Links 9/2/2016

Why Do I Love Bollywood? NYT

Italy’s health minister takes fire for fertility campaign gone wrong Politico

Researchers cautiously optimistic about new brain-clearing Alzheimer’s drug Ars Technica (Chuck L)

How First Nations have enhanced the forest over 13,000 years of habitation Treehugger

‘Like it’s been nuked’: Millions of bees dead after South Carolina sprays for Zika mosquitoes WaPo (furzy)

Human trials on Earth are the key to how we will survive on Mars The Conversation

SpaceX rocket explodes at Cape Canaveral ahead of launch BBC

Some U.S. Drones Are Getting Longer Leashes MIT Technology Review. What could go wrong?

By Any Means or None LRB

Echoes of 2008 as danger signs are ignored FT

50 companies that may not be around much longer San Francisco Chronicle

Drugs and Privilege: Big Business, Congress and the EpiPen Truthout

Risky alone, deadly together WaPo. Part of a series on what’s killing women in small town USA.

Lead poisoning in the US: ‘A silent epidemic’ Al Jazeera

Obama Appoints Social Security Critic to Fix Puerto Rico’s Budget The Intercept

The Call LA Times  Ever wonder what it would be like to be framed? This six-part series tells all.

Police State Watch

Leaked Catalogue Reveals a Vast Array of Military Spy Gear Offered to U.S. Police The Intercept

Why Baltimore’s Covert Spy Plane Program Is a Major Battleground for Privacy and Free Speech AlterNet

Fully Autonomous Cars Are Unlikely, Says America’s Top Transportation Safety Official MIT Technology Review

Statement of Revolutionary Government of the Republic of Cuba on the Impeachment of Dilma Rousseff Counterpunch

Will Anyone Stop Rodrigo Duterte? New Republic

German football legend Beckenbauer in corruption probe Al Jazeera

Corruption at CUNY Jacobin

Bob Kerrey, Fulbright University, and the Neoliberal Erasure of History Counterpunch

How Unions Change Universities Jacobin


Dangerous Propaganda: Network Close To NATO Chief Breedlove Fueled Ukraine Conflict Russia Insider (Chuck L)

U.S. imposes sanctions on ‘Putin’s bridge’ to Crimea Reuters

How Obama’s Asia Pivot Nudged China Toward Pakistan But Helped Aggravate India The Intercept

A Chinese Mystery: Who Owns a Firm on a Global Shopping Spree? NYT


Sturgeon announces new Scottish independence drive after ‘seismic’ Brexit Reuters

Britain could stay in EU if public opinion shifts, says Tony Blair Guardian

Big Bang II: After Brexit, what’s next for the City of London? FT

German Caution, French Decisiveness: How Brexit Affects EU Defense Policy Der Spiegel

London’s grip on global fx trading hit by Asia FT

‘Pay to stay’ is Robin Hood in reverse for thousands of hard-working people The Guardian


Trump Going to Mexico is not the Real Irony, NAFTA Is Counterpunch

There’s almost no chance our elections can get hacked by the Russians. Here’s why. WaPo A sensible corrective to the hysteria.

 Don’t underestimate the power of Hillary hate Spectator

Election Update: As The Race Tightens, Don’t Assume The Electoral College Will Save Clinton fivethirtyeight

Trump threatens remittance blackmail to fund border wall with Mexico Times of India

Hillary Clinton, the Podesta Group and the Saudi Regime: A Fatal Ménage à Trois Truthout

Melania Trump sues Daily Mail and US blogger for $150m over sex worker claims BBC

Anthony Weiner Confirms Child Welfare Agency Is Investigating Him NYT

The Clinton Foundation and the Media: A Deep-Seated Conflict of Interest Truthout

Return to Sender: Hacker who exposed Clinton email sentenced; Romania wants him back Fox News. More juicy details than in other accounts.


Antidote du Jour:pink_flamingos_water_birds_fowl

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.



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  1. Jim Haygood

    America’s Gulag goes rural:

    LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. — Donnie Gaddis picked the wrong county to sell 15 oxycodone pills to an undercover officer.

    If Mr. Gaddis had been caught 20 miles to the east, in Cincinnati, he would have received a maximum of six months in prison, court records show. In San Francisco or Brooklyn, he would probably have received drug treatment or probation, lawyers say.

    But Mr. Gaddis lived in Dearborn County, Ind., which sends more people to prison per capita than nearly any other county in the United States. After agreeing to a plea deal, he was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

    “Years? Holy Toledo — I’ve settled murders for a lot less than that,” said Philip Stephens, a public defender in Cincinnati.

    Just a decade ago, people in rural, suburban and urban areas were all about equally likely to go to prison. But now people in small counties are about 50 percent more likely to go to prison than people in populous counties.

    By 2014, Dearborn County, Indiana sentenced more people to prison than San Francisco or Westchester County, N.Y., which each have at least 13 times as many people.

    A map showing the “prison belt” from Texas to Indiana (with Arizona as a western extension) is included.

    1. cocomaan

      I’m sure Clinton will really put up a fight against the public sector unions and corporate interests fueling these ridiculous incarceration practices. Our last, best hope for progressiveness.

      1. ProNewerDeal

        Another reason to not take the Pete Peterson/Simpson-Bowles/0bama/P Ryan style deficit hawks seriously, they are fraudulent/deceptive & not earnest. Even if one suspends disbelief that the neoliberal “balanced budget” explanation is correct, as opposed to the MMT economic school US macroeconomic description of US Fed Gov deficits.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Pete Peterson is acting like we are not the hegemon of the world, that we don’t possess the dollar hegemony.

          He thinks the rest of the world is not happy we just create as much the global reserve currency as we want.

          “Why fight another nation when you can buy their top politicians? Is the only defense for a Third World country a ‘not too corrupt’ Strong Man, and not campaign-finance-hungry democratic politicians?” Sadly not-too-corrupt Strong Men have not turned out to be so. But does this explain what we see in the world?

      1. Jim Haygood

        Hillary in 2007:

        “It is really unconscionable that someone who uses five grams of crack cocaine, compared to 500 grams of powder cocaine would face such disparate sentencing. I am going to tackle the disparity. I think it definitely needs to be prospective on principle. I have problems with retroactivity.”

        So the overwhelmingly African-American prisoners convicted under a grossly unfair crack cocaine law need to stay incarcerated even after reform … because the Gulag.

  2. Steve C

    “Pivot to Asia” is classic Obama. On the cutting edge of modern cliche so it makes him sound all modern and smart and strategic and 21st Century and all. But a pivot refers to tactics, not strategy, so it just shows, yet again, how shallow he is.

    1. The Young Napoleon

      Whenever I hear high flown terms like “Pivot to Asia” I am immediately reminded of “The Schlieffen Plan”, or “Operation Iraqi Liberation” , or even “Plan 9 From Outer Space”.

    2. Christopher Fay

      But with what I know now about post-middle-aged guys and knee trauma, the “pivot” always sounded like an overly ambitious maneuver to me.

  3. crittermom

    RE: Don’t underestimate the power of Hillary hate

    I especially like the caricature at the top of the story. It states it best.

