Links 9/25/2020

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What My Sled Dogs Taught Me About Planning for the Unknown NYT (David L)

This author argues that fighting climate change means focusing on ‘Earth repair’ The World (carla)

California To Ban the Sale of Gas-Powered Cars in 2035 TreeHugger

RUSSIA IS NOW THE BIG CHEESE John Helmer (MJL)

The history of egg tarts: from savoury to sweet, from medieval England to Hong Kong, from short crust to flaky pastry SCMP

The ancient trade holding back the Sahara Desert BBC

‘Very sorry’: Kim Jong Un apologises for killing of South Korean Al Jazeera

Introducing “The Slick,” a New State-Based Reporting Project on Oil, Climate and Politics Capital & Main

Amazon Launches Climate Label to Help Customers Make Greener Choices EcoWatch. I am sure the commentariat will have much to say about this development.

#COVID 19

Canada ‘bets the farm’ on big spending as second wave threatens economic recovery Reuters (re Šilc)

Buying Wedding Insurance During the Pandemic NYT (re Šilc)

Yih and Kulldorff’s “Radical” Covid Strategy Spectre (dd)

Covid Kills Commuterland American Conservative

QAnon’s Inexorable Spread Beyond the U.S. Der Spiegel

Revealed: There are now just NINE countries – including tiny Gibraltar, San Marino and Liechtenstein – where Britons can travel freely without quarantine or a covid test – as Denmark, Iceland, Slovakia are latest to be red-flagged Daily Mail. Almost as bad as holding a US passport.

Record COVID-19 cases in France, UK; ‘Tough weeks ahead’ in Spain Al Jazeera

Pharmacies are bracing for a surge in demand for flu shots amid the Covid-19 pandemic Stat

As Virus Cases Surge in Europe, Hospitalizations Lag. But for How Long? NYT

Lessons learnt from easing COVID-19 restrictions: an analysis of countries and regions in Asia Pacific and Europe Lancet

RIP Ruth Bader Ginsburg

How Losing RBG Could Shape Criminal Justice For Years to Come Marshall Project

How Barbara Lagoa’s fight for Elian Gonzalez shaped her legal career Politico

Trump faces tricky choice on Supreme Court pick The Hill

Memo Suggests Tactics For Dems to Slow Trump’s SCOTUS Pick The Daily Poster. David Sirota.

Class Warfare

White-Collar Crime, No Punishment Project Syndicate (david l)

Nursing Homes Oust Unwanted Patients With Claims of Psychosis NYT (UserFriendly)

The Political Donations of NBA Owners Are Not So Progressive The Ringer (GP)

Trump Is Losing Farmer Support in Climate Crisis. Will They Swing the Election? EcoWatch

Our Famously Free Press

As Joe Rogan’s Platform Grows, So Does the Media and Liberal Backlash. Why? Intercept Glenn Greenwald

2020

Trump Says Elderly to Get $200 for Drugs in Bid for Senior Vote Bloomberg

WASHINGTON CONGRESSIONAL RACE LAYS BARE DEMOCRATIC DIVIDE ON TACKLING CLIMATE CRISIS The Intercept

Battles Over Voting Rules Fuel Concern About Postelection Fights NYT

Foreign Hackers Cripple Texas County’s Email System, Raising Election Security Concerns ProPublica

‘Everyone sees the train wreck coming’: Trump reveals his November endgame Politico


Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

New Amazon hardware: Ring drones, Echo Dot 4th Gen, Wi-Fi 6 Eero and more Ars Technica

Julian Assange

Your Man in the Public Gallery: Assange Hearing Day 17 Craig Murray

The US is Using the Guardian to Justify Jailing Assange for Life. Why is the Paper So Silent? Counterpunch

West Coast Wildfires

Global warming driving California wildfire trends – study BBC

West Coast Wildfires Underscore Ominous Global Trend: Forests Are Dying TruthOut

Russiagate

The BuzzFeed Russiagate agenda The Komisar Scoop


China?

Trump’s TikTok Ban Is All About Fueling a Cold War With China Jacobin

India

Farm Bills, Small Farmers and Chasing the Agri-Dollar Dream The Wire

Why are they going after Bollywood? Scroll

Trump Transition

“The Democratic Party Opened the Way for Trump” Der Spiegel NC readers are well aware of this argument. Amazed to fin this now in Der Spiegel.

Brexit

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday Link and Antidote du Jour here.

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262 comments

  1. zagonostra

    >Russia is now the big cheese

    In ancient Roman times, legionaries on the march would be issued daily rations of aged hard cheese, to be eaten with bread, strips of bacon and wine.

    I think olive oil was also an integral part of their diet…

    After spending about $20/lb on some imported percorino romano at the grocery store last night and enjoying nothing more than a good robust red wine, real Italian bread and cheese I can only hope that I get to try some of that Russian cheese.


    “I’m a farmer and cheesemaker from the Moscow region,” Sirota told President Vladimir Putin during a public discussion in October 2018. “I make cheese. Let me begin by saying on behalf of the farmers, we have been telling you this repeatedly over the last four years…I wanted to thank you for the sanctions. In fact, we had a long discussion about this with experts at our session.”

    Putin replied: “You should thank the Americans, not me.”

    Because it is delicious…Our cheese is tasty, hard and cheap thanks to the ruble rates. It is attracting investors, including international ones. Everyone has begun investing in Russia’s agriculture. We have partners from Switzerland who relocated to Russia and are building farms. I was asked repeatedly during the session about what would happen if the sanctions were cancelled. What would I do? Would it be a disaster?”

    Putin: “Regarding cheese and what happens if sanctions are lifted. First of all, we are not seeing them readying to lift any sanctions so you can sleep tight.”

    Reply
    1. Ignacio

      In fact olive oil was, and still is, an excellent conservation medium for cheese, and of course many products are canned in oil as a way to remove water and very good for long term storage as long as it is protected from light. I don’t know but it could be the case Romans transported cheese immersed in olive oil.

      Reply
    2. Olga

      Speaking of Russia and big cheese, this is a good podcast about Navalny (with John Helmer) and an academician from Belgrade on the situation in Belarussia and surrounding areas:
      https://soundcloud.com/user-918579032/cold-war-thaw-navalny-poisoning-belarusian-instability-and-nato-on-russias-doorstep
      One thing Helmer illuminates is the division within the German govt. – as in, Heiko Maas (FM) speaks mostly for himself – although one would not know this, reading only the western press. Politico recently published Maas’ remarks under the heading “Germany threatens Russia over Navalny case,” in which he linked the case with Nord Stream II. This gave rise to all sorts of speculation about the fate of NSII; however, according to Helmer, not much has changed in G regarding the pipeline. Seems Merkel’s ability to maintain a unified line (given that she’s a lame duck) has weakened, allowing opportunistic politicians to shape debates.
      Just one more reason to be skeptical of many news stories.
      (A more detailed podcast with Helmer on Navalny (if anyone is still interested) is here:
      http://www.gorilla-radio.com/2020/09/15/gorilla-radio-chris-cook-john-helmer-september-14-2020/).

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        That Novichok can’t be much chop. Two weeks after getting hit by it he is going up and down staircases by himself. And nobody else suffered from it by being close to him. And oddly enough, Navalny thanked a doctor for saving his life who is an expert on diabetes and kidney transplants. Yes, Navalny is a diabetic but should he not have thanked all those doctors who specialize in chemical weapons for saving his life? Or was this a diabetic problem instead?

        https://mobile.twitter.com/bears_with/status/1309025255797784578

        Reply
    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      This goes to show how successful protectionism is for permitting an economy to develop. Even if it is accidental protectionism imposed from outside as “sanctions”.

      The results should still be of interest to those Americans who wish to restore protectionism for America under the name of protectionism, and from within.

      Reply
  2. Toshiro_Mifune

    Foreign Hackers Cripple Texas County’s Email System, Raising Election Security Concerns

    You know… this is a really crappy article. I like a lot of ProPublica’s reporting but this was just bad.

    Reply
      1. Billy

        A Texas county that voted against the Rooskies’ favorite pliable potential Putin pushover, Hillary.

        That’s why they were targeted by SMERSH.

        Reply
        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          LOL SMERSH I am so borrowing that. The guy with the glasses and the turtleneck.

          See that’s the problem, isn’t it? That for all their arrogance and absolute certitude that of course they have the divine right to rule, these are just not very intelligent people. A circle jerk of groupthinkers peering through ideological lenses like giant Coke bottle glasses, when the tiniest amount of self-reflection and adjustment after 2016 would mean they could rule for a generation

          Reply
    1. lyman alpha blob

      Yeah, once you get past the headline, there is really nothing specifically about elections and it’s just an admission that people can hack things on the internet and do so a lot. In other news, sugar remains sweet and salt is still salty.

      Reply
  3. PlutoniumKun

    Lessons learnt from easing COVID-19 restrictions: an analysis of countries and regions in Asia Pacific and Europe Lancet

    This is a great article, it provides a very useful summary of what different countries have done and why we are where we are. A must read I’d say. There are some useful links as well, including one to a German study which indicates that mask use decreases infection rates by around 50%.

    Finally, the argument is strong for countries adopting a so-called zero-COVID strategy, which aims to eliminate domestic transmission. The New Zealand experience shows that this strategy is challenging but is an important aspiration, not least as the growing burden of so-called long COVID becomes apparent in people who have survived COVID-19 but continue to have symptoms for longer than expected.

    I think it’s become increasingly clear that a focus on ‘flattening the curve’ was mistaken, at least for those countries which had some forewarning of what was coming (Italy and Spain had little chance I think). Total or near elimination of the virus is possible, as NZ, SK, Taiwan and Vietnam have shown, and those countries are reaping the economic benefits of this. Its not too late for some countries (island nations in particular) to change course, but it does mean that governments simply can’t fudge on international travel. It has to be accepted that all but the most important international travel is finished for the next 12-18 months at least – the focus should be on directly supporting workers in travel and tourism, not in vainly pretending that something can be rescued from the industry.

    Reply
    1. anon

      How does having the G614 variant vs wild-type COVID (D614) as the dominant strain impact the ability to fully control transmission?

      Reply
      1. Ignacio

        We have already been dealing with that mutation most of the time so that particular mutation doesn’t really modifies what is said in the article. In any case, variants with higher transmissibility would make more important the role of masks as well as any other preventive measure.

        Reply
    2. Ignacio

      Somehow the link was lost. Here it is:

      https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)32007-9/fulltext

      IMO, the biggest failure in Spain regards one of the points the rise under ‘Community Engagement’. It is the failure about Communication to secure public trust and cooperation that has miserably failed in countries like the US or Spain for various reasons, most importantly political. It is amazing because in both countries the industry of communication and advertising is overdeveloped. In Spain there is nothing considered more important than a good advertising/communication campaign. Political noises haven’t helped, on the contrary.

      Reply
        1. Billy

          Let’s start a national movement to strip advertising of its business tax income deductibility.
          If a taxpayer cannot write off their commute costs going to work, their wardrobe, their makeup, their internet service to work from home, why should a business get to deduct it from their income?

          Reply
    3. Basil Pesto

      thanks, I have it queued up to read. people here in Melbourne are getting (understandably) antsy about the lockdown (which will be easing out of stage 4 soon, after 6 weeks). I’m hoping the article will shed some light on to why strong lockdowns (long advocated by Bar-Yam and I think Taleb as well) are important, so that the message can be readily communicated. Hopefully the government here is informed by/paying attention to this research.

      Reply
    4. wilroncanada

      I can concur, PlutoniumKun with much of what you say through local experience. On Vancouver Island, the incidence of infection has been low since the beginning. The population is just under 1 million. Even though it is a retirement destination, we have had zero infections in long-term care institutions and hospitals (except for patients admitted). Though schools started just a couple of weeks ago, we have so far had no infections in Island schools–the province has had about 30 total so far, none of them outbreaks, rather single cases. There have been no new cases on Vancouver Island in the past three days.
      Children in school are being given spit tests now; easier for them but not as accurate. My grandchildren are making a game of regularly taking their own temperatures.
      I am disappointed in the rest of the province though. From single digit cases early in August the total yesterday was 140. Of course the demographic is mainly under 30s–everything from religious gatherings by evangelicals to nightclubs and banquet hall which have had to be closed indefinitely because of not following guidelines, to places like strip clubs (I didn’t know they still existed after internet, but some like the personal touch, I guess), and even impromptu street gatherings promoted by a$$holes.
      Awhile ago someone referred to the 20%, those who just don’t care, and who think they, personally, are immune. I think there is also a strong influence of binary thinking, brought to,us by “masters”. You are either a winner or a loser; you are either a sinner or saved; you are either in jail or free; you are either rich or poor. You are either locked down (which was never true of British Columbia; most businesses closed because customers and staff disappeared voluntarily, without the ‘mandate’) or everything is back to normal, whatever that was.

      Reply
      1. SKM

        re spit tests not being accurate. I`m guessing these are the antigen tests that have been discussed here a while back.
        True they are not as good as the PCR as a diagnostic but they are in fact better at detecting people who are actually infectious (which is precisely what you need for workplaces or schools). What they miss is the long tail when viral loads too low for transmission. The fact that they are almost instantaneous means the very few that might be missed (the few hours when the viral load is cranking up but still too low for this test to pick up), is a small price compared to all the infectious people walking around either because they can`t access the scarce PCR test or because they have to wait 2,3 4,5 days or more for the result.
        neither the Germans nor the French seem to be understanding this and keep promoting ever faster PCRs which can never be cheap, or fast enough for infection control in a pandemic. The British elite doesn`t even begin to think about anything for public protection anyway- that went out starting with Thatcher….
        Who the hell is in charge??

        Reply
        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Ah yes, the PCR test, that does not meet Koch postulate-level certainty about whether a positive result means that person is even capable of infecting someone else.

          “This detection problem is ubiquitous for RNA viruses detection. SARS-CoV, MERS, Influenza Ebola and Zika viral RNA can be detected long after the disappearance of the infectious virus.”

          https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/infectious-positive-pcr-test-result-covid-19/

          Use it as one tool in public health decision-making about pathogen containment? Sure. Use it as the basis for worldwide economic devastation? Probably not.

          Reply
    5. Tom Bradford

      Article includes the observation that countries with female leaders seem to do better, but doesn’t investigate this further.

      It would be interesting to do some digging into whether female leaders are inherently more responsive, perhaps more ‘motherly’, in dealing with health threats that transcend politics, or whether the populace as a whole is more trusting of a female in charge regardless of any political differences.

      Reply
    6. Moe Knows

      While you make some excellent points, there is one thing I respectfully disagree on: “Total or near elimination of the virus is possible, as NZ, SK, Taiwan and Vietnam”, er, not really. If you have a small geography to work with I agree, but as most infections are created by asymptotic super spreaders (high viral loads to spread), in super-spreading events/places – an indoor bar, in America what the above cited countries did isn’t going to work, because in addition to how people become infected there is in America the problem of mobility. A trucker moving food from the west coast to the east coast has potentially many opportunities to be infected or to infect.

      The math I’m thinking of, ‘network Theory’, explains how contacts can multiply into the millions very quickly. So high density pockets of infections keep appearing over and over again. Then worse to my thinking is the fact that people who know they are infected and decided to go to (super-spreading) events, regardless, infecting others. Sadly, when caught and asked why they do the things they do (go and infect others), the response often is, “really?”. As an American I despair. Knowing why this is happening is one thing, living the nightmare is another. Pain is pain it always hurts.

      Reply
      1. Rtah100

        – Vietnam and South Korea Are hardly small. They have substantial populations and Vietnam is a looong country.
        – The US is not uniquely big and, even if it were, that distance is a head start in elimination.
        – Superspreaders need people dense environments, like Vietnam and s korea. Somebody driving from coast to coast in the US is statistically driving through an empty land.

        The failure to eliminate Covid is a failure of imagination and determination, not a consequence of geography.

        Reply
        1. Tom Bradford

          “The failure to eliminate Covid is a failure of imagination and determination, not a consequence of geography.”

          I concur. NZ’s original lockdown, which stopped the spread to the point it virtually died out on its own, involved all non-essential workers staying home – which included truck-drivers for everything bar food deliveries.

