Links 7/15/2021

Patient readers, Yves apologizes for the lack of original posts. Simultaneous debacles with both her mother’s new hospital bed and a new wheelchair are occupying more of her bandwidth than she would wish. –lambert

Elusive glass octopus spotted in the remote Pacific Ocean Live Science. “Glass octopus” is a metaphor with potential.

Feeding raw dog food to your pet? It may be spreading antibiotic-resistant superbugs The Economic Times

Did A Study Find Your Cat Hated Having You Home During Lockdown? Not Quite. HuffPo

Thousands of firefighters battle big blazes across the West AP. Handy map of “current large incidents“:

Top Australian Coal Mines Are Spewing More Methane Than Rivals Bloomberg

Why Nauru Is Pushing the World Toward Deep-Sea Mining Hakai Magazine

#COVID19

Neutralisation of SARS-CoV-2 lineage P.1 by antibodies elicited through natural SARS-CoV-2 infection or vaccination with an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine: an immunological study The Lancet. The Interpretation: “SARS-CoV-2 lineage P.1 might escape neutralisation by antibodies generated in response to polyclonal stimulation against previously circulating variants of SARS-CoV-2. Continuous genomic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 combined with antibody neutralisation assays could help to guide national immunisation programmes.” ‘Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished….

WHO says ‘catastrophic waves’ of new delta variant cases are driven by greed The Hill. So WHO finally got something right.

China?

Sichuan Languang defaults on US$139 million bond payment as debt woes spread among Chinese developers South China Morning Post

Chinese authorities take a leaf from the Trump playbook and ‘build the wall’ as part of Covid-19 curbs South China Morning Post

Myanmar

Soldiers open fire, disperse crowds refilling oxygen Coconuts Yangon

Myanmar army rulers’ lobbyist in U.S. ceases efforts for lack of pay Reuters. That’s a damn shame. Meanwhile:

(I do try to sort out the photos from NGOs and influencers, those with English signs and American cultural signifiers, etc.)

India

Pandemic of antibiotic resistance is shortening the lives of children in Bangladesh News Medical

Kashmir: Protracted conflict pushes youth to heroin addiction Deutsche Welle

The Caribbean

Reader commentary from people on the ground most welcome!

Multinational investigation widens into Haiti assassination, including who bankrolled it Miami Herald

Florida Man Detained In Assassination Of Haitian President Deepens Mystery HuffPo

Cuba lifts food, medicine customs restrictions after protests RTE

S2 Episode 2 – “Lo Hicimos” (podcast) Blowback. “A long short history of Cuba’s relationship with the United States, climaxing with the Cuban revolutionaries’ war to liberate the island from the dictator Batista and his backers in the United States.”

Cuba and Haiti upheaval could mean twin migration crises WaPo. Better install some strongmen fast, then!

Colombia’s Future Is Up in the Air Jacobin

U.S. Allows Venezuela to Import LPG Amid Cooking-Gas Shortage Bloomberg

South Africa

Reader commentary from people on the ground most welcome here as well.

South Africa seeks to deploy 25,000 troops to curb ongoing unrest France24. For context (1):

For context (2):

For context (3):

Under investigation: Twelve masterminds planned and executed insurrection on social media, then lost control after looting spree Daily Maverick. Something like what I’ve been watching for, except I expected militias… Daily Maverick has been around a long time, so I give this some credibility (i.e., this is most likely reporting, not CT).

Cry, The Beloved Country: A Letter from South Africa Ozy

UK/EU

The Long Climate Fight Bloomberg

Protests in France against COVID-19 ‘health pass’ rules Reuters

Italy banning cruise ships from Venice The Hill

Shipping industry seeks to combat dark oil transfers at sea Hellenic Shipping News

Syraqistan

Afghan neighbours wary of new refugee crisis as violence surges Reuters

China weighs risk and reward in a Taliban-led Afghanistan Agence France Presse

Capitol Riot

‘They’re not going to f**king succeed’: Top generals feared Trump would attempt a coup after election, according to new book CNN. So, even though Trump did seize the Winter Palace and the radio station, with what army?

Biden Administration

As Congress Wrestles With Plans to Expand Medicare, Becerra Says Any One Will Do KHN. Just as long as #MedicareForAll is “off the table!”

Becerra, who has been on the job since late March, said his top priority as secretary is to work on health equity issues. “I love that President Biden has said he wants everyone to feel treated equally,” he said. “There are a whole bunch of Black and brown communities that have never had the kind of access to care that others have. And when they come to the doctor, they come with the kind of conditions that show they didn’t have health care before.”

But present liberal Democrats with a universal plan that would actually treat everybody equally, they’re all “Oh, no, we can’t have that because” ***mumble*** politically not feasible ***cough*** donors ***cough*** ***cough*** ***cough***….

Democrats’ Budget Deal Seeks to Penalize Labor Law Violators (1) Bloomberg

Biden Could Have Taken the War on Drugs Down a Notch. He Didn’t. The Marshall Project

Justice Department Sought Reporter Records from Security Firm Proofpoint, in Bid to Unmask Leak Sources Zero Day

Health Care

Why autoimmunity is most common in women Nature. “Evidence has accumulated to reveal that, although some autoimmune diseases are more common in men, women are generally more susceptible, sometimes by a factor of 16 or more. As researchers dig into the reasons why, their insights offer promising avenues towards treatments that could benefit all genders.”

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Inside the Industry That Unmasks People at Scale Vice

Inside Facebook’s Data Wars NYT

Concern trolls and power grabs: Inside Big Tech’s angry, geeky, often petty war for your privacy Protocol

Imperial Collapse Watch

American exceptionalism – an interview with Professor Andrew Bacevich Phoenix Media Co-op

Realignment and Legitimacy

Author of the Mega-Viral Thread on MAGA Voters, Darryl Cooper, Explains His Thinking Darryl Cooper (MartyrMade), Glenn Grteenwald. I think this is the key sentence: “[RussiaGate] is where people whose political identities have for decades been largely defined by a naive belief in what they learned in civics class began to see the outline of a Regime that crossed not only partisan, but all institutional boundaries.” There could be plenty of discussion about “naive belief,” but isn’t involving the DNC in censoring SMS conversations a contemporary example of crossing “all institutional boundaries”? One of those union of corporations and [para]-state-style-of-thing?

Guillotine Watch

Cape Cod restaurant closes for ‘day of kindness’ after customers’ rude behavior The Hill

Robin DiAngelo Wants White Progressives to Look Inward The New Yorker. Don’t we all!

How To Have Difficult Conversations Galaxy Brain

Class Warfare

The real separation of powers in modern America FT. Comment by Michael Pettis: “Call me old fashioned, but I liked it better when the left cared more about the working classes than about culture.” To repeat, if you don’t put the working class first, you’re not on the left. You’re working on the rainbow of flavors to put in your freezer, just like Nancy Pelosi, ka-ching.

The Art of the Romanian Haystack (photo essay) Kuriositas

Is the Universe Open-Ended? Nautilus

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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

215 comments

  1. zagonostra

    >As Congress Wrestles With Plans to Expand Medicare, Becerra Says Any One Will Do

    Now we’re playing offense,” he said. “We’ve got the ball and we’ve got to march it down the field

    Really? Is this what the the Dems who control all three branches of gov’t consider offense? Where is their lead running back, Bernie? Where is their offensive line, the “Squad?” No, I don’t think Becerra is running toward the right goal post, his team is not playing for the majority of Americans, he is playing on the behalf the Dem’s donors/oligarchs that want to make sure that the goal post keeps moving further and further away.

    Instead of the football metaphor, he would have been better off using Greek Mythology and the story of Tantalus.

    Reply
  2. PlutoniumKun

    The real separation of powers in modern America FT. Michael Pettis:

    I think this link is a little awry? The article is by Janan Ganesh, the quote is from (I think) a Michael Pettis tweet.

    Reply
  3. Amfortas the hippie

    re: greenwald…from the original twitthread:
    “GOP propaganda still has many of them thinking in terms of partisan binaries, but A LOT of Trump supporters see that the Regime is not partisan. They all know that the same institutions would have taken opposite sides if it was a Tulsi Gabbard vs Jeb Bush election. 12/x”

    this gels pretty 1:1 with what i’ve been seeing around here for 5 years…with the caveat that the pandemic and the incredible tsunami of bullshit that came with it have hardened partisan attachment.
    prior to that, the more so you go back in time, to …say…2013…the portion of my local right leaning cohort that doesn’t attend county gop shindigs were pretty sick of both parties, and were already soured on most cultural, governmental, corporate and other institutions…they were searching, prior to trumps escalator ride, for some narrative framework to explain these largely inchoate feelings about what had happened to their country while they were being hysterical somnambulists(teaparty era).
    from my own, personal, experience…they were for the most part open to hearing about bernie.
    but when that option was removed…in a manner that confirmed their suspicions about the demparty as corrupt and unamerican and corporatist…they went to trump.
    the first 3 years of trump, they generally stayed quiet(mores and folkways specific to this isolated and rather tight knit community)….many even admitted to me that they were embarrassed by trump’s antics.
    that all changed with the politicisation and alternaterealityism of the pandemic.
    the reaction to trump’s malignant idiocy from the demparty fungal mat didn’t help one dern bit, either….just made them double and triple down and wriggle deeper into the molehole.

    my point in this, having read these things today with great interest, is that there was a chance…a real chance…for something better…up to and including an actual new new deal….as well as the potential emergence of a transpartisan, decidedly weird american version of class consciousness…
    but the Machine stopped it….and did so in the most shameless and open way i’ve ever seen.
    gaslights, indeed….

    Reply
    1. Eric Anderson

      Yup. @MartyrMade could have written a strikingly similar essay about Bernie.
      Any political insurgent in this country will be tarred, feathered, and stripped to the bone through coordinated MSM/MIC smear campaigns. And ALL the low info TV set voters are there for it.
      Call it what it is … Capitalist Propaganda

      Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      Ran Beaux is the name i’m bestowing on the 175 pound black bear I glimpsed momentarily on the road last week.

      It was a drifter sporting splotches of light rust & dark brown giving it the look of full camo, and couldn’t tell if the bruin was sporting Kevlar body armor underneath but it wouldn’t surprise me. I’d be wary driving a motorcycle on Mineral King road if past movies are prologue.

      Was doing beer curls the other night with my buddy who has that most hallowed of positions in the NPS-a permanent one, and he’s got me hot & bothered to see a boo-boo he calls Red Sox, as each of the forelegs on a two-tone model is cinnamon blonde while the rest of the upper chassis is brown.

      Reply
    2. John Beech

      On reddit, which I love as a wonderful place to waste a spot of time, the definition of the fat bear in that photo would be . . . ‘chonker’. And a world class chonker at that, in my estimation.

      Reply
  4. fresno dan

    Author of the Mega-Viral Thread on MAGA Voters, Darryl Cooper, Explains His Thinking Darryl Cooper (MartyrMade), Glenn Grteenwald.
    Long story short – RUSSIAGATE: THE ORIGINAL SIN
    We now know that the FBI and other intelligence agencies conducted covert surveillance against members of the Trump campaign based on evidence manufactured by political operatives working for the Clinton campaign, both before and after the election. We know that those involved with the investigation knew the accusations of collusion were part of a campaign “approved by Hillary Clinton… to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by the Russian security service.” They might have expected such behavior from the Clintons — politics is a violent game and Hillary’s got a lot of scalps on her wall. But many of the people watching this happen were Tea Party types, in spirit if not in actual fact. They give their kids a pocket Constitution for their birthday. They have Yellow Ribbon bumper stickers, and fly the POW/MIA flag under the front-porch Stars and Stripes, and curl their lip at people who talk during the National Anthem at ballgames. They’re the people who believed their institutions when they were told Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. To them, the intel community using fake evidence (including falsified documents) to spy on a presidential campaign is a big deal.
    ================
    If dems attempt to delegitimize the electoral process when Trump IS elected, why in the world would they not expect tit for tat?
    And again, I posted this yesterday:
    https://oig.justice.gov/sites/default/files/2021-07/2021-07-14_0.pdf
    The point being that the FBI is the primier law enforcement agency in the world – part and parcel of American exceptionalism American exceptionalism/s
    My own theory is that American exceptionalism (what does it really even mean – American people are braver, smarter, more moral than other people? Or that American institutions are better…Congress, the presidency, public health, our laws…or the results of our institutions e.g., Vietnam, Iraq, the great recession, ad infinitum) is why there is so much delusion, even desire for delusion, in this country.