    1. voteforno6

      This is getting closer to what I’d like to see on the Clinton Foundation. For all that money they’re bringing in, where is it going? There have got to be some reporters out there asking the same question. If only we could get a major press organization to do a deep dive on this – even better if they could bring some cameras along. Right now, we seem to be in the Phony War stage of reporting on the Foundation. If Clinton is elected, I would hope that more reporting would be done on this, especially since this has now been injected into the campaign.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        “If Clinton…”

        Visualize Clinton not elected. That should be the focus of our mental energy.

        And good things will happen.

        1. Vatch

          Visualize Clinton not elected.

          With emphasis on the “not elected” aspect of the visualization. Otherwise, intense concentration might create a Tulpa, and then there will be two of her. Now that’s a scary thought!


      1. Jim Haygood

        “Charity Navigator is a leading and respected organization that evaluates and rates charities so donors can make informed decisions about contributions. It was itself a member of the Clinton Global Initiative between 2012 and 2014.

        Scammers rating scammers: it’s what President 0zero aptly called “the audacity of hope.” ;-)

        In rhetorical terms, it’s second-order lying — that is, lying about their lies. Only consummate pros should attempt this sophisticated form of meta-lying.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          “Can the sharpest knife cut itself?”

          I think that is one of the 100 Zen koans in the Blue Cliff Record (Hekiganroku).

    2. DrBob

      Funny, I read that Current Affairs article (as well as a few of the linked articles, and some non-libertarians articles)…and my conclusion is not far from what the linked David Corn article says in its last sentence:

      …as is often the case with many nonprofits, the results of its high-minded efforts are not fully verified in a manner that could transcend agenda-driven political squabbling.

      In other words, “Nonprofits are struggling with developing a systematic (and verifiable) way of measuring results, and there has not been substantial progress, leaving ‘where did the money go’ as the more accessible question. Many organizations will report on results, but this tends to be more marketing than systematic evaluation.” The person who made that statement also wrote an article on The Chronicle of Philanthropy website on “How to Understand the Clinton Foundation” ( stating that

      Looking at the Clinton Foundation’s financial activities in a vacuum makes it difficult to develop a sense of what is ordinary and what is truly unusual. A comparison to peer organizations provides important context. Though the Clinton Foundation is clearly unique, with a former president as its public face, aggressive worldwide fundraising, and a global agenda of public-private partnerships, this shouldn’t stop people from making this effort. In my book, the best point of comparison is the Carter Center, founded by President Jimmy Carter. The similarities both in terms of the founder’s public persona and the organization’s worldwide reach make it a natural benchmark.

      A look at the Carter Center not only shows why criticizing the Clinton Foundation’s low grant payouts is problematic but it also can give a sense of how reasonable other expenses are. Such a comparison reveals that it is not grant behavior that sticks out but rather the rise in the Clinton Foundation’s payroll costs in recent years.

      However, the bottom line in my reading thus far is that it’s nearly impossible for a layman to assess how efficiently the Clinton Foundation operates…and extremely difficult to even know exactly what they’ve done. However, it does seem to be simply WRONG to assert that any claim that “the Foundation is doing significant charitable work at home and abroad” is a LIE. I’ve found enough evidence online to suggest that they have indeed provided benefits to quite a number of people here and in other countries.

      1. HBE

        Please do share links, it should be easy since you have found “enough evidence online to suggest that they have indeed provided benefits to quite a number of people here and in other countries.”

        Who are these people? Because the current affairs and many other articles make it quite clear they certainly weren’t suffering or impoverished Haitians, Africans, or Americans. So I would have to disagree.

        Or is “benefits to quite a number of people” in reference to the employees of the foundation (friends, family and Clinton sychophants)? Because then I agree, they certainly did get some great benefits.

        1. HBE

          “However, the bottom line in my reading thus far is that it’s nearly impossible for a layman to assess how efficiently the Clinton Foundation operates… and extremely difficult to even know exactly what they’ve done.”

          Well here this can help you “assess”, this is from someone with in depth knowledge of charity and non-profit work and the foundation , clearly illustrating the fact that the Clinton foundation does NOT help those in need.

          I patiently await all your links on all the people (in need) the Clinton foundation has “benefited” DrBob.

  4. cocomaan

    As a beekeeper and a conservationist, the indiscriminate bombing of wild areas for Zika is incredibly stupid and shortsighted. Is the intent to bomb these areas with organophosphates until Zika disappears? What’s the end game? As far as I can tell, the disease has already made it into the country and there’s no way to stop it or the insect vectors.

    The fact of the matter is that the honeybees will be protected. They are charismatic. They have a definite value in ag beyond their pollinator status because of honey.

    It’s not them we have to worry about. It’s the thousands of other species of wild bees that are threatened by this idiotic behavior. Native bees are hit hard by indiscriminate spraying when they are the truly beneficial pollinating species.

    1. Pat

      I recognize that aspects of Zika can be terrifying, and the press has certainly done its best to do that. But similar to our response to 9/11, apparently when America gets scared it gets stupid. I have nothing but my long earned mistrust of American immediate response, but there is a part of me that wonders if the choice to spray so extensively was entirely about Zika. Even if it was, it was not well thought out on many levels. Bee destruction is far more deadly overall than that disease is.

      1. cocomaan

        I know what you mean. It seems like every year the press and the CDC collaborate on some new disease that scares the living shit out of people. Just off the top of my head I can think of the last few in the cycle: Swine flu. Ebola. Now, Zika. They rarely seem to be as destructive as they’re made out to be. The next superbug is always a possibility, but the imaginative terror takes advantage of people.

        In the meantime, the sweat and bumble and leafminer bees get stomped and the farmers with the big orchards end up suffering.

        1. afisher

          Ebola wasn’t destructive….that is a typical “outside my window” attitude. Please ignore all the people who died in Africa. Did you also believe that AIDS / HIV was no big deal. Or is this just another I hate big gov rant…

          1. todde

            You seem to.miss the ‘as they’re made out to be.’

            That seems to imply some destructive aspect, but not as much as the media hype made it to be

          2. NotTimothyGeithner

            Do you realize the radical difference between HIV and Ebola and how they spread? Then of course, Ebola patients didn’t have the stigma of being guy or drug users 40 years ago.

          1. Pat

            I for one look forward to a response that actually addresses the virus itself, rather than indiscriminately spraying insecticide in a vain attempt to destroy the insect population that is its major carrier. Because that has worked so well with so many other diseases spread by insects…

            Here are the numbers for the US according to the CDC:

            US States

            Locally acquired mosquito-borne cases reported: 35
            Travel-associated cases reported: 2,686
            Laboratory acquired cases reported: 1
            Total: 2,722
            Sexually transmitted: 23
            Guillain-Barré syndrome: 7

            US Territories

            Locally acquired cases reported: 14,059
            Travel-associated cases reported: 51
            Total: 14,110*
            Guillain-Barré syndrome: 32

            I believe there is a window to find other more effective less destructive means of trying to control its spread. And there should be no PANIC.

            1. Katharine

              >And there should be no PANIC.

              Indeed! Especially not responses that do far more widespread harm than the virus. We don’t go torching the crops directly, yet some of us are apparently willing to destroy pollinators (and undetermined other small animals) and jeopardize the food supply that way. What do they expect to eat?

              There are already far fewer insects in this area than there used to be. Some of my herbs and berries were not fully pollinated this year, and one of the farmers I deal with at the market has expressed concern about getting all her vegetables pollinated. Wholesale destruction of insects is downright nerve-racking.

