Links 10/22//2020

FBI Arrests Florida Lawyer for Bank Robberies

How the Soviets accidently discovered the ‘Gates of Hell’ BBC video  of the most amazing sites I’ve ever visited.

Airbnb brings in Jony Ive to oversee redesign FT


AstraZeneca shares turn negative after Brazilian health authority says volunteer in Covid vaccine study dies CNBC

Why this week’s meeting of an FDA advisory panel on Covid-19 vaccines matters Stat

Spike in South Korea flu shot deaths fuels vaccine doubts Al Jazeera

A Glimmer of Hope: Mortality Rate Is Improving for Hospitalized COVID Patients TruthOut

As Covid-19 intensifies, shortages of staple drugs may grow worse Stat

Europe’s grim Covid choice: Who lives and who dies Asia Times

US on brink of rampant Covid-19 spread, Europe hospitals strained France 24

Coronavirus: Spain passes one million Covid-19 cases BBC

Germany reports record 11,000 COVID-19 cases in one day Deutsche Welle

The EPA Refuses to Reduce Pollutants Linked to Coronavirus Deaths ProPublica

Prisoners Won The Right To Stimulus Checks. Some Prisons Are Standing In The Way. Marshall Project

CDC expands definition of who is a ‘close contact’ of an individual with covid-19 WaPo

What Life Looks Like in an (Almost) COVID-Free Country Der Spiegel

Dr. Zeke Emanuel says this is what it will take to fully reopen the U.S. MarketWatch

Class Warfare

Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific offers remaining pilots a deal they can’t refuse – major salary and benefit cuts, or termination SCMP

Apollo investor halts new commitments over Leon Black’s Jeffrey Epstein ties FT

Iowa Highway Workers Strike – Philly Sheriff Calls for Black Union Member Dues Boycott – Baltimore Teachers Move to Strike Payday Report

Snakes and ladders Times Literary Supplement

Purdue Pharma Pleads Guilty to Criminal Charges for Opioid Sales NYT

Purdue Pharma to plead guilty in $8bn opioid settlement  BBC

Health Care

Surprise “Air Ambulance” Bills Are the Latest Nightmare in Private Health Insurance Jacobin

Waste Watch

Canada Releases A List Of Commonly Used Plastic Items That Will Be Banned In 2021Bored Panda


Have US-China rivalry and coronavirus tipped the balance of power in Asia?


Interview: Alternate Use for Straw, Providing Machines to Farmers Only Solution to Stubble Burning The Wire

India recorded highest infant deaths due to air pollution in 2019, shows study Scroll


Anger at beheading of French teacher ‘must not override rule of law’ France 24


Waving flags, they sang Nigeria’s anthem. Then they were shot at Al Jazeera


Revealed: UK Foreign Office has spent nearly half a million pounds in aid setting up anti-government coalition in Venezuela Daily Maverick


Iron Curtain still separates Russia and the EU Vineyard of the Saker non-paywalled version of Pepe Escobar’s latest.


Nagorno-Karabakh Talks Again Fail – No End Of War In Sight Moon of Alabama


Democratic candidate has significant cash advantage over Donald Trump in final stretch of race FT

Remembering Hunter’s First Big Scandal American Conservative

Hunter biz partner confirms e-mail, details Joe Biden’s push to make millions from China: Goodwin NY Post

Rudy Giuliani claims Borat honey trap is a ‘hit job’ to distract voters from Hunter Biden laptop scandal after Sacha Baron Cohen tricked him into going to hotel room with actress and filmed him ? Daily Mail

Is the Traditional ACLU View of Free Speech Still Viable? Ira Glasser Speaks Out. Intercept. Glenn Greenwald

Obama delivers scathing rebuke of Trump before final debate CNN

Justices allow Alabama to restore ban on curbside voting Scotus Blog

Russia and Iran obtained US voter data in bid to sow unrest before election, FBI warns Guardian. Oh, how the Guardian has fallen.

Why Nurses Say “Trump Must Go”Capital & Main

U.S. retailers secure stores as worries about election unrest mount Reuters

USPS still hasn’t reversed election mail slowdown despite multiple court orders: attorneys general Salon

AOC’s Among Us livestream hints at Twitch’s political power MIT Technology Review

Face to face: Trump and Biden to meet for final debate AP

2020 polls: Biden leads Trump by 10 points – but polling finds warning signs for Democrat Independent

Explainer: Red mirage, blue mirage – Beware of early U.S. election wins Reuters

Trump Transition

The Philosophy That Makes Amy Coney Barrett So Dangerous NYT. Erwin Chemerinsky. I’ve long found originalism to be a bizarre theory. In no other area of human knowledge would we seek to be bound by what was known and understood in the latter part of the 18th century.

The Lie of American Asylum New York Review of Books

How much of Barack Obama’s legacy has Donald Trump rolled back? The Conversation

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. fresno dan

    So I’m watching Bloomberg this morning, and I see a commercial for …bodyguards. I’ve never seen a commercial for bodyguards on TV – maybe I’m too sheltered. Maybe I’m just not keeping up with the times. Maybe I don’t watch enough TV.

    Easy as ordering a pizza, according to the commercial. I would ask if you need a bodyguard for a “night out” maybe you need to be going out with more sedate dates.

      1. QuarterBack

        Interesting too to see the demographic difference between the two. The ad on Bloomberg was white people having a night on the town with secret services clones in tow. The second was mostly people of color “just trying to live your life” surrounded by danger and carnage.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I can see the next iteration of those ads as Silicon valley muscles their way in to this personal protection industry. Every person will be able to deploy their own mini-drone which will hover overhead filming anything and everyone around them to discourage muggers as all faces will be ID’d by facial recognition technology and the drone’s onboard AI. Any incident will trigger alarms and red flashing lights while contacting local police.

            1. John

              Cyberpunk scifi from the ’80’s had the drones take care of things without help. The minituarized drone’s AI decided the threat and would turn it to pink mist as required.
              I think it was from the Gibson early trilogy.

          1. Stephen Cavaliere

            Sad to say, but that’s actually a good idea. Hope you are refining you pitch to the VCs. Good luck!

          2. Stephen C.

            Sad to say, not a bad idea, really. Hope you are refining you pitch to the VCs before your flight out to Silicon Valley. Good luck!

      2. IMOR

        …with the return of two decades plus of volunteers for shooting wars and thousands of others seeking to emulate the vid games they watched in mom’s basement.

      1. Propertius

        Well, the job market isn’t exactly hot for returning veterans. I suspect that’s most of the applicant pool.

        1. Synoia

          Do not fool yourself.

          In S Africa the criminals (Totsies) would ride the commuter trains to from Joberg to SOWETO, and stick a sharpened bicycle spoke in their neck to paralyze them, and steal their week’s wages.

      1. JBird4049

        I had to fly to Central America to see this, but now we can see it here! Isn’t the “creative destruction of the free market” and capitalism just great?

      1. skippy

        When reality is like landing at the airport in Guatemala … and one ponders what awaits disembarkation … you have arrived …

  2. MartyH

    On Originalism: a Court set up to judge Constitutionality is supposed to use said Constitution as its Standard. If the Constitution is out of touch with current reality, we have a mechanism in the Constitution to update it. Ignoring it, like ignoring and refusing to pass immigration law, is to repudiate the concept of “Law”.


    1. DJG

      As urblintz says, no.

      The Constitution itself contains the rather revolutionary supremacy clause, which recognizes the ever-changing work of Congress and federal law. Then there’s the revolutionary impact of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments, which resulted in selective incorporation of the Bill of Rights to state actions. Why, it was only last year that the Supreme Court in the Timbs case incorporated the prohibition against excessive fines.

      Usually originalists get all bent of our joint when people point out that an originalist interpretation of the Second Amendment means organizing the local doughty civilians into militias that use flintlocks.

      Somehow, expanding the law to recognize human rights, civil liberties, and human need is always “constrained” by the likes of Scalia and Barrett. One might begin to suspect that originalism is just one more front in class war, no?

      1. km

        I don’t think that the Supremacy Clause says what you apparently think it does. It merely says that the Constitution and federal law and treaties trump state law, not that our understanding of the Constitution is subject to change.

        For that matter, the impact of the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth amendments and whether or to what extent (this was and is hotly litigated, as it’s not clear fromt h text itself) they prohibit states from violating provisions of the Bill of Rights doesn’t get you where you want to go either.

      2. Pelham

        True, flintlocks were the military weapon of the time and entirely impractical for an ordinary citizen to use in a fit of anger directing violence at a fellow citizen. Knives and clubs were much quicker to hand. So that’s an absolutely valid argument for going through the constitutional process to either get rid of the 2nd Amendment or modify it.

        But not to ignore it. 2A has nothing to say about the potential for violence and mayhem as the result of an armed citizenry. It’s only about national defense that depends on a population at large having a working knowledge of weaponry. The state could then draw on this population as needed to form a well ordered militia. A Venn diagram of this would have a large circle representing “the people” entirely containing a smaller circle of people owning and using firearms within which would be contained a still smaller circle representing a well ordered militia.

        If the founders had intended for only militia members to have weapons, that last circle would be outside the first circle and the second circle wouldn’t exist. And, quite possibly, the little armed militia circle would be sitting atop the big “people” circle and scaring the bejabbers out of it.

    2. hunkerdown

      After bingeing on Graeber lately, I’m down with it! People who benefit from and uphold the racket that is class society might feel otherwise, and quite understandably though not rightly.

      1. Mikel

        I was sad to hear DG’s wife’s report that his death was Covid related.
        Maybe “evil” is the only thing that wards off Covid.

        1. hunkerdown

          I’m grateful, actually. We can value his body of work, mourn what would have been to come, and carry his torch as further as we can in mutual aid. Faced with genuine foul play, however, and having to raise that matter while the uniparty is this desperately trying to market itself as necessary to the point of each wing having their own shock troops… I think the affair would be too easily played as bipartisan therefore beyond reproach, there would be a couple of bent sentences in Pearson’s next US history book printing, and what happens next depends on who’s left.

          It’s either the best time for it or the worst time. It depends on how quickly and completely people can align amongst themselves before faceboot and twitter just cut the power on it.

    3. Keith

      Agreed. The living document approach is just a method to get around the checks and balances imposed by the Constitution to keep govts and the will of the people in check.

    4. vlade

      For the US consititution, the answer is no – because of its built-in resistance to change (which can be a good thing, mind you). It’s now much much harder to change USC than it was in 1790 (because you have 50 states, for one).

      If you want a living constitution, you could go the Swiss way, where every of their referenda (that passes) is automatically incorporated into the constitution. It now, for example, includes:
      – restrictions on the use of genetically modified organisms in agriculture
      – moratorium on nuclear power stations
      – prohibition of minarets
      – limitation on building permits for holiday homes
      – abolition of the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse

      1. vlade

        To be clear – I didn’t pick up things from the Swiss constitution because I liked/disliked them, I picked a sample of things, most of which would be undreamed of by people in late 18th century

    5. L

      But you are missing a key latent aspect of originalism. The claim is that they are doing it as it was understood but it rests on the premise that originalists, and originalists alone, really understand what a specific group of people in the 18th century understood or wanted. In that sense it is an interpretation based on a false premise that some elites, not unlike the priests of old, are the only ones with the true wisdom to interpret the book.

      Put another way, originalism is mysticism.

      1. nippersdad

        Which is more or less where I fall on the spectrum of debate. For example, the American Revolution was sparked by a tea tax imposed by a corporation and backed by the British crown. George Washington hated corporations so much that only one existed during his term of office, and it didn’t survive it.

        So now we have a Constitutional originalist (Coney Barrett) who votes for corporations around eighty seven percent of the time? That may be an originalist idea, but it certainly is not derived from the intent of the Constitution or the views of the country’s founders.

        1. Bruno

          … the Am Rev was sparked not by a tea tax but precisely by the virtual elimination of that tax, which threatened the Yankee smugglers and their “industry.” But that was a spark not the cause. The cause was British resistance to Colonialists conquest of the Ohio Valley, the necessary next step in their genocide against the American peoples.

          1. skippy

            Bad case of a child that concocts romantic memories about the early years, in adulthood, so as to mitigate the burden of it …

            Least taxed of the British colonies with a side of being an almost ME sand box like proxy for the remnants of the holy nation states of the day.

            But hay … how can a 2nd – 3rd rank blood born expat get some respect back home …

          2. chuck roast

            Weird that in my little sea-side town the Sons of Liberty trashed the houses of the Kings tax collector and his allies…not that they weren’t smugglers or anything.

