Links 2/26/18

Nappies, takeaways and bubble wrap: could I remove plastic from my life?’ Guardian

Anti-drone eagles being trained to serve on Geneva police force (MA)

Vatican sets up dedicated exorcism training course The Register (Dr. Kevin). Can they do a mass exorcism for elites in the US?

Meghan Markle Kisses Old Life Goodbye With Traditional Family Execution Waterford Whispers News (PD)

Some of the World’s Biggest Lakes Are Drying Up. Here’s Why. National Geographic

Are Driving Bans Coming for German Cities? Der Spiegel

Free news gets scarcer as paywalls tighten France 24

Ranchers set to fight back against vegetarian ‘fake meat’ USA Today

Militant, hard-liners or Nazis’ – How those challenging the status quo are labelled The (PD)

America’s Liberalism and Other Inhumane Styles of Governance at Home and Internationally Global Justice in the 21st Century (PB). Richard Falk. Long but well worth your time.

Humanitarian aid system is a continuation of the colonial project Al Jazeera

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

How Companies Scour Our Digital Lives for Clues to Our Health NYT. Yet another reason not to have a smartphone.

Money Laundering Via Author Impersonation on Amazon? Krebs on Security (HS)

New York is quietly working to prevent a major cyber attack that could bring down the financial system Business Insider

Feds have spent 13 years failing to verify whether passport data is legit Ars Technica


Brexit: party political lines

May’s carnival of indecision over Brexit has cost us dear The Times


The Pentagon hasn’t stopped the military’s revenge porn problem Vice


Aadhaar: In the world’s biggest biometric ID experiment, many have fallen through the gaps


Nirav Modi-PNB fraud: To reform public banks, start by addressing employees’ sense of inferiority


Stanford, MIT, Johns Hopkins University and Waterloo University eye Hong Kong as regional base for stem cell research SCMP

China spirals past US in genome research Asia Times




MIT Won’t Rescind Admissions Of Students Holding Peaceful Protest After Florida Shooting International Business Times

Lines Out the Door and Strong Sales at Tampa Gun Show NYT

Even After Gun Violence Occurs, the Government Often Fails Survivors AlterNet

Gun control dominates conversation as Congress returns The Hill

Florida Gun Show sees “record number” of attendees despite gun control debate 10 News

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico – Here’s Why the New York Fed Does Not Feel Your Pain Wall Street on Parade

Class Warfare

Surge in public sector workers relying on charity handouts to make ends meet Independent

UK living standards hit harder than thought by crisis FT

The wrong approach to Md.’s opioid overdose epidemic Baltimore Sun

American Manufacturing Doesn’t Have to Die Racked

Behind a Key Anti-Labor Case, a Web of Conservative Donors NYT

Los Angeles’ homelessness crisis is a national disgrace LA Times

Uber, Lyft drivers are making city traffic worse, studies find NY Post

Democrats in Disarray

California Democrats send Feinstein a pointed message by not endorsing her San Francisco Chronicle


Trump Transition

Only a fool would voluntarily talk to Robert Mueller The Week

Dem governors band together to thwart Trump’s policies Politico

Europeans look for a way to preserve nuclear deal while punishing Iran and satisfying Trump WaPo

Trump Is Winning Politico. Matt Latimer has the vapors.

The surprisingly weak scientific case for emotional support animals Vox

Antidote du jour:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. ArkansasAngie

    My son-in-law, an EOD Tech in the Marines (bomb disposal guy), was blown up and spent 18 months at Portsmouth Naval Hospital.

    As a direct result I founded Soldier ON Service Dogs, a 501c3 that provides fully trained service dogs to veterans with PTSD and/or TBI for free.

    The surprisingly weak scientific case for emotional support animals … Vox article … is surprisingly good.

    A quibble I would like to make is this article talks about Emotional Support Animals (ESA’s). Please do NOT mistake an ESA with a fully trained service dogs. Our dogs do amazing things for their veterans.

    We use the 3-legged stool “test”. It has to be good for the veteran (in our case). It has to be good for the dog. It has to be good for our community.

    Fake service dogs and emotional ESA’s out in public acting as if they’re service dogs are the bane of our existence.

    1. Alex Morfesis

      The airlines have allowed this fake emotional animal noise to fester while wiping their private parts with the actual americans with disabilities act…every single day americans with real physical disabilities are denied unencumbered access to air travel, with the few rules the airline industry bothers acknowledging being ignored due to the low instance of any financial penalty from the guvmint…bernaze optics…

      If it wants a full story, vox needs to send someone to walk into an airport with dark glasses and a white cane walking stick and see what does and does not happen…

      1. Jean

        Do airplanes have special ADA bathrooms and passenger seats with extra leg room, braille controls etc?

        Too many small businesses–the only real job creators in this country– have been put out of business or could not afford to open because of the ADA to allow airlines to get away with this.

        A woman brought her emotional support miniature horse into the Monterrey, California Whole Foods. It proceeded to eat at the lettuce aisle and she was outraged that they demanded she pay for everything it had foraged or touched.

        1. perpetualWAR

          “Monterrey, CA Whole Foods”
          I envision the woman was wearing a beige yoga outfit with designer sunglasses and her miniature horse a matching beige halter and lead.

          Sorry, couldn’t help it.

        2. Randy G

          Jean —

          As a longtime former resident of Monterey, CA (and semi-reluctant shopper at that Whole Foods), I am intrigued by your horse visitation story. But google and ‘Duck Go Go’ as I might, I cannot find any citation for it.

          Do you have one? I’d love to add it to my repertoire of Monterey (one ‘r’) lore but concerned it might be a little gem of an urban legend.

    2. hemeantwell

      The article is more than a little hard to read. I appreciate her sustained attempt to stay in touch with the research. But she’s a CBT enthusiast — she focuses on convincing people there’s no need to be anxious, not about an internal state that might make them more inclined to be anxious — and this steers her away from a simple baseline idea that focuses on what we know about object relations: some people are quite good at personifying their pets, at turning them into a companion, maybe even a friend in some respects. That capacity for object relational fantasy is a given. So the question really is whether or not any given person can, with this or that animal, draw on that capacity, get the fantasy going and benefit from it. It’s an established possibility, and the question is what promotes or limits it.

    3. Arizona Slim

      Some of us want to be in places where we are NOT forced to deal with others’ pets. (Says Slim, who lost half of last night’s sleep because of non-stop barking by the neighbors’ dogs.)

      Having to fly with those pets does not do anything to support MY emotions.

      1. perpetualWAR

        Some of us want to be in places where we are NOT forced to deal with others’ children too, unfortunately that is not possible.

        I pay taxes to allow your children to continue to have good schools, have public playgrounds, and such. Me, a childless single adult. You: deal with my pet the same way I deal with your screaming, unruly children. Thank you.

        1. polecat

          Generally speaking, most parents don’t let their children (human) to run around, leaving crap to be stepped in … whenever, and wherever … like my nextdoor neighBORs canines !!

          Just sayin ..

          1. perpetualWAR

            And….generally speaking good neighbors don’t allow their canines to do what your neighbor does.

            It all comes back to “do unto others…”

            If I had children, I would never stay in a restaurant/grocery store when my children were behaving badly, just like I would never have a dog who behaved badly. And in the case of your neighbors, they are behaving badly. You do have a remedy, which would be calling animal control. I, on the other hand, don’t have a remedy for dealing with unruly/screaming children.

        2. stedmu

          You pay taxes to educate your fellow citizens, younger though they may be. You have every motivation to encourage their education for your own benefit. Being a child once yourself, you also likely benefited from the same taxes other people paid on your behalf. Perhaps you would like to rethink your position.

          1. perpetualWAR

            Yeah, no. I gladly pay taxes to educate children.

            I get angry when people attack pet owners for things such as this poster did, yet they have no problem subjecting me to their unruly/screaming children. That is my bone of contention.

        3. Yves Smith

          Lordie. Pets and kids are not in the same category. Readers should not have to point that out. And I don’t begrudge paying taxes for schools. In fact, I’m willing to be taxed more for better public schools if someone would give me that option. That’s the price of civilization.

          And having said that, on a recent spell of flights, I sat next to an extremely well behaved ~8 year old who put up with the fact that I was fidgeting constantly (I was in a lot of pain and that helped around the margin) and did what he could to be helpful. And just yesterday, I sat next to a man who had a well mannered little dog in a carrier under his seat. Didn’t make a single noise. And the only other time I sat next to someone with dogs (2 little ones ones in one carrier) they were also quiet and surprisingly chill about traveling.

          So pets in general are not problem. It is people taking pets that they can’t/won’t put in a carrier that goes under the seat in front of them. Even if a pet is noisy under a seat, it’s not going to be any more annoying than a crying baby. And a very unhappy animal is stressful on the owner, so they won’t transport them on planes unless they really need to.

          The emotional support animal gimmick is to get out of the $50+ that most airlines charge for taking a pet on board, and the requirement that they fit in a carrier under the seat. And Delta, and I assume other airlines, limits the # of pets per cabin to 2.

          1. perpetualWAR

            I never said I begrudge paying taxes for their children. In fact, see my above comment, which is quite the opposite.

            The poster that riled me and caused me to poorly comment was blaming his poor neighbors’ pets on the poor behavior of their owner.

            Rather than mention kids/pets, I should have simply stated that it is not the fault of the pet that they have poor owners. My bad.

          2. Plenue

            About it being a gimmick to save money; I’m sure for some people it is. But I’m also pretty sure for some they genuinely believe they need a squirrel or whatever to stay calm. There really are people out there who are just neurotic snowflakes.

