« Totally random, I'm sure | Main | An open thread for dishes and recipes »

February 18, 2021

Comments

"As the Texas blackouts stretch into their third day, misleading narratives about what went wrong have spread far and wide. One particularly pernicious one you may have heard is that wind and solar are to blame for the outages.

But what so many of these assertions lack is a fundamental understanding of Texas’ electric power supply, and its mutual vulnerabilities with the state’s gas systems. We’re facing an energy systems crisis here in Texas, not just an electricity crisis."
What So Many Of The Misleading Narratives About Texas Miss: The state is facing more than an electricity crisis.

Ahh, thanks, rushing to get that up. Will go back and fix it.

Seems to me that Senator Cruz (no doubt unintentionally) did exactly the right thing. When you have someone whose contribution to solving any problem is inversely proportional to his proximity, the best you can hope for in an emergency is that he will go away. Which is what he did.

Texas has had trouble meeting peak demands for years. Most people don't notice because it's industrial use, not residential, that gets throttled when there are shortfalls.

Wind and solar generation take priority. Gas plants have to throttle up and down to balance the load. Like stop-and-go driving, it's fuel-inefficient and hard on the equipment. So gas plants are underutilized and overexerted. Inefficient fuel use, underutilization of equipment, and increased maintenance make the plants more expensive to operate than they would be if they were running near full load most of the time.

It's just disheartening to see the same pattern over and over. Republicans fuck up and blame Democrats. Wash rinse repeat. and this time against the background making Rush Limbaugh out to be the saint that stood up for truthful and forthright speech against the censorship of political correctness. It's hard not to see rightwingers as assholes I have to keep remembering that I know people who believe all that shit and in a day to day they way they are very nice people that I like.
Of course the same thing could be said about most Hitler supporters.

Gas plants have to throttle up and down to balance the load. Like stop-and-go driving, it's fuel-inefficient and hard on the equipment.

That's possible, but in this case, the reliance on natural gas was what caused the problem, not the usage of natural gas to balance the load.

https://www.theverge.com/2021/2/17/22287130/texas-natural-gas-production-power-outages-frozen

Which should be a call for more wind and solar, rather than the current 17%.

In addition, there are ways to build in these factors
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11573-019-00937-2
https://www.ge.com/power/transform/article.transform.articles.2017.dec.3-forms-of-flexibility-for-evo

Texas apparently did none of these. But a good 'whatabout' comment.

The whataboutery about wind and (the far less significant) solar is absurd.
Much the same happened, on a lesser scale, back in 2011 before either were a significant factor.
There’s a detailed report, which was largely ignored.
https://www.ferc.gov/sites/default/files/2020-04/08-16-11-report.pdf

The market is dictating the rise of renewables in Texas, and that does have consequences - much of which could be mitigated by connection to a continental grid.
The US has an Easter and a Western interconnect. And Texas, which has stayed aloof from both.

One could argue it’s a salutary display of the limits of libertarianism. And the consequences of global warning.

Or you could just install a lot of batteries.
If you wait long enough, the market will eventually do that, too.

Choices...

https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/02/even-power-disasters-are-bigger-in-texas-heres-why/
...when some degree of national power grid regulation began, it was done under the federal government's constitutional ability to regulate "interstate commerce." By purposely keeping its grid within the borders of Texas, the state limited the impact of federal standards and regulations. This deep-seated aversion to regulation recently prompted former US Energy secretary and Texas Governor Rick Perry to quip, "Texans would be without electricity for longer than three days to keep the federal government out of their business.”...

The whole article is excellent - and more even-handed than I have been.

This is also known.

Warm Arctic episodes linked with increased frequency of extreme winter weather in the United States
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-02992-9

"Texans would be without electricity for longer than three days to keep the federal government out of their business.”

Now if we could just keep the Texas politicians out of it too.

politicians = people having their say.
welcome to democracy

How bout 30 days?

https://www.thedailybeast.com/texas-was-seconds-away-from-going-dark-for-months-says-energy-official?via=newsletter&source=CSAMedition

What's my bid for 90 days?

In what way are you NOT a politician, Charles?

Is your second floor apartment a sort of libertarian ivory tower unsullied by the affairs of the world.

I live on the 9th floor. The world reached me as the water lines feeding fire alarm sprinkler system in the basement froze and burst, flooding the elevator wells and causing them to go down for two days.

The fire alarm system itself went nuts, going off fully cocked day and night to the extent that the fire department stopped sending its hook and ladder to turn the sucker the off.

Folks, including me, stopped leaving the building. That should make the next real emergency interesting.

I expect to find out parts for the elevators were delayed by their origins in Texas, but I'll wait for the facts.

There's not a fucking politician, local, state, or federal, I can think to blame for this purely private sector failure in the face of the elements.

Shit happens.

Apparently not libertarian shit. Or Texas conservative shit.

It's all gummint shit to virgins.

"Exceptionally cold weather hitting the United States has provoked an electricity shortage in Texas, with extensive power cuts affecting over 4 million customers. The crisis was a combination of factors as cold weather drove up demand and hampered supply from the gas system and from power plants. The outages are far larger and much longer lasting than the rotating cuts during the exceptionally hot weather in California last August.

The cold weather had three main impacts on the Texas power system that led to this situation:

• Much higher electricity demand: ...

• Lower natural gas production: ...

• Generation equipment outages: ..."
Severe power cuts in Texas highlight energy security risks related to extreme weather events

Excellent article and more proof that popping off in the middle of a crisis is almost always a really bad idea. This includes Magness claiming credit for heading off disaster. This is a great time for people at the top to shut up other than to make themselves and all of their records available for public scrutiny.

As the article points out, the trend here is warmer, not colder winters. Winter demand is historically low which is why plants schedule their 'outages' during the winter months. Outages are, literally, a portion of a plant shuts down and preventative maintenance takes place over a period of 4-8 weeks. And then another portion and then another portion (called 'units' BTW) until the plant is ready to come back fully on line. The preventative maintenance allows for more consistent, high demand delivery in July-September when things heat up--which they do more and more, every year.

You have to balance the certainty of a hot summer against the likelihood of an unprecedented storm. I've lived in Houston since 1977. We've had three hard freezes since then, and none of them match this one for duration and spread. So, the Count gets this wrong.

