Links 10/3/2020

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Magawa the mine-detecting rat wins PDSA Gold Medal BBC (alan b). I think previously featured but worth a reminder.

Rising waters threaten Great Lakes communities PhysOrg

The Apple Watch Heart Monitor Sends Too Many People To the Doctor The Verge

Trump Infected

>COVID-19 at the White House – Contact Tracking Peter James Walker, Tableau Public (UserFriendly). Lambert will be so happy.

The coronavirus’ average incubation is 5 days, and people may be most contagious a day before symptoms. Here’s what that means for Trump’s contacts. Business Insider

Twitter Says You Cannot Tweet That You Hope Trump Dies From COVID Vice

White House coronavirus outbreak: Who close to the president has tested positive Axios

Trump Infects America New York Magazine

Fox News Stars Potentially Exposed to Coronavirus at Debate DNyuz (resilc)

GOP Sen. Thom Tillis tests positive for coronavirus The Hill. Resilc: “Dropping like the flies they are.”

Former Trump Adviser Kellyanne Conway Says She Has Covid-19 Wall Street Journal

If Trump’s Condition Deteriorates, Could the Election be Delayed? Vice


Donald Trump Personally to Blame for 37 Percent of the World’s COVID-19 Misinformation, Study Finds Daily Beast


Largest study of COVID-19 transmission highlights essential role of super-spreaders Los Angeles Times

Randomized Controlled Trials of Early Ambulatory Hydroxychloroquine in the Prevention of COVID-19 Infection, Hospitalization, and Death: Meta-Analysis MedRxiv

High prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 swab positivity in England during September 2020:interim report of round 5 of REACT-1 study Imperial

Covid: Vaccine will ‘not return life to normal in spring’ BBC. Telling that this has to be said.

With 1m dead, are we any better at treating Covid-19? Financial Times


Coronavirus: Spain imposes partial lockdown on defiant Madrid BBC


Almost 20,000 Amazon workers in US test positive for Covid-19 Guardian


Pelosi anticipates reaching economic relief deal with Mnuchin, saying Trump diagnosis ‘changes the dynamic” (UserFriendly)


Huawei’s Investments Are ‘Predatory Actions’ and All Countries Should Ban Them: Pompeo Reuters

Japan’s Lost Generation Is Still Jobless and Living With Their Parents Bloomberg


Brexit: Johnson urges ‘common sense’ ahead of fresh EU talks DW

Brexit talks: Optimism falters ahead of the tunnel Tony Connelly, RTE. Quelle surprise!


U.S., UAE And Israel Agree On Joint Energy Strategy OilPrice (resilc)

Afghan peace could restoke Pakistan’s tribal wars Asia Times

U.S. fines Emirates $400,000 for flying over Iranian airspace Reuters

Assange Trial

Eyewitness to the Agony of Julian Assange Areana. Interview with John Pilger. A must read.

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Egypt police ‘using dating apps’ to find and imprison LGBT+ people Independent (resilc)

Paying ransomware demands could land you in hot water with the feds ars technica

Imperial Collapse Watch

A U.S. Navy Destroyer Just Spent Record Time at Sea. Did It Really Have To? Popular Mechanics

Trump Transition

H.R. McMaster: “There Is a Strange Tendency in the U.S. to Hold Trump Responsible for All Evil” Der Spiegel. Resilc: “No, I hold pieces of shit like McmMsters responsible too.”

Hundreds of migrants from Honduras enter Guatemala, toward US Associated Press.

Trump’s Offshore Oil Ban Will Hit Wind Farms Hard OilPrice

Supreme Struggle

Mike Lee May Have Infected Senate Judiciary Committee Members With COVID-19 Huffington Post. UserFriendy:

So much for the court pick. 2 positive GOP senators on the Judiciary Committee. It’s actually looking like the party where they nominated her was the super spreading event.

Revealed: Amy Coney Barrett supported group that said life begins at fertilization Guardian

The US supreme court may soon become plutocracy’s greatest defender David Sirota, Guardian


Schwarzenegger offers grants to reopen polling places | TheHill. UserFriendly: “Oh good, let’s take decisions about the ability of poor people to vote away from partisan hacks just to hand it to billionaires.”

Trump Is in Trouble for a Lot of Reasons, But the K-Shaped Recovery Is a Big One Esquire

Amy McGrath Is Airing A Pro-Trump Ad In A Swing State Media Market HuffPost (UserFriendly)

You’re Doing It to Yourselves’: Deepfake US Election Ads Featuring Putin, Kim Pulled From Websites Sputnik. Kevin W: “Both videos are worth watching.”

National Guard taps units for rapid response to civil unrest Associated Press

Justice Dept., FBI bracing for possibility of election day unrest Washington Post (resilc)

There’s No Debating It: Trump Encourages Violent White Supremacists DemocracyNow! (Kevin C)

New High Favors One-Party Control of U.S. Federal Government Gallup (resilc)

Health Care

Health insurance premiums could drop 5% if the U.S. banned surprise medical bills MarketWatch

How One Piece of Hardware Took Down a $6 Trillion Stock Market Bloomberg (Kevin W)

Pinterest limiting search results for culturally inappropriate Halloween ideas The Hill. (Kevin W)

Buyout groups blasted at SEC meeting for ‘misleading numbers’ Financial Times. From last month, still germane.

This is the stuff Americans are dropping a lot more money on Quartz. Article does not consider private equity oligopolization of veterinary supplies and pet products leading to price increases and more consumer spending.

U.S. job growth slows in September; permanent unemployment increasing Reuters

Google Contractors Allege Company Prevents Them From Whistleblowing, Writing Silicon Valley Novels CNBC

Class Warfare

The Problem of Surplus White Men Foreign Policy in Focus

Antidote du jour. Tracie H:

It is four of the “Magnificent 7”. We call this a “furniture-protection” blanket. They will swear that we intend it as a “kitty-comfort” blanket.

And a bonus:

And another bonus (guurst):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. UserFriendly

    FWIW I still think there is better than a 50/50 chance Trump gave it to biden at the debate. They were 8ft apart I read somewhere, but they were yelling the whole time.

  2. Winston Smith

    The president’s condition is a closely guarded secret. After taking an experimental treatment of monoclonal antibodies (Regeneron) for what was described as mild symptoms (who are they kidding?), he is now being given Remdesevir. However, the press releases take pains to stress that he does not need oxygen…yet. Therapeutic mAbs are not benign agents, the regeneron cocktail is not approved and it’s efficacy is doubtful. I think that says everything we need to know.

    1. DorothyT

      About the drug said to be administered to Pres. Trump: Regeneron

      Although Regeneron’s product has not been authorized for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration, companies can grant access to their experimental treatments through compassionate use, for example, if all other options have failed and a patient might die without trying the drug.

      In an interview Friday afternoon, Regeneron’s chief executive, Dr. Leonard S. Schleifer, said Mr. Trump’s medical staff reached out to the company for permission to use the drug, and that it was cleared with the Food and Drug Administration.

      … Dr. Schleifer has known Mr. Trump casually for years, having been a member of his golf club in Westchester County.

      About Regeneron’s stock.

    2. Glen

      To be honest, I could have seen him taking Regeneron if he had been marketing it like that anti-malarial drug, but he wasn’t talking about it that I am aware of. I wonder who prescribed it? His doctor I hope.

      1. chris

        The move to Walter Reed is a sign things are serious. How serious we won’t know for a while.

        Regeneron is a product that was developed based on anti-viral requests to handle things like Ebola. Due to contracting shenanigans it basically took sequences and information from a number of competitors and trials into its final drug. So yeah, it’s experimental, but experimental based on a number of other experiments and research that was other companies best work.

        1. The Historian

          Or maybe the move to Walter Reed was just to get him out of the leaky White House?

          When Trump stops tweeting, then I’ll know he is sick, but that hasn’t happened yet.

        2. Yves Smith Post author

          Even NBC, which is not a Trump apologist, went on at length about how Walter Read has a suite for the president so he can have meetings and keep working if he feels up to it while being treated. They added that at WR he’d not infect staff (recall that the WH has a large contingent of service personnel like the kitchen staff and servers).

  3. Toshiro_Mifune

    Japan’s Lost Generation Is Still Jobless and Living With Their Parents

    Good article. Even though this focuses on Japan this isn’t a Japanese only phenomenon. The people described in the article mirror quite a few I know in the same age range here in the US.

      1. Pelham

        Japan, the southern EU and the US, then, would seem to be building up quite a potent army of disaffected and virile young men. I wonder what they’ll do when they reach critical mass.

        1. Toshiro_Mifune

          I wonder what they’ll do when they reach critical mass

          A fair question. It isn’t too hard to imagine where this goes. I suppose the questions are; Do we get multiple regional movements or has the net changed things enough that there’s the potential for a global one lead by a Tyler Durden-esque* figure?
          Also; What are all the disaffected women doing? They certainly exist. They’re certainly angry. Where is that energy potentially going to go?
          In the forward to the 1947 report for Congress Fascism in Action ** stated;
          “A prime necessity in the defeat of fascism is the maintenance of full employment”.
          We have spent a long time ignoring warnings like this or juking the un-employment stats so it doesn’t look so bad. I think we may be at the point where obvious and peaceful redress has been removed.

          *We’ll use Tyler Durden rather than another, obvious, potential voice for the disaffected just to avoid Godwin-ing my own comment in the second sentence.

          ** Report here;

          1. hunkerdown

            A polite synonym for “young, dumb, and full of familyblog” as my grandfather used to call it.

            1. campbeln

              I’ve not thought of this turn of phrase in decades. When I first heard it I was too young to understand the familyblog version of “spunky” and therefore thought of it as a synonym of “energetic”. Its funny how things like this come along and upend your previous understanding of conversations from decades ago!?!

