Links 5/8/16

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Woman falls over at home and regains sight after 20 years of blindness Independent (Chuck L)

The Heartbreaking Story of a Mountain Lion’s Journey Across America Bloomsbury USA

Canada wildfire ‘to double in size’ BBC

Catastrophic Canadian Wildfire Is a Sign of Destruction to Come Scientific American (furzy)

Scientists Uncover Mystery of 80 Suicides in ‘Demonic’ Indian Village Sputnik News (Wat)

Ecological bankruptcy Greenpeace (Sid S)

Swarm of earthquakes strikes Mount St. Helens CNN (David L)


The Cost of the Cultural Revolution, Fifty Years Later New Yorker (furzy)

China April FX reserves rise to $3.22 trillion CNBC

What has happened to the economy under a year of Tory government – in six charts Independent (Jon M)


>Saudi Arabia government overhaul sees oil minister removed BBC. So are the Saudis about to throw in the towel?


Erdogan “Prince of Europe” Rejects EU Demands to Reform Terrorist Law Michael Shedlock (EM)

My conscience bothered me’ Active Duty Army Intelligence Officer Is Suing the US Over Illegal War Free Thought Project (Judy B)

US takes tougher tone on Israeli settlements in new report Associated Press (martha r)

Israeli Justice Minister: It’s Anti-Semitic To Ever Criticize Israel ThinkProgress

The West Negotiates with former Al Qaeda Leader to Empower the Unity Government in Libya SouthFront (resilc)

Afghanistan: Bombing the Land of the Snow Leopard Counterpunch (Gabriel U)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

The First Aerial Illuminated Drone Show in the United States Takes Place Over the Mojave Desert Laughing Squid (resilc)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Americans Wearing Flip Flops Cower in Fear of Math Terrorists on Planes Gawker. Robert M linked to the underlying story in the Washington Post.

How Obama ‘Legalized’ the War on Terror Consortiumnews

Why America Can’t Quit the Drug War Rolling Stone (resilc)


Donald Trump sets a new record for economic recklessness Washington Post. Editorial.

Majority of GOP insiders won’t commit to Trump Politico. Not sure why this is surprising. This is a hostile takeover and he plans to break most of their rice bowls. The question is to what degree these “insiders” can move voters.

Republican Party Unravels Over Donald Trump’s Takeover New York Times

Trump takes aim at Clinton, questions Warren’s heritage Associated Press (Dan K)

The Intelligence Community Casts Its Vote for Hillary Clinton Marcy Wheeler

Trump Advisor’s Putin Connections Freaks Out Security Establishment Alternet. Dan K:

Falls somewhere between serious and absurd… but the Schmitt quote is a minor classic:

For former Reagan official [Gary] Schmitt’s part, he’s not sure either candidate should receive sensitive intel prior to the November general election.

“Given Trump’s erratic behavior, and his willingness to go public with any story regardless of how dubious, and [Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s] own sloppiness with emails and personal server, I’d rather the administration simply not provide the briefings to either candidate,” Schmitt said.

Sanders nets 31 delegates in Washington, but loses in Guam Associated Press. What a biased headline. And the reporting is not much better.

It’s Official — the First Democratic Convention Just Abolished Superdelegates USUncut (martha r)

Maine Democrats united against Trump but divided on superdelegates Portland Press Herald (martha r)

In revolt against party rules, Maine Democrats vote to strip superdelegates of power Chicago Tribune. Martha r highlighted this sentence: “The proposal’s sponsor was inundated with messages from Democrats in other states seeking to follow Maine’s lead.”

To The DNC: We Demand Proportional Democratic Convention Committees Utalk.US (furzy). Please consider signing.

Atlanta Mayor’s Column Ripping Bernie Sanders Drafted by Lobbyist, Emails Show Intercept (Pat, Dan K)

Bernie Sanders’s Online Foot Soldiers Weigh Their Next Campaign New York Times. Ready your barf bag. Lots of misrepresentation and condescension.

Babka for Bernie: A May-Day Bake Sale for Bernie Sanders Reader Supported News (furzy)

The Next Progressive Hope? The Man Trying To Unseat The Democratic Party Chair NPR (furzy mouse)

Why April’s hiring slowdown may show caution on US economy Associated Press

Class Warfare

The sharing economy will screw us all — and it’s retirement we have to be really worried about Salon (resilc)

The NY Times Real Estate Section Is an Appalling Cheerleader for White Gentrification Alternet. It has other negative features. The same way reading women’s magazines makes women feel bad about how they look (this is well documented), it is designed to make you feel bad about your home. It’s not as good as the stuff you see for sale (or at least so you are led to believe).

Tell Republicans In Congress: Don’t Cut Free Lunches For Poor Children Campaign For America’s Future (Judy B). Please consider signing.

Antidote du jour (furzy):


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. JTMcPhee

      In other news, this Mother’s Day, 2016:

      Times, they are a changing,

      The local papers of record, what used to be the St. Petersburg Times and the Tampa Tribune, have merged, it was announced today. The Times, formerly a healthy, investigative-reporting, middle of the road paper, self-styled as “Florida’s Best Newspaper,” was the loser in a hostile takeover by the reactionary Times. The editor in chief, having presided over the NPR-quality morphing of an actual news outlet into yet another pro-corporatist rag, says the new organ will emit even more conservative noise. Regular contributors to the Op Ed are liberals like George Will and David Brooks, with the occasional liberal voice of Paul “Usul” Krugman when his message is more strongly and credentially on point than the more obscure, overly Machiavellian prose of the others.

      The first edition of the new item contains a whole raft of self-congratulatory reminders of past actual reporting activities and rewards under the stewardship of the diminished Poynter Institue, one of the many dying former bastions of actual Fourth Estate activity. Reading between the lines, it is clear that the liberals can expect further subtle and overt demolition of any attempts to bring a dose of reality to the people who still read newspapers. Judging by the content of the “letters to the editors,” that number is approaching single digits.

      This new issue also contains a nice retrospective by several former actual reporters. Current outstanding Pulitzer-class reporting includes a week’s worth of multi-page exposes on the horrific frauds being perpetrated by the “farm to table” organicologists who, it mostly turns out, are engaging in widespread criminal fraud by claiming the produce at their “farmers market” stalls and what’s plated at “green organic” restaurants is sloppy seconds from the reject piles built by quality local grocery chains, and the dumpsters behind Cracker Barrel and McDonalds foolish places.

      The new entity’s Vice President assures the reading public that there will be much more reporting of local news, like sewage backup flooding, falling trees across power lines, old ladies’ cars going off-road into drainage ponds, and pudding tastings by local lights Charlie Crist and Bob Buckhorn.

  1. scott2

    Speaking of migrating animals,I’ve made the drive from Dallas to Wisconsin every summer for 20 years. Twenty years ago I would see a dead armadillo here and there in TX and southern OK. Yesterday, on a stretch of central MO on I-44, I saw a dead one on average every two miles, but some places I saw three dead ones at once. I even saw one 30 miles outside of St. Louis.

    These critters are very destructive to gardens and they seem to have found a niche where cars are the only predator. IIRC, they also carry some nasty diseases. Any word of them making it to Illinois?

