Links 12/7/16

Today is Pearl Harbor Day. As the Second World War recedes from memory, less and less note is taken of the “day of infamy”. But we do have:

Pearl Harbor Survivors Gather for 75th Anniversary Reunion Wall Street Journal

Photo: Blizzard of snow geese fills the sky TreeHugger (resilc)

Thousands of snow geese die in Montana after landing on contaminated water Guardian (Plutonium Kun) :-(

China?

China’s forex reserves drop $70bn as outflow accelerates Financial Times

Reflections on the nature & causes of global financial uncertainty Yanis Varoufakis (Userfriendly)

Australian GDP collapses MacroBusiness

India Central Bank Leaves Interest Rate Unchanged, in Surprise Move Wall Street Journal

Where European democracy goes to die Politico. Dan K: “They forgot the quotes around ‘democracy.'”

Italy

Italian state must act as backstop to bolster banking system Financial Times. I wish I had time to shred this, but there is some remarkably confused thinking on display.

Brexit

Wallenberg says UK is ‘not the first’ investment choice Financial Times

Must do better: British schools fail to impress in world ranking The Times

Citi trader deepened October’s pound ‘flash crash’ Financial Times

Austrian Presidential Election Shows How United Front Politics Can Defeat the Far Right Real News Network

Prospects for the Spanish Left Dollars & Sense

Commission threatens to derail gun law deal Politico

Syraqistan

Israel blocks Gaza women from breast cancer treatment Electronic Intifada (Plutonium Kun)

Imperial Collapse Watch

When Fake News Leads to War American Conservative (margarita)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

A random bit of intelligence: The big reason I don’t own a smartphone is I want to leave the Internet when I leave my desk. But a second and almost as large reason is I do not like being GPS tracked all the time (yes, I know I can be located when using a cell phone via triangulation). I have been told that the GPS can be disabled by taking a phone to specialist repair shops like UBreakIFix and they can cut the connections to the chip that does the GPS locating. That means of course than functions that rely on knowing where you are won’t work and you’ll have to input that info manually. I have no idea if this can be done on tablets.

These Toys Don’t Just Listen To Your Kid; They Send What They Hear To A Defense Contractor Consumerist (Kevin C)

Trump Transition

Trump advisors aim to privatize oil-rich Indian reservations Reuters (dcblogger)

The Investment Firm Started by Trump’s Commerce Secretary Pick Was Accused in Fraud Case Mother Jones (DO). We’d mentioned this earlier; glad to see someone write about it.

Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Is a Full-on Privatization Assault The Nation

Trump Department of Labor pick is a foreign labor exec who’s brought “over 40,000” cheap workers to the USA Boing Boing (resilc)

Cotton and Gowdy pitch more control for Congress under Trump Politico (Dan K)

I might scrap out-of-control Air Force One, warns Trump The Times. Note dispute on cost. Dunno if still true, but you used to be able to get used 747s for very cheap because they are such fuel hogs.

Trump Fires Adviser’s Son From Transition for Spreading Fake News New York Times (J-LS). How about “rank stupidity” instead?

Pence claims Michael Flynn Jr. has “no involvement” in transition. Slate

Troubling op-ed in Trump in-law’s newspaper calls for FBI crackdown on anti-Trump protests Raw Story (furzy). Here is the actual story: Comey’s FBI Needs to Investigate Violent Democratic Tantrums Observer. The headline is a wowser. As we wrote, the anti-Trump protests were so small in terms of number of participants as to suggest that the opposition wasn’t all that serious.

#TrumpRecount: Group Sues to Demand Florida Recount of Donald Trump Election Miami New Times (furzy). Article notes the evidence looks “extremely shaky”.

Voters Sue Demanding Florida Recount, Believe Clinton Won Law News (furzy). The article has the complaint embedded at the end. Some of the detail:

While the complaint says, “There is massive evidence of electronic voting machine malfunctioning,” it does not actually provide any such evidence. Instead, it uses a long list of opinions from various individuals regarding the computer system’s security in general, each drawing the conclusion that Florida’s election could have been hacked.

After 8 Years of Expanding Presidential War Powers, Obama Insists They Are Limited Intercept (furzy). Obama legacy revisionist history.

House Judiciary Committee Calls on Obama Admin. to Declassify ‘Secret Refugee Deal’ Breaking 911. Contains full text of the letter.

Rationale for Texas Corporate Welfare Program was a Typographical Error Texas Observer (resilc)

NoDAPL

“We beg for your forgiveness”: Veterans join Native elders in celebration ceremony Salon. Martha r: “Has video of forgiveness ceremony.”

PHOTOS: Forgiveness Ceremony at Standing Rock brings together Native Americans and Veterans Denver Post. Martha r: “9 photos. Emotional ceremony. IMHO not to be missed.”

New McCarthyism

Who’s Afraid of a Little Russian Propaganda? Politico

Stop calling everything fake news Slate (reslic). I’ve been saying for a while we live in an informational hall of mirrors.

Site Smeared as ‘Russian Propaganda’ Demands Washington Post Retraction Common Dreams. Thanks for the members of the Twitterverse who talked up our nastygram! It appears to have gotten a good bit of attention.

Want a Job in Silicon Valley? Keep Away From Coding Schools Bloomberg (resilc)

Burned Carlyle Investor Backs Suit Against Private-Equity Firm Wall Street Journal

Time Magazine Promotes Illegal Nonsense: Don’t Pay Taxes (If You Didn’t Vote for Trump) Michael Shedlock (EM). Is this some sort of plot by the Time Magazine to get Clinton diehards into a world of hurt? The folks who try not paying the IRS, claiming income taxes are unconstitutional, get crushed. And they at least have an argument of sorts.

Wells Fargo Killing Sham Account Suits by Using Arbitration New York Times (Ranger Rick). Elizabeth Warren to the white courtesy phone…

Supreme Court Tackles Insider-Trading Confusion: QuickTake Q&A Bloomberg (Li). This is an important win for the SEC, although it has the unfortunate side effect of validating its fixation with pursuing insider trading cases at the expense of more serious abuses.

Class Warfare

Portland to vote on taxing companies if CEO earns 100 times more than staff Guardian (martha r). NC featured this idea long ago, in 2011: Doug Smith: The Maximum Wage. Note the proposed enforcement mechanism was different and the maximum was lower: 25x the pay of the lowest-paid worker. To be serious, you’d need to craft it to include the full-time equivalent pay of part-times and the net pay to contract workers.

Older workers in Rust-Belt States have been economic losers since Reagan The Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis

Desperately Searching For A New Strategy Tim Duy (resilc). Today’s must read.

Antidote du jour (Philip P). I’ve been amazed to see how bold the wild turkeys have become on the island (connected by bridges to the mainland) in Maine in the last four years. It’s become routine to see them wandering about pretty casually. Wild turkeys are smart and normally wary, so this is a big change in behavior (my father hunted them and they were difficult to get near back in the day).

turkeys-links

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Tweet about this on TwitterDigg thisShare on Reddit0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on Facebook0Share on LinkedIn0Share on Google+0Buffer this pageEmail this to someone

332 comments

  1. Jessica

    Wow. Those turkeys are amazing. They can walk on the sky.
    {Please delete this comment after flipping the photo.}

      1. jgordon

        A good rule of thumb for photography is to isolate the subject(s) as much as possible without having background distractions. While directing your gaze at the photo, just squint your eyes as if you were looking into the sun and the first microsecond or so that you open your eyes pay attention to what you see. Anything you notice except for the subject–get rid of it or lower the exposure on that part! I think that’s what went wrong.

    1. dk

      Funny about the img link, the cannonical src is:
      http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/turkeys-links.jpg
      which is not flipped.

      but the images in the srcset attribute (which lists different thumbnail versions to show at different screen widths for “responsive” behavior) are all upside down:

      srcset="http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/turkeys-links-300×225.jpg 300w, http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/turkeys-links-768×576.jpg 768w, http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/turkeys-links-1024×768.jpg 1024w, http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/turkeys-links-624×468.jpg 624w, http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/turkeys-links.jpg 3264w”
      (the last link is the same as the correct original).

      Lambert, you’ll have to go in and either modify or delete/regenerate the thumbnails:
      https://wordpress.org/support/topic/thumbnail-image-are-upside-down/
      https://en.support.wordpress.com/images/image-editing/

      1. Kristine

        The software used for creating the thumbnails propably doesn’t handle the orientation of a JPEG image correctly.

    2. Charger01

      I’ve observed similar behavior from the turkeys and whitetail deer in our neighborhood. Could be the predator suppression, or ironically, the increase of available habitat. We had a golf course that went bankrupt in 2012, and it has been fallow since then. Lots of wildlife have returned in the interim.

      1. Katharine

        That might be true in your area, but in ours the deer have probably been forced within city limits because of all the development on what used to be farms and woodland out in the county. If they have less good habitat, they spread onto more of the second- or third-rate.

    1. craazyman

      I thought the photographer was standing on his head. Are we destroying the original aesthetic intent by reversing the artists vision.

      This is now a plain old Turkey photograph. It’s no longer a metaphor of a world turned upside down by contumenewlogical propornganda.

      Are we the turkeys or is the vision of the world itself proporngated by fake news itself a turkey? That’s a question every person must decide.

      FAke news fake news don’t lie to me
      Telll me where did you peep last night
      All your lines, all your lines
      where the truth don’t ever shine
      make ya shiver the whole page through

      Liberulls and rednecks, where will you go
      they’re a goin where the cold wind blows
      In the lines, in the lines
      Where the truth don’t ever shine
      Gonna shiver the whole page through

      the WaPo has hardworking hands
      The Redskins reporting is clear
      It lost its mind with a PropO smear
      It’s head hasn’t yet been found

      Whoa. sorry LedBelly! hahahahaah

      1. Cynthia

        Thanks Crazyman!!
        “All your lines, all your lines
        where the truth don’t ever shine” … brilliant!
        I like Nirvana’s cover of this song (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOZKz_sPM6U) and I will now no longer be able to sing along with the original words… I can almost hear Kurt singing …”in the lines, in the lines…”

    2. Carla

      Sure wish I could see them, whether upside down or right-side up. Since two days ago, I’m not able to view either Links antidotes or Water Cooler plantidotes. Is anyone else having this problem?

      1. Fran

        I have that happening, but I just right click on the space and choose “view image”. Then is comes up.

          1. Carla

            Thanks, “view image” worked for me in that I could then view the image in a new window. But it still doesn’t appear on the Links page. I didn’t get an option to “reload image.”

            Glad to know I’m not the only one! I sent a message about this to NC support, but I guess they haven’t had time to look into it.

            The problem just started a couple of days ago for me — how about you, Fran?

            1. Outis Philalithopoulos

              I remember someone else mentioning this yesterday-ish, but wasn’t sure how regularly the problem was occurring. I’ll forward the message to Lambert – thanks for letting us know.

      2. Lambert Strether

        1) Do you see anything in place of the image like this?

        image

        2) Do you, perhaps, have a slow connection? If so, did you wait for the Links page to build? This image went in at full size, and is being resized in the browser, so it might be slow to load (which would explain why the smaller size appeared right away).

        I confess I don’t understand why the Water Cooler image didn’t load, since it’s 600px, but question #1 still applies.

        There’s nothing we can do on the back end as authors that would cause this. There isn’t an invisibility button for images, as it were.

    3. Vatch

      They’re bats in turkey costumes, because bats can cling to the ceiling. Unfortunately, the picture is now upside down, so they look like they are standing on the ground.

  2. vlade

    on the GPS. I’d like to hear someone who knows a bit about Android/iOS internals, but I believe that if you switch the GPS off, it’s switched off. The reasons for my belief is twofold: after switching it on, it takes time (sometime minutes) to latch on the satellites. Of course, this could be “pretended”, but I’m sure someone would have noticed and generated the bad press for Apple/Google if that was the case. Secondly, if I switch it off, the power consumption drops significantly – which is much harder to pretend..

    So I just keep GPS off on my phone, 99.9% of time (I get it on something like once a month). Moreover, I control very tightly which apps can send anything out or not, and have pretty much all of them with data turned off. For maps, I use ones where I can download the maps and use offline (because most of the time I need to use the maps when I have no data access anyways) – of course, maybe when I’m updating the maps now and then it sends where I used it with GPS back (in which case, it can get a lots of middle-of-nowhere points that are not very useable for data mining).

    TBH, I’m more concerned about the inability to reliably switch off the camera and the mike.
    And, if you want to be concerned about privacy, here’s something – https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-12-06/the-russian-app-that-has-destroyed-privacy-forever
    photo someone, and then look them up on the web!

    1. rusti

      The reasons for my belief is twofold: after switching it on, it takes time (sometime minutes) to latch on the satellites. Of course, this could be “pretended”, but I’m sure someone would have noticed and generated the bad press for Apple/Google if that was the case. Secondly, if I switch it off, the power consumption drops significantly – which is much harder to pretend..

      I’m not competent to address your question about the internals, but generally speaking it should work the way you describe in the absence of malicious behavior. GPS (GNSS is the more generic term because virtually all devices use GLONASS too these days) is becoming more power-optimized, but it still requires some juice to power the GNSS “engine” that wouldn’t serve any purpose unless there is an application requesting it.

      If you’re using offline maps with data turned off and do a “cold start”, the time-to-first-fix can be on the order of 30 seconds to several minutes to not at all depending on what sort of view of the sky you have, because you have to collect information about where each satellite is (“latching on”) which is transmit at a very low data rate. Once you’ve “latched on” it’s easier to maintain the link than it is to establish it to begin with. If you have a data connection you can get all the current satellite position information over the internet (a-GPS) which can reduce fix time to just a few seconds.

      If your phone was hacked, there would be ways of sending fairly precise positioning information without draining the battery as quickly as running the GNSS engine 100% of the time but I would still expect a reduced battery life.

      1. JTMcPhee

        The Commies have infiltrated EVERYthing! Filthy wretches! My iPhone is using GLONASS? That’s a COMMIE invention, put up by their Commie evil military! To help hack our Freedoms and Elections and all that! I guess since iPhones are built in Commie China, no surprise that the International Communist Conspiracy to Take Over! is now BUILT IN to the hardware and firmware and software of my iDevices! Is NO ONE WATCHING any more? So the Commies KNOW WHERE I AM? I hear even our World’s Greatest military now cooperates with the Commies on a giant geopositioning matrix! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GLONASS WTF is up with that idiocy? /s

      2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        To save battery life most phones just ping GPS/GLONASS once in a while, and rely on network tower triangulation (cellphone) and even wi-fi hotspots for the rest

    2. Carolinian

      If one simply needed a portable way of connecting to the internet there are lots of inexpensive Android tablets that have no GPS . Of course once you do connect your location can be determined fairly accurately.

    3. bob

      It’s not “GPS” that is doing the tracking these days.

      It’s “location services”. GPS uses way too much power. Location services uses wifi and cell towers to get a much better location.

      A lot of phones don’t even have GPS chips anymore.

      It’s also a misnomer to say that the phone knows where it is. With location services, the phone looks at what RF it’s seeing locally, reports that back to (google?) somewhere. Somewhere then takes the information, does some math, and sends the location back to the phone. The phone does not know where it is without a connection to *somewhere”.

      GPS is different in that no two way connection is required. All GPS chips do is listen. They can’t transmit. Location services requires a 2 way connection.

      I’ve been looking for details on this for years now. No luck. Who is responsible for “location services”? My bet is google, but I’ve never seen them say it.

      1. bob

        Try this-

        Inside a building, away from windows, try to get a location on the phone. If you are getting a location, it’s not via GPS.

        I use very high end GPS units a lot. They use tons of power, and rely on being outside. Bring it inside, and it’s lost.

        Google street view was mapping wifi points. Google, probably, is now using android users to do the mapping for them, after they were able to use the street view reference points.

        Between cell towers, wifi, and bluetooth, your location can be determined down to a few inches, with very little power use. Take any of those 3 away, and it gets less accurate, but still better at determining locations than GPS is in urban, or indoor locations.

      2. Carolinian

        Qualified services may achieve a precision of down to 50 meters in urban areas where mobile traffic and density of antenna towers (base stations) is sufficiently high.[citation needed] Rural and desolate areas may see miles between base stations and therefore determine locations less precisely.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_phone_tracking

        In other words cell tower tracking is less accurate than gps in urban areas. IP tracking would also be less accurate in urban areas since it depends on the range of the wifi receiver but more accurate than cell in rural areas.

        1. bob

          You’re getting lost in semantics. That’s also BS. I keep wondering why they are trying to tell people that it’s GPS. It’s not. It may have to do with the fact that google had to hack every wifi point they came across while doing their street view drive by’s. There were lawsuits. Long since forgotten…and wiki says…

          Cell location is only the start. Wifi is the most accurate now, along with micro or nano cell in urban areas. They cover less that a few hundred square feet. Pretty easy to get a location for a phone that can only be within 100′ of a cell. In NYC, for example, they have “cells” that cover only floors, or offices. Low power, numerous cells are the only way they can get service to everyone.

          Look at what AP’s the phone is seeing and then give a location. They don’t have to be connected to the AP either. They just have to see the SSID, and get a signal.

          Go get a GPS unit, with a battery. A big one. How long can you leave it on for before dies? Certainly not as long as most people carry their phones around for.

          1. bob

            https://www.wired.com/2012/05/google-wifi-fcc-investigation/

            Even that goes to great lengths to obscure what google was actually doing.

            IMO, they were looking for the MAC address for the wifi points. In that era, 50% of wifi points were broadcasting an SSID of “linksys”. Google needed a unique identifier — the MAC address.

            I’ve never seen a good explanation on this, and the famously free press is in way over it’s head both technically, and power wise. Google had the FCC redact what it was doing?

            1. oh

              To take it one step further, Google operates WiFi AP’s for Starbucks among others. That way they can triangulate you based on these “hot spots”. When you use the free Starbucks WiFI, they’ll snoop on you and the sites you go to and compile data on you.
              If you really care about your privacy, get rid of your cell phone and don’t use your laptap or other device at any WiFi hotspot.

              1. bob

                ” When you use the free Starbucks WiFI”

                You don’t even have to use the wifi for your phone to use the wifi signal to locate your phone.

                Every single cell tower or wifi hot spot can be used as a radio location beacon. Google mapped them all with street view. Updates to the map are *probably* now done by other android phones using those known locations.

                Then, there is linkNY-

                https://cryptome.org/2016/06/linknyc-spy-kiosks-installation-videos.htm

                Further giving public space to a tech giant. Free!

                1. bob

                  To what end?

                  Changing the MAC of what? The phone? The AP?

                  In the case of the AP- it would probably be re-mapped quickly. Days to weeks, depending. I’d bet minutes.

                  In the case of the phone- MAC changed. Then the android phone calls home and reports your local RF traffic. A few apps would probably be a few minutes behind that. Both google and the 3rd party apps have just de-anonymized you.

