Links 9/8/2020

Papillon, Europe’s most wanted bear, captured after 42 days on the run Guardian

Worsening Water Woes to Play Bigger Role in Sovereign Ratings Bloomberg

The US economy is having a Wile E Coyote moment FT

Column: How millions from Uber and Lyft are funding the harassment of a critic Los Angeles Times. #Prop22.

Marc Dann: Want to stop public corruption? Jail business execs who break the law Akron Business Journal

Duluth bishop-elect resigns following allegation of sexual abuse Star-Trbune. 2020 – 2001 = 19 years after the Bernie Law scandal broke.

Data vs collateral (PDF) Bank for International Settlements


COVID-19 patients in earlier stages exhaled millions of SARS-CoV-2 per hour (PDF) Clinical Infectious Diseases. From the resutls: “For the first time, we here report that the SARS-CoV-2 is released directly into the air via breathing by COVID-19 patients. … We found that the SARS-CoV-2 breath emission rate into the air was the highest, up to 105 viruses per min, during the earlier stages of COVID-19…. The asymptomatic disease carriers do not, generally, cough or sneeze to generate respiratory droplets; thus, the observed transmission of the disease has been difficult to explain by respiratory droplet transmission, but is rather logical for a fine aerosol route.”

Temporal detection and phylogenetic assessment of SARS-CoV-2 in municipal wastewater (pre-proof) (PDF) Cell. From the Summary: “This work demonstrates how wastewater can be used as a proxy to monitor viral prevalence in the community and how genome sequencing can be used for genotyping viral strains circulating in a community. ”

Possibility for reverse zoonotic transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to free-ranging wildlife: A case study of bats PLOS

COVID’s suffocating grasp is choking businesses in Cambridge’s Central Square Boston Globe

‘I couldn’t hide my tears’: Families mourn at Belle Isle tribute to virus victims Detroit News (MN).

Tail Risk of Contagious Diseases Nature From the Introduction: “While it is known that fat tails represent a common — yeto ften ignored in modeling — regularity in many fields of science and knowledge, for the best of our knowledge,only war casualties and operational risk losses show a behavior as erratic and wild as the one we observe for pandemic fatalities.”


The American Dream Should Not Depend On Chinese Labor The American Conservative (Re Silc).

Disney’s Mulan hit with bad reviews in China as pirated copies circulate online ahead of theatrical release South China Morning Post


India-China tensions: LAC situation ‘very serious’, says S Jaishankar

In this Kerala village, Dalits aren’t allowed to get a haircut The New Indian Express


UK bid to circumvent Brexit deal risks far-reaching consequences FT

UK seeks ‘more realism’ from EU ahead of Brexit talks RTE. I thought the FT had the driest headlne ever, until I read this one.

Tough talk and fresh deadlines: Brexit’s back Politico


British Pakistani man ‘pinned down by police’ at Waterloo during stop and search after officers see him exit Pret a Manger without buying anything Evening Standard

Thirteen Welsh Guardsmen are jailed for attending cocaine-fuelled mini-rave in breach of ‘bubble’ designed to protect Her Majesty from coronavirus during lockdown Daily Mail

What is at stake in the Eastern Mediterranean crisis? FT

New Cold War

Brain Poisoning by Russian Nerve Agent – Alexei Navalny Infects German Chancellery Dances with Bears and Russians are the dumbest idiots on the planet! The Saker and

Opinion: Merkel should pull Germany from Nord Stream 2 Deutsche Welle

Trump Transition

The Wrath of Amazon: JEDI wars rage on after US Department of Defense affirms Microsoft contract The Register

DeJoy’s former employees were reimbursed by company for GOP political donations: WaPo The Hill


The Left Secretly Preps for MAGA Violence After Election Day Daily Beast

Preventing a Disrupted Presidential Election and Transition (PDF) Transition Integrity Project. Integrity. “Never eat at a place called ‘Mom’s”…

The Coming Coup? The American Mind. From the Claremont Institute

How Trump And COVID-19 Have Reshaped The Modern Militia Movement FiveThirtyEight

The Last Time a Contested Presidential Election Nearly Tore the Country Apart New York Magazine (Re Silc).

Trump slams Harris for caution on vaccine push Politico


Judge Railroads Assange as Legal Team Objects to Fresh Extradition Request Kevin Gosztola, Shadowproof. Gosztola is live-tweeting the “trial.”

Your Man in the Public Gallery: the Assange Hearing Day 6 Craig Murray (UserFriendly).

Realignment and Legitimacy

Kenosha’s looting is a symptom of a decrepit democracy Vox

Democracy’s backsliding in the international environment Science

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Purity test: Democrats clash over Biden diversity goals Politico. “Black Democrats are urging Joe Biden to resist growing pressure from the left to impose an anti-Wall Street purity test on his hiring decisions if elected, warning that it threatens the party’s desire to boost diversity in powerful executive branch posts.”

The Trouble with Disparity Adolph Reed and Walter Benn Michaels,

“Jess La Bombalera” and the Pathologies of Racial Authenticity Jacobin

The Real Story of Black Anarchists JSTOR

The Remarkable Life and Work of Guitar Maker Freeman Vines Smithsonian


Production Problems Spur Broad FAA Review of Boeing Dreamliner Lapses WSJ. From the article:

Deliberations about mandated inspections and how many Dreamliners might be covered have been under way inside the FAA for months, according to people familiar with the matter. Such a directive would target excessive stresses that could cause premature material fatigue affecting the carbon composite parts that fit behind the passenger cabin. A person familiar with Boeing’s internal review said Sunday that there is no indication at this point suggesting the defects stretch back to the jet’s early years but said the analysis was continuing.

The FAA, according to one person briefed on the agency’s deliberations, is focused on identifying how the manufacturing breakdowns occurred, why Boeing’s computerized safeguards failed to flag mismatches between the parts that failed to meet design standards and what changes are required to ensure the 787 fleet’s continued safety.

As Boeing engineers comb through records to identity planes with possible flaws, the FAA already has learned what prompted one of the defects: the plane maker didn’t test how it produces shims, or material that fills gaps between barrel-shaped sections of the jets’ fuselages, to ensure they meet requirements, according to the FAA memo. The shims are produced at Boeing’s Dreamliner factory in North Charleston, S.C.


Pontifications: Boeing in Washington: Here We Go Again Leeham News and Analysis

Groves of Academe

Colleges Send Students Home as Outbreaks Worsen. Are They Creating a New Coronavirus Threat? WSJ. “Fauci: sending students home after outbreaks is ‘the worst thing you could do.'” Presumably, college adminstrators, being both highly paid and well-credentialed, represent an intellectual — nay, a moral — meritocratic elite. And yet, they exhibit in the aggregate shock and surprise that students would party. Having collected tuition and rents, and having managed to turn their colleges into clusters of super-spreading events, they then send the likely-to-be infected back into their communities (while keeping the money and insisting that Zoom- and in-person instruction are fungible). Yes, the fish rots from the head, but aren’t these guys part of the head?

Imperial Collapse Watch

Lessons for the Navy’s New Frigate from the Littoral Combat Ship War on the Rocks

Cut These Words: Passion and International Law of War Scholarship (PDF) Harvard International Law Journal. Long article, but if you want insight into the evolution of The Blob from Bush to Obama, this is an excellent place to start. On the legal justification that the Obama administration evolved for whacking Anwar Al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen, without due process in an extra-terrritorial drone strike, for example:

First, and perhaps the most fascinating mystery, is the near-total erasure of the Vietnam era, and its vociferous doctrinal and policy debates, from the War on Terror international legal debate. The more one reads, the stranger it becomes—particularly once the invasion of Cambodia becomes publicly known in 1970, and the U.S. Department of State justifies the intervention in international legal terms. The doctrinal debate is eerily similar to those underlying key controversies between 2009 and 2018. The underlying law is, in many respects, largely the same. The contours of the international legal questions and their purported implications for the future disclose remarkable similarities. And yet, with the exception of that single footnote in the Al Aulaqi Memorandum, there is almost no reference to the raging scholarly discourse that occurred barely two generations earlier.


A house divided: As millions of Americans face evictions, others buy dream homes during COVID-19 USA Today. On evictions (UserFriendly):


“Three-Day Notice” Yasha Levine, Immigrants as a Weapon

A majority of young adults in the U.S. live with their parents for the first time since the Great Depression Pew Research Center

New Yorkers rush to rent ‘winter houses’ ahead of a second wave of COVID-19 NY Post. Those who are not “essential workers,” yes.

Class Warfare

Analysis: More People Got Back to Work in August, but Outlook Dims for Those Still Looking for Job Morning Consult

Labor Day’s surprisingly radical origins National Geographic

Dignity to Endure Chris Arnade, American Compass

Arsenic in North America: A Most Persistent Pesticide Discurso Revista

The Big, Dirty Money Behind the California Wildfires Common Dreams

Learning Material Berkeley Fire Research Lab. With a terrific Richard Feynman video.

Antidote du Jour (via):

Hedgehogs are coming:

And a bonus antidote, leveling up my dog game. Thread:


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


    1. Jules Dickson

      Thanks for pointing out the broken link! Your replacement link had expired, so I couldn’t use it here. But I think the longer URL that I used as a replacement is working now.

      1. Gary

        My 35 year old ex-Marine nephew had a miserable case of Covid in April. He was never hospitalized but he was very sick for about 3 weeks. In late May, he was carrying a basket of laundry in his one story apartment and fell dead.

