Links 4/9/17

The slow professor can dish out a more nutritious education Aeon

When ant enslaves ant Mint

Are some wolves being ‘redomesticated’ into dogs? Science (Chuck L)

Salt grinders are bullshit, and other lessons from growing up in the spice trade AV Club

Sleep Is the New Status Symbol NYT

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

Even sex toys can be connected to the internet – and hacked The Conversation.

As KFC shuns some antibiotics, U.S. chicken industry deploys wet wipes, oregano Reuters (Dan K)

Guillotine Watch

Want to See the Masters in Style? Here’s the $100,000 Method Bloomberg

Do you know how to identify well-made clothes? Treehugger. A necessary step for fighting fast fashion….

A new generation of even faster fashion is leaving H&M and Zara in the dust Quartz

America’s Retailers Are Closing Stores Faster Than Ever Bloomberg (martha r)

The iPhone 7 Has Arbitrary Software Locks That Prevent Repair Motherboard

Health  Care

Rich Americans live up to 15 years longer than poor peers, studies find The Guardian

The crackdown on opioid prescriptions is leaving chronic pain patients in limbo Vox

Could Legalizing Prescription Drug Imports Break Big Pharma? Truthout

Fight over a state healthcare transparency bill goes mostly uncovered CJR

A Family Planning Miracle in Colorado: Program Has Teen Births and Abortions Drop by Half, and It’s Heading to Other States AlterNet

The Complicated History of How MRI Was Invented – and ‘Brought’ to India The Wire


Despite efforts, clean water is scarce in India’s industrial Gujarat state The Conversation

It was not Lotus-Lotus: How misreporting led to a controversy over EVMs in Madhya Pradesh Much more interesting than the inscrutable headline suggests.

India and Bangladesh Sign 22 Agreements, Discuss Water Sharing The Wire


Chinese state media cheer Xi-Trump meeting, say confrontation not inevitable Reuters

Xi-Trump summit ‘beats expectations’ but N Korea still a big divide SCMP

U.S. Sends Aircraft Carrier Group Toward Korean Peninsula WSJ

Our Famously Free Press

Cable News Loves War Politico

Trump’s Syria Attack and Our Abject Media American Conservative

The media loved Trump’s show of military might. Are we really doing this again? WaPo. When you lose the WaPo….


Trump sends Congress letter explaining Syria strike The Hill

Making Sense of Syria Jacobin

The Spoils of War: Trump Lavished With Media and Bipartisan Praise For Bombing Syria The Intercept Glenn Greenwald’s latest.

Roaming Charges: Metaphysical Graffiti Counterpunch

The Great illusion By Walrus Sic Semper Tyrannis (resilc). “something to watch closely.”

Tom Friedman Is Calling for a Partition of Syria. Trump Should Run the Other Way. Foreign Policy


The upcoming Turkish referendum could end what little democracy is left in the country Independent. Patrick Cockburn’s latest. Important.

2016 Post Mortem

Hillary Clinton, Free to Speak Her Mind NYT. Nick Kristof lobs some softballs to HRC– perhaps the only 69-year old who still can’t decide what name she wants to go by.

Trump Transition

It was Big Tobacco, not Trump, that wrote the post-truth rule book The Conversation

Neil Gorsuch could redefine the Supreme Court as soon as next week Chicago Tribune

Trump Fires Warning Shot in Battle Between Bannon and Kushner NYT (Bob K).

Robert Reich: What the Clash Between Kushner and Bannon Means for America AlterNet

Don’t Forget Your Base Medium (Bill B). “Bannon meets Borat. Did these guys not see the inevitable abandonment coming? The swamp owns D.C.”

Reports: Fragile Peace Accord Reached in the White House’s Bannon-Kushner War New York magazine

The Unions That Like Trump NYT

Trump’s White House Is a Family Business. That’s Not a Bad Thing. Politico


EU considering excluding UK from trade talks before Brexit FT

Diary LRB. This long read piece from the pen of Julian Barnes made me remember how much I used to enjoy his Letters from London way back when in The New Yorker.

European Parliament’s chief Brexit negotiator demands Theresa May back Britons who want to keep EU citizenship Independent

Bank of England tells City to prepare better for ‘no-deal’ Brexit FT

Defend Gibraltar? Better condemn it as a dodgy tax haven Guardian

Class Warfare

Offshore Money, Bane of Democracy NYT (RS)

Antidote du jour: 

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. fresno dan

    The Spoils of War: Trump Lavished With Media and Bipartisan Praise For Bombing Syria The Intercept Glenn Greenwald’s latest.

    But U.S. war fever waits for nothing. Once the tidal wave of American war frenzy is unleashed, questioning the casus belli is impermissible. Wanting conclusive evidence before bombing commences is vilified as sympathy with and support for the foreign villain (the same way that asking for evidence of claims against Russia instantly converts one into a “Kremlin agent” or “stooge”).

    That the Syrian government deliberately used chemical weapons to bomb civilians became absolute truth in U.S. discourse within less than 24 hours – even though Trudeau urged an investigation, even though it was denied in multiple capitals around the world, and even though Susan Rice just two months ago boasted to NPR: “We were able to get the Syrian government to voluntarily and verifiably give up its chemical weapons stockpile.”

    Whatever happened with this event, the Syrian government has killed hundreds of thousands of people over the past five years in what began as a citizen uprising in the spirit of the Arab Spring, and then morphed into a complex proxy war involving foreign fighters, multiple regional powers, ISIS, Al Qaeda, and Russia.

    I’ve linked to this a couple of times already, but it just so captures all that I think is not only wrong with Syria, but the general interventionist mind set

    1. craazyboy

      Well, even Greenwald seems to have glossed over some important historical “cause and effect”.

      “A severe drought, worsened by a warming climate, drove Syrian farmers to abandon their crops and flock to cities, helping trigger a civil war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people, according to a new study published Monday.”

      [My note: Let’s say maybe lack of food and water contributed too]

      Then, our latest “action” sure seems like it’s motivated by internal US politics. The “Resistance” and the media endlessly backbiting Trump – then either Trump loses it, or decides he needs a diversion.

      Looks to me like “The Great Snowflake War”.

      Coupled with some slick video making beyond the capabilities of your average youtube movie producer. Even has a terrorist doc rolled out as an expert – to diagnose pictures of a chemical agent bombing attack! Then the sympathy pics of the blonde Arab babies with comb overs! What an embarrassing way to escalate a series of “measured responses” leading up to WW3 and the end of the human race. When Space Alien anthropologists discover the barren planet Earth millennia from now, they will be laughing their hats off.

      1. Carolinian

        It’s probably not just coincidence that 24 hr cable news and the Reagan era were born at about the same time. Atlanta’s Ted Turner–a Trumpian figure in many ways–came up with the CNN idea only because he was thwarted in his bid to buy CBS. He sought to turn TV news from the traditional prestige badging loss leader into a profitable source of low cost infotainment that could help fill the voracious programming needs of cable television. When Gulf War 1 came along CNN was golden and Turner’s more rightwing rival Murdoch gave us Fox News. Soon network news was feeling the need to compete and O.J., impeachment, stolen 2000 all became part of our media circus.

        So blame it on the billionaires like Ted Turner and Murdoch and that new billionaire with his cruise missile toys. Sanders was right after all.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Ted Koppel and Nightline.

          Not that media was ever great, but this was particularly disgusting.

      2. meme

        No pictures of dead babies with drone strikes, obviously the more humane way to end innocent lives.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            And “OMG CHEMICAL WEAPONS!”, because you are just so much deader from chem.weapons than, for example, being incinerated by an American cruise missile. And I love the logic pretzels from Nikki Haley: “we need a political solution and Assad can’t be part of that”. Oh, like the “political solutions” we implemented in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya? And precisely who will lead this “new Syria”?

            1. craazyboy

              They will have “elections” and become happy democracy – most happy is democrat nation, I think. Pass the wodka, please.

            2. Code Name D

              “Humanitarian Bombing” Going to have to add that one to the bull-s**t lexicon dictionary.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s always the media, the institution.

      Sure, you can focus your energy on this or that individual player if you want. Maybe that’s our role, to self-divert our attention.

      Not Susan Rice, but Nunes.

      Not the content, but Russian hackers.

      1. Marina Bart

        I’m sure party leadership will be happy to throw McCaskill overboard if it can prevent #Tulsi2020.

        I don’t think that will work. Or rather, based on Tulsi’s 2016 results, I think Hawaii will ignore the Democratic Party leadership’s request. I would assume Tulsi has the national standing she needs to survive any additional cut in party funding and retain her Congressional seat, and her presidential campaign funding and the party’s potential dirty tricks against her and her potential voters will be the same regardless. If I’m right, the party is just enraging and alienating more of its base without achieving its primary goal.

        Meanwhile, who has champagne on ice for McCaskill losing? I’ll be getting on that at my house ASAP. Does Ecuador make champagne?

        1. nippersdad

          Nippersmom tells me that Gabbard is as popular in Hawaii as Sanders is in Vermont, so your analysis sounds spot on. McCaskill will probably not be the only one thrown to the wolves at mid-terms, so there will prolly be a lot to celebrate come next elections.

          I know Tanden et al live in a bubble, but even I have been shocked at how irretrievably stupid its’ denizens must be.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Part of this reaction to the bubble bursting, and they aren’t that talented or they wouldn’t have reached this point. Hillary lost to Trump.

            They are resorting to the old Democrats need to act tough play book store republicans won’t call them pussies.

            1. nippersdad

              Like the book said: Everything I know I learned in Kindergarten. If they haven’t figured out that a good old brick to the knees solves bully problems yet they prolly never will.

              As you say, not bright.

          2. ChrisPacific

            Gabbard is kama’aina, military, and hugely popular. The Democratic Party would have a better chance of flying to the Moon by flapping their arms than unseating her in Hawaii, especially on a pretext as ridiculous as this one. All she’s doing is asking that Trump provide evidence that his intelligence assessment of the likely perpetrators is correct (or even simply that he has asked the question, and not just jumped straight to a conclusion). In other words, she wants Democrats to hold Trump accountable for demonstrating cause and following due process, which would be an eminently sensible thing to do if he is in fact an authoritarian fascist and the second coming of Hitler, as these very same Democrats have spent months stridently arguing.

        1. nippersdad

          I have to question whether Trump has any idea what he is doing. My personal view being that he (predictably) got bored playing at Presidentin’ and let Pence do what the Washington Consensus wanted while he was off to the high profile Party at Mar-a-lago. Nothing he has done thus far seems terribly surprising to me. I often think people give the man way too much credit.

  2. fresno dan

    Even sex toys can be connected to the internet – and hacked The Conversation.

    Your photos aren’t safe online. Repeated incidents of celebrities having their internet accounts hacked and intimate pictures distributed across the web have made this clear. Yet one company decided to put a camera into a sex toy and connect it to the internet. And, predictably, a security firm now claims it has found a way to hack and intercept the vibrator’s video stream.

