Links 3/11/18

The Simple Algorithm That Ants Use to Build Bridges Quanta

How to get a buzz out of backyard beekeeping Telegraph

Wild Boars Are Taking Over Japan as Population Ages, Disappears Newsweek

Share pumping and Picassos: $50m scam that killed a London broker FT

Uber calls lenders for $1.25 billion in Wall Street shortcut Crain’s New York Business. Banks might want to open Uber’s books…..

How tax and accounting changes obscured a strong quarter for earnings MarketWatch

FCC Accuses Stealthy Startup of Launching Rogue Satellites IEEE Spectrum. Move fast and break things, especially laws.

Staged car crashes a growing menace in South Carolina Post and Couriers. Wait ’til the robot cars come along….

The incredible multi-dimensional chess of Qualcomm vs. Broadcom Tech Crunch (KW).

State confirms home power customers spent $77M they didn’t need to Bangor Daily News

Farmers driving ‘right to repair’ issue as legislative battle unfolds in US ABC Australia


EU Exit Analysis Cross Whitehall Briefing (PDF) House of Commons Exiting the European Union Committee. Important.

EU freezes Brexit talks until Britain produces ‘realistic’ Irish border solution Independent. Donald Tusk.

Brexit: People crossing Irish border would have to register in advance under plan being studied by Theresa May Independent

Brussels fines Britain £2.4bn for customs fraud Sunday Times

Brexit Rift Among Tories Revealed in Leavers’ WhatsApp Messages Bloomberg


Red ‘Republic’ of Abujhmad: Inside the unknown hills of south Chhattisgarh Economic Times


China’s economy has resilience to overcome vulnerabilities FT

North Korea

Trump’s Abrupt ‘Yes’ to North Korea: The 45 Minutes That Could Alter History NYT

A US-North Korea summit gives diplomacy a chance FT

Diplomacy begins in earnest to pave way for US-NK summit Korea Herald. South Korea has agency in this, a fact that pearl-clutching members of The Blob tend to forget.

N.Korean Elite Hold Key to Ending Nuclear Folly Chosunilbo

Trump Transition

‘Is There Anything More Fun Than a Trump Rally?’ NYT. Plenty of things; I know.

Trump’s tariffs forge rare common ground in Pennsylvania steel country WaPo. Ha.

* * *

A Provision Hidden in the Banking Bill Could Hurt Black Homeowners The Atlantic

Perpetual scandals at the White House give Trump the perfect storm he needs Salon

Congress owes the American people a war debate Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Justin Amash (R-Mich.), The Hill

Costco Is Selling a $6,000 Doomsday Preparation Kit That Can Feed a Family of 4 for a Year Yahoo Finance (KW)

New Cold War

Let’s Get Real About Russiagate Katha Pollitt, The Nation

U.S. Media Long Carried Putin’s Water – Odd, Given Facebook Uproar RealClear Investigations

Democrats in Disarray

Democrats’ superdelegates debate left unresolved, will continue into the summer CNN. “Democratic National Committee members [on the Rules and Bylaws Committee, from which all Sanders supporters have been purged] voted Saturday to accept a recommendation to ‘revise the role and reduce the perceived influence‘” of superdelegates.” That is, the RBC rejected the recommendations of the Unity Reform Commission to reduce the number of superdelegates by 60%. From the end of the story, they also did nothing to “[pull] back the curtain on the party’s fundraising and finance agreements with candidates.” Status quo, no change, it’s a public relations issue, move along, people, move along. There’s no story here.

Elizabeth Warren Says Democratic Votes for Wall Street This Week Are a “Stab in the Heart” The Intercept

Joe Kennedy III explains why he’s one of the few Democrats not so hot about pot Boston Globe. Kennedy: “If you smelled [marijuana] in a car, you could search a car. When it became decriminalized, you couldn’t do that.”

* * *

Are we seeing signs of a Democratic wave in the primaries? Jill Abramson, Guardian. “I carry a little plastic Obama doll in my purse.” Peak liberalism.

The Man Who Knew Too Little NYT. “[Quondam Nike exective and pig farmer] Mr. Hagerman sits down with his sketch book, in his regular seat, in the same room, with his same triple, whole milk latte and cranberry scone he has each day at Donkey Coffee…. Donald Trump’s victory shook him…. [And so he] swore that he would avoid learning about anything that happened to America after Nov. 8, 2016.” I was wrong. This is peak liberalism.

The Missing Obama Millions NYT. Voters, it is perhaps needless to say. “Our analysis shows that while 9 percent of Obama 2012 voters went for Mr. Trump in 2016, 7 percent — that’s more than four million missing voters — stayed home. Three percent voted for a third-party candidate… Whether Democrats can mobilize these voters is an open question, however.”

Black Children Will Be the Victims of Armed Teachers Time

Imperial Collapse Watch

America is already great:

Class Warfare

Many older Americans are living a desperate, nomadic life MarketWatch (J-LS).

How Capitalist Is Singapore Really? Matt Bruenig, People’s Policy Project

Austerity and the rise of the Nazi party (PDF) Gregori Galofré-Vilà, Christopher M. Meissner, Martin McKee, David Stuckler. Still germane.

Why Amartya Sen Remains the Century’s Great Critic of Capitalism The Wire (J-LS).

Living in a sea of false signals: Are we being pushed from “trust, but verify” to “verify, then trust”? Nieman Labs

Deadly superbug just got scarier—it can mysteriously thwart last-resort drug Ars Technica (CL).

Security Guidelines for Congressional Campaigns Tech Solidarity. Important and useful.

Antidote du jour (via):

And a bonus anti-antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. integer

    Full transcript of Megyn Kelly’s recent interview with Putin. Kelly is pretty cringeworthy in part two of the interview. Here’s one example:

    Megyn Kelly: Now you are talking about causation. But I am still on whether you did it. And it is not true that you do not know the individuals who were accused of conducting this. One of your good friends is actually accused of helping conduct this. His name is Yevgeny Prigozhin. Do you know him?

    Vladimir Putin: I know this man, but he is not a friend of mine. This is just twisting the facts. There is such a businessman; he works in the restaurant business or something. But he is not a state official; we have nothing to do with him.

    Megyn Kelly: After you heard about him being indicted, did you pick up the phone and call him?

    Vladimir Putin: Certainly not. I have plenty of other things to worry about.

    Megyn Kelly: He is your friend. He has been indicted.

    Vladimir Putin: Did you hear what I just said? He is not my friend. I know him, but he is not a friend of mine. Was I not clear? There are many people like that. There are 146 million people in Russia. That is less than in the US, but it is still a lot.

    (bangs head against wall)

    1. DanB

      Megan is performing for her peer group and superiors. Any connection to journalism is purely accidental -she once told “children watching” her program that they needed to know that Jesus and Santa were white men. “We report, you decide.”

    2. fresno dan

      March 11, 2018 at 7:54 am

      Thanks for that. What does it say about the MSM that NBC picks up a FOX discard before NBC figures out how useless/biased/slanted/dogmatic/partial* Kelly really is?

      * I really can’t think of a good word for the Kelly persona of knowing objectivity that is anything but.
      BUT than again, maybe they got exactly what they were looking for….

      1. integer

        maybe they got exactly what they were looking for….

        I think this is probably correct. She was part of the “resistance” before Trump had even won the R party primary, so she’s a visionary as far as the corporate liberal media is concerned.

        Anyway, here’s the video for anyone who is interested:

        EXCLUSIVE FULL UNEDITED Interview of Putin with NBC’s Megan Kelly

        (It does have subtitles but they have to be turned on in the settings menu that appears at the bottom right of the video when you place the cursor within the frame of the video.)

        1. integer

          Actually it looks like the subtitles are on by default. They start when Putin answers his first proper question at about the 2 minute mark.

    3. Brian

      Being stupid doesn’t pay. But being dumb as a post from tweeter gives you a platform and paycheck.

    4. Montanamaven

      One of my favorie Putin retorts to her question about whether he wanted to be just like Xi in China and be president for life:

      As for China, before criticising decisions in a country like China, you need to think and recall that there are 1.5 billion people living there and, after thinking about it, you need to come to the conclusion that we all are interested in China being a stable and prosperous state. How it should be done best, it is probably up to the Chinese people and the Chinese leadership.

      In other words, like he said previously, “Don’t stick your nose in other people’s business”. He repeats over and over that the US thinks it can stick it’s nose in every other country’s business because they are “spreading democracy”. He repeatedly points out that Russia is not interested in spreading anything. They want to protect themselves and worry about their own country’s prosperity and working towards a more equitable society. You can believe him, or not, but he comes of as clear headed and very pragmatic.

      Oh and the zinger at the end when she tries to peddle the “dead children”in Syria from chemical attacks by Assad” line:

      Megyn Kelly: Since the beginning of the year, there have been at least four chlorine-based chemical weapons attacks in Syria. Our Secretary of State Tillerson just said that Russia bears the responsibility for this given your earlier promises to reign in chemical weapons attacks in Syria. Your response?

      Vladimir Putin: I will tell you that a) we have nothing to do with this, and that we demand a full-scale investigation.

      As for crimes, go back to Raqqa and at least bury the dead bodies, which are still lying amid the ruins after the air strikes at residential neighbourhoods there. And investigate these attacks. This will give you something to do.

      1. Massinissa

        “we all are interested in China being a stable and prosperous state”

        I have a ‘liberal’ friend who thinks the world would be better off if China had another civil war. It wouldn’t surprise me if that opinion was rather common inside the beltway

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I wonder if Putin was thinking about Taiwan and Tibet when he said about not sticking one’s nose in China’s business.

