Links 4/24/17

The mass trespass that opened the gates of the countryside New Statesman. Today marks the 85th anniversary of the Kinder Scott Mass Trespass. Celebrate by taking a walk, preferably in the countryside.

Malaria: Kenya, Ghana and Malawi get first vaccine BBC

Worsening heatwaves are turning dehydration into chronic kidney disease epidemics Scroll.in

‘Very precious’ Declaration of Independence copy discovered in a Chichester record office Telegraph

Mobile industry loses its bid to stop Berkeley’s cellphone warning law Ars Technica

Brexit

Blair urges voters to back anti-Brexit candidates — even if Tory FT

Dennis Skinner: Theresa May called an election because of Tory fraud investigation I News

Why Brexit will bring a boom in lobbying The Conversation

Amidst Backlash, Ivanka Trump Clothing Is Secretly Relabelled as Adrienne Vittadini Business of Fashion

Apparel brands need to be more transparent about where clothes come from TreeHugger

The stupid reason that larger clothes fit so badly Quartz

Russia

RUSSIA BLOG, DAY 1: THE STRANGE ACTIVIST WHO “PROVOKED” CHECHNYA’S ANTI-GAY CRACKDOWN The Exiled. The latest from Mark Ames.

New Cold War

Why Do We Want a Cooperative Relationship With Russia? The American Conservative

Syraqistan

IMPORTANT CORRECTION TO The Nerve Agent Attack that Did Not Occur George Washington’s Blog

Wells Fargo Directors Face Uncertain Prospects WSJ

You Brought This Dystopian Panopticon On Yourselves, Goldmanites Dealbreaker. While it’s hard to feel too sorry for the Vampire Squid’s employees, this sounds horrible.

Health Care

Donald Trump’s ‘fake it until you make it’ strategy on healthcare won’t work (furzy)

Why an American went to Cuba for cancer care BBC

French Elections

A New Beginning Jacobin

How Jean-Luc Mélenchon built a resistance New Statesman

Far-left voters voice frustration at Melenchon’s headquarters Euronews

Macron and neo-fascist Le Pen advance to run-off in French presidential elections World Socialist Web Site

Macron vs. Le Pen: The key storylines in France’s presidential runoff WaPo

The Main Issue in the French Presidential Election: National Sovereignty Counterpunch

Présidentielle 2017 : où les candidats du premier tour ont-ils fait leurs meilleurs scores ? Le Monde. Visual representation of the geographic voting distribution is comprehensile even for those who don’t read French.

Marine Le Pen Is In A Much Deeper Hole Than Trump Ever Was FiveThirtyEight. Nate Silver weighs in.

“C’est la fin d’une histoire” pour le PS, juge Valls Agence France Presse

Macron and Le Pen Fight for the French Presidency and the Definition of Patriotism The Intercept. Curiously clueless on the economic issues, reminding me of how the MSM missed both the Brexit vote and tried to dismiss all Trump supporters in the run-up to the election as motivated by racism.

China?

Local, global security firms in race along China’s ‘Silk Road’ Reuters

Made-in-China aircraft carrier is readied for launch SCMP. Lambert: “Who cares if the sitting duck is black or white”?

North Korea?

Opinion: China’s position on North Korea appears to shift SCMP

China’s Xi Jinping urges restraint on North Korea issue on call with Donald Trump Economic Times

Turkey

Banning and binning books in Istanbul TLS

India

India’s food-water-energy nexus: disaster or opportunity? The Third Pole

H-1B visa issue: US accuses Infosys, TCS, Cognizant of violating norms, cornering lion’s share of visas First Post

HOW TRUMP AND TURNBULL DEALT A DOUBLE WHAMMY TO INDIAN TECHIES SCMP

Class Warfare

Germany may be booming, but have some been left behind? Al Jazeera

Gentrification Represents a Geography of Inequality TruthOut

Stats of The Week: Not All Biglaw Firms Publicly Sad To See Legal Services For The Poor Eliminated Above the Law

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

An Israeli startup armed with $45 million is taking on Google and Apple in the race to sell your personal data Business Insider

WikiLeaks releases top-secret CIA documents as US considers charges against Julian Assange Independent

THE WIKILEAKS DETERRENT THEORY, AKA THE ARBITRARY OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT Empty Wheel

As U.S. Preps Arrest Warrant for Assange, Glenn Greenwald Says Prosecuting WikiLeaks Threatens Press Freedom for All Democracy Now

2016 Post Mortem

Poll: The Democratic Party Is In Deep Trouble Moon of Alabama

Kathryn Bigelow, Hillary Clinton, and Virtual Reality Join Forces to Save the Elephants Vanity Fair. Am I the only one who reads this headline ironically: w/ HRC and Hollywood joining to save the symbol of the GOP? And at the Tribeca Film Festival no less!

Trump voters don’t have buyer’s remorse. But some Hillary Clinton voters do. WaPo

Little Creep National Review. More piling on poor, poor Chelsea Clinton.  For those who find sharp political invective upsetting, skip this. For what it’s worth, I think it’s going to be hard to roll out Clinton 3.0 when the CC name is rapidly becoming a punch line. (And you Premiership fans know what immediately springs to this Arsenal supporter’s mind whenever Chelsea is mentioned.)

Trump Transition

Trump Administration Distances Itself From Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman Amid Call For Recusal International Business Times

Republicans hope to avert shutdown, enter the week unclear on details  CNN (furzy)

Trump will ramp up action on executive orders this week: reports The Hill

Antidote du jour. Not the best picture, but one of my favorite birds: seeing one always makes me smile. I leave it to readers to identify it and where it’s found:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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185 comments

  1. JohnL

    Kinder Scout mass trespass – and enjoy your public lands in the USA while they’re still public.

    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, JohnL. Hear, hear.

      I wonder how many readers (outside the British Isles) are aware of the structure of UK landownership and how it serves as a pillar for neo-feudalism and neo-liberalism.

      Paul, who I think is Scottish, may pipe up as the problem of (concentrated) land ownership is more widely known and challenged in Scotland. I wonder if J-LS, who is of Scots origin, has any family anecdotes. Plutonium Kun will be aware from Irish history.

      Some of my Scots ancestors were “cleared” from Aberdeenshire in the 18th century and ended up in Mauritius a century later, not uncommon in the British empire. The family who “cleared” my ancestors still own, or is occupy, the land. We shared the same surname, but about fifty years ago, the younger members of my family dropped that second barrel.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Sadly in Ireland there is little tradition of open public land access. The only good thing is that the big landowners were bought out in the late 19th, early 20th century, so uplands tend to be owned by small farmers or is still in commonage. Most are fine about access, but there are some notorious farmers who get very aggressive with hillwalkers (access to the glorious mountains of Benbulbin and Mweelrae are problematic for this reason, and the situation with coastal walks is even worse).

        Irish people don’t really have a great tradition of hillwalking or climbing – I was up yesterday walking the lovely ridge of the Dublin mountains and I heard more Russian and Polish than English, and unusualy met almost as many Asian families up walking as I did Irish ones. Or maybe it was because the Irish were watching the Arsenal v Man C game? Hard to say.

        1. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you, PK.

          They were at the Irish pub near Warren Street tube station yesterday afternoon. More people were outside than inside.

      2. vidimi

        george monbiot was one of the few writing about this in the mainstream press. the amount of land in the hands of the aristocracy in britain is simply staggering. especially scotland.

        1. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you, Vidimi,

          Monbiot and I went to the same school. He’s a few years older.

          One of my classmates, who was in the same house as Monbiot, is a big landowner in Scotland. He has served as chairman of the landowners and farmers union.

          Another person who was in that house and is older than all of us owns islands in the Caribbean and game parks in Africa, all the time pretending that his Virgin empire was built from nothing and he’s really an ordinary bloke. His family are landowners / squires in Surrey.

            1. Colonel Smithers

              Thank you, Paul.

              His dad was a judge and squire in some Surrey village. The father had a feud with the father of Lord King, former head of British Airways. The sons carried on that feud.

              Our oligarch does not mention that his cousin, the founder and owner of Time Out, helped him.

              The oligarch kept away from our school for most of his adult life, but has served as chairman of the board of governors in recent years and a fund raiser. I wonder if that is not a business opportunity and he need not pretend any more.

              About half of the pupils are children of foreign oligarchs now. Boxing and ice hockey clubs have been set up for the Russian pupils. The school is now a fortress as the parents of many of the children are paranoid and have enemies. One can no longer jump over the hedge row at Stowe Corner and watch motor racing at Silverstone for free any more.

        2. PlutoniumKun

          Yes, the aristocracy and the modern version – lots of hedge fund managers, etc., have taken to apeing the old landed gentry while slaughtering birds.

          Britain lost out in not following Ireland in land reform. But I think the economics favoured it in Ireland (the land was never really suited to large scale intensive cultivation, so the big estates were crumbling by the 1880’s), while the aristocracy hung on in England and Scotland. My grandfather benefited – he got a new farm from the last wave of seizures from absentee landords in the early 1930’s. The few anglo Irish families that hung on to their estates did it by sending over their young men to marry into the newly rich industrialists. One of the last of those families has married into Chinese money recently.

          1. Colonel Smithers

            Thank you, PK.

            On this side of the Irish Sea and on the other side of the Channel, it was Americans and Jewish immigrants (Rothschilds, Lazards and Sassoons) in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and the odd Franco-Mauritian sugar planter heiress. A couple of Russian “models” have made their way into UK families recently.

            An American hedgie with a heavy New Joysey accent ran the campaign to keep hunting / blood sports legal. Another American and consigliere to Bob Diamond, Rich Ricci, has taken up jump racing. Both have taken to wearing tweeds, trilbys and dark glasses around Cheltenham.