    This follows the recent case of another smart vibrator manufacturer, Standard Innovation, agreeing to pay an out-of-court settlement of CAD$4m (£2.4m), after it emerged that the company was harvesting data from its devices. The case was started by two unnamed female users who realised that the device was collecting and relaying data on how often it was used, the vibration settings selected and – eyebrow-raisingly – its temperature, all linked to each user’s email address.

    “…eyebrow-raisingly – its temperature,…”
    Temperature is what is “eyebow raising” ?!?

    “Yet one company decided to put a camera into a sex toy and connect it to the internet. ”
    I am reminded of Woody Allen’s film “Everything you wanted to Know About Sex” where Woody is a spermatozoa, and along with a bunch of others is about to be…uh, launched. Woody has some trepidation about this event, and among the possibilities he realizes, what if the …launcher….is gay.

    And a more prosaic matter, these things have lights on them? I mean…how do they record videos if its dark….I guess you can carry it as an emergency flashlight…or for emergency orgasms….

      1. craazyboy

        Makes one wonder if there may be a smaller niche market for internet connected proctoscopes?

        1. ambrit

          Technically, the colon is not a niche but a cavity. So, that would be a cavity market, with all the ensuing hilarity the permutations engender.
          Or, to pursue a more PC vocabulary, the TSA and others can now indulge in “niche searches” at whatever venue they prefer.

    1. bob

      “Yet one company decided to put a camera into a sex toy and connect it to the internet. And, predictably, a security firm now claims it has found a way to hack and intercept the vibrator’s video stream.”

      Pay no attention to the iphone/laptop/ipad/smart tv that are all way more powerful, internet connected, and in the same room as the vibrator.

      I’m also wondering where the camera fits into things, as it were. It may be the only camera in the room without a view.

      1. craazyman

        Unless it has headlights, what’s the problem? it’s too dark to see anything up there anyway.

        Also, if it went in the back door you wouldn’t even know if it was a man’s or a woman’s vibrator!

        Lots of worry about nothing, it seems to me. People have to stop and think clearly before they get all huffy.

        1. craazyman

          maybe all the peanut gallery women who use vibrators can weigh in on this one. bowhahahahahahahahahahaha.

          I’m not a vibrator expert, so I wouldn’t know if they have headlights or not.

          And it’s not something I feel compelled to channel either — that’s usually what I do when I don’t know anything about a topic and want to get to the bottom of it quickly without expending any effort.

          1. Cherylb

            Funny that comments about vibrators coincide with Grace and Frankie and the new season on Newflix that focuses on the women’s new business….

        2. Optimader

          “Also, if it went in the back door you wouldn’t even know if it was a man’s or a woman’s vibrator!”

          Whatever thepoint of view, pretty sure I could tell, just say’in

          1. craazyman

            You must have experience with both then. hahaha

            (sorry, this is the last one on this topic, I promise. I’m cracking myself up trying to slog through a dry as sandpaper writing project that I have do for money and getting a bit loopy.)

            1. Optimader

              To have a sense of a fork in the eye does not require the literal experience… im sure there is a Confucius quote along these lines? Beef?

              Writing project… i still have to finish my taxes to! Hahaha!

            2. fresno dan

              April 9, 2017 at 10:47 am

              “Also, if it went in the back door you wouldn’t even know if it was a man’s or a woman’s vibrator!”

              geez…BLUE or PINK…though I guess the kinky could use the opposite sex’s ….

              1. craazyman

                I’m surprised we haven’t seen any women weigh in on this. If you were watching an NSA video you can’t even tell if the vibrator is blue or pink or even who’s tube your plumbing up if the camera’s lensing its vision forward like pee out of a hole and you have the headlights on.

                Jerri-Lynn shouldn’t cower in a reclusive and reticent recreance on this important issue. She chose the Links! A man would own up and step up, offering a critique and exegesistic comparision of the various technologies. Not hide timidly away in the dark. ahahahaha

                I’m sorry. that was one more than I said I’d do. Trying to finish my boring riting project and havign another glass of Spanish wine under $10 while my brain writes words and my fingers type them. I try to stay mentally away from the subject matter and just channel it. It’s funny how that works, you just let the words fill you mind like a sail and the sentences plow through the water of the white screen, waking up a froth of useful (or at least passable) prose. It’s a lazy man’s way of writing but I’m lazy so it works for me. Here’s the wine Berco do Infante, Reserva 2015. it sounds expensive but it was only 7.99. It’s Portugese but that’s close enough to Spain for me. After a while they all look alike anyway. See I did say something useful in this comment, so nobody get huffy.

                1. ambrit

                  Sorry craazyman, but I just remembered that it is close to the dreaded Tax Day.
                  Visions of being screwed are too close to the mark for most of us. Just say’n.
                  Love and may the Muses attend you.

                  1. craazyman

                    just don’t love me up the butt. Love me like a Christian, but not a missionary if you know what I mean.

                    These are deep thoughts. If some MFA could explain these devices with the hushed and reverent tones by which they explain paintings in a museum, they’d put everybody at ease & we’d all feel ennobled. Somebody made these devices. Somebody designed them. Somebody worked to craft a manufacturing process. This is Bauhaus stuff. Someday these devices may be displayed in a museum under carefully directed lighting. If they made these in China you have to wonder if there is not some aesthetic process being overlooked in the obsession with economic metrics. Do the numbers truly reveal the reality of the phenomenon? Or are they simply distracting referents that otherwise mask far more than they reveal about the phenomenon’s organizing principles and intrinsic potencies and potentialities. Maybe the phenomenon itself should be probed (no pun intended) in the manner of a critical inquiry directed at its aesthetic constructs. Is there a museum person who can do this? You need do be able to use difficult words and concepts in a slightly grave and concentrated manner befitting the serious task that animates and illuminates the artiistic process.

                    1. craazyboy

                      They do quietly hum and vibrate while they work. I’ve been told. I imagine a Tibetan Holy Man….ahahaha…excuse me, I’m trying to be serious… may have had some input into the esthetics and spiritual design.

                      Tibetan Holy Men teach rock stars how to play guitar and meditate too – so they know a lot about stuff like that.

                    2. ambrit

                      Too. Many. Possibilities.
                      To play a string instrument, one needs know about vibrational frequencies. This posits plucking. The human body responds more to stroking and tactile stimulations, thus, a better musical instrument to envision would be the Theramin. See:
                      And yes craazyman, the giving and receiving of pleasure are supreme human accomplishments; the highest of arts. There has to be a museum of sex toys. Why yes! There is! See:
                      What a screwey, (pun intended) species!

                    3. craazyboy

                      Well, guitar strings exhibit “sympathetic vibration”. There’s kinky for you. A guitar that gets off watching! Or listening, I guess.

                      Also, if you ever watched Steve Vai play guitar, you would know that an electric guitar is a Theramin thingy, that comes with strings as an afterthought.

                      But a vibrator museum? How awesomely bonkers. hahaha. Bonk – get it? hahaha. Look it up in the Urban Dictionary. I see they have locking corsets for the wingnut museum goers. It’s good it’s a family museum, too.

                      Bet there is an IoT opportunity with locking corsets. I remember bra hacking was a popular skill to learn back in high school. That’s what I heard, anyway. haha.

          2. m

            A gay friend of mine works at a heterosexual porn place. Unfortunately there are crowds that will watch anything, this included. Funny, there are a few gay guys there. Pay is better than doing graphic design at regular mags. Straight friends write copy for popular ladies mags-female by line & point of view.

    2. Procopius

      … all linked to each user’s email address.

      Why on earth would anyone send their email address to the maker of dildoes? They promise software upgrades or something? I know I have sent such information to the makers of a laser printer for that reason, but that was in a corporate setting. And a camera in a dildo? There are people who want to take pictures of …?

  3. Patrick Donnelly

    Nothing I see in the media and the web is acceptable as true: Those who know, really do NOT say. Those who say, do not know. That is most of the media.

    As George, the real Deep Throat, said: follow the money! They brought down a decent enough POTUS, to further their fortunes.

    Try to get the real info on money flows!!!! Less bull?

  4. fresno dan

    As KFC shuns some antibiotics, U.S. chicken industry deploys wet wipes, oregano Reuters (Dan K)

    The company wanted eggs to be cleaner before they hatch and now asks farmers to rub them with sanitizing wipes before shipping them to a Tyson facility, said Bill Hewat, Tyson’s director of international veterinarian services, during a tour of a Missouri hatchery last year.

    […asks farmers to rub them [eggs} with sanitizing wipes…”
    Whew….for a moment, I thought they had to wipe something else….

    1. a different chris

      You know chickens only have one exit point? :)

      Also, the shells are permeable, so the fetus can breath, so I’m not real comfortable with the application of sanitizing chemicals. I am gladder than ever that I have my own chickens.

      1. polecat

        YES ! … Eggs from one’s own backyard are the best …
        … and it’s awfully hard to switch to ‘store bought’ eggs when our hens ‘take a vacation’, either due to molting, or the short days of winter !!

        Oh, and did I mention the fabulous chicken manure ??

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Also self-made honey and beans.

          I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
          And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
          Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
          And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

          1. polecat

            I’ve just finished constructing 2 new bar hives for this year’s bee packages … I’m stoked !! …. :’]

          2. PhilM

            Ah, what a poem. I say it quietly to myself whenever I have to walk the pavements grey.

          3. McKillop

            You have ‘self-made honey’?
            I had to buy bees and other equipment and bang together boxes and so on.
            Ahhh – California! Isn’t it grand?

        2. Randy

          Short days of winter? A small (20W) light bulb extending light in the coop to 12 hours/day will solve that problem.

          1. polecat

            I do illuminate the coop, but wait until after the Thanksgiving holiday to do so , as to give our hens a period of ‘rest’, and then gradually ween them off it as the days lengthen …. don’t want to stress them out any more than they need to be. They actually dropped production after I quit lighting the coop, but have now started to lay more often with the increasingly longer days … ‘;]

          2. a different chris

            That’s good advice. In our case, though, since chickens have a lifetime total number of eggs, ours are killer bug-eaters and aren’t going to be on the menu ever, and I can only eat so many eggs/yr I’m more than happy when they take the month or so off.

            1. McKillop

              What do you do with the hens past laying? I’ve found that those who have dined au naturel taste similar to those cooked by my mother and used as roadside sandwiches during trips

  5. fresno dan

    Making Sense of Syria Jacobin

    President Trump has begun bombing Syria. Having found domestic policy difficult, complicated, and time-consuming, he has turned to foreign affairs to try to strike a pose of confidence and decisiveness.

    Considering the swiftness with which he decided to send in the Tomahawks and warplanes, he can’t have put much thought into it at all. He just saw it as a chance to act, to be the kind of leader he imagines himself to be.
    Having said publicly he has changed his mind about Assad, he has given the impression that he wants regime change — but how?

