Links 9/9/2020

Jiří Menzel: a daring, defiant beacon of European cinema Guardian (vlade)

If the Shark in “Jaws” Scared You, Wait Until You Meet “Meg” Interesting Engineering (Chuck L)

California Scientists Build A Camera To Take Pictures Of Huge Swath Of Sky NPR (David L)

Wildfire burning ‘out of control’ at Vancouver Island ecological reserve CTVNews (David L)

Shorter lifespan of faster-growing trees will add to climate crisis, study finds Guardian (Kevin W)

The Coming Global Technology Fracture Project Syndicate


Tech Firms Face Growing Resentment Toward Parent Employees During COVID-19 CNET


AstraZeneca Pauses Vaccine Trial After Test Subject Gets Ill Bloomberg. Oops.

Fauci says a coronavirus vaccine is ‘unlikely’ by U.S. election CNBC

COVID-19 is, in the end, an endothelial disease European Heart Journal

What bats can teach us about developing immunity to Covid-19 Financial Times (furzy)

A New Theory Asks: Could a Mask Be a Crude ‘Vaccine’? New York Times


Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is now linked to more than 250,000 cases Mother Jones (David L)

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally may account for 19 percent of US COVID-19 cases in August Popular Science (resilc). And the study: The Contagion Externality of a Superspreading Event: The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and COVID-19 IZA Institute of Labor Economics

SD governor criticizes study suggesting Sturgis bike rally led to 260,000 COVID-19 cases USA Today (David L)

NYC Bus Drivers in Line of Fire as Some Riders Flout Mask Rules The City


Special Report: How COVID-19 swept the Brazilian slaughterhouses of JBS, world’s top meatpacker Reuters (resilc)


Coronavirus: Social gatherings above six banned in England from 14 September BBC

If 10% of companies who took Covid loans think they might cease trading we’re in deep trouble Richard Murphy


With Washington Deadlocked on Aid, States Face Dire Fiscal Crises New York Times. Resilc: “If Trump loses quick, then he will really walk away in Nov-Dec, states die.”

McConnell works to lock down GOP votes for coronavirus bill The Hill. Skinny bill does nothing for states and not enough for small businesses.

JPMorgan Probing Employees’ Role in Misuse of Relief Funds Bloomberg

Manhattan’s Office Buildings Are Empty. But for How Long? New York Times (Kevin W)


If India wants to hold moral high ground along the LAC amid China faceoff, it must stand by Tibet The Scroll


At least 37M people displaced by war on terror: researchers The Hill

Haggia Sophia reborn. Sic Semper Tyrannis (Chuck L)

Israeli Defense Minister Pushing for 5,000 New Settlement Homes in West Bank Antiwar

Big Brother is Watching You Watching

DAY TWO OF ASSANGE HEARING: US Tries to Narrow its Espionage Charge to Only Naming Informants; Defense Witness Crumbles Under Cross Examination ConsortiumNews (furzy)

Your Smartphone Can Tell If You’re Drunk-Walking Wired. One, carry only a dumb phone or pull the smart phone battery out. Two, develop a drunk-walking dance step.

Apple, Amazon, Google, and Zigbee Alliance Standard For Smart Home Tech On Track For 2021 Release MacRumors. Burn it with fire.

Tesla Can Detect Aftermarket Hacks Designed To Defeat EV Performance Paywalls The Drive

Trump Transition

DOJ Seeks to Take Over Trump Defense in E. Jean Carroll Defamation Lawsuit Bloomberg (furzy)

Trump accuses Pentagon leaders of wanting to ‘fight wars’ to make defense companies rich Task & Purpose. Resilc: “Does he realize he is Commander in Chief?”

A Tribute to the President Trump Centennial Classic Arms

FREE Trump Coin! Proud Patriots (resilc)


Democrats sound alarm on possible election chaos The Hill

With Two Months To Go, a Steady Presidential Race The Cook Political Report. Lambert featured this in WC yesterday but wanted to add this sighting. “Resilc: ‘We were in Amherst, MA today. Nice liberal college town. Not one Biden sign or bumper sticker seen and I walked around the nice big tree’d streets…..'”

Biden’s flexibility on policy could mean bitter fights later Washington Post. UserFriendly: “Biden promises Wall Street nothing will change, again. Kill me.”

Donald Trump tells rally the ‘economy will collapse’ and the ‘rioters, anarchists and looters’ will take over if Biden wins and it would be an ‘insult to our country’ if Kamala Harris becomes the first female president Daily Mail. It is going to take a tough stomach to get through the next two months…..and then we have to live with the outcome.

Trump’s Opponents Need to Portray him as the True Enemy of the Nation CounterPunch. Um, this is a new thought?

Chris Hedges: People’s Convention 2020 YouTube (Brian L)

Health Care

Cancer survivor pleading for help with health insurance ‘angry and hurt’ over Tillis staffer’s response WRAL. Headline understates the story.

America Divided

There are warning signs that America is in the early stages of insurgency. Slate

EP #238* [REPOST] — Antifa Freakout & Armed Vigilantes, with Matthew Randazzo Radio War Nerd (Micael)

Daniel Prude death: Rochester police leaders step down BBC

California (and Oregon) Burning

California’s Creek Fire trapped hundreds of people in the forest as helicopters struggled to land in the smoke. Rescue missions continue. Business Insider (Kevin W)

Apple Doubles Down in Fight With Fortnite Creator Epic Games, Seeks Damages for Breach of Contract CNBC

AT&T’s current 5G is slower than 4G in nearly every city tested by PCMag ars technica (resilc)

The FTC Is Investigating Intuit Over TurboTax Practices ProPublica (BC)

Saudi Arabia Just Crushed U.S. Crude Oil Prices Again Motley Fool (Kevin W)

Lossmaking Giant Uber, Hoping To Stay Around For Decades, Says It is Aiming For 100% Zero-Emission Transport by 2040 VentureBeat

A Weapon for Extortion Long Ignored in Alabama Prisons: Cellphones New York Times Holy moley.

Class Warfare

ANOTHER NOW: My political science fiction novel depicting a fully-fledged socialism we could have had Yanis Varoufakis

Working From Home: The New ‘industrial’ Revolution Forbes

Mutant Algorithms Are Coming for Your Education Bloomberg (David L)

Central bankers need to overhaul outdated thinking on labor markets Nikkei Asian Review. Resilc: “By the rich/for the rich/eat the rich.”

America still needs unions in this digital gilded age Seattle Times (resilc)

The American Dream Should Not Depend on Chinese Labor American Conservative

A robot wrote this entire article. Does that scare you, human? Guardian (resilc)

Antidote du jour. Tracie H:

We bought this bed that was intended for a large dog in hopes that the cats would like it. They do. Several snuggle together in it, but the favored posture seems to be hanging your head off the lip for a good look into the kitchen – perhaps to be first in line when the treats appear. This is Sinbad, the best at feigning disinterest.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Redlife2017

    The Radio War Nerd podcast is must listen as it gives a good run down on the Portland area and the countryside. Honestly hadn’t realised that the stuff going on this summer is really just a continuation of things that have been building for years.

    I’d recommend to everyone here to subscribe to the War Nerd as there are must listens such as about the Years of Lead and about fascism in South America. My susbscription is the best USD11 I’ve spent monthly in years…They have lots to dig in there in their archives…I feel the need right now to understand the last 60 years of counter-insurgency / counter-intellengence history because we are getting slammed from all sides with what has been tested out in other countries since WWII.

    1. Ranger Rick

      I visited southwest and central Oregon last year in an arc from Crater Lake to Eugene. Metro areas were relatively calm, but the second you hit the outskirts it’s nothing but a sea of Jeffersonian flags.

      1. JWP

        And the #timberunity people whose platform is environmental destruction and guns. They shut down the state legislature when all the republicans fled to idaho to avoid voting on a climate bill. Someone needs to explain to these people how jobs work in the sense there’s a lot more money and better livelihoods to be made in working to conserve nature and not destroy it. In some sense, it’s like the rust belt, where the jobs that would return would not be he the old jobs.

        1. Pelham

          The problem is, those new jobs conserving nature need to be here next week and must employ ALL the timberunity people at equal or higher wages. Granted, the old jobs aren’t coming back. But there’s a very long history of “retraining” for new jobs not working out at all.

          This is why we need a federal job guarantee — not this phony retraining — and at wages that fully replace those being lost in the private sector. At least.

          1. JWP

            Thats what I was thinking in terms of replacement. Something CCC like except more targeted and wider ranging. Adding in the benefits of a gov job would go miles for them.

            let it be known one of the key points on the timberunity site is that Styrofoam is the most eco friendly packaging

  2. fresno dan

    With Two Months To Go, a Steady Presidential Race The Cook Political Report. Lambert featured this in WC yesterday but wanted to add this sighting. “Resilc: ‘We were in Amherst, MA today. Nice liberal college town. Not one Biden sign or bumper sticker seen and I walked around the nice big tree’d streets…..’”

    We had a small kerfuffle in the comments yesterday about Trump underpolling by 2% – perhaps Biden under yard signs by 100%???
    I find it amazing that anyone would admit to voting for either candidate.

    1. timbers

      About those signs and pumper stickers….

      Do you suppose it wouldn’t been different had Bernie had been allowed to get the nomination? But then, he would have likely been Corbyn’d. And the Bernie signs everywhere would only have stiffened Dem Leadership into doing just that.

      1. Larster

        In western Wa state I am seeing many Biden signs and very few Trump signs, unless you get out amongst them on secondary roads. My favorite Trump sign is God, Guns, Trump. There are many signs for the Republican candidate for gov, who is an eastern Wa county sheriff and a bit of a wacko. His campaign is all about guns and against masks. I cannot explain why someone would put a sign out for this guy and not Trump. Is Trump to normal?

      2. km

        If Bernie were to have been allowed to win the nomination, Team D would lend him as little support as possible and still maintain a facade of decency.

        Expect a lot of opposition research to be slipped to friendly reporters, expect a lot of bombshell “Did Bernie become a Russian agent before or after he started beating his wife?” type articles cropping up, right before the election.

        If Bernie were to win, Team D would do everything in its power to make sure that his presidency either resembled that of one Jimmy Carter, or that of Barack Obama.

      3. zagonostra

        Just spoke to friend that lives in rural Central PA and he told me the Amish he sees now and all have Trump bumper stickers on their horse drawn buggies.

    2. Chris

      Haven’t you heard? Saying anything about Biden other than “he’ll be a great president” or “I wish I could vote for Biden twice” <Subliminal: “I’m Chuck Schumer and I can help you with that…”> is pro-Trump propaganda. There are no other options. You must vote for Trump or Biden. You can’t consider not voting, or not voting for president, or voting for the Greens/Libertarians/write-in, or emigrating, etc. So all votes and activities not explicitly for Biden are Pro-Trump.

      Which must mean that all the Biden signs took a look at their candidate and emigrated to another yard in a disgusting display of pro-Trump solidarity ;p

          1. epynonymous

            I forgot the other crazy thing I saw yesterday… NBC Now! (yes, adding Now! to a show title was a joke on Nickelodeon once.)

            Fake leftism yesterday, something about dictators and ‘democratic … slippage?’ being the new vouge in the Covid age. Their premise, thought it was different and checked it out under the promoted covid news on the youtube feed. (The BLM promoted feed disappoints as just corporate rappers, etc.)

            NBC NOW !!!! (caps lock for emphasis)

      1. Samuel Conner

        A neighbor has signs for down-ballot Ds, but not for the top of the ticket.

        Not that the D leadership gives a d@mn what the proles think.

        I expect to vote down-ballot D (if no 3rd party candidates there) and either Green or write-in for the president line.

        I read somewhere that 3rd party protest votes are not wasted; are in fact powerful messages to the “establishment.”

        My view is that I want to encourage the people who are pursuing the difficult work of alternative party-building.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          As mentioned, we have a sea of Doug Jones signs here (special election Dem senator in Alabama) and no Biden signs. Zero. Maybe the Dems have written off Al but it looks bad.

          1. Tom Stone

            Sonoma County, two Biden Signs, one bumper sticker.
            One each for Trump.
            Lots of down ballot lawn signs.
            The sky is orange and it’s so dark the street lights are still on.
            AQI in Santa Rosa was 800 yesterday.

