Links 8/12/16

Greenland shark now oldest living animal with backbone StarTribune (Chuck L)

How a Legal Loophole Could Trigger a Landgrab for the Moon’s Most Valuable Real Estate MIT Technology Review

Under Proposed Law, Parents Who Feed Kids A Vegan Diet May Risk Jail Time In Italy Huffington Post. This is nuts. Seventh Day Adventists are much healthier on average than most adults, and I believe score very well on longevity too. Admittedly, some are strict vegans while others are lacto-vegetarians. But I know many upper caste Indians who were brought up as vegans and I’ve never heard of health issues resulting from their diet.

Man In Ontario Raid Made ‘Martyrdom Video,’ Planned Attack: Canadian Police Huffington Post (furzy). I don’t mean to sound as if I am trivializing this event, but it is worrisome when news stories sound a lot like the plot of action movies…


Is the ignorant Leave voter just a comforting myth? Telegraph

A divided nation Simon Wren-Lewis. Reactions from UK readers?

Brexit Britain will miss cheap EU funds for infrastructure Financial Times

The BoE and those companies materially contributing to the UK FT Alphaville. Wowsers BoE to bribe companies by buying their bonds, as in lowering their costs of financing. Bad precedent plus is this enough of an inducement for non-finance players (ie, cost of money not a big % of cost of goods sold)? Probaby not, which means this winds up being a subsidy that does not change behavior.

Labour leadership row: Corbynites plan rule change to cement left’s grip on the party Independent. You need to read through the considerable noise of the Independent’s antipathy for Corbyn to pull out the signal.

Is the euro a foreign currency for peripheral Eurozone (EZ) countries? New Economic Perspectives

Refugee Crisis

Migrant Flows to Greek Islands Increase 76% Greek Reporter

In pictures: Where have all the migrants gone? Politico

Hungary Mulls Appointing New Police Officers over ‘Migrant Influx Novinite

Explosions target Thai tourist towns BBC

Many Countries Sink or Swim on Commodity Prices —and on Orders from China Barry Ritholtz (resilc)


Putin’s latest Crimean gambit Politico. Putin has been very disciplined about not falling for US efforts to embroil him in an eastern Ukraine sinkhole. And in general, his pattern has been to move aggressively to take advantage of upsets created by others, as opposed to setting apple carts of his own in motion. This is a marked departure for him. Wonder if there is a complex calculation related to the clear US intent to escalate v. Russia.

Russia Announces War Games After Accusing Ukraine Of Terrorist Plot Huffington Post (furzy)

Russia’s Weakness Is Its Economic Policy Paul Craig Roberts and Michael Hudson


Erdogan’s Approval Rating Soars in Turkey Following Coup Attempt Bloomberg

Iran Daily: Iranian-Russian Pressure on Turkey Over Syrian Crisis EA WorldView (resilc)

Turkey calls for joint ops with Russia against IS Politico


Lopsided Peace Talks Collapse, Saudis Resume Bombing Yemen and U.S. Sells More Weapons Intercept (resilc)

On Threats and Intimidation Ben Ehrenreic (guurst)

What If Saudi Arabia Collapses? LobeLog (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Are There Any Limits on Obama’s Drone War, Really? Marcy Wheeler, New Republic. Important.

Tor promises not to build backdoors into its services engadget. If you believe that, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you. For instance, what if Tor somehow incorporates codes/utilities from others with the backdoors so it can claim innocence? And you are only really secure if you have end-to-end control, which no one has (save at most on well-secured intranets).

Hillary Clinton strategist Bob Beckel called for WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange to be assassinated. #DNCLeak @Wikileaks

Imperial Collapse Watch

How the CIA Manipulates the Media and Hoodwinks Hollywood Defend Democracy

Pentagon won’t reveal how many troops are fighting ISIS The Hill (Dan K)

Trade Traitors

Clinton: “‘I’ll appoint a chief trade prosecutor’ BBC. I will leave it to readers to shred this.

On Trade, Our Choices Aren’t Only Xenophobic Nationalism Or Neoliberal Globalization In These Times (resilc)

Clinton E-mail Tar Baby

EXCLUSIVE: Joint FBI-US Attorney Probe Of Clinton Foundation Is Underway Daily Caller. James C: “Yes, I know this is the Daily Caller. Needs confirmation.” Moi: Even if true, this “investigation” is probably to enable the DoJ to get in front of what the more legally constrained Judicial Watch will find and claim it’s a most a molehill.


The actions to ensure we will escalate our wars are being taken as we speak. January will be too late to stop it. @emptywheel

Bernie Sanders Delegate Tells a Very Different Story About the DNC to the one We’ve Been Fed Life and News (Lulu)

Defining politics: If Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine are “progressive,” then the word has lost all meaning Salon (resilc)

Clinton targets Trump on Republican turf Financial Times

Is Trump Wrecking Both Parties? New York Times. Trump is forcing price discovery of severely overvalued assets. Resilc: “Clintoons wrecked the Demos with non stop bad policy and corruption.”

Why is Clinton using Trump to promote Republicans? Carl Beijer (martha r)

Republicans in plea to cut Trump funding BBC

Inside Donald Trump’s Meltdown Time. Furzy: “​The amount of clickbait is overwhelming!!!​” Lambert and I are wondering whether:

1. Trump never really wanted to win, or if he did, now that campaigning has given him a bit more of an idea of what the job entails (including kissing a lot of ass), he’s decided he doesn’t want to win. I raised that issue a long time ago and it still looks like an open question.

2. Trump has a lot of habits he developed as CEO, like acting abruptly, which worked often enough for him to rely on them. And they (shockingly) worked during the primaries, so he got reinforcement. But his pattern of lashing back and not recovering well (starting with Megan Kelly) is a real weak spot, and the Clinton team has gotten to be very good at taking what were (not in the Kelly case, but later ones) what a journalist called “foot faults” and blowing them up into being something much bigger, and Trump’s quick retorts have only made matters worse. In each case, Lambert and I came up with multiple ways Trump could have flipped the attack back on his attackers or at the very worst, diffused it without apologizing or admitting error (which he seems unconstitutionally willing to do, a fault he and Clinton share). So this may be his outsized ego getting in the way of his need to shift tactics.

3. Trump is just outgunned. The Clintons and the hostile Rs have way way more surrogates. Trump and his team would have trouble fielding all the salvos even if their responses were more on target. And as Glenn Greenwald and others have pointed out, that’s before you get to the fact that much of the “reporting” is Dem propaganda. My God, Trump is in NYC real estate and casinos, two of the dirtiest businesses around. He has said plenty of lame and inconsistent stuff on the policy front. It continues to amaze that the press has to resort to near or actual fabrications rather than do real journalism on such an easy target.

Look… I’m no fan of DWS… but this pamphlet put out by Canova’s campaign is outrageous. @AlanKestrel750 (martha r). Aiee, the need to compete on Israel fealty in Florida…ugly.

SF Gate published pics of Bernie’s new house and it’s so average & Bernie that it’s hilarious @LarryWebsite

DEA take millions of dollars asset seizures past decade Business Insider (resilc)

Letter of Resignation from the Palo Alto Planning and Transportation Commission NewCo Shift (martha r)

Report on Racial Bias in Baltimore Policing Also Exposes Gender Bias New York Times

Class Warfare

How Global Elites Forsake Their Countrymen Wall Street Journal (martha r). Nooners. Important .Would be nice if she had noticed a decade ago…but it is interesting to see that writers on the right are taking this issue way more seriously of late than many on the left. It may be the Professional Left is confident that it can kneecap the defenders of the working class, as it has for the last 30 years, while the sudden rise of right-wing populists has forced the big business conservatives to do a rethink.

A bit of cash can keep someone off the streets for 2 years or more Science Magazine (Dan K)

Uber hitches a ride with car finance schemes Financial Times (Li). You have to get more than halfway through the story to get the key point:

However, Uber vehicle financing schemes have come in for heavy criticism in the US, as consumer and worker advocates allege Uber takes advantage of its drivers, pulling them into debt they cannot afford.

Ms Mora, who took out a car loan two years ago from Blackstone-owned Exeter, says monthly payments of $726 for her Toyota Prius cost more than the rent on her apartment. “I told them this is usury, absolute usury,” she complains.

More adult Americans live with their parents and grandparents MarketWatch (resilc)

Why China Trade Hit U.S. Workers Unexpectedly Hard WSJ Economics

Antidote du jour (furzy):

elephants links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. pretzelattack

    re marcy wheeler article
    1.a rulebook is not a judicial proceeding. they are still extrajudicial assassinations.
    2.even the conservative new republic realizes there may be a problem.

    1. no one

      I think you are getting at the lack of due process, which is required under the 5th Amendment for the US government to take life, liberty or property. As a constitutional lawyer, Obama knows this, so one has to ask why he has overlooked the Bill of Rights on this matter.

      1. pretzelattack

        they assassinated that kid, the son of the guy exercising his free speech rights. yeah, total absence of due process.

          1. ambrit

            You lobbed an easy one my way mate.
            Passe can quickly become posse. Look at how easily the Teabaggers made “Pro Constitutionalism” the new ‘In Group.’

            1. Skippy

              Yeah ambrit…. that still leaves the challenge of accurately contextualizing history and literacy… accent on the latter as original meanings become lost in translation and then that really screws with the prior…

              Disheveled Marsupial…. seems outrage or consolidation of advantage are both the new in groups and in the twain they shall not meet…

              1. ambrit

                Fair cop on the literacy charge.
                How about ‘outrage’ versus ‘consolidation of advantage’ being an ‘eternally returning’ dialectic? (No one ever wins “totally.” That’s why authoritarian ‘regimes’ don’t last eternally.)
                Hegel vs. Nietzsche in tonights’ NWO Smackdown! Commentary by ‘Bruce.’
                I think I’ll vote “Entropy Party” this cycle.

      2. jsn

        Because he can, until someone does something about it. I suspect a great many of his voters in 2008 thought that’s what they were voting for, or maybe I was the only rube.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          He supposedly has an approval rating over 50%. If you believe the “polls,” most people don’t think anything needs to be done about it.

          1. Pat

            Most people do not know about it. Some willful ignorance but a whole lot of busy and getting your information in sound bites.

            I do get that a bunch who do know have found excuses and reasons to still ‘approve’ him, but I do believe that if you sat down and laid out all the information in a straightforward but detailed manner, there would be a whole lot more outrage and whole lot of numbed shock.

            1. curlydan

              nearly every day I’m stopped on downtown streets by young adults in ACLU shirts asking me to support LGBT rights. And every day I walk by and wonder WTF the ACLU is doing about issues like drones and unlawful search and seizure.

              I’d like to think that the ACLU uses LGBT as their tagline to fund a number of other activities, but I sure as hell haven’t seen it.

              1. DJG

                curlydan: It wouldn’t have taken much of a search:


                Two of the three top stores are watch lists and drones. Note the campaign for Slahi and Guantanamo. At a local level, here in Illinois, ACLU has been active against restrictions on women’s rights. And the ACLU defends free speech, as always. Maybe it is time for you to join up instead of worrying that LGBT rights are not meant for you.

              2. andyb

                for that matter, what has happened to Code Pink; so visible during the W years. They must approve of all the war mongering and anti Russian propaganda. Has Medea Benjamin been suicided or has she served her purpose for the left and can quietly retire to the Goebbels Retirement Camp?

            2. Katniss Everdeen

              How could they NOT know about it?

              We’ve been blowing these people up for fifteen years with barely a whisper of outrage. “THEY” hate us for our freedoms.

              When Chelsea Manning tried to blow the whistle, she was put away for decades. No one gave a shit. As a matter of fact, most supported the decision.

              All of this recent Muslim love and tolerance has no basis in reality. It’s ginned up because it’s a big club with which to bludgeon Trump. I’d venture to say that in most “middle class,” white communities, a flood of hijab-wearing immigrants would have the same effect that a flood of blacks has historically had–anger, resentment and flight.

              It simply makes no sense to lose thousands of american lives and spend trillions of dollars exterminating a group of people that you love, respect and consider your equal. And to commit to doing it harder and longer with no end in sight.

              That’s the disconnect, and obscuring it with shit-shows like the khans or refusing to acknowledge it by calling people “haters” doesn’t change a thing.

              1. DJG

                Katniss Everdeen: I was wondering about this last night talking with a friend. The possible reason? The U.S. government, and Obama in particular, who doesn’t like to be embarrassed, have developed many ways of inflicting suffering on those who remain invisible. Guantanamo is a prime example, as are drones. Most Americans don’t know where Libya is and don’t care–so you can bomb the whole Arab world with impunity. Honduras (where is that?).

                Chile was one of the models, thanks to Henry K. As was Argentina.

                It is easy to keep the victims invisible. When the potential victims resist, as is the case with Iran, the U.S. government, not so strangely, is defanged.

                1. grizziz

                  >Obama in particular, who doesn’t like to be embarrassed.
                  I’ve always speculated that Obomba let the neocons loose on the Russians after Putin harbored Snowden. Snowden exposed Obama’s fraudulent campaign promise regarding transparency and Putin exposed Obomba’s hypocrisy regarding whistle-blowers.

                2. RWood

                  Were the playbooks of the Reagan Revival published?
                  And which hearing got The Family Jewels, or did neither get to it?

              2. OIFVet

                In my experience, it is the liberal class that so loves the muslims. It is also the liberal class that so loves black people and is outraged at police murderers. It is also liberals that are so concerned about the poors. The cherry on the cake is that the liberals then vote for the very same people who perpetuate the war killing muslims, militarize the police, and saddle the poors with ever more debt in the form of student loans, for example. The point is, liberals are hypocrites, the lot of them. Take their self-professed ‘love’ for the oppressed, mix in “but it’s about the Supreme Court nominations”, add the “lesser evil” fig leaf, and you get the toxic brew of modern liberalism enabling these outrages while throwing the blame upon Trump and the rest of the noxious right wing psychos. Liberals are scum, but that epithet might be offensive…to scum.

                1. Katniss Everdeen

                  Have been wondering for awhile what “culturally” abused group “liberals” could find to replace gays who, it would appear, don’t need them anymore.

                  The verdict appears to be in–Muslims. Which, by the way, is a religion, not a “race,” a distinction without a difference when pickins’ start getting slim.

                  I’d suggest that Muslims consider carefully the track record of their new champions, which can be summed up as happy talk at election time, and somewhere between studied indifference and practical destruction at “governing” time.

                  As evidenced by the plight of other groups whose causes have been taken up by the party of social saviors–labor, the poor, women, children, the “middle class,” and, of course, blacks.

                  1. OIFVet

                    That last paragraph reads like the resume of a mob hit man. “The Democrat Party: we let you sleep with the fishes.” Perhaps Garrison Keillor can come up with ‘Lake 0bamagon: The Clintoning,’ to immortalize the age of credentialed liberul do-gooders saving the world by destroying it…

                2. oh

                  These hypocrites are fueled by emotion (hate) against the other party – the Dimocrat propaganda has them brainwashed. They don’t see that the people whom they hated in prior years (Koch Brothers for example) are backing HRC along with 30-40% of the right wingers. Their party has morphed into the Repug party and they don’t see that. The media has whipped up the hate for Trump and they are blinded by this hate.

                  What’s more, they won’t even consider voting for a third party. All the things they railed against Bush are okay if their party is in power. Reason is LOTE and Supreme Court nominations. Fools they are!

              3. a different chris

                >ad–anger, resentment and flight.

                Well, the same impulses for sure… but how is the “flight” part going to work out when it costs so much to try to move? When you have two incomes and the jobs are in opposite directions from your driveway? The white middle class was becoming more wealthy then and now it is going in the opposite direction.

                PS: Before my time, but I think racism is overemphasized as a driving factor… *which* is not the same as saying it had no part in “white flight”… note that suddenly Suburbia was firing up and was sold as The Next Great Thing, and you didn’t have to hate your neighbors to want to move there.

                My Dad was the most non-racist person of his generation you can imagine and he moved (I was a tiny first-born) to the suburbs because that’s just what the thing to do had become. Shiny automobiles and fresh highways to drive them on, green grass an a large backyard….who could resist?

      3. Uahsenaa

        When Holder went before Congress after the Times article on the disposition matrix came out, he tried to make the completely tortured argument that the Constitution requires “due process” not “legal process,” which was meant to mean so long as there was a process of some kind, it was okay. It was pointed out to him that the wording of the 5th Amendment specifically says “due process of law,” which precisely calls for a “legal process.”