It was stupid to reflexively blame renewables (10% of state output) just as it is equally ill-conceived to try to jam this into some kind of anti-private sector or anti-fossil fuel narrative. Wind doesn't work unless the wind blows, solar requires clear skies and natural gas requires natural gas. If Texas were 100% green and half of that was solar and if the wind didn't blow night and day, we'd be much worse off. Only the natural gas-fired plants are amenable to a near term, engineering fix and it was our natural gas fired plants that failed to meet demand.

Another thing the article points out is the tendency to fight the last war. As an aside, humans base their future planning on past experience, so fighting the last war isn't per se wrong. Designing against the absolute worst case isn't feasible either. So, there even though there is a sweet spot in there somewhere, even that, inevitably, will fall short over enough time.

I still owe a response in another thread but have been too busy to get to it.

Still leaves the question why other states don't have the same problems with their equipment. The recommendations to 'winterize' equipment are a decade old by now but since that costs money and came from a federal source it was naturally ignored. And it's not a question of snow plows at the Cairo airport (designed by the Russians who took that need for granted) but imo more of deliberate stinginess (I assume the weather proofed versions are the standard and those that are not customized).

Note that the small parts of Texas not under ERCOT, and connected to the larger US grid systems, seem to have had far fewer outages.

'Winterising' isn't cheap, and part of Texas' conscious appeal to business is cheap power.

Though the governor appears to have had a sudden conversion to the idea.
https://www.texastribune.org/2021/02/18/greg-abbott-winter-storm/

McKinney: very glad to see you here, healthy and in fighting form.

As for getting back to us on the question of how the holocaust was planned and then organised in a country at that time widely considered (and not just by themselves) to represent the pinnacle of Western culture and civilisation, take your time.

Schubert lieder drove them mad.

Great to see McKT safe and present and the Count wrong again as the universe regains its natural equilibrium.

The 2011 storm that Nigel linked to was not nearly as severe in duration, temperature and impact on people. As for winterizing, sure, everyone is in favor of that--but to what standard do you winterize and what are you giving up elsewhere?

Having now had the full experience, I'd much rather be without power and water in the winter than the summer. Not bathing in the winter, while unpleasant particularly after 120 straight hours, is nothing compared to not bathing or having AC for half that time with temperatures running as high as 110. Several years back, we had something like 90 consecutive days over 100 degrees. It was brutal, but the grid was up to it.

As I said at the beginning of my initial comment, everyone in a position of responsibility needs to close their mouths, open their records and respond to an in-depth investigation. Our situation does not fit anyone's preferred narrative, as LJ's article points out.

McKinney: very glad to see you here, healthy and in fighting form.

As for getting back to us on the question of how the holocaust was planned and then organised in a country at that time widely considered (and not just by themselves) to represent the pinnacle of Western culture and civilisation, take your time.

Thanks and could I get a cite on the bolded part? Seriously, I'm trying to sort through the different contentions and do some research, so that would help.

Great to see McKT safe and present and the Count wrong again as the universe regains its natural equilibrium.

LOL. Thanks, as always Amigo.

Besides cost, a downside to winterization is that it makes it more difficult to keep the plants from overheating in the summer. To prevent overheating, a more likely event in Texas, much of a plant can be in the open air, not enclosed. But that makes it more vulnerable to cold temperatures.

Plants in Texas likely operate on very thin margins. The way the system is set up, a plant doesn't get paid unless it's pushing electrons out the door. So plants are in a constant bidding war to sell to ERCOT at the lowest price they can manage.

From Nigel's link:

The typical power demand profile in Texas would show a big peak in the summer when most of the state has to run air conditioning 24 hours a day to keep its inhabitants from melting.

My personal demand profile is just the opposite. If I have a fan, I can be comfortable in 92-95º temperatures. Cold is my problem. I use a lot more electricity in winter than in summer. But, then everyone knows that libertarianism is just a front for the Lizard People...

As far as gas pipelines go, one of the major questions is: How wet is the gas. If you put gas that is not bone dry into a pipeline*, you damn well need insulation, if there is the slightest chance of temperatures dropping below the freezing point. If the problem was indeed freezing inside the tubes then those responsible should be physically hung out to (freeze) dry, chopped up and sold as cheap fuel (with warning labels attached of course).

*and sending wet gas over great distances is a very bad idea in general; short distances can be OK.

The gas has to travel in pipelines to the plant that filters and drys the gas before it is injected into the transportation lines. Gas travels in the pipelines at about 22 miles an hour. So, it can take a while to get from West Texas to Houston.

Designing against the absolute worst case isn't feasible either.

A bit of a straw guy there, tex. Taking into consideration those "worst possible outcomes" is eminently rational, even if the resources judged necessary to deal with them may not be wholly available. So---backup plan (I believe this was assessed the last time this happened, no?).

These "black swan" events are, according to the science* becoming more likely. Therefore, not taking those probabilities into account when planning energy management (among many other things) is simply negligence and/or untrammeled greed.

Stay warm, sir.

*You know, those moneygrubbers whose only priority is maximizing their grant money.

From McKinney's home town newspaper:

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/energy/article/Texas-grid-again-faces-scrutiny-over-cold-15955392.php

communist rag.

The way the system is set up, a plant doesn't get paid unless it's pushing electrons out the door.

This CNBC article points out that during the spring and fall the Texas grid produces more little baby electrons than they need. Given their deliberate isolation from the national grid, these little tykes wander around unsold, only to die an unwanted and cruel death.

Monsters!

Besides cost, a downside to winterization is that it makes it more difficult to keep the plants from overheating in the summer...

Which isn't true of wind power; that was just cheapskatism.

And given the growing importance of wind in the state, Texas really should connect to the larger national grids.

Any powerline across statelines is a shackle in disguise and a potential reduction of shekels in the purse!

while Cruz was vacationing, AOC helped raise $1M for Texans.

The way the system is set up, a plant doesn't get paid unless it's pushing electrons out the door.

I’m trying to imagine all the positively-charged power plants.

Thanks and could I get a cite on the bolded part? Seriously, I'm trying to sort through the different contentions and do some research, so that would help.

I hear you, and will revert. This is something I think I know definitively, and only partly anecdotally from pre-WW2 contemporaries and academics; let's see if I can find support for it. (If Hartmut has anything to add, either way, that would be interesting too).

My hunch on the discussion of where Germany fits in the hierarchy of "Western" nation states is that it depends on one's understanding of "The Age of Enlightenment," and what parts of it you find most compelling.

