Links 6/24/17

Dear patient readers,

Thanks for your kind wishes about my cat. He had what was the worst day in his life by far (five teeth removed, which means he has hardly any left, plus he had to have an IV in him beforehand to be hydrated enough to be put under anesthesia). I’ve never seen him remotely as upset as he was when he came back from the vet. He is sure to be in pain and is still distraught about the sutures in his mouth (which will supposedly dissolve) and his collar. I’m also having trouble getting antibiotics and painkillers into him. Both are liquid, which would normally be easy to get into him, but I can’t administer them with his collar on. So we are both very stressed out here. I did get a soft collar from the vet on the suggestion of reader Lee, and when he emerges (he’s been hiding) I hope that swapping collars will make him less miserable.

How To Save The World’s Tallest Animal National Geographic (furzy)

Gangs of aggressive killer whales are shaking down Alaska fishing boats for their fish: report National Post

In a Bering Sea battle of killer whales vs. fishermen, the whales are winning Alaska Dispatch News (Kevin B)

The Trump Administration Removes Endangered Species Protection for Yellowstone Grizzly Bears EcoWatch

Invasive Asian carp (the kind that jump) found beyond barrier to Great Lakes (resilc)

The hunt for offshore oil is killing tiny sea creatures that are key for healthy oceans The Verge. Dan K: “Note absence of agency in the description of the effects on the fauna: “.. it’s possible the blast throws off the receptors the animals use to navigate, disorienting them and causing them to die …”.”


Tesla is shifting gears in China by manufacturing its own cars there Quartz


May’s offer on EU citizen rights falls flat Financial Times

EU Says It’s Dazed and Confused by Theresa May’s Brexit Bumbling Bloomberg. Before a dinner…

Inside the dinner party from hell: What really went on when Theresa May faced her EU foes Telegraph. After that dinner…

One year after the UK’s referendum on European Union membership it’s still unclear what Brexit really means Quartz (resilc)

For the first time, Jeremy Corbyn overtakes Theresa May in UK polls Boing Boing (resilc)

Jeremy Corbyn will look to ‘force an early general election’ as poll gives him lead for the first time Independent

Grenfell Tower

Camden flats being evacuated over cladding BBC. Lead story as of now.

Grenfell: A Symbol Of All That Is Wrong? Russell Brand, YouTube (resilc)

Canada Ponders an Unusual Drug Problem: a Shortage of Marijuana Bloomberg (resilc)

New Cold War

Smoking Gun Proof that Russia Hacked the Entire World George Washington (RR)

Ineligible Votes Swung Democratic Party Chair Election to Bauman Facebook. UserFriendly: “I know, it’s Facebook, but that is the only place I’ve seen it yet.”

Under pressure, Western tech firms bow to Russian demands to share cyber secrets Reuters (resilc)

Frustrated Dems say Obama botched Russia response The Hill


The mukhtar DJT, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel Sic Semper Tyrannis (resilc)

Historic Rivalry for Regional Dominance at the Root of Saudi-Qatar Crisis Real News Network

Why Saudi Arabia hates Al Jazeera so much Washington Post (furzy)

Imperial Collapse Watch

CIA examined the possibility of assassination of the Iranian PM Mohammad Mosaddegh before the 1953 coup failed evolution

Freighter Was On Autopilot When It Hit US Destroyer

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Google is going to stop reading the mail in your Gmail inbox to target ads to you Business Insider

Vault 7: CIA Has Malware for Hacking Air-Gapped Networks via USB Thumb Drives Bleeping Computer

Trump Transition

President Trump’s Lies, the Definitive List New York Times

With cameras banned, CNN sends sketch artist to White House briefing CNN (furzy)

Russia Hacking Allegations Driven By a Serial Liar Washington’s Blog

The Trump Obstruction Case Is Gathering Momentum Vanity Fair (resilc). As Alan Dershowitz has pointed out, Trump can pardon himself.

The Woman Behind Trump’s Empire of Swag Bloomberg (resilc)


Rand Paul: Insurance should be available for $1 a day The Hill (resilc). Translation: “Let them eat PR.”

Medicaid cuts in the Senate healthcare bill are going to hit some states hard – here’s who will feel it Business Insider

Candidate for Md. governor says state should start single-payer health program Washington Post

“Bernie Tulsi ’20” T-Shirts & Hoodies by sophiapetrillo Redbubble

Poll: Former AG Lynch should be investigated The Hill

Prominent Democratic Fundraisers Realign to Lobby for Trump’s Agenda Intercept. In Water Cooler yesterday, but worth flagging again.

Policymakers forget duty to protect taxpayers from financial failures The Hill

Police State Watch

Mistrial in Shooting of Black Driver by Cincinnati Officer New York Times

Cops Sent Warrant To Facebook To Dig Up Dirt On Woman Whose Boyfriend They Had Just Killed Techdirt (Dan K)

Teen killed by stray bullet while police fire at dog during response to ‘loud music’ Guardian

Guillotine Watch

Vancouver Mansion Lists for Record $48 Million Bloomberg (Ann M)

A Second, Even Bigger Foreclosure Reaches NYC Billionaires’ Row Bloomberg

Despite backlash, this tweet is still up:

Dodd-Frank’s “Abusive” Standard: The Dog that Didn’t Bark Adam Levitin

America Has Too Many Malls, Not Enough E-Commerce Warehouses Consumerist

Uber sanctioned for refusing to comply with Moraga sexual battery investigation, judge calls company’s record “horrific” Mercury News

Walmart won’t battle Amazon for Whole Foods for a very simple reason Business Insider

Class Warfare

The toll of getting products to companies like Target, Costco, and Home Depot is paid by truck drivers who nobody technically employs Quartz (resilc)

Debt Collector Accused Of Taking Money From People Who Didn’t Owe Anything

Antidote du jour (Thomas F):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. financial matters

    Carlota Perez wrote the chapter ‘Capitalism, Technology and a Green Global Age: The Role of History in Helping to Shape the Future’ in “Rethinking Capitalism: Economics and Policy for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth” edited by Mariana Mazzucato

    Carlota Perez‏ @CarlotaPrzPerez 1hour ago

    Carlota Perez Retweeted Robert Went

    We need to watch all these experiments closely.The Welfare state needs a fundamental update for the work conditions of the information age.

    Robert Went@went1955
    Finnish citizens given universal basic income report lower stress levels and greater incentive to work

  2. allan

    Our Sydney CEOs using virtual reality to get a glimpse of the realities faced by the people who experience this everyday. #CEOSleepoutAu

    You should have waited before reporting this. /s
    In the immortal words of the creators of the Davos refugee simulation,

    We ask press, please, to participate before reporting, as this is a newer form of advocacy and can otherwise be difficult to understand.

    Oddly, a request that the PR flacks for the .01% never made about reporting on Occupy or BLM.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Had to check out your link to see what this was all about. RE-markable, and not in a good way.

      From the FAQ’s at the site:

      How intense is the simulation?

      Simulations vary but some can be very powerful. For that reason, we warn those considering an experience that they may be placed in an intense situation. We also assure them that no actual harm will come to them. In addition, we tell them that if at any point during the experience, they feel they cannot manage, they may leave immediately and we will have staff ready to speak with them, as needed. Since we began offering simulations, we have almost never found people do this, but the offer is always there.

      Who is in the cast?

      The cast, and support team, comprises former refugees, IDPs, aid workers and further volunteers. As above, none receives a salary.

      “No actual harm will come to them” but, if the images are any indication, it’s still authentic because all the davos ladies get to rock the refugee headscarf. Oh, and the former victim workers don’t get paid.

      I’m almost embarrassed for them.

  3. Bugs Bunny

    Re: Debt Collector Accused Of Taking Money From People Who Didn’t Owe Anything

    My partner was harassed by a debt collector trying to collect on a dentist bill for her recently deceased father. Meaning that the debt had been extinguished. He threw stones at our house, shouted and banged on the door at 6AM. She finally paid the $200 bill, against my objections, just to make it stop.

    We were poor, naive and young. Perfect targets.

    1. Huey Long

      He threw stones at our house, shouted and banged on the door at 6AM. She finally paid the $200 bill, against my objections, just to make it stop.

      Did the dentist hire the local mafia to collect that debt?!?

      I’ve never heard of debt collectors actually showing up, knocking on doors, and throwing things at a house, especially for a $200 bill. That is unreal. I’m sorry this happened to you.

      1. visitor

        If the collector is in a kind of arrangement with some debt collection agency higher up under which he is himself liable in some way for money, he will do anything to get the debt recovered.

        Perhaps there is a Uber of debt collection, and those collectors who have to actually pry the money from debtors are as desperate as car drivers for money.

        1. HotFlash

          Hmm, this could be easily accomplished, even with actual employees. For instance, auto salespeople receive a draw against (future) commissions. The pressure of the debt to the company supposedly encourages aggressive selling and discourages dealership-jumping — you have to pay up in full in order to quit. Another variant on the company store.

          Many of the salesmen believe it works both ways, ignoring the imbalance of available cash between the parties. The top salesman at my dealership actually referred to his tab as his ‘job security’.