  2. Steve H.

    An interesting Ian Welsh comment, single-source for me, I wonder if others know more:

    – And please shut up about how the Bush’s and McCain and Romney and so on are not going to be at the convention. Who cares? Trump said that Bush Jr, for example, failed to protect the US from 9/11 and then invaded Iraq when he shouldn’t have and then fucked up the war. You expect Bush to go to the convention after Trump told the truth about him?

    It makes some sense. The more the old guard shows up, the more of a target rich environment it is for Mr. T.

  3. Kevin C. Smith

    Lifted from Gawker:
    Melissa Cronin
    5/07/16 12:39pm
    This country is going to be ruined by our continuing coddling of stupid people. We cry about safe spaces on college campuses but never say anything about the safe spaces we provide bigots. We make laws for them, we stop planes for them, we pretend they are credible when they nominate a complete moron to be President. This has gone too far.

    1. the blame/e

      Obviously, to paraphrase Mark Twain, you have either never been a college student, or it has been a long, long time since you were a college student, or you were one of these college students who never left until shamed into it (old person), or you were and are one of those — a college student who never wants to ever remember having ever been a college student.

      So, whatever your problem is with simple understanding, here’s the deal about those “safe spaces” all you old farts are all greying over. I believe that most of the complaining is being done by those who have historically created all the unsafe spaces and cannot create unsafe spaces fast enough.

      “Safe spaces” are just the young doing what the young still do best, telling you old farts how badly you have messed the place up. All the old safe spaces no longer exist. Even the lack of something signifies the presence of something and this just irritates those responsible to no end. Even bringing the subject up by saying how people need safe spaces is like pressing the hottest of hot buttons.

      People need safe spaces. They always have. People need safe spaces to live, to work, to live, to get an education, to socialize and be socialized. People need safe spaces to raise a family in. The list is endless. People need safe spaces they can retreat to when there are no safe places they can be in. Simple as that, especially when “safe spaces” is an attempt to not push the matter too much about how what people need are “safe places.” Both of these no longer exist and the future of safe anything is just too awful to even contemplate, even by those accustomed to occupying unsafe places that are by definition unsafe spaces — for their whole lives.

      I quite frankly don’t understand how college students demanding safe anything is worse than the world we are currently occupying, against our will.

      Former safe spaces, like the home in which you once lived in and is now a dark and abandoned structure owned by the bank. This eye sore is located in another former safe space, your neighborhood, that tree-lined street with the immaculately mowed lawns.

      Even the safe space called American college campuses everywhere don’t really exist. Many find themselves at the core, the very downtown, the “city centre,” the ghetto, of a hollowed out safe space we use to call an economy. Even the safe space your college education use to occupy has been taken away from you. You won’t even be able to take your worthless college degree back into the basement of your parent’s dark, unlit, unheated, probably partially flooded and foreclosed upon basement when it is all said and done.

      Anyway, you might want to back off on your hostility to the need for “safe spaces” or “safe places” at bit, because what college students are demanding is nothing compared what the real world needs.

      1. dots

        Students and faculty have come to feel as if there is a special kind of target placed on them every time they set foot on campus. It isn’t just the mass shootings like the one at UCC that happened just weeks into the beginning of the 2015 school year. There are other types of violence that routinely occur at schools such as stabbings, rapes, and attempted abductions. However, the mass shootings really intensify the need for “safe places.”

        What do students do when their school or another similar to theirs is the site of a massacre? They know that life goes on, but they also know that it’s just a matter of time before another person begins opening fire on another campus.

        the blame/e is correct. The world is a very dangerous and unpredictable place. Security is something that’s never really existed, only the appearance of it. But the need to feel safe is real. It’s universal not just something for the ‘coddled’ or the priviledged.

        We don’t become safer by adding more violence to the world, ignoring the reality of our problems, or acquiring more weapons for our arsenals. It comes from putting away the guns and shunning the violence. It comes from acknowledging our failures, frailties, and misdeeds. It comes from facing the enemy within ourselves so that we don’t make enemies all around us.

        1. Optimader

          And so “safe places” are for aggregating a herd of unarmed people? How does that work out? Sounds like a scene from “Vikings”.

          Personally, i would bolt in the opposite direction from the largest group of people to the nearest piece of concrete between a shooter and me.

          When has the world not been “a very dangerous and unpredictable place”?

          1. dots

            Personally, i would bolt in the opposite direction from the largest group of people to the nearest piece of concrete between a shooter and me.

            Some people do react that way. Others don’t. Most are caught in a moment of trying to comprehend what’s happening to them at the time. At Sandy Hook, I believe the teachers were doing what came most instinctively which is to shield the children.

            1. bob

              Lots of attacks like this are also designed with 2 groups- the initial incident, that creates a panic, and then the second incident, that targets the people running away.

              1. Procopius

                Interesting that you mention it. That was a common tactic for Viet Cong bombers in Saigon in the 1950s. Set off a bomb inside a restaurant, and then have a second, larger, bomb outside timed to go off five minutes later when the survivors had time to get outside.

          2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Since when did college students decide to limit the scope of their reform-mindedness to the confines of the campus perimeter? I say to these cowards: grow a pair. Get mad, much madder than you are, put down the goddamn iPhone, pick up a brick and a picket sign and get your ass out there. Tired of guns on campus? Of course you’re tired of guns on campus. But “The tree of liberty must from time to time be watered with blood”. Get your coddled and self-absorbed ass out there, 20% voter turnout for under-30’s? Make it your goal to “radicalize” one other person each and every day. There’s nothing radical to oppose being robbed by every single institution in society, there’s nothing radical about not wanting to be murdered in some ridiculous “open carry” mall somewhere. And if you don’t realize those ideas aren’t “radical” at all then STFU and take what your masters are ramming down your throats, you pussies.
            That ancient grandpa from my generation John Lennon had it right, he paid to put up giant biilboards all over the world that said “WAR IS OVER…IF YOU WANT IT”. You just don’t want it so stop your whining about “safe spaces”. The whole world should be “safe space”, not just your pathetic little bubble.

        2. TK421

          Rapes do not “routinely” occur on campuses. In fact, a college student is less likely to be raped than a non-college student:

          rape on campus

          Look, college is supposed to prepare young people for “real life”, and the world is not safe. Delaying adulthood serves no one.

          1. cwaltz

            From where I am sitting much of college IS a delay of adulthood.

            I said this downthread and I’ll ask it again, How exactly is paying to sit in a classroom to be lectured on a subject anything like “real life?”

            Many people’s “real lives” consist of finding a skill that pays the bills. College is essentially the opposite of that, you pay someone to teach you skill sets.

            Part of what irks me is that people seem to be offended that the “kids” who are paying for the privilege of attending dare to suggest they be allowed to set some parameters on what they want to be subjected to.

      2. JTMcPhee

        Are old farts the ones doing the shooting up of the “safe spaces”? I’ll give you that priests and congress critters and cops are generally Old(Reuters) Farts who do get away with pedophilia and incest and “justified murder,” but that ain’t the whole picture. A whole lot of Banksters are pretty young yet.

        How safe are binge drunk weekends, or “team victory riots?” Do you think you young pups ought to be carrying firearms around, so you can “feel safer?” Do you not agree that date rape is a younger-on-younger crime? Do you think the Rich Folks of all ages, who actually own the both of us, are maybe laughing all the way to their offshore banks as that divide-and-conquer meme spreads to idiotic inter-generational warfare over the crumbs they drop for us mopes to fight over? Before they get out their magnifying glasses, and burn us to death with the heat of the sun?