                  And then amazon, as a VPN host…YGBFKM

                  To what end? Why does bezos get a cut for “fixing” the problem that he’s supplying to others, at a cost.

                  1. subgenius

                    I randomly choose a mac address for my laptop on each connection to an access point, instantiate an on-demand vps, connect, and am good to go.

                    There are ways to do this even more securely. But I am not gonna spill those beans…

                    1. subgenius

                      And no, I don’t pay bezos. You can run a small VPN for free, and my Amazon details contain no true info.

                      I have a number of VPN possibilities. Amazon is handy because I can instantiate and drop on demand. I can do the same via heroku, digital ocean, Google, etc

                    2. subgenius

                      If you want to do info sec, Bob, I recommend you spend some time learning the relevant tech.

                      The original link to macchanger leads to Linux documentation. This is a hint as to what is going on.

                      If you can’t be arsed to do the work, expect to be the product.

                    3. subgenius

                      And, as it happens, I can do this from my phone. Which is rooted and runs pentest software. I just don’t, generally.

                    4. bob

                      OK, taking you at your word– you’re proposing this as a solution. For who?

                      99% of people who use computers would respond – “I can’t remember my password to log into netflix, I’ve gotta check my gmail account.”

                      “But I am not gonna spill those beans…”

                      Why not? And also, even using ‘free’ amazon, I’m sure amazon has some sort of authentication based on external IP and MAC, username and password How does that work in practice?

                      You aren’t “anonymous” to amazon. You logged in.

                    5. bob

                      Also, if you can do it with your phone-

                      Turn off the phone part.

                      Wifi only.

                      VPN to wherever. Turn “location services on”

                      Where does it say the phone is?

                      Turn the phone part on. Turn wifi off.

                      VPN to wherever Turn “location services on”

                      Where does it say the phone is?

                      Very curious about the answers. I’ve never met anyone who did more than dabble with this, all to the same end you reached. They don’t use it.

                      I’d also like to ask, since you seem to have some experience with this- does the wifi “switch” actually stop the wifi chip? The most common answer is “it depends on the model”.

                    6. subgenius

                      Assume everything is trying to snitch, and go from there.

                      There is NO easy consumer way to circumvent these kinds of issues, you have to learn about it, and implement. There are no shortcuts (because a shortcut is a defined technique and will therefore be countered)

                      Yes, I log in to Amazon…but the access point has a fake mac address and machine id and the channel is encrypted – not perfect, but fairly good. If the NSA are on me then I am going to be outgunned. If not specifically targeting me then I will be lost in the noise.

                      The not spilling beans is due to experience in system security and circumvention. Not something I will publicise details of, and not something suitable to explain in a short post. There are places you can learn if you wish.

          2. Carolinian

            Most places are not NYC. Out here in the hinterlands businesses are a lot more spread out. Wikipedia’s assessment sounds right to me.

            Not that it’s worth arguing about. Ad Snowden says if you really don’t want to be tracked take out your battery.

            1. bob

              It is worth arguing about, dipshit. You had an opinion. It’s wrong. Demonstrably wrong, whatever you may think. Wiki? How much does google give them every year?

              There are links below that get into proving you wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

              Snowden- take out the battery? What about capacitors? What about phones that don’t let you take out the battery?

              What about airplane mode? Nothing says that they can’t still LISTEN for RF, and transmit the data when out of airplane mode. Phones have MEMORY these days. LOTS of it.

              This is a HUGE area of bad information, and no conclusive information. Seeing as how 911 relies on this location data, it should be pretty important, and discussed a lot more.

              “Not that it’s worth arguing about”

              Then don’t. Take your lack of knowledge and go away.

              1. integer

                It is worth arguing about, dipshit.

                Classy.

                take out the battery? What about capacitors?

                Dipshit.

                    1. integer

                      They can store an electric charge, but do not discharge a steady voltage nor current, and the discharge is almost instantaneous. ********************************************************************************

                    2. Outis Philalithopoulos

                      integer, what part of “there have been enough personal attacks back and forth in this particular conversation and from now on the discussion is going to stick to the original topic” did you not understand?

              2. Outis Philalithopoulos

                Disagreeing about GPS and batteries is fine. Personalizing things and throwing in gratuitous insults is not fine. If there is more in this vein, I’ll start spiking this subthread.

                1. Optimader

                  Nothing wrong with the thread.
                  Bob, switch to decaff.

                  Back in the corporate gulag days we had a dept secretary / assistant from the Bridgeport area of Chicago.

                  She was brilliant.

                  When she typed it was like the sound inside a garage when a squirrel runs across a roof, and she could do that while carrying along a BS conversation w a coupke of us hanging at her desk.

                  Anyhoo.. one of the highest terms of endearment was when Nancy would be machinegun typing and she woild say “oh.. you assholes!”

                  She brought the use of vulgarity to a high art as descriptive adjectives.

                  That loss of inflection and context is the limitation of the written word vs conversation.

                  That said, just in case, apologize Bob

                  1. bob

                    An arbiter of Truth!

                    I don’t grovel, you’re out of luck. But, please try to explain how “it’s probably not worth arguing over” belongs in any argument?

                    Or how about the all time crowd pleaser – “Most places are not NYC”

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeilxKluTCU

                    Wow. That would almost seem self evident, using the couched language of upper class beigist,

                    At that point, the discussion was derailed. I responded in plain english, using well known and straight forward language.

                    Then the propriety police posers show up and pile on.

                    I’d use more straight forward language to close but I’m tiring of this nonsense. It’s making me dumber. Argument without argument.

                    1. Outis Philalithopoulos

                      I’m letting this comment stand because a lot of people piled on Bob throughout the afternoon, and so it’s reasonable for him to be able to respond. At this point, enough has been said on the topic of who argued worse than whom. Further discussion in this subthread should be limited to GPS and batteries and capacitors (etc.), assuming anyone still wants to talk about that.

                2. integer

                  Personally, I would like the moderation to focus on disingenuous and bad faith arguments rather than small flare ups of bad or accusatory language. To me it seems there is a risk of stifling passionate debate if too much emphasis is placed on politeness.

                  Just my opinion.

                  1. Carolinian

                    Bob seems to have a problem with disagreement.

                    As I recall the last commenter who called people disparaging names left in a huff. One would like to think nothing here is personal (unless it’s about Hillary of course).

                    1. bob

                      “Bob seems to have a problem with disagreement.”

                      That’s straight up BS. You write like a CEO who’s cornered. “I don’t want to say he’s nuts, but I will strongly suggest it, then claim the high ground and call myself disinterested.”

                      I had no problem. You appear to have the problem. You jump into a discussion that’s “not worth arguing over”?

                      That almost seems like the definition of crazy.

                  2. integer

                    That said, I’m sure that there are many disingenuous and/or bad faith comments that are being dealt with behind the curtain and not making it into the comments section in the first place so thank you for that.

                  3. Outis Philalithopoulos

                    There are elements of subjectivity in deciding what is a “disingenuous and bad faith argument,” just as there are in deciding what types of discussions are becoming hostile. Referencing Optimader’s comment on the secretary named Nancy, what some people find offensive, other people might simply find forthright.

                    In this particular case, the ratio of information to flareup was going downhill. The logical endpoint of this process is one where every comment is a quick snipe at someone earlier. The less visible effect is that other people, who might have contributed something, back away. Passionate debate is fine, but keep in mind that one person may have a greater tolerance for certain kinds of animosity than others.

                    1. integer

                      I guess I always felt that the NC comment section was kind of a “sink or swim” place, and I liked it for that reason. I read here daily for at least four years before stepping into the commenting fray btw.

                      In any case it is clearly not my decision to make and I will (do my best to) respect whatever decisions are taken.

                    2. optimader

                      Well, we certainly defer to whomever is administrating the garden!

                      I’ll admit, for cheap and selfish ethnological reasons, counting volleys until a Bob achieves Godwin’s Law is invoked, is well…. sometimes a dirty pleasure.

                      …OTOH, Carolinian is too genteel to walk the path anyway..

                    3. integer

                      There are elements of subjectivity in deciding what is a “disingenuous and bad faith argument,”

                      Not when it comes to technical matters such as this.

                    4. Outis Philalithopoulos

                      integer, is your email address valid? I’d prefer to discuss the situation with you that way, if it’s okay with you.

                    5. integer

                      This may help calm one’s nerves if the previous link seemed confronting. The intri is a little jarring though, but only lasts a few seconds.

                    6. Outis Philalithopoulos

                      That video was pretty technically impressive. But honestly, I found the other one you sent more fun.

                    7. Outis Philalithopoulos

                      Lol.

                      If you don’t want to post your real email on the site, would you be up for emailing me if I post mine?

                    8. integer

                      If Yves has a good memory, she will be able to find a valid email. The riddle I left the other day should help jog her memory.

                      Probably won’t be able to check it for a day or two though.

                    9. integer

                      With regard to the Xuefei Yang guitar piece, my favorite part is at approx 3m:09s where she surprises herself with the perfection that she plays that sequence with and you can see her quitely say something like “good” to herself. She was the first guitarist ever to be accepted into the royal Beijing classical music academy (or something, that might not be the exact name, but it is the premiere Chinese classical music institution), as before she came along the guitar was considered to be simply a folk instrument. I’m a big fan.

                    10. integer

                      …and she is not particularly happy at approx 3m:45s after she doesn’t quite strike the sweet spot on a couple of notes.

                3. bob

                  As long as “classy” and “switch to decaff” are also included.

                  I’d also argue that my case was much more straight forward. Carolinan jumped into an argument about GPS, then promptly said that “it’s not worth arguing over”.

                  Passive aggressive slights for people who can’t or won’t use words to say what they mean. Taking the high road? Or, arguing against argument? That’s not very classy. It probably is decaf, by some definition. Tits on a bull. Pointless.

                  Anyone else want to pose? Be careful you don’t argue anything. Just be the proprietress of propriety. No one can argue with that, it’d be rude! (not directed at NC or Outis, but the pile on after)

                  1. Outis Philalithopoulos

                    Sorry for being late responding to this one, Bob – I didn’t see it until now. To clarify, yes, my original note was not directed exclusively at you.

                  2. integer

                    Clearly me calling you “classy” for calling someone a “dipshit” being closely followed by me calling you a “dipshit”, implicitly suggesting that I too had no class, whooshed straight over your head. I can’t say I’m particularly surprised but I thought you might have worked it out by now.

      3. lb

        Verifiable physical severing toggles for power and signal to all components in a device capable of sending/receiving a signal or gathering external data seems like the completist goal. This is stymied by closed ecosystems, a lack of vendor interest (we can try to demand more), integrated components presenting no easy intermediation points, and surely more. This seems like a good area for hardware-hacking security researchers to tinker for the greater good…

        (I wear a lot of hats and one is sometimes security researcher… the paranoid citizen/consumer in me strongly wishes I had time to do at least a proof of concept of the above).

        In short, there’s more to do here than disconnecting one component.

        1. bob

          Also adding-

          Android, from the beginning, was all about knowing the location of the phone. It’s hardcoded into the OS. Google used to use this as a selling point for android.

          Knowing the location of the phone was the starting point and #1 priority when developing and rolling out android.

          The phone doesn’t know where it is, but google does, and can send that info back to the phone. Keeping that piece in house was key. Much more control that way.

      4. Yves Smith Post author

        No, you have to be using the device actively (as in calling or surfing the Web) for the location services to work. The triagulation is based on having activity, the phone getting and sending data from a tower.

        And the corroborating factoid, from people who have disabled their GPS, is that all the services that depend on knowing your location don’t work after you kill the GPS.

        1. bob

          “No, you have to be using the device actively (as in calling or surfing the Web) for the location services to work.”

          I don’t believe that. There is a constant stream of pings to the towers, on the phone side. This is evident in the fact that calls can be received when you “aren’t using the phone”. How does the network know what cell to send the call through? The phone is constantly pinging cell sites to figure out which one is “best”.

          It’s overhead. Never seen or heard.

          Within wifi, many more. You don’t have to do anything other than leave them “on”.

          I’ve also seen cysco router admin screens that capture every single phone that comes within range of the wifi AP. It’s all “cloud based” admin, so it’s not just staying local.

          I’m sorry, but the myths and urban legends on this stuff are thick.

          The story about the psycho mom and her lawyer husband who set out to torture the PTA assistant was a great demonstration of the power, and the lengths the two went to to avoid being tracked.

          http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-me-framed/

          No mention of any warrants for those location searches either.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            You are not correct.

            There have been recent court cases of with people using old burner phones (as in no GPS) where the police in fact could present location information only when the defendant had made phone calls. The defendant won because the picture it presented of where he was when had too many gaps to establish he had been on site when the crime occurred. By contrast, a phone with GPS is geolocating you all the time, plus I believe that information is retained on your device.

            So even if the phones w/o GPS can be located, in fact the information is not collected routinely, in contrast with phones that have GPS.

            1. bob

              These are 2 different cases.

              (1) Try to locate the phone, using the phone.

              (2) Try to locate the phone using telco/towers.

              The phone is much better at this. The towers are overwhelmed with information. This is why stringrays are used. They can focus in on one phone in particular, pretending the be the tower, and sending/causing to be sent “pings”.

              With the help of the phone, it’s much easier. The phone is only trying to figure out which tower it is talking to, and which towers it can see.

              In the case of (1) it’s 1 phone trying to locate itself among dozens of cells. In the case of (2) it’s one tower trying to locate one phone among hundreds of thousands.

              In the case of The Family Psycho, they were getting pings off the phones when they were not using them. They were counting on it for an alibi.

              Otherwise, if a person were driving, or walking between towers, and the phone needed to receive a call, it couldn’t. The towers do know where the phone is. The timing interval on those pings changes, it has to. Can they get that data from the tower? It’s a lot more difficult. They are built to be fast, and not to keep records, exccept for billing purposes (using the phone). Everything else is parsed out.

              I’d also suggest that the people using the burners were taking the batteries out. Not simply turning parts of the phone off.

              Burners (flip phones) are also a few generations behind what’s “normal” today.

    4. hunkerdown

      As best I can tell, “Russian” = “democratizing information” = “not being stupid when the Referee class tells you to” = “cheating”. Being able to identify people you’ve never seen before is a Liberal Referee capability ONLY. But dang I’d love to have the whole dataset for that app right on the device so I wouldn’t even have to hit up a server to get a fix on my local oligarchs, or the people parking on my street for no reason.

      Agree that physical disconnects need to be a lot more available in mobile devices. But that would imply that the consumer doesn’t want to buy the product on offer, which isn’t actually the phone. The product on offer is the trophy, a signifier, a lifestyle, an enabler of Progress. Not exploiting ability to its fullest is a liberal mortal sin, and something of an insult to the Ccreator of the artifact and the culture that celebrates it. Don’t you trust the Exceptional Goodthinking class to only turn the camera on when they said they would? (HA)

      It’s worth noting that, even on feature-phones, the radios run on their own CPU core with their own RTOS (usually L4), separate from the application cores and their OS (Android or VxWorks or whatever), exchanging messages via some or other mailbox arrangement. In some such devices the radio cores have other system duties like power or battery[1] management, and therefore don’t ever turn off; they just switch to a reeeally slow speed. If an attacker were to subvert the radio system, to turn the RF section on every x hours when nominally “off” and send a little message (similar to the SOMBERKNAVE implant), the user might never be the wiser even if they monitor their batteries fairly closely.

      [1] From my experiences with Samsung devices, they seem to have a strange habit of implementing their battery charging algorithms in firmware. Hilarity ensues… (Wumo)

    5. ChrisPacific

      I am pretty sure you are correct. As you say, the battery drain would be hard to disguise. It sounded to me like the author was either unaware of the option to turn it off using software or didn’t trust Android to do it.

      Wifi/mobile based location may not use much more power than plain wifi/cellular so I suppose it’s conceivable that Android might be lying to you when it says it’s not tracking you with those (they get switched off along with GPS if you disable location services). If so then it’s lying to the apps that use them as well (based on app behaviour that I’ve seen) so I think this is starting to enter tinfoil hat territory. Absent evidence to the contrary I’m inclined to believe Android when it says they are switched off.

    6. Quintus*

      I realize this is off topic but it is something that has been on my mind for a while. Long time lurker and like most I come to this site to learn. For the past few years through luck and happenstance, I have been working as a programmer in Boston. Though I did not receive a formal computer science education. I learned how to code via a local bootcamp – scam – and taking CS courses at Umass-Boston. When I was an undergraduate studying International Relations, NakedCapitalism was a tremendous resource. I believe I found this virtual salon via Simon Johnson but can’t truly remember. My question for those technical members of the commenteriat – are there any equivalent sites or something near NakedCapitalism’s stature for programming, software architecture, database management, etc? I use HackerNews and r/programming as resources, however, there is nothing on the web that comes close to the engagement and in-depth analysis that I find through links and comments. HackerNews just ends up being a shouting match if you go two comments deep. I really appreciate this forum and all those who make it a wonderful place to participate in. Much thanks in advance.

  3. Leigh

    Regarding SEC Insider Trading:
    Didn’t Congress get pressured into eliminating their own ability to do insider trading – and then, on a Friday before a long weekend, they passed a bill that slipped the ability back in?

    1. Vatch

      You are correct! (I think — it’s hard to tell from the bill’s text.)

      http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2013/04/16/177496734/how-congress-quietly-overhauled-its-insider-trading-law

      Here’s the text of the bill. There isn’t a specific mention of insider trading, but there is a lot of “striking” and “inserting” and whatnot.

      https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/senate-bill/716/text?r=1

      It was introduced by Harry Reid, and there was no roll call vote.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s like you are in London, but you are not…because you’re in the embassy of Ecuador…the dirt under the buildings is British soil, geologically, but in the human world, governments allow that to be Ecuadorean land.

      But for a cat or a bird, it’s all one real estate. You burrow under, or hop, jump or fly over the fence and back. One big hunting ground.

  4. rusti

    But a second and almost as large reason is I do not like being GPS tracked all the time (yes, I know I can be located when using a cell phone via triangulation). I have been told that the GPS can be disabled by taking a phone to specialist repair shops like UBreakIFix and they can cut the connections to the chip that does the GPS locating. That means of course than functions that rely on knowing where you are won’t work and you’ll have to input that info manually. I have no idea if this can be done on tablets.

    If you can reassemble a device after getting access to the circuit board it’s pretty straightforward to sever the physical connection by removing the GPS antenna matching components, removing the antenna itself or cutting the circuit board trace from the antenna. But positioning using other technologies is becoming more and more ubiquitous, there are large databases of Wi-Fi access points with estimated positions as well as the fact that your phone has a constant dialogue of sorts with cellular towers while connected to a network. UC Riverside just published a few papers where they demonstrated positioning with about 10 meters diluted precision compared to a GPS fix just by passively listening to 4G towers.

    1. bob

      Correct. GPS uses TONS of power. Listening for cell and wifi points uses a lot less.

      Add the very accurate accelerometer (screen tilt?) that most phones now have and it’s very easy to get a location, without using a lot of power.

