Links 6/6/17

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Yves here. Too many links means Yves too fatigued to write anything worth reading. Apologies.

This Farmer Wants To Give Animals A Better Life — And Death NPR (David L)

Rule No. 1 When Making Baby Rhinos: Try Not to Get Squashed Wall Street Journal

Boffins find evidence of strange uranium-producing bacteria lurking underground The Register (Chuck L)

The hottest planet in the known Universe has been found – and it’s warmer than most stars ScienceAlert (Chuck L)

WSJ Ends Google Users’ Free Ride, Then Fades in Search Results Bloomberg

The biggest British Airways IT meltdown WTF: 200 systems in the critical path? The Register. Chuck L: “This truly is a WTF situation.”

Meet the tech activists who want to turn Twitter into a user-owned co-op Salon (Chuck L)

The millennial obsession with self-care MPR (Chuck L). I’m a believer in physical maintenance but some of this is pretty iffy:

….more millennials reported making personal improvement commitments than any generation before them. They spend twice as much as boomers on self-care essentials such as workout regimens, diet plans, life coaching, therapy and apps to improve their personal well-being. They’ve even created self-care Twitter bots.

Erm, “diet plans” and paying for workout apps does not necessarily translate into activity. Most gym memberships go unused or barely used. But the funny bit is it is boomers who are routinely accused of being self-absorbed…..

Facebook denies parents access to dead daughter’s account Naked Security (Glenn F)


‘We decided to take a stand’: why some Indian families are returning dowries Guardian

Debunking Australia’s fake growth record MacroBusiness

UK Election

Britain’s economic model is broken: this is our first post-crash election Aditya Chakrabortty, Guardian (PlutoniumKun)

The dark money driving the Scottish Tory surge Open Democracy

Spotlight falls on Theresa May’s mixed security record Politico

May under pressure as ministers plan more cutbacks for anti‑terror budget The Times

UK opposition leader calls on prime minister to quit DW

What happens to Brexit if Labour wins? EuroIntelligence

Trump renews feud with London mayor over terror attack BBC

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Apple Puts Siri Helper at Center of Growing Home-Tech Empire Bloomberg. More IoT despite all the rampant problems….

New Cold War

Putin Quizzed by NBC News’ Megyn Kelly Over Russian Involvement in U.S. Elections NBC (Sid S). Jerri featured other reports on this yesterday. Notice they gave the articulate Putin a lousy translator. Kelly is relying on the widely debunked “17 agency” report of December. The best thrashing comes from staunch Putin opponent Masha Gessen in the New York Review of Books.

Putin, Trump and ‘my guy’ Macron Asia Times (Chuck L)

Russia ‘blocking’ rail freight shipments to Latvia Lloyds List (Lambert). Latvia started this tit-for-tat. But still…

We may owe our lives to a back channel with Russia Washington Post. Lambert: “Read all the way to the end.”


The Qatar spat exposes Britain’s game of thrones in the Gulf Paul Mason, Guardian (trion). Another reason to vote Labour.

The GCC States Led By Saudi Arabia Will Collapse Into Oblivion Moon of Alabama (Darius)

The $1bn hostage deal that enraged Qatar’s Gulf rivals Financial Times

Trump Vows to Calm Gulf Flareup as Saudis Turn Screws on Qatar Bloomberg

Israel’s Secret Plan to Nuke the Egyptian Desert Politico

Trump Transition

Pay attention to Donald Trump’s actions, not his words Guardian. ChiGal: “Counterpoint to the recent Ian Welsh piece.”

Trump wants you to take his tweets seriously. His aides don’t. Politico. IMHO, Trump want you to take something, anything about him seriously.

House Ethics Complaints Filed Against Paul Ryan And Devin Nunes For Obstruction Of Justice Inquisitur (furzy)

In the Withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, the Koch Brothers’ Campaign Becomes Overt New Yorker (Dr. Kevin)

Trump national security team blindsided by NATO speech Politico

Donald Trump undermines his lawyers’ case for the travel ban Economist

Obama was conservative. Trump is radical. The Week (Chuck L)

Top-Secret NSA Report Details Russian Hacking Effort Days Before 2016 Election Intercept. Brian C, who knows a thing or two about network security:

After the long read of article, my assessment is this all amounts (so far as we know) to be limited to intelligence gathering rather then tampering. The former is really no big surprise because I am sure that many countries (including us) regularly attempt to gather advance intel on how a state election is playing out and gain additional granularity of detail in the voting data than made public. The latter would be a much more serious act of aggression, however, the evidence for that still appears to be lacking:

That review did not attempt to assess what effect the Russian efforts had on the election, despite the fact that “Russian intelligence obtained and maintained access to elements of multiple US state or local electoral boards.” According to the Department of Homeland Security, the assessment reported reassuringly, “the types of systems we observed Russian actors targeting or compromising are not involved in vote tallying.”

The Worst Voting Machine In The US Follow My Vote. BTW, an NC reader was involved is significant research into electronic voting machines in 2015, and helped to decertify at least one of the worst offenders. And is anybody making the critical point, as Lambert keeps stressing, so why can’t we have hand marked, paper ballots hand counted in public, which is the international standard? Apparently due to the grift….

Contractor charged in NSA document leak case Washington Post. Her life is over. She admitted everything to the FBI. Does no one tell people 1. never never talk to police without a lawyer present and 2. to take the Fifth Amendment? Or was this world’s fastest plea deal?

Bernie Sanders: ‘The momentum is with us’ BBC (furzy)

Supreme Court agrees to decide major privacy case on cellphone data Reuters

How Corporations Have Bought Control of State Legislatures in the U.S. WhoWhatWhy

Auditors say Maryland election board put voters’ personal data at risk Baltimore Sun (Katharine)

Interest rates, PMI services, Factory orders, ISM services Warren Mosler. Key section:

If rates go up when loan demand is strong enough so the borrowing continues, the added loan payments flow back to earnings for the lender, and govt. pays more interest, so it can all not only keep going but accelerate. However, if demand is weak, and rates go up as they did late last year due to anticipation of Fed hikes, borrowing and spending can decelerate, as per the charts:

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Fire and Charge the Officers who Killed Desmond Phillips. This made me realize that Trump-related petitions are crowding out ones like this, at least in terms of coverage on the logical suspect websites.

Las Vegas police officer will be charged in chokehold death of an unarmed black man Los Angeles Times

The Myth of the Kindly General Lee Atlantic

Trial Will Decide if ABC News Sullied a Company With ‘Pink Slime’ New York Times

Dish Hit With Record $280 Million Fine for Illegal Robocalls Blooomberg

Exclusive Test Data: Many Colleges Fail to Improve Critical-Thinking Skills Wall Street Journal. Not a surprise to NC readers. They aren’t supposed to!

It Starts: Hiring Falls in San Francisco Bay Area, Says LinkedIn Wolf Richter (EM)

Slow Crash Harper’s. An interview with Michael Hudson.

Class Warfare

The Robots are Coming! Robert Cringley (Glenn F)

The Democrats’ ‘Working-Class Problem’ American Prospect (UserFriendly)

Under Trump, Worker Protections Are Viewed With New Skepticism New York Times

Antidote du jour. Craig C: “Barrett explores a tide pool on the Oregon Coast”:

And a bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. timotheus

    No need to apologize for the excess. These links are a wonderful distillation of many topics, and curating them for us not only is a great time-saver but also provides excellent context for the more focused posts.

        1. B1whois

          A quick look at the thesaurus shows these are very different words. Curator has the synonyms: caretaker, administrator, conservator, custodian, director, guardian, keeper, manager, steward.
          Aggregate has the synonyms: combine collect compile assemble accumulate amass.
          Curator would seem to infer more of a defense of the items, whereas an aggregator simply groups them together.

          1. ChiGal in Carolina

            To me the difference seems to be the degree of intent. I absolutely think of Yves & Lambert as stewards. They may include links they disagree with, for the purpose of thinking critically about or debunking them.

    1. cocomaan

      I honestly cannot believe that Yves and her crew do this every day. The amount of reading is enormous for the daily link columns, let alone the research to do the original reporting, like the awesome calpers stuff. Hats off to the crew.

      1. B1whois

        Which brings me to a question I have had for a while: why is there no specific tag for Calpers? Tia

  2. bwilli123

    Further on Qatar:
    ‘Three potential motives behind the tension between Qatar and its Gulf neighbours.’

    What Does the UAE Want?

    “With Saudi Arabia and presumably the United States on its side, the UAE saw President Trump’s trip to the kingdom as a window of opportunity to press for closer ties with the US and in the process to rein in what it sees as Qatar’s maverick foreign policy. Specifically, the Emiratis calculate that unprecedented, prolonged pressure will cause the Qataris to buckle and to give to the UAE and its ally Saudi Arabia major concessions. These would include, most notably, further distancing from Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Hamas, and keeping a lid on that perennial regional irritant, the Al Jazeera news channel.
    But there is an even bigger prize that the Emiratis are after—Qatar’s American airbase. As Al Otaiba’s leaked emails reveal, the UAE government has been pressing American officials for years to relocate their biggest forward airbase out of unreliable Qatar and into the UAE, which is the US’s real friend.
    Since the Saudi-led war in Yemen started, Emirati forces have been front and center in the battle against the Houthis. In the process, the UAE has acquired a real taste for military adventures. Feeling empowered, thanks to the purchase of billions of dollars of military equipment from the United States, the country that prides in calling itself the Little Sparta has now become interested in power projections.”

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Excellent links, along with the must-read Moon of Alabama post linked above. Qatar has always been something of an outlier among the Gulf States, but I’d no idea things were cooking up this fast and this dramatically. Its possible Qatar will back down and things will cool down a little in the region but if the Iranians and Russians see this as an opportunity and back them overtly, then this little problem could get very hot indeed. Given how reckless the Saudi’s have proven to be the last couple of years, its not beyond possibilities that they could (with Trumps nod of approval) simply invade Qatar.