        It was a great gotcha moment, and like most gotcha moments before a Congressional committee, absolutely nothing came of it in terms of policy change.

        EATF: It was a Senate hearing, not a Congressional one. My bad.

      4. Synoia

        As a constitutional lawyer, Obama knows this, so one has to ask why he has overlooked the Bill of Rights on this matter.

        As a constitutional lawyer I get the impression he’s more focused on loopholes than upholding.

        1. aab

          It’s probably time we all stop pretending that just because he taught the subject he actually cared about it or has some kind of moral center. The evidence of his presidency suggests otherwise.

    1. abynormal

      1st view of the a.m, H I L A R I O US !

      All art is a kind of confession, more or less oblique. All artists, if they are to survive, are forced, at last, to tell the whole story; to vomit the anguish up. Baldwin
      (the video would make Baldwin finally crack a smile)

      1. Skippy

        Be sure to pursue the rest….

        On another note number one son is hanging with these malcontents tomorrow.

        Violent Soho – Covered in Chrome

        Disheveled Marsupial…. on another note youngest son is having a ripper of a rugby season in both club and school + shot put…. motions aby…..

    2. neo-realist

      His terrific show on Adult Swim specializes in such Experimental Guerilla Humor skits on the street, of which that was an example.

  2. Steve H.

    – Man In Ontario Raid Made ‘Martyrdom Video,’ Planned Attack: Canadian Police

    John Robb’s twitter feed had been locked up, but recently wasn’t, and he had twitted this:

    “The gov’t & media is unwilling to admit failure and accept the fact that ISIS can now attack the US.”

    Robb is capable of reorienting with an extra twist, and he details this point in more detail in his writings. His view is that this is an extension of open-source warfare, and that Islamic State piggybacked on AlQueda’s tactics on the internet. IS provides a set of instructions (a program) by which a person can wipe their sins & get the martyrdom goods, without ever having been physically near an IS agent.

    From that view, the three separate attacks that were preceded by a video’d oath are the products of an intangible hivemind, imparting instructions to kill into the brains of the susceptible. Western corruption drives it, whether bombing the Middle East for oil, or cops killing blacks, or whatever tweaks the fundamentalist definitions being rolled out. (Should be wary of terrorist attacks on hog farms?)

    Robb also writes about the inevitability of autonomous robots for military use. While it wasn’t fully autonomous, the Dallas police did use a self-immolating robot to take out the shooter. So a robot was martyred, sacrificed by law enforcement to take out the hivemind human with the faulty programming.

    We are fully into the 21st century.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Here is an important article that for me at least connects a whole lot of dots in the current mess, related directly to how “ISIS,” like other globalized brands, provides a matrix for the worst of impulses to express themselves:

      ISIS As Brand Movement

      Coke is a brand. Nike is a brand. Apple is a brand. New York City is a brand. Not all brands are so collectively good, wholesome, or egalitarian. So how can we suggest that a marauding group of brigands called ISIS, a group that has seized large portions of Iraq and Syria, can suddenly assume the same stature of some of our most beloved brands?

      Begin with the new definition of “brand.” Brands are no longer simply the result of Madmen trying to plunder your wallet. Brands are communities of people driven by a common belief system. This system attracts others who share your beliefs, whether it is two brothers building a bomb in a Boston basement or two billion people defining a nation.

      Insofar as brands are something that we trust, believe in, and are willing to belong to and participate in, ISIS (which means Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) is a growing, active, and relevant brand community.

      As United Nations counter-terrorism consultant Artur Beifuss writes in Francesco Trivini Bellini’s book Branding Terror, “Branding employed by terrorist groups is an understudied subject…Brand, marketing, and the visual communication of ideas and messages are tools…used not only by corporations and political parties.”

      As Beifuss points out, many studies define the nature and scope of terrorist acts, but they “do not help us understand the brand identities of terrorist organizations…and how and why they carry certain meanings, emotions and values.”

      For the last year, the world has watched with fascination and horror as the band of warriors that calls itself ISIS (or recently the more expansive ISIL, which means Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) moved across Syria and Iraq, gathering storm clouds along the way.

      Their actions have been dramatic, not only because of their surprising ability to crush city after city, but also because of their dramatic use of social media to enact terror over the airwaves.

      The paradox of 5th century brutality and 21st century media placement has, from a safe distance, transfixed the civilized world.

      Brand communities can be deconstructed into an emotional architecture — a “social code” — that ping our primal core and draw people together. This social code has seven data points (including creation story, creed, icons, ritual, lexicon, nonbelievers and leader) that, once in place, create a storyline that moves random, often meaningless peoples, products and events into understanding.

      Importantly, they deliver the how and why brands carry certain meanings, emotions and values. And provide meaning for spontaneous WTF moments of terror.

      Remember 9/11. The inexplicable “What’s happening?” event quickly unrolled a narrative that included Osama bin Laden, an organized terrorist group called Al Qaeda, and terrorist training cells around the globe. The initially senseless act quickly gathered “sense.”

      If we deconstruct ISIS according to the “social code” that drives brand community, we can better understand how, even as it creates terror, ISIS also captures imaginations. And how they have transcended beyond isolation to — at least for the present — seize a position that seems marginally authentic and state-like.

      The “social code” is a construct of seven pieces that designs and creates meaningful brand narratives….

      Side note: confusion is just one outcome of an agile and creative foe pitted against an outmoded top-down pyramid hierarchy. In Silicon Valley, this “agile creativity” approach is usually pitted against the traditional waterfall organization. The agile approach is able to repeatedly pivot and disrupt categories and has put thousands of companies to sleep….

      The seven pieces of social code create a holistic surround that touches individuals at their emotional core. It is a powerful combination that seeks what’s missing in people’s lives and fills it in. It helps us believe in something larger than ourselves. It helps us feel that we belong. If we feel alone or isolated, it helps us identify a community that seems to care.

      Thanks to the worldwide Internet, human beings today can feel disproportionately attached to people and events. When they see people in trouble, they want to help. They engage. If they feel disconnected from their own environment thanks to social or economic factors, they seek release from these constraints. Anything can seem feasible, fungible, possible. You can stare down the throat of terror and see the hollow void….

      And like any good business model of monopoly thanatology, there has to be a Founding Text, which got brief notice here a year or two ago:

      “The Management of Savagery, The Most Critical Stage Through Which The Umma Will Pass,”

      Reads a lot like the various manuals handed out at sessions of the “School of the Americas,” see the resources at

      So given the apotheosis of “branding” in the human species, and the disaffections bred by the sh!tbox that all too human behaviors has turned “the civilized world” into for the vast majority, not a surprise that individuals living on our ‘civilized’ space find it easy to “brand” themselves “ISIS,” declare their brand loyalty from a cell phone while using the tools of “civilized” warfare and police power to kill a lot of random ‘unbelievers’ or just mopes who happen to be within the weapons’ effective range, as long as the ammo holds out or the cops use a sniper bullet or burst of automatic fire or an autonomous or directed robot bomb or killing machine, a la Terminator, to pink-mist them…

    2. RWood

      What is not-sayable.
      If you have interest, the benehrenreich piece is revealing of teasing the shark.

    3. different clue

      The one thing that disturbs me about some of John Robb’s Global Guerillas posts is that Robb seems at times to be writing a cookbook for such disruption and trying to offer ideas to disrupters whom he fears may not have thought of every possible way to demoish an organized society.

      Why would Robb want to do this? ( If my purely intuitive suspicion is correct?)? Because he is a semi-extreme Libertarian of the John Galt variety and he thinks that a Libertarian Paradise will emerge from the ashes of Nation State governed society if it can just be all-the-way destroyed thoroughly and completely enough.

      1. LifelongLib

        Libertarians don’t want to destroy the nation state. As Gore Vidal pointed out, you need something that prevents people from stealing each others money openly. They just want a state that protects people with money from people without it.

        1. Steve H.

          Robb: Economists tell us that NAFTA and the TPP are good for the economy. They lie. It’s a scam. While trade deals grow the top line (GDP), all of the benefits of that growth go to a few people (IP owners and finance). Trade deals kill meaningful jobs and reduces middle class incomes (by averaging them with lower cost workers overseas), which are the most important measures of success to me (and most of us).

          I do think it would be an error to try to pigeonhole Robb to a particular ideology.

      2. Steve H.

        – If my purely intuitive suspicion is correct?

        There is evidence to the contrary. He just got done working on a Pentagon contract looking into swarming-bot tactics.

        In his reddit ama yesterday, he drew particular attention to Beppe Grillo’s Five-Star Party, which had excellent results and took over the mayorship of Rome and Turin. That is not about how to destroy society, but rather the tactics available to movements in the 21st century.

        His work is more along the lines of using his imagination to get ahead of 4th and 5th generation warfare. He sees that reform is difficult given the MIC self-licks based on 3rd generation techniques and technology.

        A concrete example is the inevitable extinction of fighter pilots. The support systems for the human in the cockpit add up to significant weight in the jet, which lowers maneuverability. A kit-sized computer, programmed on a desktop, achieved 100% success in simulations against a trained pilot. And a bot can tolerate high-g turns which would kill a human. So the question is not, will it happen? The question is, what do we do when it happens?

  3. EndOfTheWorld

    RE: Donald Trump’s “meltdown”. As to the question “did he ever want to win?”: he is street smart and preys on weakness and he correctly saw a full slate of weak candidates on the Republican side. I think he would like to win. As he said the other day, it’s not a life or death situation for him, as it is (one would guess) for Hill. If he loses he’ll go play some golf. He has made some compromises to the GOP bigwigs by picking Pence and by finally endorsing Paul Ryan. I don’t think he will make many or any other concessions to the RNC. He has the nomination and he can tell them “take me or leave me.” I am interested to see the results of his “big meeting” with the bigwigs today in Orlando. I hope The Donald tells one and all to go piss up a rope and prepares to sue if they try to take away his nomination.

    1. Hana M

      That’s more or less my read, EOW. Unlike Hillary, I think Trump actually enjoys the process of ‘running’–as long as he just goes around doing big rallies (so ego boosting), doing TV interviews and Tweeting outrageous things. He’s still not doing much (if any) real ground organizing. If, by some weird chance, he actually wins I would expect him to be so laissez faire on most issues of governance as to make Reagan look hands on. he’s already indicated that he would delegate a great deal of power to Mike Pence. The debates should be an entertaining and illuminating contest (Perhaps I’m finally moving into the fifth stage in Kubler-Ross election grieving model.)

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        To be not anti-intellectual, let’s keep an open mind as to who is worst, and who can we eventually accept at some point during the next 4 or 8 years.

        It would be, I suggest, anti-intellectual to not constantly search for the best explanation or the best/worse candidate.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            We can only speculate unless they release their medical records.

            Then, we can at least have some data to work on, and formulate our hypotheses and come up with some experiments.

    2. Benedict@Large

      About 10 days ago, I saw a headline something like “Is the Trump Candidacy In Meltdown?” It wasn’t more than a bit before all the headlines were all ABOUT the meltdown. the question had morphed into real life.

      The media coverage of this election is horrific. It’s virtually impossible to find any real stories that aren’t crapped up with adjectives, and serious policy has all but disappeared beneath the drive to take everything that Trump says or does and make fun of it. And the Left is in full bed with the GOP elites on every step of this. Be afraid of the Trump. Be very afraid.

      This occurs to me: If Trump were really as bad as he is being made out, why would there be a need for this constant blasting of him? I’m sorry, but I simply don’t believe the American people are so stupid that they wouldn’t vote down the Second Coming of Hitler. (Remember when it was against the rules to do Hitler references? Remember why we put that rule into place? Why is it suddenly OK to break that rule? Because Hillary said so?)

      This occurs to me: How much does the MSM want Hillary to win by? Because you know we’re still going to have some ballot box rigging even after all of this. They have to be shooting for a Goldwater-style trouncing by now. But why? Hillary will certainly declare all of it to mean she has (gasp!) “a mandate from the American people”. But what is that mandate, because you’ve got to have it figured out by now that we’re not going to like it. She’s already going to turn the Middle East into glass. George Bush proved they don’t need our approval to do that. So why? What’s she supposed to do that we’re not talking about?

      This woman scares the hell out of me.

      1. a different chris

        This is my logical* reason for voting 3rd party. When X – most likely Hillary – wins and only a couple percent of the vote goes to a 3rd party then everybody thinks there is only two sides to any debate, and that X won it. But if we can get 15-20% to say with their vote that “I didn’t like either of you, and best believe I’m going to make the winner deal with that” — I think that’s a lot better approach nowadays than the hopeless “working within the system” stuff we’ve tried and tried.

        TeeVee loves “crippled” politicians…. how much heat will they turn on somebody who barely topped 40% of the vote?

        *not the emotional reason, and note I have come around late in life to find emotions to generally be *smarter* than logic

      2. Lambert Strether

        > the Left is in full bed with the GOP elites

        Not the left. Liberals.

        Liberals and conservatives are both neoliberals, because they accept the primacy of the market. The left does not.

        1. aab

          I think it’s more than that. Liberals, like conservatives, also savor and seek to enforce hierarchy. The word “liberal” in the 20th century in the US got conflated with democratic socialism, I guess because people were afraid of the “socialism” part. But 21st century liberals seem to be pretty much classical liberals, with more market worship — but the market worship exists mostly to reconstruct and enrich a more hierarchical elite.

    3. Micky9finger

      Re: Trump.
      I had a flash yesterday. Is Trump really that stupid and out of control or is there an evil force planning all this. Is there a Svengali behind all this?
      Could this be a well planned strategy by evil qtrump handlers?Trump

  4. abynormal

    re: A bit of cash [1000.00] can keep someone off the streets for 2 years.
    when EVERYONE around you is cash strapped the money won’t last 2 days.

    “…to people on the brink of homelessness who can demonstrate that they will be able to pay rent by themselves in the future, but who have been afflicted by some nonrecurring crisis, such as a medical bill. Recipients need to be able to demonstrate consistent future income, and the amount given needs to actually cover their housing expenses for the month.”

    uh, is this experiment from TWO DECADES AGO……… much did this grant study cost?? oh i see……… an ECONomist ‘took advantage of the natural study’

    get back……………………….i’m gonna PUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUKE

    1. Katharine

      Then please head for the bathroom instead of expecting everyone else to accommodate you!

      This study appears in the 8/12/16 issue of Science, a reputable peer-reviewed journal published by AAAS. It shows there are vast human benefits to providing assistance to prevent homelessness, and that doing so is actually far more economical than doing nothing. If you prefer to uphold your own prejudiced delusions at the expense of other people, I’m afraid I do not understand, much less admire, your perspective.

      1. tegnost

        The problem is that saying 1000 dollars will keep someone off the streets for 2 years makes it seem easy to stay off the street because who can’t make 1000 dollars? lazy people that’s who. The truth is that 1000 dollars doesn’t go that far and is unlikely to keep you off the street for 2 years unless you have a job and even then considering low pay and high rent it’s not likely to do much more than slow the bleeding. It’s class warfare, if you live in seattle and make 30,000 a year you’re not making it, how will 1000 dollars fix that? It understates the problem and makes it seem like an easy fix. It’s also a sneaky way into the BIG which is a scam, theres low demand so give people money but restrict the spending to biz that needs subsidizing, (healthcare,food stamps, uber credit)so not helping homeless but subsidising biz. Jobs and a reasonable wage/rent ratio (25%of one’s earnings going to rent)are the answer to preventing homelesness. We have somethings now, o care, food stamps, but they’re not stopping the problem so doing something might make you feel good but it’s not enough and in this case as in many others just provides a talking point for conservative dems/reps to act as if a little bit of effort would fix everyone’s problems. A band aid on a geyser. The problem is gigantic, there is no plan to fix it generally, and 1000 dollars to a chosen few won’t work, better if you just gave every social security number 1000 as that could impact larger demand, but even so, a drop in the bucket. Delusions, everyone’s got them i guess…

        1. Katharine

          You don’t appear to understand the difference between your comparatively privileged position and that of the people who have real problems. Saying that people who can’t make $1,000 are lazy is both ill-informed and bigoted. With the federal minimum wage where it is, a low-income worker would be extremely lucky to get enough hours to gross $20,000 annually. In fact, $1,000 is more likely to be a month’s take-home. People with incomes like that cannot accumulate savings and cannot come up with cash in a crisis. That is NOT a result of laziness.

