Links 2/23/18

Peace at last for the dog who slept beside his master’s grave every night for ELEVEN YEARS Daily Mail (Peter J)

Surprising new study redraws family tree of domesticated and ‘wild’ horses PhysOrg (Chuck L)

Neanderthals were artistic like modern humans, study indicates Science Daily (Robert M)

First spacecraft to ‘touch, taste’ Martian water found buried in dust on planet MLive (Kevin W)

Urban heat island effects depend on a city’s layout PhysOrg. Chuck L: “It appears there’s some advantage in having wandering cows lay out a city’s streets.”

Britain and Europe must ban palm oil in biofuel to save forests, EU parliament told Guardian

Rainfall’s natural variation hides climate change signal PhysOrg (Chuck L)

Study finds new superbug typhoid strain behind Pakistan outbreak Reuters (Bill B)

Feds will pay $475,000 to settle “illegal body cavity search” case ars technica (Dr. Kevin)

Do you see what I see? Researchers harness brain waves to reconstruct images of what we perceive MedicalXpress (Chuck L)


Chinese Regulator Takes Over Anbang Insurance Wall Street Journal


UK to lose EU rebate in 2021 ‘in extended Brexit transition’ Guardian

May U-turn on rights for EU migrants after Brexit The Times

EU27 rule out UK’s preferred approach to future trade deal Guardian

Can the German Left Save Itself? New York Times. UserFriendly: “And the NYT is upset about it?” Moi: The NYT blames the success of AfD, the extreme right wing party that has come in at number 2 in some polls, on “the left,” as opposed to the Social Democrats paying a price for becoming too much like the Christian Democrats by virtue of their coalition with them.

There Is No Humanitarian Crisis in Venezuela, Says UN Expert teleSUR

Bond Villain in the World Economy: Latvia’s Offshore Banking Sector Counterpunch

Think the Bosnia Conflict Was a Civil War? War is Boring (JTM)

New Cold War

The Rothschild Organ And Octoputin – Projection or Envy? Moon of Alabama (Chuck L)

Hyping the Mueller Indictment Nation

UserFriendly: “Dear God, when America meddles in elections it’s always for the right reasons, unlike those evil Ruskies. Must watch short clip.​”

Imperial Collapse Watch

The 9/11 Hijackers Were Iraqis, Right? Teaching in a Time of Wars TomDispatch (Kevin W)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Skydio Demonstrates Incredible Obstacle-Dodging Full Autonomy With New R1 Consumer Drone IEEE Spectrum. Chuck L: “The design of this new drone, headed for the consumer market, is an amazing accomplishment if it works as billed, which based on the embedded video it apparently does. But to what nefarious uses could it be put?”

Trump Transition

Mueller files new charges against Manafort, Gates The Hill

F.C.C. Watchdog Looks Into Changes That Benefited Sinclair New York Times. Kevin W: “Most other stories use the word collusion.”

Citizenship and Immigration Services removes “nation of immigrants” from mission statement Vox (Chuck L)

Does America Want A Third Party? (Or Is It Just David Brooks?) FiveThirtyEight. UserFriendly: “Because we really need a 3rd party that puts money over people.​”

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens Indicted for Invasion of Privacy Wall Street Journal


A Combat Zone, With Desks New York Times (David L)

The NRA goes to DEFCON 1 with its new talking points Washington Post (furzy)

Oh, Christ: The soldier who saved your life in Afghanistan believes in ‘crisis actors’ Duffel Blog (JTM)

Dems want gun control, but worry it could cost them midterms The Hill

As Gunman Rampaged Through Florida School, Armed Deputy ‘Never Went In’ New York Times (Kevin W). But of course, teachers will.

Wall Street May Be Rethinking Its Relationship With Guns Bloomberg

The dangers of the paper route Columbia Journalism Review. My first job was delivering papers…

17 reasons for a weak dollar FT Alphaville

How S.2155 (the Bank Lobbyist Act) Facilitates Discriminatory Lending Adam Levitin, Credit Slips

Class Warfare

The states taking the opioid epidemic seriously (and not), in one map Vox (Kevin W)

Teachers in West Virginia stage walkout over wages and benefits Guardian

Men paid twice as much as women at Barclays’ investment bank The Times

I Sent an Innocent Man to Prison Vice

It’s 2018, and black lung disease is on the rise in Appalachia. Grist

We Are Hard-Coding Injustices for Generations to Come Undark (Dr. Kevin)

The New Working Class New Republic

The gorgeous photos of the derelict properties you still can’t afford Guardian (PlutoniumKun)

Antidote du jour (Chet G):

And a bonus antidote, from Richard Smith:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. Summer

      Keep doing that and pretty soon you have a totally captive workforce of prison labor doing all kinds of jobs.
      Prison is where the constitutionally protected form of slavery still exists.
      The robots will have more rights. There are people that actually worship technology.

    2. Aumua

      In general, no. You can not be thrown in jail for not paying a debt collector in the U.S. That’s why I always roll my eyes a little at articles which yell DEBTOR’S PRISON! They usually describe some fringe case, or extenuating circumstance, with a big scary headline attached.

      1. Summer

        Chipping away at those barriers…
        When has consumer protection been a higher priority than the profit motive?

      2. cripes

        I guess you never heard of Ferguson MO operating a cash extraction machine on poor residents

        Or Arkansas where an aggressive criminal eviction law allows the state to jail individuals who fail to pay rent on time.

        Or Georgia, where failure to pay court-mandated fees, including restitution, can land debtors in jail in the Peach State. In Georgia, as elsewhere, the problem is compounded by the use of private third-party firms to administer court fees.

        And on and on.

        None so blind as those who refuse to see.

        1. Aumua

          I’m not saying these laws are right, or fair, or that change is not needed. I am saying that these things do not add up to debtor’s prison. Generally, if you don’t pay your tickets, or fines, or don’t show up to court if you’re summoned, a warrant may issued for your arrest. This certainly isn’t anything new.

          1. JBird

            If being imprisoned for because one is too poor to pay a debt, whatever the original source, is not some form of debtor’s prison, what is?

        2. marym

          Collection agencies can petition judges to issue arrest warrants to people who don’t show up for an “exam” about their finances in order to set up a payment plan, or

          Judges can also issue arrest warrants to individuals who fail to comply with a court-ordered payment plan. The fact that the debtor never receives a notice of the lawsuit or of when to show up to court, or whether the debt is even real, is of little consequence.

          The ACLU examined over 1,000 cases in 26 states where judges dutifully issued the arrest warrants for failure to appear. In four states where they could receive full data (Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, and Utah), the ACLU found 8,500 arrest warrants in debt-collection cases. The warrants cover every kind of debt: medical bills, student loans, rent payments, homeowners’ association fees, utility bills, repairs, payday loans, gym fees, you name it. The amounts involved in the warrants were as low as $28.


  1. Martin Oline

    You forgot the L at the end of the Neanderthal link (I think). Please delete this instead of posting.

      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        I’ve got a reproduction of Lascaux and Chauvet and Cave of the Swimmers(and a couple of others) on my bedroom ceiling. with the glow from the woodstove, opposite my bed, and the filtered light from the living room, and my habitual candle in the early am, it really has an effect.
        oxen and aurochs and wooly rhinoceri and those weird little humanoid figures.
        I’m pretty proud of it.

          1. Amfortas the Hippie

            my mom, the painter, did most of it, but my youngest son did some Ibex and a few of the Swimmers…and the hand silhouettes. My hardest job was getting the paint for the “cave ceiling” right…fades and shadows, even some sand.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Since they painted first (first to do it, and correctly, first in our mind when we learn about the history of paiting), before us, that should read, ‘Modern humans are artistic like Neanderthals, instead of ‘Neanderthals were artistic like modern humans.’

      1. Wukchumni

        Native American wall art is pretty common in the southwest, and sometimes contains art from widely different epochs, such as Newspaper Rock in Utah, which has 2,000 year old petroglyphs, along with more modern ones including riders on horses, that are 200-300 years old.

        An interesting book on deciphering petroglyphs: “The Rocks Begin To Speak: Understanding Indian Rock Writing” by Lavan Martineau.

        We’re an odd duck our civilization, about the only thing we want to leave for the future is time capsules, and nobody even does that anymore.

        Using battery operated tools on a slab of rock with desert varnish on it, one could easily create new petroglyphs that described in word pictures how we lived, and such as the ones on Newspaper Rock, they would be there thousands of years from now.

        Of course, the usual goody goody types would have a conniption fit over somebody ‘defacing’ an otherwise empty canvas.

          1. Wukchumni

            Somebody is going to have a field day in 2996, when a heretofore untouched city dump is exhumed, and upon finding the plastic layer, they were able to date it to being nearly a thousand years old.

            1. Petter

              Low: Plastic Cup

              Well you could always count on your friends to get you high
              That’s right
              And you could always count on the ‘rents to get you by
              You could fly
              And now they make you piss into a plastic cup
              And give it up
              The cup will probably be here long after we’re gone

              What’s wrong
              They’ll probably dig it up a thousand years from now
              And how
              They’ll probably wonder what the hell we used it for
              And more
              This must be the cup the king held every night
              As he cried

              Well maybe you should go out and write your own damn song
              And move on


          2. Synapsid

            no one,

            Toilet bowls, millions and millions of them. Practically indestructible, but plastics degrade.