    2. Marym

      The Bloomberg post in Links has been updated due to Trump’s tweet today. He now wants to take credit for fomenting the conflict.

      Trump’s comment came a day after the White House said the president wanted to “de-escalate” the crisis and is committed to holding talks with all parties…..

      Trump’s “tweet fuels more conflict, increases tensions and will be used by those who are trying to demonize Qatar,” said Mahjoob Zweiri, a professor of Middle Eastern politics at Qatar University in Doha.

    3. Edward E

      By Amena Bakr | DOHA, APRIL 14
      (Reuters) – Qatar opened the Middle East’s first centre for clearing transactions in the Chinese yuan on Tuesday, saying it would boost trade and investment between China and Gulf Arab economies.

      “The launch of the region’s first renminbi clearing center in Doha creates the necessary platform to realise the full potential of Qatar and the region’s trade relationship with China,” Qatar’s central bank governor Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud al-Thani said at a ceremony.

      “It will facilitate greater cross-border renminbi investment and financing business, and promote greater trade and economic links between China and the region, paving the way for better financial cooperation and enhancing the pre-eminence of Qatar as a financial hub in MENA (Middle East and North Africa).”

      Industrial and Commercial Bank of China’s (ICBC) Doha branch is the clearing bank for the centre, which intends to serve companies from around the Middle East.

      A clearing bank can handle all parts of a currency transaction from when a commitment is made until it is settled, reducing costs and time taken for trading.

      The centre “will improve the ease of transactions between companies in the region and China by allowing them to settle their trade directly in renminbi, drawing increased trade through Qatar and boosting bilateral and economic collaboration between Qatar and China,” said ICBC chairman Jiang Jianqing. …

      China is also pressing Saudis to accept payment in yuan.

      1. Milton

        I cant believe what you posted here is not gaining traction among the NC discussioneers. Though the players are different the core of this is a move away from dollars (petro) and western finance, ala Libya.

  3. voteforno6

    Re: The Myth of the Kindly General Lee

    It’s nice to see these takedowns of Robert E. Lee – a long overdue correction, I think. The historian in me always found Grant to be a more compelling figure, and whose generalship gets oddly overlooked. He was fighting the entire Union war effort, after all, while Lee was stuck to the Northern Virginia front.

    1. Carolinian

      It was always inappropriate for southern towns to put up these statues to dead Confederates because those so honored had rebelled against their government. After all Benedict Arnold was for awhile a successful Revolutionary military commander but nobody is commemorating him on public property.

      However if one wants to make this a moral question then it should be mentioned that Grant as president and Sherman, Sheridan and other former Union commanders went on to conduct a genocidal campaign against the plains Indians that was just as racist as anything said by Lee. Lincoln himself thought that integrating blacks into US society might be a problem and that sending them back to Africa could be necessary.

      So these were fairly widespread attitudes outside of abolition circles. Indeed one could argue that white supremacy was the prevailing American attitude, north and south, right up to the Civil Rights movement.

      I haven’t been following the New Orleans dispute but in my experience not many people in the south these days are interested in re-fighting the Civil War. However it does provide a convenient excuse for journos like those at the Atlantic pin all our troubles on deplorables. In the 21st cent is this the new Lost Cause?

      1. TarheelDem

        Yes it is the the 21st century “Lost Cause” and a rerun of the 1950s emphasis on the “Decadent South”.

        What was true when the movements that restored white supremacy in the South, when the statues that went up to “Common Valor”, and when the legislatures passed Jim Crow laws was that the forces behind the violence, the efforts at public commemoration, and the laws were the former plantation owners become New South capitalists and their progeny. The foot soldiers who did the enforcing, lynching, and contributing of pennies were those who would today be seen as “deplorables”. And then “deplorables” like Pitchfork Ben Tillman (veteran of the terror at Hamburg SC) became populist leaders on platforms of segregation and liquor control. Yes, that political culture did not die until the civil rights movement. And when it did it was because of a new bunch of capitalists seeking investment from outside the South; the locals decided to act nice to attract Yankee money. Now Southern attitudes from the 19th century have been nationalized as far away as Oregon, Minnesota, Illinois, and Michigan.

        And those Yankee investors in the 1960s, why did they insist on desegregation and an absence of racial strife in the Southern cities they invested in? We were showcasing our liberty and equality before the world in a propaganda struggle with the Soviet Union.

        1. Carolinian

          I’d say they were always nationalized to some degree. The south was the extreme case.

          1. Susan the other

            + a zillion for tar heel and carolinian – we all love to pretend like we are sooo innocent because somebody else did it with malice aforethought… that’s just not good history.

        1. Andrew Watts

          Technically, Arnold wasn’t mentioned by name. His leg served bravely and honorably and I choose to celebrate the boot as well.

      2. Jonathan Golland Becnel

        I’m from New Orleans and witnessed it first hand.

        The Lee Monument taken down was located in what is known as “Lee Circle” towards the end of the famous St Charles Mardi Gras parade route. So I’d place its value in being an appropriated symbol. The most often complaint I’d heard from ordinary folk was, “What do we call it now? Fleur di lis circle?

        The Jefferson Davis monument was right next to my VA mental health building/substance abuse clinic when I was in rehab. I remember thinking, “WTF is this doing here on this ordinary street?” What actually distressed me more is the bust close by of the first Louisiana officer killed in the Civil War.

        All that said, there’s plenty of racism in the surrounding suburbs, particularly Metairie where I grew up, and Kenner and the North Shore(St Tammany Parish)

        It’s a shame because if the fat left and fat right of New Orleans could see past the bullshit Identity politics dividing them, then they could take over city politics from the corrupt Dems.

    2. vlade


      He was a weirdo in many ways, but on the other hand he was the one who saw that a merciless show of strength (Sherman’s March) would do more than winning a few set-piece battles – and, at the same time, when the time for peace came offered to the Confederate army best deal possible (so much that he was shortly very reviled by the Northern press).

      Lee was IMO overrated (similar to a number of German WW2 generals).

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        How would Sherman fight a Middle East conflict in the 21st century? A Sherman Surge?

        March all the way to Bactria, and burn down Persepolis?

        A new Marshall plan for reconstruction?

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Sherman wouldn’t fight a Mid East conflict if he was an American in this scenario. If he was part of the environment, it would be one thing.

          He voted against Lincoln in 1860 worried the South would actually secede leading to a devastating war which would require the deaths of 300,000 Southern males before they stopped. Guess what milestone was reached in April 1865.

          A slave empire on the border would be intolerable. Sherman like Grant were under the impression the Confederacy aimed to create a Latin American slave empire. Sherman was opposed to the Mexican War.

          If Sherman was fighting, I imagine it would matter how the locals felt. Sherman didn’t rough up areas with high Union sentiment such as North Carolina and Savanna, and yes, they knew how people voted. There were a couple of times where the Russians let up (per Pat Lang) in Syria, and I don’t believe Sherman would have. I believe Sherman understands the battlefield is the only real negotiation once shooting starts.

          1. Carolinian

            The coup de grace for the south was the capture of Atlanta (which resulted in Lincoln’s re-election). The burning of Atlanta?….

            Of course Sherman’s demoralization argument was also used by the allies in WW2 to justify their city bombing. Most now agree that these sorts of tactics just harden civilian resolve. The south didn’t have much resolve left by the time Sherman went around burning things but arguably he did contribute to the victim cult which followed (see Gone With the Wind).

            1. The Heretic

              That is a good conundrum to consider, why was Sherman able to demoralize the south with his slash and burn tactics, where as bombing cities in WW2 often hardened substantial parts of the population.

              Can someone clarify on how Sherman conducted the burning of Atlanta? Did he burn the people in Atlanta or did he shepherd them out first? Or is it that as per the War Nerd, he saw that the South was hollow, and the damage he did to the South’s industry and logistics was irreparable, whereas Germany and Britton were both resourceful and were able to keep producing some goods despite being bombed? Or was there some other element of human nature that he connected to?

              1. Carolinian

                I believe it’s unclear whether Atlanta was deliberately burned or whether the Union occupation interfered with stopping a fire that was started accidentally. Naturally the southerners claimed the former whereas the Union army the latter.

                Doubtless Wikipedia has more to say about this.

                1. darthbobber

                  Given that the union army intended to base itself in Atlanta for awhile, prior to the march, the burning was unlikely to have been deliberate. I’m inclined to believe those who think that the fires set by the departing confederates to destroy stocks of supplies got out of control.

                  This is definitely what happened when Richmond fell.

            2. PlutoniumKun

              I’m not sure the tactics of Sherman and the tactical bombing campaign can really be compared. From what I know of Sherman his orders were quite specific as to what to destroy and who to ‘collectively’ punish. He focused foraging (i.e. theft) on those areas which resisted, and by ordering soldiers to collect from fields, but not enter houses, he was aiming more at the wealthier southerners rather than regular folks. It was a ruthless policy, but it was also carrot and stick, and showed an awareness that making wealthy farmers and urbanites suffer most was the most effective way to change their mind. He knew that when the property owning classes had had enough, the war was won.

              WW2 tactical bombing was mostly – as articulated quite clearly by Churchill and Harris – aimed at demoralising the german working classes by killing them and burning their homes. I don’t think there is any evidence that there was any subtlety to the choice of target – i.e. choosing cities more associated with the Nazi party. The USAF focused on daytime strategic bombing, which at least was in theory aimed at only damaging war infrastructure (unlike of course in Japan, where the USAF explicitly tried to wipe out entire cities). The RAF focused on terrorising urban workers. It was a much more crude strategy which most post war analysts concluded didn’t really work (and its often forgotten that it was widely condemned in Britain and US at the time). Much of it was simple tit for tat revenge, such as when historic German cities were firebombed in revenge for the bombing of Coventry. By the end of the war it was simple savagery with no tactical or strategic end – Churchill was quite clear that the bombing of Dresden city centre had no military objective, it was simple destruction for the sake of it.