              1. chris

                No, I think that’s the right choice of words. Physically mature males who would have been thinking about starting families or doing other things of a more adult nature are being economically and romantically “cockblocked.” That’s not to say anyone owes any of these individuals anything. But it is suggestive that we may need some social safety valves quickly or else we’re going to have a lot of other problems on our hands.

                  1. chris

                    War or some kind of frontier have been the preferred methods of dealing with that kind of excess population since at least the crusades :/

            2. GramSci

              Just finished Sapolski’s “Behave”. Loss of status is a real testosterone trigger. The worst of the lot could get very bad.

          2. ewmayer

            Seems perfectly apt to me: “Virile: having strength, energy, and a strong sex drive”. All of which need outlets, preferably productive or at least non-harmful ones. Traditional outlets included physical labor, competitive sports and outdoor recreation, and dating/skirt-chasing. Now consider the extent to which said outlets have been foreclosed by the modern political economy: Most physical-labor jobs don’t pay anywhere near enough to support a family, many don’t even pay a living wage. Being skilled with one’s hands has been stigmatized as dinosaurian and jobs which value such skills offshored. Those other young-male traits are frowned upon by the IdPol/PC shaming squads as “toxic masculinity”. Kids of both sexes are now so helicopter-parented that most have no clue what outdoor recreation feels like, unless it means sitting outside and playing some dopamine-loop-designed addicto-game on their smartphones. Sedentary children who do encounter something like a mildly strenuous hike in terrain are too out of shape to enjoy it, which reinforces the sedentism. This is disproportionately bad for young boys, because when they hit puberty, that hormone rush and excess energy *need* outlets.

            I suggest that the fact that a word like “virile” used entirely appropriately in the given context raises multiple eyebrows is reflective of the aforementioned stigmatization.

            By way of a parting shot, consider the extent to which the Armed Forces and Law Enforcement increasingly offer the few remaining well-paying employment options for men who don’t want to be full-time paper-pushers and cubicle rats.

          3. HotFlash

            I think it is a polite term for “suffering from testosterone poisoning”. R Heinlein in Time Enough for Love (I think) recommended that young men be locked up in a barrel when they turn 15 and fed through the bunghole until they are 18. Could be why young men are drafted/recruited to fight wars or are send a-viking. Older guys tend to be less ready for a rumble.

            1. The Rev Kev

              Heinlein also said that at 18 you peek inside that bunghole. If you like what you see, you let them out. If not, then you put a cork in that bunghole.

          4. JTMcPhee

            Isn’t it interesting — were the kinds of observations about males being made (categories revised to reflect the gender) about women, I’d bet there would be one hell of a hue and cry raised. But sexism now is a one-way ratchet, pretty much.

            Dare one ask whether the female, slightly-more-than-half of the demographic being chewed over here is any less feckless or more worthy than the male part? Strikes me as pretty condescending and know-it-all-ing to effectively write off several hundred million people. Not that humans, taken as a large group, have consistently shown any virtues worth preserving, measured against what used to be a seeming consensus of “goodness.” Women have fought hard for the ‘right” to join the military, to pilot drones and fly attack jets and helicopters, to get bloody in the “kicking in doors in Kandahar” killings, and advancing into the ranks of the “special ops” people who happily and grimly go about overthrowing governments and assassinating and kidnapping in such “special” ways. And let’s not forget the cheers as women breach the Brass Ceiling and out-male the males in rising to their levels of incompetence in the general And lesser officer class, that bunch of glorified medal-chests who bleed the world’s wealth and can’t even “win” any of their wars of choice against tribesmen and -women, or procure weapons and equipment that are fit for purpose (the bureaucratic processes not in the tiniest way suited to figure out what “fit for purpose” might mean. Leading to a kind of perpetual “revolt of the admirals,” most folks have no idea how viciously the ‘branches” of the US military fight internecine wars over who writes the doctrine and dogma, and who gets the money and missions,

            But hey I’m just one of those excess males who enlisted at age 18 in 1966 to go fight the Commies over there so they wouldn’t be screwing our virginal females after conquering the Homeland. I just re-watched the last two episodes of “Game of Thrones:” how will it ever happen that humans will “break the wheel,” short of maybe dying off as a result of some tech error, some black swan biological event, or via nuclear and no-holds-barred war? Until it comes to this point:

            Yeah, stick those testosterone-poisoned males in a barrel and hammer home the bung. But that will leave a lot of females and older and younger males out here to f**k things up in all the novel ways that are appear, among a host of “morbid symptoms.” Too bad the structure of the ruling class can’t allow for finding something actually useful for all of us to do, beyond procreating, consuming and killing.

    1. Betty

      Agreed re lost generation. I found the impact and inter-relationship of a limited job market, living at home, and decades-long isolation to be illuminating and horrifying.

      1. Tom

        What’s wrong with living with your parents? You need to make a good relationship with them not treat them as liabilities.

      1. Samuel Conner

        Or, that is the trajectory we seem to be on.
        The hierarchy of rights that our System prefers

        Highest: Corporations
        Middle: out of womb humans
        Lowest: gestating humans

        and it seems likely that the lower two groups will
        converge in future, but the gap between them and
        the first group will continue to widen.


        It’s the pro-life version of identity politics. I say this without snark; I sympathize with the pro-life view.

        1. Yik Wong

          It’s more like a spectrum, but I’ll play your hard line classification games

          Highest: K-street funding corporations
          Middle: “muricans
          Lowest: All those people from those “shit countries”.*

          The largest budget item in the USA is the funds spent on trying to exterminate the last group, even those in the womb. 57000 bombs under Trump, nearly twice that under Obama as just a starter, then there is the quiet, horrible deaths from starvation, malnutrition (destroy the brain); all thanks to USA enforce sanctions against the poorest of the poor.

          1. Randy G

            Yik Wong — Sadly, everything you wrote is exactly right.

            We have rampant military idolatry in this country not an anti-war movement. I always try to find a candidate who doesn’t relish starving and slaughtering foreigners. Tough sledding. Voted Cynthia McKinney and then Jill Stein twice. Supported Dennis Kucinich, Ron Paul and Tulsi Gabbard with small donations on their quixotic runs.

            Only thing the American oligarchy loves more than their corporations is firing missiles at defenseless people. Perfect pyrotechnics for TV news. Throw in white phosphorus and starvation for the combo pack. All-bipartisan. And lots of money making opportunities running the Empire.

            1. Yik Wong

              Thank you. I think a great deal of cognitive dissonance is going on, even here, so it’s a relief to know there are others who see it too. Hope you won’t mind but I’d like to do a riff off of your line:

              “Only thing the American oligarchy loves more than their corporations is firing missiles at defenseless people. “

              Only thing the American people love more than throwing their wealth away on the MIC killing defenseless people is the joy they have saving 5¢ at the gas pump by shoving third world men, women, children and yes, even fetuses into the Koch Brothers refineries’ pipeline.

              It’s unfair to let the oligarchy take all the blame when there is so much willful ignorance going on.

            2. campbeln

              Voted for Jill Stein, eh? So it was the two of us who ruined the world by keeping Hillary out of office!

              Speaking of which… have you gotten your check from Putin yet? I’m still waiting for mine.

              1. km

                And does anyone know where they’re holding the Secret Russian Internet Agent Jamboree this year?

                I am accused of being a Russian pretty much every day, but I still haven’t gotten the invite.

          2. Randy G

            Yik Wong — Sadly, everything you wrote is exactly right.

            We have rampant military idolatry in this country not an anti-war movement. I always try to find a candidate who doesn’t relish starving and slaughtering foreigners. Tough sledding. Voted Cynthia McKinney and then Jill Stein twice. Supported Dennis Kucinich, Ron Paul and Tulsi Gabbard with small donations on their quixotic runs.

            Only thing the American oligarchy loves more than their corporations is firing missiles at defenseless people. Perfect pyrotechnics for TV news. Throw in white phosphorus and starvation for the combo pack. All-bipartisan. And lots of money making opportunities!

        2. Pelham

          So do I. I also sympathize with pregnant women who don’t want to be. But there’s something supremely and forever repugnant about authorities of any type pretending they can draw any kind of distinction between where biological and human life begins.

        3. JP

          There are too many humans. If there is sanctity of life we have to consider how much of it human domination of the biome is killing. Abortion is a last ditch form of birth control. The people most against it are usually fine with killing adults. I myself prefer lamb to mutton.

          I would also point out the damage done to society by unwanted children. Abortion is not a eugenics program. It is a personal choice for a bunch of reasons. None of them are anti-life.

          1. HotFlash

            Indeed! I wonder that this Craig person doesn’t think the Planned Parenthood (a major provider of CHEAP or FREE BIRTH CONTROL) should be funded.

          2. Tom Bradford

            Some lesser-of-two-evil decisions are unavoidable. And there’s usually no ‘right’ answer. So I leave it to the person most effected by the decision to decide what is ‘right’ by them.

      2. John Anthony La Pietra

        If corporations are people, how can they be owned? Are they “born” with original due conviction of crime for which the punishment is slavery or involuntary servitude? If not, are they legally incompetent — wards of either the state or their guardians? Then they couldn’t do business on their own.

        Seems like the only status which applies is that of juveniles. In that case, maybe after 20 years or so a corporation should be emancipated from its “parents” — and live on as . . . what? Well, take away a corporation’s financial investors and the only “organs” left are the employees. So maybe it should become a co-op?

        1. Oh

          The biggest damage to the US Constitution and the law was the vote on Citizens United. Both parties are responsible for this. They love corporate money that lines their pockets. No other Supreme Court decision can be worse.

    1. jrh

      Nonsense. The formation of a new organism begins at fertilization. But fertilization requires two *living*, viable cells from two other living organisms.

      Where does non-life occur in this sequence? Where can life be said to have “begun”?

      We are all one, and it’s turtles all the way down.

      1. Krystyn Podgajski

        Here here. Life never begins, it always is and always was. Always flowing, changing.

        We are never alive, we only experience life.

          1. T

            Best case is fertilization leads to something other than another period is 1 in 4. That’s God’s plan.