    2. Ed

      I’m pretty sure, though these days you can’t be that sure, that you can call the police and/ or get a restraining order for that sort of thing, especially if its clear that you do not actually own the debt.

      It would be good to retain a lawyer who can arrange for the restraining order and threaten or actually sue the collection agency. The problem is that this would take time and cost more than $200. Its hard to avoid shakedowns for small sums because paying the sum to make the problem go away always works out as cheaper and less trouble than standing on your legal rights. Which are why the shakedowns are for small sums.

      1. WobblyTelomeres

        Or, for $30, you can swing by your local agricultural supply store (Agri-Supply, Tractor Supply, etc) and pick up a shovel, a tarp, and a 50lb bag of hydrated lime powder, place the items in your yard with a sign, “Throw one more stone.”

      2. lyman alpha blob

        Good advice although it may not be necessary to go as far as actually retaining a lawyer.

        I’ve been involved with debt collection on both ends of the spectrum, both as a debtor with past due bills and as the person responsible for collecting past due accounts at my company. Many debt collection agencies (as opposed to more legitimate companies who have past due accounts) are pretty fly-by-night operations. About all you need to set up shop as a collection agent is a phone and a list of people to call. Back in the day when I had unpaid bills, there was one particularly aggressive debt collector who would call at all hours of the day, waking up my roommates trying to get me on the phone. I finally had enough of this and told them one day that the debt may be in my name but was incurred by former roommates, I had no money to pay it, and even if I did, I would not pay it as I wasn’t the one who rang up the charges. I then mentioned that it wasn’t my problem that their company purchased these debts from someone who sold it to them for pennies on the dollar and if they contacted me again I’d be suing them for harassment. That stopped the calls pretty quick.

        Many years later, I attended a (rather worthless) training seminar on debt collection as part of my job and learned that there was an entire legal industry devoted to carrying through on threats like the ones I’d made in the past. Debt collectors must follow pretty specific guidelines or face potential lawsuits. For example, a company attempting to collect a debt can be sued for making empty threats, ie if you threaten a client with sending unpaid bills to a collection agency, they don’t pay, and then you never do send the debts for collection but keep calling yourself, your company can be sued for harassment. If you say you’re sending someone to collections, you must actually do so. Also there are guidelines on how often and at what time of day you can contact a debtor. If we have problem customers who won’t make payments, I am very vague on the potential consequences and will usually say something along the lines of “we may be forced to take other measures to collect the monies owed” without specifying exactly what those are in order to avoid being sued.

        People should never let these fly-by-night collection agencies intimidate them. Know your rights and fight back, especially if the debts are not legitimate. And even if they are legitimate, people should not have their lives ruined because they’ve temporarily fallen on hard times and can’t come up with a few hundred bucks, particularly as the parties to whom they originally owed the debt have probably stopped caring long ago when they sold the debt off to an agency in the first place.

        1. HotFlash

          Here in Canada, if you demonstrate intent to pay, you can sic the Attorney General’s office on aggressive debt collectors who hound you past that. According to the courts, you can demonstrate ‘intent to pay’ with regular payments. Of any amount. If you really do owe the money, send them a buck a month.

          Oh, and my old student loan went to collections and guess what! The collection agency regularly misapplied the payments! And I couldn’t tell for sure, since they were all for the same amount and I couldn’t reconcile to the date the cqs actually cleared.

          Until I sent them blah dollars and 1 cent, the next payment was blah dollars and 2 cents, etc. So they couldn’t pull the late payment bullsite on me.

          I also advised the callers, legit or not, to “get a real job”.

    3. Bugs Bunny

      To reply to the various advice and btw, I’m now a lawyer a few years on from that awful time, we had no idea what to do and knew that a lawyer was way beyond our means. I told my partner that I’d write a letter about it and it would go away but the debt collector scared her so much that my pleas fell on … ears.

      Thanks for your empathic responses. Now I live in France where bailiffs can show up at your door and repossess your furniture, which makes one…cautious. But life is definitely better, in the long term.

    4. Moneta

      Don’t know where you live but debt here in Canada does not get extinguished when one dies. It gets paid by the estate of the deceased… so the one who inherits should decline the inheritance if the liabilities are greater than the assets.

      1. Pat

        In at least one state, it depends on the size of the estate and the form of the bequest. Unsecured debt has no claim on insurance benefits or an estate bequeathed to a legal family member with assets below the family exemption. Taxes, mortgages and vehicle loans can be pursued.

  4. ex-PFC Chuck

    Fascinating piece about the orca predation of the fishing fleets. Finally, I thought, another species had realized who was f***ing up the planet and had gotten p***ed off. Then I got to the part about the worst of the problem being in the Bering Strait, which separates Alaska from Russia. That made everything clear. Putin put them up to this.

    1. visitor

      I already said it elsewhere, but…

      Haven’t 90-95% of all commercial fish populations been wiped out already?

      If so, intelligent orcas might be just turning to piracy because fishing vessels are so much more efficient at grabbing a dwindling resource that plundering them expends vastly less effort and energy than hunting a scarce resource “the natural way”.

      1. mpalomar

        From the Alaska Dispatch article:
        “Fishermen say they can harvest 20,000 to 30,000 pounds of halibut in a single day”
        How long can that go on? At that rate not long, exemplified by the decimated Atlantic fisheries.
        A good book on the subject Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food – Paul Greenberg
        cod, salmon, tuna, seabass.

          1. mpalomar

            One of the points of Four Fish is that the Ocean fishery is the last vestige of human hunting of wild food. To use the word harvest is indicative of the confusion regarding what the ocean fisheries are.

            Another issue covered in the book is fish farming. Aquaculture is a complex endeavor and if done badly, very destructive on a number of levels. What has been learned is that despite their favored status as seafood types, cod and salmon are not good candidates for farming.

            There are species far better suited for aquaculture and with a world population approaching 7.5 billion people the days of industrial fishing on the high seas will quickly come to a close one way or another.

            1. HotFlash

              Ocean fishery is the last vestige of human hunting of wild food.

              Rather, Ocean fishery is the last frontier of humans exploiting free resources.

              1. mpalomar

                At this stage I think that’s right. Before the natural world became grotesquely unbalanced by human agriculture, industry and of course population growth we were all items on the food chain.

      2. HBE

        The last number I saw was 85%, but it is probably close to 95% by now, so you are probably right about orcas reasoning.

        I’m not a vegetarian but I absolutely refuse to eat any seafood, for just this reason, if we could see our effects on the ocean as clear as we see strip mining I think a whole lot of people would be sick and disgusted.

        If we had any foresight as a species we would have started paying these fishing fleets to assist researchers and conservation efforts on a mass scale instead of fishing.

        And a depressing fact to finish it off. Much of the fish caught globally is actually turned in feed for fish farms to fatten up more profitable species.

        1. integer

          If we had any foresight as a species…

          Along these same lines:

          Giving up beef will reduce carbon footprint more than cars, says expert

          The heavy impact on the environment of meat production was known but the research shows a new scale and scope of damage, particularly for beef. The popular red meat requires 28 times more land to produce than pork or chicken, 11 times more water and results in five times more climate-warming emissions. When compared to staples like potatoes, wheat, and rice, the impact of beef per calorie is even more extreme, requiring 160 times more land and producing 11 times more greenhouse gases.

          1. marieann

            We gave up beef about 15 years ago. I did at first and then my husband did since he does the cooking and didn’t want to make different meals.
            Beef gives us both indigestion, so if we are served it at family functions we make sure we have Tums at hand.

          2. jrs

            ok reduce beef and save some carbon, all good, but pretty soon humans will have given up ALL the things they are adapted for nutritionally (I’m not arguing people need red meat all the time, just that humans are omnivores), just to support a population of ever more billions and pretend the planet can support them. All the while of course illustrating that it CAN’T (and even more crazy when it’s all GMO crops soon). We really need zero population growth now.

            1. marieann

              Oh! I am certainly with you on zero population growth, we will never be able to support the population we have on what we can grow never mind the extra billions to come. However I didn’t give up beef to save the planet,I still eat pork and chicken.

              I try to follow Michael Pollan theory of nutrition.
              Eat food, real food and mostly plants.

              Humans need very little meat to stay healthy about 4-8 oz/day, for me that’s a small chicken breast.

              But then humans in the west eat way more than their share of beef and everything else

          3. gepay

            where I live in rural VA, small mountains and many hills, bordering the Shenandoah Valley, raising cattle is the best use of much of the land. Before tractors became common in the 50s, the hills were worked with horses. The rivers would run red from the erosion. These former farmed hills are now pastured and fenced – the flattest land used for hay fields. Many of these are slowly being turned into housing subdivisions – requiring much more county government services, raising the property taxes for everyone. I buy locally raised beef. People who don’t need to eat of course would prefer it all turn back into forests as it was when the Native Americans lived here.

            1. Oregoncharles

              If blight-resistant chestnuts can be developed, the forests would produce more food than the present pastures. To say nothing of the hardwood lumber.

        2. HotFlash

          If we had any foresight as a species we would have started paying these fishing fleets to assist researchers and conservation efforts on a mass scale instead of fishing.

