Links 12/3/2020

Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, 94, Is Dead; Struggled to Transform France New York Times. From Covid.

Mort de Valéry Giscard d’Estaing : le destin facétieux du « président moderne » Le Monde

The Social Life of Forests New York Times (Robert M)

Shorts that imitate Kim Kardashian’s bum are “a perfect ubuesque finale for 2020” says commenter de zeen (resilc)

New mystery metal monolith appears on a California mountaintop Guardian (David L)

Photography campaign shows the grim aftermath of logging in Canada’s fragile forests Guardian (resilc)

Price of electricity new renewables vs new power plants Barry Ritholtz

The Dark Side Of Solar Power Hackaday (Kevin W)

Disney Is Teaching Robots How to Sculpt With Clay Gizmodo


The Sadness of the Trips Not Taken New York Times. Resilc: “Sadness is not having enough food or heat.”


Olfactory transmucosal SARS-CoV-2 invasion as a port of central nervous systementry in individuals with COVID-19 Nature (Bob H)

COVID patient with sepsis makes ‘remarkable’ recovery following megadose of vitamin C (Kevin W)

We’re just beginning to understand how our genes and COVID-19 mix Popular Science (resilc)

Taking Two Different Vaccines? Science (UserFriendly)

CDC says recommended quarantine time after COVID-19 exposure may be shortened to 7 or 10 days, down from 14 USA (Kevin W)

The Covid-19 vaccines are a marvel of science. Here’s how we can make the best use of them STAT (Kevin C)

Researchers determine how the SARS-CoV-2 virus hijacks and rapidly causes damage to human lung cells PhysOrg (David L)


Possible HHS Pick Shielded Nursing Homes From Liability During COVID Outbreak The Daily Poster (UserFriendly)

Inside the cutthroat bidding war for Covid-19 nurses Quartz (resilc)

How Many Died From Coronavirus at the Bronxwood Assisted Living Facility? No One Knows. New Republic (UserFriendly)

At tiny rural hospitals, weary doctors treat friends, family Associated Press


Middle class, professional… and forced to feed our families from food banks: They’ve lost their income, used up years of savings, put their homes on the market and even sold off furniture to make ends meet in the pandemic Daily Mail


Democrats just moved toward Republicans on the stimulus. What’s their plan? Washington Post (Kevin W)

COVID-19 damage to Social Security to extend beyond pandemic The Hill

Janet Yellen calls for action to prevent US economic ‘devastation’ Financial Times (furzy)

Release of PPP loan recipients’ data reveals troubling patterns NBC


China grapples with the price of modern power Asia Times

Congress Sets Stage for Exiling Chinese Stocks From U.S. Over Audit Dispute Wall Street Journal

Canada asks court to throw out expert affidavit in Huawei CFO’s U.S. extradition case Reuters

Unreasonable Force Jeremy Harding, London Review of Books (Anthony L). On police violence in France.

UK seeks site for first nuclear fusion power station Financial Times (furzy)

New Cold War

Moldova’s new president calls for Russian troops to withdraw from territory BBC (furzy)


‘Harsh revenge’: How will Iran respond to scientist’s killing? Al Jazeera (furzy)

Gantz breaks with Netanyahu, votes with opposition to dissolve parliament Haaretz (resilc)

After the Coronavirus took down Trump in Election, could Israeli PM Netanyahu be Next? Juan Cole

THE ANGRY ARAB: Robert Fisk & the Decline of Western Reporting on the Middle East Consortiumnews (UserFriendly)

Imperial Collapse Watch

It’s Official: The USS Bonhomme Richard Can’t Be Saved Popular Mechanics. Resilc: “Santa will bring a new war toy.”

US Navy chief wants Indian Ocean ‘1st Fleet,’ possibly in Singapore Nikkei (furzy)

Trump Transition

Will Trump be Prosecuted? American Conservative (UserFriendly)

Report: Trump has raised more than $150 million since Election Day The Week (resilc)

List of Republicans breaking with Trump grows longer The Hill

Mnunchin’s over-the-top bullying efforts confirm what a textbook case of Dunning Krueger effect he is:

It Seems Bad That the Guy the President Just Pardoned Is Calling for Him to Execute a Military Coup Esquire

The Obamas are producing a Netflix comedy series about the Trump administration Boing Boing (resilc). Late to the party. New York Magazine was making fun of Trump in the 1980s.

Evaluating the scale, growth, and origins of right-wing echo chambers on YouTube ARxiv


Three Tactics of the Neoliberal Order and the Biden/Harris Transition Glenn Greenwald

Top Biden Adviser Lobbied on Behalf of Trump Corporate Tax Cut Intercept (UserFriendly)

Chinese influence ‘on steroids’ targets Biden team BBC

Black Lives Matter movement at a crossroads as Biden prepares to take office Washington Post (Kevin W)

The Consultant-Class Feminism of Joe Biden’s Cabinet New Republic

More on the Claudia Sahm/Heather Boushey controversy. Please read the entire thread (hat tip UserFriendly):

Central America Is Really Hoping Biden Will Fix Their Corruption Problems VICE. Resilc: “Before or after USA USA’s?”

Officials Warn Defunding Police Could Lead To Spike In Crime From Ex-Officers With No Outlet For Violence The Onion

Aftermarket truck mods pollute as much as 9 million extra pickups ars technica

New Electric Cars Have Problems In Latest Consumer Reports Survey autoblog

VW’s Hitzinger says complexity of new cars to drive consolidation Reuters. Resilc: “Complexity up/ reliability down.”

Gary Cohn holds out against returning Goldman pay after 1MDB scandal Financial Times

Former California pension CIO scrutinized for China ties was highest paid state employee: watchdog Fox Business (Kevin W). So let me get this straight: it’s a scandal that the state’s top investment official was paid more that a football coach? For instance, Nick Saban’s salary at the University of Alabama is $8.6 million, versus total comp for Meng of $1.7 million.

Class Warfare

Couch Surfing the Waves of American Poverty Current Affairs (UserFriendly)

U.S. Labor Board accuses Google of spying on employees, discouraging worker organization, and retaliation CNBC

Real Estate: Big City Buyers Boost Rural Property Market Prices, Horrify Locals Bloomberg

Antidote du jour. CV: “A Red Spotted Purple resting on a native blueberry shrub.”

And a bonus (guurst):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here

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  1. Krystyn Podgajski

    RE: The Sadness of the Trips Not Taken New York Times. Resilc: “Sadness is not having enough food or heat.”

    Resilc, just wanted to thank you for that comment. What these people are experiencing is a temporary lack of agency in one area of their life that they can easily replace with another action. This COVID took away any agency I had left, making it impossible to live in my van even. When I say I was close to suicide again I am not embellishing at all. The temptation of swerving into an oncoming Tesla was ever prevalent.

    And this easily blends with the Couch Surfing homeless article, a life I have been living for the last 10 years, relying on friends to rent me a room because landlords now want proof you make 3x the rent in income which is impossible on disability.

    It is horrible what is happening in the homeless community right now, people have no idea. One of the few places they can go to warm up, like a Starbucks, is no longer accessible. What will this do to them in LA as Newsom shuts things down even further? No one even talks about it all, so sad and frustrating…maybe it is how I will express my agency when I get back to NC.

    1. zagonostra

      When suffering happens to the indigent it doesn’t penetrate the public mind/consciousness. It’s like Berkeley’s “tree falling in the forest,” if the media is not there to report on it, it didn’t happen. Unless it impacts a wide swath of the PMC, the gov’t disregards enacting policies to address problems. And, it won’t be any different with OBiden in office…hang in there KP.

    2. cocomaan

      I was talking to an undergraduate public policy class yesterday as an invited guest, as I have experience working in the welfare system and with social service non profits. I was impressed that the kids immediately seized on how the reaction we have to Covid is destroying opportunity for the populations I’ve worked with, including the homeless, low income households, and those with disabilities. They were engaged and enthusiastic and I left energized.

      So reserve some hope. The current generation of leadership (so those in charge, 50 or over) has caused every institution to crumble through myopia, ideology, or just plain laziness. The younger generations are going to have to rebuild. I think they’re up to the task.

      Incidentally, couch surfing is harder to pull off now because families have their quarantine pod, making helping strangers that much less attractive.

      1. JTMcPhee

        “Destroying opportunity.” Just a little bit of text that should hardly set me off, but it seems, in context given, to capture how deeply the neoliberal thoughtf@ck has penetrated. Those populations “worked with,” including the homeless, low income households, and those with disabilities, don’t need “opportunity,” that marker of neoliberalism. They need support, and a massive restructuring of the game, which is so totally stacked to move all wealth into the grasping claws of the Few and their enablers hoping, like remoras swimming with the shark, for scraps from the gluttonous feeding frenzy.

        The people attracted to public policy classes — are they really new and different from the kind of people attracted to the power centers over the last couple of hundred years? Speaking Woke and even recognizing the sickness in the political economy does not equate to some upsurge of eleemosynary energy. Not when careers are being launched, in academic institutions that tend to foster the elite PMC and take money from Kochs and grind down any academics who dare to challenge the received wisdom.

        I’ll acknowledge I don’t swim in those waters with the young scholars, but I would be surprised, given the givens, that there could be a bunch of young people, trained and strained through the process that leads to university entry, who are dedicated to overthrowing or even significantly palliating the horrors of the current regime. As opposed to making useful connections and setting themselves up for comfortable participation in the game as it’s currently played.

        1. cocomaan

          I know where you’re coming from, and I share a distaste for the current financial and political systems (otherwise why be on NC?), but I don’t see how dismissing young people interested learning how government power works is going to get you any closer to your goal. These are kids taking out student loans to try and better themselves, at great cost and basically a promise of financial ruin.

