Recent Items

Links 11/7/17

Why Leaf-Peeping Season Is Disappointing This Year Bloomberg (David L)

Flanagan scores stunning victory in New York City marathon Reuters (EM)

These 10 rivers likely the source of millions of tons of ocean plastic TreeHugger (resilc)

Over 1,000 years old, drought resistant and unique – miracle plants in the Namib desert DW (Chana)

2017 to be the hottest year on record that wasn’t affected by El Nino Independent (Dr. Kevin)

Fiji calls for urgency in talks to implement climate accord Pattaya Mail (furzy)

Cost of wind keeps dropping, and there’s little coal, nuclear can do to stop it ars technica. Chuck L: “As wind and solar costs fall a major step forward on the energy storage front appears to have been made with the arrival of the Vanadium-Redox flow battery, which is featured in this month’s IEEE Spectrum.

23andMe and the problem with genetic testing Stuff.nz (David L). Important. Even worse than I thought and I’ve been a big skeptic.

The U.S. Embassy Watched the Indonesian Army Kill 500,000 People War is Boring (JTM). From last month, still germane.

North Korea calls Trump a ‘lunatic old man’ who may ‘start nuclear war’ as US and Japan hold summit Independent. Resilc: “Completely wrong imo…Moron king of moronistan is more like it.”

Trump says Japan would shoot North Korean missiles ‘out of sky’ if it bought U.S. weaponry Reuters

The name’s bonds, Franco-German bonds Politico

Euro-area enlargement: a new opening? Bruegel

Brexit

This tweetstorm is a must read. I want to post on this but it will have to wait a day.

Fears for Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe after Boris Johnson remark BBC

Catalonia

From Politico’s Europe e-mail: “331: The number of companies that have moved their headquarters (on paper) out of Catalonia in the last week, adding up to a total of 2,152 since the October 1 referendum. h/t Maria Tadeo”

Puigdemont comparecerá el 17 de noviembre ante el tribunal que decidirá sobre su entrega a España El Mundo

Syraqistan

The inside story of the Saudi night of long knives Asia Times

Saudi Arabia says Lebanon declares war, deepening crisis Reuters (furzy)

Saudi Arabia Charges Iran With ‘Act of War,’ Raising Threat of Military Clash New York Times (resilc)

Saudi Corruption Purge Snares $33 Billion of Net Worth in Riyadh Bloomberg

A Small-Time U.S. Mission in Syria is a Dangerous Idea War on the Rocks (resilc)

Imperial Collapse Watch

U.S. to stage drill with three carriers as Trump visits Asia Reuters (furzy). Not the behavior of a confident superpower.

China Has Upper Hand, While U.S. Is Hobbled by Trump Bloomberg. Resilc: “We’re hobbled by 40 years of bad leadership.”

John McCain and the POW Cover-Up Unz Review Chuck L: “As a Vietnam era vet (but not in-country) and history buff this is a significant issue for me. Yes, I’m aware this is about 9 years old. However TTBOMK it has not seen much light before.”

Trump Transition

Man who believes current air quality is ‘too clean’ named to US Environmental Protection Agency advisory board Independent (resilc). Tell any of the 12 million people in the US with COPD that. It’s now the third leading cause of death in the US.

Biker Flipping Off Trump Motorcade Gets Fired

Early Comey draft accused Clinton of gross negligence on emails The Hill

Green group, children sue Trump over climate change policies The Hill (UserFriendly)

Obamacare

Medicaid and Financial Health NBER. Dr. Kevin flags this section re Medicaid expansion: “reduced unpaid medical bills sent to collection by $3.4 billion in its first two years, prevented new delinquencies, and improved credit scores.”

GOP unlikely to repeal ObamaCare mandate in tax measure The Hill

Bridgewater Paid Over $1 Million to Employee Pushed Out After Relationship With Dalio’s Protege Wall Street Journal

Democrats in Disarray. If I remember, I am buying Brazile’s book tomorrow in an old-fashioned way, trundling to my local Barnes & Noble. Anything but Amazon! Even if it takes me forever to find the time to read it, IMHO doing my little part to help make it a best seller sends a message to the Clintonbots.

Joe Biden Positions Himself as the ‘Anti-Bernie’ Nation (resilc). Kill me now.

EXCLUSIVE: DNC Official Says She Doesn’t Want To Recruit ‘Cisgender Straight White Males’ Daily Wire. Furzy : “​No wonder we lost….these people live in a PC universe utterly unrelated to reality….do they really think this will bring more red state votes???​”

DNC’s Donna Brazile Dedicated Her Book to ‘Patriot’ Seth Rich, Whose Death Made Her Fear for Her Own Life Newsweek

Early Comey draft accused Clinton of gross negligence on emails The Hill

Tax “Reform”

House GOP quietly revises tax bill to tax income at higher rates over time CBS

The numbers are in, and the House Republican tax bill raises taxes on nearly a third of Americans Vox

Carried Interest Tax Break May Be Changed, House Tax Chief Says Bloomberg

Marc Fliedner for Manhattan District Attorney Adrien: “Sick of Cyrus Vance as Manhattan D.A.?”

Gunz

U.S. Military Failed to Send Texas Gunman’s Conviction Record to FBI Wall Street Journal

Texas shooting in Sutherland Springs: Chris Murphy rips Senate colleagues Business Insider

The rise of water data promises to make every piece of land and drop of water in California a source of conflict Business Insider

Paradise Papers

Bernie Sanders warns of ‘international oligarchy’ after Paradise Papers leak Guardian

‘Paradise Papers’ spark political backlash over offshore finance Financial Times. Key bit:

The leak of the “Paradise Papers”, a trove of 13.4m documents claiming to show how “the rich get richer through offshore manoeuvres”, quickly inflamed both politicians and campaigners..

But for tax experts, the conclusions were less clear…Pascal Saint-Amans, the top tax official at the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said: “They are quite different from the Panama Papers.”

He said the schemes in question were mostly, if not totally, legal. “Some are not even questionable from a legitimacy point of view.”

The Poligarchs, Oligarchs, and Stooges of the Paradise Papers New Yorker (resilc)

After a Tax Crackdown, Apple Found a New Shelter for Its Profits New York Times (furzy)

Fake News

The attack on “fake news” is really an attack on alternative media Salon

Google’s Mass-Shooting Misinformation Problem Atlantic

Wouldn’t it be great if America had a fiat-money system? New Economic Perspectives (UserFriendly). One of the things working against the MMT types is the term “fiat money”. It’s way too wonky. If they were conservatives, they’d have hired someone come up with a super duper catchy phrase long ago. The problem with the left is that it thinks marketing is beneath them.

Uber might make more money this year selling real estate in Oakland than actually selling rides Business Insider (David L). Look a bit desperate….

Class Warfare

Latina workers make 67 cents for every dollar white men make Economic Policy Institute

Updating the impact of ageing labour force on US participation rates Bill Mitchell

Unpaid labourers are ‘slipping pleas for help into Zara clothes’ Independent (resilc)

Princeton Digs Deep Into Its Fraught Racial History New York Times (Kevin C). Wellie, it has long been the preferred Ivy for rich boys from the South.

The Plot Against America’s 99% Nouriel Roubini, Project Syndicate

Why there aren’t more women in STEM fields VoxEU. Not sure I buy this grade-driven explanation, since I got good grades in the college pure math course I took but decided not to pursue it despite that it had super elite intellectual cred, and I hate to say that image was appealing. But one big deterrent was that the assistant or associate professor who taught the course bore a strong resemblance to the Unabomber. Even by the standards of introverted moi, this guy was several standard deviations further out. I thought, “If that’s what it takes to be good in math, I don’t think I have it.” A contact who teaches advanced math in junior high school reported on a more common set of issues:

What was a problem was that when girls hit puberty – not beforehand – they themselves became increasingly self-conscious about being seen socially as into math. Being “good at math” was fine. Enjoying math, or doing extra for the sake of one’s interest in math, was increasingly not a way that the girls wanted other people to see them.

So, for example, girls who were very talented were happy to have me help them place into advanced HS classes (because “girl who is smart and is going to get into a great college” was a good form of social branding). But none of them wanted to win at math contests. Sometimes they did win, but they weren’t particularly thrilled about it. They didn’t want to be seen as a “genius” or a “person who’s so into learning that she learns about things even when school doesn’t make her.”

The connection with puberty I explain not in terms of gender biology, but in terms of the well-known propensity of all people who hit puberty to become much more concerned and receptive to general social messages about how an adult (particularly an attractive adult) is supposed to act.

I don’t remember boys trying to make it unsafe for girls to be good at math. I remember certain girls trying to make it unsafe and uncool for other girls to be into learning – I remember “popular girls” in the library mocking a kid who seemed to be enjoying a book as a hopeless “nerd.” There was some issues with physical bullying, especially by a couple black kids that had very difficult home lives, but they targeted boys.

How it became a crime to be poor in America Guardian (EDH)

I didn’t understand how widespread rape was. Then the penny dropped David Graeber, Guardian. I’ve not given much attention to this topic because the focus of concern has been elite women (what do you think life had been like for secretaries under 40?) but this is a good essay.

Congressional leaders call for sexual harassment training BayNews9. JTM: “Lots of fun and funny stuff in this article, starting with syntax of the headline– ‘What, Congress needs training in sexual harassment? I thought they all came in with that!'”