        All us mopes, of every age, sure seem to be suffering from the predations and actions of a very small set of humans, and that includes pretty young people like Zuckerbugger and the most of the Silicon-dors…

        1. Jim Haygood

          Now most undergrads in Cali are safe from the scourge of tobacco:

          Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed a pack of bills that will raise the smoking age in California from 18 to 21, restrict the use of electronic cigarettes in public places and expand no-smoking areas at public schools.

          Cali is one of only two states (the other one is Hawaii) requiring tobacco purchasers to be 21.

          The students bark, but the Pelosification caravan rolls on … for the greater good!

        2. polecat

          I kinda have to agree with ya JTMcPhee…….NeoSilCons in sheep’s clothing will be the ruin of us all !!

          …..absolutely nothing of lasting value is being produced by these ‘Titans’ of the Internet…….
          …they are, in the main, a candy-coated virus looking for the first opportunity to infect all of society, thereby sucking everything that’s good………for PROFIT…!!

    2. voislav

      Blaming the wrong person here. She did exactly what her government asked her to do, she Saw Something and Said Something. Government is spreading FUD to justify surveillance and divert attention from the economic issues, so you can’t blame an ignorant women for doing exactly as she was told.

    3. Optimader

      My “safe places” were various classrooms/auditoriums, the library, cafateria, the student lounge and outside when the weather was nice,but they werent called “safe places” they were called classrooms/auditoriums, the library, cafateria, student lounge and the great outdoors. The only thing that was objectively worth fearing was the food in the cafeteria.

      So what changed other than the public being conditioned to be afraid of their own shadows?
      Do you think the now urgent necessity for “safe places” is an issue with you or vow you move through the society you are part of?

      When you get out of college will you still need “safe places”? Good luck with that, and your real education called life.

      1. cwaltz

        Since when is college like “real life” anyway?

        If it were to mirror “real life” then wouldn’t they be getting paid instead of having to pay to learn skills?

        Perhaps your “real life” is different than mine.

        As far as “safe places” go, I think part of it is this generation believes in tolerance and inclusiveness more than my generation and I believe they are willing to shout this generation down for insisting that our generation alone has a right to decide what is and isn’t socially acceptable.

        I’m really tired of hearing about how “political correctness” is killing the country. The only thing killing the country is that one generation thinks the other generation is filled with clueless twits incapable of dealing with “real life” despite evidence that suggests they not only can deal with it but they would like to ADDRESS it in ways that might change it(Hence Sanders popularity with the youth in this country.)

        1. Optimader

          Im confident our real ( and artificial ?) lives are different.
          My strategy through university was as a co-op student so i was quite well prepared for diving into my profession after “delaying adulthood” by sitting around in a classroom being lectured –while others were (more heroically?) ” finding skills” to pay the bills.

          Let me ask you a rhetorical question cwaltz. Would you rather have a carpal tunnel surgical intervention performed by someone that sat around “delaying adulthood” while being lectured, or someone that thinks they picked up the skills?
          Is it possible that there are some professions that lend themselves to a structured curriculum as opposed OJT?

          As far as generational empathy, for the most part id say your sweeping generalizations are as confirmation biased as anyones.
          I will say, in general younger generations as a cohort are progressively less practically skilled having been raised in a disposable comsumer product society.

          I will also offer my observation that professional reference books & periodicals ( that still exist) in the fields i touch are progressively stripped of practical content. I would not be suprised if that isnt also the case for college textbooks, and reflective of the quality of instruction in many cases. My physics instructor (classical and relativistic) was a particle physicist from Fermi Labs. These days at the same school it would more likely be a chinese or indian TA with english as a second language at least at undergraduate level.

          1. cwaltz

            There’s a reason that they actually require medical students to perform internships, I’m guessing that’s because sitting in a classroom doesn’t impart EXPERIENCE. So yes, even the medical field is very much OJT(under the tutelage of someone already experienced.)

            And for the record, there’s a ton medical science has gotten wrong and continues to get wrong in spite of classrooms.

            Quite frankly, I’d rather not have carpal tunnel surgery to begin with considering I’m going to get charged thousands of dollars for it and most likely STILL going to have to live with pain.

            As for MY personal experience, I didn’t have the luxury of delaying adulthood. I entered the military at 18. I was trained for 8 weeks in the medical field before I was expected to care for patients under the tutelage of a physician. I underwent exactly 2 weeks of training before I was required to pass the national registry as an EMT(which I understand is now 3 weeks). After I aced a pharmacy OJT course that took a week and got a great review from JCAHO on the pharmacy I ran as an OJT it was suggested I look into that as a specialty. The training for that is 6 months it also includes accreditation in the state of Washington. It also requires that you intern. Once your six months are completed you either go to a ship where you essentially act as the pharmacist or to a hospital where you often are asked to perform tasks that in the outside sector would be a pharmacists responsibility(as a senior technician I was often asked to “check” to ensure refills were filled correctly, I called doctor’s offices to suggest replacements for medications that were not formulary and took those prescriptions over the phone…)

            Needless to say even though I attended some college(yes, I used the GI Bill that I paid into) I’d say most of the stuff learned there is far from “practical skills” and almost none of it trumps what I learned largely OJT.

            Practical skills are skills people use regularly. While I enjoyed my Econ 101 class immensely, I can assure you most of the information is not something I use regularly. I’d say the same with my American History class or my English Composition, etc, etc. Is the information you learn in college helpful? Sure. However, it’s practical applications, in my opinion are overrated. So no, I wouldn’t blame the “college experience” as a reason for people lacking practical skills when they enter the workforce. Then again, I’m not the one arguing that college is like “real life” I’m the one arguing that it’s the opposite.

            I’ll close by offering MY observation. Our society is churning out more and more college graduates. Despite that you’ve made the argument these people lack “practical skills.” If that’s the case then it seems to me that you’re making my case that college is nothing like real life and really doesn’t function when it comes to actually imparting practical skills.

          2. cwaltz

            I will also offer my observation that professional reference books & periodicals ( that still exist) in the fields i touch are progressively stripped of practical content.

            I’m pretty sure that would not be because of just graduating students.

            I would not be suprised if that isnt also the case for college textbooks, and reflective of the quality of instruction in many cases.

            If that is the case wouldn’t that be the fault of faculty and administration who actually choose curriculum material, not students.

            My physics instructor (classical and relativistic) was a particle physicist from Fermi Labs. These days at the same school it would more likely be a chinese or indian TA with english as a second language at least at undergraduate level.

            Again, who a school chooses to instruct it’s students isn’t generally up to a student.

            Are you railing against students or are you railing against faculty?

            This also brings us full circle. If the school that kids are attending aren’t providing them with the appropriate mentorship, or materials how is that a student’sfault? Seems to me you’re blaming the wrong people. It’s the previous generation responsible for published work and for the material being used to teach THIS generation.

            1. Optimader

              Im not railing against anyone! I hope you feel better having vented that giganormous non sequitur.

              Yes, its no secret that most people continue learning thoughout their lives.

              I think you are smart enough to understand there are professions that require advanced formal education as a predicate to persuit, and there are professions less so, or not at all.

              I see an evolving pattern with grads that lack intuitive skills, Possibly because of the great emphasis on computer skills rather than having worked problems long hand?
              Spreadsheets and various other analytical software can provide absurd results. Understanding they are absurd is important.

