Links 3/2/2021

Father and Son Build ‘Stick Library’ for Local Dogs To “Borrow” Sticks My Modern Met (David L)

Your Indifferent Cat Won’t Choose Your Friend Over Your Enemy, Research Finds Science Alert (Chuck L)

To fight climate change, save the whales, some scientists say MongaBay (furzy)

Monarch butterfly population falls in Mexico Reuters

In a Momentous Discovery, Scientists Show Neanderthals Could Produce Human-Like Speech ScienceAlert (Kevin W; similar story from Chuck L)

Scientists describe ‘hidden biodiversity crisis’ as variation within species is lost PhysOrg (Chuck L)

A 1990s iMac Processor Powers NASA’s Perseverance Rover Gizmodo (Kevin W)

Deep Nostalgia: ‘creepy’ new service uses AI to animate old family photos Guardian (Kevin W)

Climate activists aim to ban new gas stations Axios (Chuck L)

Huge, Global Study of Plastic Toys Finds Over 100 Substances That May Harm Children Science Alert (Chuck L)

New Vaccine Developed By Massachusetts’ Doctor to Prevent Lyme Disease In Humans Field and Stream (David L)


Donors bet on a US firm to fix testing in Africa. Then COVID-19 hit Reuters (resilc)


A bit heavy on J&J but this is an even stronger version of what we’ve been saying:

New York Covid-19 Variant Expands Reach in U.S. With 735 Cases Bloomberg (furzy)


COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy plummets among Black and Latino Americans — but not white Republicans The Week (Dr. Kevin)


Housing insecurity and the COVID-19 pandemic Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Kevin C). Important. $90 billion in missed payments. Nearly 10% of Americans may lose housing.

The big-spending state may be here to stay—even after the pandemic ends Quartz (resilc). As if that’s a bad thing….absent our wee pervasive corruption problem.

As another stimulus package hangs in the balance, some programs like unemployment benefits are set to expire by the end of March Business Insider


Brexit constipation Chris Grey (guurst)

France’s former president Nicolas Sarkozy sentenced to prison in corruption trial France24 (resilc)

New Cold War

Biden urged to back AI weapons to counter China and Russia threats BBC (David L)


Why Hasn’t Biden Rejoined the Iran Deal? American Conservative. Resilc: “Because Kagan/Nuland driving this train now.”

Biden Betrayed His Promise to Defend Human Rights and Jamal Khashoggi New Yorker (furzy). As Lambert said:

The *only* reason this story matters is that some Washington journalists had cocktails in Georgetown with the dude, and being only ONE degree of separation away from a corpse is too much for their delicate sensibilities. Two, or better three or four degrees, no problemo!

Everybody pushing this story should grow the fuck up. Is Henry Kissinger still in everybody’s Rolodex? Alrighty then..

Pentagon: U.S. strike on Syrian compound killed one fighter, wounded two more Washington Post (furzy)

U.S. strike in Syria: Biden explains justification in letter to congressional leadership Axios

Soldiers in Cameroon, a Close U.S Ally, Commit Mass Rape Intercept

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Why Is Facebook Launching An All-Out War On Apple’s Upcoming iPhone Update? NPR

Republicans in Diasarray

CPAC 2021: Who won the Republican civil war? BBC


Joe Biden Approval Rating Buoyant Despite Donald Trump’s ‘Disastrous First Month’ Claim Newsweek

Biden officials urge patience on immigration amid border surge The Hill

Watch out! Biden wants to save the planet Asia Times (Kevin W)

Andrew Cuomo Is Screwed New Republic. About time.

The Supreme Court is hearing arguments Tuesday in a case that could further gut the Voting Rights Act and its protections for minority voters Business Insider

How the 1st US city to fund reparations for Black residents is making amends ABC (UserFriendly)

Texas Deep Freeze Aftermath

Texas electricity firm files for bankruptcy citing $1.8 billion in claims from grid operator Reuters (resilc)

Texas power crisis deepens as more companies skip payments due to grid operator Reuters (Kevin W)

Woke Watch

There Is No Such Thing as “White” Math Bari Weiss (Dr. Kevin)

Stacy Graham-Hunt: Call me Black, not BIPOC New Haven Register (UserFriendly)

Our Famously Free Press

In Defense Of Substack Matt Taibbi. The gatekeepers are in meltdown mode. Good! They must really feel threatened. But it doesn’t seem to occur to them that they need to stop being in the business of toadying to power.

Note CodePink sent an e-mail blast with this headline to enlist support: “Twitter Suspends Prominent Activist for Palestinian Rights, No Explanation Given”

Hard to say if this is pathetic or genius. Won’t be (as) hostage to the usual revenue sources!

Torstar to launch online casino to help fund its journalism CBC (ma)

Oil Trade Group Is Poised to Endorse Carbon Pricing Wall Street Journal. Mirabile dictu. A capitulation to the inevitable. We first wrote about this in 2007, not long after the site started. It was then an old idea.

The missing trillions: The hidden cost of energy externalities University of Sussex (Robert M). So the price won’t be high enough.

Athol Williams on why companies involved in State Capture should be prosecuted Business Maverick (Mark T). SA whistleblower v. Bain. Note:

McKinsey entered into thoroughly corrupt contracts with Transnet, SAA and Eskom – and Bain with SARS and SAA. They should be subject to criminal investigation.

Undercover audit shows rehab centers use hard-sell tactics. Addicts might not need the care they’re selling. Academic Times (resilc)

Citi may face a shareholder vote on a racial equity audit New York Times. You need to scroll down a bit to find this story:

Citigroup has no legal basis for blocking an investor proposal demanding a report on how its practices affect minority communities , the S.E.C. ruled Friday. That increases the likelihood that the bank’s board will have to examine itself in the glare of the public.

Greensill Capital Faces Possible Insolvency After Credit Suisse Suspends Investment Funds Wall Street Journal. Paywalled, but a wild story and a WSJ exclusive. Try Googling the headline. Greensill provided supply chain financing. From the top of the piece:

Specialty finance firm Greensill Capital headed toward a rapid unraveling after Credit Suisse Group AG suspended $10 billion of investment funds that fueled the SoftBank Group Corp.-backed startup.

Servicing the National Debt St. Louis Fed. UserFriendly: “I like where this is going.”

Wall Street Bullishness Close to Flashing Contrarian Sell Signal Bloomberg

Class Warfare

Are Endowments Damaging Colleges and Universities? American Prospect (UserFriendly)

Antidote du jour (furzy):

And a bonus (guurst):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. IdahoSpud

    “COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy plummets among Black and Latino Americans — but not white Republicans”
    Appears to go to a link about the J&J vaccine and herd immunity, not public resistance to vaccines.

  2. taunger

    Any carbon pricing coming from the corporate world is likely to be a massive problem. In Massachusetts, the first carbon tax bill proposed was a massive transfer of wealth from house holds to business based on their rebate formulas. Written by a conservative economy consultant shop for a clueless neoliberal state senator, it took significant effort from labor and progressive tax organization for him to see the problem – but he’s still championing carbon tax, but it’s better now, better believe it.

    1. BlakeFelix

      I’m not saying that it’s going to be handled well, or that rebates are a good idea, but climate change is a massive problem also. We can’t, IMO, wait for a perfect solution. The solution will likely cause problems, just hopefully problems that are easier to deal with than ecosystem collapse and mass famine.

    2. chuck roast

      This story is about the dog that didn’t bark…carbon trading. Of course this is the great scam-of-scams that Lieberman was pushing for his corporate masters in the mid-aughts. The whole thing kind of petered out and was forgotten, but not before many people like me plastered the internet with macro-analysis about why this was a massive corporate theft and would do nothing about diminishing fossil fuel consumption. The problem for the thieves was that the more people looked at carbon trading the more a carbon tax appeared to be the equitable, if inefficient, solution. The one time in my recent memory that ‘equitable’ trumped ‘inefficient.’

      So, ‘carbon pricing’ again becomes the bait, and ‘carbon trading’ becomes the switch. Coming soon to a market near you! But, really, if it failed 15 years ago this effort seems like a last gasp to me. Like leaded fuel…good riddance to bad trash.

      BTW I know that Mass. had some sort of carbon trading scheme going at one time. I have no clue about whether it still exists or gone by the wayside.

  3. zagonostra

    >There Is No Such Thing as “White” Math Bari Weiss

    I’m wondering if posting the phrase “toadying to power” in today’s links was coincidental on the part of Yves, I think not.

    There has been much made of “White Math,” wokeness, cancel culture and the rest of it. To my mind it’s all a distraction. It’s not about math or the hard sciences that has a privileged position in articulating what is “truth” but rather what math is used for. The fad in the social sciences of applying statistical analysis as the sole measure of whether an academic paper was worthy to be published, I had thought, ran its course with the failure of “positivism.”

    It’s not that “Math, with its seemingly unbiased tools — 2 + 2 always equals 4 — has presented a problem for an ideological movement that sees any inequality of outcome as evidence of systemic bias” that is the problem. It’s when you try and apply math, useful in describing molecules and atoms, to human worth and dignity. Every science must be true to the nature of that which it purports to study.

    Also, what is it with Thomas Sowell these days, I just got a link from a friend quoting him. Is he a deep thinker? Is there something I missed? Is he having a resurgence of sorts?

    1. Terry Flynn

      It’s not about math or the hard sciences that has a privileged position in articulating what is “truth” but rather what math is used for.

      Exactly. I worked for decades in valuing wellbeing quantitatively but I won’t hark on about that. What frankly worries me more is when the (objective) mathematical building blocks are used in (say) statistics by people who fail to realise they are making huge assumptions (see my example below).

