Links 7/20/2021

‘Laundering machine’: Furniture giant Ikea implicated in logging protected Siberian forests Mongabay

Scientists were stunned by last week’s rare Arctic lightning storms Arctic Today (chuck l)

As Arctic warms, scientists wrestle with its climate ‘tipping point’ Mongabay

Ethiopia says second filling of Renaissance Dam complete Al Jazeera

As water scarcity intensifies, so does the battle for resources in the world’s drought-hit regions New Statesman

Germany ponders lessons from deadly floods — live updates Deutsche Welle

Flood Disaster Could Become a Major Issue in German Election Der Spiegel

When it comes to addressing the biodiversity crisis, Canada’s environmental laws fall short The Narwhal

The Most Beautiful Photo We Could Find of Every U.S. National Park Conde Nast Traveler. From January, still germane. My mother is a national parks aficionado, and looking at these made me recall many pleasant road trips together.

Creator of ‘Free-Range Kids’ updates call to give kids more independence Tampa Bay Times

Stirring the Embers of Faith Commonweal. Review of new Graham Greene biography, which I’ll add to my to-read list.

Prince Harry nabs $20M from Penguin Random House for memoir NY Post

Montana Boomtown Jumps to No. 1 on WSJ/ Housing Market Index WSJ


Global markets shaken by fears over Delta variant FT

How Delta is pushing the U.S. into a new phase of the Covid-19 pandemic Stat

Deaths up 25% from two weeks ago; cases rising in every state: Live COVID-19 updates USA Today

Delta fears grip economy as cases jump across the country The Hill

Delta Variant — and County Inaction — Pushing Los Angeles Toward a COVID Emergency Capital & Main

L.A. County coronavirus spike hits alarming levels, with 10,000 infected in a week, as Delta variant spreads Yahoo News


Covid: Boris Johnson resisted autumn lockdown as only over-80s dying – Dominic Cummings BBC

U.S. Raises U.K. Travel Alert as Covid Mars ‘Freedom Day’ Bloomberg


Covid vaccine certificates to be compulsory for crowded venues in England Guardian

Covid-19 Vaccination Requirement at Indiana University Upheld by Federal Judge WSJ

Fox has quietly implemented its own version of a vaccine passport while its top personalities attack them CNN

A Postal Worker Begged for Stronger COVID-19 Protections. She Ended Up Spending Six Weeks in the Hospital. ProPublica

Olympic athletes test positive in Tokyo days before Games AP

Canada to open border for vaccinated Americans starting Aug. 9 The Hill

Hawai‘i Issues New Rules for Vaccinated Travelers—What You Need to Know Afar

Melbourne extends lockdown as case numbers grow Asia Times


Explained: Why Rising SARS-CoV-2 Reproduction Number Is Raising Concerns India Spend

India’s Covid deaths 10 times higher than reported: study Yahoo News


The Pandemic Opportunity Project Syndicate. Muhammad Yunnus.

Biden Administration

“We’ve Got To Fight Disinformation,” Says Empire Made Entirely Of Disinformation Caitlin Johnstone

Justice Department limits efforts to seize reporters’ phone, email records WaPo

Biden blasts social media after Facebook stonewalls admin over vaccine misinformation Ars Technica. Yet another law school graduate who doesn’t understand the First Amendment.

‘Facebook isn’t killing people’ — Biden walks back attack over vaccine lies CNBC

Purdue bankruptcy watchdog says protections benefiting Sacklers are ‘illegal’ Reuters. Wowsers.

About That Tout… Doomberg. I considered posting about this – but then realized I didn’t have anything to add to this analysis.

New York State of Mind

An Empire State Uprising Daily Poster

Did Ranked Choice Voting Work in NYC? It Depends Whom You Ask… The City

Julian Assange

”Nothing will fundamentally change.”

Black Injustice Tipping Point

The Overlooked Factors in Police Abuse Cases TK News. Matt Taibbi.

Class  Warfare

Keeping People Out of Jail Keeps People Out of Jail Reasons to Be Cheerful. So much for that broken windows policing model.

On a (chicken) wing and a prayer! Jeff Bezos dishes out food to media covering his Blue Origin launch after AGREEING with critics who slammed his billionaire space race with Richard Branson as ‘joyrides for the wealthy’ Daily Mail


EU blocks UK from joining cross-border civil court pact Jurist (guurst)

The Groves of Academe

Master’s Degrees Are the Second Biggest Scam in Higher Education Slate

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

NSO clients spying disclosures prompt political rows across world Guardian

Takeaways from the Pegasus Project WaPo

What the latest Pegasus spyware leaks tell us MIT Technology Review

Despite the hype, iPhone security no match for NSO spyware WaPo

Pegasus project: spyware leak suggests lawyers and activists at risk across globe Guardian

How Washington power brokers gained from NSO’s spyware ambitions WaPo

Amazon Shuts Down Some Infra and Accounts Linked to NSO Group The Wire

The Caribbean

Media Play Up Protests, Play Down Effect of US Sanctions in Cuba Fair

Rubio blasts calls from AOC, Sanders to lift US embargo on Cuba NY Post

US ties to suspected Haiti assassins follow long history of neocolonial intervention Grayzone. Aaron Maté.

Florida investigating man linked to Haitian president’s killing Politico


Myanmar Plunges Into Deadly Third COVID-19 Wave The Diplomat


Could Afghanistan crisis give Shanghai Cooperation Organisation the key role China wants for bloc? South China Morning Post

Chaos in Afghanistan Threatens CPEC The Diplomat


More than two years after his thumping win, why is Modi struggling to implement big policy moves? Scroll

Surging Fuel Prices Further Dent India’s Pandemic-Stressed Economy India Spend


Explainer | What is China’s relationship with Afghanistan, and how will it change once the US is gone? South China Morning Post

US, Britain and EU blame China for Microsoft Exchange email server hack South China Morning Post

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. zagonostra

    >Glen Greenwald – “How do people like @SecBlinken not choke on the stench of their own deceit, propaganda and authoritarianism?”

    I think Greenwald’s question is adequately answered by Caitlin Johnstone

    If the propaganda engine of the US-centralized empire ceased actively deceiving the public about the world, it would collapse immediately. There would be mass unrest at home and abroad, status quo politics would be abandoned, alliances and coalitions would crumble, leaders official and unofficial would be ousted, and US unipolar hegemony would end.

    1. FluffytheObeseCat

      Her assumption that most of us would notice a cessation in deception is sweet. We’d notice a change if the topic were domestic, yes, but very few America’s track what the country does, or says about what it does, abroad. At this point they could abandon most of the stateside oriented propaganda with little effect. The only really deal killers might be things like publicizing accurate accounts of what we spend in black budgets, oversea military expenditures not formally off the books, etc. maybe. People’s eyes glaze over when they see the word “billions” in print now, so I wouldn’t even count on that.

      1. Pelham

        But they don’t “have theirs.” Not anymore. I give a newly enraged and tribalized public a little more credit than that. They’re paying attention to stuff these days that they didn’t pay much attention to decades ago. Not that the current run of stuff on new media is necessarily true or constructive, but the public at large doesn’t seem to be automatically buying anything coming out of officialdom.

  2. JohnA

    Prince Harry nabs $20M from Penguin Random House for memoir

    The coverage claims the book is as yet untitled. And yet, despite leaving the ‘firm’, and supposedly turning his back on royal perks, the grifter still titles himself HRH, Prince and Duke of somewhere or other. The title ought to be ‘No longer titled’. But as ever, grifters gotta grift.
    The grifters environmental awareness also seems to have taken a back seat.

    1. fresno dan

      July 20, 2021 at 7:26 am
      I find it astounding that something written by Harry could even be called a book. Other than be born to one of the most contrived people ever (maybe second to Kim Kardashian), what has Harry done? What does he actually have to write about??? But than I find it amazing that millions of people gazed at the Kardashians…

      1. Pat

        Someday the Kardashians may implode and disappear into the minimum wage jobs they all deserve. And we will see President Sanders second term.

        During my Rufus Wainwright period a friend bemoaned all the whiny boy music. Harry puts Rufus to shame. Unfortunately America and Oprah didn’t take the Mountbatten Windsors at their word and ignore them. Instead we get a half assed girl empowerment animated series and a couple hundred page book of poor pitiful princely me musings.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I sort of respect them. The real problem still goes back to the circus called the OJ Trial. Without that cachet, the show if it gets made is one of the dozens of reality shows that come and go every week. Didn’t they have a PBS special back in the day about life at home in the new family? I thought Arrested Development was a satire of that show, but maybe it was a different family.

          1. Pat

            I think you are thinking of An American Family about the Louds. I was somewhat fascinated as they became so acclimated to the cameras they forgot they were there. But it was clearly just them living. I tried watching both the Hilton series and one of the Kardashian ones. The Loud stuff may have had some sensational editing, but the newer ones are obviously staged a huge percentage of the time. Probably a necessity when you realize how much “influence “ they are selling on the series and on social media.

        2. diptherio

          Reminds me of that old Wobblie song:

          …When this world and its wealth we have gained,
          We shall join in this joyous refrain:
          ‘You will eat, by and by,
          When you learn how to cook and how to fry.
          Chop some wood. Do ya’ good.
          And you’ll eat in that sweet by and by.’