      2. PlutoniumKun

        A colleague of mine (in his early 50’s) died suddenly of a heart attack last week. It was a shock as he was a non-smoker and non-drinker and seemed active and healthy and had no previous health issues. I don’t know if he had Covid, but it certainly raises questions.

        Here in Ireland, the main hospital’s have been warning that they are becoming overwhelmed with what they say is a hidden second wave – not of Covid, but of people who were treated for Covid in Spring and are now returning to hospital with a series of seemingly related health issues.

  1. UserFriendly

    Marc Dann: Want to stop public corruption? Jail business execs who break the law Akron Business Journal

    Mentions a recent 5 part series “The Con,” I caught the end of the first episode live stream when it got released. Highly recommend it. Bill Black is featured prominently.

    1. Rod

      Plan to watch The Con later
      This is the plain gist as I got it:

      But the real question isn’t how these things happen; it’s this: “Why do they happen all the time?”

      The answer is simple and distressing: Billion-dollar corporations blithely ignore and break the law because the people who occupy executive suites know they will never be forced to trade in their bespoke suits for orange jail jumpsuits.

      As long as that’s true, as a trip down memory lane beginning with mortgage crisis will make clear, corporate lawlessness will almost certainly continue unabated.

  2. Olga

    A link to Helmer that works
    It has this nugget:
    “Chancellor Angela Merkel, graduate of the Central Institute of Physical Chemistry in Berlin with a PhD in quantum chemistry, knows what a datum is, and what it isn’t. “Spuren are not facts”, an internationally known German banker with links to the chancellery observes: “For a scientist, Merkel knows what these things mean. In this case, everything she knows she has thrown away.””
    But there seems to be pushback today –
    “Linking the Nord Stream 2 project to the Alexey Navalny case would mean succumbing to Washington’s threats and harming the economy, Bundestag lawmaker from the ruling CDU/CSU coalition Manfred Grund told Izvestia, noting that Chancellor Angela Merkel is now facing a lot of heat.”

    1. John A

      Helmer nails it completely. The Swedish media are singing from the same NATO songsheet.
      The argument is
      1 Navalny was poisoned by Novichok – Flat fact
      2 Novichok is Russian and only Russia has it – Flat fact
      3 Nothing is done in Russia without Putin ordering it – Flat Fact
      4 Therefore Putin and Russia are guilty. More sanctions, cancel Nordstream II.

      The Germans have yet to disclose any evidence publically so impossible to say if 1 is a fact.
      Novichok has been produced in many labs and many countries, including Sweden and NATO countries, therefore 2 is certainly not a fact.
      Russia is the biggest country in the world. The idea of one man overseeing literally everything is ludicrious, therefore 3 cannot be a fact.
      As 1-3 are far from facts, 4 falls by the wayside.
      And yet all western mainstream media sing from the above songsheet. Is every journalist afraid of raising the slightest questionmark for fear of being Assanged?

      1. timbers

        Excellent. I suggest a title to what you wrote to deliver a direct msg quickly in MSM fashion!

        “How Imprisoning Jullian Assange = You Get Fake News”

        That’s better than Catlin’s tips on spreading the meaning of Julian Assange, IMO.

      2. Alex

        I also agree that 3 has not been proved to be true. Of course in a way it’s even worse news for Russians if you can get poisoned simply for pissing off a mid-level bureaucrat/businessman.

        1. Olga

          Considering that no poisoning has been proven (as in no facts provided), the comment makes little sense.

          1. Alex

            Yes, apparently being an opposition leader in Russia is just not very good for your health, judging by all those who were killed or died under suspicious circumstances in the last 20 years (Yushenkov, Politkovskaya, Estemirova, Litvinenko, Nemtsov, Schekochihin).

            Or maybe the Western intelligence services did all that to discredit Putin.

            1. Olga

              Since no definitive proof came up for any of these allegations, the “maybe” is certainly one possibility.
              Or do you really believe that RF lacks the means to dispose of disagreeable characters with no trace and no publicity? VVP is – on one hand – so omnipotent that he can get DT elected, and – OTOH – so incompetent that he offs Nemtsov 100m from the Kremlin.
              All I ask for is some logic… as it stands, Конёк-Горбунок is more plausible than these fairy tales.

              1. Alex

                This is a straw man argument. I don’t believe he got DP elected or even that he influenced the 2016 elections significantly.

            2. km

              Most of your list weren’t “opposition leaders”. Moreover, I could get more votes in Russian than some of the “opposition leaders” you do list.

              Why would supposedly all-powerful, all-seeing Putin bring heat upon himself for killing complete non-entities?

              1. Polar Socialist

                Even the independent (a.k.a. commercial, so not really independent) media in Russia calls Navalnyi mostly as “blogger”, sometimes “oppositionist”. The government media calls him usually “opposition activist”.

                Only outside Russia media thinks he’s opposition leader. Navalnyi seems to have much better PR people than, say, Zyuganov, Zhirinovsky or Mironov.

            3. timbers

              You omitted a few words. Let me fix that for you:

              “Yes, apparently being an opposition leader in Russia to the US Empire is just not very good for your reputation, judging by all those who were wrongly reported to die by the hands of Putin.”

              American Presidents assassinate American children (amongst other bad stuff). Why doesn’t that get MSM coverage?

      3. PlutoniumKun

        I had hoped that the sheer illogicality of the Novichok story would lead to people simply refusing to believe the press narrative and maybe start questioning the previous alleged uses as well. You don’t need to know anything about Russian politics or to believe good things about Putin to see that the story just don’t add up.

        And yet I’ve heard it referred to as a ‘fact’ by people I’d consider generally left wing and well informed. Sadly it does seem that if you get in early with a narrative and repeat it often enough, it can be very difficult to shift perception.

        1. What?No!

          Family elder care this long weekend. I was in a total of 4 (!) separate, and very different, households. I was greeted with exactly the same Trump Putin stories, recounted in exactly the same way. They all started with the dissing the military story.

          MSM has discovered Walter White’s recipe for the perfect blue-tinted media-crack for the olds. It was really quite depressing.

        2. Ignacio

          I’ve done 2 searchs with quant and with gibiru with ‘Navalny’ and the narrative on novichok poisoning of Navalny, qualified as opposition leader, is overwhelming. It will stay as with the Skripal’s affair. The story doesn’t make any sense except if you consider the Russian government as very idiotic. Why…

          1. a killing attempt on a well known character that opposes Putin’s government, previously involved in judiciary affairs between the EU and Russia and showing pre-existing EU-Russia tensions? What would be the benefit of Navalny’s silencing to grant a killing attempt? Is he an existential threat for Putin’s government?

          2. If there is such a benefit, wouldn’t be better use another method rather than using one with such bad press that had so ostensibly –supposedly in the Skripal’s affair– failed before? …and failing again and again.

          3. Why then give the victim to the ‘enemies’ so they can use the victim for political pressures and risk important projects like Nordstream 2?

          This story only makes sense as anti-Russia or anti-Putin propaganda based on myths that include sheer incompetence of Russians and a rare trend of those pesky Cossacks to use poisoning as a political tool. How is this narrative working in Russia? I think the objective is to try to isolate Russia and reduce it’s influence but the Nordstream 2 will go ahead. Germany Sweden and Finland already granted permissions for the pipeline 2 years ago and though the construction is Gazprom responsibility it involves financing by European partners. Germany is playing here a game to appear as tough with the Russians while the project runs according to schedule.

      4. Procopius

        Well, the British never released any evidence in the Skripal case, either. Or, rather, they announced a lot of contradictory stories that never made any sense. For example, that although they never replaced the front door handle of Skripal’s house, which was supposedly coated with Novichok, they replaced the roof because it was contaminated with Novichok. And Novichok is supposed to be 100 times more deadly than Sarin, but out of five people supposedly poisoned with it, four have survived.

        Is every journalist afraid of raising the slightest questionmark for fear of being Assanged?


      5. Gavin

        If Navalny was poisoned, why was he allowed to leave the country? Furthermore, why was he flown to a country that shortly trotted out this blatant propaganda line? Or, to use another term, a “Big Lie.”

        I’ll do the guessing: Just like Skripal in England, Navalny will magically heal.. because he wasn’t poisoned in the first place.

        If Putin wanted him dead.. that flight wouldn’t have been authorized for any number of reasons. Also, if Putin wanted him dead and had him poisoned, he’d be dead.

        I’ll be laughing when the GRU response to this [and the attempted color revolution in Belarus which is likely the actual cause for this drama] is named Bagration 2.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          Putin, while still a dictatorial criminal mastermind who can swing foreign national election by spending $19.99 on internet ads, just can’t seem to hire an effective poisoner. It’s so hard to find good help these days.

    2. The Rev Kev

      That article does not mention that the sample was also tested at the British chemical warfare establishment at Porton Down who of course have their own samples of Novichok. Funny stuff Novichok. Take the Skripals. One elderly male and one young female and yet they both keeled over about the same time. Now Navalny was carrying on like a pork chop with all that groaning on that plane so you ask why weren’t the Skripals also moaning like that in the park if it is supposed to be the same substance. Very strange that.

      1. Polar Socialist

        The main symptom of Novichok poisoning appears to be the victims sudden disappearance from the public eye.

        OPCW has now updated it’s records of Novichok: at first victims can present very wide variety of different sign that usually cause the initial diagnosis to be something else. After proper diagnosis the victims can only communicate trough western intelligence agencies, if at all.