            2. Roger Smith

              I was in Florida last week and ZIKA! was all over the news non-stop. Pair that with school starting and you’d think we were just hit with nuclear weapons.* Another reason to turn the TV off.

              *If that wasn’t bad enough, the coverage was paired with constant reporting on, not one, not two, but THREE possible HURRICANES COMING! Head for the HILLS!! You’d think this was the End of Days of something. I still haven’t seen Schwarzenegger however…

            3. Bev

              Pregnant Moms and Beekeepers step up now. The following information has been out there for months. The chemical being currently sprayed is the suspect cause of the birth defects in newborns, not the Zika virus. Do the research accurately and fast with lawyers help to consider class action lawsuits…now.


              “It’s Not the Zika Virus” — Doctors Expose Monsanto Linked Pesticide as Cause of Birth Defects
              Jay Syrmopoulos

              As fear mongering about the Zika epidemic runs rampant, separate organizations of doctors from Brazil and Argentina are directly challenging the notion that the Brazilian Zika virus outbreak is at the root of the recent increase in microcephaly birth defect cases.

              In a recent report by the Physicians in the Crop-Sprayed Towns (PCST), the group revealed that the area in which most of the afflicted persons live had been sprayed with a larvicide known to cause birth defects.

              The chemical, pyriproxyfen, was added to the state of Pernambuco’s drinking-water reservoirs in 2014, by the Brazilian Ministry of Health, in an effort to stop the proliferation of the Zika-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquito.

              The report by PCST revealed that the pesticide, sold under the commercial name SumiLarv, is manufactured by Sumitomo Chemical, a Japanese subsidiary of Monsanto.


    2. Carolinian

      Well do note that the WaPo headline is misleading and only one county in SC did the spraying and according to the article they allegedly tried to notify commercial beekeepers in advance. Presumably their reasoning was that since the Naled pesticide dissipates quickly there wouldn’t be a problem if the hives were covered.

      Still “incredibly stupid” probably describes it.

      1. cocomaan

        That’s fair, absolutely, but since I keep the critters, I am sensitive to the research indicating that sublethal effects are widely misunderstood.

        The native bees, which are the powerhouses of pollination – honeybees are really picky about their flowers – get none of the protections. Some nest in the ground, others in wood. I see bumblebees sleeping on the underside of leaves. I think we’re probably in the dark about what this does to the native populations.

      2. Oregoncharles

        It appears they posted public notices. Those NEVER reach everybody and are pretty much of a gesture.
        They needed to directly contact all beekeepers; there’s probably an association that would make it possible to do that.
        Aerial spraying of insecticide is just a really bad idea. Herbicide, too; that’s a big one around here.

    3. Don

      There are a number of factors involved in the Zika affair: the poor sanitation of the Brazilian areas affected including in the main city, Recife; the intensive use of pesticides for crops and for mosquito control and the potential harm these chemicals might do during critical stages of fetal development; the Brazilian policy of requiring DTaP vaccinations for pregnant women and the potential dangers of immune activation during pregnancy as documented here:; the introduction of GMO mosquitos into the general area affected and the potential (or not) this might have to make the Zika virus more virulent; and the malnutrition in the affected areas which in itself can cause microcephaly. So there are a complex of potential causes involved although we focus on the virus, which may be correlated with many cases or may be exacerbated by other factors, but is perhaps not the sole and only cause of increased cases of microcephaly. To then turn around and spray more pesticides when it may be these very pesticides that are part of the problem is … well, just plain dumb. Notice too that the focus on a virus takes all the pressure off the living conditions and pesticide exposure of the people in the originally affected areas, and just coincidentally gets the chemical companies off the hook.

    4. Ted

      Hysteria, the state, and terrible consequences. We’ve been to that rodeo before. A well known and rather benign virus (absolutely no comparison to HIV or ebola, puleeze!) is suddenly the target of an all out media blitz, with coconspirators at the highest levels of government. Why? Cui Bono? I am pretty sure it’s not the bees, or you and me for that matter. But, if some chemical company is looking to make multi-million dollar no bid contracts and the government is interested in convincing people that it is in the public interest to spray, from the air, highly toxic compounds ad infinitum … well Zika or just about any virus with a foreign sounding name, will do just nicely.

  5. Jim Haygood

    Fedsters at bay:

    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) – The U.S. added 151,000 jobs in August, slowing sharply from earlier in the summer and probably pushing an expected increase in U.S. interest rates toward the end of the year. Economists polled by MarketWatch had predicted 173,000 gain in new nonfarm jobs. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.9%.

    Well, that spoils the rate hike party.

    But doubtless “Fed Groundhog Day” will return next month, as the cute, furry little FOMC members boldly venture out of their burrows again.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Stocks are popping good this morning with the furry Fedsters back in their cages, briskly spinning their exercise wheels.

      Let’s show our gratitude by giving them a few extra food pellets.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Japan nationalized their stock market and we’re just a few years behind them, and in 8 years the ECB will own 100% of European sovereign bonds. But nary a peep from “conservatives” or “economists” or “financial journalists” about this tectonic shift, I certainly don’t recall any debate about the wisdom of such a far-reaching and desperate policy, Grandma Yellen offers pure sophistry and googledegook terms like “quantitative easing” and everyone goes back to sleep. Let’s bring it down to Earth: “We’re planning to nationalize the stock and bond markets, and by the way that stuff you used to call “money” will no longer have a face value, if you put it in a bank we will automatically take some of it (NIRP).
        We all like it when assets we own go “up”…but surely we need to ask “why” prices are rising? Otherwise it’s all just Beanie Babies.

  6. Eureka Springs

    I receive power from an electric “coop”. In a sea of secrecy and corruption it’s the least accountable organization around. I don’t care how loose the term coop may legally be, these people should not be able to use it.

    One of the things they do constantly is spray hundreds of miles of power-line and roadsides with some seriously toxic chemical which kills everything instantly… it takes at least a couple of years for the toughest of weeds or grass to begin to reemerge. Around these parts the forest edge (roads and line cuts) is where so many flowers bloom. No application of round-up could ever do what this chem does. The utility wont tell anyone what it actually is. Killing all plants like that on such a large scale has to be doom for insects and animals of all kind.

    1. Tom

      It’s always amazed me how it is somehow acceptable to use highly toxic chemicals to kill or control pests (plant or animal), as long as it is dispersed over a large area. What would the response be if a tanker truck full of the exact same chemicals toppled over and burst open in the middle of a city street? The area would be evacuated, teams of technicians in Haz Mat suits would converge, they’d break out hi-tech equipment to measure, collect and neaturalize the threat — in short, a full-out emergency response. But dole out those 10,000 gallons of Mosquito-Be-Gone over a few square miles — hey, no problem!

      1. cocomaan

        And the worst part is that they’re never gone! The mosquitoes don’t disappear. The companies producing the systemic insecticides claim there’s no mosquito resistance to it, but I don’t believe that for a second. It goes against everything I’ve learned about biology to say that resistance can’t be picked up by a species.

