Links 10/31/2020

A pioneering biologist explains the co-evolution of the vagina and penis Aeon. Chuck L: “Passing up a link like this is hard! ;-)”

Japanese Store Installs Glass Panels In Ceiling For Resident Cats to Safely Watch From Above Laughing Squid

Tree-Dwelling Gray Foxes Decorate With Skeletons TreeHugger (resilc)

Origins and genetic legacy of prehistoric dogs Science (furzy)

sPoOky! This soldier is going as Fort Hood for Halloween DuffelBlog (Kevin W)

Earthquake hits Greece and Turkey, bringing deaths and floods BBC

A 5-Story Building In Shanghai ‘Walks’ To a New Location Using Technology CNN

Climate Insights 2020 Big Picture (resilc)

US and UK Citizens Are World’s Biggest Sources of Plastic Waste Guardian. No surprise, I get upset with the overpackaging, particularly of low value items like USB mice. And the device itself is plastic!

Flash graphene rocks strategy for plastic waste PhysOrg (Robert M)

A Coral Reef Taller Than the Eiffel Tower Was Just Discovered Off the Coast of Australia Smithsonian Magazine (Kevin W)


Majority of people would pay to watch online theater again, even when venues are open, research shows PhysOrg (Robert M). Having stage managed and produced theater, I find this sad. The point of theater is the intimacy and to a lesser degree, the unpredictability/sense of risk (which is why I am also not keen about big venues). Having “theater” move to broadcast will make it even more TV like.


Lambert linked to this study yesterday but worth amplifying:

The Effects of Large Group Meetings on the Spread ofCOVID-19: The Case of Trump Rallies. Stanford researchers but not published…

COVID-19 patients infect half of household: CDC study MedicalXpress (Robert M)

Regeneron halts trial of antibody treatment in seriously ill Covid patients Financial Times

Latest Covid-19 Wave Worries Hospitals Even With New Treatments Wall Street Journal. Key section:

Locales swamped by Covid-19 in the spring were concentrated in a few spots, primarily New York, Dr. [Eric] Toner [of John Hopkins] said. As patients now stream into hospitals across many states, there are fewer unaffected areas able to send relief, such as temporary nurses and doctors.

Scientists warn of new coronavirus variant spreading across Europe Financial Times (furzy). Not payalled.

Coronavirus mutation may have made it more contagious: study University of Texas at Austin


Coronavirus: Slovakia holds national test but president calls for delay BBC


Idaho Lt. Governor drives around with a gun and a Bible protesting COVID-19 restrictions, in video questioning if virus is even real Boing Boing. Resilc: “I stand corrected, Idaho is a bigger moron state than Florida.”

Coronavirus: Majority of Americans want a national mask mandate as Fauci backs one for the first time Independent (resilc)

Could the President or CongressEnact a Nationwide Mask Mandate? Congressional Research Service

‘Biggest thing to happen to renters since WWII’: why this US eviction expert is optimistic Guardian. Based on having a front row seat during the foreclosure crisis, winning some early rounds is far from sufficient to win the struggle.

Don Jr. Says COVID Deaths Are ‘Almost Nothing’ on Day 1,000+ Die Daily Beast. Team Trump needs to limit The Stupid to Trump himself, who seems able to get away with it an undue amount of the time.


Now That More Americans Can Work From Anywhere, Many Are Planning To Move Away NPR (Kevin W)


Behind China’s threat to support insurgency in India Asia Times (Kevin W)


Brexit Talks Haunted by the Fear One Person Could Thwart a Deal Bloomberg

Brexit: crisis voyeurism Richard North

Antisemitism report: By suspending Corbyn, Starmer is tearing Labour apart Middle East Eye (Chuck L)

Unlearned Lessons of the Tree of Life Massacre Mike Elk. It appears to be suppressed on YouTube, so please share!

Imperial Collapse Watch

Nation Building Overseas? America’s Own Neighborhood is Becoming More Violent American Conservative (resilc)

Trump Transition

Trump’s denial of climate change represents worse threat to humanity than Hitler, says activist Noam Chomsky Independent

The Mess Created By Trump Will Be with Us for Years Der Spiegel


‘Useful Idiots’: Election Day 2020 With Matt Taibbi, Katie Halper Rolling Stone (Chuck L)

Trump changes election night plans, cancels party at Trump International The Hill

Trump Is Losing Ground With Some — But Not All — White Christians FiveThirtyEight

Biden is slammed for calling Trump fans ‘ugly folks’ after they interrupted his Minnesota rally with honking horns – leading critics to compare moment to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 ‘deplorable’ remarks Daily Mail. Doubtful. Too close to the election to have impact.

Biden Aides See Warning Signs in Black, Latino Turnout So Far Bloomberg

Five Great Things Biden Has Already Done New York Times (David L)

N.Y. Attorney General Letitia James developing ‘long’ list of Trump actions for Biden to undo NBC (resilc)

How Hall County is handling influx of absentee voting, effects of ransomware attack on elections office Gainesville Times. JTM: “The important part is the ransom are attack on the signature-matchin database. ‘Hand marked ballots, hand counted in public…’”

Here’s How to Ruin Tom Cotton’s Election Night Nation (resilc)

It Looks Like AOC’s Squad Will Double After Election Day Vice (resilc)

A Crusade for Something Noble James Carville, The Bulwark (resilc). From the one-time worshipper of the bond market….I have trouble seeing what he knows about nobility, unless he means the aristocracy kind.


Walmart returns guns and ammo to U.S. store displays following brief removal Associated Press

Americans have bought record 17m guns in year of unrest, analysis finds Guardian

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Louisville police officer sues Kenneth Walker, boyfriend of Breonna Taylor, for emotional distress, assault and battery CBS (guurst)

Greenwald Fallout

Greenwald’s Intercept Resignation Exposes The Rot In All Mass Media Caitlin Johnstone

Glenn Greenwald RESPONDS: Why I Left The Intercept Over Censorship Rising

WINSTON 84 PROJECT (furzy). Also mentioned in comments. A catalogue of deplatformed content. I suggest recording the URL.

Dow closes more than 150 points lower as Wall Street posts its worst one-week sell-off since March CNBC

Antitrust Alone Won’t Fix the Innovation Problem Project Syndicate (David L)

“Oh Jeeeesus”: Drivers react to Tesla’s full self-driving beta release Ars Technica (Kevin W)

Class Warfare

Exclusive: Rashida Tlaib and AOC have a proposal for a fairer, greener financial system — public banking Vox (UserFriendly)

These Landlords File the Most Evictions in D.C. Washington CityPaper (dcblogger)

People to Autocrats: Not So Fast Foreign Policy in Focus (resilc)

Antidote du jour:

And a bonus:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. johnherbiehancock

    Anyone know what the source of Ames’ animus to Greenwald was? I appreciate the writing of both men, and never liked seeing Ames take shots at him.

    If it was just Greenwald’s “sanctimoniousness” it’s… disappointing. It seems since they both generally oppose corrupt power, and American empire building, Ames should’ve reserved his dislike for people who actually deserved it.

    1. Makesi

      Mark made an argument that Greenwald was helping billionaire piere omidyar, who’s banking operations in India led to mass suicides among farmers who took out mini-loans, wash his reputation by founding the intercept with the Snowden trove.

      1. Japes

        Pretty much this, that Greenwald was clueless to think he could make a difference working for someone like that. Ames took particular chagrin at the Intercept taking away the Snowden materials, which he pointed to as proof of his point. To the extent Greenwald has managed to stay relevant at the intercept, it’s because of his expose of BRAZILLIAN politics, which while worthy didn’t threaten Omidyar’s interests. Otherwise Greenwald hasn’t done much other than get into twitter spats with people and scream into the void about Russiagate.

        I fear for Glenn now that he doesn’t have the Intercept to shield him from Bolsonaro’s goons, I hope he made the right decision.

    2. Carolinian

      Something to do with this? (from a quick duckduckgo)

      It may depend on how one feels about the whole “red/brown” thing where elements from the libertarian right and the social justice left make party with each other. After all this blog regularly links The American Conservative even though most of the writers at that blog have religious views (i.e. opposition to abortion) that would be at odds with most of the readers here. I have long been a reader of because it is dedicated to the antiwar issue I think is important but the late founder Justin Raimondo was a major libertarian and probably rather conservative in other respects. Do we want ideological purity or a coalition that can finally break the hold of the neocon/neoliberal warfare state? It’s a question.

      1. Donald

        That’s true— the red brown thing comes up, though I don’t know if Mark Ames raises it. Greenwald goes on Tucker. Caitlin Johnstone and Krystal Ball are hit with this red brown accusation sometimes.

        I am told occasionally that Daniel Larison is really just like Pat Buchanan. I am sure he is anti abortion— he supports the American Solidarity Party. But on foreign policy he is anti war and he is surprisingly left wing on many domestic issues as well, which shouldn’t actually be a surprise if you read the American Solidarity Party website. Many people are unwilling to step outside their own set of views and try to understand people who are different. It’s easier to think in terms of us vs them.

        1. Janie

          I’m missing something in “red brown” allusions. I thought it referred to an alliance between Reds and Brown Shirts after the war and have missed contemporary usage. I need to get out more.

          1. Carolinian

            Yes I think the term is mostly used as a putdown by people who see someone like Tucker Carlson as practically the same as a brownshirt. For example St. Clair of Counterpunch calls him Tucker KKKarlson–probably for his views against immigration.

            The truth is that Americans as a whole aren’t very ideological and probably wouldn’t know what the red stands for either. Here we have the fake ideology of Dems versus Repubs. But that also allows for alliances that would take on the warfare state at least. Many on the right oppose our bloated military because they want fewer taxes (and less government in general). Fewer–unfortunately these days–on the left oppose because we are killing people in other countries. But objectively a huge reduction in our military would benefit the country as a whole if not those plutocrats who profit by it.

            1. AG

              Please know that Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding is NOT
              a medical doctor/epidemiologist ( although he presents himself as one). He has a PhD in nutrition and is an alarmist who is using Covid 19 to increase his Twitter presence and bolster his political aspirations. Harvard has cut him loose.

              1. Yves Smith Post author

                This is ad hominem. You need to specifically debunk Feigi-Ding’s claim, which you have not done. And since the only party that makes money from Twitter followers is Twitter, the “political aspirations” is also a pretty desperate-looking smear.

                And his dual doctorate was in epidemiology and nutrition. So you are off base in your fundamental claim. And he’s taught at Harvard Med School for 16 years…which is a far higher level of expertise than being a practicing MD.

                And his so-called “alarmism” has been recognized by the media as good early calls:


                Oh, and Harvard has a bio of him, contradicting your assertion about his relationship with the university:


                He does not appear to be lecturing at Harvard any more, but Harvard gave him an award for teaching, and universities don’t value teaching. Since Harvard like most schools has cut in person instruction, you can’t conclude anything as to why isn’t teaching now in the absence of evidence, and I found no evidence of Harvard choosing to turf him out in multiple searches.

                Making Shit Up is a violation of our written site Policies. Goodbye.

            1. pjay

              I definitely would *not* recommend this source as a guide for understanding the “red-brown” issue (or anything else). It is indeed “sprawling”! It is also extremely biased and misleading. As near as I can tell, the anonymous author claims to be an “anarchist” or “anarcho-communist.” But given what is lumped together as “fascist” or “cryptofascist” and “antisemitic” and “conspiracy theory” — which is almost *everything and everyone* from wide varieties of libertarians (Ron Paul) to socialists to communists to real fascists and Nazis — this seems to be some sort of propaganda operation. What makes me think so is this:

              “This long post started as an investigation about the Left and Syria which I started after I read the Sol Process blog’s publication of three posts concerning shady pro-Assad sources used in leftist circles (which can be read here: part I, part II, part III), and which later expanded into a more extensive investigation. I also thank the acknowledgement of my blog post by Russia Without BS, whose blog was helpful in the initial stages of my research.”

              I went to the links; they included vile smears of critics of the Syrian operation like Eva Bartlett and Tim Anderson. The main article itself, while covering a wide range of history, seemed also to focus this “sprawling” discussion of “red-brown” alliances toward branding all critics of the Syrian regime change effort as fascists. Critics of other Western regime-change operations, like Yugoslavia, get the same treatment. Also, the age-old tactic of lumping together legitimate critics with well-known kooky “conspiracy theorists” was used throughout the article.

              I agree there were a lot of “fascinating” references in this discussion, though I only skimmed most of it. Either the author knows a lot of political history (and enough to knowingly distort it), or it represents a group effort. Either way: if you read it, please do so with caution and several spoonfulls – make that a truckload – of salt.

            2. Carolinian

              Not that fascinating. The premise of Antifa etc is always that European history is poised to repeat itself in America whereas, like I say, Americans are largely intellectually innocent of the whole mess. Biden says he’s running for president because of “Chalottesville” but here’s suggesting Charlottesville was largely a staged event on both sides and deliberately evocative of a European history that is not America’s. Perhaps everybody’s been watching too much TV. Gosh knows when I used to get it cable TV was obsessed with Nazis.

              I’d say the self-proclaimed left needs to drop the false historical analogies and get on with some practical politics. They’ll use almost any excuse to avoid the dreaded populism.

              1. Lambert Strether

                > The premise of Antifa etc is always that European history is poised to repeat itself in America whereas, like I say, Americans are largely intellectually innocent of the whole mess.

                I accept your conclusion but deny your premises. Nazi lawyer’s came to America in the 30s to study Jim Crow legislation because they considered it very modern and advanced (albeit misdirected).

                In my view, fascism was invented right here in this country, in the Reconstruction South (absent only The Leader). We may be “intellectually innocent” (having, as we do, the memory of goldfish) but we are not innocent.

                1. Carolinian

                  I know that’s a now popular way to try to tie the Nazis to the Confederates but despite the cited evidence I’d say America’s horrible race relations have little to do with Nazism except insofar that blaming the victims is always popular. Nazi race theories had been cooking in Austria since the 19th century. They didn’t need the Rebs.

                  As for “fascism,” Mussolini invented it and named it and called it corporatism. Hitler’s race obsession was a sidebar.

                  I read an interesting recent article that said that fascists punch down and socialists punch up. So ask yourself which way the Dems and Antifa–with their deplorable obsession–are punching. Whether or not they are getting secret support from billionaires they don’t seem to be very interested in going after the corporate rulers except occasionally smashing a few windows.

      2. JohnnyGL

        Regarding ‘red-brown’ accusations. I think a lot of them from media elites are bad-faith attempts to ostracize what they see as undisciplined pets of theirs. Team Dem doesn’t like Greenwald because he’s uncontrollable, so they try to cast him out.

        Other lefties REALLY do believe people on the right like Tucker Carlson are proto-fascists, instead of just TV personalities and they honestly think the solution is to shame the right.

        I’d say both are wrong and it’s actually important to associate with right-wingers that you have some common interests with. Why? Because who your opposition actually is matters tremendously.

        Why do you think Dems are always elevating John Kasich and Bush-era Neo-cons. Not just because they genuinely like them (though they do) but also because they want to elevate and consolidate them as the face of the opposition.

        A presidential race between a Saagar Enjeti or Tucker Carlson style of conservative up against a Bernie Sanders or AOC style lefty is a complete nightmare for Repub and Dem leadership because EITHER of those are more populist and popular than the current incarnations of both parties.

        Repub and Dem establishments sorely need each other to be in charge or else it’s likely that they BOTH would rapidly lose control.

    3. Basil Pesto

      I actually went on a bit of a deep dive on this a few years ago, directed via Ames’ twitter to articles on Pando and Washington Babylon critical of First Look in general and Greenwald in particular. Here are some links to give you an idea (and I’m sorry to dump these links like this, but you can really get stuck in the weeds with this stuff! compiling this post has taken me a couple of hours):

      Or you can just look at the searches I did. these chaps, uh, don’t like him. do not.

      (Interestingly, while looking at these stories to research this post, I saw this piece Silverstein wrote in Politico. It’s an extra bit of background context and I wasn’t going to share it, but then I saw this little nugget. Writing in reference to reporting he did on the Serial podcasts/Syed murder case, Silverstein wrote (emphasis added):

      The internal objections delayed the second installment of our interview with Urick by a full week. And even though both Glenn and Jeremy aren’t technically editors, they reviewed the second article in advance of publication. I asked them by email to cease and told them it was inappropriate for them to review our work—we answered only to our editors, not to them. Meanwhile, as the delay mounted day by day, Natasha and I (and the prosecutor, Urick, whose exemplary work we defended) were hung out to dry—our story only partially told—as social media falsely but relentlessly attacked it on the dumbest grounds.

