Links 10/31/2021

Happy Halloween!

How to throw a pagan Halloween party FT


WitchTok: the rise of the occult on social media has eerie parallels with the 16th century The Conversation

Paranormal Politics History Today


Smells like witch spirit: How the ancient world’s scented sorceresses influence ideas about magic today The Conversation

Inside the Alec Baldwin Shooting: A Dysfunctional Set and a Fatal Mistake WSJ

How Kolkata brought together branches of William Shakespeare and William Thackeray’s families Scroll

Spiders are much smarter than you think Ars Technica

Titian’s Royal Warnings American Conservative

Fossilized charcoal shows once-temperate Antarctica was often hit by wildfires WaPo


Inside a “Fake” Conference: A Journey Into Predatory Science Technology Networks


Andrew Cuomo deserves more than a single criminal complaint The Spectator

NYPD preparing for potential crush of retirements ahead of vaccine mandate NY Post

26K NYC workers remain unvaccinated after Friday deadline The Hill

NYC School Enrollment Down by 64,000 Since Pandemic Started The City

Supreme Court won’t block vaccine mandate for Maine health-care workers with religious objections WaPo

Can a pro-Covid vaccine, anti-mandate position help a Republican win in a Democratic state? Stat

COVID booster mandates? New Jersey hospital is among first for those who got J&J shots The News & Observer


‘Bereft’: How Operation Warp Speed’s decisions left the world waiting for a vaccinee Politico

Class Warfare

Bus Drivers Saga Lays Bare the Divide Between Unionized and Non-Unionized Public Sector Workers Capital & Main

L’affaire Jeffrey Epstein

Prince Andrew’s attorneys ask to dismiss US sex assault lawsuit saying it violates the terms of a settlement agreement CNN

Prince Andrew is accused of ‘victim shaming’ by branding Virginia Giuffre a publicity-hungry liar who made up her claims of sexual assault for a ‘payday’ Daily Mail

Julian Assange

WATCH: Hedges & Lauria on Assange Hearing Consortium News

A Brutal War Waged By a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Der Spiegel

Sudanese general ignored U.S. warning as army rolled out coup plan Reuters

COP26/Climate Change

What Big Oil Knew About Climate Change, in Its Own Words Counterpunch

Hitting 1.5C climate target ‘very, very tough’ – COP26 chief BBC

Time for action: Climate leaders call for world to finally face up to planetary crisis as Cop26 looms Independent

The Glasgow climate talks will fall short. Here are other ways to accelerate progress. MIT Technology Review

Glasgow Is Integrating its Public Transport System – for the Elite Only Tribune

Climate experts warn world leaders 1.5C is ‘real science’, not just talking point Guardian

Feral hogs are a problem for the climate, researcher says Yale Climate Connections

Fossil fuels doomed in New York as regulator blocks new gas power plants Ars Technica

How the Netherlands is turning its back on natural gas BBC


Let me at him, Trudeau! Boris looks as if he’s being held back by Canadian PM when he sees Macron at G20 – after vowing legal action over fisheries row as French fishermen call Brits ‘pirates’ Daily Mail

France and UK told: end dispute or you’ll wreck Cop26 summit Guardian

Berlin Hoping to Tighten the Reins on Social Media Giants Der Spiegel

Old Blighty

Why we must fight to save the NHS from privatisation New Statesman

Biden Administration

How ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ became code for insulting Joe Biden AP

Progressives fear compromise could jeopardize midterm hopes The Hill

‘They’re Doing a Bad Job’: Students Rally to Keep College Affordability in Biden’s Spending Deal Chronicle of Higher Education

A post-Trump test for Democrats looms in Virginia election AP

Minneapolis Set to Vote on Dissolving Police Department Truthout

Police Say Jiu-jitsu Can Make Them Less Violent During Arrests Marshall Project

The Demand for Money Behind Many Police Traffic Stops NYT

Our Famously Free Press

The Supremes

Supreme Court embarks on most dramatic reckoning for abortion rights in decades WaPo

Trump Transition

Trump looks to 2024, commanding a fundraising juggernaut, as he skirts social media bans WaPo


Russia urges Afghanistan’s neighbors not to welcome US forces Responsible Statecraft


Japan votes as ruling party seeks fresh start Agence France-Presse


Hypersonic ‘arms race risks military misstep’ from China, US and Russia South China Morning Post


Is Environment Ministry Miffed That Forest Conservation Act Isn’t Pro-profit?  The Wire

India’s Crackdown on Kashmir’s Journalists The Diplomat

Mohammed Shami And The Silence Of “New India” Mojo

Producing the Migrant Myth The India Forum

India among world’s hungriest despite record harvests Asia Times

Interview: India is disregarding its traditional water systems in favour of big infrastructure Scroll

The JFK Cover-Up Strikes Again Project Syndicate. James K. Galbraith.

Cuban exile told sons he trained Oswald, JFK’s accused assassin, at a secret CIA camp Miami Herald

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. none

    How ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ became code for insulting Joe Biden AP

    The old code involved asking how to tell whether the stage is level when Biden gives a speech. (Answer: he drools out of both sides of his mouth).

    1. Maritimer

      Delaware Creeper works for me; saw it here some time back.

      It is interesting how this MSM censorship and suppression seems to be backfiring. Brandon similar to horsepaste Rogan and how he fried CNN on that issue. He even pointed out how stupid they were to use such a tactic.

      1. Greg

        “Creeper” has the advantage of being a minecraft reference for the kids who just became old enough to vote.

  2. JMM

    What Big Oil Knew About Climate Change, in Its Own Words Counterpunch

    Link is missing an h at the beginning.

      1. BeliTsari

        Thank you for posting this, as I remember us discussing API’s Frank Ikard “time is running out” speech & Exxon’s VERY accurate prediction of our current atmospheric carbon (’78, published ~’82, if omitting methane?) A number of us had guessed the last several Democratic Primaries would consist of stomping-down effective remediation (as renewable, efficient, smart, resilient & regenerative equities values soared… right up until last January, for some reason?) Now, green-washing: geo-engineering, carbon sequestration, GE Monoculture, bridge-fuel, bio-mass and nuke bail-outs will suffice

  3. The Rev Kev

    Happy Halloween for all those in the far north. I understand that this year, that the Medico della Peste costume will once more be very popular to make the rounds of the neighbourhood with. And as a public service announcement, I thought to link to a clip for all those bored with carving pumpkins each year- (5:37 mins)

    1. Keith Newman

      Medico della peste: tonight I shall be welcoming Halloween children in my Medico della pesto costume and my wife with a gaudy Venetian carnaval mask!

  4. cocomaan

    My guess is that the Supreme Court is waiting on another case. Barrett and Kavanaugh rejected the Maine case based on it being an emergency shadow docket.

    From what I understand from my professional life, there are 21 states attorney generals preparing a suit against the mandate. If SCOTUS makes a ruling, it’s going to be on that, IMO.

  5. zagonostra

    >How ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ became code for insulting Joe Biden – AP

    The biggest difference, though, between the sentiments hurled at the Grover Clevelands of yore and modern politicians is the amplification they get on social media.

    AP gets it totally wrong. And that’s by design. It’s not the tacit coarse language of opprobrium that makes this unique or the emergence of social media, though the latter does amply its reach. It’s AP itself and the rest of MSM and the establishment that props them up. AP called the election for HRC in California before polls were closed in the 2016 election, the media tells us that what we are are seeing with our own eyes is false, what we hear with our own ears are “lets go Brandon”, and that JB is the most progressive Democrat since FDR.

    If you think this is about “America’s presidents having [to ]endured meanness for centuries” as AP tries to spin it, then you probably think Banksy is just graffiti.

    1. The Rev Kev

      ‘…is a nice attempt by the AP at spin/gaslighting/re-writing history’

      More so than you think. When you read that article, you see that they are trying to smear anybody that uses that ‘Let’s Go Barndon’ chant as a crass Republican or even a Trumpist. After the failures of the past few months, I suspect that a lot of Democrats and Progressives are using this chant as well.

      1. LawnDart

        Strange. AP is a Hearst family entity, and they strongly favor republican candidates, although Biden appeared to receive 3x the cash that Trump did in 2020 through an affiliate of this entity, glancing at the OpenSecrets database.

        Of course, electing Brandon did serve the press well: seeing how Trump’s name is still in the news every day, we add 2024 to the mix and you’ve kept eyeballs glued to the drama for more than a decade come 2028 (maybe longer, depending on Trump’s health).

        I actually might vote, vote in the national election next time, straight red just to help end the democrat party as we know it. (Checking, making sure my passport is still valid…)

        1. Michael McK

          You can help end the Dems without giving support to the party they have been following to the right for the last 40 years. Vote for any of the ignored candidates to the left of your Dem piece of work. If there is not one, run yourself. As long as people accept the duopoly we are doomed.

      2. Eloined

        Also no reflection on whether it’s more than a childish insult (political speech) directed at Biden, vs. a send-up of our infantilizing media now alarmed at cross-partisan leakage of double-plus-ungood words.

        1. Carolinian

          Right. It’s a childish insult of a president who likes to make childish insults. Perhaps they are responding to his form of “leadership.”

      3. Heidi’s Walker

        How could any discussion of “Let’s go Brandon” omit the fact that a rap song utilizing the phrase became the #1 download on iTunes? This also calls into the question the article’s premise that it is a right wing phenomenon. Seems the author is doing damage control not unlike the TV reporter who coined the phrase.

        1. LawnDart

          Probably should care who’s shouting it– it’s spread to what the dems thought were their base, and that makes it interesting.

          Could it be they’re sick of the BS?

      4. Jen

        On a phone call with a colleague of mine, who is in the upper echelon of the administratium in my “small liberal arts college,” finished his latest critique the college’s leadership with “Let’s go Brandon.”

        He is most certainly not a Trumpist or a Republican.

        1. Greg

          That’s really interesting – implies it’s morphing from a specific epithet aimed at Creepy Joe to a more general expression of exasperation with managerial authority figures.
          Which would also make sense in the light of the apparent spread beyond Republicans.

        2. VietnamVet

          This is my take. It is a chant against the misleadership class that can’t do anything right; the endless wars, pointless vaccine mandates, rigged elections and shortages of goods and workers. It expresses Americans counter contempt and laughter at the Elite without being too dangerous or censurable like “liberty, equality and fraternity or death”. But even this is too much for the self-entitled thin-skinned aristocracy to take.

