Links 3/2/18

Uncovering the Secret Lives of Wolves Quetico Superior Foundation

Can technology save us from shark attacks? BBC (David L). You are more likely to die from a coconut falling on your head. Seriously. Even after allowing for debate over how far you could generalize from the original study and cutting the extrapolation by a full order of magnitude. But no one makes movies about falling coconuts.

Giant Family Tree of 13 Million People Just Created LiveScience (Kevin W)

Study suggests indigenous hunters mistakenly blamed for caribou population decline in northern Canada PhysOrg (Robert M)

This asteroid will pass closer than the moon on Friday EarthSky (Chuck L)

A case study in the possibilities and politics of solar in Greater Minnesota Energy News Network (Chuck L)

5G: Hat and Cattle Microwave Journal. Alex V:

Something different from the usual news sources on NC, but an interesting place to see neoliberal ideology…. 5G is the next mobile communications standard and a major source of hype in the industry at the moment.

This paragraph stood out to me as basically begging for American style oligopoly:

Asked why Europe is lagging in deploying 5G, when a goal of the European Commission (EC) was to be first, Suri responded that Europe has too many operators in each country (two to four), with the average revenue per user (ARPU) just one-third of that in the U.S. With fewer subscribers and lower ARPU, operators don’t have the profitability to invest, particularly when they have unused 4G capacity. He said Europe needs reduced regulation, fewer operators and data plans that better monetize usage.

It’s Time to Remember That Fast-Food Companies Are the Worst Grub Street (J-LS)

Diabetes is actually five separate diseases, research suggests BBC


Ce*sored! China bans letter N (briefly) from internet as Xi Jinping extends grip on power Guardian (Chuck L)

‘School in a box’ alternative classrooms help kids in Tonga resume studies after Cyclone Gita ABC (JTM)

German voters think SPD unfit for government DW

Carles Puigdemont quits bid for Catalan presidency CNN


Northern Ireland border could be beaded curtain, says government Daily Mash (David W)

New Cold War

Vladimir Putin unveils Russian ICBM he claims renders defenses ‘useless’ NBC (furzy) and Putin reveals new Russian missile that can ‘reach any point in the world’ CNBC

Putin’s stunning revelations about new Russian weapons systems Vineyard of the Saker. Breathless, but that does not necessarily mean wrong. Recall how Russia has been keeping a lot of its new systems under wraps, and some of the equipment they deployed in the Middle East apparently put the US on the back foot. Our military is so full of pork that we’ve made it possible for small countries (Russia despite its land mass has the GDP of South Korea) to be very competitive in weapons systems development. I hope readers who are into this sort of thing will read this post and pipe up in comments.

Russia Shows Off New Weapons – Tells U.S. To “Come Down To Earth” Moon of Alabama (UserFriendly). Has links to the speech, which was simultaneously translated into English, and a transcript.

Russia throws ‘name-that-weapon’ contest after President Putin’s menacing nuclear missile unveiling Daily News


Israel and Poland Find It Difficult to Acknowledge the Facts of History Counterpunch (Chuck L)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

`NSA-proof’ Tor actually funded by US govt agency, works with BBG, FBI, DOJ – FOIA docs RT. Tom d: “A bit reminiscent of the Per Wahloo novel “Murder on the Thirty-First Floor”: All the dissidents are lured into one work space–and killed.”

Trump Transition

Trump steel tariffs: Trading partners threaten retaliation BBC

Donald Trump’s not making America great again – in the eyes of the world at least South China Morning Post (furzy)

Trump EPA moves to roll back more clean air and water rules Associated Press (UserFriendly)

Mueller considers charges against Russians who leaked emails during the 2016 election CNBC (Kevin W)

Trump suggests death penalty to stop opioid epidemic Politico (UserFriendly). Help me. How about the drug company execs who were behind shipping 20 million pain pills to a town with 2900 people?

Report said to fault FBI’s former No. 2 for approving improper media disclosure, misleading inspector general Washington Post (furzy)

Sanders feels FEC burn over illegal Australian donations RT. Kevin W: “No comment on the $88 million that the Australian government gave to the Clinton foundation.”

Punishment, Favoritism, and a Bag of Gummy Penises: How the Democratic Party Resists Change PasteMagazine (UserFriendly)

Steve Bannon Is Obsessed with the Fall of the Patriarchy Vanity Fair (furzy)

Meet the young progressive Latina trying to oust one of the most powerful Democrats in the House Mic (UserFriendly)

Democratic Congressional Candidate Built Lucrative Career Spying on Left-Wing Activists Intercept (UserFriendly)


Gun control hopes dashed as lawmakers signal shift to banking reform Guardian

Baffled Republicans distance themselves from Trump on guns The Hill. I haven’t tracked it down, but a media junkie buddy says Trump said something to the effect of “I don’t owe the NRA anything.”

