Links 9/3/2016

Meet the ‘mouse-bunny’ that could vanish from the US Treehugger

Antibacterial soap is a lie, just like everything else in your life Marketwatch

The Audacious Plan to Save This Man’s Life by Transplanting His Head The Atlantic. What could go wrong?

How to change your mind: our writers on what they got wrong New Statesman

The Revenge of Roger’s Angels New York magazine

The Birth of Conservative Media as We Know It New Republic

Lunch with the FT: Nick Denton FT

The world wide cage aeon

What the Spacex Explosion Means for Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg New Yorker

Why everything from Samsung phones to hoverboards are (literally) exploding Marketwatch

World’s longest glass bridge closes for maintenance two weeks after opening Guardian

How Congress Makes Regular Taxpayers Foot the Bill for Oil Pipeline Fat Cats Daily Beast

How Should We Read Investor Letters? New Yorker. John Lanchester is always worth reading–  both the journalism, and the novels.

Two miracles and 19 years later: why Mother Teresa’s journey to sainthood took so long The Conversation

Class Warfare

Texas Is One of the Most Dangerous Places in the Developed World to Have a Baby Pacific Standard

Is an Arkansas Town Operating a “Hot Check” Court as an Illegal Debtors’ Prison? Democracy Now

This small Indiana county sends more people to prison than San Francisco and Durham, N.C., combined. Why? NYT. See our coverage of this in “Stunning” Rise in Death Rate, Pain Levels for Middle-Aged, Less Educated Whites and Credentialism and Corruption: The Opioid Epidemic and “the Looting Professional Class” Also on point is yesterday’s link to this stunning WaPo series on what’s killing women in small town USA, so I repeat it here: Risky alone, deadly together.

As Obama’s Presidency Enters Final Months, Thousands Behind Bars Hope for Clemency Truthout

Obama urges China to stop flexing muscles over South China Sea South China Morning Post. I can’t resist highlighting this quote from the Nobel Peace Prize president: “If you sign a treaty that calls for international arbitration around maritime issues, the fact that you’re bigger than the Philippines or Vietnam or other countries … is not a reason for you to go around and flex your muscles,” Obama said. “You’ve got to abide by international law.” Glad that’s settled then!

India’s Nuclear Riddle Al Jazeera


The inside story of how the Brexit vote was won Spectator

Brexit gives us a chance to finish the Thatcher revolution FT

British government to confirm ban on ‘microbeads’ water pollutant Independent

Hospitals to cut costs by denying surgery to smokers and the obese Guardian

Beneath the surface of tourism in Bali The Conversation

Why are Kenya’s students torching their own dormitories? Guardian

Maltese MP faces awkward EU post interview Politico

Amnesty: Honduras, Guatemala Deadliest Countries for Environmental Activists Foreign Policy

Millions of Indian workers strike for better wages Al Jazeera

Cultural Imperialism and Perception Management: How Hollywood Hides US War Crimes Strategic Culture


Putin Blasts Trump and Clinton for ‘Shock’ Campaign Tactics Bloomberg. Must read. Exclusive interview with Putin.

6 Things We Learned in the F.B.I. Clinton Email Investigation NYT. Just in time for your holiday weekend reading. The main NYT story doesn’t dwell on the juicy details– the best is saved for last in this round-up, which tells you more of what you need to know. 13 mobile devices? Destroying them with a hammer?

Here Are the FBI’s Files From the Hillary Clinton Email Investigation Mother Jones. Link to the FBI’s factual summary file and notes of the FBI interview with HRC.

Why Have the Presidential Candidates Ignored America’s Food Issues? AlterNet

13 Tips For Reading General Election Polls Like A Pro fivethirtyeight. After Labor Day, the polling deluge will begin. A guide to making sense of it all.

Inside the Republican creation of the North Carolina voting bill dubbed the ‘monster’ law WaPo


Where the War on Terror Lives Forever Foreign Policy

Navy analysis found that a Marine’s case would draw attention to Afghan ‘sex slaves’ WaPo

Turkey frees prisoners to make room for coup detainees Al Jazeera

Turkey’s Coup: Winners & Losers Counterpunch

EU ministers re-assess Turkey migration deal Politico

Syria: Fear rises as Moadamiyeh evacuation begins Al Jazeera

Syrian Kurds vow to fight to the death to stop Turkey ‘invading’ their territory Independent

Antidote du jour:vulture_bird_194314

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. Patricia

      Jerri-Lynn, I’ve been catching up on a few days’ NC, and found your hand-loom link which led to other links—thanks for that!

      Over the years, I’ve been keeping an eye on back-strap looming in Guatemala and am so glad that there’s genuine (if shaky) support for these beautiful down-the-centuries crafts. Against global corporate grabs.

      If anyone’s interested, here’s one Guatemalan co-op (catalogue there too):

      1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

        Glad you enjoyed the hand-loom link and thanks for the link to the Guatemalan co-op.

        1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

          Yes indeed! Threads of Life is very well-respected and a lifeline for many artisans and for preserving textile traditions. I know the chap who heads that– William (IIRC) and he makes sure artisans get well paid for what they produce. Had tea w/ him in Ubud once. I’ve done part of the research for my textile book in Indonesia (Sumba, Flores, Bali, Kalimantan, Sumatra) but most of it concerns India.

  1. temporal

    re: 6 Things We Learned

    “some State Department employees interviewed by the F.B.I. explained that emails by Clinton only contained the letter ‘H’ in the sender field and did not display her email address.” I have no idea what kind of email client would hide the contents of the from/reply-to field. How does their spam filter work if it doesn’t reveal who sent it? Why do they read stuff when they don’t have any idea who sent it? Did the F.B.I. really simply accept these statements as facts? Maybe they all just use cell phones and could care less who else is in the loop.

    “Three weeks later, a Platte River employee realized he had not deleted the emails as instructed. The employee said he then used a special program called BleachBit to delete the files.” He was told to delete files that any nitwit knows shouldn’t be deleted and delete only means delete if they can’t be found again but now it turns out he was supposed to shred them after removing the staples.

    The clear signal is that if you are going to break laws, hide information from future legal discovery and generally stonewall investigators with easily disproven statements be very certain that it at the behest of your liege lord. Laws are for the peasants. Justice is blind for the elite because no one dares look.

    1. fresno dan

      Now we find out a laptop was “lost” in the mail.
      Damn, this is gonna be really bad….for the post office.
      Of course, it will be hard to spin when it turns out it was addressed to Putin in Hillary’s handwriting…

        1. Jim Haygood

          Well, I went home with the waitress
          The way I always do
          How was I to know
          She was with the Russians, too

          — Warren Zevon, “Lawyers, Guns and Money”

            1. Higgs Boson

              What sh!t? What fan? Remember, the FBI gave HRC a pass. Nothing to see. It was all a big “nothingburger”. The only people that keep harping on this are right-wing rubes who get their marching orders from Putin’s army of hackers. It’s been assimilated into the Clinton Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy mythos.

              Now go vote for Her, because “love [of what, they don’t specify] Trumps hate.”

              That is all.

                1. Pat

                  Must add “misogynist” to the list as well, considering how many Republicans are leaping to support HRC, only the “misogynistright wing racist rubes” have been left behind.

    2. winstonsmith

      Here are the FBI summary file and interview notes in a single searchable PDF and some highlights from a reddit thread:

      Handling of Confidential Information

      “During [Sysadmin’s] December 22, 2015 FBI interview, Pagliano recalled a conversation with [Redacted] at the beginning of Clinton’s tenure, in which [Redacted] advised he would not be surprised if classified information was being transmitted to Clinton’s personal server.” (Page 28)

      Clinton could not give an example of how the classification of a document was determined; rather she stated there was a process in place at State before her tenure, and she relied on career foreign service professionals to appropriately mark and handle classified information. Clinton believed information should be classified when it relates to [Redacted] the use of sensitive sources, or sensitive deliberations.” (Page 26)

      She relied on State officials to use their judgment when e-mailing her and could not recall anyone raising concerns with her regarding the sensitivity of the information she received at her e-mail address. The FBI provided Clinton with copies of her classified e-mails ranging from CONFIDENTIAL to TOP SECRET/SAP and Clinton said she did not believe the e-mails contained classified information.” (Page 26)

      “State employees interviewed by the FBI explained that emails from Clinton only contained the letter “H” in the sender field and did not display their e-mail address. The majority of the State employees interviewed by the FBI who were in e-mail contact with Clinton indicated they had no knowledge of the private server in her Chappaqua residence. Clinton’s immediate aides, to include Mills, Abedin, Jacob Sullivan, and [Redacted] told the FBI they were unaware of the existence of the private server until after Clinton’s tenure at the State or when it became public knowledge.

      Possible Censorship

      There were no e-mails provided by Williams & Connolly to State or the FBI dated from January 21, 2009 to March 18, 2009. FBI investigation identified an additional 18 days where Clinton did not provide State any responsive e-mail. FBI investigation determined 14 of the 18 days where Clinton did not provide State any responsive e-mail correspond with e-mail outages affecting Clinton’s personal server systems as a result of both Hurricane Irene and Hurricane Sandy. FBI investigation indicated other explanations for gaps in Clinton’s e-mail production could include user deletion prior to PRN’s transfer of Clinton’s e-mails for review…” (Page 27)

      Security Threats

      “Forensic analysis noted that on January 5, 2013, three IP addresses matching known Tor exit nodes were observed accessing a user e-mail account on the Pagliano Server believe to belong to President Clinton staffer [Redacted] FBI investigation indicated the Tor user logged in to [Redacted] email account and browsed e-mail folders and attachments. When asked during her interview, [Redacted] stated to the FBI she is not familiar with nor has she ever used Tor Software” (Page 29)

      “The FBI does not have in its possession any of Clinton’s 13 mobile devices which potentially were used to send e-mails using Clinton’s e-mail addresses. As a result, the FBI could not make a determination as to whether any of the devices were subject to compromise. Similarly, the FBI does not have in its possession two of the five iPad devices which potentially were used by Clinton to send and receive e-mails during her tenure… (Page 30)

      “Investigation identified multiple occurrences of phishing and/or spear-phishing e-mails sent to Clinton’s account during her tenure as Secretary of State. [Paragraph Redacted]…

      Clinton received another phishing e-mail, purportedly sent from the personal e-mail account of State official [Redacted]. The email contained a potentially malicious link. Clinton replied to the email [Redacted] stating, “Is this really from you? I was worried about opening it!” … Open source information indicated, if opened the targeted user’s device may have been infected, and information would have been sent to at least three computers overseas, including one in Russia.” (page 31)

      Pages 33 – 47 are redacted. About one third of the entire review is redacted.