      2. Wukchumni

        There I was, just another spermatozoa in the naked city-one out of a hundred million, and then she asked me out on a date.

        1. hunkerdown

          Plot twist: she sent you to a coffee shop on the other end of town, like in that Woody Allen movie.

    2. Toshiro_Mifune

      life does begin at fertilization
      On a long enough time scale I suppose life begins at swiping right.

      1. Ignacio

        Molecules flirting each other. Hey you amino acid, what do you like about this nitrogenated base? Want to come in into that fatty acid cubicle and start a relation?

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      What I’d like to know is when respect for the principle of separation of church and state begins.

    4. Art

      As if the sperm and egg were not alive before they met? Life predates sex, from a strictly biological perspective ;)

      1. Harold

        Yes. That’s why “spilling one’s seed” was considered a sin. They didn’t know about spermatozoa. Much less female egg.

      1. orlbucfan

        Barrett is just a white female equivalent to Clarence Thomas. She will be approved and seated on the Court.

        1. The Rev Kev

          No worries, Big Tap. What’s that saying again? Great minds think alike.. :)

          I’ll tell you what. I was thinking last night there is absolutely zero chance of a film like that being made again nowadays, much less a “Blazing Saddles.” Kinda sad that.

    5. anon4this

      Since people want to get into nuts and bolts on this thread, here we go.

      Yes, you’re technically correct. It’s also correct that over 30% of fertilizations fail and miscarry.

      The reason this isn’t more widely known, is because there are still taboos around discussing and grieving miscarriages.

      So from my point of view, life begins at *viable* fertilization. This is generally considered to be second trimester and it is why 1. most cultures have traditions around not announcing pregnancies until a certain amount of time has elapsed and 2. why late term abortions are banned in most places.

      Add to this all the physical/mental / social health issues involving pregnancy, and there is a reason why safe and available women’s health care including abortion are critically important.

      1. chris

        I’ve just always thought that abortion services were necessary because we have a society where abortion is safer than delivery, women can be and are sexually assaulted, and we have no legal mechanism of forcing men to be responsible for their sexual encounters. Also it’s their bodies and I don’t think the state has a right to decide anything with respect to that kind of thing. But I’m happy to help provide options to people so that women don’t feel that they have no choice for lack of economic options or family support.

        But I guess respecting other people’s rights and trying to be compassionate at the same time doesn’t make sense to a lot of people :/

        1. JTMcPhee

          Gotta remember that absent the ability to enforce it, a “right” simply does not exist. No matter how many appeals to “natural law” and scripture are shouted out.

        2. Harold

          Pregnancy and delivery are significantly dangerous for both mother and child even with the best conceivable health care possible. More so than for other species. There are no guarantees. A lot of this is due to our upright stature and big brains. There is a reluctance to talk about the this because knowing what could go wrong might frighten or depress people.

    6. Susan the other

      So is that to say life does not exist before fertilization? I’d like to see the analysis of that one.

  4. timbers

    Regarding: Pelosi anticipates reaching economic relief deal with Mnunchin, saying Trump diagnosis ‘changes the dynamic” (UserFriendly)

    Now that investors may actually lose, Pelosi is suddenly eager to work with Republicans. In this case, Airlines are the excuse. Airlines are serial users of stock buy backs which benefit the wealthy. Bailing them out doesn’t help the workers, it protects investors who hold debt and stocks in these companies.

    Based on current airline usage, this business needs to shrink. Bailing them out interferes with that needed process.

    If Pelosi wanted to help the workers she would propose giving them govt money, not investors.

    1. JWP

      Pelosi doesn’t want to help the workers. Reading about her and Mnuchin’s compromises and plans more than illustrate that. Workers have no sizable representation in the federal government and therefore receive no such beneficial policy. Their votes have been captured along social lines and not economic ones, leaving any economic decisions to neoliberals and libertarians.

      If by “changing the dynamic” she means being more sympathetic to compromise, we are in a world of trouble. We could easily see another lite bill passed with airline, oil, and big retail bailouts lacking any relief for workers by or immediately after the election followed by another one right around spring break with a similar contents. It doesn’t matter which party is in control, see 2008 v 2020, the result is the same. If Biden or Trump wins, and the pandemic is over within their terms, i suspect a massive bailout and stimulus package in the form of cash for the people and bailouts for the companies, with nothing to quell the upward flow of capital and power. Basically “here’s some money for you to spend and give back to the wealthy.” It will lack debt forgiveness, healthcare reform, or any sort of fundamental change to economic norms and policy.

      At which point the next election will come down to whether the winning candidate is more successful in using social excuses for the misery of the masses or can explain that the workers were left out to dry and economic reform and jail time for the ruling class is a must.

  5. Wukchumni

    Not a masked man or woman to be seen in that who’s who of GOP’ers in the video hugging and not social distancing 1 iota, and just how would you be perceived if you were the only person who stood out like a sore thumb figuratively owned by the libs?

    …a cautionary fail

    1. anon

      I wonder if they were all tested that day. If so, raises the question of the meaning of a “negative” test.

      1. chuck roast

        Trump supposedly gets tested three times per day. But he is a knucklehead. My guess is that he confused continually getting tested with avoiding the cooties, and figured he was totally protected. Easy to do if you’re as dumb and totally self-absorbed as he is.

        1. Tom Bradford

          From what I hear on the media quite a few people seem to regard getting tested as prophylactic.

    2. The Rev Kev

      But I must politely disagree. I can see three people in that video wearing masks and trying to social distance. Oh wait, they are young, military officers who are probably smarter than those DC politicians. Seriously, who hugs people in the middle of a pandemic? These people do, that’s who!

          1. Susan the other

            I’d be willing to speculate that Mike Lee gave her a big kiss on the cheek last Saturday.

      1. Samuel Conner

        > Seriously, who hugs people in the middle of a pandemic? These people do, that’s who!

        Clowns. We need an update on Lambert’s “We are ruled by Harkonnens”. The Baron was a high-functioning sociopath. He knew about poisons and airborne pathogens.

        Perhaps “Hardy-har-har-konnens”

          1. Wukchumni

            So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is…fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified online terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.

          2. BobW

            In this case lack of fear is the killer. Fear is selected for since it is a survival trait. Courage and bravado are two different things.

            1. ArcadiaMommy

              There is a lot of fear. The fear is of being wrong, being made fun of, being ostracized from your cohort, and how powerless you really are.

        1. Clive

          I’m way too old and past it to know directly, but from talking to Da Yoof (or such approximation thereof that are employed where I work and who I know well enough to talk to), the various goings-on that arise from dating apps like Tindr are still, well, going on.

          Sir, I can reliably inform you that there’s a whole lot more than hugging going on with those encounters.

          And my goodness me, did I slip through a hole in he space-time continuum and wake up in Victorian England? And if not, why this urge to recreate those times from a bygone era? Not, of course that Victorian values were really that Victorian anyway, they were clandestinely at it like rabbits half the time. And with much worse diseases and outcomes from those diseases to contend with (incurable STIs for a start).

          What, exactly, has gotten into people? Maybe it’s just a US thing. You guys do seem to like your End of Days storylines and they seem more replete in US popular culture than they do here. We here in the U.K. have gone completely off our trolleys over it all, compared to historical norms, of course. But America does, certainly from my perspective from afar, seem to have been doing its usual attempt at ramping everything up to headless chicken level 10.

          1. Wukchumni

            We like our future scenarios to be likened to films & tv* as in something we can relate too, even though suffering through such episodes required much suspension of disbelief to stomach.

            When did zombie this and zombie that become normal, when it became commonplace in our culture via camera obscura.

            * btw

            Fargo with Chris Rock is exceptional, and I took my imaginary murder count on screen up by a half a hundred if not more last night in an hour flat.

            1. rowlf

              Uh Wuk, when I had to work with some dumb-and-dangerous whites guys zombie apocalypse really sounded like it was code for race war as they were using it.

          2. rowlf

            I keep thinking Australia got lucky by having prisoners shipped there instead of being like the US where Britain shipped their religious nutters.

            Would the US have been different if Squanto told his group, “Whoa, these nuts? We gotta wipe them out and burn their ship. These folks are bad news.”

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Former Trump Adviser Kellyanne Conway Says She Has Covid-19”

    Can’t access that part of the story to confirm it but the TV news tonight mentioned that Conway was actually outed by her daughter as being positive to this virus.

        1. Wukchumni

          {…a minimum of no less that 4 and no more than 8 old glories at full staff, behind the dais}

          I pledge allegiance to the United Stasi and to inform the public for which it stands, one nation undergoing a transformation into something entirely different, to be decided later, with justice for a few and good luck to the rest.

          1. Mummichog

            The Lives of Others is a movie about the Stasi in East Germany. I could actually feel the creepiness of it all while watching it. I get the same feeling now when I go to town and see all the fearful and stressed, masked humans. Pestilence everywhere. 50,000 years of facial evolution gone in a few months. Humans and their offspring have been seeing their faces for that long and now, gone. Apparently, Public Health officials see no possible consequences.

            I had the same feeling when I read Victor Klemperer’s account of living in Nazi Germany and the use of language by the Government.

            Little talk of civil rights in these Covid days.

            1. SyKrass

              You’re a moron. I would add 50 expletives, insult your family, call you inbred, but my comment would be deleted. This way it’s better if you read it and use the little imagination in your pea sized, gin soaked, crack filled brain to look in the mirror and examine what a useless paranoid schizophrenic life you’ve lead and how little you’ve served your fellow man and ruined your karma to the point where in your next life you will be reborn as a slug.

            2. flora

              oh, don’t be silly. When I was out shopping today I saw an old friend I hadn’t seen in ages and we both – fully masked – recognized each other immediately from several feet away. Eyes, hair styles, body size and shape, so much more is involved with recognition than just the nose to chin 3-4″. We aren’t computers, thank goodness, and comprehend more than an AI algo. ;)

            3. Yves Smith Post author

              This is an astonishing misreading of The Lives of Others, one of my favorite movies. Did you miss that it’s about spying on each other? Masking is anti-spying. Help me.

