with an outgoing judge being concerned about the politics of their successor and making public statements accordingly.

          Reply
          1. judy2shoes

            Thanks for the reply, Tom. Way back in the far reaches of my memory, I can recall in Government class a discussion of the differences between how the Supremes judge when interpreting the law. It boiled down to whether the judge was a strict constructionist or not. It didn’t mention political beliefs as being part of the picture, but of course being a strict constructionist or a loose one can and probably does fall along political lines.

            Judges are supposed to be impartial, aren’t they? How can they be if they allow political motivations to sway their opinions?

            It’s probably clear that your first paragraph describes how I think it should be.

            Reply
    4. Dr. John Carpenter

      Worth mentioning, as others have, if this is was so important to RBG, she had a chance to bow out under a Democratic President. (He just wasn’t the right one, it seems.)

      Reply
    5. ShamanicFallout

      And the dying wish says “until the president is installed”. Installed? What, is the next president a muffler now? Who says ‘installed’?

      Reply
      1. Tom Bradford

        “Installed” usually means selected for the post out of a field of possibilities – usually by one’s peers or some other third-party by vote or some other selection process – and ‘dropped into’ a vacancy. ie the Papacy, the Master of a Masonic Lodge, Leader of a political party. And, at least theoretically, a President

        Possible alternatives are taking up a vacancy by right of succession ie a Monarch, or by its being the next step on a ladder, ie a military rank. Or of course by buying the post with cash, bum-kissing or loyalty as in many political appointments.

        Reply
  14. Anthony K Wikrent

    RE: “A History Of Wheat American Conservative”

    I don’t subscribe to LRB, but the very first sentence of the preview mentions Norman Borlaug, which is a promising start. It is telling that the American Conservative article does not mention Borlaug at all, since his work creating the “green revolution” that has been estimated to have prevented the deaths by starvation of over one billion people worldwide, was under the auspices of an international NGO, Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research, funded by governments and private foundations (thus, no corporations apparently).

    I would like to know if the LRB review, and the book, mention the role of the USDA, especially Mark Alfred Carleton, assistant pathologist in USDA’s Division of Vegetable Physiology and Pathology, who was sent to Russia to search for wheat varieties better suited to the North American Great Plains. In 1900, Carleton introduced American growers to durum wheats from Russia, a spring wheat that was more resistant to rust (a fungal disease that leaves brown marks on the green leaves). As a result of this and other initiatives of the USDA, from 1839 to 1909, the major wheat producing areas of USA were shifted from Ohio, southeastern Pennsylvania, and New York state south of Lake Ontario, to the Dakotas, southwestern Minnesota, Kansas, and Nebraska, plus another wheat belt in eastern Oregon and Washington.

    In other words, it was activist government, just as much as free enterprise, that was responsible for solving the problem of growing and harvesting adequate food supplies. Which I suspect is a history the American Conservative is very adverse to acknowledging.

    Reply
    1. barefoot charley

      My Dad’s people settled the western Kansas wheat belt after the Civil War. Long stories short, it kinda sucked until Catherine the Great’s Volga Germans–whom she had lured to the vast Russian bottoms with promises of religious freedom and farmland, and draft exemptions to the persecuted Anabaptists, Mennonites, Amish, Dunkards etc who were being exterminated like lice for not going along and getting along with religious settlements back in Germany–fled to America when the tsar broke her commitment a century later and started drafting and swearing-in the religious fugitives.

      They brought hard winter wheat with them, adapted to Russian winters. It was planted in the fall, germinated in the spring, was harvested in June. Previous Spring wheat strains often hadn’t matured before the first blasts of oncoming winter. Decent Kansans called these fundamentalist folk ‘Roosians,’ and while treating them like second-class citizens for a generation or two, they eagerly adopted their Volga Russian seeds. This is the story everyone on the Great Plains knew 50 years ago.

      Reply
      1. Late Introvert

        Thanks, good to know. It isn’t grown here in Iowa, and I remember seeing it in early spring in Indiana as mature as a fall crop. We plant garlic in the fall here, super fun watching it poke out of the snow, usually the first thing to sprout in spring.

        Reply
    2. Darius

      The American Conservative is surprisingly heterodox. Although they would say they are the real conservatives.

      I am not an expert, but I have read over the years that the green revolution resulted in high-yield varieties that also required large inputs of fertilizer and pesticides, which landed peasants couldn’t afford. This led to rural dislocation, with farmers losing their land and migrating to overcrowded cities to face lives of unemployment.

      The new varieties also fostered mechanized agriculture, which requires expensive equipment and energy, and the consolidation of small fields into fewer larger fields. It also resulted in the transfer of land from peasants to large holders, and increasing corporate control of farming. The green revolution favors large-scale commercial agriculture over small-scale or subsistence agriculture, and global markets over local, making farmers dependent on multinational buyers and processors.

      The increasing use of pesticides, fertilizers and fuel for equipment, coupled with farm consolidation and mechanization, results in persistent environmental problems, ranging from toxics and nutrient pollution to soil erosion and greenhouse gases.