        1. jefemt

          There was a gal doing this, sort of, all over the west at national monuments and other popular sites , and posting her ‘art’ on facebook. She was no Banksy…

          Somehow, her ‘work’ might be the best representation and emblematic representation of America in the early 21st century?

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Does she have one that shows a giant human, surrounded by many little humans?

            That’s be one billionaire and many serfs

            The problem with that work would be more wise beings in the future might think it’s about one deity and many worshipers.

    1. grayslady

      Thank you for posting this article link. The article should be mandatory reading for everyone over the age of 12, regardless of their position on guns.

    2. Bill

      thank you for this link. I wonder if the cop who refused to go in knew getting shot with an AR-15 was a death sentence…

    3. Dylan

      Wow. This description of the destruction of an AR-15 against the body is mind blowing. As a Brit I have no understanding of how some people in the USA are so deluded about not banning such weapons. My heart breaks for the evil and stupidity of some citizens of the USA. There is no justification for the carnage I just read about. None

      1. Ed

        I agree with the comment about the stupidity of the Americans who continue to support politicians who operate death squads in Vietnam and Fallujah, who look the other way when Preisdents are gunned down in broad daylight, who gather at underground facilities right after thousands of their fellow citizens are turned into dust, who rape individuals in the presence of their families, who import and use radical violent gangs to do their bidding, who look the other way when their candidates throw elections and blame it on others.

    4. rd

      The AR-15 (M-16) was designed specifically to kill Viet Cong soldiers in the Vietnam War. The 5.56 mm bullet size was designed to be that small so that there wouldn’t be as big a kick during fully-automatic fire, allowing greater accuracy. The high velocity was to provide stopping power which had become a major focus of the military after fighting the Japanese and Chinese/N. Korean mass charges with no fear of death. The photos of the damage done by the 5.56 mm high velocity bullet taken by soldiers in Vietnam were kept classified until the 1980s because the damage was so much greater than previous ammunition used.

      So the damage done by the AR-15 5.56 mm slugs is a feature, not a bug, and was a primary objective of the design. A big advantage of the 5.56 mm cartridge is its small size compared to other ammunition (similar in size to a low-velocity 0.22 caliber bullet) allowing many more cartridges to be carried by soldiers and more cartridges fitted into magazines.

      Sounds like the perfect rifle to go squirrel hunting with if you don’t want to have anything left of the squirrel at the end. There is a reason that this is the rifle weapon of choice for mass shooters looking to create carnage because it is specifically designed for exactly that purpose. AK-47s are also designed to do that, but they are the weapon of choice for Communist and Muslim countries, so probably come across as very un-American to the typical mass shooter.

      A logical weapons ban would be eliminating high-velocity semi-automatic rifles capable of taking magazines bigger than 3 cartridges. After all, if you don’t hit the deer in the first one or two shots, you are probably not going to hit it at all. If you want real accuracy, many sniper type rifles are bolt-action anyway.

      BTW – I am assuming that the West Virginia teachers walking out over wages and benefits will be lining up in droves to buy weapons, undergo training, and be prepared to be the equivalent of a SWAT team in the schools in between math and spelling lessons.

  2. John A

    Re Whataboutism and election meddling.
    In what way did US meddling in Chile in 1973 to oust a democratically elected president and install a despot, promote democracy?
    Ditto in Ukraine 2014!
    It is less a case of whataboutery than do as I say, not do as I do.

    1. Quentin

      I find it more than rich that the woman moderator of the discussion with Jim Rustenburger chooses Iran’s execution of homosexuals (by hanging them from cranes?) as an example of what the US resists and fights to promote democracy while Iran’s former factual democracy under Mohammed Mossadech was destroyed by that very same US in 1953. How sweet it is when the US does it! Her high-horse cackling about how we around this table are the prevailing in-crowd who missed Sean Hannity last night makes Hillary Clinton’s swipe at the deplorables seem almost benign.

      1. Sid Finster

        Boy I so am glad that no American allies like, say, Saudi Arabia persecute anyone for homosexual acts!

    2. jsn

      “we’re still trying to figure out what happened in 2016 but this is an information war that’s happening now and we are nowhere in the game”: this is paid cluelessness. There is a $750B US IC community out there, some part of is up to its eyeballs in this.

      If the Russians didn’t have psy-ops engaged with US social media, their security apparatus wouldn’t be doing its job. In the same way I have no doubt Russian domestic psy-ops has a much bigger budget than their US operation, I have no doubts about our vast secret domestic spying and psy-ops, political control/manipulation engagement either.

      This is what Bush should have gone to jail over. Obama’s get out of jail free card has left Trump with nominal access to this system, but the operators of the system don’t trust nor feel like they can control Trump as they did B & O before him. Trump and his hapless, feckless team are slowly eroding into status quo players under systemic pressure from the secret agencies. So the quote at the top really just applies to us mopes outside the National Security State.

      1. Doug Hillman

        Not to be read before swallowing coffee: “…and we are nowhere in the [meddling] game.”

        The shortest list is of those countries where we have NOT meddled, and the USA itself is not on it.

    3. Richard

      Well said. And this is all very depressing, isn’t it? I note more and more people around me afraid to say that this is WRONG, or apologizing for saying it, a general feeling of being afraid of what’s around us.
      I just want to remind everyone that what’s around us, in terms of people’s dreams for their future and that of humankind, those things stay real and solid. And they haven’t changed in the last week! feel like it’s a function of propaganda, and we have been under a very heavy propaganda barrage for the last week, to make us doubt our neighbor, to feel as if things have changed under our feet. We have been left behind! Everyone thinks this other thing now! It is hopeless and we should give in. The truth has been lost.
      But the truth is no more lost than it was last week. It just remains unsaid. What we are seeing is not popular opinion moving. It is unaccountable power in a dangerous monologue.
      We do at least have the consolation of knowing that even though the f*%k#rs are evil they aren’t magic. It’s just propaganda working in its own slow, stupid strangling way.

      1. Sid Finster

        Rhetorically painting oneself into a corner (“it’s another 9/11!” “It’s a second Pearl Harbor! Russia ZOMG!”) is a common cause for wars.

        By the time the war actually starts, everyone, even the folks shouting the jingoistic slogans, knows that the casus belli is stupid, but rather than be seen to back down they ramp up the rhetoric even higher.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Yes let’s go kill those yellow b*stards! (Oops, Russians are white…)

          Let’s get those Easterners with their inscrutable ways! (Um, they’re Westerners..)

          And Muslims too! (uh, Russians are Christians…)

          They support terror! (er, they smashed ISIS in Syria for us…)

          They’re uncivilized! (Um, have you seen The Hermitage? Read Dostoyevsky? Heard of Tchaikovsky?…)

          And they’re dirty Commies! Better dead than red! (Well…actually…not since 1989 they’re not).



          1. Aumua

            They live on the other side of the globe, and that’s all you need to know. This is our side, over here, and that’s their side, over there. Nevermind the fact that Earth is a single unified sphere, and that we are all of us a single species. They must be our enemy. There is no other way.

          2. rd

            They are actually Organized Athletes and Activists from Russia. That is not the same thing at all as being Russian.

        2. Richard

          That’s a good point about “painting oneself into a corner”. I sometimes wonder if that isn’t why huge lies work in propaganda: that it takes much more psychological and emotional work for people to back down from a huge lie they supported. A huge lie forces you to collude as you give in to it. I’m sure some propaganda theorist I’ve barely heard of has worked this all out…

      2. Aumua

        I have noticed an odd feeling lately of being isolated on an island, that is shrinking. We have nobody in Washington who is on our side about this travesty it seems, and precious few of our friends and neighbors. I felt like we at had at least some people who were advocating for the truth (read: Bernie), but lately I’m feeling kind of cut adrift.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Back in my day (late 60’s/early 70’s) we talked about something called Solidarity

            There are billions of “us” and probably less than 100,000 of “them” worldwide. When that balance tips, it’s gonna be ugly, and then beautiful

            So it’s our job to make it as ugly as possible, as soon as possible

            To do that there’s one thing you have to get: mad. And then show it. Every day, any way you can

        1. thepanzer

          Sometimes societies go crazy for awhile. Back in the 80’s Americans were convinced there was a large contingent of satantists running daycares and schools. People were convicted and sent to jail based on nothing more than hysteria. Journalists, cops, etc and other supposed adults in position of power were CONVINCED that mild-mannered neighbors were ritually abusing children and sacrificing animals to the devil. This wasn’t Salem pre-electricity, we’re talking about when Alf was on the air.

          This hysteria will also pass, but it’s going to do some damage before it’s done.

  3. fresno dan

    Feds will pay $475,000 to settle “illegal body cavity search” case ars technica (Dr. Kevin)

    Not nearly enough and not nearly effective enough unless people in the government are fired.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Yeah, this is both disgusting and stupid at the same time. I read about the incident at the time and it seems to have been a standard procedure to take people to that hospital. The kicker is, how stupid was that doctor to do all those examinations and then think to himself that perhaps it might be an idea to have a consent form to cover his actions. I would have demanded that his license be yanked.
      This is not a case of a few ‘bad apples’ by the way. I have seen a film clip of a young black woman undergoing a vaginal examination in the grass beside a road at night. I sometimes wonder if this is a police tactic to intimidate people with to establish dominance. I agree with fresno dan but I would add that people should be put on trial for stuff like this to put the word out.