            I wouldn’t at all be surprised if many of these people are the same ones who hang around insular Tumblr groups and convince each other that sexually identifying as a dragon isn’t batshit insane. It’s the kind of insanity you get when you have people inside extremely niche bubbles who are never exposed to anyone who will tell them to “just stop, you’re being stupid”.

    4. Tomonthebeach

      A service dog is a far cry from the menagerie of critters neurotic people drag aboard airliners.

      Nobody wants to take a service animal away from those physically disabled who are dependent on it to see, hear, navigate, etc. However, if people are so neurotic that they are traumatized by air travel enough to drag their pet porcupine along, then they should take the train, a boat, or their car, or just stay home till their benzo’s kick in.

      Nobody should be required to sit next to some jerk in the middle seat carrying a 12 pound sh-t factory on their lap for 4 to 8 hours.

      Yes, that includes screaming human infants. Air travel for infants is physical torture usually motivated by grandma’s unwillingness to travel to see baby. The screaming is because baby ears are not developed sufficiently to valsalva in order to reduce inner ear pressure – thus the violent screaming in pain. Occasionally, screaming stretches the eustachian tube enough to let out the air pressure, but rarely effectively so. Thus, parents are subjecting their cute little offspring to several hours of excruciating pain just so grandma can go coochie-choo.

      1. John Hacker

        Thanks Tom. I’ve been unhappy flying since i had to show my papers at the airport, to get on a cramped cattle car. I live close to where i work or work close to where i live. Travel… rent a car. If time is the commodity of the day. I’ll take mine and use it as i please.

      2. John Hacker

        Thanks Tom. I’ve been unhappy flying since i had to show my papers at the airport, to get on a cramped cattle car. I live close to where i work or work close to where i live. Travel… rent a car. If time is the commodity of the day. I’ll take mine and use it as i please.

  2. bassmule

    Don’t gun show sales always rise after a mass shooting? The market predicts regulation is imminent, but it never comes to pass. At least not so far.

    Which leads to the ghoulish realization that a periodic slaughter of innocents is very good for the gun business.

    1. voteforno6

      Though they would never admit it, the NRA (and the companies it represents) need bad guys with guns, in order to scare the “good guys” into buying more.

      1. Wukchumni

        The ongoing problem with arms, is we only have 2 of them, which means if you have an arsenal of say a dozen hand cannons, 10 of them will have to go unused @ any time.

        Gun enthusiasts are increasingly opting for Mahakali surgery, which really makes one armed and dangerous, as you can flaunt 10 of them.

        It’s out of the price league of most hobbyists though, as it’s a bit difficult to find donor appendages, and those willing to sell often ask an arm and a leg for said limb.

      2. marym

        Originally the NRA promoted issues like gun safety, marksmanship, and some gun control laws. Now they represent gun manufacturers and promote right wing/white grievance type issues to keep people angry and scared to sell more guns.

        Some history here and here. There’s a website, NRATV if anyone cares to look specifically at their current propaganda.

        1. JTMcPhee

          The process, the subsuming of the NRA by “industry,” repeats, ad nauseam: same as with AARP, and in another realm I used to be part of, BoatUS (once “Boat Owners Association of the US,” now purveyor of insurance products and various “offerings”). Dailykos did the same, in Moulitsas’ own advantage-seeking way, and how about Ariana Huffington?

          The human beast tends always toward the same ends… Once embedded in the Imperial Capital, away goes the Mr. Smith-ism, to be replaced by the other things…

        2. Carolinian

          I suspect the issue is a lot more complicated than just blaming it on the NRA or the supposedly all powerful gun companies (one of which just declared bankruptcy). We live in a society where politicians increasingly see the need to rule by fear and when people are afraid they act irrationally. That’s the goal of course, but one irrational response is to go out and buy a gun even though owning one may put you more at threat than not owning one. Gun ownership perhaps brings some feeling of power to people who increasingly have no power over their lives whatsoever.

          Five cent psychological analysis perhaps, but just declaring gun owners dumb or evil isn’t very sophisticated either. The gun crisis is likely a symptom of the country’s larger social dysfunction.

          1. marym

            If my comments were misleading I apologize.

            The NRA is a propaganda tool of the right. Gun manufacturers support this and profit from it, just as other industries support and profit from other propaganda that keeps people frightened, angry, hopeless, divided, and distracted.

            Gun owners who may or may not buy into some aspect of that fear-mongering are, as a demographic, no more or less “dumb or evil” than any of us who are not always able to make good judgments of what to believe. What some gun owners want to accomplish with their guns can be “dumb or evil” in some cases, and should be resisted.

            1. Carolinian

              And I apologize if I seem to be putting words in your mouth. I was just trying to make the larger point that by treating gun owners as The Other the Dems are playing right into the NRA’s hands. There’s never going to be a partisan solution to this.

              1. Tom Doak

                Maybe the “fellowship” of the NRA could provide volunteers to police all of our schools, at no cost to taxpayers.

                Otherwise, we could raise the cost of gun permits to provide the service. After all, politicians on both sides of the aisle love a self-funding program.

          2. Lost in OR

            Thank you. Once again we are searching for a single, simple answer to a complex, multifaceted issue. Yes, these weapons are a serious issue. But where is the discussion of education, mental health, violence, and incompetence in the law enforcement agencies.
            Having just read the article on the Seal Team 6 raid in Yemen, I’m not seeing much difference between US national behavior and young Cruz. This is just the war coming home.

          3. Lemmy Caution

            Perhaps Americans are also predisposed to using guns to solve problems because that’s how we roll as a nation. Mutual respect, negotiation and compromise are fine for others but we’ve always had exceptional success by leading with our go-to mix of death and destruction. Isn’t it only natural for citizens to internalize the American way?

            1. Ranger Rick

              To paraphrase a famous quote, what has mutual respect, negotiation and compromise done for us lately?

              1. Bill

                You could put cynicism aside for a moment and look at North and South Korea’s reaction to Trump’s war-mongering during the Winter Olympics. They came together in historic ways to forestall nuclear annihilation. You could argue it did not serve the Pentagon’s purposes, and that brings up the question, what is the benefit of mutual respect, negotiation and compromise? I think everybody wins, and that is a big problem for the corporate/military structure. They gotta be the ones “winning”, and the other guys have to lose, or it’s just not working for them.

                1. kilgore Trout

                  Let’s hope the two countries keep talking. It would be nice if S. Korea canceled upcoming joint military exercises with the US. That’s probably unrealistic, but maybe they can be downgraded in the interest of fostering continued dialogue. Otherwise, we’re inching closer to a pre-emptive strike by the Cheeto-in Chief, a man who didn’t know what the nuclear triad was, and who thinks 40,000 more nukes would be a good idea. With enough shovels, no doubt.

                2. Tomonthebeach

                  Tangentially, I think we can thank Newt Gingrich for this compromise-free era. FoxNews still trots him out as a pundit as they do other ethically-flawed celebrities apparently to keep the win-lose fires burning on Capitol Hill.

          4. Fraibert

            I suspect there’s a particular element of powerlessness that plays a significant role in gun purchases–it’s not an unreasonable conclusion to reach from events on the ground that government has no real interest in protecting the individual or the family.

            As a matter of law, government has no general constitutional duty to protect the citizenry. Two cases as examples: _Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzales_ (no constitutional duty for police to enforce restraining order) and _DeShaney v. Winnebago County_ (no duty for local child protection agency to protect child from abuse by father where agency had already been monitoring situation). So, from a strictly formal legal viewpoint, you’re already on your own.

            But the ground reality can also be interpreted to support the need to take matters into your own hands. I think of the recent media reports relating to the Florida school shooting. So far, it seems that definitely one, and as many as four, county sheriffs did not attempt to intervene in the recent school shooting. Moreover, the media has made it clear that there were many attempts to bring the shooter to the attention of local and federal law enforcement.

            In the end, the above makes me understand why some people feel more comfortable buying a gun. If government isn’t going to protect you, who can you rely upon in an emergency?

            In short, I think a decent bit of the gun ownership numbers arises from a loss of trust in government.

            1. kilgore Trout

              That “loss of trust” has been the intended outcome of 5 decades of diligent effort by the libertarian/right and its corporate underwriters. The proliferation of guns is one manifestation of this effort to undermine the idea of the public good. The effort has been on-going since the Powell Memo, and got its initial bump with the Sunbelt Putsch that took over the GOP after ’64. Their efforts include a rewrite of the Great Depression like Amity Schlaes “Forgotten Man”. Nancy MacLean’s “Democracy in Chains” and Jane Mayer’s “Dark Money” lay out the corporate right’s agenda. A libertarian quote at the start of the MacLean book sums up their effort: “The public choice revolution rings the death knell of the political ‘we’.”

            2. Anon

              As a matter of law, government has no general constitutional duty to protect the citizenry. Two cases as examples: _Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzales_ (no constitutional duty for police to enforce restraining order) and _DeShaney v. Winnebago County_ (no duty for local child protection agency to protect child from abuse by father where agency had already been monitoring situation). So, from a strictly formal legal viewpoint, you’re already on your own.

              Are those federal or state court decisions?

              In California, several LA County Child Services employees were found guilty of *criminal* behavior for allowing ongoing torture, and ultimately death, of an eight-year old boy by his “parents” in Palmdale, CA.

              And I’m sure the Turpin “family” fiasco in Perris, CA will likely break new ground.

          5. Jeremy Grimm

            It’s been a while since I watched Michael Moore’s “Columbine”. The question raised and never answered: “What’s so special about being Americans?” It’s not gun ownership or the availability of guns, its not broken families, or violent movies, or video games or a past history of violence or any of the points of comparison Moore examined which makes America different. The headline from a blog by Michael Moore at the Huffington Post says it all: “It’s the Guns – But We All Know, It’s Not Really the Guns”[] The levels of fear in America shown in the movie did seem unusual compared to other countries and all out of proportion to the actual levels of threat.

