Links 8/9/16

Wisconsin man’s prosthetic leg found in beaver dam Twin Cities (Chuck L). Richard Smith is getting some tough competition in the anti-antidote category.

Marine Le Pen profite de la journée du chat pour communiquer Le Monde. Mon Dieu! Le Pen is using cats as part of her branding!


Scientists discover what’s killing the bees and it’s worse than you thought Quartz (Chuck L)

Backyard telescopes and amateur eyes see where “pro” astronomers can’t ars technica (Chuck L)

Microsoft, Sony, and other companies still use illegal warranty-void-if-removed stickers ExtremeTech (martha r)

Hackers Are Using Fake Wi-Fi Hotspots and Apps at the Rio Olympics Daily Dot (Chuck L)

Delta: Power cut strands thousands of passengers BBC

Delta Meltdown Reflects Problems With Aging Technology Wall Street Journal

UK copyright extension on designed objects is “direct assault” on 3D printing ars technica (Chuck L)

Whistleblower on Medical Research Fraud: ‘Positive Results Are Better for Your Career’ Der Spiegel (Dr. Kevin). Important.

Old Blighty

Corbyn consolidates grip on Labour with high court and NEC successes Guardian

Jeremy Corbyn Launches Bold, Progressive Plan to Transform U.K. TruthDig (Sid S)

Jeremy Corbyn’s allies plot to oust Labour’s General Secretary after accusing party’s ruling body of trying to rig leadership election Telegraph


China Backlash Over U.S. Missile Shield Puts North Asia on Edge Bloomberg


Erdoğan and Putin reignite the bromance Politico. You heard about it first at NC!

Turkey, Russia rapprochement not seen affecting Turkey’s NATO role – Germany Reuters

Recep Tayyip Erdogan : « Western leaders prefered to leave Turkish people to themselves » Le Monde. Calls out the EU for toying with Turkey.


Over 100 Palestinian Political Prisoners on Hunger Strike Defend Democracy

UK special forces pictured on the ground in Syria BBC (guurst)

The Shot Heard All Over the Country Counterpunch (Chuck L). Important.

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Surveillance: Taking liberties? Financial Times

‘Faceless Recognition System’ Can Identify You Even When You Hide Your Face Motherboard (Dan K). IMHO although this is meant to be a warning, I see this as having a different effect. Face recognition technology is nowhere near as accurate as this article suggests. But reports like this prime potential jurors to regard it as gospel, which is how DNA testing has also mistakenly come to be viewed. And this article is also throwing people off the track that you can defeat face recognition tech through makeup.

Imperial Collapse Watch

The CIA-occupied Hollywood failed evolution

Bush Administration Official: Saudi Ties to 9/11 Hidden to Protect Iraq War Narrative 28Pages


Bernie Sanders and the New Class Politics Jacobin (Sid S)

About A Third Of Bernie Sanders’s Supporters Still Aren’t Backing Hillary Clinton FiveThirtyEight (resilc). Finally! Someone (and of all people Nate Silvers) disputes the “90% of Sanders voters will vote for Hillary” trope. I had always assumed that figure had to be based on samples of registered Dems, when Sanders voters included many Independents and even some Republicans.

Heart of America John Laurits (martha r). Not very good title. A report from a Sanders delegate.

Sanders Supporters Stunned by Sudden Death of 38-Year Shawn Lucas Who Served the Lawsuit on the DNC and Wasserman Shultz Pam Martens and Russ Martens. Note this was NOT the attorney who filed the case but the process server.

The Green Party Has No Shame New Republic. Another example of the MSM attacks on the Greens. So the Dems own Sanders voters as a matter of right?

Are Hillary Clinton’s Strong Poll Numbers Misleading? Nation (resilc). Mind you…from The Nation. One of my contacts who speaks regularly in Italy says he’s never met a single person who voted for Berlusconi either, as in many supporters of tacky, crooked, transgressive candidates will lie about their preferences, even to pollsters.

Armed with junk science and old photos, critics question #HillarysHealth – The Washington Post. Lambert points out that Cernowich, who is the source for these stories does look like a whack job. However, the Post curiously ends with this bit:

But in a follow-up post, Cernovich speculated that Madison was not in fact a Secret Service agent, but a medical professional who must be around her at all times. In his comments on Twitter and at InfoWars, Shkreli speculated that Madison was holding “an Apokyn pen, used to treat Parkinson’s,” in a photo that revealed something in his right hand.

There’s no denial or rebuttal from the Clinton side.

Kaine and the Illegal War on ISIS American Conservative (resilc)

Republican security experts rail against Trump in open letter BBC. Translation: neocons have a hissy fit. Singers include prominent members of the crew that brought you WMDs in Iraq. With enemies like this, who needs friends?

Russia, Syria and the US: Hillary’s Foreign Policy Priority Counterpunch

The Neocon Project for a New Democratic Party TruthOut (resilc)

Donald Trump’s economic plan recycles the failed policies of the past Economic Policy Institute

Trump Appeals to the Center — of the GOP Donor Class New York Magazine (resilc)

Trump v Clinton: Comparing their economic plans BBC

Donald Trump Remarks at Detroit Economic Club CSPAN (Kevin C)

Ally of Trump staffer Paul Manafort: The staff is ‘suicidal,’ he’s mailing it in CNBC. Dan K: “Not necessarily a problem for Trump. Harwood on his soapbox.”

Grassroots Democrats Are Making the TPP a Big Issue in Congressional Races Nation (resilc)

Black Injustice Tipping Point

U.N. expert warns racism, police threaten civil rights in U.S., slams biased justice system Salon (guurst)

How the Fed’s QE Contributed to Inequality Institute for New Economic Thinking

20 Months, 90 Bankruptcies In North-American Oil & Gas OilPrice (resilc)

EFH bankruptcy fees approaching those of Enron FuelFix (margarita)

Class Warfare

In A New Bid To Push H-1B Program, Microsoft Manufactures Claim U.S. Students Can’t Hack It In Tech Daily Caller (Chuck L). The Daily Caller is questionable on party politics, but this seems well sourced.

The Feds Don’t Care If You Dropped Out of College. They Want Their Money Back Bloomberg

Antidote du jour (Robert M from @LatDesk):

biker cat links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. EndOfTheWorld

    RE: Hill’s health—-whatever it is, the press should make them come clean. Oh, wait; I forgot—the DNC OWNS the press.

      1. bdy

        Sigh. Blatantly doctored when the raw footage was already telling. Video was clearly reversed and tacked onto itself at the end, to make the event look twice as long. Disinformation.

        The news: “questions about health,” becomes “sexists fake video!” . . . like “Dems tilt primary” becomes “Russians election tampering!”

        1. vidimi

          i believe you’re wrong. she puts on a smile in the second part so clearly they are not the same.

      2. Rhondda

        Everyone looks strange in slo-mo — so I would’ve not made much of that … except for the questioner’s facial expression. Her face said WTF?!
        But then perhaps HRC is physically dramatizing something in relation to what she was asked…? No audio…no context, really….Hard to judge.

    1. Antifa

      Several times since her fall and the subsequently discovered blood clot in her brain, Hillary has appeared in public wearing Fresnel lens glasses, which correct for double vision.

      Double vision can be a lingering or a recurring effect of a serious concussion, depending on the area of the brain concussed. A recurring effect indicates permanent damage to that are of the brain. Much of the time, other areas of the brain can compensate for the loss of vision or motor skills or whatever the individual symptoms are.

      Double vision is quite a handicap.

      1. Synoia

        Double vision is not a handicap for Hillary. She uses it to triangulate her journey from left (behind) to Right (on the money).

    2. sleepy

      Other than her fall and concussion a few years back, with the speculation that she may have suffered a stroke, which is serious enough, this latest on Hillary’s health seems sketchy to me. But I suppose it’s to be expected given her earned reputation for secrecy and lying.

      But as many have observed, Bubba definitely looks sick. Not just his gauntness but he appears enfeebled when speaking and moving around. He reminds me of someone in his mid-80s.

      1. Dr. Roberts

        *Dons tinfoil hat* Maybe its an act and he’s going to “die” in October to give her the sympathy vote.

  2. Ignim Brites

    “How the Fed’s QE Contributed to Inequality” Let’s see. The Fed counterfeits several trillion dollars and hands it out to the wealthiest. How could that not increase inequality?

  3. voteforno6

    Re: Delta Outage

    I was caught up in that…fortunately I arrived at my destination only 4.5 hours later, and that was only because I missed my connecting flight by about 20 minutes. Fortunately they automatically re-booked me, so I didn’t have to stand in that extremely long line at the Delta service counter.

    I could say that I would never fly Delta again because of this, but I have my doubts that the other airlines are in any better shape (I guess that’s how people come to accept the crapification). Besides, hopefully Delta will now take steps to at least fix this issue. Besides, it wasn’t the worst travel-related experience that I’ve ever had.

  4. Skippy

    Random wireless Oz news on AM whilst waiting for youngest daughter at salon getting hair done for semi formal…. drum roll…. El Trumpo at economic speech used EPI (Economic Policy Institute
    Non-profit [labour / liberal mob]) stuff in it….

    Disheveled Marsupial…. next thing you know someone will broach the topic of Marginalism….

      1. ewmayer

        I’ll take that over 6 guys named Bubba, Alan G, Ben Shalom, Larry S, Robert R and Janet Y any day.

  5. Holly

    As I watched the clips of Hillary, her movements reminded me of my mother who suffered from Parkinson’s. The freezing and her manner of speech make me think she has been trained in Big & Loud Voice

    What’s really scary is Parkinson’s is like other neurodegenerative diseases – they all lead to dementia and no one can predict the speed of the impending degeneration. One thing for sure, stress makes matters worse.

    So are we in fact really re-electing Bill Clinton to the White House and Hillary is just a pawn in his megalomaniac plans?

    1. Dan

      These (serious) questions of Hillary’s health seem to be pointing who the true Manchurian candidate might be.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Clinton loyalists and lazy Democrats. Without direct patronage, there isn’t much demand for Clinton insiders. The Gore 2000 campaign manager is the interim head of the DNC. If Gore had one a sqeuaker, Brazille should not have found work in the Democratic party. For lazy electeds, Obama has been a god send. They don’t do anything except hide behind Obama.

    2. Arizona Slim

      Clinton had a blood clot in the leg while she was First Lady. The White House’s chief physician, Connie Mariano, didn’t gloss over the seriousness of it in her book, White House Doctor.

      As for Parkinson’s leading to dementia, that happened to a former coworker. He was a brilliant man who was reduced to near helplessness.

      One day, while his wife was at work in a local library, he wandered away from his house. A day later, his body was found in the nearby desert. Wife was amazed that he was able to walk that far.

    3. PlutoniumKun

      I’ve heard several people who don’t follow US politics all that closely mention that they felt there is something very wrong with Clinton just based on watching her on TV. There seems to be a determined effort by the media not to bring it up, but surely this can only go on so long before it becomes all too obvious.

      If it is true that she has a potentially debilitating illness, I wonder what the back up plan is? Can Kaine simply step into her shoes? Or would they use it as an excuse to replace her with Biden? Are there any legal precedents for what could be done? One thing for certain of course is the they would do anything to prevent Sanders making a claim.

      1. Eureka Springs

        This is an important question. After all none of the electorate had a chance to vote on the V.P. during the primary. It would seem to me, one who didn’t vote for anyone in the primary, that Sanders garnered enough votes in this situation to clearly and rightfully (leftfully?) claim the nomination.

        At the very least, delegates (sans the supers) should reconvene and vote on it.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          The nomination of anyone other than Sanders would be a disaster for the Democrats. The do nothing Congress is coming home to roost. A hypothetical architect of a “successful” ACA could step in, but it was written by health care lobbyists and is an ongoing disaster. Homogenization and mandate funded and unfunded have reduced the ability of governors to separate themselves from the pack. Only three cities are important enough to see a politico mayor jump, and those mayors are nothings to be kind. There are no more heroes. Buzz Aldrin is way too old to be recruited and a drunk. The costs of a secure empire and lack of frontiers are there are no more heroes who could be dragged up. Tulsi Gabbard is an outside possibility. She is a prominent veteran who has been on the trail, but she wasn’t at the front of the light brigade or Sergeant York.

