Links 11/6/2020

Yves apologizes for the lack of an original post. She had to take her mother to the Emergency Room, an environment not conducive to posting, and spent seven hours there. Fortunately, there was nothing serious and her mother was OK! (For readers in civilized countries, seven hours in the ER is par for the course in America). –lambert

Global food system emissions could preclude achieving the 1.5° and 2°C climate change targets Science

Prince Charles Says We Must Tackle The ‘Extraordinary Trend of Throw-Away Clothing’ in Interview with British Vogue Independent

The Unannounced Death Of The Green New Deal: Part 2 – An Object Of Projection The Wrong Kind of Green. Part 1. Can’t tell the players without a scorecard on this one, but informative nonetheless.


Challenges in creating herd immunity to SARS-CoV-2 infection by mass vaccination The Lancet. From the Abstract: “For any licensed vaccine, efficacy and duration of protection are key issues. Vaccine efficacies to protect against infection above 80% are desirable,1 but duration of protection will remain uncertain for a number of years post licensure of COVID-19 vaccines. Preliminary evidence suggests waning antibody titres in those who have recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection, but antibodies are only one part of the human immune response and acquired immunity to reinfection or the prevention of disease when reinfected. Data on immunity to other coronaviruses suggest that immunity to SARS-CoV-2 might be short lived, perhaps 12–18 months in duration. Whether past infection will prevent severe COVID-19 on re-exposure to SARS-CoV-2 is not known at present.”

Evolution of Antibody Immunity to SARS-CoV-2 (preprint) bioRxiv. From the Abstract: “We conclude that the memory B cell response to SARS-CoV-2 evolves between 1.3 and 6.2 months after infection in a manner that is consistent with antigen persistence.” n=87.

Change in Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 Over 60 Days Among Health Care Personnel in Nashville, Tennessee JAMA. From the Discussion “Anti–SARS-CoV-2 antibodies to the spike protein, which have correlated with neutralizing antibodies,5 decreased over 60 days in health care personnel, with 58% of seropositive individuals becoming seronegative. The consistency in decline in the signal-to-threshold ratio regardless of the baseline ratio and a higher proportion of asymptomatic participants becoming seronegative support the interpretation as a true decline over a 2-month period rather than an artifact of assay performance.” n=600.

How the Coronavirus Hacks the Immune System The New Yorker. Interesting. But whenever I think I’ve seen peak liberalism, The New Yorker surprises me: “Our bodies, like the United States government, make a startlingly large investment in defense.”

* * *

Llama nanobodies could be a powerful weapon against COVID-19 Medical Xpress (original).

Intranasal fusion inhibitory lipopeptide prevents direct contact SARS-CoV-2 transmission in ferrets (preprint) bioRxiv. The Abstract: “Containment of the COVID-19 pandemic requires reducing viral transmission. SARS-CoV-2 infection is initiated by membrane fusion between the viral and host cell membranes, mediated by the viral spike protein. We have designed a dimeric lipopeptide fusion inhibitor that blocks this critical first step of infection for emerging coronaviruses and document that it completely prevents SARS-CoV-2 infection in ferrets. Daily intranasal administration to ferrets completely prevented SARS-CoV-2 direct-contact transmission during 24-hour co-housing with infected animals, under stringent conditions that resulted in infection of 100% of untreated animals. These lipopeptides are highly stable and non-toxic and thus readily translate into a safe and effective intranasal prophylactic approach to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2.” Monkeys exaggerate and mice lie. I don’t know what ferrets do.

* * *

SARS-CoV-2 uses ‘genome origami’ to infect and replicate inside host cells (original).

Spread of mutated coronavirus in Danish mink ‘hits all the scary buttons,’ but fears may be overblown STAT

The coronavirus didn’t respect borders. Now El Paso and Juarez face a mounting crisis Los Angeles Times

Tracking the reach of COVID-19 kin loss with a bereavement multiplier applied to the United States PNAS. Significance: “In the United States, we estimate that on average, under diverse epidemiological circumstances, every death from COVID-19 will leave approximately nine bereaved.”

Commentary: Masks could be secret behind Vietnam’s COVID-19 success Channel News Asia


US-China rivalry: Biden likely to boost ties with Asian allies to keep Beijing in check, observers say South China Morning Post

Chip Flory: China’s Focus on Food Security Farm Journal

Hong Kong: Snitch hotline gets more than 1,000 calls BBC

Malaysia’s 1MDB state fund still US$7.8 billion in debt: Government report Channel News Asia

The Koreas

Coming soon: A neutral South Korea? The Interpreter

Korean IPO candidates turn conservative after Big Hit burst Pulse


Brexit: Watchdog warns of ‘significant’ border disruption BBC


Coronavirus: Manchester students pull down COVID security fences in protest Sky News

Macron calls for a ‘refoundation of the Schengen area’ Politico

Bolivia’s President-elect suffered dynamite attack, says MAS spokesman El Globo (Google translation).

The OAS has to answer for its role in the Bolivian coup Guardian

The dawn of fintech in Latin America: landscape, prospects and challenges Bank of International Settlements


How the Cambridge Analytica sausage was made Immigrants as a Weapon. Key driver of liberal Democrat RussiaGate hysteria revealed as cheap grift. Who knew?

Putin orders Russian government to try to meet Paris climate goals Reuters

Trump Transition

Agency Strips Bargaining Powers of Immigration Judges’ Union US News


Biden within 6 electoral votes of victory Politico. Live updates.

Biden says he has ‘no doubt’ he will defeat Trump when vote count is finished FOX. As of this writing, Biden just pulled ahead in GA.

* * *

Biden sought referendum on Covid-19 but voters disagreed FT

Counties with worst virus surges overwhelmingly voted Trump AP

* * *

Donald Trump’s legal war against the US election results FT. Summary of the legal issues by state; worth clearing your “ft.” cookies for.

Michigan judge denies Trump campaign lawsuit to stop ballot count Independent. As I understand it, the Trump supporters wanted the count stopped because they were not allowed to watch*. “In public” is a critical part of “hand-marked ballots, hand-counted in public,” and if I am correct in my interpretation — it looks like the Republicans really butchered the filing — that will be another important principle lost in 2020. That would also make the headline deceptive. NOTE * Like everything else in our benighted and corrupt electoral system, rules for observing ballot tabulation will vary by the State.

Hundreds upset over ballot counting protest in downtown Phoenix Arizona Family

* * *

Even if Biden Wins, It’s Trump’s America Now Foreign Policy

Tired of blue state life, rural Oregon voters eye new border Agence France Presse

Kentucky town elects a dog as mayor: French bulldog Wilbur Beast becomes the the new leader of Rabbit Hash, replacing pit bull who ruled for three years Daily Mail

Biden Transition

Government gridlock would be the worst-case economic scenario Felix Salmon, Axios

America’s new power couple: Joe and Mitch Politico

The Moustache Of Misunderstanding Eschaton

Democrats in Disarray

‘It was a failure’: Furious House Democrats unload as leadership promises answers after election losses USA Today (KW). Rep. Abigail Spanberger: “We need to not ever use the words ‘socialist’ or ‘socialism’ ever again.” Of course, if “socialist” AOC were some foreigner, CIA Democrats like Spanberger (2018; 2020) could have had her whacked. So I understand their frustration. But there were alternatives:

Realignment and Legitimacy

Which is the Real “Working Class Party” Now? Matt Taibbi

What Democrats Should Learn From the Spate of Socialist Wins on Election Day In These Times

Donald Trump and Being Deplorable Dean Baker, CEPR. Good suggestions on patents here, but: “If we want to reach out to non-college-educated workers, who may have supported Trump, a really good first step would be to acknowledge that their poor prospects in the economy were the result of design. It might still be good for them, as an individual matter, to get more skill and education, but as a group they are hurting because people in power wanted to redistribute income upward.” Let me know how that works out.

A Multi-Ethnic, Working-Class Conservatism American Compass. It will be interesting to watch conservatives attempt to become the workers’ party without actually empowering them.

Health Care

Psilocybin therapy 4 times more effective than antidepressants, study finds New Atlas (Furzy Mouse). Original.

What Biden’s Election Would Mean For The Affordable Care Act Health Affairs

Sports Desk

Friday Night Bytes: Can Analytics Revolutionize High School Football? NYT (Re Silc). I dunno. Will it fix the brain damage problem?

Our Famously Free Press


Guillotine Watch

All Eyes on Bonac Blind: Art Sparks Vandalism & Conversation Dan’s Papers. The Hamptons.

How to Cope With Stress Teen Vogue. Musical interlude.

Guard Against Confusion Lapham’s Quarterly. Wittgenstein.

The subjective turn Aeon. Hegel.

Antidote du jour (via):

News you can use:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Krystyn Podgajski

    “Psilocybin therapy 4 times more effective than antidepressants, study finds ”

    Four times zero is still zero.

    Why do we keep going down the endless rabbit hole of drugs to treat an environmental illness??

    1. juneau

      At the very worst the side effect profile is so favorable it is a safer placebo (response 40 percent for many placebos vs antidepressants). People want psilocybin, it has all of the allure of illegal drugs
      and works quickly, safer than ketamine, seen as innocuous and cool. I agree environment/health/exercise key.,from%2030%25%20to%2040%25.&text=Among%20patients%20with%20milder%20forms,the%20response%20rate%20to%20antidepressants.

      Honestly I think the antidepressants are best for panic disorder, they really shine in that regard.

      1. John

        I personally like the 10,000 year history of psilocybin adding a little assist on our human journey. Microdosing seems to be the best way to go. Maybe the occasional grand tour for those with stable experience.
        Eating the whole bag like the Woody Harrelson character in Natural Born Killers is definitely a mistake. Morels they are not.
        Middle Way all the way.
        Nothing wrong with a little energy boost and vivid luminous colors to get a peek thru the door of perception.

    2. jr

      My drugs saved my life, literally. I was well on my way to homelessness, driving away people with my manic/depression episodes is not a way to build stable relationships. I’m not saying they are problem free but since I have been taking them I have been able to:

      1. hold a job for 9 years

      2. maintain a relationship for 7 years

      3. stop freaking out over the slightest things ( mostly)

      4. stop talking, even arguing with myself (mostly)

      5. stop falling into days long depressions

      6. maintain friendships longer than it takes for me to alienate them

      7. quit booze, coke, and pot

      8. recently started working out

      I have no doubt the environment drives people into depression and I am doubly sure meds are insanely over prescribed, I knew of one woman who was taking six different kinds of pills. I know the pills aren’t the whole picture. But they >saved< my behind from falling through the cracks. As my doctor said, statistically I should be in jail or sleeping in a box. I’m not thanks in large part to my meds giving me time to get my head straight. (mostly)

      1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

        jr – good to know & personally I would prefer that my partner was not on Certraline, but it has helped get her off the ethanol & now she has also dropped the quietipine with the option now of only using it when she gets extremely anxious. All of which appears to be tied to her childhood environment of which she has told me enough consisting of an alcoholic Father & general lovelessness.

        Perhaps I’m missing something but there is nothing else available here that would help, except walks on the beach & TLC which are free unlike an unaffordable psychiatrist & even they have different opinions as to the benefits of re-living childhood trauma. If the shrooms turn out to be better than the above then fine & I’m sure that the active ingredient which had me making a massive fool of myself very many years ago is removed then I can’t see a problem. After all it is all about chemicals whether it is calcifediol, or that which is I still believe on prescription leading to very many being reduced to chasing the dragon.

        1. jr

          Thank you for your kind sentiment and my best to your partner. I would love to give psilocybin a try but I doubt the VA will be handing it out anytime soon.

          1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

            Thanks you & I guess you are right in it being a long time coming if it ever does, but I don’t recommend having it in full wack administered surreptitiously by way of a salad from the mad wife of a Welsh lunatic roadie, who modelled himself on Keith Richards.

            Good luck.

          2. harrybothered

            Oregon just legalized them. I too have been waiting to be able to do something with a psychedelic in controlled therapy setting. I’ve had lifelong PTSD (what’s called chronic PTSD now) and I would love to have a complete nervous system reset. I have been very unwilling to do ECT and have heard great things about these therapies for PTSD treatment. If it works, great! I’ve tried everything else, might as well give them a shot.

        2. Utah

          Look up relational trauma. Having inconsistent caregivers at an early age can lead to depression, anxiety, personality disorders, etc. It’s possible to heal from them with therapy or just knowing why a person is reacting a certain way to the world.

          1. jr

            Yes yes and yes. I am still wrestling with some of the habits and pathologies I developed due to my mothers abuse. The good news is she misses me >dearly<.

      2. RMO

        jr: Medication didn’t help my recurrent depression at all, but it did wonders for a couple of people I know. My depression was not environmental though. It would come out of nowhere with no environmental conditions, or changes in those conditions that I could link to it. I’ve been “depressed” at times when bad things were happening in my life. The recurrent clinical depression I suffered was nothing like that. They compared to each other as a paper cut does to losing a leg in a stump grinder. With time I’ve managed to cope with the real depression and I have it at the point where I can stave it off effectively when I feel it coming on and Ive been getting better at doing so over the years. If any of the medications had worked for me though I would have gladly continued to take them as the disruption depression has caused me since adolescence took quite a bit of irreplaceable time out of my life and caused my parents some distress.

        1. jr

          I’m sorry to hear this, I too have lost years of my life to depression. I found my spiritual practice has helped, sometimes I can flip myself out of a funk at will. But it’s not for everyone.

      3. Janie

        Jr. Congratulations on all you have accomplished. It’s a list to be proud of, and it wasn’t done by drugs alone; you had to have inner strength, also.

        1. jr

          Thanks janie, one of the first things my shrink told me was that I was a survivor. I took a second to think back on how close I’d been to disaster time and again but managed to scramble out by my wits and some rather unusual levels of luck. It helped me form a new image of myself from a wylde chylde to a mostly steady guy. But believe me, thats relative. ;)

          1. Janie

            I’ve been lucky to have had good parents, good adult relationships and good genes. No strength of character, etc rewuired. No credit due to me as there is to you. (Virtual hugs all around.)

    3. Henry Moon Pie

      I have to differ with you some here. Is depression solely an environmental illness? Don’t our society’s maladies have the capacity to depress us? Doesn’t our very culture contribute to the problem?

      If that’s the case, hallucinogens may be useful in stripping some of those cultural layers away to give us a new, healthier perspective. That perspective might be temporary in a society that seeks to re-impose that culture/worldview constantly unless reinforced by a change in living, but at least it offers the opportunity to escape the box that society seeks to lock us into, a box that is depressing indeed.

    4. chris

      I’m sure with some it is an environmentally induced condition. Especially if their environment is rich with a$$holes. But for several members of my family the drugs are essential. My understanding is PTSD combined with depression can’t really be managed otherwise.

    5. jef

      I agree 100%. Drugs can not make the world a better place, they only make you not care that the world is so effed up so you can get back to acting like a good little sheep and get back to doing all the destructive things that make the world so effed up. I know that some here, (most?) will think that is insensitive and destructive but I believe that the artificial ability to be “OK” is vile and disgusting. Most people do not even need the drugs they are able to talk themselves into being “OK” with how effed up it all is…this is even worse.

      What Psilocybin can do is remind you that the world is one and it is alive, and it makes it really difficult to destroy all that.

      1. wadge22

        Well thats insensitive and destructive.

        It kind of matches my gut reaction, too, but I really try and moderate myself on that one.