          “Where does China’s business end and if shooting starts cross the strait, would it be a civil war or not?

  2. fresno dan

    Zeitgeist watch: When you’ve lost SNL…..

    So the opening skit to Saturday Night Live was a takeoff on the Bachelor in which Mueller is breaking up with a woman played as a surrogate for the democratic party, the premise of the break up being that Mueller can’t do collusion.

    So….how many “adult film actresses” does it take to bring down a president?
    and isn’t daylight saving time the stupidest thing ever….

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        It’s fiat-timekeeping.

        The government is a timekeeping sovereign.

        If it says now is 11PM, when the sun rises over the local eastern horizon, it’s 11PM.

        1. Laughingsong

          In that case, I’m voting for the politicians who will make the current time perpetually Friday at 5pm.

          More seriously, I don’t care where we ultimately decide to set it- forward or backward- but I do wish we’d set it and forget it. I hate the change. They steal an hour from me, and don’t even give me a few minutes interest when I get it back. Kind like the IRS……

          1. Edward E

            I thought the Russians ultimately decided where to set it? Those Russkies messed with our clocks

    1. Donald

      I love daylight savings time. I understand that people hate losing an hour, but I suspect there are millions of people who benefit from the opportunity to exercise or enjoy the extra daylight hours after work. I don’t know how one could quantify the benefits of this, which is why the DST haters seem to win on this issue, since you can attribute increased accident rates to the switchover.

      1. hunkerdown

        The extra daylight hours are still there regardless of the clock. How about adjusting work hours instead?

        1. Donald

          That is essentially the same thing. Legally, though, it would probably be much harder to do. Here the government just decrees that the clock moves forward or backwards. In your alternative someone orders or persuades all the different workplaces to change their hours.

          I would favor this for schools. Make DST permanent, but have the schools open later, at least in the winter months, so kids don’t wait at bus stops or go to school in the dark.

      2. LifelongLib

        Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I hated the switch to daylight savings time because I had to get up an hour earlier for school. Here in Hawaii we’re on standard time all year (the length of daylight doesn’t vary enough to make it worth switching). As for fiat-timekeeping, time zones long since did away with having the clock match the sun. Until after WW 2 Hawaii set its clocks 2 1/2 hours behind Pacific Standard time, close to sun time, but then got shoehorned into the Hawaii-Aleutian time zone which is just 2 hours behind. Where I live mean solar noon is at 12:32 PM.

      3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        What a man or a woman does with his/her body and body clock is his/her business…unless there is a baby involved, in which case, a compromise might be in order.

    2. DonCoyote

      They still had to smear Bernie Sanders though…”Believed to be the oldest message in a bottle discovered at 130 years old, when Bernie Sanders was a middle aged man.”

  3. fresno dan

    Let’s Get Real About Russiagate Katha Pollitt, The Nation

    Nothing revealed so far proves that Trump and Putin colluded to swing the election. This is true. But every day the evidence mounts that Trump’s campaign and the Russians were reaching out to each other about something. Do you really believe the Trump Tower meeting was about orphans?
    An awful lot of people close to Trump turn out to have been far more involved with Russia than they initially let on. Maybe it was less about the election than shady finances: Trump has been a grifter his whole life. Maybe the Russians are blackmailing him—although it’s hard to imagine his fans caring.
    I agree if there is anything, it is simply a Trump financial scam. But other than Trump being secretly for “Medicare for all” what in the world could Trump have done that his followers would find offensive???

    1. Indrid Cold

      Who believes Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch met on an air strip by co incidence and just talked about their kids? Isn’t it clear they were reaching out to each other about…something? Maybe to do with what was on Anthony Weiners laptop or Hillarys hammer destroyed bleach bitter blackberries.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I think that what was really so disturbing about that incident was that it was all so in-your-face. Never even tried to hide it. I mean, there are 20,000 airports in the US and they just happened to be at the same airport on the same day with both having time from their busy schedules to shoot the breeze. Weren’t even trying to hide it as they couldn’t be bothered.

        1. Donald

          They didn’t have to hide it. With partisans on the Democratic side you are seen as a deranged Clinton hater if you even bring it up. On the other side are all the people who dislike the Clintons for a mixture of good and bad reasons. One more incident of Clinton entitlement only confirms what we ( I am in this camp) already think.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      Still waiting for someone to explain when it became illegal for a presidential candidate or anyone else to talk to people from Russia or from any other country.

      Pretty sure grifting doesn’t disqualify anyone from being a presidential candidate either, in fact it seems to be a requirement.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The Manchurian Candidate was activated, not by talking with foreigners immediately prior, but by watching an American made playing card.

    3. Rob P

      >Nothing revealed so far proves that Trump and Putin colluded to swing the election. This is true. But every day the evidence mounts that Trump’s campaign and the Russians were reaching out to each other about something.

      The #Russiagate narrative switch from ‘Trump colluded with Russia to rig the election’ to ‘well, Trump associates and Russians had contact about something, that’s pretty suspicious, since contact with Russians is inherently evil’ is amazing. Even if Russians did offer Don Jr dirt on Clinton at that meeting, so what? How is that worse than the Clinton campaign getting dirt on Trump from Russian sources through Steele? The ‘collusion’ accusation originally was that Trump colluded with the Russians to hack the DNC, which is illegal. But getting campaign dirt from Russian sources isn’t a crime, or Steele and the Clinton campaign would be in big trouble.

      1. Rojo

        Right. Pollitt’s article is an attempt to both consolidate and expand. I see it a sign that they’re losing faith in collusion. A saw the same thing as the hunt for Iraqi WMD’s dragged on. Defenders were writing these “what we know” articles.

        We know Saddam’s a bad guy

        We know he gassed his own people.

        Uhhh, other things. And maybe there’s still some WMD’s somewhere.

        1. FluffytheObeseCat

          Consolidate and expand is a great way to describe this kind of disingenuous presentation. The outlined arguments in this article are similar to the arguments anti-global warming propagandists use. In their usual tumbles of paragraphs the common arguments are: 1) there is no warming, 2) the warming that does not exist can’t be caused by manmade greenhouse gases because….. [insert various innumerate reasons here] and 3) we shouldn’t/can’t change any aspect of our economy because China/Russia/generic Others.

          Pollitt’s piece reminded me of these amoral denialist screeds. It’s organization and construction are similar. The tone is similar. The relentless avoidance of the key issue is similar.

        2. John Wright

          Pollitt closes with:

          >If you’re a skeptic, ask yourself what could change your mind. If the answer is “nothing,” you may be in for an embarrassing time.

          This question should be recast and directed to Pollitt:

          If you’re a believer in the “Russia interferred in the USA election enough to affect the outcome”, ask yourself what could change your mind. If the answer is “nothing,” you may be in for an embarrassing time.

          Per the Thomas Frank piece in the Guardian mentioned a few days ago, the political parties spent $9.8 billion on the 2016 election while the Russians are alleged to have spent 100K. Another source had that about half of this Russian money was spent AFTER the election.

          Pollitt should be terrified that the Russians can do so much with their alleged spend, as this suggests the Russians spent only 0.0005% as much money as the political parties to tilt the US elections their way.

    4. DJG

      Thanks, Fresno Dan. I don’t have your commie-bunny slippers, but the same paragraphs set me off:

      “Nothing revealed so far proves that Trump and Putin colluded to swing the election. This is true. But every day the evidence mounts that Trump’s campaign and the Russians were reaching out to each other about something.”

      This is high Rebecca-Solnit-ism. Straw men (and it’s always men). Don’t let the lack of a legal case get in the way of one’s panic. And don’t propose an alternate political program when calling Trump a Cheeto is so much more satisfying to one’s resentments.

      One of the things that worries me about this absolute lack of a standard of proof is that once writers like Solnit and Pollitt allow it to wash over into MeToo, an awful lot of women who have been abused are going to end up with no redress in the legal system. And if “analysis” like this is the best that Solnit (read her columns in Harper’s Magazine if you can stand it) and Pollitt can come up with, it will be best to eject them from discussions of power and abuse in relation to women.

      I note that Pollitt ends on “embarrassment.” In other words, psychologizing about her readership.

      The comments to the article are not complimentary.

      1. John D.

        Honestly, it’s a shame what’s become of Katha Pollitt. I read her Nation columns back in the day, and she was able to balance criticism of the Clintons with legitimate complaints about the right wing creeps that were constantly besieging the pair. It was a juggling act I could appreciate. Even though I hated the Clintons, I could hardly claim their far right enemies were attacking them out of any sense of justice or fair play. To say the least.

        So what happened? The right wing campaign against the two crooks continued relentlessly, and eventually Pollitt’s willingness to actually criticize the Clintons became less and less, until it disappeared completely. And in this, unfortunately, she’s far from alone.

    5. Oregoncharles

      He kept hinting during the campaign that he was for single payer. I don’t think his fans would be shocked, at least the poor ones.

      I think the reality is that he isn’t “for” anything besides himself – though he has carried through on his opposition to free trade.

  4. Quentin

    Jill Abramson, “I carry a little plastic Obama doll in my purse.” I’m deeply embarrassed for her, really kind of a teener crush, paging dr Freud. I stopped reading the Guardian some time ago because of crap like this. The Guardian is keeping the Hillary fires warm in case she decides to stock up a roaring blaze, which she will in 2020. Sanders has really been made mincemeat of: one goofy homoerotic advertisement on Facebook puts him in the Russia doghouse forever an ever—just in case he tries to pull out in front of Hillary in 2020. The US lives in a time warp: the second world war has just ended, the fifties all over again, Cold War, despicable Russians, total lack of self awareness and, to boot, the frozen election campaign of 2016-17 which Mueller is planning to transform into a display in Madame Tussaud’s with him narrating the audio tour. Sickening.