              Im pleased to read that you hopefully took every nickels worth of training and benefit from your voluntary military contract. At keast i assume it was voluntary, correct?

              And no we dont agree that the present college age generation is any more empathetic than my generation. As well i don’t agree that “shouting” anyone down is a particulary effective approach to changing a consensus.

        1. Optimader

          Perception of risk vs some unquantified “solution” (eg:safe place)) with unquantified cost and efficacy. Actuarial mishmash
          I am willing to bet that the annual mortality rate associated with being struck by lightning or killed in vehicular accidents are orders of magnitude higher than being shot on a colkege campus.

          So why invest in “safe places” whatever that actually means before allocating those resouces to lowering lightning strike and vehicular mortality?

          Frankly, one must adk why so little empathy for lightning strike and vehicular accident victims when those resources could be more efficiently allocated than for some unspecified and unquantified number of “safe places”. How many are required btw yo have a meaninfil impact?

    4. Brooklin Bridge

      You might want to put the quoted section of your comment in blockquotes as in,

      <blockquote> quoted paragraph(s) of text </blockquote>,

      or italics or something to reinforce your brief mention that the bulk of your comment is “Lifted” from Gawker, actually from a commenter named, ww1383, and is not your own observation on Melissa Cronin’s article.

      In any event, ww1383 would do well to read the timely article Yves posted today, Our Awful Elites Gutted America. Now They Dare Ring Alarms About Trump, Sanders—And Cast Themselves as Saviors, a post about how our elite feel we have too much Democracy which might as well be subtitled, time to pull the plug on stupid people.

      But of course who’s to decide who’s stupid???.

      I suspect that is your point as well.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Equations written with Greek letters look a lot like Arabic. In fact, one bit IS Arabic:

      The Italian government was suspicious of Arabic numbers and outlawed the use of zero. Merchants continued to use it illegally and secretively. The Arabic word for zero, “sifr,” brought about the word “cipher,” which not only means a numeric character, but also came to mean “code.”

      How are we gonna fight terrorism, if we don’t stamp out their nihilistic Arabic zero?

      1. Vatch

        It was a Hindu who invented the zero digit and the precursor of the “Arabic” numeral system. The Persians learned it from the Indian Hindus (and/or Buddhists), and the Arabs learned it from the Persians.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Not surprising giving nothingness or void mentioned in Hinduism and Buddhism.

          From the Heart Sutra:

          Form is Void
          and Void is Form.

          Opposites are delusional, like

          Void vs. Form
          Smart vs. Dumb
          Progressive vs. Reactionary
          Math savvy vs. Not Math Savvy
          Delusional vs. Clear-Thinking


      2. polecat

        OHMYGODDDDDD!!…….I Need big Bro & SIs to look under my bed for the scary monsters!!!!!

        That’s what must be going through this person’s marbles for a mind !!

        …..We’re Doomed I tells ya…..

  4. Kevin C. Smith

    … no wonder the Chinese are eating us alive in math and engineering. We have millions of mouth-breathing hicks in this country who, when confronted with a series of advanced math equations on a piece of paper, will label it as “strange script” and conclude that the person who wrote it was literally either a terrorist or a witch.

        1. Optimader

          You gave a problem with the Irish?

          Olson Johnson: All right… we’ll give some land to the niggers and the chinks. But we don’t want the Irish!
          [everyone complains]
          Olson Johnson: Aw, prairie shit… Everybody!
          [everyone rejoices]

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Given the failure of the presumably math-savvy Transport Minister in Belgium, can you laugh at the vigilant American passenger?

          Are we blaming the victim of a very successful propaganda campaign?

          We ridicule those less educated than us at our own peril.

          No one tackled or threatened anyone physically. A suspicion was reported. The authority, according to the link. treated him respectively.

          Maybe the passenger didn’t have Calculus. But it’s not a required course.

          Not all of us are geniuses or prestigious economists.

          1. cwaltz

            It seems to me that some of this could have been avoided if manners were taught at Ivy League college. The woman was politely asking him questions and apparently agitated and he couldn’t be bothered.

            Maybe if instead of being curt he might have COMMUNICATED that he was an economist working on a differential formula and that he was sorry for appearing rude but what he was working on was something he needed to concentrate on then it all could have been avoided entirely.

            But hey what do I know I didn’t grace the halls of Harvard.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              That’s an excellent point.

              He would have made many physicians proud.

              “You couldn’t read my handwritten prescription? Is that too hard for you to comprehend?”

              Little things like this can go a long way to boost anyone’s self esteem.

              “Ah, but of course. I am a prestigious economists working on saving the economy.”

              Should we save a seat for the best economist in the world on the last ship to depart an uninhabitable Earth, because, to paraphrase Hawking, humanity deserves another chance (from the film, Surviving Progress)?

    1. flora

      “mouth breathing hick” ? Stereotype much?

      Cuts to k-12 education at the local, state and federal (rev sharing) levels have been going on for decades. No wonder math scores and vocab scores are falling. There’s a pretty clear correlation between funding and test results.

      1. flora

        adding: the term “mouth breathing hick” is elite shorthand for ‘poor white rural citizens who are beneath contempt.’

        Last week Bernie was in McDowell County, W.Va, one of the poorest counties in one of the poorest states in the US. ( McDowell county is 90% white and has a poverty rate of almost 35%. So, “mouth breathing hicks” in your parlance.) Bernie gave a speech on Povery in America and held a panel discussion.
        There was a young teacher on the panel who gave a riveting short talk. If you’re interested the youtube address is below. Copy and paste into your browser address bar.
        Her talk starts at the 11:26 mark and lasts 5 minutes.

        1. Lumpenproletariat

          Not to defend non-PC parlance, but there really are a lot of dolts who are gullible enough to have been manipulated to vote AGAINST their own interests for several generations now.

          It usually goes like this: Do you want lefty do-gooder programs to benefit these lazy n*ggers when they need to know their place and toil for peanuts and live slightly worse than your poor but dignified level?

          Hopefully people are now more aware of how they are being screwed over.

          1. flora

            I don’t disagree. The idea that we are all rugged individualists who exist outside the govt world we live in is attractive. But we don’t exist outside that world. It’s easy for the people against govt working for all the people to claim that “govt regs” mean objectionable govt control. Not so. More and more people are finding that out.

            1. local to oakland

              Except when those government regs are drafted by captured flunkies and designed to move the system away from competition aka opportunity towards monopoly. Ask your doctor re the costs of electronic health records.

              I think the historical question of how we moved from local pharmacies,local groceries, family farms to monster business Is very closely tied to carefully targeted regulation. This is one of the big misunderstandings between R and D parties in the US. Good regulation can be helpful, but it it is a double edged sword at best.

              1. flora

                oh, no doubt. If Bernie doesn’t win the nom I’m pretty sure Hillary will fall into the captured flunkies camp you describe.

              2. cwaltz

                I think some of electronic health records were meant to combat the problems we seem to have with medicine.

                In some ways computers can be helpful because sometimes they will catch things that humans might miss(for example; once I input your allergies into a computer, that computer will flag anything that would compromise you. If you are allergic to sulfa, it’s going to require me to override it before I hand you a prescription for Septra. In this particular case it will give me a chance to find out if you are really allergic and if you are prescribe something else(at least that is the case from a pharmacy setting).