    2. diptherio

      Sounds like you need to run for the board, along with some of your fellow customer/members who feel like you do. Lots of co-ops show the same problems that other organizations have, but at least with a co-op you can actually do something to try to right the ship. You might find this story inspiring, from a Texas electric co-op that had been “captured” by a few ne’er-do-wells. A contingent of engaged members successfully took back the co-op and made some major changes to their policies. Check it out:

      Green Dreams: Pedernales Electric Coop Revolution

      1. Charger01

        Bingo. We’ll stated comment. Each electric utility has a vegetation management group that ensures the reliability of the electric system by cutting, spraying, or mowing the right-of-way under and adjacent to the power lines. Nothing else to say.

      2. steve

        I watched the whole video, thanks for link and the caring of those involved. I would simply say the part about the nominating committee is true and is endemic to most organizations.

    3. Coast

      Eureka Springs,

      I used to have a pesticide applicators license in California but I don’t know if this is true in other states but you had to have a permit to spray pesticides (other than household use). The permit was obtained through the county agricultural department. I don’t know how other states handle this. These listed where pesticides were to be sprayed and the material. They also had to report the final usage. All of this was a matter of public record and not confidential.

      It is likely that the permit listed the “name brand” of the pesticide which wouldn’t be much help to you. However,you can go on line and find the MSDS (material safety data sheet) which will give you all kinds of information as well as the actual chemical.

      Hope this helps.

      Coast Ranger

  7. Foppe

    With respect to “By Any Means or None,” I wrote the following somewhere else, yesterday. Make of it what you wish:

    In the most recent issue of the LRB, Thomas Nagel reviews the eleventieth book about Terrorism written by someone who (unwittingly? wittingly?) muddies the waters by only looking at the behavior of one partner, rather than the whole field of forces. This time around, the question being asked is “does terrorism work?” from the perspective of a bunch of “minor partners” in certain conflicts — the IRA, ETA, Hamas and Al Q. Judging by Nagel’s review, it’s the umpteenth exercise in navelgazing, because the question how political and socio-economic action/policy lead certain people to become terrorists are is never even asked, which has the benefit that it doesn’t even have to be waved away. The other question the importance of which goes unacknowledged (at least by Nagel) is “what about the larger context”: i.e., where/how/why did the people who decided to become “terrorists” get the idea to start using violence, and how the behavior of the major partner figures into that.

    The closest thing that we get from Nagel on this front is the remark that “[although the author] emphasises that terrorism is also practised by states, his subject here is terrorism by non-state actors — specifically, non-state organisations that have pursued a campaign of terrorism over a significant period of time.” Of course, (goodthinker) Nagel leaves it at that, and never bothers to observe that this is the case *every fucking time* someone decides to yammer on about the question whether violence is an appropriate response to violence perpetrated by states. There is a “literature” on religious/personal/”ideological” terrorism that’s about 20 miles long. But as far as I can tell, discussing conflicts on “equal footing” — i.e., by giving a fair account of the history leading up to the creation of said “terrorist groups”, in cases where one of the parties is a “liberal”/”western” “democratic” state — basically never happens, even though this basically guarantees that readers are horribly *shocked* by the unconscionable actions of said ‘terrorists”, and that they never recover to ask the question where on earth these people got the idea to use violence against so benighted party as the Burdened White Men Who Will Set The Country Aright / who are bringing Civilization/Democracy. Nor is it pointed out to readers that from the perspective of the state, state violence/terrorism works fantastically well, because it is guaranteed to (after some time) engender counter-terrorism, which can then be used to retroactively “justify” other / the painting of the ‘other’ as reactionary, etc., thereby ensuring that the underlying issues remain unaddressed. And so the virtue-signaling continues, aided and abetted by words and titles (“state” vs “non-state actor”, “state actor” vs “terrorist”) that distract from the underlying truth that violence begets violence, and that from the perspective of the major partners to any conflict, this type of framing & consequent “analysis” is just great.

    Much more could be said about this (about “moderates” / the legitimacy of the use of (counter-)violence / the expectations imputed to “terrorists” / etc.), but this’ll do for a start.

    1. witters

      The only time Thomas Nagel had any philosophical value was when Bernard Williams took the time to sort out his confusions. Now Williams is dead…

  8. crittermom

    RE: How First Nations have enhanced the forests…

    Nice article. Who knew about the shellfish?

    I remember reading that in Europe they’ve been reforesting for hundreds of years, only to recently discover that the pine trees they’ve been planting contribute to global warming since the dark green of them holds heat more than deciduous trees.

    Either kind, no doubt, are better than pavement, buildings, or barren dirt from mining.

    I’ve always wanted to visit BC and that desire hasn’t waned. The photo only reinforces my desire. So beautiful!

    The First Peoples understand about taking care of Mother Earth and always have, whereas today the focus of many seems to be on finding a new planet to inhabit (and ultimately destroy), while we trash this one in the pursuit of profit (money).

    1. Oregoncharles

      I wonder why Europe was planting pines, since hardwoods have far more valuable lumber. Apparently in Appalachian Pennsylvania the early settlers cut and used up the huge white pines (used for shipbuilding, among other things); what grew back was black cherry, a pioneer – with extremely valuable wood. A happy accident, at least from an economic point of view. Probably a major change in the local ecology, though.

    2. McKillop

      B.C. leaves a strip of uncut forest for the tourists. Head into the back exwood’ s country and you’ll see clear cuts that will devastate your belief in Beautiful B.C. Flying over the province is worse if you look out the window!
      Sorry to be the bearer of such information.

  9. afisher

    Meanwhile as the leaders of this site obsess – they ignore that Kansas and it’s financial scheme to prove that Corporate Tax means Economic Growth just missed their income projections by a mere 97%.

    The also missed that news that a major shipper from South Korea just declared bankruptcy standing ships, cargo and sailors at sea.

    Also, please ignore that DT really is demanding “white america” in his latest speech….Straight out of the White Nationalist playbook. Instead obsess away about Clinton Foundation – stupid stupid stupid.

      1. John Wright

        Maybe “afisher” wants his followers to “fish” for links.

        While some might see this newsworthy, I remember seeing the bright side of Kansas Governor Brownback’s re-election as forcing him to do something about the supply side tax cuts he instituted some years ago.

        It does not appear he has responded to the problem.

        The news that a South Korean shipping company went bankrupt may be significant as it could show overcapacity in the shipping industry.

        But other than that, why is this greatly important?

        And “afisher” apparently believes what DT says in a speech is more significant than the news of the questionable Clinton foundation (which might truly end up looking “stupid-stupid-stupid” for candidate HRC’s election)

        I DO want to read more of the Clinton Foundation, as inequality in the USA could be solved if EVERY family were able to establish a $2 billion charitable foundation and put their friends and relatives on the payroll.

        Maybe “two chickens in every pot and a charitable foundations for every family” is what Clinton should be promoting to get elected?

        1. cwaltz

          Dailykos doesn’t vet it’s links. I would consider it an unreliable source.

          It’s the same site that in 2008 claimed Clinton blackened Obama’s face without evidence.

          Not that I understand why I’m supposed to work myself up about Kansas.

          Is this one of those Democrat-good Republican -bad attempts? Brownback is an idiot, then again so is Clinton since she appears to be all about antagonizing another nuclear power.

          The fact that Republicans are bad doesn’t mean it’s a mutually exclusive adjective that can’t be used to describe Team D’s candidate.

    1. Jim Haygood

      From yesterday’s water cooler:

      Shipping: “Borrowed time comes to an end as Hanjin Shipping files for court receivership” [Splash247].


