Links 5/31/17

Scientists are accidentally helping poachers drive rare species to extinction The Conversation

Huma Abedin has invited Anthony Weiner back home NY Post. Yes, I know this is the Post– but certain stories just cry out for the tabloid treatment.

Indonesia’s hijab-wearing Muslim heavy metal group VoB smashes stereotypes SCMP

Renewable energy generation in the US dramatically exceeds 2012 predictions Ars Technica

How men continue to interrupt even the most powerful women Aeon

Packaging Food With Food to Reduce Waste NYT

Confusion over laptop flight ban as US denies EU reports that proposals have been scrapped Telegraph

Imperial Collapse Watch

War of words between Trump and Merkel continues Al Jazeera

North Korea?

The Korean Peninsula: Ground Zero for Armageddon? Truthout. And if you missed the original LRB Bruce Cumings piece discussed herein– to which I previously linked — here it is again: A Murderous History of Korea LRB

China exerting ‘productive’ pressure on North Korea over missile launches, says US official SCMP

Venezuelan opposition condemns Goldman for $2.8 billion bond deal Reuters

Muscat’s Malta ‘can’t escape politics’ Politico

UK Election

Ridiculed, reviled, resurgent … Is Corbyn’s campaign beginning to #feeltheBern? Guardian

The Blueprint Jacobin (martha r)

Poll firm predicts shock losses for Theresa May’s Tories at general election The Times

Labour could introduce new post-Brexit visa scheme for unskilled workers, leaked paper reveals Independent


NHS could face £1bn Brexit bill for treating expats, health think tank warns Independent

After Brexit: the UK will need to renegotiate at least 759 treaties FT

Painstaking detail of Brexit process revealed in EU documents Guardian

Class Warfare

Unions seek injunction on Kentucky right to work law Jurist (martha r)


New York City law gives fast-food workers scheduling rights Fox Business

Police State Watch

What Are We Still Doing in Guantanamo? LARB. Long, but a must read.


Leaks and Militarized Policing: The NoDAPL Water Protectors Keep Getting Proven Right Counterpunch (martha r)

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

How Facebook’s tentacles reach further than you think BBC

Kill Me Now

HILLARY CLINTON’S MEMORIAL DAY SNEAKERS MADE A PATRIOTIC FASHION STATEMENT Hollywood Reporter. Can’t take any more Hillary fanboy fashion coverage.

What to Make of Montana? Sabato’s Crystal Ball (Phil U)

Black Voters Aren’t Turning Out For The Post-Obama Democratic Party FiveThirtyEight (martha r). And why might that be, I wonder.

Refugee Watch

One in three refugees on Greek island of Chios has witnessed suicide since arriving, report finds Independent

Debunking myths about why people migrate across the Mediterranean The Conversation. Better than the bland headline promises.


Kabul bomb: Diplomatic zone attack kills dozens BBC

If Trump Wants to Fight Iran, He’ll Soon Get the Chance in Syria Bloomberg

Cholera, Famine and Girls Sold Into Marriage for Food: Yemen’s Dire Picture NYT

In the age of Islamic literalism we should remember the Egyptian scholar who fought back Independent. Don’t miss this Robert Fisk piece.

Islamic State jihad explodes in Southeast Asia Asia Times


India’s new cattle laws threaten a $5.6 billion industry that supplies to Armani and M&S Quartz

Modi and Merkel Put India-EU Free Trade Agreement Back on the Agenda The Wire

The Daily Fix: Without serious water conservation efforts, India is failing the monsoon

New Cold War


White House mounts staunch defense of Kushner The Hill


2 GOP senators just explained why a full Obamacare repeal isn’t going to happen Business Insider


The Manchester attack revealed crucial differences in how the British and American press operate Prospect

Trump Transition

How Trump Gave the Supreme Court a Second Chance on Japanese Internment Politico

Will the Paris Agreement Be Stronger Without the United States? Atlantic

Trump Advisers Wage Tug of War Before Decision on Climate Deal NYT

Trump asks world leaders to call him on his cell: report The Hill

‘Who rules the world?’ Nordic PMs poke fun at Trump’s Saudi photo op Reuters. Quite an apt pair of photographs: Recall that trolls originated in Nordic folklore.

Trump’s Approval Rating Recovers, As Voters Forgive and Forget New York magazine

Trump Will Be a Nightmare Client for His Legal Dream Team Truthdig

How Dr Seuss could simplify boring, wordy documents Guardian

Antidote du jour:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Roger Smith

    That article about Hillary’s shoes could only have been made as deflection from the several reports about her wearing the blue tinted glasses again at that same event. I cannot believe that anyone truly believes $15 K-Mart shoes are anything to write about.

    1. ambrit

      The inadvertent connection to Imelda Marcos and her shoe cave can’t do HRM HRC’s image any good. Plus, that picture! Nothing says “Fearless Leader ” better than dark sunglasses! Where are Boris and Natasha?

      1. EndOfTheWorld

        Are those merely “sunglasses”—or are they “seizure glasses”, special glasses to prevent her from having one of her “spells”?

      2. Tom_Doak

        Did you know that Imelda Marcos returned to the Philippines after her husband’s death, and is an elected Senator from her home district to this day? Perhaps she is really Hillary’s role model.

        1. EndOfTheWorld

          The son of the Marcos’s–“Bong-bong” is his nickname, I believe—is always mentioned as a potential VP or prez. A lot of filipinos still think Ferdinand Marcos was a good prez, despite his massive thievery.

          The parallels to the US are eerie.

          1. Procopius

            Well, when you don’t have to worry that a small group of policemen will come to your house after the bowling lane closes and shoot you, I guess you can consider that a good president. Last number I saw was 9,000 that were killed on Duterte’s Program. So far.

      1. Jim Haygood

        More alarming than the Zeiss shades was Hillary’s beady-eyed, thin-lipped visage of paranoid fury at her Wellesley commencement speech on Friday.

        She looks about ten seconds away from opening fire on the audience.

          1. craazyboy

            Ha. Hillary obviously noticed Trump and new friends holding the Glowing Orb Award. So… she’s gonna scare the western girls with the black Egyptian cotton outfit.

            However, weak tactics backfire again. Everyone will eventually realize I’llAKillya Hillary should scare the crap outta everyone.

            1. Optimader

              The utter idiocity is that she should be on an Amel 64′ spending her ill gotten gains sailing the Med or off the coast of Greece with Huma, but she has rhe fatal flaw of having all the common sense of a doorknob.

        1. crittermom

          OMG. Now THAT is a scary photo.
          A cauldron beneath her would really add a finishing touch, making it a perfect Halloween poster.
          Such a horrible thing to succumb those poor students to who will already be burdened with a lifetime of student loan debt (while flipping burgers for minimum wage before going ‘home’ to sleep in their parents’ basement?)