      Natasha left The Intercept within weeks of the Serial chronicles. I wouldn’t be much longer. The Serial saga was just a sign of things to come.


      At one level, the dispute from Ames’ point of view, it seems to me, is that one cannot be a truly independent, Good journalist if they work for an organisation owned and run by a wealthy benefactor (which is ostensibly one reason why he also loathes Taibbi). Maybe he’s right.

      Despite reading up on it out of interest and trying to understand these various thought-factions, and because the gossip is kinda fun, I ultimately find the back and forth bickering worthless, and reading these ‘no actually you suck/are a shill for Teh Empire’ exchanges is dispiriting. Or maybe it just makes my head hurt, for epistemic reasons. ymmv, but there’s a reason NC is my go-to news source: avoidance of jejune doctrinaire squabbles from the writers is one.
      Taking each story as it comes and trying to judge it on its merits, while it sounds trite, is a pretty good guiding principle in my experience and it’s why I have time for, for example, both Taibbi and Ames, and don’t apply the Horns Effect to either of them (and to be fair, Ames and Silverstein don’t apply it to Greenwald, defending him to a point in this instance and for his Brazil reporting). It’s also why i suspect Greenwald is probably a bellend who I wouldn’t like personally, and why it’s not relevant in the present instance.

      1. Carolinian

        Thanks for the links. I have huge respect for Silverstein who was the co-founder of Counterpunch the newsletter along with Alex Cockburn. Greenwald does perhaps have to answer the question of why he didn’t resign sooner and the initial readiness to partner with Omidyar.

        But I don’t think that diminishes Greenwald’s much longer presence and influence in the leftysphere and the fact that he became such a bigfoot may have a bit to do with the criticism. We hang together or we hang separately? of Ben’s golden oldies.

      2. pjay

        Yes. Thanks much for the links. A lot of very useful background information here on Omidyar and the Intercept.

      3. JohnnyGL

        Regarding Taibbi, I suspect Rolling Stone may need him at least as much as he needs them.

        He’s come and gone a few times. Do recall that Taibbi was leaving Rolling Stone to go to the Intercept and then did a rapid about face. Lord knows what happened there.

        I suspect Taibbi has editors that he really likes working with at Rolling Stone, one of them has popped up a few times on ‘Useful Idiots’ and seems to be quite collegial with them.

        Plus, if you look at Rolling Stone’s youtube page, Useful Idiots is what drives most of their views/traffic. The magazine management may see Taibbi and Halper’s podcast as key to helping build their online video presence. Look at the views they generate on some of the random interviews with mediocre artists, none of them get much attention compared to the Useful Idiots podcast.

        1. Basil Pesto

          Do recall that Taibbi was leaving Rolling Stone to go to the Intercept and then did a rapid about face. Lord knows what happened there.

          It’s been reported on quite extensively, and mentioned in the Politico link above. In summary, he was going to create an online magazine for First Look called Racket having been promised considerable editorial freedom, then left when it became apparent that FLM management was incompetent and meddlesome, irremediably so.

      4. occasional anonymous

        All the criticisms of Greenwald joining up with Omidyar were proven correct by the fact that the Snowden archive has now been closed to further research, with 95% of it never having been revealed to the public. Omidyar successfully privatized and sealed a leak several times the size of the Pentagon Papers.

        1. Carolinian

          Well Snowden himself said that reading Greenwald’s columns inspired him to leak the archive so one could argue that without Greenwald there might not have been an archive.

          Then there are people like the above linked Silverstein who are suspicious of both Snowden and Greenwald. I’d say that in a current world where journalists are timid little mice Greenwald at least preserves some of the old muckraking spirit. And he has clout, which is maybe why he has survived in Brazil.

    4. Donald

      That was new to me. Yasha Levine also took a potshot. I suspect part of it is that Greenwald has done very well for himself, while others like him have not. And Greenwald’s personality is somewhat grating. I don’t care, but it gives an extra reason for people to dislike him. But yeah, it is sad to see dissident voices taking potshots at each other. This isn’t the only example. Much of it just seems like pettiness masquerading as principle.

      Personality clashes are where reasonable political debates go to die. I know someone who filters literally every political discussion through his own private analysis of the personalities involved and how he sees their personal character traits.

      1. Lambert Strether

        > it is sad to see dissident voices taking potshots at each other

        Especially since Greenwald, Taibbi, Ames, Levine, and others in their circle should hang together if they do not wish to hang separately.

  2. The Rev Kev

    “N.Y. Attorney General Letitia James developing ‘long’ list of Trump actions for Biden to undo”

    With 250 Federal and three Supreme Court judges appointed by the Republican/Trump administration, good luck with that. We’ll see how that works out when challenged in a court in front of one of these judges.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Comes the test of “rule of law,” when people just ignore the rulings of the courts. I mean, more than is already the case.

      It’s a long history: Andrew Jackson spelled the position out — “John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it.” From “ Remembering the Time Andrew Jackson Decided to Ignore the Supreme Court In the Name of Georgia’s Right to Cherokee Land,”

      “Law” only operates on two principles: obedience by consent, and fear of enforcement. Judges and justices tilting the scales can pretty quickly destroy both.

          1. Darthbobber

            My reference is inaccurate. Merryman, a Maryland secessionist jailed under Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus, just remained in jail for the duration in spite of the writ issued by the chef justice.

            Milligan, sentenced to death by a military court, had the good fortune to have had his sentence commuted by Johnson, which led to him still being alive in 1866 when the court finally got around to him, and the emergency being over they found the military commission that had convicted him unconstitutional.

    2. R. S.

      The DACA ruling by SCOTUS was bad jurisprudence because it will make it harder for future administrations to overturn past administrations’ actions. The Trump administration wanted SCOTUS to rule that DACA was unconstitutional because it was a program created without legislation, but SCOTUS saved DACA on process grounds arguing that once a reliance-interest was created by a rule or program then the program cannot be changed or removed without following the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). This was a bad ruling because it means that the APA must be followed even when trying to address previous acts that were/are unconstitutional.

      DACA itself is unconstitutional. The legal idea Obama used behind DACA had never been tried before, and it has created new powers that Trump has exploited. The legal idea was that since the Executive branch has the power to prioritize enforcement actions, then DACA is legal because it is simply the Executive branch prioritizing enforcement actions. This is a bad justification because DACA is more than prioritization, it is literally a new program. This shows that the legal idea Obama used is false.

      As for unintended consequences, there has already been one significant example. The legal justification that Trump has used for his payroll tax deferment program is an identical justification to what Obama used to create DACA. Moreover, if Trump extends the payroll tax deferment and Biden wins — then Biden will not easily be able to reverse the deferment because of the SCOTUS ruling.

      To take things a step further, there is nothing stopping a future Republican president from creating a DATA program of “deferred action for tax assessments” where the Executive branch can simply declare that they will not enforce any tax laws or require payments to the IRS. As per the SCOTUS ruling, such a hypothetical DATA program could not be reversed by a new administration without following the APA.

      1. Procopius

        I think the current majority on the Court does not believe stare decisis applies to them They’ll have no trouble approving a case that goes against the DACA decision. It probably does mean that Biden will choose to obey the Administrative Procedures Act until he doesn’t.

    3. D. Fuller

      Since 2008, Republicans have been especially focused on packing the courts with ideological judges. Which the Democratic Party practically ignored in their efforts to “reach across the aisle” with “pragmatism”.

      Other observations on American law include the following.

      The number of laws that have no enforcement mechanism outside of court orders and fines (often not even paid by the offending party).

      FOIA laws for instance. What is the penalty for breaking them? People in government can ignore them until someone goes to court to obtain a court order. What is the penalty for ignoring the court? Oooh… scary.

      FOIA At 50: Public Records Laws Important, Often Ignored

      Now, have an administrator (a person) ignore a court order enforcing a FOIA law where doing so is a felony with massive fines – time served and paid by that person? That would be a different matter. Public officials would be jumping through hoops to enforce FOIA laws.

      We have laws that mandate what actions are to be taken. Yet no real enforcement mechanism. Hold government accountable? Not until people who are government, are held accountable.

      In the private sector? The same conditions exist. A “corporation” is charged with murder. A corporation can not be jailed. The executives – people – making the decisions that led to deaths… are very rarely ever held accountable.

      Purdue Pharma settlement: Opioid kingpin Sackler family gets away with murder

      Also? Something about death traps falling out of skies.

      America has practically enshrined criminality into law, as the law. Backed by courts. Citizens United is a prime example of legalizing public corruption.

      So, ideological corruption of the law using judges? The next evolution.

      The only necessary act for evil to win? Is for good parties to do nothing. The Democrats have been doing NOTHING. Quite the opposite. The Democratic Party haphazardly responds to external threats to their power while crushing internal dissent. Damn the public.

  3. voteforno6

    Re: “Ugly Folks”

    Oh please, it’s quite obvious that Biden was referring to a specific group of people, and wasn’t making a generalized statement like Clinton was. Besides, “ugly folks” is about the nicest thing you could say about the type of Trump supporters that will do that sort of thing.

      1. Phillip Cross

        Although the original “basket of deplorables” comment wasn’t savvy from a vote winning perspective, from what I have seen, it was not inaccurate.

        1. edmondo

          I have another basket of deplorable for you:

          Rick Snyder, Christine Todd Whitman, Max Boot, Cindy McCain – all Biden supporters. These are the people Democrats SHOULD BE fighting against, and yet here they are itching for a “little war” to help their portfolios and their careers. These people actually have power, as opposed to some half drunk drill press operator who bangs his horn in some attempt to be heard before he finds out that the “sacrifices” that have to be made are mostly his.

          Deplorable depends upon your point of view I guess.

          1. Phillip Cross

            They can all be deplorable, there’s a lot of it about and it’s not a mutually exclusive situation. That’s the trap all the P.T.D.S. sufferers fall into.

                1. JTMcPhee

                  I was here first, by almost half a century.

                  I would note that a lot of bad guys in the movies are named McPhee, like the character Danny Glover played in “Witness…”

    1. Wukchumni

      All Joe had to do was change one word from ugly, to inconsiderate.

      And while we’re on the subject of car horns, I hear that new car buyers in the Big Apple are often offered extended warranties on their noisemakers.

    2. Jhoblho

      Even Krystal Ball in an interview on the most recent episode of Useful Idiots demonstrates class-based contempt against “fat” people (1:19), in addition to earlier comments that include how Trump is more “Wendy’s than Hitler.” What does that even mean? She frequently repeats Taibbi’s comment about how Trump presumably likes to watch tv with a cheeseburger, as though Trump’s weight is the most despicable thing about him. Clearly the obsession with food/weight is class-based contempt, but it makes me as a super-sized person pretty suspicious of anyone who claims to be a leftist or a feminist but associates a person’s body weight with laziness and political apathy. I feel as angry at Ball’s fat-shaming comments as some on the right felt about Clinton’s “abomidables” comment. Kudos to Saagar for backing away from and not supporting Ball’s shallow class-based prejudices.

      1. Basil Pesto

        Clearly the obsession with food/weight is class-based contempt

        By attacking noted proletarian, Donald Trump?

      2. fwe'zy

        Hi, my buffet comment was more about Having It All, Choice, So Much, and such. Not a reference to fat people or poor people i.e. Old Country Buffet. More white Escalade.

        I’m not easily shamed into orthorexia because I already flirted with eating disorders in my youth, no more or less than many young people. Wendy’s, whatever. I like Del taco carne asada fries myself. I used to get only bean and cheese cup or bean and cheese burrito there, pre-pandemic. Now I’m like, ?.

      3. Brunches with Cats

        Jhoblho, be angry if you want, but maybe you missed the context? Krystal wasn’t targeting “fat” people. “Fat and soft” was a general remark about Americans being dulled by junk food, TV, and sometimes, unfortunately, opioids, to the point that we’re unmotivated to take to the streets to fight for economic and political justice. There are frequent comments to that effect on NC.

        Julius Caesar said something similar about the Gauls. He said the tribes in the north, farthest away from civilization, with enemies on their border, were the bravest fighters; whereas the southern tribes’ brains had turned to mush as a result of a civilized lifestyle (brunch!) with luxury imports from trading ships along the coast (not his exact words; what he actually said is offensive nowadays). But I digress…

        The cheeseburger has been a running joke since a 2018 book in which White House sources described Trump as easily bored during presidential briefings, preferring to be alone in bed with a phone, three TVs and a cheeseburger. “More Wendy’s than Hitler” is a riff on Krystal’s long-held contention that never-Trumpers who believe he’s literally Hitler don’t understand that he isn’t motivated enough to follow through on actions a dictator would need to take to seize and hang onto power; that he’d rather go to bed early with a cheeseburger. A more-recent theme of hers has been that, while many see him as an aberration, he’s actually “as American as apple pie.”

        Hope that helps a little.

        1. Lambert Strether

          > “Fat and soft” was a general remark about Americans

          Shaming or not, anybody who enters America after a period abroad in any European or Asian country* notices the difference immediately. Same goes for tourists abroad; at least some Americans are easy to sort from the rest. (I say this as somebody who could afford to lose twenty pounds.) I do agree that in the US context alone, obesity is driven by class (and race). But something makes the US different from the rest of the world, too.

          NOTE * Except some small Pacific island nations.

          1. fwe'zy

            Being thin is a very high stakes thing for an Asian woman. The poor are thin because they don’t have enough varied nutritious food, and aren’t sedentary. The non-poor often have eating disorders. There was an article decades ago in the LA Times, I think, talking about South Korean girls and “I Want To Eat But I Want To Be Thin.”

            Nowadays, you will see that many Asian young women of any means are not as thin because, while they may like how it feels to be admired for their bods, they don’t have to rely on them for a living.

  4. timbers

    Behind China’s threat to support insurgency in India Asia Times (Kevin W)

    Oh, look – China is becoming more and more the Exceptional US. That’s a good thing, right?

    She passed a security law not unlike our Patriot Act. But ours is good while their’s is bad. Because they forgot to call it The Freedom Act. But at least China remembered to pass it like we do with laws like ACA (nobody really know what was in it), and now they want to do some successionist regime changy stuff.

    That makes China on the side of good and right just like us, right?

  5. Krystyn Podgajski

    Maybe the following is a good lesson for everyone about to have Long COVID, just keep fighting your doctor for answers.

    I got my answer yesterday. Genetic testing reveled I have a demyelination disorder, a Globoid Cell Leukodystrophy, that in its extreme form causes Krabbe Disease. It is caused by a deficiency in a gene called GALC which leads to a build up of Pyschosine which ends up destroying the myelin sheath around the nerve cells. This causes a range of neurological symptoms but also kidney problems.

    This is what probably what put my mother in a wheelchair as well.

    Not much the docs say can be done. In researching it it seems like keeping oxidative stress low is important, as is zinc since it helps protect myelin. And possible Omega 3. But I have a lot of research to do because this came out of nowhere. But what I have been doing so far has seemed to help, especially with the neuropathy.

    Fifteen years of looking and pushing, finally an answer.

        1. furies

          How in the world can you get genetic testing without breaking the bank??

          This lowly Medi-Cal patient wants to know…as would many if they knew this was even an option.

          1. Krystyn Podgajski

            The company that provided genetic testing for my geneticist did it for free to prove to Medicare that more people need to be tested for neurological conditions.

            They tested 88 genes for Mendelian changes, which to me is not ideal but found something at least.

        2. JTMcPhee

          I and my daughter have found that the endemic Epstein-Barr virus (90+ percent of Americans carry it), when activated (like herpes zoster with shingles) can produce a lot of bad effects. Hers is thyroid storm, mine is exacerbated neuropathy and maybe even that was how the neuropathy originated. I’d say it’s not enough to know that one has the virus on board, also helpful to know the “titer” level and something about the effects it can produce. No idea what can be done to ameliorate.

          I got infected With EBV while in the Army. Got pneumonia in Basic, and then picked up mono while in the Army hospital Fighting the pneumonia. No, not from kissing an orderly. “Thanks a lot for your service, mope!“

          Could be worse, my Uncle Alan may have been intentionally infected with hepatitis C while “serving” stateside in WW II, part of some one of those many experiments our democracy’s whiz kids conducted on GIs. He never drank, but died of acute cirrhosis at age 40.

    1. BobW

      Seems odd to congratulate someone for finding they have a disease, but… good work. So many people cannot or will not push as hard as you have.

      1. ChrisPacific

        Yes, having certainty is a step forward even if the news isn’t good. Not knowing can be debilitating.