          Because there are few avenues for “comfortable participation in the game” at this point, speaking as a person about a dozen years older than these kids. They’re going to graduate into the worst job market since, well, the worst job market in a hundred years that I graduated into.

          So yeah, I have a lot of faith in them. Hardship makes a generation stronger and smarter. And these young people are having a miserable time of it already.

          1. JTMcPhee

            The faith in young people is touching. One remembers the career paths of folks from my generation, like Abbie Hoffman, and more tellingly Jerry Rubin, “an early investor in Apple Computer who became a multimilloinaire.”

            One telling of the myth of Pandora and her fateful box, that once contained and restrained all the plagues on humankind, has it that the last plague to be released, and the worst, was “Hope.”

            i hope I’m wrong…

            1. cocomaan

              Hah, well I hope you are wrong too. But as a student of history, it seems to me that every society eventually thinks that it lives in the end times, yet time has a particular way of marching on despite our belief that it wont.

              And the young always have to overthrow what their parents built, all the while hoisting the baggage that they were born with.

          2. Sharron

            My daughter, just finishing up her degree, is so plugged into the issues of poor and stressed communities, I am just amazed. Young people have much different sources of current events, than we do and it focuses on issues and solutions from a different perspective. As college students living is a city, homelessness is all round them daily.

            While I don’t agree with all of her perspectives for solutions, I recognize what is going on now is terrible and we need more humane different solutions than the current-throw them away attitudes that rule today.

            I feel like she is representative of many of the kids in school now. They are horrified at what they see happening to other and terrified it could happen to them. I agree, if we give these kids a chance they can improve our country.

            1. cocomaan

              This is heartening. That’s what I saw in these kids as well. I tried to get across the idea that you can and should try to imagine alternatives to the systems that are in place. I think they will.

              I also tried to get across that I had survived despite graduating into the 2009 recession with a degree in philosophy. Because these kids are going to enter a nation in tatters and few if any of their professors have any actual career advice for them, having been in the academy for a very long time.

        2. John Anthony La Pietra

          Hmm — what’s the difference (if any) between that “opportunity” and “access”?

          1. JTMcPhee

            That was my first thought, too. Neoliberal dogma and cant runs deep after all the years of programming and propaganda. So hard to think in any other terms.

    3. Janie

      Continuing good wishes for you. Would not know about zinc and covid, and many other things, without you.

    4. skippy

      Twice I experienced being a vagabond after experiences which I departed on ethical reasons. Suffice it to say … I persisted too put a bold punctuation point on that decision, mattered not if others knew or did not, what mattered was I knew.

      Now the person I knew for over 25 years is gone, but not really, life post child rearing with renewed focus on relationship matters with it, I now have no say in any of it.

      Yet myself will persist … and think you should too …

    5. Anonymous

      For whoever is joined with all the living, there is hope; surely a live dog is better than a dead lion. Ecclesiastes 9:4

    6. Maritimer

      Just before Covid hit, I had planned a visit to the Hamptons to experience the Smell Of Money. Sadly, I had to cancel and this lifetime dream trip now will probably never happen. Life can be so cruel.

  2. zagonostra

    >Unreasonable Force Jeremy Harding, London Review of Books

    Jimmy Dore covered Article 24 which protects the police in France from citizens filming them with up to 40K Euros and 1 year in prison in a live stream last night. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, like in the U.S. there is seething anger in the population that the establishment knows will only take a small nudge to set off a conflagration.

    Also covered on the JD live stream last night was what the U.S. MSM is NOT covering, like the largest general strike in the history of of the world that took place in India with 250 Million participating (in NC links yesterday).

    What I find curious when looking at the number of views that JD garners on his YouTube channel, is that they are all a small fraction of the number of subscribers. I don’t know for sure nor do I have evidence but I suspect Google purposely alters the number of views it lists when it doesn’t care for the content. By the way, what ever happened to the Tulsi Gabbard law suit against Google when the latter took her official web site down during primary debate?

    Article 24 is a defiant response from the Ministry of the Interior to recordings of police behaviour during the gilet-jaune protests in 2018 and 2019… It has said that it wishes to rule only against the use of footage for ‘malicious’ purposes. In November it took the unusual step of convening a committee to reconsider article 24, which astonished MPs, including many in Macron’s majority, who had doubts about the law in the first place. They worried that the parliamentary process was being taken out of their hands. Last weekend more than a hundred thousand demonstrators turned out across France to oppose the bill. It was an impressive show of dissent, under the circumstances. Much to his fury, Macron has been forced to interfere in day-to-day government and the parliamentary process, and to tell his minister of the interior that he has got the story wrong. Article 24 of the ‘global security’ bill will be rewritten by parliament, not committee. It may well die a death in the process.

    1. jr

      Dore covered Colbert’s interview with Obama, in which Colbert asked to pause the interview so he could “drink in” the image of Obama while Obama responded that his wife absolutely “loves” Colbert. It was, in a word, gross.

          1. ambrit

            Oh no. Now I’m seeing an image of Colbert in a ‘Little Blue Dress.’
            (It’s times like this that reinforce our decision to get rid of cable.)

        1. Carolinian

          Colbert is surely the Daily Show’s most loathsome alumnus. It’s no wonder he idolizes Obama because for both of them it was always and only about making it. In one of his early books Obama writes about the childhood trauma of realizing he was black and when Colbert pens his “all about me” opus he will have a similar passage about realizing he was a Carolinian. He’s the country’s psychic confusion in a nutshell.

              1. John Wright

                Fourteen years ago Colbert did have ONE bright, shining moment at the 2006 White House correspondents dinner at which he made light of the Bush Administration and the assembled newspaper correspondents.

                President George W. Bush was there,.

                Two samples from the Colbert appearance (from

                Taking on the Bush Admin:

                “Over the last five years, you people were so good—over tax cuts, WMD intelligence, the effect of global warming. We Americans didn’t want to know, and you had the courtesy not to try to find out, […] And then you write, […] “Oh, they’re just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.” First of all, that is a terrible metaphor. This administration is not sinking. This administration is soaring. If anything, they are rearranging the deck chairs on the Hindenburg”

                “At one point, Colbert picks up an emergency phone and explains that Thomas “won’t stop asking why we invaded Iraq”. The dispatcher responds with, “Hey, why did we invade Iraq?”

                And Colbert criticized the Press Corps

                “But, listen, let’s review the rules. Here’s how it works. The President makes decisions. He’s the decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Just put ’em through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration? You know, fiction!”

                After watching this performance, I held out hope that Colbert would be a long term significant critic of USA mis-leadership.

                Fourteen years later, it appears Colbert is nothing much more than a very well-paid performer and reader of words written by others.

                Maybe he looks back at this event as similar to a G.W. Bush “youthful indiscretion.”

                1. Aumua

                  Colbert had more than one shining moment. I always thought he was pretty genius at his height, but now? Gawd. It’s been a long time since I’ve had any inclination to tune in.

                  1. Procopius

                    Same thing, I think, that happened to Bill Maher. He got comfortable and lost his sense of humor. Of course he also fell under the spell of both RussiaRussiaRussia and “Orange Man Bad,” which may have contributed largely to it. He’s basically been a Clintonista for five years.

                2. JohnMinMN

                  “After watching this performance, I held out hope that Colbert would be a long term significant critic of USA mis-leadership.”

                  I remember that he had the chance to do just that when he was interviewed by Tim Russert on Meet the Press shortly after his Correspondence Dinner appearance. (Hard hitting) Russert asked about who he was referring to in the press with his comments. Colbert caved completely. Said something like “not you of course”.

                  I knew then we had seen the best of Stephen Colbert.

                  1. The Rev Kev

                    I remember Helen Thomas. She was like a permanent fixture of White House press conferences and I think gave the Bush administration a hard time. That is, until after Obama got in and she got ejected from the press for defending Palestinians. These days a person like that would be blocked on Facebook & Twitter and be memory-holed.

                    1. Dave_in_Austin

                      Helen Thomas’s funniest moment was at the end of Bush’s press conference where he announced he was running for re-election. Barbara was standing next to him and he was taking a few questions. The whole thing was over from his point-of-view and he was ready to leave… but by tradition Helen always got the last question.

                      She said to Mrs. Bush “I noticed that you’re not dyeing your hair anymore; I wondered why. Barbara turned to George, smiled sweetly and said “Well George doesn’t seem to notice anymore”. George, who had been sort of checked out, didn’t look at her. But he had this slowly growing look of terror on his face, that “What’s she going to say next?” look. She said nothing. He turned toward her. They smiled… and walked away.

                      Helen knew; the whole press corp knew; Barbara knew; and George now knew that Barbara knew. Washington is filled with well-tended secrets… and George and Barbara did love eachother. And I’ll say no more about those three fine people, Helen, Barbara and George…

        2. km

          That would be despicable homophobia and no public apologies or self-abasement ever would suffice to rid you of the stain.

          Of course, say the same thing about Trump and Putin, on the basis of no discernable evidence, and it’s just edgy comedy at worst.

