Links 3/10/16

John Gutfreund, Wall Street Pioneer, Dies at 86 Wall Street Journal

‘Stunning’ operation regenerates eye’s lens BBC (David L)

How sliced meat drove human evolution Science Magazine (Chuck L)

Is Fukushima’s exclusion zone doing more harm than radiation? BBC


Awash in Empty Homes, China Asks Migrant Workers to Settle Down New York Times

Moody’s: China Doomed to Fail as it Chases ‘Impossible Trinity’ South China Morning Post

Suu Kyi ruled out as Myanmar president BBC

Is there any reason to hope for France? Vineyard of the Saker (Chuck L)

How Liberals Tried to Kill the Dream of Single-Payer New Republic

Lula and the BRICS in a fight to the death RT (resilc)


Moscow, a rampart against the jihadists (Wat)

Missing Clinton E-Mail Claims Saudis Financed Benghazi Attacks Medium (Chuck L)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Pentagon confirms it has used spy drones in U.S. air space Mashable (David L)

Snowden: FBI Claim That Only Apple Can Unlock Phone Is “Bullshit” Intercept (EM)

Mr. Fart’s Favorite Colors Blake Ross (guurst)

Thanks America! How China’s Newest Software Could Track, Predict, and Crush Dissent Defense One (resilc)

Hacking industrial vehicles from the internet J Carlos Norte (Chuck L)

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Hollow State Politics: The Left Behinds vs. Technorati Global Guerrillas

Nobody Knows the Identities of the 150 People Killed by U.S. in Somalia, but Most Are Certain They Deserved It Glenn Greenwald, Intercept

Your Tax Dollars Are Enabling Police Brutality in Egypt Foreign Policy in Focus (resilc)

Clinton calls for sanctions on Iran after more missile tests Reuters (resilc)

2016. I saw the second part of the Democratic debate last night. Several impressions: Sanders keeps improving his game while Clinton stick to her tried and true tropes, particularly “I have a plan” which drives me nuts. Sanders at one point commended her for adopting plans similar to ones he’d proposed earlier, and at another juncture, contrasted her having plans with his track record of bills and votes. The moderators asked tough questions, and did a pretty good job of keeping Clinton (and once in a while Sanders) from going on overly long. Someone who saw the earlier part said Clinton was asked what she would do if she were indicted, and she said that was not going to happen. I hope someone in the media asks the DoJ if they’ve already made that determination (and if so, why did they give Bryan Pagliano immunity from prosecution if all the facts were known). I got the vibe and would like a reader sanity check, that Hillary seemed very uncomfortable, as if she resented being asked questions by her inferiors, as well as with the explicit Hispanic orientation. At the closing remarks, about 60% of the audience gave Sanders a standing ovation, while Clinton gave a tight smile and laughed. Despite the audience reaction, which was also generally more favorable to Sanders during the debate, I didn’t find a single MSM outlet willing to call him the winner of the ones I checked (WaPo, WSJ, NYT, Politico).

Sanders and Clinton Spar on Immigration in Tough Debate New York Times

7 most interesting moments of the Democratic debate Politico

Miami Just Gave Bernie Sanders a Standing Ovation. Hillary Laughs Nervously (VIDEO) US Uncut (Jeff W)

Hating on Trump Unz Review

Sanders Surprises New York Times. The Grey Lady deigns to notice.

Hillary Clinton vs. Bernie Sanders: The Good Fight Rolling Stone (resilc)

Clinton Throws Flash Grenade To Divert Attention From Question About Senate Voting Record Onion (David L)

Flint Mayor Who Backed Hillary Got $500,000 From Clinton Donors for Water Program Alternet

Hillary Clinton Admits That She’s an Idiot. Seriously. Angry Bear

Uproar Over Hillary’s Role in Honduran Coup Grows as Her Campaign Denies Connection Alternet

Although Clinton Won Massachusetts by 2%, Hand Counted Precincts in Massachusetts Favored Bernie Sanders by 17% – Election Nightmares (furzy)

Bernie Wants the American Empire to End; Hillary and the Republicans Want It Untouched Frontline

What the presidential candidates would look like with beards Boing Boing (resilc)

12 Great Novels Reviewed By Donald Trump Buzzfeed (Scott)

A Brokered Convention Meant to Block Donald Trump Could Result in the Opposite – The Daily Beast (furzy)

If Trump Wins, Expect Thousands of Defense Jobs to Move to Europe Defense One (furzy mouse)

Now Even Tofurky Has a Lobbyist Mother Jones (resilc)

Police shot Oregon protester in back but act was ‘justified’: prosecutor Reuters (EM)

Las Vegas Utilities Really Don’t Want the Strip to Go Solar Wired

Virginia becomes first U.S. state to regulate fantasy sports Reuters (EM)

Peter’s Schiff’s Delusional Forecast Michael Shedlock

Are Earnings Forecasting a Recession? Barry Ritholtz

Don’t let the rally fool you: Commodity companies are still headed for a massive debt cliff Financial Post

CalPERS settles with Moody’s for $130 million in ratings case Los Angeles Times (Matt)


Pro-Gun Florida Woman Shot by 4-Year-Old Son New York Magazine (resilc)

Why Saudi Arabia Has No Intention To End The Oil Glut OilPrice

Class Warfare

The “Negro Whisperer” from 1926 to 2016: Seasonal Workers Black Agenda Report

Cashing in on Kids: 172 ALEC Education Bills Push Privatization in 2015 PR Watch/blockquote>

Antidote du jour. David B: “From Varanasi, India, day before yesterday. Not as pastoral as your usual antidotes, but here it is:”

dog and cow links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Pavel

    Well I actually watched this debate, via the WaPo stream on my iPad. I mention that because they had 2 commentators (I believe Chris Cizilla (sp?) and another woman–I missed the intro) who came on any time there was a commercial break. They were clearly biased towards HRC throughout, and at the end they both immediately declared Hillary the victor.

    I had read about Clinton’s overuse of “I” in debates and sure enough her closing statement was a litany of “I will do this… I will do that” — there must have been at least 8 uses of “I”. In very notable contrast, Bernie used his to discuss the overriding problems of inequity and the 1%, and how to solve them.

    Clinton of course gave her master class in how to deflect questions, filibuster, and generally refuse to answer the actual question. I thought the moderators were actually pretty tough.

    No doubt the MSM will declare HRC the victor (as did WaPo — quelle surprise!) but they keep doing that and then Sanders keeps winning and collecting huuuuge amounts of money. You’d think they’d notice something odd going on…

    1. RabidGandhi

      I agree with Yves, Sanders is picking up his game. I used to avoid the presidential debates like the plague, but watching HRC get berned is truly a treat.

      NYT in their lame-o “who won the debate” actually had to admit that “Sanders had the edge”.

      1. sleepy

        It may well be my Bernie-colored glasses, but I have noticed some small lessening of Msnbc’s Hillary bias. On its morning show, they just made a point about how the post March 15th primary/caucus calender favors Sanders, which it does, and he has a legit chance of winning them, and that he also has the money to take it to the convention. They also described Hillary’s campaign as “desultory”. For several days the network has also on occasion been carving out Hillary’s superdelegates from her pledged delegates.

        Don’t know that it means much of anything. Maybe they realize that they have a horserace on their hands which could boost their own “desultory” ratings.

        1. RabidGandhi

          May very well be.

          I havent yet found a drug that allows my intestines to stomach MSNBC, but the (likewise nauseating) NYT was critical of HRC in the debate:

          Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy speaks eloquently of embracing the people, values and thinking that make this nation a leader in the world [RG snickers]. But her campaign tactics, particularly in Michigan, did not live up to this vision.

          Michigan may have been a yuge splash of cold water on the MSM’s face.

          …Meanwhile, WaPo remains unrepentant, claiming 16 anti-Sanders stories in 24 hrs is not excessive.

          1. Jess

            “I havent yet found a drug that allows my intestines to stomach MSNBC”

            Great line. Wish I’d said it. And BTW, no such drug exists. The best of MSNBC’s lineup is composed of those who no longer have shows on MSNBC: KO, Cenk, Dylan Ratigan, etc.

            1. RP

              Free thinkers must be purged. Better to spend the time previously allotted to independent analysis on Tweety crapping on “the socialist” while grimcing after his Michigan win and Maddow and Brian Williams laughing at — seriously — how bad their coverage is.

              “Chris gets smarter as the night goes on…We get worse as the night goes on…”

              No, he doesn’t but, Rachel, somehow you do.

        2. JohnnyGL

          The bias has become so obvious that the corp media is getting self-conscious about it. WaPo even tried to counter the story about how they were running so many anti-Bernie headlines.

          When he looked like he was on the ropes, they tried to finish him off with a pretty intense round of blackouts and portraying him as a hopeless dreamer. They kind of blew off his truckload of cash as long as they could, but now he’s got a real signature win under his belt, and it was such a shocker that they know they’ve got to back off him a bit. The race suddenly looks like it’s on at least until June unless she somehow records more blowouts (which seems unlikely).

          1. Gio Bruno

            Yes. On June 6, 2016 the single largest clump of delegates will be up for grab (California).

            While many voters here have “decline to state” party preference (27% of electorate), they can vote in the Democratic Primary by showing up at a polling place and using a Democrat Primary ballot and having their preference recorded (without becoming a registered Democrat).

