Links 11/1/2020

Sean Connery: James Bond actor dies aged 90 BBC

The First 50 Years of James Bond] Counterpunch. From the pen of the late great Alexander Cockburn.

Typhoon Goni weakens as it crosses Philippines, four dead Reuters

Typhoon Goni: Philippines hit by year’s most powerful storm BBC

70-year-old pulled out alive as Turkey quake death toll hits 51 Al Jazeera

Car-free neighbourhoods: the unlikely new frontline in the culture wars Guardian

In troubled times, a ritual walk can clear the mind and soothe the soul Guardian

Anne Applebaum’s Dinner Party, And Mine American Conservative

Why living with and tending plants is good for you BBC

California’s Hills Are Haunted by the Ghosts of Wind Energy’s Past Gizmodo

Let your children play in the green outdoors for just a month, watch immunity grow The Print

A $433 Billion Wall Street Giant Has a Reputation Problem. It’s Josh Harris’s Job to Fix It. WSJ

The McMansion Hell Yearbook: 1977 McMansion Hell

Six in custody over Nice church attack in France Reuters

What to wear when you’re battling giant, venomous hornets Ars Technica. The suits remind me of ghostbusters. Readers?


Coronavirus: after Halloween night crackdown on social-distancing violations, Hong Kong expects seven new Covid-19 cases SCMP

Europe grapples with what went wrong in Covid-19 resurgence  FT

Sweden’s Top Banker Weighs In on Controversial Covid Strategy Bloomberg

Lax Masking, Short Quarantines, Ignored Symptoms: Inside a Prison Coronavirus Outbreak in ‘Disbeliever Country.’ Marshall Project

Virus Hospitalizations Are Up in N.Y.C. But This Time, It’s Different. NYT

Gov. Cuomo announces mandatory COVID-19 testing for out-of-state travelers NY Post

The Challenges We Face Once a Coronavirus Vaccine Is Found Der Spiegel

‘A whole lot of hurt’: Fauci warns of covid-19 surge, offers blunt assessment of Trump’s response WaPo

It may be time to reset expectations on when we’ll get a Covid-19 vaccine Stat

Iran registers 7,719 new coronavirus cases, 434 deaths in one day: TV Reuters



Transmission of SARS-COV-2 Infections in Households — Tennessee and Wisconsin, April–September 2020 CDC

Final paragraph:

These findings suggest that transmission of SARS-CoV-2 within households is high, occurs quickly, and can originate from both children and adults. Prompt adoption of disease control measures, including self-isolating at home, appropriate self-quarantine of household contacts, and all household members wearing a mask in shared spaces, can reduce the probability of household transmission.

Class Warfare

Democratic Socialists Lost, but Their Ideas Have Won Foreign Policy Hmm.

Chile elite say facing ‘uncertain’ future after vote Yahoo Boo hoo.

Morocco’s fast-track development programme bypasses many Qantara

The Fed Saved the Economy but Is Threatening Trillions of Dollars Worth of Middle-Class Retirement ProPublica

Disney’s Carousel of Progress & Facebook Prof. Galloway

Greenwald Fallout

The Aftermath Of My Move Back To Independent Journalism Glenn Greenwald

Inside Glenn Greenwald’s Blowup With The Intercept New York And an Intercept view.


A Dem Presidency means The Return of the Blob Vineyard of the Saker. Pepe Escobar.

What Would A Democratic Presidency Really Change? Moon of Alabama

Deep divisions at home will go on weakening America regardless of who is elected Independent. Patrick Cockburn.

Experts Weigh in on Proposition 15’s Possibilities Capital & Main

Oregon Universal Pre-K Ballot Measure Could Be Watershed Moment in US Education TruthOut

Five Supreme Court rulings that signal what to expect next MIT Technology Review

WATCH: Convoy of Trump supporters’ trucks surrounds Biden-Harris campaign bus to ‘escort it out of Texas’ RT (The Rev Kev)

Democrats Cancel Rallies after Trump Train Swarms Biden Bus, Sparking Safety Fears

March to Alamance polls ends with police using pepper-spray on protesters, children News & Observer

Trump Train swarms Biden bus on 1-35, and Trump is delighted Austin Stesman

The US Election’s Chaos Quotient Project Syndicate. Nouriel Roubini.

The moment of truth for stock-market investors? Election Day looms and the most crucial stretch of 2020 awaits MarketWatch

More than 91 million ballots cast as of Saturday, as hopes and tensions magnify ahead of Election Day WaPo

West Coast Wildfires

Despite What the Logging Industry Says, Cutting Down Trees Isn’t Stopping Catastrophic Wildfires ProPublica

Trump Transition

Trump’s $200 drug cards for seniors remain in limbo Politico

Republicans, Not Biden, Are About to Raise Your Taxes NYT


Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party Suspension Is About Crushing the Left Jacabin

The moment Boris lost his battle against lockdown: How PM was told dead bodies would be stored on ice rinks in second wave and NHS chief warned of 4,000 deaths – as aides say ‘I could have wept, it was so awful’ Daily Mail

Johnson’s U-turn puts England under tough new lockdown Guardian


China eases rules, widens US$222 billion inbound investment path, offering the renminbi as a safe haven against global volatility ScMP


Centre to Import Potatoes from Bhutan as Retail Price Reaches Rs 45 Per Kg The Wire

Amartya Sen: ‘World is facing pandemic of authoritarianism’ Scroll

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. fresno dan

    Trump’s $200 drug cards for seniors remain in limbo Politico
    President Donald Trump’s plan to distribute $200 drug-discount cards to all Medicare recipients remains in limbo after officials missed an earlier goal of sending out millions of announcement letters and even some cards by Election Day, said three officials with knowledge of the plan.
    A White House official said the plan, which Trump abruptly unveiled last month, is being voluntarily delayed until after Election Day to dispel the perception that it was politically motivated.
    ! Of course its politically motivated! Where in the heck do we get the idea that only billionaires can be given limitless politically motivated “incentives” in tax cuts and non enforcement of anti trust laws??? Those benefits the rich get, they get because they were POLITICALLY MOTIVATED by the need for campaign contributions.
    If you don’t have money, use your vote to get benefits – and be blunt about it!!! And it should be 2,000$

    1. edmondo

      If they aren’t going to be out by Election Day, you will never see them. You understand that right? You also know that if they wanted to, they could have added $200 to any one of your Social Security payments if they really wanted you to have it?

      1. Ford Prefect

        That would not have come with a personal note from President Trump which defeats the purpose of handing out the $200.

  2. timbers

    Democrats Cancel Rallies after Trump Train Swarms Biden Bus, Sparking Safety Fears

    Gee, that is just so mean of Republicans. Nothing like that has ever happened in American elections before. Not ever. At least not since 2016, the beginning of History. Maybe Biden and Harris should drop out of the race instead of just cancelling events.. Maybe all Team Blue candidates should. For safety reasons. That’ll show’em. After all, if Republicans are going to be this mean, maybe they don’t deserve to have Democrats running our public offices? On the other had, if Biden and Dems stay in the race and win, they can at least use this event as an example to remind us why a Biden Presidency can’t pass or do anything because mean Republicans.

    Gloria Meehan, Comal County Democratic Party chair, said:

    “Frankly, I feel sorry for those involved with the Trump Train that they have nothing worthwhile to do, but drive around aimlessly, harassing and intimidating,” she said. “Why? Nothing good comes of idleness and bad intentions. They’re rudderless, adrift, lost in a sea of discontent.”

    She forgot deplorable and irredeemable.

    1. Aumua

      Not a good look for Trump, his followers or Texas. I’m sure some people will insist that it’s cute, funny and/or harmless.

      1. witters

        I’m sure some people will insist that it’s cute, funny and/or harmless.

        Only the deplorable and irremediable.

          1. Aumua

            That is about the emotional maturity level at play here. 15 is probably the upper end of it, I should say. And that includes the President.

            1. Wukchumni

              After he loses on Tuesday, will we be left with the specter of bullyism among the faithful that was the only calling card in his 1-trick-pony life?

            2. Katniss Everdeen


              The four-year saga of pee-peeing prostitutes and the diabolical, election-changing spycraft of Russian facebook cat videos was ever so much more…….”mature.”

            3. Fireship

              In fairness, that is about the level of politics in America. I think we know what Morris Berman would say about it.

              1. Phillip Cross

                Even though most said it was impossible, “conservative” guys driving in lifted pickups finally found a way to make themselves look like even bigger douche bags! …and the nay-sayers said American innovation was dead.

        1. Wukchumni

          It was a weird slower speed chase variant of Mad (gas procurement not being an issue) Max, mixed in with an ersatz ISIS look of trucks festooned with flags whipping in the wind.

          Sit Tall America!

      2. bob

        “Not a good look ”

        Can someone, anyone, please describe ‘a good look’? What does it look like? Pictures?

        Rule 1: You cannot define it in the negative.

        That’s it.

        1. Karen

          I was at brunch when Linda came and asked us all if we wanted more mimosas. She was wearing pink! Pink!

          Not a good look, am I right ladies!

        2. marym

          A good look for Trump voters during an election? Wear a mask, practice social distancing, be courteous to poll workers and other voters, cast your ballot by mail, drop box, or in person, go home or to work, or assist others in lawfully casting their vote.

          There have been endless pictures on the internet of voters displaying this good look. Including in Texas.

          A good look for Trump? Encourage all voters to wear a mask, practice social distancing, be courteous to poll workers and other voters, cast their ballot by mail, drop box, or in person, go home or to work or to assist others in lawfully casting their vote. Can’t find any pictures.

        3. Donald

          Surrounding a bus on the interstate and trying to slow it down is dangerous. The people in the bus had every right to feel terrified.

          As for your request for a definition, behaving like a bunch of juvenile fascists is a bad look. You can do the good look definition if you wish.

          1. bob

            You didn’t follow directions very well. This extra credit assignment was completely voluntary and you still failed it. Your D- is now an F.

            As for your complete straw man of a weak tea virtue signal


            Why are you a juvenile fascist? You racist much?

            “You can do the good look definition if you wish.” Oh my, I think you murdered me!

            1. Aumua

              Did you think since both of these things happened on roads, that they could be equated? How adorable.

          2. hunkerdown

            Every member of the ruling class should feel exactly the same way, as a reminder that they have no right to set themselves apart from the people they fraudulently claim to represent.

          3. ambrit

            Whatever your attitude towards juvenile behaviour, I am ‘mystified’ that the Biden camp did not have some of their own ‘goons’ escorting the bus.
            You think that “juvenile fascists” ‘look’ bad? Wait till you encounter the “adult fascists” presently populating the American Organs of State Security.
            I feel sorry for the Trump aficionados. They are fighting the wrong enemies. Once they “grow up” a bit, they’ll realize that they have been ‘played.’
            Give it some time. Soon enough, in the spirit of blowback, those “Redneck Pickups” will become ‘Rebel Technicals.’ We did that in the Middle East. Why can’t they return the favour?
            Boris/Natasha 2024

              1. Drake

                Yes, a Biden SUV decided to straddle two lanes with a Trump truck in one of the lanes. There was a minor contact, then the SUV decided to drive in one lane again. This is the entire story. But apparently Joe thought Corn Pop was trying to do a drive-by and floored it out of Texas as fast as he could. Pretty much the essence of his campaign.

                1. Gumbo

                  My take was that the white SUV was trying to force its way between the bus and the pick up. The pick up gave ground until it didn’t.

                  1. Drake

                    Of course, the SUV was trying to force it’s way in to spot that didn’t exist, and the Trump truck had no intention of giving way. I’d label it pathologically aggressive driving on the SUV’s part, and slightly less so on the truck’s part, except that for the Boston metro area that’s just normal driving.

                2. Aumua

                  Here’s what I think actually happened (just my opinion):

                  There is other video from before the incident showing the white minivan directly behind the bus, as they were part of the buses escort or whatever. So the trucks come in with the intention of surrounding the bus and through whatever driving tactics get the minivan to move out from behind the truck. Then at that point the minivan driver gets angry and says “You know what? No! I’m not letting this happen”, and they try to edge back into the lane thinking they could get the truck to move. At that point the truck driver says “Oh no you’re not!” and gets physical pushing the minivan back out of the lane.

                  So the minivan driver is probably not completely innocent, but regardless of the vehicle contact incident the aggressive party is clearly, undeniably the Trump supporters. Let’s not get that fact confused by misdirection here.

                  1. Drake

                    Yes, let’s not get confused by misdirection. The Trump truck was driving perfectly legally. The Biden SUV tried to force himself into the spot where the Trump truck ALREADY was, resulting in contact. The Trump truck NEVER left it’s lane, and had no lane to swerve into. And yet that is somehow the Trump truck clearly, undeniably being the aggressive party. Interesting interpretation. You might consider a job in mainstream journalism, or polling. You’ve got the chops.

                    1. The Historian

                      I think you are seeing what you want to see instead of what the video was showing. It is obvious that the black Trump truck was in the lane to the right of the minivan, i.e., the slow lane, and the minivan is behind the bus. There was no room for the truck to get between the bus and the minivan. Then suddenly the minivan is forced into the lane to the left of the bus. The black truck even goes out of his lane to the left after the minivan. Did you miss that?