      These assumptions are oblivious to too many people who don’t read technical appendices. But they could lead to conclusions that lead to erosion of support for mathematics by certain groups in favor of “wokeism” when if the modellers had got things right in the first place, the uncertainty surrounding cultural and other phenemena would have been pointed out in the first place and avoided this whole ridiculous debate about whether mathematics is biased.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        I can use a wrench to tighten a nut. Or I can use a wrench to break a window. Is a wrench biased?

    2. Robert Gray

      > … what is it with Thomas Sowell these days … [?]

      Of course I can’t find any links at the moment but I’ve seen one or two comments on rightwing sites where they seem to think that he’s the smartest man in the room, for just about any room.

    3. Keith

      Thomas Sowell was, as I recall it, a frequent commentator on Lew Rockwell and I believe an economist. He writing was excellent, well thought out and made some, like me, view things from a different perspective. He is passed now.

      From an identity perspective, he was also black, so that way help way he is seeing more attention these days. After all, it is not about claiming to have a black friend, it is about dragging them around to prove it.

      1. Mme Generalist

        Thomas Sowell is alive. He’s the Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution.

        1. Roger

          Thomas Sowell is a very gifted apologist for the elites, blames the welfare state for racism! A complete believer in neoliberal economics, hence being the Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow. If Tony Blair was Thatcher’s proudest accomplishment, Sowell may have been Friedman’s. In Ancient Greece they called what he does “sophistry” it is well thought out and it is internally consistent – thats why its such great propaganda, especially coming from a Black man. Its the hidden assumptions and ideology that you have to dig to find that give it away.

          1. Patrick

            “If Tony Blair was Thatcher’s proudest accomplishment, Sowell may have been Friedman’s”
            In “End of Myth” Greg Grandin wrote that “Bill Clinton was Ronald Reagan’s greatest achievement” (or “accomplishment” – my memory!).

            1. Pat

              Would that make Trump, Obama’s great achievement? Just wondering how we determine who to attribute it to…

              1. Patrick

                I would say (and have been saying) “yes”. After all conservatives are reactionary. And in my delirium I imagine this is part of the game plan.

          2. Mme Generalist

            Please provide examples from/references to his work that support your assertions.

            I have not read his books, but have heard him describe his findings and conclusions in some detail in various interviews. I haven’t heard him say anything that supports your view.

      2. Patrick

        Woke theater (“dragging them round to prove it”). Certainly I’d get canceled if’n i added “black comedy” (as a comment on corporate media messaging).

    4. Katy


      A company run only by women of color, all engineers, mechanics, pilots, and personal are women of color.

      Come fly with me!

    5. Katniss Everdeen

      It’s not about math or the hard sciences that has a privileged position in articulating what is “truth” but rather what math is used for.

      You got that right.

      Unless I miss my guess, “white math” will continue to be used to calculate interest rates on predatory mortgage, payday, or subprime used car loans and credit cards, or to total up what’s owed on a bag of groceries with rapidly inflating prices, for the foreseeable future.

      While some comments on this article mentioned “the soft bigotry of low expectations,” I think it’s more along the lines of needing to deny everybody the information needed to call bullshit on the myriad of obvious ripoffs that constitute the current american economy.

      Sounds more like the desperation of late stage predatory capitalism masquerading as ‘benevolent anti-racism” to me.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        To your point about calling BS, I had a standing offer with a math teacher friend to go into her class and explain to any of her students who asked why they needed to learn math that if they didn’t, they would be taken advantage of later in life by those who did learn it. I may have been working for a bank at the time where I learned exactly how many of those ripoffs work.

        Unfortunately after teaching for 30 years and being very popular with her students (among other things she used to pin up the “dumb answer of the week” selected from student work and rather than being an embarrassment, the kids loved it since she had a way of making them feel valued and helping them learn from getting a wrong answer), she was forced out. You can probably guess why. Now instead of lending her vast expertise to a new generation of kids, she’s cashiering at a general store. She’s a lot happier not having to constantly battle administrators anymore, but the rest of us are the worse for it.

    6. chuck roast

      In the old days when we had a cultural revolution at least we got to drop and toke. This new cultural revolution may take the form of Mao’s Cultural Revolution. Out with the Four Olds: ideas, customs, cultures and habits. Rude, nasty and no fun. Woke to leveling everything except income inequality. Struggling against this nonsense will of course serve to obscure the real social and economic issues: hunger, homelessness, job insecurity, credentialism, corruption, etc. Obscurantism…that’s the point. There will be no advancement of civilization until Bill Gates, his wife and the rest of their class is discredited.

    7. occasional anonymous

      Identity politics is a massively effective distraction that has gutted much of what was the left.

  4. Terry Flynn

    Re BAME vaccine hesitancy. At the risk of sounding like a stuck record, it’s important to always bear in mind the key theoretical statistics paper by Yatchew & Grillisches from the mid 1980s in interpreting changes in frequencies like this.

    They proved formally that the link function (logit/probit) used by all stats programs to interpret frequencies can’t distinguish changes in means (“underlying belief in vaccination”) from variances (“certainty of beliefs”). The programs always assume its the former but clever NCers better versed in US politics than I might have reason to believe it is partly/entirely the latter.

    Suppose these people have ALWAYS had the same belief in vaccines but are now just “more sure” it’s not another “nefarious Federal plot to use them as guinea pigs”. The distribution of views will look “less flat” and “more peaked” with now much less area under the 50% mark (manifesting as increased vaccination rates). Which is also what you’d see if it’s a mean effect (the distribution has simply shifted upwards).

    Does this matter? Well if the true peak is not far above 50% then vaccine acceptance will eventually max out (possibly at too low a level) but if it’s high then you’ve just got to improve confidence levels. I leave it for you people to debate, particularly since having data from White Republicans provides additional insights to “break the statistical confound”.

  5. arkansasangie

    Re Servicing the National Debt

    Well …how convenient.

    If this is true … let interest rates float. I bet debt matters then

  6. The Rev Kev

    Working link for “How the 1st US city to fund reparations for Black residents is making amends” article at-

    Looking at today’s Antidote du jour, it looks off somehow. But what I think has been done is that the original image has been vertically flipped and when you do so with a screen capture, it looks more ‘natural.’ As for the cat in guurst’s bonus, what else can you say?

    ‘The Motherhood is strong with this one’

    1. LaRuse

      I had the same thought about the cheetah photo – so perfect that I was looking for tell-tale signs of photoshopping. If legit, it is a remarkable photo. I enjoyed it even while I questioned it, though.

      1. Expat2uruguay

        Agreed. I was confused by the reflection being larger and taller then the original. I was trying to figure out how those angles were working, and then I turn the picture upside down and saw it clearly. The water surface is The Telltale

      1. jsn

        It’s still upside down, but I expect the photographer posted that way because the cat is staring at the camera in it’s reflection in the water. It’s a powerful view and the disorientation of being upside down makes the cats gaze all the more unnerving!

    2. Jeff N

      The city I grew up in. Had to move out to more distant ‘burbs in 2001 to find a house in my price range. And will be selling this house later this year due to my “loss of livelihood.”

  7. vlade

    Re the maths being racist.

    I have seen the arguments about “hahah, you say 1+1 is 2, it isn’t and here’s a proof!”, which were so far the peak of idiocy.

    The one hope I have is that the woke will implode as it turns on itself, soon. Because if it doesn’t, the rest of the society will turn on it, and that _will_ have some real repercussions across the board.

          1. Cynbar

            I too was a failure at math in school, I was pre-New Math but definitely allowed to not try because I was a girl and “not everyone can be good at math”. This though I excelled in other subjects. As an adult, I was lucky enough to become friends with a really good teacher who exposed the myth of good at math/bad at math intelligence. I knuckled down, did some learning and am now very comfortable with numbers. No Will Hunting am I, but I can do more than enough to do more than get by.
            I am appalled by this ‘white math’ idpol BS. Crikey, why can’t we just get people vaccinated, fed and housed?

          2. Darthbobber

            I was in grade school when the Wichita Public Schools were struggling with the new math curriculum. It was largely gone again a few years later. If operating at very high (set theory) levels of abstraction weren’t a thing that developed chronologically in kids, the whole thing would have worked, I suppose. But it broke down on the fact that the capacity to perform at that level of abstraction wasn’t developed in most children at the age where they wanted to introduce those elements.

            And the killer was that the teachers (first choice of someone to turn to when you don’t get it), seemed to be just as out to sea as I was. And my parents parsed it only slightly better than I did. Understandably. I didn’t encounter set theory at the level New Math thought I should deal with in the third grade until encountering it again in a University logic class with a textbook by Quine.

            I didn’t get a math teacher who was excited about math and who conveyed excitement about it until I was a high school senior.

            1. lyman alpha blob

              I noticed that with my kid’s school a few years ago – they were trying to teach number theory in 1st or 2nd grade when all the kids need to know at that point is that if you have two apples and get two more, you wind up with four apples. If a kid can grok that type of theory in 1st or 2nd grade, then they probably don’t need the math class they’re stuck in anyway and could stand to skip a few grades. While not all minds think alike, learning some basic practical examples first would seemingly help understand the theory later.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Its a sad situation when even Bari Weiss sounds sensible.

      One disagreement however that I have with those calling out idiotic wokeness is that they try to argue facts, which ignores the reality that much of the woke movement is not an ideological or political movement, but is simple, straight up bullying and an attempt by some elements within universities and other institutions to set themselves up as gatekeepers (and get paid for it). So many of these attempts should be described as what they are – attempts at bullying people out of their jobs and positions. The fact that many of those people who are targeted are not particularly sympathetic types shouldn’t alter our views on it.

      1. vlade

        A sucessfull playground bully generally has the strenght or the viciousness to set himself up as a bully, so standing up to them is usually quite costly.

        These wokeist have only an argument, which is idiotic, and anyone with half a brain should laugh them out of the room when they try to use it to set themeselves up as a bully. So IMO it’s gaslighting first (to create their reality), and bullying comes out of that (when they use their reality to get the bully powers).