            For those who don’t follow what goes on here, CA is a majority minority milieu. Sanders responses to the immigration issue will NOT go unnoticed here. The very large Hispanic/Immigrant population may give Sanders the last push of delegates he’ll need.

            (That said, Pelosi, Boxer, DiFi will do all they can to make life difficult for Sanders.)

            1. RP

              CA resident here. It is one of the great ironies of American political life that the most populous, diverse, and dynamic state in the Union is represented by…

              3 rich old white women. Regressive neoliberal ones at that.

              1. Strangely Enough

                About to get an injection of “diversity.” Grift is colorblind and not age dependent.

          2. RP

            Decades from now, we’ll all get to tell our grandkids about how we lived during the great “Age of Deceit”, where you had to figure out who owned the media outlet before you knew how to parse its information.

            Many were deceived, young ones, and then a truth-teller emerged from the wilderness, though in reality he was with us all along.

            The Beast did bray, and struggle, and demanded that the little people acquiesce to its narrative, but they would not.

          3. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            In my optimistic “Feel the Bern” moments I see Hilary walking into a series of buzzsaws as she makes her way around the country: Michigan? Trade deal buzz saw. Florida? Immigration buzz saw. Hopefully next up is New York? Wall St corruption buzz saw. Hilary has enough outrageously wrong track records across enough core issues to keep her walking into buzz saws for a while yet.

        3. NotTimothyGeithner

          MSNBC has had reporters on the ground in states talking to voters not just following the candidates and relying on spam Hillary Internet accounts for information on the pulse of the electorate.

          There is energy and enthusiasm for a long shot candidate, and msnbc’s ratings are awful. Even Tweety could connect those dots.

            1. voteforno6

              His wife is also running for Congress as a Hillary clone, with support from her donors. So, I wouldn’t expect him to criticize Hillary all that much.

            2. RP

              “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!” – Upton Sinclair

        4. Bev

          Good that MSNBC is backing away from Super Delegates being counted. CNN last night tried to steal the election for Hillary despite some slightly tough questions, because it is counting Super Delegates for Hillary, something that has never been done. The Sanders campaign needs to hold them and other media outlets accountable.

          Hillary Clinton and the DNC’s Super Delegate Fraud.

          The AP headline read: Super delegates Help Clinton Expand Her Lead Despite NH Loss.

          It was and is a complete fabrication. Another way of putting it would be fraud. Initiated by Clinton and the DNC and unfortunately aided and abetted by two ignorant AP reporters (and others like CNN) who didn’t know ( or maybe didn’t care) that they were being snookered and simply swallowed what was thrown at them. It would help if people who actually think they are reporters would check DNC rules regarding the use of super delegates.

          Because as of this moment,all those super delegates claimed by Clinton don’t actually exist in terms of real votes. The only delegates that count right now and in all probability ever will count are pledged delegates won during the primaries, not super delegates.

          CNN has also been doing it’s share of inept reporting by perpetuating the fiction around Clinton’s bogus superdelegate count .

          Super delegates do not count towards anyone’s delegate total because they don’t actually exist and will never be cast unless an extraordinary set of circumstances arises at the convention circumstances that so far has only happened once before in the history of the Democratic Party. So in all likelihood super delegate votes will never be cast, something CNN is both too inept to know and too lazy to find out about.

          Super delegate declarations are also non-committal so any declarations made now count for nothing and carry no force of action even if super delegates were ever asked to cast a vote which is unlikely. And it’s not even purely their choice to vote. They have to be formally asked. Which is why superdelegates haven’t cast a vote in 32 years. Clinton and the DNC know this.

          But it’s clear that the Democratic party establishment is willing to create the fiction and false impression that Clinton has a big delegate lead. She doesn’t. Ignorant, incompetent journalists who have more in common with parrots than Woodward and Bernstein just happily repeat the fraud they are fed.

          It’s not only fraud, it reeks of campaign dirty tricks in collusion with the Obama run DNC as part of Clinton’s backroom deal with Obama, trying to give the illusion of Clinton leading by a substantial margin when she isn’t. And it raises an interesting question: is Hillary Clinton and the DNC thinking about trying to steal the nomination?

          This nonsense about super delegates is sheer political dishonesty with the Clinton campaign along with the help of the DNC who, as even David Gergen pointed out is in the tank for Clinton, trying to make it look like she’s way ahead when she isn’t.

          The story as reported by two AP reporters, Hope Yen and Stephen Ohlemacher (yes, let’s name names) had the opening line, “so much for Bernie Sanders big win in New Hampshire. Hillary Clinton has picked up endorsements from 87 super delegates to the Democratic Conventions dwarfing Sanders gain in New Hampshire” .

          Its total fiction since Sanders pledged delegates are real and the “endorsements” count for nothing in terms of actual votes so Clinton and the DNC establishment successfully played the two AP reporters for stooges. As well as John King and others at CNN.

          Clinton saying she picked up 87 super delegates after New Hampshire has the same affect and same weight and real influence on the nomination as if she had picked up 87 empty beer cans. Well,no, that’s not true because the beer cans would be worth more if they had a 5c deposit.


          If Bernie Sanders finished with 2000 pledged delegates won during the primaries and needed another three hundred to get the two-thirds majority with Clinton say, 1,000 delegates behind, there would be some horse trading to get the remaining 300 delegates needed from Clinton perhaps making a deal on picking a vice presidential running mate. But its inconceivable super delegates even those declaring for her now ( which again, don’t count) would cast votes for Clinton to give her the nomination.Super delegates casting their votes for the second place finisher never happened even in 1984. It would bring the Democratic party to its knees if they tried to crown a queen instead of nominate a president.and Sanders voters would never vote for Clinton no matter what histrionics DNC officials pulled over Supreme Court nominations etc etc.

          Super delegates would only vote to break an otherwise hopeless deadlock and to give a clear winner the votes required by rules to officially get the nomination. They are a last resort and most importantly as mentioned earlier, super delegates have only once in the history of the Democratic party ever cast a single vote and that was 32 years ago And if a hopeless deadlock never occurs super delegates will have no role. To count them now is pure fraud.

          So why is Hillary Clinton putting out the fiction that she is ahead on delegates even though she isn’t because of super delegates? Because she is being underhanded and so is the DNC run by Debbie Wasserman-Schultz Obama’s hand picked chair of the DNC who are trying to build a phony aura of expectation and inevitability and the illusion that she will be the nominee and then if she doesn’t have the actual votes from the primary battles try and steal the nomination by using super delegates with Obama and Wasserman-Schultz driving the getaway car.

          The New York Times acting like the long arm of the law put their arm on Clinton in a recent editorial making it clear that super delegates can have no role in the outcome of the nomination which needs to be decided by whoever wins the most delegates in the primaries.

          But there is another reason the Clinton campaign is putting out these super delegate numbers as if they count now when they don’t. Its the kind of outrageous political tactics we’ve seen from Republicans — a tactic to suppress the Sanders vote.

          There is little doubt that the Clinton campaign with the help of the DNC, by putting out these fictitious super delegate numbers are trying to create some false idea that Clinton has such a huge lead her nomination is inevitable. The hope is this will dampen the spirit and enthusiasm of Sanders voters (enthusiasm Clinton cant match) and hopefully hold down their turnout in the hopes of making them think Clinton’s nomination is inevitable because of super delegates and there is nothing they can do to affect the outcome. Which of course is not true . Its more of a Republican style dirty trick, the kind they have tried in the past in the hopes of holding down the African American vote in certain communities. The principle is the same.


          Make it clear that if Clinton can’t win honestly she is not going to win at all.


          ADDENDUM: This article has been updated to include the 1984 Democratic convention which is the only time super delegates have ever voted and then voted for Walter Mondale who won the most pledged delegates during the primaries, 1606-1164 confirming that pledged delegates won during primaries is the standard for nominating a presidential candidate. And does not change the fact that super delegate votes do not count unless cast at the convention and non-binding declarations that Clinton included in her totals are completely bogus.


          NOTE: CNN is still showing super delegate totals for Clinton included with her pledged delegate totals that don’t actually exist and may never exist and for now and until the convention and they are cast, if ever, are pure fiction. John King is one of the worst offenders but so is Wolf Blitzer. The Sanders campaign needs to hold them and other media outlets accountable.

          1. Vatch

            super delegates have only once in the history of the Democratic party ever cast a single vote and that was 32 years ago And if a hopeless deadlock never occurs super delegates will have no role. To count them now is pure fraud.

            Okay, I’m definitely confused. Here’s something from the Wikipedia article on Superdelegates:

            At the 2008 Democratic National Convention, superdelegates cast approximately 823.5 votes, with fractions arising because superdelegates from Michigan, Florida, and Democrats Abroad are entitled to half a vote each.

            So which is true? Will superdelegates only be allowed to vote if the convention is deadlocked? Did they only vote in the 1984 convention, and not in any others?

            1. Bev

              about the wikipedia article: This article has been nominated to be checked for its neutrality.

              Perhaps a second source:
              The New York Times acting like the long arm of the law put their arm on Clinton in a recent editorial making it clear that super delegates can have no role in the outcome of the nomination which needs to be decided by whoever wins the most delegates in the primaries.

              from above article:

              When Obama finished the 2008 primary season with a paltry 65 delegate lead over Clinton and it looked like the nomination could go either way if superdelegates voted, Nancy Pelosi said super delegates were obligated to vote for the candidate who won the most delegates if they were to vote at all.