    3. Roger Smith

      However email tag data works, her name appears as “H” because she isn’t using her typical address. The address I have seen H appear in is Something about the contact data shows her as H.

      There is an exchange between her and mega donor Ms. Rothschild that I saw this in. In the email Clinton apologizes for inconveniencing her and literally says, “Let me know what penance I owe you.”

    4. hunkerdown

      I have no idea what kind of email client would hide the contents of the from/reply-to field.

      “Friendly” ones, like, say, Outlook. Some people just don’t care for all that gobbledygook, and Microsoft aims to please. Of course, the sender can put whatever they want in the comment field.

      From: “H” <>

      is a perfectly valid email From: line.

      1. oh

        Now we know why in addition to delaying the process, the liars lawyers for HRC provided printed copies of the e-mail to the FBI. If files had been provided, the e-mail would be visible in the header info. which is the only way any e-mail can be routed.

        1. Procopius

          I don’t understand what you’re getting at. Any email reader will have some way to let you read all the headers, including the path, the listing of all servers the email passed through on its way to you. You cannot prevent the recipient from reading the email address you sent from. This is like people complaining that countries donated to the Clinton Foundation and then the State Department approved an arms sale to them. Of course the State Department approved the arms sale. That’s what they’re there for. Diplomacy and foreign policy are just (barely) sidelines. Same with some country donated and then Hillary agreed to meet their head of state. That’s her job. That’s what she’s supposed to do. There simply has not been any evidence that any classified data was mishandled. Get over it.

          1. marym

            No one is disputing that meeting heads of state and (whether we like it or not) approving arms sales is within the Secretary of State’s job. Brokering access and arms sales through contributions to a family foundation, operating a family foundation of dubious social utility* while the family is accumulating person wealth, and exposing classified data on a public server and through the public mail system are not.

            On this and other issues it’s instructive to track the extent to which Clinton supporters have “gotten over” pretty much anything related to good governance, and are unwilling to demand better from their candidate.

            * As extensively documented by @ASterling

  2. allan

    Thousands Behind Bars Hope for Clemency

    Who has time for commutations or pardons when there’s an edition of Wire to guest-edit?

    For someone whose full time job now seems to be legacy burnishing, the obvious things
    that he could do (pardoning Manning, Snowden and Sterling, saying FU to Congress and closing Gitmo,
    mass clemency for low-level drug offenders) are for some strange reason not on the table.
    Well, at least there’s always the ACA to fall back on.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Every time an incumbent state legislator lost, one could chalk it up to a scandal or an incumbent who was only interested in the sexy parts of the job which could involve hard work (voting, making commercials, going to the right sort of events, interviews and so forth). Conversely, attending events that might turn sympathetic non voters into voters (poor people), following up on constituent outreach, being versed on subjects of local interests, and hitting every awful local event even preaching to the perceived choir no matter how insufferable.

      Obama is a guy who rose too quickly to be observed, but he is just the kind of guy who would have lost a local election as an incumbent which is very hard to do. If “Snowden” is a popular flick, watch Obama invite Oliver Stone to the White House. Grueling, thankless work (following up with staffers is a lousy, no fun job) is not in his character. He barely knew how ACA worked, had no idea there were launch problems, and has largely tried to ignore the crisis because he might have to work for no applause at this point. Guest editing a magazine gets him a souvenir and applause from the currently hip faux nerds.

      Who would applaud a Snowden (etc) pardon? People who think Obama is already a monster? They (me) won’t hold a parade.

      1. Katharine

        Obama is a guy who rose too quickly to be observed, but he is just the kind of guy who would have lost a local election as an incumbent which is very hard to do.

        You must be defining local very narrowly. He served the Illinois 13th legislative district for four terms. That’s three re-elections as incumbent.

        1. Steve C

          An expert self-promoter. It helps also to have the solid backing of the FIRE sector, backing which he has repaid handsomely.

        1. Montanamaven

          yes, there were truth tellers then, but the PTB made sure it was ignored. I read this story in 2oo8 and was very frustrated no one cared.

            1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

              When exactly was that? I christened him w/ a nickname in ’88 or ’89 that caught on at HLS. Saving that tidbit for a post– b/c the nickname perfectly sums up his approach to politics. More anon…. Certainly told all and sundry what I thought of him when he burst onto the nat’l political scene– unfortunately, my skepticism on this subject’s not yet in print. Seem to have missed the boat on this and should have written up my thoughts years ago.

  3. fresno dan

    Also, Ailes has made the Murdochs a lot of ­money — Fox News generates more than $1 billion annually, which accounts for 20 percent of 21st Century Fox’s profits — and Rupert worried that perhaps only Ailes could run the network so successfully. “Rupert is in the clouds; he didn’t appreciate how toxic an environment it was that Ailes created,” a person close to the Murdochs said. “If the money hadn’t been so good, then maybe they would have asked questions.”

    What NBC considered fireable offenses, Murdoch saw as competitive advantages. He hired Ailes to help achieve a goal that had eluded Murdoch for a decade: busting CNN’s cable news monopoly. Back in the mid-’90s, no one thought it could be done. “I’m looking forward to squishing Rupert like a bug,” CNN founder Ted Turner boasted at an industry conference. But Ailes recognized how key wedge issues — race, religion, class — could turn conservative voters into loyal viewers.
    The prospect of Trump TV is a source of real anxiety for some inside Fox. The candidate took the wedge issues that Ailes used to build a loyal audience at Fox News — especially race and class — and used them to stoke barely containable outrage among a downtrodden faction of conservatives. Where that outrage is channeled after the election — assuming, as polls now suggest, Trump doesn’t make it to the White House — is a big question for the Republican Party and for Fox News. Trump had a complicated relationship with Fox even when his good friend Ailes was in charge; without Ailes, it’s plausible that he will try to monetize the movement he has galvanized in competition with the network rather than in concert with it. Trump’s appointment of Steve Bannon, chairman of Breitbart, the digital-media upstart that has by some measures already surpassed Fox News as the locus of conservative energy, to run his campaign suggests a new right-wing news network of some kind is a real possibility. One prominent media executive told me that if Trump loses, Fox will need to try to damage him in the eyes of its viewers by blaming him for the defeat.
    Just to reiterate a point I have made time and again, with Murdoch it is all about the money.
    It will indeed be ironic if Fox news collapses because the ultimate outcome of their brand of “conservatism” failed to become president.
    I can see the new “network” questioning whether that Australian, an internationalist, really wants whats best for America…

    1. Robert Hahl

      It looks like Roger Ailes will be available to run Trump TV, starting Wednesday, November 9, 2016. Does he have a non-compete to worry about?

      1. NYPaul

        After leaving a company I had worked for I had a meeting with my attorney to discuss the non-compete clause contained in my contract. My attorney (also a Labor Law Professor at NYU) told me Compete Clauses were extremely difficult to enforce. He stated that, regardless of how stringently they were written, they were usually open to “interpretation.” However, things to consider when contemplating a challenge would include:

        A. How aggressively your former employer wants to be Re: Enforcement. (How important were you? How much damage you might, potentially, cause them?

        B. The challenge would take a long time, and, they have a lot more money than you.

      2. TheCatSaid

        The article mentioned this was a major aspect of the negotiations in the severence agreement. The journalist noted that while he couldn’t work for a competing media enterprise for a few years, there was no exclusion for working for a political candidate or campaign.

  4. fresno dan

    Navy analysis found that a Marine’s case would draw attention to Afghan ‘sex slaves’ WaPo

    The Martland case opened a dialogue in which numerous veterans of the war in Afghanistan said they were told to ignore instances of child sex abuse by their Afghan colleagues. The Defense Department’s inspector general then opened an investigation into the sexual assault reports and how they were handled by U.S. military officials who knew about them.

    US values in action – protecting the powerful and screwing the helpless…..

      1. Pat

        Found myself in a discussion with a recent ex-senator about invading Iraq. I had been attacking the premise that we needed to attack Iraq because terrorism, AND military capabilities and that it was based on lies and misinformation and doing pretty well, when the Senator said but think about Afghanistan – women no longer have to wear the Burka, and girls are going to school. This was after a report in the foreign press about attacks on schools with female students and how women were choosing to wear the burka because the harassment of women wearing western clothing being ignored. The utter ignorance of that statement floored me. I fully admit I was so gobsmacked I was speechless, and he moved on. I ended up sending him the link to a very good series in Newsday about how badly things were going in Afghanistan less than six months later. Already too late. Funny how the women get mentioned at the most interesting times.

        1. Jim Haygood

          Your comment illuminates how politics focuses on “hot button” secondary issues to distract attention from dismal primary issues.

          When gross insecurity rules in a war zone, all other aspects of life (including gender equality) take a back seat to survival. Indeed, war is correlated with social conservatism, so the cultural climate is not receptive to change, and may even backslide.