AR-15s Are Biblical ‘Rod Of Iron’ At Pennsylvania Church NPR (LaRuse)

Kroger to Stop Selling Guns to Buyers Under 21 Wall Street Journal

Adam Smith Explains Why Good Guys With Guns Don’t Stop School Shooters Ian Welsh (Bob K)

YouTube Hiring for Some Positions Excluded White and Asian Males, Lawsuit Says Wall Street Journal

US Treasury bonds are among the best portfolio ideas right now South China Morning Post (furzy)

Harvard Blew $1 Billion in Bet on Tomatoes, Sugar, and Eucalyptus Bloomberg

Guillotine Watch

Ultra Wealthy Are Being Lured to Italy by Low Tax Rates Bloomberg

Class Warfare

Black Tar, Black Markets: Denver’s Opioid Crisis and the Search for a Progressive Fix Alternet

Supreme Court: Indefinite Detention for Immigrants is Allowed Real News Network. Um, since Obama got rid of habeas corpus, is this news?


Homeless man is kicked out of McDonald’s after stranger buys him food New York Daily News (Brian C). What jerks.

Heartbreaking remains of missing woman who died while trapped in the WALL of her home when she fell through her attic and lay undiscovered until the house went into foreclosure three years on Daily Mail. Only in America…

It Started in Wisconsin Jacobin (Chuck L). On the “Wisconsin uprising” and the pending AFSCME ruling.

Wages grew for most workers in 2017, but slowly and unequally Economic Policy Institute

Is Amazon Too Big to Tax? New Republic

Antidote du jour (Tracie H). Merlyn: “Now, about my biscuit rations…”

And a bonus video. More elephants!

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. Eureka Springs

      I have an old farm truck which I use for hauling kayaks up and down the river, firewood, etc. Anyway I left a McD’s breakfast sausage burrito in a paper bag crumpled up on the floor of the truck for nearly a month. It never smelled bad. Didn’t even attract a fly.

        1. Jean

          That homeless man kicked out of McDonald’s probably a veteran, kicked out of a corporate shithole by an ‘officer’.

          Just reinforces my desire to never ever spend one penny in such a place anywhere.

  1. The Rev Kev

    Harvard Blew $1 Billion in Bet on Tomatoes, Sugar, and Eucalyptus

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer lot. I think that I know what their problem was when things were falling to pieces. They hired Stephen Blyth at one stage as head of Harvard’s endowment but it continued to go south. I think that they had the wrong Blyth. They might have been better hiring Mark Blyth instead.

    1. allan

      Money quote:

      Harvard over the past decade ended June 30 posted a 4.4 percent average annual return, among the worst of its peers. It even lagged the simplest approach: Investing in a market-tracking index fund holding 60 percent stocks and 40 percent bonds, which earned an annual 6.4 percent.

      But investing 60/40 in index funds would have been incompatible with the myth of Harvard exceptionalism,
      so let’s drop a few billion$ instead.

      1. Procopius

        People seem to have forgotten that economics guru Larry Summers lost $1.8 billion, with a ‘B’, while he was President of Harvard. They’re still rich.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      All they have to do is study what Keynes did for the Kings College endowment in Cambridge. It is still I believe rated as the most successful long term strategy, even better than Buffet.

      Keynes, of course, had a cold eyed understanding of how the world actually works. He also seemed to have seen helping the endowment as his duty, and not a way to make a fast buck.

    3. Wukchumni

      You know what’s embarrassing?

      To have ‘bet’ part of a billion dollars on a pigpen of a tree that many regret having planted, in retrospect.

    1. Judith

      Thanks. Baby elephant and baby petrel to start the day, with the Nor’easter blowing.

  2. Webstir


    This seems an issue that needs to addressed to the State Bar Associations.
    ““This has been a largely invisible problem, because the people it’s happening to typically don’t have lawyers and aren’t speaking out,” says Jennifer Turner, a human rights researcher at ACLU.” True.
    However, judges are all members of State Bar Associations and subject to the same complaints that lawyers are. I, personally, have never had to fend off a bar complaint (crosses fingers … says a little prayer … knocks on wood) but I know plenty of attorneys who have. Even if the lawyer successfully defends against the complaint, it is not fun. It will basically throw your entire practice into disarray until dealt with. You don’t need a lawyer to pick up the phone and call your State Bar Association and complain. This needs to be more widely recognized by the public. Maybe there is short focus piece to be done on this?

    1. Brian

      In some side work I undertook for a few friends, I sent FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) letters in response to debt collectors attempting to collect credit card debts that were always over 5 years old, hence they were paid down or off due to chargebacks etc.
      Out of 30 letters, responses that claimed the debt were still valid were about 15%. The reply did not comply with the rules under FDCPA reporting, leaving the claim in limbo. When I had to send a second letter in reply remind the debt collector that they did not comply, no further claim was forthcoming. The game is fraud. They could never identify the chain of ownership required to show standing to collect the debt. They could never verify the amount claimed to be owed.
      Try it yourself, it is rather simple once you have the rule book.