        3. Jean

          “right wing/white grievance type issues”

          Language like that engenders and sounds like Anti-White bigotry to me.
          It is also virtue signaling and as a bonus or a negative depending on how you look at it, you are garnering more votes for Trump in 2020.

          1. marym

            How is it “virtue signaling” to say there are right wing and/or white grievance issues, or NRA plays to those issues?

            1. Jean

              Substitute “Jewish,” “African American” or “Hispanic” for white and read your sentence out loud.

              1. Yves Smith

                Being descriptive does not mean endorsing the behavior or point of view. You are basically saying that readers should not talk about the role of bigotry in politics.

    2. Tom Stone

      There are wmore thann 24 Million AR 15’s in civilian hands here in the USA ( Nobody knows how many home made ones are out there, millions more?).
      And we had something lke half a dozen mass shootings with them last year.
      So…one in 4 million is used by a spree killer annually.
      If we ban the AR 15, spree killers would have to break the law to buy one on the black market which would cost more.
      But it would be good for GDP, Jobs, and the budgets of local police forces.
      Australia banned semi auto and slide action rifles in 1997 and the best estimate is that 30% were surrendered, 70% of otherwise law abiding owners chose to become felons.
      Let’s assume Americans are more obedient than Aussies and 50% are turned in…12 Million otherwise law abiding citizens can now be labeled potential terrorists.
      And all their assets seized…
      We have an incredibly efficient surveillance state, most of these hold outs will be easy to find.
      And if they survive the SWAT raids they;ll be prime workers in the prison industrial complex.
      We will need a lot more SWAT teams,prosecutors, people to handle and manage all the seized assets and since budgets are tight, private prisons.
      What could go wrong?

      1. JTMcPhee

        There are of course lots more weapons of mass destruction, the REAL weapons of mass destruction, than the AR-15/M-16/M-4 types “in circulation.” All this chatter ignores the huge and rapidly growing number of AK-series weapons floating around out there. If one pursues the youtube threads, one finds that there’s a kind of Chevy-owners-hate-Ford-owners thing going on, between the “partisans” (what a rich descriptor, given #history) of the AR and its tech brilliance and accessorizability, and those who favor the AK and its “rugged simplicity and universality.”

        Speaking for the AK as the “real” WMD in today’s world, there’s this article from the former vital local newspaper in my area, the Saint Pete Times, now reduced to a Chamber of Commerce bot daring to still tout, on its masthead as the now “Tampa Bay Times,” the Pulitzers won by long since fired or chased-away journalists: “The real weapon of mass destruction — Forget about nuclear and chemical weapons. The AK-47 is the world’s weapon, the device that kills more people in more places. “

        The spree shooter, that Modern World run-amucker,, can choose from Israeli and Belgian and French and Italian and various former Soviet vassal state and of course Chinese semi and full-auto assault weapons. Many of which have been placed “in circulation” by our own Imperial spooks and fools.

        I kind of dig the Ruger Mini-14, in stainless steel, a scaled down version of the M-14 I learned to shoot in Basic Training. The Mini fires the same .223 high-velocity round as the AR series, is a little heavier but a lot more rugged. Lots of them are out there, cheaper than an AR, and of course the Gun Nutz just have to have a full-auto (?BUT THOSE ARE ILLEGAL!!!) conversion, now don’t they? Full instructions readily available on the ‘net, of course. 30-round magazines are also readily available, and even a drum mag that holds 100 rounds (but tends to misfires and jams.)

        Tom knows the real secret: the Djinn is out of the bottle, just like with the commonplace availability of how to revise genetic material via CRSP-R to do who knows what, or to build a nuclear weapon, or just a nice fertilizer IED or truck bomb.

        We humans are a lot about killing and destruction. One expects that Gaia knows this, and is acting accordingly, to protect her variety and fecundity… In the meantime, humans with an affection for ownership of death-dealing devices, and the ability to rationalize their preferences against any weak and idiotic notions of comity and sustainability, will soldier on, in the vast NRA Army of the Night…

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      My comment runs skew to main direction of this thread but I’ll toss it out for what it’s worth.
      A nephew and a few of my friends have been buying and selling guns for years … but not for reasons of hunting and self-protection often given. They were investing. I don’t know how successfully and I suppose this could have been yet another rationalization. I also sensed they found beauty in the guns they invested in. The guns they showed me were neither antique six-shooters nor late model assault rifles just guns and rifles they picked up at discount and thought they could sell at a profit.

      In the small towns in Upstate New York I sometimes visit it was not unusual to spot a deer carcass hanging in some back corner behind the house. I got the distinct impression these deer were an important part of the family’s meat. Listening to these people I heard a very different view of the ammunition and gun control laws the people in NYC were pushing through Albany.

      1. Wukchumni

        Similar to used homes, used guns have gone up in value quite a bit over the past few decades, one of the few material possessions that hasn’t plummeted in value, as most of the junk we acquire does.

        What’s a 14 year old Apple laptop worth now?, or that new furniture set you laid out $8k for 6 years and 5 cats ago?, versus the AR-15 acquired in 2004-that’s doubled in value.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Depends on what kind of furniture.

          Chinese ZItan and Huanghuali furniture can last for centuries and should keep up with inflation…maybe better than gold (only so many were made, not being mined from the ground in vast quantities).

          1. Wukchumni

            Yeah, about as likely as Joe 6 Pack and his fetching wife Jane Chardonnay, having matching Louis XIV period furniture in their 3/2 SFH situated @ the mouth of a cul de sac in Cucamonga.

          2. Quentin

            Sure, but my Rembrandts and Leonardos are even a much better aesthetic and financial investment than any old Chinese furniture.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Rembrandts would cost a lot to acquire.

              Not so with Zitan and Huanghuali, if one doesn’t ship retail.

      2. Wukchumni

        Some people still hunt, but the numbers are dwindling…

        Once upon a time, it was a matter of hitting your dinner flying overhead or running amok among the trees, or go hungry. Most just go to the supermarket now.

        There was a trapper named Zenas Leonard that went west in the early 1830’s, and was with notable mountain man Joseph Walker’s band for quite a spell and made it to California, hunting every day for sustenance along the way. When he returned back home to Pennsylvania, everybody kept asking him to tell them what happened, so he wrote it down in 1839, for posterity.

        Fairly often old timey writing gets lost to it’s era, but Zenas wrote for the ages and his words still seem fresh & crisp, and was quite the observationalist.

        Narrative Of The Adventures Of Zenas Leonard:

      3. dontknowitall

        That has been my observation too. Also it is a capital mistake to take gun shows as just a market for guns. They are a fundamental way the gun owners and 2nd amendment defenders meet each other and talk politics. In the last few days social networks like YouTube have been hitting hard at the gun aficionado channels closing them down or denying them revenue so it is not surprising the gun show circuit is up in arms. While the NRA is powerful my impression is that there are a vast number of law abiding gun owners who are not NRA members and who enjoy hunting and shooting or just collecting. They do not appreciate being lumped with crazy mass murders. This reminds me that in China and Japan where guns are highly regulated mass murdering is done with poisons and meat cleavers.

        1. Arizona Slim

          When I was growing up, I was an avid shooter. So was my dad. We were members of an NRA-affiliated gun club, and we really enjoyed our weekends at the range.

          Back then, the NRA was all about marksmanship training. Dad was one of the better iron sights shooters in the club, and that’s how I was taught. It was all single action — even semi-automatic was out of the question. The reason? Being slow and steady with your shooting was how you would improve.

          After my dad developed signs of Alzheimer’s, Mom and a neighbor made sure that the gun closet was locked up, and it stayed that way until after he went to the nursing home. Once the house was Mom’s, she insisted that the guns had to go, and I found a buyer.

          I remember those Saturday and Sunday afternoon shoots fondly, but marksmanship isn’t something that I care to spend time and money on now.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I have never owned a gun.

            Only once, when I was invited to skeet shoot, did I handle a gun and shoot.

            A few times, when I was previewing auctions, I touched an antique gun here or there.

            I have always been a suburban dweller (don’t know if Berkeley is considered urban or suburban). I imagine if one day I move to a more isolated locale, I might consider getting a gun, or two, and get trained.

            “You marauding feral cats, stay away!!!”

        2. Procopius

          Minor quibble: In China and Japan murdering is done with cleavers and poisons. They don’t really do mass murdering there, nor do most other countries except as a once every twenty or thirty years kind of thing.

      4. Lord Koos

        A friend of mine who is more into guns than I am (I don’t own any) told me that he thought ammunition could make a good investment. Some calibers are getting harder to find, apparently, and prices have gone up.

      5. Harold

        Yes. I visit friends with a country home and the neighbors all are investing in guns. Some of them don’t have a bank account and/ or unable to have a credit card and/ because of youthful law violations or poverty. So the guns represent a form of dignity and financial efficacy for them. This is an important factor in gun ownership, IMO. Guns are a store of value for them. It’s legitimate for a person to want to have efficacy in their lives. This is not mere machismo.

    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      They keep doing the same thing repeatedly, and they expect and get the same result (more guns sold).

      We keep responding back the same way, but we expect different results. Sometimes, it works, and it is held up as an example of perseverance. Sometimes, it doesn’t, after failing again and again, and it’s called insanity.

      History is like that.

      And that famous quote is just an opinion. It’d be insane to take that as a law,or as a definition, and quote it without qualifiers.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Keeping their sanity, or not, while watching?

          Water and the Dao….

          Water is soft and yet, it wears away the hard and strong.

          Do we charge straight into the NRA or gun owners, or do we go around (and get something done)?

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Looks like China is about to repeat her history with another Great Helmsman.