      1. Synapsid

        Jim Haygood,

        The shipping posts are my favorite part of Water Cooler. Finger on the pulse of global commerce, they are.

    2. KurtisMayfield

      Re: Kansas
      Corporate taxes as a share of overall revenue was only 6.25% in June. Income taxes as a share of overall revenue make up about a 6 * 6.25 = 37.5%. So there goes your first statement. Information from here:

      Yes Haijin went under, but it has been in trouble for years. This was not a sudden blow up. Read the WSJ article here:

      Also here is a full text of DT’s speech on 8/31/2016:

      It sounds like it is a plan to actually control immigration across the US borders. Like every other country in the world does. If you do not think they do go try to illegally immigrate to Mexico, Canada, or China and try to get a job. I will wait for your reply on your attempt.

    3. HBE

      Maybe try water cooler before you go on a “neoliberal” tirade, there are only a few days when there hasn’t been a story on declining shipping and even rail numbers.

      I did a fairly detailed search I can find no speech where trump “demands a white America”.

      Finally I did a search for the Kansas revenue debacle (I don’t think anyone here is pro-corporate, and maybe if you shared a link it would get posted), but then I saw the source and found out why you didn’t.

      Kansas Revenue Projection Ends As Bad Guess: State Misses Revenue Target …
      Daily Kos › story ›
      15 hours ago – Kansas Revenue Projection Ends As Bad Guess: State Misses Revenue Target by 97% ·

      So basically your angry that this isn’t daily kos.

      And please tell my why some information (it’s certainly not the focus of most of the links) on the rampant corruption of Clinton, is stupid? I prefer a wide variety of content, if I wanted identity politics, propaganda and 24/7 pro hillary, I would read daily kos.

      1. abynormal

        So basically your angry that this isn’t daily kos.…that’s exactly what afisher has been trying to accomplish. he drives by like this everyday, baiting an established group of curious driven, informed thinkers. as noted on this thread, he brings nothing to the table. for those of us that have ‘lived’ here for years…we’ve seen this before and Yves & Lambert requested we do NOT feed ‘them’.

        i for one will no longer recognize passive-aggressors like afisher nor anyone else attempting to sabotage or lower the bar on this site of sites!

        ICE TIME: ” The Inuits tacitly assume that kunlangeta is irremediable. And so, according to Murphy, the traditional Inuit approach to such a man was to insist he go hunting, and then, in the absence of witnesses, push him off the edge of the ice.” Stout, The Sociopath Next Door

    4. flora

      Sigh….. Kansas did not miss its forecast by 96%. A portion of the tax estimate fell by 96%. Might have something to do with Brownback’s “real time experiment, that would act like a shot of adrenaline to the heart”. (Which will kill a healthy patient, but never mind.)

      “Sales tax receipts fell $14.1 million below estimates, or about 7 percent, for the month. Corporate income taxes came in $9.7 million below projections — a shortfall of 96 percent.”

      Kansas is a Republican state, and the Kansas GOP is more than tired of Brownback’s “experiment.”

      Brownback appears not to care about the majority of Kansans’ opinions, or even of the majority of Kansas GOP wishes. He appears to listen only to the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, which has radically changed from what it once was.
      “The tail wags the dog when it comes to the politics of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce. A few businesses underwrite the Chamber’s electioneering with results contrary to the interests of most Kansas businesses.”

      1. Paid Minion

        When it comes to Randian Republicanism, the stench of the Kochs is never far away.

        It’s not that they are cynical, advocating policies that line their pockets. They are true believers, who blame any policy failures on the people who didn’t show enough dedication to the cause.

        They (and the evangelicals) figured out a long time ago that the most efficient way to impose their will on the Federal government was to take over the Republican parties in flyover states. Not a whole lot of money needed to have an outsize influence on influencing elections. Also easier to feed the wretched refuse propaganda, due to the limited media sources out here.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I think small states like Maine, New Hampshire, etc are also vulnerable to take overs…not that they have been taken over yet.

      2. Foppe

        Huh? Sales taxes bring in 200m, while corp income tax only brings in 10.5m total? That’s pretty shameless.

    5. River

      Probably because Trump isn’t saying things like this. From HRCs American Legion speech(

      We’ll invest in the next frontier of military engagement, protecting U.S. interests in outer space and cyberspace. You’ve seen reports. Russia’s hacked into a lot of things. China’s hacked into a lot of things. Russia even hacked into the Democratic National Committee, maybe even some state election systems. So, we’ve got to step up our game. Make sure we are well defended and able to take the fight to those who go after us.

      As President, I will make it clear, that the United States will treat cyber attacks just like any other attack. We will be ready with serious political, economic and military responses. And we’re going to invest in protecting our governmental networks and our national infrastructure. I want us to lead the world in setting the rules of cyberspace.

      Bolding mine.

      She basically threatened Russia and China with military action based on her own biases. And you wonder why this site focuses more on the Clintons then bullshit identity politics, various -isms and “Trump is bad because he is uncouth in his speech”?

      Which is more dangerous, “white America” rhetoric or more and more military intervention especially threatening nuclear powers. Read her American Legion speech, she’s demented. Here’s another gem that is a paragraph before the one above in her speech:

      We’ll make a renewed push to reduce the world’s nuclear weapons. Because that does make us all safer. And we’ll step up our efforts to secure nuclear material around the world and stop terrorists from acquiring or using weapons of mass destruction. One of the first things I will do as president, is to call for a new nuclear posture review. We have to make sure that America’s arsenal is prepared to meet future threats.

      Bolding again mine. Knowing her love for war, a new nuclear posture and threatening Russia and China. What is this new nuclear posture? Bringing the Davy Crocket out of retirement? Shoot first, questions never?

      That terrifies me far more than supposed Trump rhetoric. Also, look at who is backing her, the same bunch neo-con monsters who supported ‘W”. People who vote for HRC basically agree with what “W’ did at this point since more of it will be coming.

      But hey at least you won’t be called some type of -ist or -ism.

      1. OIFVet

        Which is more dangerous, “white America” rhetoric or more and more military intervention especially threatening nuclear powers.

        Dunno, this question smacks of Lesser Evilism to me.

        1. River

          I suppose it could be read that way. I view it more as a known quantity who’s actions you can predict versus an unknown quantity who, realistically, no one knows what he’ll do.

          I find the evil/lesser evil dichotomy to be a poor fit for this election.

          It’s really more status quo vs. change. Both will be painful for the vast majority. The real question is will the change be beneficial in the long run. I doubt any of us will see that benefit.

        2. jrs

          Yea maybe white people shouldn’t be the one’s commenting on which is worse of those hypotheticals (I don’t think it’s actually minorities going “white America” no problem …). But links would be nice.

          1. River

            Links from me? I put it quotes, as afisher, who I responded to had it in quotes. No links as HBE pointed out above. My usage was sarcastic.

        3. cwaltz

          Some of the people here advocate for Lesser Evilism(either with Trump or Clinton being that lesser evil.)

          I disagree with their strategy but they have every right to vote as they see fit.

      2. tgs

        What disgusts me is that Clinton, Pelosi, Reid and a host of others connected to the DNC are allowed to say Russia hacked the DNC as if this were established fact. But it isn’t. Does our famously free press call them on it? Absolutely not. In fact Russia hacked the DNC is now part of the (fact free) conventional wisdom. Remember when during the Bush era, Democrats claimed to be the ‘reality based community’? From where I sit, the exact opposite is true. They not only lie about virtually everything, but actually believe those lies.