          With only a core of essential workers being exposed to and potentially passing on the virus, precautionary measures could be more effectively targeted, and the workers themselves were more aware both of their vulnerabilities and their responsibilities.

          Sure NZ has a population density of only 49/sq.ml. but the US is only 87/sq.ml. which is hardly bursting at the seams.

          The failure of the US, and the UK and Brazil, is a failure of leadership although in the case of the US I’d add an unwillingness to make sacrifices for the common good.

          Reply
  4. fresno dan

    As Joe Rogan’s Platform Grows, So Does the Media and Liberal Backlash. Why? Intercept Glenn Greenwald

    As one illustrative example of his reach, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden appeared on Rogan’s program six days ago, and the episode has already been viewed more than 5 million times on YouTube alone. The first time Snowden appeared on his program was last October, and that episode, just on YouTube, has more than 16 million views. To put that in perspective: The top-rated cable news programs are the Fox News shows hosted by Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, and they average between 4 to 5 million viewers, or one-fourth the number of views Rogan’s discussion with Snowden generated.
    ……
    What makes all of this more confounding is that Rogan is a fairly basic political liberal on almost every issue: He believes in the need for greater social spending for the nation’s poor and working class, opposes war and militarism, favors drug legalization, is adamantly pro-choice and pro-LGBT rights, and generally adheres to liberal orthodoxies on standard political debates. That is why he was so fond of Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard, and why Andrew Yang — whose signature issue was the universal basic income — was one of the few candidates he deemed worth talking to.
    ===========================================
    Sorry Glenn, but its not confounding at all if you understand that “liberal” is merely an advertising adjective like “new and improved” that is put in front of a word, but has no basis in reality. Most Americans support a “liberal” agenda, but the rich don’t, so that is why we are where we are….
    He believes in the need for greater social spending for the nation’s poor and working class, opposes war and militarism, favors drug legalization, is adamantly pro-choice and pro-LGBT rights, and generally adheres to liberal orthodoxies on standard political debates.

    Uh, exactly where does Glenn get the idea that most congressional dems actually agree with IMPLEMENTING those positions, as opposed to ersatz simulacrums of such positions (e.g., Obamacare instead of M4A)?

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      Of course you could say that most Americans share similar thoughts as Joe Rogan does about ‘the need for greater social spending for the nation’s poor and working class, opposes war and militarism, favors drug legalization, is adamantly pro-choice and pro-LGBT rights, and generally adheres to liberal orthodoxies on standard political debates. I have listened to excerpts from his shows a coupla times now and he just seems like the average guy that you might run across in your travels.

      So of course the question poses itself. You take a look at all the talking heads on CNN, Fox, MSNBC and all the other networks and you ask yourself this. When you look at their beliefs, do they sound like your neighbour or do they sound like the elites with their siding with the political establishment, coming down on worker’s rights, telling people that some of the most horrible people on the planet are good, trustworthy people and constantly gaslighting the people that listen to them?

      It may just be that the main stream media will be slowly going to oblivion as a younger generation grows up. Is it not true that the average age for viewers for some networks are verging on elderly? Do we really need to listen to millionaires to tell us what to think? People like Maddow and Carlson and the whole gang of them? Who made them the boss of the news that we listen to?

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Don’t discuss religion, politics, and money. The lack of public discussion about politics is how our electeds get away with the US vs them speech while drinking with the other side. Olbermann might be desperate to get on TV, but I sensed his views were genuine as opposed to crafted which is why MSNBC cut ties with the guy who built their brand.

        Anyone who isn’t an out and out propagandist is dangerous. Admittedly, if I’ve seen Joe Rogan it’s been by accident or my old room mate who watched the first season of fear factor.

        Reply
      2. Moe Knows

        “People like Maddow and Carlson and the whole gang of them? Who made them the boss of the news that we listen to?” – No for that I have my three wonderful children that are constantly explaining the defects in my thinking. Thoughts I never even new I had.

        Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          And that is what grandchildren are for – your revenge! Better yet, when your grandkids are very young, fill them up with red drink, have them run around the yard a few times, and then return them to their parents!

          Reply
      3. drumlin woodchuckles

        Every single person who watches Maddow and Carlson and the whole gang helps to make these people the boss of the news that we listen to.

        The mass individual action of not watching them, and more to the point, keeping track of who advertises on them and boycotting those advertisers till they stop that advertising, might pressure them into unprofitability and then off the air.

        It would have to be viewed as a war. A media culture war. A medieval media culture siege war.

        Reply
    2. ptb

      Good interview by Greenwald. Shant Mesrobian breaks it down pretty well, without focusing on the P-word, populism. Though Rogan’s actual popularity may be an equally big source of tension. In the last 10 minutes of the Greenwald interview, Mesrobian pretty much states a version of the ‘Iron law of institutions’ sometimes cited here on NC, referring to the mainstream Democratic party for which he worked.

      Rogan shouldn’t be hard to understand – he’s like a current-generation version of the radio-era Howard Stern, except maybe he goes more for the long-form. Like the dissillusioned (often male) swing voter demographic that is his audience, Rogan is a thorn in the side of anyone who buys into the managed-media world – though he may be starting to cash out with the Spotify deal.

      Typically, Dems managed to thoughtlessly alienate him when he supported Tulsi and Bernie, so he is now refusing to endorse Biden.

      Reply
      1. barefoot charley

        What’s wrong with Rogan is he converses, and lets people talk. And talk. Actual conversation not pre-chunked into sound bites. If you have the time and patience it’s interesting, for undermining the way media forces no-attention-span communication on mainstreamers. Rogan threatens not just tribal behaviors, but faux-communication norms. Talk like that exposes foundations, it informs listeners about the talkers without mediation and editing. Where else does that happen?

        Reply
        1. Pelham

          Exactly. He listens. And he asks obvious questions. I can barely watch any mainstream interview with a public figure because I want to shout out blazingly obvious questions and follow-ups that apparently never flit across the fossilized minds of the interviewers.

          Rogan does ask those questions and then drills in where necessary. Yet he very much comes off as just a regular guy applying ordinary intelligence to an admittedly rather remarkably wide range of subjects. Plus, as noted, he takes the time needed.

          If Rogan doesn’t moderate a Biden-Trump debate, it will be a gross disservice to the country — although the fault won’t lie with Rogan.

          Reply
          1. chuck roast

            He listens…amen. And he responds. All the other media bloviators can’t wait to get to get onto their next canned BS, culture war question. He is kind of like a normal woman in this regard. Women listen. IMO that’s why they make good supervisors. The boy is definitely way off the reservation.

            Reply
    3. John k

      Clinton wondered why reps should get all the Corp money, so he started a third way, which meant centrist, and centrist means servicing Corp donors. This brought about the de facto merger of the dems and reps into a single Corp party.
      Since Fdr, a Democrat meant a supporter of the working class, and liberal meant, I think, a supporter of equal rights for all. After Clinton the three terms, Democrat, liberal and centrist, all mostly mean a person available for immediate sale to the highest bidder, but with some variation on cultural issues (big tent).
      Accordingly, a modern liberal, while agreeing on a few things such as abortion and lgbt, strongly opposes working class issues of a traditional liberal such as Rogan.

      Reply
      1. Procopius

        Minor quibble: Clinton didn’t actually start the Democratic Leadership Council (aka Third Way, New Democrats). It was started in 1983, by several established Democratic figures (see Al From’s, The NEW Democrats and the Return to Power). He was invited to become its chairman in 1989 and actually accepted the position in 1990. The attribution is not actually all that important, because he embodied every aspect of the thinking of the founders, but basis of which was, “The New Deal is outmoded, Labor is an albatross around our necks, and we need the money from Wall Street.”

        Reply
    4. ShamanicFallout

      Reminds me a little bit of the backlash against Russell Brand in England. Rogan and Brand aren’t part of the proper elite so plenty of tut-tutting about them

      Reply
      1. chuck roast

        Yep, if you ain’t entitled, you ain’t appearing in or on any of the propaganda organs. Lately I have been watching Trailer Park Boys on my new TV. A few episodes of that will finely calibrate your BS detector.

        Reply
    5. Moe Knows

      fresno dan, to be fair, I can’t think in my life time (since ‘55) when Republicans ever even pretended to care about the working class or poor. I suppose that Dems pretend adds an extra element of evil, but then who is buying into the Dems act of pretending? Not many, else Trump would not have been elected. Michigan, Wisconsin, & Pennsylvania are fairly normal places, if the Dems couldn’t win these states and they didn’t in 2016, then that is serious indeed. People have their issues and at a certain point being ignored and going away empty handed is too much. Nothing is going to change until the billionaire class is forced to relent. The PMC lacking any principles will then be easy to turn.

      Reply
      1. pasha

        here in the western michigan, 2016 was more a vote AGAINST clinton than it was a vote for trump; she got only 42% of the vote, he got 52%. incidentally, two recent polls of the third congressional district (which last elected a democratic representative in 1976) show biden 48-41 and tied 47-47.

        Reply
  5. The Historian

    The link to the Bloomberg story about Trump giving $200 to the elderly for drugs is broken. Here is a link from another source:
    https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-seniors-elderly-medicare-cards-plan-election-day-prescription-drugs-2020-9

    In any event, $200? That would be about $16.67 a month. Wow! That’s kind of a slap in the face to the elderly who see their drug costs increasing, isn’t it? Didn’t Trump vow to make drug costs cheaper?

    Obviously he thinks the elderly will sell out cheap.
    Sorry, but I am elderly and this new scheme of his is doing nothing to convince me.

    Reply
    1. Sam Adams

      The headline says $200. Since most ‘merikans only read headlines it’s a Great 5 card monte con by Trump. Make the mark think they’ll get $200 every month to cover their drug costs. That’ll cover most of the elderly drug copays

      Reply
      1. The Historian

        If there is one thing seniors are aware of, it is their medical costs. They aren’t going to be fooled. I saw a good comment on another website where the person stated that if Trump wants to bribe seniors, he should pay them what he paid Stormy Daniels.

        Reply
      2. Billy

        Of course the upwards of $1,300 that some people pay monthly for an Obamacare premium is such a bargain.

        The choice is up to the voters in national and congressional elections.

        Only candidates who promote Medicare for All, deserve our votes.

        One does not have to fill out their ballot completely.

        Reply
        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          ObamaCare took “coverage” from 84% to a whopping 87%, showering untold additional profits on insurance billionaires while premiums rose sharply. Whoop-de-friggin-do Obama is such a hero I’m so excited

          Reply
          1. Ander

            I don’t have any love for Obama, and the Affordable Care Act is deeply flawed, but it caused an increase in coverage of much more than 3%.

            The source I’m linking is arguably biased, but the peer reviewed literature shows largely the same thing:


            The declines in the uninsured rate from 2010 to 2015 have been similar in size across most income, racial, ethnic, and geographic groups, measured in percentage terms. For example, the percent reductions in the uninsured rate by income group were as follows:
            o Less than 100 percent of FPL: Percent reduction of 39 percent (from 42 percent to 26 percent).
            o 100-125 percent of FPL: Percent reduction of 48 percent (from 46 percent to 24 percent).
            o 125-250 percent of FPL: Percent reduction of 41 percent (from 38 percent to 22 percent).
            o 250-400 percent of FPL: Percent reduction of 37 percent (from 19 percent to 12 percent).
            o Greater than 400 percent of FPL: Percent reduction of 42 percent (from 6 percent to 4 percent).

            Reply
            1. pasha

              thanks for the details. i know it has been a literal lifesaver for three of my friends. they were without coverage for years as single mums, and have kids under 26, one of whom has a pre-existing condition. as you point out, millions have been helped by ObamaCare.

              personally, as a recipient of medicare, i think medicaid-for-all would help people more than medicare-for-all would

              Reply
        2. howseth

          $1300 a year? Wow.
          Affordable Care Act worked wonders for us. I’m in Central Coast California, and had low enough income to get the big benefits – of low co-pay – very low premiums. I could afford the ear operation I needed. (Though my plans Blue Cross/Anthem gave me a hard time about payment. They would not answer their phones for hours – and then would tell me the surgeon was not in their network – when he certainly was.)
          One day 3 years ago I got a letter saying, due to my income, I would be transferred to MediCal (California Medicaid)… Uh oh!
          Turns out it was the best healthcare I ever got – relatively no hassles – the local branch answer the phones quickly – give straight responses. No bullsh*t. Not used to that. Cover a lot of stuff. Got a hearing aid for the other ear: Cost $0. I should feel guilty about that. I pay for batteries.
          I am now in favor of MediCal for all… or Medicare For All. (I’ve reached the age for Medicare – does cost about $2000 a year).

          Reply
    2. bruce

      $200 in drugs is a weekend. At 65 (does that count as elderly?), the prospect of serving my country by helping to remove Trump is sufficient incentive for me to stay clean and sober for a weekend.

      Reply
  6. Redlife2017

    This will give you a good idea of what the right is thinking about Kyle Rittenhouse and what is going on in America…Rod Dreher’s apologia for Kyle Rittenhouse: Kyle Rittenhouse Did No Wrong

    “[o]n the basis of this clip [from a film created by the defense team!], it seems to me that Kyle Rittenhouse ought never to have been charged. True, a 17-year-old should not have been out in a riot, even though he meant well, but that does not mean that he should have been charged in these shootings. Kyle Rittenhouse is not the enemy of civilization; the people he shot were, and are. No law-abiding citizen has anything to worry from the Kyle Rittenhouses of the world. The men he shot were part of a mob that was vandalizing, burning, and looting.”

    Yeah, I mean “true, a 17-year-old should not have been out in a riot”…I mean he’s white and middle class. He “meant well”. You can’t be mean to someone who meant well, is white, and murdered 2 people and wounded a 3rd!

    I guess it’s OK to murder a person who has no weapons. It’s all the murdered people’s fault anyway…

    Reply
    1. PeterfromGeorgia

      Self defense is not murder. Party A threw a molotov at him, Party B hit him on the head with a skateboard, and Party C had a pistol in his hand when approaching and bragged to friends he intended to kill Kyle.

      Whether he should have been there is another question, but when the police cannot control a situation others will step in to the void. It’s not Kyle that should worry you…it’s the ones coming after that should worry you.

      Reply
      1. juno mas

        …and it was Kyle who was doing the menacing and shooting with unlawful possession of an assault rifle. Stopping another white, male, multiple murderer from adding to the body count of another mass killing is normally considered heroic (especially when police attempt it).

        Yes, it is the those that came before Kyle AND those that will came after that worries mothers, fathers, sons and daughters everywhere. That is why Australia banned Kyle’s weapon of choice throughout the land; the US should follow.

        Reply
        1. BinDenver

          He doesn’t have an assault rifle, he has a sporting rifle that is legal for civilians to own AND is legal for him to possess so long as there was an adult supervising.

          Reply
      2. nippersdad

        When did the plastic bag become a Molotov Cocktail?

        The guy who hit him with the skateboard did so AFTER Rittenhouse had already shot someone.

        Citations required for the “Party C” with a handgun bragging about wanting to kill Rittenhouse.

        None of that rings true and I would be very interested in hearing where you are getting it from. Rittenhouse was underage and should not have had a weapon like that in the first place, much less had his Mother drive him across state lines to specifically engage in militia behavior. Perhaps the police lost control of the situation because such situations have become so common and there is seldom ever any justice provided to the victims.

        Self defense, in Rittenhouse’s situation, would have been to stay home in Illinois and get his mother to make him a sandwich, not to intentionally put himself in harm’s way and then play the victim.

        Reply
        1. BinDenver

          Your post is a perfect illustration of the current, dangerous state of news reporting. I’m not blaming you at all, your story is the official narrative pushed relentlessly so it isn’t your fault that is what you think the facts are. And what scares me is not there are agreed upon facts, but two different interpretations, but there is ONE STORY and the other is not reported on at all, leaving us all incapable of making informed analysis.