    And if Trump isn’t really serious about carrying on, then he faces a different problem. He will be accused of not being able to follow through. That will make him look weak and ineffective, which in his world is quite possibly the worst possible thing. That’s a problem he can only solve with more aggression.
    But this is not just a story about Trump’s individual failings. We’ve been here before. America’s imperial presidents have long found violence abroad a more convenient way of exercising power than the slow boring of hard boards at home. Democracy, or even just our half-baked excuse for it, is messy and difficult, but it is weakest when it comes to war. George H. W. Bush explained it this way in 1992: “Some people say, why can’t you bring the same kind of purpose and success to the domestic scene as you did in Desert Shield and Desert Storm? And the answer is: I didn’t have to get permission from some old goat in the United States Congress to kick Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait.”

    Nor is this merely a Republican perspective. Bill Clinton was downright proud that intervening in Haiti went against public will: “I realize it is unpopular. I know it is unpopular. I know the timing is unpopular. I know the whole thing is unpopular. But I believe it is the right thing.” As if the value and purposiveness of an act of violence internationally varies inversely with its democratic credentials.
    One can only hope after the initial, naive praise Trump has received, there will be some thinking…and people will realize that the previous “slam dunk” didn’t turn out so well…

    USA, USA!!! Long convoluted difficult procedures to benefit US citizens…uh, not really anything to stop pink misting anyone outside US borders….

    1. JTMcPhee

      Long complicated procedures to benefit ELITE US citizens, maybe. Ferguson? Chicago? Philadelphia? Oakland? Not so much…

      “First they pink listed the Afghanis… ” the the rest of us…

    2. wilroncanada

      To the Counterpunch comment about Trump beginning to read Descartes for Beginners, next he will start Foucault For Those Who Know Fou Cault.

  6. Jim Haygood

    iPhone 7 software lock to make it unrepairable … oy. Clearly Apple has become industrial-grade evil, just as Microsoft has been for so long.

    Another aspect that stokes my loathing is the “sent from my iPhone” tag that appears on so many messages. This is unacceptable for the same reason that Adidas clothing is unacceptable — I’m not no dumb-ass, fashion-victim sandwich board for a manufacturer’s free advertising. Eff em.

    As ol’ Mick Jagger used to say, “Go ahead — bite the big Apple. Don’t mind the maggots!

    1. Optimader

      The iphone salutation is easily removed, not so much logos on clothing.
      Personally i refuse to wear logo clothing. Im not buying stuff to be a free billboard.

      Funny (to me) anecdote. One morning in JHole shambling along to get some breakfast, I saw a beater local pickup truck with cap had a nicely rendered North Face logo except the script was Hey Fuck Face. I thought nicely done.

      On the persistence of thr iphone salutation, i think for many it is an preemptive apology for horshit spelling due to to the limitations of the virtual keyboard.
      –Comment sent by my iphone

    2. MtnLife

      You can custom edit that tag. Have fun with it. such as: Sent from mountaintop by carrier pigeon, transcribed by drunken monkey, from the desk of the looney bin, and so on.

      1. Optimader

        Yeah i sometimes use
        -Sent by my Bell Labs Rotary Dial Phone
        For non business email from friends that send email w/ the iphone tagline

        1. carycat

          Rotary phones have been around for a long time. And the good old 500 station set was manufactured until 1986 (2 years pass “divestiture” that broke up AT&T and its component parts). While the labs did the design, Western Electric does all the manufacturing, so I’m surprised that anybody would refer to it as BL phone and not a WeCo phone.
          Those things are indestructable. My cat can knock it off the table and it will just put another dent on the hard wood floor and keep on working. Try that with any of the new fangled smart phones.
          If the MIC ever miscalculate or lose control of any of their insane puppets, that may be the only phone still working after the EMP wipes out all modern electronics. Of course, you may not be able to talk to anybody unless you are still served by an old stepper or manual switch board and nobody has stolen the cooper twisted pairs.

          1. Optimader

            My black bakelite rotary dial phone is from a Bell lab facility that was in Naperville (or Lisle?), dont trmember which. A friend gave it to me when clearing out yogoyo a Lucent facility in Ohio many years ago. Looks like a 1940 vintage id guess. Not doubtbuilt at Western Electric. Should be placarded on underside of hand piece

      2. Irrational

        My employer provides me with an iPhone or an iPhone – great choice.
        I edited the tag to read “Sent from a smart phone. Please excuse typos and unintended autocorrections.” I did consider writing “smart”phone, but not everyone gets irony and it is a workphone….

  7. craazyboy

    Hillary Clinton, Free to Speak Her Mind NYT. Nick Kristof lobs some softballs to HRC– perhaps the only 69-year old who still can’t decide what name she wants to go by.

    We sure blew it when we didn’t ask Ent to intervene when Hillary was walking in the woods.

    “I Am Ent”

  8. EndOfTheWorld

    The optics of meeting XI at the same time as the attack probably orchestrated. Maybe the Chinese will let Trump have a big show victory in N. Korea in exchange for no hassles in the S. China Sea.

    Seems to me in the whole World Order scenario, China is supposed to win. Russia is too cantankerous for TPTB.

    1. Procopius

      Russia is too cantankerous for TPTB.

      Our powers that be are totally focussed on the short term. They don’t have any idea how dangerous the Chinese are with their attention to the long term.

        1. craazyboy

          That’s a really good story. Kinda like a Casey novel, except believable and well written. Made it thru part 2 so far. Will battle thru the rest as I restock my depleted energy level.

  9. Corbin Dallas

    The Trump lovers that were around the comments section are now ratcheting down, I’ve noticed. I haven’t seen much defense of his budget, his war strikes, the Gorsuch horror, etc. Where were these cheering men and women in defense of changing up the United States toward a new “revolution” where it has to get worse before it gets better?

    NB: this is not an endorsement of Hillary or her circle. I’m just curious about all the false equivalencies between the presidencies of the parties, and where that war cry has gone now in the face of the atrocities of this golfing diaper every day a fresh hell.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I voted for Jill Stein, but If I recall:

      -Hillary supported regime change in Syria after the other regime change disasters
      -Trump did not. Now he does.
      -the threat of an escalating war is a very real concern. That concert hasn’t changed.

      Perhaps, not everyone is a mindless drone. Read the comments at pro-Trump sites. “Mrs. Clinton”, “President Ivanka” are some of the nicer descriptions.

      1. Uahsenaa

        Not only that, Clinton made a statement the same day that Trump should do precisely what he did. That’s a real, not a false equivalency.

        I think most here at NC acknowledged that Trump was a gamble, whereas Clinton was a certainty to go to war. Problem with gambling is the house always wins in the long run.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      If you haven’t called your congressmen or senators, you should instead of trying to be snide and “I told you so” when war is being discussed. The White House switchboard was only giving busy signals for me Friday and Saturday. Kaine and Warner weren’t picking up.

      What was your experience?

      1. Corbin Dallas

        My activism has always included calling my reps, before and after the panic of DT. unfortunately i live in NYC, under the yoke of the barfbag schumer and gillibrand (and the worse troll of them all, gu’vnor Andy Cuomo). i hit the streets very often as well.

        As i wrote below, I noticed a lot of rejoicing and stomping after HRC’s defeat, and it didn’t always seem like it was about the demise of the clinton strain as much as a joy for DT to come and really “fix things up” which we all know wasn’t going to happen. and now with how miserable he’s become, it would be nice to see some contriteness.

        1. HotFlash

          You won’t see me contrite. After Bernie got sabotaged in the primaries (super delegates, I mean SUPERdelagates? WTF?), the choice was chaotic neutral or lawful evil. Chaotic neutral lost, but lawful evil lost bigger. A real bullet there, and *maybe* dodged it. Well, appears not, but it was worth a try.

          BTW, lots of folks hereabouts voted Stein, Bernie write-ins, or Non of the Above. Some voted Trump just to break things (which needed/need to be broken). Why would you have a problem with that? You can only base a decision on the information available.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          So tell us how your phone call went? You didn’t note Gillibrand at least objected to Trump’s process unlike Schumer.

          So how can you be under their yolk if the had different positions? If you are you going to claim you called, you might want to a quick Internet search to back up your story.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Here’s an idea: you call Gillibrand and thank her for her not completely heinous position and then call Schumer and ask him why he isn’t more like Gillibrand.

        3. Massinissa

          Other than maybe Jim Haygood, basically everyone here who voted Trump just wanted to ‘heighten the contradictions’ Lenin style. Nobody here actually thought Trump would fix things other than maybe Jim Haygood.

        4. Katniss Everdeen

          You are misreading the situation. hrc’s defeat was not hers alone. All that “stomping and rejoicing” you heard was as much for the defeat of the formidable array of status quo power–money, media, corporations, globalists, propagandists, meritocrats– that she represented, if not more.

          And, if you’ll remember, there didn’t seem to be much upside for the protest vote at the time, since she, and they, were supposed win walking away. It was a victory, be happy about it.

          All this gloating and hyperventilating just plays into the hands of TPTB. They lost a big one and they’re panicking. It’s been less than three months. Give the guy a chance to find his footing. He is, after all, just a private citizen, albeit a bawdy, rich and flamboyant one, who finds himself in a position in which he never expected to be.

          There’s almost no chance that Trump is the monster he’s being made out to be. Don’t get conned. It ain’t over til it’s over, and it’s barely started.

          1. Carolinian

            There’s more than a chance. Check out that Pat Lang article in today’s links. If he tries to set up a no fly zone then impeach away I say.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              As Lambert says, “a wonderfully clarifying election”…but my utter revulsion of Hilary and the Dems has been misinterpreted by members of my family as “pro-Trump”. No, never was, not now. And the “clarification” of this election is that we have a single party, all-war-all-the-time, all-unprosecuted-bank-crime-all-the-time (cough cough Atlanta Fed inside info leak case is just this week’s example), all big billionaire giveaways and serf-impoverishing policies. What we need is *an opposition party* that will *oppose*. Oppose Gorsuch. Oppose war. Oppose institutionalized theft. The sooner people “clarify” and figure out that it’s Us v. Them, with the Them being the entire basket of deplorable Dems and Repubs all in one writhing mass just waiting to have pitchforks run through them, one and all.

      2. PhilM

        What makes you think your reps will pay attention to anything you, out of the 700,000 people each one “represents,” have to say? Do you raise $100,000 for them under multiple names every cycle? It would be a better use of your time to clean the dirt out of your tire treads.

    3. sd

      I think you missed an extremely important detail. The majority of commenters supported Sanders. So of the two horrific options, Trump sucked less than Clinton. Had Clinton been crowned President, her choices would have been cloaked in a false civility but just as vile.

      The self serving leadership of the Democratic Party owns this demented state of affairs. Don’t blame NC commenters.

    4. MoiAussie

      Been here several years and I don’t recall too many Trompe lovers among the commenters. Plenty who loathe HRC, 1%ers, political dynasties, wall street, the DNC, the blob, permanent war, et cetera. Do you really expect to hear anyone defending Gorsuch here? You need to look elsewhere.