    1. pretzelattack

      the guardian is as bad as the nyt and the wapost. sickening is the word. corn and issikof will make her unhappy, because they apparently have a new book explaining how obama ignored the russian threat and let them choose trump (my impression from seeing a blurb about it). so, obama under the bus in service of clinton.

    2. roadrider

      I pull him out every now and then to remind myself that the United States had a progressive, African American president until very recently.

      Yeah, that gave a free ride to all of the banksters and torturers while eviscerating distressed homeowners, whose administration had an even higher level of income inequality than George W. Bush’s, whose tenure was disastrous, in economic terms, for the vast majority of African Americans, who dramatically expanded drone wars in the Middle East and boasted about being “good at killing people”, who purposely gave away a golden opportunity to strike a blow against corporate medicine and the dysfunctional, sociopathic private insurance “markets”, etc, etc

      1. Montanamaven

        And savagely put down the “Occupy Wall Street” movement. Won’t forgive him for that.

      2. apberusdisvet

        “sociopathic insurance markets”

        I wonder if any others have had this problem. I am retired, excellent credit, no accidents/violations, no debt, own my own home free and clear, and have taken defensive driving courses for those over 65 to mitigate premium increases. My annual driving distance is well under 5000 miles; generally around town for shopping. My current policy with Geico is due for renewal April 1. Even though I have been with them of over 20 years, they have been increasing my premium by $100 per semi-annual payment for the last 4 years. New premium is $1600/annum. So I started checking around using same policy coverages I have with GEICO. Few would believe what I found:

        USAA; would not quote
        AMICA: would not quote
        Liberty Mutual: $5600 annual premium (almost $2 for every mile driven!!!)
        State Farm: would not quote
        Farmers: would not quote
        Progressive: $950 annual premium

        Needless to say I am going with Progressive, but what’s with this disparity among carriers and the refusal to quote?

        1. shinola


          If you’re 70 or over, many auto insurers do not want you as new business. The underwriting guidelines will contain something to the effect of “due to the possibility of declining mental or physical abilities…”
          Not mentioned is the fact that, above a certain age, if you do have even a modest claim, you may not live or keep driving long enough for them to recoup the loss in future premium payments.

          Progressive has a good reputation. They claim to have developed a unique, proprietary actuarial model.

          (I was in the personal insurance biz 30+ yr.)

        2. beth

          That’s a very good question. I hope someone reading your post knows. My rates are about what they were when I was working so I would like to know too.

          There was a time when Progressive was higher.

    3. Carolinian

      All good points. Perhaps our establishment is longing for the Fifties when the US was indisputably on top and the rest of the world recovering from their own imperial delusions. Of course to go the whole hog they will have to embrace a religious revival and put women back in the kitchen cooking supper for the Beave.

      Whatever is going on it’s a very confusing time.

    4. Katniss Everdeen

      Taking “comfort” from a little plastic obama doll is pretty much what I’d expect from a “liberal” whose list of thrilling, “blue wave” producing, potential dem presidential candidates includes cory booker, harmonica virtuoso tim kaine and andrew cuomo.

      And abramson’s contention that the West Virginia teacher’s strike indicates an activist awakening eager to embrace one of the status quo stalwarts she’s celebrating is pure and simple “journalistic” malfeasance. Just like her name-dropping the iconic West Virginia senator “Harry” Byrd.

      Ditch the doll, jill, and get a clue.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Homebrew tailgate stickers from an aggrieved citizen … spotted yesterday:

        Couldn’t see whether zhe had a Truthmp doll hanging from the rear view mirror with pins stuck in it.

        1. Ted

          Thanks for that Jim. So more evidence that the weird role reversal between the Anti Obama birthers and the anti Trumpeteers is complete. Wacky bumper stickers and all. So much for the “greater intelligence” and reality-grasping of the Democratic loyalists.

        2. whine country

          Are you suggesting that someone who is a member of the Raider Nation is acting bizarre? Goodness, I’m shocked!

          1. ArcadiaMommy

            Exactly – fan of the Raiders and the Coyotes? My head is spinning.
            Hard to imagine the crap this person is getting just going to the grocery store.

      2. John

        Jill and her editors are also plainly ignorant and lazy. Harry Byrd was the segregationist Virginia gov and senator….Robert Byrd was the long time West Virginia senator and one time KKK member. Crapified journanimalism at its best.

      3. polecat

        You forgot to add in creepy unka joe …. and karma karma karma karma karmakamala as respective presidential potentials.
        But yes, plastic down to the last molecule.

        … and as about as uncomfortable as stepping on a bunch of Legos in the middle of the darknight !

        1. polecat

          … then there’s the Other joe …

          Can you imagine .. the “State of the Spittlemouth” speach …??

          God No, I can’t either !

    5. perpetualWAR

      I carry a small replica of Obama too. But it is made of cloth & soft stuffing, so when I use sharp instruments to penetrate, it succumbs.

    6. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think this is how a new religion gets started.

      And we may be able to trace the exact time of birth to the immaculate campaign of 2008. Many witnessed that divine miracle…the coming of a savior, and his thousand year reign.

      Of course, without much delay this time, it has already degraded into idol-worshiping.

    7. Off The Street

      Abramson will next confess that she carries rechargeable batteries for a greener doll lifestyle.

    8. Mark P.

      The US lives in a time warp

      Dept. of old dogs, new tricks.

      Washington is pretty much a Breshnev-era style gerontocracy, especially the Dems with Feinstein, Pelosi, et al.

    9. Altandmain

      The Guardian is in most cases like the UK version of the NYT.

      They spent a lot of time attacking Cobryn for example.

  5. The Rev Kev

    ‘Is There Anything More Fun Than a Trump Rally?’

    Somebody should get out more. I can think of something and it is soft, warm and shaped like an hour-glass but that is a story for another time.

    1. John D.

      What’s more fun than a Trump rally? A tooth ache, maybe? Hip injuries? Dropping an anvil on one’s foot?

  6. roadrider

    Re: Let’s Get Real About Russiagate

    Reminds me why I stopped reading the Nation and stopped paying attention to Dem-bots like Pollitt

    1. Arizona Slim

      That article reminds me of something. Hmmm, what can it be?

      Oh, I know. I need to practice my Russian conversation skills.

      1. DJG

        Arizonskaya Slimska: Is this a coded message? Are you rendez-vous-ing with your Russian contacts here in the Komments section?

    2. Richard

      Just read it. Omg, what has happened to Katha Pollit? Talk about weak argumentation. Maybe the “media campaign is a bust as an explanation? Then what about the email releases? And those were hacked, because what if the “hackers” we simply sending copies rather than downloading, since the speeds being shown were too fast for downloading/hacking the info. So we scramble to explain the DNC and Podesta emails as a hack, although exactly the same evidence, the fast speed at which info was transmitted, could more plausibly be linked to USB use and a leak. And if it was hacked, wouldn’t we have that longer download speed somewhere in the evidence? Wouldn’t it need to be somewhere? Don’t you need to still show me the hack? Correct me if I’m wrong, definitely not a tech person here.
      The emails were probably hacked says Pollit, but the primaries were only allegedly unfair, so she doesn’t seem to have read or taken the emails very seriously as unimpeachable evidence about how the Clinton’s and the DNC were rigging the election. Which, along with Brazile’s info, it totally is.
      I last read her in the 90’s. She was pretty dull then IMO, but nothing like as manic as I just read. Maybe it doesn’t sound manic to many people, but I read manic/insecure into statements like (paraphrase) “Only a few holdouts remain from the narrative that Russia meddled in our election”. Usually a good argument doesn’t need to be buttressed with these kind of appeals to “get on board”.

    3. Ted

      There was an analysis by the Saker on the apparent advances in Russia’s weapon systemsin the links yesterday, and the real take home message was that elite American jibber jabbers in Gov’t & Media cannot do critical analysis anymore. Rather, they have become corrupt, arrogant, and fawning of those with access to the unbelievable sums of $$ that Uncle Sugar and the Fed throw around. Politt regularly serves up evidence in support of this claim.

  7. Terry Humphrey

    Where is this NeoDemocratic candidate farm? Looks like Jon Ossoff, Beto O’Rourke, Conor Lamb and Joe Kennedy are all cut from the same cloth; young, male, white and measured in their message to voters. As we used to say on the corner, “talk’s cheap, takes money to buy whiskey.” We’ve been through “hope” and “nope”
    so these princes of platitudes seem more sacrificial than significant threats to the body politic as it now stands in Trumped-up murica.

    1. Richard

      Wasn’t Joe Kennedy’s statement about why he opposes legalization priceless? Because it would give police one less legal justification for searching a car or home, if they smelled a pot odor. First, because driving while intoxicated would still be illegal, I’m not sure that legalization stops them from searching cars if they suspect intoxication.
      But put all that aside. His message is essentially: “You can’t have legal pot because it would give our police less excuse for searching you.” Does that poll well with millenials, Joe?

      1. lyman alpha blob

        Bear in mind that the cops just have to say they think they smell pot odor to ransack a car, kind of like how they just have to feel they’re in danger before they blow someone’s head off head off. Just another way for cops to abuse power, and Kennedy seems to be all for it.