          Anecdotal. Friend of mine was a Navy sailor on a govt research ship in the North Atlantic. One night he was making his watch rounds and when the ship’s lounge, there was one of the scientists on the couch, ‘bawling his eyes out’. He asked one of the other researchers, “What’s the matter with him?” Response, “He just did the plankton numbers.”

          That was ’83-’84.

          1. HBE

            And plankton are as important a carbon sink as the rainforest. In an extremely dark sort of way it’s sometimes funny to me how completely F’d we are as a species.

            Everyone still wants their 2 (or more) kids though, in the developed world there is no excuse for this mind set. Want more than one child, adopt.

            I don’t see population controls coming into effect, so it will happen the natural way (a la moose on Isle Royale). Because starvation, war, and suffering are so much more palatable than just controlling birth rates.

          2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            I dunno, we’re just doing our job as a species, exploiting our niche. That happens to include the whole planet. We’ll overpopulate further, food supply won’t keep up, endemic disease from sitting in our own filth, then a population crash. Someday we’ll just be a very interesting layer for some future cockroach geologist to ponder. Chance of long-term survival is of course, zero, maybe we can spawn robots by automating the entire process from metal mining to processor programming, we can leave a few JPEGS on their hard drives of a tumbling waterfall on the Olympic Peninsula with native Americans (sustainably) harvesting wild salmon.

            1. Blennylips

              Spot on.

              Rules of evolution and all, but we cheated when we added cultural transmission and (temporarily) bypassed evolutionary checks & balances.

              As attractive as the Gaia Hypothesis is, I’m thinking the Medea Hypothesis is more likely true: Gaia Hypothesis vs. Medea Hypothesis

      3. PlutoniumKun

        So far as I know, stocks have been strengthening in those areas due to greater controls on fishing, so I doubt its desperation from the Orcas. They have simply found a new, easier way to get food.

        1. Blennylips

          The fact that the Pacific ocean is turning into a desert may have something to do with it.

          Maybe radiation hormesis upped their cleverness.

          Hydrogen and steam explosions pose ongoing risks at the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant, where three such events have already occurred in the past five days

          As someone said recently, given access to a search engine and the curiosity of a turnip, one could find all sorts of interesting things about MOX spent fuel and the severe die-offs up and down the west coast.

          1. Oregoncharles

            The Fukushima link is from 2011, but it is continuing to “leak.”

            Global warming and acidification (which nearly killed the oyster industry) are also big factors on the West Coast.

            In general, orcas are as smart as people; they just found an easy way to get a meal. If it drives the fishing boats away, creating an orca-policed reserve, so much the better.

        2. lyman alpha blob

          This story reminds me a little of the orcas from Eden Australia who developed a cooperative realtionship with the whalers of the day – they would herd baleen whales into the harbor where they would be harpooned by the whalers. The whalers would let orcas have the lips and tongue and take the rest for themselves which seemed to be a satisfactory deal for both parties until the humans decided to start taking it all, at which point the orcas stopped cooperating.

          Maybe these orcas are descendants of the ones who got screwed by the whalers of the past and are exacting some revenge.

      4. marieann

        Humans and Orca’s are the top predator on the oceans

        I would say that the Orca’s have the humans beat at the moment.

    2. craazyboy

      I think it’s a hilarious piece of Good Karma.

      Also, Putin can synch up Soviet Era radio waves with all whale neurons. That’s been known for decades. The KGB did do experiments with it on sperm whales, but the whales attempted mating with the stern of fishing boats. Stern my ass, the whales found out. Stern was an understatement!

      Sadly, the damage was done and the sperm whale population declined so drastically that KGB scientist were in shock and refused to do further experiments, even with the promising results of reported sperm whale mating with US Navy submarines.

      However, in recent years, the Russian Navy has privately complained thru diplomatic back channels that Russian subs have been attacked, but always a frontal attack on the bow.

      They claim “whale song” has been translated by Russian zoology workers and seems to say, “Oral Sex!”

      1. ambrit

        Well duh comrade. All the deep water navies have subsonic sound communications systems to “talk” with their submarines underwater. No radio waves needed. There is also ELF and its’ brethren.
        See, and sense:
        Also, for you in a tech sense:
        Considering how large the heads of the misnamed Sperm Whales are, true “oral sex” would be more of a fluke.

        1. craazyboy

          Da, buttda Rooskies figured out howto bounce radio waves off of seawater and perturb ocean waves and oscillate with Fourier transformed encoded whale song. No small, trick, I’m just figuring out how to do that now with my free Sony Audacity recording studio software.

          Also, Putin told the whales that if he sends the Red Button Whale Song, they should go for the missile tubes. So now it’s a strategic MAD deterrent too. No wonder we are terrified that the Soviets may respond to a first attack accident and we’d lose a nuke holocaust when the response blows us all to the Empty Dimension!

          Speaking of songs, I’ve had another enter my mind and been trying to pin it all down in cognitive sequences. Waking up was rough this morning, as you can tell from the Locomotive Breath song ending. It did have a cathartic effect on me and I got rid of most of my bad feelings.

          Dr. Shrink says it’s supposed to work that way, but he still recommends I tell him and no one else these things.

          It’s about what sort of normal people might do with their pets, if they ever see this song, and really believe hard that it’s possible to do this with the right kind of pets, assuming they are all cooperative at the same time.

          It’s nearly done. Just needs spellchecker, proofing and typing up. Should be ready to post tomorrow AM.

          1. craazyboy


            Monkey Dude was at the Haus Of The Risin Sohn last night and hung out with Madam Bandersnatch over beers and Sultry Pink Revlon Finger$ToeNail polish.

            He told her the Rooskie Whale Song Story and she laughed so hard they had to break into the fire extinguisher cabinet and give her the emergency oxygen!

            When Madam awoke, she was so deliriously happy, she announced free vouchers to registered Republicans for seconds if they wanted to stay longer into the evening. Monkey Dude grabbed the oxygen and a bottle of Revlon to have a good time later with the girl upstairs!

            I just had to relate that. At least something cool happens in this country somewhere!

              1. craazyboy

                Ya Baby! Looks like our Tucson Goth Hot Liquid Metal Disco!

                McCain shows up as Special Guest sometimes and likes to do his Painful Thumbscrew act with his wife wearing an Asian mask and kimono. His grandkids have a Goth Bongo Drum Quartet Act!

                1. craazyboy

                  This ain’t Monkey Dudes thing tho. He likes hanging out with Madam Bandersnatch and getting stoned, a little drunk and then hit the sack and go straight, straight ,straight, for as long as possible.

                  Say’s he doesn’t like the kinkster girls – “they full of themselves”, he says, and are way too much trouble for a simple screwing.

                  He says, with The Madam, protocol is say hi first, dive the muff, then do the monkey muff. Everyone knows why they’re there!

          2. ambrit

            Hey, dude! Fredrick Pohl has an AI Dr. Sigfrid von Shrink in his Heechee novels. Do you and Robinette Broadhead have the same therapist? How kuwll is that?

            1. craazyboy

              Prolly. He lives in a ritsy LA burb in a big house and his full name is Von von Shrink. Bet zay share ze same Vaterland.

              His wife and daughter are both Doms and enjoy Dominating and knitting needles.

              1. ambrit

                No, I think that he lives in a Silicon Valley server farm. His “women” the last I heard are both on the Executive Committee of the Dominatrix National Committee (DNC.) There are some other (in)famous women associated with that august body.

    3. AnnieB

      Seems these Orcas are reproducing well. The outlook for Orcas is not so good in Puget Sound. In 2015 I went on a whale watch with a fellow who had a small boat. He was very knowledgeable and told us that no Orcas had been born that year, that their numbers were diminishing year by year. He thought it was because of water pollution.

      1. uncle tungsten

        The loss of orcas might also be attributed to gunshot wounds. Fishers are renowned worldwide for eliminating competitors. Of course there are many who would never consider this response but it only takes a few mercenaries. Sadly the dolphins are persistently slaughtered by humans.

    4. Alex Morfesis

      Dogs have masters, cats(& now orcas) have staff…someone must have dropped a waterproof smart phone in the deep blue and the orcas started by watching all the cat videos and soon figured it out…

  5. visitor

    Consumer Gmail content will not be used or scanned for any ads personalization after this change.

    All right then. Logically, this leaves the possibility that

    Consumer Gmail content will be used or scanned, but not for any ads personalization after this change.

    The Google feed to NSA comes to mind, but there might be other possibilities…

      1. ambrit

        Oh! A new form of Internet etiquette; Google Snark.
        This gives new meaning to, “App yours!”

  6. katiebird

    I guess this was inevitable, but I am still disappointed:

    Single-payer health care put on hold in California as leader calls bill ‘woefully incomplete’

    Nevertheless, he said, “this bill has played an important role in elevating single-payer as an important option for California in light of the proposed carnage being offered by the U.S. Congress and the president.”

    In his statement, Rendon said the bill is not “dead.”

    Noting that this was the first of a two-year legislative session, Rendon said the legislation could benefit from a deeper discussion in the Senate, its house of origin.