      1. perpetualWAR

        This is the same principle many of us used in regards to our mortgages when the servicer claimed “default.” They don’t have any idea who the owner of the debt is, and if they provided wire transfers, it would show the fraud.

        It’s all a circus.

        On another note, a few years ago, an ambulance service sent me a bill claiming I used their services (which I didn’t.) It was hell trying to get them to reverse the charges. They finally admitted it was not my bill! Scamsters live.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          No, that it not correct with mortgages. They do have a record of transfers. They know who all the intermediate owners were.

          The issue is that in lien theory states (where the homeowner “owns” the house and it has to be foreclosed upon via a judicial foreclosure; in title theory states, the borrower effectively only has the right to use the property until the mortgage is paid off, hence they can foreclose merely by advertising and not go to court to effect a title transfer; this is not precise legally but is directionally correct), the parties to the securitization didn’t take the steps stipulated in the pooling & servicing agreement to transfer the borrower’s note properly from party to party. They try to tidy it up well after the fact but the construction of the securitization and the trusts don’t allow for that.

      2. Jen

        My phone number apparently used to belong to someone who is being pursued by debt collectors. I can always tell when someone new has acquired his portfolio because my phone starts ringing. The latest company made the tactical error of obeying the law. An actual human being made the call. Told him he had the wrong number, that I’d had this number for 13 years and never to call me again. Poor guy was very apologetic.

      3. Aumua

        I was sued by a debt collecting law firm around 2010, for an alleged debt that was 4 years old, and had been handed off several times to different entities. The suit was brought in a local justice court. I fought the case, went through discovery, summary judgement motion, all of of that, represented myself and won. They paid me for my costs. I learned how to do this on the Internet. In most cases, these bottom feeders get only a list of names, dollar amounts and SS#. They pay literal pennies on the dollar for these lists, and then go after people for the full amount. They often can’t prove they have the standing to collect the debt when it comes down to it. They have numerous tactics to get around this fact, and unfortunately they get away with it much of the time.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          If DSA had enough legally knowledgeable people to conduct workshops for interested victim-targets of these debt vulture-suits on how to defend themselves, they might find people interested to learn.

          And if DSA help actually helped people to actually defeat these vulture-suits, DSA might find some of them so grateful and respectful as to join the DSA.

      4. Avalon Sparks

        Just want to caution that in the past I hired a lawyer to deal with a few junk collectors that were going after debt they purchased from credit card companies. If the debt was still within in the statute of limitations in your state (google) they can sue you for it. It could be that they try to sue anyway.

        The caution is that although in the past these junk collectors (and probably still true of the smaller agencies) did not have the paper trail, but some of the bigger firms like Midland and also Portfolio Financial do have the paperwork and can prove the original debt/ debtor. My lawyer said they were much better at having that. So please be aware that times have changed.

        Also – tons of good information and advice online on how to deal with it. If you google the particular agency that is trying to collect, google ‘sued me’ along with the name of the firm. This will usually indicate which ones even try to collect by suing, a lot of them actually don’t.

        Just don’t ignore the summons if you are sued, the case will probably take place within a few weeks, and in my state they only gave me 10 days to respond. If you don’t have representation and don’t show up at the hearing, you automatically lose. :( That’s what happens 95% of the time. All the above information is based on credit card debt only – that’s the only type I’ve had, not sure about medical debt.

        1. Aumua

          Yes, I am aware that various factors change over time including: the mood of the courts, the preparedness of the collectors, the laws themselves and government protections such as FDCPA.. so if you’re thinking of fighting, do your research. I’ll admit that luck was part of my success in fending off the vultures at that particular time and place (AZ).

    2. Lambert Strether

      > You don’t need a lawyer to pick up the phone and call your State Bar Association and complain. This needs to be more widely recognized by the public. Maybe there is short focus piece to be done on this?

      I wonder if any of the foreclosure lawyers in the house would be amenable to this? I don’t think it’s something for one of us to do.

  3. JohnnySacks

    MIRV ICBMs are late 60s technology, deployed by us around 1970 on Minuteman 3. But scary Russia! Ka-ching, the gift that keeps on giving if you’re connected.

    1. Duck1

      The big ICBM has been written about for some time, so it must be reaching deployment. A novel aspect is that the homeland can be attacked by crossing the southern hemisphere, and all the gunz are pointed in the wrong direction. The plane launched missile for attacking ships is said to be deployed, see no reason why this is untrue. Nuclear powered ramjet? Look up the US program in the fifties for the problems with these. Drone sub? Was made public a few years ago in what seemed like a psyop. Lasers and hypersonic, everybody been spending money on these for a while. As Pynchon wrote, if they get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to give you answers.