                I do think there are still holes in the system. For example, my specialist at HCA couldn’t see my tests from Carillion and my primary care doctor couldn’t see my lab work from my specialist because separate network. They had to converse via email(and still largely with me providing the copies of labs.)

                Overall, I found computers to be a decent tool when dealing with patient care that helped eliminate some(not all) errors when providing patient care. It was annoying in the beginning though when you had to input several years worth of data at once.

        2. hreik

          Ty for this. Wish he could be our president. He cares. He really cares. Like no other pol i’ve seen before.

        3. polecat

          well….I never much enjoyed learning algebra, for various reasons, ….however, I never, ever felt endangered by it !!

      2. Dave

        New bumper sticker seen on the Santa Monica Freeway:

        “Sanders in June or Trump in November’

        Three ways to interpret that.

    2. craazyboy

      Maybe we shouldn’t be so complacent about math equations. In the Charles Stross “Laundry Files” series of novels, certain dangerous math equations can and do open up rifts into other dimensions allowing horrible Lovecraftian creatures to enter our dimension and threaten our very existence. College rapes went sky high too, but only women would report it, so many believed the numbers are actually far higher.

      In order to protect the citizenry, Britain formed a top secret org called the “Laundry” which was modeled after MI6, which was modeled after MI5, which was modeled after the US T*P S*****T. The US then created the “Black Org” modeled after the “Laundry”.

      The agency employed computer programmer agents whom were extremely math adept and could not only detect subversive maniacs abusing these equations, but also had a command of counter equations which can battle these creatures and even sew these rifts back up. The public was kept unaware of the danger for their own good and peace of mind, but sometimes the battles did result in some collateral damage – a plane disappearing, buildings or parts of a city disappearing and so on. The government then concocted a cover story about “terrorists” using guns, bombs, chemicals or even nuclear devices being the cause of the catastrophe.

      Just Sayin. Food for thought. Can’t be so sure about anything.

  5. EndOfTheWorld

    “Why America Can’t Quit the Drug War”—I think Trump would be more progressive than Hill on this issue. Bernie would be the best. But the states are inexorably legalizing pot one state at a time, for the same reason gambling was legalized one state at a time—–it’s economically sound to legalize the underground economy and put it above ground. There, with the the Good Lord’s bright sunshine raining down on it, it can be taxed. Also free up the cops for rape and murder cases.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Some rich quotes in there:

      Nixon’s domestic-policy adviser, John Ehrlichman, in an interview published posthumously in Harper’s this year, revealed the true aim of the Drug War was to criminalize the administration’s “two enemies: the anti-war left and black people.” As Ehrlichman explained, “We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings and vilify them night after night on the evening news.”

      Nixon himself wove anti-Semitism into the mix. “Every one of the bastards that are out for legalizing marijuana is Jewish,” Nixon groused to his chief of staff, Bob Haldeman, in a conversation recorded in the Oval Office in May 1971.

      “What the Christ is the matter with the Jews, Bob?” Nixon asked. “By God, we are going to hit the marijuana thing, and I want to hit it right square in the puss.”

      Drug warrior values: not a pretty sight.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        We seem to have widened the War on One Sacred Herb to War on Two Sacred Medicinal Herbs.

  6. edmondo

    Woman falls over at home and regains sight after 20 years of blindness

    Another ObamaCare success story! Wait until the piece of furniture she tripped over sends her a bill for the $5000 annual deductible.

  7. edmondo

    Trump Advisor’s Putin Connections Freaks Out Security Establishment

    The “security establishment” had no qualms when they sent daily intelligence briefings to am Israeli citizen when he was Obama’s chief of staff. Of course that was OK because It’s Anti-Semitic To Ever Criticize Israel

  8. edmondo

    Oh my, the sheepdogging has begun in earnest, hasn’t it?

    It is a mistake to misread the role Bernie Sanders will play in what will be a tremendous victory for progressives—a true turning point. He talked tonight about some legislation he’s currently presenting in the Senate, and I’m sure there will be more legislation and a larger focus on it as the convention approaches. This is what I’ve been hoping he’d do. He probably won’t be the presidential nominee, but he’s making it clear that progressive governance will be a team effort among progressive Democratic elected officials. And Hillary Clinton seems to be indicating now that she wants to be a part of that, not a hindrance to it. Good for her.

    Clinton will win the nomination and the general election, but Sanders will be the Most Valuable Player, in November and beyond. The Democrats are uniting around progressivism.

    Beverly Mann at Angry Bear

    Anyone who believes that Hillary is going to become a “progressive” after election has a serious delusion problem.

    1. sleepy

      The Clintons have been the luckiest pols in the world with their electoral opponents. Bubba got elected because of the three-way with Perot and Bush. Now there is no need to court progressives with the low-hanging fruit of Trump out there.

      I hope at least her arrogance leads to a disruptive and contentious convention, though whatever noise Sanders and his supporters make will be pegged as amusingly fringe by the press.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Even the 1992 nomination contest was bizarre. Governor Moonbeam wasn’t even the far right candidate, and he proposed brilliant Ideas such as closing the Department of Education. Yes, the Rick Perry position.

      2. jgordon

        Wait–you think Hillary is lucky to have Trump as an opponent? It seems to me that there is like kryptonite to Superman. While Hillary is busy clutching her pearls and complaining that her opponent is “presumptuous “, Trump will be gleefully explaining to the American people in lurid detail just how crooked exactly Hillary is. This is going to be a blowout for Trump. Are still a lot of people out there misreading things so badly?

    1. EndOfTheWorld

      Trump recently took aim at Hill as a nasty, mean enabler of her husband’s infidelities. Interestingly, most of the msm didn’t pick it up. But he’ll be blasting off at Hill like she’s never seen before. There is an oft-repeated meme that the Clinton’s have been beaten up for thirty years so nothing can hurt them now. But they’ve never experienced anything like The Donald. He’s not even getting warmed up yet. He’ll blast her about everything right up on the debate stage, where even the msm will be unable to ignore it.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        There will be no appeasing Hillary.

        No more Neville Chamberlains to kick around anymore.

        Is that what is in store?

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Wow. Next, she’ll point out the sunrises in the east.Can we file this next to “Harry Reid unloads on Republicans”, “Pelosi laughs at Speaker Boehner for not running a tighternship”, or insert game changing Daily Show clip.

      The GOP has been winning elections despite under performing their 2006 efforts. The GOP wears red jerseys meme is running out of steam. Liz, redefine the Democrats or quit wasting everyone’s time.

    3. ewmayer

      Tip: In such tracking-spam-laden links you can delete everything starting with the first ? you encounter (reading left to right) and the resulting URL will be just fine. I do this with the reuters links I regularly send to Yves, as Reuters recently upped the amount of tracking-spam drastically.

      In your case that yields the much shorter

      (Note the trailing / is also optional.)

  9. Skippy

    Ref – Scientists Uncover Mystery of 80 Suicides in ‘Demonic’ Indian Village

    Same sort of thing happens in Mexico and central south America wrt dumping old and banned pesticides and herbicides, only its the lobotomizing of kids. Back in the early days of NC I posted material and links.

    Disheveled Marsupial…. they don’t call them externalities for nothing….

  10. H.R.H. Mad Max

    Brenner pulls his punches here using the state-sanctioned panic-attack ruse.