    “The Senate can use that time to fill the holes in SB 562,” he said, “and pass and send to the Assembly workable legislation that addresses financing, delivery of care and cost control.”

    That line, UC San Diego’s Kousser said, reads as a “little bit of a slap” at the Senate.

    “What the Senate did to the Assembly,” he said, “was send a politically popular but not perfectly worked out bill and made the Assembly do the dirty work of killing it.”

    1. Ernesto Lyon

      California legislature Dem supermajority are a bunch of poseurs and cons. They wanted the pr of a single payer bill but not the responsibility of making it a realistic possibility, as that would hurt some of their key patrons.

    2. Elizabeth

      Californians may remember SB 840 which was put forth by Sheila Kuehl was a single payer system which passed the legislature (both Assembly and Senate). The details of funding, cost controls, and other aspects were fully worked out. Arnold vetoed the bill. Honestly, I don’t see why, if Calif. really wanted to pass a single payer plan, couldn’t resurrect this model, tweak it (if need be), and pass it.

      All Jerry Brown has to do is look at how it will be funded. It can be done – it just won’t be.

      1. HotFlash

        Oh, Zelda! She inspired me back when she was Stu Erwin’s TV daughter, and obviously the brains of the outfit.

  7. allan

    Single-payer health care put on hold in California as leader calls bill ‘woefully incomplete’
    [SJ Mercury News]

    A proposal to bring universal health care to California — replacing the private insurance market with a government-run single-payer plan — was abruptly put on hold Friday by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, all but ensuring the nationally touted measure will not pass the Legislature this year.

    Earlier this month, the state Senate voted to pass a $400 billion plan sponsored by the California Nurses Association, sending it to the Assembly. But the measure had few details — including how the state would raise the money to pay for it. …

    Champions of single-payer health care say that it will save Californians money, even though their taxes would increase, because they would no longer pay premiums or deductibles and the system would eliminate insurance-company profits and overhead. A study released last month, commissioned by the nurses, found that such a system could save Californians $37 billion annually on health care spending, even as it covered nearly 3 million people who are now uninsured. …

    Shorter Rendon: folks need to have a conversation to understand how hard governance is.

    1. katiebird

      Amazing!! We even used the same source!!

      How many times, in how many states does single payer have to be shot down before we get it?

      1. allan

        The NC equivalent of ESP?

        Sadly, single payer is going to be thwarted many times before it gets approved somewhere,
        and then there will be a lot of forces gunning for it to fail. It is going to be a long, hard fight.

        1. WobblyTelomeres

          Looks like step one is to oust Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon. Put the quaking fear into those that oppose single payer in the same manner the Kochs put the fear into Republicans with Dave Brat (v Eric Cantor).

        2. Carla

          It has already been a long, hard fight. I have a friend who is 98. In high school in the ’30s, she was on the debate team. For the debate “Should the government pay for health care for all Americans?” she debated the “yes” side of the argument. She has been a major advocate for seniors in our state, educating them about Medicare and how they can learn about “supplemental” insurance that best suits their needs. The shame of it is, we don’t even have single-payer for seniors. We need Expanded & Improved Medicare for All !

      2. mpalomar

        Am I wrong in thinking single payer would be best addressed at the Federal level because of fiat currency origins?
        Still if US government representatives were interested in finding solutions to societal problems instead of finding societal problems a solution for lining the pockets of their favorite corporations with lucre they would take L Brandeis at his words, a “State may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments.”
        Critical assistance in funding the experiment would come from a curious federal government in search of answers.

        1. tegnost

          I agree the federal level is best but several states can, in the spirit of your brandeis quote, force the feds to act in order to prevent a cumbersome patchwork, so like the 420 the more states that grapple with it, the sooner it’ll happen at the federal level , maybe also leading to a more better program but since grifters gotta grift I won’t hold my breath on that. Due to the toxic leadership in california I don’t expect it will come from there, though.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      jonathan gruber, yes you read that right, when askied to comment on the repub “healthcare” bill on msnbs this morning:

      Interviewer: “What do you think about a “medicaid” for all option?”

      gruber: I think that a single-payer option is something that has been discussed a long time, from an economics perspective it’s got a lot of pros and cons, from a political perspective it’s all cons. It’s just really hard to get this through……have to get a large tax increase, you’d have to make many people change their insurance coverage which they don’t “like,” you’d have to basically upend the u.s. healthcare system.

      “We have tried for a hundred years to do that. We’ve always failed. The reason obamacare succeeded, and it did succeed, is because it was more modest. It wasn’t as ambitious as past efforts, like the clinton effort and previous efforts, ok. And the thing is, if we want to think about single-payer, that’s a fine thing to discuss, the pros and cons.

      “But what is very important for your viewers, especially your viewers who really “believe” in universal coverage, is not to lose their fight for obamacare because of some hope for single payer. Single payer’s not happening in the near term, it’s simply not, ok……….”

      So there you have it–straight from the horses’s ass’s mouth. “Medicaid” for all. Jeez.

      1. Arizona Slim

        Basically upend the US health care system. And Gruber is saying that like it’s a bad thing.

      2. lyman alpha blob

        …you’d have to make many people change their insurance coverage which they don’t “like”…

        Right, because right after mom, hot dogs and apple pie, Americans really love themselves some (incomprehensible,high deductible, overly expensive) insurance coverage!

        What utter BS. I’d ask how dumb do they think we are, but we already know the answer to that one.

        1. Pat

          I would say that Gruber is right, at least if it means their insurance is crappier than it was before. Or even if it is crap, but the only thing they can get and it is required they get it.

          There would certainly be a fair sized portion of Americans who would hate single payer, but frankly the ever increasing cost of insurance, rising deductibles AND the increasing problems involved in getting care their insurance should pay for but they don’t want you to get makes that percentage smaller every year. And many of those remaining will be able to deal with that by buying probably expensive supplemental insurance or getting their companies to do so. The rest will just have to deal with the financial and career loss of no longer being able to prey on the American public who wants health care.

          And very honestly despicable Gruber and our bipartisan political class don’t care about random Americans not wanting to change their insurance. They are ONLY interested in the concerns of the last group I referenced.
          (And to be clear the Republicans don’t care about the ideology of entitlements or big government or deficits either. The bullshit excuses may be different but the reason for them is all the same – Our Oligarchic ruling class and their well being. Which is why the Senate bill is really a tax cut… )

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            You do not understand single payer if you think “a fair sized portion of Americans would hate it”. Single payer can co-exist with expensive discretionary customized insurance plans (assuming you think that’s what “a fair sized portion” of people really want), as it does in places like The Netherlands. A basic menu of services are provided at fixed cost and insurers can get all rent-y on top of that with service add-ons, but all claims are processed through the same mechanism.
            There is no apology for Dems obstructing single payer, as Obama did from the get-go by taking it “off the table”. Repubs of course need no apology for maximum rent-seeking but the Dems are/were supposed to be an alternative to that. If people want Republican policies they will vote for a real Republican, not a two-faced “lite” version.

      3. GF

        “…have to get a large tax increase”

        A tax increase is already in place ($1 trillion) paying for ACA parts and pieces. Just transfer the taxes and fees into the Medicare for All pot of funds as phase-in progresses. If more is needed then just tax capital gains at 35% and place a modest transaction fee on derivative buys and sells. No problem.

        1. HotFlash

          Excellent ways of clawing back wealth ‘earned’ by grifters. But actually, a sovereign currency can just keep on doing what it does — that is, print money. The ‘money’ is free, but what are you gonna allocate it to? It’s that old guns/healthcare argument.

    3. TK421


      “How do we pay for this?” Oh yes, how can we afford a system that spends less than what we have now?

      1. tegnost

        yeah, should be how will I get paid for this, you don’t want my snowflake to have student loans do you

      2. jsn

        The problem is, every dollar of that displaced or diminished cash flow has an organized political constituency that in our post Buckley vs Valeo world has a constitutionally protected right to bribe congress critters.

        Its not the cost, its who bears it and since the rich can buy politicians, those of us who can’t will continue to pay needless rents to have actual health care denied.

      3. Lynne

        I just don’t get it. The newscast I heard said single payer would never work because it would mean an extra 15% payroll tax that employers would never be willing to pay. My employer pays more than 16% of my wages for my insurance now, and I pay another 3% on top of that as the employee share. All told, my premium is almost 20% of my gross and that’s not counting deductible and copays. How could a 15% payroll tax be more than that? Granted, I’m not paid all that much, but neither are lots of employees.

    4. jrs

      well it actually is hard, but let’s pretend it’s all a problem with governance rather than screwed up laws the PEOPLE THEMSELVES have directly passed shall we?

      I mean the legistlature shouldn’t give up, but a 2/3rds requirement for passing taxes *IS* a hard hurdle. Not impossible but hard, and this ridiculous hurdle was imposed by the voters themselves with Prop 13. Now most of the voters in the state at this point weren’t even voting age then, but we’re forever bound by the stupidity of those who were (and people wonder why the boomers are loathed, while we are still paying the price for their stupid).