      1. Mark P.

        Nuclear powered ramjet? Look up the US program in the fifties for the problems with these.

        But it’s not clear what kind of nuclear power that missile has from the reports so far.

        So, yeah, a Project Pluto type reactor would be problematic (!). On the other hand, a missile powered by a molten salt reactor like the US and USSR nuclear-powered bomber projects had is quite feasible. What rendered those bombers non-viable was the weight of radiation shielding necessary with a manned crew, unless you had a ‘direct injection’-type nuclear jet and all your flight crews dying off over 2-6 years.

        None of that applies with a cruise missile. Furthermore, whereas the US closed down its nuclear bomber program in 1958, the Soviets kept theirs running till 1968-69. They also are the only people to operationalize a whole fleet of molten-salt reactor-powered subs, the Akula hunter-killers in the 1970s-80s, which were the fastest subs ever.

        So a nuclear-powered cruise missile that could stay up there for weeks and months? History says it’s doable and the Russians are the people best equipped to do it.

        1. UserFriendly

          yup. Russia is also the only country that has two operational fast breeder reactors.

  4. Steve H.

    5G: The FCC wouldn’t sell you out, would it? This is from a position of advocacy, but seems worth consideration.

    1. Alex V

      Sorry but this link is pure pseudo-scientific mumbo jumbo that conflates ionizing and non-ionizing radiation, fails to understand that radiating RF power decreases exponentially as distance increases, and has no idea what EIRP actually means. Literal tin foil hat territory.

      The FCC still sucks, however.

      1. JeffC

        Cover your eyes if pointless pedantry offends you, as while I’m glad to see you calling out nonsense, a personal pet peeve of mine is using “exponentially” to mean “really fast.”

        When you open a bank account paying a sad but constant 0.01%/year rate of interest and leave the account untouched indefinitely, the compounding makes the account balance grow exponentially though certainly not quickly.

        The power density of electromagnetic radiation far from the source decreases with the square of the distance from that source. It does not decrease exponentially. It would be decreasing exponentially if it dropped by the same number of dB with each mile of additional distance, but it simply does not behave that way.

        The meaning of “exponentially” isn’t some obscure oddity. The term is understood and consistently used correctly by everyone in the STEM fields, a group that is not so small as it once was. I blame journalists grasping for tech cred for the increasing misuse of the term by others.

        Flame off!

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          What are some exponentially increasing/decreasing examples?

          A magnitude 8 earthquake is 100 (10 to the 2nd power) times stronger than a magnitude 6 (8 – 6 = 2).

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Whereas 8^2 is only 1.7778 times more than 6^2

            Even 8^3 is only 2.370 times more than 6^3.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Though, I must admit, an exponent is involved in each case.

              In one case, the exponent is constant.

              The other, it is changing.

              Since an exponent is involved, the rule is one can use the word ‘exponentially,’ because, well, because words are never as precise as numbers.

              “What do you mean by that?”

              “Well, let me show you the equation.”

              1. WobblyTelomeres

                Let c be a constant.
                Let x vary across a range, say [1..100].

                Let f(x) = c^x.

                In this case, f(x) is exponential.

                Let f(x) = x*c.

                In this case, f(x) is linear.

                Hope this helps.

          2. DonCoyote

            pH (acid/base scale) is powers of 10 logarithmic. pH 4 is 100 times more acidic than pH 6. pH 7 is neutral, and scale goes from 0 (pure acid) to 14 (pure base).

          3. JeffC

            Radioactive decay is a classic example. If there is no chain reaction, the amount of the original isotope decreases exponentially with time. This can be slow, like uranium 238 with a half life of nearly 5 billion years, or fast, like hydrogen 7 with a half life well under 10^(-22) seconds.

        2. brook trout

          Not in the STEM field, but as a home gardener who grows all his own starts, I am well aware of the law of squares. And I agree that exponential doesn’t mean “really fast.” But I am at a loss to understand your example. In my layman’s understanding of terms, when you state the energy “would be decreasing exponentially if it dropped by the same number of dB with each mile of additional distance,” you have described a linear equation, not the curve of an equation with an exponent. Y=mx+b, the slope formula, contains no exponents. The energy in your example decreases as the square of the distance; it would make a lovely curve when graphed, because, yes, it decreases by the square, the “square” being of course the exponent 2.

          1. integer

            Your confusion appears to stem (pun intended) from not being aware that decibels are a logarithmic unit of measurement.

          2. lyman alpha blob

            Without actually having read the details, I believe you are correct. The original comment mentioned radiating RF power which I’m assuming is some sort of electromagnetic radiation which would be subject to the inverse square law, which is what Alex V is describing.

        3. blennylips

          I do not see it as pointless.