            The first and original , Mao, believed political power from the barrel of a gun.

    5. Edward E

      I’m putting together an over under, side by side, lever action, bolt action, pump action, semi-automatic. 12 gauge, .25 WSSM, 7mm WSM, .325 WSM
      Be ready for anything, just twist the right gun into place to match the situation and fire away.

      Now on a serious note a Nerf football takes care of most of our pesky crows and squirrels stealing bird feeders. They see that chartreuse Nerf football charging and they don’t come back all day! But I’m going to weld one together and maybe I’ll eventually turn this into a business and ya’ll can pre-order one. You can even select variations that suit your individual styles. It’s going to be something!

      1. Lee

        And here’s me on my front porch tossing walnut pieces to the crows, even though I do blame them for the paucity of Cooper’s hawks that we used to see more regularly around here. They are a personable species and among themselves are highly cooperative with powerful social bonds. What a racket they make when one of their own is injured or killed. No cat slinks down our street unnoticed and without aerial harassment by them and so I assume they do a service to other birds even as they also occasionally prey upon them. Don’t Nerf me bro!

    6. Lord Koos

      Guns sales rise not because of the shootings, but because after a mass shooting noises are made about more strictly regulating firearms. It is not fear of being shot, it’s the fear is of not being able to buy guns freely.

  3. Quanka

    RE: BREXIT post on EU Referendum. This part stuck for me as – I believe in the U.S. we are in a similar Brexit moment, we just don’t have the public referendum to point out the event. This passage struck me as equally true of the Acela Crowd and the Russia obsession over paying attention to literally anything else (Syria, Yemen, positive Korean developments).

    These politicians and their media handmaidens don’t know the basics because they don’t need to know. The details are of no interest to them as they are playing (and reporting) an entirely different game.

  4. Carla

    “Free news gets scarcer…” — I imagine all my fellow fans of NC links have noticed the impact of paywalls on our ability to browse the news of the day. It seems that what the destruction of net neutrality does not accomplish, news silos may…

    1. Kurt Sperry

      There’s a substantial upside to the explosion of paywalling: the self-defeating limiting of the reach of the corporate for-profit mainstream press that are by nature the early adopters of the practice. Imagine a world where the NYT, the WaPo, Newsweek— even, say, DailyKos are all walled off from 99% of the world by their own paywalls. That might actually be a quite positive outcome. I, for one, would love the corporate media to construct robust and impenetrable paywalls around all their content.

      1. Arizona Slim

        And here I thought that I was the only one. Thanks, Kurt, ya swiped the words right off-a my keyboard!

      2. John Merryman

        You can still get the drift from the headlines and with all that’s out there, it’s all I have time for.

        1. willf

          Headlines can be misleading for that very purpose. People read them, but don’t read down to the part (continued on page A16) where the headline’s claims are usually debunked, or put into proper context. It’s a problem.

        2. hunkerdown

          “Fake news gets scarcer…” Oh, free news, they say?

          There are quite a few examples of headlines being heavily caveated or outright rebutted a dozen or two paragraphs into their associated articles, especially those on the Russia scare. At best, headlines are a useful guide to what They want you to think. At worst, they are utter misinformation.

      3. Synoia

        Or they could deliver value (reporting and analysis) for money.

        I don’t see Murdoch’s nudespapers thriving in such an environment.

  5. RenoDino

    Only a fool would voluntarily talk to Robert Mueller The Week

    Must read in my opinion for every adult citizen in this country. The authorities are not your friend.

    1. The Rev Kev

      This is stretching the brain cells a bit was wasn’t Bush interviewed by a law official once while in office? And Cheney was there to hold his hand? The reason that I thought of this was that I was surprised at the time that not only was Bush’s testimony not done under oath but that there were no records made at the time of the interview of what was said. Maybe Trump can make the same deal?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        My thoughts on the 43 interview:

        Cheney probably gave illegal orders on 9/11 although those following would be in the wrong. DC is terrified of official embarrassment. Shrub likely was choking on pretzels.

        Bush and friends probably learned about a CIA failure. My guess would be the Richard Clarke allegation from 2011 is true.

      2. Sid Finster

        The same rule for Bush ’43 applies as applies to HRC.

        The criminal laws in the United States are sufficiently broad in scope that if the authorities want to prosecute you, they will find an excuse to do so.

        If they don’t want to prosecute you, they will find an excuse not to do so, even if you blatantly violate the law.

        1. diptherio

          Exactamundo. Hence, whistle-blowers can always expect to get the raked over the coals, while criminal bankers can always expect to walk. The rules are made by those in power, and they make the rules to protect themselves…like, duh, right?

      3. dontknowitall

        Hillary just got the same deal with the email investigation where she was interviewed by a friendly investigator not under oath and no notes were taken. I think Trump has a couple of instances he can point to if he wants to get the same deal. A while back he was saying he was going to testify but now his lawyers are talking of a written doc rather than in person. I think that too would be a mistake he should go for the gold standard established under Bush II and Hillary and have Muller alone over for tea without pen and paper in sight.

        1. Procopius

          It’s standard FBI operating procedure to never record an interview nor to take notes. Instead, agents are supposed to write down notes “soon” after the “interview.” That’s how they got Martha Stewart. When it’s “he said/she said” who is the judge/jury going to believe, a defendant in a cri minal trial or a heroic law enforc ment officer?

    2. diptherio

      Yes, “don’t talk to the authorities” is always good advice. This bit at the end though, really made me chuckle:

      …attempts to defy a court order that would be enforced against those of us outside the halls of power would deal a gutting blow to the already bleeding notion that we have “a government of laws, and not of men.”

      But who wrote those laws, pray tell? Was it not men?

      Just as the rich as well as the poor are barred from sleeping under bridges, both poor and rich are equally allowed to bribe politicians make campaign contributions and hire armies of lobbyists to influence legislation. So it’s fair, see?

      1. perpetualWAR

        LOL: “we have a government of laws.”
        Too bad that they are not upheld in the courts, esp for the financial industries crimes. He forgot to add:

        “we have a government of laws that are not upheld if you are part of the 1%.”

        Fixed it.

    3. JP

      No kidding. Ever been deposed? Tricked into misstating a fact, been out and out attacked with false accusations and otherwise set-up?

  6. The Rev Kev

    Europeans look for a way to preserve nuclear deal while punishing Iran and satisfying Trump

    Idjuts! Has it ever occurred to them that if they give in to Trump about Iran’s missiles, thereby breaking the treaty, then next year Trump could turn around and say: “Iran has an air force and a navy which I find aggressive. Either they get rid of them or I will get the US out of the treaty.” Something like this could easily happen in a lead up to the 2020 Presidential elections.
    Maybe the British can fill them in on how well danegeld works out in practice.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I don’t know this for certain, but I think its likely that the Europeans have seen enough of Trump to have his measure. Quite simply, they know any concessions to him will simply embolden him to push even harder. So there is no incentive for Europe to give anything but lip service to the US’s concerns on Iran. Given that there is almost certainly a lot of behind the doors lobbying by the many businesses hoping to profit from opening up Iran (French and German ones in particular), I suspect they will take a hard line on this.

      It may well, from the European perspective, be better to allow the nuclear agreement to fall, allowing they to take a unilateral approach. They can’t have failed to notice that Iran is getting regionally stronger by the day, and there is little that the US, Israel, or the Saudis can do about it. Although the neocons within Europes elites will hate it, the business argument may well win that Europe should treat Iran the same as it does China and Russia.

      1. Synoia

        Europeans look for a way to preserve nuclear deal while punishing Iran and satisfying Trump

        Ah, the “we are looking-into-it excuse.”

        Maybe the British can fill them in on how well danegeld works out in practice.

        Nah. That was to long ago. Might want to look at the correlation of “Foreign Aid” and Expensive Cars.

      2. Glutton for Punishment

        Assuming that the EU-politicians have a spine and an eye for self-interest which they have proven over and over again that they do not:
        – russia sanctions
        – austerity policies
        – bombing libya
        – bombing syria
        – ceta & ttip etcetcetc

  7. Marco

    It’s been 2 years since I maxed out my federal contribution limit to Bernie Sanders. I gave not because I thought he could win but that he could fundamentally change the Democratic Party (elite pols AND rank and file) I’m still on the fence it was a good investment.

    1. Arizona Slim

      I couldn’t afford to give much to his campaign. And, to this day, I can’t help feeling that I threw my money away. From now on, I’m going to donate to local candidates in local races.

        1. JohnnyGL

          Bernie’s the only one offering anything that looks like real leadership right now.

          If you’re going to tell me that he’s herding voters away from the Greens, then….well….I’ll just shake my head at the idea of a party that can’t get 3% of the vote on a national basis is a realistic alternative.

          1. barefoot charley

            I too gave to Bernie, not as a meaningful hope, but as the only hope. If he couldn’t reform the party, could he help destroy it? Worth hoping!

            1. Lee

              The incredible shrinking duopoly. Both parties are riven and it’s difficult to see if or when any given faction will discover and mobilize the power lying in the street and pick it up.

              FWIW, in CA, it will be interesting to watch Feinstein’s bid for a return to the Senate. I don’t know much about her primary challenger, De Leon. He has a history of favoring much stricter gun control and supporting drivers’ licenses and medical services for illegal immigrants. He supports Medicare for all. I have no idea if he’s the real deal or not.

              1. JohnnyGL

                If DeLeon wins, and it seems possible, but not probable….then it’s a ‘changing-of-the-guard’ generational story and there’s no wider implications other than CA Dems are moving a bit left.

                If Alison Hartson, who’s had some success in early small-dollar fundraising, gets into the 2nd round or even wins, then it’s a real bloody nose for the establishment Dems.