                      The Trump truck engaged in aggressive and illegal driving; there is no doubt about that. There was nothing ‘perfectly legal’ about what that driver was doing.

                    2. The Historian

                      I did read what you wrote. My comment was to Drake who thought the black truck was driving ‘perfectly legally’. But look at that video again. The driver of the white van was under no obligation to give up his lane to an aggressive driver. In fact, the minivan driver did the smart thing and did give up the lane to avoid an accident.

                      In fact, that white minivan was squarely behind the bus while the black truck was in the lane to its right. There was no time for the minivan driver to move out of his lane and then try to move back into it. The camera was off of him for a very short time.

                      I’m sorry, but I think you are trying to rationalize instead of just seeing what was there.

                      Unless Texas law has changed, no vehicle has the right to take a lane away from another vehicle.

                    3. Aumua

                      @Historian and my comment was to Drake also hehehe. It gets a little weird when we reach the end of the reply tree. But neither one of you seems to see what I see in the video(s). Oh well, I’m not trying to beat a dead horse here.

            1. hunkerdown

              Lolwut, that was the peons’ bus. They don’t get security. That cuts into the vice fund and Mother has to feed her habit.

          4. Clem

            Surrounding? I watched the videos. Maybe I missed a video, but Triumpsters are following the bus, not illegal, and are in the lane next to it, also not illegal. There is no Triumpsters in front of the bus slowing it down. Yes there is a vehicle at a distance in front of it, but that is normal on an interstate.

            If you have a video showing a Trump vehicle in front of the bus slowing it down, please post it and the time stamp.

            All those advanced techies on the bus and not one video from inside showing this “scary incident”????

      3. km

        I find this stunt quite illuminating.

        We can guess that the participants are not about to accept a Biden victory meekly.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Yes, Team Blue prefer not accepting election results be done institutionally and with much more refinement with no pickup trucks in sight. Just the FBI, the CIA, and The New Yorker tidying things up behind the scenes when those dirty plebes mistakenly select the wrong person at the ballot box. Then off to brunch! I’ll have the caviar.

    2. tegnost

      “Why? Nothing good comes of idleness and bad intentions. They’re rudderless, adrift, lost in a sea of discontent.”

      Are there no workhouses?…

    3. Lex

      Huh, that’s a lot of trucks. Wonder if there were any guns in those trucks? It is Texas after all, what are the odds?

      Why trucks? Mini-vans and Wranglers too effete? I didn’t see the race of the drivers; any Brothers in those trucks? It is Texas after all, what are the odds that the drivers of those trucks and their passengers were all angry, pudgy, middle-aged white men?

      Nothing in the reports says the Biden-Harris bus went looking for a convey of truck-driving Trump supporters to harass them on their way to a rally. If you’re driving somewhere not looking for trouble but trouble comes looking for you — like bullies do — is that sufficient reason to be afraid? For your life?

      Were there any POC on the bus? LGTBQ? Disabled? Because those minorities have never found themselves beaten and/or dead in the South after being yanked from their vehicles in broad daylight. That’s never happened around an American election before, and certainly not in the Great State of Texas.

      1. ambrit

        Meta Snark duly noted.
        Politics has traditionally been a “full contact” sport. After all, all that is being contested here is who controls the ‘Gravy Train’ for the next four years. This being America, where money is involved, there are no enforceable rules.

        1. LawnDart

          L.E. is often skittish in dark and uncertain circumstances, like in the run-up to an election after which you don’t know who your boss is going to be: best to not find yourself in the middle of a situation where you might step on toes.

          Hence the need for “goons,” or people that can step in when L.E. is either unwilling or slow to act.

          Too many people still have an almost blind faith in 911. Real life is much different than many imagine.

        2. Lex

          Like wrestling or boxing? Sports hardly gets more full contact than that. On the sidelines there are coaches, trainers, and on the mat, referees. The opponents are evenly matched in weight class and consenting.

          Maybe the passengers on the bus knew what they getting into, but the bus driver arrived at Death Race 2020 with a golf cart, a butter knife, and a dodgy elbow, which suggests the match, even between Texans, wasn’t welcome.

          1. ambrit

            As I’ve commented before, I dated a girl in High School whose father was one of the Freedom Riders to the South in 1961. Those “on the bus” back then knew the possible consequences. Being, some of them, tough kids from places like Brooklyn, (he was,) the risk of a bit of “mixing it up” was understood.
            Biden makes a Mega Fail for letting this stunt put him off of his game. A ‘real’ politician would have gone down to one of those rallies in person and dared the Trumpistas to try something.
            Right now, Biden is looking more and more like a ‘Paper Weasel.’

            1. Wukchumni

              Joe’s situation is not quite like Mike Dukasis in an Abrams tank, but similar.

              And coming so close to the election…

            2. Josef K

              Absolutley! We should go back to the ’60s, when good-ole folks lynched, beat, water-cannoned, dog-sicked, shot, knifed, beat with lead pipes, those whose politics or just skin color was offensive to their lily-white sensibilities.

              When women and people of color still knew their place; and with 50 years of hindsight, we could better predict, prevent, and preempt any and all attempts at “liberation,” never mind building a “kinder, gentler” society. Pfft, that’s for wimps and losers.

              Death-election-race 2020!

              1. ambrit

                Hmmm… So, you’ve drunk the Kool Aid of believing that with the “right leadership,” all of humankind’s weaknesses and foibles can be ‘magicked’ away?
                Do notice that very similar “events” are happening regularly in America today.
                Today, the same dynamic holds sway, just that now the “dominant” socio-economic cohort has “new and improved” buzzwords. I’ll just leave it with the observation that “good-ole folks” of the 1960s can now be called the “good-woke folks.”

      2. Clem

        Were there no people including senstized minorities, disabled and POCs on the bus with smart phones to record video of what actually happened? The absence of video from inside the bus is as significant as the dog that didn’t bark in the night.

        Meahwhile, there don’t seem to be Biden supporter equivalents to these URLs:

        ‘Security Guard’ Arrested For Shooting Trump Supporter Identified As Matthew Dolloff

        Man Arrested After Shooting At Crowd Of Trump Supporters

        VIDEO: Biden Supporters Attack 7-Year-Old Boy For Wearing MAGA Hat

        Black Trump Supporter Shot And Killed In Broad Daylight

        Couple Arrested After Running Teens With Trump Flags on Their Bikes Off The Road

        Leftists Attack and Call For Extreme Violence on Conservative Reporter

        34-Year-Old Man Arrested For Attacking 15-Year-Old Trump Supporter

        49-Year-Old Florida Man Threatened Trump Supporters With a Cane Sword

        Man Celebrating Birthday Wearing “Make Fifty Great Again” Hat Attacked by Woman

        1. OpenthepodbaydoorsHAL

          Meantime the Manchurian Candidate told us yesterday that his wayward son was “at his best” while he was wandering around the house naked smoking crack, impregnating strippers, and arranging to sell American companies with sensitive technology to the Chinese military. Bohai Harvest indeed

        2. Lex

          Useful response, Clem. I’ve read none of those stories. What were the sources, please? I’m not doubting they exist, I’d just like to read them in full from their original source. I read NC to learn and maybe I need to do something about my ‘liberal bias’.

          I’ve tried flipping the scene in Texas over, so then it’s a bus full of Trump supporters heading for a rally, when 100 black guys in trucks show up, surround the bus, play bumper cars, yell obscenities, and force the bus to stop. I imagine they’re flying different flags.

          Could this happen? I’m thinking ‘yes’, in some neighborhoods in some cities, but I’d wonder what a bus full of Trump supporters was doing there. Did they get lost?

          What happens after the bus pulls over? That appears to be a private coach, in Texas, which is an open-carry state. Lots of posturing and yelling from both sides? Tears? Bullets? Where is law enforcement in this scenario?

          Two people up-thread have suggested the incident was just for show; it’s ‘full-contact’ political theater. So, all the actors were ‘in the know’, each action was carefully choreographed and rehearsed to prevent anyone getting seriously hurt. It’s possible, even likely that the truck drivers were tipped off. Such groups don’t just magically appear. Choreographed? Rehearsed? Everyone knew and played their parts? Hmmm.

          And if the bus had been full of white folks and the truck drivers were black, or really any skin tone other than white? Was there a real probability of further danger at the rally? Were they justified in cancelling? I think they were.

          If that makes me an ‘avocado toast eater’, then I accept. Only in this house that’s an Everything bagel, Haas avocado (cuz better), a few thin slices of homegrown tomato (best of all), salt/pepper, and a sprinkle of furikake. With a cuppa tea. Nomnomnomnomnom. ‘Precious’ indeed and a tickled pinko!

          I’ve read that the FBI has gotten involved…I’ll be interested to read their published findings.

    4. Frobisher

      There are videos and photos, I assume, of license plates. Investigate the reckless endangerment or whatever violation they committed, prosecute, convict. I’d go for long-term license suspension and ankle bracelets.

      1. Yves Smith

        You aren’t the one making this determination. Someone on Twitter claimed he called 911 multiple times (and it looks like he has some original footage, but I’m not expending the energy to be sure) and said the cops had zero interest.

    5. anon in so cal

      She also forgot “ugly folks”

      Meanwhile, in California, some Antifa supporters attacked Trump supporters at a rally:

      Separately, Pepe Escobar warns us that a Biden-Harris presidency means immediate and endless wars:

      Besides Biden himself, a Biden admin involves the absolute worst list of war profiteering characters…the Kagans, Michelle Fluournoy, Antony Blinken, and the list goes on….

      “”Biden-Harris would mean The Return of the Blob w a vengeance. Biden-Harris would be Obama-Biden 3.0. Remember those wars. Remember the surges. Remember the kill lists. Remember Libya. Remember Syria. Remember “soft coup” Brazil. Remember Maidan. You have all been warned.”

      1. Carolinian

        Did the Blob ever leave? Biden’s sleaze makes me want to vote against him but I can’t vote for Trump. Given covid complications it hardly seems worth it to vote third party as I usually do.

      2. hunkerdown

        John Robb is suggesting a systematic, nationwide purge of “Trumpism” will be launched by the Establishment if Biden wins, using unrestricted lawfare and every other lever available to the brunching managerialists. (On Kamala, he writes: “She was born for this.”) As a consultant to the Blob masquerading as a researcher, he might know. It’s in his latest Global Guerrillas Report, paywalled.

        That Hawkins vote might not be enough.

      3. Kurtismayfield

        Wait, the guy with the flag whacked at the black clad protester a few times in the video from that artucle. And the disarming of said flag us an “attack”? Who struck first?

      4. Darthbobber

        I don’t really see that the blob has any great reason to be dissatisfied with the general trend of foreign and military policy under Trump. Peace was headed off in Korea after only a brief flirtation. Troop reductions in parts of the mideast/n. Africa are offset by expansions in other places in the same area. The ability of the citizenry to know what’s going on anywhere has been even more restricted. Bellicosity against China and Russia continues to be cranked up in practice. And the shopping spree on platinum-plated pipe dream military hardware continues in marvelously bipartisan fashion.

      5. Procopius

        This is the kind of thing that annoys me The article says they’re antifa, but the caption under the picture of one calls him “a BLM backer.’ How do you identify antifa? As far as I know there’s no prescribed uniform, no membership card. Anyone can buy a t-shirt, but I suppose anyone wearing a t-shirt that says “antifa” wants to be identified as one How do they differ from Black Bloc?

    6. Dr. John Carpenter

      Wouldn’t a former VP/current Presidential candidate have a security detail to deal with stuff like this? I read they called for security but left before they got there or something like that. I am asking this as an honest question because I was under the impression at a certain point, security was part of the package. As charged as things are, why would you take a risk to travel without one?

      1. marym

        Don Jr posted a video earlier this week ahead of Democratic VP candidate, Kamala Harris, holding an event in Texas and urged his father’s supporters to show up.

        He said: “It’d be great if you guys would all get together, head down to McAllen and give Kamala Harris a nice Trump Train welcome.”

        “Get out there, have some fun, enjoy it,” Mr Trump continued.

        “Don’t forget to vote and bring all of your friends. Let’s show them how strong Texas still is as Trump country. Get out there, guys.”

      2. Aumua

        Trump doesn’t have to pay the faithful to do his bidding. A mere suggestion is all it takes, and that’s why he LOVES Texas.

      1. OpenthepodbaydoorsHAL

        LOL Joe’s “unity ticket”. Where his supporters label 61 million people who voted for the opponent “ugly” and “deplorable”. “I’ll be the president of all Americans” (unless I don’t agree with them, in which case I will mock them)

        1. Phillip Cross

          The big problem with elections in this country is the enormous number (a majority) of ignorant, greedy and selfish citizens who have been brainwashed into thinking they are hot stuff by endless talk of being exceptional, commercial TV and cheap credit.

          They are too thick and stubborn to be reasoned with. Their ideology is too poisonous to compromise with. It’s a bit of a Kobayashi Maru situation.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Agree, it’s a real problem. I know, let’s put in a system where a tiny group of educated, ungreedy, and unselfish people run everything on behalf of everybody else. We can call it “the aristocracy”, and we know down through history that their choices have always been for the greater good of all.