            1. skippy

              Strangely or not … a few old NC commenters where enamored with the whole pirate thingy and vindicated it by the “sharing” of loot – plunder as ethos against – GOVERNMENT – [transcends time and space destroyer of freedom and liberty].

              Never seemed to grok the whole proxy for government, till national parlay was had, and ordered to go legit or feel the full force of law.

    6. martell

      It seems to me that what’s called originalism is a wildly implausible doctrine masquerading as a set of trivial observations about meaning (or observations that should be trivial). These observations? Explanations for the meaning of a term or phrase boil down to accounts of how the term or phrase is used. Usually, this is a matter of normal use. When? At the time when the utterance we want to understand was made, of course. And so the meaning of an utterance of some group of legislators made hundreds of years ago is to be explained by way of how the words and phrases making up the utterance in question were used at that time among members of that linguistic community.

      So much for trivia. The problem for originalists is that they want to appeal to such observations as these to make a clear-cut distinction between judging and lawmaking, while claiming to do, as judges, only the former. This allows them to portray themselves, as judges, as nonpartisan. But this won’t work and, indeed, it cannot. There are many reasons why, but most of them have to do, again, with trivial observations about language combined with facts about the activity of which judging is a part. That activity is politics. In politics members of a community carry on living together (sometimes jointly doing things together) in accordance with rules, and in modern politics many of those rules take the form of the written utterances of some authority (such as a legislative body). Most if not all of these rules are indeterminate. That’s just the way it goes with language. Made by fallible human beings over long periods of time, they are not always consistent with one another. Sometimes, too, rules that are logically consistent with one another are nonetheless at odds with one another insofar as ends served by some are frustrated by others. Yet, the members of the politically organized community have to go living together by these laws. In cases where the law is indeterminate, judges have to decide how the community goes on living together according to the rules and their decision cannot simply say again what the text says about this matter since the text, strictly speaking, doesn’t say anything one way or the other. It’s indeterminate. So what’s a judge to do? They have to decide based on considerations such as consistency with other laws, ends served by existing law, and, of course, their own ethical and political commitments. Reasonable people can and do disagree about all these matters. Judges, then, are inevitably engaged in lawmaking insofar as their decisions render determinate that which was originally indeterminate, and they are inevitably partisan in the manner in which they go about doing this. Certainly, there is a difference between offering a good interpretation of existing law and simply making sh#t up. But even the best interpretations cannot simply repeat in other words what the original text plainly said.

  3. taunger

    JLS, not sure if you’ve spent any significant time with Scalia opinions, but IMHO, once you get 3-4 lined up back to back, it becomes pretty obvious that “originalism” is bad makeup put on the “whatever the right wants” underlying theory of interpretation.

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      I’ve been forced to take this garbage seriously for far longer than I would like to admit. It’s a completely ludicrous interpretational position as far as I’m concerned.

      1. Sam Adams

        Just like much of what passed for great legal scholarship in Corporations, securities Regs and Antitrust, Con Law and Crim Pro. It just took decades to realize and relearn

      2. Steve

        Would respectfully disagree. Open to the debate and believe the US Constitution is about specifically limiting the rights of the Federal Government, and thus the States were to hold power. The 10th Amendment for quite some time has been given lip service and is not followed, and as designed it should have been. Can make an entirely logical argument based on the above to have “originalism”. Anyhow Calder v. Bull still chaps my hide.

      3. Steve

        With respect disagree. Can make a very logical claim for “originalism”. The US Constitution was suppose to limit Federal power, and all excess power would devolve to the States. We have given short shrift to the 10th amendment. I for one and many originalists would welcome a check on swamp creatures of DC and their abuse of power. Still miffed about Calder v. Bull.

        1. marym

          Would respectfully point out that the Constitution was written because the Articles of Confederation gave too little authority to the federal government.

          Amendment X wasn’t written as an argument for states to curtail Constitutional protections or the exercise of Constitutional rights. Shelby County v. Holder should “miff” us all.

        2. taunger

          I made no comment on federal power, only that originalism is a disingenuous moniker used haphazardly to advance an ideology, not a technique of analysis and interpretation.

          Not sure what you agree or disagree with at all.

    2. Wukchumni

      Why not use originalism regarding the 1787 2nd Amendment and only allow flintlock rifles to be sold in our country?

        1. barefoot charley

          My favorite illustration of Originalist idiocy is the Supremes’ judicial review itself–which doesn’t exist in the Constitution. It was made up whole cloth by Federalist Chief Justice John Marshall after his political cronies had lost virtually all electoral power, from their abuses of it. Our co-equal branches of government now have an extra-constitutional black-robed rich-man’s protection racket, and the Originalist flapdoodlers overlook that lesson taught in Constitutional Law 101.

      1. Phil in KC

        As Chris Rock observed, we don’t need gun control, we need bullet control. If a single bullet cost, say, $1,500, shootings would go waaay down!

        1. Josef K

          Exactly, though I think the number he used was $5k per…..even better! Only the occasional rich a-hole would go on a shooting spree and that’s a small, if growing, segment of the population to keep a eye on.

      2. Alternate Delegate

        Because the 2nd Amendment actually means something. And it means something beyond what the courts think it means.

        The 2nd Amendment is second only to the 1st Amendment in preserving such powers of the people as remain.

        You think the 1st Amendment applies to more than hand-operated presses using manually assembled lead type? Then keep your paws off the right to bear arms.

  4. fresno dan

    How much of Barack Obama’s legacy has Donald Trump rolled back The Conversation
    server IP address could not be found.

    1. fresno dan

      So instead of my usual reiteration of vast amounts of the post, and my verbose commentary, I will just say that ANY President’s impact is vastly overstated. I think this is due because its cheaper for the press to cover one person than hundreds, and I’m not sure, but I think they get snackies at the WH.

      1. a different chris

        Not to the people getting droned to death by Presidents that no longer have to get Congressional approval, I would think.

        Just for starters.

        1. fresno dan

          a different chris
          October 22, 2020 at 11:12 am

          According to outside monitoring groups, by the end of his second term, President Obama had authorized 528 strikes with a death toll reaching somewhere between 380 and 801 civilians in Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen alone. And that’s believed to be a conservative estimate.

          President Donald Trump, on March 6, 2019, signed an executive order revoking the requirement that U.S. intelligence officials publicly report the number of civilians killed in Counter-Terrorism missions in Areas Outside of Active Hostilities.

          This is paywalled and I don’t have access – I post it to provide that droning has increased under Trump.
          FIRST, I find it exceedingly difficult to actually get some current numbers with regard to Trump and droning. Why is that? (do I really need a SARC tag). But I find it beyond credulity to believe that the number of strikes, deaths, or casualties is going down. I also find it hard to believe that these numbers will go down in the near future…or maybe ever.

          Not to the people getting droned to death by Presidents that no longer have to get Congressional approval, I would think.
          I once commented that every president in my lifetime has been worse than the last.
          I now have a corollary – each new president drones more people than the last.
          So I think my original conclusion holds – I will just say that ANY President’s impact is vastly overstated.
          Are presidents causing ever more droning, or is the US causing ever more droning? The presidents seem irrelevant to me…

  5. Toshiro_Mifune

    Purdue Pharma Pleads Guilty to Criminal Charges for Opioid Sales

    So, can we expect the Purdue C suite (current and former) to faces charges under RICO statutes? *

    * We already know the answer to this.

    1. BobW

      That will happen shortly after the government seizes Wells Fargo’s assets. Ongoing criminal enterprises, beware!

    2. Krystyn Podgajski

      The Sackler family is still sitting on billions of dollars. And an pitiful $8 billion judgement that the Government cannot even collect? Whatever. My friend’s son is still dead. She had no say in this deal.

      1. BillF

        Just to put this into perspective, the Sackler family is paying a civil penalty of $225 million. This is about 2% of their net worth, which is estimated to be around $13 billion. The news reports I read state that over 450,000 people in the USA have died from Opioid use directly tied to Purdue Pharmacy’s criminal product. So that’s a penalty of approximately . . . $500/death. And we can be certain that no member of that family will ever face criminal charges. Eric Holder must be so proud of his successors at Justice.

    3. ewmayer

      No, no, no, you misunderstand – per the headline, a corporate ‘person’ known as Purdue Pharma has pled guilty to criminal charges – the human persons in the C suite are innocent, they were clearly victimized by the rogue corporation for which they work doing terrible things that got lots of ‘deplorable persons’ killed. Now, since it’s logistically impossible to physically imprison a corporate person, the court can at best tut-tut said person with suitably stern language and levy a hefty fine to be paid by common shareholders and very likely also by lower-level human-person employees via cuts in staffing, wages and benefits. Unlike the innocent C-suiters and owners of the preferred shares like the poor victimized Sacklers, those lower-level employees should’ve shown better judgment in choosing which corporate person to go to work for, so they deserve what’s coming to them.

      I’m sure there was a Perry Mason episode that covered these legal intricacies connected to corporate personhood…

        1. ewmayer

          I was being facetious – but I’m not holding my breath for any of the actual human-person owner-racketeers ever seeing the insode of a jail cell. I dearly hope I’m wrong, but it’s been a *long* time since the Enron prosecutions.

          1. Yves Smith

            That I agree with. But perhaps some of the info unearthed in discovery will be used for criminal prosecutions. You’d need a DA who saw a political benefit or thought he could hit individuals (the Sacklers are rich) with big fines as well as jail time.

      1. John Anthony La Pietra

        Well, what could we do to corporate “persons” to aim for the same impact as imprisonment is intended to have on biological persons similarly convicted?

        Would it be a useful approximation of the isolation from society and prevention of harming the public to bar them from government contracts for a term of years — if not for “life”? (With perhaps time off for good behavior in the private market?) How about having them make things for the state? (At minimum wage — let’s be generous.) Limited, monitored visits; restricted access to phone calls and reading materials — and that’s not to mention getting tough with things like solitary confinement. . . .

    4. Maritimer

      The CDC, FDA and all of America’s other medical institutions bear responsibility for the Opioid Epidemic. Where were these Big Pharma hostages when this Epidemic started and then erupted and now continues?

      These very same institutions then proclaim “Trust us on Covid19.” No, I don’t think so.

  6. fresno dan

    Matt Stoller
    Tech monopolists literally stealing our Christmas.
    Well, the Grinch stole the Whos Christmas, and they still enjoyed Christmas!
    Of course, fat chance that the Zuckerbergs, Gates’s, and Bezos’s and fellow Grinches will give the misbegotten loot back…

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      “Shared cultural experiences? We don’t need no stinking shared cultural experiences!”

      Hard to believe apple actually thought this was a good idea, what with the Grinch right there for the taking, but I guess it doesn’t matter since it’s RUSSIA and IRAN who seek to diivide “us.”

      I’m old enough to remember getting on the bus to high school and not being able to wait to talk to and laugh with my friends about what was on Johnny Carson last night. Pretty much the only reason not to have seen it was that my mom made me go to bed before it was over. Sounds kind of stupid now, but it was a big deal.

      Now we have big brother apple as the gatekeeper. Future’s so bright ya gotta wear shades.

      1. Mark Gisleson

        I just downloaded a copy of Kjartan Slettemark’s “Nixon Visions” from 1971. Try to find a legal copy to buy (and good luck with that). (There is an updated remixed version on YouTube.) The monopolists don’t offer full catalogs, promote any independent works, or even bother giving a [family blog] about quality (remember all the lo-fi music CDs shoveled onto the market by the labels before fans demanded standards?).

        If the monopolists find something we all love, they will capture it and lock it in a cage so only paying viewers get to see it. For the rest of eternity plus 75 years. Everything that is popular or beloved must be owned, and you must pay for each viewing. I am frankly surprised that it’s still legal to sell used DVDs (or at least I think it is).

        1. RMO

          This is one of my big problems with streaming services that I bring up whenever someone treats me like I’m living in the paleolithic era because I still own a lot of physical media of all types. There is just a whole lot missing from those digital services. Things I like. Another reason of course being that what was available one day can suddenly disappear from the service the next.

          Being an MST3K fan I’m always reminded of the time they had to “fix” a box DVD set after shipping. The set included “Godzilla Vs. Megalon.” At the time of original broadcast it had fallen into public domain in the US. A little while after the DVD box set came out though Toho had manged to regain ownership of it and they demanded the sets be pulled from the shelves. They set was reissued with a different movie taking the place of the Godzilla feature. Toho also demanded that the discs already out there be replaced with the new movie so Best Brains made “The Giant Gila Monster” available to customers – and made a snarky video instructing customers how to properly replace then dispose of the contested Godzilla film. This was with the full knowledge that no one was going to voluntarily lose their means of seeing Godzilla and a goofy giant robot tag-team wrestling with rubber suit monsters. In the online digital era of course Toho would have just had the whole thing disappeared overnight.

