Links 11/28/2020

Kitten saved from cat-astrophe after car engine rescue RTE

Scientists accidentally discover Australian marsupials glow in the dark CNET (furzy)

Surprise discovery of rare plant at Norfolk ‘ghost pond’ BBC (Kevin W)

Fugging hell: tired of mockery, Austrian village changes name Guardian (resilc)

Missing ingredient for life finally found on a comet New Atlas (David L)

Huge Reservoir of Fresh Water Found Beneath the Sea Off Hawaii New Scientist

Logging of massive, ancient cedars in Caycuse watershed signals urgent need for provincial action and funding for old-growth Ancient Forest Resilience (guurst)

20 signs that the climate crisis has come home to roost High Country News (David L)

Ancient whale skeleton found in Thailand holds clues to climate change Guardian (Kevin W)

EPA reports massive emission fraud on diesel pickup trucks DriveTribe


A Consortium Proposal to the SDR Basket Countries: In Memory of David Graeber (1961–2020) Ahmet Öncü and T Sabri Öncü, Economic and Political Weekly


HYPOTHESIS TESTING IN THE PRESENCE OF FALSE POSITIVES: THE FLAWS IN THE DANISH MASK STUDY Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Discussion with Yaneer Bar-Yam on the Danish Study on Face Masks YouTube: “Basically, there’s no paper.” INET also has a takedown of the Danish study, to publish soon.

Russia’s Sputnik V developers call on AstraZeneca to try combining vaccines Reuters (resilc)

A shot. A wait. Another shot: Two-dose coronavirus vaccine regimens will make it harder to inoculate America Washington Post (Kevin W)

COVID-19 Vaccines To Be Allocated Based On Population NPR (furzy)

Coronavirus digest: WHO says 60% immunization rate needed to curb pandemic DW


Covid Overload: U.S. Hospitals Are Running Out of Beds for Patients New York Times. Yours truly said we’d soon see ER patients on gurney in corridors waiting to be seen, as happened in NYC at the worst of the spring Covid wave. Already happening in Wisconsin and will become close to a new normal as infections rise over the winter.

Michigan COVID-19 hospitalizations pushing medical facilities to occupancy limits WSWS

Lockdown in Los Angeles: LA County asks its 10 million residents to stay home for THREE weeks – but churches and protests are exempt Daily Mail. We said lockdowns were coming…..

More than two dozen Covid-19 cases were traced to youth basketball at a California gym, health officials say CNN (Kevin W)

Why Everyone’s Suddenly Hoarding Mason Jars Marker (Dr. Kevin)


India Enters Recession as Virus Pummels No. 3 Asian Economy Bloomberg


China Rises as World’s Data Superpower as Internet Fractures Nikkei

Britain Commits $333 Million To Help Carriers Replace Huawei 5G South China Morning Post

Pig guts fly as Taiwan lawmakers brawl over US pork imports BBC (resilc)


Zeno’s Brexit Chris Grey (guurst)

Johnson’s Brexit Dilemma: No good outcome in sight Federal Trust (guurst)

Brexit: the cesspit of England Richard North

US president elect Joe Biden could scrap New York-London air corridor in favour of Dublin link Evening Standard

Worker wrote ‘WTF’ after Suffolk firm manipulated fire test, Grenfell inquiry hears East Anglian Daily Times (caroline h)

Amazon and Apple ‘Not Playing Their Part’ in Tackling Electronic Waste Guardian. UK report. The US would never say such bad things about national champions.

Macron ‘shocked’ by video of French police beating black man Guardian (Kevin W)

US Intervenes as Venezuela Prepares for High Stakes Election CounterPunch


Iran vows to avenge killing of nuclear scientist BBC

Obama CIA Director John Brennan blasts assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Fox News (furzy)

Rouhani: US and Iran Can Return to Time Before Trump Antiwar (resilc

Hyper-Patriarchal Saudi Arabia equates mild Feminism with Terrorism, as Sen. Murphy calls on Biden to review ties with Kingdom Juan Cole

The Underground Movement Trying to Topple the North Korean Regime New Yorker. UserFriendly: “roflmao this guy is so pathetic.”

Imperial Collapse Watch

How Globalization Undermined the Case for Western Values American Conservative (resilc)


Trump campaign loses appeal over Pennsylvania race The Hill


Joe Biden considers retired general Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief Axios. UserFriendly: “On the board of Raytheon.”

Biden, the Emcee at the Billionaires’ Ball Black Agenda Report (resilc)

Barack Obama Doesn’t Have the Answers New Republic (UserFriendly). OMG subhead, Obama sainthood being revoked: “The former president seems unable to reckon with the failures of his presidency and diagnose the Republican Party’s incurable nihilism.”

A(nother) Georgia GOP Senator Was Reportedly Investigated for Insider Trading Vice

Medicaid cuts on the table as states grapple with impact of pandemic on program enrollment MarketWatch (UserFriendly)

Facebook’s Libra currency to launch next year in limited format Financial Times

GM Plans to Seek Banking Charter to Grow Auto-Lending Business Wall Street Journal

Class Warfare

S–t Public Defenders See: Innocent, But Fined Matt Taibbi (UserFriendly)

Deplorables, or Expendables? American Conservative

The Rich Kids Who Want to Tear Down Capitalism New York Times (David L)

Over 100 Academics Endorse Sanders’s Student Debt Cancellation Plan American Prospect (furzy)

Forgive Us Our Debts New York Times (furzy)

Antidote du jour. Tracie H: “Did somebody say ‘Turkey’”?!

And a bonus (guurst):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here

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  1. Henry Moon Pie

    Canning jars–

    Nice article about more of us growing our own, but there was not a mention of Terence McKenna in the whole thing.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      There was also a jar brand called Atlas.

      This little history claims they went extinct years ago. But someone is making jars called Atlas which look like this. Classico Pasta Sauces puts some of their pasta sauces into these type of “Atlas” jars. They have the one long multi-wrap-around threaded neck for good screwdown. ( Some Classico sauces come in
      the jars with a few short knurls on the neck for holding a counter-knurled lid. Fit for holding screws and paper clips I suppose, but not re-using for food.) These jars are 24 oz. so anyone making pickles by-the-quart in them would have to scale down the recipe amounts.

      I once saw an empty Classico “Atlas” jar of genuine 32 ounce size. I rescued it from the recycling bin.
      I have never followed up on getting more of them. They are still the thick strong glass rather than the shatter-prone paper-glass of so many other pickle jar brands today. Thought the concavely-intaglioed letters spelling “Atlas” could weaken the side where those letters are intaglioed, I suppose.

      What is a hipster who goes into prepping because it is the newest hip thing to do? A Prepster? And should we mock these people? Or help them make their efforts more effective?

      1. heresy101

        Costco in the Bay Area carried the Classico 32oz jars until recently. There is no Classico now, so maybe they virus has messed up production and delivery. They make fine jars for canning plums and other fruit.

  2. Reader

    Yves, thanks for turning comments on for Links. Happy Thanksgiving to you, Lambert, Jules and the commentariat.

    1. jr

      Seconding that. When my girlfriend observed me re-reading NC from the other night two or three times she quipped that I had become a social media junkie. I protested…and then realized there was some truth to it. I shot back that although it is a great source of intellectual stimulation it also had cute pictures of animals and was therefore the best of both worlds. She smiled and returned to Pinterest.

      1. Oh

        TBH I enjoy reading opinions dissing people like Saint Obama,,,,,,
        Most people I know worship the Saint because of the propaganda and his silver tongue.

        1. jr

          Can’t get enough of it. Whenever the “O” worship around here starts I drop the Libya tragedy and receive confused looks and defensiveness. I quit when I realized it’s not critical thinking they are after, it’s someone to make them think they are living in a democratic society and their are good people at the helm.

          1. campbeln

            So much truth here… So many of my fellow liberal friends are shocked by my “outlandish” thoughts and opinions on this spectrum, such as Trump being “a good thing” purely because he’s so clearly bad that people HAVE to ask questions about SOP American policy.

            For example, despite his efforts and rhetoric, Trump deported just barely half the number of people Obama’s Term 1. How is this not a good thing?! If my friends go back to brunch, my money’s on Biden returning to Obama era numbers.

            1. Donald

              I don’t think Trump has been good in the way you suggest. Quite the opposite. The fact that he is so outrageous in his personal behavior and terrible on many policies has given cover to people who are terrible in a more conventional sense.

              It should have worked the way you say. But in most cases I don’t think it has.

          2. drumlin woodchuckles

            Weren’t elements of the Libya tragedy driven further and harder by Clinton? And wasn’t the whole thing started in the first place by France’s Sarkozy and maybe also Italy’s whomever? Because they were afraid of a refugee wave coming from Libya to Europe and they thought toppling Qaddafi might pre-empt the wave?

      2. campbeln

        Echoing the sentiments from above!

        And damn JR… “NC is social media”… one has to warn people before they rock their world with an uncomfortable truth!

        1. Elizabeth

          I have friends with severe TDS – there was never a word of criticism about Obummer, but for the last 4 years – it’s all how frightening the new Hitler is. One of them was deeply fearful of becoming a fascist nation! I said that happened years ago – no response. All they listen to is NPR, MSNDC and late night talk shows like Stephen Colbert. It’s quite amazing to me – these people are well educated with post graduate degrees – they just see what they want to see. I’m waiting to hear if there’s any criticism about Biden when he takes over – and I’m sure there will be plenty to criticize.

          Thank you, Yves for turning on comments – you all deserve a long break, so it’s very much appreciated.

          1. Janie

            Right after Biden was nominated, a friend estatically called me. I didn’t want to burst her bubble, but I did tentatively mention a couple of things. She was adamant (not her usual self) that he had to be wonderful, after all Saint Obama had chosen him. Now I try to confine it to the weather.

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              It might be fun to suggest some bad things which could happen to Obama worshippers and Biden supporters and then say: Biden would never allow that to happen, would he?

              Biden would never allow cutting or abolishing Social Security, would he?
              Biden would never support the NeoNazi regime in West Ukraine, would he?
              Biden won’t let the FIRE sector perpetrators get away with it when they engineer the next collapse, will he?
              Biden would never help al Qaeda come back to partial power in Syria, would he?
              Biden would never allow the Kamalanuchin Tax Cuts to become permanent, would he?

              And for each one they say he never would, write them down and then remind them of their predictions when he engineers each prediction into existence. Show them their own little list of ” he’d never do that”s.

            2. The Rev Kev

              November 28, 2020 at 7:10 pm

              Here is a video that you can show your friend about what Joe is really all about. The first half is Jimmy Dore ripping apart a “feel good” story of this 84 year-old women from Maine who found a job cleaning motel rooms but if she does not want to watch that bit, she can skip ahead to the 5:20 mark where Joe in his own words says how he is ALL about putting social security and medicare “on the table” aka on the chopping block. Joe here will be telling your friend that he will be coming after her social security and medicare because that is what his donors want-

     (9:35 mins total)

              1. Janie

                Good suggestions, both of you, but somehow I think it’s pointless. Some days I just want to tend my garden, but it’s winter in Oregon! Oregon is known fir its wine, though, so that’s another option.

                1. The Rev Kev

                  Good option that where you are. We are going into summer in two days time here but already there is an unexpected heat wave rolling over most of Oz. Tuesday it is predicted to be 42 Celsius – about 107 Fahrenheit – so I plan on hunkering down for it. Oregon sounds fine though and I wish that I was there.

                    1. drumlin woodchuckles

                      Well . . . that would just be one of those things.

                      Like the Yellowstone Caldera SuperVolcano eruptexploding.

                      Or a New Madrid Fault 2.0 Earthquake.

                      It could happen tomorrow. Or ten thousand years from now. Or a day after that.