          Here’s a glimpse into the lost world of Kabul University in the 1980s (complete with a dandy in the left background who resembles an Afghan Tom Wolfe):

          1. Pat

            I would say we have a major election campaign going on right now where one candidate’s campaign strategy with a mostly in the bag press seem to be all about ‘hot button’ secondary issues. Not that their opponent is so hot on the primary issues either, although I’d say they find a nut every couple of weeks.

            So much of the run up to the AUMF vote and the invasion reminds me of the current climate surrounding the election.

            1. NYPaul

              The issues are always the same: “Bread & Butter” and, “War & Peace.”

              With Candidate “A,” the answer to the “B&B” issue is, “Who knows?”
              Regarding “W & P,” nothing in his history, or current statements indicate he’s interested in a civilisation ending conflagration with anyone, anywhere, anyhow. (Bad for business)

              With Candidate “B,” regarding “Bread and Butter,” She seems to indicate B & B should be more than adequate, even generous, for the majority of Americans, but, (and it’s an important, “but”) only if served three times daily.

              However, Re: “War & Peace,” since you can’t have both, Peace is, obviously, “off the table.”
              And,so, utilizing her vastly greater experience in geopolitical issues…..War it is!

        2. Paid Minion

          It’s “Talking points/The Script”/”Staying on Message. It keeps being repeated, because the warm and fuzzy story is what most people want to hear.

        3. diptherio

          I’m encouraging everyone to watch the documentary Restrepo, which is available on both Netflix and Youtube (at present). The realities of what we’re doing in Afghanistan are indefensible.

          See that woman crying over her dead child, killed by an American bomb, dropped with impunity?…why don’t you go tell her how much better off she is, now that she doesn’t have to wear a burka….go on, tell her…

      2. Eclair

        My spouse, bless his heart, works for a company embedded in the military-industrial complex. Three years ago, I accompanied him to the company Christmas bash (one of those compromises in a marriage and besides I am living well on his paycheck) where the new CEO spoke to the ‘troops.’

        He ended his talk with a paean to the marvelous gains in freedom for Afghan women and girls that the US’s invasion (sorry, liberation) of Afghanistan has produced). The employees cheered and I refrained from vomiting only by incredible force of will . And, I would have ruined my new dress specially purchased at GoodWill for the occasion.

        1. Paid Minion

          “They are dead, but thanks to us, they can be buried in a bikini……..”

          The old “we had to destroy the village to save it” plan.

          Somehow, I don’t think we’d have gone to war in the Middle East, if “Fighting for Women’s Rights” was the justification.

          “Personally, I don’t think……..they don’t really want to be involved in this war…….they took our freedom away and gave it to the g##kers. But they don’t want it. They would rather be alive than free, I guess. Poor dumb bastards.”

          Private Eightball, “Full Metal Jacket”

      3. hunkerdown

        Afghani war collaborators apparently favored boy children. (NYT) But, that’s that many fewer women and girls pressed into the dirty work of keeping the mens feeling sufficiently virile with flattery, respect and worse, amirite? Oh frabjous day, callooh callay, the girls they clapped with joy. Apparently male bodily integrity and security just doesn’t matter much to this bunch.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      RE: Marine’s case: Be sure to read two of the comments attached to this link — they’re both recent and show on the first page of comments:
      From — Buckley Family: “… Bear in mind when Maj. Brezler wrote his report he had no Classified Networks in his area. He used his personal computer to write that report and other reports many which were Classified by the Higher Command once they received them. They failed to let Maj. Brezler know that they had classified his reports. He was trying to do his job with the resources that he had available to him.”

      From — tsn100: ” … Afghans hide behind Islam, this is not at all what Islam teaches, this is a cultural thing, Afghan culture allows this, the Taliban movement started when a young boy was raped and the family came to Mullah Omar who was just an unknown preacher and asked him to help, this was at the height of the Afghan civil war, Mullah Omar went and caught the culprit and had him shot, or hanged cant remember, that triggered the Taliban movement because rape, robbery, murder, etc were rampant in lawless Afghanistan …”

  5. Pavel

    I just found this via Hacker News… perhaps it was in yesterday’s links and I missed it. Truly scary in the Orwellian sense and yet another reason not to use a smartphone. Chilling read.

    SAN FRANCISCO — Want to invisibly spy on 10 iPhone owners without their knowledge? Gather their every keystroke, sound, message and location? That will cost you $650,000, plus a $500,000 setup fee with an Israeli outfit called the NSO Group. You can spy on more people if you would like — just check out the company’s price list.

    The NSO Group is one of a number of companies that sell surveillance tools that can capture all the activity on a smartphone, like a user’s location and personal contacts. These tools can even turn the phone into a secret recording device.

    Since its founding six years ago, the NSO Group has kept a low profile. But last month, security researchers caught its spyware trying to gain access to the iPhone of a human rights activist in the United Arab Emirates. They also discovered a second target, a Mexican journalist who wrote about corruption in the Mexican government.

    Now, internal NSO Group emails, contracts and commercial proposals obtained by The New York Times offer insight into how companies in this secretive digital surveillance industry operate. The emails and documents were provided by two people who have had dealings with the NSO Group but would not be named for fear of reprisals.

    –NY Times: How Spy Tech Firms Let Governments See Everything on a Smartphone

    There is interesting and expert commentary in the Hacker News forum:

    1. Pat

      I could be wrong, but the promos for Sixty Minutes on the local news make it seem they might be about this subject. Either way it is another scare you about what your cell phone can do story, possibly justified this time.

    2. Jeotsu

      An anecdote which I cannot support with links or other evidence:

      A friend of mine used to work for a (non USA) security intelligence service. I was bouncing ideas off him for a book I’m working on, specifically ideas about how monitoring/electronics/spying can be used to measure and manipulate societies. He was useful for telling if my ideas (for a Science Fiction novel) were plausible without ever getting into details. Always very careful to keep his replies in the “white” world of what any computer security person would know, without delving into anything classified.

      One day we were way out in the back blocks, and I laid out one scenario for him to see if it would be plausible. All he did was small cryptically, and point at a cell phone lying on a table 10 meters away. He wouldn’t say a word on the subject.

      It wasn’t his cellphone, and we were in a relatively remote region with no cell phone coverage.

      It told me that my book idea was far too plausible. It also told me that every cellphone is likely recording everything all the time, for later upload when back in signal range. (Or at least there was the inescapable possibility that the cell phones were doing so, and that he had to assume foreign (or domestic?) agencies could be following him through monitoring of cell phones of friends and neighbors.)

      It was a clarifying moment for me.

      Every cellphone has a monumental amount of storage space (especially for audio files). Almost every cellphone only has a software “switch” for turning it off, not a hardware interlock where you can be sure off is off. So how can you ever really be sure it is “off”? Answer- you can’t

      Sobering thought. Especially when you consider the Bluffdale facility in the USA.

      1. Pat

        I’ve thought more and more that the Apple design trend where the user cannot switch out batteries has been being adopted by most cell phone designs was NOT just because it limited the owners options for replacing batteris as they become less reliable. While it certainly eliminates switching batteries instead of third party chargers, it also eliminates the easiest option any user has to turn off the phone completely with no outside means of ‘restarting’ them.

      2. Mark P.

        ‘So how can you ever really be sure it is “off”? Answer- you can’t’

        None of this is news and neither are the solutions. Take the battery and card out, and if you’re having a meet where you can store those disassembled items a few hundred yards or a quarter mile away do that. Ensure your contact(s) do the same. Run the water if you’re inside. Use prepaids bought by neighborhood kids. Like that.

        You can buy a blackphone if you’re prepared to drop the $800 —

        To be sure, that latter won’t beat NSA tracking if they ever focus on you — though the encryption might — but that’s highly unlikely ever to happen to you.

        1. Mark P.

          Here, update your (justified) paranoia —

          Meet USBee, the malware that uses USB drives to covertly jump airgaps
          Technique works on virtually all USB drives with no modifications necessary.

          In 2013, a document leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden illustrated how a specially modified USB device allowed spies to surreptitiously siphon data out of targeted computers, even when they were physically severed from the Internet or other networks.

          Now, researchers have developed software that goes a step further by turning unmodified USB devices into covert transmitters that can funnel large amounts of information out of similarly “air-gapped” PCs.

      3. Oregoncharles

        Take out the battery.
        Or so I was told by a former phone company IT guy, years ago now. He said otherwise it could be listening to you.

    1. abynormal

      Right-O. Thank You Jerri-Lynn for clearing & bridging paths!

      “When we fully understand the brevity of life, its fleeting joys and unavoidable pains; when we accept the facts that all men and women are approaching an inevitable doom: the consciousness of it should make us more kindly and considerate of each other. This feeling should make men and women use their best efforts to help their fellow travelers on the road, to make the path brighter and easier as we journey on. It should bring a closer kinship, a better understanding, and a deeper sympathy for the wayfarers who must live a common life and die a common death.”
      ― Clarence Darrow

    2. Emma

      Agreed. Just goes to show if an American trains hard enough, he or she can either choose to travel the world and piss around at gas stations, or rather, focus on hot ‘foreign affairs’ (!) and radiate wisdom like Jerri-Lynn!
      “Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.” Marie Curie

      1. JTMcPhee

        I guess ol’ Marie never got shelled or mortared or rocketed or watched the green tracers coming up from the ground. A single work, “Incoming!,” is easy enough to understand, but it’s definitely also something to be feared…

        And do we “understand” Zika and Ebola and all that stuff? The threat of nuclear war?

  6. fresno dan

    Cultural Imperialism and Perception Management: How Hollywood Hides US War Crimes Strategic Culture

    Movies are used to identify which individuals, groups, peoples, and nations are heroes, victims, aggressors, and villains. In this regard Hollywood vilifies countries like Iran, China, Russia, Cuba, and North Korea while it lionizes the United States. Hollywood also warps historical narratives and reifies revisionist narratives of history. In a far stretch from the historical facts and reality, this is why most US citizens and many Western Europeans believe that the outcome of the Second World War in Europe was decided in the Atlantic by the US and not in Eastern Europe and Central Asia by the Soviet Union.