      2. Basil Pesto

        “Shared cultural experiences? We don’t need no stinking shared cultural experiences!”


        I’m old enough to remember getting on the bus to high school and not being able to wait to talk to and laugh with my friends about what was on Johnny Carson last night. Pretty much the only reason not to have seen it was that my mom made me go to bed before it was over. Sounds kind of stupid now, but it was a big deal.

        Now we have big brother apple as the gatekeeper. Future’s so bright ya gotta wear shades.

        It’s crazy to think this still isn’t the case.

        Leaving aside the paid-for platforms, there’s youtube, where entertainment can be shared incredibly easily. There are free streaming platforms like Twitch. Heck, there’s even piracy (which is how just about everyone I know watches HBO shows in Australia, including Game of Thrones, which may well be the apotheosis of “shared cultural experiences”).

        Then there are the subscription services, which do have a payment barrier to entry. But even watching Carson back in the day was dependent on owning a TV.

    2. TMoney

      The hiding of Peanuts behind Pay TV / Pay Streaming services – no matter which one** – is going to slowly kill the shared experiences the way that PayPerView killed boxing. Good in the short term for profits (the only thing that matters) bad in the long term for Charlie Brown and the Heavyweight champion of the world (who is that these days – I’ve no idea).

      ** The services with the most reach like Netflix still offer some “shared experience” BUT not in the way broadcast TV did.

      1. Wukchumni

        Is it ok to admit you weren’t really all that enamored with Peanuts et al when you were growing up, or will they come and round me up for admitting as much now?

        1. pasha

          never understood the appeal of the tv shows, but i loved the newspaper cartoons in grade school and high school. rediscovered them as an adult thru collected peanuts books. charles schulz was kind of a genius

      2. Lee

        As a former boxing fan, I agree. Another contributing factor to my decline in interest is the obviously bought and paid for decisions by judges. That both Lara and Golovkin got robbed in fights with heavily marketed Canelo Alvarez being just a couple of cases in point. My references are dated for a reason. It’s been a good long while since I watched or followed the sport.

        1. carl

          The heyday for me was watching ESPN’s Top Rank Boxing back in the 80s. A bunch of middling talent, interspersed with rising stars. The two or three matches between Tommy Cordova and Freddy Roach (yes, THAT Freddy Roach) were some real classics.

    3. ewmayer

      Unsurprisingly, prices for the DVDs have soared in the last 24 hours over at Amazon, and used Region 1 DVDs are gone. F*cking bastards. Luckily, I bought the complete 1960s collection on 2 DVDs for my sis & her kids a couple Xmas ago – that includes all but the Thanksgiving one.

      1. Basil Pesto

        many DVD players will play other regions, even if they don’t necessarily advertise it, for what it’s worth (this is far less common with Blu-Ray players)

  7. fresno dan

    Russia and Iran obtained US voter data in bid to sow unrest before election, FBI warns Guardian. Oh, how the Guardian has fallen.

    Alireza Miryousefi, an Iranian spokesman at the UN, told ABC News Iran had no interest in interfering in the US election and called on the US to “end its malign and dangerous accusations”
    “Unlike the US, Iran does not interfere in other country’s elections. The world has been witnessing US’s own desperate public attempts to question the outcome of its own elections at the highest level,” he said. “These accusations are nothing more than another scenario to undermine voter confidence in the security of the US election, and are absurd.”
    The article contains so much irony, it hurts!!! If we could only replace 1% of the misinformation produced* by our own government and MSM with Russian and Iranian “disinformation” (the truth HURTS) we would probably be a billion times better off…

    * so do I include the internet monopolies as part of the MSM? Or should they be separately named as their misinformation is particularly insidious, nefarious, and wicked?

    1. RMO

      How dare those Iranians and Russians try to sow disruption and discord by getting some information on US voters! The US would certainly never do such a despicable thing as interfere in their elections or, say, organize a violent coup to replace a democratically elected Iranian government with a repressive monarch!

  8. John Beech

    How many of you have participated in polling? I’ve avoided it 100%. I hang up and block the number . . . 14 pollsters, and counting. Why am I doing this? Simple, because I perceive the pollsters and media as biased, I won’t lift a finger to help. What about you, are you participating in the political opinion polls?

    1. Arizona Slim

      If I don’t recognize the number on my caller ID, I don’t take the call.

      And, yes, my phone has voice mail. I have yet to encounter a pollster or political caller who bothers to leave a message.

    2. TMoney

      I ask them to send me a P.O for my time, so I can get paid. $100/hr is my Pollster rate. Funny how no one wants to pay me for my data, while they get paid for theirs.

    3. jefemt

      My flip phone died so I was forced into a smart gizmo.

      I have not activated the internet, have not extended google permissions.

      I get no poll/election junk. Nothing. My one spam is about extended aouto warranties, which I suspect is having been sold by an auto dealership in SD for the one car I have purchased ‘commercially’.

      BTW, I consciously have Gizmo turned off much of the time, check messages 2x a day, and leave it on my desk.
      Funny thing, the sun keeps rising and setting

      1. crittermom

        Until recently I was also getting those ‘extended warranties’ calls. They finally ended when I answered & acted all excited & replied, “Yes! I’d love to get an extended warranty on my vehicle!”
        The call ended when I informed them my vehicle is 34 yrs old (true) & they said it didn’t qualify.
        “Exactly” was my response. “So quit calling me!”
        They did.

        Now I’m being harassed by calls saying I qualify for 50% off my Direct TV bill. It’s only a recording so I can’t respond (unless I want to “call back to the # that shows up on my caller ID”).

        I tried instead to respond to the msg & it dialed a completely different #.
        I just hung up.

        Never had Direct TV, nor subscribe to any teevee service. Only pick up what I can capture using an antenna–for free.

        Sooo, we can land on an asteroid & get soil samples, but still can’t block telemarketers on cell phones? I cry BS!

        So I don’t answer most calls.

        >”My flip phone died so I was forced into a smart gizmo.”
        Why? When my flip phone died, I just purchased a new one, as I REFUSE to have a ‘smart’ phone.

        1. jefemt

          Actually, I mis-spoke. It did not die, it became obsolete.

          I was only able to get signal out of town on the road as I dither chasing pennies all over Bumphuc Flyover Little Appalachia of the Rockies.

          Apparently in the cool and groovy glittery towns of California Del Norte, the towers are being ‘upgraded’.

          So, I was unable to get a signal at my home office in Bozeangeles.

    4. lyman alpha blob

      We are being bombarded in Maine with Collins/Gideon ads and polling everywhere you look. Pretty much every local number that shows up on my phone is a poller and I generally don’t answer. But every so often the mood strikes me to pick up the phone and see who it is and what they want.

      It generally takes about 30 seconds before they hang up on me after getting an earful on how biased and corrupt the polling system is and how much I hate both political parties without answering a single one of their questions.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Between pollsters and Medicare open enrollment my phone is ringing off the hook.

        Took me a few minutes to figure out how to dump all 250 blocked numbers, which was the phone’s limit, so I could start over.

    5. jr

      I received one text urging me to resist or something vague but that’s it. No idea how they got my number.

      1. Oh

        Cell phone companies sell lists of phone nos and names now. It’s infuriating. I don’t answer unknown nos.

      2. edmondo

        My local board of elections sold my name, number and political affiliation to the Dems. They call and text me constantly since I haven’t returned my VBM ballot.

      3. jr

        I guess this means I’m off their radar vis a vis the elections because that’s all I’ve received! My disdain has been heard! As for my numerous Lexus warranties expiring at the same time…

    6. The Rev Kev

      I keep on getting ads on my computer and tablet for the wacko parties & occasional pollster calling and it is really getting annoying. Oh wait – you guys are talking about the US election. I thought that everybody was talking about next weekend’s Queensland State elections. Sorry. :)

    7. Jeremy Grimm

      Why not participate in the polls? It’s fun to add a little confusion to what the political process has become. In the future I think I will always respond to the pollsters as if I were a blue-dog democrat — just to be safe.

      It’s like the 360 degree review process companies like. All my co-workers were the greatest and everything the Corporation did was wonderful.

      1. jr

        Didn’t think of that! You could get groups together online to spike polls, everyone in it is a paleo conservative or something in the middle of a blue blob on the map. Or the group all claims to work in IT and twiddles the numbers. You could then study the campaigns media activity to see if your noodling has registered. A point system could be arranged: a sudden blitz of advertising to Tech is 10 points; a candidate mentioning it in passing is 5.

      1. Wukchumni

        Have fun with the next pollster that calls…

        When they start talking, ask quite stridently ‘how did you get my number that transfers calls to me in Pyongyang?’

    8. Vichy Chicago

      The late Chicago columnist Mike Royko advised lying to pollsters.
      In a 1984 Chicago Tribune column he advocated telling pollsters you voted for Mondale if you voted for Hart, or voted for Hart if you voted for Glenn, etc.
      I don’t get polled much – and not at all in this election – but I’ve followed that advice every time.

      1. Maritimer

        Skew the data—pollute their databases and make them unreliable and worthless.
        GIGO—Garbage In Garbage Out. Works every time. Eff the machines.

  9. Samuel Conner

    re: originalism and authorial intent, I have the sense that for many originalists in other fields (I’m thinking principally of the conservative end of the spectrum of US churches; perhaps this occurs in other religions founded on a corpus of holy texts), “originalism” is motivated more by concerns about present exercise of power than about what the ancient documents meant to their original writers and readers.

    IOW, it’s (IMO, of course) actually a kind of post-modernism, if one peeks beneath the period costume. Perhaps one could call it “naked originalism.”

    1. jr

      It’s probably an easy sell to the conservative masses as well. I’ve seen first hand the rank idolatry they exhibit at the slightest mention of the Colonial era. These are the people who see no difference between owning a flintlock and a tricked out AR-15 one file away from full auto…

    2. shtove

      Careful – you might find yourself with a mash up of Baudrillard’s end of history and Augustine’s concept of time.

    3. Frobisher

      “In no other area of human knowledge would we seek to be bound by what was known and understood in the latter part of the 18th century.”

      Actually, there are quite a few people I know who voluntarily bind themselves to the Bronze Age directives spelled out in the Old Testament. They call themselves Messianic Christians in some groups, Hebrews or Israelites in others. They are Old Testament fundamentalists who realized that the Nicean Creed is a political document. Hewing to the Old T does NOT, however, stop them from using 21st Century tech, vehicles or firearms.

    4. Jeremy Grimm

      I object to the term “originalism”. Why buy-in to this wimpy nomenclature for ultra-right wing conservative baloney wiped into judicial law using the Constitution for paper?

    5. Procopius

      Originalism in religion is based on the idea that a certain formula worked in beseeching the gods (or singular god if that’s the way they swing) so it’s dangerous for the survival of the community to vary from that formula. People believe in their religion because it works — it’s the proven way to bargain with the higher power(s). Not using the right formula may end up with undesired results.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “How much of Barack Obama’s legacy has Donald Trump rolled back?”

    Well it is not like that there was much to roll back in the first place, even though Obama had eight years as President. There was Obamacare but that was more of a giveaway to the medical insurance industry. Immigration? Trump may be throwing kids in cages but wasn’t it Obama that built those cages? And didn’t he throw more people back across the border that all previous Presidents? The Iran deal? As soon as it was signed he started to undermine it with a whole new raft of sanctions.

    And I am not sure about racial justice. It was noteworthy the number of black people that gave the 2016 election a miss because their position had deteriorated in Obama’s eight years. Obama’s solution was not to fix a problem but to throw PR at a problem to make it look like it had gone away. Said it before and I will say it again. Obama’s greatest legacy in his eight years as President was – Donald J.Trump.

    I wasn’t going to do it as I do it so often but as the article was all about Obama’s legacy, I will let Mr. James Dore remind everybody what exactly Obama’s “Legacy” was exactly- (10:46 mins)

    1. Quentin

      If there was no Jimmy Dore, we wouldn’t be able to invent one. He is the original original. And about that other kind of original: originalism is like bible exegesis, a superstitious belief that the text, the older the better, hallowed and superhuman, somehow must include the justifiable talisman to authenticate not only your prejudices but your misdeeds. See the ‘comma’ in the second amendment.