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Well, this is the thing. They do have power – we’ve seen so many institutions collapse in the face of this type of bullying. Even outside the US – just yesterday it was reported that a Dutch publisher had backed down in the face of a Twitter campaign for the crime of using a white translator for Amanda Gorman’s poetry – and to make it worse, the translator had been picked by Gorman herself. (IMO it doesn’t say much for Gorman that she didn’t stick to her guns and insist that her first choice was respected).

          I think there are probably many reasons for this but a key one I think is that administrators and senior managers see this as a useful tool, both professionally (getting rid of those awkward older guys who keep questioning managements competence) and personally (by bringing up their kids to use the right language, they can use this to exclude upstarts in the race for the diminishing number of good jobs).

          1. Mme Generalist

            The worst part of your anecdote is that Gorman’s flat, callow, hackneyed, cloying, didactic screeds she calls poetry are being translated into another language.

            1. jr

              My experience with her poetry ranges from “Meh.” to “Huh?” Her blending of abstract and concrete notions do not mesh together; I sometimes feel like I’m reading two poems at once. Neither inspire much.

          2. Darthbobber

            Way to handicap the translation project. Probably difficult enough to find English to Dutch translators for poetry. (If the objective is to have it still work AS POETRY in the second language. If you just needed a literal translation matters would be different, but then the Dutch version wouldn’t be something that was poetry at all.)

            So add the further qualifiers that this English-to-Dutch poetry translator needs to be a spoken word poetry specialist who is also unapologeticly black, young and female. That ought to really narrow your search.

            Translation of literature can really be an art form. I have two English translations of We, by Yevgeny Zemyatin, and they’re almost two different novels. Before Kaufmann provided some reasonably decent translations of Nietzsche a lot of translators broke their teeth on that author’s idiosyncracies.

            1. flora

              tut-tut. Do you not understand that the technocratics’ definition of ‘art’ has primacy over an artist’s meaning and understanding of her own art?!!?. /s

          3. vlade

            I do not dispute that they have power. But they have power because someone else gave up theirs.

            The Gorman example is a classic here – she should have said “I picked it, it’s MY poetry, and this is a translator _I_ trust. What you say is idiotic and offensive to ME. Who are you to tell ME what to do with MY poetry?”. It was her who gave them the power, by not standing up to them. Which is beyond sad.

            It’s the same with minorities etc. – they should call out these people and say “Who gave you the right to speak for me? I most certainly didn’t. Are you saying I’m incapable of protecting myself and my interests? That’s deeply offensive to me.. ”

            I was extermely annoyed when Navratilova, who did way more for LGTB than most of these idiots can ever imagine, was being gaslighted for stating the obvious on trans-women athletes.

            And we wonder why Trump.

            1. flora

              Mobs of any sort – rugby, white pillowcase, Twitter – run on emotion not on reason or even on common sense. Mobs are about power and force. Why is Twitter privileging mob mentality, privileging irrationality and brute force? Who benefits? sigh….

            2. wilroncanada

              It may not have been Gorman who had the power, but rather her publisher. ‘We’ will choose the translator. We don’t need you.
              As for Navratilova, I agree with you.

    2. flora

      tut-tut… We wokesters want our children made easier to cheat! How else could our payday loan companies make so much money? Think! /s

      1. flora

        I have seen the arguments about “hahah, you say 1+1 is 2, it isn’t and here’s a proof!”, which were so far the peak of idiocy.

        This sort of thing is fun for advanced (post-grad) maths specialists musing over math proofs’ and exploring the proofs’ boundaries … and jokes. It’s out of place and badly out of context in primary grade school arithmetic and secondary high school algebra/geometry/calculus classes.

    3. lyman alpha blob

      There was an political activist organization in my state dedicated to making gay marriage legal. We donated, and the issue passed several years ago now. Yay, everybody wins, and we can find something else to do now, right? But I still get fundraising calls from this organization and I don’t know why, other than some activists seem to think politics should be a full time job for themselves whether there’s anything requiring activation or not.

      We are far from a perfect society, but a lot of gains have been made in recent decades toward equality in the social realm at least, even as equality in the economic realm has gone backwards. Pushing things too far and ruining the lives of otherwise decent people risks a backlash that could set back many of those gains.

      The one that really scares me lately is the notion of systemic racism. I have seen a lot of backlash against that phrase specifically even though there really is systemic racism that urgently needs to be addressed, specifically in law enforcement. But by claiming math is racist, it comes across as crying wolf, allowing the real problems to continue to be ignored.

      1. Enver "Bonkers for Bunkers" Hoxha

        >But by claiming math is racist, it comes across as crying wolf, allowing the real problems to continue to be ignored.

        As is the point.

    4. Alex Morfesis

      White math and quetzels pretzels…the dangers of the terrible 10th and the bipoc infusion…since my mother was born outside of Havana…will take the license to go there…Black folks need to worry about Spanish speaking Karens who want to stall Black progress and have their relatives leap frog those whose cis families paid for all the “rights” everyone else is enjoying…quetzel is an organization of terrible 10th black folks who want to be the handful at white events and Spanish speakers who scream bipoc to step in front of the great great grandchildren of Ida B wells Barnett…the “guide” to demathify math was designed and presented by quetzel…all that needs to be said…paid for by that trust fund baby commonly known as bill “my mommy was on the national United way board with the chair of ibm” gates…this too shall pass…no one quotes bernad Baruch anymore…so there is hope…

    5. Phillip Cross

      I did a search for “Math is rascist”, and (surprise surprise) most of it was just right wing sites making a mountain out of a molehill. The first article to actually discuss what the Seattle school district was actually attempting to do was this one.

      You should read it. It really didn’t seem to be that bad to me. They have a lot of ethnic minority students and found that they do better when they can relate to the curriculum. Rather than shrugging and saying ‘so what’, they tried to make some of the less popular courses more relevant by integrating them into an ‘ethnic studies’ block.

      “There are studies that talk about specifically black and brown students not being seen as scientists or mathematicians … It affects their efficacy, their ability to engage in that kind of learning,” she said. “That’s why identity is so core to math and science.”

      It’s not that the formulas and equations taught in current math classes are racist, Castro-Gill said it’s about how they’re used in daily life.

      “Nowhere in this document says that math is inherently racist,” she said. “It’s how math is used as a tool for oppression. One example teachers might mention in an ethnic studies math class, she said, is how black voters in the South were given literacy and numeracy tests before they could cast their ballot. Another might be a lesson on ratios that discusses gaps in incarceration rates and how the weight of a type of drug determines the length of a sentence.

      “The numbers are objective,” she said, “but how we use it is not objective.””

      1. vlade

        That is possible, but it’s not what is in the docs on the “equitable maths”.

        The whole point is that “equitable maths” is idiotic. Maths cannot be racist. Physics or chemistry cannot be racists. Social “sciences”, and potentially biology could, at least in the interpretation, but hard science cannot.

        People can, and are racist. But claiming “maths is racist” is taking the point away from the real issue.

        I can guarantee you that the “studies” talking about X not being good at maths are NOT mathematical studies, because maths doesn’t do that stuff. Maths is, strictly speaking, not even a science, it’s a formal axiomatic system. And the “studies” are most likely total drivel *), and anyone with two brain cells can understand that.

        Even suggesting that “it doesn’t say math is inherently racist” is beyond wrong, because it implies that maths _can_ be racist. It cannot.

        “Ethnic studies maths class”? That’s pure bollocks, never mind that the fact that black voters were given literacy/numeracy tests is racist. It’s a historical fact, that cannot be changed. That behaviour is racist, but the inability to distinguish behavior from facts further muddies the picture. Oh, and will there be “reading is racist”, since it was also a literacy test?.

        The way to combat racism or other isms is to concentrate on person’s circumstances, not on the person him/herself. A brilliant student from a poor white family needs way more help than Obama’s daughter in getting to a good uni (and yes, a brilliant female student from a poor black family may need more help than a brilliant male from a poor white family, but that’s because likely her family is in worse circumstances in general than the white boy’s. But regardless of that, both of them should get a good chance).

        Never mind it ignores thousands of years of history where some of the most important inventions were done by Arabs and Indians, when “white” men were still using sticks to count their herds.

        *) people in maths are, if anything, misogynist, not racist. There’s overrepresentation of non-wite men in maths compared to the population, and substantial under-represtnation of women (or any race).

        1. Phillip Cross

          Thanks for the link. I think the equitable math pdf seemed to be cut from the same cloth too.

          I didn’t see the harm in it myself. They seem to have identified a shortfall in how people get on with their maths curriculum, and are trying to make it more interesting for minority students by making it more relatable to them. They aren’t saying maths is racist. They are saying, math is amazing, look at all these interesting things you can prove with it.

          I know it drives some people nuts, but I don’t really understand what the problem is. Most adults are rubbish at maths. Their eyes glaze over because it’s not their thing. If this gets some more people interested, and on a path to a better educational outcome, then that’s great, isn’t it?

      2. The Rev Kev

        Still, I am reminded of back in the 30s how Albert Einstein had a lot of opposition to his work in his own homeland because it was against the principles of “German Mathematics” which was actually a thing back then. Who’s have thought that the German government back in this time period was so IdPol.

      3. Aumua

        It’s always right wing sources where hype over this stuff is drummed up, and it’s always some small part of some study that is focused on, distorted and taken out of context to be reason for high alarm, and I find the people most concerned about wokeism harming the left aren’t really all that left of center.

  8. russell1200

    There has been some recent pushback on private companies servicing the drug addicted.

    They are expensive, very expensive. But given the high staff to patient ratio required, that isn’t particularly surprising. It is not always easy to get reimbursed by insurance, so they are probably true costs, not insurance availability driven.

    But then they complain that they weed out people with mental issues. As if having to deal with those issues wouldn’t add yet another layer of complexity and cost. I am sure their liability premiums are already huge. It is sad, but they are probably already well booked up with the non-mental issue drug addicts.