      And again, the phone has no clue where it is under these circumstances. It has to send the RF signals it is seeing to google, then google sends the location of the phone back to the phone.

      That’s the scary part. They know where you are before you do. All relying on those databases. Whose databases are they? My ongoing bet is google.

      1. craazyboy

        They located OJ Simpson in 1994 using cell tower triangulation. We then got to watch the slow motion, (S.Cal rush hour) police chase broadcast to our home CRT TVs via helicopter video. Tech was awesome back then. That was back when everyone had a Nokia. Google wasn’t around yet. But Google probably owns the wifi technique.

        It’s simple enough to use an exacto knife and magnifying glass to cut a PCB trace to a GPS chip, if that’s the way your phone does it. I would wonder how the OS would tolerate that however. There probably is some code that verifies if hardware is working correctly, and the best case scenario is you would constantly get error messages. I have GPS on my quadcopter, and I know that if I disconnect it at an inopportune time, it will actually freeze up my flight controller. That’s pretty clearly a bug, but you never know what you may run into when you do unauthorized things to devices.

      2. bob

        Using this project as a framework of what’s possible.

        http://quakecatcher.net/

        They are getting usable seismic data from accelerometers not in constant or complete contact with the earth.

        Most of the time your phone is moving with you. Some of the time it’s sitting on something. A table, supported by a building, supported by a foundation.

        They are still getting data out of this! They are that good, and that accurate.

        All you’d need to track an android device with a accelerometer is 1 good fix on their starting position, then you could very accurately track their movement using the accelerometer only.

        An accelerometer is very, very underrated as a security risk. If you only had one choice of instrument, most spooks would choose this.

        They aren’t the “brains”, but they are way better than eyes for data that can be analyzed to some sort of useable and significant end.

        It’s also not a lot of data. Very “simple” instrument. Traffic to and from the instrument is easily hidden as “background”. Like cell tower and wifi “pings”.

        It’s not doing anything. Yes it is.

        1. craazyboy

          Inertial nav systems have been moving this direction for a long time now.
          ————————–
          A body’s actual spatial behavior / movement can be described with six parameters: for example with three translatory (x-, y-, z-acceleration) and three rotatory components (x-, y-, z-angular velocity). To be able to define the movement of the body, three acceleration sensors and three gyros have to be put together on a platform in such a way, that they form an orthogonal system. By integrating the individual translatory and rotatory components the current position and orientation can be calculated. Mathematic integration of the acceleration data yields the current speed, a second mathematic integration provides ultimately the distance travelled from the starting point. Since the angular sensors used within this project provide output data representing rotation speed (not angular acceleration), a single mathematic integration already yields the angular orientation. Performing these calculations accurately and periodically enables the ideal system to trace its movement with respect to a (virtual) reference point and to indicate its speed, current position and heading.
          ——————-

          However, accuracy is a problem over long distances…..

          ————————-

          The main limitation of the system performance is given with the finite precision of the sensors. A continuous small error in acceleration will be integrated once and results in a big error in actual speed, integrated a second time in a huge error in distance. Therefore very precise sensors and error correction mechanisms (feedback algorithms) are necessary to get an accurate inertial navigation platform. As an example, a ‘cheap’ feedback algorithm is the g-vector method. It does not require additional hardware, but simply assumes that the average direction of the z-acceleration vector points exactly rectangular down towards the earth surface and its average value is -9.81 m/sec². Another feedback method is the introduction of GPS position data fed to the INS, but this concept requires careful considerations about the update mechanism for not disturbing the entire system, especially in case you want to control devices and not simply measure their movements!
          ————————-
          Low-Cost Inertial Navigation System
          http://electronic-engineering.ch/study/ins/ins.html

          When we do automated flight with quadcopters (GPS waypoint following – and we DO need to get the GPS home position) we are still using gyros, acels, barometer, compass and GPS.

          1. rusti

            Inertial nav systems have been moving this direction for a long time now.

            Pun intended?

            However, accuracy is a problem over long distances…..

            Yes, this is key. Inertial measurements are prone to drift and errors aggregate with time, so if the accelerometer has some small drift someone can appear to wind up in the stratosphere after a while. The best (or uh, most intrusive depending on the application) tracking systems will have input of a complementary nature, the long-term accuracy of GPS/Wi-Fi/Cell Towers and the short-term accuracy of IMUs.

          2. bob

            I’m sorry, but your seem to be pretending that this is brand new stuff. It’s not.

            It’s new that normal people can afford to tinker with it, but it’s been around since before GPS.

            Guided missiles pre-dated the GPS network. Most rockets, even carrying humans, all rely on this.

            I posted the link to the seismograph project because it shows how “good” these things have gotten. They are incredibly accurate, in a very tiny package.

            Parsing out the noise, and interpreting the data, in real time, is the hard part. Detecting a “screen tilt” is easy, to a shocking degree of accuracy. Doing something with that data, such as regenerating the video display 90 degrees the right, and at a different aspect ratio, is going to take a whole lot more thinking.

            Most most humans with phones aren’t normally affected by wind loading and drift in the manner of drones, nor do humans move fast enough, normally, that you would have to account for the rotation of the earth.

            It’s cool stuff, no doubt.

  5. alex morfesis

    Leave the poor turkeys as they bee…it takes a large amount of energy to hold the world upside down…and it forces folks to look twice…

    leave as is

  6. generic

    Austrian Presidential Election Shows How United Front Politics Can Defeat the Far Right Real News Network

    Overstatement. The support of the conservative party was less than complete. Their party secretary even supported Hofer.

  7. Rajesh

    I think Its really important to understand what’s happening in China…but just can’t get a handle on it as it’s so bloody opaque over there.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I’d recommend reading Michael Pettis’s blog (blog.mpettis.com) for a good technical overview of what is happening in China – he occasionally contributes an article here. His arguments are very dense, so you have to go back a couple of years and read his articles in sequence to follow his lines of thought, but it is very enlightening. Patrick Chovanec is also good on the Chinese property market. Both are fairly ‘conventional’ thinkers and to the right of what a typical NC reader would believe, but their grasp on the raw data is very good.

      The key issues in China at the moment is how they can handle the seeming peaking of the property bubble and its impact across the economy, plus the likely impact if they can’t prevent a significant devaluation against the dollar soon, which seems likely. There are huge outflows of capital from China at the moment, and while China’s data is opaque, this can’t be hidden, and the policy response will be enlightening. They will either have to raise interest rates significantly (unlikely), allow the yuan to drop (which could cause outflows to turn into a flood) or put in place much stricter capital controls. Any of these options are going to hurt.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Not many people noticed the changes happening at the retail banking level, two weeks ago the government said people could only have one Tier 1 account (liquid, Alipay etc). This affects 4.8 billion accounts. Yes, billion. People may have five different “wallet” accounts linked to different banks. The net effect is to limit the channels for people to move money out of the country, it’s also a giant smackdown for the fintech sector in favor of the banks, Tencent and Weibo getting too big for their britches. There are also new controls on how you can use your China UnionPay (card) account. CUP is more volume globally than Visa and Mastercard combined

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Do they have their equivalent of FDIC insurance, so that this new development will impact those who spread their money in various under-the-insurance-limit bank accounts?

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I’ve noticed that if things get a little rough here, money flows to the Yen (Japan).

      If it becomes tense, doesl money flow from America to China, or from China to America? What does this imply about any possible outcome, or the relative underlying strengths of the actors?

      1. PlutoniumKun

        I would have thought the worldwide default is always to go to America, with the Yen and Swiss Franc as next on the list. Nobody, not least the Chinese, would consider putting money in China for safety, ever. They know their history and what the CCP have done in the past when things got rough.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          What the CCP has done is not too much different than what some of the emperors in the past had…and if Chinese historians are to be trusted, and there have been many surprises, both ways – for example, the Shang dynasty is not legendary anymore, since about 100 years ago, and maybe ancient Hyksos migrated to the Middle Kingdom, though dragon sightings are yet to be confirmed.

          And what occurred in the past, even under tyrannical Sons of Heaven, the Chinese considered their bronze knife money, wushu coins or silver taels to be safe at home. They didn’t flock or move their money to Goguryeo, Kithai, Annam or Tangut, among other adversaries, once a war had started.

          We learn that when they considered themselves to be the only hegemon, the subjects acted accordingly.

          If their descendants today believe they are the sole reigning superpower, whatever the CCP has done, money stays home.

          But the implication is otherwise.

  8. Angry Panda

    “…you used to be able to get used 747s for very cheap because they are such fuel hogs…”

    1. Commercial 747s…yes and no. Fuel was a bit smaller consideration than size. There are only so many routes you can put a jumbo (or an A380) on and be profitable even at low fuel prices. I.e. it’s much easier to fill a 200-300 seat 777/787 than a 400-600 seat 747/A380. The situation is even worse now that Emirates and “the other Persian Gulf airline” (whose name I always forget) clogged up the Europe-Asia corridor with dozens of shiny new A380s.

    Also, if memory serves, the 747 is shorter-ranged than the 777/787 models, so certain Asian routes are out.

    And then on top of all that the 747 is a 4-engine model which by definition eats more fuel than any 2-engine widebody. Particularly a 2-engine widebody with modern engines vs. a late 1980s design (747-400).

    Basically, when Boeing tried to market the 747-800 it ran into a brick wall of these objections pretty much in the order I listed. In fact, for a long time the only 747s that were in demand were the cargo versions (or conversions), but that seems to have ebbed after the 2007-2008 crisis.

    2. It must be remembered that Air Force One (really, the VC-25) is not a 747; it is a highly specialized aircraft that happens to use the 747 hull and engines. [From that standpoint, it could, theoretically, use any large hull – the A380, the Russian IL-96, etc.]

    One, it has to carry a metric ton (figuratively and literally) of advanced communications equipment in order to function as a military and civilian command center in the event of a nuclear (or conventional, I suppose) war. Modernizing these electronic “guts” is likely the large part of the cost of the Boeing contract Trump is harping on about. [Note – I am not saying Boeing is not inflating costs because it usually can – but rather that you are going to pay a lot to put these shiny toys into a 747 even in the absolute best case.]

    Two, all its electronics and wiring – not just communications, but literally every bit of wire – has to be EMP-hardened, again, just in case nuclear war breaks out. I have no idea how much that costs since there are literally six widebody aircraft Boeing has ever done this to, so far as I know (the two VC-25s and the four E-4s), but probably more than a few dollars.

    Plus I suspect this time around Boeing also wants some money to develop new engine variants (vs. using something off-the-shelf), probably some fancy software (in an EMP-hardened aircraft, natch), and so on.

    3. Technically, Trump does not decide how much Boeing gets paid. Congress does, in the budget bills (not the “budget” itself) it passes. So far as I know. Trump, or any president, can, of course, raise a public stink about it, but that’s all it amounts to until and unless he can get Congress to move. Similarly to how he keeps making public noises on trade probably knowing full well that it is Congress that votes in (or out) tariffs, quotas, taxes, etc. I suppose one might say he’s using his bully pulpit early and often, but I doubt it’s that.

    Rather, I sense that Trump is beginning to establish a very clear pattern of making a lot of noise about something minor or else something he did not have anything to do with, while quietly taking a hard “right” tack on items that matter and that he can affect. So yes, let’s complain about the $4 billion modernization price tag for the two VC-25s and then sign the bill with an order of magnitude more billions of dollars for the mindbogglingly idiotic and colossally wasteful B-21 project (which is also a matter of Northrop stuffing new electronic “guts” plus marginally better engines into essentially a B-2 hull, though they’ll deny it vehemently if you ask them), which I suspect he will do once in office. As one hypothetical.

    1. Altandmain

      Basically as far as commercial goes, the 777X is probably the way to go, being a large 2 engined wide-body aircraft.

      Maybe a bigger A350 might fight it off.

      Boeing might actually cancel future 747s. Earlier this year there was talk about them considering it due to a slump in orders:
      https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/232709-boeing-may-kill-the-747-as-widebody-aircraft-fall-from-favor-airbus-a380-also-at-risk

      Meanwhile, Singapore is returning the very first A380. They didn’t renew the lease.
      http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2016/09/14/singapore-airlines-retiring-a380/

      So now we have a used A380 market as well.

      It may be that the 4 engined aircraft simply cannot be offered at a cost competitive price in regards to commercial operating costs.

      IMO this whole A380 debacle was due to their ego getting in the way.

      Even their execs are willing to admit this one now:
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/02/21/meet-tom-williams-airbuss-mr-fixit/

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Its interesting, as you say, that there hasn’t been a really successful four engine commercial aircraft since the original 747. Presumably operators know something that the aircraft manufacturers were slow to realise. I wonder if its the cost of maintenance for additional engines that makes the difference, because so far as I know their fuel consumption per mile isn’t that much worse.

        I was surprised though that the A380 has been a failure. It seemed guaranteed to fit a niche with all the mega hubs being developed in the middle east and Asia. I wonder if the proliferation of smaller hubs is what did the damage, they just don’t seem to have the capacity/demand for such a large aircraft. I wonder also if maybe too much capacity per aircraft means that airlines are cannibalizing their own profits, so there may be an incentive there even for dominant players to opt for smaller aircraft.

      2. Paid Minion

        The airframe isn’t where the cost of this project is (unless you count all of the “one-off” mods, like a second APU, or the “Airstair” door, or the electronic countermeasures, or the fact you are now hauling people on the lower deck along with baggage/cargo).

        People are watching too much of the “Gas Monkey” guys. Modifying airplanes to a non-standard configuration isn’t cheap.

        I’m sure the USAF is seeing the same thing we are seeing on bizjets. The airframes are outliving the spare parts. Any number of good, 20-30 year old airplanes are going to the scrapyard because nobody makes replacement parts for them anymore, and it costs a small fortune to upgrade them.

        (Case in point: CRT cockpit displays. Our airplane has five. Nobody makes parts to fix CRTs anymore, so the exchange pool depends on cannibalizing parts. Current cost to replace our five tubes with modern displays? Over $200K. Cost to upgrade the whole cockpit panel with current technology? About $1.5 million.

        And as far as Trump’s assertion that his 757 is “bigger” than the 747……… Next headline you will see is “Trump swears on Bible that Sun rises in the west”. Of course, this is the same guy who couldn’t be bothered to renew his aircraft registration.

        OTOH, maybe I should thank him. His exaggerations are making the cost of updating our airplane look like a rounding error. Boeing should probably thank him too. According to my engineering buddies at Boeing-Wichita, the VC-25s were a money-losing program. I can’t imagine that program getting any easier, or any less of a consumer of engineering time, especially since Boeing has spent the past 25 years $hit-canning engineers and experienced help.

        1. Oregoncharles

          “because nobody makes replacement parts for them anymore”. Sounds like a business opportunity, but what do I know?

      3. Jess

        I believe that the 4-engine configuration of the 747 is the preferred platform from a safety perspective. I suspect those charged with protecting the President (and the numerous other high ranking members of government who often accompany him) prefer to have as many engines as possible to keep the plane aloft in the event of any mechanical malfunction, external attack, or even a bird strike. Can’t have the Pres landing in the Hudson River, now can we?

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Maybe we doubt his tariffs claim.

      Maybe he will sign the B-21 bill.

      One thing for sure – he says he’s about making better deals.

      Bluffing is essential in his Art of Negotiation.

      “The Air Force One is too expensive” – good to hear that exposed.

      “Prescription medicine too pricey!” – Trump wants to bring down drug prices. More good news to start his negotiation. Put pressure on the other side. Weaken them. Get the public behind you.

      He may improve 10% on those public issues he is publicly tackling, but our neoliberal politicians have more than just ignored them, they’ve degraded them 100% (for a net difference of 110%).

    3. Optimader

      Yes all that. $4B is alot of spare parts for keeping the existing fleet flying in perpetuity
      A cherry 747-400 is ~$20M alot of retrofit possiblities/spares.

      Take a note from the NYC jewish diamond shills and just ship him UPS?
      What the heck, the VP is a spare anyway.

    4. PQS

      First of all, the “$4B” number isn’t even a contract that Boeing has at this point. It’s a line item budget estimate from an Air Force document. Boeing only has a contract right now for $175M to do interiors and other work on the AF1 models. This was reported on NPR this morning. (I know, I hate them, too.)

      As a result of Trump’s flying off the handle on Twitter, about this (great platform to run the world from!) Boeing’s stock dipped slightly yesterday, apparently recovering by the end of the day.

      I wish I were as confident as so many around here that Trump knows what he’s doing, but I’m not. He is impulsive, erratic, and appears to completely underestimate how much influence he has on the lives of ordinary Americans with his actions. At times it appears to me he thinks the President gets to be King of America.

      1. Paid Minion

        The good news is that we are going to get to see what “running government like a business” looks like.

        Seems like he lives in a “fact free” universe. Too many years of surrounding himself with people who filter out the bad news, and tell him what he wants to hear?

        I suppose you can make the case that a good way to negotiate is demanding crazy things to begin with, then wear down your opponent until you get what you want.

        All I know is that if when I run into this type, and get hosed, I won’t do business with them again, under any circumstances. Life is too short.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          ‘Running the government like business’ can mean many things.

          It can be hiring private contractors to fight wars for you.

          It can also be making sure people who claim to be helping the people are really serving the people, and if not. let them go, and stop that waste of money.

          One thing we have to monitor is to make sure Trump doesn’t start a war with Russia or Syria, with a profit-projection secret report.

          Yes, that would be acting like a business, seeking to make money. But that would be wrong.

          He has to focus on not wasting government money, especially by the Pentagon, to the MIC.

        2. optimader

          Too many years of surrounding himself with people who filter out the bad news, and tell him what he wants to hear?
          Probably apocryphal, as that actually that the formula to go out of business!

          Lets see if he puts teeth into the DoD Inspector General dept. http://www.dodig.mil/About_Us/mission.html ?

          First of all, the “$4B” number isn’t even a contract that Boeing has at this point

          Also disingenuous is that the AF-1 needs to be “retired” merely because they are, whatever` 20 YO.
          At $4B (or pick your number) the existing fleet can be maintained in perpetuity (file under: B-52). The 747 commercial aircraft were (are) brick shithouses (albeit a less efficient 4 engine arrangement, tiem has marched on w/ High bypass engine design), and some models are even more brick shithousier than others ( short field configurations), and I imagine the AF-1 derivative even more so than all the rest.

          But to be honest, when it comes to AF-1, do they really give two shts about fuel efficiency? I don’t think so.

          So in principle it comes down to somethignof a philosophical point. What REALLY does the POTUS REALLY need when he is inflight.. I have a suspicion the AF-1 specifications have gone the route of The Homer
          https://www.wired.com/2014/07/homer-simpson-car/

          1. Paid Minion

            Four engines are safer than two. Period.

            The wholesale move to two engines is a cost cutting measure, nothing else.