              Sherman of course had the advantage which often goes to commanders in Civil Wars in having a much deeper understanding of the society they are attacking, because its their own society. He may have been as much at sea as any other US commander if he was fighting in the Middle East. But he, along with Grant, had a very deep knowledge of the South and so he knew exactly how to inflict maximum economic and psychological harm with the minimum of effort. He knew that just beating Confederate armies was not enough, as they could resort to guerrilla warfare. He had to make the property owning classes come to their knees.

              1. Carolinian

                I’ll stand by what I said about Sherman’s tactics contributing to a later sense of victimization by the defeated south and some feelings of sympathy by the north that defeated them. Whether the burning of the plantations had much of a logistical impact that late in the war is probably debatable. The war was really won in Virginia where Grant conducted a war of attrition against Lee’s army. The south was never going to win against the superior force of the north unless they could force a negotiation. This is why Sherman’s real accomplishment was giving Lincoln the Atlanta victory that led to his re-election.The Democrats who opposed Lincoln favored negotiation. It was really northern morale that was at stake more than that of the southern leaders who stood to lose everything if they lost.and therefore were always going to fight to the bitter end.

                And no what Sherman did was nothing like Dresden but he is often cited as an early example of “total war” theory.

                1. vlade

                  The war could never be really won in the East (Virginia), but it could be lost there. The war was really won by taking over the West, which was a large source of manpower and materiel. Atlanta was (ex Richmond) the last large manufacturing centre, and Richmond was more or less cut off from the rest of the South (the rail network in South was way less dense than North, and mostly concerned with getting stuff to North- so not much good for South).

                  Sherman’s contribution wasn’t so much in the demoralising people of Georgie/South Carolina (as mentioned elsewhere NC was given entirely different treatment).

                  It was the fact he showed that Northern armies could go pretty much wherever they wanted in the South (the only remaining army was Lee’s in Virginia, and once Sherman got there, Lee was doomed), and do what they wanted there. After that, South could not consider itself a sovereign nation anymore – and neither could any of the European Powers. At best, South could run a guerrilla war.

                2. PlutoniumKun

                  I’m no expert in the details of the Civil War, and I don’t deny that Shermans campaigns sowed deep long term resentment. The point I was trying to make is that while Sherman’s actions were ruthless and went beyond what many contemporaries felt were the unofficial rules of war, the specific orders he gave (which sometimes were exceeded on the ground) indicated that he had quite a specific strategy which was as much about psychological warfare as physical warfare. It was more sophisticated than simply causing havoc for the sake of it. He understood that the war was popular in the South, specifically with, for want of a better word, the upper classes. He knew that if their confidence was shaken then the war would be over more quickly, and probably more important, there was less chance of it turning into a guerrilla war which would have taken years to finish. He knew the Southerners wanted a ‘war between gentlemen’, so he was determined not to give that to them.

                  Like most soldiers, I doubt he was terribly interested in the longer term consequences of his strategies. He seems to have been more of a tactician than a strategist. His aim was a quick and decisive end to the war and he had quite a sophisticated grasp of what was needed to do that – he knew it would take more than a few conventional battlefield victories.

                  The contrast I think with the Allied bombing of Germany is that their strategy was much more crude. Churchill was admirably open and honest about this. They wanted to crush and destroy Germany, it was simply a case of using whatever weapons they had at their disposal to do maximum damage. As there were few land fronts between 1941 and 1944, the only way they had to do this was long range bombing, so thats what they did.

                  1. JTMcPhee

                    Good thing the Russians were willing to absorb the huge horrors they did, and build the huge war machine they had to, to actually chew up the Wehrmacht, so “we of the West” could claim credit for “chewing up” the German landscape with all that bombing (let us not forget that more tones of HE and fire bombs were dumped on both Vietnam and Korea,, and now the ME war zone, than “we” dropped on Europe (not just Germany) during WW II, that paragon of productivity and procurement and logistics).

                    And so fortunate that Hitler and his people made all the well documented “mistakes” they did, redolent of the ones that Great Conquerors with nothing but conquest and domination on their minds seem ineluctably to make. Because, like Our Heroes, they have “vision.”

                    US generals pretend to study the “societies” they are busily rubblizing, all those “Special Groups” and War College hours and all that input from all those “consultants and contractors,” like this stuff, and, and mostly come up with “counterterrorism,” destabilization, “Surges” and “kicking in doors in Kandahar (again and again and again),” “Helmand, we gonna get you this time! OOrah!” and of course incremental approaches to the use of those nuclear and other horrors weapons they’ve got the rest of us to pay for, and of course corruption and lucrative career path fertilizing and Enormous Wealth Transfer, as the substance of the doctrine, strategy and tactics. Massive “understanding,” of course, of procurement and logistics, in aid of the mass stupidity and bleeding that’s the hallmark of global militarization and All Warr, All The Time (TM). All in the name of various (undefined, of course) “national interests,” and to “protect our security” and similar BS buzzwords that way too many of us swallow whole, again and again.

                    Lots of Civil War/War of Northern Aggression aficionados out there. Everyone has opinions and learning to support one or another set of notions of What It Was All About, and which generals did what when, and what was in said generals’ hearts and minds. Seems to me that nobody knows/everybody knows — like the parable of the blind philosophers arguing the nature of the elephant from their examination of the trunk, or the tail, or one columnar leg.

                    “The only way to win is not to play the game.” But that depends on where one puts oneself in the field of play… There is no medicine for our species’ melancholy…

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I believe Sherman understands the battlefield is the only real negotiation once shooting starts.

            Tragically, I think that may be the lesser evil option – a Sherman Surge.

            One can leave Vietnam, but the Killing Fields will always haunt those away from the vacuum…America’s Burden…a burden not thrust upon the exceptional, out of nowhere, but created by an initial act of interference, or foreign adventure.

          3. Susan the other

            interesting not Timmy. bec. I think Mattis has more than a touch of Sherman in him.

      2. jonboinAR

        I donno how much of this is so, but what I always gathered about Lee and the success he had for quite some time was that when he was on favorable ground he fought, when on unfavorable ground he refused to fight. Then at Gettysburg, he blew it all.

        1. vlade

          Lee was, first and foremost, someone who was willing to take large risks. Which most of the time, against most of the Union generals, paid off (for reasons too numerous to list in a comment here. But tactical incompetency of most senior Union generals was a major one, McClellan being a prime example).

          Whether this was because he really was a brilliant tactician, or because he was an inveterate gambler is a different question. I believe the latter, as evidenced by Gettysburg as well as some of his performance in Peninsular campaign.

          1. darthbobber

            During the peninsula campaign, the Union Army retreated after each of the 7 days battles, though except for one their retreat was hardly compelled by anything except McClellan’s prediliction to do so.

            Even this early in the war, there was an early indicator of what Lee might do if frustrated. At Malvern Hill, dissatisfied with his Army’s performance in the previous couple of battles, and convinced that the Union troops MUST break if pushed, he launched a frontal assault that was also exposed to flanking fire from artillery, and accomplished nothing except to get a lot of his troops mowed down without coming anywhere near their objective.

            Lee’s success in this campaign helped commit southern resources to his way of fighting. He was good at what he did, but they might have been better served by a less aggressive commander. Troops were what the confederacy was shortest of, and Lee’s army of Northern Virginia took by far the highest rate of casualties of any army engaged. And Jackson’s corps, which provided the shock troops, took the heaviest casualties within that army.

  4. Roger Smith

    Moon of Alabama has an excellent piece on the NSA leak and the Intercept’s complete failure to protect there source (though it is worth noting that she did not help herself either).

    Equally as interesting is a 2013 Mark Ames article linked inside that is worth sharing on its own: Keeping Secrets: Pierre Omidyar, Glenn Greenwald and the privatization of Snowden’s leaks

    Ames frames the scene that I was shocked to discover. The Intercept as a hoax–a front, Greenwald et al. willingly privatizing public data for personal gain, and an oligarch most likely covering his tracks. Unbelievable. It is funny because I have always wondered why only one central piece of information came out of Snowden’s dump. Now I have a better idea of why. B over at Moon also picked up on the wildly varying slant that appears in typical Intercept articles. I had to stop following them on Twitter because I was tired of seeing random posts with absurd, sensational headlines.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I like reading both Greenwald and Ames, I’ve never quite understood in the past why Ames loathes Greenwald so much. If half of what Ames (and MoA) says there is true its very disturbing.

      1. Roger Smith

        Same here, although I am newer to Ames. Contrary to what I found in a lot of the less known authors at the Intercept, I have enjoyed much of Greenwald’s articles. But this was a vignette I had never seen. If it is true, I am speechless. I was not aware of an Ames-Greenwald ‘beef’ either, interesting.

      2. Carolinian

        Apparently Greenwald disparaged Ames at some point but it would be mind reading to suggest subsequent articles were a “vendetta.”

        That said I too have been disappointed in The Intercept. Worth noting that Greenwald doesn’t seem to write so much for them as he did–unclear who is in charge.

    2. ChiGal in Carolina

      Agree some Intercept articles stink of rank ideology, but note that the excellent Counterpunch also makes a practice of running authors with divergent perspectives. I rather like being given the opportunity to do my own critical thinking.

      As to the Intercept not protecting its source, although I understand it is email contact that gave her away, the actual article cites an anonymous source (caveat: have not yet read the M of A piece).

    3. lyman alpha blob

      Something is very fishy about this. The leaker seems completely clueless, an innocent naif just trying to do her part for the Resistance. Almost too good to be true. It’s almost as if someone wanted her to become a national figure overnight.

      If the aim is to bring down Trump by any means necessary without having it involve all the politicians and spooks that everyone hates, they couldn’t have chosen a better person. It will be interesting to see how she is portrayed going forward.

      My guess is there will be a significant push to give her the hero treatment.

      1. Carolinian

        Of course. Spilling spy secrets is only a crime when Trump does it.