        As a younger man I had a girlfriend who had real bad anxiety and panic attacks. To the extent I had any influence over her decisions, my advice was always something like “Dont take drugs for that. Just think things through and dont have your problem any more, because it doesnt make sense.”
        Well, turns out that doesnt help. Memories of her writhing on the floor anguishing that we would not be able to make rent, despite me trying to calm her and remind her that we truly had it in cash in the jar at home on the windowsill, they still haunt me, and keep me from having strong opinions about peoples problems that I might not understand.

        Some people, if made to go without the drugs that they and their expert have figured out will work for them, would more or less be doomed to dying a slow tortuous death of isolation and fear.
        Probably vastly more others would be less impacted, but their quality of life would still diminish to varying extents.

        If what you are upset about is the fact that these types of drugs seem vastly overprescribed because of the amoral effects of the profit incentive (which I agree with), save your strong statements for that.
        But dont tell people with serious problems that the thing which might help them have a happy dignified existence is vile and disgusting. Its mean and unhelpful.

        1. campbeln

          This feels like yelling at a one-eyed man for not having depth perception, or at someone for being color blind or lactose intolerant.

          Like anything else physical with our bodies, some of us just don’t have the capacity to do something with the tools that we were born with. Some people just aren’t flexible and even if they worked at it, they’ll never be as flexible as someone with a natural ability. Ability/inability to sunburn, see better/worse at night, double-jointed… All of this of course extends to internal functions as well; lactose intolerance and color blindness as mentioned above.

          Characterizing these mental or hormonal imbalances as weaknesses isn’t constructive IMHO.

        2. Procopius

          wadge22, there are people in twelve step programs who demand that newcomers stop taking medication for anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia, claiming that as long as they’re taking medication they aren’t really sober/clean. I haven’t been to a meeting for many years, so don’t know about now, but there used to be Good Old Timers who would warn the newcomers to pay no attention to those guys/girls. Some (many?) doctors don’t know what they’re doing, but you can deal with that after you’ve been sober/clean for a few years.

    6. Anonymous

      People prepare a meal for enjoyment, wine makes life joyful, and money is the answer to everything. Ecclesiastes 10:19

      Give intoxicating drink to one who is perishing,
      And wine to one whose life is bitter.
      Let him drink and forget his poverty,
      And remember his trouble no more.
      Proverbs 31:6-9

      That said, there should be no poverty in a country that obeys God (Deuteronomy 15:4-5) wrt economics.

    7. Lex

      One of the more interesting threads here at NC — at least to me because it’s getting very little discussion otherwise — is epigenetics. (Another word I had to add to the dictionary). There’s more going on than we understand so far about our environment and human neurology. There were two books that I read that shed some light on ’42’*: ‘Unbroken Brain’ by Maia Szalavitz, and ‘Neurotribes’ by Steve Silberman. From what I’ve read of your comments, you may find these books worthwhile. It’s not an academic slog either, both authors are pretty engaging. It’s been a few years; the books can probably be found in the public library system.

      The first author tells her story of becoming an addict and why. The second will write about the history, up to the present, of autism. Of particular interest to me was the politics of medicine and specifically, diagnosis.

      * ‘That’s life, the universe, and everything’, for those of you without a towel.

    8. jax

      I think “environmental” is carrying a heavy load here, unless by that you mean the toxic people often faux-raising children in our society. Illicit drug use is heavily correlated with trauma, particularly childhood trauma, and is more often than not an attempt to self-medicate despair.

      If the administration of Psilocybin under a controlled environment, with no deaths associated with the drug, and no addictive qualities we can see thus far, is 4 times more effective than Big Pharma in helping people out of despair – often labeled as anxiety and/or depression – I say give it a go. It’s only got 10,000 years of use behind it in healing.

      1. fwe'zy

        People who blame individual parents rather than the sick material metabolism of our society generally have incentives to do so.

        Exactly what about non-Big Pharma mushroom providers will make them “better” than Big Pharma? I say this as someone who has seen people recommend “vitamins” instead of pharmaceuticals or “chemicals” for various ills, as though vitamin manufacturers are somehow immune to perverse incentives.

    9. CarlH

      Blanket statements such as this are not helpful to anyone. Speak of your own experience and stay out of mine and many others.

    10. Jeff

      When you say “environmental” with respect to depression, what do you mean?

      The stress of doing poorly in university plus some family challenges drove me to become chronically depressed. Does this fit the description of environmental?

    11. Lambert Strether Post author

      > an environmental illness

      I believe that in the medical world this falls under the heading of “social determinants of health,” which is an entire field of study.

  2. zagonostra

    >Bobo -NYT

    I couldn’t pass up reading NYT opinion piece that was in my google news/disinformation selection this morning. Here is David Brook’s conclusion on why the Dems didn’t have the 10 point lead he was hoping for.

    It’s not policies that cost Democrats. The core Biden policies are astoundingly popular. It’s that they’ve built a cultural blue wall that keeps the other half of the country out, no matter the circumstance

      1. The Rev Kev

        It’s because its the New York Times which is a garbage publication. Just like the Guardian and the Washington Post. He is really writing to the true believers, not the general public.

        1. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

          Curious how the Guardian was publishing information embarassing to the gloablist archons until the Obama administration put the hammer on Assange & co. Now they pimp for war against Syria.

        1. Pelham

          True. But just looking at the statement, I think Brooks makes half a good point. Biden’s policies (what are they, anyway?) certainly aren’t “astoundingly popular.” But I think the cultural blue wall is real and has much of that exclusionary effect Brooks mentions.

          Andrew Yang has made a similar point. When he was campaigning around the country and introducing himself to voters, they were generally receptive until he identified himself as a Democrat. Then they would often visibly recoil.

          I think maybe we were too hard on Hillary in 2016. She was widely hated, yes, but so is the party with its tendency to scold and lecture while at best (as with Obama) serving up lofty-sounding but utterly forgettable and content-free argle-bargle rhetoric.

          1. Procopius

            Pelham +1.

            If anyone doubts there is a “blue wall” of contempt, anger, hostility, and even hatred, just spend some time reading the comments at Balloon Juice, Eschaton, The Mahablog, No More Mister Nice Blog, and many more. The people who believe in RussiaGate, especially the ones who believe Bernie actively worked against both Hillary and Joe Biden, seem irredeemable. They believe they already know why half the country still supports Trump, and do not want to listen to reasons.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        He tells old people they are good, don’t need to think, and can blame all the problems on young people except his wife (to be fair, he has to make decisions about whether she’ll go virtual or go to school in person). Functionally, Brooks columns boil down to not asking anyone to think but rely on myths about America.

        Brooks isn’t blaming the “dumb dumbs” instead of addressing the obvious problem which is Democrats ask for votes, isn’t addressing non-voters, and isn’t addressing Biden’s lack of trustworthiness. Its someone else’s fault and requires no effort on behalf of the “good Blue citizens” who can go back to brunch.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          “Obama’s got this.”

          “Hillary is the most experienced evah…go back to sleep”

          “You won’t have to worry about what Joe is going to say” (Just bizarre, but its one of the arguments).

          “Joe will be liked by Republicans so much they’ll vote for him and do the work for him.”

          The modern mantra of the neoliberals is the “nerds got this” and “don’t look behind the curtain”. Sanders asked what you would do for someone else. JFK asked “ask not what your country can do for but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.” Declaring God’s work to be our own. That isn’t a roll over and let our betters do stuff while we go to brunch. One path sounds easy, and one path sounds hard. Brooks offers the easy path.

  3. The Rev Kev

    Good to see that Yves’s mother is OK. But still, seven hours in an ER sucks, especially in the middle of a pandemic.

    1. vlade

      7 hours in ER sounds like a triage strategy – if you get through the wait, then you don’t need the ER anymore..

      1. J7915

        So what does it say if you can get from main entrance through rabbit warrens to your appointed medic: does that make you sane and nuts or nuts :-)))). Just asking for the gu in the mirror.

    2. verifyfirst

      Seven hours is pretty quick for a US emergency room–try 14 hours last time we went to one in Michigan. And that is with insurance…..

    3. jackiebass

      I have taken my wife to the emergency room 4 different times. The waiting time varied from 8 to 12 hours. It didn’t seem to matter what time of the day or day of the week it was. It also didn’t seem to matter how busy they were. How they treat patients needs revising. Part of the blame lies with the insurance companies. They require too much time consuming verification from testing to cover their ass.

      1. JTMcPhee

        I wonder if the triage machinery still responds quickly to people presenting with chest pain, or whether too many people have tried that route. Problem with it is your broken arm will wait for treatment until heart problems have been ruled out.

        What a rotten effing system, run by kleptocratic sociopaths and administered by staff made up of too many adrenalin junkies and people crushed into the loot-‘em mold. Now with fear of fatal or debilitating infection added to the mix.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          You do have to wonder how many hours of “wait” time finally puts the lie to the word “emergency.”

          Pretty soon some enterprising “entrepreneur” will promise quicker “access” to treatment through a MASH-like triage tent in the parking lot for a small “extra fee.”

      1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

        Seconded & a reminder of how fortunate we are in the UK to still have a sort of functioning NHS.

        My sister has had on occasion to visit A&E with my Mother within a city of about 400,000. About 3 hrs was the max & that was mainly due to on arrival in the ambulance which became part of a queue, that as my sister discovered from a female cop, 2 Pakistani gangs had turned up together after a huge fight with members suffering from machette wounds & were at that time engaging in part two within the hospital.

        The cop apologised while saying that it takes time to sort them out, as they have to treat them with kid gloves. I checked & none of it got a line in the City’s newspaper & I guess no-one pressed charges.

        1. jr

          One of the many reasons I reside in NYC is that the VA’s here are some of the best in the system. I’ve never waiting more than 10 minutes the few times I had to go to the ER. Others aren’t so lucky; Philly’s VA had cables and exposed pipes hanging from the ceiling. Another one whose name escapes me had rats and black mold.

          Support our troops! Until they get home, that is…

    4. Keith

      Lot of factors play into that. Bigger the metro, the longer the wait. In JAX, FL, I gave up on an er visit after three hours. In rural WA, I was literally seen in ten minutes for an er visit.

  4. Bob Hertz

    Your blog continues to be great, but I do want to make a very tiny correction.

    How long one must wait in the emergency room is extremely variable, based on the time of day, the day itself, the neighborhood of the hospital, staffing levels in the ER, and other factors.

    In large cities with a lot of violence, the waits tend to be long. In suburbs, much shorter.

    And other countries are extremely variable also. In Britain and Canada during flu season the waits are very long.

    1. chris

      Having lived all over the US I can say that the determining factor for time spent in emergency rooms and triage is not suburb vs. city, or blue state vs. red state. It’s the balance of social factors that determines what options you have compared to other people in your community. If you live in a place with a large population if uninsured, migrants, or that borders an area of lower income, then you best be prepared to stay in the emergency room a long time waiting for service because most people will be using the emergency room as their primary care option for conditions that should have been handled much earlier. You won’t be able to fight through the crowd to get your stitches and to have your broken leg set. If everyone around you has insurance and the capacity to plan then emergency room visits can be really efficient. I dont believe this will be fixed simply by enacting something like M4A. It requires a cultural shift as much as a change in the financial burdens people face when they seek medical care. But M4A would be a good start!

    2. Mark Gisleson

      AND it does make a difference how many rural counties are using that one emergency room.

      The inefficiencies of rural healthcare delivery were vastly simplified by the experts who shut down hospitals and clinics in rural counties where it used to be easy to get into the ER but now not so much after driving an hour to the nearest small city with actual healthcare and where they can get you to a major hospital via helicopter (just as soon as you sign over your house as collateral on the copay).

  5. zagonostra

    >Election fraud

    There are many post this morning indicating that there is fraud at play in Biden pulling ahead after initial Tuesday results showed Trump leading (you can find these post so I won’t link to them, if you want one source go to Paul Craig Robert’s website). Whether you believe this or not will probably be determined/influenced by your pre-existing biases, as will mine.

    But What I find most curious is that Biden and his team for months have been preparing for this. So they saw the possibility, if not probability, of the election results being much tighter than the polls were indicating and were busily preparing for the legal battle. Rather than change/soften his stand on a number of policies, such as fracking or expanding medicare, he doubled down on them. In addition, news stories about Trump stealing the election or having to be escorted out of office were running rampant just prior to election. I suspect their internal polling saw that it was going to come down to the wire.

    The Biden campaign prepared ahead of the election for the possibility of prolonged legal battles in any number of states, hitting up donors to fund potential legal battles in multiple states following the election….But in conversations with top fundraisers, senior campaign leaders are girding themselves for months of nuisance lawsuits—and even efforts to interfere in the selection of members of the Electoral College—from President Donald Trump as he seeks to thwart Biden’s election.

    [I think the Daily Beast is junk journalism, but it’s good to see what toxic detritus is being spewed out]

    1. Darthbobber

      But then stories on all sides were being spewed out during the whole cycle about one side or the other stealing the election. Building to higher levels of hysteria on all sides as D-day approached.

      And of course both sides were preparing “armies” of lawyers for potential legal contests. Which is exactly what you’d expect with both sides having inflamed things to the level that huge numbers in each camp were firmly convinced that their team shouldn’t concede no matter what.

    2. Milton

      Just the url slug really grinds my gears. Biden team to donors? What the Hell? I know the political class has to show fealty to their masters but jeeze, can we at least pretend elections our for the citizens of whatever country is holding them?

    3. Otis B Driftwood

      The PCR site is certainly biased. His postings include ‘Anti-white Racism in America is Real’. So yes, be prepared accordingly.

      My Twitter feed has had a few postings from someone searching the ballot track website in Michigan and finding many voters as old as 120 years old. When I try to scroll back, the post is gone, so I have no idea what’s really going on.

      Anyone else seen this?

      1. pjay

        I have ZERO confidence in the mainstream corporate media these days. But that said, there is no denying the existence of a very efficient right-wing disinformation system that can spread BS rapidly. That was demonstrated when I tried to fact-check the report of 200,000 ballots, all supposedly for Biden, “dumped” in the wee hours of Wednesday morning.

        Because of my mistrust of Google/Bing, I first went to Quant to do a search. The top listings were dominated by stories reporting this “proven” story from a variety of right-wing websites. Because I could not find a reliable story in this deluge of hysteria, I went to Bing and immediately found the correct, and mundane, explanation for the source of this story (a brief typo on a site reporting county election results that was corrected almost immediately).

        In this case, Bing took me to and immediately answered my question. But because of their increasing bias and censorship, I was very hesitant to use them — too many “boy who cried wolf” experiences. Not a big fan of either for that matter. The lesson: a curse on both their houses, though the corporates were helpful in this particular case.

      2. Nick

        I have seen on social media an explanation of the 120 year old voters that says these records come about as a result of clerks using birth year “1900” as a stand in for records where the precise year of birth is not known. I haven’t seen any 1899 or 1901 etc. birth years so this makes sense to me, but then again I haven’t really looked. All the claims of fraud seem made up to me.

    4. Brian (another one they call)

      Perhaps we are forgetting that counting the votes is determined by the law of that state and is not a federal matter. Many states have laws that insure the vote is counted and the Supremes would violate the law if they interfere. Since they already did that in Bush/Gore, they might be more hesitant to do so again. After that act of what many consider treason, their approval rating hit a new low. Since they are politicians in black robes, they walk a fine line.

      1. Ford Prefect

        This voting structure was very deliberate. The founders wanted to keep the President far, far away from the ballot boxes.

    5. zagonostra

      CNN has this headline, “Top Republicans defend Trump on baseless voter fraud claims as concerns grow in the ranks.” In the article “baseless claims” is hyperlinked. So you think if you click the hyperlink it will take you to an independent source that substantiates that it is “baseless” but instead you’re taken to a CNN article. This type of self-referential validation of facts is what journalism at CNN and other MSM has devolved to. Maybe they know most people won’t click on the hyperlink and will just swallow the headline.