      1. fresno dan

        The Rev Kev
        February 23, 2018 at 9:05 am

        “I agree with fresno dan but I would add that people should be put on trial for stuff like this to put the word out.”

        I agree…uh, with your agreeing… but I think the dirty secret is that our legal system of prosecutors AND JUDGES are all in the tank for the police and whatever they do, so I have little hope that anything like that would ever happen. Ask yourself…What would Erik Holder do???

        1. Ed Miller

          Nothing. Of course that was your point but fast readers (scanners) might miss this, so I am emphasizing it.

      2. todde

        When I was growing up a kid beat up an old lady and stole the night deposit she was making.

        Cops rounded everybody up and we all got the ol’ anal cavity search treatment. Just in case somebody was keistering $5,000.

        1. Ed Miller

          Skin color? Maybe I don’t even need to ask. This seems extreme but I am old enough to think so.

          Worse yet I may be one of the few here who isn’t 100% certain of the answer. Confirmation would be nice.

  4. fresno dan

    As Gunman Rampaged Through Florida School, Armed Deputy ‘Never Went In’ New York Times (Kevin W). But of course, teachers will.

    fresno dan
    February 15, 2018 at 7:08 am
    Florida shooting: At least 17 dead in high school attack BBC. 18th school shooting this year.
    Where were all the good men with guns?

    February 15, 2018 at 9:25 am
    There were two armed police officers stationed at the school. But if only the teachers and coaches and students had their own pieces on them, why all would have been well…
    So suppose you have a congressman and suppose you have an idiot…
    HOLD IT, I want to repeat myself about something else.
    Uh, the “good man with a gun” was there….not being worth a warm bucket of spit….

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      1. Teachers who would shield students are more heroic some cops
      2 And if they prefer guns to using their own bodies, they should be allowed to have guns
      3. Police officers with guns won’t use them when called upon. Is it time we talk about gun-less cops? Like they do in some more civilized countries.
      4. Is is time for robot cops? Judo police robots who can take down bad guys barehanded?
      5. What about robot guard dogs? Can they subdue the bad guys? Where is Boston Dynamics when you have a money making idea for them?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Dems want gun control, but worry it could cost them midterms The Hill

        To do something repeatedly when it hasn’t worked before is the definition of ….

        It doesn’t involve charging directly into the machine gun nests of the NRA with #4, and #5 above.

        It would be a different approach.

        It might actually get done…because someone will profit from that.

        And it might actually start saving lives.

        While patience is a virtue, yielding is a better part of valor – here yielding is like water in the book, the Way (or Da De Jing), and here yielding implies going around an opponent. It may not be a virtue.

        No absolute virtue, for sure, for absolute virtue is in and of itself, needing no bad guys. Relative virtue is always in comparison to something fallible, something bad. And yielding here is not even relative virtue, much less absolute virtue. But it might get something done.

        Finally, I prefer #3 above, a comprehensive, private and public sector gun ban.

          1. ambrit

            I know that it is not yet in the teachers’ job descriptions, but any sane society demands that adults always go to the extreme to protect the children. Otherwise, we’re still just a slightly more adept bunch of wild dogs. (Cue the ‘wild dogs are human too’ meme.)

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Sometimes it’s the principle and other times, its the practicality.

              What is more likely to be achieved?

              For me, the list from the most likely tot the least;

              1. Robot guards and robot dogs (because money)

              2. Gun ban for the police and individuals.

              3. Gun ban for individuals only.

              1. ambrit

                The situation is part of the imminent “Panopticon” social order, as prefigured by the Chinese “Social Media” policing system. One neglected by product of the ‘cashless society’ movement is that every ‘citizen’ will have to possess an ‘i’phone or analogue to function in the greater society. That device will be the ‘panopticon’ mechanism of compliance. Imagine, if you will, when a ‘citizen’ is cut off, electronically, from the payment system for some infraction of the status quo rules. Make this a graduated affair, and a very effective method of compulsion to conform is established. “Defendant is relieved of all monetary rights for one month for unauthorized perusal of an unapproved web site. Next case.”

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  The scary thing is some of them are already arms.

                  The only argument I see, or we can see, coming from the police, in respond to banning guns for the police and individuals, is that there will still be guns out there, and they want to protect themselves just in case.

                  I am still for a total ban, for both the private sector and public sector.

          2. Wukchumni

            I say we train teachers to kill or at the very least maim a would-be shooter, using only the apples their giving students placed upon his or her desk every morning, as tokens of their esteem.

            Ideally, you’d want the apple varieties such as Arkansas Black, that’s almost rock hard when you pick them, and a good aim is a must, so each teacher would be required to go the apple range weekly.

            1. fresno dan

              February 23, 2018 at 10:29 am

              “I say we train teachers to kill or at the very least maim a would-be shooter, using only the apples….”

              Not to be cynical…well, actually to be cynical, aren’t you selling your book….er, bushels, as your an apple grower? ;)

              Seriously, one point: I actually feel very sorry for the deputy who did not go into the school – branded as a coward without any consideration of his entire life. It also seems to me that most police are trained NOT to rush in, and wait for the swat teams. I don’t know – maybe at schools the expectation now is to go charging in?

              1. move left

                The guy is being called a coward for not committing suicide by AR-15.
                But congress critters won’t even stand up to the NRA.

              2. Wukchumni

                If I stand to profit from NRA (National Reactional Apples) sales as a result of my idea, it’s merely coincidence.

            2. The Rev Kev

              Nah, not gunna work. The US Army has just dropped the hand-grenade throwing requirement as their recruits can’t even throw them 25 meters anymore (
              If this is true for young healthy recruits, then how are teachers supposed to be able to lob apples with sufficient force? Besides, what it the shooter had taken a self defense course?

          3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            We are not.

            For those teachers who would shield their students, should they not have another option?

            It’s not mandatory, but optional.

            Or we can keep trying the same thing, asking Democrats to do something in a midterm election.

            1. marym

              The only other option is a system of laws that doesn’t see more people shooting people as the only option.

              Arguing that more guns can make the problems better, not worse, is counterproductive. It has no basis in statistics, studies, the experience of other countries in reducing gun violence, or the US failures in the US using in preventing it with “more guns.”

              Columbine had an armed guard. Stoneman Douglas had an armed guard. The Pulse nightclub had an armed guard. The Las Vegas Hotel had armed guards. 13 people were killed at Fort Hood, a military base. There were “good guys with guns” when Gabby Giffords was shot, one of whom almost shot another one.

              The Stoneman Douglas survivors and their supporters aren’t asking Democrats to do something, though some Democratic partisans are trying to co-opt their voices. They’re asking the adults to do something.

              1. fresno dan

                February 23, 2018 at 11:11 am

                EXTREMELY well argued with facts and logic. of course, in “Merica it will sway no one….

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  Ideally, we get those laws passed.

                  We also have to have back up (less than ideal) plans to save lives.

              2. Lemmy Caution

                It would also help if many of our elected leaders, the media and legions of pundits didn’t repeatedly insist that using the Shock and Awe hammer was the preferred solution to anything resembling a nail. Maybe kids are just picking up on the American way.

              3. Self Affine

                Its been pretty well established that in a life or death situation, fear and training (to the point of reflex) mostly determine the outcome. Having a gun doesn’t really mean much unless one is capable of correct action in the moment.

                Ask your local police department about this and what the results of their training really are (how many trained officers are actually capable of reacting correctly). The idea of arming teachers is idiotic beyond comment,

                As to guns in general I agree with Justice Stevens who in the Heller case wrote:

                Justice Stevens in dissent:

                “When each word in the text is given full effect, the Amendment is most naturally read to secure to the people a right to use and possess arms in conjunction with service in a well-regulated militia. So far as appears, no more than that was contemplated by its drafters or is encompassed within its terms. Even if the meaning of the text were genuinely susceptible to more than one interpretation, the burden would remain on those advocating a departure from the purpose identified in the preamble and from settled law to come forward with persuasive new arguments or evidence. The textual analysis offered by respondent and embraced by the Court falls far short of sustaining that heavy burden. And the Court’s emphatic reliance on the claim “that the Second Amendment … codified a pre-existing right,” ante, at 19 [refers to p. 19 of the opinion], is of course beside the point because the right to keep and bear arms for service in a state militia was also a pre-existing right.”

                The possession of semi-automatic/automatic weapons and ownership of multiple guns has nothing to do with a well regulated militia. Furthermore, its an argument taken out of context via a ahistorical reading of what the US Government practice actually is when confronted by internal dissent. If interested, read about the Whiskey Rebellion, which was crushed by Alexander Hamilton.

                  1. Self Affine


                    That’s why there are very few Medal of Honor recipients. It takes extraordinary courage to offer one’s life on behalf of others.

                    I wonder who amongst these NRA types has that type of courage.

              4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                It’s one option, not the only option.

                I have listed various options, and guessed at the various degrees of achieving them.

                My preference is banning both private and public guns.

                In the meantime, maybe there is something we can do to help save lives, and if a teacher has to face either shielding with his/her own body or a gun, I would yield to his/her choice.

            2. Mike Mc

              Statistics seem to indicate school shootings are a national epidemic, so…

              Call out the National Guard in each state. Post troops at main school entrances with metal detectors and M16s. They’re volunteers and already trained with these weapons, and our tax dollars are paying for them already, correct?