    People don’t want to go to detox. So when they ask for admittance the circumstances can be rather desperate. I am not surprised that the industry default is to presume the person making the inquiry knows where they know what they are about.

    1. Grateful Dude

      Is there a drug addict anywhere without mental issues? Drug addiction is a whole-life problem. A lot has to change in most cases to get healthy. Determination helps.

      1. MK

        What about the drug addicts on all these anti-antidepressants, etc. handed out like candy by western medicine? Almost everyone is a drug addict, unless of course they don’t use drugs, either by prescription or otherwise.

        1. Maritimer

          I have read/listened to many addiction books over time and this is the best ever by Dr. Gabor Mate, In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction. As I recall, Dr. Mate even admits his own addiction: buying CDs. I recall this as an audiobook I obtained either from the local library or Torrent Dealer for those frugality addicts.

          The Corps/Elite/Oligarchs/AI are working overtime to reinforce old addictions and create new ones—it’s fundamental to the Growth Economy. Facebook or World Of Warcraft anyone?

          1. wilroncanada

            He did a lot of his research, in addition to a lot of counselling in Vancouver. Aaron from the Grayzone is his son. We were “come-from-aways” in the Annapolis Valley for 10 years, moving from Salt Spring Island. Now back on the West Coast.

    2. Mark Gisleson

      No proof but having followed former Gov. Dayton’s career and having had several clients who’d “graduated” from Hazelden, I’ve always suspected that Hazelden Betty Ford folks lobbied/pressured the neoliberal Dayton behind the scenes to cobble together the nation’s worst medical marijuana law (so bad Republicans in other states copied it).

      And then you have all the states that permit judges to route “addicted criminals” into rehab programs to shorten their sentences. The whole industry reeks of neoliberal profit-taking. Your kid isn’t maladjusted, he’s just “hooked” on the marijuana!

    3. Darthbobber

      One of my friends spent some years as an intake supervisor at a bog standard McRehab. After a couple of years, the bloom was off the rose and he explained his job to me thusly:
      “Your insurance will pay for 90 days inpatient, yours for 30, yours for two weeks, yours for 2 outpatient sessions a week for 2 months. So I need to write treatment plans that say you’ll be better in 90 days, you in 30, you in two weeks, you after some outpatient sessions.”

  9. fresno dan

    In Defense Of Substack Matt Taibbi.

    Why didn’t Snowden go to one of the big names at the Times? Could it be because one of the senior Times editors back then, Dean Baquet — now the chief — reportedly once killed a whistleblower’s story about a surveillance arrangement between AT&T and the NSA? Or because the Times had a history of sitting on damaging intelligence stories, including one about an analyst who doubted the existence of Iraqi WMDs that the paper held until after the 2003 invasion?

    It was bad enough when the traditional newsrooms Roberts so esteems near-universally swallowed the WMD lie, but the real kicker was when the worst offenders in that episode were promoted, and given the helm at major magazines and journalistic supertankers like the Times. What signal does that send to audiences?

    Because this is not a bug but a feature, these same types of errors have been repeated over and over, to the point where papers like the Times and the Washington Post eventually became little more than conduits for anonymous intelligence sources spouting unconfirmable fairy tales like the pee tape. The major “traditional” cable networks, as well as many of the bigger daily newspapers, have for years now been engaged in mad hiring sprees of ex-spooks, putting whole nests of known perjurers and Langley goons on their payrolls as contributors, where they regularly provide “commentary” on news stories in which they themselves have involvement. And Roberts wants to lecture us about “disclosure of compromise”?
    Worse, as I’ve repeatedly pointed out in reported pieces on this site, the new “norms” in the business have disincentivized traditional outlets to care about accuracy, leading to huge quantities of mistakes. When news agencies see their jobs as being primarily about politics, they become more concerned with being directionally right than technically accurate, knowing among other things that their audiences will forgive them for being wrong, so long as they’re wrong about the “right” targets.
    The very fact that the critic of Substack is unconcerned about the avalanche of inaccuracies that pervade the MSM says something about her objectivity and fidelity to objective fact.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I think that Sarah T. Roberts wants to be a gatekeeper about what is and what is not allowed as ‘real’ journalism. Myself I would call it stenography but what do I now? Matt Taibbi does a pretty good demolition job of modern journalism but when I looked to see Roberts’s media qualifications, I see she has spent her entire life in academia and does not appear to have ever worked in journalism-

      Something fresno dan said about the media not printing controversial news reminded me of a 1975 film called “Three Days of the Condor’ At the end, the main character tells his CIA opponent that he gave the full story to the New York Times but as he walks away, the CIA agent asks him what makes him think that they will print the story. So even in the mid-seventies there were doubts about what the main stream media would and would not print-

      1. Carolinian

        I just watched that excellent movie again as I dip into my archive for covid fare. And rather than “even in the mid-seventies” one should perhaps say especially in the mid-seventies since Vietnam and Watergate had thoroughly discredited the national security establishment. Toward the end of the 1970s Carl Bernstein even revealed how many post WW2 journalists were working for the CIA.

        These days H’wood seems to think the CIA is just great and the military as well since they cooperate on those big action movies. And while the town itself was a target back in the HUAC days the MIC now seems to love them back. To manufacture consent you need media partners.

      2. pjay

        Thanks for reminding me of that movie — and that ending! With Watergate, various Congressional investigations, Agee, Marchetti, etc., a window briefly opened in the 1970s that provided a glimpse behind the curtain. I was in college then and just waking up to how naive and ignorant I was (I keep doing that periodically 40+ years on). That movie nicely captured a *brief* moment in the Zeitgeist. The MSM tried to paint itself as the good guys, of course. Then, interestingly, Watergate hero Carl Bernstein wrote that startling expose on the CIA and the Media in 1977. Then… crickets. Back to sleep everyone.

        Our recent era of instant internet exposure of obvious propaganda reminds me a lot of that earlier 1970s period. The Establishment is furiously trying to shut these challenges down today, as it did back then. I fear it will succeed again.

        1. pjay

          I posted this before I saw your comment Carolinian. Those of us with similar views, of similar age, see that period as yet another opportunity lost.

      3. The Historian

        I too loved that movie: “Three days of the Condor”. I need to watch it again! We actually had a chance to do something about the CIA then with the Church and Pike investigations and we could have gotten rid of CIA’s covert operations division – the real troublemakers – but we flubbed it. President Ford just wrote an executive order banning assassinations as a band-aid to make it look like he was doing ‘something’ to shut all the bad press down, and life continued as normal for the CIA. And as usual, that executive order was worth the same as all other executive orders.

      4. lyman alpha blob

        The eye opener for me was reading Don DeLillo’s Libra, a historical fiction about Lee Harvey Oswald. I was fairly young at the time, and at one point in the book, a character is talking to a spook and disbelieving what the spook is telling him, saying he read the opposite in the newspaper that day. The spook asks him “Who do you think put that story in the newspaper?”

        At first I had a hard time believing things really worked that way, but the ensuing decades have disabused me of that naivety.

  10. timbers

    Senate Parliamentarian

    Was it the Bush tax cuts that Republicans fired 2 parliamentarians who ruled their tax cuts affected the budget and could not be included, to a get a 3rd who approved them? Googling it wasn’t helpful (I wonder why) so now it’s just my imperfect memory I have to rely upon.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The parliamentarian only exists as a way of managing the filibuster when the filibuster started to be used for purposes other than officially supporting Jim Crow. Look at that racial wealth gap…

        There wouldn’t be many opportunities.

        1. Donna

          I think the Parliamentarian subject is another distraction. The bill passed as is in the House with only 7 votes. Question: if the Squad and its team now says we will not vote for this bill without the $15 minimum wage that puts pressure on Kamala to overrule the Parliamentarian. Instead the Squad now says if we knew then what we know now. But, the game doesn’t have to be over for the Squad does it? Maybe I am wrong about this. In an interview on Democracy Now Ro Khanna admitted that he would vote for the bill without the $15 minimum wage increase. Manchin is threatening to hold up all that money if it’s in there. The Squad and their minions could threaten the same for the reverse reason. There are 6 members of the Squad now. Add in Ro Khanna and you’re there. These Democrats never really play hardball. They just pretend and hope we don’t notice.

  11. Arkansasangie

    Remember back last summer when all the polls said Biden was ahead 10+ 15+ percent?

    I wonder if them ole boys have gotten any better at polling or whether the current approval rating might be accidentally skewed … cause they aren’t any better

  12. LaRuse

    The rehab center article touched a nerve for me but I am coming at this as someone who buried her 34 year old brother two years ago after a fentanyl and heroin overdose.

    At a cultural level, the US is not interested at all in actually helping the addicted. Many people I know would just tell you a drug addict dying of their addiction is just the trash taking itself out. I know a lot of well-meaning people that think addicts just need Jesus. What the US really wants is want to earn whatever dollars we can off them before the potential revenue stream dries up – either by death or recovery. It is hard to avoid the ultra-cynical conclusion that the for-profit residentials might almost be designed to fail their patients.

    Nearly every form of treatment available for addicts in the US revolves around a 12 Step program that are more often than not heavily laden with Evangelical Christianity (I know there are some that are agnostic and atheist 12 Steps but good luck finding those outside of major metro areas), run largely by amateurs with no professional training in health care. Otherwise we have lightly-regulated in-patient centers popularized by celebrities who have the $$$ to not only spend a month or two in seclusion, who can also afford the outrageously expensive medical and mental care that needs to follow up after a stay in one of these debatably effective residentials.

    You want the much more effective and affordable addiction management medication and a weekly check in with a licensed professional addiction clinician??? Best of luck to you. Oh you have insurance? Great! But it probably won’t cover the thing most likely to kill you.

    I forget which rule of neoliberalism it is but the US’s only answer to addiction is “Die faster…but make sure we get every cent out of you and your desperate family before you kick off.”