          I didn’t mention the plastic bag, I’m not even sure KR saw it. Not relevant to me, might be relevant to others. Are you aware minors can absolutely possess and use (note I did not say buy) an AR15 so long as they are supervised by an adult? Are you aware KR did not cross state lines to stir up trouble, he was already in Kenosha – he works there?! Are you aware he was given the AR15 in Wisconsin, he did cross state lines with it – not that that even matters? I know perfectly well the claims KR’s social media is filled with white nationalist postings, why are you not aware of the comments of handgun guy?

          If this is the first time you’ve heard these claims, then understand i’m not here to convince you of my perspective, I’m asking to simply ask yourself why you had never heard these things before? Why doesn’t the news provide the complete picture? Are you not concerned you’ve never been exposed to any of these claims, if only to be refuted in the media?

          Because this is Russiagate all over. One official narrative, and another that rarely see the light of day. And once again, the alternative story at least has the benefit of specifics – who, what , when , where, that at least have the advantage of being confirmed or refuted. While the official story has vague claims, by unnamed sources, that paint a bad impression, but fall apart upon real scrutiny.

          Reply
          1. voteforno6

            Because this is Russiagate all over

            This is a rather overheated comparison to make.

            Are you aware minors can absolutely possess and use (note I did not say buy) an AR15 so long as they are supervised by an adult?

            So, what adult was supervising him when he shot those people?

            Reply
            1. BinDenver

              “This is a rather overheated comparison to make.”
              I don’t think so. This completely warped public discussion due to this form of “news reporting” has already resulted in two people dead in just this example. It motivates people to get out in the streets and do unwise things. Nobody died for Russiagate, though had the POTUS been successfully removed from office over it, there very well might been. This form of “news reporting” is creeping into all sorts of explosive topics. So I absolutely see it as part and parcel of Russiagate rhetoric and just as dangerous. You might see it differently, that’s fine.

              Reply
              1. jsn

                I tend to agree with you on the form of corporate journalism, which is to say it’s an abuse of language to call it journalism. I’m confident I’m not getting accurate facts from anywhere, not from CNN or the Times or the WSJ, Fox or The American Conservative who have all produced inflammatory stories of one stripe or another.

                If you allow institutions like the police to kill minorities and poor people without consequence for long enough, and if for whatever self righteous reason you dis-employ without support enough of those minorities and poor people enough that in Kings words they resort to “the language of the unheard” (riots), it’s reasonable to expect the police and those who identify with them to end up killing a bunch of poor people and minorities over graffiti and property crimes which are trivial in the context of starvation, the pandemic, systemic police murder and the other existential issues poor people, all poor people face.

                So, then to economize on the Jay Gould model of paying half of the working class to kill the other half, our oligarchs just pay “reporters” write propaganda that turns up the heat and causes us all to get at each others throats over facts we’ll never really know so that the psychopaths and sociopaths who run the corporations that pay for elected officers to run for office in the first place can continue to get everything they want from the government while we distract ourselves fighting about what we’ll never really know.

                Reply
          2. Aumua

            You completely dodged answering any of Nippersdad’s questions or providing any support for your assertions, by dismissing his post outright as some blind and uninformed following of the official narrative. How about you present some documentation of this “other interpretation” and how those alternate conclusions were arrived at, as well as your source(s)?

            It never ceases to surprise me how much people these days, while (rightly) questioning the mainstream narratives, just eat up these alt-stream narratives like they are God’s given truth with no critical mind at all about them. Just because I guess they sound like something you already think is true? Just because something sounds true doesn’t make it the truth.

            Reply
        1. Kurtismayfield

          What does the people who were trying to stop and disarm the 17 yr old kid have to do with the facts of the case?

          Why continually go back to the violent protests footage?

          They would have left themselves more credibility if they stuck with the videos and what happened.

          Again, just more narrative.

          Reply
      3. Kurtismayfield

        No one threw a molotov.. it was a plastic bag with a bottle in it. It was found at the scene! If he threw a molotov where is the evidence for it at the scene? Burning things leave evidence.

        The first person charged and yelled at the kid to shoot him after he threw the bag at him. The kid was obviously scared and shot him.

        The second and third persons were told that the 17 yr old shot someone. I thought that regular people were supposed to stop bad guys when they commit crimes? That was what they were attempting to do.

        As far as “The police not doing their job” LOL.. there is video of the police encouraging the Milita.. thanking them for coming. They handed water to them and there is video of the police talking to this 17 year old kid previously in the evening. The police allowed a 17 yr old kid to walk around with that rifle.

        You are letting narrative get in the way of actual video evidence. I actually can’t wait to see all of this evidence at a trial.

        Reply
      4. Lambert Strether

        > Self defense is not murder. Party A threw a molotov at him, Party B hit him on the head with a skateboard, and Party C had a pistol in his hand when approaching and bragged to friends he intended to kill Kyle.

        I need a link to that timeline. Do you have one?

        Adding, I whacked a number of comments that addressed the commenter instead of the substance of the comment. In general, if your sentence includes the word “you,” think twice about it. It’s going to be a bumpy ride until Election Day and most likely after. Anybody who wants to pick fights or use fighting words can go to Facebook, or Reddit, or the Twitter.

        Reply
        1. adam

          For that I apologize. But the idea that we as a society need or want vigelantes on the streets hits very close to home for me. My entire extended family in Europe was murdered by the brown shirts and their successors. Not one survived and I’ve checked. Their killers also were just enforcing the law against a bunch of undesirables and the establishment back then was happy to have them do it. Is this an acceptable future for us?

          Reply
          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Totally agree, the agents of the state should be the only ones enforcing public order. Q: where were the agents of the state in Minneapolis? What instructions did they receive? Were they told not to try to defend the >1,000 businesses that were destroyed? Or were they overwhelmed, and needed outside assistance? If so, when was that outside assistance requested? If there was a delay, why? The answers to all of these questions better be *100% apolitical* IMO.

            https://bringmethenews.com/minnesota-news/a-list-of-the-buildings-damaged-looted-in-minneapolis-and-st-paul

            Reply
            1. adam

              I’m sorry, but your argument is one sided only. I would have to ask you the same questions from the other perspective: why did the police kill George Floyd? Why is property more important than human life and how many lives are worth one business? Your answer better be 100% apolitical. See, very easy to play.

              Reply
      5. pasha

        whether it was “self defense,” and whether he was illegally in possession of a gun, are questions that should be determined by a wisconsin jury, not by militarized police or right-wing pundits. his defense team is now fighting the writ of extradition, which illinois’ governor has already signed.

        Reply
      6. drumlin woodchuckles

        I thought I remember reading that the police very carefully and deliberately herded the protesters towards and maybe even into the MAGAtard counter-protesters, in hopes that something like this would happen. Does anyone else here remember reading about that?

        Reply
        1. savedbyirony

          Yes. And watching the video, the police “knew” the young man with the rifle, as in they recognized what his role in being there was in relationship to themselves. He was returning back to his own sides line in the “battle”, and the police recognized and treated him as an allie.

          Reply
          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            Which goes to show why the Louisville P D is irredeemable and irreformable. It should be abolished and its nazi UNION should be crushed. The money not spent on the no-more-Louisville-police anymore should be spent with local sherriffs’ departments to provide security and enforcement instead. A condition of those contracts would be that no de-jobbed Louisvilled ex-police officers ( under this plan) would ever be hired by the sheriff departments during the life of these contracts.

            Reply
    2. sinbad66

      He’ll get slapped on the wrist with only a weapons charge (can’t own a weapon if your under 18). More of the same…..

      Reply
      1. Ignacio

        Kyle Rittenhouse’s gunshots meant well… nuclear bombs in Japan meant well also… we can take this argument as far as we can and it is absurd in all cases.

        Reply
        1. KevinD

          Whether he should have been there is another question

          cart before the horse maybe??

          jeebus! – he was underaged and illegally carrying a rifle = all else thereafter is moot.

          I’m sure if a black man showed up, underaged and armed to a KKK rally he would have been offered water from the cops just like Kyle (not!!!)

          Reply
          1. BinDenver

            My understanding of Wisconsin law is that he was allowed to have that rifle as long as there was an adult supervising. That there was such an adult is in the indictment! So is the witness claim that first victim was trying to grab is gun. I’m not sure what the prosecutor is thinking, but all of the elements for a successful self-defense case is already acknowledged in the indictment. After this kid gets acquitted but his life ruined, I really hope NC acknowledges their willful blindness on the issue. Because here is the real story: a KID who has done nothing but put out a dumpster fire, gets chased by ADULTS, ADULTS try to assault or disarm him, KID defends himself. I would hope the ADULTS here at NC can at minimum turn that second story over in their mind and see if it might be true.

            Reply
              1. BinDenver

                I was not speaking figuratively, he literally put out a dumpster fire a rioter had started, which inflamed the crowd.

                I’ve been reading this blog since 2009, I just haven’t needed to post because the members have been informed and rational up to this point.

                Reply
              1. BinDenver

                I did. Please tell me how how the facts in that indictment are not the basis for a single juror to say “looks like self-defense from beginning to end?” Even the weapons possession charge is undercut by acknowledging that there was an adult there to “defend” Kyle. If that person says in court that he was supervising Kyle while Kyle possessed the rifle, that’s all a single juror needs to acquit on that charge too! I’ve laid out my specifics, what are yours? Surely not “read the indictment?”

                Reply
                1. KevinD

                  The indictment does not mention a “adult supervising him” – nor does any of the video show him being “supervised”.

                  Who is this “supervisor?” does she/he have a name?

                  Reply
                  1. BinDenver

                    They document an adult guardian. Whatever we might think that means, the fact is KR had right to possess that rifle under Wisconsin law as long as had an adult supervising. And again, whether we think the adult was or was not supervising is not relevant, the defense will clearly put him on the stand and if he claims he was supervising or guarding KR, the crime melts pretty fast. You only need one juror to acquit.

                    Reply
                    1. KevinD

                      We disagree. it happens.

                      I find no mention of an adult guardian – upon which your whole defense rests – otherwise he is in possession of a fire arm illegally (among other charges).

                      He is/was a an ignorant armed teenager who decide he would become vigilante. hopefully, similarly inspired teenagers don’t show up in your neighborhood – or mine!

                  2. BinDenver

                    An adult claiming to guard KR is in the indictment! In almost exactly those words. I don’t know why you are claiming it is not there.

                    We can debate what that means all we want. But is there, and all the defense has to do is get that adult to testify he was supervising KR’s use of the rifle, and all the elements to satisfy KR’s possession can arguably be made to the jury.

                    Reply
                  1. KevinD

                    exactly.

                    read the indictment front to back – no mention of a “supervisor”, but then again we live in a country where facts can be made up on the fly. if anyone cares to post the part of the indictment where it says different – I’m all eyes.

                    Reply
                    1. BinDenver

                      From the indictment, quoting Detective Cepress: “McGinnis said that as they [McGinnis and KR] were walking south another armed male who appeared to be in his 30s joined them and said he was there to protect the defendent [KR]”

                      Now I don’t know who this other person is. But we do have another fact that might be relevant to all of the “he crossed state lines with an illegal assault weapon” people: he was given the AR15 by an adult in Wisconsin. Is this guardian guy? If it is (and it doesn’t need to be if another adult was there to supervise, but it does fit what is known) and he testifies that he was supervising KR’s use of the AR15, it might be very difficult to get a conviction on that particular charge. Certainly the defense is building some position like this right now.

                      Again, before you simply attack my rational – you are free to – if any of the claims of fact I have just made have never reached your eyes before, then the first thing you should is figure out why that is. Not continue to call me a liar about what is said in the indictment you can’t be bothered to read yoruself.

                2. nippersdad

                  Just so that we are all on the same page, here is a copy of the indictment.

                  https://www.theherald-news.com/lists/2020/08/28/0314ee2e081c4d00a3aced407b07d2ec/index.xml?page=1

                  The indictment, in the probable cause section, would appear to refute your argument that anything about this was self defense.

                  There is one person referred to as having been there to protect Rittenhouse, but clearly he wasn’t doing a very good job. He was only referenced in passing and not even identified such that one could get his story put into the probable cause section. Also, to defend is not to supervise; the term supervise would imply that he had some control over Rittenhouse to begin with, something that is patently not the case given the ensuing events..

                  Your “Molotov Cocktail” is specifically referred to as a plastic bag, identified by video evidence.

                  No mention is made of the shots previous to the crowd going after Rittenhouse trying to detain/disarm him, but all of my reading on the topic suggests that they had seen him shoot into the crowd and that is what motivated their actions. Unless you are claiming that there was no causus belli on their part other than to take down a militia member you don’t appear to have much of a case.

                  Once more, it would be nice to see where you are getting your information. Virtually the entire event was filmed; that was what made up the basis for probable cause. Please cite your sources.

                  Reply
                  1. BinDenver

                    “There is one person referred to as having been there to protect Rittenhouse, but clearly he wasn’t doing a very good job. He was only referenced in passing and not even identified such that one could get his story put into the probable cause section. Also, to defend is not to supervise; the term supervise would imply that he had some control over Rittenhouse to begin with, something that is patently not the case given the ensuing events..”

                    I agree with everything you say here. My position is that those things above may be irrelevant to how the law is applied. Being a poor supervisor doesn’t make your “ward” suddenly a criminal. I agree we don’t know much about this guardian person, BUT as I said, we do know that an adult gave the rifle to KR (not illegal in and of itself) and we know someone claimed to be guarding KR. My hyothesis, which no one seems to actually address, is that if this person is one and the same, and if this person gets on the stand to say he was supervising KR’s possession of the weapon, then the jury could very well decide that KR’s possession of the weapon was legal. THAT is my position to which your argument should be addressed. Whether guard guy was shitty supervisor is not relevant to KR’s possessing the gun, though it could leave guard guy open to charges of negligence of some sort.

                    For the second time, I never brought Molotov cocktails into the discussion. I don’t find it relevant.

                    For more speculative debate, we can talk about our interpretations of the video evidence and motives and states of mind of KR and crowd. From the video evidence I see, and teh journalist McGinnis statements to police – who was nearest the action, it appears to me the crowd became enraged when KR put out the dumpster fire. As the crowd became aggressive KR attempted to run away, shots were fired in the area, but not yet from KR (this is the protester I mentioned before as possibly having been identified), McGinnis said he thought the shots were coming near enough to their direction that he speculated KR might very well have thought he was being shot at. At this moment victim 1 had been chasing right behind KR and when KR turned, he grabbed for KR’s gun. Keep in mind at this point, KR has done nothing except put out a fire and piss off the crowd. Dumb? Sure, but then he is 17 years old. Now put yourself in his shoes: a mob starts moving on you, shots were close enough you think you’ve just been shot at, you turn around and an adult who you already had a verbal spat with is right there grabbing for your gun. What was he supposed to do now? Let an angry person grab his gun, maybe shoot him with it, maybe get pummeled to death by a mob, and hadn’t even done anything yet except put out a fire? He chose to defend himself. And IF that is the true story, I don’t have a problem with it. Because the two deaths after that were just further defenses against his life. If the motives of victims 2&3 are moral, then I feel bad for them. They were victims of a chaotic situation and got caught up in the hysteria.

                    Though I should add, while I agree chasing down murderers is just fine with me, I don’t think the law allows armed civilians to chase after them and attack them, thereby creating a life and death situation that wouldn’t have existed had they simply stayed apart. Another thing I’ll add: all of these comments about KR just randomly shooting into the crowd aren’t supported by the video evidence I’ve seen. Every shot he took appeared to be in response to actual action by a person right in front of him. Certainly there were a lot of gunshots. Maybe we should be finding those people, because they appear to be the ones shooting blindly into a crowd.

                    I held off any judgement of this until there was more known about the first shooting. because if KR was the aggressive one and the first shooting wasn’t justified, then yes, the next two are murder (at least I think that is how the law would look at it). But if wasn’t, well then,,,let’s be morally and intellectually honest about what happened that night.

                    Reply
                    1. nippersdad

                      OK, there is a lot to get through there.

                      1. If Rittenhouse had a guardian/supervisor, then why has he not stepped forward? Why was he not been named by Rittenhouse in his depositions? Why are there no reports of the deposition of said guardian/supervisor to be found on the internets? That is a pretty large plot hole in the story. The police who let him through their lines could find him the next day at his home in Illinois but they cannot find the guy that was supposed to be protecting/supervising him?