            1. HotFlash

              Yes, yes! This will definitely work because they are educated, well-bred, and because they have so much money they can’t be corrupted!

            2. Phillip Cross

              Like I said, it’s a problem without a solution. The program to dumb down the electorate has been an incredible success.

              As Isaac Asimov said, “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States… Nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge’.”

              That was a generation ago, and it’s been full speed ahead since.

          2. Harold

            You are talking about the same people who came out and voted for Obama, only to be further cheated & immiserated. Maybe the problem is with the selfish elites who don’t care about the screwed-over majority whom you cavalierly abuse, Philip Cross.

        2. Darthbobber

          Or where Biden personally referred to a specific group of hecklers as ugly people, and one supporter who was a candidate 4 years ago made a reference to a basket of deplorables. Which is not entirely the same thing.

          Nor if it were would it exactly differentiate Biden et als attitude towards political opponents from some more genial and tolerant attitude on the part of the incumbent president and his devotees.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Ah yes the genial and tolerant attitude of the people who destroy careers and cancel people they disagree with based on their opinions and fight to make sure any views but their own are censored? Mm-k.

    7. dcblogger

      Gee, that is just so mean of Republicans. Nothing like that has ever happened in American elections before. Not ever. At least not since 2016, the beginning of History. Maybe Biden and Harris should drop out of the race instead of just cancelling events.

      huh? I don’t remember anything like this happening in an election in 2016 or any other year. This goes way beyond being mean. This is attempted murder. And it will continue to escalate until violent Trump supporters are held criminally liable. I can’t believe the denial here.

      1. Yves Smith

        Sorry, this “attempted murder” is just Dem hysteria. I looked at the video. None of the cars were close, nor were they trying to force the bus off the road.

        On every other ride on any freeway, I encounter vastly more serious safety risks in the form of: 1. Big SUVs or pickups riding my bumper (and I mean less than half a car length back) and/or 2. A hot-dogger weaving in and out of cars at 90+ MPH. And I don’t drive all that much.

        1. Aumua

          What I see here is more of a potential for violent escalation that is just under the surface, rather than anything like attempted murder. I think that is what disturbs a lot of people and that is the point of the Trump supporters’ actions, to intimidate. It’s not that they are necessarily attacking… they’re just letting you know that they COULD. I mean this is Texas and you know damned well that at least some of those people are armed. And some of them are probably ex-military, or current. Some might even be off duty cops, or other security professionals. So i think brushing off people’s concerns as hysteria is a little premature.

          But that being said, it’s not attempted murder… yet.

          1. dcblogger

            What I see here is more of a potential for violent escalation that is just under the surface, rather than anything like attempted murder.

            said it MUCH better than I. This is egregious intimidation.

          2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            This is the problem with trying to cork the bottle of public opinion unless the opinions are the ones you approve of. Anyone with a favorable opinion of Trump cannot express or hear their views on any of the mainstream media outlets, and expressing them in their workplace can get them fired. When people try to express them on social sites they are de-platformed. So they paint a sign, stick it on their truck, and drive it around. Don’t want to see frustrated people driving their trucks around to express their opinions? I have a little trick to suggest: it’s called The First Amendment. Q: Are you for or against that? For the record, Team D are against.

            1. Aumua

              My point is not about people driving trucks with flags to express their oh-so-unique individuality, it’s about their other behaviors while doing that. And they have plenty of alt-stream media to tune into to inform and reflect their so-called points of view. Not to mention the President himself who validates them on a daily basis.

              1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                Yes, it’s easy to be on the winning side of a free speech battle where everything your side thinks and says is forgiven and nothing is checked. Isn’t it odd how the former champions of free speech have flipped to be the ones so firmly against it? And my point is that is not the way to foster a pluralistic society, where one side risks unemployment just for having a political view. I say we drop the pretense of “free speech” and just formalize the rule: he who controls the media controls the country. Q: When do Zucker and Zuckerberg come up for re-election?

                1. aumua

                  It’s not that you don’t have a point or two, just that you’re turning this into a battle about free speech, and making the Truck supporters into the victims here. I just don’t know about that. You’re saying their actions with the Bus are justified because it’s the only form of free speech available… because they’re going to lose their jobs for being Truck supporters… it’s flimsy man, I’m sorry! I can’t get on board with that.

    8. Biph

      How anyone can defend the actions of these Trump supporters is beyond me. Harassing a ~30,000 lbs bus with dozens of other vehicles weighing between 1500-3000 lbs while traveling 50-70 mph is family blogging dangerous. Even if you think everyone on board that bus deserves to die a fiery, grisly death for their support of Biden and other down ticket Democratic candidates amongst other grievous sins, what about the danger posed to other drivers on the road who were part of neither group?

      1. Yves Smith

        I don’t like seeming like I am defending this sort of stunt but look at the friggin’ video. No one was “harassing” the bus. The vehicles behind were not abnormally close. The only “threat” was flying roadblocks, as in cars pacing the bus next to it. This happens in the course of normal driving all the time. There was some jockeying which was dicey for a car behind. But pushing a bus around is suicidal. I’m be willing to be told I’m wrong, so please feel free to provide a link to a video clip and time stamp when the bus was at risk.

        The drivers played very successfully on liberal fears of Trumpies. And the PMC can be stereotyped as having undue fears about safety, witness that kids don’t get to manage their own time even though cities and suburbs are way safer now than in the 60s and 70s.

        I understand the FBI director, who was also on board with Russiagate, is investigating, but I wonder what his legal theory is. You can argue that there was nearly an accident with the SUV (not the bus, so not the apparent target), but what exactly was the illegal conduct here? Truck drive in caravans all the time, so its hard to see how you criminalize a vehicle swarm if they aren’t driving at illegal speeds, driving recklessly close to each other, or hot dogging the bus (and I don’t see anything on the video that suggests that). The flip side is Trump piling on is decidedly unhelpful to the caravan drivers.

        It’s intriguing to see that the Democratic Party can hide behind its claim to be a private club with respect to the Iowa Caucus but not with respect to something outside voting, which has all sorts of legal protections (secrecy of vote, no advertising/soliciting within a certain distance of the polling station, etc).

        1. Aumua

          The drivers played very successfully on liberal fears of Trumpies.

          That’s exactly right. They’re using fear and intimidation as a tactic, to make a point or whatever, and you seem to be doing exactly what I said people would do in my top post which is to minimize this behavior as cute, funny and/or harmless. Whether that fear is unreasonable or not, which is debatable, I hope that you can see how easily this kind of behavior can flip into something that IS actually dangerous. It’s certainly happened before in history. I mean where is that line when simply picking on or criticizing someone or a group of people becomes full on bullying, and when does that turn into serious violence against those seen as inferior or otherwise as the enemy? These are people who are being told day in and day out that the nation is literally going to fall apart without Trump and become a socialist hellhole. That they will lose everything they value under Biden, and in many cases they believe it, 100%.

          1. Yves Smith

            The problem is that this sort of behavior happens every day all over America. Aggression short of violence is perfectly legal. Look at male posturing in bars. Look at how Jeff Bezos regularly reduces employees, including men, to tears. And I also hate to add that it is extremely common on roads.

            And so far, despite all the shows of pot-bellied mens carrying guns, the actual instances of Trump supporters of engaging in violence, particularly gun violence, are few. That ridiculous couple in St. Louis who were handling their weapons so recklessly as to constitute a risk are being prosecuted. The big actual neo Nazi show in Charlotte had a really bad imagery tiki torch march, and the murder was by a guy driving his car full tilt into a crowd.

            I am saying that the liberals getting all bent out of shape about Trump fans strutting and puffing up their chests reduces their power of the Trump oppositon. They’d do better to laugh at this car stunt as amateur hour and proof of desperation, that the drivers have so little understanding of power that they think that going to the trouble of getting a bunch of people to swarm a bus with no one important on it as proof of weakness. All of the histrionics and finger-wagging just support the Trump world view.

            1. Aumua

              Excellent points of course, and I’ve long said that the best way for liberals or whatever to “get Trump” is to humor him, and brush him off. Because he feeds off attention, negative positive it doesn’t matter, and all he has to do to get what he wants is tweet yet another controversial, over-the-top or ridiculous thing and the liberals freak out every time. But don’t think that the right wingers are not just as capable of histrionics, the difference being that they tend to use hysteria tactically. They love to be dramatic and play the victim when it suits their purpose. Indeed you can find examples of the Truck supporters being painted as victims in this very thread.

              But as far as aggression, I’m not saying it’s necessarily wrong or evil. But when aggression becomes organized and systemic, then you have a real issue, and I just see this incident as a warning sign of a direction that may or may not actually manifest, but it’s one sign among many.

    9. Andrew Thomas

      Yes. Deplorable and irredeemable. Wow. What the comments section here has become over the last year is very sad. Speaking of sad, Patrick Cockburn’s colleague at the Independent, Robert Fisk, passed away from an apparent stroke on Oct. 30. A truly great reporter. His untimely death- he was only 74- leaves a void in reportage on the Middle East in the English language that no one can fill. Only Patrick was his equal, and he is doing as much, I am sure, as he can. May his memory be eternal.

      1. John Anthony La Pietra

        That is a loss . . . the kind where I both want to thank the bearer of the news and wish I didn’t have to thank them. (But even today, that’s as far as my unhappy thoughts go.)

  3. Henry Moon Pie

    Applebaum’s crazy conservatives–

    While The American Conservative offers a defense of conservative mental health, John Michael Greer offers a compelling look into the mental health of both Trumpians and neoliberal Dems. While Greer is usually an interesting read, this one especially fun as it seeks to link a 30s radio show, Tolkien, Freud, Jung and–this was the clincher for me–Herman Hesse:

    All that was long ago, of course. Two weeks ago, however, we talked about the novels of Hermann Hesse: how they and Tolkien’s great trilogy became the cynosures of a generation of youth, and how Hesse then got dropped like a hot rock while Tolkien, or at least a stuffed and mounted facsimile thereof, stayed fashionable. At the heart of that difference, I’m convinced, is the radical difference in the Shadows the two authors portrayed. In Hesse’s novels, when you have two characters that are moral opposites, they contend with one another until something new is born. In Tolkien, when you have two characters that are moral opposites, one of them must die. We know which of those became the common currency of popular thought in our time.

    So if you’re wondering, dear reader, why those of us in the USA live in a country where one party accuses the other of being full-blown goose-stepping Nazis and the other party insists that the first are Satan-worshiping pedophiles, where compromise has become a swear word and both sides have convinced themselves that all they have to do is come up with the right gimmick and the Shadow they hate so much will pop like a bubble, now you know. The bitter irony, of course, is that they’re both wrong. No matter how many self-proclaimed Frodos drop surrogate Rings into notional equivalents of Mount Doom, the Shadow will not go away, because it’s being projected by the people on both sides who have convinced themselves that they’re fighting it.

    1. ArvidMartensen

      Another thing about Applebaum and her confusion. She follows Karen Stenner and “Stenner believes in something called the “authoritarian predisposition,” which is “not close-mindedness so much as simple-mindedness.” Some people are “bothered by complexity.””
      Liberals seem to have anointed themselves with the virtues of superior intelligence and taste, thus making their cultural likes and political opinions intellectually and morally superior. Obama is their posterboy.
      To liberals, the only rational reason why anyone would vote for Trump is that they must have anti-liberal qualities. So, logically, Trump supporters must be stupid, boorish, morons. Which is why Michael Moore says don’t believe the polls, because which Trump voter is going to allow him/herself to be judged as inferior by an inevitably liberal pollster.

      And amazing if a published piece is defending the divide between liberals and conservatives as a mental health issue – have not read it so taking your word on this HMP.
      Turning conservative thinking into a pathology. In other countries, having the incorrect political views has gifted dissenters a free holiday in mental asylums. Once, in the US, poverty was medicalised (forced sterilisations). What would be the commensurate mental health treatment for voting for Trump?

    2. Darthbobber

      Hesse’s work makes more demands on the reader than LOTR, plus whatever their merits you really can’t call the Glass Bead Game, Narcissus and Goldmund, Steppenwolf, etc, page turner yarns.

      And LOTR fits in well with our penchant for Manichaean views, which nothing of Hesse’s does. The surprise is that work as abstruse and often cold as his even briefly became popular reading here.

    3. CitizenSissy

      Thanks for the JMG link! I loved the Archdruid Report. Looking forward to catching up on the new site.

  4. Timmy

    Observations from a country road tour in Eastern Pennsylvania

    On an errand to pick up pellet fuel for a stove, I drove about 75 miles yesterday on country and rural roads in northern Bucks Country (Hillary by 1-2% in 16) and southern Northampton County (Trump +1-2% in 16) which run along the Delaware River. While Trump signs were the most frequent, Biden signs were common too. I was surprised at the balance in the clusters of signs at important crossroads in the little towns. There were more intersections that were missing Trump signs that I expected (I know, they could have been stolen) and the frequency of Trump signs went up as the size of the roads declined. From this gleaning, I definitely didn’t see any evidence of over-the-top enthusiasm for Trump in the population centers. Certainly social tensions could explain this as well as a decline in enthusiasm.