The Anglo-American focused people will probably look at Locke as the main voice through which to trace a lineage. The Francophiles will lay claim to Diderot, Rousseau, and Voltaire. All of these are in the mix of influences if you see the founding of the US as the historical apotheosis of the Enlightenment ideal and see the roads all leading to representative government.

But there is also an argument to be made for King Frederick II of Prussia as the "enlightened despot" who put Enlightenment ideals into practice at the governmental level, secured religious toleration as principle of the modern nation state, and firmly wedded these ideals to the middle class and the state economy in a way that wasn't possible in the more classist French and English societies. He was, in many ways, the fulfillment of the Philosopher King ideal that we get in Plato's Republic. And when you then figure how much of our modern philosophy runs through Kant and Hegel and the German tradition of that time, I don't think it is at all controversial to say that Germany represents at least one view of an ideal Western state.

And it also creates a sort of rivalry between them and the US for that title, and puts WWII square in the center of the argument as a massive point of inflection.

Just to throw a broad brush, Enlightenment 101 level explanation out there.

Thanks, nous, and your para starting But there is also an argument to be made is certainly part of what I was thinking of (having had this very point made to me again and again by the long-dead, German-born, non-Nazi love of my life who was 16 when WW2 ended). However this, and widely acknowledged, undeniable late-Weimar cultural ferment and creativity, are not enough. I hope (and am pretty sure) I can come up with more for McKinney. We shall see.

As far as gas pipelines go, one of the major questions is: How wet is the gas.

Exactly. Most of 30 years ago the eastern third of Colorado had a near-record cold snap. On the coldest day, metro Denver went to rolling blackouts because natural gas deliveries to the generators were curtailed. The principal cause was water in the gas freezing out within a fairly short distance of the wellhead. Wet gas gets dewatered a whole lot closer to the wellhead these days.

You have to balance the certainty of a hot summer against the likelihood of an unprecedented storm.

One of the reasons that wind has become so popular in Western Interconnect states is that it doesn't require cooling water. I keep an eye on Texas to see how they deal with the problem.

Some years back there was a very hot summer and the two nukes near Dallas had to be throttled back because the man-made lake that holds their cooling water got warm enough that the whole plant was less efficient.

I always find it interesting that surface water in Texas all belongs to the state which can pick and choose diversions (and delegate that to other entities). Sometime in the last 20 years there were two dry years in a row and the agency that manages the lower Colorado River* put a bunch of rice farmers out of business by holding back their water access to keep a big power plant near Austin operating.

* The Texas version of the Colorado River, not the AZ/CA/CO/NV/UT/WY Colorado River.

I think it would be a lot easier to have McT tell us what he defines as the high points of Western Civilization at the turn of the century rather than try and give him a liberal arts 101 course.

Just to throw a broad brush, Enlightenment 101 level explanation out there.

People like Haydn, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann, Liszt, etc., and folks like Martin Luther, Goethe, Rilke, Thomas Mann, etc., also not too shabby examples. Marx and Engels too, whatever one thinks of their legacy.

There's a lot missing when lists start being made!

McKinney, it did happen there, and it can happen here.

sapient: good points all. Those guys were the hinterland of German culture and civilisation, which made Germans and other Europeans etc so sure that Germany represented a (or the) pinnacle. But I hope to provide evidence in due course that that was how Germany was widely regarded at the time. It was certainly why so many Jews never believed it could happen there, until it did, according to multiple survivor accounts I have read and heard over the years.

Wet gas gets dewatered a whole lot closer to the wellhead these days.

My instant reaction, when Charles said

The gas has to travel in pipelines to the plant that filters and drys the gas before it is injected into the transportation lines. Gas travels in the pipelines at about 22 miles an hour. So, it can take a while to get from West Texas to Houston.
was Why aren't they drying it the wellhead, rather than in Houston??? Glad to see it wasn't simply a dumbass question.

Why aren't they drying it the wellhead, rather than in Houston???

I intended to mean that the gas was dried near the wellhead before being injected into the transport pipelines. If it's not dried at the wellhead, it's going to have to travel some distance in a pipe before being dried.

Natural-gas processing

Cancel culture strikes again!!

https://www.politico.com/news/2021/02/19/ted-cruz-children-school-470341

You could also make a case for Vienna and the Austrian Hungarian empire.

But all these “pinnacles of Western culture and civilisation” at the turn of the century rested on very unsteady foundations.

At least for Germany it can be said that it was the very success of integrating Jews into society that spawned modern anti-semitism. The main proponents insisted that it had nothing to do with religion at all, therefore the new name (which was non-sensical as linguists pointed out at the time but without success). Simple progroms were something for backward societies like Poland or Russia. It 'needed' a superior 'enlightened' society to recognize and to deal with the 'problem' (once and for all*).
The modern anti-semites saw themselves as modern, even 'progressive', as the avant-garde in the original sense. Austria-Hungary was from that POV too old-fashioned and stuck in the pre-modern mindset (although they came up with the basis for the idea to combine the old-fashioned local progrom with the modern centralized extermination).

*the 'for all' with both meanings 1) finally 2) to the benefit of everybody

But all these “pinnacles of Western culture and civilisation” at the turn of the century rested on very unsteady foundations.

Very true, when you consider a country's economy, in particular, to be one of the main foundations.

sapient's list of German high, high culture, and the subsequent developments in the 20th century (the Wikipedia article on Weimar culture gives a superficial, but panoramic view, with supporting bibliography) supports my contention. But what I have not yet proved (although I am trying to find supporting evidence) is that this was a prevailing view outside Germany. It seems self-evident to me, but we shall see.

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

The ability for mass murder was not something that only Germans who had turned to Nazism were capable of and if you want to follow the French line, you have this

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

GftNC,
Not sure what, exactly, your contention is. Perhaps you could restate your hypothesis? I did find this, for what it's worth.

Carry on.

The ability for mass murder was not something that only Germans who had turned to Nazism were capable of

something something centuries of colonialism something something

bobbyp: McKinney's repeated contention is that Western (sometimes he specifies Judeo-Christian, sometimes he specifies capitalist, sometimes he specifies liberal enlightenment) culture and civilisation is superior in almost every way to any others in history. He rejected the idea that the holocaust was a product of a culture and civilisation (Germany) which thought itself, and was thought by others, to be a pinnacle of Western culture and civilisation. He contended that responsibility for the holocaust was the Nazi party's, not Germany's, but he asked for evidence of the bolded text above, which was my contention.

