Links 7/11/17

With round-the-clock care and cuddles, an orphaned walrus starts to rebound Alaska Dispatch News (MGL). Great video.

Woman Surprised To See Her Puppy Drag Its New Blanket Outside, But Then She Sees This Bored Panda

Earth’s sixth mass extinction event already under way, scientists warn Guardian. :-( but not news if you have been paying attention. We all need to start eating way down on the food chain. The paleo fad, which encourages eating lots of meat, is counter to this sort of thing. BTW I am skeptical of paleo. I can see the emphasis on avoiding grains and refined foods. However, meat from farmed animals is fatty while if you’ve ever eaten game, it’s extremely lean.

Warmer Arctic harms crops in US, Canada: study PhysOrg (Chuck L)

Umbrella-sharing startup loses nearly all of its 300,000 umbrellas in a matter of weeks Shanghaiist (Chuck L)

Another Price Slash Suggests the Oculus Rift Is Dead in the Water MIT Technology Review

Will Bitcoin Tear Itself Apart? Bloomberg

Comcast spends millions in lobbying on net neutrality, without their news networks disclosing their spending Medium (Altandmain)

Nobody in Hong Kong wants a Tesla anymore Quartz

Why clever people live the longest Financial Times. Correlation is not causation….and this seems to rely largely on IQ, which to a fair degree measure acculturation.

North Korea

Time to think and act differently on North Korea Asia Times

Sanction China over North Korea? The cases for and against. Christian Science Monitor

EU Prepares “Right to Repair” Legislation to Fight Short Product Lifespans Bleeping Computer (Chuck L). We posted on this but glad to see some outlets in the US take notice.

Protesters in Hamburg: ‘Shut Down Capitalism’! failed evolution

Why the G20 violence is good for Merkel Politico

France to push ahead with tax cuts in 2018 after Macron overrules PM Reuters (resilc)


Theresa May prepares to publish flagship Brexit legislation Financial Times

Business Casts Doubt on Post-Brexit Trade Deal Between U.S. and U.K. Bloomberg

EP President Tajani tweets then deletes pledge to veto Brexit deal Politico

May unable to do deal at Tesco checkout Daily Mash. Li: “It’s too bad slinging insults doesn’t bring in hard currency.”

This tweetstorm is awesome. For those late to the Brexit saga, it also helps explain why the EU is fed up with the UK:

New Tory crisis over N-word remarks: Theresa May’s majority is reduced to just 12 after MP is suspended for using racist phrase Telegraph

You do know that I’m the leader of the Labour Party, Corbyn asks May Daily Mash

New Cold War

Fake News on Russia in the New York Times, 1917-2017 Dissident Voice. Stormcrow: “Long but devastating.”

Barbara Lee’s Slam on Trump-Putin Meeting Norman Solomon, Consortium News

Trump Cannot Improve Relations With Russia When Trump’s Government and the US Media Oppose Improved Relations Paul Craig Roberts (Micael)


How A Pulitzer-Winning New York Times Story Pulled From A Russian News Outlet BuzzFeed (Chuck L)


Yemen cholera cases pass 300,000 mark, ICRC says Reuters. Lambert: “It certainly is odd we don’t have any adorable English-speaking six-year-olds with Blue Check accounts Tweeting on this. Not that I’m foily.”

The Recapture of Mosul Counterpunch (Chuck L)

Saudi blockade backfires as Qataris hail emir The Times

Radiation and ringworm: a tale of social policy, racism, and health care Mondoweiss (nechaev). Ugly.

Saudi Arabia exports extremism to many countries – including Germany, study says DW. This is almost dog bites man, but the slightly novel bit is that it’s a British study.

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Company Accused of Selling User Data Shuts Down after $104 Million Settlement Bleeping Computer. More of this, please.

Trump Transition

Report: Steve Bannon Owns Painting of Himself as Napoleon, After David ArtNews (Joe H)

Trump Jr. becomes central character in Russia storm The Hill

Trump son defends meeting Russian ‘with Clinton material’ BBC

Trump wall moves to center of shutdown fight The Hill

Kushner Sought $500 Million Investment From Qatar: Report New York Magazine (resilc)

Trump to Appoint Randal Quarles as Fed Bank Regulator Wall Street Journal

New Evidence Says DNC Hack an Inside Job, Not Russia Related Michael Shedlock


“Why should the people wait any longer?” How Labour built the NHS British Politics and Policy at LSE

Democratic Leader Literally Squirms When Asked About Single Payer Jimmy Dore (Altandmain)

Don’t Leave Health Care to a Free Market New York Times (Chuck L)

Democrats in Disarray

Penn And Stein: Two Rich Democratic Hacks Peddling Lousy Advice Alternet. Interesting that the criticism of that op ed is having a long afterburn.

The Book That Predicted Trump’s Rise Offers the Left a Roadmap for Defeating Him The Atlantic (Dan K)

‘Run the Rock 2020’ forms to draft Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson for president The Hill

Trump’s CDC Pick Peddled ‘Anti-Aging’ Medicine to Her Gynecologic Patients New York Magazine (resilc)

Louisiana lawyers sue Black Lives Matter on behalf of a cop shot by a lone assassin ThinkProgress (furzy)

Former USA Gymnastics Doctor to Plead Guilty to Child-Porn Charges Uncut (resilc)

Thousands flee wildfires in California as blazes continue across US and Canada Guardian (furzy)

Warren Buffett Invests in Canada, but Should You? Gretchen Morgenson, New York Times. Think we neglected to link to her column…

Markets are entering the ‘frothy territory’ reached before the last 2 financial crises Business Insider. And this does not appear to allow for the fact that private equity is a bigger % of global equities, and presumably also US equities, than in the past.

Nearly a Third of Millennials Have Used Venmo to Pay for Drugs LendEdu

Trump Will Nominate Quarles as Fed’s Top Wall Street Regulator Bloomberg

Paul Singer Ready, Willing, Maybe Able To Pull Plug On Warren Buffett’s $9 Billion Energy Deal DealBreaker

CFPB’s Finalized Arbitration Rule Takes Away Banks’ ‘Get Out Of Jail Free Card’ Consumerist. Important. Banks had put language in their agreements made it impossible for class actions to go forward. Needless to say, that’s a breeding ground for penny-ante but large scale frauds like the Wells Fargo fake accounts scam.

The Rise and Fall of Working From Home Bloomberg (furzy)

Guillotine Watch

Nobody wants to buy this $18 million Brooklyn mansion with connections to mobsters and a Russian heiress Business Insider

Class Warfare

New opioid court uses rigorous intervention methods to address epidemic Christian Science Monitor. “Administering justice takes a back seat to the overarching goal of simply keeping defendants alive.”

Facebook to build housing in Silicon Valley for first time Reuters. More detail on this story. EM: “’15 percent will be offered below market rates’ sounds pretty good until you check out what ‘market rates’ in Menlo Park are and what they’ve done since the worst of the GFC ended.”

Most Republicans Think College Is Ruining America VICE. Resilc: “Like my time at UNC, which Jessie Helms called the university of niggrahs and communists.”

desperation and service in the bail industry Contexts (Dan K)

Antidote du jour. Eddie M sent a link to the Arkansas Wildlife Blog and Gallery, which has great outdoor photos and also promotes tours on the Buffalo River. The site is a bit dated but the proprietor appears to offer his images for free for e-cards and sells printed Christmas cards and mounted canvas prints. Many of the photos are impressive.

Arkansas Wildlife Blog and Gallery

And a bonus video. You can hear the trapped moose panting:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Annette

    With regard to your comments about paleo diets: Inuit ate seal (highly fatty) sometimes exclusively for 10,000 years and didn’t develop heart disease until switching to a standard western diet. I agree that farmed meat is toxic.Our understanding of the disease/fat connection is not accurate.

    1. Louis Fyne

      there is a persuasive argument, and evidence!, that heart disease is linked to sugar consumption, not animal fat.

      and some of the early animal fat = heart disease studies were borderline fraudulent in its cherry-picking of data.

      ps, re. paleo. modern vegetables/fruits, like carrots and apples, are in zero way like paleo vegetables—-due to generations of selective breeding for bigger, sweeter vegetables and fruits.

      1. Rojo

        Love NC, but this site’s a little behind the times on diet. I know talking Paleo can put one in the Moonie column, but there’s a lot science and dialogue here. Ancestral eating is an evolving thing — not dogma. “Eat like a caveman” is a characiture.

        Ancel Keyes sat fat and cholesterol hypothesis has major holes.

        1. optimader

          “Eat like a caveman” is a characiture
          Rotting carrion on the savannah, with an occasional handful of unground wild grain? Then die young with worn out teeth, and possibly a huge abscess from an impacted/cracked molar?

        2. bob

          ” Ancestral eating is an evolving thing — not dogma.”

          Then european descended people should be drinking wine to get 90% of their calories. We were bred to run on Ethanol. Much more recently than we were running around chasing animals for food.

        3. Yves Smith Post author

          Sorry, I’m not “behind”

          Paleo is a fad and I’ve experimented with every diet fad since The Zone in the early 1990s.

          Paleo is basically dressed up Atkins without having you go full ketogenic. It’s old wine in new bottles.

          I read people pushing paleo diets and they overwhelmingly sing the virtues of fatty meats. Not buying it. Fat is calorically way more dense than carbs and proteins. Even people who have done Atkins will tell you you don’t lose weight and can even gain weight on Atkins if you eat too many calories. Vegans live longer than people who eat meat:

          By contrast, raising the share of animal protein in one’s diet by 10 per cent led to a two per cent higher risk of death from all causes. This increased to an eight per cent higher chance of dying from heart disease.

          And nutrition is an utter scientific backwater. Contrary to your claims, there are no studies on the various diets that stand up to the level of being bona fide scientific studies (big enough sample sizes, which means a minimum of 100 in the sample and 100 in the control group, long enough durations). One unsolvable problem is you can’t double blind, placebo control them.

          To show how strong the placebo effect is, when researchers finally decided to do sham surgeries on knees along with real ones to test the success rate of arthroscopic surgeries, a supposed great breakthrough, they found the sham surgeries had the same success rate as the real ones.

          1. Dikaios Logos

            Nutrition is an absolute mess, but one of the best read and most thoughtful on the subject, the obsessive science journalist Gary Taubes, has been more than a little open to the possibility that animal-fat rich foods are the closest thing we have to health foods. The evidence on the relative healthiness/unhealthiness of fat, animal otherwise, is, to put it mildly, thin. But I’d be very surprised if anyone reading here was better versed in the literature on obesity and diet or quite as well versed in scientific rigor as Taubes is.

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              An issue with meat and anything high up the food chain is it will have a higher level of environmental bad stuff in it, and we have plenty of environmental bad stuff. A classic example is high levels of mercury in fish because they are alpha predators (4th or 5th up the food chain from plankton). Similarly, condors in America are often found to suffer from lead poisoning.

              Here are some of the nasties you get in higher concentrations by eating animal and fish fats:

              The best studied detoxification machinery is the xenobiotic metabolizing system, which includes receptors, metabolizing enzymes, and transporters, and which tends to prevent absorption, increase water solubility, or decrease reactivity of xenobiotic chemicals, thus leading to their detoxification and elimination from the body (Barouki 2010). However, POPs are an important class of xenobiotic chemicals that are resistant to metabolism. POPs are environmentally and biologically persistent, which leads to their bioaccumulation and biomagnification up the food chain. Fatty foods of animal origin (e.g., meat, fish, dairy) are important vectors of several classes of POPs, including dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) (Bergkvist et al. 2008). POPs include certain organochlorine pesticides; polyhalogenated dibenzo-p-dioxins, furans, and biphenyls; and certain polybrominated flame retardants and perfluorinated chemicals. POPs do not readily undergo degradation by xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes, largely because of their high degrees of halogenation.



              1. JTMcPhee

                A lot of veterans of the Vietnam thing are suffering the long term effects of those “POPs,” to the point that after a lot of study and pressure, the VA has had to recognize a limited set of diseases that are well linked to exposure to those substances. Cardiac, diabetes, several cancers, and neuropathy among them. It also gets passed on to some children of male exposed vets, in the form of neural tube diseases like spina bifida and chiari malformation.

                A chemist and toxicologist I worked with at EPA referred to these as “planar molecules:” not only vastly persistent, but with a knife-like shape that lets them sever and join up in the nucleic acid molecules. Not square pegs in round holes, but knife blades in vital organs…

                And of course the mopes on the ground in Vietnam, Camodia, Laos and the other places where the various “Color Agents,” Orange Green Pink etc. were sprayed profligately, have their own sets of horrors. And Dow and duPont are now joined in wedded corporate blissssssss… “Fortune passes everywhere… A certain amount of killing has always been an arm of business trade…”

          2. Adrena

            And nutrition is an utter scientific backwaters

            Western nutrition that is. The nutritional principles of AYURVEDA are 5000 years old and remain unchanged. Following its guidelines helped me get rid of severe migraines and, as a side effect, lose weight too.