    2. Chris

      It’s beginning to get worse than it was during the election cycle.

      I am so sick of the “Hillary is doing well” meme running through journalism these days. I can’t say anything about current policy in polite company besides, “Trump is teh wurst.” Any reference to prior policy setting us up for what Trump wants to do is immediately dismissed. The news about the Paris agreement on Climate Change is a perfect example. i can mention that it’s bad that Donald Trump doesn’t seem to care about climate change and his administration is clearly following that direction. But if I mention that everything Obama said he wanted to do on the environment would have been undone by TPP, almost as if that was the plan all along, I’m some kind of crackpot.

      It’s depressing to see so many of my friends and family argue against the awful things that are currently happening simply because they’re not benefitting from it as much as they did when the previous administration did awful things.

      1. nippersmom

        I agree. I don’t give a rat’s patoot whether Hillary is “doing well” (in fact, I’d rather she disappeared from the face of the earth). I’m much more concerned with how the victims of Hillary’s polices are doing, and they are not doing “well” at all.

        And don’t get me started on the Dem hypocrisy. Heinous polices are really only bad if enacted by people they don’t like or approve of. I have several friends and acquaintances- people I otherwise like and respect- who have this ridiculous blind spot, and it frustrates me no end.

    3. Pat

      I will say that it was not a particularly sunny weekend in the area.

      But for me the kicker in the article was the tweet they referenced. That included the assurance by the tweeter that Clinton enjoys walking in local parades unlike most politicians.

      Really? You know her that well, that you know she seeks out local parades to walk in, that she looks forward to them, that she doesn’t bitch on the way to and from them? Yeah, right.

      1. roxy

        She likes a rope barrier carried by flunkies to keep “the press” away from her while she “enjoys” walking in a parade. Guess that’s not so necessary now because, and this continues to make me smile, SHE LOST.

  2. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

    That’s interesting– I didn’t see any of those reports about the reappearance of the blue tinted glasses.

  3. allan

    So, 32 Friedman units in, split bipartisanly half and half, how’s that Good War™ going?

  4. craazyboy

    ***** As promised, the Sock song. A Cantos about socks, feet, and sock holes. Sock holes are a metaphor for The Hound That Didn’t Bark – of Sherlock Holmes fame, also a metaphor! *****

    Generally a parable of life in America in the 21st Century.

    Give Me… Your Dirty Feet!

    Credits, where due:

    Frank Zappa and the Mothers.
    “Give me…Your Dirty Love –
    Then merged with –
    Watch out where the huskies go and dontcha eat that yellow snow!
    Mergers are cool!”

    The Baptist Choir Girls – iffen I can steal them from Airbelly? [min wage?]

    [Strike one Gong note. Begin Bongo Quartet. De-tune guitar. Turn overdrive to 11.]

    Socks and holes and lampost poles
    Do you know who guides the way?

    [Who? – Who? …. Do You?]

    Your feet, so fleet…Do they know the way to go?

    [No, No…We don’t think so…]

    Your toes…do they have a right to know?

    [Oh no, but toes should know!]

    Your socks? Are they stout and cotton full?

    Or are your socks just full of little holes?

    [Toes peek out,
    We wanna shout!
    Blind as sheep, wearing socks of wool?]

    Do your sock holes guide you where you gonna go?

    [We know. We know…
    Socks holes always know the way togo.
    Why this is, we can’t be sho….]

    I’ll take some ankles, but no chankles.
    Then we march, then we shambles!
    Miles and miles
    ‘Till toes rest tranquil.

    [Woo-woo…Your dirty feet.
    Do-Do…They smell efete…
    Put some perfume on your feet.
    Then I’ll take them on my beat!]

    Are ya toenails long, curly and yellow?
    Or manicured nice and neat?
    Are they feet you can be proud of?
    Admired by all that we meet?

    Watch out where the footsies go
    Don’t let them eat that yellow snow!
    Tentacles watching…
    dontcha know, you’re the show!
    Like creepy toes, their eyes aglow.
    If toes be smart they laying low!

    [Woo-woo…Your dirty feet….]

    [Fade to the Ether..]

    Original music – Rip off and change as necessary.

    1. witters

      I love the way the self-consciously avant-garde claim that for art nothing is off limits when looking at Serrano’s “Piss Christ”, then turn on the head of a pin when a dog pisses on the leg of another statue itself making a derogatory statement about yet another statue.

    2. UserFriendly

      Someone needs to make Brass Guillotine’s for the Girl, the Pug, the Bull, and it’s balls. Then we can move the exhibit to DC for more use.

  5. RenoDino

    Huma Abedin has invited Anthony Weiner back home

    I’m counting down the days to the announcement of “Huma and Anthony,” a theatrical musical production destined for Broadway. Soon we’ll all be humming “His Wiener is Mine” sung by
    a desolate Huma, lamenting her fate, as she is forced to share her beloved’s member with the world.
    The hiphop dance scenes featuring Bill and Hillary will be pure magic. Tears and laughter will flow from the audience and in the end a cautionary lesson will be learned about how politics is no substitute for the power of love.

    Trump will tweet out “It’s a Piece of Crap. Sick.”

    1. craazyboy

      Plus, Ant has a pet greased piglet named Hamilton. He stole it from Dr. Seuss. It starred in the Broadway production “Green Eggs and Hamlet.” Walt Disney Productions bought the movie and radio rights.

      Thought to have died on stage, ending his life and career, singlehandedly. Dark rumors of arsenic in the Gerber’s Piglet Slop [7.2 oz jar], but the investigation was stonewalled when Loretta Lynch met with the Gerber CEO on a little used LaGuardia airport runway at midnight in the back seat of a cabbie’s Bentley. The cabbie went missing.

      The whole thing stinks. Wiki is releasing the e-mails, provided courtesy of Ukraine Intel and Oil field Governance Company. They will be printed out on colorful Royale Purple Stationary.

    2. craazyboy

      BTW, since we are seemingly re-doing DNC history of the last couple years, and apparently not for the better, it’s time for the brain trust to remind us of Pizza Gate, again!

      Re-acquaint us with whole new meanings of pizza, it’s toppings, and take innuendo to a whole new level of insightfulness – conversing in pizza topping dirty talk!

      At least they keep the proles entertained! Say Cheese!

      But…FBI. NSA. CIA. Men_In_Black_Used_Keds_Ghetto_Sneakers. Your Facebook pic in Utah for eternity – to someday be scrutinized by Space Alien vegetarian anthropologists, searching for clues to human society and cultural norms.

      Cheer up! There is safety in numbers if everyone says “Cheese!”

