Links 8/19/17

From Guardian wildlife images of the week (Mary L). Check out the gorgeous and impressively chill cougar. I want him to visit my office too. He’d make for a great antidote but I can’t use Getty images, so you need to go have a look. The caption:

A puma in an office building in Itapecerica da Serra, São Paulo state, Brazil. It was later rescued by the fire department and delivered to an organisation specialising in wild animals

Trouble Bruin: Vermonters Are Reporting More Problems With Bears Seven Days Vermont. “‘We like to call birdfeed the gateway drug,’ Rogers said. ‘That’s what teaches the bear that your backyard is a really great place for food.'” Resilc (who spends part of the year in VT): “I dont worry about NoKo, ISIS, or Goldman Sachs…..bears!”

Trump Green Lights Arctic Drilling Project in Polar Bear Habitat Ecowatch (furzy) :-(

Still need a pair of solar eclipse glasses? Here’s where to find them. (Maybe.) Washington Post

Fukushima Plant Is Releasing 770,000 Tons of Radioactive Water Into the Pacific Ocean Truthout

Synthetic opioid crisis in US serves as warning for the world, says UN Guardian (furzy)

Standing at work linked to heart disease Toronto Star (Chuck L)

Peanut allergy cured in majority of children in immunotherapy trial Guardian. Chuck L: “A old friend of my died of this allergy several years ago. At a cocktail party he was incorrectly told nothing on offer contained peanuts.”


US to review China intellectual property policies BBC

Cambridge University Press limits access to articles in China Financial Times

The Asian financial crisis: Lessons learned and unlearned CADTM (micael)

We need to talk about the online radicalisation of young, white women New Statesmen. A good focus of inquiry but then it goes into anecdotes which IMHO are too sparse to be seen as getting at what the main drivers and behaviors are. Plus “We need to talk” is insulting. In a headline, it comes off as lecturing to children. Its only proper use is as the four words used to tell a significant other that they are in really hot water. And the article plays up stereotypes about women, and depicts these women as victims/losers, when I have seen well educated upper class women make horribly bigoted remarks in private.

Same-sex marriage: some yes folk are lining up behind the no case The Australian. Google the headline, that got me past the paywall. Rev Kev:

There is a same-sex marriage debate going on here in Oz lately in response to a political promise. The parliamentarians won’t hold an open free vote in Parliament nor will they allow a plebiscite to be held among the people. They say that that the latter would cost $122 million to hold and deliberately ignore the fact that it could be held as the same time as the next federal election. Instead, they are going with a postal vote that will be non-binding in outcome.


Breaking The Silence On Yemen’s Horrifying Cholera Epidemic Rising Up (Ulpanaylaylo). We’ve linked to stories on this tragedy, thanks to the help of alert readers, but it is very much under the radar, apparently by design.

Saudis in talks over alliance to rebuild Iraq and ‘return it to the Arab fold’ Guardian

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

How A Pop Song Could “Watch” You Through Your TV Fast Company

U.S. digital rights group slams tech firms for barring neo-Nazis Reuters (EM). But they haven’t said a peep about them going after alleged evil Rooskie allies and left wing sites.

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Islamic State May Be Failing, but Its Strategic Communications Legacy Is Here to Stay WarontheRocks (resilc)

Mikheil Saakashvili Fails in Mission to Reform Ukraine Der Spiegel. Resilc: “Note to USA USA: send lawyers, guns and money.” Moi: Since when was this ever about reform?

Trump Transition

Bannon exit raises new questions for White House The Hill

Bannon goes on offensive after White House ousting Financial Times. “In previous interviews, Mr Bannon had predicted he would last approximately eight months in the White House — and he did, minus two days.”

Bannon Is ‘Going Nuclear’ Atlantic (resilc)

Steve Bannon is more dangerous outside the Trump White House than in it Quartz. This may prove to be correct, but it is also conventional wisdom. Charlottesville complicates the picture. Even the militias have denounced the neo-Nazis, and Bannon declared white supremacists to be a “collection of clowns” in his Nation interview. So the types who respond to anti-minority dog whistles or explicit appeals for the moment are divided and Bannon dissed them. Will they all kiss and make up or not? Breitbart, Fox, and the Daily Stormer were all pulling together before the election. What happens if they aren’t?

Opinion: Bannon exit is good news, but Trump better brace himself DW. The bigger issue is Trump is now a hostage of Kelly and the Goldmanites. From his perspective, all that managerial chaos and infighting gave him control even if he had no idea what to do with it and kept changing course on almost a daily basis. Will he make even more aggressive use of Twitter and his public appearances, if such a thing is possible, to defy his minders?

THE WHITE HOUSE IS NOW RUN ENTIRELY BY HUCKSTERS, DEMOCRATS, AND GENERALS Intercept. Resilc sent this after I made the comment immediately above.

Corporate Lobbyists and Neo-Liberals Love the Idea of President Pence Real News Network

Much less press on the fact that Carl Ichan left on Aug 18, on the eve of the publication of this story: Carl Icahn’s Failed Raid on Washington New Yorker

After Charlottesville, Donald Trump Reveals His True Face Der Spiegel (resilc). I hate to be a stickler, but I was in NYC when what was then called the “Central Park jogger” case was front page news from weeks on end. No one in the press and punditry, and I mean no one, was on the side of the what turned out to be falsely charged young black men. The media was all ago about the horror of the raped young woman who nearly bled to death and wasn’t particularly attentive to the matter of whether the accused were guilty or not. They were almost universally presumed to be guilty despite the inclusion of the usual “alleged” word. That does not change the fact that this was a racist response and among the racist responses, Trump’s was strident.