    Reply
    1. Amfortas the hippie

      i’m one of those people who have never trusted all the institutional mythology that everyone else took for granted(second grade at a lutheran school found me in trouble for not saying the pledge of allegiance because it felt wrong).
      questioning such things has never been remotely popular, or accepted, among a great majority of folks i’ve been around.
      more so the further right one goes.
      9-11 was the thing that broke that…at least where i roam.
      a consensus never formed, but that’s the first real crack in the dam.
      it was almost predictable that so many of the small-c conservatives around here rallied to the flag, even to the point of attacking ur-skeptics like me, but in retrospect, this was because of their faith being shattered.
      the teaparty didn’t surprise me at all, when it appeared.
      but trump did…not his eventually winning, but his running at all.
      but in this larger context, it fits right in.
      the Machine has been spinning toxic yarn in multiple colors for so long, now, that it should be no surprise that so many of those yarns have become tangled up…i’ve been expecting an Ontological Crises for a long time, containing all the other existential and teleological and even epistomological crises as well as the exponential inconsistencies and broken promises.

      but “both sides” made it all so much worse with their competing narrative hysterias and utter lack of substance.
      i still believe that there’s a potential for the underclass..in the broadest sense…to get together against our common enemy….i still talk to all kinds of people, mostly on the “conservative” side of things, due to where i live.
      I’m no longer shocked when a magaidiot says they agree that universal healthcare is something we need.
      but russiax3 and Q have made such an intersectionality so much more laborious, and even fraught with danger.

      Reply
      1. fresno dan

        questioning such things has never been remotely popular, or accepted, among a great majority of folks i’ve been around.
        but “both sides” made it all so much worse with their competing narrative hysterias and utter lack of substance.
        I hear ya man. Part of our American exceptionalism is that we are propagandized to believe if we have two diametrically oppposed entities, truth prevails. EXCEPT how many things do the dems and repubs AGREE about? It seems to me the parties’ disagreements are all Kabuki theatre (apologies to Kabukians but you know what I mean). What American exceptionalism really is: Rich stay rich and get richer, nothing happens to Epstein until it HAS TO.

        From the article: But to many conservatives in 2016 and early 2017, it seemed equally preposterous that the institutions they trusted, and even the ones they didn’t, would go all-in on a story if there wasn’t at least something to it. Imagine the consequences for these institutions if it turned out there was nothing to it. (comment: one tenet of American exceptionalis – no consequences for screw ups by those in power or the rich and the past doesn’t exist since the last news cycle)
        ….
        For two years, Trump supporters had been called traitors and Russian bots for casting ballots for “Vladimir Putin’s c*ck holster.” They’d been subjected to a two-year gaslighting campaign by politicians, government agencies, and elite media. It took real fortitude to stand up to the unanimous mockery and scorn of these powerful institutions (comment: remember NC and its readers were all officialy Russian dupes). But those institutions had gambled their power and credibility, and they’d lost, and now Trump supporters expected a reckoning. When no reckoning was forthcoming – when the Greenwalds, and Taibbis, and Matés of the world were not handed the New York Times’ revoked Pulitzers for correctly and courageously standing against the tsunami on the biggest political story in years – these people shed many illusions about how power really operates in their country.
        ….
        Trump supporters had gone from worrying the collusion might be real, to suspecting it might be fake, to seeing proof that it was all a scam. Then they watched as every institution – government agencies, the press, Congressional committees, academia – blew right past it and gaslit them for another year. To this day, something like half the country still believes that Trump was caught red-handed engaging in treason with Russia, and only escaped a public hanging because of a DOJ technicality regarding the indictment of sitting presidents. Most galling, conservatives suspect that within a few decades liberals will use their command over the culture to ensure that virtually everyone believes it. This is where people whose political identities have for decades been largely defined by a naive belief in what they learned in civics class began to see the outline of a Regime that crossed not only partisan, but all institutional boundaries. They’d been taught that America didn’t have Regimes, but what else was this thing they’d seen step out from the shadows to unite against their interloper president? (comment: Parties mean nothing – the ONLY agenda is the money agenda)
        ==========
        Sorry for the long quotes, but the article is so damn good and says it better than I could.

        Reply
      2. marym

        Sneering at people who talk during the anthem is presumably patriotic and distrust of institutions is more than warranted, but what issues of the actual common good have the Tea Party/MAGA ever brought to the table?

        Today, what gets them into the streets, rioting at the Capitol, bringing guns to state offices, cheering at rallies, and “single-issue” voting is spreading disease in other people’s workplaces, attempting to cancel the votes and voting rights of working and poor people (whose sons and daughters and fathers and grandfathers and selves have also fought in the wars), supporting state control of women’s bodies, and gunsgunsguns. They just want to hurt people. Much respect to you, AtH for inspiring some of them to also “look inward.”

        Reply
        1. hunkerdown

          To talk about, to cave on, to control, and eventually to fight off. The Democrat Party is the very definition of bad faith, and there is a good case to be made that goes back to its founding. Civics class was a lie, folx. Those who believe that systems which were deliberately engineered to exhaust and disempower the mass are going to suddenly serve and empower it just because our brand corporation is the one reading people’s texts… are actually committed handmaidens of the elite and are actively betraying humanity by asking us to love our sociopathic PMC and elites and let them dine on us at their leisure.

          Reply
        2. Amfortas the hippie

          when you find a long lost cousin at yer door, and learn that he’s big time addicted to heroin…do you shoot him?
          call the cops?
          or attempt to help him somehow?
          this is where we’re at…except that we used to have another cousin, living in our garage, who would help out with the addicted cousin, sometimes, and to varying degrees of competence.
          but the garage dwelling cousin has discovered PCP and bathsalts and is ravening and chewing on bike tires…do we shoot him?
          call the police?
          or try to help both of them out?(i’m assuming some modicum of familial love and responsibility, here)
          we can’t afford a private island where we can just forget about all this mess until the sea envelopes us at last.
          we have to share a country, county, town, neighborhood, tar paper shack with these people.
          what do we do?

          what i do is remember what russel kirk conservatives were like, back in the day…and how much they could agree on with a proto- libertarian-socialist radical who lived in a van.
          i speak in the feedstore in king james aphorism and jesus-speak(“least of these”), and appeal to their humanity, sans party and tribe.
          and i take their grievances seriously….and am often able to plow under a lot of the hypno parrot nonsense they’ve learned to regurgitate…and get to the meat of their nut…which is often as simple as fear of not being able to put gas in the truck, sell a cow for a profit, or pay for healthcare…all of that buried under layers and layers of bullshit from the great wurlitzer of confusion.
          but for the trumpy pandemic, it was working pretty well.
          (there are far too few Dems out here(and they are almost to a person far too snobbish and unpleasant) for me to even attempt to find an analogous method for dragging them from their cave…i must leave that to someone else)

          Reply
          1. Amfortas the hippie

            reckon this dude would fit right around my campfire at the bar

            fta:”Again, we’re not talking about pre-2016 Greenwald readers or even Ron Paul libertarians, who swallowed half a bottle of red pills long ago. These are people who attacked Edward Snowden for “betraying his country,” and who only now are beginning to see that they might have been wrong. It’s not because the parties have been reversed, and it’s not because they’re bitter over losing. They just didn’t know. If any country is going to function over the long-term, not everyone can be a revolutionary. Most people have to believe what they’re told and go with the flow most of the time. These were those people. I’m pretty conservative by temperament, but most of my political friends are on the Left. I spend a good deal of our conversations simply trying to convince them that these people are not demons, and that this political moment is pregnant with opportunity. ”

            such people need to be heard and engaged by their hidden counterparts on the actual Left….as well as actual “centrists”(not the performative, corporate kind—Kingsnorth or Arnade maybe fits there)
            of course, i stay away from socmed for a reason,lol…finding it toxic even years ago…i have no desire whatsoever to engage on a national scale(save right here on NC). I’m better suited to far smaller polities.
            both praxis models must be attempted.
            as i’ve insisted for years, there IS Common Ground, when you can separate the individual from the herd for a time, and get them to calm down and answer socratic questions…my experience is, again, with the right side of the spectrum, and well below the mean on the z axis(corporate empire-+1, Jeffersonian Yeomanry -1)…i’m sure with patient fieldwork, a similar result can be pried away from those who adhere to the bottom membrane of PMC/Woke/Corporate “left”.
            after all, lots of folks over there are falling into the Precariat, too….joining those deplorables that they so recently scorned in the debris pile of modern america.

            Reply
            1. Wukchumni

              To me, we don’t seem so far off with whats happening in South Africa, retail chains in spendy brick & mortar locations in SF closing stores by the dozen @ substantial loss to them, in order to cut their losses by rampant shoplifting, for which there doesn’t appear to be much to stop the pilfering, but please don’t call it looting.

              I like to ask people what they think America stands for, and its kind of a got ya! question, most are stumped and can’t think of anything.

              The conversion to second world status will be the hardest patch to manifest mentally, as we’ve been repeatedly told all our lives how strong and powerful a country we were, and it once was true.

              Reply
            2. lordkoos

              I don’t have many conservative acquaintances but I sometimes find them easier to talk with than liberals. In fact in the run-up to the last last election I lost many liberal friends simply because I refused to get excited about Joe Biden, defended the actions of Assange and Snowden, did not buy into Russia-gate etc. For this I was routinely accused of being a Trump apologist, a Libertarian, a Russian stooge etc… unbelievable.

              Moving back to my conservative hometown to look after my elderly mother after living in Seattle for decades was a big cultural shift but I am able to sympathize with the locals far more than my big-city friends are able to do. Most of my Seattle friends have zero empathy and understanding of the concerns of rural working people, largely from not being acquainted with anyone outside their own political bubble. They believe everything that NPR, CNN and MSNBC tell them, just as many on the other side of the divide believe what FOX and talk radio tells them. “The great Wurlitzer of confusion” indeed.

              It was interesting to see how many conservative working people were willing to vote for Bernie, perhaps more than liberals were… but of course they were not given that opportunity.

              The biggest fear among the elites is unity among the general population.

              Reply
                1. Amfortas the hippie

                  No.
                  call it what it is:
                  Class Consciousness is what the tippytop fears the most.
                  otherwise, they wouldn’t spend such enormous amounts on dividing us’n’s.
                  the moment we, as a people, overcome all those divisions…be it pigmentation, what’s between our legs,basketball team, or who we like to have sex with….the boss’ power is thereby diminished(why they fear and loathe democracy, btw).

                  Reply
        3. Katniss Everdeen

          “…..what issues of the actual common good have the Tea Party/MAGA ever brought to the table?”

          Exposing and mainstreaming the duplicity of “politicians, government agencies and elite media,” and the naked manipulation of “democracy” in service of their own interests to name a few “issues.”

          For two years, Trump supporters had been called traitors and Russian bots for casting ballots for “Vladimir Putin’s c*ck holster.” They’d been subjected to a two-year gaslighting campaign by politicians, government agencies, and elite media. It took real fortitude to stand up to the unanimous mockery and scorn of these powerful institutions.

          Let’s face it, the real crime of the “Tea Party / MAGA” crowd here is their steadfast refusal to be gaslighted by the permanent ruling class, a “common good” that, above all others, can never, ever be “brought to the table,” because then the jig is well and truly up.

          Reply
          1. marym

            They contribute lots of bad policy preferences but no good ones. That the system is corrupt isn’t a recent contribution to political discourse or a unique insight from the right; and being subjected to elite mockery and scorn isn’t a unique grievance on the right.

            Reply
          2. Amfortas the hippie

            they were as gaslighted as anyone else, if not moreso…just by a separate gas line.
            the corporate right had to turn more and more to the birchers end of their spectrum…because tolerance develops, just like in any addiction.
            it was the Left…the Actual Left, not the clinton/obama neoliberal pseudoleft….that has been yelling about all this for an hundred years.
            sometimes presciently, sometimes not. sometimes accurately, sometimes less so.
            still.
            i see two classes of people:1. the comfortable, and 2. the not comfortable.
            the latter are up for grabs,politically… more or less….but one must compete on a rigged playing field, against a giant wire into everyone’s brain…which messes with their apprehension of reality.

            Reply
        4. Lambert Strether Post author

          > Much respect to you, AtH for inspiring some of them to also “look inward.”