      There’re plenty here who still think it has to get worse before it gets better, however I doubt any are wishing for that to happen via WW3, hence the lack of support for HRC in the first place. As for “war cries”, I’m really not sure what you’re referring to.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        Thank you. Somehow a lack of hysterical claims from every contributor here that the world would surely end on Trump’s election has been conflated with people actually liking the guy.

      2. Massinissa

        There were a couple trump supporters here. Jim Haygood, mostly.

        IMHO, when people say there were tons of Trump supporters here, they were mostly talking about Haygood, and maybe MLTPB as well, making tons and tons of comments literally every day, making it seem like large numbers of people.

        As for war cries… I have no idea where that came from. I cant think of a single interventionist commentator. Haygood was never an interventionist, in fact he was probably about the closest we got to a true isolationist IIRC. This is basically a haven for non-interventionists.

        I really just cant think of any major commentators or even any anonymous comments that were jingoistic.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          To my regret, I am usually late; for the most part, I join an existing discussion.

          Usually, i am too preoccupied with robots and free Medicare for all. Without those already ongoing discussions, I would hardly have the sleep-deprivation energy to start much about Trump’s multi-front struggle with the Media, the MIC, the IC, etc.

    5. Jim Haygood

      Now that Donnie Douchebag has gone War Pig on us, formerly supportive shadowbrokerss just delivered him a savage punch in the teeth:

      consider this our form of protest. The password for the EQGRP-Auction-Files is


      That would be the password to unlock hacked NSA files. Ed Snowden says it’s legit in this tweet:

      Payback, b*tchez.

      1. Optimader

        Certainly we should not be assuming the mantle of World police, but targeting a military base’s runways and munition dump– after preemptively telegraphing what the target is… well…

        I think the objective was less literal than our new useful idiot UN expressed. Frankly, not even sure if they bothered putting munitions on the TCMs??

          1. Optimader

            At this point i think even most republicans think paul ryan is an ass, so thats not saying much for paul ryans “gravitas” Rrmember that word?

    6. Katniss Everdeen

      “Atrocities”????? Hyperbole much? Sounds like the words of an unrepentant elitist with an impossibly narrow perspective.

      Depleted uranium is an atrocity. “We came, we saw, he died” is an atrocity. Unpunished bankers are an atrocity. Endless war as a jobs program is an atrocity.

      Speaking for myself, as probably one of those “Trump lovers” to which you refer, you’re going to have to do better than “golfing diaper.” If this SNL-style ad hominem is the best the left’s got, I don’t feel the least bit sorry for having helped put Trump over the top.

      Here’s a newsflash–the system was broken before Trump got there, but nobody would admit it. Uncritical support for every slimy betrayal by a charismatic black guy or a witless legacy cowboy appointed by the “supreme” court was the tell. Don’t blame me because you’d rather not have to confront it.

      Having been denied the opportunity to actually have a go at fixing the system by “Hillary and her circle,” (the Russkis really did not do it) the next best thing was to expose the system for the sham that it’s been for quite awhile. Killing TPP was no small benefit. I’ll not apologize for that.

      As a voice over says at the beginning of Homeland, “The first revolution is when you change your mind about how you look at things, and see that there might be another way to look at it that you have not been shown.”

      1. Corbin Dallas

        Per earlier requests from Yves and Lambert, I dont resort to ad-hominem against commenters, only the president – and if an ad-hominem from an anonymous internet poster convinces you to vote for Tramp, I would wager your sense of politics and the everyday are a bit, say, devoid of morality.

        On the other hand, I do appreciate the other responses. I was commenting specifically on the level of vitriol (eg “hillary is aids, trump is cancer” or similar horrific similes that pit values against worse values) *after* the election. Again, I despise HRC (and greenwald’s article above about the #resistance supporting these strikes shows just how bad her/her circle is) but the lack of candor and responsibility from the Trump-right is astounding, except for what I’m seeing above (jim haygood for one).

        1. Massinissa

          “and if an ad-hominem from an anonymous internet poster convinces you to vote for Tramp, I would wager your sense of politics and the everyday are a bit, say, devoid of morality. ”

          That isn’t why she voted Trump though. You’re straw manning. She voted Trump in order to ‘heighten the contradictions’ as it were. She literally just said that. “next best thing was to expose the system for the sham that it’s been for quite awhile.” Right there.

      2. Montanamaven

        Thank you for this important reminder, Katniss. Many people who don’t go to blogs like NC, MofA, Consortium News, etc, have actually trusted the system to work; trusted our leaders to keep us safe. Frogs in a pot thinking it’s a Jacuzzi or Sheeple going with the herd are metaphors for being asleep or naive. But this election a lot of people got woke up to the corruption in the Democrat party as they watched how rigged the primary was in favor of a deeply flawed candidate who could barely hide her condescension. But there were also many people who did know the system was rigged who were so frustrated that they just stopped participating in the farce of elections. For those people along comes Trump with swagger and bluster to yank the curtain away exposing a creepy Uncle Sam; not a beautiful Lady Liberty. “It’s a racket”, he said. And they said, “Well, at least he identified the problem.”
        Unfortunately, we see that so far that is all anybody in DC seem to be able to do. They can identify the problem, but they keep scratching their heads as to any solutions. But many young people are starting to look to solutions like a single payer health system and free higher education if you want it and looking at other systems like socialism and left libertarianism.
        So, yes, first you have to say to yourself like Arthur Silver did back in 2003 ,”Maybe everything I was taught or believed in is wrong.” That happened to me beginning in earnest in 2005. I look back and think how naive I was. How I thought I was so much smarter than conservatives because I read “The Nation”. I cancelled that subscription in 2008 along with all the others like “Mother Jones”, etc. I was a Democratic County Chair and a delegate in 2004 to the National convention. Three weeks ago I went to a Republican dinner and now I don’t demand that restaurants shut off Fox News.

      3. Vatch

        Depleted uranium is an atrocity

        Yes! Thank you, Katniss. Many people are misled by the word “depleted” into thinking that depleted uranium is not radioactive. It is radioactive. What is depleted is the proportion of U-235, which is fissile, and has a relatively short half life. Depleted uranium continues to have plenty of U-238, which is not fissile, has a long half life, but is still radioactive. U-238 is less radioactive than U-235, but it is still dangerous. It emits alpha particles, which are rarely dangerous outside the body, because they cannot penetrate the epidermis. When inhaled or ingested, depleted uranium is very dangerous, because the alpha particles will be able to penetrate cells and cause genetic damage, which can lead to cancer or other diseases.

        There are other radioactive elements in depleted uranium, such as thorium, radium, and polonium. There can even be some non-radioactive lead, which is the typical end stage of the uranium decay series. Anyone who has ever heard of Flint, Michigan, knows that lead is toxic.

        (Sorry if I wandered off topic.)

        1. Optimader

          Not necessarily enter cells but become immobilized adjacent to cells. Distance =0 so even a very modest size alpha emitter particle will have quite toxic potentiality.

            1. DH

              The toxicity of alpha emitters is a possible explanation for the very low returns of hedge funds.

          1. Vatch

            Good point. An alpha particle emitter next to the epidermis is not harmful, because the epidermis consists of cells that are already dead. But as you point out, an alpha emitter next to a living cell is quite dangerous. It’s a microscopic time bomb.

        2. Octopii

          Reminds me of a long and ugly discussion I once had with an A10 pilot. He thought it was awesome dropping a rain of DU on the “hadjis” and he certainly did not think it was radioactive or toxic (just conveniently massive).

    7. tegnost

      maybe there weren’t as many trump supporters as you thought there were, so the false equivalency was in thinking not hillary is the same as for trump, also note hilary called for the airstrikes only a few hours before they happened which incidentally looks a lot like equivalence. At the same time, maybe the false equivalency is us thinking that we vote for or against has any say in what they do…clearly it does have to get worse, not much to celebrate there.

    8. Kurtismayfield

      You should be brave and read Ann Coulter. She was Trump’s main cheerleader and now she has completely turned on him, noting that Trump’s Syria actions are exactly what Hillary would have done.

      I wrote in neither of these candidates, and live in a state where HRC’s victory was assured. I feel zero responsibility for the state of affairs and sadness on how Washington handles everything.

    9. Plenue

      I don’t recall there ever being many Trump lovers here. What I do recall is people expressing hope that he would at least deescalate matters related to Syria. This was also my hope, though I didn’t vote for Trump; I voted for Stein (though I can definitely understand why people voted for Trump). It was apparent early on he was likely to simply switch the aggression over to Iran, which Russia isn’t likely to tolerate anymore than they have the attempt to destroy Syria, but he might at least have delayed the end of the world by a few months. Even now it’s not at all clear the internal machinations that have led us to this, Trump’s predispositions could still have been to not fight over Syria, but he was pressured/manipulated/blackmailed onto this course.The business with Flynn has certainly made it clear there’s a civil war going on inside the government.

      I guess it has to be reiterated that Clinton was literally calling for a ‘no-fly zone’ during her campaign, and made another call for the destruction of the entire Syrian air force less than 24 hours before the cruise missile strike. So the choice was between a candidate who WOULD start a war (possibly even WW3) and a wildcard candidate who MIGHT start it.

    10. fresno dan

      Corbin Dallas
      April 9, 2017 at 10:01 am

      The author of this article says it better than I could:

      Will Trump’s victory break up the Democratic Party? [March 24, 2017]

      At the time this volume is going to press, there is no way of knowing how successful these international reversals will be. What is more clear is what Trump’s political impact will have at home. His victory – or more accurately, Hillary’s RESOUNDING LOSS and the WAY she lost – has encouraged enormous pressure for a realignment of both parties. Regardless of what President Trump may achieve vis-à-vis Europe, his actions as celebrity chaos agent may break up U.S. politics across the political spectrum.

      The Democratic Party has lost its ability to POSE as the party of labor and the middle class. Firmly controlled by Wall Street and California billionaires, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) strategy of identity politics encourages any identity EXCEPT that of WAGE earners. The candidates backed by the Donor Class have been Blue Dogs pledged to promote Wall Street and neocons urging a New Cold War with Russia.

      They PREFERRED TO LOSE with Hillary than to win behind Bernie Sanders. So Trump’s electoral victory is their legacy as well as Obama’s. Instead of Trump’s victory dispelling that strategy, the Democrats are doubling down. It is as if identity politics is all they have.

      Trying to ride on Barack Obama’s coattails didn’t work. Promising “hope and change,” he won by POSING*** as a transformational president, leading the Democrats to CONTROL of the White House, Senate and Congress in 2008. Swept into office by a national reaction against the George Bush’s Oil War in Iraq and the junk-mortgage crisis that left the economy debt-ridden, they had free rein to pass whatever new laws they chose – even a Public Option in health care if they had wanted, or make Wall Street banks absorb the losses from their bad and often fraudulent loans.