            With regard to the new money buying land, as well as slaughtering birds, they can also exploit EU agricultural subsidies.

            1. sbarrkum

              The Sassoons originally Iraqi Jews (and the Tatas) made money from opium.
              Great grandchildren: Siegfried Sassoon, Philip Sassoon, Sybil Sassoon, Marchioness of Cholmondeley.

              His son Albert Abdullah moved to England, where he married into the Rothschild family and was elected to Parliament on the Conservative party’s ticket. Another son, Sassoon David Sassoon, was the father of Rachel Sassoon Beer, who became owner and editor of the Sunday Times at the turn of the century, and grandfather of the great poet of World War I, Siegfried Sassoon.

              http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/this-day-in-jewish-history/1864-global-trade-tycoon-david-sassoon-dies-1.475878

              In the US
              http://www.alternet.org/drugs/5-elite-families-fortunes-opium-trade

              the Delanos a

          2. Oregoncharles

            Ireland had a revolution; England and Scotland did not (recently). That, or even just the leadup to it, will affect landownership.

            The US is creeping up on the same problem in farmland, in the form of corporate ownership. My own family’s farm was sold to a corporation – sad, but they were the best bid. None of us wanted to operate it.

      3. paul

        I’m afraid I don’t have any particular insights, this guardian article covers it reasonably.

        I remember my parents,like everyone else, having to stump up feu duty to the Duke of Buccleuch every year for the privilege of owning a house in north edinburgh.

        Its basically money for old rope if you’re someone like Paul Dacre or dishy Dan Snow (married into the westminster family business,born into the tv business himself) who fronted the risible anti independence ‘We love you ,Scotland’ celebrity act.

        I’m sure his wife’s landholdings had nothing to do with his warmth for the people of jockistan..

        Game fees and land subsidies just keep on giving. Tenant farmers are treated like shit more often than not.

        Andy Wightman is a widely respected green MSP who writes on these matters though he’s being vexatiously sued just now by some murky land owning shell company who considers its low profile to have been impugned.

        If he saw his LVT proposals adopted, landowners tears would certainly fill a few lochs. The green they prize is quite different to the ramblers.

        1. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you, Paul.

          The Montagu Douglas Scott family, eh! Bastard descendants of Charles II. One of them, Lady Caroline, was the wife of Ian Gilmour, MP for Amersham, near where I live, and a Tory I though OK (at least in comparison with the scum who came in with / onwards from Thatcher).

          1. paul

            Baron Gilmour of Craigmillar (male life expectancy in this ward is 65, just 2 years shy of the old age pension).

            I’ve got one of his memoirs knocking around somewhere.

            He did seem a decent stick, though his sympathy for palestinians would surely disqualify him these days.

            Lord James Douglas Hamilton was my MP growing up, his campaign literature consisted solely of his name and a picture of him helping a child across the road, but that was enough to ensure his regular return come election time.

            While something of a 50 watt bulb, he is regarded as a very good hearted man by everyone I know who dealt with him.

            They’re not all bad,these aristocrats, but those that are certainly make up for the rest.

            1. Colonel Smithers

              Thank you, Paul.

              Can you imagine if the Tory Wets had been able to defenester Milk Snatcher?

              1. paul

                Hard to imagine, but they probably would have if John Nott hadn’t nixed the
                Endurance. Every cloud etc…

                Margaret Thatcher forced François Mitterrand to give her the codes to disable Argentina’s deadly French-made missiles during the Falklands war by threatening to launch a nuclear warhead against Buenos Aires, according to a book.

                Rendez-vous – the psychoanalysis of François Mitterrand, by Ali Magoudi, who met the late French president up to twice a week in secrecy at his Paris practice from 1982 to 1984,

      4. Roger Bigod

        I’m descended from one Rev. James Keith, who was born in Peterhead in 1696 and “cleared” around 1715. He was related to a line of Earls, but the records are untidy on the details. The last Earl Marischal vaporized the title by leading an invading army across the English border, aiming to overthrow George I. Oops.

        James escaped to Virginia, hid out for a few years, returned to Great Britain, was ordained as a priest and went back to VA, where he married into a Fust Family. One of his sons was at Valley Forge during a difficult winter of the American Revolution. This was certainly more successful and constructive than the Last Earl’s rebellion, at least so far.

        The last Earl’s son, also named James, fled to the continent and became a mercenary. He served the Spanish, then the Russians. The story is that the Russian Empress took a liking to him and he was uncomfortable with the role of Imperial Boy Toy, so he left for Germany, where he became a Field Marshall for Frederick the Great. One of his more impressive honors was that Frederick asked him to decorate the palaces, quite an achievement for a straight guy.

        Clearly, the Keiths produced more color than they could consume locally.

    1. Gaianne

      Thank you BeliTsari!–

      One wonders what games they are playing with the stats. But more, you have to play games with history to exonerate agricultural chemicals–as though no one ever got thirsty before in all of human history!

      That dehydration article really had the aroma of fake news, Main-Stream Media style!

      –Gaianne

        1. HopeLB

          Thanks Craazyboy. I am going to draw up some Hoopoe stickers with maybe quotes from Anabel Lee or The Raven, affix them to outgoing mail and my car, make them my own personal official bird.

  2. PlutoniumKun

    Re:

    Little Creep National Review. More piling on poor, poor Chelsea Clinton. For those who find sharp political invective upsetting, skip this. For what it’s worth, I think it’s going to be hard to roll out Clinton 3.0 when the CC name is rapidly becoming a punch line. (And you Premiership fans know what immediately springs to this Arsenal supporter’s mind whenever Chelsea is mentioned.)

    Its a fun read:

    Chelsea Clinton, most recently lionized on the cover of Variety, is a 37-year-old multi-millionaire who has never uttered an interesting word about any subject at any time during the course of her life. Judging from the evidence of her public statements, she has never had an original thought — it isn’t clear that she has had a thought at all. In tribute to her parents, she was given a series of lucrative sinecures, producing a smattering of sophomoric videos for NBC at a salary of $600,000 a year. She later went more formally into the family business, leaving her fake job at NBC for a fake job in her parents’ fake charity. She gave interviews about how she just couldn’t get interested in money and bought a $10 million Manhattan apartment that stretches for the better part of a city block.

    The attack ads on CC would be fun, which I assume is why they would only run her somewhere very safe and uber-liberal in all sents of the word. I asked here btl before if any NYers thought she’d do well if she ran, and the answer was sadly that there are plenty of people who would vote for her, especially in a primary. So I wouldn’t write her off.

    Given that Chelsea FC is owned by a Russian oligarch its somehow ironic if you think of those Arsenal chants when CC’s name comes up. For some reason, every time I hear the name I just hear Leonard Cohen’s Chelsea Hotel and his unmade bed.

    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, PK.

      My beloved Arsenal is largely owned by an American oligarch, nicknamed “Silent Stan” (Kroenke) and married to a Walton heiress. The other big shareholder, Usmanov, is an Uzbek and Russian oligarch.

      If asked where I am from, I say that I was born in Arsenal and Corbyn country.

      And, in case you are wondering where I stand on that great issue of the day, it’s #Wexit.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        I should have added for PK that I started watching the Gunners when it had a big Irish influence, vide Terry Neill, Pat Jennings, Sammy Nelson, David O’Leary, John Devine, Frank Stapleton and Liam Brady.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Ah indeed, a great team in those days. Back in the 1960’s and 70’s Ireland is what France and Spain are now for big English sides – a foreign place to scoop up cheap talent. Briefly in the ’70’s my pride and joy was a football with a stencilled autograph from Liam Brady my father got from collecting petrol station tokens. But now all talented boys in Dublin want to play for Leinster in rugby and are busy beefing up with ice cream and protein shakes.

          1. RabidGandhi

            Speaking of foreign places to scoop up [cheap?] talent, how about yesterday’s big win by Team Mercosur Barça.

            1. PlutoniumKun

              Nothing much to say about it except to say that if there is a God of Football, his name is Leo Messi.

              1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

                Agreed. And my English husband would probably divorce me on the spot (after 30+ years of marriage)– if he knew I was suggesting here that Messi deserves to play another World Cup. (We still haven’t quite got over that whole ’86 hand of God thing.)

                  1. Colonel Smithers

                    Thank you, RG.

                    Many Gooners, including me, want Diego “El Cholo” Simeone as the successor to Arsene Wenger.

                  2. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

                    So that can be my excuse to my husband– I only support Messi getting to play another World Cup as the best way of ensuring the albiceleste lose? Okay, got it. Whatever Messi and co. get up to, I still think it’ll be quite some time before England wins another World Cup. For my husband, 1966 was the apogee– and he was 10 years old, and a keen footballer. Doesn’t get better than that.

                1. Synoia

                  This is a discussion tribal affiliations with large 0.1% owned entities.

                  With which 0.1% owned tribe do you claim affiliation?

                  No irony there.

                  1. Colonel Smithers

                    Thank you, Old Greshamite.

                    The chairman of Arsenal is Sir Chips Keswick, one of the heirs to Jardine Matheson. I am sure you know where that Jardine Matheson dosh comes from. Keswick was tapped by Peter Hill-Wood, the former chairman and a former (bank) colleague of Keswick’s.

                2. Colonel Smithers

                  Thank you, J-LS.

                  As you are of Scots origin, your husband and you may be amused by a Scottish pub in London having a picture of Diego Maradona for its Scotsman of the year 1986.

                  1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

                    Brilliant! Scots, but like most Americans, with quite a lot else mixed in– Scots Irish, English, a soupçon of native American, Polish, Lithuanian.

                3. PlutoniumKun

                  Judging by the 1000+ comments under the Guardian match report there is a lot of man-love going on for Messi now, even among Englishmen.

