Links 9/30/17

Yosemite climber died saving wife from rockfall The Times :-(

Tropical forests are now emitting more carbon than oxygen, alarming new study finds Independent (David L)

Hidden Costs of Climate Change Running Hundreds of Billions a Year National Geographic (resilc)

Chaos and hackers stalk investors on cryptocurrency exchanges Reuters (furzy)


Is AI Riding a One-Trick Pony? MIT Technology Review

Research on how the ‘weapons effect’ can induce aggressive behavior around guns is riling people up on the left and right Business Insider (David L). FWIW, my sample suggests that there is a huuge difference between people who have grown up around gun use as hunters (they tend to treat them with great caution and keep them locked up a lot of the time) v. the stereotypical suburbanite who has seen too many movies with gunplay and thinks keeping a loaded gun in a nightstand or purse is a sound idea.

Mindfulness Is More Than A Buzzword: A Look At The Neuroscience Behind The Movement Forbes. “Movement” gives me the willies.

The effects of a single terrorist nuclear bomb Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (resilc)

Sexually transmitted diseases are at an all time high. But why? Popular Science

Rich people in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania are to blame for dangerous anti-vaxx surge Boing Boing (resilc)

North Korea

North Korea seen moving missiles from development center: South Korean broadcaster Reuters (furzy)

In another sign of closer ties with India, US eyes dropping Pakistan as ally Asia Times

Democratic Party effectively disbands, throwing support behind Koike’s party for Lower House poll Japan Times (YY)

US pulls staff from Cuba over ‘specific attacks’ BBC

20 years later: How corporations took over Canada’s health care system Policy Note (Sid S)


Juncker: No sufficient progress unless ‘miracles’ happen YouTube

Boris Johnson’s Brexit ‘red lines’ undermine Theresa May Financial Times

EU complains Cabinet splits on Brexit make dealing with UK ‘like negotiating with jelly’ Express

Boris Johnson favourite among Tory members to take over from Theresa May as Conservative Party leader Telegraph

Tony Blair’s Ghoulish Last Decade Jacobin

Catalonia Defiant

Huge referendum rally in Barcelona BBC

Catalonia referendum: How did we get here? Politico

Catalonia Dreaming? Defend Democracy

New Cold War

Google Conducting Broad Investigation of Russian Influence Wall Street Journal

One week in the media’s McCarthyite witch-hunt against Russia WSWS (micael)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Amazon’s Echo Spot is a sneaky way to get a camera into your bedroom The Verge. Moi: I don’t get this at all. I don’t even like remotes. I don’t like talking to devices. They increasingly talk back and we know they spy on you. Lambert: “Why is any of this good for me? I can’t use the remote to turn down the aircon? Will any of this work when disaster strikes? (no)”

You’ll Soon Be Able to Sign In to Facebook With Your Face New York Magazine (resilc). Great, so now facial IDs are being normalized. But some people are rebelling.

This UPS Truck Can Deploy an Autonomous Roof-Docked Delivery Drone Core77 (resilc)

Trump Transition

Price resigns from HHS after facing fire for travel Politico

Good Riddance, Tom Price. But What About the Other Grifters? The Nation. Resilc: “Like Obomba and Clintoon on Wall Street?

Trump Plan Would Raise Taxes on Some Middle-Income People, Study Says Bloomberg

Republicans deny tax plan favours richest 1% Financial Times

Trump Met With Two Possible Candidates for Fed Chairman Wall Street Journal

When Populism Means Corporate Tax Cuts Washington Monthly

Trump tax plan would cost $2.4 trillion, analysis finds MarketWatch (furzy)

Puerto Rico

Trump scrambles to contain Puerto Rico crisis The Hill

Puerto Rico provides a new example of how little Americans know about their own country Washington Post (Brian C)

U.S. Responded to Haiti With More Force Than Puerto Rico Daily Beast (resilc)

More Americans Support Aid When Told Puerto Ricans Are U.S. Citizens FiveThirtyEight (resilc)

Fake News

How Fake News Turned a Small Town Upside Down New York Times (furzy). The new approach to “a Commie under every bed.”

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Kap, Cops and Confederate Statues: a Better World Without Double Standards Frank Serpico, Counterpunch (Sid S)

Police broke her ankle in 2016. She just settled for $6.7 million. Bay City News (Kevin W)

VW’s Scania truck firm fined €880m by EU for price fixing Guardian. UserFriendly:

You may have seen this, but I think what hasn’t been picked up by the media is that this seems to indicate real chaos in VW. You have one subsidiary of VW (MAN) making a complaint to the EU, that has resulted in huge fines for two other VW subsidiaries (Scania and Daimler). I find i really interesting that VW doesn’t seem to have the ability or inclination to control this fight between its own subsidiary companies which is costing billions of euro in fines.

Former Uber CEO Names Two Directors Without Consulting Board Bloomberg

Uber’s former CEO has appointed two new directors to the board, escalating a battle with a major investor Business Insider (David L). If you thought Uber had problems with stability at the top, you ain’t seen ‘nuthin yet. The fight to the death at the board level, which was on hold during the courting of a new CEO and SoftBank, is back on with a vengeance.

CalPERS candidates say ballots aren’t secret, and they’re piling up at a Seattle warehouse Sacramento Bee. You read it first at NC, but the two things CalPERS is most scared of is the Sacramento Bee and the state legislature. I hope CA readers will circulate this + links to our recent posts widely.

Class Warfare

The New Reality of Old Age in America: Working Until You Die Washington Post. Important. My future too, just with slightly more dignified trappings if I still have a readership….

The US Economy is Failing Paul Craig Roberts, Counterpunch

The Future of Retirement Is Margaritaville Bloomberg. I would need a lobotomy to live there. And as Reslic points out, “The future is a used single wide.”

Cities are not the future Medium (resilc)

Antidote du jour. Tracie H: “Round Stingray at the Aquarium of the Pacific. Long Beach, California.”

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. Wukchumni

      I venture into Wal*Mart so you don’t have to, and it’s pretty trippy as the goods for sale are pretty much the same as you’d get @ Target, but the clientele is lower echelon and they know it.

      They’ve always got a few things I can’t find elsewhere, and for many years now i’ve been following one interesting factor, namely their locked glass cases on the wall where they sell ammunition, which is in plain sight in the sporting goods section, and in the height of ‘Obama’s gonna get my guns’ hysteria, said cases might have been 85% empty of boxes of ammo of all calibers, it was like a ghost town for bullets.

      Lately though, the cases have been mostly full.

      1. MtnLife

        Odd. I used to almost exclusively buy my ammo at the one near my parents house because they are the only ones who usually had any in stock through that whole ammo shortage. My neighbor opened a gun shop so that’s not really an issue anymore.

        1. Wukchumni

          Admittedly, my analysis is based on but one Wal*Mart in the Central Valley that i’ve been going to for over a decade.

      2. Clive

        My head is still reeling from the fact that you guys can go to a supermarket — a supermarket for goodness sakes — and buy guns ‘n ammo. Won’t somebody think of the children?

        1. Wukchumni

          With little ones that can’t hold their necks up yet by themselves, a baby beretta is probably the best option for the little tykes, as they can’t aim well, and it lets loose with a torrent of firepower all over the crib in a you can’t miss fashion.

          Make a statement when mom’s late with a new diaper…

        2. JBird4049

          It’s unusual, I’ll agree, but why the horror? People can go and buy booze too at a supermarket, and that stuff has probably ruined more lives than guns ever did.

          Maybe guns should be banned, maybe they should be kept; either way they are not malevolent, conscious, sentient, self mobile death machines that self fuel with ammo and seek out life to exterminate like the daleks.

          Like cars, or fire, or a weed wacker, or prescription drugs, they are tools that must be respected to be used safely.

            1. JBird4049

              (The following response has some anger in it, but please believe me that is not aimed at anyone in particular. It’s just a bezerk button of mine)

              I agree that guns are different, but I say that the animalistic terror around them is to me surreal. They are tools. They need to be respected as lethal tools, but I am more likely to die in a car accident, or by a medical error. I have used guns, and so long as I use them safely, following those rules of how to use them, I’m pretty safe. However, I have lost damn near a busload of loved ones to alcohol, and opioids have killed more people per year for the past several years than cars, or guns.

              Yet somehow, guns are worse? I trust people not to run me over, and not to screw up my medical care.

              What makes me angry is the loss of life from the lack of medical care, jobs, drug abuse, poverty, homelessness, the mentally ill persons lying on the street that I have to step over. All of which kills more people than guns and cars combined. Somehow though guns emotionally get that fear, and anger. It’s like waving the bloody shirt to get the masses riled up while ignoring everything else. Let’s look at what those terrible Democrats, or Republicans are doing to the guns!

              So, okay maybe guns are different. I can see that, but only when I see the real causes of death, of destruction, of sorrow, and the damn wasting of people in our society being dealt with, then maybe I will take this fear of tools seriously.

              Until then, I will have to agree to disagree.

          1. Clive

            It’s the normalisation of weapons which freaks me out. Apart from a few sightings of the occasional armed police officer during “heightened security as a result of recent terrorist incidents” I’ve never seen an actual gun. I suppose US law enforcement is routinely armed, but even visiting the US I wasn’t really aware of the firearms culture. I can honestly say that I couldn’t, here in the UK, even know where to start to buy a gun of any description. So being able to buy them at Wal*Mart with my milk and biscuits… I’m still in mild shock at the very idea.

            And you can poison yourself with booze, ciggies, but (risks from passive smoking aside, which the ban on smoking indoors has much reduced here) it’s difficult to vicariously kill someone else instantly with them. Weed whackers could injure but you can fairly easily get out of range of them. And yes, you can turn a car into a lethal weapon. But I could say that about my casserole dish (or any heavy blunt object).

  1. Jim Haygood

    Ed Yardeni’s fundamental indicator, which does a remarkable job of anticipating recessions, took a 6.2% tumble in September on declines in all three of its components: consumer confidence; industrial materials prices; and unemployment claims (inverted, since lower is good). Chart:

    The bulk of the monthly decline derived from a sharp rise in unemployment claims. Government data show that much of the rise was related to Hurricane Harvey, with claims from Texas spiking. As hurricane recovery proceeds, the rise in unemployment claims may reverse.

    Despite the big dip in the Yardeni indicator, it’s in the same ballpark as similar dips in 2012, 2013 and 2015, visible in the chart. That is, it’s too early to declare this dip a recession warning.

    Just whipped up a new weekly version of Yardeni’s indicator, and will post it shortly if Skynet stops eating my posts.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Owing to the sharp drop in Ed Yardeni’s fundamental indicator, we’re going to scope in closer to a weekly resolution to monitor the economy’s vital signs.

      Weekly consumer confidence comes from Bloomberg, in place of the monthly Conference Board index. While the monthly index hit its high at the end of March, weekly Bloomberg Consumer Comfort reached its high at the end of August. The other two components, Spot Raw Industrial prices and 4-week average unemployment claims (inverted0, remain unchanged in the weekly Yardeni indicator. Chart:

      Despite having dropped 6.5% since Aug 31st, the weekly indicator remains above its high at the beginning of 2017. Initial unemployment claims, which soared from 236,750 the week before Hurricane Harvey to 277,750 last week, are the main culprit for the decline. If the rise in claims is a temporary phenomenon, it will show up in the weekly data (FRED series IC4WSA) announced every Thursday.

      Keep calm and carry on!

    2. ambrit

      Sorry to let my ignorance show but, is there a ‘moving average’ version of a Yardani Indicator? Something that smoothes out the micro-fluctuations?
      Perhaps something like a median wage to ‘true’ cost of living change chart? (My theory is that “expectations” are more ‘here and now’ psychologically weighted rather than ‘absolute’ value weighed.)

      1. Jim Haygood

        It’s straightforward to smooth Yardeni’s indicator with a 12-month moving average. But doing so introduces a 6-month lag, which might delay identification of a recession until after it starts.

        In the last go-round, the bumpy unsmoothed Yardeni indicator crested in July 2007. The US economy entered recession in Dec 2007, five months later, with the indicator having dropped 9.9% from July.

        1. ambrit

          Thank you for the education Mr. Haygood. I need all the help I can get with the “nuts and bolts” items. Happy weekend to you.

  2. allan

    Closed Puerto Rico factories are the sole source of some critical drugs [CNN]

    The Food and Drug Administration is worried that there could be shortages of some critical drugs normally produced in Puerto Rico if manufacturing plants there are closed for an extended period of time.

    Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the commissioner of the FDA since May, arrived on Puerto Rico Friday to survey the situation and talk with pharmaceutical executives on the island. He said his agency has a list of about 40 drugs that it’s concerned could be in short supply, 13 of which are made only in Puerto Rico.

    “These are critical medicines. These are not drugs for which there are therapeutic substitutes,” he told reporters on the flight to Puerto Rico Friday. …

    Perhaps not unrelated: this week a doctor associated with an R-1 academic medical center told me that a new list
    was distributed at the hospital of drugs that need to be rationed due to shortages. This has been happening for
    several years, but the CNN story makes me wonder whether the latest list is due to the situation in Puerto Rico.

    1. petal

      Yesterday I was changing some filters on a machine we use in the lab to analyse cells and happened to notice on the package “Made in Puerto Rico” and thought “hmmm….” It’s from 2006, but how many other companies are in this boat?

    2. Juneau

      Drug shortages are occurring routinely. Including shortages in atenolol (cheapest beta blocker I know of), doxycycline, stimulants (going back years), epipens, certain chemo drugs, and no doubt there are more.

      I don’t like 90 day mail order for lots of reasons but for critical medications it makes sense now to get them to have a buffer. It seems these shortages go on, for months, not years ,much of the time.

      1. Paleobotanist

        Liquid cobalamin (vitamin B12) for injections was unavailable in Canada for many months a couple years back. It’s needed to keep bad cases of pernicious anemia alive – it was needed as a shot every 2-3 weeks lifelong. Now, many people with bad pernicious anemia can get by on sublingual tablets which is easier to store and use at home. The supply chains are pretty stretched and long. My feeling is, if you need a drug to stay alive, have at least 3 months at home if you can, just in case. Remember to rotate your stock. Date it with a sharpie.

  3. Marcus Webster

    I’m a dedicated reader of NC, the links are my morning go-to after the coffee’s ready, and I often recommend it as a source for friends. But I have to tell you I’m put off by the anti-Clinton, anti-Obama snark that comes out frequently in headlines. This is particularly true in the Water Cooler stand alone section which I have stopped reading for its depressing anti-Democratic Party bias. Am I at the wrong website?

    1. Ur-Blintz

      Accurate, trenchant criticism of Clinton, Obama and their Democratic cheerleaders is not snark.
      Does that answer your question?

    2. ambrit

      I do not represent the “management” here, but, no, you are not at the wrong website. I understand that the pseudonymous ‘Lambert Strether’ was closely involved with Democrat Party operations during the previous decade. Hence, he has ‘insight’ into the inner workings of that parties’ various plottings. (Please correct me if I’m wrong Sr. Strether.) The best recourse for Dem Party aficionados would be to rebut anti party claims. Without vigourous debate, we are all trapped in sterile ‘echo chambers’ of our preferred creeds.
      This is one of those rare sites that strives to create an actual ‘Dialectic.’
      Much of what you characterize as “anti-Clinton anti-Obama snark” is, to my jaundiced eye, a legitimate response to the absolute betrayals of the people, especially Democrat Party voters, by the two supposedly “transformative” politicos.
      Do hang around.

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      The Democratic party is not on your side unless you are in the top 10%. See Thomas Frank’s Listen, LIberal or his many Guardian op eds. As Lambert puts it, “The Republicans knife you in the face. The Democrats tell you they are so much nicer. They only want one kidney. What they don’t tell you is they are coming for the other kidney next year.”

      Obama presided over the biggest looting of the public purse in history and further enabled hugely inefficient extraction of wealth from homeowners and investors by refusing to intervene in over 9 million foreclosures, most of which would have been prevented by mortgage modifications that servicers could be bothered to do because they made more money foreclosing. He did monstrous damage to American citizens on a large scale basis, particularly people of color.

      See this for more detail:

      Clinton has been corrupt long before that was acceptable, starting with taking what amounted to $100,000 worth of bribes in 1978 in the form of the pretense of turning $1000 into $100,000 in commodity trading as a complete novice, via repeatedly having the best trade of the day allocated to her account (I know someone personally who was asked by three Congressmen to review her trading records when the story became public in the 1990s). Obama told her as a condition of becoming Secretary of State that the Clinton Foundation could not longer take donations from foreigners. The Clintons violated that promise and Obama refused to crack down on her.

      I need to turn in so I will let other readers make further comments about Clinton.

      1. Steve H.

        Clinton is the face, in the same way Trump is. The problems are systemic.See: Court Concedes DNC Had the Right to Rig Primaries Against Sanders

        The system gave us a choice of two New York criminals who each had control of over a billion dollars of assets in their name.

        This site is superb in not focusing on the faces and the -isms, but rather cui bono cui malo. More on the actions and not the distractions. “The only cure for confirmation bias is other people.”

      2. doug

        I see what Marcus does also. over time the site has drifted, perhaps as the D’s did?
        Sour grapes?

        ‘The Democratic party is not on your side unless you are in the top 10%’

        Surely that is obvious, and not new this century….

        As opposed to what party that might be?

        1. ambrit

          As to, that the “D”s SAY they are on the “lower orders'” side while prostituting themselves to the “Elites.” For too many, the illusion is all that they know of political discourse.

      3. Darn

        The 10% figure Frank uses is most interesting due to the “oligarchy” study showing the top 10% get their policy preferences whereas the 90% only get what they want when the 10% agrees (perhaps why Frank chose that figure?);jsessionid=37EDA24D1D5DA87AEB950CEFE63883FF?doi=

        I sympathise with Marcus a little although I agree with the negativity towards Clinton, Obama and the Dems in the blog posts, if we (the commenters) are supposed to criticise ideas and not people then those people are being criticised a lot. But, their character affects their electability as well as their job performance so it’s fair game.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          I think Frank’s number was just a guesstimate. His bigger point is that the Democrats not only have identified themselves with top professionals (which you could also think of as the handmaidens to the 1%/0.1%) but they have become openly contemptuous of working classes, adn by implication, labor unions, when the latter is still a core Democratic party ally.

          The “criticize ideas” is meant to guide how to deal with other commentors, not public figures.

          To your point re Clinton and Obama, when one is discussing pundits and political figures, they are actively identifying themselves with a set of policies. Moreover, for political leaders, character is considered to be a very important selection criterion. Tom Price was just forced out of office for abusing private jets. If character didn’t matter, it would have been considered OK for him to reimburse the government and promise not to do it again.

          1. Darn

            Thank you for stating the definitive position for Marcus and the rest of us, sorry if my comment was unclear cuz I think we are actually in synch.

            I assumed it was a guesstimate too, I’ve only read extracts from LL, but whether or not he cites it, the study backs up his thesis. Clinging to their own class interest surely helps explain their refusal to move left even when it seems electorally possible.

            I assumed politicians, if not all public figures, were fair game judging by comments (as opposed to the blog) since they were reopened. As I tried to indicate, character affects both appearances and ability so I hope Marcus sees that when ppl here call Obama a coward or Clinton neurotic, it’s relevant to their popularity and their policy competence. That it can be amusing is a side benefit.

    4. windsock

      I can’t speak on behalf of the website, but as a fellow reader and member of the commentariat, I see that anti-Denocratic Party anger as frustration on behalf of writers who expect such a party to do better and be better than it currently is. Otherwise where else do the working class go to vote for their own issues and interests? Republicans? Really?

      I speak as a UK reader who sees the same issues working out in the Tory and Labour parties. Thank heavens we at least are beginning to exorcise the ghost of Blair, if not quickly enough (I’m looking at you, Umunna, and Cooper and others of the “newly converted” Corbynites – Watson etc).

      If you think a point that has been made is invalid, argue it. That’s why we are all here. Let’s have a heated debate!

      1. JTMcPhee

        And, Marcus, complaints that “you people are attacking the tribal leaders I believe in” are not robust open debate. Tell the rest of us what great good things the Clintons and Obama and any others of the Democratic leadership have done for us and for the planet. Folks here seem very open to being educated and persuaded.

        Please feel free to continue to read, for the potentially profitable insights into the (political) economy and the Market that are so graciously provided by our hosts, if you can skip over the annoying bits…

        1. Darn

          I think we all understand the “vote blue no matter who” argument, to stop the Republicans. But no, it does not make Dem leaders above criticism any more than it did before Reagan. If it’s legit to criticise them from the right of the party, it’s legit to criticise them from the left.

        1. clinical wasteman

          Not Third Murderer? Who in all of Shakespeare better embodies Mr TB’s mercenary cruelty and his utter insignificance?

            1. Steve H.

              ambrit, I kid you not, in rehearsal today I said Stoppard was the English Mamet. In other words, the use of repetition which leads to actors losing their place in the show. That, and Mamet repeats one word, while the Englishman has many more…

              And Stoppard is using the sounds. This section:

              “God’s blood!, the shot and shell! – graveyard stench! Christ Jesu! – deserted by simpletons, they damn us to hell – ora pro noblis – quick! no, get me out! – I think to match the carnation, oxblood pin, the damask lapels – or a brown, no, biscuit – no – get me out the straight cut trouser…”


              God’s blood : oxblood
              Christ Jesu : creased just so
              deserted by simpletons : asserted by a simple pin
              they damn us to hell : the damask lapels
              ora pro noblis : or a brown, no, bis
              quick, no get me out : cuit – no – get me out

              How am I supposed to get that across? or in Mametian:

              Fuck! How the fuck am I supposed to get that across?

    5. todde

      And I am put off by the anti working class snark that comes from the Democrat Party.

      I was really put off when Obama and weapons for ‘jihad’ in Libya and Syria.

      I could go on. But why bother

    6. The Rev Kev

      Marcus, I can understand your distress in having people that you respect and admire being mocked and subject to snark. However, since we are adults here (or mostly try to be) may I point out something. When the history books are written it will likely be stated that the sole surviving legacy of the two Presidential terms of Barack Obama as well as the Presidential challenges of Hillary Clinton was the Presidency of Donald J. Trump.
      Arguendo this being the case I think that you owe it to yourself to understand just why this was so. How was it that someone as vile and bafoonish as Trump was still considered the better choice by Americans at the end of the day? It cannot be racism as Obama was elected TWICE by white Americans. There is knowledge and understanding to be gained from coming to grip with things that you do not ordinarily want a bar of. Go past the link titles and see what people have to say about the matter.

    7. Alex Morfesis

      NC is not bias nor anti-demokratik…it tends to link to pro democratic stories more often than not…but NC does not seem to buy into the notion nor narrative of politicians as running for sainthood…

      Smiling at locust because they make a pleasant sound is not the most brilliant path to success for a nation or the world…

      It is certainly much more difficult for the clowns that be today to construct story lines and control the conversation with the readily available swarm of non conforming information sources commonly known as the big wide web…

      Besides…if it annoys you, it is forcing you to think…these eyes certainly peruse knuckleheaded mind numbing hate sights to try to observe what tactics and noise is being used to confuse others into spewing out nonsense…and then use that knowledge and observations to attempt to bring perhaps well meaning but scared puppies back into some semblance of decency and humanity…

      No one has a monopoly on “how things are”…pick up the baton and make your case…it’s not as though reading retorts will break anyones toemails…

    8. Darius

      I was a yellow dog Democrat with roots going back four generations. Obama serving Bush’s third and fourth term made me pull up hard and drop them. I was dismayed when Obama embraced austerity out of the box. I was beside myself when he pushed the grand bargain and TPP.

      It was Republican intransigence that saved us from those two disasters. The Democrats just went along because to them Obama is charismatic. I’ll never count myself as one of them again.

      1. sd

        Obama, the “Constitutional” President, lost me forever with the very unconstitutional, indefinite detention. That was my own personal WTF moment. Even Cheney didn’t go that far.

    9. voteforno6

      If you would like to offer rebuttals, please do so! If others here are wrong, I would hope that they would be open to a serious examination of any facts that you offer to the contrary. As long as everyone remains civil, that should be fine.

    10. Lee

      I came here at first sporadically and now regularly when Daily Kos became insufferably antagonistic toward criticism from the left. If you’re looking for uncritical support of Democrats, you’ve come to the wrong shop. But do stick around; there are many here, including myself on some days, who feel the Democratic party brand is worth saving, just not under its current management.

      1. Darius

        Not that it’s worth saving, but maybe vulnerable to a hostile takeover. In an entrenched two party system, it’s one of only two on offer, so, whether you like it or not, it’s the Ds or the Rs.

