Links 9/27/17

One of Earth’s Largest Living Organisms Is About to Have Its Genome Sequenced Motherboard (David L). Surprised this hasn’t been done already.

CONFIRMED: A Huge Gravitational Wave Announcement Is About to Happen Science Alert (David L)

Why Your Orange Juice Might Be From Brazil: Florida’s Trees Are Dying Wall Street Journal

Forget Countdowns – Climate Catastrophe Has Started in the High Mountains of Asia The Wire (J-LS)

Armed with wet sacks, India’s poorest try to beat extreme heat Reuters

The Answers To Climate Change Are Here – They Aren’t Telling You! Lee Camp, YouTube

End-of-life chatbot can help you with difficult final decisions New Scientist (Dr. Kevin)


‘The real gender gap’: Young men falling behind women in everything but STEM subjects Montreal Gazette (Liam)

Saudi Arabia driving ban on women to be lifted BBC. Note that contrary to the story above, women do better than men in math and science in high school in the Middle East.

North Korea

Time for China to talk Korean war plans with US? Asia Times

North Korea taps GOP analysts to better understand Trump and his messages Washington Post

What Vietnam Must Teach Us about North Korea and Iran LobeLog. Resilc: “The US leaders will lie and lie?”

Arun Jaitley May Be the Fall Guy, But Modi Is Truly to Blame for India’s Economic Slowdown The Wire (J-LS)

Rohingya Crisis: Focus on ‘Intolerant Religion’ Disregards Complex Moral and Policy Challenges Engage

A Tax Cut for Cleaning? Italians Take Up Bartering in Stagnant Economy Wall Street Journal


Theresa May ‘took dictation’ from Brussels in keynote EU speech when she agreed to pay Brexit divorce bill Telegraph

Brexit Conundrum: What to Do With Thousands of Derivatives Contracts Wall Street Journal (Li). Note it would serve the EU to create doubt as to whether an overall agreement will be reached so as to encourage new contracts to be signed with EU rather than UK banks.

Labour preparing for run on the pound, admits Corbyn The Times. The stock market was also supposed to crash if Trump won…

Fears for 4,000 British jobs as Bombardier hit with 219pc US tariffs in subsidy dispute Telegraph. So much for May’s expectation of getting a great trade deal with the US.

Macron calls for new EU ‘strategic culture’ Politico

AfD politician says Germany should stop atoning for Nazi crimes Defend Democracy

New Cold War

The Rise of the New McCarthyism Consortium News (Sid S)

Economic Sanctions Against Russia Flop: The first comprehensive study of anti-Russia sanctions shows they hit EU much more than Russia Vineyard of the Saker (Kevin W)

The “Russian Influence” Story Falls Apart – A New Fairy Tale Is Needed Moon of Alabama (UserFriendly). Important. That mere $100,000 of ads by “Russian actors” included ones for Hillary and ones for and against Black Lives Matter.

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

NSA Targeted 106,000 Foreigners in Spy Program Up for Renewal Bloomberg

CD158: Rapid DNA Act Congressional Dish (Sean). “In this episode, we explore the expansion of DNA collection and storage by law enforcement and examine a new law that will further that trend.”

New York City is ramping up efforts to collect genetic data for crime analysis, but the process is unregulated The Trace (David L)

DHS planning to collect social media info on all immigrants The Hill (UserFriendly)

Trump Transition

What The World Thinks Of Trump FiveThirtyEight (UserFriendly)

Trump’s State-Tax Plan Could Cause Headaches for 52 Republican Lawmakers Bloomberg. As we’ve said, every loophole has a constituency…

Roger Stone: Trump adviser denies Russia collusion during 2016 election Guardian

The Paris Agreement Dispute Is a Distraction. The Real Battle Is Playing Out in the EPA. Intercept (UserFriendly)

UserFriendly: “Looks like enlisted men can’t support DSA”:

Moore wins Alabama primary The Hill. As my mother who lives in Alabama says, “There are a lot of crazies running around, but he’s the worst. I hope like hell the Democrats beat him in December.”

Nine Thoughts After the Alabama Senate Runoff Inside Elections (UserFriendly)

Moore’s win spells trouble for GOP establishment in 2018 Politico

Corker to end Senate career with this term The Hill

GOP Tax Plan to Allow for Top Individual Rate Above 35% Wall Street Journal

Please watch the video. This is a disgrace:

US won’t waive shipping restrictions for Puerto Rico relief The Hill

New Mexico governor wants politicians off investment council Associated Press. This a an about face resulting from International Business Times’ reporting.

The Feds Actually Expect Wall Street Bankers to Police Themselves Vice. Ahem, the Republicans know exactly what they are doing, which is creating an excuse to cut CFTC funding and lower banks’ cost of doing business fines. A twofer!

Fed’s Yellen says gradual hikes should continue, despite weak inflation Reuters (UserFriendly)

Is CalPERS Going Private? El Cerrito Progressives

Should We Move to a Mostly Cashless Society? Wall Street Journal (Li). Even the cash defender wants to get rid of $100 bills to reduce criminal activity. What about people who want to keep a stash for emergencies? During Sandy, there was no power in the dark zone for the better part of a week, so no Internet transactions were possible. I know well off people in August and September 2008 who pulled $50,000 out of their banks because thought a bank holiday was a real possibility.

Global economy at risk a decade on from financial crisis, says WEF Guardian

Class Warfare

Deconstructing Anti-Intellectualism

Immigrant family warned Oklahoma cops about neighbor’s racist obsession before killing Raw Story (furzy)

Plea Bargains Are a Travesty. There’s Another Way. Bloomberg (JTM)

A Hospital Crisis Is Killing Rural Communities. This State Is ‘Ground Zero.’ Huffington Post (resilc)

Uber Doesn’t Need To Go Public To Face Stock-Drop Lawsuits DealBreaker (J-LS)

Antidote du jour. Stephen L: “When you lied on your resume about having sheep herding experience…”

And a bonus (furzy):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. UserFriendly

      Ok I was only half way through the WSJ article when I commented. The MMT take is only on the tax discount part not the parallel currencies. I had no Idea Italy had parallel currencies, but that would make them probably the best candidate to exit the Euro, assuming that the parallel currencies work with the existing ATMs or that they could be adapted to with less fuss than starting anew like Greece would have had to do. Go 5 Star!

      Or am I totally ahead of my ski’s? Clive?

  1. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, J-LS for the link to the impact of climate change on the mountains of Asia.

    It’s not just there.

    I have been visiting Chamonix for the past forty years and have photos of the Bossons glacier from my first visit in 1975 and last visit in 2014. The decline is amazing.

    Some of my cousins (and me to a minute extent, but that is another story) co-own a sugar plantation (Tanganyka Plantation Company) on the slopes of Kilimanjaro, Moshi district. It belonged to the family of Karen Blixen at one stage. The rellies bought their stake from the Tanzanian government in the late 1990s. As with la glace des Bossons in Chamonix, photos from then and a couple of years ago show the rapid decline in snow cover.

    I have been in France for the past month. The difference in coverage of the cyclones between the UK and French broadcasters is revelatory. French TV often features scientists. They make the link with global warming, warmer oceans and rising sea levels. UK TV features the odd Met Office official or weather presenter and never dares mention climate change.

    One also gets the impression that as long as these disasters happen well away from home (Europe or North America), there is nothing to get excited about. If playgrounds like Miami and St Barth’s had not been affected, the MSM and social media would not have bothered.

    The reporting on French TV was also revelatory. White victims tended to be interviewed. If black people were shown, they were either looting or being helped by white relief workers.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      The retreat of the glaciers in the Himalayas is all too obvious, even to the naked eye. The first time I was in the high plains of Ladakh, just over 10 years ago, it was easy to see the raw ground left behind by retreating corrie glaciers, and how the local people were forced to reconstruct the amazing little canals they build to trap glacier water to provide water for their villages and garden plots.

      While the loss of Alpine ice cover is sad for winter sports lovers, it doesn’t have huge implications for Europe as a whole. But the Himalaya glaciers are crucial for maintaining dry season flows of the great rivers of India and China. The implications for agriculture and supplying cities for water for hundreds of millions of people are obvious. The Chinese certainly understand this, hence their determination to secure as much of the Tibetan plateau as possible and to control the river sources. I think the Indians and Pakistani’s are only just waking up to the implications.

      It hardly needs to be stated that all three are nuclear powers.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, PK.

        Your comments, as with Brexit, should be read in the western corridors of power. I often point civil servants et al working on Brexit to NC and your comments in particular.

        On another note and further to the thread on gentrification, like you, I enjoy walking around the areas that have retained their architectural masterpieces. I am lucky enough to work, mainly, at Spitalfields and just off the Champs-Elysees and have worked around Covent Garden and Marylebone. Let me know when you next visit London, it would be great to meet, say, around Clerkenwell or Bloomsbury.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          It would be a pleasure Col., I’ll be sure to let you know when I visit next.