            1. bruce

              Lived in Sonoma County for 20 years, practiced law and techbiz in Santa Rosa before escaping to S. Oregon Coast in 2001, glad to get away from there, the growing traffic and rising temps. The sky is orange here too, somewhere between Bandon and Port Orford. Some Trump bumper stickers and lawn installations of various sizes, very little Biden signage, but this is not a particularly conservative area compared to, say, East of the Cascades, and maybe the other Dems know as I do that if I put a Biden sign out in my south pasture, there are people driving by on 101 who would pull over, get out of their trucks and shoot at it.

              We also need a new convention for naming big fires. In recent years, they’ve gone from just plain stupid “Camp Fire?” to inscrutable “LNU Complex?”. For next year, I propose Baroque composers, and for the year after that, world chess champions.

      2. Gcpalib

        In the small town I live in, in western PA, I know of dozens of fellow Democrats who do not want their Republican neighbors knowing their business. Those without a Trump sign are more likely to vote for Biden.

        1. km

          I’ve heard of “shy Trump voters”, but in my neck of the woods, I’d be more worried about the consequences of openly supporting Biden.

          1. Wukchumni

            Biden’s campaign so far has been ‘Alf arsed’ but no way he could lose by as much as Landon, right?

      3. Carla

        In my very Biden-sign-rich inner suburb of Cleveland, our residents consist of these main “identity” groups: African Americans, PMC of many races (who work at universities & hospitals nearby), LGBTQ, Orthodox Jews.

        We had a TON of Bernie signs, but that was then. And we may have the highest per capita number of Black Lives Matter signs in Ohio.

      4. Pookah Harvey

        Vote for whoever you like. The reality is Biden or Trump will be President.
        The insurgency expert in the Slate story ends his report with:

        There is no reason why, even with today’s toxic political polarization, we must inevitably slip further toward conflict. But if we want to avoid that risk, it is essential to recognize that it does exist and that, “insurrection” or not, the best thing to do is to treat the current unrest as a wake-up call and act urgently to address it.

        The need is to calm the country. Biden, Trump, vote third party, or not vote; which do think has the best chance of addressing the current unrest?

        1. ambrit

          The “current unrest” was baked in after Barak “Quisling” Obama’s “Night of the Southern Long Knives.”
          Nothing is going to stop it now.
          A quick perusal of History shows that, for the “lower orders,” control of the food supply will usually enable control of the hoi polloi. The ‘Organs of State Security’ have traditionally been used to enforce conformity among the “upper classes.”
          Thus, expect the roving “collection squads” to focus on activists not aligned with the extant power structure. The only effective recourse that I have seen so far for such “culling” operations has been to shoot it out. Make the cost of enforcing conformity so high that the extant power elites damage themselves in the process.
          The system established by Homeland Security and it’s fellow travelers to enforce conformity already has an internal self destruct mechanism.
          Stay safe in these ‘interesting times!’

            1. Pookah Harvey

              ” But if we want to avoid that risk”
              Apparently nobody even wants to attempt that, even if the odds don’t look that great. Happy Civil War II

            2. ambrit

              Too right. I see no peaceful resolution to the present dilemma, and I fear that it might have been “designed” that way. There is a ‘certain shadowy power elite’ that needs fear and uncertainty for the continuance of it’s hold on, if not power, then, at the least, resources.
              I have met too many people in my life who had absolutely no conscience when it comes to hurting others in the pursuit of their goals. Many of the top predators now reside in the political establishment, and it’s donor class. In many cases, (see Epstein, Weinberg et. al.,) literal predators.
              Seriously Lambert, do figure out a “bug out” plan to get you across the border to Canada if America goes tits up.

        2. Aumua

          The need is to calm the country.

          I would question even this assumption. You might as well say quell the unrest. Is calmness what’s really needed? Where does that get us?

          1. Pookah Harvey

            It’s where it doesn’t get us. A point where I wish I could join the dolphins and say “So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish”.

            1. Aumua

              Oh I’ve been feeling a strong urge to gtf off this planet too, lately. You got any way to do that? Besides the obvious I mean…

    3. Ignacio

      This reminds me an Annie Hall scene when Keaton and Allen are in Allen’s house checking the stuff Keaton will take with her after their separation and Keaton comes up with a box or something filled with stickers. Most of them are Allen’s stickers and say don’t vote this or don’t vote that candidate. Funny but not funny.

      1. fresno dan

        September 9, 2020 at 8:20 am

        Just revisited Annie Hall for the first time in….?30? years. Still really liked it, but not nearly as wonderful as my memories were of it. Jaded by old age.
        It seems to me that politics has degenerated into pure negativity.* I know many…most…all will say it was ever thus, but it strikes me that it is getting worse. The fact that there is no republican platform is really just the logical outcome of this trend. Vote for me cause my opponent is worse….

        * Sanders had a positive agenda**
        ** yeah, I’m gonna write him in…

        1. Ignacio

          I saw it a few days ago and had similar feelings but also appreciated other goodies (rather than the occasional jokes) that stand well the pass of decades. Regarding the present day campaign, as for comments like yours and many others’ I have read here on linked news it seems to me that Hate Inc. is in full swing and nothing really stands for hope no matter the political camp you are watching. A couple of days ago I read a call for calm here from cocooman and that was by far the best commentary in US politics I’ve read for a while. Yet, the problem is still there as hope for anything has disappeared from the political scene. So yes, I very much agree or understand what you are saying and wonder what else can one do to avoid being carried away by the current.

              1. Cocomaan

                I don’t Janie, except to paraphrase: what we have right now is an immense amount of pathos in the system, and it’s blocking logos and logical thought.

                We need to take the step back necessary to release grudges and greed and anger because otherwise we will be doing things we regret. Dispassionate analysis is needed but is nowhere to be found, from myself included. The media and the two parties are whipping it up for their own benefit.

        2. carl

          You gotta love the idea of a content-free election. Who can tell the biggest number of whoppers? The candidates are both world-class liars and bullshitters. Brush up on your popcorn-making skills…

    4. a different chris

      >We had a small kerfuffle in the comments yesterday about Trump underpolling by 2%

      Oh no really? I guess I started that… ROTFLMAO. I suppose I should go back and further defend myself but life is short and I need to do the work that pays for my modest lifestyle.

      1. fresno dan

        a different chris
        September 9, 2020 at 8:21 am
        NOTE – this is getting kind of meta…
        fresno dan
        September 8, 2020 at 7:31 pm
        a different chris
        September 8, 2020 at 3:57 pm

        I agree. First, I don’t get the impression that Trump supporters are shrinking violets.
        2nd, if there are shy Trump supporters, why would there not be shy Biden supporters???
        Actually, I find it astounding that anyone would confess to voting for either. Or confess to EVER having voted for a democrat or a republican.
        Nothing but 3rd parties for me. And I just find this pathetic and ironic: people tell me I’m wasting my vote by NOT voting for a democrat or a republican….and then in the next breath complain about the quality of the democratic and republican candidates….

    5. NotTimothyGeithner

      The only Biden bumper sticker ive seen I recognized the driver and wasn’t surprised. The Trump signs look like the usual suspects/places I’m accustomed to seeing at least a homemade sign. Two functioning adult flags, and that’s been it.

      I have a suspicion an appeal of Biden was the lack of negativity compared to Hillary and a vote was for a guy who would end infighting, but finding out Sanders voters weren’t cultists but had reasons for not liking Team Blue elites that extend beyond HRC is probably dampening enthusiasm. An MSDNC viewer wouldn’t have a clue Biden well is Joe Biden. I suspect the reaction kids and grandkids to Biden and limited local committee activity is dampening enthusiasm.

      1. Nakatomi Plaza

        Sure, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of enthusiasm for Biden, but I’m not sure that bumperstickers and yard signs mean much. Even if I cared to, I’d think twice about a Biden bumpersticker because of harassment and unwanted attention. It’s ugly out there. I noticed a boat in a local marina flying a big Trump flag a few months ago, but it’s since disappeared. I’m guessing the owner got a lot of crap about the flag or his boat was vandalized, so the flag is gone; I really doubt his politics changed, but they’re hidden now.

        I think an awful lot of people just don’t want to publicly announce their politics right now.

    6. sleepy

      I am working the tail end of the census in northern Iowa. Dozens and dozens of Trump-Pence signs at farms, RV parks, and small towns. These are in counties that Obama carried.

      1. km

        I’ve heard it said that Trump fans are often “local notables” in smaller towns and rural communities. The rich (by local standards) loudmouth with a contracting business who flies a Trump flag from the bed of a $70,000 lifted truck.

        I’ve seen that type, but canvassing apartments, rentals, disheveled homes and cars and trailer parks, I’ve seen plenty of people who are far from notable, but who (literally) Let Their Trump Flag Fly.

        At risk of beating the point to death – if you believe that Trump is the epitome of All Things Good and Freedom, if you believe that Trump has MAGA and will MAGA – then it stands to reason that the Other Guy is Pure Chocolate-Coated Evil (the Trump fans aren’t wrong on that part….).

        If Trump loses, Kool Aid guzzling true believers are probably not going to trudge home and hope for a better outcome in 2024 Just sayin’. Even if Trump says to accept the election results, that must mean that there’s A Coded Message or that Trump is under duress or something and we gotta save him!

        Of course, if Trump wins, very few people are all that enthusiastic for Biden, at least to the point where they’d riot. Inner cities may be a different proposition, I don’t know, but Biden is so uninspiring that he makes Hubert Humphrey look like Abraham Lincoln for electrifying oratory, so underwhelming that he makes Wendell Willikie look like Huey P, Long for dynamism.

    7. dcblogger

      there are almost no yard signs of any kind in DC. that is because everyone knows that Biden will carry DC by a landslide. mebbe there are no Biden signs in Amherst for similar reasons. Campaigns typically put their gear into battle ground areas. So I would be interested in hearing from readers in the Great Lakes and Pennsylvania.

      1. Late Introvert

        I’m in a swing state, in the most liberal college town in the state, and there are maybe 6 Biden signs, most all in rich people’s yards. And the Trump signs are all on huge trucks.

    8. Billy

      Trump accuses Pentagon leaders of wanting to ‘fight wars’ to make defense companies rich.
      Whether he does nothing more than plant this truth in his followers heads, he will have accomplished something.

      Contrast Trump’s No New Wars, with

      –Biden our time in Afghanistan, going on now 19 F* years!, with zero results,
      -Hillary’s R2P “We came, we saw and he died” restoring Free Libyan(Slave) Markets,
      -Albright’s 500,000 dead Iraqi children, from sanctions, “But worth it,”
      -Obama’s 27 new wars,
      and you see the propaganda conundrum for the
      Democrats, the Ongoing War Party.

      Come on Mister President!
      Pardon Assange
      and you may go down as the next FDR.

      1. John k

        I’m pretty convinced if Biden wins we will be in Caracas pretty soon… think of all that oil!
        Iran might be too tough now, just tighten the sanctions… but we’re overdue for a nice little hot war we can win.

      2. Oh

        Don’t be a victim of Trump’s cheap tricks. Nobody believes he’s against war when he’s signed the largest budget for the MIC and keeps fomenting trouble all over the world. As far as a pardon for Assange is concerned, you’re dreaming.

        1. Billy

          Trump is going to withdraw half the troops from Iraq that Biden voted to send there, well at least their parent’s generation of troops.

          “The Trump campaign’s longtime pledge to “bring Americans home” from unnecessary “endless” foreign wars and occupations abroad — is on track to be delivered. Head of US CENTCOM, Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, said while touring a US base in Iraq that troop numbers there will be cut down to 3,000 this month.”

          “Current American troops levels are at about 5,200 — though we should note the tens of thousands of US contractors and other privatized personnel that remain there.”

          Speaking of no-shows:
          Kamala Harris among three 2020 candidates who have missed half of Senate votes

    9. kareninca

      I drive around the Palo Alto, CA area every day; I finally saw a bumper sticker last week (it was for Biden). The first one, except for someone early on in my condo complex who had a Warren sticker which has since disappeared. Naturally the Biden sticker was on a Volvo.

      In the rich area near where I live there are a few Biden signs.