    Sorry for the rant but it’s a sore spot for me and the anniversary of my brother’s death was President’s Day and his birthday date is later this month. Because there is no movement towards improving the outcomes for others like my little brother, I am still very raw about it all.

    1. furies

      I’m so sorry about your brother…and all the other people thrown away by capitalism.

      There’s a butt-ton of us~

    2. tommy s

      So hard to deal with, I can’t imagine. Even though I’ve spent a lifetime (in a city, in music) around addicts, these last 5 years or so have astounded me….I’ve read Dopesick two times…..excellent book and touches on everything you’ve brought up….finally MAT is being accepted…

    3. John Zelnicker

      March 2, 2021 at 8:36 am

      “..12 Step program[s] that are more often than not heavily laden with Evangelical Christianity..”

      At least three Federal Appeals Courts have declared Alcoholics Anonymous to be a religion and some folks who have been assigned to 12-step programs for rehab have successfully argued that a judge cannot sentence them to religious indoctrination.

      For those who are interested there is a body of work called the “Orange Papers” that is a thoroughly researched and very extensive takedown of AA and 12 step programs in general.

      The author seems to have disappeared, but the archive of his work is still available at the link above. I have read the vast majority of these papers and they cover the beginnings of AA and its philosophical roots, its history, and the research that shows it is barely effective in creating a lasting recovery. There is also documentation of how some chapter leaders have taken advantage of the vulnerable folks who come to them for help, especially young women.

    4. QuicksilverMessenger

      I am sorry to hear this. This month will be three years since my wife took her life after years of addiction, three long term rehabs, AA, therapies and psychiatrists, medications for all the ‘usual’ diagnoses- anxiety, depression, bi-polar. My daughter was four years old at the time. It’s hard to really believe, still to this day, that something like this happened. Yet it does happen. Everywhere.

      But obviously none of these therapies, treatments, whatever you would like to call them, actually worked. I don’t know what the efficacy is overall, what the ‘recovery rates’ are, what the “relapse rates” are. Probably not good

      I increasingly think and feel that the answers are too deep in the whole psyche for these to work. Nothing penetrates, even if you think you want to. I’m wondering if we’re nearing a point where psychedelic therapies begin to show the way- the power of truly seeing and feeling who we are. And that true seeing is the real force that can change us.

      1. Foy

        Very sad for you and your daughter Quicksilver, hope you are doing as well as could be expected in your circumstances.

        Re Efficacy of the 12 Step program:

        “In his recent book, The Sober Truth: Debunking the Bad Science Behind 12-Step Programs and the Rehab Industry, Lance Dodes, a retired psychiatry professor from Harvard Medical School, looked at Alcoholics Anonymous’s retention rates along with studies on sobriety and rates of active involvement (attending meetings regularly and working the program) among AA members. Based on these data, he put AA’s actual success rate somewhere between 5 and 8 percent.”

        Between 5% and 8% is an extremely poor success rate for the effort in my view.

    5. Aumua

      Well as someone in recovery from I.V. poly drug use who celebrated 10 years clean in N.A. in May, I’d like to say to anyone who might be struggling that there is hope, and not to be dissuaded, by the considerable bitterness leveled towards twelve step groups in general, from checking them out. Also if you are an addict and not say, an ‘alcoholic’, then I recommend Narcotics Anonymous, an all inclusive and IMHO superior program.

      We may not be trained, but we are the ones who actually do care, and who understand where addicts are coming from and where they are headed, and what they are going through today as we all help each other stay clean.

  13. verifyfirst

    Re: Khashoggi murder, it’s more than degrees of separation–Stalin for example is supposed to have said that the death of one person is a tragedy; the death of one million is a statistic. Mother Teresa opined, “If I look at the mass, I will never act.”

    So one particularized individual, particularly when killed essentially in broad daylight, in an embassy in the middle of another nation’s capital, by a state–from an “ally” state of ours– sent hit team, and then so gruesomely cut up and disposed of. And he was a professional for gods sake. All the violated norms, its just too much……

    1. zagonostra

      It is too much. And so are the unspeakable evils of dropping agent orange during Vietnam War, firebombing Dresden and Toyoko, putting families in ovens because their ethnicity, etc…the brutality of the Khashoggi murder is clarifying in that it exposes the hypocrisy of the ruling elites and their mouthpieces.

      I haven’t thought about Arthur Koestler in a while, I remember him being pessimistic about the future of humanity when he surveyed the history of the brutality of man over man. He thought that short of some re-wiring of the human brain the species was doomed. I forgot which of his book he talks about how the two hemispheres of the brain coordinate via corpus callosum but not vertically with the Neo Cortex and the Limbic system. I think Carl Sagan in “Dragons of Eden” also covered topic…

      1. Petter

        And the philosopher John Gray, who argues that while humans make progress technologically, they don’t progress morally. It’s all contingent. He’s not a fan of Steven Pinker’s “Better Angels of our Nature.”

    2. Skip

      Re: Khashoggi murder

      One shouldn’t discount the importance of condemning those responsible, for reasons including advocating protection of journalists around the world by throwing bright lights on authoritarian phonies like the Crown Prince.

      But try getting many of the same journalists throwing those bright lights, and many of the politicians adding their criticism, and even some journalist organizations, to stand up against systematic oppression, including lethal, of Palestinian journalists.

      Go ahead, just try.

    3. km

      My pure SWAG is that the reason the Khashoggi story will not die is because Trump either was informed about the Khashoggi murder and did nothing, or that he actively approved.

      It’s not like the public cares about it, it’s not as if Khashoggi were the first journalist to be murdered, and it’s not as if the CIA has suddenly gotten squeamish about murder.

      1. pjay

        Everyone knew that MBS was behind Khashoggi’s murder from the beginning. It is also pretty well known that Mohammed bin Nayef, whom MBS deposed, was the CIA’s man. I think the CIA/Internationalist faction of the National Security State sees MBS as a dangerous loose cannon, much like Trump, who may not be controllable. We can’t overtly sanction him; we need the Saudis and he holds the power. But I’m pretty sure the foreign policy folks in the Biden administration would like to see him gone.

        Lambert’s right that the appeal to liberal readers is “my god, he was one of us!” But whenever I read about an atrocity by a foreign leader in the New Yorker, I just assume the Establishment has a “regime change” in mind.

    4. Glenn S Olson

      Khashoggi? What about all the assassinations committed by the Israeli. What about Soleimani. What about all the drone strikes that are essentially assassinations. Not to mention all the assassinations carried out by the CIA, MI6, and other western government agencies. Khashoggi is a drop in the bucket, a side show, a distraction, a political football.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Cities are starting to ban new gas stations”

    If I was a cynical person – perish the thought – I would be wondering about the motives behind a town doing this. So you might have a very well off town say. And it never goes 40 below to keep out the riff-raff. Now if such a town banned any new gas stations and told the existing ones that they are not allowed to add any new gas pumps, the writing would be on the wall for any person owning a regular car. The clock is ticking! But those with electric powered cars, which are not cheap to buy, would be right. Any anybody would consider this too if deciding to move to this town. The net result is that poorer people with only regular cars may find themselves being crowded out of that town while wealthier people would seek to move there. But this is just idle speculation of course.

    1. Wukchumni

      Eventually when you’d reached the right height, the only hotly anticipated drive of the year was Autopia @ Disneyland, and your first sig alert probably.

      When I was a kid in LA it seemed as if it was a given to have at least 2 gas stations @ intersections with stop lights, often 3 of them.

      Oddly with oodles of more drivers in the City of Angles now, there are already a lot less gas stations, one of the reasons being that back in he day they had mechanics on duty who could fix a myriad of makes. Its rare now to see a gas station that could fix something wrong with your car, they’d rather sell you $11 worth of snack food & a horoscope.

      What has replaced gas stations in LA on corners have been oftentimes drug stores set way back on an odd angle as opposed to any other stores, and you just know an architect somewhere was having fun designing a mind field (some drug stores have odd looking aisles to complete the look) strewn with viva la difference, think Frank Lloyd Rx, right?

    2. Mark Gisleson

      There are no older cars in the future. We have an entire generation of early computerized cars being bricked right now by failed onboard technology. The old car market right now is for vintage makes without computer gadgetry that is next to impossible to repair.

      The US automobile fleet is about to go half Cuba/half Jetsons, vintage pre-computerized cars alongside sleek electric vehicles (the electric rentals will probably run on bitcoins for your convenience).

      1. Synoia

        Right on target. My wife just got a new car where many of the features can only be accessed with a Cell Phone. There is no way I could see that car working for 30 years.

        1. Mark Gisleson

          Only accessible with a cell phone? Then they just bricked my drivers license because I gave up my cell phone service last December because I never use it (except to receive junk calls) and was tired of paying Verizon $700+ a year for service that came with a different price tag each month (according to the e-bills but then it would be correct on their website but their website couldn’t handle Firefox and made me do the “prove you are who you say you are” thing each time I paid them for the service I wasn’t using).

          Not feasible for most folks, but I will say life without a phone is like heaven.

  15. Eric Anderson

    “Nearly every form of treatment available for addicts in the US revolves around a 12 Step program that are more often than not heavily laden with Evangelical Christianity … ”

    The sentence I extracted above is simply untrue. I’ve been sober for over 15 yrs with the help of AA. It’s been my experience in general that alcoholics/addicts eschew religion altogether. Sure, you’ll get the occasional god botherer in a meeting. We ignore them. They have their right to the higher power that makes sense to them.

    Personally, I pray b/c those that came before me told me to. But, I’m a scientific rationalist. To me, with a psych undergrad, the utility of prayer is the mindfulness aspect. Anyway, it bugs me when I see AA smeared as falling to “religious” capture. AA is a spiritual program — a personal journey with ones own conception of a higher power.