          Just as Joy Reid could say things that would not be acceptable today and her cockamamie excuses that Russians hacked her blog and also can time travel are accepted, because it was a different time in 2008 and Joy is, after all, One Of Us

    2. David

      Just briefly, the demonstrations were real enough, but were largely confined to the Human Rights-Industrial Complex, which has been having a hard time making its voice heard during the Covid emergency. The French media is obsessed by Article 24, but most ordinary people are simply not interested. Indeed, the French are completely fed up with five years of terrorist attacks and violent demonstrations, and generally support tougher measures against them. The media – hyped up on its own importance, losing readership and views, descending into relentless triviality and increasingly seen as irrelevant – is not well placed to evoke sympathy. It’s also true that there is a real problem here: use of social media to identify and harass individuals is quite well advanced in France. Islamists have been using it for years to harass and threaten local government workers and people in education (it was thus that Samuel Paty was identified and murdered) but more recently anti-vaccination groups, for example, have been able to drive doctors out of medical practice.

      That’s not to say that Article 24 in its present form is perfect, or indeed desirable. As much as anything else it’s a symptom of Macron’s inability to judge things properly, and to move from extreme to extreme. It certainly needs rewriting, and that’s happening now, but it’s not the end of the world either, in spite of what some in the media may think.

      1. zagonostra

        Can you tell me how you arrive at the statement that “most ordinary people are simply not interested”?

        I just read below and it seems to indicate the contrary.

        Many groups from ordinary citizens to journalists and human rights groups are voicing concerns after the National Assembly approved the bill last Tuesday. These groups see this legislation against France’s highly cherished right to free speech..the bill is raising a lot of concerns among journalists and ordinary citizens, as it prohibits them to document police actions.

        1. David

          The operative word is “groups.” The kind of people who write these stories, like the kind of people they write about, probably do think they are “ordinary citizens,” but they are for the most part PMC auxiliaries and members of the concierge class, and actual “ordinary citizens” are the Romanian woman who comes to do the cleaning and the Algerian taxi driver who takes you home after a hard evening. The relationship of the French with their police is very complicated, and changes all the time, largely depending on what is in the media. The media has had saturation coverage of alleged police violence for months now, and has been virulent in its criticism of Article 24, and this has certainly had an impact. The point is that, whilst opinion polls suggest that there’s public concern about Article 24, it’s nowhere near the top of most peoples’ priorities. Ordinary people that you meet in the street or the supermarket are much more worried about losing their jobs, contacting the virus or losing an aged member of a family in a nursing home.
          As I said, there are very reasonable criticisms of the Article, and it’s a good thing it’s being rewritten, but outside very limited circles, and the “groups” referred to, it’s not a major priority.

      2. HotFlash

        Human Rights-Industrial Complex

        David, that is a wonderful and illuminating term. I am stealing that for immediate use.

      3. Ander

        More 100,000 people turn out in the middle of a pandemic to protest for their civil liberties, but I guess none of them are ‘ordinary people’, just special interest groups (like the HRIC) and a dying media.

        I’d agree that ordinary people care most about the economic bread and butter of their lives, but I don’t understand your dismissive tone towards the masses that did turn out, and the folks who didn’t turn out but care about the issue.

  3. dougie

    RE: The travel nurse article……My kid sister has been a “traveler” for more than 2 decades. She marched into Ebola wards in NY, years back. She thrives on the challenge. She recently gave it up, and went back to lower paid hospital nursing. These “traveler” contracts are not necessarily guaranteed contracts.

    In this calendar year, she accepted a 6 week contract in Arizona. Two weeks into the gig, all the travel nurses in that hospital system (dozens), were released. No notice. No contractual obligation for the hospitals to compensate for the full term.

    She accepted a position in DC, and all the travelers were released after a week. The straw that broke the camel’s back was a contract in Atlanta. She secured lodging at her own expense, and was driving from NOLA to Atlanta for her first day on the job, when she got the call that the contract had been cancelled.

    Despite the article’s take on travel nursing, this looks a lot like the healthcare version of the gig economy to me.

    1. Keith

      My girlfriend was a travel nurse. Like anything, it has its perks and shortfalls. Part of their value is for the hospital to dump them. Generally, there is some comp for a broken contract. For the nurses, they get to travel country and explore, seeing all kinds of sites and enjoying experiences. The get good pay, and they also used to get lots of deductions, so they were able to keep more from uncle Sam. Also, if they were smart, during their six week stint, they could even swap out their residency to a no income tax state.

      1. mnm

        As of the new tax law those work related deductions are gone. I heard years and years ago it was a better deal from the old timers.
        There is no comp for a broken contract, unless you are in good with your agency and get in written in. The best you will get is they will hunt down another contract in that area with an asap start date.
        These CV contracts offer a real high rate,but once the census dies they cut you loose. They make you well aware of that fact. Not worth it, cause as a traveler they will also work you to death. Nurses are not very nice to each other and they will give you all the stuff that the staff doesn’t want. Sorry to all the nurses out there, but you know it’s true

    2. km

      An acquaintance put herself through three years of Georgetown Law with her savings from working as a travelling nurse for some years prior.

      Then again, she lived at home with her mother during her travelling years, and was always one of those people who was a hard case, particularly determined to succeed.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “UK seeks site for first nuclear fusion power station”

    How about the Isle of Portland in Dorset? It is on a peninsular in the English channel, it only has about 12,000 people living there and if something goes wrong, could be easily evacuated. This is, after all, a ‘Mark 1’ nuclear fusion power station. It’s not like we have a whole body of industrial history on running these things to judge how safe they are-

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Well, when the UK first started building nuclear plants they showed such faith in their safety they put them close to the major centres of demand…. wait, no! They put them in the most distant parts of the Kingdom they could find, usually closer to Irish, Scots Welsh or Belgians than English people.

      A few decades ago they started to do a search for a waste repository, but they didn’t do a full national search, as they were informed by geologists that the ideal geology for a long term nuclear waste store was the thick beds of clay underlying…. London. So they chose Sellafield because… well, it is far away from anyone important, and it was already contaminated.

    2. paul

      As long as there is an ‘app’ to take care of it, it’ll be full steam ahead.

      From the future:

      “The evacuation of portland was prompted by a number of explosions attributed to a faulty app commissioned by a neighbour of the energy secretary.
      A full and rigorous investigation will convene as a manifesto commitment in the next election.

      This will hopefully absolve all accusations of malfeasance*

      * the performance by a public official of an act that is legally unjustified, harmful, or contrary to law; wrongdoing (used especially of an act in violation of a public trust)

    3. Louis Fyne

      oh for family blog’s sake..(nothing personal)…

      do you want the world to run on fracking for the next 30 years?

      Fusion Mark I is not going to blow up like an H-Bomb

      The world will never have enough energy for 7.8 billion people today (10 B in 2050) without some use of fusion or fission.

      nothing personal.

      1. The Rev Kev

        No offense taken but I am more thinking that do we need to use the amount of energy that we do at the moment around the world? With the era of cheap energy coming to a close, do we really need to use it up like it will last forever? Take a look at the amount of energy being used in the following video for a place sitting in the middle of a desert-

        Our grandchildren will never forgive us. Nor should they.

        1. apleb

          Actually they could fairly easily power it all in the video with solar energy if they wanted. Even now I guess most of their power comes from Boulder anyways, which is gaia friendly.

          The worst criminal waste is probably all the people flying in with kerosene guzzling jets

        2. UserFriendly

          Yes and all the moralizing about grandchildren has worked wonders. I’m sure we are days away from all 10 billion of us deciding to voluntarily live worse off. Though I can’t say I’m the least bit surprised when given the option of nuclear power or death there is a clear majority for death.

      2. kgw

        Better idea: let’s focus on reducing the numbers of people. Through education, example, and wisdom.

        Completely personal.

      3. ewmayer

        We have a perfectly good giant-scale fusion reactor parked stably 90 million miles away – maybe we should learn to make better use of that one, as well as taking to heart the lesson that exponential population and demand rowth on a finite planet are not sustainable, no matter how clean the power generation. You think ‘unlimited clean, cheap energy’ – and earth-based fusion is in fact none of these things – will keep people from over-consuming, or over-reproducing, or eating and needing clean water, or generating trash? History has ever and anon indicated quite the opposite.

    4. Fireship

      Why do I hear the Simpson’s monorail song in my head as I read that article?

      Well, sir, there’s nothing on earth
      Like a genuine, bona fide
      Nuclear, fusion reactor
      What’d I say?
      Fusion reactor!
      What’s it called?
      Fusion reactor!
      That’s right! Fusion reactor!
      Fusion reactor!
      Fusion reactor!
      Fusion reactor!
      I hear those things are awfully loud
      It reacts as softly as a cloud
      Is there a chance the container could bend?
      Not on your life, my Hindu friend
      What about us brain-dead slobs?
      You’ll be given cushy jobs
      Were you sent here by the Devil?
      No, good sir, I’m on the level
      The ring came off my pudding can
      Take my pen knife, my good man
      I swear it’s England’s only choice
      Throw up your hands and raise your voice
      Fusion reactor!
      What’s it called?
      Fusion reactor!
      Once again
      Fusion reactor!
      But Main Street’s still all cracked and broken
      Sorry, Mom, the mob has spoken
      Fusion reactor!
      Fusion reactor!
      Fusion reactor!
      Fusion reactor!
      Fus…, d’oh!

      1. Louis Fyne

        the problem isn’t the marginal cost of wind or solar (low).

        the problem is how to make sure there is enough juice 99.999% of the time to power civilizatiom at 2am (a lot), at 5p in the middle of winter (a lot), or at 4:30p when it’s 95 in July along the East Coat, (lots and lots)

        that can only be done right now (and in the intermediate future) thanks to fracking/nat gas with some token help from fission.

        1. apleb

          It can be done right now with some forms of storage and a widely distributed energy network.
          And fission is usually at most a useless expensive token.

      2. Jim

        If you do not yet have solar, but plan to eventually, and need to re-roof now, consider consulting with a reputable solar installer to find out what kind of standardized mounting hardware they need, the location and the spacing. Buy the hardware and have it installed seamlessly by the roofers as part of your new roofing.