Apart from sapient's list of exemplars of German high and political, philosophical culture, which forms the backbone of my picture of Germany's place among nations in this regard, and apart from Weimar and other 20th century artistic and other developments, I give McKinney this piece in the Nation, on Wolf Lepenies extended essay The Seduction of Culture in German History which essay may give him what he was asking for. I have not read it, but I am perfectly happy with my characterisation of Germany's self-image and European image at the time. However, McKinney is researching this subject, so he may be interested enough to do so. From the piece in the Nation:

Germany’s Kultur–its music, its classic and Romantic literature and art, its philosophy, its university system and its science–has been admired and emulated, sometimes envied and feared, but always, if sometimes begrudgingly, recognized as an inalienable part of European civilization. But after the nineteenth-century “Land der Dichter und Denker” (country of poets and thinkers) became the “Land der Richter und Henker” (country of judges and executioners), as Karl Kraus famously put it, the unsettling proximity of German Kultur to barbarism became a standard trope. Auschwitz inmates forced to perform Mozart and Beethoven, Goethe’s Weimar right next to Buchenwald, Adolf Hitler’s Wagner cult and Albert Speer’s megalomaniacal architectural fantasies–this is what reminds us that German Kultur not only failed to stem the tide of fascism but was effortlessly appropriated by the Nazis and thus contributed to Hitler’s rise.

The German tendency to see in culture a legitimate, even noble substitute for parliamentary and democratic politics is the topic of Wolf Lepenies’s extended essay. The story Lepenies tells in The Seduction of Culture in German History is not new. It has been explored with great insight by an earlier generation of historians, many of them German-Jewish émigrés such as Fritz Stern, Georg Mosse and Peter Gay. But it does warrant a new look in our age of “culture wars” and the “clash of civilizations.” Even if Kultur in the sense of apolitical high culture played a greater role in Germany than anywhere else, making the country’s road to modernity unique in some respects (the so-called Sonderweg, or special path), recent historiography has done much to puncture the narrative of German exceptionalism. Culture has served as a substitute for politics in other countries as well: to a certain extent in France after the military defeat of 1871, in Spain after the Spanish-American War of 1898, even in the United States during the post-Vietnam culture wars. Lepenies, a distinguished sociologist, former rector of the Berlin Wissenschaftskolleg and an accomplished man of letters, offers us a series of brilliant vignettes, studded with memorable aphorisms and observations focusing on German, French and American intellectual life across time and disciplines.

From Herder, Weimar classicism and the Romantics on, at first by default, later by choice, Germans understood themselves as a Kulturnation, a nation unified by high culture in the absence of a central state. Once Germany achieved unity and statehood under Bismarck in 1871, this notion of Kultur took on more aggressive connotations. German elites counterposed Kultur to French civilization, German Romanticism and its cult of inwardness to the French Enlightenment and the ideal of the citoyen, German manliness and moral seriousness to French decadence and frivolity. After the failure of the 1848 attempt to bring parliamentary and constitutional rule to Germany, the embrace of Kultur often came with the dismissal of parliamentary politics as somehow un-German, and it underlay Germans’ feelings of superiority over their Western neighbors–an attitude that would merge seamlessly with Nazi racial theory and imperial aggression. It was precisely because Kultur shunned the realm of politics that the cultured elites collapsed so easily and often eagerly when the Nazis staged their rule as a cultural revolution.

https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/high-culture-low-politics/

Mid 17th century there were several witch ovens constructed (the most infamous in Neiße ins Silesia) that allowed to burn several dozen witches at once* with a minimum of fuel. Mass executions were nothing new but imo this has a different quality. Obviously the magistrate considered it to be a longterm investment where the fuel savings would quickly redeem the costs.

*the largest single use seems to have been 42 but iirc it had a larger capacity.

The Wilhelmian German Empire prominently constrasted German "Kultur" with French "Zivilisation" (the former of course far superior). The German elites also saw themselves as spiritual successors of the ancient Greeks while France favored the Romans*.
The Romans that were defeated at Teutoburg Forest became stand-ins for the French since Napoleon in German literature (and that episode spawned a LOT of literary treatments).

*under Napoleon France called England "the New Carthage" btw.

The Wilhelmian German Empire prominently constrasted German "Kultur" with French "Zivilisation" (the former of course far superior).

Germany came late to the imperialist nation-state party. The 'old timers' had all the goodies and 'timeless' traditions (conquest, empire, colonial exploitation), and the Germans, high culture notwithstanding, were viewed as brash upstarts with a massive chip on their shoulder. As Hartmut points out, this assertion of superiority became mutual in a very deadly sense in the decades prior to WW1.

The above is a fairly common take....I'm sure there is a great deal more to it. I would ask further about the assertion of the 'surrender' of German culture to the nazis. They were not alone. The political right and the political center surrendered as well.

Also, I think it worth the effort to tease out how much of "Western Civilization" points toward representative government and the idea of Athens and the Roman senate, and how much of it points towards the other, competing political systems of Greco-Roman antiquity. If one assumes something like the US as the culmination of Greco-Roman civilization, then it focuses on a very small part of the Classics corpus and it reads that corpus through the lens of Enlightenment philosophy.

A historicist reading of Greco-Roman works will give a different view. And historicism leads us directly into the German school of philosophy.

There's a lot of sifting that's going unexamined in a breezy deployment of the Western Civ label.

Mid 17th century there were several witch ovens constructed (the most infamous in Neiße ins Silesia) that allowed to burn several dozen witches at once* with a minimum of fuel.

Geez. Salem had it witch burnings, but at least they were done one by one (AFIK) like civilized people. Due process, baby!

its

That's it for me today - surely a spell has been cast.

Mass executions were nothing new but imo this has a different quality.

Agreed. An early portent of the German urge towards efficiency, which later became so much more impressive (if I can use such a word in this connection).

I think GftNC should just tell McTex to do his homework on the Frankfurt School - it's all there.

Salem had it witch burnings

No burnings, they were hung.

Except Giles Corey, who was pressed to death, in an attempt to get him to enter a plea. The issue being, if he entered no plea, the court could not seize his land. So he took the weight and saved his farm for his kin.

"Have you any plea to enter, Mr Corey?"