          Biden is Hillary without the celebrity. The 2005 Bankruptcy Act will destroy him with young people and anyone with debt. The Iraq War.

          Kaine is an anti choice Democrat. The Democrats are already the women party. Putting a candidate who thinks women should be controlled isn’t really a good idea.

          1. nycTerrierist

            “Kaine is an anti choice Democrat. The Democrats are already the women party. Putting a candidate who thinks women should be controlled isn’t really a good idea.”

            Calling all so-called feminists for Hillary. Are any of you paying attention?
            (rhetorical question).

            just ugh!

        2. voxhumana

          After LBJ pulled out of the race, Humphrey “won” the nomination over McCarthy without getting even one primary vote. Any notion that Sanders would get the nod should Hillary drop out is wishful thinking. Because democrats…

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Sanders endorsed her.

            If she says ‘I want this person to replace me at the top of the ticket,’ presumably he trusts she is making the right decision.

        3. Ed

          A few notes on this. Between 1832 and 1968, presidential nominees were selected by national conventions of delegates from state parties, most of them not selected in presidential primaries or something similar. During this period it wasn’t unusual for the vice presidential nominees to be selected by the convention, with no visible or even sometimes behind the scenes involvement by the presidential nominee. The last time this occurred was with the Democrats in 1956.

          This has not happened with the post-1968 patchwork system of manipulated primaries. There is a case for the vice presidential nominee to be selected by the party instead of just announced by the presidential nominee. Its hard to see how to do this with the current system. When states elect governors, often there is a separate primary solely for lieutenant governor, but the presidential primary process is not a single nationwide primary.

          Akhil Amar gave an interesting defense of the office of the Vice President in his biography of the Constitution, noting that the record of nine instances of Vice Presidents being elevated to President mid-term has actually on balance been fairly good (only one real disaster and at least a couple of instances of an upgrade). However, this has not happened post 1968 so the current system has not been tested. Franklin Roosevelt at least in public was not involved in selecting Truman. The convention would have picked Lyndon Johnson anyway if it had been left up to the delegates. Ford was selected under the 25th Amendment procedure. One saving grace of the modern system is that the presidential candidates who pick obviously bad running mates do lose support in the general election

      2. JTMcPhee

        Hey, “the press” has a long history of covering for “disabled presidents:” FDR, Kennedy, Reagan… Because We Need Our Leaders To Appear Strong. Maybe that’s one reason for all the hating on Putin, who might actually be both strong and less driven to demolish the planet… Less, a relative term…

      3. Propertius

        DNC rules give the National Committee the authority to fill vacancies on the ticket that occur after the Convention (DNC Charter and Bylaws, Article III, Section 1(c)). They can pick anyone they want.

    4. Carolinian

      Alex Cockburn often quoted his journalist dad: “Believe no story until it has been officially denied.” That’s assuming the WaPo is a Clinton spokesoutlet of course. And while they probably debunk the freeze up vid they do strangely whiff on the Diazepan pen which is the more serious question. Wouldn’t it be rather simple for the Post to just ask HRC’s campaign whether she has Parkinson’s?

    5. Pavel

      I stumbled on the various #HillarysHealth posts earlier. All I can say is, if that “bobble head” video which the WaPo seeks to dismiss as some sort of joke is real, there is some serious pathology going on there.

      Months ago someone pointed out that HRC’s “medical records report” (such as it is) came from a Mount Kisco, NY physician — not from any leading medical centre, and it was just a summary.

      There’s a lot of fuss about Trump’s tax returns; I agree they should be made available. But so should detailed medical reports for anyone seeking the POTUS job. If one doesn’t want to share them, that’s fine — but don’t run for POTUS.

    6. JTMcPhee

      There’s a lot of that going around — Erdogan for one, Netanyahoo, on and on… Kissinger: “Power is dze ultimadt ahvrodisiac,” after a session with Jill St. John’s legs…

      Some of us humans have the knack for the many “apps” that lead to accumulating power. A larger contingent of us learn or intuit the tricks of staying close to the power magnets while assisting them in their game, getting rich off the process. I really appreciate the skills of the writers, directors and actors of “Game of Thrones,” in their depiction of what seems to be the inevitable centralization and drive to domination and disconnection of those who have “passed over” to that state of self-indulgent blissful unconcern so nicely captured by “Tant pis — Apres moi le deluge…”

      We keep hoping that Danaerys will somehow get it together and with her dragons and armies (full of rapacious and ambitious killers), take all the marbles and then create a lasting, just Empire of the Seven Kingdoms. I note that she is starting to show the signs of aging — who, if she manages the “win” over Sircei and the Dornians and slaver states and all, and angry old Grandma Tyrell, will become the successor? We all know in our mortal bones that as long as there’s any energy and power to be concentrated, one or a few of our fellow humans will happily repeat the cycle, because it is “in their nature,” as in the fable of the frog and the scorpion,, looking toward this bit of observation:

      Arya wonders “What is west of Westeros?” And what is south, and east? The auteurs already have told us what is North: Death.

      Yah, it’s just a movie… And Aesop’s tales are just fictions too…

      1. Fred

        The Virgin Queen – who did one better than Odysseus by killing actual warriors rather that a bunch pansy hangers on who stayed home while he was fighting that foreign war ( to free a woman) – will, with her army of eunuch former slaves, “free” the oppressed people of the 7 kingdoms. They’ve gone full SJW; so has Hilary. All that is needed now is some real fire breathing dragons. I guess we’ll have to settle for 3rd wave feminists.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The She-Warrior reminds of Fu Hao.

          From Wiki:

          Fu Hao (simplified Chinese: 妇好; traditional Chinese: 婦好; pinyin: Fù Hǎo; died c. 1200 BC) or Lady Hao, posthumously Mu Xin (母辛), and sometimes Lady Fu Hao, was one of the many wives of King Wu Ding of the Shang dynasty and, unusually for that time, also served as a military general and high priestess.[1]

          I suspect she was a Scythian princess or an Amazon warrior.

    7. Anne

      This is a woman who has had problems with blood clots, a history of falling, and who had a significant concussion and clot in a vein in her head while serving as Secretary of State. She stepped down from that position just weeks later. Yes, it coincided with the end of Obama’s first term, and she had said she only planned to serve in that role for one term, so maybe there’s nothing more to it than that: coincidence.

      Could she have some sort of lingering damage from the concussion? I don’t know why not, but at the same time, I don’t know that we can assume there’s a problem.

      I don’t think either of the Clintons look all that great, physically, but unless the things we see are symptoms of something we can’t – like possible early-stage Parkinson’s or even MS or something that has the potential to affect her ability to process information and make rational decisions – I don’t think the relatively normal and expected physical decline of someone approaching 70 matters that much.

      What are the chances we’re ever going to know for sure before the election? Well, unless there is some kind of event – like she passes out again, or falls – I don’t think there’s much chance at all. At the same time, I don’t think it’s unreasonable, given the severe concussion and resulting blood clot, for her to undergo a complete physical and neurological exam, and for the public to be informed of the results.

      I also wonder from time to time if she might be suffering from some anxiety and panic; that could explain some of her seeming hesitations. As someone who has some experience with that, the insidiousness of it is that you don’t always know when it’s going to rear its ugly head. The coughing? I’d be willing to bet that’s GERD.

      The bottom line for me is that I don’t know that we’ll ever know for sure what is – or isn’t- going on; at a minimum, I don’t think it’s likely she’s going to allow anything to get in the way of her taking the oath on January 20th, even if they have to prop her up to do it.

      1. Jim Haygood

        ‘even if they have to prop her up to do it’

        One can easily envision a bedridden Broom Hilda, equipped with the 45-degree mirror goggles described by Philip Roth in The Anatomy Lesson, which allow her to lie prone on her back while regarding visitors with rheumy blue eyes.

        After silently entertaining their petitions, she dispenses her orders in a croaking whisper that only Huma can interpret, after announcing “your audience is concluded.”

        It is only after leaving the darkened chamber and being seized by Hillary’s eunuch palace guards that the luckless visitor learns the import of the imperial ukase: “Off with his head.”

        1. JTMcPhee

          Maybe it will look something like this:

          With a side order of this:

          With some evil female Secretary of State or National Security Adviser telling the general to “grow a pair” and get on with the business of Mutual Assured Destruction…

          That same movie has a neat scene where the SecDef goes to Yahyah Industries to which billions of dollars have been given to produce a new bomber, only to discover that it was money to build a spaceship to let the evil Lectroids take over the Galaxy… “Where’s my goddam bomber?” Funny movie… Sort of…

      2. Brian

        she can’t take questions, can’t speak without a teleprompter to read, can’t walk and has two serious pathologies that we are aware of.
        she won’t release med records any more than they will release the speeches or the foundation bribery contracts.
        and she is still trying to rule the world. floor, meet sick.

        1. Arizona Slim

          And then there’s the first woman president thing. Well, we’ve already had one. Edith Wilson ran the country after Woodrow’s stroke.

      3. optimader

        but unless the things we see are symptoms of something we can’t – like possible early-stage Parkinson’s or even MS or
        Rotting from the inside out.

    8. Butch In Waukegan

      “So are we in fact really re-electing Bill Clinton to the White House . . .”

      I had the same thought the other day and imagined a Harry Shearer The Clinton Years episode — “Don’t worry, babe, I got your back. Woodrow and Ellen were able to pull it off.”

    9. Ed

      Keep in mind that the real presidential candidates are Tim Kaine and Mike Pence, not the headliners.

  6. EndOfTheWorld

    Some people have been predicting for many months she would eventually drop out for health reasons. It’s significant, IMHO, that she hasn’t held a press conference in about a year. I’m no expert in brain physiology, but the layman can see she’s screwed up. She made it through the “nice guy” Bernie debates, but will she make it through the Tumultuous Trump debates?
    At a minimum, the press should ascertain who exactly is this guy hanging around her with the “special pen” who told her to “keep talking” when she was mildly harassed at one of her rallies.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Looks like “Doctor D,” don’t he … dealer of Fentanyl patches to the late Prince.

  7. temporal

    Scientists discover what’s killing the bees

    Clickbait sounding title leads to a story about what a lot of people have been saying for a long time. The so-called scientists working for Monsanto and other companies in the chemical poison industries have never bothered to look at the range of poisons being used in agriculture and their interactions. They test the the target application’s effect on the plants to be sprayed and little else. It makes perfect sense since these sorts of tests don’t improve their product’s profitability. Nor do they actually have the right to test other manufacturers products.

    Ever since the Reagan administration pushed the proposition that market’s should test their products and submit their results back to the government we have been going down a completely predictable path. The root cause has been known for a long time. Upton Sinclair said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!” Businesses focus on profits and technology, often described as science, is a means to an end.

    1. notabanker

      ““The pesticide issue in itself is much more complex than we have led to be believe,” he says. “It’s a lot more complicated than just one product, which means of course the solution does not lie in just banning one class of product.”

      The study found another complication in efforts to save the bees: US honey bees, which are descendants of European bees, do not bring home pollen from native North American crops but collect bee chow from nearby weeds and wildflowers. That pollen, however, was also contaminated with pesticides even though those plants were not the target of spraying.

      “It’s not clear whether the pesticides are drifting over to those plants but we need take a new look at agricultural spraying practices,” says vanEngelsdorp.”

      Can’t ban the chemicals, we just need to spray them on differently.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      There has long been legitimate fears that the real damage done by biocides is not individual toxicity but cumulative and interactive effects. Its notoriously difficult to identify these effects either in lab tests or in environmental studies. The only reasonable policy is to take a highly precautionary approach to any products that are in any way environmentally pervasive. But this has proven almost impossible to implement in the face of industry pressure.

      1. JTMcPhee

        …and if you take the time to research the research, you will find that the situation is worse than stated. But if your aim is to just impeach the bearers of bad news, why bother?

    3. DJG

      temporal: I agree. The combination of dozens of fungicides, herbicides, and pesticides isn’t doing the bees any good. Yet farmers and even cities are convinced that they have to spray and spray.

