Links 10/27/2020

Wolf researcher’s new book explores predators, prey on Isle Royale Star Tribune (Chuck L)

Environmentalists worry about potentially devastating oil spill South African (David L) :-(

Murder hornet’ nest vacuumed out of tree in Washington Reuters (resilc)

Wish I were there: the glory of California’s redwoods Financial Times (David L)

Record rain and flash flooding lash Australia’s east coast – video Guardian

The Explosive Problem of ‘Zombie’ Batteries BBC

Poliisi voimaton ylinopeutta kulkeneen kauko-ohjattavan auton kanssa – ylikomisario: “Ainutlaatuinen tapaus” Uutiset. PJH:

In Hamina, Finland, two weeks ago an RC-car was caught on a speed trap. Its operator played with it apparently sometime during the night on a public road, where a maximum speed of 60 km/h is allowed. The RC drove 70 km/h, which is why the camera caught it. In this news item the police states that it has no way of fining the speeding driver, but they hope it is the last time this happens since a public road is not for playing.

How an Algorithm Blocked Kidney Transplants to Black Patients Wired

After Insurance Won’t Cover It, Mechanical Engineer Builds Own Prosthetic Hand (and an Impact Driver Attachment!) Core77 (resilc)

Humanity is stuck in short-term thinking. Here’s how we escape. MIT Technology Review (David L)

The true dangers of AI are closer than we think MIT Technology Review

After the Digital Tornado Cambridge University (Chuck L)

Study Shows We Might Be Thinking About Joint Injuries in The Wrong Way Science Alert (David L)

The Science of Nerdiness Scientific American (David L)


How Covid-Safe Is Dining in a Restaurant’s Outdoor Tent? Wall Street Journal


Broadly-targeted autoreactivity is common in severe SARS-CoV-2 Infection MedRxiv. Pre-print. Not good if findings hold up.

AstraZeneca-Oxford Covid Vaccine Produces Immune Response in Older Adults Bloomberg (furzy)

NIH Halts Study Exploring Treating Covid-19 With Lilly Antibody, Remdesivir Wall Street Journal


Coronavirus updates LIVE: Home visits for Victorians allowed as zero cases recorded again; two new cases in NSW; NSW free to travel to Tasmania without quarantine; Australian death toll stands at 905 The Age (witters)


Covid: Protests erupt across Italy over anti-virus measures BBC. Hoo boy.


The Right Made Trump the Herbert Hoover of the Coronavirus New York Times

It’s Time for the Movie Studios to Step In To Save the Movie Theaters 500ish


US ratchets up China overflights: report Asia Times (Kevin W)

China’s industrial profit growth slows as factory-gate deflation weighs Reuters


Key Brexit Software Won’t Be Ready on Time, Developers Warn Bloomberg

New Cold War

Russia knocking Turkish drones from Armenian skies Asia Times (Kevin W)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

CBP Refuses To Tell Congress How It’s Tracking Americans Without a Warrant Vice

Trump Transition

The Enemies Briefcase Andrew Cockburn, Harper’s (resilc). Important.

All the president’s debts: to whom Donald Trump owes money Financial Times (Scott). Help me. Acknowledges that Trump is underlevered by real estate standards. And creditors are falling all over themselves to lend thanks to super low rates.

Administration Rushes Out Guidelines for Ending Civil Service Protections Defense One (resilc)

Supreme Struggle

GOP Senate confirms Trump Supreme Court pick to succeed Ginsburg The Hill

Clarence Thomas will swear in Amy Coney Barrett at White House as soon as she is confirmed to the Supreme Court by Senate tonight – with ‘large’ guest list similar to infamous superspreader Rose Garden event Daily Mail (Kevin W)

Amy Coney Barrett, About to Be Confirmed to the Supreme Court, Sees a Scenario in Which Abortion Should Be Punishable by Death Vanity Fair (Dr. Kevin)

The 6-3, 5-4 Supreme Court Ian Welsh. Not to be Pollyannish, but a conservative buddy with a good radar predicts Kaganaugh would uphold Roe v. Wade.


Bernie, Summer Lee & UE Rally Skeptics for Biden in Western PA Mike Elk

In Election Hail Mary, Jared Kushner Tells Black People They’re Lazy and Unambitious Vanity Fair (Dr. Kevin)

No Bumper Crop in 2020 Peter Dorman, Econospeak

The Simpleton Manifesto Persuasion (resilc)

Renewable Energy and the Fallacy of the Red/Blue Divide The Politics of Power (resilc)

Abolishing the Electoral College May Not Save Us Vice (resilc). *Sigh* “What about ‘Constitutional amendment’ don’t you understand?”

More Americans are saying immigration is good for the country Gallup via Barry Ritholtz

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Portland Reckons With Police Attacks on Protesters After Months of Unrest Intercept. Important. See the video reconstructions.

Calpers Seeks Five-Year Commitment From Next Investment Chief Bloomberg (Kevin W)

Pakistan’s PM Asks Facebook To Ban Islamophobic Content Reuters

Facebook to move into cloud-based gaming Financial Times (Kevin W)

Facebook Steps Into Cloud Gaming — and Another Feud With Apple TechCrunch

The Data of Long-lived Institutions Blog of the Long Now (resilc)

Trans-Universal Zombie Church of the Blissful Ringing Wikipedia. Resilc: “My peeps.”

Class Warfare

The Trump administration’s proposed independent contractor rule would cost workers at least $3.7 billion annually in lost pay and benefits Economic Policy Institute

Antidote du jour. Heresy101:

This photo reminds me of Edward Hoagland’s great essay on the bears of New Jersey, gorging themselves on apples to the point of drunkenness, before, like figures in Breugel’s painting, passing out on car hoods in the parking lot of a shopping mall near the orchards…It’s also photographic proof of the reincarnation of Alexander Cockburn.

And a bonus (John C):

Thai Buddhist monk: I …..will…..keep….. praying…. from r/aww

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. fresno dan

    Its a Buddhist monk…its a cat gymboree.
    Monday night is wheel the garbage bins to the street. So my neighbor’s orange tabby spots me, and invites herself in. After twenty minutes of nuzzling and demanding petting, as usual she inspects the premises and is than ready to go back out into the wild. Apparently no hard feelings after I made her give up a back yard lizard. I was amazed that she could catch one of those things.

    1. rowlf

      There is a forest monk in Michigan who said when he was in Northern Thailand snakes made a distinctive sound as they traveled across the platforms the monks would sit on to meditate and pray. He would also mention some extreme meditation challenges monks did, like all night in a graveyard or in the forest.

      At our local temple little kids get rambunctious and tend to run around during prayers. The families tr to calm them down but they’re small kids. They are useful for gathering the water contaimers.

      1. ewmayer

        “They are useful for gathering the water containers.” — One of my favorite Chinese/EAsian sayings is “three monks can carry no water”, which is apparently their analog of the western “too many cooks spoil the broth”. The Chinese colleague who told me that one said to picture two young monk-trainees carrying a heavy filled water vessel hanging from a long pole slung between them up a narrow hillside trail back to their temple … add a third monk, they start arguing about taking turns holding one end of the carrying pole, the non-carrying monk gets in the way of the other two, etc.

  2. anon

    More Americans are saying immigration is good for the country

    Does Gallup separate legal vs illegal immigration?

    1. Arizona Slim

      Doesn’t look like they did. If they reframed the question, I think the answer would be:

      Illegal immigration bad
      Legal immigration good

        1. deplorado

          If you are talking about legal immigration via H-1B for tech workers, which is heavily concentrated in specific geographic and economic areas, as a legal immigrant, I am against the way it is practiced – which means I am against it.

          But now, H-1B for scholars — I am for it.

          As a legal immigrant, I am also for helping those countries who send a lot of undocumented immigrants into the US support their own people better so they don’t emigrate for economic and social reasons. That has to be part of US “immigration policy”. And I am FOR treating those undocumented immigrants already in the US like human beings and giving them a path to a documented status and citizenship, if they want it. Stopping the “illegals” at the border is already a sign of a huge and disgusting policy failure, only made worse by treating them poorly and vilifying them once in the US.

          The immigration debate, like anything else in US politics and this poll, is so stunted that it has no hope – more accurately, no intent – to account for these nuances.

          1. TMoney

            As someone who came on a student visa and got a green card via marriage, I know I am VERY lucky. I don’t think the US is full or close to it. Working class Americans might well disagree because they are competing against undocumented people for low paying jobs – and losing. I would resent that.

            H1-B’s of all kinds are indentured servitude – you can’t change jobs without finding a new sponser. Illegal immigrants are the new slaves – exploitable because they can’t complain about their working conditions. They are used to keep wages down and prevent finding the market price of legal labor with legal working conditions. Ag workers, meat packers wages would be much higher without this pool of 10 million people who can’t enforce their rights. The solution is to confiscate profits from companies that employ illegal labor or who use 3rd party cutouts to get the same workers with “clean hands”.

            Wealthy business interests – “Markets for thee but not for me.”

            1. Oh

              Yes, it’s indentured servitude since employees with H1-B visas work for one of five or six large corporations (mostly all of them India based ones) and therefore they’ll have to immediately return home if their visa is not renewed or extended. They can’t find a new employer on their own because they have to do it within 30 days of leaving the previous employer which is well nigh impossible because the new employer will have sponser their visa.

          2. ex-PFC Chuck

            “s a legal immigrant, I am also for helping those countries who send a lot of undocumented immigrants into the US support their own people better so they don’t emigrate for economic and social reasons. That has to be part of US “immigration policy”.

            It might be enough to just stop the predatory prongs of US foreign policy – financial, agricultural, etc. – that are a root cause of economic emigration in the first place.

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              Even if it wouldn’t be enough, it would be something. Imagine the clean abolition of NAFTA and the total permission to return to status quo ante.

              Imagine Mexico re-protectionising its own agriculture and restoring the economic scope for several million peasant farmer families to once again earn a real living selling their product into a rigidly protectionised market.

              Few or no more NAFTAstinian economic exiles would be driven out of Mexico.
              Some of the NAFTAstinian exiles currently living in America might go home upon having something to go home to. Which they currently don’t have. Because of NAFTA.

  3. Henry Moon Pie

    Two articles on by Chris Smaje that advocate a move to small farming in a big way so that 1 in 12 is soon a farmer. Smaje, who was a sociologist before he started farming, is also someone who sees hope for a Left/Right alliance against neoliberalism:

    In this emerging political landscape, conservatives inclined towards the constrained vision are discovering that there’s nothing especially constrained or conservative about corporate capitalism, while those on the left like me, unpersuaded by either corporate capitalism or attempts to tame it with glib left-wing versions of global industrialised plenty, are discovering a need to reappraise the idea of constraint and aspects of conservative politics informed by it. If we’re to bequeath a habitable and abundant planet to our descendants, a key part of that reappraisal involves rethinking the relevance of small farm or ‘peasant’ societies that are often dismissed for their ‘backwardness’ or buried under an unusable legacy of romanticism and nostalgia.

    We’ve seen this kind of thinking in The American Conservative as well as Wendell Berry.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Good luck with communes. Too many freeloaders, no substrate of social organization to build on and sustain. From sad experience and observation.

    1. rl

      hope for a Left/Right alliance against neoliberalism:

      Forgive me. I am wary because no one so far has ever been able to tell me how such an alliance would be brought into effect—in other words, what negotiations are on the table.

      Never trust a man who asks you to sign onto a charter he won’t let you read, or hasn’t even written yet.

      I am an anti-capitalist for ostensibly “conservative” reasons. But one of things that the Right tends to romanticize about “peasant societies” is the (false, but apparently alluring) mythology that those societies’ quaint little villages had no place for people like me—except perhaps the stocks, a cell, or a gibbet.

      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel


        2) Economic Issues only

        POW POW


        Good Riddance to Antifa/Proud Boys!

      2. Henry Moon Pie

        I understand your skepticism, but I’m wondering if we haven’t reached the time when we need to find broad themes that we can unite around and combine that with a whole lot of “live and let live.” Otherwise, I don’t see anything about rural life that makes it inherently intolerant.