    Between towns, the more isolated and the less “structured” the property was, the more likely there would be a Trump sign. I saw a handful of ostentatious displays…banners hung from trees or across houses, again in the further removes away from town. One or two pickup trucks had the double American flags mounted in back. With all that, it was still less intense than I expected or that I remember from 16.

    1. bob

      For the longest time I would only see Biden and dem signs at vacant properties or in front of abandoned lots or businesses where no one lives. The old supermarket that closed 20 years ago. At a crossroad there was a 50% chance a Biden sign at a good location had nothing but the sign and no persons or person attached to it. Trump signs always have a person.

      As the election gets closer, more Biden signs are showing up in front of houses with people in them.

      The view from upstate NY.

      1. Wukchumni

        Was in the supermarket in Visalia a few days ago and noticed maybe 6 or 7 people wearing Trump this that or whatever, most having a few different items on their person.

        Similar to Clinton 4 years ago, Biden is somebody the left votes for, but doesn’t want to be associated with-the horror.

      2. Brunches with Cats

        Also in upstate N.Y. (I think probably a bit south of you, Bob). A couple of weeks ago, I drove around town and was surprised by the number of Biden-Harris signs, most of them side-by-side with signs for the dem congressman running for re-election. At the time, B-H signs outnumbered Trump-Pence something like 10-1. (There also were quite a number of yards where the congressman’s signs were alone, without Biden-Harris.)

        As others have reported, Trump signs started materializing out of thin air over the past week, with several large, homemade banners. If anything, it’s the Dems I would have expected to hold back. That they’re not is probably a function of their certainty that Trump is toast.

        I’ve heard there are marauding gangs of yahoos in pickups running over B-H signs. Pretty childish.

    2. no one

      My question re: Biden signs. Will these Biden voters vote Democrat down ballot, or will we end up with lordly Biden presiding over gridlock because the House & Senate are in Republican hands? Given the huge profits accruing to the upper classes during this plague interegnum, wouldn’t they want everything to stay exactly the same, albeit minus a certain reason for pearl-clutching? A formula that won’t stop donations to the political parties yet precludes strong government action is government divided between a Democratic White House and Republican Congress. Back to brunch ….

      1. Mike

        Please… there will be gridlock no matter the composition of House, Senate, White House. Oh, wait – if Dems are even all segments of that, expect weak-kneed verbal opposition to Repug initiatives, triangulation, and excuses galore for “we tried”.

      2. Adam Eran

        Just saw my first Biden sign that’s equivalent to the large banners touting Trump. It’s the word “NOPE” with a blond hairdo over its top. Even in sunny California, Trump signs and rallies outnumber Biden’s, at least in my opinion.

        1. Carolinian

          Another popular one is Bye-Don. Biden signs far outnumber Trump signs in my neighborhood where most have no signs. But a trip a few miles out of town revealed yard after yard with Trump signs and no Biden signs in sight. I don’t think SC is going for Biden. Whether Graham survives may be a more interesting test.

          1. tegnost

            my “collapse is imminent” marker is the prop 22 in cali, and it’s leaning yes 46% to 42%, 12% undecided.


            I’d posit that if it’s yes, but not quite the needed 51%, industry will see it as a victory ala “hillary won the popular vote”. to my mind there is no way there are not some or a lot of secret squirrels in the propositions wording that will absolve the platforms from all responsibility. That it’s close doesn’t speak well of the citizens of california

            1. John Wright

              In any case, the winner will be the political advertising industry in CA


              “So far, the ride hail and food delivery companies have poured nearly $200 million into their campaign to deny drivers and delivery workers employee protections, and to instead continue to classify them as independent contractors.”

              “In contrast, the workers and labor groups that oppose Prop 22 have raised about $19 million in total, $11 million of which will go to advertising.”

              So the “Yes” Uber/Lyfts and others have spent 10x more than the pro labor “no” crowd to get the “yes” to 46%.

              If this fails, the next time a campaign needs to foist a corporate friendly proposition, they will ask for even more funds as 10x was not enough.

              Uber/Lyft did provide some short term, but perhaps well paid, temp jobs to the CA media/print industries with the 200 million spend.

      3. Kurtismayfield

        The Democrats had complete control in 2009.. they decided it was time to pass a Republican idea for health care reform ( The ACA) , and to not do much to the financial institutions that got us into the mess at the time

        So why should anyone give them control of three branches again?

        1. Charger01

          To quote Thomas Frank (from Listen, liberal) “They’ve got no where else to go”. Trump gave them another option in 2016, and what happened? What was learned?

    3. Colleen

      In Ohio, the Trump people have pretty obviously done a much better job of getting signs to supporters. In my working-class white-ish neighborhood in Cleveland, there’s a “Trump victory center” and I’ve seen little stands selling Trump paraphernalia by the side of the road in suburbs and rural counties. I had to order my Biden sign online (which I really only put up because of the Trump signs two houses down) and have only seen one community distribution event for a couple hours one weekend.

      I choose to believe that this means that there are a lot more Biden voters without signs and nearly every Trump voter has a sign, which helps me cope with what still seems like an incredibly large number of Trump signs in Cleveland.

    4. chris

      The view from suburban MD/NoVa on the western Maryland side…Biden yard signs outnumber Trump signs by about 4 to 1, but there are just about no signs. That’s a change from last election cycle, when there were almost zero yard signs but the ones that were there were Trump signs.

      Having talked with a number of my neighbors recently I know most have opinions but theyre not sharing with anyone unless it’s understood that the conversation is off the social record and there’s some expectation of privacy. My neighbors are all PMC types or small business owners and they’re reasonably concerned that they or their business will be cancelled if their “outed” as Trumpers or die hard Dems.

      1. Still Above Water

        The view from my PMC-ridden inner city Portland neighborhood: the yards are filled with tacky Chinese plastic Halloween crap, BLM signs, and Biden (sometimes Bye Don) signs. One house recycled their Obama/Biden sign by taping over Obama, which made me and my wife laugh. Nary a Trump sign to be found.

      2. cyclist

        Tons of Biden signs around the back streets of Bethesda, none for Trump. I wanted to put up a Howie Hawkins sign (wonder what kind of reaction that would get), but don’t live on the ground floor. Even in more outlying (hesitate to call it rural) Montgomery county, there are very few Trump signs.

    5. hunkerdown

      Around the edge of Detroit, we’re seeing condescension: “The Union Household Votes Biden/Harris” lawn signs at major street corners. Roughly balanced with Trump signs, whenever someone sees fit to go around and drop either party’s sign in the ground, I guess.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “Sweden’s Top Banker Weighs In on Controversial Covid Strategy”

    When I have a problem with our car, we take it to our mechanic. If I want to have something constructed in our yard, I talk with a builder about it. If I get sick, I go down to our local doctors and have a chat. Something that I would not do if I was sick would be to go down to the bank and consult my banker about it. So why would I accept this CEO of of Sweden’s biggest bank’s advice on dealing with a world-wide pandemic? Would I not talk to a epidemiologist for advice? But as Sweden’s Dr. Anders Tegnell has proved, if in doubt I would also ask for a second opinion.

    1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

      I have 2nd hand feedback from a local woman who is the lone native working in a large care home in which the staff including the manager are from the Phillipines. Most of the patients, clients, inmates or customers are in various stages of dementia & according to her they are efficiently dealt with, but as you would with sacks of potato’s.

      She had assumed that the lack of visitors was Covid related, but was told by one of the girls who live in a large dorm next to the home & work flat out for 12 hours, that they were a rarity before the pandemic. I imagine that many of those who died were just dumped in these type of places, which might explain a seeming lack of outrage which would likely have been different if those who died had been younger. My own Mother was fortunate to move in with my sister which took a lot of effort on our parts & if the need had arisen at the same time this year I hate to think what could have happened to her.

      1. J7915

        My mother was in nursing home for the last 3.5 years of her life. I’ll confirm that at least half the residents/patients did not have many visitors.

        Corona took of in Tulsa around March 2020, the home was already moving to restrict visits mid February.

        With her lack of vision, cattaracs, dementia and congestive hard failure my Mam passed away mid February. Still feel guilty that I was not there by half an hour.

        Given uncertainty, stopped for snacks expecting another very long day and night. Leaves one feeling empty and guilty.

        1. Anonymous 2

          People often wait to die when no one is there. I have had it happen several times with people I know. You can be sitting in the room with them, then head out, even if only briefly, and when you come back they are gone.

          Don’t beat yourself up about it.

        2. campbeln

          The feeling of guilt shows that you loved her. She knew that. That’s the most important thing, so try to not be so hard on yourself for properly preparing for “another very long day and night”. You wouldn’t have done that if you didn’t love her.

        3. salty dawg

          You loved your mother and cared for her and were getting ready to be there for her. With the information you had at the time, it was sensible to prepare for a long day and night.

          Your mother would want you to be happy. She would not want you to be living your life less fully because of feeling guilty about something that cannot be changed.

      2. ambrit

        Good on you for taking care of Mom.
        The conditions you describe those Phillipinos living in sound like a modern “Indentured Servitude.”

        1. Eustachedesaintpierre


          It is my sister who deserves praise rather than myself as she has & still is doing the heavy lifting in regard to my Mum’s slow descent into dementia. I did what I could to help with the set-up by flying to England twice once to visit Mum in hospital after her last bad fall, which included negotiations with another sister who had power of attorney that needed to be transferred with control of funeral insurance etc. I had to become the go between as they both despise each other which wasn’t helping Mum’s situation & took 2 trips in all to sort out.

          But for Lorraine Mum would have gone into a home, as I was in no position to take her & in any case she would never have come to NI due to her 8 Grandchildren & 4 Great Grandchildren who now take it in turns to blow kisses & wave at her through my sister’s front room window.

    2. Duke of Prunes

      Seems like a lot of people listen to a retired software CEO about vaccines and public health. I wonder about this, too.

    3. Maritimer

      From the beginning, Sweden’s strategy as expressed by Anders Tegnell has been Long Term. He has said: “It is not a sprint but a Marathon.” This drives short termers crazy—gimme the Fix now! Ergo, attack Sweden rather than carefully consider their policy.

      Tegnell has also expressed faith in Swedish citizens. Show them the way and they will do the right thing. What a novel idea! Certainly novel to the United States, where the population is not to be trusted, only manipulated and compelled. How crazy that there might be a modern nation of mature citizens.

      Additionally, Tegnell has addressed the harm of mental illness, lockdowns, mask-wearing, etc. I have yet to hear any of these esteemed Epidemiologists or Public Health officials outside of Sweden address these other consequences of draconian mandates and strong-arming let alone actually try to measure them in terms of cost.

      Remember the Hare and the Turtle. At the moment, the US is losing to both.

  6. Noone from Nowheresville

    Birds by Artists.

    I know it’s Sunday instead of Saturday but it’s also a new milestone month in the year that is 2020. So I decided to go with Magnus Opus for two artists who I discovered at Woodson’s Birds in Art exhibits.

    The first artist is Kent Ullberg. His Magnus Opus is First National Bank’s Spirit of Nebraska’s Wilderness and Pioneer Courage Park. It took 3 “artists” 11 years to complete the project with the help of many construction workers, etc.

    I drove to Omaha in 2016 just to see it and my gosh it’s exquisite and overwhelming. Yes, the pioneer piece of the story is part of the American mythos so issues. But the work and the story development that went into this multi-city block exhibit is outstanding. Seriously worth seeing in person. Ullberg is responsible for the bison and Canadian geese.

    Here’s a youtube PBS snippet on the project.

    Here’s a pdf Laura Zuckerman’s article in Wildlife Art. Good photo overview of the Ullberg’s pieces.

    Here’s the Boody Fine Arts article

    The 2nd artist is Brian Jarvi. I saw one of his oil paintings, in a sense “study” for the African Menagerie, at Birds in Art but haven’t made it to the full reveal. That painting pulled me across the room. His 17 year opus project is 28 feet wide, 14 feet high. All African birds and animals are scaled to size against the others plus consistent lighting across all those panels.

    Here’s a youtube snippet of Jarvi’s history and how he arrived at his opus

    Here’s an article by Todd Wilkinson for Stanford’s MAHB Art Blog

  7. Tom Stone

    ” A highly contested election would cause further damage to America’s global image as an exemplar of Democracy and the Rule of Law”.
    What has Roubini been smoking?

    1. hunkerdown

      Those are code words in financial discourse for absolute allegiance to private property, and a policy of treating property as senior to life.

  8. Wukchumni

    The First 50 Years of James Bond Counterpunch. From the pen of the late great Alexander Cockburn.
    That was a fun romp!

    We kind of live vis a vis the movies & tv don’t we?

    The aspect of zombies becoming a thing is on account of the 128 films that show in stark detail how they’ll come to be like some sort of post modern golem in force, reinforced by tv shows confirming the former assumption.

    You got used to the Bond lifestyle, there’s never any dull moments such as the protagonist vainly searching for a parking spot or disappointed because the Rite-Aid is out of something, its strictly a fantasy world where everything goes right unless a plot twist is needed to titillate, invariably involving a woman.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Deep divisions at home will go on weakening America regardless of who is elected”

    “Students taking exams in modern history in coming decades are likely to be asked about the nature and importance of Donald Trump’s years in office. Among the questions those future students may have to answer, there is likely to be one along the following lines: “President Trump promised when elected in 2016 to make America great again. How far did he succeed in doing so and, if he did not, why not?”