          1. tegnost

            my privileged position is that i have no mailing address pal. Talk about yourself. Your outrage is interesting. I’m not saying that the 1000 dollars will fix the problem, you are, and real problems aren’t going to be fixed with 1000 dollars. I can tell you this from much personal experience.
            “Saying that people who can’t make $1,000 are lazy is both ill-informed and bigoted”
            I did not say that, what i said was that is/will be the talking point (that you seem to be hammering on) Check your own privilege.
            1000 dollars, no matter how good it makes you feel about your privileged position, ain’t going to fix anyone’s problems, or keep anyone from becoming homeless if that’s where their personal economy is headed. Band aid.

            1. Katharine

              Sorry I misread you, but it is pointless to say $1,000 won’t fix anyone’s problems when in fact it fixed a lot of people’s problems. Over three-fourths of the people in the study did not become homeless, and surely it is better not to become homeless than to try to claw one’s way back from that condition.

              1. bob

                Wow, you must be part of the PMC. “did not become homeless”= paying a landlord; making sure that $1000 finds suitable, credentialed hands. Preferably, they also help the landlord claim some sort of tax credit too, for providing low income housing. You know, philanthropy. What ever that word used to mean, today it means being the ultimate recipient of “aid”.

                So many of these debates wind up this way. They claim the money goes to the person who needs it. The person who needs it immediately hands it over, without any choice in the matter, to someone who doesn’t need it, and who ultimately pays the pols with a part of the proceeds to make sure they get it…..forever.

                1. Katharine

                  Did not become homeless=did not lose stability, or basic belongings that are useful and will be costly to replace, did not have to deal with the emotional stress for oneself or one’s children (or, as children, deal with that stress themselves), did not confront the very real dangers of shelters or streets…. Are you really suggesting none of that matters?

                  1. bob

                    I’m really suggesting EXACTLY what I said. Nothing more, nothiing less. But, sure, go ahead and put words into my mouth.

                    1. Katharine

                      I’m not. I’m asking, since what I said is also part of the reality of not becoming homeless, whether it matters to you. If you think it’s irrelevant, we’re not looking at this from the same angle at all and are unlikely to agree.

                    2. bob

                      ” If you think it’s irrelevant,”

                      You just can’t stop yourself! Keep going. Anything else you’d like me to say?

            2. JTMcPhee

              Gotta love the way “we” self-destruct and atomize.. one might almost think it was inevitable…

              1. Katharine

                Surely we can have heated disagreements without atomizing. Part of what’s needed is to keep talking long enough to find out how we have misunderstood each other and what our real grounds of agreement and disagreement are. Presumably most of the people here do really want to make things better, and that ought to be a good starting point.

              2. bob

                The royal we.

                Atomization might be something new. Although, I don’t know what that word means these days. I’m sure it has nothing to do with atoms.

                1. Skippy

                  I thought we walked through that weed patch sometime ago bob…

                  Austrian ex nihilo axiom[s derived from property and comported to the individual self, then neoclassicals fleshed it out with bad maths and physics to give it a facade of empiricism.

                  Disheveled Marsupial…. Babylonian debates continue apace…. then the universe throws a spanner in the whole fracas with water scarcity…. calliope…

                  1. bob

                    The evolution of my cultural DNA is a bit off today. It probably needs more kale, which helps osmosis.

          2. AnEducatedFool

            In many metro areas 1,000 a month may cover a studio apartment including basic utilities. If you have dependents then that will do nothing to help unless you can have a kid in a studio. You can find some places with rents under that but in my area the landlord wants you to make 30k to rent the apt. If things break right for me this year I will make more than that but currently I might hit 25k.

            Of course the caveat is that you need to show that you can make a living. If you end up homeless or on the brink of homelessness then odds are you are not working enough or unable to find adequate work.

            The real unemployment figures are much higher than the government figures and of course it is different in different metro areas. 1,000 a month will allow landlords to maintain inflated rents instead of taking a hit and lowering rents so that people can afford to live.

            Its basically a subsidy to yet another FIRE actor.

            BTW, your outrage was amusing in a sad way. I am also barely hanging on and one accident away from being homeless w/ a 3 year old.

            1. trent


              Exactly, i think my outrage isn’t over the fact that i’m not rich. It has more to do with the fact that i’m restricted to jobs below my talent levels due to the paper aristocracy our higher education system creates, which itself is just used as a gatekeeper to who gets to reach the higher echelons of American society. What angers me is that these people who run the place make these terrible terrible decisions that would get any of us fired or worse and then continue to be able to tell us how much better they are then us while keeping their ill gotten gains. I don’t want their gains, i want them spread out to create a true check and balance system. The only way we can have a true democracy is to spread the wealth out among the population. Centralization of government, money, industry, anything really is not healthy for humanity. Meanwhile we all continue to argue about trump and clinton, why can’t we come together over all of the things ive mentioned above? We are not ready to be our own masters and are divided on so many levels i’m not sure we’ll ever be able to come together. people of different races hating each other, people of different sexual orientations hating each other, women hating men, religions, class it just keeps going and going.

          3. Lambert Strether

            That “check your privilege” is a real conversation stopper, and we have a fine example of it here.

            It’s better conceived of as putting one’s self in the other’s shoes, rather than as a riposte, as here.

            1. FluffytheObeseCat

              If you’re referring to ‘Katherine’s” use of the privilege epithet, I got to say I didn’t see any stoppage of conversation based on her use of it. And her misuse of the term didn’t come close to being as witless & noxious as the top-of-thread post she’d initially responded to.

              Academic and/or agency efforts to review the efficacy of aid programs are sparse, and usually not public enough. They are commonly restricted to poorly written in-house reports. Which no one reads. We should see more of these kinds of assessments in peer reviewed journals. Without regard for the delicate digestive functions of fuckwit ideologues.

              The research featured in the article appeared to have been conducted along robust lines, in a sensible way. The researcher concluded that small grants of money at critical times in the life of a potential homeless person can greatly reduce a slide into homelessness. In the Midwest. For people who were calling in to a grant-giving public organization(s). People who by that act are already identifiable as “trying” or moderately capable. He came to the unremarkable conclusion that we should continue to use small, stopgap grants in this way, and perhaps expand the technique if it continues to correlate with improved outcomes.

              Anyone who has lived in this economy — this society — as a self-sufficient adult should realize his findings are unremarkable. Almost intuitive. Perhaps that is why the anti-charity whining was so loud, so feckless and OT. When the facts aren’t on your side, you need to bang pretty loudly on the table.

        2. dk

          Gotta wonder if you read the article.

          The programs work by giving one-time cash quantities to people on the brink of homelessness who can demonstrate that they will be able to pay rent by themselves in the future, but who have been afflicted by some nonrecurring crisis, such as a medical bill. Recipients need to be able to demonstrate consistent future income, and the amount given needs to actually cover their housing expenses for the month.

          They’re not proposing the $1000 figure as a universal solution for homelessness. All of you concerns have merit, but you’re objecting to your own extrapolations. Would conservative dems/reps try to make the same kinds of distortions? Yes, certainly. Power seekers of every political persuasion are willing to distort anything and everything for political points, why should this be different? But how is that the fault of the study or the finding? The article is certainly very clear, the headline is clickbait-y. And people who don’t make the effort to read or comprehend fall into such traps, sometimes of their own construction.

          But look at what you’re saying: they’re not stopping the problem so doing something might make you feel good but it’s not enough. So there’s a burning building, with thousands of people in it. You can run in and save a handful, perhaps only one. Is it therefore better/more noble/intellectually superior to do nothing because you can’t save everyone? Western(ized) cultures have been intoxicated with a fetish for absolutes: perfection or GTFO. It’s emotional masturbation, irrational, and in effect an excuse to 1) do nothing and 2) blame others. Will there be other fires? Yes. Will other people die? Yes. Is that a reason to take no action, and even further, to insult those who will? “Feel good”? How can one do nothing (except complain) and even live with oneself?

          And I put it to you that you have acquired that pattern of the “conservative dems/reps” yourself, so that you can have some outrage of your own. There is plenty of reason for outrage without additional construction. But if outrage doesn’t lead to action, it’s not really outrage at all, it’s a ploy for self-aggrandizement, sometimes even a perverse way to “feel good”, or at least better than one judges others to be.

          And we all find ourselves on the brink of these traps, and sometimes we fall into them; I no less than you. Then we have to get back out.

          1. tegnost

            see my comment below on increasing the minimum wage, and how a reasonable increase in the minimum wage dwarfs the aforementioned plan. That is outrage leading to action, and skipping over the handout, as well as the flowery language of incrementalism.

            1. dk

              I absolutely agree that wages have to go up, but increasing the minimum wage is incrementalism, too. Especially when the implementations are going to stretch it out over.. I saw seven years somewhere, five somewhere else.

              At some point, economic and social change (and activism) can’t rely on federal government as the sole mechanism. Lambert and many here have said how clarifying this campaign season has been, some people showing their true colors, and others hearing their own needs and goals articulated and echoed.

              And everyone can act within their local communities. Election integrity? It happens at the county level. Water quality? Locally controlled, whether implementing federal mandates or state regs, the compromises are local events, and the remedies (oversight, corrective action) happen locally. Lambert is getting involved in a local landfill issue (waste disposal, environmental preservation).

              So why skip a handout, when a handout can help your own community? Why expect/demand/whine about federal programs that are intrinsically prone to carpetbag profiteering, when local action keeps local funds local?

              I think we agree in a lot, on what must happen for our social and economic dignity to become real dignity again. But when things are this bad, all action is incremental. There’s do-nothing incrementalism, and programs to “fix everything” (ACA, ha), and there are increments that have absolute and efficient impacts. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it was a local project. And then it got turned into an empire, and then it went to crap. You don’t want to work one case at a time? Fine, I’ll keep doing it. We might still converge.

              1. tegnost

                like it or not the vote increased the minimum wage much to the chagrin of many business owners from both parties. The incrementalists leapt up to slow the implementation, and none of the horrible consequences they predicted have come to pass. And it’s way more than a$1000 dollars a year. Better than the band aid. Why is it in your mind easier to have a program to screen applicants for a bequest than increase the minimum wage when both face opposition? A $1 increase in the minimum wage gives $1000 to every worker, at least in seattle each year you get the extra 1000 added onto the 1000 you got last year, until after 7 years (actually it’s going from 10-15) the worker is paid 5-10,000 more per year and that can make a difference. $1000 won’t stop the homeless trajectory. Go ahead and give someone $1000 dollars, that’s a great thing to do, but figure on it being a recurring donation until some significant changes, such as voting to increase minimum wages, or providing leadership at the political level to increase minimum wages and making it happen in the real world. One time gifts won’t do the job, grateful and the recipients may be.

                1. dk

                  P*ss on “grateful”. It has nothing to do with that. Valuable skills get lost into the great sucking pit of homelessness and disenfranchisement. Commitments can’t be fulfilled, and predators swoop to attach wages, and levy interests. Other predators leach funding from the “social safety nets”. It goes on and on. Breaking these cycles requires no great love or noble spirit, it’s part of healthy community and broader economic stability that’s not founded on grift and cr*pification.

                  Again, did you read the article? “Nonrecurring crisis, such as a medical bill”. These things happen, and they can be catastrophic for someone making $15 or more today. Nonrecurring crisis is one of many factors that can drive people past the edge of stability, and into the minefield that is life on the margins, out of the “precariat” and straight into full disenfranchisement.

                  Did you read the article? “One-time cash quantities”, not “a recurring donation”. A decent minimum living wage is an important goal. It doesn’t fix everything; the minimum is still the edge, and the edge is still problematic.

                  1. tegnost

                    First I will point out that giving someone a thousand dollars is actually kind of a religious experience, you balance how much you value this material object ($1000), vs. how much you value the person who needs it. I will admit to getting very angry, but when I look around for solutions that this person could choose or otherwise make happen I am well aware that there is no way out for this person. Money or life. I won’t trouble you with the situational dramatics, but it’s not what you would call a healthy situation. And $1000 is a band aid, you better be ready to put out more than that…
                    charity has a lot to do with being grateful, but that’s for another day. Here is aby’s reference quote
                    “…to people on the brink of homelessness who can demonstrate that they will be able to pay rent by themselves in the future, but who have been afflicted by some nonrecurring crisis, such as a medical bill. Recipients need to be able to demonstrate consistent future income, and the amount given needs to actually cover their housing expenses for the month.”
                    Do you see a list of conditions specified there, because I do.
                    I’ll speak for aby here and point out that your “non recurring crisis” does not represent the near homeless, it’s a constantly recurring crisis. For example you have three shut off notices and you pay the one that’s most able to disrupt service. Which points, in the case of the article, to the stipulation that it’s to go to one month’s bills, when in reality near homeless are behind on all of their bills, reinforcing the argument that it’s not enough. Yes, there are people who benefit from this charity, but it’s a small number and not the whole And it’s a band aid. Like I said, I have no doubt the recipients are grateful and deserving. The conditions are the problem. there are policy choices that can more effectively ameliorate those problems but apparently you prefer charity, which, ironically, both aby and I engage in extensively, and to the class of people concerned herein.

                    1. tegnost

                      + a little ma joad
                      “If you’re in trouble or hurt or need — go to poor people. They’re the only ones that’ll help — the only ones.”

                    2. dk

                      Are you saying that if minimum wages are increased, supplemental support will become unnecessary? Then we just disagree. In any case, the minimum wages haven’t been increased beyond a few regions yet. We agree they should be.

                      Do I prefer charity? I don’t really care one way or another; money sitting in my pocket for too long is money wasted. Economies work when money circulates, I’m part of that. Some people hoard, I think it’s effectively criminal, although current laws and conventions suggest it is the pinnacle of human achievement. Lots of craziness in the world, I like my own brand.

                      “giving someone a thousand dollars is actually kind of a religious experience”…. not after you do it a lot. Or maybe it is, but you’re so blissed out the whole time you fail to appreciate it? Maybe I’m just insensitive. But also, as the paper points out, if you give intelligently (as in, sooner/more readily), a grand can go a much longer distance, and help more than one person.

                      “… you balance how much you value this material object ($1000), vs. how much you value the person who needs it”… it’s worthless to me unless it circulates in the community (the person who needs it, plus everybody else out there). If it’s out there, I can always get it back somehow. If I keep it in my pocket too long, my community suffers. The community provides me with what some people call “intangibles”; whatever they are, I can’t produce them myself, and money isn’t one of them. The specific individual who gets the money isn’t going to hold onto it, it’s going to keep moving. Unfortunately, too often it ends up with hoarders, who skim and stash and return diminished value. Raising minimum wages isn’t going to change that one bit, it just changes the threshold for desperation. So for a while, fewer people will be desperate. And they’ll need “band aids”.

          2. AnEducatedFool

            If you are referring to me I made a mistake in writing my response. I meant to say that there is an infusion of cash. I corrected myself further down in this thread.

            Essentially if you push for this idea then you are taking time from pushing for ideas that have a broader constituency.

            I spend my time harassing state reps instead of Congress. My congressman and senators are corporate whores. My congressman plays identity politics but is 100% neoliberal. He may like this idea though. You can pass this concept at a national level and the neo-liberal politicians can say “hey, we care about the working poor. Look at xyz legislation. We are keeping Americans in their homes.” Conservatives can then attack this legislation as a reckless hand out to lazy individuals. (I’m not sure how well that will play now). MoveOn and “liberal” NGOs can spend their time sending letters and emails out about this topic to stop conservatives from putting people on the street. Everyone gets a piece of the action except for people who want to change the system.

            This is how the game is played. National NGOs just want a SEAT AT THE TABLE. They will sell out every time as long as they get to sit at the table and take in some money. This is why Democratic Presidents are worse than Republican Presidents on the environment, drugs, and labor (really just free trade). Granted Small Sample Size but our next Neo-liberal/Neo-Con overlord will follow this path.

            1. aab

              I worked for an NGO from start-up to sell-out and watched this dynamic in action. It is now literally everything the founder made fun at the launch. I was pushed out because I foolishly kept trying to deliver on the original and stated mission.

      2. BDBlue

        I know why these studies are important, but as someone who has to walk by several homeless men and women in sweltering heat on my way to and from work, I am also sick of the trend that everything has to be judged by cost/benefit and the only cost and benefit to be discussed is how much money it costs. Healthcare (even for kids), homelessness, schooling. I don’t want to live in a country this wealthy with people who die because they don’t have 1) access to healthcare, 2) a safe place to live, or 3) some other awful “social” problem. There is a benefit to providing help to your fellow humans beyond simply it will save you money in the future.