          3. Phil in Kansas City

            40 years ago, a friend of mine in college observed that if it were possible to gather all the world’s nutritionists and line them up, they’d still point in different directions.

            Being diabetic myself, I have been able to control my blood sugar and weight through exercise and diet. I try to eat as much like my g-g-g-g-grandfather (have to use some imagination and some research). No, I don’t have much wild game, but on the other hand, not much sugar, either, and no refined or processed foods. If it existed 200 years ago, I can eat it. Ice cream, yes (moderately); Oreos, no!

    2. jrs

      If it works for one’s health and nothing else does than go with it (many people can do ok on a wide range of real food diets, others less so). But it really doesn’t address what is the SOCIAL consequences of eating lots of meat which are referred to, which I find somewhat persuasive. Farmed meat can be toxic (probably not too bad if it’s organic though, organic standards prohibit some of the very worst stuff).

      But even much of what is sold as “grass fed” meat probably isn’t really, especially if it’s not marked 100% grassfed, and restaurants have ZERO enforcement of such labeling AT ALL, labeling is not enforced in restaurants period, so while the restaurant might be acting with integrity when it says it sells grass fed beef, it also might not. Most of the world does eat grass fed meat but grass fed meat in America is always caveat emptor, be careful about your supplier. Food is dicey in the U.S., and that very much includes meats. Fish can provide useful omega’s 3s but of course the oceans are way over-fished and fish populations are crashing.

      Saying everyone must go vegan now does indicate that the planet is WAY overpopulated, as human beings were never meant to eat a strictly vegan diet. A population of 12 billion maintained on soylent surely isn’t right. But I’m more sympathetic to less extreme versions (ie flexitarian etc.).

    3. Adam Eran

      Sorry, autopsies of the fat-eating Inuit demonstrate artery disease, bone loss, rheumatoid arthritis and many other ailments. See Dr. McDougall’s research for one example.

      We are not designed to be carnivores. The evidence includes the facts that we don’t manufacture our own vitamin C (like real carnivores), our jaws are hinged so we can grind grain and other veg, and our intestines are the wrong length to be carnivores. Add to that the enormous amount of illness promoted by meat and dairy, and you’ve got enough evidence to convince me.

      …And this evidence also is affirmed by Colin Campbell, author of The China Study, the largest study of the connection between diet and health ever conducted. Campbell himself grew up on a dairy farm, so ate plenty of animal products growing up. After reviewing the evidence he gathered, he now speaks publicly to promote vegan eating.

      You might also check out McDougall’s website for the testimonials of people who have been persuaded to shift their diets to avoid animal products. These are not light-duty stories, either. People who had been living crippled (literally) recover their health and vitality after changing their diet.

      Frankly, I’ve given up trying to persuade my loved ones that this is correct, so although I eat (mostly) vegan, I see plenty of meat eaters. My sister (a medical professional) doubts what I say about meat being carcinogenic…and now she’s going in to get a malignant tumor removed next month.

      The big question I have: “What does it take to persuade people to change their ways?”

      1. Jag meyeroffer

        Ummm yeah I’m gonna have to disagree with you on vegan diets. From my own anecdotal evidence, knowing and dating a few vegan women, they are in a constant fight or flight response from heavy carbohydrate and grain exposure. One even had a terrible case of fibromyalgia. According to a large growing body nutritionist and Drs advocating for a high fat diet, the vegan diet is of huge detrimental consequence to the human brain. The lack of animal fats(the brain is 50% fatty acid lipids) literally causes the brain to waste away. According to Dr Nora Gegaudas, Board-Certified nutritional consultant and a Board-Certified clinical Neurofeedback Specialist. When she looks at her vegan patients brains, they are amongst the worse she sees.
        I’m not advocating for an atkins diet at all, but there is certainly something to be said for the paleo diet. Which by the way includes vegetables…

        Also check out Dr Joe Hibblen at the NIH, who has authored 75 papers on the benefits of omega 3s(animal fat). Crazy unexpected results like mood stabilization, reversal of depression symptoms, etc.

      2. kareninca

        Adam, I was a vegan for 19 years, for ethical reasons. Then I tested my A1c and it was 5.7. No, I wasn’t eating junk vegan food. I can get it down to 5.2 if I practically live on dairy products and vegetables (I refuse to eat dead animals or dead fish).

        If you are going to be vegan, check your A1c periodically; it may not work for you; you can end up diabetic eating vegan “health food.” Actually no matter what you eat you should periodically check your A1c; you can buy the test at Walmart to take at home (thank you Karl Denninger).

        When I started eating full fat dairy, and cut way back on carbs, my “good” cholesterol skyrocketed. It was okay before but now it is through the roof.

        I don’t want to eat animal products, actually; I feel sorry for animals. I am hoping that intermittent fasting will allow me to be vegan again.

        1. Foppe

          Would recommend you check out McDougall’s The Starch Solution — of the book that explain how to be healthy on a plant-based diet, it’s far and away the best, and his principles are the easiest to follow long-term.
          Not sure it makes sense to check prediabetes status via a1c — what matters is how much insulin your body needs to produce to unlock the insulin receptors in your muscles (which is something that dietary fat interferes with — which is why insulin production spikes really badly after eating red meat). Also, total cholesterol (incl. “good”) must be <150 (or 4.0) for optimum health, and that's perfectly achievable in all cases except a few who are genetically unlucky, given the right diet. Any higher increases risk of CVD.

    4. Oregoncharles

      Annette: Inuit live in Arctic conditions, which put a premium on both calories and fat. Tibetans have a similarly animal-heavy diet (mostly yak milk, EXTREMELY fatty), for similar reasons. (Tibetans do eat grain, which Inuit did not.)

      However, both are severely adapted to their very severe conditions. As you say, 10,000 years or more of evolution.

      Our understanding of the disease/fat connection is all but nonexistent. Let common sense rule. As others have pointed out, we aren’t the same as our paleolithic ancestors, nor are the foods we eat much like theirs. (From actual observation: hunter-gatherers generally gather far more than they hunt; that is, the women are providing most of the calories in plant form, while the men bring in the occasional bonanza of protein. The Inuit are an exception, of course, showing the advantages of being an omnivore.)

      1. Lambert Strether

        “My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness” –Psalm 65:5

        Certainly true for my soul. But I’m also not thinking about thinking about the chemicals that, today, must have accumulated in fat tissue….

    5. Foppe

      One problem with the “study” that showed that inuit don’t develop heart disease is that it was based entirely on hospital admission records for that marginalized (as with every indigenous group) population. As you might guess, that’s a little bit problematic, given that 50% of regular Americans die from their first, and the ones who survive only do so because of either treatment, or “medication” — in a country where hospitals are easy to reach for most of the year. In Greenland, not so much. See for a write-up of a (peer-reviewed) article about this published about 3 years ago in the CJC.

    6. Procopius

      There was an anthropologist back in the ’30s who tried to make this point. He had doctors measure his cholesterol levels (yes, they knew about cholesterol bach then). Then for a full year he ate nothing but blubber (what dedication!). No carbohydrates at all. For a year! At the end he had them measure his cholesterol levels again. No change. I’ll bet he was glad to eat some veggies, though. Sorry for not providing a link.

  2. Jim Haygood

    From the Christian Science Monitor article above:

    Acceptance into opioid crisis court means detox, inpatient or outpatient care, 8 p.m. curfews, and at least 30 consecutive days of in-person meetings with the judge.

    Buffalo’s get-tough court is part of a nationwide push to come up with ways to use the criminal justice system to address the opioid crisis. In April, the National Governors Association announced that eight states – Alaska, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Jersey, Virginia, and Washington – will together study, among other things, how to expand treatment within the criminal justice system.

    Using the criminal justice system to supervise the treatment of addicts assumes that drug use is criminal. This puritanical assumption has prevailed at the federal level since Nixon started the Jihad on Drugs in 1970. And overdose deaths are much higher now than then.

    What are we to make of this? Seems to be a combination of the familiar phenomenon of awarding failed government programs more funding, along with a bureaucracy (the criminal justice system) seeking a new role for its own expansion (Parkinsons Law and all that).

    One is surprised only that the American Medical Association doesn’t sue drug court judges for practicing medicine without a license, using the third-party cutout of detox and rehab centers. USA: cuck00 … cuck00 … cuck00.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Dunno, Jim.

      Mr. Woods said his heroin use started with an addiction to painkillers prescribed after cancer treatments that began when he was 21. He was arrested on drug charges in mid-May and agreed to intervention with the dual hope of kicking the opioids that have killed two dozen friends and seeing the felony charges against him reduced or dismissed.

      In addition to the Monday-through-Friday court dates, Woods attends daily outpatient counseling, submits to drug testing, works at his family paving business and, although they are not required, attends Narcotics Anonymous meetings.

      Certainly sounds like a job for the “criminal justice system” to me.

      If this Woods guy wasn’t held personally responsible for his behavior, they might have to take a look at the doctor who got him addicted and then just turned him loose, or the drug manufacturer who flooded the pharma landscape with hundreds of millions of pills on the unsubstantiated claim that the drug was proven to have no potential for addiction.

      We couldn’t have that, could we? Looking at the situation that closely might actually begin to solve the problem.

      1. andyb

        Big Pharma is never to blame; just ask all the politicians who have hidden off shore bank accounts.

      2. Jim Haygood

        Felony charges … for a “crime” in which the only victim is the perpetrator, and the only complainant a police officer?

        Someone I know just intervened with a landlord on behalf of a woman with a three-year-old conviction for possession of heroin and paraphernalia (needles). She couldn’t pass the criminal background check which nearly all landlords demand now. In this case, the landlord granted an exception because she was working and clean.

        Saddling people with criminal records that dog them for life is no way to treat an addiction.

        1. justanotherprogressive

          Ah, but what it has done for Corrections Corporation of America and its brothers in the business…..

          Humans as commodities… you really care what happens to that commodity after you’ve made your money off of it?

          1. ambrit

            Down here, in more ways than one, the Drug Court is a cash cow feeding off of those least able to afford the bill. One woman I worked with recently was on daily call to go in and do a drug test. The tests were random and “scheduled” through her i-phone. She had to miss time from work and pay for the test. One week, she was called in three times. I don’t know how much this cost her. Frankly, I was hesitant to raise the subject because it obviously made her angry. The “conservative” reply would be that she had bought it upon herself by using in the first place. However, few people I know ever said that they had planned on becoming drug users. As the detectives say; “Follow the money.”

            1. JaobiteInTraining

              That happened to my best friend. Due to a meth addiction he made some bad choices that ended up losing him his wife, his job, his kids, his money, to say nothing of any last shreds of his dignity as a human.

              The Feds took their usual harsh approach, monitoring him, overwatching him, forbidding him from seeing his children until they were over 18, having random drug tests at random times, and sending thugs to keep tabs on him.

              My best friend found a clever way out of it though.

              He killed himself, in the backyard of the house we shared, holding baby pictures of his children.

              I desperately wish that he had some peace in his last moments…while looking at the faces of his babies that he would never see again.

              But I know better. He died alone, scared, and in the greatest pain a human can be in.

              Have a nice day,all. Hug those you love while you still can….

            2. Vatch

              I suspect that famous drug addict Rush Limbaugh never had to interrupt his radio program to provide a sample for a drug test.

      3. Bob

        Whoa! Mr. Woods became addicted while receiving narcotics because he had cancer! Without a lot of additional information, there is every reason to think that Mr. Woods needed those narcotics for pain control. One of the few true reasons for narcotics is cancer pain (as opposed to chronic back pain). “Several malpractice claims from the 1990s to the early 2000s, which found healthcare professionals liable for under-treating pain, made it clear that juries are prepared to award substantial damages when patients are subjected to unnecessary pain and suffering because of the ignorance or indifference of clinicians….”

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Obviously severe cancer pain should be managed, but not without an overriding respect for the serious potential side effects of the drugs used. I hear that marijuana is useful in this respect, but there doesn’t seem to be much of an impetus for replacing opiates with that far less dangerous “drug.”

          In fact, there seems to be a curious tendency to grossly overstate the “abuse” potential of marijuana while all but denying the abuse potential of opiates, preferring instead to attribute opiate addiction to personal, moral failings.

          Before she died, I used to fill my mother’s prescriptions for handfuls of fentanyl patches at the local grocery store pharmacy. They just sat out on the kitchen counter until it was time to change them. I thank Dog that my then teenaged daughter had no idea what they actually were, and neither did I. There were certainly no warnings to keep them under lock and key.

          When my dog had surgery recently, he came home with a fentanyl patch, fer chrissakes. No “cancer pain” there, but apparently the vet hospital has a stock of the things.

          My point is that while these drugs have legitimate uses, the casual disregard for the seriousness of their side effects should be considered criminal. Other advanced countries use them, but that use is confined to a hospital setting, demonstrating the requisite understanding of the harm they can and have caused. They don’t flood communities with unconscionable numbers of pills while counting their money and monitoring their stock prices.