      Top Republicans are defending President Donald Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud and a rigged election even as some rank-and-file congressional Republicans have spoken out against the President’s latest remarks.

      1. OpenthepodbaydoorsHAL

        LOL the people who told us for years there was election meddling everywhere in the last election now closing ranks to insist election meddling can’t possibly be a thing in this one LOL

    6. Laputan

      There are many post this morning indicating that there is fraud at play…

      None of which are substantiated. This is 2016 redux except there parties are flipped.

      There are a myriad of issues with our electoral system. Voter fraud isn’t one of them.

        1. zagonostra

          Lest the reader misses nuance, “voter fraud” as distinct and separate from “election fraud”.

          1. Laputan

            And what would those differences be? Call it what you want, there isn’t a shred of evidence that there’s some sort of election rigging happening here. Because Trump and some lonely Facebook-addicted conspiracy theorists say it is doesn’t make it so.

            This happens every election. Remember ACORN and what a steaming pile of nothing that was?

      1. USDisVet

        But what are they hiding with boarded up windows, not allowing observers at all or forcing observers to be 6 feet (at least) away; 100 % dem counters (no repub allowed?

    7. Ford Prefect

      Trump was going to sue even if he lost by 10% everywhere. It is just what he does. Trained by Roy Cohn.

      McConnell got his 6 Supremes majority as well as a full rack of appelate court judges. He would probably prefer to be saying “no” to Joe Biden for four years than dealing with Trump.

      The donor base got their tax cut and a lot of deregulation, as well as their judges..

      In the end, Trump came in as a meteor but will likely leave as a useful pawn that has outlived its usefulness.

      1. Drake

        “McConnell got his 6 Supremes majority as well as a full rack of appelate court judges. He would probably prefer to be saying “no” to Joe Biden for four years than dealing with Trump.“

        This. The Republican leadership seems ready to cut Trump loose. They’ve gotten a lot out of him, and apparently see more cost than benefit in him at this point. They’ve also seemed a bit uncomfortable in a position where they were actually expected to do something, and relish going back to the obstructionism they know and love so well. They’ve never really trusted Trump anyway, and they’re tired of holding a tiger by the tail. I hope Trump turns on them too on his way out, just for the entertainment value.

  6. AnonyMouse

    A couple thoughts.

    #1) Reading Pollan’s book on psychedelics (How to Change Your Mind) and the response people have after taking them and having “spiritual experiences” has me thinking. Many of these people feel that they have “seen God” or been in touch with a higher power in some way. They find this experience immensely spiritually meaningful. In some cases, this alleviates their depression or changes their perspective on the nature of reality towards a much more hopeful one.

    Does it, philosophically speaking, matter that this is essentially a chemically-induced delusion? Anticipating answers like “well, isn’t love?” and so on, but yeah, it’s a question of which delusions we give credence to. My philosophy is almost “anything that helps humans to get through the day”, but then, why aren’t we all drugging ourselves up to rewire our brains into being happier?

    #2) Speaking as a climate geek, the news that food system emissions alone will push us above 1.5C is a tricky turning point for climate activists who want to pretend that 1.5C is the apocalypse. The misleading, relentlessly propagated, inaccurate meme that we have “10 years to save the climate” is all about that 1.5C target. In some ways it’s a little bit irrelevant because the 1.5C target is effectively gone, as anyone intellectually honest will tell you. But as it continues to get closer and closer it will become clearer and clearer that meeting it is impossible. I say this as someone who is in favour of very urgent and substantial action on climate change, but also someone who realises that there is not some cliff-edge at 1.5C that we will drop off in a given number of years and that the strategy some have adopted of suggesting there is may prove to be counter-productive in the long term.

    And Yves, I do hope your mother remains well, being in hospitals is stressful at the best of times but now it’s awful. All the best.

    1. Krystyn Podgajski

      #1) Everyone thinks Pollan knows everything because he is a convincing writer. Well, he doesn’t know the start of it,

      The spiritual experience induced by drugs is fleeting at best. It gives you a glimpse of unity. It is no replacement for spiritual practice. Practice is the key word. No one wants to practice.

      Spirituality or drugs do not give you a delusion, they can only reveal the delusion you are all living under. Once you are free of the thought that you are an entity separate from everything, how can one possibly be depressed?

      1. Samuel Conner

        One might be saddened to the point of depression by observation of the suffering of that subset of “everything” that one is connected to in one’s daily life.

        “All of creation is groaning as in the pains of child-birth”

        Empathy is a good thing, but it can have a subjective down-side.

        Of course, provided that one is not already at the end of one’s own rope, one could work against one’s depression by trying to alleviate the suffering one sees, and find a measure of encouragement, and possibly even joy, in that effort and its results.

        1. AnonyMouse

          I have been at my happiest when I have been least engaged with reality so I feel this sentiment a great deal. But this is the whole point of all of this; who has any claim on whether your subjective perception of these things is any more or less valid than anyone else’s? Reading a lot of Philip K Dick as a teenager has ruined me for life

          1. Michaelmas

            @ Anonymouse —
            For me, likewise with the reading of PKD at an impressionable age.

            Samuel Conner: ‘One might be saddened to the point of depression by observation of the suffering of that subset of “everything” that one is connected to in one’s daily life. “All of creation is groaning as in the pains of child-birth”’

            Quite. And it’s not necessarily the awfulness of other people. Werner Herzog’s little summing-up of the cosmic horror of nature is the way some of us really feel — and on perfectly evidence-based grounds — some of the time.

            In other words, some people have simple, restrictive ideas about what ‘spirituality’ must consist of and of the wonderfulness of ‘nature’ that strike others of us as deeply stupid and insensitive.

      2. rob

        ” a moment of clarity
        Faded as charity does”

        Isn’t that the same for everything?
        the story goes…
        a master is carrying a heavy load,
        a student asks “what is enlightenment”
        the master puts down her load
        the student then asks,”what happens after enlightenment”
        the master picks up the load, and resumes her journey

      3. Eric Anderson

        “Once you are free of the thought that you are an entity separate from everything, how can one possibly be depressed?”

        That is precisely the feeling psylocibin induces, and generally, LSD for that matter. For some, it will be their first glimpse of their own ego. That. Is. Powerful.

        1. Wukchumni

          Went back last fortnight to the scene of the clime where I first partook psylocibin in the pyrite laden parts of the High Sierra before the turn of the century, and for me it allowed the observance of things in nature’s realm that were always there, I just hadn’t noticed them before.

          Dvorak : In nature’s realm

      4. ShamanicFallout

        Yes, just like Trungpa used to say when he was asked ‘what is meditation?’ One answer he would give is ‘it’s the slowly shedding of one’s delusions’. And yes, also true, psilocybin and other psychedelics can give you a glimpse, but in a way it’s a bit of grace-it’s given. One has not struggled, practiced, paid for it so it cannot be truly understood, truly embodied. It can also be very dangerous to the psyche if one is taken up and identified deeply with what is seen in these experiences rather than the seeing itself, in being itself

      5. Cuibono

        I agree wholeheartedly on your latter statement but the scientific evidence is you are wrong on the “fleeting part”
        For many it is months or even years. Hardly fleeting

    2. BobW

      Back in the day, my take was the opposite: if I had a religious experience because of drugs, a religious experience was no more than chemicals in the brain.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        i did a lot of….research…back in the day.
        my takeaway: certain substances teach your brain how to access what is already there.
        some are more effective at this than others.

        (a 3 hour DMT trip, facilitated by the guy that used to make my acid in a college chemistry department, was the most profoundly moving experience of my life…30 or so years later, the ripples are still there….and i doubt i would have survived without them.)

        too, the adages, “Set and Setting”, and ” what you bring to the experience determines the experience”, are True.

        “you are a child of earth, and of starry heaven. you belong here”-the Merlin of Britain, in “Mists of Avalon”. FWIW.

        1. AnonyMouse

          It is clearly the case that there is a latent potential in your brain to feel virtually every emotion you have felt. I know that these days the more transcendent emotions of love or the awe I used to feel at listening to certain music seems less accessible to me than it was a few years ago, yet clearly, if you take the reductionist approach or not, the potential for this to be tickled and stimulated again is real.

          Perhaps what I’m driving at is really the question; okay, so, these phenomena exist, could likely be accessed if we were sufficiently good at manipulating neural chemistry, and people often subjectively perceive them as the most meaningful experiences that they have had. Is this, then, sufficient, even if it comes via a drug and not the profound, lengthy, philosophical practice other interlocutors suggest? It’s too simplistic to imagine that there is a “meaning of life”; and this is probably too simplistic a take on the effects of psychedelics; yet, is this not short-circuiting it if we could do it?

          1. Brian (another one they call)

            Psylocibin allows one to cut through a mist of contradictions. It may confirm or deny your choices and allow you to visit them without the mist. It may allow for instrospection that is otherwise difficult and under great environmental pressures.
            It may give you a new outlook because it adds a building block of the mind. It is both clarifying and mystifying. Both can be most welcome when compared to normal.
            Since normal doesn’t exist except in statistics, it comes with a challenge. Are you willing to see the world in a different way?

      2. Still Above Water

        If normal consciousness is like standing in an orchard, looking around, and seeing a jumble of trees, psychedelics can allow you to move a few feet so that all the trees line up in every direction. The trees don’t change, only your point of view. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to retain that point of view when you return to normal consciousness.

    3. Eric Anderson

      Why don’t you do some and find the answer to your question by yourself?
      In my experience the “trip” is the stripping away of the brain’s sensory gates that we typically never even grok exist. Remove them, and the world becomes a very different place indeed.
      For some, it’s a truly transcendent experience.

      1. AnonyMouse

        I’d love to, but I am insufficiently cool, and also suspect that my own mental health is a very bad “set and setting” at the present time. Maybe in a few years as this stuff gets legalised (therapeutically) in more jurisdictions or I start moving in cooler circles

        1. a different chris

          Yes scares the h-e-double-toothpicks out of me of what an unrestrained adc with all the lights going on at once would do…

          1. chris

            I have never participated in any ritual drug use or recreational drug use (other than enjoying alcohol occasionally) but i have participated in indigenous initiation rituals. I can tell you that it is essential to have a guide in those settings. The part that makes it worthwhile and capable of giving your life a vision comes from within you, but the ability to safely have that experience comes from without.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Why don’t you do some and find the answer to your question by yourself?

        I would be wary of having one’s first psychedelic experience alone.

        Like Amfortas… “I have heard…” that set and setting are very important.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          or at the very least, get prepared.
          before her first shroom trip, i made wife read chapter 7 of Wind in the Willows, and the chapter “at Noontide” from zarathustra.
          but she also had me with her,lol.

          if you must attempt a first crossing alone, find a nice safe meadow to do it in.
          bring plenty of water, and trail snacks/fruit/honey.
          remember that nobody you meet knows that you’re tripping unless you tell them.
          at worst, theyll think you psychotic(in which case, you’ve done the whole tripping thing poorly)…at best, theyll think you’ve had a few beers.
          it is far better to so situate yourself beforehand(ahem…meadow^^) that you won’t encounter any Mundanes(non-cool people/non-tripping people) while embraced by the God.

          of set and setting, i’ve found that the Setting part is more important.
          tripping in apartments, for me, is a recipe for paranoia(i don’t even smoke weed in apartments).
          except for the crazy hallucinogens(DMT), it is entirely possible to keep your wits about you and refrain from jumping off cliffs, and the like…again, preparation is key.

          start low down the pole: pot, then shrooms, then whatever.
          with shrooms, avoid the stems if possible…contain strychnine(fresh stems were what we ended up with once, long ago, and it was horrible).
          and…with any of the numerous fungi…don’t ingest a mushroom unless you KNOW…or have it on Good Authority(ie: trust yer dealer)…that what you’re eating won’t kill you. It’s been 25 years, but i can still identify a mexican mushroom from 50 feet. find someone to help you with this stage, at least.

    4. Ed

      “Climate Change” is over-population.

      And people, for reasons I don’t understand, like over-population. Direct attempts to curb population growth in the 1970s failed everywhere, except East Asia. Once you understand this, you understand the climate change problem.

      1. AnonyMouse

        The best solution to over-population is to actually address the ridiculous economic inequality that exists in the world. In the wealthy world, birth rates and populations decline. Everyone who whines about overpopulation – even if I agreed with you that we likely had more people than Earth’s carrying capacity, what is your solution?

    5. jr

      Good to know some has come up with a clear, definitive understanding where consciousness and therefore delusions come from, what they are….oh wait, no one has. Happy to defend that statement.

      And have you tried psychoactive drugs? I’ve mentioned here before that I experienced the delusion of orbiting the Earth and saw the Sun blazing like a god while on a strong dose of salvia divinorum. If that was a “delusion”, keep the delusions coming because it was a life altering experience for me. And it didn’t make me feel happy, it filled me with wonder and delight.

      Materialism either ignores what it cannot explain or attempts it jam it in some sort of conceptual scheme. In the wrong hands, it is anti human in that it denigrates experiences that countless people around the world have had. People tell me that the joy I feel when I’m manic is merely a problem and it certainly can be. It can also be wonderful, you haven’t seen a sunset until you are manic. As a bipolar friend said “Psychosis can be fun!” In….doses that is.

      1. AnonyMouse

        From the OP

        “Does it, philosophically speaking, matter that this is essentially a chemically-induced delusion? Anticipating answers like “well, isn’t love?” and so on, but yeah, it’s a question of which delusions we give credence to.”

        Okay, I agree I was being too dismissive, but you have actually answered the question I was asking, so thank you for the perspective and apologies if you quite rightly view me as close-minded on this stuff

      2. ShamanicFallout

        Yes jr. Let’s just lay it all out there. I think we need to say this more, and out loud, and judgements be damned. The world needs to hear it: The materialist reduces. Their universe is flat, but the universe(s) are most certainly not flat. There are higher and lower realms as it were. But it also a complete, interpenetrating whole. The Thangkas of Tibet, the schema of the universe of the medieval mystics, the art of Egypt, etc etc back thru most all time before the ill-named “Enlightenment” are “true” representations of the world in the sense that what can be rendered about higher possibilities is limited.
        But one of course cannot approach this by “thinking” in the most usual sense of thinking. Vision and understanding can arrive by grace, as given, immediately; but also must be gradual, a discipline, a practice. What we are talking about is revealing our true consciousness, and our true ‘heart’. But, of course, we are usually very far from this

        1. jr

          Wonderfully said, I might add that I have had experiences myself that convinced me there is more out there. I don’t do faith. I’m not supposed to talk about these things but…it’s a new aeon like Crowley said. Time to step out of the crumbled towers, painted caves, and desert hermitages.

          I’m sure most if the commentariat knows the current age of the universe. But have you felt it? I have, a sense of agelessness, deep time, while performing a ritual called the Qabbalistic Cross. A sense of wonder and awe and F’ing time man, like all of time was present at once. I stumbled it hit me so hard. Let’s call it a “mental” event for conversations sake. It rocked me to my core.

          Maybe someday I’ll share the time I saw a mental object react to my will as if it were tangible. It’s NOT that I willed it too, it happened. Oh what the hell. I was performing the Lesser Banishing Ritual if the Pentagram, a basic Hermetic ritual. Having a vivid imagination, I visualize flows of power coming from the four Archangelus</emCardinales. Air, Fire, Water, and Earth represented as a kind of liquid plasma, coalescing into a multi colored ball in my minds eye.