        It sounds like you already have a solid empirical understanding of it – here’s hoping that now that you have a theoretical understanding as well, you can put the two together and accomplish even more.

    2. mrsyk

      not sure whether to offer congratulations or condolences, but its good to know what you’re up against.

      1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

        Neuropathy as has been suffered now for a few months by my partner is from her description of being like walking on glass, with the occasional electric shocks is obviously something that is very hard to live with. In her case it is has gradually been easing off & due to a cancellation after a 5 month wait, I will be taking her to see a neurologist on Monday.

        All I can do Krysten is wish you the very best of outcomes & that you are very successful in your quest for the knowledge that will ease your burden.

  6. FreeMarketApologist

    Idaho Lt. Governor drives around with a gun and a Bible…

    I spent quite a bit of my childhood in Idaho, and while the scenery of the north is beautiful, there is a persistent and pervasive strain of thinking that is the the demon spawn of the ideas of American exceptionalism and individualistic pioneer spirit that makes it a depressing and dangerous place to live for people whose world view is greater than their immediate back yard.

    The fact that people like Janice McGeachin and her cohort ever make it to elected office is a sad commentary on the quality of education and critical thinking in the state.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Scott Walker made a name for himself in Wisconsin for merely driving a truck. This Karen needs a truck, a bible, a gun and an American flag to boot.

      1. Arizona Slim

        How good is her marksmanship? I mean, come on. If she isn’t going to the range and practicing — at least 50 rounds a month — her gun is just an expensive fashion accessory.

        1. edmondo

          The woman is going around shooting every covid-19 molecule she can find. And this is the thanks she gets? You are missing the irony: She will kill more people with the Bible than the gun.

    2. Wukchumni

      Idaho is where our evang-militia-tax evader-church ended up not too long after being exposed for what they really were-hatemongers who were a threat to our community, and they’re a perfect fit for each other, just one of many plying their traits in the potato state.

      …why wouldn’t their elected officials be the same?

    3. Dalepues

      I don’t get the connection between the gun and the Bible. Of course then I don’t know the Bible very well, but I always believed that the Good Book should never be seen in the company of guns ‘n ammo. In South Georgia, it’s considered extremely un-Christian like to go hunting on Sunday, even after Church. I find it hard to accept that your run-of-the-mill Christians would accept this Lt. Governor’s gun/Bible combo. Maybe in Idaho Christians practice a different kind of Christianity.

          1. Wukchumni

            Everybody likes to claim a deity in forwarding their cause militarily. for instance every soldier in the wehrmacht wore a belt buckle that confirmed that yes, god was with them.

      1. Bruno

        These are obviously not biblical literalists, just like the weapons they carry show that they are not second amendment literalists. In the gospels their god Jesus Christ (original name Joshua [“Y’shua”] Bar Abbas) declares as his mission “I bring not Peace but a Sword”; and in the lead-up to his final violent confrontation with the Roman hegemony he ordered his followers “Let him who has no sword buy one, even if he has to sell his cloak to do so.” but it seems that the only christians who accept his word are the Romany interpreters of Tarot, in which their god is depicted not as a “Prince of Peace” but as the King Of Swords.

        1. ShamanicFallout

          “It is said that there is an imperishable banyan tree that has its roots upward and its branches down and whose leaves are the Vedic hymns. One who knows this tree is the knower of the Vedas. Cut down this tree with sharp axe of detachment”. Bhagavad Gita

          Or visiting Tibet: Mañjuśrī is depicted as a male bodhisattva wielding a flaming sword in his right hand, representing the realization of transcendent wisdom which cuts down ignorance and duality

          The first thing to go in a teaching is the inner meaning. The second thing to go is the literal. But who could say which is which?

      2. Janie

        Dalepues: “practice a different kind of Christianity.” I think of Old Testament Christianity (smiting, slashing eye for an eye, cheering for the death penalty) versus New Testament (be ye kind one to another). Two peoples, separated by a common Book.

      3. Synoia

        The Bible:

        Joshua and the invasion fo the “Holy Land”?
        Um…David? Uriah the Hittite’s wife?

        Ok they used spears and swords and bows and arrows, so it not a huge stretch to Guns and Nuclear weapons.

        Christ was there equivalent of a hippie, didn’t like the banks, preached love, tolerance and peace, and got nailed for his teachings.

        Bit like Corbin in the UK who appears to be accused of antisemitism by anti-semites

        Read the OT, and compare their behaviors to our Government.

        1. Tom Bradford

          Christ was there equivalent of a hippie, didn’t like the banks, preached love, tolerance and peace

          Um, at least one of the disciples (Simon) was a Zealot, which was a Jewish organisation pushing for violent resistance to Roman occupation, while another (Judas Iscariot) might have acquired his nickname from being one of the Sicarii, an off-shoot of the Zealots who carried a small concealed dagger called a sicae used for assassinating Romans and Jewish Roman sympathisers.

          Both groups – Zealots and Sicarii – would have been regarded as terrorists by the Romans and it’s possible Jesus was ‘nailed up’ for his association (and perhaps more than just association!) with them rather than for pacifist teachings.

            1. Procopius

              There’s no evidence for almost all of the people who lived then, and the idea that the records of a small provincial court would survive a hundred years is ridiculous. He did nothing during his life that was noteworthy enough to be remarked on by the people whose opinions mattered.

          1. Brunches with Cats

            If Jesus were alive today, there’s no doubt he’d be declared a terrorist by the military-surveillance complex. The Christian Right would give their blessing to a missile strike, if not an outright invasion of the country giving him refuge.

    4. Steve from CT

      I grew up in The 50’s and 60’s in Northern Utah near the Idaho border. In my day, Idaho had Frank Church as Senator. The people who I knew and went to college with from Idaho seemed normal and reasonable. Something changed since then. No idea why or how it happened. Now it is the most red state and is so Repub it is unlikely the Dems could ever win any state wide election. Sad to see what it is today.

      1. edmondo

        Idaho had a Democratic congressman as recently as 2010. It’s not impossible to win if you can restrain yourself from calling your constituents “deplorable” or uneducated”. The serfs don’t like that.

    5. Lex

      Occasionally, someone I like or admire but don’t know very well will say something to me like, ‘I have no regrets in life’, followed by a rationalization about how the energy of self-recrimination is a waste of time. A shudder will run through me and I’ll mutter to myself about choosing my friends more carefully, and with a smile gone ridged start edging toward the door. Like ‘oh, well, why didn’t you say so.’ They (probably) aren’t psychopaths; I just don’t understand a life lived without regret and wanting other people to believe that’s their reality. There’s only so much of other people’s ‘virtuousness’ one can bear.

      Ten or twenty years from now a reporter will be interviewing the former Lt. Governor and despite having approved the questions in advance, will still decide to allow the reporter to ask her about the Truck/Gun/Bible incident. I won’t be around to read her answer, but that’s okay. I already know how she’ll reply.

      Disclosure: We lived for two years in Boise.

    6. D. Fuller

      Idaho, a special place.

      The Patriot Movement members right next door – literally – in WA State like to make the point that they are not like the ones in Idaho.

      When visiting Idaho, pretending to be like that particular strain of “Patriot Movement” is a good skill to have.

      So, I had to have a windshield replaced. Safe Auto Glass where they send the technician to you, was unavailable – too far out. The closest shop was in Idaho. The shop owner was easily identifiable as a “Patriot”. Slip into “Patriot think” and we were soon talking. Total cost, $150.00, about the same as Safe Auto Glass. What was always on the shop owners mind was the money. Money this, money that. How the government is taking his money. Money, money, money.

      The Patriot Movement types in WA State are (or were) pretty reasonable, law-abiding, and law-supporting people. Idaho Patriot Movement types? Carry a gun with you for self-protection from those types.

    7. lordkoos

      “Idaho is a bigger moron state than Florida” – perhaps true but FL has a whole lot more of them, luckily ID doesn’t have enough electoral votes to be a factor.

    1. Phacops

      Whenever in time you observe flood basalts a mass extinction event occurs – or at least after the extinctions caused by the oxygenation of earth’s atmosphere. This has been no secret.

      Last year I saw remnants of the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province, near Marrakech. These are absolutely massive Triassic flood basalts and drove the Late Triassic extinction, which allowed dinosaurs to become the dominant terrestrial form. So, the age of the dinosaurs is bookmarked by flood basalts.

      Interesting how the asteroid cult has yet to present evidence that all families of dinosaurs were present at the K-T boundary.

      1. jr

        Thank you, I’ve never heard of this. Why do you think the impact theory has so many adherents in the face of this evidence? Groupthink? I read another article a while back where the woman proposing this theory was called things like “stupid” for making this claim. Boys Club?

        And “Magmatic Province” sounds like a rural area in Hell!

        1. Samuel Conner

          In the aftermath of a major impact, there can be phenomena similar to “nuclear winter”. It might be that part of the appeal of the impact hypothesis is that it illustrates a very real present hazard.

          1. Phacops

            Very correct. I do think it may have been the coup de grâce on top of the magmatics and the opening of the Atlantic. All three changed much of the ecology. I still find the K-T impact fascinating, and some of the research top notch. It cannot explain a lot of the bio-geographic pattern of survivors, though.

            I am interested in the end-cretaceous pattern of cephalopod extinction and survival, but have only begun a literature search. Why did Ammonites, the dominant cephalopod, go extinct when the humble chambered nautilaus survive? Food? Reproduction? Behavior?

        2. Donald

          The asteroid theory has a lot of adherents in the scientific community because it is supported by a lot of evidence, including a massive crater that has been dated to within the limits of accuracy to when the Cretaceous ended. The Deccan traps might have played a role. You can find a great many papers online about this.

          Journalists who write about it often adopt a good guy vs bad guy narrative, no matter which side they take. The asteroid theory used to be the scrappy underdog and now it is the volcano theory. Scientists themselves sometimes get wedded to their pet theories. The volcano people used to point to the fact that there was no crater big enough to have caused the extinction and often suggested the iridium was of some other origin, until it turned out there was a crater of the right size and the right age. Keller, last I read, still disputes the age.

    2. Sub-Boreal

      “Letters from Gondwana” is a favourite science blog. It’s written by an Argentine paleontologist and usually gives a short, pithy summary of 1 or 2 new papers in the field.

      Mass extinctions seem to be a favourite topic, and today, it’s with a Halloween flavour:

      I work in another part of earth sciences, so this is a nice way to keep up.

      Looking in from the outside, the asteroid vs. volcano controversy seems to have the potential to become one of those multi-generational scientific controversies that keeps lots of specialists employed and never gets definitively resolved – a bit like the dispute over overhunting vs. environmental change as the cause for megafaunal (e.g. woolly mammoths) extinctions. All good fun!

      1. Lee

        Less often discussed is the role that pathogens might have played as a contributing factor in some extinctions. In the late pleistocene there were climate warming, and the introduction of a clever predator that hunted naive prey cooperatively, using projectile weapons. In addition, thawing and species migration may have both resulted in the introduction of new and/or previously dormant pathogens that further decreased the numbers of certain species. Endotherms’ resistance to fungal pathogens that abounded after the dinosaur mass extinction is believed to have contributed significantly to the rise of mammals and served as a limiting factor on the proliferation and evolution of ectotherms. Hence, no lizard people.

        1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

          I have no idea of the validity of this but according to Dr. John Campbell, a possible reason, or perhaps one of the reasons why black people in Sub-Saharan Africa have coped with Covid better than the rest of us is that they unlike all of the rest of us do not carry Neanderthal genes.

          Stretching my neck out even further – us out of Africa’s I believe possess about 2-3 % of those genes, which has me wondering that if such a small percentage puts us at risk from a coronavirus, then could it be possible that a creature possessing up to 100 % might have been wiped out by something like the 1st version of the common cold.

          Feel free to throw rotten tomatoes in my general direction.

          1. Lee

            I read the same article. Time and more data out of sub-Saharan Africa may tell. But there also seem to be a great many of us with Neanderthal genes that have resistance or are immune to the virus. Alas, we just don’t know who’s who in this regard.

          2. JBird4049

            “Feel free to throw rotten tomatoes in my general direction.” Now why would somebody do that? They would probably be an ass. Anyways you would be in very good company.

            Fields like evolutionary biology, and anthropology in general, always have the most interesting and bitter of fights and feuds. Ideology, national pride, racism, personal hatred and more. Even when right, or just honestly mistaken, people have had their careers destroyed for daring to question the current Truth. It can have the feel of a religious jihad instead of scientific debate, which makes doing, or even reading about, science difficult. The Piltdown Man, the Taung Baby, the Aquatic theory of human evolution, and the Yanomami people are all interesting examples.

            1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

              The tomatoes thing was due to the fact that I know very little about genetics.& I am very pleased that the Covid has gone easy on that part of the World as they obviously have a very hard time of it in so called normal times.

              I visited a Masai village as a 5 year old in 1963 & the impression of magnificent ebony giants has never left me – although the place itself had a strong negative effect on my then young & sensitive nose.

              Thanks for the article Rev.

      2. Synoia

        the asteroid vs. volcano controversy

        Could an asteroid impact cause much vulcanizism?

        So both camps are correct?

        It’s moderately clear that that vulcanism did not cause an asteroid impact.

    1. Wukchumni

      Who would’ve thought in retrospect, that Bond 007 was a prediction of interest rates?

      Sean Connery had a way about him that other actors in the role simply couldn’t match, being the template. RIP

        1. RMO

          He was at his best in Zardoz. OK, not really but I still love that movie. I discovered it on late night television on a channel we had in Vancouver that would air pretty much any movie, completely uncut in that time slot. I was absolutely delighted to discover that such a completely deranged film really existed AND was the product of a big studio, famous director and a large budget. I thought he was great in A Bridge Too Far.

          My favorite Bond is Roger Moore overall (if we leave out the old Casino Royale) – the over the top campiness makes those movies watchable for me. The recent ones leave me feeling ill because they just make me think of all the horrible things actually being done, for real, right now by the “intelligence” agencies.

    2. Oh

      He was a good actor. He was able to break away from the 007 stereotype and establish himself. And what a lovely accent. RIP Sean!

        1. Wukchumni

          I like how he passed away in his sleep in the middle of a pandemic and before the world went to hell in a handbasket, Sean of the dead indeed.

    3. Clive

      Yes, as everyone, certainly if they have the slightest shred of artistic taste, knows, there’s no-one who can hold a candle to the incomparable Roger Moore in that role.

      But nevertheless RIP Sean Connery. Never has scenery been so compressively chewed in the history of cinema than in his performance in The Hunt for Red October.

      1. Carolinian

        Alec Baldwin has a very much worth a listen podcast and he has talked about being in awe as Connery stepped on the set of October in full regalia. Connery was a great actor but maybe not in the Bond movies when he was just getting started.

      2. chuck roast

        I recall sitting around with some friends in the mid-sixties watching The Saint. One of us opined that, “This guy can’t act worth a damned!” So I go, “Yeah, all he does is move his eyebrows up and down.” We decide to turn the sound off, fire up a joint and just watch the B&W action without any dialogue. Moore goes off and arches one eyebrow, then the other eyebrow, and then both eyebrows. Soon he has the straight-faced eyebrow action going non-stop, and we are adding our own dialogue and rolling on the floor laughing.

        Subsequently, whenever I was with people watching The Saint, I would tell them this story. There was typically a bit of substance around to abuse, so we would proceed to fire up a bone and turn the audio off. The results were always hilarious.

        RIP Sean Connery. A man’s man.

      3. paul

        What roger did was to turn the whole super techno spy horseshit upside down.

        The early bond films were a template for just about every other action film that followed, ruthless ultra violence, gadgetry escapes and a resolvable manicheanism.

        Plus gorgeous music.

        On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was its acme for me

        ‘The hill’ was connery’s most striking performance ( but nicol williamson, – to be history’s greatest merlin, and gordon jackson were pitch perfect as well).

        There is little wonder why it is not shown more often.

        Discussing this passing with my mum, she recalled that where we first lived in edinburgh, Sean had been the milkman in the next street (i think it was always the next street,,,).

        Everything I’ve heard over the years was that we was a very enthusiastic mixer, with pretty normal norms.

        I’ve always found Robert Shaw his most fascinating nemesis

        Shaw died in Ireland at the age of 51 from a heart attack on 28 August 1978, while driving from Castlebar, County Mayo, to his home in Tourmakeady.[32] He suddenly became ill, stopped the car, stepped out, and then collapsed and died on the roadside. He was accompanied by his wife Virginia and his son Thomas at the time.[33] He was rushed to Castlebar General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

        Jeez, when I read that again, just 51 years.