        This will save you the expense of ripping apart your roof in the future which can also endanger the integrity of the roofing.

    5. apleb

      Fusion is very different from fission. So far all ways to reach fusion I know of will simply fizzle out if something goes wrong. There is nothing to cool since the reaction will not sustain itself. There isn’t a lot of contaminated material unlike with fission in the first place.

      1. Phacops

        Only if you disregard the neutron activation of all materials in the containment chamber as well as the heat transfer fluids. Not just that but material changes due to the neutron flux.

        1. Anonymous

          There’s such a thing as aneutronic fusion.

          Besides which:

          Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean; but much revenue comes by the strength of the ox. Proverbs 14:4:

          1. ewmayer

            True, e.g. aneutronic fusion based on firing protons into Boron-11 nuclei seems quite promising in terms of cheap and clean. But your ‘much revenue’ proverb in fact illustrates the problem: Say a source of such super-cheap clean power does become available. What do you think a bunch of rapacious capitalist greedheads are going to do with it? Imagine! Virtually unlimited power to drive mining and manufacturing and transforming more terra to grow those genetically modified BigAg crops, not to mention for building and powering shiny new war toys. What could go wrong?

            1. Anonymous

              Perhaps that’s the holdup on fusion; we need to repent of our unjust economic system first; i.e. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness …” Matthew 6:33

    6. Jeremy Grimm

      I can’t access the Financial Times — is there a working fusion power reactor now? I would have expected that to be big news?

      1. Grebo

        No, this is an experimental reactor of a smaller, cheaper, more commercial kind. And it will be big news if it or any other kind ever work.

  5. timbers

    New mystery metal monolith appears on a California mountaintop Guardian (David L)

    “The local newspaper in the small town of Atascadero, on the central California coast, reported that the silvery column had been found atop Pine mountain…”

    I would like to remind readers that Atascadero is where Sarah Conner was kept in a state mental hospital prison just before a Terminator was sent back in time to kill her and her son, John, from becoming leader of the Resistance to stop them from destroying Skynet’s plan to take over the world..

    At this point it might be advisable for the citizens of California to be on the lookout for any one looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger who’s looking to acquire a set of clothes, a motor cycle, guns, and a phone book.

    1. hunkerdown

      Lest anyone get ideas of an idyllic waterfront, the mudhole known as Atascadero is separated from the coast by 10 miles (by crow) and a small mountain range. Not much to distinguish it but the former state hospital and an In-N-Out burger. Schwarzenegger got all he wanted out of the place as governator.

      Each day this smells more and more like some combination of a Hollywood sci-fi reboot and shiny objects (literally) to distract from Biden’s staffing-up.

      1. Maritimer

        Ease off there, hombre. There are only 223 In-N-Out Burgers in the entire Globe and Atascadero has one of them! (Is that In-N-Out as in Montezuma’s Revenge?)

      2. Leftist Mole

        Aw, Atascadero is nicer than it looks from a drive by from the freeway. If you wanted a house on a few acres of rolling hills it’s probably pretty affordable compared to the rest of the state. You’re a just half hour from San Luis Obispo or the coast.

        A bunch of young Trumpian Christianists from southern CA just took away the monolith and left a wooden cross in its stead, filming themselves, by the way. Is LA going the way of Florida now?

  6. ProNewerDeal

    fwd a Links candidate:

    It categorized by Vaccine Type

    Inactivated Virus (“Examples include polio and influenza vaccines”): Sinovac/CoronaVac

    RNA-Based (“No RNA vaccines have been approved for human use”): Moderna, Pfizer

    Non-Replicating Viral Vector (“No approved product of this kind has resulted to date”): Oxford/AstraZeneca, Gamaleya/Sputnik V. My layman interpretation: This Type is less immature than RNA, insofar that it appears similar to Replicating Viral Vector Type (“Examples include ebola and dengue vaccines”).

    JoeTheBiden & other CorporateDs accurately label ConManD0n as a science-denier. However, are not these CorporateDs also science-denying, & owned puppets of US/UK Pharma Corps, by not “diversifying” the US “COVID vaccine portfolio” with a 100M+ order the proven Inactivated Virus Type like Sinovac/CoronaVac?

    1. Lee

      Thanks. I have raised this issue (Links, December 2, 2020 at 10:09 am) of our being herded toward types of vaccines with which we have only short term experience and away from those that have a long track record of being safe and effective. I’m no anti-vaxxer, but this rush to adopt the new shiny object gives me pause. Although my age puts me in one of the cohorts eligible to receive the vaccination relatively early, I may wait awhile and see how others do on the newer type of vaccine. Better yet, the older type will prove their safety and efficacy and also be on offer.

      Cutting edge technology developed at warp speed is rather like running while holding a sharp knife.

      1. Keith Newman

        I’ll be doing the same for the same reasons, although being retired makes it much easier for me than for working people.

      2. Janie

        I’m in your cohort and think likewise. I have not talked to a single person who intends to be first in line for a vaccine, including a few retired medic relatives.

    2. flora

      The phrase “driven by market forces” reminds me of two-year-old toddler having a tantrum. “Market Forces” needs reasonable adult control. We don’t have that now. Our pols let the toddler scream and thrash, bending themselves to its demands. What could go wrong?

  7. PlutoniumKun

    VW’s Hitzinger says complexity of new cars to drive consolidation Reuters

    Contrast that article with this: VW says ID.3 electric car is 40% cheaper to build than e-Golf.

    EV’s are far simpler to build and produce than IC or hybrids. This is what worries the industry – it will be cheaper for new entrants to come into the market and cut into their cosy oligopoly. They are deliberately trying to raise the cost of entry by building up consumer expectations of very complex interconnected cars. In reality, they could be producing much cheaper and simpler vehicles, but that would leave them open to competition from numerous new entrants. VW (and they are not alone) is trying to be the Apple of car manufacturers, when what we really need are old style dumb Nokias.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        From your link:

        CR notes that some older, less-complicated EVs did well in the reliability survey, including the Chevrolet Bolt and the Nissan Leaf.

        1. hunkerdown

          It’s as if the Internet of Things approach to high-priced durable goods were a net detriment to the use value of the product, whether it be a car or a camera (EEVblog).

        2. Knifecatcher

          I’ve put around 80k miles on a Nissan Leaf and a Chevy Bolt over the last 5 years. Just sold the Leaf, still have the Bolt. Other than replacing tires neither one has seen the inside of a dealership or mechanic for anything at all.

          Currently there’s a mindset that electric cars need lots of bells and whistles to justify their higher price tag. As battery costs continue to come down hopefully we’ll see more no frills EVs like the Bolt / Leaf instead of the idiotic crap Tesla and others are putting out. Gullwing doors on a minivan! Door handles that pop out when you approach! “Full Self Driving Autopilot*!!!”

          (*FSD Autopilot is neither FSD nor autopilot…”)

            1. Knifecatcher

              That would explain its tendency to try and “end it all” by steering into a stationary object.

    1. Samuel Conner

      Presumably also (if so designed) simpler to maintain, I hope. Of course, the components have to be reliable.

      In recent years I’ve wondered whether it might be possible to pull together teams of public-spirited retired chemical engineers to set up non-profit pharma corporations to produce generics and sell them at cost. I imagine that it’s a) possible and b) likely to be fiercely opposed by all means, legal and illegal, by the big for-profit corps.

      Perhaps something similar would be possible in the EV field; open source designs constructed from off-shelf components.

      Perhaps it’s just a fantasy, but with all the under-utilized talent in the economy, perhaps it’s possible.

      1. apleb

        In software this has happened and now we have Linux and all kinds of desktop software you can want. With small beginnings for hardware too, but much more niche.

        In pharma and cars it is not possible imho: in both you need literally millions in money and work hours for various certifications before you can sell anything that people are allowed to put into their bodies or on the street.

        Developing and maybe building wouldn’t be a problem or not a big one. Allowed to sell it a pretty much unsurmountable obstacle in our current regime.

        What can work is some 3rd world car manufacturer rolling up the market like chinese smartphones did. Tata as an early example for cars that was mostly unsucessful. But that is just another manufacturer from a different, cheaper, country, nothing really game changing as a real commoditized car/pill.

        1. Keith Newman

          In pharma there are some international initiatives of that sort. Doctors without borders is involved in a few.

      2. Carolinian

        My brother enjoys car repair sites on Youtube and apparently a constant complaint is about the complexity of the electronics in current cars and therefore the difficulty of diagnosing and fixing problems. And that goes for gasoline cars as much or more so than electrics as gas cars now have complicated emissions systems that were themselves a big factor in the push toward computer control.Still, anyone who thinks electrics will necessarily be simpler and more reliable should think Tesla.

        But of course the hubris of Tesla is that a non car guy thought it would be easy to become a car maker versus various Asian manufacturers who have a track record of making cars that are highly reliable. All of which is to say that PK above is surely right that electrics should be much simpler to make but nevertheless the reliability factor means it’s not as easy as it looks to be a quality manufacturer.

        I had an older car with an engine run by computer and found it far more reliable than previous carburetor car. I now have a newer car where everything is run by computer. Here’s hoping it will be the same. But if not that’s a big problem. The beauty and popularity of the Model T was that anybody could fix it and even make parts for it. With modern cars not so much but that applies to gas engines as well as electric. Gas cars do have the advantage of being a very mature and well established, if complicated, technology.

        1. rd

          Musk simply went full-steam into recreating a high-tech Porsche with brand-new drive train and energy technology. GM, Nissan etc. are recreating Toyota Corollas with new drive train and energy technology.