      But it turned out that Obama’s ROLE was to PREVENT the changes that voters hoped to see, and indeed that the economy needed to recover: financial reform, debt writedowns to bring junk mortgages in line with fair market prices, and throwing crooked bankers in jail. Obama rescued the banks, not the economy, and turned over the Justice Department and regulatory agencies to his Wall Street campaign contributors. He did not even pull back from war in the Near East, but extended it to Libya and Syria, blundering into the Ukrainian coup as well.

      Having dashed the hopes of his followers, Obama then praised his chosen successor Hillary Clinton as his “Third Term.” Enjoying this kiss of death, Hillary promised to keep up Obama’s policies.
      *** And I note, Trump did exactly the same thing – maybe with the caveat that Obama was true deviousness, while Trump was pure cluelessness….I mean, to make the public statement “Who knew health care was so complicated” is like begging for ridicule (actually it could be simple….medicare for all, but that would take some courage, effort, and focus).

      I have always believed Trump was merely the only hammer the electorate had to break the system. What does it say that Sanders, NOT EVEN a DEM, gave Hillary such a run??
      Nobody I knew voted FOR Trump – the voted against our simulacrum of choice.

    11. Fiery Hunt

      No one I know, on this blog or in real world, was “Trump is great!”.

      But for damn sure, the Democratic elites are equally as bad. And Hillary has already said she’d be further along the war front. Nothing false about it.

  10. Eustache de Saint Pierre

    I enjoyed the Julian Barnes diary piece which contains much in the way of truth, although I do not agree with his apparent opinion that the EU is the land of sunshine & roses.

    For myself, it highlights one of my main worries concerning those who like Jonathon Bartlett ( the joint leader of the Green Party ), who enthusiastically support the free movement of Labour.

    Whatever the eventual outcome to Brexit, I do believe that England especially, will due to growing resentment become a worse place to add more foreign bodies to the usual dumping grounds – particularly the once industrial heartland, which will most probably be under further pressure, for funding, jobs & housing.

    The Krulls I think ( perhaps incorrectly ) could be partly likened to the Muslim communities, due to the fact that many would be like the family group, in as much as their efforts to fit in, while never for the most part being fully accepted by the natives, & Hans, who would be much more comparable with the the criminal elements, of which the Rotherham sex scandal & it’s equivalents in other cities, are probably the worst case – a situation inflamed further by the authorities inertia due to Identity Politics & the ability of the abusers to use the ” Racist ” card to avoid prosecution.

    The Jews on the other hand could be compared to the more religious fundamentalist elements.

    It would be tragic if the mistakes of others would eventually have to be proven, at the cost of those they are seeking to shelter or who are personally trying to improve their own prospects. I hope I am very wrong about this, but it does worry me in terms of a future that shows little likelihood of improvement.

    1. Clive

      Having read Barnes’ erudite and skillfully written piece — which had a crispness and honestly about it that makes me feel like I am a rank amateur and never could hold a candle to his talent — I nevertheless got that same sinking sensation that I get when I read so much similar (but usually vastly inferior) Remainer articles.

      Which is: it is precisely because of features like Barnes’ and the attitudes which form its underpinnings that Brexit won the vote. But the Remainers are like characters trapped inside a pained two-dimensional picture thinking they can see what the picture is all about and how so many are unable to interpret it, an interpretation which if anyone else tries to make, they are going to get it wrong because they don’t understand art.

      What Barnes and his well meaning ilk fail to understand is that although they may try to strain and crane their necks while contained in the painting and by a lot of contorted movement genuinely think they can see what the picture looks like, they will never be able to do this because they are themselves the painting, the imagery of which they are so earnestly trying to explain to everyone else in the gallery looking on. The onlookers interpretation of the picture varies and not all the interpretations are correct. Nor are a lot of the onlookers viewing the painting from afar always especially pleasant human beings. But they all have an objectivity which Barnes lacks.

      1. Mark P.

        The lead piece in that issue of the LRB that the Barnes comes from is by James Meek, who’s a better novelist (The People’s Act of Love) and a former full-time professional reporter.

        It’s called ‘Somerdale to Skarbimierz’ and Meek takes a granular, specific look at what the free movement of labor and capital between Poland and the UK under the EU’s rules has actually meant for British working people outside London.

        In almost every way, most British working peoples’ lives have become harder, Meek shows. It’s very much worth a read.

        It’s a message that people like Barnes and many other Remainers simply lack the moral imagination to grasp. Because if they did, they’d have to get their minds around the fact that as the beneficiaries of the social and financial order that Britain’s former membership of the EU created — whether under Conservative or Labour governments — they are the bad guys.

        1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

          I agree Meek’s piece is well worth a read. I didn’t post it in today’s Links because Lambert had already posted it in Friday’s Links.

            1. Anonymous2

              To be accurate, the Meek piece is about the consequences of free movement of capital rather than labour so not really central to the Brexit debate on immigration. It is really related to free trade issues rather than anything else. The problem for the UK is that as a country which has to trade it is very difficult to espouse protectionism if there is any risk of retaliation .

              As a Remainer I resent being called a bad guy as it is a position I reached only after a lot of thought and with the welfare of the British people uppermost in my mind. The fall in sterling which has followed the referendum will now drive down living standards in the UK, imposing real wage cuts, and we can expect cuts to public services as well. All of which reinforces my conviction that the referendum result will damage further the position of ordinary Britons.

              1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

                Anonymous 2

                I certainly do not think you or any other Remainers are bad, although I was very annoyed about the reaction from many to the shock of losing.
                I did not vote myself as I thought like many Remain would win & was in any case of the opinion that neither side was worth voting for.

                One incident in particular enraged me that I discovered on my FB feed. I chanced on a middle class artist who I had met once in the middle of a discussion with similar women on the revolting Brexiteer peasants having had in their ignorance, been researching the EU online to discover what it actually was. These people are all avowed left wingers & I imagine you can guess which newspaper they read.

                I asked them how they knew that these people searching for knowledge were Brexit supporters…we no longer communicate.

      2. Eustache de Saint Pierre

        Thank you Clive for your own beautiful response & I am in full agreement with you.

        I have always wondered about the wisdom of a few informing the many about the meaning of certain artworks, which in my opinion has led to a type of pop chart top twenty as being designated as the correct list to swoon over, while I think there are many forgotten & ignored marvels that should have at least a chance to shine in someone’s heart. The listing as Flemish Primitives of the likes of Van Eyke is one of my pet peeves.

        This is a don’t start me on subject for me, but I do agree with the assessment of the Mona Lisa as a wonderful painting & just for fun will leave you with my humble opinion of it’s meaning, based on an incident with my daughter. She represents creation as she is pregnant – a conclusion of mine based on the historical evidence available & that same smile on my daughter’s face on telling me her good news.

        I shall now ramble back before getting hopelessly lost.

      3. craazyman

        Very good Clive. Very good.

        Brevity, movement, metaphor and precision. you nailed 4 for 4!

    2. fresno dan

      Eustache de Saint Pierre
      April 9, 2017 at 10:02 am

      Cousin Hans arrives from Germany on the first page, preceded by a letter from his father. Hans regards himself as a ‘pure’ Krull, and is everything the impure Krulls are not: he is cynical, mendacious, scrounging and loud-mouthed. His first act, on moving in, is brutally to seduce the underage Elisabeth. He borrows money from his aunt and bullies the timid Joseph, who is studying for his medical exams.

      He goes to see Pierre Schoof, breaks the shop rules by loudly talking German, and when hustled into a back office, asks to borrow money: a large part of his father’s fortune, he reveals, is tied up in Belgium, and he needs to wire 5000 francs immediately in order to release it. (Nowadays, this scam arrives regularly into email inboxes, and still works; it’s good to see the original, face-to-face version.)

      I learned the supposed first (really the first?) literary reference to a German actually being a Nigerian Prince swindling someone by saying you need money to get a bigger fortune.

  11. tgs

    Here is the narrative we are supposed to believe:

    End of March: Tillerson and Haley state that removing Assad is no longer the priority.

    A few days later: An emboldened Assad decides to test Trump’s mettle and launch a chemical attack.

    He has every reason to believe that in so doing he will create outrage throughout the ‘west’ and renewed calls for regime change.

    He also is apparently unworried that he may lose the support of Russia and Iran in carrying out such an attack. After all the Russians have put their credibility on the line by insuring that Syria no longer has chemical weapons.

    The Russians and Syrians inform the US that the Syrian airforce will attack a suspected arms depot in Idlib province. Assad orders his airforce to use sarin gas in the attack.

    Fortunately for the west, George Clooney’s favorite medical team, the white helmets, is on hand to film the atrocity.

    A doctor who has been accused in the kidnapping of western journalists is also on hand to treat the victims and tweet to the world.

    Yeah, it makes sense.

    1. fresno dan

      April 9, 2017 at 10:25 am

      When you say it like that….but what of the blonde, blue eyed Syrian children????….that were killed by gas, because being killed by bombs….is not an atrocity, just normal war killing, like we do….

    2. craazyboy


      Well, when you put it like that, maybe some doubt does arise. But if our investigative journalists at the Big 5 MSM orgs don’t see a problem with it, then I don’t. hahahahaha.

      Besides. They are on our side and live here under our nuke force field bubble shield too.

      They’re not a bunch of idiots!


    3. Octopii

      If it had been sarin the emergency responders would have died from having ungloved skin contact with the victims. Unlikely it was sarin.

  12. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Sleep Is the New Status Symbol NYT

    Most Americans are sleep deprived and especially high school kids…too many classes.

    Pressure to get into college too great…it’s not ‘Elite Public College for All.” :(

    “Sorry, you were just too lazy to get Free Elite Public College. You deserve your Free, But Not Elite Public College.”

    1. polecat

      Jeeze … for a second there I read that as ‘Sheep’ …. as in ‘we’re all sheep deprived’ … !!

      Que Woody Allen movie joke in 3 … 2 … 1

      1. Massinissa

        We ARE sheep deprived as well as sleep deprived. Can’t fall asleep without having sheep to count dont’cha know

    2. DH

      In our area, high school kids are getting on a 7:15 am bus to go to school. I don’t think many high school kids mental bio-rhythm clocks are synchronized to starting school before 8 am. The 7:15 time is set in order to be able to do another round of picking up middle school and elementary kids a around 8:15 am.

  13. andyb

    And the fact that the medics weren’t wearing hazmat suits while hosing off the children is a good indicator that the gas was not sarin; otherwise the rescuers would be dead as well. The blonde children pic was another obvious “tell”; did they have blue eyes?

    1. Optimader

      1.) Why is it neccesary to wear a hazmat suit after a sarin gas event? How long does the gas linger?

      2.) how readily available do you think Hazmat suits are in Syria?

      1. Massinissa

        2: Yeah, there probably are not any available. But if it were Sarin, the first responders would all be dead if they were not wearing them. Sarin is nasty stuff.