          I don’t think, given the numbers, there’s an alternative (other than breaking up the country, and I’ve had a hard time imagining how that would work. There’s no Mason-Dixon line).

          Reply
          1. Amfortas the hippie

            i tacitly advocate the county level…at most the regional level(perhaps by watershed?)
            we’re currently split by 160+ year old political decisions that have little relevance to today’s actually existing polity.
            much like the middle east, in fact.
            or africa.
            or south america.
            lol

            (“exceptionalism”.)

            Reply
          2. Chris

            Joel Kotkin and Mark Schill suggest seven nations:

            https://www.forbes.com/special-report/2013/america-next-decade.html

            Sometimes, in my fevered night time musings, I dream of how I would manage your country were I to be parachuted in as a military governor following the Collapse. Seven nations would be part of my solution.

            That, and a proper democracy (compulsory voting, no GOP/DNC primaries, strict limits on campaign donations, hand marked paper ballots counted in public).

            Reply
            1. Amfortas the hippie

              When that kind of balkinisation occurs, i’m seceding formally into a 20 acre (depending on the level of warlordism and predation) micronation.
              hell with all the rest of you humans.
              i expect to have decent foreign relations with the surrounding county, at least.
              and i’d expect many of my “neighbors” (the 50 people currently within 2 or 3 miles of me right now) to be rather easily lured into a coalition/mutual aid society of some kind.(been working subtly on that for 26 years…and all of this with applied socratic method, no less)

              Reply
              1. Chris

                …and what an enlightened 20-acre nation you will be! Truly a place in which I would be happy to dwell.

                Reply
                1. Amfortas the hippie

                  we’re(I’m) pretty selective and ruthless in my immigration policy.
                  Lambert is hereby nominated as scrutinizer.
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3cu8sDa90Y
                  have you any practical skills?
                  i need an engine person(esp. small engine…and golfcarts!), and general labor.
                  free room and board.
                  attitude matters.
                  open mind is a prerequisite.
                  and a tolerance for social nudity, of course.
                  i like hungry minds, too.
                  comprehensive classical(etc) library onsite.

                  Reply
      3. Katniss Everdeen

        I’m no longer shocked when a magaidiot says they agree that universal healthcare is something we need. but russiax3 and Q have made such an intersectionality so much more laborious, and even fraught with danger.

        If it’s “intersectionality” you’re interested in, maybe you could start by nixing the “magaidiot” slurs and “Q” references. That’s a media / political game, still popular among some, but tremendously hackneyed and ultimately unproductive.

        I don’t know of too many constructive relationships that begin by insulting and demeaning the very people you are trying to influence or bond with, using the verbiage of their sworn enemies who are determined to destroy them, and make no secret of that fact.

        Reply
        1. Amfortas the hippie

          i’ve been embedded within that hostile tribe since i was tiny…and i only let such slurs slip with y’all and with my wife…because it fits what i see and have seen: rampant and willful ignorance and a penchant to believe nonsense….and a willingness to killya if you present as Other…which i certainly did and do(modified by my east texas drawl and the shit on my shoes)
          same reason i call leaving the farm “going among the Mundanes”(which i derive from growing up practically next door to the texas rennfair, and their permanent village there.)
          i reserve the right to label my fellow americans as i see fit in private(or in this here analog of private space), and at the same time to maintain a “forgive them for they know not” sympathy for how they got thataway.
          in person…in the feedstore…i bite my tongue….and show the compassion of the buddha for these poor fools.
          i also don’t let them know that i’ve been studying them like so many baboons for most of my life.
          it is difficult to maintain this, as you might imagine…so please permit me an outlet for all the frustration and the eyes that hurt from the rollin.
          my near disdain will out…better that it comes out here.

          Reply
        2. FluffytheObeseCat

          “ rampant and willful ignorance and a penchant to believe nonsense….and a willingness to killya if you present as Other

          I would dearly love to have spent my life in the sort of coastal, or ivory tower environments that allow so many commenters here to believe that there aren’t fair numbers of our fellow citizens who deserve this slur. Or that they’re just misunderstood.

          Willful meanness and fake or real redneck snobbery exist. Holier than thou fundie “Christians” are just as venomous and damaging as the PMC. Archetypical, Trump style bullies and their legions of suck ups are not figments of the media elites’ imagination. This kind of vicious heel-ism is as real and in most of the physical area of the nation as severe and pervasive as PMC haughtiness.

          Their perpetually offended “dignity” is primarily a function of raging egotism. It’s the fury of local notables who are constantly enraged that someone, in another part of the country, has not only the ability to maybe occasionally tell them what to do….. but has the right and ability to not live under their thumbs. Like in the good old days.

          Don’t think they don’t know where the ‘queer’ boy they used to beat on up and moved to in 1989.

          Reply
          1. Amfortas the hippie

            the rednecks and wannabe rednecks and other assorted violent idiot people are legion…i’d bet that they far outnumber the PMC…they are our neighbors and relatives.
            and various snakeoil salesmen and tent preachers have been rallying them, catering to them, and actively building a stay behind army since at least nixon….and making that violent idiotism cool, while they were at it.
            i’ve tried, over the years, to tell the pmc types about this, but was fingerwagged away as a nut.
            since the pmc are the one’s who’ve…like read books and stuff(besides the bible), i have often tried to engage them when they crossed my path…but even 30 years ago, they were pretty snobbish and offputting. at least the specimens i encountered.
            i didn’t wear the right clothes, go to the right schools,or have enough money…and i was undomesticated and wild.
            it was weird, at first, that they disliked me for much the same reasons as the rednecks and smallish town reaganites.
            they as much built this narrow Big Center system as the bidness right did.
            but their machinery wobbles a lot, and only ratchets rightward….because their ideology maintenance devices can tolerate and co-opt that sort of thing…even as far as old school fascism..
            ie rather try to ride a wild hog than share,lol.
            that cohort, of whatever party affiliation, is the biggest reason i chose to not plant a bunch of grapes when the hill country wine mania happened…i’d hafta hang out and schmooze those people.
            and keep my mouth shut,lol.(one of their billboards:”where wine is a pleasure, not a party”–i wanted to burn that mf,lol)
            this masking is easier to do with the lumpen to formerly middle middle class cohorts.
            if i speak in my native tongue(drunk cambridge perfesser from east texas), they don’t understand, while the uppercrusters might more easily catch on.
            i can only use that language out here in the hermit kingdom…or at NC.
            lest i be hung.

            (so far, i’ve only been strangled once,in this part of the world….which is a marked improvement from north of houston circa ’85-95.)

            Reply
            1. Amfortas the hippie

              and i must toss this in there:
              Parity Pricing for farm products is a super easy sell, out here.
              only people who don’t understand that concept in the feedstore, are the rich hobby ranchers who bought up whatever distressed legacy ranches were to hand.
              if there were only a political party that would take these peoples’ grievances seriously, and actually endeavor to remedy them, that party could have a run on rural america.
              That the demparty has studiously gone the other way entirely, and coddled their own faction of the ruling class, is how i know in my bones that the demparty of the clintonists is not really serious about earning the vote, or growing actually winning coalitions…and are instead the washington nationals to the gop’s globetrotters.

              send lots of money, and we’re yours’

              Reply
              1. skippy

                Here I go the disheveled of lore ….

                Is there enough piss in the universe to support this offering, tis not, anywhoo …

                In concrete …

                Much too my demise[tm] I relate to your experiences eg. Franklin County MO. and Coon Hunter decals on the back window of whatever pickup tribe you belonged too which for some strange reason was contra to my Az experiences at the same time but were sorta aliened politically in the Goldwater era of the 70ish.

                But for fun we could consider the mad mag experience of having ones old redneck friend suggest a BJ to me just because I was without GF after being shipped to grandparents after divorce in Az and suffering the trauma from it eg. was not interested in HS knuckle dragging antics to burnish my creed amongst my contemporaries just so I would be one of the tribe not that he had a GF.

                HOLY fktard at the things that are said in tribal and how it ignores the context on all sides …

                Reply
      4. zagonostra

        “i still believe that there’s a potential for the underclass..in the broadest sense…to get together against our common enemy”

        I guess hope springs eternal, are you smoking hopium? I’m probably inhaling some myself, or I wouldn’t be clicking on my keyboard right now I suppose. There are just too damn many tools at the disposal of the oligarchs to ensure people stay divided. In order to coalesce an inchoate mass into an effective force you need leaders that are willing to die. And you know when and if one were to emerge, he would be killed or coopted. I just finished reading Norman Spinrad’s ‘Agent of Chaos’ (which was banned for a while I think and continues to be a favorite of prison inmates) and maybe the only hope is in the randomness that is a part of nature (a la Lucretius – ‘The Swerve’ was a good book by the way).

        Reply
        1. Amfortas the hippie

          complexity hides the knife.

          and it’s too far gone for anything but patient evengelism to fix.
          (new new deal evangelism. i am not a christian)

          the evangelism model of political change has it’s merits…there’s at least 2 instances in history that prove the point:1. the eventual takeover of the roman empire, and 2. the gathering of the fyrd of disaffected white christians who were uncomfortable with the societal changes of the 60’s…and turning them into a motivated, electoral and political army of true believers.

          in fact, it is those latter (counter) revolutionaries that we are confronting at the moment.

          Reply
          1. Amfortas the hippie

            finally got around to watching the jessica taylor vid.
            sorry
            i’ve had carbon copies of that woman naked in my cowboy pool.
            everything is bullshit.
            (the Nihilism Neitszche warned about? we’re there, man.)

            Reply
            1. Amfortas the hippie

              and a last quote from the offending article/essay, ere i pour myself into bed and veg out to medieval period action/drama shows:
              “Trump supporters were led down some rabbit holes. But they are absolutely right that the institutions and power centers of this country have been monopolized by a Regime that believes they are beneath representation, and will observe no limits to prevent them getting it. I encourage people on the Left to recognize the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in front of them. You’re not going to agree with the conservatives on everything. But if in 2004 I had told you that the majority of the GOP voter base would soon be seeing the folly of the Iraq War, becoming skeptical of state surveillance, and beginning to see the need for action to help the poor and working classes, you’d have told me such a thing would transform the country. Take the opportunity. These people are not demons, and they are ready to listen in a way they haven’t in a long, long time.”

              I say amen to all of that.
              i have no idea if the 2020 election was rigged….why wouldn’t it be after the now=forgotten 2004 fiasco, the 2000 fiasco…as well as the last two(2) democratic primaries?
              doesn’t matter anymore what the truth is…if the goddess of Truth trotted out and told us, half the country wouldn’t believe her, and lambaste her for being a commie pinko, or a russian agent.

              Reply
              1. Amfortas the hippie

                please hoist all this, Lambert.
                it’s of the utmost importance, and we’re a distributed think-tank that is particularly suited for hashing such things out.
                (i save all such NC conversations. for future reference)

                Reply
      5. Procopius

        Were you in the 2nd grade in 1955? Because that was the year they added “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance, and broke it for me forever. I said it every morning school was in session from kindergarten through high school and was comfortable with it, but after they made it a religious declaration of faith I hated it. As you put it, “it felt wrong.” [Bannable] Christian Dominionists.

        Reply
  5. diptherio

    The comments on this thread are pretty funny:
    https://twitter.com/ummjackson/status/1415353985406406658

    In response to this article: How A 30-Year-Old Retail Manager Bought Her $474K Calgary Townhouse.

    The townhouse was actually purchased in my parents’ name; they put $120,000 towards the downpayment ($10k of this came from a savings account I’ve had since I was born that’s been accruing interest). I’m an only child, and my parents always planned to purchase my first property in their name, but all payments and anything needing to be done to the property is up to my partner and me to cover. In addition to this, my partner received $60,000 from his grandparents to contribute to the downpayment.

    Reply
    1. hunkerdown

      “People @ummjackson mentioned can reply.” He mentioned nobody. Otherwise, it is a great little thread, with some excellent, retweetable distillates of lolbertarian operating ideology.

      Reply
    2. Romancing The Loan

      That’s a good thread about cryptocurrency but it has no relation to the article. Which is a pity because I do love dunking on finance articles that amount to advising “be born rich.”

      Reply
    3. Katniss Everdeen

      During this particular time, we would have been a little bit more capable [to purchase on our own], but definitely not for this budget. That was the other reason why my parents did it in their name: My partner and I wouldn’t have been able to qualify for the financing. I’ve had the same vehicle since I graduated university (my parents bought it for me so it’s not in my name), so I don’t really have any kind of credit.