      1. JustAnotherVoulunteer

        Here in Eugene Oregon I see BLM signs everywhere along with those Choose Kindness things but I walking miles around my University neighborhood I’ve seen one house with Biden signs – lots of Bernie stickers on cars – no Trump stuff but then – this is Eugene.

        Smoky here – I feel like a ham

        1. occasional anonymous

          95% of those people will do what they’re told and vote Biden. They might not be happy about it, but like the good sheep they are they will submit. The Democrats have been running on ‘they have nowhere else to go’ for decades, and they’ve never been presented with much evidence that they’re wrong in any substantial way.

      2. Pelham

        Sigh. It’s off topic, but the mention of the Volvo reminded me that those used to be the ultimate practical car, and secondarily a political statement. Too bad they’ve long since morphed into an overpriced woke/PMC status statement.

        1. CarlH

          What if you just like Volvos and have since the 70’s when they were basically a well constructed and safe box? I would think the PMC/woke class would find Volvos decidedly beneath them.

  3. zagonostra

    >Democrats sound alarm on possible election chaos

    Prepping for chaos. There have been several similar stories popping up questioning whether the Presidential election will lead to a certifiable winner or electoral chaos, with HRC’s assertion that OBiden should not concede if there are questionable “anomalies” being the most notable.

    There is a theory out there in the internet ether that we are being “tenderized ” to expect an inconclusive result. The corollary to this is that OBiden will be installed as President, come down with CV19 and have to step down, thus Kamala Harris will be President as originally agreed upon by the ruling elites.

    At first I thought this is a stretch but then I listened to Whitney Webb who has delved into the seedy Epstein/Ghislaine activities deeper than anyone reporting and I’m thinking this scenario is not so outlandish.The chicanery of the CAREs act will only carry the plunder so far before people catch on, a new crisis will be needed to push the agenda (if there is one) farther along, and chaos on election day might just be the ticket.

    Democrats say that Trump has already laid the groundwork for questioning the election’s legitimacy, pointing to his rhetoric around the gubernatorial and Senate elections in Florida in 2018.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      “….we are being “tenderized ” to expect an inconclusive result.”

      Gee, ya think?

      In an interview this week with “Axios on HBO,” Josh Mendelsohn, the CEO of the Democratic data and analytics firm Hawkfish, warned of a situation in which the vote count on election night could show a massive victory for Trump. But after mail-in and absentee votes are counted, he said, it will show that Trump’s election night lead was “a mirage.”

      “We are sounding an alarm and saying that this is a very real possibility, that the data is going to show on election night an incredible victory for Donald Trump,” Mendelsohn told Axios.

      “When every legitimate vote is tallied and we get to that final day, which will be some day after Election Day, it will in fact show that what happened on election night was exactly that, a mirage,” Mendelsohn said. “It looked like Donald Trump was in the lead and he fundamentally was not when every ballot gets counted.”

      The ceo of “Hawkfish” (think Crowdstrike) says that even though it “seems like” Trump won a “massive victory,” he really didn’t and some number of days later we’ll find out that biden really won because so many more democrats were afraid of covid than republicans and so all their votes were in the mail–enough to turn a “massive victory” into a loss.

      This is gaslighting at its absolute finest, and I predict there will be hell to pay if they try to pull it off.

      1. Carolinian

        The premise is always that more Dems than Repubs will mail in or absentee but is that even true? It almost seems to support the Trump CT that they Dems will make it true.

        Of course the Repubs were playing the same funky games during the 2000 Florida recount with some in the news media saying Gore should just step aside for “the good of the country.” We all know how that turned out.

        Meanwhile Trump himself has been trying to regime change other countries such as Venezuela so one can’t feel too sorry for him if he gets a dose of his own medicine. It’s our democracy that we should feel sorry for since neither party gives it much respect.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Er…Lieberman undercut Gore. My gut is Team Blue actors really wanted a go of it in 2004 to have a chance at top jobs that would have gone to Gore’s people had he not given up.

          And Warren Christopher…

        2. Katniss Everdeen

          The premise is always that more Dems than Repubs will mail in or absentee but is that even true?

          Really. How do we know that’s true? Truth is, we don’t. But it’ll be a pretty handy “fact” in the event that biden winds up behind the eight ball, where he belongs, on election day and needs to get votes from somewhere.

          Kinda like the “fact” that the Russians hacked the dnc computers. Every other made-up thing follows from that one unproven, unsubstantiated “truth.” 2000 bent the “free and fair” election process in this country and 2016 bent it further, but this crap will break it for good.

      2. Billy

        I have a constructive proposal to help resolve this. A Second Vote, if you may:

        For one week after Trump’s contested victory;
        Biden supporting Democrats should go on a National General Strike;

        No Wall Street trading, no Hollywood productions, no mortgage lending, no foreclosures, no non-profit activism, no online university classes, no private jet flights, no public employee union offices, boycotts of inner city Dollar Stores, no OBGYN clinics. Watch how the nation shuts down!

        For one week after Biden’s contested victory;

        Trump supporting Republicans should go on a National General Strike;
        No railroad trains, no trucking, no energy production, no building trades, no farming, no county sheriffs nor police showing up for work.
        Watch how irrelevant those deplorables are to the well being of the nation.

    2. cocomaan

      The timeline to me is probably going to be: November 2nd, early morning 3rd, Trump has a sizable lead in swing states due to in person voting. November 37th (AKA December), we will still be counting votes. Squabbles over counting will break out that make hanging chads look quaint.

      SCOTUS will begin reviewing Pennsylvania’s mail in ballot disaster around December 12th, twenty years to the day that they issued a ruling that decided the 2000 election. Cue constitutional crisis.

      I say PA because here it’s not only the swingiest swing state but it’s also done a terrible job with mail in voting. I fully expect to go to the polls in November and be told that I already cast my mail in ballot vote.

      1. JohnnyGL

        I actually think biden is going to win fairly easily and the big meltdown that everyone is on edge about isn’t the one we’re going to get.

        That isn’t to say the votes will be counted accurately…but the gap will be too big.

        1. cocomaan

          I’m about 50-50 on that possibility. What I worry about is that lag. With Facebook out there warning people to understand that results will take weeks to come in, the shenanigans will be legendary.

          How long until someone spots a “Russian agent” with a bundle of mail in ballots? Heck, we still don’t know who rented that truck and dumped the mail in CA.

            1. Olga

              OMG, why did I not figure this out? It’s the russkies, of course! They probably poisoned him! A new poison VVP cooked up himself in Kremiln’s kitchen, called “cognitive decline.” Those clever rascals, they just don’t rest!

                  1. ambrit

                    If I write in Vlad Vladimirovitch for US President this November, will that vote automatically be credited to Trump?
                    Ochin horoshaw.

                    1. The Rev Kev

                      Trump said to vote twice so vote once for Vlad and the second time vote for Xi Jinping and that way you have your bases covered either which way.

            2. NotTimothyGeithner

              Now see that’s the ingenuity I like to see. Create the scheme but let the NSA report it to the media by reminding everyone of Biden. Brilliant!

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              I’m not so sure, they had Joe’s daily pharma cocktail tuned just right when he debated Bernie (of course the number of bold-faced in-your-face outright *lies* he spouted never got noticed or walked back).

              So I think we’ll have a debate between a Strategic Liar and a Shameless Liar. The former tells them from time to time to keep his opponent offguard or when he wants to be in the news cycle. The latter has spent 40 years perfecting his art and thinks they are just a regular part of him doing his job, kinda like he thinks it’s just business as usual to bring Hunter to The Ukraine and Beijing so he can scam millions. He tells lies like Federer hits a basic forehand shot, very fluid and workmanlike. And this gives Shameless the advantage in both the fluency and the sheer volume of lies.

              And of course Shameless will have the added total advantage of “fact checking” during and after the debate, from the chyron to the talking heads and “experts” in the pimped out MSM.

        2. dcblogger

          I thought that for a long time, you can’t steal a landslide. Now I am not so sure. But in any case my original thought was that Biden would come in, and be completely unequal to the challenge, and the implosion will continue.

          1. tegnost

            This was where I were, but the race is tightening and the dems don’t know how to help themselves and continue to rely on scolding and flipping republicans and I can see this deja vu thing happening again.
            Biden would come in, and be completely unequal to the challenge, and the implosion will continue.
            …and there will be nowhere to hide, I expect it to get ugly.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Part of me wonders how much the race is tightening. A noticeable bit about the early Biden big leads was his lead among seniors which is crazy, believable but crazy. With HRC, the polls until the Fall looked like they were predicting a 2008 style turnout, and so they tightened as people really polled the electorate. How the pollsters modeled everything matters. If Biden really holds a big senior lead, I can’t see Biden how could collapse, but then again, Team Blue hasn’t been kind to millenials and Gen Z types who could vote along with everyone who isn’t a member of Augusta National.

            1. JWP

              But not when it comes to the real winning! Part of the deal with the GOP is if they get into real power it has to be for concessions to free market policies (Obama, Clinton). The dems know their base and progressives will primary anyone who compromises or starts to smell like a conservative in the next few election cycles as their base shifts to the left. If progressives can succeed in courting low income trump voters in the post trump landscape, the party will be no more. I suspect the election stealing might not last much longer.

    3. JohnnyGL

      Regardless of who is actually governing and how they’re doing it, i’d expect to see groundwork laid for kamala 2024 with lots of insidery articles about how kamala has become de-facto president with a senile biden being a genial, nice old man who deserves our thanks for saving us in 2020, but who is past it and not really up to governing.

      When she runs in 2024, she’s going to pretend she’s running for ‘re-election’ and press will help her every step of the way because they love her and don’t really care much for biden.

      1. epynonymous

        Why no Biden signs in the New England? It’s not just because they wanted to put Harris on it in letters just as big and they only just made up their minds on a VP pick. It’s because they’re all “Black Lives Matter” and the occasional home-made thanks to essential workers. Oh, and those Bernie stickers people keep around.

        Black Lives Matter is not a third party. Yet. To muse further, even Biden is just a stand-in for the last time we gave a damn about the Democratic ticket – Obama. Seems to be a bit of a theme there that the Democrats mucked up… With some credit for the errors going to Hillary Clinton and her ego-cult. (I see Harris as essentially Hillary with extra steps. And plenty of deplorables will too.)

        I say it might be best to let Trump own the next four years the way things are shaking out? I agree with the ‘silent majority’ analysis that alot of undecided voters are going to go Trump, he’s pro paycheck-stimulus, anti-adventurism, and an incumbent. Meanwhile, Biden is offering us next to nothing.

        These pro-Kamala think-pieces are coming (odd they aren’t here yet! Get it together Dems!), but they aren’t going to make it far. For instance, the reporters are still talking about the stimulus bill redux… but I’m pretty certain that I’ve already got 3 weeks of that extra money from the executive action. Have these ‘reporters’ tried talking to any of these people they talk about?

        I expect the tone of future think-pieces on Harris will be along the lines of “this is why we can’t have nice things” and warbling for what they imagine could have been a great presidency.

        Meanwhile, Black Lives Matter has got legs. People complained when it was just Kaepernick kneeling during the anthem. Nobody did anything to fix it. Now its in the streets. I haven’t heard anything from Biden worth hearing on the subject, and I sorta suspect that between him and cut-throat Harris that they will speak out *against* the protests to try and win points against Trump on their backs to woo conservatives…

        1. epynonymous

          Further musing.

          I think we had more Kennedy than Markey signs here in massachussets, but Kennedy lost.

          More signs are not a sign of strength, but of the support of money. This approach was soundly defeated.

          2 Local headline in Ma I saw at the convenience store, Trump runs low on cash in last months of campaign (he should, unless he wants to keep it for graft…) and “Biden buries Trump in ads” (something something current) which is a negative AFAIK.

          Press seems not to get it. Literally less effective than the pussy hat rally. C’mon Biden! Live alittle! Wake up!

          *edit* to be fair, the signs were close and so was the vote. However, AOC seems much more attractractive than Pelosi in my circle.

    4. Keith

      It might be interesting for the color revolution card to be played here. If the Dems do play it, they may even have a “mandate” to enact whatever reforms they would like to impose. Could be interesting.