        1. rl

          I absolutely agree with you in principle, though I recognize that may not be clear from my comment.

          But rural life is not what draws my skepticism (not even by misguided association). Left/Right alliances are.

          And my question—not critique, nor intended to be one; I voice my doubts only because I like these ideas—is how or on what basis “find broad themes that we can unite around and combine that with a whole lot of ‘live and let live'” is realizable in practice between Left and Right? Which broad themes are, for want of better word, strong enough to persuade anybody to “live and let live” who isn’t prepared to do that already?

          I’m wondering if we haven’t reached the time

          In my opinion, no, we haven’t reached the time. Yet. This doesn’t mean I don’t look for it or presently work to sow the seeds for it in the future.

          1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

            I def agree with u about the timing. Political Alliances take years and decades to emerge.

            I feel like if we talk about it enough we can will it into existence!

            *Fingers Crossed*

    2. amfortas the hippie

      thanks for keeping this sort of thing before us, henry

      however the problem i find in engendering a wendellberryan left/right alliance is the ubiquitous media silos and propaganda operations
      prior to covid and its broader effects, i was well into the germination of such an alliance out here
      lockdown and “fake virus” ended that right quick
      my calm voice can’t compete with the bullhorn the skekses have

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        No question it’s like trying to whisper in a hurricane right now, but I think a time will come when a lot of minds won’t be so much open as devastated and desperately looking for clear, calm voices.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          that’s the critter!
          even better than the Empire, as far as Lucas’ metaphor/allegory goes for our bosses.
          (although Harkonens work pretty well, too)

    3. Buckeye

      Oh how wonderful! We all become peasants again! Because thousands of years of oppressed peasants revolting against their horrible lifestyle just doesn’t register with modern-day utopians on the Left and the Right.

      Or maybe it DOES register, because both sides seem to think that the Majority slaving under the jackboot is “the way it should be.” Even Gandhi praised “the blessings of poverty”.

      The problem is, if you scale down farming (and society) too quickly it leads to massive disorder and suffering.

      If you scale down “slow and steady” that could take 50 to 100 years to achieve the final result. That length of time requires no outside interference and that can only be enforced by totalitarian power.

      Gee, we’ve seen this before in the Dark Ages. The Church, Monarchy, and Aristocracy conspired to reshape society and bring “peace, order and plenty to all peoples”. The 1% owned it all, 10% enforced it, and 90% suffered from it. That’s the way it is NOW!

      No thanks! This is not a solution to our problems. It’s the next step in our return to serfdom, run by neoliberals already.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        It depends on the problem that is the priority. For me, it’s that by 2050 the world will require twice the food it needs now. At the same time, industrial farming practices and suburban land development are destroying the amount of arable land and its quality at a rate unsustainable even in the short term. All of this is in the context of climate change which means that food production requiring large direct or indirect fossil fuel inputs worsens global warming.

        To address all this at once will require much higher levels of human labor for food production/environmental restoration.

        If your primary concern is class structure, I’d urge you to read the Smaje pieces linked because he addresses those issues therein.

        1. Buckeye

          I’m not concerned with class structure. I think class/caste ideas should be legally outlawed.

          I am talking about the physical impossibility of changing society over to a mostly agrarian one. Traditional farming practices cannot provide the food abundance we have now. There WILL be food shortages, and one bad drought leads to famine of one degree or another. And shortages and hunger leads to social violence.

          Also, where do we get all this land to farm? Even if ONLY 50 million Americans go “back to farm” there is not enough arable land for those people. What do we do?
          Tear down forests (like the idiots in the Amazon) or the Great Plains? They did that
          100 years ago and the dust bowl was the result.

          1. Late Introvert

            Tons of available land in yards across the county.

            Iowa could probably grow enough veggies on 1000 acres* to feed the nation. But meat, and soda – way more important.

            *hyperbole, I didn’t do the math, it might be 100,000 or 1,000,000. Iowa has 36 million acres overall.

          2. Lambert Strether

            > I’m not concerned with class structure. I think class/caste ideas should be legally outlawed.

            1) Lol, who enforces the law, then?

            2) What happens to the peasants when the crops fail? Are they on their own?

          1. Henry Moon Pie

            Just one source:

            The environmental challenges posed by agriculture are huge, and they’ll only become more pressing as we try to meet the growing need for food worldwide. We’ll likely have two billion more mouths to feed by mid-century—more than nine billion people. But sheer population growth isn’t the only reason we’ll need more food. The spread of prosperity across the world, especially in China and India, is driving an increased demand for meat, eggs, and dairy, boosting pressure to grow more corn and soybeans to feed more cattle, pigs, and chickens. If these trends continue, the double whammy of population growth and richer diets will require us to roughly double the amount of crops we grow by 2050.

    4. deplorado

      Sounds appealing, but isn’t this wishful thinking, given that
      – most family farms cannot sustain themselves on their own income
      – heavily exploit family members and hired hands without being able to offer a good wage, much less any economic protection or health insurance
      – even the cheapest farms for sale run into the 100s of thousands, while in California are well into the millions
      – real farm labor is backbreaking work, even with mechanization
      – family farms in the last 20 years or so are basically a hobby for the well-to-do

      Don’t have references for all the above claims at hand, but you can confirm them with a search, or by following some scholars on these subjects on twitter.

      We should make sure everyone has access to a good community garden. That should be a policy at the national level. But returning to a society of small farmers and yeoman landholders – that didnt work out even in Jefferson’s times. Nice to dream about though.

      1. Dermot M O Connor

        It is wishful thinking, by first world middle class liberals who’ve never done a day’s manual labour in their entitled lives.

        1. Buckeye

          Middle class Liberals do plenty of hard labor, manual and mental. That’s why we become Liberal in the first place: to end life-destroying labor and “Liberate” humans from the bondage of work.

          If we can’t liberate the world, at least we can liberate ourselves and our families by getting higher salaries and better jobs.

          Conservatives (both Leftist and Rightist) are the ones who do no work other than “ownership” and “control” and eating the bread of others.

          And the “others” having their bread stolen includes us Middle Class Liberals too. We just have some bread left over after Conservatives have stolen their share.

        2. Amfortas the hippie

          good to run across you again, Dermot.

          industrial farming cannot be allowed to continue, if we like having a world to live on, and antibiotics that work.
          the alternative….sans drastic, cheneyan depopulation to the level where huntergatherism is sort of available…is rejiggering the food supply system to where farmers—finally—can make a little bit of jack on what they produce.
          it’s called Parity Pricing, and y’all should look into it.
          there’s no good reason we couldn’t make suburban/exurban farming a thing again, and we—as well as the planet—would be healthier for it.
          no peasantry required…that’s a political thing, due to power relation maintenance, passed off as some holy mountain that cannot be challenged, only appeased.

          I’ve been doing hard work like that for most of my life.
          first, as a middle class kid, as mom’s hobby.
          but it got under my skin, and when my antiauthoritarianism and downright weariness of living among the Mundanes(town and City) finally drove me out here, 25 years ago, i set to work(even harder) trying to build as much autarky into my 20 acres as i could.
          on paper, i’ve been poverty stricken ever since…but i’m far richer than pretty much any one i know.(warm weather, i regularly spend an afternoon following a herd of guinneas around in a pasture in a ranch golf cart, with a splif and a six pack…and wearing a bathrobe…if anything at all. Jaime Demon ain’t got squat by comparison)
          we grow more and more of our own food every year, even with my arthritis….and the only necessary and recurring non-medical and non-internet/tv bills we have are a bit of propane(soon to be remedied), electricity(hopefully to be remedied after that) and the property taxes.
          since july, when dad died and left me a little jack, i’ve rounded out the infrastructure(from fences to chicken plucker to sausage making equipment(electric/fancy and hand/Amish), etc etc) and made a great leap closer to at least food and heat autarky.
          yes…it’s a lot of work…but the hardest work is lessened by forethought and planning and being able to motivate all involved at the appropriate times.
          it’s also the price one pays for being able to pee off the front porch of a morning, and not get your neighbor wet.

          big ag wants us to think that there’s no alternative, but there is.
          similarly, the adjacent pmc wants us to think that there’s only sheetwearing barbarians out here, and that country living is sneerable and silly…but it ain’t.

          1. deplorado

            Amfortas, all due respect and admiration – how many people can get 20 acres for their family? At any price, anywhere?

            How many people can even get a full-fledged family, nowadays?

            Not going to scale. I love it, but will not scale.

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              same way the rich folks got it in the first place, i suppose….by taking it and planting a flag.
              otherwise, we’re talking about model policy, here, no?….Parity pricing for Ag, etc.
              Land reform fits right in with that, if the Mindf&&k can somehow be overcome.
              there’s a lot of land with nobody on it, owned by millionaires…lots of legacy homesteader ranches out my way have been bought up at tax sales by New Oil people out of houston…and they run some cows(poorly) for tax purposes, and have big parties sometimes(and have been hiding out on them since february,lol)…but it’s otherwise empty and poorly managed for wildlife.
              if taxing and zoning authorities (and frelling HOA’s) can dictate land usage to encourage ticky tacky mcmansions and “light industrial” and strip malls…i see no reason why they couldnt do the same for local ag….which is much more important than any of those 3.
              i envision a ring around the urban areas, like Paris in the 1800’s(see: french Intensive, although it relied on abundant horse manure from the city)
              people gotta eat, and right now:1. they ain’t eating well(corn, canola,soy, etc) 2. there ain’t enough jobs and 3. the current set-up is the very definition of “Unsustainable”, ecologically, economically, politically and socially.
              we can ether start thinking seriously, and well outside of the usual box….or we can descend into civil strife and eventually pursue option #1, up there at the top(take it, and call it Mine)

              like the mentions of new homeless camps, above, i see signs whenever i leave my county that things are approaching some cusp….
              we’ll get to some kind of anarchy, eventually: either the thoughtful, Proudhon/Bookchin kind…or the bomb throwing cartoon version we’ve been fooled into thinking that word actually means.

              1. Amfortas the hippie

                i hasten to add another important aspect of all this that can’t be forgotten:
                since Earl Butz was ag secretary(“Go big, or get out”), all ag policy has been geared towards the very large…and encouraging those very large to consolidate into ever larger formations.
                someone like little old me is excluded from the market entirely…both by regulation, as well as by “industry standards” and agreements between large suppliers, large growers and large distributors and large retailers. I’m not part of the club(cartel), so my excellent tomatoes have nowhere to go(i give most of my surplus away to poor folks and people with little kids).
                this is NOT due to the whim or decision of the Great God Market, but due to decisions made by powerful interests who have purchased our government.
                (my 25 year tale of trying to erect a farmers market is for another time, when i’m not tuckered out)
                even the regs and laws that are on the surface all about “small farmers”, really aren’t.
                and those that start out that way for real, are sooner or later hijacked by big ag(i can go on for days about the hijacking of “Organic Ag”)
                again, it’s policy…and choices made by greedheads…that are at issue here…not some inevitable feature of some natural market mechanism.
                the same can be said for land policy, as above.

                as for the idea that small, organic, sustainable ag can’t feed the world, and famine will result….
                just wait til rock phosphate runs out,lol.
                or easily obtainable fossil fuels.
                or an hundred other unsustainable inputs and mechanisms that industrial ag relies upon utterly.
                of our 20 acres, we actually grow fruits and veggies on only about an acre and a half…plus native tree crops(mesquite(beans, wood, forage) and pecans and oaks)…but even my so far mostly haphazard efforts(while focusing on building soil and infrastructure) have yielded more than we can eat or preserve.
                (6 people)
                there’s also non-anecdotal information out there that strongly indicates that yes, we can feed the world in thios manner, and that the idea that it’s industrial death ag or bust is just a cynical propaganda program, meant to further TINA, and protect the ricebowls of Conagra and Monsatan. and Dowpont.
                i’m too bunged up atm to locate the links(cant see the screen at the foot of the bed well enough,lol)
                Cuba’s “special period” is a good place to start, as well as the Land Institute and Rodale’s and even the UN.
                my point, is that TINA is not the case, here…and all that’s lacking, really, is getting the news past the corporate press.
                we can do much better than high fructose corn syrup and cheese doodles, if we wanted to, and knew that it was an option.