        1. Optimader

          Sarin GAS? Outside? I think not unless first tesponders were walking into it through a upstream plume…Gas dissipates

            1. Optimader

              No, not unless you are belowthe dew point. Sarin has a high vapor pressure, doesnt want to be a liquid at STP.
              Just dont go into a basement/ low unventilated confined space.. it has a higher molecular weight than the comppnents of air (will sink)

    2. m

      One thing I thought was odd, the Al Qaeda guy doing chest compression to the middle age guys abdomen. His belly was so bloated and the rebound. I just wonder if he was dead and full of gas, sorry. Just bothering me.

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    As KFC shuns some antibiotics, U.S. chicken industry deploys wet wipes, oregano Reuters (Dan K)

    What if we should learn that volunteer-for-slaughterhouse chickens taste better?

    “This chick dies so humans don’t starve.”

    That kind of spirituality comes through when cooked.

      1. polecat

        Hey … maybe we just found a practical use for those internet savvy vibrators … just add ‘sanitation goo’ & insert into cloaca … all to be brightly viewed in living color !!

      2. Mel

        Far more important than propagandized chickens, Cordwainer Smith’s works are now in the public domain, some places, for a while. The Ballad of Lost C’Mell is on the list here for April 8. This story is much Bigger than I ever thought it would be. I don’t know what to do with it. It could be a hymn to the American Revolution, from the days before anybody knew it was dead.

        1. Mark P.

          ‘It could be a hymn to the American Revolution, from the days before anybody knew it was dead.’

          That’s too parochial. More likely, Smith’s fiction really is a message from 10,000 years in the future, from the era of the Instrumentality of Mankind.

          For those who don’t know, ‘Cordwainer Smith’ wrote probably the strangest, most distinctive science-fiction there ever was. If you go to Amazon and find the NESFA collection of all his stuff, The Rediscovery of Man, you’ll see it has about a hundred five-star reviews — possibly the only book on Amazon that does, because once someone reads Smith’s stories they don’t leave one’s mind.

          “It’s unfair,” cried the half-man. “They should be punished as we were.”
          The Lady Johanna Gnade looked down at him. “Punishment is ended. We will give you anything you wish, but not the pain of another.”

          ‘Cordwainer Smith’ wrote only a little SF because he had a busy real life as a man called Paul Linebarger, and his other best-known book under his own name, Psychological Warfare, was for about thirty years the U.S. military’s primary textbook on that subject. Interesting character.

          1. Mel

            I was thinking of why E’telekeli was an eagle, and the whole Marshall Plan, mission civilisatrice, granting the blessing of liberty plot recounted in the story. I know Linebarger had a lot to do with China, and there were a lot of American idealists in China.

  15. MoiAussie

    Would somebody who does the whole social media thing please start a movement to respond to Ivanka’s tweets with well attributed, heart-breaking photos and stats of children killed in Mosul and Yemen.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Let’s not presume that McCain, Hillary, the Saudi king, et al, are not humansmove

      They can be moved by tragedies, like the rest of us.

      Why only assume the Slavic sounding Ivanka is human?

      1. MoiAussie

        Rumour has it that Ivanka talked daddy into doing something about the horrible photos.
        I don’t think any of your other candidates are capable of doing that,

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Hillary can be charming and persuasive.

          Or she can be forceful and still persuasive.

      2. marym

        Ivanka is now in a position to influence world events and opinions. She has used her twitter account to support slaughter and destruction as a response to something she may or may not consider a tragedy. She’s not being singled out as more “human” than other perpetrators and supporters of slaughter and destruction. They already know full well the scope of the tragedies they cause.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          We assume the other perpetrators know.

          And even if they know, we let them off easy?

          1. marym

            You can’t possibly be arguing that a senior Senator and a former Senator/Secretary of State, both former candidates for president, and their dear arms purchaser are unaware of the result of their policies; or haven’t been criticized for it; and in the case of the first 2, lost elections because of it.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


              Just don’t give up criticizing them, as they don’t give up their ideas either.

        2. Carolinian

          That’s disillusioning if true (I don’t follow Twitter). Some of us hoped Ivanka would be the normal one. She is obviously a Daddy’s girl and will defend anything he does.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Disillusioning indeed, but we are forgetting the people screaming for war and blood for months, looking, instead, only at the last straw, who have been and will still be there after 4 (or however many) years.

      3. polecat

        Please, lets not forget that mccain … with lindsey, are both anus, and mouth, as one …. and are therefore, NOT human. They are a much lower life/death form . The others mentioned are as low, but on different branches of the evolutionary tree

    2. HopeLB

      They’ve closed down most of the foreign bureaus which keeps the Goliath MSM on message.
      Cell phone footage does not carry credentials.

    3. m

      I was reading articles & a link to Veteran’s Today had the most horrifying pictures of children killed by Israeli cluster bombs. Too graphic to share. Still bothering me.

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Do you know how to identify well-made clothes? Treehugger. A necessary step for fighting fast fashion….

    One way is by this sign: If it has been handed down a few generations…surviving the test of time…

    1. ambrit

      This can spin off in so many directions it’s downright humbling. The Kingdom could fall if the Iranians go full force through Southern Irak and Kuwait and on to the oil fields. Even the Iranians taking out the Saudi water purification sites along the Persian Gulf littoral could do the trick. A small regional war could unravel the entire Post WW1 Neo-Colonial boundaries regime.
      If the Neo-Cons get their way in Syria, imagine the psychological effect this would have throughout the Middle East and North Africa. The destruction of Libya was something similar, but the dismantling of a previously stable and, for the region, progressive polity like Syria is an order of magnitude greater. Oh, the possibilities!

      1. craazyboy

        The whole ME is a wobbly convoluted line of dominoes eating its own tail.

        Speaking of water, Ethiopia soon will be able to close off their damn and make the Nile River and Egypt go dry. Similar water treaties elsewhere. No water, no food, from areas needing it for farming and ranching. The ME can hold itself under siege and starve itself out! But out where? Turkey, Europe?

        1. ambrit

          At this point in the game it seems that some players are angling towards a “your people get to die of thirst and starvation while my people do not” rule set.
          About that Ethiopian dam, well, where would they divert all of that water too, Somalia, Sudan, Eritrea? Plus, that’s just the Blue Nile. There is also the White Nile, arising from the Ugandan area to supply some water to the fellahin of Egypt.
          How’s the water situation out in the desert southwest? Done any skiing on Lake Havasu yet this year? (Hint: Tie a tow rope to the quadcopter and let it do the hard work.)
          Seriously, the Water Wars between South California and the Desert States mimics the Middle East quite a bit.

          1. craazyboy

            I think they are saying Lake Havasu filled up and may even be too full. Don’t know how that could happen. Lake Mead is still half empty. I guess the water don’t flow that direction.

            At Lake Havasu they make love, not war. At least in the Party Cove nude beach area. God then sends water to the righteous and good.

            1. skippy


              House boats w/ keggers w/ high powered jet skis are saved – !!!!!

              disheveled…. everything will get better now… think what might have happened with all those maladjusted Uni students hitting the job market and society with a massive sad….

      2. m

        I wonder if people within Saudi Arabia wouldn’t take advantage, aren’t there many that hate the oligarchs there.

        1. ambrit

          Yes, and from the reading I have done, much of the Kingdoms’ internal squabbles are socio-religious in nature. Wahabbism, the “official” creed inside the Kingdom is akin to Fundamentalist Christianity here in the West. Imagine, real “progressives” could start to run the major oil producing countries. Now that would be a real threat to the Status Qou elites here and in Europe. Unintended consequences abound!

    2. Jagger

      Russia and Iran have warned the US they will “respond with force” if their own “red lines” are crossed in Syria.

      Following Friday’s cruise missile strike on a Syrian airbase, in retaliation for the chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun earlier in the week, the alliance supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad made a joint statement threatening action in response to “any breach of red lines from whoever it is”.

      “What America waged in an aggression on Syria is a crossing of red lines. From now on we will respond with force to any aggressor or any breach of red lines from whoever it is and America knows our ability to respond well,” the group’s joint command centre said.

      Trump and the Neocons are definitely playing with fire here, folks.

      The neocons are so, so, so close to achieving their objectives, they can smell the blood.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        I doubt if Team Trump has ever cracked a history book, if they did they would recognize that Russia must have a warm water port and Syria is it. It’s of existential importance to the survival of Russia as a nation.
        So the point is that they will not fold their hand on Assad as though he was just another tinpot dictator…there is much much more at stake. The Helgoland Bight bottles them up in the Baltic and Vladivostok is much too far away.

        1. DH

          The need for a warm water port is why they took over Crimea. Sevastopol is their warm water port and has been for centuries. As long as Ukraine was completely neutral or tilted towards Russia, then they could have an agreement with Ukraine for Russia to have the port. But as soon as Ukraine started tilting towards Europe and NATO, then the status of Sevastopol had to change.

          Crimea is a peninsula, so much of the fight over Eastern Ukraine is about having a land bridge from Russia to Crimea and Sevastopol.

          Syria provides a the potential for a good Russian base on the Mediterranean. However, Montenegro has been playing that role and so its recent unrest is making Russia uneasy there.

          1. Yves Smith

            You seem to forget that the population of Crimea was significantly Russian in extraction and the government in Kiev was threatening ethnic Russians. Crimea held a referendum and the results were overwhelmingly in favor of joining Russia. And before you try to say the mechanism was illegitimate, the US sponsored and approved of precisely the same process in Kosovo.

            Russian military planes are designed to land in much rougher terrain than US planes are, so bases aren’t as critical to their strategy as they are to ours. While Russia might prefer to have its own bases, it can use ones in Iran, and I am pretty sure they have plenty good access to the Middle East for most purposes.

      1. RudyM

        FWIW, The Duran has this take on it:

        The Sunday Express and Zero Hedge both site something called Ilam al Harbi media as the source of information for the story.

        A quick English language Google search for ‘Ilam al Harbi’ comes up with several articles from Yemen Press, none of which lead to a story about the Putin/Rouhani phone call or anything else concerning Russia/Iranian responses to the US attack on Syria.

        Additionally there is a Saudi based telecom company called al-Harbi whose website can be found here. It is not a news website in any way shape or form.

        A report from the usually reliable Al-Masdar news has produced an Arabic language document purportedly from a joint military command centre used by Russia, Iran, Syria and Hezbollah. Although, Iran, Russia and Syria do share intelligence and cooperate in the Syrian war against terrorism, the existence of the specific ‘joint command centre’ in question, seems to be misleading and inaccurate if not entirely fabricated in this context.

        No such body as the ‘joint operations room’ in this context appears to exist nor has it ever existed according to any source, dating from the beginning of Russian involvement in the civil war in September of 2015 up until today. The reports mentioning the document in question do not for example site the formal joint intelligence ventures of the so called 4+1 Coalition of Syria, Russia, Iran, Iraq and Hezbollah.

        In all likelihood, the document is a forgery produced by those who seek to spread false stories about the strategy of Russia, Iran, Syria and Hezbollah. The second most likely scenario is that the document was produced by middle or low ranking military personnel who do not speak for any of the aforementioned parties. Such individuals would likely be enthusiastic patriotic members of the Syria/Russia/Iran/Hezbollah coalition who want to send an unsanctioned and ultimately counterproductive message to the US.