        And I know, Katharine, your comment doesn’t address this issue and so my comment is not aimed at you. I am just sick of the commodification of human life. Yes, costs will always matter to some extent, but it’s gotten way, way, way out of hand, as if people don’t deserve a decent existence if it doesn’t save wealthy taxpayers money.

        1. Katharine

          I understand that, and morally I agree with you. The point about cost/benefit analysis is that if you want to influence legislators to get them to fund programs that prevent homelessness, you are going to have to deal with the ones who talk about the costs. If you refuse to find ways to do that, you simply delay the implementation of policies you want.

          A few years ago, a pro-choice legislator in my state got one of her most conservative pro-life colleagues to co-sponsor legislation funding family planning services, because she was able to show him it would reduce the number of abortions and save money. She didn’t waste her breath saying she was right and he ought to agree but showed him why, on his terms, it made sense. That’s intelligent politics.

          1. tegnost

            bringing it into the real world of math, $1000 is 20 extra dollars a week, easily achieved by increasing the minimum wage, the federal is a shocking 7.25/hr, so states voters have had to take the lead through the initiative process. A $1 increase would give even part timers an extra thousand, but voters have made clear that double the current min is necessary, 15/hr would actually have an impact on both workers, homeless, and the economy as well. Incrementalism was overcome by the initiative process in this case, and has provided more real benefits. Incrementalism has thus been proven in the real world to be less effective and necessary than you claim.

            1. Katharine

              I was not aware of having claimed any merits for incrementalism and in fact support a $15 minimum wage. The $1,000 grants in the study were lump sums to deal with the kinds of crises that cannot be handled when people have next to no savings–as I understand it, things like emergency car repairs that affect ability to get to a job, or the insane up-front sums needed to rent a new apartment if you have to leave your old one. If people have those kinds of problems now, it makes no sense to deny them help now because eventually we aim to have a living wage.

              1. AnEducatedFool

                Presumably most of the people here do really want to make things better, and that ought to be a good starting point.


                Yes many of the people here do want to make the world a better place and many of us have rejected the ideas you are promoting. 1,000 infusion to the worthy few is not something that many posters on here will push or accept.

                The energy you use to push or this idea is better spent working towards goals that will help everyone in society such as a living wage.

                1. Katharine

                  I fail to see why one should not push both a living wage and a lift to help people through crises. You seem to view this as either-or. I don’t.

      3. abynormal

        when someones at the point of needing 1000.00 to stave off homelessness, they’re already knocking from the outside. ONE problem and 1000.00 becomes a miser. if reputable peers ever walked on the rice paper with those of us CONSISTENTLY assisting the down & feeling out…they would understand that social networks are living the same inflated economy as the rest. while Walmart & Fast Foods layoff, and millennials crowdout admin…where do the rising pop. of homeless work off the feel good handout? do you really see job creations on the horizon? where? 1000.00 could get us to a town with a co-op! we can tend to elderly on fixed incomes, dwindling from inflation, and hope they don’t die before the next elderly awaits.

        and do you know how i know this…because i live it and IF you read ANY of my post over the last 6yrs you would ‘understand’ my perspective and HOW i manipulate every resource and bureaucracy to attend the almost homeless, the homeless, students and the dying!

        the “prejudiced delusions’ belong to YOU for relying on the accredited reputations of the peers that have been applying ideas to Federal Bogus Numbers TOO LONG. next time you feel driven to comment for “everyone else” on this site, try visiting the archives FIRST.

        now you go have a great day (posting against this all the day long) while i drive some old ladies to the store, where they will decide between food & drugs.

        1. Katharine

          As a comparative newcomer, I have only been reading your posts for about six weeks, not six years, but as noted elsewhere I have liked most of them, a lot. What I do not understand is why you would reject information that could garner support for legislation that would help alleviate some of the problems. If $1,000 can stabilize the life of an individual or a family, the social good is incalculable. That $1,000 ought to be there for every family that needs it, not denied because it is a less than perfect solution to all of society’s ills.

            1. Joe Huner

              Thank you for those two links. I urge everyone here to read them, especially Roosevelt’s “Second Bill of Rights”. Now compare those stated rights with where we are today. Way lacking and I propose that this is the reason that the ordinary people of this Republic are so angry, and find that their democracy is now a hollow shell with no remedy in sight. What can we do about it?

          1. AnEducatedFool

            You sound like so many of the NGO types that I left behind. 1,000 a month is a band aid but it will provide decent wages to the credentialed class the separates the worthy from the unworthy. People need jobs and affordable living.

            We need to push for big ideas not a band aid.

            A living wage is of course a great idea. $15 an hour will help a lot more people than giving 1,000 dollars to the worthy while letting the unworthy suffer homelessness.

            Basic Income is also a better idea that is farther away but I’d rather push for the big idea then get a pittance and allow the FIRE sector to literally steal my child’s future. Basic income would also kick out many of the credential class that separates the chaff.

            And what is the plan to calm down the working poor that can barely make ends meet but does not qualify for the extra 1,000 a month? Or the middle class/working class family that can barely afford to pay bills and relies on going into deeper debt each month? The plan allows for the middle class, working class and working poor to continue to hate poor people and demand austerity for the unworthy instead of seeing the poor as a natural class ally against the FIRE sector/1% but really the 10%.

            Is there a study that discusses the effects of Basic Income and Universal Healthcare on employment? Many government employees are immediately axed and the fall out in the health care sector will be severe. Many of the employees at doctors offices work solely on insurance pay outs etc.

            1. AnEducatedFool

              Oops…typed faster than my brain. A month should read infusion.

              Years ago I would love this idea.

            2. heresy101

              $2,000 is just a feel good answer; no problems will be solved. The study was probably paid for by that great philanthropist George Soros.

              While the basic income sounds good also, it doesn’t address the inquality of the 1% taking all the surplus energy (labor) that we all create. The payments will shift from the “middle class” to the poor and the 1% will never be touched no matter what MMT says.

              A better solution for society is to mandate a real minimum wage of $20-25/hour and set a maximum of hours worked to 28 or 32 hours per week (not including overtime at time and a half). All businesses would be in the same situation where they would have to come up with 10% more labor to make their business survive. If you got rid of the banks, real estate, and health insurance, then the actual hours of work for a robust economy would be even less. Those that have been driven out of job, mothers, homeless, etc would have to be hired. Oh sure, robots would take some manufacturing jobs, but that will happen anyway.

              So how can this happen? Simple: a) Tax ALL income at 6 times the median income (~$300K), b) set the inheritance tax at 30X the median income, c) charge a 100% tax on military production, and d) get rid of philanthropy loopholes the 1% are exploiting. Each small or large business would receive a 10% (at 32 hour week) tax payment every year to cover the increase in payroll costs due to the mandatory reduction in work week.

              The homeless, or soon to be homeless, would benefit a lot more than $2000!

              1. Lambert Strether

                > The study was probably paid for by that great philanthropist George Soros.

                If you want a site where that quality of argument is acceptable, I suggest you go find it.

            3. Waldenpond

              Won’t any wage increase or basic income just be hoovered up by land owners? I support basic income over job guarantee as it gives individuals choice but our system will just parasitize that effort. I don’t see how there is any security unless direct housing is provided. I imagine a food card (item not amount) would also provide a basic minimal amount of security.

              1. AnEducatedFool

                If you managed to pass Basic Income then the dynamics in society have greatly shifted.

                Where is Michael Hudson when you need him? A society that has Basic Income should recognize the dangers inherent in a system designed to benefit the FIRE sector. How that is done? I have no idea.

                I think we need to get a living wage first then move to a Basic Income. In my mind that is a logical progression.

                I also think Basic Income can garner a lot of support from libertarians since it places emphasis on individuals and puts a lot of government employees out of work. The ideas seem very similar to Milton Friedman’s idea of a negative tax bracket but I do not know the theory of all of these concepts very well.

            4. Katharine

              >You sound like so many of the NGO types that I left behind.

              If that was addressed to me it’s the funniest thing I’ve read all week. Thanks for the laugh!

          2. abynormal

            If $1,000 can stabilize the life of an individual or a family, the social good is incalculable. It Can’t…especially with added stipulations causing MORE stress, health and mental problems.

            you’ve read books and watch a few Docs but its real obvious you have no clue where to get your hands on the calculator of someone much less a family losing everything in the blink of an eye. you bet i reject that study… its a gloss confirming the reason the homeless pop. is growing and your just the audience it feeds to.

            but you can take away this gem…if you or yours ever get jammed up i’ll be there WITHOUT judgement or stipulation. And that’s a Promise.

        2. cwaltz

          I’m not sure why we shouldn’t look at something like this as a partial solution.

          The reality is a TANF grant of less than a thousand meant the difference to me and my family between living in a hotel where we were unable to save any money thanks to the high cost of our housing and the trailer park where we were able to rent and save enough to even eventually buy our own place. Of course, in this instance my spouse was employed and really what had happened is circumstances were preventing us from saving rather than we were finding difficulty finding work that would cover the cost of our household.

          Would the solution work for everyone? No. Could it help some of the people who are perhaps living in a hotel because they can’t save enough for a security deposit and first month’s rent? Probably.

          I think some of the problem with the problem solvers is they keep looking at problems like they are one size fits all. Problems like homelessness aren’t all caused by one set of circumstances and it’s solutions are going to be resolved by one set of circumstances.

          We used to have these things called social workers who could look at these things called social programs and help determine which programs would help individuals that needed help. As usual though, we’ve gutted these programs and used money to help rebuild Afghanistan, Iraq, Ukraine and numerous other regions after toppling their governments in favor of governments more favorable to our interests. Heaven forbid the American people benefit from American tax dollars. It’s got to go to contractors and bought government leaders.

      4. Romancing the Loan

        The point is that once you narrow the population of your study down to only people who fit your predetermined outcome (actually read the italicized text before you get your snob on!) your study is scientifically pretty worthless, no matter how reputable and peer-reviewed its journal might be.

        1. Katharine

          The point of the study was to determine the efficacy of an existing program. The design of the program was not in the hands of the investigators. They found better results for those who got the cash than for those for whom none was available.

    2. Steve H.


      Who’s gonna leave today?

      Whew. If we’re turning our comments section into Facebook, can we have more kitten pictures?

      1. Katharine

        I hope nobody. I have enjoyed so much of what abynormal writes I was sorry to find myself in such sharp disagreement, but in the circumstances felt I had to say something. I have known homeless people, and people who had been homeless previously, and this makes the issue very personal for me. If there are policies that help prevent homelessness, I want them implemented!

        BDBlue, I know circumstances can vary enormously, so you may not be able to do this, but if you can identify a few of those people with whom you can make eye contact, exchange a smile, maybe say good morning, it might benefit both you and them. The way they are too often dehumanized and disrespected is corrosive.

        1. aletheia33

          katharine, do keep coming back and keep reading.
          many of us, i’m guessing, have taken years to catch up with the truth, wisdom, and smarts available at this blog. i have.
          it’s an education and takes some studying.

      2. Steve H.

        “These narrow gates: First, “is it true?”

        Then, “is it needful?” In your mind

        Give truthful answer. And the next

        Is last and narrowest, “Is it kind?””

        – Beth Day

        Too bad ‘funny’ can violate all of those. Especially considering satire is so powerful it was crushed in ancient Greece, and Ted Rall has to come up with $75-grand by Aug 18.

        I find I am stuck with the brain I have, and it has a tongue that can be as base and sharp as the sarcastic edge of irony. To not study war no more, I studied the tactics of peace, and ‘keep talking’ is a big one. “Avoidance, de-escalation, deterrence.” I come to yves salon because I studied and she kept being right, a rare, I say rare, quality. Then many in the comments section have great insights and some commenters come and some go. (Where are you, From Mexico?)

        We don’t avoid here, and this tearoom provides excellent reality-checking. We discuss important issues. Did you know the Versailles Hall of Mirrors has windows along one long wall? I thought it was just endless reflections, but it reflects in the external world also. Not purely echoic conformation bias.

        I submit our 20th century frameworks overlaid on primate brains are simply unable to damp down the ringing overtones of cognitive dissonance that we are presented with in 21st century media. That islands of stability exist, but are rare, and this place is one of them. How? When proceeding in a mediation we find points of agreement, and work from there. John Robb is saying that IS has a way to implant procedures across oceans, intangibly. When the shrieking feedback madness of overknowledge overwhelms us here, and laughter (even derisive) is the only out, I find that this can be a safe place of discussion. And thank our hostess for the tea she provides.

    3. Eclair

      Denver Homeless Out Loud is a group of people dealing with issues surrounding homelessness. It was organized and is run by folk who have been or are now experiencing homelessness. Their publication, Get Loud, features essays, poems and art by the members of this collective.

      In the latest issue, Debbie Brady, a formerly homeless vet and trans woman, writes about what she terms the Homeless Industrial Complex; people who make a good living from working for organizations that deal with homelessness. She references Denver in particular. It’s worth a read.

    4. Vatch

      There have already been a lot of comments, so if I missed the comment where someone already made my point, I apologize. I don’t think that the authors of the study claimed that $1000 would pay all of a person’s expenses for a 2 year period. Their point is that many working people have trouble meeting all of their expenses, including rent, and that an extra $1000 is often enough to save them from becoming homeless. The $1000 would be in addition to their existing income. The article also said that the money might be $1500. $1000 was the average. Several people have correctly recommended raising the minimum wage, which would accomplish the same thing, but with less bureaucracy.

      Abynormal, you said:

      is this experiment from TWO DECADES AGO…?

      No, it’s more recent than that. From the article’s abstract:

      Using data from Chicago from 2010 to 2012

      1. abynormal

        Vatch, this is like nothing ever before in its speed and girth. borrowing from peter to pay paul has been normal for 60% or more Americans. there is a moment when you’ve exhausted your budget and family/friends if you got them, and unloaded whatever you can…that that 1000.00 might get you down the road. its so beyond what that study portrays…for example, if you can get into a monthly hotel (at 700.00 a mo.) with child you will be considered indigent and receive subsidy BUT even that is not enough and it’s being cut as we speak. the study can’t even keep up with the economy much less the safety nets being weakened on a bi-quarterly bases.

        i don’t see a raise in wages helping…small businesses can’t keep up and even the box stores are laying off or closing so monetary circulation is broken…unless your in the mind for a yacht to enjoy down the de-nile.

        there is a real reason why Austerity fails every time it starts at the bottom…maybe that study could be renewed!

        1. cwaltz

          I think the point though is that people on the bottom of the economic ladder struggle and sometimes when life happens they find themselves facing homelessness when really aid could have prevented it.

          If your car breaks down and you can’t fix it that can and does spiral into losing a job in cases like that it makes sense to offer a grant or put $1000 into someone to help them and keep them from losing employment and losing a job. Sometimes a person takes a chance and gets up the money to relocate but can’t seem to save enough to cover the first months rent or security deposit so they end up spending more money on temporary housing. In that circumstance $1000 can get them out of temporary housing and out of having to eat out or pay for short term housing.

          So yes, I do believe that sometimes small grants can help to prevent some homelessness.

          I do agree with your larger point though as numbers of Americans that are falling through the cracks we should be expanding the force of people who are trained to assist people and expanding programs and instead the idiots in charge of our government have been exercising austerity(and instead pouring money into imperialism and survelliance.)

          1. abynormal

            1000.00 one time offer with stipulations doesn’t address the cycle. shortened lifespan of the ‘wealthiest nation’ is another proof. But why not 10k?…people could downsize and re-position themselves near accessible living conditions.

            from this thread, i realize i am pretty much in this fight alone. the fight against the dictation of ‘its good enough for you’. btw, calculating what you deserve is the neos board game.

            example: i asked my mother does she think she deserves a 10,000.00 handout from the government, she said yes. when i asked her if i deserved the same amount she said no, because i don’t have the same debt as her. she’s right in that i have never incurred debt…but is debt my worth? here’s an interesting reality…i receive no money for taking care of my 83yro mother and my two brothers with cancer. i don’t get room and board bc i sleep on couches with whats left of my life belongings fitting into a closet. i have no income…im indentured to them with no escape to better my conditions.