    2. ex-PFC Chuck

      Like Trump, Obama didn’t want to DO anything as president; he wanted to BE president. A century from now if there’s anyone around writing history about the late United States the only thing of significance he will be remembered for doing is demonstrating that a person with brown skin could be elected president – twice. A passive doing.

      Back in the ‘70s when Col. John Boyd came upon young officers who were interested in the military reform movement he was leading he would pitch them as quoted below from his biography – Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War, by Robert Coram:

      “… one day you will come to a fork in the road…. And you’re going to have to make a decision about which direction you want to go…. If you go that way you can be somebody. You will have to make compromises and you will have to turn your back on your friends. But you will be a member of the club and you will get promoted and you will get good assignments…. Or you go that [the other] way and you can do something – something for your country and for your Air Force and for yourself. If you decide you want to do something, you may not get promoted and you may not get the good assignments and you certainly will not be a favorite of your superiors. But you won’t have to compromise yourself. You will be true to your friends and to yourself. And your work might make a difference…. To be somebody or to do something. In life there is often a roll call. That’s when you will have to make a decision. To be or to do? Which way will you go?”

      The president we had who really wanted to DO something was Ronald Reagan. Unfortunately we have since found that hacking away all restraints on fundamentalist neoliberalism was a catastrophically wrong thing to DO.

      1. Procopius

        I dunno. I remember seeing a clip of Obama saying, “It turns out I’m very good at killing people. Who would have thought.”

      1. Wukchumni

        How do we know that said Rev isn’t into motorsports and he’s really into redlining districts, not parishes?

    3. marym

      The “Obama legacy” as defined in the Conversation post – a few areas of attempted or poorly executed change – doesn’t provide much of a standard for measuring the impact of the Trump presidency. It’s a convenient trope for Team Blue who want to claim victory if they just manage to salvage the ACA.

      One measurement of the Trump era should be against the status quo (and all its existing flaws) as it was when he started. As far as domestic policy that should include the franchise; the census; the postal service; legal immigration; workplace, environmental and other regulations in general; the size and scope of government; and executive reach. The assessment should also include the impact of the judges he’s had confirmed.

    4. Jeremy Grimm

      I didn’t notice mention in the link of how Trump let the TTP and TTIP fizzle or Trump’s mindless successes at removing all organizational memory and expertise from the appointed levels of our federal bureaucracy.

    5. D. Fuller

      Thanks for the video.

      I had to restart my phone just to stop the Google youtube ads. Even “close all” would not stop the video ads from playing in a mini-screen.

      Google/youtube is nothing more than an old-time ad service sending mailers, updated with tech.

  11. Toshiro_Mifune

    Quibi streaming service shuts down after less than a year. It had raised at least $1.75 billion from investors to start a YouTube short form streaming video competitor. Of course, if its primary purpose was extracting cash from investors then it was pretty successful.

    1. Off The Street

      But they won Emmy Awards!

      If you crane your neck, you can practically hear the sputtering from Hollywood.

    2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Thanks, it now makes sense why Quibi CEO Meg Whitman is being widely touted as a key member of Bidet’s cabinet, for her expertise in bribery grifting theft the diversion of funds

  12. Amfortas the hippie

    update on my freshman son being forced back to school:
    (for those who are interested)
    so we were given 3 “options”:1. “K-12”, “Transfer” and “Homeschool”.
    none of these were defined…but the first one turned out to be a state program for virtual school.
    so wife went a rummaging and determined that the free state program won’t accept new students until january.
    enrollment only allowed at the beginning of the semester.
    texas tech(a state university) has a not-free version that accepts enrollment any time…for november and december, they want $5000 up front.
    so that’s out,lol.
    Wife is livid.
    I’m about ready to burn shit down.
    so i’ve entered the contact numbers for my state representative(sic), the TEA(texas ed agency) and my rep on the state school board…into my phone.
    all of them will feel the arid wind of my ire, today.
    it’s all over the MSM…even fox!…that covid is surging all over the country…and the PTB want to extort us…”give us money, or be forced to send your kid into a superspreader environment”.
    Failed State, monetised into Gangster State.
    I frelling hate this country.

    1. jefemt

      I and I am sure all here wish you the best. Your thoughtful contributions here indicate the kid could do worse than being around dad for a few months, despite the challenges that your family faces beyond freshman son.

      I have not calculated the ‘lost hours, days, years’ from Covid. It sucks. I am not sure what to recommend to make lemonade in this time of abundant lemons.

      Ironic or paradoxical that in a time we most need to be together that we are physically forced apart.

      Maybe covid will expand compassion eventually, as we have time to ponder ‘essentiality’ and wake up to the humanity, potential and fragility on the big blue marble?

      Peace and grace, friend!

    2. DJG

      Amfortas: Solidarity.

      Don’t be surprised when the telephones of your local public servants go directly to voice mail.

      1. Off The Street

        Some calls will probably result in Mailbox full.
        The interns who were to transcribe calls and prepare canned responses were busy on hold with their (pick one) healthcare, food delivery, ISP, utility, endless memorialization list of crapification.

    3. Ella

      Freshman high school or university? If high school, I’d pull him and homeschool. There are loads of online resources to support you.

    4. The Historian

      My heart goes out to you. I don’t know what I would do now if I had school age children. Probably find a way to home school.

      I know my children are dealing with it in various ways for my grandchildren – from complete online to going to school every day and hoping for the best. My ND grandchildren are going to school every day and that completely frightens me and my daughter-in-law who is a teacher at one of those schools. But, like she says: What other options do they have? Homeschool and starve?

      I wish there were more parents like you that were willing to think about the consequences of what they are going along with and fight. Then maybe more options would exist.

    5. Sutter Cane

      Look into having him take the GED now. It isn’t difficult – a reasonably bright student who paid attention in their previous classes could pass it as a freshman. Then, if wants to attend college, find out whatever additional requirements he’d need beyond the GED to get admitted to the school of his choice, and he can work on those for the next three years. GED holders are usually missing the kind of extracurricular activities that college admissions staff look for in applications, but he can volunteer somewhere and do something useful, and compose his admissions essay around how covid effected his college plans.

    6. jef

      We are in the midst of the greatest emergency/challenge to our nations education system ever and the Gov is virtually doing nothing.

      We are in the midst of the greatest emergency/challenge to our nation’s health system and the Gov is virtually doing nothing.

      We are in the midst of the greatest emergency/challenge to our nation’s unemployment system, housing, food support, etc and the Gov is virtually doing nothing.

      We are in the midst of the greatest emergency/challenge to the natural environment and the Gov is making it worse.

      Greatest Ever!!! Winning!!

    7. Amfortas the hippie

      thank you all for allowing me a flue pipe to vent through.

      i called all 3…my state rep, my rep on the SBOE, and TEA.
      left more or less identical messages: brief rundown of situation, and “i need someone to yell at, and it’s your frelling job to hear it”.

      Tea called back immediately, was confused about which dark bureaucratic corner to send me to, then finally got me in touch with a woman who made it happen.
      so, we’re good…as near as wife can tell…until the emails with fine print and caveats appear,lol.
      ended up enrolling him in an online high school, vouched for and paid for by TEA, which is attached to an actual high school in texarkana or somewhere.
      one of the main issues in this mess….aside from covid confusion and the resulting ad hoc contingencies…is the presence in our public school system of large “education corporations”.
      their web sites and pretty much every item i’ve seen from them are confusing and appear to purposefully try to fool you into thinking that they’re part of the state of texas.
      the woman at TEA even lamented at some length their deceptive marketing….and i may have gotten our superintendent in trouble,lol…because he’s effectively promoting one of these immortal fictions as a state agency(the aforementioned “K-12” Platform)…i told her i’m certain he did so at unawares, since our school deals with them for Dual Credit and the like, and he’s harried and harassed and pulled in too many directions on a good, prepandemic, day.

      when my state rep and the SBOE guy get back to me(which, given my track record in such things, i’m certain that they will,lol), that corporate colonisation is what they’ll get an ear full of.

      the moral to take home to your thorn-pulling mouse: yelling at Power sometimes gets ya results.
      Thanks for bein there, y’all.

      1. jefemt

        I like the GED notion. If the kid is as sharp as I imagine having a poppa like you, look into Deep Springs school in eastern CA east of Bishop. Quite the deal.

    8. ChristopherJ

      So sorry, Amfortas. Shouldn’t be like that.

      I’m in Queensland. We haven’t had a case for weeks. Feel very safe everywhere as they are testing our sewerage and it’s clear.

      I don’t know how the US and Europe are going to get here. Not enough trust in your governments and each other.

      Keep the children at home.

    9. deplorado

      I thought you wrote “Failed State, monsterized into Gangster State”.

      Failed state, monsterized.

    10. JesusHaroldChrist

      I’m in one of the carpetbagger hoods north of Austin. Assuming our districts behave similarly, transferring into a wealthier neighborhood school may afford your kiddo a pod with lower population. In my kiddo’s middle school just over 80% of his peers are still home with their blessed work from home parents. That equates to pretty low risk. Down there in your rebel stronghold ISD you may find a similarly laid back low residence K-12 where most of the kids aren’t.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        we’re about as “low population” as you can get.
        just under 300 kids in the whole high school.
        but the anti-maskism is widespread…and although masks and distancing are required by the ISD, with detention as punishment….wife is teaching from home, and thus has a surveillance camera in the classroom, and we watch roomfulls of kids not at all conforming to those protocols: masks under nose, masks under chin(?), excessive(ie: “Normal”) face touching, etc etc.
        all that rhetoric is based on faulty assumptions and wishful thinking.

    11. HaroldTheChrist

      I’m in one of the carpetbagger hoods north of Austin. Assuming our districts behave similarly, transferring into a wealthier neighborhood school may afford your kiddo a pod with lower population. In my kiddo’s middle school just over 80% of his peers are still home with their blessed work from home parents. That equates to pretty low risk. Down there in your rebel stronghold ISD you may find a similarly laid back low residence K-12 where most of the kids aren’t.

  13. John A

    “Oh, how the Guardian has fallen.”
    This article was co-authored by convicted plagiarist and extreme russophobe Luke Harding, who in his evisceration by Aaron Mate, admitted he was a ‘storyteller, rather than a journalist’. Sadly Harding epitomises the decline of the Guardian.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Luke Harding? I missed that. Only the Guardian would employ a clown like that. I remember when it was a decent newspaper full of pretty good articles. And it wasn’t that long ago. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        aye. the Guardian has it’s roots in the aftermath of the Peterloo Massacre. they were a giant at one time.
        and that, in it’s turn reminds me of something that i’ve been gnawing on during all this fence and bar and barn and chickenhouse building we’ve been doing out here:
        I’m almost finished…after 10 months!…with EP Thompson’s “the making of the english working class”.
        and it keeps bubbling up that we’re still fighting the same old fight as they were, back then…and the Powers are still using the same language and tactics.
        it’s a very discouraging thought.
        Thomas Frank has been hollering about the similarities between the First Populist Movement in the US, around the turn of the last century…but it goes back even further.
        my workers…3 of my eldest’s buddies…as well as my boys, and the handful of other 18-21 year olds that come out here to hang around (outside, which is why we built a bar,lol) are getting an education in labor history, as a sort of lagniappe…almost got them talked into naming our bar “Ned Ludd’s Pub”,lol.
        None of this stuff was covered in high school, of course…

        as an exercise, if y’all are sufficiently bored, compare the rhetoric and grievances contained in this document with those we still have and use today:

        fascinating how little has really changed, as far as power relations go.
        eat the rich.

        1. Procopius

          I recommend “The Invention of Capitalism,” by Michael Perelman. From the publisher’s blurb:

          The originators of classical political economy—Adam Smith, David Ricardo, James Steuart, and others—created a discourse that explained the logic, the origin, and, in many respects, the essential rightness of capitalism. But, in the great texts of that discourse, these writers downplayed a crucial requirement for capitalism’s creation: For it to succeed, peasants would have to abandon their self-sufficient lifestyle and go to work for wages in a factory. Why would they willingly do this?

    2. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      I read the byline but didn’t notice that bit at the end. Otherwise, I would at minimum have drawn the attention of readers to that fact. Or more likely, chosen to use another link.

      I agree with you both 100%, btw.