      One quibble: This assertion makes no sense: “The study found another complication in efforts to save the bees: US honey bees, which are descendants of European bees, do not bring home pollen from native North American crops but collect bee chow from nearby weeds and wildflowers. ”

      First, the nearby wildflowers are likely to be native North American species. Second, I have seen honeybees in a restored prairie near my place. They are attracted to all of the prairie plants in blossom, including such North American species as bee balm and asters. Whatever the author meant doesn’t detract from the overall conclusion, but it is an odd assertion.

      1. sleepy

        I found that statement strange as well.

        I have had my front yard converted to native prairie grasses and flowers for 4 years now. Living in ground zero of chemical agriculture–Iowa–I have not seen a honeybee in 7 or 8 years until yesterday when I went to a wild prairie reserve and saw one on a great blue lobelia–a native wildflower.

        When I was growing up in the south, every kid knew not to run barefoot through a patch of white clover. The honeybees were all in it and was a surefire recipe to get stung.

  8. jgordon

    So, it’s a “witch’s brew” of fungicides and pesticides killing off bees. I want to do that thing where Captain Picard is grabbing his forehead whenever I see something like this.

    The level of propaganda from the chemical industries is so extreme that I often have people, usually the better educated ones, telling me that it’s a “fact” that GMOs and the various chemicals laid on crops these days have dramatically increased food production. This is one of those false statements that’s hard to refute. The person making the statement is almost always entirely ignorant of the subject (outside of the propaganda they’ve been exposed to in schools and the media), and persuading them that they maybe have unhelpful and harmful opinions first requires that they discard what they already “know”. That’s always impossible given only few hours or less. So I’ve been trying to condense my spiels into shorter blurbs.

    Monocropping by definition is a pretty inneficient way to get calories out of land (since a monocrop can not effectively utilize even a small portion of the available/potential energy and resources in its area–this part requires a longish detour into ecology if the point is argued)–and especially industrial monocropping which is what necessitates the use of all these dangerous chemicals in the first place.

    Look at this like a math problem. Tote up all the calories that go into industrial farming a monocrop–starting with calories it takes to run the tractor, the calories (including the total industries that exist to produce these products) contained within the fungicides, pesticides, and herbicides, the calories it takes to ship the produce all over the US, among many other things, then compare that to the calories inside of the produce. And meat is far more inneficient to even that.

    You’d have to be a drooling imbecile to design a system that profligately wasteful and bad, yet according to most educated people we “need” it. So the bees must die. Oh my God people are Fing weird and twisted, and I’m convinced that education takes a lot of the blame for that. Education is less about learning things and more abiut being culturally indoctrinated to accept the Official Narritive. By this point I think people are better off avoiding most schooling–being educated is probably maladaptive as far as surviving the crap that’s coming at us goes.

    1. Skippy

      You can thank Norman Borlaug and the Green Revolution…. “the “Father of the Green Revolution,” who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970, credited with saving over a billion people from starvation, involved the development of high-yielding varieties of cereal grains, expansion of irrigation infrastructure, modernization of management techniques, distribution of hybridized seeds, synthetic fertilizers, and pesticides to farmers.”

      Disheveled Marsupial…. saving millions of lives…. cough… expanding market share and creating new customers…

      1. OIFVet

        This ties into something from the bananas article, where Michael Pollan states that the million dead Irish due to the potato famine would not have existed in the first place hed not the huge monocrops allowed them to exist in the first place. So perhaps higher yielding GMO monocrops, far from solving a problem, only make it worse. Man, in his folly, seems to think that he can outwit nature infinitely and continually expand the carrying capacity of the planet through science. Well, “better living through science” seems more and more like a hair_raising dystopia to me…

        1. JTMcPhee

          Seems to me the endpoint trope for all this monocultivationalism is the Evil Aliens from the “Independence Day” movies — moving in, getting the “assets” in place, exterminating the local Wogs, eating all the resources until the planet is a husk, them moving on to the next one.

          We never do find out what the Aliens planned to extract from Gaia — or what they ate. Soylent Green? They killed humans, but apparently did not have a taste for “long pig…” And these creatures clearly were not “tourists” even. So what gives?

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The best solution or explanation in the 50s, 60s, or 70s is not the best solution today.

          And the best solution today will not be so in another 10 years.

          And as we struggle to get rid of the best solution of the 50s, do we hesitate about applying the best solution of today?

          1. OIFVet

            Dunno…seems to me that a smaller population is the best solution, but that is objectionable to the groaf and PC crowds on so many levels.

    2. Noonan

      How about the inefficiency of monocropping corn, shipping it to a distillery, converting it to ethanol, shipping it again, and then burning it in a car? Insanity.

    3. OIFVet

      I tend to have very low opinion of the educated class; I find that my true education began the moment I began to reject my formal “learning”.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Hopefully, it will be free so we can say, ‘at least the college education didn’t cost my any money…just 4 or 5 years of my life.”

      2. Carolinian

        C’mon some of the educated are actually very smart. /sarc

        Chomsky says college students are no longer taught how to think and some would say that should be the purpose of higher education. These days, instead, they are taught what to think.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          If you have money, lots of it, and need to keep your machine going, you would want the best to man it.

          The way to do that is by testing as many children of the serfs as possible and see which ones can graduate with a 4.0 GPA.

          Naturally, you – or those in the Education Industrial Complex – want to spread the testing, maybe even offer it free.

          And of course, your machine being progressive, is open to all from all corners. You want the best (adjusted for cost) in the world.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            That’s a reason why they don’t care if you drop out.

            They are only interested in the top winners of the Darwinian academic (No, you don’t share answers in the exam) struggle.

            What ever happened to the slow learners in your 3rd grade class?

            Who cares? She or he was dumb. All I know is I was the best, scored the highest and was praised by everyone. I demolished the slow learners. Totally destroyed them, not physically, just academically (and that’s my ticket to a place at the dining table with our overlords).. Too bad if they are starving now or lack money for healthcare.

            1. cwaltz

              Everyone knows intelligence is all that matters.

              Nevermind, traits like compassion, empathy, generousity or honesty……those traits are for suckers.

              Is it any wonder that we’ve got greedy psychopaths running the place when you have to argue with people that yes, there is a place for studies like art or music because the Almighty Dollar is not meant to be worshiped……it’s meant to be a tool.

              1. JTMcPhee

                .., of course both Art and Music get monetized and crapified pretty readily too, now don’t they? Sotheby’s, and MP3…?

                Nothing that we humans can’t spoil…

              2. MojaveWolf

                Heh, it’s sometimes hard to tell what is sarcasm and what is not in all the pro/con education, “best & brightest” (gag) discussions.

                As someone who’s ALWAYS finished in the top 1% on every standardized test from the NEDT at 15 up thru the GRE & the LSAT, w/out ever taking any of the prep courses, and had perfect scores on a lot of the sections, but whose college & law school grades were all over the place (I managed an A, B, C & D all in one semester once in each, and it’s really, really hard to get a D in law school; the undergrad was getting knocked down to minimum passing for attendance even tho my test scores were fine, the law school was for a very strong difference of opinion w/my prof which I was unwilling to change on the final) I think people put way way way way too much stock in formal credentials. I’ve worked in everything from law to the entertainment industry (and even part time helping out a friend of the family who was a multiple times elected state legislator) and I’ve worked in landscaping and unskilled construction and several other things.

                I’ve known extreme mediocrities who somehow managed to become lawyers and doctors, and met some arguably brilliant people in the unskilled no credential jobs, and some other super bright people who never managed to hold down a job at all. I never put as much weight in “credentials” as most did, even when I was younger, but I’ve placed less and less on that sort of thing as I’ve gotten older and gained experience. It is frightening to me that society seems to be going the other way around, valuing the ability to think and one’s personal judgement less, instead trying to make everything all about what boxes you can tick off and how much experience you have on a given rote task.

                I’m horrified now every time I see someone describe college as an intellectual “safe space”. I always thought improving your ability to think critically and solve all sorts of problems and analyze and dissect arguments was at least as important as learning facts. For one thing, the former ability helps you figure out which “facts” are true and how much weight to give them when you’re assessing any particular situation. It also helps you adapt to new situations should you change careers, or the nature of your career change, etc. Creating a space where no one has to think outside their pre-established comfort zone seems absolutely contrary to this.

                But back to where I was originally headed, it really irks me when people seem to accept that those at the top of the financial or prestige ladder are necessarily smarter by any standard. Luck plays a huge role. Being a workaholic helps, and while that’s celebrated in our culture it’s not necessarily a good thing and can be a really bad thing. Having the stomach and/or desire to do the social networking thing helps (i.e. either actually fitting in to the culture, which I’m sure lots of people do, or being willing to pretend like you fit in to the culture; nearly everyone does one or the other and I have no idea what the balance there is). And generally, yeah, you’re probably not going to get to the very top without being really smart in a certain sense. But you can get really, really high just by not being a complete idiot and being lucky and willing to conform (and showing up, etc)(see: GWB as a prime example of this, tho an exception to the “not make it to the really top” part, but it’s not just in politics). None of that really implies anyone is better or brighter than lots of other people, some of whom struggle and some of whom pass away before they reach 30.

                All of which used to be more or less taken for granted, a few decades ago, I think (or maybe I was just inclined towards reading/interacting w/people who thought that way, and interpreting what I read/heard in line w/my own prejudices). These days, I sadly think Chomsky is right. Our system is set up to create a world of worker drones, who are good at thinking towards how to accomplish a given applied task for which they have the proper training, but for the most part not at all good at figuring out which tasks we need to be performing, or thinking about the whys and wherefores of them.

                (that said, I actually don’t mean to come off as anti-education; I view education, journalism and politics all as sacred trusts essential for having a functional society. Sadly, all those trusts are being violated these days, thus the world getting less functional every day)

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  If being smart means having a high IQ, then, that’s one form of inherited mental capacity (because IQ doesn’t measure all) inequality.

                  Actually, being smart (beyond just IQ) is inherited in many cases, especially at the high end. We don’t know how to manufacture a gifted genius.

                  Inherited (by luck or by design).


                  And mortals are jealous of those who possess such unequal brain-ness (inequality). Don’t fight it. Admire the inequality.

                  And the Academic Jungle, the Intellectual Hunger Games, I came up through was a Libertarian one – you were on your own (more so the higher I went – didn’t expect any hand holding and helping the less talented you used to see in kindergarten).

                  How can the world not be Libertarian when we all had to come up trained to survive and thrive in one, leaving all those intellectually weak behind????

                  1. MojaveWolf

                    I’m pretty sure you’re joking, but what’s sad is I actually I have seen people say things like

                    And mortals are jealous of those who possess such unequal brain-ness (inequality). Don’t fight it. Admire the inequality.


                    leaving all those intellectually weak behind????

                    and mean it. And it seems like most of our boot-licking political journalists seem to believe some version of this, tho most of the ones claiming to be on the left try to hide(and fail miserably) that they think it. More funny than sad is that they seem to think being a decently paid lackey to the very well off or very powerful makes *them* one of the very powerful, and not just someone particularly dedicated to boot-licking. Tho I suppose they are at the top of the libertarian jungle in that particular skill.

                    Re: Hunger Games–what’s interesting about that analogy is Katniss won in part through pure luck, just as she almost lost through pure luck (with luck and gamesmaster intervention being more or less the same from her point of view), and in part (like all but one of the other ones who survived to the end) through successful cooperation. She was helped by those she had helped/been kind to, or their friends. And that the audience liked her for such cooperative tendencies gained her favor w/the luck bestowers who wanted to keep the audience favorite alive was kind of both in one.

                  2. cwaltz

                    I have found that the people who I’ve found to be the smartest(and ones that I try to model myself on) recognize that everyone has something to teach and something to learn. They aren’t just smart, they, unlike the elite that bray about their intelligence, are humbled by what they can learn from others.

                    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                      I will also add that they are the ‘bugs’ in the system that inculcates from childhood not to share intellectually.

                      With limited elite college admission spots, it’s not win-win, but win-lose, that is, when you win a spot, someone else loses her/his.