    And btw … I lost a nephew to fentanyl a month ago. A co-worker lost her son about three weeks ago to the same thing. People need all the help they can get from every source available. The person that reads your post and decides not to go to AA may be the person whose life it saves.

    It saved mine.

    1. Ahimsa

      Rationalists never seem to get the transformational power of prayer:

      Prayer changes the person praying (not some otherly being).

      1. Eric Anderson

        Prayer & “mindfulness” seem synonymous to me. It’s the action, the doing, that seems transformational.

    2. Procopius

      Well, I’ve been sober with the help of AA and, possibly, a higher power if one exists which interests itself in human lives. I have to say that the twelve steps are based on a confessional, devotional form of Christianity, which may be evangelical. I think a better term is “charismatic.” Anyway, I was lucky enough to find many meetings full of people who were agnostic, atheistic, or “recovering from Christianity.” I’m glad to see the Orange Papers are still available, my old bookmark to them stopped working. As somebody pointed out above, addiction is a whole life problem, and the biggest thing AA did for me was introduce me to people who were like me, from whom I could learn. Although I’m agnostic, I found prayer helpful in developing gratitude, which made a profound difference in my life. Unfortunately there are parts of the country where Fundamentalist Christianity is absolutely required. I’m pretty sure I could not have gotten sober in meetings like that. I do not know what the recovery rate is. I’ve seen claims of 25%. The author of the Orange Papers insisted it was no more than 5%, which is thought to be the same percentage of alcoholics who get sober on their own. I don’t know how they derive the numbers because I’ve never seen a group that kept membership lists; people come and go and die, sometimes sober, sometimes not. I think all for-profit rehab centers are phony, and some “free” groups are run like cults.

  16. Wukchumni

    Bonus antidote:

    It now appears that the black velvet cat I had a Tijuana artisan paint dogs cheating @ poker on one side of the feline with my $600 worth of downpayment on $2k, and then subsequently sold it on Etsy for $1450, was resold to an orphan hedgehog surrocat advocacy group in Russia.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Stacy Graham-Hunt: Call me Black, not BIPOC”

    BIPOC? That sounds like the next version of “Hip-Hop”. Were they serious? This is getting to be a trend with all this ‘trendy’ renaming and not with just black people or Latinos-slash-Latinx. So Twitch put up a post hailing “Womxn’s History Month” and no, that is not a misspelling. They did this to avoid any “gender-binary language” but of course that got hammered for this on Twitter forcing them to backtrack and call it “Women’s History Month” instead. You would have to live in a pretty rarefied atmosphere to think that renaming whole groups according to some internal debate a good idea without asking those people first.

    1. jr

      “…asking people first.”

      It’s because it’s not about black people at all, nor any other repressed group for that matter. It’s about creating an in-group identity with it’s own imbecilic language and epistemology so as to create an “other” out of literally anyone who doesn’t cleave to it. It also fosters a handy “victim” mentality for the entitled to drape about themselves as well as that elusive thing that so many Americans crave: authenticity. Built in “othering” mechanisms, an “us vs. them” mentality towards even family and friends, an intentionally crude and clunky language of their very own: IDpol is a cult with a reach and momentum that Q-anon would kill for.

      Something new that the author of the article revealed to me is how IDpol reinforces white supremacy. It is the product of elite, white academics that was absorbed into a the dominant white ruling class as the official morality. Now they, and their BIPOC flunkies like that hack at the 1619 Project, can take on the role of the moral arbiters for society. They have arrogated the authority to name other groups of people whether they like it or not. Identitarians steal and warp other people’s identities for their own ends.

      Someone mentioned the possibility of blowback. I think it’s going to be huge; the a-historical identitarian has no clue that things can and will swing the other way. And just as the mathematician in Weiss’s article notes that the IDpoliticalization is robbing the young of the beauty and mystery of math so too is it squashing real political progress on the part of repressed peoples.

    2. jr

      And here we go:

      “Autumn McDonald felt Meyer’s Tweet implies only white parents want their children back in school. More so, as a Black mom, she’s upset to hear Meyer—who is not Black—purporting to know what Black people are thinking.

      “I think there are a lot Black people who will not know this has even happened,” said McDonald, who has a kindergartner and third grader in the district. “They won’t even know this voice is out there speaking for them. I, as a Black women, can’t say where Black people do or don’t want schools to reopen. But I do personally want my kids back in school.”

  18. petal

    Re the dog stick article: please don’t-dogs impale themselves in their mouths and throat and it’s pretty horrendous.

    1. jr

      Dry sticks/cooked bones: easy way to gut your dog internally. Then it’s a couple grand for surgery and/or a painful death. Fresh bones are ok because they don’t crack into shards.

  19. bob

    “Why Is Facebook Launching An All-Out War On Apple’s Upcoming iPhone Update? NPR”

    Starting sometime early this spring, Apple will require apps to send a push alert where people can either choose to “ask app not to track” or “allow.”

    This is apple once again trying to make people believe that they are concerned about privacy, when they are not at all concerned about it. They give you a choice! They just want to be the only ones who can sell the data

    There is no way to turn the tracking off on the phone. Apple can still track you, but the story is now about how 3rd party apps can be ASKED not to track you. Apple could make it possible to stop all tracking, but it doesn’t. It offers up a ‘push alert’ which then gets it a big ad on NPR as being against facebook in a battle for privacy.

    What if the 3rd party apps keep tracking you? What is apple going to do? Send a sternly worded letter to NPR?

    1. David

      That’s fascinating because I had never previously seen any evidence that Apple sells data to anyone. Can you quantify that statement, and point us at the section of their annual accounts where their earnings under that heading are shown? Who are they selling to and what data are they selling?

      1. bob

        It’s the The Atlantic, so it has a very good pedigree. I’m sure that is very important to reasonable people such as yourself.

        Since you were so politely looking for numbers, and probably wouldn’t read the link-

        “Safari, the web browser that comes with every iPhone, is set up by default to route web searches through Google. For this privilege, Google reportedly paid Apple $9 billion in 2018, and as much as $12 billion this year.”

  20. The Rev Kev

    ‘Matt Taibbi
    The ultimate example of woke-washing. Man who oversaw torture, surveillance, and drone assassination programs says what embarrasses him is… this?’

    Brennan is talking about truth, honesty & integrity? That Brennan? No wonder MSNBC’s Nicole Wallace broke out in laughter. Best response was by some guy on Twitter who wrote-

    ‘Reed Rothchild
    I agree.
    As a white male, I’m embarrassed that John Brennan is one as well.’

    1. Edward

      This “I’m embarrassed to be a white male” Brennan is also the same Brennan whose CIA was a huge supporter of the ultra-feminist organization known as ISIS in Syria. ISIS has made great progress in saving Syrian women from the Assad government.

  21. semiconscious

    re: Housing insecurity and the COVID-19 pandemic Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Kevin C). Important. $90 billion in missed payments. Nearly 10% of Americans may lose housing.

    also important: title should read “housing insecurity and the lockdowns’…

    “let me be clear: covid didn’t crush the economy. government crushed the economy…”
    – kristi noem

    1. Larry Y

      More like the government’s failure to support people crushed the economy, and undermined COVID containment efforts.

  22. Mikel

    Re: Deep Nostalgia / AI

    Some examples in the article…and wow it gets creepy:

    So I wanted to know how the recent #DeepLearning facial animations services do with busts and decided to give that botched Christiano Ronaldo statue a spin. What ensued can only be summarised as #DeepNostalgia –> #DeeplyDisturbed. Sweet dreams! ;)

    Somehow this is the perfect representation ot the twisted, techno fascist gilded age of today.

    1. jr

      That Ronaldo bust reminds me of the work of Jan Svenkmajer a bit….super creepy:

      I too think this stuff is a Sign O’ the Times, an age of image over substance and the eager consumption of illusion. I can envision videos of Epstein in St. Barts at a cocktail bar or maybe Hillary taking her fantasy world biography to the next level with Bill scrubbed and her feet up on the Desk.

  23. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Joe Biden Approval Rating Buoyant Despite Donald Trump’s ‘Disastrous First Month’ Claim Newsweek

    Which is, presumably, why the capitol is STILL surrounded by barbed wire and the national guard. A “buoyant approval rating” ain’t what it used to be, apparently.

    1. Synoia

      I postulate that our beloved leader feel more secure if the a separated form the masses by barbed wire and armed guards.

      I’m willing to wager $10 that the barbed wire, or replacement, will have a 10 year anniversary.

    2. pasha

      how is this a reflection on biden? the wire is around the capitol building, at the insistence of congress. the white house has the same tall fence it has had for years

  24. Mikel

    RE: “There Is No Such Thing as “White” Math” Bari Weiss

    Decades ago there was a specificity about what was found to be cultural bias. It wasn’t about 2+2=4 being “racist” or biased.

    It was about the cultural references in math tests in the word problems that were to be translated into math/arithmetic equations to solve. The complaint wasn’t about the equations.

    But that nuance is lost now? Or what exactly happened recently? Or does that not promote enough of backlash to fan the flames of division like saying “they say math is racist”?

    1. JBird4049

      Yes. Nuance requires actual thinking, which requires sweat, and it “does that not promote enough of backlash to fan the flames of division like saying “they say math is racist”?”

      The cultural programing is being done to make the sentence “…is racist.” to automatically make whatever is being referred to as racist. Much like with the words socialism, communism, liberalism, conservatism, climate change, and unions. Mental conditioning to make certain associations and only those associations to a word.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Word problems? Seriously? I never encountered any since I did fractions in the third grade and I was on the advanced math track.

  25. upstater

    Gee, I am SO glad that the wokesters have finally got Dr. Seuss in their sights…

    And look! Just look at the pictures! (thankfully they are interpreted for us)

    Recalling all the Dr. Seuss books I read myself and to my kids, I don’t recall a single silly picture of a white European person.