    3. Off The Street

      Harding and The Guardian can join the rarified ranks of storytellers and entertainers who have admitted, some in court, that they aren’t journalists. They’ll rub shoulders, or something, with Maddow and others.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Meantime things are tied in a neat bow by Team Blue in their desperation to destroy the First Amendment, seems to be mainly because The Orange isn’t nearly up to snuff on the Brand New Wars front. But other than the pure Griftopia presented by more institutional slaughter, what bees are in whose bonnets? Well we have Zuckerberg, who hired The Atlantic Council to lead the FB censorship charge. NATO of course is furious with anyone questioning their existential duty to oppose Brezhnev and the Soviet way of life, and they’re big AC fans. Soros, also of AC fame, just hates what Khrushchev did to his native Hungary in 1956. (Apparently these Rooskies are so powerful they even pursue you from beyond the grave!). And when someone tells you who they are it’s usually clever to listen up, luckily the AC spells it out in black and white (sorry, in African-American and racist) in this recent article:

        Hilary’s new Islamist hellhole foreign policy triumph Libya even gets a mention!

        On the NY Post front the sealing off of information from the electorate is going well. In a quaint irony, that paper was founded by Team Blue favorite…censorship despiser Alexander Hamilton! But Team Blue are missing a trick here, if they could just capture the RPMs from ol’ Alex spinning in his grave they could power the whole GND!

        I so cannot wait for the Bidet Administration to take office, one thing I know for sure is there hasn’t been nearly enough war and theft under Bad Orange

  14. Samuel Conner

    Visiting Steve Waldman’s ‘blog “interfluidity” yesterday (it’s not on my regular web itinerary, but an NC mention of a recent tweet of his piqued my interest), I came across this week-old item that I did not notice at NC in the past week (my apologies if this was linked and I missed it)

    It’s a suggestion for a possible way forward for the Left, given the obvious institutional hurdles present in the duopoly.

    1. hunkerdown

      Interesting, a “substitute for traditional party infrastructure” is unalloyed good, but what about the other one which still jointly owns the system and doesn’t care to see the other half of it change hands? I predict the road out for the regulars entails putting as much of the Democrat vote as they can into the ocean, taking the blows for “not delivering RI for the national Party”, until the Party can line up a more deliberate big air attack to paint the rigged election as a defeat for the left, all on the quiet theory that, unlike the people, the GOP will hand power back to them when it’s their turn.

      The Week is meant for the counter-revolutionary PMC to pick up pleasant noises to sing along with the other birds of prey at the office on Zoom today. I suspect Cooper’s news will be relayed with measured joy and quiet terror about their personal potency in society.

  15. zagonostra

    >Remembering Hunter’s First Big Scandal – American Conservative

    It’s not so much a retrospective of what is known about HB’s business dealings, which is what AC is covering in this article, but what’s on the hard drive that the FBI has been sitting on that is of interest. And, who instructed the FBI and Bar to sit on their hands.

    From the snippets of Giuliani’s podcast that I’ve read, there is a massive amount of damaging information, including alleged sordid and illegal activities engaged in by HB.

    And when Politico says in below linked article that “yes, Trump’s die-hard base has tracked every nuanced turn of the Hunter Biden allegations, often through the prism of Trump-friendly media outlets” they are trying to flip facts. It is the establishment-friendly media outlets that are all fully behind Biden and trying to downplay this story as much as possible.

    1. Carolinian

      Giuliani says there are images of underage girls in scanty or provocative clothing and at least one image of “you know it when you see it” child pornography. There’s also the question of whether Hunter was sexting an underage girl in the manner of Weiner.

      Just to be clear this is what Giuliani says is on there and to prove that some agency would indeed have to investigate. But it does support the notion that the shop owner was required by law to notify the authorities and Giuliani says that he is under that obligation as well and that he turned the hard drive over to the Delaware Police.

      And of course people are turning to possibly flaky right wing news outlets because they are the only ones allowed to talk about this. If we do live in a democracy and are charged as voters with making an informed choice then surely we have a right to know relevant things about the people we are voting for. The press wasn’t shy about bringing forth such items against Trump in 2016 (including some that had apparently been made up). That they refuse to do so re Biden merely confirms that we no longer have a functioning fourth estate.

          1. Carolinian

            Sorry I don’t do tweets. Have a link?

            And just to repeat, it’s Giuliani talking about this stuff because our so-called national newspapers refuse to do so. The dubious doings of Biden’s son might not be a WaPo worthy story, but anything about Joe’s business dealings with other countries certainly is.

          2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Is there a site policy against third party ad hominem attacks? Because that’s all they have at this stage, discrediting the messenger because they are completely unable to discredit the actual message. Like whether the Big Guy candidate received, I dunno, *money* for selling the country to the highest bidder?

        1. pasha

          he says he was just putting his shirt in his pants, but he was actually “stopping and frisking”

      1. Wukchumni

        The perfect song for the moment…

        Stop your messing around (ah-ah-ah)
        Better think of your future (ah-ah-ah)
        Time you straighten right out (ah-ah-ah)
        Creating problems in town (ah-ah-ah)

        A message to you, Rudy
        A message to you

        Stop your fooling around (ah-ah-ah)
        Time you straighten right out (ah-ah-ah)
        Better think of your future (ah-ah-ah)
        Else you’ll wind up in jail (ah-ah-ah)

        The Specials – A Message To You Rudy

      2. Dr. John Carpenter

        I was curious if there were some “questionable” images when the story broke. It seemed like they implied it originally but now “America’s Mayor” is saying it? That would explain why the HDD got passed around.

        I did computer repairs for a while and we were told that if we came across anything like child pornography we had to report it. It was never clear to me if that was company policy or the law, but they were very upfront about that being what you were to do. I do know they made it very clear that company policy would have you fired if you were intentionally snooping on a customer’s computer. And if you were wondering why have the reporting policy then, let’s just say you’d be amazed at the things people think are appropriate for desktop images or screen savers.

        Where I worked, that was the only thing of that nature that I was aware of. So when I first heard this story, I was wondering what other than just emails outlining corruption was there. We’ll probably never know for sure and I suppose it doesn’t matter anyway, for all this will change anything.

      3. Darthbobber

        “Giuliani says” is hardly a warrant for the truthfulness of anything.
        And whether HUNTER Biden was into maybe or maybe not underage girls in “scanty or provocative” clothing is of little interest to me.
        If it were JOE Biden, that might be another matter, but it isn’t.

        1. Carolinian

          See the NY Post column up in Links about how Joe was involved with Hunter’s business. It’s easy enough for the press to ask Joe or Hunter about these things and not take “that’s a smear” for an answer from the former (Hunter seems to be in hiding). It’s worth noting that neither Joe or Hunter have denied that the emails are real.

          1. Carolinian

            Also if you read this blog you know that Joe has very much been accused of dubious behavior toward women.

            1. Darthbobber

              Yes, and I know that Trump has been accused of various things, that Assange was accused of assorted and sundry things, usw, usw. In the present environment, while there may be fire where’s smoke, its just as likely that where there’s smoke there’s a smoke machine.

              1. nippersmom

                There is actual video evidence, over a period of years and in several situations, of Biden behaving inappropriately with women and girls. Many of these videos have been around for a long time and it is not plausible all of them have been doctored. No make machine necessary, although the vbnmw machine would certainly like to pretend otherwise.

              2. Carolinian

                The difference is that Trump was confronted with just about everything he conceivably could of done and also things that we now know he didn’t before the 2016 election and he improbably won anyway.

                Whereas Biden has lied and continues to lie about what he’s been up to and that’s not just based on some emails. The Ukrainian prosecutor was most certainly investigating Burisma and Biden had him fired and that benefited his son who was receiving thousands of dollars a month for no conceivable reason other than his last name is Biden. To put it plainly if our foreign policy is being arranged to benefit senior USG officials and their families that’s corruption with a capital ‘C.’ If the emails merely confirm that which is ignored and hidden it’s worth talking about because proof is on offer and–the key point–nobody and most especially the Bidens have offered up any evidence that this proof is false.

                1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                  Funny how you’ve received no replies to this, call me old-fashioned but I believe these revelations are disqualifying

          2. Darthbobber

            Joe being involved in Hunter’s business (at least according to Bobulinski) is hardly the same as Joe sharing Hunter’s tastes in erotica. As you well know.

            Nor, when it comes to the businesses, do I see anything from Bobulinski beyond him taking Hunter’s word for it. Though I won’t be at all surprised at Biden Srs direct involvement.

          3. Aumua

            Seems to me that on the one hand we have the right wingers trying to make as big a deal as possible out of this (of course), and on the other we have the MSM/democrats trying to minimize it out of existence (of course). The truth is probably slipping through the cracks, as usual. I just once again am hard pressed to care either way. I care about real issues, the candidate’s positions on them, concrete material benefits they may or may not provide etc.

            You know, the things that “the news” isn’t even talking about at all here 3 weeks before the election.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              LOL “the truth” when it comes to bank wire transfers recorded on the books of the central bank of the U.S. has a funny way of not “slipping through the cracks”.

              The U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance have demanded Hunter’s lawyer to immediately “provide all records related to any of your client’s business dealings—including, but not limited, to bank records, wire transfers, account balances, gifts, business transactions, travel records—with Joe Biden, James Biden, Ye Jianming, Chi Ping Patrick Ho, Zang Jian Jun, Gongwen Dong, Mervyn Yan, Gabriel Popoviciu, or any other associates regarding CEFC China Energy Co. Ltd or any other transactions related to business in Romania, China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Czech Republic, or any other countries.”

              Luckily those organizations are not “hard pressed to care” about “real issues” like selling the country off to the highest bidder.


              1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                Here’s a question for Biden’s former intern the debate moderator to ask Joe:

                “When you stand to salute the flag, how do you know which flag to pick?”

              2. Aumua

                Like I said, right wingers will try and blow this up to be the most important thing and the biggest bombshell ever dropped, that can only be interpreted as disqualifying for Biden. Treasonous no less. It hits all the same beats as Russiagate, because it’s their revenge or whatever for all that b.s.

      4. Josef K

        “If we do live in a democracy and are charged as voters with making an informed choice then surely we have a right to know relevant things about the people we are voting for.”

        Please remind me what office Hunter Biden is running for this year. Thanks.

        Imagine if “we” had had access to the hard drives, never mind the turgid drives, of any and all of Trump’s family members in 2016, or this year for that matter. Imagine the light that could be thrown on Trump himself!

    1. John Anthony La Pietra

      Thanks to this link, I found a month-old RT report on Snowden’s refuting a CNN story that he’d agreed to give the US government millions in royalties from his book:

      What caught my eye about that report was this sentence in it: “The US has been demanding his extradition on charges of violating the Espionage Age.”

  16. The Rev Kev

    “How the Soviets accidentally discovered the ‘Gates of Hell”

    A remarkable site that. Wander too close to the edge though and you may find yourself needing a few coins to pay the Ferryman with.

  17. NVL

    Regarding the WaPo article about the new CDC definition, this is what I’ve thought for
    a long time: How else did the employees at the Trader Joe groceries in New York fall ill? And in sufficient
    numbers, requiring the closing of a couple of the stores for a week or longer.

    Additionally: We need to reexamine the NYC subway situation, with the many unmasked talkers… I leave cars for another car, only to again need to… logic, of course, being to lessen the exposure time. And never mind the precautions the MTA is taking with air cleaning and filtering; subsequent to reading the NYT description I feel uneasy rather than reassured.

    1. Keith

      Here is a question I have about masks and beards. Back in my younger years as a Marine, security guard and cop, we could not have any facial hair, sans a very well maintained mustache, due to the issue of it breaking/preventing a seal on a gas mask. While the pieces of clothe we put on our faces are in no way a gas mask, don’t these beards prevent a seal that stops an aerosol transmission?

      As an anecdotal aside, I thought with colder weather, masks would be more common and easier to keep on. I was wrong, with the stores putting their heaters on and wearing layered clothing, wearing a mask is even harder than before. Could make transmission much easy, if clothe masks are indeed beneficial (taking into account the homemade kitted stuff or not wearing the mask properly, at least).

      1. Oh

        I agree with you but these masks will never seal like a gas mask or a respirator whether or not you have a beard! I think it’s better to maintain double the social distance, be upstream and avoid any crowded or ill ventilated places.

    2. Harold

      The subway cars need to have open windows. I don’t know why they don’t. But it is not clear that the MTA workers became ill while actually riding the subways as passenger. It is my impression that no one has, as yet.

  18. GroundZeroAndLovinIt

    I got a weird email from “Team DNC” this morning, asking me to visit “I Will” for information about how to vote and more information if I need help or protection to vote.

    Very infantilized language, wraps by thanking me for being a voter-exclamation-point.