        2. UserFriendly

          lol she heard the news about trump and posted a tic toc vid saying her mom was coughing like crazy. Then an update confirming the diagnosis. Mom confirmed on twitter like an hour later.

        3. anon

          Actually as a private citizen, KAC has no obligation to share private, HIPAA protected health information with the public as a whole (she does with public health officials for contact tracing).

          1. Parker Dooley

            HIPAA only applies to ” health plans, health care clearinghouses, and those health care providers that conduct certain health care transactions electronically.” Not to private citizens, nor, unfortunately, to employers.

    1. a different chris

      Everytime I think “those people are too stupid/evil/whatever to breed” I am going to have to remind myself of young Claudia and just not think that anymore.

      Yeah, sometimes the “apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”. Other times it rolls down the hill, plops into a creek, and floats off to sea.

  7. Dean

    re: Randomized Controlled Trials of Early Ambulatory Hydroxychloroquine in the Prevention of COVID-19 Infection, Hospitalization, and Death: Meta-Analysis MedRxiv

    Frist, articles in MdeRxix are not preprints! They are unreviewed manuscripts submitted to journals. Many may never be published to reach the preprint and print stage.

    Given this from the article I am not sure that it should reach the preprint stage:

    “Moreover, these factors may explain why the individual trials have not rejected the
    null hypothesis. However, given their limitations, the appropriate conclusions would have been
    that the results observed, in the beneficial direction, just did not reach customary statistical

    1. anon

      However, remember that the infamous VA study was proclaimed by the media as truth at the same stage of submission/publication.

    2. nick

      What do you think is required for a manuscript to “reach the preprint stage?” An unreviewed manuscript, whether or not it has actually been submitted, can be a preprint if the author posts it publically.

      1. Dean

        In my view a preprint is an article that has been accepted by a journal but not yet published. I realize that some journals, including Nature, define and encourage usage of preprints as unpublished manuscripts posted on an internet service that may not have been peer reviewed.

        I fear that some will assume the data are valid though the studies may be so poorly designed or carried out that the submissions never get published.

        1. pjay

          I think the point of the passage you quote is to point out that there may be reasons why promising preliminary findings may not be *statistically* significant in studies that *have* been published. And these reasons might, in fact, include study design, sample size, choice of variables, etc.

          1. Dean

            Can they be promising if they are not statistically significant? They are taking a negative and saying it coulda, woulda, shoulda been positive if only… I just don’t think that should be done in science. You have got to go with the data you have and that data is negative, no difference form controls. So “in the beneficial direction” is misleading at best. And I just can’t contemplate a scientific communication stating ‘..the appropriate conclusions would have been…”

            1. pjay

              “Can they be promising if they are not statistically significant?”

              Of course. As the authors state: “A large number of non-randomized but controlled trials have now shown benefit of HCQ when used early for treatment of high-risk outpatients.” (p. 5; six citations follow in the text). Harvey Risch, one of the authors, is one of the most prominent advocates and has explained a number of times why it is difficult to set up randomized controlled studies in our current situation. Added to this is the fact that many such studies have been set up to fail, either inadvertently or purposely. The study from JAMA in yesterday’s Links is a good example where, as commenters noted, there seemed to be empirical indication of positive effects, though the study was not large enough to show this statistically (and there were other problems with it as well). This certainly doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive for such confirmation. But when there are observational data (and that is “data” as well) that a treatment might reduce suffering, that would seem to indicate “promise.” As far as statistical evidence, if we “control” for the early extremely biased or fraudulent studies, I would say that the data is inconclusive rather than “negative” so far.

              Please be assured that I have no personal reason to favor HCQ. Like most of us, I just want factual information that will help the greatest number of people. HCQ may well prove ineffective, and (hopefully) other treatments more beneficial. But the bias on this issue has been so obvious so far that “trusting the science” is difficult.

  8. Wukchumni

    AIDs didn’t really become real for much of the populace until Magic Johnson contracted it, and then it seemed as if there was quite the push to do something about it…

    I hate to say it, but a number of the recently diagnosed WH names we all know have to suffer mightily or worse, in order to push the point home how dangerous an invisible thing (for once not religion!) can be when spread willy nilly, where even having donned magic underwear is of no defense.

      1. chris

        Yeah, I don’t wish death on anyone. Even these administration lackeys. But suffering? Especially after mucking up so much of our response as a country? Yeah, I won’t care too much if they become long haulers and have a while to think about what problems they contributed to…

  9. polar donkey

    ACB nomination super spreader event- I read that ACB had gotten covid months ago. I wonder if she got it at People of Praise services.

    1. curlydan

      and how could the president of Notre Dame go to that ceremony unmasked after huge outbreaks at his university among his students (August) and his vaunted football team (a week ago)? Just unbelievable. Lifestyles like these are bound to get COVID–it’s kind of surprising it took Trump so long to get it.

      I feel like I take or let my family take many chances weekly with exposure, but these people take it to another order of magnitude.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Japan’s Lost Generation Is Still Jobless and Living With Their Parents”

    In all my years this has to one of the saddests account that I have ever read. These poor hikikomori are stuck as permanent adolescents in what sounds like an unforgiving society. But when I think of the wasted lives and the sheer amount of unused talent going to waste, it is a tragedy as much for Japan as it is for these poor people.

    Of course for me it does not end there. There is another article in Links called “The Problem of Surplus White Men” by John Feffer. When you look at the articles that he has written, you will see that the poor fellow suffers from Trump Derangement Syndrome. But you know what? He feel free to attack the victims of global forces instead of the forces that bring about those dispossessed white men. Good thing that he is not stationed in Japan. Otherwise he would be penning an article called “The Problem of Surplus Yellow Men” where he blames the hikikomori for all their problems.

    1. Cocomaan

      Yep, anyone who can so easily lump a group of people together and assign them qualities is not someone to be trusted. Back slowly out of the room when he arrives.

      There is no such thing as surplus people or surplus workers, just a lack of imagination, both on the part of the supposed surplus and the people around them.

      1. UserFriendly

        Did you guys read it? He isn’t blaming them. He starts out by pointing out the obvious, that downwardly mobile white men are Trump’s base, gives a history lesson in how society has dealt with white men (sending them out to colonize or go to war) and then says we need to put them to work on a GND. Hardly blaming them for anything.

        1. The Rev Kev

          When at the start of this article you have the following, I think that he is actually blaming them for who they supposedly are-

          ‘Who lies at the intersection of guns, right-wing fanaticism, pandemic and climate change denialism? Who ensures that racism continues to course through the lifeblood of the country? Who stands in the way of gender equality? Who supports foreign wars and the military-industrial complex?’

          1. UserFriendly

            There is a difference between stating that the majority of a demographic group believes X, and it’s their fault they believe X. Granted his target audience is the woke so it came across about as smooth as sandpaper, but his thesis is essentially “society has made these guys redundant by taking away their jobs, stripping them of their self worth and dignity, let’s do something about that.”

        2. cocomaan

          Yes, though I couldn’t get all the way through the article, because my eyes were rolling back into my head. For instance:

          Although white women espouse racist right-wing views as much or even more than white men, it is the latter that overwhelmingly show up to vote, to gather with guns on the street, and to intimidate non-whites in person and on social media.

          Never mind that inner city ghettoes, which are predominantly populated by people of color, are full of horrific gun violence. Heck, when I worked in the welfare system, I had a black client who lived on a particularly awful block in Philadelphia who told me that she could hear gunshots most nights of the week. Victims of gun violence in cities like Chicago are black. Victims in other cities are hispanic, primarily. White victims are much less common.

          Before the article, I thought that hand-wringing over gun-toting white men came from bourgeois circles who are terrified of pointing out problems of violence in communities of color for fear of being called racist. After the article, my opinion on it is the same.

          And before we get too deep into this, no, I don’t think that problems of violence in black communities is the “fault” of that community. The problem undeniably exists, though.

          1. polecat

            No, they were governmental public policies that removed ANY agency from amongst the affected communities .. to be able to thrive as they themselves saw fit, even if doing so trailed along the margins of the greater society – as they had previously, thus consigning said communities to accept, willingly or no .. the condescension of .gov ‘largesse’ .. only to fail into the visegrip of the Democrat plantation!

        3. Pelham

          He doesn’t blame them for their situation. It’s worse than that. He condemns them for their violent reactions to their situation and then pins it specifically on their whiteness and their sex.

          And then he goes on to suggest that putting men to work on large-scale projects is necessary not for the sake of the work and what it produces but because the enlightened class (like Feffer) has a sort of “white man’s burden.” And that is to find a way to distract these infantile, problematic “white males” so they don’t begin drawing with crayons on the walls again or striking out for the wilderness to displace the perfectly angelic natives.

          My suggested response is reciprocal. We need to find something to keep the Feffers of the world occupied in some strictly isolated, intricately jargon- and argot-ridden way that induces terminal omphaloskepsis so they cease interfering with the normal workings of the world.

          1. hunkerdown

            The academy was something like that, before the bourgeoisie transformed it into a positional good. Monasteries served and still serve a similar function, without the same positional implications (but they’re doubtless working on it).

            The condescension is disgusting, isn’t it? Reeks of the stuff they used to say about slaves in the 18-19c, like Thomas Jefferson’s claim of the Negro’s “rudimentary” musical ability, and how “it remains to be seen” how they handle more complex forms.

            * Jazz has entered the chat

            1. Pelham

              Re the pre-positional-good academy and monasteries: Reminds me a bit of the lofty isolated institution described in Herman Hesse’s “The Glass Bead Game.”

          2. John Wright

            I doubt if Feffer has much of a following (or influence) outside of the demographic that reads “Foreign Policy in Focus”.