                  It seems Real Madrid made one big mistake in the match. They made Messi mad. Maybe the Argentinian national team could learn from that.

          2. Colonel Smithers

            Thank you, PK.

            The team soon broke up with Stapleton going to Manchester United and Brady to Juventus. Jennings and Pat Rice, who I omitted above, retired soon after.

            Northern Ireland played well in Espana 82. The Republic had a good spell from 1988 onwards.

    2. JohnL

      Chelsea Hotel – close:
      “Chelsea Clinton, daughter of President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, was named after the song, “Chelsea Morning”, after the couple heard Judy Collins’ version of the song playing during a stroll in the Chelsea neighborhood of London.”

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chelsea_Morning?wprov=sfla1

      Given the lyrics of Chelsea Hotel I agree it would be a better fit:

      “I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel,
      You were talking so brave and so sweet,
      Giving me head on the unmade bed,
      While the limousines wait in the street…”

      1. ShamanicFallout

        Maybe Elvis Costello’s ‘I Don’t Want To Go To Chelsea’? I think it works!

    3. JohnL

      CC was actually named after Joni Mitchell’s Chelsea Morning, but I agree Chelsea Hotel is a way better fit.

    4. Antifa

      No matter where Chelsea Clinton runs for political office, she will face the question of her paternity from her sworn enemies. Just as Obama had to face endless demands for his birth certificate, and Trump for his tax returns, Chelsea and her mother Hillary will always need to answer — or refuse to answer — whether Chelsea is actually Webster Hubbell’s daughter.

      That this is so is an open secret in Arkansas, and in DC. It is the kind of question that no polite person would ever bring up. Unless Chelsea ran for political office. There is no polite in political campaigning.

  3. Bill Smith

    “Made-in-China aircraft carrier is readied for launch”

    Maybe the Chinese don’t think these things are as vulnerable as some people believe?

    The US carriers aren’t as vulnerable as they would have been if the satellite the Chinese launched on Sept 1, 2016 to spot for the DF-21D / DF-26 ASBM had made it to orbit.

    1. Mark P.

      U.S. aircraft carriers are vulnerable, but less so than many people here like to assume and they have utility for air-power projection.

      Russia has had its Moskit/Sunburn missiles, which were designed to be carrier-killers and are essentially unstoppable, since the late 1960s. The USSR/Russian Federation has sold those on over the decades and other states have developed missiles of similar capability. And not just China, but India, for one, because though they don’t get much attention, the Indians have developed some of the most frightening, advanced missile kit over the years.

      So a US carrier is designed with steel bulkheads that can be closed if there’s a hit on a section and it starts burning or taking on water. Educated guess is that it would take 1 to 3 hits by Moskit-comparable missiles to sink a carrier, with 1 being on the lucky side. Short of that, it’s hard to sink those things.

      The US carriers aren’t as vulnerable as they would have been if the satellite the Chinese launched on Sept 1, 2016 to spot for the DF-21D / DF-26 ASBM had made it to orbit.

      If WWIII breaks out between the U.S. and China, it’ll start in space as each side starts taking down the other side’s satellite systems. There’s already ongoing low-grade war up there in orbit.

      1. Bill Smith

        Got a link(s) for some more information to your point on a ongoing low-grade war up in orbit? US assets being unpublished capabilities of GSSAP? Whatever they are going to launch on NROL-76 in a few days?

        1. Mark P.

          Got a link(s) for some more information to your point on a ongoing low-grade war up in orbit?

          Sure. No need to whoop each other with military acronyms . This has been happening for years, at least since the Chinese ASAT test in 2007; though nobody in the MSM writes about it, it’s well-known in aerospace/global risk analysis/arms control circles and there’s plenty of non-classified material in the public domain.

          “There are many ways to attack or interfere with satellite operations, ranging from the literally inoffensive (such as deception measures against imaging) through various flavors of jamming, dazzling and other non-kinetic attacks with either temporary or lasting effects, up to outright attacks by projectiles, directed energy weapons or other means to damage or destroy satellites.”

          That’s a good summary quote from —
          Anti-satellite Weapons,
          Deterrence and Sino-American Space Relations

          https://www.stimson.org/content/anti-satellite-weapons-deterrence-and-sino-american-space-relations
          This is a collection of papers put out in 2013 by the Stimson Center, an arms control organization, including authors from RAND, etc. It’s a good overview, though it has a few too many comparisons to nuclear-based MAD for my taste; maybe the arms control community, just like generals, has a tendency to re-fight the last war.

          Through a glass, darkly: Chinese, American, and Russian anti-satellite testing in space
          http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2473/1
          This is by Brian Weeden, who’s also one of the authors in the Stimson center piece. Weeden knows his stuff, and so do some of the commenters.

            1. Mark P.

              More —

              Kinetic ASAT missiles are pretty straightforward. The interesting, cutting-edge stuff is directed-energy weapons, which range from low-powered lasers that merely dazzle (temporarily overwhelm) or blind (permanently damage) a satellite’s sensors (and the Chinese were doing this all the time when I last talked to anybody who knew anything) to high-powered lasers that disable, damage, or destroy a satellite.

              There’s less public material on directed-energy ASAT weapons on the Internet. So here’s this piece from 2014 —

              Beyond Gravity: the complex quest to take out our orbital trash
              https://arstechnica.com/science/2014/05/beyond-gravity-the-complex-quest-to-take-out-our-orbital-trash/

              Full disclosure: I used to earn most of my money as a journalist, till 2008 came and I decided that there were other things I could do to make money. Nowadays, however, I still commit occasional acts of journalism and this was one I did in 2014 for Ars Technica. I’m putting a link to it here because while the applications I wrote about in this piece are for peaceful use, all this stuff is potentially dual use and you can therefore get a decent idea of what’s possible from it.

    2. Mel

      In line with those sunglasses having images of other faces printed on to keep you from being recognized, all the carrier needs is tarps to pull across the flight deck with a picture of the John C. Stennis.

    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, Tony, but he had no choice…

      I watched his sort of endorsement of Macron and characterisation of MLP as “an enemy of the republic”.

    2. Massinissa

      Even the so called ‘radicals’ in the Socialist party like Hamon are really establishment hacks. Maybe the party will die off soon if they keep having failures like this.

  4. Kukulkan

    Re The stupid reason that larger clothes fit so badly article from Quartz.

    Since human bodies aren’t standardized, with no two being exactly alike, the only way to have good fit is to:

    I. Accept loose fitting and somewhat baggy clothes. Mens t-shirts are basically cut as a big rectangle and just hang off the shoulders. Womens t-shirts are “fitted”, with the sides curving in. That’s why mens t-shirts are often cheaper: they’re quicker and easier to make. Women can easily wear mens t-shirts, but apparently don’t like loose, baggy look. Men don’t seem to mind. So just buy size up and don’t worry about it.

    II. Have the clothes custom made to fit your particular body. This, of course, is expensive, but it does increase employment since it requires many dressmakers to make all those bespoke garments. This, however, does not lend itself to mass production.

    III. The solution proposed in the article — having multiple fit models — is a sort of half-way measure between the two. Multiple patterns — one for each fit model — makes production and distribution trickier — having to design the cutting and sewing of each pattern rather than just one, how many to produce in each sub-production run as well as of each size within that run, what ratio of sizes, colors, and patterns to send to each area. This, of course, also raises the price, just not as much as fully bespoke garments do.

    Industrialization depends on standardization, but human bodies aren’t standardized, so using mass production to create items that interact directly with the human body can only create a close-enough-but-not-quite fit.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Its surprised me over the years that nobody has come up with a better way of supplying clothing than making guesses in advance over demand and producing vast numbers of clothes in standard sizes and hoping they will match the demand. Over the years I’ve read of attempts to use tech to make bespoke on-demand clothes, but nobody seems to have perfected it yet. As someone who is somewhat ‘non-standard’ in size and shape I’ve gotten used to slightly having to put up with badly fitted clothes, or to take new clothes to a tailor for adjustments. The very first thing I did when I found myself with some spare cash a few years back was get a bespoke suit – a fantastic investment as nothing I could find in shops fitted me properly.

      My sister, growing up in Ireland, used to despair of getting clothes to fit her, as she is very petite – she had to wear kids clothes (back before kids clothes were as stylish as adults). She went to HK and Shanghai at 30 years old on her honeymoon and came back with 2 huge suitcases of clothes, as she had discovered to her delight that she was ‘asian-sized’. Everything fit her perfectly, much to her husbands horror as she spent so much. But now she has no problems – I guess one advantage of more multi-ethnic societies is that clothes companies have to supply a greater range of sizes.

      1. Annotherone

        The link “The stupid reason that larger clothes fit so badly” Quartz is a nice inclusion . Thank you!
        I’m not one of the largest sizes, but am somewhat bigger than the “ideal” clothing manufacturers appear to be envisioning, more especially as I’ve grown older.

        PlutoniumKun mentioned “asian sized” – I have found that since much clothing on sale in the USA is now manufactured in China, sizing has gone even more haywire than it was in the past (it’s never been perfect, here or in the UK, but acceptable enough until some 20 or 30 years ago).

        Clothes marked Small/Medium/Large – presumably to save mfrs money, are some of the worst when trying to gauge one’s size. I’ve found reasonable fit in all three sizes – that cannot be right! It adds to frustration when buying clothing online, as I usually have to, due to our location.

        Chinese-made (women’s) shirts and some jackets, even when they fit decently elsewhere have very narrow sleeves, whether this is part of the general bad-fit syndrome mentioned in the article, or whether it’s a quirk of current fashion or an asian-related thing I don’t know, but it’s annoying.