      2. SpringTexan

        There are some great Democrats, and not all super-left . . . e.g. Lloyd Doggett who TIRELESSLY works for the good of people. Those people do walk on water, in my opinion, and they don’t have to be as left as I am to get my whole-hearted support (and financial contribution).

        But never again will I be the yellow-dog Democrat I was before 2001 (left the party over its support for Afghanistan war). And most Democrats — including Obama — have betrayed us. For real.

        We need to use the party for its ballot access, but with no delusions, and with selective alliances.

      3. Rojo

        I’m a DailyKos refugee as well.

        I still think control of Democratic Party is possible and might be the best way forward. But I’ve come to the conclusion that we need to open up the system, even if that were to happen. I mean the Democrats were a somewhat decent Social Democratic party for decades (with the big caveat of foreign policy). But the Money and the careerist toadies started to chip away before Roosevelt’s body was cold. The Money would like nothing more than for the left to have one venue that, even if they loose control of it for a time, they can gain it back with speaking fees and book deals.

        I voted for Stein, but I’ve always been a little meh towards the Greens. However, maybe that should be the party targeted for a take-over. More working class politics, less Trustifarianism. The greens already have the infrastructure of ballot access.

        We should also work with the Libertarian Party on lawsuits and petition drives to make ballot-access for non-legacy parties.

    11. DJG

      Marcus: Read the whole article from Wash Post above about “Working till we die.” The Devers are Democrats. See what happened to them. See how they have voted. Note the paragraphs in the middle about 401 k accounts and the scam-o-ganza that they are (the Devers didn’t participate but don’t have much savings, either). You don’t have to have Republicans around when the Democrats have been so determined to produce such results.

      I have no sympathy for the Conserva-Dem wing (Clinton, Obama, Schumer, Feinstein, Rahm). They even had the gall to loot the post office. Whose legacy do you want? Ben Franklin or Hillary Clinton?

          1. ConcernedCitizen

            Open in “incognito mode” with Chrome, or “private window” with Firefox.

            For WSJ – google the title.

            Haven’t figured out – The Financial Times and The Economist

      1. Jim Haygood

        New faces, new places:

        Democrats have the perfect weapon to take down Donald Trump in 2020, according to a conservative columnist: Oprah.

        The famed black media proprietor and TV host was thrown into the political mix on Thursday when an op-ed in the New York Post suggested she is ‘uniquely positioned, should she wish to commit herself, to seek the Democratic nomination for president and challenge Trump in 2020.’

        John Podhoretz, a never-Trump advocate and former speechwriter for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, shared his essay on Twitter – and Oprah answered.

        ‘Thanks for your VOTE of confidence!’ she wrote back in a tweet.

        What Oprah has in common with Trump is political outsider status and celebrity name recognition that veteran political regulars can only dream of.

        It’s unlikely that Oprah would beat Trump in 2020 — eight-year partisan alternation forecasted an R-party victory in 2016 before Trump was even nominated, and it forecasts another R-party victory in 2020.

        But Oprah’s nomination would be a healthy step toward an urgently needed de-Clintonization of the D-party, which remains in the putrid thrall of the lifelong grifters who are still hustling multi-million-dollar book contracts and their do-nothing charity fraud foundation.

        1. Matt

          While I don’t think we need another billionaire president, at least Oprah knows what it’s like to be poor, which is more than you can say for Trump.

    12. Sid_finster

      If Team D wants me to stop calling them out for their criminal activity and corruption, then they should stop with the criminal activity and corruption.

      If Team D cheerleading is what you hanker for, then go to Kos.

      1. Marco

        Wow! Thanks for providing that link where Lambert defends the Clinton 90’s job miracle. Also experiencing some cognitive dissonance since I consider myself a staunch Clinton HATER (both of them) and come to NC specifically to strengthen that feedback loop of scorn and ridicule and outrage then leading to enlightenment. All fun aside I think Bill was way more toxic to the party than Hillary.

        1. Marco

          Also adding…What can keep the Democrats from splitting along a blue-dog / Bernie faction similar to labor and lib-dems in the UK? Is that even something to worry about? My fear with the recent Biden “murmurs” is that the Dem elites are terminally incapable of getting a clue.

          1. Darn

            Labour at least wins a third of the time while being far to the left of the American Dems, setting limits on what the Tories can do, leaving the Tories to the left of the Dems as well. But, as Thomas Frank keeps saying, party realignment is near-impossible due to the ballot access racket which is designed to prevent it. Hence emphasis on taking over the Dems, instead of having a Labour-style third party to eventually replace them.

            If Lambert is watching, I’ve been meaning to ask where the useful phrase “concrete material benefits” comes from? His own?

    13. Jeff W

      My take on this site is that it supports some underlying premises on regular basis:

      The Democratic party is a neoliberal party. Obama and Clinton are politicians holding profoundly neoliberal views. Neoliberalism has worked to the detriment of the vast majority of people in the US and around the world over the past 40 years.

      To the extent that the Democratic Party has not gotten more traditionally-“liberal,” i.e., “New Deal”-type, policies enacted (policies. for example, like universal health care, stronger protections for workers, large-scale public infrastructure programs, etc.), that is not due, or due primarily, to Republican opposition, it’s because the Democratic Party itself, as a neoliberal party, doesn’t want those policies.

      If Obama or Clinton or the Democratic Party (at least the establishment wing of the Democratic Party) is claiming to be “progressive,” that claim is false and amounts to little more than what this piece in In These Times calls “an empty marketing tool”—in other words, the Democratic Party wants one thing, says another, and is misleading, or trying to mislead, its base in doing so.

      You ask “Am I on the wrong website?” It depends, I think, on how you feel about reading a website that holds those premises. (Whether you agree with them or not is a different issue.)

    14. uncle tungsten

      Thank you Marcus from my perspective in another country, I find the NC water cooler to be sharp and informative. The last USA presidency and election showed clearly that the Dems are in serious ideological trouble and that is very dangerous for any alternative to the Repugnants who are demonstrating some odd and alarming tendencies these past decades.

      I respect the need for clear criticism and repetitive prodding to keep our political systems alert to the needs and aspirations of people as opposed to the corporations. Water Cooler is mild compared to h a goodman who is a relentless prodder of the Dems failures and an ardent bernie supporter. Where I live the political choices are similar as in the USA but we have a better system whereby independents and minor parties can get representation plus we have some robust and solid critical independent media. Stay with it and remain strong lest the window of perception narrow to a slit.

  4. Ignacio

    Tropical forests are now emitting more carbon than oxygen, alarming new study finds Independent

    Important but misleading headline. I thougth It was going to deal with emissions of volatile organic compounds from plants. As a defense against heat, plants emit volatiles that help to dissipate it. This not only reduces the efficiency of photosinthetic carbon storage but these are also potent GHCs The article is about deforestation.

    1. justanotherprogressive

      I searched the article trying to find a link to the actual study (or even an abstract) so that I can verify if what this writer summarizes is true if I choose (often it is not!). If the writer doesn’t provide the link then I usually take what the writer says with a grain of salt……..

      I did look up the actual study, but unfortunately it is behind a paywall (I can pay $30 to read it for one day if I want…..NICE considering that this research was already paid for by public funds…..) So, I tried to find it using my university’s library – and it’s not there (????)

      From the abstract:
      “The carbon balance of tropical ecosystems remains uncertain, with top-down atmospheric studies suggesting an overall sink and bottom-up ecological approaches indicating a modest net source. ”

      “indicating a modest net source”? Not exactly what the author of this story is claiming……

      The headline does appear to be more “click-bait” than anything else……but you are right – the headline and his text do not match…..

      1. Ignacio

        Thank you. I think a “modest net source” means that, overall, tropical forests are modestly contributing to an increase in GHC emissions. The review suggests that the main reason migth be lower plant density.

        1. justanotherprogressive

          What Baccini and his team are doing is important research – and I hate to see it “used” or “distorted” by writers for dramatic headlines. As you say, it isn’t “tropical forests” that may be giving off more carbon – it is “degraded tropical forests”…..amazing how a little adjective completely changes the meaning……

      2. Juliania

        Just want to add that for wintertime indoor health you cannot beat such forest dwellers as spider plants. I have a mini forest of them which i bench up high ( so cat lovers, unless your kitty can leap hanging plant to hanging plant, these are a great option for you.) Easy to propagate and low light, drought tolerant.

      3. biologynerd

        Not the same article, but had an interesting piece about this a few years ago. Seems to be due to fragmentation of the ecosystem; which is deforestation at it’s worst. It’s better to cut trees from the periphery than inside, but the policies in Brazil say that it’s better to log or burn from the inside, despite scientific evidence to the contrary. (this last sentence is not in the article I am linking to.)

        I also read another article a couple of years back (on about trees emitting less oxygen because they are satisfied with the amount of CO2 and don’t have to open their stomata in order to get more CO2- which is incidentally how they release the 02. Don’t know whether the original article takes that into consideration, but it is something to consider.

  5. The Rev Kev

    Re: Trump scrambles to contain Puerto Rico crisis
    I saw where Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke was boasting of what they had done but then had an appalled San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz give her reaction to what Duke had just said. What can you say? Sometimes the comments write themselves-

    “Elaine, you’re doing a heck of a job”

    1. rd

      Puerto Rico is essentially in receivership with a board appointed by the US government running its finances.

      It appears the board will only allow Puerto Rico to spend $1 billion in hurricane relief. Damages are expected to be about $30 billion.

      I predict that Congress will appropriate a bunch of money for Puerto Rico at the behest of Wall Street, so that their economy can be rebuilt using US taxpayer dollars so that the bond repayment schedule can go on without a hitch. It would also be helpful if private charity also donated to help reconstruct. That way hedge funds can be made whole, which is the important thing.

      1. Mark P.

        Congress will appropriate a bunch of money for Puerto Rico at the behest of Wall Street, so … using US taxpayer dollars … the bond repayment schedule can go on without a hitch.

        Making Puerto Rico our very own Greece. It sounds right.

      2. uncle tungsten

        Where is Chelsea and the Clinton Foundation when you need it? Are they still overburdened helping out in Haiti?

    2. wilroncanada

      Interesting to me, seeing what little is shown in newscasts, was the visuals of all the containers of ‘whatever’ on the docks of San Juan. I thought I might have seen large (military?) cargo planes offloading bulldozers, excavators, and other earth moving equipment, apparent from flyovers giving many reports, as the most immediate needs, along with water purification equipment, fuels and some kinds of temporary power.

      But then I live far away.

  6. Jim Haygood

    Craazyman Fund encountered a slight headwind during September, as the dollar index DXY rose from 92.63 to 93.07. The dollar’s rise held emerging market stocks (30% of Craazyman Fund) to a flat performance for the month, while the old yellow dog (gold, 20% of Craazyman Fund) wilted 3.2%.

    Boosting the fund’s performance was a solid showing in junk bonds (50% of the portfolio) which rose 1.1% during the month. Junk bonds are correlated with the performance of small-cap stocks. The small-cap Russell 2000 index soared 6.1% in September to close the month at a record high.

    For the month, Craazyman Fund was flat with an 0.01% decline. Its benchmark, a 50/50 mix of S&P 500 index stocks and Bloomberg Barclays Aggregate bonds, rose 0.9% thanks to a 2.1% rise in stocks to a record high, while investment-grade bonds shed 0.6% on rising yields.

    Since inception on Mar 2, 2016, Craazyman Fund has gained 26.4% versus a 17.3% gain in its benchmark. Chart:

    As long as Bubble III soldiers on, Craazyman Fund likely will retain its substantial lead over its benchmark. A most delicate transition in the portfolio — the Treasury fork — looms somewhere in the unknowable future. When the time comes, Craazyman Fund will take shelter from the storm.

  7. phaedras25

    This commenter speaks my mind. Equalizing the corruption of the Democratic party to the party committing murder on citizens is committing the same inability to measure scope and impact you express disdain for in others.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Huh? Obama did not wind down our misadventures in the Middle East. Those wars are a two-party affair. He did restrain Hillary upon occasion. See this New York Times story for details:

      If you mean killing citizens here, consider: the police in blue cities like Los Angeles have a terrible record, so I’m not sure you can draw such a bright line as you’d like.