          I have to say though (I’m not just saying this to be polite), you are far more clued in to whats going on with Brexit than I am. For a variety of reasons, the few knowledgable ‘sources’ I know have gone quiet recently so I’m just looking in from the outside.

          1. Herky

            CS and PK-
            I, and no doubt many others, always enjoy and appreciate the insights you bring to Brexit and a range of other issues here at NC. I’ve referred friends and colleagues to NC and your comments within as unique and critical sources for meaningful insights. Thanks for your engagement, and thanks as always to our ever-overworked hosts for once again enabling comments. Cheers!

              1. Colonel Smithers

                Thank you, Herky and Terry.

                Yves has attracted an amazing community here. I am rarely productive before 9:30 and at lunchtime as I read NC before doing any work.

              2. PlutoniumKun

                And thank you too from me.

                Like the Colonel, this site has sadly reduced my morning (and occasionally afternoon) productivity, its far more interesting than my actual work.

                On Brexit though, I have to say that my contributions seem likely to be less useful. Being entirely honest, some of my predictions (for example, that the EU would take a much more aggressive line in taking jobs from the UK from day one) have been wrong. I think many European insiders have been wrongfooted, ironically enough, by the sheer incompetence of London.

                I’m beginning to suspect that its not just the UK which has been assuming that somehow some sort of deal would be worked out, and haven’t prepared for the worst. From what I can tell, there has been zero work done by the Irish government in addressing how they would seal off the border – they’ve taken far too literally their words that its Britains problem. Its not – Ireland will need to at least double its number of customs officials with all that entails. I wonder if the same applies in France, the Netherlands, etc.

                So right now I feel like I know less about what Brexit will entail than I did a few months ago. I really have no idea what the endgame is in the minds of the EU negotiators, who are the ones who will really shape the outcome.

                1. Mark P.

                  PK wrote: I really have no idea what the endgame is in the minds of the EU negotiators, who are the ones who will really shape the outcome.

                  There’s no final certainty of that either. The EU negotiators aren’t going to be the shapers of the outcome if the Brexit Ultras get their wish of crashing out, for instance, which is looking increasingly possible.

                  “Prediction is hard, especially about the future.”

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Jerri-Lynn, that looks very interesting. There are very large areas of Tibet which are more or less out of public view, but have attracted a lot of attention from Chinese water engineers.

          I think it was 2006 when I visited north India and lots of lower Himalayan roads were cut off – I was told they’d all been washed away when the Chinese unexpectedly opened up the flood gates for several large dams. There may have been a technical reason for this, but there was also a suspicion that this was China’s way of reminding India of who controlled much of the high watersheds.

          Incidentally, I forgot to mention above that in addition, much of SE Asia depends on water from the Himalaya too. Its a major issue for the Vietnamese that the Mekong Delta is likely to shrink rapidly due to up river dams in China and Laos. I do believe the Vietnamese would be quite prepared to go to war to protect the flow of the Mekong, its of critical importance to the country for all sorts of reasons.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Thanks for linking that website.

          The history of Imperial Chinese can be said to begin with the legendary Xia dynasty, the founder of which was Yu the Great (, the first great water engineer of China.

          Another great water engineer was Li Bing ( He had to deal with his Tibetans/Indians/Vietnamese of his day. From Wiki:

          Steven Sage describes from the Shiji that the first thing Li Bing did was set up a temple to honor the Min deity. He then offered his own two daughters as brides to the deity. But first he set up a large nuptial banquet along the river. He offered a toast. But the deity did not drink his glass of wine. Deeply offended, Li Bing runs off sword drawn. Two bulls prepared in advance were then seen by the crowd fighting along the river bank. Symbolically, this was Li Bing in a duel with the deity. Li Bing returns to the scene sweating as if in battle and calls for assistance. One of his lieutenants ran up to the bull that Li Bing had pointed out was the deity and killed the bull. The river spirit was subdued. “Through the medium of the bull, Li Bing had won.”(Sage 150-151{Shiji, ch.116, xi nan yi lie zhuan, pp 2995–2996.})

          The First Emperor, Qin Shihuang, also knew the importance of water engineering. He ordered the construction of the canal, g. Again, from Wikipedia:

          The Lingqu (simplified Chinese: 灵渠; traditional Chinese: 靈渠; pinyin: Líng Qú; literally: “Magic Canal”) is a canal in Xing’an County, near Guilin, in the northwestern corner of Guangxi, China. It connects the Xiang River (which flows north into the Yangtze) with the Li River (which flows south into the Gui River and Xijiang), and thus is part of a historical waterway between the Yangtze and the Pearl River Delta. It was the first canal in the world to connect two river valleys and enabled boats to travel 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) from Beijing to Hong Kong.[1]


          Then, you have the Grand Canal. From you-know-where:

          The Grand Canal (also known as the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal), a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the longest canal or artificial river in the world and a famous tourist destination.[1] Starting at Beijing, it passes through Tianjin and the provinces of Hebei, Shandong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang to the city of Hangzhou, linking the Yellow River and Yangtze River. The oldest parts of the canal date back to the 5th century BC, but the various sections were first connected during the Sui dynasty (581–618 AD). The Yuan and Ming dynasties significantly rebuilt the canal and altered its route to supply their capital Beijing.

          There were other not-necessarily-water-related mega projects in Chinese history.

          To converse with China about their current projects (harebrained was one of the words used by Meltdown-in-Tibet), one has to be understand what people in China are assuming, given China’s history.

        3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          To add, this was what Li Bing did (from my usual source):

          Li Bing (Chinese: 李冰; pinyin: Lǐ Bīng; c. 3rd century BC) was a Chinese irrigation engineer and politician of the Warring States period. He served the state of Qin as an administrator and has become renowned for his association with the Dujiangyan Irrigation System, the construction of which he is traditionally said to have instigated and overseen. Because of the importance of this 2000-year-old irrigation system to the development of Sichuan and the Yangtze River region, Li Bing became a great Chinese cultural icon, hailed as a great civil administrator and water conservation expert. In Chinese mythology, he is known as the vanquisher of the River God and is compared to the Great Yu.[1] Dujiangyan is still in use today and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

      1. Polar Donkey

        I went hiking on the Franz Joseph in 1999. While hiking, I met a woman that worked for the US Antarctic Program. She gave me a phone number to call when I got back to the states. I called and got a job. I spent 2 summers at South Pole and a winter at Palmer Station. Changed the course of my life. Sad to think others will not be able to have a chance encounter like that on those glaciers.

        1. Wukchumni

          I guess I went the first time in the mid 80’s. My wife and I were on a guided trip on Fox about a dozen years ago, and we came across a huge boulder lying on the ice, and in the High Sierra, we call those erratics, as the boulders just lay down wherever the ice receded completely, all helter skelter-like, but the Southern Alps are a way different mountain range from the Sierra Nevada, in that it’s a mini-Himalaya with peaks that have 5,000 feet of glaciers and ice to get to summits, etc. But that said, it has the feel of what the Sierra Nevada must’ve been like 5,000 years ago draped in ice.

          So, I ask him: What do you call that?

          And he says: “a rock”

          My wife just cracks up laughing…

          And then I explain my mountains to him~

  2. UserFriendly

    North Korea taps GOP analysts to better understand Trump and his messages Washington Post

    NK rules out freeze for freeze, in no doubt due to Trump demonstrating that the US is ‘not agreement capable’ by saying he is backing out of the Iran deal.

    How many seconds to midnight?

    With any luck I’ll get hit by the first nuke. I am so sick of all this BS.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      The potential for this going hot is very high. There seems few options for dialing back tensions and of all conflicts, this is the one that is likely to go nuclear the quickest. I’m pretty sure that the military advice to Trump is that only a pre-emptive nuclear strike could prevent NK from launching its own nukes and biochem weapons.

      The only hope I see is that China and Russia along with South Korea can come up with something to cool things down. I do wonder if Trumps crazy man statements are intended to frighten the Chinese into dealing with NK one way or another, although I doubt he is that strategic.

      1. UserFriendly

        It just makes me that much madder at the ridiculous identity politics left that decided Bannon needed to go after charlottesville. Bannon being the only person with Trumps ear that had any sanity on a dozen or so issues. Sure, he is a bit too friendly with the white supremacist crowd but seriously was it worth it to kill any populist / anti war sentiment in the WH?

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        I don’t think mental health is involved. To me Trump is simply searching for a low hanging foreign policy victory, a time honored tradition among leaders. The initial NK rumblings occurred after the first ACA repeal debacle.