        The article doesn’t mention standardisation of clothing sizing – that might be difficult to enforce, but it’d help a lot.

        1. Katharine

          Reasonable fits in three sizes has been normal for at least half a century, though it used to be more 9-11-13 and not S-M-L. It depends at least partly on the price of the clothes: rich ladies get flattered with the illusion that they wear a small size. It’s part of the reason shopping thrift stores takes so much time, because you do need to check all the sizes that might conceivably work.

          1. Annotherone

            Yes, thrift store shopping can be tricky – but it does get easier, I’ve found, at least when buying knit tops, tanks, etc. You get to know the brands that fit, and a quick look, holding up the garment on the hanger, is a safe enough guide. It’s less expensive and frustrating to buy something too small or too large at thrift price, and it does serve, pretty much, as a learning experience too. :-) There are still a few pre-China garments around in thrift stores around here, but those are becoming more rare as the years pass.

      2. paul

        There are 3D visualisation programs such as CLO which can take in body scans to tailor to and they are pretty amazing.
        Exporting to cnc cloth cutting machinery would be straight forward, though you’d still need cheap,nimble young fingers skilled seamsters to assemble.
        Not really practical for the LNWIs, back to shell suits for them.

      3. Oregoncharles

        My mother, amusingly, had the opposite experience. She is or was 5′ 10″, very tall indeed in her generation, and the family runs to large feet. She had trouble finding shoes that fit, but found an Italian brand that did. So when they were in Italy, many years ago now, she thought “Now’s the time!” and headed for a shoe store. The poor clerk took one look at her feet and had the embarrassing job of telling her they had, literally, nothing in her size. Italian women just didn’t come that big in those days – they probably would now.

        She told that story for years.

        As you can imagine, she also struggled to find clothes that fit – I remember as a boy following her into every department store in Cincinnati; all she bought was a silk flower. However, she was a master seamstress, having studied costume in college, and made most of her clothes – another solution, but not that common a skill. She also made clothes for the whole family – a year or two ago my sister organized a show of her work at the assisted living place where she lives. Filled a large room and made the newpaper!

        And a practical footnote: most towns have one or two seamstresses or tailors for hire. Of course this also adds cost, but modifications can be made. Maybe buy clothes at the thrift store and put the savings into modifications. I’m a guy, so I just wear what I can find. Size 13 shoes can be a challenge, though.

        Another thought: men’s shirts are sized like dresses, but pants are not. They come with two dimensions, waist and length, and there’s no good reason women’s pants couldn’t. Which may be one reason tall women, especially, tend to wear men’s pants. I know a couple who are way thinner than that “fit” model.

        1. UserFriendly

          Another thought: men’s shirts are sized like dresses, but pants are not. They come with two dimensions, waist and length, and there’s no good reason women’s pants couldn’t. Which may be one reason tall women, especially, tend to wear men’s pants.

          Mens shirts have 3 sizes. Chest, Sleeve, and Neck. I’m 5’10 170 lbs but a 17″ collar is snug. Everything with my size neck is made for very tall fat men. Every shirt I buy that fits my neck looks like a poncho. Add just a belt and I look like a deflating snowman, or like if someone bought one of those inflatable muscle suits and then popped all the balloons; I could fit biceps 5 times as big as mine in the huge sleeve hole. I have to get about half the total fabric removed before the thing is wearable.

          I highly recommend finding a friend who can do a decent adjustment in a pinch; if it’s something they might be willing to do more often, offer to pay for a sewing machine or supplies. Or maybe my experience isn’t relevant because I know way to many people with amazing sewing abilities from having modelled in alternative scene fashion shows for a few years.

          But i’m sure those poncho things on me would be a great starting material for a blouse for women of all sizes.

      4. Kukulkan

        Its surprised me over the years that nobody has come up with a better way of supplying clothing than making guesses in advance over demand and producing vast numbers of clothes in standard sizes and hoping they will match the demand.

        They did. Clothing was manufactured one item at a time on demand, either in the home or by specialized tailors/dressmakers.

        Then we got industrialization.

        Industrialization demands that people make guesses in advance, produce vast numbers of items and hope they match the requirements of the population. Otherwise all the advantages of mass production and centralized plants are negated.

        And when you say “guess”, you’re right. It is a guess. I’ve worked in the rag trade and the notion of going out and gathering data on the size and shape of the population is regarded as weird and exotic. Also expensive. Every now and then, someone bits the bullet and pays for such a survey, adjusts the results based on “common sense” — “This can’t be right” — and uses that data for the next forty years. At best you have people who adjust things based on how well different sizes sold in the last production run. Note: sold, not on what the actual demand for a size was; those who wanted a particular size and couldn’t get it because it was all gone feature anecdotally in such calculations, if they feature at all.

        Sizing differs across manufacturers. What’s a size small (S) in one line, can be medium (M) in another. Sizing also differs across regions. What’s a small (S) in one region can be an extra-large (XL) in another. This is the “asian sizing” which you mention. This means buying clothes without the chance to try them on is a serious crap shoot.

        I guess one advantage of more multi-ethnic societies is that clothes companies have to supply a greater range of sizes.

        Only for sizable populations of a particular ethnicity within a region. If the numbers are small, their sizes are treated as anomalies and ignored. Same as for members of the local population who don’t fit the standard.

        Industrialization depends on standardization. That’s why since the nineteenth century there have been constant attempts to standardize the population, with those that lie too far from the standard marginalized and treated as broken in some way, requiring either exclusion from society or medical intervention to fix them and bring them closer to the standard.

    2. TK421

      The problem is that weight gain is unpredictable. Take an average-sized person, and suppose they gain 25 pounds. Where will it go? That weight could go anywhere: shoulders, thighs, stomach, back, who knows. Yet clothiers are supposed to have every possible contingency covered–without charging a penny more for plus sizes, because that’s “discrimination” or something.

      It’s so much easier to just calculate your TDEE, and eat only that much.

      1. Kukulkan

        It’s so much easier to just calculate your TDEE, and eat only that much.

        Sounds like blame the victim. It’s your fault that you don’t fit our standards.

        It used to be “The Sabbath is made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” These days, of course, we’ve switched gods and the new credo is “People are made to serve the Economy, not the Economy to serve people.”

    3. Tom

      Have been wondering for years what those numbers meant “Size 6″ etc.
      Many a frustrating conversation with a woman.”So I wear a size 44 coat, what is that in women’s size?”
      Infinity of answers. Even created a table to try to understand it without success.

      Thanks to this article, I finally get it.
      And have discovered that 10 and 12 are my favorite numbers.

  5. PlutoniumKun

    Re:

    Made-in-China aircraft carrier is readied for launch SCMP. Lambert: “Who cares if the sitting duck is black or white”?

    I doubt that the Chinese are unaware that a new aircraft carrier like this is an expensive way of waving the flag, while having very limited military utility in most conflicts. It may be that (a little like Japan and its faux ‘destroyer’ which is really an aircraft carrier) they see it as having utility in projecting air power for situations where Chinese citizens get in trouble in various parts of the world. A way, perhaps, of replicating what 19th Century gunboats did when the natives got restive and threatened local interests (i.e. turned up and lobbed a few cannon shells around). Chinese investors may feel better about investing in CCP approved countries in Africa and South America knowing there is high powered military back-up.

    I also think the Chinese are getting pretty good at using the Fleet in Being concept to force overstretch in its enemies. They know US politics well and know the more apparent weapons they have, the more the US will spend to combat even phantom threats. I suspect that many of their weapon programmes are intended solely to provoke overspending by the US, Japan and others. They know their Sun Tzu. i.e.:

    兵者, 詭道也。故能而示之不能, 用而示之不用, 近而示之遠,遠而示之近。

    All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Some have argued the US today is like the USSR of the 1980s, in many ways, even with a possible Glastnost and Perestroike in the offing.

      Will China attempt the Reagan strategy on the global reserve currency issuer with an arms spending race?

    2. David

      Aircraft carriers will extend the area of sea over which the Chinese can inflict unacceptable levels of damage to the US if they try anything silly. They are also very useful as command ships which I don’t think the Chinese really have at the moment. But they are not remotely interested in challenging the US as a global power: they want token the barbarians away, as usual. In effect, they are a political signal to the US that says Pivot Off. The problem, of course, is that anything more subtle than a kick in the teeth is not understood in Washington, so the signal is probably not being received.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        I can’t claim great insight into Chinese naval strategy, but the more I think about it, the more I think the aircraft carrier has got nothing to do with the South China Sea, or conflict with the US/Japan, but with China’s investments abroad.

        China now has billions invested in South America, Africa, and elsewhere. But they will know from 20th Century history that sometimes the locals end up resenting foreign ownership of mines, airports, canals, etc., so in a situation of political turmoil or a coup the investment (or the local Chinese workers) can become a pawn in local politics. The ability to sail an aircraft carrier up to the coastline to remind the locals of the perils of messing with the owners would seem a very good investment to the Chinese. It would also act to reassure their own oligarchs that the government ‘has their back’ when they invest overseas.

        1. Andrew Watts

          I can agree with all that. Power projection is a good excuse for the Chinese to keep at least one of those floating coffins around. I doubt many developing countries have carrier killing missiles in their inventory or much of a military to resist Chinese imperialism.

        2. Knot Galt

          Gee, I heard China has also purchased a few mines in the State of Montana. How far up the Missouri river do you think that puppy can get?;-)

        3. Mark P.

          The ability to sail an aircraft carrier up to the coastline to remind the locals of the perils of messing with the owners would seem a very good investment to the Chinese.

          Good enough.

    3. Bill Smith

      “while having very limited military utility in most conflicts”

      I’d argue it has been the other way around (for the US). Those things have been used a lot over the last 70 years. But with the advent of the 4 US Ohio SSGN’s the are not as irreplaceable as they once where.