        2. jr

          It’s positively addictive, and this is not some attempt at booty-kissing. I find myself reading it walking around, as I think Mikel noted recently. I just got done with a bit of work and the first thing I did was run and get my phone to look for responses. It lacks the Pavlovian bells, whistles, and notifications but the hunger is easily as strong.

          And let’s face it, it’s a group of smart and informed people in a forum that cherishes diversity of opinion, trapped in a world of sociopaths and lunatics. I came from Thanksgiving with the girlfriends mom (who has been quarantining) and a brief meeting with her family (I had no choice unless I can crash on someone’s couch. They are of the opinion that this will be over soon.) Nice people, super conservative, nothing of substance ever gets discussed, nothing controversial that is. Same with my friends and acquaintances, when I was able to hang out with them, it’s all light talk, no one wants to tear into things. Doing so earns you funny looks, yawns, and finally anger for being a “bummer”. Intelligence is rated by how well you cleave to the group’s particular party line, as is how well you are informed, not in how you wield those things.

              1. rowlf

                Being a military brat, when I worked in NYC in my late teens most people there reminded me of townies and hillbillies that I had met off base that were closed minded and rarely left their counties. The tribesmen concept works all around the world and helps to keep you from being put in a big pot, having your head shrunk and a bone put through your nose.

    2. Janie

      Yes, Happy Thanksgiving weekend to Yves, Lambert, JLS, Jules and the commentariat. I also appreciate the comments. Thank you.

  3. jackiebass

    Over the last decade I have observed a change in peoples behavior. People have become more rude in their behavior to others. They don’t consider how what they do effects others. You see examples on a daily bases. People visiting in the middle of the isle in a store, making it impossible for anyone to get by is an example. Talking on their cell phone while checking out their groceries instead of paying attention to checking out. These are only two of many specific examples. We now have a me only society, where many people only consider themselves and ignore others. I think this attitude has made it almost impossible to control the spread of covid. I won’t wear a mask if I don’t want to is a common attitude. It is my personal right to do what I want even though my actions may have a negative effect on others. The church case against NYS that went to the Supreme Court illustrates the bad about society. Too many people that don’t think what they do is only their business. It is sad but the only way you might change attitudes is by imposing a big penalty like a fine on violators and enforce it. You even have law enforcement officers that say they refuse to enforce laws they don’t like. If it was up to me I would fire them. Probably the root of this attitude can be traced back to neoliberalism. It has created a society that believes things are more important than people.

    1. CallMeTeach

      I’ve noticed this, too. Education often unfairly gets bashed, but I believe one of the worst things we ever did was convince kids that they were important and special. Society and helicopter parents reinforced this. Everyone got a trophy, and this is where we are now. No sense of the common good and too many people believe they’re special, so they don’t have to follow the rules if they don’t feel like it. The concomitant effect is that the same people get depressed and anxious when they realize that they are, in fact, just another cog in the great wheel.

        1. JWP

          I remember one of my favorite high school teachers showing us this video on the last class before graduation. Everyone was in a better mood after that because we felt like we weren’t alone and fighting against everyone else. There’s some good solidarity and community in being “just another person.” Especially when that’s taken in the context of being just another number in the financial economy.

      1. The Rev Kev

        You see this reflected in modern films where you often see the dreaded “Mary Sue” character. A person that does not really have to try but is born with all the abilities that they will ever need and does not need to go along a pathway of personal failure and growth. If I told you the story of a US Navy lieutenant that just graduated from the Academy – barely – but after some great moves in his first few weeks was promoted to Captain and put in charge of the USS Navy Carrier Ronald Reagan you would laugh your a** off but if I told you that that was the plot for the 2009 film “Star Trek” you might see where some kids get those ideas from-

        1. Noone from Nowheresville

          Harry Potter.

          You also see it in the workplace. Put a still-in college student in charge of major project rather than having them apprentice. Or a consultant without a lot of real world experience. And ignore the onsite workers who might just know a thing or two.

          Age of the so-called Expert. So called because there are very few actual experts out there who are also have leadership skills. True leadership is a rather boring deal. figurehead leadership is rather exciting, leaving a wake behind them. Yes, gross over-generalization. But the boredom factor is also a piece of things. Think about those kids competing in squash, fencing, etc. and how over stimulated and scheduled they are. I wonder how narrow their versions of life are and how that will filter down to the rest of us in the near future.

          1. jr

            My girlfriend is a department director at a magazine and she deals with the “recently graduated” all the time. Part entitlement, part “hustler culture“ in which they assume a. they deserve higher pay/authority because, well, they just do and b. they assume fast talking, inflated credentials, “faking it till you make it”, and bluster are all you need to advance. It often entails encroaching on other peoples turf, off-loading their work onto anyone they can, manipulation, and lots of “corpor-tease“ to make themselves sound experienced and knowledgable. One of these, a child of 32, is in the process of being fired after consistently blowing her budget and alienating the rest of the highly collaborative “team”. This has gone on for at least two years unchecked because the higher ups bought her bull$#!+ wholesale and she has caused a lot of damage in that time.

    2. Carla

      “Probably the root of this attitude can be traced back to neoliberalism.”

      I would date it to back to capitalism.


      Yes, very kind of Lambert (yesterday) and Yves (today) to turn on Comments and let the commentariat, uhm, commune. I know it is more work for them, so it’s sort of a holiday gift from them to us. Thank you!

        1. Thomas Porter

          As Mike Tyson said: “Social Media made you all way too comfortable with disrespecting people and not getting punched in the face for it.”

            1. Lost in OR

              You just might be surprised how much humility and wisdom Mike Tyson has accumulated in his colorful life. He’s come a very long way.

              And by the way, at age 54, Iron Mike fights 51yo Roy Jones Jr. tonight in an exhibition match.

              1. jr

                I always carry his adage “Everybody has a plan till they get punched in the face.” in my front pocket.

              2. Janie

                Oregon neighbor, don’t usually pay attention to celebrity stories, so I’ve missed his mote recent past. Good for him and thanks

    3. Robert Hahl

      The word for neoliberalism used to be mammon. Reminded me of Diana Johnstone in CN recently:

      “Mammon is blinded by its own hubris, often stupid, incompetent, dumbed down by getting away with so much so easily. Take a look at Mike Pompeo or Mike Pence – are these all-powerful geniuses? No, they are semi-morons who have been able to crawl up a corrupt system contemptuous of truth, virtue or intelligence – like the rest of the gangsters in power in a system devoid of any ethical or intellectual standards.

      “The power of creatures like that is merely the reflection of the abdication of social responsibility by whole populations whose disinterest in politics has allowed the scum to rise to the top.

          1. psv

            Yes, I just finished this book and can wholeheartedly recommend it. One of Johnstone’s formative experiences was opposing the Vietnam war, during which she made acquaintances in Europe which later helped her establish her career in journalism there.

            She seems to have had a moral compass which over time led to her parting ways with former allies, for example prominent Green Party members. The war in Yugoslavia was also a watershed for her.

      1. skippy

        Many view Neoliberalism as just a rewarmed version – variant of Corporatism. A quick wiki page search should suffice.

    4. Lex

      You can find those throughout the political spectrum who have decided they can pick and choose which rules (both formal and informal) they’ll observe, and which they’ll ignore as an inconvenience. Rules, they’d point out, are for losers. They’re for the little people, the simple folk. Our social betters ignore the rules all the time and get away with it. It’s an attitude anyone can adopt for free; you don’t need millions to play.

      I think of it as the flip side to excess virtue gathering. Again, there’s no charge, no prerequisite, begin anywhere. Why? See ‘CallMeTeach’.

  4. Wukchumni

    Facebook’s Libra currency to launch next year in limited format Financial Times
    Nov 28, 2020 – The energy is apt to pick up in your life today, Libra. You may be asked to report to duty. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Your words will be taken seriously, and you shouldn’t mislead people into thinking that something is going to happen when you know it isn’t.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “US Intervenes as Venezuela Prepares for High Stakes Election’

    This should be interesting, That Venezuelan election is only about a week from now so Trump will still be – kinda – the President while they go ahead. I can understand why that new Ambassador, James Story, headed off to Columbia. No, not the cool drugs. Well, probably not. The main reason is that Venezuela may not accept his credentials as a country can do that if it wants. Story said several weeks ago that he saw his brief was to transit Greedo as the new Venezuelan President. Can you imagine Trump sending a new Ambassador to the UK who stated that it was his brief to overthrow Boris for, say, Nigel Farage as he is a buddy of Trumps? Story already nailed his flag to the post months ago what he was all about and it will be interesting to see if Biden retains him or not. After all, Venezuela still has all that oil-

      1. ambrit

        Speculation also whores in a vacuum.
        Why do you imagine that so many of the top ‘managers’ are “empty” suits?

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      No kinda about it. Trump will be President until he isn’t. Hopefully that will happen on Inauguration Day without incident.

      1. ambrit

        The best question to ask about whether or not Trump will spin the ‘transition’ of power out into a big budget Drama is, what is in Trump’s best interest?
        If he plays his cards right, Trump could “return” in 2024. He would not be the first President to have nonconsecutive Administrations.

        1. The Rev Kev

          True that but Donald Trump is no Grover Cleveland and I am absolutely certain that the powers that be will never let him or any other populist come close to running for President ever again. As in ever.

          Read somewhere today that while Biden is having his inauguration next January, that Trump will holding his first 2024 campaign event because he is so classy.

          1. ambrit

            Ah, but to paraphrase H L Mencken; “No one ever went broke underestimating the stupidity of the American people.”
            The Democrat Party and Fellow Travelers spent four years vilifying and demonizing Trump. Why shouldn’t he return the favour?
            I do see the futility of the idea of progressives “..holding Biden’s feet to the fire..” but I also see the utility of Trump tying Biden to the stake in the public arena and toasting his tootsies a bit.

  6. timbers

    Hyper-Patriarchal Saudi Arabia equates mild Feminism with Terrorism, as Sen. Murphy calls on Biden to review ties with Kingdom Juan Cole

    Well, we no longer need to protect Saudi oil, do we? In fact if someone could take out their oil production and make it zero, US companies might rake in huge profits from higher prices.

    So why not let the inner soul of the war hawks in Washington be what they are and truly want to be, to do what we all know they really want to do…regime change the Saudi government and let Israel annex what ever Saudi territory they choose (but just occupy it first for a few hundred yrs. No need to start an official war). They’ve been trying so hard to do this with Syria. Time to think outside the box and do something new and different for a change of venue. And just think of all that cheap labor flooding into Europe driving down manufacturing labor cost as the Saudi’s flee their nation!

    And don’t forget about MSM viewers ratings. They go thru the roof. And the folks in Washington might get off the hook having to pretend to fight Covid (so boring!). What could possibly go wrong?

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Logging of massive, ancient cedars in Caycuse watershed signals urgent need for provincial action and funding for old-growth”

    Pretty bad to see all those trees destroyed without being restrained by that Province or even the Canadian Federal government. I was reading up on this wood and it has a wide variety of uses in the construction of homes. Expensive homes I would say. But while researching this wood, I was surprised to learn that we are importing it here into Oz and I cannot help but wonder if some of those destroyed trees made their way over here-

    1. Rod

      the pictures tell the story of Cedar Harvest Travesty and I know the photographer had to be sick to witness ‘before’ and ‘after’.
      I have wandered through many such Temples in my Life, and never felt closer to my Creator–sacred and precious the experience.
      If you have never witnessed industrial forestry, you would be stunned in its speed and rapaciousness–like a slaughter house meat line.

      on the east coast we are not immune either–swamp logging for landscaping:

      what a mess–figuratively and literally.

      1. c_heale

        It’s crime and the people responsible for doing this, the loggers, the companies processing the wood, the people selling it and the politicians, including Trudeau are criminals.