          If you search for a video “The most important video you’ll ever see”, up pops this gem by Professor Emeritus in Nuclear Physics at University of Colorado at Boulder, my favorite curmudgeon, Al Barlett (1923-2013) . He states:

          “The greatest shortcoming
          of the human race is our
          inability to understand
          the exponential
          function.” – Prof.
          Al Bartlett

          You can hardly call that pointless!

          The video is all over the place. I suggest starting on Al’s web site for a slew of viewing option:

          Arithmetic, Population and Energy – a talk by Al Bartlett

          There should be a test when you finish!

      2. Steve H.

        Apparently no longer tinfoil

        I welcome counterpoints with supporting information. There are significant differences between WHO standards and U.S. standards and I’m looking to make informed decisions.

      3. JeffC

        OK, let me add, since there’s more interest than I expected, that a quantity changing exponentially with x (perhaps time or distance) has all of its dependence on x in the exponent, which also needs to be a linear function of x. So compounding balance P (1+ r)^n is increasing exponentially in time, which is represented by n.

        Sorry about the confusing dB example. As one commenter caught, the key to that one is that the exponential relationship is hidden in the definition of a decibel.

        Lots more one could say, but better to encourage googling than for me to eat up any more of the thread.

        Cheers all, and kudos for the healthy curiosity.

        1. Alex V

          You’re correct, and I wrote exponentially too quickly, conflating EIRP and free space loss in my head somewhat…. was thinking of the spherical representation of isotropic radiation, and the power decreasing as a function of distance over a given area, which I believe would be exponential. Thanks for the clarification and call out ;) The link got me going a little bit…..

          1. Steve H.

            You know what, mea culpa, the link I posted was a poor stimuli for the question I posed, which was whether the FCC would sell you out, with the middle premise being they would ignore health effects.

            That Alex V made a unit error is not that important. That he had an emotional reaction that led to the error is a flaw in the post. It failed to make clear the mechanism of health effects from non-ionizing radiation, for example.

            I should’ve brought a link that better pointed to the conclusion sought, which was political in nature. This morning I watched an excellent arborist take down my liability futures in the backyard, and the smallest tree had a tangle of vines that made it the most frustrating for him to handle. I’m good with nipping this branch before it gets tangled again.. Thanks all.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Of course the whole thing is blatant rubbish! But you have to have something to keep the Russia gate thing going up until your mid-terms. Don’t be surprised when it is alleged that Seth Rich was murdered by dastardly Russian agents resulting in sanctions or maybe diplomatic expulsions.

      1. Mark P.

        Don’t be surprised when it is alleged that Seth Rich was murdered by dastardly Russian agents

        We read it here first!

        1. subgenius

          Apparently I have been operating under the misapprehension that The Rev Kev is reverend….(like an old friend With whom he shares the moniker)

          But now it is clear it is the Revolutionary Kev.

          Luckily google has his number, repeatedly demanding that Rev be rendered as Red.

      1. integer

        Not sure how you can reconcile your statement that “[t]he whole story is farcical” with the content of the article you linked to, which asserts that the DNC was hacked by Russians who subsequently gave the emails to Wikileaks. Wheeler’s only issue with the NBC article amounts to trivial minutiae, which is something she has become a specialist in since Trump was elected.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          She seems to want to appear smarter than everyone else while still adhering to the ‘resistance’ dogma.

          “Yes, Trump is guilty of colluding with Russia but not for the reasons everybody else is talking about. I have secret info confirming it but I can’t tell any of you without having to kill you all” is her schtick lately.

          1. Procopius

            I check her blog from time to time. I recall reading one column where she admitted that she had no evidence that the Russians did any hacking but believed it. I remember feeling quite disappointed, but I didn’t bookmark the column so can’t find it again.

    2. Sid Finster

      It is a farce, except to those who so desperately want to believe.

      Witness the breathless response to the Troll Farm That Launched WWIII/

      1. dcblogger

        Seth Rich’s parents are very angry that his name is being used in this way. Speaking ONLY for myself, if the Republicans did have a mole in the DNC who passed on the material to wikileaks, Rich was NOT that mole. It was someone else.

        1. ocop

          The “mole” did not have to be Republican. Really all it requires is burn out and frustration–ideology (Republican, Sanders, or otherwise) certainly would help but is not necessary.

        2. integer

          Seymour Hersh discussing Wikileaks DNC leaks Seth Rich & FBI report

          “So, they found what he’d done. He had submitted a series of documents, of emails. Some juicy emails from the DNC, and you know, by the way all this shit about the DNC, um, you know, whether it was hacked or wasn’t hacked, whatever happened, the democrats themselves wrote this shit, you know what I mean? All I know is that he offered a sample, an extensive sample, you know I’m sure dozens of emails and said ‘I want money.’”

          WikiLeaks tweeted a link to this audio recording.