    3. Jos Oskam

      I think Merkel knows plenty. The woman is not stupid. Wouldn’t surprise me if she’s just using this to stall every kind of progress on Nordstream until after the US elections. Then she can proceed depending on who has won… if that becomes at all clear, that is. That’s a lot smarter than antagonizing Trump any more by publicly going for Nordstream and risking Trump throwing some more sanctions on Germany just before he might be gone.

      And no, I don’t know mr. Putin personally, but from what I’ve seen and read of him I get the impression that he is a ruthless but capable statesman. Perhaps I’ve read too many cold-war spy novels, but as far as I can see, if Putin had wanted Navalny dead, he would have been dead, and no one would have been the wiser.

      This all looks and sounds like another “Russia Bad” fantasy. When is this nonsense going to stop?

      1. km

        I personally want to know why “Russia” keeps poisoning people with this super-deadly “Novichokl” that only Russia supposedly has but that never seems to actually kill anyone?

        Hasn’t Putin watched enough spy movies to know about “car crash” or “mysterious heart attack” or even “robbery gone wrong”?

        1. The Rev Kev

          Funny thing about that last line of yours. I recall reading how enemies of the French State in the 20th century ended up in that nation’s annual road tolls. And a few years ago, a lot of leftist leaders in South America were coming down with cancer all about the same time. Even Assad’s wife came down with cancer. And “robbery gone wrong”? As in Seth Rich?

          1. km

            Exactly. Apparently, Putin not only has no imagination whatsoever, he’s incompetent if he keeps poisoning people with the same poison that is easily traceable, comes from only one source, and doesn’t work very well.

      2. PlutoniumKun

        I’d be very surprised if Merkel and the upper levels of German politics believes a word of the story. And its also clear that the German economic establishment is absolutely behind Nordstream II and sees it as critical for long term energy supplies. And what they want, they usually get.

        As you say, I suspect that rather than be seen to be defending Putin, they are playing a political game to see if they can spin this out for a few months until everyone is distracted by the US elections and then quietly complete the project. They might even see it as an opportunity to squeeze out some concessions by the Russians on related issues.

      3. Lambert Strether Post author

        > When is this nonsense going to stop?

        When the DNC is razed and The Blob exploded into a million little pieces (hopefully unable to reproduce themselves, rhizome-like).

    4. David

      The most curious aspect of this set of stories is that the series of CW agents known in the western media as “novichok” (“new guy”) were designed in the 1970s and 1980s as military weapons for use on the battlefield. Soviet doctrine at the time called for massive use of CW agents, less to kill than to disrupt and to force NATO troops to stay in their vehicles, and fight in heavy and uncomfortable NBC suits. These agents were, in fact, liquids and not gases, and were to be delivered by aircraft, helicopters and artillery in huge quantities. Fumes arising from the liquid would trigger CW warning alarms and cause panic and disruption, without necessarily killing many people. Those who died would perish in very unpleasant ways (paralysis of the chest muscles among other things) creating more havoc and fear.
      When you take into account that they were binary weapons, needing less dangerous precursors to be combined on the battlefield, it seems extremely odd that anyone should take them seriously as assassination weapons. The chances of any given individual exposed to the agent dying were never expected to be high. An analogous case is the 1996 Tokyo Sarin attacks. Not only were the attacks highly ineffective, a number of those taken to hospital with shock and other symptoms had sarin stains on their clothes, but of all the hospital staff exposed (and who had no idea what the agent was) only one died. Now these agents are a lot deadlier than Sarin, but they seem to kill in essentially the same random fashion. It’s possible, I suppose (though you’d need a chemist to answer the question ) that there are similar, much more deadly agents optimised for assassination, but with a much higher lethality. Alternatively, have stocks of some these agents got into the wrong hands, and are they being used clumsily to settle scores? I think we should be told.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Yes, thats the striking thing about nerve agents – they may be terrifying in theory, but they are so difficult to use that they are essentially useless. Haruki Murakami has a very thoughtful book about the Sarin attacks and it is striking when you read the details that the Aum Sect, despite all their expertise (they had dozens of scientists and engineers among their number) couldn’t work out how to spread the sarin in a way that did more than make lots of people ill and kill a relative handful. Even the crudest of bombs would have killed far more in crowded Tokyo subways.

        Not long after that attack, a mentally ill man managed to kill nearly 200 people in Daegu subway with some milk cartons filled with lighter fluid.

    1. Jules Dickson

      Thanks! I substituted your link to the article. Much obliged in helping with this morning’s link cleanup.

  3. zagonostra

    Over the holiday weekend I encountered a barrage of uninspiring OBiden commercials while watching some Ytube shows (Dust SciFi) which I could not press “skip ad” fast enough. Trump had zero commercials. I’m wondering what’s going on, I personally think it was a good strategy not to air any political commercial over the long weekend, if that was a Trump campaign’s decision, or maybe they think science fiction aficionados are outside their target market.

    1. petal

      Was watching history docs on YT this weekend and had ads from both candidates, unfortunately. Biden’s voice makes me want to punch a wall.

        1. mary jensen

          And The Donald’s voice? The Donald’s syntax? How many walls have you already punched? How are your fists since The Donald took to the District of Columbia airwaves? Or are you wearing boxing gloves now?

    2. PlutoniumKun

      A couple of weeks ago I read that Trumps team seem to be focusing all their ad spend on negative campaigning against Biden on specialist media aimed at minorities. The strategy seemed to be to try to drive down enthusiasm and turnout. There is no need of course for Trump to use much money for TV commercials as he only has to tweet something outrageous to get wall to wall coverage for whatever he wants to say.

      Whatever you say about the Republicans, they seem to be far more focused, ruthless and strategic in their use of media. The Dems seem to be too badly infested by political consultants who are more interested in driving up costs and claiming their percentage.

      1. a different chris

        They are. That’s the weird dynamic here, because “focused, ruthless and strategic” are three words that you can’t apply to Trump no matter how much Kool-aid you drink.

        Maybe it works, like your favorite sweet & sour meal. But the consumption of heartburn medications must be off the charts.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > “focused, ruthless and strategic” are three words that you can’t apply to Trump no matter how much Kool-aid you drink.

          There is an odd pattern where Trump is being Trump, but is also capable of hiring effective, anonymous people beavering away in an office park somewhere. It was true with his digital efforts in 2016, true with his legal team during impeachment, and I wonder if the same is true for Project Warp Speed, which is a thoroughly sane approach to vaccine development, if you rule out a government-run Manhattan Project-style development process, as both parties, being neoliberal, would.

    1. Lee

      Outflanking the Dems on the left over war, peace and the MIC is all well and good. But important as this is, I doubt it will overshadow public concerns over the virus and the economy. A timely vaccine, OTOH, could put a major dent in Biden’s apparent lead.

      1. marym

        His lack of interest in starting or threatening new wars is one of the few and most important differences between Trump and bipartisan anti-Trumpers.

        As for feeding the MIC though, there’s been increased drone strikes, increased civilian casualties, less transparency on drone strikes/casualties, the pentagon budget, arms sales, a MIC lobbyist as the head defense dept., and a whole new service branch.

        1. Wukchumni

          Claiming that our military leaders curiously fitted in retro Civil War era uniforms-only care about their titanium rice bowls is a bit rich, as he feeds them 3rd helpings.

        2. Pookah Harvey

          “His lack of interest in starting or threatening new wars is one of the few and most important differences between Trump and bipartisan anti-Trumpers.”

          As usual with Trump his statements and reality have little in common.
          Trump has been sabre rattling with nuclear armed China for months. As TAC reported back in July, “It’s Official: Pompeo Has Declared Cold War With China”. The Doomsday Clock’s status today is the closest to midnight since the Clock’s start in 1947

          And let’s not ignore the fact that Trump seems to be advocating civil war right here.

          1. Aumua

            Ha, right. No war abroad, but he’ll just bring the war here. The MIC has got to have something to use all those toys and all that wealth on. Also I note that the pentagon’s budget has not been lowered at all on Trump’s watch, so I have little illusion that any real rolling back of the Empire or anti-war policies are in play with the current regime.

      2. Oh

        You appear to assume that the people are against any kind of foreign war. I beg to differ. Decades of conditioning through relenless propaganda has resulted in most of the US population saluting the flag and providing undue support for the troops.

    2. Olga

      No to CNN, but RT is reporting DT’s statement as: “I’m not saying the military’s in love with me. The soldiers are. The top people in the Pentagon probably aren’t because they want to do nothing but fight wars, so all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy.”
      The guy has a point.

      1. voteforno6

        He may have a point…except for the part where he says that the military’s in love with him. Opinion is very divided among the rank-and-file. I think the Military Times poll had Biden leading there as well, though not by as much as with the officer corps.

        Everything that Trump touches turns to shirt, so it’s hard to take anything he says about reforming the system seriously. He is clearly corrupt, so the source of his complaint could very well be that he’s not getting cut in on the action.

        1. Pelham

          Good point. So this presidential election sort of comes down to which candidate we believe is being cut into or excluded from the action in various corporate specialties. It’s a tough call, though, because Delaware Biden conceivably has a finger in virtually everything.

      2. km

        This Trump guy does have a point. Pity he wasn’t president for the last three years and therefore couldn’t have even tried to do anything about any of it….