    If this is real, the net effect was to make me angry. I’m an American citizen, and I don’t need a weighted blanket or a robo-Mom email hug to help me get through voting season. Frankly, if this came from a professional DNC comms shop, someone should hang their head in utter embarrassment that this is what passes for communication with the citizenry these days. Not a peep about WHY anyone should vote or WHAT policies are at stake for the nation.

    But I can’t rule out that this is crazy phishing spam either. My mail filter thinks “Team DNC” is junk. ;-p

  19. Polar Donkey

    Saw a post on Facebook this morning about a person’s experience going to emergency room in a smaller city in Tennessee, Cookeville. That area like most of Tennessee outside of major metros of Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga and Knoxville have seen covid rates rising quickly. Plus, several rural hospitals have closed in the state. Emergency room In Cookeville was overflowing. Hospital has no more beds for covid patients. Governor Lee was in quarantine because one of his Security members got covid. Lee still resisting a mask mandate.

  20. Chris W

    “In no other area of human knowledge would we seek to be bound by what was known and understood in the latter part of the 18th century.”

    Really? No other areas? None at all?

    How about knowledge of the spirit world and its connection to the material? Has Western inquiry into this area made any progress at all since Goethe – Schopenauer? Does the average American today “know” as much about anything as Ben Franklin and other 18th C renaissance men did in their time? Once upon a time this very blog presented arguments that the back half of the Enlightenment has been a Great Obscuring. Fur Schade!

    Originalism at its most basic is Protestant America’s attempt (with its strong Puritan (as in purify the Church of England of its lingering Catholic influence)) to recreate a concept of good faith without saying so directly. Obviously, it has required quite a few Ptolemaic Epicycles over the years (good luck getting your 1L Con Law profs to explain the Reconstruction Amendment on the same terms as the Philadelphia Convention) but that doesn’t mean it’s invalid. It’s not even clear that “living constitution” theorists like Erwin can escape the gravity of originalism AS all of their arguments are rooted in “what they really meant” logic.

    Sorry to be such a crank but American intellectuals of all kinds are playing with fire when they openly flirt with “its time to abandon the Constitution.” The power and status of our elites and their lackeys (let’s face it, people like you and me) is predicated on the existing order, well, existing. Obviously this blog loves animals but do we really want to open the door to Jungle Rules? How did all that death in the French and Russian Revolutions improve or “progress” the human condition?

      1. Chris W

        Point well taken. Many silver linings in Enlightenment Era. Just look at Florida and Australia! Wild stuff.

      2. Bruno

        “We got…the only ice ax assassination i’m aware of, out of the Russian one.”
        You mean the *Counterrevolution*, not the victim (the Revolution), don’t you?

    1. shtove

      Perhaps we already have returned to the jungle, in the sense that our consciousness is wholly devoted to adapting to an environment. Originalism might be just an example of adaptation.

    2. Bruno

      When you talk about “all that death” in the Russian Revolution (all of which was consequent on the White Guard and Imperialist Intervention Counter-revolution) you really shouldn’t forget that “all that death” was but a small fraction of all the deaths consequent on the Great Imperialist War whose end was the primary purpose of the revolution.

      1. Chris W

        Fine, how about Russian Revolution and its consequences (the purges, the famines, the nuclear waste, and even the 90s collapse in living standards)? The point wasn’t about death per se only to question the assumption that the post 1800 trajectory of civilization has lead to any real gains.

        Spengler called the Enlightenment era the Faustian Age for a reason. Who are the “heroes” and what are the main myths of this age? Frankenstein. Dracula. Alexander Hamilton. The Titanic. Jurassic Park. All these stories are about a deal with the devil within us – pretending that the bill won’t come due. That you can get something for nothing. That you can ignore the laws of metaphysics (downgraded in our time to just physics). Once upon a time it was common knowledge that the Devil always gets his due. We lost that.

        1. D. Fuller

          Read the Bible, the greatest promoter of Satan. It is a wonder that I did not end up a Satanist while attending church. Other than that, God does some pretty horrific stuff. Inspirational, even.

          Frankenstein? Beware hubris, etc.

          Dracula? Not an original. Plenty of folklore and stories before that.

          The Devil always gets his due? We did not lose that.

          The Devil is getting his due. Just that most are desperate to avoid responsibility.

          1. jr

            If you are an atheist, you are far closer to many Satanists than you may think. Many are atheists in fact, they see Baphomet as a symbol of the power of the human over notions of divinity, IIRC. There are physicalist Magicians for that matter.

            God does do horrific things, to be sure, but it is perhaps consoling that God is there every step of the way with every single thing that is suffering. Suffering. When I try to figure out why Anything would put Itself, and us, through all of this I can only imagine some sort of Necessity to achieve a particular End. Or perhaps it was a Jump in the Dark from sheer Boredom.

            1. Aumua

              Yes, in general Satanism is atheism so to speak. It’s having a little fun with atheism, at any rate.

              1. jr

                Agreed. Interestingly, the one actual worshipper of Baphomet I knew would be quite displeased to be linked to Satan. Or atheists for that matter.

        2. Darthbobber

          Looks like an utterly arbitrary list of main myths and heroes.
          With sufficient selectivity one can demonstrate anything.

          1. Chris W

            The common theme to all of those stories is the idea that you can cheat nature.

            Dracula, in his older pre-Stoker forms was a classic Faustian figure – the medieval learned man who is willing to bargain with the Devil for knowledge and pays a price.

            Frankenstein, very similar, altho here we start moving away from deals with the Devil per-se and instead have deal with a more secular villain, nature itself.

            Alexander Hamilton, genius financier and father of US treasury invented credit financing, the Mammon cult whose end game is outlined Donella Meadows’ Limits to Growth.

            Titanic and Jurassic Park are just the 20th Century pop culture versions of these same tales. These movies aren’t modern classics because of their surprise endings – everyone knew the ship sinks and the raptors run amuck – they’re classics because we know deep down that they convey a truth beyond the mere plot.

            1. Fwe'zy

              The fictional characters fit your narrative. Facts notsomuch:

              Fine, how about Russian Revolution and its consequences (the purges, the famines, the nuclear waste, and even the 90s collapse in living standards)? The point wasn’t about death per se only to question the assumption that the post 1800 trajectory of civilization has lead to any real gains.

              Nuclear waste lmao. Fukushima hello? 90s collapse in living standards is laid at the door of liberals like you,, decrying the lack of “Real gains” … do you Even Know what the revolution overthrew? Stick with Marvel maybe.

              1. Chris W

                I think you’re being a little obtuse, no? The point is simply that the Russian Revolution was but one of many post-Enlightenment social trends that involved Western Man thinking they could control nature (or the gods, or the devil, or karma, whatever you prefer) followed by all hell breaking lose.

                And yes, to the extent that the word liberal still means anything to me its an old school anglo-american love for tolerating difference and free debate. No need to shame and name call!

                1. Harold

                  Norman Cohn’s The Pursuit of the Millennium shows that this theme — of the failed millennium (Utopia), goes back almost as long as civilization.
                  In theology, the idea that attempts to improve of the human condition by means of human reason fell under the rubric of the Pelagian Heresy — or, denial of original sin.

                  1. Chris W

                    I have not read Cohn but the theme or versions of it appear in a few places. My sense is that the millennial fervor appears in cycles, probably preceding the growth rate inflection point during any given civilization’s life cycle (after which the mood turns more go apocalyptic).

                    The Pelagian Hersey is interesting because it teases the issue as to whether human nature is fixed thing or whether it can change (and to what degree). In evolutionary terms I think it’s safe to say there was a point when human evolution went from being driven by an arms race (if you will) to gain mastery over the environment (“creation”) to being driven by mastery over other humans. This inflection “point” (which in actuality was a mushy phase of transition probably lasting several hundred thousand years) is, to me, the “apple bite” moment. Original sin is the fact that we are being selected for our ability to live in a human world and thus have an incentive to game each other rather than cooperate. Thus “the Word” was good until it wasn’t.

          1. Chris W

            all matter and energy are finite, this is the “mean” of the ying yang symbol.

            that all actions are met by an equal an opposite reaction, this is the wave of the ying yang. The thermodynamic.

    3. a different chris

      >How about knowledge of the spirit world and its connection to the material?

      Uh.. I think the fact that even in the US the number of atheists is growing rapidly kind of implies that people have thought about “the spirit world” and come to some pretty hard conclusions….

      1. Chris W

        I have never once in my life met a happy, healthy, or in any way attractive atheist (not believing in the one god of the Hebrews does not equal atheism. There are quite a few spiritual entities in between 0 and infinite). To the extent that anyone outside of the demographic that is 60+ year old British intellectuals bothers signifying themselves with such a label, I view it as a cry for help and a shadow yearning for more. Even as unromantic a people as the modern Chinese believe they can imbue their bodies with positive energy by consuming grounded up animals (at least it’s an ethos!)…

          1. Chris W

            or maybe you do? Identifying as an “atheist” in 2020 is about as cringe as putting a Bernie sticker on your car after his pathetic bending of the knee to Clinton. Objectively speaking, a true atheist (should you ever find one rather than a mental sophomore desperate for group assimilation) is taking a position that is just as unfalsifiable and extreme as those asserting that there is only The One God. Again, much space between those two poles.


            1. a different chris

              I am happy, healthy, and attractive.

              > Identifying as an “atheist” in 2020 is about as cringe

              Not at all. Our numbers are swelling, but you just want to ignore that… you aren’t real fact-based, are you?

              >should you ever find one

              You did. Do you really want to take me on? I’d advise against it, but maybe you can pray about it and see if you get an answer. Hint: you won’t.

              And FU for your insults. I don’t insult religious people. My freaking second cousin was a freaking Archbishop and a nice guy.

              Something you should work on.

              PS: the flying Spagetti monster is “unfalsifiable”. You need to stop messing with these concepts, it’s like watching a toddler with a sharp knife.

              1. Chris W

                Star Trek conventions are still quite popular but that doesn’t make them any less cringe.

                I mean good faith atheists not political atheists. Obviously we all seek groups and adopt whatever styles are necessary to do so. But people who, in their heart of hearts, truly believe that the universe is nothing more than statistical noise and that there is no order whatsoever are as rare as unicorns (as are their hard monotheist counterparts). The default status of human perception is closer to Hinduism/Shinto – we see the spirit world all around us as children and it is only the iron fist of rationalism (whether its monotheistic or atheist strains) that stomps it out of us as soon as we enter the school system.

                You, for example, are not arguing as a good faith atheist would be expected to argue (unless you mean to imply that not believing in monotheism = atheism?). The accusation that I was trying to insult you betrays a belief in a spirit. I may have been cheeky as a result of your reply but I was not trying to insult you (your subjective feelings of “being insulted” aside). You inferred my intent based on your perception of something that is by definition not observable.

                This gets me back to the point I was trying to make which is that for all the post-Enlightenment fact collecting that has occurred since the 18 C, we still know very little about the nature of the spirit world other than that it exists and is spooky. Pure atheists and monotheists alike would do well to humble themselves and admit they their positions are no more privileged and just as much leaps of faith as anyone else’s.

                1. nippersdad

                  Re: “…leaps of faith….”

                  In what universe is the admission that one is simply a collection of infinitely recyclable atoms within a closed ecosystem that is, itself, a part of a larger whole a leap of faith? That is an observable fact.

                  I am perfectly happy as I am, and my Wife and acquaintance appear to find me attractive enough to put up with. I may not be physically healthy, but it is not because I am an atheist, it is because I have smoked a pack and a half of cigarettes a day and have been an anorexic for forty years. Again, perfectly observable facts.

                  “It is better to look marvellous than to feel marvellous” has been my mantra for decades, and it has caught up to me; no spiritual dimensions are necessary to explain my ill health.

                  Your criteria and examples appear flawed to me. The grinding up and consumption of the wildllife does not appear to give the Chinese positive energy, it gives them Covid and rabies as nature intended. One need not be a 60+ year old British intellectual to say one is an atheist without the cringe factor when a 50+ year old who lives across the railroad tracks from the sticks surrounded by born-agains can routinely say so without comment.

                  The fashionable pantheon of spiritual guides is every bit as “cringe” as the Catholic church is to an atheist like myself; not at all. You are speaking your own reality, as they do, and that is what makes humanity interesting. That you feel the need to belittle huge chunks of it is key to where the actual problem lies. When you get your world view straight it may be less derogatory of others than it presently is.

                  You don’t have to agree with either monotheists or atheists, but you do have to humbly admit the observable fact that they exist in large numbers and create their own realities as a result.