        Not sure how you get rid of a Kennedy in Massachusetts, but then again they do elect Mormon Republicans as governor once in a while so maybe there’s hope.

        1. Arizona Slim

          You would think that a Kennedy would be a bit more leery about the use and misuse of authority.

      2. Rob P

        >Wasn’t Joe Kennedy’s statement about why he opposes legalization priceless? Because it would give police one less legal justification for searching a car or home, if they smelled a pot odor.

        This might be the worst possible reason to oppose marijuana legalization. Yes, clearly what America needs is more police searches on dubious grounds. If the cops have evidence of some real crime, they can use that to search the car. If not, oh well.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Go to your local yd meetings. Political identity is simply inherited in many cases, and the shallow arent going to reassess their values. They are then promoted for not rocking the boat no matter how dumb or awful they turn out to be.

    3. Elizabeth Burton

      I’m not quite ready to include Beto in with those others. He may not be a Berniecrat, but the fact is his current campaign is fueled by small-money donors and he hasn’t taken anything from dark-money PACs. Also, he said many times the main point of his campaign was to listen to what the voters wanted, which seems to be what he did.

      Now that he’s the de facto nominee will be when he needs to be challenged about his positions on the various major issues.

    4. Spring Texan

      At least Beto O’Rourke is better on marijuana – a lot better. And, he wasn’t who the party establishment wanted – they wanted one of the Castro brothers. And, he’s campaigning across the state like a son-of-a-gun.

      He likes term limits (which I hate) and is not my ideal, but I think he’s a damn sight better than Joe Kennedy, and more genuine, and I’m cutting him a bit of slack.

      And there’s nothing wrong with being young, male and white (though I think there’s a lot wrong with being “measured in their message”). Virginia’s Lee Carter is young, male, and white. So what? He’s also terrific!

      The establishment candidate farm is just as willing to serve us up Kamala Harris or Cory Booker, or an appalling Emily’s LIst candidate like Lizzie Pannill Fletcher ( ) It’s all about their record.

      But yes, Joe Kennedy sucks.

  8. taunger

    The Bangor Daily article does not mention renewable power purveyors, which do cost more. I wonder if any of the $77 million was chosen with higher cost in mind.

  9. Bill Smith

    “A Provision Hidden in the Banking Bill Could Hurt Black Homeowners”

    Local banks don’t make anywhere near the percentage / number of mortgages that they used to given various regulatory changes.

    What percentage of mortgages are gotten via the internet these days? Where the borrower and lender never met. Is there any less discrimination there? I’m thinking Rocket Mortgage which didn’t exist not that long ago and is now the largest maker of home mortgages in the country.

  10. The Rev Kev

    Wild Boars Are Taking Over Japan as Population Ages, Disappears

    I suppose that something like this was inevitable. The Japanese are not into letting in immigrants period and as the economic conditions of the past thirty years or so have been getting worse, young Japanese couples are just not able to have the stability for having families so chalk that up as a win for neoliberal policies. I believe that the population of Japan is roughly 125 million but by 2065 it will be only about 88 million and in a century from now, there will be only about 51 million at the current rate. Maybe that is why the Japanese are so into robotics. They realize that they will need them for the future work force as there will not be enough Japanese left.
    I have been reading up on those Japanese Boars and they are no joke. There have been quite a few boar attacks on people in the news. One caught recently weighed about 280 pounds (about 130 kilos) and they are tough, fast, mean with little fear of humans. I would never go after them with less than a very large caliber rifle, a telescopic sight and the high ground. To make matters worse, the ones around Fukushima are radioactive and hunters had to be deployed to go after them as they had taken over a coupla abandoned towns. As the Japanese government has no qualms about using radioactive food for domestic supplies as well as exports, I would be very suspicious about any pork exports from Japan.
    In passing, that anti-antidote of the moth certainly was a shop of horrors. But there is even worse-

    1. Lee

      Are there no boar hunters in Japan or from elsewhere? Perhaps they should introduce wolves or other predators instead of employing those ridiculous robot wolves which may frighten the piggies but won’t reduce their number. I don’t know about the opinions of Japan’s population in general but I’ve seen droves of Japanese tourists in Yellowstone, some of them moved to tears at their first sight of a wolf or upon hearing a dawn chorus of a howling pack.

      I for one quite like the idea of the human population shrinking by peaceful attrition thus making more room for other critters.

      1. Highway 200

        I have plenty of up close and personal experience with feral boars and 260 pounds is a small one. 400 pounds is common. Do not EVER EVER get between the female and her offspring.
        And as for the wolves- do you have any idea how big a boar’s mouth is? They quickly snap a very large dog apart. They have tusks. I have witnessed that. That is why we shot all the boars here back in 1997. Shooters with .40 caliber to the rear of the skull from behind is the method. The skull is very thick, and the body tough and fatted.
        Be in a tree shooting is my suggestion.

        1. Edward E

          Sure good to hear there are still some tough hogs out in your wilderness. Sooie some our way any you folks don’t want ’em.
          Around here our hogs haven’t been very tough this decade. Razorbacks slaughtered so bad they decided to try a new coach.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The world over-population can be lessened with something like what (low birth rate) is happening in Japan.

      And if or when the world population is not growing exponentially, there are no (space) aliens to let in.

      What Japan can do without letting in immigrants will be what the world will be looking at.

      1. Lee

        Didn’t European plague survivors benefit by having more arable land per capita? Admittedly, this is a preindustrial example.

        Also, Japan has the disadvantage of being highly trade dependent for basic necessities such as food and energy. Nor are they in a position to remedy their lack of resources by conquest. It will indeed provide an interesting example, particularly for nations similarly incapable of higher degrees of autarky.

        1. Oregoncharles

          Yes, supposedly the plague led to the Renaissance by the mechanism you describe. Or so I was taught in college.

          Supposedly there was also a period of global cooling caused by the reduction in plowing.

          If they’re dependent on trade for food, why is farmland sitting idle? Or is that just around Fukuchima, the site of the picture? The forbidden zone around Chernobyl is now a wildlife sanctuary. Might be a good place to introduce wolves from. They’re pre-adapted to the radiation.

      2. J Sterling

        Point of math, world population stopped growing exponentially fifty years ago, and has been growing “only” linearly at 80 million a year since. Not that that isn’t quite bad enough.

        It’s actually a vindication of Malthus, after the brief explosion of the Industrial Revolution. He said exponential growth could not continue, and it didn’t. (he never wrote about resource depletion or population crash, that’s myths told about him)

    3. ewmayer

      According to Wikipedia the black bear is the largest predatory animal in Japan, and the only 2 wildcat species native to the country are small housecat-sized critters only found on a couple smaller islands (leopard cat and the near-extinct Iriomote cat). Maybe an opportunity to aid in tiger conservation by introducing the species to selected remote regions of the country? I’m sure a hungry tiger would enjoy a regular meal of wild boar … but more realistically, this sounds like an opportunity for permitted human hunting. The non-irradiated ones would surely be good eatin’.

    4. wilroncanada

      The Rev Kev
      …whereas a lot of resort destinations in the southern US have long since been invaded by wild bores, many of them from Canada. We don’t miss them.

    5. J Sterling

      How are the boars supposed to be responding to a population reduction that has yet to happen? Do they have financial advisors?

      There is an industry devoted to using Japan as an example to perpetually push for population increase by immigration in Europe and North America, but this is more likely to be the result of urbanisation: the increase in city population and the concommitant decrease in the countryside. That’s no different from the rural depopulation in America and Europe.

  11. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Staged car crashes a growing menace in South Carolina Post and Couriers. Wait ’til the robot cars come along….

    Presumably the robot cars will have dash cams like regular cars do in other countries to prevent insurance fraud when pedestrians dive onto the hood feigning injury. Which will lead to scammers developing dash cam jammers, which will lead to…

    See, isn’t disruption and innovation great for GDP groaf?

  12. Annotherone

    “America is already great”. For some, but not for Oklahoma’s teaching staffs.

    “America! America!
    God shed his grace on thee
    Till selfish gain no longer stain
    The banner of the free!”


    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Once upon a time, we were not satisfied with anything less than being the Greatest.

    1. Edward E

      Why does Waldo wear stripes?
      ’cause he didn’t want to get spotted

      Why are zebras so bad at baseball?
      three stripes and your out

  13. Ed

    A simple open question (for which I do not have an answer but look to this group for input and perhaps an extended research article), in response to the item about the Oklahoma school books and educational systems issues in general:

    There used to be a thought that educational systems would step into the world of IT and video. I think it was Edison who said back near the turn of the last century that the human mind accepts and retains information through the eye more adroitly. Today, interactive videodisc uses the name CD-ROM and expands into DVD’s, which anyone can create and publish. The editor of Look magazine, a fellow associated with lots of other ideas, wrote a book about the concept: “Education and Ecstasy” (1968) ISBN 978-1-55643-005-3 . Apple built its machine and its reputation with an eye toward education. Eric Booth’s book “The Everyday Work of Art” is still wonderful. Howard Gardner has a library and a research center on learning, Eliot Levine’s book “One Kid at a Time” (Teachers College Press, 2002) is a stunning read on a method that produces. We live in an age of search engines, $100 laptops, and fiber-optic streaming. The book “Architect for Learning: Utilizing The Internet as an Effective Educational Environment”, Philip J. Palin and Kari Sandhaas, Saint Thomas Didymus Corporation, Ruckersville, VA (Telelogic Learning Company, shows us how.

    Why does America allow less-than-effective educational systems and approaches?