                      I find that difficult to believe.

                      2. Re: “Being a poor supervisor does not suddenly make your ward a criminal.” Actually, it does. Being a ward is a legal term that makes the guardian responsible for all of the actions of one’s ward. That is the nature of wardship. What it does, as I said earlier, is that in the event of a murder supervised by a guardian BOTH are accountable for the action of the ward. Perhaps that is why he has not been named or come forward.

                      3. How do we know that a Wisconsin adult gave him the weapon? I have seen no reportage about such a thing; hence the requests for links. I HAVE seen it reported that his mother transported him to the scene with everything he was found to have on him, which, again, makes her an accessory.

                      4. In no legal jurisdiction that I have ever heard of is it legal to transfer possession of a gun like that unsupervised to a minor. I have lived in Wisconsin; while things may have changed there, last I heard such a weapon could not be transferred to anyone without the proper legal paperwork showing a change of ownership.

                      Perhaps when they research the serial numbers on the weapon and determine ownership that question will be resolved, but until then this is just idle speculation.

                      4. My initial response about Molotov Cocktails was to someone else who specifically referenced them. If I confused him with you then I apologize. Here is the quote I was responding to:

                      “PeterfromGeorgia
                      September 25, 2020 at 8:23 am

                      Self defense is not murder. Party A threw a molotov at him,….”

                      5. In the videos I have seen wherein Rittenhouse interacts with the police immediately prior to the riot, he had no fire extinguisher. The first video that comes up on the internets showing SOMEONE with a fire extinguisher putting out a dumpster fire is one in which the person doing so is in silhouette; virtually impossible to identify him.

                      https://twitter.com/markdice/status/1299804984926564352?lang=en

                      The person who “identified” him in the video may have ulterior motives for having done so. Mark Dice is not someone that I would look to for neutral commentary. It is neither moral nor ethical to use the commentary of someone so obviously biased as a matter of fact.

                      6. I would never have put myself in Rittenhouse’s position. The kid is clearly a moron. At seventeen my Dad would have knocked me flat had he seen me walking around with an unbroken shotgun, loaded or not, much less going to a protest with an AR 15. It is, therefore, not possible for me to put myself into his shoes. Such things simply were not done in my youth.

                      7. The law allows people to eliminate threats in their midst, especially when there is no recourse to law enforcement. Law enforcement, in this case, sat back and watched the whole thing unfold and did nothing. That is unlikely to inspire confidence in the crowd being shot at.

                      Finally, I think that this needs to play out before further inflammatory ideas are spread. What we know is that Kyle Rittenhouse was underaged and in possession of an AR15 across state lines which he then used to kill two and wound one. He should not have been there in the first place.

                      And that is what matters to me.

              1. BinDenver

                Lambert, look I understand your request. But this is straight out of the indictment, from the journalist McGinnis’s statements in teh indictment and interviews he gave afterward, and the video evidence all over youtube. I accept some burden of proof, but would you guys at least shoulder some of that burden too by simply asking yourself why you hadn’t heard any of this before? Because we’ve all seen this movie before, and after the mess of Russiagate (and to an extent things like the Covington kids fiasco, etc.) when I personally get handed a completely different narrative than I’ve heard so far, my first inclination is no longer to immediately refute it, but ask myself “huh, are my new sources lying to me? Again?”

                Reply
                1. Yves Smith

                  You keep referring to the indictment but numerous readers above who have read it dispute that is says anything even approaching what you assert that it says. This is looking like an extended exercise in bad faith argumentation. Unless you provide specific quotes from the indictment. you need to stop.

                  Reply
                2. Aumua

                  I am well aware of these ‘alternate facts’ in fact. That is because I listen to the far right talk radio and visit the alt-right/far right sources that you refuse to acknowledge here because you know damn well how questionable they will be seen as. I do this because I like to keep my finger on the pulse of the narratives being spun there, which you are trying to deliver here.

                  Reply
              2. fresno dan

                Lambert Strether
                September 25, 2020 at 2:55 pm

                I think what we are seeing here, to paraphrase Upton Sinclair
                ‘It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary ideology depends on his not understanding it.’
                And on a practical level, having 17 years olds walking around with rifles during demonstrations is just stupid, whether ‘guardianed’ or not.

                and on a better note, I got appreciation gifts for being a HICAP volunteer today – WHOO HOO. A Plaque! A nice one!! Not quite as good as the medal the Cowardly Lion got, but I will settle for what I can get…and a niffty little briefcase like thingy…

                Reply
        2. BinDenver

          So what are the laws KR broke? Looking at the episode from the beginning, tell me what he did that was legally wrong? And if you want to take some moral stance, tell me how is actions are less defensible than the ADULTS he ended up shooting.

          Looking at the last two shootings first, he is being attacked by two people with deadly weapons (handgun, skateboard), with skateboard guy swinging it at KR’s head. KR defended himself. Second guy is pointing a handgun at KR, puts up his hands, KR then drops his weapon, then the guy tries to grab KR’s gun. KR defends himself again – grabbing someone’s gun is the same as threatening with your own. The ONLY thing that could possibly change this from self defense is the very first shooting being illegal. But again, from the evidence I can find, it appears someone shot a handgun in his direction (they have now identified the shooter) at virtually the same time the first victim chases KR and tries to grab his gun. KR defends himself. IF those are the facts, this was self defense from beginning to end.

          I don’t know what it is about guns and climate change, but as soon as those are the topic, the normally astute and rational NC commentariat really loses it’s quality.

          Reply
          1. howseth

            “I don’t know what it is about guns and climate change, but as soon as those are the topic, the normally astute and rational NC commentariat really loses it’s quality.”

            I’m not seeing the “NC commentariat” losing it’s quality on this, because they do not agree with you. Do you really think you have laid out an iron clad case – and readers here are just irrational?
            Reply ↓

            Reply
          2. Bazarov

            BinDenver,

            It’s true that the NC commentariat generally disagrees with you (note, however, that not *all* of it does–but your view is the minority view among active commentators).

            But you should also note that you’ve been able to air your views extensively, and honestly, I’m very glad that you have been able to! It’s great to have someone with a different perspective forcefully (but rationally–and respectfully, I’d say) defend that perspective in the comments. It certainly has caused me to rethink my position on this shooting.

            In other words, I–usually a lurker here–have given you a fair hearing.

            So, with this debate out in the open, far from denigrating the quality of NC’s commentary, it has enhanced it.

            If you have a legitimate concern (read: rational) with the flow of the debate, you should intervene with your own views.

            That can only be good for the NC commentariat.

            Reply
            1. BinDenver

              I certainly wouldn’t bother replying if it were the Yahoo message board, I can promise you that! I depend heavily on NC for rational analysis and context that is so often missing. On a couple subjects I feel this has fallen short, my criticism is meant in the most constructive way.

              Reply
          3. Old Jake

            Jim Crow era lynchings were “legal” also, and just like in the Breonna Taylor homicide those in power do not prosecute when their sympathies lie with the perp, or they wish to encourage the actions. You have to understand the larger picture here and recognize too that there are significant differences in the magnitude of the alleged force used.

            Reply
          4. Kurtismayfield

            I highly doubt that the defense is going to be able to show that he was supervised with that rifle. That is the problem.

            If you are using a weapon that is illegally possessed, it does not bode well for your defense. Plus the owner of that rifle is going to be liable for everything that happened.

            Plus the crowd at this point did not know that the shooter shot in self defense.. all they knew is that he was a shooter, and they attempted to disarm him If he gets off on those shootings, then no “good guy with a gun” should ever intervene in a shooting ever again.

            Reply
      2. Billy

        More importantly, the convicted child molestor and robbery felons in possesion of illegal handguns on street who attacked him, and other felonious attackers, were not prosecuted by the cuck district attorney of Kenosha.

        The kid tried to turn himself in immediately after the shooting and then went to his local police department the next morning and did so. Any of the rioters do that?

        Reply
        1. nippersdad

          You just outed yourself with the word “cuck.”

          Perhaps they weren’t indicted by the DA because Rittenhouse had already killed them? Just a guess; seems like it would be hard to indict the dead, but your mileage obviously varies. As for the other “felons,” what are the charges that you claim to level upon them? Trying to disarm someone?

          The last guy shot by Rittenhouse had his hands up. You are defending the indefensible.

          Riots do not happen in a vacuum. Video evidence of collusion between the police and the militia members would tend to support the idea that allowing an armed insurgency by the police and militia groups are what started them in the first place. It has been shown that 93% of the BLM protests have been peaceful, the outliers always seem to feature a militarized police force. I don’t think hat is a coincidence.

          Reply
          1. Beniamino

            Per the video, last guy shot, one Gaige Grosskreutz, indeed put his hands up for about two nanoseconds before pulling a gun on Rittenhouse. Is the footage supposed to have been deepfaked? And BTW, what’s a guy with a paramedic hat doing carrying a handgun at a PeacefulProtest®?

            Reply
            1. nippersdad

              It only takes about two nanoseconds to ask someone to give up their weapon and then to realize that they aren’t going to do it.

              And when did such as yourself start to denigrate the ability to open carry weapons? Given what has happened in Portland and elsewhere, with documentation of police attacking medical personnel and their obvious collusion with right wing militia groups, it is actually a pretty good idea to arm yourself when they are around these days. One sees reports like these and what is one expected to do?

              “across the United States, police have targeted street medics with the same brutality used against those protesting the institution’s systemic racism.”

              https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/06/17/police-targeting-street-medics-us-protests

              And…

              https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/23/oregon-portland-pro-trump-protests-violence-texts

              Or did you think that liberals don’t carry guns as well? That they do not openly revel in their use as offensive weaponry does not invalidate the idea of using them for self defense.

              Reply
            2. Big Tap

              These are not Peaceful Protests any more. They were largely at the beginning months ago but have morphed into more violence. Many cities in the U.S. has come to a halt temporarily due to protests. Stores burned out or burned down possibly never to return. Rioting used to be a rare event but now it’s passé.

              If you chant a slogan “No Justice No Peace” and believe there is never proper justice administered are we to have protests permanently? This country may explode. I’m not sure how or by who but things could go dark real fast particularly after the election. The pandemic plus economic collapse for the bottom 20% just adds to the stress, hopelessness, and tension. Hope I’m really wrong.

              Reply
        2. Lambert Strether

          > More importantly, the convicted child molestor and robbery felons in possesion of illegal handguns on street who attacked him

          Not seeing any links on that.

          Frankly, this entire Rittenhouse discussion is nearly useless for anyone new to the topic, because there’s no way to assess competing claims. So far as I can tell, the only real value add is the link to the indictment, which at least provides a baseline (and a timeline) to move forward from. The contrast to the Covid discussions, which tend to be link-rich, is pretty marked.

          Saying “I saw the video and [insert claim here]” is useless without a clip, because nobody’s going to go watch a 40 minute video to check. And the clip need to have provenance. The written word has a lot to commend it, starting with efficiency.

          Reply
          1. BinDenver

            With all due respect Lambert, you are the one working at a news blog. I’m just a nobody. I’ve done about all you can expect from a nobody, now it is time for independent journalists (you and Yves) to do the heavy lifting. There is obviously a whole ‘nother story out there, I would hope you are curious enough to chase it down.

            Reply
            1. John Zelnicker

              @BinDenver
              September 25, 2020 at 3:38 pm
              ——-

              With all due respect, the hosts of Naked Capitalism do not accept assignments and demanding them is against the written policies of the site. See above under “Policies”.

              If you are going to make assertions of whatever kind, it is up to you to provide the evidence to back them up. No one is going to do your leg work for you.

              Reply
            2. jsn

              So now you’re asking your hosts here, who are self supported by their efforts on this blog which you purport to value to pursue your interests for you so that when you argue with them about whatever you’re interested in that isn’t really on their beat, they’ll agree with you?

              With all due respect…

              Reply
            3. Yves Smith

              This is what Lambert calls a reader assisted suicide note, and we are only too happy to oblige.

              First, you repeatedly made assertions about what the indictment says. Multiple readers have read the indictment and each has said it says no such thing. That is a violation of our site Policies, bad faith argumentation, and alone is grounds for banning.

              Second, you attacked the commentariat for its past statements about gunz. Gratuitous denigration of the site is another violation of our Policies.

              Third, you are hogging bandwidth, another violation.

              Fourth, you have the temerity to give an assignment, yet another violation, and compound the offense by copping a ‘tude.

              Finally, you make clear you either have a serious reading comprehension problem (which might explain your projection onto the indictment) or are again Making Shit Up, by claiming to be an extremely long standing reader yet making clear you have no idea what this site is about. We are not a “news site” nor would we ever do original reporting on gunz.

              Reply
              1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                I do love to see the terrible swift sword of NC justice in action, it’s what makes this place so great. A salon where the invitation to stay can be revoked for attempts at persuasiveness not backed by intellectual rigor and supporting evidence, or equally revoked by a lack of decorum and respect for others. Mes compliments

                Reply
    3. chuck roast

      I typically don’t comment on this sort of idiocy…really what can one say?! What I would like to comment on is the occupation a while back of the Michigan State Capitol building by armed militia. For a geezer like me this was an astonishing and unprecedented event…a watershed event. But, now it seems like a logical conclusion to an epoch of increasing and seemingly overwhelming civilian armament. Logical and apparently entirely acceptable.

      So, here we have a juvenile wandering around with an automatic weapon killing and injuring people. What would you expect?!

      Reply
      1. BinDenver

        It was not an automatic weapon. How are we supposed to have meaningful debate when one side willfully rejects educating themselves and thinks gun play in Hollywood movies is all they need to know?

        Reply
        1. JBird4049

          In fairness, the corruption of the meanings of the words in the United States that we all use has been a growing problem from all sides. It has been ongoing since at least the early 20th century when FDR was accused of being a communist for the New Deal. Joe Biden is been accused of being a socialist, which is a lie, even though he is a right of center, conservative politician.

          Medicare for all is communist. Debating anything dealing with Identity Politics means you are a racist, trans-phobic, homophobic, sexist bigot. Poor white people are racist and disposable. A semi automatic rifle is a machine gun.

          Almost any word that can be used for an accurate and honest conversation is weaponized to prevent such conversations. Verbal Molotov cocktails used to enrage, kill thoughtfulness, prevent social cohesion, and divide people either into easy to control tools or into small, weak groups for easy disposal.

          Reply
        2. Ander

          Meh, the AR15 was semi automatic, but it doesn’t really matter for the case at hand. There’s no world in which it was legal for Rittenhouse to be carrying it (no supervision and the kid was a minor), and the first two people he murdered with it were both unarmed, unless skate boards count as armaments these days. Kind of a shame the third guy tried to approach Rittenhouse, rather than just shoot him, he’d have kept his bicep at least. But in situations like these empathy and a desire for deescalation can be a lethal disadvantage.

          Rittenhouse gets a trial though, the antifa guy who killed a proud boy simply got executed by cop, as far as I know no footage ever surfaced to support the police claim that they feared for their lives. Which I guess counts as another win for the Rittenhouse lovers, BLM affiliated anarchist kills a right winger, the anarchist gets executed, right winger kills two and injures another, right winger gets a trial and may even get to walk free and join a department in the future.

          Makes me glad I ditched my parents’ commitment to non violence. If you’re loud about your politics you’ve got to be ready to be murdered for them, and I hope to at least go down swinging, as it were.

          Reply
          1. JBird4049

            But I do not want to live in Yugoslavia, Redux, or Rwanda, this time with guns!. Too many self centered, power hungry asses willing to have other people get killed for the jackass’ beliefs.

            Too many fools don’t know their history and do not realize how just a little civil unrest can so easily get completely out of control. It is like trying to have a splendid little war. There is no such thing and I have no desire to see people die because of that.

            But too many people in power probably think that any war in the United States will just be be the unleasing of the Panopticon with some judicious mass arrests, perhaps some droning of some “terrorists’ camps,” and a whole lot of propaganda will make everything alright for them.