    Maybe we can organize cleansing book burnings. This begins to explain how Donald Trump happened. /sarc

    1. Wukchumni

      They came for Dr. Seuss, but he’s dead Jim! and couldn’t defend himself, so I did nothing, Uncle Sam-I-Am.

    2. petal

      First thing I did this morning was go on alibris to find the 6 books. Prices are skyrocketing and books are becoming unavailable. I was able to find 5. Prices on amazon were insanely high, if you could even find them. I wonder if Dartmouth is going to have to rename their medical school and hand all of that money back…and if their main library is going to do away with the Dr. Seuss room.

      1. petal

        So for 3 of the 5 books I ordered this morning, I have since received cancellation notices.

  26. Frank

    “The missing trillions: The hidden cost of energy externalities”

    The next time you hear about nuclear power being “carbon neutral”,
    refer the claimant, or yourself, if in doubt, to the excellent series
    “How It’s Made, Uranium P1 and then P2”

    Watch that and marvel at the horribly complex and massive energy consumptive process needed to create nuclear fuel pellets.

    Nuclear power “Carbon neutral?” That’s total B.S., and not mentioned is the energy to build the plants and string powerlines hundreds of miles from the isolated areas where plants ought to be located for safety, plus the waste produced.

    1. Bazarov

      But if those fuel pellets produce more energy than consumed in their production, couldn’t a nuclear powered civilization use nuclear power to produce nuclear pellets?

      If that’s the case, wouldn’t it massively cut carbon emissions by creating an energy lifecycle that’s largely carbon free? I don’t doubt that it’s “complex,” but if it works and is indeed carbon free (once nuclear power begins perpetuating itself), then it being “complex” is neither here nor there (and may even a boon, as such an energy system would support a lot of highly skilled laborers in stable, geographically fixed jobs).

      As for the waste produced, coal–by polluting the air–has killed way, way, way more people than nuclear power ever has.

      We even have a place to put nuclear waste–it’s called Yucca Mountain. We could build a lot more Yucca Mountains if need be.

      And that’s with our current generation of nuclear technology–who knows what might come of advances in Thorium reactors, which are said to be far safer, more modular, and to produce less waste. I remember reading that China has invested billions in research pertaining to such speculative reactors.

      1. Jeotsu

        Safe, effective, productive nuclear power is not an engineering impossibility, it is a political/social impossibility.
        Storing the waste generates NIMBY like you wouldn’t believe, a friend who worked on the Yucca Mountain engineering (decades ago now) comments how the only way they made progress was by having only 3 prospective sites, that way only 6 senators and a limited block of representatives were dead-set against it. They had a better design, using different geology, but those geologic formations were in over 25 states, thus they knew that plan was politically dead.
        Likewise we can make much safer reactors. But then they wouldn’t be ‘profitable’ (for the certain accounting shenanigans of how profitable is defined), thus we run with the designs we have.
        Like many possible solutions, we have the acknowledge the inadequacies of our species and society to understand what we’re actually capable of doing.
        Sadly, this leads to some pretty hard-core pessimism.

  27. Mikel

    RE: “Wall Street Bullishness Close to Flashing Contrarian Sell Signal” Bloomberg

    Gonna have program the algos to register something more than 1% – 3% drops to shake people out after the insanity of last March. Remember that miraculous rise in the face of the global economy diving off the cliff?

    There are many now with the perception that drop was a con for those in the know to get bargain basement prices.

  28. John Emerson

    Another experiment: sit by a warm, warm clothes dryer and see if the cat loves you or the dryer more.

    1. Geo

      Can’t speak for others but my cat has much more love for the space heater than she does for me. If I want a cuddle I have to turn the heater off. To her, I am merely a utility service and a waiter. To me, she’s a rude customer and terrible tipper – but adorable!

      1. Wukchumni

        Cats run about 3 degrees warmer than us, and thus must suffer the cold all the much more, despite having a fur coat.

        Supposed to have a skein of sub freezing nights next week, which should prompt a 5-cat-night of Lilliputians pinning down their Gulliver on top of the bedspread.

    2. km

      My youngest faces a dilemma. She loves making a nest in the laundry, but she also loves laps. Which one? The laundry or the lap. The laundry is warmer, for now at least, but the lap has pettin’. As it is, she is too restless to stay in any one place for long.

      The older two prefer to snug together, although the oldest will sit in laps and the middle cat will loudly demand to be picked up and carried.

  29. Geo

    “Deep Nostalgia: ‘creepy’ new service uses AI to animate old family photos Guardian”

    I didn’t upload any personal or family photos but did upload some of politicians. If you want a good chuckle, upload the infamous photo of the Clintons laughing it up with Trump and watch their already maniacal faces turn to “life” like a possessed animatronic. I found it hilarious. Others might have nightmares. :)

  30. Geo

    “Andrew Cuomo Is Screwed New Republic. About time.”

    Thanks in large part to NC I felt like I was going mad in the spring/summer when so many in my circle were on the Cuomo-worship train. We here had the news about excessive nursing home deaths and yet, due to media ecosystems, trying to tell people about Cuomo being a monster was treated like being a flat-earther. Nice to see people waking up to this, but as always, for Americans to turn on a beloved politician it’s never about policies and always about sexual deviances. I bet if it wasn’t for the harassment claims the nursing home deaths would have been forgotten already. Our National priorities are so out of whack.

    1. Pat

      I think the thing that actually has allowed the heat to remain on him was Ron Kim not cowering in the wake of Cuomo’s bullying but calling him out for it. It may be one of the few good things from Woke culture. Cuomo’s deflection was treated as just as out of whack as the original story, he was still bullying a minority legislator only excusing it with corruption claims dripping with stereotypes. The sexual harassment is media catnip but it is building on people confirming he is an abusive bully.

      1. Geo

        You have a more positive perspective than I do for sure. For fun, Humanist Report has a cathartic look back at the Cuomo-love of centrists and how they’re struggling to cope with the reality that Cuomo has always been terrible.

    2. EricT

      I can’t stand Cuomo, but I feel he’s getting the Franken treatment. Cuomo is up for reelection in 2022, are the republicans trying to get a republican into the NY governor’s office prior to the 2024 presidential election. One thing to consider since New York is probably going to prosecute Trump for tax fraud, it will be easier to get a republican to pardon him rather than Cuomo.

      1. bob

        If Cuomo is worried about a republican challenging him, he should have some sort of successor set up to take over and he should resign. It will be his fault if a republican gets elected and then pardons trump. It won’t be the fault of the media. Or of the voters. Or of anyone else but Cuomo.

        This line of concern trolling is low grade horseshit perpetuated by the worst of the scum sucking remoras that attach themselves to Cuomo and his ilk, and get paid very well for it. What’s it worth to you?

      2. Pat

        New Yorkers tend to keep Governors for a long time (Cuomo has been in office for more than ten years for instance). Since 1943, 77 years, we have had 10 governors, four of which were Republicans (Dewey, Rockefeller, Wilson, and Pataki). They served 40 years, most recent being Pataki from 1995 – 2006.
        Historically it could happen, but if the Republicans couldn’t take the seat back after Patterson, I have my doubts that they have anyone who could win it now. Especially since the real desire to prosecute Trump is from the public. The politicians have spent too many decades cozying up to him to really want that nightmare.

      3. Geo

        Maybe true. This type of scandal ousted Eric Schneiderman and a Eliot Spitzer (and many more, and should have ousted Bloomberg). Seems powerful men in NY have some serious masculinity issues.

        But, if it’s Republicans who are pushing to get rid of Cuomo it would be strange since he’s their best ally against progressives in the state. He’s a typical Bloomberg type of NY Democrat.

        “In the 2012 cycle, Cuomo endorsed two Republicans in their respective elections.”

        “Cuomo accepted $87,000 in campaign contributions from David Koch, accepted donations from John Catsimatidis, de Blasio’s Republican opponent. And he earned praise and money from Home Depot cofounder Ken Langone, a major GOP donor who started the group Republicans for Cuomo.”

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Schneiderman was a terrible AG. All hat, no cattle. Had never been a prosecutor or even a litigator and it showed. And he also actually beat up on his girlfriends, or did you miss that? Went beyond out of control old man lewdness in the office.

          Cuomo appointee Benjamin Lawsky at the Department of Financial Services ran rings around him. I think Cuomo chose and backed Lawsky to spite Schneiderman.

      1. Foy

        Yes, both the original article written 8 years ago of the 3 class ladders – Elite, Gentry and Labour and their individual rungs (and the Underclass that is not on any ladder) and his latest article on his website are fascinating. Also very interesting how he has changed his view on his on class “Gentry” in his latest article. Thanks for posting.

        “Eight years ago, I wrote an essay on the three social class ladders that existed in pre-2016 American society. That essay disappeared due to a confluence of factors not really worth getting into, but I’ve been asked more than once to revisit it, in the wake of recent changes in our society. I do have strong thoughts on how that article has aged. At the time, I was unduly sympathetic to my native social class, the Gentry. This blinded me to something I had begun to suspect, and that Alex Danco articulated– that a sociological “middle class” is a comfortable illusion, a story capitalist society tells itself to mask its barbaric nature, performing a similar function to the notoriously clueless middle manager, Michael Scott. “

  31. Roquentin

    Re: Housing Insecurity and COVID-19

    I’ve said it before, but the post-COVID housing crisis will define the later half of 2021 politically, give or take a few months. Giving a precise timeframe is exceedingly difficult because there are too many variables. The greatest one is how well vaccine distribution goes. My gut tells me that the Biden Administration will kick the can down the road by extending the eviction moratorium and forbearances as long as possible due to it being a politically radioactive topic, but he won’t be able to resist the overtures of the real estate lobby for long. I think we will see a pretty significant dip in values. Right now, everything has been pulled so far in the other direction due to record low inventory and large increases in construction costs (lumber costs being 3 times what they usually are). Flooding the market with all that inventory in a couple of months could have a lot of sever consequences.