        1. Vatch

          I don’t know who hacked the DNC. I’m just grateful that they did it. I’ve often been critical of Putin, but if his people were behind the hack, then I say thank you, Volodya!

        2. emptyfull

          All the anti-Russia hysteria of the past few weeks makes me wonder if Putin (or Wikileaks, via some other source) really does have something that, if leaked, could cause major problems for Hillary and/or the establishment. Perhaps the the rhetoric is not just an attempt to discredit the DNC leaks; maybe they’re scared that Putin (who I imagine truly does have the capability to hack into/spy on American classified systems) might be willing to play more damaging cards.

        3. Jeff

          Well stated. I’m constantly surprised/irritated by the lack of research and/or verification the press has displayed the last few years. I even see it in my local evening TV broadcast. Nowadays if/when I’m actively watching the news, I just amuse myself trying to figure out what spin has been applied to whatever topic is being discussed.

          I’m just hoping all of this doesn’t get us into a war with Russia.

          1. HBE

            This is from the “expert” security firm who identified that the “Russians” were behind the hack, it is clear obfuscation by BS. It uses purposely complex terminology to ensure their shoddy methodology is exposed. To me it clearly follows the tried and true tactic of “going technical” on a client (just aimed at the public).

            Eg. a client comes to you concerned about metrics “hey are numbers are dropping, what’s going on?” “what happened?” (oh shiite, it’s an internal F up). Proceed to use complex techno-babble. when it would be just as easy to explain it in simple general and understandble terms, and then blame a third party. Problem solved. To me crowdstrike is clearly doing just that.

        4. jrs

          I still like a quote a friend of mine invented: Republican voters are stupid, Democratic voters are brainwashed. Sure to offend, but more or less true, it might be ignorance that compels some Rep voting but there is far more not ignorance but rather willful blindness going on on the Dem side.

    6. John k

      Msm in the tank for Clinton, this is one of the few sites where we can read the other side.
      Most here agree that trump is unfit, fairly self evident.
      But there is similarly extensive evidence that she too is unfit on corruption, war, and a total lack of support for progressive issues… And he occasionally teases us with the latter.
      Many here are engaged in the search for the elusive lesser evil, and/or should the vote be tossed to a third candidate?
      Both issues you mention have been covered here, Kansas extensively. Nothing wrong if you are here only for economic issues, easy to miss something because of the extensive political coverage in this interesting election cycle… But the election is interesting on economic issues alone – vote for an extension of neoliberalism mixed with an extra scoop of confrontation, or try something completely different, recognizing that in the latter case there will also be elements that grate one’s teeth?

  10. EndOfTheWorld

    The Donald is not “demanding white america”—-I didn’t listen to the whole speech but I think it was more like “american for american citizens”, which would include all colors.

  11. ProNewerDeal

    reading the Trump 10-pt immigration plan

    “Number Nine: We will turn off the jobs and benefits magnet”: …”Those who abuse our welfare system will be priorities for removal.”

    What is this nebulous welfare the right-wingers perpetually cry about? BClinton ended welfare in the 1990s.

    What is 2016 “welfare”? SNAP food benefit & Medicaid? I’d argue SNAP is welfare to low-wage employers like Wack Arnolds & Walmart, with a $15 min wage & a Fed Job Guarantee, SNAP could be greatly reduced or eliminated. I assume Canada-style MedicareForAll as a civilized baseline, healthcare as a human right. From this perspective Medicaid is a mediocre small step towards that goal, not “welfare”.

    Are the wingnuts referring to TANF – TEMPORARY Assistance to Needy Families? A few families with children receive some cash TEMPORALLY for a few months? By definition this must have a low number of beneficiaries at any given time. By definition no single childless adults are receiving TANF – children are clearly the indented primary beneficiaries of TANF.

    All what I’ve said is referring to US CITIZENS & PERMANENT RESIDENTS. Undocumented workers are ineligible for any of these programs. From what I understand, most undocumented workers are ripped off by the status quo – they pay FICA tax for Social Security/Medicare benefits they are ineligible to receive.

    Is Trump & other wingnuts merely undocumented-bashing & poor USian-bashing here? Or am I missing something about what actually is 2016 “welfare”?

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      It’s just the old welfare queens and welfare reform language of the 90’s.

      I’m reminded of the Sagan quote about teaching scientific understanding. The gist was bad ideas die out. The myth believers can’t be educated.

      Just take Democratic supporters of Hillary, they are as ignorant and right wing as ever, so why wouldn’t the Republicans stay the course?

      I should add people are on edge everywhere and official and political propaganda doesn’t help. “Look at this great clinic serving this community thanks to a government grant of “more money than the average person can comprehend” (from a rhetorical side $100 million, $7 billion, and 11ty quadrillion are all the same number) while its largely a Ptomkin Village operation with much of the money being siphoned off to Pfizer. Then of course, dumb hick whites are blamed for not understanding how wonderful Team Blue is. ACA is the perfect example. Where are the subsidies to help pay? I’m honest and hard working, so if there are subsidies, someone must be taking them who is dishonest.

      In the absence of an alternative, the lowest common denominator will rule the discourse. The alternative to Trump is currently a candidate with a deeply racist past who has actually accused a Slav of leading an international white supremacy movement while Clinton supports the admirers of actual Nazis in the Kiev rump state. The discourse will only get worse.

    2. tegnost

      yes TANF, thank you bill clinton, but i understand trying to tar others with the same brush. Hillary Clinton, for her part, is opposed to 15 as well as jobs guarantee. And don’t get between those liberal california dems and their maids and gardeners or they’ll show you who holds the whip hand. Yes trump is bad. Hillary is worse. And SNAP? welfare for kroger walmart and safeway. Keep your plebian hands off my gov’t teat…also pretty sure the ACA (in cali at least now allows coverage of the workers who are here to drive down the wages and security of US CITIZENS & PERMANENT RESIDENTS, which says little about those immigrants, they’re aspirational, right, but it says a lot about the elite that makes use of them as you are doing in your comment.What you’re missing is that everything you say about trump is doubly true of clinton. So we have a name for whacko republicans (“wingnut”) whats the word that describes the unthinking support of the doppelgangers backing HRC? There is welfare in the usa, you only have to make a donation to the clinton fondation, and if you can’t afford it, get in line with the losers!

    3. Starveling

      I think it goes beyond simple welfare. It’s the destruction of the commons entire. I find it harder and harder to vote for expanding benefits of any kind in a rapidly changing demographic pool. Why should me or mine vote to increase our property taxes to pay for, say, schools, when those dollars are going to the (absurdly) legal children of noncitizens?

      Think Putnam- diversity shreds trust and community mindedness. Is there a way around this? Perhaps. But it takes generations and a few periods of shared good and bad times. Assimilation takes time and requires those in the enclaves to be incentivized to do so.

      Anyhow, the logic of it makes sense to me in a roundabout way. Less immigrants means the 10 dog 8 bone economy becomes an 8 dog 8 bone economy. The taxes already paid go to actual Americans and the civic sphere expands as mutual self interest is easier to prove in groups with greater cohesion or solidarity. Low end jobs open up for our native low skilled/inexperienced workforce. Importing millions of third worlders from a foreign culture zone in a time of contraction and expanding inequality is -begging- for a return of nativism (I’m already here) or full blown racialism (which I do believe most would want to avoid).