          1. Lambert Strether

            Steve H commented:

            the smallest tree had a tangle of vines that made it the most frustrating for him to handle.

            That seems to apply to a lot, these days. Thanks for the reminder; Hersh may be wrong (p0wned by the FBI, say) but he doesn’t make sh*t up, so this is important. There’s no [family blogging] transcript, of course, at YouTube, but a transcript was made, fortunately.

            If Hersh ever turned this into a story that made it out of the ZH/InfoWars/Global Research milieu, I can’t find it. Can’t any readers clarify?

            1. integer

              I’m fairly certain there hasn’t been a Seymour Hersh article on Seth Rich. Caitlin Johnstone wrote about Hersh not speaking up on this matter:

              Seymour Hersh Owes The World An Explanation For His Seth Rich Comments Medium

              When confronted with hard facts about the way he was changing his story, Hersh reportedly replied, “I’m not going to comment about that stuff, I mean, come on, I live in the real world.”

              Sounds to me like Hersh is unwilling to suffer the consequences that would result from officially putting his name behind the assertions he makes. As well as the Johnstone article, make sure to look at this link (which is given in the Johnstone article) in order to get the full picture.

        3. Homina

          Maybe his parents are insane or hated him or stupid, etc. Or maybe lie in the vain of family/acquaintances of serial killers/mass murderers and such. “Such a nice boy.” “Never could have imagined.” “Last person you’d think…”

          Janay Palmer forgives Ray Rice; Samantha Geimer wants charges against Roman Polanski dropped…meaningless as concerns whether an event happened or not. Or in other words I don’t think what a victim wants or their family thinks/wants is much evidence of anything except for their personal opinions, of which there are 7 other billion. Just the facts, jack!

      2. VietnamVet

        I remember when the Washington Times was oddball conservative. But, the media moguls’ campaign to get Donald Trump to resign and the Deep State’s ability to encircle him with operatives makes today’s news undecipherable. You have to decide for yourself what seems likely. Seth Rich’s murder is highly suspicious. Mixed in also are the DOJ’s Inspector General’s recent revelations about the FBI. It is fairly clear that someone high enough to have access to classified Russian Ambassador’s communications purposefully used it to catch General Michael Flynn in a FBI perjury trap to remove him as National Security Advisor. But, despite Presidential Tweets no special prosecutor has been appointed to investigate this. It is also clear that Russiagate was thought up at the last minute to explain Hillary Clinton’s loss rather than facing the facts of what really caused the election Donald Trump. That all this is ignored by “Resistors” is telling. Apparently Marcy Wheeler Is in that camp now. It is coming down to “Are you for the American Global Empire and the Plutocracy?” If not, you are a Russian collaborator.

    3. Procopius

      Excuse me, I missed that. When/where did Julian Assange “hint” that Seth Rich leaked the DNC emails? My memory (admittedly not terribly reliable any more) is that both Assange and Wikileaks assertred very strongly that Seth Rich was not the leaker, but that the emails were delivered to them by a disgruntled employee of the DNC. Someone other than Seth Rich.

  5. Alex V

    Regarding Russia’s new weapons systems, the US had the idea for a nuke powered missile back in the 50’s.

    Proposed usage was interesting, to say the least….. first drop nukes on the military installations, then fly the missile over cities (spewing enough radioactivity to kill) for weeks, and then crash the reactor to create one final large no-go zone lasting centuries….

    Of course this is just whataboutism, so never mind the precedent we set.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      A lot of those missiles have been brewing for a long time. As you say, a lot of money went into nuke powered aircraft in the 1950’s, thankfully abandoned. One wonders how on earth the Russians could test a missile like that as any accident would have catastrophic implications. I doubt if its anything more than a side project.

      The hypervelocity missile (Kinzhal) has been known about for some time, its a joint project between a private Russian company and the Indians. Its possible of course that the Russians have been using the BrahMos project as a cheap way to develop their own copy. Its potentially very deadly for anti-ship use. The advantage of missiles like this for the Russians is that high speed stand off missiles can turn old out of date combat aircraft into very effective weapons. Who needs F-35’s if an old Mig can whack any target with a hypervelocity missile from beyond the range of anti-aircraft defences. It fits neatly into the Russian strategy of using Tu-160 long range bombers with cruise missiles as a much cheaper way to project power worldwide than using aircraft carriers, fleets, or multiple foreign bases.

      The Avangard is again a very old project. Back in the 1980’s there was a photo taken of a Russian ship retrieving what was thought to be a small model of a type of space shuttle, but it was later found to be a research project involving missiles launched ballistically which would then glide at high altitudes like a cruise missile, probably hunting for ships. Nothing came of it, but it could well be they’ve all been constantly working on it and can make it now. If it works, its the end for aircraft carriers as it would be incredibly difficult to defend against.