          And they sure as shit know better than to peddle them to dogs.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It’s not definite, but I suspect cancer rates were much lower 1,000 years ago than today, as suggested by that fact that rates have gone up in the last 100 years.

          And that is the root cause for our dilemma – getting addicted in order to survive cancer and cancer treatments, or letting cancer get to you in the most painful way possible.

          1. visitor

            I suspect cancer rates were much lower 1,000 years ago than today, as suggested by that fact that rates have gone up in the last 100 years.

            Three possibilities:

            1) cancer rates have gone up;

            2) life expectancy is much higher, hence cancers, which usually require a very long incubation, have better chances to actually erupt;

            3) we are better equipped to detect cancers now than in the past.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              That’s correct.

              With all the chemicals in the world and in our bodies, lifestyle and diet incompatible with those evolved over millions of years, I suspect it’s mostly #1, unless we’re very exceptional

            2. Jen

              and with regard to #3, I will repeat what Gil Welch, noted screening skeptic, has pounded into my head: “cancer is a spectrum of disease, some of which will, or will not progress.”

              We are indeed better equipped to detect cancers than we were in the past. We are not necessarily better equipped to detect cancers that will progress, as opposed to those that will not. Therein lies the dilemma.

            3. Oregoncharles

              The rates are going up, EVEN controlling for lifespan.

              Might have something to do with all the toxic chemicals Yves mentioned up above, that tend to accumulate in animal fat.

          2. ambrit

            The ethics of medical intervention are murky at best. As is happening with Phyls’ melanoma, access to competent analysis and care makes all the difference. Her first exparience with oncologists was debilitating, to say the least. We have had to be lucky, yes, Dame Fortune has had to be invoked, to be referred to a University Medical Centre. There, the faculty seems to have a less mercenary mind set. An alternative, less intrusive and cheaper therapy has been proposed by the doctors there. Being a teaching hospital, a gaggle of interns filled the room while the surgical oncologist examined Phyl and discussed treatment options. The expressions on the interns’ faces during the examination and discussion, (Phyl has strong negative beliefs about drugs in general, and an inquiring mind,) were another in a series of sociological lessons in human psychology. (What sort of student looks bored while the lead physician expounds on the stages of melanoma tumours and how to measure metastization?)
            So, it’s a PET CT scan on Friday, and a meeting with the “crew” the Friday next to interpret the results. Even here, Phyl has strong reservations about the radioactive sugar introduced into her body intravenously to create the “image” that gives the relevant information. Today and tomorrow it’s going to be Detox, Detox, Detox! As I remarked to her earlier today, Phyl will become more Right politically after the removal of so many Free Radicals from her body. (She was not amused.)
            As MLPTB mentioned above, the question of how much medicine is enough is problematic. Phyllis is not at all sanguine about this. Her mood fluctuates from stoic acceptance to semi hysteria. The original medical intervention Phyl “suffered” through was an ugly lesson in how medicine can be bent by money. The physician propounded a doomsday scenario; “I’d predict death in six to ten months without treatment.” Not only Phyl, the subject of the “sentence,” but her immediate circle of family and friends were stampeded to an overhasty decision about treatment. The role of the patients’ immediate circle of supporters in making medical decisions is often overlooked. Phyl was skeptical at first and it took the importunings of her supposed friends to sway her into accepting the Immunotherapy proposed by the physician, and, by inference, the medical clinic at which he worked. As I mentioned in an earlier thread, the clinic was billing Medicare $14,900 a treatment for the immunotherapy. What Medicare actually paid out we could not discover. The physical effects of this treatment have been sub-optimal, to be euphemistic about it. While taking the treatments, six in all before Phyl called a halt to them, I spent roughly an hour every two weeks in the intravenous treatment “lounge.” Besides playing “personal assistant” to Phyl, I got to observe and talk with almost every shade of desperate patient one could imagine. My residual feeling about that room, comfy loungers, coffee machine, snacks and all was one of “quiet desperation.”
            If we as a society cannot do better, it devolves upon us a self aware beings to do what we can individually. Phyl took that step and said no to a treatment that was doing her more harm than good. Now suddenly, things are looking up. The Mistress of our Fates seems to have paid attention to our pleadings.
            Goodnight all, sweet dreams.

      4. DH

        Those people you are naming wear ties. It is not possible for them to commit a crime. Crime is for non-tie wearing lowlifes.

      5. perpetualWAR

        My bro is probation officer. He continually watches our current courts rule opposite of what needs to happen to keep addicts alive.

        Latest: Court released long-term addict, rather than jail time, to in-patient, to clean and sober house. Addict released. Addict overdosed first day released. Addict died.

      6. Procopius

        Would be curious to learn how he supports himself, given the time he spends attending meetings according to this description. I was in the Army and directed by my superior officer to spend time at group counselling sessions (for alcoholism, not drugs), but I don’t think most civilian employers are going to look kindly at employees who have to leave work every day to go talk to a judge and attend counselling. Hope NA works for him. Their recovery rate isn’t better than AA’s. AA worked great for me, not so much for most people.

    2. dk

      Another recent article on another (?) permutation of drug courts:

      The Last Shot

      Amid a surging opiate crisis, the maker of the anti-addiction drug Vivitrol skirted the usual sales channels. It found a captive market for its once-a-month injection in the criminal justice system.

      A DECADE AGO, a small biotech company based outside of Boston faced a quandary. Its scientists had cracked a puzzle that long eluded the industry. But that soon led to another problem: There was no obvious way to market its promising new product.

      Instead of being hailed as a breakthrough, though, Vivitrol quickly ran into resistance. While some experts in the field of addiction science welcomed it as a new treatment option, many others expressed skepticism about Vivitrol’s effectiveness, questioning the company’s decision to go to Russia to conduct the clinical trials required by the FDA. The vast majority of addicts and their physicians continued to favor methadone and buprenorphine, proven medications that allowed for a more gradual exit ramp from addiction. And then there was the steep price.

      If the usual route of selling medications — pitching them to physicians and directly to patients — wasn’t going to work, the company had to find another way. And so it did. It began focusing on a market where consumer choice was less relevant: drug courts.

      Long form, worth the read (and above average writing imo), and some v. good reader commentary/discussion as well.

      I do think the article glosses over drawbacks of methadone and buprenorphine (Suboxone), as succinctly expressed in this comment:

      Ronnie Childs • 11 days ago
      Early in the article it is stated that bupenorphine and methadone offer a gradual way to get off of narcotic addiction. Not so. Both of these drugs are at least as addictive as anything else, and more so than most. Withdrawing from either is torture, and in the case of bupe, pretty much impossible. It’s great for lifetime maintenance, but for stopping altogether? Doesn’t happen, at least not often.

    3. Toolate

      Meanwhile GS aka the squid is buying up drug treatment facilities at a rapid clip…what a racket…

  3. Jim Haygood

    Scenes from the evergreen politics of envy:

    The Seattle City Council unanimously approved on Monday a 2.25 percent tax on total income above $250,000 for individuals and above $500,000 for married couples filing their taxes together.

    “Seattle should serve everyone, not just rich folks,” software developer Carissa Knipe told the council before the 9-0 vote, saying she makes more than $170,000 per year. “I would love to be taxed,” the 24-year-old from Ballard testified, drawing applause from a room packed with supporters of the tax.

    The recent push for an income tax began in February, when nonprofits and labor unions calling themselves the Trump Proof Seattle coalition launched a campaign.

    There are three key legal barriers: The state constitution says taxes must be uniform within a class of property; a 1984 state law bars cities from taxing net income; and cities must have state authority to enact taxes.

    State law pre-emption of local taxes likely will prove fatal to Seattle’s electric Kool-Aid income tax fantasy. Young Clarissa Knipe’s passionate cry that “I would love to be taxed” sounds pathological. Does she wander Seattle’s grittier neighborhoods in the wee hours waving a fistful of hundeds, declaring “I would love to be robbed”?

    In their lucid moments, silver-haired Boomers will recall bumper stickers from the 1973-74 recession reading “Will the last person to leave Seattle please turn out the lights?” as Boeing’s order book collapsed.

    With its brazen Bubble III command-economy tilt ($15 minimum wage … why not fifty?), Seattle looks primed for a reprise in the 2020s. Save us, Uncle Jeff!

    1. ambrit

      Funny logic that, Comrade Jim. If money is tight, then where are the revenue enhancement tools to: cut state pensions down to a one size fits all model, or a stripping away of the tax exemptions for stadiums and sports venues, or elimination of state government perks like limos, jets, bodyguards etc. etc.? One big money saving move would be to eliminate all Economic Development Authorities. All they seem to do is give away public money to allow private entities to pocket an even bigger share of their revenues than the standard rate allows within said Authorities’ baliwack.
      If this white haired geezer remembers aright, wasn’t there a nasty oil price shock that precipitated the aforesaid Darken Seattle Movement? (Is it coincidence that the Seattle Grunge sound emerged roughly a decade after the All Go Dark Festival? What is the gestation period of a musical style?)

      1. Cat Burglar

        Seattle’s economic collapse in the 1970s was a serial event. The cancellation of the Boeing supersonic transport in March 1971 caused huge layoffs (which was when the notorious billboard asking the last person leaving town to turn off the lights went up). The national recession during the oil crisis was the next big punch, which also took away many timber industry jobs in rural Washington as less cutting was done and mills closed (and automated future jobs out of existence). The high inflation under Carter maintained the recessionary status quo. When the Reagan recession hit in the early 80s, I remember that the Help Wanted ads in the Seattle P-I amounted to one printed page.

        It was about fifteen years after the first Boeing crisis that the Grunge music scene began to assemble, in the late 1980s, but by then the economy had improved a little and more jobs were available, though rent was still cheap. One of the great things about Seattle’s time as a recessionary provincial backwater was that any underground scene was quite small, and it was easy to get involved — they were composed of people with a vision, and not achiever types brought in by money. Even better, the local civic and business powers-that-be were such conformist dullards that none of the exits were watched. When I go back now, I meet baristas working three jobs to pay rent. It is still a beautiful town, but all the oxygen and free space seems gone.

    2. diptherio

      Washington state has the most regressive state tax system in the country, because they rely almost entirely on sales tax. Why am I not surprised that Haygood prefers that to a progressive income tax? ‘Cause making the wealthy help pay for public goods is criminal! Marking up everyone’s purchases by 6.5%, regardless of whether their rolling in dough or living out of their car is the ethical way to fund roads and schools and first-responders (which everyone knows the wealthy don’t benefit from anyway, right?) That’s real justice, comrade.

      1. perpetualWAR

        You forget that most tax comes from property tax in WA State! Every time there’s an initiative, they hike property tax!
        Save parks! Bill homeowners!
        Build Seahawks stadium! Bill homeowners!
        Build Mariners stadium! Bill homeowners!
        Make car tabs cheap! Bill homeowners!

        After 30 yrs Seattle homeowner, I’m DONE!

      2. Robert Frances

        I’m not a fan of sales taxes, but most states use them and many are near WA’s 8-10% state and local combined tax rates. But WA also has a property tax (a relatively progressive tax), and WA also uses a B&O tax (gross receipts type tax) for a decent share of its state revenues. Gross receipts taxes like WA’s B&O are among the smartest and fairest taxes because:

        1) A GR tax pushes the tax burden relatively evenly through the economy since it applies to every mid- to large-sized business operating in WA (most business taxes are likely paid by the customers of the business anyway);
        2) It’s easy to calculate and audit since it’s based on only WA sales;
        3) It rewards exporters (‘job creators’) since ‘export’ sales (outside WA) are exempt from tax;
        4) The tax applies to importers who use and benefit from the state’s infrastructure, police, transportation, education and other state investments.

        The B&O tax also uses different tax rates for separate industries so that wholesalers and retailers pay a lower tax percentage (to mitigate tax-on-tax issues), whereas service companies pay a higher rate. I don’t believe the WA B&O tax uses graduated tax rates, however, whereby companies with sales of $1 billion, $100 million and $1 million, for examples, would have higher to lower tax rates. That part is a negative, imo, but could be easily fixed.

        And conflating “the wealthy” with a “progressive income tax” isn’t helpful. Taxpayers can be very wealthy yet have relatively low *taxable income,* often because of tax write-offs especially for landlords, small businesses deductions, tax-exempt bond income, and hundreds of other “loopholes” found within the 77,000+ pages of tax code and regulations.

      3. Jen

        New Hampshire might offer some competition. We rely almost exclusively on property tax, which does not take into account rising property values and unexpected municipal costs relative to income. Yes, you always have to buy stuff, but…

        Two weeks ago we had a storm that dumped 6-10 inches of rain in 12 hours. It was worse than Hurricane Irene. Every town road was damaged. Some were completely trashed. If we are lucky, FEMA will pick up 75% of the cost. Assuming 4 mil of damages, which might be low, the town needs to pony up 1mil. That’s a hefty chunk of our annual non-school budget.