      “How ‘I’ Bought It”

      For some definitions of “I” and “bought.” Then there’s the amorphous concept of “own.”

      Reply
  6. Wukchumni

    Goooood Mooooorning Fiatnam!

    When you jumped off the slick into a firefight you just knew it was going to be a hot LZ by the smoke plumes obscuring your view of the conflagration.

    We cursed the F-35’s modified into flame fighters which could only manage a payload of 342 gallons of water-none of it digitally guided on target either, and prone to friendly ire from us as it was good at mostly drenching shrubberies far from the battlefield.

    Why couldn’t we have bought CH-47 Chinook twin engine heli-tankers to fight the real enemy-instead of the Edsel of the air, we wondered?

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      Why? Because that d—-d F-35 can’t do anything else right. If we admitted that we built an airframe that fails at everything it was ‘designed’ to do, we would have to round up those responsible and hand them over to the aliens living in the lower levels of the Dulse Base. (Then the aliens would complain that we had sold them “defective Terran humans” for their experiments. Who ever suspected that Politicos already are a distinct sub-species of the Terran human species?)

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Last time we were @ Saline Valley hot springs in April, a pair of F-35’s came in fast almost dirtscraping @ about 300 feet over our heads, and i’m used to them being oh so loud when they’re jetarwaling overhead @ 10k, what a racket they make on the down low though.

        Reply
        1. RMO

          Here in BC I just keep thinking “If only we had a couple of really huge flying boats that could dump an immense amount of water on a fire… and then refill in flight skimming along a nearby lake so they could do it again and again…” Oh right, we did have those. Then they decided they cost too much and the government here, as in the U.S. said they would no longer be contracting any fire fighting aircraft that used Avgas.

          Even the helicopter fire fighting people I know said it was a mistake we would regret as they knew we would be having repeated large fires that the Martin Mars could handle in a way nothing else could.

          Reply
  7. JTMcPhee

    Following Greenwald link above on disaffection with “civics:” What basket does this go in?

    Florida will require schools to teach civics and ‘evils of communism’
    DeSantis will require high school students to learn ‘evils of communism’

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/schools-provide-cpr-training-teach-civics Includes mandatory teaching of “patriotism.” We have met the enemy, and all that.

    Glad to see the Florida connection to the assassination of Haiti’s president. We learn from the MSM that he was not such a nice guy.

    And primum inter pares, I see the banana republic in chief, ol’ USA, will “allow” cooking gas to be offloaded in Venezuela. What happened to “maximum pressure?”
    Can’t get a regime change going if The People are not maximally immiserated!

    The Jackpot can’t come soon enough…

    Reply
    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Don’t worry. Based on FoxNews portrayal, the “evils” will be things like universal health care and nothing to do with the problems of the Politburo’s actual operation which was in many ways a neofeudalism with control of sectors as opposed to land based fiefdoms and insufficient inheritance/succession laws and customs. The age problem wasn’t limited to the Politburo but all administrative positions. The serfs had a better deal. References to oppression will be met with “hey isn’t that the US just last week?”.

      Reply
    2. John

      It takes real chutzpah to assume you have the right to deny someone cooking gas. Other than not get with OUR program, what has been Venezuela’s sin?

      Reply
      1. tegnost

        Other than not get with OUR program, what has been Venezuela’s sin?

        That’s like saying, “Other than the fact that I’m pregnant, how do you know I’m not a virgin?”

        Reply
      2. The Rev Kev

        They won’t sell all their oil-fields to American corporations on the cheap. And they have the largest oil reserves of any country in the world remember.

        New saying for the 2020s – ‘How did our oil get under their jungles?’

        Reply
    3. Procopius

      The fear of Communism was a little more understandable back in 1918, when many people confused it with Anarchism, which was more of a global thing at the time but more into “propaganda of the deed.” The Germans and the Poles particularly feared that “revolution is exportable,” but lots of other people believed it was, too, and saw the condition of the working class in many countries made it an attractive alternative. It was actually the McCarthy years that convinced me pure capitalism necessarily leads to tyranny. If those people really believed capitalism was so great they wouldn’t fear that people would abandon it. To fear Communism so much they must believe, deep in their souls, that it is actually far more attractive than Capitalism. Actually, I believe, still, what I was told in high school, America (as it was in the ’50s) is not capitalist, it is not socialist, it is mixed, a free market with regulations to keep it fair. Well, it wasn’t really all that fair, but better than it is without the regulations.

      Reply
  8. The Rev Kev

    “Author of the Mega-Viral Thread on MAGA Voters, Darryl Cooper, Explains His Thinking”

    This should be marked as a Must Read. It is a remarkable article which really puts together events of the past few years, especially from a conservative viewpoint. More remarkable is that this portion of the country who supported its institutions the most and sent their sons & daughters to fight in their wars, have now found themselves under attack by those very same institutions and that has made a mockery of what used to be called the American way. Lots to chew over here.

    Reply
    1. nick

      I agree with you that the article articulates a logic that can plausibly explain some US conservatives’ attitudes and positions. But it is not at all true that conservatives have supported American institutions, writ large, the most. They have supported certain institutions that have generally aligned with their political goals but have been strident opponents of others such as public education, public transportation, and many civil rights like those related to voting.

      Reply
      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > But it is not at all true that conservatives have supported American institutions, writ large, the most.

        I think the author is from that world, and puts his world in the best possible light.

        That said, I believe he’s correct on the narrow issue of the inflammatory, match-on-gasoline nature of RussiaGate. As usual, the question is “Stupid or evil?” Were the liberal Democrats so stupid that they believed that there would be no blowback? Or are they so evil they predicted it, and are using it as wedge to pry the country apart? Hanlon’s Razor said it’s stupidity, and RussiaGate was driven by Clintonites, so stupid seems likely, but…

        Reply
    2. Dr. John Carpenter

      Agreed. There’s a lot of people I wish would read that, but I know they wouldn’t be able to get past the denial of Russiagate and, if they did make it past, would have a healthy list of “yeah, buts”. It seems the author himself has similar trouble getting his own lefty friends to listen. Of course allowing lefties who otherwise might be sympathetic to the issues he’s covering to “other” these people is all part of the plan.

      Reply
  9. David

    I’ve been reluctant to comment on the South African situation because it’s a few years since I was regularly in the country and I was waiting for Thuto or someone who was there to jump in. Subject always to their correction, let me just highlight a couple of points in a very complex situation.

    This is ultimately related to a power struggle within the ANC, not necessarily between ethnic groups (though Zuma is a Zulu, which is important). Ever since 1994 there’s been a struggle between different groups within the ANC depending on their personal and organisational affiliations during the apartheid years. Senior people in the ANC will tell you that they trust most of all the people who were part of their structures under apartheid. This means you have the military wing, the diplomatic wing, the civil society wing, the trades union wing, the intelligence wing, those who were in prison, those who were in exile etc. with individuals often having several different affiliations. So Mbeki was a diplomat who was hardly in the country for thirty years, groomed for stardom in exile. Zuma had much less education, had done ten years in prison and worked in the ANC’s intelligence service in exile. Ramaphosa was a trades union leader inside the country. All these leaders brought people they could trust into government, and, although Zuma was ousted after a bitter internal battle, many of his appointees are still in place and some, at least, owe their loyalty to him rather than the government.

    This matters, because the ANC is the only mass political party in SA, and it’s hard to see how any alternative coalition could govern effectively even if it came to power. Thus, struggles for control in the ANC are therefore struggles for control of the government, and ultimately for control of the country. The ANC was and is an immensely collegiate organisation that desperately tries to avoid splits and public arguments. It prefers to work behind closed doors. (Zuma was criticised for very publicly siding with its more radical elements, and pushing a sub-Mugabe discourse to appeal to them, including leading singing at rallies of that old MK standard “Give me my machine gun”). So Ramaphosa has been criticised for moving too slowly to eradicate the last traces of Zuma’s corruption, and it may be that he should have acted earlier and more ruthlessly. But as far as I know, that’s not in his character and his first priority would have been to stop the ANC from coming apart.

    The third point is that this all made me think of history. During apartheid, the Zulu King Buthelezi was a kind of Vichy figure for the regime, widely supported and praised by the West, as a moderate in preference to the Marxist radical Mandela. After the release of the latter, there was an effective civil war in the country between Buthelezi’s IFP and the ANC and their allies. A report later concluded that the so-called Third Force in the security services had stoked all this up, in hopes of sabotaging the transfer of power, but there’s no doubt that there were many thousands who were perfectly willing to be manipulated. I was in Joburg just after the IFP had tried to storm the ANC’s HQ in 1994, and they were still wiping the blood off the streets. You could smell the fear in the air. Circumstances are different now, but I don’t think it would be hard to mobilise unemployed Zulu youth, those who have lost power with Zuma’s fall, those who fear being sacked or prosecuted in turn, and those who are still loyal to Zuma within the government, into organising something like this, which they then could not control. The aim would almost certainly be not to stage a coup, but to put irresistible pressure on the government to release Zuma or at least reduce his sentence.

    So whilst I doubt that every detail of the Daily Maverick story is true, given that it’s essentially based on government sources, there’s nothing in it which suggests CT thinking, and it’s the best explanation I’ve seen yet. But I yield to the better-informed.

    Reply
    1. PlutoniumKun

      I’ve been waiting for Thuto’s take too, I’d be very interested to hear it (plus of course anyone else who has real insight into what is going on).

      There is something that certainly looks a little inorganic about the unrest there right now, so it rings true that this may well be Zuma’s people riling things up for their factional/personal gain rather than a real response.

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I don’t know the personalities which shapes character of conflicts, but “David” draws attention to the ANC being a closed door operation in regards to settling conflicts. This is how political operations in Japan operates, but it’s a cultural aspect. I would point out Mandela retired in 1999 and died in 2013. We often find unresolved conflicts erupting after periods of comity when the unifying figures have died or left the scene.

        Mandela fixed many problems, but the existence of Elon Musk as anything other than a crank with a Ron Paul bumper sticker and a 420 sticker is an indication there are too many internal contradictions to expect there not to be a crisis in light of one mass suffrage political party.

        Reply
        1. PlutoniumKun

          I think there are plenty of other examples of countries being dragged into unnecessary policies and conflicts due to internal strife in the ‘natural’ (i.e. dominant) political party. As one obvious example, Brexit moved from the obsession of a small irrelevant fringe group of libertarian obsessives to mainstream policy solely as a result of internal Tory party dynamics.

          Reply
        2. jo6pac

          Mandela did fix a lot of problem but sadly they allowed elite whites to run the FIRE side of South Africa and it’s been down hill since for those on Main Street.

          Reply
          1. workingclasshero

            well,how many years since those days ,close to or around thirty.When is the new black elite going to step up.

            Reply
      2. David

        There are a series of different things going on here and we need to keep them separate. Yes, the transition in 1994 could theoretically have been better (it could also have been a lot worse). Yes, there are massive income inequalities, but that’s hardly new. This is essentially about a struggle for power. A friend of mine there, close to the ANC, actually described it to me as a “counter-revolution.”

        As I suggested earlier, the real issue is that in a country with only one effective political party, what happens in the party is more important than what happens in government. This is why it took so long to get rid of Zuma: he had so many loyalists in the party apparatus. An Integrity Commission that was set up took years to get anywhere because of their obstruction. Ever since 1994, the ANC has been the vehicle of choice for aspiring black politicians, and many of the people in positions of power are simple opportunists, with no interest in the ANC’s traditions and ethos. And they realised also that it was a great way to enrich themselves. So we’re talking less about state capture here than “party capture” because once you capture the party, you also capture the state. There’s a dearth of good people at the top of the ANC now, as the generation of the struggle dies off, but at the same time there’s no obvious opposition ready to the over. It’s a hell of a situation, and even if the government acts with the necessary firmness now, the struggle for power will go on for a while, probably terminally damaging the ANC in the process.

        Reply
    2. Lee

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but South Africa strikes me as an example of the limitations of identity politics when issues of class are left unaddressed.

      Reply
      1. RMO

        Lee: That is something I have been wondering about. I would like to read more in depth to examine the idea but I don’t even know where to start. The identity politics mindset makes me think that those who subscribe to it would consider Animal Farm to be a utopia if only the final scene had a proportionate number of bovine, horse, duck etc. along with the pigs sitting at the table reveling in their exploitation of their fellow animals and it seems that South Africa’s development may be relevant.