      1. John k

        Just takes a ballot measure with simple majority of those voting to modify prop 13.
        Might pass if just takes out bus properties, never if touches home’s.

        1. GF

          Can’t remember for sure, but doesn’t Prop 13 allow property tax increases if the owner of the property moved after Prop 13 was passed? Only the original owners at the time of ratification who are still residing in their homes qualify for the protection?? If you sell the property, new higher property taxes are assessed?? There can’t be that many original owners still left in those residences after all these years.

          1. jonboinAR

            A few weeks ago, someone was explaining how, somehow, commercial property investors are able to evade that, like an easy loophole was stitched into the original proposition or something. I’m proud, myself, in a sad way, to say that in perhaps (don’t remember quite) my first time voting, I was able to vote against Prop 13.

          2. jrs

            ” There can’t be that many original owners still left in those residences after all these years.”

            you can inherit houses and get the same Prop 13 benefits, so no, not only the original owners. Plus Prop 13 sets a limit on tax increases even on properties bought now (just it’s not immediately obvious of course).

      2. different clue

        What was the average age and/or breakdown of age-groups of people who voted for Prop 13 at the time they voted for it?

        Was Howard Jarvis of the Baby Boom generation?
        Was Paul Gann of the Baby Boom generation?

    5. polecat

      ‘Give us your poor, your sick, and your destitute …. on a super train .. to nowhere !’

  8. Huey Long

    The Saudi-Qatar Spat – An Offer To Be Refused

    The House of Saud has issued a list of ultimatums a la Austria Hungary circa 1914. History may not repeat itself but it sure does rhyme…

    (I posted this to the water cooler yesterday and am re-posting this here today just to make sure it gets read by those following the whole Qatar-Saudi dust up. b’s write-up is worth reading IMNSHO)

    1. Mel

      If history really repeats, the Austro-Hungarian Empire didn’t exist any more after that war was over. Don’t know how this one will play out.

  9. Terry Flynn

    re – what BREXIT really means.

    In terms of voters, a different thing depending on region – HARD BREXIT last year and HARD BREXIT this year in the East Midlands – movement to softer BREXIT nationally. Labour should be careful what they wish for in terms of wanting to be in charge of government and hence negotiations on withdrawal. What happened to various MPs around Nottingham in the GE should be more food for thought.

    1. Anonymous2

      Thanks Terry. Interesting.

      I agree with what I think you said the other day: May will be kept in office for now so that she can be blamed for as much as possible when she is finally pushed. Davis has reportedly brokered a deal within the Tory party that possible leadership contenders will concentrate on burnishing their credentials for now. May is pretty well powerless now so they have a pretty free hand. I guess that gives them some time to work out what to do next.

      No way to run a country, though.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        That works politically for them of course, but a terminally weakened May means a nightmare for negotiations as every single item to be discussed in Europe will have to be subject to a wrestle behind the scenes between the hard and soft Brexiters in cabinet.

        1. begob

          But nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. There will be a coup before March 2019 – depends on which way the wind is blowing.

      2. HotFlash

        IBG, YBG for governments, I guess. Wonder what the Queen thinks? I assume the royals are in for the long run.

        1. Anonymous2

          The Queen gave her speech in an outfit that was pretty much the same blue as the EU flag, with a hat that looked as though maybe it was referencing the stars in the flag. Many commentators took this as her way of indicating that she is opposed to Brexit.

          Otherwise I guess she thinks ‘what a shower’!

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Interesting the Queen is listened to by some, probably not those who want to have nothing to do with the monarchy.

  10. Emorej a Hong Kong

    Dem establishment’s worst nightmare should have been convergence of:
    1. Narrow party chair “win” based on such amateurish methods, and
    2. Transparent ‘rotating villain’ games to put off single-payer legislation.

    Only a mix of complacency and weakness can have permitted this convergence.

  11. hemeantwell

    Yves, sorry to hear that your cat had to go through a round of dentistry. We just had to have couple of our kitty’s teeth pulled. After a couple of days he was back to normal, apparently unfazed by our betrayal.

    1. B1whois

      I know I’m not going to make any friends here but here goes. I personally have a moral problem with providing Healthcare to animals in a country that doesn’t provide health care for humans. I know that sounds harsh to some people, but in truth the alternative sounds harsh to me – Expending medical resources to extend the life of pets when humans lack basic Medical Care. When my cat got old I cared for her as she gradually moved toward death, then had the vet put her down at the end.
      I know people are going to hate me, but I’m just trying to be thoughtful in my own actions.

      1. mpalomar

        I have similar thoughts on what is a difficult question. I’m old enough to remember when vets were around for neutering and rabies, distemper shots and not much else.
        On the other hand it’s tough to watch a loved one suffer.
        I like them but don’t share quarters with dogs or cats more or less for reasons along those lines.

        1. jonboinAR

          Healthcare for animals is a complete luxury, as is nearly all else in the way we live, so… I live relatively modestly, myself (breaking my arm). I only have about 10 pairs of leather shoes in my closet. When a neighborhood tom made it a practice to chew our cats up, I paid for the vet to doctor them several times, but only because the grandkids loved them so.

      2. TK421

        I can see where you’re coming from. But pets provide tangible benefits to the welfare of their owners. For instance, owning a pet can not only reduce stress, but cholesterol as well!

        Plus, animals are vital to agriculture, and require medical attention to fulfill their functions. Since we’re going to provide them with doctors, why not have those animal doctors take care of pets as well?

      3. a different chris

        I think you are conflating things that, just because you use the word “health care” for each of them, are not at all the same.

        People pay for their own pet care. There is no public insurance policies involved. And it isn’t the same in pretty much any other way. They get to euthanize them if they become a problem, unlike say Grandma. You can treat Fido pretty much like your car, which you can decide to “get rid of” instead of replacing the tires.

        There is a small, “localized” morality to having and how you treat your pets (or dairy cows, for that matter) but it is not the same as the large morality of how you treat your fellow citizens in need.

        1. marieann

          I’m in Canada where health care is “free” and as a taxpayer I don’t mind at all having to pay more to provide coverage for everyone.
          The money the government doesn’t take from me can be spent on anything I want.
          Some people want vacations, big houses, loads of “stuff. I want to be able to care for my cats as I see fit.
          I also give to charity and help out my sons financially.
          I don’t understand what is wrong with providing healthcare for animals. No one is asking for government help and I am supporting a small business and it’s workers.

          Re: Yves kitty, my son has an old kitty that only has 2 teeth left…..hard dry food is her favourite.

          1. mpalomar

            I don’t understand what is wrong with providing healthcare for animals. No one is asking for government help and I am supporting a small business and it’s workers.

            I’m not sure of much let alone if there is anything wrong with expensive medical treatments for pets. As a vegetarian of forty years partially because (and reinforced by experience the longer I live) of the realization that animals are conscious beings, I believe their suffering should be a concern for us all.

            That said I struggle with the concept of spending thousands on dogs and cats when humans elsewhere suffer with little or no care. If the money isn’t spent on vets and pets is it going to be redirected to needy humans? Not likely so there is indeed a logical inconsistency there.

            The other perplexing thing; I’ll likely reach a point as I’ve seen others close to me go through when quality of life will be so reduced that I’d rather be put down than go through intubation and all the other horrors of life support. Humans can express their specific thoughts in that regard in advanced directives, animals can’t. A tough call.

      4. Eclair

        I understand your feelings, B1whois, and I was once in agreement. But, I have an adult child who, with spouse, made the decision not to have children. They do share their living space with a rotating crew of permanent and fostered dogs and cats, who get medications and care for their various ailments.

        The animals, while not ‘substitute’ children, are loved and cared for and, in turn, provide affection and gratitude (well, maybe not the cats!) to their human servants. In contrast to actual human children, they will not grow up to consume ginormous amounts of resources, drive SUV’s, and emit big carbon footprints.

      5. DH

        Animal health care is almost the perfect Freedom Caucus health care plan where the owners are entirely responsible for the care of their animals and the government has very little input other than basic animal cruelty laws and licensing of veterinarians.

        I say almost perfect Freedom Caucus health care plan, because actually the animal owners have more libertarian freedoms than the Freedom Caucus would like to provide as animal owners are free to make virtually any reproductive rights and euthanasia decisions for their animals, which are areas the Freedom Caucus believes should be highly regulated in humans.

        1. marieann

          I have often wondered how I, on working class wages, can afford veterinary care for my cats, and probably never afford it for me.
          Perhaps the cost of vet care is more likely the true cost of what human healthcare should be.

          1. Jeotsu

            Good to keep in mind that Vets get the same level of training (+/-) as M.D.s. They are performing similar procedures, using the same or related drugs…. and then you look at the prices.

            It is a great way to get an estimate of what “basic but functional” health care for people should cost.

            1. Oregoncharles

              there is a further irony: because they’re trained to work on multiple species, vets are better qualified to care for humans than MD’s are to work on animals.

              There are some very specific human medication sensitivities, though, that qualify that. That’s why rats and mice are poor substitutes for testing medications.

      6. Donald

        False dichotomy, unless you apply it to every bit of personal spending beyond what people in their personal lives do other than what is necessary.