              And if Clinton is putting out these phony super delegate numbers to try and grease the skids for an attempt at stealing the nomination at the convention, it might be a good idea for Sanders voters to remind her and everyone else of one other thing: In 2008 when it looked like Obama might lose the nomination to Clinton because of a super delegate vote, Donna Brazille, an Obama supporter and former chair of the DNC said publicly that if super delegates decided the nomination she would quit the Democratic party.

              If Donna Brazile can quit the Democratic party if super delegates decided the nomination so can Sanders voters. And they can make it clear that they will. Which means if Clinton and the DNC tries to steal the nomination from Sanders using super delegates if he has the majority of pledged delegates they can count on Sanders voters staying home.

              Clinton putting out the word that she has 469 delegates which include over 400 super delegates that she can’t ethically or even by DNC rules count is almost a veiled threat as if to say, “okay I got buried by the voters in New Hampshire and it was razor thin in Iowa and Nevada but so what? I have a trick up my sleeve.”

              If Clinton, Obama and the DNC think they are greasing the skids now so Clinton can pull a fast one at the convention later, they better not try. If they do anything to try and rig the nomination, Sanders voters can just vow never to support it, just like Donna Brazile threatened which will bring the Democratic party down like a house of cards and do Clinton no good in the general election.

        5. Jerry Denim

          They’re not becoming less biased they are becoming less sure of their ability to throw the race. It’s called C.Y.A. I believe. They don’t want to look like Nate Silver come March 23rd.

    2. Llewelyn Moss

      Love how Hellery keeps spinning her vote for the Bank Bailouts as a vote purely to save the US Auto Industry and calling Bernie basically Un-american for not voting for it. Bernie finally nailed the response to that lie last night. Gee I wonder why the majority of Americans don’t trust her. Her voice is becoming especially grating lately. If I have to listen to that every day on teevee for the next 4 years, I’m moving to Mars.

      1. Cry Shop

        Hellery is good label, I like it.

        I may start using it in place of Hill-Billy, which I did till now to honour her break through to her real talent in Arkansas. She perfectly pick and time her cattle futures buys and sells. She did this not from 1970’s ticker tape equipped trading floor on the exchange in Chicago, but from the kitchen of a 600 square foot house that also happened just then to be the residence of the AG of Arkansas**. Now that’s real country talent.

        **Hot breakfast served too, though apparently the AG preferred to sleep elsewhere. Must have been the distraction of all those phone calls with market reports, you know the long distance ones from Chicago and the Mid-West, all recorded on the telephone company logs, which they unfortunately lost.

        1. Llewelyn Moss

          Poor Hellery. Plagued by lost records that would have totally vindicated her assertions. Perhaps it’s Karma. :-)

    3. Uahsenaa

      I have to commend Ramos in particular, he went after both candidates where they are vulnerable among Latinos and, coincidentally, among the larger public. Clinton was visibly pissed off over the indictment question, and I liked how they pressed her non-responses by simply re-asking the same question. As far as the moderation is concerned, this was the best debate by far.

      1. nycTerrierist

        I agree. Great to see moderators act like real journalists.
        Re-asking the same question when not answered is simple and effective.

        Would have been nice to unpack why there are so many refugees from Honduras.
        Like other commenters, here, I was hoping someone would go in for the kill there.

        1. nippersdad

          Another missed opportunity was the Benghazi question. I mean, really, WTH? If they wanted to talk about Libya, there were a lot of other questions that would have been more to the point; like had you not fomented a revolution there, would Benghazi have even happened? Gun running organized through the embassy to Syria; Did she really find Gadhaffy being sodomized with a bayonet all that funny; Arming all sides in the Syrian conflict…

          Seems like of you are going to go there, it might be interesting to highlight something that she has not already spent eleven hours discoursing upon.

          1. Gio Bruno

            What drives me nuts about Benghazi, is that Stevens was NOT a State Department diplomat. The Benghazi compound was a CIA hangout. And I’m sure the folks who attacked the compound were aware of that.

    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Maybe it’s time for less biased robot reporters, and robot editors…and robot publishers.

    5. Dave

      Clinton v Trump = “President Trump”

      Sanders v Trump = “President Sanders”

      Saw interesting bumper stickers on the back tailgate of a workman’s truck the other day:

      “or” (written on duct tape)

      1. abynormal

        i’ve been watching late night aljazeera round table ‘what ifs’ for so long im FOG’D…nice to have black n white ref. to file
        cool site…

  2. Steven

    Was disappointed to see Cornel West and Delores Huerta on Democracy Now! last night and nobody asked Huerta about Honduras. Especially after they talked about the Berta Caceres murder in the headlines.

    1. nippersdad

      Seems like there is an Omerta on saying anything about the coup in Honduras. I thought several times during the debate that they would go there, but they always got just right up to the point where someone should have said something about WHY we have all of these refugees, and then they would back off. Very strange.

      1. Steven

        Hillary said the solution to the coup was extra-constitutional elections. If we had a coup here, would that be her answer? Does our constitution matter more than theirs?

        1. nippersdad

          “If we had a coup here, would that be the answer?”

          Are we talking about when she is running for office or already in office? Situational ethics are her specialty, after all.

        2. Paul Tioxon

          WHEN the coup happened, it was conspiracy buffs, marginal kooky pseudo intellectuals, who can’t take the a simple answer when a conspiracy will do. Her answer would be that, a coup here, what are you a vast right wing conspiracy wing nut?

  3. Llewelyn Moss

    re: Although Clinton Won Massachusetts by 2%, Hand Counted Precincts in Massachusetts Favored Bernie Sanders by 17%

    Electronic voting (ugh) could be verifiable and trustworthy, but the current systems are foobar.
    1. The vendors computer code is a black box. No one but the vendor knows what’s in it. It could be so easily rigged to flip votes to maintain a predefined win percentage for a chosen candidate.
    2. The computer code is under the control of for-profit company whose only objective is maximizing profits. What could go wrong.
    3. The computer company installs the code at the polling station. AFAIK there is not verification that what is installed is the actual program that voting officials signed off on. (verifiable digital signatures)

    Until the code is opened for public view and digital signatures are used to verify what gets installed at the polling place, it is NOT trust worthy. The is obviously more that has to be locked down, but this would be step one.

    1. Kulantan

      But why would you want electronic voting? What is the advantage?

      Electronic voting is a window of stunning clarity into how screwed up everything is. Instead of using tried and tested paper ballots they want to use electronic voting machines to cut the labour costs of running an election. The only other actual benefit I can think of is allowing easier voting fraud. Eroding the foundations of democracy to cut labour costs and benefit the elite, neoliberalism in a nutshell.

      1. Llewelyn Moss

        Well IMO…
        Paper is not a panecea.
        – Recall the hanging chads.
        – The stories of boxes of uncounted ballots found in dumpsters.
        – Polling places running out of ballots (in Michagan this time)
        – Long lines at polling places

        Electronic voting could be made verifiable and IMO much harder to game than paper.
        And would have advantages
        – Voting from home by computer. No more 3 hour lines with disgusted voters giving up. Helping People who can’t make it to the polls (health reasons, work hours, child care issues, etc)
        – Extended voting period (months). I doesn’t have to happen on one day in November eliminating voting ‘crunch’.

        1. Pat

          Sorry, you have to physically game a paper system. It is much harder to game it than it is to game an electronic system. Nothing is unhackable, not to mention the whole coders can game it from the very beginning thing and that can be done for everyone and everywhere in a voting system. And if you game the counting, you don’t even have to guess which paper ballots to lose.

          As for you do it at home situation, try vote by mail.

          1. Gio Bruno

            In Oregon DMV offices (Driver, Car License) automatically register voters and ALL voting is done by mail-in ballots.

          1. Llewelyn Moss

            I just find it preplexing that I can buy something on Amazon, my credit card gets charged correctly, there is a record of the transaction and it’s all done on an encrypted connection. You can even signup for social security online. But I can’t vote.

            But, ok, he’s the expert. Thanks for that link.

            1. cyclist

              Yes, how many times do you get anything other than the correct number of $20 bills from your Diebold ATM machine?

              If we want electronic voting, the government needs to convene a blue-ribbon panel of academic IT scientists to come up with hardware that is simple, cheap and maybe not even connected to the internet. The code needs to be open source and available for inspection by anyone interested. Once the design has been agreed upon, they contract it out to be custom manufactured. There could be requirements that it be easily monitored at the polling place and have a physical record for verification. Or something like the above.

            2. Hacker

              There are requirements to voting that do not apply to commerce. #1 is that one must vote anonymously. This prevents coerced votes or selling votes.

              There is also a requirement that one shouldn’t be able to prove who one voted for to prevent selling of votes. That’s why cameras are an issue in voting booths, as well as having multiple people in one booth.

              The fact that the Nevada Gaming Commission has much much stronger controls over code and maintenance on electronic gambling machines than anything for electronic voting machines show were the priorities are. It might be possible to make an entirely electronic system as reliable and auditable as one involving paper, but there hasn’t been the slightest effort made to do so.

            3. Gaianne

              Ll M–

              You don’t understand: Electronic banking–your credit cards and all that–work correctly because your bank WANTS them to work correctly. When your bank wants to start assessing illegal service charges, it will tell their programmers to make the changes in the code, and–lo and beyold!–the computers will start assessing illegal service charges. (Just like the mortgage service industry already does).

              And then your cards will no longer work correctly.

              Of course, I have put aside the ease of hacking, which is another problem.