        I suspect there is an element in the FP establishment that desperately wants China to have its own Iraq similar to the USSR’s Afghanistan experience. I believe Trump would be attracted to this kind of reasoning. He gets an international agreement then can run stories of inevitable Chinese brutality (a consequence of any occupation) for the good of U.S. backed corporations competing with the Chinese. Trump’s rhetoric as bizarre as it is at times has focused on China taking responsibility.

        To me, the childlike belief in wunder weapons is the danger. The idea we can simply slip in American super soldiers or target a missile to achieve the aim of regime change is seductive.

        1. Mark P.

          NTG wrote: ‘Trump is simply searching for a low hanging foreign policy victory … The initial NK rumblings occurred after the first ACA repeal debacle.

          Trump and the U.S. don’t ultimately get to be in charge of when North Korea features as a threat. It’s naive to imagine that they do.

          Pyongyang, and the capabilities of its scientists and engineers, are the ultimate deciders here.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Maybe the entire west coast plus Hawaii will secede, declaring neutrality like Switzerland, so Kim will have to wait till he can make his missiles go further to get back at Trump.

      Then, there is one more question: Will Trump preserve the union?

    1. fresno dan

      tracie hall
      September 27, 2017 at 7:41 am

      When you lied on your resume about having sheep herding experience…”

      FOX commentators would say this is due to liberals prohibiting sheepherders from asking dogs what breed they are and reverse discriminating against border collies….. ;)

        1. fresno dan

          September 27, 2017 at 10:10 am

          Local dog attempts to join herd, fails.
          Looks to me the dog is about as well joined as could be ;)

          Dog: It is day 87 and the sheep have accepted me as one of their own. I have grown to understand and respect their gentle ways. Now I question everything I thought I once knew ….

          ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: Yes, that is from an Amazon review

          1. JustAnObserver

            O.k. FD inquiring NC minds are desperate to know. How did you come across that review !?

            Is there a crazy-reviews-on-Amazon culture I’m missing out on ? For those for whom southern views of northbound Kardashians have lost their attraction ?

  3. fresno dan

    Nine Thoughts After the Alabama Senate Runoff Inside Elections (UserFriendly)

    Moore’s win spells trouble for GOP establishment in 2018 Politico

    Despite the internet, and all the crap about how information wants to be free, I for the life of me, can’t find the complete text of Moore or Bannon at their victory party. A google search for the Roy Moore campaign site just gets me mainstream media articles. Link would be appreciated.
    I saw a snippet of Bannon’s comments on TV, and I almost get the impression it was inadvertent, as Bannon railed against fat cats, Wall street, and silicon valley – Bannon sounded as left as Sanders, and said things neither dems or repubs would say….

    To me the question is always how much of the Trump phenomenon is due primarily to reactionarism, and how much to economic discontent. Again, saying you won’t cut social security or medicare doesn’t mean your sincere about that, or that you will drain the swamp and than hire more Goldman Sachs alumni than anyone, but if Trump says that and Hillary won’t, it is a factor. But it sure seems to me there is an unwillingness to point out that both parties are of the establishment. Both the “liberal” and FOX press play to Moore’s social conservatism, but both “left” and “right” press dare not address economic populism….its as if the ONLY taboo is saying anything disparaging about the wealthy.

    1. fresno dan

      fresno dan
      September 27, 2017 at 8:12 am

      OK, apologies to Google

      merely putting “campaign” at the end of “Roy Moore for Alabama Senate” got me to to the Roy Moore site.
      So, not very detailed, but seemed pretty standard “Trumpism”
      We must return American manufacturing to our Country by rescinding unfair “free trade” agreements which have severely damaged our economy through loss of jobs and skill development. The phrase “Made in America” should mean something again.

      Some wealseling on the wall:
      We must allow willing states (like Arizona) to protect the health, safety, and welfare of their citizens, and use our own military to protect our border. If a wall is our only option, then we should build it immediately.

      We should not be entangled in foreign wars merely at the whim and caprice of a President.
      Which president(s) wars? Any examples? Inquiring minds want to know!

    2. UserFriendly

      I wouldn’t rule out a Dem victory here yet. The southern black turnout machine is very reliable. Moore only won his most recent general election by 4 points. The party in the white house is usually complacent and has a harder time turning out voters. If Mass can elect Scott Brown in 2010’s special election (MA had 61% voter turnout in 2008 with Obama winning by 25 points, then it had 54% turnout in 2010 with Brown winning by 5 points) then it is totally plausible that Alabama could elect a dem in 2017’s special election as a backlash to Trump (AL had 64% voter turnout in 2016 with Trump winning by 27 points). It is practically a mirror image, flawed candidates and all.

      1. jo6pac

        Yep, I’m sure dnc and friends are on their way to register voters like they have done in the last election. Oh what’s that they don’t do that any more but maybe they can steal voters away mad man moore. That’s worked so well in the past.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          The GOP won Alabama Senate elections by two to one margins in recent years including in 2008 when there was opposition. I’m not sure Alabama is in reach. In 2006, the GOP only won the governor’s race by 16 points.

          The example of Massachusetts ignores Democratic and Republican voters are simply different, not two sides of the same coin. Coakley based her campaign on winning reliably liberal Newton, Massachusetts, ignoring working class Democratic areas both black and white in areas Democrats had organized in the past where Coakley saw sharp declines. Republicans being more likely to be older, suburban, and homeowners tend to have less obstacles to voting and vote in reliable numbers. Moore, whatever else he is, will still have a dedicated GOP turnout operation, and a Republican party that reliably voted for Trump. The Democrats will have resources dedicated to protecting incumbents.

          1. UserFriendly

            Having been born in Jewton I mean Newton (I was the only non jew in my elementary school) I can assure you it isn’t all that liberal but it is most certainly not working class. I lived in the about 10 house ‘ghetto’ (comparatively anyways). I remember going to classmates birthday parties in some crazy mansions….. One kid had a house by the river with a full basketball court and soccer field in his yard. But yeah, she does appear to have tried to run up the score with rich people.

            I’m by no means saying a Dem victory is guaranteed or even likely, but I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised. Moore’s strength is entirely in the rural parts of the state. I could easily see the chamber of commerce wing of the GOP in the urban centers being put off by his anti-gay and extreme social conservatism and not showing up to vote. With an enthusiastic anti Trump dem base a dem victory isn’t impossible.

          2. fresno dan

            September 27, 2017 at 10:38 am

            I always enjoy your insights so much. So tell me, do you think there is such a thing as “Trumpism” – an actual series of policy preferences that even Trump has to stick to or is Trumpism merely a cult of personality? Could Trump go all in for DACA and it would have no consequences for Trump?
            Did Moore win because he is more of a true reflection of Trumpism, or was he merely a one off?
            And finally, is the split between Trumpism and estabishment republicans serious, or much ado about nothing and will have no lasting impact on the republican party???

            1. UserFriendly

              Trumpism is all about class. The rural poor have been increasingly backing the GOP because the dems are elitist snobs who call them racists and the chamber of commerce GOP is all about handouts to the rich. Trumpism was a way for poor rural whites to embrace the GOP more thoroughly without having to give up the few life rafts they have like medicare and SS. Years of propaganda has made them think that the GOP knows what to do to fix the economy. The chamber of commerce GOP is just in it for the tax cuts and that cleavage is starting to show.

            2. NotTimothyGeithner

              The alliance of the “Southern Strategy” which was more than just Dixiecrats has always created a division between country club Republicans and the rabble. There has also been a divide between the outwardly religious and everyone else. Trump’s phony praying to the wrong god and the wrong direction is a welcome relief compared to Pence’s “keep the women away from me” act.

              This was an agreement proposed and ratified over 40 to 50 years ago with several notable conflicts such the 1980 election or the Perot supporter defection. Except for abortion in the case of the religious right, I think Trump’s status as an outsider and now President who defeated the candidates of the various groups gives him credibility gives him power no Republican elite or group of elites can muster. I don’t know how far he might be followed, but as a challenger, I sense he has authority within the rank and file of the various groups to make changes if he pitches them well.

              As the “wall” was one of the only concrete buzzwords he had, DACA might be a bridge too far. As for Moore, I believe anyone connected to Congressional leadership will have a tough time under any circumstance for both parties. No one can polish Ryan, McConnell, and Pelosi. Schumer might be new enough to not be problematic, but the others will just get your hands dirty.

            1. WobblyTelomeres

              You are right. Doug Jones’ resume, especially for prosecuting two klansmen for the 1963 church bombing, may help GOTV. I really hope it is enough.

            2. NotTimothyGeithner

              The problem with organizing through churches is younger people aren’t attending church in the same numbers as previous generations. The turnout for Hillary against Trump was nothing. Without a direct and well established organizing system that goes beyond churches, there won’t be any kind of worthwhile opposition.