                      That’s a feature.

                      It’s like for you to make a billion, you have to make others poorer.

        2. OIFVet

          Well, I think that the ability to think is developed prior to college, but with today’s test-taking culture that ability does not get cultivated, it gets suppressed. Funny thing, in my elite HS alma matter (the same one 0bama’s progeny attended in Chicago, and the same one Arne Duncan matriculated from) high stakes testing is simply not done. What’s more, many of its educators and administrators are very vocal against high stakes testing. But hey, at least the chilluns of the elites do get some decent education before being dumbed down in the Ivies…

          BTW, the commie education system in pre-1989 BG somehow did not kill our ability to think. I am happy to report to the US imperial overlords that this appalling state of affairs has been addressed with the installation of “democracy, freedumb, and capitalism,” and now BG produces at least as many illiterates per capita as the imperial mainland…

    4. polecat

      I used to work, at times, as a retail nurseryman…… got a call by a frantic customer, who had bug ‘things’ all over her brick wall, and wanted advice on what pesticide to use to eradicate said scourge,,,, I asked the person to describe the ‘bugs’………turns out they were ladybug larvae and pupa…….which I implored her NOT to spray with ANYTHING….because of their benefit to her and the surrounding environment !! The woman was somewhat embarrassed and thankful for prognosis I had given her…….. point being, that many people just grab whatever chemical app they think will work……even if it is the wrong thing to use !!

      I had, just last month, a neighbor down the street asking, basically, the same question…and I told her to let them do their job..even though her fruit trees looked like hell…from the aphids, that the ladybug larvae were busily eating said aphids to their hearts’ content……..”Sigh”

      the public has been propagandized to spray anything that crawls……….

    5. low integer

      There seems to be a lot of parallels between what you are saying here, which is very interesting btw, and the practices of the FIRE sector, in that convoluted systems that do more harm than good are being built around ridiculously faulty assumptions that have taken on the unquestionability of religion due to deeply embedded vested interests. Haha that’s a long sentence.
      Yes, we are going to have to work out a way to spray this defective thinking with some strong mental pesticides, and I’m up to lend a hand. Like you alluded to in your comment, the battleground is located in the realm of ideas, and victory consists of thoroughly uprooting simplistic and unsound thinking. Nature is not linear!

      OK I really need to get back to my boring yet somewhat important writing (in the sense that I have to get it done) for a while.

      1. low integer

        Pondering this a little more, I think the “nature is not linear” statement is a good starting point to work from as it may catch people’s attention, allowing a fuller explanation of the interactions that are required for a healthy ecosystem to stay healthy. It will also give people a little catch phrase to say to their friends so they can feel smarter than them hahaha.

        1 – “You’re pro pesticides? Nature is not linear, man.”
        2 – “What? Nature is not linear?”
        1 – “Yeah. What, don’t you understand what I mean?”
        2 – “Not really.”
        1 – “It means nature does not take a linear path from receiving inputs to outputting outputs.”
        2 – “What?”
        1 – “Nature is only healthy when there are heaps of, like, interactions between all the stuff in nature. Y’know, like the soil and animals and bees and stuff. It all has to work together otherwise nature becomes decimated, kinda like the US public after Clinton repealled Glass-Steagal and Bush/Obama bailed out the too big to fails. Pesticides are screwing everything up.”
        2 – “Oh, right, now I see what you mean, makes sense. What did you say at the start of this conversation again? Nature is not linear?”
        1 – “Yeah.”

        1 and 2 are person 1 and person 2. Damn I’m good at procrastinating hahaha.

        1. low integer

          Btw I hope it is clear that I am not suggesting that this is not a conversation that you would have with someone, as clearly you know your stuff. What I am trying to get across is the way an idea can gain traction in society and be passed from one person to the next, regardless of whether they really understand the underlying dynamics of what they are talking about. Finding a way to get good ideas to spread throughout the public is something that the left needs to work out imo, because chances are the big media will always side with the money.

          1. low integer

            …hope it is clear that I am not suggesting that this is not a conversation that you…

            Hope what I was trying to say is clear. Time for me to retire for the day.

    1. LifelongLib

      I admit that I know nothing about Rotherham.

      That said, the article has a weird urban legend vibe to it…

      1. kareninca

        Urban legend? These were real victims of child rape. It was horrific. The girls had no-one to defend them; it was on a huge scale, in a supposedly civilized country. Saying it has an “urban legend vibe” is really dismissive of a huge amount of helpless female child suffering. I don’t know how you missed this story if you read the NYT or the WSJ or any other regular newspaper. Here’s a 2014 article about it from the NYT; perhaps its “vibe” will suit you better:

        From the NYT article:

        “A report released on Tuesday on accusations of widespread sexual abuse in the northern England city of Rotherham found that about 1,400 minors — some as young as 11 years old — were beaten, raped and trafficked from 1997 to 2013 as the local authorities ignored a series of red flags.

        Some children were doused in gasoline and threatened with being set on fire if they reported their abusers, the report said, and others were forced to watch rapes and threatened with the same fate. In more than a third of the cases, the victims appear to have been known to child protection agencies, but the police and local government officials failed to act.”

  9. Bugs Bunny

    Re “Wisconsin man’s prosthetic leg found in beaver dam”

    Personal anecdote: I was canoeing in rural Wisconsin (Kickapoo River) a few years back and had pulled my canoe up the bank to set up camp for the night. While looking for a good spot, I heard some noise back by the canoe and went to check it out — in time to see a couple of beavers next to the canoe, the larger of which had taken one of the oars (bright yellow plastic…). As soon as they saw me they swam with my oar to the opposite bank and ran away into the woods. When I told the canoe rental people what had happened to the missing oar they just said “OK”.

    1. Jim Haygood

      “The 49-year-old from Green Bay said he rescued his fishing gear and cooler, but the prosthetic limb got away.”

      It’s Wisconsin, man. He lost his leg, but his 36-can beer supply for the day was kept safe and cold.

      1. OIFVet

        Ah, Wisconsin…it is an odd state to be sure…more bars than churches in small towns, yet your best bet to buy beer after 10pm is to drive to a nearby unincorporated township…and being a FIB is an unwritten crime…

      2. fresno dan

        Jim Haygood
        August 9, 2016 at 9:17 am

        “Fuller and Franklin found the limb three miles from where Warner lost it. They returned it to Warner on Friday, netting a $50 reward for its safe return.”

        Well, at least getting it back didn’t cost an arm and a leg…

  10. abynormal

    UN finally notes black injustices…remind me again WHAT IN PEACE HELL DOES THE UN DO?

    Antidote…~It’s a cruel cruel world and I’m a cool cool Cat~

    1. Praedor

      Well, it…uh…

      OK, it does this: Remember…uh.

      What DOES the UN do (other than rubber stamp the US/Israel)?

      1. Propertius

        Well, it occasionally elects countries like Sudan, where slavery is still widely practiced, to the UN Human Rights Commission (2004). But I guess that’s okay, because they’re not Israeli.

    2. low integer

      Here’s a little Aus. politics story that has unfolded over the last month or so:
      In a funny twist of fate, Kevin Rudd, who I happily voted for and thought, along with his team, did a good job of running Australia while he was PM (though admittedly I wasn’t paying as close attention back then as I do now), wanted to run for the position of the head of the UN, a job which will soon be available. Apparently he is fully qualified for the role, and to be fair he pretty much comes across as a genius compared to some of the idiots currently infesting Aus. politics. Anyway, to formally be in the running he needed a nomination from Turnbull, as Turnbull is the current PM of Australia.

      Well after indicating that he would supply the nomination, Turnbull was besieged by factional politics within his own party, and the religious nut infested far right successfully got Turnbull to cave and refuse to supply the nomination. Turnbull is such a weak little man btw. Anyway the whole thing made me chuckle because even though the religious nut infested far right of Turnbull’s party thought they had won this great victory by denying Rudd the nomination, imo they actually helped him dodge a bullet. From what I observe, the UN is nothing like the neutral entity that I think Rudd assumes it is, and there is a fair chance that shit will get a bit crazy soon, though I hope not. Not a good time to be sitting at the head of the UN table imo.

      Anyway it’s a fairly trivial little story, but it made me chuckle to myself. Stupid politicians.

  11. sd

    This is actually a CalPers story so I thought it might be of interest.

    Pasadena Residents Rally Saturday to Save Civic Center and Surrounding Trees

    Like many other California cities, Pasadena is looking for ways to fund its obligation to CalPERS (California Public Employees Retirement System), whose bad investments have left the fund without adequate revenue to meet its obligations. It is now passing that responsibility on to individual cities.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Speaking of Calpers, another communique in response to my FOIA request arrived yesterday. Yet another 10-day extension is needed to search the records.

      Steering a $50 billion fixed income portfolio without knowing what its benchmark is, is like mushing a dog sled to the North Pole without a compass.

      You just have to rely on your sextant, dead reckoning, and the grace of the Deity to get you there. As they say in the corridors of Calpers, Hail Mary!

  12. tegnost

    Bees in Quartz
    The parasite has been implicated in Colony Collapse Disorder though scientists took pains to point out that their findings do not directly link the pesticides to CCD.
    “The pesticide issue in itself is much more complex than we have led to be believe,”
    Looks like someone in legal did some editing…I’d say it was been led to believe, which begs the question “by whom?”
    Another nugget was it takes 60% of the country’s bee’s to pollinate the almond crop…that and one bad winter can leave the fields fallow…hope there’s a self driving bee in the pipeline is all i’m saying…o and all those plants at the garden centers are most likely treated with neo nics very difficult to find ones that aren’t, I try to buy from farmers market small vendors but that not an option for many. I think I’ll put “neo” on the list with “smart” as signals to take cover.

    1. OIFVet

      Just returned from a vacation on the Southern Black Sea coast of Bulgaria. About 15km north of the Turkish border, the eastern foothills of the Strandja Mountain meet the sea coast. It’s a national park, with a network of other protected areas, which have thankfully stopped (thus far) “progress and groaf” through concrete tourist monstrosities selling cheap booze and cheaper sex to northern euro trash. Hardly a house in town without a “we sell own honey” on the front gate. The coriander honey is something out of this world… The lavender honey ain’t too shabby either, as is the acacia honey. No problem yet with bee die-offs, I asked…that seems to be distinct problem of modern “civilization”…

      1. Praedor

        If they can keep Monsanto, Dow, Bayer, etc, out with their GMOs and MANY chemicals, they will continue to have no issues. The West (USA in particular), however, will NOT hold back on trying to push (force) GMOs and chemicals upon Bulgaria and any other holdouts. Neoliberalism and worship of the God of Capitalism makes it impossible for the US/West to NOT do everything it can to force “modern farm practice” upon any and all.

        With “modern farm practice” comes ocean dead zones, diseases in amphibians (due to weakened immune systems, hormone disruption from mimetics), bird and bee death.

        1. OIFVet

          Yep, the TTIP is the trojan horse that would bring down EU’s anti-GMO barriers. The good news is that the Euro Shmoes are much more proactive than their US counterparts, care a lot about local food and slow food, and so far are exerting effective pressure on the Eurocracy. Will see if this holds…

      2. polecat

        There is some conjecture that the genome of the North American honeybee populations are too homogenized, from the intermixing of the various bee races (Italians, Carniolans, etc.) over the years… to dilute their vigor, thus their ability to fend off parasites and diseases, and there has been, in recent years, efforts to preserve and bring back Eastern-European drone sperm, to use in fertilizing honeybee queens in the States…….the juries still out on that one…sooo we’ll see what the future holds!

        On a personal note…My bees are doing pretty well so far this season…. had one colony swarm…and then had several after-swarms, one of which I kept. Said hive has re-bounded !!

        1. Synoia

          There is some conjecture that the genome of the North American honeybee populations are too homogenized, from the intermixing of the various bee races (Italians, Carniolans, etc.) over the years

          And Trump will ban Muslim bees…

          1. OIFVet

            …and introduce Eastern European unter-honeybee genome…the horror!!!the horror!!! That goes against everything that Anglo-Saxon uber-imperialist ideology stands for!!! Putin is so eeevil…

          2. polecat

            Fuckin HeyZeus on a kabob !!! ……can’t you-all break away from politics/foreign cracks for more than a nano second……..

            there’s other life out in the world….go spend some time amongst it once it a while will ya….