Antidote du jour (Jim D):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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210 comments

  1. Wukchumni

    U.S. to stage drill with three carriers as Trump visits Asia Reuters (furzy). Not the behavior of a confident superpower.
    ~~~~~~~~~~

    True dat, it’s more like the behavior of a country making a statement exactly a century ago…
    ~~~~~~~~~~

    “The Great White Fleet was the popular nickname for the powerful United States Navy battle fleet that completed a journey around the globe from 16 December 1907, to 22 February 1909, by order of United States President Theodore Roosevelt.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_White_Fleet
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~

    …and the current reign of error differs a little from Teddy’s~

    “We have become great because of the lavish use of our resources. But the time has come to inquire seriously what will happen when our forests are gone, when the coal, the iron, the oil, and the gas are exhausted, when the soils have still further impoverished and washed into the streams, polluting the rivers, denuding the fields and obstructing navigation.”~ TR

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      “I will save our forests, and I will bust trusts.” —- TR.

      After him, people no longer had to say “I will not buy from that one and only oil or internet company.”

      1. Wukchumni

        Both Roosevelts were really into the forest for the trees, with FDR it later became the germination for the CCC, in that one of the many things accomplished by the young men working in it’s capacity, was planting an estimated 3 billion trees in less than a decade.

        A good read on the CCC is: “Roosevelt’s Forest Army”

        1. Ned

          A.K.A. Vitamin stuffing, muscle building, learning to follow orders and regimentation of America’s weakling, poorly fed, localized youth to prepare them for the inevitable military conflict to “fight to defend democracy” against a competing economic system.

          The trees were great of course. But, don’t forget that they were also war material, just like the millions of oaks planted by the Royal Navy around England to assure material for ships before steel became the predominant shipbuilding material.

          1. Wukchumni

            It takes a couple hundred years for an oak tree to be of size, do you think the Royal Navy could wait that long?

            1. Swamp Yankee

              It was about having a constant and ready supply — there’s a reason one 18th century British admiral carried around acorns in his pockets at all times. France was forced into the steepest parts of the Pyrenees for its oaks. To be avoided at all costs!

              Re: the CCC — I hear that point, but think it is ahistorical — FDR wasn’t intending to get the US in WWII or the Cold War in the early New Deal.

              And the amount of great stuff the CCC did all over the nation is just phenomenal.

              1. Wukchumni

                I see stuff that the CCC did in Sequoia NP all the time.

                80 year old cement that’s still holding firm mostly, but here and there it’s playing crumbly peg.

                I walk on trails they built going to worthy destinations-that they carved out of the forest, teaching the young men that labored so-the importance of engineering, even if they might not have realized it @ the time. Many became familiar with the wilderness, and in the future championed it’s importance, becoming ambassadors.

                An issue with new CCC enrolees, was a good many of them were seriously underweight, as they didn’t call it the Great Depression for nothing, people were starving.

                1. Objective Function

                  Yeah, a close friend’s grandpa was a CCC vet, a middle class Minnesotan whose family lost everything. He later was S-4 for the 9th (“Ghost”) Armored Division and there’s newsreel footage of him personally quartermastering key supplies across the badly damaged Remagen bridge (under nonstop Nazi attack from everything from frogmen to early cruise missiles) for 6 crucial days before the bridge collapsed.

                  Greatest Generation, indeed.

            2. Phil in Kansas City

              Yes, indeed. The anthropologist Gregory Bateson frequently recounted a story about the Great Hall of New College at Oxford. Seems about a century ago, the oak beams in the hall were rotting and full of beetles. One of the foresters for the college told the administrators that there were a grove of oak trees that had been planted centuries earlier exactly for the purpose of replacing the beams. This plan had been passed down from one generation of foresters to another for centuries! So, there are some institutions that take a long view.

              On the other hand, one of the reasons the British were keen on Canada was the supply of trees suitable for masts and rigging, which the French were harvesting for their own fleet.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Taking a long view.

                The discovery of Earth’s axial procession of approximately 26,000 years, by various ancient cultures was a result of taking a long view on research.

    2. moss

      I’ve been following weekly US carrier locations for some years on this site from Japan
      http://www.gonavy.jp/CVLocation.html

      and I have never observed this number of carriers active on the seas. Usually it’s three or four and the rest are berthed in their home bases.

      The site updates Wed early morning Japan time = Tues am USA

  2. David, by the lake

    Re the Dems and cisgender straight white males

    I suppose it is a good thing then that I disassociated from the party, since I’m not wanted anyway.

    1. JCC

      I’m a fairly well-read person with well over 50 years of good reading skill, some high school latin under my belt, as well as a couple of college degrees, but it took an administrator in the DNC to introduce me to the term cisgender and its definition.

      Thanks for nothing, DNC.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        From Zhuangzi: Human life is limited, but knowledge is limitless. To drive the limited in pursuit of the limitless is fatal…

        Here, the DNC is the source of that unlimited infinity. You won’t be able to stop learning (new words and ideas) from them.

        To pursue the DNC is thus fatal.

      2. Camembert

        So you’re proud of not having the language to know how to speak intelligently on how to be decent to a category of humans (people who don’t gender conform)?

        That’s not a thing I’d be stoked about. If anything, I’d be happy to have access to new tools that allow me to be a better person to a marginalized group of folks.

        1. Synoia

          I’m ignorant too. I refer to all of them, collectively as “people”, individually as “person”, and if I’m familiar with them by their name.

          I prefer not to apply categories about which I’m uncertain.

          1. CanCyn

            Well said Synoia!! We need to just stop the categorizing and labelling. I know that minorities of all sorts feel the need to be recognized but where does that recognition get them? No doubt, we all need to understand the privelege and systemic problems working against true welcoming and acceptance of people of all races, colours, genders, etc… but as most of us reading here are well aware, identity politics is a huge hindrance to overcoming real economic and social injustice…. (she typed with Depeche Mode’s “People are People” playing in her head.)

            1. Partyless Poster

              Plus do we really need a word to describe 99% of people?
              I cant believe they are still pushing this crap, it really does make one wonder if they actually want to win elections.

      3. Quentin

        I had that problem too. What a bunch of mass gender discriminators! This would mean then that the DNC wouldn’t have been able to hire Hillary herself. Or is she secretly transgender, you know, like from the other side of mountains?

      4. Vatch

        Super balls, which are really really bouncy, are made of polybutadiene. I think it’s cis-polybutadiene, but it might be trans-polybutadiene.

        Cis fats are often safe to eat, but trans fats are dangerous.

        Okay, I’ll stop free associating now.

    2. John D.

      I had a quick peek at the story, thinking it couldn’t possibly be real. I mean, for God’s sake: Quite apart from anything else, surely there was no way, no way any DNC spokesperson would be shockingly stupid & incompetent enough to hand the country’s worst reactionaries this kind of propaganda victory on a silver platter, right? In the current political climate, after every Democratic party organization has failed in every way imaginable? Shouldn’t they be trying to rebuild the party instead of digging themselves an even deeper hole?

      I was almost amused to note the simpleton responsible for this little quote is named Madeline Leader. Very typical of the “leadership” we’re seeing from the Democrats these days.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        It would be interesting to know whether Madeline Leader was a Clinton supporter or a Sanders supporter during the primaries and the Convention. Without actually knowing, it might be dangerous to assume either way. Does anyone actually know?

    3. Notorious P.A.T.

      Me, too. That, and their implementation of superdelegates to make sure no grass-roots candidate could win. Well, if they don’t want my vote…

      But I’m sure they have a bright future, what with writing off one-third of the US population.

    1. oliverks

      It has been gobsmacking the sheer number of people coming out to say they have been raped or sexually harassed in Hollywood. It took me a bit to wrap my head around that.

      What I think is happening is many abusers are serial abusers. It is not just one victim, it is 10 or 100. So you don’t need many bad eggs to end up traumatizing a huge percentage of the population.

      I am not sure this comment adds much value, but the revelations of the last few weeks have really brought home the scale of the problem for me.

      1. Carla

        Here’s a problem: some (many) of the sweetest, kindest, gentlest, most intelligent males who would never, ever, impose themselves on a woman sexually, nevertheless, when they hear about a Harvey Weinstein, just shrug and smile in recognition of his “shenanigans.”

    2. JEHR

      Indeed, the Graeber article was very touching. It also reminded me of my mother who was sexually assaulted as a young girl by her step father and ran away from home. In her first marriage she was raped by her husband after she had left him to raise her children on her own. Her second husband turned out to be a bully and beat her up and she left him too. The inequalities and the bullying between men and women seem to have been here forever.

      1. Wukchumni

        We had lunch with my mom @ her assisted living place last month and got talking about this Weinstein fellow, and she worked for United Airlines @ the Brown Palace hotel in Denver from 1952 to 1956, and told me that a 5 foot 3 fellow who was a VP of the airline lived in a penthouse in the nearby Cosmopolitan hotel, and she had heard of his reputation a little, as he had a habit of inviting single women working for the company up to the living room of his penthouse, and sure enough she got the call, and said she went in and he immediately popped into his bedroom and messed up the bed, and then there was some chitchat, and he asked if she would like some snacks from room service?

        She said sure, and when they were delivered 15 minutes later, and his gig was to allow the deliverer to see that something must’ve gone on between the 2 based on the tossed sheets unkempt on the bed, and spread rumors of the little big man’s prowess.

        My mom said she ate a few of the snacks, and that was that, nothing ever happened between them.

        1950’s style sexual harassment

        1. a different chris

          Wow what a simpler time… I say that because of what little I’ve not been able to avoid about Weinstein has indelibly inked on my brain that there are people that can do…stuff… to themselves if they just have another (hapless) person present.

          So when I read “messed up the bed” — my impression was that she was saying he had masturbated on the bed until I got a sentence or two farther on….