          1. Procpius

            @Diptherio Thanks for that one. Is it related to another old song,
            “Oh, we’ll eat pie
            In the sky
            In the great by and by,
            After we die.”
            I’m sure there’s a lot more to it, but that’s the only part I recall, and for some reason it’s connected in my memory with the Church of the Great I Am, in Detroit.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        To be fair, I’ve heard the Cardassians are relatively entertaining and manufacture conflicts to keep it going. Other than having his hair, does he have a personality? In every clip of that interview, he sat there like a husband dragged along to the wife’s movie. Though the Diana worship was over 20 years ago, so yeah, there is probably a market for this drivel.

    2. The Rev Kev

      People will be happy to learn that Harry and Meghan’s Oprah interview has been nominated for an Emmy award. It is apparently in the Hosted Nonfiction Series or Special category but perhaps it should be in the Fiction Series instead-

      Harry by the way is the same guy who said that he got nothing from his dad and then it came out that Charles sent him, what was it, five million pounds?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        It’s weird how the wealthy need to pretend they are self made. I guess it’s just a basic morality interfering with the obvious grossness of Harry’s position and making it work. This is a guy who could have been as cool as Roger Clinton and still cash in legally but decided to just be insufferable. Then again, Roger never dressed up as Hitler.

        1. hunkerdown

          The “self-made” conceit is the repudiation of a debt, and we should be a lot more skeptical, or better perturbed about these odious social debts imposed on us by “greater” conceits for their own purposes.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Maybe Harry believes that guy him mom was hitting on the side is his real dad? Its obviously not true, but would you really want to be related to the Windsors?

      3. Dave in Austin

        My only two question about the Harry book are “Will it be illustrated by Hunter Biden?” and “Will it outsell the tell-all book tthat will come out after the Harry and Meghan divorce?”

        In a world where the Washington Post and NYT web front page are beginning to look like the old National Inquirer and Star, anything is possible if there is money to be made.

        BY the way, the NC Links page is becoming increasingly less usable because so many of the links are subscription come-ons and the actual article is either completely unviewable or can be read only by clicking on the “X” on the newest popup every few seconds.

    3. Questa Nota

      Harry strikes many as a poster child for various mental health disorders, without adequate therapeutics and burdened by a dysfunctional support network.

      1. Nikkikat

        The wife is worse. Whining, insufferable always a victim, no intellect and her family could easily be on Jerry Springer’s white trash show.

    4. curlydan

      What is Harry’s last name? Mr. Markle (ha ha)? But you are quite correct, the guy is not a “prince” anymore. Let’s use his real last name.

    5. ?‍♂️

      Libs when Trump Jr or Ivanka profit off of their nepotism: oUtRaGe!
      Libs when Prince Harry profits off of his nepotism: ?

      I mean, what has this stupid git done to deserve any attention?

      1. wilroncanada

        If he/they are such nonentities, why are so many on NC commenting on them? I’ve already scrolled through more comments than for many really important stories: the continued invasion–by illegal sanctions–of Cuba, or the continued occupation of part of Cuba, or the continued occupation of part of Syria, with its theft of oil, for example.

        1. Yves Smith

          Because they are being stuffed down the throats of the general public.

          Because they exemplify what is wrong with our elites: self important, unproductive, unaccomplished narcissistic whiners determined to live beyond their means.

    6. Maritimer

      The guy who has missed the Cashboat on this is Thomas Markle. The guy worked in Tinseltown for years but, apparently, doesn’t know how to get a Shark Agent or lawyer, someone who will kick butt. MEHARRY are such wonderful, large targets. He might even be able to get MI5-6 loot on behalf of the real Royals.

      He could at least get a book deal with startling revelations, etc. Then at least a B movie.

      Then there is the lawsuit to see his grandchild, that would be a real Ratings Circus and oh so very Californiay. Judge Ito still around?

      Then again, Thomas Markle may be just an un-American, decent human being caught up in the MEGAIN Hurricane.

  3. zagonostra

    >M4A March News black-out

    I only know about a planned 50 city march to demand M4A this Saturday because I happened to stumble on a Jimmy Dore live stream yesterday. The single most important topic for the majority of Americans and damn if I only know about because of a Comedian.

    Will the “Squad” or Bernie take place in the event? Is there a single politician that is adding their political support to this? Grassroots movement that everyone says is necessary to “force” the politicians to do what is morally right and what the majority support are suppressed. Concern for the getting everyone vaccinated is belied by the lack of concern for the uninsured.

    To paraphrase Glen Greenwald “How do Democrats not choke on the stench of their own deceit, propaganda and opportunism?”

    1. Carla

      I just learned about this M4A March from my statewide single payer group this morning. It’s a 2-1/2 hour drive away and I have commitments here that will keep me from attending. (To be honest, there may well have been earlier notifications from the group that I missed.)

    2. Amfortas the hippie

      “…Concern for the getting everyone vaccinated is belied by the lack of concern for the uninsured…”

      my wife and two kids(15 & 19) had covid in january. wife, is of course, a cancer patient on chemo.
      as soon as the medical establishment said they were cleared to get a vax, we started trying to do just that.(in may, i think)
      the caveat, is that wife must schedule hers around chemo…doing it in an “off week”, when there’s also time to endure the 1-5 days of suffering we are assured will result, due to having had the virus.
      eldest works with a bunch of right wingers…and is resisting getting the shot.
      youngest and wife want to get it.
      but there’s even more nonsense!
      where is the shot? and how arduous is it to get it?
      our local clinic is no longer doing vaccinations…and the national guard stopped coming soon after i got my second dose in early may.
      that leaves the clinics(not the hospitals) 20 and 50 miles away…but they only do it with an appointment, and on one day per week…and the appointment is not through the clinic itself, but through a third party app…accessible only through one’s smartphone(not through this here laptop)….that is clunky and poorly made, and appears to be more about harvesting unrelated data than getting people vaxxed.
      walmart, 20 miles away, is also giving shots…but only the moderna(youngest, at 15.75 YO, is only allowed to get the pfizer)…and only by appointment…which is only obtainable via yet another clunky third party app.
      add to this our own personal travails…stepdad in VA ICU for 2 and a half months in san antone(130 miles away), meaning we’re running mom down there all the time at random, as well as my resulting agony(driving a long way hurts me), and other assorted issues that prevent, so far, planning all this so i can be here, nursing my family(esp. wife) through the side effects we are told are all but inevitable due to their infection derived antibodies(and her screwed up immune system).
      it’s a giant clusterfuck…and, for all the scolding about getting a jab, “they” are making it almost impossible to do so…at least within 50 miles of where i sit in the wilderness.

      that none of the hospitals in any of the surrounding counties(we don’t have one, here) are not doing walk in vax clinics, and the byzantine appointment regime, are crazy, to me.
      if “they” were serious about this, we should be able to walk into any medical adjacent place and get the damned shot.

      1. Mikel

        Bigger picture: over a year into a pandemic and healthcare systems (globally) still remain on edge about being overwhelmed…lack of facilities, lack of health professionals to provide care to wide swaths of people, lack of —- (fill in the blank).
        Trillions dished out and a root issue is nowhere near being addressed – as if one virus will be last and only emergency that needs to be dealt with.

      2. zagonostra

        Strange thing is I got CV19 in November of 2019, before anyone knew about it. At least that’s what I think it was since I never get the flu, my tongue lost ability to taste anything, and I had all the symptoms. I went into the ER and after having been put through a barrage of test that left me feeling worse for the wear, they released me after 24 hrs.

        Like your youngest, I’m resisting getting the shot, I’ve read too much of the alterative literature, not from “right wing” nuts, but sincere people with MD’s with multiple PHd’s that are a lot smarter than me. When I take that alterative literature and mix with alternative/revisionist history of the gov’t, CIA, MK ultra, and mix in an unhealthy does of Alex Jones and David Icke, I’ve decided to sit this out until – and I hope it doesn’t come to this – being forced to take it; which at that point, there is going to be a real sh&t storm with those “right wingers” you allude to.

        Anyway I feel your pain. I know you would rather be sitting under a tree reading some Kant, Nietzsche, or favorite philosopher instead of attending to matters that eat up your time.

        1. Tom Bradford

          Trouble is, you can find sincere people with MD’s with multiple PHd’s that are a lot smarter than one’s-self to agree with any stance you might want to take. A PHd usually only means an intensive study in a very narrow, often esoteric field that imparts no more competency to pronounce on any other field than anyone else, and might reveal nothing more than a good memory, a knack for disguising plagiarism and a talent for buttering up professors.

          Here in New Zealand I’ve less reason to ‘risk’ the possible consequences of a shot than most, but at 70 I had my first Pfizer seven days ago and the complete lack of any reaction or response makes me wonder if it did anything at all. Of course it might be that I got the dummy in the double-blind study on the efficacy of vaccination to be carried out when the Delta variant is introduced to our otherwise unaffected population – as some people, maybe even a few with PHd’s, might believe as it’s the kind of thing they’d love to do.

          1. lordkoos

            Get back to us after you’ve had the second shot – most people who have bad reactions don’t have them until after #2.