    I know that Patrick Cockburn was trying to start off with an interesting opening but he missed a good chance here. What would be a more profound question for students to write about would be something like the following-

    “President Trump promised when elected in 2016 to make America great again. Describe the coalition of the intelligence service, big tech social media, the main stream media and the Washington establishment that contrived to block most of his aims and served to bring in the era of general censorship in the years to follow.

    1. Basil Pesto

      well, no, because that’s a terrible, rather soviet exam
      question that brooks no argument, which is the whole point of history exam questions

  10. griffen

    The suits in the article about murder hornets more closely match the space attire in the original Alien film. At least with the seeming bulky fit, and the face helmet. But I have a bias to sci fi movies.

    Murder hornets, facehuggers, 400 yr old ghosts. Hard work figting evil, so suit up !!

      1. The Historian

        LOL. If they left it up to the Pentagon to design their suit, they probably wouldn’t have it for 10 more years. And then it would still have major defects.

        1. Minalin

          Yes because everything is outsourced to consultants like Grant Thornton to the tune of $435,000 per year for a just graduated engineering student who then needs a Project Manager for another $785,000 (I’m not making this up) and on it goes, it is why we can’t get anything done in this country. These people are nit paid to do anything but think about “things” or try hard Not how I do it. I pay for an actual outcome or not at all.

          1. JBird4049

            I think most outsourcing is now just corruption. Cushy sinecures created to build empires and help family, friends, allies, and sycophants. Just look at the nonprofit or NGOs slurping up all the grants and donations, but doing nothing, but trying to appear busy, like the modern American Red Cross.

  11. Carolinian

    Thanks for the morning Cockburn. This really cheered me up.

    Of course the Brit elites and their American cousins still live in a world of Ian Fleming fantasy only now the hypervillain is name Putin and he operates from a labyrinthian lair beneath the Kremlin. Cross him and his agents will dispatch you with Novichok. Will Vicki and her cookies save the world in time?…..

    1. a different chris

      >and his agents will dispatch you with Novichok.

      “I’m not dead!” “Yes you are” “He say’s he’s not dead”

      Didn’t you really get a sense of disappointment from our elites when those poor suckers didn’t actually die? Took a lot of wind out of their RussiaRussiaRussia sails. Fortunately they had enough hot air to puff them up a bit again.

    2. Donald

      Except the Novichok never seems to do the job. But that’s like a typical Bond villain too. Instead of just shooting him in the head, they strap him to a couch and threaten him with a laser beam. Somehow he never ends up dying.

      1. Carolinian

        Those MI6 car ejection seats probably don’t work either. As Cockburn points out from the very beginning the series had a tongue in cheek absurdity to it which may be why the humorless Daniel Craig is such a dud in the role. He has all the personality of a block of wood.

        But it’s not necessarily his fault as the producers of the wheezing franchise decided a new approach was needed to freshen things up. In an era when even Batman can be taken seriously an all action no laughs Bond was their big idea. The action is certainly well staged in the recent films but they are dramatically inert. The Bond movies, like our spooks, now take themselves way too seriously.

    3. David

      Sean Connery is the only Bond that anyone who was around when the films came out will ever take seriously. The early Bond films were as much part of the Sixties as the Beatles and Swinging London. They reflected optimism (British agent saves the world), democracy (Bond half-French half-Scottish in the books was played by a working-class Scot) and even relatively realistic, in that Bond was not required to act like a superman. The Bond gadgets were a reflection of the technological optimism of the time, when Britain was still a scientific and industrial power. Together with The Italian Job, starring Connery’s friend the equally working-class Michael Caine, the early Bond films stand as monuments to the optimism of the 1960s. Roger Moore played Bond with a sneer at the very same optimism, as the disillusioned 1970s progressed.

      1. Off The Street

        A side benefit of the Bond films was the vicarious traveling to exotic locales. That helped this viewer to want to see the world, meet people and learn, fitting with the 1960s optimism.

      2. The Rev Kev

        I have heard that a feature of those early books was the exotic foods that Bond was eating in all those restaurants. It was something that most British readers could only aspire too in that era of frugality.

    1. ian

      That youtube link (“Scene by Scene” with Mark Cousins) looks great – will have to watch, thanks for sharing it!

      I remember Connery often having at least one good “rant” scene for many of his post-Bond characters.

      The Sydney Lumet-directed “The Anderson Tapes” from 1971 starts with this rant by the title character (played by Connery) being interviewed just prior to his release from prison. (approx. 40 second clip):

      youtube-Anderson Tapes Opener

      “The Anderson Tapes” is based on the Lawrence Sanders 1970 novel of the same name, Frank Pierson is the scriptwriter. It’s a “let’s get a gang together and pull of a heist” film with an electro-crazy Quincy Jones soundtrack.

      Wikipedia calls it a “neo-noir”, as well as saying “It was the first major film to focus on the pervasiveness of electronic surveillance, from security cameras in public places to hidden recording devices.”

      This delightful scene (with Christopher Walken in his big-screen debut) is another great Connery-character rant, IMHO (approx. 2 minute clip):

      youtube-Anderson Walken Scene

      Another great post-Bond Connery-starring film I love (besides Zardoz, and yes I DO love Zardoz) is “Wrong is Right” from 1982.
      The director and screenwriter is Richard Brooks, who adapted from Charles McCarry’s novel “The Better Angels”.

      The Connery character has a great rant about the media near the beginning of the film (no clip on youtube, unfortunately.) The film stars Connery as a globe-trotting newsman (with camera in hand), an upcoming presidential election, a murdered Middle Eastern leader, and missing suitcase nukes that both the incumbent president and his challenger are trying to track down (each for their own nefarious reasons). Here’s the trailer:

      youtube-Wrong is Right Trailer

      Yes, that’s Leslie Nielsen as the Republican candidate for president.

      Highly recommended! Looks like you can “rent or buy” from youtube; I have a DVD copy myself.

  12. John

    I would have gone ahead with the planned rally. Surely the “mean Republicans” had no intention of disrupting or physically attacking people just because they had a different political opinion. That would be un-American and what is more American than trains of cars and pickup trucks bearing signs and flags driving the highways to no particular destination.

    1. Minalin

      Biden, currently has secret service protection. My guess was they did not want a shooting ‘war’ on some interstate in Texas. Where’s Gerald Butler when you need him‽

      1. tegnost

        Biden wasn’t on the bus, according to the link above the bus left before the requested police escort got there.
        “San Marcos police said the Biden-Harris bus requested a police escort, but due to excessive traffic officers were not able to catch the bus before it left the jurisdiction.

        The police department also said it has researched the crash and watched online video. It said the “at-fault vehicle” may be the Biden-Harris staffer’s car, while the “victim” appears to be one of the Trump vehicles.

        “The at-fault vehicle may be the white SUV and the victim appears to be the black truck,” a statement from SMPD reads.”

        1. Oh

          Of course Biden wasn’t on the bus. He was busy throwing people under the bus, as Obama taught him to do.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      Holding the rally would have expended precious powder. The Democrat party will gladly fight back some future Tuesday if only you’d vote for them today.

    3. Darthbobber

      For much of the 19th century, there was a pretty strong paramilitary component to American politics. Maybe it’s making a long-term comeback. Politics having reached the point they’re at, I don’t see any magic wand that’s going to recontain them within the previous channels.

      Maybe we can reach Weimar levels where, lest we forget, it wasn’t only the NSDAP that had a paramilitary arm. It was every party of any consequence. Brownshirts, Stahlhelm, Reichsbanner League, Rote Fahne, etc.

      1. JBird4049

        True, but I’m really not wanting anything like the post Reconstruction Democratic Party had a few canons or Weimar Germany where the Brownshirts also had some artillery. Only a few pieces, but when there are street fights or disputed election results and one side decides to settle the matter with the help of artillery…

        I can just see some American partisans getting stupid and trying to use some RPGs on the cops, Antifa, BLM, Proud Boys, whom ever.

  13. Liquid Amber

    “Republicans. Not Biden, are about to raise your taxes” NYT, does anyone know what this article is talking about? I prepare taxes and review a lot of tax returns and I don’t know anything about “stealth increase” discussed in this article. Not saying that there isn’t, just that it would be helpful if the article gave some small clue about what it is.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      …… it would be helpful if the article gave some small clue about what it is.

      The clue is that it’s the nyt. The “error” will be “acknowledged” in a month or so, in very small print, in the Food section. If it’s acknowledged at all.

    2. expr

      IIRC the modest middle class tax reduction in the trump tax gift to corporations was supposed to expire at some point so they could claim it did not screw up the deficit
      Is that what they are talking about?
      I cannot access the NYT article

      1. a different chris

        I cannot either.

        However, remember any deficit is considered to be a “tax increase” in the future because it will of course “have to be paid off”. And of course the rich won’t pay it so its on you!

        All evidence to the contrary is sniffily ignored. (Do agree the rich won’t pay, however).

      2. liquid amber

        TCJA is supposed to sunset in 2026 which is when the tax rates go back to the previous schedule. This article mentions 2021 and every other year afterwards.

    3. JTMcPhee

      Amazing how many different songs (all with the same subvocal, subliminal theme) the Mockingbird has… Biden sure to be more manipulable and of course on board for “creating the new reality” that the Empire is always doing…

      And the really cool thing is that once the stooges are trained, they expand their repertoire on the same theme, and mob any other birds that dare to sing a different song.

    4. Procopius

      The NYT is calling expiration of the modest decrease an increase. I think there was a time when they were better, but I might be wrong. It’s FUD all the way down.

  14. km

    Re: Pepe Escobar. The Blob never left, largely because Trump was too weak, stupid and easily manipulated and distracted to effectively fight it.

    I wonder how the Qult will spin a Trump defeat?

    1. anon in so cal

      Kind of difficult to go up against the Blob aligned with the Democratic Party the MSM and Big Tech.

      Trump was impeached over a brief hiccup in US aid to the banderite Nazis in Ukraine….

      “Chris Hedges and Taibbi discuss how the Democratic Party, the MSM and Big Tech work together to censor information and promote Biden

      “Chris Hedges and Matt Taibbi examine how the press and the major tech platforms function as a propaganda and censorship bureau on behalf of the Democratic Party and the Biden campaign.”

    2. John Wright

      Maybe “weak, stupid” Trump listened to Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer and took his advice?

      “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” Schumer told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.

      “So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this.”

      1. km

        Or to put it another way, to the extent Trump took Schumer’s or Maddow’s advice, then he’s showing that is weak and easily manipulated. Possibly stupid as well.

  15. Noone from Nowheresville

    Democratic Socialists Lost, but Their Ideas Have Won

    1. Didn’t know that O’Rouke was a democratic socialist or even on the “left.” But compared to Cruz I suppose almost anyone would be considered left.
    2. Warren I consider a centrist. Her unveiling of her Medicare for All plan was problematic. At the time, it made me think it was meant to take down Medicare for All rather than promote it.
    3. Green New Deal I think Biden just threw it under the bus. He also threw Sanders under the bus. Showed a total lack of respect IMHO and gave strong indication of his priorities should he win.
    4. Sanders pushing the party “leftwards.” “You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means” or maybe you do and you’re just punking me.
    5. Progressives will want to protect their hard-won gains on either side of the pond… ya know’, women’s suffrage was a 70 year hard-fought battle that ultimately squeaked through. I don’t think we have 70 years to win “progressive” gains. Whatever that means to this author. But for the sake of argument, what are these hard-won gains that the article talks about on either side of the pond but never really names. And how are we measuring them?

    I’m getting increasingly annoyed with articles whose title promise one thing but ultimately say nothing about said title.

    1. Milton

      Re: point #4, I do believe that Sanders and the (Mod[erate]) Squad have made a little dent in pushing the party leftwards (towards the center) at a rate that in maybe 10 years the Dems will only be slightly right of Nixon.

      1. Noone from Nowheresville

        Is it further left than what the Arab Spring, Madison – Walker protests, farm worker public protests against Wendy’s / Taco Bell / etc and Occupy were? How far to the right was the rubberband snapback effect after the 17-city paramilitary clearing, the immigration raids, and the failed recall election?

        Another 4 years of Obama plus 4 years of Trump – how should we evaluate ourselves against Nixon? Seriously isn’t that an extremely sad notion?

        I see the most recent high-point of moving the Overton Window “leftward” as being summer 2019 prior to the Sept debates and the “official” Impeachment drum pounding notice. My inklings tell me Impeachment was more about Sanders and that Overton Window than Orange Man Bad.

        1. fwe'zy

          I see the most recent high-point of moving the Overton Window “leftward” as being summer 2019 prior to the Sept debates and the “official” Impeachment drum pounding notice. My inklings tell me Impeachment was more about Sanders and that Overton Window than Orange Man Bad.

      2. Alex Cox

        Nixon was way to the left of the current crop of Democrats (to say nothing of the Repugs). He and LBJ were liberals. LBJ gave the US some attempt at civil rights; Nixon gave it the EPA.