      1. Alex Morfesis

        Or they both realized as husband and wife they can not be compelled to testify against each other…

    3. optimader

      OK, I’m a cynic, but so far it’s worked well for’s a prediction

      Huma =Claudine Longet
      Weiner =Spider Sabich

      She claimed the gun discharged accidentally, when he was showing her how it worked. Sabich was hit by a single gunshot in the abdomen and lost a significant amount of blood before an ambulance arrived. He died on the way to Aspen Valley Hospital with Longet at his side, shortly after 5 pm

      Shoot him, go cook some scrambled eggs and Jimmy Dean sausage, then call an ambulance.
      Double down on accidental death

    4. Plenue

      Given how staggeringly dumb and vapid Hamilton is, something like this wouldn’t surprise me. I wonder how far into masturbatory absurdity liberals will go before someone finally puts them out of their misery.

    5. ewmayer

      Headline-writing #fail for anodyne-ness (anodynity)? If you’re gonna be a tabloid, be a !%^#@ tabloid! Own it proudly by displaying some penetrating wit in your headlines. In this case, suggest “Huma takes the Weiner back into the fold”. And that was without even really trying! Sheesh.

      1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

        I was a bit disappointed w/ the headline too– the Post usually performs much better in that regard (e.g. Headless Body in Topless Bar).

  6. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, JLS.

    The links to Brexit are timely and enable to me answer a question addressed to me yesterday by Ambrit, a fellow horseracing enthusiast, about the impact of Brexit on the horseracing industry, a cash cow for the UK Treasury from the taxes on betting.

    A small majority of stable lads and lasses are from the EU (mainly Ireland, a traditional source, and to a lesser, but increasing, extent eastern Europe) and further afield (Brazil, India and the Far East). It has been difficult to recruit locally for the past quarter of a century, not just because of the relatively low pay. There aren’t that many relatively small people around who can / want to ride horses any more. John Gosden first highlighted these concerns in the early 1990s.

    It’s not clear how, at least the EU migrants, will be treated, and whether the work will be categorised as skilled or unskilled, which determines the ease of getting into the UK. Some lads / lasses could go to Ireland and France and even Dubai and Hong Kong. Yesterday’s Evening Standard listed questions put to a dozen cabinet ministers / departments about such matters, but none replied. This could have been Boy George Osborne making mischief / getting his own back at the “frit” May and balancing his front page smear on Corbyn. (Frit is a Lincolnshire expression used by Maggie Thatcher against Neil Kinnock and means coward.)

    There are probably too many races (and racehorses) in the UK. The industry appears to be run for the benefit of (off shore) betting firms. The firms pay a bit more than they initially offered as a means of heading threats to their off shore status. Any reduction in the number of races and, therefore, the levy will spell bad news for the Treasury and the bookies.

    Prize money is a bit better than it was, but is still inferior to France and Ireland and even Germany and Italy. One can imagine more British horses competing in EU27, but also being taxed more on any winnings.

    In addition, many (rural) communities in East Anglia, south Oxfordshire, west Berkshire, north Hampshire, north Wiltshire, west Sussex and north Yorkshire rely on racing. All are Tory areas.

    I am going to Epsom for the Derby on Saturday and can update soon after.

    I have just begun working on some aspects of Brexit for my employer, the (huge) London Branch of a German TBTF.

    1. Colonel Smithers

      Further to Ambrit’s questions about the etiquette of driving a Roller or Bentley, i.e. does one drive one’s Roller or Bentley, that is a good question. The former seems more appropriate for employing a driver. This said an “electrician” in my home town drives his electric blue Roller for shopping on Saturday mornings. What is the world coming to, eh?!

      With regard to Ambrit’s quip about the House of Orange (Trump) usurping the Old Pretender (Hillary), that is a very good and witty analogy. One wonders if the Young Pretender (Chelsea) will emulate the ’45.

      As a descendant of Jacobite rebels (clan Farquhar, google Captain Alwyn Farquharson) who were “cleared” from Aberdeenshire in the mid-18th century, I “toast the King / Queen over the water” and want to kick the usurpers “over back to Hannover”. The current heir general to the Stuarts and Queen over the water is the Princess of Liechtenstein (and Bavaria). The descendants of the Jacobites ended up in Mauritius, along with other Scots, a century later.

      Roger Bigod (clan Keith, a historic name from the Middle Ages and the first creation of the Dukes of Norfolk) posts on these threads, so may chip in.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        In the film, the Yellow Rolls Royce, it seems every car at the Royal Ascot horse race is a Rolls.

        1. John Poot

          heh – and just up the road discreetly hidden, was a veritable fleet of RAC and sundry other roadside ‘service’ vehicles waiting like vultures on the RR reliability legend inevitability coming unstuck.

      2. Roger Bigod

        Hehe. I chose my nom de keyboard for ironic badboy reasons. Roger was a Surety Baron of Magna Carta, so he was illiterate, seldom bathed and was casual about his neighbors’ property rights. Not someone who would fit in at the country club. All the English gentry were descendants of the Barons within 200 years and the total number is probably up in the millions now. The only exclusive feature is that ancestry was so poorly documented before the last 300 years that few people can trace a lineage to the Barons.

        My connection is one Henry Isham, who could claim ancestry all the way back. He was an immigrant from Northamptonshire to Virginia in the 17th Cent., who married the rich widow, Katherine Banks Royall. From her first marriage, the descendants include the novelist William Faulkner and the educator Booker Taliaferro Washington. After her marriage to Isham, she was said to be the richest woman in North America. Her father, a banker in Kent, gave her a coach which was the wonder of the colony. It seated six and had silver trimmings on the exterior. So more of a Rolls type of girl than Bentley?

        1. ambrit

          Ah, good sirs, my lineage can be traced back, I’m told by relatives, to a highwayman who was hanged in the late 1600’s. So, one group of “crooks” makes out well, the other suffers ignominy. Such is the wheel of fate.

      3. ambrit

        Oh my, the thought of a “Young Pretender” doth shrivel my manhood. Indeed, if the Administration becomes mired in a “War of the Syrian Succession” there could indeed be sympathy for Chelsea, just as the Hanoverian Monarchs’ obsession with the similar “War of the Austrian Succession” built favour for the Young Stuart among the English commonality. If those bloody Scots Lairds had only followed the Prince south of Derby, history would be much different today.

      4. Procopius

        “Electric blue,” eh? Has he converted it to a pick-up truck, a la Travis McGee?

    2. PlutoniumKun

      I’m old enough to remember when customs checks were tightened up in Ireland during Cheltenham to stop Irish punters going across with too much money to bet (and drink). It never really succeeded, and some more optimistic commentators suggested that on a good Cheltenham more money returned than left. The more realistic ones predicted that any betting winnings were immediately reinvested in champagne.