    The constitution’s gone. You’re not getting it back. That was the plan all along. The 9/11 state of exception was the culmination of decades of COG and COOP planning. CIA prepared totalitarian rule of secret law under the pretext of ‘national survival’ – recovery from attack with thousands of nukes up to 50 megatons. Then the plans were extended to ‘all hazards’ – including domestic instability. Then CIA infiltrated foreign intelligence cutouts to knock over a couple buildings, and, ta-daa!, they rolled it all out. The program is meticulously documented in SCI and SAP. The proof awaits another Snowden.

    The way out is not to resuscitate your worthless crap constitution. The state of the art is human rights and international criminal law, which are already binding and supreme. It’s the civilized world’s acquis, and it’s being formally established by the Human Rights Cities movement.

  11. rjs

    re So are the Saudis about to throw in the towel?

    no, it means the bin Salman kid is completely in charge, and there will be no deal to freeze oil production…Ali al Naimi was ready to work with Russia on a deal; the kid said no, we have to screw Iran…

    1. abynormal

      Look at the progression: Versailles, Suez, 1973, Gulf War 1, Gulf War 2. This is a fight to the death. So what are THEY thinking? Great! They’re thinking keep playing, keep buying yourself new toys, keep spending $50,000 a night on your hotel room, but don’t invest in your infrastructure… don’t build a real economy. So that when you finally wake up, they will have sucked you dry, and you will have squandered the greatest natural resource in history. ~Syriana

    2. polecat

      jeeze… for a minute there, I though you replying to H.R.H’s post above….being that the Saudis are suddenly being soooo humanitarian like!!

      How’s THAT for supposed international criminal law…….!

      F#CKIN A

      1. polecat

        Oh….and since the anti semite card is being bandied about in the links…….I’m just gonna blame the Israelis!!……for everything….

        …..that’ll should stir up the hornets nest some…….


  12. RWood

    Some research finds great levels in our land:

    The present research investigates the associations between holding favorable views of potential Democratic or Republican candidates for the US presidency 2016 and seeing profoundness in bullshit statements. In this contribution, bullshit is used as a technical term which is defined as communicative expression that lacks content, logic, or truth from the perspective of natural science.

      1. JTMcPhee

        “Ethics” is just a matter of definition and category… Have we not heard that the Ideals are DEAD?

  13. HBE

    If sanders doesn’t get the nomination, I will reluctantly be voting for trump, rather than a preferable third party candidate. A trump victory has three benefits.

    1. It keeps the absolutely corrupt hillary out of office.

    2. It gives a better chance to those suffering under Americas foreign policy ( if it can be called that) a better chance of NOT becoming pink mist. While trumps FP is unknown and may very well be just as horrible. It has been clearly illustrated hillarys FP WILL be horrible, so I’ll play the odds.

    3. A Republican gives pseudo left tribalists, an enemy tribe to attack. IE when a member of the other tribe did it (bush) they were fully outraged and they supported those movements that pushed real positive progressive policies. If hillary, a member of their tribe is elected they will be absolutely silent if not hostile to those positive progressive policies (think obots) and challenges to her rule.

    A trump presidency keeps clintons clawed fingers out of office and allows positive progressives to leverage the temporary support of the pseudo left, a hillary presidency does not. And there is always the long shot that trump actually turns out to be a populist with a non interventionist FP.

    1. Toolate

      #3 is critical especially given our most recent experience with potus who must be Carl rove’s wet dream

    2. Benedict@Large

      You forgot to mention that without an office to peddle, the money-laundering Clinton foundation loses its place as a money magnet.

    3. fresno dan

      Its hard to imagine Trump getting support for any kind of military action (assuming he would want to do any) from the majority of establishment repubs, who will be loathe to do anything to support him. Likewise, dems won’t help him.
      A completely feeble, impotent, passive, isolationist, no longer indispensable nation – indeed, a completely dispensable nation is just what I’m looking for.
      (I mean, I think it has become apparent that both parties are equally warmongering – McGovern is a long, long, long time ago)

      1. John k

        It’s all about the money.
        Wars are profit galore.
        Dems are reps that mouth support for minorities, but haven’t led the charge for a half century, when it cost them the south.
        There is no diff between the parties , both actively suppress voters, granted dems suppressing dem voters unusual… They are expected to ‘come home’ because trump?
        I agree she is lesser evil because he remains murky, at least there is hope on some issues… And don’t think he would select a supreme to the right of big O’s latest rep.
        Also think record young dems stay home.

  14. Ron

    Dumping Henry Wallace the three time liberal VP for Roosevelt and putting Truman as the VP back in 44 is the most decisive elite decision in our lifetime. It generated the Cold War and entire postwar military industrial buildup and created the world view dominated by both political parties throughout our lifetime. The author’s focus on the political players today is a good indication that she has little knowledge of American Political history beyond a flaming dislike for Hilary.

  15. Carolinian

    Pat Lang on that Ben Rhodes guy and his relationship to Barack “no reality show” Obama (shorter Obama: the presidency isn’t a reality show. Oh and did you catch my gig at the correspondents’ dinner? I killed.)

    this Rhodes fellow was a graduate student in creative writing who hoped someday to be a novelist. Somehow he conceived the idea of writing about international relations. A few years later he had become Obama’s soul mate and alter ego in the foreign policy world. Say what? How could that be? I don’t know but it clearly happened and the juxtaposition of the Obama/Rhodes deadly duo operating within the boundaries of Borgist (Blobist) Washington and New York City explains a lot. Do they really see “hacks” like Biden and Kerry as tools for their scheming? Do they feel much the same way about the R2P ladies (of both genders)?

    What emerges from the NY Times piece and Hick’s savage critique of Rhodes and by implication Obama is a picture of two “artists” who believe that they can re-write the narrative of America and therefore of the world and that their fictional narrative will become reality. No wonder things are so f—-d up. pl

    My opinion is that when Trump, who had flirted with the idea before, saw Obama win the presidency he said “hey, I can do that.” They are a lot more alike than Obie cares to admit. Bottom line: yes, it is a reality show. Read it and weep.

  16. JTMcPhee

    People really believe that Trump is going to be a Great Disruptor, decimating the reactionary wing of the Ruling Uniparty so us mopes can believe in Hope and Change (c) again? Trump now soliciting Big Money from the usual sources, who will be practicing “:The Art Of The Deal” with him to assure that both parties get what they want.

    What a stupid bunch we are, to conflate kayfabe of the highest order with substantive change in the landscape and back rooms of the political economy…

    Wait for it… Wait for it…

    1. mark

      From Dave Dayen’s site:

      “The casino magnate Sheldon G. Adelson said on Thursday night that he would support Donald J. Trump now that he has become the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee.” …. NYT

      “Toby Neugebauer, a wealthy energy investor, likes Ted Cruz so much that he deposited $10 million into a super PAC designed to boost the Texas Republican’s presidential ambitions.
      “Today, I am a Trump supporter,” Neugebauer told USA TODAY. “I am excited about the voters he turned up.”

      1. Jim Haygood

        Now that Trump supports expanding Israeli settlements, Sheldon is fine with him.

    2. cwaltz

      I believe he’s going to make it clearer to more and more people that it IS a Uniparty.

      It’s the GOPs turn to be disappointed with “Hope and Change.”