                  1. Chris W

                    Trying again as it appears my first response was not approved. My apologies to the moderator if that last attempt was out of line.

                    “In what universe is the admission that one is simply a collection of infinitely recyclable atoms within a closed ecosystem that is, itself, a part of a larger whole a leap of faith? That is an observable fact.”

                    – In this universe. There are no living entities in this universe that have observed the conceptual model called “the atom” because such things are by definition not observable. Their existence was initially deduced by the greeks and later inferred during the golden age of Enlightenment physics. No one has ever observed one directly, and, has Heisenberg pointed out, no one ever could. Your faith in the pronouncements of the secular priests of our time is as much a leap of faith as a medieval catholic’s faith in the local exorcist’s ability to locate and cast out demons.

                    “That you feel the need to belittle huge chunks of it is key to where the actual problem lies. When you get your world view straight it may be less derogatory of others than it presently is.”

                    – I may be belittling those who ignore what’s in front of them but only because I remain optimistic that they still see. Between the two of us, only you are calling another human being a “problem.” This insinuation aside, I find atheism and atheists as fascinating as nihilists because how do you actively believe in a negative? I have never been able to wrap my head around it but that doesn’t rule out the possibility that it’s a thing. For that matter, how, exactly, is my world view not “straight”? Are you saying I am seeing things incorrectly? That there is some common, universal world view and that I didn’t get the memo? And how would you know given that the only authority you can appeal to is what other people have said/observed?

                    For the record, I too struggle with smoking and maintaining a healthy appetite. My belief in the spirit world doesn’t mean I believe it is good. There is a sickness to the land and its people that is palpable. That cancer is the disease of our time is not a coincidence.

                    1. Gc54

                      Yikes. Individual atoms have been imaged for years, in various electronic excited states. I showed one such image to my high school chemistry teacher (the same HS that Kamala Harris went to, lol) in 1970.

                    2. Chris W

                      To the above response:

                      “Yikes?” An electron radiograph/image is not an observation. It’s electronic data extrapolated to create an image. Besides, didn’t the teacher who showed you that image explain that to even observe an atom and it’s components is to change its nature. You’re not seeing what an atom looks like without being bombarded with electrons. Heisenberg knew this.

                2. a different chris

                  >The default status of human perception is closer to Hinduism/Shinto – we see the spirit world all around us as children and it is only the iron fist of rationalism

                  You got some data on that? I don’t think you do.

                  >You, for example, are not arguing as a good faith atheist

                  Yeah I am. Your expectations show how blinded you are.

                  >The accusation that I was trying to insult you betrays a belief in a spirit.

                  WTF? Can you try to make some sense, please? I identify as an atheist, you say that is “cringe worthy”, but it isn’t an insult?

                  > we still know very little about the nature of the spirit world other than that it exists

                  No. We do not “know it exists”. What a load of BS you carry around. And yes it smells if you are curious.

                  1. Chris W

                    Are you a mind reader? How can you be so sure I’m bull shitting you? Is there no doubt or inkling that it’s at least possible I am being sincere?

                    The data is what I see in front of me all around every day. I have much of it. As do you. Everything else is just stuff you read on a page, again, with your eyes.

                    There is a distinction between me intending to insult you and you being insulted. My existence insults many people, that does not mean I intended to be born into this world.

                    This distinction is at the heart of what I am getting at. Strongly recommend giving Schopenhauer’s Will and Representation and/or Goethe’s Theory of Colours a close read. They are long sense dead and cannot hurt you.

        1. jr

          Atheism is more than just a philosophical position, it’s also a way of expressing legitimate political views. What reflective person wants to be linked to what they see of modern religious life? Fundamentalism, rank profiteering, patriarchy, sexual abuse, repression…

          When I was an atheist, I had a slightly different definition of what that meant. For me, it didn’t mean I didn’t believe in God. It meant I didn’t care about that question anymore. Philosophically, I was an agnostic but practically I was an atheist. It was also a quick way to establish with others that, while respectful, I would stand my ground for the trend of my beliefs. I had no problem admitting I couldn’t answer the God question but I lived my life as if it didn’t exist. That has changed for me but I don’t see a lot of reasons out there for people to do the same, the offerings suck and alternatives such as my own are less than denigrated…they are considered mere curiosities.

            1. jr

              I’m not familiar with his work, Idealism is all rather new to me still, but I took a quick look at his Wiki entry and saw this first thing:

              “In a letter to Henry Oldenburg, Spinoza wrote: “as to the view of certain people that I identify god with nature (taken as a kind of mass or corporeal matter), they are quite mistaken”.[1] For Spinoza, our universe (cosmos) is a mode under infinite attributes, of which we can perceive two: Thought and Extension. God has infinitely many other attributes which are not present in our world.”

              The phrase “God or Nature“, I suspect, is not asking one or the other, forcing a choice so to speak, but rather stating that you have God, the Will of Schopenhauer, on the one hand and Nature, the collapse of the wave function, the Representation of the Will, on the other. One one hand the (relative) order we know through perception and behind it, all around it, literally behind your head when you look in one direction and not another, the squirming, multisplendifferous Potentiality. I spend a few seconds a day swinging my eyes from side to side chewing over that notion, my field of vision like a flashlight that collapses the Multiplicity into the Particular, trying to peek around the edge of it.

              So I don’t think Spinoza was an atheist and I don’t think that phrase indicates any kind of a conflict or contradiction. If that was where you were headed, sorry if I misinterpreted.

              All of this wonderful discussion has kicked up an odd thought. Assume with me for a moment that Idealism is correct and that we are extensions of a Meta-consciousness. We have a particular relationship, time and space, that allows us to step back and look at Ourself. Is it not possible other relationships exist, different kinds of differentiated consciousnesses? Not just say different like that of a dog’s or a yeast mat or even an extraterrestrial entity but a completely different time and space from our own? We know it’s at least possible from our own example.

              1. Chris W

                To that last hypo, yes! The infinite depth of scale has always had me thinking along these lines. I find the sacrosanct modern physics discovery that “the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate” is simply a bad way of saying the easily deducible cosmological property that scale is always expanding /truncating exponentially. The gap between the sun and Pluto is not so different proportionally as that between the nucleus of an atom and it’s outermost electrons. Similar space exists between whatever subatomic particles that constitute each of those parts. And so on. If there is no floor to smallness, why would there be a ceiling to bigness? There is only jumping to a new scale. Each of these scales is its own “universe” so to speak, presumably with its own set of self organizing forms/matter (what are invisible wave particles to us, might, on a multi subatomic scale, be the equivalent of an atmosphere of liquid gold for some race of know it all crystal based lifeforms, who knows). The form of the intelligences that appear on each scale would be as varied from each other as Steven Wolfram’s cellular autonoma.

    4. Jeremy Grimm

      I think interpreting intent is a little different than “abandon[ing] the Constitution”. I object to the characterization of super-strict constructionist interpretations of original meaning as “originalism”.

      The idea that originalism is like Protestantism is quite a stretch — not unlike likening Protestantism to evangelical literalism. The Constitution was penned in the vulgate. Like all legal documents is intended as a guide which must be interpreted in its application as case law must also be interpreted to fit to the changing times and ways of our people.

      1. Chris W

        I was trying to compare the platonic ideal of originalism to the medieval Catholic notion of good faith (itself a weird vestigal organ in post Reformation common law contracts doctrine). Protestantism has always had weird relationship with the concept of The Truth (however defined) as it grants every individual the right to declare what they really meant. George Washington swore an oath to protect the British Crown same as Henry VIII vowed to be faithful to his wives. Kennedy’s Obergefell decision is often lampooned on the right but it’s logic is perfectly consistent with English speaking tradition for the last 500 years. Original, even.

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          “as it grants every individual the right to declare what they really meant”

          Hey, Luther was in a corner, and the move he made had some long term consequences I doubt he foresaw. He was in a nasty argument with the Pope over indulgences and sola fides. Early on, he called for a church council which was an historically valid way of changing church doctrine, but then he remember Hus. Not interested in becoming part of a weenie roast, he resorted to sola scriptura to trump the Pope with the unforeseen consequence that each individual became an interpreter of the Bible with no clear authority established. Fundamentalism was a short step away.

          Great discussion BTW. Sorry I missed it for the most part. Following Fowler, I tend to see atheism as an important step–but not the final one–in the maturity of “faith” as Fowler conceives that term, i.e. worldview.

    5. hunkerdown

      One of the givens of Western culture/civilization, the one that informs the very core of physical science, is that indirect perspective can approach an “objective” proxy for universal perspective (compare to section 2.6 and 2.6a) and that the qualities of dead perspectives are more amenable (and therefore worthy) of study than those of live ones (cf. Heisenberg uncertainty principle). Dualisms like spirit/matter are not consequences or observations, not merely shibboleths, but taboos, in that they set “Western culture/civilization” apart from an impure animistic residue. The late David Graeber, anthropologist intellectual who nonetheless walked the talk, deconstructs the dynamic here.

      Also, the jungle rules of divide-et-impera were always in the vision of the reactionary Hamiltonian wing of the Framers (“let ambition be tempered by ambition”), and the Pilgrims that came before them, and the present-day state religion of neoclassical economics and neoliberal management. You are, in effect, arguing that there is no alternative, which is begging the question, another assertion of taboo that can be disregarded. What I wish to see destroyed is their ability to exempt themselves from rules they promulgate. I am fully aware that means the erasure of thousands of years of human ingenuity and technical expertise that went into the institution of human domination. Nothing of genuine value would be lost.

      1. Chris W

        Eh, I think you’re talking more about post-Enlightenment Anglo world civilization, not Western Civilization as a whole. During the Apollonian and Judeo-Christian chapters of Western Civ there was widespread social recognition that there was no meaningful distinction between matter and spirit. The Enlightenment tabboo-ification of the spirit world and its “animistic residue” is a byproduct of the its wider political project, the technocratic idea that you can control human nature just like every other aspect of nature if only you use this or that control mechanism. As far as I’m concerned, the hallmark of wider Western Civilization, perhaps sunsetting as Spengler posited, is that the West has historically allowed individuals who had the ability to see into the spirit world to thrive, or at least reproduce. This is in contrast to the East, which, the closer to China you get, the less individualistic society becomes. There is a case to make that Han culture stamps out (kills) anyone who steps out of line. No more spark. No more magic. Of course we can no longer talk about of these distinctions because then you’re a racist and therefore must be weeded out…

        I am not arguing that there is no alternative. I am arguing that originalism should not be dismissed simply because the Constitution was written in the 17th Century. The 17th C has a lot to teach us in terms of living well, which would be great alternative to how we live now (i.e. poorly). I sincerely doubt that my ancestors from the 1700s would look at my bug-like existence and say, hey I want that. In fact, I know they wouldn’t because I myself don’t like living this way.

        Like many of my cohort I would simply rather go extinct than to raise children in the panopticon/zoo we call America 2020. This is the real driver of American Hikikomori and the Case-Deaton report, the view, rationally based, that our society is now only selecting for dogs and that the wolves/foxes/coyotes amongst us are being eradicated. There is no alternative is the final cry of the spiritually suicidal. It is no coincidence that the utterer of that wretched phrase came from England, a nation that openly hates its young people and the spirit of youth in general.

        1. a different chris

          >widespread social recognition that there was no meaningful distinction between matter and spirit.

          Uh, in that sentence you meant to spell “recognition” as b-e-l-i-e-f, didn’t you? Sigh, guess not from your other ramblings.

          > I am arguing that originalism should not be dismissed simply because the Constitution was written in the 17th Century.

          Nobody is saying that. They are saying originalism should be dismissed for like a 100 specific reasons that you do not want to engage with.

          And you know what your ancestors would think. Oh god “the past is a different country” has been said by actual people who’ve thought hard about this stuff, but you be you.

          So you believe in some sort of spirit world, so I would suppose an afterlife(?) or at least a Judge, you think this world is so screwed you will not have children, but… you won’t fight?

          Man if I had your beliefs I’d be blowing up buildings right and left. But you somehow chicken out from the very truths, or what you suppose are truths in your mind, tell you to do.

          1. Chris W

            Chris I’m detecting a lot of animosity here which I don’t usually get from other Chris’s. You don’t have to agree with me so why the vitriol. I’m fighting the good fight every way I can. No need to waste a good death on some vainglorious loser crusade (at least not yet). My spirit does not require immediate sexual reproduction to survive only an environment that isn’t choked of life/dynamism.