      Training and breeding is a huge industry – recently I was shown around a well known stud by the owner – I’m not a particular follower of racing so I was astonished at the level of investment in what is a fairly small satellite stud to a much larger one. I always think of the influence of the industry when I drive south-west from Dublin. The motorway (at gigantic cost) was sunk several metres lower than the engineers wanted in order to ensure a nearby Kuwaiti owned stud would never be distrubed by the sight of traffic.

      I would guess that the UK industry will be very hard hit. Racing and breeding depends very much on the free movement of animals across the border – unless they can agree something quick on animal health regulations (the biggest bureacratic obstacle) it could have a major impact. I would guess it would be the legal uncertainty more than any one specific rule that would make the difference. I find it hard to see how the bloodstock industry could fight its way to the front of the queue with all the other interest groups who will shortly be clamoring for priority. And its not just racehorses of course, showjumping and other equestrian sports are big money businesses.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, PK, especially for the bits about free movement and interest groups fighting for favour. The denouement in microcosm will be fascinating.

      2. UserFriendly

        This is somewhat adjacent to this thread, but can someone break down what would happen with a hung parliament? Am I correct in guessing that May can count on support from 9ish seats in NI from UUP and DUP? If Sinn Fein doesn’t take their seats ever what does that mean about the possibilty of them joining a coalition with Labour? Is Corbyn not socialist enough for them? What if their handful of seats prevented either side from forming a government?

    3. a different chris

      Thank you, Colonel Smithers.

      I can’t pretend to understand the first thing about the English version of the industry -wtf is with those million horses crashing thru those endless hedges? – but categorizing anything to do with horses as “unskilled” is beyond laughable. My wife is quite skilled and I’m happy to say her most recent break is healing nicely…. she wasn’t even riding.

      I suspect the jockeys will rather quickly start being sourced from much farther afield. Even w/out Brexit, Europeans are expensive. :) The rest of it, though… hmmm

      1. RobW

        Yeah, the notion that jockeys could be classified as unskilled labor could only be conceived by someone who knows nothing about horses. Or skills. Or labor.

        The easy way to answer the question skilled or unskilled: can you learn everything you will ever need to know about this work in one day? Unskilled. Is there more to it than that? Skilled. By this metric there are very few unskilled jobs.

    1. fresno dan

      May 31, 2017 at 8:39 am

      Published by the economists Djavad Salehi-Isfahani and Mohammad H. Mostafavi-Dehzooei, the paper finds no evidence to support the idea that people receiving cash transfers take themselves out of the labor force. Some workers even expanded their hours, the report found.

      Iran’s nationwide cash-transfer policy emerged out of heavy cuts to gas and bread subsidies made by then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in late 2010. The monthly transfer amounted to 29% of median household income, or about $1.50 extra per head of household, per day.

      (In the US, that would be an extra $16,389.64, well above the standard scheme of $1,000 a month proposed by many basic income advocates.)

      Despite reports in local press that the poor were forgoing their jobs to spend the extra money, the investigators found no such evidence.
      They did find people in their twenties tended to work a bit less. But “this is not surprising since the attachment of Iranian youth to the labor market is weak,” they wrote, and many young people may have used the money to enroll in higher education they otherwise couldn’t afford.

      In other cases, the extra money appeared to increase how much time people spent working. Service workers, such as housekeepers, teachers, and deliverymen, upped their weekly hours by roughly 36 minutes, “perhaps because some used transfers to expand their business.”

      Despite the apparent benefits to Iran’s labor force, the investigators discovered the public and federal reaction to the program has been intensely negative. Empirical evidence should help change people’s minds at least regarding the question of whether free money makes people lazy, they say.
      It is a crazy thing – when bankers get TRILLIONS is free money, that is just good economic management of the economy. Or the incredible amount of money earned by economic rents, which by definition is money earned by NOT working….

      Speaking of work, incentives, and comments, this may be my last comment EVAH, as I will spend my future mornings reading medicare regulations and procedures. I am becoming a volunteer for HICAP….yup, any government volunteer program worth its salt needs a nifty acronym – – Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program.
      As a retired ex government weenie, my knowledge of how to read and interpret obscure, convoluted law and regulations should serve me well in trying to get old codgers (I can say that because I am one) their medicare benefits (and hopefully my own in a few years). As I am curmudgeonly, I look forward to bureaucratic battles over who really knows if that senior is getting their full legally due benefit and sticking it to The MAN ….
      I don’t wanna brag, but I was pretty successful at getting my opinion of the rules accepted, as my experience was that I was one of the few people in the FDA who actually read (and enjoyed reading) the Federal Register.

      1. a different chris

        >this may be my last comment EVAH

        Oh no, I think you should do just the opposite – torturing us with stream-of-consciousness style postings of what you are gleaning from those obscure etc. documents maybe will stimulate us enough to start really trying to do something about them.

      2. John Zelnicker

        @fresno dan – Good luck on your new endeavor. We seniors need more people like you to help navigate those rules and regs.

        I do hope it doesn’t mean you permanent absence from these pages. Your comments are well written and well argued, and I always enjoy them.

      3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        You should still have afternoons available to volunteer here, I hope.

        From the they-care department:

        no evidence to support the idea that people receiving cash transfers take themselves out of the labor force.

        Free money to the little people and they might not want to work.

        Free rescue money to the banks, and will they become reckless? Nah, we don’t care about them, and we don’t ask the question (“I am punishing you because I love you and if I don’t, then, I don’t love you.”…punishing or worrying about recklessness, the same thing).

        Free money for the government to spend, and will it waste it? Again we don’t care about the government enough to ask that question.

        By the way, is there a conflict of interest for a government worker to comment that he/she is for the government’s ability to spend as much as it wants (ostensibly to help the economy)? I mean, since we have been asking how Trump could benefit from this act or that act, and potential conflicts of interest.

        1. Procopius

          Free money to the little people and they might not want to work.

          That’s not quite what they’re worried about. Capitalism needs (and I mean needs) a “reserve army of unemployed on the verge of starvation.” Otherwise they cannot impose discipline in their factories. Read The Invention of Capitalism, by Michael Perelman.

      4. HotFlash

        Oh, fresno, you’ll be missed! Maybe you can manage just one little comment, every once in a while? But break a tentacle.

        1. Jess

          Yes. You can’t leave us stranded Fresno. Please do chip in from time to time. And lets us know how the work goes, esp. if anything you learn can expand our knowledge of how gov’t operates today at the granular real world level.

      5. jrs

        yea if 20 somethings got it many would use it to take a fuller class schedule, get more education etc., rather than trying to work full time and go to school and so on.