        Spielberg’s singular luck with good and cheap actors started with him.

    4. ChiGal in Carolina

      An old-school movie star! The only other one Bond who pulled it off imho was Daniel Craig.

      Liked him in Hitchcock’s Marnie too. Thanks for noting it. Guess he was a bit of a jerk in his personal life though…

    5. griffen

      Argh, sorry to read this. He’s had some classic lines, some not safely repeated on a family blog.

      Loved seeing him play the dad in The Last Crusade. A suitable role playing as the senior to Harrison Ford’s role as Henry Jr.

      1. polecat

        Then of course, there was the case of that neo-barbaric genetic package known as ‘Zed’…


        1. Darthbobber

          I was working as assistant manager of a theatre when Zardoz came out, and thus saw it quite a few times under the influence of various mind and mood altering substances.

        2. rowlf

          I always liked Zardoz as I am a wrong side of the track/outsider and I liked how the special people got their comeuppance. Maybe campy but lots of fun, lots of ideas.

    6. Boomka

      We are supposed to believe he died but look at the facts. The guy was completely ageless for the last 50 years. Then he suddenly dies, still without having aged. And on Halloween, when the dark magics are strongest.

      He obviously faked his death. He has to do this every 50 years or people start asking too many questions.

      1. shtove

        Clearly his former colleagues decided to send dispatch him into eternal life undercover with a dose of novichok. Downing shots with Sergei – not the worst outcome.

    7. neo-realist

      My favorite Bond – Connery’s Bond was very good at straddling the line between the ability to wear a tux and socialize with the good guy and bad guy elites at the parties and the physicality to rumble hard with the tough bad guys.

      1. ewmayer

        There was a recent comments exchange between me and another reader about the late great Robert Shaw, where I noted that the famous train-compartment fight scene ‘twixt his SMERSH assassin and Shorn Connery’s Bond in From Russia With Love was one of my favorites, extremely intense and set up so well by Shaw playing the resentful “unlike you, I came up hard” thug.

        A fun bit of coincidence – In Trainspotting the novel, Irvine Welsh has Sickboy imagining himself as Connery’s Bond, “hand me that air rifle, Mish Moneypenny”, that sort of thing (I paraphrase). In Trainspotting the film Sickboy is played by Jonny Lee Miller, real-life grandson of actor Bernard Lee, who famously played “M” in the first however-many Bond film.

        RIP Shorn, just 2 months past his 90th birthday.

      2. DJW

        According to a story that Little Steven Van Zandt told on his radio program on SiriusXM Connery could also rumble hard with the tough bad guys in real life. The story involves Lana Turner and Johnny Stompanato, who was an enforcer for Los Angeles crime boss Mickey Cohen. Lana Turner had become involved in a relationship with Stompanato when she began filming a movie in England in which Connery, in his pre-Bond days, was also featured. During the filming Turner and Connery reportedly had an affair. When Stompanato heard reports of the affair he flew to England in a rage and burst on to the movie set where he confronted Connery with a gun. Connery took the gun away from Stompanato and gave him a beating. Stompanato was later killed by Lana Turner’s young daughter who was protecting her mother from a beating Stompanato was giving her.

        1. ShamanicFallout

          In other words, he’s was a Scotsman. I grew up in a family with some true blue Scots. They always seemed to me like they were born bald, with a big mustache and mutton chops, forearms like Popeye, probably with a primitively made anchor tattoo on them, carrying around a niblick like an Shillelagh, and could probably kill a person with one of those Connery looks and just a couple of words. RIP

      1. jr

        A great Herzog film “Fitzcaraldo” features a nutcase who moves a steam boat over a mountain in the Amazon. A tribute to hubris, IIRC.

        True fact: during the filming, one of the locals on the crew was bitten by a venomous snake. To save his life, he sawed his own foot off with a chainsaw!!

    1. Phillip Allen

      Some 22 hours later I find that Reddit has removed the post.

      DQE would work as a band name. The stage productions would be truly extra.

  7. pjay

    Re: ‘Trump’s denial of climate change represents worse threat to humanity than Hitler, says activist Noam Chomsky’ – Independent

    Frankly, I’m getting pretty sick of Chomsky’s “Trump is worst president ever” – worse than Hitler – worse than Stalin – worse than the Chicxulub meteor – etc., etc., etc. routine. We don’t have to go back to Caligula, Ghengis Khan, or even Hitler. Bush II was *far* worse – easily. In my opinion so was Obama. If you think voting for Biden is the lessor evil, fine. I don’t. I won’t be voting for Trump either, but quit insulting our intelligence with this sheep-herding bulls**t.

    1. Pelham

      Agreed. Chomsky has always had a tendency to dial his issues up to 11, but in the past his political genius resided in the fact that he could fully back up his most extreme statements and do so with calm reason and clarity. At least, that’s how I saw it. It’s a shame now that he appears to have fallen victim to Trump derangement syndrome. .

      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        It seems Chomsky’s rationale for Biden amounts to concern for the environment but frankly Joe’s record and rhetoric (more fracking!) doesn’t indicate more than businesses as usual greenwashed with typical Dem lip service. I mean, I guess to some “we’re going to not deny there’s a problem but we’re not going to do anything about it” is better than even denying there’s a problem, but the end result is the same.
        Obviously, Noam can vote for whomever he wants, but I was curious to hear him make an interesting case at least. Since I’ve already mailed in my ballot, I guess I’m glad he’s making the same weak case I’ve already heard and doesn’t make me regret my vote.

        1. vlade

          IMO, the difference between Biden and Trump is that with Trump you know exactly what you’re getting on the environment front.

          With Biden, there’s a chance that it will be somewhat better. I admit it’s like a choice between being shot in the morning and having cancer, but with cancer you at least have some, even though minuscule hope. And since we need all the time we can get, wasting it on four years of Trump is IMO bad.

          But just my opinion and I’m not a US voter anyways.

      2. Darthbobber

        Part of the difference is that I used to only hear Chomsky when he was weighing in at some length on something he’d researched pretty extensively. But in more recent years you also get his cursory, off-the-cuff take on virtually everything.

      3. Clem

        When something is banned by Youtube, Google, Twitter, and all the forces that don’t want you to view it, it’s all the more reasons to take a look. Thanks to N.C, I feel pretty informed, nevertheless, learned a lot here.

        Found it on an alternate video streaming service to Youtube

        The Plot Against the President

      4. Drake

        I used to like Chomsky (a few decades back), but I can only conclude that he has a deep lack of understanding of what politics is. His childlike notion that you logically have to offer unqualified support to the party that is just slightly less bad than the other one is what has allowed both of them to sink so far into the tarpit for decades.

        Politics is about power. You compel a party to do what you think it should by reward/punishment. Chomsky either doesn’t believe in punishment, or he thinks the Democrats should be rewarded as they are, knowing they will be worse next time, and worse again the time after that. That’s not logical. It’s defeatist.

    2. Oh

      Obama signed the Paris agreement – a halfway measure that was not binding. More posing than doing. Now JB says he won’t ban fracking. Has Chomsky criticized him for that?

      Both parties have little more than talk when it comes to protecting the environment.

      1. Clem

        Trump is an absolute F*ing disaster on the environment. No disappointments, nor wasted time hoping for something better that might come along.
        “The Devil you know…”

      2. DJW

        Obama also claimed credit for increased domestic energy production during his time in office which was due in large part to increased fracking

      3. Yves Smith Post author

        Not just not binding…signed it <6 months before then end of his term which allowed Trump to exit it. His joining it was all positioning himself to be better liked by the liberal moneybags.

    3. Carolinian

      Indeed and it plays into the liberal illusion that right-thinking will save the world. So Trump accepts climate change….would that make any difference in results? Did it for Obama?

      1. pjay

        Sometimes even the thinking wasn’t quite right:

        “Mr. Obama told the audience at a gala for Rice University’s Baker Institute that he was “extraordinarily proud of the Paris accords” before saying “I know we’re in oil country and we need American energy.”

        “You wouldn’t always know it ,but it went up every year I was president,” he said to applause. “That whole, suddenly America’s like the biggest oil producer and the biggest gas that was me, people.”

        If I didn’t know the source, I’d swear that last line was from Trump. But yay Team Blue!

    4. Darthbobber

      Certainly at this point it represents a greater threat than Hitler does, but that’s probably not what he meant.

    5. Jessica

      Well, strictly speaking Trump is more dangerous than Hitler. What with Hitler being dead 75 years and all.
      I wonder if both Chomsky and Sanders take overt racism more seriously because they lost relatives in the Holocaust.

    6. Acacia

      Must agree with @pjay, above.

      It’s kind of sad to see a thinker of Chomsky’s stature descending to Reductio ad Hitlerum type claims (Godwin’s Law, anyone?), in effect joining the ranks of many TDS-addled Liberals in academic BubbleLand.

  8. Samuel Conner

    Fundraising email this AM in my in-box from, subject line:

    “Republicans are ahead of Democrats in registering new voters”

    It’s almost as if “registering new voters” is something that is only done in the last days of an election. And, for the Ds, evidently it is. Or maybe it isn’t; perhaps it isn’t done even then; perhaps it’s simply a pretext to appeal for funds.

    Lambert has been pointing this out for years. A sibling who is less unsympathetic to the Ds than to the Rs suggested to me that perhaps the D party doesn’t feel it needs to register voters because other aligned groups, below national level, are already doing that energetically. I suspect that is whistling past the graveyard; the reality seems more likely to be that the Party doesn’t want more voters; it prefers to win with the narrowest possible “coalition”, or simply to lose; either way, it doesn’t have to work as hard to govern in the interests of the notional constituents.

    1. a different chris

      > it prefers to win with the narrowest possible “coalition”

      I wish that were true, it was Rove methinks that said he’d rather have 51% so he didn’t have to deal with his own Manchins, rather than a big majority but with lots of preening (family blogs) with egos to constantly feed.

      Today’s Democratic Party is mostly comprised of what would be Reagan Republicans when I grew up. They don’t believe in Medicare for All, they don’t believe in getting rid of fossil fuels, they don’t believe in soaking the rich.

      They believe in tax cuts, they believe in further cementing Big Business, they love the military whether it loves them back or not, &etc.

      They have a subconscious view (and it may be right) that their positions are the mainstream American positions, so why don’t they win every election? Next one for sure!

      So no, they don’t want to lose – you don’t get to be a Nancy Pelosi or a US Senator of any stripe without unbridled individual ambition. What you do get is short-termism, which is a “next-election” view that makes you retreat from places you will not win this cycle. Which leads to not winning them next cycle, and so on. If you personally aren’t going to be the Senator from Wyoming then why should you allow the party to spend money there when it can be spent on your district?

      Shorter me: there actually is not an “it”, what you have is simply a herd of cats. With nobody actually there to herd them. Trying to analyze it differently is a mistake.

    2. barefoot charley

      Unregistered citizens are deplorables. No party will serve them, why would they register them? The bottom half of the population should go die, ideally after consuming expensive drugs. The Dems stopped registration drives when they went Republican. Otherwise the Bernies of the world would have a chance, and who wants that?

    3. Mark Gisleson

      I think there’s something else happening here.

      The Left does most of that work for the Democrats. The neolibz who run the party now are too busy brunching, texting, and smirking to do any actual grunt work. (Phone calls yes, doorknocking — even before COVID — no. Neolibz prefer rallies and pom poms to doorknocking and clipboards.)

      Even Lefties who’re voting this year aren’t doing the grunt work.

      If Biden wins, this means nothing and nothing will change. But if Biden loses the DNC will either have to finally purge itself or the entire party will go on the dung heap of history. The hive cannot survive without worker bees.

      1. Brunches with Cats

        The party’s in the final stages of purging itself. It decapitated the progressive “revolution” and is eating the body.

        Lambert dismisses the mega-astroturf post-election mobilization as street theater led by tassel-loafered digital organizers. The physical description is spot on, but I think it’s a big mistake to write them off. They’re the henchmen for the Dem billionaire donors club, and they’re perfectly executing their orders to create new-and-improved digital platforms, which will scoop up personal data, not just on volunteers, but on the contacts in their phones, on their Facebook  friends, etc. In calling Trump “the most-dangerous president in modern history” and Biden “the new FDR,” Bernie sent his followers straight into the digital trap.

        Those of us who didn’t fall for it are wandering without a compass in the forest, trying to get our bearings. While we’re figuring it out, the digital mobilizers are working like busy bees to recruit fresh new volunteers, and all of their personal information is going into the database, so even if another Bernie comes along and tries to snap them up, they’ve been captured and tagged.

        I wrote the above before watching the Useful Idiots interview with Krysta and Sagaar. Both of them agree that the progressive left is critically injured and has a near-zero chance to have any influence under a Biden administration. Krystal says the next opportunity for progressives to have any leverage will be 2024. Here’s a link to the show on YouTube. K&S come on at 41:45. Matt’s question about the future of the Dem Party starts at 1:32:13.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Five Great Things Biden Has Already Done”

    How about we try a different angle on this theme. How about-

    “Five Great Things Trump Hasn’t Done.” So let’s see.

    Trump has not invaded any more counties under his watch.
    He didn’t write the 1994 Crime Bill which put people away in prison for everything except jaywalking.
    He didn’t keep a generation of people in debt by making student debt independent of bankruptcy proceedings.
    He doesn’t grope women and kids in front of their parents and partners.
    In four years Trump will still have his marbles.

    Before I forget, happy Halloween guys.

    1. Pelham

      We could also add that he didn’t enrich himself and his layabout, doped-up relatives while serving in public office and wangling no-show appointments and multimillion-dollar deals, including at least one with communist China.

      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        Didn’t enrich himself…?! Live under a rock much? He enriches himself every time SS agents and foreign dignitaries stay at Trump properties in violation of the emoluments clause.

        1. a different chris

          Yeah that was a bit of a stretch.

          I think Trump himself would take umbrage at that, always being up to his elbows in the punch bowl is something he is proud of I bet. Simply giving Jared a job he couldn’t be fired from/go bankrupt was an enrichment.

      2. CitizenSissy

        Huh? The current president’s children, their spouses, and various hangers-on have enriched themselves with grift of breathtaking proportions. Ivanka’s Chinese trademarks and the 666-Fifth sale come to mind immediately.

        1. chuck roast

          I can hardly wait for Ivanka’s 2020 White House Christmas video. Bling, camp, tacky…call it what you will, but be sure to send it to all of your friends with TDS.

          1. RMO

            Why didn’t they mention that single great day when Biden made his famous “I have a dream” speech, became the first man to walk on the Moon, discovered penicillin, graduated at the top of his class with four degrees, three masters and two PhD’s, led the troops ashore at Normandy, freed the slaves and killed Adolf Hitler? /s.

        2. Lambert Strether

          > grift of breathtaking proportions

          Well, I should hope so.

          “Man’s grift should except his grasp, or what’s public office for?” –Robert Browning

          I mean, turning the State Department into a money machine was a pretty good move, too. Albeit lss crass.

  10. Pelham

    Re the Tesla autopilot: Why in the world does everyone assume that autonomous vehicles, once perfected, will lead to fewer roadway crashes and deaths? After many years and billions of dollars invested, all the evidence to date strongly suggests just the opposite, doesn’t it?

    Of course, if AVs never measure up, they’ll never hit the road in any significant volume. So I suppose by that measure AVs will indeed produce few deaths. So there’s that. I should also note that I’m a biased observer. I’ve been working from home on screens for about a decade now, and the driving I do maybe a couple of times a week has become a pure pleasure. To engage with the world in three actual dimensions behind the wheel of a powerful machine is quite invigorating.

    1. a different chris

      Here’s the basic problem: the “I” in AI. And it isn’t even a problem if the bozos knew what they were doing.

      I have a pretty good brain by at least the normal measurement criteria (my wife would beg to differ and she’s probably right, but let’s go with the normal metrics).

      And I’ve been in an accident or three in my long life, at least one unavoidable in any way I can envision it and I’ve tried. (only metal damage in any of them, thank god)

      Intelligence as we understand it has many shortcuts to understanding the world. These shortcuts are brilliant (don’t believe in God but man, what he did with some goey mass is amazing) but they occasionally fail.

      If AutoBrain was allowed to fail occasionally, and I mean catastrophically, it could replace humans.

      But they want “Intelligence”, as per human beings, without its drawbacks, and that’s simply not possible. What they really want is not intelligence at all, but a multi-dimensional PID controller.