                If there’s a few other losses like that in 2018….MacCaskill, Joe Manchin, or (insert name here) then it’s a full-blown crisis for the establishment Dems and Pelosi and Schumer will face leadership challenges or even step aside.

                This crisis would be deepened if a bunch of DCCC blue dogs end up flopping and the ‘wave’ election becomes a mild trickle.

                1. Procopius

                  I think Manchin’s constituents really love him and see him as taking care of their best interests. He isn’t going away any time soon.

        2. Lambert Strether

          Ah, the hoary sheepdog metaphor.

          All I can tell you is if the test of being a sheepdog means–

          1) Finally getting #MedicareForAll on the agenda;

          2) Chewing a leg off the Beast that is the “Rubin Wing” of the Democrat Party (I grant the Beast isn’t down on the ground being torn apart,yet, but surely it’s not moving as easily as it once did);

          3) Inspiring an enormous number of voters, across all “identities” toward democratic socialism; and

          4) Due to said inspiration, giving the DSA a massive tailwind in the form of increased membership, so — crossed fingers! — the Democrats finally have a competitor to the left…

          then, please! Give me more sheepdogs!

          NOTE It’s extremely telling to me that the normal practice for “sheepdog” whingers is never to pose an alternative that is (a) equal to or better than Sanders on policy AND (b) is a politician (not an activist) backed by a functional party organization. That’s because, IMNSHO, no such alternative exists. I hate to deploy the term “nihilism,” so I’ll just say that if there is no such alternative, wouldn’t quietism — operationally defined as silence — be better than whinging?

    2. HopeLB

      Marco, just look at the possibities Bernie has opened up! Look at the widening narrative (Well, not on the MSM much but still.), at all of the young and old getting involved, at the energy! Money well spent, even if Bernie was just there to break a small crack in the neoliberally tinted plexiglass ceiling and walls of McMansion-America!

      1. Sid Finster

        Hope and energy and good intentions are worthless at this late stage.

        We need not excuses but results.

        1. Lee

          On good days, I’m with HopeLB, on crap days with you. Those are just mood swings. “I can’t go on. I will go on”, is the crucible in which we truly dwell and where our mettle is forged.

        2. Yves Smith

          Help me. This sort of impatience is fatal.

          When a small group of what were then extreme right wingers decided to campaign to roll back New Deal reforms and move the values of the US to the right, they conceptualized it as an open-ended effort. They would keep at it as long as it took. It took them over a dozen years to see “results,” as in the Reagan revolution. And they had tons of money and corporate PR to throw at the problem.

          Demanding results within a year of a presidential campaign is naive and misguided. Remember how Obama’s allies killed any mention of single payer? The idea never got out of the leftie blogosphere.

          Now not only is it regularly discussed in MSM articles, the Dems are under such pressure that they are having to put out single payer lite plans to try to ward it off. This never in a million years would have happened without Sanders.

        3. Homina

          If someone doesn’t have any energy or hope at all, then they’re fatalistic and inert. Which may play a part in why most voters don’t actually bother to vote.

          1. witters

            There is no reason to think a fatalist must be “inert”. That things could not turn out any other way than they did doesn’t mean that someone who believes this (as, it seems to me, do many scientists and metaphysicians) must, because of their fatalism, give up on action. After all, if all is fated, then so is action and inaction and the decision to act or refrain. I am a fatalist, yet I act. It is, arguably, the human condition.

    3. flora

      I rolled over a CD a few weeks ago. Standard questions from banker: photo id, current address, ssn, foreign citizenship or tax ? Normal questions for id verification, contact info, and tax info purposes. There was one new question: was I related to or well aquainted with any politicians? wtf. I asked where that question came from? Isn’t related to my id, contact info, or tax info. I was told it was from the 9/11 changes in law. Really, sure it’s not just info YOUR bank wants? No, it’s from the 9/11 laws, I was told.

      My internal thoughts ran along the lines of “either it’s just YOUR bank that wants the info or Bernie’s $27 dollar donations has shaken up the elites.”

        1. flora

          Thanks for this info. First time I’ve been asked this question and it seemed out of place. The explanation fits it together.

    4. JohnnyGL

      Realistically, it’s too early to tell. It’s only after a major shift has clearly happened that people can look back and see what the early signs and causes were.

      During the 1970s, it would have been hard to tell that there was about to be a big shift to the right. Plus, if the stars hadn’t aligned for Reagan and the Republicans on the economy (Volcker int rate cuts, falling dollar post Plaza accord) and geo-politically (end of Cold War), I don’t think the major changes instituted would have been so easily consolidated.

      Let’s see what the Democratic Party looks like in Congress after a few more election cycles.

      1. willf

        Let’s see what the Democratic Party looks like in Congress after a few more election cycles.

        It is not necessary to wait that long.. Simply observe the behavior of leaders at the top of the party over the last few years.

        The DCCC recruits only DINOs (or worse) simply based on the condition that they can self-fund their campaigns. They don’t even seem to want to be a real party -in the classic sense of American political parties – they basically want to sell politics as a service to those candidates who can afford it.

        Further they continually and as a matter pf policy choose candidates who are well to the right of the party base, and run primaries from the right against their own candidates, including incumbent candidates. Donations to the party and to specific candidates wind up in the coffers of handful of consultants, who are hired again and again despite their track records.

        One can revisit the behavior of the DNC over the last forty years (heck, the last ten) and make a very good prediction where they are headed. One needn’t wait “a few more election cycles”.

        1. JohnnyGL

          After 2016 and the subsequent Ossoff loss, there were real worries among corporate Dems and you could see they were trying to fake it a bit harder with that pathetic ‘better deal’ slogan which seems to have been euthanized pretty quickly.

          Post VA gov and a few other smaller races, they’re much more comfy that all is well and they just need to wait for the anti-Trump wave to wash them ashore and back into power.

          They need to get spanked in some primaries and general elections in Congress to force a change. I suspect Schumer and Pelosi are on shakier ground than it seems.

        2. JohnnyGL

          Also, regarding the Dem leadership….I don’t expect them to change, I expect them to LOSE!

          We’ve got to beat them in primaries, and if we can’t beat them there, tank them in the general election. Yes, we’ll be stuck with some extra Republicans, but that’s the short term price to pay.

    5. John k

      I didn’t give limit, but did give, first time, really fired up.
      I think 15/hr, med for all, plus a voice for outrage against banks has really moved needle.
      Progressives are IMO running now because of his example.
      Feinstein didn’t get support on ca dem party, big surprise, woulda never happened without Bernie. Pity de León didn’t get to 60%, woulda provided support.
      Get rid of her, Pelosi, Schumer. And take over dnc, who now claim fraud against Bernie is protected by 1st amendment. Would love to see Bernie help campaigns against the Dino’s.
      It’s happening, but frustratingly slow.
      Will give this cycle, not sure who. Will give to Bernie again if he runs… who better?

    6. Elizabeth Burton

      See, I didn’t donate because I expected him to “change the Democratic Party.” That didn’t strike me as his goal. He understood too many people were uneducated about the causes of their problems, and also understood that running a campaign for president was a good way to begin the process of correcting that. In addition, he knew many millions of people live in despair because they no longer believe they have any way to change things. He appeared and told them they very much could, although it wouldn’t be easy and it would take time.

      Can someone show me where Bernie Sanders ever said it was his main intention to change the party? I know he said it needed to be changed, but I never once heard him say he planned to do so. What I heard was him giving people hope—real hope, not the slick Obama version—that they could take back their country. A message a whole lot of them embraced and started working on.

      It’s getting tiresome hearing people complain they’ve lost faith in Sanders because he didn’t do something they decided he was supposed to do. If you’re a Democrat, and you want the party changed, are you working on the local or state level to do that? If not, then stop complaining because Bernie isn’t doing it for you. He never said he would.

      1. JohnnyGL

        I recall him saying he wanted a political revolution with an active, participating citizenry expressing themselves and getting involved.

        His goal has always been to strengthen democracy and let democracy resolve things how it resolves them.

        And here he is just the other day, doing his thing. Please note he’s specifically running AGAINST the trump tax plan. No other dems are doing so.

    7. Marco

      I am tilting towards a good investment after stumbling upon Matt Bruenig’s take on CAP’s Medicare Extra proposal. It is unthinkable that they would have come up with such a plan without Sanders pushing single payer.

  8. PlutoniumKun


    Brexit, Party Political Lines, EUReferendum.

    When Barnier said a few weeks ago that Northern Ireland should stay in the Customs Union, I thought it was a game-changer, but it oddly seemed to fall out of the headlines very quickly. But it seems that it was a very serious proposal.

    But, while they play their sterile game, Brussels is stirring and, according to the Financial Times, they are cooking up something that none of our idle politicians are going to like.

    What this amounts to in the jargon of the game is that the Commission plans to “operationalise” the agreement on Ireland brokered in December and published in the Joint Report. This will created a legal structure which will form part of the final withdrawal agreement.

    It was in this that the parties stated that the United Kingdom remained committed to protecting North-South cooperation and to “its guarantee of avoiding a hard border”. But, the following paragraph (ironically, paragraph 50) made execution of that promise effectively impossible by refusing to allow any new regulatory barriers between the UK mainland and Northern Ireland.

    This was the crunch. Either the UK as a whole (including Northern Ireland) stuck to the Single Market or Northern Ireland and the Republic remained and the border moved to the Irish Sea. Practically speaking, there are no other alternatives.

    Conscious of this, Commission officials have come up with the only solution possible, elegant enough in its own terms. They have simply omitted from the new draft, which we will see on Wednesday, any reference to creating new regulatory barriers across the Irish Sea.