    What are the political ramifications?

    1. lyman alpha blob

      The mind may retain info through the eye, but it doesn’t follow that education should be done through a computer. Using an ipad to teach kids math doesn’t make them better math students, it makes them better at using and more desirous of having an ipad, which is all the Apple cares about and why it salespeople are in every school district in the US.

      If Silicon Valley parents aren’t sending their kids to schools larded up with tech gadgets, why should the rest of us have to?

    2. lyman alpha blob

      And for research articles, there was one done few years ago which this article discusses:

      Investing heavily in school computers and classroom technology does not improve pupils’ performance, says a global study from the OECD.

      The think tank says frequent use of computers in schools is more likely to be associated with lower results.

      The OECD’s education director Andreas Schleicher says school technology had raised “too many false hopes”.

      Unfortunately the piece doesn’t link to the original source material but it shouldn’t be too hard to find.

      1. Brian

        Its all about their education. They get to use the tools they will be forced to use as drones. Move along

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      The political ramifications are pretty simple–a population which discerns no contradiction in the statement, “We had to destroy the village to save it.”

      1. Summer

        That’s right up there with “Wars to end war.”

        But the more BS you can say with a straight face is your ticket to access the elite circles.

    4. Oregoncharles

      Very few textbooks cost $100, especially at the public school level.

      And incidentally, since we use things until they’re unusable, I don’t see the tattered books as all that bad. Science books might be out of date by then, but otherwise it’s just good use of resources.

      Libraries usually have a book repair dept.; don’t schools?

      1. JBird

        It is California state law that the required college level textbook editions have to be no older then either three or five years (I cannot remember which) which is just a gift to the publishers. Every few years they get to make some cosmetic changes to an edition, slap on “updated”, and charge over a hundred, often closer to two hundred, dollars.

        Most fields really do not change much or at all, especially in basic ones like language, philosophy, or math. But my algebra textbook has to be “updated” every few years despite the subject being unchanged for the past century. The market would be flooded with used texts, and does after two or three years, which drops the price to less than half. Then comes the required bleeping updates. Profit!

        To belabor my point, my algebra text used was ~$50 and new was $175. Plus tax.

        If one is taking a full load 15 units, or around five classes, that would be between five and fifteen books at an average of a hundred dollars. So if you are really, really fortunate it is five hundred dollars, or if not, hello two thousand. For a community college student the cost of the books could be twice, or even thrice, as much as the tuition when really it should be half. At most.

        Of course, the students, the teachers, and even the administrators really do not like this but who listens to us?

        1. Darthbobber

          And it’s pretty obvious that there have been no changes in mathematics at the level covered by a freshman Algebra, Trig or Calc 1 book in decades. Advances in math, yes. Changes in the kinds of fundamentals taught in the intro texts, no.

          1. wilroncanada

            Darth et al
            My math textbook was so old it had introductory instructions in the use of an abacus.

            1. Oregoncharles

              elementary classrooms sometimes have abacuses (?), because they’re a good way to teach arithmetic.

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          So, a 2,000 year old original bamboo Dao De Jing text would not do as a textbook?

        3. The Rev Kev

          Had a two week job back in the 90s with an Australian University bookshop on campus. The students had to get required texts and they cost a mint. The prices were outrageous and way above what actual printing cost would have been but it was a captive market for the publishers. The best I could do for these kids was to tell them to hang onto their receipts and when they finished their courses, claim them back on tax.
          That image of those dilapidated textbooks from Oklahoma is nothing new. I was reading descriptions in the 90s of text books being use in American schools that had been printed in the 70s. Even by then the attitude was hardening so that education was being considered as a reducible cost rather than a long-term investment. Obviously, when politicians heard the Pink Floyd song “We don’t need no education” they decided that that was a good idea.

    5. Elizabeth Burton

      First, your question is based on the mythical premise that the US has “less-than-effective educational systems.” This myth, launched as the first salvo in the plan to eliminate free public education by the Reagan administration, has led to decades of “reform” that have been thinly veiled attacks on teachers’ unions and a now clearly demonstrated plan to return school segregation based on race and income.

      Computers are not the answer. There are several “computer charter school” chains now selling snake oil with the eager support of neoliberal legislators that have been show over and over to be total failures. Kids need qualified, trained professionals conducting their classes, and those are becoming fewer and fewer as their already abysmally under-funded jobs are made contingent not on how much their students learn but on how well they pass tests that literally provide no useful information. I know they don’t—I’ve seen them. Any decently literate human being would be appalled.

      The destruction of our once-proud public education system at the hands of neoliberals eager to suck up the millions in education funds available is too complex to go into in this forum, and has been systematically either ignored or cheered on by the corporate media. This is the best overview piece I could find on the history of the “reform” movement:

  14. Jim Haygood

    Susan Sarandon caustically limns Hollywood in three pithy sentences:

    “It’s very complicated, in my business especially, because it’s all about your sexual currency,” she said. “Whether you actually deliver to anyone in charge to get a job that way — people hire women they want to be with and men they want to be. And anyone that falls in between is a character actor.”


    That’s alright, I still got my guitar.

    — Jimi Hendrix

    1. Carolinian

      Sue’s bon mot shows why she was a big pal of Gore Vidal. While there’s a big move among film actors these days for equality of women, you wonder if they’d be just as eager to grant equality to people who aren’t good looking. It is indeed their leg up, even if they are also very talented as actors.

    2. Oregoncharles

      There’s a more fundamental problem in showbiz (this should include music, but so far we haven’t heard from that side of the business): casting is highly, unavoidably subjective, and therefore personal. That’s what gives producers and casting directors so much power, primarily with younger performers trying to break in. To make it worse, there are always far more applicants than parts, especially for women. Male dominance in the industry is expressed in a lack of roles for women. If you really want to help, go to see movies with a lot of women in them. Hollywood responds very well to ticket sales.

      Incidentally, actresses DO have a union, which has proven completely useless, so far, on this score.

      Sarandon is talking about a personal dynamic, but there is also a business one. A big part of Hollywood’s business model is the tease: how much will we get to see? And, of course, they’re selling eye candy more than anything else – both sexes, but especially women. I don’t see any way around that, aside from trying to give actresses more power in the system. That would probably involve setting up their own union, and/or a production company they control – some have done that, as individuals, when they had the bargaining power. Might actually be a good investment.

    3. DJG

      Jim Haywood: Thanks for the link. The whole article is interesting, because I was aware of the movie about Hedy Lamarr but somehow unaware that Sarandon is the producer.

      She’s mighty eloquent for a BernieBro, now isn’t she?

      Her comments about theater are brief and telling. Here in Chicago, Theater Capital of the Universe, most theaters are focused on twice-weekly e-blasts about their fundraisers, audience talkbacks, and concessions. Not so much on getting ground-breaking work in front of the public, which is what Sarandon also hints at: The arts have been made into colonies of the moneyed class. This means that the arts are toothless and can safely be ignored. (Once the audience buys enough wine and cookies in the lobby before an Ibsen or Williams play, they aren’t going to care all that much about Hedda Gabler’s pistols or Brick’s erotic life. And those are just the classics.)

      I agree that casting is subjective, as Oregoncharles points out, but the combination of the director of the production, the casting director, and the producer(s) should bring some objectivity. The “tell” about Weinstein is how much power he was allowed to have: For a long time, as we are discovering, people knew that he was abusing his position.

      1. Oregoncharles

        I think Weinstein was tolerated because his company was producing good movies, despite everything. Even his victims had a big stake in that, which is one reason they kept silent for a long time. that, and being paid off. Must have been a significant expense for the company.

        1. Carolinian

          It’s also possible that Weinstein was tolerated because his behavior was not all that unusual, just the extreme case.

          What Sarandon is saying is that you can’t pretend that movies and sex aren’t totally bound up with each other and always have been. Even the early silent movies were often quite salacious before the Hayes office stepped in after a couple of scandals.

          This isn’t really my theory BTW. I’ll just share with you the titles of some of Pauline Kael’s books: I Lost It at the Movies, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Going Steady.

          1. Oregoncharles

            Yeah, I was pretty much saying that, too. I never read Kael; interesting that that’s one of her themes. Thanks.

    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      My question is whether TV personalities are considered actors and actresses.

      What do they have to do with get an interview with, say, Putin? Before and after.

    1. Oregoncharles

      Probably the most important thing is a generator and fuel. No electricity, no refrigeration; and if you’re on a well, no water.

      I suppose we could haul water from the river and boil it; but I really don’t want to drink out of that river. A good high volume filter, maybe? Or maybe revive windmills.

      1. Ed Miller

        When I visited my grandparents at the family farm in 1958 they still had a hand pump at the kitchen sink to draw water from the well. The pump needed priming each morning to get the water flowing.

        You may be too young to have ever seen one. The old ways still work if you know about them.

        1. J Sterling

          The old ways supported a small fraction of the 1958 population, and would support a smaller fraction of today’s.

    2. Elizabeth Burton

      They’ve had these for at least a decade. Ah, Yahoo—always a day late and a dollar short.

    3. Craig H.

      The yahoo story is not a good one.

      Costco does sell emergency rations but this 6K for a family of four for one year is not on their website. Since one of the biggest components is food and individual food preferences are highly variable the idea of a commercially scalable one-size-could-fit-any-family-four emergency ration kit seems far fetched.