      1. WobblyTelomeres

        I agree. I don’t think AI becomes I (singularity) until something akin to dopamine or pain is introduced. Computers don’t want, don’t need, don’t feel pain. A vast Bayesian network constantly updated with weighted prioritized sensor inputs doesn’t give you intelligence, it gives you reddit.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      Perhaps autonomous vehicles are ‘trading’ vehicles not vehicles for driving. [ref. joke about the can of ‘trading’ sardines]

    3. Mikel

      Looks like they are prepared to have as many crashes and deaths as needed until humans adjust their behavior and then the claim is made about how “smart” the cars are.

      1. tegnost

        you’re thinking way too small…
        Dedicated infrastructure paid for by mmt then privatized to the bankster set…
        effing socialists wtf

    4. David

      If AI (which is a highly misleading term anyway) is only as good at driving as a Mk 1 human being, there’s no point in having it. The only justification for the cost of developing a truly autonomous vehicle would be that it had an accident rate substantially less than a human being. What are the chances of that?

      1. QuarkfromDS9

        Wasn’t that part of the PR originally? That it will save many more lives? Have they ditched that and replaced it with “lol it’ll just make us a lot more money”??

        1. RMO

          Well, the AI’s won’t drink and probably won’t be programmed to road rage so there’s that… But I doubt true self-driving that outperforms the human average driving safety record is going to be reality for quite a long time. I’m sure the tech industry will find some way to shove something out onto the market they can define as successful and grift off of it though.

  11. CuriosityConcern

    My favorite quote from the BBC article on the Turkish/Greek quake:

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the government would help those affected by the quake “with all the means available to our state”.

    I don’t see any waffling language about means testing here, sounds like Turkey is a functioning state.
    Both national leaders also making conciliatory statements about their waters dispute. May not pan out but at least they are not doubling down in a time of crisis.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Proof is in the pudding. Obama was good at talking the talk, and leaving the means testing to the implementation details.

    2. Anonymous

      Sounds like building codes don’t function well there. Or is it just Allah’s will when poor construction or materials fail?

      It’s funny how reality has a way of humbling the proud.

        1. ambrit

          Having had second hand experience both growing up and as a construction worker with the Building Codes Enforcement departments of several cities in America, I will definitely endorse your inclusion of New Orleans in the “We Cut Corners So You Can’t” category. The corruption and double dealing related to the construction of the Orleans Parish levees back in the 1950s lead directly to the catastrophic failures of said levees during Hurricane Katrina.
          For a deep dig, see this Congressional hearing, particularly the testimony of Ivor van Heerden, PhD :
          Earthquake proofing a building is not cheap, so greed comes into play here. The “new” earthquake building codes are not evenly enforced, nor even extant, depending on where you are.
          Inscrutable are the ways of the Gods. One would be forgiven for speculating that ‘Chaos Theory’ is a manifestation of the Divine Will.

          1. Anonymous

            Chaos allows God to act with plausible deniability, that’s for sure, but I’m reminded of the saying “The harder I work, the luckier I am.”

      1. CuriosityConcern

        I see the point, my only counter is that Turkey and Greece have a much older building “population” than a lot of places in the West.
        Greece is also spread over a great many islands, so obtaining and deploying construction materials would be more expensive if my figuring is right.
        I guess I’m not saying Greece or Turkey is perfect, but from what I read in the article, they aren’t making help political, at least in this first day of news.

  12. Acacia

    Re: “Biden Aides See Warning Signs in Black, Latino Turnout So Far”

    I’ve been playing with this interactive chart:

    2020 Demographic Swingometer | The Cook Political Report

    You can adjust votes by a couple of different demographics and see the change in electoral college counts. Notice that the defaults indicate a Biden win, but do these numbers reflect the reality on the ground? For example, will 92% of African-Americans really vote for the guy who told them: “…you ain’t black?” If you dial the African-American demographic even 4%, from 92 to 88% Dem, it tips the election for Trump. Similarly, a 2% difference in the “White, non-college graduate” demographic (from 31 to 29% Dem) swings the election to Trump. I haven’t dug into this deeply, but those margins seem rather thin.

        1. ambrit

          They could be setting up a “legend” in case Trump wins. A few “inconvenient truths” go a long way in an anti-hagiography.

          1. polecat

            Jeeeze us, ambrit? Keep those blackcats in the bag, won’t ya!

            Can’t give the Blu ishmonkeys any ready-made ideas now, can we.

            1. ambrit

              Reely now! I just took some perfectly ordinary Peking ducks and sprayed black food colouring on them and released them on Lake Davos. Is it my fault the Davosians used the sighting to legitimate a Panic?
              (If Trump wins, there will be no joy in Davos. Mighty Biden has struck out!)

    1. Lambert Strether

      > 2020 Demographic Swingometer | The Cook Political Report

      Neat, but it would be a lot better if the results were shown at the district level instead of the state level.

  13. flora

    An aside about the left tearing itself apart:

    When the left abandoned economic class, working conditions, income and wages as its focus it lost connection to the real world, the things that matter in almost everyone’s life. Instead of focusing on a broadly shared material goal of raising the minimum wage or safer working conditions it’s drifted into a hundred different categories of purity vapor. imo. The university is supposed to be a left or liberal (in Enlightenment terms) place of education. This quote sums up the way even the uni’s have drifted away from their original mission into an emphasis on the shape shifting of social justice.

    Aristotle often evaluated a thing with respect to its telos—its purpose, end, or goal. The telos of a knife is to cut. The telos of a physician is health or healing. What is the telos of university? The most obvious answer is “truth”—the word appears on so many university crests. But increasingly, many of America’s top universities are embracing social justice as their telos, or as a second and equal telos. But… what happens if they conflict?
    -Jonathan Haidt,

    The ‘left’ or many identifying as ‘left’ have abandoned focus on economic class to focus on social justice shape shifting questions, imo. There is no end to the social ‘injustices’ that can be found or imagined. There’s no fixed point of reference. How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? How could it avoid tearing itself apart in this case?

      1. flora

        An aside: It’s a sad thing smart young people have been so protected from robust argument and debate they will not listen to ideas they think they will disagree with before hearing them. Those campus “safe spaces” are creating weak mental muscles, like astronauts who return to earth unable to walk properly because their muscles have atrophied in the absence of gravity. Thus, cancel culture.

        1. Janie

          This. Examples: The staggering percentage ( I think 25) of young people considering suicide during the lockdown. The students so traumatized by hearing the N word from the zoom instructor that they felt they couldn’t continue the course. (Some jokey thing about patterns of hesitancy in speech – fell flat.)

          I compare it to sterilizing every surface the baby contacts leading to lack of ability to cope with pathogens.

          1. OpenthepodbaydoorsHAL

            It’s a pincer movement, from the bottom up we have the individual, emotionally unable to be exposed to information that might challenge or change their worldview, and from the top down we have The Great Firewall (no, not of China), separating the electorate from the information they need to make the right choices for themselves, their families, and their country. A presidential candidate could be receiving money from the espionage services of a foreign power in return for advancing that power’s interests over those of the United States, and the people could be deceived into electing him anyway

        2. c_heale

          Isn’t this argument about young people a massive generalization. Young people aren’t one homogenous block. They seem pretty similar to old people (I am old) imo.

          1. flora

            It’s an argument about the new higher educational environment of catering to woke identitarianism instead of free speech and critical thinking, learning to counter ideas with different ideas instead of silencing a speaker, for example, that young college people now experience as institutionally normal and acceptable.

            1. flora

              adding: many recent college students who don’t fall for the woke nonsense still see what happens when a faculty member trips in using normal language in a way that 1 or 2 students complain about, and then the faculty member (usually someone the admin finds a thorn in their side anyway) is fired with no real due process. Even students who don’t agree with wokeness and welcome a good debate learn a lesson from from seeing faculty fired for the flimsiest of reasons.

              1. Lambert Strether

                > Even students who don’t agree with wokeness and welcome a good debate learn a lesson from from seeing faculty fired for the flimsiest of reasons.

                So the university is fulfilling its teaching misssion….

          1. jr

            Sorry, I just learned I can’t dig stuff up further from reddit. I was going to try to hunt the source down if possible but it’s not. It’s just an image with no attributions but it’s telling…

      2. Oso_in_Oakland

        thank you flora. very balanced article. excellent take on Mr Reed while not dismissive of those black/brown individuals who have contrary views on Mr Reed’s stated position.

        1. rowlf

          I was surprised at the article also when it came out. This part was amusing: Michael Powell is the Sports of The Times columnist. How did he get the article? What series of events lined up so Powell wrote this?

          1. Wukchumni

            Sports offers up something unheard of outside of its realm, numbers/scores that are 100% accurate, as opposed to anything having to do with money and numbers in banking/high finance.

              1. Wukchumni

                When was the last time a score was changed in professional sports, on account of gambling interests being caught in the act?

                1. fwe'zy

                  I must’ve mis-read your meaning. The score doesn’t change but its legitimacy might, eg. “throwing a fight.”

    1. pjay

      Quoting Jonathan Haidt is very appropriate. Haidt became an academic pariah by making some of the same points about liberal closed-mindedness in the university as Taibbi and Greenwald have about the liberal media. Like the latter, as he was demonized in “liberal” forums he was championed by conservatives (often for their own partisan reasons, of course). This, in turn, was used by liberal academics to prove Haidt was just a conservative ideologue. Etc., etc. Polarization, divide-and-rule, political correctness… the usual.

    2. hunkerdown

      Oh, neat, the neoliberal center is trying to recuperate the word “heterodox”.

      The telos of university is class formation, of course. Something tells me *that* truth (which, we should understand, is a construction of narrative, therefore to organize people first, to organize facts second) speaks a little close to any think-tankist’s interests.

      1. Lambert Strether

        > The telos of a University is to make money by squeezing it out of the students.

        > > The telos of university is class formation

        It’s a dessert topping, it’s a floor wax!

    3. David

      Yes, I think it’s widely accepted that when the Left ran away from serious political confrontation in the 1970s, and set up their police state in the Universities, they carried a lot of their Marxist toys with them, and continued to play with them, but in an atmosphere increasingly distant from the real world. The difference is that Marxism claims to be an objective, rigorous system in which individuals and entities are analysed by reference to ownership of the means of production. Objective criteria yield testable assertions of the nature of “All X are (or are not) Y.” So it’s possible to have a hypothesis like “all employees are not capitalists” or whatever. It’s also possible to divide the world into objectively separate actors – shareholders, wage-earners, property owners, proprietors of business etc. and to make testable hypotheses about them, of the order of “all unemployed people live on less than the national minimum wage”, since there are two objective variables in that sentence.

      By contrast, the misnamed current “Left” exists in a purely subjective world, where anyone who wants to feel oppressed or marginalised can demand to right to say so, and no assertions can ever be tested. (The difference between “all black people are poor”, which is a testable hypothesis, and “black people are oppressed”, which is not.) Once you make subjective “lived experience” (yuk) the criterion, you have set the stage for competing displays of victimism in which people say things that can never be disproved, because at bottom they don’t mean anything.

      And it’s clear that there is no end, as you say, to the injustices that can be imagined. It’s very rare, for example, to hear somebody say “I pay too little tax”, or “I have too many rights”, let alone “I have too much power.” How many terrorist groups have ever acknowledged that their cause is unjust? How many governments have ever admitted to waging an unjust war? Some years ago, James Gilligan, a prison psychiatrist in New York, wrote several books about his experiences with violet criminals. He never encountered one who was remorseful, or who felt that they should not have acted as they did. Most of them thought they were the wounded party: “he shouldn’t have said that”, “she shouldn’t have behaved like that.” Once you abandon objective criteria for subjective ones, there’s no limit to the injustice you can find, and use against each other. No wonder the”Left” is tearing itself apart. That’s one piece of good news, anyway.

          1. Wukchumni

            I’m glad that it didn’t come down to domestic violins, although a tuba for alongside the head is sometimes called for.

            1. ambrit

              s/ That was a base, viol slander. Don’t cop an atude bro. I don’t know if I can stand much more of this being strung along. /s

          2. OpenthepodbaydoorsHAL

            I think your comment is a very fine example of fearless truth telling. Would that the actual agendas of the people seizing power under these banners were known by all of the people who are already the victims of them. It’s feeling more and more like a religious war, and how stunning it feels to realize that the opposition banners are simply labeled “Freedom of speech” and “Freedom of Thought” and “Freedom of Religion”. I seem to recall some unpleasantness around 1776 when we settled those questions once and for all, and put rules in place that were designed to make them stay settled forever. Honestly I do not think people understand what dangerous mental pathogens are on the loose here.

      1. chuck roast

        David, I find your Francophone perspective informative and educational. I look forward to reading your comments. If you are making a blanket comment on US Marxists, there may be some truth to what you are saying, but if your comment concerns US Marxist economists, you couldn’t be more wrong. In the US, the Marxists economists that were still teaching at university by the end of the ’70s were scattered and fragmented. Out in the woods at Amherst; a couple at the ever freaky Bard; nowheresville Kansas City; Santa Fe. A couple elsewhere to be rooted out one-by-one. And let me say that from my distant, but attentive perspective, they continued to apply their “Marxist toy” of class analysis with diligence and aplomb.

        I developed tremendous respect for these few. Several were routed from tenure tracks at top universities, and all were forced into internal exile. Our readers can correct me, but only a few years ago Notre Dame basically disbanded its Economics Department for being too “heterodox.” For many years heterodox was used mostly to signify an excellent practitioner of Economics who was actually a Marxist, but you couldn’t call him that because “M” was the scarlet letter.

        1. David

          I wasn’t talking particularly about the US, and certainly not about Marxist economists in that country (or elsewhere). A number of them (as you say) continued and continue to good work I’d add David Harvey in the UK, and of course there were distinguished historians like EP Thomson and Eric Hobsbawm, who were Marxists long before the 60s, and remained so long after. In France and Italy, where there were strong Communist Parties, Marxists remained intellectually influential for a long time afterwards.

          I was talking more generally, as I said, about the Left in general, by which I meant primarily political activists, aspirant politicians, journalists, militants and campaigners of various sorts, mostly with a vaguely progressive mindset and a desire to be rebellious. In the late 60s and 70s, Marxism seemed to supply what they needed in terms of a structure of thought, a sense of struggle and participation and, most importantly, an impenetrable private shared vocabulary and a set of difficult concepts. Add to that the certainty of eventual victory, and you have an intoxicating mixture which many such people swallowed whole, even if they didn’t really understand what they had ingested.

          As we all know, the 70s were a time of disillusion and failure, and many of my contemporaries who had chanted slogans for the miners in the rain got jobs and started families, and the revolution didn’t seem so imminent any more. But the wants that superficial Marxism supplied had to be provided somehow, and first deconstruction, postmodernist theory and feminism, and then IdiotPol filled the gap. You could, after all, be a feminist or a post-colonial theorist and still be wealthy and appear a lot on TV. Indeed, the learned helplessness inherent in most of these theories, with their hidden patterns of power and domination, effectively mean that nothing could actually change, so you could go on appearing on TV forever. Essentially, the change has been from “philosophers have only explained the world in various ways the point however is to change it”, to “political action risks changing the world, the point however is to explain in various ways why this change is impossible, so that I can keep appearing on TV.”

      2. apleb

        Why is “black people are oppressed” not testable?
        “all black people are poor” is testable in your narrative only because the word “all”, which makes the testing easy and essentially a strawman you can easily knock down with a single crack dealer or that black heart surgeon politician that died recently. I’m sure oppression wasn’t testable the way you set it up in 1950 either, or in 1900. Still, there was oppression both times, and still is now, just less than 1950.

        The problem is not those questions, not the subjectivity you perceive, since you can show oppression objectively in the form of e.g. number of polling places per capita, or stop and frisk occurences, or jail term for same offences across ethnicities, etc. It’s more that victim culture where one isn’t allowed to question this victimhood and putting that victimhood above everything else. The Left left the economic sphere utterly and entered, retreated to the social sphere only so oligarchs can keep their power, money and everything else.

        To escape the oppression, economic and social, you need to end economic oppression, for all ethnicities, first: economics can easily be counted while for social you need to change minds. Something you cannot count. In that way there is objectivity vs. subjectivity relevant: minds are subjective, cash is objective. Of sorts.