    This scenario, according to the FT, would keep Northern Ireland entirely within the grip of Brussels and, to the likely discomfort of the DUP, offers no other options. This puts the DUP on the line and, by inference, puts Mrs May’s Conservatives on notice.

    A few points on this: It is the economically obvious thing to do. A hard border in Ireland would be a nightmare logistically, even ignoring the political issues. But an Irish Sea border would be much simpler to implement. In fact, in security terms, one largely operates already, as there are checks on vehicles using the ferries (I recently drove a van using the ferry from Belfast to Scotland, and I had the full sniffer dog treatment, which I never had on the Ireland/France ferry). But this is political anathema for the DUP.

    If this is true and the EU presents it to the UK as a fait accompli, it is political dynamite. The EU will in effect be giving the UK orders over its internal political arrangements, which of course will infuriate the Brexiters. It will create huge issues for the DUP, which will fight it with everything, despite it being quite possibly a very popular proposal in Northern Ireland, even among many of their supporters. It will cause a huge stir in Scotland, buoyed up by Calcutta Cup victory, who will want the border to be moved inland.

    I honestly don’t see how this will play out in the end, but it may well bring down the government. Corbyn is shifting to supporting staying in the Customs Union, and even though that doesn’t solve the NI border issue, it is a step in the right direction. May could conceivably have to depend on a deal with Corbyn to survive a DUP/ hard Brexiter revolt.

    Whatever the outcome, the mother of political crises appears to be about to break in the UK.

    1. a different chris

      It’s interesting that TPTB are running headlong against their supporters.

      1) The hard-core Brexiteer would be happily rid of NI.*
      2) The hard-core NI pub-dweller would be equally happy to be rid of GB, if they could keep the rest of Ireland at bay anyway.

      I still think it’s comical that Scotland thinks they matter. And I love Scotland. They would be happier as a country in the EU, but not sure what the EU would do with them.

      *There seems to be some thread here about “them” wanting the return of Britannia Rules The Waves, I still don’t see where anybody gets that from. At least if you are talking about the great unwashed, who will have the final say in this matter. And they want to turn inward well beyond what is likely possible. Maybe their leaders may have delusions of grandeur, but their leaders are playing the weakest of hands on both fronts… so who cares whether Boris Johnston wants to be thought of as a World Important Figure or not?

    2. Synoia

      Brussels is stirring and, according to the Financial Times, they are cooking up something that none of our idle politicians are going to like.

      Quell Surprise. /s.

      This scenario, according to the FT, would keep Northern Ireland entirely within the grip of Brussels

      At last, after 400 plus years, an answer the the Irish Question. Let the French (EU) have them! The English I know would support this with both hands.

      At last, a good Brexit outcome!!! /s.

  9. JTMcPhee

    Re Monica Lewinsky, “revenge porn” (actually something else, and more pervasive and tenacious) and #metoo and all that: Half the species (approximately) may want some kind of #change to “outlaw” and “ban” and “remove” whole giant swaths of oh-so-very-human behavior (which to polite people is of course anathema). That desire, codified in the #metoo memes and tropes, sure seems to me to be another bit of privilege-seeking. Many men are obnoxious and disgusting (e.g. William Jefferson Clinton, that Weiner guy, etc.) but are just exemplars of “the worst of us humans” that have always been part of the mix.

    And women, believe it or not, see “mean girls,” do their share of “exposing” and “shaming.” Ms. Lewinsky’s remarks call to mind the notion of “Stockholm syndrome” or something — she seems unwilling to call out President Putz for his behavior, in which she was (argue the point based on “power differential”and all the other rationales) apparently a willing participant. My Basic Training unit was billeted next to a WAC training battallion. I wish I had recordings and video of the kinds of verbal and physical (with sexual elements — “And when you bi___es snap to attention, I want to hear twenty p___sies sucking wind!” shouted, in best drill instructor voice, by the female platoon sergeant) abuse dealt out by participants in that hierarchy — my mom, a genteel Daughter of the American Revolution, PEO type, would have been horrified and offended if exposed to that, but she participated in some rooty hazing as sorority officer in college.

    I doubt that the behaviors flagged and excoriated in this instant offense-ive against what gets characterized as “evil male-ness” (but appears among X’s and Y’s pretty well distributed) has much of a chance of extirpating those many grotesque and cruel and yes, offensive, but also in many instances picayune, behaviors complained of. People are “like that,” many of us, and many of us enjoy those guilty pleasures of seeing others abused and abased. If we were honest about it. I doubt Hillary or Pelosi or Whitman or even Ivanka gets the moral shivers and nausea when encountering (or committing?) a lot of what is “revealed” of the cruelty and nastiness and perversity of some of our fellow all-too-humans.

    What can’t be “fixed,” won’t be fixed. All the “moral outrage” in the world won’t beat it down, as noted, it just mutates and goes underground. Any more than complaining about the ascent of FIRE and elites and supranational corporations, and noting that what they do is “immoral,” will #change that either.

    1. Bill

      the #metoo is to me not about offending the sensibilities–it is about the abuse of power, requiring women to pay a toll of sexual favors before they are “permitted” use their abilities in a profession. People of all sexes are competitive and fight “dirty”, it’s true. They need to be called out also. Crapification is the result of allowing petty tyrants to run the world and that’s what has happened. The Earth is thoroughly crapified and dying. Speaking out tips the balance against abusers, and awareness strengthens and enables people who don’t operate using abuse. IMO, It’s not about wiping it out, it’s about taking away rewards for abusive behavior, and encouraging healthy behavior.

      1. JTMcPhee

        #metoo strikes me as a nice complexity. It’s “about” a lot of things, including abuse of power (which in my experience includes abuse of power by ANYone, male or female, who gets the chance.) It’s also “about” gaining power, for some of the players.

        I remember this bit of saccharine from when I was very young, lots of good advice and clear observation but of course humans don’t mostly behave like we are told they should: “All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten, by Robert Fulghum:”

        Share everything.

        Play fair.

        Don’t hit people.

        Put things back where you found them.

        Clean up your own mess.

        Don’t take things that aren’t yours.

        Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.

        Wash your hands before you eat.


        Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.

        Live a balanced life – learn some and think some
        and draw and paint and sing and dance and play
        and work every day some.

        Take a nap every afternoon.

        When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic,
        hold hands, and stick together.

        Be aware of wonder.
        Remember the little seed in the styrofoam cup:
        The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody
        really knows how or why, but we are all like that.

        Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even
        the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die.
        So do we.

        And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books
        and the first word you learned – the biggest
        word of all – LOOK.

        Everything you need to know is in there somewhere.
        The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation.
        Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.

        Take any of those items and extrapolate it into
        sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your
        family life or your work or your government or
        your world and it holds true and clear and firm.
        Think what a better world it would be if
        all – the whole world – had cookies and milk about
        three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with
        our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments
        had a basic policy to always put thing back where
        they found them and to clean up their own mess.

        And it is still true, no matter how old you
        are – when you go out into the world, it is best
        to hold hands and stick together.

        Too bad that apparently not everyone went to kindergarten. Or had the same teacher I did. Or paid attention while there. But people of good will, of course, do the best they can. And the other ones rob them blind, and fondle them inappropriately.

        1. Bill

          And you can say something given a forum. Calling the suggestions “saccharine” leads me to believe you don’t respect behaving kindly to others. Bullying needs to be called out. Behaving in a loving and supportive manner to others needs to be spoken about too–but not in a derogatory manner. It’s really OK to clean up after yourself and be kind. Really. It doesn’t mean you are weak and impotent. It means you use other tools for living. If all your friends are nasty, you are going to end up with a new set of friends when you stop being nasty yourself. (not calling you nasty, using the universal “you”).

          There is power in living mindfully and practicing kindness–happiness. No bully can prevail against it.

          1. JTMcPhee

            Believe what you want. My family, friends and the people I got to treat as patients when I was working as a nurse might believe differently. So sorry to ironically use the word “saccharine,” hardly intended as a pejorative. It would be very nice indeed if people lived by the precepts that Robert Fulghum distilled. The world we humans are killing would (other things being equally improved) a better place.

            As you say, given a forum, anyone can say anything.

          2. Yves Smith

            You haven’t lived in a war zone, I can see. Or been bullied in a serious way either.

            And you are engaging in passive aggressive bullying yourself . Your “And you can say something given a forum” says in an astonishingly non-specific way that there was something wrong with the comment above, when there wasn’t. So don’t pretend you are all enlightened and can sit in judgement of other readers.

            Moreover, I disagree vigorously with your earlier comment that #MeToo is about abuse of power. There most certainly IS a large element of the complaining that is merely about “offending sensibilities,” like the many “he was a crappy date” with no offenses like groping mentioned. Did he tell an off color joke”? Show a photo of his cut pecs? If it had been a dick shot, that most certainly would have been mentioned. The lack of specificity in quite a few of the complaints when #MeToo is supposedly about women finally speaking out about bad conduct with particularity says the conduct they are kvetching about in vague terms won’t be see as problematic by enough people for them to be willing to spell it out.

            As I have mentioned before, I know of a case where a woman filed a personnel compliant about a superior saying she had nice shoes all of one time. No other comments on her appearance or attire, no advances, no leers, no request for a date, no getting to close to her, nada else. I suspect some of these non-specifice #MeToo complaints are like that. I have no sympathy for them.

  10. Jim Haygood

    Branding is everything:

    Johnnie Walker is rolling out a female version of its iconic logo, an attempt to draw more women to the world’s best-selling scotch and acknowledge a broader push toward gender equality.

    A limited U.S. edition of the whisky will have a striding woman on the label — rather than the traditional top-hatted man — and carry the name Jane Walker. Brand owner Diageo Plc is hoping the move widens the appeal of the product while celebrating women, said Stephanie Jacoby, vice president of Johnnie Walker.