      The Russians are very good at making simple, effective weapons that fit into their military strategy. They are particularly good at making up for inadequacies in electronic or materials science by using smart software solutions, or just using the weapons in innovative ways. An example was the Mig 25 which used very old style electronics (vacuum tubes!) as a means of protecting itself from electronic warfare and used steel imaginatively in the structure to avoid spending too much on fancy alloys.

      But that said, nobody reading this owns a Russian smartphone or Russian car or has a Russian fridge for a very good reason. Their industry isn’t very good at making high quality products consistently. Russia has been forced to buy French electronics for their tanks because its far better than they can produce, and likewise bought French amphibious assault ships as Putin made no secret of his contempt for Russian shipbuilding.

      Also, of course, Russia is deeply corrupt, so there is no reason to believe their defence industry is any less infected with graft and waste as any other. Going back to Soviet days there were plenty of idiotic weapons projects that made no sense or were far too ambitious.

      A further point is that the Russians have no doubt noticed how smart the Chinese have been at using creative ambiguity to panic the US over its weapons capabilities. They will be avid readers of military magazines and will know full well the confusion and panic it can cause (aided by lobbyists of course), if the US believes its falling behind in some area. So many of these projects are likely to be ‘Fleet in Being‘ type strategies, designed to draw resources away from more important areas.

      1. DonCoyote

        “Ask a Soviet engineer to design a pair of shoes and he’ll come up with something that looks like the boxes that the shoes came in; ask him to make something that will massacre Germans, and he turns into Thomas {family blog}-ing Edison.”

        — Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon

        1. Indrid Cold

          Speaking of Germans, they had a project for a low orbital bomber to attack America with So this is not the latest concept.
          They executed Julius and Ethel for giving the USSR “the bomb”, when really it was the same guy responsible for Hitlers nuclear program, Manfred Von Ardenne who enthusiastically plunged into Stalins, and won a special prize for his efforts.
          The myth is that God Himself gave America nuclear bombs, through the chosen prophet, Albert Einstein so that Germany might be destroyed for its sin. Real life don’t work that way. And Heisenberg was only one layer of the super secret German super weapon projects. After all, Albert Einstein wasn’t given the deepest clearance, either. Theory guys don’t get that kind of access. That’s for engineers.
          The German Air Force discovered extremely destructive scalar physics effects while doing radar research. And if that gets weaponized, which we can all be absolutely positive it has long been, then doomsday weapons are widely distributed.

          1. Harrold

            Nazi incompetence and short sightedness prevented Germany from developing nuclear weapons. Albert Speer said the project was largely abandoned in 1942 as a Nazi victory was just around the corner.

            1. integer

              The Private Heisenberg and the Absent Bomb NYRB

              What the letters reveal are glimpses of Heisenberg’s inner life, like the depth of his relief after the meeting with Speer, reassured that things could safely tick along as they were; his deep unhappiness over his failure to explain to Bohr how the German scientists were trying to keep young physicists out of the army while still limiting uranium research work to a reactor, while not pursuing a fission bomb; his care in deciding who among friends and acquaintances could be trusted.

        1. JohnnySacks

          The Iranians have a LOT of them, something to think about when the war drums start pounding because everyone thinks oh Iran, meh, equipped as poorly as the Iraq army, easy in and out. Our Persian Gulf naval vessels are so screwed. This is very old and our technocrats would love to tell us the trillions spent on tech since have us covered, but I wouldn’t want to test that assumption: Iran: A Bridge too Far?

          1. Homina

            That and tiny subs. I seem to remember one or two French minisubs sinking entire US carrier groups in war games (?). Or otherwise embarrassing US tech so much that the US had to rewrite the rules and repeat the games.

            1. Procopius

              There was a war game in which the adversary looked very much like Iran. The guy who ran the Red forces destroyed the Blue (Allied) forces’ naval strategy with an overwhelming attack by speedboats with suicide pilots and anti-ship missiles which just overwhelmed the defenses. The leader of the Red forces was subsequently criticized for spoiling the game’s objectives, which were to promote certain weapon systems and “prove” that the U.S. strategy was unbeatable, and the game controllers took charge to make sure the Blue forces “won.”

        2. Mark P.

          It’s a Moskit/Sunburn missile. I realize that this is new data for most people here and the media play up the fear factor, as if all this were novel. But the USSR developed the first Moskit/Sunburn missiles specifically as (US) carrier-killers in the late 1960s.

          So the Russians have had carrier-killer, practically unstoppable missiles for half a century.

          Admittedly, the new ones have more range and this is the first time I’ve seen one used only as a kinetic missile (though I fail to see the purpose of that aside from propaganda.) But none of this is a surprise. The Russians have historically been innovators in rocketry: Sputnik, Yuri Gagarin, the first battlefield use of missiles with WWII’s Katyushas, etc.