        1. David

          I sort of agree, in the sense that you can take a whole series of testable assertions, and you can make a good political argument about oppression, for example, on the basis of the results. You can certainly argue that a group or groups are collectively economically disadvantaged. You can also argue that there are laws, agreements or customs which discriminate against certain groups as a whole (the obvious example is apartheid South Africa). There are also rigid sets of rules about power distribution (such as Lebanon after 1991) which mean that certain jobs are reserved for certain ethnic groups irrespective of ability, which causes a great deal of resentment.

          But all this is objective. “Oppression” or “Marginalisation” are subjective value judgements, and there is no way, even if you can link them to objective criteria, that you can demonstrate them to be true. Simple example a long way away: after a short but violent internal conflict in 2001, the government of Macedonia, dominated by the majority Slav community, agreed under international pressure to various measures to increase the rights and power of the Albanian minority. If you’re a Slav, especially one whose job was taken away to be given to an Albanian, you believe that your community is oppressed and a victim of NATO and international power politics. If you’re an Albanian you believe that your community is still oppressed because not enough has been done to right past injustices. I have no personal point of view on the question (I’m sick of that part of the world) but neither side would be able to prove to me (or you) that they were objectively “oppressed.”

          1. No it was not, apparently

            Oh, it would be trivial my dear David.

            The Turkish/muslim invaders mass-murdered, raped and enslaved Slavic population of the Adriatics (Bal-Kan – Blood and Honey – is a muslim invader’s name for the occupied adriatic region) in a multi century lasting Jihad that makes Hitler and the Nazis look like boy-scouts in comparison.

            They were only successfully stopped very recently and the conflict with the remaining occupying colonists (bosnians and albanians) is still in progress; they are winning unfortunately (as can be witnessed by observing the constant growth of the greater-albania project), due to the support of the US.

            In fact, if you look closely, the west has, for the longest time, empowered islamic fascism, as means to attack slavic and socialist countries, with the result of extreme rise of islamic violence worldwide.

            But to help you out, it is completely objective to say that the Macedonians are under slow-population attack of a foreign invader force that is slowly displacing them in their own country; any personal grievances, subjective or not, are wholly irrelevant for the matter.

            I can understand that americans would have a hard time understanding any of this; you however, for a continental European, have a mind boggling position on the issue. That is, assuming that you actually think any part of the Adriatic conflict is “subjective.”

      3. Bazarov

        I don’t know, David, I don’t see much “Marxist” or even “Left” about the university today, speaking from the American context.

        The university is more under sway of continental, post-modern philosophy, which is highly anti-Marxist in character. I know you put “left” in scare quotes, so maybe you believe this too–but it’s my opinion that the university is right wing, and in prioritizing and evangelizing identity politics, has given the right a very powerful weapon (in “white people” identity politics) and created a lucrative industry to employ PMC “race teachers” to suss-out wrong mindedness in American corporations.

        1. David

          Oh, I do agree. I think you are quite right that the genuine Left in has lost any influence in the universities. I’m trying – perhaps not very well – to distinguish between ideas themselves and forms of expression. The Universities have turned into the propaganda factories and enforcement arms of PMC ideology, and there’s no doubt that they actually serve the interests of the Right. But of course the transition from left-wing to right-wing ideology has been very common among the intellectual and pseudo-intellectual classes ever since the late 1970s. My point was that many of these people retain the intellectual habits and political behaviour from those days. IdiotPol is the new Marxism, not in content or intellectual power, but in the thrill of something new and illicit, the shared incomprehensible vocabulary and the feeling of edginess that it gives them. I put “Left” in quotes because, whilst it still exists, thank goodness, the parasites who have taken over the old parties and movements don’t even bother to call themselves that any more, even if their opponents do.

    4. km

      This is entirely intentional, and the reason that everyone from Goldman Sachs to the reigning university Wokemon champion can support it, for it does not change or question the way the economic pie is sliced.

      1. Duck1

        Wait, the economic pie is sliced? I thought it just came out of the oven and the rich ran away with it.

        1. polecat

          Not entirely. They DO toss a bit of over-baked crust, via their poliTicKing proxies, to the plebs to fight over. Seems to work .. without fail, Every time!

      2. jr


        I believe the confusing language (LatinX, sher, shim, lived experience) is also intentional. It’s made to make the ingroup feel as if they have their own secret language and the outgroup to feel alienated. All of IDpol is about othering, it offers it’s chosen oppressed groups a chance and bigger platform to enjoy the sugar rush of bigotry. Along with the hangers-on and the “identified” fashion queers, desperate for some kind of authenticity in their lives. It’s just bigotry with a coating of rainbow paint.

        1. km

          I remember when deconstructionism was all the academic rage.

          Once you sliced through the jargon, there wasn’t really much to it, and even less that wasn’t either unadulterated BS or self-evident.

  14. The Rev Kev

    Eric Feigl-Ding
    ‘SOBERING: U.S. reports over 100,000 coronavirus cases in 24 hours for the first time ever. Smashes all time record.
    We have basically lost this battle. Not sure if Christmas is even saveable unless we do something drastic fast.’

    Unless you live in Vermont, Christmas is a bust and probably Thanksgiving too. Once the election is, kinda, over next week the next eleven weeks will have no real dramatic measures taken against this virus. The elite will still be playing their political games in Washington and nothing will be done until the new House sits next January. Trump won’t do anything if he wins or loses because he has already had the virus. As he is OK now, he will care even less for anybody else. I think that this is a result of adopting the Boris Johnson doctrine myself- (1:10 mins)

    1. Phillip Cross

      IHME has always provided accurate and interesting projections. They just updated it to show predictions until February and the deaths just keep going up, up, up.

      You can view their current projections by state. It seems like some will be OK this Christmas, but they are showing a lot of really eye popping charts for others.

      Also, please check out the current worst case scenario they see for the UK. Grim. :-(

      1. Michael

        Its just another facet of the neo liberal state…bringing forward deaths from the future to serve the present.

    2. Wukchumni

      Had our family Zoom session and not to be a grinch, but there will be no Thanksgiving or Xmas get together this year we decided, there it’s settled.

      Much of the session was in regard to whether our 21 year old niece should go work for a fishery in Oregon in her year off from college, or go somewhere like Japan, which was a fun conversation until somebody (that would be me) brought up the fact that no Americans can travel to Nippon.

      What a killjoy I turned out to be…

      1. Mark Gisleson

        I’m “that uncle” who emailed my brothers to cancel long before they actually invited me to dine with them on the holidays. Unsure how big their gatherings will be.

        My brother the farmer was easily the strictest isolater I know. Getting sick at harvest time would be a disaster, yet I’m not reading about any such crises (other farmers have to do your harvest for you and that attracts the news media). However Trumpist, farmers were doing some serious social distancing this fall. I didn’t think they could do it, but bringing in the crops is way more important than a political rally.

        Any NC readers who’ve heard of harvests at risk due to sick farmers, please post the links. This is a story that should have happened but didn’t. [I’m not a pandemic-disbeliever, just curious as to how rural COVID numbers are going up yet the harvest is coming in.]

        1. Wukchumni

          You could say the same thing in regards to Big Ag here, in that ALL of the work is done by Hispanics, who are most likely to be infected by the virus. Why are they expecting bumper crops of everything?

          1. ambrit

            “Why are they expecting bumper crops of everything?” Because they already have a bumper crop of expendable deplorables.

        2. a different chris

          >just curious as to how rural COVID numbers are going up yet the harvest is coming in.

          “Farming” is a big industry, a lot of it outside (the classic vision of farming on a tractor or at least picking in a field) but a lot of it inside too,

          So we’ll see when the processing part gets going….

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      I finally figured out what so bothered me about the idea of ‘herd immunity’. On its face the idea is ridiculous. What herdsman would let herd immunity resolve a disease killing and weakening the cattle in his herd? We have “over 100,000 coronavirus cases in 24 hours” but who in the Power Elite finds this news sufficiently “sobering” to take any action to remedy the pandemic or ease the economic destruction it has wrecked on the Populace?

      Regard the word “herd” now so blithely applied to Populace. Long ago Populace was at least regarded as a flock, tended by a good shepherd. Populace in the US has diminished from “We the people” to ‘the masses’ to ‘consumers’ to ‘customers’ to a herd. Herds are driven to market. But even herdsmen have more regard for the members of their herd. Much of the herd is only valued for the glue and hides they yield to the tender mercies of our Medical Industrial Complex.

      Perhaps the language used, the words used, determine or influence thinking. I am skeptical of those ideas. But I believe the word “herd” clearly communicates how our Power Elite thinks about the Populace.

        1. ChiGal in Carolina

          The term, ‘herd immunity’, was coined by researcher, A W Hedrich, after he’d studied the epidemiology of measles in USA between 1900-1931. His study published in the May, 1933 American Journal of Epidemiology concluded that when 68% of children younger than 15 yrs old had become immune to measles via infection, measles epidemics ceased.

          1. Jeremy Grimm

            Thank you for the etymology. Somehow it isn’t surprising the term originated in epidemiology. I find it most interesting that it was associated with measles — a disease I believe even early on demonstrated different outcomes and spreading characteristics than the measles.

      1. Janie

        Good point. Industrial-scale livestock operations refer to the “product” in literature about the care of their living animals.

      2. Boris

        Populace in the US has diminished from “We the people” to ‘the masses’ to ‘consumers’ to ‘customers’ to a herd.
        Very nice observation!

        Sometimes the powers are so cumsy in their choice of words, even of euphemisms, for instance: The term “Human resources” is relatively new in my country, so one might actually think about what it means, and my thought was: They think this sounds like they value and appreciate us workslaves, but actually: What do you do with “resources”? You exploid them and then you use them up, no? I dont want to be a “resource”!

      3. Mummichog

        In this age of spin doctors, market researchers, psys-ops, these words are carefully chosen. Lots of psycho-socio researchers at Universities churning out more and more ways to manipulate the population and invade its consciousness. The NIH, for instance, has published a study on how shame, humiliation, guilt, etc. can be used against the public and change their opinions.

        Lockdown is a good one for starters. Lockdown definition is – the confinement of prisoners to their cells for all or most of the day as a temporary security measure. Merriam. So, the Govt describes its citizens as criminals! They chose the term not the public. Only a minority of the public objects.

        And Herd. Cattle. You want to stampede them with fear, anxiety, paranoia, panic. Stamped to masks, lockdowns and vaccines. Please do anything, please.

        Governments love emergencies, their opportunity to strip civil rights which will never be returned. Mask mandates, vaccine mandates, mandatory tracing apps, mandatory health monitoring, let er rip. Like 9/11, misnamed Patriot Act, they have the legislation lined up and ready to go. Tuning it up right now.

        1. a different chris

          >Lots of psycho-socio researchers at Universities churning out more and more ways to manipulate the population and invade its consciousness.

          Yep. You might want to go upthread a bit and drop in a careful word or two, they are all sure that the Universities are run by crypto-Marxists that spend all waking hours being, well Woke.

          I think you have a much better grip on the reality of it.

        2. apleb

          Mask mandates: will not happen since it costs too much and irritates the proles too much
          Vaccine mandates: don’t you get a battery of vaccinations already as a newborn for good reasons?
          tracing apps: already exists for 30 years now. We call it a cellphone. Why would anyone need an app for that when it’s inherent to the device itself?
          health monitoring: everyone actually wants that. Only in the US you need to pay for it explicity, which is why they don’t want it. Everyone on NC however wants it for the US too from what I can read the last few years.

          If they had the legislation lined up, wouldn’t “they” have enacted it by now after 10 months of pandemic? Patriot act was enacted 7 weeks after the emergency that made it passable.

    1. RMO

      Where I live (Vancouver suburbs – Fraser Valley) we had the damn virus down to almost nothing – and the health district I live in is the one that had the most cases. In August we were down to many days of zero new cases. Now we’re back up to near two hundred per 24 hour period and near 300 for the whole Province. We never had any “lockdown” though things like sit down restaurants, bars etc. were closed. Among the things the new surge have been linked to are things like weddings and family gatherings where more people than invited showed up and… party buses. Freaking party buses. On the other hand mask use has gone up from about 1/3 (by visual observation in my area) to near universal as a response. Our health district also just said no one is to have anyone from outside their home come in. That’s the biggest restriction we have had yet.

      At least I still have some N95 and P100 masks – and a Scott full-face gasmask if it comes to it.

  15. montanamaven

    In the discussion on Greenwald’s departure from The Intercept, a few commenters criticized him going on Tucker Carlson. (#1 cable show.). Last night was another example of why I am continually surprised by Tucker and why I love it when my beliefs are challenged and when some perspective that is new to me is presented.
    Last night Tucker had on Jason Whitlock to challenge the idea that all black people must vote for the Dems. Within that discussion was a discussion of feminism and LGBTQ rights as it pertains to civil rights. And he touches on something I’ve been thinking about. He said that “We mistake ‘affinity and affection’ for respect and freedom. Affection pleasures the giver. Respect pleasures the receiver and reveals the character of the giver.”
    I was trying to come up with a succinct answer to a friend of mine who is a virtue signaler. Virtue signaling is narcissistic and pleasures the giver. I would love to hear what NCers think about this interview. I could not isolate it on youtube, so I will link the entire hour. But it is the last segment, so you can skip to the end of the hour (although the segment with Adam Carrola just ahead of it is fun too). Jason Whitlock on TC Tonight

    1. km

      “Virtue signaling is narcissistic and pleasures the giver.”

      I read sites such as NC for insights such as this.

    2. Lambert Strether

      > I could not isolate it on youtube, so I will link the entire hour.

      Scroll the video to the point you want to start at, and then in the share (the link) or embed check the “Start At” box, which will put the time-code of your starting point into the URL or embed code.

  16. dcblogger

    I have been thinking about the Iraq war a lot recently. How in the world did the NYT and Washington Post not go out of business? Why did Americans continue to pay for newspapers that lied them into war? How did NPR and PBS contributor base not implode given their role in the tragedy? How did CNN, MSNBC, et all stay in business? I think that was the real national failure right there, continuing to support institutions we knew were lying to us.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I wonder who is supporting them. They seem not unlike the Democratic National Committee [DNC] which even at this moments cries for contributions from the Populace. But do the small contributors provide the main support for the DNC any more than subscribers pay the way for newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations or their network programming?

    2. hunkerdown

      Because powerful liberals, the ones who are actually trained in the dark art of statecraft and the Greco-Roman literary tradition, understand that enforcing austerity and war are the business of any ruling class.

    3. Noone from Nowheresville

      What others have said plus also too far removed once the lie was revealed. Even then, I wonder how many paid attention and even processed what that would mean. How does one adjust one’s societal mask to process such a thing?

      Plus always the next dopamine tragedy ready to distract. And finally, where else would they go to get their “reality bubble” fix which also conveys gravitas and such status within their communities?

      Even NC is kind of a reality bubble fix if we drill down to its core. So we need to understand the dynamics of what we’re asking of other people. It really is a big ask (red or blue pill level), even if it’s a reasonable one from “our” perspective.

      As far as failing, remember it’s not failing the status quo / power structure. In fact, it’s working quite well.

    4. Schmoe

      NYT and WaPo could stay in business via sheer inertia in their relevant markets.

      The more disturbing question is how are the neocons still perennials on MSNBC and virtually every other talk show? Bill Krystal is still taken seriously, and can anyone name a single neocon who has been “canceled” due to their Iraq war support? Cancel culture will run someone out of town on a rail for not toeing the line on Russia, but lying the country in a fiasco that killed at least 200,000 is apparently not a problem. Also, Alan Greenspan was still a regular post 2008.

      So, remind me again why the MSM has a credibility issue.

      1. rowlf

        The company I work at likes to have discussions on social issues. I like to bring up the issue of war crimes and Brown people around the world Lives Matter and I get treated like a talking dog. I figure if we correct the war crimes problem a lot of other problems will get sorted quickly.

    5. km

      Not only that, but the few naysayers and truth tellers were cast into outer darkness, even as the War on Iraq went worse than their most pessimistic predictions.

      1. Mummichog

        So too now. Many of the contrarian Covid experts and critical thinkers are vilified, ostracized, censored. Any opinion contrary to the MSM Covid line is to be stamped out. This passes as science.

        A perfect example is that the Covid vaccine devotees and supporters never point out that some of the vaccine developers have criminal records and significant civil settlements against them. This is not considered important information when discussing a supposedly critical health product.

        1. km

          For that matter, anyone who pointed out that the Russia gate conspiracy theory would be too far fetched and evidence-free for the ca. 1962 John Birch Society was treated as “not serious”.

    6. apleb

      Where else would you go for “news”? For them to implode, something or someone else has to take its place. More and more go to social media since that delivers better dopamine and costs less, but I wouldn’t say it’s better. Some others don’t consume news of any form altogether.