          PS: of course I know people weren’t actually any less weird back then. Just happy this was simply over-the-line behavior, not… whatever Weinstein and such do.

      2. ArcadiaMommy

        I’m so sorry. I read that article and see myself in it. I was 13 yo when I went to high school and was basically terrorized every day by boys, some athletes, some not but a lot were 18 or 19 yo. And other people thought I was popular! I played sports at a high level for my age so it was impossible to get away from them. Either it made me tougher or raised the bar for the crap I can withstand. I’m not sure at this point. I do wish I could go back to being a stay home mom just not to have to deal with this nonsense.

    3. ChrisPacific

      I’m not sure that “touching” is the word. He is angry. I am too.

      I have been gradually realizing that there is a toxic strain in our global concept of masculinity that enables and tacitly (and sometimes explicitly) accepts this kind of behavior. Perhaps it has always been there. We probably can’t stop men from doing this kind of thing, but we can – and should – stop implicitly normalizing this behavior by allowing them to continue to hold positions of power and respect while doing so. If we don’t, then they will continue ruining the lives of people we care about (like Graeber’s mother) assisted by the culture that we have enabled. This is our problem, and we need to fix it. Instead we have people like Matt Damon (who worked regularly with Weinstein) shrugging and saying: well, we knew he was an asshole but what are you gonna do? It makes me want to smack him.

      When the likes of Weinstein are up there defining what it means to be a successful man in today’s society, we (men) need to feel just as much outrage as NC readers do when Hillary Clinton claims to represent the interests of left wing voters. If we don’t then we are not worthy of the name.

      1. ArcadiaMommy

        Thank you for being aware of this and considering what can be done. It seems hopeless sometimes. I know many men who would never consider themselves to be the sort of person who would belittle a woman but they still do it in ways big and small.

  3. Livius Drusus

    Re: How it became a crime to be poor in America, I often wonder how mass incarceration impacts some of the supposed victories of the neoliberal era. For example, did crime rates decline simply because we locked up a huge number of people, taking them off the street? What about our unemployment and poverty numbers? Are we warehousing people who would otherwise be jobless and poor on the outside? How much of the “success” of the American economy over the last 40 years has been due to simply locking up and ignoring our “problem” population of poor and disadvantaged people?

    1. ambrit

      I wonder how much of the “problem” is the result of the emptying out and ‘disappearing’ of the people previously housed in the mental health asylums and hospitals by the Arch Daemon Reagan? If someone can no longer be shut up on mental health grounds, then jail is the next best thing, if you’re not the one being ‘shut up.’
      The criminalization of poverty is a long standing human activity. “Out of sight, out of mind” works wonders for ameliorating any ‘guilt’ ones’ lack of charity may arouse.
      Greed and stupidity will explain a lot of our dystopic actions.

        1. JTMcPhee

          That de-institutionalization was done in Illinois, in the early ’80s, under cisgendered Governor Jim Thompson (R, Disgusting). The argument, as usual, backed by the Power Players in the legislature, was “save the state a lot of money.” Moved thousands of dependent damaged and even dangerous people out of safe spaces and decent care onto the Mean Streets, where mirabile dictu, they did all kinds of Bad Stuff in order to satisfy their inclinations. Or just to survive. Which most all humans will struggle to do, until they become sufficiently deplorable and go off to the suicide spas…

          The result was permanent closure of the needed facilities, firing a bunch of state social-service workers (Haygood cheers?) and a one time “savings” on the state budget of some $20 million, I think. But then a reporter at the Tribune, as I recall, added up the costs, as best they could, of all the additional cops and courts and jails and losses to “the public,” and I think that figure was something like $100 million a year. “Going forward.”

          Thompson was IIRC an Assistant US Attorney when his Big Case, one of his springboards into politics, came along — Seems one of IL’s serial-felon governors, Otto Kerner, took a complicated bribe from the horse racing interests represented by an attorney named Marge Evert. She arranged the sale of a bunch of stock in the company for Kerner for cheap, in exchange for additional racing dates (the big income generator for the tracks) from the Racing Board controlled by the Governor. Thompson gave her a deal to testify against Kerner “in exchange” for a slap on the wrist. She did, I think, at least get disbarred in IL, but then Thompson flew her to CA, where he testified before the CA Bar Association to her “moral and ethical fitness” to be admitted as an attorney in CA. Where she promptly repeated the game, with CA government actors this time.

          FL, of course, did the same thing, the de-institutionalization.

          It never ends…

      1. Phil in Kansas City

        My understanding is that the move to close mental hospitals and asylums began in the 1960’s. Knowledge of the abuse of patients in such institutions became widespread, leading to disenchantment with the asylum system. At the same time, the first psychiatric drugs were being introduced (Thorazine, for example), and the new model of treatment called for all but the most disabled patients to be reintegrated into society.

        Well, that didn’t work out so well.

        What we have now is a default “system” that rotates many mentally ill people from short-term hospitalization to the police to the judiciary, and then back to the hospital, with extended periods of homelessness in between. Frequently, such people are victimized and abused by others living on the same societal margins. I think we have forgotten that the “asylum” part of mental asylum means not that we are protecting society from the mentally ill, but instead protecting the mentally ill from predators.

        1. Expat

          The movement to defund psychiatric hospitals started in the 60’s but took full flight in the late seventies and then the eighties. While it is true that liberals seized up things like “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, claiming it was representative of mental hospitals, the “liberation” of inmates really only came about because conservatives wanted budget cuts.

          Releasing prisoners is not politically popular for anyone, but releasing the insane is not an issue. And the claim was that the mentally ill would receive “care in the community”. Utter bullshit. The burden for handling (not caring for) these people passed from the Federal and State governments to local governments, who had neither the funds nor the training.

          The surge in homeless (what we used to call bums) in the late seventies and eighties was not purely economics. Many of them were former inmates of psychiatric hospitals.

          Alas, mental illness remains deeply misunderstood and considered “bad” by so many. Which is truly unfortunate for a country as batshit crazy as America.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      This is the theory – to be poor is to disrespect hard work.

      And the super humans declare that it is a crime to disrespect hard work. That is, it is a crime to be poor.

      That’s how we out-compete, say, the Chinese.

      1. Craig H.

        My experience is that is not it. I have queried a number of conservatives or Limbaugh fans or Reaganites over the years. This is what I have asked them: do you think if all them lazy bums on welfare got up at 6:30 in the morning and went to work every day and worked hard for 8 to 10 hours we would be any better off? The GNP higher? The prices lower? &c.

        They always say absolutely–of course–it’s obvious.

        And I explain to them my own opinion that it would make no noticeable difference to us at all (institutions, big corporations, huge Tolstoy-esque waves of history and so forth). They are often amazed that it is possible to have that opinion. I never change anybody’s mind but very often they will hate my ideas less. So, I don’t think it is because they feel their hard work is disrespected. I think they are angry and they think they are being ripped off.

        They are being ripped off but they have been fooled as to who is doing it.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Yes, we can be awaken and be enlightened any time, anywhere.

          I believe any of us is capable of that, that is, to realize the system itself is rigged. How can be possible, if every mother says to her child, ‘You can be anything you want, as long as you work hard. You can be the president of the United States of America if that’s your desire?’

          A person is lucky to live 100 years. During that time, only 25 presidents are possible, unless you include extraordinary events. There are some 200 million plus or maybe 300 million citizens here.

          Can we all be the commander in chief, if we respect hard work?

          Please note that not everyone wants to be POTUS. It is mentioned to illustrate the composition fallacy.

        2. False Solace

          > all them lazy bums on welfare

          Thanks to welfare reform in the 90s welfare doesn’t really exist anymore in the US. By granting them this premise you’ve already lost the argument.

  4. Wukchumni

    Water is for lying over-whiskey is for lying under
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The rise of water data promises to make every piece of land and drop of water in California a source of conflict Business Insider
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Watching the lengthy drought here from the catbird seat in our winters of missed content, was illuminating to say the least. The heretofore unseen machinations kept unfolding as it reached it’s 5th birthday.

    Water that was worth $100-200 an acre foot when we were lousy with it, pre-drought, fetched 10-20x as much when the law of supply and demand tilted heavily towards the latter.

    In any given year, groundwater from down under accounts for about 50% of irrigation of fruit & nut trees (very little in the way of yearly crops are grown here locally, you’ll see some corn & alfalfa once in awhile) and in the midst of the drought when farmers were allocated 0 or 5% of their usual allotment of water that made up the other 50% of irrigation, well water accounted for almost 100% of irrigation.

    As a consequence, let’s say Farmer Bob is next to Farmer Fred, and they’ve both got big orchards, say around 4,000 orange trees in one, and 6,000 pistachio trees in the other and both had 600 foot deep wells.

    As the drought intensified, the water level kept dropping, and Farmer Fred decided to sink a new well down to 1,000 feet for $125k, and what could Farmer Bob do, aside from compete with his neighbor, and also sink a new well, in an odd race to the bottom, of subsidence.

    Pending groundwater legislation is set to go into law in the state in 2020, the only little problem is, nobody knows what it will entail…

  5. Samuel Conner

    As one observes, gob-smacked, the sleep-walking UK government, I wonder whether we in US may face a similar situation and consequences of similar scale and gravity with the prospect of a constitutional convention and the imposition of permanent austerity via “balanced budget” as an article of a revised constitution.

    1. ambrit

      I’m not sure that a Constitutional Convention is in the cards for America.
      As for England, well, I hope that the Labour Party, especially the Left wing of same, is preparing for taking power. When the real misery of the Brexit hits the average Briton, all H— will break loose. If Labour can paint the Tories as being responsible for the Brexit fiasco, the Conservative Party will take a generation to recover.