              Why burden teacher and school districts with weapons, training, hardened schools (!) when we won’t give them enough money for schoolroom supplies?

              Trump and the GOP love the military; local Guard troops guarding local schools; best use of existing resources that can be deployed NOW instead of waiting for the next bloodbath.

        1. Kurt Sperry

          Does gun nuttery qualify as a religion, albeit an evil and twisted one? The millenarian denouement perhaps happening when all the faithful bring down the world government tyrant’s spawn from their black helicopters in an orgasmic hail of sear pin modded full-auto gunfire. It certainly ticks some of the boxes. And would the altar be made of AR15s or dead children’s’ bones? Maybe both.

        2. Dylan

          With the greatest respect. ideas that don’t consider strict gun control are harmful to society. They lead to the death and murder of innocents regularly. The rest of the world survives with gun control. why cannot some US citizens shift their support from the everyday murder of children?

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Thanks for the respect.

            I commented else that the ideal solution for me is a total ban for individuals and for the state.

            As for other ideas, say, the robot dog, I would like to explore that idea or to hear from others about that idea.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        “Gun-less cops”???? Surely you jest.

        The existential problem of driving with broken taillights would reach crisis levels. Who would compel the “probably-guilty-of-somethings” to submit to cavity searches or civil forfeitures? And what of those scary, unarmed civilians out there walking around, tormenting those who “protect and serve,” making them afraid for their lives by holding ballpoint pens or cellphones or reaching for the demanded driver’s license? And don’t EVEN get me started on those delinquent student loan debtors. Who will protect the country against THEM?

        Getting egg on the collective LEO face when one of their own refuses to respond in a crisis, and is forced to “resign” with full, publicly-funded pension and benefits, is a is a small price to pay for the power of the sidearm. Sh*t happens. Mistakes are made. Cracks are fallen through.

        Now, assume the position.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Are they (in these following countries) tougher than our guys (and gals)?

          From Wikipedia:

          In some countries including the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland), Norway, Iceland, and New Zealand police do not carry firearms unless the situation is expected to involve gunfire from the opposing force. A survey conducted in the United Kingdom in 2004 found that 47% of citizens supported arming all police while 48% were opposed to the idea.[1]

          1. Wukchumni

            Last time we were in NZ, in Nelson, I remember walking for about a block, behind a couple of defenseless policemen, talking amicably between themselves.

        2. EGrise

          All kidding aside, the idea of demilitarizing society – police and citizens alike – is increasingly appealing to me.

          1. bob

            I’ll second that.

            So far, after the latest disaster, we have one consensus-

            More cops in school

            More cops in school with nothing really to do. So, what will they do? Start harassing kids.

            1. marym

              When Schooling Meets Policing

              Estimates reported by The New York Times in 2009 indicated that as many as 17,000 sworn police officers were posted in U.S. schools at the time, and federal data included in a National Center of Education Statistics report offers a closer look at the characteristics of campus-based police. According to the report, a little over three in four high schools and the vast majority of large schools (those with 1,000 or more students) have armed security staff, with only a slight statistical difference between urban and suburban areas. But there is great variation based on race and class: Schools where at least half of the children are nonwhite, as well as high-poverty schools (meaning those where at least 75 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch) are home to the highest percentages in the country of K-12-campus law enforcement.

              A report published by the Justice Policy Institute in 2011, “Education Under Arrest: The Case Against Police in Schools,” concludes that placing SROs and other police in educational institutions exaggerates how school misbehavior, much of it involving minor infractions, is interpreted—to the extent that such activities can be treated as criminal offenses.

      3. Call MeTeach

        People who say teachers should be armed know nothing about the logistics behind it.
        Let’s say some teachers may choose to be armed. Who buys the gun (and the bullets and the licensing and the training): the district or the teacher? Automatically this becomes a question of equality within and between schools and districts, and yet another unfunded mandate for schools.
        If the teacher buys the gun, how does it impact insurance for the teacher and the district?
        If the district loans (not gives. They don’t give us anything.) the teacher the gun, does she keep it at the end of the day? Sign it out each day? How is it stored during the day? I don’t even have a secure place for my purse.
        If I am required to take it home, how does this impact my home owner’s insurance and who pays for any additional charges?
        If the gun is turned in, who is responsible for collecting it and storing it (and storing it where is another can of worms)? Is it now a secretary’s job?
        What happens to the gun in the summer? Is it turned back in? or does the teacher now have to spend her summer paying for and completing advanced training (on top of the other training we pay for and complete)?
        Someone in our already over burdened and underfunded system will now be in charge of cataloging, storing, collecting weapons and bullets. Who will pay for the position or positions?
        We have IEP’s and 504 plans that outline very specific parameters. How do I handle it if a child who cannot be near a gun is in my class? (because I can assure you this will happen.)
        More worryingly, it is not uncommon to have highly Emotionally Disturbed children in classrooms, aside from the obvious concerns about having weapons accessible, what about the legal issues? I have had students who cannot be held responsible legally– due to their disability–for their violent actions against other students. What happens when one such student injures another?
        And these are just the obvious ones. I am certain there are more.
        And don’t get me started on the the possible permutations of teacher mental breakdown and student mental health issues.
        How about, for a change, we have people who actually know something about teaching and education (other than the fact they spent time in a classroom. If that is the bar, I can be a dentist, given that I have gone every six months for many years now.)… how about we let people who know something about the job make decisions?
        I’m looking at you De Vos.

        1. marym

          DeVos can hire her brother Erik Prince to supply armed mercenaries to replace teachers and school staff who would quit. And vouchers to parents who would pull their kid out of public schools. Win-win for the oligarchs and authoritarians.

          1. Bill

            Hey, that’s brilliant–I knew there was some reason they were letting it get worse and worse. to stimulate the “economy” (line their pockets with more disaster capitalism funds)…

          2. bob

            He already cherry picks the US military for labor….cough…Soldiers.

            He’s cutting out the middle man and setting up a vertically integrated monopoly. Warren Buffet is jealous. Talk about a well guarded moat!

        2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Please don’t provide “reasonable discussions” and “practical pros and cons”. The entire idea is insanity of the highest order.

          Until the body politic recognizes that it is hearing voices, seeing boogeymen, and losing its entire grip on reality the symptoms (War on Terra, RussiaGate, Gun-O-Rama) will continue to manifest

      4. JTMcPhee

        So teachers should choose whether to pack heat at school? To protect the students, to whom a lot of said teachers only “teach to the test,” and if the news is to be believed, often subject those saintly students, the young people who will be undergirding the US economy henceforth, to a range of abuse, including pedophilia, statutory rape, beating, etc? Assumes facts not in evidence:

        1) That teachers are some uniform and singular priestly class (see pedophilia?), and that some of them randomly will have both personal morals and public virtues, as well as well-developed combat-course shooting skills, that they will instantly and accurately unlimber in the relatively rare “active shooter” situations so much in the news these days. (How many schools, on how many days, have people walking in armed, intending to kill as many students and teachers and staff as possible?)

        2) That none of these armed teachers (whatever their pedagogical and exemplar virtues) won’t “lose it” themselves, and “go postal NEA” on some wise-a$$ kid or fellow staffer who annoys them.

        “Student” as a category includes the usual range of psychological states that one finds in the population at large, “good” to “bad.” As a category, one might be careful about thinking of “students” as some special protected class. Since obviously in areas such as contorting the curriculum, pouring on the boiling Bernays sauce, impoverishing large numbers of them both in pedagogy and food supplementation and physical plant, students are just another category of lootables.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Sorry if I am repeating, but it’s not teachers should.

          It’s only one of the many options to consider, and this particular option should not be mandatory, but optional for teachers.

          The other options – see above.

          1. marym

            AFT President Randi Weingarten on President Trump’s Comments About Arming Teachers

            “I spoke to 60,000 educators last night in a telephone town hall. The response was universal, even from educators who are gun owners: Teachers don’t want to be armed, we want to teach. We don’t want to be, and would never have the expertise needed to be, sharp shooters; no amount of training can prepare an armed teacher to go up against an AR-15.

            When you have seconds to act when you hear the code for an active shooter, is a teacher supposed to use those seconds getting her gun instead of getting her students to safety? Anyone who pushes arming teachers doesn’t understand teachers and doesn’t understand our schools. Adding more guns to schools may create an illusion of safety, but in reality it would make our classrooms less safe.”

            You continue to make the assumption that this “choice” would lead to more safety rather than less.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Today, maybe.

              Maybe not yesterday. The dead teacher could never tell us.

              And not tomorrow. What will they say tomorrow and days after that?

              If they, those 60,000, don’t want it today, it’s their choice, and per the proposed idea, that would be fine.

                1. marym

                  Yes, it’s possible that arming teachers will result in the teaching profession attracting more people who want to shoot other people.

                  But today isn’t the first day these particular teachers thought about this. Arming more people to shoot other people is an alternative suggested whenever there’s a mass shooting anywhere.

                  1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                    We really don’t know and can’t speak for them.

                    The choice should be up them, those teaching today, and those teaching in the future.

                    Remember, this is just one action idea we can put on the table.