        O wait…

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          And yet, facts are very inconvenient things aren’t they. Number of new foreign wars = zero. Troops slated to come out of Afghanistan and blocked by Dems = 8,500. And as far as China goes, I’m sure it will be better when we get Biden back in charge, there are probably still a few jobs left we can send over there and I”m sure Wall St will be super-happy about that. Joe can fly Hunter in on Air Force One this time, last time he came back with $1.5B of Chinese Communist Party money, maybe he can shoot for $2B this time? But that’s good for America, right? Because (mumble mumble globalism mumble free trade mumble…)

    3. neo-realist

      Trump’s FY2021 budget gives away 55% to the military. How the hell can he claim to be some sort of anti-establishment republican when he gives away the lions share of the $$$ to the pentagon just like any other republican?

      He also tore up the Iranian nuclear deal, which some republicans pro and anti-Trump hail, but has ended up with the Iranians not only restarting their nuclear weapons program but making a military-economic pact with China, which makes further military action, whether it be overt or covert very dangerous assuming PLA or Chinese oil and gas personnel get wounded or killed by military action from another four years of Trump.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Trump’s Congress’s FY2021 budget gives away 55% to the military.

        FIFY. Remind me who controls Congress? And gave the military even more than they asked for?

      2. Offtrail

        Iran hasn’t “restarted their nuclear weapons program”. There is no evidence that they have one now, nor that they ever did.

    4. PlutoniumKun

      My guess is that he is genuinely worried by all the talk of the Generals working with the Dems to push him out in the event of a disputed election result (and lets face it, its probably going to be disputed). This is his way of signalling to the Generals that they’d better be very sure their underlings are willing to accept an order to remove Trump before they make that order.

      This whole thing smacks of Third World politics and politicians trying to get the military on their side. But it has to be said, the Dems started this with their talk of the military escorting Trump out of the White House.

      1. vidimi

        it’s also a useful distraction from those “military dead = suckers” comments. it allows the media to forget about them and focus trump’s anti-militarism towards the top brass. genius move.

  4. timbers

    2020 – The Left Secretly Preps for MAGA Violence After Election Day Daily Beast

    I guess you could take this and the other articles under 2020 and ask Obama/Hillary/Pelosi/Biden/Schumer:

    Wouldn’t it be easier to simply support programs popular with voters like MedicareForAll and ending wars and cutting the military and jaililng Wall Street and corporate bad actors like Boeing and banks, if you want to be in the WH and control Congress?

    Instead of doing what you falsely accuse Russia of, why don’t you to that instead?

    1. Acacia

      All very logical, but perhaps they don’t because they want to keep their snouts in the trough of donor money… er, scratch that… a better metaphor is “tank scum … it is what it is”.

    2. Samuel Conner

      If there were a way to implement “universal concrete material benefits” while not reducing, or preferably even increasing, inequality, the D party might go for it.

      Perhaps we could persuade them to embrace a universal funeral insurance program.

    3. voteforno6

      So, these groups should just not prepare for the possibility of post-election violence, in a year when the MAGAs have already engaged in violence? Advocating for popular policies is undoubtedly a good thing, but that only gets you so far when the Republicans have already demonstrated a willingness to steal an election, like they did in 2000. If anything, they’re more open about it now.

      I find it hopeful that these groups are at least talking with each other. It kind of makes you wonder if it will lead to cooperation on other issues.

    4. cocomaan

      Even further, this fantasy of right wing militias showing up at polling places is unhinged. It’s the Democrats that have been calling the 2016 election into question for years and the Democrats who are insisting that voting by mail needs to happen this year, with almost no preparation whatsoever.

      Right wing militias also showed up for Reopening protests and the Unite The Right rally earlier this year and there was zero violence. Steve Scalise was shot by a deranged left winger!

      This is truly just projection. Democrats are now the chaos party. It’s insane to watch them essentially emulate trump from 2016.

      1. km

        Both parties are the chaos party.

        Unless, of course, they win. In that case, any violence that they unleash was, of course, self-defense. /s/

        1. cocomaan

          Haha, well, you’re of course correct. But given that Democrats were silent on BLM protests turning into street warfare until polling told them otherwise, I do not see how their wargaming as presented in that article is anything other than instigation to civil conflict. Then again, that’s what the media has wanted for the past four years.

          1. hunkerdown

            The Democrat Party wants the left in the streets, teaching the bipartisan right wing their entire art of war. The antifa kiddies are literally pants-on-head stupid having these low-level street skirmishes and symbol destruction fests instead of attacking the infrastructure of the neoliberal thought collective.

            1. Aumua

              Whether it’s somewhat foolish or not, they are DOING something at least. On the street level. It’s not just an intellectual exercise for them, they are taking action.

              1. The Rev Kev

                But imagine that they did this on Wall Street, outside the Supreme Court and in front of corporate headquarters instead of useless targets like the back end of Woop Woop? That is where the centers of gravity are.

      2. voteforno6

        Right wing militias also showed up for Reopening protests and the Unite The Right rally earlier this year and there was zero violence.

        Like when those armed thugs peacefully chased legislators from the Michigan statehouse?

      3. Person

        Jane’s law: “The devotees of the party in power are smug and arrogant. The devotees of the party out of power are insane.”

    5. The Rev Kev

      You guys remember stocking up on your pantry supplies at the beginning of this year if you had the space and could afford it due to the pandemic? Yeah, about that. Might be wise to do that again so you can avoid going out in the streets come November. Sounds like that there are gunna be too many rat-bags running around committing all sorts of mayhem and having melt downs in the streets. Might be a good time to hunker down.

      1. Wukchumni

        1 in 5 only eating Little Debbie & parsnips @ the largess of a soon to be overdrawn banking establishment, only adds to the potential desperation on nouveau mean streets.

        Americans are allowed to fly to Mexico, but can’t cross via vehicle @ the border.

        Wouldn’t it be something if there was a rather forced border crossing by Americanos fleeing the carnage, shooting their way into Mexico with mounted AR 15’s on the bed of a Toyota truck?

        Five to one, one in five

      2. cocomaan

        My fear, Kev, is that we’re going to be saying, “Let’s hunker down” a year from now, two years from now, etc.

        Cooler heads must prevail, but how do you find a cool head in a dying empire?

      3. fresno dan

        The Rev Kev
        September 8, 2020 at 9:55 am

        I presume canned goods last almost forever – not to be TOO prepper, but it might go far longer than just November. Being in CA, I would be wary of being dependent upon electricity driven freezers. I actually like Chef Boyardee – I don’t know what people with more refined tastes are gonna do…

        1. Wukchumni

          Fresno Dan:

          I’m somewhat relieved you aren’t an Underwood
          Deviled Ham fancier, and although it does have some advantages-such as being pre-masticated, and comes gift wrapped, which makes for a great giving possibility at the next xmas party you attend, merely add a festive bow, and you’re good to go.

            1. polecat

              “Secret’s in the sauce..”

              I have to say that between Underwood Deviled Ham and SPAM .. the latter appears the more ‘junglefied’ meat. I mean, my God! It quivers right out of the can .. like it’s Alive!
              I got a can as an Xmas gift. Think I’ll clip two charged electrodes to that Thing, see what jumps!

          1. fresno dan

            September 8, 2020 at 10:45 am

            I must confess that as we speak (are we speaking???) I have 3 cans of Underwood Chicken salad spread. Mmmm…I figured there were beaks and feets in it, but the percentage of feathers is surprising….

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              There’s a reason Pacific Islanders love Spam, apparently it reminds them of another kind of meat that used to be on the menu locally.

              (I’m told the Fijians were the worst, the king would saunter into the village and you had to hope your young daughter was not lunch. To this day they exchange a loud and super cheerful greeting “Bula!” to send the message “hey don’t eat me, I’m really fun to have around!”)

        2. IdahoSpud

          Heya Dan,

          Previous Bakersfield resident here – once a fellow Central Valley deplorable. Now a whole new level of deplorable, based solely on geographic location

          FYI: Tomato-based canned goods don’t last much past the “Use by” date. They get quite metallic-tasting, probably due to the acidic nature of the sauce. Most other stuff lasts forever. Also consider 25 lb sacks of beans/soups, assuming you still have access to clean water.

          I’m not a prepper, but like a Boy Scout, I’m prepared.

          1. polecat

            Can your own .. tinny taste be gone!

            Just put up 65 pints o pasta sauce, good for most of next year – must can moar! ..while tomatoes are still in season.

            And speaking of spuds .. almost time to lift and store,(and use), this year’s crop.

          2. fresno dan

            September 8, 2020 at 1:22 pm

            OMG! Two thousand cans of spaghettios with mini meatballs of no use for future apocalypses ….plus, breakfast, lunch, dinner, desert and midnight snacks are now gonna be spaghettios…..

        3. mpalomar

          “I don’t know what people with more refined tastes are gonna do…”

          If you’ve gone to all the trouble of breaking out the can opener might I suggest supplementing the Chef with a can of baked beans, voila – Pasta e Fagioli and a complete protein!

          The sommelier at the bunker might suggest an inferior wine, don’t settle for anything less than Five Buck Chuck to wash down the delightful repast.

          For dessert might I suggest Twinkies, I hear they have an impressive shelf life.

      4. MT_Bill

        We took it a step further, and are moving a little further out into the rural Countryside where we know the locals.

        Smaller school with a greater chance of being able to maintain in-person classes, and more of a you don’t have to lock your doors and can leave the keys in the truck kind of vibe. I guess we’ll see if the center can hold.

        In the meantime, buying the Honda thump-thump, ordering the new set of snow tires early, and stocking up on the kids learning workbooks since Walmart’s got them on clearance.

        If it all blows over and the anxiety I feel is just a figment of my own paranoia, I guess I’ll have some really interesting covid-19 themed white elephant gift boxes to hand out of Christmas.