              As far as the primary, Hillary’s numbers were from the primary, and total primary participation was down by almost 200,000 votes from 2008. Certainly, the Clinton campaign learned a few lessons from 2008, and Sanders operation besides having to deal with a much smaller profile and organization as well as the specter of broken promises from Obama organizers. As far as the general, Hillary had 90,000 less votes than Obama from 2008 and 70,000 less from 2012. The GOTV organizations are dead or not going to be accomplished through churches. Trump picked up 60,000 votes over #resistance hero, Romney.

              1. HotFlash

                The GOTV organizations are dead

                You mean such as ACORN? And you know, they were never revived. Odd that — or not. Seems the Dem party rulers are about as interested in Black votes as they are in Black lives.

                1. JBird4049

                  And this is news? :-)

                  When was the last time either party really paid attention to most Americans?

                  Unless you have a big fat wallet, the leadership in both parties just want your votes, and your silence.

            3. NotTimothyGeithner

              In 2014, Mark Warner was re-elected in a state we had flipped from red to blue by 50,000 less votes than George Allen had when he lost in 2006. Without Warner’s old time popularity, Ed Gillespie might be a Senator. Old organizations aren’t doing the job.

  4. PlutoniumKun

    Fears for 4,000 British jobs as Bombardier hit with 219pc US tariffs in subsidy dispute Telegraph. So much for May’s expectation of getting a great trade deal with the US.

    This is very serious for the deal with the DUP. Bombardier is the last big high paying engineering employer (apart from the government) in Northern Ireland, and its traditionally a strong Protestant employer – i.e. the employees are likely DUP voters. So for the DUP it would be politically cataclysmic for it to close and it would be devastating for Belfast even if it wasn’t facing the trainwreck of Brexit.

    May is in a bind because Boeing have been dropping hints that they are also a major employer in Britain – or more specifically in England so she has to thread carefully. The only possible way May could get Trump to change his mind over this is to offer something really big – I’ve no idea what that could be. The only other alternative is to accept this as a fait accompli and hand Bombadier a big military contract as compensation to save the jobs, but this is likely to cost billions and is likely politically untenable.

    Its hard not to see this as the end of Bombadier in Northern Ireland. Trudeau will do everything he can to protect Canadian jobs – the NI plant is marginal to his concerns. The C-Series is probably a disaster anyway – the Delta deal was the last gasp effort to protect it. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a Chinese (or even Indian) buy out of whats left of the Canadian aircraft industry, and the whole point of that would be to bring the technology to Asia, the NI plant would be irrelevant to the concerns of a future buyer.

    Its impossible to see the deal between the Conservatives and the DUP surviving the closure of the plant, so this is yet another wild card in the whole Brexit/Tory clusterf**k.

    1. John k

      Boeing, trump et al are dumb as posts. China will buy bombardier, making these jets china jets… tax them and china will tax Boeing jets that compete with airbus… and that’s big business.
      And this is just the kind of foreign investment that china loves, as opposed to real estate… get tech, know how, even tooling, then china builds it better and at lower price. Perfect stepping stone towards bigger single aisle like 737, and then the twin aisle, displacing both Boeing and airbus, say in 2040.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Real estate is not bad.

        I am sure they would like to have Puerto Rico…pour money in now, help them get independence, and be their Cuba.

  5. PlutoniumKun

    Brexit Conundrum: What to Do With Thousands of Derivatives Contracts Wall Street Journal (Li). Note it would serve the EU to create doubt as to whether an overall agreement will be reached so as to encourage new contracts to be signed with EU rather than UK banks.

    Re:, Yves comment – one thing I’ve been curious about is at what point the EU will decide that there is more to gain by raising the spectre of a hard chaotic Brexit in order to chase jobs out of the UK into European countries. So far, they have (officially at least) played it very straight, saying they want a mutual deal and believe it can be done – whatever they think in private.

    But there will surely come a time when it will become overt policy to point out publically to both UK industries and, probably more importantly, foreign investors in the UK, that they should start looking elsewhere for their European manufacturing plants and research bases. This is undoubtedly happening quietly in private meetings, but at some stage I think individual EU governments will start seeing it as a zero sum game, and actively start agitating for a policy of active mercantilism against the UK, and part of this would obviously be scaremongering* about the consequences of a hard exit.

    *or telling the truth.

    1. JTMcPhee

      I expect many of us, unsteeped in the nuances of High Finance, may have some difficulty working up any sympathy or concern about the defenestration of derivatives contracts. Which we at least sense to be a massive and growing source of tripwire vulnerability in the globalized political economy. Hard to see redeeming social value in these complex casino transactions, where the parties pocket the gains, occasionally get it in the “Big Shorts,” and the rest of us “socialize the losses.” How many quadrillion “notional dollars” are floating around in the moneyspace, anyway?

  6. Basil Pesto

    re: gravitational wave news – a couple of days ago I was sitting at a big table reading a novel minding me own business. A woman asks “is anyone sitting here?” and I say no. Before I know it I’m sureounded by about a dozen young neckbeards, with conference lanyards that had a distinctly spacey motif. “Has my table just been invaded by participants in some kind of astrophysics conference?” (coincidentally, I was in a deep cosmological wiki-hole just last week). Turns out the International Astronautical Conference is in town. Apparently Musk-lord is giving a SpaceX oriented talk on Friday. This g-wave news should have them all in a tizzy.

      1. WobblyTelomeres

        Re: moon base alpha

        The SpaceX Falcon Heavy will probably be used to build Newt’s dream. SpaceX’s landing and subsequent reuse of the first stage is one incredible leap forward for space flight.

        The next leap will revolve around radiation shielding and that won’t be trivial. We haven’t sent a human outside of our magnetosphere since Apollo 17 in 1972. Note: we may have sent bacteria to Mars, there were some planetary protection protocol issues in the late aughts with one of the JPL rover missions. JPL is, understandably, a bit defensive on the subject.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            So, the invasion of Mars had begun.

            Hopefully, our bacteria army will do the job.

            (Did we first declare war, formally, on the planet?)

      2. Darn

        Richly ironic during the attempt at a new cold war. I mean I know they had Apollo-Soyuz but that was during détente…

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I’m afraid my first thought on reading that was that ‘The Gravitation Waves’ would be a great name for a band.

  7. UserFriendly

    ‘The real gender gap’: Young men falling behind women in everything but STEM subjects Montreal Gazette (Liam)

    The reason there aren’t more men in early childhood education is that there is still a lot of stigma and assumptions about men who choose to spend time with other people’s children… that they are either gay or a pedafile or both. I used to teach swimming lessons to kids and even that was dramatically female dominated. There are also some young girls that burst out crying any time they are assigned any male teacher. Even if their mother is right there on the pool deck the entire time.

    1. cojo

      I know this is anecdotal, but my young sons preferred female swim instructors at an early age. I think this may likely be both an instinctual as well as nurtured behavior.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        It can be learned behavour. I used to look after a Japanese friends little girl when she needed a babysitter because the girl from a very early age always refused point blank to ever let a woman look after her, but would happily play and stay with any male, including me (and I’m not exactly the child friendly sort).

        My friends theory is that her female Japanese friends would instinctively try to teach the little girl to speak Japanese and behave like a ‘proper’ little girl -something she was allergic to from age 2. So she grew up associating women (especially Asian women) with being forced to do things she hated.

      2. Ned

        Of course your sons did.
        I preferred female dental students as well when I was poor.
        Nothing like being smothered in a woman’s bosom compared to some clown that wants to talk about sports the whole time.

        1. Lee

          Ditto: as a student I generally found greater rapport with women teachers and currently all but one of the 6 doctors I see these days are women. I find this to be a pretty fair consolation for advancing age and illness. I recall reading an interview with Sartre in which he stated that he much preferred the company of women to that of most men whom he found by comparison to be socially and emotionally inept and clownish.

  8. Livius Drusus

    Re: cashless society, crime prevention is always used as an argument for totalitarian measures. If microchipping humans ever occurs it will be sold as an anti-crime measure, mostly to reduce abductions. We have already seen how this has played out with the introduction of CCTV cameras in public places and anti-mask laws.

    In addition to the practical use of cash in emergencies, there is also the power cash gives you in everyday transactions. I don’t have to worry about some faceless hacker on the other side of the globe getting at my money or financial data. Look at the recent high-profile hacks like Equifax. I am glad that many of the comments to the WSJ article were pro-cash and understood this point. Sure, it might be dangerous to carry around a lot of cash but at least I have physical control over it instead of having to rely on technical experts and distant organizations to protect me all the time.

    1. Wukchumni

      The paper is the trickiest part, but damn near everything else you would need to counterfeit paper money is right there, on your computer.