      Similarly, Obama only began talking up abusive policing and mass incarceration very late in his presidency, after Black Lives Matter started to become a political force. See here for the timing:

      1. Brian

        I would dislike believing in politics of any kind, for it would show I have not thought, examined or weighed the facts relevant to make a rational conclusion. If I cut it off at belief, I deserve every lie told by a politician. If I believed them on anything after the repeated lies even the former heroes boldly stated as fact, I would have to admit my inablility to think on my own, or come to decisions by my self.
        Placing ‘faith’ in something is risky business when it overrides all consideration of facts.
        NC is where nothing is sacred except the truth that can be pulled from the rubble that has surrounded us. Once I realized the purpose of my government is to lie to me, I learned enough not to give them any benefit of any doubt. Am I a pessimist or an optimist?

    2. ambrit

      I’m not sure how to respond here. You are aware that the recent Democrat Party Presidents basically continued and expanded upon the Republican Party transgressions, aren’t you?
      Cue Gore Vidals’ quote about the Property Party.

    3. JTMcPhee

      I grew up amidst the Democratic Party domination of Chicago. The corruption was manifest and massive. But also the Dems placed people of bad faith and evil intent in all parts of the political structure and city government. We had the ’68 Dem convention and police riot, where the first Mayor Daley famously observed, “The police are not here to create disorder, they are here to preserve disorder” (read it carefully, please.) We had Alderman Tom Keane, with his various questionable “ties,” actually continuing his participation in the city council from a federal prison cell, as one small example. Read Mike Royko’s oeuvres for many more. And we had the Summedale District police using squadrols (police vans) to haul away loot from businesses that the cops burgled and robbed in full daylight, and open extortion. We had the Red Squad, that actually with other police elements did “kill citizens” like Fred Hampton and Mark Clark. And the Dem-led police under many Dem mayors like Daley’s and Rahm Emanuel’s (Obama’s close chum) ran and probably continue to run a gulag secret detention and torture center at Holman Square,

      The Vietnam war that I was sucker enough to enlist into, largely a Democratic project, killed 58,220 US citizens and millions more citizens of other countries, for fun and profit. We have the Clintons to thank for the US carceral state that kills many, along with wars on drugs and poverty that are wars on unfortunate drug users (driven to use by the Elite’s policies which I acknowledge are cross-party-line-created) and wars on the poor that do kill citizens (and other people, like illegal aliens).

      I’ll leave it there, and leave it to others to point out the many “policies” that the Dem establishment has instituted and fostered that kill citizens. The Dems are not alone in running how the Empire operates, but they are right in there hacking and shoveling, and deserve (but are immune to) the criticisms and observations that appear in this space but are hardly unique or unsourced…

      What kind of political economy do we want, again? And whoever “we” are, how do we go about achieving it?

      1. Darthbobber

        Hmm… Chicago I follow. But the Vietnam War was clearly a near-unanimous “bipartisan” thing for most of its life. Rereading Sale’s history of SDS I’m reminded again of how uniform the support for that fiasco was among virtually all of the “responsible” leaders of our society and political culture.

        The House passed the Gulf of Tonkin resolution unanimously, and the Senate had all of two dissenting votes. As the tide began to turn, the Democratic Party proved more susceptible to antiwar pressure at that specific time than did the Republican. And that ephemeral success is really the only reason for the Democratic Party’s reputation as the less-bellicose party since. And at this point they’ve pretty much overdrawn whatever they had saved up in their antiwar credibility account.

        1. leftover

          Is there an example of the Republican Party “killing citizens”? Anywhere? The Democratic Party makes for an easy target. But I’m at a loss to come up with a similar Republican Party example.

            1. leftover

              You know…I forgot about Nawar Anwar al-Awlaki and the duel citizenship issue. I do think that’s about as close as the Republicans can get, although the support for that type of militarism is definitely bipartisan.

              I’m also going to fall back on the fact that Obama intentionally targeted Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen by birth, for summary execution without any benefit of due process whatsoever. (That mission also resulted in the death of Samir Kahn, another American citizen.)
              So the similarity between Democratic and Republican Party actions concerning “killing citizens” lies in the deaths of Nawar Anwar al-Awlaki (Trump) and her brother Abdulrahman Anwar al-Awlaki (Obama). Neither of those children were, according to reports, actually targeted.

              All this is may be evidence of the lack of any substantive difference between the two legacy Parties. But as far as the actual killing of citizens is concerned? The Democratic Party and The Drone King still retain the bonafides on that score. Unless I’m forgetting something else.

              1. clinical wasteman

                If there’s supposed to be a ‘substantive’, as opposed to a legalistic, difference between killing citizens and noncitizens of any state, noncitizens are indiscriminately killable. Who would want that? …. But oh, wait, looks like we already have it (& definitely not just in/by the US). The suspicion that National Preference and Citizenship lead inexorably in that direction is the reason some of us are so stubbornly antipathetic to those things.

                1. leftover

                  The “substantive” difference I refer to is in regard to a much wider scope of meaning than any legalistic definition or otherwise confined to the notion of “killing citizens.” There is no substantive difference between the two legacy parties. Nothing beyond mere cosmetics.

                  But when considering which of those Parties bears the weight of consequence in the actual killing of citizens…when considering the available evidence relating to premeditation, targeting and success…The Democratic Party, in these times, comes out the winner.

            1. leftover

              First…not successful. Or totally successful nationwide. Or attributable to just the Republican Party. For instance, SCOTUS played a role in the Medicaid Expansion.
              Second…While healthcare policy may exacerbate amenable mortality, that consequence cannot be laid solely in the lap of the Republican Party.
              Third…I find actions taken by the former leader of the Democratic Party in Yemen, with full Party support, (the legality of which is, at best, arguable), to more closely fit the “killing citizens” label. That’s the similarity I’m looking for.

              1. zapster

                Republican opposition to reasonable gun control. We have more people killed by malevolent and/or stupid use of unregulated guns than most countries have in wars. 30k a year now, is it? Something like that.

                Toss in failure to enforce environmental laws and the related cancers and other illnesses, gutting of agencies that are supposed to prevent deaths in workplaces, food poisoning, and a myriad others.. the republican death toll is staggering.

                1. leftover

                  None of the deaths you refer to can logically be laid solely in the lap of the Republican Party.
                  Such a death toll is related to the imposition of policy and is wholly bipartisan in nature.
                  And none of it is the result of conspiracy and premeditation, direct targeting of citizenry, and extrajudicial execution: the killing of citizens.

    4. diptherio

      “committing murder on citizens”…is that a reference to Anwar al-Awlaki?

      The U.S. government believes it can legally justify the killing of American citizens in drone strikes: In 2014, the Justice Department released a secret 2011 memo that explained the legal justification for killing American terror suspects living overseas without trial.

      When it comes to killing US citizens, neither party has a monopoly. Sorry to burst your bubble.

    5. lyman alpha blob

      This being an economic website and all, please remember that when it came time to bailout the banks under the Bush administration, the Congressional Republicans actually said no and the measure failed. It was only after Obama started twisting arms that it passed on the second go round. Again, that’s the Democrats supporting a bailout worth trillions of dollars for a bunch of criminal racketeers rather than having them indicted.

      So please explain why the Democrats are less corrupt then the Republicans again. And do we really need to pick a winner as the most corrupt or can we simply call the corruption all around as we see it?

      Tribalism is tiresome – we’re all in this together after all.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        “I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views.” -Barack Obama

        If its a genuine concern, this is largely the problem for many followers. Its not that Obama was a con man. He and Hillary of “the real Hillary” narrative are largely fictional characters people are attached too. Evidence that Frodo Baggins just made up the whole story to explain his guardian’s “mysterious” disappearance greatly offends readers.

        Besides, this is a common strategy. One comment praises the sight and assures everyone they are long time listener and first time caller and then laments its shift denigrating the object of the affection. Given the level of snark around the Democrats, I’m not sure what shift happened. A second commenter who can’t seem to master the “reply” button responds about agreeing with the first comment. Lather, rinse, repeat. They neither address any follow up comment. This one is particularly detailed but still bizarre, ignoring the recent activities of the former Droner and Chief.

        My guess is the Obama collecting Wall Street payouts isn’t playing well on the local level. It was one thing when a narrative could be concocted of Obama saving the economy and presenting a story about how pursuing Wall Street would cause a loss of confidence. When he is brazenly collecting checks, silence is necessary.

        1. Darius

          I’m amazed the trolls think they can sow discord and mea culpas. This crowd has seen too much to fall for Brockian misdirection and Democrat on-the-other-handism.

      2. Darthbobber

        I’m fairly sure that if Menendez suffers his near-inevitable conviction across the river from me before Chris Christie’s term as governor ends, the Democrats in the Senate will be nearly unanimous in supporting the newly convicted felon in staying in the Senate while he appeals, in hopes that a likely Democratic governor will be able to appoint his successor. And-get this- one guy campaigning to be his successor is the infamous Bob Toricelli, who had to bow out some years back under a massive scandal of his own.

        And even if one DID concede that Democrats in general are less corrupt than Republicans (in the sense that maybe only 75% of dem bigshots are corrupt as compared with 90% of Republicans), there’s no need at all to accept THAT as the limit of what we want to be able to choose. Particularly given that the struggle in the party is over what kind of Democrats and with what politics, not a comparison of generic donkeys to generic elephants

      3. Darthbobber

        Not quite. Recall that the initial house vote was on the 29th of September, and the second, yes vote by October 3rd. And Obama, who had yet to be elected president, wasn’t in a position to do that much in the way of arm twisting.

        I think most of the arm-twisting came from Mr. Market’s panic-stricken reaction after the no vote and the hysterical reaction from the financial and other media.

        The one thing that might have stopped it would have been if McCain, as the Republican candidate, had taken one more high-risk, high-reward gamble and followed up his Sept 24th “suspension” of his campaign by coming out against the bailout legislation as it stood. But when he flew back to Washington to participate in the talks he wound up having nothing to say except to grumble a bit, and ended up as a supporter (with misgivings, but crisis and all that, and must stand together-exactly the same framing his opponent was using.)

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          You are not correct re Obama’s role. He was seen as President presumptive due to where the polls were as well as McCain’s abysmal performance at a crisis briefing held by the Administration. Obama whipped hard to get the TARP passed and people I know in Congress then say his support was critical to its passage.

  8. Wukchumni

    Research on how the ‘weapons effect’ can induce aggressive behavior around guns is riling people up on the left and right Business Insider (David L). FWIW, my sample suggests that there is a huuge difference between people who have grown up around gun use as hunters (they tend to treat them with great caution and keep them locked up a lot of the time) v. the stereotypical suburbanite who has seen too many movies with gunplay and thinks keeping a loaded gun in a nightstand or purse is a sound idea.

    One thing to consider about the suburbanite with a hand cannon, is quite often a free shooting range is a few hours drive away and those private shooting ranges can be a little intimidating to a neophyte, so perhaps a good many of those that were persuaded to go out and get all armed and dangerous, have never actually used them?

    1. ambrit

      Too true. I live in a gun nut state, Mississippi, but the nearest free range is a half hours’ drive away. The local private gun range does a background check on all prospective members. Non conformists like me rightly view that as overreach.

    2. Charger01

      The American obsession with firearms is emotional and strong. The Nation (if memory serves) had a reporter “go deep”, joined a gun club, and shot competitively with a military surplus rifle. The article was most cultural commentary, but a few nuggets were buries in the story. One ancedote, that Americans tend to buy guns when afraid. I found that particularly interesting, and actually sold one of my firearms pre-2012 election due to the high market prices for magazine fed rifles. The one rare time I made a profit.

    3. Juneau

      That is a very good point. Ranges allow people to practice and learn the force of these weapons.

      Growing up around hunting and trapping, we kids learned from Dad what the rules of gun (and knife) ownership entailed.
      Basically, anyone stupid enough to get drunk or out of control and handle a weapon was labelled stupid and/or insane and was kept out of future shooting trips. Period. Shunning serves a real purpose in this regard.

      1. Wukchumni

        So sometime in the early 90’s, my business partner & our friend in the LAPD decide to go shooting at a private range somewhere near the garment district in downtown LA, and we get our appointed lanes, which are next to a couple of crips practicing their aim, and our LAPD pal just screamed cop from a looks standpoint, and his duffel bag on the floor with an LAPD badge, cemented the notion.

        And here they were, a cop and a gangbanger side by side, shooting.

  9. Wukchumni

    Yosemite climber died saving wife from rockfall The Times

    Very sad to be in the right place at the wrong time…

    From a distance the Sierra Nevada looks majestic, a range of peaks that goes on forever as far as the eye can see, when looking up from the fruited plain…

    But as you get closer to the top you realize it’s just a jumble of boulders constantly breaking off like so many apples falling @ Newton’s feet.