      If you want to prepare your family for sub-Armagedon emergency the Mormons have been working on this problem steadily for many years and they have excellent materials freely available on their website. Their standard recommendation is for a 72 day stockpile. The inference is that if some kind of functioning civilization surrounding your ward isn’t back together in 72 days, then the scale of disaster is in Rumsfeld-unknown-unknown unforeseeable territory. When Katrina hit New Orleans the power was back on and the stores were mostly open within about a month as I recall. The city was back to functional enough that they had Mardi Gras parades in 2006.


      The spookiest thing for Costco emergency preparation is an item labeled breakfast skillet. They didn’t list the ingredients where I could see it. The Mormons have a far far better guide to what to buy at costco than the costco web site is what I am saying here.

  15. Reify99

    On the anti-antidote. Cordyceps (subtype Sinensis or Militaris) is a tonic in the Chinese traditional medicine panoply on par with ginseng. It aids respiration at the cellular level, in the ATP cycle.
    I’ve been taking this daily for 30 years or so. Very helpful for asthma. Usually referred to as “caterpillar fungus”. You can find it occasionally in Chinese groceries with the dead caterpillar still attached. I have opted for a “caterpillar free” product, however, grown on wheat. If you are interested I would suggest buying product whose culture has been endorsed by Paul Stamets, PhD.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It helped Chinese female athletes to dominance in 1992.

      I don’t know if it’s banned or not (for athletes) now.

    2. subgenius

      Some notes on Dong Chong Xia Cao (winter worm summer grass) / cordyceps sinensis

      1) the product grown in farms and without caterpillars is very different to that harvested on the Tibetan plateau.

      2) the harvested product is widely adulterated….it is hugely expensive by weight, and many techniques are used to increase the weight, from inserting small wire filaments to soaking in extremely toxic metal salt solutions.

      3) the insatiable market is leading to overharvesting and environmental destruction, I am told

      Clean, original product is insanely expensive, hard to find, and potent.

  16. Livius Drusus

    Re: Many older Americans are living a desperate, nomadic life. Thanks for posting that article. It is a good antidote to the common claim that the Baby Boomers are all living on easy street after supposedly wrecking the world. The article, for example, mentions the shift from pensions to 401(k)s in the 1980s, something that hurt the Baby Boomers. Many people forget that the shift to neoliberalism actually occurred decades ago when the Boomers were young so they got a raw deal too.

    I think people tend to confuse the Baby Boomers with the G.I. Generation. The members of the G.I. Generation were the ones who most benefited from the post-war consensus after the twin catastrophes of the Great Depression and World War II. The post-war consensus was starting to break down in the 1970s when the oldest Baby Boomers were starting to enter the workforce.

    1. Arizona Slim

      The oldest Boomers would have been entering the workforce during the middle of the 1960s.

    2. KB

      Oh, Thank you for pointing this out…..I wonder where the younger generation is hearing/learning this from…that we baby boomers are “at fault” for their lives….in school?…
      I think someone should do some investigative journalism on this subject as I hear it often and it is shocking to me….Where I live I see rampant agesism and no concern at all for those of us around 65 and older. Several blocks away an elderly gentleman died in his home and it wasn’t noticed by anyone for days…..
      What am I missing?

      1. Elizabeth Burton

        Personally, I think it’s just another attempt to keep the peasants from collaborating, having observed the variety of articles over the last 2-3 years either urging Boomers to scorn the younger generations or “informing” the younger generations Dad and Grandma are to blame for their losses. They proliferated especially during the election when word apparently reached the PTBs that Bernie was drawing audiences that didn’t fit the media narrative of “Bernie Bros.” In other words, that he was appealing to people of all generations, who when combined are a formidable force.

        I expect to see more of this rubbish if the progressive movement gains anything like a foothold in November.

      2. Oregoncharles

        Technically, we ARE responsible, since we were running things when they came of age. Some of us did our best, but the collective failure weighs on my conscience. We knew, and we let it happen anyway. Personally, I have a Millennial grandson and my nieces and nephews are now having children (long generations in my family). I worry about them, though most are doing OK at this point.

        Of course, by the same token, Boomers were among the hardest hit in the Great Financial Collapse, as many lost their savings at the very point of retiring. And old people can wind up very much alone in our alienating society. But, sorry, the disaster happened on our watch.

        1. roadrider

          since we were running things when they came of age

          Who’s this “we” Kemo-sabe?

          WTF did the vast majority of us have to say about anything? Because we voted in elections? Get real.

          Our generation (OK, some of us) protested for civil rights against the Vietnam War, for nuclear disarmament, etc. Do you see any anti-war protests these days? I sure don’t. I do see a lot of military fetishism which other generations who take pleasure in deriding our generation are in full sympathy with. I don’t blame them – they’re just caught up in the zeitgeist of the times, going along to get along which is all most people are able to do.

          I can imagine what they’re children will say about them for electing Obama, Trump and whatever fraud comes next. That’s when the shoe will start to pinch.

          1. Aumua

            These kids don’t have the chance you had to change things, not even close. Don’t kid yourself. The system clamped down hard after the 60’s, it got a lot smarter. We seem to be entering another time of changes, but it’s all messed up. All the energy is being diverted, channeled into harmless tangents, or else actual lust for more systems of control and division. Anti-war is boring, unless maybe attached to something more politically charged.

      3. Darthbobber

        We may be missing that the boomers in a lot of cases are their parents. Whose fault it has always been.

        I also think adherence to the easy boomers life trope by some of the present under 30s is at least partly a reaction to the idiotic lectures frrom some boomers, eg Biden, about how spoiled, entitled and whiney the young are these days, and how they should just suck it up and move forward the way we supposedly did.

      4. ArcadiaMommy

        I don’t really see older people/baby boomers lining up to use their influence via numbers to do anything positive for their fellow citizens. Go take a look at the tattered textbook picture in the links. Think about the fact that kids go through lock down drills because of the prevalence of guns in the US. Think about the cost of health care for the average non-baby boomer. Consider the crap jobs that are available. I could go on. My point is that the “baby boomers” don’t seem to be that interested in using their voting power to help anyone out. Imagine if all the oldsters decided to vote against anyone who got lobbying money from the NRA.

        1. Darthbobber

          Imagine if all of any generation got together uniformly and did anything. But it just never happens that way. Because generations are not blocs.

        2. Elizabeth Burton

          The problem is that when the republic was being corrupted, most of us Boomers were deep in the process of earning a living and raising kids. As long as things seemed to be working, what went on in DC had no real application to most of our experience—or so we thought. When I was in high school and college, economics wasn’t required or, in the former case, even offered; and we all grew up in the era of Russia=monster/US=superhero.

          Yes, we’re to blame, but mostly because we allowed our personal level of comfort to lull us into not paying attention. And if we had no personal level of comfort, we were too busy trying to survive to learn what we needed to know. And our kids grew up as the establishment was underway crapifying public education—my younger daughter complained her high school was basically training people to be good little consumers when she was 15.

          We don’t need to find a scapegoat. That’s how they break us. We need to acknowledge we screwed up—all of us—and get busy fixing our mess.

    3. RUKidding

      Try reading the comments to that article. It’s all “liberal garbage or fake news or lies” or how it’s from Commie Mother Jones. If older people are living that way, it’s either: a) because they want to & enjoy it & are doing fine, or b) because they led their lives wrong, made bad choices & didn’t save enough & deserve their fate.

      Also pensions suck & are terrible while 401(k)s are super fantastic.

      Really sad. Anyone offering a different POV is in for a barrage of ad hominem attacks.

      Guess some bot farms don’t want this type of info to get out? Or that the elderly poor suck, should STFU & deserve their fate.


  17. FreeMarketApologist

    Guillotine watch:

    Silicon Valley tech people raising chickens:

    The only thing I will say in their defense is that yes, if you do ‘abstract’ work all day (tech, finance, etc.), it is very satisfying to have a hobby that has a tangible result (growing things, building stuff, working with animals, etc.).

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Here, apparently it’s for status symbol (I gather that from the headline).

      I just hope they don’t neglect to also grow things like friendships, and building stuff like bonds between fellow humans, and working with baby human animals (a.k.a. their children).

    2. economicator

      Yep, I see lots of postings lately on the (physical) message board in the lobby of my gym in Palo Alto about adopting chickens and courses to learn to care for adopted chickens.

      If you have several million dollars to spare for a single family home with a large yard, and free time, you can do it yourself too.

      1. crittermom

        Best to check your HOA first. Some do not allow chickens (or other farm animals).
        And I’m talkin’ about such rules in a wide-open state like New Mexico, in a ‘second home’ subdivision in the middle of nowhere.
        Some of those idiots are the same ones who feed their table scraps to the coyotes so they can watch ’em, and then complain when one of their ankle-biter little dogs get carried off by one. Duh?

        As I think about it, probably best they can’t have chickens. The people are too clueless to raise ’em.

    3. Andrew Watts

      Hmm, those techies and other upper class people are shamelessly adopting the practices of the lower class. As with farmers markets it suddenly becomes chic when rich people start doing it. This is a good example of the breakdown of mimesis in a failing society.

      Considering their chickens have their own chefs and are being pampered I give them a three out of five stars on the Marie Antoinette pretending to be a milkmaid scale. Maybe three and a half if they actually name’em and it’s something awesome like “Mother Clucker”.

      1. AnnieB

        I would have to disagree with your characterization. People around here (upper middle class) who raise chickens are doing it so their family will have healthy eggs. Same reason for vegetable gardening. Also, many people want to practice life skills, in case they need them. Skills like chicken raising and gardening have a steep learning curve. Better to practice now and make your mistakes before it really counts.