      1. John

        Re: I’m not sure that a Constitutional Convention is in the cards for America.

        I can’t believe anything good would come from one.

  6. Kokuanani

    Thanks for the “not buying from Amazon,” Yves. At least once per week I have a conversation with someone explaining WHY I won’t buy from Amazon. It used to be only Walmart got this shunning. Now it’s Amazon, Chic-fil-A, Papa John’s pizza, and Vince Scully. I’m sure there are more that deserve such non-attention.

    OTOH, when one DOES buy a hard copy of a good book, it would be nice if there were a system to “recycle” it on to friends or other interested readers. Sort of a Flat Stanley of books combined with the old chained letter idea. [Perhaps these references are too old for some here.]

    Media mail is quite cheap, and your package frequently gets sent at regular mail speed due to USPS f***-ups. If, for example there were a list of folks interested in reading, say, Donna Brazile’s book, one could consult that, send one’s copy to one of them, and when they finished, they could send it on to someone else. In theory donating one’s copy to the local library would achieve a similar end, but I find the idea of sending to someone who’s really interested [and who’s also shunning Amazon] really attractive.

    1. ambrit

      I once bought a book at a rummage sale with a list of names inscribed inside the front cover. I always wondered about that. Your serial book reading “club” idea fits. Good idea.

    2. Wukchumni

      Sorry, i’m not gonna dismiss the greatest baseball announcer in the history of the game…

      On a happier note, yes, it’s fun to share books with others, and I always insist that after reading that they be passed on in an ersatz chain letter of sorts.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It hurts someone anyway we do it.

      Not buying from Amazon, this pizza place, that chicken place, will hurt their billionaire owners, and minimum wage workers.

      Not buying football games will also hurt billionaire owners, and, this time, many, many millionaire workers.

      1. Vatch

        Buying from Amazon hurts their low wage workers, because management will continue their abusive practices. People should buy from other companies, where the workers are probably treated better. If an Amazon worker loses his or her job, he or she will probably find another job at a different company where the conditions are better.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Can we say to an Amazon worker, ‘you should probably look for a better job, or a job with better working conditions now, instead of waiting till you lose your job at Amazon now?’

          I don’t work there myself. Would love to hear from Amazon workers, how consumers not buying will hurt both their billionaire owner, and whether themselves as well.

          1. Vatch

            Sometimes there aren’t any other jobs available locally. That’s one of the reasons that people shouldn’t buy from Amazon or Walmart. If other companies get more business, then they’ll be able to hire more employees.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Sometimes, perhaps.

              People who have left or are leaving now, without a new job lined up, I admire their courage.

              Those who are staying, I can understand the importance of putting food on the table.

              Anyone from Amazon here?

              1. cyclist

                You think any of the exhausted Amazon drones have the time or energy required to follow the proceedings here on NC? Which is all part of the plan….

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  I try not to presume what they can or can not do, what they would like or not like to do.

            2. marym

              Since stories began circulating about their mistreatment of warehouse workers I’ve mostly avoided Amazon . Books mostly from Powell’s. For the past maybe 7-8 years I’ve also bought nearly all home furnishings, clothing, and accessories that are made in USA, buying local if possible, but mostly online. Most purchases are in a moderate price range, though I’m fortunate to be able to pay a bit more for some stuff. That and tipping well is how I try to support US workers.

              1. Ellery O'Farrell

                I’ve shopped at Powell’s since I was in college in the late 60s (yes, Reed). They had one store then, where I spent many many hours sitting on the floor and reading unmolested whatever I wanted to.

                Over time, they grew to something like 5 or 6 locations within Portland, each handling its own variety of books, within a short distance of each other. Loved it, though by then I lived in NYC and hardly ever went home.

                Now there’s only one store, and it’s not in the original location. Still fun, and you can still read whatever you like. But Amazon ate all the others.

                I check Powell’s first before buying any book. They still carry a lot of very good used and out-of-print books. Not to mention the memories of the 60s…

      2. HotFlash

        Supporting locally-owned businesses helps to keep them running, afford to pay (local) people to staff them and maybe encourage more people to run their own businesses. I buy local pizza, local books, or Powell’s (they’re unionized!), locally grown foods when I can. I find that I can get locally and *organic* stuff from my coop at similar prices to chain stores *iff* I buy ingredients rather than prepared foods (ie, dried vs canned beans, etc.). It takes more planning, but I consider every dollar a vote that I consider well — after all, isn’t it ‘one dollar, one vote’?

      3. drumlin woodchuckles

        If a million people keep buying as many books as before, but switch their book buying from Amazon to other companies, those other companies can hire as many new people as Amazon would have to lay off. Perhaps those other companies might even hire some of the people laid off from Amazon.

        If a million people transfer their pizza buying from this pizza place to that pizza place, that pizza place will gain as many new pizza jobs as this pizza place loses.

        If a million people transfer their chicken buying from that chicken place to this chicken place, this chicken place will open a job for every job which that chicken place has to close.

        So it is not about boycotting books, pizza and chicken. It is about retargeting one’s book, pizza and chicken dollars away from black hat wrongdoers like Amazon, this pizza place and that chicken place and redirecting one’s book, pizza and chicken dollars towards white hat good-doers like Independent Bookstores, that pizza place and this chicken place.

        At worst, one helps as many minimum wage workers as one hurts. At best, the white hat good-doer book, pizza and chicken places might pay better than minimum wage or at least subject their workers to better than worst conditions. If so, that would be a net increase in money earned and conditions improved.

    4. voteforno6

      I prefer to donate books to my local library. Some books may end up on the shelves. A lot of donations probably end up in their periodic book sales as well. I like to think that those books I donate find a home somewhere, and also benefit a good institution.

    5. Arizona Slim

      Here in Tucson, we still have a few independently owned and locally operated bookstores. Matter of fact, there are a couple within easy walking distance of where I’m sitting right now.

      Hmmmm, I think I’ll go visit one of them during my lunch break.

    6. elissa3

      I have a technique that I use to avoid buying from Amazon while making use of their platform for selecting books. This only works if one can afford to pay the higher local price. (We have several excellent independent bookstores in town). I simply print out my extensive “wish list” from time to time and order/buy the 2-3 books I can afford every month. This allows me to browse on the Amazon site, read some reviews, make comparisons, and keep a running list.

    7. Notorious P.A.T.

      See if your local library ever has a used book sale. Or leave your recycled book in a hospital waiting room.

      1. Wukchumni

        I’ll sometimes leave books in bear boxes* on the trail. If you read “The Treasure Of Sierra Madre” after finding it @ Kern hot springs, hope you enjoyed it.

        * no, that’s not where they keep the bears, but a long rectangular locking box where you keep your food and anything with a smell, overnight while catching 40 winks.

    8. Ed Miller

      We have a system to “recycle” books on to friends and other interested readers. It’s called the library!

      Why not donate books to your local library and tell your friends they should read this book, and they can read for free! What could be worse for Amazon. Library donation is the best revenge against Amazon.

    9. perpetualWAR

      How about the Little Libraries? I bought one made by an Occupier (when there was no jobs.) That library has been great for our neighborhood and my reading budget. Fabulous books donated and fabulous books found.

      Every neighborhood should install one of these.

  7. The Rev Kev

    Re Saudi Arabia Charges Iran With ‘Act of War,’ Raising Threat of Military Clash
    Not sure how that would work out. The two countries do not share a common border though they do face each other along the Persian Gulf. The Saudis have lost ships to the Houthi missiles so they won’t risk their Navy in the waters of the Gulf and an aerial attack would be problematic as the Iranians now have the S-300 air defense system in place. Likewise threatening Hezbollah/Lebanon seems pointless as again they do not share a common border.
    This could just be frustration speaking out as both the Iranians and Hezbollah (along with the Russians) broke the Saudi-backed jihadist force in Syria denying Saudi Arabia a victory there. Still, the thought of the amateurs of the Saudi Army going head to head with the combat veterans of Hezbollah would be hilarious – if somewhat bloody – but not gunna happen. Maybe this is just talk to distract their people from the internal power grab at work.
    P.S. Great foto for tonite’s Antidote du jour. Are they really friends?

    1. cocomaan

      This is the second time in a year that Saudi has gone throwing their weight around. We just got out of a crisis with Qatar, remember.

      I am getting increasingly nervous about the House of Saud. The royals of that kingdom are the scum of the earth and will throw everyone under the bus in order to retain power.

      1. Vatch

        This is yet another reason why people who need a car should buy the most fuel efficient vehicle that satisfies their needs and is affordable. Better fuel efficiency means less money for the greedy member of the House of Saud.

    2. Jim Haygood

      According to Channel 10 news reporter Barak Ravid in Tel Aviv, Israel is a behind-the-scenes player in this dangerous game:

      https://twitter.com/BarakRavid/status/927629611713941505

      Excerpts from Ravid’s tweet of a leaked diplomatic cable:

      2 \ The cable sent from the MFA [Ministry of Foreign Affairs] in Jerusalem to all Israeli embassies toes the Saudi line regarding the [Lebanese PM] Hariri resignation.

      6 \ The cable instructed Israeli diplomats to support Saudi Arabia over its war with the Houthis in Yemen.

      “All in the family” as it were, with our two best “allies” in the Middle East furiously stirring the pot against America’s alleged arch-enemy Iran and its Hezbollah proxies in Lebanon.

      If Israel can’t frog march the US into bombing Iran (as AIPAC has been trying for twenty years to do), perhaps Israel can team up with the US-armed Saudis to do so.