                1. Calypso Facto

                  why not build your own (cooperative) HOA development with (for example) 25 friends/family you are willing to run cooperative small businesses with? Buy 100 acres, set aside 45 for perennial hort gardens (for the people who live there, not for sale), 5 acres for mixed use zoning (for your coop businesses, which can be whatever you and your people want/can do), replat the remaining 50 acres into 100 home lots, build some small and functional houses and sell the remaining lots to new members. My subdivision grows pumpkins and makes furniture, that one has excellent eggplants and has a cnc machine and a small chip fabber. We get together for big dinners on the full moon every month.

                  I spin this vision for my friends regularly and each year I think I get closer to convincing them!

                  1. Amfortas the hippie

                    that’s been the dream for a long time,lol.
                    a chunk of my reading all these years has been about learning the language to speak about such things.
                    aside from my boys…who in “normal” times would love to run off to college and beyond….several of eldest’s buddies are defacto adopted, since their homelife is so unstable. They know, explicitly, that they have a place here, should things get all pear shaped. pull yer weight on the farm, and become a part of it.
                    that’s the beginnings of a village, right there.
                    for a long time,since before i had words for it, i have been thinking of this place as a country, with a balance of trade problem.
                    that’s at the heart of all the planning…which has itself, in aggregate, remained pretty stable from the get-go.
                    this starting point changes the whole ball game.
                    of course, no person, or group of whatever size, can be an island, sufficient unto itself.
                    “it takes a village”…even up top a global sized village.
                    i can’t survive without the rest of the world…the question is, given the behaviour of governments and individuals, how much can i cut the dependencies?
                    how can the power relations be amended to benefit me/us?
                    and lessen the ability of others to roll in and mess with me/us for no good reason?here, too, obviously, the whole Man, Alone idea falls on it’s face…but one has to start somewhere.
                    call it mutualist subsidiarity….or whatever….if i can “an harming none, do as i wilt”, and build up a social structure in microcosm that embodies the ethics and such that i hold dear, that just might expand outwards, through my neighbors, and beyond.
                    include the strategies and tactics and methods and practices i’ve been developing out here, in regards to the whole autarky/emmersonian self reliance-thing, and…especially in times of extreme crises…maybe it can be a model.
                    pretentious? perhaps.
                    just the musings of a cripple but active redneck hippie in the back of beyond rural texas, who’s had much time and quiet to read and think.

              2. Alternate Delegate

                Thanks, Amfortas, for keeping before our eyes the fact that the current situation cannot last, and will not last. Right now we’re given a Hobbes’ choice between either making a living through alienated labor, or growing decent food and having food security while NOT making a living.

                But this will all soon look very different. Having put in the time and effort to learn food growing skills will not look like a hobby at all in retrospect. Then it will become our job to pass on what we know while continuing to learn as we go, because everyone learns by doing.

                You can have a garden in the city. I know it is another matter to move outside the city and scale up to an acre or more, but if I am ever able to do that it will not be what I would think of as a hobby!

      2. Lost in OR

        Our local Saturday market is closing for the winter next week. One of my favorite farmer vendors returns every spring with a story of his exotic travels. Last year it was Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. The year before it was Europe and the midwest US. It’s just him and his wife and one older daughter. I’m very envious. They’re staying home this year.

        I found the limits to his humor last year. When I spotted his brand new cap with a capital “C” (Cubs), I enthusiastically inquired how he liked Cleveland. If looks could kill.

      3. lyman alpha blob

        I come from a farming family and everything you say is true, except for that last part – they are not well to do and farming is not a hobby.

        But there is no natural law that says it must be true. What if rather than letting the ‘market’ set prices, farmers were able to charge what it cost them to produce? My family produced milk for a supposedly farmer owned co-op, however nobody ever asked my grandfather or uncle how much they wanted for their milk as far as I know. The tanker picks up the milk, and the co-op sends you a check at the going rate.

        Now I can see how letting farmers set prices could pretty easily lead to tyranny of the farmers, but for crying out loud isn’t their some way to improve this system rather than continuing to assume that farming just isn’t valuable work worth being compensated fairly for?

        1. Upwithfiat

          Now I can see how letting farmers set prices could pretty easily lead to tyranny of the farmers, … lyman alpha blob

          Don’t forget that an equal Citizen’s Dividend* is part of ethical finance reform so farmers would not be wholly dependent on the sale of their produce.

          * to replace all fiat creation for private interests such as banks and asset owners.

      4. fwe'zy

        The last recession was so huge and devastating that many chose this escape. I myself paid $1200 or so each time on 3 occasions to learn how to dig ditches and dug quite a few for that price. That’s before I learned that the drought they emotionally blackmailed us with was just the Resnick pistachio empire’s priority over the rest of us.

        I personally witnessed “farmers” in my social circle “teaching” eager students these valuable skills we romantics cling to. The students lived on site, and did a heckton of manual labor for free. Many people supported the CSA and co-op market … excuse me, subsidized.

        Then the market got sold to build the sexy mixed use 4-5 story development we see everywhere now, rah-rah’d by eco organizers who don’t think for themselves but receive lobbyist talking points like emissions from the tabernacle.

        The “farm school” had its sunshine shut out by a similar 4-5 story development next door. Another supposed promised land project was betrayed by a clever compadre who started an airbnb on “our” land instead of building the future.

        FYI farming is right this instant being transformed in ways that will knock out this discussion overnight. Sensors and other automation. Maybe distributed plots can be integrated this way, and stand shoulder-to-shoulder somehow. Definitely, the yeoman farmers will need to be in a collective of some sort.

    5. Mikel

      The well off will have plenty of cheap labor to work the land. The robots will be the house slaves.
      21st Century Fuedalism…Here we come!

  4. zagonostra

    >Bernie, Summer Lee & UE Rally Skeptics for Biden in Western PA Mike Elk

    …one of nearly 200 attendees who drove to the heart of Pittsburgh’s deindustrialized Mon Valley to attend Senator Bernie Sander’s socially distant car rally.

    Looking at the picture, 200 is optimistic. Doesn’t it speak volumes that Bernie when running in the primaries could fill a football stadium and now sheep-dogging for the Dems he couldn’t fill a phone booth in some areas in Central PA, where I live part of the year. And no, it’s not primarily because of COVID, though it plays into the lower turnouts.

    I think the sharpest critique of Bernie from the “left” comes from Jimmy Dore.

        1. Rod

          No shame, when in desperate times to take desperate measures. IMO
          If Biden succeeds, then he deserves a seat at the table, if Biden does not, then Sanders is still an Independent Senator from Vermont.

          1. Darthbobber

            Sanders has as much of a seat at the table as Senator as he would have in any position within a Biden administration. Probably more of one.

            And “deserves” has little to do with anything in these games.

          2. Oh

            He’s desperate to keep his cushy comittee chairmanship and he’s hoping “his friends” won’t take it away from him. That’s all. He’s shaming himself.

            1. Cuibono

              you sure seem to know a lot.
              pray tell which US senator in recent years has advanced the progressive agenda more than Bernie?

              1. ewmayer

                You can “advance the progressive agenda” all you like, but it doesn’t mean a damn thing if you end up shilling for the likes of HRC and Biden. It’s like “getting progressive causes included in the party platform”, as in, it’s a wish list which Team DNC will never do anything more than pay lip service to, as their actual POLICIES keep running hard-rightward. What Sanders is doing is about as meaningful as, and perhaps only slightly less cynical than, JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon “kneeling in solidarity with Black Lives Matter activists.”

                ‘Tis a bitter pill for diehard Bernieites to swallow, to be sure.

      1. josh

        That’s my neck of the woods. The political class has never understood (can’t or won’t?) that Sanders didn’t have followers, he had activists with aligned policy interests. It was never “I’m With Him”. Sanders could kill puppies for fun and it wouldn’t have affected my support for him in the primaries. Conversely, if he’s pushing neoliberal horse excrement I no longer have a use for him.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      From the article. Emphasis mine.

      He [Bernie] assured the crowd that Biden would aggressively walk picket lines and support the trade union movement as President, adding that he had spoken to Biden and Biden had said if he were elected president, he pledged to aggressively support picket lines.

      The comment echoed statements made by Obama in 2007. During President Obama’s primary campaign in 2007, Obama famously pledged to walk the picket line if workers’ rights were threatened. However, Obama never followed through on this pledge and ignored unions when they urged him to march with Wisconsin workers being stripped of collective bargaining rights in 2011.

      But Sanders guaranteed that Biden’s presidency would be different when it came to standing up for workers’ rights. The speech came just days after Politico broke the story that Sanders had been pushing to be Secretary of Labor in a Biden administration.

      Even Bernie can go to the well one too many times. I can’t understand why he continues to debase his personal legacy and insult his once ardent supporters in this way, while the object of his shilling calls another “lid.”

      1. Lambert Strether

        > he had spoken to Biden and Biden had said if he were elected president, he pledged to aggressively support picket lines.

        I don’t believe this for a minute, and if Biden does it, it’ll carry all the policy weight of Kente cloth.

  5. Lex

    No Bumper Crop In 2020

    ‘And what does it mean? This election is supposed to be attracting more interest than any in decades; why is it practically stickerless?’

    I’d like to think it’s because voters don’t want to vote for either of the candidates and the evidence is in their near total lack of public display. We would like to put the last four years — especially 2020 — far behind us.

    I plugged my nose and voted for Biden. Biden! There’s got to be an curse that goes with that. Maybe anyone stupid enough to have voted for Biden is laying low and hoping the curse can’t find them. Driving around with a Biden sticker is painting a big bullseye on your car. Here I am! Let damnation begin!

    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      Here in the western suburbs of Minneapolis there are a lot of lawn signs for Democratic state legislature candidates and the incumbent US Rep in MN03, but not many of them also have a Biden/Harris sign. Until about a month ago there were hardly any at all, whereas the Democratic Leg and Congress signs began appearing early in the summer. Curiously, one lawn alongside a feeder road I travel on several times a week featured the usual Democratic Leg and Congress candidate signs along with one that read “Respect White Racism.” It had been up for several weeks but disappeared about ten days ago. I’m still curious wondering what that was all about, and the stories behind its appearance and disappearance.

      1. maps

        More and more Biden signs are popping up here in south Minneapolis. Incidentally, it seems like most of the Biden yardsign people didn’t shovel their walks after the recent snow storms, and all I could think of is how well that embodies Biden supporters…

      2. sleepy

        In my small town in northern Iowa there are Biden and other dem yard signs all over the place, and few Trump signs.

        Out in the country, it’s the opposite: most farms have Trump and repub signage with almost nothing for Biden.

      3. carl

        I really don’t understand the massive number of Biden signs here in the inner city of San Antonio. It’s just a huge difference from any other presidential election that I can remember. Handmade ones too; never remember seeing those. I know the campaign considers Texas up for grabs, but unless they’re forcing people to put up signs, well, I’m just baffled.

    2. voteforno6

      My family in Europe thinks that having any sort of candidate paraphernalia is weird. As one said, “We hate all of them.”

    3. montanamaven

      In my upstate NY town, there are quite a few Biden/Harris signs in this mainly Republican county and few Trump signs . All the Democrats know each other so I think they must feel that they are doing the Lord’s work and are safe because they are part of a virtuous club. Republicans are, by nature, conservative, and so don’t do displays of loyalty or virtue anyway. But the presence of an American Flag, on the other hand, is a way of showing where your loyalty is. It’s to the country and not to a leader?

    4. Darthbobber

      Cars move around, and in the present environment having the wrong sticker in the wrong place is an invitation to a knucklehead of the other persuasion to do a little petty vandalism.