        One could point out that the “ends justify the means” attitude of The Resistance mirrors R2P. They have a responsibility to protect us from Trump.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          Just getting up to speed on this, but the ends justify the means argument is what is used to ostensibly protect legitimate whistblowers and at first glance I don’t believe this person would qualify as a whistleblower as they aren’t trying to reveal any US government waste or wrongdoing. This seems like a very limited leak designed to harm one person, almost the exact opposite of whistleblowing.

          If the whole thing turns out to be a setup, I’d be just as shocked as I was upon learning about games of chance occurring in a Moroccan nightclub.

          Were I conducting an investigation, I’d be looking for any contact people associated with Clinton Inc. had with low level government employees with security clearances who identified as Clinton acolytes. Perhaps Reality Winner (really? come on…) recently became online BFFs with Neera…

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        Agree with the fishy part, not sure about the hero part.

        For some strange reason, Lynndie England comes to mind.

        Btw, this kid has worked at the nsa for all of four months, since 2/13/2017, according to the hedge. Lucky break for the spooks, what with her making it so easy for them and all.

      3. Jen

        Who the hell names their kid “Reality Winner?”

        That alone has my bs detector buzzing.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Stupid people often raise kids to be stupid. “Reality Winner” never had a chance.

        2. Sputnik Sweetheart

          Her name is actually Leigh Winner (as seen in the Twitter link), it just appears to be that she changed it/nicknamed herself on Facebook, which is a pretty common thing to do.

          1. Sputnik Sweetheart

            Wait, looks like her full name is Reality Leigh Winner! What were her parents thinking?

            1. jrs

              It’s like what Trump would name his kids, but even Trump doesn’t, or at any rate the mother of Trump’s kids probably veto him if he tries. I mean Barron Trump is pretty bad but …

        3. Karma Fubar

          Reality Winner is another good title for the delusional, elitist and megalomaniacal HRC’s upcoming book. Just saying.

      4. Roger Smith

        I agree. The more I learn about Winner the more odd it seems. Although she could have been black and muslim too for extra Resistance™ Points. I get the feeling she leaked this document thinking “HERE IS THE PROOF!” … Except she had no actual understanding of what she actually had (nothing). Maybe she thought she could be a hero.

        1. marco

          I went to and lo-and-behold at the VERY TOP I see the cutest most adorable (NSA contractor) pixie who just wanted to:

          “…bare her political leanings as an environmentalist who wanted to “resist” President Trump”.

          This reeks of PsyOps

          If people start comparing her to Chelsea Manning I am going to set myself on fire and jump from a very tall building.

          1. Jen

            Or ninja level trolling. “Reality Winner – adorable pixie member of the resistance.” It’s just too perfect.

            1. Marco

              Her name sounds like a race horse no? Getting a blinking signal from my lesbian radar (although as a gay man I could be wrong) Hmmmm…perhaps an Advocate interview next month? IdPol HERO here we come!

          2. Roger Smith

            Reality Winner… born to be a troll. If this is Psy-Ops, why choose the Intercept? Two birds with one stone? Make them look foolish and as failures to quell future leaks they might have received?

            What kind of fool prints the documents from the work printer and emails the contact from their workstation?

            1. lyman alpha blob

              Right – it’s not like its difficult to find info on Snowden or Ellsburg or any other number of whistleblowers (not that she should be considered one) documenting how they made off with the documents. And if you have a security clearance, I’d imagine there is probably some training one would receive to get one pointing out how insecure such practices are.

              Also odd that it was just one document rather than a trove. Either she thought she would be a hero as you said, or this is all a setup. Of course the two aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive.

        2. Lambert Strether

          I agree. We have a wannabe leaker, inspired by all the nonsense the Clintonites pumped out, but good-hearted in the sense that she wanted to be a Snowden or Manning.

          Like a fan running onto the field….

          (Though I’m a little unclear on the Intercept’s role in this; she was, after all, outed by paper The Intercept handed over. The original, not a copy? That seems odd.)

          1. ChiGal in Carolina

            She was flagged by being the only person who had printed the report who had contact with the Intercept via email.

            A copy might show folds.

            Hard to imagine GG colluding but the company may have punked him – surely there are others within the operation willing to take orders from Omidyar…

            1. Mark P.

              ‘She was flagged by being the only person who had printed the report who had contact with the Intercept via email.’

              Are you serious?

              This is a poor, dumb kid or a setup, or both.

      5. Knot Galt

        Sounds a little like Burn After Reading, a novel made into a comedy movie in 2008.

        Life is stranger than fiction? Or just another indication American society has gone off the rails?

      6. Skip Intro

        It reads like a press release disguised as a leak to give the NSA some credibility. Nothing like your own tame whistleblower to get your side of the story out.

      1. Roger Smith

        I am still digging through Greenwalds reponse but wanted to document some thoughts here now (largely because I believe Greenwalds is purposefully detailing extraneous arguments in what he claimed was a response to Ames’ Pando article).

        Greenwald appears to be on very shaky ground to me. Ames’ article (at least to me) was about the appearance of privatization of leaked documents that, rather than being reported on, were swept up by a billionaire (to make it short). It is that finite arrangement that he calls into question.

        Cut to Greenwald who claims disingenuously:

        “…the rhetorical innuendo in the Pando post tracks perfectly with that used by NSA chief Keith Alexander a few weeks ago when he called on the US government to somehow put a stop to the NSA reporting: “I think it’s wrong that newspaper reporters have all these documents, the 50,000– whatever they are, and are selling them and giving them out as if these– you know, it just doesn’t make sense,” decreed the NSA chief.

        Ames’ article does not track that way at all. He is not questioning the ethical implications of leaks or even methodology necessarily. Ames questions the ethics of journalists who have exclusive acces being bought off in a case that seems to highlight it. Nevertheless, Greenwald then goes on a tirade of methodological theory that sets up strawmen for him to best rather than the claims Ames makes.

        Finally at section 3 Greenwald gets more to specifics. He fixates on Ames use of the word “monopoly” in reference to who would now have publishing access to these documents. In a general sense I understand Greenwald’s point, but again he appears to be misrepresenting what Ames was really saying (at least how I read it–a monopoly on an future revelations or document access. You can’t literally buy politicians, or reputable journalists, but you can sure make them feel at home…). It is interesting to note that this quarrel stemmed from an Ames/Levine article about the lack of authenticity behind protests to TSA’s pat and search. Here we are again with Ames reporting on an arrangement that doesn’t quite seem honest, while Greenwald opposes (see Greenwald’s response for links to the Nation articles).

        Overall I still feel quesy about the Intercept arrangement, and Glen’s typical, overly detailed sort of knee jerk response style does not inspire confidence.

        1. Bittercup

          Glad it’s not just me. That response in itself is making me suspicious of Glenn, and I don’t even like Pando or Ames that much.

        2. PlutoniumKun

          His response is a little over-wordy and tetchy, but his basic point I think is correct, that its very difficult to be an investigative journalist these days and not work for a billionaire, and that he is releasing the documents in line with what they agreed with Snowdon. I’m pretty sure that Snowdon himself (or Assange) would be saying something if he felt Greenwald was in some way privatising or misusing the documents.

          Having said that, I do think there is something very fishy about The Intercept. The fact that Greenwald himself seems to keep a significant firewall between himself and the publication does say something I think.

          As for Moon of Alabama, I really like the website and the corrective it gives to the rubbish that passes for foreign reporting these days, but it has a tone of ‘I know best’ which always makes me a little suspicious. The very best writers on the Middle East, such as Fisk and Cockburn tend to acknowledge the limitations of their knowledge, which makes me trust them when they report things as fact. MoA is a bit too arrogant about his/her knowledge to make me entirely get on board.

          1. Knot Galt

            I think Greenwald doesn’t want to end up in an Embassy like Assange and has developed a peculiar rationale that will hopefully keep him immune from prosecutions’ reach?

        3. fritter

          Having read GG for a long time, all of his responses are like that. He was a lawyer that argued before the Supreme Court iirc. I wouldn’t assume any illegitimate ill intentions. That’s just how he argues, he hammers and hammers until there can’t be any doubt that something is the way it is. If you go back and put everything side by side I guarentee there was no misrepersenting, maybe misunderstanding, but that’s an entirely different story.

          If you want to talk about fishy think about a contractor who takes classified evidence to the one outlet everyone in the 5 eyes has a hard on for. The one most likely watched and hacked and probed every second of every day by pretty much all the intelligence agencies on the planet. Plus, she sends emails there to provide a documentation trail. This is a contractor for the NSA. It boggles the mind.. I’m not saying she was set up, but she was set up.

        4. darthbobber

          I think Greenwald is still! incompetent about security in these matters. Snowden initially thought precisely that, and Greenwald was taken aback by the kind of security measures Snowden insisted on.

          But this lass would have been hauled in pretty quickly regardless of what people at the Intercept did or didn’t do.

      2. fritter

        I think it is worth-wile to remember that at the time of the snowden leaks GG was working for the Guardian. There was a lot of criticism at the time with the slowness of the leaks, with some demanding an entire document cache leak (against Snowden’s wishes). I’m not sure its fair to criticize GG on moving to the Intercept. Regardless of what he is paid he took a very principled stand against TPTB. Remember the Guardian had MI5 show up and destroy their “copy” of the documents. There were several (indirect) threats on his life by political figures in the US as well. If some billionare profited from it, I’m not sure it really matters much. If there were documents there that were critical of Omidayer and in the public interest enough to be worth it, I think Snowden would have informed us by now. AFAIK Snowden hasn’t complained about Greenwalds handling of the documents either. No offense to MoA or anyone else but if anyone has proven their integrity and self sacrifice its Snowden. I don’t read blogs to hero worship or anything so I don’t get some of the petty bickering. It might be that GG is a real a-hole (he did support Obama at one point, even after the FISA vote but so did a lot of Democrats), but in the very small group of reporters who take risk in bringing truth to power, which is a tiny subgroup of those who bring any truth at all, a little leeway is needed. To allow people to still be imperfect human beings and all
        I also note that the article on the NSA hack that seems to have tripped up this new leaker was not signed off by GG.