        2. Pelham

          Speaking of simplicity, Ford back in the ’70s made a car called the Maverick that was cheap and supposed to be so simple that anyone could work on it. I think it came with an informative manual for that purpose.

      3. Knifecatcher

        There are already tons of hobbyists tinkering with drivetrains from wrecked EVs, so I think this is basically inevitable.

        Taking a step back to ICE vehicles I personally own a 45+ year old sports car that has been converted to a vastly more reliable, fuel efficient, and low polluting ignition and fuel injection system using an “open source” ECU called Megasquirt. In essence it allowed me to take a bunch of inexpensive off the shelf parts from GM, Ford, Volvo, etc. and replace the awful carburetor / points distributor the car came with. The Megasquirt computer is designed to allow it to all work together on whatever engine you might have, and is all tunable with a laptop. Notably this was all built on the work of just 2 talented engineers, Bruce Bowling and Al Grippo.

        I already see the same things happening with electric cars. There are already people figuring out how to match Tesla motors with Leaf / Volt / Bolt battery packs, etc. Once there’s a Megasquirt-like equivalent for the battery management systems / etc. building EVs will be almost Lego-like.

        1. wadge22

          There can be other complications, of course.

          I wanted to Megasquirt my miata, but here in Ohio I would not be able to pass emissions, so I would not be able to buy a registration sticker from the state, and therefore would be barred from driving it on the road. I also seem to recall reading that altering or disabling any emissions related equipment was illegal under the clean air act.

          Maybe we will see your lego-like cars, but my guess is they will only be track toys. Or for outlaw types, who are probably more interested in “rolling coal.”

      4. hunkerdown

        Unfortunately, powertrain ECUs are the source of a lot of vehicle status information, so body services like power door locks, odometers, or the instrument panel as a whole might not work well or at all on a third-party electric powertrain conversion.

        It would be fun to try to work out a regulatory regime for fossil-to-electric vehicle conversion, assuming the existence of a kit anyone with a few grand and sufficient mechanical-electrical competence could buy at Napa and bolt into place, just to see who stands up against it.

    2. Amfortas the hippie

      i suppose electric can be simpler…but it won’t be.
      complexity obscures the hands in yer pocket.
      my only experience with electric vehicles is with golf carts.
      i was an ez go technician 30 years ago(did warranty work all over texas for a year and a half)…and am the ez go repairman here on the farm for the Falcon.
      the latter is far less robust than the former…largely due to the mysterious black box controller that replaced the old coils.
      it’s real picky, and when a wire gets loose, it will freak out and burn connectors.
      never had that in the old ones(unless leaves or something got up in that big coil)
      as far as vehicles go…out of all the cars and trucks and suvs on this place, i can only still work on my truck(04 dodge ram). the rest are far too computerfied and startrekky.
      i cant even change the oil on mom’s spaceship(’18 chevy suburban)

      i’d like to have a farm truck that runs on electricity…but only if it were bare bones simple, and without any bells and whistles.
      (make it cheaper, too, i would guess)
      i doubt that there are enough folks like me out there to justify the big boys making such a vehicle.

      1. ambrit

        To your last point; I’ll observe that in today’s neo-liberal, financialized, “marketplace,” the size of the potential ‘market’ is not as important as the “return on investment,” which is a function of the profit margin.
        Thus, I’ll say that, yes, there are enough “folks like me out there” who want a small, cheap vehicle, but that, no, they can’t afford to purchase the vehicles at “enough” of a profit per unit.

      2. Lambert Strether

        > i suppose electric can be simpler…but it won’t be.

        If it were simple, how could the rentiers charge you to run various bits of it? Think!

        Think of the EV as a platform and it all comes together….

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Central America Is Really Hoping Biden Will Fix Their Corruption Problems”

    Maybe Biden can recommend to those Central American countries the services of the DNC. If there is any organization expert in the practices of graft and corruption, it is the DNC.

    1. pjay

      Yes. I laughed out loud when I saw that headline, combined with the source. Interestingly, there were a few observations like this one buried in the text:

      “Many aspects of Biden’s plan are similar to the U.S. foreign policy of past administrations, including funding and training for Central American security forces that are often embroiled in scandals linked to corruption and human rights abuses. Over the last several decades, the U.S. poured billions of dollars into military forces responsible for massacres during civil wars with guerrilla groups. In some cases, such as Guatemala, prosecutors have linked politicians on trial to corruption networks set up during military dictatorships.”

      Also mentioned are links to the global drug trade. But dots, of course, are never connected. Certainly not by Vice News. The “hope” is that a Biden administration will “limit” the corruption. Funny.

    2. anon in so cal

      Will Biden fix Central American’s problems the way he “fixed” South America’s?

      Biden’s Plan Colombia:

      “Joe Biden brags

      “I’m the guy who put together Plan Colombia”.

      Plan Colombia used murderous, failed drug war policies as cover to destabilize democracy in South America, arming right wing death squads so openly that Congress had to force it to stop with an amendment.”

  9. dcblogger

    people are so sick of Trump, I can’t believe that there will be an audience for a TV show making fun of him.

    1. The Rev Kev

      What if over the next four years of Biden, Harris and all the other newly-appointed thugs that people actually start getting nostalgic over Trump? That people start saying things were actually better under a Trump administration than a Biden/Harris one. Not the main stream media of course but the MSM is not America. It only thinks that it is. It could happen you know.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Mostly I doubt Trump is alive in four years, but unless Biden and Harris make a course correction, Harris loses in 2024.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Pompeo doesn’t have a chance. No stage presence. Trump’s style is certainly unique for what we are used to, but he had that star quality. The guy was on the cover of a playboy. Pompeo isnt going anywhere except home or waiting on an appointment. Hailey is far more likely.

            1. apleb

              The US pageant is so capricious, has ever there been a designated winner or even candidate 4 years in advance?

              Except of course the serving guy or his vice. In the recent times, not in the beginning when they made it all in a gentlemen’s club.

              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                Recognizing people with no chance is easy. A vaguely competent Beto might be a player, but Buttigieg is the Team Blue version of Marco Rufio. He has some patron but topped out.

            2. Keith Howard

              My fond hope is that somebody/circumstances will put Pompeo and Cotton in the same bottle, so they can sting each other to death.

        1. Jason Boxman

          When I look at our current corrupt crop of elder politicians, it seems the worst among us have a long shelf life. I wouldn’t bet on his expiration anytime soon.

      2. Pat

        If I had one of those bookies that let you bet on everything I would bet on it. Looking at his appointments it is a sure thing.

        (OTOH, I think it is still even money that Obama survives despite all reality and a significant portion of the public remains clueless AND nostalgic for him. )

      3. apleb

        Did anyone get nostalgic over Bush the Younger in the Obama years? Same will happen with DJT I’d think.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      That series will be about as popular as Ishtar was.

      But the Democrat party and liberal goodthinkers have got nothing else, so more Orange Man bad it is. Pay no attention to that other doddering old racist warmongering corporatist groper they’ve foisted on the public as a replacement – nothing to see there! Just watch your Netflix and go to sleep.

      1. pjay

        LOL! How could I not think of this? The *Donald Trump Presidential Library*! What a great way to keep the tribes aroused over the next four years. And think of the opportunities for tweets and one-liners by Trump. Think of the possible Trumpian decor! TDSers better be careful what they wish for. This is great!

      2. The Rev Kev

        Taking a leaf from Obama’s book, will Trump seek to have New York City give him a chunk of Central Park for his own Presidential Library? It could even has his name in big, gold letters on the side so wouldn’t be quite so bad as Obama’s design. And like Obama’s Library, it would have very few books in it. But in Trump’s case, it would be because he is not a great reader.

        1. hunkerdown

          If he bought Zuccotti Park and defaced it with his arriviste tastes, I’m sure Democrats would lowkey encourage it.

        2. Eustache de Saint Pierre

          From my experience of people this side of the pond with TDS, they also suffer from an opposite type of derangement syndrome in relation to their Sainted Obama.

      3. Ford Prefect

        One of the more interesting things to watch will be the now-homeless Donald J. Trump:

        Apparently, he is not supposed to spend more than 21 days per year at Mar-a-Lago per a contract with the town. Possibly he can work with Rudy Giuliani to develop a legal brief that they are both actually vampires and technically not alive, so they can be there year-round. Or he could move back to NYC, where the streets will be strewn with subpoenas and indictments as he strides forth in glory.

        1. tegnost

          where the streets will be strewn with subpoenas and indictments as he strides forth in glory.

          In new york, where white collar criminals go to be let off easy.

          extended passage from the prosecute trump article above…
          Leaving aside the untested law surrounding self-pardons, as well as double jeopardy concerns (NY’s laws there are among the strictest in the country; SDNY already failed in its prosecution of Paul Manafort based on double jeopardy) related to anything to do with impeachment or something under IRS audit, and the questions of jurisdiction and extradition (Trump is a Florida citizen) the forces of vengeance have got to have something they can actually prosecute Trump for.

          Like an actual crime. Being an evil president or making mean decisions on immigration do not count in actual courts (and good luck finding an impartial jury). The biggest problem with all this desired vengeance is the same thing that failed Russiagate; it is based on an assumption Trump must have done something wrong. The creation of a “crime” such as what drove the impeachment only worked because of a partisan House willing to play along.

          The New York state system is no such kangaroo court, and affords defendants far more protections than federal courts. There are strict rules governing evidence presented to a grand jury, and even minor procedural errors can result in indictments being thrown out. “If you’re a white-collar defendant, you’d rather be in New York State court than in federal court any day of the week,” said SDNY’s former top deputy.