            He suggests that the white man “supports foreign wars and the military-industrial complex”.

            I believe Feffer is quite mistaken, foreign wars are promoted by US think tanks and politicians with help from an elite focused media that attempts to pull the population into foreign war support.

            One can posit that support for the military-industrial complex arises because of the jobs it provides, not because their is strong support for military actions.

            Why even liberal former CA senator Barbara Boxer fought to keep the Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Northern California from closing in the 1990’s because jobs.

            The problem is “Surplus workers throughout the world” and using the never quite realized Green New Deal to fix the shortage of jobs for the USA’s surplus White/Brown/Black male population won’t matter much.

            Feffer should advocate for cutting the military budget in half and moving the resources into infrastructure as a start.

            Then he could watch the elite foreign policymakers push back.

            1. Pelham

              During the Vietnam War protests, “hardhats” were famously known for beating hippies, giving the impression that the working class supported the war. But this wasn’t the case at all, that blue-collar guys opposed the war nearly as much as the college kids.

        4. Noone from Nowheresville

          As an aside question.

          If we accept wiki’s vote tallies just under 63 million citizens voted Republican in 2016. Around 61 million voted Republican in 2012. Around 60 million voted Republican in 2008.

          The Republican base is how many people? Trump’s base? How many of those individuals are downwardly mobile white men are part of the Republican base? Trump base? what’s the overlap?

          Do downwardly mobile white men make up the majority of those who voted Republican? ** If not, then why do we focus on them so much?

          ETA: ** What percentage of downwardly mobile white men are part of the Democratic base?

            1. Noone from Nowheresville

              Yep. That’s exactly why I asked the questions. The whole downwardly white male and Trump’s base discussion is really just a symptom and a distraction. Downwardly mobile people is the key to the symptom, not just white males subgroup.

              Although I really am interested in the base question as some form of it is often bandied about for distraction without a lot of questioning.

              Phrases like Republicans fear their base while Democrats have nothing but disdain for theirs. How do we know that this is true?

              Or The Left has nowhere to go. Wouldn’t that also mean that Evangelicals also have nowhere to go?

              If we take these type of cultural whispers (symptoms) apart and examine them, what do we end up with?

              And most importantly, how does everyone just KNOW this is true? Has anyone really challenged it?

              1. rowlf

                “…it’s turtles all the way down.”

                I find this all fascinating on several levels. I have been involved in news events and got to see how they got misreported. I love studying historical figures and their comments on how the media missed everything. On my day job I have to look at engineering data and reference material and get to compare that to what Everybody Knows (hat tip Leonard Cohen).

                So… if everyone says something is chocolate, well, let’s take it to the lab and be sure. Maybe it isn’t chocolate.

                Maybe it is a Forest monk thing: Perception. Reality. Go kick a rock and find out.

        5. hunkerdown

          Physical labor is all white men are good for, hmm. I mean, at least it’s not “lEaRn tO cOdE”, but I still smell the stench of the aristocratic class order, and “downwardly mobile” seems to be doing a lot more predestinatory work here than its lack of agency would imply.

      2. Yik Wong

        How long have you been a reader of NC? Capitalism requires surplus inputs, and until the last 6-8 years the primary consideration in setting interest rates by the Fed was maintaining sufficient unemployment.

        1. hunkerdown

          Those people are working as “hostages”. Unpaid, but they have an assigned job! They should be grateful for it! /s

    2. Josef K

      Hikikomori (can mean the people doing it or the phenomenon itself) and living with parents due to economics are two different things with different causes, even if there’s some overlap since life is messy.

      10+ years living in Japan and have some proficiency in the language; none in, for example, Bulgaria, which is why I refrain from commenting on Bulgarian issues.

      And in response to John Beech’s recent admonishment against online anonymity, I will henceforth (or at least temporarily) use the full name of the literary character I chose as my handle.

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      Japan’s lost generation and hikikomori are not quite the same thing. In several places the article confuses hikikomori with the long-term unemployed and underemployed who cannot afford to live in a place of their own and must move back to their parents home. Long-term unemployment can lead a person to become a hikikomori but most of the people described in this article are very high functioning compared to what I have seen of the condition and as I understand the meaning of the word. There were unsuccessful efforts to have hikikomori added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). True hikikomori would not agree to talk with a reporter and would not leave their room to meet with other hikikomori. I didn’t see any mention connecting hikikomori with video games which was also odd.

      Hikikomori are not just a Japanese problem. They are uncommon in the U.S. because of the tough love they receive in the U.S. as described by the Trump voter:

      “To start with, my parents did not pay for my first car, college, or give me any money to get started in life. When I was floundering just after high school and didn’t have anywhere to live, my parents told me to figure it out because my decisions had led me to where I was and they were not responsible for my actions.”

      In the U.S. hikikomori typically end up homeless, or in prison, or less often confined to a mental hospital or half-way house. I suppose our military might turn a few of them around, those who survive deployment without further mental degradation — although many come home after draw down and find a place on the streets. There are a lot more soldiers in the military than officers like the relatively fortunate Trump voter who so proudly pulled himself up by his bootstraps.

      1. farragut

        Hey bud, if I can’t stand in the back of my jacked up 4×4 and shred my air guitar to it while shotgunning Bud Lite….

        PS: now I’m certain I’ve just made several ‘watch’ lists from the IC alphabets after clicking on that link. Thx Rev. >:-/

  11. Ep3

    Don’t worry about those rising Great Lakes. Once Michigan elects another Republican governor, he will privatize them to nestle.

    1. josh

      Not a fan of that article. Resort communities and private property owners are trying to blame climate change for their own stupidity. It doesn’t take rising waters to cause shifting shorelines on the Great Lakes. Ponds they are not. Freshwater or saltwater, building your house 20 feet from the ocean’s edge is the work of an idiot. Now the rest of us get to pay for the lack of foresight of the wealthy and greed of local officials.

      1. Wukchumni

        45 out of 100 cabins & homes in Sequoia Crest burned to cinders 20 miles south of us, along with a needed fire in the recently purchased grove of Sequoias by a conservancy there including the 5th largest- the Stagg tree, and it could have easily taken out 45 of our 100 cabins, but the fire couldn’t handle a ridge too far, combined with winds pushing itself back into a neutral corner with no ammo, surrendering to an airborne assault on the periphery.

        I’m one of the lucky ones with insurance on my cabin, but i’m thinking I get cancelled, as a neighbor with the same insurance company got the ax this spring.

        Unless you’re flush with do re mi, rebuilding on your own Dime isn’t penny-ante stuff, combined with say if it happened to us instead, and 45 cabin owners all wanted to have theirs rebuilt asap if not sooner, the tyranny of distance and blind curves (698 significant curves in 25 miles of mountain road) would mean a 3 hour commute from Visalia each way for a competent builder, along with schlepping every last thing needed to rebuild a cabin.

        So it’d be self reinforcing in a way, nobody would be bailed out by the state (aside from spendy air drop ops) for having a place in a fire trap’s fire trap, nor is anybody else willing to do it aside the state in a small way @ closer to real market rates (a friend has state insurance coverage and pays $4100, versus mine through a private insurance company being $900+)

      2. pasha

        yes and no. i have watched lake michigan erode nearly a quarter mile in places, endangering structures built a safe distance from the lake in the 1940s and fifties (many were repurposed army barracks). cottages built then were of relatively flimsy construction, no basements, nobody over-wintered in them; they were relatively inexpensive to rebuild. a majority been are now mc mansions. oops, not so easy to move.

        you are correct, tho, that most of the shoreline has been privatized. seventy years ago there was, by law, a park or public beach access every quarter mile in west michigan, maintained by the township or county; no longer so.

    2. divadab

      The water levels in the Great Lakes are managed by the International Seaway commission. This is a fact completely missed in the article cited. Yes levels are high due to successive wet winters but they have stayed high due to decisions made by the Seaway Commission managers. They have a balancing act to manage between flood levels up and downstream – if too much water is let through, you get flooding downstream; if not enough, flooding upstream. If they are not maintaining high flow levels now in advance of winter rain and snow and spring floods they are not doing their job correctly.

      Why the article failed to even mention this fact is mysterious – probably the journalist’s ignorance of the seaway system and ideological need to evangelize on climate change – which is contributing, don;t get me wrong. Wetter winters will be a fact of life in the Great Lakes region due to climate change for a long time but articles like this one fail to educate or provide complete information.

      1. Glen

        Thank you!

        That’s what I was thinking, we’ve been managing the water level of the Great Lakes since at least the thirties. Water level too high? Drain it a bit, done.

        Now if we could only punch a hole in the ocean floor and drain it a bit, we could stop Miami from flooding on high tide. This is from 2015:

        1. hunkerdown

          Here’s a plan: mine rare-earth and precious metals from the sea floor and leave the tailings on land. That should work great, disturbing all that bacterially generated methylmercury in the sea floor and distributing it into the deep sea *and* building plenty high levees along the entire Florida coast that will poison you in weeks if you touch them. Hire me! /s

        2. The Rev Kev

          I like that video. ‘We are looking at long term solutions to sea level rise’ it says. What would that look like? Issuing residents a bunch of forks to push back the sea with?

  12. PlutoniumKum

    Trump’s Offshore Oil Ban Will Hit Wind Farms Hard OilPrice

    I must admit I didn’t know Trump did this – the article doesn’t enlighten us as to why, especially as it seems to be a vote loser. Not that it matters so much, with oil and gas prices as they are, off-shore makes no sense.

    But the real meat in this article is on the huge recent success of off-shore wind, output and investment is rocketing worldwide as prices are dropping rapidly. The ultimate energy capacity of off-shore wind dwarfs onshore and solar and is significantly less environmentally questionable.

    1. Charger01

      The tax incentive structure caused that distortion. Until we solve the storage issue/demand response, renewables are not a silver bullet for our needs.