              If you want fair elections, the vote counting must be public and transparent. Computers are never public nor transparent: They are closed to all but experts.

              All of us here use computers. Almost none of us here control the computers we use. Experts do that. But who are the experts working for? That varies, and is the very heart of the real problem.


        2. Kulantan

          I’m not saying that paper is perfect, but the case for electronic voting over paper is paper thin. I doubt that electronic voting could be made harder to game than paper and until then why use it at all?

          – Voting from home by computer. No more 3 hour lines with disgusted voters giving up. Helping People who can’t make it to the polls (health reasons, work hours, child care issues, etc)

          Speaking as someone who comes from a country where 78.‌86% of our voting age population voted last time, we still use paper and it would be a big outlier if you couldn’t get in and out of your polling place in less than 15 mins, a lack of electronic voting isn’t the problem there.

          1. none

            US election ballots have far more questions on them than ballots in countries with parliamentary governments. That makes manual counting of US ballots much more complicated, basically impractical except in the case of a contested recount in a small region.

            1. Gaianne


              Your assertion seems unlikely.

              I have never voted in a US election in which the ballot could not have been printed on a single page.

              Incidentally, I have voted on mechanical machines, which despite their problems, cannot be altered easily: The mechanism that was built at the factory is the mechanism you get.


            2. Kulantan

              Mate, we have preferential voting here so each vote needs to be counted multiple time. Also our last senate voting page was like 6 A4 pages long (I’ll try a link below).

              On top of that the counting of ballots shouldn’t impact the convenience of voting. They don’t have to count the ballots in real time.

      2. Blink 180

        Instead of using tried and tested paper ballots they want to use electronic voting machines to cut the labour costs of running an election. The only other actual benefit I can think of is allowing easier voting fraud.

        The labour costs are negligible. The conclusion is obvious enough…

    2. ahimsa

      Would it be much of a stretch to imagine the election of presidents might be considered an issue of “national security importance”?

      I mean, surely the security state has already insisted on having a “backdoor” into the electronic voting system – like, just in case the terrorists were to try and game the system ;)

    3. Benedict@Large

      Computer-produced paper ballots, which are inspected by the voter before being dropped in the box, would go a long way towards eliminating ballot spoilage. Otherwise, computers should have nothing to do with actual voting or vote counting. There is no law of Nature that says computers can make everything better.

    4. different clue

      No. Electronic voting can not be honest or verifiable. Electronic voting systems are pre-fraudulated right from the start. That is the sole and only point of having electronic voting systems . . . to defraud and erase the evidence.

      Any voting system which does not start with a Legal Paper Ballot as the FIRST STEP is pre-fraudulated by definition. In Michigan, we use Opti-Scan machines. We make our marks on Legal Paper Ballots which are then scanned in electronically and counted up electronically. But the Legal Paper Ballots exIST in analog meatspace reality, and can be counted by hand if digital fraud is suspected.

      If I ever live in a jurisdiction where ballot casting is strictly electronic, I will boycott every election held in that inherently fraudulent-election jurisdiction.

    5. alex morfesis

      voting fraud is easy when most people dont bother to vote…because…too lazy to make it a priority…

      third party elected officials in a country that is basically split 50 50 (on paper) are of extreme value…

      putting aside the minimalist realities of the “deep state” to manipulate
      ( manipulation is possible due to general laziness of population)…having 3 third party groups each getting 1 to 3 senators in place would have extreme value…most issues are voted on marginally and with neither side having enough votes to push something through without the 5 senators from 3rd party positions…it would be the opposite of throwing away a vote…

      now to get back on subject from this preamblette…crony politicians will always game the system…we should use both…paper and electronic…double entry accounting…

      the idea in a democracy that we need to adjust the inalienable rights (post yesterday on OUR justice department insisting 10 year old children can handle pro se immigration matters…most lawyers don’t even know how to handle immigration matters but somehow in the name of expedience…) to SAVE MONEY is a sad reflection on the capacity of the washed to use the bernaze sauce to stay in power…

      with double entry issues, an unhappy candidate can move to count the paper ballots…the paper ballots remain uncounted unless the election result is questioned…thus there can be lots of eyes watching the “new count”…although one would need some type of system to prevent the politicians (ie field marshall rove) from sending a bunch of washington lobbyists to cause a riot to prevent the counting (as he did in the 2000 coup)…career criminal politicians will protect their pyrate krew…

      the argument is that money is “wasted” with election judges being paid to stick around and count…which is a joke since most of the money is paid during the voting…most elections are counted out in a couple of hours at best…mostly about one hour…which is never factored in as my understanding is judges are paid a static amount…so…even if paid by the hour…we are talking about maybe saving 10% on wages paid…price to pay to eliminate free elections…neither free nor secure…

      but whatever comes of the results of 2016…technology has crushed the new age Othmans…too busy laundering FCPA money through phony mystery art auctions to notice they are maybe finding themselves being driven down the road by an orangeman…

    6. Qrys

      Any government buying electronic voting should be buying the equipment and the source code and data entry for scrutiny by all (both) parties and the public. As the candidates are known typically months in advance (at least for state and federal elections), each and every party could then have coders inspect the source code and the entered data for any shenanigans before the devices were put into service.

      That way we aren’t relying either solely on private corporations or corrupt governments to sway the voting process.

  4. OwenFinn

    Re: Fukushima – Seems the mad scientists in the employ of the nuclear village are back on another loony PR offensive. Here’s another article I read today –

    “The team used a wide range of economic and actuarial data, as well as information from the United Nations and the Japanese government.

    In one test, called “judgment-value,” they calculated how many days of life expectancy were saved by relocating residents away from areas affected by radiation.

    They then compared this to the actual costs of relocation and how much this expenditure would impact on the quality of people’s lives in the future.

    From this information, they were able to work out the optimal or rational level of spending and make a judgment on the best measures to mitigate the effects of a nuclear accident.

    Depending upon how close people were to the spread of radiation, the team found that between 21 days and just under one day of life was saved by the relocations in Fukushima.

    But when this was compared to the vast amounts of money spent, the academics came to the conclusion that it was completely unjustified in all cases.”

    Because after all, money is more important than people’s lives.

      1. john

        The difference between technology and propaganda is that technology will find it’s limits first.

        These articles saying we will freeze the ground around, what I believe to be a multi-core meltdown, will look damn silly as history rolls around.

        Now that Japan bans journalism, will they ban history next?

        The state-of-the-art in make-believe is that a robot can approach these heated cores while made of metal. Even ‘electron-ics’ cannot function at high temeratures… or batteries… or sensors…

        They’re subsidizing bad science, with no real hope. As an island nation, they should be working on monopolizing that paltry resource & research angle.

    1. Cry Shop

      Actually we measure people’s lives in money every day. One of the first jobs I had in the co-op program for an American University was a night job, running dec cards through old iron computers (next to a line printer that required me to wear ear plugs and a muffler, no American student would do it). The dec cards contained data from traffic patterns, which helped determine where best to spend surrounding cities the limited budget on traffic lights. Not putting traffic lights up because of not enough money is clearly saying lives have a monetary value, and often it’s a lot less than you might think.

      Advanced countries, like Holland, Sweden, the UK even, give both death rates and life values for certain industries.

      The real problem in what that article reports is there isn’t any hard science behind all the voodoo models these sorts of studies use, and the data sets are rotten to the core. It’s the abuse of the good name of science to disarm the public, all for political and financial profit of an oligarchy.

      1. Kurt Sperry

        I was surprised to see the Fukashima piece here, most left leaning media tend towards alarmism when radiation dosing comes up. The article lines up with well with what my friend who has a dosimetry business tells me about the situation. He also says avoiding seafood caught in the East Pacific because of Fukashima, which some people do, has no rational basis, they contain no significant radioactivity. If he’s right, it isn’t just the right wing who ignore science and data when it suits their ideological preconceptions.

          1. Steve H.

            Thank you, Woods Hole still appears to be a solid example of how nonprofits can maintain their integrity.

          2. Kurt Sperry

            Good stuff there. The radioactivity in the Western Pacific, even though well below the level of health concern, is still a useful marker for studying oceanic hydrodynamics–not unlike the radioactive dyes used in medicine.

        1. kenick

          The BBC article about Fukushima reads like propaganda — blame the evacuation instead of the nuclear reactor meltdowns, “There is massive disagreement even in the scientific community” about radiation exposure, focusing on background radioactivity rather than radioactive particles that can be ingested, CYA throw away line at the end.

        2. Michael

          The right is considerably worse, but there’s a huge overlap on the vaccine issue, for example. Lots of hippies don’t vaccinate their kids.

          Really, it’s just an issue of recognizing the proper authorities to believe. There are going to be all sorts of studies produced (some of them, as in the autism case, fraudulently). I don’t know much about science, so it’s about weighing the authorities. It seems very clear to me based on this that pretty much unstoppable, catastrophic global warming is here. However, do I really know this? No, I just trust the sources I read. I guess part of that is critical thinking/reading, but it is of course possible that I could following authorities who despite their best intentions end up being wrong.