"More weight".

Apparently, a true story. "More weight" being a 17th C Puritan New England yeoman farmer way of saying "fnck you, you bastard".

The Salem witch trials were a vile blend of religious bigotry and paranoia, settling of various family feuds, scapegoating of local oddballs, village vs countryside animus, and simple ordinary greed. As in case of Corey, some of accused held nice farm land, which might be surrendered to the court if they were found guilty.

All of that history is present to me on almost a daily basis. There is a lovely memorial to the witch trial victims in downtown Salem, which is a peaceful and beautiful place to sit and reflect when the weather is good. The farmstead of Rebecca Nurse, hung at age 71, has been preserved as a historical site in Danvers, which was Salem Village at the time. I worked around the corner from the Nurse farm site for several years and would occasionally take a walk there at lunchtime.

The church I attend is the same congregation to which most of the witch trial victims and their accusers belonged. We still say the same covenant, every week, that was first spoken when that congregation was gathered in 1629. Many of the primary documents of that period, and of those trials, are housed in the church basement. The events of the 1690's are something we consider and discuss, often.

The past is never dead. It's not even the past.

TBH I'm not sure the Nazi period was that extraordinary. Even the most casual glance at history turns up calamities of similar consequence. The Nazis were just remarkably systematic and calculated about it. They kept records. The rationality of it all is what makes it so hideous, I think.

Human beings are a very strange mix of the wonderful and the horrible. Sometimes all at the same time.

For folks considering the "can it happen here?" question, it's worth noting that Hitler looked to the US as kind of a role model. We took an entire continent, systematically annihilated an entire race of people to do it, and enslaved an entire other race of people to exploit it. Hitler found that noteworthy.

We took an entire continent, systematically annihilated an entire race of people to do it, and enslaved an entire other race of people to exploit it.

I'm with you on all of it, russell. And -- again -- "we" is such an interesting word. That sentence reminds me of this poem, and I'm glad I went searching for it, because I had never seen his explanation of how it came about.

Hard to live up to these days, or any days.

The Nazis were just remarkably systematic and calculated about it.

Or is the difference that the Nazis also, and simultaneously, started a war with all of their neighbors. Which they came rather close to winning.

As a result of which, they got demonized more comprehensively than most similar cases. Who, currently, thinks about Pol Pot? For all that he is closer in time, and killed far more of his countrymen.

For folks considering the "can it happen here?" question, it's worth noting that Hitler looked to the US as kind of a role model. We took an entire continent, systematically annihilated an entire race of people to do it, and enslaved an entire other race of people to exploit it. Hitler found that noteworthy.

Why do you hate America, russell? ;^)

Imagine if the resolve the Nazis had were put to something positive, pulling off something of an economic miracle of sorts by getting enough people go pull in the same direction, without it being based on hatred of scapegoats and a perverse sense of superiority.

We took an entire continent, systematically annihilated an entire race of people to do it, and enslaved an entire other race of people to exploit it.

To be accurate, the ancestors of some of us did so. We, i.e. those who currently live here, get some benefits from that. But nobody still living was around to see it, let alone actively involved. And ancestry is sufficiently muddled for many of us that even what percentage of your ancestors were complicit can be hard to parse.

In a lot (not all, but a lot) of cases, it seems like those who get most worked up on the subject are mostly just feeling a need to feel guilty. Without reference to whether their ancestors were even on this continent at the time. If they want to donate their own time, money, and effort to what they see as somehow making amends, that's fine. Admirable even.

But the frequent demand that everybody else do so is hard to take seriously.** Especially since it so often seems to be mostly based on the most superficial kind of racism. I wait, with zero anticipation, for someone to recognize that, if you look at actual ancestry, Barack Obama probably has more "ancestral guilt" than some scum like Ted Cruz. More likely, the denunciation will go the other way.

** Now collectively putting money and effort into helping lift people, all people, out of povetty -- that's something worth doing. But, rwnj propaganda notwithstanding, there's no need to base doing so on race.

To be accurate, the ancestors of some of us did so.

Well, this site might be of interest
https://slaveryfootprint.org/

This isn't a gotcha, I was looking at some lists of well designed websites the other day and this came up.

lj, it would be interesting to know what criteria they are using for their calculations. For example, do they assume that any TV regardless of manufacturer or date of manufacture was made by slave labor? That any dairy products were not? That my house . . . I'm not sure what?

Similarly for all the other stuff. It's a cute conceit. But silly if you stop to think about it.

Actually, given the supply chain, I'm not so sure that your assumption that there are TV sets out there that are untouched by people who are in some way being exploited. And the idea that there is a some date of manufacture cutoff is also an interesting assumption. I wonder how many people have TVs that use cathode ray tech (and do they still pick up anything?)

Capitalism works in part because it separates us from how things are produced.

Slave-free chocolate. Conversely, a lot of chocolate is not slave-free, and the slaves are children.

Or is the difference that the Nazis also, and simultaneously, started a war with all of their neighbors.

I'm pretty sure the American southwest and most of CA used to be Mexico.

We have also tried it on with Canada, but they kicked our @ss.

To be accurate, the ancestors of some of us did so.

I believe the question that gets raised about this stuff is "can it happen here?", rather than "is it happening here?".

And the corollary question is "is there something special about us that makes us immune from that kind of insanity?".

Unless we are somehow a different breed of human than our ancestors were, I think the answer from history is "no".

"To be accurate, the ancestors of some of us did so."

Well, the "who's we, kemosabe?" argument works both ways or not at all.

I admit, it is dicey to rationalize collective guilt from the past and our ancestors, as in, "We, America, enslaved an entire race and all of us to this day bear collective guilt."

But just so, when folks claim "We freed the slaves", or "We defeated Fascism in Europe" or "We are the shining city on the hill", or "We invented the vaccine for polio", why, to quote a character in the movie "Network", I look askance.

Now, when FOX News figures point out the upside of that enslavement for the black race, I think I can tell who "we" is, or wants to be.

Case in point: the Spanish Flu.

Case in point: the Chinese Flu, which we seem to have made our very American own via the perverse, sick hospitality of say, the Governor of South Dakota and Donald Trump, though I don't discount that the CCP as well is trying to figure a way to call that the Spanish Flu as well.

I just don't know how Spaniards live with themselves, for all they've done to the rest of us.