      Yellow GMO rice with a vitamin A gene inserted has been a holy grail for green revolution agriculture. It has met with resistance from farmers in many Asian countries. It has been suggested that a cheaper and more effective action would be to distribute mango trees to villages in countries with vitamin A deficiencies. This would be the low-tech solution.

      I can’t readily offer any sources and am happy to entertain more informed counter-arguments. Some of this thinking originated from reading Food First!, by Frances Moore Lappe, many years ago.

      Reply
  15. The Rev Kev

    “A History of Wheat”

    Just as remarkable are the regions where wheat is grown. As an example, I read an account by Wehrmacht officers in the initial invasion of Russia. So you would have the most deadly combination in the military arsenal – a young officer & a map. To make things worse, they were in a wheat region where there were no mountains, hills, etc. They would stand atop their vehicles and it would be just wheat from horizon to horizon whichever way you looked. And everything was yellow. Just blue skies and yellow wheat. When they finally did find a village, it was noteworthy that even the local people had a yellowish pallor.

    Reply
    1. neo-realist

      The yellowish pallor may have been due to excessive vodka consumption – Alcohol Jaundice. A cultural norm exacerbated by the stress of war?

      Reply
    2. Darius

      A quibble with that article. My understanding is that wild grains have tough hulls or shells so that they pass through animals’ guts intact. The animals eat the seeds, some if which survive to be deposited far from the mother plant. The digestive tract scarifies the tough coatings, preparing the seed for germination.

      As for peppers, only mammals are affected by the fiery spiciness. Birds aren’t affected, so they happily eat peppers and their seeds, distributing them to germinate in other places.

      Reply
    3. RMO

      Kev: I’m reminded of some interviews in “The World At War” with Wehrmacht veterans about their impression of Russia – endless marching, day upon day and it always looking like you’re still in the same place. Almost without exception I’ve found that European visitors I’ve had here in Canada have arrived unable to imagine just how big it is and how empty it is of people in much of it – and of course Russia is even bigger. Conversely I’ve been to Scotland and northern England and had trouble getting my head around just how short the travel distances were for us.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        Canada is huge and I don’t think that people in the UK had an idea just how big. Back in WW2 children were being evacuated from the UK to Canada for safety. One English mother wrote her sister in Vancouver in Canada and asked her is she could meet little Johnny at the docks in Halifax. The Canadian sister consulted a map and wrote back ‘You meet him as you’re closer.’ I tried to tell some people visiting here in Oz how big the place is as they were going to drive to Perth from Sydney but I don’t think that they got it. A while later I got a postcard from them starting with ‘Well the landscape finally changed today…’

        Reply
  16. lyman alpha blob

    Glenn Greenwald on elite contempt for Joe Rogan – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0tFgPG26vA

    Just starting to listen to this one, but at the beginning Greenwald mentions that Snowden’s appearance from a few days ago has already had 5 million views, and the first Rogan/Snowden interview from several months ago got over 16 million views just on youtube. Evidently Rogan is blowing Fox News out of the water in terms of viewers on a regular basis, although IMO that’s a bit of an apples/oranges comparison since people don’t necessarily tune into Rogan at a particular time like they do for TV news .

    And the funny thing is, I just went to youtube to take a look at Rogan’s most recent interview with someone else, and the sidebar has all kinds of recommendations for other Rogan shows I might be interested in, and not one of those recommendations is for the Snowden show, so youtube sure isn’t going out of their way to promote it. At first I thought it may be because even though I don’t have a youtube account, the site recognizes that I already watched the Snowden program, however it is recommending a few other Rogan interviews to me that I also have already seen.

    If I were a cynical person (and I am!!) it’s almost as if youtube doesn’t want people watching that show. So here’s the link again to anyone who missed it the first time – the recent Snowden/Rogan interview where they discuss Julian Assange – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Rl82OQDoOc

    Reply
    1. jr

      I’m a big Tuber and I often find strange suggestions in my lineup like goldbug investors and occasionally stuff from extreme right wingnuts. I do look at odd things so some of it’s understandable but after two hours of Dore etc. I get a lot of MSM oriented suggestions including Fox come up.

      Reply
    2. PlutoniumKun

      While I don’t doubt youtube messes with the algo’s, Rogans interview with Snowden appeared in my sidebar quite rapidly. Its terrific, I’d strongly recommend it (at least the first half, I’m still working my way through it bit by bit).

      Reply
    3. lyman alpha blob

      Thanks for the responses. I have no idea how youtube’s algo works so maybe it’s just me.

      I do really miss the good old days before these platforms just started assuming you wanted them to tailor recommendations for you. I don’t find their recommendations useful at all and often nonsensical and wish I could turn them off. If I go to youtube and deliberately search for something I want, what is the point of them recommending that same video to me for months on end afterwards?