        Because I earn a good living and am frugal, my property tax is less than 5% of my income. But for a lot of my neighbors, even the unavoidable cost of living increases are real money, to say nothing of what it will cost for our share of repairing road that must be repaired.

        Would I be thrilled to have less take home pay? No. But I’m a far better position to pay more than most of my neighbors, and we all need roads that we can drive on, emergency services that can respond to emergencies and so on.

    3. DH

      Seattle is providing a valuable service in trying out economic experiments just like Kansas did under Brownback. Kansas did not work out quite as the Laffer Curve would have predicted, but that doesn’t mean other places shouldn’t try different ideas. Trying things out in small states and big cities is a useful way to see how economics works in the real world without experimenting on the entire country like the Koch Brothers would like to.

      I expect we will know in five years if their expectations or yours are right, or at least in what direction the results tilt.

      1. neo-realist

        The thing is, Seattle lucked out big time w/ the economic clusters of IT and aerospace, particularly aerospace since there isn’t much manufacturing in America anymore that pays well. If it wasn’t for that, good Asian fare, a lack of interest in religion, and being a coastal city, we could be Kansas, or rather a major city in Kansas.

      2. Procopius

        Well, if you know simple Cartesian coordinate geometry you will understand why Laffer’s curve did predict the results in Kansas. The laffer curve as sketched on the cocktail napkin is either a parabola or hyperbola. A characteristic of these curves is that they have a single maximum (OK, really getting into calculus here, but you can see by inspection that there is one point that is highest). It should be easy to understand that if you are not at that one sweet point you will be getting less than maximum revenue. So it is true that if your tax rate is too high, you will be getting less revenue than you could. But what Laffer hides is that if you cut your tax rate below that optimum, then you will also be getting less than maximum revenue, and if you cut more you will be getting even less. I think it was Piketty and Saez who calculated that the optimum highest tax rate in the U.S. would be about 70%, which is what JFK cut it to. Of course there are many variables which affect government revenue, so Reagan lucked out by having the recovery from the recession mask the likely effect from his tax cut.

    4. Vatch

      politics of envy

      Really, Jim? Really?? The two richest residents of Washington State, Bill Gates, and Jeff Bezos, are renowned for producing nothing original and for relying on subsidies or family connections.

      Bill Gates: He grew up in a wealthy family, and due to his mother’s acquaintance with the CEO of IBM, was able to get the lucrative contract to provide the operating system for the IBM PC. What was this operating system? It was a slightly modified version of an operating system written by Tim Patterson, who himself had copied the CP/M operating system of Gary Kildall’s Digital Research company. Microsoft Windows was copied from Apple Computer’s operating systems for the Lisa and Macintosh computers, which were copied from work done at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. Microsoft made a huge amount of money by requiring that they be given royalties by computer hardware manufacturers, even when the MS-DOS operating system was not installed on a computer. One of Microsoft’s most prominent products, Microsoft Word, is a copy of the competing product WordPerfect. Another product, Microsoft Excel, is a copy of Lotus 1-2-3, which was a copy of VisiCalc. There is no originality at Microsoft.

      Jeff Bezos: He spent a large part of his childhood on his grandfather’s 25,000 acre ranch — his is not a rags to riches story. Later, at, his sales skyrocketed because he did not charge his customers sales tax. In effect, this was a massive subsidy that no brick and mortar store could possibly match. The working conditions in Amazon ware houses are beyond deplorable, and are reminiscent of the conditions at the notorious Foxconn factories in China.

      1. oh

        Bill Gates never really worked a day in his life. Connections as noted above and alliances with the Venture (read Vultures) Capitalists and timing made him rich. Why is it that these squillionaires need a foundation to shelter their income and defray taxes. Why don’t they give away their income or better still not take any at all?

        BTW, it’s ironic that Microsoft copied a product developed by Xerox a premier copying machine company of that era! Ha! Ha!

        1. Procopius

          Well, he really copied the hated Steve Jobs, but Xerox essentially dumped their research into the public domain. The Star computer that interface was developed for would have cost something like $40,000 per workstation, and that wasn’t going to find a mass market.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        $250,000 a year doesn’t really immunize the person from having problems when sickness strikes.

        To go after the really rich, the billionaires or those who are almost there, you have to tax at a higher rate (or higher rates) with a bigger threshold, like over $1 million a year.

        The other way (or to add to the first) is to tax wealth.

        Implementing both would say they are not merely virtue-signalling.

        1. jCandlish

          The defective by design income tax is for rubes.

          A correct progressive tax is levied against wealth.

          1. LifelongLib

            Lots of older people get squeezed by property taxes because (like my parents) they keep the house they built when they were working but after retirement have reduced income. I don’t think a house/yard equates to wealth.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              I think we tax wealth above a certain level.

              Anything over $1 billion is obvious. We can go further to even $10 million. We can work it out when we come to, allowing, of course, for the location.

              1. Procopius

                My dream is of a new top bracket, 100% for all income over $100 million a year, capital gains included. Never happen, of course.

      3. JamesG

        “One of Microsoft’s most prominent products, Microsoft Word, is a copy of the competing product WordPerfect.”

        They failed to copy it competently. I tried to suspend page numbering for a single page (such as the opening page of a book chapter) and the Word experts couldn’t solve it. On WordPerfect I simply clicked “suspend for this page.”

      4. Linda

        Bezos borrowed $300,000 from his parents to start Or maybe they just gave it to him.

        1. jonboinAR

          Through the years I have read a number of accounts, usually hagiographical in manner, of business successes, people who through hard work, imagination, vision, what have you, made a successful company. In just about every one of these stories, buried in the later paragraphs it’s finally quietly admitted that the glorious hero of the tale was bankrolled for a substantial sum by some wealthy close relative or other.

      5. Procopius

        Minor quibble. Gates and Allen did not write Q-DOS, the operating system they sold to IBM. Gates, together with Paul Allen, wrote a marvel of a BASIC interpreter, which fit into less than 4K of memory. That program was a true work of genius and really was an important factor in making it possible for ordinary people to learn how to use the new microcomputers. They really deserved to get rich from that. Steve Ballmer better fits the sociopathic parasite who has never produced anything of value. Other than that your criticism of him is correct, but perhaps a little too generous. Microsoft was the only American company ever to be declared a “predatory monopoly” by an American court.

    5. Sarah Bitter

      I live in Seattle too, and this state’s tax code punishes being poor. Tax me too, please! My kid goes to public school. I use public roads, airports, services. We can afford to pay. “Washington state has “by far” the most regressive tax system in the nation. Poor residents here pay 16.8 percent of family income in state and local taxes while the wealthiest 1 percent pay only 2.4 percent.” I don’t think this tax will survive legal challenges but our current tax code is both inhumane and inefficient. The greatest beneficiaries of state services pay the least in taxes.

  4. doug

    “Like my time at UNC, which Jessie Helms called the university of niggrahs and communists.”

    He proposed a fence around the place IIRC…..

    1. CD

      Conservatives have looked at higher ed askance since the 1960s when college students rioted for rights. How dare they object to elitism?

      When an institution fights the elite, conservatives notice. Regan, then governor, looked to punish the Calif higher ed system as it was the hotbed of rebellious ideas.

      There are more stories, but they amount to the same — conservatives have lost their love for higher ed long ago. Harold Bloom at Cornell also comes to mind.

      Then too, remember that Bill Buckley took on the Yale faculty in his book, only two years after he graduated, for failing to enshrine capitalism and Christianity. He named names and courses. Wise at such a young age, he was!

      1. JTMcPhee

        Not sure what word games get played with the acronym for the University of New Ham[pshire, in a conservative (sick) state if ever there was one. I do recall that back in the ‘702, a former governor of the state, Meldrim “Colorful Conservative” Thompson, when the Hippie War Protestors were all a-howling, asked for a tactical nuclear weapon to use on them (one-upping the “anti-insurrection response” at Kent State.)

        Why are so many corrupt governors and stuff surnamed “Thompson”?

        1. Kurt Sperry

          The offspring of someone named “Thomp” is likely to operating at a distinct and heritable disadvantage.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        College is ruining America for otherreasons.

        One is that many prefer rich foreign applicants over American ones.

        The other is actually ruining the world, not just America – if our colleges don’t teach drone technology, surveillance, weapons research, genetic food modifications, neoliberal economic theories, high frequency trading, etc., maybe another power will. And we’d have to peg our currency to hers.

        Then, learning a second language would not be an option, for those who want to be sophisticated, but mandatory, for survival and for getting ahead (by pleasing the new master).

      3. nihil obstet

        Higher ed institutions have colluded with their detractors just as the Democratic Party has colluded with the Republicans. “Anti-intellectual” is the university’s version of “deplorable”. It’s fairly rare to see any defense of an actual education by college administrators or even faculty. Instead, it’s all about productive degrees, i.e., job training in business or STEM. For that, kids run up massive amounts of debt to find themselves in the low-wage precariat, unless Mom and Dad have the right contacts. The university itself has lost any heritage that it once had as a medieval guild of professionals that ensures the quality of the work. Instead it has taken on a modern corporate structure, with lots of very highly paid administrators, a few star professors to burnish the brand, and a majority of low-paid, course-to-course adjuncts and teaching assistants. I find it hard to love this higher ed.

        1. CD

          Yes, getting a degree from higher ed is preparation for the corporate factory.

          Working in higher ed is working in a profit organization disguised as non-profit.

    2. cyclist

      Graduating from a NE university in the ’70s, I asked a southern friend of mine what his plans were. He was returning to the south, to UNC, for graduate school, which he described as an ‘island of gays in a sea of rednecks’….

  5. Quanka

    re food/Paleo. The avoiding grains is missing the point in my opinion, Its the type of grains (you need whole) one eats that matters most. Steel Cut Oats: good. Long fermentation: good. Quinoa: Good. All Grains.

    Paleo (and I mean the fad version – I am sure there are many variations within what we commonly call ‘Paleo’) treats a wheat thin cracker as the same thing as a slice of slow-fermentation bread – they are not and this is why that diet is ridiculous. Not to mention the overly heavy reliance on meat and the unknown stress that puts on internal organs.

    The hating on grains in our culture COMPLETELY MISSES THE POINT. With 8 billion people we NEED grains in our food system to feed the world. Whole grains: Good.

    1. divadab

      @Quanka – agree however it is important to eat organic grains, esp. oats, as it is practice in non-organic oat processing to spray glyphosate to accelerate drying. This is why Cheerios have a high level of glyphosate.

      Eating organic is a good general rule as well but some non-organic foods (such as bananas and avocados) which have a skin are safe for chemical-free eating. But if you can afford it, go organic all the way as organic growers use much safer farming practices.

    2. neo-realist

      Rolled Oats are just about as good as Steel Cut—–just as much fiber, low in fat and terrific for slow blood sugar release. Less gritty too.

    3. oh

      People on Paleo diets are asking for heart disease (from the fats) and colon cancer (from the animal protein) and they’ll probably get it both!

      1. Jag meyeroffer

        High fat diets do NOT cause heart disease. That’s the old, disproven science.,

      2. kareninca

        My cholesterol levels improved hugely when I stopped being a vegan, and started eating lots of full fat dairy (but I cut back on carbs). Eating dairy has vastly improved my good cholesterol levels.

    4. kareninca

      As I posted above, I ended up prediabetic as a vegan eating whole grains. Whole grains are not some panacea.

      Per a recent Israeli study, how people respond to different grains is totally individual:

      “Which is more likely to raise your blood sugar level: sushi or ice cream? According to an Israeli study reported in the November 19 issue of the journal Cell, the answer varies from one person to another.
      Weizmann Institute of Science researchers continuously monitored blood sugar levels in 800 people for a week, and discovered that the body’s response to all foods seems to be highly individual.”
      ““The huge differences that we found in the rise of blood sugar levels among different people who consumed identical meals highlights why personalized eating choices are more likely to help people stay healthy than universal dietary advice,” said Segal.”

      It turns out that some people are better off (as far as blood sugars go) eating processed flour. Some people are better off eating whole grain flour.

      1. kareninca

        One woman in an earlier “continuous blood sugar monitoring” study done by the same researchers turned out to be especially sensitive to tomatoes. She was on the verge of turning diabetic because tomatoes made her blood sugar go up so very much. She ate them because she though they were good for her; she didn’t gorge herself on them; she ate a reasonable amount. As it happens they were very bad for her. So it’s not just grains that different people respond differently.

  6. howard nyc

    That NYT headline, “Don’t Leave Health Care to a Free Market” (headline too insipid;didn’t read) may be a representation of the single largest and greatest straw man I have ever encountered.

  7. Tom Stone

    “No one wants to buy that Brooklyn mansion for $18MM”!”
    Drop the price to $5MM and see how fast it sells.
    As Jim the Realtor is fond of saying “There’s nothing that price can’t fix!”