    4. purplepencils

      I enjoy reading both — and read a whole host of other websites. I suppose they’re free to disagree. Certainly, Wikileaks and The Intercept don’t agree on methodology, a disagreement well-aired on Twitter. I prefer using my brain to analyse what they write, and am sceptical of any sweeping statements like don’t trust The Intercept. I do find MoA sensationalist at times.

      1. b

        “I do find MoA sensationalist at times.”

        Me too (even though I tend to support my claims via links or sources at quite some length.)

        About two years ago I turned away from dry academic headlines and put more “sensationalist” statements upfront that I had earlier buried down in the pieces. That worked! Readership nearly doubled.

        Not a good excuse – but this way I at least get some comfort for my work out of the increased feedback.

    5. Foppe

      I don’t get it, though — why is the leaked document interesting to arrest her over? The principle? All it seems to do is to push the Alpabet Agency agenda.

  5. HBE

    Millennial self care.


    Erm, “diet plans” and paying for workout apps does not necessarily translate into activity. Most gym memberships go unused or barely used.

    Millennials (my generation) are big on appearances, largely because of social media, but the follow through is not there in most cases, but lots of pictures are. Which is why most gyms are half empty and their millennial members are rarely regulars (very sporadic short bursts of use). Most apps are free (to an extent) and they also don’t get used in most cases, after a week.

    The same is true for most other things. In my area 9/10 of my cohort are “avid” hikers, cyclists, and mountain bikers. Yet the trails are almost all nearly empty, all the time.

    Again lots of talk and little follow through, but I do believe economic precarity plays a strong role in this dynamic. It’s hard actually perform self care when your burdened by student loans and always working to pay them and barely getting by.

    1. justanotherprogressive

      I think this is another one of those “a tale of two countries” stories.

      I know when I lived in the DC area, the millennials there were obsessed with “looking good” because they considered “how you looked” a necessary thing for career enhancement. But most of those millennials came from wealthier families and were better paid than most.

      But now where I live, I don’t see that at all any more. Now most millennials I see are middle or lower class and they don’t seem to all that interested in appearances….maybe it’s because they just don’t have the time or the money. Most of them are working and trying to go to school part time….

      1. Charger01

        Bingo. Millenials are up to their eyeballs in debt, work, and largely “between” time. That can be their commute, travel between cities and home, or various friends/family.

    2. Anne

      The millennial self-care thing…it’s not that there’s anything wrong with taking care of one’s self, but based on some of the things certain people put up on my Facebook feed, I’ve come to believe that “self-care” may be about distracting from much deeper issues. It’s great to be eating healthy, and getting exercise, but I see people who seem to be focusing on it so they don’t have to do the real work of figuring out why they aren’t happy. The mid-life crisis of “I have everything so why aren’t I happy?” seems to have infected the millennials. And maybe some of that is because so many of them were pushed and pressured way too young to be and do and achieve and fill all the empty spaces in their lives with activities, and made to feel they could never, ever fail – that by the time they hit their late-20’s/early-30’s, they’re at a place that didn’t used to hit people until they were 20 or 30 years older.

      I think it’s terribly sad.

      Some of these same people are also obsessed with looking to experts to tell them how to parent, what to say to their children, to hover or not to hover…so there’s an endless parade of those kinds of posts, too.

      Listen, I get that parenting is a challenge – I have two kids who aren’t kids anymore, who now have kids of their own. I know it’s scary, I know that a great deal of the time we’re wondering if what we’re doing is going to have consequences years later. Realizing that one is responsible for growing babies into fully functional adults is mind-boggling. And it gets more challenging as they grow, and if you let it, it can fill you with anxiety to the point where you can’t even enjoy being a parent. And kids feel this more than we realize.

      We all need to take care of ourselves, but I think much of it starts with getting an inner grasp of who we are and how we got that way.

      1. JohnnyGL

        Perhaps ‘self-care’ is driven by weird diseases and allergies that seems to be popping up out of nowhere and fear of cancer? Perhaps this is also wrapped up with terrifying costs of health care, too?

        With career opportunities shrinking, parents feel obligated to make sure they do everything to ensure their kids can ‘compete’ for jobs.

        1. Anne

          It could be so many things, really. Sometimes it can be as simple as “all my friends are doing it” – we do not become immune to peer pressure just because we make it out of high school, lol.

          But for sure, if you are a millennial who is working 3 part-time jobs, or trying to support a family in some fashion that doesn’t include homelessness and hunger, you seriously don’t have time to put food in little containers, and meal prep on Sundays, and get your workouts in. You can’t afford a personal coach, or the outrageous cost of Shakeology protein shakes. You may not be able to afford the fresh fruits and veggies and lean meats. You and your friends may be commiserating over how the rent’s going to get paid, or how you can afford new shoes for your growing 5-yr old. You may be flipping out over what the hell you’re going to do if you and your family get kicked off Medicaid – but that kind of “exercise” won’t give you a beach-ready body.

          The people I see on my FB feed are addicted to trite, almost Stuart Smalley-type memes (see Franken, Al) that I guess are supposed to affirm their general self-worth, but usually just make me gag a little.

          Sometimes, it’s refreshing to just get off the grid and live in the real world (but I think too many millennials aren’t very good at doing that, lost as so many of them are in an artificial world where they aren’t ever really face-to-face with anyone – unless seeing themselves in the reflection of the screen of whatever device they’re using counts).

    3. purplepencils

      Hah. A friend (27yo) just told me she is aiming for her “dream bod” by age 30. I almost perished from exhaustion at the thought. But she concedes she’s too busy/tired to pursue it.

      Personally, my millennial friends do care about their appearances, and do put in a lot of time/effort into maintaining them. In that sense, at least there’s follow up.

      I also note that the gyms/studios I frequent are often packed! And that they packed with people ranging from 20 to 50. So yeah.

      1. jrs

        yea but the 40 somethings are probably just trying to maintain some muscle mass as they get older, more than get the dream bod.

      2. JohnnyGL

        I think part of this comes from fewer young adults having kids. If you don’t have them, you’ve gotta come up with other things to do.

        Many are no doubt happy being childless, but others might be feeling insecurity over not being married, worried about career prospects, etc. Social media certainly plays into this.

        Let’s face it, our society has found lots of ways to drive insecurity into people these days.

    4. jrs

      if young people do frequent the gym a lot maybe it’s mostly because they want to look great to the attractive sex (of course they mostly will working out or not, it’s hard to be 20 something and not fairly attractive in most cases even if one doesn’t have a hardbody – afterall such is the shine of youth).

  6. roadrider

    Re: We may owe our lives to a back channel with Russia

    Perpetuates the myth that the Kennedy’s were running assassination plots against Castro. This was disproved by the CIA Inspector General’s report of 1967. Assassination plots against foreign leaders (Trujillo, Castro, Lumumba) were developed by the Dulles-run CIA under Eisenhower. When RFK found out he was especially disturbed that they had involved the Mafia guys (Rosselli, Trafficante, Giancana) that he was trying to prosecute. The CIA lied to RFK about the discontinuation of the plots against Castro which had been suspended but had already been surreptitiously revived again by William Harvey (head of Staff D and the Executive Action program) without the knowledge of JFK or RFK by the time RFK found out about the original plots.

    Its true that the Kennedy’s were seeking to overthrow Castro but, as the IG report established, were not involved in the assassination plots which were strictly a CIA/Cuban-exile/Mafia operation. Curiously, the article fails to mention the back-channel negotiations between JFK and Castro in late 1963 concerning a rapprochement between the US and Cuba including the normalization of diplomatic relations. Word of that undoubtedly leaked out to the national security establishment and most likely was the final nail in Kennedy’s coffin.

    1. s.n.

      Perpetuates the myth that the Kennedy’s were running assassination plots against Castro. This was disproved by the CIA Inspector General’s report of 1967.

      surely you jest in suggesting that anything concerning the assassinations and conspiracies of that era has been definitively disproven — or proven. And for the sake of conspiratorial counterpoint consider LBJ’s take on the matter [that RFK was the one “running a damn Murder Incorporated in the Caribbean” during the JFK administration]:

      “…Spurred on by the [Jack Anderson] column, Ramsey Clark finally did what Johnson had suggested during their conversation on February 20: he asked the FBI what it knew about the matter. On March 6 the FBI prepared what is surely one of the most astonishing memoranda in its history. The heading alone was enough to set hearts palpitating at the CIA: “Central Intelligence Agency’s Intentions to Send Hoodlums to Cuba to Assassinate Castro.” The FBI knew far less than it thought it did about the covert operation, but its information was reliable on three vital points: the CIA did try to have Castro assassinated during the early 1960s; it employed members of the Cosa Nostra in this effort; and Attorney General Robert Kennedy knew about both the plots and the mob’s involvement. Before receiving this memo, Johnson had dismissed the rumor as no more credible than the idea that his wife was on drugs. Now he had to grapple with the implications of the revelation and what he should do about it, if anything….

      wheels within wheels. who knows?

  7. taunger

    If Cook wanted to expand Apple’s music offerings, he shouldn’t have destroyed iTunes. What was once a leading edge product in terms of design simplicity and function became a bloated, inoperable POS years ago. He better have some sweet partners (Spotify, Soundcloud, etc) on board to get going. But it seems he doesn’t. This looks dead in the water, especially with its high price.

    1. Bugs Bunny


      I’m occasionally being asked by friends to “please, please help me put the music on iTunes onto my iPhone”

      Isn’t that the most basic function of the application? IIRC, that’s what it was intended for, back in the iPod days!

      But no, apparently they want you to either pay twice for the same songs or subscribe to the low quality, won’t work without 4g or Wi-Fi, Apple Music.

      1. Roger Smith

        I spent 2-3 hours a few weeks back just trying to get a custom ringtone/alert tone on my phone from Itunes. What a horrible experience (that involved me having to download a third party app).