            Reply
  7. PlutoniumKun

    As Joe Rogan’s Platform Grows, So Does the Media and Liberal Backlash. Why? Intercept Glenn Greenwald

    Greenwald nails it

    While Rogan is politically liberal, he is — argues former Obama 2008 campaign strategist and Rogan listener Shant Mesrobian — culturally conservative, by which he does not mean that Rogan holds conservative views on social issues (again, he is pro-choice and pro-LGBT rights). He means that Rogan exudes culturally conservative signals: He likes MMA fighting, makes crude jokes, hunts, and just generally fails to speak in the lingo of the professional managerial class and coastal elites. And it is those cultural standards, rather than political ones, that make Rogan anathema to elite liberal culture because, Mesrobian argued in a viral Twitter thread, liberals care far more about proper culture signaling than they do about the much harder and more consequential work of actual politics.

    The viewing figures for Rogan are astonishing – as Greenwald points out, four times as many people watched his interview with Edward Snowdon as typically watch Fox News. And yet liberals treat him with complete distain. I know people who only know of Rogan from mentions in the Guardian and genuinely think that he is a far right shock jock.

    The potential damage is enormous – Rogan is increasingly becoming embittered with the left because of the abuse he gets, and seems more and my sympathetic as time goes on to his right wing guests – its hard to blame him. I think Rogan represents a very big hidden class of voters who don’t fall into an easy pigeonhole – usually people from fairly conservative blue collar backgrounds but are open minded to reasonable arguments on almost any topic. To simply ignore, or worse still, actively reject those people is simple electoral malpractice.

    Reply
    1. Amfortas the hippie

      years of feedstore symposia show that it’s perfectly possible to get ordinary people on board with New Dealism, and then move on up from there.
      of course, I’m just one radical guy in the wilderness…and i couldn’t keep up with the billionaire media and the culture warriors pushing the pavlov buttons and all the rest of the mindf&ck machinery that pounds our brains day in and day out…so all my efforts were undone by a pandemic, an economic breakdown and a shameless huckster…countered by a bunch of scolds who hate ordinary folks.
      folk-education, undone by a two pronged antipolitics of distraction and division and totalised confusion.
      it’s gonna take more than just lil ol me…and more than the Rogans out there….and it’s gonna take the pain being more evenly distributed.
      but if we ain’t careful, that more equal distribution of pain will be used to further the division and confusion.

      “we must cultivate our garden..”-Voltaire

      I’m renting a bobcat this weekend, for to essentially double the raised bed space, so i can rotate more effectively. Cactus removal, mostly.
      then i’ve got 3 post-highschoolers with few prospects coming to work for a month…building the Village.(and learning some skills in the process…and getting whatever radical education i can see a way to introduce(they’re used to me,lol))
      because the Village is the bulwark against what’s coming.

      Reply
      1. Ander

        You might consider sendIng pictures of the veggies you start growing on those beds to Strether at the Water Cooler, I’d like to see them :)

        Reply
    2. SOMK

      The distain from the left is a common thread in this and the QAnnon piece by Der Speigel, but what left is it? I saw a tweet a while ago (deleted my personal account a while ago but from time to time check up on a few accounts) that summed up the perspective of many vocal internet leftists which went something like “back in the day we didnt need Joe Rogan, we had a friend with a jobless loser older brother who would tell you Mayan UFOs shot JFK” or something to that affect. A kind of lack of seriousness by association, that lack of seriousness being something akin to a lack or morality (if there is a worldwide elite paedophile network the QAnnon is a gift to them, Im think the crowd of about 800 “anti-maskers” in Dublin a few weeks ago who took to chanting “paedophiles” at a small group of counter protesters and assaulted a woman with a 2X4 wrapped in a national flag) as no one “with a brain” would want to be associated with anyone “like that”) I’d argue though anyone who thinks like that is a fairly shoddy example of “a leftist”.Joe Rogan has his flaws, but he strikes me as someone who knows his own limitations, is genuinely self-critical (which is a key to his success), not MBA or liberal elite smart but that kind of intelligence is more to do with knowing the right keywords than the kind of intelligence (in addition to being a martial artist and stand up comedian both fields than reqiore a certain kind of focus, it is rare for someone to have both) that gets you success like Rogan’s and he has a fairly robust ethical core, if he was going to go over to the “dark side” so to speak he would have done it a long time ago. If anything he is getting more sick of mainstream scientists like Neil de Grassy Tyson, or establishment NYT russiagate hacks mindlessly towing the line, such interviews of his are the most recent bad tempered examples that come to mind.

      Reply
    3. notabanker

      Bear with me here, but there is just so much wrong with this whole narrative.

      There are 328 million people in the US. 267 million of then are over 15.

      Fox gets about 4 million viewers a night, MSNBC about 3 million, CNN about 2. That is 3.3% of the population over 15 years of age. Well over 95% of Americans aren’t watching this crap. It is a fringe minority that gets sucked into this.

      When Rogan airs, it is on a global platform, so comparing his YT views to US based cable viewership is nowhere close to apples to apples. And then there is an assumption that everyone that views is aligned with Rogan personal beliefs. To the contrary, the reason I watch Rogan is for the guests, because he let’s them talk, pretty much unfiltered and the viewer can make up their own minds on the content. This is a far cry from cable news in that you know with absolute certainty that Fox is going to give you a Republican filtered list of talking heads spewing 1 minute soundbites, while MSNBC and CNN do the same on the Democratic side. Even if you get a one hour show with Snowden or Sanders, the questions are going to be of ‘so you deny you beat your wife’ variety.

      Liberal, conservative, left, right, black, white, trans, gay, straight, yada, yada, yada, it’s all BS. It’s about class, always has been, always will be. It’s us vs them, and the us and them are being defined with increasing clarity. Rogan is us, so of course, them’s are going to be pretty concerned. Because after all we’re only ordinary men.

      Reply
      1. Carolinian

        Thank you. The people who do religiously watch cable news–be it Fox or MSNBC–are the swamp critters and politicians. So in terms of elite power these channels could be considered Overton Window control machines. They matter not because they have large numbers of viewers but because the people running the show are their audience. It is said, for example, that Trump spends a lot of his spare time watching Fox.

        In fact one the big reasons for our current social dysfunction could be that the information that ordinary people get from the internet and the information diet of the establishment are so out of whack–something that much less true when everyone got their news from the three OTA networks. The Coastals not only don’t visit the heartland they don’t even read about it except as some vague Walmart infested great beyond.

        Reply
        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          I’m more concerned about the pervasive “dial tone” of relentless agitprop.

          You’re standing in line at the 7-11 and a glance the chyron on the TV in the corner informs you that Trump is taking his orders directly from the Kremlin. I don’t think you’d be counted as a CNN “viewer”. But is that nevertheless what’s called a “brand impression”? Of course it is.

          Reply
      2. Amfortas the hippie

        i think you’d have to jigger the numbers to get the real % of the genpop that “watches that crap”.
        my mom and stepdad watch msdnc all day long, with breaks for home and garden and gunsmoke, respectively…but it’s mostly background. In the evenings, it’s local and national NBC, then “hardball” on through hayes and maddow and they usually start fading by the time of lawrence.
        this is every weekday, quite religiously.
        but how many people do it like that?
        neither of them have a regular sitcom or whatever that they are hooked on…so it’s news, news, news(stepdad commandeers all the tv’s for football nights)
        i reckon there’s some overlap with news watching and other activities…including the sitcom or reality show du jour.
        so instead of 3+-% it’s closer to 10 or even 20…just not all at once.
        radio, for the Right, is a lot more widespread in it’s reach…due to commuting, and the nature of a lot of their jobs. the parts store in town has am talk on all day in the background, as does the hardware yard…but most places out here, if they have a radio on, it’s to the country music station from the town up the road…which has frequent interludes of Righty-ish news, if not full blown hannity.
        from what i can tell, all of the above is driven by over 50’s….although the RW Radio extends down into the late 20’s cohort, depending on their jobs and their social circle. aside from radio, the under 40 cohort i encounter get their news, if at all, from faceborg and twitter.
        lots of podcasts, too…
        and of course, everything i just said is mere anecdata, and limited by my range(20 miles or so for this kind of granularity) and by the demographics, in the broadest sense, of the people therein.
        It would be cool if there was some comprehensive dataset that we could access(palantir? google?IDK) to get a better handle on who’s getting influenced by what.
        from what i can tell, we, here, are pretty rare in our habits and predilections regarding newsgathering….and most folks do not seek out alternative views, or attempt in any way to poke at the membrane of whatever bubble they happen to live in.

        defining “Us” is just as difficult as defining Class, these days….by design, and by much effort on the part of those who fear Us ever getting together.

        Reply
      3. Lex

        Hear, hear!

        I also never assume that who or what may be quoted has anything at all to do with the personal politics of the alleged source. This the era of the ‘attention economy’. The more successful they are at getting the public’s attention, the more money they make. They don’t care why the readers/viewers tuned in. Truth is further down the priority list, if is makes the list at all.

        Reply
    4. jr

      “ liberals care far more about proper culture signaling than they do about the much harder and more consequential work of actual politics.”

      Out of the park…

      Reply
    5. feox

      The potential damage is enormous – Rogan is increasingly becoming embittered with the left because of the abuse he gets, and seems more and my sympathetic as time goes on to his right wing guests – its hard to blame him.

      In which case, he will be guilty of everything the corporate elite is supposed to be doing, caring more about cultural signaling than about policies/politics.

      Reply
  8. Ignacio

    As Virus Cases Surge in Europe, Hospitalizations Lag. But for How Long? NYT

    There are things I like and dislike about this article. Landler does a god job looking for opinions and summarizing those but this is still far from comprehensive, and the phrase I dislike the most is when it recourses to SARS CoV 2 as a mysterious virus. This adjective, even if there are many unknowns, does not longer apply to the new Coronavirus which, by now, is probably one of the most well known respiratory viruses.

    It is a big question how this is going to evolve, particularly next winter, and what restrictions/cautions to apply and at the same time try to revive economies that are back to a stand still, or worse, due to uncertainties about Covid. My opinion is that, while restrictions may apply, fresh lockdowns should be earnestly ruled out.

    Let’s take the case of Madrid, again the European Covid-19 epicentre with about 4.000 daily reported cases lately (seems to be stabilizing in there) and almost certainly the hottest Covid-19 spot in Europe and possibly in the world. Measures are needed but by no means a fresh lockdown. As I wrote here months ago, epidemiological analyses suggested that the peak contagion in the first wave could be somewhere about 100.000 daily in the beginning of March, of these 40.000-50-000 might be attributed to Madrid. Those days, Covid-19 testing probably surfaced about 1-2% of contagions. I don’t have any idea what can be the infected/diagnosed ratio today but it is of course much higher. My guess is that we never had a higher infected/diagnosed ratio for any other viral respiratory including Flu and the actual range could be somewhere in the range of 25% to more that 50%. So, real contagions in Madrid could be somewhere close to 10.000 daily. This is about one fourth below the previous peak. But then in march the 30.000-40.000 daily contagions where going mostly unnoticed and confused with Flu while now the possible 10.000 (and 4.000 being diagnosed) are mostly identified correctly as Covid-19. This suggests that hospitalizations and unnoticed deaths in the next month will creep up but get nowhere close to the March disaster (remember there were many unreported deaths possibly caused by Covid 19.

    There are other factors that will attenuate the effects of Covid mentioned in the article: younger population being infected, lower average multiplicity of infection because masks, because summer (this is not mentioned but I think it is important) and better treatment in not yet overwhelmed HC systems. This implies that before winter arrives we should improve very much epidemiological treatment if we don’t want a spike of more severe cases. The upper respiratory tract is far more susceptible to viral infection in winter as we well know. Nothing mysterious in there and as we have recently been shown, the severity could be worsened by mixed infection with Flu.

    Reply
    1. Terry Flynn

      Thanks. Though I mentioned anecdotes from doctor friends elsewhere, I work on the balance of probabilities and that those are red herrings (until and unless an “earlier true patient zero” is found via the catching-up they’re doing in terms of testing blood collected in the first quarter in the East Midlands and elsewhere in UK). So I’ll stick with your analysis. As such, the thing that worries me most – raised by NC – is the possibility of ACE2 receptor damage in the hearts of lots of people that might go undetected for a decade or so. You REALLY need a good reason to get a cardiac CT/MRI in the UK. I didn’t even get one when a GP was disgusted at the lack of follow-up to my heart treatment.

      As someone who had ablation for electrical malfunctions (which some of my docs agree with me may simply have killed some heart tissue without curing the potential for SVTs) and who is old enough to remember the 80s HIV/AIDS panic with the “delay til everything goes horribly wrong”, the thought of COVID-19 only showing its true colours in 5-10 years is a tad frightening. Although I watched a lot of presentations by my genetic epidemiology colleagues once upon a time, much of that is over my pay grade – I wondered if you have thoughts for us concerning the likelihood that the real threat is yet to come….?

      Reply
      1. Ignacio

        That is a tough question, but there is something that has to be clear: Having a history of heart problems should rise alarms and personal care to avoid SARS CoV 2 infection. A friend of mine who had been subjected to heart intervention a couple of years before she was infected, she is in her forties, passed a relatively severe Covid episode with short hospitalisation but suffered longer term consequences. She didn’t feel fully recovered until some months after Covid. Whether there is a relation between the two events I cannot say but there is a possibility. Of course there are still many unknowns about Covid, but I bet it is the same with almost any other viral disease.

        Reply
        1. Terry Flynn

          Thanks again. Glad I’m not a hypochrondiac! I take huge care in trying to avoid infection, but I’ve always had to use my epidemiology and med stats knowledge to tell my docs things they should have learnt in continuing professional development (but didn’t) – like the fact the “new safe range” for resting pulse is 60-80 not 60-100 (and I’ve always had a naturally fast pulse) etc.

          The only time I felt a doc took my heart seriously was an ER one when I had to go in with an SVT that had lasted close to 2 hours and vagal procedures wouldn’t cure. He signed me off work for 2 weeks after adenosine to reboot my heart and said my heart had done the equivalent of a marathon. Twice, back-to-back. So I’m kinda aware of the possibility my “heart age” is much older than my physiological age….the potential for SARS CoV2 to cause further havoc is definitely a worry.

          Reply
          1. Susan the other

            No one seems to know if ACE2 blockers and/or inhibitors are good or bad when it comes to Covid. The article about bradykinin storms instead of cytokine storms was interesting. The speculation that the “storm” that clogs lungs and damages heart tissue is not cytokine but bradykinin hasn’t become a source of best advice, but they are saying that women are better suited to enduring a bradykinin storm because they have much more of it in their systems naturally. Men on the other hand haven’t evolved to live with it. But men who take ACE2 blockers and inhibitors for BP do have higher bradykinin in their systems because those meds create more of it. So far there is no evidence that men on these meds have worse cases of Covid – none that I have read. Just take your D3 and Vit C and a few mega vitamins – with plenty of water. I’d think an occasional aspirin would be good too but I’m no doctor. I do know from my own experience that I set off little palpations when I sit at the computer and read because I get engrossed and forget to breathe! Nutty me.

            Reply
            1. Terry Flynn

              Thanks for reminding me of the bradykin debate – I kinda remember it from a NC post. I take only a beta-blocker for my BP/pulse (it’s more for my pulse actually). However I do take D3 and C and Zinc. The problem with D3 is that whilst in the summer the “standard dose” over-the-counter (OTC) pills are OK (in case you don’t get out in the sunshine enough), they are nowhere near enough in winter. You need the high strength ones, which can’t be bought OTC in the UK, only ordered via companies like Amazon….and that formulation is AWFUL for the GI system.

              A year or so ago the UK authorities (NICE) demanded that all meds that could be bought OTC at a pharmacy could no longer be prescribed by GPs (to cut costs and the increasing awareness of vitamin D deficiency was a MAJOR driver of this decision, I’m convinced – having presented to the board of NICE in the past myself). My argument to my GP – that you give me the oral drops version that I can tolerate whilst Amazon pills have me on the toilet half my life – cut no ice. Disgusting (pun not intended….or maybe it is).

              So in winter months I have to endure GI problems some days to get enough D3.