        And it is this kind of thinking that makes some people dismiss the left as meddling puritans intent on dictating how others should live. There are so many actively harmful things we do and you zero in on people’s love for their pets.

        1. EGrise


          Additionally, this sort of thinking is how we get austerity. Why don’t we get health care for everyone AND let people care for their pets? Let’s focus on having nice things rather than the way some people spend their discretionary income.

      7. Bunk McNulty

        I have no opinion on the morality of spending money to take care of your pets. I have had cats as pets for many decades. What I do have a moral opinion on is keeping them even when it is clear they are suffering. My question to the vet is always “Is the cat going to get better?” When the answer is no, I screw up my courage and ask that the cat be put out of its misery. It is never a happy decision. There is always crying. There is also always a notion that I should try living without cats for a few months, just to see what it is like. My record of not living with cats after one dies is four days.

        1. Jen

          For me, the question is: am I doing this [treatment] for me, or for the animal. They will let you know when it’s time, but you have to be willing to see it.

          My previous dog was 13 when I had several of his teeth pulled. At that point he was still going with me for 3-4 mile walks almost every day and chasing tennis balls. He lived almost another 3 years. In those last years anything that couldn’t be addressed with antibiotics and/or pain meds was off the table, and when those no longer gave him a good quality of life it was time.

          I made it about 6 weeks between dogs. Going from a nearly 16 year old to a 16 week old was quite the adjustment. I’ve made it about a month between cats.

      8. Yves Smith Post author

        Many procedures and drugs now used on humans came out of “innovative” treatments for pets, since there is a cohort of pet owners who will pay for novel treatments to save or help their pet. The Animal Medical Center in NYC works a lot on treatments like this, like low dose chemo to improve the remaining quality of life rather than try to get rid of the cancer. One of my friends who had a cat with cancer said he’d much rather be treated by the AMC than the medical system if he ever got cancer.

        See here for an example:

        Veterinarians for pampered pets will soon be in the vanguard of human health care, and the reason is regulatory. Controversial restrictions on embryonic-stem-cell research and cloning effectively squelch efforts to bring these biotechnologies to bear on human therapies. The moral quandaries and bioethical concerns underlying these restrictions can’t be dismissed. But the different standards we apply to animals create provocative loopholes for the innovative and opportunistic biomedical entrepreneur.

      9. kareninca

        When other Americans give up their recreational driving, their vacation trips, their jewelry and make-up, their cosmetic surgery and cosmetic dental work, their television sets, their prep schools for their kids, their hairdressers, their masseuses (except for medical), their computers (except for paid work), their homes (except for minimal survival shelter), their boats, and ALL their recreational dinners out – then I’ll consider cutting back on my dog’s veterinary care. Since ALL of those things are less intrinsically valuable than providing medical care to another sentient creature. Anyone who spends money on those things, rather than on vet (or human) medical care, cares more about “stuff” than about living creatures. Humans may (or may not) trump other animals, but animals trump material goods.

        I know people who don’t spend on their pets who are just cheap. They use “human need” as an excuse. Oddly enough, they find plenty of excuses to go on vacations and eat out. They don’t actually give the money they’ve saved on vet care, to human charities.

    2. Lee


      The Beasts
      By Walt Whitman (1819–1892)

      I Think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain’d;
      I stand and look at them long and long.
      They do not sweat and whine about their condition;
      They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins;
      They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God;
      Not one is dissatisfied—not one is demented with the mania of owning things;
      Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago;
      Not one is respectable or industrious over the whole earth.

      My critters keep me sweet. I believe that I’m a better, more generous human because of them. They are in many ways better role models than the humans much discussed and criticized at this site.

      1. Carl

        “We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate for having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein do we err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with the extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings: they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.” —Henry Beston

        1. DJG

          Carl: Yes, yes, yes. And I would extend that to plants and trees, which we have to think of as life, rampant, communicating, with its own purposes that aren’t human purposes and ambitions.

        2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Carl Sagan said that our relationship with pets and animals in general was one area where in the future we would look back and say “OMG what were we thinking?”

    3. HotFlash

      My dear Yves, and Mr Kitty,

      Over 20 yrs ago we got a ‘free to good home’ kitteh, the excuse was allergies in the household, but turned out he as smelly, surly, and drooly. Could see why he might be cata non grata in your average household. However, we hauled him off to our vet, who diagnosed severe tooth and gum disease, recommended extracting all teeth. Not thrilled, but that is what we did.

      A week or 10 days later, we had a totally different cat. Mabon was able to scarf down his kibble without any problem. Our vet had assured us that cats don’t chew anyway, and to our great relief, it was true. And he stopped smelling bad (when we got him, you couldn’t stay in the same room!), he stopped drooling, he got so much happier and *much friendlier*! And turns out he had something that you don’t often see in cats, a sense of humour. Well, not puns or anything, he was a practical joker. He’d set up the other cats for some pratfall and sit where he could see it and laugh his cat-laugh.

      Thank you for reminding me about the wonderful Mabon-cat, and best wishes for you and your kitteh.

      PS No cone-thingy for this episode, don’t think I ever had one for a cat. If so, I took it off immed.

      1. Oregoncharles

        Too bad there wasn’t Youtube then. You could have made back the vet bill on those pratfalls.

  12. craazyboy

    Locomotive Breath [aka – Attack Of The Giant Pollinators]
    by Jethro Tull.

    Oh no. Bad dreams again.
    It got much, much worse at The End.

    Here’s tabs and music audio.

    Here’s origonal from Aqualung album.

    Songsterr has intro part… Jump to line 37 in tabs to get to this riff….

    [guitar riff]
    cha cha cha cha cha cha
    [rinse, washboard strum effect, repeat till end]

    As a single lonely consumer
    And your soulmate too.
    bound together to consume the Earth
    Not much else for two to do.

    But the power of the billions
    Directed by oh so few,
    can do wonders – ye…ah wonders
    And the Earth now splits in two!

    We score into the equator
    Digging down, so so deep.
    Our reward they tell us
    The resources we can keep!

    While thoughts of gold motivate us
    The cold ocean meets lava way down deep.
    Then the earth’s mantel,
    Steam hisses up from the crack.

    An opposing force, it
    Builds and builds… won’t stop,
    Till the earth just cracks in two!
    And we all fall down.

    Like walnut halves in outer space,
    The parts head for their poles.
    A North, a South, and space for Lunar pulls!

    Two hemispheres look weird,
    LaGrange math maps three tiers.
    The North, the South, and Moon,
    The South, it never dies!

    [guitar riff]
    cha cha cha cha cha cha
    [interlude – repeat as desired]

    The Confederate Flag is flying
    Declaring victory so covertly.
    Then look, over there,
    Our Insect Overlords are flying!

    All else seems less important,
    Who won won’t get no press.
    The Aliens… came to make their nest.
    The Overlords are swarming,
    Doing what Mother Nature does best.

    Like a million bumble bees
    Swarming high above the trees.
    Deafening noise – buzzing thunder
    – drops you to your knees!

    [guitar riff]
    cha cha cha cha cha cha

    The probiscusii of the pollinator
    Look for orifices to enter.
    No preference.. just find the center,
    And do what they may please
    – And they all drill down!

    [guitar riff]
    cha cha cha cha cha cha

    They’re standing over you,
    Standing half as tall as trees.
    They take us with their thrusting
    – Their numbers best ours by threes.
    Thrusting, and thrusting
    ‘Till humanity cries out, “Please!”

    [guitar riff]
    cha cha cha cha cha cha

    “Stop, Please Stop.”
    “Stop. You’re hurting Me!”

    [guitar riff]
    cha cha cha cha cha cha
    [interlude – repeat as desired]

    It’s shadow over you dances..
    Like a Praying Mantis prances
    Pray to a God,
    Not of Earth…
    Praying as it lances…

    Pincers working thru your flesh,
    Slicing pieces down and into gullet.
    More teeth, it seems, than any monster needs!

    Down go our bits and pieces,
    Satisfying a pollinator’s needs.
    After all, it’s how a pollinator feeds!

    And we all go down. Oh Yeah!

    [guitar riff]
    cha cha cha cha cha cha

    As history returns Before Jesus,
    Now the human race does leave us.
    Vegetation… all around us
    – Green and luscious –
    And we all slow down.

    [guitar riff]
    cha cha cha cha cha cha

    Mycelium Hyfae….
    Forming roots of the land New Fae.
    The new Internet
    Of nature’s Force…

    Elec..tric..i..ty, neu…ral dens..ity
    Surpassing any..thing of our worth!

    We sang of Gideon’s Bible
    The printing press of Truth.

    A giant Mushroom Brain…
    Helps The Overlords rule the Earth!

    [guitar riff – Fade to black and blue]
    cha cha cha cha cha cha

    1. craazyboy

      Alt. Title:

      “Groping For The Pragmatic Way To Insert Discourse Into The Body Politic”.

          1. ambrit

            D—!!! That’s what NPR should be! Not the Mz Kroc subverted handmaid to the “Stars” s— we yell back at on the car radio.
            If the “Habitable Zone” on Earth really is going to move north into Canada over the course of the “Cthulhu Terraforming Project,” (aka global warming,) then it’s you Canades who should build the Wall.