      It seems the seeds are being sown, from the useful idiots on the streets to the establishment gearing us up for do not accept the results.

  4. Ignacio

    RE: AstraZeneca Pauses Vaccine Trial After Test Subject Gets Ill Bloomberg. Oops.

    You see? Phase III trials are not only for determination of efficiency but to assess risks. The case observed in the AZ trial is one of those considered “serious adverse effects” and it has yet to be shown it was caused by the vaccine but my guess is that the case of transverse myelitis will probably have been caused by the vaccine. These cases are rare and have often been linked with vaccines. For instance, a history of transverse myelitis cases has been described for the Influenza A (H1N1) vaccine as well as other vaccines.

    Previous cases described were indeed serious, requiring hospitalization, but were also clinically tractable. Now, besides determining if the vaccine was the cause (basically by discarding other possibilities in the medical history of the volunteer), it will be important to see if the case is treated and evolves favorably. Then, having seen this case, the Phase III trial will have to monitor possible additional cases, how many and how long does it take for them to appear, come to a quantitative measure of frequency of the adverse effect (common, uncommon, rare, very rare…), if there can be identified risk factors for this outcome (i doubt it) and all this will have to continue through the whole Phase III trial. During evaluation, the authorities will decide whether this is a risk that overcomes the benefits of the vaccine -if any- or not, evaluate if other candidates come with lower risks etc.

    So, Fauci’s claim that some trial can be terminated early on good or bad results is false. AZ still has to keep monitoring the dozen thousand or so volunteers that have been vaccinated for a long time to check for possible adverse effects. Terminated can only been interpreted in the sense that a vaccine candidate has been prematurely rejected no matter what new results come out during the trial.

    1. Winston Smith

      Completely agree with the above. Surprised Fauci is actually floating the possibility of a viable candidate before the end of 2020.

      1. John S

        I wonder if Fauci’s optimism about an early vaccine (not to mention Trump’s & others) is at least partially responsible for seeming relaxing of mask wearing & social distancing I’m seeing here in Northern Virginia?

      1. Ignacio

        I don’t have an answer. There are two questions: whether this volunteer –given it is consequence of the vaccine and this has yet to be checked– or any other that experiences the same respond to treatments and fully recover is the first. A fatal outcome would be a blow for any candidate but I don’t expect this to be so. The second is the frequency of this event. I have read a reference from a Spanish researcher that this could be more frequent in vaccines derived from viral vectors so this will have effects in other trials that will have to closely monitor this outcome.

        Now the AZ trial is on hold, not vaccinating more volunteers, until this is investigated. Unfortunately, the statnews site does not provide info on how many had already been vaccinated before and how long had taken this case to manifest after vaccination (in other cases it has been shown to appear just few days after vaccination). I think this should be disclosed.

        1. Jessica

          I often notice that information is missing that is obviously relevant for any intelligent person to make up their own minds about what a story means for them. The media is paid to grab and hold attention, not to fully inform.
          We to find a way to reverse that.

    2. Duck1

      “Transverse myelitis is an inflammation of both sides of one section of the spinal cord. This neurological disorder often damages the insulating material covering nerve cell fibers (myelin). Transverse myelitis interrupts the messages that the spinal cord nerves send throughout the body.”

      Sounds like a serious reaction.

      1. Ignacio

        For what I have read there are about 300 cases of TM per year in the UK. This translates to about 1 case per 200.000 habitants. If, for instance, 5.000 had been already vaccinated in the trial when this case appeared, what is the probability of this being a simple case of bad luck? Not high I guess…

      2. John Anthony La Pietra

        My calculator says presuming 199,999 ÷ 200,000 = 99.9995% chance of ONE patient happening NOT to have transverse myelitis — and 5,000 trial patients (all with independent health conditions) — the chance that all of them DON’T have TM (i.e., that none of them have it) would be

        (99.9995%) ^ 5000 = 97.53+%

        IOW, the chance that one of those 5,000 trial patients DID have a vaccine-unrelated case of TM would be 100% – 97.53+% or a bit under 2.5%, I think.

    3. Ping

      I live in Tucson where a Moderna trial is taking place. I am NOT an anti-vaxer but the trials rush and especially the new Moderna rna technology alarmed me from the start. I also notice volunteers are exclusively or primarily healthy young-middle aged likely excluded with pre-existing conditions. What about the 42% of obese ( immune system constantly inflamed) or morbidly obese population with accompanying degenerative diseases?

      Bill Gates caught on video stating the new technology vaccine changes your DNA forever.

      1. SKM

        RE hopes for roll-out of rapid antigen testing.
        Update from Europe:
        Today on the Italian media there was an announcement of a rapid, cheap strip test (from a small firm in Lecco)for use as a public health epidemic control tool. Clearly an antigen test and the format is what Michael Mina has been fighting for in the US: a paper strip saliva test usable as easily as a pregnancy test at home. It is awaiting approval. Maybe easier in Italy? Not sure.
        Also headline French telly news tonight: rapid antigen test announced and also awaiting approval. It looked like the Abbot test and therefore a bit less user-friendly and seemingly still for use mainly by professionals……. so not Mina`s dream test
        In Germany a debate is raging however, with the head of the prestigious Koch institute insisting they needed to further refine (!!)the antigen tests first, which suggests he, like the FDA, hasn`t understood the concept i.e. that we`re not talking about a diagnostic test where the PCR remains king but a test whose lower sensitivity is an advantage. They too have regulatory confusion not helped by Lothar Wiener of Koch.
        The antigen test picks up virtually all cases whose viral load is high enough for the person to be infectious and returns negative for the long tail where PCR continues positive, but where viral loads have fallen off to levels incompatible with transmission (then picks up RNA fragments sometimes for weeks). The PCR is too cumbersome and expensive (and too sensitive to RNA) to detect infectious people in real time so that they can isolate and the infection chains can be broken.
        Talk about a no-brainer, but then our elites have no brains as well as no clothes…

  5. fresno dan

    So I’m watching a lot of Netflix (actually its cause I only watch movies on DVD discs) movies, and it happens that Burt Young is in two movies in a row that I see , both of which I really liked. Indicative of nothing in particular, other than it strikes me as quite a coincidence….
    Vault – based on a true story of the second biggest heist at the time. Ah, the ’70’s
    Bottom of the 9th – redemption and baseball or perhaps baseball and redemption.
    I’m thinking I’m glad there is a mini comeback of Burt Young, as I hadn’t seen Burt Young in forever. So I checked him out in the IMDB, and that guy works a lot.
    Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence…

  6. Carla

    Re: wildfire out of control on Vancouver Island.

    My late husband and I spent one of the loveliest vacations of our lives there in the mid-90s:

    We took the car ferry from Vancouver to Nanaimo, then drove first to Victoria for three days. Highlights included high tea at the Queen Victoria Hotel ON Queen Victoria’s birthday, and immersing ourselves in the art of Emily Carr:

    We went on to Sooke for a day and night, then drove to an end-of-the-road town (nothing quite like ’em) called Tofino. A highlight of the drive was stopping and walking in the “Cathedral Woods.”

    Our three-day stay in Tofino included exploring the coastal tide pools and a sea-plane trip to Hot Springs Cove. The pilot landed at a little wooden floating dock and dropped us off, saying he would return in 4 or 5 hours (can’t recall which) and we’d better be waiting. We walked a mostly board-walked path through the rainforest to the famous hot springs — which were quite hot! Maybe we encountered two or three others on the path, but it was mid-afternoon and we had the hot springs entirely to ourselves.

    We stayed solely in B&B’s on that trip, and in those pre-Air BnB days, our Canadian hosts really knew how to do it up. Accommodations and hearty breakfasts were superb, at prices so reasonable that we could spring for the sea-plane jaunt.

    The entire trip was inspired by an ad for round-trip airfare from Cleveland to Seattle for $149 per person. I said, “Larry, we can’t afford not to go!”

    Very happy days, those were.

    Damn, I hope that fire comes under control.

    1. Winston Smith

      I don’t like it at all, I was just scoping for places to settle in Canada and Vancouver island looked like a decent place…

        1. Olga

          It is gorgeous, even if getting to and fro is a bit of a headache. A good place to settle and disconnect from the crazy world.

          1. a different chris

            We love that place, went twice and did almost exactly as Carla minus the art gallery (I can’t even imagine my wife in an art gallery…) and the plane to the Hot Springs.

            We took a boat like the paupers we were.

            The first time to the Hot Springs, it was really Canadian. My wife wasn’t paying attention to the itinerary I made (surprise) so she didn’t bring a swimsuit. Walking along the path she’s tucking in her shirt and arraigning this and that and fussing and fussing.

            We turned the corner and everybody was naked. :D

    2. Lee

      The dilemma is that although fire is a natural and generally salutary force in expansive natural landscapes, when wildlands have been reduced to small fragments of their former extent, the effects of fires can be catastrophic in terms of species loss and other wildland benefits. I have very fond memories of an extended camping trip in B.C., that included a pleasant week on Vancouver Island.

      Here in the San Francisco bay area, the sky is deep, dark red-orange. At 7am it is nearly as dark as night.

      1. wilroncanada

        This was NOT a major fire, in the US West Coast sense. I live about 25 kilometers away. About 2 hectares or less, less than 5 acres. It was under control by 4PM, PDT yesterday. We do have smoke though, exported from Washington state, and farther south in your west coast states. In WA state, several fires within hailing distance of the suburbs of Seattle. Farther east in WA, small villages burned to the ground with residents having 30 minutes to evacuate before the conflagrations. Destruction included a post office and firehall. Hundreds of thousands of acres on fire or scorched. Not to mention Oregon, California, Utah.

      2. MichaelSF

        I’m in the San Francisco Outer Sunset and it was nearly dark as night at NOON today. I woke up and asked my wife if it was about 6AM and was told it was 9AM! It was very strange, it was darker at noon than earlier in the morning. Now (3:50PM) it has been light but very orange for the last several hours.

    3. newcatty

      Carla, thank you for your happy recounting of a lovely trip with your husband. Though not the same itinerary as yours, our last vacation was spent in Victoria and traveled the coast for a day. We were in Victoria for Victoria Day and were able to walk down to the parade and it was special to be there with mostly locals. Yes, to Emily Carr! We went to an art museum in town and a treasured find was an art poster, which framed hangs on my dining room wall. If Canada would have us, too old and not enough bank, we would move there. My husband is a lost Canadian, but even though his mom was born there, it so far as we know, isn’t enough reason for the government to accept us as legal immigrants.

    4. Maritimer

      I live in a jurisdiction with lots of forest and an extremely dry summer, probably the worst in twenty years. Yet, despite that fact, the Government, operating now under “emergency powers”, still allows the sale of fireworks. Fireworks can be associated with drinking parties and irresponsible behaviour. In addition, as a Covid measure, the Government by edict has now allowed Takeout Booze as a “health” measure. Actually, an edict long desired by the booze, restaurant and hotel industries.

      Trust the Science, believe the Scientists.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “If India wants to hold moral high ground along the LAC amid China faceoff, it must stand by Tibet”

    I’m not sure that India really want to go there. It’s not like such a campaign like that could ever backfire on India, especially as India is meshing itself in with the Quad in an offensive alliance against China. But if they did, I would not be surprised if a Chinese pundit pushed for the following viewpoint-

    ‘If China wants to hold moral high ground along the LAC amid India faceoff, it must stand by Kashmir, Indian-muslims & lower Indian castes.’

    1. Olga

      Yeah, those in glass houses… Or, rather, those in glass house should not let themselves be used to throw stones in service for someone else. This rarely works out.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Hard to say as I am not hooked up to social media. Personally I feel like I am on an airplane with nuts & bolts flying off the fuselage and smoke coming from the engines but instead of heading back to the airport, the pilots decide to try for L.A. And your not even sure if the pilot’s ever got around to finishing flying school.

        1. Olga

          A perfect metaphor for our times!
          (And, of course, the windows for the passengers have been pulled down and bolted.)

      2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        My view is that on balance, yes they do. The one side (neo-lib party in power) is of course in full hysterical “U.S. Lapdog” mode, whereas the other side, to the extent it even exists anymore, I think is somewhat ambivalent. There is a level of background antipathy to the Chinese in general (taking jobs, driving up house prices, cultural issues etc) that affects both sides.