        3. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          It’s not that the Left ignore “science”, it’s that the ‘science” is itself very often wrong. “Science” told us with 100% certainty that tobacco was harmless, that asbestos was harmless, that Thalidomide was a great way to treat morning sickness. Now “science” is telling us that micro doses of radiation are harmless. We’ve upped the daily intake limits for all Japanese citizens to levels previously reserved for nuclear plant workers. And in 10-30 years we will know whether that “science” was anything close to “valid”.
          We do know a few things with some certainty: that radio nucleides are the most toxic substances by weight known to man; and that their medical effects can take many decades to surface. Allowing Japanese babies to be exposed to levels that a few years ago were declared by “science” only safe for workers with their hands on the stuff seems very imprudent.

          1. andyb

            For most normal and reasonably healthy adults up to 100 miles downwind it will take about 10-15 years to see the effects of radiation; then the massive amounts of all sorts of cancers will be apparent. Studies of the effects of Nagasaki and Hiroshima proved this. BTW, in terms of becquerels, the magnitude of radiation from Fukushima is far greater than occurred from the 2 bomb blasts.

            1. Cry Shop


              Further to Lexington’s comment, two days earlier. per the above link you basically accused every doctor who’s ordered a PET scan (uses radioactive dye), every cardiologist who’s done minimally invasive surgery, or every oncologist who’s administered radio-active monoclonal anti-bodies or inserted radio-active seeds one and all of committing murder. If you really believe that, then I hope there is still some part sane enough in you to hear this. You need professional mental health help asap, before you get so ill you either self-harm or harm others when the paranoia gets completely out of control.

              If you don’t really believe it, then congrats on the epic troll. You fake a paranoid with little grasp or concern for reality with perfect aplomb.

          2. Lexington

            Science told us with “100% certainty”? You’re not a scientist are you? Or even someone with a firm grasp of the scientific method. “Science” has failed us! We need to get back to the tried and true ways of appeasing the gods by throwing virgins into volcanoes!

            What you are saying is that since science isn’t perfect it cannot be trusted because no degree of health risk is acceptable. That isn’t a realistic expectation or a useful standard to guide public policy decisions. Being alive is inherently risky and public policy is a fine balancing act between risk and benefit. The decision as to where the balance lies can be no better than the state of the science at the moment it is made. Since science is constantly advancing however it is inevitable that some decisions which seemed perfectly defensible at the time they were made will appear misguided in light of new information that becomes available at a later dater. But then hindsight is always 20/20. That’s not a knock against “science” but rather against laypeople who demand things from “science” that it cannot provide and then judge it inadequate for failing to meet their fantastic standards. Though having rejected the authority of science it’s not clear what they propose to replace it with (cue the virgin census…)

            We’ve upped the daily intake limits for all Japanese citizens to levels previously reserved for nuclear plant workers.

            Link please. I’d hate to think this was misinformed hysteria.

        4. Cry Shop

          What’s disturbing about the piece isn’t Dr. Thomas’ assertions on effects of radiation, anyone living in Colorado gets a bigger dose than most nuclear station workers, yet there is no epidemiology alerts for Denver.

          Rather its the single minded focus on radiation. Most of the problems these villages will face are going to be from the heavy metals, organic toxins, etc; which were washed from the harbours and coastal plains. These areas have served as Japan’s toxic waste dump for the 100+ years of Japan’s industrialization, and the Tsunami washed a lot of that mud back up onto land. If people move back in without doing the right science, a holistic assessment of the total risks, then when, and I do mean when, cancer rates start to go up, it will be mistakenly blamed exclusively on the radiation (or perhaps on purpose – Chiso Industries behavior is a good example).

          My second serious concern is these areas are not safe until the spent fuel, contaminated clading, paint, etc, are all secured from the stations. They all sit in earth quake zones, and now that integrity of the primarily loop has been lost, and the containment buildings damaged by the hydrogen explosions, and then flooded with salty seawater, their ability to resist any further earthquake or another tsunami is continuously and rapidly degrading. Moving people back into these areas before this problem has been addressed could be extremely dangerous. Even the heavily contaminated top soils that were removed also have been piled in to bags in open areas close by, storage that is not secure from either another tsunami, nor the ravages of sun and time on the polypropylene bags. Heavily contaminated water in the millions of tons is stored in temporary tanks and holding ponds which also don’t meet IAEA standards for earthquake/tsunami resistance, some are already leaking from salt corrosion.

          My final concern is the Yakuza based waste management system, one expects that Dr. Thomas is being well guided and managed, just as the Yakuza interfered with the IAEA inspections pre-3-11. If this risk isn’t part of the assessment, then it’s barely touched the surface.

          The problem with Dr. Thomas and many others is that they have become intensively knowledgeable specialist, knowing more and more about a narrower and narrower area of specialization. and these groups act like guilds – protecting narrow turfs of interest. They develop an isolated way of looking at the world because to trespass on other guilds areas of expertise is to invited trouble from academic institutions management.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            One of my friends who lives in Denver told me when I visited about the radiation levels. He added that the rates of obscure cancers are way higher in Denver than in the rest of the US. And this is a guy who isn’t precious about his health (as in drinks without inhibition, admits to doing serious drugs in college, eats red meat, etc).

            1. Cry Shop

              Hi Yves,

              I’m afraid your friends got it wrong according to stats. This is a common phenomena of bias confirmation, the reliance on gut feeling, particularly if a few anecdotal stories back it up.

              Colorado’s cancer rates were 5 percent lower than the nation’s from 1991-95, according to a state health report released Monday. FYI I just searched the term cancer rates in Colorado (on Bing) and picked the first link, so I’m not cherry picking these stats.

              Colorado does have a higher rate of particular cancers, in particular, skin cancer. Could that be due to the thinner atmosphere, or the outdoor lifestyle, etc? It’s unlikely to be due to the relatively high exposure to radon gas, or to radioactive granite that most houses sink their foundations into. I hope wide brim hats come back into fashion.

              This does mean that in order to balance the stats that the other cancer rates must be significantly lower than the national average. If I had to guess, and it is a guess, then I put it down to the much higher standard of living, the happy hippy lifestyle, people don’t have to eat chemical toxins, most don’t have to work in toxic laden factories (with toxic bosses), and much of the drinking water comes out of the stone isolated ground, dosed with radioactive minerals, but relatively free from toxins.

              Humans evolved and still live in a radiologically active environment, and we’ve got a certain amount of resistance to some of the more common toxins, like lead, but we’re creating things in our factories that no long lived animal has ever had to face before. Bacteria will do fine, it’s generational change path is only days long, but we’re a very different long baking cake.

              If results change, then look for the changing inputs. Radiation has been around us for a very long time. It’s probably even key to evolution. PCB’s have not, but they will out last most radio-isotopes half-lives by several generations.

                1. Cry Shop

                  Hi Skippy,

                  Thanks for the reminder, Everything that happened at Rock Flats is useful support for my points, but to delve into the reasons would make my already too long comments so much more so. Thanks again though.

    2. Gaianne

      “Is Fukushima’s exclusion zone doing more harm than radiation?”

      Because radiation is good for you and kids need to be born with birth defects!

      The old Soviet Union just looks better and better! Sure they stupidly had two major disasters (Chelyabinsk and Chernobyl). But afterwards they evacuated their people and sent in technicians to learn what had happened and deal with containment.

      The Japanese are lying about the medical problems and burying the radiological evidence. And doing nothing. The reactors have gone feral.

      But really, what do cancers and birth defects mean? Only that people suffer horribly and die early. Where’s the problem!?


      1. Lexington

        The “reactors have gone feral”? Is that a technical term that describes a specific reactor state or a wild characterization by someone with no actual understanding of the technology?

        As for evacuating people and sending in technicians to deal with the containment, that’s exactly what Japan did. Only in order to do they had to bend the rules on the amount of allowable radiation exposure for certain groups, including the bus drivers who assisted with the evacuation. Apparently they’re heartless bastards of they decide that in an emergency higher levels of radiation exposure are an acceptable tradeoff when compared to the alternative, while also being incompetent boobs if they do nothing in order to avoid exceeding pre disaster exposure limits. Which is it? And where’s my pony?!?!

        At least you can say this for the Japanese: they were the victims of an unprecedented natural disaster. Those uber competent Soviets actually caused the Chernobyl disaster by conducting poorly designed “what if” experiments on the reactor that had not been properly vetted or approved by senior management.

        1. Gaianne


          One or more reactor cores have escaped containment and are intermittently, spontaneously, restarting fission.

          That’s going feral.

          The evidence is the occasional spikes in the shorter-life fission products (iodine and cesium) that have been occurring sporadically years after the meltdown.

          By the way, fission reactions have occurred in the wild. The French found a uranium (ore) deposit in Gabon that was depleted with fission products. Water had penetrated the deposit a billion or so years ago and slowed enough neutrons that fission became possible. It is thought to have fizzled on and off for centuries or millenia.


          1. Steve H.

            Fission in our earth! The world is not a normed distribution, and veins occur, nonindependent concentrations of rare events. A reminder that both ourselves and our sun are remnants of some giant star that exploded and created just the conditions for something so rare as ourselves to emerge.

  5. flora

    “Although Clinton Won Massachusetts by 2%, Hand Counted Precincts in Massachusetts Favored Bernie Sanders by 17%”

    Wonder if Hillary’s ‘inevitability’ is counting on electronic voting machines ?

    ” Diebolds Are a Girl’s Best Friend”
    The French are glad to die for love.
    They delight in fighting duels
    But I prefer a man who makes
    And gives election tools.
    A kiss on the hand
    May be quite continental,
    But Diebolds are a girl’s best friend.