  13. mle detroit

    Just got an email survey about my “priorities” from Kirsten Gillibrand — including an “Act Blue” $ ask at the end, of course. I replied (h/t NC):

    A functional, progressive Democratic party that’s not Republican-lite;
    that — not just rhetorically — includes the demos with the corporate suck-ups and honchos;
    that realizes climate change is real and is impacting us now (Phoenix too hot for planes to fly? a Syrian war started by farmers who got no help with drought?);
    that doesn’t spend $23 million on ads and “consultants” to lose by “only 4%”;
    that advocates for and assists efforts to fix partisan gerrymandering;
    that advocates and delivers universal direct material benefits like Medicare for all and a jobs guarantee.
    The failure’s too big for just one priority. These are my litmus tests.

  14. TK421

    Well, my health coverage is in danger. The state of California wants me to provide documentation showing how much money I’m going to make in the next year (?) I told them I’m unemployed, and have no plans to seek employment, so zero. But that’s not good enough, it seems, so now I have to figure out how to prove that if I don’t work this next year, I won’t get paid. Maybe a note from Teacher will do it.

    1. ambrit

      Maybe an abstract of a paper showing an individual economic actors’ degree of interaction with the flow of money as one approaches “full employment.” A graphic of a Bell curve should augment the text. (No hockey stick charts here!)
      Alternatively, you could have a local Thrift or Credit Union give you a print-out of your projected bank balance assuming no deposits over the next fiscal year. Have them include fees and tariffs and watch the chart enter negative territory! Then use these documents to apply for a State bail out, front loaded so as to gain the maximum economic benefit for the State economy! Take my word for it. We here who have been reading the posts and comments in NC for a while should have learned something from those wily banksters!
      (If my plan works, I ask you to contribute some small percentage of the net, of your choosing, to NC.)

        1. jonboinAR

          The idea in these cases is to make sure no one really understands it but that they think they have to pretend to. It’s okay if you don’t either, but be sure to have some good blarney ready, just in case.

    2. UserFriendly

      Get a friend to write you a check for $10 and make up something you did for them. put $10 on the form.

  15. Pogonip

    Your poor cat! I’ve had wisdom teeth out, I know just how he feels. May Saint Francis intercede for the poor little guy’s quick recovery.

    What is sold as “chunk light tuna” was once more honestly labeled as “grated tuna,” it’s nearly a paste; maybe a little of that might cheer him up? I’ve found the store brands pastier than the national brands.

  16. Stormcrow

    The Latest Escalation in Syria – What Is Really Going On?
    The Saker

    Once you get this you can easily see that the latest us attacks in Syria have a minor local purpose – to scare or slow down the Syrians- and a major global purpose – to bait the Russians into using forces against the US or an ally. It bears repeating here that what the Neocons really want is what I call a “tepid” war with Russia: an escalation of tensions to levels not even seen during the Cold War, but not a full-scale “hot” WWIII either.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    1. Alex Morfesis

      You are certainly enjoying the bernaze sauce…basil zaharoff would be quite pleased…that rhyme thing Mark twain liked to talk about…if you are still confused…when in paris swing by the cafe croissant…there is a little plaque there about some loud mouth named jean jaures who was pretty sure he could keep the troubles brewing after the assassination of the archduke from becoming what our history books have described as ww1…the war to end all control of oil by the romanovs and the sultan and the pashas …

      “$ir” basil, apparently being a morganaticish mavrokordat certainly made life interesting for the common man of europe a century ago…

      Along with mister 5%, zaharoff molded the word into his own dark vision of self righteous libertine existence…so dark it is suggested anta n levay dedicated some passages to sir basils form of ethics…

      Lanny budd and all that…

      But then again…reading the last crumbs of dead trees gathered in book form before the termites turn them to dust is not as much fun as…

    1. Outis Philalithopoulos

      Key passage from the piece – Bartlett speaks hopefully of

      a sane, modern, technocratic wing of an intellectually revitalized GOP

      which will need a leader: perhaps Mitt Romney?

  17. RenoDiono

    “Bernie Tulsi ’20” T-Shirts & Hoodies by sophiapetrillo

    Turner Tulsi ’20 There, fixed it.

  18. rich

    Financialized Economy

    ‘Things to come’ in the financialized economy is on the agenda for Max and Stacy in this episode, and they also ask whether or not James Howard Kunstler is right in his prediction that ‘the financialized economy is entering its moment of final catastrophic phase-change.’

    Max also interviews lawyer and filmmaker John Titus, of All the Plenary’s Men, about the not-so-secret and yet little-discussed Financial Stability Board authority over sovereign powers to regulate banks.

    Titus highlights the case of HSBC and the threat made by George Osborne to the Obama administration’s Department of Justice.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Here in Tucson, the homeless have been having a tough time in the heat. The other day, I saw a guy who looked like he was hallucinating.

      1. newcatty

        As a former Tucsonan of many years, I am guessing said homeless guy was not hallucinating(unless, of course, that is an existing mind experience of his at this time sometimes). He very well have been seeing a mirage. He could have great hope that the perceived spot of water did not contain Tucson’s infamous industrial sourced pollutions. OTOH… if less greedy development, greedy state governance and the new “go west” young man, older man, young woman and older woman(sure, some with kids and, just as likely grandkids) looking for a new life keep on coming to our sunshine state; the mirage may be more real than can be imagined. BTW… we still chose to live in our own AZ town…moved up north.

        1. newcatty

          Correction: not”less greedy development, greedy governance”: should be same greedy development and greedy state governance.

  19. JEHR

    Trump lies. Must be a world record of some kind. And his facial expression never gives anything away. Did he grow up in an empty room and create his own reality–one of the “hollow men“? And we are now sharing his reality. “This is the way the world ends.”

    1. a different chris

      No he just grew up rich. They really are different, despite that amusing “they have more money” quote.

    1. flora

      The Intercept article – “Prominent Democratic Fundraisers Realign to Lobby for Trump’s Agenda “…. the Dem estab Re$istan¢e ™ is just another way to dupe Dem voters; a toy to occupy voters’ minds while the Dem estab swans off to rake in cash by promoting ideas of the people and entities they claim to be re$sisting. Is Micheal Moore really surprised he and others have been used then dumped as useful idiots?

  20. Chauncey Gardiner

    The Intercept article describing how big Democratic Party fundraisers are now lobbying on behalf of the Trump administration’s agenda to favor the financial interests and further consolidation of power of large telecom corporations, large banking & securities firms, and large insurance oligopolies is both unsurprising and disgusting given the latters’ alliance and co-dependency with the establishment of both legacy political parties. Until the US Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision is overturned; meaningful campaign finance regulations are passed and imposed; and the revolving door and such “lobbying” activities are curtailed, I expect this type of behavior will continue against the public interest.

    The observation by Kai Newkirk of Democracy Spring is ‘on the money’ in more ways than one: …“’These cases are clear, disturbing examples of the gulf between the interests of many of the Democratic Party’s big-money donors and those of the party’s progressive base and America’s working families,’ said Kai Newkirk, co-founder of Democracy Spring, a progressive coalition.”

    1. Carla

      You have to go back a lot farther than Citizens United, at least to Buckley v. Valeo (1976) to get rid of money as speech.

      BUT, even if you do, the corporate interests will simply use all their other Constitutional “rights” to accomplish the same ends, which they have been doing since 1887, Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, when the Supremes first allowed the perversion of the 14th Amendment by permitting to stand a “side note” stating that as legal “persons” corporations have the “right” to due process and equal protection under the law.

      Corporations can have statutory rights, but never the Constitutional rights of human persons.

      To really address this issue, it’s going to take HJR-48 which was first introduced in Congress three years and now has gained 44 co-sponsors, the most recent just this week. Check it out:

      We’re building the movement to get it done at

    1. Carolinian

      Well the investigation seems to be legitimate and was started in 2016–long before there was any notion of Sanders 2020 (when he will be 79). Whether or not Jane Sanders’ actions were criminal they don’t make her look good.

      Other thought: “Politico magazine” could sure use some editors. They had previously offered a ridiculous piece accusing Southfront of being a Putin plot to undermine our military morale. This one on the Sanders investigation takes forever to get to the point.

      1. ambrit

        The authors might be using the infomercial selling technique of wearing the “mark” down before springing the “real” subject of the disquisition. That makes dodgy goals easier to sell.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      In the four years since she had taken over, two dozen faculty and staff had left the tiny college. The Student Government Association in late 2008 described a “toxic and disruptive environment on campus.” Nearly half of the students and faculty members signed a petition demanding a meeting about the “crisis in leadership.” Even so, Sanders’ salary rose to $150,000 in 2009, according to college records, as tuiton increased by $5,000, to $22,407 in 2011, and enrollment dropped to 156 students.

      Seems typical…

      Administrator salaries (maybe just one, her) going up.

      Teachers leaving.

      Tuition going up and up.