                2. Richard

                  I will speak a little as a public school teacher now. Absolutely nothing could bring us FARTHER from the atmosphere we need, farther from my purposes as a teacher, farther from our common purposes, farther from reason and trust, than to bring an effing gun into the classroom.
                  Let’s please not bandy about a grotesque “solution” to this situation.
                  Think about what it is you are protecting.

            2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Again, I am actually for a wider ban*, both in the private sector and the public (ATF, local police, etc).

              In the meantime, I have some ideas, that I think can help save lives.

              That’s all.

              *In fact, I think the wider ban is easier to achieve, as it addresses one issue about fighting tyranny. Ideally, it also has a more universal appeal.

    1. Mark Gisleson

      Howie Klein was flogging a PA candidate today. Thought I’d seen another name attached to that race and found there were SEVEN candidates.

      Nothing is more disrespectful to democracy than throwing money at races you know nothing about.

      Let the locals decide. After their primary, you can send money and endorsements if you like, but for the love of god . . . not BEFORE the primary. DNC, DCCC, DSCC, ShareBlue, ActBlue and BlueWhatever are not privileged with any special knowledge, and almost never know more about local races than the locals who they take great pains not to consult.

  5. integer

    Has anyone else considered the possibility that Clinton might use the “Russian meddling” narrative as justification to run again in 2020? If one accepts the intelligence agencies’ “Russian meddling” narrative*, then it stands to reason that Clinton didn’t get a fair shot in the 2016 election, and therefore it doesn’t really count as a loss. It is going to be highly ironic if the 2020 D party primary is another Clinton vs. Sanders fiasco, complete with practically unanimous superdelegate support for Clinton.

    * Just to be clear, I think the whole Russiagate thing is bs.

    1. Eureka Springs

      Anything is possible. I sincerely hope she does run again. Clinton is a two time loser. Go ahead, make it three! She burns through squillionaire dough like no other. During her reign as Senator, SOS, and Presidential candidate Dems lost a thousand seats.

      Goddess speed! Kill that D party now. Only 27 percent remaining.

      1. Enquiring Mind

        Killary’s appeal to the younger generation is curious given that that cohort would be the first to be drafted for any foreign adventures she could gin up, or any markers that could be called in. As a parent, I sure would not want my kids going off to Syria or Iran on some pretext like whatever passes for Gulf of Tonkin, WMD or similar lies.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I would argue Hillary’s appeal to the younger cohort was nothing more than the usual Democratic-Republican breakdown. In the primaries, Hillary’s support was virtually non-existent with the 30 and under crowd in 2008 and 38 and under in 2016. Certainly, the Democrats still have the infrastructure to promote their young voters, but Hillary’s results among people who pay enough attention to try to participate in a primary wouldn’t suggest she’s popular with young voters.

          My suspicion is young Republicans/conservatives tend not to start voting until they move to the suburbs and start raising families where they become inducted into the local GOP. Much was made about Reagan youth in the 80’s, but that looks like more of a Democratic collapse than a surge.

          My guess is the young voters who are able to approach Hillary and lament not voting for her are in a fairly well off income bracket at some level. Then of course, voters in Manhattan matter very little if at all given electoral rules, an obvious problem since 1861 since the slave states revolted and decided not to abide by the rules anymore.

          My sense is the estimation about the liberal “sensibilities” of college campuses is overblown due to tends to be loud. The obnoxious Republicans are remembered, but I suspect the quiter kids tended to be more conservative than given credit for. They just didn’t participate the same way given their conservative tendencies which I often sense are based in fear based politics and outlooks.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        “It’s about time.” – that was for 2016.

        “You owe me one.” – that would be so 2020.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          She can “introduce herself” to us one more time, new pantsuit, etc. Fawning media interviews, heartwarming tales of Chappaqua gardening, maybe a new black leather jacket and some cool new (blue?) sunglasses. The FBI coup succeeded in keeping her out of the slammer, she can call in a few bil from Zuckerberg and Soros and buy back in. Voter turnout percentile in the 30’s, everybody yawns, goes home, and takes a powder

          1. The Rev Kev

            Ouch! That was a nasty reminder about why people wear blue sunglasses sometimes. But you do wonder.
            Loved MyLessThanPrimeBeef and ambrits suggestions for a 2020 Clinton motto by the way.

      3. edmondo

        I would actually vote for her in the primary in 2020. But, then, I hate the Democratic Party.

        I bet Bernie endorses her again if she wins the nomination.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      Clinton (again) is one DemParty nominee who would make me vote for Trump again. Biden is another. Holder is another. If there are others who could make me vote for Trump again, I am confident that the Mainstream DemParty elite will try to nominate them. “Pelosi for President” would make me vote for Trump.
      “Hoyer for President” would make me vote for Trump.

  6. Livius Drusus

    Re: The New Working Class, thank you for posting this article that points out that the manufacturing workforce was never just white men. I can’t tell you how many times I saw the “factory worker = Archie Bunker” meme on websites and forums. I think many Democrats used this meme as a way to rationalize their lack of concern about the deleterious impact that free trade has had on the workforce. If you think that manufacturing workers are all racist white guys it becomes much easier to write off their concerns.

    My only issue with the article is that it should not make people dismissive of the trade deficit as a problem. While manufacturing’s share of the workforce has been declining for decades the absolute number of manufacturing jobs stayed pretty stable from the early 1970s until 2000 when the trade deficit exploded. Even though the service sector has become larger and more important any serious nation must try to secure its manufacturing base if it wants to maintain its standard of living as Ian Fletcher has pointed out.

    Just because Trump and some conservatives are critical of free trade doesn’t mean that liberals and the left have to jump on the “trade deficits don’t matter” bandwagon that I have noticed many joining since Trump won the election. In 2016 Dean Baker wrote a good article about why trade matters and why being concerned about it doesn’t automatically make you a Trump supporter.

    1. Mark Gisleson

      I was a union steward in the world’s largest tire plant (Firestone, now Bridgestone, Des Moines). My dept (for reasons tied to WWII) was 1/3 female. Sexual harassment was incredibly rare (it would get you fired). Likewise open racism (it would get you fired). A coworker got busted soliciting a cop in a gay park. I am unaware of his ever having been harassed about that. That’s significant because I was the plant firebrand, and those were the kinds of grievances people brought to me.

      This was the 1970s. We had Archie Bunkers, but they kept their lips zipped.

      But I cannot credit myself or the union. In today’s dollars, those jobs paid $60,000-$100,000 a year. For that kind of money, people will leave their politics at the door.

    2. Oregoncharles

      Jesus H. Family Blog – has everyone already forgotten the anti-globalization movement? It was almost purely left-wing; the conservatives, with a few honorable exceptions, were all for shipping everything overseas. That includes Bill Clinton.

      That movement was peaking when 9/11 happened, putting an end to it in the US. Awfully convenient; makes you wonder. It’s the reason I got into politics, and Bill Clinton is the reason I’m a Green. Lots of personal history there, and millennials wouldn’t remember it at all, but it’s still there.

      Last night I watched a video of a discussion between Michelle Alexander and Naomi Klein at the Union Theological Seminary. Contemporary – Feb. 17. Klein started in the anti-globalization movement and spoke about it at length. It’s the root of most radicalism today.

      Incidentally, I didn’t know she’s Canadian because her parents were US draft dodgers during the Viet Nam War. A red diaper baby, modern version. That was when Canada still accepted refugees from the US.

  7. hemeantwell

    Re “Skydio Demonstrates Incredible Obstacle-Dodging Full Autonomy With New R1 Consumer Drone IEEE ,” reveals a pernicious side to what would otherwise seem to be an unqualified Good Thing: battery capacity improvements. This thing only runs for less than 20 minutes now.

    1. Self Affine

      All this AI based autonomous technology scares the hell out of me and I don’t understand why it is constantly being touted as a “good thing”. We seem to have completely lost the capacity to think in terms of the “precautionary principle” or understand the implications of technical innovation.

      I believe a Russian base in Syria was attacked by a swarm of home made drones recently, that’s how far downstream this technology has migrated. What does that imply?

      So far any technological advance has been co-opted immediately by the military, criminals, terrorists, “freedom fighters”, obsessively greedy people, and lunatics. This includes cyber hacking methods, things like ghostgunner, drones, and yes, autonomous vehicles.

      For example: its only a matter of time before advanced LIDAR (light detection and ranging), coupled with powerful lightweight batteries and high explosives are merged into autonomous car bombs.

      Any capability developed by technology immediately migrates downstream in terms of know-how and costs. Drones are the best current example of this.

      Its absolutely chilling to think of the kind of damage that could be done by a swarm of cheap drones in the hands of the insane.

        1. Self Affine

          Potus 44 got rid of habeas corpus too.

          The problem with drones is that there is no realistic defense.

          Whether its pipelines, electrical grids, government infrastructure, data centers, or just your crazy neighbor (you name it) doing something stupid.

          Here is a typical spec from DJI (this thing can be purchased on Amazon for around $5000.-)

          The Inspire 2 takes everything that was good about the Inspire 1 and improves it. The image processing system CineCore2.0 has been upgraded to CineCore2.1, recording video at up to 6K in CinemaDNG/RAW and 5.2K in Apple ProRes when used with Zenmuse X7 camera. It goes from 0 to 50 mph (80 kph) in just 5 seconds andhits a maximum speed of 58 mph (94 kph) and has a max descent speed of 9m/s for unheard of speed and agility in an aircraft this size. A dual battery system prolongs the flight time to a maximum of 27 minutes (with an X4S), while self-heating technology allows it to fly even in low temperatures.