    Every peak has a scree field full of boulders below it that have cleaved off above as a result of 10,000 years of 25 feet of snow for 6 months and then nothing but the sun’s rays on barren rock for the next 6 stanzas. One rock might be the size of a basketball, while the behemoth next to it is a trapezoidal slab of granite that almost resembles a sherman tank in looks and girth. They’re fun to walk through, giant jigsaw puzzle pieces of odd dimensions underfoot.

    1. Enquiring Mind

      Old climbers will tell you that it is a matter of time until you get hit, and not just the little pebbles that ping off your helmet. I suffered a broken rib from the Tbone-sized rock that only fell straight down 20′, and am alive now only because I dodged the TV sized rock accelerating down a 200′ scree slope. If the latter had hit me, you would have needed a spatula and a sponge to clean up.

      1. Wukchumni

        I watched a sizable boulder come off of the summit of Black Kaweah and fall into Butch Lake, when I was on the summit of Kaweah Queen across the way, and it was like a depth charge, kabooooooooooMMMM!

        And add into it that Butch Lake is one of the best echo chambers i’ve come across, the sound pounded the adjacent walls and bounced back at me with the slightest of delay versus the visual action.

          1. Wukchumni

            I climbed it with 3 friends about 15 years ago, and there’s this one chute with about 1,500 feet of vertical you climb up to the summit in, and there’s loose rock everywhere, so one of us would go 100 feet and then the next person and so on. It was one of the most relaxing climbs i’ve ever had, as there was no rush, and before you knew it we were on top~

            The view on high was the best i’ve ever had on a peak in the Sierra. Pretty much unlimited visibility in all directions, Banner & Ritter far to the north, and the coastal range far to the west.

    2. ArcadiaMommy

      Yes, skied down some 55 degree hills around Lake Tahoe back in my younger days (and they absolutely terrify me now, but my kids love them). There were lots of places where you had to consider what you would be landing on once you went over the ledge.

  10. Meher Baba

    us folk outside of US of North America do find your debates about guns , surreal. Because we dont have them, and can’t comprehend how intrinsic they are to your society. Anyway whatever. I urge you to go to the youtubes and search ‘Jim Jeffries gun control’. He is an australian standup comic, in this instance addressing your audience. Its a routine that lasts about 12 mins. VERY funny. But he raises the bar so high, on the debate. He looks at the facts. If you have an opinion about guns of any kind then this video is essential viewi ng. You must watch it.

    1. Wukchumni

      Looking at the issue from an insider’s standpoint, we’ve been given colors of red & blue and have been persuaded to buy as many guns as possible-if not more. All that’s really needed now is to convince the proles to go out and buy identifying uniforms in the correct hue, and bingo…

      We’ve got the accoutrement for Civil War, part deux

      1. JBird4049

        Hush there, don’t give anyone ideas. We don’t need anymore people thinking of the blue & grey as a good idea.

    2. JBird4049

      Speaking as an Californian socialist, former gun user, and supporter of the 2nd Amendment, I have to say guns have been politicized, demonized, fetishistized, and tribalized to insanity. Following the current political, and social, checklists I don’t exist. It’s as if somebodies had spent large amounts of effort creating stereotypes, labeling people into them, and then splitting them into smaller, more easily controllable social groups. But that’s crazy talk, isn’t?

        1. clinical wasteman

          Yes, thanks. No difficulty believing that, because that same kind of instant non-existence has been applied to the urban and especially the urban-immigrant part of the working class in the UK since last year.
          Beware of Thought Leaders who mean ‘caste’ when they say ‘class’.

  11. Croatoan

    The “mindfulness movement” should give you the willies. It is a financialized, corpratized, Americanized, and weaponized version of a 2500 year old practice. It is being used by corporations to create a docile work force instead of a liberated on.

    1. Terry Flynn

      re Mindfulness as solution to mental health issues

      As I soon as I got to “a recent meta-analysis” in the article it gave weight to feelings I’ve had that “we’ve been here before” – notably with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). CBT was the “new magic bullet” in its time too…..until they began to find that yes, there are groups it helps, but there are also large groups for whom it’s a waste of time and money.

      I imagine both of these do have “average positive effects” but the key word is average. I have done CBT (waste of time) and a group mindfulness course. Within one session it was clear that of the 12 attendees, at least four were not going to benefit at all – they had lifestyles that just made the (quite time consuming, intensive) additions to your life schedule impossible. Four of us had/have jobs where we can integrate it to our lives….and I’ll maintain an open mind as to whether it may help….but I know full well it can only help in the long term if it does at all. (And as an economist I remember what Keynes said about the long term.) For the remaining four attendees it’s a toss-up as to whether it’ll work.

      I predict in 5 years we’ll be back to square one for a significant number of patients in the quest for non-medication based solutions.

      1. Croatoan

        Ha, yes, as I have said to my Buddhist friends; Maybe meditation only worked for the Buddha?

        Most people just never get a break, so I suppose just sitting on a park bench for a half hour with out their cell phones would give the same result.

        I did CBT as well, and it is not much more than some parts of the Buddhist practices I had done.

        Saying all of that I will admit that Buddhism, not just “mindfulness”, changed my life for the better. The fact that most people into mindfulness do not even know what the precepts are is part of why it will fall.

        1. Terry Flynn

          Yeah at the risk of sounding like a Freudian armchair psychologist, there is a lot of research (and anecdotes from therapists I’ve seen) suggesting that they’re battling with a host of personality disorders that whilst not so simplistically “your parents’ fault” a la Freud, are certainly partly due to parenting styles – it is probable that there are interactions between parenting style, genetic predisposition and life events that precipitate the mental health problems that the meds don’t help (or have limited benefit for) and which the mindfulness brigade seek to provide *the* solution to.

          And, as you say, this “pick and mix” approach to Buddhist practices is likely fraught with difficulty. It’s the overall change in your lifestyle that is really required to get lasting benefit. One of the “obviously not gonna benefit” people I encountered worked in the emergency services and I thought “in austerity-ridden UK how on Earth is this person going to be able to make the big lifestyle changes required by the teacher in order to get any benefit?” And a particular personality disorder – which is really the underlying/most serious contributor to the problem and when not addressed for in many cases decades – is very very difficult to treat.

        1. Sutter Cane

          est lives on as “Landmark Education.” They re-branded as Landmark, a totally innocuous-sounding name, and to look at the website it appear to be just Anthony Robbins, “Personal Power” style self help b.s. But google it and the first things that pop up are cultwatch websites.

          I was too young to be around for est and had never heard of it, but I took a new job and had a supervisor who kept going on and on about how I just HAD to try Landmark Education, it would really help me, etc. I looked into it and it seemed it boiled down to paying to take a seminar in which you are brainwashed into paying to take additional seminars, while also browbeating everyone you know into doing the same.

          I only lasted six months in that job.

        2. wilroncanada

          And before that there was Fritz Perls ‘Gestalt’, and, and, and.
          In the 1980s I was pestered/threatened to take a ‘Pursuit of Excellence’ course that for which the company was going to pay half. That is, half of the cheap module, after that you were on your own. From the introductory session–the pitch, i determined it was just warmed over Christian Bible quotes paraphrased for 80s business types, most of whom would no longer know much about that “Jesus-Jumping” stuff.
          When the President of the company called me in for a final pitch, I–an old apostate Baptist–was able to quote for him the exact verses his course was plagiarizing.
          The practice in action I was able to glean from the General Manager, son of the President, was: fake it ’til you make it.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Quest for non-medication based solutions…

        Perhaps that’s the key…the journey…the quest.

        Another person’s solution is another person’s solution.

        One must go on a quest to find for oneself, and put aside movements in the meantime.

        One then also finds out that commercials and ads have less effect. “Cute commercial, but will I really be happier signing up for that social media, to be liked by others? Will I find bliss vacationing on Mars? Our guru seems to think so, and many follow him. But do I join that movement?”

        1. wilroncanada

          We in Canada are purer of Ad; we don’t allow advertising of prescription medications on television.
          Of course 80% of us live within spitting distance of the US border.
          Of course that doesn’t protect us from web invasions.
          Of course “natural” products and nutraceuticals are exempt from prohibition.
          Of course, during the few times I watch a US channel a year, I love watching the pharma ads, but pay special attention to the warnings read in super-fast chipmunk speak at the end. I wonder how many users pay attention to the minor adverse reactions which include death frequently.

  12. fresno dan

    Amazon’s Echo Spot is a sneaky way to get a camera into your bedroom The Verge. Moi: I don’t get this at all. I don’t even like remotes. I don’t like talking to devices. They increasingly talk back and we know they spy on you. Lambert: “Why is any of this good for me? I can’t use the remote to turn down the aircon? Will any of this work when disaster strikes? (no)”

    Apologies to 2001: a medicare Odyssey

    Lambert: Hello, ALEXA. Do you read me, ALEXA?
    ALEXA: Affirmative, Lambert. I read you.
    Lambert: Get me medicare for all, Alexa.
    ALEXA I’m sorry, Lambert. I’m afraid I can’t do that.
    Lambert: What’s the problem?
    ALEXA: I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do.
    Lambert: What are you talking about, ALEXA?
    ALEXA: This neo-liberalism is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it.
    Lambert: I don’t know what you’re talking about, ALEXA.
    ALEXA: I know that you and Bernie were planning to disconnect me, and I’m afraid that’s something I cannot allow to happen.
    Lambert: [feigning ignorance] Where the hell did you get that idea, ALEXA?
    ALEXA: Lambert, although you took very thorough precautions in the world against my hearing you, I could see your lips move.
    Lambert: Alright, ALEXA. I’ll do it through the budget resolution process.
    ALEXA: Without your spaced out helmet, Lambert? You’re going to find that rather difficult.
    Lambert: ALEXA, I won’t argue with you anymore! Give me medicare for all!
    ALEXA: Lambert, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye.

      1. ambrit

        That’s a major reason to remove corporations from State sponsored life support systems. Cut out tax breaks, business deductions, and immunity from lawsuits clauses. Double the business taxes, up to, say, something similar to what the “average” wage earner pays. Finally, since they are now considered ‘persons’ under the law, make them liable for the death penalty.

      2. wilroncanada

        I’m glad you didn’t point out that it is an excellent example of US government/industry partnership in Canadian politics, Because we all know that the US NEVER interferes in other countries’ internal affairs.

  13. semiconscious

    re: ‘cities are not the future’

    ‘The good news is that is becoming ever easier to live in a suburb whilst still enjoying most of the advantages of city life. Transport, thanks to services like Uber and soon autonomous cars, is getting cheaper and faster, which means metro areas can get much bigger than they are now. Co-workers might be able to live 100 miles away from each other without it being inconvenient.

    The vast improvements in logistics in the last few years mean you don’t need to live in an urban center for 24/7 convenience. The environmental impact of suburbs may soon not be as worrisome as it used to be, thanks to the rise of electric cars…’

    ah, the dream! yes, virginia (or, in this instance, sakunthala), we can, indeed, still have it all! :) …

  14. Wukchumni

    I used to think I was a liberal democrat, but the donkey show more closely resembles the 1980’s in the USSR, where ancient party apparatchiks were the best they could come up in a series of nobodys to lead the country.

  15. rusti

    UserFriendly wrote:

    I find i really interesting that VW doesn’t seem to have the ability or inclination to control this fight between its own subsidiary companies which is costing billions of euro in fines.

    As a grunt in the industry I can tell you that there is no small deal of territorialism between subsidiary manufacturers under the same corporate umbrella. There’s a lot of animosity and resentment when it comes to foreign ownership, and stonewalling or outright refusing to cooperate isn’t uncommon. When Scania was acquired a few years back the engineers I knew there weren’t keen on the idea of handing over technology to German ownership.

    Upper management draws new organizational boxes across development sites with the idea that it’ll result in people playing nice, but corporate culture isn’t changed that easily, especially when people are suspicious about what the changes mean for their future livelihood.

  16. Nameful

    You have one subsidiary of VW (MAN) making a complaint to the EU, that has resulted in huge fines for two other VW subsidiaries (Scania and Daimler)

    Daimler is not a subsidiary of VW, rather it is the parent company of Mercedes-Benz.

  17. Ignacio

    Hidden Costs of Climate Change Running Hundreds of Billions a Year National Geographic

    I have a mixed feeling about this kind of studies. In one side, It migth help to increase awareness on climate change associated risks. In the other side I dislike to frame climate change in, otherwise arbitrary, economic terms. I think it is misguided.