            …so is this a personal fight? somewhat…i have a deep understanding of what its like for worth to be dictated in crumbs. i’d much rather be working for the betterment of an inclusive unit, rather than a few that are ungrateful and tightening the screws on my giving nature inorder for them to continue receiving free care.

            we’re not to survive this by means of the ruling class…but i’ll make it my worthwhile by encouraging people to stop settling, even as it becomes my head on the chopping block…

  5. vlade

    Re your point 1 on Trump – this would be consistent with most of the UK Brexit pols – they didnt really want to win, just to further their career. Which leads to the immediate next point – even if he doesn’t want to win, it doesn’t mean he can’t. That said, HC is probably better at exploiting the carelessness than UK Remainers were.

  6. paul

    A Divided Nation?
    Reading the tea leaves to try and predict the past.

    Certainly divided, but hardly riven or divided by their vote in a referendum that was created and conducted in bad faith from both sides.

    Both sides expected remain to win and be able to use it as a lightning rod for their common aims for years to come.

    ‘The big boys at the eu made me do it’ has been the hapless cover story for successive governments to introduce/block legislation they were to scared/reluctant to sponsor themselves (EU competition law was a favourite). Newspapers helped pad their pages for years with its iniquities.

    Some might have taken these at face value and voted accordingly.

    There are myriad reasons for the result, but a big one (I feel, no SWL regression analysis here) was that the rarest of things was offered;
    the opportunity to say no.

    Doesn’t come along that often in a democracy, especially one with so many pissed off people.

  7. aletheia33

    car loans to drivers from uber
    the methods they are using to destroy us
    are not as new and inventive
    as they may think. they don’t read history
    they will only learn the hard way
    from the same law
    that is the only law they know
    brute power.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      THIS is why one not only studies, but understands “history.” (As long as its not in a charter school.)

      Or, you could just tweet the word “innovation,” quote your latest “market cap” as determined by your latest round of “funding,” and pretend you thought it up all by yourself. And that it’s job “creation.”

    2. JTMcPhee

      See, the thing is, the predators don’t ever “learn the hard way.” Other than a few royals and nobles who got whacked (along with a horde of mostly inoffensive ordinary people who got crossways with the “revolutionaries in rance and Russia and other places) the “brutes” pretty much “get away with it.” Lots of high Nazi leader types managed to either meld into the new Imperial Administration both in Europe and here at home, or submarined or flew or shipped themselves off to Central and South America, with the gold from the teeth of European “untermenschen” and lots of other portable wealth.

      As a kid, I was friends with the son of one of them, whose former Waffen daddy had a nice Bavarian themed restaurant in my home town and had regular meetings with fellow Sieg Heilers in the basement of his carefully recreated Alpenhaus, amongst the Nazi paraphernalia and weapons he “collected.”

      None of our US rulers have suffered any kind of collision with “history” that I can recall, other than the ones who sort of might have posed a danger to the continued looting, maybe JFK and RFK and MLK and others…

    3. Paid Minion

      Nothing new about this.

      Twenty years ago, a guy in the trucking business told me it was a strategy of one of the major trucking companies.

      Hire a new driver, schedule him in a way that he makes a bunch of easy money, very quickly. “Help” him by “showing him how to become his own boss”, by buying his own truck/tractor.

      At that point, start cutting back his trips. Thanks to the monthly payment on the truck, the truck (and by extension, the trucking company) now own him. Now, he’s got to run whatever trips are offered, at whatever they pay.

      I’ve been wondering if “home ownership” isn’t a derivative of the same tactic, a means to keep labor costs low, and the peons in line.

  8. Steve C

    Re the Carl Beijer article. Hillary shouldn’t expect Republicans to appreciate her letting them off the hook with Trump. Obama’s conciliatory attitude only made them smell weakness and go after him with greater fury. Hillary should expect the same.

    1. JohnnyGL

      Clinton’s strategy makes sense if she wants to be “bipartisan” so she can pass TPP/TISA, Grand Bargain and have a freer hand to make war. Too many Democrats in Congress might put any or all of those three items in danger. She’s probably hoping the Repubs will be in more of a deal-making mood after getting TRUMPED in the general election. Plus, she wants to prove she can steal their donor base and even some of their voters, so that it almost forces them to do a deal.

      Will the DNC blow their stack in the face of her selfish strategy? Probably not. After all, they put up with Obama’s strategy of doing the same thing. He focused on getting himself re-elected while leaving the Democrats in Congress to get trashed in the 2010 and 2014 midterms.

      It seems we’d better hope Bernie gets his organizations up and running effectively ASAP!!!

  9. Watt4Bob

    3. Trump is just outgunned.

    Aren’t we all.

    Something we’re not talking about enough is the unwritten rule that the surest way to not get the nomination to be president is to say you want it.

    Mostly, almost exclusively, we’ve been allowed to choose between the two candidates who’ve passed the most stringent tests of loyalty to the funders, the parties and the MIC.

    In most cases that includes a decades-long history of cooperation and fealty to the PTB.

    Trump has undoubtably had to undergo what for him has got to be a nearly unendurable series of genuflections to power which we already know included promising to allow the republican elite to choose his SCOTUS nominations.

    I would guess that by this point, the only wiggle room he has left is at the podium.

    In the end, I believe Trump has probably become quite ambivalent about the situation he has found himself in, and would just as soon loose with what ever dignity he can rescue, than win and submit to the authority of the iron grip of the enormous, faceless power behind our empire.

    Which brings up one of the other unwritten rules of american politics, a candidate must possess an iron clad immunity to humiliation.

    1. Eleanor Rigby

      “In the end, I believe Trump has probably become quite ambivalent about the situation he has found himself in, and would just as soon loose with what ever dignity he can rescue, than win and submit to the authority of the iron grip of the enormous, faceless power behind our empire.”

      I have always felt, sans evidence, that this is what happened when McCain fell on his sword in 2008 and selected his VP, knowing she was unqualified, but he didn’t want to have to submit to the authority behind our empire. In that way, he was a hero, except that Obama buckled under the same pressure.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        McCain isn’t exactly a brainiac, and they simply saw what they wanted to see. What were the alternatives? Yes, “what.” Mittens, Pawlenty, Kailey Bay (too old for McCain, on her own, I could see it), Norm Coleman (the dude was tied with a New York Comedian who just moved back to his home state), Jebbers, “Bobby” Jindal, Christie (he probably was just lt. Governor at the time), Guiliani, and on and on it goes. The obvious personality defects of respectable Republicans is so glaring there is a reason the GOP elite have to keep going to the Bush crime family, the rest are abysmal. Remember Paul Ryan was put on the ticket to make Mittens look smart and kind by comparison.

        Palin could work a crowd and deliver a line and was well received by movement conservatives who weren’t too keen on “liberal” McCain. The jokes write themselves. They grabbed onto her positives because everyone else is just so revolting or so forgettable they aren’t worth mentioning. Kailey Bay Hutchinson was so angry when she had to discuss Palin after the first leak of her name. An acquaintance gets the GOP talking points, and he showed me the Palin ones from before the announcement. If Mittens had won in 2008, I could see a Mittens Hutchinson ticket.

        Huckleberry! How could I forget? The other dope from Hope, Arkansas. I wouldn’t drink the water there.

      2. Bugs Bunny

        I was once on a bus tour (yes, a bus tour) of Bruges with John McCain and his mother. He was humble and very kind with his elderly mother and asked intelligent questions about Bruges of the guide. He impressed me as a decent person, nothing more or less. Didn’t want to be the center of attention. Also — when I saw the HBO film “Game Change”, I thought they captured the man I’d seen very well. I suppose Ed Harris did his background work.

  10. hreik

    Ok. My heart is a wreck b/c of the antidote du jour. I do sumi-e paintings of elephants. They are magnificent beings. I posted this before but will do it again b/c of it’s eerie magnificence.

    Saying Goodbye: Elephants Hold Apparent Vigil To Mourn Their Human Friend

    Lawrence Anthony was a conservationist and author known as “The Elephant Whisperer” who passed away on March 2nd. In 1999, Anthony rescued and rehabilitated a group of wild South African elephants who were deemed dangerous. And the animals appear to remember what he did for them: when Anthony passed away, a group of elephants visited his house in the South African KwaZulu for a two-day vigil, according to his family…….

    When Anthony died of a heart attack, the elephants, who were grazing miles away in different parts of the park, travelled over 12 hours to reach his house. According to his son Jason, both herds arrived shortly after Anthony’s death. They hadn’t visited the compound where Anthony lived for a year and a half, but Jason says “in coming up there on that day of all days, we certainly believe that they had sensed it”. While it’s hard to say how they could have sensed that Anthony had died, elephants are known for their grieving rituals, both in the wild and in captivity. According to many researchers, elephants grieve the deaths of their relatives, as when a child or parent dies.

    linky goodness

    From another link:

    For 12 hours, two herds of wild South African elephants slowly made their way through the Zululand bush until they reached the house of late author Lawrence Anthony, the conservationist who saved their lives.

    The formerly violent, rogue elephants, destined to be shot a few years ago as pests, were rescued and rehabilitated by Anthony, who had grown up in the bush and was known as the “Elephant Whisperer.”

    For two days the herds loitered at Anthony’s rural compound on the vast Thula Thula game reserve in the South African KwaZulu – to say good-bye to the man they loved. But how did they know he had died March 7?

    Elephants have long been known to mourn their dead. In India, baby elephants often are raised with a boy who will be their lifelong “mahout.” The pair develop legendary bonds – and it is not uncommon for one to waste away without a will to live after the death of the other.


      1. hreik

        Cannot click link or read/ Won’t be able to sleep. Reading the title was bad enough.

        Elephants are incredibly sentient and loving w 35+ year memories. One matriarch who had not seen a human who had cared for her for over 35 years, smelled her from hundreds of yards away and thundered to greet her. They are simply amazing.

        1. paul

          The sight of an elephant wheezing in bombay smog to jazz up some spoilt brat’s wedding convinced me they should only be with other elephants.

    1. Jess

      I’m not certain but I believe that picture is taken from the end of a video in which the little baby elephant had struggled mightily to climb out of the mud pit into which he had fallen/stumbled/wandered. He finally succeeded, much to the joy of onlookers who were fearful of trying to help for fear mom might misinterpret and go all elephant-postal.

  11. HBE

    Politico article

    “Russia’s fighting forces, now clandestinely deployed in eastern Ukraine, also need motivation. Their military service is being concealed from the Russian public”

    I see there is no question about this any more, thanks for clarifying politico. While they (russ) likely are there, there is no source for this. Politico giving the CIA a run for their money in intelligence gathering.

    “Similarly, Putin is unlikely to do anything to weaken Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump’s chances at being elected in November. A major Russian offensive would become a central issue in the U.S. election debate, re-emphasizing the dangers of Putin’s links to Trump.”

    And any good article about russia must include Putin’s nefarious dealings with the incompetent and dangerous trump who is also a brilliant international man of mystery.

    Every Msm article about putin makes me want to adopt the religion of putinism, since he is so obviously a omniscient, omnipotent, super man, causing all manner of evil. From US voting machine pwns, email hacks, and global warming.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Another slam at Trump with a rhetorical WWE folding chair is the Narrative’s twist onTrump’s daring to point out that the US “founded ISIS.” Another one of those “hate it when he’s right, really hate it when the Narrative Machine sh!theads quickly crush the truth with truthiness” BS shows:

      Actually, Trump is right about who stage-managed and produced the ISIS Show:

      How the US, its allies, and its enemies all made ISIS possible,, or this one, How America Made ISIS,, or a lot of other observations including the reporting on how our idiot spooks and “intelligent military” jailed a group of known bad guys (like we Americans do in our prison industrial complex facilities, a great community college system for degrees in advanced criminality) and turned them loose to set up a really effective, even enviable, brand, one that corporate marketing types and our political rulers are studying carefully:

      “ISIS leadership has flexed over time. A recent article in The Guardian points to a pivotal learning moment for ISIS leaders who were held together in U.S. prisons.

      “We could never have all got together like this in Bagdad or anywhere else,” says ISIS leader Abu Ahmed in The Guardian article. At Camp Bucca they were not only safe within the American fortress, but right under the noses of American leadership, they were able to coordinate plans and gather relationships that would be invaluable upon release. “We were only a few hundred meters from the entire Al-Qaeda leadership,” says Abu Ahmed.

      The desert fortress of Camp Bucca was also where the future emir of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was held prisoner. According to the article, neither the Americans nor the terrorists themselves were aware of the potency of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who quietly gained status while in prison.

      After the death of Zarqawi, al-Baghdadi used his direct lineage to the Prophet Muhammad and a PhD in Islamic Studies from the Islamic University of Baghdad to claim ISIS leadership in July, 2014, it was a surprise. “Baghdadi was a quiet person,” the article quotes Abu Ahmed (who is now deceased). “You could feel that he was someone important. But there were others who were more important.”

      In 2009, Al Baghdadi was among the prisoners released from Camp Bucca near Umm Qasr in Iraq. ” Mission accomplished, right?

      And the corporate community apparently envies and thinks about emulating the ISIS business model: The Banality of the Islamic State,, and for you entrepreneurial types scared of the risks of going all “Breaking Bad,” here’s an alternative: Terrorist group ISIS has quite the lucrative business model,

      As we write, of course, “the US” is profitably (discounting externalities, unknown unknowns, and blowback) dumping sh!tloads of weapons into the Mideast (and of course the rest of the planet) Because We Can! and there’s A Great Demand For It!, see typically “Lebanon,” for some Great Game Laff-a-Minute motifs:;s…_Government? One tiny part of why our species is fokked…

      See, all with State Department approval, “all nice and legal, see?”

      1. Lambert Strether

        I see Trump’s whole “founder” thing as a simple way of conveying the idea of blowback.

        Since blowback is essential to the operation of the self-licking ice cream cone that is our military industrial complex, it’s no wonder the national security types wish to erase it from the discourse. Hence the outrage, the frothing and stamping, the chinstroking, etc.

  12. Eureka

    That wikileaks tweet is highly misleading. The comments made by Bob Beckel about Assange are from 2010 – it’s the first thing under “Controversial comments” on Beckel’s wikipedia page.

      1. Harry

        Robot arms for sure, but what if there is even a grain of truth? This is the story of the decade so I’m getting me some popcorn and will settle in.

    1. hunkerdown

      It could be taken in response to the presumption that Liberal Goodthinkers™®© are better than to casually insinuate assassination, when in fact they casually throw the idea around all the time. Hypocrisy is rather too mild a charge for this level of self-dealing.

  13. Noonan

    RE: Bernie Sanders’ “average” house:

    The median home value in the U.S. is $188,900. Bernie just spent three times that amount on his third house, which is in a community whose population is 97.74% white. Power to the People! Celebrate Diversity!

    1. Eclair

      It’s Vermont, for heaven’s sake! Blacks are 1 percent of the population there. Asians and ‘Hispanics’ are invisible.

      1. Lambert Strether

        The point is that the left should never have nice things. The left should not be able to hire professional campaign operatives. The left should not be able to buy ads on TV. The left should always burn out, because, ya know, self-care is hypocrisy. In general, the left should not be paid for their work. And the left should most definitely not be able to sell a house already in the family and buy another one with the proceeds from the sale.

        1. ekstase

          God. Elected officials need to maintain a residence in their home state and, unless their home state is D.C.-adjacent, they also need a home in D.C. so they can live with their families, instead of not. If, at the end of a long career, Sanders gets to buy a vacation home, good on him. He’s not a money-grubber. That’s not who he is.

        2. Skippy

          “Self Haters” should never sea a ray of sunshine…. even if that means parking a dark cloud over them…. only those that embrace the “true religion” should feel the warmth on their faces… because it is only – HE – that bequeaths property….

          Disheveled Marsupial…. Heathens must be kept in place…. it was written….

    2. local to oakland

      Two things. First, the median US housing price includes 3 bedroom homes for 50 k in Indiana and Michigan. Where I live 600 k barely buys a 2 bedroom condo. Your math is misleading. Real Estate is local. What is the average for the market where he bought?

      Second, Bernie has earned his public esteem with a lifetime of service in a hostile environment. His record in the Senate, if examined, speaks for itself. His additional work giving voice to extremely popular but frequently ignored political view points in the recent campaign puts him on a very short list of American political heroes. He doesn’t have to be Ghandi with the asceticism to have done good work and deserve gratitude.

    3. Ralph Reed

      I remember being revolted by this propaganda line in 1991 in the Soviet Union, when dachas were vilified as evidence of hypocritical New Class oppression of the masses, while those preparing to loot the East “enjoyed” resource-access differentials two orders of magnitude worse in absolute terms, to say nothing of social relations qualitatively closer to feudalism than modernity.