          Ok – at say 50mph average for 20 minutes I can launch this thing from 16 miles away. It has a realistic max payload of about 1 kil0 = 2.2 lbs. I will leave the rest to your imagination.

          I would be willing to ban these things, along with assault rifles.,

            1. Self Affine

              Just trying to be conservative – but thanks for improving on the main point.

              This stuff is already here and available to almost anyone.

  8. The Rev Kev

    The gorgeous photos of the derelict properties you still can’t afford

    There was a foto of an old worker’s cottage at 102 Reservoir Street, Surry Hills on that page which made me do a double take. Several years ago I took my camera down there as my great-grandparent’s family lived not half-a-dozen houses to the left and I wanted to take a foto of it.
    Surrey Hills never was a classy suburb and still isn’t but by the time millenials get through gentrifying the place, you wouldn’t recognize it. It will be mod cons all the way and good luck to them I say. That suburb is on the direct border of Sydney’s CBD which accounts for its high prices.
    I just finished using a Ouija board to contact my great-grandparents to tell them the price of their old place but for some reason the pointer would only point to the letters S, O & B.

  9. allan

    White House considering offer from mega-donor for Jerusalem embassy [NY Post]

    The Trump administration is considering an offer from Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson to pay for at least part of a new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, four U.S. officials told The Associated Press. …

    In one possible scenario, the administration would solicit contributions not only from Adelson but potentially from other donors in the evangelical and American Jewish communities, too. One official said Adelson, a Las Vegas casino magnate and staunch supporter of Israel, had offered to pay the difference between the total cost — expected to run into the hundreds of millions of dollars — and what the administration is able to raise.

    Under any circumstance, letting private citizens cover the costs of an official government building would mark a significant departure from historical U.S. practice. In the Jerusalem case, it would add yet another layer of controversy to Trump’s politically charged decision to move the embassy, given Adelson’s longstanding affiliation with right-wing Israeli politics. …

    This will definitely lay a solid foundation of trust and goodwill for Jared’s peace plan.

  10. DJG

    Thought-provoking article about the horse. So it turns out, that like the dog, there are no wild horses. I read a while back that horses are unique in being the only sizable courser without horns. So early peoples would have found them somehow manageable. It helps, too, that horses are highly intelligent and attuned to spatial relations.

    There’s a great metaphor in the middle of the article, the association of horses with the sun: Drawing the chariot of the heavens across the sky. Yet the horse seems to have much more complicated meanings, given that the Greek god of streams and seas, Poseidon, was also the god of horses. Yet (and the Wikipedia entry is wonderfully confusing) Poseidon is so old that his association with horses may mean an association with horses as spirits of the underworld. Hence the autumnal horse sacrifice mentioned in the article.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      So, a domesticated animal escaped to become ‘wild.’

      Dogs did it.

      Now we know some horses did it.

      Of course, many humans had or have successfully escaped ‘civilization.’ In the past, they became nomads or shepherds, for I think, or guess, most likely that their ancestors did not go from hunter-gathering to being horse riding nomads, but through escaping agricultural societies.

      1. ambrit

        I’ll bet the Annunkia wished that they’d been much more efficient in their containment methodology regarding the ‘human’ servotor class.

          1. ambrit

            Zecharia Sitchin and the “Giants of the Earth” of early bible days. Ties in with Planet Nibiru and the coming cataclysms.
            Wiki Nibiru:
            The Anunnaki:
            Classic ‘classical’ conspiracy theory. As the Firesign Theatre said; “Everything you know is wrong.”
            Also of note would be the Professor Quatermass film “Quatermass and the pit,” the original version broadcast on the BBC and later film version called “Five Million Years to Earth.”
            Basically, humans are an escaped alien species experiment.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


              While it says that there is evidence for the Nibiru conjecture, I am reminded of a question I have been wondering, as our solar system rotates around the center of the Milky Way – do we know what’s ahead?

              And is Annunkia another name for Annunaki? Nothing came up when I googled for the first term.

                1. ambrit

                  I did mention classic ‘classical’ conspiracy theory, didn’t I?
                  As for the transposition issues, well, I rest on my laurels, or is that willows? I do hope to avoid a birching. It’s elmentary my dear Wheatstone. (At absolute zero, it’s a bridge to knowhere.)
                  Yes, my cracked ideation of Annunkia is really a thinly disguised reference to the Annunaki. In defense of my transgression, the Alchemists used ellipses and allusion to hide the true secrets from the uninitiated. That you caught it must mean that you, dear heart, are one of the elect!
                  Galactic year:
                  The long timescale involved in the solar systems’ revolution about the galactic centre means that shorter term recurring cosmic encounters must be purely local phenomena. Astronemers are still discovering longer and longer term cometary bodies, exiting from and returning to the Oort cloud and or Kuiper belt.

  11. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Citizenship and Immigration Services removes “nation of immigrants” from mission statement Vox (Chuck L)

    Eventually, countries will have to work out their mutual migration treaties.

    If Europe won’t take our emigrants, we won’t take theirs either.


    1. Wukchumni

      The reign of error is pretty peeved about California, and as ICE is making the rounds of the Ag sector here, terrifying the employees into staying @ home in lieu of going to work, he makes this statement about MS-13 being the route of all evil around these parts…

      “The president made his comments Thursday at a White House meeting of local and state officials about school safety and gun violence. The administration is targeting the MS-13 gang, Trump said, but “has been getting no help from the state of California.”

      “Frankly, if I wanted to pull our people from California you would have a crime nest like you’ve never seen in California,” he said. “All I’d have to do is say, ‘ICE and Border Patrol, let California alone,’ you’d be inundated. You would see crime like nobody has ever seen crime in this country.”

      He added: “If we ever pulled our ICE out, and we ever said, ‘Hey, let California alone, let them figure it out for themselves,’ in two months they’d be begging for us to come back. They would be begging. And you know what, I’m thinking about doing it,” he said.”

      1. Bill

        Believe it or not, we are seeing crime like we’ve never seen crime in the White House since we let Trump stay. I hope some day we find out all the crap he’s been up to.
        And, also, curiously enough, Melania’s parents may soon become citizens due to Trump’s dreaded “chain immigration” scourge:

        The US allows a number of ways for US citizens and legal permanent residents to sponsor family members to come to the US permanently, including categories for parents, adult siblings and adult children, married and unmarried. italics mine

        Trump and his congressional allies have fought to slash that dramatically, limiting sponsorship to spouses and minor children, including dropping the threshold for minor children from 21 to 18. Experts estimate that could cut overall immigration to the US by 40% to 50%, if those green cards are not reallocated to another category. Trump has advocated a “merit-based” system, but has not proposed any method of admitting immigrants to the US to replace those categories.

  12. vidimi

    Does America Want A Third Party? (Or Is It Just David Brooks?) FiveThirtyEight. UserFriendly: “Because we really need a 3rd party that puts money over people.​”

    a third party would dilute the money pool which would be a positive.

    1. jefemt

      Brooks might be after a third party to keep the Dems from winning by dividing their vote.

      2018 is hardly a slam dunk for either the repugs or dims.

      1. tegnost

        Brooks wants the rich to band together just like hillary did, and the realization by the elite that he reveals is that they know that as fewer and fewer citizens are successful, more and more people are not, and what happens to the brooks and hillary’s of the world when “us mopes” band together against them?
        Left and right is passe’, it’s top and bottom now

        A few weeks ago I met a guy in Idaho who was absolutely certain that Donald Trump would win this election. He was wearing tattered, soiled overalls, missing a bunch of teeth and was unnaturally skinny. He was probably about 50, but his haggard face looked 70. He was getting by aimlessly as a handyman.

        I pointed to the polls and tried to persuade him that Hillary Clinton might win, but it was like telling him a sea gull could play billiards. Everybody he knows is voting Trump so his entire lived experience points to a Trump landslide. He was a funny, kind guy, but you got the impression his opportunities had been narrowed by forces outside his control.

    2. Jesper

      The first by the post system over a proportional representation discussion might also be interesting.
      The first by the post system does seem to make it more likely to get stable majorities in parliament (easier to govern with that) than the proportional representation. However, that stability might come at the cost of significant portions of the population might not be represented at all in parliament.

    3. Summer

      “a third party would dilute the money pool which would be a positive.”

      That’s why you need more than 3. And it’s important for people to kick the tires and test out the waters of parties that are not promoted in the MSM.
      Or don’t have political parties at all.

    4. jrs

      A 3rd party to the left of the Dems would divide the vote which might be negative, but on the other hand would at least be vocal in pushing a real agenda that people could get behind and that might have widespread support. It would have to pull more votes than any current left parties (Greens etc.) do now though as that’s really not enough to influence anything, and I don’t know how you really do that in a two party system.

  13. funemployed

    Not sure why columbia journalism review is singling out the less than one per year deaths of paper deliverers (“some from car accidents”). Last I checked, driving stuff around for a living is an inherently risky job. Seems like, given the number of papers that have been delivered every day since 1970, 44 deaths on the job is maybe not so terribly high?

    Also, sad as the header story is, perhaps the delivery man should have simply allowed himself to be robbed instead of engaging in a gunfight. Then again, he was probably poor too and wouldn’t be compensated by his employer had he simply forked over whatever.