      Cash may have been king, but it’s just a gesture now.

      1. Ned

        Talk to us after a week long power failure and your ATM and credit cards no longer work.
        Learn about whistleblowers in the military whose credit cards and bank accounts have been frozen.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      You still have insider trading, bailouts, new legal loopholes, etc, in a cashless society.

      And what if you were a Californian refugee making your way to a sanctuary in Sweden? And if the dictator in Sacramento decided to freeze all your cashless accounts?

      Today, one option is to take some gold coins with you, if you are going from Syria to Berlin. People in Turkey, Greece, etc will gladly take your gold to help you on your way to safety.

    3. Ook

      Chinese colleagues tell me one reason QR-code based payments are popular there is a counterfeiting problem, particularly with the 100 yuan bill, so QR-code payments are considered by many to be more reliable than cash. Add in convenience for smaller (and larger) transactions, and you have a winner. Natural disasters notwithstanding.

  9. Wukchumni

    ‘Why Your Orange Juice Might Be From Brazil: Florida’s Trees Are Dying Wall Street Journal’

    I live above the heart of the citrus belt in the Central Valley here, where Valencia & Navel oranges are grown extensively, and they keep finding those pesky Asian psyllids here in traps, but so far no trees have experienced citrus greening, which is what has devastated Florida’s citrus industry.

    I was talking to a gent I know with large holdings of citrus trees, and asked him if he was worried about HLB? (Huanglongbing)

    And he laughed and said, “that’s a down the road problem, my issue now is that they’re ripping out vast swaths of the Amazon and planting Valencias (juice oranges) everywhere and undercutting me on price on those.”

    No problem however with Naval oranges in terms of competition though, they can only be grown a few places in the world, and despite being from Brazil originally, they can’t be grown there.

    1. Ned

      Also oranges from the tropics are green because it takes cold to make the oranges orange.
      Sure it’s cosmetic, but people won’t buy green oranges. They are used for juice.

    1. kj1313

      Yeah I was going to say that the DSA tweet had more to do with an outspoken communist flaunting the fact that he was one while in uniform. I find it humorous that so many on the right are shocked and surprised that someone can become disillusioned. There are other leftists who are DSA members serving who do so quietly.

    2. voteforno6

      That guy really screwed up. There is a hard rule about engaging in political activities or political speech while in uniform. The courts have already recognized exceptions to the First Amendment regarding situations like this. He’s in real trouble, and it’s all his own fault.

      1. Huey Long

        I think this 2LT has at least a 50/50 chance of getting off the hook here.

        DOD defines “partisan political activity” as “activity supporting or relating to candidates representing, or issues specifically identified with, national or State political parties and associated or ancillary organizations.”

        The ultimate question is does this guy’s stunt fall under the umbrella of “partisan political activity?” The “communism will win” sign does not specifically endorse any political party or candidate.

        #veteransfokaepernick isn’t an organization either, and Collin Kaepernick isn’t a political figure.

        Anyway, I’m not a lawyer but simply a laymen trying to play devil’s advocate. At any rate, I think it’s safe to say that this guy’s career is toast.

        1. voteforno6

          Writing “communism will win” on the inside of his hat certainly seems like an endorsement of a particular political party while in uniform. That’s a big no-no. Even if they don’t get him with that, they can still nail him with conduct unbecoming, which is vaguely defined.

          1. HotFlash

            But but but! Communism is not a political party. What if he had written “capitalism will win” on the inside of his hat? Or “democracy will win”, or “the republic will win”?

            1. HarrisonBergeron

              As the people on the right say about this officer “play stupid games, win stupid prizes.” This one is pretty clear cut. You basically exchange certain rights for others by joining the military. I’m a fan of the DSA but loathe communism. This is honestly making me wonder about the education, selection process and utility of West Point. A PFC might try something this daft but an officer of this “caliber?” He could be on the hook for total cost of education and stipend, think .5MM give or take a few 100k. :/

  10. MikeRW

    Its started…

    To what will come as no surprise to Naked Capitalism followers, the impact of persistent low interest rates is now manifesting visibly in the life insurance industry. People I know, including myself, have started receiving notices the the major carriers (e.g., Northwestern, Pac Life, NY Life, etc.) have started sending policyholders notices that they are changing their dividend scales and being offered the choice of increasing premium or reducing the policy’s death benefit.

    They have mispriced their products, as happened first in Japan, then Europe, and know like every actuarial investment “scheme” the swallows are coming home to roost. Anyone who followed Japan knows that this is a slow motion insolvency.

  11. The Rev Kev

    Re: A Hospital Crisis Is Killing Rural Communities.
    This is bad for those small communities and I feel sorry for them. Maybe some of the worse effects of being deprived of medical facilities can be alleviated by some unconventional organizing of resources. Two examples of this are the Rural Siberian Hospital train ( that seems to work well or maybe something along the lines of the Royal Flying Doctor Sevice( which has been going since 1928 when Calvin Coolidge was in office in the US.
    The only proviso is that you would have to keep such services away from any private corporation to run as they would always have to prioritize their shareholders over the people that they would be supposedly serving. That would also include outsourcing it to private contractors with MBA consultants as we have all seen this movie before. Also, anything that even reeks of private equity. Just a suggestion here.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Maybe they assign physician volunteers of the Peace Corps to rural America.

      Bonus: One year of student debt discharged for every year in the program.

      1. justanotherprogressive

        Since we are rapidly turning our fly-over country into a 3rd world, why not just put out a call to Medecins Sans Frontieres

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Maybe we can add that, to be addressed as ‘doctor’ is a privilege that has to be earned with the brain as well as the heart, which can be demonstrated by volunteering for a few years in needed places in America.

          And if one doesn’t want that privilege, one doesn’t have to (but still can) volunteer.

      2. Wukchumni

        In really lean financial times for the National Park Service in general and each NP specifically, where the infrastructure is a joke compared to visitation and dates from the “Mission 66” period.

        In the men’s bathroom @ the main visitor center for the NP @ Lodgepole, the men’s bathroom only has 3 toilets, this for a park that gets almost 2 million visitors a year.


        But on the other hand if you get lost or hurt and need a SAR, it seems to me as if there is an unlimited budget in terms of what the NP here will spend to rescue you. I’ve seen SAR’s where there have 30-40 people involved, helicopter time, etc, etc. And nobody ever gets charged a cent for the service.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      A less radical, but very workable system is GP (Family doctor) co-operatives. Here in Ireland several have been set up where all the family doctors in a geographical area band together to support a type of mobile surgery for home support. Instead of individual doctors in their practices going out when a patient needs them (or arranging for the patient to be brought to the surgery), they devote a certain amount of time each per week to being driven around the area in a well equipped car (not quite ambulance standard, but with a good range of equipment) and a full time driver, dropping in to patients individually.

      They’ve found it very significantly increased the number of patients they can see in their own homes, while ensuring that their own workloads reduced and they could stick to ‘set’ working hours rather than always being on call.

  12. justanotherprogressive

    Re: Deconstructing Anti-Intellectualism

    I agree that there are probably no such things as “intellectuals” and “anti-intellectuals”; that it is “created” division, but unfortunately, that division is created by those who want to feign “eliteness” by calling themselves “intellectuals”.

    One thing I’ve noticed that many “intellectuals” do is to write as though everyone has read every book that they have and then they name-drop, like “According to “Zxcvbbn” and “Asdfg”, thus and thus is true but they never explain what “Zxcvbbn” or “Asdfg” main theses are (but of course, EVERYONE has read “Zxcvbbn” and Asdfg” in our “set”! If you don’t know who they are, then you are not “one of us”!). Many times when you remove the name-dropping, there is not much of value in their writing because they have nothing new to add. But these “intellectuals” set themselves up on “truth” pedestals that they feel we (the masses) must all bow down to…..and then are shocked when we don’t (Why it MUST be that the masses are so emotional…….)

    Not all of us have time or the money to get an advanced education or to read every book that is out there (and I guess that makes us emotional “anti-intellectuals”), and it irritates me to no end when someone depends on name-dropping to sound “intellectual”. If “Zxcvbbn” and “Asdfg” are so great, then summarize their ideas for us so that we will understand what you are talking about and how it relates to what YOU are saying.

    I much prefer a creative piece of clear writing that doesn’t depend on name-dropping.

    1. Terry Flynn

      Thank you – very insightful and indeed I (as a former academic) have been guilty of exactly this (and was – quite rightly – called on it on some comments I made a while back).