        Reply
    3. synoia

      I’m surprised that you did not mention the Zulu/Xhosa tribal divide in the ANC. Tribal factions in South Africa, and most of Africa, are significant in building blocks for politics.

      IIRC, Nigeria had the Yoruba, Hausa and the Ibo from the Niger delta as major factions.

      “There are more than 300 Nigerian tribes and among the largest include Hausa-Fulani, Igbo, Yoruba, Ijaw, Kanuri, Annang, Tiv, Ibibio, Etsako, and Efik. Other Nigerian tribes apart from the ones listed constitute a smaller percentage of the total number people from all the tribes in Nigeria.”

      Zimbabwe has the Shona and Matabele, with the Shona in the majority.

      Reply
      1. David

        I didn’t want to write a treatise, and I did mention that Zuma was a Zulu was part of the issue. And it’s true that the ANC was often considered a Xhosa-dominated organisation, which was not really true. But whilst Zuma can use networks in KZN to create trouble, as we’ve seen, the underlying dynamic here is not ethnic. South Africa is not like Nigeria (or many other African countries) in that way.

        Reply
    4. Lambert Strether Post author

      > I’ve been reluctant to comment on the South African situation because it’s a few years since I was regularly in the country and I was waiting for Thuto or someone who was there to jump in. Subject always to their correction, let me just highlight a couple of points in a very complex situation.

      Thanks for this comment. Sadly, it looks like there will be many opportunities for further commentary…

      Reply
  10. Acacia

    Re: Is the Universe Open-Ended?

    A discussion of a seventy page essay on the subject of free will, written by a computer scientist — but which doesn’t mention Lucretius or De rerum natura. No wonder the field of computer science has made no significant progress on AI in over sixty years of research.

    Reply
      1. Acacia

        Because it shows that despite Aaronson’s expressed intent “to see how far I can get in thinking about time, causation, predictability,” etc., his own theoretical universe is painfully closed. It’s the same approach you find again and again in AI research: people are convinced they can address questions that have been on the table since antiquity (e.g., human vision or consciousness), but without doing homework and actually reading the tradition. Also, Aaronson just uncritically embraces the wide-eyed quackery of “the technological singularity”, which I suppose follows from his desire to demonstrate that human brains are simply machines whose activity is “predictable by external agents as ordinary digital computers equipped with random-number generators”. This kind of sexed-up techno-behaviorist thinking seems fairly common in computer science, and at this point is not only tiresome but IMHO quite harmful. I would submit that if you want to get to one of the roots of all the crapification, Googlification, etc. of the contemporary world, you might start with the way in which this kind of discourse exists in its own self-satisfied “Turing complete” bubble. For a further debunking of this article, I’ll defer to jr’s comment, further down this page.

        Reply
    1. JTMcPhee

      And the AARP had little to do with that puny increase which does not even reduce the inflation-shrunk SS payments — since that DC NGO is busy assisting the Looters in killing national health care in favor of private insurance “Medicare Advantage” which AARP profits from flogging for United Healthcare…

      Reply
      1. newcatty

        Association for the Advancement of Rich People. Just reading their articles’ titles is nauseating:

        (Mostly paraphrased):

        How Older Women can use New Beauty Products to look Stunning at Any Age ( lists of products provided)

        Dating: Older is Better!

        Cruising is Back!

        Financial Advisement to Retire at Your Goals

        How to Beat the Crowds at Our National Parks ( list of parks with lodges and glam camping provided)

        Healthy Delicious “Restaurant Qualtiy” Meals to Cook at Home (recipes included for things like gourmet avocado and gouda spread with heirloom cherry tomatoes on artisan Italian loaf)

        Hot Vacation Spots for RV Nomads! ( list of places to explore and RV blogs)

        101 Ways to Declutter and Cash In ( Helpful list of how to determine what is junk, things unneeded by older people, and how to have fun selling your Barbie Doll, GI Joe, toys still in unopened boxes [ most valuable] collections.

        How to Age in Place ( article profiles couple getting ready by spending many 1000’s of dollars on upgrading bathrooms, moving master bedroom to switch with downstairs guest room, replacing some stairs with ramps, replacing carpeting with hardsurface flooring, upgrading landscaping to mostly need little maintenance ( xeroscape)

        Cover photo of Older Celebrity that we admire! Story includes their “challenging childhood”, hard work and dedication to their”craft or art”, pet charities and/ or activism, children and/ or grandchildren attending Yale or following in celebs footsteps or successfully completing rehab. Newest project highlighted with amusing anecdote related ( see they really are just folks)

        Reply
  11. Michael Ismoe

    ‘They’re not going to f**king succeed’: Top generals feared Trump would attempt a coup after election, according to new book

    If you actually read this sad story you will find out that these very same generals thought that the best way to fight this “coup” was to “resign their commissions” if Trump acted. I would have expected that a soldier – especially one with 1.3 million troops at his command – would find a more apt way to “preserve protect and defend the Constitution of the United States than quit his job and wait for the end times. If this is the face of the US military, burn it all down. It’s useless.

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      We adore sports attributes, and if the various 3 & 4 star ‘coaches’ were in charge of a pro team with a losing record since 2003, they’d all be fired.

      But war is too lucrative, ask Halliburton et al how good the ‘stanbox has been to their bottom line, the palpitations in future tense of suddenly going to the poor house on August 31st must be worrisome. I hear Cuba is ripe for the picking though if they need a segue.

      Reply
    2. The Rev Kev

      Without even reading this article, I knew exactly who it would be talking about – General Mark Milley. When Trump did that stunt of holding a bible outside that boarded up church, Milley was there and was the only one wearing combat fatigues. Why was he dressed so? Don’t know. I have called out Fauci for being a political wind-vane and Milley is the same. Now that Trump is gone, he is trying to make himself out as a Hero of the Republic and safeguarding his position by embracing critical race theory.

      Reply
      1. juno mas

        Yes. I’d like to know if Milley got out of bed with fatigues on. Or did they just happen to be at the office for his photo op with Trump?

        Reply
    3. Questa Nota

      The following quote could be a reply to many of the linked articles today.

      Once is happenstance.
      Twice is coincidence.
      Three times is enemy action.

      Originating, or at least being voiced, through Ian Fleming’s character Auric Goldfinger adds some fun.

      Reply
    4. NotTimothyGeithner

      WeThese aren’t the generals of Winfield Scott Era where there is one guy or smaller cares of colonels who are more responsible for the welfare of troops. It’s a case of 400 upper middle management looking for board seats, most of who were at least majors or about to be promoted at the start of the Forever War, following in a line of guys who started the war who missed out on any actual combat in the Persian Gulf War. They aren’t disobeying the President of the United States directly. Resigning is all they can do.

      I tend to discount the claims as nothing more than selling books to the same people who bought that disgraced (an amazing accomplishment) Tory MP’s ramblings

      Reply
    5. Dr. John Carpenter

      I will never understand how Trump was both a blathering idiot who fell upward into the presidency and a Machiavellian mastermind who almost overthrew the government. It seems to me both can’t be true (and I know which one I’d lay money on being true.)

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Trump could sell reconditioned garbage trucks as condos with an elevator (…the Trump Dump Towers) to the plebes so enthralled with the idea of somebody-anybody, bucking the system politically.

        For worse and nothing better, he has been the only person to attempt such a thing in my lifetime, and almost all vis a vis social media, which is why he’s quiet as a church mouse as of late. It was where the power laid.

        Reply
      2. hunkerdown

        Doublespeak, as Orwell called it, is a telltale sign of a tradition asserting its own right to exist at others’ expense.

        Reply
      3. Amfortas the hippie

        analogous to the trope often encountered in more righty fora for going on 50 years, that “the Libs” are both whiny babies with daddy issues and at the same time, world conquering juggernauts, rolling inexorably over all the real amurkins …and similarly, that the dems are both socialists/commie vanguard and globalist hypercapitalists imposing FIRE sector dominance over all and sundry.

        it’s instructive, i think, that i’ve met like 2 people in my whole life offline who had even heard of C Wright Mills.
        the lenses we use to apprehend the world outside of our physical presence are made by the violent parasitical elite, and their minions and hangers on…made in several colors and degrees of shit smear.
        it’s worked to keep us…if not docile…at least focused on the other crabs in the bucket.
        but diminishing returns, and all.
        reality…or at least a semblance of it…keeps showing through the holes in the hardened but crumbling bullshit walls…and the bullshit reserve pile is growing thin…
        at some point, the Machine will back itself into a corner of that bullshit wall, and it will fall upon them.
        at least that is to be hoped for,lol.
        otherwise, it may seem prudent to some of the herd riders that all that hypernonsense is no longer working, and sterner methods are required.

        my parting shot to the numerous random interlocutors in feedstores and street corners:
        ” stop believing in them, and they will be diminished”.
        “withdraw your consent” has near universal appeal where i spend my time.

        Reply
        1. Dr. John Carpenter

          I picked up on the similarity to that double characterization of “the Libs” too. To me, it’s just more proof, if needed that both sides are playing the same playbook for the same team.

          Reply
          1. Amfortas the hippie

            sometimes, a mirrorwall in the funhouse gives way, and a few of us splash into the mud outside.

            Reply
  12. The Rev Kev

    “The real separation of powers in modern America”

    The separation of powers works differently in Oz. So here is a segment explaining it from the TV series “The Games” starring the immortal John Clarke-

    Gina Riley: ‘I have another question here: what is the separation of powers?’

    John Clarke: ‘Ah, well this is a constitutional question. The separation of powers is a constitutional division of the two entities in which power is vested in Australia: Kerry Packer and Rupert Murdoch. If Mr Packer wants cricket, Mr Murdoch would be given Telecoms. If Mr Murdoch wants rugby league, of course Mr Packer would be given the cotton industry.’

    https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/The_Games_(Australian_TV_series)

    Reply
  13. Wukchumni

    We don’t have that sort of inequality as the photo of the haves & have littles in South Africa…

    in the City of Angles, the apartmentless (I refuse to call them homeless as it seems such a hurdle to go from living in a tent to a 30 year fixed mortgage, but I digress) are in some cases living large on beachfront digs cheek by jowl next to couple million buck pads-the urchins of Venice, location-location-location.

    Reply
  14. lmao

    Trump was actually an incompetent president that perpetuated right wing delusions about just about every issue. Darryl Cooper has it totally wrong.

    The right wing fever swamp pioneered the techniques CNN et al used against Trump with Russiagate and impeachment. Gingrich and McConnell’s openly-stated goal of sabotaging Democratic presidential administrations (note I think Clinton and Obama were terrible, but probably for vastly different reasons than theirs) may seem like a boring fact of American politics now, but it was no less an act of aggression than the hoaxes of the Trump years. They’ve driven the race to the bottom, so why wouldn’t the “Regime” leverage its institutional clout to do anything less?

    Right wingers have supported politicians at all levels of government going about things in bad faith for several decades at this point. To this day their partisan media constantly tells demonstrable lies, and leads targeted harassment campaigns and “cancellations” — all of this started well before Twitter was even a thing and it was directed at anyone even vaguely left-ish. They’ve conspiracy-theorized about voter fraud at every opportunity for several election cycles too.

    Ask any right winger about specific policies ameliorating the immiseration of the working class in this country and you’ll still hear the same talking points as the Tea Party. They also do not support minority rights of any kind and have used the political process to enforce their bigotry on the rest of the country nonstop.

    They are not simply innocent dupes who think things in America work as they do in civics class nor were they simply innocent victims misled about WMDs — they clearly let their own post-9/11 blood lust cloud their judgment in the run up to the Iraq War, and now refuse to take responsibility for any of it. The rhetoric of that era has been forgotten all too easily.

    Reply
    1. hunkerdown

      Therefore, it is very important to the bourgeois right-wing Democrat Party that economic leftists be prevented from making common cause with the GOP grassroots, because politics is party property!

      Sorry, liberalism is irreparably and permanently a right-wing pro-capital ideology. There is no way to fix this except to abandon the scam of meritocracy and eliminate prestige from society altogether.

      Reply
    2. urblintz

      “…not simply innocent dupes who think things in America work as they do in civics class nor were they simply innocent victims misled about WMDs — they clearly let their own post-9/11 blood lust cloud their judgment in the run up to the Iraq War, and now refuse to take responsibility for any of it. The rhetoric of that era has been forgotten all too easily.”