    2. Mikel

      More interesting than the chant: a thinned skin establishment that shows how scared they are at the lack of legitimacy.

      I picked up these two gems of WTH in the article:

      “NASCAR and NBC have since taken steps to limit “ambient crowd noise” during interviews, but it was too late — the phrase already had taken off.”

      But now NBC has steps in place to make sure that, in live circumstances, you only hear what they want you to hear going forward.

      “Before the expansion of social media a few years ago, there wasn’t an easily accessible public forum to shout your nastiest and darkest public opinions,” said Matthew Delmont, a history professor at Dartmouth College.”

      The history professor doesn’t have access to newspapers or media from the past? They would put the most egregious crap in the opinion sections…sometimes not.

    3. ObjectiveFunction

      “The story I have just told you is filled with humor. When I have finished laughing at it, I will explain it to you, point by point.” [Ustinov’s German Diplomat 1960]

      ….Or as another meme (usually over a photo of Stalin or Mao) puts it: “Dark Humor is Like Food. Not Everybody Gets It.”

      And speaking of a cast iron ear for irony, hey Rachel M., subsitute your ethnic group for “Russians” in that CNN leader and alakazam! your transformation into a 19th century Okhrana-funded eliminationist and proto-fascist will be entirely complete!

  6. jr

    In the spirit of the day:

    Acclaimed documentarian Chris McGuinness presents a short film of his experiences with a haunted thrift shop. He came into the project skeptical of such matters and left mind blown wide open. He claims that there was a message left in a corrupted video file, he had a ghost pranking him by re-latching a bathroom door after he had un-latched it, and that he has captured on video a chair moving of it’s own accord. Here’s the description of the film:

    “Things that happened while making this film really happened. Our journey begins at a small unassuming Antique Shop in Marriottsville, MD, when a filmmaker purchases an antique item, and finds himself confronted by the idea of spirit attachments. Curiosity gets the better of him and he embarks on a journey to find out more about this shop and the people that surround it! This is a true and honest documentary, and what happens during the course of this film, really happened!”

    and here is McGuinness’s blog about the message he received:

    1. Helena

      I lived in Maryland for a long time, and it is haunted, including the house I bought where the owner had just died of a heart attack. Nothing more than annoying. The most haunted place I have ever been is Harper’s Ferry WV. Since it’s ok to talk about stuff like this on Halloween.

      1. jr

        Here’s a Halloween story for you. About two years ago, maybe more, a very close friend of my sister’s died after a long bout with cancer. They are part of a bigger circle of women who have known one another for decades and consider themselves sisters. They raise each other’s children.

        One of sis’s friends was recently missing the departed friend badly. She took a hike to a local lake, sat down, and meditated on her memories of her friend. She expressed how much she missed her.

        That night, the deceased came to her in a dream. Not like “Oh Sally was in my dream last night.” Rather, she appeared front and center, the same as in life but for the light streaming from her eyes.

        The vision told the dreamer that where she was, everything could be seen. However, everything flittered by at lightning speed. She also gave her dreaming friend some advice.

        She said you have to try to be in the moment as much as you can in your life. This was apparently delivered with some urgency. Prayer, meditation, reflection, whatever gets you there. The thing, of course, our current world does everything to distract us from.

        I believe all of this happened to the word. These women wouldn’t lie about something like this. What exactly took place is of course a mystery.

        1. Helena

          This is excellent advice! And I don’t doubt her experience. It reminds me of how things work in this book, if we only have the perception:

          I had a beloved Aunt who died of cancer. She had always encouraged my creative side when I was a child and shown me a lot of love. About a month after she passed away, I was in my early 30s, and I had a dream where I was knocking on the door of a small house, and she opened the door and invited me in–she was having a big party! I don’t remember anything else about it, except everyone was having a good time, and her lovely smile. I felt honored to be invited. I don’t doubt this either.

    1. newcatty

      A Halloween Poem

      The veils between the worlds are thin
      Be careful who one lets in.
      Discern the good from the stray
      As the night turns to day.
      Welcome the morning light
      As ravens take flight.
      What message do they bring you
      As they circle in your view?

  7. Ignacio

    I was wanting to learn the English name, hoopoe, for this nice and shy bird (abubilla in Spanish) not too frequent to find, neither rare, and always a nice surprise. They like old holmoaks here in Madrid to sleep and nest in the trunk holes.

    1. Kate Sims

      Like Fred Astaire, the hoopoe deserves a full-length portrait.
      The head shot does not do justice to its true weirdness.
      It looks like a design created by a committee of children!

    2. DJG, Reality Czar

      And in Aristophanes’ play The Birds, the hoopoe is the leader of the birds (who don’t have much use for human beings).

      I just ran across an old witchy blog post that lists all kinds of magic associated with the hoopoe. According to Alyne Pustario, expert on the occult: “The Egyptians held the hoopoe in high honor for its devotion to its parents, and for this reason made it the symbol of gratitude in their hieroglyphs and engraved it on the scepters of their rulers. One legend, c. 1100 B.C.E., describes the hoopoe as “plucking the feathers and licking the eyes of the old birds, and “the young warm them under their wings, and sit over them until they have grown young once more.” Leonardo da Vinci later confirmed this ancient observation when he noted in his Bestiary, “The young [hoopoe] build a nest for the parents, feed them, pluck out old feathers, and restore eyesight to their parents by licking and by means of an herb.” Because of this practice, the hoopoe became associated with the ability to restore youth and impart immortality on those found worthy.”

      1. QuicksilverMessenger

        In the Sufi poem “The Conference of the Birds” (circa 10th century) the hoopoe is considered the wisest of all the birds, messenger of the ‘invisible world’, knower of secret knowledge

    1. JohnnyGL

      The content we didn’t even know we wanted!

      This is the cherry on top of why we love NC and the NC community!

  8. The Rev Kev

    ‘COP26/Climate Change’

    I’ve read the Auguries for the COP26 Conference in Glasgow and it is not looking good. There is no sense of urgency which may explain why Russia and China decided to gave it a miss. Even the Queen is a no-show so it looks like nobody wants to be associated with this one. And Biden? To show his climate-change credentials, when Biden visited the Pope in Italy he used an 85-car motorcade to do so which is as tone deaf as it gets. Don’t know if all these cars will be flown on to Glasgow or not. Australia, as represented by Scotty from Marketing, will do its best to torpedo and obstruct any real changes as shown in this new Honest Government Ad- (3:48 mins) Swearing alert!

    It’s going to be worse than the Paris Agreement – and that was six years ago.

    1. Eustachedesaintpierre

      All Hallow’s Eve hasn’t been what it used to be in our household for a long while since when my daughter was a kid who would invite her friends around all dressed up like little witches. My part of festivities was the bodysnatcher game which entailed all going into the dining room, then before I entered the light would be switched off & i would arrive with a dodgy Fagan accent & bag of goodies which would be handed out in the dark to the kids who as witches would presumably find them useful – there were fingers ( sausages ), eye balls ( eggs ), teeth ( gravel ), tongues ( slices of spam ), an old wig, big dog bones & an anatomical model of a skull.

      It was always a bedlam of screaming & laughter with stuff flying all over the place. The first time I was worried that I had scared then too much, but whether I had or not it became the most anticipated part of the evening for 4 years running until the hormones really kicked in.

      1. jr

        My maternal grandparents had a little trick they liked to play on my cousin and I at random intervals. (They wouldn’t do so with my sister, the only girl.) My grandfather would hide in a small alcove after my grandmother had sent us to bed. As we went up the stairs to the attic-bedroom, the lights suddenly and strategically would go out by grandma’s hand and grandpa would lunge out and bear hug us. Wet myself good one time!

  9. MarkT

    Re “What Big Oil Knew About Climate Change …” and what it chose to do about it:

    Round up all oil executives who’ve engaged in deliberate misinformation and put them on trial for crimes against humanity.

    1. Helena

      I think the IRS should be able to seize all their assets for tax evasion and use those funds to mitigate climate change (and not by hiring PE firms). That’s how gangsters are nailed in this country, not for their actual crimes against people.

    2. Mikel

      Rounding up people based on “disinformation” will surely backfire.
      This country is too absolutely hysterical (and not in the comedic way) for such a thing to ever have the result you think it will.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Millions of Coaly Rollers have millions of guns and billions of rounds of ammunition.

    3. ArvidMartensen

      The people at the top in business and politics are sociopaths and psychopaths in the main. . The answer was put psychologists in charge, ie the problem that has no solution.

      So. We mostly have sociopathic looters in charge. Looting requires having no conscience, but good skills in machievellian tricks of every kind, back-room deals, labour exploitation, breaking laws and not getting caught, looting from the poor and sick and struggling, from government taxes etc.
      If looting has given the looters huge amounts of cash and power, why on earth would they stop doing what works?

      The real problem for the looters is stopping the scarily huge numbers of losers from realising that they are being left to die from heatstroke, poverty, lack of affordable or effective medical care, lack of food and shelter. Otherwise they might rise up and take all the riches (my precious) that the looters have hidden away.

      The answer from the looters is, of course, more trickery and soothing spin. Like big PR shows of COP-26. Or Covid PR shows. Or scare and hate campaigns via FB etc dividing people along racial, ethnic, political, gender, transgender, lines. Or electioneering PR shows promising MAGA or debt holidays or affordable health care etc.
      Over 30 years – Clinton. Bush. Obama. Trump. Biden – a relentless descent into poverty as more are homeless, hungry, die of preventable/treatable conditions, work into old old age.
      Once, the Germans used PR tricks to make Jews compliant and easy to lead to their deaths. One example –

      Those who have learned from history do very well thank you.

      1. MarkT

        Which is why the sociopaths and psychopaths need to be very strongly regulated. Many voices are currently needed to point out that oil executives have been actively undermining the scientific consensus on climate change for decades.

      2. MarkT

        Declaration of interest: I am a meteorologist. Short-term forecaster standing in solidarity with my climatologist colleagues == And before any of you go on about the accuracy of weather forecasts, take a step back and reflect what economic forecasting of any form has been able to achieve *wink*

    4. Armchair Philosopher at Large

      Lying is what Americans do best. Just look at our politicians, Main Stream Media, military, law enforcement, etc. If you start rounding up liars in the US there won’t be enough honest people to man the concentration camps.