In fact, Spaniards rival government as the scapegoat in too many American minds for the catalogue of Russell's miseries.

And goats seem to be implicated in everything bad as well, at least when mirrors aren't available for us to peer into.

I don't keep as mirror in my place for just that reason.

This happened just overhead yesterday:

https://digbysblog.net/2021/02/from-the-dont-fly-this-at-home-files/

To be accurate, the ancestors of some of us did so.

Just to push back on this a bit more:

My grandfather kept a black man's knucklebones in his dresser drawer. I don't even want to know how he came by them, but I also think it's fairly obvious how he came by them, and why he had them. They were a trophy.

I know and have known, personally, people who were excluded from public places because they are black. In some cases, as a matter of public policy or law. Some are gone now, some are not. Some are still alive, walking among us. Ask around, you probably know some, too.

It's been not quite 60 years since the landmark civil rights legislation of the 60's was passed.

And needless to say, we are still screwing native Americans over on a somewhat daily basis, in any of a variety of ways.

This stuff is not that far in the past. People I know, people I am personally related to, participated in it, either as perpetrators or victims. It's just not that far behind us.

I don't think the correct response to this is guilt, and I personally don't feel guilty about it. As you note, I personally didn't do any of that stuff.

What I do think is an appropriate response is humility, and self-awareness.

"Can it happen here?". It has happened here.

Did any of us, personally do it? Most likely not.

Are we, personally, now and today, somehow above doing it? Have we evolved, in the space of a generation or two, into people who are incapable of things like that?

I think the answer is no. And I think the correct response is humility and a practice of self-awareness and self-reflection, rather than an attitude of self-congratulation that we are somehow above it all.

I don't believe we are above it all. I don't believe anyone is, really, except perhaps the saints among us. And sainthood is, generally, the result of a practice of humility and self-awareness.

Janie, thank you for sharing the Thich Nhat Hanh, it was a blessing.

To be accurate, the ancestors of some of us did so.

...and all of us are still trying to sort out and deal with the consequences.

...and all of us are still trying to sort out and deal with the consequences.

Just to be clear, I completely agree that all of us need to do so. But I'm thinking we need a bit more focus on what needs to be done there. And a bit less on who (or whose ancestors) should be considered guilty. Not least because we might see less pushback, and so get more done sooner.

Just some thoughts before I go to bed. Russell states it better than I do, but I should say, I tossed that link up not to guilt trip anyone. You do you and I'll do me as the phrase goes, so process the information however you like. All I'd ask is that people consider that before they go on and on about how capitalism is the greatest bar none system for organizing society. No need for anyone to flagellate themselves, just hold back a bit and maybe hold off saying 'hey, that's not me'. The rough equivalent to, I hope, Russell's call for self-awareness and reflection.

Thinking about ancestry and the deeds of our forebears only gets at so much of the picture. Culture and economics also matter and bring their own tangles of complicity. I don't think about it as a matter of blame so much as a matter of awareness and a moral duty to mitigate the ongoing legacy effects and build a better social future.

A dear friend and former professor recently shared this piece with me: Sleepovers in Slave Cabins Are Helping to Create Healing Conversations. The part I think is most relevant to this conversation is...:

“Even as immersed in the subject matter as I thought I was, I knew very little,” he admits. “I had slavery in a box, you know: a [rural] southern plantation. …I wasn’t even thinking about urban slavery and, right there in Charleston, South Carolina, you could find hundreds of slave dwellings within the city limits.”

He also didn’t realize the depths of northern complicity in the institution of slavery. Not only did northerners own enslaved Africans, “they owned the banks, … the insurance companies, … the factories” that financially benefited from the cotton the slaves picked.

I've got a lot of other things I am thinking about with this - about my mother's people who came from Sweden in the middle of the 19th C. to settle in the upper midwest, which absolves them of American guilt in many eyes - about my father's people who left Massachusetts colony because they didn't think the elders that russell wrote about were observant enough and wound their dissenter way through the western expansion of the US, never owning slaves, but deeply racist nonetheless, despite finding it abhorrent that one man claim to own another.

But all that is too tangled to tease out, so I'll just ponder it some more and leave you all to your own meditations.

"Can it happen here?". It has happened here.

I hope it's clear from an extrapolation of my contributions that I think this. In fact, I think "it" has happened everywhere, for all values of "it" which include man's inhumanity to man, based on whichever arbitrary dividing line seemed convenient to the perpetrators wherever.

And I can't help thinking of John Donne's famous Meditation 17 from Devotions upon Emergent Occasions (1623). The famous quotation which follows is often taken to refer mainly to death, but it is clear to me that its application is much wider, and that the most important phrase is the one I have bolded below.

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

He might as well (if not using the metaphor of the tolling death knell in the aftermath of his illness and recovery) have said: Any man's suffering diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.

And therefore, russell's comment below seems absolutely right, and proper, to me.

I think the correct response is humility and a practice of self-awareness and self-reflection, rather than an attitude of self-congratulation that we are somehow above it all.

I don't disagree with much that's been said here, and as I mentioned, I agree that "it can happen here." We [citizens] should fiercely fight against the possibility that it will. And, yes, humility and self-awareness, never a bad idea.

That said, I don't think the conquest (and, arguably, genocide) of Native Americans, or slavery, are comparable to the Holocaust, or are the same as the choice that we face now. I'm not arguing for or against putting our historical crimes on a scale of evil - they were evil, and represented our capacity for 1) engaging in and/or tolerating the inhumane treatment of others, and 2) living with, and profiting from, institutions based on the inhumane treatment of others. But people in our history were born with these institutions as part of the package (just as we were born with, and have lived with their legacy). Enlightened people tried to improve things, and in many ways did so, but they were working to move forward from the status quo.

The Holocaust was different because of its context. The Nazis turned their backs on the progress of mainstream humanitarian values, and instead willfully embraced lies and brutality to become less humane.

People who had a cultural tradition of reason, science, beauty, philosophy, education, etc., chose to believe lies and institutionalize murder and cruelty. Obviously, the seeds of Nazism existed in German history, just as racism, etc. exist in ours, but it was a choice rather than a pre-existing circumstance to honor the worst aspects of the society.

That's what the United States faces now. American history (as all human history) includes atrocities, but the values of the United States, stated in our founding documents as amended to evolve further toward justice, are based on reason (implying truth), and humanitarian principles. If we Americans choose to allow neo-Nazis, neo-Confederates, and their sympathizers (deplorables) to prevail, we are, like the original Nazis, betraying the best of our cultural legacy in favor of the worst. We would be more culpable than our forebears.