  8. johnnygl

    If livestock are properly managed they can not only add productivity to plant output, and make use of land that is unsuitable for crop production, they can even enhance wildlife diversity and vibrancy.

    It’s the feedlots that push manure into rivers and streams that need to be banned!

  9. allan

    Morgan Southern fires trucker who spoke about 20-hour workdays [USA Today]

    Rene Flores said he regularly broke the law as a port trucker in southern California, hauling shipping containers up to 20 hours straight between Long Beach and Phoenix.

    He kept a fake logbook tucked beneath his seat so regulators wouldn’t know he was violating federal fatigue laws for commercial truckers.

    He said his company paid him so little — and charged so much for his leased truck — that he had no choice.

    Flores said his managers at Morgan Southern knew about his hours, but for years the trucking company looked the other way.

    Then, the 36-year-old father of two talked publicly about his illegal hours in a USA TODAY Network story.

    On June 17, the day after the story published, Morgan Southern fired him. …

    Surely MAGA Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta will be right on the case.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Now the ICC’s been a-checkin’ on down the line
      I’m a little overweight and my logbook’s way behind
      Nothing bothers me tonight
      I can dodge all them scales all right
      Six days on the road and now I’m gonna make it home tonight

      — Steve Earle, Six Days on the Road

      1. Brian

        authors are; Earl Green and Carl Montgomery. The 20th performer of an old song shouldn’t get credit for the work of other people.

        1. Jim Haygood

          You are right; thank you. I got the verse from which incorrectly credits Steve Earle. Just submitted a correction to them for the songwriting credit.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        “Enough about emails”
        “I’m with her”
        “Fix ACA first”
        “We must push Assad out”
        Nice man with his heart in the right place overall but he’s really not the way forward

  10. Benjamin Fitzkee

    I’d like to offer the commentariat an update on our local (Lancaster County, PA) resistance to the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline.

    Lancaster Against Pipelines (LAP) held a chapel dedication Sunday afternoon in solidarity with the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. The Adorers are an international order of women religious with a strong commitment to respecting, and projecting the land. This is reflected in their Land Ethic.

    The pipeline is proposed to pass directly through 20 acres of their property. The company proposing the pipeline, Williams, filed an emergency brief the week prior to the dedication, and made the claim that the chapel posed “irreparable harm” to the company and created a safety hazard for workers since it would need to be removed before construction. This is quite funny when you consider the chapel consists of some 4×4’s and 2×6’s and two hanging potted plants. They probably shouldn’t be working on a 3 billion dollar pipeline involving: 388 waterbody crossings, including 6 sites where they will drill under major rivers; multiple sites of dynamite blasting due to our shallow bedrock; and thousands of acres of tree removal. I think this is a textbook case of “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.” The judge ruled this past Friday that Williams right to seize the land will be determined at a previous schedule eminent domain hearing July 17th.

    In attendance Sunday were 7 nuns from the Sisters of Loretto from Kentucky who were a crucial part of stopping the Bluegrass Pipeline in 2014 which was proposed by the same company seeking to build the Atlantic Sunrise. In attendance Sunday were, depending on which news you read, 300-500 community members. An additional 5,000 tuned in on Facebook live, and currently the video has been viewed approximately 20,000 times!

    I’ll include some links and the Facebook feed from the ceremony, which includes some great unedited footage of the nuns taking questions from local media. The nuns are interviewed at about 1hr 16min into the video.

    Here’s the video:

    Here’s a link to a list of media reports from LAP’s website. There’s also commentary from LAP, correcting some of the news reports.

    Local coverage from Lancaster Newspaper, Pennlive, and CBS21.

    National, International and Online coverage from CNN, EcoWatch, Daily Kos, RT, Inhabit, HuffPost, United Press International, and Global Sister Report.

    This list will be updated at the site:

    1. DH

      Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline is for natural gas. The main risk from a natural gas pipeline is explosion, not surface water contamination. Natural gas is being used more and more for electrical generation these days and is displacing coal which has massively more environmental issues related to its mining and burning practices.

      I assume all of the protestors of these various oil and gas pipelines don’t have air conditioning in their homes, have invested in roof top solar arrays, and are driving hybrid or electric vehicles (powered by wind or solar generators).

      The way to eliminate pipelines is by decreasing demand for oil and gas. The environmental and health issues of horse manure in cities was addressed by switching to gasoline-powered cars, not by banning horses in cities. We need to be switching to the next generation of energy sources.

      1. oh

        Your ideas are sound but we should protest pipelines as well as remove our dependence on fossil fuels, which takes time.

      2. Benjamin Fitzkee

        I take issue with all of the points you raised.

        1) “The main risk from a natural gas pipeline is explosion, not surface water contamination.”

        This is not true. If an explosion were to happen in a populated area, then yes, it would create the greatest amount of immediate harm. It is not true it is the main risk though. See the NYDEC decision on the Constitution Pipeline project where they denied the permit application of the builder because of the impacts to waterways during construction and operation.

        Also look to two recent incidents of damage to waterways. One, ETP, the same builder of DAPL, spilled over two million gallons of drilling fluids into one of Ohio’s highest quality wetland areas. Ohio officials said it will take decades to clean up. Second, Sunoco Logistics, builder of the Mariner East II, has halted construction when over a dozen residents complained that their wells had become contaminated by fluids used in horizontal directional drilling.

        2) Gas is replacing coal for electricity generation, but that is only a “good” thing if you think natural gas is by definition better than coal. I don’t think it is. Yes, at the point of combustion, it burns cleaner. But you need to look at all the leakage of methane along the way. Year of Living Dangerously covered this here. Methane is 86 times more powerful a GHG than CO2 and natural gas leaks at all stages: production, transmission, and distribution.

        This one pipeline will transmit enough gas in one years time to have the carbon footprint of 9 coal fired power plants. This is according to EPA data.

        3) Yes, individuals need to reduce their own demand for all fossil fuels. This includes fossil fuels used to mine, refine, ship, assemble, and maintain “green” and “renewable” energy technology.

        4) Yes we need to switch. That’s one of the MANY reasons we’re opposing building multi-billion dollar infrastructure projects to service a dying industry.

        1. Elizabeth Burton

          And let us not forget how many of these “desperately needed” pipelines are to allow their owners to ship those fossil fuels overseas. In other words, this isn’t about anything other than the fossil fuel industry squeezing every last dime out of the ground.

          1. Benjamin Fitzkee

            The Atlantic Sunrise falls into that category. Export intended at Cove Point, and Sabine Pass.

      3. different clue

        The way to decrease demand for oil and gas is to raise the price for oil and gas to levels high enough to punish present day levels of use. One way to raise the price of oil and gas high enough to punish excessive use is to obstruct and prevent pipelines which make it possible to move price-lowering amounts of oil and gas to market.

        Restricting supply will raise the price enough to lower use. And restricting pipelines will restrict the supply.

  11. Stormcrow

    John Helmer article on SIGABA

    Is this satire? (Honest question.)

    The Rube Goldberg type machine he uses as an illustration, which I thought was a joke, also appears in the Wikipedia article on SIGBA.

    Interesting times.

  12. Corbin Dallas

    Re: Louisiana lawyers sue Black Lives Matter on behalf of a cop shot by a lone assassin

    Nothing more depraved than deep south racism dressed as a moral respectability politics. Especially against BLM which, after Occupy, was one of the most beautiful trans-national movements in recent history and one of the few things that made me proud to be American – spontaneous, people-organized movements against authoritarian elitism backed by gangs of blue-wearing thugs.

    1. CD

      On the face of it, I don’t see a case for the lawyers. It’ll be tough to provide a causal connection between the movement and the killing.

      But in Louisiana, you don’t know.

      1. different clue

        Would Black Lives Matter be able to counter-sue for slander, libel, defamation, etc?

    2. georgieboy2

      BLM which, after Occupy, was one of the most beautiful trans-national movements in recent history… ??

      For an alternate perspective, ask the murdered people in Chicago how positive the BLM movement has been for their futures.

  13. Linda Amick

    The Helmer article is stunning. It ranks up there with the most revealing article I have read about foreign policy and Trump/Tillerson and has implications for the US president role in general with regards to foreign policy decision making.

    1. HotFlash

      Trying that link at :20 EST Wed am, get “Data Error”. Things that make you go ‘hmmmm’.

  14. Eclair

    Since early June, I have driven, twice, the Interstates between Denver and western New York/Pennsylvania. Approximately 5,000 miles through the ‘Heartland;’ Colorado’s High Plains, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana. I have had hours of down time to contemplate climate change, our agricultural practices, extinction of species, our health care system, the opioid epidemic and local cuisine. Pass me the Prozac, because I’m depressed.

    The second trip was with my spouse’s cousin; he farms in north-western Pennsylvania. He raises real food; strawberries, sweet corn, broccoli, pigs, chickens and eggs, beef cattle, and oats, alfalfa, field corn and sweet timothy for feeding the horses and cows in the winter barn. The farm has been in his family since 1863 and this was the first time in over 50 years that he spent more than one night away from his home. So, I saw our journey through the mid-west through his eyes.

    We drove for two days and never saw a food crop other than feed corn and soybeans, with the occasional patch of wheat. Ruler straight rows of corn and soy stretch to the horizon; their planting is guided by GPS. Farm houses and barns are sparse; farms have become enormous, thousands of acres each. Equipment is sophisticated and insanely expensive; farmers go into debt to purchase huge combines and center pivot irrigation systems (depleting the aquifer, BTW) so they can farm more acres and compete with the bigger farm in the next county.

    The corn and soy aren’t eaten by humans; it is fed to pigs and cattle, raised and finished off in factory farms and feed lots. And trucked to ethanol plants. The acres are sprayed with pesticides and herbicides, killing off good and bad bugs. And bees and other pollinating insects.

    The interstates were littered with road kill; fawns, skunks, woodchucks. The landscape is ordered, sterile, unsustainable.

    Iowa, with some of the most fertile soil on the planet (although fast blowing away) imports 80 to 90% of its human food. To amuse ourselves, we imagined a scenario in which all food supplies into Iowa were stopped at the state’s borders. We figured the population would starve in about 2 weeks.

    We try to stop at local places to eat, avoiding the chain restaurants. The mom and pop diners are great places, the people friendly, the prices reasonable. But the menu choices are heart-attack city; meat, much of it deep-fried; bacon, ham, pork chops, chicken-fried steak, white gravy over biscuits, steaks of every variety. Potatoes: mashed, fried, hashed brown. And covered with white gravy. Pies of every variety. Donuts. Soft drinks and sweetened iced tea. No fresh veggies; occasional frozen green beans or corn. Maybe a frozen carrot. White iceberg lettuce and a few sad slices of pale pink tomato with bottled dressing passes for a salad.

    So, the final morning of our trip back to Colorado, we stopped at a place in central Nebraska; off the interstate in a small and dying agricultural town. The coffee creamer, the ‘buttery spread,’ the pancake syrup, were heavily processed and contained; corn syrup of various types and soy. (The bacon and eggs were delicious!)

    Our server, a thin pale woman of indeterminate age had a number of missing teeth. She was heartbreakingly cheerful. The restaurant’s 15 tables were packed, mostly with older folk; the table of 8 next to us were celebrating their friend’s 85th birthday. Most were chunky to obese and had difficulty moving about. This scene about sums it up for all the local diners we hit.

    It is as if not only the middle class, but the mid-section of the US, is being hollowed out. A part of the continent that represented hope and upward mobility for so many thousands of people (well, white european people; the indigenous population were on the losing end of that migration) as the government gave land grants, and cities and vibrant small towns and jobs grew up around stockyards and meat packing and steel making industries, is becoming a place where you must own vast tracts of land and be backed by vast amounts of capital to survive. Those on the losing end of the equation, leave or end up in dusty small towns, eating processed foods, becoming obese, losing teeth. Or resorting to drugs to give them a bit happiness.

    Apologies for writing at such length.

    1. allan

      Thank you for your report. The powers that be like to genuflect towards Real America™,
      but couldn’t care less about the people or the land, or even worse think of them as assets to be stripped.

    2. Steely Glint

      Don’t apologize for that heartbreaking, but beautiful inside look into “the heartland”

    3. JohnnyGL

      Thanks for the trip report. Can’t say I’m too surprised. Then again, I don’t think the diet of people in the area would have been much better if you’d taken the trip 20-30 years ago. However, the economy probably has gotten worse since then.

      Let me offer a sign of hope….here’s a story about a GA farmer who’s dropped industrialized farming to use rotational grazing and he’s greatly improved the health of the land. Lots of good ideas coming out of the place.

      He’s really pushing the envelope to solve problems like the eagles gathering on the farm :)

    4. Eureka Springs

      Well said.