    “Scotch as a category is seen as particularly intimidating by women,” Jacoby said in an interview. “It’s a really exciting opportunity to invite women into the brand.”

    She’s not wearing no pantsuit: top hat, long-tailed coat, jodhpurs and tall boots.

    I got a woman, stay drunk all the time
    I said I got a little woman and she won’t be true

    — Led Zeppelin, Hey Hey What Can I Do

    1. Annotherone

      “Scotch as a category is seen as particularly intimidating by women”. I almost fell off my chair laughing at that piece of nonsense! Of course, these people didn’t ever meet my mother – or me for that matter. Scotch was Mum’s tipple, and it is mine own – and only – tipple. Intimidated? Please! Things are getting really, really silly now!

    2. Carolinian

      They can smoke Virginia Slims while drinking their Johnnie Walker.

      Never miss a trick those marketing guys (and gals).

    3. Katy

      “Scotch as a category is seen as particularly intimidating by women”

      I’ve tried scotch, whiskey, whisky, and bourbon, at all different qualities, sources, and price points. It’s not so much that I’m intimidated by it. It’s that it tastes terrible.

      1. Synoia

        I have to agree. It is an acquired taste, and one I never wished nor was willing to acquire.

        I’m not that fond of IPA or white wines either.

        Buck’s fizz works well after the first pint.

    4. Oregoncharles

      What do you mean that isn’t a pantsuit? Jodhpurs are just riding pants, and it’s a traditional combination, like other “suits.”

  11. The Rev Kev

    China spirals past US in genome research: Sequencing or identifying details of DNA, rights groups say, could be used to create bioweapons to kill specific ethnic groups or individuals.

    Uhhh, wasn’t the US Air Force looking for DNA samples of Russians last year? But not Ukrainians though they are kinda mixed. Just for research purposes, mind you.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I do not believe China will be a kinder, gentler hegemon.

      The only viable choice is for us to reform our foreign policy…some sort of global truth and reconciliation. We take charge doing it ourselves, or participate with others, rather than being left out.

      That means we absolutely can’t support any candidate who talks about Russia meddling in the same way as Hillary and Schiff, at the very least.

      1. Sid Finster

        I don’t know about kinder or gentler, but China cannot possibly be a more stupid hegemon.

        I have had domestic pets that were orders of magnitude smarter and more insightful than our Mayberry Machiavellis.

        1. FluffytheObeseCat

          Yeah. The Chinese clearly believe likewise, but having seen them in action over the past decade I’m less sanguine. Hegemons tend towards stupid over time as the men who lifted them to primacy fade away, and those who never knew anything but primacy come to power.

          However, it takes time. They may be stellar world leaders beyond the end of my now middle aged life.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


          Give them time. They are known for their patience.

          They had warred in Central Asia before…during the first great dynasty, the Han dynasty, and then during another great dynasty, about 500 years later, the Tang dynasty.

          An interesting side note – one great Tang general who fought at the battle of Talas was actually a Korean (likely a North Korean).

          1. Oregoncharles

            And under the “Communists,” in both Tibet – a conquest – and Sinkiang.

            Empires will do what empires do.

    2. integer

      WMD America: Inside the Pentagon’s Global Bioweapons Industry 21st Century Wire

      Ethnic biological weapon (biogenetic weapon) is a theoretical weapon that aims to primarily harm people of specific ethnicities, or genotypes. Although officially the research and development of ethnic bio-weapons have never been publicly confirmed, documents show that the US collects biological material from certain ethnic groups – Russians and Chinese.

      An interesting, yet disturbing, article.

  12. Tom Stone

    The way California Dem’s are treating a Liberal Icon like Diane Feinstein is shameful.
    Who can forget the fight to save the Headwaters Forest?
    Her unceasing efforts over the decades in favor of single payer health care?
    The impassioned speeches denouncing the invasions of Afghanistan, Iraq, Patriot Acts 1 and 2, the Military Commissions Act and the FISA bill?
    And the way she went after the Banksters who committed the greatest financial crime in history reminds me of an enraged pit bull.
    Truly a woman of the people!

    Oh, wait.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s not quite California Dem’s at this moment.

      It’s only the California Democratic party.

      The election or elections will tell us what the California Dem’s want. I think polls (or some polls) have her as the leading candidate now. But we have still many months to go.

    2. Jim Haygood

      You forgot how Feinstein’s husband Richard Blum donated all of his multi-million profits from government contract boodling to charity.

      Oh wait …

    3. Jason Boxman

      Yeah, she’s a shining beacon of corruption that’s sadly overwhelmingly common. The liberal freak outs over Trump are more about style than substance, because the corruption runs deep with this political class.

    4. FluffytheObeseCat

      She is too old to run again, and she should know it. The woman is over 80. California will be represented by her closest aides if she’s re-elected (it probably already is actually). She is also a plague ship of corruption, but that never made much differences to Democrats.

  13. Jim Haygood

    Trump slapped silly by Supreme Court on DACA:

    Reuters Top News

    JUST IN: Supreme Court declines to hear Trump bid to immediately end program protecting ‘Dreamers’ from deportation

    9:34 AM – Feb 26, 2018

    Maybe emperor Potus should have thought a little harder before gratuitously pulling the pin on this political grenade last September.

    Now the arbitrary six-month deadline of this manufactured crisis is blowing up in his face. Muy mal pero es demasiado dulce … har har har.

      1. ambrit

        The “Kurdish Crescent” will be one of the western terminals of the ‘One Belt One Road’ project. Watch Latakia become a major commercial port.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Latakia, as in where the Russians have a permanent military air base (Khmeimim Air Base). How about that!

  14. Self Affine

    Money Laundering via Author impersonation –

    A clever scam and it makes me wonder about other on-line products (Amazon and beyond)

    Here is a quick take on how the logistics might work:

    0. Set up fake publishing company with a business account somewhere in the world (Amazon is global).

    1. Get a bunch of illegal cash (drug dealing for instance)

    2. Use the IPayyou wallet ( and convert that cash into BitCoin then buy a ton of Amazon gift cards with it. One needs a convertible and somewhat anonymous payment method.

    3. Self Publish some computer generated books, art or whatever under an assumed well known name, offer them on Amazon for say $500.- apiece (could work on Ebay too).

    4. Buy the books with the gift cards and have the money sent to your fake business account

    Of course there are a number of transaction fees to account for and eventually Amazon might figure it out, but you are long gone by then and probably worth it (including transaction fees).

    Impressive criminal thinking – clean money on demand (not particularly scalable, but nice). Kind of like a zero-day exploit and interesting because once again the computational world expresses its fractal nature.

    1. cnchal

      Of course there are a number of transaction fees to account for and eventually Amazon might figure it out . . .

      Amazon takes 40% of the sale for itself. At that rate it pays big to never figure it out.

      Most “valuable” company in the world indeed. A gross monstrosity of Wall Street with central banks buying it’s stawk.

      Bernie Sanders: The business of Wall Street is fraud and greed.

    1. RabidGandhi

      I can’t get past the WSJ paywall, but, to their credit, if they are finally admitting that increasing salaries will not lead to ZOMG Zimbabwe!, at least they have taken the first of the 12 steps: We admitted we were powerless over inflationphobia—that our lives had become unmanageable.

  15. Jason Boxman

    In “How Companies Scour Our Digital Lives for Clues to Our Health”, the voice fingerprinting reminds me of the validation scenes in the new Blade Runner movie for the replicant protagonist, for some reason.

    In any case, it’s certainly disturbing. In 2008, most of my posts to Facebook were raging about the Bailout; Would I have been flagged as at risk of committing acts of violence? Scary stuff. I rarely use Facebook at all anymore. I post plenty of outrage on Twitter since the 2016 campaign though. The moral vacuousness of our elites knows no bounds, after all!

    1. ambrit

      Just as in economics, this elite congeries knows no ‘Lower Bound,’ agreed.
      On the biometrics front in general, the djinn has escaped the bottle. Controlling how this instrument of Iblis is used is the well nigh endless struggle we face.
      Cyber Luddism is the new emergent social movement to watch. (Figuring out how to watch it will also be a challenge, for ‘One’ and ‘All.’)

  16. Jim Haygood

    NYT violates NC guidelines; makes sh*t up:

    The surprise disclosure on Sunday that the Communist Party was abolishing constitutional limits on presidential terms — effectively allowing President Xi Jinping to lead China indefinitely — was the latest and arguably most significant sign of the world’s decisive tilt toward authoritarian governance, often built on the highly personalized exercise of power.

    The list includes Vladimir V. Putin of Russia …

    The Times makes this insinuation with a straight face as Russia’s March 18th election looms with eight candidates.

    Sure, state media is supporting Putin just as slavishly as the NYT supported Hildo with nine straight months of daily fantasies about her massive lead in the polls, her probable cabinet choices, her preferred designers for her inauguration wardrobe, and on and on with deranged tweaker minutiae.

    It’s not an election unless “we” run it.

    1. RabidGandhi

      There’s something wrong with my computer because when reading that NYT article on authoritarianism, ctrl-f brings up bupkis for the term “Saudi”. Maybe I need to have my machine wiped clean like with a cloth?

  17. Wyoming

    “Gun control dominates conversation as Congress returns”

    I am starting a new gun thread as I think there is a more intriguing take on this situation which has arisen since the shooting in FL.

    The news is chock full of narratives which seem to indicate that this time it is different. Real change is coming. There will be new restrictions, people have come to their senses, the young will not take no for an answer, etc.

    But is this likely? Or not?

    I see serious possibilities that this situation will result in an upsurge in Republican Base ‘enthusiasm” which, when coupled to their anger related to the fallout of the Mueller investigation, will dampen the likelihood of very large Democratic gains in the Nov mid-terms.