            Trump, and the Muslims….will still be around for another day…


          3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            The trouble with those bees started when they claimed there was one and only one Bee God.

        2. OIFVet

          Nice!!! My granny in BG has a local beekeeper place couple of hives on her property, gets her fruits and veggies pollinated and some of the honey to booth. I brought back two jars, a little taste of home with every teacup and crumpet…

        3. Synapsid


          An old friend of mine is a beekeeper in Alaska, keeping Russian bees. I think that’s the kind he recommends for the North.

          1. polecat

            Well Ok then……

            sorry for the short rant.. but….” yer pushed me buttons, ya did….arggg !” ;’/

          2. polecat

            ‘Russian’ bees……

            I’m not stinging…….

            actually. yes Russian strains are hardy…if perhaps a little surly…..

            I keep Carniolans, and Italians, as they tend to be more gentle…..being that I’m in city setting (backyard beekeeper)…neighbors and all that…..

  13. Tinky

    The linked bee die-off article, while interesting, is dated July 24, 2013. Are the findings still up to date and relevant?

    1. JTMcPhee

      Yah, the findings, such as they are, no doubt edited so as to reduce any offense to the powerful and careless, are up to date and relevant. The corporate chemical cos continue to obfuscate, to demolish the residues of the “precautionary principle” that supposedly assigns the profiteers the burden of proof that their profitable activities will not cause harm, and to add in all the ways that marketing and manufactured demand can think up and invent and innovate, to the burden of toxins that bees and birds and people are left to their own sad devices to somehow accommodate to and survive while delivering more labor and wealth to the few. Who of course, in keeping with the central behavioral tenets of the predatory class, will continue to grab all they can in either blissful unconcern, or in the knowledge (like what the executives of the Soylent Corporation knew, in the back story for “Soylent Green”) that humanity is Fokked, so eat, drink and be merry while they live, free of any consequences.

      Tinkly, were you thinking the date of the article somehow impeached the thesis? Might I observe that there’s one trick that the Chemical Industrial Complex (along with SLAPP suits) and other kinds of subversion) uses to deflect and defeat any real necessary action. It used to be that “We don’t know enough” was supposed to be the driving thought process of “regulators” in looking at permitting and authorizing chemical assaults on our ecology. Now that’s been turned on its head by these barstids I used to deal with as an EPA attorney — the regulators now say “We don’t know enough (thanks to disingenuous “science” by the supposedly regulated manufacturers) to regulate…”

      1. Tinky

        I haven’t followed the story recently, and was simply surprised that such a dated article was linked, rather than something more recent.

      2. reslez

        The surprise is not that the article is 3 years old but that 3 years on nothing has been done.

        1. polecat

          Not true……

          Maybe ‘nothing is being done’ by the corporate world, and to a large extent by government…except mostly lip service……but it’s the little guy, the small-time beekeepers, that are trying to utilize bio-dynamic methods of keeping,and maintaining hives, so as to help the colonies servive with vigor, rather then constantly stressing them out……as is often the case with the large and/or corporate beekeeping outfits !! In my case, I allow the bees to draw their own comb (Bar Hives) rather than relying on wax or plastic foundation……. This mean that the bees decide what cell size to use, depending on THEIR needs….not the beekeeper’s…….. Also, because the comb is new, there isn’t as much build-up of chemical there might be with older comb, also less problems with wax moths, which are attracted to older comb that has layers of bee stuff(scales & duff from larvae and pupae) The BIG BEE guys could care less about these issues cuz it’s Alllll about the profit motive !

          p.s. I do not sell what honey my bees produce…. I give away some to fiends, family, and the neighbors on my block….

          guess that makes me a chump…. eh??

  14. tongorad

    The Forgotten Militants – Weak working class resistance is rooted in the loss of radical trade unionists

    Today, rebuilding a militant minority committed to a politics of solidarity, democracy, and political independence is the key to reviving working-class resistance and radicalism in the United States. Indeed, it’s telling that the only successful strikes of the past thirty years were the products of independent organizing by rank-and-file reform groups like TDU and CORE.

    Socialists need to prioritize rebuilding this layer of worker activists, which is today gathered around Labor Notes and its newsletter, books, Troublemakers’ Schools, and biannual conferences.

  15. DJG

    The Azaria case and shot heard around the world. The writer is behind the times, unfortunately for him. The Israeli Army has lived on slogans like “purity of arms” for years, yet any army that refuses to include a fifth of the population (Israeli Arabs) and the holy (the ultra Orthodox and their many exceptions) is no great unifier. The Israeli Army now spends much of its time protecting the settlers: Who didn’t expect torture and atrocities?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I was watching a new Rick Steves’ Europe travel show, Palestine. I think that was the first time he did that state.

      He showed the Israelis buying properties in the West Bank, usually hilltop, and lived above the Palestinians. In one area, they were above some market and the Palestinians had to put up nets above to catch the garage thrown down by their hilltop neighbors.

      You can tell a lot from little things – in this case, how they are not likely to get along in that region.

      And the walls to keep out the un-wanted. They even had graffiti in Korean and Chinese sprayed all over them.

    2. JTMcPhee

      Israel has a deserved reputation as one of the most corrupt places in the world.

      Once upon a time, the Israeli military and “state” put up the claim that Israeli military actions followed a commandment styled “purity of arms.”

      That, of course, is a joke, and many Israelis argue that the whole notion should be abandoned as inconvenient to the enterprise of disposing of the Palestinians and achieving “security”/hegemony in their corner of the world (200 to 600 nuclear weapons, etc…) This, from a supposed “democracy” and “staunch ally” that our own spooks see as the most serious threat of hostile espionage against the US., not to mention being a massive force in the political economy of the US of A. A nation, or something, they call it a “state” to avoid having to recognize international law and past rulings on boundaries, which has such an interesting history, (a two-parter that is worth a read for background.)

      “War Crimes” is no longer a thing…

    3. Synapsid


      If my failing memory isn’t letting me down: Arabs who are Israeli citizens can serve in the army if they volunteer (Bedouins have, especially for the tracking units), and the Druze are subject to conscription.

  16. low integer

    Armed with junk science and old photos, critics question #HillarysHealth – The Washington Post.

    I didn’t read the article as there is no point in reading the WaPo imo, but it annoys me to see that little shit named Jeff Bezos and/or his minions spouting off about junk science, no matter what it is in relation to. Bezos himself has been using some seriously junky science, perhaps more correctly described as neoliberalism infused science, to cover his burning desire to run his employees at Amazon into the ground with a thin veneer of scientific objectivity. What a prick. Also, Hillary is clearly becoming more and more physically ill by the day. I write “physically ill” because pointing out that she is mentally ill would be about as useful as pointing out that the sky is blue at midday on a cloudless summer’s day.

    The CIA-occupied Hollywood – failed evolution

    Yep. It’s been obvious for ages. Madame Secretary, anyone? I never watched that show but it was on TV in Australia so I saw some ads for it. How stupid to these CIA clowns think we are? Fools. Hahaha.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Her deterioration reminds me of FDR’s during his third and fourth terms in office.

  17. Jim Haygood

    The Bolivarian Workers Paradise turns to marxism for relief:

    Alfredo Serrano—a 40-year-old Spanish economist whose long hair and beard have elicited the president’s comparison [of him] to Jesus—has become the central economic adviser to President Nicolás Maduro.

    Mr. Serrano’s calls for even more state controls on manufacturing and food supply have largely shaped the president’s response to the country’s economic crisis. “All the attempts to reform, to coordinate with the private sector, have been blocked by him,” a senior ruling-party lawmaker said.

    Mr. Serrano’s think tank in Ecuador, the Latin American Strategic Center of Geopolitics, lists him as a professor at eight universities across Spain and Latin America. When contacted by The Wall Street Journal, however, none of the institutions said that he had held a staff position.

    His 2014 book, The Economic Thought of Hugo Chávez, brought the economist to the Venezuelan president’s attention and catapulted him into the inner power circle.

    Envious of Serrano’s career breakthrough into statecraft on the strength of a book, this autumn I will release my magisterial work, The Economic Thought of Timothy Leary, with a foreword by Professor L. Randall Wray of UMKC.

    Tune in, turn on, rock out.

        1. Jim Haygood

          Critics’ brickbats are par for the course.

          This fall’s book launch is just a warm-up for next year’s masterpiece, The Economic Thought of French Légion d’Honneur Winner, Jerry Lewis.

          1. Alejandro

            Here’s a title suggestion-“Cherry-pickers extraordinaire”…
            …but these so-called “journos” seem offended that Austrians weren’t invited and react predictably, by distorting the context and obscuring the efforts being made to deal with their current crisis. In case you’re interested, Alfredo Serrano was ONE of many participants, from 35 countries, hosted in Venezuela;

            You seem rigidly unaware that the facts and stats don’t support your “statecraft” narrative:

            1. Jim Haygood

              “Venezuela apenas tiene 0,25 establecimientos industriales por cada mil habitantes, mientras que Colombia tiene 1,2 y México 1,7.”

              [Venezuela barely has 0.25 industrial establishments per thousand inhabitants, while Colombia has 1.2 and Mexico 1.7.]

              Hmmmm … why would that be? This is a mystery requiring further research! :-)

              1. Synoia

                Oil corrupts all. No petrostate has a robust mixed economy.

                Canada demolished their mixed economy under Harper, and became a petrostate.

              2. Alejandro

                Cherry-picking again?

                no time for research, but I’ll take a WAG and say oil, regional vassal and nafta, respectively…;)

              3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                One solution is for Venezuela to become so militarily powerful to demand all worldwide Marijuana sales be denominated in her currency.

                That will solve their inflation problem.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Interesting that “good fights” seem to depend for their efforts on the actions of individuals (Corbyn, Bernie, maybe a few others) while the evil bland irrepressible stuff is carried forward by faceless masses of malefactors…

  18. RabidGandhi

    The Bloomberg article on Korea (“China Backlash Over U.S. Missile Shield Puts North Asia on Edge”) is a festival of misinformation by omission. A few details that might have been helpful to Bloomie readers:

    ROK President Park Geun Hye is head of the Saenuri party: a rightwing party that arose in opposition to the presidency of Kim Dae-jung and his Sunshine Policy of reconciliation with North Korea and his anti-Washington consensus economic stance. She is also the daughter of US backed dictator Park Chung-hee, and very much his ideological child. Park the Elder’s dictatorship were the ones who collaborated with the Japanese in WWII and were later restored to power by the US. So their ideology is very anti-communist, anti-China, pro-neoliberal economics and ‘conservative’ socially. In other words: this is the Pacific Cold War Redux.

    Yet the article paints it as some kind of surprise that the Saenuri Party are pro-US/Japan and anti-China/Russia, even though it was in their election platform and everything they’ve done in office since.

    Furthermore, can we ditch once and for all the stupid Cold War trope repeated in the article that Pyongyang is controlled by Moscow and/or Beijing? I mean even the article points out that Xi made Seoul one of his first foreign visits but he still hasn’t been to DPRK. I mean seriously, when combined with the Dems’ recent Putin hysteria, I’m getting bad 1950s flashbacks.

    Lastly, all this goes without mentioning the real problem: That the US is installing a missile system in South Korea that is worse than its counterpart in Eastern Europe, with the double fun of instigating both Russia and China. According to the article, this could have downsides such as “crimping the appetite for South Korea’s K-pop music”. Yeah once HRC’s neo-con BFFs have blasted the planet back to the stone age, I’m sure there will be a lot less Gangnam Style.

      1. RabidGandhi

        That may have been the Cold War up there, but down here it was wholesale eradication of anyone accused of being a commie or a commie sympathiser. Of course that’s all assuming we luck out like we did last time and once again narrowly avoid frying the planet.