              Reply
    2. Cuibono

      “My guess is that we never had a higher infected/diagnosed ratio for any other viral respiratory including Flu and the actual range could be somewhere in the range of 25% to more that 50%”

      Perhaps this high for symptomatic infections but no where near this high for all infections.

      Reply
  9. a different chris

    I don’t know what’s weirder about the NKorea story, Kim Jong Un saying “We’re sorry” or the fact that the guy shot was trying to defect to North Korea?

    Sometimes I think I’m in The Matrix and the software is glitching.

    Reply
    1. PlutoniumKun

      This is the most up to date round up from Blue Roof* a new, but very good newsletter on all things Korean):

      https://www.blueroofpolitics.com/p/breaking-news-analysis-north-korea-kills-and-burns-the-body-of-a-defecting-south-korean-official/

      It looks like the guy was in debt and running from loan sharks. Given what Ive read about Seoul loan sharks, running to NK was maybe not the worst thing he could have done.

      Its interesting though that KJU has apologised, its not, to put it mildly, in character.

      *for some reason, i can’t seem to post links here anymore, not sure if its a glitch with the site or my pc

      Reply
  10. PlutoniumKun

    The US is Using the Guardian to Justify Jailing Assange for Life. Why is the Paper So Silent? Counterpunch

    This is a pretty illuminating read for those of us who remember the incredible 180 degree turn the Guardian pulled on Wikileaks and Assange. At first, I thought maybe there was a good reason for it, especially as journalists I like (such as Marina Hyde) were dropping all sorts of hints that Assange was really a bit of an egotist and reckless. But its pretty clear who is on the side of the angels here. I believe in supporting journalism, and the Guardian still has a (shrinking) number of good journalists, such as John Harris and Aditya Chacroborrty, but I will never give them a cent so long as they allow some of their journalists to be used as attack dogs against Assange. The astonishing thing is that they use space fillers of Freeman and Parkinson to lead the attack.

    Reply
    1. km

      I suspect that the visit that MI5 paid The Graun had something to do with it.

      That little visit has since been largely memory-holed, but The Graun got a whole new attitude immediately afterwards.

      Reply
    2. Ignacio

      It is also pertinent to say in the context of the Counterpunch article that, while wanting to indict Assange for espionage, the US judicial system is protecting the Spanish guy (David Morales, founder of UC Global) that practised espionage against Assange and violating several laws in the process. In this case espionage is real and consisted on the secret trade of illegally obtained video and audio files from the Ecuatorian Embassy almost certainly to US government agencies. This is perfectly ‘legal’ in US context as long as the recipient of information is the CIA, for instance. A Spanish Judge is prosecuting Mr. Morales and the US denies information being asked on IP addresses in the US that had access to the files mentioned. Morales cannot say he was doing journalism while violating Assange’s and others’ rights.

      The more you dig into this the more embarrassing results. Not only for The Guardian and other servile outlets but for the US Government herself that is lowering the bar of law so as to risk a position as a ‘rogue state’.

      Reply
      1. Moe Knows

        My vote is on ‘failed state’, not so much a ‘rogue state’. It borders on the absurd just how we can’t get anything done in this country, up to and including feeding children, which I have to read about in the Guardian (I come not to praise…). Jets that won’t fly or crash on taking off. The list of things we can’t do is long and ridiculous.

        Reply
  11. zagonostra

    >Technology and Culture

    Perhaps this could be a new rubric for NC. I know their is a “Technology and Innovation” category already.

    Below article caught my attention and piqued my interest since I have a song running through my head called “Analog Angels and Digital Devils.”

    Of course, Nietzsche did not have the Internet, but he lived at the dawn of the electric era, when space-time transformations were occurring at a rapid pace. Inventions such as photography, the phonograph, the telephone, electricity, etc. were contracting space and time and a disembodied “reality” was being born. With today’s Internet and digital screen life, the baby is full-grown and completely disembodied. It does nothing but look at its image that is looking back into a lifeless void, whose lost gaze can’t figure out what it’s seeing…

    Nietzsche said that along with the real world we have done away with the apparent as well. Digital online life has accomplished that. It has allowed the rulers – through the media who are the magicians who serve them – to create counterfeit news and doctored videos at will, to present diametrically opposed points of view within the same paragraph, and to push breaking news items so fast that no one half-way sane could keep up with their magic shows. Nietzsche obviously didn’t foresee this technology, but he sensed the madness that the relativity of knowledge and the technology of his day would usher in.

    https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-end-of-reality/5724271

    Reply
      1. Maritimer

        I was sitting under two magnificent oaks today. No wind, no noise, nobody. On a small, uninhabited island. Fortunately, few value such repose.

        Reply
  12. Krystyn Podgajski

    RE: What My Sled Dogs Taught Me About Planning for the Unknown

    I am glad to read this, and the plethora of other articles I have been noticing, talking about being OK with uncertainty. Maybe this means the idea of slowing down is catching on again.

    Verse 15 of the Dao de Jing:

    The ancient masters were subtle, mysterious, profound, responsive.
    The depth of their knowledge is unfathomable.
    Because it is unfathomable,
    All we can do is describe their appearance.
    Watchful, like men crossing a winter stream.
    Alert, like men aware of danger.
    Courteous, like visiting guests.
    Yielding like ice about to melt.
    Simple, like uncarved blocks of wood.
    Hollow, like caves.
    Opaque, like muddy pools.

    Who can wait quietly while the mud settles?
    Who can remain still until the moment of action?
    Observers of the Tao do not seek fulfillment.
    Not seeking fulfillment, they are not swayed by desire for change.

    Reply
  13. The Rev Kev

    “RUSSIA IS NOW THE BIG CHEESE”

    They have come a long way. Back about 2014 I was reading how Russia’s self-appointed elite were appalled that through sanctions, that they could no longer buy their favourite French cheeses in the supermarkets. No Camembert, Brie or even Roquefort. So now Russia has a thriving cheese industry as cheap cheeses no longer flood the country destroying local industries. Sound familiar? And it is not only cheese but a whole range of industries that are now thriving. This should be thoroughly analyzed and studied by major economists as a case study in what happens when a country prioritizes its own industries but we all know that that will never, ever happen. The Chicago school of economics will see to that.

    Reply
      1. Olga

        Yup, the sanctions that helped Russia become increasingly self-sufficient are just more of a proof that DT and VVP are secretly in cahoots. Surely, any other explanation – like enormous shortsightedness of the blob or hegemonic hubris – is not an adequate explanation.

        Reply
    1. apleb

      This only works since Russia has a good that can’t be produced in their customers countries on which they base their economy especially their exports: hydrocarbons. Yet.
      So while this is great for Russia right now, it’s kinda problematic for general use by all countries.
      We already had this once upon a time, e.g. mercantilism.

      Reply
      1. hunkerdown

        False. As long as everyone eats, everything else is optional or can be arranged. Yes, globalism is optional and whoever this “we” who “already had” mercantilism and doesn’t win at that game and wants to make up new childish neoliberal games for the rest of us to be forced to play and lose… might not be interests worth supporting.

        Reply
      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        Mercantilism is different than protectionism. Mercantilism is the deliberate policy of trying to sell more to all others combined than one buys from all others combined. It can only work till the targeted customers are too poor to buy anything. Then the mercantilist seller can’t sell anything to the bankrupted customer.

        Whereas protectionism does not presume a driving urge for the protectionist to eventually insist on mercantilistically selling that which the protectionist protectionized itself to be able to develop the ability to do or produce. A position of Equal Protectionism for All Countries could involve strictly balanced and equal amounts and values of trade between countries with neither trying to mercantilize the other. And it would presume the absolutely least and lowest amount of trade possible all around the world throughout the whole system.

        Of course some trade cannot be avoided. It will still happen. But it can be rigidly limited and kept small enough to drown in the bathtub if the need arises.

        Reply
    2. Samuel Conner

      My thought in surveying that item was “thank goodness someone takes autarky seriously”. Perhaps Russia will be an island of stability if/when the rest of the world collapses as its supply chains fail.

      Reply
      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        If the global keeps warming as it has been, Russia will lose a lot of near-sea-level Arctic Siberian land as the ocean rises and the permafrost thaws, melts, and loses whatever percent of its volume is contributed by the frozen water it presently contains.

        Also, the seething masses from a hungry thirsty hot hot hot Asia will want to move to Russia. So Russia will be under pressures of its own over the next 30-60 years.

        Reply
  14. PlutoniumKun

    This author argues that fighting climate change means focusing on ‘Earth repair’ The World

    The ancient trade holding back the Sahara Desert BBC

    Two related articles – both focusing on local healing of the planet to try to mitigate climate change. The second one is particularly interesting – I’d no idea that gum arabic came from Saharan acacia trees.

    While its increasingly clear that we can’t stop serious and (regionally at least) catastrophic climate change, there may still be time to at least mitigate the very worst of it. Its become all too obvious that we can’t reverse fossil fuel use in time. But the one piece of low hanging fruit that we can grasp are those local initiatives that help prevent the feedback loops kicking in, and this applies to pretty much every region on earth – that is, quite simply, regenerating as much degraded land as possible, and quickly turning to more soil friendly and lower impact methods of agriculture. This can be done much more quickly than de carbonising our economies and has potentially far more economic and social benefits.

    Reply
    1. Billy

      “local initiatives…’

      All the education and outrage in the world pales before one small step.
      If you have a yard, learn about and start a compost pile to build soil.

      If you don’t have a yard, make friends with someone who does.
      It may equal survival.

      Reply
    2. Moe Knows

      The idea that forests are being desiccated by warm air, is as reported is not the whole story, or any story at all. Climate Burning/Chaos indeed causes warmer air. But warmer air also holds more moisture. As the general rule as things tend to seek equilibrium, moist air isn’t going to pull water out of trees. One reason the polar regions are getting so much warmer so much faster than the rest of the globe (6C°) is this warm air/more humidity feedback loop. I believe most climate models predict the migration of certain types of forests northward and current forests to be replaced by flora particular to that horticulture zone. None of this is particularly good in human time frames but I doubt anyone on NC is surprised.

      Reply
      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        This is an interesting thought. I don’t know what to think of it, really. I would need some detailed knowledge about water-relations between trees, the soil they are in, the air around them. If such detailed knowledge has even been assembled.

        It seems to me that if the air around a tree rises in temperature, the amount of water vapor it can hold rises. If the amount of water inside tree cells is at a higher per-cent of the mass of the tree cell than the amount of water-as-vapor inside an equal mass of the air ( or whatever unit of air is relevant to this problem) , then the water would keep leaving the tree into the air around it till the percents were equal inside and outside the tree.

        Now, forests could certainly be desiccated by a combination of hotter air and no rain meaning no water entering the soil to enter the tree to replace the water leaving the tree into the hotter air.

        Reply
  15. Krystyn Podgajski

    Offline: COVID-19 is not a pandemic (Lancet)

    COVID-19 is not a pandemic. It is a syndemic.

    The most important consequence of seeing COVID-19 as a syndemic is to underline its social origins. The vulnerability of older citizens; Black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities; and key workers who are commonly poorly paid with fewer welfare protections points to a truth so far barely acknowledged—namely, that no matter how effective a treatment or protective a vaccine, the pursuit of a purely biomedical solution to COVID-19 will fail.

    Reply
    1. Katiebird

      Thank you, Krystyn!!!

      I have not heard this term before. But at home we have been discussing these issues without having a name for it. Having this word opens everything COVID up in a way I didn’t have access to before.

      Reply
      1. Krystyn Podgajski

        I care about everyone who suffers needlessly. If we find out why these larger groups are vulnerable we can care for everyone. It is not my fault that there is a demographic that suffers worse from COVID19.

        Reply
      2. judy2shoes

        “All those poorly paid white non-key workers all over America
        are of no concern to you?”

        Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. I have been reading Krystyn’s posts lo these many months, and I can easily conclude from his writings that what you wrote above is not true.

        Reply
    2. flora

      Thanks for this. I saw something recently talking about different population ancestry groups – european, african, southeast asian, east asian – having slightly different biologic responses to excess dietary starches and sugars; slightly different responses in insulin production and insulin resistance formation; how the body manages adipose tissue growth or reduction; and endocrine factors and cytokines stored in adipose tissue. European ancestry people’s biology in general handle excess sugars and insulin production and insulin resistance better (not healthy but less badly) than the other ancestry population groups in general.

      This was interesting in light of obesity and diabetes being a risk factor for all groups and also being of african , southeast asian, or east asian ancestry being an apparent extra risk factor outside of social factors like income and exposure risks from work or crowded living conditions.

      My training is in computer science and technology, I don’t know if this sound plausible to people with biology, chemistry, or medical training. Just offering it as an interesting idea.

      Reply
  16. The Rev Kev

    “Why are they going after Bollywood?”

    Bollywood needs to get into Modi’s good books. Maybe they should make a movie about Modi himself. Bollywood could use techniques such as moving cameras, aerial photography, the use of long-focus lenses to create a distorted perspective with a revolutionary approach to the use of music and cinematography. People breaking out in song and dance would of course be a feature of this Bollywood production. I know. They could call it “Triumph of the Modi”

    Reply
  17. zagonostra

    >Obamacare/”Affordable” Care Act.

    Not that either political party will break free of the strangle hold of money and power, it is good to see raw gut-wrenching statistics like those uttered below out in plain site on a platform, partisan though it is, that has broad reach.

    “Right now, under this glorified Obamacare that many want to talk about — that they say protects people with preexisting conditions, a family of two aged 55 in Missouri making $70,000 a year will spend $30,000 a year on premiums and $12,000 in deductibles. I am sorry, that is not .. protection against preexisting conditions. That is not affordable health care. That doesn’t solve their problem. President Trump wants to work with Congress to solve their problems in a real way.”

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/azar-obamacare-not-affordable-health-care

    Reply
    1. anon

      I wonder what the reaction will be if Trump says that in the debate and then adds “I guess though it is affordable if your son is taking in millions of dollars from corrupt Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs. By the way Joe, why did you lie about not knowing about it?”

      Reply
  18. SOMK

    Re: Chris Loader MPs justification of the internal market bill…

    “HM Government does not want a no-deal Brexit and that is why we passed the EU Withdrawal Bill into law earlier this year. This Act included specific internal customs arrangements with Northern Ireland in order to ensure frictionless trade on its land border, which took a form not dissimilar to the ‘backstop’ that so many were concerned about last year. This arrangement within the Withdrawal Act itself was a statement of goodwill to the EU, even though politicians from Northern Ireland had their reservations.” Neatly avoiding the fact Northern Ireland voted to remain there.

    “We are now in a situation where, in the event of a no-deal exit, with no trading agreement in place, the EU is threatening to activate an enforced customs border between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, frustrating the territorial sovereignty and integrity of Northern Ireland” More accurately this is what the Enlgish are doing to Ireland.

    “The Bill in itself does not break the law and we have made sure that the Government would need parliamentary authority to breach a treaty obligation” The bill doeant break the laws, much like Charlie Manson never killed anyone.

    It will be a happy day indeed when Ireland is rid is these murderous fools and liars for once and for all!

    Reply
    1. PlutoniumKun

      Northern Ireland Unionists are nothing if not slow learners, but it does seem to be slowly seeping into their conciousness that the Tory party really and truly doesn’t give a damn about them or their province or their economy. They are, however, stuck in a real bind as the prospect of some sort of happy medium (i.e. a sweet deal that gives NI a favourable position relative to London and Brussels) seems further and further away.

      A hard Brexit – no matter what Dublin does to soften the blow by delaying the real impacts as long as possible – will be a terrible blow to the economy of the border areas and NI as a while. The Republic’s economy is significantly more robust.

      Aided by the usual media suspects, the Tories are busy trying to get the narrative established that its all going to be the EU’s fault when the border posts go back up and trucks full of milk are sent back to farms, but I suspect that on the ground they won’t really be believed.

      The real decisions I think will be made in Edinburgh – if the SNP go for independance, then Northern Irelands status really does become untenable (not least because so many Loyalists feel themselves to be Scots more than English). I’d love to think that this would lead to a fundamental rethink among Unionists, but I doubt it.