    2. Glen

      As part of the “I’m stuck at home isolating”, I’m re-watching The Lord of The Rings. One of the themes that now jumps out at me was Tolkien’s environmentalism vs. technology especially when the Orc’s began logging the forest.

      And then I saw the article in the links. Funny, I thought, we’re almost at the point where EVERYBODY realizes that climate change is very, very real, and that cutting down trees has quite literally become as Tolkien saw it, the destruction of the world.

      1. Josef K

        Washington State had ca. 2 million acres of low altitude old growth forest before industrial logging. It now has 30,000 or so. National Parks are mostly rocks and ice, aesthetics. I grew up in the upper mid-west which was already fully logged out. So what we think of as forest, in 99% of the US, is actually second-growth, hardly the same thing, though not as bad as tree farms. or “working forest” as the billboards the logging companies plant call them.

        After coming out to the PNW in the ’90s and having my first experiences of native forest, it occurred to me that if the majority of us had, and could, experience native forest, we wouldn’t be so blasé about its destruction. That said, the early settlers had plenty of it to see, and I’ve read they saw it as threatening and frightful. Perhaps some atavistic impulses behind that and the desire to clear forest.

        All througout the PNW are “beauty strips,” a thin barrier of forest that keeps the ugly clear cuts hidden from drivers. Ironic since of course, every road in forested area is a clear cut, all 400k miles of them. It makes sense that people without a sense of beauty, or feeling of conection to other living beings (not only the forest, but all the animals who depend on it), would either be actively engaged in its destruction, or uninterested in stopping that destruction. And it’s not about saving trees, it’s about saving intact forest. We’ve only got 2% or less left, but apparently that’s still too much for those “in charge.”
        LOTR–Peter Jackson’s interpretation, at least, makes it Hollywood-obvious; the forces of death and ugliness vs the forces of life and beauty. Who are the actual eco-terrorists?
        I’m not sure if they’re still logging old-growth Spruce for phone books–since those are no longer really used maybe they’ve moved on to using them for toilet paper.
        The people I’ve met in the activist side of forest (and ocean) protection are some of the most aware (or is it not awoke) and integrous people I’ve ever encountered; that’s a gift from nature.

  8. fresno dan

    I couldn’t just walk past this Tweet, so here is some fun #dataviz

    Scented candles: An unexpected victim of the COVID-19 pandemic 1/n
    You know, just because of Covid, or the fact that you can’t smell anything doesn’t mean that “Big Candle” hasn’t, through nefarious machinations, actually reduced the scent of candles.

    1. Pat

      What occurred to me is that there was a small business opportunity here. Low cost Covid testing. Taking someone and walking them past a Yankee Candle Store, a Body Shop, or similar store front and asking them to describe the scents. If you aren’t overwhelmed, you have Covid and should lock yourself away.

      On a serious note I think counterfeiting* is more likely than “Big Candle” cutting back on scent, that’s their whole business. If those people got real Yankee Candles and cannot smell them they might want to get a real test.
      *This is Amazon remember.

    2. LaRuse

      The tweet got my attention because I had a similar lack of scent experience with a product back in the late Spring. I favor Doc Bronner’s-style liquid castille soap but always go cheap and settle for knock-off store brands. I always get the peppermint variety. In the spring, when soap of any variety was impossible to get, I ran out of my Kroger-brand castille soap and after weeks of searching and even being ready to pay the then exorbitant full COVID-inflated price for the Bronner’s brand, I found some peppermint knock off variety at the local CVS. Got two.Came home, opened the first to use and…no peppermint smell. Asked the family to confirm. Yep, no peppermint smell, no we weren’t sick. Opened the second bottle – same story. Just the smell of castille/hemp oil soap. I laughed a bit then – we had noticed a general reduction in quality across our usual purchased consumables and chalked it up to the people running these places being over-stretched and under paid. It hadn’t occurred to me it could just be cost-cutting measures. I am still working my way through the first bottle but given that 6-8 months of normal usage is what it takes to burn through a full bottle, in the future, I am going to spend the extra couple of bucks to get Bronner’s brand.

      1. turtle

        I stopped buying Bronner’s soaps when I noticed that they had started using palm oil. It’s very hard to avoid nowadays. It seems that most soaps have palm oil now, and many foods too.

        1. Duck1

          sodium laureth sulfate or something similar is a clue for surfactants that are derived from palm or coconut out. Also peppermint oil is relatively inexpensive, though that doesn’t guarantee some cheapskate would omit it from the product.

          1. RMO

            My wife and I make soap for ourselves and as a small home business. The essential oils used for scent are a pretty big part of the manufacturing cost. Decent natural plant oils aren’t cheap.

        2. Acacia

          Yes, palm oil can sound benign until you visit a country like Malaysia or Indonesia and drive through miles and miles of land that has been clear cut for palm plantations (cf. Josef K’s sobering comment, above, about our own Washington State).

    3. LTL

      For as long as I can remember I’ve never been able to smell anything so I don’t really see what all the fuss is about. With the exception of stepping in something unpleasant or rarely getting something from the fridge that’s gone bad, it’s perfectly possible to live your life without being able to smell. The only time I ever hear people comment on smell is when there’s a particularly bad smell in the air, and I can blissfully claim ignorance. Can you smell that? Why no, no I can’t!

      This might be an unpopular opinion :-)

      1. Carla

        I would really miss the smell of bacon frying in the morning… and of peonies! And coffee… Well, I guess too many to mention.

      2. TsWkr

        Smelling food on the stove is a double-edged sword. Yes, it smells good but you also get hungry a lot faster. I can’t smell well but I do appreciate being able to smell an aromatic drink (wine, beer, coffee) while sipping.

        1. Wukchumni

          I think Covid is a diet plan disguised as a virus…

          First you can’t smell or taste anything, and then your teeth fall out while waiting for the next course of side effects~

      3. Harold

        People can live fulfilling lives without sense of smell, as long as they have sense of taste (sweet, salt, sour, bitter, and umami), so my scientist friend tells me. They say there are tastebuds in your stomach—more things in heaven and earth…

      4. Basil Pesto

        it’s perfectly possible to live your life without being able to smell.

        Well, sure, but approximately a fifth less enjoyable!

  9. Pat

    Another thanks here to you Yves, and Lambert and Jules and everyone who keeps NC up and running and so vital. I hope you all enjoyed your mini break. Your hard work is appreciated.

    Looking at today’s links and listening to the local news promote Small Business Day and the dismal outlook they have if we don’t shop There (which I believe probably soft pedals the situation) and seeing the writing on the wall regarding coming shutdowns…Well I might have wished links had gotten shut down. I really want to ostrich the next few weeks, maybe even months. But when I do gather the courage to look I am thankful for a place that doesn’t take anything at face value and can remember not only past 2016, but even can argue Roman history.

    Thank You.

    1. Glen

      And speaking of Small Business Days, I’ve been doing all of our Xmas shopping locally since 2008 so I guess I’m glad to see the concept get a bit more mainstream. But the MSM is glossing over the real story which is that small businesses were being wiped out by WalMart for a long, long time, and now Amazon, and that it became especially bad during 2008 when Obama bailed out the rich.

    1. Carla

      Another reason to be grateful for Naked Capitalism and its intrepid commentariat. Many thanks, Ep3 for this 6-1/2 year old article that is not only still germane, but maybe more relevant today than ever. I will be sharing it with my network.

  10. Watt4Bob

    I hope it’s not against the rules to mention the post about the spread of Martin Luther’s message and the reformation.

    I find it very interesting that it analyses Luther’s network, and the importance of trade routes, but neglects entirely the nature of his message?

    IMO, the wild-fire analogy is apt, but the writers have left out the issue of tinder.

    What I’m thinking is that the populace was primed and ready to hear Luther’s ideas due to hundreds of years of experience of an oppressive system, built on an ideology grounded in a dishonest interpretation of a scripture the people were not allowed to read, let alone interpret for themselves.

    The authors think that their approach might prove useful in;

    “…understanding large-scale social change.”

    IMO, the most important things to consider are the social conditions under which the people find themselves living, and how the message does, or does not resonate with their own perception of reality.

    After having a taste of a good-life in post WWII America, and then having it systematically extinguished by fifty years of oppressive, right-wing rule, the people have clearly demonstrated a hunger for change, a hunger that is far more significant than the vector by which it might spread.

    The working class, both right, and left are hungry for change.

    The powers that be are trying to convince us that our hunger is irrational, the left being hungry for ‘free stuff‘, and the right being hungry for ‘hate‘, when in a reasonable world, one not steeped in propaganda 24/7, our hunger for change would unite us.

    I believe it’s our hunger to hear, our readiness to hear the message that is of prime importance, not the medium by which we hear it.

    After all, it would seem that eventually, we must hope the hunger for truth outweighs the fact that TPTB control the media upon which we rely for the exchange of ideas.

    And I believe that is the case.

    1. Rod

      thanks for distilling my thoughts on that article–i was struggling to get it linked from yesterday to today, and you have done so, for me, very clearly:

      The powers that be are trying to convince us that our hunger is irrational, the left being hungry for ‘free stuff‘, and the right being hungry for ‘hate‘, when in a reasonable world, one not steeped in propaganda 24/7, our hunger for change would unite us.

      1. rowlf

        I always find it odd that when you try to get a supposedly right wing person to pick apart the “The left being hungry for ‘free stuff‘” concept or a supposedly left wing person to pick apart the “The right being hungry for ‘hate‘” it’s always a turtles all the way down answer. Both ideas are objects of faith and above analysis. Weird. I see the eyes get scared and wonder how many times did I get burned at the stake in past lives.

    2. clarky90

      We are all born with a sense of right/wrong. A good place? A bad place?

      Even my feral chickens (!) have found, “good/safe” places to roost in a sheltering tree. – Dry/secret nooks to lay their eggs. They just follow their little chicken hearts, and are doing well.

      I often have different POVs from Yves and Lambert, but I have never, ever, sensed that they were lying to me. But sooo many other info outlets (WHO, MSM..) have lost my trust. A myriad of sociopaths, narcissists, psychopaths (liers) all screaming at me trying to grab my attention.

      “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”

    3. Eclair

      Yes, Watt4Bob, timing is everything. And that approximately 100 year period, from the mid-1400’s to the mid-1500’s, was a veritable fermentation vat. Gutenberg invented movable type around 1440, then printed the first bible, in Latin, in 1455. There were only about 30,000 books in the whole of Europe at this point, each one laboriously copied by hand. Up to this time, the Bible, Old and New Testaments, were to be owned only by the clergy, who could read and translate the Latin or Greek text and pass on their interpretations to the faithful.

      Luther and others translated the Latin Bible into vernacular German, with the New Testament becoming available in 1526; copies could be printed of course. This was a decade after the publication of his Theses, in 1517. So, it was becoming more and more difficult to keep the Bible out of the hands of the common folk. They could read it for themselves (well, those who could read) and create their own interpretations. Always a dangerous situation as it lessened the power of the clerics and rulers.

      William Tyndall, an English linguist and scholar, had translated the New Testament into English by 1525. He had to move to Germany to do it and was burned at the stake as a heretic, in 1536, when he returned to England. Don’t reveal classified information to the public! Four year’s after removing Tyndall, King Henry VIII, did an about face and published his own English Bible, based on Tyndall’s version, because this supported his political aims of divorcing his current wife and re-marrying. Rulers do not have to exhibit consistency.

      There are definitely parallels between this earlier time, jump-started by the invention of movable type, and our own time, changed forever by the invention of the internet. The appearance of these innovative technologies enabled the common people to subvert the intermediaries who had inserted themselves between them and ‘the truth.’ Assange and Tyndall have a lot in common.