      Is it sad for the poor third world peasants sent home? Maybe. But they aren’t and shouldn’t be my problem. Especially not when I hear about, in hushed tones, another relative of a neighbor, dying of a heroine overdose here in no-hope land. We need to take care of our own first- and we won’t even have a prayer of that if we eliminate the meaning of citizenship.

        1. Starveling

          Born citizens of born citizens and the naturalized who have gone through the process- you have an American parent? Grats, you’re in the club. You come here through a legal process and follow set procedures? You are as well. Pure jus soli is madness- why can a rich Chinese national fly here to give birth and magically have dual citizenship? If my lady had a child on vacation in Japan would that make the kid Japanese? I surely think not.

          Honestly, the entire idea of dual citizenship troubles me. Once a person reached adulthood if they are eligible in another land they should be forced to renounce it.

          1. Alejandro

            “Honestly, the entire idea of dual citizenship troubles me.”

            Does this concern apply to transnational citizenship of transnational corporate “persons”? They seem to have the real AND nominal benefits of citizenship, with only limited nominal liability but no real liability.

            1. OIFVet

              Not an issue as far as Tim Cook is concerned. But sure, force me to renounce one of my citizenships, I am sure it will go a long way to make America great again.

              1. Alejandro

                Exactly! Keep the focus of the wretched, on the wretched elsewhere and from elsewhere and away from the true source of the wretchedness.

            2. Starveling

              I’d agree on that entirely. The corporate superstructure is patently absurd. If an instrument of the state no longer serves the people that instrument needs to be done away with or changed so that it again serves a purpose of merit.

              1. cwaltz

                And yet Trump doesn’t choose to address that.


                Hmmmmm I wonder why? Maybe it’s just easier to pick on the weak and blame our economic state on them.

                Donald Trump is a dolt and his followers should actually take the time to look at numbers. But don’t worry after the GOP rounds up the “illegal immigrants” for being a net tax consumers they’ll be coming for US net tax consumers like that awful terrible very bad BK worker who is a “taker” because he doesn’t pay federal income taxes and had the temerity to not choose rich parents for himself like Trump or Romney.

                The Heritage Foundation has some real interesting terminology and gives away their end game.


                1. Starveling

                  I’m no Heritage hack. I voted Sanders in my primary and was with him until he endorsed the witch and played sheepdog. This isn’t an either/or proposition, it is a both/and. I don’t want my country to become a mere global bazaar- in times of actual hardship ahead why on earth would we want a more atomized, internally antagonized nation? As long as we remain ourselves there is a chance to commit to real reform-

                  Multi-ethnic empires don’t tend to fare well on the downswing.

        2. John k

          An inclusive definition is all the people that live here now, legally or illegally. A majority of these oppose both legal and illegal immigration because they realize corporations promoting immigration have been using immigration to successfully suppress wages for decades. Trade too, of course.

          The world needs to stop population growth. The us would nearly be there now if immigration stopped.

          1. Sam Adams

            Who told you that TPTB aren’t ready to reduce populations? Have you paid attention to white middle class male or inner city brown people longevity since 1970? Care to move into a rural flyover state? Many policies and technological innovations could be thought of as a means to reduce populations.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              There were some articles a while back about people dying off and voting for Trump.

              Between trying to avoid death and being called low-information or bigoted, some will vote for Trump and tell pollsters otherwise.

              That’s my guess.

      1. bdy

        You write as though collective well being were a zero sum game. People working to contribute, whether they are “actual Americans” or just people who were born here, are contributing, not taking away someone else’s job. Dropping people off at the border (ICE indefinite prison disincentives attached or no) isn’t going to open up jobs or increase wages in a country whose money-holders enjoy a global labor free-for-all, and whose workers have been forced into piecemeal, per-contract wage bargaining.

        It’s pretty to think that pushing people around who don’t look like you, talk like you, or share a similar geographical past will make everthing better. Sorry. We’ll still be poor, just uglier to boot.

        1. Starveling

          I’m a protectionist. I want an end to the global labor free for all. Democracy, sovereignty, global economy- choose two. I choose democracy and sovereignty.

          1. cwaltz

            I can understand why someone would choose to be a protectionist however, you are kidding yourself if you think we have a democracy.

            During the W administration, Energy policy was discussed behind closed doors, during the Obama administration health care policy was discussed behind closed doors, our trade policy is being discussed behind closed doors……that isn’t democracy…..that’s an oligarchy.

            By the way, it might interest you to know that the people discussing policy behind your back aren’t illegal immigrants, they’re corporate donors(energy, health care, 600 multinationals with trade interests) They are Americans who just happen to think that you don’t deserve a real democracy where the merits of policy are discussed in front of you.

            Who is the threat again? Is it really some poor indigent Mexican who came here to pick lettuce or is it companies like Apple who are perpetually moving to avoid paying taxes and discussing BEHIND CLOSED DOORS what trade policy they should have to adhere to?

          2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            I guess I just don’t get the logic behind the received wisdom of “free trade”:
            A. Your country has a much higher standard of living than other countries;
            B. So let’s “level the playing field” with those countries.
            So A + B = a lower standard of living in your country as it reverts to the global mean.

            So who would want that? Pick one:
            A. the owners of the means of production who get to dramatically lower their costs; or
            B. the actual people living in said country.
            (Cue neo-liberals stating that workers in said country now get the benefit of lots of low-cost goods. But oops: they’re now unemployed so have no money to buy those goods).

    4. Katniss Everdeen

      10 specific points addressing a problem for which americans are demanding solutions, and you choose to key in on ONE word in ONE point for your straw-manning, ad hominem rant.

      If you’ve got nothing constructive on topic to offer, you should stay out of the discussion. It’s just not helpful.

      1. ProNewerDeal

        My comment is earnestly trying to ascertain what is 2016 “welfare”, since this term is continuously lamented by right-wingers. I commented this, because NC has many informed, wise, experienced commenters/readers on the subject of US “finance, economics, politics and power”. I have learned much on this site, from the authors like Yves/Lambert, as well as the commenters.

        Yet you bizarrely personally bash me, while stating that I am the one with an “ad hominem rant”.

        It also seems like some of you are falling into the simplistic binary thinking fallacy. Because I criticize Trump, does not mean I approve of HClinton, both are horrible & Net Evil persons, as well as habitual Flip-Flopping liars. I am in a safe state, so I don’t feel compelled into LEV (Lesser Evil Voting).

        Again, my comment was on what is meant by “welfare”, not Trump’s immigration plan. However, I did comment yesterday about immigration. I’ll briefly restate a key point of that comment. US Big Business loves cheap, low-power-having labor, whether it is undocumented workers or H1-B workers. IMHO if were Trump was serious & earnest about reducing immigration, he would couple e-verify with a SIGNIFICANT PENALTIES for ILLEGAL EMPLOYERS, say $100K/employee found.

        1. cwaltz


          Trump won’t do that though. He’s a bully and bullies don’t pick on the powerful, they prey on the weak.