Living with Trump, by John R. MacArthur Harper’s (resilc). Key quote:

Loathing for Trump makes people forget that, among other horrors, a coalition of Republicans and Democrats has already wasted around $3.7 trillion in Iraq and Afghanistan, sacrificed the lives of nearly 7,000 American soldiers, and wounded more than 52,000.

Trump’s judge picks snub Democrats Politico (J-LS). While the press was busy relitigating the Civil War….

Why do people believe myths about the Confederacy? Because our textbooks and monuments are wrong. Zinn Education Project (jessmoney). Important. Be sure to read the bit on state’s rights. I was introduced to this as a child. My mother had taught briefly in Charleston in the mid-1950s before I was born (I never lived there). She kept the fifth grade history text. I used it in show and tell somewhere between the third and fifth grade to demonstrate propaganda (although I doubt I used that word at that age). I still remember the part I read, which went something like, “The Civil War and the Reconstruction ruined the fellow feeling between the darkies and their former masters.” “Fellow feeling” and “darkies” were in the text.

Rename US Army Bases for Heroes, not Confederates Defense One. Resilc: “But especially Bragg, who was a loser general, mega asshole and Jeff Davis ass kisser….”

North Carolina Lawmakers Defend Bill Protecting Drivers Who Hit Protesters Truthout

More than 500 police officers will be ready to keep the peace at ‘Boston Free Speech’ rally Boston Globe (furzy). They are not fooling around: “… city officials vowed to shut it down if it turns violent…the permit issued by the city is for only 100 people.” Plus in addition to the obvious fact that Boston is a huge higher ed town and students are guaranteed to be heavily opposed to the march, Irish were considered to be not white not all that long ago in historical terms, so it’s hard to see any sources of local support.

Google and ProPublica team up to build a national hate crime database TechCrunch. This is really bad. First, this is algo driven. Second, this is Google conflating “Hate News” with “hate crime” which can be determined only after a proper legal process. If this were just journalists, I’d feel a lot better, and it is not at all clear why anything more than mature database tools which now work on ginormous databases is needed. I know academics who run complex analyses on databases with millions of records all on their own and this database is not going to be anywhere near that large. We’ve seen how they’ve been censoring the left over strained “fake news” claims. So here we have them as judge and jury on “hate news”. And what extralegal sanctions will they impose?

Starbucks chairman questions the ‘moral fibre’ of the US Independent. A global tax avoider and creator of McJobs not willing to look at his role in creating social stress. Help me. Or as Mark Blyth put it: “The Hamptons are not a defensible position.”

Laguna Beach Installing Barriers To Protect Pedestrians Against Weaponized Cars CBS Los Angeles (resilc). If we ever get to self-driving cars, which we at NC doubt, no one appears to have considered that they would make for ideal weapons, whether with bombs in them or not. Just imagine a car set to rampage on a freeway during rush hour, where cars would be even more tightly packed in a driverless regime than now.

U.S. Has 3.5 Million More Registered Voters Than Live Adults — A Red Flag For Electoral Fraud Investors (micael)

Fracking Giant Sues Dimock Resident for $5M for Speaking to Media About Water Contamination Ecowatch (furzy)

More Headline Amusement: Consumer Sentiment Surges Michael Shedlock (EM)

What Ford’s New Guy Said about the Future of Self-Driving Cars Wolf Richter. EM:

Ford, trying hard to reinvent itself as a Silicon Valley unicorn. Also, I am extremely skeptical of the Waymo numbers, since those are, AFAICT, self-reported. Cue any troubled TBTF bank circa 2007: ‘according to our internal valuations and risk metrics, we are doing great!’

Wisconsin lawmakers vote to pay Foxconn $3 billion to get new factory ars technica (resilc). Corporate welfare. See our post on how terrible a deal this is.

Tesla’s Priced-for-Perfection Bonds Fall Within Week of Sale Bloomberg

Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Fires Back At Investors In Fraud Lawsuit Buzzfeed. Includes the filing.

Wal-Mart Applies for Patent for Blimp-Style Floating Warehouse Bloomberg. Peak Walmart, in both senses of the word.

Mental bias leaves us unprepared for disaster Financial Times. Speak for yourself. It’s not “mental bias,” it’s the degradation of collective and individual responsibility among our elites and the rise of the “IBG/YBG” attitude. And Katrina is a terrible example. The Army Corps of Engineers failed to repair the levees for years and even admitted to it years ago

A contrite U.S. Army Corps of Engineers took responsibility Thursday for the flooding of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina and said the levees failed because they were built in a disjointed fashion using outdated data.

This was not primarily the fault of the city as the article falsely implies.

Class Warfare

Two Sides to Every Issue: the Tedium Twins Debate the Crucifixion, Slavery and Cannibalism Alexander Cockburn, Counterpunch. Brutal. Way better than the headline.

Economic Update: Economics as Deception Truthout. Interview with Michael Hudson.

Neoliberalism: the idea that swallowed the world Guardian (John L)

Antidote du jour. Phil D:

Photos taken on scree slope on Luggala Mountain in Wicklow, Ireland. The second/third [this one below is the third] is a Peacock butterfly on a rock, surrounded by bilberry.

And a bonus antidote (resilc)

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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