      Reply
  19. Winston Smith

    “Canada ‘bets the farm’ on big spending as second wave threatens economic recovery”

    The risk of a state of “permanent debt” is one thing but is there a workable alternative? The article does not discuss that. While there are obviously politics at work, it simply seems that the canadian govt (as opposed to the US) has decided that its less well off citizens are not entirely on their own

    Reply
    1. HotFlash

      Taxes do not fund spending, and since Marshall Auerbach is Canadian, I am pretty sure that the Canadian government understands that a sovereign currency issuer cannot run out of money. For an in-depth introduction to a ‘workable alternative”, try the New Economics Perspectives’ MMT Primer.

      Reply
      1. JEHR

        NC’s own Michael Hudson came to Canada and made sure the government knew about taxes not paying for spending and that the deficit is the same as government spending into the economy. I hope they haven’t forgotten!

        Reply
  20. The Rev Kev

    “Memo Suggests Tactics For Dems to Slow Trump’s SCOTUS Pick”

    I don’t believe this article. Not for a minute. Jimmy Dore talks about this in a video with a lot of swearing but I did not need to see it to know that the whole thing will breeze through and Pelosi will not do a thing to stop it. She will not take any arrows out of her quiver as was suggested a few days ago. Instead she tells people to go vote. Here is that Jimmy Dore video by the way in which he presents his own case-

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLc9lxHmEyk (13:54 minutes)

    Reply
    1. Amfortas the hippie

      yeah. saw this in TNR yesterday, or day before:
      https://newrepublic.com/article/159464/democrats-fight-mcconnell-ginsburg

      where they go into much more detail than sirota about the many things an actual Opposition/Resistance could do, if they were serious about preventing the trumpocalypse and permanent RWNJ Rule.
      but if they did that, the R’s would call them mean names, and the donors might get upset, because then they might have to actually try to govern, and…the horror!…make good on promises made to the people.
      can’t have any of that, of course…much better to lay upon the floor and make ineffectual gestures.
      even with the AOC types proliferating somewhat…and that Bowman guy making the black misleadership class pee their pants…i just can’t see any change in course that will make a difference in time.
      like a drunk or a crackhead, we must go all the way to the bottom, before we can even admit that there’s a problem.
      is there a political 12 step program in existence?
      maybe we need one.

      Reply
  21. lyman alpha blob

    RE: ‘Everyone sees the train wreck coming’: Trump reveals his November endgame

    More pearl clutching about Trump refusing to leave office.

    If it’s a close election and there are problems with the count and Biden is on the losing end, I guarantee you the whole DC establishment will be fighting for a recount and won’t just sit back and accept the result. And there will be problems with the count, because we have a crappy system and there always are, and candidates absolutely should demand investigations. I am still rather livid about nobody ever looking into the glaring anomalies of the last 20 years or so, or being painted as conspiracy theorists if they do. Instead we just accept that exit polls somehow are no longer accurate.

    But if the vote isn’t close, or an actual accurate recount determines Trump has lost, of course the man will leave. He has the backing of practically none of the establishment, and not the ones with the guns. If he loses, he may throw a tiny tantrum, but one of those guys in black suits who speaks into their wrists will politely escort him out.

    I mean what do they think is going to happen – Biden opens the door of the Oval Office only to find Trump still there, face buried in a pile of hydrocloroquine, and then, seeing Biden, Trump jumps up and grabs his AR-15 screaming “say hello to my little friend” rat-a-tat-tat-a-tat-tat?!?!?!? That movie has already been done.

    And then a couple days ago Trump tweets out something about maybe Pelosi or Schiff making up Ginsburg’s supposed dying wish and later I see articles from CNN fact checking this claim and coming to the conclusion that Trumo just made it up. Well duh. Is there anyone in this country, Trump supporter or hater, who didn’t realize that was just a dumb off the cuff comment? Just how stupid does this ‘Resistance” think we all are?

    At this point, the stupid ones are those who haven’t figured out that Trump is still playing ‘reality show’ while they are all playing ‘politics’, which is by far the less entertaining program.

    Reply
    1. Redlife2017

      I think it’s reasonable to state that neither party will accept the result if it is close. So, yes, only looking at the Trump angle is disingenuous, but I’m not convinced that it is pearl clutching. At least to me, that would mean that it is a very pointless worry. But both parties are angling. What’s happened over the past 4 months certainly isn’t cosplay. These sorts of things generally spin out of control of the elites who are pressing it. And we are on track for that to occur here.

      Then again, it’s not a civil war that I think is likely…more like a low level insurgency where there are no firm lines… And both parties will stoke it depending on the outcome.

      Reply
      1. edmondo

        It’s going to be close. Maybe not in the popular vote but the EC is going to be a nail-biter. Did you know that there are rules for counting the Electoral votes? I’ll bet the Democrats don’t know that either. And guess what, it doesn’t matter if Florida, Georgia and Texas “go blue” because Uncle Joe might not get their EV after all. In case of a discrepancy in the EV count that is sent to Congress, the set of results that Congress MUST ACCEPT are the results signed by and submitted by that state’s governor..

        I’d say that the Trumpster has a better than even chance of winning re-election when you remember that Electoral votes count and that thing you do on November 3rd may not be that big a deal.

        https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/3/15

        Reply
        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Funny you should mention that.

          From the linked article:

          Lyndsay Kensinger, the press secretary for Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf [Pennsylvania], said the administration is confident “that this November’s election will produce a clear winner that must be respected by the General Assembly.” But Kensinger declined to discuss the legal options Wolf has to stop such a plan.

          WTF?

          And just what does everybody think hillary’s crazy-eyed “advice” to biden to “NEVER concede under ANY circumstances” is all about?

          Reply
        2. Redlife2017

          I don’t disagree that the vote itself will be gamed. None of that makes me feel rather positive for post-3 November…

          Reply
      2. hunkerdown

        Those elites, who have rewarded and resourced lower elites with the means and privileges to discipline the working class, have many private* means at their disposal to discipline and check the insolent little PMC familyblogs whose unchecked ambition threatens the stability and credibility of the millennia-old institution of elite human ranching. They get cut off the gravy train and source of their power by their peers (cf. Eric Cantor). Their business ventures stop receiving dependable custom and supply, “bad luck” happens to their properties with an unusual selectivity, PR campaigns are raised to synthesize intolerable moral panics out of normal human failings and complete fantasy stories alike. The superest of the superpredators learn quickly that, contrary to the Protestant-tycoon work mythos, their “earned rights and privileges” were always courtesies extended by, and which do not exist without, the active participation of their peers.

        I have to write that again: institution of elite human ranching. It seems to work tolerably well when the captive prey and their produce are processed and consumed with respect and appreciation, as opposed to sheared to the bone, hunted for sport, and quietly left to rot, as is apparently the present-day prevailing mode of social management. Nonetheless, underneath all the color of narcissism and humbug and conceits and pretensions, every civilization of significance is nothing more or less than a war band which has systematically captured and exploited some population and their product, prevailed over any dangerous resistance, and persuaded enough powerful people and resources among the captured to join in the grift and kick down.

        As to the street fights of the past couple of months, the Democrat liberals are obviously trying to get the far right to attack the actual left and everything they stand for, which isn’t hard because both parties believe in oligarchy and the aristocratic entitlement of the PMC as guard labor. It’s not quite cosplay (but BLM Anarchists 4 Biden makes me wonder), and I have no idea why anarchists are teaching the state how to fight them unless they’re being led to do so by bourgeois liberal pied pipers. It would be very much in line with defending the system of elite predation for them to set their street fighters against one another and analyze the resulting footage until the tape breaks (okay until the hard drive wears out).

        Reply
        1. Billy

          “Protestant-tycoon work mythos”

          How does the Catholic/Jewish supreme court fit into that paradigm?

          Elite Human Ranching, thank you for that Sir!
          Combine it with the

          “Elite Bipartisan Consensus”, From Krystal Ball’s latest, and you get a
          formidible new term;

          Elite Human Ranching managed through Bipartisan Consensus.

          Reply
          1. hunkerdown

            The Protestants provided the support for worldly authority and the posture of permanent urgency to do “God’s” work now or else. Bill Mitchell’s been doing a series on the origins of the “duty to work” which I have not yet tucked into so I may be wrong on the details. The tycoons, of course, took those moral imperatives and primitively accumulated them, so to speak, to apply to the work they wished others to do, in effect, to arrogate to themselves the role of account managers for Godly authority.

            Glad you liked that turn of phrase. It doesn’t have to be bipartisan, of course, and heaven knows they do spend a lot of time and decibels in dissent about the particulars of how the ranch is to be run, which animals get milked, shorn, penned, pastured, gelded, bred or slaughtered on any given day. But the ranch is their lives, symbolically and materially, and they shall run it. Vegetarianism is a repudiation of their assertion of a right to the land; game hunting is too much work, uncertainty, and cunning for their appetites. Jackboots or gibbets: the choice is (mostly) theirs because they keep the tools away from the animals.

            Reply
      3. notabanker

        I’ve spent a good bit of time squabbling in these comments sections with the TDS afflicted, but in this case, what Trump didn’t say is just flat out dangerous, borders on treason and is really inexcusable. He was asked point blank if he would peacefully transfer power and he did not say “Yes”, he said “we’ll see”. The fact that he can get away with it so casually shows just how far down the rabbit hole we really are.

        I agree 100% that regardless of what happens in November, both parties have claim to contest the outcome, and will. Because both parties are complicit in election tampering to the point where no outcome can truly be validated.

        The US is a failed state and is currently a fascist regime. It’s roots are in the Patriot Act, Snowden exposed it, Obama admin raised it to new levels with OWS and now the Trump admin has gone full gestapo. And before the HRC crowd joins in, I cannot imagine how hosed we would have been with an admin fully aligned with the the military, intel, and tech blob. I think there is little doubt the next administration will take it to higher levels still, Trump 2, Biden/Harris, whatever. The politicians don’t matter because they are not really in charge. Corporations and Oligarchs are firmly in control and they are not going to loosen the chains, they are most certainly going to tighten them until an opposing global power contests them.

        Reply
        1. lyman alpha blob

          I took his “we’ll see” as an indication that he may challenge the results if he’s on the losing end, not that he would violently oppose Biden’s inauguration. I read the transcript and it just seemed like typical Trump babbling to me, but hey, it’s been any stick to beat a dog from the media for four years already, so why stop now?

          But this is just a minor disagreement on how to interpret the speech of the verbally challenged. You nailed the crux of it all, and I wholeheartedly agree.

          Reply
    2. The Rev Kev

      The truth of the matter is that it is your media that is responsible for all of this by whipping up emotions for the past four years. They love Trump. Why? Because of ratings. A media executive admitted this a few years ago. So long as they can drive people frantic and get them to click on links again and again, they will keep on doing it. Sure, people’s nerves are getting frazzled by this constant attention to this political circus but look at how much profit the media companies are making. They are laughing all the way to the bank. They love riots, even when they have to encourage them, and the whole thing is a gas-lighting of people. Sure, they could back off a bit but then their profits would drop. So they push fantasies of troops arresting Trump and frogmarching him out of the White House instead of stuff like the Republicans and Democrats colluding to select lifetime appointments for conservative judges or passing every budgetary demand that Trump makes.

      Reply
      1. Laura in So Cal

        If Donald Trump loses, I could totally see him doing a Cartman “Screw you guys, I’m going home” and then go home to Mar a Lago and getting on Twitter to harass the democrats unmercifully. All the fun and none of the responsibility.

        Reply
    3. Carolinian

      When you live in Versailles, as Yves likes to call it, what else is there to talk about but the latest doings and off the cuff comments of the king? At the real Versailles everything the king did was public. Physicians would even examine his stool–no doubt sending out reports.

      Clearly Trump would have been right at home and his fondness for aristocratic French decor no coincidence.

      Reply
    4. Tom Bradford

      The old joke from the Soviet Union: “We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us.”

      The equivalent from the USA: “We pretend to vote and they pretend to count them.”

      Despair disguised as humour.

      Reply
  22. Wukchumni

    West Coast Wildfires Underscore Ominous Global Trend: Forests Are Dying TruthOut
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    In the big die-off with the 1-2 punch of the 5 year drought and the beetles on tour, all of the action was from around 3,500 to 7,000 feet with 130 million cashing it in, and precious little higher than that, and now the emphasis has changed from around 7,000 to 9,000 feet where the newlydeads are on honeymoon. When they’re fresh kills, the pine needles arch back into the tree and they have a reddish appearance (red trees) whereas if they’ve been dead for a long time they’re called grey trees, and not nearly as noticeable as the former. I’d guess 1 out of 20 trees have died this year from 7-9k.

    I’m not seeing hardly any new dead trees in the 3,500 to 7,000 foot forest, for what it’s worth.

    Reply
  23. Procopius

    I was annoyed by not being able to play the bird song in my browser. It took me three or four days, but I finally discovered it’s because the sound is recorded in .wav files. I use the Chrome browser, and Chrome will not play .wav files. This has, apparently, been a problem for a long time, so they are not going to fix it. Firefox, Opera, and some other browser whose name I forget, all play them, so I may just change my default browser. I adopted Chrome years ago when Firefox was having serious problems with Flash, and then I got used to it but Firefox now has much better security and ad blocking. It would be nice if it was easier to find out what kind of files those bird songs are in.

    Reply
    1. Billy

      And Safari crashes Macs when you try and enlarge a Twitter video to full screen.
      Cannot get a work around. Any reader suggestions?

      Reply
    2. funemployed

      I like the current version of firefox. Default browser switching is mostly automated and near instant these days (except, I think, for saved passwords and autofill). On a pc at least, I found having shortcuts to a few different browsers on my desktops saves headaches. My first troubleshooting step with any website is always to just try a different browser. Usually works. I’ve yet to find a browser that doesn’t occasionally struggle with something that others do well.

      Edit: not talking about tablets and smartphones, I’m not nearly patient enough to do interneting with those things when I could just wait a bit and use my pc.

      Reply
    3. Tom Bradford

      Try Brave. It’s based on Chrome but with a lot of built-in privacy including tracker, ad and cookie blocking. It’s supposedly faster than Chrome (I’ve never used Chrome so I can’t vouch for that), but it’s certainly snappier than Firefox, perhaps because it’s not using up bandwidth downloading third-party crap or waiting for it to load.

      And it seems to play .wav files OK.

      (Someone on NC promoted Brave a while back, and I’m glad they did.)

      Reply
  24. Noone from Nowheresville

    @ Lambert. I’ve gone down tangents with the arguments presented with the restoration of the right to vote in Florida. Tangents I hope to explore on another day.

    Is your argument that the appearance of voter purity within the framework of The Machine is more important than the right to be a “voting member” of The Machine?

    Or does it somehow have to do with the “legitimacy” of how restoration is achieved?

    Follow-up: Do these non-voting former members have any agency at all within this argument?

    Reply
  25. Skip Intro

    I think the faux-hysteria about Trump not leaving office is just theater for the Dem.s to point to after the loss so they can claim they really thought they were going to win. Just more projection from the side that forgot about the electoral college until after the election, then learned to hate it while worshipping an idol of its creator in blackface.

    Reply
    1. Basil Pesto

      I remember in the early/mid 00s ranting and raving about how Bush II wouldn’t leave office and would rig the constitution/declare martial law in order to stay in power beyond his term, etc. etc.

      Of course, I was a teenager at the time.

      Reply
  26. marym

    “The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California last night issued an order blocking the Trump administration’s attempts to rush the 2020 Census to a close while a legal challenge to that plan plays out in the courts. The court’s order preliminarily enjoins the Census Bureau and Secretary of Commerce from using a September 30, 2020 deadline for the completion of data collection and a December 31, 2020 deadline for processing and then reporting the census count to the President. Under the Court’s Order, the census count will continue through October 31, as the Census Bureau had earlier planned…”

    https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/analysis-opinion/judge-rules-census-must-not-be-rushed-victory-civil-rights-groups-civic?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=socialmedia

    Reply
  27. ambrit

    The Daily Mail needs to rehire some fact checkers, otherwise known as copy editors.
    Gibraltar is a “tiny country?” The last time I looked, Gibraltar was a British Overseas Territory; part of the UK, and so, not requiring entrance visas for UK citizens, etc.