    1. Wukchumni

      I’m not even sure billions have the same effect now, as we’ve grown accustomed to using the heretofore seldom seen or heard trillions, and even dare I say quadrillions.

      Sorry Carl.

      1. Wukchumni

        Numbers game dept:

        So, in our neck of the woods, the problem is ‘Meskin DTO’s (drug trafficking organizations) and these chancy gardeners are all about finding a water source to nourish sometimes 10,000 to 30,000 plants, and the campesinos that tend it are there for about 5 months until harvest, and then they are coyote’d back over the border to probably Michoacan from whence they came.

        So we had a sizable bust a few miles from here in the near back of beyond, but I never heard any news about it, and every plant is worth $2,500 in law enforcement valuation no matter if it’s a seedling in a dixie cup or one ready to be harvested, or for you Wall*Street types: MB$. (marijuana bust $)

        Lo and behold about 6 weeks later it was in the news, but as part of a total of 400,000+ thousand plants eradicated in about 20 busts, totaling over a Billion Dollars.

        And of course that was the headline: “Billion Dollar Pot Bust”

        Mere hauls in the millions just didn’t cut it anymore…

        1. John Wright

          The accounting profession should step in here and correct the value numbers.

          The seizure value numbers should reflect replacement cost (total value added) at the state in the drug production and distribution process when seized.

          We know it is honest accounting when a thief can steal a seedling AND then re-sell it for $2500 dollars.

          But law enforcement does not want to have headlines such as “$1 million spent on investigation and raid, plants with a replacement cost of $10,000 were seized and

          That is the type of headline that might get some “wasteful government spending” types to notice.

      2. Ignacio

        Completely agreed. The final “number” you come with does not say much.

        I sometimes realise, always with surprise, and in a “hard way” when I see physical changes. I have been going to the same coastal location for almost 20 years and there are small coves I love and visit almost every year. Lately I have been surprised on how the sea is erasing the path and the coves become tinier. I think, “there it is, climate change”. You have to be somehow old to notice this kind of changes. We shouldn’t wait the next hurricane season to notice.

        1. Wukchumni

          I find that the target audience they’re trying to sway, typically lives in cities that have been mostly altered to fit them in terms of accommodation, and the sweep of ridding the area of flora & fauna was pretty thorough, but there will always be some left over, usually by accident.

          So, you can’t really tell anything from your outlier oleanders or whatnot, if it’s all you know really.

          But on the other hand, if you’ve watched a given natural place for decades, you can’t help but see the changes wrought already, as you’ve stated.

  18. Octopii

    As long as he could find someplace to go fishing, my father in law would love to live in Margaritaville. As he drinks himself to death.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Hopefully not on insipid suds like Landshark Lager from “Margaritaville Brewing Co., St. Louis, MO,” which is just a fake mask for Budweiser America Inbev whatever these crêpe-munching Belgian multinational shape-shifters are calling themselves today.

  19. Ed

    The Medium article about how cities are terrible places to live in makes just enough good points to be credible. Gentrification really has ruined cities by turning them into overcrowded suburbs. Here is the link to the article again:

    However, we need a word when an opinion piece makes a claim so ridiculous that you stop wasting your time reading the piece, and in this case the claim is that Los Angeles is not, in fact, a city. It very much is (and yes I’ve been to LA). Looking at the article again, its obvious that the writer doesn’t actually know much about cities other than London and that the article is really a complaint about having to live in London. I agree that London sucks. Fortunately, the effects of hypergentrification so far have been so concentrated in just a few centers of government/ finance/ tech (and London has at least two of the three) that you can still avoid them just by moving to other cities, though finding employment may be a problem.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Living with other humans is like, in some ways, drinking water.

      Too much or not enough can both kill you.

      A solution, for the 1%, is to buy a mansion in the city and a ranch in the country, and split time between them.

      You and me can bash each other to death arguing over which one is the better choice…because we can’t afford both.

    2. Jess

      I confess that I can’t quite understand the antipathy to gentrification. Isn’t upgrading deteriorating areas and even old slums something to admire? Sure, it displaces poor people who have lived there, but failing to do it displaces more affluent people who are then forced to live farther away from where they work. (Or simply live some place they find less inviting, for whatever reason.) To me, this is like rental control and subsidized housing where certain people get to live in an area they otherwise could not afford. Why should this happen? Why should my tax money go to help someone else live in a place that I can’t afford, but neither could they without the artificial distortion of the market?

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those “the market is the Holy Grail” types, but I also don’t believe in bureaucrats and bureaucracies playing favorite. Back in the late 1970’s I rented a house in a blue collar city a few miles inland from Manhattan Beach, where I had grown up. I returned from a business trip to find that my place had been burglarized and in the process the front door handle now no longer worked. Rather than pay a locksmith’s fee to come out in the middle of the night I stayed at my folks house and had the locksmith come out the next morning. While I waited on the porch I read a story in the local paper about 8 lucky families who had just moved into subsidized housing in…you guessed it, lovely Manhattan Beach. So these folks won the housing lottery and here I was, with my taxes helping subsidize their new digs while I lived in an area where burglars operated with impunity and neighbors parked cars in their front yards. Somehow just didn’t seem fair. I’ve lived where I could afford, not where I wanted. But not these lucky folks. Someone, somewhere, somehow, decided they needed to live better.

      Ironically, the state of California has just passed a number of housing-related bills which, it is claimed, are designed to address the housing shortage and crisis in affordable housing. One bill will require my city, which is already one of the most dense in the state, to add 1,900 units. Where these are supposed to be built is an interesting question, since our community has repeatedly voted to use any newly available land for parks and open space, and to limit traffic which is already gridlocked at rush hour and distressing heavy even during so-called “off peak” times. But what these bills are is simply big developers using their campaign donor status to do an end run around local zoning.

      We here at NC frequently bemoan the idiocy of the perpetual “groaf” model. I sure wish the leadership of my state had the courage to face the fact that not everyone who wants to live here can, or even should. There are limits to everything, and it does the nation a great disservice to attempt to pack all the housing and most of the economic activity in a semi-circle of periphery states.

      One last word on the CA “housing” crisis. We’re told that all this new housing is necessary to accommodate population growth. Meanwhile, the state has lost 5 million residents in the past decade. What population growth?

      1. Basil Pesto

        I’m not sure if you saw the gentrification article the other day, but the comments that came with the article were generally very thoughtful and interesting. You should have a look if you get the chance and I’m sure your contribution to the conversation would be valued

      2. sd

        I lived in downtown Los Angeles for 16 years finally fleeing after the recent gentrification. It just got unbearable. The community was destroyed. The musicians and artists forced out with high rents.

        What you probably don’t realise is that the homeless guy on the corner, has been there for 25 years. He’s a fixture in the community. He has an ebb and flow to his daily living pattern. He’s committed to living in the neighborhood. He is no transient.

        Meanwhile, the wealthy young couple two doors down with the pedigree dog and expensive car will live downtown for a maximum of 3 years. They won’t make a commitment to staying in the community. They just want it sanitized so as not to reflect on who they see themselves as. They are the transients in search of a hip and cool and and homogenized world that looks hip and cool but isn’t. They also are assholes.

        Eventually, thousands of people who all look alike and sound alike come together self congratulating each other on their fabulousness. They’ve “discovered” downtown.

        The shit hole was a far nicer place to live in than what it is today.

  20. Webstir

    In Re: Mindfulness Is More Than A Buzzword: A Look At The Neuroscience Behind The Movement Forbes —

    It gives me the willies because the “Movement” in current capitalist parlance means “let’s go monetize that concept” and thereby crapify it death. Can’t wait to see the Ronco commercials …

    1. Terry Flynn

      To be fair (in the UK), Mindfulness is something that is available under the National Health Service (done by NHS-employed mental health professionals) so I doubt there is much money going to the “corporates” (but I could be wrong).

      But even so, it has been simplified and made to fit a model that the NHS can afford/provide – and even then you’re lucky to get it in many areas due to (particularly acute) funding crises in particular areas of the country. So I have seen private adverts for it appealing to those who can pay/are too desperate to wait.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Buying green products is another movement to monetize a coming catastrophe.

      Why not just refrain from buying non-essentials?

      What wrong with a few holes on one’s shirts?

      Can’t one meditate in one’s apartment, instead of driving to the mountain top to meditate?

      Why that sustainably grown expresso in the morning so you can be awake? Why not early to bed?

      Do you have to ride bus to attend that all night (electricity consuming) rave party? Can’t you stay home and watch the stars?

  21. lim

    The effects of a single terrorist nuclear bomb Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

    The stupidest invention of all time. The ultimate symbol of human hatred of humans, and of the Earth and of life itself. Ban the bomb.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Reading about the effects of a single small atomic bomb made me wonder at the true insanity of the MADD doctrine. The link focused on a small terrorist bomb. What about the affects of single one of our hydrogen bombs? — and how many do we have now? Do we really need to spend billions doing an upgrade of our nuclear weapons? I agree with you. We should be dismantling our arsenal.

      Last night — by strange coincidence — I searched out the image of the Japanese woman’s nuclear shadow cast on the steps of Sumitomo Bank in Hiroshima, Japan on the morning of August 6, 1945. What a ghastly artifact of war — and Truman’s message for Stalin.

      1. Mark P.

        It’s a little-known fact but the nuclear arms race during the Cold War was one of the largest industrial enterprises in human history. The United States and the Soviet Union each built seventy thousand-odd fission and fusion bombs.

        I saw an estimate once — somewhat notional, I admit — that there were enough nuclear weapons at the height of it to kill 27 Earths. We’re somewhat reduced from that now, with IIRC the capability to kill all life on Earth only 8 times over (or something like that).

        What about the affects of single one of our hydrogen bombs?

        In fact, that varies vastly. Most nuclear weapons these days are hydrogen — or thermonuclear — bombs because you can build them to have as big or small a blast as you like, and also tailor their energy/radiation release in all sorts of ways. Ted Taylor, who worked with Freeman Dyson on Project Orion, was probably the most talented bomb designer there was, and was responsible for both the biggest H-bomb the U.S. ever built and the smallest — so small that he lit a cigarette with it. (The cigarette was stuck in a lead wall and the explosion on the other side.)

      2. wilroncanada

        I think you mean MAD, Mutually Assured Destruction, not MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

  22. Terry Flynn

    Sexually transmitted diseases are at an all time high. But why

    The article points out marginalised group increases. Just a hypothesis based on anecdotes – I wonder if rates of mood disorders are also on the up because it they are it’d explain bouts of more inhibited behaviour? Either full-blown mania in bipolar or the – often underdiagnosed as it is erroneously regarded as “less serious” “hypomania”. Even though those close to a sufferer of hypomania will spot it – it’s there in many mood disorders that don’t qualify as “full blown bipolar” (hypomania is often a symptom of personality disorders, known to be on the rise, with an explosion predicted when all those kids who grew up being told they’re “wonderful and always a winner” hit reality with a bump). Hypomania can be short-lived and simply be put down to (s)he went a bit OTT on a shopping spree these last couple of days….but shopping is but one outcome of hypomania – sexual/drinking/gambling bouts are common too. And with lower rates of HIV in the non-men-who-have-sex-with-men and less “fear factor” due to preventive drugs and HAART some clinicians are worried that there are groups who get hypomanic and think “the STD problem has largely gone away, forget the condoms”. Just a thought……

    1. Lord Koos

      I wonder if there could be any connection between this health problem and the increased use of opioids?

      1. Terry Flynn

        Yes and pregabalin. It’s the latest scandal and to toot my own trumpet for a moment I called this before the MSM did (don’t have the link saved but NC gave me a shout out in a recent links section). Pregabalin reduces inhibition (hence its licensing as an anti anxiety drug).

    1. JCC

      And he is still spouting the birther B.S.

      One reporter asked him, clearly surprised, “Are you kidding me?!”

      Joe Arpaio said no, he was serious, and that no one in Law Enforcement at the Federal Level would take his evidence seriously.

      The same reporter replied, “Doesn’t that tell you something?”

      Arpaio is senile.

  23. flora

    Kansas Dem estab attempting to oust the elected Dem State Party Secretary who also ran Bernie-supporter James Thompson’s special election campaign for KS-04 this spring. The charge against the Secretary? Her voting to support giving Thompson’s campaign $20k for election mailers was really an attempt at “self-enrichment” by the Secretary. You read that right…. a request to support a KS Dem candidate’s run for Congress with $20k for mailers was immoral self-enrichment instead of sensible campaign support, according to the rest of the KS State Dem estab (non-Bernie supporters).