        But can’t have that, young people actually focusing primarily on their long term future, that would be BAD, gotta have everyone trying to survive day to day.

        Hope you keep commenting, sounds like you might be one of many making at least as much contribution to society not working (in retirement) as working.

      6. craazyboy

        Just remember – a J&J Band-aid does not really cost $10 or more, just because two or more private sector, outsourcee, cocktail weeny, “auditors” agree they might.

        We can end this!

        1. craazyboy

          Which reminds me, why no more comments? does volunteer healthcare work require a security clearance and non-disclosure now?

          I guess it might. Being sensitive info and such.

            1. craazyboy

              Besides, this is a fake news organization.

              Without shadowy sources, back channels and leaks, we wouldn’t exist!

      7. Pat

        Let me echo the “NOoooooooo” comments. Your insight will be missed.

        And might I suggest that even if you don’t find the time to comment here on the topics of the day, you do drop in comments on occasion to let us know how you are doing at sticking it to the man, and perhaps passing along some of those obscure things you will find. Not only will that give us the chance to cheer you on, it also might help out a few other old codgers, both here and those attached to here.

      8. ChrisPacific

        If you change your mind, I for one would be happy to read anecdotes about sticking it to the man on behalf of old codgers. It could even be quite topical if you happen across obscure legal Easter eggs inserted on behalf of some lobbyist or other to favour connected parties, as I’m sure you will.

  7. NotTimothyGeithner

    Besides the obvious issue with “Bring them to heel” Hillary, I imagine black voter declines for Dems are linked to perceptions of broken promises.

    Obama on the stump in the second half of 2012 was very different than the Simpson-Bowles Obama after the election.

    For a person with limited Internet access and resources/experience, how different do Sanders types sound from Obama types? I believe Obama has poisoned the Democratic Party for a generation.

    1. Pat

      Not just broken promises but clear disinterest in protecting their lives and rights from continued abuses of a system that is supposed to be color blind to steal their votes, their lives and more. A disinterest that has become even more stark in the aftermath of the election as the Democrats left focus more on Russia than on policy.

  8. JTMcPhee

    “Everybody knows” that the Trump opening-bid budget document sucks, for everyone except the rich and the military, but here’s one bit that affects me and my mates in the disabled-veteran category quite poignantly. What a surprise, as they say in France…

    Budget Calls for Cuts to VA Programs as Tradeoff for Extending Choice

    “Choice” is one of those words, neh? Refers to the ongoing disruptive project of privatizing, rather than extending (a la Medicare for All), VA health care (and turning it more sharply toward another voucher-private UNsurance monster.)

    An even sharper statement of the effects is here:

    Elderly Vets Could Face Benefits Cut Under Trump Budget

    Veterans eligible now for the program have a 60 to 100 percent disability rating but are all paid at the 100 percent rate because a service-connected disability makes them unable to work. The budget proposal would cut off the payments once the veteran reached the minimum age for Social Security.

    Rep. Mark Takano, D-Hawaii, said, “If a veteran was provided this benefit because of the inability to maintain gainful employment, particularly at a young age, he or she would not have been able to pay for Social Security or put money into a 401K or other retirement savings account.

    He asked Shulkin, “If you end the (Individual Unemployability) payments for veterans like this, don’t you risk plunging them into poverty?”

    Shulkin responded that the VA was “sensitive to the issue” but had to find savings to pay for other programs. The change in eligibility for Individual Employability would save an estimated $3.2 billion in fiscal 2018 and $40.8 billion in 10 years, he said.

    “This is a way we think of appropriately utilizing the mandatory funds and looking at where we can make the (IU) program more responsible,” Shulkin said.

    “Had to find savings to pay for other programs.” And how many of us would just go,”Oh, okay, this is all about just redistributing scarce tax dollars, I see that now. And besides, if they have not been able to work, and passed their SS age anyway and so are getting all those benefits like OASDI, why are the rest of us subsidizing their laziness? If they were prudent, they would have been banking their disposable incomes into IRAs, no?”

    First they came for the legless veterans… and I was not a legless veteran…

    1. justanotherprogressive

      When money rots your brain you say things like: “Had to find savings to pay for other programs”……..

      This isn’t about “savings” – it’s about the lives of men and women who were willing to give up their lives for people like Shulkin who never served in the military – can’t they be freed them from doing that even when they are elderly?

    2. voteforno6

      Military veterans are very vocal when it comes to proposals to cut their benefits. I’m not sure many Congresscritters will be too keen to stir up this hornet’s nest.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Seniors used to be very vocal about Social Security. ‘Some of them still are. And there’s a lot more of them, as an intersecting category in the Venn diagram of the enfeebled. And still, “chained CPI,” and upping the “entitlement age” to 67 or 69 or 71, and other high-bid-above-actual-incremental-target-boil-the-frog sallies. And constant pressure by those with pure selfish monetary interests, the Dimons and Blankfeins and the rest, to turn the SS forced-savings program into just another lootable IRA401ker “invested”* hoard. It seems clear to me that “our” representatives in the legislature, and the senior bureaucratic autocracy, fell themselves pretty much immune to any pressures from Flyover Deplorable “constituents,” and there’s a whole industry of Bernoise Generators working day and night to “make it so.” AARP, e.g., as a “voice of the oldsters,” did what Huffington and kos and all the other special pleaders in the Imperial cesspit do — self-interest, sellout, slime.

        I don’t know how much longer I’ll survive, “nobody does” of course, but I personally feel zero assurance that another “grand fokk job bargain” will not become “legitimate” via the hijacked organ of law-giving that most of us NEEEEED to believe in the legitimacy of, and out of depression or repression still go along with while it guts us, and its tentacles…

        And in the meantime, another couple of billion trillion quadrillion goes to the war machine that generates us Wounded Warriors and other dependencies, and posh magazines vie to publish the latest execrable excesses of the Squilionaires with ful-color spreads on slick paper, and we mopes continue to buy “bottled water,” the latest i saw is “Diet Water,” Absolutely No Additives or Calories!

        Still no solid answers that might be acceptable to 7 billion people about “what kind of political economy can we build, where we can all live without eating ourselves out of house, home, air, water…?”

        *Per past “financial advisers,” “investing” is a passé concept — “One is now ‘exposed to risk.'” Risk on, risk off. Fees constantly flooding in. Haygood swims in these waters — most of us drown. “Buy the dip!”

        1. a different chris

          >another couple of billion trillion quadrillion goes to the war machine that generates us

          That’s the “hysterical, bitter (so bitter) laughter” part. They have unlimited money to get you hurt but nada but pocket lint when asked to alleviate the leftover pain.