I had slavery in a box, you know: a [rural] southern plantation.

A few years ago I commissioned a painting from a local artist as a gift for my wife. I went to the artist's house, a few miles further up the coast from where I live.

He lived in a house that was built in the 1700's. We went up to the top floor, where his studio was. We passed by a small room tucked up under the attic.

That was where the slave had lived.

The south has a particular history because its largely agrarian economy depended on commodity cash crops - cotton, tobacco, indigo, rice - that required a lot of manual labor to produce, and so slavery was more deeply bound into its economic and social structure.

But in terms of the history, this is right on the money:


Not only did northerners own enslaved Africans, “they owned the banks, … the insurance companies, … the factories” that financially benefited from the cotton the slaves picked.

To that list, I'll add that they largely owned the ships that brought Africans to be sold at Charleston and New Orleans and similar ports of entry, and made up the crews that manned the ships. A lot of northern fortunes were built on the backs of black people.

And any northerner able to afford it was likely to have household slaves to do the grunt work of daily life.

I admit, it is dicey to rationalize collective guilt from the past and our ancestors, as in, "We, America, enslaved an entire race and all of us to this day bear collective guilt."

consider the word "slave".

it ultimately comes from "Slav" (as in Slavic), because the Slavs were an important source of slaves in Europe in the middle ages.

western enslaving western!

can't get much more western than that.

Collective guilt is considered unacceptable.

Collective benefit from the proceeds of past crimes? A-okay!

Discuss.

Incidentally, thanks for the info about Salem witches and your church, russell. Interesting! There is so much history in old churches on both sides of the Mason Dixon line.

The south has a particular history because its largely agrarian economy depended on commodity cash crops - cotton, tobacco, indigo, rice - that required a lot of manual labor to produce, and so slavery was more deeply bound into its economic and social structure.

The critical peculiarity, it seems to me, is that after the Civil War, the South glorified the Lost Cause and the pre-war society. Elsewhere, no matter how deep-seated an individual's bigotry, they were clear that giving voice to it was not quite the done thing. OK in private, or select groups. But (until very recently) not something you would do publicly without expecting negative repercussions.

The past decade or so, the South's out-and-proud bigotry has become more widespread. Overall, the country has gotten less so. But those who are now feel much freer about saying so. I diagnose, in significant part, dispair that their views are losing -- more accurately, have lost -- the battle.

About other subjects than race, too. But race is the one they are most exercised about. At least until a woman successfully wins the Presidency. At which point, hysteria will shift focus to some extent. Because, after all, while they may avoid "uppity blacks" in their immediate family, they can't avoid women there.

Collective benefit from the proceeds of past crimes? A-okay!

Collective benefits from slavery would be hard to find. Especially after a civil war as a filter.

Collective benefits from slavery would be hard to find.

You don't count the initial industrialization of the North? Which was based, after all, on processing cotton from the plantations in the South.

The historical evidence seems to show that slavery was a drag on the overall economy, not a boost. And that the US would be a much wealthier country today if it could have avoided slavery.


"“The industrial revolution was based on cotton, produced primarily in the slave labor camps of the United States,” Noam Chomsky similarly stated in an interview with the Times. Both claims give the impression that slavery was essential for industrialization and/or American economic hegemony, which is untrue.

Slavery Was Neither Crucial nor Necessary for the Industrial Revolution ...

Cotton Exports Didn’t Make the United States an Economic Superpower ...

Slavery Delayed Southern Industrialization ...

More Slavery Means Less Prosperity, Even over 100 Years Later ..."

No, Slavery Did Not Make America Rich: The historical record of the post-war economy demonstrates slavery was neither a central driving force of, or economically necessary for, American economic dominance.


"To make this case, these scholars invoke three facts. First, the southern states enjoyed relatively faster growth than the free northern states. Second, slavery was immensely profitable to slaveholders. Third, the rapid increases in slave productivity – as measured by cotton picked per slave – meant that cotton output exploded. From this, a causal claim is made: slavery made America rich because increasing slave productivity increased profits and fastened economic growth.

With the exception of whether or not the South grew faster than the North, which is debatable to some degree, there is little to dispute on a factual basis. However, it is impossible to infer that America was made richer from these facts. In fact, when interpreted with the light of economic theory, the second and third facts actually suggest that the reverse is true: America was made poorer because of slavery."
Slavery Did Not Make America Richer:


"Slavery was, of course, appalling, a plain theft of labor. The war to end it was righteous altogether—though had the South been coldly rational, the ending could have been achieved as in the British Empire in 1833 or Brazil in 1888 without 600,000 deaths. But prosperity did not depend on slavery. The United States and the United Kingdom and the rest would have become just as rich without the 250 years of unrequited toil. They have remained rich, observe, even after the peculiar institution was abolished, because their riches did not depend on its sinfulness."
Slavery Did Not Make America Rich: Ingenuity, not capital accumulation or exploitation, made cotton a little king.

So, stealing land from Native Americans didn't benefit any current landowners?

Reducing the practice of chattel slavery in the South to "a plain theft of labor" has to be one of the most cynical and morally vacuous rhetorical moves I can recall having read anywhere.

Geloso at least acknowledges the work of Sven Beckert in his analysis, but in arguing how America, and especially the South, was impoverished by the practice of slavery, he ignores the way in which finance worked to relocate many of those profits in offshore investments.

But then when I look at his output for AIER and see him arguing the Whale Oil Myth in order to say that the markets saved whales from extinction (while attacking governmental subsidies, naturally), I begin to wonder just how much research is actually involved in writing these pieces.

You'd be better off reading Beckert and then chasing down the critical reviews and citations than trusting Geloso's wan attempt at engagement here.

I guess I'm unclear on the point of Charles' posts.

Whether the southern US might have been more prosperous had they moved away from an agrarian economy based on slave labor or not is kind of beside the point, it seems to me.

They did not do so, and they were as prosperous as they were. And many of them were quite prosperous. And the folks in the north who made spectacular fortunes off of the slave trade were as prosperous as they were, which was likewise quite prosperous.

And the descendants of all of those people have reaped whatever benefits they have reaped from all of that.