      Both, social media and avoidance, lead to the small but constant and probably soon existence threatening erosion of traditional news media in print and broadcast.

  17. The Rev Kev


    Seeing a few familiar names on there including Conservative voices. This isn’t random this. This is the result of a program. As there are sites from Australia and New Zealand I would guess that the Five Eyes have oversight of this operation rather than just the US. It is more akin to pruning where you cut out independent voices. Of course that list is only an indicator of the full spectrum of attack.

    Naked Capitalism has been de-ranked by Google for example and Jimmy Dore has many of his videos de-monetized but neither is on that list. If this continues, the news on the internet will resemble something coming out of Disney studios in the end as all other voices will have been silenced. And the PMC/liberal class will cheer this development because it is the ‘moral’ thing to do to prevent another Orange Bad Man arising.

    1. flora

      yep. Currently, Glenn Greenwald’s Substack url isn’t showing up in a d-d-g search, at least not for the first several pages of results. So I’ll post the url here; maybe it needs more hits to show up in a d-d-g search.

      (I hope NC has a good 1st Amendment lawyser on speed-dial. /;) )

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      To be de-ranked by Google or de-monetized by Google’s YouTube both do serious harm. With Big Money’s purchase — in effect — of the Federal Communication Commission [FCC] I fear we might need to worry about sites disappearing from or blocked at or re-routed by the network’s Domain Name Servers. Dissent may be pushed to the dark net.

    3. diptherio

      So far as I could tell, the site only lists conservatives. Winston doesn’t seem to care if NC or Jimmy Dore get suppressed…the Heritage Foundation, on the other hand, merits an entry, smh.

    4. hunkerdown

      Remember that “just say no to cancel culture” neocon flounce over the summer that Chomsky put his name to? That was just a teaser campaign for these guys and their astroturf. “American Greatness”, gag.

  18. Mikel

    So basically there is a widespread Covid mutuation and nobody dares talk too much about what that means for vaccines in the latter stages of testing.

    1. jefemt

      I don’t know enough to be dangerous. But, in that fog of ignorance, I have pondered a bit… not to the extent of UV colonoscopy, bleach enemas, lysol purgatives or netty pot sinus lavage

      A long time ago when this covid deal was breaking out and was explained to be a part of the buggy family that includes the good old common cold, my thought was- and continues to be
      -there are a lot of greedy , smart people that would LOVE to find a cure for the common cold. Nada.
      -how many resources, time, and dither will we expend to have the same epiphany for covid 19– as nasty and fatal as it is?
      -where in the heck are critical thinking talking heads fourth estate to ask this question?

      Mr. Malthus was on to something…. whether it is wildfire, colony collapse, or bad buggies, populations will be thinned to work back toward a stasis.

      1. apleb

        The common cold mutates too much, is a too big of family of viruses, e.g. not only corona ones but also rhino viruses. Normal flu vaccine which doesn’t work 100%, far from it, is usually a cocktail that is comprised of 3 or 4 different vaccines against 3 or 4 different virus “tribes”. Researchers look in spring what will most probably be the most important flu virus types in autumn and then mix and produce that cocktail in summer.
        And if they are wrong, like in ~2018, we get a really bad flu season with lots of deaths.

        To have a universally working flu vaccine, we would need something that works against SARS1, MERS, now SARS2 and a few hundred others combined. SARS2 is also mutating quite a bit but we don’t know yet how much, not enough experience with this one yet.

  19. Count Zero

    “US and UK citizens produce the most plastic waste”

    Well, first, strictly speaking I am not a UK “citizen” but a subject of the Queen. I don’t recognise her authority but that’s by-the-by.

    And second I wish it to be noted that I haven’t produced ANY plastic ever. I wouldn’t know how to.

    1. skk

      When I was switching to US citizenship I called the British embassy in DC to make sure I wouldn’t lose British citizenship as a result. The official said:

      “SIr, you are the Queen’s SUBJECT. ! Only the Queen can do something to your British citizenship. ”

      So that cleared that up.

  20. Mikel

    “Dow closes more than 150 points lower as Wall Street posts its worst one-week sell-off since March” CNBC.

    There are still greater fools waiting to be fleeced. So expect some sophisticated (and not so sophisticated) bull traps.

  21. Wukchumni

    Loved the title of this article, and areas around Bakersfield often look like Saudi Arabia, there’s so many oil wells.

    Oilfield produced water has presented challenges for oil companies for generations. It comes up in volumes averaging about 10 times the amount of oil that accompanies it. If oil producers can’t properly dispose of that fluid, they can’t produce oil.

  22. Mikel

    “Oh Jeeeesus”: Drivers react to Tesla’s full self-driving beta release” Ars Technica (Kevin W)

    They let that clown put those cars on the streets. Unbelievable.

    1. flora

      I’ve decided Tesla must be a govt/mil r&d funded company, imo. Think “drone” tanks and humvees. Or maybe it’s Wall St owned freight companies looking to eliminate truck drivers doing the funding. We have the pleasure of being used as the beta testing environment. /s

    2. Howard Beale IV

      Consumers Reports posted their review of the state of current driving assist systems: Tesla took some dings in certain categories, with Cadillac’s Super Cruise getting their nod as their top pick overall. FWIW I have a 2016 Subaru Impreza with their EyeSight system, and in highway driving it works splendidly – but in stop-and-go traffic, not so much. Note that by 2022 the NHTSA is mandating systems like Subaru’s EyeSight as standard equipment on all passenger vehicles.

  23. jef

    About plastic waste. It’s important to understand that even recycled plastic ends up being thrown away. It might make another lap or two around the track but virtually everything we produce gets thrown away and makes huge trails of pollution from start to finish.

    1. polecat

      Yes, even that toothbrush …

      How many megatons of that item alone do greenies of all stripes nonchalantly toss when frayed … but bristle with anger at the sight of a plastic shopping bag blowin in the wind, or a used plastic straw laying on an eatery table?

      WWAOCD or Does?

  24. diptherio

    The Winston84 project appears to just be a big list of right-wing pundits, conservatives of various stripes, climate change deniers, and the like. I don’t see any left leaning person or group listed. Try searching for “socialist” and see what comes up. (spoiler: nada) But they do list the Heritage Foundation as a “suppressed” group. LOL. You gotta be kidding me, right? The site appears to me to be a relatively transparent bit of partisan hackery. Suppression of content through various means is certainly a problem, but Winston84 is obviously more concerned with right-wing politics than with censorship.

    1. Howard Beale IV

      Suppressed from what – platforms ? Aren’t platforms inherently a net negative to society?

  25. Jeremy Grimm

    The post on the Wiccans reminded me of something of note for this Halloween. Tonight is a full-moon — a blue Hunter’s Moon.

    1. fwe'bot

      Very interesting, with a tastetrack of Lindt truffles! Which flavor do you like best? Mine is red. ;$

    2. ewmayer

      I’m going with a simple costume for random walkabout this evening, a black polo, pair of fuzzy black cat ears and whiskers magic-markered on my 3-ply mask … it’s my BCLM (black cat lives matter) get-up. And yes, Slinky the little black shorthair will be getting a special tuna treat, by way of putting my can opener where my mouth is, or something.

  26. Noone from Nowheresville

    Resilc: “I stand corrected, Idaho is a bigger moron state than Florida.”

    Nice short article with the attached video politician promo. Thanks for the link.

    What I want to know is if these governmental “truthers” can be sued? Not that I’m a big fan of using the legal system this way but the “truthers” are suing to overturn the social distancing and mask restriction bans in multiple states.

    Given their logic, perhaps they’ll be overturning smoking bans somewhere down the road and pushing for the tobacco industry to sue the states for lost profits. Another aspect of neoliberal thinking consumed without really stopping to think about what it means or where it leads. Or maybe they are fully aware.

    Yes, we need real discussions on the topic. To bring kids back into the room because at least they cut through the shades of grays and speak un-polite truths without these hidden agendas (as compared to adults). But we’re not doing that. It really is just a game, isn’t it?

  27. ambrit

    Zeitgeist Watch, Saturday Morning Edition:
    We live in an older, inner ring suburb of a “Half Horse College Town.” Just now, Noon locally, we saw a mini-parade of all white SUVs and sedans slowly tool past. They were honking their horns and making noise with non-partisan “Get Out The Vote” signage in the vehicles. Curious in the extreme. I have never seen this level of political engagement in the local community before.

    1. Elizabeth

      I’ve never seen anything like this either. I get 8-10 phone calls every day telling me to vote. I’ve also seen white SUVs honking horns with signs “Get Out the Vote” – this is northern Iowa. I feel like I’m being harrassed – I’ve voted in every presidential election since 1968 – I don’t need this stuff.

        1. Eureka Springs

          Scariest Halloween costume I can think of this year… dressing up as D or R voters, actually voting for these liars, thieves and murderers.

          1. rowlf

            Tonight a kid in a suit with a MAGA hat came trick-or-treating. I thought it was a good outfit. The adult with the kid and another kid wearing a dress type costume was wearing a full suit and tie.

            Gallic shrug.

        2. edmondo

          “….almost half of Americans don’t bother to vote.”

          The amazing part is that the other half still bothers. Same turd. Different toilet.

      1. rl

        I’ve received roughly a half-dozen letters in the snail mail from various organizations informing me that they will be checking my public voter record after the election to see whether or not I voted, and that “We will be disappointed” if they find that I chose not to vote.

        One of the letters listed my own Did/Did Not voting record in the past five elections and, beneath that in successive rows of black-boxed names and street numbers but printed street names, my neighbors’ voting records.

        No one can be persuaded to believe in this election, so the brightest minds in American politics have resorted to serial fingerwagging.

  28. ProNewerDeal

    “In a (likely 1st) prospective study of 104 grocery store workers, 20% tested covid positive and 76% were asymptomatic”

    The grocery was in May in MA.

    Has another such study been done say in September or later, at 6+ months of the pandemic existing in the USA, & include antibody testing? I imagine that many grocery workers would test COVID negative but antibody positive, from contracting & recovering from COVID from 3+ weeks.

  29. ProNewerDeal

    “Could the President or CongressEnact a Nationwide Mask Mandate? Congressional Research Service”

    quoting the 1st sentence “As Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases continue to rise in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has called on Americans to wear non-medical cloth face masks in public settings and when social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. ”

    1 Is it technically impossible to make N95/KN95 mask available to everyone? If not why at this late date can’t a CARES 4080.0 use the Defense Production Act to make & distribute them, or purchase them from an actual technically advanced society like S Korea/Germany/China/etc?

    2 Any technical (engineering fluid dynamic type) study on the effectiveness of a reused N95 mask? My working assumption is reusing a N95 mask for everyday grocery store type tasks for even months is superior to using a freshly washed bogus cloth mask, until the point of actual severe wear or destruction of said N95 mask.

    3 Why don’t the elected officials use a N95 mask say in Governor COVID daily press updates or US Senate hearings? Is this virtue signalling that the 1 N95 mask is robbing from an Emergency Room nurse? Or do poli-trick-ians, despite their wealth & connections, ignorant on the much lower effectiveness of a bogus cloth mask?

  30. Clem

    Rashida Tlaib and AOC have a proposal for a fairer, greener financial system — public banking

    Fantastic idea and North Dakota shows how well it can work. However, it’s not FDIC insured.

    Looks like Wall Street would still dip its beak into a public bank as proposed by them since the banks they propose would be financed by the Fed, which is owned by Wall Street banks, is a tool of the elite and is no friend of average Americans. Color me suspicious.

    And they are muddling it with race grievances before it even gets considered. With funds destined for “underserved communities”–as defined by them? This reeks of affirmative action banking which will not serve the general public.

    “Geared toward financing state and local municipalites?” What’s more likely, deplorables in Appalachia, or activists in Illinois and Chicago getting loans and pension payouts?

    Why not a Postal Bank that would serve ALL Americans, revitalize the Post Office’s importance and help assure democracy where voting by mail?

    1. km

      The Bank of North Dakota is conservatively managed, and it is backed by the full faith and credit of the state government.

      1. Clem

        Agreed. Let’s duplicate it as is in other states and not create another boodgoogle.

        As soon as the word “disproportionate” appears in any public policy, you have an entree of a new special interest group, which simply replaces one special interest group with another, or piggy backs on the old one and solves nothing.

        “Bank of Pruitt Igoe”

        1. fwe'bot

          Thank you for bringing this to everybody’s attention. Absolutely no Wall Street in the trough. That has got to be a line in the sand. No repeat of the recession farce. NOBAMA.

    1. lordkoos

      I’m really hoping that after the election Sanders will endorse efforts for a viable third party and stop enabling right-wing Democrats.

      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        If Bernie backed a third party now I would be immediately suspicious, and I know I wouldn’t be alone. I don’t think he’s going to change his attitude towards third parties at this point in his career anyway. He’s a lifer.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      Ole pal Joe asked Bernie to act out a little kayfabe to quell any lingering worries about whether the progressives would weigh in to control any tendency for old Joe to slide toward favoring his ole Neoliberal and Neocon friends.

  31. marym

    “Texas Republicans have asked a federal judge to throw out 100,000 ballots in Harris County cast through curbside voting. They drew Judge Andrew Hanen, one of the most notoriously partisan Republican judges in the entire federal judiciary…

    Republicans are racing to federal court because they have lost in state courts (so far). The Texas Supreme Court, which is entirely Republican, refused to halt curbside voting in October when the GOP claimed it was illegal.”

    10/31/2020 Thread with details and background

  32. farragut

    Scotland is leading the way to totalitarianism. A bill brought forth by the SNP aims to police what citizens say at home

    In testimony before a parliamentary committee this week, Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said that he believes the reach of the proposed law should cover words spoken in the privacy of people’s homes.

    “If this were to become law, parents would learn to fear their children, trained in schools in the rigid catechism of “social justice” orthodoxies. And not only reading the Bible or the Koran to one’s children, but simply owning one could land a Scotsman in the dock on charges of “possessing inflammatory materials”. J.K. Rowling would in principle stand to be imprisoned simply for having stood up for biological women in the face of transgender militants — and her Left-wing political convictions would not spare her.

    1. diptherio

      Rod Dreher fear-mongering that a hate crimes bill is going to make owning the Bible illegal…go figure, huh?

      Seriously, this sounds like an almost verbatim rehash of Jordan Peterson claiming that a minor change to the Canadian hate crimes bill would lead to people being locked up for using the wrong gender pronoun. Guess what? Hasn’t happened, and won’t ever happen — just like this bill in Scotland will never lead to anyone being locked up for owning a Bible. You know why? Because it’s a hate crimes bill, which only applies to people who have committed a crime. So yeah, if you beat up your stepchild while screaming a racial slur at them, in the privacy of your own home, you could face stiffer penalties than otherwise. That’s what hate crimes legislation does, create harsher penalties for criminal acts based on prejudice, they don’t make non-criminal acts criminal, no matter what Dreher and his conservative fear-mongers say.

      If you’re interested in the actual law, as opposed to paleoconservative propaganda, look here:

      1. Lambert Strether

        > it’s a hate crimes bill, which only applies to people who have committed a crime.

        From the bill (hat tip Geof):

        Aggravation of offences by prejudice

        (1) An offence is aggravated by prejudice if—
        (a) where there is a specific victim of the offence—
        (i) at the time of committing the offence, or immediately before or after doing so, the offender evinces malice and ill-will towards the victim, and
        (ii) the malice and ill-will is based on the victim’s membership or presumed membership of a group defined by reference to a characteristic mentioned in subsection (2), or
        (b) whether or not there is a specific victim of the offence, the offence is motivated (wholly or partly) by malice and ill-will towards a group of persons based on the group being defined by reference to a characteristic mentioned in subsection (2).

        The heading “Aggravation of offences by prejudice” supports your comment. Section (b) lools like wiggle room, to me.

    2. a different chris

      Uh, would prefer a link to the law itself not to some possible nutter’s (and possibly not!) ravings. Thank you.

    3. Geof

      The proposed bill: Hate Crime and Public Order

      (1) A person commits an offence if—

      (a) the person—

      (i) behaves in a threatening, abusive or insulting manner, or

      (ii) communicates threatening, abusive or insulting material to another person, and

      (b) either—

      (i) in doing so, the person intends to stir up hatred against a group of persons based on the group being defined by reference to race, colour, nationality (including citizenship), or ethnic or national origins, or

      (ii)as a result, it is likely that hatred will be stirred up against such a group.