          Now, my puppy came into the room as I was engaged in visualizing this and distracted me. I managed to maintain it as I glanced away. When I glanced back, the side of the ball deformed as if my line of sight were a stick and I had slapped the side if a water balloon with it. Guys, please understand I didn’t think this, it happened before I would have even had a chance to do so, focused as I was. I literally staggered back, heart racing.

          I know there is more out there. I again urge the group to take at look at the work of Bernardo Kastrup, the proponent of Monistic Idealism. He has nothing to do with Magic but he provides an ontology that doesn’t exclude the possibility out of hand:

          There are shorter videos of his out there too but this one digs deep. He has a powerful mind but his ideas are accessible. I’m currently working through this of his:

          Even the hardcore materialist can benefit from his work, if only to strengthen their own positions.

      3. Aumua

        I will say that delight is a feeling I never experienced on Salvia. Abject hopelessness, yes. Gruesome horror, yes. Delight… not so much.

            1. jr

              Hmm it’s usually the opposite. You could try ingesting tincture, that’s less messy than fresh leaf which you have to make a quid out of. Think chewing tobacco that gives you green teeth instead of brown.

              But it can be life altering. Ingesting it is a completely different experience. You will not be in your body. Lasts an hour or so. A chaperone is strongly advised.

    6. Cuibono

      “matter that this is essentially a chemically-induced delusion?’
      I would counter that in fact the evidence is that it is NOT a delusion at all.

    1. edmondo

      Bolivia’s President-elect suffered dynamite attack, says MAS spokesman

      That has to be the most awful headline (for English usage) of all time. “President Lincoln suffered a bullet attack at Ford Theater last night….”

    2. lyman alpha blob

      I went searching for one I could read too. Funny, I searched for the exact title, and then just “Bolivia” and “dynamite attack” and every single source that came up was from a non-US publication? I wonder why that could be…?

      On a positive note, I’d been wondering whether Arce might be another stealth neoliberal like Moreno turned out to be in Ecuador, but getting attacked so soon after election makes me think he’s legit!

  7. Henry Moon Pie

    Hegel and human nature–

    It’s great to see this continued grappling with who we are because that is the fundamental issue of our time. Why is it more important than inequality or even endless war? As other headlines in Links remind us, our 21st century “nature” impels us to declare war on our own home. If we can’t shed the layers of culture, rid ourselves of the worldview that’s been formed within us, we’re going to continue heading down the Highway to Hell.

    But there is a problem with Hegel’s focus:

    Instead, Hegel claims that it’s meaningful and useful to talk about the reality of some kind of human nature, and that this can be understood by an analysis of human development in history.

    This completely anthropocentric view is of limited help in addressing our current crisis whose roots lie in a collapse in the relationship between humans and the Earth.

    And an anthropocentric view is fundamentally incomplete. After all, our nature begins with a genetic makeup that has been shaped by the forces of natural selection on this planet. The ancient initial layers of culture came from humans who lived close to the Earth as hunter-gatherers. This is important because if we must radically change our relationship with the Earth, we need to understand which elements of our “nature” are oldest and therefore the most difficult to change. Those factors will be found in how we relate to Nature not to each other.

    1. zagonostra

      Yes it’s good to see philosophy and philosophers featured in the links. And I agree that “an anthropocentric view is fundamentally incomplete.” When the author states “The idea that there is an external, objective sphere of truth is quickly disappearing,” I would have wished that he temper it views to the contrary. here are still people who have a relationship with God, or if you like “Nature.”

      That initial layer of culture that you speak of where humans lived “close the the Earth as hunter-gatherers” also gave rise to many problems that Freud used to try and explain human behavior and aspects of “civilization,” like human sacrifices to assuage angry goods. Or, as found in Frazer’s “Golden Bough.”

      How to throw off the paranoiac unhealthy accretions of those “ancient initial layers” and re-establish a connection with the Earth/God/Universe/Humanity is the question. Arthur Koestler writes very eloquently on the subject as does Theodore Roszak and many, many others.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        If we’re talking about sacrifices to transcendent gods, we’re well past hunter-gatherers. That’s the agriculturists’ contribution. And Freud’s id was populated to a large extent by creatures that offended the dominant sexual morality of his time. It’s not those early layers of tool making and the beginnings of language that concern me. It’s the layers of dualism and materialism that Western culture has loaded onto us along with the stinky consumerist Bernays sauce we’ve been basted in for the past century.

        I would add Thomas Berry to that list of authors addressing these issues.

      2. Amfortas the hippie

        hegel gives me hives.

        what the author is lamenting is the arrival of Nihilism…almost exactly as Nietzsche predicted would happen, due to the proverbial murder of god.
        we’ve so many proliferating lenses to choose from…and the lenses our subjective selves cotton to, more and more contradict the lenses that others cotton to. being confronted with this contradiction…unavoidable, eventually…we’re coming to accept it: reality is contingent, and there’s “no truth”.
        reckon Nietzsche would say that this is a necessary step in finally growing up as a species…however, the ruling orthodoxy….the one Power wants us to include in our myriad lenses…prevents us from getting to Nietzsche’s supermen stage, where we can see and think clearly enough to actually make good choices about what matters.
        the Hyperindividualism lamented in this article is a metastatic growth glommed on to the otherwise healthy individualisation we’ve been working on for so long…and leaves us wanting(as in Roszak) the “other side” of the equation.
        Greeks put the words μηδὲν ἄγαν over the door at Delphi…literally “stay in the middle”…”nothing in excess”.
        the Other Side of the Question in relation to subjective individuality is “what about all these other people(and critters? and the universe, itself?)?”
        in one of the only instances where i agree with hegel, our pendulum has swung too far to one side.
        since the “Truths” handed down to us are inadequate, we’d better get busy figuring out how we are gonna live with each other and the world.
        (bruised rib keeps intruding in my thoughtmaking…speaking of questions about “what is real?”,lol—insert reference to Samuel Johnson)

      3. Kate

        Where/with which work does a rank beginner take the dive into Koestler and Roszak? I did a quick google search and now feel completely overwhelmed. Thank you in advance for any insight.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          where the wasteland ends is not all that difficult…altho roszak veers into pedantic scolding at times.
          what he’s on about is as old as philosophy…that greek aphorism i mentioned, “meden agan”…among many other things.
          when i read WTWE around 10 years ago, i found that it was just another iteration of the Perennial Philosophy i had been soaking myself in from the beginning.
          his main beef with modernity is it’s Single Vision…which derives directly from Blake, for instance…and echoes everyone from Heraclitus to Kant to Boethius.
          there’s wisdom all around us, but we must make the effort to pick it up.

          as for the Nietzscheian adulting i’m referring to , above….i think his most important works are Zarathustra and the Gay Science…which are really just different versions of the same story: one in old testament style poesy, the other in a more straightforward manner.
          the rest is for the fan club.

          and, while we’re making recommendations for profundity and epiphanies….Joseph Campbell’s 4 volume Masks of God is right at the foundation of my worldview(read vol 4 when i was 14 or so)…
          Huxley’s Perennial Philosophy is also one of my faves. the footnotes of both have provided the reading list for most of my life.

  8. divadab

    Re: The Guardian – sad what this paper has become – a mouthpiece for MI6 stenographers like Luke Harding what scum! I read the Graun in the 70’s when it was an actual newspaper that had actual journalists and published actual news. Now it’s like the Daily Mail for neo-liberals – absolute shite.

  9. arte

    SSI: 214 mink mutation cases out of 5102 positive case samples tested. Samples were from weeks 24 to week 42. 40% of cases in Nordjylland in that period were of the mink variety.

    On Nov 2nd, SSI tests confirmed reduced susceptibility to vaccine antibodies.

    Could end up being the biggest news of the week if Google Translate is correct.

    1. John A

      The period is June to October. As for transmission, many of the mink farmers I have met in my time had lost a finger or two to mink bites so I can easily imagine how the infection spreads. All mink in Denmark are to be culled.

      1. John Ralston

        This does not make sense.

        Would it not be a better course of action be to infect ALL mink immediately and dispose of all that die of the virus forthwith? Held immunity could be engineered and the remaining ( in theory as effectively immunized as if vaccinated ) stock thereafter safely maintained.

        What am I missing here?

        1. John A

          Not sure if there is some confusion among commentators due to google translate. The source I read (Svenska Dagbladet) said that a coronavirus variant has mutated in mink and has since been found in 214 infected people in Denmark in the period from June to October.

        2. KevinD

          No expert on infectious disease, but the only fly in the ointment I see regarding your solution is if, like in humans, some mink may be asymptomatic?? or is that stupid?

        3. c_heale

          Just because mink become immune to that strain of the virus doesn’t mean we become immune to that same strain of the virus. Although it does mean that we may be able to make a vaccine from mink antibodies (not completely sure about this second idea).

    2. John Ralston

      IF the 214 cases are the number of identified human cases of the variant, then the mink is out of the bag. Disastrous.

      It was public knowledge in early April that felines and mink could harbor the virus.

      I know factually from my rescue and placement work in Brooklyn and Astora/Queens NY starting in the late 90’s that corona viruses have been rampant within the NYC feral feline colonies for decades, and that these diseases are often transmitted to domestic animals.

      I am not alone in my long held suspicion that other species -mice, dogs, ferrets, and very likely even humans, can contract from these colonies.

      Now that the virus is apparently demonstrably jumping between species it is time to consider the unpleasant likelihood that the virus(es) are going to be exponentially more difficult to eradicate; -and very likely impossible.

      It is imperative that a reasoned discussion about how our societies are going to live with the virus(es) is begun. Destroying whole domesticated species populations and ruining vast economies do not seem to be solving this problem…

      Unfortunately we live with the flu, with tuberculosis, HIV, and many other diseases.

      Even here in the US, even in NYC: lice and bedbugs are here and today a fact of life.

      More and more it looks like we are going to have to learn to live with this just like we have had to learn to live with these other diseases and parasites.

      I just don’t see how anyone realistically thinks we can defeat a rapidly evolving corona virus when our health and sanitation management cannot defeat bedbugs or lice in Manhattan…

      I take NO pleasure in this conclusion..

        1. John Ralston

          I did not leave any particular species out purposefully.

          NYC has had especially serious problems disposing of trash of recent as well; so rats and mice are definitely an issue to consider.

          The point being: NCoV-19 isn’t going away any more than the flu or lice or bedbugs, or stray dogs or feral cats or rats, oe the flu and the cold and HIV and herpes, etc.. are…

          Destroying our economy and eradicating domestic industries seems more and more to be nothing but a series of exorcises in capital and resource destruction.

          What is the real agenda here?

          1. John Ralston


            “The World Health Organization on Friday played down fears of a mutated coronavirus strain in minks after Denmark ordered the killing of millions of the animals.

            The international public health body said it was monitoring the mutation, which was a “concern,” but that it was too early to tell if it posed any risk to humans or would undo the impact of a potential vaccine.

            “These types of things happen, this is a global pandemic and many millions of people have been infected, many millions of animals have been exposed,” Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program, said during a virtual press conference from Geneva.

            “Right now, the evidence that we have doesn’t suggest that this variant is in any way different in the way it behaves … it is still the same virus.””

            Again: I DO NOT see a valid reason for the eradication of this population. I cannot understand how that is going to solve anything…

          2. Amfortas the hippie

            layered agendas…uppermost remains murky, because we really don’t understand how Power operates at those levels.
            down a few layers, i see a faction of elitedom(PMC) enamored with the last war….lock down, trap and trace and quarantine until vaccine, then eradicate.
            like you, i think the virus has moved past this…it just ain’t in the cards any more….because another faction of elitedom(Skekses, riding their bewildered Herd) remains enamored of “let her rip!” and “herd immunity!!”, which equate to not doing what was necessary, when it was necessary( lock down, trap and trace and quarantine until vaccine, then eradicate)….due to laser focus on short term play money, which led directly to that current situation i mentioned(it just ain’t in the cards any more).
            so we’re all screwed, because the Skekses can’t see beyond the delicious furball delicacy on their plate…and while the PMC thinks they are(and should be) in charge…it’s the appetites of the Skekses that really matter most.
            add mink to the list of sacrificial victims, laid upon the fiery altar of Moloch.

          3. c_heale

            Well the people who have concentrated on saving the economy above all else, are the ones which have caused the virus to spread.

      1. Ping

        Yes, once again root causes to most of humanities disasters are not addressed. Animal factory farms are creating viral and genetic atomic explosions.

        Not once do you hear most any health expert address industrial raising of animals or our disastrous agricultural and dietary practices. Attempting to re-structure this economy and re-educate the population with adequate support (subsidizing fresh produce rather than corn, sugar, wheat, meat) would run smack into the neo-liberal “freedom” trope that does not require responsibility to community or society, ethics or common sense.

        After humans have irresponsibly and cruelly plundered living creatures and the environment, nature will ultimately have the last word.

        1. newcatty

          That is the crux if the matter. When humans separated from nature, as in becoming more individuated, the inevitable consequences of justifying “dominion” of and plundering of the world occurred. The loss of a belief and connection to the sacred, God, Goddess, results in the replacement for meaning with materialism and power( dominion ) of life and of its manifestations on the planet. To maintain the illusion and viel the individuals created power over others in the environments they existed in at a time. Might made right. Kings and pharaohs claimed divine right or were God’s. Until there is a return to sacredness of life, then the world will end as we know it. It really doesn’t matter if any person who only believes in “science” as mostly western world view sees reality, or identifies as atheist; one can’t pooh, pooh, the concepts or definitions of sacredness and a wider universe, as delusion or opiate of the people, if one actually cares about life and respecting the choices of compassion, respect for that life. Also, if there is any true love for any other…that is sacred. If Nihilism rules, then a new world may come.

  10. Samuel Conner

    If JB retains his lead in Nevada, keeps GA and wins PA (which seems likely given the consistent trend in the count updates), he will have 306 EV, the same as DJT won in 2016, and with similarly razor thin margins in the states that put him over the top.

    A couple of thoughts occur regarding this. First, such narrow wins in the states that are “in play” might be the result of finely calibrated campaign efforts to win with no more than the necessary expenditure of effort. That suggests that the internal polling of the campaigns might be far more accurate in these states than the publicly visible polling of the independent pollsters.

    Second, if this is going to be a consistent feature of future elections, it might present an opportunity for focused 3rd party organization in these states. If DSA or the Greens could become significant small parties in all or most, or even just some, of these states, it might become necessary for both parties to “court” them. 500,000 politically active party members spread across 10 states could drive the political Overton Window back to the left.

    Of course, this might be an opportunity for other varieties of small party, too, varieties that could drive the OW in worse directions.

    1. edmondo

      might be the result of finely calibrated campaign efforts to win with no more than the necessary expenditure of effort.

      No. no no, no. Do NOT attempt to pretend that the Democrats had the slightest idea this election was going to be tight. NONE. They were talking about winning senate elections in Kansas (Right!) and Alaska and ruling the House for a decade. They are inept. It’s the most obvious and rational answer.

      If DSA or the Greens could become significant small parties in all or most, or even just some, of these states, it might become necessary for both parties

      Then BOTH political parties will join forces to have them thrown off the ballot. What do you think the biggest lesson the dems have learned so far? That if they hadn’t gotten the Greens removed from the PA ballot they would have lost the election. The Greens have a target on their backs now.

      1. Samuel Conner

        Re: the 3rd party opportunities, it’s a fair objection. But now that the Greens know that they are dangerous to the Ds, they have reason to persevere. They’re making progress.

        First they laugh at you, then they fight you …


        A narrow result could occur if only one party is competent, since that party would react to what the other party (incompetently) does in order to win with minimum effort. As the Rs were more resource-constrained this cycle than the Ds, there was at least one party with an incentive to economize.