    In other words this may actually help the Republicans maintain control of Congress.


    1. JohnnyGL

      Possible, but could cut in a few different ways with regard to turn out.

      I was at a town hall recently in MA and the crowd was pretty fired up about guns. So the anti-gun crowd has a real base of support, too.

      I think Dems are seizing on guns and immigration to steer the conversation away from single-payer and min wage hikes and solutions to the opioid crisis (which puts drug industry front and center and gets uncomfortable quickly).

      I don’t want to dismiss guns and immigration as unimportant, but I want to point out that these are centrist, liberal issues that won’t cost the donor class much money. HRC would be comfortable running on this framing of the issues. I think that’s a tell.

      1. JohnnyGL

        Also, since Russia-gate has become completely ridiculous, gun-talk offers centrist dems an opportunity to talk about something else where they’ve got some public support….instead of ham-fistedly trying to manufacture consent around a conspiracy theory.

      2. Wyoming

        Ahh yes. Issues like single payer which could reset the Democratic party and result in a great gain in strength are ignored due to other ‘commitments’.

        The Democratic focus on guns and immigration (as much as I am in general agreement with their being really important issues) strike me as a strategic error. Typical of Democratic planning (is that an oxymoron?) in that they focus on issues most likely to strengthen their opponents vice figuring out their opponents weaknesses and attacking them there.

        The thing about a town hall in MA where there is strong support for banning assault rifles (which is what I would guess the issue was there) is that enthusiasm there has little electoral effect.

        What might the effect of this be here in AZ where I live. Could these issues make it much less likely that Sinema will be able to take Flakes Senate seat? It is what happens in the races where seats might be flipped to the D’s that will tell the tale I think.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Guns as an issue tend to pass quickly. Sandy Hook and Virginia Tech demonstrated its not different this time. Columbine was in 1999.

      The basic problem is the anti-gun people tend not to own guns and don’t really focus on them as other realities come into focus. The Democratic elites might be louder than usual now that they can’t be expected to pass anything, but its the same people who demonstrated they weren’t allies after every other mass shooting. Even with Drumpf. Until the leadership of Team Blue is thoroughly purged, there won’t be any kind of strategy beyond trying to drown out other positions.

  18. ambrit

    An observation from the muddy trenches of the class war.
    In my morning perusal of the ‘want ads’ I came across the following. It is cached in the local ‘craigslist’ under the heading of “>jobs >general labour.”
    It is a plain, out and out, pyramid scheme. It is based on the telecommunications industry. The pricing is deliberately obscure. What could go wrong?
    See, with your hands firmly gripping your pocketbook:

  19. L

    Apropos of “China?” I would consider this to be big news:

    On February 25, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Central Committee made public its proposal for amendments to the Chinese Constitution. The CCP had revealed earlier that it would be seeking to add Chinese President Xi Jinping’s political thought and the supervisory commissions into the constitution. However, the proposal contained a surprise as well: the CCP further proposed that the two-term limit for the presidency, together with the vice presidency, be removed, which potentially paves the way for Xi to remain in office as long as he wants.

    While the articles all use the language “proposed” the parliment has exactly zero history of voting against party proposals so this public announcement is treated as a de-facto guarantee. By way of history it is important to note that the term limits were added after the cultural revolution ended (when Mao died) as a check on the cult-like behavior and the associated counterrevolutionary purges that saw an estimated 1.5 million killed.

    This move has been expected for some time as Xi Jinping has been strengthening his hold on the party and declined to name a successor at the last conference as is customary. They may yet pull back with a “just kidding” clause but it seems unlikely. Deng Xiaoping once stated: “Coolly observe, calmly deal with things, hold your position, hide your capacities, bide your time, accomplish things where possible.” I guess Xi is done biding his time.

    If I were those universities, or indeed any company with Chinese assets, I would reconsider my decision to base operations there now.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        To me, the most impressive thing in the announcement, is the casualness with which amendments to their constitution are mentioned.

        It’s as if it’s a routine thing and they expect to pass them.

        Over here, we ask, how long has it been since ours was last amended? And can we amend the Second Amendment?

        The only thing that comes to mind is that, for sure, or likely, Mr. Xi has that gun barrel in his possession.

        1. ambrit

          I also don’t see him being shot down while trying to flee to Inner Mongolia.
          The underlying theme I see is the essential conservatism of bureaucracies. The constitution can be amended, but the instrumentality stays the same.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            In China, eve since the Chu-Han Contention (see Wikipedia), and Liu won, the truism has always been that you seize power via Legalism, and you govern via Confucianism.

            So, after kicking KMT to Taiwan, the communists are all for everyone knowing his/her place in the Confucian hierarchy, and in the world, the bureaucrats reign supreme.

            Notice that the pattern is that they become what they say they want to replace.

    1. RabidGandhi

      At the risk of playing apologist for a brutally oppressive Beijing government, you have to love how, for The Diplomat, no term limits means the incumbent can “remain in office as long as [s/he] wants”. So by the pearl clutching blob logic, Theresa May can remain in office as long as she wants because the UK has no term limits.

      Hey, à propos of nothing, what are the term limits for “our friends and allies in the region” Mohammad bin Salman and Abdel Fattah el-Sisi?

  20. NotTimothyGeithner

    “I really believe I’d run in there even if I didn’t have a weapon.” -Donald Trump.

    Wow. I have so many thoughts.

    -Is the President currently armed? If the answer is yes, this raises so many questions.
    -Does this signify the McRib is back at McDonalds? I know it makes some people crazy.
    -Is “run” Trump speak for “ride a golf cart”?
    -Was this vetted by anyone?
    -Could he be simply parroting the White House staff and NRA super fans who are trying to focus solely on the deputies?
    -Why choose the word “run”? I can’t imagine he has run anywhere except during the Rick and Morty limited time Mulan dipping sauce at McDonalds.

  21. integer

    Here’s an interesting development in the Russiagate affair:

    Ex-Manager of the Russian Troll Factory Moves to the U.S. Julia Davis News

    Russian TV channel “Dozhd” recently revealed that Agata Burdonova, who formerly served as one of the Foreign department managers at the notorious Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency (IRA), now lives in the United States. Burdonova wrote about moving to the U.S. on several social media pages she maintains…

    Agata Burdonova was not named in Mueller’s indictment of the IRA employees. Burdonova’s former IRA boss, Katarina Aistova, headed the Media and Public Forums department. Aistova’s boss, Dzheyhun Aslanov – the head of the IRA’s Foreign department – is one of the persons named in Mueller’s indictment…

    From all appearances, Burdonova was able to obtain a visa as a dependent of her husband, Dmitry Fyodorov. On June 15, 2017, Dmitry Fyodorov publicly stated on his social media page that he received an employment offer from Facebook.

    Here is Julia Davis’ Twitter feed; she appears to be a Russian-speaking US-based expert on Russian state media. Her pinned tweet states: “I watch #Russia’s state TV, so you don’t have to.” A recent tweet of hers mentions that she is waiting for a response from Facebook regarding their employment of Dmitry Fyodorov.

  22. Altandmain

    It is looking like obesity is getting worse, at least for the UK.

    At some point, they desperately need to regulate the big food corporations, the fast food industry, and the massive advertising that goes around it.

    Oh and in regards to the comments about guns, is there anyone else who thinks that nothing is going to happen? Maybe a few cosmetic changes, but no real reforms?

    A big part of the problem is that there is a huge urban rural division. Guns are a part of rural life and in many areas a necessity. That said, they need hunting rifles, not AR 15 type weapons.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Connecting dots.

      From your comment and others:

      Feinstein…guns…fast food…sugar.

      What do they lead to?

      The Twinkie Defense and gun shots.

      Do we say what we eat is important?

      And the issue involves many interconnected nodes in Indra’s Net via the Butterfly Effect?

  23. Oregoncharles

    The Antidote: a heron, not sure what kind.

    We were just watching videos of blue herons catching and eating inappropriate things, like gophers and ducks. They look so stately, but they’re voracious predators, and none too dignified when trying to swallow a bird!

    We see them in the fields in the winter; I assumed they were after voles, but apparently gophers will do. And good riddance.

  24. audrey jr

    Head up to fellow readers of NC: I just read that is using readers pc’s to crypto-mine. I wasn’t sure this story was true or not so I searched around and lo and behold there are many, many articles by reputable sites which state that Salon is indeed using readers pc’s for crypto-mining.
    Approach Salon articles with this fact always in your mind, if you feel you have to visit that site at all.
    I know I will never, ever again click onto that site.
    Apologies if this info was previously presented by anyone here at NC.
    Thanks for wonderful links on your watch while Yves is “down.” And here’s hoping that you will get on your feet soon.

    1. JBird

      Fabulous. We could deal with the increasingly dystopic economic hellscape that is encouraging acts of violence and violence but that’s crazy talk. So let’s just put thousands more control freaks in schools full of rambunctious children, or often hormonally deranged teens. And does anyone want to bet that most of these newly empowered police will not be placed mainly in poor schools? Police corruption and brutality just seems to steadily increase. An average of 1100 people are killed yearly by the police (this does not include those in jails or prisons)of which ~200 are completely unarmed, and the “armed” ones sometimes just have access to a weapon, not a weapon in the their hand. Further, there have been many cases of children, like grade school children, being arrested for doing childish things.

      But’s it all about the children!

      And there will be more job openings for the police!

  25. JBird

    Mass exorcisms for our Elites?

    Demonic possession would be a reasonable explanation for me if I was at all inclined to believe. Oh, yes it would. It’s too bad that I believe we humans are quite capable of f@@@@@@ up without any assistance from an outside agency be it the Infernal, space aliens, or the Elder Gods.

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