  6. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    Where is Joe? If they’re smart they will not keep him up to date with everything they’re uncovering about him, keep him in the dark so he can continue to mouth his blanket denials. Lord knows the man has had a lifetime of practice with bald-faced mendacity and for him it’s really from the heart. Trot him out once a day for a photo op of him buying ice cream, Jill can remind him of the decade and the name of his opponent but then straight back to the basement. The hard drive has gone over to ICE and their child criminal division which is top notch, if the FBI and local Delaware police will not act on the ongoing child endangerment concerns then they definitely will. 93% of child molestation is someone known to the victim and 34% is a family member, the niece (Beau’s daughter) was 14 years old at the time. Another incident in the emails where a different mother told Joe she would call the police if Hunter ever tried to see her underage daughter again, Jill, Joe, and Jim discussed it to figure out ways to blame the victim. Joe tried to foist Hunter on the Navy but apparently against all normal rules they drug tested the 43 year old the day he arrived at the base, hey maybe The U.S. Navy is an institution that retains a shred of integrity and is not in on the coverup, maybe they can form a government for us? No word yet on why Bo Xilai and Hunter were having such extensive correspondence, one of Hunter’s Chinese partners has already been executed and the other is in jail. What was that $1.5B for and where did the money go? Aside from the purchase of American technology companies of great interest to the Chinese military (Bo Xilai’s father was in the very top ranks of the Chinese military). And what was Whitey Bulger’s nephew doing partnering with Hunter? They won’t really know until they look at all of the bank wire transfer records.

    1. jefemt

      Trump lowered the bar and opened the door of infinite forgiveness and turning the other check-the Faustian bargain of who is less revulsive.

      After the second ‘debate’, my takeaway was, “How sad for America and the world”.

      1. Pat

        Funny, personally I put the Bush administration there. I mean between “look forward not back” and “lying to start a war is not an impeachable offense” tops most of Trump’s crimes.

        1. rowlf

          I would say that not jailing everyone involved in the Iran-Contra affair was the turning point, which is why I don’t expect much from William Barr this time around.

    2. The Historian

      I think you are under the false impression that people care about any of this stuff. Do you really think people are voting for Biden because they think he will be a great president?

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        LOL there is an extremely large amount of real estate between “great” and “criminal”. Yes I do believe people understand the difference.

        1. a different chris

          Thanks for reminding me not to ever vote for Hunter BIden.

          Now, back to the current election…

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Try teasing your man’s finances out from Hunter’s. You can’t. So you’re happy that the president personally profits from pursuing the interests of foreign powers while in office. I suppose that that philosophy works fine when the interests of the U.S. align perfectly with the interests of The Chinese Communist Party. Again, your man said “the rise of China has been good for America, c’mon, man!”, so that would be a consistent view. I differ.

            Now let’s see you deflect your way out of the president neglecting to inform law enforcement authorities on multiple occasions that underage girls are at risk of sexual exploitation. Given Tara Reade and your man’s predilection for hair sniffing and inappropriate touching, that behavior too is orthogonal with the policy you are happy with. #NotMeToo

          2. Acacia

            Then you might want to follow the news on the current election, because Hunter Biden has been selling access to “Big Guy” Joe and Joe Biden has been lying to you about this. He lies to you and he thinks you owe him your vote. Seeing as none of these people will get prosecuted, these practices will almost continue if Biden wins.

      2. lyman alpha blob

        The fact that so many people don’t care about this stuff and repeatedly give blatantly corrupt politicians a pass is why we have Trump in the first place.

        And by people I mean the PMC-types. The types who think what the Bidens did is just how people get ahead and that there’s really nothing wrong with it. I have seen it in my own town when our school superintendent and curriculum director implemented a bunch of useless software in the school district and then once the damage was done, quit to go work for the software company for higher salaries. When I brought it up to the school board they didn’t seem to have a problem with it and I was told it’s just how things are done.

        News flash – a hell of a lot of people see this type of corruption for what it is and are tired of it.

        1. Off The Street

          Combine that with the Harper’s article to see how little has changed in DC. Here is one of the quotes in the latter:

          “We laughed when Church described the CIA as a ‘rogue elephant,’ ” one former staffer, Greg Rushford, told me. “We knew they were the president’s guys.” Later observers might add that the machine became more self-aware after that Church service.

          Another fun moment in that article was reading that people just don’t respond to Gary Hart’s attempts at reconnection. What a surprise, almost as if there had been some monkey business going on.

          As George Carlin’s fans might have said, It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it anymore.

          Hart needed to take pariah-rehabilitation lessons from some of those other 1970s masters.

      3. NotTimothyGeithner

        I think the expectation was Biden was an innocuous guy they saw from the Onion. For eight years, he was exiled to he Naval Observatory and never offended when the average voter formed their opinions. The guy who was a senator for 40 years doesn’t exist in the popular imagination because people barely know their own reps. Since the know nothing about Biden, the GOP won’t be mean. Team Blue pushed an insane amount of propaganda about how the GOP was never mean until Obama.

        1. Carolinian

          Hey you were right and I was wrong (I thought his teeth made him a shoe-in). Turns out Joe is a political bomb waiting to go off. Tick tick tick.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            I presume this is why they are instructing Biden “volunteers” to not discuss policy. The fear from Team Blue with Biden is people will realize he’s Joe Biden. He isn’t just an old guy who says he’s for gay rights and asks what the T at the end of LBGT stands for which is how he’s portrayed by the msm.

            The HRC campaign pushed the line that she was just like Sanders except “she gets things done” (that post office renamed) for a reason, and it was the same reason they never really rattled off Bill Clinton’s and Obama’s accomplishments.

            Admittedly, this is why I hated the large primary field. It kept Biden hidden behind questions about the other candidates home states and favorite cookie recipes instead of exposing Biden.

            Biden’s other problem is he hasn’t spent any time articulating a few key issues he intends to tackle. He has a website that you can refer to which is the 21st century of promising a blue ribbon committee. We have crises that aren’t the kinds of things people write fiction books about. I don’t think he and much the Team Blue elite see the Presidency as anything other than a book about immediate crisis management.

            1. anon

              Biden’s policy…”My name is Joe Biden and I’m not George, or Trump, or whomever I am running against to be your next US Senator.”

      4. Katniss Everdeen

        “…..any of this stuff….”

        So, what do “people” “care” about? Joe’s “character” and inspiring oratory?

        C’mon, man.

        1. a different chris

          Getting rid of Trump.

          It’s a defensible stance, the New Guy has to get his (family blog) started and maybe you can get on top of him before he gets his feet under him.

          Pretty much the same thing you do when you weed the garden, there are more weed seeds in there and they will show up pretty soon but you get a space in time…

          You think Trump was voted in after people said “well I like Hillary, but he has a lot of good qualities too, so hmmmm….”‘???

          I keep saying “be nice to have somebody to vote for…” but then I remember Hopey and Changey Obama and got real. Actually I was real then, I voted Green because I didn’t trust the Dems and was right.

        2. Phillip Cross

          “So, what do “people” “care” about?”

          In 2016, Hillary was the most hated person in America. Tens of millions of “people” cared about seeing her lose.

          In 2020, Trump is the most hated person in America. Tens of millions of “people” care about seeing him lose.

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            Fact is, as I’m reading your comment, Trump is in Lansing, MI being “hated” by thousands in MAGA masks and bundled up against a cold rain in the middle of the afternoon. He gets similarly “hated” everywhere he goes, and those “haters” wait for hours to demonstrate all their “hate.”

            In his most fevered, Alzheimer’s dreams biden can only wish for that level of “hate.”

            All the relentless gaslighting notwithstanding.

            1. Phillip Cross

              Sure, there’s a lot of people that like him, that’s not unexpected in a big country of 300 million+. After all, 25% of Americans that think Elvis is alive, and that little green (or gray) men are real, and walk among us. America is chock full of loons and people that are dumb as a bag of rocks. Heck, even Hillary still has many, many brain dead, cultists cheering her on to this day. I still believe that there is no person in the United States (and the world) that is currently hated by more people than Donald Trump. Can you name one?

              1. Katniss Everdeen

                No, I cannot.

                However, I do sense one of those serious debate infractions mentioned here at times–“strawpersonning” possibly–in your response.

                Elvis. biden. Elvis. biden. Then again, maybe not.

              2. Acacia

                Even Google (hardly unbiased) gives me more “most hated” top results for Martin Shkreli and Adam Neumann. Just sayin’

            2. Aumua

              His fanatical base doesn’t hate him, of course. And they are a particularly loud bunch. He is definitely going to get a good percentage of the votes, including no doubt from a good number of our ostensible leftists here at NC. However I really think there is too much anti-Trump sentiment going around for him to win this time, whether it’s from the media or from Trump’s own behavior, or some combination thereof. A lot of Americans really, really don’t like Trump and are more than ready to vote for whoever else, laptops and other character flaws notwithstanding.

            3. Darthbobber

              Right up to the bitter end McGovern could still produce adoring and enthusiastic crowds.

              Which had nothing to do with him winning the election.

      5. Grant

        If anything, because the system is so corrupt, these politicians are so worthless, and Biden himself is so corrupt and has such a bad record, that they are numb to it all. They care about things not on the ballot, and everyone wanting power is an empty, corrupt, self-serving careerist. People have nothing to vote for, which is why so many don’t vote. With Biden, the only reason his massive corruption, and his son’s history, aren’t more of an issue, the only reason he may win, is because of how utterly horrible Trump is, COVID 19 and our Pravda like media providing cover for them. If that wasn’t the case, no chance he would win. He offers nothing, will change nothing, and the country is falling apart because of the types of policies he has supported. He doesn’t deserve to be given any power at all, and he will be president.

        It is also a given that the people in Biden’s rough ideological area in his party, those running the DCCC or the DNC, all the parasitic consultants and think tank hacks, they will all draw the wrong lessons from Biden winning, if he does.

        1. anon in so cal

          How would Biden handle Covid19 better?

          Biden’s health advisor, Dr. Zeke Emanuel (ACA) said at the end of February:

          “In that regard it sort of behaves like the flu. A lot of us get the flu, but serious cases that cause mortality tend to be focused on the elderly and those with other chronic diseases.”

          Biden doesn’t have a clue how to handle the pandemic.

          Trump ended the Obama Biden Clinton CIA Timber Sycamore in Syria, withdrew some troops, tried to withdraw troops from Afghanistan—blocked by Dems and NeoCons who used the fake Russian Bounties narrative to block this (Biden parroted that during the second debate).

          Biden, in contrast, has chosen the worst NeoCons as advisors and prospective Cabinet members. Biden wants to escalate in Syria, more NATO eastward, etc.

          Obama had deported more immigrants than Trump at this stage of his 1st term.

          The reality is that the MSM continually attacks Trump and gives Biden and Democrats a pass for truly horrific malfeasance.

    3. Oh

      Hunter didn’t stop with marrying his sister in law but allegedly wanted to do more hunting. What an appropriate name for this dirtbag. A case of like Father like Son.

    4. Lambert Strether

      Dude, you really can’t be doing this. I know Election Day is right around the corner, and I like a good rant as well as the next person, but this is just over the top. Save it for Facebook.

  7. MartyH

    Before you read the snarling essay on “simplism” read Thomas Franks’s The People, No! The contrast in ideas and understandings is powerful.

    1. Laputan

      Here, here. Whatever “simplism” is, I would prefer it to the Dems’ approach of trying to make it look like they’re doing something while primarily serving corporate interests – and thus having no real policy agenda.

      For more from this guy, check out this lavishing praise of Pelosi:

      I can’t believe someone would cite the ACA as some sort of success.

      1. RMO

        I like the irony that the writer used the border wall as the example of “simplism” Those border barriers have been a bipartisan project for years before Trump even came on the scene! One of the comments added “Medicare for all” and “Stop the endless wars” to the list of “simplist” ideas that are dangerous and destructive too. The writer belongs in the marketing department of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation.

    2. Lambert Strether

      Quote from the simplism essay:

      In their 1970 classic The Politics of Unreason, the sociologists Seymour Lipset and Earl Raab coined a word for this black-and-white thinking: “simplism.” They defined it as “the unambiguous ascription of single causes and remedies for multifactored phenomena.”