      Since then I have tried to either give the lay/intuitive explanation for my arguments – I had some excellent interactions with PlutoniumKun and anonymous2 regarding BREXIT a while back. But the fact my paradigm is so different from what many are familiar with (in terms of stats and margins of error to name but one issue) defeated me in another thread recently. But I reminded myself that this is Yves’s site and my area of expertise is probably too far outside the remit of the site that I shouldn’t bang the drum on this. Whilst my work is (at its heart) heavily reliant on two winners of the “Nobel” in economics, these are two winners who are profoundly different from the usual (in mine and many people’s views) idiotic winners. Which is not to say NC endorses these idiots! There have been plenty of critiques of them. Merely that some of us have had to recognise that certain forums are not necessarily the right place to try to advance our own agendas.

  13. Huey Long

    RE: PR Shipping Restrictions

    According to DHS, they’re not lifting Jones Act restrictions in PR, which mandate the use of US flagged vessels for trade between US ports, because of a lack of port capacity.

    This makes absolutely no sense and reeks of BS.

    The USG, specifically military sealift command, operates a fleet of crane vessels for situations like this where cargo needs to be unloaded at ports with damaged/non-existent infrastructure.

    In other words, this port capacity issue is a solvable problem, if only somebody had the will to do so.

    1. marym

      Lawmakers Seek Waiver of Law Barring Foreign Ships From Delivering Aid to Puerto Rico

      President Donald Trump told reporters Wednesday he was considering waiving the act but hesitated because “a lot of people that work in the shipping industry… don’t want the Jones Act lifted.”
      In a letter to the Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday, Sen. John McCain (R, Ariz.) criticized the department for waiving the Jones Act in the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma and not for Puerto Rico. Mr. McCain has long sought a repeal of the Jones Act.

      “It is unacceptable to force the people of Puerto Rico to pay at least twice as much for food, clean drinking water, supplies and infrastructure due to Jones Act requirements as they work to recover from this disaster,” Mr. McCain wrote in the letter sent Tuesday evening. “Now, more than ever, it is time to realize the devastating effect of this policy and implement a full repeal of this archaic and burdensome Act.”

      Seven House Democrats, led by Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez of New York, also sent a letter to acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke on Tuesday urging a waiver and requesting Puerto Rico be exempted from requirements that local resources match federal funds expended by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

      1. HotFlash

        This is twice now in two weeks that I need to say, “Thank you, Senator McCain.” Indeed, we live in interesting times!

  14. Sid Finster

    Re: “Russian agents”. Even if the FB ads were in fact placed by Russians, it does not stand to reason that all 144 million residents of Russia are directly controlled by the Kremlin.

    But whatever. It seems now that we’re supposed to believe that these “Russian agents” are such political masterminds that for less money than what it takes to contest a city council election in a mid-sized flyover city, these supergeniuses can do what HRC’s political consultants could not accomplish, even with an ad spend in the hundreds of millions and the best data scientists money can buy?

    If that weren’t enough, we’re also supposed to believe that it never occurred to these Russian comic book supervillains that they could spend a few dollars more and get a friendly Congress?

    But let’s work with this asinine concept some more – if Russia were to spend $100,000 per representative and $300,000 per Senator up for election in 2016, the total comes to around $53 million for some 535 electoral contests.

    That sounds like a lot of money to the average frustrated member of the precariat, but to put this amount in perspective, the Democrats alone spent around $23 million on the recent House special election. $23 million spent by one party, and they lost.

    So we’re supposed to believe that Russia would not buy a friendly Congress, for less than what it costs to run a couple of House races? The payoff from that $53 million would have been the best money Russia ever spent. To put it another way – if Putin were really manipulating things from behind the scenes (cue up Dr. Evil rubbing his hands), he’d be screaming at his minions for being cheapskate morons.

    Any conspiracy theory that requires a villain to be that otherworldly smart and at the same time, that shortsightedly stupid, insults my intelligence. But that’s ok – noone else believes this crap either, especially not the political class.

    Why? Because if any politician or consultant really thought Russia had this amazing superpower to flip elections with nothing more than a few grand in Facebook ads, they’d be beating down the door to get the Russians to work for them, or at least trying to replicate the tech behind these amazing FB ads. Even if they didn’t want to (cue up image of Stars and Stripes, they’d have no choice if their opponent went that route.

    Classic arms race. Either respond in kind, or it’s the equivalent of bringing a very expensive pea shooter to a duel to the death, when your opponent is armed with a Gatling gun.

    Russiagate conspiracy theorists are really grasping at straws here, if this is the best they can come up with.

    1. Heidi's Master

      I agree, the Russia ad story is ridiculous. The Clinton campaign spent $1.2B and lost because of $100,000 in ad spending by some Russians. If that is the case, she, her campaign advisors, etc. are not fit to be president. And if I’m running for elective office in the U.S. I want these Russians on my campaign staff.

      1. wilroncanada

        These comments assume that the reports have ‘scientifically’ identified these posts as Russian.
        Wasn’t that the same claim about, let’s see, the shootdown of a Dutch airliner, and a host of other misdeeds attributed to ‘Russians’.
        They could all be from Russia, some could be from Russia, one of them could be from Russia, none of them could be from Russia.
        They could also all be from Ukraine, some….
        They could all be from China, some….
        They could all be from North Korea, some….
        They could all be from American Samoa, some….
        They could be from Langley, Virginia.

  15. Wukchumni

    Loved the animal hugging video, so cool…

    Closest i’ve ever been to a black bear was about 3 feet away, it was coming the other direction on the trail and it was a bit of a wider stretch, when we passed each other.

    Up in Mineral King in Sequoia NP the marmots are a nuisance in the earlier summer months to cars parked @ trailheads, as they’re all about our salt (I’ve slipped out of my hammock i’ve been sleeping in to take care of business, and had 4 marms fighting over the liquid in the dirt on the ground) and are attracted to anti-freeze, as they like to chew through the lines on the underbelly of vehicles, so most every car is wrapped in a huge tarp like this:

    Final score this year:

    Marmots 4 Cars 0

    (3 anti-freeze lines and 1 transmission line)

      1. Wukchumni

        The cars are wrapped like that to keep the beasties out, and to not disable your car, so you’ll be able to drive back down 25 miles and 698 significant curves later, to Hwy 198.

        I’ve not seen or heard of any marms toes up on the ground, so ingesting anti-freeze must not kill em’.

        1. Edward E

          How big was the black bear you passed on the trail? That reminds me of a time I was deep in the wilderness wondering why there was no evidence of turkeys. Because there were black bears and one big one was stalking straight at me. Well I’m not going to run I thought, so I started running towards the bear. I was all camouflage, the bear couldn’t quite figure out what that was, but thankfully it slowly loped away.

          1. Wukchumni

            The bear was around 250 pounds or so, and here the bears are pretty mellow, almost like big dogs. They’re intelligent and sometimes will do tricks for you, or show off their abilities. Nobody’s been killed by a bear in California since the 1880’s.

            A few years back we were on a backpack and had just got started when we came across a mom and cub about 150 feet away just hanging out, and mom decided to climb a 120 foot tree another 100 feet away, to the crown, and in a series of grappling moves with both sets of legs, made it up there in about 20 seconds, with the 6 month old cub in hot pursuit. They stayed up there a few minutes and then came down. It was all for our benefit, to show up what they could do.

            1. Edward E

              Mellowed bears are a good thing, especially if only three foot away! Pretty good size bear at 250. We had a fisherman get scratched up by a young boar bear, but that’s been at least ten years ago. Every few years a bear pulls our bird feeders down. I had some old restaurant grease in a 55gal drum and had mixed half with oats and put it out on an abandoned log road. Wanted to take pictures of a huge cinnamon colored black bear in this area, but I never had time available to go back. Anyway, that bear came up into the carport and turned the drum over a year later trying to get the rest. So I drug the rest down the log road and put it on dry dog food. Still never had time to photograph the cinnamon bear. We’re not supposed to do that anymore according to AGFC rules, except during bear season it’s allowed. I just wanted some pictures, I’d never want to kill one unless it was in attack mode.

              1. Wukchumni

                The bears here will occasionally do a bluff charge from 100 feet away, and go real fast for 40 feet, and stop.

                The most likely time of year in times past to see them in Sequoia NP has always been around late October to early November as you’re driving up the Generals Highway from 3,000 to 6,000 feet, where the bruins are chowing down on acorns, as they will be denning soon (not hibernating-they get up a few times over the course of the winter) and need to eat as much as possible.

                We’ve kind of had the bears disappear on us, but one day I saw 9 of them along the way, about 10 years ago.

                1. Edward E

                  Thank you for sharing that they will bluff charge, I’ll try to remember that if under the pressure of a charging bear. You often only have mere seconds to make decisions on what to do.

                  There are a number of Eastern Hognose (false rattlesnakes) on the homestead, they keep having fun with keeping me alert. They do something with their lungs and make the exact same sounds of a timber rattler. Took a little getting used to but they’re actually enjoyable snakes to have around.