      As to the Fleet in Being, that will likely only work short of actual war. These days it is easy to reach out from a very long distance and touch them. That is, a fleet is no longer safe in port. In fact a fleet in port, could be targeted by satellite observation and hit with Tomahawks fired from the Ohio SSGN’s from many hundreds of miles away. The Tomahawks targets can be adjusted in flight based on updated satellite observations.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        I’d disagree with you there about the utility of Fleet in Being. In reality, in a naval conflict over (for example) one of the disputed islands, its highly unlikely that the US, or anyone else, would initiate an attack any targets on the Chinese mainland because of the theat of retaliation, nuclear or otherwise. In most war scenarios in the South China Sea all parties will likely try to limit the geographical extent of attacks to the disputed areas only. In any event, while knowing their location would make it a target for tomohawks, the Chinese could likewise focus their air defences around any such port. Its unlikely that cruise missiles alone could penetrate a port if it had full 24/7 air cover and anti-missile defences. Anyway, the broader point of a Fleet in Being is that it forces your opponent to put resources where he doesn’t want to put them. The existence of even a small carrier fleet somewhere on the Chinese coast does exactly that, even if there is no conflict.

        As for the utility of aircraft carriers, they are necessary for an empire to patrol its seas, and as such has been very useful for the US – although notably since 1945 the US has never gone to war with anyone with a significant submarine force (almost all China’s potential adversaries in the Pacific have significant numbers of attack submarines). In modern warfare I suspect that carriers only have utility against relatively weak opponents – you need to have full control of the sea – surface and sub-surface – to use them as intended. And thats very difficult if your enemy has modern subs.

        1. Mark P.

          In most war scenarios in the South China Sea all parties will likely try to limit the geographical extent of attacks to the disputed areas only.

          Pretty to think so. The problem with that view of things is that in the first stage of any conflict one side — whether the U.S. or China — will start knocking down their enemy’s orbital assets, since satellites give both oversight and networking connectivity to that enemy. Once that happens, the other side will do the same. Matters will escalate very rapidly. WWIII, if it starts, will probably start in orbit.

      2. Jeotsu

        The same works on the US fleet, in its various ports. Half the carriers, half or more of the subs and surface combatants.

        Even if all the US fleet at-sea and prepared for battle were “invulnerable”, sinking/crippling the half+ of the fleet in port would be a likely death-blow to US Imperial power. Especially if some of the strike were targeted at the some of the specialized maintenance/construction equipment in key naval yards.

        The low rate of construction, and the high-maintenance needs of ships means the US could not sustain international operations for long, and that would be that for sea-control.

        How would an adversary take out the US fleet in port? Well, a “Pearl Harbor” attack is easier when you can launch it from a container ship.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbUU_9bOcnM

        Stephen

  6. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, PK. Great as always.

    It’s a pity that James Levy no longer contributes to this blog. He is a naval historian.

          1. kareninca

            I’m glad you survived the election and may possibly come back, James. Not that I agree with you about much, but that doesn’t matter.

  7. Hana M

    The darling bird is a hoopoe! There are three subspecies–I’m not sure which this is. You can find them all over Europe, Asia and Africa and they are the national bird of Israel.

    1. bmeisen

      A favorite of mine! The hoopoe aka Wiedehopf in German, national bird of Isreal. Migrates north from Africa, sometimes gets over the Alps, not hard to catch a glimpse of in Tuscany in the summer, hard to sneak up on, easy to see flying away.

  8. PlutoniumKun

    Re:

    Opinion: China’s position on North Korea appears to shift SCMP

    China’s Xi Jinping urges restraint on North Korea issue on call with Donald Trump Economic Times

    I think China’s control and support of North Korea has always been overemphasised. China is mostly interested in having a buffer state between it and South Korea, and mostly fears the destabilising potential of a failed North Korean state.

    Retired PLA General Wang Haiyun provided North Korea very little comfort in an essay for the National Defence Times on March 27, in which he noted that China’s attempts to resolve the situation peacefully had not taken root, since, “no matter if it is the US and South Korea, or North Korea, which does not stop, the danger of a war breaking out is very great.”

    Wang’s main concern was that China had to prepare quickly for a broader war in and around Korea, the preparation for which should include moving anti-chemical weapons units to the border region. Wang remains worried about nuclear waste or fallout from a US strike on a North Korean nuclear plant or test site into Chinese border areas, which would harm social stability and negatively effect China’s security environment.

    Most surprisingly, Wang called for “creating international refugee camps inside of North Korea to prevent refugees from entering China.” Wang’s hawkish stance toward the United States is well known, but this kind of open ruminating about the potential meaninglessness of North Korean sovereignty feels new.

    I’ve little doubt that the North Koreans are aware of this – their provocations are as much aimed at China as they are at South Korea and the US. I suspect that the assassination of Kim Jong-Nam in Malaysia had as much to do with the North Koreans ensuring that China has no ‘Plan B’ – i.e. the notion that they might take the risk of engineering a coup against the current government and putting in place someone more generally acceptable, malleable, and pro-Chinese. So far, for all the supposed stupidity of Kim Jong-un, he has been playing a skillful game of playing off everyone in the region to cling on to power. The question is how long the North Koreans can keep this up if the Chinese run out of patience.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I note Vladivostok is just across the Tumen River.

      Shouldn’t Russia be concerned as well?

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Its an interesting question – Russia shows little interest in the Korean Peninsula, a least in public. I think that for decades the Soviet Union/Russia has seen its far western flanks as too distant from Moscow to be seen as having potential for expansion. Stalin famously was very reluctant to engage with Japan because he felt the supply lines were too long for a difficult conflict, and only did so when Japan was crippled in 1945. Russia worries a great deal about the manner in which China is slowly extending its influnce over Siberia. So I think they are content to see this as China’s sphere of influence. If there was a war, they would probably simply shut up all borders and refuse to allow any refugees in.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          Wouldn’t the Russians like to extend the TransSiberian RailRoad across North Korea to connect with the industry in South Korea?

          1. PlutoniumKun

            Its possible, but given the easy sea access between South Korea and Vladivostok, I doubt extending the rail line would make a real economic difference.

            The problem with railways from the perspective of the Russians is that they also create potential military corridors. Thats why, for example, the Mongolians insist on a different rail guage than the Russians and Chinese (if you take the trans-siberian from Moscow to Beijing you have to change at each Mongolian border crossing). The Russians are very ambivalent with railways and pipelines extending from Siberia into east Asia. They want the trade and money, but they are acutely aware of how difficult it is to defend Siberia with its vast unpopulated border areas, and how historically China and Japan have had their eyes on Siberias mineral resourcs.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          If China is worried about fallout from a US strike, I think Russia should as well, with Vladivostok being so close.

  9. a different chris

    >IMPORTANT CORRECTION TO The Nerve Agent Attack that Did Not Occur

    And I, once again, look at the blasted mess surrounding the tiny little crater and wonder again WTF difference does it make how you kill people?

      1. Antifa

        And done for business reasons only. Protection of international trade, freedom spreadery, self determination, etc.

        “Sorry ’bout this. It’s nothin’ personal, youse unnerstan . . . BANG”

        And as always, no women or children. Ever. Unless it’s absolutely necessary.

        So what’s the difference between mafia and military?

        The mafia is a racket that gets rich off violence. The military is a racket that makes rich people richer off violence.

        1. JTMcPhee

          As Marine Gen. Smedley Butler pointed out, 3 or 4 generations ago. “War is a racket” And as Joseph Heller so pungently explicated in “Catch-22.” Milo Minderbinder’s M&M Enterprises, a vast and growing syndicate, “and everybody has a share.”

  10. vidimi

    i learned something i didn’t know from the american conservative article about russia which had nothing to do about russia.

    many years ago, i learned about how u.s. congresscritters had the most improbable stock returns of any group in the entire country. their portfolios would routinely beat the top hedge fund managers. i believe even chomsky mentioned this a few times in his speeches. obviously, congresscritters can boost the companies whose stocks they own in ways nobody save for the president can.

    the reason why this is interesting is that i just learned that famed investor warren buffett’s father was a congresscritter.

    so there you go. 1 part genius, 99 parts corruption.

    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, Vidimi.

      I found this out last week when reading the Sic Semper Tyrannis blog. One contributor mentioned Iowa Senator Howard Buffett in relation to a hearing behind closed doors about the Korean War. Apparently, the details of that hearing are not available in any public archive.

      1. Vatch

        Howard Buffett wasn’t a senator from Iowa. He was member of the House of Representatives from Nebraska, and was in the House from 1943-1949, and 1951-1953. He opposed the U.S. participation in the Korean War, and unsuccessfully tried to get the Senate Armed Services committee to declassify some testimony by a CIA official.

    2. Olga

      Well, that – and having access to cheap capital… Remember, he got started with the insurance business… lots of cheap-cost capital to invest (in most cases, mandatory premiums, with no requirements for claim pay-outs). No genius necessary.

      1. David Mills

        To quote Uncle Warren’s own take on the insurance business:

        The float is better than free money.

  11. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Trump will ramp up action on executive orders this week: reports The Hill

    A Sanders presidency today would have had to rely on executive orders as well, unless he went with Schumer and Pelosi, and their demands.

    1. dontknowitall

      As a BernieBro I am way past emotional validation, I had that when I voted for Obama in 2008 and got me nowhere. I tried again in 2012 while holding my nose and again no joy. I am now at the stage where I want Sanders to turn into Moses with crazy white hair and come down the mountains of Vermont in a vengeful rage to expel the worshippers of the Golden Calf from the party. I know that’s not in the cards but I would settle for kicking down hard the tables of the moneychangers at the Temple and making little havoc to awake the Resistance sheeple.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        There is one option.