        Recall it is a nation that had the native peoples classified as “flora and fauna” until the 1970s, and until then had an official Whites Only immigration policy (they even had a program called The Beautiful Balts where immigrants from the Baltic region countries were preferred, and I get stopped in my tracks at the grocery store pretty frequently when those genes are on display here).

        But I think there is an overall understanding that AU *must* line up with the nation keeping the sea lanes open, end of story. And I do as an expat Yank still get oldsters who thank me for saving the nation in WWII.

    2. Eustache de Saint Pierre

      Most examples of moral high grounds these days appear to have an equivalence to freshly made cow pats.

    3. PlutoniumKun

      Its the other way around – China has long backed Pakistan over the Kashmir conflict, and the current stand off has its origins in China insisting that India had to consult China over any internal changes to the administrative status of Jammu and Kashmir (specifically the changes by Modi which split Ladakh away from J&L).

      Neither side in this are innocent, but in the ‘who is interfering in who’s internal politics’ argument, it was unambiguously China that started this by insisting that India could not make internal constitutional changes without consulting China. India has long suspected – with probable good cause – that China sees Pakistan taking Kashmir as in its long term interest, as it opens up land access to Pakistans ports. This would also secure China’s control of more major Indian watersheds.

      1. Olga

        Per your link,China objected to “the revocation of Article 370 and Article 35A from the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) on August 5, 2019.” But so did many other entities – many in India.
        I cannot find any proof of the claim that ” China that started this by insisting that India could not make internal constitutional changes without consulting China.”
        Do you have some source on this… if not, this is just one more in “China bad” tropes.
        When India revoked K/J’s special status, there was a lot of opposition, and not just from China.

        1. TheDuckingDuck

          Re: “India could not make internal constitutional changes”

          UN resolution 47 (1948) states that Kashmir is a disputed territory and a plebiscite must be held to decide the final status of the region.

          India defines Kashmir as a part of India, whereas Pakistan considers all of Kashmir (including the part under its control) to be a disputed territory with the status yet to be decided.

          This is reflected in the recently released political maps from the two countries earlier this year.

          Here is a documentary from a french journalist Paul Comiti who went undercover to Indian controlled Kashmir as well as Pakistani controlled Kashmir.

            1. TheDuckingDuck

              Sorry for not completing the thought. My comment was a thought after reading PKs comment. To wit, China does not consider the recent Indian actions in Kashmir as internal changes to administrative status of Jammu and Kashmir.

              If India should push the Tibet angle, China can push the Kashmir angle both for implementing existing UN resolutions as well as addressing the human rights abuses (which have been worse than what China has been doing in Hong Kong)

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Is America in the Early Stages of Armed Insurgency?”

    One of the world’s leading counterinsurgency experts? David Kilcullen? Whenever I see his name my back-fur goes up. Maybe because he is a fellow Aussie but with a long neocon history or simply because he pushes idea to a purpose and you wonder why. So I started thinking about all the riots and fighting with groups like Boogaloo Bois, Black Lives Matter, Patriot Prayer, Antifa, right-wing cops (another gang), Militia, Proud Boys and all the other ratbags groups. It looks impressive when you see it on a map like Lambert had in Water Cooler but then a thought struck me. What about the numbers?

    So there are about 335 Million Americans right now. Are 10% of them – about 35.5 million – out in the streets fighting and protesting? Uh, no. OK, so let’s try about 1% of Americans – 3.5 million Americans – and are they out in the streets fighting and protesting? No? Note I am not disparaging those who protest to change and reform. Only those who seek to destroy without a purpose. So, let’s try again. Are 0.1% of Americans – about 350,000 – out in the streets fighting and protesting? If they are, it is certainly not all at the same time.

    We certainly see videos of all the fighting and so forth but as the media say, ‘if it bleeds, it leads’, or to update it ‘if it burns, it leads.’ The media love Trump because he is fantastic for ratings and all the hyper-reaction against him is even better for ratings. So before everybody starts to lose it over the latest episode of ‘Chaos in America’, perhaps it is a good idea to look at the numbers first. When you get a million person march in Washington, then that would be a good time to pay attention.

    1. cocomaan

      Plus the article’s alarmism over firearm ownership is just dumb. There’s 120 firearms for every 100 Americans and that’s been the case for many, many years. Just because a bunch of people got scared and panic bought a gun that will sit and rust in a sock drawer doesn’t mean the end is nigh.

      To me, this sudden surge of fear mongering about militia movements is just the surveillance state’s media apparatus turning terrorism infrastructure onto fellow citizens.

      We’d do well not to punch sideways. Or down. The way to punch is up. The powers that be love this kind of infighting. Let’s the fleecing go on.

        1. Wukchumni

          Funny how the term ‘domestic terrorism’ is never used relative to say somebody in Vegas that kills nearly 60 and wounds 600 in a quite premeditated attack on people he didn’t even know.

          1. cocomaan

            Wuk, I’d agree with you, but one of the peculiar parts of the Vegas shooter was that the Vegas police and FBI could not determine motive. Which seems ludicrous and could only result from a lack of police work or a coverup.

            Usually, a terrorist has some kind of political motive for what they did.

          2. Billy

            One case of mental illness versus hundreds of coordinated riots, looting and arson in dozens of cities? You are really putting them on the level?

              1. Billy

                So, he’s mentally ill because he had an FBI agent girlfriend? I’d say shooting those people was a tipoff that something wasn’t quite right with the guy.

                1. ambrit

                  Well, he was shooting into a country and western music crowd. I’ll go out on a limb and suggest that the “Exclusive” PMC types would call that evidence of his sanity.

                  1. The Rev Kev

                    Weren’t some people saying at the time that most of them were probably just Trump voters as they were into western music so it didn’t really matter?

                2. pendaran

                  No Billy, *you* said he was mentally ill. He was never diagnosed if he was.

                  The FBI has been known to be involved in coercing domestic terrorists into weird stuff before. This wouldn’t be their first rodeo, although it would definitely be the deadliest.


                  The reason I brought up the FBI connection is because it would actually lend proof to what you were saying. The FBI has a habit of going after people who aren’t exactly in their right mind for this kind of thing.

        2. Wyoming

          If you are not aware of it some time spent in study will demonstrate to you that when it comes to domestic political violence (terrorism) the radical right is overwhelmingly responsible in this country. This does not condone it from anyone, but the use of violence and intimidation comes mostly from the right.

          A great example here in AZ last weekend was there was a small BLM protest on our city square made up almost exclusively of middle age to older white women. There are basically no black people here to participate in any case. So the radical right guys all show up armed to the teeth with assault rifles, handguns, piles of extra magazines, body armor (lol) and proceed to storm up into the faces of these older women and scream vulgar language in their faces and be as angry and threatening as is possible – though they did not actually attack them. This is a form of terrorism. Very manly too I might add.

          I have a close relative who is very motivated towards equal rights for EVERYONE and has participated in a couple of dozen protests this summer. He is totally non-violent and, fortunately for him, he is big and very tough. He has been punched in the face this summer 8 times and has never struck back. He has seen 7 people stabbed by members of various radical right groups – one time it was the guy standing next to him. There were police observing every one of these instances and ……they did absolutely nothing about it. He said after the guy next to him was stabbed he asked one of the policemen standing not 10 yards away why they had not arrested the guy with the knife and the policeman told him that was ‘not their job’. That is a quote btw. He was standing just feet away from a young woman protester who was just protesting (nothing illegal or violent) and a policeman walked up to about 3 feet in front of her and shot her in the face (with one of the non-lethal projectiles) and blew her eye out of her face – totally shredded. He watched that same officer shoot many other protesters in the next few minutes before he lost sight of him. Do you have to wonder why these protesters despise the police?

          I could easily go on as that is not 1/5th of the stories he has told me. But to try and lay all the issues out on ‘leftists’ in this country is to defy the truth. BLM protesters want what all of us want. Full rights and freedom. They are reaching the point where they will not put up with being treated like trash anymore. Only a few percent of the people in the streets are resorting to violence. But people are enraged and for good reason. This is the core of the problem. Equal rights in practice not just in words. Put yourself in their position and what would you do. Roll over on your back like a submissive dog or start to fight back?

          Violence from the radical right nor the police will fix this problem. The solution is staring us all right in the face. We just have to have the courage to work honestly to fix it. Or not. I expect not. And, if not, things will get lots worse.

        3. Aumua

          Funny how the term Domestic Terrorism is never used relative to the BLM riots and burning police stations.

          Yeah it is, all the time by right wing talking heads, and radio and internet personalities.

    2. Wukchumni

      Rev Kev,

      It isn’t really a numbers game, but more of the allowance of openly carried AR-15’s @ the Michigan state capitol building around May day that set us on this course where hard right militia types realized nobody was going to harsh their how shall we say, mellow.

      As i’ve pointed out on numerous occasions, we had one of these extreme groups in our midst here, a bunch of Palookas enamored with the idea of ‘being in charge’ when things went south, despite 99% of the residents here certainly not really wanting anything to do with them. Idiots spoiling for a fight, armed to the teeth and utilizing a deity for camouflage.

      1. furies

        Nah- I think that impunity started with the Mahleur take-over. The public watched for months those yahoos thumbing their noses at BLM…and only after months of destruction of sacred sites, fence pulling and vandalism did the feds finally confront them.

        1. Billy

          But you will notice that the feds, backed by almost unlimited resources and firepower, backed down when contronted with even a tiny local armed militia. :-)

          1. pendaran

            Couldn’t possibly have happened because the feds and militia are closer to being on the same team than not, right?

    3. Carolinian

      Yes it’s all bs. We’ve had no riots here and when a black person felt he had been disrespected by the white mayor at a city council meeting only a couple of other people showed up to protest outside the mayor’s place of business. The so-called civil war up north seems to be all taking place between gangs of white people (and perhaps the police can be considered one of the gangs) so it’s unlikely to be a race war in any case.

      What we are having is a political war between the Dem and Republican gangs. That one is nasty.

      1. Calypso Facto

        What we are having is a political war between the Dem and Republican gangs. That one is nasty.

        so who are the Dem gangs?

        1. Carolinian

          The “gangs” (and not the peaceful protestors) who rampaged through Portland in 2016 at the very idea of Trump becoming president. I’d say they are still at it and the nightly protests throughout the summer there are more about him than they are about black lives in a city with hardly any black people (at least compared to where I live).

          Just my opinion of course. We know so little about the window smashers and fireworks throwers (now Molotov cocktail throwers) and the media don’t seem too interested in telling us more.

          1. Calypso Facto

            The “gangs” (and not the peaceful protestors) who rampaged through Portland in 2016 at the very idea of Trump becoming president

            I lived in Portland in 2016. On the night of the election, after the results were called, there were waves of motorcycle riders with Trump flags riding up and down SE Hawthorne and other main drags in the ‘hipster’ part of town. The only point of that was to inflame tensions, to ‘show colors’, because nobody who lives on SE Hawthorne in Portland has a place to garage their big expensive motorcycle. I have no idea what you’re talking about regarding ‘rampaging at the thought of Trump becoming president in 2016’. Portland PD have spent literal years inciting tensions with local protest blocs by inviting Patriot Prayer to act as ‘the good guys’ against the designated ‘bad guys’ with funny colored hair. You are of course entitled to your opinion however it may be helpful to at times consider what the ‘point’ of the messages you receive regarding these events is intended to serve. Why are you being invited to hate a group of people you disagree with? As you point out repeatedly, the same thing is not happening where you are.

            1. Carolinian

              On the night of the election

              What, at 3 am? That’s when Trump was declared the winner. And afterwards, no downtown black bloc violence or breaking of windows? That’s not what I’ve heard from a friend of mine’s daughter who was trapped in her hotel at the time.

              Or what about now, when there have been several attacks on the Policeman’s Benevolent building and, according to reports, with the entrance doors blocked from the outside (fire was put out)? Surely you aren’t claiming that all the violence in Portland is about Patriot’s Prayer and none committed by self claimed antifa or other groups “of the left.”

              And even if it’s true that the PD have incited, there’s the option of ignoring the incitement thereby thwarting their purpose.