        I used to use Itunes because it was the cleanest way to organize a library of files, keyword ‘was’. Of course like Windows XP, it “had” to be crapified upgraded for a new fiscal year. Now it regularly changes information at will and forgets the artwork to titles causing everything to appear out of order.

      2. Eureka Springs

        It was an odd article. Sounds more like a three hundred dollar home pet rock siri/monitoring device rather than much to do with music. But then I’m amazed amazon sold millions of their pet alexa rocks. I’ve never met anyone who owns one or even heard someone mention it in person.

        I always laugh when I observe someone using siri on their phone. It’s a struggle and the intonation is always strained. Type out the mssg for doG sakes and don’t make the rest of us listen to you.

        1. Roger Smith

          I know someone who owns the Alexa… it sits on their table, exactly like a rock, only quietly dictating observed data and storing it somewhere for market gods to see. I have only seen it used once, showing it off when they first got it.

      3. purplepencils

        And even when you do, sometimes it doesn’t sync properly. It’s, frankly, irritating, and as reluctant as I am to do so, I am likely switching to Spotify.

      4. nowhere

        How is syncing a difficult thing? It’s the same interface that has been in use since the iPod came out.

        And unless you are playing music through a pricey HI-FI system (and even then it’s debatable), most people would never notice the difference between a CD and AAC.

    2. Sutter Cane

      ITunes still works for me because I have intentionally refused to update it for years. You can find older versions online, delete the most up to date version and download one from several years ago, when it was still usable. Then, never update it again!

      1. Baby Gerald

        +! to this. Older versions and not updating ever keep iTunes a viable music player for me. I stopped updating at the version after they got rid of cover flow. I miss cover flow but really like the new on-the-fly playlist feature.

        I find it also useful to turn off the ‘genius’ feature, turn off the iTunes store, turn off radio, even. Those preferences are in parental controls section. And for the love of Dog, turn off the ‘let iTunes sort my music files’ feature if you ever want to find your downloaded track files again in any sensible file system. A little work on the back-end can save a lot of headaches later on.

  8. Tertium Squid

    Erm, “diet plans” and paying for workout apps does not necessarily translate into activity. Most gym memberships go unused or barely used.

    I know from firsthand observation that for many people, they feel like they are improving themselves just by spending money on such things.

    1. purplepencils

      It’s funny – I’d have thought the investment would make them want to actually use the memberships. Or maybe that’s just me and I’m a cheapo!

      1. nowhere

        ** Just jumping on your comment **

        I think most globo-gym memberships often go unused. But there are many, many different fitness options available these days than just going to a gym packed with broken equipment and weights that aren’t put back.

        It could also be that people are spending more because the cost of a lot of fitness activities have increased drastically. Most functional fitness gyms are multiple times more expensive than traditional gyms (unless you get personal training).

    2. bob

      “I know from firsthand observation that for many people, they feel like they are improving themselves just by spending money on such things.”

      Adding enviro posing to this.

      “If I buy an SUV, a roof rack and a bike or two for it, I’m getting healthy driving 4 hours every weekend to ride my bike for 10 minutes, while saving the earth!”

      But, the SUV is a huge energy hog to begin with.

      “it’s a hybrid”

      The roof rack and bikes, which never leave the top, don’t help. Huge drag, all of the time.

      “but how will people know how fit and green I am if I don’t have them on top of my car?”

      You could try tattoos…

  9. Jessica

    About “The hottest planet in the known Universe has been found – and it’s warmer than most stars”
    The temperatures given are for the surfaces of stars. Temperatures at the center are thousands of times higher.

      1. Gaianne

        Oh stop.

        Standard “low energy” physics.

        One of the great successes and achievements of 20th century physics was finding out–by experiment–what elements would fuse under heat and pressure into what other elements, creating a theory explaining (or at least, describing and organizing) the results of the experiments, using that theory to deduce what nuclear reactions would be happening in stars–including the masses, temperatures, brightnesses, colors, and chemistry of the stars in which the reactions would be occurring, and then comparing the deductions with astronomical observations of brightness, color, and chemistry (the last provided by spectral lines–19th century stuff) to develop models of star birth, development, progress, and stellar ending.

        Even the nuclear reactions with the very lowest energy thresholds–such as the carbon-catalyzed hydrogen to helium reaction–require the interior temperature of the star to be millions of degrees Kelvin.

        Look up Fred Hoyle on the central piece of reactions in stars, stellar evolution and chemistry.


  10. XXYY

    Elon Musk thinks he can increase the speed of his Tesla production line in Fremont, California by 20X.

    When, oh when, are people going to realize the Elon Musk is just a huckster and a confidence man who has made his great wealth by tricking taxpayers into giving him 5 billion dollars in subsidies? For some reason, every ridiculous prediction or pronouncement he makes is treated with great reverence.

    Please give me a call when Musk is living on Mars.

    1. Roger Smith

      +1 Although I am interested in the more durable and solar roof, provided that it actually works, doesn’t leak, and allows me to use the energy outside of the garage for the Tesla car I won’t ever purchase.

      1. nowhere

        Not sure if this is complete snark, but you can use the new panels (and even the PowerWall) for things other than a Tesla car.

        1. Roger Smith

          Not at all. From the video I saw, the narration seemed to solely focus on the fact that the roof could translate energy to be used for an electric car. I didn’t want to assume it would be general use because I didn’t have any faith that they wouldn’t turn it into a marketing gimmick.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      More importantly, he is in the business that makes him look like a great soul, who will save the world.

      “I make indirect natural gas cars, you know.”

      And by quoting or working for him, anyone can rub a little off and get all kinds of advantages, including reproductive:

      “Nice party. Great music…very loud. By the way, my name is Romeo, and I work for him…da man. We’re trying to save the planet.”

      “Get out of here. Really?!?!”

      “Yes, and you’re right, let’s get out of here and go to my place. People can still have kids in the future we’re trying to build….solar kids.”

    3. TK421

      The Hyperloop is one of the biggest jokes ever perpetrated. A hundreds of miles long vacuum tube over some of the most unstable land on Earth? No way. There’s a series of videos on YouTube ripping it to shreds.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Vacuum tube railways are an old idea. Just last week I walked up the route of the first one in the world, the Dalkey Atmospheric Railway, built in 1843. Local legend is that it closed down because they couldn’t stop rats eating the leather valves.

        1. bob

          Just like with “recycling” space craft, it’s not new. It’s just completely impractical. Any theorized benefit is lost in the real world.

          But, keep buying HIS equity.

      2. heresy101

        I’ll take one over Governor Moonbeam’s “high speed” rail to nowhere built with technology from the late 19th century.

        When one of the hyperloop companies builds one from LA to Sin City, it will be profitable and all the “high speed rails” will be dead in the water.

    1. Vatch

      The article quoted someone who said:

      “Walmart should fully comply with the law…”

      That’s actually kind of funny (in a sad way, of course). What’s next? Will people say that should fully comply with the law? Should Monsanto and Goldman Sachs fully comply with the law? Where do people get these ideas !?

  11. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Meet the tech activists who want to turn Twitter into a user-owned co-op Salon (Chuck L)

    Also meet some Luddite activists who want to make a Logan’s Run away from the tech nightmare of addicted zombie users, instead of turning some isolated disaster areas into addiction co-ops.

    “Social media addicts, heal yourselves!!!”

    First: go sit quietly in a room.

  12. Tom

    In honor of how the NSA report on Russia’s pre-election meddling is going to breath new life into Hillary’s excuse tour, I give you her version of the Paul Sinon classic:

    Fifty Ways to Lose an Election

    The problem is not inside your head, she said to me
    The answer is easy if you take it logically
    I’d like to help you in your struggle to believe
    There must be fifty ways to lose an election

    She said it’s really not my habit to excuse
    Further more I hope my meaning won’t be lost or misconstrued
    So I repeat myself, at the risk of being a fool
    There must be fifty ways to lose an election, fifty ways to lose an election

    Just pin it on the hack, Jack, or the news that’s all fake, Jake
    Or I shoulda’ been a boy, Roy, just listen to me
    Coulda’ been the Bots, Dot, don’t need to discuss much
    Just blame the DNC, Lee, and get yourself free

    Just blame it on the Burn, Vern, or the WikiLeaks, Deke
    Don’t forget about Comey, homey, just listen to me
    It’s the MSM, Clem, don’t need to discuss them
    I took a big fall Paul, and that’s all they see

    She said it grieves me so to see you in such pain
    I wish there was something I could do to make you smile again
    I said, I appreciate that, then would you please explain about the fifty ways

    She said, why don’t we both just agree that I was fleeced
    And I believe, in the morning, unless I am deceased
    You’ll see that I deserve the role of your next nominee
    There must be fifty ways to lose an election, fifty ways to lose an election

    Just pin it on the hack, Jack, or the news that’s all fake, Jake
    Or I shoulda’ been a boy, Roy, just listen to me
    Coulda’ been the Bots, Dot, don’t need to discuss much
    Just blame the DNC, Lee, and get yourself free

    1. Jim Haygood

      Bravissimo! The Deity lends a hand:

      Rev Bill Shillady said that Clinton ‘reads her scripture and prays each and every day’ and that was helping her to get through the darker days.

      Speaking to, the Methodist minister from New York said that he began sending Clinton daily devotions in Easter 2015 when she told him she was running for the Presidency. They were the first thing she read each morning and gave her inspiration for her day.

      Like the Right Rev Tony Blair, who launched the Tony Blair Faith Foundation (yes, seriously), Hillary is deeply pious.

      Does anyone besides me find it disturbing that her pastor is named “Shill-lady”? Is Universe telling us something?