          Thank God(tm) you have some claim, lots of Afghan wedding parties are SOL…

    3. River

      Gotta love how they “support the troops” /s

      Want to save money? Buy fewer F-35 lemons….

      1. Pat

        Not just buying fewer, but perhaps have government act like a real business rather than a corporate welfare spigot and write contracts with cost overrun and deadline penalties and enforce them. (I’m always amazed at the run government like a business executives who NEVER bring up those little ideas.)

        Supporting the troops has clearly been supporting the military industrial complex for decades now. I remember how much W wanted to support the troops when he floated getting rid of combat pay. Support of Veterans has always been a mile wide and an 1/8th of an inch thick.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Re enforcement of wealth-transferring government contracts: When I worked at US EPA in the Superfund program for “cleaning up hazardous substances” externalized by a century and more of “business,” the gov’t was all atwitter about doing complicated geoperfect hydrosoilodynamic modeling to support ‘remedy selection,’ one of the benchmarks on the way to “being clean (enough)” after the “cleanup” was deemed complete.

          EPA hired a lot of contractors, with contracts and everything, supposedly under the federal procurement regulations. One I was involved with from the beginning was in northeast Ohio, with soil and groundwater contamination from over 150 leaking storage tanks and a couple of “ponds.” This had been a greenhouse business, the owner selling tomatoes and stuff, but oil got pricey and the greenhouses had to be heated, so he started accumulating combustible liquids from all kinds of industrial sources. His success got away from him, he expanded into spraying mixtures of this stuff all over for “dust control” and “road oiling.”

          Anyway, back to the contracting: I recall it was CH2MHill that was tasked to do the “remedial investigation” of the soils and groundwater at and around the site. They seen their opportunities — subcontracted to another “contractor,” adding management fees. Said sub drilled 3 holes, 2 of which did not even go into the groundwater, took some soil samples, and then had their geniuses use “statistical methods” to draw a finely detailed set of figures and maps showing, supposedly, the entire piezometric surface of the groundwater, and all the supposed 3-dimensional concentrations of soil contaminants, across I recall it being 120 acres. They presented this ‘study’ to us, with a cover memo from Hill that said they had no confidence in the conclusions or content of the report, basically that it was a straight exercise in fraud. Please send the check to our bank.

          I was unwise enough to write up a litigation referral to send to the DoJ, laying out all the grounds for a suit against the contractors and their principals under various bits of federal contracting and fraud law. I was told, in no uncertain terms, to stuff it. And to shut my mouth when the EPA program leads and bosses said, well, that was $2 million wasted, but now we are going to give them another $3 million to go out and do the study they should have done if there had been anyone looking even half closely at the first one.

          And that was only one of many examples, in a program that got an initial set of billions from Congress as a startup dose, and which was funded by a tax on chemical and petroleum feed stocks. Especially galling, as of course “petroleum” was excluded, by definition, from the category of “uncontrolled releases of hazardous substances” which Congress had given us the brief to detect and make a stab at cleaning up. Gee, I wonder how that happened?

          The model is well established– contracts mean nothing, when it comes to moving money down the giant arteries and canals of the Empire and into the hands of the Few…

        2. Procopius

          That’s why they decided to include that clause in the 14th Amendment about never allowing the credit of the United States to be questioned, including payment of military bonuses. Congress had a bad record of reneging on promises to soldiers after previous wars.

  9. jefemt

    Re: What to make of Montana.

    Divided rural western state: the “boot”, picture a cowboy boot with toe pointed to viewers right… comprises the ‘liberal’ vote-starting in NW- Flathead Lake/ Whitefish/Kalispell, Missoula, across to Anaconda/Butte, through Bozeman, and into Billings. Densely (relatively for Montana) populated urban = liberal vote. Eastern / Northern MT sparsely populated RED.

    In that backdrop, here comes Gallatin County, where Gianforte chose to start and grow his company, create 500 jobs, sell out for ba-zillions, (along with executive Steve Daines, now a US Senator) to Ellison/Oracle.

    Gianforte LOST in Gallatin County, big time 54% to 41%, with the Libertarian carrying 4%, and turnout ratio of votes to registered roughly 41K to 70K.

    Quist was not a robust candidate. If someone dynamic steps up, Gianforte’s revulsive shaky ground could turn to quicksand.

    I will say this… after Bernie getting undermined (he beat Clinton in MT in the primary), Trump buying and sitting in his throne, and now the WWF poseur Gianforte, many of us are in a fog …. a disheartened shell-shocked fug.

  10. Arizona Slim

    Is anyone else viewing this site on a mobile that is being hijacked by a pop-up from a site called Get Today? Thing is hard to get rid of.

    1. Mel

      No, but I did have to drop the Robert Fisk article halfway through the first paragraph when The Independent covered the whole page with crap. Never go there anymore.

  11. Susan the other

    Thanks for giving us the NYT report on packaging food with food. That’s innovation. Now if all the smart guys can innovate a device for cleaning all the garbage and plastic out of the oceans things will definitely be looking up. There’s innovation and then there’s innovation. ;-)

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The article reads like advertisement. Not really sure how the products mentioned actually work, without doing more research.

      Are they gimmicky, as one was quoted in the article?

      Whatever happened to edible male-contraceptives? The oceans are filled with non-edible ones.

      And nothing about why the need for so much packaging. Is it due to the modern lifestyle? The need to extract as many hours a day from the working serfs as possible, that no one has time to make things from scratch, or to gather and return the glass milk bottles? Or to sit down for some coffee in a ceramic cup, but instead, we need coffee in a paper or styrofoam cup on the go?

      Today’s soldiers march on packaged ready-to-eat meals. Persians used to march and bake their bread over stones.

      From Wikipedia, Sangak:

      Its name consists of two parts: ‘Sang’ in Persian means stone or pebble and ‘sangak’ means little stone. The bread is baked on a bed of small river stones in an oven. There are, normally, two varieties of this bread offered at Iranian bakeries: the generic one which has no toppings; and the more expensive variety which is seed bread (this is, topped with poppy seeds and/or sesame seeds).[2]

      Sangak bread was traditionally the bread of the Persian army. It is mentioned for the first time in the 11th century. Each soldier carried a small quantity of pebbles which at camp were brought together with the “sangak oven” and used to cook the bread for the entire army. It was eaten along with lamb kabab.

      In the end, I am not sure I empathize with these packaging geniuses and their laments about not being accepted by the market. The Neanderthal in me think that going back to the old way of living simply is more sustainable.

  12. LT

    Re:Facebook’s Tentacles –
    That’s why I went off the other day when I read about Zucker’s speech mentioning the gov’t should pay people a basic income.
    Again, Facebook and other data divers – pay up for the content your users create and the data you sell.
    Then talk about who should be paying what.