    I would posit that Hollywood is culturally “liberal” (like dems, as a “brand”) but operationally “conservative” – that is Hillary liberalism that holds that America is “exceptional” and that the motives of the country are always good. And “conservative” in the Murdochian view – the media is too make money, and if people want to believe in “Merica, and the Easter Bunny, than a movie with a machine gun welding Easter bunny freeing Syrians will be made… (and of course the bunny will have as an ally a wise ass 12 year old hip hop spouting Syrian male teenager who saves the day by calling in an air strike using his I-phone, as well as a sexy female middle eastern woman who keeps her head covered but her decolettage uncovered as much as possible while keeping a PR-13 rating…..)

    1. Steve H.

      – The recognized establishment of ties between Hollywood and the US government began with the production of the silent war movie Wings in 1927.

      Wings won the first Academy Award for Best Picture.

      ‘Hollywood, where they talk like hippies and act like gangsters.’

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Hollywood has been busy building more and more walls between the exceptional ones and the rest of the world.

        They probably resent very much Trump or anyone else encroaching on their monopoly.

    2. RabidGandhi

      Nice article, in desperate need of proofreading/fact checking. For example:

      It is worth quoting US Senator Tom Hayden about the CIA’s involvement in Hollywood…

      On the other hand, now that we’ve dispensed with elections, it doesn’t really matter if one is a state senator or a US senator.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Once I emerged from the Old Ebbitt Grill in D.C. and was accosted by a well-groomed but temporarily disheveled man in a tailored grey suit, who appeared to be quite drunk.

        “Hey Senator … hey Senator!” he called out, following a few steps behind on the sidewalk.

        You too can be Senator for a day. On the other hand, no one picked up the bar tab for my night as a solon. :-(

        1. fresno dan

          Jim Haygood
          September 3, 2016 at 9:07 am

          On the other hand, no one picked up the bar tab for my night as a solon. :-(

          Shocking! The US would be a far, far better place were it run under the precepts of Jim Haygood. And should I ever have the pleasure of meeting you, I certainly will buy you a beer….tomorrow…

    3. JTMcPhee

      Anyone interested in “history” and scope of involvement of not just Hollywood but pretty much every part of the intellectual and entertainment sectors might want to read “The Cultural Cold War.” By France’s Stonor Saunders.

      Here’s a couple of briefer links that help “paint the picture” (and write the prose and poetry and screenplays and the rest) of how the Really Smart and Evil People that aggregated in the CIA to “advance American (sic) interests” went about it:

      On Project MUSE, the “initiative” of this war front in Europe, there’s this:

      No, there’s no such thing as a “deep state,” maybe, but there sure are a whole lot of critters that all seem to be pushing and pulling the political economy in the same direction, all while us mopes who are dragged along, and sometimes help to our short-term poorly perceived chimerical “gain” and actual disadvantage are along for the ride. Because of the nature of humans in their individual and collective capacities.

      Seems to me the “outcomes” that the larger political economy produces, the concentration of wealth, the destruction for profit and looting we call so unadvisedly “war,” may be an engineering error in our genome. All this in service of the desire of a very few to do what? Maximize their personal and class pleasure? Still scratching my head, to the point of raising wheals, over why the Few who inherit the genes coded for accumulation and destruction also manage to lead the most of us toward the cliff.

      Most species, I believe, have an instinctual drive to survive (occasionally confused, as with the male English crossbill, whose sexual success depends on the female getting hot at the sight of a bigger bill than the next wiener, thanks to genetic wiring, on developing over generations ever larger crossed bills, to the point that the species survival is threatened because the dumb birds can screw but not eat.) We have runaway “tech” that has Really Smart Technologists building New! Improved! Generations of nuclear weapons, autonomous war machines, and now I read that some set of ass%%%%%s has sequenced and reproduced Y. pestis, particularly the worst version responsible for enormous plagues, and that is just one of the many “revivals” of human and animal disease organisms that are underway as so blandly described in the language of “science:” And of course the many scary stories reported here of how vulnerable the grand Internet and all our data and algomoney and personal information and tech-dependent infrastructure from dams and power grids to code-driven cars and communicators to “lifesaving” (and profit-generating) devices like pacemakers (but not Dick Cheney’s, or maybe since he got a new heart he doesn’t need one any more).

      So not that it matters an infinitesimal bit what my personal state of knowledge and awareness is, I am completely puzzled at what the goal(s) of all the churning and burning and droning and scientizing might happen to be.

      What drives the very small bit of the species to keep ginning up threats, up to and including serial financial collapses and global climate disaster and nuclear war and a “Terminator” future,” to do what they do?

      1. HopeLB

        Only outlandish explanations seem to make any sense; perhaps this subjugation of our species survival to short sighted gain is all due to something like taxoplasma gondii, the cat parasite that colonizes rat and mouse brains rendering cat urine sexually attractive to the mice/rats and thus enabling the taxoplasma gondii to get into another cat’s gut (by eatting the rat/mouse who had injected the taxo from cat poop) where taxo can then reproduce again. Maybe this pathogen was engineered by aliens who are geoengineering the planet for their future colonization or maybe it is simply the pathogen’s wish to exterminate humans.
        On the other hand, it could be some Gaia spirit who is into creative destruction who can only destroy the destroyers by self sacrifice.

      2. jsn

        Oddly, it appears that our sociability beyond the genetic bounds that can be identified in other social animals is in fact the source of both large group conflict and the scaling of technological civilization.

        As a species, our sociability is on the level of termites, ants and bees. All of these, us included, have exceptionally large biomass ratios relative to other species. While the insects are genetically social, our hyper sociability is a cultural artifact, like technology, rather than a genetic one.

        Peter Turchin has an interesting book on exactly this subject:

    4. hunkerdown

      I would posit that Hollywood is culturally “liberal” (like dems, as a “brand”) but operationally “conservative”

      Liberalism — and again, I draw a distinction between noblesse oblige liberalism (modulo the darkies) that people seem to project onto FDR, and liberalism as a school of thought — is aspirational and competitive, and therefore intrinsically and inevitably produces (and reproduces) the very inequities to which it styles itself the solution. Championing inequity as a force for good, regardless of the tendentiously self-serving rationalizations required, is no different than putting the poor on the Gaza Strip Diet to “help” them, i.e. inherently, not operationally, conservative.

  7. DorothyT

    Re: “Antibacterial soap is a lie …”

    The FDA is too timid to expand on the real story, which is only hinted at in their strategy not to challenge industry or alarm consumers:

    The move is aimed at countering consumer perception that the antibacterial washes are more effective at killing germs and preventing illness, said the FDA’s Dr. Janet Woodcock.

    “In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long-term,” she said.

    This is really about the growing antibiotic resistance we are experiencing. Listen to this BBC audio.

    1. Pat

      A former lab tech many many years ago told me that unless I was hanging out in a hospital to stick to regular soap and water, and probably even then. I wondered why, and they said bacteria and viruses both reproduce rapidly, why would you want to speed the process of building resistance to antibacterial agents when it was largely unnecessary. She is now in a different career, but when we saw each other last summer I reminded her of that advice. She still despairs over this and other American choices that have ignored logic for profit and what it has wrought. And as she says, she doesn’t know the worst of it anymore.

      1. Brian

        The native flora on our hands and skin; We have hundreds of bacterial species on our skin that are there for a reason, they are warding off invaders. Bacteria eat virus, other bacteria, etc. Natural process, keeps us safe from the virulent versions. Introduce something that kills the defenders, what do you expect? Syria?
        The antibacterial products offered to citizens were solely to feed paranoia and make a profit for the unscrupulous.
        You may recall ecent reports regarding beards on men show they are a war zone where the skin wins, the invaders lose. SO, for all of you that remove all your hair and wonder why you get sick more often, put 1 and 1 together. You have destroyed the rainforest where the good guys live that try to protect you. (cheap but effective analogy)
        This is really basic biology that is no longer taught for fear of offending the drug company that sponsors the people that own the rights to the concept of America.
        We must all wake up to the time addled admonition, “KISS” keep it simple stupid. In America we can add, Watch TV, do what it tells you, then you will need ever more expensive medical intervention to save you from basic hygiene practices that would have made it all unnecessary.

        1. clarky90

          Thanks Brian, I learned something important from you. My hair is a refuge for bacterial biodiversity. I did not know that!

          I am reading this goooood book right now.

          Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain–for Life– April 28, 2015
          by David Perlmutter

          “The single most important medical innovation in the 21st century is making the link between the gut and the little bugs that live there and nearly every chronic disease – from autism to depression, from asthma to autoimmune disease, from diabetes to dementia. Brain Maker is a game changer. For the first time, this brilliant scientist doctor connects the dots and teaches us why we need to tend our inner garden (our microbiome) and provides a radical but simple plan to reset, reboot, and renew your microbiome. This book shouldn’t be called Brain Maker, it should be called Health Maker.”—Mark Hyman, MD

          1. TheCatSaid

            And actually microbes are present in a multitude within all systems of our body–even those previously thought to not have microbes. They are a critical part of our healthy biosphere. They belong. We ignore their health and balance at our peril!

            I continue to learn more about this from personal experience. A practical tool for me has been the Perelandra Microbial Balancing Program which has a learning curve but after using it (even using the simpler “quick-start” protocol in the book) one’s relationship to microbes will never be the same.

            As you said, many health issues have microbial health and balance as a major component. When one addresses the microbes’ balance the benefits for human health are tremendous. We need to rewrite our mental scripts that continue to describe microbes as “the enemy”.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s a challenge every day, which option is better: ‘faux progress’ or ‘genuine Ludditism?’