  21. RenoDino

    Short video, short summary: Al Gore is an “idiot” who made $400 million dollars setting up a 2 and 20 hedge fund five years ago that bet on stocks of service companies that produce less CO2.

    And that is how you save the planet using other peoples’ money.

    1. Alex Morfesis

      AL baby…you don’t really wanna be president…all that boring presidential stuff…don’t worry about the little people…your one of us…look if it wasn’t for your dad, would we even be having this discussion…

      ibgybg…enough of “us” will survive and the planet will adjust to the kind of place you want your great great grandkids to inherit…are you with me there…ok…see…besides…would you rather we humans just start killing people off ??…too messy…plagues and stuff could develop…

      nice and slow…let mother nature be our enforcer…yeah yeah…when the dust settles and no one is watching that pot of god at the end of the rainbow will magically appears…

      hey…you’re one of us…

      just be patient…don’t want any annoying types to be able to connect any dots with your stupid internet idea backfiring on all of us…

  22. Lambert Strether

    > Camden flats being evacuated over cladding

    Awesome. Who wants to bet the inhabitants are scattered and the whole area is gentrified? All things work together for good, don’t they?

    1. Alex Morfesis

      It’s for their own good…no need to stress those poor folks by “forcing” them to be reminded of their station everyday as they trek past and thru plutokratia and are “devastated” by absorbing images of a life they will never have…

      It’s really better for them to surround their existence with the realities they will be living and not some fantasy they will never achieve…and besides, consider all the money that can be saved on mental health costs for that stress and possible depression…

      It’s all for the best really…

  23. Nax

    I’m sorry to hear about your cat.

    We’ve had problems with elderly cats refusing food after a traumatic vet visit which isn’t good for them at all.

    Our last cat we managed to nurse through one of those periods by feeding it fingertips full of baby food (Gerber chicken #4 iirc) and soft boiled egg yolk (not the whites, they shouldn’t eat those). It was time consuming but bonding rather than traumatic. Cats have wildly different personalities of course so there are no guarantees.

    I’m not claiming that this is a balanced long term diet for the cat, just a way to keep their digestion ticking over until they feel sufficiently better to eat real food.

    1. Yves Smith Post author


      The vet recommended Gerber food, and he has been eating that. He’s also been wanting to eat his crunchy food, which has to be the worst thing possible. I’ve been putting water on it to soften it up but worry it is still setting him back.

      1. Oregoncharles

        Probably better than not eating – which is what we were told when our son was desperately ill (he made it): forget the normal parental concerns, give it to him if he’ll eat it.

        1. HotFlash

          Totally, having to deal with a fussy and dentally-challenged older person, I have concluded that there is no such thing as a bad calorie.

          Anything she’ll eat is fine by me.

  24. a different chris

    Gives you a bit of an idea about our vaunted military power when a destroyer gets, well nearly destroyed and the commercial ship doesn’t even realize it was in an accident.

    It’s not an infinite world, that’s why I’m an enviro-nazi, but it’s pretty darn big. Four percent of the population needs to stop kidding themselves at some point before we all get (family blog) slapped….

  25. Marc

    Had a wonderful cat that was savaged by wild dogs, vet said just let it go, but applied antibiotics /vitamins on her paws and more sensitive places, took time but she came back, an absolute skeleton but is with us today.

    And having cruised the planet for over 40 years, we have Orcas that not only know the boat…they know who is aboard…

    They are amongst us…

  26. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Trump is so exceptional?

    President Trump’s Lies, the Definitive List New York Times

    No ‘Hillary’s Lies, the Definitive List?”

    No ‘Bill Clinton’s Lies, the Definitive List?’

    No ‘Obama’s Lies, the Definitive List?’

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Hopefully, he’s not another rich, crass Roman consul, Crassus.

      From Wikipedia:

      Crassus used Syria as the launchpad for a military campaign against the Parthian Empire, Rome’s long-time Eastern enemy. Crassus’ campaign was a disastrous failure, ending in his defeat and death at the Battle of Carrhae.

      I think the lesson here is, stay away from Syria.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I wonder if the campaign slogan will be ‘Do you Zuck, or do you not Zuck?’

  27. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Calling the Washington Post.

    President Trump’s Lies, the Definitive List New York Times

    Can’t wait for ‘The Media’s Fake News, the Definitive List,’ by the Washington Post.

  28. Alex Morfesis

    Eid Mubarak…many greeks love to point to the hanging of patriarch Gregory V on easter day 1821 just a few weeks after the beginning of the greek battle for independence as Ypsilanti crossed the river Prot as a reason for continued hostilities with turkey…

    but almost all tend to ignore the brave actions of Haci Halil Efendi

    As Grand Mufti, Shaykh al-Islam, Haci Halil Efendi was ordered by Ottoman Sultan Mahmud II to issue a “fatwa” allowing the summary execution of all greeks as punishment for the actions of the filiki eteria and the beginning of the greek revolution…

    Haci Halil Efendi refused…

    startled, the Sultan demanded its immediate signing…the Grand Mufti then went directly to Patriarch Gregory and after discussions threw back the fatwa demand by invoking the koran and insisting no such fatwa can be asserted as the guilty must be separated from the innocent and insisted the good sultan provide a specific list and which specific crimes the specific greeks had committed against the Koran…

    The Sultan became enraged and ordered the immediate removal of Haci Halil Efendi and his exile to the island of Lemnos…

    at least on paper…

    in reality the grand mufti was taken into custody, beaten, tortured and then allowed to bleed to death…never quite having been put on that boat into exile

    The Patriarch, having twice previously been exiled, knew what was coming but did not run…

    On easter sunday he was dragged out of the grounds, hanged in his high holiday vestments and his body was left to hang for two days near the patriarchy for all to see, then dumped in the bosphorus river…where it was eventually recovered cryptically by greeks who brought his body to odessa for a proper funeral…

    Two pinnacle religious leaders of their respective peoples accepted death over acquiescing to an immoral diktat…


  29. Vatch

    Poll: Former AG Lynch should be investigated The Hill

    She should be investigated for that. She and her predecessor Eric Holder should also be investigated for obstruction of justice, since no high ranking financial executives were prosecuted for fraud or SarbOx violations in the context of the Great Financial Collapse of 2008. But we know that Holder and Lynch won’t be investigated for providing favors to powerful rich executives.

  30. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Vancouver Mansion Lists for Record $48 Million Bloomberg (Ann M)</blockquote

    No country can be genuinely progressive and has that kind of house price vs. per capita income ratio.

    1. craazyboy

      The current owner of Warren Buffet’s “beach house” has it up for sale at about $5 million. 3000sqft, on the cliffs overlooking Emerald bay. No offer yet, maybe the market is cooling down in S. Cal.

      I used to go to Laguna Beach as often as possible and also always went for lunch or afternoon margies at the Mexican restaurant up on the hilltop. Great food, great views, far away and close up!

  31. ewmayer

    Whole bunch more corrective headline edits (in []) needed today, and a few suggestions for better article context:

    o “Google [pinkie-swears that it] is going to stop reading the mail in your Gmail inbox to target ads to you | Business Insider”

    o “Frustrated [Clintonites: Obama shoulda judo-chopped The Putin to show him who’s boss] | The Hill”

    o “President Trump’s Lies, the Definitive List | New York Times” — Potentially useful, though it as always raises the question of who is fact-checking the fact-checkers. And I would really like to see a companion piece, “The New York Times’ Lies, the Definitive List”, along with an ‘estimated bodycount’ annotation for the items therein, which we can compare to a similar annotation for the Trump lie-list. For example, for the NYT: … “Saddam WMDs, 2003, est. bodycount > 1 million.”

    o “Russia Hacking Allegations Driven By a Serial Liar Washington’s Blog” — Yes, the CIA, if we grant it human agency for literary effect, is indeed a serial liar of epic and mass-murderous proportions.

    o “The Trump Obstruction Case Is Gathering Momentum Vanity Fair (resilc)” — Accurate, if by ‘momentum’ one means ‘loud headlines in the establishment-propaganda media’. And this is the same lying-liars media which deems the Clinton privatized SoS e-mail server a ‘nothingburger’ and serial destruction of various ME states as ‘valuable experience’, yes?

  32. financial matters

    Irony alert

    “”This past spring, Qatar began talks with Teheran about finding a compromise on exploitation of the shared South Pars-North Dome gas field. Qatar lifted its moratorium on exploiting the field and carried out discussions with Iran over its joint development. Reportedly Qatar and Iran had come to an agreement on joint construction of a Qatar-Iranian gas pipeline from Iran to the Mediterranean or Turkey that will also carry Qatari gas to Europe. In exchange, Doha agreed to end its support for terrorism in Syria, a huge blow to the Trump-Saudi plans to balkanize a destroyed Syria and control the gas flows of the region.“”

  33. kareninca

    I take it that you already know all about cat pheromones. We have used dog pheromones for stressed dogs; it really seemed to help. It’s the same pheromones that a lactating female dog emits; very soothing to them. I just checked on Amazon and they have some on offer, but I think there may be additional ones through a vet; I don’t know which cat brands are best, and I see that the reviews are very mixed. I’m so sorry that he is so upset.

Comments are closed.