            I wish I could come up with a link to an article I read a year or so ago, in which a researcher in the UK made the case that all “Safety improvements” in the past 40 years have been used to justify cutting costs (elimination of flight engineers and navigators, allowing two engine aircraft to fly thousands of miles from land, extending inspection intervals with MSG-3, etc).

            The MSG-3 deal is really a hoot. One of the things it advocates is extending inspection intervals because the inspection process itself introduces failures on the aircraft. (Usually due to inexperienced and/or untrained technicians, if twenty years in the MRO business working at a factory service center mean anything).

            So, in order to minimize/eliminate issues created by the inspection process, they have decided to avoid doing inspections at all.

            What’s not to like with this plan, especially if you sell airplanes or their parts? As usual, chickens are coming home to roost.

            For starters………corrosion problems. Some areas on an airplane may not get looked at for 12 years. The new “environmentally safe” water based primers are not as good as the old stuff, stuff starts corroding faster, and now, you don’t find it as soon as you used to.

            OTOH, it may be pointless to design and maintain an aircraft to last 20-30 years, if there are no spare parts because all of the parts are obsolete, and nobody is trained to fix them.

            Try finding someone to fix your old TV, or your car stereo of any age, to see a up close example.

              1. Optimader

                I dont think the Assurance Sciences support that claim in reality.
                Twice as many engine bits and pieces and twice as much wrenching mathematically reduce the MTBF,
                as well on the subject of engine failure, which is exceedingly rare, –say a commercial jet (a 747) flying through volcanic ash- it is an external antagonism that will likely compromise all engines equally.
                Spectacular examples related to fueling events iirc it was a 757 fueled with lbs rather than kgs that had a engine out(fuel starvation) event (and landed safely). A personel favorite. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/TACA_Flight_110
                Landed on a new orleans levee after a water ingestion flame out out inadvertently

                …or a classic was when a linetruck feuked up bob hoovers Aerocommander w jet fuel rather than gas.

                Anyway

        3. Oregoncharles

          “Seems like he lives in a “fact free” universe.”
          If he did, he’d be broke by now, and not president to be.

          He may, however, be hoping that we do; he has considerable evidence for that. “We” meaning, in this case, those who don’t read NC.

      2. cnchal

        We are watching the grandee of narcissism in operation.

        Observe the grovelling and pinky ring kissing of all the contenders for Secretary of State, and the total joy within Trump, that they are grovelling at his beck and call.

        Romney, the one who called Trump a con artist with too great an imagination to be allowed near the presidency, showing a total lack of self respect and being the first to kiss Donald’s ring. Guiliani, grinning like a drunk ape when in Donald’s presence. The press, describing it as a contest to impress Donald and “win” the position.

        Donald coming down from his penthouse to make announcements to waiting with baited breath reporters, like a wrestling promoter, the appointment of “Mad Dog” to defense secretary.

        We are the narcissist’s family now, and you never know what mood he is in when he wakes up. It doesn’t make sense to the family, and it isn’t supposed to. The more off balance and wondering what’s really going on, the more attention is paid. Which is the one and only point.

  9. ChrisFromGeorgia

    The House has posted a 70-page bill that keeps the government running on a CR until May.

    http://www.rollcall.com/news/policy/stopgap-bill-adds-money-flint-paves-way-mattis-confirmation-vote

    As usual, it appears loaded with policy riders and other assorted garbage, like blocking the SEC from finalizing a rule that would “require public companies to disclose more about their donations to outside groups, such as trade associations, that engage in political spending.”

    On the bright side, Congress is going to leave town Friday evening, without even attempting to vote on the TPP.

    In the cold of a DC night
    In the land of the dollar bills
    When the TPP got slain
    And they talk about it still

    I heard the lobbyists cry
    I heard them pray the night the TPP died
    Brother what a night it really was
    Brother what a fight it really was
    Glory be!

    1. Jess

      Think I just saw something to the effect that hidden in this bill is a waiver for Mad Dog Mattis to become SecDef.

  10. Otis B Driftwood

    That picture could have been taken in my neighborhood – wild turkeys have been roaming the environs of Berkeley, CA for years now. The flock I see just about every week is 25 strong when I last counted. They go pretty much their own way, and the worst you can say about them is they occasionally jump on and peck at parked cars. Most people who see them find them a welcome antidote to the stresses of modern life. So … good choice!

    1. Eureka Springs

      Seems like anything with a reflection is peck-bait for birds. My friends peacock (Krishna) is brutal on vehicles.

    2. DonCoyote

      My dad lives outside of Sturgis, SD (where the motorcycles congregate), and last time we visited him we had seen no fewer than three turkey flocks and four whitetail before we made it to his driveway (I assume the latitude is pretty similar; Sturgis is @ 44.4N). We were there for Thanksgiving, and after multiple jokes about catching our own turkey, we took the kids outside to throw snowballs at (mostly toward) the turkeys, but even that didn’t keep them away for too long.

      So thanks for a belated Thanksgiving memory.

  11. Jim Haygood

    Politician voluntarily gets on his bike and pedals off:

    New Zealand’s prime minister, John Key, surprised the country on Monday by announcing he would resign next week, citing a desire to spend more time with his family.

    Mr. Key, a former Merrill Lynch executive, said Monday that he had never wanted to be a career politician and did not know what he would do next.

    Mr. Key said that he would resign on Dec. 12 and that his party would choose a new leader and prime minister that same day.

    Mr. Key successfully [sic] negotiated the first visit of a United States warship to New Zealand in 30 years. New Zealand’s sea, air and land space [are] nuclear-free zones.

    But Mr. Key successfully [sic] negotiated the visit of the Sampson without generating internal political controversy or compromising American policy that neither confirms nor denies its vessels are carrying nuclear weapons.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/05/world/asia/new-zealand-prime-minister-john-key-resigns.html

    Good old NYT — carrying the torch for America’s empire and its Five Eyes poodles abroad.

      1. kgw

        Via Cryptogon:

        #familyreasons: Prime Minister John Key Named as Ideal Candidate to Head International Monetary Fund
        December 6th, 2016

        Unbelievable.

        Alternate tag: #mrleesgreaterhongkong

        Via: New Zealand Herald:

        Outgoing Prime Minister John Key has been tipped as a potential candidate to head the International Monetary Fund, an appointment signed off by US President Barack Obama.

        An article on MSC Newswire says Key’s background in international finance would make him an ideal candidate to replace Christine Lagarde as the managing director of the IMF. Lagarde has been ordered to stand trial in France over what became known as the Tapie Affair.

        “Mr Key has the required money market experience. He has run a country. He has backed President Obama’s showpiece international thrusts, the TPPA, and the Paris Climate.

        “He is known to be on personal terms with President Obama who will have the ultimate sign-off on the IMF leadership.”

        It said a push was under way for a non-European to get the role.

        Key was unaware of the speculation when contacted. He is yet to comment on whether he would consider the role, but has said he intended to remain living in New Zealand after stepping down as Prime Minister. He did expect to take up positions on boards, possibly internationally.

  12. Ignacio

    Thanks a lot for the link provided in:

    “Prospects for the Spanish Left” Dollars & Sense

    Which I read with interest. I pretty much agree on what it is said, only lamenting the label “far left” dedicated to “Izquierda Unida” (IU), the only spanish party that seems to understand the problems derived from austerity. Unfortunately, IU is now in coalition with Podemos which in turn posses an “archaic economic agenda” similar to that of Syriza. Podemos is not only archaic and compromised with EU austerity but is also populist in bad ways. Podemos does not bother apparently about climate change and, like the other main political parties in Spain, is interested in keeping or increasing subsidies to the coal industry with the only objective of gaining votes.

    1. ChrisAtRU

      Sadly, yes. Podemos, like Syriza, has given in to what I call #Euromanticism – the notion that a country such as theirs can somehow change the terms of the deal while staying in the EZ. Well, we have seen what happened to Syriza even after the #OXI vote. Even if Podemos were to win in Spain, a similar fate would await them. The playbook has been revealed by Wolfgang Schäuble in bringing Greece to its knees. IMO, the threat of one nation bucking the EZ won’t work. It will take three or four acting in concert – GIPS, anyone? (Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain) Varoufakis has floated the idea of a unified multinational left, but he too believes that the EZ can be changed. I do not share his optimism. The (true) GIPS left should come together and propose a unified walkout of the EZ in tandem with the launch of a new fiscally and monetarily unified currency regime. Yes, you may have heard of the “suro” idea floated, and I support that – ONLY if it is managed by a new entity composed solely of representatives of exiting periphery nations and implements some form of fiscal union and JG. That’s a politically steep mountain to climb for all involved, but such mountains have been scaled by agents of the fear-mongering right in the last year. Time to build steam from a grain of salt, IMO.

      PS: If there were to be a group walkout, I’m not too sure which would be a more hefty proposition:
      – Each nation returning to its former currency
      – Forming a “SURO Union”
      Interested in anyone’s thoughts on this.

      1. Oregoncharles

        The New Roman Empire, though I don’t think N. Africa or the Levant will be joining it.

        I’m still intrigued by the Roman vs. Teutonic division in Europe.

  13. Ignacio

    On:

    “Must do better: British schools fail to impress in world ranking” The Times

    I hate those world rankings, PISA reports etc. We are educating children, not robots!

    1. funemployed

      Seconded, those tests are pretty much meaningless. Well, not entirely meaningless. Scores correlate pretty well with socioeconomic status and familiarity with Anglo/European culture (US and UK have more people in poverty than Finland – but our rich kids do just as well as theirs if not better).

      They also usually give a solid estimate of whether a group of children is more behaviorally compliant and willing/able to sacrifice social/emotional/intellectual development in order to do low level and utterly pointless administrative work for hours on end. Standardized tests don’t do so well with independent, ethically guided, open-minded, creative, critical thinking though.

      I’ve been saying for a long time now, our education system (it’s pretty much the same everywhere – thanks colonialism!) is designed to ensure that only the best followers ever get into positions of influence through study. I.e. It’s tailor made to encourage groupthink and meritocratic smugness.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      From a young age: “Kids, we rank lower every year. You must defeat those foreigners.”

      Paradoxically, our grad schools are best funded and best reputed (or among the best) colleges in the world, and students from all over the world seek to come.

      Perhaps if we funded our l high schools with lots and lots of drone research money, our students would rank better.

  14. hemeantwell

    The Duy article on how the social “adjustment” to trade-related job loss can often be slow and agonizing is very good. One of the first ideas core socialist principles that initially drew my allegiance was that of community preservation. Although the example has been rendered questionable by environmental concerns, efforts by the British gov’t back in the day to keep coal mining going were often touted as community maintaining efforts. It would be interesting to take the recent work of Stiglitz and others to create a welfare-oriented Inclusive Wealth Index as an alternative to GNP measures and apply it to the trade-impacted areas Duy talks about. The way this society blabs about commitments to family and community and then throws them into the sacrificial fire of the gods of technological change and comparative advantage is boggling.

    1. Montanamaven

      I also appreciated in the comments section, the discussion on unionization which always seems to get lost in most discussions of jobs and the economy. Solidarity and community are important to a worker’s feeling of belonging and well-being.
      And, yes, please stop with the “low skilled jobs” idea. My husband is a rancher. I am amazed at how many things he can fix from a tractor to a washing machine. (“Why don’t we try to get a repairman?” “I’ll just open it up and take a look.”) Think it’s easy to birth a calf? Or know when to rotate a crop? And he has time to think and so can keep up with me when I tell him about the latest news I get here on NC. We have a mine here in our county. Palladium. I went on a tour there. You better know what you are doing or you can start a fire and blow something up.
      We should never have given up making “the machines that make the machines”; tool and dye. German didn’t. That’s engineering not low skill. There is something to be said for making things, real concrete things. And what about plumbing? I’m in awe of plumbers. I just had some remodeling done and my contractors are engineers. Again, in total awe.
      Pride in your work and being paid for it. There is plenty of money. We need living wages and maximum wages. And that takes solidarity.

      1. Isolato

        I just had this discussion w/the tilesetter working on my remodel. One of the other contractors he works for has nobody under 37. These are reasonably good jobs, a journeyman might hope to make $20-30/hr and, if he or she starts their own business…but there simply aren’t any young workers coming up through the trades here. Electricians, plumbers, painters. And we need these people a whole lot more than we need more PhDs! Sadly we have convinced our children (and perhaps ourselves) that manual labor is socially inferior. It is not.

        1. Jake

          I just heard a radio ad for licensed electricians by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) in Wenachie Washington, practically begging for people to come and join. Wages up to $60/hr. Also said positions exist for unlicensed people – on the job training program etc.

          We have propagandized people into thinking there is no way to get a good job if you don’t go to college, yet it seems at least in some places the trades are going begging. Plumbing can’t be off-shored. When the heat goes out you need someone from the local region, calling a helpdesk in Jakarta is not part of the solution.

          1. Charger01

            I know a bit about this. Our guys are IBEW 77, and they literally have a waiting list to get through lineschool. High barriers for entry.

            1. RMO

              Montanamaven: As someone once said (about never getting off the boat but that’s not relevant right now) “Absolutely goddamned right!” Respect for people who do actual physical work is sadly lacking in North America. I was born in 1970 and I can distinctly remember the bias against and contempt for anyone who did physical work or a trade that many teachers had.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      Not sure which thread to attach this to — so I picked what seems to be the topmost thread:
      RE: Desperately Searching For A New Strategy — While I must agree with Duy’s assertion “The real story is that he continues to tap into the anger of his voters about being left behind. That will give him much more power than our criticisms will take away.” — I think there is more to this source of Trump’s power. I believe the Chinese has an expression for Trump’s situation: “He is riding a Tiger.” If Trump cannot deliver on his promises he will have to face the Tiger.

      Other components of Duy’s opinion trouble me.
      “transition costs, especially regional impacts”
      “what we got wrong … speed of regional labor market adjustment to shocks is agonizingly slow in any area that lacks a critical mass of population.”
      “…we are really talking about structural shocks in general.”
      “the economy is shifting away to urban areas”
      “you are doing is telling people they have no value relative to the lives they knew”
      “issues apply to more than rural and semi-rural … thrown under the bus for the greater good”
      “My sense is that Democrats will respond by offering a bigger safety net. But people don’t want a welfare check. They want a job. And this is what Trump, wrongly or rightly, offers.”

      The economic system is ruining lives — human lives — and Duy and other economists talk about transition costs, regional market adjustment, structural shock, and a stunning misuse of the notion of the “greater good”. What greater good? Is that some kind of warm feeling we’re supposed to experience on account of “aggregate gains”?

      Economics has worked so hard to become a science and work with bloodless mathematical models that it’s lost whatever ties it once had to humanity.

      1. different clue

        I noticed two sentences in the first paragraph of this Duy article which pretend to be referring to the same thing while actually describing two different things. Here they are.

        “President-Donald Trump’s renewed call for a 35% import tax on firms that ship jobs out of the United States triggered the expected round of derision from an array of critics, both on the left and the right.”

        annnnddddd . . . . .

        “One sure way to discourage job creation in the US is to guarantee that firms will be punished if they need to layoff employees in the future.”

        The tariffs would be applied against companies which close jobs in America and re-open the very same jobs in some overseas export aggression platform strictly to re-import the very same goods right back into the United States.

        Needing to “layoff employees in the future” refers to “shutting down jobs in place” because less of what those jobdoers were doing is wanted or needed.

        Does anyone else see the sleight-of-mouth bait-and-switcheroo practiced between those two sentences? I saw it right away.

        This “Duy” person is just one more Free Trade Hasbarist trying to hide his evil intent against American workers doing American work in America under a perfumed flood of false fake insincere two-faced crocodile tears.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          I found difficulty separating Duy’s opinions from the lengthy interspersed opinions of other economists and even more trouble identifying where and whether he agreed or differed with those opinions. I grew angry reading both Duy’s opinions and the interspersed opinions. I felt Duy never traveled through any of the fly-over areas he dismissed as rural — like Detroit? I wondered how many times he had to pick up everything he owned and pack it in a U-Haul to move across the country and hope the job panned out. I also agree with you that Duy’s seemed to make a lot of “weasel” arguments that don’t really qualify to be called arguments — like the example you pointed out.

          I arrived at a very harsh judgment of the dehumanizing abstractions of Duy’s language.

    3. curlydan

      In Duy’s last paragraph he states, “Critics need to find an effective response to Trump…. My sense is that Democrats will respond by offering a bigger safety net. But people don’t want a welfare check. They want a job. And this is what Trump, wrongly or rightly, offers.”

      I agree that people don’t want a welfare check, but I believe nearly everyone wants or at least needs some semblance of minimal caring. Single payer healthcare and universal health insurance are, in my opinion, the two things this country needs most to finally give people what they minimally need.

      Jobs help, but the “market based” health solutions whether Obamacare or some version of Trumpcare primarily create fear. So one effective solution to combat Trump is to continue to point out the pain and fear his solutions cause, even for those with jobs.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        Duy seems to suggest “a bigger safety net” is not a good thing and how does an unemployment check become a “welfare” check. For that matter why has a “welfare” check become something despicable? I think we need to do a re-think about what the purpose of life is and the meaning of work. We spend too much time on work meaningless to what I feel is a good life.

        1. KurtisMayfield

          A welfare check is nothing despicable, as long as you are the one that is getting it. Discuss national basic income with someone and eventually you get to the “Why should he get my money” argument. That is always going to be the problem.

          1. Jeremy Grimm

            I agree that a welfare check is nothing despicable whether I’m getting the check or it goes to someone else. It has been made despicable by propaganda like Reagan’s Cadillac Welfare Queens — a very rare breed indeed — but given place in his rhetoric. The whole process of applying for welfare is demeaning — I believe very deliberately made to be demeaning.

            I don’t usually attempt to discuss national basic income with someone who comes up with an argument like “Why should he get my money”. Long before discussing national basic income we would have to have a discussion about taxes, what’s a fair wage, how do we deal with a society that simply does not require that everyone labor and work — a society which can meet our needs with much less work.

      2. Kurt Sperry

        People don’t want a welfare check, but many damn well *need* one. Ask the sixty year old woman living in a beater car in the winter if our safety net is too big.

      3. jrs

        He’s right many people don’t want a welfare check (on the other hand many people do, it would allow them to finally dedicate their lives to things that actually reflect their values. But people value different things. It would do a heck of a lot of good for women who are often expected to do ALL the caretaking in society as well as paid labor in the capitalist system – in other words everything Fred Astaire did only backwards and in heels).

        But however one regards basic income versus work, I really think basically everyone in the population is coming around to the U.S. healthcare system doesn’t work. It doesn’t work for the poor (except in some cases when they get Medicaid). It doesn’t work for the middle class. It doesn’t even work for the rich! When a health emergency can do damage even to their assets. So I doubt even the 1% are unanimous in opposing it, I don’t think they are, only those with money in insurance companies and pharma are really opposed.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Mr Speaker, we are not held in high public esteem right now.

      Nine percent is still better than ZARP (Zero Approval Rate Policy).