    4. nippersmom

      Sanders and his wife also funded a portion of the price of their new house with the proceeds of the sale of a house Jane Sanders inherited from her mother. I notice that all of you Bernie-bashers leave that salient point out of your diatribes.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Well, the commenters who favor a confiscatory inheritance tax are going to damn him for that too … “the unearned wealth of the aristocratic Sanders dynasty,” etc. /sarc

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Is that right or just propaganda that it is his 3rd house?

          3 houses?

          Why not invest in a co-op or use that money to fund local candidates? For me, I would invest in blue and white antique porcelains, since I am not on the Senate pension plan.

            1. OIFVet

              It’s the law? But it somehow did not take Jane Sanders’ mothers’ house, thus it is confiscatory?!?! Waterboarding logic, are we Jimbo?

              1. Jim Haygood

                Your comment suggested that there is a personal residence exclusion from estate tax.

                There isn’t — regardless of what the tax rate is now, or may be in the future.

                1. OIFVet

                  well, your comment characterized inheritance taxes as “confiscatory”. they ain’t. Ain’t seen no American kulak ever have his property confiscated.

        2. Lambert Strether

          Er no. Reactionary trolls are going to conflate (a) being so rich you can buy up the government with your loose cash with a (b) family inheriting a comparatively trivial sum (and I’m sure you know that a house isn’t really wealth, right? Unless you’ve got a couple of boltholes in Manhattan and Dubai?)

          Do better.

    5. armchair

      I thought Bernie lived in a homeless shelter, in Burlington, and hitchhiked to Washington D.C. when the Senate is in session. I thought Bernie lived off of canned beans from the food bank. This is just devastating news for me. How can you call yourself a socialist if you aren’t mired in grinding poverty?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I think you are describing the Messiah who rode on a donkey.

        Don’t know if He ever hitch hiked.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Too much yellow tone, from the blond heads, the lion to the carpet and gold ceiling and window frames.

          1. Optimader

            Understafed but elegant. Why does that kid always look to me like he is contemplating suicide?
            Btw , houses are in the longterm depreciating durable goods on a piece of land. Depending on the home depreciation rates will vary

        2. ekstase

          What’s with her dress? Why is it flying out in the air like that? Is there some kind of ill wind blowing through their home?

  14. DJG

    Italian law and vegans: The source is a legislator from Forza Italia, and the recent cause is some reporting of children being hospitalized after being on vegan diets. Culturally, Italians equate food with health, proper upbringing, and love–which often shows itself in hypochondria. It is safe to say that almost all Italians are hypochondriacs. Yet Italians also remain vital into old age: I recall with affection a foodstore in Turin run by two sisters, both in their mid-80s.

    In contrast, Americans consider food to be fuel, which is why so many Americans eat 10W30 three meals a day.

    Also, Italy regularly goes through controversies about health care: Homeopathy gets the same treatment vegan diets are now getting. Yet any sizable town in Italy has an erboristeria–an herbal pharmacy. And they carry excellent products. I also recall taking a walk in Roma and passing a Galenic pharmacy. Yes, the medicines would still be compounded according to Galen and Hippocrates.

    It sure beats Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

    Meanwhile, the Greeks and cupping, the latest rather odd treatment to become highly visible:

    1. cyclist

      When I lived in England for a few years I had an lovely Italian colleague whose wife became pregnant and was expecting their first child. He could have stayed on but started to arrange his return to Italy (without even having a job lined up – his parents kept an apartment in mothballs for them) because he did not want to feed his child or wife ‘English food’. This was in the early ’90s, around the time of the ‘mad-cow’ scare. Needless to say, he did not accompany me for a late night kabob after the pubs closed.

      Bravo on the Italians for treating homeopathy roughly – it should be considered fraud. Vegan is OK if people know what they are doing.

  15. Expat

    Veganism is a belief system, not a diet. It is based on the belief that it is wrong to exploit animals. Personally, I don’t believe that any minor should be brainwashed with any religion let alone one which has lasting and dangerous consequences on is physical health.

      1. Expat

        Sorry, compassion for living beings? Plants are not alive? Yeasts are not alive? What about the exploitation of bees? Or the exploitation of plants for their oxygen?
        Do vegans use oil, electricity, plastics? Do they use modern medicine or pharmaceuticals?
        Vegans are specieist at best and delusional at worst. Their belief system is based on taking another religious belief (Hinduism or Buddhism) to an illogical extreme. I have never met a vegan who could be considered normal, mainstream, typical or mentally or emotionally balanced. Of course, that is just me and purely anecdotal.

        1. Eclair

          While I sympathize with your feelings that vegans are not ‘normal, mainstream, typical or mentally or emotionally balanced,’ I am coming around to the realization that the diet a society espouses is a reflection of their economic, cultural, and geographic circumstances, which is encapsulated into their national mythology. Which probably goes a long way in explaining the acrimony that surrounds any discussion of meat vs non-meat eating in the US.

          One of our strongest national myths is the narrative of the self-sufficient ‘cowboy’ and ‘rancher,’ the lonely nights spent herding cattle across the plains, and the gritty stockyards of Chicago manned by eager immigrants looking for a new life. We worship beef cattle and the lifestyle they uphold. They are part of what has made America powerful.

          Meat-based diets made sense for the semi-nomadic Lakota peoples who lived off the herds of buffalo that roamed the plains. In the semi-arid region they inhabit, there is not enough rain to grow sufficient calories to sustain life. Most of the Lakota I know still don’t regard ‘vegetables’ as food.

          Why did the early Church in Europe ban meat during the season of Lent? In northern Europe especially, in the waning days of winter, fresh meat was a pleasant memory. And for most peasants, even the limited stores of salted meats had run out. And, the live animals had to be off-limits so there would be breeding stock come Spring. Might as well make everyone suffer, ban meat and hope that the new crops would survive floods and drought and the remaining animals would produce young who could then be slaughtered in the Fall.

          In our culture, there is pressure to consume meat. A lot of meat. Major corporations make ginormous profits from providing meat; from Monsanto and Syngenta selling seeds, pesticides and herbicides, to Caterpillar manufacturing air-conditioned, GPS-guided machines to harvest thousand acre corn and soybean fields, to feed-lot operators fattening up cattle with that corn and soy, to hog producing facilities, to gigantic meat packing plants. We are at nation of meat-eaters.

          To say ‘no’ to meat, to become vegetarian, or worse, to become vegan (there is an entire robotic dairy industry out there, where cows are untouched by human hands) is to give the finger, in an act of culinary resistance, not only to a billion dollar industry, but worse, to a national consciousness that has its roots in the conquest of the West by the cowboys and cattlemen.

          Full Disclosure: I live in a semi-arid plains state and eat meat two or three times per week … and only from local ranchers. And grow – and irrigate – zucchini and tomatoes in my front yard.

          1. Expat

            I am not arguing FOR meat. I am arguing against veganism.
            America and Europe eat too much meat. It takes three to six times as much grain to make a day’s worth of food in the form of meat than in the form of gain (i.e. feeding cows and pigs is an inefficient transfer of calories and nutrition). Most people would be better off reducing animal meat and instead eating more fruits and vegetables.

            But that is not the same as saying Meat is Murder or that eating honey or drinking is milk is like slaughtering babies (ok, exaggeration here). And this does still not address my point as to why some forms of exploitation of other beings is permitted under veganism. Why is honey verboten but not fruits? Why do vegans wash and thereby kill millions of bacteria living on the skin? Why do vegans take antibiotics when they are sick? You can say I am getting carried away, but isn’t that the whole point of this argument?

            You wanna be a vegetarian? Fine. You wanna be a vegan? Fine. But veganism is not suitable for children and often associated with nutritional deficiencies in adults.

            My point is simply that veganism is a religious construct based on falsehoods. It is not natural or healthier than a balanced diet consisting of animal proteins, grains, vegetables, fruits and water.

            1. savedbyirony

              I disagree that veganism is “a religious construct” if by that you mean all vegans are such for religious reasons. They are not. Some people are vegans for health reasons and other personal views which do not include a religious/spiritual dimension. I know such people and also for a while ate a vegan diet myself, but not for religious reasons. (I was a long time vegetarian -not for religious reasons- and wanted to experience the differences of living vegan.) As far as healthy living goes, I strongly recommend a vegetarian diet with very limited diary.

              I do not agree with legislating against parents raising children on a vegan diet, but i do think it should not be approached casually. There are all sorts of nutritional options for ensuring plenty of protein in a vegetarian diet, and one can go vegetarian on relatively limited budget and still keep the meals healthy and diverse, but losing ALL dairy from the diet can be tough and keeping the meals both nutritious and appealingly divers can get expensive and time consuming, though i am not familiar with the ingredients readily available to most Italian citizens.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            We should focus on how much we eat.

            Low caloric intake is one of the 3 keys to a happy, healthy long life.

            Thus, I urge an organic, free range Minimalist Diet.

            It doesn’t matter if you eat like a lion or you eat like a lamb. There is a place for each.

        2. Brian

          Ex, Is your diatribe your history? Are you in the meat for sale business? Being able to think doesn’t mean you are able to know, but keep working on it. Jumping to conclusions is dangerous work when you find an unexpected hole in reality.

          1. Expat

            Not in the meat business. But not a fan of irrational though processes either. Veganism is not healthier than being an omnivore. And while it minimizes exploitation of animals, it does not eliminate it. In any case, it is an extreme in that regard, far outside mainstream views on use of animals and nature. It is at odds with our natural diet and metabolism. It has been shown to be unhealthy for all age groups.

            So, I might return your serve by asking you why you assume I have an agenda or am in the meat business? Are you in the anti-meat business? Are you a trained thinker or a qualified educator of some sort? What great gift allows you to make ad hominem attacks without any particular substance?

            I don’t jump to conclusions nor do I see what hole in reality you are referring to. But I do see a simple attack without any argument. Feel free to continue or try to contribute a useful thought…if you have any (neener, neener…see, it’s easy to insult! Lots of fun, too. But ultimately, you just look like as asshat.)

        1. Expat

          Being omnivorous is not a “belief”. It’s simply an evolutionary trait. Some researchers believe that the explosion in our brain size is linked to greater access to meat-based protein.

          You cannot argue against facts by claiming facts are simply beliefs. And in any case, how does your snappy retort do anything to dispute what I said? Or are you just annoyed and bent on lashing out at me?

          1. frosty

            Then again, humans can nourish themselves by cannibalizing eachother. That it’s biologically feasible does not exempt it from ethical consideration.

            1. Expat

              Valid point but little to do with what I said.

              I would also point out that the ethical and cultural taboos regarding cannibalism are likely closely linked to disease. We don’t use human body parts for fertilizer either for the same reasons.

              Same might be said about breeding with your sister. Perfectly possible, but ethically distasteful even if she is really hot. Why? because of genetic problems!

          2. Foppe


            Being omnivorous is not a “belief”. It’s simply an evolutionary trait.

            You’re confusing a fact about the functioning of our digestive system with our behavior, which is informed by our ideas about what is and isn’t right. (Note that if we did not let those guide our behavior, we would see far more eating of infants and other humans than we do now.)

            Eating animals & animal products does not come naturally to us at all; it’s the product of (thousands of) years of inculcating in our children the notion that it’s “normal/necessary/natural” to kill animals so we can eat them, as well as in adults that it’s fine to kill them in exchange for money (and even then hardly anyone will freely choose to work in a slaughterhouse; which is why most of the people who work there are either “white trash” or illegals/immigrants who have no other options). And that, in turn, is made possible primarily by the fact that we have a legal system in which we allow “owners” to determine the value and interests of their property, so that it seems wholly unremarkable that we always have the right to determine for another sentient being that his/her interest in continuing to live is outweighed by our interest, as a human, in earning money by selling them to a butcher (or killing them ourselves), so long as we don’t endanger/offend other humans while doing so, basically (the only exceptions are basically for lower-class forms of entertainment, which are banned not because we acknowledge that they are unjustifiable, but rather on the basis of the fact that they are supposedly too “cruel” — whatever that means, given that 99% of animals used are bred, raised, used and killed for purposes that are entirely unnecessary/frivolous, primarily for “food”. If ever there is a pernicious belief, is is that we may harm other sentient beings if/when it suits us, on the basis of our weighing of their interests against ours, and our deciding that theirs are outweighed by ours.

            (And before you go there: sure, animal use has allowed us to get to where we are today; but you can no more use that as an argument for why it’s justified as you can go from “I am the product of my sperm donor raping my mother” to “that man was justified in raping her, because I wouldn’t have existed otherwise”. The only relevant question is what we should be doing moving forward, and there really is no argument that justifies the use of other animals for our purposes; the best and only “arguments” we have are “we derive benefit from it” — which begs the question — or the more intellectually honest “might makes right” — which is intellectually bankrupt.)

            Especially in modern society, but more generally physiologically, there exists no nutritional need whatsoever to eat any animal product. We can live, and live healthier, on a diet that consists wholly of plant foods. (In fact, pretty much all diseases of affluence trace back to the consumption, which has exploded since WWII, of animal products, refined oils, and secondarily the explosion in the consumption of refined grains and sugar and salt.) So why on earth would one want to eat other animals, or teach your children that doing so is something they should consider engaging in?

            (PS. a “vegan diet” no more harmed these children than an “omnivorous diet” is the causal agent in cases where parents poison & malnourish their children by feeding them only meat or eggs. What harmed them was the fact that whatever their parents was feeding them was unbalanced, and nuts.)

            1. Expat

              So you are saying that animals eat meat because they are brainwashed by their parents to eat meat? So meat-eating in humans is only thousands of years old? What about animals without higher cerebral functions? Why do they eat meat?
              What about chimpanzees? Why do they eat meat? Or sharks? Or ants? Or birds?
              You are letting your personal beliefs cloud your ability to rationally understand evolution and diets. If my parents and grandparents, etc., had promoted dirt eating, I truly doubt I could ultimately be part of a dirt-eating branch of homo sapiens sapiens.

              And regarding the harm of vegan diets, I suggest you do some research (like I did) before asserting that began diets do no harm. And if parents are incapable of managing a proper diet, I hardly think that letting them mismanage a vegan or vegetarian diet is the answer.

              1. Foppe

                I am saying that animals who aren’t obligate carnivores or predators generally do not kill other sentient animals for the heck of it — which is what our behavior comes down to, given that we could also just choose to eat only plants. Whether cats require “brainwashing” doesn’t really strike me as the interesting question, though. Let’s just stick to humans, who *do* require brainwashing, outside of extraordinary conditions (hunger, danger, etc.), and keep in mind that the onset of agriculture has changed a few things with respect to the choices and freedom we have available to us these days.

                Lastly, I really don’t see what you think it proves that there are diets that you could classify as “vegan” — e.g., an all-coleslaw diet — that are harmful. Sure, but who cares? The only solution for stupid parenting is information, and it is certainly true that there are gains to be made on that front (though I know from vegan parents that govt agencies are very uninformed when it comes to the healthfulness of vegan diets, and don’t even know that their own government admits that they are nutritionally adequate, which hardly helps prevent these types of issues, because of how it becomes “known” that talking to child care agencies only causes aggravation).
                But again, it would never occur to people to blame “omnivorism” or “carnivorism” if parents stunted the growth of or killed their child by feeding them only eggs, meat or dairy. So what’s with the double standard?

      2. WG

        Sorry, but plenty of “living beings” die in the raising of crops that vegans and vegetarians rely on. As Zoe Harcombe describes, there is not one thing a vegetarian or vegan can eat that several creatures have not died for: “How many slugs are killed for a lettuce? How many millions of species in a tablespoon of top soil are trashed every second by Cargill? How many rabbits and mice are killed in cultivated fields by industrial size farming equipment? How many fish die, so that rivers can be diverted to irrigate the vegan’s grains? How many wolves and bison have been killed because we turned their homeland into farmland – for grains and plant food? Keith answers the last one: “There were somewhere between 60 and 100 million bison in the United States in 1491. Now there are 350,000 bison and only 12 to 15,000 of those are pure bison that were not cross bred with domestic cattle. The land held between 425,000 and a million wolves; only 10,000 now remain.” “The North American prairie has been reduced to 2% of its original size and the topsoil, once twelve feet deep, can now only be measured in inches.””
        But, since they don’t get eaten – and they’re totally wasted, which is more (not less) unethical to me) – they don’t count, to some. For more detail see The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Kieth, and/or Zoe Harcombe’s summary of it here.