  10. Helena

    Re: Meltdown
    I recall the alarm bells starting to go off back in around 2000 when Clinton had shredded Glass-Steagall on his way out the door. On Democracy Now and others of the ‘alternative press,’ and also WSJ. This is what lit a fire under me to get out of what would have been a really unpleasant outcome for me house-wise. I can’t believe Obama and all of the Dems did not know what was coming down the pike, if I had been able to figure it out.

    1. lance ringquist

      my post was taken down, at least for the time being, might be my fault. but i put up lots of stuff as to why we had the 2008 meltdown. its almost all traceable to nafta billy clintons disastrous polices.
      so sirota needs to bring many of his readers up to speed as to why there was a meltdown in the first place.
      of course you understand this.

    2. RepubAnon

      When the Republicans talked Bill Clinton into shredding Glass-Steagall, the repeat of the financial crisis triggered by Ronald Reagan’s deregulation of the Savings and Loan industry was inevitable. Deregulation disasters don’t happen right away – it takes a few years. (The so-called “Tiger Economies” show this – they deregulate the financial markets, speculators move in, suck out all the cash, and cash in before the collapse – leaving the taxpayers holding the bag.)

      George W Bush ignored the coming storm, because deregulation of industry (regardless of consequences) is a core Republican value*.

      President Obama’s big mistake was in listening to the “centrist” Democrats and bailing out the banks, but not the consumers. The reluctance of “centrist” Democrats to help anyone other than the political donor class helped elect Republicans, especially Donald Trump. We’re seeing this repeat with Manchin and Sinema, whose opposition to helping the middle class will ensure Republican victories in 2022 and 2024.

      * One exception: Republicans believe in strict regulations of people’s sex lives.

        1. pjay

          I had a similar reaction to “the Republicans talked Bill Clinton into shredding Glass-Steagall.” Poor clueless Bill. Letting those dastardly Republicans hoodwink him like that! If only Larry Summers would have warned him in time!

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Clinton was “talked into” shredding Glass-Steagall by “the Republicans” ?

        I, too, cannot stop laughing.

  11. lance ringquist

    the sirota article was good, but not good enough. why was there a financial meltdown in the first place was completely left out. to fix problems, you have to know what caused the problems.

    “The Clinton era epitomized the vast difference between appearance and reality, spin and actuality. As the decade drew to a close, Clinton basked in the glow of a lofty stock market, a budget surplus and the passage of this key banking “modernization.” It would be revealed in the 2000s that many corporate profits of the 1990s were based on inflated evaluations, manipulation and fraud. When Clinton left office, the gap between rich and poor was greater than it had been in 1992, and yet the Democrats heralded him as some sort of prosperity hero.”

    “the Cliintoons threw the working class under the bus and HRC blames her demise on the Russians. You can’t make this stuff up!

     not one of bill clintons polices that have completely ripped the fabric apart of americas civil society, our middle class, our sovereignty, and of course the constitution have been reversed.

     good luck trying to unseat trump, he can still run against clintonism, and win.

    as dean baker has said, the polices of bill clintons were deliberate, it was to drive down the wages of working americans, wall street and the chinese communist party raped america of its middle class jobs, homes, wealth and pensions.

     obama never reversed bill clintons disastrous policies, what obama did was bail out bill clintons disastrous polices, and americans know this.”

    “Bill Clinton, the founder of neoliberal “Vichy left”
    The man who sold Democratic Party to Wall Street and helped FIRE sector to convert the country into casino: clintons government has been known as the first kleptocratic regime in our nations history.”

    Perhaps one of the most interesting, if not frustrating parts of the rise of Trump is the inability to get Democrats to accept the idea that the economic policies of Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama set the stage for a man like Trump.

    it was bill clintons repeal of the new deal that led to the crash of 2008, and it was obama who bailed out those disastrous polices and cemented in a plutocracy: Obama didn’t prevent a depression. He prevented a New Deal.: A political system that pays no more than lip service to average people’s problems and works diligently instead at protecting — and growing — the wealth of the already wealthy.

    Through deregulation, financialization, globalization and the concentration of corporate power in the executive suites, Bill Clinton helped build this system of wealth concentration. Through bailouts of Wall Street Barack Obama restored it to power.

    clintons own advisors warned him a economic disaster would be the direct result of his free trade policies, he ignored them, and sold us out to the chinese communist party, and we reached that disaster by 2008.

    yep i agree, and the next one could be the real deal: Thomas Frank: Liberal Elites Will Create Conditions for Another Trump: the clintons were poison to the middle class and democracy

    the hysteria and the way that the sort of liberal elite of this country has reacted to Trump in the last 4 years is exactly analogous to the way conservative elites reacted against Bryan in 1896, and the way conservative elites reacted against Roosevelt in 1936

    thomas frank nails it, its the policies stupid: this disbelief that controls the Democrat Party is going to keep reproducing the conditions for the rise of a Trump.

    Trumps criticism of the trade agreements, for example, he’s right about that. That was a legitimate complaint. And the Democrats blow this off at their peril.

    face it, free traders have failed miserably time after time, they offer no credible alternative to what brad delong described as complete utter economics nonsense.

    Globalization has made the financial elite who donate to politicians very wealthy. But it has left millions of our workers with nothing but poverty and heartache. America became the world’s dominant economy by becoming the world’s dominant producer … creating the biggest middle class the world has ever known. But then America changed its policy. … We allowed foreign countries to subsidize their goods, devalue their currencies, violate their agreements, and cheat in every way imaginable

    1. anon y'mouse

      we’re doing a similar thing in the U.S., just pinching the nickels with food inflation, “food insecurity”, etc. while we export tons of foodstuffs around the world and use our food exports as a pressure valve on countries we have foreign policy -issues- with.

      just few are outright starving to death here. oh, plus the constant campaign about how fat everyone is, ridiculing people for even the food they do manage to buy and eat for themselves.

      irish famines, here we come!

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        The fatness itself is due to the ingestion of low-value subsidized high fructose corn syrup, ultra-processed corn-soy-starch-vegetable oil ” fuud analog produkt”.

        1. newcatty

          Agree. The desecration of food into “fuud” is criminal and one of the ultimate frauds upon people. Food deserts are not an hallucination for hungry people. It’s easy for some to say, I know that I have thought it, that it’s ok to blame the victims of “food insecurity” . They can buy bulk beans and rice, after all. They can buy fruits and vegetables instead of junk food. Well, I know that I don’t have to work long hours in low wage jobs and then have to deal with my exhaustion. So far, we can afford to buy organic and healthy foods. People are actually starving when defined as not getting actual nutrition from what they ingest. “Fuud” is a filler and that is about all.

        2. lance ringquist

          yep. in the early 1970’s soda pop was still sweetened with sugar, one bottle really quenched your thirst, and it was rare if you ever wanted a second bottle. then one day i drank a bottle, and it did not quench my thirst, it was sticky and overly sweet.
          i read the ingredients and said what is high fructose corn syrup? sugar no more.
          i watched friends become addicted to the stuff, mountain dew and pepsi seemed to be the worst. but HFCS found its way into everything, baked goods, cereals, you name it, it was there, even beer and booze.
          i really gained weight. never knew why, tried all sorts of ways to lose, could not.
          then in the mid to late 1990’s i got internet access. found search engines, and typed in everything listed on all sorts of foods i ate. and walla, i found out what HFCS, partial or fully hydrogenated oils, malto-dextrin and other fillers were, poison.
          they caused addictions because of the sweetness, they are artificial molecules that your body has a very hard time absorbing, so it builds up as fat in your body.
          i dumped them all and went from over 300 lbs, down to the weight i was at when i graduated from high school, 222 pounds in about two years.
          went from 3x shirts, to large shirts, went from 40 waist, to 34 waist.
          sounds like a lot, but i am built like a barrel.

      2. lance ringquist

        BINGO! russia had a poor harvest this year, so to make sure their own are fed first, they have put a export tariff on their wheat.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Police Say Jiu-jitsu Can Make Them Less Violent During Arrests”

    If they are also allowed to carry a bag of doggy-treats, will that mean they they will also not have to shoot so many pet dogs too? But seriously, aren’t they supposed to be taught unarmed combat skills when going through Police Academy? I would consider that a part of essential training that.

    1. V

      aren’t they supposed to be taught unarmed combat skills when going through Police Academy?

      Do all new cops get to be part of that movie? /s

      Sorry, couldn’t resist…

      1. Yves Smith

        I don’t believe they are. I’ve seen ex FBI personnel who were undercover state that they only had weapons training, which is not useful undercover. Can’t speak to cops.

        1. The Historian

          As a person who has been through a law enforcement academy and have children who also have been through those academies, the answer is yes, cops do get unarmed combat skills, but it is only for a couple of weeks at most. My particular instructors were trained by the RCMP and yes, I could take down a person who weighed three times as much as I did – I had to to pass the course. But this training is only a last resort tactic because it has several problems:
          1. It leaves you open to someone grabbing your gun, unless you are able to fight one handed.
          2. It is exhausting – you can keep it up only for a few minutes.
          3. Because it depends on surprise and hurt, ie., hitting the adams apple, groin, eyes, etc, it may not work on someone who is on drugs like PCP or even against someone who has military training and knows what you are trying to do.

          I don’t know any cops who would rather fight with someone if they don’t have to – which is why they depend on their guns first and use combat only as a last resort.

          I do think martial arts training would be a help to police officers and I know officers who do have martial arts skills – and it’s not the actual combat, it is the control training that you learn during those classes, plus the self confidence you learn and the ability to manage your fear.

          1. Greg

            it’s not the actual combat, it is the control training that you learn during those classes, plus the self confidence you learn and the ability to manage your fear.

            Excellent comment. This is a really good reason to teach martial arts to police officers.

            I’d add the minor caveat that it can’t be the “modern” anything-goes cage fighting “martial arts”. If they were being taught a martial art with the entire mindset that goes with it, then I could see that making a huge difference in how they behave when armed and on the street.

            1. skippy

              Martial arts today is more driven by UFC like dynamics and holds no attachment to the old zen aspect e.g. people push hard as individuals to make money for themselves in a survival of the fittest dynamic and enlightenment is having more than others or you’ve missed the life boat of your productive years and self retirement is a ….

    2. Mike

      Sam Harris has a good podcast interviewing one of the Gracie brothers who trains cops. The interview is a conflict of interest but one of the major points of the interview is that most cops who actually gets training (a lot don’t get anything after academy), most only get about 4 hours of hand to hand in a year. I think most people would agree that is not really training, training would look like something you do regularly. One of the Gracie brothers has set up a sort of franchise like system for BJJ schools to pursue police department training contracts. Basically they police tuned BJJ program. It seems reasonable to assume that a police officer who is well trained in take downs is probably safer for the assailant since the cop is less likely to resort to using a taser or even worse a gun.