          I do think it’s hysterical that the average working Joe isn’t asking Mr “I’m a Rich Guy” why he really has products made in China if he’s so opposed to cheap labor? Do they really think a guy who makes billions has no choice on where his products are made? Answer: He’d rather make billions using cheap labor than make millions using American workers.

          This is the guy Joe America thinks cares about their jobs? LOL

  12. Goyo Marquez

    Re: The Call (L.A. Times story)
    Amazing story. A Greek tragedy come to life, a modern tale of hubris.

    Thank god they have good cops in Irvine. The rich even get better cops than the rest of us.

  13. jim A

    A taco truck on every corner. The article completely misses the TRUCK angle. Last time I looked most of those food trucks were built on US manufactured truck chassis. That is a huyge amount of manufacturing jobs. Add to that the jobs at the companies that do the conversions, and a smaller number of jobs for the equipment in them (much of that is manufactured in China I suspect. sure that would be a bubble like the RE bubble but at least while it lasted it would be a big boost to the economy.

  14. DorothyT

    Re: Alzheimer’s disease link

    Read this important new research finding, published in the American Academy of Neurology’s journal “Neurology” on Aug. 17, 2016. This five year study just completed and it strongly suggests a link between calcium supplements and dementia. More study needed, of course, but this was a big study.

    It will make you think twice about taking calcium supplements (not dietary calcium, which appears to be helpful). Calcium supplements are similarly being studied as a risk of arterial plaque in heart disease.

    1. Steve H.

      – Women without a history of stroke or women without white matter lesions had no increased risk when taking calcium supplements.


      – Among the women who had CT scans, 71 percent had lesions on their brains’ white matter, which is a marker for cerebrovascular disease.

      That’s a lot.

  15. Kurt Sperry

    “The taxes already paid go to actual Americans”

    The Mestizo immigrants from Latin America are certainly more “actual American” than I am as a descendant of immigrants who came only around 150 years ago.

    1. Starveling

      You could make an argument for the North American tribes, but isn’t Mestizo Indio ancestry largely from the populations of the Central American nations and empires? Saying they are more American (in the US sense) than you or I is like saying I am more German than an actual Rhinelander. Absurd.

      1. Starveling

        Assuming I’d moved to Germany. Though France would be more apt, as I have no French ancestry that I know of.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I am not sure European Americans living in Europe are more European than Turkish Germans born in Germany.

      “My ancestors had lived in Thule for thousands of years, before my grandparents migrated to America.”

      A Mestizo Guatemalan immigrant is not an American citizen until he/she becomes one.

  16. Katniss Everdeen

    ISDS in trade agreements is finally being put under a microscope, and it seems it could be even worse than we thought. “Investors” are now making “investments” specifically in anticipation of being able to cash in on ISDS claims, and hedge funds and private equity lining up to finance these worthwhile and potentially highly profitable endeavors.

    For your weekend reading “pleasure,” complete with specific examples:

    According to HuffPo, “Often, the best country for international investors to sue is one that’s already in trouble.” And “No country has been sued more in ISDS tribunals than Argentina.” Hmmm…..

    Oh, and “Public Citizen estimates that 9,000 new companies would gain ISDS rights to sue the United States under TPP alone.”

    Read it and weep.

  17. Adam Eran

    The “Irony of NAFTA” article is correct but light on specifics. Missing items:

    –The initiator of the treaty was (Harvard-educated) Carlos Salinas Gotari. Bush 41 wrote it at his neo-liberal urging.

    –The treaty was such a great idea that the U.S. had to come up with $20 billion to lend Mexico within a few months of its passage because capital flight threatened their financial system, and not incidentally, some U.S. banks. But of course this was the last bank bailout for many years, right?

    –The decline in Mexican real income, according to Ravi Batra (Greenspan’s Fraud) was 34%. This is saying something in a country where half the population gets by on $4 or less a day. One has to return to the halcyon days of the Great Depression to find such a decline in U.S. incomes, and everyone knows that provoked no great migration…oh wait, those Okies! A comparable modern income reduction occurred when the Soviets collapsed and withdrew their subsidized oil from Cuba, with tremendous impacts, particularly to agriculture (in the U.S. we burn ten calories of petroleum to produce one calorie of food). The average Cuban lost 20 lbs. (Quick, notify Jennie Craig!)

    –Unsurprisingly, shipping a bunch of subsidized Iowa corn down south bankrupted lots of subsistence corn farmers, further concentrating land ownership in the hands of Mexico’s oligarchs. These little corn farmers were extremely productive, growing lots of little varieties of corn, keeping the diversity of the corn genome alive. Corn is only arguably the most important food crop in the world, but heck, those little guys weren’t making any money for Monsanto, so the heck with them!

    –Carlos Salinas Gotari had to retire to Ireland, or (I’m guessing) risk assassination, his NAFTA idea was received with such dismay.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Not sure that is constitutional to target foreigners like that.

      But if it’s OK, then, maybe this is next:

      Another 26 percent foreigner tax when they sell, to take effective in 12 months, then, we will see an avalanche of Foreignexit in Vancouver.

      1. HotFlash

        Under Canadian tax law, profits from sale of principal residence are not taxable income. OTOH, mortgage interest is not deductible.

        I have seen *sooooo* many houses flipped in my downtown Toronto neighbourhood. It’s getting to be unrecognizable anymore. I would love to see ‘principal residence’ redefined as ‘house you have lived in for five years or more’. Possible exceptions, say job change, family in/decrease, illness, sure, but involve a *lot* of paperwork.

  18. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Lead poisoning:

    You have parents who don’t have an idea about lead poisoning. They move in these neighbourhoods where they can afford their budgets and they’re not thinking about their kid’s health. They’re just trying to get a roof over their heads. And the sad
    part about is, the kids pay for it.

    Thank to the housing bubble.

    “This way, people can borrow more to spend, so our GDP can be bigger.”

  19. Mike Mc

    Meh. If elected, Trump will destroy the United States; if elected, Clinton will destroy the world.

    I should include “the followers of” for both candidates in the above sentence.

    However, climate change is in the process of rendering our human constructs of party, nation, race, gender etc. quite moot without significant alteration of our energy use. So maybe we could talk about that and leave the horse race to the bettors and announcers.

    1. HotFlash

      Yeah, climate change, the real ticking timebomb. Trump doesn’t believe in it, but opposes the TPP. Hillary makes the right climate noises and the right TPP noises, but is not trustworthy. The TPP will scotch any chance we have of fighting it in time (or likely ever).

      Libertarian Gary Johnson seems to support TPP, at least as of June 16, but does believe in climate change and has scandalized righties by calling for cap-and-trade. Green Jill Stein is agin TPP and of course way out in front re climate change. Both are on record as against war, incl the war on drugs, so there is that as well. Problem is, neither of them has a snowball’s chance. Could make you feel better though, as we suffer through 4 or 8 years of Clinton or Trump, assuming we survive.

      My take is that climate change will be the real killer (literally), although it will affect us 90%ers first and hardest. War with Russia would be pretty bad, too. Very tough call. I’m only a neighbour up here in Canada, hoping your choice for Prez doesn’t get us all killed. Thanks in advance.

      1. HBE

        “Neighbor”, don’t be so modest you’re the 51st state, allowed nearly intolerable autonomy, by the charity of the hegemon.

        Our prez is your prez! Now, say thank you to the hegemon.

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