    “A couple of years ago, Vladan Joler and his brainy friends in Belgrade began investigating the inner workings of one of the world’s most powerful corporations.
    The team, which includes experts in cyber-forensic analysis and data visualisation, had already looked into what he calls “different forms of invisible infrastructures” behind Serbia’s internet service providers….when we are uploading something, when we are tagging people, when we are commenting, we are basically working for Facebook,” he says.

      1. Procopius

        Nice way to keep track what my cousins are doing they live 12,000 miles away, and I don’t do telephones.

  13. JTMcPhee

    Men interrupting powerful women: Couple of thoughts: After two bad marriages where I couldn’t get a word in edgewise, and anything I did say was immediately wrong, either in direct communication with spouse or in social situations where spouse was present, I’d offer that there are men with more testosterone than me who are what Miss Manners would call “rude,” but there are plenty of women, powerful or less so, that know how to shut men up quite effectively. And plenty of men who meekly submit to the Goddess Essence. Because to do otherwise involves paying a significant price. Looks like even Trump the ____-grabber knows the relative power of “his” women, who let him do what they will let him do, to the extent of the leash they hold… “Soft power,” is their such a thing? Nancy Reagan and her astrologer? Catherine the Great, Elizabeth Regina, Lucretia Borgia?

    “Powerful women,” despite what I heard and believed from feminists when I wore a younger man’s clothes, apparently do want to be “just like men,” to exercise the same power over others and collect the same loot via the same extraction and fraud processes. Lots of men play dominance games with each other every day — it’s part of the Game of Thrones. And they learn to either shut the other guy up, or “bend like a reed” and snap back when the time is right. I don’t see women in Bidness doing much to try to change the culture in the way their leading lights back in the ’60s and ’70s said they should — just a matter, maybe, of wanting victim status to gain advantage in the “dominant” frame…

    Omigod I think I just committed a “sexist” faux pas, I am so sorry honey, I will just be quiet now and promise to try real hard not to do it again… Just don’t give me the “look,” and the silent treatment, or launch into the harrowing again…

    1. kees_popinga

      There was an Al Franken anecdote where he tried to talk to Barbara Bush when they were seated near each other in first class. After he made a smart crack (this was the old Franken) that incurred her displeasure she lifted her hand imperiously and said “I’m through with you” and wouldn’t listen to another word.

      1. nippersmom

        Well, if someone I didn’t know well (i.e. not a close friend or family member) started a conversation with me by making a “smart crack”, I probably wouldn’t be interested in continuing the conversation, either.

        1. kees_popinga

          That’s what everyone says I’ve told that story to! People tend to sympathize with Barbara seated next to smart-ass Al, even though she is the Livia Soprano of a famous presidential crime family. In his defense, they engaged in some harmless banter before he let fly with whatever it was he said.

    2. Oregoncharles

      Catherine the Great and Elizabeth were in fact monarchs. I doubt that anyone interrupted them, certainly not more than once.

      Lucretia may have used poison (by reputation) because she was NOT actually that powerful.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Nancy Pelosi? HRC? Carly Fiorino? Barbara Boxer? My mother? Lots of examples to pick from.

      2. Louis

        A horse many have interrupted Catherine the Great but that’s a story for another day.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The DLC and their acolytes aren’t interested in the success of the Democratic Party brand as much as they are in tolerating a more diverse set at a country club built over a former public commons, sold to a private developer at below market rates with handsome tax incentives thrown in.

    2. a different chris

      Tory comeuppance, yes. Silencing Third Way liberals? Fat chance.

      The beauty for the practitioners of “Third Way” is it is such a mishmash of old cereal and soggy toilet paper that you can never really get a hold of it. Thus they are always effectively on the offensive as the Right and the Actual Left propose things with enough meat on them they can actually be criticized.

    3. PlutoniumKun

      The latest Yougov projection is causing a stir – its predicting that the Conservatives will not get a majority (323 seats is needed). Labour still have a mountain to climb, but nobody would have guessed Corbyn would have done this well seeing as they were 16 points behind just a couple of weeks ago (just note that other projections have been much less favourable to Labour so yougov may be an outlier).

      I’ve stated it before, but I think the best result for progressives would be for the Conservatives to win, but fail to win a small majority. This will lead to May in charge of a weak and unstable government at a time of unprecedented change – not just Brexit, but there is every chance the housing bubble is about to pop. I think it would be a terrible time for a left wing government to be in charge.

      If Corbyn does get around 250 seats as projected here, that would be a disaster for the third way types. They’ve done everything to sabotage Corbyn, and were waiting for the chance to get the knives out if he had a bad election. The likely failure of the Lib Dems to advance and a strong showing for Corbyn leaves them with no home, and no prospect for finding a new home – in a Parliamentary system there is no way for a Macron type to do a solo run.

      1. David

        Yes, this would be a good election to lose, or if you prefer, a good election to let the other side sort-of win. A weak Tory government without an overall majority trying to cope with a popped housing bubble and Brexit would be the sweetest compensation imaginable for the last thirty-five years.

          1. ChrisPacific

            Well yes. I think it demonstrates how much our expectations of elected officials have fallen worldwide. The Great Depression didn’t do Roosevelt’s political career any harm, but that’s because he actually did something useful about it. These days it seems like failure is a foregone conclusion, and the only question is who gets to wear it.

  14. david s

    I think African Americans are taking some time off and basking in the glow of all the things Obama did and fought for for them in his 8 years.

      1. Vatch

        I would venture that those “things” provided David S. with a good reason to be sarcastic.

  15. Jim Haygood

    Editors to the tumbrils at the Saddam’s WMDs paper:

    The New York Times on Wednesday offered buyouts aimed at cutting the number of editors in the newsroom.

    In a memo to staff, Executive Editor Dean Baquet and managing editor Joseph Kahn said the paper’s current system of two separate groups of editors fulfilling different tasks would be replaced with one group of editors responsible for all aspects.

    “Our goal is to significantly shift the balance of editors to reporters at the Times, giving us more on-the-ground journalists developing original work than ever before,” they wrote in the memo. The Times hopes the buyout will let it hire 100 additional journos.

    In my first Big Corp job, I learned an awful truth NEVER taught in college: the horror of editing. Any memo that might be seen by middle management had to be endlessly massaged to impart a positive spin, and studded with all the contemporary management-speak buzzwords.

    Doubtless stenographers reporters suffer from the same frustration, particularly under the double jeopardy of supervision by two sets of editors at the NYT. Even worse are the Operation Mockingbird press releases, which have to be published verbatim.

    As the ratio of indians to chiefs rises, lowly NYT journos are biding their time until the glorious day when they rise up en masse with the heartfelt cry “Kill the editors!” on their lips, in what shall be known forevermore as the newsroom putsch.