    4. polecat

      So who amongst the siliconroti would actually clean out the coops ??
      I’ll bet you eggs to hens that the stressfully tech- anointed wouldn’t lift a scoop to do the nasty job ‘themselfs’ …
      No. They’d make some lowly H-1Ber do it in their stead ….


      1. The Rev Kev

        I’m pretty sure that there would be an app for that. Anyway, the great thing about chickens is that when you eventually get bored with them, you can eat them. And they are easy to lord over and are not like those messy human relationships that they hear people talk about.

    5. Craig H.

      Washington Post misses the real story here. This is Silicon Valley. They ain’t doing it for the eggs. These are genetic engineering mad scientists and they intend to bring back the velociraptor with a DNA snip here and there.

      (I totally made this up but I couldn’t resist)

  18. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Why Amartya Sen Remains the Century’s Great Critic of Capitalism The Wire (J-LS).

    All victims of capitalism are great and forceful critics.

    It is that experience of each of you or us, every single time, that is a loud criticism, whether spoken, written or otherwise.

    Let us not overlook or forget even the silence or the void.

  19. Oregoncharles

    “FCC Accuses Stealthy Startup of Launching Rogue Satellites ”
    Interesting on more counts than the comment indicates. My son’s first reaction: “The FCC licenses satellites? Worldwide?” Considering the proliferation of commercial, international launch services, this arrangement is outdated – rather like the US owning the Internet. There needs to be an international agency, that, for instance, India will respect. I think the Indian launch company just ignored the FCC because it can.

    The root problem is big-time science fiction: a collision chain reaction that could destroy an entire level worth of satellites, conceivably almost all of them. The real problem with “Swarm Technologies” satellites is that they’re too small to be tracked accurately; they would go through another vehicle like a bullet. And the name migh thave been a poor choice, too.

    1. hunkerdown

      There is. The International Telecommunications Union delegates licensing jurisdiction for satellites to the relevant governing bodies of its member states, while retaining coordinating authority for global resources such as spectrum and orbital allocations. Since the satellite in this case is registered to and operated by a US entity, and since satellites are practically always radio transmitters, the FCC has clear authority to regulate them. Likewise, satellites registered to Indian entities would be regulated by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, again in coordination with the ITU.

      “impact on [its] qualifications to be a Commission licensee”… yep, they’re toast.

  20. Synoia

    Wild Boars Are Taking Over Japan as Population Ages

    Wild bores in Governments are a bigger threat.

    1. Oregoncharles

      Before guns, wild boars were considered the most dangerous game in Europe. Full grown domestic pigs are nothing to trifle with. OTOH,wild pigs are food.

      Two thoughts:

      Japan has very little farmland. Why is so much of it standing idle?

      This is a problem we wish we had. It’s because the population is declining, and therefore aging. That’s what the world population needs to do, preferably this way rather than in a collapse.

      1. Conrad

        Rough country unsuitable for arable farming, and a history of forest conservation.

        Japan has more native forest than New Zealand, twice as much in percentage terms.

        1. Oregoncharles

          The article says that developed arable land is fallow because there’s no one to work it. I thought the Japanese set a very high value on their farmers and their ability to grow food other than wild pork).

  21. David

    re: austerity and the rise of the Nazi Party, this austerity-leads-to-fascism meme is getting a bit out of control. I haven’t had time to read the whole study, but, skimming through it, the actual data don’t support the rather breathless first page which talks about “Hitler’s rise to power” and a rapid “shift to the extreme far-right”.
    The Nazis did not “rise to power” but were invited into a coalition government after becoming the largest party in the Reichstag after the November 1932 elections. It was the SA that took over the country, not the parliamentary leadership. The Nazis won less than a third of the vote in that election (they lost seats and votes compared with the previous election in July). The party was bankrupt at the time, and might well have disappeared from political life over the next year if Bruning had continued to rule by decree. The country did not shift violently to the Right – not least because the Left (Socialists and Communists combined) won more votes and seats than the Nazis. In any event, the latter were only one of a number of extreme nationalist-populist groups at the time, and seem to have siphoned up the votes of the others. Votes for “the extreme far-right” didn’t increase nearly as much as is often thought, and many existing rightwing voters just changed parties.
    The real issue was political stalemate and exhaustion, and that is a lesson for our times. The Weimar Republic collapsed in 1930, there was no real legitimate government, but there was rampant unemployment and violence in the streets. Austerity was inflicted, but then austerity was the default economic policy of the day. The two parties who wanted to overturn the system completely – the Nazis and the Communists – won half the votes, and probably had more than half of public opinion behind them, in the general sense of being “against the system”. The Nazis did as well as they did (again, not that well) because they had a young, vigorous leadership, untainted by the past, and promised to do something about the economy and about the humiliations of the Versailles Treaty. There, perhaps, is more of a lesson for today.

  22. Rob P

    >Diplomacy begins in earnest to pave way for US-NK summit Korea Herald. South Korea has agency in this, a fact that pearl-clutching members of The Blob tend to forget.

    One of The Blob’s big talking points is that there’s no realistic prospect of denuclearization, because N Korea would demand the U.S. remove the troops stationed in S Korea first, and an end to the military exercises there, and we would never agree to that. While it’s not hard to imagine Trump actually agreeing to this (maybe they mean The Blob wouldn’t let him do it, even if he wanted to), it could still happen without Washington’s consent. What happens if S Korea says they don’t want us there anymore, are we going to occupy them against their will?

    1. Andrew Watts

      I think that denuclearization is more dependent on a peace treaty and road-map agreement that will lead to the reunification of the Korean peninsula. The continued presence of American troops in the South isn’t that threatening and serves as a counterweight to Chinese influence with a treaty ending the Korean War.

      1. Chris

        “…the continued presence of American troops in the South isn’t that threatening…”

        Not to you maybe, but the annual joint military exercises on the N/S border are designed to look like the beginning of an invasion, and are timed to coincide with the NK harvest season, so as to disrupt agricultural production.

        1. Andrew Watts

          You seem to have missed the ‘with a treaty ending the Korean War’ part. The temporary suspension of military exercises isn’t a pre-condition of the meeting between Kim and Trump. Nor would China allow the US to unilaterally attack the North. They’d honor their treaty obligations as they’ve said.

          1. The Rev Kev

            You’re right. China has already told the North Koreans that if they launch an attack then they are on their own and good luck with that. If however, they are attacked first, then they would roll in and come to their aid like they did during the Korean war.
            Not sure where this negotiations can go. The US already had agreements that they had with North Korea which they deliberately broke under Bush. After Libya and Iran, why would they trust the west anyway? And the US refuses to end the Korean war with a treaty as that would end the legal cover for an attack.
            The only solution that I can see is if they let China set up a base or three near sensitive targets so that an attack on North Korea would be the tripwire for a deliberate attack on China. The cost to China could be defrayed by letting them buy some of the fabulous mineral wealth that the North Koreans have which has yet to be mined and which they can’t get to market yet. At the moment, all the west want to do is to turn North Korea into Gaza East.

            1. Andrew Watts

              The US already had agreements that they had with North Korea which they deliberately broke under Bush. After Libya and Iran, why would they trust the west anyway?

              I assume because the Koreans see their opportunity for unification. The North Koreans can trust Moon’s overtures because he’s displayed a willingness to defy the US and the South can trust Kim because he’s not under China’s thumb. The Koreans have always been stubbornly independent and resented outside interference in their affairs. With somebody as unorthodox as Trump in power it provides an opening that Hillary (or Sanders) wouldn’t necessarily possess as president.

              I’ve kinda suspected for awhile now that the nukes in North Korea were always diplomatic leverage in a high stakes game. We’ll see how they’ll be played and how successful that gambit is soon enough.

              Potentially, it’s a win-win-win situation.

              1. The Rev Kev

                I really hope so. As Churchill once said, jaw-jaw is better than war-war. I think that the only way this could really work is for a federated Korea with no ties to any foreign military powers. Sort of like a Switzerland.
                The cost of even a partial reunification will be huge (as the Germans found out) but there is all that unexploited mineral wealth that the North Koreans have. Let’s see how good the Don really is at negotiating. Time to ante up.

      2. Bugs Bunny

        Great comment. I was thinking if I were negotiating from the US/RoK side I’d go for 1. Peace treaty 2. Reunification timeline and perhaps RoK referendum on it 3. Denuclearization timed in steps with reunification 4. Compensation to Kim family and other DPRK leadership 5.Agreement for token US military presence in reunifed Korea 6. National elections

        Would the Chinese like such an arrangement?

        1. Andrew Watts

          The reunification process doesn’t necessarily have to involve the centralization of the government of Korea. There could be a federal state uniting the state of the North and a state of the South without any social, economic, and military barriers. That’d probably be the most realistic solution as opposed to demanding that Kim and the DPRK leave power.

          China could probably live with a token American military presence as long as it wasn’t stationed near the Chinese-Korean border. They’d be reassured even more if a united Korea had a military that was fully independent from the US. The South Korean military doesn’t operate that way now and pretty much takes its orders from an American general.

          1. The Rev Kev

            China could probably live with a token American military presence in North Korea the same day that America could live with a token Chinese military presence in San Francisco. The Koreans – North and South – are just as likely to ask the Japanese in to set up a military base first. Far too much stuff has happened within living memory for this to be viable in any way. There are zero trust issues here.

      1. Andrew Watts

        If the US tried that at this point they’d probably face riots and soldiers turned rioters. Basically the reception the Koreans gave the Japanese more than a century ago before annexation.