      An air corridor over northern Saudi Arabia gives Israeli bombers direct access to the Iranian coast without crossing any other countries’ air spaces. :-0

      1. Synoia

        Only Israel behind the curtain? No CIA/State department involvement?

        I’d take bets on the US’ involvement, in this new “Great Game.”

        Look at the map of Asia, consider the “new silk road”, and understand who benefits from trouble.

        If the ME is in turmoil, there is no “new silk road,” except through Moscow. Oh wait, there’s a lot of demonizing on that northern silk road route too, Ukrainiang on our Parade, or Manipulating Poles.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          There is always the Maritime Silk Road.

          It used to originate in Quanzhou (called by the Arabs, Zeitoun, Zaytun, etc, meaning olive) and reached all the way to Europe.

  8. Alex

    Wellie, it has long been the preferred Ivy for rich boys from the South.

    Why not Penn (just curious)?

    1. Jim Haygood

      Princeton was quicker on its feet to suss out where the money was:

      President John Witherspoon, who arrived on campus in 1768, made a deliberate effort to target aristocratic planters in the lucrative slave colonies of British North America.

      Witherspoon’s influence helped to recruit Henry Lee and his three brothers and tripled the number of students enrolling from Virginia between 1770 and 1780.

      Prior to Witherspoon’s tenure, the number of southern students in a graduating class rarely exceeded 20%. By 1790, the proportion of southerners reached a high of 67%. From the time of his death in 1794 until the eve of the Civil War, that number never fell below 25%.

      Indeed, more Princeton alumni fought for the Confederacy than for the Union. James Kendall Lee, the last of the Virginian Lees to attend the school before the outbreak of the war, was shot and killed at the First Battle of Bull Run in the summer of 1861.

      https://slavery.princeton.edu/stories/origins

      We were walkin’ in high cotton
      Old times there are not forgotten
      Leavin’ home was the hardest thing we ever faced

      — Alabama, High Cotton

  9. Wukchumni

    Man who believes current air quality is ‘too clean’ named to US Environmental Protection Agency advisory board Independent (resilc). Tell any of the 12 million people in the US with COPD that. It’s now the third leading cause of death in the US.
    ~~~~~~~~~~

    It is too clean, compared to pre-EPA.

    Growing up in LA in the 60’s, the San Gabriel mountains were a straight shot from my front porch 30 miles away, and occasionally you’d see them.

    Quite often recess or PE @ school was held indoors because the air quality was so awful, and even so, your eyes would get irritated from the smog and tear up and there wasn’t much you could do. A scratchy throat was another common ailment.

    I remember a lot of kids I went to school with had asthma issues, is that still common today?

    It took a long time to improve the situation after EPA was enacted, but now there’s probably 3x as many people and cars in the City of Angles, and the air is remarkably clear compared to back in the day.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      When I watched the new “Blade Runner” movie my first thought on seeing the movie vision of L.A. was that it looked like Riverside on a bad day as I remember it from my late teens.

      1. MichaelSF

        I remember racing at Ontario Motor Speedway in 1978/79 and not being able to draw a deep breath because the smog was so thick. Not only were the mountains 7 miles to the north invisible, but I couldn’t even see to the far side of the complex.

  10. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: U.S. Military Failed to Send Texas Gunman’s Conviction Record to FBI Wall Street Journal

    Paywalled, didn’t read. But from a nyt article on the subject:

    Federal law lists 11 criteria that would bar someone from buying a gun, including two that would seem to apply to Mr. Kelley: conviction of a crime punishable by more than a year in prison — assaulting his stepson, which carried a maximum sentence of five years — and conviction of a domestic violence misdemeanor.

    The Department of Defense has reported only one domestic violence case to the federal database for gun purchase background checks, records show. It has reported 11,000 service members to the database, but almost all of them were because of dishonorable discharges, which prohibit gun purchases. Mr. Kelley, after serving 12 months in a Navy brig in California, received a “bad conduct” discharge, which is not by itself an automatic bar to gun purchases.

    What possible benefit is derived from continuing to allow the military to adjudicate these cases which more properly belong in civilian criminal courts? This is also an issue in the epidemic of sexual assault in the military which, by all accounts, is being badly handled, even after considerable publicity.

    “Explaining” this as some sort of military “reporting error” and pivoting immediately to a discussion of assault weapons bans or magazine size misses the critical point. The military is running some sort of extra-constitutional, parallel justice system that threatens the civilian population and it should be relieved of that “duty” immediately.

    I’ve no problem with their adjudicating cases of insubordination or other purely military infractions, but violent crime prosecution should be left to the professionals. Stricter laws can’t solve anything if they’re not followed.

    1. Jomo

      Katniss, if you think the military is doing a “bad job” in adjudicating these cases maybe you should consider what a “terrible job” local courts are probably doing. Also, consider the many military families that live on federal military reservations and overseas where local courts have no jurisdiction. Complicated legal problems best left the way they are. But I agree it should have been reported to a database prevent gun ownership.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      One practicality question.

      How do we handle a case when it occurs in, say, Okinawa? Turn that over to their civil court system?

      And in Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia? Also the native system?

      1. Harold

        Perhaps military courts should be used just for situations like these. In any case there should be more coordination, at the least, no? In any case, domestic violence is not a military matter.

      2. JTMcPhee

        SOFA. “Drop it on the SOFA.” Which is a “status of forces agreement.” https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Status_of_forces_agreement Which the wiki article is careful to point out is not a “security agreement,” aka entangling alliance. ” And is VERY careful to point out is not at all the same as MILITARY OCCUPATION under international law (sic). It’s often get-out-of-local-jail-free for stuff like murdering civilians…

    3. Jim Haygood

      Federal law lists 11 criteria that would bar someone from buying a gun, including … conviction of a domestic violence misdemeanor.

      This DV criterion was the work of New Jersey’s late Sen Frank Lautenberg in 1994. In its immediate wake, some legal commentary I saw regarded it as constitutionally suspect to impose a debility for life because of a misdemeanor conviction.

      Taking away a constitutional right for life is a drastic sanction that is only ever imposed otherwise for a felony conviction. Some police officers, who get into domestic disputes just as others do, have been deprived of their careers after a DV conviction if they couldn’t get assigned to a desk job.

      But like so many other broad-daylight shreddings of our dead-letter constitution, it don’t matter. It’s politically correct, so we can feel good about our enlightened selves.

  11. Carla

    Re: “Anything but Amazon!” I am most fortunate to live less than a mile from a wonderful independent bookstore, from which I order most of my books. The owner regularly makes space in the store available for community meetings and actively supports both local authors, and the local branch of our public library which is only steps away. She told me that people regularly peruse the books in her store and then say to each other, not even lowering their voices, “This looks good, but I’ll get it on Amazon — it’s cheaper.”

    For those who don’t have access to a bricks-and-mortar bookseller, I recommend trying http://www.betterworldbooks.com. They are a “B” corporation that dedicates a portion of their profits to literacy programs around the world. Better World sells used and new books (though I’ve found it takes awhile for the latest bestsellers to show up there) and offers free standard shipping with no minimum and no “prime” membership required.

  12. cocomaan

    Google’s Mass-Shooting Misinformation Problem Atlantic

    The media, from Google to Infowars to CNN, to me are absolutely a blame factor in the prevalence of mass shootings in the US.

    The bottom line is this: these outlets should not cover these shootings beyond ensuring the immediate safety of the victims. Endless coverage of the perps, why they did it, what they’re thinking, conspiracies about their motives, is absolutely irresponsible garbage journalism. It’s a way to get clicks and it needs to stop.

    Anyway, just a thought after another shooting with incredibly disgusting, nonstop coverage.

    1. Wukchumni

      In a way, these mass murderers are similar on a name recognition basis to 1930’s bank robbers, such as:

      Bonnie & Clyde
      Baby Face Nelson
      Pretty Boy Floyd
      Machine Gun Kelly

      We always hear everything about the shooter after the act, heck they’re even going to examine the LV shooter’s grey matter to ascertain what was going on in that brain, but…

      I couldn’t name one of his 58 victims, could you?

      1. cocomaan

        Great point about not knowing any of the victims. We immortalize these people. And I wonder if people have an impulse, or even want to immortalize them, considering how romantic bonnie and clyde have become.

      2. begob

        Have you seen Gun Crazy – 1950 movie about a gun-totin’ couple on a violent spree of bank robberies? A recurring theme for the media. Very good long shot of one of their raids, filmed entirely from the back seat of the getaway car.

    2. A1

      Sorry to disagree but what you suggest is a brutal form of censorship. Journalism is messy and real time journalism more so. What I would suggest is better source verification and proofing so the wrong information is weeded out faster.

      We used to have this all the time when we had a one newspaper town. A murder used to happen in a grocery store lot and the grocery store would not be identified if they were a big advertiser. The problem with that is neighbors are interested to know about the killing – and rightfully so.

      So cover the mass killings heavily. People have a right to know. I feel we are going the other way in whitewashing these crimes particularly when they don’t fit the neoliberal narrative and making them go away too fast from the news.

      1. cocomaan

        I’m not suggesting anything brutal at all. The CDC took an activist position on media-related suicide contagion and it’s paid off. Now news agencies maintain codes of conduct with regard to how they cover these things.

        Now check out this BBC article about the church shooting (Sutherland Springs: Men chased Texas church shooting suspect, November 6 2017). Scroll down and you’ll find this abominable chart.

        How in the heck is that kind of chart helping matters at all? You might as well complete the transition into it being an arcade high score screen and let people put their initials afterward.