          But I’m sure you can clear the air here and point to some substantial crime not listed here?

          1. pjay

            Yes, could somebody *please* list all the “crimes” Trump is supposed to have committed?

            I suppose a strict (and hypocritical) interpretation of the “emoluments clause” could possibly be applied. My reading is this was comparatively small time stuff (if only the Trump family would have set up a “charitable global foundation” to launder its bribes from foreign governments). But otherwise… what?

            OTOH, just because the SDNY is soft on most white-collar criminals doesn’t mean it is above politics when it comes to Trump. He dared challenge the Powers That Be! If they are smarter than their liberal media lackeys they’ll let him ride off into the sunset. We’ll see.

            1. pasha

              no need to pursue emoluments-related crimes.

              first, michael cohen was convicted and imprisoned for federal bank fraud and election fraud which he conducted at the behest of trump, so trump can be indicted on the same charges as soon as he leaves the presidency.

              then there are city tax fraud charges already before the grand jury in new york city, as well as state indictments for tax, bank, insurance, and securities fraud awaiting him (and his family) in new york state (thanks in part to evidence supplied by trump’s niece, mary trump).

              sater was just charged with money-laundering foreign illegal funds as investments in the trump organization, which surely implicates trump. further, scotland’s first minister is deciding whether to initiate a full-scale investigation of money-laundering with regard to trump’s two golf courses there.

              this week we learned trump is also being investigated concerning bribes in exchange for pardons.

              the hits just keep on coming….

    3. fresno dan

      December 3, 2020 at 8:24 am

      I remember a show where the protagonist was a white bigot, meant to be an object of ridicule – All in the Family
      The show in question will do more to endear Trump to his base than anything Trump produces…

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I slightly disagree. Archie is never a villain or dedicated target. Meathead, Gloria, Jefferson, and Edith all got it as good as anyone as anyone. The only who really didn’t was Lionel, but he was a prop to establish character attributes.

        I would argue is more of a satire than the usual comedies, but the characters were as real as TV gets.

        Admittedly, Obama isn’t funny. He gets polite laughs for enthusiasm on occasion, so I imagine any comedy he might be attached to would expect terrible as he only punches down and can’t self reflect. Hes also unoriginal and derivative and likely looking to copy the various Trump efforts out there. I personally think HRC has comedic timing and would imagine she could do a better job if she was so obsessed.

        1. polecat

          Sorry, but Hillary ain’t no Phyllis Diller!
          …. and there’s something truly wrong about Berry doing black comedy ..

        1. KLG

          Indeed! Which reminds me of Bill Clinton encouraging Trump to run for president. I remember thinking at the time…Hillary vs. The Donald? Bet on The Donald. My PMC peeps thought I was nuts.

  10. Pat

    Anybody but me see the irony in the “they go low, we go high” people producing a show to ridicule the Trump administration’s incoming transition?

    1. The Rev Kev

      The sort of people that this is coming from is people like Neera Tanden who said back in 2017-

      ‘One important lesson is that when they go low, going high doesn’t f**king work.’

      Not that she has ever had a history of ever going high.

      1. Pat

        When Michelle first said that, my first thought was there’s an unsaid “we have people who go low”.
        Neera may be Hillary’s hand maiden, but I bet she takes a few swipes for the Obama’s just for the hell of it.

  11. timbers

    Representative Katie Porter

    When I tried to read @stevenmnuchin1 the law that contradicts his bogus claim to get people less COVID relief

    Point taken regarding 2021 vs 2026.

    On the other hand, my non lawyer impression of the $450 billion or so that Mnuchin clawed back from the Fed was primarily to bailout investments owned by the rich and Wall Street, and to perhaps encourage more debt at subsidized rates for state and local govt. Neither of these are desirable policy objectives IMO, and while some of it might end up going to “people” for “covid relief” it does however seem a more accurate description of this program, is that it gives free money to the rich, corporations, and Wall Street.

    Put simply, this program should never have been created in the first place. The funds could have been better used going to people not Wall Street.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      But it would have required Team Blue voting no and forcing votes on good legislation instead of giving the store away and accepting future promises because they had to go home. Have some compassion. Can you imagine Congress critters having to learn how to use zoom?

      1. timbers

        Team Blue at their finest doing Resistance & moral outrage at Orange Team for rolling back benefits for the rich. Makes me warm inside.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          No kidding. Was that performance supposed to be impressive? What exactly was she so pissed about? Notice that her “tweet” didn’t say.

          It wasn’t too hard to figure out which one of them was a “lawyer,” or a congressperson for that matter. It was the one asking stupid, pointless questions in a snotty, entitled way and “reclaiming her time” to waste everyone else’s asking more of the same.

      2. rd

        Jerome Powell is begging Congress to put some fiscal stimulus in place. He knows that he is largely restricted to shoving money at rich people hoping that it helps the guy on the street. This is important for systemic financial stability, but he knows it doesn’t put food on the table of a homeless person without a job.

        Congress (both sides) are simply trying to win style points for their side’s propaganda while millions of people are in serious trouble. McConnell and the Tea Party senators have made it clear that flowing a trillion to banks while absolving corprorations of any responsibility for anything fits into their world view but a few hundred billion dollars going to to 75% of the population is highly unwelcome. Pelosi and company largely want to go skipping down the street sprinkling confetti money to their constituents and campaign donors.

        A trillion of highly targeted money at seriously hurting sectors and groups could save a substantial swathe of the economy and reduce the Fed’s work dramatically. Basically, the entire hospitality and tourism industry is stuck between the rock of having their staff and customers get Covid versus the hard place of going out of business.

    2. jefemt

      I sent letters to my congress critters imploring them to get the money to the least among us, pointing out that it still would aggregate to WS and the big banks, just take a wee bit of time and have a broader net benefit to all.
      Trickle up.

  12. a different chris

    So the “solar panel” thingy managed to somehow skip explaining why they degrade — which should be a wonderment to anybody that has a 50 year old transistor radio. So I googled:,2%20UV%20exposure%203%20Mechanical%20damage%20More%20

    Basically says there are 3 effects, all of which seem like they can be mitigated but not eliminated. My eye says you could probably easily double the life – ironically, high temperature is the main problem so once again the fossil fuel industry busily warming the earth has yet another way, besides bribing politicians, to cause problems.

    Again, there is nothing better than negawatts.

    1. solar guy

      Yes those are 3 types of failure mechanisms. But missing from that list is #4 which is the thermal expansion and contraction of the panels. With the panels getting much larger, this effect has a larger impact on life span.
      And this is also coupled with the cells being much much thinner than the older, say up to 2008/10 or so panels.

      And maybe you can call it #5 is the much higher voltages that these plants are now operating at. The new ones are up at 1500vdc, vs even 4 years ago 600 would have been the highest. This higher voltage greatly reduces design and installation costs, but its hard on the modules. The higher voltages find those flaws in the encapsulation and contamination that lower voltages wouldn’t. This causes some early failures of modules. However new manufacturing improvements are decreasing these failures all the time.

      And like everything, the panels are getting better and more efficient. While its possible to design a 50 year+ module, the added cost isn’t worth it especially with the speed at which higher efficiencies are being achieved. Currently we see 22% and new ones are 28-30% efficient which we should see on the market in a few years.

      Remember that a typical solar panel has a 1-3 year energy payback.

      Negawatts are great, but you still have to make energy.

        1. solar guy

          They are designed and tested with 1″ frozen water balls at 120MPH, at pretty much point blank range and perpendicular to the glass.

          While there is larger hail out there and it can break panels, because most panels are tilted not flat, the glancing angle of the hail won’t usually break them.

  13. jr

    The NYT travel article and the Current Affairs article on homelessness are sickening to read. I am surrounded by people who a. are used to regular travel and see it as a right and b. totally inured to the homelessness they see around them. Conservative family members and. friends blame the homeless for their condition, one normally kind hearted woman told me they should have chosen better careers to avoid such a situation. The PMC’s I overhear on my girlfriend’s Zoom meetings constantly refer to their suffering due to travel restrictions and how they are lacking “inspiration*” in their lives because of it. It’s not just that they miss it, they love the luxury of complaining about it to one another. The tone of their voices literally changes to one of a bored socialite complaining about a dearth of high end champagne.

    * “Inspiration” and “passionate” have become class identifier words; I see them used constantly in advertising, especially in luxury ads. In my experience, the people who use them the most are amongst the least inspired, least passionate souls I’ve ever come across.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      “Karen” and mocking people about missing brunch weren’t hyperbole. The I’ve got mine crowd has always been like this. Oh sure, they may not mind if the gay person they know can get married or not, but asking them to consider a sedan instead of an SUV and watch them explode.

      1. jr

        The majority of these people wouldn’t notice the dead body of a homeless person unless they tripped over it but man, do they love animals of all stripes. All of them are sponsoring one kind of endangered “celebrity” species or another: orangutans, elephants, you get the picture. Or donating money to fly homeless Chihuahua’s around the country. (All of which I’m fine with in the abstract.)

        Well, not all animals, try to get them to not eat the endangered sea bass or the brutally butchered chicken fingers and you get a shrug. The PMC’s are the personification of virtue signaling…and bifurcated thinking.

        1. polecat

          PMC = Future Morlockian Feedstock … should any survive the coming Age of Destruction.

          An Eloi’s gotta eat it, after all .. sad to say.