        I think that some explanation for the razor thin margins in the contested states is needed. Surely this is not a random process that just happens to have a mean of 0.5 and a very narrow dispersion.

        1. JTMcPhee

          It seemed to me that most moneyed efforts by both parties were aimed at denigrating the other, which would be a strategy to result in a narrow “win” and the kind of “gridlock” we have had for quite a while. The kind where all the pro-looting policies slide through
          a well-greased legislature and bought judicial legitimizers.This, despite the “majority popularity” of “socialist” policies like living wage, nationalized health care, taxing the rich and so forth.

          You can bet that tax cuts and spending cuts are front and center with “our” rulers’ agenda in the coming years

          Oh well, at least drug use is getting decriminalized. And LGBTQI+++ marriage and stuff. We should be grateful, I guess.

          What kind of political economy do we mopes want, and what are we willing and able todo to achieve it?

          1. Oh

            It’s disgusting to see that Trump’s campaign calling the DimRats “Socialists” seems to have had some effect. Paradoxically, the people have voted “yes” on more money for education, legalization of weed, etc.

      2. Samuel Conner

        I’ll also note that just because the Greens aren’t “on the ballot” doesn’t mean that politically active GP members can’t swing an outcome. GP endorsement of a candidate, coupled with party member voting for the endorsed candidate, would be powerful in a tight race.

        Provided that this pattern of narrow swing state wins continues, I think that GP and DSA and other progressive groups can have outsized influence.

        Maybe this is just hopium, but it seems plausible and it provides an agenda to pursue, starting today, that could bear good fruit in ’22 (when 3rd parties could demonstrate their vote share and scare the sh!t out of the duopoly) and ’24.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          Yes, this is just hopium. Nobody cares what the Greens think. They currently exist only as an institution to blame for Democrat losses, and the Democrat party has moved even from that, preferring to blame “Russians” instead. That must be a kick in the pants for the Greens – not even important enough to use as a scapegoat anymore.

          The Green party is often the place where grifters who can’t get traction with one of the two major parties go to launch their political careers. They win a local election, switch to Democrat once they have a little name recognition, and then off to the state house and beyond.

          I say his as someone who was involved with my local Greens – 20 years ago. I stopped being involved when the main organizer sure seemed to be a stealth Republican, bashing Democrats every chance he got while working with Republicans and pushing their talking points. Now he is an elected member of the state senate – as a Democrat.

          Meanwhile my state’s Greens have done [family blog]-all in a generation. I did vote for Howie Hawkins, but only because he was not-Trump and not-Biden, not under any illusions that the Greens will amount to anything more than a pisshole in the snow.

          I would love to be proven wrong.

          1. Return of the Bride of Joe Biden

            I volunteered for the Green Party of Washington State for a couple of years, 2014-206, I think.

            My experience was that they were mostly very nice, weird old white people, and totally ineffectual.

            I concluded that there was nothing viable there, and left. I still sometimes vote Green, but I’m confident the party will never amount to anything, and if they somehow do, they will simply become a new center-right party like the Democrats – money is necessary, and necessarily corrupting.

            My opinion sucks, but it’s the only one I have.

            1. Jeremy Grimm

              “My opinion sucks, but it’s the only one I have.”
              No! Your opinion does not suck — rather the Green Party sucks in your opinion. I very much agree with your assessment of the Green Party.

          2. Oh

            The Green Party is not well organized and suffers from in-fighting. Because of these reasons the Green don’t (want to) campaign well. They expect people to flock to them. Of course, lack of money could be another reason. Sad.

        2. zagonostra

          I’m in PA and the top of the ticket didn’t have Howie Hawkins on it but did have lower offices with Green Party affiliation. However, there was a third choice, write-in, which is what I opted for.

          If you had an energized electorate that said basta!, then they could have broken out of the duopoly trap. Unfortunately, friends, with Phd’s and autodidactics alike, felt they had to oppose the greater evil – they fell into a mind-forged, media induced trap that guarantees more of the same.

          1. lyman alpha blob

            We had ranked choice voting in ME so there was no ‘spoiler’ excuse. The Green-affiliated Senate candidate who ran as an independent, and who had IMO very good policies, still didn’t crack low single digits on the first round of voting, and no instant runoff was needed for Collins to keep her seat. Very disappointing –

            Granted, she didn’t have an ad spend in the tens of millions like the other two candidates to boost visibility, but still you’d think there would have been more people willing to give a 3rd party a chance without the spoiler excuse being in play.

          2. Samuel Conner

            So the Greens can run candidates in PA in 2022, and a good showing in terms of vote share, regardless of whether they win any seats, might give the duopoly pause. The state-level duopoly can keep candidates off the ballot, but they can’t keep Party members out of the polls (without serious chicanery, such as voting roll purges, but even that could be evaded by recruitment of GP-minded voters who don’t switch party registration). If the PA GP is serious about national influence, they have two years to organize and recruit.

            Maybe just hopium, but I sense an opportunity.

        3. Noone from Nowheresville

          I’ll note that the Greens high point was with Nader in 2000. 20 years and the decline has been telling. The modern third party high point was with Perot in 1992.

          Need a new strategy because the duopoly knows how to counteract and even use this one for their own benefit and agendas.

          1. R. S.

            Liberals should take over the Republican party in Blue states, like CA, NY, IL. The Republicans have the legal party apparatus already in place, and this election has shown that there is a strong appetite for a working class message amongst the voters. Trump got the highest percentage of the minority vote for a Republican presidential candidate in some 50 years because the working class shifted towards him.

            1. ChiGal in Carolina

              Small business owners. Not being college educated doesn’t necessarily make you “working class. “

            2. Spring Texan

              Don’t know how you get people to do this, but it’s actually a great idea and not just in those states.

          2. OpenthepodbaydoorsHAL

            One might suggest that the modern 3rd party peak was Trump. He defeated the Rs, but then Christie re-installed the usual suspects and he has struggled with them ever since.

        4. km

          I am not sure if this is what you are alluding to in your post, but please do not delude yourself into think that GP votes in a tight race will earn the GP any gratitude from Team D.

          Otherwise, why not just join Team D if you are going to vote Team D anyway?

          1. Samuel Conner

            The thought is more along the lines of inviting the D party to run down-ballot candidates in these districts that embrace policies favored by GP voters. Otherwise, threaten to run GP candidates who support these policies.

            And for the national ticket — inviting the D party to run a Pres’ candidate who favors policies supported by a majority of the electorate (such as M4A, which I assume the GP approves of), or else GP voters may protest vote, write in, or leave the top line blank.

            It seems to me that if the GP vote were on the order of 100,000 in PA, that would be something the D party would need to take into account in its EV calculus.

            This assumes that it is possible to drag the D party, no doubt kicking and screaming in protest, in the direction of policies favored by a majority of voters.

            Maybe it’s not possible.

      3. Aleric

        It would be interesting to see if excluding the Greens made a difference in WI and PA, many already cross over to Dem in a close race, some said they would vote for Trump in protest, and some probably didn’t vote at all. My guess is that it netted out and didn’t matter. When the dust settles, I may look for patterns in precinct level data, if I haven’t gone completely doomer.

      4. hunkerdown

        Two errors: one, assuming that they were honestly contesting the Presidency, rather than using it as a fundraising talking point. Really, they’re happier in the legislature where they can just blend in to a voice vote and not be accountable for anything. Two, assuming that any political organization is not a firm, therefore inherently sociopathic, and therefore actually has any motivation to tell the truth about its internal attitudes.

        The Democrat Party’s core value is that there are private positions and there are public positions. This is how ALL hierarchies work. Why would they tell their real position against interest unless they were forced to err? Come on, man, it’s their job. The Atlantic article from David Graham yesterday says as much in about the clearest language you’ll ever hear from a liberal aristocracy under attack.

        Movement of resources, people, money and weapons is what matters. Everything else is rationalization for the above.

        1. Samuel Conner

          Agreed re: the D Party, But they are not the only actor in these elections. The R party might be intently trying to win some of these races.

          The suggestion only requires that one of the two parties be trying to win.

          And just because one party is actually trying to win doesn’t mean that it consistently will. But it might help to explain the surprisingly narrow margins in the decisive states.

          1. hunkerdown

            My (tendentious, erroneous) tendency is to think of the Rs as a more or less static opposition, without accounting for the possiblity of new fire in the bellies of the irregulars who have yet to become part of their Party’s boss class. Mea culpa.

            I agree, the downballot is still a competitive arena and there is still ideological discipline that the Party needs to do. But it is possible for either Party to want to manage a close win or a close loss, and to pull just enough punches to meet the goal with some certainty. That might be part of why upper-middlebrow liberals like David Graham of The Atlantic are freaking out right now about the class war against the polling industry.

            I mean, the DNC can talk about taking Alaska and the House for a decade etc. They have to. They made a bandwagon play, and message discipline dictated that they play into the apparition with a reasonable extrapolation or risk discrediting themselves and losing riders that will be harder to get back on the wagon (and quiet! Look at all the whining about the DNC call that WaPo reporter live tweeted) the second time.

            Not trying to win maximally does not necessarily imply not trying for a different favorable outcome, such as winning or losing with no mandate conferred, as you suggested at 10:43am below. Fair enough. Interesting to consider that they’ve got the science down to that many decimal places, though.

            1. Samuel Conner

              > Interesting to consider that they’ve got the science down to that many decimal places, though.

              I speculated in a comment at W/C yesterday that perhaps the internal party polling is more accurate than what the independent pollsters publish.

              Presumably there is a “measure, influence” loop always going on during the campaign, and this will tend to push the outcome toward a nearly even split when at least one party is trying to win a competitive state but has funding constraints.

              An historical study of how the distribution of vote shares in the “swing” states has changed over decades would be interesting. I suspect that it would show that the campaigns are indeed getting better at influencing the outcomes. All that money may indeed be buying something, in addition to the loyalty of the candidates.

              1. hunkerdown

                It must be. I doubt that external pollsters would publish raw individual results when their business model is to charge $thousands for the five minutes it takes to write a new query. When individual call data is collected in-house, some Seth Rich data science intern type can combine and recombine that data with other “customer” observations and external data up to and including local weather, all day long, and make a better internal product for $hundreds. I treat the public polls as hyperreal.

                I would love to see such a study as well. Your suspicions seem reasonable, and inflection points would be telling.

                1. Samuel Conner

                  In prior comments, I’ve been pre-occupied with the clustering of vote shares around 50% in the states that determine the outcome.

                  An alternative simple study would be, for each election, to order the states by “difference in major party vote share” and notice what the vote share difference is in the state that crosses the 270 EV threshhold. It’s very close to zero in 2016 and may be close to zero this year.

                  If this difference converges to zero over decades, it would suggest that the parties (or at least one party, which is all it takes, I think) are(is) getting better at both predicting outcomes (which guides where to focus limited resources) and at influencing the outcomes.

    2. km

      Right, because Team D didn’t plan to win the Senate, and was content to lose seats in the House.

      “Finely calibrated plan” my foot.

      1. a different chris

        Yes, what’s her name – I’ve already forgot – was a pitch-perfect Centrist Dem and I really, really do not think they wanted her to lose to Susan Collins for god’s sake.

        People need to first look at incompetency before coming up with all sorts of wack conspiracy theories.

      2. Samuel Conner

        Again, only one party needs to be competent at polling and influencing to shape outcomes with the goal of being slightly first past the post, where it matters, with a constrained budget. Is there any doubt that the Rs are better at this than the Ds?

        I don’t know that the Rs did this, but the recent pattern of the decisive states being won with margins in the low tenths of a percent seems to me improbable on the assumption that the vote share is simply a random process. The dispersion about 50% seems too small to me. It seems targeted. And given that at least one party is trying to influence the outcome, is it that unreasonable to suppose that these efforts might be having some effect?


        I have the impression that in 2016, there was a unanticipated late wave of “dark” money that was spent on media in crucial states and that pushed DJT over the top. That does not seem to have materialised this time. Perhaps the R planners were counting on it, though of course this is all speculation.

  11. marym

    Re: Michigan ballot count

    According to press reports there were more than the set limit of observers in the room, and the trumpists tried to take photos and videotape, which isn’t allowed.

    The legal documents for the election cases are being posted at Click on the state.

    1. Roger Smith

      Could be solved by streaming this live on youtube (for the most simple solution) or better yet, public access! (wait, does that exist anymore?) Good thing we have a legislative body that can work these problems out for next time.

      1. FluffytheObeseCat

        It might also be “solved” by having poll workers (volunteers mind you) sue Republican operatives and propagandists when they’re slandered or libeled, like they have been repeatedly over the past week. If cunning, professional disenfranchisers face financial and legal penalties for lying like rugs, they will amend their tactics. Swiftly.

        I used a mail in ballot in Nevada, as per state law and regulation. I dropped it off during early voting at one of the polling stations and watched a poll worker time stamp the ballot and deposit it in a steel box. I more than resent the current effort by Republicans to disenfranchise me via smear campaigns. It’s something I’m willing to fight about, with money, time, and suits. Republicans, like the Dems, knew the rules in each state going into the election. Their stagey gamesmanship now, when those rules appear to disadvantage them, is a load of crap. And it was crap when Trump was doing it on Twitter during the campaign. He doesn’t get to choose who votes, like it or not.

        Why so many here only find it troubling when Dems play these games is…… curious. At best. Or perhaps demonstrative of how little you really have to lose in this pseudo fight within our geriatric elite.

        BTW, since we’re all just flinging BS, does anyone know how many millions of votes Biden is ahead overall now? Just curious.

        1. CitizenSissy

          +1000. You win the internet today, Fluffy. I live in suburban Philly, and received email from Montgomery County confirming receipt of my ballot two weeks ago; now I listen to this crap bilged by the Republicans about my “illegal” ballot. Federal judges can impose sanctions, and I hope that happens.

          Highlight: DJ with 80s-era disco drowning out Pam Bondi outside the Convention Center. Philly Does Not Play.

    2. hunkerdown

      A few months ago, off-the-cuff I proposed a citizen’s amendment demanding that every election be construed as the property of the electors, to inure to their exclusive benefit as a whole. The exact language never came together, but I think the Michigan machinery is selling that general idea well.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Ironic isn’t it that the Blob used late-breaking votes for Morales after election day as an excuse to claim fraud and start a coup, even though Bolivia actually followed its own rules regarding the election to a tee, but now those late breaking votes in the US that will likely result in the exact same scenario as Bolivia are, according to the Blob, completely to be expected because of half baked procedures we just made up on the fly in a system that can’t cast or count its votes consistently or correctly in a good year.

      Which one is the 3rd world nation again?

  12. Roger Smith

    ep. Abigail Spanberger: “We need to not ever use the words ‘socialist’ or ‘socialism’ ever again.

    i am convinced that Pelosi and Democrat leadership allowed AOC, Talib, and Omar to gain a footing so that they could use the three’s abrasive personalities to further the spread the smear of the surging support for populist policy as “socialist”; useful idiots as it were. In this way the Democrats didn’t have to outright say it themselves. Sanders’ lack of leadership left a huge vacuum in the populist energy his 2016 campaign swelled up and smarter, more malevolent minds rose up.

    1. Another Scott

      It really seems like the backlash was against idpol, which unfortunately gets lumped together with leftist economic arguments, with conservatives calling both socialist. The end result seems to be that Democrats will abandon the economic policies while doubling down on woke identity politics.

      1. Roger Smith

        Yes! The influx if idpol into those populist class based policies is a very important part I glossed over. I see that as a fault of Sanders’ lack of leadership as well. More radical elements came in and redefined what this movement was and then his 2020 campaign was already weakened at the start and those three reps are bathed in this revised understanding of the current mainstream “populist” movement.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Somebody somehow pressured Sanders to give partway in to SJW Wokeness. That began diluting the purity of his cross-racial appeal.