      You talkin’ ’bout Biden, his staff, the Clintons and the DNC, yes?

      Reply
    3. Amfortas the hippie

      but they are dupes.
      (as are trueblue dems)
      observe how many poor people just don’t do politics, at all…as if policymaking were happening TO them, and sourced from some distant star…
      the cohort for whom “policy” is just something that happens in the world they live in is growing by leaps and bounds.
      surely, there’s some opportunity there.
      that is, almost exactly, the conditions that led to the french revolution.

      Reply
  15. antidlc

    Question:

    Yesterday, IM Doc posted:

    But yet – right in black and white, in the pharmacokinetic section of the Moderna vaccine application for the European Medical Agency – it clearly states that lipoid particles and S proteins were being found all over the body – and indeed were found in circulating plasma up to 6 hours later.

    Did anyone in the FDA or NIH have access to the EMA application? Are these applications shared between governments?

    Reply
    1. Jeremy Grimm

      As I recall a Japanese study that identified the movements and aggregations of lipoid particles was in — I think it was — the Moderna package given to the FDA early on when the FDA was considering granting its Emergency Use Authorizations [EUAs] to Big Pharma. It became known outside the FDA through a FOIA request.

      Reply
        1. Maritimer

          He [Fauci] received the Moderna shot.
          ********
          Who audits, verifies that Fauci, Celebrities, President, etc. have indeed received their vaccines? Answer: No one.

          I personally believe that there are many Important People and their families who are not taking these vaccines. Thus, if a vax passport system is implemented, it will have to be Two Tier. One type of registration for the hoi polloi and then another for the Influential/Essential.

          Not so? Think back to Government Mandated Vietnam Conscription where the Influential/Essential easily avoided Forced Service while the hoi polloi did not. Many of whom died or were maimed for life.

          I have not seen anyone addressing these issues.

          Reply
          1. Basil Pesto

            why would anyone address issues based on an unsupported cockamamie hunch about Potemkin vaccines for the rich and famous? Unless you have some (actual) evidence you’d like to share?

            Reply
            1. antidlc

              Basil,

              I know you didn’t reply to my post, but I would like to explain where I am coming from. I am not a medical professional, so I have to depend upon the expertise of people who are medical professionals.

              Some doctors have expressed concern about “lipoid particles and S proteins being found all over the body”. (IM Doc’s post above. Dr. Malone also mentioned it.) Fauci received the Moderna vaccine. I can only think of a couple of scenarios:

              1) He knew about the problem, but went ahead and took the vaccine anyway.
              2) He didn’t know about the problem when he took the vaccine.
              3) He didn’t take the vaccine, which is what Maritimer said. Obviously, we have no proof, so I am going to rule this out.

              That leaves us with #1 or #2.

              Reply
              1. hunkerdown

                At 80 one is less likely to buy green bananas, and #1 is an easier sell. He has three kids to build an estate to fight over. Won’t someone think of the heirs?

                Reply
    2. Fern

      I’d like to try to put the Moderna biodistribution results in context by comparing them to the Johnson & Johnson adenovirus vector vaccine biodistribution. I looked at the European Medicines Agency assessment reports for both vaccines.

      First off, they didn’t really test the biodistribution of the Moderna vaccine; they tested the biodistribution in rats of a different virus mRNA vaccine in a slightly different-sized lipid envelope. The rationale was that they didn’t expect the mRNA itself to influence the biodistribution, and the smaller lipid envelope size would represent a “worst-case scenario”, i.e., the actual Moderna vaccine might have a different biodistribution pattern. They tested the rats after 14.9, 34.8, 31.1, 63, and 120 hours. They said that “in addition to the deltoid muscle site and lymph nodes”, they found “increased mRNA concentrations” of the tested cytomegalovirus (CMV) mRNA in the rats’ spleen and eye, and “low levels” in most other tissues, including the brain (in “very low” concentrations). They said that the mRNA cleared out of the tissues very quickly — by 3 days for all tissues except the muscle, lymph nodes, and spleen.

      Now the thing is that they did a totally different test on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. They used rabbits instead of rats, and they tested the rats after days 11, 61, or 91, and up to 180 days in a second test. They said they found the J&J vector did “not distribute widely”; they found it at the site of “the injection, draining lymph nodes and (to a lesser extent) the spleen.” “From these tissues, Ad26 DNA diminished slowly, with a small amount remaining in the iliac lymph node of 1 animal at 180 days [!!!]”.

      So in summary, they tested not the Moderna vaccine, but a different mRNA virus vaccine’s distribution in rats over the course of the first 5 days, and found that it distributed widely outside the expected areas, but in small amounts and it cleared all the tissues within 3 days, except for the deltoid, lymph nodes and spleen. By comparison, they didn’t even test the biodistribution of the J&J vaccine until day 11.

      So for all we know, the J&J could have had a biodistribution similar to or more off-target than the mRNA biodistribution if they had measured it at day 3. It just wasn’t tested.

      European Medicines Agency Moderna assessment report:

      https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/documents/assessment-report/spikevax-previously-covid-19-vaccine-moderna-epar-public-assessment-report_en.pdf

      (pharmacokinetics, p.47)

      European Medicines Agency Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) assessment report:

      https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/documents/assessment-report/covid-19-vaccine-janssen-epar-public-assessment-report_en.pdf

      (pharmacokinetics; p. 50)

      Reply
  16. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

    Andrew Bacevich is an interesting guy. He comes across as a reasoning critic of the American militarism. But he’s also deeply touched by Trump Derangement Syndrome. And there are many things he doesn’t touch upon and that is telling. He gets his periodic 15 minutes of fame now and then and disappears for a bit.

    Reply
    1. Robert Gray

      Bacevich is an extremely conservative chap — but as an army lifer how could he not be? I have been reading his essays for years and while our political philosophies have little in common I have always been impressed by what I believe to be his intellectual honesty. I haven’t seen any ‘deep touches’ of TDS; not sure where you’re getting that. A few years ago he was on Bill Maher (of all places!). Every time Maher tried to get Bacevich to yuck it up, it fell flat.

      Reply
  17. The Rev Kev

    “Top Australian Coal Mines Are Spewing More Methane Than Rivals”

    it should be understood that the Coalition party is presently running the Oz government. And that they are extremely hostile to the concept of climate-change. They actually even tried giving coal plants that were closing down as nonviable big government money to stay open. Also, that when they came to power back in 2013, anything to do with environmentalism came under the gun as a top priority. The worse is that they do not seem to be doing so because they are backed by the mining industry but they do so on ideological grounds which is extremely unusual for Aussie politics. My point here is that Australia is being run by a Stephen Harper type of government. So as far as coal is concerned, nothing they do will be acted on, even these emissions. The government will ship as much coal as possible overseas no matter what the consequences. They will do this either until all the coal is finally gone or it is the heat death of the universe – whichever comes first.

    Reply
    1. RMO

      “A Stephen Harper type of government” Geez, don’t remind me. We probably have an election coming up soon enough here in Canada and I will again have to decide which side of the s**** sandwich to bite:-) Up until a few years ago I had always been free to vote any way I cared as my riding was so overwhelmingly Conservative leaning (with the exception, during my voting life of the great debacle when they lost almost every one of their seats) that my vote didn’t matter. After redistricting (and population growth) a few elections ago the possibility of either the Conservative or the Liberal candidate winning became reality so I’ve had to actually think about voting tactically. Yeah, I know that anyone here who had to vote in US presidential elections is probably thinking I deserve a sad song played on the world’s tiniest violin for my trouble…:-)

      Reply
  18. Michael Ismoe

    S2 Episode 2 – “Lo Hicimos” (podcast) Blowback.

    Listened to this yesterday. Excellent. If you want a brief history of the post WWII American Empire, this is an awesome resource.

    Reply
  19. fumo

    Italy banning cruise ships from Venice The Hill

    The closing paragraph of the linked story, “Francesco Galietti, Italian director for the Cruise Lines International Association, said Tuesday’s move ‘is a positive decision and could be the beginning of a new era.'” makes me skeptical this won’t be subverted before it is implemented. I don’t expect turkeys to talk warmly about Thanksgiving unless they have an out planned.

    Also, this didn’t make the 30-minute version of the RAI TG News yesterday.

    Reply
    1. synoia

      The Cruse ships are banned form the Venice Lagoon. However that dies not ban Tourists, because they can be ferried across the Venice Lagoon from Lido Island, by the bus and trainload from Trieste, or ferried to Venice from the cruse ships anchored at sea.

      Reply
  20. Karlito

    Robin DiAngelo Wants White Progressives to Look Inward

    Put your believes where your money is at: (Non standard English)
    They need to give their cars and houses to migrants of color with families to support and then gratefully move into communities of color to learn, while being careful to never gentrify those communities.

    As for DiAngelo, All royalties from she-he-it’s books to be given to Haitian orphans from now on.

    Reply
    1. Henry Moon Pie

      “move into communities of color to learn”

      That’s what the murdered Archbishop Oscar Romero and another longtime, dedicated activist call “accompaniment.”

      Reply
    2. Roger

      Isn’t any explanation of racism by a white woman “whitesplaining” and should be immediately discounted? Or perhaps “white knighting”. Whichever way it seems to be quite a profitable activity for Ms DiAngelo, while she diverts the focus away from the political-economy of racism, an understanding of which would require a transfer of real stuff rather than just cheap words.

      This is how the PMC professionalize and make money from real social causes, I hear that she charges a pretty penny per hour for “consultations” and self criticism sessions – rich white people just love to self criticize as it gives them such a nice warm feeling (I am one of them and have witnessed many such instances) while they get to keep all of their goodies and don’t have to think about an annoying thing called economic class.

      Reply
      1. Some Guy in Shanghai

        This is how the PMC professionalize and make money from real social causes, I hear that she charges a pretty penny per hour for “consultations” and self criticism sessions – rich white people just love to self criticize as it gives them such a nice warm feeling (I am one of them and have witnessed many such instances) while they get to keep all of their goodies and don’t have to think about an annoying thing called economic class.

        If white people have complicated feelings and are trying their best to understand racism both individual and structural, why can’t another well-meaning white person make money off of it? /s

        Reply
  21. madarka

    Regarding Haiti, the situation is utterly complex and bewildering. Here, next door in the DR, the news is the plotters and mercenaries met in a local hotel to plan the assault. Colombian news is reporting that the FBI thinks the intellectual author to be Claude Joseph, the recently deposed prime minister who is now assuming power illegally and disputing control of the State with the man Moise had named (but not yet confirmed) as the new prime minister, whose name escapes me at the moment. The Haitian-american doctor Sanon was just a catspaw. Also, of the 28 mercs, only 7 knew they were going for assassination. The rest thought they were offering protection services. Meanwhile, all those responsible for Moise’s security failed to appear when summoned by the Haitian prosecutor.

    As to what happens now, it’s all up in the air. The US is pushing for the elections to continue, a position that remains widely unpopular as there is currently no constitutional government and absolutely no security. A friend who lived for a long time in Haiti is thinking that another US/UN occupation looks likely.

    Reply
    1. Kari

      Haiti and South Africa, black self determination in action.
      It’s not our business to interfere, for any reason, positive or negative.

      Does the Clinton Foundation get their money back? Hell no!

      Reply
      1. synoia

        Does Haiti have tribal alliances?
        South Africa does.

        I’d point out that the princes in the Tower are an illustration of White Self determination.

        Reply
  22. Nce

    The fire map shown is a static of this regularly updated map, which also shows air quality:
    https://fire.airnow.gov/
    I look at it daily now that fires are impacting air quality here. This map takes awhile to load, at least on my old phone.

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      For the time being most of the fires in Cali have been way to the north, with a few lightning strike nothingburger blazes in the Kings Canyon backcountry, although we really aren’t even in wildfire season yet.

      Little of note happened until the middle of August last year, when all hell broke loose on many fronts.

      Reply
  23. The Rev Kev

    “Robin DiAngelo Wants White Progressives to Look Inward”

    I wonder what Robin DiAngelo would make of the following stories-

    ‘In response to guidelines from the Tokyo Olympics organizers, one hotel in downtown Tokyo called the Akasaka Excel Hotel Tokyu put up an elevator sign that has not gone down too well with audience. While there were signs like “Foreigners only” and “Japanese only”, another sign read: “The elevator is also available to foreign customers. Please avoid travelling with Japanese customers.”