      3. Lambert Strether

        > if “they” were serious about this, we should be able to walk into any medical adjacent place and get the damned shot.

        It’s enraging, or would be if what used to be enraging were not the new normal.

    3. Ashe

      And the usual selection of freaks, geeks and weirdos will be on stage to discredit and discourage any participation by normal people or conservatives.

      Big Pharma and the insurance companies are probably secretly funding this event.

      “Confirmed Speakers (More to come….): Janani Ramachandran, State Assembly Candidate in District 18; Daniel Hilsinger, Singer/Songwriter, Cancer Survivor/lead organizer for March for our Lives (Oakland, 2018); Dr. Ana Maria Malinow; Jupiter Peraza, Director of Social Justice Initiatives, The Transgender District; Marielle Reataza, MD, Senior Program Manager, Asia Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership;”

    4. Mikel

      “Concern for the getting everyone vaccinated is belied by the lack of concern for the uninsured.”

      I think right after pharma profits the next biggest concern for the establishment is the health of health insurance companies.
      I would put it like this:
      “Concern for getting everyone vaccinated is belied by the lack of concern for a functioning public health care system that provides health care facilities and workers with what is needed to not be overwhelmed by emergencies.”

      1. Aumua

        Right, because binary gendered people are normal, and non binary people are “other than” i.e. they don’t really exist, or shouldn’t exit. Same thing goes for heterosexual and white people of course.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          chill, xe.
          i am an anomaly in at least the part of texas i’ve been in, in that i know where i come from(1/4 czech immigrants who came in at Indionola, 1/4 chocktaw(i recently found my great granma and her dad on the Dawes Rolls, and half Irish, from both Clan Lamont, and Davy Crockets bunch of irish Hugenots.)
          i’m fortunate to know about all that, and all of that family knowledge predate sthe frelling internet.
          i reckon that gives me the ability to take a broader view….all of “My People” were at one time or another enslaved and vilified as “less than human”.–let the Woke people parse that!
          my grandad talked about the trail of tears in the same way that my stepdad talked about viet nam…even though it was at least 2 generations behind him…
          it was Present in his world(and thereby, in mine)
          I’ll go on and quote Gandalf, here:”“Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death and judgement….for even the very wise cannot see all ends.””

          (i corrected the gandalf quote,lol…Ur-Dweeb)

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              and this:
              …”wherever there’s a cop beating a guy
              Wherever a hungry newborn baby cries
              Where there’s a fight against the blood and hatred in the air
              Look for me, Mom, I’ll be there
              Wherever somebody’s fighting for a place to stand
              Or a decent job or a helping hand
              Wherever somebody’s struggling to be free
              Look in their eyes, Ma, and you’ll see me”….

              shouldn’t be this hard, is all.

              1. JBird4049

                Good book, good book, depressing as all hell.

                I wish that I could add something profound to this, but really all I can say is that my family enjoyed the some of the same fun and excitement. It’s how we became Californians.

                A century or more of fighting, protesting, and trying, in several countries, and yet, for me, it feels like it is essentially the same now as it was then. Most of the family is doing just fine, just like in 1929. Will they fall onto the road just like my grand and great-grand parents, and if so, where will they end up?

                Just like then, you do everything right and still be homeless wanderers. You can be upright and hardworking and still be disposable or even criminal.

                At least the British and American leadership could see what was going to happen back then, and did something not only real, but effective about it. Today’s leadership is living in a dreamworld, adrift in the air, no base, no foundation, nothing real and solid, just smoke bubbles. If they were not taking the rest of us with them, I could pity them.

  4. fresno dan

    Matt Taibbii
    During the Bush years, when the NSA spying on civilians and/or the press and leaking intercepts for political gain would have had you out on the streets? But now you’re fine with it.
    Dress up all these Dick Cheney policies in blue and everyone’s happy.
    At least I’m consistent.
    Intellectual honesty went the way of the Dodo. The partisan press’s present job seems to be defending its party’s most indefensible statements, actions, and policies. Considering how twisted, stretched, and tortuous most partisan reporting is, it is incredible that anyone other than Gumby can do it…

    1. George Phillies

      And there is a result. Fewer and fewer people, it seems, believe what the press is claiming.

      1. lordkoos

        A population that does not know what to believe is in a dangerous place, and can be more easily led one direction or another. If we ever get a presidential candidate who has real charisma all bets are off…

    1. zagonostra

      Do you really think that thebanter link you provided is justified in saying:

      Taibbi’s transformation in recent years into a mouth piece for right wing propaganda has now resulted in him going to bat for America’s most prominent White Supremacist propagandist, Tucker Carlson.

      Is that what he is doing? Isn’t it rather that what some call the “Sh&t Libs” are disingenuous, mendacious, and only interested in maintaining their power and access to the money spigot and don’t give a rat’s arse for the principles they purport to “champion?” Think what you want of Tucker but at least he has people on who disagree with him, like Greenwald and Jimmy Dore.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          It’s a form of power. They just aren’t more ambitious than getting a tee time at a private golf course. They’ll kill for that, but it’s the limit of their dreams. Obama only saw the White House as a means to getting a Netflix deal and prime tee off times. Biden wants to be FDR, but Obama had a choice where he could still get all of his wishes and leave behind a legacy where everyone wants to be Obama.

          1. Kurtismayfield

            The all want to be earls and barons.. landed minor aristocrats who have zero power or responsibility, but have an air of privilege around them. Frank Herbert was too correct about Liberals.

          2. jsn

            “Biden wants to be FDR” for a day.

            So far some short term relief for the poor, but where’s that $600? And no institutional change, not even minor.

            If he doesn’t do something beyond the lame infrastructure bill in reconciliation we’ll be getting two years of gridlock in logarithmically progressing collapse next year.

            1. Oh

              Biden and his administration seem to think that the $600 is his own money. He can pretend to be FDR but he never will be.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        i couldn’t access the offending Matt article, but this from him is almost exactly where i’m at, and have been:

        being surrounded by one’s “enemies” for all one’s life lends itself to this view, i guess.
        I’ll always hate the extreme right, and the Klan, and the most hateful righty preacher types….but i also hate what everybody insists on calling “the Left”…ie: clinton/obama/biden/etc…for all their sins and assholery, too.
        the problem is, that the vast majority just doesn’t do politics…most people are indifferent, while occasionally taking notice if some issue strikes close to home…or if the Yellers on either side make it appear that way.
        this last phenomenon is the real problem…both at my granular scale of feedstores and streetcorners, as well as at the more broad twituniverse level: people can be swayed….the right pioneered the loudmouth yelling and swaying public opinion…think Rush Limburg, now in hell.
        but the “left”…really the Corporate Center…has come up from behind.
        the difference is that the right made policy happen that way…bad policy, but still…while the “left” uses it to stall and do nothing.
        but…as i’ve said repeatedly, if you ignore the local party true believers and focus on the run of the mill human…and, preferably, separate them from the herd and the noise…they turn out to be reasonable and relatively sane about big important things.
        and if they trust you, they can be brought around, given sufficient time and patient work.
        but that’s not in the interests of the PTB, so it won’t happen on any meaningful scale.

      2. QuicksilverMessenger

        At any rate, the writer needs an editor or a copy of a good grammar book. He missed the gerund and says ‘him going’ where it should be ‘his going’. Probably went to an Ivy League school.

        1. Oh

          Doncha know that the current fashionable elite talk is to say “him and his wife” rather than ‘he and his wife’? It just makes me wanna puke when I hear that kind of usage.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            “where wine is a pleasure, not a party”
            hill country winery, i forget which.
            smacked of holier than thou.
            i suppressed an urge to burn the billboard down, every time i passed it.
            would have taken a foundry, of course.

            take Prince….who convinced the whole frakking world to refer to him as ” the artist formerly known as Prince”….
            for years!!…because he renamed himself some unpronounceable glyph,lol.
            that’s both a demonstration of Power, as well as a demonstration of how frelling gullible we are , as a species.
            “him who has ears to hear…”, and whatnot.

    2. cocomaan

      It apparently hasn’t occurred to Taibbi that Greenwald and Dore are now so notorious for spreading right wing disinformation that no reputable news outlet would risk their reputation having them on.

      MSNBC is not reputable for having John Brennan as a paid contributor. He’s a spook whose job is to lie with every word that comes out of his mouth.

      1. Nikkikat

        What sort of right wing stuff do they spread? I’m not seeing the same thing so curious where I miss the boat.

        1. Dr. John Carpenter

          I’m assuming he means that they don’t spread the left wing disinformation and, in fact, criticize it. It’s the binary “if you’re not a Democrat, you’re a Republican” thing.

          1. Aumua

            Yeah, and since Democrats and Republicans are both right wing, that makes things doubly confusing.

            1. JBird4049

              If I am neither, does that make me a lefty?

              More seriously, it is a problem that most Americans believe that the Democratic Party is a leftist party when they are center-right, and that the Republicans are just conservatives, when they are likely crazy and certainly fascists.

              1. Aumua

                I mean as far as the left right dichotomy goes… if by this time you’re not somewhat far to the left at least in spirit, then you’re pretty much f’d in the head. Just my opinion of course.