    2. Ignacio

      Thanks to those invesments the levelised cost of off-shore wind is falling quite sharply (though not as much as Solar PV or Concentrating Solar energy). Onshore wind and utility scale solar LCOE is so low now that rivals the marginal cost of fully amortized coal plants (not to mention nuclear plants), particularly old plants. Covid 19 has made it crystal clear that cropping sun/wind energy in not only cheaper but more resilient than the coal/gas/oil supply chains that can be disrupted by epidemics or whatever comes.

      Trump’s favourite song must be Against The Wind hahahaha!

  13. The Rev Kev

    “U.S., UAE And Israel Agree On Joint Energy Strategy”

    ‘We will also seek to find solutions to the energy challenges faced by the Palestinian people through the development of energy resources, technologies, and related infrastructure.’

    It would help if Israeli occupation force troops stopped smashing up Palestinian solar panels whenever they can. That would help a lot.

    1. Susan the other

      Palestine has become the orphan of the world. I thought that was an odd comment too because when has anybody really helped Palestine? Was it just PR? It seems that Israel is preventing Palestine from claiming their offshore natural gas field and achieving this ring-fencing by maintaining a border between Palestine’s territory and the Mediterranean. So, “through the development of energy resources” which belong (by gerrymandering) to Israel?

  14. zagonostra

    >The hermeneutics of contemporary politics

    What a treacherous shoal you navigate when you try and ascribe various interpretations to events like Trump’s and Melania’s contracting of cornavirus. You can travel on one side of the shore that takes you to Alex Jones/David Icke to the other that takes you to corporate media and Rachael Maddow. So for me, it’s back to the Greeks and political philosophy which requires you use reason as a guiding principle.

    So my attempt at a hermeneutical understanding of one aspect of this latest headline is that those who have been wishing the destruction of Trump, like Maddow, are wishing him and his wife a speedy recovery and prayers of good will. The system, social/cultural,economic and most of all political is redeemed, at least with respect to “civility.” The ability to “love your enemies” is manifested. We are all part of the same family and part of the destiny that is this great country.

    Or maybe it’s a Shakespearean drama playing out off scene. Where plots are hatched and the Machiavellian art of statecraft is being worked out.

    Is this all contrived, is it drawing on the better “angels” of us as a nation? I’ll be watching, listening, and trying to come to some understanding as best I can.

    1. Carolinian

      They are already arguing about his medical condition and whether he is lying about it. Nothing will change.

      May get him votes?

    2. Bruno

      All the types who, three days ago, were secretly praying fervently for the Trumpe-l’oeil’s speedy demise are now praying just as fervently (though perhaps not quite as sincerely, at least in the case of Pence) for its speedy recovery. For my part I fervently wish it eventual (very eventual) recovery after a long (very long) and quiet (very quiet) convalescence.

      1. Procopius

        I don’t know where you see “all the types” changing. Go look at the comments in those blogs (I’m reluctant to name them) that suffer from TDS and you’ll see, “I know I’m not supposed to say it, but …” The hatred is, if anything, even greater.

  15. Noone from Nowheresville

    2020 Birds in Art exhibit video Yeah, finally online. Random Button Pusher is responsible for previous years Birds in Art at Woodson as well.

    Another Corvid artist I quite enjoy who use impressionistic / abstract technique is Lindsey Kustusch. Here’s a link to her animal section. Many crows & raven found here.

    Happy Saturday!

    1. Noone from Nowheresville

      @jrh I love Kustusch’s herons too. My current favorite heron from this page is The Great Blue Heron from 2017 3rd row down.
      @JWP thanks for the link. Kustusch’s Odin commission gets me every time.
      Did you ever watch the falcon v. raven in slow mo?

      I’m also partial to her urban nighttime landscapes. The luscious brushstrokes and her use of color.

      @JEHR Thanks. The video is only a tasty preview of the full exhibit. I have fingers and toes crossed that I’ll be able to make a trip to Wausau before Thanksgiving.

  16. Yik Wong

    Ben Norton’s report on Greyzone about Media polluting our brains is great.

    However, what I want to point out is one of the nastiest pieces of Identity Polititcs: UK Government required the propaganda arm of one of the ISIL groups they were funding to spend some of the funds on sensitivity to women’s rights training so that some of those funds can be used by their armed side in Mosel to execute women for not being chaste or improperly dressed.

    Reminds me of anti-abortion activist who don’t try nearly as hard to stop killing of brown skin people, then wonder why refuges show up on their shores or at their airports because the USA is doing siege warfare (the illegal made quasi-legal by calling it sanctions). Anyone guess who dies first in a siege? Yes, fetuses. Although Trump thinks they are just feces in those countries.

  17. Wukchumni

    In the space of a week, Covid comes calling to the NFL & the Presidency in for what are for now, similar numbers.

    The former knew they had a problem, hence the over the top fines for not wearing something over your mug, while the latter laughed away the very thought of it.

    A contrast in styles

  18. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Donald Trump Personally to Blame for 37 Percent of the World’s COVID-19 Misinformation, Study Finds

    Totally legit study. I am 100% sure that the media amplifying every single nonsensical bit of bloviation and verbal flatulence emanating from the man’s piehole and/or twitfinger and catapulting it to nonstop front page news had absolutely nothing to do with it. I mean, there just wasn’t any other news worth covering.

    1. Drake

      Couldn’t have said it better. My own personal study irrefutably shows that 97% of what has outraged everyone over the last four years can be entirely ascribed to the msm business model, including the Trump presidency itself.

      I was trying to greatly cut back my own news consumption a few weeks ago, not cold-turkey but severe restriction. That was a day or two before RBG passed. I tried again a couple of days ago. Has anything happened recently I should know about? ;)

      Seems like we’re meant to live in permanent crisis anymore. I think cold-turkey might actually be indicated.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        (slides rock a bit, pokes head out of hole)

        News Cold Turkey is difficult, these days.
        I stay away from everything except weather and SG-1 for most of a week,but the serial crises reach out to find me, even way out here.
        I want fervently for 2020(and especially October/November) to be over,ffs.
        trump’s current travails found me after cleaning the browser and attempting to go to the NWS to learn if there’s any storms in the Gulf.
        “pocket” decided to toss unwanted “news of the world” before me, and i couldn’t resist.

        doesn’t help that i’ve been out of weed for almost a week, too,lol.
        (should be remedied soon)…on farm productivity is way down because of that.
        also doesn’t help that i’m again sandwiched between a cold front and a near hurricane…and they still insist that weather pain isn’t real.
        (i’ve noticed that the central pressure of most of these storms…even those that don’t get strong enough to be “hurricanes”, is much lower than in the past. Gamma is currently 980 mb. I’ve determined that it’s the differential and the steep gradient that matters, to me)

        in spite of his crimes and general idiocy and hatefulness, i wish the orange bastard well.
        lets get this phase of the decline and fall over with already

        mise en place for my planned flurry of activity is set…crew of 3 post-HS strapping youths are set to arrive monday…piles of concrete blocks and telephone poles and lumber and roof tin and wire and gates and a minisplit system and various necessary tools and implements of destruction lie all over the place.
        and money enough in the bank(thanks, Dad) to keep those guys busy until at least Thanksgiving.
        by then, i’ll have doubled the raised bed space, finished the fencing of my side of the place, built a turkey house, chicken house, roofed the welding shop/cart barn, built a bar in the Poolyard by the Library/Frathouse,installed the Minisplit and at least got the roof done on Cousin’s Boondoggle/Cabin(he started it in April, but materials took months to accumulate. big posts have twisted, so my methods are in play, now)

        have eldest, youngest and wife all convinced to hold off on decisions regarding college/high school/etc until at least December, to let the whole mess out there shake out a bit.
        eldest especially…he wants badly to get out of here and go “off to college” properly…but has agreed that it’s prudent to wait(hence the Bar—essentially, a shed with a floor and 2 walls, with a sink and a fridge,lol.-“General Ludd’s Tavern”)

        stay frosty out there.

  19. chuck roast

    The Assange Trial

    Pilger pretty much sums up what Craig Murray and Joe Lauria have been saying on a daily basis. Perhaps this should be called The Assange Affair..shades of the multi-year scandal known as The Dreyfus Affair. Judge Vanessa Baraitser will go down as the Judge Julius Hoffman of her generation. I guess she will get her peerage though. The payoff for the continuation of such a monumental and sensational miscarriage of justice. I trust that the coinage will be satisfactory since she will probably live long enough for the worm to do a vicious turn.

    I say “Affair” because this so-called extradition hearing and solitary imprisonment will assuredly be continued in a Northern Virginia courtroom and US Federal solitary confinement. The longevity of this “affair” is exceeded only by its sordidness. I’m sure that the Federal judge and prosecutor have already been tabbed by the national security state to do the final evisceration.

    Pilger likens the proceedings to a Stalinist show trial with the exception that the Bukharins of the old soviets were at least allowed to stand in the center of the courtroom and defend themselves. I would not be surprised if our impartial Federal judge were ultimately so enraged by Assange’s astonishing crimes against the people that he charges him a nickel for the Nagant slug.

    I have been watching Lauria’s nightly podcast from London on CN. Yeoman’s work by this man. Flip CN a few bucks if you can.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I wondered what a Nagant slug was. I ran across a strange item from a blogpost from 2008:
      “It [a Nagant round] comes in boxes of 14 or a spam can of 1092 rounds. Price is $8 for a box of 14 or $550 for the spam can.”
      I think that nickel might be closer to 60 U.S. cents — or 5-bits. If they give him a discount on a quantity purchase or rounds … 4-bits.

  20. The Rev Kev

    “A U.S. Navy Destroyer Just Spent Record Time at Sea. Did It Really Have To?”

    After nearly seven months at sea, that ship will probably be spending a long time undergoing extensive, long-term maintenance after all that time at sea. I pity those poor sailors for all that time at sea however. The main problem is that the US Navy continues to push ships into missions that could probably be left undone. And that results in stressed sailors, accidents at sea which we have seen and ship not being maintained at a level that they should be. Some people have noted US Navy ships at sea with quite a lot of rust that the crew simply does not have time to get rid of.