  13. dk

    I’ve taken the liberty of copying over this twitter thread, but do recommend the original which has several embedded videos:

    So #KhuramButt, #LondonBridge attacker, was a supporter of Anjem Choudary?
    The British media has a lot 2 answer for
    The media gave Anjem Choudary a platform to spew his hate.
    Not us Muslims.
    We threw him out of our Mosques.
    He wasn’t allowed to speak there
    But the Media lapped him him.
    Anjem was a regular guest on news panels, discussion shows & given plenty of column inches in the Newspapers
    But us Muslims.
    We kept telling you,”He doesn’t represent us, Why are U giving Anjem Choudary the hate preacher, a platform?
    Young, impressionable Muslim men are drawn in by the well-spoken Choudary, who seems to be the only one speaking up for Muslims!!
    So how are these young men radicalised?

    Cos media gave Anjem Choudary that platform to draw them in.
    The media loved Anjem.
    He loved them!
    Did the media ever tell U how stage-managed Anjem’s demos were, so it appeared that Anjem Choudary had more supporters than he actually did?
    Ok, Let me show you how the media portrayed Anjem Choudary as if he was a leader of UK Muslims, when he has ALWAYS been rejected by us!!
    Here’s Anjem Choudary on Fox News , where he is being described as “Leader of Islam for the UK” .
    The media made him a “Leader”!!
    This is Anjem Choudary at one of his demos with thousands of his followers, or so the media will have you believe.
    Let me tell you about Anjem’s “Demonstrations” & his “rallies”.
    They always took place OUTSIDE mosques at 1.45pm on a FRIDAY afternoon
    The timing of this is crucial.
    1.45pm is just AFTER Jummah prayers,which in the case of Regents Park Mosque, thousands of worshipers attend
    The Police assist in this charade by setting up barriers just outside the main entrance to Regents Park Mosque, a good two hours before.
    Then at 1.45pm when the Jummah prayers finish, they Police say the thousands of peaceful worshipers must leave only from the front entrance.
    Act 3 of this elaborate stage-play is Anjem and his 2 dozen supporters appear at the front gate of the Mosque with their flags & banners.
    Since Police are directing thousands of worshipers leaving the Mosque, to the front entrance, a bottleneck is created.
    And you get this!!

    The picture they wanted:

    Anjem Choudary & his thousands of Islamists followers who are demanding Sharia Law in the UK
    IT’S ALL A CON!!

    Us Muslims were telling you,he doesn’t represent us.
    Your Media & Your Govt promoted him: Not us
    But what if I was a vulnerable young Muslim watching Anjem on tv?

    Wow! Look at him!
    He’s always on tv.
    He must be an important Muslim
    Cos Nicky Campbell loved him on “The Big Questions”,
    Cos Paxman loved him on NewsNight,
    Cos Andrew Neil loved him on “This Week”.
    They, the media created Anjem Choudary.
    They alone promoted him.
    Not us Muslims.

    The Media radicalised Khuram Butt.
    They were accomplices
    I found a media clip of Anjem Choudary “Rally”.
    U’ll see peaceful worshipers just wanting to leave the Mosque.
    Muslims used to call it a Media Circus, whenever Anjem appeared on our screens.
    We saw through him, @MaajidNawaz & @TRobinsonNewEra
    Here’s what ordinary Muslims do to Anjem Choudary when we see him in the streets near our Mosques.

    The media? Welcome him with open arms!!

    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, DK.

      Anjem Choudary read law at Southampton university and was known as Andy and a hell raiser in those days. The Sun has a picture of him with (a) pint (of beer) in hand at the students’ union (a campus watering hole for those outside the UK).

      Choudary and his wife later wrote a book about how Muslims could exploit the social security and immigration control systems as a means of extracting money and bringing down the British / infidel state. The pair were a regular fixture in the MSM.

      The Sun’s Richard Littlejohn thought that as Choudary was getting away with incitement, he could be on the security service payroll.

      NB Tommy Robinson was in the English Defence League (EDL) and, after meeting ex Jihadist Maajid Nawaz, left the EDL.

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Beautiful horny treehoppers.

    I think the fashion industry could use that as an inspiration.

    Imagine young female interns wearing that in the White House in the 1990’s.

  15. diptherio

    Her name is Reality Winner? Seriously? And she leaked documents to damage the Reality-Show-Host-In-Chief? The universe has such a cheese-ball sense of humor sometimes….

    1. RUKidding

      It’s taken me a while to realize that Reality Winner is an actual person who allegedly leaked secret documents. Such a weird world we live in.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        We should realize that reality always wins…that reality is the real winner here.

  16. ChiGal in Carolina

    The Supreme Court cell phone data case is important. I remember how outraged I was to learn, last October, that AT&T was making millions selling customer data through its Hemisphere program, which it marketed to police. NOT being court-ordered to give up the goods, taking the initiative to provide it – for a fat fee.

    This in addition to the unpaid hours I have spent on the phone with their so-called tech support.

    1. LT

      The merger with Direct TV has made me turn off my DTV auto-pay feature.
      And the customer service has gone down the tubes.

  17. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    How Corporations Have Bought Control of State Legislatures in the U.S. WhoWhatWhy

    State Capitalism, American Style.

    (Could be a popular TV show).

  18. Synoia

    The biggest British Airways IT meltdown WTF: 200 systems in the critical path?

    I contracted to one of the largest Medical providers in te US, building and running their non Medical Call centers.

    The system in the call center collected data from over 40 systems. 40 legacy systems.

    The organization finally completed a Windows 2000 roll out in 2007.

    I believe the complexity of the systems at British Airways. These legacy systems are never replaced, because it costs too much.

    The analysis is simple:

    50 years spending 2% of the budget building new systems (rarely replacing old ones), gives the cost of all systems as 100% of expenses, combined with pockets of incomplete knowledge in the IT department. The airlines have some of the oldest online systems, the airline systems pre-date online banking systems and date from the 1960s.

    Programming, code, is expensed, not depreciated, and unlike machinery, ware and tear on the code is not visible to management.

  19. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you to Plutonium Kun for the link to the Guardian article about Britain’s broken economic model.

    I was planning to put up the link and ask readers from outside the UK what their (MSM) coverage, if any, of the UK election, and Corbyn in particular, has been like. I watch TV5 most days and have not seen anything. Perhaps, David, Expat and French Guy have seen something in France.

    The BBC was up to its usual tricks this morning. On this morning’s review of the papers, 05:45 – 06:00 London time, the panel featured a talking air head blasting Corbyn for voting against anti-terrorist legislation. It was not said / said talking air head did not say that Brexit Secretary David Davis often did, too, and even resigned as an MP to force a by-election on the issue. The BBC prefers to have guests smear Labour, but will often do so if no one is available. A couple of days ago, it featured a montage of Corbyn and some jihadists.

    Corbyn has been a big supporter of the Chagossiens. One wonders what a Corbyn led government would do about the Chagos archipelago (which includes the US base on Diego Garcia). The lease comes up for renewal this year.

    Whatever happens, Corbyn should ignore the government of Mauritius. The government is corrupt and racist and could not care less about the Chagossiens (mainly of African origin, Francophone and Catholic, also called Ilois and Creoles, so the same people as me) except at election time when it needs to sound anti-imperialist. This is the same scummy government that is planning to cede Agalega (another Creole island) to India (for use as a base, without ever thinking why Mauritius which has good relations with China etc. and has a Chinese minority needs to take sides in geopolitics). NB The Commonwealth heads of government summit takes place in Mauritius next year. [Apologies for the rant, but cry my beloved country.)

    1. ambrit

      Why not get up an old fashioned “Donkey Race” at the track in honour of that meeting? The jokes will fly, if not the mounts. Each “contestant” could wear the colours of one of the attending “nations.” The winner could then determine the next venue for said meeting!
      Holding the event as a dog race wouldn’t have the same cachet. Weasels and stoats would be too difficult to “guide,” and tortoise races would proceed at a Whitehall pace.

    2. Dead Dog

      Thanks Colonel, we have much the same oligarchs running the press here in Australia and a biased national broadcaster in the ABC. So May has had a pretty free pass and that wacky Corbyn. You get the picture. That said, there doesn’t seem to be much interest from a majority of Australians in what happens in the UK, or Europe for that matter. Some of this is anecdotal, but I get the impression that it’s just too far away…
      Yet, our own captured politicians are definitely looking at the populace backlash we have seen in the US, France and now the UK. I fully understand how a Corbyn win will influence politics here and have my fingers crossed that the British youth will get out in numbers and force a close result.

  20. Vatch

    Boffins find evidence of strange uranium-producing bacteria lurking underground The Register

    According to the article, the bacteria don’t produce uranium atoms. They change the molecules containing uranium atoms into different uranium containing molecules that are more easily processed. The next to last paragraph happens to be rather ominous:

    The biologically produced uranium can be mined, and is probably easier to mine compared to uraninite ores, since it’s more soluble, Borch told The Register. This might be good news for mining companies but its bad news for environmentalists, as it means it could end up contaminating drinking water sources.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      One more scientific discovery that will empower the bad guys or greedy gals even more temptingly.

    2. ambrit

      I read, many years ago about a “hot spot” in the Congo that was supposed to be a repository of low level concentrations of uranium salts. There was suspected to be a low level fission reaction going on underground. This bacteria could be perfect for producing such a scenario in other parts of the world. The perfect stealth attack! Bio-nuclear warfare!

      1. Susan the other

        yes Ambrit, I’d forgotten that. I think this is ultra fascinating because we have been led to believe that only an exploding star, a supernova, can produce these heavy elements. This rewrites everything. Wow.

        1. Mark P.

          Susan the other: This rewrites everything.

          No. No. No. It really does not. You’re a person who’s said smart things in other contexts. But if you say this kind of stuff around people with any scientific literacy they’ll just laugh at you like you laugh at people who think Adam and Eve lived six-thousand years and rode dinosaurs. Sorry.

          What the article seems to claim is that bacteria can transform one isotope of uranium into another. That is interesting, if true. Kind of mind-boggling in fact, but maybe conceivable.