        The Let-Obamacare-fail-of-its-own-weight Trump way applied to the Democratic Party.

        Let the D party fail and start from there.

        Why do we bother with taking over Obamacare or the D party?

        The other option is to let everyone in, for health care and for party membership, that is, make everyone a Democrat. (Medicare for All, D Party for All).

  12. nippersdad

    Re “Little Creep”: really funny article, but I had a quibble about the part where “progressives only want emotional validation.” Seems like this is where Lambert would point out that liberals are not the left. There was a reason why Clinton lost his Congressional majorities, and it wasn’t because he spent a lot of time validating progressive positions on the issues of his day.

    1. Eureka Springs

      It’s not at all clear to me that progressives are left (left-ish maybe). You would simply have to ignore the entire progressive caucus with/as Dems in the House to begin to pretend otherwise.

      And it certainly seems progressives as well as many others want emotional validation far more than they want results.

      1. justanotherprogressive

        I would hardly pooh-pooh “emotional validation” – it fosters a cohesiveness in a group and reinforces the belief that they are on the right course. It is actually one of the first things a movement needs to develop and grow……

        Perhaps it is your definition of “progressive” that is leading you down the wrong path? You seem to equate “progressive” with the Establishment Democrats who are unsuccessfully trying to co-opt that label. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I would also remind you to look at what is happening when Sanders and Perez take the stage……

        1. Eureka Springs

          The most prominent prog in the country has long been Nancy Pelosi. Progs are at very best liberal apologists. Actions and lack thereof speak loudest. Honestly, enough said.

          1. justanotherprogressive

            Seriously? Nancy Pelosi a progressive? Since when? Perhaps you are paying too much attention to the propagandists? There is nothing in Nancy Pelosi’s record to ever assume than she was anything more than an Establishment Democrat – you know – kind of the opposite of progressives?

            1. Eureka Springs

              Well when other progressives kick her out of the House prog caucus, never ever vote for her to be leader of so much as a little league baseball team and primary her… get back to me.

              1. justanotherprogressive

                I’ll leave you with a quote from Mark Twain:
                “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

                  1. Eureka Springs

                    For learning purposes at times like this I prefer Twains – It’s easier to fool someone than to convince them they have been fooled.

                    I joined progressives back in the day because I thought they wanted progressive taxation, cared about labor issues, health care and social security – living above and beyond cat food, and were anti war in particular. Whatever the case may be, their actions/inaction/allegiances/results on all of those accounts prove I was a fool.

                    j a p – we seem to agree on much about Pelosi… but you seem to miss she is prog personified in these times.

        2. Oregoncharles

          “Progressive” is an intentionally vague term, so trying to argue semantics is pretty pointless. It has a long history, from Teddy Roosevelt, to recent use as a euphemism for “liberal,” to “more or less left.”

          1. nippersdad

            It wasn’t so long ago that the term “liberal” was anathema to Dem Party regulars. The moving target that political signifiers represent is more the effect, imho, of an establishment bent upon rendering political terminology meaningless in an effort to veal pen potential competitors than something inherent to the term itself.

            What does “pragmatic progressivism”, as used recently by Hillary Clinton, even mean? Can the woman who halved the Haitian minimum wage have any claim to a progressivism also espoused by a competitor working with the Fight For Fifteen movement?

            The reference was clearly a barefaced attempt to conflate her conservative positions with others that are diametrically opposed; the kind of thing that routinely makes such recycling necessary and confusing to those who are not political junkies. If the term in common practice is considered intentionally vague, it is not deemed so by those who identify with it.

            1. witters

              The semantics of performative self-contradiction:
              Example 1: “Compassionate Conservatism”
              Example 2: “”Pragmatic Progressivism”
              (Note: While each of the above involves a performative self-contradiction, placed together there is no contradiction at all – just BAU.)

      2. nippersdad

        I would be the last person to argue your point that progressives, at this point, want emotional validation more than results; thus far the DemExit movement has largely been predicated on emotional validation. However, the Democratic losses at all levels of government over the past few years (including the loss of their Congressional majorities, again!) shows a real irritation with ineffective revolving villains, specifically those in the progressive caucus like Pelosi, that can easily be construed as results. That Perez has to be seen with Sanders to gain any credibility from progressives, whatsoever, is emotionally validating in addition to being effective.

        Whether or not the validation that such results confer will translate into cooptation of the corporatist Party or a split leading to a new one only time will tell.

  13. vidimi

    i just want to give a tip of the ol’ hat to david sirota.

    he’s a a one-man juggernaut singlehandedly pulling the IBT out of obscurity. great reporter, wish him lots of success.

  14. JTMcPhee

    I was clearly off the beam about the potential military significance of the Great MOAB Deployment. More and more, it appears that vaunted bit of Imperial weaponry falls short of the hype that contractors and proponents also deploy. While I would not care to be at the aiming point of a MOAB or other ordnance, it looks like the “massive blast” was indeed proportionate to the amount of explosive– about 20 times the force of the often-used 1000-pounders (which nonetheless can reduce hospitals and apartment houses and mosques and other “troop concentrations” to dusty rubble). And that the effects were grossly oversold, what a surprise — though as with the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear attacks, more use of these and other such weapons, like dial-a-yield “battlefield nukes,” is now fully “thinkable.” (And you can bet there are off-the-shelf doctrines and guidance for the Battlespace Commander to invoke in using such weaponry — documents written by desiccated colonels in dusty offices in the War College…)

    Our (sic) military and the Afghan “central government forces” are not allowing much reportorial access to the target area, but info is starting to appear: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-afghanistan-usa-bomb-idUSKBN17L27R Seems that nobody knows what the “body count” might be, and there are still lots of “ISIS” gunmen shooting up the “coalition” and “national” troops in the target area. So bad that “it is not safe” to let reporters go there. And the general in charge says it would be a waste of manpower to go searching the ‘tunnel complex” for bodies and body parts to inform the after-action reporting:

    Within a few hundred feet of the apparent blast site, leaves remained intact on trees, belying initial expectations that the explosion may have sent a destructive blast wave for up to a mile.
    Afghan officials have said nearly 100 militants and no civilians were killed, but the remoteness of the area, the presence of Islamic State fighters, and, more recently, American security forces, has left those claims unverified.
    U.S. commanders said the bomb was used to target a tunnel complex and destroy landmines and other booby traps laid by Islamic State militants holed up in the mountains.
    No obvious crater or bodies were visible at the scene, according to the Reuters witness.
    TUNNELS INTACT NEARBY
    Several hundred yards from the strike, Afghan soldiers explored a large tunnel dug beneath a home.
    The entrance within the home descended into tunnels large enough for a person to stand in upright, strung with electric cables and light bulbs and strewn with rugs, cushions, and men’s clothes and shoes.
    One cave was said to have once held prisoners, but was unused at the time of the strike, according to soldiers at the scene.
    U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis told reporters on Thursday that U.S. troops would not be digging into the site to determine how many people may have been killed.
    “Frankly digging into tunnels to count dead bodies is probably not a good use of our troops’ time when they are chasing down the enemy that is still capable,” he said.
    https://www.investing.com/news/world-news/few-clues-on-casualties-at-site-of-huge-u.s.-bomb-in-afghanistan-476514

    Couple that with the results of the 59-Tomahawking silly walk, the misplaced aircraft carrier thing, and the “results” and “success” (pick your own definition, the military claims them but does not define them) in the GWOT and destabilidemocratization and one is not surprised that Our Great Empire has lost that cachet of invincibility.

    Not to argue that a bunch of B-83s and W-83s or any of the enormously productive nuclear war industry’s innovative, disruptive toys from this list, http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Usa/Weapons/Allbombs.html, would not de-effectivize a lot of wogs and white folks… Question is whether, per recent posts on what The Elite might be thinking, the detonation of some or a lot of these, or turning loose some viruses or toxins or drone swarms with the “Terminator” chipset, might not be part of a hoped-for massive population reduction, leaving more for the Blessed Survivors to squabble over…

    1. fajensen

      Usually, the “success” of the Global War on Terror is measured in terms of Efforts, stuff expended, not Results.

      PS,
      I kinda think that the Russians did not have any EMC-Wunderwaffen and that those cruise missiles were junk (and badly maintained by the very-cheapest-in-the-global Market contractors). Makes it hard to be military, admit to inferior tech or admit to fraud / neglect.

      1. a different chris

        I just had a thought – do you think the sudden human-like response to the “War On Drugs” is simply our overlords starting to feel the pinch? They may well be starting to realize that they are overstretched, and a bit of pruning of their grandiose plans is starting to look necessary.

        1. Mark P.

          ‘do you think the sudden human-like response to the “War On Drugs” is simply our overlords starting to feel the pinch?’

          In one sense, yeah. Connect 2008 and the consequent policy of ‘foaming the runway’ for the U.S. TBTFs, with the $2 trillion of drug cartel money that wants to get laundered every year.

          For that matter, why are we in Afghanistan?

        2. Oregoncharles

          It appears to be coming from below; attitudes as shown in polls have shifted dramatically, and the PTB are following reluctantly.

          It would be very unusual for overlords to actually realize their reach is limited and respond accordingly. See “Collapse” – mostly a story of overlords NOT realizing that.

  15. JohnL

    For readers in the US, Dennis Skinner aka “the Beast from Bolsover” aka “Dennis the Menace” is the approximate UK equivalent of that other Dennis, Dennis Kucinich. Skinner fortunately has not been “redistricted” out of the house.