  6. fresno dan

    Pro-Gun Florida Woman Shot by 4-Year-Old Son New York Magazine (resilc)

    On Monday, Jacksonville woman Jamie Gilt got into yet another argument with a freedom-hating liberal on her Facebook page, Jamie Gilt for Gun Sense. “Even my 4 year old gets jacked up to target shoot with the .22,” Gilt wrote.

    On Tuesday, Gilt’s 4-year-old shot her in the back while she was driving, according to a report from Jacksonville’s NBC affiliate:

    “The Florida boy found the loaded weapon in mom Jamie Gilt’s car Tuesday and shot her as they cruised down a Putnam County road, officials said. The 31-year-old mother survived the mid-drive attack and is in stable condition.”

    I really don’t think I would want to be anywhere near a 4 year old with a live, loaded gun – I assume no target range would permit such a thing.
    I wonder if the NRA has a minimum age it recommends for letting a child shoot a gun….

        1. cwaltz

          The 4 year old may not better mental health options but the mother sure does.

          It’s positively absurd to leave a loaded gun around a pre school aged child. Children at that age do not understand long term consequences.

          I hope they charge her with felony child endangerment and take away her guns before her irresponsible behavior gets someone killed.

    1. Llewelyn Moss

      She lets a 4 year old target shoot?!
      Is there no legal age limit for letting a child hold a gun? Sounds like child endangerment and endangerment of anyone in proximity. The mom is a whackjob.

      1. PQS

        Don’t be silly. This was just a Tragic Incident with No Relation to the Availability of Guns. Certainly no discussions of limiting access or punishing her bad parenting will be permitted inside whatever bubble she lives in.

        1. fresno dan

          March 10, 2016 at 11:02 am

          I think its just the lamestream media over emphasizing gun “problems” – absolutely no thought given to the possibility that the 4 year old blew out cancer cells, or cells that could become cancerous, and prevented cancer.
          Guns, is there anything they can’t do?

    2. bob

      She should be in jail. Leaving a gun anywhere a 4 year old kid can “find” a gun is not securing a gun.

      I just glanced at a few other stories, it was a .45 that she was shot with, not the 22 that the story makes it out to be.

      She just had a 45 sitting under the seat? One stuck in the tape deck too?

      Very surprised that the kid wasn’t injured. 45 is a big handgun.

      “Florida law makes it a misdemeanor for a person to store or leave a loaded firearm in such a way that a child could gain access to it.

      Authorities said they won’t make a decision on charges until they can speak with the woman.”

  7. Cry Shop

    Vegas Util don’t want Strip going Solar.

    The casinos have already gamed the system. They signed on to a system that percentage-wise in terms of power use put most of the burden on the poor, and then the middle class. After all, there is a pretense that America, Nevada, and Las Vegas are all democratic governments, though most of us know it’s just a floor show.

    Naturally this bit of corruption had to be done without saying so publicly or putting the raison d’être on the cards. There in lies the danger for our politicians on the take. Now the good fellows want to walk away from the little they pay and really stick it to the rest of the people. The politicians are in a funk, so they try to shoot the craps, but they know its really just a distraction, that the courts will give it all to the expensive mouth pieces. As long as they can do a slight-of-hand on the audience, blame everything on the unelected courts, then everyone still winds up happy. That is but the poor, who bitch and moan about why their connect fee base rate went up, but not enough (fight for) toa vote for anyone who isn’t a member of the two party one oligarchy system.

    Aint that the truth One of the primary functions of the court systems is to deflect blame, to help hide the fact that the USA is not a functioning democracy.

    Whoa, earlier copy of this post still went to skynet, so I deleted it to see if I could spot what’s wrong. Still scratching my head.

    1. For The Win

      “The casinos won’t completely go solar because they operate all night, using half of their energy after dark. This is about seeking lower energy prices (fossil fuels), federal tax credits (which they can sell to other companies for huge profit on the taxpayers’ backs) and mostly the fact that natural gas prices are at historic lows.” They are simply using solar as a Trojan horse.

      The one good quote in an otherwise ignorant article is this: ” “Cheap natural gas is probably driving the initiative more than anything else,” Wagner says.”

  8. Brooklin Bridge

    Did you mean, “Despite the audience reaction, which was also generally more favorable to Clinton Sanders??? during the debate,[…]

  9. fresno dan

    Police shot Oregon protester in back but act was ‘justified’: prosecutor Reuters (EM)

    The contradiction on the right – the immovable object meets the irresistible force – the belief that the police do no wrong versus the right to carry weapons.
    I posted a link yesterday in which FBI agents apparently did not report firing their weapons. Maybe it was because it was non-lethal rounds***? OR because they fired first, without the protester actually withdrawing the weapon? The police have a right to be nervous upon coming upon armed people who have, at the very least, implied a willingness to use their weapons. On the other hand, I certainly don’t believe every single individual shot by police deserved to be shot by police, or that the police and their colleagues are always forthcoming…

    So we also have a story in the links about a mom shot by her own 4 year old.
    Doesn’t seem like it is all that wise an idea to carry guns around…

    ***“ From the article: “What’s important to me is what was going on in Mr. Finicum’s head,” said Mike Arnold, a lawyer for Ammon Bundy who said “non-lethal rounds” were fired by law enforcement officials as Finicum pulled away from police in his pickup.”

    1. charger01

      Shooting is shooting- non-lethal (into a car? C’mon!) would still provoke the Melheur occupiers to shoot back. I guess I could understand if this was the county sheriff trying something amateurish, but thus was the gold ribbon FBI hostage rescue team that shot first. I’m doubly surprised that they attempted to cover up their “oops” when the evidence was obvious. If you guys read photography is not a crime, that kind of CYA behavior is rampant all over the nation. I’m taken aback that it happened with some of our best trained operators in law enforcement.

  10. Carolinian

    That Defense One link is both a bs story–Muslim countries MIGHT be offended by a President Trump and stop buying our arms–and a window into the mentality of our current elites. The implication is that foreign policy should be driven by the business needs of our war profiteers including “Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and others.” No mention of the House of Krupp.

    Clearly this won’t be a problem under Hillary.

    1. fresno dan

      apparently, if it weren’t for all the US weapons stolen by ISIS and sundry other terrorists, they wouldn’t have any weapons at all….well, there are also all the weapons that go to our “allies” – all those moderates in Syria…and Libya….and Yemen….(I would list them all, but there aren’t enough pixels on the internet….)

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s subtle.

      The connection here is, Made In America weapons = American jobs.

      Its similar to the logic that if 90% of the GDP growth in the last 10 years went to the 0.01%, then to avoid starvation of the 99.99%, we need to chop down more trees to grow more GDP (hopefully, this time around, in the next 10 years, the 99.99% will get may be more than 10% of that growth).

      Gotta stimulate the economy.

      What happens if you stimulate the economy
      and they only hire robot workers
      With no humans around, that that simulation make a sound?

      “Can you turn down the volume? It’s deafening.”

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Smart weapons that only only be fired by good guys.

          We have the technology.

          “I can’t fire this stupid laser cannon.”

          “That’s because you are a bad guy.”

  11. fresno dan

    Hillary Clinton Admits That She’s an Idiot. Seriously. Angry Bear

    I’ll add this: Taking Clinton at her word, she believes that if everybody had voted the way he did, the auto industry would have collapsed, taking 4 million jobs with it. The operative words in the sentence in which she said this are: “I believe that”.

    I suggest that we do take her at her word, which is that she believes that the Democratic-controlled House and the Democratic-controlled Senate, together with an outgoing Republican president who supported the auto bailout and an about-to-be-inaugurated Democratic president who did too, would not have separated the finance-industry bailout from the auto industry bailout, and instead would have allowed the industry to collapse. Which makes her about as in touch with reality as Donald Trump is.

    There was a link a month or so ago about how representative Conyers by Glen Ford, and the excruciating amount of knowledge one had to have to really understand that what appeared to be Conyers support for reparations really was the exact opposite.

    Now I enjoy reading this stuff, but most people don’t have the time or inclination. And those who say just don’t trust or pay any attention to politicians probably are using their time better than I, and their conclusion just not to believe anything they say is probably a better grasp of reality than I have, as even I don’t have enough time to deconstruct every policy as to its ostensible purpose versus its real purpose.

    Now, if I was really being cynical this morning, I would say: “Every word Hillary says is a lie, including “and” and “the.”
    But that will be much too generous, as these are not so much lies as carefully constructed Potemkin villages of deceit, that involved a vast neo-liberal conspiracy to mislead. Hillary is the leader of lies, but she has an army behind her…

    And I will again point out “Which makes her about as in touch with reality as Donald Trump is” that Trump’s lies are transparent, and in my view not nearly as evil and dangerous as the carefully crafted and researched lies of most politicians, which fool people into believing that these people intend to make your life better when it is KNOWINGLY designed to do the exact opposite.

    1. HopeLB

      Upvote! This is exactly why I “feel in my gut” as Colbert says, that between Trump and Hillary, Trump is the lesser evil. (And his anti-TPP stance helps.)
      Bernie by comparison is Nearly Pure Goodness though Pure Goodness might be Jill Stein.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      We lie to ourselves all the time.

      But we don’t say to ourselves (silently or loud out) “I will now lie to myself.”

      Instead, we say, “I want to believe.”

    3. knowbuddhau

      Who we gonna believe, our lying eyes or Her Royal Clinton and her many loyal minions?