        Just saw a documentary the other night about some lying bast*ards and the film did a great job connecting Deniers to fossil fuel corporations.

        We were left to assume the guys (and gals) on the other side of Deniers were not motivated by greed, sorry, profit, as fossil fuel corporations.

        “Come buy more solar panels.” Or electric cars.

        It was assumed.

        Maybe true, or maybe not true.

        Talk about balance.

        And the film apparently won many awards.

        The only defense for the Little People is ‘we doubt therefor hopefully we are not wiped out.”

        1. pretzelattack

          they may well be, but the point is their greed isn’t taking down civilization. it’s not a press war between greedy corporations, it’s scientists all over the world saying fossil fuel emissions are causing global warming. the assumed greed of solar power or wind companies hasn’t driven them to lie about the science to continue making money, even if it kills people. of course, maybe they would be willing to, who knows. but it’s irrelevant in the present situation.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            We assume ‘green’ corporations are not lying.

            Maybe they are not.

            Likely they are not.

            Maybe I am just too skeptical about everything.

            I particular like this (paraphrased) from that film – many scientists agree humans are causing global warming.

            Not sure that’s how you teach science or educate people – many people agree on one thing, therefore, it must be true.

            Like it’s a popularity contest.

            “Many scientists agree on…”

            The film itself doesn’t show much of the process to demonstrate or prove the scientific claims. Just assertions and assumptions.

            “This guy takes money from fossil fuel corporations.”

            Does the other guy take money from ‘green corporations?’ What does it imply? That was the logic, the film’s method of persuasion – some people take money from the bad guys (nothing to say about the opposing side taking money, presumably from the good guys – not that they are not good guys).

            Again, nothing on the (boring) science itself.

            1. TheCatSaid

              So true! As a result of family-related scientific expertise I looked into a number of related issues in more detail. What I found was disturbing. For example, problems in sensor- and distribution-related temperature data acquisition.

              There are smoking-gun “hints” that various technologies are being used to affect the climate–but in which direction, and for what agenda, is anyone’s guess.

              I don’t doubt for an instant that climate is changing. Regardless of the causes(s) I’m thinking about what I personally can do to support the curtailing of resource extraction, and stop waste. I’m exploring truly clean energy (and I don’t mean PV, or wasteful distributed energy power grids).

    2. John Wright

      What I find interesting is the mechanism of developing antibiotic resistance was highlighted about 71 years ago, in a public way, by someone receiving a very important honor.

      Here are the words:

      “The time may come when penicillin can be bought by anyone in the shops. Then there is the danger that the ignorant man may easily underdose himself and by exposing his microbes to non-lethal quantities of the drug make them resistant. Here is a hypothetical illustration. Mr. X. has a sore
      throat. He buys some penicillin and gives himself, not enough to kill the streptococci but enough to educate them to resist penicillin. He then infects his wife. Mrs. X gets pneumonia and is treated with penicillin. As the streptococci are now resistant to penicillin the treatment fails. Mrs. X dies. Who
      is primarily responsible for Mrs. X’s death? Why Mr. X whose negligent use of penicillin changed the nature of the microbe.”

      This is from the Nobel Prize lecture of the developer of Penicillin, Alexander Fleming on Dec 11, 1945.

      Yet we can see articles such as

      where there is a quote:

      “Until very recently, few made the connection between antibiotic use in individual cases and the emergence of antibiotic resistance, said Dr. Susan Bleasdale, an infection-control expert at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Patients with earaches, sinus pressure and sore throats demanded antibiotics, and physicians tended to oblige.”

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        It’s enough to make one think that “experts” are designated for something other than their “brilliance.”

        Because credentials.

      2. MtnLife

        “Patients with earaches, sinus pressure and sore throats demanded antibiotics, and physicians tended to oblige.”

        That’s the problem when patients become “customers”.

        1. Felix_47

          Doctors go to medical school to learm about medicine. They are imperfect but allowing patients to handle their care has been nothing but a disaster… you can see with antibiotics……..if patient satisfaction was eliminated, and doctors all were on salary, like firemen, for instance, health care would improve and costs would drop. And please note that Fleming did not patent penicillin….had he done that he would have made more money than Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and Jamie Diamond combined. He was a doctor who saw his mission as being a doctor and not making money.

          1. JTMcPhee

            Gotta love British TV. There’s a great series called “Doc Martin.” The protagonist is a learned surgeon who develops a phobia to blood and thus downsizes to a small seaside community to be the irascible GP who brusquely brushes off the hypochondriacs and those who demand a pill, any pill, as comfort food. He always comes up with the correct diagnosis, however obscure, in true “Marcus Welby, MD” fashion. All the while dispensing common sense and usually ameliorating the other social problems that cross his path in that small village. Another is “Call the Midwife!” which casts another wise GP in the NHS as it may once have been, subsidiary to the nurse-midwives who from what I read and imagine did so much to try to maintain some kind of health in their lower class neighborhood. Dealt with issues like typhoid transmission, contaminated water supplies, and even Thalidomide, which the doctor was horrified to discover cause those infamous birth defects and which he had been dispensing to lots of early-stage pregnant women. Included his efforts to get out the word to stop the use, and to address the sequelae from the drug’s effects. All part of a creaky but seemingly effective national health care organization.

            But who knows? Probably just misty water colored renderings of the reality — except I do know doctors and nurses (getting fewer, and getting co-opted) who do their best to do what the tales represent, health care in the best sense…

          2. TheCatSaid

            “Doctors go to school to learn about medicine.”

            Well, as long as you define “medicine” in terms approved by the pharmaceutical industry–which funds the medical schools and the medical journals and tightly controls all aspects of medical education.

            Medical schools offer a not-subtle brainwashing that is extremely effective, since medical degrees are a “closed shop”. If you want the degree, you submit to the brainwashing. The family of an experienced professional medical herbalist described the transformation they’d seen in a friend who went to medical school.

      3. Pavel

        I was living in England in the ’80s and my GF at the time was a German medical student on an elective at a leading London teaching hospital (hello, M!). The English GPs handed out antibiotics (along with antidepressants and other meds) like candy. My friend was horrified — it seems that at least then in Germany antibiotics would only be prescribed by hospital experts, not the family docs.

        Since then there has been increased awareness, but not enough restraint, so these miracle drugs are on the verge of uselessness. Well done!

      4. Paul P

        80% of antibiotics are used in feedlots, much of the use, not to prevent infection,
        but to make the animals fatter faster.

        Back to medicine. People with an internal prosthesis who get postoperative infections, are often directed to take a prophylactic antibiotic each day for the rest of their lives.

        1. Jeotsu

          It is not just the antibiotics, we are also badly misusing (over-using, poor dose rates, etc) anthelmintics — the drugs used to treat internal parasites. And unsurprisingly resistance is a growing issue around the world.

          Not only does this impact on animal health and production, it can also affect some nasty parasites that live in humans, too.

          My experience is more in extensive pastoralism, not the feed lots used in the US. But I can tell you that if the anthelmintics stop working, it will be very hard on a lot of animals and people. Lots more stock losses.

    3. Robert Hahl

      In my off-hand opinion, the primary cause of antibiotic resistance is hospital care itself, not misuse by consumers at home, or factory farming.

      Our real problem is that washing of hands, sheets, and scrubs does not eliminate germs completely in hospitals, and that is where the antibiotics are constantly be used to kill the normal ones, allowing the super bugs to multiply.

      I once worked at a research lab in hospital. Whenever my toddler came by for a visit everyone said that he should never crawl on the floor.

  8. Ignacio

    Hospitals to cut costs by denying surgery to smokers and the obese Guardian

    By the way obsesity is more frequent in the poorer classes.

    1. diptherio

      Ditto smoking. And, of course, being low down on the social hierarchy is, according to the WHO, the absolute worst thing for your health. Rather than stop treating the hefty and fumacious, why not outlaw hierarchy?

      1. hunkerdown

        Social hierarchy is the core of English identity. Take that away from them and you’ll have a nation of toddlers curled up in the fetal position with nowhere to park their numerous unused dreams. Or, so they seem to want.

    2. Jagger

      As is smoking. Both class markers.

      The move is driven by financial problems. However if they want the problem solved, they shouldn’t restrict the pain to only a narrow and primarily lower class segment of the population, in this case, the smokers and the overweight. If they want the problem solved, they must spread the pain to as many as possible and the more powerful the better. Generate widespread outrage. Instead, this strategy seems part of a divide and conquer decision to mute outrage by targeting cultural outsiders as the losers.

      I wonder how many of the decision makers and their families are overweight or smoke.

      1. Paul P

        Any executives of fast food companies and cigarette manufactures, they should not
        get operated on. Get to the source of the problem.

      2. Mike Protenic

        Yes, it seems Pastor Niemöller was right, and the thieves-in-charge have used this bit of confession, and the psychology behind it, as a weapon. We have learned history very well…

    3. Robert Hahl

      “The decision by an NHS body to restrict obese patients’ access to elective surgery until they lose weight is comparable with racial or religious discrimination, a surgeon has said.”

      This decision reminds me of stories I have heard about U.K. dentistry, where the preferred treatment for cavities was tooth extraction rather than fillings or root canals. [roots canal? no, it’s not really a compound noun.]

      But on the other hand, general anesthesia has to be a lot more dangerous for the obese. The NHS probably just donesnt want to be responsible for the likely complications.

      1. Felix_47

        It is a very reasonable requirement. Years ago when dialysis first came out we did not provide it to drug addicts. Now we do. Does treating hepatitis C in drug addicts make sense…..we do now. Does doing total knee replacements in the obese make sense given the huge complication rates?

        1. makedoanmend

          Bless ya, you think there is a proper rationale behind the script.

          The PM of the UK is determined to reverse the health gains of the UK population since the creation of the NHS in the name of the profit motive:

          It’s all about blaming people and restricting services. These are the twin hands of the free market. If only those fallible humans would stop using “our” resources, we’d all be in the profit. We need to privatise health care in order to teach the lower orders how to value what they can no longer afford.