      1. Michael McK

        I received MAB, Managing Assaultive Behavior, training to subdue hospitalized mentally ill people without hurting them. Half of the course was psychology and assessment but the physical training was intense enough that a participant in a later session broke her knee during training gone wrong. We were told all police receive it, though they may have meant all police in California. We also learned most police ignore it and I never felt well trained or practiced enough at taking people down (luckily I never needed to). The psychology and assessment training part has served me well and should be part of high school curricula.

        1. JP

          You can’t really just train for martial arts. You have to practice. A martial response almost always must be quick and instinctive. You can’t stop to think about your training. Instinctive movement depends on a kind of muscle memory reaction to a telegraphed intention or an opposing move. The reason police don’t do hand to hand is because it requires a certain amount of dedication and repetition to be effective. Dedicated police jog, which is kind of an empty aerobic exercise. It is well known if you want to hide from law enforcement just crawl under something. They don’t bend over. Now where did I put my gun?

      2. skippy

        I was around at the time when police forces were going down that road, late 70s and 80s, some were getting military grade instruction on dealing with combatants[tm] on post. The thing is they were not getting martial arts training per se, they were getting military grade force suppression training e.g. very psychological at the end of the day. Basically built on the military mindset about how a unit reconciles an enemy position after its been over run and how in that critical moment you handle the enemy survivors with total command dynamics to instill primal fear and as such compliance if they want to live a bit longer. The haste in this moment is all about securing the position for fear of a counter attack and the need to control it whilst switching gears from an offensive operation to a defensive one. So this was to be utilized on civilian populations for what ever reasons the brass had in their heads, ummm some early Nash, Von Newman, or McNamara overshoot?

        Best bit is I knew a high level martial arts Asian guy that bounced at the Red Onion bar/Mexican food place in Long Beach, instructed L.A. Cops and even got a gig in Mexico with the federal police. He once blew a guy three times his size across the dance floor after he started physically attacking some female, told never to do that again because the insurance company might not like it. Oh yeah I bounced for that mob too, boss in Hunington Bch was a good guy and ex Marine Gunny Sgt, never forget the time USC football team complained about me to him ….

        But yeah that was in the time of the Dirty Harry movies et al and look how far we’ve come … oh boy …

        1. skippy

          I should add this is where the knee to the neck came into the police tool kit as well as massive force dog piling too subdue combatants e.g. this is battlefield tactics where your opposite number wants to kill you and you have no other options than kill or render your opponent combat ineffective …. that’s not including the fog of war aspect or how it shapes ones mentality when putting on the uniform and clocking on for the job … not that it bleeds through some peoples off he clock time ….

          BTW those police getting military grade on post instruction were nick named bug eaters ….

          1. The Rev Kev

            It was never a good look how the American police were getting their training from the Israelis and the network of contacts between the two. Some people might suggest how the Israelis were treating the Palestinians was crossing over in that training to how American police were treating their own people. Maybe more so in cities like LA where the overwhelming majority of the LAPD live outside that city and come in to police the people there.

            1. skippy

              This was way before that Kev and I would suspect a bit of feed back between both camps and I am concerned about that dynamic.

            2. skippy

              Do your get the part where the recipients of this mentality don’t respond accordingly because they are not a solider on a battlefield … then things can go to heck for all involved – ????

            3. skippy

              Sorry but have to add that construct was not imported, strange sensations of a nudge to obfuscate. There is a very good reason that symbology exists and the ebb and flow throughout history, but in this instance its Pat Robinson during Rayguns tenure and how its played out to this day …

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      My son took some classes in Krav Maga. Many of the other students were police officers. I am not sure how many of those police officers were there on their own nickel. Most of the Krav Maga moves impressed me as fairly gruesome — the kind of moves no one should use except in the most extreme situations. Many of the Krav Maga moves were preemptive. Watching and listening to the instructor’s lessons, my take-away was: to avoid losing a fight that you could find no way to avoid — clearly identify the situation — strike first, strike hard, strike to injure, and then run. I do not know how that might translate into a policing situation. I suppose jiu-jitsu is a kinder, gentler martial art than Krav Maga.

      Jiu-jitsu is all well and good and Krav Maga or other martial arts are definitely preferable to a round or two from a Glock 22, but I also remember a conversation I had with an Army Ranger I worked with for a couple of weeks. He still went to the field on occasion for special assignments. I asked him about hand-to-hand. He told me that hand-to-hand training was primarily for confidence building. If you were on a mission, and lost your 9 mm or ran out of full clips, and found yourself down to hand-to-hand combat and trust to your knife — it was his opinion — that you were wading into some deep manure.

      I believe the heart of the problem comes down to whether our police enter a situation as if it were combat. I suppose there are indeed situations that are the same as or even more dangerous than combat. I also believe that most situations a police officer faces are of a different kind. I am not a police officer, and I have no experience of what they experience. But I believe police officers have far greater latitude to control a situation than my co-worker had when he executed an attack mission in a foreign country. I have not checked recently, but I recall reading that the most serious danger to police officers was high speed chase. I also recall reading the danger of being injured was greater for garbage collectors and Emergency Room nurses than for police officers. As I recall, the most dangerous job was working as a fisherman in the deep blue seas.

      Noting how poorly the police seem to have been trained at marksmanship — at least judging from incidents involving police shootings — I cannot imagine they are especially well-trained in martial arts.

      1. skippy

        RGR hand-to-hand in my day [late 70s] was better described as aggression training more so than confidence building. You had to take someone you knew and personally lived with and trash them, per se, a collar hip/over the back throw with a boot to the back. The training area was called the sawdust pits and even though I had years of previous martial arts training, including competitive level jujitsu, on one occasion an instructor took exception at my lack of aggression when conducting the throw as instructed.

        So to inform the group I was ordered to assume the position against him delivering the throw. Wellie he gave it everything he had and I hit fully extended hard on the sawdust, even though I knew how to fall with my arm making contact first out to my side, taking some energy out of it, and in the process of the throw he did an advance move of transferring collar control to one of my arms which enabled him to leverage me on to my side after hitting the ground and deliver a blow to my back rib cage with his jungle boot. So hitting hard already triggers a body response to exhale and the boot to the back drives everything else out – and then some. So without much further adieu I had the wind knocked out of me and then some. So considering the environment I was in, show no pain thingy, my mind was glitching, but held it together, and the next thing I knew he ordered me to recover and stand at attention, which I did, all whilst my body was sending all kinds of signals to my brain, especially the breath one. Somehow I maintained proper RGR discipline and regained composure without breaking form.

        Anywho you should have seen everyone flogging each other after that … chortle …

        Maybe this is one of the reasons why roommates that don’t pull their weight miss company formation in the morning and when your SSG can’t find you, but notices eyeballs in formation looking across the road and at the barracks looks over to find that someone a few stories up hanging out a window in a mummy sleeping upside down bag tied to a bunk inside.

        But yeah … In RGR et al world if your fighting with your hands your in fat tail land and risk has just inverted and gone exponential.

        Oh and did I mention in that day the divorce rate in the battalion was over 90% …. good times …

      1. skippy

        You know since moving to Oz I’ve never had an issue, even when pulled up, can talk, relate, deal rationally with any issue and its all amicable. The states is a completely different topic e.g. being pulled up by some fly over state NFL washout on roids moving interstate for a job based on his physical presence alone, on some assumption, and have someone like me give him a dressing down. ZOMG the looks on their young faces and the gears in their heads grinding slowly to reconcile I’m a few levels of rank above them in their minds eyes and they will never achieve that rank their minds so desperately want for whatever reasons.

        Heck 15 years ago I got a drink driving on my Bday in the trades thingy … pulled up on the spec’s of the UTE and not driving, got breath tested on the time of the day, off to the cop shop, young staff pounced, but old sod told them hes OK after our chat to the shop, even offered to call me a cab but I said I got myself into this mess and I can get myself out of it …

        I guess what I’m badly trying to say is people without experiences should be careful of how they rationalize things, too much counter intuitive stuff … I’m worried about how that plays in the long run …

        1. The Rev Kev

          A coupla years ago I was on a train heading into Brisbane Central. A few seats in front of me was an American tourist that could have been a double for the mustached guy from Myth Busters and who was talking with other passengers. He was bemoaning the fact that he had left his gun home in the States which I found a strange attitude. You live here, skip. How often would you need one here? How would that make your life better to be carrying a gun in public? I could only conclude that the social pressures were way different where he lived and it was more of an accepted custom. But for me, there is a fundamental difference in a rifle and a hand-gun and that comes down to its purpose.

          1. skippy

            Anecdotally I proffer that a well heeled couple within the MPS group in their late 30s with a few kids in tow moved to Colorado Springs for a hubby job in IT. Anywho it was not too long until the wife whilst after dropping kids off at school started attending the local gun range/barista coffee shop to pop of a few rounds, honing skills in defending themselves, against anti property low life’s with bespoke 9mm pop guns, bespoke pink camo/bedazzeled thingy, 3 times a week. What happened to Quaaludes and Valium to stave off the bucky balls of time in the thousand scream of the white picket fence success narrative.

            Too answer your question I take my wits and experience over a gun any day … guns make you stoopid … heat of the moment, fear, its reconciliation so ones time and space move forward, cult of the gun, from someone that used them for others agendas … but was ignorant at the the time …

  13. paul

    Thanks for a delightful selection of links and the suggestion you are hale and hearty.

    RE: nowt in todays links:

    There is a nasty outbreak of COVID19 on Craig’s wing and his mail address has changed slightly..

    157095 C Murray
    H M Prison Edinburgh
    33 Stenhouse Road
    EH11 3LN

    …no doubt for his own safety as the volume of support has taken some people by surprise.

    91 days and counting.

    If you are a registered voter in Scotland, I would strongly recommend you to ask your elected representative why a man of clean record is being actively persecuted this way.

    If not, ask our tea lady of COP(‘Conference of the Parties’)26.

    1. Michael Mck

      I was going to send a nice card I made incorporating wasp paper. Will he receive it or a photocopy/other reproduction? If the original is going to be binned I will send a normal letter.
      Thank you for posting this again.

      1. paul

        I have no idea ( i have no insight into the institutions that would incarcerate a pensionable age man of otherwise spotless reputation), I think a postcard will pass without problem.