        I’m suggesting – screw that, demanding – a turn to ethical behavior in journalism, plain and simple. We have gone too far and it’s causing contagion.

        Edited to add: and it took me just a few seconds to find “media contagion” with regard to mass shootings: August 4, 2016
        “Media Contagion” Is Factor in Mass Shootings, Study Says http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2016/08/media-contagion.aspx

  13. McWatt

    I have to back up the comment about local stores getting hammered by Amazon. At a recent local meeting of retailers one woman said people come into her store, take photos of the object they want, photograph the manufacturer tag and then leave the store.

    1. cocomaan

      I was listening to NPR the other day and heard that they’re funded by Amazon. And I’ve said on here before that I once heard people clapping for Bezos’s purchase of Whole Foods on Wait Wait Dont Tell Me. People who listen to NPR are Amazon’s biggest fanclub.

      1. Mike Mc

        Not all NPR listeners worship at the altar of Amazon. I worked for Manpower Inc. in the 1990s and we placed lots of locals in various “pick n’ pack” jobs, from putting the plastic medicine bottles in their cardboard boxes on assembly lines to unloading semis. We worked hard to ensure decent work conditions and pay for our temps. Amazon’s subcontractors and the treatment of their temps is appalling and inhumane; Bezos’ contracts for cloud computing etc. including the CIA and now ownership of the Washington Post screams “monopoly” but only the ghost of Teddy Roosevelt. I work at a land grant university and cannot get our IT buyers to look past the “cheap and fast” beacons that Amazon represents to the ill-informed and careless. Mercifully retirement looms in a few years but I fear Amazon like I fear the GOP – ignorant masses steered by billionaire oligarchs leading us straight to Hell.

    2. Vatch

      It’s very sad that people do that.

      I sometimes read the Amazon reviews to get a feel for what a particular item is like, and if it seems good, I’ll buy it at a brick and mortar store.

      1. Wukchumni

        May I defend the river of Amazon rebuttals, by offering up a defense?

        I have to drive about an hour to get to a big city of 130,000 people, and it has the usual assemblage of chain stores, just like in your town. I can usually depend on them having a certain this or that in stock, but by about the 6th time in a few years of spinning my wheels driving all over tarnation and not succeeding in finding what I needed, I submitted to the ether.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            An alternative is to break up Amazon into baby Amazons.

            This is like, instead of using other forms of communications (like mail, or pigeons), in place of telephone, AT&T was broken up into regional Bells.

            That’s just one idea. Maybe others have better ones, to be used on Alphabet, Face Book Inc, Apple, etc.

          2. Old Jake

            Sears, Walmart, Best Buy, Home Depot are all junior Amazon’s and wannabe’s. When it comes to rural America it’s not easy. I patronize a coop hardware store that has been here for eighty years and appears to be doing pretty well despite the presence of Costco and Home Depot, but beyond its specialties I’m hard pressed to come up with a number of things without resorting to the Ferengi. There are no bookstores anywhere near the small towns I have been over the past four years.

            1. Vatch

              Costco has a pretty good reputation. Supposedly they treat their people better than Walmart and a lot of the other big box stores. I suppose there are exceptions. If a particular store’s manager is unpleasant, then for the people who work there, it doesn’t matter what the other stores in the chain are like.

    1. Tom

      The story is shocking if true. Not only are the rich entitled to their own form of justice; they are also entitled to their own form of crimes.

      1. cocomaan

        The best part is that all the intelligence gathering is protected under privilege because the law firms hired Black Cube directly.

        1. Tom

          Gotta admire that move, eh? If the authorities ever want to ask “What Happened?,” the answer is, “So sorry, that’s privileged information.”

    2. JohnnyGL

      To their credit, NPR actually interviewed Ronan Farrow on the radio this morning.

      It seems even getting this story out took several acts of real courage.

  14. Eustache De Saint Pierre

    On the Jonathon Lis tweetstorm.

    I noticed the name of John Redwood amongst the list of horrors & it reminded me of this from Eureferendum from the end of July entitled Disaster Capitalism. It gives details of a construct named the ” Legatum Institute ” which appears to have been set-up with the sole purpose to profit from Brexit. Redwood, Lilley & Duncan Smith are involved as members of the hard Brexit Ultras.

    I apologise if this is a repeat post.

    http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=86556

    1. HopeLB

      Remember Reinhardt who had a blog called Enterprisecorruption and who had a cult following after he accurately predicted the day of the crash of 08′? He theorized that Legatus controls just about everything. Wonder if there is any association between the two?

      http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread597835/pg1

      http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread391619/pg5

      http://gawker.com/5050016/how-legatus-brought-down-wall-street

      http://legatus.org/legatus/

      https://www.li.com/

      1. Eustache De Saint Pierre

        Thanks for the links – it is hard to discern the truth of it all behind the flashy spiel & I actually agree with an article on the Legatum site which examines UK housing policy. I only recognise the names of the three piranha fish listed above & a couple of others, perhaps Colonel Smithers would recognise others & their interests.

        I am totally at sea in terms of the finance for Jesus ( family trips, sounds a hoot ). & the Reinhardt stuff

  15. allan

    Billionaire patrons of Steve Bannon avoided millions in taxes with Bermuda scheme [NYDN]

    Robert Mercer’s leadership of the hedge fund Renaissance Technologies has accumulated a fortune for him and his family, with tens of millions of dollars making its way to organizations such as Breitbart and Citizens United.

    However, documents reviewed by The Guardian as part of the Paradise Papers leak show that the Mercers also control companies in the British territory of Bermuda that help its Mercer Family Foundation avoid paying as much money as it could to the American taxman.

    The foundation is registered to a mailbox on the Upper West Side, though the newspaper reported that it uses a “blocker” in Bermuda to avoid paying up to 39% of unrelated business income tax on income that did not come from donations. The unrelated business income tax is designed to tax non-profits on money they receive which is not connected to the purpose of the organization and the cause of its non-profit status.

    Bermuda-registered Medallion Capital Investments holds more than $1 billion from entities related to Renaissance, the American-based company reportedly told U.S. authorities, though the Guardian reported that it has paid only $74,000 in taxes since 2004. …

    Since 2004.

    Surely the deficit hawk policy wonks Paul Ryan and Kevin Brady will get right on the case.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Bill Clinton had no problem with imposing a retroactive tax hike on Aug 10, 1993, more than seven months into the calendar year.

        It was probably unconstitutional, but that don’t matter.

        Arguably a retroactive tax cut causes no harm. But since at least a small class of taxpayers (those making over a million) will get hit with a fresh surcharge, they would suffer damages and would be entitled to claim judicial relief (that is, if we actually had a constitution).

        See also allan’s post below on other victims of TCJA.

        1. allan

          Cristina Marcos‏ @cimarcos :

          .@RepChrisCollins (R-NY) on tax reform: “My donors are basically saying, ‘Get it done or don’t ever call me again.'”

          Not his constituents. His donors. And they’re not worried about a retroactive tax hike.

          And thanks to McDonnell v. United States, no quid pro quo, no problemo.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            It would seem the R’s are more upfront than the D’s, though it is no consolation, except for this irrational human rage about someone being sneaky or two-timing.

            Why?

            Is it not irrational, but a logical consequence from our hunting days, where we preferred not-so-sneaky prey?

    1. JohnnyGL

      The more interesting aspect here is that someone who is connected enough to be familiar with, and have access to, important docs seems to have made the decision to go after Mercer and his company (among other tax dodgers).

      Again, I take this as another sign. I’m starting to think this war among the elites is getting real.

      Happy to be corrected on this by someone who’s more familiar with the story.

  16. Craig H.

    Uber might make more money this year selling real estate in Oakland than actually selling rides

    This is good news for Oakland. The old Sears store is one of the choicest plots in the city.

        1. Wukchumni

          p.s.

          Oakland usually gets a rap as California’s most dangerous big city, but Stockton has it beat. A very scary place.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think it depends.

      It is not good if they sell to absentee foreign owners, or to people who use it to warehouse imported Fentanyl, for example.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Maybe they will need to expand their business into other areas, so as not to waste all that space.

  17. Prufrock

    Is there a trick to reading the Jonathan Lis “tweetstorm”? I click on it, and am confronted with a jumble that is out of order and interspersed with dozens of lines from other people.

  18. Louis Fyne

    — Furzy : “​No wonder we lost….these people live in a PC universe utterly unrelated to reality….do they really think this will bring more red state votes???​”—

    Trump lost Al Franken’s Minnesota by only 45k votes–1,367,000 (D) v 1,322,000 (R). With nearly zero Trump ground support. Closest Minnesota race since Mondale’s 1984.

    2016 was more than just about “Bubba Redneck” angry about being called cisgender.

  19. L.M. Dorsey

    > The attack on “fake news” is really an attack on alternative media

       “… and in the light of Paris one sees what things resemble. That’s what the light of Paris seems always to show. It’s the fault of the light of Paris — dear old light.”
       “Dear old Paris,” little Bilham echoed.
       “Everything, everyone shows,” Miss Barrace went on.
       “But for what they really are?” Strether asked.
       “Oh I like your Boston ‘really’s’! But sometimes — yes.”
       “Dear old Paris then!” Strether resignedly sighed while for a moment they looked at each other…

       Henry James, The Ambassadors.

  20. allan

    Many parents face higher taxes under TCJA, even if Congress makes its credits permanent [bonothesauro ]

    This quick post looks at the effects of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act (TCJA, the House GOP’s proposed tax plan introduced last week), but (selfishly) I focus on a specific segment of the population: families with children under 18.