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      I’ve long been a big fan. I arrived in the UK in October 1983 to begin my studies at Oxford, and he was one of the few politicians who fully supported the miners (having of course, been one himself).Witty and working class– what’s not to like? Labour’s sad capitulations then certainly helped get us to our current sorry state. And we were well aware of that at the time.

  16. montanamaven

    The Mark Ames piece on this gay activist, Nicholai Alekseyev, who might have sparked some terrible anti- gay persecutions in Chechnya is important. I have quite a few gay friends who are anti-Russia because of Russia’s record on gay rights. So I don’t get very far in arguing for better relations with Russia even though that country has a history of being attacked and are willing to die by the millions for her. The danger of being blown to smithereens is just not enough of an argument. So this article helps.
    It raises the question of why the NY Times didn’t raise the links of this guy to right wing groups like the Russian news org Novaya Gazeta did ,and

    It turns out that Alekseyev runs something of a business in human rights lawsuits against Russia at the European Court for Human Rights—with payouts in the six figures, according to NG. It’s not clear who those fines go to, but what is sure is that Alekseyev is very proud and very open of his strategy of forcing cases that can then be brought to Strasbourg with the intent of maximizing Russia’s fines.

    .
    Hmmm? Mark Ames points out that the way the Pulitzer prize winning NY Times reportage on this guy makes him the good guy whereas the Russian news organization points out that he may be no such thing.

    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, M.

      I had been wondering who financed the plaintiffs in the Beslan case.

      On French TV yesterday morning, a Belgian Member of the European Parliament was complaining about Russian sanctions on EU agricultural produce and the impact on her constituents in rural Flanders. Neither the MEP nor the TV reporter explained how Russian sanctions had arisen.

      1. montanamaven

        In the Counterpunch article it mentions the farmers of France committing suicide:

        Unable to control its own currency, obliged to borrow from private banks, and to pay them interest, France is more and more in debt, its industry is disappearing and its farmers are committing suicide, on the average of one every other day.

        There is a link in yesterday’s American Conservative article on Chelsea Clinton to an article about the French geographer Guilluy by Christopher Caldwell. La France périphérique.
        Less than 2% of French lawmakers are from “the working class”. And I assume that includes farmers. I took my mother to Burgundy 20 years ago. How proud the French were of their beef cattle and their beautiful farms. I was under the impression that the French were happy to subsidize farming so as to preserve their great food supply and that most food was grown for national consumption.
        Makes more sense than shipping it thousands of miles away. Was that a wrong assumption?

        1. David

          The suicide point is quite correct and well-known. It’s not a question of subsidies but of competition, enforced by ever-more rapacious supermarket chains who can source fruit and vegetables from places where they are produced by cheap immigrant labour. You could buy Spanish oranges for about 1€ per kilo less than French oranges in my local supermarket recently. Why? because the Spanish oranges are picked by illegal immigrants from the Maghreb, brought over on short-term contracts and paid low wages with no benefits before being shipped back. The French social security service is pretty good at stopping that kind of thing, but their Spanish equivalents much less so, so Spanish farmers largely get to dodge these controls, and their costs are lower. Try competing with criminal activity.

          1. PlutoniumKun

            I was in Spain for a holiday over Easter – I was struck by how cheap the fruit and veg is there, even compared to France (where its much cheaper than where I live). In the area of Andalusia I was doing some hiking in, it was clear that agriculture is thriving – lots of newly planted olive and fruit groves up in the hills (I’m not sure what they were replacing). In the lower areas there are vast areas of unsightly plastic greenhouses, presumably thats where they employ African immigrants (although I saw very few). I couldn’t help wondering though why so many local restaurants are so terrible in Spain when they have such great ingredients, such a contrast to France (or much of northern Spain).

            I’m sure you are right though that lower standards all round makes it hard for France to compete with Spain for agricultural products.

            1. Anonymous

              Visited Spain 6 times, many diff areas. Was always hugely difficult to get a decent dinner in a restaurant. We used to theorize it was b/c the locals could not afford to eat out, hence few restaurants in smaller towns/cities and bad fare. They also tend to start serving very late in the larger urban areas. Meals in the paradors were typically over-priced and not that great.

  17. justanotherprogressive

    You Brought This Dystopian Panopticon On Yourselves, Goldmanites
    Couldn’t happen to a better company. In a world where money is God, they are now giving their employees another tool to stab each other in the back…..

    What Dalio says about that process is about right: (http://www.businessinsider.com/ray-dalio-interview-henry-blodget-1-2017)
    “Dalio says Bridgewater has a turnover rate of about 30% for an employee’s first two years, but says the employees who remain — those who like the culture and can handle it — are very loyal.” Of course they are “loyal” – they are the yes men – the only ones who this process benefits…..

    I loved his “principles” – does he REALLY think that is how it all works on the employee level????
    But as long as only the top clique is making the decisions and the rest just follow orders and “adore” them…..
    Wonder how long Bridgewater is going to last….

    1. ChrisPacific

      The review thing is interesting in that there is something of an implied conflict of interest. You want to get better, and so you want honest feedback about what you might be doing wrong or where you could improve. But you are also in competition with everyone else at the company for salary increases, bonuses, promotions etc. so you want to paint your contribution in the best possible light. Most employees consider the second point far more important, and they are quite willing to compromise on the first or even skip it entirely if they think it will harm them when it comes to selling themselves to management. But businesses and employees that can’t do the first successfully will end up losing out in the long run.

      My experience is that in order to get an effective feedback and improvement cycle, a number of things have to line up. You need a corporate culture that genuinely values everybody’s contribution and wants to help them improve, rather than looking for excuses to cull the weak (so organizations with forced rankings and McKinsey style up-or-out policies disqualify themselves immediately). You need people to have a manager that they genuinely trust to gather and summarize constructive feedback while not losing sight of the value they provide. And finally, you need a rating process that is sufficiently detailed and nuanced that it can capture and recognize everybody’s unique strengths (so if you reduce everything to a 1 to 5 rating, you are disqualified immediately as well).

      I highly doubt that Goldman has any of those three things (maybe the third, but it will be heavily skewed towards the employer viewpoint if so). So I think their model will fall more into the McKinsey camp of hiring bright but insecure people and brainwashing them so that they voluntarily accept terrible working conditions, and even come to see them as a badge of honor.

  18. David Carl Grimes

    The article on chronic dehydration turning into chronic kidney disease is pretty scary. I can see millions dying from this all over the tropics and the Middle East.

    1. Antifa

      Additional links in comments indicate the problem of dehydration and higher working temperatures is also linked to an increased use of vanishing groundwater for drinking, and exposure to glyphosate from Roundup.

      The depleted groundwater is very hard, and full of concentrated arsenic. Mix those chemicals with glyphosate in the human bloodstream, and it apparently creates compounds that dissolve your kidneys before you ever notice symptoms.

      Triple whammy.

  19. justanotherprogressive

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04/22/precious-declaration-independence-copy-discovered-chichester/

    Don’t you think they might have had the sense to authenticate that document before going to the press? There is absolutely no proof as yet that it is what they say it is. And if it turns out to not be authentic – do you think you will hear about it?

    Oh, yea, I forgot. It isn’t if something is real or true, it’s only value is the drama it creates…..

    1. Katharine

      https://phys.org/news/2017-04-historians-rare-declaration-independence-british.html

      Allen and Sneff are providing some answers to that mystery with a pair of papers. The first, which is currently in the final revision stage with the Papers of the Bibliographic Society of America, uses handwriting analysis, examination of the parchment preparation and styling, and spelling errors in the names of the signers to date the Sussex Declaration to the 1780s.

      The second paper, presented at a Yale University conference, argues that the document was probably commissioned by James Wilson of Pennsylvania, who later aided in drafting the Constitution and was among the original justices appointed to the Supreme Court.

  20. Susan the other

    The article about Schwartzman being a stowaway advisor in the White House with a conflict of interest too big to ignore: I keep remembering what Hillary was almost promising Blackstone – she said stg. to the effect that she thought it would be possible to add another 3% to the fica tax and skim that off to Blackstone to invest for the highest returns… so now there sits Schwartzman in charge of strategic finance? And they are all conferring on the best way to deregulate – the numero uno thing is to roll back the fiduciary rule? OK then, I can see the pieces fitting together. So who is going to protect SS funds? The taxpayer, of course.

  21. Mcatt

    Employee’s Cut Out in a new way!

    While shopping at Sears over the weekend I jokingly asked the salesperson for the 90% employee discount. This was met with much consternation. Came the reply: “They took our employee discount away in January”.

  22. Susan the other

    I usually avoid Counterpunch bec. it is usually long and verbose. But today’s link from Cp written by Diane Johnstone was a great read. Very coherent and insightful and full of detail about the EU, the French, socialism becoming the great political twister of present day France, and etc. It stayed on point about the only issue being sovereignty no matter how the neoliberals are trying to smokescreen the whole thing. Written before last night’s results, it talked about Melenchon having a chance at winning because he too is all about sovereignty and preserving social democracy. We know he didn’t make the cut even tho’ he was very popular and I heard on F24 that his supporters had rioted. I assume they think the election might have been tampered with. Certainly Macron wining big like he did looks like tampering because he’s a flat-out neoliberal if there ever was one. imo.

    1. montanamaven

      Yes, I mentioned the excellent diane johnstone piece in a comment I made above on farming in France and how the rural areas are devastated with a farmer committing suicide every other day. Must read.

        1. Darius

          If Melenchon sticks to his guns, he could be the principal opposition voice no matter who is elected.

    2. Oregoncharles

      In France, it’s possible to win with 23%, and Macron did – since his face-off with Le Pen seems a snap.

      Again: France, and in particular, the left, is paying the price for using an archaic runoff that merely pushes the spoiler effect into the first round. There are better ways.