    3. Aumua

      There are so many bad takes and misdirected criticisms of Taibbi (usually from the kind of people who wholeheartedly accept Russiagate) floating around that it’s become difficult to level any potentially legitimate criticism (see for reference this BSA thread about red/brown alliances) at the guy without being reflexively tossed into the same bin as the “sh!tlibs”, if you will. I find that I have this issue often, for instance 90% of my posts here that are critical in any way of the holy trinity of Taibbi, Greenwald and/or Johnstone get unceremoniously tossed toot sweet. I’m not complaining. I’m just saying. I get it. These are some of the only journalists around who are telling any part of the truth these days.

      But I despair that the truth may simply not be able to be told right now, about this and many other things. There are too many layers of b.s. piled onto it from too many angles. It’s too much to ask people to try and sort through it. So we get i.e. “pro Taibbi” or “anti-Taibbi” as our choices, and neither one is very satisfying to me as a truth seeker.

      1. Temporarily Sane

        The political right in the US has had a lot of success convincing disgruntled left wingers and former Democratic Party supporters that only “the left” does propaganda and has a nefarious agenda.

        The “populist” right, in this view, is the plucky underdog that speaks common sense to liberal insanity.

        Hence the many commentators here and elsewhere who are very very sensitive about any criticism whatsoever directed at Trump, Carlson and the “populist” right wing side of the duopoly’s clown show. Note how often their response to legit criticism of their new heroes is a variation of “yeah but so did Obama/the Democrats.”

        For whatever reason people like to to pick sides and many disgruntled Dems tacitly, if not explicitly, support the Trumpian right. Relatively few people call out both sides for their propaganda and nefarious policies.

        Trump and the clowns on the “populist” right get way way more credit than they deserve. If you think they are victimized underdogs who would never spread misinformation or lie or consciously manipulate their audience, congratulations you’ve bought into their propaganda line.

        Greenwald and Taibbi are entrepreneurs who provide a product to their Substack customers. A good potion of their audience is on the political right, hence they cater to that demographic. It’s neoliberalism 101.

        Pretty much every left wing YouTuber, blogger or podcaster who also has a significant right wing following and whose primary income comes from ad revenue and/or selling subscriptions panders to their right wing fans. Some do this more than others. With Taibbi and Greenwald it’s very obvious even though a lot of people are in denial about it.

        Politics in the algorithmic era is completely debased and dysfunctional and has more in common with sports than with anything resembling effective political action . Punters seek out opinions they agree with and then defend their chosen “team” come hell or high water. Each “team” thinks they are on the right side of history and common sense and that the other guys are all insane, dangerous and beyond the pale.

        Team members are very good at picking out and challenging the opposing team’s propaganda, but are often in serious denial about their own susceptibility to propaganda coming from their side.

        Even very smart, very educated people who delve deeply into emotion-driven online politics can lose their sense of perspective and fall victim to the algorithmic echo chamber.

        Driving much of this insanity is a media, both legacy and alt, left and right, that traffics in sensationalist clickbait and knowingly confuses its audience with contradictory headlines, misleading claims, creative wording etc. etc. Oh yeah, and don’t forget the overwrought moralizing and lecturing.

        So we live in a society that claims to be all about freedom and liberty but where psyop level manipulation of the public on a massive scale by the media, tech companies, think tanks and political parties is normal and even accepted.

        In a genuinely free society none of these entities would be permitted to mindfark the public like this. Of course that would require a competent state that the public trusted to act on its behalf.

        As it stands, every issue, whether trivial or important, is politicized with the media and state/private influence operations piling in to tell the faithful what to believe. If team A says x, Team B will say the opposite. (Or say the same thing using different words while claiming to be saying something different.)

        It will keep getting crazier until the internet explodes, a massive EMP takes down all electronic communication systems or the tech/media post-industrial complex is forced to abide by pro-social rules that make a functioning society possible again.

        1. Aumua

          This post speaks to one of the central issues here and something that has been brewing in my mind for a bit, which is free speech. We certainly hear a lot of yelling about it these days. I actually have mixed feelings about this. Yes, freedom of speech and/or expression is very important to a free society. It’s one of the central founding principles of the United States. It’s in the first freaking amendment of our constitution. Censorship is bad and wrong. Ok, I get that. But on the other hand, when that constitution was made we didn’t have the mass media – the ability to control people’s opinions on a mass scale – to manufacture consent, and also other things. To manufacture non-consent, outrage and all manner of confusion. To distort and destroy the very meaning of words, and actually warp the human psyche on a mass scale.

          Freedom is great and everything, but it has to balanced by responsibility or we might just freedom ourselves right out of existence. We’ve seen this principle in action with the pandemic, and the attitudes of many that their freedom to freely infect others with a deadly disease is paramount. I’m sure that attitude is for the most part rightly condemned around here. So where is the social responsibility of these media personalities, these talking heads? Where is the accountability for the damage they are doing with their lies and spins and agendas? And it’s not just the Tuckers and the Hannitys I’m talking about here, but that type is particularly egregious in my opinion, and when they try to play the victim it’s just like … really? It definitely rubs me the the wrong way and there’s a part of me that would love to see them not only pulled off the air, but locked up for what they do! They know it too, man. They play innocent and like they are simply trying to help but they know exactly what they are doing, pushing people and society over the edge, and they don’t care. When will they finally be held responsible for their actions?

          But even though part of me feels that way… I don’t actually want to see that happen, because its the slippery slope and all of that. We have to at least try to be tolerant of the intolerant and intolerable, or else we’re no better than they are. You can’t make people behave the way you think they should, even if they are racist or whatever. It’s not just them either, it’s the Maddows and the smarmy MSN hosts too. And I’m not even getting into these social media platforms and the role they play on both sides of this issue. It’s just seems so out of control, like the memes have taken on a life of their own and are now shaping reality. I don’t have any easy answers. Thanks for listening to my ted talk.

      2. wilroncanada

        I could repeat my comment from above, regarding Harry/Megan, just about word-for-word about this pro/anti Taibbi, or Greenwald, molehill mountain. Nitpick, nitpick, nitpick on every side. Distractions, distractions, distractions! i think now I’m going be missing links, to spend my time more fruitfully. Maybe by picking fruit.

        1. Lambert Strether

          As somebody who reads a lot of media across a broad spectrum of views and venues, I can say that none of the critics are fit to carry Greenwald or Taibbi’s jockstrap, either as reporters or commentators, or, for Greenwald, from the standpoint of impact (Snowden; Bolsonaro) or personal courage (a requirement for armed guards so he and his family don’t get whacked).

          “Banter media”? Really? This doesn’t mean I agree with everything either writes, or that I’m on their team. But holy Lord, what a chorus of shrill voices, petty minds, and institutionalist bootlickers.

          The dogs bark, and the caravan moves on.

    4. PHLDenizen

      One of the few things I often do when encountering a piece such as this is track down biographical information on the writer. In this case, I found the following self-confessed nuggets interesting.

      Per LinkedIn:

      My goal is grow my business, further my skills as an online media innovator and editor, and to continue to write about the subjects I am passionate about.

      Assuming his aspirations are property ordered by importance in that sentence, his primary objectives are growing a business and brand. No indication what that brand is, so it leaves room to assume naked opportunism. So ideoflexible. Dems are in power and the well-paying media gigs are carrying water for them. Embryonic grifter?

      More from LinkedIn:

      Specialties: Business development, Online Media, Writing, Editing, Content Strategy

      Apparently none of his strategies are reporting or journalism. Just content generation. The only specifics tied to his “reporting” career are centered around kickboxing and martial arts. Nothing about politics, despite having a Politics and International Relations degree from University of Sussex. Although I imagine those credentials position him well for acceptance into the DC bubble.

      From his Twitter:

      Martial Artist, wannabe media mogul. Always down for a cheeky snifter.

      Loves hitting people and has dreams of being a Murdoch, I guess.

      Why he left Twitter:

      Like addicted gamblers, Twitter users will get sick, and they will suffer the consequences of their compulsion.

      This aligns with clickbait, outrage, confirmation bias content generation without any desire or capacity to write as thoughtfully as Matt or Glenn.

      1. Basil Pesto

        nice bit of digging. Sounds like a non-entity, which chimes with his disingenuous criticism.

  5. Robert Hahl

    Re: Billionaires in space

    What you earthbound mortals don’t seem to get is that any pilot, man, woman or bird, would like to fly higher and faster if possible. As for the danger, picture yourself at the head of the runway on your first solo, wondering if you really can do this alone, and then deciding to go for it. Nobody ever forgets that flight.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Yeah, but it has been over sixty years since Yuri Gagarin did what Jeff Bezos wants to do and even Richard Branson’s flight was like John Glenn’s 1962 cannonball flight. It is part stunt on their part but works towards their idea that they want to have a chokehold on getting into space from the Earth’s surface – and charge accordingly. Another commons that the billionaires want to claim for themselves.

        1. Paradan

          So the video I just watched cut out the important part. After the booster separates and the capsule is reaching its apex. It maxed out at ~1800 mph, which means it wont* get going much faster than that on the way down, it probably didn’t even break Mach 3. No plasma sheath, etc. They mention a 5g decel but all footage is of the booster landing and then suddenly the capsule is at 8000 ft.