      1. The Historian

        I’m so glad you mentioned the Gutenberg Press (along with the effect of having the Bible printed in their own languages) because the importance of that technology wrt to the spread of the Reformation was missing from the article. How could a scholar of the Reformation not mention how important that was?

    4. Henry Moon Pie

      The authors did miss one locus of transmission of Luther’s ideas that’s reminiscent both of our Covid problems and modern social media: the local tavern or beer hall. Luther liked to hang out with his students and colleagues and consume brew on a frequent basis to talk theology and life. After a few mugs of lager, Martin offered a pretty salty take on everything from lawyers (compared unfavorably to pig farts) and, of course, the pope. He also went on at length about his problems with constipation. So while some were reading Luther’s translation of the Bible into German, others were spreading Luther’s latest hot take on the ongoing battle with the Roman Catholics. It made it easier because somebody was almost always taking notes when Luther spoke. We know this because these notes comprise several volumes of Luther’s Works where they’re titled “Table Talk.”

      Also beyond the scope of the article was the problem Luther had with just how his ideas were spreading and being revised. The Zwickau prophets and their “enthusiasm” along with Karlstadt and the iconoclasts went far beyond the limited reforms that Luther proposed. Then along came the Anabaptists, Zwingli, Calvin and the Munster rebellion, and Luther was beginning to fear that his Reformation had gone in many different, and wrong, directions.

  11. edmondo

    That pig jumping in the pool reminds me of Bernie trying to get the Democratic nomination. They both stink and neither one is smart enough to realize that the pool is restricted.

      1. jr

        A lot of people believe he at best folded, at worst misled them. His voting for the CARES act and his failure to try to stop the appointment of the latest Crusader to the Supreme Court didn’t sit right with me, that’s for sure. I’m happy to hear dissenting arguments but I can tell you a lot of people were left feeling let down.

        1. Aumua

          A lot of people believe he at best folded, at worst misled them.

          As do I, and believe me when I say I have had more than one “(family blog) you Bernie!” to hurl at my monitor in the past 6 months. But still, bringing him up when no one was even talking about him just to put him down… I don’t know.

          1. jr

            I appreciate edmondo’s cracks; I see where you’re coming from but I also sympathize with the need to unload. It’s hard to refrain in these times with madness swirling about us. You are correct, I think, to counsel caution.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Lots of people gave money to Bernie that they could not really afford to. With the present recession and rental crisis, I bet a lot of those people wish that they had that money back again.

            1. Late Introvert

              I don’t hate Bernie, he’s done a lot of good work over the years.

              I do wish I had my $50 back though, but I consider it my exit fee from a lifetime of voting for awful DemRats. Registered Green after the Iowa Cauc-ups.

  12. Fireship

    > How Globalization Undermined the Case for Western Values American Conservative

    The main problem with this piece is that the author conflates the Anglo-American hustling culture with European civilization. Comments under this piece such as “Its a human right to pursue health care for themselves, but its not a human right to demand others provide that health care” are seen as barbaric in Europe.

    A review of Walther McDougall’s Freedom Just Around the Corner captures the quintessence of America:
    Mr. McDougall’s America, like Melville’s, is a country of confidence men, rogues, hucksters, impostors, sharks and pretenders. But the rogues who depressed Melville inspire Mr. McDougall, the great genius of America has been to harness the human tendency to hustle and turn it to the ends of nation-building and continental conquest.
    “To suggest Americans are, among other things, prone to be hustlers,” he writes, “is not to accord them a nature different or worse than other human beings. It is simply to acknowledge Americans have enjoyed more opportunity to pursue their ambitions, by foul means or fair, than any other people in history.”

    We know we haven’t been equal-opportunity schemers, but in Mr. McDougall’s America, white women and enslaved Africans trick the system too. That’s what makes us Americans. To the nation’s founders, other things mattered too -faith in progress, religious liberty, imperialism, racial hierarchy-but the country was really born with a hustler’s soul. Hustling is what we do best. We move forward, creating new ideas by corrupting the old. According to Mr. McDougall, the net result of our “creative corruption” is the country and culture of the United States, whose creation Mr. McDougall confidently labels “the central event of the past four hundred years.”

    This ethos drove America for 400 years but the wheels are now coming off. The longest coke binge in history is coming to an end. As Eisenhower said, “This is not a way of life at all in any true sense.” The problem now, for the rest of the World, is how America’s comedown will be managed.

  13. Mikel

    I was reading the “Gospel of Capitalism…”
    While the author was firmly against oppression and many societal ills, it seems some of the worse of the programming is hard to escape.

    “…After all, many a theologian has looked to nature for moral inspiration and drawn terrible lessons, such as the lesser status of anyone who is not a straight white male.”

    Wow. Maybe it’s just a poor choice of words and phrasing, but that is nowhere in nature for a lesson to be drawn from, no matter how terrible.

  14. Krystyn Podgajski

    Deplorables or expendables? Based on living in Lake Havasu City for the last week, they are self expendables, they are a suicide cult.

    Check this a out

    So the mayor already rescinded his mask order in september, but apparently this isn’t enough for these people? I guess they want us to be forced to breathe in each other’s faces? Which is what truly and honestly happen to me in a walmart. I was wearing an n95 mask and some older guy with no mask came over near me and side and exhaled heavily. I turned to him and I said wtf? I guess you didn’t expect it and look back at me nervously.

    These people are in a cult, and if you ever experience a cult first hand you know that there’s no helping these people. None at all.

    Anyway, I’m probably leaving today. So many more homeless encampments on the BLM lands. It’s all too depressing for me. So I’m headed back east, if anyone has any ideas let me know.

    1. Rod

      stay in the southern tier and minimize your weather. I have run Intrastate Rte.’s 70 and 60 back into Tenn from there and you have a lot of access to NFS Land(except Texas) to your N and S, good roads with speed limits(55 mostly), small towns and a variety of landscape and history to notice. People are friendly and helpful if in need(good in an iffy ride-as i can attest) just be smart and friendly about johnny law with out of state plates

      Interactive Visitor Map – USDA Forest Service

      good travelling and stay safe

    2. John Zelnicker

      @Krystyn Podgajski
      November 28, 2020 at 11:06 am

      Perhaps you might consider coming to the Gulf Coast. I’m in Mobile, Alabama, and we’re expecting a very mild winter. Temperatures have been ranging between the 50’s and 70’s (night/day), but our first freeze is forecast for Monday night after a predicted rain storm. Temps are going back up after next week.

      And, that’s the winter pattern we’ve been seeing for the past few years as climate change warms the Gulf and moderates our weather. We’ll get a week or so of lows around freezing and then it pops back up to 40-60 degrees. OTOH, we get lots of rain; no snow, but lots of rain.

      I think you would be comfortable here living in your vehicle. If we get the crowds of campers and RV’s that usually come for Mardi Gras, you could blend right in with them. The city even provides designated parking.

      You can reach me at banjo23 at comcast dot net.

      Be well, stay safe.

      1. Krystyn Podgajski

        Thank you both, you have echoed my plans so that makes me feel good!

        I also saw a road runner this morning which I feel is the universe telling me I am right to leave.

    3. Carolinian

      I believe Quartzsite–not that far from you and off of I-10–is supposed to be a big RV wild camping site. You might look it up on the Google.

      1. Krystyn Podgajski

        I stopped by Quartzsite a few times last year. It’s horrible. Just not my thing. Better if you are in an RV, not so much if you are in a van.

    4. Amfortas the hippie

      national seashore on north padre island.
      surf fishing is likely still good(october is best, when they migrate)
      if careful/so equipped, you can go 60 miles down that beach.
      nobody but grad student turtle people and hard core fisherfolk.
      it’s federal, so you must have your picture taken driving by…by about 6 different, high tech camera-things.
      still, if you’re wanting to get away, that’s where i’d go, if i were still on the Road(touch wood)
      Caddo Lake is pretty cool, too.
      or those great big radiotelecope things north of Big Bend.

    5. drumlin woodchuckles

      I agree that it is unfair to dismiss all 77 million Trump voters as Typhoid MAGAtard corona-spreaders. But there is a hard core of at least a few hundred thousand people who are exactly that. They are vicious and hostile, as described in the comment that this comment is in reply to. This few hundred thousand are indeed disgusting and dangerous, and should be avoided and shunned and watched-out-for by any rational person who does not want to be infected.

  15. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Biden, the Emcee at the Billionaires’ Ball Black Agenda Report (resilc)

    The Lords of Capital use periods of crisis to devour the less-rich and reshape the political economy to their further advantage, so that the Joe Bidens of the world jump higher and come quicker when summoned.

    Gotta say, the image of biden steppin’ and fetchin’ couldn’t be more apt.

    They say that if you’re afraid of public speaking, you should picture your audience in their underwear as you are addressing them.

    Over the next four years (or however long he manages to stay around), whenever joe uses that grating, superior, scolding, condescending tone he takes in public, I’m going to picture joe “hoppin’ to” every time bezos or bloomberg snaps their fingers.

    “Anything for you, mr. bezos. I live to serve. I am worthy.”

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Perhaps that could be one of several nicknames for Pres. Biden, for use when appropriate.

      Steppin’ Joe Fetchit.
      Simple Joe Malarkey
      Malarkey Joe.

      Joemala. Joebama. Joemalabama. Joebamala. See what works . . .

  16. petal

    Joe Biden ‘offers Cindy McCain the job of UK ambassador’ after Trump’s vendetta against her husband John made her cross party lines to ‘deliver Arizona’ for the Democrats in surprise victory
    “Cindy McCain, the widow of the late Republican Senator John McCain who crossed party lines to endorse President-elect Joe Biden, is reported to be in line to be named the next US ambassador to the United Kingdom.

    Cindy McCain, 66, is said to be the frontrunner for the job as a reward for helping deliver the traditionally Republican state of Arizona and its 11 electoral college votes to Biden.

    The UK ambassadorship is ‘hers if she wants it,’ a source close to Biden told The Times of London.

    ‘She delivered Arizona. They know that.’”

    1. fresno dan

      November 28, 2020 at 11:23 am

      With the non passage of the second stimulus (aka relief) bill, the republican managerial class made apparent that Trump was unacceptable to them. But with the most minimal amount of charm, maturity, and good sense Trump still could have prevailed – but Trump is the most transparent of men – no pretense – the pettiness, vindictiveness and cluelessness is really him. I think it just goes to show that Trump was simply an aberration, the knife when the people were willing to cut their noses off to spite their faces.

      1. Noone from Nowheresville

        fresno dan
        November 28, 2020 at 11:57 am

        What it really shows is how bad Trump’s “team” was. The game was his to lose and one way or the other he lost.

        That nose and transparency thing (pettiness, vindictiveness, cluelessness) cuts both ways unfortunately. I don’t think either men are aberrations. Again unfortunately.

    2. Count Zero

      “She delivered Arizona.”

      And there it is! How leadership functions in current public discourse. Appropriate the actions of ordinary folk, whatever it is, to the credit account of some so-called “leader”. It was the decisions and actions of thousands of voters, ordinary men and women, who won the Arizona election for the Democrats. But they are merely the cannon fodder for the real story — the bad soap opera of “leaders” that the mainstream media is putting out there every hour of every day. Politics is just another opportunity for celebrity entertainment.

      Just as they grab the profits of other peoples’ labours, so these “leaders” grab the credit for every damn thing else and fill the airwaves with their important doings.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        same as it ever was…see: Versailles,Rome,Chichen Itza, Memphis(Egypt). or any of a thousand other tony addresses throughout history.
        Palace Intrigue.
        How ‘exceptional’.