      As one who lives 30 miles as the crow flies from the elk featured in today’s antidote… and spent years in Nebraska as a kid I can say the unhealthy features you mention, teeth, fat, desecration of natural features has been that way all of my fifty years. You think their dietary choices are bad now, just remember you have witnessed things in Spring and early Summer when folks are most likely eating the best diet of the year. All those restaurants order food from the same behemoth suppliers… there will be little variety available (especially when it comes to fresh produce) at a price most could afford. Most corn taste exactly alike. As a kid you could stop every few miles and really taste and admire the differences in the flavors of produce. No more. I really don’t eat fresh, frozen or canned corn much anymore.

      One thing I noticed as farms grew exponentially in size is labor in the field has dramatically decreased. Do farmers even own cultivators for weeds anymore or is it all chemical herbicides now? That’s several rounds through the fields taken no more. One wont have diversity among insects if there are no weeds blooming throughout a season. The absence of weeds still shocks me.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Not too many years ago, my wife took a trip up to Ellijay, Georgia, from her then home in Chareleston. She’s a sponge for local accents and sounded very High Charleston Southern at the time. She says she did some shopping at Walmart. When it came her turn at the checkout, the cheerful young white clerk (are they called that any more? “Associate?”), chatted with her a bit, and then said “Hunney, yer not from ’round hyere, are y’all?” “Why no,” was the reply, “how can you tell?” thinking it might be her accent. My dearest says the ‘girl” gave her the sweetest mostly toothless smile and said, “Weell, because you got all yer TEEFF!”

        My wife also reports that there were the gray remains of a sign at the town line that still read “N______, don’t let the sun set on you in our town!” Honest Yeomen in Flyover Deplorable Land do also need some manners and deportment lessons… and a broader notion of “dignity and decency…”

    5. ambrit

      Your descriptions match our observations here in the American Deep South. I get the occasional “funny look” when I ask for real milk or cream for my coffee or tea. Phyl, on the other hand, gets no resistance to asking for plain hot water to make tea with her bought from home spearmint tea bags, which every waiter or waitress admits, so far, is a good idea.
      We have been lucky so far in that the non chain seafood restaurants are cool with broiling the fish. We no longer can afford much eating out, but, for her birthday two weeks ago, she had broiled flounder at a small place in Gulfport, Mississipi. We used to “gig” flounders, when they flapped up to near the shore, but the inshore waters are so dirty now, the commercial flounderers go on out to the barrier islands where the waters are cleaner. Since the oil platform disaster though, the local Gulf waters have never fully recovered.
      Don’t be apologetic about telling the truth. You done good, as the locals would say.

    6. Katniss Everdeen

      Did you notice the ubiquitous, low-to-the-ground Syngenta signs, shaped like shields if I recall, just next to the highway and identifying with a number, the specific corn “hybrid” being grown in each of the fields? I always wonder why that Swiss agricultural behemoth feels the need to broadcast that information to passers-by.

      And I remember the carefree days of my youth, when corn and the fields is which it was grown were not something to be very afraid of.

      1. Mel

        If I were putting those signs in, it would be so I could monitor crop progress with a camera without stopping the truck.

      2. JTMcPhee

        Interesting side effect of GMO “revisions” to the stalks of those Roundup-Ready ™ field crops: “GMO crops are so tough, farmers are turning to Kevlar ™ tires,” The stalks of harvested GMO corn “are like little spears,” shredding the tires of field vehicles — some of which are 8-wheeled, and each tire instead of lasting 5 or more years, now only good for a year or a season, each tire well over a thousand bucks a pop…

        So a win-win for Dow/DuPont and Monsanto and Syngenta!!! And tire distributors!

      3. Lynne

        There’s all kinds of problems in flyover country, but why would anyone object to marking the rows? It’s to track yields, etc, based on the variety planted. What’s the problem with that?

    7. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Thank you for the on the ground, first-hand story.

      Our server, a thin pale woman of indeterminate age had a number of missing teeth. She was heartbreakingly cheerful. The restaurant’s 15 tables were packed, mostly with older folk; the table of 8 next to us were celebrating their friend’s 85th birthday. Most were chunky to obese and had difficulty moving about. This scene about sums it up for all the local diners we hit.

      The other image that comes to mind is this: A loner eating his/her organic salad dinner in an empty room, somewhere in our megapolis, or megalopolis by the ocean. Probably a special occasion too – birthday or divorce anniversary.

      “Candide, it’s not a perfect world, but the best of possible neoliberal, modern world.”

      1. JTMcPhee

        On the subject of “conversion” (a legal term, we might remember — of all that personal data by BigCorps: Seems Walgreens was sued successfully by some customers who rather than pursuing the feckless remedies under HIPAA, went right at the guts of it. The claim was for the value of the personal data that Walgreens (they all do it, by the way) sold to data miners.

        Not sure if that breach in the BigCorp defenses has been bricked up yet. I also note that a small pharmacy “doing extremely well by doing good” has collected millions from Big Pharm and Big Medical Device racketeers by prosecuting qui tam actions from their base down in the Florida Keys — the following from one of several lawyers and firms willing to tackle BigCorps when “the government” fails to do so:

        And Walgreens gets in on the “fraud on government programs” act too: “$35 million qui tam action against Walgreens for Medicaid fraud,”

        The latter bits also get at a couple of the reasons why “medical costs’ are so outrageous in Exceptional America…”

          1. JTMcPhee

            I’m a nurse (and former attorney, and retail store manager) cursed with the affliction of paying too much attention to too much of what is going on.

            A lot of patients of my doctors’ practice have been getting screwed, in many inventive ways, by Big Pharma, the UNholy UNsurance monstrosity, and various middleman rentiers like Walgreens and others. I’m mostly retired now, but used to spend about a quarter of my working day dealing with various Department of Denial rottenness — people with chronic conditions stable on long-term medical regimens and able to function, being told their necessary medications are “no longer on formulary” so if they want to keep taking them, they have to pay out of pocket, thousands of dollars they don’t have. Or that they have to “trial” cheap generic or “same category” meds, that have been ineffective or deleterious for them in the past, before they can get even a temporary “prior authorization” for coverage (payment) under their UNsurance policies. And Walgreens is one fave — in addition to the items cited, the corp or a part of it was pushing opioids like a pill mill down here in FL — “Walgreens to pay $80 million for oxycodone violations,” This last bit resulted in all the pharmacists in Walgreens pharmacies becoming leery of dispensing pain meds to ANYONE, including long-standing patients with perfect records of compliance and scripts from doctors like the ones I worked for who are very conscientious about prescribing opioids. The Walgreens corp management required their employees to demand office visit notes for patients prescribed narcotics, and statements of the diagnoses basing the treatments, before they would dispense, if they would at all. These HIPAA-protected documents and information were hoovered up by Walgreens and per the pharmacists I talked to, data-entered and then stored in unlocked files at the various pharmacies — all HIPAA violations, it would seem.

            The DEA enforcement action resulted in Walgreens severely limiting distribution of narcotics to its stores, “putting them on allocation,” making our patients have to engage in what looked like drug-seeking behavior, going from pharmacy to pharmacy trying to get their legitimate scripts for needed pain meds filled. The knock-on is that there was a painful shortage, getting worse now that opioid deaths are “in the news,” for people increasingly demonized for suffering valid medical problems.

            In doing searches on key words for some of the scams and miseries I try in my small way to forestall and offer workarounds for, I come across stuff like this. Or I learn about it from the paperwork I spent so much time pushing, or in talking with pharmacists and doing a little cross-examining in the process. I cheer the attorneys and the tiny little pharmacy Ven-A-Care (which started up providing intravenous therapies to HIV patients) for “doing well by doing good.” Wonder how soon Congress the Cesspit of Corruption will do away with qui tam legislation… Oh wait–

            Just one more thing that cannot and will not be “fixed” in any way that leads to “health care’ as opposed to rentier captivity of all aspects of medical treatment. Because Markets, and Just Die, the only two Commandments that survive in stone.

    8. CD

      Corn and soybeans — Most of the corn and soybeans go into commercial and industrial products, here or abroad. They have very wide applications, from food to paint and so on.

      But the best corn and soybean grades get sold abroad. They don’t stay here. Kinda ironic. Grown here but the best gets shipped to other countries.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It would not surprise me if California is among the list of ‘other countries’ that get shipped the best stuff.

        It takes some searching, but organic corn is available here.

        “Give us independence. But can we still have your Colorado water?”

      2. JTMcPhee

        I’d say that is just globalization doing what it is supposed to do — impoverish and sicken the “looted” place for the benefit of the rich folks elsewhere…

      3. jrs

        maybe operating on the assumption, certainly the assumption of our rulers, that Americans really don’t care what they eat.

    9. jCandlish

      Farm houses and barns are sparse; farms have become enormous, thousands of acres each. Equipment is sophisticated and insanely expensive; farmers go into debt to purchase huge combines and center pivot irrigation systems (depleting the aquifer, BTW) so they can farm more acres and compete with the bigger farm in the next county.

      Low interest rates pushed institutional investors into farmland chasing yield. Tight money could easily create conditions similar to those that broke the money market, only this time the underlying asset isn’t houses, its the agribusiness supply chain.


      1. perpetualWAR

        Actually, the family farms were stolen by #WallStreet in the 70-80s. Then sold to Big Ag. Just like now, houses stolen by #WallStreet and sold to Big VCs, hiking up rents. History repeats.

    10. Left in Wisconsin

      This is fantastic, and is consistent with my observations here in Wisconsin, though we have a burgeoning organic scene in southwest WI where the land is too rolling for giant agra.

      One question: did you see more than the occasional young adult? While I have a fair amount of sympathy for those who feel the coasts don’t know small-town life, my own observations are that many young people want nothing to do with it, either because there are no jobs or the culture is too stultifying. Madison is being flooded by young people from all over the Midwest and when I talk to them, many are up front that their hometowns are dying. Some seem sad about that but not many.

      I think the politics of resentment is partly (even mostly) resentment of (imposed or voluntary) mobility driving away the next generation.

      1. Eclair

        Well, I left out the parts about young people because I didn’t want to go on and on. But, two observations:

        Our cousin farms in northwest Pennsylvania, which is the northern tip of the Appalachians. His county is poor. And old. When I asked him what had surprised him most about Denver, he said, “The huge number of young people. And, the wealth. There are no old cars or beat-up pick-ups.”

        We had two encounters with young adults in Nebraska, both at local restaurants in small towns. When the young woman found out we were from Colorado, she followed us out the door, deploring that she was ‘stuck’ in this small town. I think if we had invited her to hop in the car, she would have ditched her apron on the spot.

        At another restaurant, the young guy, who looked like a high school kid, asked us if we were local, and when we mentioned that we were traveling to New York, he just got this yearning look in his face, said he always wanted to go to NY but was ‘stuck in this small town.’ We didn’t tell him that western NY is NOT New York City. Kid has to keep some illusions.

        1. CD

          Sounds like China — people leaving the country because they can’t make a living and going to the big city. Doesn’t always end happily I suppose.

          This is enough to demand a national industrialization policy — to make sure there are jobs even in the rural areas.

    11. Jeremy Grimm

      I too appreciate your long report. It could have been longer and you’d hear no complaints. Thank you.

  15. Stormcrow

    Way back on June 1, I posted the following link in these threads. I wasn’t at all sure what to make of it.

    Allegation that DNC Fabricated the Russian Conspiracy

    Now Michael Shedlock, linked today, seems to have a similar theory.

    New Evidence Says DNC Hack an Inside Job, Not Russia Related Michael Shedlock

    A related post also appears today at Zero Hedge, which I realize is not always reliable. But I think this would indeed be a blockbuster if true.

    New Blockbuster Research Shows Guccifer 2.0 Files Were Copied Locally, Not Hacked

    Will this story have legs?

    1. voteforno6

      Will this story have legs, I think, is a different question than is this story true. There may be something to it, it’s hard to say right now. To me, the most glaring omission from all the reporting on this subject is the lack of technical analysis. The closest we’ve had to that, at least that’s been made public, is contained in the report released in January (and that was derived from CrowdStrike, not the government, which makes it suspect). The technical analysis contained in that report was flimsy, at best, for these reasons:

      – It put a lot of weight into source IP addresses of the hacks into the servers. Since it’s fairly easy to either mask the origin of that attacks through IP spoofing, or using a proxy, that’s not really good evidence. Also, I think a number of those listed in the report were Tor servers at the time.
      – The exploits used were attributed to Russian state actors, with no underlying evidence that those same groups (if they actually exist) had ever developed and used those exploits. Plus, as the Vault7 release from Wikileaks demonstrated, it’s not uncommon for another organization (in that case, the CIA) to use an exploit previously attributed to another group. Once those exploits get out in the wild, anyone with the right know-how an use them.
      – Roughly half of that report consisted of boilerplate security tips. That’s the government equivalent of changing the font and/or margin sizes, in order to hit the target page count. This, to me, was the most damning aspect of that report. Whoever put it together knew just how little they had, so they had to add fluff to it so it at least looked impressive.