        2. Nikkikat

          Oh damn, I had hoped it would NOT return to earth and that DR EVIL would be spun off to the outer reaches of the universe……too bad.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        This all has Russian 90’s space tourism vibes. It’s probably why Biden is railing against communism. He meets to complain about something and go back to the glory days which are the 80’s apparently.

        The worst part is Bezos is making Musk look saner.

      2. vlade

        Ugh. Since when is space-flight a commons? Access to space, another thing.

        TBH, if Bezos/Musk/whoever came up with a sci-fi technology that would allow them to get people to Mars, and they really started to colonise it, the govts would be pretty much powerless. They could sue them on the Earth, and take their property here (well, maybe, we know how it works), but what would they do, send army to Mars?

        That’s the problem with all those grandiose claims that XYZ belongs to all humans. Unless we’d have United Nations of Earth or similar, it will belong to whoever gets there firstest with the mostest.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Since when is space-flight a commons? I recognize what Musk, Branson & Bezos are doing. It is the Concorde all over again. A craft that was basically paid for by tax-payers but used by the wealthy, celebrities and government officials. So space flight will become one more tick box-to be checked off by the wealthy in the exact same way that those people go to Mount Everest when all those resources could be better spent on, oh I don’t know, space exploration perhaps?

          1. vlade

            I do not disagree it’s not a better way to spend money. But, short of taxing all wealth, in which case the space-tourism industry would collapse anyways, the reallocation of the resources is insensitive to whether they use it to climb Mount Everest of fly with Bezos.

      3. Oh

        The reason Bezos and Branson want this is because they’re so arrogant. Nature will pay the back.

      4. drumlin woodchuckles

        Maybe the ChinaGov will bust that monopoly in due time. Maybe they will have a PartyState owned space flight service called Peoples Liberation Space Tours or some such thing.

      1. vlade

        I don’t like to call it theft. It implies the profits he’s making are leglly stolen. If they are illegal, they are illegal due to a monopoly position Amazon is in, which doesn’t make the profits illegal – he may have to pay fines etc..

        But the main point here is that calling it the wrong name allows to detract on HOW he built his empire, which is exploitation of anyone and anything he could come through. Which may not be illegal in many cases (to the extent that a court would accept), but is very very certainly immoral.

        Making immoral people our icons is way worse than making thiefs our icons. Most people will be happy to have Robin Hood as an icon – because, invented or not, he’s moral.

        1. Max "Toast the Most Ghosts" Stirner

          All profit is theft. He’s only rich because of the millions of people he’s cheated and exploited. That it’s legal is as irrelevant as slavery being legal.

          1. enoughisenough

            oh there’s wage theft, and LOTS of theft from the marketplace sellers involved. Tons of documentation on that. He’s a crook.

            Also money laundering, which is theft in that he’s not paying taxes he owes.

            1. enoughisenough

              also his worker’s injuries, illnesses, and deaths.

              So if that’s not also violence, what is?

              boycott Amazon

              1. ivoteno

                i wish i could do more. i have never used amazon. or walmart. i have downloaded one app in my decade+ of cellphone usage, and only because i was forced to do it for my job in the middle of the covid lockdown- in a more sane environment i would have quit instead. and i am still kind of salty about that imposition, even though it was rescinded after a month or so.

                i am an example of how acting alone does nothing to change the reality of what we are up against. and, yes, i won’t be going to work on 10/15, for what little that will achieve.

          2. Chris

            “Le secret des grandes fortunes sans cause apparente est un crime oublié, parce qu’il a été proprement fait.”
            (Behind every great fortune lies a great crime…)
            – Balzac

          3. drumlin woodchuckles

            If I am a single micro-mini-midget market gardener, and I sell my produce for more money than the amount of money I spent on the monetized-and-purchased component of my gardening inputs, did I make a “profit”? Or did I make “self-wages”?

            If I made a “profit”, was it theft? And if so, who from?

            1. ivoteno

              If I made a “profit”, was it theft? And if so, who from?

              monsanto and cargill, for starters. they “deserve” all the profits. because reasons.

        2. Oh

          Unchecked Capitalism leads to monopolies and monopolies lead to explotation; exploitation results in squeezing the poor to get rich and that’s what Bezos and his fellow billionaires have done.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            Part of a New Deal Restoration would involve taxing the Bezoform Fortunes down to near zero and spending that money back into society through various socially and people-ishly beneficial projects and pathways.

            And then preventing other such fortunes from re-arising.

            Ordered capitalism under law.

        3. cnchal

          Amazon’s warehouse employee turnover rate is 150% annually.

          Looked at differently, it is the same as Amazon churning through all their employees in eight months, and replacing them with new victims.

          Walmart, no angel and a merciless employer has a 44% turnover rate. How would customers react seeing a manager whip workers because they weren’t stocking shelves fast enough, yet are totally blind to the pain inflicted on victims of Bezos because it is hidden behind a brick wall?

          Watching journalists lick Bezos’ ass is sickening.

          Amazon shopper = whip cracking sadist

  6. SE

    I don’t love Fox, but honestly the back to work policy that CNN is calling hypocritical sounds sensible enough. My only complaint is that health screening should probably be tied to background rates around bout 4 months after vaccination, vaccinated people should do them to if there is a high background rate.

  7. Glossolalia

    Re: Keeping People Out of Jail Keeps People Out of Jail

    This is promising, but of course from a politician’s perspective all it takes to ruin your career is not prosecuting one low-level offender who then goes on to commit a serious crime.

  8. saywhat?

    re Creator of ‘Free-Range Kids’ updates call to give kids more independence.


    Good girls walk fast
    In groups of three
    Fast girls walk slow
    On side streets
    Sometimes the girls who walk alone
    Aren’t found for days or weeks

    On the busy boulevards
    Bad boys call you names
    And cruise you hard
    Bullies laugh and grin and beat
    Your soft skin against
    The cold concrete …
    from 3,000 Miles – Tracy Chapman [HQ]

    1. hunkerdown

      Yes, elites want you to fear life without them. Statecraft boils down to this object. Yes, Black communities have elites and they are every bit as parasitic and useless as white ones.

      I’ll pass on stranger danger, thanks. It’s a neoliberal scam.

      1. saywhat?

        I’ve seen the missing children posters at Walmart and while some may be custody battles between parents who love their children and thus discounted a bit, others cannot be.

        And it’s no wonder if poor minority communities are more victimized since our unjust economic system has ruled that their lives really don’t matter as much as those who are privileged and thus less effort is expended on protecting them.

        So I find Ms. Chapman’s song is entirely plausible and probably based on personal experience and personal knowledge of some victims.

        The song is an indictment of the US in that Ms. Chapman found it necessary to move 3000 miles away to England (?) to feel personally safe.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Covid: Boris Johnson resisted autumn lockdown as only over-80s dying – Dominic Cummings”

    What Cummings says tracks with what Boris himself said in public but Boris still wanted to have a get together with the Queen? How thick do you have to be to see that this is not a good idea. Can you imagine the headline?

    ‘Buckingham Palace regrets to announce the deaths of both Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip after fighting off Coronavirus for the past two weeks. The Government denies playing any part or responsibility in their unfortunate deaths or the other members of the Royal Family also falling sick. Prime Minister Boris Johnson remains unavailable for comment as he is still in intensive care at the moment but the Government maintains that his sickness was merely a coincidence.’

    1. flora

      erm… prince phillip died this April… so the headline would read Palace regrets to announce the death of Queen Elizabeth…

      1. The Rev Kev

        Cummings was talking about this happening at the start of the pandemic last year when Philip was still alive. Since both of them were in their mid to late 90s, their chances were probably not that good of surviving a bout with this virus in spite of having the best medical care in the world.

  10. KommieKat

    Re Masters degrees

    In my area another big factor driving the demand for Masters degrees is that it is pretty much impossible to get a college teaching job without at least a Masters degree. (Advancement in teaching for the primary and secondary public educational systems also needs a boost from acquiring a Masters degree.)

    This sort of credential-ism inhabits almost all programs in two-year colleges, even including specific career-oriented programs where one might naively think that workplace experience is the coin of the realm. Examples abound here, including web and mobile programming, Energy Management and Control Technology (HVAC on steroids), audio and video production and so on.

    These all involve substantial knowledge of specialized technology that is almost always gained much more from experience in the workplace than from graduate classrooms.

    So that costly degree turns out to be both a barrier and a meal-ticket. It absence blocks many qualified individuals who would love to try teaching say, web development part time at their local community college. They have zero incentive to spend the required money to get a degree largely useless in their day job.

    But a Masters can be a meal-ticket for others since merely holding the credential means you are “credentialed” to teach the relevant subjects even if you are otherwise poorly qualified with any sort of applied or real-world knowledge.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      i was a cook/chef for my whole working life(“chef” only after i got my own cafe, as in the old days)
      learned rather early on that when the boss would hire some well credentialed hotshot straight out of the culinary institutes of america(the other CIA), us non-credentialed mopes would be required to follow behind them and clean up their messes, keep them well away from the Line where all the important work happened, and generally cover for them until they got bored/felt creatively stifled, and left.
      the biggest problem was spending 20 minutes garnishing one plate, while the waitstaff glowered and one could hear the roar of impatient customers even over the kitchen noise.
      this was my first introduction to the ills of what we now call meritocracy, late 80’s/early 90’s.