      1. Carolinian

        Just to add that Gowdy’s notion of clawing back presidential power might not be in ways some of us would like. For example see recent congressional efforts to demand a no fly zone over Syria.

        1. Jim Haygood

          They’re not exactly dab hands at foreign policy:

          Every president since the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 was passed by Congress has signed a waiver every six months [allowing the embassy to stay in Tel Aviv], determining the delay is necessary “to protect the national security interests of the United States.”

          But during his campaign, Donald Trump vowed to move the seaside embassy — and pronto. Previous candidates, including Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, promised the same thing in their courtship of pro-Israel voters, then reversed themselves.

          http://tinyurl.com/jp33th7

          Watch the Lobby ram a resolution through the House on one of its familiar 435-0 votes when the new Congress convenes.

          Now you know why the US Capitol building faces east, toward the holy city.

      1. integer

        …could very well turn out to be an ally, as he has been fighting against corporate “fake news” on issues such as Benghazi and Clinton. I’ve watched a lot of his tv appearances and he knows what is going on and fights for the truth. If he was my congressman I would be talking to him about NC…

  15. RenoDino

    Air Force One’s spec sheet requires it withstand a nuclear blast.

    Boeing Nuclear Blast Damage Customer Hotline: Hello, how’s your day going?
    Customer: Uh, not so good, a nuclear blast hit us and is taking us down.
    Boeing: Can I have the last four digits of your social security number for identification purposes?
    Customer: Can’t think straight right now, kinda an emergency.
    Boeing: Ok, what kind of nuclear blast was it? Airburst? Or ground detonation? Can you see the wings?
    Customer: I can’t see anything!
    Boeing: Ok, I’ll get a supervisor. Would you like to take a quality assurance survey at the conclusion of this call?
    Customer: Inaudible.

  16. BecauseTradition

    But people don’t want a welfare check. Tim Duy

    So people sent back their “stimulus checks”? News to me.

    They want a job. Tim Duy

    What people want is justice and that includes the means to work, not necessarily to work for someone else (a job). And since those means (family farms, family businesses, etc.) have largely been stolen (e.g. via privileges for a usury cartel) then asset redistribution is called for and perhaps a UBI too.

    Yves and Lambert? Do you want jobs? Or do you wish to be able to continue to work as you do? Why are the rest of us any different?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Most people would take a check, gladly.

      Not as many would take a welfare check unless they need it (and many do).

      The difference? Being singled out is a consideration, if not enough for people to refuse it (because survival).

      The alternative? Everyone gets a check.

      Then, it’s a check. It’s not a welfare check…or it’s a welfare check tat everyone gets – so no ‘being singled out,’ no ‘stigmatization.’

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It’s nearly universal, you’re not alone…everyone likes money.

          Not too many dislike it.

          1. BecauseTradition

            Bankers hate fiat – that is beyond what they themselves need to make their cartel work. Hypocrites.

      1. Paid Minion

        How many people have jobs that they would do, if they weren’t getting paid?

        Not very many people have jobs they love, and get paid crazy money doing it. Most people who are doing things they love, don’t get paid very well. Ask anyone who has ever worked in a vet clinic.

        Business owners are always bitching about “undedicated employees, just here for the paycheck”. As if the schlub should have the same motivations as the business owner, who keeps all of the profits and the business itself. They don’t seem to recognize that for many people, the paycheck is just a means to an end. Which is having enough money to 1) Survive, then 2) Do what they want to do.

        (People can be motivated in various ways. But making them work harder for less pay is not one of them)

        There are several things I love to do, but I can’t get anyone to pay me to do them. So I work, to have enough money to do what I want on my time.

        1. HotFlash

          And lots of people get paid for doing jobs that don’t have to be done or are down-right destructive. We need more fracking wells? We need more SUV’s? We need more Cheetos hauled coast-to-coast? We need more real estates sales people?

  17. temporal

    Snow Geese die in Berkley Pit

    When the pit was abandoned by ARCO the water pumps that kept the water at bay were turned off.
    This so-called “perfect storm” didn’t kill these animals, that was done by corporate avarice as well as lazy state and federal officials that decided that if they just waited this would all fix itself sometime in the future. The Superfund spending has been focused almost exclusively on the smelter tailings down stream from the Anaconda smelter not the pit. The pit solution has been little more than hand waving since they turned off the water pumps all those years ago. When the pit water enters the Clark Fork in a serious way, in a few years, the path is clear sailing to the Columbia River and finally the Pacific. “A River Runs Through It” is going to need a sequel.

    Maybe they should consider the Fukushima solution and turn the thing into a big green, toxic skating rink. That worked out pretty good for Japan.

    1. diptherio

      Yeah…it’s not the first time a bunch of waterfowl have met a foul end in the waters of the Pit either. Even when I was a kid, there were stories about how they had to put a net over it to keep the birds out, after a similar incident happened in the 70s or early 80s, iirc. I’m 95% sure I saw said net when we toured the pit with my Boy Scout troop (yup…tours of Superfund sites were, and maybe still are, a thing).

      The only ray of hope I can offer is that it looks like an acquaintance has gotten some funding to start up a myco-remediation experimentation facility that he thinks will be able to treat the pit water, tailings, etc. Let’s hope.

  18. Dave

    Did FDR and his closest advisors know the Japanese planes were on the way and want an excuse for war?
    Seems remote enough at this point to openly discus the economic and political motivations.

      1. Dave

        NPR, Neocon Propaganda Radio? Oh boy.
        Did you get the free NPR tote bag to carry your Woman Warrior weapons in?

    1. Ranger Rick

      FDR is regularly described as a cold-blooded and incredibly ruthless political operator who has benefited from decades of popular hagiography. World War II was exploited to its fullest advantage for the US. The Lend-Lease Act was the death of the British Empire, for example.

      Just look at the sinking of the Lusitania, the reason the US got involved in World War I. There are endless conspiracy theories centered around its undeclared use as a transport for military supplies. Was the US provoked into the war by interested parties? It seems incredibly likely.

      The same theories apply to the US oil embargo against Japan. The US had always been wary of Japan’s intentions to expand (the Washington Naval Treaty can be seen as an early attempt to curb the imperial ambitions of the US’s overseas neighbors even as it was sold as arms race prevention). The embargo may have been cast as a diplomatic punishment for invading Indochina, but from a strategic standpoint all it did was push Japan into invading more to secure its oil supplies from elsewhere.

      It could be reasonably war-gamed out that because Japan knew that American naval yards were, and still are, mostly all on the East Coast, and that a sudden attack at less-protected naval ports in the Pacific would get the US out of the game for at least a year, Japan could use an attack to solidify its gains and push for a diplomatic end to the conflict from a superior position.

      One might argue that above all else, FDR was primarily interested in using Japan’s membership in the Tripartite Pact to drag the US into a war with Germany and could have cared less about its ambitions in the Pacific. The Philippines and Hawaii (they’re still angry about this!) were going to be sacrificed in any event.

      1. different clue

        Regarding World War One, wasn’t one of those interested parties the wrongly-sainted President Woodrow Wilson himself? Who desperately wanted American entry into WWI so as to push for his beloved League of Nations?

    2. voteforno6

      I never understood why people thought this to be a possibility. The only difference between a surprise attack and one that the U.S. knew was coming is the number of casualties. This country would’ve gone to war either way.

    3. PlutoniumKun

      The great problem with so much history of the period is that it so politicised. The dialogue is dominated by ‘establishment’ historians who are content to churn out a simplistic received view. Gore Vidal of course was convinced FDR knew, but I don’t think many ‘conventional’ historians agree, but that doesn’t make him wrong. My own reading of it is that the US Govt.,didn’t know about the attack, but that at least some senior officials may have been aware that they were pushing the Japanese into a corner and that a surprise attack was a likely outcome.

      I’ve read more histories from the Japanese side than the US side (in English unfortunately, my Japanese isn’t up to that), and what I find striking is that from the late 1930’s the Japanese considered that war with the US was inevitable whatever Japan did (this included the peacenik bloc of the government). It seems that only a small number of US State Department specialists realised just how closely Japan followed US politics and how some domestic policies – for example legalised discrimination against Asians in Californian schools – was seen as a direct insult to Japan and tantamount to a statement that the US would attack rather than negotiate with Japan when US expansion hit Japan’s expansion (and yes, the US was a colonial power in the Pacific, what the hell else was the Philippines?). And of course the US was openly supporting China to the extent of lending senior officers and pilots to fight the Japanese. To what extent the knowledge that the Japanese considered themselves to be in a war-in-all-but-name with the US was widespread in Washington I do not know.

      Given the wretched record of Washington, including State Department officials, in understanding non-European or English speaking cultures, I would be inclined to favour the notion that there was no plot to provoke a war with Japan, it really was pure clumsiness and arrogance that ensured the warning lights were ignored and the US military was so unprepared.

    4. David

      The Pearl Harbour myth is useful for two reasons. The obvious one is that the US badly misjudged Japanese technical capabilities. They didn’t think the Japanese were capable of carrying out an operation of that sort. But the more important failing was a failing of common sense: the US believed that they could force the Japanese to stop the Manchurian campaign through economic sanctions, and that the Japanese would just shrug and give way. If I remember correctly there was about a week’s supply of petrol left in the country at that point. The Japanese had always believed a war with the US was inevitable at some point, but the Southern Strategy was essentially an act of desperation because – as so often in wars – the alternative was even worse, and they needed the oil. In many ways, the US was just collateral damage – getting the oilfields was the objective, and the US was in the way.

  19. NotTimothyGeithner

    No. This is conspiracy garbage. The navy was tracking the Japanese fleet and lost them, even using unescorted carriers to expand their search field. The problem is the Pacific is really big, and the expectation was a push against the Aleutians and better forward operating bases so the Japanese could dig in before the American fleet could be brought to bear. Striking Pearl with such a large fleet was a bold move. I know Americans don’t like it when foreigners are capable of independent thinking, but foreigners are quite capable of independent thinking and action without American approval or guidance.

    We didn’t have satellites in 1941, so that was a big problem.

    1. Jim Haygood

      On July 24, 1941, Roosevelt seized Japan’s US assets, which cut off most of Japan’s supply of foreign exchange to import oil.

      http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/united-states-freezes-japanese-assets

      The U.S. wasn’t officially at war yet, but it was engaged in provocative actions against Japan.

      A former Japanese colleague living in the US remarked on Pearl Harbor day, “When I see how big and rich this country [the US] is, I realize how insane Japan’s leaders were to attack Pearl Harbor.”

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The options were

        1. Go north

        2. Go south.

        They decided there’d be East Wind, Rain.

        Maybe the USSR was bigger (if not richer). Who wants to go fight in Siberia anyway?

        “Sunny Hawaii, here we come!!!”

      2. PlutoniumKun

        Most of the Japanese establishment were well aware of the relative size and scale of the US to Japan – I believe the US’s GDP was nine times that of Japan at the time, and of course also had access to much more minerals and oil. The Japanese, however, bought into the European Fascist notion that democracies were fundamentally weak and not capable of waging long term wars to the finish. They believed that if they could drive the US out of its western pacific bases and deliver a major naval defeat that the US would effectively concede everything west of Hawaii as Japan’s sphere of influence. Their military was set up for this purpose – the ships and aircraft were designed for lightning attacks at distance, not for wars of attrition (for example, Mitsubishi Zeros, along with nearly all other naval aircraft had no armour whatever).

        It wasn’t, on the face of it, a bad strategy for a weaker nation. But they completely underestimated the determination of the US to be top dog, and their military doctrine was out of date. The US military was never going to fall into the trap of exposing too much of its Navy to the possibility of ambush (which is why the Marines were left exposed early in the war in the Philippines without air cover, they were expendable, the aircraft carriers were not).

        However, a key point, often neglected, was that the Japanese did not believe they had a choice in entering a war. By the late 1930’s the entire Japanese establishment had convinced itself that war with the US was inevitable. The only question was when and where it was started. Even the anti-militarists outside government, and pragmatist within the government and military believed that. The contemporary writings I’ve read about Japan in 1941 say that the overwhelming emotion in Japan on hearing about the start of the war was relief. It was a sense of ‘at last the waiting is over, now at least we will have some certainty’.

        1. Goyo Marquez

          “It wasn’t, on the face of it, a bad strategy for a weaker nation.”

          Who could’ve guessed that in one battle, six months later to the day, the United States Navy would’ve basically destroyed the Japanese navy.

      3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        They didn’t account for the US breaking their codes.

        How knows how it would have turned out had they succeeded at Midway in taking out a few American aircraft carriers, without losing anyone themselves?

        1. BecauseTradition

          They didn’t account for the US breaking their codes.

          Somebody tell me why they didn’t simply use one-time pads which are impossible to break?

    2. funemployed

      NotTimothyGeithner is almost certainly correct (though obviously it’s impossible to positively prove the absence of something for which there is no evidence). Read some serious books that break down the historical evidence folks – more than a few excellent ones have been written. Conspiracy theorizing in the comments doesn’t do us any favors these days. For those who will argue and call me a tool of the man, you are, of course, correct that FDR gathered much intelligence and had people who made threat estimates. Yes, they thought the Japanese might be (were probably) up to something, and that there was a chance they would attack the US. The analytical error is drawing a parallel between suspecting something general and knowing something specific. Remember, many people really did believe that Saddam probably had some secret WMD’s hiding someplace. But they were making inferences without direct evidence, and their assumptions proved false. Y’all are doing the same thing.

      You are also assuming that a large number of people were engaged in a perfectly secret conspiracy, and that those happened to be the same people who gathered and disseminated the requisite intelligence. FDR didn’t personally crack any codes or spy on anyone, so you are assuming that everyone involved either was silenced forever, or was committed to engaging in a treasonous conspiracy. Come on now…

      1. Dave

        “You are also assuming that a large number of people were engaged in a perfectly secret conspiracy….”

        The U.S. kept D-Day’s date and location a secret from the Germans who were expecting it and had a nest of spies in Britain.

        1. funemployed

          Excellent analogy to what the Japanese did to the US, re: Pearl Harbor. 1) that kind of proves my point better than it proves yours. 2) Keeping strategic decisions that would only ever be known to a handful of planners, and only until the day of execution, is a heck of a lot logistically easier. 3) There was no cover up of D-Day. Historians now know precisely where and when the attacks landed. 4) Keeping battle plans a secret from an enemy is an eminently patriotic thing to do, the polar opposite of treason, and kind of central to the job description. Not exactly analogous to allowing a hostile enemy on the upswing to cripple the military capabilities of the entire pacific fleet.

        2. HBE

          This is not true, German spies were nearly nonexistent in Britain by 1944 or double agents.

          Check out The Game of the Foxes book by Ladislas Farago, a good read and it puts the myth of large scale late war German spying to bed.

    3. optimader

      No. This is conspiracy garbage

      I’m with you, conspiracies of this nature have waaay to many moving parts to not be revealed. Heck, the first real commercial radio broadcast was only ~21 years before. At that time, at best it was lucky for a spotter plane to catch sight of a fleet, even luckier for it have a functioning radio onboard.
      The Pacific Ocean is a big place.

    4. Generalfeldmarschall Von Hindenburg

      US policy was aimed at displacing Japan in Asian markets, especially China. Japan’s hamfisted strategy to control this markets was a vicious invasion of China, which the US found a convenient tool to manipulate them with. The Americans knew the Japanese would attack but almost surely didn’t expect it to come in the form of a beat down on the level of Pearl Harbor. You can tell it hurt because Americans whine about it 70 years or more on

  20. John k

    Duy talks about problems in the rust belt as well as other areas suffering endless depression…
    Jobs that aren’t coming back. Import tariffs won’t solve the problem, dollar falls erasing part of the tariff and meanwhile foreigners, desperate to obtain the dollars they want to save, cut their prices sufficient to continue earning the greenbacks they crave.

    The solution is to massively boost deficit spending to hire blue collar workers to repair replace 100-year old sewer lines and other infra. We have been underspending on infra for at least 50 years, would need maybe that long to get back to a good position. Ancient airports, bridges, fiber optics… the list seems endless. We have a third world country infrastructure.
    The result is full employment while meeting the world’s need to save dollars.

    Only thing n our way is the conviction of many that we can’t afford to put everybody to work… plus the BLS bs stats that say we are now ar full employment. Trump could help by forcing BLS to calculate unemployment the way it was done under Reagan, forcing fed to acknowledge we remain in recession. Beyond that we need an assault on neolib thinking.

  21. larry

    Jim, your colleague was right, but the Japanese military were fanatics. And, according to Herbert O. Yardley, FDR had cracked every code the Japanese had, even Purple, so the US knew every Japanese communication that was made, including diplomatic and military. It was doubly insane. For an analysis that they did precisely what FDR had hoped they would, attack the US in some way militarily, even though it was dangerous, see Robert Stinnett, Day of Deceit.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Roosevelt was spoiling for a war.

      The draft began in October 1940. By the early summer of 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked the U.S. Congress to extend the term of duty for the draftees beyond twelve months, for an additional eighteen months; a total of two and a half years.

      On August 12, the United States House of Representatives approved the extension by a single vote. As Under Secretary of the Army Karl R. Bendetson said in an oral history interview, “Mr. Rayburn banged the gavel at a critical moment and declared the Bill had passed.” The Senate approved it by a wider margin, and Roosevelt signed the bill into law on August 18.

      Many of the soldiers drafted in October 1940 threatened to desert once the original twelve months of their service was up. Many of these men painted the letters “O H I O” on the walls of their barracks in protest. These letters were an acronym for “Over the hill in October,” which meant that the men intended to desert upon the end of their twelve months of duty.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selective_Training_and_Service_Act_of_1940

      The old bait and switch: you’re in for 12 months, son. No wait, we changed your term to 30 months! It’s a New Deal. :-)

      1. reslez

        Still going on today! Our generation knows it as Stop-Loss. In my time it was imposed not because of the War on Terror but because the DoD couldn’t compete with salaries offered by tech companies during the late 90s boom.

    1. funemployed

      No attacks, but when I lived in Belmont, MA, there was a single Turkey that commuted almost every morning to Waverley sq, hung out in the parking lot for most of the day, then commuted home to the McClean Psychiatric Hospital campus through traffic on a narrow divider between the lanes. Mostly kept his/her distance from people, but not cars, and we startled each other once by walking around the same car at the same time. Didn’t flock with other turkeys though, pretty sure it thought it was a car (or at least wanted to be one).

      1. bob

        They are smart! Way smarter than deer. “they can see me, i’m just going to make them stop.”

        I’ve seen them form up a phalanx to get across busy roads. Not like geese either, they don’t keep too close, but form line (or two) and keep the more vulnerable protected. The big adults go first, they wait till the polts cross, then follow them off.

        My life as a turkey-

        http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/my-life-as-a-turkey-full-episode/7378/

        Great view of how smart they are.