      For example, attributing Trump support to psychological factors, all Trump’s actions to Putin, etc….

  8. timbers


    She’s quoted as saying she was born to do some things as President. She didn’t say directly “I was born to be President” but it’s getting close though in fairness it’s possible to over interpret her words. If the Clinton and Bush offspring can get together we might be able to create an American Aristocracy. Like in Britain, where the King, Queen, and others are born to be King/Queen. Then there would be no need for elections. But we’d need pomp and circumstance so the corporate media can earn advertising income off it.

    BTW if she really wants Trump gone it might be best she stay out of the public eye. Reemerging just before election might remind some why they voted Trump first time around, though other dynamics larger than that are in play now.

    1. Samuel Conner

      The thought has occurred that HRC might not have un-mixed feelings about a JB victory — it would humiliate DJT, but would also invite comparison with HRC’s loss, especially given that JB seems to be running an even lower energy campaign than HRC did.

      If DJT wins, it spreads the 2016 humiliation around a bit. If anything, one might “spin” a JB loss under present circumstances as worse performance than 2016.

      1. edmondo

        You miss the opportunity for the grift.

        Hillary will loudly proclaim her loss in 2016 was because of misogyny – why else would a half-man like Biden be able to defeat the beast that destroyed her?

        What better gift to America than another Clinton Foundation where she tutors “exceptional females to become world leaders (politicians)”. The handouts from the tech companies alone we are talking millions of dollars.

        1. a different chris

          Actually it was mostly because she was black, if I remember the whining correctly.

          And man I do. No it didn’t make any sense then, either. But yes she may re-tune it if Biden wins.

    2. foghorn longhorn

      Well the grand plan in the nostalgic days of 2016 was,
      ->her vs jeb!
      But along came a sheepdog and a trump and that plan thankfully got blown the f×ck up.
      Come on meteor, we need ya baby.

    3. Carolinian

      She said the thought of Trump winning again makes her physically ill.

      While some of us thank our lucky stars that the bumbling Hillary didn’t become president, she does have a talent for stirring the pot. Four years of Russiagate tracks right back to her. If she had graciously conceded defeat would things have been different? If she, in her great wisdom, had not encouraged Trump to run in the first place would things have been different?

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        If the fact that he’s NOT Trump is a “good enough” reason to vote for biden, then the fact that his reelection will make hillary “physically ill” is a “good enough” reason to vote for Trump.


        In fact, I’m not ashamed to admit that complete and total destruction of the slimy clinton “coalition” and everyone associated with it has been the reason for my “Trumpism” from the git go.

        1. Grumpy Engineer

          Most Trump “supporters” I know fit into the same camp. Indeed, I only know two or three people who truly admire him. Pretty much all the others who voted for him did so because they were fed up with the incompetence of Democrats and/or loathed Hillary Clinton. [For me personally, I couldn’t pull the lever for Trump and went third party. But I definitely understand the impulse, and I won’t condemn anybody who voted for Trump.]

    4. chuck roast

      She got her first presidential practice in 1993 when Bubba put her in charge of his “universal” health care initiative. She proved to be wildly successful when she rolled over to the insurance industry. Being a Goldwater Girl, she always had the theory down. The woman is a shining example of presidential praxis in the flesh.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “The explosive problem of ‘zombie’ batteries”

    This is getting to a serious problem this when you consider the ever increasing number of battery storage devices. An explosion was set off in Arizona last year when a grid battery caught fire and exploded. And last year there was one of these modern cars that had its batteries catch fire in a crash which caused the fire department no end of trouble trying to put it out. Those batteries subsequently caught fire two more times, one of which when it was simply sitting in a yard in storage. Thing is, fire departments around the world will have to be re-equipped to deal with these sorts of fires and the firefighters themselves will have to undergo extensive training. And who is going to pick up the tab for that?

    1. apleb

      I’ve read about that a few years ago, at least 2.
      Lithium is flammable as soon as it comes in contact with air/oxygen. So the more batteries you use in all kinds of devices small like phones to big like cars or power grid, the more it can be a problem for the fire department. And lithium fires can’t be estinguished by simple waterhoses, unless the water removes all access to any oxygen. Neither can you use foam: it also will let somewhere some oxygen to the lithium.

      You cannot easily put a car in a street accident under water. That is why fire brigades came up with various ways. I think at least back then the best one was an austrian design, a big vat basically for the car which you can then set under water or foam or whatever. Since it was news about something novel, there was a newspaper article about it which I read.

      Contrary to what you wrote, yes someone has to pay for it, but strange fires is nothing new to fire brigades. E.g. transformer fires, hazardous materials fires, etc. Has been happening for at least the last 20 years when we always had bare cupboards everywhere
      What you wrote about any kind of battery fire, has been happening ever since Tesla sold their first car basically. A long time ago.

      1. Grumpy Engineer

        As a point of note: Battery fires don’t require oxygen to start!! This is because a battery that has been damaged (whether by impact or previous fire damage) can experience an internal short that permits uncontrolled release of all remaining charge. It can happen even if your battery is underwater or completely covered in foam. If the amount of energy released is great enough, the resulting heat can boil off the water or foam and re-expose superheated surfaces to oxygen again. Whoops.

        So the only way you can be certain that the battery will never re-ignite in the future is to permanently store it in deep water (so that there is too much liquid to boil off) or to drive metal rods through the battery to absolutely ensure that all residual charge/energy has been released.

        This is part of why large-scale battery fires are so scary. They present significant electrocution risk to firefighters during the initial fire, but energy that remains trapped behind failed connectors (and damaged insulation systems) can present risk long after the fire is supposedly “out”.

        The Arizona battery station explosion mentioned by The Rev Kev isn’t the only bad event to have happened. There was also a battery station fire in Hawaii: Because of the shock hazard, the firefighters concluded that the safest thing to do was let the station burn to the ground. It took two days. And this was only a 30 MWh station. What happens if we have a big fire at one of these giant 1000 MWh stations that are planned? Hoo boy.

        1. Jeotsu

          Which is why I really wish they’d get going on the aqueous based redox flow cell batteries for the big grid installations. Much, much easier to manage the fire/explosion risks. And in those contexts, the (much) lower energy density per weight/volume is not such a big deal, as you can literally install megalitres of tankage.

          1. Grumpy Engineer

            Aye. If your charged battery is effectively stored in two large tanks with significant physical separation, then the only fire risk is at the proton exchange membrane where the two reagents come together for (dis)charging action. A couple of fast-acting cut-off valves could limit the uncontrolled energy release to that contained within the reagents in that limited area.

            Alas, commercial interest in flow batteries seems limited. I’m only aware of the Chinese trying anything at scale, and their efforts with the vanadium redox facility at Dalian are running significantly behind schedule.

      2. Grumpy Engineer

        And a second point: Fire brigades do indeed have experience dealing with “strange fires”, but battery fires truly are something different. Here’s why:

        [Wood or paper fires]: Spray with water to extinguish flames and to cool things enough to prevent re-ignition. One accomplished, it’s OUT.

        [Fuel, chemical, and reactive metal fires]: Spray with foam (or oxygen-displacing gases or sand) to cut off oxygen. Keep going until all hot-spots are extinguished. Once accomplished, it’s OUT.

        [Electrical fires]: Cut power. Extinguish like you would a wood fire. Once accomplished, it’s OUT.

        [Battery fires?]: Well, battery fires are like electrical fires where you can’t cut the power!! This is a huge problem. There’s no way to eliminate the shock hazard to firefighters, and there’s no way to prevent residual charge from suddenly punching through damaged insulation and triggering a new fire (or electrocuting somebody) after everything is seemingly out. Firefighters always cut power to a building before they turn on their hoses, but that won’t help here.

        Relying on the cleverness of fire brigades to save us here is not the right answer. Battery stations should be built assuming that batteries will occasionally fail and ignite and be fully consumed by fire. This means that the batteries should be strictly compartmentalized (probably in refractory-lined silos) so that any failed section can be disconnected and allowed to burn to completion without affecting other sections. Of course, this adds to the cost and footprint requirement, but if we don’t, a large battery station fire could rival a nuclear meltdown in terms of its ultimate impact.

        Imagine a facility 30 times the size of the Hawaii station burning for more than a week. Would you want to be downwind of that? What witch’s brew of combustion by-products and pollutants would be headed your way?

      3. Brooklin Bridge

        This is not to negate your point, but your comment raises questions (that may have very simple answers I;m just unaware of). Possibly the conditions for fire are more prevalent in larger instances of Lithium power storage. That said…

        I’m surprised this hasn’t been more of a visible problem. There have to be tons and tons of lithium batteries going into land fills every day that once powered hand tools for instance. The handling of industrial size dumps is done by giant bulldozers that can only be very destructive to the casings of such batteries, yet we don’t hear of constant fires breaking out. For that matter, even in the construction industry itself, not to mention the homeowner week-end warrior garages and small shops, over time, one would expect more fires.

        News is snooze (media silenced over a broad range of cases)? Or, are the casings really that good that they can take most any abuse and protect the lithium from contact with oxygen? Or, is this another perk of neoliberalism that is in store for contractors and do-it-yourself-ers down the road when the batteries get older? Or am I making some sort of apples to oranges comparison?

        1. Grumpy Engineer

          One of the mixed blessings of lithium ion batteries is that they have a fairly high “self-discharge rate”, particularly as they age. This is deeply annoying if you’re planning to store a bunch of summertime solar energy for use in the winter. But for battery disposal, it’s genuinely helpful. Pretty much any laptop or cordless tool battery that’s been sitting on a shelf for a couple of months will have ZERO energy inside. Heck, if it’s really worn out, it may reach zero energy in less than a day.

          The “zombie battery” fires mentioned in the article were almost certainly caused by the disposal of a device that failed prematurely but had a healthy, fully-charged battery inside. That’s a pretty rare combination.

    2. heresy101

      The predominant battery chemistry is lithium ion (eg Tesla) which is flammable. The Chinese are have developed and are using a different chemistry – lithium iron batteries. BYD is producing a new lithium iron battery and has a great promotional video showing a nail being driven through it among other things. Other Chinese companies are using the same chemistry even though it isn’t quite as efficient as lithium ion.

      1. Grumpy Engineer

        Unfortunately, lithium iron batteries aren’t immune to battery fires either. They can go into thermal runaway just like lithium ion batteries can, and they can feed external faults just like lithium ion batteries can. This is true of pretty much any battery, as all batteries have have a significant amount of electric energy stored when charged. By law of conservation-of-energy, this energy must go somewhere when internal or external insulation is compromised by heat. The result is fire.

        This is exactly what happened at the battery station in Hawaii. They used lead-acid batteries which dumped uncontrolled power into a failed inverter. Neither lead nor sulfuric acid are flammable, but the station burned to the ground all the same. [Design Rule 101 for Power Engineers: Anything can burn if you pour enough energy into it.]

        And the self-sealing aspect is a mixed blessing. It would clearly reduce the chances of an impact causing a fire, but if a fire happened anyway and you were responsible for disposing of damaged batteries, how would you ensure they were drained? Normally I’d recommend nails, but if they self-seal…

        1. heresy101

          Grumpy, you obviously didn’t look at the video; admittedly it is long and has a fair amount of company propaganda.
          At 34:47 they start addressing the nail test and from 38:34 to 41:24 you can see the results of the nail penetration. On the blade battery, the temperature rises to 30-90C and the egg doesn’t cook. The battery doesn’t combust below 500C.

          They say they have produced 750,000 batteries (about 1GWh) over the last 10 years without a catastrophic failure. At 29:30, lithium ion batteries have had about 29 fires over the last couple of years.

          The factory is pretty impressive at 25:31 & 27:59.

          Other battery chemistries of the future will be safer but the lithium iron battery (especially the blade battery) is safer than lithium ion batteries.

    3. fajensen

      It is interesting that the staff sorting the garbage does not seem to wear any respiratory- or eye- protection!

      *Anything* goes in the garbage, syringes, dead pets, nappies, chemicals, glass …. never mind the undertones of toxins from all that mouldy crap being tossed around at high volume.