            I’ve seen myself in many other humans of many “races” as well as dogs, foxes, birds, a couple cats and at least one fish. We are all the time working for a better world.

    6. Massinissa

      So basically: Change is impossible because elites are against it so don’t even try because it might cause a French Revolution style event?

      Um… I find your logic rather specious, to be honest.

      1. Harold

        Both the French and Russian revolutions had some positive as well as negative consequences.

        Yet I doubt not thro’ the ages one increasing purpose runs,
        And the thoughts of men are widen’d with the process of the suns.–
        Tennyson, Locksley Hall

  21. The Rev Kev

    “Revealed: UK Foreign Office has spent nearly half a million pounds in aid setting up anti-government coalition in Venezuela”

    The UK Foreign office should worry. Right now the UK has $1 billion of Venezuela’s gold in their vaults that they are fighting in the Courts to keep. If the UK and the other powers can force Venezuela to accept Greedo as ruler, then the UK will bill Greedo for that half a million pounds plus “expenses” out of that gold. Or maybe they will get him to sell the UK that gold at a discounted price. Ask me sometime what happened to the Ukraine’s gold or Libya’s gold. What is that you say? That that gold belongs to Venezuelan people? To have himself installed in power. I am sure that “President” Greedo would say that that gold is for his personal use on behalf of the country.

  22. Noone from Nowheresville

    Wisconsin certainly is a hot bed. Petition drive to recall Governor Evers. Issues: handling of Kenosha riots, shutting down businesses and schools. 668,327 signatures are needed to trigger a recall election which is about 25% of those who voted in 2018.

  23. km

    The fundamental difference between constitutional originalism and science is that science seeks a better understanding and description of the world, and evolves as that understanding evolves. Moreover, the world is there, whether we look for it or not, whether our understanding of any aspect of that world is correct or not.

    Constitutional originalism seeks an understanding of a fixed text that already exists and is known. No matter how many times you read it, new words will not appear, nor old words disappear unless the text itself is amended. A Constitution is prescriptive, not descriptive, and the only reason that text exists in the first place is because humans wrote it down.

    One can think of it a something like deductive vs inductive reasoning, but it’s the same reason that “appeal to authority” is a legit argument in law and theology, but not in natural science. The laws of physics don’t care if a Supreme Court Justice says that F = 2MA; since the laws of physics are an attempt to explain existing phenomena and that explanation says F = MA. From the perspective of the Constitution, it matters very much what an SC justice says or thinks.

  24. chuck roast

    Re Hunter Biz Partner, NY Post

    Silly me. Either I haven’t been watching closely or I’m not nearly cynical enough. Here I am thinking that the cellah’ dwellah’ was promoting his drug addled kid so that the kid could meet important people and pick up some cash since he clearly could not forage for himself. But, no. The dwellah’ was apparently employing this demonstrably unstable person as his bag-man. This is an order-of-magnitude difference than trying to help your kid out. And why would you disbelieve Hunter’s ex-partner? This truly patriotic American is coming forward only because because it’s the right thing to do…oh, and Hunter’s e-mails put the kibosh on him. Besides the little prick screwed him over on side deals.

    Anyway, more evidence, if any were needed that the dwellah’ is extremely skilled at failing upwards and making the absolutely wrong choice every single time. Now I know why he was so crushed at Beau’s death. Beau gave all appearances of being capable of carrying off this lucrative grift with aplomb. We are well and truly screwed.

    1. Wukchumni

      ‘Okay here’s the deal, Beau is still dead’

      Not since Generalissimo Franco has somebody expired been mentioned so often, posthaste.

        1. Quentin

          Biden seems not to recognise that many millions of men and women around the world have lost a child at a relatively early age from one sickness or another. And then there are those whose children, parents, neighbours were blown to smithereens courtesy of his administration and the rest of the US power structure. The man is a feelingless dummy. The classic saying that the voters get who they deserve has taken on a whole new dimension: so they get either Trump or Biden—how discouraging can it get?—much more, I fear.

      1. jr

        I offered the Biden campaign to try to raise Beau from the dead (“Bring Back Beau! Corruption free!!”) but silence….

  25. Wukchumni

    Nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, Three Rivers is the last stop on two-lane Highway 198 before the southern entrance to Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks. It’s a quaint place. Vintage motels, highway diners, and art boutiques pepper the forested road. The occasional Best Western or Comfort Inn pops up now and again.

    Here, in this historically white census-designated place, too small even to be incorporated as a town, a brewer is redefining multicultural dining so his beer hall can survive the Covid-19 pandemic.

    In March, when Tulare County health officials mandated that bars close to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Matt McWilliams, owner of Three Rivers Brewing Co., thought of a creative and safe solution to stay open. Invite food trucks to the brewery’s back patio.

    Serving food was a requirement to keep operating, public health officials told McWilliams. Although his pub did not have a kitchen, it sported a successful track record hosting food trucks on holiday weekends when big crowds came from the national parks six miles away.

    “Everybody’s happy when they have food and beer,” McWilliams observed.

    Once a dirt lot, McWilliams transformed the patio behind his brewery into a trendy, socially distant outdoor dining area. Replete with teak patio furniture and ambient string lighting, the patio makes for enjoyable beer sipping while gazing into the woods and listening to the Kaweah River trickle by.

    And now customers can bite into a riquísima pupusa, too, if they desire a savory snack with their pint. The savory, cheese-filled griddle cakes come courtesy of Pupusas La Sabrosa, a food truck owned by husband-and-wife team Jose Duarte and Carmen Hernandez.

    1. Lee

      My son wants to combine his widely varied skill set that includes but is not limited to welding, wiring, and gourmet cooking to build and operate his own food truck. Here in the SF bay area there is a wide array of delectables to be had from food trucks.

  26. ProNewerDeal

    Given Maine has implemented ranked choice voting (RCV) for Federal offices, I feel perhaps those of us in other states should feel even more resolute in insisting on “litmus tests” as a precondition for voting for a candidate, such as MedicareForAll.

    If the Corporate Ds like Michelle 0bama want to voter-shame me for “wasting a vote on a protest candidate”, I will retort it is on them to implement RCV ASAP.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      I’m really interested to see how Savage does in the Senate race this year given the RCV. I was going to vote for her anyway for the reasons I normally vote for a lefty independent or 3rd party candidate – out of spite whether I know anything about the candidate or not. But I did watch some of the ME senate debate and read a piece about her in the Press Herald and she is really a good candidate – very knowledgeable on the issues, well spoken with very good, actually progressive, solutions. And it turns out she’s a former coworker of a schoolteacher friend of ours and the friend speaks very highly of Savage, so now I will be very gladly voting for her.

      Interested to see if Gideon/Collins has turned enough people off to vote 3rd party as a first choice, with the less spiteful listing Tweedledee/Teedledum 2nd. I informed the Act Blue person who showed up on my porch a few days ago that I would not be voting for anyone with a D or R after their name for any race, and she looked rather shocked when her suggestion that I rank Gideon second was met with a very definitive ‘No.’

      1. chuck roast

        I cast an absentee with Savage at the top and ignored T & T. My wife, liberal media spouting to the core, voted for Savage and Gideon #2. You will recall that it was the Dems in Augusta that really hated RCV and resisted it until the bitter end. This race will go to a second count with Savage scaring the bejeezuz out of them all.

  27. Mikel

    Re: Philisophy /ACB

    “In no other area of human knowledge would we seek to be bound by what was known and understood in the latter part of the 18th century….”

    Getting out of the 19th Century is challenging enough!

  28. Chris

    I thought this was an interesting article in Slate.

    We’ve talked about pods in our area too. Especially if distance learning becomes the de facto reality for the entire school year. I admire that the people involved wanted to try to include other parents in their decisions. I like that the school pretty much kept out of it. We’ve had people around where I live insist that the school set standards for what parents are allowed to do during this time but fortunately those requests weren’t followed up on. It really seems like the people who say they believe in things like diversity will have to admit the failure of their policies if they want to make things better. Or else they’ll have to accept that all their virtue signaling was a farce. I’m OK with either result.

  29. remmer

    Is the Traditional ACLU View of Speech Still Viable? Ira Glasser Speaks Out.

    Glasser says several times in this interview that people don’t know history. But he and Greenwald leave out one of the most important cases in ACLU’s history — Buckley v. Valeo (1976). NCers may remember that Justice Elena Kagan made a big splash in 2018 by saying in a dissent that conservatives had “weaponized” the First Amendment. She was right, and it was the ACLU that made that weaponization possible 44 years ago by convincing the Buckley Court to rule that money is speech. That is still a big part of “the traditional ACLU view of speech.” Like most progressives, I like most of what the ACLU has done in protecting the powerless against the powerful. But by arguing that money is speech he was defending the rich against the rest of us, and the Buckley decision has been eating away at our political system ever since. There would have been no Citizens United without Buckley as a precedent.

  30. Winston Smith

    Sackler’s are getting off lightly. They took more than 13billion out of the company and the company is bankrupt…there will perhaps be 1 billion left

  31. David

    I wouldn’t want people to take the France24 article on the beheading too seriously. It’s not representative of the French media – indeed, I made a point of checking this morning and every daily newspaper, from extreme Right to extreme Left is solidly behind the government.

    Very briefly, the story mixes up three issues. Yes, dissolving Islamist groups is not easy because they could in practice covertly reform. But the comparison with extreme right-wing fringes groups is misguided: the Islamist organisations are large, public, high-profile and lavishly funded. It would take some time to reform them. Second, yes, there is a potential legal difficulty in closing them down – such has been the growth of human rights law in France (and even more in the EU) that well-funded organisations like these, who can afford the best lawyers, will probably try to fight the closure all the way to Strasbourg. So third, the “rule of law” is not the issue: indeed, the government is likely to be hobbled in its efforts to re-establish it, so that unelected religious extremists no longer control aspects of daily life for millions of French people.

    And these organisations deserve no sympathy. They are not “watchdogs” or charities: they are fronts for the Muslim Brotherhood and others, seeking to impose a fundamentalist version of Islam on their communities by exploiting the weaknesses of an open society . This is why a whole string of Imams and Muslim intellectuals have come out strongly in favour of the government. As a number of exiles have said, they came to France to get away from those fanatics in the first place.

  32. Eustache de Saint Pierre

    Dr. Mobeen Syed analysing 2 trials from Germany & Malaysia on various mouthwashes that assess their ability to kill Covid-19 through gargling.

    Dequonal, ISO Betadine & Listerine Cool Mint were 3 with very positive results in reducing the viral load.

    Papers beneath the video.

  33. a different chris

    I love, love these articles. No you don’t have to read it, it is as stupid as it sounds, but they keep popping up:

    Basically “this guy does things for me but he has a big weakness in a subject I don’t care about so I will tell him how to paste over it so he can keep his job”.

    The problem is, of course, that you don’t get to be POTUS or Senator or whatever whatever without having pretty strong opinions. Why these people think that Trump (or whoever) says what he says, and not what they so carefully advise him to say, is anything but because he freaking believes what he says is amazing.

    They want that particular position, they can run for President.

  34. JWP

    Welp it was a good run at the ol university. 2 parties and a a few dinner gatherings have infected 2% of the school in a week. The school is frantically trying to find more hotels to quarantine students in, which won’t we hard because those hotels NEED the $. Students are starting to make plans to head home if it doesnt improve (it won’t) and everyone is pretty much caught with their hands in their pants because tuition is already paid. The reaction from everyone…. “F**k it, this was bound to happen and we are screwed anyways. The cynicism runs DEEP for the college kids about now.

    I’m sitting at home taking a minor vistory lap for not subjecting myself to it, but also realizing the rest of the school year is going to be a sh*tshow thats even greater than the first half, of which, 70% was emailing teachers about how technical difficulties popped up ever 2 minutes.

  35. ewmayer

    “Airbnb brings in Jony Ive to oversee redesign | FT” — Wait, don’t tell me, let me guess: apartments with rounded corners – patent pending – and all electronics have to be plugged into a nonstandard central breaker panel via custom, very expensive Airbnb-provided extension cords because the walls lack standard outlet plugs. What do I win?

  36. Maritimer

    Canada Releases A List Of Commonly Used Plastic Items That Will Be Banned In 2021Bored Panda
    Trudeau and his Ministry of Meaningless Gestures are experts at churning out these minimal changes. Masters of the touchy-feely and airy-fairy. Meanwhile, the Stupormarkets, Big Box Stores and Amazons spew out endless reams of needless packaging and useless consumer goods.

    Woe Canada—remember the Tar Sands!

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