      1. Kurt Sperry

        I could definitely see a President Trump as a Republican Obama analog, just an ambitious guy wanting to win the biggest prize and willing to say whatever Hopey Chengey populist BS was necessary to win that prize, but with no real sincerely held underlying ideological viewpoints, willing to do whatever the serious people tell him to as long as he gets to sit in the Big Chair, fly on the big boss plane and get tee times Nicklaus couldn’t. Trump wins and he turns into another GOP machine guy, just like Obama turned into a Democrat Machine tool because getting there was the point and now its just follow the path of least resistance and enjoy the perks.

    3. jgordon

      Trump’s presidency does not matter in and of itself. It is merely the signal that American society has undergone a phase change. Granted, Trump is probably just as corrupt as any other politician would be (with the notable exception of Crooked Hillary–could anyone else possibly be that corrupt?), but let’s be real here. Under the present circumstances there there is simply no alternative. Add to that there is at least a small chance that Trump would be something radical and different and it’s a no-brainer.
      By the way, throughout his entire career Trump has espoused hard-left political positions. It’s only recently that he became a birther and started having some conservative views, probably about the time he started plotting the takeover of the Republican party. Who knows, with Trump you just might get the leftist president you’ve been wanting. And you certainly won’t get that with Hillary.

      1. polecat

        maybe a ‘quantum’ phase change perhaps…

        ….switching back to a more rational universe……

      2. Jeff W

        Who knows, with Trump you just might get the leftist president you’ve been wanting.

        I’m not betting on it but Benjamin Studebaker said something along those lines back in March:

        Donald Trump is conning the Republican Party. He could very well be the most moderate Republican candidate, and he may be to the left of Clinton on some issues, like regime change and trade deals.

        In fact, just today Trump said taxes on the wealthy could increase if he’s elected president and that he supports an increase in the minimum wage (but would leave it up to the states—which is, very broadly speaking, Clinton’s position).

  17. Dr. Roberts

    Re: Cultural Revolution piece in the New Yorker

    It’s painful to read a trite propaganda piece on an interesting subject. For once I’d love to read a thoughtful article about Chinese politics and political history that didn’t contain the words “liberal” or “western”.

    1. Lumpenproletariat

      I was just about to comment on this one too. Craig Paul Roberts wrote a piece documenting disinformation campaigns in Russia and China.

      I have worked in those places and the whole Larry Summers led neoliberal pillaging of Russia has to be one of the most depressing events ever. Now he’s home and helping USIANS have a taste of those magical free markets.

      I don’t think USA centric economics wields much appeal overseas now.

      At any rate, the more effective evil is the great American economic counter-revolution. It’s been going strong from 1979 to the present. And it’s been so effective, glib publications like the NY’er cast aspersions elsewhere but are somehow blind to what’s going on here.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The fiat global reserve currency is essential to that USA centric economics.

    2. Toolate

      Has the New Yorker always been this pathetic and I am only now noticing it or did things change?

      1. Kurt Sperry

        The internet is killing a lot of stuff I thought was at least semi-serious like the New Yorker, the NYT and the “serious” media more generally. When the sources were narrow and fact checking them was more difficult it was pretty easy to get led around by the putative authority of the sources, but it’s becoming clear that most of what we took as authoritative or reputationally excellent was really just higher brow BS. The New Yorker is/was a nice collection of one panel cartoons, some occasionally decent short-form fiction writing, and little more.

  18. Jess

    Re the antidote: I don’t know about others but I sure wish there was a species of pygmy bears who never got any bigger than this little one with his or her mama. Full grown adult bears are hugely dangerous wild animals, but very young bear cubs are just adorably cute little things.

    1. Emma

      When I saw the antidote I immediately thought ‘Bear Necessities of Life’ ie. The love between Mama Bear and Baby Bear with another essence of life, water.
      But yes, those fully grown bears can be dangerous particularly when they come in the form of Mama Bear Warren!
      Love the posting by Elizabeth Warren on Facebook today:
      One additional ‘heart-headed’ point she could have included is to demand the raising of wages by 90 times the way it’s occurred for CEO pay since 78 (

  19. timbers


    Nothing to worry about. The media has confirmed Hillary is a Progressive Democrat despite what you may have heard:

  20. Brooklin Bridge

    Bah, humbug. This whole gastly grizly last forty years thingy is just one loooong looong set up to re-introduce Lucky Luciano and Al Capone (in the form of robots – maybe a his and hers) only this time around as Republican and Democratic contestants for the great pagent, the presidency of the US of A. Our highest cultural aspirations wrapped up in two American titans.

  21. fresno dan

    I see Greg Mankiw used his NYT column to tell folks that politicians are spinning tales when they say the economy is rigged. I would say that economists spin tales when they tell you it is not. (Mankiw and I just ran through this argument on a panel in Boston last week.) Let’s quickly run through the main points.

    First, the overall level of employment is a political decision. We would have many more people employed today if the deficit hawks had not seized control of fiscal policy back in 2011 and turned the dial toward austerity. The beneficiaries of higher employment are disproportionately those at the middle and bottom of the income distribution: people with less education and African Americans and Hispanics. So the politicians pushing austerity decided that millions of people at the middle and bottom would not have jobs.

    Furthermore, in a weaker labor market, it is harder for those at the middle and bottom to get pay increases. So the shift to austerity also meant that tens of millions of workers would have to work for lower pay. Read all about it in my book with Jared Bernstein (free, and worth it).

    The second way in which it is rigged is our trade policy. First there is the size of the trade deficit. This is the result of policy choices. Instead of forcing our trading partners to respect Bill Gates copyrights and Pfizer’s patents, we could have insisted they raise the value of their currency to move towards more balanced trade. But Bill Gates and Pfizer have more power in setting trade policy than ordinary workers.

    Also, contrary to what Mankiw tries to tell folks in his column, the trade deficit did play a big role in our loss of manufacturing jobs. As my favorite graph for the day shows, manufacturing employment was roughly constant at around 17,500 million from the late 1960s until 2000. During this period, there was substantial growth in manufacturing productivity, as Mankiw says. This growth caused manufacturing employment to decline as a share of total employment, but to remain roughly constant in absolute terms.

    Economic POLICIES are not laws of nature – we choose to have lower employment and greater inequality – mostly…well, exclusively, because the rich own the congress and the media, telling us how nothing can be done about this….

    1. Lumpenproletariat

      Yeah, but Greg Mankin having a position of influence is already a sign of the system being rigged. If it were truly a meritocracy, Mankiw would be selling carnival snake oil

  22. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Ecological bankruptcy.

    Perhaps we have corrupted the word ‘bankruptcy,’ because many people associate it with ‘debt discharge.’

    Can we humans (not speaking about Nature but just humans) get our ecological debt discharged if we commit ecological bankruptcy?

    1. different clue

      One may earnestly hope that those humans who did not cause the bankruptcy will not be required to pay. Humans such as the terraformers of the Amazon till Iberian contact, for example.

    2. meeps

      re: Ecological Bankruptcy

      I will give Greenpeace one point for placing animal agriculture on the spectrum, as understated and poorly tied to other items on the bullet list as it is in this piece. At least they’re attempting to slip it into the dialogue despite intense industry pressure and Ag Gag laws. Many environmental organizations are avoiding this issue like the plague.

      Nevertheless, animal ag is THE elephant in the room because it does more ecological damage than just about anything humans are engaged in. I should have mentioned it in response to Lambert’s Friday request for things nobody knows about. It’s absolutely a taboo topic.