        Keep things simple and direct.

  14. Brooklin Bridge

    Progressives fear compromise could jeopardize midterm hopes

    No kidding! I wonder where they came up with that idea? After all, compromise is such a nice word for all those messy ones such as capitulation and sell out and dog food. Speaking of the latter, there has to be a better term than dog food for Biden’s sell out; it gives dog food a much worse name than it deserves.

    1. jr

      Do they really care? It’s just an opportunity to play good cop once again while standing by helplessly. AOC can buy a new dress with a clear conscience. What’s to hate?

    2. Michael Ismoe

      Standard Operating Procedure for the D Party
      The part that makes me laugh is that the Dems will be totally AMAZED when they get slaughtered next year. They really do believe this is the best that they can do.

      1. Helena

        They will ACT amazed, IMO. Then they will excoriate the voters for not getting the message that they are better than the Repubs, and now all hell will break loose, and it’s all your fault.
        And nothing will fundamentally change.

        1. newcatty

          Unfortunately, some promises are kept. That is unfortunately for the plebes, as voters and non big donor people are seen by D Party.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “A Brutal War Waged By a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate”

    Spoiler alert! This is in fact not about Obama. Obama waged several brutal wars at once, not just one.

    1. elissa3

      “Political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.”–Tom Lehrer

      Why anybody pays attention to the Nobel Peace Prize since then is a mystery to me.

    2. NotThePilot

      More seriously though, while I’ve read other articles about the Tigrayan war, this is the first article I’ve read to touch on this:

      Like many Ethiopians, Abiy is member of an evangelical church. Its core belief is that one can achieve wealth through godliness. “It quickly became clear that religion was shaping his worldview,” says Tsedale.

      As someone that grew up in the South, but not in a church-going family (I’m not an atheist but that’s a whole different tangent), this suddenly explains a lot. I don’t mean to offend anyone individually, and I’ve met people that are the exceptions to the rule. But at this point, I think we have to start admitting there’s a pattern to what evangelical power does to a society.

      That’s one way I think I differ from a lot of people on the left. You do have to address economic and material facts, and religion will always be manipulated for political ends, but perhaps Hegel was ultimately right and Marx was wrong on that count. Maybe spirit and not matter is in the driver’s seat.

      I wonder if part of the reason our society fails to make forward-thinking changes, no matter how necessary or sensible they may be, is because most of their proponents can still only consider their opponents merely wrong, not cursed. There’s just no comparison to a political movement that believes, for better or worse, with all their soul that God, Nature, the World-Soul, History, etc. has sent them to rule. And it’s only when forces with that equal strength of conviction meet, that reality decides for the future.

  16. Carolinian

    Re Alec Baldwin–I can’t get the WSJ story but a couple of extra tidbits have come out: the cartridge fired did contain an actual lead bullet and the gun used was a single action revolver meaning that it would have to be cocked or the hammer fanned in order for it to fire. Since Baldwin was rehearsing firing the gun the latter bit less germaine than the presence of the lead bullet. The sheriff found a large stockpile of live and blank ammunition and has asked about rumors that the crew were using the gun for target practice when not filming.

  17. fresno dan

    WitchTok: the rise of the occult on social media has eerie parallels with the 16th century The Conversation

    It’s 1.30am in the morning, and I’m about to watch a duel between magicians. One is a “demonolater”, a word I have never heard before, someone who claims they worship demons and can petition them in return for knowledge or power. The other describes themselves as a “Solomonic magician”, and claims to be able to command demons to do his bidding, as some Jewish and Islamic traditions have believed of King Solomon, who ruled Israel in the 10th century BC.
    To my further bemusement, it seemed that the tradition of Solomonic magic had recently faced accusations that its strict and authoritative approach to the command of demons amounted to a form of abuse, akin to domestic violence. As I had made a note in my diary of a public debate that I wanted to attend out of sheer curiosity, it seemed astonishing to be asking myself whether Solomonic magic, the same found in books of necromancy dating back hundreds of years, was on the brink of cancellation in 2021.
    I have always maintained that the wicked witch of the west just got bad press. (since when is stealing from a corpse considering OK?) Not to mention equating “evil” with black. And in the original telling, the “good” witch, all dressed in white, was from the south. Funny how the north exappropriated a southern witch for their own nefarious purposes – sanitizing the grifting wizard of oz…
    Witches don’t kill people….spells kill people.

    1. Helena

      I flashed to “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” when I read your “Solomonic magician’s” claims, and I wonder how long it will be before they turn on him. I have been unwise enough to read about some of these practices, and it’s generally thought to be a stupid thing to do, not because you are abusing demons, but because it’s just a stupid thing to do. I think people used to hire themselves out to put a hurting on someone’s enemies way back in history. Fools on both ends.

  18. flora

    I’ve mentally created a new category for the NC links called “The New Enclosure Movement”.

    Today’s links I mentally add to that category are:

    Glasgow Is Integrating its Public Transport System – for the Elite Only – Tribune

    Berlin Hoping to Tighten the Reins on Social Media Giants – Der Spiegel


    India’s Crackdown on Kashmir’s Journalists – The Diplomat

    1. R

      What the headline of that article on Glasgow’s integrate public transport could make clearer is that it is not even for its own elite – it is temporarily integrating its public transport for the transnational PMC at COP26. And then breaking it up again when they have left because the poors don’t need mobility, they should stay at home and reduce emissions….

      1. Helena

        What I got from that article was that they integrated the transport for the visiting diplomats because they were ‘used to’ having efficent transport, and it would have been embarrassing for them to see the way it really is, and there would have been bad publicity from complaints.

  19. Mildred Montana

    The JFK Cover-Up Strikes Again Project Syndicate. James K. Galbraith.

    I have read many books on the Kennedy assassination, starting as a teenager with ??? ??????? ?? ?????? by Josiah Thompson and ???? ?? ????????? by Mark Lane. I was still too young to be a conspiracy-theorist, but after reading those two seminal books I came to the conclusion that the Warren Commission’s findings were nothing but a white-wash, a cover-up, a hasty sweeping-under-the-carpet. To wit:

    1. If Oswald were the lone assassin, why didn’t he open fire when the President’s limo turned off Main Street onto Houston Street directly toward the School Book Depository? A mere fifty yards or so away, a clear line of sight, a slow-moving vehicle, Kennedy was an easy target. Instead the shooter waited until the limo turned left onto Elm Street toward the triple-underpass and…an ambush(?). Why?

    2. Oswald was in police custody for 48 hours and yet there are no transcripts or recordings of what he said during interrogation. The President had just been murdered and he was the prime suspect and yet no record. Why not?

    3. According to Texas law, as a homicide, Kennedy’s autopsy was required to be done there. Yet he was whisked away to Maryland where it was done, some say, in a sloppy fashion.

    4. Bullet fragments from Texas Governor’s John Connally’s wrist were never removed and haven’t been to this day, though they might go some way in dispelling the Warren Commission’s ???? ??? ???, its “single-bullet” theory.

    “Connally refused to accept the single-bullet theory, which suggested that one shot passed through President Kennedy’s neck and caused all of Connally’s wounds…Journalist Doug Thompson claimed that in 1982 he had a private conversation with Connally, and asked him whether he was convinced that Oswald had killed Kennedy. According to Thompson, Connally replied, “Absolutely not. I do not for one second believe the conclusions of the Warren Commission.” (Wiki)

    5. FWIW, after all my reading, I have come to the belief that the assassination was a mob hit, mainly because of Jack Ruby’s shooting of Oswald two days after the assassination Ruby was reputed to have mob connections and also to be tight with the Dallas police, which may be how he was able to get close enough to Oswald to kill him.

    But the crime of the 20th century still has many, many questions and no answers and is still unsolved (unless one believes the Warren Commission).

    1. Maritimer

      But the crime of the 21st century still has many, many questions and no answers and is still unsolved (unless one believes the CDC, WHO, NIH, Big Pharma, Governments).

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      Who stripped away Kennedy’s layers of protection so a mob hitter could reach Kennedy? Who told the Mob that a hit on a United States President would be okay and would have no repercussions for so much as a single Godfather?

      Does anyone think the Mob would just up and do this on its own?

      1. ambrit

        I have actually worked a private party in an upscale restraunt for the late, unlamented, Carlos Marcello, Mob Boss of New Orleans. From what I saw and heard from that man and his associates, I can say with certainty that Yes, the Mob would up and do ‘this’ on it’s own. A more arrogant and combatitive group of people you probably have not met in your life.
        Also, never forget that the American Mafia had a very close relationship with the American CIA. This was a result of the deals made with the mafiosi in America to facilitate the cooperation of the Sicicilian Mafiosi with Patton in the invasion of Sicily and points north. It is stated that the Sicicilian Mafiosi actually hindered Montgomery and his UK troops in their campaign across the north half of the island, supposedly so that Patton and the Americans could make it to Messina first. From there, it was just a short boat ride to Italy proper. All those connections established during the War carried over into the post-War period.

    3. juno mas

      I watched a video created by the Gill Toff and presented by him at a UCSB professors house 1n early 1968. He presented many of the anomalies that you did just now. I visited the scene of the assassination in 1975 when traveling through Dallas. That was a difficult shot for Oswald to make from the Book Depository. And the grassy knoll obscures an easy access to the site from the large rail yard behind it. An easy shot from the knoll.

      I watched Ruby kill Oswald on live TV the Sunday morning after the assassination. While Oswald was hand-cuffed and surrounded by Texas Rangers while transiting the underground parking lot, Ruby was shown on live TV broadcast to have moved easily through the crowd of lawmen, and thrust a handgun into Oswald’s chest area firing several shots before being taken to ground. I believe Oswald was declared dead within hours.

      The Warren Commission Report is not satisfying. LIfe in America; the truth is difficult to discover.

  20. Mark Pawelek

    Help please.

    In the GFC about 2007, or earlier, and exec at BlackRock in London was quoted in the press (possibly the FT) saying Bernie Madoff knew how to pick stocks in the US market.

    Please. Does anyone remember who she was, where she was cited, when?

    Thanks in advance.

    PS: Apologies in advance. Would not normally bother you here but I know of know other forum I can ask this.

  21. lordkoos

    Those tik-tok cottage core videos are wild. I suppose it’s a way for young people to escape the current bleak reality… I noticed that most of the people in the vids seemed fairly well-to-do with enough free time to mess around with this stuff. Children of the PMC?