        I’m getting very confused at this point, maybe a little too desperate to jump on any bits of “news” that might quickly turn out to be false.

  17. Carolinian

    Re Margaret Sullivan in the WaPo. Sullivan has been defending her new employer’s atrocious coverage over the past several months and now she gets upset? The Russia hysteria in the Post and others has been pushing Trump toward the result we now see, so in fact the new media love for Trump the bomber is simply an extension of that. One might have more respect for Sullivan if she were objecting to the PropOrNot story but then she’d have to attack he people who are paying her.

  18. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    A new generation of even faster fashion is leaving H&M and Zara in the dust Quartz

    It’s sexist to say women are more vulnerable?

    But if you see ads as acts of mental rape, then women and teenage children are victims.

    They didn’t ask for ‘it.’

    What this trend shows is that the ever more perverted foreign ‘thought-objects’ are penetrating the prey faster and faster, without consent, leaving behind traumatic fashion consumers.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


        Men are victims in other cases…though not safe when it comes to fashion.

      2. Kurtismayfield

        Exactly.. you should see the video game industry. Guys jump from game to game that offer the same gameplay from software created in the 80’s and 90’s and all the publishers add is a feature and a few extra pixels each generation.

  19. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Chinese state media cheer Xi-Trump meeting, say confrontation not inevitable Reuters

    Xi-Trump summit ‘beats expectations’ but N Korea still a big divide SCMP

    U.S. Sends Aircraft Carrier Group Toward Korean Peninsula WSJ

    State media being state media.

    Is the aircraft carrier group something to cheer about (for the Chinese nationalists, that is)?

    1. JTMcPhee

      And now for something completely different!

      It’s straight propaganda, of course, and other netplaces point out possible flaws and weaknesses of NKor anti-ship missiles, and of course the what, $17 billion “carrier task group” has all those complicated, contractor-maintained, defensive weapons systems that have done so well in war games past and actual trials (/s) — .

      But hey, our Navy boys and girls are loaded for bear and dragon and such, spoiling for a long-range missile-launching fight so they can get them some medals and ribbons, and the admirals have really comfy digs in their quarters with lots of enlisted servants to comfort them as they mount their attack plans… Hopefully the NKs will stick to the script, roll over and die… shock and awe, you know…

      1. fresno dan

        April 9, 2017 at 11:30 am

        Does Trump believe the generals? And more disconcerting….do the generals believe the generals (or admirals)

        I am wondering what happens when the US takes on someone who isn’t the equivalent of Kramer taking on a 10 year old?
        If Russia hadn’t been on our side in WWII, and we were fighting the two front war, would we have won?
        Grenada, Iraq (the first one), and now Syria – really doesn’t strike me as much of a challenge. It wasn’t that long ago that Asians in black pajamas prevailed….and by the way, did we win in Afghanistan?

        1. Massinissa

          “and by the way, did we win in Afghanistan?”

          I would say no. When we occupied places like Japan, the shooting stopped. The shooting hasn’t stopped in Afghanistan yet, so I don’t think we have won yet. Maybe if we stay there another hundred years or so we can ‘win’.

      2. Optimader

        Who do you think supplied Pyongyang leadership with solid rocket fuel/booster technology and why?
        Fk NK leadership and their sponsor

    1. footnote4

      Including this view on Bannon and Kushner

      Two men were standing in between another U.S.-led war in the Middle East — General Mike Flynn and Steve Bannon. Flynn was removed after Susan Rice unmasked classified information concerning him. Bannon’s role within the White House was weakened by McMaster, who demanded Bannon be removed from his advisory position at NSC.

      McMaster’s friends in the media, as part of a broader strategy to increase McMaster’s power, have claimed Jared Kushner and Bannon had a major falling out. In fact Kushner and Bannon are united in their opposition to McMaster’s plan.

    2. Carolinian

      That’s super grim. Here’s hoping it’s just gossip. However there seems to be a power struggle within the military as well. I’ve read that Trump wanted a much bigger raid but that his military people talked him out of it and warned the Russians so no Russians would be killed.

      One thing: an escalation that size would almost certainly need Congressional approval. As NotTimothyGeithner keeps saying, call your Congressperson.

  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    India and Bangladesh Sign 22 Agreements, Discuss Water Sharing The Wire

    India and East Pakistan…or India and Pakistan, etc.

    It is never to get out a mess, tragedy, atrocity, etc.

    If you just simply pulled out from the embassy rooftop, you got boat people in boatfuls.

    When the British pulled out of her sub continent colony, the Muslims and Hindus went after each other.

    We don’t learn and history repeats.

    Can we just pull out of the Middle East? Do you continue ‘bombing Vietnam while parties talked in Switzerland about peace?’

    1. Aumua

      Yeah, we can. Would there be a downside to just backing away from the whole mess (which we helped make)? Most certainly. But weigh the pros and cons.

      Not as if anything like that is going to happen, of course.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I think we can, provided we make certain arrangements.

        We shouldn’t just pull out through the embassy rooftop.

  21. Dale

    Re: A Family Planning Miracle in Colorado.
    If 60% of pregnancies are unintended, and our birth rate is hovering at the replacement rate now, and then if we greatly reduce the rate of unintended pregnancies, what does this mean for our ability to produce the next generation?

      1. Vatch

        Thank you! There are 7.5 billion people on the planet, and we add more every day.

        Humans will never have a problem finding ways to create new people. What we need right now, is to reduce the world’s population to a sustainable level.

        The article about Colorado is very promising, but there’s still a vast amount of work to be done all over the United States and the rest of the world. The situation is quite grim in many of the world’s mega cities, where the number of people is frequently higher than 15 million. China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, and Japan (not a Third World country, of course) all have cities that are larger than anything in the United States or Europe.

        1. Carl

          Your long form reading material here is Mike Davis’ Planet of Slums. Incredibly depressing.

    1. vlade

      it would not hurt either the planet nor the human race if the human population stabilised on around half of what it is now….

      1. fresno dan

        April 9, 2017 at 11:42 am

        I see most marriages and I wonder why people are married
        I see most families and I wonder why people have children

        1. Massinissa

          I understand marriages more than I do having children. IIRC, isn’t there a lot of data on married couples (or was it just the men?) living longer than singles and so forth?

          Having children, though, is impractical in currently existing capitalism, at least in the first world. Not that everyone has to only do what’s practical, but I’m just saying.

    2. John k

      Us has 4 mil births and 2.4 mil deaths per year.
      Per wiki, 1/3 of births not wanted.
      If all unwanted births prevented we would still have about 300k net new locals every year.
      Plus about 1+ mil immigration, though less recently because economy sucks.
      So even with no unwanted births our pop would grow about 0.5%/year.
      Lots of benefits, both individual and societal.

  22. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Trump Fires Warning Shot in Battle Between Bannon and Kushner NYT (Bob K).

    Robert Reich: What the Clash Between Kushner and Bannon Means for America AlterNet

    Don’t Forget Your Base Medium (Bill B). “Bannon meets Borat. Did these guys not see the inevitable abandonment coming? The swamp owns D.C.”

    Reports: Fragile Peace Accord Reached in the White House’s Bannon-Kushner War New York magazine

    The Unions That Like Trump NYT

    Trump’s White House Is a Family Business. That’s Not a Bad Thing. Politico

    A family business?

    Who is Sonny here?

    Who’s Carlo Rizzi?

    Who’s Michale and who’s Fredo?

  23. RudyM

    Do you know how to identify well-made clothes?

    I’ve wasted so much money on shirts from Dillard’s house brand, in recent years. Just about every single one developed these odd holes in the collar. (It’s not just something my dryer is causing because I have a few much older shirts around, from other sources, that this is not happening to.) I kept going back because I liked the look of their shirts and I figured they have to correct the problem at some point. (Wrong.)

    I do find that designer shirts have often lasted much longer for me than more generic ones, but I also look for the type of things described in the article linked to, when I shop. One problem I have with designer shirts though is that so many of them are “slim fit.” Have these designers seen what the average American looks like these days? Alas, I am no exception (though I have health issues as an excuse).

    OK, back to think about potential WWIII.

    1. Octopii

      Having the opposite body type (also due to health issues) I love slim-fit designer brands. In fat times and skinny, LL Bean has been good to me for clothes that last and last. Lands End also was before the Lampert era but I haven’t tried them in a while.

    1. MoiAussie

      This is interesting. The way this is being reported by MSM outlets, as a joint statement by Russia, Iran, (and Hezbollah), lacks credibility because there is no clear attribution. There are (as yet) no corresponding public statements from official spokespersons in the Kremlin and Teheran.

      The first report of it came from Al Masdar, where you can see the actual document, which is in Arabic and just 1 page. Any Arabic speakers here? Seems more like something released internally in Syria. Nevertheless, it may well represent the reality of a policy change by forces supporting Assad. It certainly doesn’t justify the Mirror’s “Russia and Iran have told President trump he has crossed a ‘red line'”.

      The Reuters article seems to have come from their Dubai newsroom. The independent then picked it up, as has ABC. Russia Insider ran with it then walked it back, saying “we goofed”.

    1. MoiAussie

      Yes. The lack of outcry in response to the recent ArsTechnica story (linked yesterday) that Uber has been cheating its drivers/customers is surprising. There’s been a lot going on, I suppose.

      The simple scam is to pay the driver for a direct route and charge the passenger for a longer one, with Uber pocketing the difference. Uber execs should do jail time for this kind of blatant fraud.

        1. MoiAussie

          First up, fraud should attract penalties that are sufficient to act as real deterrents.
          Second, uber users, of which I am not one, will undoubtedly continue to use uber as long as the cost is subsidised by investors.

  24. Carey

    I am thinking that a significant faction of the transnational ruling class wanted Brexit and Trump victories and may now prefer a LePen win as well.

    1. Octopii

      Sadly, you may be right. Le Pen could really surprise everyone, and if she gets it Europe is done.

      1. MoiAussie

        If Marine gets up Europe will be transformed, undoubtedly, but quite possibly for the better.

  25. TK421

    HRC– perhaps the only 69-year old who still can’t decide what name she wants to go by.

    Well o one has offered her money for either name, so how can she choose?

    1. clarky90

      She could be “Dr Pepper Cinton”? I’m certain that there would be a sweetener, in it for Her. The Dr adds gravitas!

      Sent by Pony Express

  26. allan

    “Manchurian Candidate” Starts War on Business

    Written by Trump’s incoming Council of Economic Advisors Chair, AEI’s Kevin Hassett.
    On March 9, 2009.

    Back in the 1960s, Lyndon Johnson gave us the War on Poverty. In the 1970s,
    Richard Nixon launched the War on Drugs. Now that we have seen President Barack
    Obama’s first-year legislative agenda, we know what kind of a war he intends to

    It is no wonder that markets are imploding around us. Obama is giving us the
    War on Business.