  22. allan

    Why Ghosts in the Machine Should Remain Ghosts [Susan Landau and Cathy O’Neil]

    Walter Haydock recently posted a proposal that the FBI build and deploy its own troll army, social media bots that he refers to as Artificial Intelligence Targeting Personas (AITPs). These would automatically engage with people, looking for evidence of radicalization and violent tendencies, and report back to a human if such evidence was discovered. According to Haydock, the AITPs would save FBI time and resources, adding efficiency to terrorist investigations.

    On first glance, the idea sounds as if it might have merit. But there are three problems that make this proposal highly unsound. First, we don’t really understand how these programs work. And that means that we are in the well-known computer situation of GIGO: garbage in, garbage out. Second, the effort would only have merit if the data on which the machine learning were based were unbiased and non-discriminatory. Unfortunately, that’s simply not the case. Third and finally, such a system would have a chilling and anti-democratic effect on society. …

    File under Big Brother’s Bot is Watching You Watch.

    1. craazyboy

      Reason #4 – If you want to be a non-terrorist, you must be polite to troll bots heckling you.
      Reason #5 – The Deficit.

    1. Jim Haygood

      So much for states’ rights. Repubs talk a good game of federalism, but they have no more respect for the states & people than the D party.

      1. wombat

        Chris Christie, the epitome of self control and discipline: “We have an enormous addiction problem in this country.”

    2. Kurt Sperry

      If Trump allows Sessions to go all Harry Anslinger on cannabis, it will bode very well for Trump’s opposition. Look at both the current polling data and the long term trendlines and it’s clear going after cannabis will be a big political loser. Doing so would clearly demonstrate a lack of basic organizational competence when it comes to making strategic political decisions. The subset of the Republican base this would appeal to won’t even be around much longer.

    3. different clue

      Well, it might be the “final straw” which encourages several million ex-Democrats to organize themselves into a Pot Party, something like the Tea Party, and move to take over the DemParty and exterminate all anti-marijuana-elements from it once and for all. Along with the Clintonites and the Obamacrats.

      And then grow it on that one issue more than any other into an officeholder force large enough to paralyze all action of any sort whatever in the House and Senate down to an Absolute Zero level of Freeze until marijuana is Federally re-legalized. Preferably by being just simply stricken from the C 1-5 List.

  23. Anne

    Here they go again:

    Ohio state lawmakers have passed a controversial measure that would prohibit women from having abortions from the moment a fetal heartbeat can be detected (which usually occurs about six weeks into pregnancy). House Bill 69––the “Heartbeat Bill” which would make an exception in the event the mother’s life is in danger but no exception in cases of rape or incest––now heads to the desk of Governor John Kasich for his signature. The bill, should it pass, would be one of the toughest restrictions on abortion nationwide.

    The Ohio Legislature sent the bill to Kasich’s desk on Tuesday after considerable legislative maneuvering. Republican legislators added the bill’s language last minute to House Bill 493, a bill revising state child abuse and neglect laws. The Senate voted twice: First, they approved 20-11 the decision to include the “Heartbeat Bill” language in HB493. Senators then passed the bill with a 21-10 vote after they approved the amendment. Once the bill went back into the House, senators approved the revised bill 56-39. In a statement, Senator Kris Jordan (R-Ostrander) said “we are a pro-life caucus” and signaled that passing the legislation “demonstrates our commitment to protecting the children of Ohio at every stage of life.”

    Expect to see more of this kind of legislation, as a result of this reasoning:

    According to State Senate President Keith Faber (R-Celina), legislators resurrected the twice-defeated bill following Donald Trump’s presidential victory. He said that lawmakers expect the president-elect will fill Supreme Court vacancies with justices who are more likely to uphold stricter abortion bans. “He’s changed the dynamic and there was a consensus in our caucus to move forward,” Faber said.

    Hanging on to Roe v. Wade is the least of the what is needed to make sure women have the right to control their own reproductive health, and all laws like this one will do is drive women to less safe methods of terminating a pregnancy.

    And isn’t it nice that they care so much about all of Ohio’s children that they don’t make any exceptions for rape or incest.

    1. Foppe

      It is rather a shameful fact, imo, that the only guarantee women in the US have is that one granted via Roe v Wade. Why wasn’t it poured into real legislation at any point during the past 43 years? Or was it too convenient for idpol-loving Ds that there was always this drum to beat / gift that kept on giving?

    2. Pirmann

      This bill is absolutely common sense. I am against abortion entirely – a fetus is not “a woman’s own body” nor “her reproductive health”!! A fetus is a baby, a child, and yes, we should protect him or her.

      However, this bill does offer a bit of a compromise… you have until the baby’s heart is beating to terminate the pregnancy. It’s basically six weeks to dump or get off the pot. Rape/incest scenarios are baked in! If those scenarios apply , head to the bor bor clinic within six weeks. If you are not keeping the baby, what good reason do you have to wait more than six weeks and allow him or her to continue to grow before aborting??

      For the life of me, I cannot fathom the level of cold-heartedness it takes to kill a baby whose heart is beating, but…

      1. Outis Philalithopoulos

        Disagreeing about abortion here is potentially okay if those involved retain a level of mutual respect and calm. In practice, these discussions tend to spiral quickly, and maybe this one is headed that direction. Will those of you involved manage to avoid the familiar patterns? We’ll see…

      2. Anne

        If you are opposed to abortion, by all means, don’t have one, but I imagine this would not be relevant in your case you because I think you are probable male, and will never be pregnant.

        But whether you are male or female, it simply isn’t up to you to impose your beliefs on others.

        Finally, it may surprise you to know that some women do not even know they are pregnant until after that 6-week point. So really, it’s no choice at all, which I believe is the intent.

        1. Pirmann

          If you are opposed to abortion, by all means, don’t have one

          Well, that’s a bit of a trite remark. Yeah, I’m a guy, but I’m also a former fetus. I think the big disconnect is that you do not believe a fetus is a living person with rights, whereas science and I do. So, to me it’s a matter of advocacy – speaking for those who cannot speak – rather than calling for restrictions of someone’s rights.

          Take Standing Rock for example. Do you think everyone who commented on that topic is someone who will actually be living on the reservation and drinking the water that would be impacted? No, no they will not. But they advocated and gave a more powerful voice to those whose voice might have otherwise been ignored. So also those who are pro life and speak for the unborn.

          1. Outis Philalithopoulos

            Pirmann, by all means defend your point of view. The reference to “a trite remark” wasn’t necessary. As things people say to each other on this site go, it wasn’t particularly a big deal, but given how intense feelings are on this issue, see if you can do your best (as you seem to be trying to do in your other responses) not to contribute to this discussion devolving into shouting.

          2. Anne

            Actually, the disconnect is that I never expressed what I believe about the fetus’ personhood status, although, as I understand it, currently, the fetus does not have legal status as a person, and therefore does not have rights, and science, as far as I know, has not deemed a fetus to be a person, either.

            Which is not to say that you are not free to believe that it is, it’s just that you don’t get to decide what women, collectively or on an individual basis, must do or cannot do with respect to the fertilized egg implanted in the uterus, growing and dividing into more and more cells. You just don’t. It simply is none of your business.

            Your Standing Rock analogy is also not germane, at least not in the way you have framed it. I think we all have an interest in clean water, as contaminated water is harmful to the earth and to the people who who consume it. Coming to the aid and support of people whose property rights are being threatened is actually closer to people coming to the aid and support of women whose right to make their own decisions and choices over their own reproductive health is also being threatened.

            I hope that in addition to advocating for the lives of fetuses, you also advocate for health and nutrition programs for pregnant women, babies and toddlers. I hope you also strongly support education for low-income children. I hope you are an advocate for families struggling to pay medical expenses for their disabled and chronically ill children. I hope you are opposed to war and the death penalty, which both end human life.

            As for me, I have two children – now grown, with children of their own – and I don’t know that I could have made the decision to terminate either pregnancy. It is for that reason, having carried to term, that I could never, ever impose my own choices on any other woman. That is not callous or cold or trite; it is being fully cognizant of what it means to be pregnant, and what a momentous, challenging, frightening, consequential event that is.

            No one is going to force any woman to end her pregnancy; it should not be okay for women to be forced to continue a pregnancy because people who don’t know her, aren’t ever going to be around to pick up the pieces, believe that it’s wrong for her to have any other choice.

            1. kareninca

              “it’s just that you don’t get to decide what women, collectively or on an individual basis, must do or cannot do with respect to the fertilized egg implanted in the uterus, growing and dividing into more and more cells. You just don’t. It simply is none of your business.”

              The problem is that this just begs the point. In many places and times, it has been considered society’s business whether women had abortions. All that you are doing is saying that it is no-one’s business (except the woman’s). You’re not saying how getting an abortion differs from many other activities that the state intrudes on and interferes with.

              “I hope that in addition to advocating for the lives of fetuses, you also advocate for health and nutrition programs for pregnant women, babies and toddlers. I hope you also strongly support education for low-income children. I hope you are an advocate for families struggling to pay medical expenses for their disabled and chronically ill children. I hope you are opposed to war and the death penalty, which both end human life.”

              I don’t see why supporting one cause obligates a person to support another one. People have a limited amount of time and money and energy. I literally don’t know anyone who advocates for all of the causes that you just listed (whether they are pro-abortion or not). Maybe they have an occasional fond thought for them all, or list them in a post, but that hardly counts for much.

              “No one is going to force any woman to end her pregnancy . . .”

              Oh, I don’t know that that won’t happen. That is one of the best arguments for abortion rights. A government that has the power to make you carry a baby to term, is a government that has the power to make you kill it. The argument is that you don’t want a government that has either power over you.

              “it is being fully cognizant of what it means to be pregnant, and what a momentous, challenging, frightening, consequential event that is”

              I think too much is made of the idea that men are not able to picture the momentousness of pregnancy. I am a female who has intentionally never been pregnant, precisely because I can picture how momentous (etc.) it would be. Humans are quite capable, if they wish, of picturing themselves in someone else’s situation. They usually don’t wish to, of course.

              1. Yves Smith Post author

                Since you never became pregnant and had to deal with the issue of an unwanted pregnancy, it is remarkably cheeky of you to moralize. All birth control methods have a certain percentage failure rate. Just because yours was successful does not mean other women are so lucky. And that’s before you get to rape.

                And your argument about forced abortions is fact-free scaremongering. How long have we had pretty freely available abortions in the US? Over 40 years. Please tell me how often your scenario of forced abortions has occurred. The only place to my knowledge where it has occurred is in facilities for people with very low IQs, and women there were regularly subject to forced abortions independent of the legal regime for the public at large.

                1. kareninca

                  Where am I moralizing? Is it because I wrote that people don’t care to empathize? That is simply true, and has nothing to do with abortion per se.

                  This is all very odd. You are responding to my posts as if I am opposing abortion rights. But I have not done so at all. I don’t get it. I actually have not argued for one side or the other, intentionally.

            2. Pirmann

              I hope that in addition to advocating for the lives of fetuses, you also advocate for health and nutrition programs for pregnant women, babies and toddlers. I hope you also strongly support education for low-income children. I hope you are an advocate for families struggling to pay medical expenses for their disabled and chronically ill children. I hope you are opposed to war and the death penalty, which both end human life. (Anne)

              Anne – yes, yes, and more yes. I’ll add to it the fact that the cost of adoption in this country can be cost-prohibitive, and should be looked at in order to help facilitate more adoptions.

              I grew up in a poor, hardscrabble town where we had folks that were hard working and just couldn’t get ahead, and other folks that just didn’t try and perpetually lived off of every single government resource, even resorting to fraud where needed. So, as an adult I now tend to advocate strongly for the folks in the former category and less so for those in the latter category. I’m a big proponent of personal responsibility. I think the government’s role is to remove barriers and promote fairness and equality of opportunities. In other words, help those who are at least trying to help themselves. That’s why you’ll see me do volunteer work building houses for Habitat for Humanity. I believe that org is helping those are trying in life and just need a break. Many org’s are just perpetually giving out handouts, and I’m just not entirely okay with that approach. I don’t think it ultimately helps.

              I’ll go back to the fact that this Ohio law is not a perfectly pro life law. It is a good compromise. You shouldn’t be killing a baby ever, but especially when his/her heart is beating. And, you have six weeks to figure it out, or better yet, use contraception beforehand. You may not “know” that you’re pregnant, but you know when that potential exists. So if you’re serious about not having a baby, ideally you are diligent about it and take care of it right away.

              Lastly, Anne, you should know that I’ve been a reader of this site for years, and I’ve always found your posts to be articulate and insightful. Although we disagree on this point, I have a lot of respect for you as a person and I appreciate the good discussion.

        2. kareninca

          “But whether you are male or female, it simply isn’t up to you to impose your beliefs on others.”

          We impose our beliefs on others all the time. There are laws against murder, there are laws against rape, there are laws against consensual incest, there are laws against smoking pot in many states, there are laws against gun ownership, there are laws against selling your own organs, there are laws against selling cookies that you’ve baked in your kitchen.

          I am guessing that you are in favor of some of those laws, or some others that similarly constrict choices. If you think that there is something special about the activity of abortion, that should make it free from the myriad constraints that are put us by the police state we live in, you’d need to specify it; you can’t just say that one person can’t tell another what to do. Since telling others what to do is the great glory of both Democrats and Republicans (but not Libertarians).

      3. Vatch

        Some of the people who oppose abortion also oppose contraception. Since effective contraception is a good way to prevent both pregnancy and abortion, I think that the credibility of an abortion opponent depends on whether or not that person also supports inexpensive and convenient access to effective contraception.

      4. marym

        Your descriptions and tone indicate that you may not have sufficient understanding of embryonic and fetal development; the lives of women in general; the challenges faced by rape and incest victims; the availability, cost, and reliability of contraception, abortion services, and adequate health care during and after pregnancy; the impact on women and families of abortion when it’s legal and when it isn’t; and the range of reasons why women have abortions after six weeks.

        I believe abortion must legally be the woman’s choice, completely without regard to whether you or I or some politician can “fathom” that choice in any particular circumstance; but if people wish to weigh in with an opinion on that choice, the commentary ought to be based on an understanding of the real lives of real women.

        1. Pirmann

          Perhaps you are a living example of a person who was not once a fetus. If that is the case, then I guess my understanding is indeed incomplete.

          I doubt it though.

          1. reslez

            I am very happy that my mother had a choice and that she chose to give birth to me. If she chose otherwise I would not exist, and would have no feelings on the matter whatsoever. Either way it was her decision. For what it’s worth I hope your mother had a choice too.

            1. kareninca

              The thing is, if your mother had decided to abort you, you wouldn’t have had “no feelings on the matter whatsoever.” You would have suffered a lot of pain when you were chopped up and vacuumed out. Fetuses do suffer pain when they are aborted; it is my impression that the capacity for pain arises at about two weeks.

              (BTW, yes I was an ethical vegan for 20 years (and am now nearly vegan); I wouldn’t do to any creature what is done to fetuses. Since most people don’t care whether they inflict pain if they get what they want as a result, this is not an argument against abortion; I am just showing that I am consistent).

      5. OIFVet

        America, where we care about the fetuses and don’t give a shite about children who did not descend from the ball sack of a 10%-er. Personally I would find the anti-abortion sect a lot more credible if they didn’t tend to vote for politicians who do their level best to turn public education into yet another rent extraction opportunity, and who can’t stand the very existence of a social safety net. Who don’t bat an eyelash when they order the bombing of children in faraway lands, who starve these children by sanctions or by IMF-mandated neoliberal austerity. I cannot fathom the depths of pious hypocrisy on display by most anti-abortionists, but that’s because I was raised to be a decent human being.

        1. Pirmann

          I give a shite about both children and fetuses. I want both to live, or at very least have their OWN choice of whether or not to live.

          What’s actually hypocritical is that we do not allow grown adults to choose whether or not they’d like to live or die, but we allow women to unilaterally choose to impose death upon a living fetus who has no say in the matter.

          1. OIFVet

            Hence my reference to MOST, not ALL anti-abortionists. I do like to give individuals the benefit of the doubt, but as a GROUP you and yours have demonstrated time and again that you lack the moral standing to be passing and enforcing your hypocrisy upon others. Nice attempt at diversion, but what is ACTUALLY hypocritical is the fact that the moment a fetus becomes a born child, the “pro-life” fetus-huggers no longer do give a damn about the life of the child. I draw my conclusions from the appalling state of public education and the shocking number of children who live in abject poverty in this richest, most exceptional and indispensable, and supposedly civilized country. Therefore I reject yours and any other anti-abortionist’s moral and legal standing to tell any woman what to do with her body and what may be growing inside it. And needless to say, your attempt to paint women who choose to have an abortion as “murderers” while supporting an effort to have the coercive power of our children-murdering government used against women is beyond appalling.

            I am curious about one thing, though: as a former fetus, could you recall the exact moment you decided to become a child, and so decided to add your say in the matter?

            1. Outis Philalithopoulos

              OIFVet, I’m going to make the same comment to you that I made to Pirmann – given how charged feelings on this issue are, if we are going to have a discussion on it here, then everyone involved will need to make a real effort not to blow the thread up into a series of back-and-forth insults.

              1. OIFVet

                Respectfully, I don’t see how Pirmann can use the premise that women who have an abortion are murderers to start an actual discussion. Such remarks are not meant to begin a discussion, they are meant to end it before it begins. And while I denigrated the moral standing, commitment, and honesty of anti-abortionists, I did that to them as a group, not to Pirmann as an individual. Yes, I was being sarcastic toward his attempt to grant himself standing on the ground that he was once a fetus, but since when is that considered to be an ad hominem? By this logic, an anti-masturbation zealot could very well argue that me rubbing one off is a murder, and that he has the standing to attempt to criminalize masturbation because he was a spermatozoon once. It’s ridiculous, and my sarcasm was meant to demonstrate that ridiculousness.

                All things considered, I believe that I did not cross into the realm of personal insults, and I am absolutely certain that hurling personal insults at Pirmann was never my intention, despite his extreme and highly inflammatory position that abortion is murder.

                1. Outis Philalithopoulos

                  I didn’t think that your comment crossed the line into personal insults – as I said, these sorts of discussions often go that direction, and I asked people to be conscious of the tendency. I sent a similar comment to Pirmann after a couple of his posts and I think he did try to make more of an effort subsequently.

                  Trying to be fair to both points of view, it’s absolutely true that some of his initial phrasing (cfr. the “cold hearted” remark) tends to end a discussion before it can even begin. I think it’s also likely that he would feel the same about a phrase like “fetus-hugger.”

                  If all of this were necessary, then there wouldn’t be much to do, but I’m not convinced that it’s the only option. See, for example, Anne’s second reply (the longer one) to Pirmann, where she expresses a very strongly held position, but not in a way that fosters invective. If you were a kid that had been raised to be pro-life and reading this discussion, her comment might be more likely to lead you to rethink your position than some of the other ways people often argue about the issue.

                2. integer

                  A controversial topic but my feelings are that it follows the old saying:

                  “In theory there is no difference between practice and theory, in practice there is.”