        They can hold off the Peasant Revolt for a long time…but not forever.
        The question, is how well their programming has worked….keep the explosion horizontal? …or will the Peasants look up?
        probably worked pretty well, given the vibe in the air, even way out here.
        someone the other day, diagnosed “a massive case of Blueballs” for what ails america.
        a year long 9-11.
        and we still haven’t even really entered the mass unemployment(!) and mass homelessness act of the play.

        nobody’s wearing a mask in town.
        perhaps instead of a civil war or a revolution of some kind, we’ll have a lemming run.
        which is kind of funny, i guess…both sides have been accusing each other of lemminghood since Mutual of Omaha had that animal show

  17. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Obama CIA Director John Brennan blasts assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist

    So Brennan has a problem with assassinating Iranian scientists does he? I’m so old I remember when a bunch of Iranian nuclear scientists were whacked during the Obama administration and where was John Brennan then? He was completely out of the loop, serving only as Obama’s chief counterterrorism advisor at the time so how could he have possibly known about any terrorism related assassinations then? I’m sure he would have decried those extrajudicial killings too had he only known.

    Sarcasm aside, the only reason Brennan was serving in that role during the first Obama administration is because he was a little too torture friendly during his time with the Bushies and it wouldn’t have been a good look for Mr. Hope and Change to put a torturer in charge of a high profile department from the get go, so Brennan got a low profile job first term, before getting the CIA head job during the 2nd term when presumably everyone had forgotten about ‘torturing some folks’.

    Trump should declassify every single [family blog]ing crime Brennan was involved in during his government tenure. This man is complete scum, and in a just society would be a total pariah. I look forward to a time when all decent Americans will have the opportunity to mictorate on his final resting place.

    1. Elizabeth

      I thought Brennan met with O on “Terror Tuesdays” to help decide which suspected terrorist should be whacked.

    2. Chauncey Gardiner

      Not to be selective about facts and acknowledge there’s much I don’t know about this incident or related matters. However, based on news reports yesterday evening, it appears this was an extrajudicial murder of a civilian who had committed no crime. He was apparently killed in his home country by agents of a foreign government that is not at war with that country. Is this not a crime? The rule of law should apply, not someone’s opinion.

    3. Jeff W

      So Brennan has a problem with assassinating Iranian scientists does he? I’m so old I remember when a bunch of Iranian nuclear scientists were whacked during the Obama administration…

      Glenn Greenwald, who gingerly refers to John Brennan as a “moral cretin with no standing to morally judge anyone,” has a similar recollection.

      Greenwald takes on, in this piece, Rep. Ilhan Omar’s “misguided defense” of Brennan (of whom, it goes without saying, Glenn is no fan) and tells you everything you ever wanted to know about the Logan Act (and, his words, “what it says about Trump-era liberal-left politics”) in his inimitable take-no-prisoners style. (He also mentions, as Elizabeth does, “Terror Tuesdays.”)

    4. drumlin woodchuckles

      Trump only has a month and a half left to declassify stuff. Perhaps he is quietly afraid that if he declassifies too much too sensitive stuff, that the Kennedy King Kennedy Killers will kill him too.

  18. Rod

    trying to reply to HenryMoonPie. getting 524’s everytime.
    Why Everyone is Hoarding Mason Jars

    From that article, this really jumped out at me. Pretty Progressive and forward looking, as well as mobilized, for a hundred years ago. Did we learn anything??

    By 1918, the end of World War I and the start of the last big flu pandemic, pretty much every small town had a canning kitchen where, in partnership with the cooperative extension system that provided agriculture-based educational programs through designated land-grant universities, extension agents taught people how to can safely. There’s even evidence of organizations delivering canned food to flu-stricken households, says food historian Wassberg Johnson, but by the time the second or third wave of flu hit in October, most of the canning for the year had been completed.

    1. Carla

      I think on the farms and in the small towns of yore, people knew they depended on each other for their own survival, whether they actually liked each other or not. 1918 was not so far from that communitarian tradition. People still remembered how to pull together. We have forgotten, therefore in our atomized little lives, we kid ourselves that what we see on a screen is a valid substitute… and die deaths of despair.

      1. Rod

        i agree–not for show but for necessity:

        In the United States, the Hatch Act of 1887 established a system of agricultural experiment stations in conjunction with each state’s land-grant university, and the Smith-Lever Act of 1914 created a system of cooperative extension to be operated by those universities in order to inform people about current developments in agriculture, home economics, and related subjects.

      2. Janie

        Grange halls and crossroads churches were gathering places. Decades ago, when our family camped, neighboring families socialized. During our more recent camping, each family or couple is in an rv watching tv. If the campground has organized get-togethers, very few participate.

        1. Wukchumni

          I was 15 when Elvis died and we happened to be @ Sequoia NP and the campfire that night was something else.

          My parents were too old to care about Elvis and I was too young, but if you were in the sweet spot of being around 35-40 years old, you were bawling your eyes out crying.

          I watched the range of emotions that night and it was amazing, but of course back then there was no tv or satellite reception when you camped and we made our own fun.

          I find it funny how seeming the majority of people now can’t camp without being surrounded by a metal box on wheels, what has become of us?

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      I saw that too. Many biggish community institutions could do that now. A canning kitchen or canning micro-kitchen in every church, club, etc. If they feel uncomfortable calling their mini-social food-resource planning “progressive”, they could call it something like Community Prepperism.

  19. Mikel

    RE: Brexit: The Cessipit…..

    Over 4 years to reach an agreement for the EU, all the extensions and breakdowns over time…

    I think of here in the USA where we fret over months for Congress to sometimes come to agreements over issues and, in comparison, that now looks fantastic.

    And often the dragging out of reaching agreements is not good faith (for lack of a better word) negotiations or giving those involved time to consider all the pros and cons, as much as the parties involved stalling for time, hoping some condition will change to give their side the upper hand – such as with the stimulus negotiations stalling until elections are settled.
    Or hoping some condition would change that would reverse the calls for change.

    For better and/or for worse – Time is up.

    1. Janie

      “Time is up” sounds like a good rallying slogan, especially for our gerontocracy. Carthage delenda est.

  20. rowlf

    As far as congresscritters committing insider trading, isn’t that what they are allowed to do? Two years ago there was a great Bill Black interview on The Real News where Bill Black gives a blow-by-blow analysis of Rep. Chris Collins was busted for. The story is hilarious as Bill Black presents it and will make your sides hurt laughing.

    My take away from the end was that Rep. Chris Collins wasn’t in trouble with his fellow congresscritters for sharing insider information, his ethics violation was when the stock was about to crash he told his family first and didn’t share the information with the other congresscritters who got in with him, an Honor-Among-Thieves situation.

    I would be suspicious of any congresscritter that wasn’t creating a fantastic stock portfolio while in office. Like others in Versailles on the Potomac they have crossed the threshold into being higher life forms. Why pretend otherwise?

    White collar criminologist Bill Black analyzes the significance of Rep. Chris Collins arrest.

    1. JBird4049

      IIRC, almost all the current 538 Congressmembers’ “blind” portfolios’ successes are statistically… unlikely. Almost no losses and growth greater than almost anyone outside of Congress. To be fair, which I don’t want to be, I can see some managers or CEOs manipulating the investments for the representative or senator regardless of how the Congresscritter feels.

  21. Mikel

    Re: “Facebook’s Libra currency to launch next year in limited format” Financial Times

    Speaking of ” the innovation illusion” ….

    And…as if the problems in the world are a result of the type of currency used and not the way it is used….

    1. JTMcPhee

      …must go back on the gold standard… hard currency… that will restore the balance of the universe…

  22. john c.

    Austrian village now named Fugging: I really wonder how/why it took this long for that town to change its name.

    1. Basil Pesto

      because ‘Fucking’ didn’t mean fucking in German until English became (more or less) lingua franca and modern German took it as a loanword, which would be a relatively recent development. Soft power baby!

  23. flora

    re:S–t Public Defenders See: Innocent, But Fined – Matt Taibbi

    After globalization destroyed labor wages, turning employees into expendables; and after PE bought and destroyed longtime businesses, see Hostess and Cabela’s and what happened to their employees; and after a huge swath of once prosperous small town businesses have closed or are in hard times, I guess the only way for too many cities and counties and even states to keep the lights on is by cannibalizing themselves.

    I’ve been watching a similar revenue starved cannibalization in academia for two decades. (There’s a reason the colleges were desperate to reopen to in-person learning this fall.) It starts slow at first, a little bit here and there.

    Thank for this link and for the Expendables link.

    1. Noone from Nowheresville

      Yep, cannibalization is a very good word. Not a clean word either. Invokes a bloody mess.

      Re: Tabbi How many people fined by the state in such a way or who have been subjected to the criminal justice system, will protest unless the protest is large and the issue is particularly egregious? How many will try to keep to the shadows to try not to be noticed? Our very own personal version of TPP.

      How long we need our own Personal Jesus (not necessarily a religious one)? Muad’Dib didn’t start out on a religious crusade. he and his tribe simply took advantageous of what had been laid down before his arrival.

      Your own personal Jesus
      Someone to hear your prayers
      Someone who cares
      Your own personal Jesus
      Someone to hear your prayers
      Someone who’s there

      1. diptherio

        See now, I don’t actually like the metaphor of cannibalization (no offense), because is implies that the poor people living in a city are part of the same entity as the political leadership of a city. To me, that’s a confusion of real and imaginary (i.e. merely legal) entities. So it’s not that the city is cannibalizing itself, it’s that one group of people (with political and economic power) are making a decision to sacrifice another group of people (without such power) in order to accomplish their goals. Therefore, human sacrifice is, to me, the relevant metaphor here, not self-cannibalization.

        A city is a line on a map, a set of social understandings, a group of interconnected laws and regulations. As such, a city cannot make a decision, which is why I think locating the agency for these decisions with “the city” is an unhelpful form of analysis. It’s particular individuals who make use of their positions within the social construction of “the city” who make these decisions, in the same way that it is executives at a corporation who make policy decisions, not the corporation itself; i.e. JP Morgan doesn’t decide to encourage fraudulent practices, Jaime Dimon does.

        1. Noone from Nowheresville

          November 28, 2020 at 2:58 pm

          fair enough. but then criteria and language at all levels needs to reflect this reality. The “elites” (choose your own group label) aren’t incompetent. They’ve made very specific choices on who and what gets sacrificed. Who and what gets saved. The elites aren’t dysfunctional. They’ve made very specific choices.

          These “elites” are at the global level, the national level, state regional, state, local regional and local. Sometimes their choices overlap. Sometimes they don’t.

    2. diptherio

      It’s an important article, and I add my thanks to your own to Yves for sharing it. For anyone who is baffled by the “defund the police” and “abolish the police” slogans and policy proposals, this is a good place to start.

      Consider, municipal “justice systems” engage in these Kafkaesque logical contortions to justify soaking the poor, for the sake of filling city coffers to pay city expenses. And guess what a major one of those expenses is? Nearly always, it’s the police (here in my little hick town in the middle of nowhere, it’s fully 50% of the town budget). The city has to pay their police force, so police officers harass and fine the citizens least able to defend themselves; the courts and prosecutors create no-win situations for said citizens, that leave them owing thousands regardless of the outcome, with the result that the city is able to suck a little more money from their poorest residents, so they can afford to pay…their police force! That’s what I call a self-licking ice cream cone.

  24. Noone from Nowheresville

    Re: Sanders’s Student Debt Cancellation Plan

    Is student debt a problem? Yes, a purposefully created one.
    Are costs of education beyond high school out of line? Yes, again a purposefully created problem. One of many created by our warlords.
    Should this be addressed? Sure. Start by allowing bankruptcy to cover student acquired debt again.

    Outside of that. This is a divider issue. A debt jubilee for college students and a payoff for financial capital in the middle of still unfolding pandemic and economic tragedies? All hail The Machine. How much tacit, even unconscious, loyalty would such a narrow jubilee get?