  16. fresno dan

    Median lifetime income slumped by 10% to 19% for men who entered the labor market in 1983 compared with those who started working in 1967, the study found.

    Fatih Guvenen of the University of Minnesota and his coauthors also echo a well-documented trend of economic gains accumulating to the very rich, finding “little-to-no rise in the lower three-quarters of the percentiles of the male lifetime income distribution during this period.”

    Lifetime earnings increased across the spectrum for males entering the workforce from 1957 to 1967, but they rose for only the top 20% of richest men for job-market entrants in the 1967-to-1983 period. The rise of employer-based health and retirement benefits partly offsets the findings but does not alter them in a substantive way, the authors said.
    Make people poorer, and you probably make them angrier as well….

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      In 30 some years, they will find out, from more life time income studies, the situation got worse for those who entered the labor market in 2016 versus those who did in 1983.

      Those who need help today probably can’t wait that many decades.

      1. fresno dan

        September 27, 2017 at 11:30 am

        To paraphrase Keynes: In the long run, we’re all poor*

        *Well, except for the one squillionaire who will have ALL the money….

        1. Enquiring Mind

          Those missing Pentagram Trillions could come in handy, at least for whoever got them. What happened to any MSM coverage of that issue? Oh, yeah, never mind.

      2. UserFriendly

        I read the study a month or so ago when it came out. It’s other main conclusion was that the entire decline was due to decreasing wages for youth entering the labour market. So yes, since that has continued to fall ever since, the younger you are the more screwed you are. It also explains why if you graduate in a recession with a lot of debt like I did you might as well just kill yourself because you will never be financially stable.

        1. fresno dan

          September 27, 2017 at 2:07 pm

          I have friends (my age….i.e., old doddering farts) who tell me how hard the job market is, how little the pay and benefits are, how you have to cobble two part time jobs together….and than bitch in the next sentence that young people are lazy and un-ambitious.
          It is a strange human failing that ?some…many…most? people can explain in exquisite depth how themselves are getting screwed, but anybody else who fails is due to laziness…
          I don’t know how anybody can afford college nowadays, and I wonder with such a lifetime burden imposed on those who attend if it is really worth it.
          There was a time with the GI bill and low cost public colleges that investing in the young, the future made sense – it just seems the country is getting stupider or maybe just senile.

  17. torff

    “Note that contrary to the story above, women do better than men in math and science in high school in the Middle East.”

    Any sources or citations anyone can provide on this? Would be nice data to have for when I teach about gender inequality in my econ courses.

  18. fresno dan

    Boycott? Monday Night Football Posts Best Ratings Of The Season To Date
    Imagine if NFL ratings ended up *increasing* this year after Trump attacked the league for being unpatriotic. That’d be the most embarrassing political own-goal since, uh, backing Luther Strange against a red-state populist when Strange was trailing consistently by 10 points in the polls.
    The thing that is helping the “failing” New York Times the most is Trump calling the New York Times …failing
    CNN…MSNBC…. owe their increased ratings to Trump. I imagine the “liberal” media, if they could magically have a 3rd term of Obama, would respond in unison, H*LL NO.

    If this continues, people will want to be attacked by Trump. (remember the celebrity wrought by being on Nixon’s enemies list?)
    Heck, maybe even I could get laid if only Trump would say: That fresno dan is a dirty rotten hammer and sickle bunny eared antenna slipper wearing Marxist spy broadcasting intelligence to Putin from his underground basement lair….

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Again, the original protest message is not the focus.

      Now, it’s about making Trump look foolish.

      And exactly what is the goal of kneeling? Is it just kneeling from now till eternity? Is it to get people to talk about injustice (the kneeling people have to speak up, to talk first)? As we are talking about it now, do they consider that goal accomplished, and stop kneeling?

      Do they consider stepping up? If the owners try to cheap the players out of their salaries, they can strike. Will the players consider going on strike, for a bigger cause?

      What other concrete actions can the players in football, basketball and baseball take?

      A vow to use their money more positively, like not wasting it on fast fashion, expensive cars, parties, bad investment schemes or whatnot, but to pool their money to help those they speak up for?

      1. joe defiant

        This is from Eric Reid the teammate of Kaepernick who joined with him before anyone noticed Kaepernick was sitting during the national anthem which is being completely ignored to make it into a story of fighting Trump even by the NY Times who originally posted Reid’s OpEd.

        “After hours of careful consideration, and even a visit from Nate Boyer, a retired Green Beret and former N.F.L. player, we came to the conclusion that we should kneel, rather than sit, the next day during the anthem as a peaceful protest. We chose to kneel because it’s a respectful gesture. I remember thinking our posture was like a flag flown at half-mast to mark a tragedy.

        It baffles me that our protest is still being misconstrued as disrespectful to the country, flag and military personnel. We chose it because it’s exactly the opposite. It has always been my understanding that the brave men and women who fought and died for our country did so to ensure that we could live in a fair and free society, which includes the right to speak out in protest.

        It should go without saying that I love my country and I’m proud to be an American. But, to quote James Baldwin, “exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.”

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Misconstrued, because sitting or kneeling is never as clear as writing an op-ed, or setting up a website listing the goals of what to accomplish.

          Kneeling during the anthem is not as tangle-free (or usurpation free) as say, kneeling after scoring a touchdown, or for players on defense, after making an interception or a tackle.

          Here, Mr. Reid had to spend time to get people to not misconstrue.

          And do we know what it will take to stop the kneeling? Re-convict a police officer? An apology from Trump? Pass a Medicare-for-All bill? Certainly this weekend is not the time, for that will give the impression of a Trump win.

        2. Lupita

          I don’t understand how anybody can write that US military occupations of foreign countries ensure that the US is fair and free.

          Apparently, Americans have to first bend the knee to militarism before they can take the knee to protest.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      I think it was the Cowboys more than anything else. I skimmed the Sunday and Monday night schedules. Sunday will explode in October, but MNF will collapse maybe even this Monday. I don’t believe the perception of the team from Washington is great. They have their following, but its not Dallas and not perceived as a contender like the Cowboys.

      1. Jess

        One measure of the popularity of the Cowboys: It’s famed cheerleaders squad brings in north of $1 mil a year in calendar sales, public appearance fees, etc/

  19. Wukchumni

    It’s awful irony that Puerto Rico translates to Rich Port, as they are being treated like lepers and lectured about debt, as people are dying.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Does it all go back to whether they would be better off being an independent country with monetary sovereignty?

      Would that be a progressive goal, even if someone opposes it and wants to preserve the union with all the territories?

  20. Jim Haygood

    Connecticut’s capital city swirls round the bowl:

    In an ominous development, Standard & Poor’s has knocked down Hartford’s bond rating for the second time in two weeks, declaring that “a default, a distressed exchange, or redemption appears to be a virtual certainty.’’

    The agency said Tuesday that it had again lowered the city’s rating — to CC from B-, a four-notch plummet. The move came a day after Mayor Luke Bronin held a conference call with Hartford bondholders, and suggested he didn’t want to refinance the struggling city’s debt.

    Now, Standard & Poor’s says it’s increasingly likely that Hartford — which expects to be short $7 million in cash in November and another $39.2 million in December — will default on its debt. Meanwhile, with $545 million in outstanding general obligation debt, Hartford faces debt payments of about $30 million in coming weeks.

    Hartford is a dying canary in the economic coal mine. Across the US, cities are hiking taxes to shore up busted pension plans. This, during an economic expansion, when returns on pension assets are still okay.

    When the next recession crunches both municipal revenues and pension returns, it’s gonna be “lights out” for cities in America’s militarily mighty but economically hollowed-out decadent empire. Let them eat MREs!

    1. JTMcPhee

      Yah, it’s all about those pesky pension plans for those layabout guvermint employees! Enough to make one crazy angry.

      I do see that my local city council, going with the “Never let a good crisis go to waste” notion, has just enacted and announced a 13% property tax hike, saying the “increase will help the city weather Irma, and the financial storm ahead…. The change needed a supermajority to pass… Since the ordinance was likely to be a close decision, one of the votes even came in over the phone from Commissioner Jamie Robinson, who was in Illinois because of a scheduling conflict…”

      Just another little aside: The medical practice I worked for treats a lot of municipal workers who have significant chronic pain from injuries sustained over their working lives. It’s a real thing, as many here recognize. “Workers Compensation” is an oxymoron for those who fall into its structures. There is such a thing as “public service work,” and who are the worse freeloaders? A subset of public employees, argue the numbers how one cares to, or people who “expose themselves to risk,” or manage the tables in the Market Casino, or get paid “good middle class incomes ” to come up with the latest planet-threatening weapon technologies, or medical UNsurance executives, and the like?