          But uranium is element number 92 in the periodic table, because it has 92 protons and 92 electrons. It’s relatively plentiful on the planet Earth in our era — once people started prospecting for it they found more than they expected

          Uranium is the dividing line. It’s the elements above 92 — the transuranic elements — that were complex enough to be unstable and radioactively decay during the 13.8 billion years since the universe apparently came into existence.

          Foremost among these transuranic elements in our concerns is plutonium, element 94, because of its use in nuclear weapons (and reactors). And yes, very little plutonium has survived into the modern universe, since it was produced in stellar conflagrations in the early universe and almost all but a very faint trace residue has decayed out of existence today. The human race has brought back such plutonium as exists on Earth via nuclear reactors and particle accelerators.

          Uranium isotopes are one thing. But bacteria could no more produce transuranic elements from lower elements on the periodic table than they could make a star go nova or cause an antigravity field. It’s simply impossible.

          1. Vatch

            What the article seems to claim is that bacteria can transform one isotope of uranium into another.

            Maybe I misunderstood something, but I don’t think the article even claims that much. I think it only claims that the bacteria can convert uraninite (pitchblende, UO2) to uranium carbonate (or uranyl carbonate). The uranium atoms themselves are unchanged by the bacteria.

          2. ewmayer

            Re. biotic Uranium — I don’t see anything about isotope conversion – which would be as unlikely as nucleosynthesis of U in such a low-energy environment – just ‘isotope fingerprintng’ on the part of the researchers. Looking at the actual Nature article, there is lots of stuff about the bacteria changing the *chemical* valence of the processed U from hexavalent to quadravalent – a very common kind of thing in biotic element processing – and “238U/235U isotope ratio to discriminate between abiotic and biotic U transformation mechanisms”, which implies the critters are preferentially processing the 238-isotope. Again, interesting but not at all unprecedented. For example, many plant species preferentially process carbon isotopes, thus e.g. the 13C/14C ratio can be used to check for plant origin of a given sample containing carbon.

      2. Vatch

        Fission wouldn’t produce uranium. The fission of uranium atoms would produce other smaller atoms, such as cesium and strontium.

      3. Mark P.

        ambrit wrote: I read, many years ago about a “hot spot” in the Congo that was supposed to be a repository of low level concentrations of uranium salts. There was suspected to be a low level fission reaction going on underground.

        I think you’re talking about the Oklo natural reactor which was actually in Gabon, next door to the Congo, about 1.7 billion years ago.

  21. Bittercup

    I re-read the leaked NSA document at the Intercept several times. Taking it at face value, it is only a description of the logistics of a phishing operation. Russia is cited as the source of the phishing operation, but this citation is not elaborated upon. I mean, if you were going to leak (and presumably go to jail for) a document like this, wouldn’t you want to include the parts that explain why exactly they think it had to be the GRU that did it?

    On the other hand, at least it’s an actual document of some kind, and not “anonymous senior officials say…” Props for that.

  22. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Exclusive Test Data: Many Colleges Fail to Improve Critical-Thinking Skills Wall Street Journal. Not a surprise to NC readers. They aren’t supposed to!

    But now, the four years (hopefully) will be free.

    Have we, er, critically thought about our priorities when it comes to colleges, or free humane services?

    What should we do first?

  23. hemeantwell

    Re the WaPo backchannel article:

    The president’s brother was also remarkably indiscreet. He told the GRU agent that the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff had “offered the president a report in which they confirmed that the United States is currently ahead of the Soviet Union in military power and that in extremis it would be possible to probe the forces of the Soviet Union.” Kennedy’s loose use of the word “probe” set off alarm bells in the Kremlin. Did he mean the Pentagon was contemplating a preemptive strike?

    What, no missile gap? Another anecdote pertinent to the “which side drove the Cold War and for what reasons” question.

  24. Carey

    I read a post once at another site that is now seeming apposite: “If you’re paying attention, you’re being played.”

    ‘Reality Winner”?


  25. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Trump wants you to take his tweets seriously. His aides don’t. Politico. IMHO, Trump want you to take something, anything about him seriously.

    Tweeting reached its highest godhood at the time of Arab Spring, if I remember correctly.

    As with anything, anyone from any side can use it.

  26. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Trump wants you to take his tweets seriously. His aides don’t. Politico. IMHO, Trump want you to take something, anything about him seriously.

    Tweeting reached its highest godhood at the time of Arab Spring, if I remember correctly.

    As with anything, anyone from any side can use it.

  27. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    The former is really no big surprise because I am sure that many countries (including us) regularly attempt to gather advance intel on how a state election is playing out and gain additional granularity of detail in the voting data than made public.

    You spy on me and I spy on you. That is the tolerated rule of the game.

    To make such a big deal out of it seems to be a version of select prosecution.

    The truth, but not the whole truth…partial truth, partial knowledge.

  28. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    The former is really no big surprise because I am sure that many countries (including us) regularly attempt to gather advance intel on how a state election is playing out and gain additional granularity of detail in the voting data than made public.

    You spy on me and I spy on you. That is the tolerated rule of the game.

    To make such a big deal out of it seems to be a version of select prosecution.

    The truth, but not the whole truth…partial truth, partial knowledge.

  29. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Looking forward to living a thousand healthy years!!!

    The millennial obsession with self-care MPR (Chuck L). I’m a believer in physical maintenance but some of this is pretty iffy:

    ….more millennials reported making personal improvement commitments than any generation before them. They spend twice as much as boomers on self-care essentials such as workout regimens, diet plans, life coaching, therapy and apps to improve their personal well-being. They’ve even created self-care Twitter bots.

    The technology, the secret knowledge is just around the corner.

    If you believe in Science, all things are possible. (The details differ, but the formula is the same…because humans are the same, today or two thousand years ago…the desire for immortality).

  30. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Looking forward to living a thousand healthy years!!!

    The millennial obsession with self-care MPR (Chuck L). I’m a believer in physical maintenance but some of this is pretty iffy:

    ….more millennials reported making personal improvement commitments than any generation before them. They spend twice as much as boomers on self-care essentials such as workout regimens, diet plans, life coaching, therapy and apps to improve their personal well-being. They’ve even created self-care Twitter bots.

    The technology, the secret knowledge is just around the corner.

    If you believe in Science, all things are possible. (The details differ, but the formula is the same…because humans are the same, today or two thousand years ago…the desire for immortality).

  31. cripes

    Did anyone notice the choice of “candidates” in the Illinois gubernatorial campaign? You know, the state collapsing from financial mismanagement with junk-rated bonds?

    Repub Bruce Rauner, running unopposed for re-election and “J.B.” Pritzker, also running unopposed for the democ party nomination. Who can afford to run against these guys?

    Rauner, of course running as the party of business, and Pritzker running as man of the people, caring for kids and innocent convicts released from death row…

    Rauner, worth 1 billion and Priztker worth 3 billion ARE BOTH VENTURE CAPITALISTS WHO RUN HEDGE FUNDS.

    This is more of the Trump, Bloomberg, Haslam, Dayton club of billionaire politicians who, dissatisfied with the work done by their paid servants in legislatures and executives state and national, have decided to take matters into their own hands, followed by a bigger crew of sub-billionaires like Kerry, Feinstein et al, too numerous to mention.


  32. B1whois

    While I enjoyed the article one the Democrats’ Working-Class Problem, the last sentence of this paragraph made me gag. Not sure if I want to read more of the author’s series on the working class….

    I am confident Democrats will once again lead a multicultural America in the same way America has forged unity from such diversity in the past. We build on a unique framework for immigration and a unique history. Even this ugly interlude will not keep America from its exceptional path.

    1. UserFriendly

      They are all by different authors. There is one by Joan Walsh that is god awful (quelle surprise!) but the rest range from readable to very good.

  33. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Pay attention to Donald Trump’s actions, not his words Guardian. ChiGal: “Counterpoint to the recent Ian Welsh piece.”

    My first thought when Obama first burst onto the national stage.

    And my second thought was, how come no one in the media is speaking out about what I am seeing?

    My thought this morning: Is this selective prosecution?

  34. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Trump national security team blindsided by NATO speech Politico</blockquote

    Very sneaky of the president to leave Article 5 out.

    "Oops, I didn't see it."

    Deep down, his gut instinct may prove to be right and avoid a war or two.

    1. Knot Galt

      Had Clinton been elected she would have kept Victoria Nuland in position to certainly use NATO to create war in Ukraine.

      I’m not a complete idiot and perhaps Trump is not either. From Consortiumnews dot com awhile back;

      Exclusive: Victoria Nuland and Robert Kagan have a great mom-and-pop business going. From the State Department, she generates wars and from op-ed pages he demands Congress buy more weapons. There’s a pay-off, too, as grateful military contractors kick in money to think tanks where other Kagans work, writes Robert Parry.

  35. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Trump national security team blindsided by NATO speech Politico</blockquote

    Very sneaky of the president to leave Article 5 out.

    "Oops, I didn't see it."

    Deep down, his gut instinct may prove to be right and avoid a war or two.

  36. alex morfesis

    secret yellow dots…how conspiracy loser (reality winner) got caught…methynx I should have remembered this when dealing with fake mortgage documents presented as “original” notes in helping lawyers fight foreclosures…steganography at its finest…this air force girl story is confusing…she was expert in certain languages…why was she even cleared to see this document…is it really that bad today, where everything is classified and everyone is cleared…

  37. Susan the other

    Warren Mosler interpreted by me: Nobody is paying much attention to the little irrational reactions of the Fed. When they raise interest rates even a smidge, if it is not based on the health of the economy, it will backfire. We should demand better of the Fed – or replace them altogether.

  38. robnume

    Must give a shout out to Roger Smith for that Mark Ames article link in his comments. I remembered the content of that article and was going to comment on it in my Wikileaks link on the Pakistani voter database above but forgot where or when I had read it. I’ve been real leery about Greenwald and Co. ever since. And didn’t Scahill also write on that same topic when he left Omidyar’s employ a few years ago because of Omidyars ‘micro-managing’ attempts?

Comments are closed.