    1. Howard Beale IV

      As my brother, who served onboard the Silent Service for close to two decades says: “There are two types of ships: submarines, and targets.”

      And we stopped building Seawolf-class subs after 3 were built.

    2. Tom Bradford

      “nearly seven months at sea” a “record time”? For heaven’s sake, James Cook’s three circumnavigations (1768 -1779) each lasted three years and for most of the time he was off the charts and far from any aid or support.

  21. Wukchumni

    On the first wave of Covid, Hope gave to thee, a pathogen from a hottie!

    On the second wave of Covid, Hope gave to thee, 2 church mice and a pathogen from a hottie!

  22. Wukchumni

    Remember remember the first of October
    When the campaign sealed it’s fate
    I can no reason for gunpowder treason
    Allowed to be fought, and forgot

    1. The Rev Kev

      Always knew that Trump was gunna get this virus sooner or later. But in terms of timing and who is also going down with it, this is really bad. Your election was already going to be chaotic enough but this ramps it up to level 11. He could have had the decency to pick a better time to get it. Say, back in June.

  23. Lee

    From NPR, Trump’s doctor: This morning the president is doing very well….Medical team [and a large team it is; nice for some] extremely happy with progress. Trump’s symptoms are improving. Not on oxygen and walking around, stating he feels like he could walk out of the hospital today. Received antibody treatment; Remdesivir. Is able to eat and work…Oxygen saturation 96%…Will not leave hospital yet as inflammatory phase, days 7 to 10 after onset yet to present….Fever has abated…won’t go into specifics of diagnostics for lung or other organ damage….no difficulty breathing…won’t comment on when or how he became infected…slightly overweight…. heart rate and blood pressure good…FLOTUS doing great, no need for hospitalization…Steroids question asked and unanswered, press conference abruptly ends.

    NPR commentator: the doctor was talking more like a politician than a doctor, referring to various deflections and evasions on questions regarding details on treatment and patient’s condition.

    1. allan

      Oddly, or not, he said that we are 72 hours into the diagnosis,
      while Trump’s tweet was only about 34 hours ago. ???

    2. anon

      Given that the hallmark of ARDS/cytokine lung injury is hypoxemic respiratory failure, the room air SpO2 is about all you really need to know.

      1. Lee

        I guess the question is whether or not an adverse cytokine overreaction will yet occur in the next several days, which is typical among those who become seriously ill.

    3. Pat

      I would expect the same from Biden’s doctor if he gets Covid.

      The doctor would only be allowed to release what information had been allowed by the patient. And in a case as public as this the blowback from going beyond that would be massive.

      1. Glen

        So health information like that should be totally private.

        But the President is my employee, and since the company I work for gets to know EVERYTHING going on with my health (mostly because they have inserted themselves into the billing process against my will), it seems only proper that I know EVERYTHING going on with my employee’s health.

        Sorry, I don’t particularly want to know ANYTHING about Trump, but he decided to take the job so – yeah, I get to know.

        1. Mel

          Things would be so different if these elections were treated as job interviews, instead of battles, or sports events.

          1. LifelongLib

            Well, we keep thinking of elected officials as “leaders” instead of as public servants who’ve been temporarily delegated limited authority to handle things that ordinary citizens can’t manage on their own…

        2. Pat

          If Presidents are my employees I should have the right to fire them. But as Clinton, Bush, Obama, and now Trump have never had to leave the White House escorted by security, we are clearly NOT classified that way and do not have any such say.

          Not saying we shouldn’t have those rights, just that we don’t. And since we don’t the law protects his medical privacy. Just as it protects Biden’s.

    4. allan

      Whoever is writing the letters going out over the signatures of POTUS’s doctors needs to spend more time
      researching the fancy-pants terms they’re throwing around:

      Sara Cook @saraecook

      NEW: Regeneron spox Hala Mirza tells @CBSNews’s @amybirn
      that it’s incorrect to call what the President has received “polyclonal antibodies.”

      “It is two monoclonal antibodies. It was incorrect in the physician’s letter.”

      2:16 PM · Oct 3, 2020

      To restore credibility, it’s time to bring back Dr. Bornstein.

    5. Tom Bradford

      A ‘large medical team’ might not be an advantage in something with as many variables and unknowns as this condition. Whoever has the final say on treatment may well be getting competing advice from others on the team, and be very aware that if all turns to custard he could well be accused of ignoring advice and doing the ‘wrong’ thing – leading to hesitation, prevarication and, likely, compromise.

      The cocktail of treatments it has been announced he is getting suggests compromise and back-covering to me.

      1. Clive

        The very poor and the very rich get the worst in healthcare. The poor, obviously because they don’t get sufficient healthcare interventions or those interventions that they do get are inadequate.

        For the rich, over-treatment is a big risk.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Indeed, its one of the dirty little secrets of healthcare that scale and throughput matters – for most of the most dangerous illnesses, big, busy teaching hospitals have significantly better outcomes than small, exclusive private hospitals.

          Its not just over-treatment for the rich – small exclusive hospitals simply don’t have the throughput of sick people that allows the doctors to build up the level of experience that can’t be taught in medical school. If I got a bad dose of Covid, given a choice between being treated by some top Harvard professor in an exclusive clinic, or by a small team of doctors who have been dealing with dozens of cases a day in a busy hospital for the past 6 months, I’d pick the latter every time.

    6. Ignacio

      Yeah, it is probably to soon to see if it has progressed to the lungs. If they will be doing scanners in a daily basis it can be somehow stressing for Trump, such a big team of people looking for him and opining can be also stressing. I think it would be good if they just can somehow let him relax from physicians, presidential tasks, twitter etc and let him alone enjoying his music (Against The Wind and the like) and amusing with whatever amuses Trump. Stress is always bad for the immune system and health in general. It is quite possible that Trump himself is completely unable to relax, or what relaxes him is what stresses others. My intuition is that Trump might dislike overly intensive health care vigilance.

      1. Ignacio

        And today watching the news, oh my! This is insane! The focus on Covid progression in Trump is insane. From the stupid White House physician feeling “extremely happy” about Trump evolution to Conley talking about worrying developments all this focus, expectations and speculations will not help. Trump should be isolated from the rest of the world.

        After all, Trump is just another man in the world.

        1. Lambert Strether

          I am noticing that the very online liberal Democrats are now framing all Republicans as superspreaders, thereby weaponizing and polluting a useful scientific concept for momentary political advantage. Go team.

          * * *

          I believe that Trump hates and avoids hospitals (wisely, IMNSHO). So the entire situation must be stressful for him. If he’s being treated by a gaggle of ass-covering doctors with conflicting views on treatment, that’s not a good prognosis for him… (I’m trying to come up with the historical parallel, it’s right on the tip of my mind, but I’m pressed temporally. I think maybe leeches and bleeding were involved…)

          1. Ignacio

            Yes, that’s it and now liberal Democrats will have to be quite careful not to host a superspreading event if they want to keep the label in Reps, even if they win big the elections. Beware celebrations if so. No hugging, no kissing, no gathering, Robotic Liberal Dems. Reps might be interested on infiltrating sick people…

            How crazy could this go?

  24. IdahoSpud

    “The Problem With Excess White Men” reads the headline.

    That’s just amazing sentence to read about someone who can’t change their skin or sex. Let me run a few variations of that headline by your guys. Tell me if these alternatives sounds acceptable.

    “The Problem With Excess Jews”
    “The Problem With Excess Black Men”
    “The Problem With Excess Children”
    “The Problem With Excess Muslims”
    “The Problem With Excess Hispanics”

    The headline is followed by an article containing a long list of actual and imagined wrongs committed by the targeted out-group, and of course, the final paragraph brings in Trump – who is probably the real target.

    You could write a similar article with any of my alternative headlines, along with grievances against each out-group behavior, and follow up with a figurehead who personifies the poorest behavior of a few members of the group. Such an article would immediately be recognized by our astute readers as racist, or at least in extremely poor taste.

    For some reason, it’s still considered acceptable in some circles to demonize one entire demographic by their race and sex. Weird. Who knew being born a white guy was the new original sin?

    1. Carolinian

      Thanks for reading article so I don’t have to. As Taibbi said about the White Fragility author. this is addle brained stuff that attacks racism while practicing it (by pretending white people have some kind of anti-black gene). Class relations and economics are more than sufficient to account for the horrendous treatment of Africans in this country. Any racial views were tacked on as an excuse once we became a theoretical democracy. The Brits did the same with their colonialist project. “Everybody has their reasons”….

    2. Bruno

      The fact remains that just about every war of looting or conquest in history was largely fought by full-size, already-virile but still-immature, dispossessed young males. White, Black, Brown, Yellow kif-kif.

    3. Pelham

      Good points.

      And once you posit that there’s a problem with an excess of something or someone, two kinds of responses are possible:

      1) Fix the something or someone, or

      2) Eliminate the excess.

      The US with its deaths of despair appears to be opting for No. 2.

        1. Lambert Strether

          I don’t think that a policy of decreasing life expectancy in flyover will end well.

          I’m thinking here of “Bernie was the compromise.” What if… there’s a large segment of the population that feels that “Trump was the compromise”?

  25. Wukchumni

    The Great Depression killed vaudeville and a good chunk of the movie theater business which had mushroomed way beyond it’s market with each trying to top one another in opulence, creating some real showplaces in the process. The Fox chain (no relation to the modern named one) of theaters in California was quite something and we have 2 surviving examples here in Hanford & Visalia. Each holds around 500 people with balcony and back bar, just exquisite. The Hanford one has a Mediterranean motif with balconies off to the side, while the Visalia version is more a jungle theme with almost large as life painted elephants on the ceiling.

    We saw Bob Dylan in Hanford eons ago & Beach Boys @ the latter venue a few years ago, so still vying places for a brand name act.