        1. Foppe

          What’s your point? That since (small) animals (still) die because of the way we farm crops, it doesn’t matter how many are killed, and whether they are killed intentionally (i.e., bred and raised in order to be used and killed), or killed accidentally, and/or out of neglect? Can you imagine how such an argument would hold up in a court, if you said “your honor, people sometimes die in traffic because they get run over accidentally; so I really don’t see why it is problematic that I run them over intentionally, and encourage people to cross so that I can run them over”?
          As for bison and wolves: the main reason why they were genocided was that they were either competition for cattle/sheep/whatever (using up land that cattle ranchers wanted to claim), or because they preyed on farm animals. So you’ve basically got the story the wrong way around.

          Lastly, with regard to the vegetarian myth, it is a confused rant published in book-form; for a review that addresses some of the errors of reasoning / misused facts, see .

    1. Tom Finn

      Informed, i.e. researched dietary choices are fine. An ‘educated’ vegan would realize that there are a few very essential nutrients missing in the average vegan diet and make accommodations for this. As expat states however, this is a belief system for many and becoming informed is not primary. Of course parenting in general is hardly an informed practice.

      1. Expat

        If I could, I would ban all belief teaching to minors. Let anyone who wants pick a religion at eighteen. I would guess you would see the number of atheists jump to about 95% of the population within a generation.

          1. hunkerdown

            Don’t try to confuse the “state of” with the “school of thought”. That’s a very American habit — Americans, who think faith is magical rather than self-delusional.

          2. Expat

            This argument is typically too silly to merit a response, but what the heck. Atheism does not exclude the possibility of God existing. Atheism says that God does not appear to exist so I don’t believe in God. You might as well say that not believing the earth is supported by rainbow-colored tortoises is also a belief. We could go on forever making up things to not believe in and have you insist that not believing in them is the same as believing they don’t exist. This is a game of grammar, not of substance. You are conflating two uses of belief to could the point.
            Try reading some Dawkins for a full take-down of your comment.

        1. nycTerrierist

          Were you traumatized by early religious training?
          If you were, best wishes for your recovery.

          That said, veganism is not a religion. Perhaps you met a vegan who told you it is, but they are mistaken. No need to be hostile to those who chose not to eat and/or exploit animals.

          1. Plenue

            The opposition to the ‘exploitation’ part I really don’t understand. You want to eat plants because you don’t like animals being killed, okay. But the goats and cows etc, seriously don’t care about being milked. Opposition to dairy products is just downright silly as far as I can tell.

            Religion may not be the right term, but there are people who treat it as an ideology, complete with dogma and heresies. There are plenty of things like that in the world, things that are essentially the worst aspects of religion with none of the supernatural bits.

          2. Expat

            I have never been trained religiously. On the other hand I have studied history, politics and current affairs and see the evil that religion and religious belief has done over the millenia.
            If you mean that veganism is not a religion because there is no God or church, then okay. but I think that belief in veganism is like a religion (in fact, I said it was a belief, not a religion…it’s is distressing how easily people put words in other posters’s mouths. They are desperate to win arguments so they falsify statements).

            1. Foppe

              The only thing you need to arrive at veganism is to extend the notion that it is wrong to harm sentient beings unnecessarily to include nonhuman animals. And that really isn’t all that much of a stretch, given that species membership is just as irrelevant morally as are race, gender, sexual orientation or religious affiliation, etc.. All that matters is that they *have* subjectively experienced interests, desires, and wishes, not whether they can express them to us, and how they experience them precisely.

              And the reason why that is enough is that pretty much all animal use (apart from the use of animals in medical experiments) is transparently frivolous, given that (esp. under the circumstances we in the ‘west’ live) there exists no necessity whatsoever to use animals for food — a fact that follows logically from the (widely acknowledged) physiological fact that (‘balanced’) vegan diets are nutritionally adequate for all humans in all stages of life.

              I hope this helps you to see that this is not necessarily a “religious” (“dogmatic”?) issue at all, even if I suppose you could turn it into one, just as you could turn every position into a “religious” one if you so desired. And if you are willing to challenge your beliefs a bit, pick up Gary Francione and Anna Charlton’s Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach or Eat Like You Care somewhere. If anything, it’ll help you see that veganism is not necessarily nutty, even if some people who say they are vegan may be weird or imprudent for different reasons.

    2. diptherio

      Actually, dude, it depends on the vegan in question. I was a vegan as a dietary choice when I wanted to lose a little needless fat…and it worked like a charm. I’ve also personally killed, cut up and eaten more than a couple of animals in my time. Mind-blowing, isn’t it? [/sarc]

      And, on a related note, most of your hard-core Hindus are not vegan but what I guess you would call “lacto-vegetarians.” Ghee (clarified butter) is a big part of traditional cooking…cows are sacred due to the many useful products they provide. I don’t know any Hindus who consider keeping a cow and drinking it’s milk exploitative. The Vegan thing does appear, to me anyway, to be a particularly Western practice, and from the vegans I know here, it has at least as much to do with healthy diet as with ethical concerns. Those exist of course, but us omnivores have them too. And I’ve yet to have a vegan try to convert me, despite knowing and dining with a good number of them.

      1. Foppe

        Diptherio: “The Vegan thing does appear, to me anyway, to be a particularly Western practice,”

        The recognition that other (nonhuman) animals also have an interest in continuing to live without being harmed by us is actually quite ancient, and not ‘western’ at all (even vegetarians like Pythagoras and Plato seem to have been influenced by intellectual trends that come from the Indian subcontinent). But the development of that intuïtion into a stance of principled/ethical veganism is fairly recent, as even most Jains don’t seem to understand that breeding cows, removing/killing their calves, and killing those cows once they stop producing milk for you involves violence, and thus isn’t reconcilable with a belief in nonviolence as a guiding principle. But they come closest, and have for a long time. If you’re curious about/ interested in a moral argument for veganism, I recommend seeking out Francione & Charlton’s Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach or Eat Like You Care: An Examination of the Morality of Animals. Theirs is by far the most cogent, and clearly articulated. :)

        That said, when it comes to plant-based diets, for most of history the overwhelming majority of (“common”) people have gotten the overwhelming majority of their calories from plant-based foods; even hunter-gatherers only got something like 5% of their yearly calories from animals, simply because hunting big “game” is far harder than hunting tubers; fantasies about (proving one’s) “masculinity” notwithstanding.
        And for most of the time since the invention of agriculture, only the elites have had ready (daily) access to animal products to add to their diets (which is why in Egypt, for instance, only upper-class Egyptians and Pharaohs — i.o.w., the kinds of people who had the money to pay for the preservation of their bodies — suffered from diseases of affluence, such as gout, diabetes, CVD, etc..). Factory farming — i.e., the “democratization” of the elite’s diet — changed all that; which is why the incidence rates for diseases of affluence have exploded since WWII. More recently, China since the 1980s has been showing the same trend. Etc.

        1. JTMcPhee

          The meme in the big law firm I worked for was simple and to the point:

          “You eat what you kill.”

          No need for lots of sensitive discourse.

    3. Vatch

      If a child has a vitamin B-12 or vitamin D deficiency because his or her parents have imposed a vegan diet, I think it is appropriate for the government to order the parents to provide supplements for the child. If the parents don’t do that, prosecution for neglect is the next reasonable step.

      1. hreik

        Problem is: by the time it’s discovered (B12 deficiency) in children it might be too late. B 12 is crucial for nerve development (and maintenance for adults) and is vital in brain health. A child raised w/o sufficient B12 can suffer permanent and irreversible sequelae. Failure to thrive, developmental delays, etc. I say this as a lacto-vegetarian. I raised our 2 on an omnivorous diet.

          1. hreik

            I hate making blanket statements. But unless their is testing and a commitment to supplements, which are REQUIRED on a vegan diet, then probably yes. I do think they should be outlawed.

      2. juneau

        Putting politics and religion aside, speaking as a mostly vegan vegetarian:
        ALL vegans and vegetarians must supplement B12 (babies and fetuses included) for life.

        Having said that, I will point out that the doctor citing this research is a vegan activist and a very sensible doc to boot.

        Omnivorous children can have many nutritional deficiencies as well and early onset diabetes is a big issue with the fast food crowd. Amongst Veg*ns B12 deficiency is cheap and easy to prevent but MUST be supplementation. I am be declarative because this is so important.

        1. savedbyirony

          A vegetarian who eats limited dairy products does not need B12 supplements. The research shows this, and from personal experience i have been a healthy nearly never sick or run down vegetarian for well on 30 years and never taken any supplements (except for iron -not because i was ever found to be iron deficient but i thought it wise to add a small supplement proactively just in case).

          1. savedbyirony

            Just to add for anyone considering a vegetarian diet but wondering “well, what about making sure to get enough B12?”, fortified nutritional yeast also a good source and useful for seasoning. A little pricey, though

            1. savedbyirony

              Juneau in the above comment was including a claim that lacto vegetarians required B12 supplements. They do not.

    4. makedoanmend

      Banish belief and exposure of the young to belief?

      I hold the belief that the scientific method of enquiry, whilst not the only method of valid enquiry, is a very good method of enquiry.

      Or is one’s belief about belief a bit of a belief system itself?

      1. Expat

        More word games. The scientific method at least is falsifiable and carries not moral baggage or judgements. And while you are free to argue that believing in things like gravity or photons is as much a belief as believing in God, I simply beg to differ and ask you where, if at all, you would draw the line?

  16. hemeantwell

    Re the Politico article:

    To begin with, it would be foolish for Ukraine to launch a violent attack, given the vast superiority of Russian military power. It would be even more foolish to provoke Russia at a time when its forces are mobilizing for massive military maneuvers along Ukraine’s eastern border and in Crimea

    The writer suggests that the only two conflict participants are Russia and the Ukraine, as though NATO doesn’t exist. This omission is dishonest, particularly absurd since NATO just held its own “major maneuvers” in Poland and is carrying out a build-up. Leaving out NATO allows the writer to avoid considering the extent to which this could be a trap for Putin, one which he can avoid in an immediate sense but which has the effect of requiring further wasted spending on the military at a time when the Russian economy is hurting from low oil prices.

    It is also shameful that the writer claims the Russians are undertaking a “major military expansion” at their own initiative. Sic Semper Tyrranis has been following that, and the ex-military writers there — served in the US armed forces and now dismayed with US policy — have noted that the Russians have begun to build up their capabilities only in response to the US. Pretty much as throughout the Cold War, I would add.

    As far as economies go, the writer also ignores how fostering military confrontation would be in the interest of the Ukrainian regime, which has a tanking economy + a bunch of fascist hotheads to deal with.

    fwiw, is looking for an October surprise in this theater. Dunno about that, but I see articles like this as contributing to the so tiresomely typical denial of responsibility for conflict that is a mainstay of NATO propaganda. The article posted here today about how criticism is silenced in the military also applies in significant respects to the MSM.

    1. Carolinian

      Wouldn’t be at all surprised by that October surprise. Depends on whether Trump bounces back in the polls. After all Yats was our guy–and the people who followed him.

      1. Brindle

        I live in the mountains in Utah and in the aerial footprint of Hill AFB. The past few weeks I’ve noticed an increase in F-16 training flights—often at fairly low altitude. Had me thinking about an “October Surprise”. Ya never know.

        1. Paid Minion

          They are getting ready for President Clinton, and the Clinton SOP of bombing someone to deflect attention from their latest scandal.

          I’m long on cruise missiles, drones, and GPS-guided bombs.

        1. JerseyJeffersonian

          I am spreading the word among my friends. Along with the link to Raimondo’s article, I editorialized a bit:

          And just when I think that my contempt for the western media’s complete abject surrender to the dissemination of war-mongering propaganda and misdirection could not get any worse, they surprise me – unpleasantly – by proving that they can indeed contrive to do so.

          So now our leaders and their accomplices in the media not only support, defend, and obfuscate the actions of jihadi killers in Syria, but they also spin out fantastic lies about Ukrainian terrorists whose aim is to murder innocent visitors to Crimea. My, what is not to like?

          1. OIFVet

            A bunch of nazi lovers in the FP and media establishments. The thought of SoS Nuland is enough to induce the urge to stress vomit…

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        October stock market surprise to the upside, the last phase of the current bubble, parabolic ascent…

        Comrade Haywood will work out the projected tops of S&P and Nasdaq.

        That guarantees a Hillary victory.

  17. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Hillary Clinton strategist Bob Beckel called for WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange to be assassinated. #DNCLeak @Wikileaks

    “The guy’s a traitor, a ‘treasonist’ and he’s broken every law of the united states……..”

    “The guy” is also an Australian.

      1. Skippy

        The US used to own Australia after Keating liberalized or leveled the market, currently undergoing a change in ownership.

        Disheveled Marsupial…. its confusing tho due to the speed and complexity of big 4 banking daily transactions…. where is mommy – ??????

    1. Harry

      I don’t think that’s gonna stop them from trial or execution. There are a bunch of Pakistanis who can attest to that.

    2. Plenue

      Man, what is it with Americans and Australia? One of the most hilariously stupid criticisms of Mad Max: Fury Road was that George Miller had ruined a classic American action movie franchise. Both George Miller and the Mad Max character are Australian. The movies are filmed and set in Australia.

        1. Skippy

          Steady mate…. Fosters is a export only beer for those that seek “How to speak Australian”

          Reality…. novelty beer

          CHEAP Beer Review : FOSTERS (Not Australian For Beer)

          Real Aussie beer…

          Disheveled Marsupial… enjoying a Coops sparkling ale at the moment… and then something completely different Oz…


  18. Fool

    I love that idea about Trump as a force of “price discovery.” I remember saying a year ago that whatever happens, it’s a good thing Trump came along for having ended the Randian ideological grip that the GOP had on the party. (It’s safe to say that in light of the alternative, Trump supporters are hardly voting against their own interests.) Scary thought: I was wondering last night how much “price discovery” Trump could bring to the system as a whole, as president, just by sheer force of Trump.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Price discovery? I look forward to Trump’s plan to add eight floors to the White House, so he can live in the 11th floor penthouse [max height in D.C., where nothing can be taller than the Capitol].

      The dozen prestigious condos on the new fourth through tenth floors can be sold to pay down the national debt. Win-win for America! (Though most of the units will be bought by Russians and Chinese.)

      1. Carolinian

        Plus giant Trump sign on the roof. I expect to read this speculation in the NYT tomorrow…unnamed sources. You are kidding. They?…..

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        You put a very tall antenna on the Capitol*, and you can add many, many floors to the White House.

        *I believe that’s how they compare building heights (by including any towers/extensions on the top).

      3. bob

        He’s already got several very smart people working on an anti gravity system to hold him, and his tower, MILES above DC. It’s going to be some very classy stuff. Marble and gold leaf all over the place.

        Turning off the anti gravity system, the tower will make a controlled landing in the reflecting pool. It’s just a useless sewer now. Why not class the joint up a bit?

      4. Alejandro

        “pay down the national debt”

        sly seeding of a Pete Peterson ( AND Randian ) talking point…plowed with humor.

        Imho Ayn didn’t seem to grasp that observation always depends on context AND “reality” can be subjective and perceptions can be deceptive…yet Alan Greenspan can chair the FED for almost twenty years AFTER seeding changes in “our” perceptions of social security…caveat emptor blah blah fukking blah.

          1. Alejandro

            True enough…yet few are aware of his role and tenure as “grand bargaineer” and the cultish veneration that drove the false profiteering.

  19. Pavel

    So maybe Trump is taking a dive and losing intentionally, or just doesn’t give a damn any more, or realises now that it’s kinda hard work to run for POTUS (and even more work being one). Not quite the lifestyle or workstyle of a celebrity TV star hosting “The Apprentice”.

    And thus we’ll get the ostensibly “lesser” evil [though my jury is still out on that] Hillary Clinton, the absolute epitome of establishment cronyism and corruption.

    But the good news, which we all so desperately need these days: Trump has run a kamikaze mission and managed to destroy the Republican party… surely cause for celebration! Imagine if it had just been Jeb! vs Hillary or Little Marco?

    Hillary will be mired in investigations and calls for impeachment (hear hear!) and perhaps we’ll end up with Kaine after a couple of years or 4 at the latest. The economy will have collapsed and the Mideast will still be a mess… on second thoughts Trump is right, who would want to be POTUS apart from (cough) some sociopath uber-ambitious politician…?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Could Trump be running a (late stage) Sanders campaign – just wait for her to be indicted or more emails to be released?