    Sanders putting political capital into this narrow constituency at this moment? It tells me that his performance during the CARES Act show wasn’t a one-off.

    Imagine what the bottom 80% could do with a little less than $2 trillion. I think the extra $1,200 / 500 per citizen plus the extra $600 per week unemployment was less than the proposed cost of retroactively revoking the SALT tax (Trump’s Tax Cuts) in the original HEROS Act. They give so much money to narrow constituencies and think nothing of it. Really the mind boggles at the levels needed to ensure hierarchy.

    In comparison, I believe the CARES Act budgeted number for the cash payments and extra unemployment benefit was around $560 billion.

    Sorry, this is nothing more than a distraction (albeit a very real issue which does need to be addressed) and a divider given where we appear to be headed.

    1. Count Zero

      Re: Sanders’s Student Debt Cancellation Plan

      Perhaps this could be looked at from another perspective? Elite Universities were always supposed to be for an economic and social elite. It was part of their socialisation into their future status as rulers. They learned the cultural accoutrements of power.

      Somewhere along the line intelligent young people, and their families, began to suffer from the delusion that these elite Universities were open to anybody who was academically qualified to study there. You could borrow the money to fund this period of study and subsequent job opportunities on qualification would enable you to pay back what you had borrowed. It’s quite clear that this is less and less the case. Costs are rising and future opportunities for young men and women from families outside of this elite are disappearing.

      In other words, the status quo is being restored after a few generations of deviation. Get used to it. You don’t expect to borrow the money to buy yourself a Ferrari. So why do you think you can afford to study at places like Yale or Harvard? In the noble words of George Carlin: “It’s a club and YOU ain’t in it!”

      1. JBird4049

        Wut? “Elite Universities?” Almost any institution of higher education is, or is becoming, unaffordable for the average peasant. The sad part is that a basic classical or liberal arts degree is useful not only for almost any requiring the ability to think, plan, and organize, it also makes for better personal lives, and more effective citizens. Of course, having a more engaged, informed, and effective citizenry is probably something the Elites don’t want.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        A lot of this debt is taken on by students going to plain old State Universities. The tuition at plain old State Universities began going up when the Great Tax Revolters began boycotting state funding support to the plain old State Universities. They now starve the plain old State Universities for money effectively enough that Tuition is one of few places that the plain old State Universities can go to get money anymore.

        1. Acacia

          Don’t forget the cost of the bloated administrations at these plain old state universities, top heavy with Assistant Deans and Provosts getting paid $250K/year.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            Quite so.

            We could make restoration of aid to State Universities contingent upon them reducing their Administrator to Professor ratio back to what it was at some pre-selected better benchmark past time. Like the 1970s, say.

            If you fire your Administrative Staff down to that ratio, you get aid. If you don’t, you get no aid.

  25. Mikel

    Re: “China Rises as World’s Data Superpower as Internet Fractures” Nikkei

    “A fractured internet means countries that can collect large amounts of data within their own borders will have an advantage in developing artificial intelligence and other technologies. Nowhere more so than China, with 900 million people on the internet….”

    The AI fairy….thought it was something to be concerned about for a minute.

  26. Chauncey Gardiner

    Appreciated the links to the FT article about Facebook’s Libra currency and GM’s plans to seek a banking charter from the WSJ. Graham Steele, who wrote an article linked here a few days ago and was formerly Minority Chief Counsel for the Senate Committee on Banking, wrote an insightful OpEd about Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency (and eventually a financial system to go with it) in the Washington Post back in August 2019. In that article he observed that FB’s “Libra is a small part of a larger, more troubling trend: the blurring line between banking, finance and commerce. This trend, now a few decades old, has significant implications for customer privacy, competition, financial risk, and concentrated economic and political power.”

    I agree with Mr. Steele. I also recall that large bailout payments were given to many of the nation’s industrial and commercial companies during the GFC. Strange form of capitalism we have, with all the market and financial subsidies and rising concentration of corporate and finance powers while corporate governance and financial gains remain entirely in private hands and “deregulation” remains in vogue. Since it’s now an established pattern, might be helpful for senior government and central bank officials to publicly acknowledge this and the reasoning behind it, as well as publicly formalize the level of underwriting government will provide and the consideration that will be provided the government and citizens in exchange for this federal support. Alternatively, don’t allow it or break ’em up and restore the Glass-Steagall Act.

    1. Susan the other

      I agree. Let’s have a little sunshine on this subject. Still, after all the promotion of crypto, etc. the only thing that rings clear is that if you are trading on the internet and you have a non-sovereign account it must be backed up by sufficient funds in sovereign money to cover your transaction. So – the only thing that counts, and for good reason, is sovereign money.

      1. The Rev Kev

        November 29, 2020 at 4:09 am

        Easy that. Google the title of that article – “Facebook’s Libra currency to launch next year in limited format” – and in the results you will see it on the FT site. When you click on that link, the full article will open up for you.

  27. Lex

    ‘Why Is Everyone Hoarding Mason Jars’

    People aren’t hoarding mason jars. A lot more people decided to learn to can, probably for temporary reasons… but who cares why? Canning is a useful skill to have.

    Here are the reasons I still can. It’s knowing that I can can and the confidence that goes with that knowledge.

    I can throughout the year in small batches to capture the flavors of that season. I grew up in Washington State. On a dark gray winter day, I could open up a small jar of wild blackberry jam and spread a spoonful onto a buttery piece of toast, and taste the early July day when it was picked. I could smell the soil the berries grew in, and remember the scent of the wind that day, feel the hot sun on my arms through the long sleeved shirt, feel the weight of the sturdy stick I held in my left hand to move thorny vines out of my way to expose the glistening black berries hiding beyond. There was the satisfaction of walking away from a logged off area high in the forest with a full bucket of berries and thinking about how many tiny jars it would make and what I might barter with any I could bear to part with.

    In the spring, before the garden is ready to be harvested, there’s the ability to open a jar of ratatouille pasta sauce from the fall before, bring it up to a simmer in a small saucepan, drop in cracked eggs, and push the lever down on the toaster, from bread baked and sliced from the day before. Add a pile of freshly grated romano or asiago, add the hot beverage of your choice. This makes for a delicious and comforting breakfast.

    The last reason is because I can’t buy the foods I’m putting up, of the same high quality. Not even from those so called small batch companies (although I have been known to steal some of their ideas… like with The Sundance Jewelry Catalog).

    1. marieann

      I agree…for me its apple butter from local apples. I eat if every night with my homemade yogurt and it runs out around April. I swear I will make double batches in August and I do sometimes…but my daughter-in-law loves it just as much as me and I always put some in her Christmas basket……….
      I don’t even know if apple butter is sold anywhere

  28. John Beech

    Pig guts?

    Talk about bringing semi conductor jobs back in a hurry, I think the nice folks of Taiwan should shut up or try buying fighter jets from their brothers nearby across the water. Let’s see how upset they really are about our pork. Sort of thinking the same about the Brits who don’t want US pork although the civil aviation tit-for-tat vice The City is over the top in my view. Has a bit of, ‘Et tu Brute viewed from their side? Are we Americans fools for making our views obvious by picking Brexit-sides? And surely a NYC temporary advantage by extending the air corridor ban is small potatoes in the grand scheme (meaning beneath us in terms of irritating our brothers just to twist a nose). Although I grant that’s what brothers do, there’s a time and a place.

    To my British brothers who opposed Brexit, the die was cast and Brexit is going forward no matter what, so why not make the best of it for your side? What’s wrong with that? Aren’t Whitehall in an existential place whilst busy redefining relations with the Continent? My larger point being; you may not agree with the play-call but is now really the time to do anything whatsoever to hinder the team?

    1. Fireship

      I’m worried about you, John. Please call this number:

      Meth Hotline
      Speak with a Treatment Advisor 24/7 – Toll-Free

      Get well soon, buddy.

    2. ambrit

      You miss the point.
      The Brexit Imbroglio is a demonstration of elite incompetence by the UK political leadership. Thus, any move to deny those same elites further ‘own goals’ is rational. Secondly, the Tory government, and to a lesser extent, the degraded Labour Party, have shown themselves to be not governing in the best interests of the people of the UK. At a stretch, both institutions can be tasked with Treason, the punishment for which is well known. America is in the same category. See the shambles that is the official American response to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
      In Taiwan, the ‘locals’ are now trying to stop the American Business elites from exporting their own incompetence to Taiwan. What Taiwan is saying loud and clear is that Globalism is meeting it’s “natural” limits.


        Is it incompetence, or putting on a show to cover real motives leading to strangulation of the mopes by “austerity” while the Haves get to siphon up more rentable assets? That’s how it looks to me. BoJo is the clown distracting from where the wealth is flowing. Goodbye NHS and re-nationalization of any core wealth of the nation. Keep calm and just die, eh wot? The mopes know how to soldier on in the face of the Brexkrieg, don’t you know? Any of them whose asset base is too “tall” will be like the taller Tommies in the trench warfare of WW I — get their heads shot off.

        1. ambrit

          I vote for incompetence, utilizing Feynman’s demonstration, in his appendix to the Shuttle Challenger disaster report, of the institutional imperative as source of destructive decisions. The architecture of the institutions determine the style of decision making utilized by said institutions. Thus, no actual “conspiracy” is needed to further ‘evil’ intentions.
          At best, “putting on a show” is useful as a distraction from the general trend of a process. A person or group of people can recognize some trend as being in their best interests and “protect” it out of the simple self serving impulse.
          Also, “mopes” learn early to “soldier on” as a basic skill of survival in our danger fraught world.

    3. Glen

      I think it is much more likely at some point that Taiwan will realign with mainland China. Let’s take a quick peak at the one of the technology transfer and joint efforts between Taiwan and China with regard to the semi conductor industry:

      In the kernel logs of the latest Linux kernel is this:

      kernel: Linux version 5.9.10-arch1-1 (linux@archlinux) (gcc (GCC) 10.2.0, GNU ld (GNU Binutils) 2.35.1) #1 SMP PREEMPT Sun, 22 Nov 2020 14:16:59 +0000
      kernel: Command line: BOOT_IMAGE=/boot/vmlinuz-linux root=UUID=e9a3f6af-21e8-4f3c-ab26-3cf977cbcf15 rw loglevel=3 nvidia-drm.modeset=1 quiet
      kernel: KERNEL supported cpus:
      kernel: Intel GenuineIntel
      kernel: AMD AuthenticAMD
      kernel: Hygon HygonGenuine
      kernel: Centaur CentaurHauls
      kernel: zhaoxin Shanghai

      This log is taken from a x86_64 kernel so it is compiled to run on the current Intel and AMD x86 based CPUs. Notice the message that the kernel supports Hygon, Centaur, and zhaoxin CPUs. Well, what are those CPUs?

      I think I’m a clone now: Chinese AMD Epyc-like server chips appear in China. What gives?

      Hygon is a joint venture 30 per cent owned by AMD and the rest by THATIC, and is otherwise known as Chengdu Haiguang Integrated Circuit Design Co. Ltd. It produces an x86-compatible family of server-grade system-on-chips called Dhyana.

      Centaur Technology

      Centaur Technology is an x86 CPU design company, started in 1995 and subsequently a wholly owned subsidiary of VIA Technologies, a member of the Formosa Plastics Group, Taiwan’s largest industrial conglomerate.


      Zhaoxin (Shanghai Zhaoxin Semiconductor Co., Ltd.[1] Chinese: 兆芯; pinyin: Zhàoxīn) is a fabless semiconductor company, created in 2013 as a joint venture between VIA Technologies and the Shanghai Municipal Government.[2] The company creates x86 compatible CPUs.[3] The term Zhào xīn means million core.[note 1] The processors are created mainly for the Chinese market: the venture is an attempt to reduce the Chinese dependence on foreign technology.