        For canned meat enthusiasts, don’t forget the 12 variety Spam sampler pack.

    6. KFritz

      A big key to election-related events this November will be the behavior of municipal and county police departments. They’re often bastions of Right-Wing Reaction, which doesn’t bode well for the Democrats or Lefties in the streets.

    7. feox

      “Wouldn’t it be easier to simply support programs popular with voters like MedicareForAll and ending wars and cutting the military and jaililng Wall Street and corporate bad actors like Boeing and banks, if you want to be in the WH and control Congress?”

      I don’t understand what you’re implying here about being in the WH. Those policies were not even enough for Bernie to win the primary election. You and I think that those reforms are what the American people needs. Based on their vote, the American people disagree.

      1. Yves Smith

        You think what happened in the Democratic primaries was actually democratic? You clearly have not been paying attention. Let us start with the fact that Sanders won in Iowa not just in caucus votes but in actual delegate votes if they’d been counted properly, according to actual published records of the relevant precinct sheets, but the state party wasn’t willing to reverse itself and suing would have taken too long (as in Dems could easily have dragged it out past the convention)? If Sanders had been declared the winner in Iowa, that would have been worth 5-10 points by historical standards and more fundraising momentum too. Lots of cheating in Texas, with polling stations being removed in lower income and Hispanic ‘hoods, both of which were big bastions of Sanders support. Lines of 3 to as much as 7 hours. And you don’t think many of the people in those districts just went home rather than wait for hours to vote? They are even more likely than average voters to have inflexible work schedules and transportation issues.

        And the weekend of the long knives was in Southern states which will not go for the Dems in the general, so why should they decide anything?

        Medicare for all and single payer consistently poll at over 60% support. Depending on the wording (poll results are super sensitive to the phrasing and ordering of the questions) in some it’s close to 80%. Don’t spread disinformation by trying to depict single payer as not having broad and deep support. The Biden campaign is over there.

  5. Alex

    I’m not sure I understand Yasha Levine’s story. Why does their landlord want to evict them if they have been great tenants? Is it because their apartment is rent-controlled and he can’t legally raise the rent? Then this whole situation sounds like an unintended consequence of rent-control laws, and quite an obvious one, that the legislators should have foreseen.

    (I should probably say that I don’t claim that these laws are bad)

    1. vidimi

      this unintended consequence is still better than the alternative? the rent control laws need to be enforced with stronger eviction laws.

    2. Brian (another one they call)

      I have noticed that any time “rent” is discussed by a party in financial circles, that within the first few sentences you can tell if they are a rentier. After covid became a trend, I noticed several financial pundits relate that they were personally affected and their tenants weren’t paying. As a landlord, one is constrained by laws. (yeah, right) Depending on the state, the law varies considerably.
      I have lost a lot of respect for those that barked about how it was harming their bottom line as people struggled to eat, work, sleep, see a doctor, go to a park, go to a store, to school, etc..
      America is built on the subserviance of its population. I don’t think that is something the wealthy consider as they continue to twist and strangle the people and the law that should be protecting them.
      If M4All and eviction moratorium aren’t implemented, the demorepublicon story is going to be hatred by anyone affected by a heartless government looking to get their payment before anything else.
      There are no good politicians. They serve only to prosper on the backs of the people and feed their ego. Public service has been shown to be a bad joke that some of the citizens are coming to understand. They may never forget this assault on their lives.

    3. diptherio

      California, it appears after some quick searching, like most states, only allows for 3-day quit notices for very specific circumstances (non-payment of rent, unauthorized subletting, lease violations relating to health and safety of the premises twice within a 6 month period, etc), so unless Yasha’s been up to something he’s not mentioning, this 3 day notice (and the previous 14 day one he wrote about getting in a previous post) are likely attempts to illegally void their lease. As Yasha points out, even if the eviction is thrown out by a judge, the tenant still had to spend money and time defending themselves, and there is rarely any penalty for a landlord who attempts to violate the law in this way, so there’s an incentive for bad action on the part of landlords, as it’s a “heads I win, tails you lose” situation.

      The problem is not rent-control laws, it’s inadequate tenant-landlord laws generally, combined with unscrupulous landlords.

      1. pendaran

        Just to be clear, in California a “3-day quite notice” as you called it, is not an eviction notice. At any point after three days, if whatever problem the notice states hasn’t been remedied, an eviction notice can be given, at which point the entire thing would go to court (which takes a while), and the landlord would have to prove the case, which is definitely easier on the $$$ front than it is on the other factors.

        I have had landlords in the past send 3-day notices in an attempt to intimidate me, none of which were ever followed through on, most likely because they knew I would win in court. I actually have a small claims court case in a week where I am suing my previous landlord for unscrupulous behavior like this, a case that has been delayed by coronavirus closures.

        I’ve lived all over the USA, and the laws are pretty favorable to tenants in California. It’s enforcement of those laws that is not so good here – small claims court is pretty much the only option for tenants to seek remedy for landlord breaches.

        1. mary jensen

          No, we really don’t since hedgehogs don’t exist in North America (Ron Jeremy does).

          I have been tending hedgehogs for years in Suisse. They are among the most endearing and harmless little creatures you will ever encounter. If you live where they do, please help them out with fresh clean water and food: they like beef or chicken cat kibbles a lot, they won’t eat fish. Never give them bread, never serve them any kind of milk or milk products such as cheese because their guts cannot handle them.
          They will make a dreadful mess all over your terrace each night and they do fight each other for sex and food: they snort and head-butt each other. If you find one out during the daylight please collect it, put it in a box and get it to an animal shelter asap because its a hedgehog in trouble. Thank you.

          1. mary jensen

            I forgot to mention there exists an “entente cordiale” between cats and hedgehogs; both being nocturnale in nature, they simply slip past each other like ships in the night.

            In case you were wondering.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Thirteen Welsh Guardsmen are jailed for attending cocaine-fuelled mini-rave in breach of ‘bubble’ designed to protect Her Majesty from coronavirus during lockdown”

    No wonder they came down so hard on these idiots. Imagine if the headline had read instead this-

    ‘Thirteen Welsh Guardsmen are jailed for attending cocaine-fuelled mini-rave in breach of ‘bubble’ after Her Majesty dies from coronavirus during lockdown’

  7. Wukchumni

    As unemployment benefits and savings run dry, food banks are scrambling to help a growing number of people struggling to put meals on the table.

    At one walk-in food pantry near the Strip, Vic Caruso, director of City Impact Center, said he receives upward of five fully loaded trucks a day from Three Square, Southern Nevada’s only food bank and the area’s largest hunger-relief organization.

    “Nevada, obviously having the highest unemployment rate in the country, now has 20 percent of its population food-insecure,” an 8 percentage point increase in the pre-pandemic figure, Scott said, citing data from umbrella organization Feeding America. “We’re certainly at the very top percentage in the country.”

    Scott said the need “became clear” when Three Square started sending more than one truck a day to several of its drive-thru distribution sites and pantries as supplies ran low over the past few weeks.

    Three Square has been stockpiling items with extended expiration dates “in anticipation that the food bank industries are going to be pursuing every possible place to secure food.”
    There’s just 1 food bank in Pavlovegas, and they’re down to cans of yams with a 2017 expiration date?

  8. MT_Bill

    So Team D has accepted the fact that they are looking at an Electoral College loss and are just planning to ignore the results.

    Sorta like how their preferred candidate lost in the primary and they needed a work around.

    All while whipping up fear with the base about how it’s the Orange Man who won’t accept the results.

    Sounds like November should be interesting.

    Buy your turkeys early.

    1. voteforno6

      On the other hand, Trump and the Republicans have been nothing but respectful toward democratic processes, and have been working hard to ensure that everyone can participate in a fair and open process. This doubly applies to Trump’s followers, who are nothing if not peaceful and considerate of those with different opinions.

      Now, where’s that sarcasm font when you need it?

      1. MT_Bill

        Not to further the whataboutism, but if Team D is concerned about a fair and open process, they should start with their own nomination process.

        And yep, those Trump followers have been out in the street rioting and burning shit down for months now.

        1. voteforno6

          Some of them have been…they ID’d the guy who broke into the hardware store in Minneapolis as a right-winger. Right-wingers also shot the U.S. Marshal in Las Vegas (I think), and right-wingers have also been plowing cars into crowds. Let’s also not forget about the right-winger who shot those people in Kenosha.

          I’m also hearing stories from people I know that live in Trump country that those who even attempt to put up signs supporting Democrats are having their property vandalized. So yeah, the Trumpsters are hardly the peaceful American patriots that they make themselves out to be.

        2. neo-realist

          Not to mention the kidnapping of non-violent protestors KGB/Stasi/Latin American Dictatorship style off the street of some American cities and their indefinite detainment by the federales.

          and…..the threats by Trump to use the RICO statues to imprison and severely fine organizers of the protests. I thought that non-violent protest was 1st amendment protected free speech.

          1. MT_Bill

            I haven’t seen anything about peaceful protesters exercising their first amendment right of assembly have been jailed or otherwise harmed or hindered.

            Now people burning s*** down and lobbing pyrotechnics, maybe. But that seems to be outside of the First Amendment.

            It’s sort of like the brouhaha over the electoral college vs popular vote. Who cares who wins the popular vote, the way the game is played all that matters is the electoral college count.

            To say otherwise would be like a losing American football team claiming they won the game because they had more offensive yardage, even though they lost on points.