    1. ambrit

      I’m beginning to think about sub-dividing the PMC into the: Lower PMC, the Middle PMC, and the Upper PMC. Apply these in a similar fashion to the increasingly obsolete: Upper Class, Middle Class, and Lower Class.
      Thus, the Lower PMCs aspire to attaining higher status, within the ranks of the PMC. In this way, the groundwork is laid for the immiseration of the “lower ranks” of the PMC cohorts. Such is inevitable when one considers the continued segregation of wealth into the hands of the top .001% of the population.
      The present day version of the Aristocrats look to be aiming at a Hyper Aristocracy.
      Who could have predicted such an outcome from the Third Industrial (Information) Revolution?

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        I wonder if the “PMC” concept is being over-valorised in order to breathe new life into the old corpse of Marxist Analysis.

      2. JP

        After shopping at Lowes and Home Depot I am pretty sure the PMC is dead. There is now only the MC and not a whole lot of management going on.

      3. ObjectiveFunction

        Yup, and that subdivision flanges nicely with the Turchin et al. concept of ‘Elite Overproduction’, i.e. educating far more strivers than there are suitable jobs for them, so as to inflate the value of credentials and ensure compliance of the successful with the monoculture of the ‘guild’ as the pyramid grows thinner and thinner.

        …. All of which is double- triple- and quadruple- intensified in the globalization era. Those of us still working are already competing with brilliant, motivated (and often ruthless) strivers from all over the planet — heavily South Asia at the moment. Our kids or grandkids are going to be even more under pressure if they are aspiring to get on that train.

        The piece on the “Fake Science” conference in Edinburgh is closely related of course. As most here will know, conferences (pre-Covid) have always been notorious corporate boondoggles (escape from the spouse to Vegas baby! on the company dime), while being a speaker/panelist is also a great way for the suitably glib to burnish their LinkedIn credentials.

        Meanwhile, the fees can deliver a hefty profit for the organizers so long as they keep their staff costs minimal (i.e. young, good looking but inexperienced).

        So overall, it’s win-win-win for all concerned. The mother of all self-licking ice cream cones.

        All that said, I have been to quite a few (industry, not scientific) that have been quite worthwhile in terms of content, usually long established ones sponsored by major banks or universities. Even at the best of these though, quality of content can be uneven. Caveat emptor, always.

        Naturally, in the ‘publish or perish’ world of academia, one could readily see how mid level professors trying to move up and perhaps gain enough profile to supplement their income with consulting work, would find these sketchy events even more tempting.

        Not surprising either that the worst chop shops are in India, where credential faking is rife in the desperate scramble among their 50 million ‘best and brightest’ to get out of their homelands and join the global PMC ‘meritocracy’. I hasten to reiterate though that much of their talent is very real, not faked. Putting the time in to master (what used to be) high school level math pays dividends and opens doors, quelle surprise! South Asian strivers are grabbing the global economy with both hands, and welcome. If the entire system is rotten, well fair enough, but they are making the most of it.

          1. Greg

            Thanks Kev, weirdly I think I missed that one somehow. Love that the end of the timeline is a mongoDB leak.

            I have assumed instagram and other modern social media have the same rules in place, but they’re managed implicitly or via user-ratings to launder the selection process.

      1. ambrit

        Speaking of poseurs. (I find it fascinating that there is an entire socio-economic class composed of these people.)
        This reminds me of a very good exploration of this subject in a short story by Henry James all of a hundred and thirty years ago: “The Real Thing.”
        As for “living with the ‘rents,” we have to plead guilty to that charge. Over the course of our peripatetic lives, we literally lived with Phyl’s parents several times. [It helped that they had a reasonably well run “Gentleman’s Farm” at the time. We could live in an outbuilding and work on said farm in exchange for rent. {I was working ‘off of the premises,’ but work in commercial construction is sporadic in the best of times.}]
        cocomaan’s comment about the TikTokkers living at home still is pertinent. Phyl and I have lived in a tent for several months, a travel trailer for a year or two, and built our own building, all out of hard necessity. I get the feeling that the TikTokkers have not faced up to the existential nature of their predicament yet. What is now play will eventually become dire necessity. Mom and Dad will pass on eventually, and there might not be too much left of a patrimony to live off of after the Medical Inductrial Complex has had their way with the elder’s finances.
        I really do emphathize with these most recent “generations” of the Western Dispensation. They have been sold empty promises and hollow values. The reckoning will be brutal.
        Stay safe! Hull down.

        1. lordkoos

          Totally agree with your last two sentences… what these young people will have to face in the next few decades, it will not be pretty. I tell people I know in their 30s that if possible, they should consider moving out of the country ASAP. Most don’t take that advice seriously.

          1. ambrit

            Agreed about moving if possible. The phenomenon of “colonia” is at least as old as the ancient Greeks. Reasonably self sufficient populations of immigrants from a common culture are a fixture of our times. From neighbourhoods in the New York Megalopolis, to LDS enclaves in Mexico, the concept is feasable.
            One requirement I would suggest is that immigrants to wherever congregate with others of “their kind.” Assimilation into a ‘local’ culture is a multi-generational project. The job of the first generation of immigrants anywhere is simple survival. That generation’s children can begin the process of true assimilation.
            A corollary to this is that the dream of imposing values from outside on a thriving local culture is precisely that, a dream. When one moves to a “foreign clime,” expext to have to “go native” as a natural outcome of the move.
            The other prospect of immigrating is the Imperial Domination Model. This requires the backing of an ‘outside’ power. Often, such a strategy requires the genocide of or ethnic cleansing of a population.
            As usual, an elder thinker, this time Ray Bradbury, covered this situation in a short story: “And the Rock Cried Out.”
            I’m wondering just how much of Bradbury’s story points are transferrable from South America to today’s America. A PMC couple vacationing in the “Flyover Country” when things go to H—. This juxtaposition is a common trope in literature.
            Stay safe!

            1. lordkoos

              Yes you must be prepared to fully accept the local culture. If you don’t like it, then don’t move there.

              There are Americans already doing intentional farming communities in places like Costa Rica etc. I’d be interested in something like that myself but am getting too old to do much serious labor so I doubt my contributions would be enough to where I would be wanted.

              1. ambrit

                I echo your fears. We are too old to emigrate now. Foreign climes would consider us as American export varities of “useless eaters,” and they wouldn’t be too far wrong.
                One major stumbling block to the “go South young man!” theory of personal survival is the phenomenon of rural conservatism. If you thought that the American flyover “rustic” was “backwards,” then the operational phrase for dealing with South American rustics is “you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”
                (Expat2Uruguay could shed much light on this aspect of the emigration experience.)
                So, a proper “colonia’ with internal cohesion and sufficient resources, including military capabilities, is required for any chance at success.
                Stay safe! Wherever you are.

          2. AndrewJ

            I would love to know how to take that advice seriously, but, as far as I can tell, if you’re an American citizen without specialized training in an in-demand field or without gobs of money, there aren’t any places that want you to emigrate there.

            1. lordkoos

              It would not be easy, but there are some purpose-built expat communities that might be a fit. I’m not advocating it necessarily, but from what I hear there are a lot of Americans living illegally in places like Mexico, overstaying their visas etc but in some countries the authorities don’t seem to care much about this. Also teaching ESL is something a lot of people do to get into living abroad — it’s not great money but it’s a way to check out different places and make some connections that could lead to a longer stay. It is helpful to have a B.A. to get ESL jobs however.

              A downside to this whole idea that many don’t consider is that if things get rough in your adopted country, foreigners can easily become scapegoats. If you have been in the country for awhile, don’t live in a big city and have good relations with the locals that’s probably helpful in such a scenario.

              1. ambrit

                I can well see workers from “South of the Border” demonized as American socio-economic conditions worsen.
                One aspect of “worsening socio-economic conditions” that I do not see addressed is the phenomina of gangs. As an example; our half-horse town has functional cadres of at least seven criminal street gangs plying their trades. The phenomenon of “parrallell institutions” comes into play here.
                Several of these street gangs are Latino in origin.

            2. ObjectiveFunction

              As a PMC expat for nearly 2 decades now, I must tell you that these days, pretty much anything involving technical or managerial knowhow an American can do can be done by an Asian (usually Indian, but even younger English-fluent Indonesians and Vietnamese are catching up) for a fraction of what you’d need to live a ‘Western’ lifestyle even in emerging markets. The sole differentiator that keeps me employed now (irregularly) is my professional network. Every expat (other than a few favored ones sent on rotation from home office) is essentially a small business person, regardless of whether they have an ’employer’ or not. Don’t get too comfortable or rooted; in most countries, you will never ever be anything but a paying guest.

              …I heartily agree that any younger American, PMC or not, would benefit from some time — even just a school term — overseas, mainly to learn what it is they’re competing with. For better or worse, America is bound hand and foot to the burning wheel of the global economy. Until the Jackpot takes our entire species back to subsistence farming, that toothpaste is simply not going back in the tube.

              Those who truly yearn to live abroad, especially in countries with weak rule of law, should marry a local citizen. That solves countless problems in terms of residency and ability to earn a living in the absence of a (scarce) corp job, usually something to do with other foreigners, btw, like tourism. Foreigners should *never* start businesses in their own names in most countries, it is a license to get screwed nonstop on countless levels. You aren’t meant to win that game.

              Expat via marriage isn’t limited to the young (at least for men). Any kind of fixed income can fund quite a comfortable semiretired life in many countries, provided your health care needs aren’t complex, and you ​marry someone with good judgment who doesn’t let their extended family bleed you dry like an ATM.

              …Also, make sure that your spouse understands that the end game is not to bring them and their own dependents back to America. Especially poorer people don’t quite get yet that the Land of Opportunity ain’t what it used to be.

          3. drumlin woodchuckles

            How many could actually leave? Where would they go? Is any foreign country willing to take in millions of Americans?

            1. ambrit

              If we are talking about “millions of Americans,” well, you have the raw materials for a proper Civil War right there.
              They wouldn’t have to emigrate. They could form their own formal polities from the dismembered carcass of America. We wouldn’t even have to posit large areas of land for a self-sustaining polity. City-States would be feasible. “Mr. Lee’s Greater Hong Kong” comes to mind.

        2. Cocomaan

          yep and I might add no judgment on people living with their parents: often the prudent financial choice in an unbelievably cutthroat economy.