    Or how The Economist – The Economist! – has criticized Italy’s win against England in Euro 2020 because the Italian team had (wait for it) too many Italians on the team. The three Brazilian born did not count as they are of Italian descent. On guy piped up and said “Would the Economist ever write a story that African teams in the World Cup didn’t have white players or the Asian teams didn’t have black players?”

    https://www.rt.com/news/529203-italy-team-white-racism/

    This is where we end up listening too much to people like Robin DiAngelo. Everybody has prejudices, of which racialism is one aspect, but you work to stomp on it. Being divisive as a career option just does not cut it-

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robin_DiAngelo#Works

    Reply
    1. QuicksilverMessenger

      Geez the English, via the Economist, are truly opening up new ways to explain the continued failures of English football. The so-called ‘home’ of football, the creator of the game, a country of 65+ million football-mad people, full of money to burn, has been to exactly TWO finals in their entire footballing history. Perhaps a collective therapy is needed, a catharsis, a grand public admission: We love football, and we play football, but we are just not very good at football.

      Reply
  24. Possum Cat

    “If shady data brokers are selling this information, it makes a mockery of advertisers’ claims that the truckloads of data about Americans that they collect and sell is anonymous,”

    Or, you could just drop all pretenses and claims to privacy and join NextDoor Neighbors, hand them your verified with the service provider phone number, street address, I.P. address, your picture, all your contacts, your likes and dislikes, hobbies,advertising preferences, emergency contacts, pet’s names and agree per their privacy statement under penalty of perjury BTW, corporate law enforcement! to let them sell all that, to advertisers or hand it to law enforcement.

    Just surrender to the Moloch, it’s so liberating!

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      Or you can do like many lurking here do and refuse to allow a site to know your location, (a common pop-up,) and refuse to give your e-mail willingly, (when I see that, I think yet again about if I really need to purchase the item,) and refuse to allow cookies, and generally opt out of as many tracking cookies as I can.
      I realize now that we should have manufactured a ‘cover’ identity with which to have relationships with internet entities.
      “Freedon dies in darkness” is only applicable to certain categories of public discourse. As far a private lives are concerned, freedom thrives in the dark.
      I was going to link to a clip of humphrey bogart in an old film noir where he tells an inquisitive District Attorney wjho trotts out the old, “You don’t have anything to hide, do you?” that; “Everyone has something to hide.”

      Reply
      1. juno mas

        Most websites can get a general idea of your location from the IP address with which you’re accessing the ‘Net. Still a good idea to opt out of Google location tracker..

        Reply
  25. Basil Pesto

    Grifting’s Luke Harding is at it again:

    Kremlin papers appear to show Putin’s plot to put Trump in White House

    His source: a document provided by western intelligence services. Supported by ‘independent experts’ purporting to vouch for its ‘apparent’ (a recurring word) authenticity. No dissenting expert opinion, and no actual verification of authenticity by the journalist. Zzzzz.

    although frankly, I’m impressed that the document is in cyrillic. I half expected it to be in English. Wasn’t
    expecting him to be that rigorous.

    Reply
    1. PlutoniumKun

      I read that (well, quickly scanned the article, my stomach couldn’t take a close read of anything by Harding), just as the Guardian buzzed me with more messages asking me to contribute financially. For as long as they employ someone like him, they certainly won’t get a cent from me.

      Reply
  26. Wukchumni

    We’re close to stage 3, or how we went bankrupt slowly and then all at once in chapter 86 proceedings in the opening innings of the Big Dry.

    There’s a number of evangs in the community and requests have been made to petition the lord with prayer-but unlike hope, springs aren’t eternal.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Stage Three Tank levels below 50% and declining

    No showers

    No laundry

    Minimal kitchen utensil washing

    Voluntary boil water order, water declared not fit for drinking

    Bottled water for human use

    Minimal toilet flushing

    Reply
    1. Henry Moon Pie

      I appreciate your humor in the face of serious crisis, and I’m thinking about you, hoping some of the rain we’re getting finds it way to you somehow.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Its more of a cautionary tale as water tends to be born in the mountains, and in general in an average year in the High Sierra there is a water source every few miles, but not now. Everything is drying up at a rate inconceivable heretofore.

        If we get rain in the summer, it usually comes with thunder & lightning, a Faustian bargain.

        Reply
  27. howard in nyc (formerly nor cal)

    Regarding the fire map, I do have a small quibble with the boundary as drawn to separate the new states of North and South California, but I can live with it.

    Reply
  28. jr

    Re: Open-ended universe

    This article is a minefield of errors. Let’s start with the first paragraph:

    “(What he actually said, in his 1936 work “Physics and Reality,” is more longwinded, and includes a digression into Immanuel Kant and the meaning of “comprehensibility,” but he does write “… the eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility.”)”

    “Longwinded”…”digression” Why does he feel compelled to provide his criticism of Einstein’s argumentation? This adds nothing to his argument, so why did he feel he need to address it? Probably because he didn’t understand those bits. So he hops to the end, so to speak, and proudly declares that he has it all wrapped up.

    I’ve never read “Physics and Reality” but I’d bet the farm Einstein’s conclusion is a lot more nuanced. I would also bet he had a reason to dig into Kant. The author of this piece almost seems to think he is saving the “eternal mystery” from Einstein’s meandering into philosophy. He needs to focus on the “eternal mystery” of his reasoning.

    “That, Aaronson argues, is probably not right because what we call randomness actually follows well-defined statistical rules of probability, and in that sense is never “free.”

    I would really love to have Aaronson pinpoint exactly where on his graphs he can find the inspiration for my poetry. Sure, it’s bounded by words and concepts but the arrangement of words and even more abstractly the ideas behind them are fluid, shifting, and yes unpredictable things that kind of pop! into my head. I rarely plot to write a poem, I wait for them to come. Where do they come from?

    “But if you are a physicist (or a proper philosopher) you might pick a fight with this.”

    A “proper philosopher”?!? Who in the world does this guy think he is? I will state this as a fact: The man has no idea of the length and breadth of the free will discussion. He has no grounds on which to feel entitled to discuss these things. And the invocation of a physicist, as if this is the hammer on the final nail, betrays the septic abscess of scientism.

    “That’s because, you’d say, what a human does at any moment is ultimately a consequence of a very long, very complex, chain of events.”

    Which may be triggered by a random event, such as the conception of a new idea from out of the blue.

    “That’s a complication that I’m going to avoid really dealing with, because it will really make our heads hurt.”

    Speak for yourself. There is actually a theory in quantum mechanics that proposes, with as much certainty as any other theory, that it is consciousness that collapses the quantum field into reality. It’s called the “Von Neumann-Wigner” interpretation:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Von_Neumann–Wigner_interpretation#Objections_to_the_interpretation

    (If you would like to see refutations of the objections listed in the Wiki article, check out Kastrup’s “Why Materialism is Baloney”.)

    But of course the author is blithely unaware of this theory.

    “daft mystical quantum-brain connection”

    Once again, he misses a valid quantum mechanical theory, Stapp’s argument that it is our neurons, specifically a particular calcium ion, that interacts with the quantum field to snap reality into existence:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Stapp

    “Stapp favors the idea that quantum wave functions collapse only when they interact with consciousness as a consequence of “orthodox” quantum mechanics. He argues that quantum wave functions collapse when conscious minds select one among the alternative quantum possibilities.’

    Taken together, Von Neumann-Wigner and Stapp can provide a model for a non-inflationary (can you imagine a more inflationary model of reality than one in which literally every world exists?) model of quantum behavior that requires only one world and consciousness to collapse it into reality. But such a conception isn’t doctrinaire enough for this author.

    “this is all just physics (well, all physics-at-the-boundary-with-philosophy).”

    No, it’s not. This implies that consciousness has successfully been reduced to physics. It has not so the above statement is an empty assertion. All we have is his notion that a physicist objects and therefore….

    And the phrase “physics-at-the-boundary-with-philosophy” betrays a lack of understanding about how different fields of intellectual endeavor work as well as the interaction of philosophy and physics. It’s also a kind of contradiction, I think. If he felt compelled to write it, they must have some kind of interface, not a boundary. Otherwise, why would philosophy merit a mention in the sentence?

    Reply
    1. Henry Moon Pie

      The author employed that snide tone to fend off the scary proposition that the Automatic Model is as dead as the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and not only is the Universe not subject to human control but it is also not fully comprehensible by the human intellect.

      Reply
      1. newcatty

        The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.

        Einstein

        Reply
        1. Henry Moon Pie

          Amazing quote. Thanks for that.

          Accord:

          To know without knowing is best.

          Tao te Ching #71 (UK Le Guin, trans.)

          Reply
  29. Andrew Watts

    RE: The real separation of powers in modern America

    It doesn’t matter where one draws the dividing lines in the US political system. The nature of the government will remain fundamentally undemocratic. The Federalist papers are a useful guide to reaching this conclusion. In No. 10 Madison refers to representative government as a “scheme” designed to undermine the rule of the majority and elevate oligarchic interests to the detriment of the popular will. Which is why citing opinion polls about raising taxes on the rich and legalizing gay marriage is irrelevant. Our representatives frequently flaunt the popular will and will continue to do so. The Constitution was structured and written with this political outcome in mind.

    I don’t essentially see a difference between the Democratic and Republican parties either. Both are capitalist, pro-war, and imperialist, Their revanchist and archaic views are the primary factor that is driving us towards a disastrous war with China. If there is any real difference between them it’s cosmetic. The base of the Republican party is made up of the most reactionary elements of American society; Birchers, evangelical Christians, and people who thought the wrong side won WWII. The Democratic Party is a party whose sole purpose is to maintain and uphold the status quo and Biden is the perfect standard bearer for their brand.

    At the end of the day we’re just living in a dying empire and dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. That’s why the Democratic Socialists of America have virtually the same positions as the US Chamber of Commerce on things like mass immigration and “free/fair trade”.

    Reply
    1. Jeremy Grimm

      The concept of a “dictatorship of the bourgeoisie” seems a little quaint. Pockets of bourgeoisie remain at the local, and perhaps county level but they have been hit hard by Corporate inroads and the recent collapse of their business resulting from the Corona pandemic and its utility as a crisis not wasted. I believe Marx’s class analysis better fits an earlier time. I look to G. William Domhoff for analysis of the power structures in America. Economic class definitely plays its part, but class analysis alone misses the structural changes resulting from large Corporate powers and the insane power of a very small number of extremely rich individuals, and the spread of the Neoliberal thought collective through University Economics Departments and the Atlas Network of think tanks.

      I agree that the US is a dying Empire, there is no difference between the two parties, and neither of them has an ear for the desires or good of the Populace. A war with China would be remarkably stupid. I do not believe the DoD’s parts inventories are deep enough to maintain more than a brief, possibly nuclear conflict. But our Power Elite has proven its stupidity and ineptitude.

      Reply
      1. hunkerdown

        I agree, reality is drifting from Marx’s class analysis of capitalism. The capitalists eagerly ate of Leninism (why not, Lenin loved the English workplace) and left Marx behind. As a result we appear to be getting a dictatorship of the PMC.

        Reply
        1. Andrew Watts

          The PMC if it has a class identity can be understood as the aspirational servants and managers of the ruling class. They’re the ever present attendant class who identify with, and attempt to emulate, the people who are in charge as they lack any linage or breeding.

          They possess only pale imitations or falsifications.

          Reply
      2. Andrew Watts

        What you’re describing is the consolidation and concentration of economic power in the later stages of capitalism. The big bourgeoisie acquire the holdings of the petty bourgeois and destroy them as an organized class until the phase of accumulation begins anew. It’s a cyclical process. As with prior aristocracies they’ve exempted themselves from taxation too.

        Reply
    2. zagonostra

      Oliver Stone is in Cannes promoting his new documentary on the assassination of Kennedy. It is clear that both Repubs and Dems have no desire to atone for the Deep State’s usurpation of power by the killing a President. So you’re absolutely correct in your analysis when you conclude that aside from some differences, in essence, there is no difference “between the Democratic and Republican parties.”

      And yet, what goes on as public discourse seems to be dominated by partisan conflict either by design or structurally. Yes we are living in “the end days of a dying empire” and the events of history that are unfolding will swallow us all up in the end, but carving out little eddies of resistance is still worth the effort, especially if you believe that life and reality are more than randomly colliding atoms.