      2. ex-PFC Chuck

        As Sgt Rowan, my platoon sergeant in basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood said oh so many decades ago after covering the prescribed syllabus of our obligatory segment on what to do in case of a nuclear artillery attack, “In case of a nuclear attack the only thing to do is bend over at the waist, put your head down between your legs, and kiss your a** goodbye.”

        1. OIFVet

          Ft. Lost in the Woods…ah the memories…There are far better ways to see the Ozarks then completing a school/course there. On the plus side, makes Chicago’s humidity seem almost bearable afterward.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Good summary; thank you. In high school I was disturbed by the absurdity of U.S. troops garrisoning South Korea to protect the brutal Park dictatorship. South Korea didn’t really achieve full-fledged democracy till the late 1980s. “American values,” etc.

      South Korea’s long standoff with the North doubtless is exacerbated by the presence of its US backers, in much the same manner that Israel’s half-century occupation of Palestine is enabled by US funding, military aid, and seamless diplomatic protection at the UN.

  19. Carolinian

    Re the CIA and Hollywood: Showtime’s The Americans strikes me as a show that the CIA may have had a paw in. It depicts Soviet spies in 80s America as ruthless killers and deep insertion moles thus amping the present day paranoia while pretending to be about near history. With subpar actors and plots that often veer more toward spy soap opera it’s not much of a show, but has been praised by some not too sophisticated critics.

    Which is to say at least when it comes to propaganda there is a Deep State, but it’s probably not being run by the Russians.

      1. Carolinian

        Yes you’re right about FX. I’ve only seen on DVD.

        As for judgments on the show, tastes may vary. That was mine. In fact I’d go further and say all fiction films about current or near current events should be regarded as at least potentially suspect. A movie is taking viewers inside a particular point of view by definition. Documentaries make this clear…fiction not so much.

        1. Uahsenaa

          I made the argument to a friend that The Americans, a show I do like, admittedly, isn’t really about espionage. Rather, a rather ordinary spy plot that might read as a poor man’s John Le Carre, is used as a way into what, to my mind, is really a show about the nature of acting/performance and how one’s identity becomes confused with or complicated by the roles we take on to mask who we think we truly are. In other words, it’s first rate melodrama with a veneer of espionage.

          In other words, it’s a show about masks and how, after wearing one for a very long time, you start to become it.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            As the Zen master would say: “Be the mask.”

            That’s how we can achieve satori.

      2. Carolinian

        BTW the real story that you cite and that inspired The Americans’ showrunner–a former CIA agent!–is not very much like what happens in the show. The real sleeper agents didn’t murder anybody using well honed karate chops and were bunglers just looking for info.

        The FBI operation represents the biggest penetration of the SVR communications in recent memory. The FBI read their emails, decrypted their intel, read the embedded coded texts on images posted on the net, bugged their mobile phones, videotaped the passing of bags of cash and messages in invisible ink from one agent to another, and hacked into their bogus expenses claims. … The tradecraft used by the alleged SVR ring was amateurish, and will send shivers down the spine of the rival intelligence organisations in Russia. This was bungling on a truly epic scale. No secrets about bunker-busting bombs were actually obtained, but the network was betrayed. … To have a spy ring uncovered before they could actually do any serious spying is doubly embarrassing

        And this is my point really. Hollywood uses dramatic license to make the Soviets more sinister than they were and figures no one will object since the Russians are villains du jour. And they are right. None of those tv critics lauding the show seem to have a problem with this.

    1. RabidGandhi

      Odd thinking about your point and the Korea article. For the past few weeks my inner portentious zeitgeist gauge has been stuck on “New Cold War Paranoia”. Your point about hollywood depictions, the MSM jumping the Putin sharks, missiles in South Korea and Eastern Europe… it all has me scared sh*tless. I seriously think we have crossed some sort of scary line with the attacks vs the Sanders and Corbyn campaigns, with the PTB resorting to full cold war hysteria mode. That didn’t play out so swell last time in my neck of the woods.

      Ominous portents.

      1. Praedor

        All the missile defense systems we are fielding (Poland, S Korea) are total crap. It’s purely optics. Unnecessarily provocative optics, but optics nonetheless.

  20. katz

    An essential companion to this morning’s Guardian Labour story:

    Hard-left “Trotsky entryists” have been “twisting the arms” of young Labour members to shore up Jeremy Corbyn’s control of the party, deputy leader Tom Watson has said.

    In a wide-ranging interview with the Guardian, in which he also called for the reintroduction of elections to the shadow cabinet and the return of the electoral college for selecting future Labour leaders, Watson said he was concerned that infiltration by Trotskyists would end up destroying the party.

    I can only take this to be a good sign!

    1. paul

      I think michael hudson should print up 502,971 copies of “Towards Socialism or Capitalism? ” and get them in the bookshops over here, because that’s how many trotskyites that fat bastard Tom Watson thinks there is.
      (503,143 members minus 172 PLP plotters).

      There are heavyweight politicians, and there are overweight ones, Watson is the latter.

  21. Charger01

    Re: Microsoft and H1-B, US kids aren’t cheap enough
    This has been a noted phenomenon at Amazon, Apple, Google and other tech companies. Even though MSFT has the express advantage of an entire region that is tech oriented (greater puget sound, heck UW has MSFT certificate programs at every campus!) they want lower wages for their workers to maintain profits. One of my buddies works 8-9 months per year for tech, his contract ends, rinse/wash/repeat. He has no health care, time off, or benefits. He serves as an example of the bulk of MSFT’S workforce without the prized “blue badge”.
    Yves wrote or linked to another article about this practice in Silicon Valley last fall.

    1. bronco

      If all of microsofts products weren’t complete garbage that might help profits too.

      I don’t understand why something like Win XP once perfected couldn’t be sold for 10 years at a pure profit. No one asked for vista no one liked it they had no competitors pushing them for the most part. Win 7 was only needed to rescue MS from that debacle I don’t see any leadership there , myself once I dig out of a hole at great expense , I don’t grab a shovel and immediately dig another. Thats what they did though , 8 was badly received and now they are forcing 10 on users basically at gun point , for free ????

      1. pretzelattack

        yeah what a crock. i passed on the free problems you get with win 10. xp worked just fine for me.

        1. Arizona Slim

          Me? I had this laptop refurbished last year.

          It’s 11 years old and runs like a champ. Started with WinXP and it now runs Win7.

          Every day, I praise the Intel gods for the processor. Because it doesn’t work with Win10.

          1. Lambert Strether

            I’m seeing Macbook Air lookalikes made in China for $450 to $700. Might be time to make the leap and slam Linux on one of them, since OS X is getting more crapified with every release, and Apple has made it quite clear they don’t care about users like me who produce, instead of consume.

            All that’s holding me back is that I need InDesign and LightRoom and not inferior substitutes…

              1. Lambert Strether

                I would like to untether myself, because Software As A Service is evil.

                Remember when you used to buy software and own it? When it came on a disk? Good times.

                That said, under Linux, Scribus is pretty good, though I’d have reteach my muscle memory and do some conversions and putz around with fonts that come free under OS X. But I don’t know an equivalent to LightRoom (not the Gimp, unless it leaves my RAW files in their original state).

                1. FluffytheObeseCat

                  It is not all encompassing but…… Irfanview. Google Irfanview. I like it for batch file conversions. It saved me when I need to convert some very large .emf to .tif

                  And. F*ck Creative Cloud. Really. It is a rent extraction scam.

                  1. bob

                    2nd that. Great little program. Fast, and powerful. “little” because it’s not a huge resource hog, which is probably part of the reason it’s so quick. The batch resize/resample is very handy. It’s also very easy to use. It’s exactly what 98% of people who *think* they need photoshop really need, and it’s free.

                    The icon is cool too.

                2. hunkerdown

                  GIMP changed some time in the past couple of years to make that sort of thing less likely. Save and load only works with the native format; the other hundred or so formats are treated as import/export. You won’t step on anything unless you want to.

                  Once you’ve pulled the raws from the camera using your choice of tool, anything from gtkam to mounting the camera as USB mass storage and dragging, ufraw is a fine raw converter with lots of useful settings. It also happens to be available as a GIMP plugin, where it is the usual raw import plugin, and can also run in standalone or batch mode. You might need an ICC profile for your camera sensor, which can usually be found on the interwebs somewhere; the built-in one may (or not) suffice. If for whatever reason ufraw doesn’t work for you, there’s a native edition of Corel AfterShot. (I borrowed the ICC profile for my old DSLR out of an earlier trial version of this software; if you can’t find a good ICC profile for your camera, you might try the same.)

            1. low integer

              You could always buy an older Apple laptop second hand and install a new hard drive. I am not the original owner of the macbook I use for most things.

              Also, I recently had to get a Windows 10 laptop, it sucks but it is fine for offline work, which is how I use it. I’m actually thinking of physically removing any hardware that allows wireless data transfer from it, though I’m not a computer guru by any means, just to totally disable any possibility of Microsoft’s unwanted data collection ocurring. Seriously, who do these pricks think they are selling people something and then assuming they have any right to be involved in those people’s life after the money has changed hands. Fuck off already!

              I’ve used a bit of Linux and that may well be the direction I take in the future.

      2. hunkerdown

        Because it doesn’t take that long for competitors, particularly such arch enemies of Microsoft as the FOSS community, to create functional replacements for something that’s not a moving target. Also, Intel and Microsoft have a complementary relationship much like the USA’s legacy parties: each needs the other to devalue what’s in the field so it can be repurchased.

        Leadership. Pfft. Ecosystems are not games of Simon Says. Consortia are bad enough, and here we go bringing liberal values like manager supremacy into a practical art, again, with the same results as in the past forty years: saleable crap and a blissfully unaware cadre of oligarchs with no technical pride. In fact, billg’s oh-so-precious leadership is on record that “significant” bugs don’t exist in release products, and that errors are the problem of the user. Code speaks for itself. May I suggest keeping your liberal values out of the shop where they don’t belong, and run something like Debian Linux instead.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Walls around many of those companies, and only H1B visa holders can pass through.

      I think you can say, there are already lots of walls in this country.

    1. anon

      Sounds like a misclassified independent contractor deal. That is illegal, but often unenforced by the federal DoL and state agencies.

      1. Ulysses


        “To determine whether an individual is an “employee” under the FLSA, courts look to the economic reality of the parties’ business relationship as a whole. A worker’s status is determined by whether the individual is economically dependent on the business he or she is working for, or, as a matter of economic reality, is actually in a business for themselves. Massachusetts law goes even further, creating a “presumption” of employee status for purposes of the Commonwealth’s wage laws and requires businesses to meet a strict three-part test to overcome this presumption. That test requires that:

        A worker must be free from control and direction in performing the service. In other words, it is up to the independent contractor to decide when to work, how to work and where to work.

        Services provided by the independent contractor must be outside of the usual course of the employer’s business.

        The worker must be in an independent trade, occupation, profession or business.”


      2. ambrit

        Yes to both. The position is for a “helper.” I’ve always seen ‘helpers’ as employees. They do what someone else tells them to. However, I’ve seen the small business community around here trying to marginalize federal ‘intrusions’ into how their businesses are run everywhere I turn. Notice that the ad specified that payment would be by check. There used to be a rule exempting two hundred or so dollar ‘jobs’ from reporting; or at least that was what was promoted by “employers.”
        Somehow I equate this ad with those soliciting; “Models needed.” It’s just another type of sleaze. At least the ads for “exotic dancers” are up front about what’s being put on offer.

  22. samhill

    Are Hillary Clinton’s Strong Poll Numbers Misleading? …One of my contacts who speaks regularly in Italy says he’s never met a single person who voted for Berlusconi either, as in many supporters of tacky, crooked, transgressive candidates will lie about their preferences, even to pollsters.

    I’ll happily confirm this. Shame and pride come together, like mixing green and red paint, you get a muddy grey color that’s hard to describe. Not sure how it works with pollsters however, seeing how it’s someone you’ll never see again you might feel free to expose your cognitive dissonance.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Depending on the conditioning.

      Some people are reluctant to use colorful words, not only publicly, but also when alone.