          Someone will need to develop the nerve to say things like: I will support Reparations for Black America the day you support Reparations for Appalachia. I will support Reparations for Slavery the day you support Reparations for Strip Mining.

          And let the cow chips fall where they may.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      I’m sorry tell me one thing about Spanberger beyond she use to be a CIA drone and voted for every Trump budget.

      AOC, Talib, and Omar were the only ones talking about issues other than IDpol. Tell me the Team Blue elites stances again? You can’t really do it because they are the ones who drone no about nothing.

      1. Roger Smith

        That is exactly it. Sure all 3 talked about real class issues, but it wasn’t without them (perhaps AOC most of all) immersing themselves in idpol nonsense. On top of that their personalities are extremely off putting. All the Democrats had to do was they the optics run their course and say, “see, these ideas don’t work. (meaning the actual populist class based demands)” Problem solved.

        1. lordkoos

          IMO, the great majority of Democrats in congress aren’t “abrasive” enough, most go along to get along. I would welcome more so-called abrasive personalities in congress, we need fighters not acquiescent members of the Democrat party’s liberal herd.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          What are you talking about AOC and idpol nonsense? You listen to Republicans too often.

          Show me a link of AOC ignoring healthcare to demand we hire more women prison guards. I haven’t seen it yet. I see a useless do nothing like Spannberger whining about how she isn’t being praised to the heavens for voting for Trump’s budget.

          Now, I’ve seen plenty of faux-identity politics out of Team Blue types like Spannberger who are basically saying hey, its great a woman runs a parasitical bank, but I don’t see it from any of the people you mentioned.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            Sounds like this “Spanberger” is kind of a Goldman-Sachs Feminist.

            Great that a woman runs a black hat perpetrator bank. And even greater when we have Drug Queenpins to go with the Drug Kingpins.

        3. NotTimothyGeithner

          Here is a problem with Spannberger and her kitchen table issues. One of the promises of Team Blue in 2018 was to reduce prescription drug prices. What happened with that?

          Now one her fellow centrists who lost is whining no one knew her name. Maybe, its connected to their bs. I don’t recall much about kitchen table issues or anything. Perhaps you could share.

        4. Grant

          You talk about objective things like economic class and policy, which is one thing, but then bring your subjective opinion into the matter. Their personalities are off-putting to you. But, is Pelosi’s, Schumer’s, McConnell’s, Harris’s personalities not off-putting? I mean, Mike Pence has the personality of a guy that runs a funeral home. Who cares anyway? The best crooks there are happen to be very charming. Obama, Clinton, for example. Corrupt, right of center frauds, but smooth talkers.

          Pelosi and the like did all they could directly, through the DCCC, the DSCC and donors to oppose them, and they all wanted primary challengers to take them out. Did the same to Bernie, obviously. And now there are more AOCs on the way. In no way did they have a strategy to allow them to get power. What Pelosi did do, however, was tame people like AOC. AOC was ruffling her feathers, which was great, the first few months in office. Then, because of pressure, she ditched the radicals around her, hired people that worked for politicians like Kamala Harris and was soon thereafter calling Pelosi mama bear. If leftists get elected because they talk about revolution, act as one when given power.

          I do agree though that identity politics does sometimes undermine class based issues, and people like Pelosi and Schumer are fine that they opine on that, as it doesn’t threaten their power or bring economic class into the mix. At the same time, there still is injustice when it comes to women, and there really isn’t a conflict with class based issues and issues that primarily impact women. It is, after all, an issue of power and power dynamics.

          1. lordkoos

            AOC and the others are forced to work with Pelosi every day, they have to play nice somewhat just to get things done. Someday Pelosi will be dead and AOC will still be in congress, then we will see what she is really made of.

            1. Grant

              She is opposed to everything they say that they stand for. They have to work with Ted Cruz too, he is no less likely to work with them on anything they care deeply about, he too is opposed to them, does the same logic hold with him? If the logic is that they have to go along with Pelosi then there isn’t much of a point of voting for leftists. We can’t wait for her to die to deal with the environmental crisis. Mother Nature won’t call it off until people start to realize the objective reality we face. AOC was making an impact, regardless of what committee she was on or what small bill of hers Pelosi was willing to pass, when she was protesting outside of her office and throwing bombs at these soulless frauds. Not every leftist goes into power and passes watered down bills. Some just expose these people for what they are and challenge them, gum up the works every time a horrible bill is passed. Maybe that isn’t AOC, but one of the leftists elected should be willing to throw a wrench into the machine. It is an honorable job.

        5. Cuibono

          off putting? So off putting they won their races handily.
          Seems to me you are responding to how YOU feel about these three women

          1. Spring Texan

            Agree 100% with you! Their constituents were not put off.

            Neither am I, love all three, especially Tlaib.

        6. Oh

          I think the Squad is a breath of sunshine in the Dim party. Hope they can recruit more members to topple Pelosi et al.

        7. Aumua

          There’s identity politics, and then there is simply understanding that class and race issues have a region of overlap. Or class and gender issues. It takes a certain level of discernment to be able to separate the two, which is hard to attain for many because of the emotionally charged nature of these things.

    3. zagonostra

      Not sure how orchestrated Squad victories were or if Dem leadership “allowed” it, but I agree whole heartedly that the word “socialist” should never again be used. I can’t tell you how many hours were wasted disabusing friends on the history of socialism and communism. Those words stir up some atavistic reaction that is beyond my measly ability to unlearn them.

      Stick with M4A, living wages, mandatory sick pay, free public college, environmental restoration, increase in SocSec, greater infrastructure spending, reeling in MIC1 and MIC2, etc..

      1. JBird4049

        Oh, great. Let’s add another word to the cancel pile.

        So far in the past century, the words progressive, socialism, communism, liberalism, conservatism, fascism, authoritarianism, totalitarianism, racism, sexism, bigotry, freedom, democracy, unionism, government, justice, community, even political economy have all been twisted, distorted, simplified, and dumb down into different and often opposite meanings.

        I understand the desire, even the practicality of creating new words to replace the now inflammatory ones, but that just means that new ones will have to be created to replace the newly inflammatory ones; each time we do so, the new words become less and less precise, which is very useful for the those in power or seeking power. No, the old words have exact meanings and are useful for a conversation. No more creating new words to purportedly say what the words we already have say.

      2. Grant

        I find this argument to be utterly ridiculous. First off, there is a massive generational difference when it comes to this. Older voters have had their minds ruined by decades of propaganda on that word. Younger people are even more horrified by capitalism, which is one reason why Frank Luntz has been telling people on the right to avoid using the word capitalism. You run from socialism, you may win some older voters, but you lose the young. This isn’t the same calculus it was in 1986, especially given the record of actually existing capitalism.

        What is capitalism’s response to the environmental crisis, this horrible healthcare system, or any other issue we face? And what exactly are you going to do when the Republicans throw this word at the left (which they will), and if what the left is fighting for does amount at the very least to increasing socialization? Constantly run from a word no logical person should? Every election then becomes one side throwing this word at the other side, never defining it, the other side never bothering to prosecute the present failed system, which has no chance (zero) to deal with the environmental crisis. It is a mass irrationality, and it makes no sense to run from these words. How many people on the right that throw the word around could even define it? And how many accused of the word could define or defend it? So, maybe take some time to think about what these words mean, and do what is logical, which is to put those defending this failed system on the defensive.

        Maybe instead discuss what socialism in the 21st century actually is. It is democracy in the place you work. It is decommodifying things that should have never been commodified, like healthcare. It is a wider role for economic planning, which is the only realistic thing that can help us deal with the environmental crisis. Instead of running form a word when the present system is so monstrous, why not prosecute the present system and get people into power that can explain socialism without any reservation?

        The problem is obviously the Democratic Party itself. Socialists must operate in that party, and that party is opposed to socialism. If the logic is to kick out socialists, then the party is officially worthless, will have nothing to offer most of the country, and it will make what has always been official; which is to be THE main enemy of the left in this political system.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Well, there really are different kinds of socialist too. Precision would require an accurately descriptive word or phrase for each kind of socialist. Democratic socialist, Gulag socialist, etc.

  13. jackiebass

    Before the election I was at the barber shop. The barber said Trumps supporters are treated like a cult. They believe and do whatever he says. It’s like he has some mysterious hold over them. If you look at his MO it is like any past or present cult leader. There is no question that Trump is an excellent con artist. Trump understands that a large percentage of the population have zero critical thinking skills.

    1. notabanker

      Well then it’s the largest cult in the world because 68 million people voted for him.

      This is just lazy commentary. More people voted for Trump than live in the entirety of the UK. Trying to lump them all into a category is a fool’s errand.

      1. Grumpy Engineer

        Agreed. I know lots of Trump voters, but only two or three “true believers”. Most of the rest actively dislike Trump, but voted for him anyway because they’re tired of the incompetence and divisive identity politics of the Democratic party.

        Heck, my father was griping last night about the inability of several Democratic strongholds to count their votes in a timely manner. And he’s got a point. This pathetic dysfunction in vote-counting doesn’t seem to have afflicted Republican strongholds.

        1. TMoney

          Democratic areas are population dense cities. They don’t have enough polling places and often have long lines because Republican governors make it so. Vote by mail made it easier for everyone in these area to vote – so they did. Votes by mail take longer to count (always) and this year the volumes are off the charts. None of that is true for the rural areas of America. Geography is destiny.

          1. Grumpy Engineer

            Population-dense cities have more people available to work as poll workers. If you bring in 1 poll worker per 500 voters (or whatever a good ratio would actually be), it should take the same amount of time to count votes for urban communities as it does for rural ones.

            And don’t local governments set up polling places? If lines are expected to be long, they should set up more. After all, there are more people available to staff them. And if governors have influence, I’ll note that Pennsylvania, Nevada, and North Carolina all have Democrat governors. Only Georgia is headed by a Republican.

            1. Pookah Harvey

              From Slate: The Republican Party Is the Reason It’s Taking So Long to Count Votes in Pennsylvania,
              “The Republican-held state legislature blocked Democrats from changing rules to allow early votes and mail-in ballots to be pre-processed—i.e., taken out of their envelopes and checked to make sure the right voter filled out the right ballot—for easier counting.”
              The kicker? On Wednesday, the Republican leader of the Pennsylvania state Senate held a press conference at which he called on the Democratic secretary of state to resign because of how long the vote count was taking.

          2. Michael

            no, this happens in blue states as well. Dems live to mess with the votes too. Both parties are corrupt.

        2. marym

          FL/NC/AZ put measures to facilitate early counting of mail-in votes. Republican legislatures in WI/MI/PA prevented measures that would have speeded the counting and reporting of mail in ballots.

          This had an impact on how soon state races would be “called” and what would appear to be the early trend of the election at an electoral college level. The rest of the counting (which always takes a long time) would have been less irksome, because less attention would be paid once the state seemed clearly on one side or the other.

          1. lordkoos

            Planned by Republicans for this eventuality I’m sure. They are using the delay to cry “fraud” to Trump’s supporters. Cable media capitalizes on ratings as people continue to look at their channels for extra days

        3. STEPHEN

          I agree. I think there were relatively few votes for either candidate, and a very large number of votes against one or the other.

    2. KevinD

      I had a friend yesterday refer to him as the Jim Jones of COVID.
      Of all the idiotic things said during the 2016 election – imo – non was more idiotic than Clinton’s reference to trump supporters as “Deplorables” . That made my heart sink and an ice ball formed in my stomach. I may not agree with trump supporters but i have always given them credit for FINALLY figuring our that neither party gives a F___ about them and so they went with an tough talking outsider – I get that. I just don’t agree with the outsider they went with.

      1. Phillip Cross

        It’s also a fairy story. When you look at the numbers, he mostly got votes from people who were always rabid right wingers. People who would cast a vote for Genghis Khan, if he was top of the ballot for their team. He won because people didn’t show up to vote for the detested Hillary Clinton in areas that mattered.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          No, its because people where Hillary saw declines were corrupted by facebook ads that were run after the election and may have originated in Russia caused people who often lack internet access to believe Hillary Clinton might not be the most qualified evah!

          Also, its Bernie Sanders and AOC’s fault for not talking about kitchen table issues such as when is brunch. They just turned people off, like my GOP associates. It actually caused them to not vote for Biden. If they talked about issues that mattered such as brunch, not whether poor people can afford to eat, they wouldn’t be so annoying.

        2. ewmayer

          Better trolls, please. I mean, my dearest Phillip, you’re clearly not even trying here. Very disappointing.

          Any NC reader who wants to see some genuinely eye-opening numbers regarding “who voted for Trump”, should refer to the Matt Taibbi piece in today’s Links.

          Though Phillip’s invocation of Genghis Khan is, I suspect, more interesting than he intended it to be – Genghis was quite popular amongst his people, and contrary to his portrayal by European historians in the ensuing centuries as a ruthless butcher, he was in many ways more enlightened than the rulers of Medieval Europe in whom he inspired terror. One interesting aspect of that: in the various cities and states he conquered, he greatly valued the craftspeople and artisans, those who actually made things. But he absolutely despised the useless-eater elites. One can make an argument that he was history’s greatest populist.

        3. drumlin woodchuckles

          There were some few ( how many?) Bitter Berners who voted for Trump to do their best to make sure that the detested Hillary Clinton would lose.

    3. Wukchumni

      One of the many things I enjoy about living here is exhibited in this amazing statistic, that rarity of a place split 50/50 politically.

      In 2012, Barack Obama won Three Rivers by a single vote. In 2016, Trump’s margin of victory was in single digits. In 2020, expect more of the same.

      Here’s a Trump rally story/video from the weekend, with brief interviews of locals, and none of them came off as nut jobs I thought, and they seemed to enjoy knowing there were others who felt the same way they did in the town of misfit toys.

      So, 100 out of 1,000 Republicans in town showed up, not exactly a decimation.

    4. Mark Gisleson

      Also an excellent description of Hillary Clinton supporters.

      Postmodern politics does not lend itself easily to armchair analysis.

      “Cui bono?” is still the best filter for political analysis.

    5. Drake

      There are a lot of cults. There was one a few years back that thought that Trump was a Soviet sleeper agent, and that Mueller would prove it. There was one that sees white supremacists under every bed. There was one that thought Bernie Sanders would win the primaries, and that it would have made a difference. There was another that thought that the problem with Covid lockdowns was that they weren’t drastic enough. There are lots of really absurd ideas out there, and a cult to go with each.

      Trump’s cult was pretty rational by comparison. He was a lot of fun, and he said FU to all the right people. That was more for a lot of people than they’ve gotten out of politics in decades.

    1. zagonostra

      Ah, by the same token if I were to say someone should be “tarred and feathered” am I really going to be taken as literal? I read the full transcript, he wasn’t calling for a beheading. This is getting ridiculous, and I know, “words have consequences,” but it’s just going down the worm hole of a woked world of controlling words and thoughts that may be interpreted as violent, insensitive, crass, etc…

      1. hunkerdown

        That’s why they push the envelope: to ruin it for those outside the royal purview. That mass Twitter hack of notables strikes me the same way, as a useless proof of concept that only helped the enemy tighten their capture of the public discourse.

      2. Person

        Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube have become 90s era television; only one tightly controlled narrative is allowed. When the internet first gave us an alternative, people flocked to the freedom they found there. Then we all voluntarily crawled back into the same shackles we had left behind.