    Of course, we mustn’t talk about the many truck drivers who die unnecessarily every year because of neoliberal employment and regulatory policies.

    1. ambrit

      When I delivered newspapers, I used a bicycle with giant wire carriers bolted on. (There is a specific name associated with this piece of technology, but my brain is malfunctional this morning.) [Ah! Baskets!!!]
      Only the area manager used a vehicle, and for true bulk movements. He would, it was always a ‘he’ for some reason, deliver the bundles of newspapers to the local beginning point. We terminal delivery units would fold and band the individual papers and then deliver them on our bicycles. We would also collect the subscription fees every month and turn that in to the area manager. I’ll bet that the carbon footprint of that business model was really convoluted.

      1. Wukchumni

        I did pretty much the same thing, except the wired bundles of newspapers were delivered to my house by my area manager, who was a sweet lady. The newspaper would have contests all the time and if you got 5 new subscribers, you’d win a trip to Catalina, or go up the Palm Springs aerial tramway, etc., with a bunch of other newspaper boys.

        It was the first time i’d ever done a monetary transaction, delivering papers on my trusty steed, a blue Schwinn Sting Ray.

        1. curlydan

          my employer did contests, too. I got 5 subscribers and netted a sweet trip to Six Flags over Texas…400 miles from my house. Then I quit 5 months later. As Nelson would say, HA HA!

          1. ambrit

            You Volk don’t know how lucky you were. I had to purchase my ‘delivery franchise’ from the previous delivery creature for $100 USD. There were six or seven of us vying for the route and the little s–t who did it ran an auction for rights to the job after he left. The regional manager and the delivery department of the newspaper were witting of this but said nothing. I kept that route for three years, until I got a weekend job at Sears in downtown Miami. As another indicator of how vanguard this area, Miami was, the rubber bands and plastic sleeves for wet day deliveries were charged to us as sub contractor expenses. All this in the late sixties to early seventies. Neo-liberalism has a long and dishonourable history.

            1. Wukchumni

              Adding insult to injury dept:

              My route was literally all downhill, so when I was done and empty of fresh future fish wrap, and had to actually peddle back home, it was a lot easier.

              I don’t think a paper route was worth anything in SoCal in the early 70’s, I would have remembered that aspect.

              1. ambrit

                What is this “hill” of which you speak? My entire delivery route was about three to four feet above sea level. Flat the whole way. The steepest gradient on the entire course was the ramp to the upper level of the parking garage where we folded and bundled the papers.
                The paper route kept me in pocket money and my contributions to the family budget.
                While my buddies got allowances, I got exhortations.
                No wonder I’m so screwed up today. It started early. Plenty of ‘honest labour’ without the ‘respect for’ component.

  14. The Rev Kev

    Nice Red Cardinal bird shown ( I had to look it up). It’s beautiful.

    Can the German Left Save Itself?

    I wondered in reading this article whether the writer was trolling his readers or whether it was a variation of tone deafness. So much of it applied to other countries like America, the UK, Australia, etc. Could not the following quotes talk about any of these countries equally?

    “The…left is in disastrous shape.”
    “…a soaring number of young people are unhappy with politics.”
    “The main task for the… left now will be to offer an alternative for both disaffected young urbanites and the alienated working class.”
    “And yet they would be well advised to agree on three points: opposition to nationalism, to further deregulation of the economy and to the gutting of social services. ”

    For the German parties to get themselves in the mess that they are in sounds like a case of them hoping that voters had nowhere else to go only to have it blow up in their faces due to the rise of AfD. The decision to bring in a million people with dubious documentation and a desire to radically alter the country to suit their beliefs went down like a lead balloon with the average citizen which made them consider alternatives. I read of one tiny village out in the backwoods informed that 200 refugees were being dumped on them and to take care with whatever resources that they could gather with no protests allowed. I am betting that women played a role in this this shift in support. Having the streets become much more dangerous hits them heavily, especially when their protests have been either been covered up or ignored. For what it is worth to this comment, I met a lot of German Greens back in the 80s and they really wanted change in a big way but a year or so ago I read that since then they had been gradually been taken over by centrist and even right-wingers leading to a gutting of real support to them.

  15. Indrid Cold

    Re: Rutenburg ” we are nowhere in the game”

    Son, I got news for you: look up “Creel Commission”, Bernays, Edward, “Operation Mockingbird”
    Anglo- America invented the game. Constant perception management started when Elizabeth I had all the portraits of the Virgin Mary in churches replaced with her own.

  16. Jason Boxman

    On the former Yugoslavia, someone here had recommended Eastern Approaches years ago as a read and I finally found a copy and it’s excellent. Well worth finding a used copy.


  17. Jim Haygood

    RuSI (Russia Saudi Iran index) has managed to keep pace with the US S&P 500 since the end of 2015, thanks to a more than doubling in Brent crude in the past couple of years. Chart:

    RuSI got a boost this week not only from a rising oil price, but also from a better than 5 percent pop in the Iranian rial. In 2018 through last week, Iran’s rial had slid 11 percent. Chronic currency devaluation accompanies the country’s low double-digit inflation rate, which has made Tehran a city of property speculators.

    1. Jim Haygood

      When good things happen to b-a-a-a-a-a-d countries:

      For Russia, Friday is a big day, with both S&P Global ratings and Fitch Ratings poised to announce the results their reviews of the country’s debt rating.

      The hope is that S&P will make a one-step upgrade to the foreign-currency rating and put the sovereign back into investment grade territory.

      The ratings company has had a positive outlook on Russia since March, with the economy growing and oil prices climbing.

      Fitch never cut Russia into junk, so an upgrade from S&P would meet the requirement for two investment-grade ratings. This should open the door to greater inflows from foreign investors, potentially extending the local bond market’s rally as well.

      Well I went home with the bond analyst
      The way I always do
      How was I to know
      She was with the Russians too

      — Warren Zevon, Lawyers Guns & Money

  18. Wukchumni

    Every time the Glock strikes 12 or other happenstance, the NRA always slithers away, hiding under the cover of owning the GOP, with the acquiescence of the donkey show.

    Wish I could say this time feels different, but not really.

  19. dcblogger

    ProPublica obtained the chat logs of Atomwaffen, a notorious white supremacist group. When Samuel Woodward was charged with killing 19-year-old Blaze Bernstein last month in California, other Atomwaffen members cheered the death, concerned only that the group’s cover might have been blown.
    if this crowd were African American of Muslim we would have shut them before they got started.

  20. Synoia

    UserFriendly: “Dear God, when America meddles in elections it’s always for the right reasons, unlike those evil Ruskies.

    Fixed. Must have become slightly garbled in transliteration.

  21. Jim Haygood

    Trouble at Hahhhhhvid:

    In an open letter to Harvard’s new president, Lawrence Bacow, a group of eleven alumni recommends that the endowment move at least half its assets to a low-cost S&P 500 index fund. It’s a “radical new endowment strategy,” the alumni acknowledge.

    Harvard pioneered and still uses the so-called endowment model of investing, which calls for investments in high-priced hedge funds and private assets alongside traditional stocks and bonds.

    The endowment’s performance in fiscal year 2017 ranks dead last among the 88 largest endowments that have reported their results, according to Bloomberg data.

    There’s no guarantee, however, that Harvard will capture the returns of the S&P 500. Though Vanguard’s 500 Index Fund returned 9.7 percent annually over the last 10 years, the average investor in the fund captured a return of just 5.4 percent, according to Morningstar.

    Bloomberg’s ink-stained wretch raises a ridiculous cavil. Unlike individuals who ignore stocks till they boil and bubble, for better or worse institutions set fixed allocations to equities and mostly stick to them.

    A simple 50/50 mix of S&P 500 index fund and Bloomberg Aggregate bond fund will beat most institutional portfolios over the next five years. Three reasons: (1) lower expense ratio; (2) lower equity allocation [50% vs typical 60%-plus]; (3) higher quality bonds [there’s gonna be a recession].

    Dumb idea? I reckon not!

    1. allan

      It’s not just Harvard that’s been underperforming and needs to change its ways:

      College Endowments Opt for Alternative, and Less Lucrative, Route [NYT]

      It’s official: Returns for college and university endowments for the 2017 fiscal year are in, and while they averaged a respectable 12.2 percent for the year, over the last decade they have underperformed funds offering a simple 60-40 or 70-30 stock-fixed income allocation.

      With their average returns dragged down by the weak performance of hedge funds, venture capital and private equity, you would think endowments would be fleeing these so-called alternative investments, which are costly and mostly illiquid, as some large pension funds have done.

      On the contrary, endowments are holding firm, or even adding to these holdings. Last year, alternative investments accounted for an average of 52 percent of endowment assets — over 60 percent in the largest endowments — the same percentage as two years ago, according to the annual Nacubo-Commonfund study of endowments. …

      1. Jim Haygood

        From allan’s article:

        The average endowment had annualized five-year returns of 5.9 percent. A 60-40 mix returned 8.2 percent.

        Underperforming a 60-40 mix by 2.3% annually for five years is catastrophic. It’s a fast-lane road to ruin, paved with dollar-store flagstones which break up beneath your feet.