      Repeat for age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity, variations in sex characteristics. Possession with intent to communicate of material that stirs up hate is also criminalized. Police can enter your home if they have reason to believe that this is the case. Punishment is up to 12 months (summary), up to 7 years (on indictment). It is also an aggravating factor for another crime if that crime was, in part or whole, motivated by prejudice. The testimony of a single person is sufficient to establish this.

      The Unherd article says there is majority opposition and this is unlikely to pass. Still very disturbing.

      There’s a lovely bit of irony in the bill:

      The common law offence of blasphemy is abolished.

      1. a different chris

        So you have to say “F you, Joe!” instead of “F you, n-word!”.

        Please pass everybody the smelling salts, I also note that unlike Dipthero, you neglected to mention that it has to be in concordance with another crime. I’m sure you just slipped up, there.

        Anyway, I find it odd since, as intensely disgusting as I find them*, I never thought to yell at someone “F you, blue eyes!”. So I think the n-words and others actually have a point here.


        And I think, based on my not-so-great knowledge of history, the Scots mostly swear at the Irish. And marry them. Which is weird but very human.

  33. epynonymous

    Happy Halloween! I was peripherally involved in a discussions of mummies and it tickled my brain last night. So I dug up a book I read back in first grade, 1979’s illustrated childrens’ book “Motel of the Mysteries.”

    I was able to find a partial adaptation of it online, graciously posted a mere three weeks ago by an educator. The missing slides at the start explain how after a reduction in postal rates, North America is literally buried under useless paper advertisements in their fictive year of 1985.

    Two thousand years later, a Carter-esque ‘trust fund’ archaeologist excavates a motel room to hilarious and terrifying results.

    1. rowlf

      My mom, a librarian, brought that home when it came out as she thought that it was funny. I think that book, the Khmer Rouge and The Peoples Temple all got stuck in my head at the same time La Jetée style.

    2. Sailor Bud

      A big favorite, as with a bunch of his architecture/engineering books, though Macaulay I think developed a lazier style to pump ‘em out as he got older, and I like it less than his 1970s art style. MotM is hilarious, tho, with all the false assumptions, etc.

      Whenever I have had to buy gifts for kids, one or the other of those books is always a prime contender because they’re so accessible and tell so much about the hand-made world that is gone, gone, gone. I used to obsess over some of those books as a kid, especially City, about the construction of a fictional Roman town; and Underground, about 1970s-era civil engineering.

    1. griffen

      It’s a conspiracy of the Apple orchards of the US. I smell it. Our apple growing overlords have marketed it that way. They are relentless.

      Pear growers dont stand a chance. Does a pear a day keep the doctor away ? I think not.

    2. ambrit

      So, all becomes clear. Pears, due to their negative buoyancy are proven not to be Witches and thus ineligible to be Halloween treats. Apples, since they float, are determined to be Witches and thus, proper Halloween treats. QED!
      One just has to apply a little logic to these conundrums.

  34. Basil Pesto

    From the “fun and games with China and India” dept:

    India waves goodbye to PUBG Mobile as ban kicks in

    [PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds] Mobile was one of 118 apps banned by India’s Information and Technology Ministry in September, but users were still able to play the game – until today.

    The ban on PUBG Mobile and other apps comes amid growing tension between China and India. A border clash between China and India in early June sparked a boycott of Chinese products in the country, and the Indian government promptly banned hundreds of apps linked to China, citing security concerns.

    PUBG Mobile, which is one of the most popular mobile games in the world and a smash hit in India, was published by Tencent, the Chinese corporation that owns League of Legends developer Riot Games and has a stake in Fortnite maker Epic.

    South Korean company PUBG Corporation pulled the publishing rights to PUBG Mobile in India from Tencent in September, when the initial announcement was made. But that wasn’t enough to avoid today’s ban.

  35. Dan

    I think ducks, perhaps, most exemplify the co-evolution of the vagina and the penis although, in their case, it’s more like an arms race (see here: As horrific as that is, bed bugs skip this whole evolutionary process by engaging in what scientists refer to as “traumatic insemination.” The bed bug penis has evolved a sword-like quality and bed bugs will use it to rip open the abdomen of other bed bugs before releasing their sperm into the wound. The sperm will then find the eggs to inseminate (female bed bugs have actually evolved cushions within their abdomens to help this to be a less-lethal process). However, male bedbugs will also do this to other male bed bugs and the sperm of the aggressor will go to the sperm-producing area of the victim so that if that victim goes on to traumatically inseminate another bed bug, it will be the original aggressor’s sperm that passes on. Seriously, bed bugs are fucked. In every way.

    1. furies

      That temporarily made me feel better

      Don’t want to come back as a bedbug “) Hell, don’t want to come back at all!

  36. Internal Medicine Doc

    I start every day off with NC – and have done so for years. I am informing you of something I believe you need to know.

    Medical doctor here – and still teaching students and interns and residents in Internal Medicine.

    I had occasion to be at a Medical Grand Rounds this past week on teleconference – and the topic of the talk was – “COVID 19 – Where we are right now…..”

    Very prominent in the talk was a discussion of the absolute ocean of misinformation out there online that is confusing people and stoking laziness on one side – and fear on the other.

    The speaker pointed out many frequent problem bloggers and tweeters on the nothingburger side – and also pointed out several on the “It’s the Bubonic Plague – we are all going to die” side.

    I wanted to point out that Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding who you highlighted in the links today fell into the latter category and was named specifically by the speaker as Problem Numero Uno in regards to baseless fearmongering. He refers to himself as a Harvard medical epidemiologist. Nothing could be further from the truth – he is a nutritionist – and the Harvard slant of his career is very tangential at best. He is basically part of some kind of working group there in Boston that has little to do with Harvard Med School. He was blamed by the speaker of stoking fear galore on the left – and has often no facts to back up his assertions. I have had dozens of patients bring me stuff he has posted online this year – and upon just minimal research it all falls apart.

    There was some discussion that he is funded by billionaire financiers – but I have nothing to back that up at all.

    I just wanted you to know.

    Have a great weekend and thanks for all you do.

    1. Lambert Strether

      > Medical Grand Rounds

      May I ask where?

      As for Feigl-Ding, I don’t think it’s fair to imply he’s only a nutritionist. That said, from the Chronicle of Higher Education, “This Harvard Epidemiologist Is Very Popular on Twitter. But Does He Know What He’s Talking About?” (I grabbed this from View Source):

      The amped-up style has won him a sizable audience and led to multiple TV appearances as a coronavirus expert. In recent days, he’s popped up on CNN talking to Anderson Cooper about death tallies and on ABC News explaining the dangers of resurgence. Feigl-Ding, who is a visiting scientist in Harvard’s nutrition department, promotes himself as a source for unvarnished truth about the virus: “The sugar coated facts? Goto [sic] other outlets for those,” he has tweeted. “I’m just sharing all the verified facts.”

      In the last few weeks, as the pandemic has remade our lives and dominated the national conversation, we’ve increasingly turned to the scientists — often epidemiologists and virologists — who can help us understand the enormous challenges we face. Many of those scientists have found themselves besieged with interview requests and flooded with messages on social media, even as they attempt to gather data and crunch numbers. It’s long been a joke among epidemiologists that they get confused with dermatologists (the “epi” is not short for “epidermis”). One side effect of the virus has been to drastically raise the discipline’s profile.

      It’s certainly raised Feigl-Ding’s. Before the coronavirus outbreak, he had a couple of thousand followers on Twitter; now he has more than 165,000, outpacing nearly all infectious-disease experts. But along the way he has garnered harsh criticism from some fellow epidemiologists for opining about issues on which, they say, he knows very little. “Everyone is very frustrated with him and regretting that we didn’t band together to discredit him,” said one epidemiologist. Another called him a “guy with zero background” in infectious-disease research who is “spouting a bunch of half-truths.”

      Several epidemiologists who were interviewed for this article spoke on the condition that their names not be used. (“I’m not really looking for backlash,” one wrote in a message. “I don’t have 100k followers like him.”) But one of the nation’s most prominent infectious-disease researchers, Marc Lipsitch, a professor of epidemiology at Harvard and director of the university’s Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics, has made no secret of his disdain for Feigl-Ding’s virus-related commentary, repeatedly calling him out as an unqualified publicity-seeker.

      In a tweet on March 19, Lipsitch referred to Feigl-Ding as a “charlatan exploiting a tenuous connection for self-promotion.” In that thread, he characterized Feigl-Ding’s analysis of the coronavirus as “80% repeating conventional wisdom, 20% promoting wacko pseudoscience, and 100% derivative.” He went on to say that Feigl-Ding “gets something spectacularly wrong sufficiently often that you should find other parts of the firehose of info to drink from.”

      Regarding that “tenuous connection,” Feigl-Ding, who received his doctorate in epidemiology and nutrition from Harvard in 2007, has a temporary, unpaid visiting-scientist appointment in the nutrition department, not the epidemiology department. Such appointments are generally for one year. A source at Harvard with knowledge of the situation said Feigl-Ding had “been asked many times to stop promoting himself as having specialized knowledge.” (A university spokesman declined to comment on Feigl-Ding’s status.)

      A scan of his academic articles shows that much of Feigl-Ding’s research has focused on the health effects of diet and exercise. His most recent listed paper, published last year, was on wearable devices that track physical activity. He has been a co-author of journal articles on Type 2 diabetes, childhood obesity, and red meat and the risk of cancer, among many other related topics. It’s an entirely respectable publication record, with articles appearing in high-profile journals like The New England Journal of Medicine, but it’s not a record that would suggest a scholarly interest in pandemics, viruses, or respiratory diseases.

      The Power of Twitter

      So how did Feigl-Ding become a go-to expert on the coronavirus? It’s largely thanks to a tweet he sent on January 25: “HOLY MOTHER OF GOD — the new coronavirus is a 3.8!!!” he wrote. “How bad is that reproductive R0 value? It is thermonuclear pandemic level bad — never seen an actual virality coefficient outside of Twitter in my entire career. I’m not exaggerating …”

      Feigl-Ding was not the first scientist to raise concerns about the virus. The day before his tweet, W. Ian Lipkin, an epidemiologist at Columbia University and director of its Center for Infection and Immunity, who is also known as the “virus hunter,” told NPR that he believed “the outbreak is going to be much larger” than it was at the time and that “we need to move very quickly if we’re going to contain this virus.” It had been a source of concern for many infectious-disease epidemiologists since initial reports about the illness started to appear, in late December.

      But Feigl-Ding’s holy-mother-of-god tweet struck a chord. It was retweeted thousands of times, and a number of commenters have expressed gratitude to Feigl-Ding for bringing the prospect of a pandemic to their attention. He quickly turned into a source for those who were anxious about the virus back when, to many in the United States at least, the danger felt remote and theoretical.

      As infectious-disease epidemiologists and virologists have pointed out, however, there were problems with that tweet and the accompanying thread. For starters, there was the issue of the R0 (pronounced “R naught”), the number that indicates how many new cases are likely to result from a single infection. A host of well-known diseases — including chicken pox, measles, and polio — have higher R0s. Also, in the same thread, he compared the R0 of the new coronavirus to the R0 of SARS-CoV-1, the virus that led to a global outbreak in 2003. That R0 was 0.49, he wrote, and so this new virus was more transmissible “by almost 8 fold!”

      Not true. The R0 of SARS-CoV-1 is estimated to be around three (for the record, a disease with an R0 of less than one tends to fizzle out because a diminishing number of people contract it). Feigl-Ding blamed the mistake on misreading a “paper detail.” He also later explained that he’s “not an infectious disease/virologist” and deleted his most popular tweet. He wasn’t wrong to be worried, as we now know. But that all-caps warning seemed to be based, in part, on a significant error.

      I don’t follow Feigl-Ding because I don’t need any more amped-up than I already have, and there’s nothing he aggregates I won’t encounter elsewere.

  37. Glen

    So, the big decision I have to make in 2022:

    Given that Biden will win – (not without turmoil which is now a given), the big question is what do I do in 2022 if the Democrats BETRAY the American people? And the answer is, I VOTE THEM ALL OUT.

    Neolibrealism WILL KILL the Democratic party.

    Just so they know…

    (And NO, I did NOT vote them in, but I am MORE THAN HAPPY to VOTE THEM OUT.)

      1. ambrit

        Sorry to have to tell you this close to the election, but the mascot is now singular, a Donkephant.

      2. Glen

        No, but WHO CARES.

        I will vote them out if they are a bunch of Obamas:

        “Oh, if only we could, but I have a hang nail today so I’m mentally impaired”

        No, sorry, LOSER, you either get stuff done of you are GONE. And I realize that the “ping pong” effect Is what they want – this leave the billionaires in charge but I will VOTE OUT the ineffective incumbents.

  38. Wukchumni

    {swings a pocketwatch on a chain in front of your eyes…}

    …you are feeling very sleepy

    The chilling real-life inspiration for this compelling serialized comic was an epidemic that swept the world between 1916 and 1926. A hundred years after the first cases of “sleepy sickness” came to the attention of the medical community, we still do not know what agents were responsible for this disease.

    It is disconcerting that to this day, the culprit responsible for EL remains unknown and, presumably, at large. As epidemic encephalitis partially overlapped with the 1918–1920 epidemic of influenza—the H1N1 or “Spanish flu” that killed an estimated 50 million people—some consider the former a consequence of the latter. Yet no concrete causal evidence of any such link to influenza has surfaced. Nor did pathologists isolate from the brains of EL patients any bacteria or viruses that could be identified as the responsible agents.

    A currently popular hypothesis suggests that the initial cold or flu virus triggered an inappropriate immune response. If true, EL would join an ever growing list of autoimmune afflictions. This hypothesis, however, fails to explain how the epidemic form of EL could burst onto the world stage, affect tens of thousands and then vanish. Most likely multiple factors were responsible, a set of antecedents that might in time converge again under the appropriate conditions to haunt humankind.

  39. jr

    Happy Samhain everyone! In the spirit of the day, I offer you a reading of Thomas Ligotti’s “The Sect of the Idiot”. If you aren’t familiar with Ligotti, he is easily one of the best horror writers of the 20th century. I place him up there with Lovecraft:

    Ligotti has been described as a “prose poet”. I would call him a Magician as well. His words have real power. I’m not exaggerating, they haunt your mind. There is another story, kind of an amalgam of the “backwoods inbred family with mutants in the basement” tropes, whose name I cannot remember. Thank Bog. I literally haven’t been able to get it out of my head for weeks. My GF can’t finish the stories, she’s too creeped out. You were warned!

  40. a different chris

    And here we go again. Disclaimer: I do not know who is going to win Iowa, but if I had to bet my normal 99 cents it would be Trump. Still – this freaking poll is “of 814 likely Iowa voters”. The population of Iowa is 3.155 million. So it is less than .025 percent of the population. Less people than go to a given Piggly-Wigglys (are they still in business) on a given day.

    And even ignoring that: Rough calculation, the shift was from even to 7 points, so say 3.5% of a previous poll of 814 voters means < 29 voters in the entire poll needed to come up with a different answer. A freaking college classroom full.

    But the funniest thing, I pasted this into MS Word for a word count: 1,483 words. So there were nearly 2 words for every voter. Give. Me. A Break.

    Ah, the MSM.

    1. Lambert Strether

      > all those government cheese checks to Iowans hurt by Trump’s tariffs paid off

      Des Moines Register is famously the “gold standard” of Iowa polling. Makes me wonder how many other states are like Iowa.

  41. The Rev Kev

    “Trump changes election night plans, cancels party at Trump International: report”

    Trump maybe feels that he will lose this thing so does not want to be embarrassed in front of a bunch of people. A close crowd of associates at the White House will be bad enough. And yet he still self-sabotages himself. The other day he blamed the death toll from the pandemic on greedy doctors which was as stupid as it was ill-considered. If he had blamed it instead on the healthcare corporations he may have gotten a bit if traction and would have left it to the Democrats to defend these corporations. I guess that Trump can’t help being Trump.

    1. fresno dan

      The Rev Kev
      November 1, 2020 at 1:54 am

      Funny how Trump went to Walter Reed hospital. If he doesn’t think those medical professionals know what they are doing why did he go…. Of course, those aren’t money grubbing greedy doctors because they are just PAID their government salary….no conflict of interest – no treatment if you are not sick, and unlimited treatment if you are…
      Gee, almost makes one think that medicine would be more efficient and effective if treatment just wasn’t undertaken due to naked greed. But that would be socialism…and only the president is special and important enough to deserve socialised medicine. Funny

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