      The Ecological Economic Worldview graphic at the bottom is absurd. It reminds me of that cockamamie OODA Loop the office MBAs are so keen to promote these days.

      There is no discharge for ecological debt. It must be repaid.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        There are legions of humans who believe we are the Master Species.

        That we can just exterminate those species we don’t like…because we need that living space.

  23. different clue

    One earnestly hopes that the Global Warming fires and droughts and floods of the coming future strike the people of Denyastan first and worst. There is nothing wrong with Global Warming Deniers that a few thousand F6 tornadoes with watermelon-sized hailstones in them wouldn’t cure.

    1. different clue

      And is it not one of Mother Nature’s little ironies that this fire is burning right in the heart of Tar Sandistan?

      1. Geof

        Canadian here. I am very concerned about climate change. I understand why the oil needs to stay in the ground. I witnessed the arrogance of many Albertans as they rode high on the oil boom, and the spiteful schadenfreude of those who have since kicked them while they were down.

        The “it’s karma” attitude expressed in your post, so utterly devoid of empathy, fundamentally undermines efforts to address the problem. Blaming climate change on the moral failings of individuals is essentially conservative. It diverts attention from need for collective action, and from the structural flaws in our economy and society that created the problem. We can only act together to address climate change if we frame the problem correctly. Blaming individuals frames it exactly wrong.

        Even the standard rebuttal that it is of our faults for driving cars, flying in planes and so forth falls prey to this error. It too points to individuals: but individuals cannot fix this problem! The whole back-and-forth debate about which ordinary workers or consumers are to blame makes it impossible to see the forest for the trees. Even as the forest burns to the ground.

  24. GlobalMisanthrope

    The ecopimps at Greenpeace need to put a f*cking sock in it. Never forget that they sued Marilyn Robinson for outing their complicity in hiding Sellafield from the world in her 1989 book Mother Country.

    Plus stunts like this one in the Andes.

    They make Bill McKibbon and his globe-trotting for climate change seem almost anodyne.

  25. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Step 1. Maine voters strip super-delegates of power.

    Step 2, Can they strip the 8 Hillary delegates of power as well?

    “Voters’ will.”

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Thanks for the clarification.

        In the mean time, let’s see if we can persuade the super delegates to step over to the good side.

        “You’re still powerufl. Join us at Team Good.”

  26. Brooklin Bridge

    The sharing economy will screw us all — and it’s retirement we have to be really worried about

    Great article about the saftey net, particularly SS, by Steven Hill of Salon. Clear clear writing and for once with admiration (no hint of shame) for what these programs accomplish.

    I think Sanders and the Sanders movement are having a much broader effect than I would have thought possible. Hill’s article would have been seriously harder to write, even for him, only a year ago – having to hack his way through idological swamp-jungle just to frame the discussion that is. So it would have been nice to mention Sanders as unique among our presidential hopefuls not only wanting to preserve but enhance the safety net, but perhaps that would have been out of place in a general article such as this.

  27. fresno dan

    Republican Party Unravels Over Donald Trump’s Takeover New York Times


    50% done – its all downhill from here….

  28. different clue

    Take a look at the Ecological Economists listed at the end of the Greenpeace article. Seriously dissident economists are getting harder to ignore the existence of. Frederick Soddy’s name is right up in that list along with Herman Daly and others.

  29. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Trump’s recklessness – Washington Post.

    The “full faith and credit” of the United States, established over centuries and embodied in its debt, is the glue that holds global finances together.

    The full faith and credit to the citizens? As ub promises made? Or New Deal programs?

    Well, those programs can be ‘discounted.”

    Because if you make the pension funds take less, they will not buy your bonds again?

    Where will the Chinese put their dollars?

    Do they demand higher rates?

    Will promise-broken voters demand a new country? Will they ask more of their country? Ask not. Just ask what more can you give.

  30. Anon

    Yet another Medium piece: Dear Bernie: Thanks, but…I’m Done

    From the piece:

    In the past few months I have watched as Bernie’s campaign and supporters gladly accepted the same manufactured untruths that the GOP has been churning up for the past 35 years about the Clintons, and shared them with glee. In fact, they’ve even started adding their own unfounded smears to the catalog. I’ve seen a lot of negative campaigning over the years, but this one has been truly ugly. Even now, as his mathematical chances are blatantly absurd, I received yet another attack email from Bernie’s Campaign Manager this morning, accusing Hillary Clinton of money laundering. As usual, there was no proof of actual wrong-doing, but apparently that’s no longer necessary in what has now morphed into a win-at-all-costs approach. What exactly does “winning” even look like in this scenario?

    There’s so much wrong with the whole piece, I don’t know where to begin. Oddly, or not, as Lambert would say, there’s conveniently no mention of the pretty nice NY Times piece that cast Bernie in a pretty good light, showing that he’s actually far better at that whole bipartisanship thing than Hillary is, let alone the horrible edit job that took place, but apparently, scrutiny is too hard these days. The comments underneath are no better, sadly.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Will there be any more debates?

      Bernie should confront Hillary in person about the money laundering charge.

  31. ewmayer

    Re. the WMI (weapons of math instruction) story: A Homeland Security official remarked how fortunate it was that the fellow’s scribblings had been uncovered ‘while the differential equations were still partial … had he had the time to finish assembling them, it could have been disastrous.’

    (Yes, I am a math geek.)

  32. Cry Shop

    An archeologist has some choice words for the Saudi government that has been destroying the cultural heritage of Yemen: (but why did he leave off the Americans who’ve been supervising/directing the aerial war-crimes, and the British who supplied some of the bombs?)

    This museum has just been obliterated from the air. In a matter of minutes, the irreplaceable work of ancient artisans, craftsmen and scribes — not to mention the efforts of Yemeni and foreign researchers who have dedicated years of their lives to studying and preserving this legacy — were pulverized. The museum and its 12,500 artifacts were turned to rubble by Saudi bombs.

    … Saudi Arabia is thus responsible not only for devastating a country of 25 million impoverished people, who are now suffering from famine, deteriorating sanitary conditions and a lack of medical supplies, but also for a strategy of demolishing significant world heritage sites. This Saudi cultural vandalism is hard to distinguish from the Islamic State’s.

  33. VietnamVet

    The Salon article is a good defense of Social Security. But, its use of the term “fortunate few” shows how effective the plutocrats’ think tank propaganda has been over the past 40 years. The increased wealth of the elite is not fortunate; it is intentional. Also, the successful aristocrat counter-coup in the West that is the cause of the increased inequality remains unmentionable.

  34. dk

    Scientists Uncover Mystery of 80 Suicides in ‘Demonic’ Indian Village Sputnik News (Wat)

    Back in the 70’s I was treated with cortisone, it was still experimental and they gave me massive doses. The rest of the body recognizes the cortisone and figures that it’s mortally injured. I felt inconsolably sad and depressed, and lost all appetite for life. Luckily, things were going fairly well in the rest of my life, and I could recognize that the feelings were not connected to reality, and avoid over-reaction to them. I would say that experience with recreational substances helped, too.

    So it is certainly possible for chemical exposures to produce profound emotional effects. Triggering a cascade of cortisol or similar steroid hormones could be the result of physical trauma to the agent, or a more direct effect of an agent chemically similar to, or containing steroid hormones.

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