    1. Pat

      So not just are they saving the poor overworked stenographers reporters problems, they are also eliminating a thorn in the side for the remaining management and publishers by getting rid of the public editor. Even watered down as it is, it became a problem.

    2. Carolinian

      Even worse are the Operation Mockingbird press releases, which have to be published verbatim.


    3. Alex Morfesis

      But…but…but…nyt is doing so well…what with the growth of 1 dollar perpetual trial subscriptions…go ahead and see what happens when you call in to cancel…bet the analysts who follow nyt dont actually test for veracity when management gives number increases without breaking out revenue…things are great except revenue is down only 7 percent…

      We would like to “eventually” hire 100 newbeez at low rates…”eventually”…

      And as to dumping the public editor for asking too many questions…now the trusted “internet” will serve as the public editor…”the reader center”…

      why does this begin to feel as a rerun of elizabeth at tsarskoye selo in 1916 warning her sister of the danger of razputin…

      in our modern time, razputin being goobook…

      1. Alex Morfesis

        Ah…covfefe…the acela vanity press is so useless they can’t even bear to imagine he made fun of them at midnite…cov-fefe….coverage fefe…fee fee…this is a family blog…fefe/feefee…what chicago gang bangers do for themselves in prison when they are only interested in natural born females…

        Guessing the problem is the hard nosed local reporter given/presented to us by Hollywood was probably always a myth…

        These folks with masters in cutting and pasting press releases are so disconnected from the every day mundane, they can’t figure out when they are being trolled…

        Although don trumpioni is showing his inner casino owner by using such a term…fefe indeed

  16. LT

    Re: Debunking Myths about why people migrate across the Mediterranian…

    Lots of mythologizing going on. Reminds me of a show I caught parts of on cable last night. I flicked on for an episode (its a documentary series on the History Channel about immigrants in the USA).
    So I watched one. Do you think it discussed the heinous foreign policy that can drive people from their countries of origin? Or the immigrants being key to early organized labor efforts in the USA? Or how their political views (real or imagined) could stigmatize certain immigrant groups and prevent their entry?

    It showed achievements (mostly presented as individual achievements), all the industral jobs that attracted workers (now mostly gone – but its not discussed that little part), and the kicker of them all: a true story of an immigrant steel worker nearly burned to death with no type of aide coming from the workplace or anywhere but this “man of steel” who had to take years to recover returns to the same plant to continue to work.
    Yep, they went there. They celebrated THAT.

  17. cojo

    Big pharmaceutical companies, on the other hand, must be pissed right now. Giants like Pfizer and Eli Lilly and Co. PhRMA wanted the court to protect US patents abroad because that would help them prevent Americans from buying their drugs for much cheaper prices in countries like Canada and Mexico and then bringing them back to the States. When a single Viagra pill costs over $60 in the US, you can only imagine how much money was at stake here.

    1. craazyboy

      Sad to see Mr. Market pricing Viagra at a dinner and a movie.

      Our Millennials must not be feeling well?

    1. Mo's Bike Shop

      I browse image blogs in my down time; the punch-a-nazi shtick from liberals on Tumblr just makes me shake my head. Somebody is gonna end up crying.

    2. TK421

      Unless someone openly and proudly wears the insignia of a known white supremacist organization–the KKK, the Aryan Nation, etc.–I doubt any claim that they are a white supremacist. Just because someone voted for Trump definitely doesn’t make them a racist. Hell, I’m as far from a white supremacist as one can get, and I often feel the urge to deck a member of ANTIFA. Who, by the same token, sure doesn’t represent leftism to me. Leftists don’t wear identical black uniforms, use terror tactics to shut down viewpoints with which they disagree, and beat up people just for holding different opinions.

  18. Massinissa

    That bird in the antidote almost looks like a Skeksi from the film The Dark Crystal.

    1. HotFlash

      I think it may be a young vulture or kite. My Roger Tory Peterson only knows about North Amercan birds, and rarely shows young birds. Perhaps Jerri-lynn will enlighten us.

    2. John k

      Bears an odd resemblance to recent pics of herself.

      Bird of prey contemplating lunch.

  19. troutcor

    For a truly brilliant guide on how to think about Washington leaks, check out this Harry Shearer interview with Max Holland, author of a book on the deep details of Deep Throat from the Watergate era.
    Leakers, it seems to be forgotten, have agendas, and they are rarely noble.
    Interview begins at 21:59.

    1. John k

      But what about a leaker who knows he will immediately be unmasked and will therefore be hunted and likely killed or imprisoned? Might in this case his intentions be for the common good?

    1. vidimi

      indonesia has a long history of hard rock. from the sixties, the same time it arose elsewhere.

  20. Mike Mc

    Read past the various hippy dippy (dippy hippy?) references and photos in this article to find possible good news for American agriculture:

    Contemplating the future (youngest daughter just got HS diploma over the weekend) in general, and specifically in terms of what could replace our corn and soybean commodified ag industry as global warming commences, industrial hemp stands out for a slew of reasons. Curious to hear what NCers think.

    1. craazyboy

      It’s supposed to be a very good whey protein supplement and has lots of fiber too. Plus if the dummies let us leave in the THC, your eyesight gets better.

      That comes in handy if your gym membership includes eye candy viewing in the contract!

      Plus, you can read the type on their T-shirts. They are trying to communicate with us!

      Silently, but it’s a start. Then, YMMV.

  21. Jim A.

    On interrupting….
    My boss: “Do you interrupt us because we’re women?”
    me: “No, you notice because you’re women.”

  22. Plenue

    >Islamic State jihad explodes in Southeast Asia Asia Times

    To be honest it seems more like a desperate side-project started as their fake Caliphate is in the process of complete collapse (the Syrian Army has been absolutely steamrolling them in the last couple weeks). Knock on wood, but unless Southeast Asia has a lot of underlying social problems ISIS can feed off of to get large numbers of new recruits (I have no idea, maybe it does), this is a doomed venture.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      As far as I know, whats been happening is that a number of criminal gangs who have been operating in those areas have taken on the Isis flag unilaterally. There have been muslim secessionists in that region for decades and its a pretty lawless place, with multiple groups who waver between nationalist or religious militancy and plain old fashioned gangsterism. I doubt if the Isis guys in Syria or Iraq could find the Philippines on a map, this is just flag of convenience stuff. The factors that have led to this coming to a head now seem to be mostly domestic, possibly because of heavy handedness by the police now that Dutarte has allowed them do what they want with impunity.

  23. witters

    Perhaps. But perhaps too, because any real extension of state power in the Philippines will close the spaces for privatised systems of domination and extraction.

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