        1. dcblogger

          The Democratic senate and environmental movement gave us the EPA. That is what you can do if you have an activist movement. Also the press was not so benighted in 1970.

          1. Pat

            And yet we, meaning Democrats not me personally, are willing to vote for a guy who comes flat out and says if Congress passed MFA he would veto it regardless of party. I’m pretty sure if it pissed off his usual paymasters he would also veto a Green New Deal.

            I haven’t said that the point that I grew to despise Obama was when he made me miss Nixon for nothing. And Biden is an even pig at the trough.

            1. WobblyTelomeres

              Biden won’t be the first to nix M4A. Nixon was behind M4A, was ready to sign, but Teddy Kennedy said no. Supposedly, he wanted more. And that was that.

    2. JTMcPhee

      So women won the vote, and now both halves of the duopoly court the “suburban moms” who are what, the pivot point in the political matrix?

      Given party political systems, esp. winner-takes-all, one might ask what that hard-won “suffrage” is actually worth, in terms of bringing about “policies” favored by the majority. “What color sh!t sandwich do you prefer, madame?”

    3. Dr. John Carpenter

      I think point #4 is the standard point with all these articles, of which I am sure we will see more. O’Rourke on the left? C’mon man!

      It seems to me the Dems have learned all the proper lefty sounding buzzwords and will use them to try to sell the same dog food and bury the genuine article. And these are the “gains” we should be protecting. As far as anything meaningful is concerned, there are none.

  16. Wyoming

    California’s Hills Are Haunted by the Ghosts of Wind Energy’s Past Gizmodo

    There is definitely an eeriness to the giant wind turbines along the PCT north and south of Tehachapi as you hike past them in the dark of night. Whoosh!

    (it is often too hot to hike in the daytime in this area so there is a stream of headlights strung out across the desert and mountains)

    1. Wukchumni

      When i’m driving by the multitude of propellers in Tehachapi it almost has the look of a veritable shitlode of airplanes warming up their engines…

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Chile elite say facing ‘uncertain’ future after vote”

    “The people favored by the current economic model do not want to lose their privileges. These elites have always been cut off from the people. “They are saying: ‘we want to continue like this, we have a life we value,'” she said, pointing out that nearly 90 percent of Chile’s richest 1.0 percent live in the three districts.

    Unsaid is that fact that not only are these the people that are benefiting from this system, but that they are personally administering this system using the positions that they hold in society. They are the professional managerial class who will ensure that only their kids will follow them in these positions and not someone who was born in a favela. And if anybody complains that it is unfair, they turn around and say that they are only following the law so what can you do?

    Been trying to work out what bird that is in today’s Antidote du Jour. Think I’ll put on some mood music to work it out with-

  18. Wukchumni

    In troubled times, a ritual walk can clear the mind and soothe the soul Guardian
    The article mentions walking to a church and also the Camino de Santiago, but why does a pilgrimage have to include dogma, and whats the difference between a walk and a hike, the article makes it seem as if nobody ever indulges in deep thought while doing the latter?

    Religion regales us with tales of something that may or may not have happened a few thousand years ago, while I can hang out with 2,000 year olds that are not only real, but still reproducing themselves in 2nd comings and 479th comings.

    I never walk faster than I can talk, because for me conversing with a friend while alternating steps is one of life’s greatest pleasures and among the simplest of things we bipeds can do.

  19. larry

    Austin Statesman link does not work for those outside the country. Need to annotate. Apparently, they are undertaking security implementations.

    You missed Andrew Rawnsley’s commentary on Corbyn’s reaction to the Labout Party’s chairperson taking away the whip. Very critical of Corbyn’s response to the EHRC report into anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. This is a must read for those interested in what is going on in the UK.

    1. paul

      Since it was beyond their remit to peer into Mr Corbyn’s soul, the investigators don’t come to conclusions about why he didn’t choose to tackle it more effectively. The most generous explanation offered by some of his associates is that he has “a blindspot for antisemitism”. Much more severe verdicts are available.

      No wonder the guardian is begging for subscribers

    2. flora

      The charge of anti-sem and r*cism is the new red-baiting tactic; it’s Labour/Dem McCarthyism. It serves the same purpose: protect the richest from higher taxes or business costs by eliminating politicians who favor more social safety net spending and tighter regulation of monopolies.

      1. Alex Cox

        The Guardian hasn’t published anything that could be considered a “must read” in a long time.

        For must reads, try Mint Press, Grey Zone, The Canary, and Craig Murray!

    3. Donald

      As best I can tell from the US, nobody in the mainstream ever talks about the blatant anti-Palestinian racism in the demand that the Labour Party adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism complete with all examples. If you read the examples, basically Palestinians and their supporters are automatically antisemitic if they tell the truth about what Zionism and Israel has meant to Palestinians.

      If Bernie had won the nomination or come closer some of the same attacks were gong to be launched here. It would be tougher to do since Bernie is Jewish and still a Zionist if a liberal one, but his pro-Palestinian supporters would have been in the crosshairs. There was a Twitter account whose name I have forgotten which was starting that up. But after the South Carolina primary it wasn’t necessary.

      1. km

        The phrase “self-hating Jew” was invented for situations like these.

        Likewise, “dhimmitude” was invented to describe middle eastern Christians who didn’t appreciate being “rescued” by neocons, or who explained that the reality on the ground didn’t match the neocon comic books.

        The latter term is going out of date, as there are almost no middle eastern Christians left, thanks to the neocons’ tender mercies.

    1. Calypso Facto

      two additional details from the murder hornet article that stuck out….

      But exactly who makes the suit and what they might think about its use for Asian giant hornet wrangling is something of a mystery. The brand name Vevin didn’t yield any hits in a search for a manufacturer’s webpage, and it’s not clear if the suits are actually made by the Chinese company that is selling them on Amazon. WIRED reached out to the seller through the Amazon contact portal, as well as through an email listed on a website that tracks data about Chinese businesses, but received no response. This company doesn’t seem to have a web presence, either. An Amazon spokesperson declined to provide any contact information for either the seller or manufacturer, citing company policy.


      Still, Looney says, they did run into a mobility issue the moment they stepped up onto the scaffolding. They discovered they couldn’t raise their arms high enough to reach the top of the nest opening, which was about 10 feet off the ground. “They’re very constraining,” he says of the suits. It’s not so much the thickness of the material as the cut. “If they were designed by a high-level tailor, I’m sure they would move better,” he continues. “But I don’t think they were.”

      This is one of those manufacturer businessess (like PPE) that makes zero sense to be offshored, but the domestic mentality around buying clothes would never have considered a made-to-measure hazmat suit after decades of fast/crap fashion. How about a sensical domestic reshoring initiative with assisstance to small manufacturers to create one? I realize that would entail doing something other than blaming Russia or tax credits, though, so not likely given current state of things.

  20. The Rev Kev

    “In troubled times, a ritual walk can clear the mind and soothe the soul””

    For those who can’t spend several weeks on a pilgrimage or take a jet to go to Japan for a pilgrimage there, I can thoroughly recommend a long walk around your neighbourhood. But to keep it interesting, take note to what you see. It has been said that we look but do not see and it is true. It is amazing the things that you find that you missed on previous walks. How a house is laid out on a block, which trees grow where, how a bank has been eroded to reveal concrete fence foundations, the way a hill was cut back and built up on one side to take a road. It never hurts to build up your observation skills. Dr. Joseph Bell would agree with me here.

    1. Maritimer

      When I lived in the burbs in the 80s, I used to walk the streets during the day, during the week. Hardly ever met anyone. I also used to take about a two mile walk to an upscale Mall. As one approached the Mall, the noise of the nearby four lane highway was intense and the landscape very hostile to humans. The layout was designed for the machines. Indeed, no one else about and a real alien feeling being surrounded by the machines.

      Having now walked in the woods for decades, I find that there is a whole new world of navigating and remembering that is alien to the machine world. Following a trail is a very different experience than looking at a GPS. One even feels a little bit human.

    2. furies

      I walk around my small town almost daily. It’s my meditation, and all that noticing is experience in the moment. I must have my walks or things go sideways even more quickly. Even better, of course, would be to walk surrounded by trees. I’ll be doing that tomorrow.

  21. Wukchumni

    There’s a Fox tv show called The Masked Singer and said masks are always used as deception, not for protection.

    The show has been on since last year, so you couldn’t say it fueled the mask askance, but it might’ve helped.

    1. ambrit

      The Charlotte Observer site demanded either a subscription of that I turn off my A-B—–r. Neither of which I will do, so, welcome to the new wealth based information ‘access’ ranking scheme. I find it curious in the extreme that someone has not yet tested a ‘single view’ payment scheme. It wouldn’t have to be much, say, a quarter dollar per view. A dedicated app with a limited budget would work just fine. If someone hacks your “Paper App” not much would be lost.
      This pecuniary aspect of the information flow is nothing new. Papers always cost something, but there used to be places where second hand papers, magazines, et. al. could be found. Places like hotel lobbies, libraries, fast food joints, why, park benches for goodness sake.

      1. Wukchumni

        I keep getting offers of a buck for 90 days worth of online fishwrap, and if I was a scribe for one of them i’d be downright depressed with the knowledge that my work was worth not even a pittance, less than that.

      2. jr

        Odd, I went right to it. I do get the annoying cookie window but I able to scroll through it. The idea of pay per article seems really on point to my ears…

        1. Procopius

          Trying to connect to pressreader dot com. Privacy Possum blocked a tracking header, Privacy badger is blocking something called, which my browser cannot connect to. I live in Thailand and don’t have a library card. Thanks a lot for the suggestion, though.

  22. rob

    Alamance county nc
    the courthouse square confederate monument was put in place in 1914 to mark the spot where the local whites had dragged and hung the first black elected to office after the civil war.,
    when the republicans won the majority in the state assembly ,and pat mcrory was governor; one of the first things they did, led by state senator Rick Gunn,Who had family ties to the area from that time; was to pardon someone convicted in @ 1870 of white supremecist violence.
    Alamance county was a prosperous area before the civil war, and to this day… there are people who still take their removal from ” plantation life”, as a serious offense ….to them.
    When people talk of things like “combating the taliban, or some other “conservative”/fundamentalist aspect of a society/culture…. and talk like it is something that can be done in a turn of leadership/party…. they ignore the fact that people can’t get rid of the festering crap that passes for “culture”… that easily.
    Terry johnson, who is the Alamance county sheriff is a major connection to the areas white supremecist supporters… and despite the justice dept failing to intervene in the racial profiling the county does in relation to the 287-g program.. to pay for the new jail by rounding up and housing immigrants…. for the federal gov’t…
    He keeps getting re-elected… twice now since first being indicted by the federal grand jury…
    There are too many people, who support these racist fascists…. for them to go away any time soon.

  23. Wukchumni

    Been hanging out with some Burner friends, one of whom is pretty hep to what’s what, and he told me that Burning Man is pretty much broke which is kinda appropriate for a plot device where money doesn’t matter.

    Their model is similar to skiing and season passes which are bought 8 months in advance of the first time you actually get to hurl yourself down a steep embankment repeatedly. Burning Man had to refund each and every ticket sold in January-February.

      1. Wukchumni

        Yes, it will only have scads of tv commercials for new cars to be made there, must be one of the most popular locales for such things.

  24. The Rev Kev

    “Democratic Socialists Lost, but Their Ideas Have Won”

    This is just gas-lighting by Foreign Policy here. On both sides of the Atlantic, the progressives have been betrayed and marginalized to the outer edges of irrelevancy. Not so much because of the conservative forces that they were facing but their own parties – the Labour party in the UK and the Democrats in the US. Both parties have proven that they have no problem working against their own voters to suffer defeat in an election rather than risk winning with progressives in positions of powers. And now the progressives have nothing to show for it. UK Labour party apparatchiks were seen to actually cheer when Labour seats were lost in the last election.

    That article says look – the election in the US gave support to people like AOC and Beto O’Rourke to which I say, so what! I no longer care how progressive a person seems but I demand to see how they actually vote come crunch time. When the CARES Act went to a vote, Bernie voted for it in the Senate and the Squad and other progressives voted for it in the House. As as been said, what is the point of voting for progressives that vote with the other side? Actually it is worse this time in the US. Progressives announced that they gave their full support for old Joe. At that point Joe said that since I no longer need you, none of you will be in my Cabinet which I will be filling with Republicans instead.

    1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      The Seattle DSA sent me an email declaring, “HELP US STOP TRUMP FROM STEALING THE ELECTION!”

      No thanks, Seattle DSA. If u were badasses, then ud support Trump.

    2. Darthbobber

      They always like to tell you that you’ve “won” in some symbolic sense whenever you’ve lost what should be treated as a preliminary skirmish.

      The hope is that some fraction of the potential threat will believe it.

      1. Darthbobber

        The editorial operations of the Post-Gazette were consolidated with those of the Toledo Blade in 2018, and the Blade’s pro-Trump editor was placed in charge of editorial at both papers. So basically an owner-directed change of stance.

      2. hunkerdown

        Good catch. It’s common to do the same thing in the inverse, declaring that the idealists have lost and “it” is [nice agency there!] time to move on. It seems they’re mostly interested in having that fraction of the potential threat believe the fight is over.