      So, what you can see there is that China’s effort to de-couple from America with regard to CPU technology is happening AS A JOINT VENTURE with Taiwan. And what you can also see is that American CEOs supplied Taiwan and China with the technology, and factories to enable this. China plays “the long game”. American CEOs, courtesy of Wall St, play a very short game, and they were more than willing to sell America out. In fact, the sell out was launched under Ronald Reagan who also gutted the Buy American Act that Biden has somehow been trying to sell as a new idea:

      Buy American Act

      And with regard to fighter jets, that’s for another discussion, but along very similar lines.

  29. Susan the other

    Wellie – I’d just like to say this about the Gotham City Times – Our modern hedonism has been checked by reality and the NYT is invoking the most famous reformed sinner of early Christianity: St. Augustine. (Who doesn’t love St Augustine?) Very appropriate really. Thanks to Ms. Bruenig – it was a lovely piece of writing. And I’m no theist, let alone Christian. I’m a proud unaffiliated cosmic-ist. To analyze capitalism in this day of devastation and see it for a pile of steaming selfishness is a brave act. And to quote St. Augustine is clarifying: “Charity is no substitute for justice withheld.” The New York Times.

  30. jr

    I recently re-read Taibbi’s takedown of that manual for (>!p$#!+s “White Fragility”. After reading the comments section, a mix of pro points of view, con points of view, and Wokester ad hominem attacks plus ill conceived platitudes, I came to the realization that it is not only useless to engage the Woke in any sort of reasoned debate, it’s downright counterproductive. I’ve long held that Wokesterism is intentionally divisive, passive-aggressive, and “triggering”. It’s not an ideology, it has no reasoned or logical basis, it exists solely to create conflict and therefore justify itself when the target finally loses their cool. The infamous phrase “This is no longer a conversation!” comes to mind, as if it ever was. It’s the equivalent of arguing with a 6 year old who just says “Nuh-uh!” over and over when being disciplined.

    So I’ve decided that from here on out, I will not attempt to discuss anything with the Woke. In fact, I will only respond to their blather with dissections of their logic or lack thereof. My motto: “Don’t engage, analyze!” I think it’s important to deny them any notion that they have ground to stand on, this stuff is a mental cancer and should not be treated as anything but. I’m canceling them.

      1. jr

        Yes, exactly, to be blunt. As I noted, the Woke comments in that article were pretty much unfettered trashing and that’s all I’ve ever encountered from them here or elsewhere. I truly believe their notions to be corrosive, downright dangerous to be precise. I don’t argue with ideologues, fundamentalists, and now the intentionally divisive.

        Note that no one, what is it 1.5 million daily readers?, has ever risen to the opportunity to defend “Wokesterism”. I believe it’s because ultimately it’s impossible to do so. I think they know this. What the age of the article has to do with anything is moot; witness the recent discussion of Luther.

        1. diptherio

          There’s an inverse to the woke discourse you despise, and I see it here more than I see the woke discourse. It seems to me to be a knee-jerk anti-woke reaction, and basically takes the form of attacking (excuse me, “analysizing”) anything that reminds the anti-woke of anything a wokester has ever said as harmful “idpol.” Istm that there is now an anti-woke orthodoxy in exactly the same way there is a woke orthodoxy, and they are both depressing as hell. I long for the day when people actually try to understand where each other are coming from, rather than joining a camp and attacking everyone who joined some other camp. I’m not gonna hold my breath, though.

          1. ambrit

            Good point. I hesitate to look in too many mirrors myself.
            It reminds me of the aphorism: “Don’t let your self be defined by your enemies.”

          2. rowlf

            Do woke folks harp about war crimes (even really patriotic war crimes)? I could be more sympathetic to their concerns if they did. If they don’t care about war crimes why not? Is their goal a power grab or stopping injustices?

          3. JBird4049

            I can understand not engaging the Woke in any conversation about their ideology, such as it is, but like with racism, if they are not pushed back, debated, reasoned, or even just conversed with their beliefs rot and spread.

            Who wants to argue with otherwise fine people, who just cannot help labeling you as a bad, or even evil, person because you disagree with them? I certainly am afraid of meeting with them at my school in class. Even the slight brushes with the believers is uncomfortable. Instant righteous rage is frightening. Having some eighteen year old denounce me, Red Guard style, in class for insufficient Wokerism would just be embarrassing and that’s not to mention that some teachers might be adherents. So, I watch what a say. To be honest most of the teachers and the students are fine, but it only takes a small group to emulate a small herd of Kraken. But someone will almost certainly change their minds, just a little, by having a conversation. I really should take the hit and talk. I really don’t want too.

            So, we do need to talk with the other side, no matter how uncomfortable. Like with actual real old-fashioned racism and homophobia, it took not only the law, but at the start conversations and then protests. Otherwise, it will just get worse and worse. Let them rage for I know, I hope, the truth. If nothing else, I know that they are not bad people, just very misguided.

            I feel silly saying all this, but like with so many other isms of the past, I am not dealing with evil people, but people committing evil for what they believe is for good’s sake; like that old, worn-out cliche about the path to Hell being paved with good intentions.

          4. jr

            Thank you both for your comments. Good points and well said. I happen to agree with many of the notions that I hear from the Woke; opening up the “stage” to allow voices to be heard that have been historically sidelined, accepting peoples notions of their gender/sexuality as opposed to jamming them into categories approved by the majority, ending discrimination of all stripes. I’m sure there are more. And heaven knows I should check in on myself and my positions as I go, it is easy to drift into anger and bigotry.

            But my concerns, and frankly anger after reading Taibbi’s piece, stem from what I see as the intentionally inchoate and abusive nature of Wokeness. This site is an example of what I think any discussion should be, people of all persuasions giving air to their ideas and beliefs, sometimes heatedly but always with the assumption that there must be some sort of neutral ground to meet one another upon. It could be a blog, a classroom, over pasta, or a conversation at a bar but as in any duel you have to pick a meeting place on which to conduct it. There are rules to these things.

            I don’t see that from the Woke and I never have. Not here, not in real life encounters, and sure as heck not in other online venues. Not once. And I’ve talked to more than my fair share, I live in Woke-land, the schools are here, the non-cis “communities” are here, and the PMC’s who benefit from it are here in droves. It is always a slippery slope, platitudes morphing into personal attacks morphing into cancellation/othering. I’ve seen lots of ad hominem attacks, lots of “You must be scared of us because you disagree with us!”, lots of “thought stoppers” tossed around to derail and enrage the other. That’s what leads me to believe that it is intentionally so, not to mention it’s attempt at an epistemic base, the poorly named notion of “lived experience, is innately divisive: my lived experience will never be yours and vice versa. Add to that the accusations of baked in, irredeemable racism; the notions that all Caucasian people can be safely lumped together as “whites” without even a nod towards nuance; the idea that the suffering of those people is somehow less worthy of discussion than that of other people. All of these lead to division amongst people who desperately need to get on the same page with one another. Not to mention an easy high horse for the Elect to ride herd upon their lessors.

            I welcome a reasoned discussion of Wokeness; I’d seriously like to hear what they have to say. It never materializes though. I wonder why that is.

            1. rowlf

              It sounds like you have escaped the crab bucket. Feels weird being on the outside, like Sun Ra dropped you off, doesn’t it?

              With the Thanksgiving post concerning the Plymouth colony recently I picked up my pondering on what it must have been like to realize the group at these early colonies was a bunch of nutters and one would be better off being a mountain man. Would one have been free to leave a group?

              1. jr

                “free to leave”

                I imagine not and neither are we. It’s downright scary to watch American society, never the most reflective at the best of times, close the blinds and turn off the lights. At least the Puritans could perhaps sneak off to join the indigenous people, as I understand a lot of indentured servants did. The best I’m hoping for is to keep my head down, although posting here constantly is probably not the way to do that. I don’t think it’s possible to organize against the tidal waves that are bearing down. I think it has to burn down and if I’m standing maybe I can help build it up.

                Or not. I’m not one to bang my head off of a wall and my spiritual perspective takes a very broad view of things. All the world is a stage, quite literally. I feel no moral imperative to fight a hopeless battle.

                Ah, I’m rambling. Sorry. Strange times.

            2. Amfortas the hippie

              i agree.
              but i also agree with Aumua, that there’s some kernel of truth.
              when i first read the first manifesto about “Intersectionality”( Cohambee(sp-2) River Collective), I thought, “of course…it’s all much more complex than the binaries”.
              individuals are not made in a factory…and are not interchangeable parts…
              i’m a white(sic), male, trysexual, heteroromantic, longhaired redneck hippie, and scary smart guy, with an embedded aversion to authority.
              but i’ve been beaten by cops, beaten and buried by rednecks, left for dead….where was my “privilege”, then?
              the problem is that critical theory…where all this exploration of subtle differences and how those differences modify our experience in the world…was hijacked by the neoliberal order.
              was that hijacking intentional and planned, or ad hoc?
              i don’t know…and it doesn’t matter.
              what matters is that it fits in with the hyperindividualism, Human Being as Enterprise, at the heart of the neoliberal project.
              it’s in the Bosses’ interests that we, the people, can never get our shit together enough to actually challenge the power relationships that the bosses benefit from…and keeping us busy dividing ourselves into ever smaller constituencies and cohorts …until we’re each a constituency of one, fighting with all the billions of other constituencies of one…enables them to continue on unmolested.
              “all the world is a cousin to me” is the beginning of the end of the bosses’ power.
              and they know it.
              Race is what it always was…an artificial construct, cooked up by the bosses to prevent an uprising.
              so if you ain’t a boss, it’s in your interest to overlook such superficialities…embrace them, even…and look to where the power lies.
              that’s also where the enemy is.
              Hobbes said outright that the “state of Nature”….red in tooth and claw…and “a war of all against all” was a bad thing…so bad that we had to give up some of our inherent freedom to counter it.
              yet isn’t that state of nature exactly what the neoliberal order has created? (.”there is no such thing as society”-Thatcher.)

              1. Aumua

                Well as harrowing as your experience was, I would submit that your privilege is that you’re still alive. I’m sure you’ll agree that all else being equal, if you were black then you might very well not have survived your encounter with said cops and rednecks. In the same sense I also lived outside the bounds of normalcy for years. I was homeless, had dreadlocks, begged and dumpster dove and was such a hippie/punk as I could be in the 90’s. And I got plenty of shit from straight society and from cops, but I know damned well that the backlash would have been worse if I was not a white guy.

                We will never be free from oppression until the most oppressed among us is free. Hence the idea of being woke, of being being an ally, of saying that black lives matter and participating in these protests. Basically doing whatever we can from our own “promoted” position within the working class to help.

                1. Amfortas the hippie

                  i agree…to an extent.
                  that extent is delineated by that “privilege kept you alive” part.
                  this dismisses my “lived experience”…the terror of which is right under the surface of me to this day…such that i am “triggered” by every story that comes across my desk about some person(usually black) getting beaten and/or murdered by the law…such that i have to actively avoid such stories, except to note them and move on.
                  it should also be pointed out that a number of the offending LEO’s in these stories…as well as in my experiences 30 years ago…were POC(Hispanic in my cases). this indicates, to me, at least, that there’s some other mechanism(sic) at work, here, besides(or, given, in addition to) just “white supremacy” and “racism”.

                  and, as i’ve said before, i’ve been in rural texas for most of my life, and have watched as overt racism receded from the commons…and as those deadenders who continued to practice it were excluded from polite society(the fart in church treatment)…as near as i can tell, due to exposure—similarly for lgbtq—when your beloved cousin comes out, or you work side by side with a black guy, it becomes difficult to maintain those fictions.
                  this receding racism(except for copland, notably) began to reverse inversely proportional to how loud the wokeratii became.
                  and ThAT phenomenon i find pretty instructive.
                  the subset of the most vocal and irritating wokesters is damaging the entire endeavor….in a manner that appears , to me, at least, to be purposeful, as JR says, and intended to prolong the conflict, rather than end it.