              Finally your version is at odds with other commenters here who have conceded that there is a violent black bloc that platforms onto the peaceful protests and who seek violence as part of a political program. So my sources of information, admittedly not first hand, are varied.

              1. Calypso Facto

                I left Portland in 2019 partially because the polarization within the city made it a shitty place to live. I moved to deplorastan – Oklahoma – so drop the snide partisan commentary implying I am trying to pull one over on you because I might be on the other team. My point is that you – on the other side of the country – are not receiving information in a vacuum. WHY are you aware of this level of detail about these events? WHAT PURPOSE does the direction of your reaction mean to serve those vectors disseminating the information?

                And even if it’s true that the PD have incited, there’s the option of ignoring the incitement thereby thwarting their purpose.

                Did you even read the link I shared about the cops allowed Patriot Prayer to set up rifles on rooftops over a protest and there were no arrests? At what point do you think it is acceptable to fight back if you are the group that is targeted? You keep saying that ‘black people in [your] area aren’t protesting’ but have you considered that the targets in Portland aren’t ‘merely’ BLM protesters but leftists in general, who led the pre-BLM protests that were already a regular feature in the area?

                1. Carolinian

                  WHAT PURPOSE does the direction of your reaction mean to serve those vectors disseminating the information?


                  And no I didn’t read your link as have a low opinion of Newsweek. Sorry. I’m not sure though what that has to do with the actual violence that has taken place this year in Portland. My only point–not a partisan one–is that rioting is bad and to the extent that the nonviolent protestors in Portland tolerate it that is bad–certainly in the context of a movement that is supposed to be against violence. You don’t have to agree with me but that disagreement doesn’t turn my belief into something sinister.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Historically, unless you have the military and the police lining up with you, ‘it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.’ I can’t even see the National Guard siding with some of those yahoo groups. Those groups may have guns but when you see them in film clips, they always look kinda pathetic.

        1. Wukchumni

          But all you need is the local police (who are overwhelmingly right wing, some more so) to side with the militias, which is de facto deputizing.

          Trump has no sympathy for the various black men gunned down by the cops, but mentioned ‘Jay’ i.e. Aaron J. Danielson, after he was perforated in Portland. It isn’t as if the coppers have many friends these days, and when they get their cues from on high, watch out.

          1. Oso_in_Oakland

            Wukchumni you nailed it. militias take the old Klan role, filling the gaps until the jim crow laws took wide effect. lines blur, then as now.

          2. Carolinian

            Enough stereotypes in that one comment?

            And BTW when Danielson was perforated the protest crowd in Portland that same night reportedly cheered the elimination of a “fascist.” They too are into stereotypes.

            We need a lot more information right now and a lot less rhetoric–perhaps from me as well. But saying that rightwing militia are rampant (evidence?) or that the police are eager to join them in brownshirting is just talk.

            1. Wukchumni

              Like kinds seek like minds, no stereotyping needed. And that includes the various leftwing Portlandia types

              I wouldn’t say the rightwing militias are rampant, they’ve merely emerged from their various hidey holes, and thus by doing so have emerged into popular culture as an up and coming ‘thing’.

              As stated on here last week, Everything Danielson was wearing was offensive in nature, he wasn’t a fellow hoping to pass out daisies to the other side while singing Kumbaya.

              1. Carolinian

                And Jacob Blake was being sought for sexual assault and car theft. Deserved to be shot? Life is often a lot more complicated than what you see on the news.

                Indeed the great irony is that a protest movement that is supposedly against violence and stereotyping black people as thugs and criminals is so willing to tolerate stereotyping their opponents as “fascists” whether they know the meaning of the word or not. As for the violence, must be all those militias doing it right? That’s what they say on the news.

                Certain outfits like the SPLC have been pushing the rightwing militia scare for years. It isn’t new. This made a lot of money in donations for Morris Dees


                Dees was eventually fired after sexual harassment allegations but then #metoo is so last year. Now we have a Dem prez candidate who is himself accused of sexual assault and just issued praises for–who else?–Jacob Blake.

                1. Wukchumni

                  The sheep in Portland are pretty predictable, I remember going to various protest marches in LA and you’d see the same people (“hey, are you going to be at the anti-vivisection march next Saturday?”) pretty much, although the Portlandia crowd is on some type of steroid in comparison.

                  The militias are obviously the wolves, and some of the lambs have figured out that sheep thrills aren’t all that and have retaliated, as to be expected.

                  The backstory on Jacob Blake et al means little in the scheme in things, as they’ve become just a handy catalyst for unrest by a largely white community that really digs protesting.

            2. pendaran

              Danielson didn’t deserve to die, but when you walk around the scene of a protest at night shooting shooting people in the face with pepper spray, it can’t be a surprise when there is retaliation.

            3. furies


              That is not at all what I’ve been hearing/reading. There’s tons of stories of armed militia types at various anti-mask demos/BLM protests–your statement makes me wonder what I’m missing?

              Some of those militia stories have been linked to here?

              Are some of us just willfully blind?

  9. divadab

    re: faster-growing forests sequestering less carbon

    I doubt the practical application of the authors’ thesis – which applies to forests that grow without human management. Trees in managed forests are generally not allowed to die naturally – they are harvested on a cycle of roughly 45 years in temperate forests, much less in tropical and sub-tropical forests – in southern pine plantations first harvest is at 12-15 years, eg. When a tree is harvested for building material, by definition, its carbon is sequestered in the structure it is used to build. (ok yes if harvested for fuel, its carbon is released). SO what if the tree grows faster – this is a good thing from the perspective of a managed forest, which, in the first world, anyway, most forests are.

      1. Divadab

        You left out the first part of the sentence ‘In drought-plagued California, grasslands a more reliable carbon sink than trees’.

        This makes sense if your forests are burning up every summer but for forests in not so dry zones where fire less of a risk this is not so considering total biomass.

    1. Billy

      You are forgetting the carbon squestered in the soil. Contrast a dinky 30 years old semi dwarf apple tree, reaching the end of its life, ten feet high at most, and it’s roots, a mirror image in size, not necessarily shape, underground, versus a 200 year old Standard apple tree 60 feet high and as wide, with the equivalent root structure and deposit of humus over the years.

      1. Divadab

        Yes and also when you cut down a tree the remaining trees and newly planted/seeded trees access its roots and the contained nutrients, with the help of the soil biota particularly the micorrhiza.

  10. zagonostra

    “The media love Trump because he is fantastic for ratings and all the hyper-reaction against him is even better for ratings”

    I don’t know if this is the prime directive, to use an old Star Trek term. Surely you know there are many ex-CIA staff members at CNN. Do you remember Chelsea Clinton being hired by MSNBC for +600K for doing some occasional interviews. You are familiar with project “mocking bird?”

    No, there is more at play than the ripples on the surface of an ocean that determine its current. That DT is good for ratings does not explain anything in my thinking, it’s epiphenomenal.

    1. DJG


      Heck, where have you been? Mars entered the umbra / shadow on 26 June. The whole retrograde period will last for the rest of the year.

      Here, from Astrology King, is why having so much “retrograde” going on is worth our consideration:

      Six Retrograde Planets
      Six planets are in retrograde motion for four days from September 9 to 12: Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Once Jupiter stations direct on September 12, there remain five planets retrograde until September 29, when Saturn stations direct.

      Five planets in retrograde motion happens only 4% of the time. Six planets in retrograde motion occurs only 0.7% of the time.

      When five or more planets are retrograde at the same time the world appears to slow down. You may attract energy at some imperceptible level and it can feel like you are living in another dimension. You might feel like you’re from some other planet or other reality, so there is less inner uncertainty. You may experience feelings of isolation or of being different.

      More than four planets in retrograde motion also make it more difficult for people to understand each other. It seems like there are more bad things happening in the world. More violence, psychological abuse, accidents, suicides, and death. Understanding and compassion seem to be lacking.

      With the world slowing down, material events can act as blockages that allow you to develop internally and mature. This helps you you find reassurance within yourself.

      A word to the wise is sufficient.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Even bigger, there’s a Great Conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn, the closest since 1623. Some astrologers say it is the biggest event in our lifetimes.

        Jupiter is a generous leader who’s associated with health, wealth, and having a good time, while Saturn favors strict responsibility and setting limits. When they have to collaborate, you can expect power struggles over the best way to “rule.” On the macro level, it’s likely to bring about a cultural moment when things change irrevocably, whether we’re ready or not.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “California Scientists Build A Camera To Take Pictures Of Huge Swath Of Sky”

    Normally I am happy to see a story about this. But then I saw something the other day that enraged me. The Colonel over at Sic Semper Tyrannis put out an article how great it was that 120 satellites a month were being launched by SpaceX. He said-

    ‘I watch all the launches of the Falcon 9 Starlink missions. SpaceX does a great job of producing the on-line show.

    The astronomers will just have to learn to live with whatever problems he is causing them. They are working on taking the luster off the satellites. That will continue.’

    So [familyblog] him and [familyblog] SpaceX as well.

    1. jr

      I don’t know much about that site or the instantly odious “Colonel” but his tone of voice is exactly that of the sick little boy who liked to kill animals and liked the fact it hurt you even more.

      1. Swamp Yankee

        Col. Lang at Sic Semper Tyrannis is a singular sort — a retired Special Forces Colonel and career Arabist at various US Embassies and the Defense Intelligence Agency. He is very knowledgeable on the Middle East but extremely conservative domestically, is a strong Lost Causer, and has gotten more FOX-ified in recent years. It’s been a shame to see it happen. He was good back in the Iraq War days.

    2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Yes but now they are up there I decided I needed one less thing to rage at so I’ve been trying to enjoy them. They look absolutely unreal, like a little string of pearls hanging in the heavens

    3. Foy

      Yeah Kev, I was very grumpy with him as well for that statement. Once the heavens are stuffed you can’t unstuff them. It is ruining the night skies for eternity. How anyone can feel good about that is beyond me. “Working on taking the luster of satellites”. Sheez like that is gonna make them invisible to a highly sensitive instrument. And it’s too late for all the ones already there. And what happens when the Kessler Effect kicks in?

      And I don’t get why he is so gung ho for Mars. If we can’t live here properly, how will we live there properly?! And exactly how many of us are going to live there eventually in his expectation?

  12. marym

    Some failed state updates

    The postal service
    Tony Romm @TonyRomm
    SCOOP: A Senate investigation into USPS found that prescription drug deliveries have experienced “significant” delays, in some cases by multiple days, in recent months.
    the story has a lot of nuance to it, but to summarize:
    –the timeline makes it hard to tell if it’s the pandemic, DeJoy’s leadership and changes, or all of the above
    –the delays are averages, and some people have fared better or worse
    –we still need a ton more data
    WaPo link: (may be paywalled)

    The census
    “A federal judge has ordered the Trump administration to temporarily stop efforts to wind down the collection of data and processing of timelines for the 2020 census.

    U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh issued a temporary restraining order late Saturday blocking Trump administration officials, including Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, from implementing plans that would shorten census efforts, including “winding down or altering any Census field operations.””

    The franchise
    “The Trump campaign has legal battles in 5 states to limit mail-in voting expansions
    Iowa, Nevada, New Jersey, Montana, members of the Navajo Nation in Arizona”

    “Texas Supreme Court temporarily blocks Harris County from sending mail-in ballot applications to all its voters
    The Harris County Republican Party had sued to stop the county from sending the absentee ballot applications.”

    “The drawn-out legal fight over whether Floridians will have to pay full fees and fines has left thousands hanging in the balance, with the state’s voter registration deadline for the November presidential election coming up in less than a month on October 5.”

    1. Off The Street

      The USPS fights over the past decades seem to have focused on the pension and facility costs, but that could be a distraction. As with other political activities issuing out of DC, there are underlying issues that get glossed over when fulminating about, ermagerd, pensions, Ben Franklin, whatever.

      One big issue is control over a big bloc of unionized employees, useful, manipulable or demonizable by whatever administration.

      1. marym

        The elite bipartisan coalition to force the postal service to fail, strip it of its assets, and turn it over to the private-for-profit sector would also see union busting as advantageous to the oligarchs.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Wait, what? Both sides have been working for the Post Office to fail? How can that be? Everyone from CNN to the New York Times to MSNBC and Politico and even *Nancy Pelosi* say The Evil Orange Hitler In The White House By Mistake is the one doing this so he can steal the election and set up his own Conservative Caliphate.