    2. antidlc

      In my state, you cannot be a practicing speech pathologist without a Master’s degree.

      It is difficult to get a librarian job without an MLS.

      I have seen a lot of municipal job postings asking for an MPA. I don’t know about hiring practices for municipal jobs. Maybe they ask for an MPA, but will hire a qualified candidate who does not possess the graduate degree.

      I personally know of two people who had their rear ends saved because of a Master’s degree. One worked for a tech company notorious for firing older workers. He saw the writing on the wall. He had a Master’s degree which allowed him to get a university teaching job which he held until he retired.

      A friend stayed home to raise kids after working in the tech industry. After her divorce, she had been out of the tech industry so long that she really couldn’t expect to get employed in that industry. She went back to school, got an MPA, and is now working in city government.

      1. Lambert Strether

        > He had a Master’s degree which allowed him to get a university teaching job which he held until he retired.

        So you have to go into debt for a “safety net.” What a racket.

    3. Nce

      I was houseless and seasonally employed before I went back to college (for a voc cert, but after I was told by an instructor, “I don’t hire women in the field, only in the lab” I continued on, not knowing the light at the end of the tunnel was a train…) Sooo, I got a Masters in 2020 and I’m still houseless, unemployed, and deeply in debt. My degrees are worthless pieces of paper. Discrimination was worse in grad school. I threatened to sue, and for some reason the new provost greased the wheels to make graduation happen, but not before I took on about $175,000 in student loan debt. Yep, I only really learned about power and the PMC, unintentionally.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        i can at least offer room and board and sanctuary.
        in return for farm labor, of course.
        Lambert knows how to find me.
        been there, done that…except for all the degrees and such(never finished college…GED, etc)
        i need weeds pulled…not the squirrel planted pecan trees.
        discretion is a must!
        as is toleration of social nudity…cowboy pool is at the center of social life on my part of the place.
        comprehensive library, on-site.

    4. drumlin woodchuckles

      And of course the forced requirement of having a Masters is a meal ticket conveyor belt for the Masters-Granting Industrial Complex.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “Justice Department limits efforts to seize reporters’ phone, email records”

    There is a lot of meaning hidden in that word ‘limits’ here.

  12. PlutoniumKun

    EU blocks UK from joining cross-border civil court pact Jurist

    Looks a small issue from the outside, but this is part of the ongoing slow strangulation of the UK’s massive service sector. London has a very large and very lucrative international law business – its the city of choice for a wide range of international civil disputes. Paris, Valletta and Dublin (the latter two the only common law juristictions in the EU) are looking to grab a chunk.

    1. R

      Not so fast PK, my hunch is that it only affects enforcement against non-UK entities where London is the forum and insufficient UK situs assets exist. So the UK lawyers will write contracts under UK law justifiable in another state. Or possible write in enforcement clauses allowing enforcement to be brought in another stare (if that can be done). Complexity equals fees.

      The loser is the SME or private non-billionaire litigant.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Covid vaccine certificates to be compulsory for crowded venues in England”

    Johnson said: “Some of life’s most important pleasures and opportunities are likely to be increasingly dependent on vaccination.” I don’t know about you, but to me that sounds like he wants vaccination passports and unless you have one, you may as well be living in Gaza. But where he said “I should serve notice now that by the end of September, when all over-18s will have had their chance to be double-jabbed, we are planning to make full vaccination the condition of entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather.” that is well and truly shutting the barn door late. The night clubs just opened up and will continue so for the next two months he says. Great way to have herd-immunity that. I mentioned in a comment the other day a festival they had in the Netherlands. To get in, you had to be vaccinated or else had gotten over a bout with this virus. Some 20,000 attended over this two-day event and a fortnight later, about 1,000 of them were infected. So what does he think is happening in these night clubs now?

    1. Maritimer

      Having once been a teen in a State with a 21 year old drinking requirement, I well remember there were numerous ways around those drinking Mandates. I was always able to get booze and party one way or the other.

      And so it will be with Vaccine Passports, at least where getting stoned, having a good time and generally blowing off some testosterone are concerned. The young also have all the anti-social media at their disposal to organize their parties, raves and get-togethers. I imagine these also are a lot cheaper than spending dough in a licensed, heavily taxed nightclub or dance joint. This will encourage more illegal activity by the young, restless and disenfranchised:

      One is also reminded how very similar this is to the generally scorned and vilified Prohibition where folks were forbidden to suck up their booze. Massive lawlessness and disrespect for Government was the result.

  14. Henry Moon Pie

    Arctic strangeness–

    An oldie but a goodie:

    It’s nature’s way of telling you something’s wrong.
    It’s nature’s way of telling you in a song.
    It’s nature’s way of receiving you.
    It’s nature’s way of retrieving you.
    It’s nature’s way of telling you something’s wrong.

    It’s Nature’s Way” from “Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus” by Spirit

    We could surely use with some retrieving.

  15. Mikel

    “Global markets shaken by fears over Delta variant” FT

    So yesterday it was “Oh, no the Delta variant!”
    Today it is: “S&P to 4600 by the end of the year!”

    The only reality is that enough buyers are needed in order for insiders to sell as high as possible, so say whatever is necessary to get those buyers. Or say whatever is necessary to get those sellers when insiders have shorts or puts.

    1. Phillip Cross

      …or perhaps the only reality is that the financial press are a complete joke, and reading their drivel is not just pointless, but actually counter productive?

      (Rather like their cousins in every other genre of the modern media.)

      1. Temporarily Sane

        I agree with you 100%, Philip Cross.

        Taking the modern media too seriously or at face value inevitably leads to confusion and an extremely distorted view of the world.

    1. Krystyn Podgajski

      Oh, that is good to read. Seems even my friends are gaslighting me, like when I show them Jimmy Dore videos they just complain they he yells too much or is just being extreme for the views. Seems like you can only be performativly upset with how things are.

      1. Milton

        So extreme – M4A, Living wage, Affordable university, an accountable corporate and political class, a sceptical press, limited surveillance are positions JD “screams” about. It’s the so-called moderates in congress that are extreme as their positions are anathama to a well-functioning society.

        1. hunkerdown

          But societies’ function, qua societies, is to reproduce themselves. Insofar as they do so, they ARE well-functioning, and it is not relevant to that judgment whether the people are fit and healthy or wretched and lame. The non-partisan “moderates” could be said to do the evil but “necessary” work of statecraft that both establishment brands need.

      2. zagonostra

        Say what they will about Jimmy Dore, I get visceral pleasure out of seeing him dismember TYT and Ryan Grim and hoist them on their own petards. The “Useful Idiots” or “The Rising” (Saagar and Krystal), play it safe, Dore doesn’t.

        Watching Kyle Kulinski ratioed on his show where he was downplaying TYT’s egregious news
        malfeasance (rightly called out by Greenwald) on the recent Aaron Mate vs TYT spate was most satisfying.

        1. Nce

          Yeah, Dore doesn’t pretty up his presentation. Compare that with Grim, Kulanski, Ball, etc. Dore is sometimes cringe, but nothing like the before-mentioned when they use their PMC/expertise/educational status to strengthen their propaganda. I prefer dirtbag lefties any day.

        2. Grant

          Not to me. I think it is a bunch of hyped up drama between YouTube personalities while the country and ecosystems are falling apart. I would have some interest if the fight was over policy or strategy but it isn’t. Seems very similar to fans of talkers on the View taking a side when they snipe at each other. If you ask me, Dore and Cenk are both narcissists, many of Dore’s fans are obnoxious in how they communicate and debate (reminds me a lot of Rush’s dittoheads back in the day) and a lot of YouTube talkers that want to grow their audience are using this to help audiences grow.
          Seems to be for potential grifters what a light is for moths. Turns me off to them all.

          I would like to add that I greatly respect Greenwald for what he has done, but his class position is very obvious with what he focuses on and how he sees things. He acknowledged in his debate with Nathan Robinson that he is far removed from the struggles of regular, working class people, and so are the targets of many of his critiques. I respect him, like I said, for what he has done, and I still place some value in what he says, but when we talk about someone being on the left, economic class for some reason doesn’t often get focused on much. Not just the class of the person but also the class of the people that are impacted by the issues they focus on. For that reason, even among those with some money/fame, I place Cornell West, Noam Chomsky and Briahna Joy Grey in a different category than I would someone like Greenwald. Just my opinion.

          1. chuck roast

            Slag the self absorbed potty mouth Dore all you want , but when it came to The Squad he was spot on. They could have held out on a vote The Gelato Queen as House Speaker in order to get a vote on M4A, but they folded like an envelope. The Squalido…Dore challenged them and they quit. You can just drop this annoying reminder down the memory hole.

            1. Yves Smith

              “The Squad” is a media invention, a sort of progressive guilt by association. Women of color are all supposed to act the same just the way blacks are supposed to (that is why Obama was treated as progressive by default despite boatloads of evidence to the contrary). They never promoted this name, never said they’d act in concert. They come from different districts with different member priorities (did Omar do squat in getting Amazon out of Queens, for starters? And why should she?) So you are applauding Dore in promoting a straw man.