    Reply
    1. ewmayer

      Not to defend the odious Pompeo here, but any headline invoking the Norms Fairy is a biased-point-of-view suspect in my book. E.g. the now-being-considered-for-secular-sainthood Ruth Bader Ginsburg “shattered norms” via her vociferous politicking and putting her TDS on public display, but oddly, our beloved unbiased MSM somehow failed to muster collective outrage over that – quite the opposite, ISTR a distinctly gleeful vibe in their coverage of that.

      Reply
  28. antidlc

    Near Record Number of Patients Seen for Suicide Attempts in August

    https://www.checkupnewsroom.com/near-record-number-of-patients-seen-for-suicide-attempts-in-august/

    An alarming rate of children are purposefully harming themselves and ending up at Cook Children’s Medical Center. In August, 29 patients were admitted to the hospital after attempting suicide. This marks the second worst month since at least 2015.

    “We’ve definitely seen a high number of adolescent suicide attempts over the past couple of months, especially during COVID-19,” said Kia Carter, M.D., medical director of psychiatry at Cook Children’s Medical Center. “We’ve also seen younger kids endorse suicidal ideation.”

    Reply
  29. jr

    Re: New York Minutes

    At coffee this morning, Paulie the bread delivery guy pulls up in front of the café and runs over to me. He has a story to tell. Paulie has stories.

    Two weeks ago he showed me the side of his battered delivery truck; the drivers door and fender were crushed in. A motorcyclist hit him trying to zip past and died for his troubles, the cameras backed up Paulies account. I told him I was sorry it happened, he shrugged and said it was the second or third time over the years. Stories.

    Paulie looks like the guy who delivers bread to Henry Hill’s place. 60s, wife beaters, ragged shorts, white socks properly pulled up high, battered sneakers. Maybe with the fall he’ll toss on a hoodie. Old school Italian Brooklynite, the kind of tough your instincts pick up on instantly. He drives his wreck like the hounds of hell were after him. I once compared him , to broad agreement, pulling up to the curb to a Vietnam era Huey gunship dropping off Spec Ops into a hot zone. Basically falling from the sky and taking off 30 seconds later. He hops up every morning onto the back of the truck and rips up the door with the ease and grace of, and I mean this as a compliment, an orangutan swinging from branch to branch. I’d put him up against most any of the young gymhead bucks hanging around in the morning. When the snarky comment had barely cleared their lips Paulie’s fist would be throwing roots into their jawbone.

    So this morning around 3:30 AM Paulie is delivering to a bodega up around the West 50s. He runs in and sees a man confronting the counterguy, furious because he can’t get a hot sandwich that early. The counterguy tells him where to stuff it and the customer comes around the counter. To find a bat upside his head.

    Now he is bleeding and enraged. Paulie counsels him to leave and he does…..to come running back in, in Midtown Manhattan at 3:30 AM, with a fishing pole. Paulie blocks him at the door (this is the kind of guy Paulie is; a friends fight is his fight) and the guy swipes at Paulie with the rod.

    Paulie reaches down, snags a 25 lb sack of onions in one hand, and thumps the guy over the head with it.

    Now the guy is sent flying back out the door. Abandoning the rod, he snatches up an orange safety cone and makes to enter yet again. Unbeknownst to him, the fruit and vege kid was coming up behind him and saw him heading for his colleague and friend Paulie. He smashes the guy over the head with a plastic milk crate, gouging him and drawing blood. The battered customer flees at this point. Paulie jumped into his truck and roared off.

    When he got to the onion part of the story, I was literally speechless with a sense of the surrealism of it all.

    Reply
    1. Lex

      All that over a sandwich?! I swear I’ve heard a hundred tragic stories where somehow a sandwich figured in. I spent the entirety of reading ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ thinking — ‘What’s with all the sandwiches? Is it a Swedish thing?’ It’s like a plot device or a prop. If they’re not talking about a sandwich, look past the storyteller into the background, there’s probably one sitting uneaten on a table adding to the suspense.

      Reply
    2. fresno dan

      jr
      September 25, 2020 at 11:20 am

      When he got to the onion part of the story, I was literally speechless with a sense of the surrealism of it all.
      I’m kinda thinking 25lbs of onions to the noggin is gonna make you cry…

      Reply
  30. Cat Burglar

    Getting a flu shot is something I will do, but my understanding is that immunity weakens, and may not be very effective for the entire flu season. So I will likely wait a couple months to ensure that it is highly effective during the period of flu season when the likelihood of encountering sick people is highest.

    The article on flu shots makes passing reference to immunization for three or four strains of flu. That is a reference to the introduction this year of the four strain quadrivalent flu vaccine in the US. In previous years, the shots were only trivalent.

    The quad shots, and the new double-strength shots for persons 65 and over, are attempts to overcome the abysmal effectiveness of influenza vaccines in recent years. I will be asking my clinic what kind of vaccine they are using.

    Reply
    1. ewmayer

      Re. “abysmal effectiveness”, suggest you check out this article from 2016:

      A Guide to the Changing Science of Flu Shots – Scientific American

      Most interesting angle for me is the “negative interference one”:

      There have been suspicions for decades that getting a flu shot year after year might invoke a law of diminishing returns. Those suspicions stem from a 1970s study in which a researcher observed that boarding school students who were vaccinated each year were more likely to contract influenza.

      In the late 1990s a British researcher named Derek Smith hypothesized that repeated vaccination could trigger beneficial results—which he called positive interference—when the viruses the vaccine targets were different from one year to the next.

      But he also suggested when the vaccine targets the same specific virus in successive years, the antibodies created in the first year might dampen antibody production the second year. He called that negative interference.

      In recent years, a new method of measuring the effectiveness of the flu vaccine has put this theory back on the table. In 2014 scientists from Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation found that people who received the flu vaccine generated higher levels of antibodies—compared with people who received an annual shot—if they hadn’t been vaccinated in the previous five years.

      So, is it a thing?

      Dr. John Treanor, an influenza vaccine expert at the University of Rochester in New York, said it appears there’s something there.

      “It’s really unclear exactly what the mechanism is and I think that’s going to be an area of very intensive investigation over the next few years,” said Treanor.

      The problem is, even if the theory proves true, it would be hard to act on the information, he noted. Flu vaccine contains protection against three or four types of viruses, depending on the brand. It is very rare that all four viruses would change from year to year.

      So one year you might not really need a repeat of one component, but you would need the other two or three. Because of the way vaccines are made, it’s impossible to unbundle the components.

      Still, understanding what is going on is important, said [Dr. Danuta Skowronski, a flu expert at British Columbia’s Center for Disease Control in Vancouver].

      “For me anyway, these repeat vaccine effects are among the most important developments in influenza vaccinology of the past decade,” she said, noting the issue could have implications for universal vaccination programs, such as the one in the United States, where it’s recommended that everyone get vaccinated against influenza.

      “The long-term implications of that frankly are not known and these repeat vaccine effects may have a huge bearing on that.”

      In the meantime, experts stress that while repeat vaccinations could lead the body to generate fewer antibodies, it’s still recommended to get a yearly shot. Some protection is better than none.

      But regarding that “some protection is better than none” claim, first of all that’s a straw man, because “no protection” applies to unvaccinated individuals, and here we are not talking about them, we are talking about the previously-vaccinated. So next let’s consider the “some protection” bit – that’s clearly questionable given the clear evidence that negative interference from repeat vaccinations against too-similar flu strains does occur. Say one year you get a trivalent vaccine, then the next year – or in fact even a few years later – you get a quadrivalent formulation, 3 of whose components are identical or similar to the earlier one, and one component new. So the new component “takes”, but what if negative interference effects from the 3 repeat ones cause you to wholly or largely lose your protection against those? If the overall effect is less protection against the currently circulating common strains – the ones the annual vaccines are based on – that is clearly a worse outcome than skipping that year’s shot, but the disingenuous argument of “the experts” ignores that possibility.

      More disingenuousness: let’s more closely consider this snippet:

      The problem is, even if the theory proves true, it would be hard to act on the information, he noted. Flu vaccine contains protection against three or four types of viruses, depending on the brand. It is very rare that all four viruses would change from year to year.

      So one year you might not really need a repeat of one component, but you would need the other two or three. Because of the way vaccines are made, it’s impossible to unbundle the components.

      If negative interference is a thing, it’s not that “one year you might not really need a repeat of one component”, it’s that one year you really want to avoid a repeat of one component, or possibly of any component you’ve previously been vaccinated with, going back perhaps 5 or more years. And given that different brands of the annual vaccine do have differing formulations, might it be wise for one’s doctor to take that into account, and recommend whichever brand differs most from the one one took the preceding year? Again, article is silent on that.

      The more I think about it, the more this strikes me as yet another great example of Lambert’s skepticism regarding “trust the science”. In this case “the science” is clearly pointing to the possibility of repeat vaccinations with too-similar formulations leading to a worse outcome than skipping that year’s shot, but “the experts” we’re supposed to “trust” are still giving advice that fails to consider that, even after tacitly acknowledging that said possibility is real.

      Reply
      1. Ignacio

        This is indeed a complex issue and I don’t think that Flu vaccination should be recommended yearly to all the population. May be the population at risk. With Flu, the population at risk are the younger and the elder but there are differences because immune responses by the elder are usually not that strong. The complexity is not wholly captured by the paragraph you pasted as it doesn’t address age and immunization route questions.

        IMO, when one is in his/her middle ages, Flu vaccination could be advisable when it incorporates a relatively new variant becoming prevalent, such as when the H1N1 appeared. But if there hasn’t been a profound change in Flu variants in the population and you had been vaccinated in the preceding years I would think twice.

        This year, with all the lockdowns and cautions in place, there could be a swift change in Flu variant composition (think we are passing Flu variants this year through new bottlenecks that might result in a sharp variation compared to last year). Whether the vaccines being prepared this year will match the flu population better or worse is a question of interest. I bet for the worse.

        Also, while restrictions and protections against Covid-19 are present, these will also affect the risk of getting Flu. I wouldn’t rush for a flu shot this year, but if this is a theme that worries you because of risk factors, then it would be important to be tuned to the developments.

        Reply
  31. Billy

    The “Slick”.
    Hopefully Capital & Main will ask why there is no oil extraction tax in California?

    Mere coincidence?
    Pat Brown, Governor of California from 1959 to 1967 and his son Jerry, Governor 1975 to 1983 and from 2011 to 2019, enjoyed a blind trust filled with large amounts of Occidental Petroleum stock.
    Our current Governor, Gavin Newsom, has had his career notoriously funded by Gordon Getty, the San Francisco billion-heir of J.P. Getty, the oilman, who owns lots of California oil wells.

    “California still is the only major oil-producing state that doesn’t tax the goo as it’s pumped from the earth. Yes, high-tax California.”

    https://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-cap-20150917-column.html

    Newsom’s car “ban”, is pure performative, ‘presidential candidate of the future’ bullshit. As to banning internal combustion cars, and trucks, California, having enjoying rolling programmed blackouts, cannot even properly maintain its current electrical grid, let alone rebuild one that would be needed to power tens of millions of cars.

    Reply
  32. Jeff W

    The history of egg tarts: from savoury to sweet, from medieval England to Hong Kong, from short crust to flaky pastry SCMP
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Way better is the so-called Portuguese egg tart (葡撻 pou⁴ taat¹), the iconic Macanese pastry dreamed up by British ex-pat and industrial pharmicist-turned-baker Andrew Stow in the 1980s. It’s like a creamier, sweeter, more pudding-like version of the Hong Kong egg tart (蛋撻 daan⁶ taat¹) with a scorched, almost crème-brûlée-like top.

    Reply
    1. PlutoniumKun

      That is interesting, I’d always thought the HK and Macau custard tart came from Portugal, not England. I’d noticed that Macau tarts were more ‘Portuguese’ with their glazed tops, I didn’t realise it was such a recent thing. There is an noodle shop across the road from my office in Dublin owned by a Macau guy that serves those tarts (the ones with a creme brûlée type topping).

      Reply
      1. Jeff W

        I didn’t realise it was such a recent thing.

        Yeah, Andrew Stow opened Lord Stow’s Bakery with his then-wife Margaret Wong in Coloane Village on 15 September 1989, although he seems to have been selling them to the public earlier. Their daughter Audrey was born a few months later. The couple divorced in 1992 and Margaret opened her Café e Nata, a rival Portuguese egg tart bakery (a “friendly competitor,” some articles say), herself. Andrew died—young, at the age of 51, from asthma—in 2006 and Lord Stow’s is run by his sister Eileen, recruited while on a trip from the UK to visit her brother in 1993, and his daughter Audrey. So mother and daughter run competing Portuguese egg tart places—and, presumably, assuming she inherits the business from her mom, Audrey stands a chance to eventually own both.

        There are branches of Lord Stow’s Baker in Macau (and one in Hong Kong), and a few in Osaka/Kyoto (but not Tokyo, somehow) and Manila. Margaret licensed her Portuguese egg tart recipe to KFC in 1999 so that’s the one you can get throughout East Asia. There’s also Lillian Bakery, a mainland Chinese knockoff dating from 2001 (“Original recipe dating from the 1800s”), with over 60 branches in Shanghai, which might be “the best egg tarts” in that city. They’re as good as Lord Stow’s’s (?) and Margaret’s, although Eileen says “Never heard of them. That’s all I’ll say.”

        Reply
  33. Wukchumni

    Surprisingly the Nobel Award medals haven’t been cheapened to the status of Olympic gold medals which are actually silver and goldplated, but they’ve gone from being 23k to 18k gold, and weighing 200 grams previously and now 175 grams, about a 1/3rd off sale.

    I’m pulling for the President to win one, because we’ll never hear the end of it. Yesterday I had time to kill and watched his Florida rally on OAN (yes, I have no life) and he spent a few minutes caterwauling over why NBC didn’t mention that he’d been nominated.

    Reply
  34. ewmayer

    Re. Amazon Launches Climate Label to Help Customers Make Greener Choices EcoWatch. “I am sure the commentariat will have much to say about this development.” — Ah, well, got here at my usual west-coast-noonish fashionably late hour, to find the commentariat on this particular article consisting of a chorus of crickets. Now, I like crickets – they are one of my favorite insects, by jiminy – but alas I nicht sprechen cricket-ese. So allow me add my zwei pfennig’s worth in English:

    So, now by making such a ‘greener choice’, those huge boxes whose contents are over 90% air will sport a Climate Label to allow me to signal my virtue to the mail carrier and my neighbors? Cool!

    Reply
  35. Ep3

    https://www.lansingstatejournal.com/story/news/2020/09/25/lansings-administration-plans-change-retiree-health-care/3508544001/

    Yves, this is being done by a democrat mayor, in a long traditional union democrat city. He’s using an outside company that bills itself as a employee benefits mgmt company to provide the legal cover, as well as a “Financial Health team” created by a previous mayor that was tasked with “solving the pension problem”. The team is composed of local bankers and a few other city officials. All they did was commission a study by a consulting firm which made recommendations for changes.
    There are 2 parts to the city’s pension system; the pension side and the health care side. Like every other entity in the country, the problem is the cost of health care. The city’s pension is 60% funded and is actually quite financially sound (those are the words of the pension board). But the pension is being eaten up by the cost of health care.
    The city isn’t broke. Before the pandemic it had a 10% surplus, which is now down to 5%. But city officials argue that the problem is the amount the city has to contribute to the pension fund every year is growing.
    My question is, why can’t governments borrow the money needed to fund their pensions? Then pay it back in balloon payments once all these savings are realized (one day the city will not owe for anyone’s retiree health care and most of the city’s defined benefit plans are going away too so no retiree pensions). Of course, it’s gonna really awesome when all these ppl reach retirement & have no pension or health care.

    I have more information if interested. Please email me.

    Reply
    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      Yes!

      Correct.

      And I just a just added the via details back in, which I had originally included, but somehow went missing.

      Reply
  36. The Rev Kev

    “This author argues that fighting climate change means focusing on ‘Earth repair'”

    Neoliberals: “You lost me at ‘2 million people were brought out of poverty’.”

    Reply

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