          I’m confused…

  13. Robert Gray

    Re: Julian Assange

    Craig Murray says ‘I simply cannot believe the blatant abuse of process that is unfolding before my eyes in this courtroom.’

    So I ask again: is there not one single Member of Parliament who is willing to stand in the House and challenge the government on this travesty? To me, that is more shocking than any judicial horrors being perpetrated by the lapdogs of the Americans.

    1. km

      “Is there not one single Member of Parliament who is willing to stand in the House and challenge the government on this travesty?”

      You’re joking, right? Something, something Muh Special Relationship!

      1. Robert Gray

        Are they all so bad? If George Galloway were still there, I imagine he would speak up. It’s really disheartening to see that all the rest of them are — to use an old-fashioned term re-popularised by Mr Galloway — nothing but lickspittles.

    2. John A

      The guy who replaced the establishment and media crushed Corbyn (who would have stopped the extradition if he became PM) as head of the Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer, was previously head of the public prosecution service and threatened Sweden if they decided to drop the rape investigation, in his words ‘don’t you dare get cold feet’. So shockingly, no, the entire establishment wants Assange’s head on a spike.

      1. Robert Gray

        > head of the Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer …

        Thank you. There’s enough cognitive dissonance right there — how can the bloody head of the bleedin’ Labour Party be a poxy ‘Sir’?!?

  14. Matthew Saroff

    Regarding employees at tech firms getting pissy because parents get to work only 40 hours a week, instead of 70+ hours, the problem is not the parents working less, it’s your bosses being sociopaths.

    At 70+ hours a week, actually at much more than 50+ hours a week over a long time, you are less productive than you are at 40 hours a week.

    The additional hours put in actually have a negative contribution.

    This is the product of a culture that is abusive, and sees this abuse as an independent good.

    I don’t know who coined the term, but it’s an electronic sweat shop.

    1. Sailor Bud

      I consider even 40 hours insane. Half your waking day, 5 of the 7 days in a week, not counting the time we spend getting ready for work, getting to and coming back from it, etc. and then the ultimate largesse: 2 weeks of vacation, if you even qualify, that feel like an hourglass running out the whole time. Nice arrangement. So “voluntary.”

    2. jr

      Similar culture in kitchens. Calling in sick? Must be hungover, you’re F-ing over your buddies or the chef or the “house.“ Refuse a last minute schedule change? Same. Only two weeks notice? Ditto. Walking off because the checks are late again? You don’t know how the “game” works. And you’re F-zing over your buddies.

      I’ve worked with guys who quit and never claimed final checks because they were ashamed of quitting. A notion that is literally taught in cooking schools because quitting is so pervasive in the industry. I’ve worked in abusive pirate galleys, like screaming and throwing things, whose chefs are genuinely stunned when you walk out.

    3. hunkerdown

      Parents have always ridden on the backs of the single in tech. They need to get exactly the same as everyone else does.

      1. diptherio

        How about “everybody else needs to get exactly what they do” instead? Otherwise you’re just arguing that more people should be forced to work 70+ hours a week. How about demanding better conditions for single people instead of worse conditions for people with kids?

        1. John Anthony La Pietra

          Now there’s an idea with broader applications. For instance, what if we suggested that police and other law (and regulation) enforcers either give up the extra privileges in their contracts and LEO Bills of Rights . . . or share them with us? That could be a big step toward really protecting and serving citizens.

      2. Robert Gray

        > Parents have always ridden on the backs of the single in tech.

        It’s not only in tech. Academia too. In my experience, the unpopular 7.45 and 8.50 classes always went to single teachers whilst Mom-colleague (usually) and/or Dad-colleague were bundling Junior and Sissy off to day-care.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “America still needs unions in this digital gilded age’

    That may be one view from Seattle but I doubt that that is how most bosses are thinking about it along with their lackeys. Certainly not in places like Silicon valley. Saw one example of this a short while ago in a UK article headed ‘For the Royal Mail to survive, one of the country’s most powerful unions must be defeated’

    In this digital gilded age, most companies want to adopt the Amazon model of union busting and employee spying.

  16. Wukchumni

    Jiří Menzel: a daring, defiant beacon of European cinema Guardian
    One of the things that made the 60’s sparkle was the idea that artists had to hide their feelings in contorted lyrics*, or snidely subterfuge in Czech films, i.e. to pull a fast one. Only a ‘c’ separates covert from overt, it’s a fine line between them.

    Now, there’s no need to do that, and frankly artistry has suffered greatly, cheapened.

    * Got To Get You Into My Life by the Beatles is a prime example. What sounds like a love song is actually about cannabis.

    1. John Anthony La Pietra

      Happened before the ’60s, too, of course. When they filmed “Arsenic and Old Lace”, the Hays Code must have frowned on the plot twist that a major character’s parents weren’t married — which freed him from worries about being as crazy as the rest of the family because he was a b*****d.

      So in the movie, the character hears instead a shaggy dog story that his mother was a chef who’d appeared on the family doorstep already pregnant, but she served the family well and eventually an uncle married her . . . and when the uncle died, she ran off again and re-married — this time to a sailor serving on a tramp steamer.

      That’s right — our hero was no longer a b*****d; he was a son of a seacook!

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Trump accuses Pentagon leaders of wanting to ‘fight wars’ to make defense companies rich”

    I don’t see why the surprise about this observation. I have read time and again of Pentagon officers who will recommend a program built by a company, retire, and quickly get a high paying job with that same company. Why should this not be true of officers who just-can’t-quite win a war that they fight but spin it out for decades. Look at the Air Forces fierce defence of the F-35 Lardbucket and the Navy’s fierce defence of the Ford-class carriers that never just quite work. It was high-ranking officers that pushed for those programs and protected them.

    This sort of thing goes back to that bs campaign where Trump was supposed to have called dead soldiers suckers. But people believe this. And then deliberately fail to notice that they guy that wrote this account – Jeffrey Goldberg – was a propagandist for the Iraq war. But people are still supposed to believe him. Amazing that-

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The problem is Team Blue partisans haven’t realized Russia-gate poisoned the well for character attacks on Trump and that Republicans don’t care even their golf buddies.

      Instead of hammering Trump (admittedly Pelosi and Schumer “bungling” economic relief from the beginning killed any leverage they had) on virus and economic fallout response, they are out with these mindless attacks intended to prove Trump is a hypocrite without noting they’ve called him a traitor for over three years and produced evidence of Trump’s usual grifting.

      Shrub attacked John Kerry’s military record despite being AWOL, so its not like GOP voters care.

    2. John k

      Trump is the fool that speaks the quiet bit out loud. Sure, the tax breaks for the rich are great, but god only knows what secret he’ll spill next. He’s gotta go. Funny, though, joe flaps too much, too… we’ll just hafta get Kamala moved up real quick…

  18. anon in so cal

    >Nobel Peace Prize

    Trump’s been nominated for the UAE/Israel agreement.

    IMHO, Trump should have been nominated for ending the Obama Biden Brennan CIA’s Operation Timber Sycamore in Syria: billions to jihadis (aka “moderate rebels”).

    Obama got the Nobel and went out and started 7 regime change wars in 8 years…..

    Biden wants to move NATO farther eastward and ship yet more lethal weapons to Ukraine….

    Trump is the first president since Reagan to not start a new war during the first term….

    1. marym

      Not disputing the points about Obama and Biden but as far as Trump:

      Another view of the UAE/Israel agreement: “Israeli annexation of the West Bank has been suspended, but it has not been abandoned—and the next U.S. administration will have to deal with it. Netanyahu hailed the beginning of a “new era with the Arab world,” and claimed, using a euphemism for annexation, that “Extending sovereignty will only be done alongside the United States.”” (Link)

      US troops are still in Syria “taking the oil” – a Trump objective in the Middle East since the campaign. (Link, link)

      Trump is still doing war: increased drone strikes, increased civilian casualties, less transparency on drone strikes/casualties, and arms sales (Link to links), increased defense budget (Link) and federal forces in the streets in the US.

      Lots of people/organizations “nominate” people/organizations for the Nobel prize.

      “The statutes of the Nobel Foundation specify categories of individuals who are eligible to make nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize.[12] These nominators are:

      Members of national assemblies and governments and members of the Inter-Parliamentary Union
      Members of the Permanent Court of Arbitration and the International Court of Justice at the Hague
      Members of Institut de Droit International
      University professors of history, social sciences, philosophy, law, and theology, university presidents, and directors of peace research and international affairs institutes
      Former recipients, including board members of organizations that have previously received the prize
      Present and past members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee
      Former permanent advisers to the Norwegian Nobel Institute

      …The statutes of the Nobel Foundation do not allow information about nominations, considerations, or investigations relating to awarding the prize to be made public for at least 50 years after a prize has been awarded.[15] Over time, many individuals have become known as “Nobel Peace Prize Nominees”, but this designation has no official standing, and means only that one of the thousands of eligible nominators suggested the person’s name for consideration.” (Link)

    2. km

      I recall that in 2016, the US government was trying to influence the Nobel Peace Prize Committee on behalf of “Bloody Petya” Poroshenko.

    3. vidimi

      giving the NPP to trump would be every bit the farce as it was giving it to any other current or former US official, so they should do it.

  19. David

    At least 37M people displaced by war on terror: researchers The Hill

    Yeah, well, episode 1,234,567, in the never-ending series of “everything in the world, good and bad, revolves around what happens in Washington.” It’s not like that. Not only do a lot of the issues pre-date the “war on terror”, they often have origins (Pakistan, Yemen) which go back decades or even generations. Likewise, a lot of people were displaced in Mali, but that was because of the Islamists driving south, some time before the French (let alone the Americans) arrived. The displacements of people in Libya have nothing to do with the “war on terror”, in which Ghadaafi was actually our ally, and the current conflict, with its peripheral US involvement, is largely unrelated to it as well. I could go on.
    Memo to US think tanks: the world does not revolve around you. Many crises in the world today go back decades if not generations, and you are often only bit players, even when you think you are not. Thinking the US is responsible for all the ills of the world is just a kind of neocolonialism, equivalent to thinking you are the world’s saviours.

      1. David

        That’s exactly it. These were not Obama’s wars. He was a minor figure in a field of much more significant players.

        1. jef

          David – I have no idea why you would take this tack but you really need to read some of William Blum’s work to realise just how evil and effective the US has been at destroying so much around the world for the last 100+ years. All of which has been the determining factor in the making of the seriously Eff-up world we now all live in.

          We have imposed a way of being on the planet that is guaranteed to destroy everything unless opposed. By imposed I mean placing large military bases in everyone backyard and threatening them with total destruction if they don’t do what we say. We have done this over 50 to 60 times around the world. The reason that this is important to understand is because nothing will change unless and until we ALL understand this.

          Read “Killing Hope”

          1. David

            I have, and many similar books. The US influence has certainly been malign, and no reasonable person would dispute that
            But that’s not the point. I’m objecting to the idea that the US is the only or even the principal actor in all international crises, and can therefore (according to your taste) be praised as the world’s policeman and peacemaker, or damned as the world’s vandal and saboteur. The reality is that objectively the US has been on the margins of many crises (Libya is a good example) or has involved itself in crises that already go back decades (Yemen for example) with generally disastrous results. In still other crises (the Former Yugoslavia for example) the US was hopelessly manipulated. Nobody would deny the disastrous effects of the invasion of Iraq, for example, but equally nobody would deny the influence of a long history of conflict in the region, going back to at least the Treaty of Sèvres. There were problems and conflicts before 2003, and the US was not at the origin of all of them.
            What I find irritating is the typical Murkin approach of saying that a crisis only exists when the US takes notice of it. Either they claim to understand a given crisis and have the answer all ready, or alternatively they claim that the crisis is all the fault of the US and will be solved if the US goes away. Either way, it’s arrogance and galloping ethnocentrism, and I’m not sure which is worse.