  23. Expat

    Hillary, Bernie, The Donald, Jeb, Ted, GW, Ronnie, JFK….and so on. The White House has not meant much for a long time as evidenced by the rather appalling selection of candidates and presidents we have put there over the years.

    America deserves Hillary or Trump. Either one is not nearly adequate punishment for American sins.

    Personally, I won’t vote again until GW, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove, Rice and Gonzalez are arrested, waterboarded and executed for crimes against humanity.

    1. RabidGandhi

      This is an awful thing to say. Just as in any other country where democracy is scarce, people in the US have very little say in the atrocious things their leaders have done. Furthermore, they are the victims of years of neoliberal class warfare and the most powerful propaganda machine yet created.

      No one deserves HRC or Trump.

      1. Praedor

        Yet it IS true. A people ALWAYS get the government/leadership they deserve.

        The people are NOT helpless. They CAN actually force change, choose elsewise, etc, but do not. They cannot be bothered. It is a vicious circle. The Sheeple cave and let shit happen and then still elect/re-elect the perps, this reinforces the abuse by the abusers – they keep getting awarded for doing everything wrong.

        Passivity, learned helplessness, “can’t be bothered”, “maybe someone else will do it” are ALL things that bring just desserts.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Praetor, you can really maintain that fiction of agency, in respect of a “nation” of atomized individuals, where propaganda and manufactured demand and manufactured consent were practically invented? Where the organs of information (schools, press/media) are owned or ruled by the ruling elites? Maybe a few of us are strong enough of will and willing enough to look under the rocks and behind the curtains to see some of what’s really going on. But the ordinary people? What effing chance do they have to see what is being done to them, and in their names, and under the cover of a faux “legitimacy?” And having been fed a steady diet of Exceptional Pie, any surprise that the enterprising elites have managed to turn the energies of “the people” to full-on involvement in the looting, even as they die from the effort?

          I recall a video clip of a blue jay eating a grasshopper. A close-up of the bird’s head and beak. The grasshopper continued to munch on a piece of grass even as the bird engulfed it…

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Banks can indulge in gluttony until one day the imbalance in the system can no longer be held back, and the government, lucky for them, steps in.

          The government can do likewise, but there is nothing bigger to step in.

          In the East, the way of the Dao is to let it exhaust itself…and it will one day.

          In the West, it’s less palatable, as it seems to imply, ‘Just keep slapping my other cheek again and again and again.’

        3. hunkerdown

          To be fair, humans imitate what is modeled for them. If assertiveness is taught as a value (and skill! — see also rhetoric) in school and at home more often in upper socioeconomic strata, well, there you go. Animals tend to defend their settled territory more fiercely than they assert claims to new territory. It’s a lot to ask people so trained to get physical, against their instincts and the self-blaming narrative of competition, with people whose conceits of legitimacy are taken as reality by others.

        4. oh

          So right. Every election cycle we only hear about the other party candidate’s flaws and not much about the good of their candidate. Each time the low info voters get taken for a ride and the others are forced along. People have to do their bit to change the system.

    2. perpetualWAR

      Personally, I do not understand why the American populace is just allowing for this stolen nomination sitting down.

      We are a bunch of lazy idiots.
      (the reason I am not protesting by myself is I’m getting tired of fending off death threats)

    1. sid_finster

      Add Bill and Hill Clinton, Kerry and Albright.

      Or better yet, deliver them over to meet the good folks in the countries where their crimes took place.

      1. hunkerdown

        I wish someone would ask Robert Kagan why the people of the US should listen to his flatulence instead of dragging him right off the stage then and there and handing him over to Putin at The Hague.

  24. Don

    RE: medical research fraud.
    This is more pervasive than we generally believe, and touches the CDC. In fact the main separation between the pro-vaxers and the so-called “anti-vaxers” (funny, we don’t call those who point out safety failures of airbags “anti-car”) is that the pro-vaxers believe everything the CDC says and the anti-vaxers believe everything the CDC says is suspect. That the CDC might be corrupted by industry interests shouldn’t surprise us, as the CDC receives about 25% of its funding from industry sources, according to the BMJ:

    It is of interest that the main IOM review that dismissed autism/vaccine link was funded by the CDC, and from the start it was biased against finding any serious harm, as meeting minutes show: See page 97 and what follows. The chairwoman, Dr. McCormick, is saying from the onset that they will never come down with a finding that vaccines cause autism, and in light of the conversation that follows acknowledging the possibility of a link, this is disturbing. So everyone is holding up a biased report as the gold standard of evidence.

    Some of us have been howling about the corruption of vaccine science for years. The mainstream media is 100% on board with the CDC, so the story never gets out. But … you can start here:

    1. Chief Bromden

      Yep. I got railroaded last time I brought this up. We could use some Suzanne Humphries education around here. The CDC is the marketing arm of the pharma cartel. The fact that pharma is now openly bribing state legislatures to enforce mandatory poison injection laws (yes, these are known neurotoxins shot directly into bloodstreams), is sure sign of a rotting institution built entirely on fraud and rewritten history.

      1. Don

        Vaccines, if we ever get our science and history right and can think our way through the truly massive propaganda, will turn out to be one of the biggest medical frauds ever practiced on an unsuspecting and too-compliant population. Once again, This is the science you’re not supposed to see.

        Vaccinepapers does a particularly good good of debunking the “aluminum adjuvant is harmless” myth, perpetuated by a gross inattention to the facts. HPV vaccines contain huge amounts of aluminum, and no, injected aluminum isn’t eliminated in the same manner as ingested aluminum.

        1. low integer

          This is not something I know a great deal about, and I am more than happy to admit that, yet aren’t vaccines for things like measles pretty much a known quantity? I guess vaccines, like everything else, can be corrupted by dishonest idiots that slowly transform something useful into something dangerous in the name of profit, but you are not suggesting vaccines have no use whatsoever are you? I was vaccinated with what might be described as the standard minimum set when I was young, and I don’t think it did me any harm. Of course I cannot quantify how much good it did me, either, and I acknowledge that.

          I can certainly understand people’s increasing mistrust of science, yet the scientific method, when applied honestly, pretty much renders corruption of science to be an impossible task. Dishonest people posing as scientists and creating something that might look like science to the untrained eye but isn’t actually science is a problem, especially when amplified by corrupt entities, but science itself is useful. Also, I do agree that large scale studies, carried out by vested interests, that cannot be replicated indepedently due to the large costs involved are a problem, and a solution for this needs to be found. Science itself though, is a neutral entity. Baby, bathwater etc.

          Shorter: Is your position that all vaccines are evil or that the vaccine system has been corrupted?

          1. Don

            My fairly long reply hasn’t gotten through as of yet. My shorter reply is that vaccines aren’t evil, but the vaccine system has been deeply corrupted and serious vaccine harms are hidden from the public. For example, Mary Holland documented cases of serious encephalopathy (brain damage) awarded by the vaccine court

            We hear that correlation isn’t causation, but correlation also doesn’t mean “no causation.” The epidemiological studies contradict much of the biological work: we see harms from immune activation (which is what vaccines do,) from aluminum, and from mercury (when it was more prevalent) in animal studies, but in population studies that harm seems to go away. So: we have biological plausibility, we have compensated cases of severe harm, we have assorted medical papers documenting harms, we have parental reports, yet on a population level this stuff just disappears? Most of these population studies have been done by the CDC, including the famous case exposed by the CDC whistleblower.

            Regarding scientific dishonesty, there are many books and papers that document the corruption of medical science, such as David Healy’s “Pharmageddon.” Medical science too often follows the money, and I don’t think anyone who has looked into this even a little bit would dispute that. Somehow we believe that vaccine science is immune from this corruption (pun not intended but it fits.)

            1. Don

              I’ve tried numerous times to comment on the history of diseases and vaccines. No luck. Nothing. Nada.

          2. Chief Bromden

            It’s all a shell game. If the vaccinators confessed, they would say something like this:

            “Okay folks, here’s what we do. We give the mother and her baby a shot against Disease A. Disease A is a set of recognizable symptoms. After vaccination, that set of symptoms will occur far less often. Instead, a new set of far more dangerous symptoms will occur. We’ll call those symptoms Disease B. And we’ll say Disease A has been wiped out…”
            This shell game is played with human lives sacrificed on the altar of profits, and the creation of more debilitation and death.

            We begin with this: “Administration of KMV (killed measles vaccine) apparently set in motion an aberrant immunologic response that not only failed to protect children against natural measles, but resulted in heightened susceptibility.” JAMA Aug. 22, 1980, vol. 244, p. 804, Vincent Fulginiti and Ray Helfer. The authors indicate that such children can come down with “an often severe, atypical form of measles. Atypical measles is characterized by fever, headache… and a diverse rash (which)… may consist of a mixture of macules, papules, vesicles, and pustules…”

            In other words, the measles vaccine can create a worse form of measles. This is not the normal form of the illness, from which children routinely recover with the bonus of lifetime immunity. No, this is a severe, atypical, dangerous, synthetic, vaccine-induced disease.
            Now read this: “…the window of vulnerability of an infant may be even greater in vaccinated women than in with women with natural measles infection.” (Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg., 79(5), 2008, pp. 787–792).
            Translation: Measles occurring in infants—which is unusual and dangerous—is more likely to occur when the mother has been vaccinated against measles. Why? Because she no longer passes down, to her child, the natural components of immunity to measles.
            This stunning finding can apply across the board, for all vaccines and all childhood illnesses.


    2. m

      IOM has an industry bias, period.
      Distribute first, test while in market, oops encourage withdrawal-that’s America.

  25. mcdee

    Re Hillary’s poll numbers. Some years ago in California LA mayor Tom Bradley ran for governor and led in all the polls right up to election day. He then lost to the Republican. In the privacy of the polling booth some wouldn’t vote for a black man to be governor, regardless of what they told the pollsters. Became known as “The Bradley Effect” Will there be a similar “Hillary Effect”?

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      This is grossly inaccurate.

      The real Bradley effect was the pollsters estimated the size of the electorate based on past performance and miss non voters becoming voters and voters becoming non voters. In that election, there were several major referendums especially a gun related one which drove inland empire turnout who were not represented in the polling samples. People weren’t lying. Polls are just a snap shot of what pollsters believe is the electorate.

      Blaming racism was a convenient foil for a failure to organize the left coast and expecting to coast to victory.

      1. mcdee

        The Bradley Effect was widely reported at the time. I do remember, from working in the campaign, the feeling all the way through that it was in the bag.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I know it was widely reported so was Nader costing Gore the election. There wasn’t a golden age of news.

          The basic driver is “how could these brilliant campaign strategists have been so wrong?” Either they were incompetent and possibly even Bradley (I don’t know anything about him personally) or it was the fault of secret racists. What is more appealing to Democratic decision makers when they have to ask about people who have been advising their campaigns.?

          The other issue besides cover for Democratic decision makers is the accuracy of polling and expectations about the size of of the electorate. Could those 7th grade math whizzes be wrong?

          Nate Silver’s political claim to fame was readjusting the CNN poll of polls which just averaged the final numbers of a mess of polls together. Nate took the polling data from those same polls (ex. Breakdowns of gender, income, and so forth to increase the sample size and produce new results which besides not being as stupid as CNN’S poll of polls was more accurate as he increased the sample size.

          The questions with for two candidates are:
          -are Hillary leads being built on expectations that Democratic turnout will match 2008 and 2012 results and are they addressing large scale dissatisfaction with Team Blue?
          -on the Trump side, the issue is are the “good moderate” (there Is no such thing) Republicans upset with Trump or is it the Republicans who would love the bible humpin’ ways of Mike Pence? Are the pollsters expecting the crossover support found among arms dealers for Hillary to filter down into rank and file Republicans? There is a huge difference between Bill Kristol and the local chamber of commerce Republican even if they dress alike. The Chamber Republican is not dependent on war for in his income the same way Kristol is.

          Secret racist is an easier explanation, but it’s not necessarily true.

      2. RabidGandhi

        Not to detract from your main point, but why would Inland Empire citizens have an effect on an LA City election? Isn’t that San Berdoo and Riverside?