    It turns out that parents do far worse under the TCJA than the population as a whole, and making the expiring credits in the TCJA permanent only modestly changes this story. More than 40% of families with children face a hike under TCJA in 2027, even with the security of permanent filer credits and assumptions about the benefit of corporate tax cuts. …

    What this tells us however is that a lot of parents will be worse off under TCJA even if the filer and nondependent credits are made permanent. That’s because the law makes several changes — elimination of the personal exemptions, a rise in the lowest bracket to 12%, a slower inflation adjustment for benefits like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) — that hurt families. Often the changes the law makes in support of families such as the increases in the standard deduction and the child tax credit, and the introduction of the filer and nondependent credits, are not enough to make families whole. … (emphasis added)

    So, the TCJA is neither pro-family nor pro-child. Whatever.

    You can’t expect to make a death tax repeal omelette without breaking some family eggs.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Wait a minute. It’s a tax plan that DOESN’T discriminate against single people?

      I never thought I’d live to say the day.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I was thinking there should be awards, rewards and subsidizes for those voluntarily choose to not add more to the world population.

        But then, rewards and subsidies (money we are talking about here) can be criticized for inducing poor people to stealthily sterilize themselves.

        “This time, we did not force them.”

  21. John D.

    It looks like the same tidal wave of scandal currently engulfing Hollywood is also beginning to wash over the UK’s Tory party. How much longer before Washington is hit as well?

  22. Wukchumni

    “But the question remains: How dangerous is Trump to the world and the American Republic?

    One school of thought argues: Not very. For all the presidential mouthing and angry ALL-CAPS dawn tweeting, there’s no sign of the wall on the Mexican border; and NATO is no longer “obsolete” (at least some days of the week); and the “One China” policy has not been scrapped; and the Iran nuclear agreement endures for now, despite Trump’s outrageous refusal to recertify it; and the United States embassy is still in Tel Aviv; and the North American Free Trade Agreement hangs on. Even Trump’s decision to quit the Paris climate accord has not yet been made effective.

    So perhaps Defense Secretary James Mattis and H.R. McMaster, the national security adviser, have ring-fenced Trump’s recklessness. Perhaps they have neutralized his ahistorical ignorance. Trump’s “America First” may be a slogan of impeccable fascist pedigree, but it will not upend the world.

    I wish I could believe this, but I am dubious. A disaster is unfolding whose consequences for humanity and decency will be substantial. America’s word, which has constituted the undergirding of global security for more than seven decades, is a fast-devaluing currency. Trump is likely to become more capricious in the coming months. The investigation by Robert Mueller into possible collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump presidential campaign has already led to the indictment of the president’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort. War was ever a great distraction from domestic difficulty.

    The most terrifying thing to me about the insults hurled in recent weeks between Trump and the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un, was that it was impossible to distinguish between them. The American president had descended to the level of a tantrum-prone totalitarian despot.

    Trump vowed to “totally destroy” North Korea and called Kim “Rocket Man on a suicide mission.” The United States, he proclaimed, was “locked and loaded.” Kim, in return, called Trump “a rogue,” a “gangster,” and a “dotard,” the last a word not much in vogue since the 17th century. Americans scurried for their dictionaries to discover that a dotard was a senile fool.

    The unfunny thing is that when two thin-skinned men with nukes, grudges and mysterious hair hurl insults at each other, and one of them is the American president, there is no cause for comfort. Wars begin in unforeseeable ways; with nuclear brinkmanship, accidents happen.”

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/roger-cohen-on-trump-and-the-erosion-of-american-greatness-a-1176642.html

    1. witters

      “America’s word, which has constituted the undergirding of global security for more than seven decades, is a fast-devaluing currency.”

      It was never your “word”, and that global security was the Cold War.

    2. JTMcPhee

      “America’s word” undergirded global security for 70 years? Which word was that? “GIMME!”?

    1. Arizona Slim

      I especially enjoyed Yves’ math class story. I thought I was the only one who was taught by people like her Una-prof.

      1. Wukchumni

        For whatever reason, the dimensions of the Unabomber’s cabin and that of the cabin of a Unabanker’s Gulfstream 650, are eerily similar.

      2. makedoanmend

        Yeah, that amused me as well but, not really knowing what the Unabomber looks like, I just sort of visualised an Orc on a bad hair day.

        As someone who has a serious case of maths envy, I just kind of consider anyone who is talented in this direction to be slightly odd – but in a good way. If that makes any sense?

      3. DonCoyote

        I think Yves theory on why women don’t go into STEM fields (post-puberty social pressure from other females) has a lot of validity. And my “evidence” (other than several personal anecdotes) is Mean Girls

        Cady: I think I’m joining the Mathletes.
        Regina, Gretchen, Karen: No! No, no!
        Regina: You cannot do that. That is social suicide. *Damn*! You are so lucky you have us to guide you.

        We took my daughter and her friends to see that for her 11th birthday, and she still majored in Pre-Physiology. So other forces (especially good female role models, although i would say the movie has overall positive messaging for females in STEM) can overcome the social pressure.

      4. CraaaaaaaazyChris

        I went to high school with several math prodigies (all boys), including one who represented the USA at the international math olympiad in 1989 (his name is on this list)

        He, and several of the others, cultivated the disheveled look: long hair, rarely combed. My take on it (and I went for this look at the time too), was that it was mainly about feeling detachment from the ‘material world’ and wholly immersed in pursuit of knowledge (be it math, music, computers, whatever). The math olympiad guy was also teaching himself Latin, Greek and some other dead language (Sumerian?) when I knew him.

  23. edmondo

    EXCLUSIVE: DNC Official Says She Doesn’t Want To Recruit ‘Cisgender Straight White Males’

    I see that “the Russians” are still hacking the DNC’s emails. Of course it could be The Onion; sometimes it’s hard to tell

    1. Ned

      Well OK then!

      And in furtherance of that spirit, this ‘Normal White Man’ is not going to vote for any Democrat, nor send them any money for the rest of my life.

      Oh, and to avoid exercising ‘white privilege’, we will withhold all donations to NPR, Pacifica and other Blanca-phobic organizations that can prosper with the monies of POC and women.

        1. HotFlash

          Well, I have and will continue to speak out when they come for you — guys, I got yer back.

          Truly, an otherwise wonderful but, ahem, ‘inclusive and anti-oppressive’ organization to which I belong has a few members that shoot this line of bull from time to time. I shoot back. As a female, I can say what the guys maybe can’t.

          The DNC may be beyond help, but please don’t throw the rest of us under that bus just b/c a few of our number are idiots. Happens in all orgs I have ever been in. Most of us are are more embarrassed than we can say but free speech and all that, we just try to educate them, and it takes some time.

  24. ChrisAtRU

    “The problem with the left is that it thinks marketing is beneath them.”

    Not this lefty!! ;-) And I’m not alone among my heterodox/left comrades.

    One of things I’ve come to realize along my economics journey is how powerful a brand “capitalism” is, and how easily many have unwittingly become (unpaid) brand ambassadors for it. The euphemisms/slurs of neoliberals and monetarists like “fiat” (implying un-backed and therefore worthless) and “printing money” (my biggest peeve … slanderous of anything that can’t be shown as paid for by government revenue) have seeped deep into contemporary consciousness. MMT’s battle is largely for the mindspace – for unlearning that which has been erroneously learned. However, I think the time has come to really build up a socialist brand to counter capitalism as a brand. That will require a real world alternative to the dollar economy (if we’re talking about the US). One of my great disappointments after the #OccupyWallSt movement was squashed, was that it did not give birth to a permanent articulation of an alternate economy. One question I’ve been asking myself (somewhat cheekily and rhetorically) is this:

    If a paranoid, government-hating geek with a poor understanding of money actually works can adopt a Japanese pseudonym and come up with an alternative currency that has global reach, then why can’t the collective MMT/Heterodox brain trust do likewise?

    ;-)

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think a lot of people in the general population confuse the left with liberals.

      So, in that area, there is work to done for brand differentiation marketing as well.

      1. ChrisAtRU

        I think the whole alt-left slur has put paid to that, really … IMO, of course. The right-shifting center seems just fine keeping liberal to themselves while also trying to declare themselves progressive, even as they punch down the left.

        #WhatATimeToBeAlive

  25. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Over 1,000 years old, drought resistant and unique – miracle plants in the Namib desert DW (Chana)

    Do they cure cancer? If so, they are not likely to see another 1,000 years, as good humans, however many they are in number, will likely not be able to stop bad humans from wanting some miracles themselves.

    Any time something can be of use to humans, we should worry for it.

    1. JTMcPhee

      The second graders I know just love to play with gunz, despite their woke parents’ best efforts to inoculate them against same. No REAL toy gunz? A stick, or a cocked fist-and-finger, serve just fine. Then come the arguments about whether Tommy “got” Blake first, in the shootout..

  26. Ned

    Joe Biden is why voters have to pay student loans even after declaring bankruptcy and reorganizing their lives.

    Thanks Joe!

    1. Wukchumni

      What if you didn’t go to college like me, and traveled all over the world instead, getting an education?

        1. Wukchumni

          It really opened my mind to the idea that there were many ways of doing things, not just our way.

          For instance in NZ, all of the toilets have 2 buttons for #1 or #2, dispensing a smaller amount of water on the former.

          Why have I never seen one of these water saving toilets in the USA?

            1. Wukchumni

              It was startling for a Yank, my first trip to NZ.

              The old joke was that the pilot on your 747 would announce:

              “Ladies and gentlemen, we’ll soon be arriving @ Auckland International Airport, please set your clocks back 20 years”

              There was a lot of truth in that. The country was only open for business from 9-5 on weekdays 9-12 on Saturday, but otherwise shut down as tight as the skin on a snare drum.