          Today it’s the obese. Tomorrow its the poor. The day after the old becuase they are too old, unless wealthy. And think of the all the lovely insurance lucre.

          If you had known people who were born pre-NHS, you’d be aware how precarious and often non-existant health care was.

          May and her loons care nothing about health. They care nothing for anybody. They worship property. The crave power and the use of power. They care about profit. Full stop.

      2. hunkerdown

        Michigan Medicaid, likewise, prefers (i.e. will pay for) extractions and partial dentures instead of root canals.

  9. Steve H.

    – Mother Teresa is a worthy saint [The Conversation]

    A sadistic hypocrite, inflicting suffering by omission rather than commission. Thanks, Conversation, for the objective reporting.

    1. Skippy

      The Lloyd Blankfein of the RCC…. purifying the uncredit worthy… so as the suffering might assist them see the light of the creator…. gawds work…

    2. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      Christopher Hitchens is speedrolling in his grave. Did you know that the relevant authorities called on him as part of the devil’s advocate process that occurs before someone is put forward for sainthood (or perhaps it was before beatification, the first step in what’s a two-step process, I’m a bit hazy on details)? His eloquence was obviously ignored.

      1. diptherio

        Which is why the saints that never actually existed, like St. Christopher, are far superior to these flesh-and-blood knock-offs. If you’re looking for a platonic ideal to worship, don’t make the mistake of insisting a material person actually was that ideal, know what I’m sayin’?

        1. Katharine

 says this about ex-St. Christopher:

          First of all, it’s not true. The Church never issued any kind of decree saying that Christopher never existed. Furthermore, competent hagiographers, including Protestant ones, tell us that there was a Christopher, but we just don’t know as much about him as some of the legends that grew up around him would suggest.

          Sorry. Seems to be my day for nitpicking.

          1. diptherio

            Seems to be my day for learning stuff about Catholicism :-)

            (in my defense, it was an ex-Catholic named Christopher who told me that)

            1. Katharine

              Actually, what I really like is the old Welsh tradition (according to Ellis Peters: I haven’t researched this) of calling people saints who were simply recognized by those they lived near as living godly lives. It’s like the the way all the impatient and often squabbling grad students in an unstable department may still manage to agree that one in particular is a good man. (I’m remembering a particular case from a long while ago.) It’s just a recognition of quality.

    3. diptherio

      I’m told Gandhi wouldn’t allow his wife to receive Western medicine for an easily curable disease that ended up killing her, while finding it within himself to put his Ayurvedic puritanism on hold when he got the same disease. I can neither confirm nor deny the story…but I think it’s always good to keep in mind that people are always a mixed bag. Our type of people tend to overdo it and end up making the same mistake the Catholic Church is making: emphasizing one aspect of a person and denying all the others.

      A saint? As in perfect and pure? No. Not by a long shot. Pure Evil? Probably not, either. It does disappoint me, however, to see the Catholic church ignoring the long-standing and relatively well-known criticisms. Actually, maybe “disappoint” is the wrong word, since my expectations, based on the history of the institution, are pretty low.

      1. Jagger

        I’m told Gandhi wouldn’t allow his wife to receive Western medicine for an easily curable disease that ended up killing her, while finding it within himself to put his Ayurvedic puritanism on hold when he got the same disease.

        I heard the story in a Russell Brand comedy special. I have never checked to see if it was true but just the story was enough to reshape my image of Ghandi.

        A saint? As in perfect and pure?

        Just googled this up and fortunately no one has to be perfect or sinless to become a Saint…so there is still hope. :

        Venerable: After the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints determines that the servant of God lived a life of heroic virtue, she is granted the title of venerable. Heroic virtue doesn’t mean a person was perfect or sinless, but that she worked aggressively to improve herself spiritually and never gave up trying to be better and grow in holiness.

        1. diptherio

          Awww…good to know. Thanks for doing that research.

          I’m tempted to make a joke about the devil being in the details, but I’ll resist the urge.

        2. Vatch

          In January 1944, Kasturba suffered two heart attacks after which she was confined to her bed much of the time. Even there she found no respite from pain. Spells of breathlessness interfered with her sleep at night. Yearning for familiar ministrations, Kasturba asked to see an Ayurvedic doctor. After several delays (which Gandhi felt were unconscionable), the government allowed a specialist in traditional Indian medicine to treat her and prescribe treatments. At first she responded, recovering enough by the second week in February to sit on the verandah in a wheel chair for a short periods, and chat. Then came a relapse.

          To those who tried to bolster her sagging morale saying “You will get better soon,” Kasturba would respond, “No, my time is up”. Finally, on 22 February 1944, which happened to be Mahashivratri day of that year, she died aged 74. The incidents of that day go like this: That morning, her youngest son Devdas came to visit her. He told her that he had brought penicillin, the famous drug invented by Alexander Flemming, for curing her. But, Mahatma Gandhi prevented his son from injecting. After her death, Mahatma Gandhi quoted that even if he allowed Devdas to inject, his beloved wife would not have survived. She died on the arms of her husband, who outlived her for four years before his assassination.

          This occurred at a time when antibiotics were very effective.

    4. Jagger

      A sadistic hypocrite, inflicting suffering by omission rather than commission

      Ok, I will bite. I am only generally familiar with Mother Teresa, so how specifically was she a sadistic hypocrite inflicting suffering, etc….?

      1. diptherio

        From Wikipedia:

        In 1991, Robin Fox, editor of the British medical journal The Lancet visited the Home for Dying Destitutes in Calcutta (now Kolkata) and described the medical care the patients received as “haphazard”.[12] He observed that sisters and volunteers, some of whom had no medical knowledge, had to make decisions about patient care, because of the lack of doctors in the hospice. Fox specifically held Teresa responsible for conditions in this home, and observed that her order did not distinguish between curable and incurable patients, so that people who could otherwise survive would be at risk of dying from infections and lack of treatment.

        Fox conceded that the regimen he observed included cleanliness, the tending of wounds and sores, and kindness, but he noted that the sisters’ approach to managing pain was “disturbingly lacking”. The formulary at the facility Fox visited lacked strong analgesics which he felt clearly separated Mother Teresa’s approach from the hospice movement. Fox also wrote that needles were rinsed with warm water, which left them inadequately sterilised, and the facility did not isolate patients with tuberculosis. There have been a series of other reports documenting inattention to medical care in the order’s facilities. Similar points of view have also been expressed by some former volunteers who worked for Teresa’s order. Mother Teresa herself referred to the facilities as “Houses of the Dying”.

        In 2013, in a comprehensive review[13] covering 96% of the literature on Mother Teresa, a group of Université de Montréal academics reinforced the foregoing criticism, detailing, among other issues, the missionary’s practice of “caring for the sick by glorifying their suffering instead of relieving it, … her questionable political contacts, her suspicious management of the enormous sums of money she received, and her overly dogmatic views regarding, in particular, abortion, contraception, and divorce”.[14] Questioning the Vatican’s motivations for ignoring the mass of criticism, the study concluded that Mother Teresa’s “hallowed image—which does not stand up to analysis of the facts—was constructed, and that her beatification was orchestrated by an effective media relations campaign”[14] engineered by the anti-abortion BBC journalist Malcolm Muggeridge.

        1. Katharine

          Certainly a grossly deficient standard of care, but what were the real as distinct from ideal and desirable options for those destitute patients?

        2. Jagger

          Is that sadistic or incompetence or accepting what is doable vs the ideal? I am not sure I see any sadism within this description of the “Home for the Dying”?

          This Lancet Fox guy, is he expecting first world medical standards from a bunch of nuns caring for the totally ignored, poorest of the poor, dying in the third world ghetto of Calcutta? Why weren’t there doctors available? Perhaps because these were the poorest of the poor? Where is the money for caring for them? Why were strong analgesics lacking? Money? I also wonder if Robin Fox was a neutral commentator or was he carrying a hatchet? Did he have any agendas concerning religion or the Catholic church? Science has been pretty hostile towards religion for some time now. And “her overly dogmatic views regarding, in particular, abortion, contraception, and divorce”, this alone makes her a target in the cultural war. Smear jobs are very common in the culture wars. Myself, my judgement would primarily rest on whether what she established for the dying poor of Calcutta was better or worse than what previously existed for them. I would also wonder if she did the work in a selfless manner. Of course, who I am to even wonder or judge when I have done absolutely nothing for the poor of Calcutta.

          Attaching sadistic to hypocrite is a pretty strong charge by Steve H or maybe just trolling and I took a bite. Myself, I don’t see how this “Home for the Dying” qualifies as support for his charge. Although I am curious now. I will have to do some digging at some point.

          1. hunkerdown

            Where is the money for caring for them?

            You mean “her suspicious management of the enormous sums of money she received”? You’d have to ask her.

            I suggest it is unwise to rationalize control fraud by appeals to the tabloid-constructed War On Proud Christianity.

          2. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

            I actually spend much of my time in Calcutta and have a flat there, as it happens. Christopher Hitchens wrote a book-length polemic against Mother Teresa called The Missionary Position. I haven’t read it but I understand the Vatican consulted him as part of the devil’s advocate process that occurs before someone is canonized. (May even occur during the beatification stage, which comes before canonisation, I’m not sure.)

      2. Elizabeth Burton

        She withheld pain medication from patients on the grounds their suffering would bring them closer to God.

        1. Jagger

          If that is true, then that is sadistic, IMO.

          However I suspect figuring out the truth in such a cultural war type situation is like trying to figure out who did what in the Ukraine or what happened in the Turkish coup. All sorts of claims, counterclaims and accusations from fanatical characters off on their own little crusades. And based on their affiliation, you will know ahead of time their conclusions. So I guess I can read Hitchens and discover she is a monster or I can read Donohue and discover she is a Saint. Seems like I need to pick my poison or maybe just not worry about it. Let God, assuming there is one, sort them out.

