“In a Green Night” by Derek Walcott (1930-2017) New Statesman
A River in New Zealand Now Has the Same Rights as a Living Human Being Vice. Reslic: “But how will it vote>”
A US ally shot down a $200 drone with a $3 million Patriot missile Verge (Chuck L). Reported previously but worth not missing.
Here are the ages you peak at everything throughout life ScienceAlert (Chuck L). Simpleminded absolute pronouncements like these, particularly based on junk evidence, are a pet peeve: “Some are also surveys, not controlled trials, so there is a possibility the self-reports don’t capture the most accurate picture.” And that’s before you get to sample bias! So forgive my rant. My personal experience regarding bone density and peak strength differs markedly from their proclamations, and I suspect that would be true for other people who weight train hard and regularly.”Finding a partner” is weird too, since people used to marry much younger on average (being single at 25 was way past your sell-by date in the 1950s). So are we to believe all these past marriages were less successful by virtue of bad social conventions forcing people to get married younger than the ideal time range? No, because if you read the underlying piece, it assumes options remain open past age 26 when they didn’t back then. As my mother depicts her college years, dating was a bigger priority then than now for both sexes. Similarly, “life satisfaction peaks at 23” is based on a German survey. Germany has way better social safety nets that the US. The “normal” pattern likely has to do with getting independent as an adult and having a sense of possibilities before you. That isn’t the case with young Americans these days outside the elites. I bet you’d find a very different result if you surveyed a decent sample of Americans.
The US just declassified dozens of nuclear weapons explosions and put them on YouTube ScienceAlert (Chuck L)
US ‘strategic patience’ with N Korea has run out, says Tillerson Financial Times
Asian collision course Le Monde diplomatique – English edition (resilc)
How Demonetisation Wrecked Those It Was Supposed to Serve The Wire (J-LS)
‘London Bridge is down’: the secret plan for the days after the Queen’s death Guardian. Popular culture watcher Li told me before this story ran that the Queen is on her last legs, reported as having a “heavy cold” which is almost certainly pneumonia. J-LS: “Now if only they’d allocated 10% of the attention given to Operation London Bridge to Brexit, things wouldn’t look so dire on that front.”
Trump v. Merkel
Merkel Meets Trump, the Defender Versus the Disrupter New York Times
German reporters press Trump on wiretap claims, ‘fake news’ The Hill (furzy)
US confirms air raid but denies targeting mosque Al Jazeera (resilc)
Perpetual War For Perpetual Peace In Afghanistan Shadowproof
Why the UN branded Israel an Apartheid state Juan Cole (resilc)
Big Brother is Watching You Watch
WikiLeaks Won’t Tell Tech Companies How to Patch CIA Zero-Days Until Its Demands Are Met Motherboard (Howard Beale IV)
Why Trump’s budget may be ‘devastating’ to his supporters Christian Science Monitor
Here’s How Donald Trump’s Budget Screws Over the People Who Elected Him Mother Jones (resilc)
White House cites satire column to tout budget The Hill (furzy)
White House Says Cutting Meals on Wheels Is ‘Compassionate’ New York Magazine (resilc)
Exclusive: Immigration judges headed to 12 U.S. cities to speed deportations Reuters (furzy). On the one hand, this could be a total logistical mess and wind up decreasing the speed of processing system-wide. On the other hand, judges being stationed away from friends and families would almost certainly be eager to get through their docket as rapidly as reasonably possible. We’ve seen rocket dockets in foreclosure land and efforts to contest them weren’t very successful. Will the results be any different here?
Trump administration files notice it will appeal ruling against second version of travel ban Washington Post (furzy)
British Complain After Trump Spokesman Cites Wiretapping Report Bloomberg. I pinged Jerri-Lynn, who not only studied at Oxford but acquired a husband there:
Having majored in close readings of text, this is pretty off. GCHQ used the language an angry husband would use when accused by a wife of cheating. I don’t see a straightforward, “No, this didn’t happen.” Instead, we get “absurd” and “ridiculous”. Huh? Maybe I am mistranslating Oxbridge speak.