      HRC strongly believes in the power of propaganda. After I saw her performance before a Senate panel 2 March 2011, pretty much declaring PSYOP war against the world, I wondered, why would anyone believe a word she says from here on out? Does anyone really think she’d refrain from doing the same when it comes to her own communications?

      We are engaged in an information war. During the Cold War, we did a great job in getting America’s message out. After the Berlin Wall fell we said, okay, fine, enough of that. We’ve done it. We’re done. And unfortunately, we are paying a big price for it.


      So here’s what we are trying to do. In the State Department, we have pushed very hard on new media. So we have an Arabic Twitter feed. We have a Farsi Twitter feed. I have this group of young techno-experts who are out there engaging on websites and we’re putting all of our young Arabic-speaking diplomats out, so that they are talking about our values.

      Walter [Issacson] is working hard with his Board to try to transform the broadcasting efforts. Because most people still get their news from TV and radio. So even though we’re pushing online, we can’t forget TV and radio. And so I look — I would look very much towards your cooperation, to try to figure out how we get back in the game on this. Because I hate ceding what we are most expert in to anybody else. [http://freemediaonline DOT org/freemediaonlineblog/2011/05/04/secretary-clinton-u-s-is-losing-the-information-war/]

      “I have this group of young techno-experts who are out there engaging on websites….” And email servers?

      “Information war” is a euphemism for PSYOP. And according to HRC, we do PSYOP best. She readily admits, even boasts, of having “young techno-experts” engaged in PSYOP. To here her talk you’d think they sit at their keyboards in capes and tights.

      As you point out, fresno dan, that’s what’s so galling about her campaign tactics: not only are they lies, the fact that they are calculated, targeted, weaponized BS adds the insult of malice aforethought to the injury.

      1. fresno dan

        March 10, 2016 at 5:49 pm

        Good analysis and I agree strongly – we have gone from lies to propaganda. and what is so troubling, is that it entails EVERYTHING

  12. Steve H.

    Mike Whitney is never full of bullish, but jeez:

    Any hopeful counterpoints? … Bueller?

  13. Monsieur Antoine

    Re: Is there any reason to hope for France? Vineyard of the Saker

    Whoa, there! I’m french, living in Canada, with still plenty of contacts there. This article considers Soral and Dieudonné as “the dissidents”. Seriously? As much as I dislike the treatment of Dieudonné and Soral by the establishment and the press, they are only conspiracy theorists, run-of-the-mill antisemites and descendants of extreme-right-wing vichyssists, which the article acknowledge partially by confirming they were allied with (father) LePen’s FN. The article conflates their importance a lot, though, Soral leads a fringe movement.
    The article itself is full of antisemitism (jews seem to run everything in France), an unstructured piece filled with outright falsehoods and half-truths mixed with real informations. The truthism is strong in this one too, Cosimo (the author) considers all the big terror events (Madrid, London, Paris) as false flags.
    I would postfix the link with a “have a truckload of salt handy” warning.

    1. Steve H.

      The Saker only achieved credibility for accurately reporting military actions during the recent Ukrainian civil war. It is a sad state of affairs that in order to get facts on world affairs we have to read authors who treat the U.S. as a monolithic institution of oppression. Pepe Escobar and John Helmer come to mind, but they seem to at least be honest in their opinions on American foreign policy. Saker is a venom-spitter who had notable access to Russian catspaws while the bombs were going off.

      This is really an indictment of American mainstream media. It has seemed we are more likely to see an interview with Michael Hudson on RT than on CNN, and RT is explicitly considered a strategic organization by the Russian government. FOX news is an easy target, but the degradation of NPR imposed by W and continued by the Obama administration was well-noted in comments the other day.

      “And could buying or gaining control of stocks be used to turn another country’s newspapers and television stations into the tools of media warfare?” [Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui, 1999] That assessment understated the ambitions of folks like Murdoch and Bezos by framing it as a nationalistic enterprise. They are globalists, and seek to use propaganda, which Bernays rebranded as public relations, to remove boundaries which allow nations to protect themselves.

      1. Eric Titus

        But can you trust anything those alternative publications say if their “facts” are mixed in with a mix of conspiracy and conjecture? And this article is peddling the conspiracies of the far right…
        While I love NC in general, on occasion it is a reminder that not all skepticism is good skepticism.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I think skepticism is just skepticism.

          It’s the people doing skepticism, the skeptics, who are either good or bad…though I am skeptical of even that.

        2. hunkerdown

          Of course you can never trust anything anyone says. Everyone has an agenda. This much is obvious to any cynic. You’re wasting your time looking for a gold standard of impartiality that humans cannot create, so better to just correct for the known bias and cross-reference like all get out than allow bourgeois credentialism to shape one’s information input.

        3. Steve H.

          I’d say, ‘verify, then trust.’ The alternative publications do give facts which can be verified. That the sources have their own axe to grind doesn’t discount the facts. That the Western (please substitute for above ‘American’) mainstream media does not present many of these facts, so that we may analyze, is the indictment beyond any implicit bias in interpretation.

          NC is my first-checked news source, and it became so after I did verification checks. NC’s veracity is well above the other sources I used, both in facts about the past and in predictions about the future. This despite some assertions that seemed pretty sketchy at first glance (see MMT).

          That only applies to site-original material, however. NC does link to sources that require a critical eye, and the Saker article is one of those.

    2. adriatic

      The Saker is a pan-slavic propagandist. There is no war, or war crime he won’t defend if it’s done by the slavs (the same thing that freaks out most Eastern Europeans.) He also believes in a strange feudalistic political system, where power stends in the hands of the aristocracy.

  14. fresno dan

    MIAMI — Marco Rubio had suffered three electoral thumpings in a row when the senator from Florida and his image-makers abruptly shifted strategy. The aspirational candidate, whose presidential campaign was built on a promise of generational change and Republican unity, would morph overnight into Donald Trump’s chief assailant.
    Looking back, Rubio’s supporters see these fateful days as central to his unraveling.

    WOW!!! That is why Rubio, beloved by all, except the voters, is flailing????? Rubio, EXACTLY like Bush, except not as vibrant, sexy or dashing, flails because repubs are offended…OFFENDED, by ‘big hands’? Well, I guess you can’t argue with Trump’s success as a paradigm of demure, unfailingly polite, and circumspect virtue….must be the ‘big hands’

    I saw a behind the scenes documentary about Mittens (“Mitt”) – pretty tedious. But what struck me is, these people are of course aware that they are being filmed, so they must be putting forth their best arguments for Mitts’ election, albeit while trying not to look like that is what they are doing.
    And I thought, these people can’t possibly be that stupid…

    1. craazyboy

      In line with the “big hands” controversy, Trump did call “Mittens” a fake. So there’s that, too.

  15. hemeantwell

    re “Awash in Empty Homes, China Asks Migrant Workers to Settle Down New York Times”.

    Trying to get my bearings on the limits of credit manipulation by central governments: Would it be possible for the Chinese government to compensate for workers’ suppressed wages by simply giving them homes and then paying the nominal “sellers” in some form of credit that would trim inflationary effects?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The founder of Ming dynasty just confiscated their properties (mostly in Jiangnan).

      Come to think of it, the founder of the present dynasty did the same in the 1950s.

    2. inode_buddha

      “Trying to get my bearings on the limits of credit manipulation by central governments: Would it be possible for the Chinese government to compensate for workers’ suppressed wages by simply giving them homes and then paying the nominal “sellers” in some form of credit that would trim inflationary effects?”

      Wow that sounds *exactly* like what needs to happen right here in the USA… similar reasons wrt suppressed wages.

  16. different clue

    Two separate things . . .

    Thing One: I read some Vineyard of the Saker a while ago and found a post where he elaborately explained his religious theories on Chritianity, Jews, etc. I tried finding it more recently again but I don’t have the patience to spend the hours needed to find it again, especially as he has re-engineered his blog to make it physically ugly and user-hostile. So I am going on memory.

    He views Eastern Orthodoxy as being the only real Christianity and describes its straight-line descent from the Christianity of the late-antiquity Christianity of Roman times as being the only truth-based straight-line of descent. His views on Jews are not rooted in modern Western race-based anti-Semitism as far as I can tell. His views are based on the pre-medieval views of Early Christianity as started in Late Roman Antiquity. So he is an anti-Judaicist in the Pauline-Augustinian-etc. mold. One could call his ideology “anti-Judaicism” if one likes. It does lead him to fellow-travel with modern antiSemites when he feels like it.

    Thing Two: About the Nevada Utility trying to extort the Las Vegas casinos into staying hooked up to the Nevada Grid . . . . I think there may be a way for the Las Vegas casinos to have some of their cake and eat some of it too. They should get some of the very best lawyers in America with deep experience and wisdom in all relevant fields . . . and with all the best legal advice, they should figure out what is the bare minimum of power they are legally obligated to buy from the Nevada Utility to be able to say they are “hooked up” in order to avoid the extortion fee for leaving altogether.
    And if their lawyers can come up with a good solidly defensible number, then the Las Vegas casinos should keep buying the bare minimum amount of electricity from the Utlility that they absolutely can not avoid buying if they wish to stay techically hooked-up in an oh-so-exquisitely-legal manner to avoid the extortion-for-unhooking fee. And then they should make all their own electricity beyond that barest-legal-minimum-to-stay-hooked-up amount.

    1. GlobalMisanthrope

      Re Thing One

      I have to say that I agree with Leon Wieseltier’s view that if one is going to deal in anti-semitic tropes, one is going to have to explain why he or she is not an anti-semite. His Authentic Christians are Anti-Judea argument does not inoculate him against the charge.