                  Protecting unborn children is theoretically a noble goal in itself, yet reality always gets in the way and and makes these things much more complicated in practice. I’m not sure there is a simple answer, except to care for each other and trying not to be judgemental. Real world experience helps too, as it is too easy to stand under shelter and yell at the people in the rain whom one perceives to be doing the wrong thing.

            2. kareninca

              “what is ACTUALLY hypocritical is the fact that the moment a fetus becomes a born child, the “pro-life” fetus-huggers no longer do give a damn about the life of the child. I draw my conclusions from the appalling state of public education and the shocking number of children who live in abject poverty in this richest, most exceptional and indispensable, and supposedly civilized country.”

              There are loads of people who are pro-abortion who have no interest in funding or helping to take care of other people’s children. I’ve met a number of of pro-abortion people who are thrilled that there are fewer inconvenient poor children around as a result of abortion. Some of the most ardent pro-choicers I know are extremely cheap when it comes to someone else’s kids. They talk a good talk, but don’t ask them to write a check. And I do know anti-abortion types who are very generous (or try to be anyway; they are typically not well off). There is a lot of human variety.

              1. Yves Smith Post author

                This is astonishing.

                1. It is PRO LIFE people who ought to be taking responsibility for unwanted pregnancies that they insist lead to children being born that the mother does not want

                2. The approach of pro-choice is to reduce unwanted pregnancies.

                The pro-choice position is morally consistent. Your purity tests are not.

                1. kareninca

                  Well, yes, I’d agree that if you force someone to reproduce, that you should help pay for the results; more than if you did not get involved.

                  But I was responding to something more specific than that: to the claim that we can tell that “fetus huggers” don’t care about children because our society treats children badly. My point was that both pro-abortion and anti-abortion people can be cheap, and not want to support other people’s children. Both cause society to treat children shabbily.

                  I really feel as if things are being read into my posts that are not there; as if someone else’s attitudes are being attributed to me. I do have Aspergers (along with the usual advanced degree), so perhaps I am missing some social cue or norm.

                  1. kareninca

                    Also, I’m curious why my posts (which are actually not anti-abortion rights) are worth responding to, but Pirmann’s are not. He actually opposes abortion rights. I just find that the arguments that are typically made supporting abortion rights are not convincing. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t other arguments for them.

                    1. Outis Philalithopoulos

                      Pirmann, I’ve been encouraging other people to treat you respectfully. This sort of thing isn’t likely to advance that agenda.

                    2. Pirmann

                      Outis Philalithopoulos – this may be a generational thing, but I was joking based on the Beyonce song meme. Sorry if it was misinterpreted. It was meant to be laugh out loud funny and a bit of comic relief after all this serious talk.

                      By the way, kudos on the job you’ve done in moderating the forums thus far. Great addition to the team!

                  2. Pirmann

                    You’re not missing anything, Karen. Just the Liberal norm called identity politics.

                    It would cause some around here to remove the plastic from their fainting couches if they knew that I was a pre-sycophant Bernie Sanders supporter. It doesn’t fit their pro life trope.

                    1. OIFVet

                      This site and its commentariat have been busy beating up liberals for the very identity politics that you accuse us of, and pointing out the broad appeal of Bernie Sanders, including to people like yourself. And we have been doing that for years. You are not doing doing your argument any favors by attempting to typecast us to fit your own pre-conceived profile of the typical pro-choicer.

                      Outis, do you really think that this guy is interested in having a real discussion and that he is open to rethinking his position? I know I don’t.

                    2. Outis Philalithopoulos

                      I think it’s rare that people on this issue are open to rethinking their positions. That goes for everyone, not just one person or one side.

                    3. Pirmann

                      OIF Vet – you are beating up those who play IDPol on one hand, but practicing it yourselves on the other. Note that no-one wanted to address my comment about the Ohio bill “as is”; rather, they wanted to determine if I was a man, pro life, etc. They needed to place me in a basket of sorts, one might say, or peg me in terms of the corresponding trope they’ve developed in their mind… in fact indicating in the process that because I’m a man I cannot therefore advocate for unborn children. That’s ridiculous.

                      Secondly, I’m pretty solid in my position as I imagine you are in yours. I’m pro life in all cases, but thought the Ohio bill offered a decent compromise between the two opposing viewpoints on the subject. I maintainthat that’s a reasonable position to hold.

                    4. OIFVet

                      As a man you have every right to have an opinion and to express it. What you do not have a right to do though, is to impose your beliefs upon women, who are the only ones physically affected by them. Abortion is a personal health issue affecting women, and as such women are in their full right to question your gender qualifications to tell them what to do with their bodies. And what you call a “compromise” is in fact almost a blanket ban on abortion passed by a legislative body dominated by men. It is these men who turned a personal health issue into an identity politics issue, not the female members of the NC commentariat. Yeah I know, the patriarchy is not very thrilled to be challenged, they would rather be living back in the good old days when women knew their place and wouldn’t challenge the male authority. Boo-effing-hoo, Pirmann

                    5. Pirmann

                      OIF Vet – in your opinion, abortion is a personal health issue affecting women. Your opinion. I believe differently. I believe it is a life or death issue for the unborn child.

                      To further clarify, I have zero problem with a woman making decisions concerning her own body. Have plastic surgery, work out or not, grow your hair or cut it, and so on. However, and this is the part you continue to miss – a fetus is NOT “the woman’s own body”. He or she, the fetus, is a separate body.

                      Are you still part of your mother’s body? Do you allow her to make decisions concerning your life or death? No? Well, that life of yours started when you were a fetus.

                      And before you say it, it is understood that a fetus relies on the mother to keep it alive before birth. That does not change the fact that it is a separate life, a separate body. Many people rely on others to keep them alive. We still can’t make decisions on whether those individuals live or die. Nor should we do so for those who are unborn. It should be their choice, not ours, not even the mother’s.

                    6. OIFVet

                      Until such time that a fetus pops out of the woman’s vagina, it remains a part of her body and is not a separate human being. My life, your life, everybody’s life began when we were born and the umbilical cord was cut, not the moment a sperm and an egg formed a zygote. It is THAT simple. Moreover, it is not the fetus’ choice to pop out, it is a biological process that is guided by the woman’s body. I repeat my question: during your time as a fetus, did you recall the moment you decided to be born and headed for the exit?

                    7. Pirmann

                      OIF Vet – You’re wrong. Life begins at conception. At that moment, it’s a separate life and ceases to be a woman’s health issue. Science is very clear on this fact. It’s also a matter of common sense.

                      I didn’t answer your question previously because it’s a red herring and just an overall dumb question. Just because one does not recall an event does not mean said event failed to exist.

                      Anyone else wish they could have the last five minutes of their life back?

                    8. Outis Philalithopoulos

                      After a series of pretty substantive responses back and forth, a bit of acidity is coming back into your debate:

                      “Kinda hard to have missed them.” [implies the other person is dumb or acting in bad faith]
                      “just an overall dumb question.” [it’s obvious why this isn’t necessary]

                    9. OIFVet

                      Not a woman’s health issue, even though it can not only affect her health but kill her??? Extremism masked as moderation and reasonableness is what your arguments have amounted to. And no, life begins at birth, saying otherwise is YOUR ideological opinion, not a scientific fact.

                      Also, how can you possibly claim that it is a fetus’ decision whether to be born or not, but refuse to answer my question about your own decision to be born, because it is supposedly an inane question? Inane, trite, you sure have your way with words, pal. Especially when your opponents call out your bs.

                    10. Outis Philalithopoulos

                      OIFVet, I did address Pirmann’s choice of language just now, although you may have posted before you saw it. As I said there, there has been a bit of acerbic language all around, and this discussion has gone on for two days now. If you two want to keep going back and forth, that’s fine with me, but if posts from either of you continue to be unnecessarily aggressive, they will start getting popped into moderation.

                    11. Pirmann

                      I said it’s a fetus’s RIGHT, as a living human being, to continued life. “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”. It’s the first one!

                      Further, I said you won’t be able to ascertain a choice otherwise, because it’s a fetus. As a living being, a fetus has rights. It’s not a “woman’s health issue”.

                    12. OIFVet

                      “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Of course, the people who wrote the Declaration of Independence also owned slaves and did not see fit to grant their womenfolk the right to vote. So what they really meant was that all white men had these rights (“All men…”, etc.)but certainly not women, blacks, or for the purposes of this discussion, fetuses.

                      I am done with you, feel free to continue this discussion with yourself and at your Sunday brunch with your fellow immoderate moderates.

                    13. Pirmann

                      OIF Vet – that’s cool. Toodles! I’ll allow your intolerant and non-inclusive ad hominem commentary to speak for itself.

              2. Anne

                I think you are perhaps missing the point, but more about that in a minute.

                Can we start with language? I know it seems logical to think that the opposite of “anti-abortion” is “pro-abortion,” but I think that unfairly boxes people into categories that don’t actually apply. The fact that I believe every woman should have the right to make the best choice for her, and that some women will choose abortion, does not make me “pro-abortion,” it makes me “pro-choice.” And that choice includes the right NOT to have an abortion.

                What I have never understood, though, is the disconnect between an expression of being “pro-life,” and a relative disinterest in what happens after a woman gives birth. And not just a relative disinterest in these post-birth lives, but a disinterest with a dollop of punishment tossed in. Punishment in the form of cutting or denying women and children the financial, medical, educational and nutritional support that would be consistent with a reverence for life. It’s as if there’s a mindset of, “well, we can’t let you end the life of a fetus, but we also don’t want to encourage you to have more children you can’t afford, so we’re going to make your life and your child’s life hard so you won’t be tempted to make this same mistake again.” This is reverence for life? I don’t think so.

                I also don’t understand people who fight so hard for fetuses at the same time they support war and the death penalty, who somehow make a distinction between innocent life that must be protected, and life that it’s okay to not just end, but end with some feeling that that is deserved or represents justice. That the deaths of Syrian children or Palestinian children, for example, are acceptable, or that it’s okay to torture or bomb because, terrorism.

                Finally, I think it’s important to understand that taking away a woman’s right to make choices and decisions about her reproductive health and life doesn’t just put her right to an abortion at risk, it also puts her right to have children at risk. I would hate to think we’d get to a point where one would have to be economically and financially vetted to be able to bear children, but I don’t think that’s as far-fetched a possibility it might appear.

              3. OIFVet

                Yes, there is a lot of human variety, and some pro-choice people don’t want to carry the cost of caring for other people’s children. They want fewer people on Earth, period, and they don’t care whether the population reduction comes from among the poor or the rich. Like Yves said, theirs is morally consistent position, unlike that of the “pro-life” crowd that generally doesn’t care what happens to a child once it is born.

                Me, I am passionate about providing quality public education to all as an equalizer for socioeconomic differences, and that puts me well ahead of most in the “pro-life” crowd. I am also very passionate about universal access to health care, because that is what saves lives and improves the quality of lives. That also puts me well ahead of the people who love the fetus and don’t give a shite about the living. And I care about these issues and am willing to dig deep into my pocket to help fund them despite being childless and not wanting to have children of my own. I care about these issues for deeply personal reasons that I don’t care to go into right now, those who have paid attention to my comments over the years would have a fairly good idea why I care. As far as I am concerned, and the political track record of the “pro-life” crowd provides plenty of evidence for it, I am much more pro-life than the loudly self-proclaimed pro-lifers, a bunch of hypocrites who want to force unwilling would-be mothers to carry the fetuses to term and then wash their hands of the responsibility for this life they forced her to bring to the world. To hell with them.

      6. hunkerdown

        a fetus is not “a woman’s own body”

        You need to explain why that is yours to decide and not hers. Furthermore, you need to explain who gave you any business creating interests in other people’s parasite load, and exactly what they’re going to do to us if we decline their arrogance.

        1. Pirmann

          Your comment makes close to zero sense, but I’ll take a stab at trying to figure out WTF you’re talking about and try to respond accordingly…


          How about this?

          So, on one hand, the law correctly recognizes a child in utero as a legal victim, but in the case of abortion, he or she is a “woman’s choice”. It makes no sense. If a pregnant woman is murdered, the accused will be charged with a double homicide. In other words, one homicide for killing the woman, and one homicide for killing the fetus.

          But, if the killing is done at the bor bor clinic, under the guise of “woman’s choice”, it’s zero homicides?

          Perhaps YOU need to explain…

          1. reslez

            Most of those “fetal victim” laws were intentionally written by anti-abortion legislators in a transparent attempt to confuse the legal issue.

        2. kareninca

          “You need to explain why that is yours to decide and not hers.”

          The state is constantly telling us what to do with “our” bodies. I am required to buy an Obamacare policy with my body, and if I tried to sell my kidney tomorrow I would be arrested. The state has traditionally told both men and women what to do with “their” bodies. So, an abortion advocate would be the one who needs to come up with the argument why abortion is a special activity that the state has to leave alone. I am guessing that you are not a Libertarian, and you are okay with other sorts of state interference in the actions of citizens (that is, the actions that you don’t personally favor).

          “Furthermore, you need to explain who gave you any business creating interests in other people’s parasite load. . .”

          Wow, a fetus is a parasite??? Most of the pregnant women I’ve known were pretty attached to their fetuses; they gave them a lot of loving care and attention and if someone had killed their fetus they would have called the cops.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            Sample bias. The women you know who are pregnant want to have children. I never did and would have had no second thoughts whatsoever about having an abortion. And how is an unwanted pregnancy anything other than a parasitical relationship, and one where you are likely to bring up the child badly (unwanted pregnancies often come with lack of husbands and limited financial resources which means stressed out mothers even when try hard to make the best of a bad situation) and with resentment (and don’t tell me this isn’t operative, I’ve seen plenty of resentment and emotional neglect with supposedly wanted births), or give it up for adoption and are likely subject to guilt-mongering by relatives?

            1. kareninca

              Of course it is sample bias. I wrote that knowing it was sample bias. My point was that a fetus was presented by hunkerdown as strictly a parasite. In the cases in which it is wanted, it is not a parasite at all (by definition).

              There are long debates in ethics journals about whether an unwanted fetus would count as a parasite. There is a lot to parse there; I wasn’t getting into that debate. (To give a small sample: a parasite is an object that is always unwanted (no-one wants a tapeworm). A fetus is wanted or unwanted depending on circumstances. So, there is one distinction.)

              I wonder if I am coming off as being anti-abortion rights. I don’t really care how I am perceived, but it is funny how anyone who tries to clarify the arguments surrounding abortion (as opposed to just taking a side) is seen as being anti-abortion.

            2. Pirmann

              Shorter: “Go die.”

              Well, the bill passed. I maintain, as stated in my original post, that six weeks is plenty of time to figure things out. If not, it might be time to reconsider some of one’s life choices and maybe get it together already.

              1. OIFVet

                A lot of women don’t even discover that they are pregnant until after 6 weeks. Particularly those women who have been not been well-educated about their bodies because the puritans who also moonlight as “pro-lifers” are opposed to sex ed in schools. It is also these women who may not have the financial wherewithal to afford a home pregnancy test because they live so close to the financial edge already. It is a cut-off proposed specifically to eliminate almost all abortions, targeting poorer and less-educated women in particular, and dressed in the seeming trappings of a scientific trivia, a trivia chosen specifically to tug at the heart strings of “pro-lifers” rather than to make a sound scientific argument. “The heart of the fetus begins to beat at 6 weeks.” Can the fetus survive outside of the woman’s body at six weeks???

                If not, it might be time to reconsider some of one’s life choices and maybe get it together already.

                Really?! Let’s suppose for a second that these women really are that irresponsible and screwed up that they can’t even get their own lives under control. Yet you insist to also force upon them the responsibility to take care of another human life?! Yeah, you sure do give a shite about these children. That was /sarc, just in case it wasn’t clear.

                1. kareninca

                  Good grief, a home pregnancy test is $8. I think you are leaving aside the role of the irrational here. Women often don’t want to think about whether they are pregnant and don’t want to know (since the upshot may be so dire). They finally did a study (I won’t track it down, since the results are so obvious). It turns out that a large percentage of women are neither in the “yes I want to get pregnant” camp nor in the “no I don’t want to get pregnant camp.” A lot of them are ambivalent. This ambivalence leads them to “misuse” their contraception. My friends who got pregnant (most of whom got abortions) did so because they didn’t use their contraception properly; they knew perfectly well how to use it but they didn’t use it properly anyway.

                  “Yet you insist to also force upon them the responsibility to take care of another human life?!”

                  Actually there is adoption. I’m not saying that most women would want to put up their child for adoption, but it is true that they are not forced to care for one of they have one. My cousin was put up for adoption in the 60s; soon thereafter her mother (my aunt) had a number of abortions since they were then reasonably available. Clearly my aunt preferred getting abortions to having a kid and putting it up for adoption. My cousin is glad to be alive.

                  I think that you are exaggerating the practical difficulty in getting and using contraception, and minimizing the role of Mother Nature. Humans are governed by natural selection; women have tremendously powerful urge to get pregnant. Then they regret it. What you are not mentioning is what I think a big problem is: immediate access to an abortion the moment one discovers one is pregnant. Coming up with the money and an appointment and transportation slow things down a lot, I have read.

                  I am relieved that Pirmann had a chance to post. I don’t agree with him, but his position is not insane (having been held by huge numbers of educated people for huge swathes of human history) and he held up well under loads of battering.

                  1. OIFVet

                    $8 is a lot of money for some people. I live on the South Side of Chicago, close by are some of the poorest zip codes in the US, and $8 is a small fortune for many people there. If your own income consisted entirely of the SSI, you too will find $8 to be a small fortune and would likely forego spending it on a home pregnancy test. Same with contraception. It is not as available in some communities as it is in others, be it for reason of costs, lack of reproductive health education, ready access to care, or for the simple fact that family planning is a luxury where they come from. As for the adoption route, there have been a recent spate of local news stories from these same zip codes, about neglected children in awful living conditions. Giving up their children for adoption is sensible, but it also requires dealing with authorities, something that certain groups are reluctant to do. I appreciate your personal anecdote about serial aborters, but that’s all it is, an anecdote. The vast majority of women who get an abortion certainly do not do so every other month, and using an anecdote about the exceptions to punish everybody else is ridiculous.

                    As for Pirmann, his blank condemnation of abortion as murder may not be insane, but it is distasteful and hateful. As for how well he held up, the fact that Outis felt compelled to censor his comment about Yves (which I got to see before it got censored) tells me the opposite. So does his refusal to answer very reasonable questions posed. So much for engaging in discussion, and holding up well in the process.

                    1. Outis Philalithopoulos

                      I didn’t feel compelled to blot out part of Pirmann’s comment – similar things are said back and forth to people on this blog, and allowed to stand. However, in the case of this particular discussion, tensions are going to run high no matter what, and it didn’t seem like a great idea to have things start escalating.

                      I will say that compared to a lot of discourse about this subject on the Internet, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the quality of this discussion so far. One can’t exactly say that people have been changing one another’s minds, but it could have turned out a lot worse.