            1. neo-realist

              I was talking about federal agents picking up non-violent protestors from the streets, driving them away in unmarked vans and cars and detaining them. This has happened in Portland, NYC, and I believe Chicago. You should be able to walk the streets as a non-violent protestor without having to concern yourself about being picked up by the cops.

              I’m not justifying burning and looting by idiots and provocateurs. I’m fine with locking up violent protestors, but leave non-violent protestors alone. Let them exercise their 1st amendment right without being detained by the cops.

              1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                Angels on the head of a pin at this stage, sure authoritarian, sure worrisome. But if you are arguing that you need your voice to be heard, suggest taking a hard look at the D “primary” process as MT Bill suggests. Your candidate absolutely flamed out with the public and couldn’t even make it to the first primaries. Then the Party squared up, straight in your face, and said “F U, you dirty voter. You’re having her anyway”.

    2. km

      Stalwarts of *both* candidates are preparing for violence.

      In this, I think that the Trump-side has an advantage, in that they are better armed, meaner, and are more motivated. They think that Dear Leader is The Greatest President Ever!

      Nobody is that enthusiastic about Biden.

      1. Pelham

        But the Biden people may still be able to muster something like the Brooks Brothers protest in Florida. Twenty years later, though, it may have to be a man-bunned skateboarder protest.

      2. Pookah Harvey

        Thought experiments:
        Who would be a more likely Fascist Leader, Trump or Biden?
        Who would be more likely to motivate a AR-15 wielding Brown Shirts militia,Trump or Biden?

        What are the odds? Who knows.
        What I do know is the odds of nothing happening when playing Russian Roulette is 83.33%. Its the other 16.67% that’s the problem.

        1. Pookah Harvey

          Sorry, should have been:
          Who would be more likely to motivate a AR-15 wielding Hawaiian Shirts militia,Trump or Biden?

      3. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Stalwarts of *both* candidates are preparing for violence.

        I can see the following factions prepared for “violence” of one type or another (all the way from occupations to shooting people)

        1) Militia and adjacent cops

        2) Anarchists (with “embedded” cops)

        3) PMC Black Lives Matter/Women’s March types (I can see Indivisible organizing them to do something like seizing polling stations; some have also been trained in anarchist tactics at protests)

        4) Rioters (not the same as #2 or #3)

        5) The Feds (ranging from Trump’s lumpen goons at ICE through DHS to the FBI; the organs of state security)

        6) The military

        7) Unions (but I think, sadly, they’ll sit this one out).

        Am I missing anyone?

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      Yeah, about that electoral college.

      Whitney Webb broke down the “Transition ‘Integrity’ Project’s” report, which she read in full. (The abstract is linked above.) I think you’re right about early turkey buying. From her analysis:

      In the TIP’s “clear Trump win” scenario (see page 17), Joe Biden – played in the war game by John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign manager and chief of staff to former President Bill Clinton – retracted his election night concession and subsequently convinced “three states with Democratic governors – North Carolina, Wisconsin and Michigan – to ask for recounts.” Then, the governors of Wisconsin and Michigan “sent separate slates of electors to counter those sent by the state legislature” to the Electoral College, which Trump had won, in an attempt to undermine, if not prevent, that win.

      Next, “the Biden campaign encouraged Western states, particularly California but also Oregon and Washington, and collectively known as “Cascadia,” to secede from the Union unless Congressional Republicans agreed to a set of structural reforms. (emphasis added)” Subsequently, “with advice from [former] President Obama,” the Biden campaign laid out those “reforms” as the following:

      1. Give statehood to Washington, DC and Puerto Rico
      2. Divide California into five states “to more accurately represent its population in the Senate”
      3. Require Supreme Court justices to retire at 70
      4. Eliminate the Electoral College

      In other words, these “structural reforms” involve the creation of what essentially amounts to having the U.S. by[sic] composed 56 states, with the new states set to ensure a perpetual majority for Democrats, as only Democrat-majority areas (DC, Puerto Rico and California) are given statehood. Notably, in other scenarios where Biden won the Electoral College, Democrats did not support its elimination.

      When they tell you who they are, believe them.

      1. ddt

        Not sure breaking up California would fit that scenario as they think. Rural CA is very conservative. Coast and cities may be “blue” but the state of “Jefferson” is most definitely red.

    1. pjay

      If you are claiming that anyone here is trying to make “common cause with Heather Meyer’s murderers,” or is holding up Kyle Rittenhouse or his militia buddies as role models, then you are just straw-manning. If you are equating all Trump supporters with these guys, then you doing the same thing as Hillary. “Ignorant deplorables.”

      But let’s play this game. Are you *really* incapable of seeing the dangers of this ongoing coup effort, however despicable the target (Trump)? No matter how unstable or dangerous for particular individuals these wannabe “patriot” defenders might be, do you *really* see them as the more likely road to fascism in comparison to a coordinated effort by powerful elements in the permanent state, the intelligence community, and their media assets? Do you *really* blame either the clueless Trump or various groups of his flag-waving, mask-rejecting followers for the development of a very scary “national security” infrastructure that has been steadily built up over the last 20 or so years in both Republican and Democrat administrations? Do you *actually* think Trumps constant ridiculous tweets are more dangerous than the coordinated media narratives about Russia?

      No, this is *not* a defense of Trump or his right-wing supporters. My problem is that I’m not sure they are the biggest danger to the Republic.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “@KyungLahCNN with the stories of those being evicted and losing their livelihood every day due to the economic stresses of Covid-19.”

    Jimmy Dore did a video on that film clip a few days ago but had many unkind words to say about the sheriff booting families out of their homes all day long before going back to his own each night. But mostly he pins the blame for this happening on Nancy Pelosi and what she did a few months ago- (lots of swearing in 17 minute video)

  10. Wukchumni

    The Air Quality Indicator is now just shy of 500 in Mineral King, and approaching 600 in the main part of Sequoia NP in the Giant Forest.

    Anything over 300 on the AQI is considered ‘Hazardous’.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        My brother is in the wine business in Northern Cal and he says the entire Napa and Sonoma crop this year is done. It’s nearing harvest time and they collect samples and think about blending and finishing. But problem problem: when they swill the buckets around and taste them it’s like licking an ashtray. No, not some disguisable “barbecue” aroma…it’s more like “how far can I spit this stuff to get it out of my mouth?”

        Something tells me the connoisseurs in 10 years will not be waxing poetic about the 2020 vintage. (Kind of like everything else associated with this infernal year).

    1. Lost in OR

      That’s amazing. Here in the mid-Willamette Valley an east “wind event” starting yesterday has blessed us a smokey gray dawn. The AQI is only moderate to unhealthy. We’re supposed have several days of this.

      Perhaps I should visit the Portland Federal building this evening to get a true feeling for dystopia.

      1. Wukchumni

        What’s more amazing to me is that Sequoia NP is still open when it’s nearly double plus bad hazardous…

        1. pendaran

          That’s unbelievable. The forest is closed but the park is open? Insanity. How is that not inviting disaster right now?

      2. Keith

        In eastern WA, the event was supposed to last. Real bad yesterday and undoing all the dust, but the smoke cleared and we have clear skies, for now at least.

        1. polecat

          Those easterlies have sent it out our way “choke” “hack” “cough” .. the winds are getting kinda gusty in PA right now.

      3. JWP

        I’ll meet you there! Ironic how the local trump boat rally forgot to check the wind forecast for the day.
        Windstorm gave us 15 hours without power and a dusting of ash on the cars. Temps supposed to get into the mid 90s, so going outside as the week goes on will be a big no.

    2. Anthony G Stegman

      The NPS has closed many of the trails in Mineral King. Hikers and backpackers are required to depart immediately. 2020 is truly a lost year for so many reasons. But come Nov 3rd we voters get a chance to pretend that we can change the trajectory of this nation.

    3. pendaran

      The town of Bishop on the other side of the mountains had an AQI over 2200 this morning!

      The Air Quality Index for PM10 in Bishop reached above 2,000 on Tuesday morning, measuring 2,219 by 9 a.m., according to, which is run by the Environmental Protection Agency. The index stops at 500, a level already considered “hazardous.”

      Bishop has the worst air quality in the region, which includes Mammoth Lakes and Lone Pine — where the index measured for PM10 1,899 and 1,316 respectively as of 9 a.m.

  11. Person

    Via Drudge, “Disney Under Fire For Filming ‘Mulan’ in China’s Xinjiang Province”

    Following Mulan’s release on Disney+ on Friday, some viewers began noticing a “special thanks” in the film’s end credits to eight government entities in Xinjiang, including the public security bureau in the city of Turpan, where China is believed to operate over a dozen “re-education camps” that hold Uighurs in extra-judicial detention.

    Mulan’s credit sequence also extends a thank you to the “publicity department of CPC Xinjiang Uighur Autonomy Region Committee,” the Chinese Communist Party agency responsible for producing and managing state propaganda efforts in the region.

    That article links this tweet where the pro-China comments smell somewhat inorganic, to say the least:

      1. Person

        This is absolutely true, but of course Hollywood struggles with telling stories about any culture that doesn’t drink Pepsi. It certainly appears that Mulan is Disney’s attempt to make inroads into the huge Chinese market. Someone there watched the Ang Lee catalog and decided that the quickest way to success was copying early 2000’s wuxia blockbusters.