        If it weren’t for the few remaining havens of free thought like NC, I would only be using the Internet for occasional reference and nothing more. (I appreciate the existence of alternative social networks like Mastodon, but given what happened with the original social networks, I can’t be bothered to make an account.)

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Is Mastodon “free” to its users? If so, it can only be paid for by selling ads. In which case, it will adopt its own version of the same old brand name algorithms designed to drive click-rates and sticky eyeballs.

          If people want a new Social Media service which will not become another Facebook or whatever, they will need to be willing to pay a subscription for it. A subscription high enough to allow such a new service to remain mildly but consistently profitable. ” Like” a “public utility”.

          Unless a critical massload of “just enough millions” of people are ready to PAY in ADVANCE with their OWN PERSONAL MONEY, they will never get the Shinola Search and Social they would like to have.

          Sh*t gots to be paid for. One way or another.

  14. Wukchumni

    Amazing posturing with pooches video, and that said, i’d rather stay in the car while Jim gets out of a perfectly good automobile to rile up a mongrel mix of two dozen and reasons with them, and lets hope his Mutual of Omaha life insurance payments are up to date.

    There was a tv series called Thrillseekers in the early 70’s, with host Chuck Connors.

    Watch a guy show you how to touch a certain part with a quick twist on an alligators lower belly if you want to examine it while it’s immobilized from your action.

    …yeah lets not do that one either, eh?

    (start @ 1:20)

    Saw my 10th black bear of the year, Ursidae bolted across the road 40 feet in front of my fenders so quick it seemed as if all 4 legs were in the air, whence we enjoyed our company for less than a couple seconds. An all black of medium size, about 200 pounds.

  15. lyman alpha blob

    Friday Night Bytes: Can Analytics Revolutionize High School Football?

    Well they’ve already ruined pro baseball and basketball with analytics, so why not go for the amateur sports too? It could fix the concussion problem by making the games nearly unwatchable to the point no one wants to play anymore, so problem solved!

    Reading my comments this morning, I appear to have woken up more on the curmudgeonly side than usual. Perhaps a cup of green tea with prove soothing, but until then, get off my lawn ;)

  16. rowlf

    Will Biden be the US’s Brezhnev? I see a lot of parallels beyond gaffes in speeches .Will the press be adding new words to the dictionary to support a cult of personality?

    1. SalonBee

      Biden will not be seen very much in public or at press conferences. His appearances will be carefully controlled and limited, and his twitter account carefully curated and managed by a team. He will be a ghost who will enable the worst people of the GWB and O administrations to increase their war mongering and accelerate their looting of the country.

    2. Big River Bandido

      I think Biden’s presidency will be more like Woodrow Wilson’s, post-stroke. A deluded, addled old man, he’s already surrounded himself with the most mendacious, dull-witted and power-hungry people in his PAC party, and topped it all off with a politically-tone deaf second wife acting as his gatekeeper. Perhaps the only difference between Wilson and Biden are that Biden has never had any natural brilliance whatsoever. (Although in fairness, there were plenty of contemporary commentators who doubted Wilson’s intelligence as well.)

      The most dangerous element of Wilson’s collapse was that there was no central figure around to keep the criminals in his administration (McAdoo, Palmer, J. Edgar Hoover, etc.) from running amok all over other civil liberties of people in this country. Add to this a total lack of concern for the circumstances of average Americans, and a willingness to run roughshod over other nations of the world, and we have the makings of continued disaster the next 4 years.

      “Nothing will fundamentally change”, indeed.

        1. newcatty

          Think Jill is the good and perfect wife (gatekeeper). It is a given that she follows in Nancy’s footsteps. Imagine Joe doing anything in “public” without Jill whispering in his ear, or holding tight to his wandering hand. The women being the man…got Kamala there and, someone probably keeps up with his behind the scenes “staff”, better. How about his cabinet choices? Quell surprise!

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Didn’t the evil Wilson itself set the running-amok over our Civil Liberties in motion? With its conspiring with Great Britain to get America into the War on the wrong side? And with unleashing waves of antiGermanitic culture-racist anti-Germanite persecution all over America? And with unleashing waves of anti-Socialist persecution all over America? (And by the way, wasn’t it the Evil Wilson itself which forcibly brought Jim Crow to Washington and to the Federal Workforce?)

        It wasn’t Palmer or McAdoo or Jedgar Hoover who persecuted and maneuvered Eugene Debs into prison in order to break the Socialist Party and foam the runway to war. It was the Evil Wilson itself which did that.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      I don’t think so. Its a history rhymes kind of situation, but I think Obama was closer to Brezhnev with his dedication to the decline in place. Though he ran on “hope and change”, he killed attempts at reforms that rhyme with Khrushchev’s attempt to chart a new course. Obama like Brezhnev made sure to do all the party events and “right” rhetoric, but they were just running out the clock.

      Trump was the uncertainty of the 80’s. Maybe Biden is another Brezhnev, but the US is so much like the late USSR. Just look at the leadership of the political parties, and they’ve been there for decades. Pelosi was a monster in the first Shrub Administration. Our empire is different. We don’t have Eastern Europe satellites as much as poodles who could always tell us to take a hike and distant client states. The US isn’t working for enough people to allow Biden to get away with being Brezhnev. Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; This is where we are. The Karens will be less supportive of BLM type protests, but what happens under Biden when the Team Blue Police Departments murder another black man?

      1. rowlf

        Good responses. I get the feeling this is the mid 1970s again and everyone is running on fumes. I also suspect that the media will spend a few years shouting hallelujah with nervous sideways glancing eyes until some mope notices that what they are being served isn’t chocolate.

  17. Watt4Bob

    Trump’s America.

    IMO, Trumps base, or the part of it so many find most annoying, is the most politically naive, in what is an incredibly naive country.

    Think of it, Indigenous peoples, and African Americans have had five hundred years or so to form a workable strategy to resist the oppressive forces arrayed against their efforts to enjoy “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    The White working class has only recently reached the point of understanding that their misery is here to stay.

    The last hundred years includes a long period of time that could be called the pinnacle of working class well-being, but that period is now a fading memory, and the working class doesn’t understand that that is the result of planning on the part of the rich and powerful.

    The white working class has been successfully propagandized to see their problems as the result of ‘their country‘ being over run by poor people of color, people who’ve been successful at demanding ‘free stuff‘ from a weak, and compliant government.

    Our task, as I see it, is in bringing these willfully naive folks up to speed on the nature of their actual enemy.

    In the mean time, we’re going to experience ever increasing violence on the part of a group of people who used to have everything, but now find their backs against the wall, with no idea how they got there.

    The republicans, starting with Nixon, and the ‘Southern Strategy‘ had been slow-walking our nation toward this calamity for the last fifty years.

    Now, Trump has taught the republicans that they can abandon the ‘dog whistle‘, and adopt the bull-horn as the primary tool to herd the white working class into their corner.

    At the exact moment that what is needed is compassion, on the part of the PMC, for the white working-class, so as to allow building solidarity, in resistance to the real enemy, they are being ignored, shamed, and ridiculed, and Trump it seems, has found a way to turn them into storm troops, berserkers in the march to apex fascism.

    And now, with the Biden ‘victory‘, instead of compassion, the whole working-class, including white people are going to be treated to a healthy dose of austerity.

    Add to that misery, the continued disgust that will be exhibited towards Trump’s white working-class base, complete with loud cheer-leading by the PMC, and we have the ingredients for horrendous civil unrest.

    1. KevinD

      Good Points:
      Drive hatred amongst the peasants to the point they are fragmented (BLM, Proud Boys, etc.) and not likely to congeal behind any shared commonality and you have stagnation, which benefits those entrenched in power and privilege. In actuality, I imagine the individuals behind these groups actually have a lot in common when it comes to stagnant wages, lack of jobs, sucky healthcare – you know, things that really matter. How to move people out of anger and into their shared experiences – that’s the dilemma. empathy is scarce these days.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      The PMC works for the Real Enemy. The PMC loves the Real Enemy with all its heart. The PMC is the public face of the Real Enemy.

      When will the PMC feel compassion/empathy for the White division of the Working Class? In the deathless words of America’s leading Pink KKK Democrat ( and I think you know who I mean) . . . ” Never. Ever.”

  18. Jeff W

    Like everything else in our beknighted and corrupt electoral system…

    I’d describe it as “benighted” myself but maybe you’re ironically (one hopes) taking the point of view of the élites?

    1. hunkerdown

      Knights are analogous to today’s police. So, there are a number of senses in which that brilliant Freudian camisole works.

  19. Wukchumni

    Now that Donald lame duck is about well done, he has nothing to lose after the backedrumptcy conviction.

    What sort of hijinx on the high seize can we look forward to?

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      lame duck a l’orange?

      we’re placing bets in my household as to what trump will do with this news.
      I expect either vanish in a pout and be analogous to late stage howard hughs…or get really crazy on live tv.
      i’ve sensed a bit of manic-depression in the man from the get-go…and mania can only last so long.
      what does “trump goes completely crazy” even look like at this point?

      1. Brian (another one they call)

        Trump doctors announce the president has been using psylocibin therapy for ego replacement syndrome. Doctors became worried when he was repeatedly seen and heard humming “The beat goes on” and pretending to dance with Cher. In other news the east wing of has been rubberized and will soon be bidenized.

      2. Rhondda

        At least he should ‘pardon’ (I use the term loosely) Assange and Snowden. It would make people’s heads explode. But I doubt much will happen; T never had much grip on the levers of power.

  20. Rod

    The Unannounced Death Of The Green New Deal: Part 2 – An Object Of Projection

    a tome for certain–could be a tomb also–from 1/3 in so far.
    The SOURCE links backing the argument are pretty impressive, and stand stark in supporting the claim.
    burning away the winter daylight, so i had to stop at this:

    In late Auguest 2019 Data for Progress published their ‘scorecard’ of Jay Inslee’s climate plans. In it they further redefine “clean energy” as renewable or non-renewable. In the public conception “clean energy” is interchangeable with “renewable energy”. The creation of the term “non-renewable clean energy” demonstrates that the word “clean”, as it appears in the Green New Deal Report includes, nuclear, biomass burning, fossil hydrogen and carbon capture.

    because ‘this word salad has an odor’ imo.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I don’t understand the drift of your comment. What odor do you smell from the except you extracted?

      I confess I took a quick look at the link but stopped reading fairly quickly. I have trouble with the headline. How can the Green New Deal die when it was never alive to begin with. I have never regarded the Green New Deal as any more than a neat device for extracting green from the Government through the Green New Deal ventures mysteriously popping up with slick websites and brochures and what appeared to me as thinly veiled Big Money backing. The “Planet of the Humans” documentary cemented this opinion.

  21. The Rev Kev

    “the Trump supporters wanted the count stopped because they were not allowed to watch”

    Here in Oz I have worked at the polls on a dozen or more occasions. Typically you have old, stalwarts of the political parties outside the polling stations handing out how-to-vote cards for people on their way in. Then when the polls close at 6 pm, one from each party come inside to watch the sorting and the counting of the votes. They stay only long enough to see which way the seat is going to go and then they are off. I can tell you that they watch the votes like a hawk as they are counted and it is all polite.

    So in the US at the moment, I think that you should have only party members being observers. Otherwise you might have some ding-bat who might decide to try to bring his AR-15 in with him to ‘protect the votes.’ Not such a stretch that when you think back on that mob of militia who brought their automatic rifles into a State building. There are now four more years until the next election so they have that amount of time to reform the voting process – or make them even more corrupt.

    1. Ford Prefect

      My understanding is that the counting has generally been watched by some people from both parties pretty much everywhere. Just a bunch of people think that they need to be in their as well and are making noise.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          That position could be defended . . . . as long as there are enough order-enforcers on hand to round up and throw out all rioters, whether Brooks Brothers or Balaclava, who get in by pretending to be interested observers. And then start their vote-count-stopping riot.

  22. km

    Forgive me for overstating the obvious, but I can tell you why Pelosi was in no hurry to reach a deal on a second stimulus – because the worse off ordinary people were, the more likely they were to blame their troubles on the incumbent president.

    Sociopathic, yes, but we are led by sociopaths.

    1. Roger Smith

      Even Wolf Blitzer was questioning her psychopathy. Agreed. However, on the other side of the coin, Trump could have actually had some consistent messaging and initiative. The Democrats couldn’t have beat him, even with their 4 year Intelligence Agency multi-prong psyop and COVID, if he hadn’t given them the final push.

      1. km

        Oh, I am not arguing in favor of Trump competence.

        Still, if Nancy’s goal was to not make a deal, I’m not sure what concessions Trump could have offered that would change that.

    2. Wukchumni

      Nancy drew the line…

      Let them eat cake 76 days from now after the inauguration, although I feel positive the outgoing Chief Executive will be empathetic with the common person’s plight between now and then and not starve out his constituency.

    3. jef

      That and the whole right vs left thing makes it impossible for either side to allow even the most remote win for the other so they always throw in an absolutely “no go” attachment that the other side can’t possibly allow so they can claim that that side is holding up the passage. Then the other side counters with a new version with another “no go” attachment so they can say “no, it’s not us holding things up, it’s them” and so on and so on.

  23. Hepativore

    Has anybody heard anything about what Biden would potentially do in regards to “restoring” the ACA? It was a failed idea from the start and I hope he does not intend on bringing back the individual mandate.

    I am uninsured because the only plan that I can even think of purchasing on my meager wage at work is Cigna’s bronze plan. There is no point in buying a healthcare plan I can barely afford and is worthless because of the several-thousand dollar deductible and then being penalized for it.

    1. Roger Smith

      I am sorry to hear this. I really hope his administration does not reinstate the mandate, although I don’t think they’d have the votes. To me that was Trump’s best policy win, destroying the mandate (something I saw as truly fascist). I have not heard any specifics if any were given.

    2. carl

      Yeah, the only thing I can think of is he’ll bring back the penalty. So, it’ll cost me more money, because I gave up my crap policy as soon as the penalty went away.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Has anybody heard anything about what Biden would potentially do in regards to “restoring” the ACA? It was a failed idea from the start and I hope he does not intend on bringing back the individual mandate.

      Biden would bring back the mandate. November 6, 2020:

      What’s in: The individual mandate

      President Donald Trump got rid of the individual mandate when he signed the GOP tax bill into law in 2017. Biden would bring back the penalty for not being covered under health insurance under his plan.

      Since the individual mandate currently is not federal law, a Biden campaign official said that he would use a combination of executive orders to undo the changes and use his “longstanding history of getting stuff done in Congress to get legislation to build on the Affordable Care Act.”

      So, thanks to [gesture warning off the evil eye], I no longer had to purchase insurance with a deductible so high I could never have gotten treatment, and with no penalty, I saved around $1600 in taxes over two years. That’s certainly more than Obama’s Democrats have done for me.

  24. Wukchumni

    Gooooood Moooooorning Fiatnam!

    Semper Fight! was the battle cry from a lonely outpost in Khe Sanh on the Potomac, as the occupant laid in for what experts think will be the end of a lengthy siege lasting nearly some 4 years now.

  25. BoyDownTheLane

    From the above:

    “President Trump let them do exactly what the Democrats are doing in each battleground state in real time. He had to first let them commit the crime so that now they can do the time.

    Once Biden declares victory after grabbing the necessary 270 electoral votes, this immense BLUE crime wave will come crashing down for good.

    Then, Team Trump can begin the process of prosecuting the many Democrat VIPs and Leftie henchmen who are guilty of carrying out this complex criminal conspiracy at every level.”

  26. Drake

    Even if Biden Wins, It’s Trump’s America Now Foreign Policy

    My eyes are still burning after reading this one. Here’s where I learn that GOP never-Trumpers are:

    “former GOP officials dedicated to process, competent governance, the importance of institutions, and at least some basic form of national unity, and who are desperate to reform the party”

    “Some basic form” is doing a lot of work there.