      I’ll take the opportunity to thank NC again for keeping it simple here. And all the kids can get off my lawn ;)

      Reply
  17. ChrisAtRU

    Romney backs vote on Supreme Court nominee, clearing way for Trump

    Of course he does. I’ve been struggling this morning with whether I should post a scold of sorts on *cough* a certain social network *cough* directed in thinly veiled fashion at establishment liberals within my friend groups. More than a few were quick to heap praise on that ghoul of a man when he cast a largely meaningless vote for impeachment. There is perhaps no better distillation of the difference between those of us on the left, and those who accept our worthless political center. The centrists willingly accept all manner of purely performative nonsense as having value – Romney’s vote, Pelosi’s clapping and paper-ripping, Michelle’s mint – all of it. They seem oblivious to what having and wielding power means. So now, when it comes to an act of real power, an act with the ability to change our already disturbing reality for the worse, Romney toes the line and … ::crickets::

    Reply
    1. DJG

      ChrisAtRU: Scold away. There is so much rot out there that some scolding is needed just to clear the air of some of the stench of decay.

      As you write, “They seem oblivious to what having and wielding power means.”

      I commented over on Jeri-Lynn’s post about what is next in the Supreme Court skirmish: The Republicans counted their votes and are pushing through the legislation. What’s so hard to understand about that? Why do Democrats think that legislation happens through posturing and magic?

      Sheesh. Now I need a couple of scoops of Nancy P’s famous artisanal gelato.

      Reply
      1. ChrisAtRU

        DJG: I scream, you scream, we all scream for gelato … when liberalism’s hollow harking disturbs our peace of mind.

        Reply
        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          No Beck needed, just a few questions. 1. Did Hunter Biden accompany his father the Vice President of the United States when he flew to Beijing on Air Force Two? 2. Did an investment company led by Hunter Biden receive $1.5 billion ten days later from a bank controlled by the Communist Party of China? 3. Did that investment company subsequently invest in assets on behalf of the Chinese military?

          “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion but not his own facts” – Daniel Patrick Moynihan

          Your move.

          Reply
        2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Nothing to see here, Hunter did not receive a $3.5M wire transfer from the wife of the mayor of Moscow, here on the Planet of Reality that transfer did actually take place as recorded by FedWire but it’s all nothing but another big right-wing conspiracy theory doncha know

          Reply
  18. JWP

    Has there been any research done on increasing headlight brightness? It seems headlights have been produced and designed from the car’s POV to the detriment of oncoming traffic. When driving at night, especially on two lane mountain and rural roads, I find myself not able to distinguish between high beams and normal ones on trucks and newer cars.

    Reply
    1. cnchal

      > Has there been any research done on increasing headlight brightness?

      Apparently not. I detest new cars and their ugly gargoyle laser beam lights. A 300 pounder in the right rear passenger seat and they will drill your eyes out.

      Reply
      1. Olga

        I concur – either my eyes are getting more feeble or the headlights have grown stronger. Likely the latter. I remember years ago, in S. Korea, drivers would turn off their h-lights at an intersection – I was told as a courtesy to the opposing drivers. Good manners!

        Reply
        1. Gaianne

          You are not imagining it. The visible disparity in headlight brightness is your first clue: State laws used to regulate headlights–both orientation and brightness. A driver might have his lights misaligned but generally all headlights looked quite similar. They don’t anymore. Apparently state laws are no longer enforced.

          LED lights are very directional, so to reach a certain level of general illumination the center of the beam can be very bright indeed.

          Also the LEDs used are strongly bluish, which enhances the glare.

          Car manufacturers design their cars to appeal to the driver who buys them, not the public who has to put up with them.

          –Gaianne

          Reply
    2. hunkerdown

      I seem to remember that car headlamps were designed to cast their low beams lower, i.e. closer to the front of the car. Modern, HID/LED headlamps might have had that feature optimized out one day when the design office was low on familyblogs to give.

      Reply
      1. RMO

        If you want answers to those questions, dig in starting here:

        https://one.nhtsa.gov/Research/Human-Factors/Headlighting

        Olga: A few years back I was starting to be really bothered by headlight glare. Turns out I had cataracts. Now that they’re gone the only things that still really annoy are the idiots in lifted trucks who pull right up to my rear bumper at night with their lights boring into the back of my head (and sometimes they have an aftermarket light bar on the grille blazing away too!) the occasional obviously misaligned lights and those who don’t turn their high beams off when they should.

        Reply
  19. Billy

    Billy’s Law:

    Before any licensing and sales of a pharma product in the U.S., all taxpayer investments in research shall be tallied and paid back to the U.S. Treasury by the patent holder.

    Reply
  20. diptherio

    The Dems are better on “business law” than the Repubs? Don’t know that I can jump on board with Stoller on that one. Compare Enron and Worldcom under Bush to Obama’s handling of the housing crisis frauds. It actually seems to me like Republican admins do a better (or at least no worse) job of prosecuting business criminals than the Dems do. Of course, when the bar is laying on the ground, it’s not real hard to get over.

    Reply
    1. MichaelSF

      Hasn’t Mr. W. Black pointed out in the past a Republican administration’s prosecution of many people for the savings and loan scandal? IIRC he may have been involved in those prosecutions.

      Reply

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