              Damn near every man wore the ‘uniform’ which was:

              Black dress shoes with wool socks that went up sometimes past the knee, shorts, a dress shirt & tie.

              Newspapers were sold out of racks that had ‘honesty boxes’ where you left your 20 cents for the NZ Herald.

              There weren’t many newer cars, as the cradle to grave socialism of the era had put huge duties on imports, so every fourth car was a 1958 Morris Minor, or other 50’s make. They had to keep them going, there being no alternative.

              And information back then flowed like molasses. I remember going to the U.S. Consulate to read 3 day old USA newspapers fresh from the states.

              1. Jim Haygood

                The country was only open for business from 9-5 on weekdays 9-12 on Saturday, but otherwise shut down as tight as the skin on a snare drum.

                Sounds like South Africa in the 1980s. We rolled into Bloemfontien, capital of the Orange Free State, on a Sunday afternoon. Not a soul on the streets — all home thumping their bibles or cleaning their guns.

                The Boers had their own version of “the uniform” which looks like this:

                https://kevdieenglesman.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/boere.jpg

                No below-the-knee baggy shorts here, where men dress like men! ;-)

              2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Going by the cars you mentioned, you could have been in Cuba, still like that, even today.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            There is one of these water saving 2-button toilets in a coffee house called Uncommon Grounds in Saratoga Springs, New York. A long way from California, I know.

            http://uncommongrounds.com/

            I couldn’t find a photograph of the toilet, though.

          2. Aumua

            Re: multi option toilets.

            We have them here on campus. That’s probably why you haven’t seen them, cause you didn’t go to college.

  27. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Russia and China again.

    From Wikipedia, on Vanadium:

    Vanadium is mined mostly in South Africa, north-western China, and eastern Russia. In 2013 these three countries mined more than 97% of the 79,000 tonnes of produced vanadium.[

    What to do?

    Cost of wind keeps dropping, and there’s little coal, nuclear can do to stop it ars technica. Chuck L: “As wind and solar costs fall a major step forward on the energy storage front appears to have been made with the arrival of the Vanadium-Redox flow battery, which is featured in this month’s IEEE Spectrum.”

    We have to make sure we are friends with South Africa…special relationship?

    1. oliverks

      There are other options for flow cell batteries. Vanadium is just the most mature. See for example https://aziz.seas.harvard.edu/electrochemistry for some innovative other electrolytes. I think people have also made iron work.

      I am glad to see them come into production, because I do think they are good options for local and grid energy storage.

  28. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    The U.S. Embassy Watched the Indonesian Army Kill 500,000 People War is Boring (JTM). From last month, still germane.

    Tragic.

    Terribly tragic, when one realizes that there are also other embassies there…the Japanese embassy, Dutch embassy, Chinese embassy, etc.

  29. Wukchumni

    Why Leaf-Peeping Season Is Disappointing This Year Bloomberg (David L)
    ~~~~~~~~~~~

    The quaking aspens were looking good here-all yellow-orange-red, but all it takes is a light rain and 90% of the leaves fall off, and that’s what happened a day after we saw them, and that’s all she wrote.

  30. barrisj

    Re: Vanadium-redox energy storage batteries…huge efforts have been mounted in the last decade to perfect storage technologies that would be able to collect and store electrical outputs from, e.g. wind farms, solar arrays, etc., in order to massively raise net efficiencies of power-grid scale electricity generation. Lithium-based storage cells have well-known limitations, but the breakthroughs seen in vanadium redox cell technology may at last deliver the death blow to fossil-fuel/natural-gas power plants. Grid capacity and peak-demand considerations historically had given the advantage to coal-/gas-fired power generation, as without a method of “banking” cumulative electrical power generation, wind, solar, tidal, etc., alternatives could never economically compete. However, massive momentum in storage-battery research may in fact solve this problem sooner than we think.
    Next big thing is small-footprint/moderate cost/long-life storage batteries for home solar systems, bet on it. And, that China will lead this revolution in power generation storage.

  31. mk

    Joe Biden Positions Himself as the ‘Anti-Bernie’ Nation (resilc). Kill me now.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ What Biden doesn’t get is that people want Single Payer whether it’s Bernie delivering or Biden.

  32. Phil in Kansas City

    I love the phrase “broaden the tax base” used in the Roubini piece. Is even he reluctant to write plainly, “tax the poor and raise taxes on the working and middle classes?”

  33. DonCoyote

    RE: Comey’s first draft had gross negligence in it.

    To this day, noone has convinced me that there is a difference between “extremely careless” and “gross negligence”, so how you can be one but not the other…

    I always use to (and still occasionally) tell Clinton-ites that Comey didn’t cost Hillary the election in October, he wrongly allowed her to stay in the election in July. This article in HuffPo (by a Democrat) still represents my favorite take:

    ‘For instance, watching Comey’s testimony one might believe that if the executive branch exercises its prosecutorial discretion and declines to prosecute crimes it determines have been committed, it means no crimes were committed. In fact, what it means (in a case like this) is that crimes were committed but will not be prosecuted. We can say, accurately, that the judgment of the FBI in its investigation into Clinton and her associates ― and Comey confirmed Clinton was indeed a “subject” of the investigation ― is that Clinton is a criminal. She simply shouldn’t, in the view of the FBI, be prosecuted for her crimes. Prosecutorial discretion of this sort is relatively common, and indeed should be much more common when it comes to criminal cases involving poor Americans; instead, we find it most commonly in law enforcement’s treatment of Americans with substantial personal, financial, sociocultural, and legal resources.”

    The law is different for the rich, as has been said in NC many times.

    “…Secretary Clinton committed multiple federal misdemeanors inasmuch as she, per the relevant statute (Title 18 U.S.C. 1924), “became possessed of documents or materials containing classified information of the United States….and knowingly removed such documents or materials without authority and with the intent to retain such documents or materials at an unauthorized location.” Comey, misunderstanding the word “knowingly” in a way any law school student would scream at their TV over, states that the FBI would still, under that statutory language, need to prove specific intent to convict Clinton of a Title 18 U.S.C. 1924 violation. Lummis points out that Comey is dead wrong ― and she’s right, he is wrong. Per the above, all Clinton had to be aware of is that (a) she was in possession of classified documents, and (b) she had removed them to an unauthorized location. Comey admits these two facts are true, and yet he won’t prosecute because he’s added a clause that’s not in the statute. I can’t emphasize this enough: Comey makes clear with his answers throughout his testimony that Clinton committed this federal misdemeanor, but equally makes clear that he didn’t charge her with it because he didn’t understand the statute.”

    Whether this misunderstanding is genuine or deliberate (per LL/BHO) is left as an exercise for the reader.

    {Note that this is not 18 U.S.C. 793f, but a different statute. Note the statement in the article that crimes, not crime, were committed.
    }

  34. lupemax

    http://www.unz.com/article/mccain-and-the-pow-cover-up/

    I have enormous respect for award-winning journalist Sydney Schanberg, especially for his coverage of the killing fields in Cambodia. He also pursued the story of prisoners of war left behind in Vietnam, along with many other important issues over the years. I even met him briefly when he was on strike with the NY Times and found him to be a strong personality and difficult.

    When I read this article not too long ago online and Schanberg’s description of how he couldn’t get it published (I can’t imagine that I read it anywhere else other than in NC?) it was a jaw-dropping for me as to why he couldn’t get it published. But then it reminded me of Gary Webb’s experiences with the Sacramento Bee. I printed the UNZ article, to share, because of the POW*MIA flags that still fly in my town.

    I live in a small, and affluent, town in liberal Massachusetts. Both the post office and the police/fire stations still fly a prisoner of war (“POW*MIA”) flag under the US Flag everyday. I wanted to share the article with them to see if they really cared about Prisoners of War, especially in VietNam; so I brought copies to both places and briefly shared what I knew about Schanberg’s background and my respect for him.

    I never heard a word from anyone. People seem both incapable and fearful of discussion on anything these days. Especially local officials. But then perhaps they’re all too young to remember?

    Also a respected friend (also a Green party activist) also pointed out that Unz was a right wing nut and not to be trusted.

    Perhaps I’m wrong about both Unz and Schanberg? Who knows these days?

    We live in awful times.

  35. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    Donna Brazile
    Um, why would she call Seth Rich a “patriot”, unless he had done something “patriotic”? Like providing DNC info to Wikileaks, for example?
    Helping run a campaign and attend a lot of meetings would not seem to be particularly “patriotic” acts.

  36. OIFVet

    Re ‘Joe Biden Positions Himself as the ‘Anti-Bernie’’. As I sat scratching my head in puzzlement, I had an incredible moment of clarity and now the establishment of the Democrat Party makes perfect sense to me: they are running to win the Darwin Awards, not elections!

  37. Adam Eran

    “The problem with the left is that it thinks marketing is beneath them.” … Sorry, Randall Wray produced a document describing how best to market MMT. I can’t locate it now, but that PDF is out on the web somewhere. (I just looked here).

    On the other hand, nobody in MMT writes as well as Krugman (try his Peddling Prosperity). He has an easy-to-read style that would serve heterodox economists well. Personally, I’d suggest this has more to do with the quality of editing. Writing is very collaborative…Malcolm Gladwell remarked that he hardly recognized his own prose after the editors were through with it.

    The good news, Steve Keen’s most recent work (Can We Avoid Another Financial Crisis?) is much more readable than his previous work (simply essential to read) Debunking Economics

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