      If they cared about fires on the “production line” they could quite easily set up an inert gas or a water mist suppression system to contain it.

      Ripping panels off machines after the fire brigade arrives is pretty stone-age stuff.

  10. Wukchumni

    Wish I were there: the glory of California’s redwoods Financial Times

    Couldn’t get past pink paywall, which allows me an opening to opine…

    Americans are into big. We celebrate somebody buying a 56,000 square foot home for $40 million, our cars tend to be SUV’s and an RV is a house that you can take it with you, Skyscrapers are a given along with cruise ships that hold 5,000 passengers. We eat big portions of food and if offered the chance to have more, sure supersize me, hmmmm.

    Strangely enough though, we’re really not into the biggest trees all that much, that is to say aside from an obligatory visit to the largest of all-the Sherman Tree, its as if the rest of the lesser trees are so much chopped liver, sorry you didn’t make the cut.

    Maybe its on account of nobody owning them, how boring is that?

    Or what if in lieu of $100 million old master paintings trading hands, the largest Giant Sequoias brought record prices @ auction between the too much to spend types { ‘I just had to have the Chief Sequoyah tree and I know it’s only the 28th biggest, but a great buy @ $47 million-and I would have gone to $75 million if I had to’ }

    Anyhow, who am I to complain. I’m guaranteed a private audience with the old masters pretty much anytime i’d like on just the other side of paradise, where we hang out together in the ultimate May to December romance, the object of my desire being way too old for me.

    I’m pretty geeked up about the prospect of exploring a number of groves that burned (to what extent will have to be determined) along the Ladybug & Garfield trails in Sequoia NP in our recent SQF wildfire.

    The Ladybug trail is aptly named, for a 2 mile hike from the trailhead in Jan-Feb is where you’ll encounter hundreds of thousands if not millions of ladybugs, so many sometimes that you have to turn around, lest your next step take out a hundred.

    Everything burned, wonder how they handle the new normal?

    It’s also a good trail for seeing different ages of Sequoias, everything from 150 year old models to 1,500 year sizable citizens.

    The lowest largest Sequoia in the NP is here, one we call ‘Low Rider’ which is about a dozen feet wide at eye level @ 4,300 feet.

    You can be at the base of the tree, and then continuing up on the trail be equidistant with it’s top about 3/4’s of a mile later.

    1. The Rev Kev

      ‘Couldn’t get past pink paywall.’ Hey Wuk. Copy the title and paste it into Google. The first links should be the story and it has beautiful images of those trees. It has an image of a bunch of loggers standing in the cut of a huge tree and you only wish that someone could have popped a paper bag behind them.

    2. JWP

      “Strangely enough though, we’re really not into the biggest trees all that much, that is to say aside from an obligatory visit to the largest of all-the Sherman Tree, its as if the rest of the lesser trees are so much chopped liver, sorry you didn’t make the cut.”

      Maybe that’s a good thing, keep some of the crazies from ruining the habitat and tranquility. Although I think there’s more interest in the Coast Redwoods than Sequoias.

      I try and go to S. Oregon/ N. Cali redwoods at least twice a year. There’s a different type of silence and awe among them that allows the rest of the world to slip away. Only was able to make it down to Sequoia/Kings canyon once to seem those trees, but was even more impressed.

  11. Darthbobber

    Albert Lee on the democrats “trying nothing” on the Barrett nomination.
    Maybe, but it really looks to me like the only thing the democrats might have done successfully was to go back in time and win a few more Senate seats in 2016 and 2018.

    The various scenarios I saw for stalling it under the existing conditions seemed to fall into the grasping at straws category, no more likely to work than the pipe dream of stopping Trump with faithless electors in 2016.

    What they could do, and rather lamely did, was make outraged noises and apply public pressure. Which was done so brilliantly that there was more public support for her confirmation at the end of their campaign than at its beginning.

    1. timbers

      Well I’m hopeful that with Barrett, the RomneyCare insurance mandate is ruled unconstitutional. It’s been a real annoyance for me in between gigs and it takes 4 pages out of 6 when submitting state tax returns. Political malpractice. I always cross out the title of the form which reads “Healthcare…..” change it to “Insurance” with big bold notes reading “INSURANCE IS NOT HEALTHCARE”

      1. bruce

        And healthcare is not medicine. I can remember something called “medicine” which was considered a noble calling.

    2. Skip Intro

      Allegedly, Pelosi could have paralyzed the Senate by sending them new articles of impeachment. We know she still has the good ones stored in the vaults with all the dry powder.

    3. hunkerdown

      He’s full of it. The Democrats threw everything they know how to do at stopping Barrett’s nomination. The only problem was that no Senate Republicans would answer Obama’s phone call.

      1. Grant

        “The Democrats threw everything they know how to do”

        What exactly do you think Democrats have demonstrated they know? You think they would have been this pathetic if the economic interests of their donors were threatened? They know how to rake in bribes, beat back the left, do woke nothing actions in public, say empty platitudes on TV and they write amazing letters saying this or that to the Republicans. The Democrats are very much responsible for the entirety of the mess we are in. Decades of corruption, decades of supporting horrible and right wing policies, decades of being the main weapon used within the system against the left. Even on this, they could do moderate changes to the ACA and remove the threat to the few remaining things in it worth preserving, could really undermine the case against it. We are talking about changing a few word, they can’t be bothered to. They would prefer to use it to campaign off of. With the Supreme Court, Ginsberg should have retired under Obama. Clear as day, obvious, and the Democrats should have worked hard to get her to do so. They didn’t really fight hard for Garland, and didn’t push to change anything procedurally, because they assumed Clinton would win. If Biden names a Supreme Court nominee, it will be a corporate friendly “moderate” at most, someone not at all as far to the left as Thomas and the like are on the right. And that is this political system in a nutshell. The right’s ideas are horrible failures, deeply unpopular, the neoliberals have nothing to offer on policy, and the left’s ideas (popular and far better) are beaten back in every Democratic primary and in the Pravda-like media, where party higher ups massively outspend opponents on the left. Trump is president because of rotten people like Biden, and Biden (if he is elected), will change nothing in a society breaking down from his policies. So, there will be another person like Trump (maybe worse), and another sham Democratic Party primary. Being cynical in his society now is the most rational thing you can be.

        1. jo6pac

          She tried but obomber won’t name a progressive so she stayed. Then after that meeting she never returned his calls.

        2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          “The right’s ideas are horrible failures, deeply unpopular, the neoliberals have nothing to offer”

          It’s almost like a party that, I dunno, opposed the right would do really well. What can we do to get one of those? I know, let’s have a system where we get to express our approval or disapproval of candidates who A. oppose right wing policies, or B. promote right wing policies. If one party tells you they pursue left policies but then consistently over decades you realize they have lied and are pursuing right wing policies you could express your disapproval with that. On a certain day you’d go to a central location and “cast” your “vote”.

      2. JWP

        The democrats threw the bare minimum and didnt want to stop Barrett’s nomination because their donors wanted her on. Her judicial record is so openly horrendous, especially on labor and healthcare, that exposing it to the voters would have easily stopped her nomination or at least ran out a handful more GOP senators, but the dems didn’t want that.They wanted social upheaval to keep any sort of push back at bay. If she wasn’t nominated, he dems would have had to put forth a person themselves which they couldn’t because the public wants someone more progressive than they are willing to nominate. Instead they would stay the center for a Roberts type.

  12. ObjectiveFunction

    And I’ll see your Biden and raise you a Trump.

    Highlighting what’s wrong with him is futile; his supporters didn’t elect him because they mistook him for a competent administrator or a decent man. They’re *angry*, not stupid. Trump is an agent of disruption — indeed, of revenge….

    The economy itself, and the institutions protecting it, must be attacked, and actually crippled, to get the attention of the smug patricians in charge.

    [Edit: reply to Comrade Historian, supra]

    1. Buckeye

      And all the destruction done by Trump to our society, environment, civil liberties and well being is supported by these “angry” douchebags.

      We are all suffering for their “angry mob” mentality, while these Trump Chumps whine about “mobs” marching in streets,burning a few business, and standing up against corporate police/courts/finance tyranny.

      World War 1 was driven largely by “Revenge” (aka Revanchist) fantasies of the French people. How many millions died for that revenge for 1870’s defeat?

      This just gives credence to the (evil) idea that people can’t be trusted and Democracy itself is evil.

      H.L. Mencken said: “Democracy is the theory that common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.”

      Mencken was no fan of the common man or Democracy.
      Neither are Conservatives, Libertarians, Austrian economics fans, Communists or Fascists.

      But ALL these nasty ideologies LOVE to USE Democracy to empower themselves and enslave people.

      I guess the common people want MORE pollution, MORE pro-corporate laws, MORE trillions in welfare for corporations, MORE citizens murdered on the streets by police, MORE lies in the media, MORE subversion of our schoolchildren by conservative propaganda.

      What we had BEFORE Trump wasn’t enough for these self-righteously “angry” morons. They want MORE! Four more years of MORE tyranny.

      How about eight more? Sixteen? A whole century of right-wing driven, populist hatred of America (disguised as Patriotism of course!) seems to be the goal here.

      This is why people should NEVER vote by emotion.

      1. hunkerdown

        “No tyranny” wasn’t on the ballot. In fact, the party you’re endorsing has a pattern and practice of removing the option from ballots. For that alone, they need to be destroyed and driven into penury. They’re 100% replaceable only once they have been completely removed from the political sphere.

      2. polecat

        You seem a little emotive yourself there, bucko.

        And we all can’t behave in such a logical manner as in say, a NORMAN 1
        Tis human nature to be emotional, erratic as that may seem ..

        For better or worst, Trump is the Harcourt Fenton Mudd of our time here within the Federation. He’s trying to fend off those blue,blue ‘what’s for your own good’ androids!

        1. Buckeye

          Trump wants to invoke the Insurrection Act to crush American dissent with the military.

          Trump ordered the military to crush protests in violation of Posse Comitatus. (Why repeal, just violate it outright!)

          Trump supports the Homeland Security Act and all of it’s nasty garbage.

          Trump supported the Renditioning of suspects to Third-World countries for torture.

          Where is YOUR uproar over Trump? All we get is regurgitated Right-wing smear points against Democrats (and occasionally against wimpy Dubya Bush.)

            1. Buckeye


              Is that an Arabic-speaking Led Zeppelin cover band?

              I’m not familiar with that term.

                1. ambrit

                  Strictly speaking, fascism and hasbara are very close cousins. Both operate off of a government/capital ethos.

          1. Buckeye

            Oh yeah, Trump also incites armed thug militias to terrorize citizens into submission.

            But, hey! “Populism” right?

          2. lyman alpha blob

            The reason for many NC commenters lack of uproar over Trump is because we’ve been paying attention for the last 40 or so years.

            So why didn’t St. Barry abolish the DHS when he was POTUS and had both houses of Congress if it’s so bad? (and it is) Why did he tell us so many times how much he admired Reagan? When is it going to dawn on the 21st century ‘liberal’ mopes that the Democrat party has become the party of Reagan Republicans?

            I don’t like right wingers either which is why I will not be voting for Biden or anyone who shares the Democrat party with him.

            1. Buckeye

              So you are voting for right winger Saint Donny (aka Little Donny Douchebag)?

              Saint Donny who did not abolish DHS, is destroying the Postal Service, stirring up hatred and violence against Americans, packing the courts with
              extremist judges, giving even more power to corporations, adding another $2 Trillion to the Pentagon, trying to overthrow Iran, and now selling Billions of $ in weapons to Taiwan- a move that will make China more likely to resort to aggressive reunification.

              THAT Saint Donny Trump that you people think is soooo much better than what we had before?

              You all need to read the blog

              He has a post from September 22 titled “Put away childish things.”

              It is aimed right at all the anti-Democrat voters out there. And on here.

              1. hunkerdown

                I guess so, because your party wouldn’t allow Hawkins votes to be counted and will regularly lie about it. So will the other party.

                It’s better to vote against the oligarchy in toto, but oligarchs can’t be trusted to count the votes.