        2. Amfortas the hippie

          that concern for animals/indifference to people trickles down even to the run of the mill small-c conservatives way out here.
          when we lived in the barrio in our one little town, i ran chickens on wife’s grandma’s double lot.
          guy at the end of the road…a right leaning Todd if ever there was one…never met a stray dog he could pass up…kept 30 of them in a large, poorly built pen behind his house.
          they were always getting loose.
          one morning, when it was 25 degrees, i hear a ruckus. his stray dogs had jumped my fence(i didn’t let my birds run loose) and massacred 10 chickens.
          i shot one with an arrow in the foot and they ran off.
          he called the law on me,lol.(deputy tried to ticket me for discharging a firearm in city limits…me: it’s a recurve bow…no fire involved,lol. not contemplated in city ordinances(it is now))
          after the dust had settled, and i brought him a bucket of dead chickens to bury(dammit), he softened and went on and on about his love for dogs.
          next time i saw him, he was railing to his friends about poor folks…damn them, and bootstraps, and lazy moochers.
          dude lives in the frelling barrio…all his neighbors are poor., and he inherited his relative wealth.
          he’s not the only one who feels this way, and wears it so openly on their sleeve.
          regular letters to the editor of the local paper…one week about the need to adopt stray dogs, next week, same person about how the welfare queens are taking our precious bodily fluids.
          it’s disgusting.
          my one letter in response to this phenomenon…which got printed, to my surprise…was a Jonathan Swiftian “perhaps we should feed the po folks all these stray dogs and cats…and abused horses, and the odd llama that wanders away…problems solved…two birds, etc”
          next week’s paper was filled with outrage, and i had to lay low for a time…because they took me seriously, and didn’t get the irony and underhanded jab at their misplaced morality, at all.

    2. KLG

      I have served on a local committee for evaluating/editing/facilitating students’ Fulbright applications. We have been told that “passion” is the keyword for an application to be competitive at Fulbright headquarters.

  14. lyman alpha blob

    RE: It Seems Bad That the Guy the President Just Pardoned Is Calling for Him to Execute a Military Coup Esquire

    Reading the headline I thought he was talking about someone going after Maduro and thought, what’s the big deal? Marco Rubio is always calling for a coup and nobody cares, and the majority in both parties supports the illegitimate Juan Guy-Doe. But no, it turns out it’s just more bloviating by a guy who barely served in the Trump administration being hyped into a breathless headline.

    Here’s the thing – I watched Flynn’s speech the 2016 RNC convention and he came across not so much as hawkish, but more ravenous slavering pteradactylish. Not somebody I’d want in a position of any responsibility whatsoever unless i was looking to hasten Armageddon. And what do the Democrats do? Go after him for a perfectly legal phone call and wind up turning a warmongering whackjob into a sympathetic figure with a large portion of the electorate.

  15. Chas

    As for The Dark Side of Solar article, it isn’t as dark as reported.
    “The other issue is that solar cells have a guaranteed life expectancy of about 25 years, with average efficiency losses of 0.5% per year.”
    I’ve been living off grid for 40 years and have some solar panels that are more than 25 years old. They still work fine. I think that the average efficiency losses of .5% per year are way exaggerated. Solar panels have no moving parts.

    1. solar guy

      I agree, but new panels are not made to last as long as the older ones you have. Part of the way they have gotten the cost down is to cut lots of corners. The cells are much much thiner, so is the glass, and the modules are much larger which creates more internal physical movement. This allows the thermal expansion/contraction which does shorten the life. And the much higher operating voltages of the new solar plants 1000-1500 volts also has a negative impact on life. But those higher voltages make for a significantly lower cost of the power plant.
      I have many friends who work on multi hundred megawatt solar plants and there are failure rates of 5% or more. And as time goes, the rates will probably go up.

      smaller lower voltage home systems have a longer life because of those lower voltages.

      Still its acceptable vs coal and gas

    2. hunkerdown

      It sounds like you got some nice monocrystalline cells from the good old days before the less perfect PV-grade crystals entered the market to feed green demand and open up the downmarket. May you continue to create electron-hole pairs for at least 25 more.

      1. solar guy

        Actually the new PV grade silicon is more pure than the old days. This added purity helps with higher efficiency.

        The old cells were actually pretty thick, new ones are really thin, thicker than a sheet of paper but not much. That thinness is part of the cost lowering. But it does bring other costs such as micro fractures, and other things that can contribute to a shorter life.

    3. UserFriendly

      Or you bought some of the first high quality ones before all manufacturing went to china and they got cheap enough to be viable.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Gawd! Noooo! All that stunt will do is guarantee that the other half of the country has nothing to do with that vaccine. Maybe it might work if you had George “W” doing it too with him but even then I have my doubts.

    1. Maritimer

      It’s rumored that Enron’s former auditors will be closely and rigorously monitoring those injections.

  16. solar guy

    Responding to the typically poor Hackaday hit article on solar. There are so many mistakes it’ll take too long to cover them all but here are a few that I’ll correct.

    Recycling: Yes the US lags the world in recycling solar panels, duh. But its not that hard. Remove the aluminum frame which is that largest part of embodied energy in the panel. Then the panel recycling usually happens by grinding it up, and then by different methods removing the more precious metals ( silver) and remelting and refining the rest for reuse as solar. That melted part is glass (slica) and PV material (silicon) which are related but different.
    First Solar which makes a CadTel module has had a recycling process in place for some years. Humm they didn’t talk about that did they?
    The article makes is sound like its rocket science.

    Where does the silicon come from? Its a mined ore, not sand. Moses Lake ( central Washington state) here in the USA is the only one and its now closed due to the solar panel war started by Obama and continued by Trump with China.

    Types: There are only 2 types of solar panels: crystalline and thin film. Poly and single are both under the crystalline, they are not separate types.
    Single ( mono)is a produced by growing a single crystal. Poly is made by putting raw silicon into a form and then melting it. As it cools faster than Mono it forms with internal crystalline boundaries, which you can sometimes see.
    All crystalline cells are grey when made and the dark, deep blue or black is because of the anti reflective coatings put on them.

    Thin film has many types which include silicon, ( small %) and the largest type is CadTel made by First Solar the largest US solar company. Yep its one of the only types made with rare earth metals. ( there are no rare earth in crystalline panels) And in another shocking mistake by the author, its efficiency is almost as high as crystalline and because it uses so little active material its energy payback is about 1 year vs 2-3 for crystalline.

    The water use is trivial especially if compared to the water use of fracking gas wells as well as all the concrete, sand and steel lost forever in making all that CO2 gas.

    The article ends with the statement that ” are we creating another crisis”
    No we are not. The only crisis are the people that don’t understand ( or work for the fossil fuel companies) where our energy comes from and to try and compare a product that has a 25 year warranty to 80% of its original performance, makes its complete energy back in no more than 3 years, is 98%+ recyclable, quiet, and on and on.

    Vs, coal, oil and fracked gas that pollutes from the production to burning of it and is killing our planet?

    How hard a choice is that?

    1. UserFriendly

      ‘Is technically recyclable’ and ‘is cost effective to build the infrastructure and actually recycle’ are not even in the same ballpark.

      To say nothing about the non existent and infinitely more problematic recycling of batteries to make PV possible.

      From Earthworks.

      Challenges to recycling:
      Whilst recycling can help to offset primary material demand through recycled sources, there are technological, social and environmental challenges to increase recycling rates. In many places collection systems and infrastructure is not well established. Collection remains a challenge for distributed rooftop PV and storage systems. Installations of solar PV and wind at utility scale are the easiest to facilitate recycling at end-of-life, and auto manufacturers also have established networks to return batteries through auto-dealerships.
      Across all technologies there is a trend for recycling to prioritise the recovery of valuable or problematic materials, and not all metals are being recovered in the process. The main focus of recycling for PV is glass, aluminium, steel and copper, while silver and other specialty metals are not recovered.257 For lithium-ion batteries cobalt and nickel are the main driver of recovery, and lithium and manganese are not generally recovered.258 As demand increases the economic drive to recover these metals may justify recovery.

      But as usual with everyone hooked on the renewable dream: “everyone who presents me with information I disagree with is a paid propagandist for big oil.” I have never met a group of people more immune to facts than wind and PV boosters.

    1. polecat

      Glad I put up much pasta sauce this last fall, while lids were being sold, in dribs and dabs – as of now, unobtainium ..

      Hedgefunds/’Private inequity to blame?? .. the thought’s occurred to me – more than once. Wouldn’t put it past em to be behind such canned ‘crapification’.

  17. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

    Re: Corona took out Trump. Is Bibi Next?

    Juan Cole has been hard in the paint promoting regime change in Syria. He first appeared as an ‘alternative voice’ during the Iraq War. Someone who ‘understood’ the region. Now he’s in harness to Isreali interests. So much for alternative voices.

    1. Alternate Delegate

      I’m puzzled why you think Juan Cole is advancing Israeli interests.

      He’s long been a voice in the wilderness pointing out, e.g, the evidence that Iran is pursuing nucl3ar capability rather than a nucl3ar b.mb. The US Israel lobby has reciprocated by e.g. torpedoing Cole’s appointment to Yale. There’s not a lot of love going on there.

      You might not like a view that differentiates between intervention in Iraq and intervention in Libya, but that’s the sort of thing you’re going to get from a genuine informed alternative.

      I personally appreciate an alternative voice that publishes In Bid to Kill a Biden return to Iran nuclear Deal, Israel Assassinates Leading Nuclear Scientist. I can make up my own mind, and I get tired of hearing only the legacy media version.

  18. zagonostra


    (I may have missed it, but I don’t recall seeing this stat in NC links)

    China has overtaken the U.S. to become the EU’s biggest trade partner while the rest of the world slides into the red due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

    The country pushed past the United States in the third quarter to become the European Union’s top trade partner, as the pandemic disrupted the US while Chinese activity rebounded.