    2. Arizona Slim

      My prediction: Clinton’s time in office will be short. No, she won’t break William Henry Harrison’s record for shortest term in office, but she won’t serve a full term.

      A combination of health and legal problems, plus substance abuse, will cause her to resign. And recall from history that this was the same combination that led to Nixon’s early departure from office.

    3. Lambert Strether

      I model oligarchs like Trump as managing a portfolio. Trump took out an option on a Presidential run some years (two?) before 2016 when he purchased URLs likely to be used for a campaign. And then he exercised it. I’m sure he’s looking at how the campaign is affecting other items in his portfolio (though I take reports of falling income at his properties with a gigantic dose of salts).

      The reason I don’t especially like the “does he want to win?” frame is that it doesn’t define what victory is, and it assumes winning the President is how Trump defines a win. It might not be. Perhaps irradiating the RNC is a win. Perhaps merging the Democrat and Republican establishment 10%s is a win. Perhaps deking a large but losing coalition of alienated working class people into a coalition with local oligarchs is a win, especially if it allows globalization to go ahead, which is certainly a win for the rest of Trump’s portfolio.

      So far, Trump has laid out what? A$50 million? And he’s had a terrific time. So even on personal terms, Trump’s winning.

      I do think that Trump is a smart man. We know have three cases where Trump had very easy and effective pushback against a Democrat talking point. (For example, with the Khans, why not just say, “Yeah, Hillary. He died in your war!”) Since “you don’t bat zero for the season without a plan,” he’s pulling his punches for some reason. That doesn’t mean that he’s in league with the Clintons, or even owned by them. (He’s smart enough not to use email, for example.) But that doesn’t mean that in terms of his portfolio he’s not winning, as he defines victory. I think we treat the motives of our oligarchs as scrutable. They aren’t. We don’t know what’s in their portfolios.

      1. optimader

        Is trump an oligarch? oligarchs are in the club at the nexus of money and political influence. I think the US Oligarchy wants to destroy Trump politically at any cost. He has the Money but I don’t think he has the influence.

        What is success for trump> I think a lot of people don’t get it. He is running for POTUS on “his own terms”. Some people interpret that as “not being serious”. I don’t think so He is just not willing to sacrifice his perception of control to be elected.

        1. Lambert Strether

          I think Trump is an oligarch. He’s got a billion dollars or so, right?

          It doesn’t matter that the oligarchy, as a whole, wishes to destroy one of their number. Splits in the elites are bound to happen in revolutionary situations, right?

          1. optimader

            well, we need to define oligarch.

            My operational definition is the nexus of some threshold amount of resources/wealth and national political influence.

            Trump is a bit of oddity. Presumably has plenty of former, but I think the true Oligarchs in this country want to deny him a position at the table for the latter.
            I think Trump is perceived as a threat to the status quo by those properly characterized as Oligarchs.

            As a longtime financial broker, of a neoliberal persuasion, I know said to me in a tepid justification of HRC , “well, Mr. Market certainly doesn’t like him!”. Well, indeed, no doubt!

            I wonder how much money he actually has? But in any case IMO, simply having money isn’t membership to the Club.

          2. aab

            I don’t think he’s an oligarch. First, I bet he’s worth A LOT less than a billion dollars. Isn’t there quite a bit of reasonable scuttlebutt that he’s not worth more than two hundred million? That’s real money to us regular folks, but it’s not oligarch money, in our glorious new world. The Clintons, while technically having less than that, probably control more liquid assets than he does, between what they’re declaring, what they have stashed offshore, and what’s sloshing around in the Foundation and related entities.

            And he hasn’t been part of the governing elite at all, has he? He’s just been running around, gassing off, and opportunistically taking advantage of the world the oligarchy has made, with cheap ties from China, business bankruptcies on demand, franchising and global branding revenue streams, and a tiny bit of the legacy family real estate business.

            I still think he wants to win. Some of that “well-timed gaff” stuff is the media that protects Hillary taking whatever it can from him and then twisting it to make it much more outrageous. In that regard, the timing is theirs, not his. And sometimes he is saying what his base wants and needs to stay with him through this hot, difficult summer. Let’s see what happens in September.

            I do appreciate your point that his idea of winning would not be a politician’s idea. But his brand identity is “winner.” He lost revenues at the start of his campaign because of the overt racism. I have a hard time imagining how his economic portfolio (as opposed to pure personal enjoyment) would benefit from intentionally tanking the general election, unless the Clintons have promised to transfer one hundred million or so into his bank accounts. Which…could be doable…

  20. Carolinian

    Post offers an excerpt from upcoming book that may be a more fair and balanced look at Trump than their usual coverage. Could be worth a look.

    Among other things it says he has a very small circle of advisers and listens a lot to his children. And while it’s common lately to assume the 70 year old tycoon is a big phony working a con (with what aim, exactly?) it’s possible that his patriotism is entirely sincere in contrast to Clinton whose orientation is heavily globalist and corporate.

  21. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Lunar real estate…

    The rich may be landgrabbing the moon, but it’s still possible to establish a Utopian (Human) People’s Republic of Mars (not including Martian people).

    1. Antifa

      We’ll have to put in some railroad tracks on Mars so the Martians can all live on the wrong side of them.

  22. Jim Haygood

    IP wars have shut down some of my favorite sites:

    In July, Artum Vaulin, the alleged owner of Kickass Torrents, KAT, one of the most heavily trafficked pirate sites on the internet, was arrested in Poland.

    Kickass Torrents was estimated to be the 69th most frequently visited website on the internet in operation since 2008.

    “Artem Vaulin was allegedly running a worldwide digital piracy website that stole more than $1 billion in profits from the U.S. entertainment industry,” said Executive Associate Director Peter T. Edge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

    Then, last Friday, it was reported that another major gateway to piracy,, had suddenly decided to shut down their website, sending a second tremor through the pirate community. Launched in 2003, has actually been around longer than The Pirate Bay.

    “Stealing $1 billion from the U.S. entertainment industry” = social service. :-)

    Free Kim Dotcom!

    1. Carolinian

      The copyright cops on the warpath. But as long as trackers still exist it probably won’t change anything.

      1. Jim Haygood

        This article was posted as I was typing the comment above:

        A panel of the Richmond-based 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled, 2-1, that Kim Dotcom could not recover his assets because he remains a fugitive from criminal charges.

        “The refusal to face criminal charges that would determine whether or not the claimants came by the property at issue illegally supports a presumption that the property was, indeed, so obtained,” Judge Roger Gregory wrote in an opinion joined by Judge Allyson Duncan.

        Judge Henry Floyd dissented. He argued that because the defendants’ assets were located outside the U.S., under the Constitution, American courts had no jurisdiction over the dispute.

        Floyd’s stance would seem problematic for the Justice Department, because it regularly uses forfeiture proceedings to try to seize assets located abroad.

        However, the divided opinion could boost Dotcom’s chances of getting the case heard by the full bench of the 4th Circuit or by the Supreme Court.

        Kim Dotcom — a New Zealand resident who has never set foot in the United States — is pursuing his legal remedies under NZ law against extradition to the U.S.

        The extremist U.S. government now equates exercising one’s legal rights in a foreign country with being a “fugitive” from US “justice,” in turn invoking a pejorative presumption that the assets were stolen.

        Rest assured that if Usgov wins this case, they will use the ugly precedent against US-citizen expats, labeling them “fugitives” for refusing to simply turn themselves in for processing through the Gulag’s conviction mill, and seizing all their domestic assets.

        1. JTMcPhee

          …and you are all het up about chimerical “confiscatory death taxes…”

          Same world, different planet…

    2. Daryl

      And nary a mention of the valuable Job Creation these sites performed by employing sysadmins and programmers!

  23. JohnnyGL

    Re: election

    Just goofing around with the electoral map on RCP.

    It’s interesting to note that polls-wise, Trump’s taken some serious damage with Clinton’s convention bounce and his foot-in-mouth behavior recently (one wonders if he could win by simply staying quiet?). PA was a state he was targeting, but it looks like it’s moved strongly in Clinton’s favor, polls-wise. The map is pretty tough for Trump to win since CO, PA, and VA look like pretty solid Clinton wins. Plus, NC, AZ and GA seem like they might be be possible to flip blue. My completely non-expert gut tells me all three will probably stay red, though.

    On the other hand, you might say things can’t, and probably won’t, get much worse for Trump than they are right now, and yet….he’s still around the margin of error in OH, FL, IA, and NV. If things trend just a bit in Trump’s direction, and the state polls are accurate, perhaps he can sweep those four?

    So, at this point, we’ve got a 273-265 win for Clinton, Trump still needs one more state….NH would make it 269-269!!! :)

    Perhaps Lambert’s yearning for gridlock looks more possible than ever?!!?!

  24. afisher

    For those who missed it: Today is World Elephant Day. (hint: the antidote..or am I being to kind).

    1. nycTerrierist

      In honor of World Elephant Day, a petition to the U.N.

      Save the Elephants: STOP BLOODY IVORY:

      “To the 175 parties of the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species:
      As citizens from around the world, we call on you to reject any exemptions in the global ban on the ivory trade, to extend that ban for at least 20 years, and to take all necessary steps to enforce that ban and protect the elephants.”

    2. Chauncey Gardiner

      Yes, thank you for the antidote on this World Elephant Day. The loss of millions of elephants to ivory poachers is beyond sad, and the spectre of extinction is even being raised. But the image helped this morning.

  25. Robert McGregor

    ON VEGAN DIET LAW: This is one of the few disagreements I have with you. I think you WILL agree that “Diet Science” has a lot of Non-Science in it! The whole field is “up in the air,” but there is some science and a lot of empirical evidence. “Personal Difference” is key! Some people can tolerate and thrive on vegan diets; some or most cannot! Hence the virtue in that law. Bill Clinton is someone I believe who is not able to tolerate a vegan or even pescatarian diet. His appearance does not advertise great health! But he could have other health problems we don’t know about. In summary, I support laws against putting children on vegan diets–especially when the parents are doing it for health reasons! Here in the US, it is bad enough there are millions of parents who poisoned their children with obesity by putting them on diets of daily, highly-sugared fruit juice!

    1. Foppe

      Please consider buying and reading John McDougall’s The Starch Solution; accessible book that dispels pretty much all of the myths concerning the state of the evidence wrt the relationship between diet and disease. I have no opinion on what’s going on with Bill (though I’d say he’s a lot more robust-looking than Hillary), but there is certainly robust evidence (pretty much every professional and government body in the world will admit this, however reluctantly, what with the importance of the meat & dairy industries everywhere) that vegan diets are nutritionally adequate (i.e., healthy) for humans in all stages of life, during infancy, breast-feeding, extreme sports (think iron man challenges), etc.

    2. cwaltz

      I personally don’t understand why it would be a huge deal that warranted jail as long as you agreed to provide vitamin supplements to ensure adequate levels of vitamin B12, calcium,and iron. A growing body is going to need these things(and girls in particular need to build up adequate stores of vitamins like iron or they could end up anemic.)

      I do agree with you though that the diet isn’t for everyone(and I personally don’t like that some of the group like to shame meat eaters knowing that the diet is not going to work for everyone or can lead to or even aggravate health problems that some of us might be prone towards.)

  26. Jessica

    On “Putin’s latest Crimean gambit” in Politico, the author, Adrian Karatnycky, is a Senior Fellow with the Atlantic Council and co-director of its “Ukraine in Europe” program, so presumably professionally pro-Ukraine and anti-Russia.
    As far as who benefits from recent increased tension, anything that keeps alleged Russian aggressiveness in the spotlight benefits Ukraine’s current strategy.

  27. Carolinian

    Nooners on the hypocrisy of the global virtue signalers–knock me over with a feather. But it is in the WSJ….maybe some of them will read it.

    Regardless thanks for linking this.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Nooners is a real guilty pleasure of mine. Sad that we look back at operatives in the Reagan administration — at least some of them — for wisdom and insight. Shows how far the baseline has sunk. It is what it is. We are where we are.

  28. Roger Smith

    How I Would Reaffirm Unbreakable Bond With Israel — and Benjamin Netanyahu (Clinton)

    This is from November (Greenwald shared it in relation to Benny’s statements yesterday and him demolishing Palestinian buildings today) but I had not seen it. The whole tone of this piece… this is the kind of garbage Clinton truly cares about–however this issue is connected to the money, power, access train. I wish she (et al.) cared this much about our domestic issues. How much money did we just gift to Israel??

    Ugh, my stomach…

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If the bond is so unbreakable, this sounds like Clinton is for

      1. more walls over there.
      2. leaving the expelled or fleeing Muslim refugees remain in Jordan
      3. the excellent border control under Benny
      4. diligent deporting of illegal foreigners of a different faith back to the occupied territories

      It’s good that she doesn’t openly talk about these things.

  29. marym

    With Yemeni Casualties Rising, GOP Senator Looks to Block Big Arms Sale to Saudi Arabia

    Citing concerns over Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, Republican Senator Rand Paul says he’s looking for ways to stop a $1.15 billion weapons deal with Riyadh that would include the sale of 130 Abrams battle tanks, 20 armored vehicles, and other military equipment.

    Still, stopping the deal is going to be an uphill battle. The main beneficiary of the deal is General Dynamics Land Systems, according to a statement by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency. The firm is a subsidiary of General Dynamics, a massive defense contractor that wields significant clout on Capitol Hill. That could make it hard for Paul to find the allies he would need in the House and Senate to permanently block the sale.

    1. JTMcPhee

      For anyone at all interested in the implacable juggernaut that is the world military industrial network, who has any room left for outrage or a taste for vintage futility, might I recommend adding “Defense Industry Daily” to your reading? After a while, it gets clearer that there really is only one big consortium of bleeders and thieves and “innovators,” all of them working in their large and small ways to accelerate the demise of our incompetent species. Every kind of weapon, weaponization of anything that’s not already, technology without any kind of borders or reference to survival or comity. Not even much of a nod to “national interest,” just “contracts” for “requirements” to create or “meet threats.”
      With some additional context:

    2. Jim Haygood

      Saudi paid a $25 million bribe “contribution” to the Clinton Foundation to get this sale okayed. No pissant “senator” from Kentucky is going to stop it.

  30. ekstase

    I’m glad somebody took the time to name parts of the moon, Peak of Eternal Light, and Crater of Everlasting Darkness. This way, we’ll have something poetic to think about while we watch people battle for it.

  31. ekstase

    Re: anti-vegan crusader.
    “If even only one child ends up in a hospital because of this behavior, I feel we have to protect them all,” said Savino,

    What if they get obesity, cancer, clogged arteries, or any of the other things they can get from what currently passes for meat and dairy? This is so ignorant.

    1. Isotope_C14

      /cue music.

      My Bologna’s ground up sphincters,
      lips, and eyeballs too,
      it’s made from all the nasty things Oscar Meyer hides from you…

  32. dk

    1. Trump never really wanted to win, or if he did, now that campaigning has given him a bit more of an idea of what the job entails (including kissing a lot of ass), he’s decided he doesn’t want to win. I raised that issue a long time ago and it still looks like an open question.

    And if he does win, I’m up for a side bet that he pulls a Palin and quits before two years are over.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Did Nixon kiss ass? Did Reagan? I won’t bother to ask if 0Bomba or the Clantons did. Schmoozing, now that is a different behavioral set. And gee, the schmoozers seem like the ones that help avoid sh!t like global thermonuclear war and stuff…

  33. Kim Kaufman

    re Trump: I have heard David Cay Johnston now speak multiple times on the radio thumping his new book on The Donald. He thinks Donald is an idiot businessman – he’s in the casino business but has no idea how it works, knows nothing about it and is basically incurious as well. His Atlantic City properties were the first to go down because they were the weakest. I think Trump’s managed to survive through bluster (and bankruptcy courts) but he’s in a different business now – that of being a Presidential nominee. The media basically created his candidacy in their quest for “eyeballs.” Donald made fools of them because he’s not spending the $$ they count on this time of year. They may have the last laugh, however, as now they’re all scared sh**less that he may get the job and will work to destroy him. However, the media seems pretty stupid on this as well where all they have to do is stop making him front page headline news every five minutes. Does Trump now want it? Who knows? Was the story that he offered Kasich the VP slot telling him he could handle the domestic and foreign policy true? If true (and who knows), did he offer Pence the same deal? Honestly, Pence, to me, is the dealbreaker with Trump because he may (if elected) be doing all the policy making.

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