                  2. Anne

                    We’ve already established that you’ve never wanted to be pregnant, never been pregnant – that you know about anyway – and are so super-duper, hypervigilant about birth control that it would probably be afraid to fail.

                    Your ability to know what you want – or don’t want – and your commitment to that path in your life is your story – it is not every woman’s story. A truth I believe you would be well-served to consider is that each woman’s situation is unique to her, and it isn’t up to you, or me or some male legislators or anti-abortion advocates to weigh and measure and judge whether that woman’s circumstances meet with our approval as to what she does or doesn’t or should and shouldn’t do.

                    It doesn’t matter that – for you, and in your opinion – needing to buy a lot of pregnancy tests so a woman can constantly test herself to be sure she will still have options within a very short, 6-week window is no big deal.

                    It doesn’t matter what any woman’s psychology is about her feelings about having children – she wants them, she doesn’t want them, she thought she wanted them but now she doesn’t, she didn’t think she wanted them but now she does. Whatever the evolution of her views on pregnancy and parenthood are, it is her evolution. This is something she lives with, she copes with – there is no legislator imposing his beliefs who will be helping her navigate these waters.

                    It is not she who should be accommodating a system that wants to impose restrictions and close off her options – it should be the system that accommodates and acknowledges her circumstances and appreciates that a lot can happen in the several-decade window in which women have the ability to get pregnant.

                    What is seems to come down to, and what I have read in many posts here on this issue, is judgment. That people believe they have the right to stand in judgment of the circumstances and decisions women face every day about a highly personal and highly individual aspect of life, and then use the legislature to impose those judgments on women.

                    I don’t believe it is our place to do that.

              2. Outis Philalithopoulos

                Pirmann, since several people here have mentioned that often someone does not know if they are pregnant until after six weeks, would you:

                (1) be in favor of the original bill, but with a longer time window

                (2) or do you feel like (assuming that you agree that sometimes the pregnancy isn’t known until after six weeks) it wouldn’t affect your position on the bill?

                1. Pirmann

                  Outis, I do not agree with the statement that someone does not know if they are pregnant until after six weeks. I absolutely disagree that this would occur “often”.

                  First of all, one can exercise a modicum of personal responsibility and use contraception. But even absent that, six weeks is plenty of time to figure it out, if you are really serious about not getting pregnant.

                  I know things happen… condoms break, BC isn’t taken on schedule, etc. But what one should always know is when an event occurs that has a reasonable likelihood of resulting in pregnancy. I.e., if a condom breaks, you can get a morning after pill the next day – crossing your fingers, waiting it out, and hoping you aren’t pregnant is irresponsible.

                  Lastly, my position remains that the bill is a good compromise. Honestly, that’s probably more than you’d get from a typical pro lifer. It is understood that it does not 100% meet the objectives of the pro life nor pro abortion folks. Just once, it would be nice to see the pro abortion crowd like the ones on this forum give a little bit – maybe acknowledge that, while not perfect, almost all “women’s health issues” can be reasonably accommodated within the confines of the bill and in a more humane fashion than does the current laws that are out there.

                  1. annie

                    whoa whoa. now you’ve betrayed a fundamental ignorance about women and about pregnancy.

                    each woman experiences pregnancy, and here we’re talking especially about early stages, in her own way. assuming she believed the sex was ‘safe,’ it may take months to realize she’s pregnant. some women, for one reason or another, do not have regular periods. some do not get morning sickness. (overweight women have been known to go months without suspecting.)

                    moreover, women can get pregnant in many ways other than having a condom break. an iud can fail. or, because a man does not need to ejaculate to impregnate a woman, she may–they both may–assume they are practicing safe sex.
                    (a friend got pregnant without even having been penetrated and was shocked when a doctor, three months later, informed her.)
                    i could go on (others could too). but your conviction that any woman would (should?) know within a month and a half is an assumption with no basis in fact.
                    you sound honest. can you take this in?

                  2. Pat

                    Really?1? Other people have taken down your wildly unrealistic assumptions about pregnancy, but lets take a few down about birth control. Did you know that antibiotic use can lower the effectiveness of some oral birth control? That condoms breaking is not the only way they fail? That EVERY birth control method has a rate of failure?

                    Also did you know that not all women have regular periods? That flow is also not regular for many women and that pregnancy does not preclude some spotting? That various life events including illness can disrupt menstruation?

                    Obviously you did not or you would know that all the reasons you want to use to force your beliefs on other women are not accurate or even reasonable beyond the fact that other women are NOT you and you should not have any say about them or their bodies.

                  3. Anne

                    Two anecdotes: Last year, toward the end of April, my daughter told me, in sort of an offhand way, that she was just feeling kind of “off.” I jokingly said, “you don’t think you could be pregnant, do you?” She laughed and said, “Mom, I’m on the pill – so, no, I don’t think I’m pregnant – probably just trying to come down with something.”

                    Maybe a week later, she texted me to call her ASAP. When I did she told me that she had decided to take a pregnancy test, just to make sure she wasn’t pregnant – except it turned out that she was.

                    What happened? Had she forgotten to take a pill? No, what happened was that she – and her husband and son – got a gastrointestinal virus, and she figures that even though she was taking the pill every day, she was also throwing up for the better part of two days, and thinks enough of the pill was not absorbed into her system.

                    Had we not had that conversation, she could easily have waited another month, and by the time she had the pregnancy confirmed, could easily have been 2 months pregnant (and by the way, her son will be a year old on Christmas Day).

                    My other daughter has always had very irregular periods, and has been on the pill for some time. Three years ago, in January, she was scheduled for a minor surgical procedure, had the usual routine pre-op physical that included bloodwork. The Friday before her Monday procedure, she got a call from the surgeon’s office, telling her they would have to postpone the surgery because her bloodwork showed she was pregnant. Absent that blood test, and because of her irregular cycle, she might not have known she was pregnant either, until after that 6-week window you believe either couldn’t happen, or only rarely happens (she also had a little boy in Octiber, 2014).

                    So, that’s two examples of women not knowing they were pregnant because they were taking birth control, and had no reason to think it had failed. I don’t think this is a rare occurrence at all. Birth control is not 100% effective. Women’s bodies are not machines.

                    So, how many pregnancy tests should women have at the ready, so they can test, test, test to be sure they know almost from the moment of conception that they are pregnant? Do you understand that most women do not even suspect pregnancy until they miss a period – which can be two weeks after conception – so really, that 6-week window could be only 4 weeks. Some women continue to have periods for some part of their pregnancies, so how would they know within that window? Any woman whose period is not to-the-minute regular will give it a day or two or a week, even, before she starts thinking about possible pregnancy. So, now she could be down to 3 or fewer weeks.

                    That is not enough time, it’s just not.

                    “If you are really serious about not getting pregnant.” Golly, that is one judgmental sentence.

                    I think it’s also important to consider that the existence of a beating heart does not tell the whole story. Is that heart normal? If not, will it be repairable? What about the brain? Is it normal? At six weeks it isn’t possible to know if there are genetic abnormalities.

                    Finally, two things: this bill is not designed to be a compromise, it is designed to be as close to a ban on abortion as it is possible to get. And, “pro-abortion” really does not accurately describe those who believe in the right to choose.

      7. marym

        Politician who introduced the bill:

        http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2011/08/06/prosecutor-wont-file-charges-against-senator.html

        “She got a little upset,” Sen. Jordan told a deputy on the recording. “Girls do that.”

        The 34-year-old senator went on to say the incident was “90 percent emotion.”

        “I threw some things on the ground, but I didn’t hit her or anything,” he said. “So she’s all worked up about who knows.”
        ….
        [His wife] said there have been problems with her husband but she had called his parents when those happened. She said, however, that they were out of town that night.

        She also was recorded as saying violent incidents with her husband began about two years ago, sometimes after he had been drinking.

      8. cwaltz

        A fetus is not a woman’s own body……and yet a fetus is reliant on that woman’s body for it’s very existence. It leeches vitamins and minerals from her body to grow. Carrying it means risking diabetes, seizures, having your kidneys blocked off and even death…..so yes technically it IS part of her body until it can subsist on it’s own and does not risk the life of the person who it resides in.

        Risking your life to bring life into the world should be a choice, not a requirement.

      9. Yves Smith Post author

        All religions are based on reconciling humans to the inevitability of suffering.

        Having children is arguably one of the cruelest things that people do.

          1. integer

            “Yeah I’ll be about 25 alright”

            I’m starting to wonder if people are noticing these things.

        1. BecauseTradition

          Having children is arguably one of the cruelest things that people do. Yves

          Otoh, “All’s well that ends well” which I just found out is a play by Shakespeare.

  24. Katharine

    Regarding Tim Duy, who writes:

    Politicians, aided by economists, have long ignored the negative impacts of trade-induced structural change. Indeed, they have even cheered it on. After all, the process “releases resources” for use in other, more productive parts of the economy. Those workers are just “low-skilled” workers. The US needs more “high-skilled” workers anyway.

    Fact: Workers hate being referred to as “low-skilled.”

    Well they might, since it is frequently an inaccurate description, casting doubt on the mental skills of those who use it. I’ve seen it applied to construction workers by people who haven’t the dimmest idea of what the work entails. Only a fool sneers at a job he doesn’t understand.

    1. jrs

      Even if the job itself ACTUALLY is low skilled and who denies that some jobs are like the BS jobs Graeber talks about, it is what there is a market need for as shown by the fact that the job exists (a social need, oh who knows, we’re talking life in capitalism here afterall, which isn’t about social needs).

      So to blame the workers themselves as being “low skilled” because some jobs in the marketplace are low skilled (and no not everyone can be employed as physics professor even if everyone was a genius) is an obscenity! It’s to blame the victim for what the capitalist system forces them into. They took those jobs really because there is or at least at one time WAS a market need for them whether or not the jobs were the full actualization of their potential (most jobs aren’t afterall).

  25. flora

    Pearl Harbor Day. Today is almost as far distant from that event as that event was from the start of the Civil War.

    Today is also, if my calculations are correct, the 3rd business day from the send date of NC’s atty’s letter to the WaPo. Very fitting.

    1. ewmayer

      – 75 years since US entered WW2, which was
      – 80 years since US civil war started, which was
      – 85 years since US war of independence started.

      Can’t speak of ‘US’ before 1776, but were there any major riots or colonial squabbles in 1686?

  26. ChiGal in Carolina

    From politico on fake news fears:

    In this sense, the shrillness of the propaganda debate reveals a deep distrust of citizens by the elites. The Ignatiuses and Stengels of media and government don’t worry about propaganda infecting them. Proud of their breeding and life experience, they seem confident they can decode fact from fiction. What they dread is propaganda’s effect on the non-elites, whom they paternalistically imagine believe everything they read or view. But they don’t.

    Also, another article on the site that I don’t think was linked to, something like “Will there be an American Pravda,” makes the assertion that Bannon being such a top advisor to the prez and running a prominent “news” organization at the same time is unprecedented in US history.

    True? Is this the closest we’ve come to state-owned press? Why aren’t folks clamoring for him to step down from Breitbart if so?

    1. George Phillies

      Go back a century and a half. Many newspapers were political party fronts,a condition that has not completely changed. In addition, there were huge “post office printing contracts” (I have no idea for what) that were handed out as patronage to favored newspapers. Read The Rise and Fall of the Whig party for details, Road to Disunion for alarming details, and Potter “The Impending Crisis” for terrifying (it will sound familiar) details.

    1. susan the other

      i think so but it can blow up… is there such a thing as an exploding metaphor… it could revolutionize language .

  27. optimader

    So how could the Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville have missed these guys, or maybe it was jus their day off?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rGIymTpaxE
    Gun-wielding Alabama Mannequin Challenge leads to 2 arrests; weapons and drugs seized

    Shootout mannequin challenge leads to gun, marijuana arrests

    Michael Walsh
    Reporter

    Yahoo NewsDecember 7, 2016

    The meme made the cops’ job easy.

    A heavily armed mannequin challenge in Alabama resulted in the arrests of two men for firearms and drug possession on Tuesday.

    The video, posted to Facebook last month, shows 22 men standing completely still and brandishing guns outside 5012 Powell Drive in Huntsville.

    The mannequin challenge is a viral Internet video trend in which people try to stay completely still as if they were part of a Madame Tussauds wax exhibit, typically with the song “Black Beatles” by Rae Sremmurd playing in the background. The shootout video, however, makes use of “Ain’t No Comin’ Down” by TEC & Maine Musik.

    Madison County Sheriff’s Capt. Mike Salomonsky said someone sent the video online to the sheriff’s office, prompting an investigation. Though the video has been removed from Facebook, al.com preserved it on YouTube.

    “The criminal investigation/narcotics unit through their investigation was able to obtain enough probable cause to get a search warrant for this address,” Salomonsky said at a press conference Tuesday.

    The Madison County Sheriff’s Office was sent a video of the mannequin challenge. (Image: al.com)
    More
    At 5:02 Tuesday morning, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team, the Huntsville Police Department SWAT team and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were involved when the search warrant was executed at the Huntsville home, he said.

    “Due to the fact that there were multiple firearms in the residence, and also, because of the film, we thought that [there might be] additional people, so we used a breaching technique, which caused the front door to be removed from the residence,” Salomonsky continued.

    SWAT teams stormed the residence and cleared the scene before a search was conducted. Authorities seized marijuana packets, two handguns, an assault rifle, a shotgun, several rounds of ammunition, magazines and a computer, Salomonsky said.

    Booking photos of Terry Brown (left) and Kenneth Fennell White on Dec. 6, 2016. (Photo: Madison County Sheriff’s Office)

    Booking photos of Terry Brown, left, and Kenneth Fennell White on Dec. 6, 2016. (Photo: Madison County Sheriff’s Office)
    More
    All of the confiscated items were displayed on a table in front of the lectern during the press conference.

    Kenneth Fennell White, 49, and Terry Brown, 23, were both arrested. White was charged with first-degree possession of marijuana and possession of a firearm. Brown was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, loitering and promoting prison contraband (for arriving at jail with marijuana).

    Judging from social media, the law enforcement officers at the Madison County Sheriff’s Office were flabbergasted that people would have the audacity to film a mannequin challenge at the same location where they allegedly sell drugs.

  28. Brad

    Fairly detailed hit piece on Marinelli’s California separatists on Bloomberg:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2016-12-07/how-to-make-california-great-secede-with-a-little-help-from-putin

    Buried within is a link to a very interesting pdf on “Russia and the European Far Left”, Péter Krekó-Lóránt Győri of the Political Capital Institute.

    But the pdf is staged from “statecraft.org.uk”.
    http://www.statecraft.org.uk/sites/default/files/documents/Peter%20Kreko%20Far%20Left%20definitive.pdf

    Seems NATO connected. Long list of “fellows”. None ring a bell.
    http://www.statecraft.org.uk/fellows

    Political Capital Institute:
    http://www.riskandforecast.com/page/about-us_81.html

    The “About” clearly indicates this as an “oligarchy”-oriented, to use BB’s paraphrase of Marinelli.

    But the Győri paper will be a useful guide to that part of the Euro left still confused about Putin/Assad, despite the typically libertardian disclaimers of the “free market” utopians at Political Capital Institute.

  29. Propertius

    Dunno if still true, but you used to be able to get used 747s for very cheap because they are such fuel hogs.

    That’s part of the rationale for replacing the current 747-200 based AF Ones with more newer 747-800s. An 800 is larger, faster, quieter and has a 1400 mile longer range than a 200. It burns around 20% less fuel per hour and has correspondingly lower CO2 emissions than a 200. It can also take off and land on shorter runways (by 700ft or so).

    Whether that’s worth the purchase price is another matter, of course.

    Disclaimer: I don’t work for Boeing, but I do a lot of business with them (and Airbus too, for that matter)

  30. Oregoncharles

    I didn’t get a picture, but wild turkeys now inhabit our neighborhood (which is fairly rural) and hang out in our yard – appear to have a regular route. They’ve been spreading into town from the hills, like the deer.
    So far, they’re less of a pest than the hoofed rats.

    However, turkeys were introduced here (Willamette Valley), which means the original colonists were farm raised. It’s possible they lost their fear of people then. Like the deer, they do seem to know where and when they’re safe, though; it would be very dangerous to shoot anything in our neighborhood. Houses in all directions. Unless you stood on a roof and shot downward…

  31. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Time Magazine: Don’t pay your taxes.

    Is it licensed to practice law?

    Shouldn’t one consult one’s tax attorney first?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      To be fair, Time Magazine, while a member of the MSM, did give Person of the Year to that ‘huckster’ Trump.

      How is that not objective? Another false accusation by the deplorables.

      By the way, to the magazine, Hillary is our American Moses.

  32. Oregoncharles

    Following up on some previous discussions, this is the website for the National Popular Vote movement: http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/

    Oregon is one of the states that have NOT signed on, so I get email from them. It’s a clever way to obviate the Electoral College via state laws – enough states to control the election. Unfortunately, at this point Democrats are going to be a lot more in favor than Republicans, but Republicans control most state legislatures, so it may even lose ground. Oregon’s 7 electoral votes have never been enough to make a difference, so we’d gain power if it was based on the popular vote.

    1. John k

      The seven probably gives you more clout than your population would. Most egregious are states with three ev’s, which is way more than their 600k pop.
      It will never be changed, too many small pop states.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Winner take all (electoral vote) in each state – is that based on federal or state law?

      What would the result have looked like, had, say Clinton got some votes out of Michigan, while Trump received some in California?

      1. George Phillies

        Each state chooses how its electors are chosen. Two states use district arrangements. There is no requirement at all that there *be* a popular vote. A state legislature can, for example, decide to choose its electors by vote of the state legislature. This was done, for example, by Colorado when it was was admitted as a state and was done by some states into the mid-19th century.

      2. Propertius

        What would the result have looked like, had, say Clinton got some votes out of Michigan, while Trump received some in California?

        I guess that issue is somewhat clouded by second-order effects – both campaigns would most likely have allocated resources very differently if more states had some sort of proportional distribution scheme (or, indeed, if the election were decided by popular vote). Trump acted very strategically to break the Democrat’s “blue wall”. Whatever you think of her candidate, Kellyanne Conway did a brilliant job of outmaneuvering the Clinton campaign – especially since she had a lot less in the way of funding. There’s no reason to think that she wouldn’t have been able to do an equally brilliant job under a different set of rules. Trump would probably have campaigned more in New York and California. I’m not sure the Clinton campaign would have been able to overcome its prejudices enough to campaign more in flyover countryl

  33. Plenue

    Syraqistan:

    The Battle of Aleppo City is effectively over.

    https://cdn.almasdarnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/2452526462.jpg

    Districts are falling domino style now. About the only place the militants are still holding is the Sheikh Saeed neighborhood in the south. But now that’s being attacked from a whole new direction. If nothing else the SAA will simply kick in its backdoor, if they can’t break through its front. Militants are desperately calling for a 5 day ceasefire. They won’t get it.

Comments are closed.