      Of course it’s (occasionally anecdotally) the greedy pensioners, not the manifold corruption elements in this political economy, who are to blame for “lights out…”

  21. joe defiant

    Yesterday there was a large discussion on price and whether a economic system could function without price determining value. I didn’t read the comments until late at night and the conversation was long over. But I thought some might be interested in the traditional anarchist views of pricing. First we need to define price if you are referring to price as the largest sum able to squeeze out of consumers we are on totally different pages. Anything related or based on marxism defines price as the labor exerted to produce the item or service.

    “In a mutualist or collectivist system, the answer is easy. Prices will exist and be used as a means of making decisions. Mutualism will be more market orientated than collectivism, with collectivism being based on confederations of collectives to respond to changes in demand (i.e. to determine investment decisions and ensure that supply is kept in line with demand). Mutualism, with its system of market based distribution around a network of cooperatives and mutual banks, does not really need a further discussion as its basic operations are the same as in any non-capitalist market system. Collectivism and communism will have to be discussed in more detail.

    Communist anarchism would be similar to collectivism, i.e. a system of confederations of collectives, communes and distribution centers (“Communal stores”). However, in an anarcho-communist system, prices are not used. How will economic decision making be done? One possible solution is as follows:

    “As to decisions involving choices of a general nature, such as what forms of energy to use, which of two or more materials to employ to produce a particular good, whether to build a new factory, there is a … technique… that could be [used]… ‘cost-benefit analysis’… in socialism a points scheme for attributing relative importance to the various relevant considerations could be used… The points attributed to these considerations would be subjective, in the sense that this would depend on a deliberate social decision rather than some objective standard, but this is the case even under capitalism when a monetary value has to be attributed to some such ‘cost’ or ‘benefit’… In the sense that one of the aims of socialism is precisely to rescue humankind from the capitalist fixation with production time/money, cost-benefit analyses, as a means of taking into account other factors, could therefore be said to be more appropriate for use in socialism than under capitalism. Using points systems to attribute relative importance in this way would not be to recreate some universal unit of evaluation and calculation, but simple to employ a technique to facilitate decision-making in particular concrete cases.” [Adam Buick and John Crump, State Capitalism: The Wages System Under New Management, pp. 138-139]

    This points system would be the means by which producers and consumers would be able to determine whether the use of a particular good is efficient or not. Unlike prices, this cost-benefit analysis system would ensure that production and consumption reflects social and ecological costs, awareness and priorities. Of course, as well as absolute scarcity, prices also reflect relative scarcity (while in the long term, market prices tend towards their production price, in the short term prices can change as a result of changes in supply and demand under capitalism). How a communist society could take into account such short term changes and communicate them through out the economy is discussed in section I.4.5 (What about “supply and demand”?). Needless to say, production and investment decisions based upon such cost-benefit analysis would take into account the current production situation and so the relative scarcity of specific goods.

    Therefore, a communist-anarchist society would be based around a network of syndicates who communicate information between each other. Instead of the “price” being communicated between workplaces as in capitalism, actual physical data will be sent. This data is a summary of the use values of the good (for example labour time and energy used to produce it, pollution details, relative scarcity and so forth). With this information a cost-benefit analysis will be conducted to determine which good will be best to use in a given situation based upon mutually agreed common values. The data for a given workplace could be compared to the industry as a whole (as confederations of syndicates would gather and produce such information – see section I.3.5) in order to determine whether a specific workplace will efficiently produce the required goods (this system has the additional advantage of indicating which workplaces require investment to bring them in line, or improve upon, the industrial average in terms of working conditions, hours worked and so on). In addition, common rules of thumb would possibly be agreed, such as agreements not to use scarce materials unless there is no alternative (either ones that use a lot of labour, energy and time to produce or those whose demand is currently exceeding supply capacity).

    1. UserFriendly

      Interesting. Like I said yesterday though (or at least tried to) it may be feasible to come up with a non monetary system but I don’t see the necessity and I doubt it would be as efficient. The use of money does not inherently make a system capitalist or evil. Same thing with the use of markets. Those are tools, it is up to the society to determine how to use them.

      For instance I’d say if we just had a maximum income and wealth beyond which there was a 100% tax with that threshold tied to the poverty level, and better banking laws to make hiding assets impossible and punishable by 25 to life I think that would go a hell of a long way to fixing things and that is just off the top of my head.

    1. Aumua

      Haha tell you what, if I hadn’t voted for Stein, guess who I would have voted for? (Hint: not Clinton) So yeah, there’s that little demographic. Also I block all ads on Facebook.

  22. Wukchumni

    They’ve unearthed Anasazi sites where cannibalism occurred as climate change came their way in the guise of a 50 year drought that started in 1130, and they called Chaco Canyon quits after enduring the first 10 of it and spread out far and wide.

    All they had was crude knives, bow & arrow and spear, assorted rocks, etc. in those Hobbes’ish times.

    “Man Corn” by Christy & Jacqueline Turner, is the results of their many decades in the field gathering the evidence of how widespread it was.

    And the droughts here in California at the same time were even more epic. There was a nearly 100 year long drought and a nearly 200 year long one in the same time frame as Chaco Canyon. If you’re ever in Three Rivers, stop by the museum in town and in the back of the parking lot is a large cross-cut section of a sequoia tree, and you can plainly make out the epochs, as in lieu of tree rings, there is a one inch blur and a 2 inch blur.

    Up around Lake Tahoe is Falling Leaf Lake and they’ve found rooted upright 80 foot high trees whose tops are now 150 feet below water, the trees having that much time to grow in those dry times on the bottom of an empty lake, that would eventually have 230 feet of water in it.

  23. rd

    Re: Roy Moore

    I have always been baffled by Judge Roy Moore’s focus on the Ten Commandment. I can only assume this means he intends to introduce Sharia Law into the United States legal code.

    The Ten Commandments are in the Old Testament books that are part of the Jewish Torah. They were incorporated into the Koran. At various points in Judaic history, transgressing many of the Ten Commandments had a death sentence attached to them, similar to interpretations of the Koranic version, hence women getting stoned for adultery etc.. It would be interesting to do a survey of our conservative Christian politicians to see how they do with respect to meeting the requirements of the Ten Commandments.

    Since he professes to be a Christian. I would always have thought he would have been more focused on Jesus’s interpretation of the laws “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

    It would have made much more sense to me if he had hung those two laws up in his courtroom if he wanted to make this a “Christian country.” I do see his struggle with this though, since those laws would not likely be interpreted to permit racism, misogyny and bigotry.

    Similarly, the focus on Moslem women wearing burkhas or wearing head scarves has also baffled me. I haven’t noticed the same level of hysteria over nuns wearing their habits with head coverings or Amish women in their long dresses and bonnets.

    It does appear that some religions are more equal than others.

    1. fajensen

      I haven’t noticed the same level of hysteria over nuns wearing their habits with head coverings or Amish women in their long dresses and bonnets.

      That is because Christianity of today is seen as a spent force, carefully isolated from any political power, thankfully without “kinetic options”, and the Christian churches have mostly now quietly resigned to that state, generally minding their own business and salvation – Although we still have some outliers like Poland and Ireland showing us why this is all for the best.

      Now Islam comes along and wants, some demands are even made now, all the political power that Christianity once had: The powers to define what can be said, believed and thought about. The full authority and all the ressorces of the nation state to punish sinners and cleanse the unholy.

      World domination too.

      To most people in Europe, with the history we have, that kind of thinking is not only plain crazy but also a direct threat. People being perhaps gay or Jewish or not very religious or the wrong religion, or perhaps having friends and family who is one of the above. Some “Hysteria” is quite warranted, I think.

      It is perhaps not so well reported but we also get quite hysteric about blackshirts for pretty similar reasons; “we” have seen uniformed intolerance before, carrying all the right answers to everything, while dreaming of world domination and plunder!

      So, If the Amish arrived here in the same numbers and with the same publicity stated level of ambitions for imposing their values on others, there would be the same “level of hysteria” about them!

      The public displays of religion is one of the main reasons that Europeans are generally suspicious of American leaders. There is just something too insincere about conspicuous piety.

  24. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: “The Answers To Climate Change Are Here – They Aren’t Telling You!”, Lee Camp.
    I can’t disagree with the comic characterizations of climate change denialists but I am skeptical that the “answers are here”. Solar is good, and wind power is good, and water and geo-thermal are all good — but I thought their application while helpful didn’t quite answer the mail. Climate change is here and the slow evolution of peak oil seems to be here too and solar, wind power, water and geo-thermal power are not and cannot be made adequate to support our way of life in the Western World. Accepting that — like accepting climate change — is very important if we want to climb out of the slowly boiling tub. Our lives will not be what they were and neither will the Climate we — and our children and their children … if any … are already destined to endure. There’s not much comedy in that.

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