      3. Skippy

        In a global campaign monies were asked for to help the plight of the poor orphans… only a fraction actually went to the kids.

        Disheveled Marsupial…. do we really need to reenact the whole Sally Fields scam… don’t give the starving child the sandwich till after the commercial shoot thingy…

  10. lambert strether

    13 phones? Looks like Clinton’s using burners, to me.

    It would be irresponsible not to ask why.

    1. allan

      She just didn’t want to be locked into a two-year contract.
      Like families sitting around the kitchen table, government needs to tighten its belt.

  11. Jim Haygood

    Yesterday marked the 6-month anniversary of Craazyman Fund, formed with Mar 2nd closing prices. Performance:

    Junk bonds (50% weight) ………………… +13.56%
    Emerging market stocks (30% weight) …. +18.46%
    Gold bullion fund (20% weight) …………… +6.68%
    Craazyman Fund ………………………… +13.65%.

    Benchmark performance:

    S&P 500 ETF (50% weight) …………….. +10.86%
    Barclays Agg bond ETF (50% wt) ……….. +3.84%
    Benchmark ………………………………… +7.35%

    Our investment thesis was that the sharp rise of gold (an economic indicator with a nose as sensitive as a hound dog’s) in the first quarter of 2016 presaged the end of the five-year commodity depression since 2011.

    In turn, recovering global materials prices would boost commodity-oriented developing economies and US junk bonds, then depressed by energy sector credit worries and a selloff in small-cap stocks (to which junk is correlated).

    So far, so good.

    1. Clive

      I guess, as a result, I really now should go and read that piece above on “How to change your mind: our writers on what they got wrong” …

      Of course, I can’t restrain myself but quip that it could be a sell signal and an indication to get out at the top of the market. Then again… My bank wrote to me yesterday that following the reduction in the base rate (it didn’t say, but I shouted it at the letter in my hand, that the huge dollop of new QE didn’t exactly help, either) I would henceforth get the princely return of 0.05% on my savings account. So who is being the dumb money here, I ask myself.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Hell, I’m a little surprised myself. EEM, the emerging markets ETF used in the portfolio, holds a 26.6% weighting in China.

        Chinese stocks were a wreck earlier this year. I regarded putting a quarter of the emerging market stock allocation in China as unattractive, if not foolhardy. But Chinese stocks have recovered. Sentiment toward China is still so negative that its equities could continue motoring out of the abyss.

      2. diptherio

        It’s a really good article. The tl;dr is 1) be aware that your beliefs and opinions are biased and incomplete just like everyone else’s (recognize that the “other side” might just have a point), and 2) be sensitive to the difficulty of assimilating information that contradicts previously held opinion and don’t demand too much from people when you’re trying to get them to do that (i.e. don’t demand that someone change their entire belief system all at once — go for baby steps).

  12. JSM

    This story ‘Hillary Clinton’s Team Lost a Laptop Full of Her Emails in the Actual Mail’ ( ) is an absolutely preposterous concoction. What purpose it’s supposed to serve is at the moment unclear. Likely it will become clear when it becomes necessary to hide the truth from Americans, a project that is increasingly, though not always, stillborn.

    The most significant thing we learn is that “The employee “transferred all of the Clinton e-mail content to a personal Google e-mail (Gmail) address he created,” the FBI found. From that Gmail address, he downloaded the emails into a mailbox named “HRC Archive” on the Platte River server.”

    Americans must be (or are at least expected to be) the most schizophrenic of all people on the earth. They are not only supposed to believe that the FBI/NSA (the former Marcy Wheeler, I believe, thinks is also spying on Americans’ emails) cannot locate a copy of the deleted emails, but that the FBI can’t get a warrant to get the ‘deleted’ emails from Google. Who on earth, on any other day, or in reference to anything else, actually believes that an email deleted from a Gmail account is simultaneously deleted from Google’s servers & archives?

    1. Tom

      Even the Hardy Boys would have conducted a harder hitting investigation. What ever happened to the vaunted tough-as-nails FBI? Talk about pulling your punches. Yeesh!

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The FBI is a large organization, but the child abduction wing, witness protection, the make child port websites run efficiently operation, and the faux terror entrapment wing exist in the same building. The leadership is political. In the absence of a celebrated agent* who might wield power over the other agents to a point where a mass walkout is possible, it’s just any other outfit in need of rigourous congressional oversight and strong political leaders.

        *The FBI is too large and too well established for this agent to exist anymore, and Hoover ran the place when those agents were possible.

        1. pretzelattack

          i’ve read that there have been problems with the lab work, too. and then the political stuff, spying on people that damage animal research centers and the like. and the effectiveness of profiling is imo way overhyped.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            The other issue is the FBI’s hiring situation varies radically depending on the coverage in pop culture because of its size and position in society. They still have to hire agents when only people who want to shoot up compounds apply.

    2. Ivy

      The lost-in-the-mail excuse earned a place in the Lies pantheon.
      Another favorite may be “I’m Hillary Clinton and I’m here to help you”.

    3. Arizona Slim

      Wait a minute. I am to believe that this crew sent a laptop through the mail?

      And that their boss deserves to be President of the United States?

        1. clarky90

          One of the post office sniffer dogs ate HRC’s laptop.

          “I’m soooooooorryyyyyyyyyy, I couldn’t hand in my laptop Mr FBI, because the dog ate it!”

    4. ewmayer

      Further, we morons in the great unwashed are supposed to believe that the FBI would not have been able to determine the USPS tracking number (now on all packages, even el-cheapo media-mail ones) for such a shipment, had one actuall been made? And such a number would have been required in any claim for loss filed by team HRC … they did file a claim, yes? (And if not, why not?) Pretty basic stuff here: alleged sender gives exact date or date range for shipment, and geographic locale at which package entered USPS hands … check those against the USPS server data and (if an actual post office was used) the security-cam footage. The on-their-face lies are coming hard and fast now, aren’t they? But the poor overworked shlubs at the FBI are apparently as helpless as their SEC brethren when it comes to such truly staggering levels of crime … “we’d have to prosecute them all!” sounds the lament.

    5. HopeLB

      Maybe that is why Eric Schmidt is backing Clinton who will return his Google engineered deletion favor.

  13. Steve H.

    – “Murdoch told Ailes he wanted Fox’s debate moderators — Kelly, Bret Baier, and Chris Wallace — to hammer Trump on a variety of issues. Ailes, understanding the GOP electorate better than most at that point, likely thought it was a bad idea. “Donald Trump is going to be the Republican nominee,” Ailes told a colleague around this time. But he didn’t fight Murdoch on the debate directive.

    On the night of August 6, in front of 24 million people, the Fox moderators peppered Trump with harder-hitting questions.” [Roger’s Angels]

    Fascinating article, including tactics on taking down the powerful. “It took 15 days to end the mighty 20-year reign of Roger Ailes at Fox News, one of the most storied runs in media and political history.”

    1. Robert Hahl

      “Making things look worse for Ailes, three days after Carlson’s suit was filed, New York published the accounts of six other women who claimed to have been harassed by Ailes over the course of three decades. “6 More Women Allege That Roger Ailes Sexually Harassed Them

      So, who had that story cooking and ready to serve? Call me a conspiracy nut, but one of Hillary’s big problems is (or was) her husband’s womanizing. Now right wingers are worse!

      1. Robert Hahl

        p.s. I am working on campaign slogans for Hillary how about this one:

        Do it her way, or wish you had.

        Maybe that one should wait until after the election.

    2. fresno dan

      Steve H.
      September 3, 2016 at 9:20 am

      My comment is in moderation limbo – how similar to Catholic limbo, I have no idea…
      Anyway, the point I always make is that Murdoch is not ideologically and/or repub conservative – other than he believes he should be able to make as much money as possible. His interest in Ailes was always primarily the ability of Ailes to bring in great profits for Fox.

      1. Steve H.

        Goes to T not buying ads, now dunnit? Giuliani is mentioned a couple of times in the article, and his role in the Murdoch money-go-round was the core of a great Frank Rich write-up on the Judith Regan lawsuit against Fox.

  14. katiebird

    Here’s a bit from an old story but I don’t remember reading it. I think it is charming: What’s notable about ‘a lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife’?

    The shiniest piece of information I picked up is that, in English, adjectives go in this order:

    Opinion-size-age-shape-colour-origin-material-purpose-noun. So you can have a lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife. But if you mess with that word order in the slightest you’ll sound like a maniac.

  15. Paid Minion

    Today’s addition to the “Privatize the gains, and Socialize the losses” file

    “The Intercontinental, a premier Kansas City Hotel, seeks “Blight” designation.

    Basically they want to declare the hotel “blighted”, so they can establish a “community improvement district” and tax their hotel guests for renovations/repairs/maintenance.

    Such a deal. No need to cut your profits by maintaining a reserve for maintenance of the property.

    I’m sure there is another, bigger scam here somewhere, I just haven’t figured it out yet. If I had to guess, I’d say there is some kind of Federal tax break for fixing “blighted properties”.

    1. Arizona Slim

      The blight thing needs to happen here in Tucson.

      Especially in Downtown. Where the Hotel Arizona has been a boarded up eyesore for years.

      Its owner is one of our local 1%-ers and the city has allowed him to skate.

      1. Paid Minion

        The hotel is on the Country Club Plaza. You may have heard of it.

        Blighted. Right.

        PS….Same Arizona Slim that used to post on the HBB? You may know me better as X-GSfixr. Somebody here gave me the idea for my new name.

  16. Bill

    Hospitals to cut costs by denying surgery to smokers and the obese Guardian

    How long before there’s an advanced age cutoff ?