              1. Grant

                Thank you. I mean, with Dore, he seems to think of himself as one of the leaders in pushing for single payer. But, based on what exactly? During the last primary, there was one candidate (Bernie) that really supported single payer. Dore backed someone in Tulsi that didn’t, when she told him to his face he didn’t bat an eye and thereafter provided cover for her. His interview with the Boogaloo Boy was the topper for me. The dude admitted on air that he did no research prior to the interview on the group, had this co-hosts look the group up live on air. Read their chat logs, what many of them said about the left. Say anything you want about AOC, but is she less problematic than that group? Based on what logic?

                I, myself, do have organizing experience. Been the leader in two unions. What you realize when you have organizing experience is that you can like or not like how people respond to things, but you have to accept that. If people don’t respond to things as you think they should, do you want to be principled (for something relatively petty) and therefore ineffective, or do you want to reach people and get them on board? Dore acts like an idiot, narcist brute. Would people like dealing with someone like him in an activist group, in the office, in your family? Come on now. This isn’t PMC niceties, this is behavior that would turn off most people, and it speaks to his narcissism any way. HIs followers are also very much like Rush’s dittoheads back in the day. They just repeat his framing and phrases and don’t seem interested in having adult conversations and debates.

                I have no dog in the fight between YouTube personalities just like I could care less if the View hosts go at each other. Who cares? They are useful only to the extent that they help to realize long overdue changes, and this nonsense is a waste of time. I also find the other YouTube talkers that are glomming on to this as a means to build their audience to be pathetic. The world, the environment, our society is falling apart, and this is the nonsense these people spend time on? How is it not obvious that they just want more money, more fame. No thanks. If they don’t help to realize long overdue structural changes, educate others on important issues, they are worthless as far as I am concerned.

                1. Grant

                  I wasn’t the leader in two unions, I was one of the leaders in both unions, one of a number of people. Misspoke on that.

                2. Lambert Strether

                  > What you realize when you have organizing experience is that you can like or not like how people respond to things, but you have to accept that. If people don’t respond to things as you think they should, do you want to be principled (for something relatively petty) and therefore ineffective, or do you want to reach people and get them on board?

                  Bingo. I don’t need to have my views reinforced, I need my abilities broadened. New insight is part of that, empathy/organizing is another. Dore (and Cenk) do not seem to offer either. Taibbi/Greenwald/substack generally offer at least the former.

          2. Lambert Strether

            > I would like to add that I greatly respect Greenwald for what he has done, but his class position is very obvious with what he focuses on and how he sees things. He acknowledged in his debate with Nathan Robinson that he is far removed from the struggles of regular, working class people, and so are the targets of many of his critiques.

            I have to paraphrase Greenwald on this, it’s trapped on video somewhere, but I recall Greenwald saying that communication styles in intra-working class conversation were quite different from PMC styles, where to begin with “ballbusting” just isn’t a thing (hence lots of pearl-clutching when people’s identities are busted, etc.).

            1. Grant

              That is a good point, but I personally just find his way of communicating to be offputting. I have encountered personality types like him and being a self-centered narcissist, the second you disagree with or challenge them, their tone and body language changes, they become aggressive, etc. In my mind, the last people you want to give power to. With FTV, I thought it was a good idea, could have been used for single payer or a number of other issues. But, if you watch videos of Dore, he would be talking with people that generally agreed with him and he would get immediately aggressive if they didn’t agree with something. I have zero interest in PMC niceties and behavioral norms, but I also don’t like to be around people like him. My wife and I generally agree on politics but I would never act that way towards her if we disagreed on something, which we have. If he cared so much about single payer he would have acted differently and supported Bernie in the primary, as flawed as Bernie may be. But, his only value is contributing to long overdue changes we need. I think it is at least debatable that he is a net positive in that regard. Have been disappointed in TYT lately too. Have zero interest in their drama or anyone trying to grow their audience by feeding into it.

              1. Krystyn Podgajski

                You are talking about your preferences in people when the world is being destroyed by capitalism. Really?

                Why do people think their preference of communication should be the way everyone communicates? Dore has 870,000 followers and he is for Medicare for All. Why belittle that? I grew up in New York, and it is only when I am with someone from New York that my was of speaking changes.

                Most people do not realize that Dore almost died because of lack of health care from a pretty rare bone wasting disease. What I hear from him is passion and most people do not have that passion.

                What about Aaron Mate in all this as well? How about how he was treated by TYT and how Dore was the only one to defend him? Does a narcissist do that?

                People criticize me for being angry, like I am supposed to be ok with slowly dying because of capitalism. If someone is angry try not listening to the voice but what the person is trying to communicate.

                1. Yves Smith

                  The other point Grant made is regarding Dore trashing Sanders when Sanders was for single payer and the best shot at a winner backing that position. So how attached is Dore to universal health care really?

                2. Grant

                  You do realize that there are plenty of people on the right that support single payer, right? You can support single payer for non-ideological reasons. You could be against war and be a Ron Paul libertarian. Dore has been more open to working with Boogaloo Boys than AOC recently. He spends far more time attacking her and the most left politicians in this system (whatever you think of them) than he does the right. His audience is clearly pretty right wing (at least far more so than a lot of other YouTube talkers) and he is monetizing those attacks. He apparently is fine with Tucker Carlson but not AOC. Please, give me the logic. Go spin that however you want. I personally don’t like him and as I said, I think this nonsense is mostly worthless drama.

                  As I said above, I find his way of interacting with people to be off-putting and brutish. I think he did FTV no favors with his brute behavior. If you are in organizing, you can pretend that won’t be an issue, or you can be real and take that into account. What you think of it doesn’t matter, it is what it is, and I find him to be problematic for many reasons.

                  If he was so great on single payer, again, why did he spend the entire primary attacking Bernie when he was the only single payer candidate running? Why did he not bat an eye and why did he provide cover for Tulsi when she said she essentially favored a public option? Give me the logic, don’t pretend he didn’t.

                  I also have argued here and elsewhere that capitalism isn’t sustainable and have argued for more comprehensive economic planning to deal with that. I have worked on the issue myself as an activist and on policy.

                  “What about Aaron Mate in all this as well? How about how he was treated by TYT and how Dore was the only one to defend him? Does a narcissist do that?”

                  Come on now. Would a narcissist use the issue with Mate to support his personal beef with Cenk and TYT? Yes, a narcissist would do that, pretty obvious. I don’t like him personally. Since his audience is about .3% of the population, and since most other YouTube talkers have support from about the same amount of people (with a lot of crossover) why exactly do you care? It really doesn’t matter as much as the work we are doing on issues. I like Chomsky, you might not. Great, who cares? If you don’t like Chomsky, don’t use his work and look to others. If I think his way of communicating doesn’t work, maybe I think others (that are on the left) are better at pushing for changes I want to see. Why, again, do you care? Dore has critiqued Chomsky recently in ways I am critiquing him. So?

                  1. Krystyn Podgajski

                    ” Dore has been more open to working with Boogaloo Boys than AOC recently.”

                    This is outrageous and such an exaggeration I would call it a smear.

                    He supported AOC all through her campaign and she had so much support from his show. Many other candidates went on his show but she never did. And now look at her, doing nothing.

                    He invited ONE boogalo boy on ONCE who clearly showed how they were with BLM etc. Did you even watch that episode?

                    You are just repeating all the smears of him, like “he did not support Bernie through the campaign”. He supported him fully during the primaries until he rolled over and killed “Our Revolution”.

  16. Krystyn Podgajski

    RE: “‘Facebook isn’t killing people’ — Biden walks back attack over vaccine lies”

    So he is taking the line from the the gun lobby saying “Facebook doesn’t kill people, people do.”? So now we know what his stance is on reigning in big tech.

    By the way, there is another divide growing that is splitting friends apart. But this time it is progressives against Bidenism.

  17. Josef K

    I’ll be a killjoy re the national park photos because a number of them are over-saturated. Not as bad as the current “instagram standard,” which is becoming the norm in advertising, and increasingly for any photographic representation. I’m starting to wonder if our visual cortex is becoming so numbed to images that only photos with the saturation turned up to 11 will make an impact on it.

    Most of the ones in the article are just a little rich, but not over done. The one of Acadia NP is a good example of instagram-level over-saturation. Those of Utah (Bryce Canyon, etc) were likely just filtered to the red, the Carlsbad Cavern was shot in sulphur lighting or with a yellow filter (or added in photoshop). The Congaree one green-filtered, the Crater Lake one a hint of blue-filtering. Old school photo manipulation to enhance the dominant hue. But this latest trend of over-saturating every tone is just tiring and offensive (to anyone with a modicum of good taste, I will submit).

    I’ve been to most of the places in the western US, and can attest they’re very visually stimulating even to the bare eye.

    It’s interesting that photography as a representation of reality seems to be no longer enough, and it further seems analogous to redlining or brickwalling in music production, the shouting and mudslinging that stands in for debate, over-salted and spiced food; stimulation of our senses is becoming overkill in every way. Reality no longer satisfies, only a silicone- and collagen-enhanced version of it.

    André Gregory’s proclamations about our “numbing down” are proving prescient.

    PS A broader point about how “significant enough to be a National Park” means “photogenic enough,” not “ecologically important” or “especially spiritually uplifting,” etc shows that our relationship to nature is mostly regarding those aspects with visual appeal.