CharlesWT brings us yet another reason to despise the Confederate aristocracy: ... the US would be a much wealthier country today if it could have avoided slavery.

Good ol' Yankee ingenuity (neo-Confederate version) will ALWAYS find a way to pooh-pooh outrage over a vicious practice whose consequences (not least of which is the Electoral College) the US lives with to this day.

There is no question that a Northern aristocracy profited from financing slavery, transporting slaves, and building an industry based on their produce. Capitalists will capitalize on anything, including such things as the Great Compromise between the stated ideals of the Declaration of Independence and the pigheadedness of conservative/libertarian/states-rights proto-MAGAts who refused to "avoid" slavery.

--TP

Granted various enterprises, regions, and people benefited from slavery. I'm questioning the idea that there might be an overall collective benefit from slavery. That the country is wealthier because of it.

I'm questioning the idea that there might be an overall collective benefit from slavery.

I doubt anyone here would disagree. But, as you may have noticed, that point got totally missed. In fact, I'm not sure I can quite see it in your text, even now that I know what's supposed to be there.

I'm questioning the idea that there might be an overall collective benefit from slavery.

The premier underlying claim for untrammeled free markets and pure competitive capitalism is that such a social order maximizes social utility, the greatest, most efficient, and best production and distribution of scarce resources.

Yet under conditions that were perhaps "freer" (from government interference) and arguably more "purely competitive" than any time in our history, we chose chattel slavery over free wage labor, and the asserted economic superiority of wage labor did not replace the peculiar institution absent a brutal civil war.

An alternate view can be found here.

wj,

.....And a bit less on who (or whose ancestors) should be considered guilty.

Well, that is not by any means, the main thrust of "woke culture". It's mostly about recognizing and coming to grips with the racism within you, and what to do about it. Even so, you will have to admit that ignorance of the past is widespread.

Not least because we might see less pushback, and so get more done sooner.

The efficacy of this assertion is problematical. If "getting less pushback" is a vital engine of social progress, some examples would help. As for those hurt feelings, I'm always open to new approaches (the ethos of pure communism!).

Heather McGhee offers one up here.

It's a good approach. I feel you would agree.

An alternate view can be found here.

Edward Baptist undermines the thesis of his book, The Half Has Never Been Told, by overestimating the 1836 GDP value of cotton production by a magnitude.

"Coates’s numbers come from Cornell University historian Ed Baptist’s 2014 book The Half Has Never Been Told. In a key passage in the book, Baptist purports to add up the total value of the economic activity that derived from cotton production, which at $77 million made up about 5 percent of the estimated gross domestic product (GDP) of the United States in 1836. Baptist then committed a fundamental accounting error. He proceeded to double and even triple count intermediate transactions involved in cotton production — things like land purchases for plantations, tools used for cotton production, transportation, insurance, and credit instruments used in each. Eventually, that $77 million became $600 million in Baptist’s accounting, or almost half of the entire antebellum economy of the United States."
The Statistical Errors of the Reparations Agenda

Am I missing the place in this conversation where anyone made any claims about American GDP related to slavery?

What we were discussing was how the North and the UK was financially complicit in the slave economy - this to contest the idea that capitalism and the legacy of wester civilization were uniquely liberatory.

All that the arguments about GDP prove is that capitalism has no morals and views the slavery question entirely through the lens of economic utility. That whole line of discussion is irrelevant for any part of the topic except for the appropriate size of any reparations.

As if this discussion had anything whatsoever to do with the size of the US economy before or after slavery.

After I did one of those cartoon triple takes at seeing Charles quote Noam Chomsky, I was trying to figure out where this arose as well. It seemed to stem from the website that suggested we gain some benefit from people suffering to bring us iphones, goods sold in Walmart, cheap food, [fill in blank], and the mention of 'slave' on that website seems to have set the ball rolling.

It seemed (to climb on my hobby horse) a tribute to white fragility, god forbid that we somehow benefited from slavery. But the alternative, that people would choose to do things that would be so obviously wounding to themselves, suggests that people who don't want to admit the possible financial benefits of slavery have got a pretty dark view of humanity as essentially sadistic, getting their jollies by inflicting pain and suffering on others. That is some dark sh*t if you ask me. I mean, I know there are sadists in the world, but to set up a whole society around it seems pretty sick. But of course, that helps rhetorically, because if the people who did it were totally sick, it automatically relieves those of us who are not sick from any blame.

Related is this story from the Atlantic from June 2017
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/06/lolas-story/524490/

And some other related articles
https://pacificties.org/what-you-should-know-about-my-familys-slave/

https://www.theatlantic.com/notes/2017/06/slavery-in-the-family/527775/

https://www.pri.org/stories/2017-05-19/five-things-consider-if-you-are-reading-my-family-s-slave

https://www.rappler.com/voices/rappler-blogs/atlantic-family-slave-alex-tizon-feast

https://r3.rappler.com/views/imho/170316-we-are-all-tizons-shakira-sison

While few call for the return of slavery, the much more efficient child labor still has its adherents. And they still try to have SCOTUS declare child labor laws to be unconstitutional per se and praise child labor as liberating.
OK, in particular RW evangelicals try to paint black slavery as (spiritually) liberating in hindsight too but they rarely call for its reintroduction.
As for prosperity: depends on how one weighs it. If the main thing is that a few guys get filthy rich (i.e. measure by the maximum individual value) slavery was extremly profitable by the standards of its time (we always get reminded [often by the above guys who want child labor and debtors prisons with forced labor back] that even the lower classes enjoy a higher standarad of living now than the kings of old, so we have to be careful about the standards applied).
If we go for the average and compare it to the theoretically possible, things look different of course. But by that view the Romans could have landed on the moon in the 3rd century had the technological development not been stymied by the near unlimited availability of slave labor* (who needs a steam engine, if one can work slaves to death en masse for less?).

*e.g. Caesar's gallant exploits in Gaul flooded the Mediterranean markets with more than a million new slaves sending the prices tumbling down uncontrollably ("Madam, this slave will bring your groceries home for free and you can keep him too" seems but a slight exaggeration).

As for benefits, should we be grateful for nazi experiments on KZ prisoners concerning sulfonamides or the treatment of severe hypothermia? We still profit from both (and the US government still tries to keep it out of the public eye that the perpetrators got protected after the war in exchange for their expertise by blocking any research access to the relevant documents).

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Blog powered by Typepad