  17. Carole

    Trump: the great orange-haired Unintended Consequence

    The public is exasperated by the political system to the point that it is enjoying a kind of catharsis, the indiscriminate smashing of things as performance art

    by Marilynne Robinson is an American novelist and essayist. She has received several awards including the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2005 and the 2012 National Humanities Medal.

    1. fresno dan

      “Trump and the others are the product of the souring of the party system. Someone should point out, in these days when the constitution is so constantly and pietistically invoked, that political parties are not mentioned in the constitution, and that the prescient founders warned emphatically against them for reasons that should be clear to us now. ”

      Just another good article that the people are sick and tired of what they are being fed – thanks! Although I probably consume way too many of them.

      The branding of dems as dirty commies and the branding of the repubs as dirty fascists just doesn’t do anything. The people are willing to do anything not to listen to the same old crap…

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        To save the parties or not?

        At the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the Grail fell into a chasm…so no one could use it.

        Something (external) so good, and yet, in the wrong hand, could be very dangerous…like an omnipotent government.

        The lesson of the Indiana Jones myth here seems to be that the power we desire has to come from within…the People must empower themselves.

          1. fresno dan

            I once read how the vast majority of advertising is just “brand awareness” – once you get people to commit to a brand – – price, quality, stories of how it is manufactured by exploited orphans and its main ingredient is blenderized kittens won’t stop people from purchasing it – habit rules People have got to understand that if you keep doing what you have always done you will get what you have always got…

      2. jrs

        I really think the root cause of the souring of the party system is money in politics.

        But Trump talks about money in politics. He talks about it like the narcissist that he is, that is he only talks about it in reference to himself and how he doesn’t take that money. Everything is in reference to self with Trump.

        But he does NOT talk about it in reference to anything other than and larger than self, that is actually fixing the system, that is reforming campaign financing.

        And yes there really is a significant difference in the two ways of talking about it, even if they both raise the issue.

  18. fresno dan

    Peter’s Schiff’s Delusional Forecast Michael Shedlock

    OK, first of all, I like Michael Shedlock (aka Mish). I don’t agree with a good portion of his views, but on the other hand his aphorism “Inflation in what you need, deflation in what you don’t” really explains a lot. (rising health care, college, deflating prices of consumer stuff from China)
    His analysis of employment (or unemployment) is also rather insightful.

    But he advocates holding some gold. Now, not to go all Zero Hedge, but executive order 6102 is a fact. There is no currency or material that you can own that can immunize you from the collapse of society or same difference the collapse of a currency. The government controls currency and or currency substitutes. Strange that people think zombies will be enthralled by the shiny yellow metal…or just won’t eat your brains when you go to trade with them…(or the banditos won’t just take your gold in exchange for letting you keep your children)

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s hard.

      They want to ban assault weapons and have gun control. I have neither.

      At the end of the world, with the collapse of society, what do the lucky (perhaps not lucky) surviving people do? Hand to hand combat with one’s kitchen knife?

      Burn off dead zombies with fiat paper money (no bigger than $100)?

  19. kevinearick

    Free money chasing unicorns…

    Artificial Intelligence, Cashless Society & Closed Systems

    Technology is a tool, largely employed as a weapon, in derivative phases by derivative thinkers simulating intelligence on their way back to the DNA churn pool, selecting and filtering themselves for mutation meltdown. The path to no exit may not be the line you want to join.

    Net, the empire counterweight pays you in RE control, natural resource redistribution or both to participate in DNA meltdown, which for those with no interest in future generations is a deal, distilling out those who do care for future generations, which is why empire becomes increasingly myopic, promoting sociopaths. Those who do care operate a complimentary system with anonymous cash, discounting in the opposite direction. By systematically eliminating anonymous cash, the nation/state system has cut itself off, subjecting itself to demographic and financial implosion, calculating NPV on dead infrastructure, the proverbial bridge to nowhere.

    Labor can always pivot and drop the counterweight. Hillary only sees the variables associated with her position on the counterweight, Trump doesn’t want to be dropped, and Sanders doesn’t recognize capitalism as the other side of socialism. Cruz and Rubio work for the banks, and Kasich still thinks that this can all be negotiated, rearranging chairs on the Titanic, as if there is any shred of constitutional integrity remaining (leave it to Ohio to be on the forefront of voting fraud).

    We have RE control enforced by an energy hoax, maintained by ‘economic’ cartels under a threadbare legal monopoly growing government as a shield, driving RE inflation with monkeys competing to liquidate natural resources for income, to pay rent on artificial scarcity with a systematically debased currency, producing massive excess capacity. Add artificial intelligence, in both directions.

    Let’s say we have an amusement park with an ‘elevator’ to the rides, which begins by randomly selecting a ride for you and builds an identity attribute intersection, a psychographic profile, based upon your emotional response, your positive feedback, grouping you with others that are similarly autocatalytic. Wouldn’t that be fun?

    Let’s say you spend twice as much if you have a cup of coffee at 7am. You don’t know that about yourself, but the credit card algorithm does, so it sends you an email for a free coffee if you show up at Starbucks by 7am. Wouldn’t that be fun?

    Simulated intelligence is artificial intelligence, and is already rampant in the nation/state societies, which is why they have no exit. With technology comes responsibility, and it’s not a product of majority vote, except implicitly in the derivative. Rather than identifying scapegoats, a review of the required mentality may be in order, before we roll out the next wave of technology.

    You exist within an oscillation of oscillations and relative to the universe, your travel is so limited that you barely move in a lifetime, within an oscillation. So you have to deconstruct vision, the current calculator producing the illusion of linear time in line, just to begin thinking about space exploration, on earth or beyond. NASA, as you should expect, has been tasked with space exploration, to travel backwards and maintain the energy hoax.

    A job maintaining the counterweight is one thing; life is another. Obviously, as an AI programmer with 4 daughters taken by the Nazis, I am designing my work, primarily for the energy sector, accordingly. You don’t want to be on the derivative end of AI, at the point of ignition in the funnel.

    What do you see when you stir a chemical oscillation, first in one direction and then the other? Why do politicians exist? That the CBs have no transmission mechanism, other than warehousing RE inflation, because government, religion without the religion, has run its course, should be obvious.

    In an artificial world of artificial intelligence, simulated intelligence breeding simulated intelligence, what the CBs are doing, removing the transmission mechanism to drive RE inflation on zombie infrastructure, makes perfect sense. And that the monkeys are surprised by the resulting income inequality is no surprise. The problem/solution is that the system is imploding net, the irony of thought leader vision.

    Credit, faith in a regressive lottery for consumer debt, is not money; it is NOT discovery. The RE Neanderthals built a massive counterweight and Silicon Valley is busy eliminating the transmission mechanism with digital money code, burning up the motor, with no replacement but test tube babies, resulting in fascism.

    “I don’t know” would be a good way to begin, but in a government of, by and for experts in simulated intelligence that would be considered a catastrophic admission, resulting in chaotic fibrillation either way. It’s called a limit cycle, false assumptions confirming false assumptions. Hypersensitivity works both ways; put it to work for you instead of against you, one step at a time, away from empire, which loads the spring for you, for quantum complimentary porosity.

  20. JoeK

    One of the many delights of India, the holy cows. Particular memories…..clop clop clop shwish as one saunters down the street oblivious to the plastic bag stuck on one hoof. Traffic backed up in both lanes with two cows lying between the stopped opposing traffic, in no hurry to make way, and the drivers resigned to waiting until one gently ushers them off. A different driver kneeling in tears next to the cow who’s left rear hock he’s just broken by running over it. Watching women from a passing train as they toss cow pies between their hands like pizza dough before slinging them onto the sides of the adobe walls of their houses–tomorrow’s cooking fuel. Turning around to see if the same cow is still following me, recycling my banana peels as I toss them over my shoulder. Encountering a large bull in one of Varanasi’s small winding alleys late at night; a double clap of the hands and like the others he meekly gives way, affording me that mild buzz of dominion, but when I arrive at my guesthouse I discover he vacated all over the side of my khadi pajama bottoms as I passed…..India, you can’t rate it on a scale, it is the scale.

  21. east
    Envoyé spécial. Pesticides : la malédiction du soja 18/02/2016

    Effects of Glyphosate (Monsanto) on animals in France and Denmark fed with soy from Argentina. (France state television documentary). European Commission does nothing to protect the Europeans, takes dictates from the industry lobby.

  22. Skippy

    The pot coming to a boil wrt the standing ovation for Sanders was interesting, sorta like breaking the spell main stream Dem’s have spun since Bill – one spine at a time.

      1. bob

        DNC donors? In michigan, in march? Yuck. They’d probably have to walk across the tarmac from their jets to their limos.

      2. Skippy

        ANT in an organic or planned sense, is that what you mean opti, I hold the former due to complexity concerns. Albeit there would be some credence to a – come forward – pull, not unlike salvation calls, Bernie’s rhetoric did play a bit of that fiddle.

        Yet it is getting harder for Hillary to hold the reality she projects held together and its still early days…

  23. dk

    Adam Gaffney in New Republic (How Liberals Tried to Kill the Dream of Single-Payer) quotes Paul Starr:

    “The dream of reason did not take power into account.”

    Magical thinking, not an excuse. Reason is no dream, those two words don’t even go together.

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