    Just got an e-mail from them, and they’re throwing an outdoor drive-in movie on the parking lot of a mall nearby to raise money.

    You can sense a lot of our history is about to bite the dust, a changing of the yard.

    1. Lee

      Saw Bruce Springsteen and the E Street band at Fox, Oakland before the band made it really, really big. The theatre is decoratively lavish and seating only 3,200, relatively intimate compared to mega-venues. The city now owns the building and I hope they have the wherewithal to keep it.

      1. Wukchumni

        All over the lobby walls of the Hanford Fox hung up are around 40 vintage 1920’s-1930’s original large movie posters, some of them quite valuable with such stars as Clark Gable & the Marx Brothers included. They were donated by an usher from the Oakland Fox theater, who saved them way back when.

        I could see them being sold to keep on keeping on, if you follow.

        And if you had very identical looking digital prints made of said posters and then inserted into the frames of those departed, who’d really know?

        1. Wukchumni

          Saw Springsteen @ Wembley on July 4 1985 after having seen Dire Straits in Brighton a couple days before.

          The almighty buck was king of the world, and about par with the £, nearly 4 Deutschmarks to the $. A great time to be a Yank abroad.

  26. Randy G

    Wow those videos and photos of Senator Mike Lee hugging anything that moves are mind blowing.

    The guy’s on a Mission from God! Who says America is not a meritocracy?

    We clearly hire the biggest idiots money can buy to run the “Exceptional Nation” into the ground.

    1. hunkerdown

      We don’t hire them. The ruling class hires their own. We merely pretend to ratify the selections they allow us, in a convoluted, deliberately non-binding process they change on-the-fly and even then barely pretend to follow. Don’t blame the victims.

  27. Lex

    ‘The Problem With Surplus White Men’

    There’s seems to be a word missing from this title, intentionally I think, as though it didn’t matter, but I think it does and the word puts the economics from tribe to tribe, country to country, and empire to empire over the ages into perspective. The word can not be assumed; it must be printed aloud: straight. Surplus straight white men.

    1. hunkerdown

      I think the correct word is working-class, because gay white males are doing about as well as straight white males outside of the professional-managerial class, and only slightly overperforming within the PMC, which may have more to do with networking amongst themselves. When variations within a specific group exceed variations between a group and those outside the group, the group distinction itself should not be considered primarily responsible for the variation.

      Not all cultures are so drunk on testosterone that they spend this much time and effort on enslaving the feminine principle itself, as opposed to developing a meaningful, complementary role for the feminine principle and its material representatives. That dynamic seems to be associated with the union of religions descended from Abraham and cultures descended from imperial Rome, and also seems to decrease with distance.

    2. Robert Gray

      Feffer: … [Trump] has cheated the government out of what he owes in income tax.

      Isn’t this libellous? All accounts of Trump’s ‘leaked’ tax returns that I’ve seen use the term ‘tax avoidance’, which is not illegal. (Tax evasion is the bad one.)

  28. HotFlash

    Update from Axios: Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie tested positive on Saturday. He did not specify whether he was experiencing symptoms.

  29. dcblogger

    for font enthusiasts
    In this episode of Exploring The 18th Century, we respond to a viewers question about the18th Century long “S” character. For information on ligatures and the long “s” head over to:… and you can find a nice 18th century font here: Also make sure to check out our website at If you have questions, comments or more information please leave them in the comment section of this video.

    1. Procopius

      I notice Brad DeLong is trying to revive þe usage of þe letter ‘thorn’ (þ) on his blog. I find þe usage a little disorienting.

  30. doug

    Thom Tillis may not lose NC Senate seat. His opp was freaking sexting someone and is now caught. Like the Edwards guy from the same state.
    Before this was known, I think Tillis was losing. I saw few signs even among ranks of other R candidates. He is not well liked, but since Cal C has proven himself a juvenile moron with questionable decision making skills…I am not sure.

  31. Mary

    ‘There’s No Debating It: Trump Encourages Violent White Supremacists’

    There’s No Debating It: Kamala Harris encourages violent criminals through her tweets:
    If you’re able to, chip in now to the @MNFreedomFund to help post bail for those protesting on the ground in Minnesota.
    — Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) June 1, 2020

    Among those bailed out by the Minnesota Freedom Fund (MFF) is a suspect who shot at police, a woman accused of killing a friend, and a twice convicted sex offender.
    According to attempted murder charges, Jaleel Stallings shot at members of a SWAT Team during the riots in May. Police recovered a modified pistol that looks like an AK-47. MFF paid $75,000 in cash to get Stallings out of jail.
    Darnika Floyd is charged with second degree murder, for stabbing a friend to death. MFF paid $100,000 cash for her release.
    Christopher Boswell, a twice convicted rapist, is currently charged with kidnapping, assault, and sexual assault in two separate cases. MFF paid $350,00 [sic] in cash for his release. This is leadership?
    ‘Kamala Harris Helped Bail Out Two Murder Suspects And Twice-Convicted Sex Offender’

    1. KB

      Thank you Mary….we in Minnesota knew this and know this…

      Am so tired that our fly over state is ignored in the media when we now IMHO suffer from the
      “Minneapolis effect” similar to the Ferguson effect…and more…

  32. bruce

    (overheard on a bug inside Mike Pence’s bedroom)

    MP: Mommy, the prophecy foretold is coming to pass! He’s gonna die, and I’ll get to be President, and then Jesus will come back! I can’t wait to host him at a state dinner!

    KP: Just don’t get him mixed up with the Antichrist. The Scriptures say that the Antichrist will arrive first by a few years, so, who and where is he? Also, we apparently haven’t been Raptured yet.

    MP: George Soros is the Antichrist, and we won’t be Raptured until after the election. If Trump died and we got Raptured on the same day, then Nancy Pelosi would be President, and I don’t see Jesus as reckless enough to run that risk. He is, after all, a conservative just like we are.

    KP: I had a bad dream last night that the Rapture had already happened and nobody we know got taken.

    MP: What do you think happens to the nonbelievers on an airplane when the entire flight crew gets Raptured?

    KP: The same thing that happened on two of the last Boeing 737 MAX flights.

    MP: Just think, Mommy. Some day the maid’s gonna show up here for work and all that’s left of me will be my shoes, clothing, keys, wallet and colostomy bag.

    KP: You’re taking your wedding ring with you? Aww, how sweet.

    MP: You’ll need a wedding ring in Heaven to prevent other angels from hitting on you.

  33. JWP

    I’m convinced facebook should be eliminated in its entirety for the following reasons.
    1. It is a destructive force to society’s psyche in the form of misinformation and advertising
    2. Sovereign tendencies of the company (currency creation, manipulation and limitation of free speech) are both monopolistic and restrictive of journalism, thoughts, and create the acceptance of large powers limiting thought and expression because they think it’s “right.” Which oaves the way for authoritarianism by the few
    3. As mentioned here, it is a ponzi scheme in accounting and value.
    4. $761 billion in market cap for a company that produces no physical product or one with necessary usage like Google is truly baffling.

    WeChat can be its own company and we can all live without obsessive routines of checking other people’s lives. Small businesses can advertise elsewhere. I have no idea how eliminating a company would work in government, but we’d be better for it!

    (mod folks, I accidentally posted a similar version on another of today’s posts I had open in another tab.Got a bit carried away in typing)

  34. Harold

    Facebook is boring. Young people don’t use it anymore. I think google is worse because it has lost its function as a search engine.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Yves has said before that she used Google to help research her book “Econned” but if she tried it with today’s Google, it would not be possible as its search algorithms have been so degraded.

      1. Alfred

        I use Google for research. Its search engine can still yield good results, but searching now requires immense amounts of patients to get to them. I would estimate anywhere between 5 and 20 times longer than it used to take, say 5 or so years ago, to retrieve ‘serious’ information. In part it’s because the algorithm has changed, to favor more easily monetized results (commercial sites, which are seldom the ones I am after). But another factor is the huge increase in the garbage that Google is searching through, the chief offender in that category being Pinterest. The Google books are still there, but in my opinion Google has gone out of its way to make their display annoying. The beauty of Google in the early 2000s was that anyone could type almost anything into the box and get very satisfactory results. Now one actually needs a fair knowledge of information science, and some skill in applying it to ‘tricking’ the algorithm (really, to filtering results), in order to come up with the same.

        1. RMO

          I never really found Google to be any better than any of the other search engines for my purposes, even years ago before the crapification. Often for some of the things I was looking for Google was notable for actually being worse in that other engines found an article that was exactly what I was looking for on the first page of results whereas Google didn’t seem to have it anywhere, no matter how far down the list I went. Admittedly some of this was searching for information regarding soaring and sailplanes which is a pretty niche interest but I found this happened when I was looking up information for computer science studies and my later business curriculum courses (mostly accounting and economics) as well.

          1. The Rev Kev

            I noticed that sometimes Google hides information in its results. You will go looking for something which should be right at the top of results and Google goes all coy on showing it. Switch to another search engine and bam, there it is as first cab off the rank.

  35. Peerke

    Regarding the Twitter Corvid carrying cookies (biscuits). Someone down thread mentioned further down in the Twitter thread not to give chocolate to birds since it is toxic due to theobromine content from cacao. The biscuits were choccie biccies. Not sure how toxic but Worth bearing in mind I suppose.

    1. Ignacio

      But, didn’t you like how I trained the Toucan so I can drive fast through the highway without the camera noticing? I needed her large beak. Besides, the Corvid asks for too many choclit buicuits for the same task.

      1. albrt

        Maybe because we are 100% f*cked no matter who wins?

        The real winners are those of us who do not have children and don’t care very much about humans anymore.

  36. skippy

    Trumps physician Dr Conley is a doctor of osteopathic medicine — commonly known as a DO.

    So were right back to the late 1800s I guess …. progress one billable at a time thingy … sigh … public choice opinion optional …

Comments are closed.