    Whatever happens, it’s going to be ugly. A ton of people will be on the street and large sums of money will be lost. They can’t keep putting it off forever.

    1. Pat

      My news feed has an article about one of the Koch brothers deciding distressed real estate is going to be big and going all in.

      Once again we can expect bipartisan agreement that profiting off people’s housing troubles is a sign of American exceptionalism.

    2. Geo

      “the post-COVID housing crisis will define the later half of 2021 politically”

      I know quite a few people, some close friends, who are torn between hoping things “get back to normal” so they can get regular work again, and fearing “normal” because they are many months behind on rent and have no clue how they’ll ever catch up once the moratorium ends. Especially since many were surviving off the unemployment checks and are now paying taxes on money that was barely enough to survive on (essentials like food and utilities, not even fully covering rent in this city). And even in the “normal” times most barely made it month-to-month anyway. Catching up after this when potential work is still unknown is scary.

      And yet, even with vacancy signs all over the rent prices haven’t budged or have just barely dipped in some areas. Don’t know who landlords expect to rent these places.

      I’m not well versed in the economics of any of this but just in an anecdotal perspective I’m in total agreement with you. There is a massive housing crisis on the near horizon and it’s going to be horrific.

      1. Roquentin

        Another problem is that a lot of people advocating for housing justice want their have their cake and eat it too. Basically, without allowing foreclosures and evictions to resume this trend of skyrocketing home prices and rent will continue unabated. But it isn’t as if the alternative, letting them resume, seeing housing prices fall, but putting tons of people on the street is any better. I find it extremely unlikely, but even if rent forgiveness or government payment of rent occurred, it still wouldn’t solve the problem of low inventory in the housing market. It wouldn’t solve the problem of high costs in construction materials either.

        This is just a long way of saying there’s not really a way out of this crisis where someone doesn’t get hurt. I expect there to be some resistance. Protests, maybe even more riots, but in the end it will just be thrashing around without a plausible alternative.

  32. Synoia

    On Monday, electricity provider Brazos Electric Power Cooperative Inc., the state’s largest and oldest power wholesale firm, filed for bankruptcy citing an $1.8 billion debt due to ERCOT.

    There goes that Maintenance Budget.

  33. Wukchumni

    Did a news search on ‘catalytic converter theft’, and was overwhelmed with sagas of sans-converters on jalopies in Joplin or Seattle straight through to Miami, every city seemed to have a tale of no. Its really an issue, with Prius being the preferred make of the take.

    There’s around $200 worth of Pd & Pt in a converter, and i’d guess the perps would be happy with a Benjamin for their work, and seeing as a replacement catalytic converter costs a couple grand, it’s a rather perfect broken emission window economy, where the purloined goods makes the scrap buyer $100, and creates $2000 worth of need.

  34. Wukchumni

    Heavens to murgatroid, but we just had a 300 pound pig come running by which was odd in that pigs aren’t solitary types, and it had been 3 years since i’d seen any feral puerco rican gangs rooting up lawns (which brought a curious lingo alive in that you’d hear things like: Did you hear Steve got pigged?’ and know at once his lawn had been roto-tilled on the cheap) and occasionally back then you’d see while driving, there would be a pig conga line crossing in front of the car quickly snout to tail in close formation, maybe a 125 pound next to a 350 pound and pigs of sizes in between, totaling 8-10 pigs.

  35. marym

    Re: The Supreme Court is hearing arguments Tuesday in a case that could further gut the Voting Rights Act and its protections for minority voters Business Insider

    From the courtroom:
    “Justice Kagan: A state with 2 weeks of early voting gets rid of Sunday voting. Black voters vote on Sundays 10x as often as white voters. Is that lawful?
    GOP lawyer Michael Carvin: Yes, that’s lawful
    note: Georgia House just passed bill cutting Sunday voting”

    Overviews of some of the voter suppression proposal in many states:
    Link Link

    1. marym


      “Justice Barrett asks GOP lawyer Michael Carvin in AZ case: “why is the RNC in this case?”
      Carvin admits striking down restrictions on voting “puts us at a competitive disadvantage relative to Democrats”
      Another example of Republicans saying the quiet part out loud” (Link)

  36. JTMcPhee

    More on externalities of carbon economy, anent today’s link ( and why even the bad news (from the planet’s and the mopes’ perspective) will not, apparently, change how “bidness” is done:

    “ Prof Sovacool said: “The challenge is for policymakers, regulators, and planners to ensure that electricity and transport markets function as they should and accurately price the trillions of dollars in external costs that the energy and mobility industries surreptitiously shift to society currently.”

    Nothing surreptitious about it at all, to anyone paying attention. And “pricing” and “market” will not ever fix such problems.

    1. Chauncey Gardiner

      Thanks, JT. Re true energy externalities, a salient quote at the conclusion of a related article in the current print issue of The Atlantic by Peter Brannen: “[N]ow we see how unnatural, nightmarish, and profound our current experiment on the planet really is.” … “If we keep going down this path for a geologic nanosecond longer, who knows what will happen? The next few fleeting moments are ours, but they will echo for hundreds of thousands, even millions, of years. This is one of the most important times to be alive in the history of life.”

  37. Culp Creek Curmudgeon

    Re: In a Momentous Discovery, Scientists Show Neanderthals Could Produce Human-Like Speech

    “Our Neanderthal cousins had the capacity to both hear and produce the speech sounds of modern humans, a new study has found.”

    While the evidence presented in the linked article and the abstract from the original paper certainly provides strong reason to believe that Neanderthals could hear like modern humans, it absolutely does not prove that Neanderthals could speak like modern humans. The evidence is clearly suggestive that Neanderthals could speak like modern humans, but I think without some evidence from soft tissues like tongues, palates, lips and larynxes, these scientist haven’t proved that Neanderthals could speak like modern humans. It seems to me to be a case of claiming more than the evidence really supports.

  38. Jon Cloke

    What on earth does he mean, no such thing as white maths?

    “The Three-fifths Compromise was a compromise reached among state delegates during the 1787 United States Constitutional Convention. Delegates disputed whether and how slaves would be counted when determining a state’s total population, as this number would determine a state’s number of seats in the House of Representatives and how much it would pay in taxes.” Wikipedia

    There you go, white maths!

    1. JBird4049

      >>>There you go, white maths!

      That’s a slight oversimplification.

      There were three choices regarding the Constitution, the Census, and slavery.

      First, it was not counting the slaves to determine the total population, which many delegates wanted, and deny the slave states the seats, and there political power, or have the Republic die before being born. The delegates from the Southern slave states would not have added the necessary votes needed for the ultimate ratification of the Constitution. Those delegates just were not going to vote yes with out added the slaves in someway to the census that determined the number of seats and therefore political power of a state.

      Secondly, the Northern states, which either already eliminated slavery or were in the often very slow process of doing so, refused to allow slaves to be fully counted as other people were for the census. Some were either against slavery being in existence or were worried about the imbalance of political power. This would caused the Northern delegates to refuse to vote for the Constitution.

      Thirdly, someone suggested the 3/5th compromise in desperation. It pleased nobody equally, but it did count the slaves giving the South more power and reduced the effect by reducing the number counted which somewhat pleased the North. Equal unhappiness is sometimes the only way to settle a problem. Most people did not want to prevent the acceptance of the Constitution, so it allowed both to save face and vote yes.

      The 3/5th compromise did give the Southern Slavacracy more political power which was used to install more judges, representatives, and senators who were all supporters of slavery and the supposed inferiority of Blacks. The tiny minority that was the Southern elites had disproportionate influence, almost control, over the issues of slavery. This is one of the reasons the South fought so hard to expand slavery into new states. That and the increasing amount of the Southern land’s fertility being used up by growing cotton or tobacco. By owning slaves, you could get your own man into whatever seat you wanted him and by expansion you could farm more land making you richer. It worked for 73 years until the growing population and industrialization of the North as well as such laws as the Fugitive Slave Act enraged the Northern population.

      Besides the 3/5th Compromise, what could or should have been done? No country, possible invasion and destruction by European nation, and the unhindered expansion of slavery or the compromise which allowed the Republic to exist. This put some breaks however pathetic that did slow down its expansion and have it ultimately destroyed. Although the last did not happen for 78 years.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      No, it’s right side up. The green plant is in the air.

      Remarkable how uncomfortable readers are with the reflection dominating the image.

    2. Zack Blabbath

      That’s right: note the viewing angle of the cat’s body, the camera would’ve been pointing downwards about 30 to 40 degrees.
      Look at the water’s edge, at how the rocky “shore” meets the water, which would never be possible in a reflection. Farther away, the base of the plant is seen, not just it’s top.
      More telling: the cat’s tongue makes ripples where it touches the water. Visually those little black lines in front of (reflected) tongue

  39. Kouros

    RE Biden urged to back AI weapons to counter China and Russia threats

    I like that the article shows a screenshot of the committee meeting that recommended that to Biden. Intellectual prostitutes having their names published, now can be doxed and shamed. First to be probed by SkyNet?!

  40. flora

    re: The Supreme Court is hearing arguments Tuesday in a case that could further gut the Voting Rights Act and its protections for minority voters – Business Insider

    And not a single WASP on the court. Go figure.

  41. flora

    re: “Specialty finance firm Greensill Capital headed toward a rapid unraveling after Credit Suisse Group AG suspended $10 billion of investment funds that fueled the SoftBank Group Corp.-backed startup.”

    Softbank? Aren’t they a huge investor in Uber? Are there any knock-on effects from this Greensill deal that could touch Uber’s financing? Enquiring minds want to know… ;)

  42. Old Sarum

    Re Brexit Constipation:

    Perhaps a better title would be: Brexit Acid Reflux.

    I suppose you can be constipated and have acid reflux at the same time time due to having your cake and eat it.

    Pip Pip!

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