        Great article by the way, hadn’t seen that one. After enough failures, you’d think that execs would change their approach instead of making another essentially American film featuring foreign actors.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Ang Lee’s ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden dragon’ was widely derided and ignored in China because the actors were mostly Cantonese speakers who didn’t make a good job of their Mandarin dialogue. It does seem a little weird, but it does seem that the Chinese are more comfortable with dubbed or subtitled English on films set in China. Presumably, this is because they are already so accustomed to western films and TV. And of course, for all sorts of reasons, Beijing was not happy with Hong Kong (or Taiwan) being the primary base for good film making on Chinese historical subjects. I guess they think Hollywood is more controllable, and they are probably right.

          1. Person

            I was not aware of that, thanks for the additional context. I have enjoyed many Chinese films because they feel so refreshingly different, but of course in my own ignorance I assumed that they were well-regarded in China. Another of my favorites, Raise the Red Lantern, was apparently banned for a time despite being approved by censors. Always room to learn something new!

            1. PlutoniumKun

              Raise the Red Lantern is gorgeous, a beautiful movie and one of my favourites too. Like a lot of the fifth generation films, it made heavy use of allegory and metaphor to get around the censorship, although most of those Directors got into trouble at some time or other.

              Sadly, the director, Zhang Yimou, has pretty much gone full commercial with his big, bombastic epic historical dramas, making what sometimes amounts almost to government propaganda, although he still sometimes sneaks in a little subtle criticism in his films.

              The Chinese government has learned that its better not to censor artists and film makers. It makes much more sense to hand them vast sums of cash to sell out and make mindless entertainment. They’ve learned that from Hollywood.

              1. The Rev Kev

                Hmphh! So they tried exiling artists, torturing them, humiliating them, shooting them and then found that the best way to get them onside was to give them a dump truck of money. That’s capitalism for you.

    1. Person

      Another good one from this morning at RealClear Investigations, “Inside an Elite Cancel Culture Session, Where Leftists Met the Enemy and It Was … One of Them”:

      The episode also signaled the repudiation of an honored and admired intellectual archetype – the curmudgeon. I’m not a close friend, but, as a book writer and former critic myself, I’ve encountered Romano over the years, and I’d describe him as something of a throwback to an earlier era, when a crusty, Socratic, erudite style carried with it a certain charm. But that’s one of the ways Romano seems no longer to fit in. One critics circle board member, Columbia University professor John McWhorter, an African American, agreed with him on the substance of the anti-racism pledge, but told the website Vulture that Romano’s way of expressing his dissent was a bit tone-deaf. He “was not being a modern person in the way he responded” to the anti-racism pledge, McWhorter said, perhaps referring to Romano’s charge that some of the arguments of the anti-racism pledge were “absolute nonsense.”

      I thought this was a good take. The curmudgeonly type is now widely suspected to be a closet “*-ist”, or at least generally problematic in some vague way. 2020 has no place for a Mencken, or even an Orwell.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        I have no doubt that one of the reasons why woke culture is so popular with senior managers and HR is that it provides a multiplicity of reasons to shove out to pasture the older awkward squad of professionals – those who know how the game is played and don’t take nonsense from MBA types. And of course it clears up some senior positions for more biddable younger staff.

        1. a different chris

          OTOH, curmudgeons which I used to be one of but grew out of, are crap communicators and you need to just not look knowing and contemptuous of others ideas, no matter how much they deserve said response.

          You simply have to clearly explain yourself. Now the link says “a crusty, Socratic, erudite style” but all I ever hear (or did) was here condescending references to old books that nobody has the time to read.

          Good riddance. The whole point of being old is passing on what you learned, not to simply gaze down at everybody from your mountain.

          1. Laputan

            Now the link says “a crusty, Socratic, erudite style” but all I ever hear (or did) was here[sic] condescending references to old books that nobody has the time to read

            Written like a truly devout member of the woke ignorati,

            “Plato? I ain’t got time for that.”

          2. kareninca

            “old books that nobody has the time to read”

            But they have time for Netflix.

            In the course of history, many people who had terribly hard lives and who worked very long hours, found the time to read the writings of great thinkers from different generations. Whether or not to do so presently is a choice. The books are online. You can read a few pages a day. But if you want to remain unread, you can; most people do.

            Relying on the old to pass down knowledge, so that you don’t have to open a book, is just laziness. Also it doesn’t work.

          3. Offtrail

            Now the link says “a crusty, Socratic, erudite style” but all I ever hear (or did) was here condescending references to old books that nobody has the time to read.

            Uh, what?

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          > a multiplicity of reasons to shove out to pasture the older awkward squad of professionals

          Who knew cancel culture actually was about getting people fired? Good thing employment-at-will is totally woke, totally pro-working class….

    2. PlutoniumKun

      The original animated film was explicitly intended to persuade Beijing that Hollywood (and specifically Disney) could be as CCP friendly as it is Washington friendly. The original Mulan was, incidentally, possibly from the northern Mongolian minority, but has been made Han in Hollywoods telling.

      At the time I thought Hollywood had gone nuts, as there was such widespread piracy in China that it would be impossible to make money – HK’s once thriving film industry was essentially killed off by the refusal of the Chinese authorities to crack down on piracy. But clearly a deal had been made, and now Hollywood is rolling in Chinese cash, with the only casualty being artistic credibility and integrity.

      Its a reminder that allowing copyright piracy isn’t just a matter of a willingness to enforce the law. It’s also a very powerful weapon in the hands of a government willing to decide who gets pirated, and who doesn’t.

      1. fwe'zy

        It’s not that white men /aren’t/ annoying, entitled, and manspready over every available topic; it’s more that exterminating them will change nothing about our basic way of life, as deaths of despair have shown.

        “Parasite”? A South Korean film shown to American audiences as a recipe for American films to show PRC Chinese audiences. What a pretzel twist!

        Hong Kong as the primary base for “good” film making on Chinese historical subjects? Citation please.

        Piracy discussion: who gets pirated and who doesn’t. What is your political-economic theory underlying this statement? Is it good to be pirated or not good, under these specific circumstances?

        Mulan as Mongolian, not Han: wow just wow, how very wok of you.

        Arthouse films don’t work in China because most of the population is not yet in a jaded, anemic, post-bourgie ennui-stupor-rage. It takes many more years of liberalism to get there. Arthouse films don’t work in Appalachia either: got any whitey opinions on that?

      2. Acacia

        BTW, Southpark did a pretty good episode about Hollywood and Disney in particular, selling out to the CCP.

  12. cocomaan

    Note from the field:

    My car mechanic is a great guy, really honest, and has a lot of great political opinions. He was telling me that, as a libertarian, he thinks that the government lockdowns necessitate payments to citizens of some kind. His justification is that it’s been the eminent domain of people’s right to work. Interesting idea.

    It also just occurred to me that DC is withholding further stimulus in order to induce more uncertainty and chaos so their preferred candidate can win.

    This is not good. A lot of people are going to get hurt and we are later going to regret the way we let people act.

    1. TMoney

      …government lockdowns necessitate payments to citizens of some kind…. Amen. Too bad your libertarian friend’s ideal government can’t afford to pay anyone, because deficits and taxes. However, ignoring the internal inconsistencies of libertarians, your mechanic’s argument is rather sound. It’s always good for those of us on the left side to use an argument from the right to convince others of a policy.

      My wife continually says that when your health care is tied to your job, your not really free and that Medicare for All equals freedom from corporations, freedom to start your own business (without the kids getting sick and bankrupting you).

      You know it’s working when you the phrase ” I never thought of it like that “

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Dangerous Truthiness detected! Did you not get the memo? That Orange Hitler has killed 180,000 people? (To quote the opposition candidate). No it wasn’t the nation’s horrible health care non-system, administered by and under the responsibility of the states?

        But thankfully there is a light at the end of the tunnel, under President Harris the same number of people will die and the same number of people will go broke, but it will all be OK because CNN and Google will remind us that we live in the best of all possible worlds again

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Amen. Too bad your libertarian friend’s ideal government can’t afford to pay anyone, because deficits and taxes.

        Federal taxes do not fund Federal spending. Even the Fed is saying fiscal stimulus (i.e. deficits) are A Good Thing. See generally MMT.

        1. TMoney

          I know, but often that conversation with a libertarian requires more than one beer and a willingness to be yelled at. Generally I’m good with both conditions, but the second one can be wearing. * Insert muttering about Ayn Rand and Orcs here.*

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Vitamin D is cheap, safe, out of patent and widely available, so couldn’t possibly be worth looking at as a prophylactic or treatment. (for the record, I bought a years stock back in January, I’m very glad I did).

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      The Israeli study linked yesterday made a point I had no idea about, but bats have such low levels of vitamin D they can’t measure them. They have unique processes to replace Vitamin D, but they are the source of corona viruses.

      Its anecdotal, but I thought there have been quite a few cases in Virginia along the I-81 corridor (Waynesboro, Roanoke, Salem) compared to the US-29 corridor. (Culpepper, Cville, Lynchburg, Danville). It just occurred to me, the mountains aren’t blocking that much evening sun along US 29.

    3. jef

      Funny how preventive measures like a healthy, well nourished public could translate to less illness.

      The world can indeed be a better place we just need to demand it.

    4. Maritimer

      In my jurisdiction, no mention of Vitamin D or C, or exercise or lose weight or many of the other measures which might be taken depending upon the stage of Covid19. Of course, these “health professionals” are all in the greedy clutches of Big Pharma and other unHealthcare corporations. Here, they are already starting the Bait and Switch: stoking the fear and anxiety of Flu and Covid19 together. A double medical whammy! Keep the emergency alive.

      Beware the Kovid Koolaid.

  13. Kurt Sperry

    “Jess La Bombalera”- how is this any more egregious a cultural appropriation than men pretending to be and competing with and against women? Is identity fluid and distinct from genetics or isn’t it? Make up your mind.