    Imagine that some hypothetical enemy state spent years preparing a
    “Manchurian Candidate” to destroy the U.S. economy once elected. What policies
    might that leader pursue? …

    Imagine that some hypothetical enemy state spent years preparing a
    “Manchurian Think Tank” to destroy the U.S. economy once its chosen candidate was elected.
    What policies might that think tank endorse?

  27. John k

    Unwanted pregnancies.
    In theory a deal should be possible.
    Right don’t like abortion.
    Left want to help poor people avoid unwanted pregnancies.
    Why not have planned parenthood get out of abortion business in return for major neighborhood funding for iud’s?

    1. ambrit

      In theory a good idea. However, the serious anti-abortion groups are against any form of contraception at all. It relates to the Patriarchal nature of the Fundamental Judeo Christian Islamic sects. To them, a woman is basically a chattel, to be used to increase the population of the “chosen ones.” Hence, no IUDs, no Depo Provera, no “Pill,” no female control of her fertility at all. We are dealing with fanatics. Their attitude is “my way or you die.”
      This is really a basic Feminist issue.
      My version of the “deal” you mention is; I’ll give you abortion restrictions if you agree to free and totally unrestricted contraception. (Unrestricted to mean exactly that. No parental control, no waiting period, no residency requirement to get contraception.) The problem with that idea is education. Conservative parents cluster their children in exclusive schools or teach them at home now. Who will teach the young women their rights and duties? It’s not simple at all.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      “Abortion” is a red herring. If the ministers cant go to the “poor dumpster baby routine” they might miss a car payment or turnout might be down in Republican areas.

      Democrats have made me a cynical about their efforts, but ELITE REPUBLICANS DO NOT CARE ABOUT POOR PEOPLE OR FETUSES IN ANY WAY.

      A well off person will never have a problem getting an abortion. They will restrict poor people, to make them visible dependents of their church.

      You arent the first person to propose this. “Pro-life” is code for “fleece the sheep.”

  28. fresno dan

    A member of the United Nations commission of inquiry announced on a Swiss-Italian television show that they believe the Syrian rebels have used chemical weapons on Assad’s troops. “Our investigators have been in neighboring countries interviewing victims, doctors and field hospitals and, according to their report of last week which I have seen, there are strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof of the use of sarin gas, from the way the victims were treated,” said Carla Del Ponte, a member of the commission. “This was use on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities.”

    Before anybody does anything, though, the U.N. commission’s claims need to be verified. There’s been nothing but misinformation spewing out of Syria, as the conflict turned to an all out civil war, and it’s not unimaginable that the Assad regime has been able to spin some information to their advantage. Plus how in the world would the rebels even get sarin gas?
    “Before anybody does anything…”
    Yeah, might be good advice for “gulf of tonkin” and “yellowcake” ‘Merica…..just sayin’

  29. Plenue

    >Roaming Charges: Metaphysical Graffiti Counterpunch

    “I don’t know who was behind the grisly chemical attack in the northern Syrian city of Khan Shaikhoun that killed more than 70 people, including many children.”

    There was no chemical attack on the town; there was a stockpile of al-Qaeda chemical weapons, probably chlorine gas, that was inadvertently released by a Syrian conventional airstrike.

    “All of the actors in the region–the Assad regime, the rebels, Russia, Al Qaeda, Israel, the Kurds, the Turks, the Iranians and the US–have access to chemical weapons and we know that the US, Israel, the rebels and Assad have probably used them in the past. Take your pick, choose your poison.”

    The Syrians gave away their chemical weapons three years ago. And it’s far from clear they ever actually used them anyway.

  30. Altandmain

    Has anyone else seen Bernie Sanders’ latest interview with NBC? He says the US cannot act unilaterally and that it will risk perpetual war:

    Sanders is good on domestic policy, but I wish he would take a stronger stance on foreign policy. It’s a shame that Tulsi Gabbard was never VP and Sanders POTUS though; Gabbard would very likely have addressed this weak point.

    Oh and now the Democratic senior management is trying to get rid of Gabbard:

    Yeah this is going to get real ugly.

    1. financial matters

      Pretty amazing. Gabbard trying to talk logically to Wolf Blitzer who can’t get past a completely blind neocon trust in the administration. (which he recently thought was influenced by Russia). As if Iraq and the ‘weapons of mass destruction’ etc never happened.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Dean and Neera are going after an actual veteran now. My guess is Gabbard will eat them alive. Dean must be desperate for relevance. He isnt an elected anymore, and Sanders demolished his standing with the left and activist types.

    3. howard nyc

      I wasn’t sure about Gabbard. I like much of what she says, but like any politician, she has some minuses in my view. The way she was smeared for her trip to Syria was telling. But if these clowns are against her, I’m for her.

    4. John Wright

      Thanks for the cnn link.

      Neera Tanden and Howard Dean may typify the fundamental rot in the Democrat half of the single party USA system.

      Tanden complains that Gabbard “met with a murderous dictator (Assad)” as if talking with a possible adversary is wrong. (What about FDR and Joe Stalin?)

      Dean posits that Gabbard should not be in Congress because she is skeptical that Assad is behind the chemical weapons attack.

      Amazing Dean is so sure of himself in this matter as some have suggested it was more of an accidental release as the result of a bomb dropped on a warehouse.

      Given that both Tanden and Dean are elder representatives of the Democratic political class, they should be the first to ask themselves why any foreign leader/politician, such as Assad, would do something that results in only negative consequences for the foreign leader.

      I’d argue that both Tanden and Dean have reached their “sell-by dates” but maybe this is simple evidence they sold out some time ago.

    1. MoiAussie

      In reality, however, land and capital are fundamentally distinctive phenomena. Land is permanent, cannot be produced or reproduced, cannot be ‘used up’ and does not depreciate.

      Seems like much economic thinking which chooses to ignore reality in order to keep things simple. Cannot be used up and does not depreciate?!? What about land clearing, over-cultivation, topsoil loss, contamination, etc? What about concreting over productive agricultural land? What about sea level-rise?

      1. Grebo

        “Depreciaton” here refers to an accounting trick and does not necessarily have any relation to the real or even nominal market value of land.

        Land in a desirable location will retain much of its value no matter how denuded it is. The natural resources on a piece of land can be valued separately from the land itself.

        The whole thrust of this article is that conflating land and capital is a “simplification” designed to elevate land owners over the rest of us and we need to get back to reality.

        1. MoiAussie

          The natural resources on a piece of land can be valued separately from the land itself.

          How often does that happen in practice, except perhaps for mineral resources?
          An arbitrary distinction between value of land and value of resources on land is meaningless when the holistic value of resources-in-situ can be irreversably destroyed, eg by desertification, or permanent inundation, eg 3 Gorges Dam. What is the value of contaminated land in the exclusion zone around Chernobyl and Fukushima?

          All of this is symptomatic of the failure of mainstream economics to put meaningful values on irreplaceable natural resources and externalities in general.

  31. Montanamaven

    One thing that continues to bother me is the use of the phrase “killing his own people.” It was said that we had to go into Libya because Ghadafi was going to massacre his own people. We need to go into Syria because Assad is gassing and bombing his own people. Well, technically, the “rebels” in Eastern Libya were Libyans but they were also Jihadists. Technically, the rebels in Eastern Syria are Syrians but they are also Jihadists. ??

    1. Plenue

      It’s a meme to blame Assad for all of the deaths in the conflict in Syria (not to mention that those statistics are suspect to begin with). Which is beyond asinine; even if we accept the narrative that this is predominantly a genuine civil war, it takes two to tango. Are we expected to believe the rebels have never killed any innocents? Especially when the ‘opposition’ contains so many jiihadi head-chopper types (and that isn’t hyperbole, I’ve seen the pictures and videos).

      1. MoiAussie

        Well said. And it’s perfectly obvious that the policies of US elites and practices of US big bizness are killing their own people. Opioids and meth are chemical weapons too. The analogy deserves more airtime.

    2. tgs

      Actually, most of the so-called rebels in Syria are from all over the world. You are right that they are jihadists

  32. screen screamer
    Ummm, how is this man even in any way relevant to any discussion ever about anything. Fareed has outlived his usefulness as a journalist, or at least a presenter. It’s time that he remove his large head from the viewing auspices of the public and go cower in the corner reading Mad magazine and try not to lift the content during ensuing conversations with passers by. For the love of God, CNN, please put this reprobate out to pasture. Thank you in advance of your cooperation in this matter.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Do yourself a favor: stop watching CNN.

      the host of the Mole

      Some of CNN’s alums:

      -Shaw (of the infamous “if youre family” debate question)
      -Novak (can the undead really die? Im assuming he is back in Transylvania

      Its a clown factory.

    2. Matt

      These people cannot lose their jobs; Fareed has proven to be a serial plagiarist yet is STILL presented seriously. How does one achieve such total impunity?

      1. screen screamer

        I tune in every so often. You have to. One can’t just leave it to one source, but, CNN has clearly lost it’s way. They are sort of like Wonder Bread. How in the name of all that is good can one take a brand that is so ubiquitous and just destroy the goodness and integrity until people just stop buying that product until finally said product is no more.
        Just as an aside, O’Reilly did his best work chasing movie stars down the side walk screaming inane questions. Sort of how he treated his guests on his present show except he didn’t have to chase them. I don’t know why people agree to come on his show. Sort of like Judge Judy. You know you gonna get yelled at and it’s not gonna end well, but I guess the pay is good.

  33. PhilM

    “salt is salt”

    Utter bilge. Salt measures differently based on crystal size; it tastes completely different based on crystal shape. Salt is anything but uniform.

    1. HotFlash

      PhilM, I don’t often agree with you, but on salt I am with you 100%. And I *love* my salt grinder. Those little flakes are molto tasty.

    2. Grebo

      it tastes completely different based on crystal shape.

      Yeah, big ones taste saltier for some reason. What shape do the crystals need to be to taste like chocolate?

    3. pricklyone

      If you can taste the difference in salt type in your food, you are WAY oversalting your food!

      1. Lambert Strether

        I disagree. The difference between Morton’s, say, and fleur de sel is easily distinguishable without over-salting.

        Nothing better than mozzarella and a fresh warm tomato with a little fleur de sel. Amazingly, fresh tomatoes will soon be possible!

  34. IDontKnow

    Nice that the article does quite a bit of it’s (unknowingly) exposing the neo-liberal sell out of American Citizens in the state that Jeb Bush calls home, and that Hillary Clinton has visited often to speak to Jeb’s conferences on privatizing/profiteering education (while still receiving state funding, otherwise known as charter schools).

    Oh, and it relates back to a topic in the link (John Michael Greer, James Howard Kunstler, Chris Martenson, Frank Morris, and Dmitry Orlov Discuss Trump, the Inequality Taboo and Other Hot Topics) where the panel discuss what’s happened to graduate school in the USA.

Comments are closed.