      Sorry for the winding detour to my main point. That is, it’s very curious that for all the breathless reporting on this subject, that the media hasn’t brought in really any technical experts to provide analysis. I’m sure that there has been quite a bit of speculation on certain sites, but not many people will want to wander into that thicket.

      1. hemeantwell

        What caught my eye in the Forensicator’s analysis was the registered download speed. If true, there’s no doubt it was a local copy and the hunch that the copier used a usb stick with a small Linux prog on board also clicks.

        But I’m puzzled as to why it’s taken so long for his/her sort of analysis to be done. I’m hardly a comp whiz, but most of it is very straightforward.

    2. Heliopause

      Here is the blog of “The Forensicator”:
      Here is Adam Carter’s article on his theory that the Guccifer 2 persona was concocted by Crowdstrike/DNC:
      Carter also tweets as “I’m With Integrity”.
      Here is a Twitter thread challenging Forensicator’s findings:

      All of this is way over my head and I’d be happy to read additional informed opinions.

      “Will this story have legs?”

      Seeing as elite media is completely consumed right now by Trump Jr’s meeting with a Russian grifter I would say, “nyet.”

    3. Alex Morfesis

      Will the story have legs…Will the facts have legs…Will even the one quarter of one hundredth of one percent of the population capable of understanding overclocking and adjusted bios battery popping take the time or even care to explain in an orderly fashion what if anything all this might…might mean…

      And then what…pied piper gone sideways ?? Hill and bill just wanted to fake an election attempt to keep all the foundation “donations” ??

      Trump and Clinton’s had a deal and the don decided to triple cross them ?

      Can’t impeach a woman who did not win…and with or without russian (or Pakistani or chinese or Brazilian) help, those who don’t like trump will not suddenly find enlightenment and live in peace…

      Will the acela vanity press explain how much “higher” home ownership interest rates are cleaved from the hard working backbone of the average american ?? That interest rates are lower in japan and germany and most other parts of the oecd economies but amerikanskis “must…must” pay more…

      If the Russians were stupid enough to imagine they could control trump, then they are a paper enemy…he has shown the faithfulness of a mosquito his entire life…used anyone foolish enough to be in the same room with his self…

      why would a country with as many purported intelligence assets and capacities as das rooskeez waste any energy in keeping close to the perpetual outsider trump who has never shown any loyalties to anyone who had not prepaid for it twice…

      Borscht belt babes chasing gold plated faucets might…might be impressed…the rest…not so much…

  16. TarheelDem

    Neo-liberalism, college loans, and Clark Kerr’s multiversity with its adjunct and graduate assistant class combine to take the gilding off the lily. People who get employed find they are shunted into the bullshit job pipeline or designing crapification. Except for the very lucky few.

  17. Lee

    Moose are notoriously grumpy and aggressive. This one appeared to have some understanding that he was being helped. The rescuer is a braver man than I. Baby birds are more my speed.

    1. Edward E

      How do you tell the difference between moose stomping and earthquakes? Mount a camera to see what’s really going on.

      Well folks, I’m going down to the Upper Buffalo Wilderness Trailhead after I get some more work done around the homestead. A most amazing swimming hole right there on BNR land, easily seen on Google maps and satellite, just follow the trail across the meadows from the barn and stay right after the split. But the water seems too warm this year, usually your legs get the refreshing feeling of cold water while bobbing along the surface. Now you have to dive really deep to cool off.

      Cooling off is a must because a Carolina Wren has built an elaborate nest with five eggs she’s incubating, while I was away, on the air conditioner cover and I wouldn’t dare destroy that.

      If you folks are ever in the area swing by and check out our patch of wilderness. There is a seven point (still growing) buck using my food plots and he barely moves out of the darn way when I’m fertilizing or brush cutting. If I can remember to bring the phone or ? to take a photo I’ll try to send it to Yves. ttyl

    2. perpetualWAR

      I have repeatedly bumped into moose in my forays into the wild. Never once did moose bother me. And I was extremely close 3 times, not by choice.

      1. Lee

        Friend of mine jogging on outskirts of Anchorage was charged by a moose without provocation. The only cover he could get behind was a small tree around which the moose chased him for some time until his wandering dog came upon the scene and spooked the moose.

  18. jfleni

    RE: Protesters in Hamburg: ‘Shut Down Capitalism’!

    Its going to take a lot more than “WasserPanzer” (FireHose-Tanks) to shut down the Capitalist, neoliberal swindle that is making the peasants so unhappy in Germany and elsewhere!

  19. Torsten

    Re: New Evidence Says DNC Hack an Inside Job, Not Russia Related

    WaPo reported the DNC “hack” on 14 June. The earliest file dates in the “new evidence” all date from 5 July, suggesting they reflect Wikileak’s subsequent redaction of the contents, not the original data heist. Hence this is not valid evidence on inside vs. Russia.

    1. voteforno6

      Maybe, maybe not. One possibility that hasn’t really been mentioned, I think, is that Russia (and other outside actors, for that matter) may have hacked the DNC servers as part of intelligence gathering, but not provided that information to Wikileaks (I think that an insider is more likely to have done that). The only link that’s been made public is something to the effect that the Intelligence Community (or at lease those who’ve spoken out publicly) have a high degree of confidence that Russia provided those emails to Wikileaks. Which means that they have even less evidence of that link than they did of the hacks into the servers. There has been some incredibly sloppy reporting on this subject. The above referenced story may be wrong, but at least its attempting to inject some actual technical analysis, which has been noticeably absent up to this point.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        “(or at lease those who’ve spoken out publicly)”

        If I recall the report indicates selected analysts who are still unnamed made these conclusions. They haven’t spoken publicly. Under oath, Clapper wouldn’t make these claims. Comey didn’t make these claims.

        Not that there isn’t a need for a nameless bureacracy, but we’ve crossed the rubicon with our intelligence agencies. The word of “unnamed professionals” only means someone is lying at this point. Patriotic intelligence officials should be aware of this. Even if they had the goods, they would be met with sufficient skepticism because of the lack of public reforms since Iraq. After all, George Tenet had a “slam dunk” case signed off on dozens…no thousands of intelligence agencies.

        Officials hiding behind unnamed sources who are in positions where they can defend themselves from reprisal have no legitimacy anymore. Snowden and Manning types put themselves at great risk to expose malfeasance. I should note Lindsay England was the person held officially accountable for torture, a random if brutal enlisted soldier.

    2. Arizona Slim

      I find the timing of the news quite interesting. Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of the murder of Seth Rich.

    3. reslez

      There were multiple leaks. The “file date” evidence is specific analysis of the Guccifer 2.0 leaks, not the other DNC leaks.

    1. Ulysses

      “That elitist Chris Hedges”

      Yep. He must be motivated by a snobbish disdain for ordinary people– to waste his time looking at esoteric questions, like health and nutrition, that only affect effete coastal elitists. “Let them eat cake!”

  20. Ranger Rick

    Speaking of cholera in Yemen, a bunch of video game enthusiasts just raised $1.7 million for Doctors Without Borders.

      1. meeps

        Plenue at 6:41 pm, “On a related note; I’ve occasionally wondered how much the increase in people living by online streaming (ad revenue, patreon, etc) matches up with the decline of real jobs.”

        This is a question worth exploring. I hear complaints about young men playing video games all day in lieu of work, but young people are streaming Let’s Play (BaerTaffy, Northern Lion and his wife Kate LovelyMomo, to name a few). They have hundreds of thousands of subscribers tuning in daily to watch them play Darkest Dungeon, etc. The ad revenue generated by that many clicks is, by all appearances, enough to forego sponsorship. Some accept tips via or have patreon accounts.

        I’ve no idea what kind of income stream this kind of work generates. If it beats a minimum wage, a commute or the expense of additional degrees, I’d be surprised if this didn’t account for some of the decline in ‘real’ jobs.

  21. down2long

    The article on the bail industry is quite good and informative. I have a couple friends who have been in jail several times – mostly drug related. (I think this goes – in my case – with being a recovering alcoholic and co-dependent who does some outreach to drug addicts.) They do not understand the system. I made one friend sit with me through a brief jury trial – he had never seen a trial, he was always advised to plead out. He was amazed by the process. In that case, there was a fair judge, and a clearly botched drug charge. The defendant was smart enough to go to trial, but usually, even that case would’ve been pleaded out.

    This last week my bud and his ex-girlfriend had a fight. He had foolishly stayed at his exe’s house, she went through his phone, found some stuff she wasn’t happy to find, and he woke up with her punching his face.

    She called the police, charged him with domestic violence, and he went to jail. Bail was set at $50,000. He called me using the bail-bonds company’s pre-paid phone number, asking me to post bail. I said look, lets see, the case is weak, it will be dismissed, wait for the arraignment. Because if I post the $5K, and the case is dismissed, we will lose the $5K, which we both can really use right now. I advised him to think of the 4 days until court as paying him $1,200 K a day, which is good money for doing anything, in my book. The bondsman did not explain the arraignment process, just kept pushing the “get out of jail” line

    As the article states, the bail companies want to make money, and the bondsman was pressuring my friend to post bail, even before arraignment.

    I spent all day yesterday in court. I have been to court as a housing provider, through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, various traffic courts (mostly fix-its or asking the court for traffic school) and each and every time it is a bewildering process to me, and so time consuming. What a mess.

    I didn’t realize until the article that only good ol’ USA and the Phillipines are the only countries in the world with a commercial bail system. When I told my buddy in England what was going on with my temporarily incarcerated friend, he was astounded at the system, as was I, as I thought it was universal.. The UK does not have this barbaric system – you are released to return to trial, depending on the case and your history/ Clearly, in the U.S., if you are a risk, you are not even offered bail. (May’s not out yet, so there is still hope for the bail industry in the UK)

    It really is very dispiriting.

    1. alex morfesis

      sadly, the article does not even begin to touch on the financial side of the industry…the “bail bondsmen” are not using their own money for the “bail…there are about 30 companies in the “bail bond surety” business…specialized insurance companies that would not exist if not for the approval of insurance regulators in states…follow the money…

      can not speak for a nationwide scenario…but many bail bondsman allow uncapitalized or undercapitalized sub bond agents to put themselves out as “bail bonds” companies, when they are just working as a sub contractor…

      in many ways similar to the “title insurance” industry, where every clown is a title insurance company, when in fact there are only basically 4 major firms, and everyone…everyone…does a form of reinsurance and the person you are sitting with at a closing is at best an abstractor…and a “signing agent”…in some cases, where the firm is not independent but in fact owned or run by an attorney, the “insurance” is mostly a giant smoke and mirrors issue…if a “problem” is later found, the insurance company throws it back at the closing attorney who owned the local title shop…

      in that same way, the bondsman is collecting fees and sending off a chunk of it to the umbrella, usually larger local bail bondsman, and some internal accounting allows for purported “capital” requirements…

      collusion a go-go…gotta keep them serfs smurfed…no competition in price…much as the “pawn” industry seems to also have no price or terms competition…and those pawn firms also seem to have the same small group of surety and bonding firms…

      just goes to show…you never know…or we always know…

  22. blennylips

    Just shoot me now

    Can the Monarch Highway Help Save a Butterfly Under Siege?

    …revive the monarch by making an interstate highway the backbone of efforts to restore its dwindling habitat.

    To stanch the losses and safeguard the migration’s future, in 2015 and 2016 a pollinator task force formed at President Obama’s request

    At the center of the plan is the effort to rebrand the interstate (I-35) as the “Monarch Highway,”

    a partnership of more than 50 federal and state agencies, universities, and non-governmental groups that works to study and protect the species

    late stage, or larval stage capitalism?

    Barbara Kingsolver’s “Flight Behavior” has graced the NC pages before and is delightfully more informative about monarchs and human behavior than ever will be dreamt by a pollinator task force of however many branding irons.

  23. Jim Haygood

    Re CFPB arbitration rule link. Tom Cotton to the rescue [of the banks, natch]:

    Sen. Tom Cotton [R-Ark] on Tuesday said he’s started the process to rescind the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s arbitration rule, which would prevent companies from forcing disputes on financial products including bank accounts and credit cards into mandatory arbitration.

    “This morning I’ve started the process of rescinding this rule using the Congressional Review Act. The last thing Americans need is more anti-business regulation that will prompt frivolous lawsuits while hurting consumers,” Cotton said in a statement.

    Rewritten for accuracy:

    The last thing banks need is more pro-consumer regulation that will prompt well-founded lawsuits while crippling abusive practices,” Cotton said in a statement.

    You can’t open a brokerage account without signing an arbitration agreement which sends all disputes into an industry-friendly arbitration forum.

    Tom Cotton: Wall Street’s water boy.