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I was jumping up a level, but the point was they were under polling areas expecting traditional turnout levels. Much like “Nader!!!!!!”, racism was used as a scapegoat.

          Not to say the new voters weren’t racist (who knows), but they weren’t being polled. The election being rigged would be a better excuse than secret racists who aren’t racist in private phone calls just in voting booth.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      A lot of people, including Trump, may not be able to say it was the decision to go to war in those countries, that we need to work with and not drone those people there, and they don’t know how to respond to the move by Hillary with her bringing out Khan, though they still don’t agree with her, inside, instinctively.

      And it’s likely they will not be polled accurately…at least for now.

    3. Dave

      Nah, all my former Bernie supporter friends are voting for Jill Stein or for Trump. No one even pretends they’ll vote for her.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      A talented educator ought to be able to teach or show his/her students how to get guaranteed $800,000 pensions as well.

      Anything less, you have failed (somehow withdrawing the most important secret teachings).

    2. Jim Haygood

      ‘Participants were offered too many investment choices (there were more than 100 options for faculty), and many of them were too expensive.’

      Hundreds of funds with totally uncompetitive expense ratios exist solely to serve pension plans’ captive victims, who are constrained to choosing from the unappetizing menu set before them.

      As returns recede to a dreary mid-single-digit “new normal,” lawsuits attacking pension plans for violating their fiduciary duties are going to multiply like mushrooms after a summer rain.

      Let ten thousand lawsuits bloom. :-)

  26. low integer

    On the subject of the Rio Olympics, for no reason in particular I ended up watching the Australia v. Russia game of women’s water polo while doing some non-NC related writing. I believe this is the first full game of water polo I have ever watched. I’ve been pretty down on the Olympics but it was nice to see a high level of mutual respect between the teams, especially after Abbott’s absolutely idiotic threat to “shirtfront” Putin, and the Australian media’s general acceptance of the “evil Russia” meme. Australia won the game pretty comfortably, though I have a feeling this has a lot to do with the weather in Australia being more conducive to people spending large amounts of time swimming, becoming comfortable in water at a young age, etc. Btw, I would not advise anyone to mess with a water polo playing Australian women, they look like they could tear normal sized humans in half!

    On the other end of the spectrum, an Australian swimmer who won gold, called out a Chinese competitor who had only recently been allowed to return to competitive swimming after a doping ban. It has caused quite a stir, and the Chinese have come out in full force on social media and are trolling the Australian swimmer pretty hard. The Australian swimmer has categorically stated he will not be apologizing. I know I’ve mentioned this a few times before, and I don’t want to overstate the point because I have met some very, very intelligent and hard working Chinese people, yet there really does seem to be a kind of cultural acceptance that all means to an end are equally acceptable. Anyway it seems there is a bit of tension between the Australian and Chinese Olympic teams at the moment, so it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

    OK back to my non-NC related writing, for a while at least.

  27. F900fixr

    Update on the death of the 10 year old on the waterslide in Kansas…..

    All of the problems we have in the US on one package. The only thing left to determine is if it gets swept under the rug. The typical Kabuki has already started:

    – The (evangelical) church that the family is a member of putting out the typical “he’s in a better place” spiel. Of course, this will keep a certain percentage of the population from asking the hard questions about whether this tragedy could have been prevented. In the meantime, the family has hired a high powered, Leawood law firm.

    – A public discussion about the definition of “decapitation”.

    -The father is a typical Republican State of Kansas Representative, chairman of the Insurance and Financial Institutions committee. His committee has oversight over the insurer’s of the water park. Any bets on how fast this case reaches an “out of court” settlement?

    -Republicans (nationwide) lobbied for regulation of water/amusement parks to be the state’s responsibility. While the park owners are telling everyone that the biggest threat to their business is “state regulation”.

    (I guess bank robbers can say that regulations against robbing banks are a threat to their business. Except the regulation is confined to the old-fashioned, “robbing banks with a gun” types. Another example of how the law favors the top 1%?)

    They “regulated” it, by letting the parks insurers do the inspections. The only thing the state can do is review the insurers reports. The state of Kansas has not physically inspected the park since 2014, when this particular ride opened.

    Now of course, all of the Kansas Congresscritters are professing surprise on how little/poorly these parks are regulated/inspected.

    Just wondering how much the kid’s dad was involved in this state of affairs…… appears that both sides have big incentives to sweep this under the rug as fast as they can.

    – (IMO) It will come out that the ride was a half azzed, under engineered design, that was (in fact) throwing (dummy/simulated) riders into the boonies. Seems that you can’t use roller coaster specs on a water ride. For starters, the wheels on the roller coaster are designed to keep the cars from flying off the track.

    – (Again, IMO) The half azzed design was “fixed” by a half azzed “fix”, scabbing on a cage over the slide. Don’t know yet, but I’m betting there was no testing to see what happened if a raft hit the cage a little harder than estimated. In the meantime, the half-azzed restraint system (single shoulder harness, with lap belt secured with Velcro) will apparantly remain unchanged.

    -In the meantime, change the story. The ride wasn’t meant for “kids”, but for death-defying thrill seekers (The bungee jumping/mountain climbing/sky diving types). Never mind the fact that it was advertised for 14 and above initially, and even this restriction mysteriously disappeared between the time the ride opened and last week. Seems to me if that was the case, the ride should not have been accessible to anyone under 18 or 21.

    To paraphrase Anthony Herbert, from his book “Soldier”:

    “The kid died. The US taxpayer bought off the family . The perpetrators walked. The whole matter was swept under the rug. Everything was as smooth as a cat’s ass.”

    1. m

      This whole situation is horrible & sickly ironic. America calls it a fatal neck injury & European papers call it a decapitation. From the amount of blood in that pool at the end of the ride, it must have been horrific.

  28. rich

    Gene-Therapy Cure Has Money-Back Guarantee

    The most expensive drugs in history, or medicine’s biggest bargains? Gene therapy could be both.

    by Antonio Regalado
    August 9, 2016
    A gene therapy will be offered for sale in Europe with a money-back guarantee, according to GlaxoSmithKline, the company commercializing it.

    The treatment, called Strimvelis, is the first outright cure for a rare disorder to emerge from gene therapy, and its price tag of 594,000 euros ($665,000), announced last week, makes it one of the most expensive one-time treatments ever sold by a drug firm.

    Now, we’ve learned, it’s also the first genetic fix to come with a warranty.

    “The drug has to deliver what you say or we don’t pay,” says Luca Pani, director general of the Italian Medicines Agency, known as AIFA, which set the price and terms during negotiations with the British drug giant. “If it does not work, they will return the money.”

    The treatment employs a virus to add a missing gene to the bone marrow of children with ADA-SCID, a sometimes fatal inability to fight infections. In a study involving eighteen children, carried out at a Milan hospital, all but three were cured outright.

    Money back guarantees seem like a good antidote to bad research. Maybe the central banks will pick up the tabs? Beats buying bonds and etfs.

  29. BondsOfSteel


    As an US born Ex-Microsoft dev lead, I’d like to point out what the article is missing. Most of the Indian engineers hired by MSFT are educated in the US. They got their undergraduate at some Indian university, came to the US on a student visa, and got a masters (or PH.D) at a major US university. They needed a H-1B since their student visas expired after they graduate.

    As a hiring manager, I did not discriminate on race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, or whatever. I only cared about the candidate’s quality of code, depth of knowledge, and ability to solve problems. We paid the same no matter who we hired.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Are some people paid more?

      That is, some are paid monetary-wise the same, plus a chance at permanent residency (can that be monetized?).

      1. BondsOfSteel

        Microsoft has a base pay range based on the ‘level’ of the engineer, and job openings are based on these levels. Most of the differences on pay are differences in level and performance based pay, which makes up a significant amount of the gross pay.

        The higher the level, the higher the pay… but also the higher the expectations and competition.

        Someone’s visa status would absolutely not effect their pay.

    2. bronco

      Maybe you can explain why Microsoft makes such awful garbage now? They beat out IBM in the 90’s then turned into IBM . I know a lot of “in the moment” decisions that look bad in hindsight seemed smart at the time but seriously I’d get win XP working , then just do maintenance and security updates forever. No one was clamoring for Vista and there are only a certain number of drooling apple fanbois , the rest of us just want our computers to work when we press the button , like a toaster .

      Now they want to turn our desktops into giant cellphones, who asked for that feature?

      As an Ebay seller I’ve found there they work the same way . If it aint broke don’t worry we will keep trying until it is.

      1. Skip Intro

        He didn’t say he was looking for a high quality of code. But probably it was due to ‘Agile’methodologies, the crapification of software that should probably be called frAgile.

      2. BondsOfSteel

        The easy answer is I quit, lol.

        Seriously, you can read the comments on the old MiniMicrosoft blog ( to see all of it’s biggest problems: My favorite is the Machiavellian management level coupled with it’s organizational model:

        With way too many Principal engineers fighting for way too few Partner spots, many have figured out that to survive [and even prosper] they only need others to fail. Of course, I left before Nadella’s re-orgs…. but I can’t imagine that this has changed. This was the primary reason I left… I’m too competitive to spend time working on software I don’t think is the best. I’ve got better things to do.

    3. reslez

      The whole point of bias is that you don’t know you’re biased. It’s nice to think you’re immune and say so to other people. Sadly the human brain doesn’t work that way.

  30. ekstase

    I like it that the Wisconsin man, after returning someone’s leg, feels the need to say:
    “Just did what I thought was right,” Franklin said. “I hope that if I lost my leg that someone would return it to me, too.”

    Like we live in a world where a simple act of kindness would require an explanation, because it is so rare. Oh wait.

  31. ewmayer

    Breaking news from SF bay area:

    PG&E found guilty on six charges connected to fatal San Bruno explosion – San Jose Mercury News

    Local n00zchannels parroting similar agency-less “PG&E found guilty”, “PG&E acted recklessly”, “PG&E constructed justice” claptrap as the above SJ Merc article. Bottom line: No personal responsibility for the execs who actually committed said crimes, only a few $million (max. possible based on charges = $6M) in fines, and 3 guesses as to who will actually end up paying said fines. PG&E execs probably drafting a desperate-sounding emergency-rate-increase application (for far more than the above amounts) to the local corrupt regulatory agency (Cal PUC) as I write this.

    1. Elizabeth

      Many are wondering why the prosecutor in this case (U.S.Govt.) suddenly slashed the amount of damages it was asking from $562 million to $6 million. No explanation was given, other than “it would have been too complex” for the jury to sort out how much profit PGandE made from their criminal behavior of not following gas pipeline testing requirements. Something really stinks here. PGandE is now on the hook for $3million, for obstruction of the investigation and a couple of other convictions relating to pipeline safety. PGandE is now a convicted felon – but no one goes to jail or is otherwise punished. If corporations are people, why can’t corporations go to jail?

  32. mk

    From the bee article: When researchers collected pollen from hives on the east coast pollinating cranberry, watermelon and other crops and fed it to healthy bees, those bees showed a significant decline in their ability to resist infection by a parasite called Nosema ceranae. The parasite has been implicated in Colony Collapse Disorder though scientists took pains to point out that their findings do not directly link the pesticides to CCD. The pollen was contaminated on average with nine different pesticides and fungicides though scientists discovered 21 agricultural chemicals in one sample. Scientists identified eight ag chemicals associated with increased risk of infection by the parasite.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~NOT JUST AG CHEMICALS:

    Blake Sanden, an agriculture extension agent and irrigation water expert with UC Davis, said “everyone smells the petrochemicals in the irrigation water” in the Cawelo district. But he said local farmers trust that organisms in the soil remove toxins or impurities in water.

    “When I talk to growers, and they smell the oil field crap in that water, they assume the soil is taking care of this,” Sanden said.

    Microorganisms in soils can consume and process some impurities, Sanden said, but it’s not clear whether oil field waste is making its way into the roots or leaves of irrigated plants, and then into the food chain.

    It’s unlikely that petrochemicals will show up in an almond, for example, he added, “But can they make it into the flesh of an orange or grape? It’s possible. A lot of this stuff has not been studied in a field setting or for commercial food uptake.”

    1. polecat


      above all things.

      I weep

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