          The fact is that the olde you are, the more wealthy you are generally. What’s sad a that it might take the older generations dying off to see that wealth appear in the next gen.

          1. lordkoos

            Historically, extended families living together in one compound was the norm, and it still is in many cultures. The so-called nuclear family is a more recent construct.

          2. drumlin woodchuckles

            If enough millions of young people were to live with their older parents, aunts, uncles, etc., perhaps they could strangle the ” low-wage bad-conditions” business sector into surrender or extinction.

            Such an outcome would at least be de-stabilizing enough to allow those millions of young people and their older relatives to find some shit to kick over sideways and stomp on.

            1. Greg

              The evidence of the last fifty years would suggest a more likely outcome is that it becomes the norm for housing to cost the wages of three or four people, instead of the two it now is.
              The same way two-income households have become mandatory for survival rather than a way for hard workers to advance their position.

  22. Martin Oline

    It is a slow day without a Water Cooler. I was hoping for a discussion on the The JFK Cover-Up Strikes Again link as it is unavailable to me. Perhaps the following will help start it, or someone will reveal the content of that link.
    Years ago I read the book Mafia Kingfish – Carlos Marcello and the JFK assassination by John Davis and have been convinced that Carlos was involved in the assassination. After reading The Devil’s Chessboard by David Talbot I think that he may have only been involved with the Jack Ruby cover up, although there is no doubt he deeply hated John and Robert Kennedy. There is a quotation in the beginning of the Talbot book from A Coffin For Demitrius that ends with “The important thing to know about an assassination is not who fired the shot, but who paid for the bullet.”
    I learned the following from an excerpt in the book Devil’s Chessboard by David Talbot. A French book It Was De Gaulle by Alain Peyrefitte, published in 2002 and never printed in America had this information about the assassination of Kennedy. When asked by his aide Peyrefitte if Oswald was a front, De Gaulle replied, “Everything leads me to believe it. They got their hands on a communist who wasn’t one, while still being one . . . The guy ran away because he probably became suspicious. They wanted to kill him on the spot before he could be grabbed by the judicial system . . . [A trial] would have dug up so much! They would have unearthed everything. Then the security forces went looking for [a clean-up man] they totally controlled and who couldn’t refuse their offer, and that guy sacrificed himself to kill the fake assassin – supposedly in defense of Kennedy’s memory!”
    “Baloney! Security forces all over the world are the same when they do this kind of dirty work. As soon as they succeed in wiping out the fake assassin, they declare that the justice system no longer need be concerned . . . now that the guilty perpetrator is dead. . . But you’ll see. All of them together will observe the law of silence. They will close ranks . . . They don’t want to know. They don’t want to find out. They won’t allow themselves to find out.”
    We can’t be allowed to find out. That says it all. De Gaulle himself was nearly the victim of a military coup over Algeria’s independence in January, 1961. The plot was known beforehand by the CIA and was likely approved by Dulles.

    1. lordkoos

      the justice system no longer need be concerned . . . now that the guilty perpetrator is dead

      This puts me in mind of Osama Bin Laden… he was never going to be brought to court.

      I thought it was somewhat accepted that the CIA and the Mafia were who killed Kennedy…

      1. ambrit

        Oh, there are several theories as to who killed Kennedy. My favourite theory is that Kennedy was accidentally killed by one of his own bodyguards (Secret Service,) standing in the open top limousine driving just behind the Presidential limo.
        The fact that “Creepy Uncle” Joe Biden extended the document witholding shows the power of CYA as practiced at the top of the political food chain.
        What puzzles me is why no “foreign” actor has not yet ‘released’ their own analysis of the events surrounding Kennedy’s death.


    CDC says unvaccinated young foreign travelers do not need to quarantineCDC says unvaccinated young foreign travelers do not need to quarantine

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Saturday that unvaccinated foreign nationals under the age of 18 traveling to the United States by air do not have to self-quarantine upon arrival.

    CDC Director Rochelle Walensky on Saturday signed a revised order clarifying that foreign national children who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 do not need to isolate for seven days upon arrival in the United States.

  24. Soredemos

    >WitchTok: the rise of the occult on social media has eerie parallels with the 16th century The Conversation

    The rise in occult believers who also care deeply about nonsense social issues is hardly surprising. I think it maps well to the decline in Christianity. American Liberalism ditched establishment religion, and in its place can only offer the fanaticism of being woke. West Wing Liberal politics has no world view beyond that. It fundamentally believes in nothing and has no principles. The New Deal and Great Society flavors of Liberalism did have principles, but the Democratic Party has made sure that that legacy is well and truly buried.

    The belated attempt to turn science into a religion (“believe science!”) feels like another attempt to fill a void. We got rid of formal religion, but didn’t offer any other worldview to fill the vacuum, and we didn’t educate people in the critical thinking required to truly form their own, or at least to form one that isn’t completely insane.

    I’ve known about these ‘woke witch’ types for a while. There’s an entire r/WitchesVsPatriarchy subreddit where you can go and see things like people unironically insist that the hexes they cast would bring down Trump (given that he served his full term, I don’t think the hexes worked). If you go on woke Twitter, it’s very common to see people fill their profile bios with their astrology signs, right next to the pronouns and other woke paraphernalia.

  25. t

    Isn’t it non-controversial that Oswald was a good shot and had various unusual affiliations? I thought it was not clear is if he veered left-right, or was always left or right and was dabbling with the other side as a snitch.

    1. ambrit

      I was once told, when arguing with someone about Oswald, to “stay out of the weeds.” My reply was that, where Oswald is concerned, “it is all weeds.” We agreed to disagree.

    2. voteforno6

      It might be a big strong to call them affiliations – he was kind of a loser, so whatever attachments he felt to various groups was pretty much unrequited.

    3. Martin Oline

      “non-controversial that Oswald was a good shot”
      Ernst Titovets, a friend to Oswald when he was in Russia, said he went hunting with a factory club where he worked. He was unable to hit anything. A co-worker took pity on him and shot a rabbit for him. – Oswald Russian Episode by Ernst Titovets.

    4. pjay

      I doubt if anything regarding Oswald is “non-controversial.” But there is evidence that he was an average to poor shot in the Marines. I’m not sure where the idea that he was a good shot comes from.

      There is also considerable evidence that his “left” affiliations were fake – though I don’t want to venture into the “weeds” too much here.

      1. t

        Oswald had a decent ratings in the Marines – good to average at different times. There was an arguement a 100 years ago that he was a poor shot and on top of that he was using a difficult rifle. (My uncle had one. It’s fine.)

        Before they put the glass up, you could stand in the window. It doesn’t look like a hard shot, assuming you have what it takes to shoot a person.

        I have no view on which of Oswalds various associations were sincere. Or whether or not leadership and handlers trusted him.

        1. pjay

          I would never claim to know anything for *certain* about Oswald. But I do know for certain that the *argument* that Oswald was a poor shot is still around today; I am not aware that it has been definitively refuted. Also, I have seen videos of many expert marksmen trying to duplicate The Shot, in different ways under a variety of conditions. Some claimed it was possible, some that it was impossible. But I don’t believe I have ever heard anyone say that it “doesn’t look like a hard shot.”

      2. Soredemos

        The Marines love to brag that every one of them is a marksman. He may have been mediocre or even bad by Marine standards, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he was a bad shot in any absolute sense.

    1. Greg

      That’s fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing that, it has given me many ideas for exploring problematic tissues by (ab)using machines designed for other organisms. Also the images are just neat, as all high end scientific imaging is.

    2. rowlf

      This reminds me of working with auto manufacturer technicians running the chassis dynamometers and testing aftermarket parts on the side (usually finding the aftermarket parts didn’t live up to car magazine and advertising claims).

      It also reminds me of the airport security staff pre-TSA who rode the luggage x-ray machines for a giggle.

  26. Sue inSoCal

    It’s very difficult to find shoes with a leather sole. I have a pair of Dexter loafers I bought in 1976 that I’ve resoled repeatedly. Same with an 1984 pair of boots from Italy. When Eccos were made in Portugal, I wore one of their day hikers’ soles out. Someone tried to iron on a vibram sole, and that was the end of that! There’s also a weird synthetic “foamy” kind of sole used in Europe that eventually literally breaks in half. A real surprise if you’re walking and that happens!

    1. ProudWappie

      In The Netherlands, I’ve been buying shoes with leather soles regularly, typically the “Van Bommel” brand. These are classic-style men’s shoes, which might not be to everyone’s taste, although they have a sub brand with more unconventional designs as well. Now I don’t know about women’s shoes, but I would expect more choices there.

  27. Michael McK

    The ‘Let’s go Brandon’ code (like ‘the drug that shall not be mentioned’) seems like an American step towards the sorts of coded contortions Chinese netizens go through to communicate on line.

    1. barefoot charley

      And it’s funny, as it does double duty, slagging equally Joe “What’d I say?” Biden and his media that made “F U Biden” into “Let’s Go Brandon,” fooling no one but themselves. Anything that makes mainstream news look as stupid as what they cover is gold to me.

  28. Pat

    It will be interesting to see if running against the vaccine mandates is a winner. The test might be Curtis Sliwa running for Mayor in NYC. His Democratic opponent has pretty much been announced as the winner by the media (and the state’s leading politicians). Sliwa is way behind in the one poll. He has been making the rounds at various fire houses and other places demanding that Hochul repeal the city’s mandate (current mayor DeBlasio has flatly refused to consider backing down). While I do not think Adams is as popular as our Democratic overlords would like, He is over 35 points ahead in the one poll that I have seen for the race. I do wonder if Sliwa is not roadkill, the vaccine mandate will be stated as the reason. Outside of his being hit by a car, and using his cat in his commercials, this is the first time I have seen an issue being a part of a rare news report.

    Now the first media report I saw speculating on the effect of this stand was about the Virginia Governor’s race. And while I am thinking it is likely a more popular position than Democrats might wish, and not just in VA, I don’t think you can make that the only reason if Youngkin beats MacAuliffe. Not after the mess MacAuliffe has made of this campaign (and his term). But this reason being the ONE is a given, “the Bubbas won’t drink the kool aid and ousted the brilliant and wonderful Terry because of ignorance and misinformation…”

  29. chuck roast

    Re: Let Me At Him

    “Emmanuel Montard criticised the UK scallop boats for jeopardising the livelihoods of future generations by over-fishing in the waters on the Normandy coast.” If they arrest this captain, put him in jail and sink his boat, you will hear an audible sigh of relief from the ocean. Scallop draggers are the worst of the worst…think clear cutting a forest…long swaths back and forth for miles…turning the landscape into a lifeless moonscape. Ralph Stanley, a man who holds Maine Lobster License #1, and a man who never said an unkind word about anybody, has been seen to visably hold his temper when the subject of dragging the ocean bottom comes up.