              2. drumlin woodchuckles

                The word “intersectionality” is one of those big clever-sounding words which academic intellectuals invent to show off how much smarter they are then the rest of us.

        2. Aumua

          Well Wokesterism is a very ill-defined term here that really needs some clarification before we begin to have a discussion about it. But as I have in the past I would offer that although certainly there are some people taking it to ridiculous extremes, there is also is something real about the basic idea of being woke and it’s not all b.s.

          To me it’s just a simple awareness of certain facts about oppression and the various ways I myself have been to some degree insulated from the worst aspects of (ruling class) oppression by my race, my gender and the fact that I live in the core of the empire. The truth is a lot of people feel threatened by that awareness for various reasons and so we get the backlash and resistance that we sometimes see here and elsewhere.

          1. jr

            Thank you for this, now I can see an outline of the ideas involved that doesn’t involve all the hi-jinks I outlined above. I do seem to recall you saying something like this a while back, forgive my forgetfulness. This makes sense. And yes, I think the term needs some defining, like a lot of things it’s worst adherents get the most attention. Folks around here, myself most of all, have not been kind in response. I will temper my comments moving forward.

            But it’s telling that you, and you alone, are the >only< person I’ve met who has attempted to explain their position while maintaining a sense of a real discussion. That’s not hyperbole. I’ve lived with them, dated them, drank with them, you name it. I suspect there are two branches? to all this: those who reflectively identify with these ideas and those who swing them about their heads like a cudgel. It’s a very popular cudgel, at the moment, and it’s causing a lot of harm. And I do have problems with the epistemic flaws at the foundations of it all, but that lies at the feet of the worthies who concocted those flaws not the honest practitioner.

    1. Acacia

      @jr: thanks for this nugget. Re:

      I think it’s important to deny them any notion that they have ground to stand on

      I’ve clashed with wokesters myself, and so I’m curious to hear more about how you’ve done this in conversation with them.

  31. Wukchumni

    Day 25 of the ‘I Ran Hostage Crisis’

    I guess the fooling around part is pretty much over, now it boils down to Biden proving that he garnered every last one of the 80 million votes cast his way, and that will require around 100 million phone calls to verify each one, in order to satisfy the President for now that everything was on the up and up, that is until Trump comes up with something more difficult, in that every Biden voter must come up with a signed notarized affidavit and reason why they cast their choice that way.

  32. Wukchumni

    EPA reports massive emission fraud on diesel pickup trucks DriveTribe
    I heard that if you can spin the odometer back on your diesel pickup truck, You get your house back, your wife back & your dog back.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      The version of that joke which I heard is that if you play a Country Song backwards, you get your house back, your wife back, your dog back, and your truck back.

  33. Brooklin Bridge

    “Macron ‘shocked’ by video of French police beating black man”

    Is Macron shocked by the video or by the fact that an article of a newly proposed law that prohibits photographing or filming police with intent to harm hasn’t been rushed through fast enough to avoid this and future scandals.

    1. ambrit

      Good catch. Publicising the truth is the purest form of dissent possible. ‘Officials’ anywhere and everywhere eventually try to suppress dissent in more and more extreme ways. Sooner or later, the system breaks under the strain.
      Using modern day France as the example; the real surprise about the Dreyfus Affair was not that it happened, but that it was accepted as ‘normal’ for so long. Dreyfus owed his eventual exoneration to a public campaign headed by the “muck rakers” of the day. (Emile Zola a ‘muck raker’ you ask? Read his novel “Nana.”)
      America had better listen up. When you lose your “free press,” the game is half over.

  34. upstater

    McKinsey Proposed Paying Pharmacy Companies Rebates for OxyContin Overdoses

    Court filings reveal consultants’ talk of a records purge during the opioid crisis, and shed new light on sales advice given to the billionaire Sackler family and their drug company, Purdue Pharma.

    When Purdue Pharma agreed last month to plead guilty to criminal charges involving OxyContin, the Justice Department noted the role an unidentified consulting company had played in driving sales of the addictive painkiller even as public outrage grew over widespread overdoses.

    Documents released last week in a federal bankruptcy court in New York show that the adviser was McKinsey & Company, the world’s most prestigious consulting firm. The 160 pages include emails and slides revealing new details about McKinsey’s advice to the Sackler family, Purdue’s billionaire owners, and the firm’s now notorious plan to “turbocharge” OxyContin sales at a time when opioid abuse had already killed hundreds of thousands of Americans.

    Where is the death penalty for corporate personhood? Last one I can recall was Arthur Andersen back in Bush-2 days…

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      What if Activist Lawfare Groups began researching how to force the issue of Corporate De-Charterization?
      Suing the Charter-granting entity to force and torture it into revoking the Charter it granted?

  35. Wukchumni

    Our imagination is stretched to the utmost, not, as in fiction, to imagine things which are not really there, but just to comprehend those things which are there.


    1. Aumua

      Indeed, I would say that to be a great physicist or mathematician or not is entirely contingent on the capacity for imagination.

      1. ambrit

        I would add that the other basic attribute needed to be a ‘great’ physicist or mathematician is curiosity. H—. That is necessary to be a “great” anything.

  36. Wukchumni

    Nations are not ruined by one act of violence, but gradually and in an almost imperceptible manner by the depreciation of their circulating currency, through its excessive quantity.


  37. Tomonthebeach

    Petulant Greenwald was a bit quick on the trigger suggesting Brennan be investigated, like Flynn, for Logan Act Violations. Flynn was pardoned for lying to the FBI; not for a Logan Act violation.

    Regardless, Brennan should be muzzled. He talks too much on TV and social media – he is not my image of a spymaster. Though not an incumbent, a past US official, he is way too footsie with the Democratic leadership and can reasonably be perceived as speaking for Biden.

  38. Wukchumni

    New apple variety discovered by Wiltshire jogger

    A new variety of apple has been discovered by a nature lover while he was out running.

    Archie Thomas, from the Nadder Valley in Wiltshire, came across across a windfall apple on a wooded trackway near his home earlier this month.

    Experts have confirmed the “highly unusual” fruit, which “tastes quite good”, is a new variety, which Mr Thomas hopes to propagate and name.

    “It is unlike any apple I’d seen before,” he said.

    Mr Thomas, who works for wild plant and fungi conservation charity Plantlife, said the fruit came from a lone old apple tree in a hedgerow.

      1. ambrit

        Company spokesbeing Jacques Card stated the Corporation’s position at a press conference.
        “The Apple Corporation does not believe in ‘windfalls.’ All mutations deriving from Apple Product synergies with other sources remain the property of the Corporation.”

  39. Brunches with Cats

    Re: Sen. Murphy calls on Biden to review ties with Saudi Arabia

    It will be interesting to see whether Biden responds to the senator’s call to review ties with the Saudis any differently than he responded to a Harvard student’s question following a speech there in 2014. The young man asked how he could claim that human rights were at the core of U.S. foreign policy and yet have Saudi Arabia, which had beheaded eight people in the previous month, as an ally. Biden replied to the effect that we choose our allies by whether they serve our interests, and if they violate human rights, we tell them to cut it out and hope they eventually see the error of their ways.
    (Question starts around 59:20)

    So I guess he gets points for honesty, non?

    FYI, it’s been several years since I listened to the entire speech, so I forget what else of note was in it. I did notice, though, while searching for the timestamp on the question that he was very coherent back then. He articulated his aggressive neolib foreign policy perfectly.

    1. rowlf

      From reading past history of people in government interacting with Joe Biden he loses it when asked about Palestinians. It would make a good topic to monkey-hammer him on.

  40. Ep3

    Yves, don’t know your sports knowledge, but wanted to bring this up. Detroit lions have been owned by grandson of Henry Ford since 11/22/1963. William, the grandson, married Martha Firestone, yes the tire company. He died & Martha got the team. She gave the team to her daughter Sheila (it’s been passed around the family). Williams son did run Ford for a little bit. But the rest have never worked a day in their lives. They have a long history with this team of hiring friends of the family to run the team unsuccessfully. This is billionaires playing with their pet toy. Clueless, oblivious to the real world around them. When Sheila took over, the puff pieces about her time at prep school in Connecticut (MI schools not good enough for her I guess) playing tennis, then tennis at Yale, then getting married & moving back to Ann Arbor Michigan (a concentrated white community of wealthy East coast transplants) and coaching youth soccer. And now she owns a billion dollar (some say 2 billion) sports team (dad bought the team for $6 million, imagine the step up in basis Martha got at her husband’s death, all tax free gain). In a league of old white male owners.
    What we have are people out of touch with ordinary working class people, gifted a very valuable toy, thru no talent of their own the value of the product has grown 300 times what they paid. The only reason they are allowed to continue ownership is because their tax exempt white male owned monopoly would be accused further of racism & sexism than already exists.
    But what gets me Yves, is how crazy people will get over their sports & all the moves & such. Yet when you ask them to participate in government, they don’t care, and won’t demand the same accountability out of their govt that they demand from their sports teams.

  41. flora

    They’re not trying to hide the corruption. From Sirota:

    Potential Biden Officials’ Firm Is Promising Big Profits Off Those Connections

    Former government officials Tony Blinken, Michele Flournoy & Lloyd Austin may run Biden’s national security agencies — their firm is telling investors it expects to profit off ties to those officials.

    “This is so explicit that it’s astonishing Pine Island even put it on paper,” said David Segal of Demand Progress, a grassroots group pressing Biden to reject Cabinet appointments tied to corporations. “This is not an example of people who happen to work at a big company — these are partners at a firm whose stated business model is to profit from the revolving door and connections gained from time in government.”

  42. VietnamVet

    Donald Trump’s Saga is not quite over. The six media owners who stabbed the President in the back to support a Biden/Harris Administration are all ignoring the Electoral Vote backstory.

    Donald Trump hijacked the party from Governor Bush and Senators Rubio and Cruz. Republicans control 59% of the state legislatures (i.e. AZ, WI, MI & PA). These legislatures could vote for Donald Trump’s Electors even though the State Election Administrations certify Joe Biden the winner. If they vote for Donald Trump, a civil war is on. With the Dow hitting 30,000, this signals that the donors have told the local politicians to cool it. Wall Street wants a third Obama/Biden Administration.

    Local politicians should comply but Republicans have proven to be crazy since invading Iraq. A symptom is the Supreme Court allowing religious super-spreader events (like the rallies the White House held) even though they infect, sicken and kill ordinary Americans.

    With the pandemic, an economic depression, evictions, shortages and continued failed government (no matter who is inaugurated in January 2021) things will be bad this coming winter. If the vaccines don’t work, distribution breaks down, or severe side effects occur; failed states are inevitable without the restoration of a federal public health system to control the virus.

  43. The Rev Kev

    “Obama CIA Director John Brennan blasts assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist”

    After this Brennan got into a war of words on Twitter with another twit – Ted Cruz – and at one point Brennan said ‘Your lawless attitude and simple-minded approach to serious national security matters demonstrate that you are unworthy to represent the good people of Texas’“ and they really got stuck into it with each other-

  44. The Rev Kev

    “The Underground Movement Trying to Topple the North Korean Regime”

    I notice in that article that things did not fall apart for that Adrian Hong until he got in contact with the FBI. After that happened, everything went south for him then. I am beginning to notice a lesson here somewhere.

  45. Paradan

    Can not confirm this yet, but DoD have raided a CIA run server farm in Frankfurt Germany. 5 soldiers killed.
    When I google this not a single main stream or even a familiar alt news site comes up on the list. My initial reaction was of course “Holy Poop!”, but I am now skeptical.

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