  25. flora

    re:The Fed Saved the Economy but Is Threatening Trillions of Dollars Worth of Middle-Class Retirement – ProPublica

    A good explainer article.
    Here’s a bit of history from my point of view. In the late 1970’s Paul Volker pushed interestest rates “to the moon” to break inflation (and wages). Rates were as high as 18% in 1981. That depressed an already iffy stock market. But then interest rates started being cut. As interest rates were cut the stock market went up. As companies shed jobs the stock market went up. Compare the to charts below: the DJI trend vs the Fed rates trend. They are near inverse mirror images. Jobs are still being cut — 5 million jobs were lost between 2000-2017.

    The 40 year economic program of cutting private jobs and lowering national interest rates can’t continue — based on available jobs to cut and existing room to lower interest rates, imo. That doesn’t mean it will reverse. It looks like the planners intend to hold rates low for years to come in an effort to keep the stock market inflated.

    As far as this hurting the middle class? The pols in D.C. and the planners stopped caring about the middle class a long time ago.

    1. Wukchumni

      A basic used home in LA was $100k in 1981 when interest rates were near 20%, and now the same tired home is worth $700k when interest rates are near 2%, a whinge-whinge deal.

      1. flora

        My uneducated guess:

        People were buying mortgages, not homes. When very high rates began coming down people could “afford” to buy a bigger mortgage. Many did well speculating in real estate mortgage rates by flipping houses, as they call the practice: buy a house and a year or two later sell it for a much higher price.

        an aside: Nixon in 1971 ended the Breton Woods Accord by ending the convertibility of the US dollar to gold. Ending convertibility — instead of readjusting the exchange rate — set off a scramble for hard assets, imo. The theory was the dollar would devalue and hard assets would be “worth more” from that devaluation. My 2 cents. (I’m not a gold bug.)

        1. Wukchumni

          I’m of the opinion (current value: 2 Cents) that the latest version of the housing bubble going haywire is on account of most Americans being house rich and cash poor.

          As prices go up on used homes people feel as if they’ve done well, and should the almighty buck crash and burn, said ‘values’ will not only remain sticky high, but probably appreciate greatly in an odd scramble for those with $ assets trying to buy something that will retain it’s worth.

          We could see that same home worth $100k in 1980, valued @ $5 million in 2022.

    2. griffen

      The hollowing of the manufacturing centers also hurt. Even without a BS degree, factory workers enjoyed pay & benefits plus accrued a valuable pension over 20 to 25 years of service to GM, or F. Granted those 2 examples made serious errors, like underestimating toyota or honda.

      Certain segments and sections of the country do make stuff still, but it’s just a different era. As is stated here often, the financial systems & MBA-led engineering of the US economy was planned long ago.

      Special props to Glass Steagall being repealed as well. 20 years ago, if I’m not mistaken.

      1. John Wright

        Perhaps the manufacturing intellectual property in the USA is contained in the small firms that make niche products.

        These companies may make specialized tools/items for small markets that are too small for big companies (foreign or USA) to trouble with.

        These companies may not have the economies of scale that allow for a complicated supply chain linked to a foreign country.

        I’ve recently bought two used USA tools (a diamond wire saw and a thread tapping accessory) and found that the companies that made them years ago are still manufacturing in the USA.

        But they are not common, high volume, tools.

      2. WobblyTelomeres

        I suspect the prospect of expanding into the Chinese market is what led to US Megacorps to send Nixon to China.

        1. Jessica

          When Nixon went to China, China was still an oversized version of what North Korea is now.
          The Nixon trip was more about getting China as an ally against the Soviet Union. For the rest of the 70s, with a partial exception in Vietnam, China supported CIA-backed forces in many countries.
          The China market had long been a gleam in capitalists’ eyes, but wasn’t really a factor until Deng started shifting the Chinese economy in the early 80s.

    3. Procopius

      According to Jamie Galbraith, Volcker’s interest rates destroyed union power, but also made it impossible for American industry, spread throughout the mid-west, to be unable to compete with foreign producers. That played a big role in their decision(s) to offshore. As a reminder, Volcker was appointed by Jimmy Carter.

  26. Wukchumni

    Despite What the Logging Industry Says, Cutting Down Trees Isn’t Stopping Catastrophic Wildfires ProPublica
    It’s more the understory of the forest for the trees clogged with multi decades worth of ready to burns on the floor-oftentimes many feet thick, not that thinning out the remnant of way too many trees all close together isn’t needed as well.

    Forests seem to me to be the equivalent of some mad gardener who planted 583 carrot seeds in a space where 58 would’ve been more appropriate.

    1. Procopius

      It’s the rule of nature. If there’s something to eat, something will come to eat it. In this case, sunlight. We certainly see it in a tropical country like Thailand. Every year of so the owner of this property will send in a tractor or a backhoe and root out the underbrush and trees. Everything goes. By the next year it’s all grown back, although the trees are smaller. Sometimes she’ll let it go for two or three years, and then we get some of the birds back as the trees get big enough to provide nesting places, but anyplace a bit of sunlight gets through the foliage, a plant will grow. In the Army I trained in German “forests.” The pine trees are lined up and squared off, and they are so close together nothing grows on the “forest” floor because sunlight does not get through.

  27. chris

    I’m working on some personal side projects and that has lead me into some north American native myths. I’m fascinated that the myth of the greedy cannibal, the Wendigo, has been repurposed to describe rapacious corporate consumerism and capitalism.

    1. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

      Steven King turned me on to that monster way back. That and the fact there was more going on in North America than cheery proto-hippies living off the land in a big empty forest. I think the Lovecraft line is, “America was old and evil long before white men came.”

    2. farragut

      Chris, you may have already seen this, but there appear to be many seemingly disparate threads being pulled together at this time which would account for the sudden and vociferous denunciations of our current version of capitalism.

      During the last half of 2020, the WEF has announced their ‘Great Reset’, while the IMF has pushed their ‘new Bretton Woods’, numerous Central Banks are suddenly hot for their own digital currencies, and Mark Carney stated at the most recent Fed Jackson Hole meeting something about getting off the USD standard. And, regular readers of NC are aware of the increased press being given to MMT. So, I’m guessing big changes to our current international monetary system are headed our way. I simply read it as the latest scheme (in the American sense of the word) with which current elites are employing to remain in power, while appearing as if they’re saving the world.

      1. chris

        I had not seen all of that, but the question I’ve been asking myself as I do this dive into mythology is where/what are our current myths? There seem to be a number of urban legends floating around these days but few seem to have any moral or economic punch to them like the older tales we got from the Grimms or the classic tales of Native American creatures. If I had to hazard at least one I would say the only enduring myth we all recognize and can quote is the myth of the person who’s pulled themselves up by the bootstraps. Comparing that to the idea of a greedy monster who feeds off his former tribe and can only be killed in a communal fire…it doesn’t come off well.

        1. Wukchumni

          Isn’t it obvious that the ongoing myth is our money which is largely transparent, not unlike the virus as luck would have it?

          Lots of monetary cannibalism going on, gorging on 1’s & 0’s.

        2. ChrisPacific

          I feel like we could come up with one about a tribe and the great and magnificent dragon they kept as a pet, which was lovingly cared for and fed, because everybody knew that the tribe with the biggest and most beautiful dragon was superior to all the others. The leaders eventually lavished so much care on it that there was not enough food for the people, or materials to build houses for them, because it was all being used to feed the dragon, or to decorate its cave. And the people went to the leaders and said: our tribe is failing, because the people have no houses to live in or food to eat. Please help us! And the leaders replied: Failing? That can’t be true, for look at how big and beautiful our dragon is! Clearly we are the most favored of all the tribes.

          I don’t know how it ends, though.

          1. fwe'zy

            No, I don’t like this. Are you St. George?
            The people sucking up our commonwealth are easily identified.

              1. fwe'zy

                Ok but them hogging the dragon’s teat is the issue. They are not abstractly worshipping something that doesn’t give back.

      2. Procopius

        I’m currently re-reading a book called Paper Money, by Adam Smith, aka George W. Goodman, published in 1981. He describes a conversation with The Gnome of Zurich, who was saying the same thing in the late 1970s.

    3. chris

      For those that are interested in this kind of indigenous “just so” story the children’s version told by Gayle Ross is delightful.

      Good to share around a camp fire :)

    4. JacobiteInTraining

      My favorite is the Tlingit ‘kū’cta-qa’ or kushtaka stories. Dunno if they have been repurposed for anything yet, but they are neat.

      I used to believe in them til I was old enough to understand that ‘bump’ on the boat was a log, that ‘splash’ in the twilight was an otter, and that ‘pssshhht-wooosh’ noise was a whale breathing out and then back in before going back down.

      Of course, i was told these stories constantly in the dark, when young, by a campfire, or in the middle of nowhere. And in the main, they served their (ostensible/debatable) purpose from time immemorial: They did an effective job of preventing a sprightly little youngster (me) from roaming alone down by the inlets, coves, saltmarshes, and other places around SE Alaska where…had I not been worried about potential kushtaka (or, well…griz) …I mighta slipped, conked head on rock, and drowned…just as alone.

      And now, true to form….I tell kushtaka stories to the little ones in my turn. I am not nearly so dramatic as my dad and Grampa though. i feel like, well….no need to go overboard. heehee ;)

    5. ambrit

      I first encountered the myth of the Wendigo through Algernon Blackwood’s novella “The Wendigo.”
      No cutesy aminal friends in this tale!
      JacobiteInTraining makes the essential point about the purposes of myths and folk tales. They are teaching tools for the community to train the young to be safe and survive until adulthood.
      Be safe!

    6. The Rev Kev

      November 1, 2020 at 10:32 am

      I noticed one section that says that you can kill it with ordinary weapons but then it goes on to say ‘Still other legends claim that only a knowledgeable First Nations spiritual leader, a shaman, can dispatch a windigo with a specific spell and ceremony.’

      I don’t know how you read it but to me it sounds like the North Americans had their own Professional Managerial Class trying to insert themselves into important events and actions.

      1. BlakeFelix

        There was an interesting video game with Rami Malik not too long ago. It was kind of like a choose your own adventure, bit of a spoiler, but the legend of the Wendigo was pretty well handled, I thought.

  28. Mikel

    RE: Republicans, Not Biden, Are About to Raise Your Taxes NYT

    Yeah, but do you hear Biden and Harris stumping about that? You think they didn’t notices this?

    So the America that doesn’t make ivee $100,000 has taxation without representation.
    As I said, undermine and sabotage elites any time a covert or overt (if it can be done safely fir you) opportunity presents itself…no matter how small.

    1. Procopius

      Is it the case that Americans have the attention span of fruit flies, or is it just that the Democrats have such contempt for the ordinary citizenry (including those that voted for Hillary) that they think no one paid attention when the tax bill was passed and some commentators pointed out that this expiration was built in? I’ve been baffled that the Repubs weren’t blasting this out, that if they’re re-elected they’ll reverse that part of the bill, but if the Biden/Harris are elected they won’t because they’re deficit hawks. Back in 2017 I thought that was the point of including the continuing series of expirations in the years after elections. And, of course, to bring the total ten-year cost down, but that was really not important.

    1. Dalepues

      Regarding that endorsement from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

      ” In 2018, the editorial tone of the paper shifted from liberal to conservative after the editorial pages of the paper were consolidated with the The Blade of Toledo, Ohio. After the consolidation, Keith Burris, the pro-Trump editorial page editor of The Blade, directed the editorial pages of both papers.[2][3]”

  29. zagonostra

    >Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti on the Election and the Future of Both Parties | Useful Idiots

    I was listening to the podcast referred to above when something that was said caught my ear and made me pause. That was the use of the term “Donor Class.” In the conversation between the four participants there was much discussions surrounding the dynamics of electoral politics. At two specific points Krystal made the statement both with respect to the Democrats and Republicans that the “Donor Class would not allow it.”

    What everybody now takes for granted, and in which I can visualize the yawn on my friend’s face and the resounding “Duh” from my daughter, is what struck me dumb. How can you gloss over what the underlying implications of such a statement suggest. It was uttered with such an insouciant air and passing tone that I guaranteed you it lost its purchase on the mind of the majority of listeners. I recently read the term “thought-killing phrase” or something to that effect and it struck me as very true. There are certain phrases, sentences, words that conceal more than they reveal. This phrase, “Donor Class” is one of them. What should be the focal point is lost. The clinging, clattering topsy-turvy political machinations and drama have drowned out and replaced discussions of underlying fundamental democratic principles. The sound and fury told by the “useful idiots,” full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

    Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the discussion by these four intelligent and well-meaning young folks and respect what they do. My comments have more to do with the political milieu than the host and guest of the show.

    1. Rod

      I recently read the term “thought-killing phrase” or something to that effect and it struck me as very true. There are certain phrases, sentences, words that conceal more than they reveal. This phrase, “Donor Class” is one of them. What should be the focal point is lost.

      I agree–and your listening may be plagued going forward(mine certainly is)
      Dog Whistles of a different kind.

      1. Darthbobber

        From the Blue Cliff Record, I think:
        “A fitting phrase can be a stake to tether a donkey for a thousand years.”