  30. PressGaneyMustDie

    Unrelated to any of these topics but msnbc just ran a segment with some talking head losing their sh** that the former first couple were observed doing the “Tomahawk Chop” at an Atlanta Braves game. OMG. This is news? MSM are like junkies in withdrawal desperate for their next Trump hate fix.

    1. Carolinian

      I once saw Jane Fonda doing the chop in the Braves victory parade. And she used to do it at games too, sitting next to then hubby Ted.

      Perhaps it gets a pass because it was last century’s woke controversy.

  31. FluffytheObeseCat

    “[Maddow’s drivel] gets you a $30 million/year Comcast contract — from the people deeply, profoundly worried about the spread of conspiracy theories and disinformation.”

    Greenwald’s legitimate distaste for this kind of rot would be much more admirable if he applied the same level of scrutiny (and condemnation) to Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, Ben Shapiro, and other over-funded slander mongers of the media right. All of whom give Maddow a run for her money, and many of whom having been at it longer than she has. It would be trivial for a journalist of his skill to determine how much one of the above-mentioned ‘conservative’ opinion makers also gets for doing this. Given that Carlson and Ingraham have been raking it in since the 90s, my expectation is both have accumulated more than Maddow by now, not even counting familial inheritances.

    If Glenn did so, he would be entirely shut out of every national media platform of any size or reach. At a time when Substack is still fighting for subscriptions and establishing a footing in that realm. However, pretending his critiques are even-handed now is not possible. And when an opinion maker of his stature continually critiques only one side of any argument, despite clear evidence of dishonesty on both sides…….

    There are words to describe this phenomenon. They are not flattering words.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Huckster? Right-wing Libertarian taking Fox’s shilling and doing Fox’s bidding? MAGA Trumpanon propagandist?

    2. fresno dan

      October 31, 2021 at 3:50 pm
      I tend to agree with you, and that on some websites there is a tendency to ignore the dissembling, mischaracterizations, and departure from reality that characterises so much of Fox and media that support Trump. BOTH sides are guilty – and either call out both sides, or ignore both sides of the non objective media. As if not engaging a significant portion of the electorate is OK, and that dems can enact an agenda with a hair thin majority in a system DESIGNED to not get much done.
      However, the tit for tat just reduces the amount of political discourse that is serious, and I think falls right into the right wing scheme of trivilizing politics.
      Put on your irony helmet, this is going to be a long ride. Rangappa was referencing a story involving a Southwest Air pilot who became a headline by saying, “Let’s Go, Brandon!” during a flight from Houston to Albuquerque. Sitting on that flight, incredibly, was an AP reporter named Colleen Long who was writing a piece entitled, “How ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ became code for insulting Joe Biden.”
      How did it happen? On October 2nd, at a NASCAR race at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama, a crowd broke into a chant of “F*ck Joe Biden!” after 28-year-old Brandon Brown won a race. NBC reporter Kelli Stavast was interviewing Brown during the chants, and quickly spoke over them, saying, “You can hear the chants from the crowd. Let’s go Brandon!”
      Is it really possible that these people don’t get they’re being trolled? Part of the joke of “Let’s Go Brandon,” of course, is that you couldn’t go five minutes during the last administration without hearing someone in pearls or a bowtie screaming “Fuck Trump!” I don’t remember Rangappa pumping out “Osama de Niro” tweets after this celebrated Tony Awards appearance:
      The bigger part of the “Let’s Go Brandon!” gag is that such outbursts during the Trump years were not only not condemned, they were celebrated, as pundits and reporters for the first time told us directly profane insults of presidents were okay. “Robert de Niro’s Comments at the Tony Awards Go Viral,” was CNN’s bemused take, in a story quoting artist Ferrari Shepard saying, “Robert de Niro is my favorite rapper.”
      The thing is, none of this is newsworthy. American media is certainly more willing to acknowledge the use of the “F” word, but are pilots or celebrities saying it really worthy of any time on a national newscast or any thought what so ever? The most newsworthy thing in America is when one tribe tells the other tribe’s president to go f*ck himself???? It only shows how trivial and money grubing the profit motivated MSM are.

      1. The Rev Kev

        That Southwest Airlines pilot that said ‘Let’s go Brandon’ on that flight? You had a CNN national security analyst (and former FBI agent) compare that pilot’s anti-Joe Biden remarks before takeoff to an extremist declaring ‘Long live ISIS’. You can count on CNN doing something stupid like this but needless to say, the internet was not going to take this laying down-

    3. JTMcPhee

      “Crucify him! Crucify him! He fails the fair-and-balanced test!”

      You want critiques of Ingraham, Carlson and Shapiro, wander over to Jimmy Dore’s space, or Krystal&Saagar at Breaking Points. Don’t find too much to critique on Greenwald myself. But then I must be of the unfair and unbalanced set then too. I’d give him lots of props for writing in Brazil and daring to take on Bolsonaro. Speaking of conservative wretches.

  32. chris

    Sharing this because Mr. Reich is still a “liberal” with an audience and he is held up as some kind of example for our youth. He’s also a dedicated fool. Clinton fooled him. And it seems like he’ll keep on playing the fool for anyone dressed in blue until he dies.

    His points on “resilience” are laughable mainly because he discusses them in the context of having tried something, and then failed. Anyone who’s been paying attention, and reading Yve’s site, knows that none of the democrats have tried to enact anything close to what Mr. Reich takes for granted as their priorities. The Dem leadership doesn’t want any change. The Dem caucuses don’t want any change, with the possible exception of the progressives. But they seem to be playing role of early Republicans more than anything else these days. They’re OK with the current levels of inequality we have, they just don’t want it to spread to the places they want to live.

    Reich even brings up the old chestnut of our system of government being one that makes it hard to change things. He steps over all the additional impediments Democrats hold sacred. Such as, “pay-go”, the filibuster, the senate parliamentarian, a complete refusal to address class based issues in favor of identity politics, and fetishizing “norms” over tactics. We’re supposed to believe Trump wrecked everything AND funded a moon shot style vaccine development program despite being an idiot and a traitor who was constantly pigeon holed because no bureaucrat would help his administration. And yet, Mr. Biden, with decades of experiences in government can’t pass any of his own bills? We’re supposed to believe Trump can slice and dice his way to a conservative majority on the SCOTUS but Team Blue is hamstrung? Trump as president made his own way but Biden has to ask co-Presidents Sinema and Manchin for permission?

    What Democrats need isn’t more resilience to deal with the never ending cascade of failure they produce. What they need is new leadership. It would also help if apologists like Reich could stop covering for them with simpering squeals from their comfortable posts in the media.

    1. lance ringquist

      agreed. and he fell for nafta billy clintons free trade amongst other complete economic nonsense nafta billy peddled. what he really means is he believed in them till it became obvious what it was, then he suddenly changed.

  33. drumlin woodchuckles

    So . . . many NYPD officers will retire to avoid getting the mandated vaccination?

    This is NY City’s big chance to restrict police activity to necessary enforcement of genuinely important laws.
    No more daily arrest quotas. No more persecution of minority populations.

    How could NY City achieve that utopian outcome? By not replacing one single retiring officer. Shrink the NYPD staffing levels until the department is strangled and tortured into accepting restraints upon its recreational mass-oppression and mass-persecution activity.

    Perhaps NYC government should begin repealing hundreds of city-specific bullshit laws and ordinances.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Well . . . as long as the elite governators will not permit any other solutions to different problems, we accept the fortuitous solution to other problems which random fate offers us for this problem.

    1. skippy

      Strangely or not … this usually is a timely excuse to lower the bar [yes it can always go lower] filling the ranks with brand new shiny entrants into the exciting world of police enforcement, with those with little life experience and as such even more malleable to whatever policies the brass dictate ….

      1. JTMcPhee

        Or to bring in a flood of vaccinated ex-Imperial Troopers, with the social diseases they would bring with them…

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        If NYC misses this opportunity to let the retiring police officers go unreplaced, and instead decides to replace them with worse of more of the same, then those people who can flee NYC should flee NYC.
        Because if NYC is not even permitted to take advantage of such a lucky opportunity to right-size the power-balance between Police and Citizens, then NYC will be permitted to do nothing about anything.

        At that point, the only hope NYC would have is to permit the vast and total arming-up of all its citizens in the hopes that the NRA is correct when they say . . . . ” An armed society is a polite police force” or something like that.

  34. The Rev Kev

    ‘Matt Taibbi
    Part of the reason why this story hasn’t been told is because media was complicit… Corporate media fell down on the job in reporting on the financial crisis. ?@davidsirota? on “Meltdown” ‘

    Corporate media didn’t fall down on their job here. They were doing their job – running interference for corporate interests.

  35. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

    Halloween you say? Where thoughts turn to ghouls, demons, creatures of the astral plane, and all things magic(k)al: invocations, evocations, and goat headed gods. On the earthly plane, it appears, that there are goats among the sheep, as well. Much hand wringing will surely be the result. Perhaps just pretend that the words were never uttered, because as everyone knows, right thinking will be rewarded; while, wrong thinking will be punished. So . . . .

    {{It is not the goal that renders the system oppressive; it is always the methods by which the goal is pursued. Whenever a government claims to have the people’s interest at heart, you need to think again. In the entire history of mankind, there has never been a political elite sincerely concerned about the well being of regular people. What makes any of us think that it is different now?

    If the Age of Enlightenment has brought forth anything, it is certainly this: Never take anything any government tells you at face value. Always question everything any government does or does not do. Always look for ulterior motives and always ask: Cui bono? Who benefits?

    I will not be reduced to a mere guinea pig by getting vaccinated with an experimental drug. And I will most assuredly not get vaccinated because my government tells me to, and promises in return I will be granted freedom.

    Let’s be clear about one thing: no one “grants” me freedom, for I am a free person.

    So I dare the European Commission and the German government: Throw me in jail, lock me up and throw away the key, for all I care. But you will never be able to coerce me into being vaccinated if I, the free citizen, choose not to be vaccinated.}}—-Christine Anderson, a Member of the European Parliament representing the conservative-populist “Alternative For Germany” party.

    Boo! Very scary stuff indeed.

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