    1. Basil Pesto

      I agree with your criticisms about the oversaturation, which also seems to be a byproduct of the push for ‘high dynamic range’ technology in stills photography (an undeniably useful technology up to a point). It is yuck. On the other hand, I disagree with:

      It’s interesting that photography as a representation of reality seems to be no longer enough, and it further seems analogous to redlining or brickwalling in music production, the shouting and mudslinging that stands in for debate, over-salted and spiced food; stimulation of our senses is becoming overkill in every way. Reality no longer satisfies, only a silicone- and collagen-enhanced version of it.

      This putative ideal of photography as a mere representation of reality is not only, in the first place, impossible, but if it were realised, or thought of as the apotheosis of the medium to be realised, it would be stultifyingly boring, reducing all photography to mere photojournalism. How pointless.

      It’s worth pointing out that Ansel Adams’ photos from the national parks were heavily processed (and no, I don’t just mean the lack of colour) – I once saw an exhibition of his work that showed some of his detailed development notes.

      1. Brunches with Cats

        This putative ideal of photography as a mere representation of reality is not only, in the first place, impossible, but if it were realised, or thought of as the apotheosis of the medium to be realised, it would be stultifyingly boring, reducing all photography to mere photojournalism.

        THANK YOU! I am so tired of hearing that a photo isn’t legit if you’ve cropped or digitally altered it. I’ve contributed a few plantidotes over the years, and with rare exception, they are cropped and corrected for color and light in Photoshop. Photos from my old digital camera consistently came out too blue. How is that an accurate representation of reality, and how is correcting for color and light “dishonest?” Moreover, since our monitors have variable color and light calibration, we don’t even know if we’re seeing what the photographer produced.

        As for photojournalism, even that form of photography is “processed.” I majored in journalism in college and took three semesters of photojournalism, back when there were no digital cameras and you developed your work in a dark room. The burning and dodging tools in Photoshop are simply digital versions of the actual physical tools we used to correct areas of a photo. I still remember shooting a photo of a canine squad officer with a big German Shepherd during a manhunt for an escaped prison inmate. The dog’s face came out completely black, with no visible features. I developed it several times, using different paper and exposure values, and if the dog’s face was visible, the rest of the photo was overexposed. The dodging tool did the trick (although when the photo appeared in newspapers, it was apparent that I overdid it!). You get the point, though.

        I didn’t know that about Ansel Adams, so thanks for that, too.

      2. Josef K

        BP, to your point about Ansel Adams and processing in general: absolutely. I’m not advocating only “mere representation” (but what if I were, there’s an argument to be made either way). In any case, I think my analogies are relevant in that in all of these processes (photography, music, even food–not gourmet, every day food for most peopel) it seems the current guiding principle is the crudest: more is better.

        Or maybe might makes right!

      3. Josef K

        Addendum: AA’s photographs are certainly art, the enhancements he did (which indeed were at times pretty extensive) in the developing process had/have artistic quality and meaning. OTOH, “instagram” photography has essentially one crude process: max out saturation.
        It’s like black-light velvet paintings. Or the Michelin Man gym-enhanced physique vs. an athlete’s body honed through training. Or figures exxagerated to a ridiculous degree by silicone and whatever else people are pumping into their bodies these days vs. natural beauty. And so on.

        Some may consider them similar, or even similacra, whereas to me there’s little relation at all. More is often not mo’ betta’.

        1. enoughisenough

          There are different schools of thought, and different styles of photography. Not everyone has to adhere to the F64 purist school, though I like that myself, along with other styles, too.

          It’s like any other art form. Take pop music. There are purists, and there are artists like ELO, Abba, art rockers, who some would consider overproduced – if you can’t replicate the studio version live, for instance, without using a pre-recorded playback.

          Let a 1000 flowers bloom. Certain techniques may not work in some cases, but that doesn’t mean the technique itself is wrong or bad.

        2. Lambert Strether

          > It’s like black-light velvet paintings.

          “Personally I like my photography straight, unmanipulated, devoid of all tricks; a print not looking like anything but a photograph, living through its own inherent qualities and revealing its own spirit.” –Alfred Stieglitz

          There seems to be some controversy over the limits of “unmanipulated”… I find the Instagram mode repellent because I don’t like to be hit over the head; and it’s the same with a lot of photo-journalism. “Stop tugging at my heart-strings!”

          However, “not looking like anything but a photograph” rings true, but even then there is “photo-realism.” Oh, really?

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      This looks like a fun thread — so, just for fun. I did not look at the images in question. From your initial comment I get the impression you are really complaining about the style of photos currently characteristic of advertising and the “instagram standard”. I am totally out-of-touch as far as advertising or instagram, but with regard to such media … based on past exposures to it, I tend to agree with you wholeheartedly, sight-unseen.

      However, I would guess some of the photos of our national parks are intended for use in print media like glossy calendars or coffee table books. The different color standards and image qualities between computer displays and print media complicate matters. Images suitable for print media do not always look well on computer displays and vice versa. Image tweaking between different media is quite an art in-itself.

      I agree with Basil Pesto that photography is not mere representation of reality. A photographic image can be a work of art in every sense that a painting is a work of art. Only their tools differ. I agree with you that many images of can be “very visually stimulating even to the bare eye.” I would venture to say that many unvarnished images are “very visually stimulating” — even to my old cataract blurred eyes.

      I am surprised that no one questioned your notion that what you “see” is in some sense, ‘reality’. That is a very old question in philosophy. In our modern times the many different kinds of “eyes” viewing the world in so many different electromagnetic, and ‘other’ spectrums of sound, and particles, might raise a few conundrums in a notions of reality based on the notion that what you — a human– can see is what you get as ‘reality’. You do not need to read much Philip K. Dick or watch many recent movies to have second thoughts about that idea.

      1. juno mas

        Agreed. The photos were in a travel magazine piece. Likely intended to encourage travel (not artistic photo techniques).

        Personally, I enjoyed the photos because they triggered reminiscence of a lifetime visiting many of these national parks (all of them in the West, excluding Alaska).

        As Lambert encourages, get outdoors!

    3. Lambert Strether

      > I’m starting to wonder if our visual cortex is becoming so numbed to images that only photos with the saturation turned up to 11 will make an impact on it.

      It’s happening to me in Lightroom. “Oh, these are the colors I want to pop.”

      > A broader point about how “significant enough to be a National Park” means “photogenic enough,” not “ecologically important

      I have in fact been meditating on how photography would show systems — nothing so simple as a bear with a salmon in its mouth, but more subtle, with more “moving parts.” I’m not sure there’s a way in still photography. But time exposure is a gimmick…. Perhaps collage of some sort a la David Hockney’s polaroids, I don’t know.

    4. Stephen the tech critic

      While it wouldn’t surprise me if photography is trending in the direction of over-saturation these days, there is another possible explanation for these trends many may be observing: Your display device and its default settings.

      The gist is that newer phones and tablet use OLED displays that, as a feature, are capable of expressing more saturated colors than older displays can. This is a technology advancement, which ideally can increase the expressiveness and chromatic accuracy of photography.

      But! It comes with a big caveat, particularly for computers, phones, and tablets: The legacy content does not take advantage of this increased chroma. The old color profile standards (like sRGB for computers/Internet) cannot express these more saturated colors. For the movie industry, it was easy: make all the legacy equipment and media obsolete by re-colorizing thing (among other things) and releasing on the new 4k UHD format. That doesn’t work in the computer world, and in fact, outside of specialized software and maybe games, I don’t think anything computer-related is doing anything with color profiles beyond sRGB. There seems to be a massive coordination problem with introducing a new standard and getting everyone who produces content to understand the relevance of color profiles, label their media, etc. as needed. As for TV? I have no idea what’s going on in that world, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they’re largely sticking with the old profiles.

      So what’s a phone manufacturer to do? Everyone’s just gotta have the brighter, more saturated colors that those new OLED screens have. And so, in the particular case of my Google Pixel phone, they just scale the colors in the image to fit the wider profile, blowing up the saturation of everything on the screen. I have no idea if Apple does the same to their phones, but I don’t know how else they’d deal with the legacy content problem. If they don’t blow up all the images, then their fancy new OLED screens will look mostly like their “dull” predecessors. So when people upgrade to these screens, they are also upgrading to a more exaggerated version of the spectacle.

      If you’re an Android user, you can web search for the hidden android developer mode with the sRGB option. Switch on the sRGB profile, and you’ll notice that the images start to look a bit more… real.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        I’m no expert on the subject, but I’ve noticed that the latest iPhone produces much better, less saturated colours. A friend of mine is a keen amateur photographer, but she’s usually too lazy to take her proper cameras with her so has for years mostly used iPhones. There is a big difference between those she took with an iPhone7 (very oversaturated, I really disliked most pics with it, they had a false, digitized look to my eyes) with her current iPhone12pro. The latter is very impressive in difficult light conditions, I honestly can’t tell the difference between them and those from a conventional SLR or other specialist lens. I do like that they’ve lost that instagram oversaturated look – I don’t know if this was an accidental by-product of better cameras or a deliberate policy from Apple. Its possible of course that because I’m viewing them on older devices has an influence.

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