      Of course, the US system is considerably worse, since the loser wins on a regular basis.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The French are more experimental.

        They are in their 5th republic already, while we are in our 1st still.

    3. David

      He is but there wasn’t. The French system is pretty tamper-proof. People voted for Macron less from conviction than because they wanted to make sure that Fillon would not get past the first round, and that Le Pen would face the most formidable candidate in the second. Both of these aims were achieved, but I suspect the country will be paying the price for some time.
      That said, I think it’s time to shift our gaze to the parliamentary elections in June, because, even if Macron wins easily, he doesn’t have a party, and establishing and maintaining a parliamentary majority in the French system (anarchic at the best of times) is going to be difficult, and may be impossible.

    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Obama did have a phone conversation with Macron.

      That’s one Russian parallel.

      And of course, all patriotic Americans feel our spies are better than theirs.

  23. Andrew Watts

    RE: IMPORTANT CORRECTION TO The Nerve Agent Attack that Did Not Occur 

    The people who investigated the sarin claims are missing the entire point. Intelligence is just another form of politicking as today’s article on pipeline “terrorists” illustrates. The idea that our leaders will make the right choices based upon thorough analysis or knowledge is hopelessly naïve. Which completely ignores the role that ego, self-interest, and/or stupidity plays in the decision-making process. Furthermore, the idea that the US intelligence community is some purveyor of hidden truths is laughable that can best be summed up with the following…

    There are 30,000 Islamic State fighters. We’ve now killed over 60,000.

    That’s never going to get old.

    1. JTMcPhee

      I recall an article, I think it was in Stars&Stripes, that the reported body count from the MACV, if you added them all up, was equal to the population of South Vietnam. Yep, never gets old.

      1. Anon

        In any case, the number of Vietnamese killed during the US presence there is estimated to be 4 million. (mostly peasants)

        1. JTMcPhee

          …but all of them “unlawful enema combatants,” don’t u see?

          A pilot in a unit I was attached to liked to fly his UH-1 down the highway at about 4 feet off the road, and knock people off their mopeds and cyclos with the landing skids. And of course there were the wonderful “free fire zones,” http://www.crimesofwar.org/a-z-guide/free-fire-zones/

          Under the AUMA, apparently, the entire fokking planet is a free-fire zone…

  24. Kris

    On the French election. This article encapsulates the actual divisions occurring throughout the West. “In France, political correctness is more than a ridiculous set of opinions; it’s also—and primarily—a tool of government coercion. Not only does it tilt any political discussion in favor of one set of arguments; it also gives the ruling class a doubt-expelling myth that provides a constant boost to morale and esprit de corps, much as class systems did in the days before democracy. People tend to snicker when the question of political correctness is raised: its practitioners because no one wants to be thought politically correct; and its targets because no one wants to admit to being coerced. But it determines the current polarity in French politics. Where you stand depends largely on whether you believe that antiracism is a sincere response to a genuine upsurge of public hatred or an opportunistic posture for elites seeking to justify their rule.”
    https://www.city-journal.org/html/french-coming-apart-15125.html

    1. barrisj

      Serge Halimi, writing in Le Monde Diplo, has continually stressed the point that since the FN began its electoral rise in the 80s, it has pushed the centre-left and centre-right into becoming staunch defenders of the neoliberal project, austerity, restricted immigration policies, neocon foreign policy, including re-incorporation of the French military under Nato command, and most importantly, fealty to Brussels and bugger national sovereignty. Today’s huge sigh by US and Euro stock markets are a validation that Macron will get the Presidency, and God is in his Heaven…hoo-fecking-ray!

      1. Mark P.

        Even if Macron is installed and Le Pen forestalled for this year, elites will only be damming the pressures that she represents and those pressures will build into something more ugly when the dam bursts.

        Greece is due for its next round of ‘bailouts’ in a couple of months, for instance, and the fun and games will continue on from there. In even the 2-5 year middle term, I don’t see how neoliberal hegemony by Berlin and Brussels isn’t going to be substantially damaged, which means the mask will come off more and more.

        ‘The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.’ Like that ….

  25. Andrew Watts

    RE: As U.S. Preps Arrest Warrant for Assange, Glenn Greenwald Says Prosecuting WikiLeaks Threatens Press Freedom for All

    The US doesn’t have a law equivalent to the UK’s Official Secrets Act. That legislation outlaws the publishing of classified material and I’m pretty sure the US IC has always wanted it passed in this country. There isn’t any defense for publishers based upon public interest claims. The prosecution of Assange is probably how they’re going to try to backdoor it into being. They don’t have a chance of getting it through Congress.

    That doesn’t mean their super duper secrets wouldn’t be released even if a judicial ruling is favorable along those lines. It’d just be harder and more intimidating for anybody who chose to. I doubt it’d change anything as long as it’s so easy to leak their classified stuff. It’d just mean that foreign governments, as opposed to the general public, would be the primary recipients. Heck, Aldrich Ames crammed reams of paperwork in his briefcase and walked out the front door with it.

    This is hardly a new phenomenon.

  26. Andrew Watts

    RE: Why Do We Want a Cooperative Relationship With Russia?

    Any cooperative relationship between Russia and the US in the Middle East would bring a degree of stability to the region. It could effectively sideline the ambitions of both Iran and Turkey. While offering a promise of support for Egypt, Jordan, and probably Saudi Arabia.

    That’d be nice. The alternative is a much bleaker world.

  27. JohnnyGL

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGdyBbDGew8

    To those who may still think that Bernie is a shill/sheepdog for the existing, establishment Democrats, he really reads them the riot act in this interview (while still being the nice guy that he is).

    Interviewer quite literally rattled off questions like they were handed to him from some Dem party hack consultant. Bernie gave absolutely no ground and pushed back hard.

    The email list question is just pathetic at this point. DNC has plenty of money, there’s no point in hounding Bernie for his email list so you can squeeze out every last dollar from every last potential donor.

    Moments like this are evidence of the start of a real power shift. Establishment is starting to fear Bernie, even in off year elections. This is progress.

    1. ewmayer

      Not so fast – from Jeff St. Clair’s most recent Friday Roaming Charges column over at Counterpunch:

      + Democrats are in a state of collective ecstasy over the prospects for taking Georgia’s 6th congressional district, Newt’s old seat, with a candidate named Jon Ossoff who doesn’t live in the district and whose two campaign planks are: 1. cutting federal spending and 2. being tough on National Security. Ossoff’s Republican opponent baiting the naive interloper into announcing he supported Trump’s cruise missile strike on Syria and his MOAB bombing of Afghan peasants. In the end, the candidate who is a male version of Hillary got about the same share of votes as Hillary did in the same district in 2016. Who needs Republicans when you’ve got Democrats like this?

      + Here’s a vivid example of the Sanders two-step in action. On Friday, Sanders endorsed Ossoff, the hawkish Clintonian Democrat, but washed his hands by refusing to call him a “progressive.”

  28. Will S.

    Re: “Trump Voters Don’t Have Buyer’s Remorse”:

    I find it very, shall we say, interesting, that the other options presented to the Clinton supporters were Johnson, Stein, and Trump, but no explicit choice for Sanders, only “Other candidate”…

    1. Oregoncharles

      Johnson, Stein, and Trump actually ran in the general election; Bernie, by his own choice, did not. I wonder whether he ever meant to. Must have been just as surprised by his near miss as everybody else.

    2. Vatch

      There’s no mention of the primary election in the article, either. I strongly suspect that a lot of the Clinton voters who were polled also regret their vote for her in the primary. Not all of them, of course, because many voters don’t vote in the primary. I’ve convinced a few family members who supported Clinton in the primary that Sanders would have been a better choice. It’s a little late to matter much, unfortunately.

      1. Oregoncharles

        Treated as extreme, represent the radical edge of their party – and in Sanders’ case, the public will.

  29. cojo

    RE: Worsening heatwaves are turning dehydration into chronic kidney disease epidemics

    I just saw a patient today with end stage renal disease originally from El Salvador. He mentioned that both he and his brother have kidney problems and both worked on the farms in El Salvador growing up prior to moving to the United States in 1989. They grew corn, beans, and sesame seeds. I told him about the article I just read, and he was well aware of the issue in El Salvador. He did bring up one interesting point about farming there. The farmers use a ton of chemicals, pesticides and fertilizers. The were illiterate so safety precautions were an afterthought.

    This brings the primary thesis of the article to question and whether this is just correlation but not causation. There are many farmers around the world and many in hot climates. I seriously doubt the degree of kidney failure can be attributed to heat alone.

  30. skippy

    “Made-in-China aircraft carrier is readied for launch SCMP. Lambert: “Who cares if the sitting duck is black or white”?’

    Reminiscent of the shenanigans over the two little flags at the table that straddles the demarcation line in Panmunjom.

  31. LT

    RE: Germany – Class Warfare
    …”The weekly news magazine Der Spiegel released a March issue with two different covers: one featured the headline “How Well are Germans Doing” while the other read “How Poor are Germans Doing”. It was partly a ploy to see which would sell better, but also a nod to a debate over how far Germany’s social promise has unravelled…”

    The same all over world, officials looking for the right “rhetoric” to latch onto instead of the right policies.

  32. LT

    Re: Germany – Class Warfare
    “Some argue that relative poverty is a skewed measure: If all incomes across the board were to be tripled, poverty rates would remain unchanged. Also, students often register as poor, single households because they earn little while they study. The elderly, on the other hand, may draw from several pensions beyond the one that is measured, and assets are also not registered.”

    There are always numbers for a poverty threshold, but what are the numbers for a wealth threshold?

  33. Tom

    “Gentrification Represents a Geography of Inequality”

    And the whine fest continues….

    So what’s worse,
    White Flight? or Gentrification?

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