                Democrats: Stop making it about your PARTNER party, as if we were parents keeping you away from a hot date with your boyfriend, and take your punishment. We reject your mouthy little yuppies trying to tell us what we should value. We reject your class system and your right to exist as an aristocracy. Don’t you dare talk back to us about uor right to decide the future of your careers, Democrat operatives. Yes, we will take care of the other legal criminal racket that is your boyfriend next, and that’s none of your concern because WE have decided YOU no longer have a boyfriend. Now get your toothbrush and scrub the bathroom. That is all.

              2. Darthbobber

                Oddly, I find no shortage of criticism of and opposition to Trump here. Not as unhinged and simplistic as yours, perhaps, but that’s not an argument against.

                I actually voted for sleazy Joe and his Wall Street sidekick but that doesn’t require me to delude myself about them

              3. flora

                I keep hearing from the Dem candidates and Dem estab that it’s really important to reach across the isle and work with the Reps in a bipartisan manner. Joe has tapped Reps for his admin. And W has been rehabilitated by the Dem estab.

                In the next breath, I hear from said candidates how horrible the GOP candidates are. If Dem candidates and incumbants are happy to compromise with the GOP they shouldn’t get so hysterical if voters vote for GOP candidates. Or maybe bipartisanship is only for the pmc and 1 percent class. The 90% is supposed to fight amongst ourselves. ;)

                “There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party … and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat.”

                ― Gore Vidal

                Both T and Bernie were attempts to challenge the Property Party in 2016, imo.

              4. tegnost

                wake up and smell the coffee buckeye.
                Your lists include a lot of opprobrium for trump, but you overlook completely the failings of the dems in general and biden in particular.
                This blindness is your problem, and verbally bullying opponents of your chosen candidate makes you one and the same.
                Without referencing d trump, why should should an american citizen vote for biden?

              5. Lambert Strether

                > He has a post from September 22 titled “Put away childish things.”

                This always happens. Liberal Democrats think infantilizing their interlocutors and opponents is the best rhetorical strategy, absolutely the best.

                Adding, the full quotation is from 1 Cor 13:11-12: “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.”

                On verse 11, a party where a respected elder calls the President-in-Waiting a “birthday girl” has no standing to claim it’s “put away childish things.” (Also, authoritarian followership is childish.)

                On verse 12: The psychological transformation is interesting, but self-reflection (“in a mirror”) is hardly a liberal Democrat strength, let alone any form of empathy or mutualism (“I shall know just as I also am known”) that is not performative or strategic.

            2. Aumua

              Also I think there are plenty of other parties doing “uproar over Trump” for the past 4 years, including most of the main stream and the 3 letter agencies etc. and they have pretty much run it into the ground. I think we just feel a need to provide a little counterpoint here at NC.

        1. ambrit

          Oh come now. That should be “Geaux Tiggers!” Bouncey, bouncey, bouncey.
          (I have in-laws who went there.)

  13. lyman alpha blob

    RE: prosthetic hand

    Well those hospital prosthetics aren’t everything they’re cracked up to be anyway. I come from a family of very hospital-phobic males. Probably close to a century ago, my great grandfather was splitting wood with a sledgehammer and wedge and a small piece of metal sheared off and went into his arm. Not wanting to go to the hospital, he directed a family member to put some salt pork on it and called it good. Of course it wasn’t good, and gangrene set it and then he had to go to the hospital for an amputation and a prosthetic. Evidently he found the prosthetic unsatisfactory, probably out of spite from what I’ve heard about him, and he had my great uncle hammer out a homemade iron hook to wear instead. Never met the man myself, but the hook is still in the attic of the family farmhouse.

    Judging by that article, the art of homemade prosthetics has improved immensely in the last 100 years. Too bad the US healthcare system has gone so far in the opposite direction.

  14. dcrane

    Trump’s approval index at Rasmussen is reaching a 2+ year high as we approach the election. (They seem to have a GOP-leaning likely voter model, fwiw.) I guess Rasmussen could be fooling around with their model over time. Or maybe the GOP voters have stayed put while everyone else in the electorate has marched away from Trump. But it’s at least as likely to me that the same establishment/MSM that was swept away by Russiagate for 3 years is instead fooling themselves with *their* models.

    1. Skip Intro

      All polling has become performative, rather than predictive. The prevalence of ‘internal polls’ being something of a dead giveaway. The turnout models were unprepared for a candidate as widely loathed and distrusted as Clinton in 2016. In 2020, with covid-era voting, the polls are virtually worthless.

      1. Howard Beale IV

        In my enclave in Northern MI, I see more Trump signs in areas where the housing is basically a bunch of double-wides, whereas I see Biden signs in the more tony-er places – and the price of housing is far, far from cheap for all of them.

    2. voteforno6

      Rasmussen is one of the more Republican-leaning polls, I think, so take that with a grain of salt.

      1. dcrane

        I think this is probably right (and noted that in my post). For me, the value is in the trendline within the poll over time, rather than the absolute value.

  15. ptb

    I have to agree with the linked Ian Welsh piece. The ratcheting to the right continues, and you know that a Biden admin, even with full control of Congress, will take only partial steps to reverse it. That is precisely the reason he was helped to the nomination.

    As to Barrett specifically, the media volume was turned way down over the confirmation “battle”, as much of the US public is okay with the nominee, 51% overall and even 25% of Dems [morning consult poll, from ~Oct 21].

    Looking ahead, swing state polling still has Trump and Republicans in general viewed as “better on the economy”, and the sole reason Biden is likely to win swing states like PA is the Covid-19 fiasco – which shifted about 10-15% of the over-65 demographic away from Trump. (but not the middle-aged segment, which is a somewhat interesting age pattern). Thus, a Biden admin would have at most 2 years of full control of the executive+legislature, and even that is tenuous and uncertain, since a 50-50 or 51-49 Dem Senate would be subject to regular defection by the DINO’s.

    1. Grant

      “Thus, a Biden admin would have at most 2 years of full control of the executive+legislature, and even that is tenuous and uncertain, since a 50-50 or 51-49 Dem Senate would be subject to regular defection by the DINO’s.”

      Well, this is probably true more than anything because Biden will not change anything and the status quo doesn’t work. If he had a coherent program and wanted to push for popular policies, he could really use that in the midterms in 2022, have a vision that inspires people, something to organize towards. But, he doesn’t, and he has done nothing but appeal to the right since winning the nomination, save a sad Bernie rally here or there. It is therefore certain that there will be a backlash. My hope is that it comes from the left, and these worthless Democrats are thrown out one way or another. But, then there are the sham Democratic Party primaries, and what they will do if the left actually threatens to take control of that rotten party. As we saw with the last primary, they are fully willing to burn that whole party down if the threat is real.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        It will be amusing to see liberals blame the “Lincoln Project” for the failure of the Biden agenda.

        1. Grant


          They are all failures at what matters. I mean, part of what Obama wanted to accomplish was the TPP and austerity, cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. He failed at that. Good. Clinton was working on privatizing Social Security, and the Lewinski affair ruined that. Good. But, there is no one with power that I want to succeed, and so we all lose, cause they are all corrupt and worthless. How many of those in the Lincoln Project are or support war criminals? The liberals all want to go back to doing brunch and not worrying about the rotten society they live in. Fine, do that during primaries and stop voting then too. We would be all better off if they missed voting in primaries because they had a brunch date, so go back to brunch and stay there. Let society heal from the rotten choices of them and those to their right.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            When will people start thinking strategically about the votes they cast. The right is the right and always will be. What’s desperately needed is a party that opposes that. There’s a party that pretends to be opposition, riding on the fumes of what the party did for workers in the 1930’s, 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s. Since that time they have flipped 180 degrees and now pursue a straight right wing program. This time around they made no secret of that and even included right wing Republicans at their convention. They are no longer even attempting to conceal the fact that they are right wing. If you reward them with a vote for doing that you are telling them you agree with their right wing program and do not want to open the space for any opposition to form.

            Bill Clinton put it succinctly: “where else are they going to go?” So long as the answer is “nowhere” then we will continue to get the right wing policy we deserve.

            1. Phillip Cross

              There is huge hole in this logic. How do you get from correctly saying, “The Democrats are horrible because they are actually closet right wingers, and I am not a right winger.” to shilling for an actual far right party?

              I just don’t understand how you can make that leap.

              1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                Thanks for asking. I believe you need what is called “a theory of change”.

                Bernie had a theory of change: raise funds directly from individuals by promising them an obvious policy that would materially affect their lives for the better.

                One party is right wing. Always has been and always will be. You will not be able to change that.

                So where is change even possible? Should you try to change an unchangeable right wing party? Or should you try to change a party that in the past has *opposed* right wing policies, but in recent years has strayed from that position as a misguided political expedient?

                So following from the above, how would you propose to change that former opposition party? Would you change them by continuing to support them as they turn further and further and further right? Or would you say “this is too important to blow, even if it means the other party retains power for four more years, if we do not express our displeasure with the former opposition party for not opposing, then year in and year out we will get the same outcomes and have the same complete lack of opposition to right wing policies forever”.

                In other words you use tactics that advance your strategic aims.

                Pol: Vote for me.
                Plebe: Why?
                Pol: Because I tell you everything you want, but then I don’t do any of it.
                Plebe: Oh, OK then.

                What’s your theory of change? Sternly worded letters?

                1. Phillip Cross

                  In my opinion, it doesn’t matter who you vote for, it’s a total charade. “We the people” were checkmated generations ago. It’s not ever going to change for the better, it’s only going to get worse from here no matter who wins.

                  I don’t enjoy banging my head against a brick wall, and so I am only watching from a sense of morbid curiosity, instead of endlessly shilling for a far right demagogue.

                  1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                    It’s a cycle and we are stuck in it, the beatings will continue until morale improves. When you are stuck in a cycle, especially one that is spiraling downward, you take dramatic action to kick yourself out of the cycle. That, or conclude what you have concluded. Augustine of Hippo said that Hope has two daughters: Anger and Courage. It definitely takes both to kick yourself out a cycle like this one. If you read my note above you would see that does not equal shilling *for* a right wing demagogue

    2. vidimi

      i think you are being delusional if you think there will be ANY steps to reverse it. Obama only moved to the right and so will Biden. The question ought to be, will america move more to the right under biden or under 4 more years of trump? both Ds and Rs are ineffective opposition when it comes to reigning in the other party’s worst impulses, but Ds are more effective at shifting the overton window to the right (c.f. the latest approval ratings for ACB’s confirmation).

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Wolf researcher’s new book explores predators, prey on Isle Royale’

    Good to see that Dave Mech is still putting out good research on wolves. As a hunter that operates in a social group that has strong family ties, they are fascinating to read about. I do admit thinking while reading this article of how they might compare with early humans when they too were hunting in social groups. I do wonder if packs of humans and packs of wolves competed with each other or whether perhaps they kept to their own hunting niche.

    1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Idk why but your comment made me think of this Cartoon Network/Adult Swim show ‘Primal.’

      The episodes are ony 15/20 mins and I highly recommend it!!!

      Beware, LOTS OF BLOOD :-)

    2. RMO

      Kev: One of the questions I would be looking to finally answer if I had a time machine is how and when did humans and wolves begin their unusual symbiotic relationship which led in the end to dogs.

      I also find the wolf social structure fascinating. So much in common with human social structure but with some significant differences. Personally, in the abstract as a group I prefer wolves.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Actually even though there are no wolves here in Oz, I really like them too. I have a picture of one hanging up in my home. And preferring wolves to people? As was quoted from the movie “Aliens”-

        You know, Burke, I don’t know which species is worse. You don’t see them f****** each other over for a goddamn percentage’

  17. Carolinian

    Re movie theaters–the author suggests a return to the pre Paramount decree studio ownership of theaters but admits

    the world is a very different place than it was in the 1940s.

    No kidding. Movie theaters and radio were the primary sources of entertainment just before television and yearly theater attendance has never come close to it’s peak in the 1940s. The studios don’t need theaters anymore and are unlikely to sink money into them just to please Christopher Nolan. In fact the new head of Disney has said the company will now concentrate on a more direct distribution path to the public. Theater owners have denounced this as a kiss of death.