    2. VietnamVet

      I know it was ZeroHedge but they reported that Donald Trump is feeling fenced in and his three Generals are on their way out. Still, it was weird seeing the South Korean delegation announce that the President accepted a meeting with Kim Jong-un. I just don’t see the MIC unleashing Donald Trump. He just might withdraw US troops from South Korea if the North gets rid of its nuclear weapons and federates with the South. Together with Turkey threatening US troops in Manbij, Syria; who knows what will happen next. The oligarchs could twist the VP’s and the Cabinet’s arms to invoke the 25th amendment to keep the wars going.

  23. Utah

    Re Security Advice for Congressional Campaigns.
    This is really interesting advice, though they really love Apple and Google. Only use iPhone and google drive/ google chrome. Use chromebooks if possible.
    Aren’t there stories about chromebooks in schools allowing google to mine the data?
    Otherwise, this seems like pretty standard fare advice that everyone should be employing if they want to keep themselves safe.

    1. Oregoncharles

      No anti-virus?

      It’s clearly promoting Google – who pays for that org? And what are the alternatives?

      The Oregon party’s top software guy just erupted when we proposed putting our meetings on Google. He thought it was tantamount to giving the government everything, for free. He wasn’t polite about it. I don’t understand “Solidarity’s” obsession with them.

  24. Oregoncharles

    “The Missing Obama Millions:” “7 percent — that’s more than four million missing voters — stayed home. Three percent voted for a third-party candidate…” Hey, at least there’s some GOOD news: 2 million caught on.

    There are contexts where I wouldn’t bring this up, but it’s pretty obvious who stayed home and cost Hillary the election: blacks. And hardly surprising: they turned out to vote for The First Black President, not so much for a white woman hardly anybody likes. Why is this surprising?

  25. mle detroit

    “Security Guidelines for Congressional Campaigns Tech Solidarity. Important and useful.”

    These dogmatic statements sound paranoid to me. What’s the reasoning and evidence for any of them?

    The organization seems to be one guy, Maciej Ceglowski.

    One apparently good thing, here’s a link to Tech Solidarity’s Resources page. Click on the last link, the “Great Slate” and read the reasoning behind it (at the bottom). Do any readers know anything about these candidates and, in particular, their platforms?

    1. Oregoncharles

      It reads as an ad for Google to me. I wonder what our technically proficient commenters thought of it?

      1. Daryl

        I’m pretty sure the advice is intended to provide strong defaults for journalists and campaign workers who may or may not be tech savvy. Seems fine to me.

      2. The Rev Kev

        You spotted that too. I saw a big call out to Apple and Microsoft as well here so the message is to – trust big tech? This sounds like something that was meant for high-schoolers not for professionals. I may not be technically proficient but I sure as hell know about the principle of layered defenses and putting the nix on java-script running wild in your browser and on your computer. The mob that came up with this advice seems to be a bit of a rum outfit as well.
        There are political candidates on one of their pages as well and this 16 month-old mob is also asking for donations. A page at mentions that they were set up as part of a movement to fight Trump and a page at is suggesting to me that the whole thing is an astroturf movement. The whole advice page seems to me to be off somehow.

    2. YankeeFrank

      The skeptic in me reads this “advice” as a way to reduce the attack surface so campaigns can be easily spied upon.

      I mean, who thinks iphones are the most secure computers? And google drive? Is that the same google that works fist in glove with the CIA/NSA?

      This advice is mostly bad.

      1. subgenius

        Good advice would be use qubes…
        Downside….not the easiest operating system in terms of some stringent hardware requirements. Particularly if looking for laptops…

  26. ambrit

    That headline, “Missing Obama Millions” made me think about probable troubles with the budget for the “Presidential Library/Monument.” I never once thought about voters in the context of Obama, just money and greed. I suppose that makes him the perfect heir to the Clinton Claque.

    1. Quentin

      That’s what I thought of too: the moolah. Mr and Mrs Obama: glamor, celebrity, Hollywood…

  27. Tomonthebeach

    Brexit News is NOT news.

    Am I the only person who thinks that Brexit news is neither new or newsworthy? To me, the only NEWS about Brexit would be that UK finally left the EU or that UK wised up and decided to stay in the EU. Everything else is just political noise like Donald Trumps tweets.

    Metaphorically, these Brexit reports are like the blow-by-blow description of a boxing match between The Incredible Hulk and PeeWee Herman. The outcome is inevitable. I do not relish hearing about the negative impact of each blow as the life is beaten out of PeeWee, especially when PeeWee could just cede the conflict and walk away unscathed.

        1. ambrit

          Oh, by all means throw the UK in with Greece. A proper ‘bubble and squeak’ in the making. After all, the present Prince Consort is related to the former King of Greece. Englands’ ‘meddling’ in Greece goes all of the way back to the founding of the ‘modern’ state of Greece. Remember Byron and all those romantics versus the Sublime Porte?

  28. Summer

    Re: Let’s Get Real About Russiagate…

    It’s a delicate investigation into financial corruption because it’s like the players are trying lift a thin layer of pond scum from the rest of the swamp, carefully, without disturbance to the rest.

    1. Donald

      That is the best summary I have seen so far. I am stealing this, though giving credit or admitting I didn’t think of it.

  29. audrey jr

    Speaking of Google not being evil: my computer crashed a couple of weeks ago. It happened, coincidentally, I’m sure, after I stopped payment on an unauthorized renewal of an antivirus program. But no problem, really, as I have one key recovery and I never put any kind of pertinent info onto my computer so I lost nothing of value during the recovery.
    Last night I’m logging into Filmstruck to watch some foreign films and I had to reinstall Adobe Flash to run the films. So during the download I notice that Google Chrome is piggybacking on the Adobe download. So, even though I chose not to reinstall Chrome – I use Opera as my browser – Google decided otherwise for me. Between the unauthorized payment taken from me and the unwanted download of Chrome the tech thing is really paying off for some but not for me. Baked into the cake?

    1. swangeese

      One thing I learned about installing software on Windows was to ALWAYS choose the ‘custom install’ option. That way you can deselect any bundled software.

      Using the ‘express install’ option is guaranteed to install any bundled software that is tagging along.

    2. blennylips

      While I totally agree with YankeeFrank above, Adobe pioneered corporate evilness long before the goog came along.

      Adobe Flash is a big glaring security hole. I got rid of it years ago. You can survive!

      The best (maybe only good) advice in the Security Guidelines for Congressional Campaigns is:


      Uninstall all anti-virus software. Having antivirus is like putting a hole in your stomach to monitor for food poisoning; it creates more problems than it solves.

      The only exception is Windows Defender. It is safe to use, and turning it on will help you un-install other antivirus programs.

      Same time I stopped windows updates, I took that advice.

      And Adobe PDF’s? Adobe’s postscript is a Turing complete language, fer {family blog}’s sake!

      Why Should documents be Turing complete?

  30. Jean

    Right to Repair;
    Boycott John Deere products until they stop enforcing the Digital Rights Management money harvesting plan.

    Analogy: Your car breaks down, you have to wait a week to drive to work until a car company certified technician comes to your house and resets your radio or a simple fuse.
    Do it yourself, or hire anyone else and you have broken federal law.

    1. Oregoncharles

      I don’t quite understand why farmers are buying these in the first place.

      This should make for quite a healthy used market.

      1. ambrit

        You seem to be living out in or near farm country. Tractors take a beating. After a while, I speak from limited personal experience, keeping the machines working can become a full time hobby all its’ own. As with any machine, new models do come with shiny new bells and whistles, but also, usually, an initial period of optimum functionality. When ‘success’ is measured in razor thin ‘profit’ margins, that ‘sweet spot’ of superior productivity takes on major importance.
        So, the bigger, first line agribusinesses will go with newer machinery for economic reasons while the second tier farmers will struggle along with the cast offs. When those ‘cast offs’ are legalized to be uneconomical, the second tier farmers become uneconomical. Voila! Technology driven concentration in the field. (Pun intended.)

  31. Darthbobber

    I think the biggest driver of the recent threat of peace in Korea is the South Korean reaction to our last round of sabre rattling. Not the North Korean one.

    They found it unnerving that the United States was making noises as if the destruction of big chunks of the country we were supposedly protecting, including it’s capital city, might be acceptable collateral damage of a preemptive strike against the North, and that they might have nothing to say about it.

    This was not anything they bargained for, and makes continued reliance on the US protection racket a questionable proposition for them.

    Having the North and South make peace without our alleged leadership in the matter, and likely relying on China as the guarantor, would probably be a worst case scenario for a US government, hence the rush to put the Donald at the center of things.

  32. fresno dan
    he war in Afghanistan, which is becoming one of the longest in world history, reaches its 6,000th day on Monday….

    It would, however, be helpful to have an explanation of U.S. interests and objectives beyond vice-presidential boilerplate about how “We will see it through to the end.” And (to U.S. troops) how “the road before you is promising.” And how the president has “unleashed the full range of American military might.” And how “reality and facts and a relentless pursuit of victory will guide us.” And how U.S. forces have “crushed the enemy in the field” (or at least “put the Taliban on the defensive”) in “this fight for freedom in Afghanistan,” where Bagram Airfield is “a beacon of freedom.” If the U.S. objective is freedom there rather than security here, or if the theory is that the latter somehow depends on the former, the administration should clearly say so, and defend those propositions, or liquidate this undertaking that has, so far, cost about $1 trillion and 2,200 American lives.
    “reality and facts and a relentless pursuit of victory will guide us”
    If there were any reality and facts, it would guide us to leave….

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