            1. Olga

              To say that US was on the margins in Libya or Yemen is simply not to know what has gone on there. And the US manipulated in Yugoslavia? Wow, cannot believe someone would actually claim that – it was papa Bush, who insisted that the Yugoslav republics apply for aid separately, thus pushing them to start disengaging.
              No one is saying that all crises would go away if the US were not here (a strawman argument), but the US in the last 200 years has hardly been a peaceful country. It tried to get at what became Canada back in 1812, just barely after it formed a govt. And it has not stopped yet…
              One may complain about ethnocentrism, but one cannot be blind to the destruction, exploitation, and the stifling of progress the US has inflicted on the rest of the world.

              1. jef

                Olga – The level of David’s denial is well beyond reconciliation. Unfortunately this is true throughout modern society. This, for me is the most disturbing of all the unquestionably off the hook effed up positions of thinking beings. To even talk about “be praised as the world’s policeman and peacemaker…” is to be intellectually gone afaiac.

                1. David

                  OK. Last attempt. I don’t know whether you have met Americans in positions of power or influence who think that they are the world’s best hope and unofficial policeman. I have, and I find their attitude not only bizarre and dangerous, but completely detached from reality. They see the entire world through the lenses of people who have seldom left Washington and have no idea of the complexity of most crises. Are we clear about that? Good.
                  There are also Americans, not usually with as much power or influence for whom the labels are reversed and who see the US not as the great hope but the universal villain, the source of all the world’s evil. In general they share the same limited vision, and don’t understand how complex and long term some of these problems are. Are we clear about that as well? Good.
                  What they have in common is the standard Murkin problem of relating everything to US ideas and behaviour as though they were the only country in the world. And here we have a bunch of young researchers trying to colonise problems that in most cases go back well beyond the start of the “war on terror”. I thought that as a public service, and because I have been involved in some of these crises and been in a number if the countries, I would point this out. My comment was not in defence of the US (rather the reverse) and I’m surprised you thought it was. It was about the dangers of seeing the world just as a projection of what goes on inside the Beltway.
                  That’s it.

                  1. vlade

                    Yup, I call it “only the US has agency” myth. Anything, anywhere in the world, is of the US’s doing.

                    Ignoring the agency of anyone else.

                    My prime example, of which I’d bet I know more than just about anyone in the commentariat, because I talked to people who actually were there making the decisions, is admission of (some of) the former Soviet sattelites to the NATO.

                    The common narrative of this is “US extended NATO”, denying CZ, Poland etc. any agency.

                    When in fact, it was those countries lobbying very very hard to get admitted – because, amongst others, their population actually wanted it (the reasons for that are TLDR, short version is decades of occupation by the USSR) and support for NATO membership was running pretty high at the time, and is still quite high.

                    The US army generals were objecting to this quite a bit (for various reasons), but in the end got overruled by Clinton – who had to be persuaded over quite a long time too.

                    As I say, commenters may have opinion on that, but I talked to people who were there, running those negotiations. And who had no need to lie to me.

                    1. David

                      As it happens I was a bit involved with the Poles at the time and it’s clear that there was a strong, almost atavistic, desire in Warsaw not to be left exposed in the centre of Europe among larger and more powerful states. I believe from what I heard that this was true of the other Visegrad states as well. Enlargement suited the objectives of keen NATO members like the UK, as a way of keeping NATO going and giving it a reason for existing, but membership was in no sense forced upon other countries.
                      As you say, these are facts, and, I normally try to distinguish in what I write between facts I have observed, and opinions I happen to hold.

  20. jr

    That article about the AI “author” is weak tea at best. The AI is writing nothing, the people who programmed it’s algos are. It doesn’t “know” a single thing, it doesn’t “think”, it just takes in patterns and regurgitates the patterns it’s been programmed to.

    But it’s the arguments that AI won’t hurt us that are really dim. No kidding AI won’t harbor ill will towards us, as it has no will to harbor. It’s makers will have plenty of ill will though.

    This has me thinking about AI and what they really are. Imagining a world where I had an AI, not that I would since I’m already paranoid about my smartphone, it’s presumably adaptive algos would not be autonomous of me, they would be a part of me. A kind of reflection of myself and an extension as well. Which is why I think people could love an android, not because it’s an autonomous robot but because it could actually be a reflection of a loved one.

    Gibson probably covered this somewhere.

      1. jr

        Q: How many algos does it take to mimic Tom Friedman?

        A: Only one, but it has to _________________________.

    1. vidimi

      the problem with AI is that it requires content created elsewhere. it can’t report on news that isn’t already in the public domain. in that, it is peak capitalist.

  21. anon in so cal

    >Military Brass and Weapons Manufacturers

    “Brass Parachutes: The Problem of the Pentagon Revolving Door”

    “Pentagon officials captured by the contractors they oversee is skewing our spending priorities and foreign policy.”

    “At least 380 high-ranking Department of Defense officials and military officers shifted into the private sector to become lobbyists, board members, executives, or consultants for defense contractors.

    Of the Department of Defense officials POGO tracked through the revolving door, a quarter of them (95) went to work at the Department of Defense’s top 5 contractors (Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, General Dynamics, and Northrop Grumman).

    Military officers going through the revolving door included 25 Generals, 9 Admirals, 43 Lieutenant Generals, and 23 Vice Admirals.”

  22. Phil

    Regarding the California wildfires, the sun has been up here in the Bay Area for well over two hours and it’s still too dark outside to read without artificial light. The whole sky is an eerie dark red. This is the worst I’ve ever seen, worse than anything we had during the Camp Fire (the one that burned Paradise). Very creepy and bizarre.

    1. anon in so cal

      Los Angeles has had orange-tinged skies in the am for several days now…..Santa Ana winds are expected to kick up today, exacerbating the 11,000 acre Bobcat Fire…

      “officials warning residents in Monrovia, Duarte, Bradbury, Arcadia, Sierra Madre, Pasadena and Altadena to be ready to evacuate Wednesday if needed.

      The areas of Big Santa Anita Canyon, Mount Wilson, San Gabriel Canyon, and Monrovia Canyon are already under evacuation orders.”

      1. tegnost

        I wonder how many evacuees there are in the west coastal states right now, considering the orders in medford. Must be a lot, and where are they going to go?

        1. furies

          Yup. Today is the day I get serious about that bug-out bag and make a list of priorities. I live close to Talent/Ashland, and we’re due.

    2. Wukchumni

      Winds must’ve shifted in our favor, as the AQI is more like 150 up in Sequoia NP, as opposed to nearly 600 yesterday.

      China Peak ski resort has burned up somewhat, the extent not known yet, but from a video I saw, looks pretty bad.

      Does it get rebuilt, or just fade away?

    3. JBird4049

      I woke up late today, not just because I couldn’t sleep, but because I just couldn’t believe that it was broad daylight. It was so dark at 1:30 PM. I feel like I am living either on Mars or in Mordor.

      Oh, well. We still have vast areas of the state’s forests and grasslands that haven’t burnt in the past decade or so. There are still plenty of heavily populated bedroom and “retirement” communities deep in the trees and grass. I’m living in one right now. Wheeee! Least I have a fairly clear and short shot at diving into the ocean if need be. Do house cats swim?

      So, we have another month or so, of being in the fire season with the actual three month long raining season starting in late December to early February depending on the whims of Mother Nature. That’s if there is a 2021 Raining Season.

  23. Frank

    “Trump accuses Pentagon leaders of wanting to ‘fight wars’ to make defense companies rich Task & Purpose. Resilc: “Does he realize he is Commander in Chief?”

    I can tell you don’t have any experience with con-artistry. Part of the profession is fast-talk, if you can talk quickly it can help prevent the marks from employing their critical faculties in real time. Filtering statements by whether they are appropriate for his nominal role would interfere with his major skill set.

    It is also the case that this statement; “Trump accuses Pentagon leaders of wanting to ‘fight wars’ to make defense companies rich,” is really good for him. It is a truth most in America are aware of, that the politicians and the media, the credentialed classes in general wont tell you. The fact that he sometimes does this kind of stuff makes it harder to effectively call him a liar. Incidentally it also punishes a group (generals) who have been insufficiently supportive. He is driven to do that punishment, it is one of the most consistent things about him.

  24. Calypso Facto

    re: The coming global technology fracture

    This is weak tea. There hasn’t been a single unified global internet since at least The Great Firewall, and if a non-Chinese technology company keeps physical servers within China then a Chinese national is required to operate them (not an American employee of the owning company), so all the whining about US attempting to force Huawei out of foreign markets just sounds like apologia on behalf of Huawei to those countries who have yet to make the decision. Russia has created its own DNS protocol and successfully tested disconnection from the global DNS root servers (unsure how fully it is overall implemented). GDPR in EU has fully cemented the ‘local data stays in local region’ paradigm – this one is actually followed quite rigorously by US companies, at least, because the fines for noncompliance are astronomical. ‘Splinternet’ is likely more accurate descriptor now.

    There is this idea by non technical, globalist-leaning intellectual types who produce a lot of words on behalf of others that ‘the internet’ is some magic global network with no constraints purely because an entity on one side of the planet can send a digital call-and-response to an entity on the other side of the planet and there are no seeming blocks on that transmission. This is even reinforced with the usage of terms like ‘cloud’ – how can the weather be confined to one state and not the other? no, they must be free of all constraint! – but the internet is simply a massive pile of hardware and software using generally-agreed-upon protocols. The hardware requires power to run and people to operate, it is neither frictionless nor a natural phenomena.

    Every country I have visited outside of the US has their own television and radio media; I don’t hear any whining about how France’s TV5Monde is only allowed access on OTT providers like Sling and not Comcast in the US. Everyone recognizes that French media is primarily of interest to French media consumers and this is not a matter of TV5Monde being denied market access. Software is no different… except for that sweet, sweet 30% profit margin on new software products (I hear normal profit margins in productive industries are closer to a tenth of that), and if you’re a global behemoth with no more worlds left to conquer, demanding all markets open to your product or else makes financial sense.

  25. Otis B Driftwood

    Here in Northern California, where it will be 10 a.m. shortly, the sky is cast in a yellow-orange haze. So dark we need to keep the lights on inside.

    Worst it has ever been here.

    And we have a complete absence of political will to do anything about the climate crisis.

    1. pendaran

      Watching Twitter as Medford burned last night, there’s lots of political will up there to turn all the forests over to logging corporations – clear-cut it all away. That’s why there are fires, according to many people around there.

      Separately, and not to your point, there were also a bunch of people convinced the fires were started by BLM protestors. Hmm…

  26. Synoia

    The American Dream Should Not Depend on Chinese Labor American Conservative

    The American Dream was outsourced to Mexico and China. For some, the dream was gloriou$$, for others a it became a dystopian nightmare, where every possible step forward became a step deeper into the swamp of increasing debt.

  27. Lynne

    On Sturgis, this is absurd. One thing the SDHP is really good at is tracking the traffic around Sturgis and keeping the stats. This year, the attendance at the Sturgis rally was 365,979 people.

    That’s a little short of the “nearly half a million” that the news reports and “studies” claim so that they can inflate virus numbers from there. I was not a fan of having the rally this year, but this “reporting” is absolutely ridiculous. Yes, there has been an increase in cases in South Dakota. Coincidentally (or not) /sarc, they are in college towns and coincide with the start of the fall college semester. Go figure.

    Honestly, if “researchers” are going to have an agenda, you’d think they could at least try to be a little subtle about it.

    1. Synoia

      This year, the attendance at the Sturgis rally was 365,979 people.

      Wow, so many volunteers for Covid recovery testing. They deserve our enduring thanks for taking on the role of being Guinea pigs for the rushed and untested vaccines, or every other quack remedy circulating on the internet.

      Note: Discussions of mass Darwin awards are premature.

      1. Lynne

        I’ve seen the same said about “protestors,” about whom I will only repeat the earlier observation I read here that we would know they were serious about wanting change if they went after banks with the same fervor as their other targets. But perhaps we now can discern the reason: they must have decided that potentially dodgy bank HVAC systems would put them at risk.

    2. John Anthony La Pietra

      Um . . . what if some of those who went to Sturgis and came back infected were also, y’know, infectious. . . .

      And gave the disease to some folks who, well, WEREN’T in Sturgis . . . but got sick due to contact with the SD visitors?

      If my math is right, that could mean . . . more people GOT the virus thanks to Sturgis than actually WENT there themselves. . . .

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