    To be sure the demise of movie theaters has been predicted for decades (they worried that television might kill them off) but this time it may happen.

    1. Wukchumni

      }~~~~~} Rosebud

      I grew up on a fairly steady diet of Disney films (Love Bug, etc) going to the Whittwood theatre in Whittier Ca. It had a balcony and was only about 100 yards away from Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour.

      Both are long since gone, but once upon a time…

      1. foghorn longhorn

        “I made a pig of myself at farrell’s”
        That ice cream parlor was awesome.
        Didn’t they call it the ‘pig trough’?
        Got a blue ribbon with that slogan on it, if you killed it off.

        1. Wukchumni

          I can’t believe I ate the whole thing on numerous occasions, an 11 year old having a bottomless pit of a stomach.

        2. Milton

          No. You’re thinking of the fictitious restaurant from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Farrell’s big sundae that was carried by two employees was the Zoo. It had plastic animals on it that you could keep.

      2. ShamanicFallout

        When I was young my grandparent’s had a place in Lincoln City on the Oregon coast and one of their neighbors was Kenny McCarthy, the other founder of Farrell’s (maybe they flipped a coin on the name?).

        Anyway, Mr McCarthy, ice cream parlor entrepreneur who just loved to give kids free ice cream sundaes on their birthdays, was the kind of guy that as a kid you would stay well away from “his property”. The ultimate “get off of my lawn” a**hole

    2. Jonathan Holland Becnel


      The total dismantaling of my childhood is complete!!!

      Cant wait to watch crappy Disney and Netflix Neolib Propaganda and NEVER LEAVE MY HOUSE!

  18. Jeremy Grimm

    Humankind survived another year without destroying itself in a nuclear war.

    Happy Vasili Arkhipov Day! Thank you Vasili!

  19. amfortas the hippie

    the thing on joint disease being due to overproduction of the lubricin gives me something non political to chase for the next week
    not that it will do me any tangible good, mind you, lol
    i’d need “access” to healthcare for that
    i’m resigned to my painful brokenness and indeed, have accepted my cripple hood as a large part of my identity thus making it sacred

  20. flora

    re: The Enemies Briefcase – Andrew Cockburn

    wow. T’s presidency is revealing many long standing abuses the press ignored until T became pres. At least the press is finally reporting on these bi-partisan, Congress-approved abuses which started long before T. This reporting is very welcome.

    Thanks for the link.

  21. bruce

    I wonder how many of our names are in the Enemies Briefcase. Is there an upper age limit where I would be simply too old and infirm to pose a threat?

    1. ambrit

      Basic rule of counter-insurgency: One is never too old to be either a threat or a teaching example for the others.

      1. polecat

        An audible hiss perhaps.

        … as in the always wanting-to-be-reanimated Bride of Frankenshclinton.

      2. KC

        I mean from this blog. It’s such an important issue but not seeing links to this story. Was looking for fearless comments on finance, politics and power here :)

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Please see our Policies on assignments. We view Barry Ritholtz as the Web standard:

      Assignments: There are few things that I find more annoying than disingenuous rhetoric. “Why are you ignoring X? You must post on this NOW.”

      No, no I mustn’t. I do not, and will not, under any circumstances, accept your homework assignments. They will be deleted, and your troll potential score will skyrocket. Instead, you fat lazy bastard, do some homework yourself. Then, post a clever observation and URL. Perhaps you will stimulate a conversation. (Of course, you could always write your own blog, ‘cepting your constant masturbation makes typing exceedingly slow).

      1. KC

        I see. This is a suggestion to cover this topic, not meant as a homework, since I am neither anyone’s teacher nor nobody. I made a similar suggestion when you were not covering COVID-19 a few months back. This is your blog and of course you make the decision.

        1. Lambert Strether

          > when you were not covering COVID-19 a few months back

          Our Covid coverage is second to none. Keep digging, champ.

          Adding, we’re not complete fools, and the blog does have a search function. Do you comment under more than one account?

  22. antidlc

    Texas National Guard to send up to 1,000 troops to major cities for support after election

    The Texas National Guard plans to send up to 1,000 troops to five cities to support local law enforcement and the Texas Department of Public Safety after the Nov. 3 election, the San Antonio Express-News reported.

    The troops could be sent as early as this weekend, the outlet reported. Troops are being activated “as we did previously to deter any civil disturbance at sites in various cities within Texas,” Maj. Gen. James K. “Red” Brown, chief of staff for the guard’s commander, told the Express-News.

    Texas Guard spokesman Brandon Jones told the outlet that troops could be sent to Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio, but that he didn’t know how many guardsmen would be sent to each place.

  23. antidlc

    Thomas administers oath to Barrett…reminds me of an old post from wall street on parade

    https://wall street on

    Get rid of the blanks before trying to link.

    The Citizens United case, decided by the U.S. Supreme Court on January 21, 2010, opened the spigots to unlimited corporate money in elections and put free speech for inanimate, unfeeling corporations on equal footing with free speech for humans with a brain and a heart. But it didn’t pass the smell test from day one; four of the nine Justices on the court said so in a scathing dissent that raised the issue of unprincipled behavior on the part of the 5-judge majority which ruled on issues that were not legally before the court.

    The unpleasant aroma of that decision enveloped Justice Clarence Thomas over his all-expenses-paid, four-day luxury trip to the January 2008 Koch brothers confab in the Palm Springs area of California. (According to his 2008 disclosure form and the Supreme Court’s public information office, his expenses for that trip were paid by the Federalist Society, a conservative nonprofit that the Koch foundations have given $1.9 million to, from 1991 through 2009.)

  24. Mikel

    I haven’t checked New York Times headlines on the desktop, but scrolling in the phone, I see they are trying to whistle past what’s going on in Philly.

  25. Oso_in_Oakland

    Black injustice tipping point
    for those who are waiting to comment something like “what are police supposed to do when there is an armed (black) assailant other than shoot him” Walter Wallace’s mother was there trying to keep her son alive during a mental health crisis. She apparently called 911 for help. Yes a man armed with a knife is scary. Yes police need to keep themselves and others from being harmed. Yes it can be a difficult job. the problem is the two officers chose to execute him. It was a choice they made. this wasn’t two random guys, these were trained officers. If there were no safe options one of them could have fired their weapon. Instead they both opened fire, firing at least thirteen rounds. The police are already lying to the media about all the proper procedures being followed. both have already been rewarded with paid vacations. since they investigate themselves and the DA virtually always side with police both officers will soon be back on the streets. Business as usual.

    1. polecat

      So is looting (packing out some bling – in this case, I believe were .. shoes.

      ‘I feel aggrieved.. think I’ll go down to my local merch, and ‘requisition’ some tony sh!t.

      ‘No Banksters were harmed by said aggreivment … only small businesses.

      1. Calypso Facto

        nobody deserves to be murdered by police because they had the misfortune of having a mental health crisis and law enforcement – the only option in most places – was called to deescalate. There was no looting involved.

      2. Late Introvert

        wow @polecat, plonk yerself much?

        Looting is worse than state murder then? Instant death sentence for being unstable in an incredibly insane and unstable world? Judge, jury, and executioner, all because a person needed help?

        I agree looting is counter productive and kills small businesses. I wonder why desperate people feel so inclined to do that though, and you apparently don’t.

    2. Amfortas the hippie

      wouldn’t it be neat if we had some kind of humanitarian intervention team with training in psychological problems?
      (i knew a guy who worked at the Austin psych hospital…scary job, those cops are pansies compared to him…and he never killed anybody)

      also, sometime during the security theater phase of post-911, i remember reading about a Net Firing Gun that was being shopped to the milsec crowd…. like a big bore shotgun that shot a spiderweb that immobilized a person without hurting them.
      i think about that whenever i hear about some person having a crisis and holding a stick being riddled with bullets from 20 feet away by our brave and bold defenders of the peace.
      better than a taser, and certainly better than several service weapons emptying at once.

      i loathe the cops, as a species…both due to too many stories like this, as well as my own experiences with them during my youth as a weirdo smart kid in rural texas(uniforms trigger me to this day).
      keep the investigative divisions…and ramp them up(Rape Kit Backlogs!?)…but fire the rest. Replace beat cops with a randomocracy style rotation of regular folks, screened psychologically as best we can.
      the status quo in “law enforcement” has been fubar for all my life.
      do something else.

  26. Calypso Facto

    re: Portland Police intentionally targeting protestors

    This IS important, thank you for posting. Probably too much to hope that the ‘law ‘n ordUR’ crew is going to sit down and read that critically and think about what it means for the protest actions over the summer and the people murdered and targeted by the police before and now. It was clear from the beginning that the police in Portland were intentionally targeting peaceful protestors because the protestors were protesting THEM and not because the protestors were breaking any laws. Everyone who claimed the police were justified because of ‘antifa’ or ‘mob violence’ or whatever controlling bullsh!t should be ashamed at the very least that they fell for it but doubtful they will, doubtful they will consider the role they played in incitement online that contributed to people on the ground in Portland and elsewhere getting hurt. The patronizing and paternalistic claims that ‘we’ should all ‘just’ be able to ‘get along’ if only we ‘follow the rules’ by people who defended the police no matter what are excuses for maintaining the status quo and for maintaining the police union’s power over Portland.

    1. JWP

      I’m convinced those people you mentioned aren’t holding those views because they believe them, but out of hatred for the “city liberals.” Drive 10 miles from portland in any direction, on any of the 5 freeways, you’ll see a “standing up for our police” sign. Content wise, that sign means nothing, the police are heavily funded, backed by a judicial system, and can legally kill. It’s just pure hatred for a certain group of people they do not interact with. Yet another version of the controlling class blaming someone else for the problems they’ve created.

      1. Calypso Facto

        hard agree with your last two sentences. I firmly believe a major contributor to that is social media performance and bubble-ization (carrying on with the trend started by AM talk radio). Then some paid content/PR firm (on behalf of the police union) rolls in with some inciting content (“red meat”) for the base to get them ‘fired up’. But it’s ‘not their fault’ because ‘online isn’t real’. You can’t buy a newspaper ad that says ‘all pink haired college students are FEMINAZIS and should be INCARCERATED 100$ for each scalp’ but this is basically what these PR firms are doing. Individuals trolling can do some damage but nothing like what The Daily Caller and the massive right wing dark money-funded ‘media groups’ are doing.

        1. JWP

          Spot on. like you described its a chain that becomes more and more specialized and targeted with the same goal in mind throughout. These “media groups” are trending towards the individual level, creating martyrs and uber specific local coalitions and facebook groups that can be connected to the big guns at the top. Similar to the BLM movement and the DNC.

  27. John Anthony La Pietra

    Abolishing the Electoral College May Not Save Us Vice (resilc). *Sigh* “What about ‘Constitutional amendment’ don’t you understand?”

    The NPV won’t save us — it’s unconstitutional.

    If any state’s participation in the compact means its electoral votes are allocated “loser-takes-all”, that just means even more voters’ rights to vote for President will have been denied or abridged — by diluting their voting power — than happens now in “winner-takes-all” states.

    And Section 2 of the 14th Amendment says any state which does that is to lose a proportional share of its US Representatives — and by extension, the electoral votes that go with those seats in Congress per Article II, Section 1, Clause 2.

    For more on this, please see this page, for example.

    I’m fine amending the Constitution to adopt direct popular voting for President. (Though I also see the potential for consensus-building in the unproportional “Senatorial” electoral votes — at least, in a multi-party situation.) But IMO we should first get stronger and more consistent rules across the country on who can vote, who can get on the ballot, who must be included in any forum with any public financial support, etc.

  28. joltin joe

    >Humanity is stuck in short-term thinking. Here’s how we escape. MIT Technology Review

    What is the word for a specialist domain whose area of focus makes it precisely blind to the ends which it seeks? Redefining problems doesn’t solve them, and ignoring alternative histories revokes their ability to inform us. Great intro though.

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