    2. Basil Pesto

      well, this is why I shy away from phrases like ‘mainstream media’, ‘the powers that be’, ‘deep state’, and others which I’m drawing a blank on. I guess ‘donor class’ might fit in with that group.

      accurate to a point, I guess, but ultimately lame and weak epithets that are succour for the in-groups they appeal to (often eternally powerless and oppositional), but will induce eyerolling in those that most need to be convinced.

  30. Alex Cox

    I am puzzled by the enormous disparity in covid infection figures — uncertain what to make of the huge differences between, say, the seven-day average of new European covid cases in the linked FT article (which shows Spain with double the number of new covid cases of England) and the Johns Hopkins site to which the Water Cooler links: this shows the UK as thousands of new cases per day ahead of Spain for the last 26 days, also using a seven-day average.

    The FT sources its information from the UK government covid-19 dashboard, and something called Our World in Data.

    1. rtah100

      UK has many figures:

      Confirmed cases by “NHS” (Serco!) Test and Trace, from PCR swabs of symptomatic /eligible patients

      ONS cases figures from statistically rigorous national surveillance screening of random patients (possibly just PCR, possibly other formats.

      Public Health England collected data on influenza like illnes and acute respiratory infection etc episodes in primary and secondary care.

      Zoe covid app figures (symptom reporting by users)

      Multiple modelled predictions (Safe, Imperial, Warwick, Cambridge etc)

      Imperial + IpsOs Mori REACT study (seemingly the overreact study by the latest 6th sample’s claim of R of 2 and 5 day doubling time).

      You can see many of these for Ebgland if you search “flu Coronavirus surveillance” and read the weekly reports.

      The data are all over the place which suggests the outbreak is at a turning point but which way is impossible to tell. I am optimistic the outbreak is receding in Devon but some other numbers are very ugly.

  31. jef

    “Let your children play in the green outdoors for just a month, watch immunity grow”


    Work all day in a cubicle, never see the light of day, eat processed food devoid of nutrients, live and breath in a polluted environment, and watch immunity plummet.

    Funny how often we acknowledge the importance of Terrain Theory while at the same time denying that it could be a major factor in public health. We talk about masks and isolation to “reduce the risk” of infection but ignore all of the simple, affordable things that people could do to significantly reduce the risk.

    1. anon y'mouse

      your work place and time are largely determined NOT by you.

      so no working outside, and few breaks to go outside. and going outside at those few breaks involves parking lots, sad shrubbery and fast food courts.

      eating processed food—no real lunch break, not much time before and after commute to eat much. not a lot of time and money to spend developing skills to make tasty and healthy meals at home.

      polluted environment—worker did not create this and can’t do much about it. move? work, etc elsewhere? how likely are you to find a job and a home you can afford on that job in an ‘unpolluted’ environment? in this country, there are very few places like that and they are largely playground/third homesites for the rich. move to surburbia (maybe less polluted, but certainly causes a lot of pollution) and have less time for cooking and going outside during daylight due to extended commutes. plus breathing in car fumes, because lord knows we have very little public transit in this country.

      sorry to pick on you, but you seemed to be saying that was easy and down to individual laziness that health is not maintained. i would say that few of us have the power to control our health in the simple, (perhaps not) inexpensive ways you lay out. the idea that it is all so easy and simple appears coming from someone for whom it already IS easy and simply, for whatever reason, and not the average person trying to survive in a system that was set up to keep them in this way–dependent upon unhealthy food, working & living conditions.

      1. jef

        I never implied individual laziness.

        What I implied is if our government actually cares about our health, our getting sick and possibly dying, which is the stated reason for all their actions, bungeling or otherwise, they would mobilize and make efforts to insure that the population is in the best possible shape to fight off this virus. It is relatively simple compared to what they are doing now and certainly would be inexpensive. Testing for nutritional deficiencies, some supplements, education and encouragement on how to improve their physical situation to reduce rist, other than just mask up and isolate.

        The gov is changing how life is lived on this planet in radical and extreme ways why not use that power to have the population do what is good for them? I am not promoting a conspiracy theory here just asking a legitamet question. Anyone have a clue?

        1. anon y'mouse

          my answer to you is “follow the money”.

          this system is designed as a plantation crossed with the company store design, obscured through supposed “lack of compulsion” and credit systems.

          or, as Rick & MOrty said once: slavery with more layers/complications.

          why has the government done everything the wrong way during this pandemic, and a place like Vietnam is able to control the virus and death level?

          the only conclusion a sad conspiracy theorist like i can come to is “THEY want us to die!”

          and obviously, because we all have let them turn us into something like a processed tater tot, and don’t even have the health care, work/life balance and vacation time of France, on some level maybe we want to die.

    1. chris

      That thread didn’t have too many people complaining. There were some clueless takes though. Plenty agreeing with the host that nothing will change. The riff on Cuomo was good :)

    2. jen

      If the margin of Biden’s victory is small enough that the audience for SNL who haven’t already voted can possibly determine the outcome, he’s got bigger problems.

  32. Wukchumni

    Oil is $35 per 42 gallon barrel and yet gas is still $3 a gallon in California.

    Back in the day of $130 something a barrel it was around $4.50 a gallon here…

    Some industry is trying to cut it’s losses, methinks.

  33. rowlf

    While outside helping bring in items from doing merit today, a US Post Office van pulled up at the end of my driveway. Knowing that the delivery drivers run Code Red (and some make a lot of turns with the inside wheels up in the air) I walked to the end of my longish driveway to save the driver some time. The driver was having problems finding a package in the very stuffed deliver van. I made some small talk with the driver, mentioning I don’t agree with what the politicians are trying to do and that it appears to me the USPS is understaffed. The driver replied that was sure right, as the driver stated that they had to run two routes when in the past they only ran one. The driver seemed breathless and stressed out.

    Dayum. I don’t agree with over 100% workload as you are setting your workforce up for injuries to happen.

  34. jr

    Here is a PDF put out by the Cato Institute detailing Americans feelings about the police on certain issues: defunding, immunity, use of force:

    It was conducted by YouGov, which seems legit after a quick search:

    There seems to be some questions of the efficacy of daily polling though:

    “ Some question whether daily polling is sustainable in terms of quality. The perception of polling has always been that you can do it cheaply, you can do it quickly, or you can do it well – and you can only do two of those. But YouGov, reckon those in the industry, ticks all three boxes.”

    Doesn’t provide a ton of support for that last claim…

  35. Wukchumni

    Carpe Diệm:

    Washington, DC, November 1, 2020—President John F. Kennedy was more disposed to support the removal of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem in late 1963 than previously appeared to be the case, according to a recently released White House tape and transcript. The ouster of Diem in a military coup that would have major implications for American policy and growing involvement in the country happened 57 years ago today. Even now the views of Kennedy and some of his top aides about the advisability of a coup specifically have been shrouded by an incomplete documentary record that has led scholars to focus more on the attitudes of subordinates. Today, the National Security Archive is posting for the first time materials from U.S. and Vietnamese archives that open the window into this pivotal event a little bit wider.

    1. Carolinian

      Another chip in that JFK halo. To hear some tell it Kennedy was only kinda sorta aware or indecisive on the assassination. Of course the Kennedy brothers also tried to off Castro (see Cockburn above) although some would claim it was all CIA.

      It isn’t just now that the press have their favorites. This was Nixon’s big complaint of course, but a lot more newspaper competition back then to give some balance.

  36. Wukchumni

    The last couple years of monsoons in Az haven’t showed up as the west is drying up bigtime, and here’s an interesting cacti in the coalmine…

    KJZZ listener Shari Keith counted 17 fallen saguaro cacti within a 10-mile radius of where she lives in Ahwatukee. Others had lost arms or looked unhealthy, and she wanted to know what is happening to saguaros.

    Saguaros and other cacti in the Valley are under great stress, according to Desert Botanical Garden’s Research Botanist Raul Puente. Saguaros are falling, losing arms or becoming discolored for many reasons including dehydration, too much sun exposure and high temperatures that last throughout the night.

    “They are supposed to be adapted to the desert environment,” said Puente. “But this year has been very extreme with this summer.”

    Saguaros, Puente explained, are like accordions and when they become dehydrated they shrivel up. They also have shorter roots than most trees and other large plants. When subjected to too little or too much water, cacti can fall over.

    1. albrt

      I have a big prickly pear in the front yard. Only took a few years to grow, but it looks terrible.

      We will also probably lose a roughly 80 year old Aleppo pine due to the heat and lack of rain this summer. They don’t require much, but they require at least a little rain.

  37. lambert strether

    > a black pickup is shown pushing a white sport-utility vehicle that was straddling two lanes out from behind the bus.

    Presumably we have or can have the plate numbers for both?

  38. farmboy

    Loiusiana Red 1962
    And set the whole nation right
    Then into Washington they call me
    An’ I went
    Hadda be the guest
    Of the President
    He said, “Red, I’m glad to see you
    So glad you come down here
    To help me run the Russians
    From the western hemisphere!”
    I said, “You can run the country
    I’m goin’ to run the Senate
    Oughtta make a few changes
    With a few soul brothers in it
    Ray Charles and Lightnin’ Hopkins
    And a guy like Jimmy Reed
    Bo Diddley and Big Mabel
    Be all I need!”
    It was a dream, a dream I had last night
    I dreamed I went to the UN
    And set the whole nation right

  39. farmboy

    “What The Hell?” Elvin Bishop, Charlie Mussellwhite

    Look at the shape, the shape the nation’s in
    This situation is a shame and a sin
    I want to know, how could a good thing go so wrong?
    Tell me, what the hell is going on?

    Sometimes I don’t know whether to cry or laugh
    Half the people in this country can’t stand the other half
    I want to know, why can’t we halfway get along?
    People, people, what the hell is going on?

    He is the president but wants to be the king
    Know what I like about the guy? Not a goddamn thing
    I want to know, how can four years seem so long?
    Lord have mercy, what the hell is going on?

  40. kareninca

    Holy family blog. I just drove on El Camino in Silicon Valley from the vicinity of the San Antonio shopping center to the vicinity of the Stanford Shopping center. Going north for something like three miles. The whole road going south was a Trump caravan. Not every car of course. At first I thought it was just a few. But then more appeared, and more; filling up the whole road in some parts. I had to turn off around the Stanford shopping center; maybe it went further; I don’t know. I saw hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of cars, plastered with enormous Trump/Pence signs and waving giant American flags, honking with enthusiasm.

    I simply could not believe my eyes.

    There were a few BLM people along the route (maybe 20 in total?) and one gal hopping up and down with a Biden sign. And at the Town and Country shopping center there was a small group (another 20 people?) that I presume was Democratic. These groups were utterly and entirely and completely dwarfed by the Trump group.

    1. furies

      They’re out now on Main Street–quite a lot of them. In their big trucks, with some blaring foghorns. [sigh]

      Biden, he be hidin’.

      1. Wukchumni

        Lets be honest, what sort of message would a phalanx of Biden backers in Priuses trying to keep up with a Trump bus have?

  41. Steven C

    Does anyone else think it odd that the Biden/Harris standard graphic design obscures Biden’s name? Looking at it, with the sylized “E”, you read it as Bid=n Harris. The name actually recalled there is Harris. I looked back at past stickers/logos on the internet, and none seem to obscure the lead candidate’s name that way. Rarely the “O” in Obama would be stylized, but it still was instantly recognizable as an O.

    Anybody can explain a solid political/marketing reason for the Bid=n design?

    1. hunkerdown

      It’s actually ≡, the symbol for mathematical identity. I think you’re right on the money that they’re trying to erase him a little.

    2. Acacia

      “In mathematics, the triple bar is sometimes used as a symbol of identity or an equivalence relation…”

  42. marym

    Mail ballots

    11/01/2020 Federal judge orders USPS to provide daily updates on the alleged election mail backlog at the Miami-Dade County post office seen here starting on Nov. 2 thru Nov. 4

    10/30/2020 “After concluding that USPS policy changes that led to mail delays are likely to burden voting rights…a DC federal judge has entered a comprehensive order that requires several things of USPS going forward.”(Includes “extraordinary measures” and daily reports – thread and link to court document)

    Judge: DC District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan – Reagan/Bush/Clinton appointee

  43. jr

    A gallery of photos from around NYC, the first is a repost of the “drag queen ethnostate” image for Phillip Allen.

    Key: 1. ethnostate 2. pretty 3. The funniest and grossest laundry sign ever. 4. “Protect Your Heart!” 5. street art (literally) 6. street art 7. organized anarchy 8. cool Postal drop box 9. IFC cinema closeup (the marquee is a shelter) 10. Full service BoA ATM 11. IFC cinema and homeless shelter 12. LOTS of this around 13. pretty 14. ATM art 15. My latest business venture 16. pretty 17. The center cannot hold! 18. fun ad

    1. Basil Pesto

      nice. I have a lot of travel/street photos to edit from travels over the last few years including NYC, I should share them when I finally get around to it.

  44. drexciya

    In the category; isn’t this weird, we had an issue in Rotterdam with a metro that went through the barrier, and landed on a piece of art. This gave rise to a really weird result; the first carriage of the metro was resting on the “hand” of the sculpture:

    Rotterdam metro resting on sculpture

Comments are closed.