    1. allan

      There seem to be two other ways for the industry to try to stop this. From Credit Slips:

      …The financial services industry seems to be circling the wagons for a last ditch defense of arbitration. There appear to be three prongs to the defense strategy. First, there will be intense lobbying to get Congress to overturn the rulemaking under the Congressional Review Act. There’s a limited window in which that can happen, however, and it will be an uncomfortable vote for members of Congress, particularly with the 2018 election looming. This one will be an albatross for them. Second, there’s an effort afoot to have the Financial Stability Oversight Council veto the rulemaking. And finally, if the rule isn’t quashed by Congress or the FSOC, there will assuredly be a litigation challenge to the rulemaking. …

      Balls-and-strikes, silent Clare, the surviving half of Scalito, and our newest justice wait quietly in the wings …

  24. Wendy G

    Paleo isn’t meat-heavy, it’s vegetable-heavy, because the point or goal is a nutrient dense way of eating and living. Eating lots of veggies is a good thing, since veggies are where the micronutrients are at (other than organ meat, which is by far the most nutrient-dense food).

    And the meats (and eggs) that are suggested, are suggested to be free-range or pasture-raised, NOT factory-farmed.
    See for example: This is for many reasons, including quality, nutrient density, and humanitarian and sustainability concerns.

    More than anything, it’s a whole foods diet, and an anti-processed foods diet – which, again, is a good thing. It’s improving weight and health for a lot of people. That success will be its own motivator for continuing on, knocking it out of “fad” territory.

    1. Romancing The Loan

      I’ve been on the keto diet (high fat, digestible carbs <30gm/day) for almost six months now and I've lost fifteen pounds effortlessly even as I stopped going to the gym entirely while recovering from a slipped disc. I eat far more vegetables than I did before (subbing zucchini noodles for pasta and cauliflower rice for rice will do that) and a ton of fiber. The before and after pictures on r/keto are nothing short of miraculous – this diet appears to be literally saving the lives of the severely obese.

      Re: the sixth great extinction I don't know that any diet can be considered "sustainable" for this many people. Certainly I think it's clear that encouraging the voluntary underconsumption of meat, like the environmental movement has tried with voluntary underconsumption of gas and electricity, is not going to make even the slightest difference to the yawning chasm ahead – but maybe some ecoterrorists will weaponize the tick that makes you allergic to meat and release it in a country club. That'd be a hoot.

      1. Adam Eran

        Sorry, ketosis is the “make yourself sick” diet. Of course you’ll lose weight! You’re sick!

        You can also lose weight without any animal source food. You’ll keep it off too. (See McDougall’s testimonials for lots of weigh loss stories).

        Interestingly enough, many Biggest Loser reality TV show contestants who lost their weight with exercise and animal-product-containing diets have gained it back. The producer is making a new series (The Big Fat Truth) with the former Biggest Loser contestants who gained their weight back now–this time with a plant-based, whole foods diet instead.

        I’ve done this diet for 20 years without any sense of sacrifice (honestly, with good salsa, you can eat tree bark), and the arthritis and illness that motivated me to try it are pretty much gone. Sure, I ache from time to time, and get sick too, but with not nearly the frequency of my old carnivore days.

        But then, don’t take my word for it. Try it yourself. Unfortunately it takes a few weeks to experience the benefits, but you wouldn’t expect a few attempts at something like pole vaulting to make you an expert. Diet is no different.

        1. Wendy G

          I appreciate your input but McDougall is not a great example to follow, I’m sorry to say. It’s nearly truly impossible to eat fat as low as he recommends (10%?). Also for those of us whose fat metabolism has gone haywire, it may be a high-hunger diet, and a weight gain diet due to the high amount of starch. That said, I agree 100% with his admonition to eat fruits and veggies – although many of us are now metabolically deranged after a long life of high-sugar, high-starch foods, and so can’t really handle much starch or even the high-sugar fruits without getting/staying fat – especially as today’s fruit has been modified to be much, much sweeter than any fruit found in nature or that our grandparents ate.

          That said – if his diet works for you, stick with it! By all means. And share that story, it’s great.

          Keto isn’t a make yourself sick diet, for many people it’s a “make yourself well” way of living, that keeps them well. Getting off sugar and refined starches helps a lot of people with a lot of ailments, such as the arthritis you mention, and many other health issues. My husband and I cut out foods with added sugar and dropped about 50 lbs between us in a matter of a couple months. Easily. Effortlessly. No pain, no problem. From there, we dropped most starchy foods only because those metabolize nearly immediately to sugar, too, and had more similar results. We lost close to 100 lbs between us, and drastically reduced all the health markers that had been negative, going from heading negative to incredibly positive. So, no, it’s clearly not making us sick, quite the opposite, in fact. It’s been over 3 years now, and we both feel and look slimmer, healthier, stronger, younger and with all our health markers staying really fantastic. So we aren’t looking back – why would we?!

          We eat whole, mostly unprocessed foods. Foods like our grandparents ate. It’s quite the opposite of a fad. What the real fad is, is the high-sugar, high-starch, high processed food diet that’s been pushed on the culture over the past 40 years, and which has helped creat our obesity epidemic and diabetes epidemic.

          Speaking of – cutting out sugar and most starch is also being used to effectively manage diabetes, both T1 and T2, with none of the side effects of drugs. Many diabetics are getting OFF their drugs eating this way. It’s making them well, also. Definitely not a “make yourself sick” approach – again, quite the opposite.

          Many adults with T1D and even parents with young kids diagnosed with T1D are finding the low-carb diet to be infinitely superior to the classic ADA approach, with all its attendant hypers and hypos – and resulting health risks. Just do an internet search for Dr. Richard Bernstein, a T1D who just turned 83 and is healthy, strong and still practicing, helping his diabetic patients get well using a low-carb approach. Again quite the opposite of “make yourself sick”, his is an active practice of getting (and keeping) people well by using low-carb – which indeed, some/many call ketogenic.

          Many with autoimmune disorders are also healing or at least managing those through diet, such as Dr Terry Wahls, who reversed her MS through diet alone – again, a very veggie-heavy way of eating. I think she may not eat grains either, but don’t quote me on that.

          Grains are becoming recognized as being highly inflammatory to many people, and refined grains are the only food that by law must be fortified with sprayed on vitamins in order to be safe for consumption, or they cause deficiency diseases. I feel pretty sure I don’t need to be eating a plant that’s grown so tough from pesticides that, as mentioned in a comment above, farmers need to switch to Kevlar tires to ride their fields.

          I’m pretty sure that there’s not just “one diet to rule them all” but having these varieties of ways of eating out there, and hearing success stories, can only be empowering people in taking back their health and getting off the industrial glop we are constantly nudged into consuming as “food,” and which is robbing people of their health. Different ways of eating can work for different bodies. If yours is doing well for you – by all means, stick with it! If not, though, it’s good that there are more options out there than the ill-founded US Dietary Guidelines recognize as legitimate.

          Food for thought. Thanks for the dialogue on this important issue.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Instructive video from the 70’s, people used to look very different, this may be a self-selected group of dancers but their body shapes are completely different to people today:


              You see the same thing in movies of the era showing the genpop. What changed? My vote is for increased sugar and high-fructose corn syrup in everything.

              And notice the creative individuality of dress, very unlike the utter conformism and brand fixation of today, alas.

              1. CD

                I too have noticds that the dancers in the oldies are more filled out.

                Besides different food today, I would guess that tv had a big influence. Early tv directors and casting people noticed that thinner and taller people showed up much better on tv than shorter and average-weight people.

                I also wonder if ballet’s aesthetic got to tv and movies — very, very thin, long-legged people.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      The problem is that even pasture-raised animals are vastly fattier than game. Go eat deer shot during hunting season (or quail or pheasant or squirrel or wild elk) versus grass fed lamb or beef or even bison. Game is on the run from predators and has high muscle mass and very little fat.

      1. jCandlish

        > The problem is that even pasture-raised animals are vastly fattier than game.

        It depends. My in-laws raise organic cattle in the Swiss alps. Their beef and veal is quite lean. The first time I saw their pigs I mistook them for dogs.

        Of course mountain side grazing requires strenuous effort of the animals, much more so than grazing a level pasture would. I also highly suspect most USDA graded meat has been finished on the feed lot.

  25. XXYY

    This tweetstorm is awesome.

    Am I the only one who finds Twitter an extremely tiresome format for exchanging long (or long-winded) postings? Trying to mentally cobble together an extended series of 4th-grade level tweets, annotated with rudely cropped screenshots, on a tiny phone screen, seems idiotic. It’s like reading an article or novel written on Post-It Notes.

    Can Twitter please make it possible to post extended sentiments? Or start a parallel service for the more literate? (“Twatter”?)

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      No, you are not.

      I was wondering myself when a series of numbered statements that purport to follow each other to create a coherent “thought” become an actual paragraph, and what’s wrong with just writing a paragraph or two.

      I’m also unclear on whether one is supposed to try and read those screenshots or just ignore them.

      I’d like to propose a companion to tl;dr (too long, didn’t read) for use with Twitter–tm;dr–too mangled, didn’t read.

    2. CD

      You may have invented a new literary form — novels or short stories on Post-It notes.

      Sounds very challenging.

  26. allan

    History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes. With aftershocks.

    Rising GOP star Bobby Jindal, 2009: Why is ‘something called volcano monitoring’ in the stimulus package?

    Reality GOP star, 2017: Why is `something called tsunami warning’ in the Federal budget?

    Trump’s budget would kill a crucial piece of a global tsunami warning system, sparking alarm in California and beyond [LA Times] (includes auto-launch video)

    In 1964, a tsunami at least 20 feet tall slammed into Crescent City, Calif. The floodwaters came without a detailed warning, killing 11 people who did not get out in time.

    In 2011, another tsunami hit the town, located at the northern edge of the California coast. This time, officials had hours of warning that allowed them to evacuate areas along the coast before the tsunami hit, which destroyed much of Crescent City’s harbor.

    The big difference? A tsunami detection system completed in 2008 that gave U.S. officials an accurate forecast of how big the tsunami would be as it hit America’s shores and when it would arrive.

    But now, the $12-million system is under threat. President Trump’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year would end funding to operate the network, which would eventually shut it down. …

    Trump’s budget would also reduce the number of tsunami warning centers from two to one and slash staffing from 40 full-time employees to 15 — saving $11 million. And there’s a proposal to end $6 million in grants given out to states to reduce tsunami hazards, which fund emergency drills and the drawing of flood maps and evacuation plans. …

    1. DH

      Red states are not exposed to tsunami risks (except for Alaska, but they have Sarah Palin to act as a siren since she would be able to see the tsunami from her house). Now if this assault were on the tornado warning systems…..

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        If you market it as an ‘Aliens surfing gigantic tsunami waves sneaking into the country illegally’ warming system, they will not only keep it, but quadruple the money.

      2. Arizona Slim

        What if there was an earthquake beneath the Atlantic Ocean? Wouldn’t that trigger a messy ole tsunami that could aim right smack at the South?

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I think you are underestimating the importance of being a member of God’s chosen people and belief in the power of prayer. People who peddle in belief, prayer, and “hope” can’t be reasoned with so to speak through conventional means as their belief serves as a shield.

          Its very much like the “prosperity gospel,” and the poor don’t vote for obvious reasons. If a bad thing happens to a poor person, its their fault. If it happens to an important person, well, they were just victims or didn’t know. Just see every David Brooks column ever!

          This is what we are dealing with. Awaiting for these people to “learn their lesson” or understand reason is basically a waste of time.

          Yes, Noah’s Ark is amazingly enough the story that will kill all life on Earth.

        2. HotFlash

          Well, b/c of the tectonic plates and subduction zone (ie, the Marianas Trench) , it is the Pacific that is the Ring of Fire — and the tsunami-producing earthquakes, not the Atlantic. More’s thie pity.

          My BFF had classes with J Tuzo Wilson, in that day he was much ridiculed, but a few years later, laughs on the other foot. Erm, shoe?

          1. Oregoncharles

            There is at least one major tsunami threat on the Atlantic: a volcano in the Azores (IIRC) that threatens to collapse into the ocean, capable of causing a wave that would devastate New York and I don;t know how many other cities around the Atlantic.

            The world is always out to get us.

  27. Oregoncharles

    ” “And I can tell you it will not be a yes if the rights of the EU citizens — like also the rights of the U.K. citizens living on the Continent — will be diminished.””

    Good for him for looking out for his constituents, but this is oddly archaic. When Britain is a sovereign state, why would EU citizens have any special rights in it? (And, sotto voce, with what military will the EU enforce such rights?) This attitude is good old colonialism.

    Yes, it would make sense for UK and EU to make mutually advantageous arrangements, as nations do. (“Free movement” does NOT mean residency. Each country could automatically grant the other’s citizens, say, a 2-month visa – but not the right to remain beyond that. People move freely between the US and Canada, but have to apply for residency.) But “rights” don’t apply. This kind of talk seems designed to infuriate the Brits, since it’s fundamentally unrealistic.

    Again, my personal take is that both sides are spouting drivel and mostly acting on emotion at this point. I hope they calm down before it’s too late.

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