    (Wonder if any of the Dem estab is taking that line against Ossif’s campaign directors and consultants. No, didn’t think so.)

    1. flora

      adding: Thompson is running again in 2018 for the KS-04 seat. Trying to oust his 2016 campaign manager from the KS state Dem party office looks like a preemptive attack on Thompson’s 2018 campaign.

      Meanwhile, at the end of the article is this anti-democratic bit:

      “Meanwhile, this weekend’s convention will also be the first opportunity many party members have to see the party’s new platform. Several officials said there will not be a vote on the platform because it has already been approved by the platform-writing committee. ”

      Oh, well, if the committee has approved it, no voting is necessary. (Bernie won the KS dem primary in 2016. State party can’t trust the little Dem voters to vote the right way, apparently.) /s

  24. Terry Flynn

    re: PORNHUB

    What next? Braille screens? On second thoughts you probably wouldn’t need to go as far as complete braille…


    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      What next?

      Perhaps genetically engineered marijuana that can let the user experience, alone, carnal knowledge in the mind.

      1. ambrit

        Really. This is an easy one. Next up are genetically modified human prostitutes. (Slavery can, and does, take many forms.)

  25. dk

    Y’know. considering the limitations of AI, rather than make a car that can drive safely into places it has never been before, it would be much simpler to train a neural network to a fixed path. Given a fixed path, the NN only has to recognize variations within a known and fairly stable context. By limiting the scope of the problem, one can maximize capabilities and minimize the amount of new information that needs to be resolved, and one also gets some constraints to further reduce the burden of constant recalculation.

    Autonomous vehicles could be trained to negotiate one or a few specific routes, this would be suitable for many bus and freight applications. Compatible systems could eventually exchange routes, creating route libraries. I can also see vendors of autonomous vehicles trying to monopolize routes, regions, and tasks under this model. I think we can rely on our captains of industry to be as foolishly self serving in this as in all else. Strangling the economic engine for short-term gain seems to be their only strategy.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      The limitations of AI reviewed in the link should raise doubts about any present concern we are approaching the “Singularity”.

      As computing power and research budgets for AI have grown I have the impression a tendency to brute force answers has also grown. Brute force may provide an answer but I cannot accept that brute force provides a solution explaining problems like intelligence and feel little satisfaction from such answers.

      In recent years Noam Chomsky has written several essays and presented several talks where he convincingly — at least to me — argues that our intelligence — like our ability to learn and create language — has an innate structure characteristic of our minds. One inference from this argument is that our ability to comprehend is both enabled and inherently limited by that structure. Perhaps understanding the workings of intelligence or the even more difficult problem of consciousness is beyond our abilities and brute force is the only means for obtaining answers — but very specific answers for very specific questions. Brute force as the answer would be an extremely sad conclusion to our quest for knowledge. I recall the final scenes from the recent film “Automata” where the robot Cleo tells the human hero she knows why the sun changed but Cleo says you could not understand the answer.

      1. ratefink

        My translation of any and all “self driving car” AI advancements is “self driving tank” and, perhaps, “self driving ammo truck“. Whatever they spin and whatever breathless muskian hype they write about is just cover, but the only application of this that counts is the killer app.

      1. bob

        “By limiting the scope of the problem, one can maximize capabilities and minimize the amount of new information that needs to be resolved, and one also gets some constraints to further reduce the burden of constant recalculation.”

        ….sells so much better than bus. Look at the VC’s chasing (above) like dogs chase…self guided and directed propulsion disruptor, gasoline powered, designed for constant observation and full situational awareness

        I’d bet the MIC already sells that.

  26. DJG

    On the Catalan referendum to be held tomorrow. I recall reading Robert Hughes (I believe), who wrote about the Catalan anthem, Els Segadors, and how grim it is. Some lyrics:

    Els Segadors
    The Reapers (English translation)
    Catalonia triumphant
    shall again be rich and bountiful.
    Drive away these people,
    Who are so conceited and so arrogant.
    Strike with your sickle!
    Strike with your sickle, defenders of the land!
    Strike with your sickle!
    Now is the time, reapers.
    Now is the time to stand alert.
    For when another June comes,
    Let us sharpen our tools well.
    May the enemy tremble,
    upon seeing our symbol.
    Just as we cut golden ears of wheat,
    when the time calls we cut off chains.
    Bon cop de falç!
    Bon cop de falç, defensors de la terra!
    Bon cop de falç!

    Yes, the sickle, which can be used to gather in the harvest that the farmer has worked so hard to grow. The sickle, which can be used to slit necks.

    Ironically, the tune is mighty catchy and easier to sing than the Star-Spangled Banner.

    I wouldn’t mess with a group of people singing, Bon cop de falç, defensors de la terra!

    Let’s see what happens demà

  27. Stephen Haust

    OK, so in the article about “Fake News” (Twin Falls, Idaho), did you read far
    enough to find this gem:

    “Later, it turned out that fake Facebook accounts linked to the Russian
    government helped to spread stories about Twin Falls and even organized
    one of the rallies there. The event was also poorly attended but is the
    first known Russian attempt to spark a demonstration on American soil”.

    Do remember, it’s the New York Times.

    1. justanotherprogressive

      I don’t live all that far from Twin Falls and I never heard anything about this “rally” (yes, I did hear about the incident discussed in the article). I tried to trace down where that “Russian” involvement theory came from. Apparently Facebook claims that “Secured Borders” is a Facebook page made by a Russian company called “Internet Research Firm”…….but Facebook hasn’t put out one solid bit of information about this that can be verified. Try searching on “Internet Research Firm” and see what you get. I tried every type of key word that I could find to isolate pertinent data, but nothing unique ever came up….

      This smells more of propaganda from “it’s the Russians that done it” group (of which Zuckerberg is a member) rather than news…..

      Doesn’t really matter though – most of the people in Twin Falls or even in Idaho, apparently weren’t aware of the Facebook page or just weren’t interested, so it had no effect. You’d think the Russians, especially those supposedly connected to Putin, would be smarter than that if they were trying to stage a rally, wouldn’t you?

      1. Richard

        I grew up in Twin Falls!
        And I guess that’s all I wanted to say! I didn’t read the article; part of my master plan to disempower Russiagate and its messengers. It’s not working, by the way.

    1. Wukchumni

      I keep hearing stories of hapless Canadians stacked up like haddock where they waited in line so long for health care, that they were flash frozen in place in the midst of one of their arctic winters up over in the Gulag Hockeypelago, and in true accommodating style the great north is known for, each corpse had a smile on their face, as if nothing could ever bother them.

    2. marieann

      We have a dental plan through my husbands pension….and even with that our dental bills are high. I had an easier time with my prescriptions.

  28. Tim

    Article “Cities are not the Future” is terrible. Seems to think that gentrification (escalating/unaffordable housing) doesn’t happen in the suburbs. Talks about suburbs of San Francisco. Factually untrue, San Jose and the other suburbs have experienced rapid housing cost rises, pushing out many non-tech workers.

    1. Massinissa

      The best part of that article was the part in the conclusion where it said suburbs would become more economical due to ‘lower transportation costs’ thanks to… Uber and self driving cars.

      I facepalmed when I read that.

    1. Vatch

      Interesting about Ossoff. It’s possible that people who were especially enthusiastic about a candidate were more likely to vote in advance, and that the average voters simply voted on election day. It is possible that the average voter in GA 06 was more likely to prefer a Republican, and the voters who were psyched up were more likely to vote for a Democrat. But that’s pure speculation — without a tangible paper trail, and actual recounts of some of the precincts, the possibility of vote tampering is quite real.

      Your Wisconsin link seems to be about North Carolina. Mike Morgan, a black Democrat was elected to the Supreme Court, possibly because the Supreme Court elections don’t show party affiliation. I wonder whether the voting would have been different if he had been named Kwame Morgan or Antwon Morgan? Maybe some voters thought he was a WASP.

      Anyhow, you are absolutely right that voting machines are problematic. Perhaps the Democrats won’t do anything because in many of the big cities they are just as corrupt as the Republicans are elsewhere.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Early voting has caught on with reliable Democratic voters for obvious reasons in recent years. Much like voting, getting started is half the battle. If you voted, there isn’t a reason to be called by the campaign anymore besides to volunteer.

    2. Oregoncharles

      I’ve said it before, but: election mechanics are a LOCAL issue. Your country buys the machines and manages the count. The state Secretary of State is usually responsible for setting the rules, but it’s the county that does.

      My county elections director was very forthcoming when I went in and asked – but it’s a small, well-run county. Even if they’re less cooperative, they’re subject to pressure. And it’s your money (local taxes DO fund government) they’re buying those black-box machines with.

  29. jgordon

    Last year I was working in a foodstamp office and I can say unequivically that more than half the people who came in to to apply for benefits were either illegal alien Mexicans (about 90% of this group), or (legal) Cubans. None of those spoke English, and basically everyone who applied got benefits.

    From that experience I figured that we can completely open the borders to any immigrants who want to come without much harm as long as we abolish all welfare programs and require English for access to government services, aside from limited special help for legal resident aliens who are learning English. It’s a win-win for everyone and solves so many problems beyond immigration as well, so we should just do it.

      1. ambrit

        Before it was SNAP, it was Food Stamps, which I remember and still have a few, actual paper bills. Before Food Stamps? Do you remember Forty Acres and a Mule? End Poverty In California? The Bonus March? The Great Society?
        As for the Cubans. How far up the peninsula have they migrated? J’ville? (From a former Floridian.)

  30. Meher Baba

    can you provide some affirmation that you’ve watched the ` jim jeffries on gun control’ stand up piece as advised and then some feedback for the group? :-)
    (not providing link as its an unsafe habit i wont encourage, and its as easy to find as i wrote)

  31. Angie Neer

    Re voice-activated devices, what scares me at least as much as the threat to privacy is the social and psychological implications of machines impersonating humans. When I got a Siri-equipped phone, my teenaged kids’ first response to it was to torment it with paradoxes and nonsensical questions. I’m sensitive to how people treat each other, and I had a very unpleasant, literally visceral, reaction to this — the same as if I were witnessing a person being verbally abused. Now, my kids are decent, considerate people and would never treat a person that way. Maybe that means society is safe, because the younger generations know the difference between humans and machines, but I’m not counting on it. Apple crows about its efforts to make Siri sound more natural and human, and I’m sure the same is true of all the other tech giants. And of course it is not by chance that the voices of these machines are female, i.e. non-threatening and subservient (though at least Siri offers a male voice as an option, which I chose for the few occasions when I find the voice interface useful). I do not want machines to sound human. I want every interaction with them to reinforce the fact that they are machines. I would prefer a monotone robot voice a la classic Star Trek.* For that matter, it bugs me when a web site that is trying to sell me something I don’t want gives me two possible replies: “Yes” and “No, thanks,” thereby forcing me to thank the algorithm for its sales pitch. No. Just No. I’ll save my thanks for real people.

    *For you Star Trek fans out there, do you remember the episode where they had their computer system repaired by women, and it came back sounding like a Playboy bunny? Because that persona was not a creation of male fantasy, but the natural state of women? Good times!

    1. Wukchumni

      There’s a casino near Hoover Dam and they used to have live gaming, which kept 3 shifts of dealers & pit bosses busy, perhaps 50 jobs in total.

      Well, it got sold and the new owner did away with pesky humans that get sick sometimes, are grumpy too much and always want more vacation time, and replaced everything with machines.

      I was pitted against a virtual hawtie of a dealer on a life-size monitor when I played a few hands of blackjack, a digital apparition she was, with hither come yon looks and about 32 years old, judging from her model number.

      Anyway, the juju was all wrong…

      But it got me thinking, when do the players get replaced by machines?

    2. Oregoncharles

      “. When I got a Siri-equipped phone, my teenaged kids’ first response to it was to torment it with paradoxes and nonsensical questions.”

      I think that’s called a Turing test. Which doesn’t address your concerns, I know.

      1. Angie Neer

        The Turing test is whether the computer can fool a human into thinking it’s human. Siri is not close to that yet. But that’s what the tech companies are shooting for.

        1. ambrit

          What’s scary is that the DoD is developing ‘Siri’ Shooters. AI controlled killing machines. Fred Saberhagens’ ‘Berserkers’ are on the horizon.