Reads to me as what during Watergate was known as a “non-denial denial.” It may be absurd and ridiculous but is it true?
Remember that the UK has the Official Secrets Act– so perhaps their poohbahs have less experience having to repudiate things explicitly (and are thus opting to play language games, hoping no one notices).
And with the OSA in place, it would be hard going to get someone in the know to confirm this had happened.
How Being Unpresidential on Twitter Helps Trump Vice (resilc)
Britain Livid on Spying Claim, but Trump Isn’t Apologizing New York Times
Missing from Trump’s grand Navy plan: skilled workers to build the fleet Reuters (resilc). Calling Bath Iron Works!
The Reclusive Hedge-fund Tycoon Behind The Trump Presidency New Yorker (Dan K)
The Blow-It-All-Up Billionaires Huffington Post Kokuanani: “While this was featured in the Huff Post, it’s an interesting and scary story.”(
Clinton: ‘I’m ready to come out of the woods’ The Hill (furzy). Some word salad. But she does look good in green.
House Colloquy on Affordable Care Act Replacement C-SPAN (Kevin C)
If Trump were a clever populist, he’d demand universal healthcare for America Guardian. The problem is the Repubs decisively control Congress and the whackjob right is committed to gutting any and all social spending, particularly health care. But if the whole “get rid of Obamacare” effort implodes, Trump then can talk up whatever he wants.
Affordable Health Care World Policy Institute (resilc). A high level explanation of why US health care costs so much.
Say It Again, Loudly— It’s Time to Audit the Pentagon WarIsBoring (resilc)
Texas sues feds — including Rick Perry — over nuclear waste disposal Texas Tribune (resilc)
Oroville Dam: DWR says repair cost estimated at $4.7 million per day Mercury News. Bob points out no opportunity at class messaging is every lost:
“Some contractors’ employees are Local 3 Operating Engineers union members, the majority of whom have been working 12-hour shifts seven days a week, said Ron Roman, district representative for the union. Roman estimated there are about 150-170 operating engineers working at the dam.
“For that tiny slice of the pie, consider union operating engineers’ wages. On the low end of the spectrum, working 12-hour shifts every day would amount to $6,051 a week. On the high end, weekly wages could be $7,336 per week.”
Or, in the terms you splash all over the story- 178k a day. Of 4.7 Million a day.
Let’s to the math…less than 4% of the cost. Assuming the high end of everything quoted. Damn unions.
Police State Watch
Police Could Use Georgia ‘Domestic Terrorism’ Bill To Target Protesters Shadowproof (furzy)
The 1.6 Billion Dollar Hoax BuzzFeed (Dan K). A must read.
Buffett Opposes Proposal to Disclose Political Donations Bloomberg. Saint Warren is not looking so saintly.
‘We are all doing it’: Employees at Canada’s 5 big banks speak out about pressure to dupe customers CBC (Marcello). My nice small bank was bought by TD some years ago…:-(
Why I Dissented Neal Kashkari, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis (UserFriendly). Really makes the rate increase look politically motivated, as in raises tons of legitimate doubts re the economic case. The section on the forecast errors is damning.
Democrats Need to Understand Why the Rust Belt’s White Workers Still Support Trump Nation (resilc). How about, “Democrat mouthpieces say on almost a daily basis that they loath them”? Separately, this reinforces the narrative that loser white hicks are to blame for Hillary’s loss. Repeat after me: the same number of whites voted for Trump as Romney. Fewer blacks and Hispanics voted for Hillary than Obama. Or read Lambert’s deep dive. His big takeaway:
The matrix I present identifies six pathways to misfortune for the Clinton campaign, two of which are primary or critical. They are:
A. The Democrat Establishment
B. Clinton’s “Deplorables” Gaffe
C. Clinton Repels the Left
D. “It’s The Economy, Stupid!”
E. Voter Registration and Turnout Failure
F. The Undecideds Break for Trump
How Bankers Became the Top Exploiters of the Economy Counterpunch (Carolinian, UserFriendly)
Antidote du jour (Robert H, via fascinating pics):