        Arizona’s PSPRS — supposedly the most alt-laden pension fund in the US — paid $51.5 million in fees on a $7.3 billion portfolio, for a gross expense ratio of 0.7%. Since hedge fund fees go up to 2.0% plus 20% of profits, some endowments probably are bleeding 1.0% in annual fees.

        With two institutional stock and bond index funds from a low-cost source such as Vanguard, the combined expense ratio could be slashed to 0.1%. As ol’ Jack Bogle has been insisting for more than fifty years now, a high expense ratio is a deadweight loss that is both highly material and impossible to overcome.

  22. Craig H.

    The gorgeous photos of the derelict properties you still can’t afford

    Photographer should take a pass at Detroit. Buying property in Sydney sounds pretty crazy. On the Guardian’s most-read list Elvis’ daughter is suing her money manager. The hundred mil she inherited has shrunk to 14 K.

    Cardinals have the best songs in my neighborhood. This page has some good cuts. They are short, like 10 seconds each.

        1. marieann

          Wait! that article never mentioned behind the light switch….the safest place of all. My husband’s father swore by that method. All light switchs were checked after his death and a goodly sum was recovered.

          We have tried some of those examples listed….forgot every time.

    1. Bill

      did she spend any of it???

      “Siegel sold off 85% of her share in the Elvis Presley Enterprises company in 2005, a deal that he says “cleared up over $20m in debts Lisa had incurred and netted her over $40m cash and a multi-million dollar income stream”. Presley says it lost her millions thanks to a subsequent investment in Core Entertainment, the company behind American Idol that went bankrupt in 2016.”

  23. perpetualWAR

    The story about Capitan not leaving the grave of his owner made me cry and also made me remember this wonderful speech:

    “Gentlemen of the Jury: The best friend a man has in the world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name may become traitors to their faith. The money that a man has, he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it most. A man’s reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with us, may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our heads.

    The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog. A man’s dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master’s side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer. He will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings, and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.

    If fortune drives the master forth, an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him, to guard him against danger, to fight against his enemies. And when the last scene of all comes, and death takes his master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by the graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad, but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even in death.”

    George Graham Vest – c. 1855

    The Year of the Dog – most wonderful creature

    1. marieann

      I didn’t read the whole article because I knew it would make me cry.

      I read this wonderful speech…made me cry. Animals give us so much

  24. Ranger Rick

    That Vox piece on the mission statement change seems like it could be just partisan grandstanding, but it makes me wonder just how much damage the doctrine of US exceptionalism has caused by changing the perception of nationalism amongst its citizens.

    1. JBird

      I believe in:

      “My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.”
      — Carl Schurz

      Which is better than:

      “Our Country! In her intercourse with foreign nations may she always be in the right; but right or wrong, our country!”
      — Stephen Decatur

      And much,much better the the current fashionable:

      My country, right or wrong!
      —Jingoists everywhere

  25. Jean

    Stop maligning octopuses!

    The first example of them as devouring corporate financial creatures was earlier than that cited in the MOA article.

    Frank Norris’ “The Octopus”, 1901, is about the monopoly of the Southern Pacific railroad over the shipment of wheat from California’s Central Valley as well as their stranglehold on commerce.

    The hideous “Corporations Are Persons” Supreme Court case, Southern Pacific v Santa Clara, was litigated by this evil empire which morphed over time into the Union Pacific Railroad controlled by our own avuncular Warren Buffet.

    “Tentacles across the water…”

    1. fresno dan

      February 23, 2018 at 1:04 pm

      I agree. As a tentacled one, the calumnies against the Cephalopods are innumerable!

  26. fresno dan

    The numbers in that article are alarming but they don’t tell the whole story. This past December, Newsweek covered an analysis done of forensic evidence recovered in the greater Detroit area. The Motor City was sitting on more than 11,000 untested kits which they slowly processed over a period of years. After the test results were compiled, they discovered that there were more than 800 serial rapists who had gone undetected in that region.
    According to the nonprofit organization End the Backlog, there are literally hundreds of thousands of kits awaiting testing across the country. Newsweek reports that the White House estimated the number to be in the area of 400,000 in 2015. Based on the findings in Detroit, that means that there are very likely as many as 30,000 repeat rapists out there across America who have not been detected yet, but could be identified if all the kits were finally tested.
    And kinda of the difference between serious issues and clickbait….

    1. Bill

      from the link:

      + On his trip to hawk new Trump luxury condos in India, Lil’ Don took a moment to issue an anthropological assessment of the Indian poor. “There is something about the Indian people that is unique here to other parts of the emerging world. You go through a town, and I don’t mean to be glib about it, but you can see the poorest of the poor, and there is still a smile on a face … It’s a different spirit that you don’t see in other parts of the world where people walk around so solemn.”

      Drive-By Donnie somehow missed the hundreds of destitute Indian farmers committing suicide every few weeks by drinking pesticides. As Sainath has reported, more than 60,000 farmers have killed themselves in Maharashtra state alone.

      meanwhile, back at the ranch:

      + Make America Mean Again…Trump administration moves to cut off food and water aid to Maria-ravaged Puerto Rico.

  27. Oregoncharles

    “Neanderthals were artistic like modern humans, study indicates” supports an epiphany of mine: Neanderthals were people, meaning that our species is much older (500,000 years) than usually supposed. This flows directly from the discovery that “modern” humans interbred with Neanderthals, and raised the babies; that’s why there are relic Neanderthal genes in all living humans outside Africa itself (probably sub-Saharan Africa). The basic definition of a species is that it’s reproductively isolated; if they interbreed, they’re the same species. Biologists aren’t real consistent about that, partly because they don’t always know, but it’s the only objective measure.

    Given the tendency to use “Neanderthal” to mean “stupid,” the fact that only Africans are pure modern humans is rather amusing.

    1. Synapsid


      The best definition of a species that I’ve seen is that of Robert Bakker: “In the wild they tend to keep their genes to themselves.”

      Bakker is the palaeontologist you may have seen in a documentary, the guy with the beard hiding his belt buckle and the hat that looks like he ran over it with his pickup. Dinosaurs his speciality. He’s making the point that there are plenty of species that interbreed successfully–wolves and coyotes, oaks, hawthorns, cattle and bison, and more and more–but they don’t, as a rule. They know their own species when they come across it.

      1. Oregoncharles

        There is presently a 3-way hybrid of dogs, coyotes, and wolves making their way through the Northeast. They like to live in cities.

        By Bakker’s definition, big and little dogs are separate species. I’ve seen them attempt to mate (the big dog was the female), and it’s funny in a very un-family blog way.

        Given the importance of naming rights, it’s in biologists’ interest to see as many species as they can.

        I still think the difference between Neanderthals and “modern” humans is greatly exaggerated. they are races, not species.

  28. lyman alpha blob

    Thanks for the article on Venezuela – encouraging that somebody is at least trying to fight against all the Western propaganda. It was a short article which only quoted a small part of a presumably longer interview with the UN expert, but I found this bit interesting:

    He explained that although many think that the country is on the verge of disaster, as media outlets do, “Venezuela suffers an economic war, a financial blockade, suffers a high level of smuggling and, of course, needs international solidarity to solve these problems. ”

    He also believes that the international community should work in solidarity with Venezuela to lift the sanctions, “because these are the ones that worsen the shortage of food and medicine, it is unbearable to think that having a malaria crisis in the Venezuelan Amazon, Colombia has blocked the sale of medicines and Venezuela had to obtain it in India.

    So did this economic war just happen and who might be on the other side? I guess Columbia, but who in the Western hemisphere is Columbia’s good buddy? Funny that in a publication aligned with the views of this UN expert, they can’t bring themselves to mention Uncle Sugar as the cause.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Venezuela’s economic blockade consists of a circular firing squad.

      Mispeg your currency, blow through your forex reserves, drastically underprice food to subsidize smuggling, let oil production collapse, and pretty soon little kids are starving.

  29. ewmayer

    o Mueller files new charges against Manafort, Gates | The Hill” — In the context of the Russia! Russia! Russia! rationale for the Mueller fishing expedition, another giant fat garden-variety elite-DC-insider corruption nothingburger. From Reuters’ version of the story:

    The 32-count indictment filed by Robert Mueller in Alexandria, Virginia, federal court includes charges of bank fraud and lying on tax returns. It alleges that Manafort, with Gates’ assistance, laundered more than $30 million and duped banks into lending money. It says the pair used funds from secret offshore accounts to enjoy a life of luxury.

    The latest charges against Manafort, who was Trump’s campaign manager for five months in 2016, and Gates, who was deputy campaign manager, do not mention their work for the Trump campaign.

    Jason Maloni, a spokesman for Manafort, said Manafort is innocent of the new charges which, he noted, “have nothing to do with Russia and 2016 election interference/collusion.”

    Nothing any halfway-decent accountant with access to the same financial records couldn’t have found – we need an elite FBI tas force for this? But lemme guess: “There is sure to be much more, quite possibly including a smoking gun with The Putin’s evil fingerprints all over it. Just continue to give us unlimited time and resources for digging up more Schmutz! and Hillary may yet end up being president, or something.”

  30. Oregoncharles

    I grew up with cardinals, in Indiana. They’re one of the very few things about Indiana I miss. The other is thunderstorms, very unusual here.

    We have giant, spotted slugs, but they’re camouflage green. If I saw a hot-pink one, I’d think somebody had slipped me something strong. It must have no predators, or be poisonous.

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