    Over the first nine months of 2020, trade between the EU and China totalled 425.5 billion euros ($514 billion), while trade between the EU and the United States came in at 412.5 billion euros, according to Eurostat data.

  19. Laputan

    RE: the Boushey disaster

    Who would have ever thought that the “Center for Equitable Growth” was housed at the “Center for American Progress” – formerly directed by you-know-who? This is where Pizzagate comes from, the incestuous, insider relationships between all these shadowy alphabet soup organizations (who don’t actually do anything but serve as fronts for political parties), government, and industry.

    I’m not exactly in shock that it turns out Boushey is a monster. Speaking from experience, well north of 90% of the upper echelons of non-profit administration are awful human beings. It’s sort of like private equity except for all of the transparency and honesty.

  20. furies

    Just read this from Counterpunch (finally; a decent article) and I found it succinct and insightful. Neoliberalism commodifying every aspect of our lives…

    I can certainly see the how premise worked out in my own dysfunctional family. It’s with utter horror that I realize I am caught in this tide of humanity’s folly–and there’s no ‘control’ knob and no escape.

    to KP above; all the best to you. I’ve been there but always managed to couch-surf during the winter. I hope you find a situation that makes it possible to care for yourself properly. Please stay safe.

    I’m very grateful for the rental situation I’m currently enjoying. It was a small miracle to have found it & then have the resources to secure it.

    1. heresy101

      Don’t knock Counterpunch. It ranks up there with NC, and it doesn’t have all those articles from the Jeff Bezos’ Rag and Carlos Slim Rag.

      1. furies


        Actually CP has been crapified ever since “Prop or Not”.

        CP and Democracy Now both…maybe just a co-inkydence. Jeff St. Clair/Paul Street/etc. have gone round the bend with TDS/RussiaRussiaRussia. I, personally, weed out that kind of reportage and deem it not worthy.

        No. CP is NOTHING like NC, imnsho.

  21. urblintz

    “Something remarkable even by the usually dismal standards of the stenographic media blue-tick brigade has been happening in the past few days. Leading journalists in the corporate media have suddenly felt the urgent need not only to criticise the late, much-respected foreign correspondent Robert Fisk, but to pile in against him, using the most outrageous smears imaginable. He is suddenly a fraud, a fabulist, a fantasist, a liar…”

  22. rowlf

    re: Starlings roosting in the tree bonus Antidote

    Last week we went to a buddhist monastery in the next county to do merit and feed the monks. While the monks were eating I sat outside in the outside eating area between some of the buildings. There was a large flock of some type of medium sized black birds in the oak trees around the buildings and they were knocking off acorns, which would then rain down on the tin roofed covered eating area and some of the small monk huts, making an almost deafening sound. (a single acorn hitting the large tin roof is maybe about 3/4s as loud as a pistol shot).

    Something would spook the flock of birds and they would fly away and it would be quiet for a while, then they would come back and the acorn rain would start up again.

  23. rd

    California is on fire again.

    Californians don’t understand that this isn’t the New Normal; this is the Old Normal. Estimates have been made that 8,000 to 20,000 square miles of California burned every year prior to white people showing up. This “really bad” fire year has burned more than 6,500 square miles, less than the pre-Columbian annual norms.

    Aggressive fire suppresion has kept the burn numbers down over the past few decades but Mother Nature is catching up. California planning is going to have to make some major changes. Just reconstructing the old is just going to be a wash, rinse, repeat cycle.

    1. anon in so cal

      Silverado Canyon is a charming area with a narrow serpentine main two-lane road that winds its way through the canyon. There are houses on both sides of the road and in some places there are side roads into the hills such that parts are quite high density. The fire started as a house fire on the main Silverado Canyon road and spread to the foothills right behind the house.

    2. Glen

      Unfortunately, all of the accumulated undergrowth from fire suppression have made the intensity of the resulting fires much worst than was historically the norm. It looks like the Castle Fire that sweep through the Sequoia groves has killed trees that should not normally be damaged.

      In hindsight Trump’s comment to get people out clearing the woods was a good suggestion, not that he every did anything to make it happen.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        It is the various still-surviving California Indian Nations who know how to clear out the woods with fire, because they have been doing it for the last eleventeen thousand years.

        The people Trump is thinking of having do this, probably would know little more about how to do it than would Trump himself.

  24. rd

    Re: Calpers Meng pay:

    If Meng had Nick Saban’s Alabama football team record, Calpers would be 110% funded right now.

    I am not a fan of the money shoved into American university football, but Nick Saban is one of the very best in history at what he does. He is the worng person to be running comparisons with. There are lots of 0 and whatever football coaches out there who make as much or more as what Meng made.

  25. jr

    Re: Robotic Rodins

    “Robots might have already taken over industries like manufacturing, but when it comes to more creative endeavors, like the arts, humans still hold a strong lead. But for how long?”

    For exactly forever. Robots and AI are as “creative” as the humans who program their algorithms. Even if some algos come up with something new, ultimately it would simply be the outcome of the interaction of those algos, not some creative impulse. There is no inspiration involved, zero emotional input, zero consciousness, therefore not a
    drop of creativity. The fact that this is Disney’s project makes it all the more nightmarish.

    “Disney’s researchers have created a system that allows human artists to teach aspiring robotic Michelangelos how to sculpt clay using tools to mimic various artistic styles”

    You don’t teach AI’s, you program them. Anthromorphizing tech is not only ontologically wrong, it degrades what it means to be human. Which I suspect is the point, reflectively or not. I don’t want to give the author too much credit.

    “On its own, RobotSculptor lacks any kind of creativity, at least in its current form.”

    Fan-boi techie onanism alert, deploy umbrellas. “…current form.” is a gleeful wish-hint on the part of the author for that Golden Age when really real AI is birthed. So your smart coffee pot will mean it when it says “Good Morning!” after sending your blood pressure reading off to your insurance provider. Ain’t gonna happen.

    “Besides putting sculptors out of work and making starving artists even hungrier, there are some potential practical applications of this research”

    Ah, the nut of it, get rid of those pesky humans so the Techno Utopia can make, um, human existence better. Tech fetishists love this kind of “hard nosed” talk, displacing or replacing humans with robots/algos is assumed to be a universal good. For whom though? I remember reading a Wired article years ago about how the Internet was going to revolutionize our sex lives. It sure did: porn addictions, dating site alert addictions, disposable relationships, dating site STD outbreaks:

    Gizmodo, TechInsider, anything from Musk’s catamites, it’s always the same sad story: while the world literally burns we are told heaven is just one algorithm away in a snarky, sneering whine. Or maybe it’ because the world is burning and these schmucks lack the imagination to see another way out. Like the Others told that young girl in Zimbabwe:

    “You can do better!”

  26. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    I would think all citizens Red, Blue, Green, White or Black would be disgusted and ashamed to listen to what this woman witnessed:

    27 hours of counting without a single solitary Trump vote. Stacks of Biden votes passed 8-10 times through the counter. Boxes of ballots being taken to the Election Committee for unknown purposes. Mysterious comings and goings in the middle of the night to warehouses.

    That our system cannot give her her day with one of her hands on a Bible and the other raised high in the air before lawmaking and enforcement bodies is absolutely stultifying.

    It’s as though it’s November 23, 1963, and we have tens of thousands of eyewitnesses who saw every move of Gunman #2 in Dealey Plaza, but the blindfolded woman holding up the scales is nowhere to be found.

    If you’re in the elections or polling businesses I’d suggest learning to code or something because I think you’re going to be unemployed. Once they put “consent of the governed”, and believe me they want to, into the world’s largest memory hole, then the arc that started in 1776 and 1789 is over.

    Cue the people “she’s lying!” and “there was no fraud!”. But a guy with a little wooden hammer should be making that call. Have they had *any* evidentiary hearings yet? You know, in a court of law, with a jury, discovery, evidence, sworn testimony, and cross-examination?

  27. drumlin woodchuckles

    ” Lith” is Greek for “stone”. Since the “monoliths” are made of metal, shouldn’t we at least call them ” metal monometaliths”?

  28. JEHR

    The most beautiful and invigorating article that I have read in a long time is The Social Life of Forests New York Times . It has such an encouraging message and so many profound things to say:

    Before Simard and other ecologists revealed the extent and significance of mycorrhizal networks, foresters typically regarded trees as solitary individuals that competed for space and resources and were otherwise indifferent to one another. Simard and her peers have demonstrated that this framework is far too simplistic. An old-growth forest is neither an assemblage of stoic organisms tolerating one another’s presence nor a merciless battle royale: It’s a vast, ancient and intricate society. There is conflict in a forest, but there is also negotiation, reciprocity and perhaps even selflessness.

    If we all saw forests and trees as Simard does, we could easily convince loggers to work in a different manner; we would insist on having women equally represented in every institution on earth; we would want women guiding our planet into solving the problem of climate change; and so many other things.

    There are many analogies to draw from this article in the Time of Pandemic when male politicians refuse to listen to the trained (women) doctors who are advising them on how to best deal with the corona virus and because they are individualistic and think the economy is more important than preventing deaths, we have higher and higher peaks of cases and and more and more deaths. I am talking about Canada here and how disheartening it is to see so many unnecessary deaths.

    1. furies

      Loved this article. Suits my view of the world perfectly. I want to know this woman!

      Thanks for linking~

  29. Maritimer

    It’s Official: The USS Bonhomme Richard Can’t Be Saved Popular Mechanics. Resilc: “Santa will bring a new war toy.”
    “I have not yet begun to fight…” for more Pentagon Pork.

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