  14. Clifton

    “Kenosha’s looting is a symptom of a decrepit democracy Vox”

    I believe that the looting represents the same upturned middle finger to the established order, that some MAGA and Brexit enthusiasts claim they are making.

    You would think they would be more sympathetic to it.

    1. ShamanicFallout

      It’s just getting so ridiculous. My favorite is the pic of the white girl with the fist raised “in power” or whatever that is, amidst the burned out, trashed cars with the sign in the background that reads “Reject Trump’s Violence’. And I suppose the subtext here is “But Accept Ours”

      1. Drake

        Yes. You could replace ‘violence’ with ‘racisim’, ‘sexism’, ‘fascism’, etc and the subtext would stay the same. Maybe with an ‘or else’ tacked on.

    2. pjay

      Most powerless groups know they should be giving the finger to someone. They just don’t realize they should be giving it to their common enemy rather than to each other.

    3. Maritimer

      Lock all these looters and rioters up and throw away the key. Otherwise, the Financial Criminals will not be able to go about looting the US Treasury and keeping the American economy going.

    4. occasional anonymous

      It doesn’t represent anything more than generically angry kids looking for an adrenaline rush.

  15. jlowe

    “. . . for the best of our knowledge,only war casualties and operational risk losses show a behavior as erratic and wild as the one we observe for pandemic fatalities.”

    Exposures to airborne contaminants in both environmental and occupational settings. Frequently modeled with lognormal or heavier-tailed distributions.

  16. Tom Stone

    I don’t believe the USA has the capacity to run a legitimate election..
    Both “sides” are of the “If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying” persuasion and I see it as a factional fight between more or less globalist elites ( the Dims) and more or less nationalist elites ( The thugs).
    Widespread civil disruption and violence seem inevitable, followed by brutal austerity and repression for the bottom 80% regardless of who eventually “wins”.
    The situation is FUBAR and if you want to survive I recommend that you stockpile the necessities to the extent you can and immediately start to build community on a very local basis if you have not already done so.
    When things go sideways it happens very quickly, in a matter of days or weeks and there isn’t much time left if I read the tea leaves correctly.
    Good luck to all, we will all need it.

    1. Brian (another one they call)

      One thing that may be important. In any given city in the US, there are more people with weapons than there are soldiers to try to take them away. In no universe could a military force function in a city of their own people. It is illegal under Posse Comitatus anyway, but we have seen the president ignore that on many occasions to put down those with grievances. The government already knows what they have to do to control a population, but they won’t tell you. You should be aware of those things that a government can and can’t do when they think you are being uppity and seek to control your actions. With the fraying civility in congress, it is pretty clear that no unified bi partisan measures are going to be agreed to until or unless it gets very bad, but by then it may be too late.
      Everything is now dependent on your locality. Sourcing the things the people need is going to become the most important part of the civilian government. But are the going to be capable of something totally outside their universe?

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Purity test: Democrats clash over Biden diversity goals”

    “Black Democrats are urging Joe Biden to resist growing pressure from the left to impose an anti-Wall Street purity test on his hiring decisions if elected, warning that it threatens the party’s desire to boost diversity in powerful executive branch posts.”

    This is kinda like back in 2016 when privileged women were quite happy to throw their poorer sisters under multiple buses so that Hillary and a few others could break that “glass ceiling.” They even featured this at the DNC-

    Somebody remind me how that strategy turned out again when it came to women voters?

    1. RMO

      So women and people of color are somehow universally and inherently pro-Wall Street and white men are universally and inherently anti-Wall Street? Because that’s the only way that the idea that forming a cabinet of anti-Wall Street people would threaten diversity makes any sense whatsoever.

      1. hunkerdown

        Not inherently and universally, but they can be easily if not cheaply bought. A few months ago, a Twitter user by the name of Caesar called under the #ADOS banner for reparations in the form of a new Black home ownership class. Imagine the financialization to follow shortly.

  18. Drake

    The Coming Coup? The American Mind. From the Claremont Institute

    Although the Dems have repeatedly accused Trump, as usual with zero evidence, of planning to refuse to honor the election results if he loses, it’s clear to me that they are planning to refuse to honor any results that give Trump another victory. They’re openly laying the groundwork for this now. It’s the only rationale behind the whole USPS faux-panic a few weeks ago, and the oh-so-concerned warnings that although it may look like Trump will win in a landslide on election night, don’t worry, it’s not real! No Trump victory will be considered legitimate, just as they’ve spent the last 3.5 years trying to delegitimize the last one.

    The only reason they didn’t do this in 2016 was because they never thought they would lose and weren’t prepared for it. This time around will be different. The serpent-witch herself is openly telling Biden not to concede under ANY circumstances — if it goes on long enough they’ll create the results they want. That they are so openly hostile to actual democracy is a surprise to no one who supported Sanders, Gabbard, or anyone from the non-plutocratic mainstream, but now they’re extending their reach out of the primaries and will have the full collusion of the media and all the other usual suspects.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      When they tell you who they are you should believe them.


      But somehow “Trump will end democracy as we know it”. This, not from some commentator on the fringe but from the candidate him/herself

      So let’s decompose. Apparently “democracy as we know it” does not include one candidate winning by receiving the most Electoral College votes. If not, then what “‘democracy” exactly are they referring to?

      I’ll answer: “new democracy” means “our cabal of billionaire monopolists and war criminals gets to run the place for a while because our stranglehold on the media and tech titans make it so”.

      I think a lot of Civics 101 textbooks will need to be updated.

      Q: When President Harris drops her “freedom and democracy bombs” on Damascus and Caracas and Minsk, will there be a supplemental leaflet attached that explains what those bombs actually mean?

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > No Trump victory will be considered legitimate, just as they’ve spent the last 3.5 years trying to delegitimize the last one.

      When all they have to do is run on #MedicareForAll (and maybe marijuana legalization).

  19. The Rev Kev

    “Lessons for the Navy’s New Frigate From the Littoral Combat Ship”

    Good riddance to bad rubbish. In wartime these things would be death traps for those swabbies. Even if they survived the first strikes, after you have a few dozen sailors as casualties then there would be not enough people to fight the ship anymore. With some old ships the Navy uses them for target practice but I am fairly certain that none of the LCSs (“Little Crappy Ships”) will ever be used for that purpose. The reason? If it took only one or hits to destroy and sink it, then the Navy might have some ‘splainin’ to do why it brought them in the first place.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      The irony is of course that the project was sold as a fast, cheap solution to a problem that became obvious once the USN found itself outside its blue water comfort zone in the Gulf. Quickly adopting modular high speed commercial craft for military use must have looked very convincing on powerpoint presentations.

      I don’t know how true this is, but I did read that the high speed criteria for the LCS was based solely on someone arbitrarily deciding that they should be able to go as fast as Iranian fast patrol vessels. But there are basic laws of engineering at work with large ships – if you insist on very high speeds above 35 knots or so, they only way you can do this is by making a ship very light and high in the water. And you can’t do this and make it tough and capable of taking hits. And it was too late by the time someone realised that any ship operating in littoral waters was always going to take hits from cheap and commonly available land based missiles (as the Houthi’s have proven).

      Still, a whole lot of people got very rich out of this mistake, so I guess that means it wasn’t a complete failure.

    2. LifelongLib

      It was pointed out after the Falklands war how vulnerable modern (1980s) warships are, many being described as 1 hit ships, meaning it would take only one hit from a bomb or missile to put them out of action. IIRC the problem is (or was) that the weight of electronics made the ships top heavy, requiring very light flammable aluminum super structures. It was estimated that if all the Argentine bombs that hit British ships had detonated, half the fleet would have been lost.

      Maybe new materials have made current warships less vulnerable, but I lean toward the view that anything larger than a patrol boat is a big floating target…

  20. Wukchumni

    Headed back to Whitney Portal in a semi-circular navigation of the Sierra Nevada to pick up our friends car which was going to be their ride after walking the High Sierra Trail, which done got canceled out by the smoke.

    We dropped it off a few weeks ago and I searched in vain on the rear echelon of jalopies for a Trump or Biden bumper sticker en route last go round, and saw not a 1.

    Wish me better hunting this go round…

  21. Olga

    Lest we forget:
    The tale of Assange as a Greek myth:
    “Prometheus’s theft of the secrecy of power, though, is irreversible. His fate will certainly prompt the late entrance of Pandora and her jar of evils – complete with unforeseen consequences.”
    Though we live not in a Greek myth, but a farce – a cruel, tragic farce.
    And Assange could equally be the proverbial ‘canary in a coal mine.’

  22. Wukchumni

    The US economy is having a Wile E Coyote moment FT
    I heard ACME is going to do an IPO.

  23. Pelham

    Re the TAC item on disentangling from China: As I believe has been noted here, there seems to be little agency involved in the original entanglements. This is troubling.

    Shouldn’t there be a harsh accounting at some point for the entanglers? Who exactly and explicitly handed over taxpayer-funded US technologies to China? I’d like to know who in every instance was responsible for that, and for offshoring production to China. Who are the politicians who voted for PNTR for China, and who bribed them? Let’s have all the names. And then let’s decide what to do with them.

  24. Wukchumni

    Duluth bishop-elect resigns following allegation of sexual abuse Star-Trbune. 2020 – 2001 = 19 years after the Bernie Law scandal broke.
    How come there isn’t any cross contamination, where a Bishop doubles as a Boy Scout leader?

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