    1. pretzelattack

      or they could just cut off people in ill health. that would save all kinds of money. fewer deaths i should think.

  17. voteforno6

    Re: Clinton Email Hairball

    Maybe it’s just me, but it sure seems like Clinton’s memory was so much better when speaking to the public about her emails than when she spoke to the FBI.

  18. Judith

    Who is that lovely bird of the day? Wonderful necklace of feathers. It looks like an immature, so identifying it may be more difficult. And no field marks like wing shape. I could not find any obvious matches in my north american bird guides. Asian perhaps?

    1. Katharine

      I’m glad you asked, and I was really hoping someone would come up with an answer. The picture info calls it a vulture, but I’ve looked at all the pictures Wikipedia offers for old-world vulture species without seeing a good match. (They do have a picture of a vulture in a park in Tehran which bears some slight resemblance to this bird, but not to any of their others, and even there I have doubts about the bill. It’s a pity this bird’s head is so slightly turned it doesn’t show more.) Specialists, help!

      1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

        I wish I could help further– I’m away from home and don’t have access to our library of bird books.

  19. none

    13 mobile devices? Destroying them with a hammer?

    I gotta think there were a lot more than 13. Sounds like she used burner phones like a drug dealer.

    1. Jess

      Yeah. the first image I got when I read that headline was the scene in Breaking Bad when a phone rings, Walter opens a drawer and has to look through about a dozen phones to find the one that is ringing.

  20. Paid Minion

    So disappointed. Missed noticing my first-ever earthquake this morning.

    A couple of guys who came down here to the shop said the chain-link fences were rattling/flexing pretty good. (KC metro area)

    Epicenter is down in “Frac-land” (Oklahoma) evidently. Maybe Okie-land will sink into the ground, and we will have a new “Great Lake”

    The good news…….we’ll have 200 miles of water between us and Texas.

    1. katiebird

      In Overland Park, our house shook pretty hard. … In that classic way, vibrating pressure on my back though the couch… Then the whole house shook. Even sound. We’ve had all the pictures suddenly go wonky but this was the first rattling quake in all the years I’ve lived here. (My first thought was that my tempromental sister in law was pounding up the stairs to throw a fit)

        1. katiebird

          If I have to have earthquake insurance I’d better be living in San Franciso or nearby again. Seriously. What are those people thinking to do this to us. Burning tap water and earthquakes!!!

      1. Paid Minion

        I’ve lived here (minus a 20 year sentence in Wichita) since 1963.

        Never felt/heard/smelled one……… ever.

        I was in the middle of a preflight when it happened. Evidently my powers of concentration are better than I thought.

    2. pretzelattack

      me too. i did notice the lights dimming roughly around that time, but no shaking (north texas area).

    3. Jagger

      my first-ever earthquake this morning

      Try being under an overpass, stuck in traffic in California, then looking up and wondering if today is the day when we have the “Big One”. Never liked being stationary under an overpass in earthquake country.

      1. polecat

        I remember the story a friend of mine told me ,,,, about how his then wife was driving on the Nimitz Freeway headed north when the Loma Prieta stated shaking the east bay ..she, at first thought her vehicle was suffering a flat tire .. then saw in her rear view mirror….. as the top deck of the elevated freeway successively pancaked onto the lower deck behind her some distance …. !! She was far enough ahead to avoid becoming one with her car!

  21. fresno dan

    I am not sure if police are assigned to work at large gathering or if the NFL just pays the police instead of buying private security. But it certainly makes me think that unions for public safety employees may not be such a good idea, when they seem to deal with more than salary and benefits, and start deciding who in society gets protected.

    But I agree with a BI commenters point:
    they’re literally threatening to put *EVERYONE ELSE’S* lives in danger because they’re unhappy about one guy’s *PERFECTLY LEGAL* right to protest?

    You know, we go on and on…and on in this country about the Constitution as the supreme LAW of the land…yet the people we hire to enforce laws seem to have a very limited and biased view of which laws are worth honoring….

    1. allan

      Impossible. Let me Krug-splain that to you:

      If you are still on the fence in the Democratic primary, or still persuadable, you should know that Vox interviewed a number of political scientists about the electability of Bernie Sanders, and got responses ranging from warnings about a steep uphill climb to predictions of a McGovern-Nixon style blowout defeat. …

      On electability, by all means consider the evidence and reach your own conclusions. But do consider the evidence — don’t decide what you want to believe and then make up justifications. The stakes are too high for that, and history will not forgive you.

      From February.

      1. timbers

        Well ok then obviously Putin is now hacking the Reuters polls now, too.

        From the always apocalyptic ZeroHedge:

        Trump’s rise in popularity began when he started reaching out to the black and hispanic communities and Hillary’s slide began as more and more disturbing facts were exposed of Hillary’s time as Secretary of State.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The money raised in August will come in handy.

      I suggest more phone calls from the DNC to more media executives.

  22. Synapsid

    Pikas (link up top) do have a chance to avoid extinction: earlier this year or late last year a population was found in the Columbia Gorge between Washington and Oregon. They live in boulder fields down near the river in areas that are perennially wet and cool, not all that far above sea level. I hope that there are other areas in the Pacific Northwest rainforests where pikas live, where no-one has thought to look for them.

    We saw lots of pikas when working along the Continental Divide in Colorado, back in the early 1980s. They gather grasses and make little haystacks under the boulders, for winter. When a pika has gathered all the grass it can find it begins stealing from other pikas’ haystacks, and then we’d hear these pika battles going on beneath the scree. We tried offering them some of the gorp (our trail mix) we carried; they took everything but the M&Ms.

  23. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Transplanting heads…

    Done at birth, instead of circumcision.

    You will live much longer, and save the planet as well (with a solar powered body, instead of the energy-inefficient biological body we have inherited).

  24. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Transplanting heads…

    Done at birth, instead of circumcision.

    You will live much longer, and save the planet as well (with a solar powered body, instead of the energy-inefficient biological body we have inherited).

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Sorry for the double post. I have no idea how it happened. I was hitting the keys rapidly and moving the cursor back and forth. Sometimes, I wipe out my comment entirely, and I would be on a previous page (or a few more pages back in the browsing history). Sometimes, I find I have double or triple posted.

      1. fresno dan

        I blame your second head….
        fortunately, me, myself, and I are contained in one calcium goo filled container – we are multitudes….or actually a trio…

  25. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    Wage earners of the world unite: 180 million Indian workers go on strike. What are their demands?
    “The unions said the government should guarantee both social security and healthcare for all, and should be hiking the minimum wage to double what it is offering in order to keep up with inflation”.
    I would think a few wage earners in the US would find common cause with those demands. Too bad we completely demonized the very concept of workers organizing and using collective bargaining, mention the word “union” in the US and people across the board think you’re positively anti-American.
    And wouldn’t the liege lords at the Fed love to have even a little wage inflation? Answer: not really, all that gibberish they spout about employment and “economic conditions” is just sophistry to cover up their 1% enrichment schemes.

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      I spend much of my time in Calcutta (although I’m not there at the moment) and we often see strikes– called ‘bandhs’. Sometimes they are for economic reasons, sometimes for political ones. When a bandh is on, everything shuts down. It’s even difficult to get a taxi to go to the airport; one needs to rely on someone who has a private car. Organised labor in Calcutta and throughout the state of West Bengal is much stronger than in much of the US.

  26. flora

    re: “Brexit gives us a chance to finish the Thatcher revolution” – FT

    “…the British people chose to vote decisively for the UK to leave the EU on political grounds. To put it simply, they chose to become a self-governing democracy.”

    ‘The people chose to become a self-governing democracy’ sounds right. Unaccountable legal arrangements, control and codifications are undemocratic.

    But ,below, Mr. Lawson loses the thread of his own argument.
    “But it is the benefit of intelligent deregulation, something that cannot be captured in any theoretical economic model but which we demonstrated in the 1980s, that offers the prospect of the greatest economic gain.”

    Deregulation has created a new unaccountable power – TBTF businesses. I’d venture to guess that people who object to unaccountable power from Brussels will also object to unaccountable power from The City.

    1. flora

      adding: the deregulators point to Adam Smith’s “Wealth of Nations” and self-organizing markets. They however ignore Adam Smith’s “Theory of Moral Sentiments” and the importance of non-market values for maintaining civil society.

    1. Vatch

      Yikes. Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin looks like Tammy Faye Bakker (now Tammy Faye Messner). Remember her? Scary.

  27. Pat

    Thirteen Cell Phones in at most a five year period?!?!? What does she do, drop it in the loo, leave it at the bankers’ house, fire the aide who has to carry it too often? And THREE iPads.

    Actually it is just part and parcel with the general carelessness that is shown about the whole thing, except for the very smart idea to have her email address appear as “H”. Most people aren’t going to get that curious to figure out it was not the government server.

    All the apologists are going to look at this and go why the fuss, everyone else just gets more appalled at the obvious choice to just rubber-stamp obvious illegality. I weep for my country and for my former party.

  28. Oregoncharles

    “The Audacious Plan to Save This Man’s Life by Transplanting His Head The Atlantic. What could go wrong?”
    There’s a Heinlein novel about that, to say nothing of a couple of Steve Martin movies.
    Let’s hope it goes better for him than that.

  29. ekstase

    That mouse-rabbit is absolutely the poster child for climate change.

    “they rub rocks with their cheeks, and sing and whistle and spend much of the day sitting still, observing their surroundings” –

    And soon they will be gone, because it’s getting too hot up in the mountains. This is sad.

  30. Jay M

    Well it was when I got a head attached that I really began to live. They were not totally on spot when I looked at my eyelids after the procedure. Taking a little dexadrine seemed to improve the mind eyelid continuum.
    The head was pretty sharp. Lead a self destructive path for a couple of years, it was fun.
    Now I await a new head.

Comments are closed.