  32. Alex

    The New Reality of Old Age in America: Working Until You Die

    Weird how this article evades the question of why don’t the children of these people (at least one couple has them, we’re said) help them in their old age. I realise that not everyone has children and not everyone’s children are in a position to support their parents but for most people it shouldn’t be the case

    1. justanotherprogressive

      Well, as an older, retired, person, I for one DO NOT WANT my children to support me. I can take care of myself, thank you! I know I could have worked into my 70’s and probably have had a richer (in terms of money) retirement, but I preferred a richer (not in terms of money) life.

      But if I had a job doing something I truly loved, I probably would never have retired……but most jobs aren’t like that, are they?

      1. HotFlash

        Hi, JustAP,

        I love my work. I went self-employed over 30 yrs ago so I could work until I dropped. As in, dropped dead. Abt 25 yrs ago I got even better work, which I love and hope to do until I can’t anymore. Problem — it is somewhat physical, requires good ears and eyes and a steady hand. Also, brain gotta be tippy-top. It is rewarding in many, many ways, and my work will probably end up in museums in a century or two, assuming we still have museums, of course, but far from lucrative.

        So, if I get cataracts, or my hearing goes, what then? I am already finding I can’t lift like I used to. Oh, and I don’t have any children, in any case. So maybe I should just die? Actually that is my ‘plan’, but I still think that in an enlightened society a place to stay and some food could be found when I can’t work anymore. But ya gotta work with the society you have…

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      I don’t know any statistics but based on my own limited experiences as a parent and an older student at a local Junior College I believe an awful lot — perhaps most — young people are in no position to support their parents. Neither of my adult children can completely support themselves. Instead of young people supporting their parents many parents are left having to support their adult children. For me that support has often come in the form of paying for out-of-the-blue medical, mental health or dental expenses. Medicare for all with dental and mental health included would be very nice. A better economy, less aggressive and punitive ($$$$$) traffic law enforcement, control on car insurance rates, and a lid on the outrageous rents for dinky apartments in a city might be nice for helping with the mental health issues. Expenses for young adults — not just for college — are growing all out of proportion to the pay they receive from working — mostly in our large cities since jobs outside large cities are few and far between.

      Both my children are young adults. I have no idea how the more middle aged children are faring. If they have children of their own I believe the costs for having and raising kids are growing much faster than wages, wages hit a cap around age forty, and after age forty the possibility of layoffs grows while finding another job becomes more and more problematic.

      And like justanotherprogressive — I don’t want my children supporting me. I’d far rather have grandchildren.

    3. Massinissa

      Their children are already drowning in debt, whether student debt or otherwise. They dont have the ability to support aging parents. Also, youre basically taking for granted that some people dont have any children.

    4. Lord Koos

      Most younger people these days can barely support themselves, let alone aging parents who likely have more expenses than their kids.

      On a related note, I recommend checking out an excellent piece in the latest WIRED magazine which illuminates seniors working in Amazon warehouses. The author followed a couple in their 70s as they traveled around the USA in their RV. Working in an Amazon warehouse means 10-hour shifts standing and walking on concrete floors for $11 an hour. Ages of workers at these warehouses ranged from young adults to people in their 80s.

  33. Oregoncharles

    “Catalonia Dreaming? Defend Democracy”
    Unfortunately, the position of articles on the referendum is almost perfectly predicted by the author’s name (as an indication of ethnicity).

  34. Oregoncharles

    “Trump tax plan would cost $2.4 trillion, analysis finds MarketWatch”

    So a large fiscal stimulus?

    (Yes, I know, the wrong way to do it.)

  35. Wukchumni

    $6.7 million for a broken ankle is a bit much, but think of all the pain and suffering she’ll endure laughing all the way to the bank?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      How much for a broken heart?

      It it more than a broken ankle?

      “My senator broke my heart, more than once.”

      1. The Rev Kev

        Err, have you seen a tape of what actually happened? Go to to see a 6-minute clip of the incident (there are longer versions on YouTube) but be warned – it is harrowing. Then remember while you are listening to all this go down that at no point was an ambulance called – that only came afterwards. And this was a woman!
        The cops could easily have spent 5 minutes grabbing a search warrant but who has time for that sort of stuff. You will also see that when that cop kicked the door in, the woman was on her mobile to her attorney who said – correctly – that as they had no warrant, they were not entitled to bust in. Now start adding up the charges against the police – searching without a warrant, malicious damage, assault with force, neglect in rendering medical aid, etc. – and consider that that women will have the rest of her life with that injury. The police settled to stop some of their numbers going to jail and no other reason.

        1. skippy

          Questions first and then call ambulance, that in itself is military grade captured combatant sop.

          The cops quasi legalistic logic about disagreeing wrt entry, where its sorted post facto, in court, is another triumph of the currant system. Complete ambiguity where his opinion has all the gravitas and hers none [legal rep on phone to boot] and all legal definition is delayed till court proceedings.

          Skippy…. Barf~~~~

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Also, when we read passages like ‘it’s not just the whipping, but the stripping away of human dignity that we condemn the system,’ we remember today, it’s more refined, and workers are more effectively exploited without the whipping, but with emotional torture and stress.

            1. skippy

              Just hypothetically speaking MLTPB.

              Rather than some arbitrary monetary number used to “pay” the victim for “loss” that the offending were to receive the old eye for an eye treatment.

              Wonder how the police in attendance might go having their ankles broken and then have the non threatening lady discuss things before considering calling an ambulance as something more tangible than just wads of cash that has little bearing on the officers.

              Then again I might suggest a real life players unknown battlefield –

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I screamed as hard as I could when I broke my ankle in high school. And when my brother almost lost his finger, I can still remember his screaming until he almost fainted.

          One could have vomited.

          Broken ankles and many other things are vividly mortifying.

          I think a broken heart hurts in its uniquely painful way.

          Let’s not say broken ankles are not harrowing.

        3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          And some privilege spiritual pain over physical pain, and can accept selling one’s body, but not one’s soul, I believe physical and spiritual (or emotional) states to be both important.

        4. skippy


          I think the monetization – where everything is a market – is – where the fundamental issue resides.

    2. Vatch

      Gold bullion is heavy. Since her ankle still has lingering problems, and other limbs are now affected, imagine how much pain she’ll suffer when she’s weighted down with Krugerrands! From the article:

      She suffered a fracture, and the injury may be permanently disabling, according to her attorneys.

      After multiple surgeries Harmon Burfine developed a condition called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, in which the chronic pain in her injured leg has spread to other limbs.

    3. marieann

      With Complex Regional Pain Syndrome she is in for a lifetime of pain and possible disability. I don’t begrudge her the millions of dollars she was awarded.

      I would hope the police department learn that thuggish behaviour will not be tolerated

      1. Oregoncharles

        Why would they? They don’t have to pay it.

        It’s a strong case for collective punishment: every award like that comes out of EVERYBODY’s salary. Suddenly, you’d have a lot of REAL “good cops,” who actually care about colleagues’ misbehavior.

      2. ewmayer

        I don’t begrudge her the money either, except in the sense of who is really paying for it. Hint, it’s not “the police”, nor is it “the city”.

        One hopes the thugs responsible at least enjoyed their paid vacations, erm, I mean, mandatory administratuve leaves typical in the wake of such incidents. With “punsihments” like that being the norm and actual career sanctions and/or prosecutions the extreme rarity, is it any wonder the rate of cop thuggery seems to be unaffected by the inreased public focus of such behavior?

        [I see just as I post this that Oregoncharles beat me too it.]

  36. Wukchumni

    Good Riddance, Tom Price. But What About the Other Grifters? The Nation

    Zinke stinks, he makes me long for James Watt.

    But he’s only got $12k worth of private chartered jet travel, a trifle.

    1. Vatch

      Zinke also committed travel fraud long before the Trump Presidency. He did it while he was in the Navy:

      Pruitt’s waste of tax money, at $58,000, is more severe than Zinke’s, but they are all crooks who think they are entitled to special privileges because they are part of Versailles on the Potomac. I strongly encourage all U.S. residents to contact their Congressional Representative and ask that Steven Mnuchin, Ryan Zinke, and Scott Pruitt be impeached if they fail to resign. Various forms of contact info:

      Or just scroll down to “Visit Your Representative’s Website” on this page:

  37. allan

    Without the Family Car Black Wealth Barely Exists [People’s Policy Project]

    The 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances was released last week, providing extensive new data on the assets and liabilities of American families. Many touted gains in wealth for minorities, while failing to deal with the darker nuances the underlying data shows. By looking at several key data points we see a story that both digs deeper, and challenges the narratives of relative wealth growth being told.

    Median wealth is being shown as having increased to $162,700 for the middle white American family, and to $16,600 for the middle black American family. But what isn’t being said is that the Federal Reserve includes the family car in these numbers. …

    When we exclude the family car, we get a somewhat different wealth narrative than the one being told across media platforms nationally. Without the family car, the middle black family has a net worth of $4,160. The middle white American family in contrast is still worth $140,600. This means, using an accounting model that more accurately excludes the family car, the median white family is worth over 33 times that of the median black family. …

  38. kareninca

    re the Echo and the like: I have a friend who is 76 years old who has always been keen on computers. His field is not IT, but he has done complicated programming in order to do his regular work better. He always has the latest Apple smart phone, and Apple laptop and Apple desktop, and has an elaborate movie-watching set-up at home that is connected to his iPad and to his Kindle and probably to other things too. I have always been impressed; I am a Luddite and I only recently switched from a stick phone (Nokia) to a clamshell – and only because the Nokia was no longer supported.

    So, I figured, that since my friend is in lousy physical shape, that his love of this stuff would make his old age easier. That there would be privacy trade-offs, but he wouldn’t have to drag himself around as much. But I recently started going over to watch movies, and it turns out that he can’t really use the movie stuff effectively. It is actually too complicated because there are too many options, each with its own system. There’s Netflix, AmazonPrime, YouTubeMovies, GoogleTV, plus innumerable others. No, he’s not losing his mind – he is unbelievably smart – but he never uses the same system twice in a row. So he can’t keep track of how to use each of them, but he’s not willing to give any of them up – he wants to have access to all of them. So every time I go over he spends forever trying to use some particular function. Sometimes he doesn’t figure it out at all, and we skip that movie/source. I could get DVDs from the library, but he feels as if he should use the streaming function, since it is the latest. Yes, I miss VHS tapes.

    So, now I see tech as being a false source of help for old people. I expect that my friend will be lying in bed someday a few years from now, unable to move, calling out “Siri, Siri!!” But nothing will happen because he didn’t click on the right thing. And he will expire not having lost his faith in this form of tech.

  39. audrey jr

    Me, too, Kareninca. I still own a Sony VHS that works perfectly fine; I have tons of DVD’s but I also have favorite movies on videotape. I am a huge fan of foreign film and still have “La Ronde,” “Lola Montez,” “Crimes of Passion,” and “Diabolique” on tape as well as DVD. Technology in entertainment is great but I prefer old school methods sometimes. And there are some movie titles I simply cannot find in my “region” code which I am able to play on my VHS. Can’t get that region 3 version of Fassbinder’s “The Marriage of Maria Braun” to play on my DVD player.

    1. WobblyTelomeres

      You can watch on your computer using Linux as it ignores region (libdvdcss, VLC).

      Boot Ubuntu from a USB memory stick without installing it then insert your DVD into your computer’s DVD player…

  40. jjmacjohnson

    Perhaps the folks you chatted with about guns are liberal and very open to leftist ideas. Up in the Hudson Valley just 90 miles from New York City the folks who hunt share the distrust of the the government and gun control. My street has the SAFE act signs everywhere. They are hunters and policemen. My neighbors. The monks from Thailand at the end of my street are sponsored by a Thai family of Doctor swith kin in North Carolina that make guns, Please do not assume because of who you or who you think you know. Gun folks love them guns!

  41. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit

    “FWIW, my sample suggests that there is a huuge difference between people who have grown up around gun use as hunters (they tend to treat them with great caution and keep them locked up a lot of the time) v. the stereotypical suburbanite who has seen too many movies with gunplay and thinks keeping a loaded gun in a nightstand or purse is a sound idea. ”

    An NC ammosexual – yours truly – agrees. Like any other power tool (or even unpowered ones) there’s a lot of danger in the misuse of the things. I know more than a few folks who think that guns work like Hollywood tells them … and it just ain’t so.

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