    This is a vile propaganda piece from beginning to end. It acknowledges that Trump won 5 million more votes than in 2016 and improved his standing with blacks and Latinos, the conclusion is horror that this might encourage the Republicans to hamper Biden’s program (like Biden, he doesn’t specify what this program will be). Trump is accused of the usual litany of crimes (racism is pointedly left off, having improved his standing with blacks and Latinos, but sexism is included, though he also improved his standing with women) including disdain for “freedom of the press”, something that hasn’t existed for Trump supporters for a while now.

    Finally we are told that “Biden’s goal is healing the nation’s divisions and governing in a way that brings everyone together”, just like Obama before him, but due to Republican “obstreperousness” and “ugliness”, which has “received a dramatic embrace from nearly half the country” this sadly may not be possible. Good lord. I can’t even.

    1. Clem

      “healing the nation’s divisions and governing in a way that brings everyone together”, except those deplorables, to and including 97% Hispanic counties in Texas, black business owners in Baltimore, university educated women, 1/3 of asians, 1/3 of immigrants, all of whom voted for Trump. Exlude the M4A activists, veterans of Occupy Wall Street, the Tulsi Gabbard supporters, Veterans Against Foreign Wars who don’t accept him and that’s a pretty small inclusive party that he’s convoking.

      1. Adam

        Where’s your source for this information? It sounds obviously incorrect. Should any election fraud exist, it’s not going to involve something so blatantly obvious.

  27. fresno dan

    The great Richard Feynman said, “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” 
    Most people at some point figure out that they are not nearly as smart as they thought they were – how well one maneuvers through life is probably dependent on how soon one accepts this.  
    It strikes me that the news is just like the business news – an all consuming interest in knowing what will happen in the future, which is impossible.  I think in my lifetime, when I was young, reporting on any subject was much more a presentation of what HAD actually happened (which why, when I was young, the national news was 15 minutes. Not between commercial breaks – JUST 15 minutes a DAY).  Now it seems to me 99% of what I see is either what is supposed to happen, or what should happen…

    1. fresno dan

      And speaking of lying to oneself
      In his book Everybody Lies Seth Stephens-Davidowitz talks about why this happens:

      People lie about how many drinks they had on the way home. They lie about how often they go to the gym, how much those new shoes cost, whether they read that book. They call in sick when they’re not. They say they’ll be in touch when they won’t. They say it’s not about you when it is. They say they love you when they don’t. They say they’re happy while in the dumps. They say they like women when they really like men.

      People lie to friends. They lie to bosses. They lie to kids. They lie to parents. They lie to doctors. They lie to husbands. They lie to wives. They lie to themselves.
      And they damn sure lie to surveys.
      Speaking of lying, I think after all these years of posting on the internet, I tell the truth. I am a dog. Not figuratively, literally. And if you think your day was hard, every post is typed with paws.

      1. zagonostra

        Me ow

        Nicola of Cusa encouraged “learned ignorance” he would certainly be miffed at where things have ended up.

        Richard Feynman doesn’t have to worry about his first principle, it’s put into effect everyday here in good ole US of A, just not the way he intended.

        1. John Anthony La Pietra

          IIRC, it’s Donald Westlake in one of the Dortmunder novels (Drowned Hopes, I think) who has a character theorize that smoke signals were the first medium of lying — because for the first time you couldn’t look at the face of the person communicating with you and judge for yourself how trustworthy (or not) they were.

      2. Jeremy Grimm

        Remember the Wisdom from the movie Interstellar: “Absolute honesty isn’t always the most diplomatic nor the safest form of communication with emotional beings.”

    2. shtove

      Most people at some point figure out that they are not nearly as smart as they thought they were – how well one maneuvers through life is probably dependent on how soon one accepts this.

      Are you sure you haven’t fooled yourself right there? Turtles all the way down …

  28. Grumpy Engineer

    Regarding “the Unannounced Death of the Green New Deal”, this quote from David Roberts was key:

    The delicate dance is to keep the GND fuzzy enough to allow a broad coalition of people and interests to see themselves in it — which is, somewhat miraculously, what seems to have happened so far — while specifying it enough to avoid having it watered down into a feel-good buzzword.

    Alas, that tactic only works with people who are likely to be your supporters anyway. For people who are skeptical of the GND, the fuzziness allows them to imagine the worst. I know people who expect they’d have to bicycle to work under the GND, having to endure rugged terrain and wintertime snowstorms along the way. Would this really be their fate? It’s hard to say, when the GND is so fuzzy.

    And for energy system experts, the complete absence of technical information (i.e., like a list of power generation and energy storage technologies to be used, with quantities specified) makes it impossible to determine the feasibility and actual cost of the program. Here, one can only conclude that the GND advocates haven’t done their homework. How does one determine a $10 trillion price tag for a detail-free plan anyway?

    1. Rod

      2/3s read and no mention of XR amongst NGOs:

      Extinction Rebellion US
      Extinction Rebellion US is not affiliated with, nor do we support XR America. Our heart and solidarity is with climate justice. XR America has removed the XR US 4th demand and replaced it with an “All Lives …

      (#13 bing search first page–v–#39 on page 7 of google search–an anecdote)

      1. Grumpy Engineer

        XR probably wasn’t listed among NGOs because they aren’t putting forth any hard policy proposals. They list a few top-level goals and a demand to “do something”. [And establishing a citizens’ committee isn’t a hard policy proposal. It’s just asking politicians to get somebody else to “do something”.]

        Any real policy proposal for addressing CO2 emissions must address EQUIPMENT. What power generating (or power consuming) equipment will be de-commissioned? What will be left in place? What will be newly erected? How much of what types of new equipment will be installed? How much energy storage will be required? Will subsidies be made available for people and small businesses that cannot afford to replace their hydrocarbon-fueled vehicles and furnaces? How much mining would be required to produce the raw materials for all the new stuff? How much will all of this cost? Is there any hope of doing this in 5 years? Do we actually have enough labor and energy and raw materials to pull it off?

        Any “plan” that focuses only on lofty goals and high-level process concerns isn’t a real plan. Absent equipment details, you can expect that your political opponents will fill things in for you. This is where numbers like the American Action Forum’s $93 trillion price tag came from. They took at guess at the details required and added up the numbers. I’ve done a similar exercise myself and come up with similar numbers. But these are guesses, as GND advocates have provided no hard details.

  29. michael99

    The AP website has a picture of a decrepit Joe Biden speaking at a lectern with a masked Kamala Harris in the immediate background, and the thought that comes to mind is whoever guided the Dem’s strategy in this presidential campaign is one savvy bastard.

  30. Daryl

    One thing I have not heard discussed and found interesting while poking through Texas vote counts, third party votes. (I am surprised I have not heard this at all as usual third party voters are the first to be blamed for Dems not winning, but I digress). In Texas, it seems like down-ballot races received a higher % of third party votes than did the presidential race. Perhaps people are being more strategic with the big one, and less so with the downballot ones?

    Ex, on the Texas election results right now (

    Trump 52.17%, Biden 46.4%, Libertarian 1.11%, Green 0.29%

    But for Senate

    Cornyn 53.6%, Hegar 43.78%, Libertarian 1.88%, Green 0.73%

    Small numbers, but it seems that more people are tired of being sold the same crap year after year.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Either more people are tired of being sold the same crap or perhaps our cat herders are losing their touch or their concern about a few strays here and there.

  31. Clem

    Looks like the Kamaelon just got inserted into the white house. The numbers are in favor of Biden, no way Trump can win.

    Question now is:
    Who will Governor Newsom appoint to fill Harris’ senate seat?

    Willie Brown? Been there, done that.

    It will have to be reserved for a non-white female, perhaps Karen Bass or, a Latinixa? Ideally, per party performativism, a transgender biracial womyn from somewhere in the party? Any suggestions?

  32. Sub-Boreal

    On the post-election response of the stock market (from a Canadian financial commentator in a mainstream paper):

    ” … the stock market, the heartbeat of capitalism, responded to this electoral message – because it was a message that said loud and clear, to the world and at home, that “we are a centre-right country, and will never be centre-left, under any circumstances.” End of story. The notion in the primaries that the United States would ever become more like Europe (or Canada) has now been put to rest. And the equity market Wednesday and Thursday put an exclamation mark on that assessment.”

    (paywalled at: )

  33. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

    Re: “neutral South Korea”. There can be no neutral. There are client states and there are enemy ‘regimes.’

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Switzerland is neutral. Bhutan is neutral. So are some others.

      Or are you being snarkastic? The internet is a very poor place for snarkasm. Ponderous linearity is more clearly understood, even if it isn’t as interesting.

  34. Cuibono

    Data on immunity to other coronaviruses suggest that immunity to SARS-CoV-2 might be short lived, perhaps 12–18 months in duration. Whether past infection will prevent severe COVID-19 on re-exposure to SARS-CoV-2 is not known at present.”

    YEP. no way anyone can reasonably disagree with anything said here and that should give us all pause.

    1. Ford Prefect

      I think the big question is whether or not it fades to “novel virus” lack of immunity or “common cold” lack of immunity. If it ends up being something like the typical common cold or flu ciriculating, it is an issue but something that society is used to addressing.

      1. Cuibono

        we have no way to assess that . For now that scenario may be wishful thinking.
        Of course over the LONG haul you are right. And we are all dead

  35. Cuibono

    “Counties with worst virus surges overwhelmingly voted Trump”
    Let me fix that for you:

    “Counties that overwhelmingly voted for Trump suffer the worst from Corona Virus surge.
    Likely all the anti mask idiots.

    1. flora

      or, before one gets all moralistically, the virus is working its way across the country from coastal NY and CA into the more rural parts of the center, now that the colleges have re-opened. No, gotta have some moral finger wagging attached to a pandemic. Yeah, that’s the ticket. /meh

      1. flora

        Because, of course, HIV patients deserved that scourge… right? Because life-style “choices” , right? Dismiss them as people “asking for it”… yeah… that will keep us all safe and well. Viruses really care about moral finger wagging. /s

        My rural state, very blue county/city is seeing a big increase because the college opened and all the students from across the country returned.

  36. flora

    re: The Moustache Of Misunderstanding – Eschaton

    So true. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

  37. ewmayer

    “Intranasal fusion inhibitory lipopeptide prevents direct contact SARS-CoV-2 transmission in ferrets (preprint) | bioRxiv” [Lambert:] Monkeys exaggerate and mice lie. I don’t know what ferrets do. — Um, they weasel out of giving an honest answer?

  38. ewmayer

    Which is the Real “Working Class Party” Now? | Matt Taibbi — Only partial content for non-subscribers, but actually, if the article ended where the free version does, it still makes sense from a completion standpoint.

    The numbers among all the various subgroups that were supposed to absolutely *hate* Trump per the MSM are simply stunning. For example, I was saying to myself in the past few months that Team D was making a huge mistake by taking Latinos for granted – but many Ls are conservative, dislike illegals because they compete with them for lower-wage jobs, and most are working class, meaning you can’t simply airily tell them “we must shut down the economy because pandemic” – they need to work or they literally lose their homes and starve. So they saw Trump pushing for more stimulus checks and the Ds fighting that tooth and nail, and figured T didn’t do much to help cover lost wages, but at least he did *something*.

    Like I said to my sister, in a perverse way I want Biden to win because the real economic sh*t – 3rd wave of Corona, wave of mass evictions, etc – has still not fully hit the fan, and when it does it will make Team Ds utter abandonment of the working class crystal-clear.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Like I said to my sister, in a perverse way I want Biden to win because the real economic sh*t – 3rd wave of Corona, wave of mass evictions, etc – has still not fully hit the fan, and when it does it will make Team Ds utter abandonment of the working class crystal-clear.

      Biden will have an opportunity to show what he’s made of almost immediately, when the wave of evictions hits.

  39. drumlin woodchuckles

    That Science article on emissions from agriculture deserves a close, slow and detailed read. I have to get back to work in a few minutes so I can’t give it the read it deserves.

    But I can ask a question: what is the opposite of “emissions”? Is there a word for the opposite of “emissions”. And “emissions control” is not the opposite of emissions. It is merely less emissions. Which is less of the same thing, and certainly not the opposite thing.

    I know there are any number of complex, clunky and tedious phrases for “the opposite of emissions”. But can’t there be a single word? A single word for “the opposite of emissions” would make the “opposite of emissions” much easier to imagine and hence to work to achieve.

    If an agrosystem sucks down more carbon via the plants involved and stores more of it in the soil and in plant perma-residue in the soil than what the whole agro-system on that particular area under that particular consideration emits . . . . then that agrosystem is achieving ” the opposite of emissions”.

    We need a word for that. ” Negemissions”? De-missions? Counteremissions? DownMissions? Dis-missions? Un-missions?Reverse emissions? ( That one could work. It sounds a little like “reverse racism”, which certainly engages the brain of millions of people).

    What one word would be good for that?

    1. AnonyMouse

      The academic jargon generally has this as “Negative Emissions” or Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) or Greenhouse Gas Removal (GGR) with the more poetic amongst us trying to get “Drawdown” into play

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Negamissions. Negamission Drawdowns. CDR could be good because it is easy to say. ” Cee Dee Arrs”.

        Skyheater Gas Drawdowns. Skyheater Gas Removals.

        Lets all throw some jello at the top of the flagpole to see who salutes what sticks.

    2. John Anthony La Pietra

      What came first to mind for me was “remediation”. (OTOH, I am — in my fourth career or so — an attorney.)

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      “Capture” could be good. If the two-word phrase “carbon capture” isn’t too clunky, that could be good too. Hopefully some such word will be as common as “emissions” so the full range of discussion can be had.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > “Capture” could be good

        The problem with capture is that it says nothing about the use the capturing system makes of that which is captured. For example, the organic matter containing carbon that is “captured” by soil makes the soil richer and better (one hopes).

        Unfortunately, “recycle” has bad connotations now, too, and “reprocess” (from the nuclear industry) does too.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          How about “bio-capture”? Or how about ” green-capture”?

          Or other better words that other people would please please please submit?

          We really do need a pithy and punchy 1-or-2-word phrase for this, to make the discussion easy for millions of people to have by giving those millions of people a meaning-rich, positively-emotive-valence word to use in discussions with fellow laymen and laywomen like themselves ( ourselves).

        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          I have sometimes spoken of Carbon Skyflooding to describe pouring the CO2, CH4, etc. into the air.

          If Carbon Skyflooding catches on, perhaps that will lead to its opposite, Carbon Skydraining catching on.

          SkyCarbon Drainage. Sky Heater Gas Drainage. Heater Gas Sky Drainage, Heatergas Skydrainage, etc.

        3. drumlin woodchuckles

          If the word “capture” gains and retains good connotations, then it may attract some of the people who hear it to stay around for an intro level discussion of which capture methods have what effects on what systems. A word can’t do all that by itself, but if the word attracts listeners and readers to people who CAN do what the word itself canNOT do, then the word is a valuable word for moving the discussion forward.

          And if “capture” proves to be that good invite-the-public-in word, then “capture” it shall be, through a linguistico-Darwinian selection process over time.

  40. UserFriendly

    The Unannounced Death Of The Green New Deal: Part 2 – An Object Of Projection The Wrong Kind of Green. Part 1. Can’t tell the players without a scorecard on this one, but informative nonetheless.

    God, they take that one horrible Jacobson study that has been thoroughly debunked as gospel. Anyone that doesn’t follow them into fantasy land is a sell out. I’m convinced that no one has done more harm to the environmental movement than him.

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