      Reply
      1. Tom Stone

        Earl Warren later repudiated the “Warren Report on the Assassination”.
        To paraphrase “We needed an answer NOW because we were on the verge of a nuclear war”.
        I looked into it a bit because the alleged murder weapon was an Italian Carcano and the alleged shooter was an ex Marine.
        Marines are Riflemen first.
        Every Marine is a Rifleman and proud of it.
        With both an uncle and an Aunt who were Gunnery Sergeants in WW2 I am well acquainted with the ethos of the USMC.
        The Carcano rifles at the time were about $12, German Mausers in perfect shape about $18 and 1903 Springfields $25 for rifles in new condition.
        Carcano’s were ( And often still are) sneered at by Rifle enthusiasts.
        It is a second rate design and Italian Ammo had uneven QC ( Remington made the rounds used in the JFK shooting),

        I have a very hard time believing that an Ex Marine would choose a Carcano over a Mauser when the price difference was $6.
        The shame would be more than anyone not conditioned by the USMC cult of the Rifleman can understand.

        Reply
    3. lance ringquist

      there is no such thing as free and fair trade. free trade requires force, police states and war.

      when fascism came to america, its was sold as free trade spreads democracy, and eradicates poverty

      https://www.jacobinmag.com/2021/07/free-market-liberalism-at-large-the-economist

      “In the mythology of liberalism, free trade is supposed to be the thing that allowed it to emerge as its own separate ideology and the thing that liberal parties were championing several centuries ago. But there were more divides about how free trade would happen, particularly in the context of empire, than you might ordinarily think.
      AZ

      The theory of free trade was supposedly a theory of peace and good will: that if you exchanged more, you would have more peaceful interactions. There’s an enlightenment idea here — that trade polishes manners and brings different kinds of people into intercourse, where they learn how to behave and act well with one another.

      That’s the theory of Richard Cobden, one of the heroes of the Anti-Corn Law League, this famous body that emerges in the 1830s and ’40s in England in the fight against the Corn Laws, which were classically mercantilist and kept grain prices up in England in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars. They were viewed by the middle classes as a vestige of the aristocratic privilege of the landowning class.
      “The theory of free trade was supposedly a theory of peace and good will: that if you exchanged more, you would have more peaceful interactions.”

      Along with that idea — that if you abolish the Corn Laws, you’ll see greater prosperity — you also have the idea that it will do away with war. There’s the idea that war is also an aristocratic warrior-class vestige of an ancien régime mindset, and it’s very important to the theory of trade.

      James Wilson, the founder of the Economist, is not very well known, but he’s a fascinating figure from a Scottish background — the son of a textile manufacturer. He promotes this idea as well. What we see by the 1850s is this really radical split between James Wilson and Richard Cobden and John Bright, which just isn’t really understood in the literature on free trade, or the Economist. But it’s really fundamental to get at something about the dominant strain of liberalism as it emerges in the 1850s.

      For the Economist, it becomes quite clear that by the 1850s in order for free trade to actually become the ordering structure of the world economy, as they had hoped, it’s more than a matter of simply trading. You have to force people to trade freely, as it were. There’s a string of conflicts in the 1800s, starting with the Crimean War, but then extending into China with the Open War, and then also the Indian uprising and rebellion, that see the Economist take positions within the paper that advocate the use of force to “crack the cake of custom” and penetrate into what they see as an “Asiatic resistance” to free trade and progress.

      There’s a moral and economic dimension to the argument — that this is going to require the use of the Royal Navy, troops on the ground, and collaboration with other powers like France in order to open up this world economy. You also see James Wilson denouncing Richard Cobden and John Bright in Parliament because by that point he’s serving in the Treasury, creating government policy, and taking out loans to fight these wars. The role of the Economist in this shift within Britain and British politics toward a much more liberal-imperialist aggressive posture is one of the discoveries of the book.”

      those wars are still going on today, bill clintons speech on yugoslavia was actually if you do not free trade, you will end up like yugoslavia.

      clearly this is fascism,

      “bill clinton did this,
      NATO bombed Yugoslavia for 78 days following accusations that Milošević was ethnically cleansing Albanians in Kosovo.
      The late Milošević was quietly and de facto cleared of all charges by the Hague Tribunal in 2016, but by the time the truth came out, Yugoslavia was long gone, broken into 7, more manageable and exploitable, countries. One of those profiteers, Albright’s financial management company, was involved in the privatization of Kosovo’s telecommunications company. From Wikipedia, one can learn that she too likely profits well from her war mongering, along with other untouchables” ”

      “a bill clinton mouth piece,
      In a March 28 New York Times article, Thomas Friedman wrote:
      “For globalization to work, America can’t be afraid to act like the almighty superpower that it is… The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist. McDonald’s cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the designer of the F-15. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley’s technologies is called the United States Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.”
      As NATO troops entered Kosovo, the same newspaper announced Kosovo’s new currency will be the U.S. dollar or German mark, currencies of the two countries most responsible for Yugoslavia’s break-up. And after months of being told that Slobodan Milosevic was the problem, we heard Washington Balkans expert, Daniel Serwer, explain:
      “It’s not a single person that’s at issue, there’s a regime in place in Belgrade that is incompatible with the kind of economy that the World Bank… has to insist on…”

      ” Bill Clinton elaborated:
      “If we’re going to have a strong economic relationship that includes our ability to sell around the world Europe has got to be the key; that’s what this Kosovo thing is all about… It’s globalism versus tribalism.”
      “Tribalism” was the word used by 19th century free trade liberals to describe nationalism. And this war was all about threatening any nation which might have ideas of independence.”

      https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/01/27/the-humanitarian-left-still-ignores-the-lessons-of-iraq-libya-and-syria-to-cheer-on-more-war/

      i do not trust any so-called left that advocates for free trade and open borders. in reality, they are hand maidens for fascism.

      smiths warning against free trade is quite relevant to today.

      http://www.business-superstar.com/words-of-wisdom/adam-smith-and-tariffs/

      In Book IV, Smith discussed various aspects of international trade, and he soon turns to the notion of tariffs: “As there are two cases in which it will generally be advantageous to lay some burden upon foreign, for the encouragement of domestic industry; so there are two others in which it may sometimes be a matter of deliberation; in the one, how far it is proper to continue the free importation of certain foreign goods; and in the other, how far, or in what manner, it may be proper to restore that free importation after it has been for some time interrupted.”

      Of these cases, retaliation is the most appropriate justification for restricting free trade: “The case in which it may sometimes be a matter of deliberation how far it is proper to continue the free importation of certain reign goods, is, when some foreign nation restrains by high duties or prohibitions the importation of some of our manufactures into their country.

      Revenge in this case naturally dictates retaliation, and that we should impose the like duties and prohibitions upon the importation of some or all of their manufactures into ours. Nations accordingly seldom fail to retaliate in this manner.”

      Tariffs and other forms of importation restrictions can harm the restricted nation and create an extreme imbalance. Either trade has to come to a complete stop with the restricting nation, or retaliatory tariffs must be put in place to prevent war from starting between the two nations.

      The government must give due consideration to when tariffs can open up greater trade and when tariffs are created only to prevent it: “The case in which it may sometimes be a matter of deliberation, how far, or in what manner, it is proper to restore the free importation of foreign goods, after it has been for some time interrupted, is, when particular manufactures, by means of high duties or prohibitions upon all foreign goods which can come into competition with them, have been so far extended as to employ a great multitude of hands.”

      However, the removal of protectionist and retaliatory measures can cause great harm if the measures are removed too quickly: “Humanity may in this case require that the freedom of trade should be restored only by slow gradations, and with a good deal of reserve and circumspection.

      Were those high duties and prohibitions taken away all at once, cheaper foreign goods of the same kind might be poured so fast into the home market, as to deprive all at once many thousands of our people of their ordinary employment and means of subsistence. The disorder which this would occasion might no doubt be very considerable.”

      china does not free trade with america, however, we free trade with them. the dim wit nafta democrats figured this out under empty suit obama, that is what the pivot to asia is all about.

      so if you want peace and prosperity, you do not free trade and have open borders.

      you have sovereignty and democratic control instead.

      Reply
    4. Acacia

      Regarding the separation of powers in contemporary America, I’d like to chime in with a nod to Michael J. Glennon’s National Security and Double Government, to suggest that what we all learned back in civics class concerned the “Madisonian institutions”, whose power has long since been undermined by what Glennon calls the “Trumanite network” (or, depending upon your age, had already been toppled when you were being told otherwise in that civics class, many moons ago). We could add that even the putatively Madisonian institutions are today riddled with corruption and graft. The rest of the picture that Andrew Watts sketches out above, w.r.t. the duo-parties, etc., looks roughly correct to me, as well.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        I would need an unbiased report on her physical health before I endorsed that idea. I have priors concerning Hillary and Presidential runs.

        Reply
        1. Michael Ismoe

          She’s barely legal in Democratic Party circles; in 2024 Hills will only be 77. Pelosi will be growing snakes out her head by then.

          Reply
  30. Andrew Watts

    RE: ‘They’re not going to f**king succeed’: Top generals feared Trump would attempt a coup after election, according to new book CNN. So, even though Trump did seize the Winter Palace and the radio station, with what army?

    Presumably with the elements of the US military that would still answer to Trump after he invoked the Insurrection Act. Of course his powers as commander-in-chief would expire when Biden was sworn in. But wasn’t that the entire point of disrupting Congress from certifying the electors? Or installing loyalists at the head of departments across the federal government?

    We live in a completely normal country and this definitely doesn’t look like the executive branch was in a conflict with the legislative branch to our friends and foes ’round the world. It’s funny to see the Chairman for the Joint Chiefs act as the standard bearer for Antifa class of 1945 though.

    That’s based.

    Reply
  31. QuarterBack

    For those that still read, here is a very interesting analysis work from 1915 that details the strategic importance of Haiti tithe U.S. in context of the Monroe Doctrine. Every bit as relevant to today. Very informative. It explains the factors behind our diplomatic and military actions in the region of the last 100 years through to today (Cuba too).

    Highly recommend.

    https://ufdc.ufl.edu/AA00001143/00001/12j

    Reply
      1. Tom Stone

        Thank you for that, it explains a lot that had puzzled me for years.
        I expect we’ll see the usual Pic of an approved Haitian exiting a USAF plane between an Honor Guard of US Marines with the traditional headline “Democracy Restored to Haiti”.

        Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          Off a USAF plane? More likely he will be in the baggage train. The same way that Louis XVIII entered and was made King of France after the Battle of Waterloo.

          Reply
  32. Susan the other

    Is the Universe open ended? Hubble’s red shift, proving that the universe is expanding away from us in all directions, could be proven to be an artifact of technology when we get better instruments, maybe ones not dependent on reading light signals. Because, for instance, if the universe is just there and big and dynamic, and our galaxy is also dynamic, and so is our solar system and so is our planet and all of these variables are filtered out to deduce what is even “expanding” – is it the edge of the universe, is it the dark energy within the universe, is it a repelling force causing everything to move apart – or is it an illusion because we are misinterpreting the red shift? We have seen the red shift and it is us. How do they know the universe is expanding. Only by their tried and true calculations. They say it is accelerating. How do they know? Because it is going faster at the farthest reaches? Well, so does a 78 record. A flat, static space and we think it is expanding because our instruments are getting more detailed. It could all be a factor of a flat disc spinning more at the edge than at the center. But if the universe is open ended and expanding at an accelerated pace then one day, if it obeys the laws of nature, the universe will suffer something like a heat death. Shouldn’t we be able to “see” some small indication of that already? If they had some clue about the possibilities it would be nice.

    Reply
    1. flora

      The efficacy of a drug being promoted by rightwing figures worldwide for treating Covid-19 is in serious doubt after a major study suggesting the treatment is effective against the virus was withdrawn due to “ethical concerns”.

      Tess Lawry is a “rightwing figure” ? Good to know. (jeez louise) Anything that counters the “official narrative” is ipso facto “rightwing”? well alrighty then…. / oy.

      Philanthropic partnerships at the Guardian, according to the Guardian. Probably not relevant. / ;)

      https://www.theguardian.com/info/2018/oct/02/philanthropic-partnerships-at-the-guardian

      Reply
      1. Pedro

        You do realise that it wasn’t The Guardian withdrawing the study but the journal that published it?

        And yes, on balance, it’s mostly rightwing figures.

        Reply

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