          1. Mark P.

            And yes, Iran and others have bought Moskits off the Soviets/Russians over the years.

            I think the Chinese have also had a carrier-killer missile for the last decade, and that’s also for sale.

            1. Procopius

              I believe that’s what the Houthi in Yemen have used. Possibly an Iranian version, but the Iranians really have not had the ability to support the Houthi by furnishing weapons or food or medicine. The Saudi blockade (helped by the U.S. Navy) is too effective.

          2. Yves Smith Post author

            Recall the US has known for at least two decades that aircraft carriers are big sitting ducks; Google 2002 Millennium War Game. One was taken out without any fancy military tech. I recall seeing commentary at the time that this idea wasn’t news, that aircraft carriers were known to be super vulnerable before then. But there is way too much pork in building them for them to be abandoned.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Based on the statistics from the year, 1945, when between 129,00 to 226,000 (per Wikipedia) were killed by atomic bombs, that works out to be around (70 years roughly), 20,000 to 30,000 deaths per year, in one country, from A bombs.

      These numbers will have to be adjusted annually, but are current (approximately).

      Comparing them to gun deaths, we gain some perspective on what to motivate us and what bans to prioritize (or at least not to forget to mention).

      1. THe Beeman

        – Math problem here. You are off by a power of 10.

        Unless I don’t understand your assertion.

    3. fresno dan

      Alex V
      March 2, 2018 at 7:59 am

      from the link at Moon of Alabama to the Putin translation
      Putin: As I said in the past, the state’s role and positions in the modern world are not determined only or predominantly by natural resources or production capacities; the decisive role is played by the people, as well as conditions for every individual’s development, self-assertion and creativity. Therefore, everything hinges on efforts to preserve the people of Russia and to guarantee the prosperity of our citizens We must achieve a decisive breakthrough in this area.
      Man is still a damn commie with his uncooperative, intractable, obstreperous, truculent, insubordinate, defiant, rebellious, willful, wayward, headstrong, attitude toward the MARKETS
      I don’t know if Putin is better than Trump, but at least he looks like he can put two coherent sentences together and has read a book….

        1. The Rev Kev

          Ayn Rand was actually born in Russia. You think that they deliberately sent her to the US once they realized what she was all about? The most epic sabotage mission ever?

      1. Mark P.

        at least he looks like he can put two coherent sentences together….

        Every year Putin does a televized hours-long marathon where he takes questions from regular Russians, select journalists, business folks, etc. Worth watching a little of it if you haven’t seen it.

        It’s largely staged propaganda, of course. Nevertheless, Putin’s command of facts and ability to think on his feet — and occasionally to answer questions with striking candor and clarity, because who’s going to punish him? — is striking. In the old Soviet system, the KGB were usually the smartest people, and Putin would have been your star KGB briefer

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          I’ve only seen Putin occasionally, mainly interacting with Western journalists, which is clearly not staged. What is striking is that compared to most US pols, he doesn’t duck the question or give a minimal answer and them rattle off a barely or not related talking point. He may give a flowery set up to play to the audience, but he really does answer questions. That gives him the appearance of authenticity, which is very rare in the political realm.

  6. BlueMoose

    Regarding the article about shark attacks: at the rate we are killing them, I don’t think it will be much of a problem soon. They might get together for one final ‘Charge of the Light Brigade’ thing so you might want to stick to the pool when you go on your next holiday.

    1. Homina

      I’m hoping evolution/radiation is quick enough to provide current stock enough human-poisoning shark fins. Of course, they aren’t individually caught, nor poisons could be traced to where or species or pods, and breed slowly….so won’t happen via natural selection. Maybe if some evolve a fin that explodes once exposed to 1 atmospheric pressure for longer than an occasional jump above water…destroyed fishing boat, it’s progeny live on, etc.

      Which, btw, I’d honestly like to see as a possible man-made solution to poaching for ivory; if a poison could survive/be shot into a rhino horn or elephant tusk, and whatever processes it goes through after reaching medicine quacks, art and specimen collectors, etc. Well, I guess contact poison would be bad due to innocent people being exposed. But ingestion activated…

      In many countries anti-poachers are doing the best they can, and have a high casualty rate. That’s aside from some of their governments. But it would be nice to send that risk of death down the line…and better if 100% or near certainty of lethal consequence to the end-user.

      Of course, I caveat this as a supporter of the death penalty for entities capable of making conscious (whether free will is true or not/the perception would not be distinct) decisions. Anyway sorry for that red meat but just felt had to explain a bit. And philosophy or not, my morals are subjective and so are anyone’s and if someone counters that humans are special or something, that stance is perfectly valid. Sorry

      1. Procopius

        Hey, stop that. One of the big selling points of the TPP was that it would reduce Malaysia’s tariff on U.S.-made shark fin soup.

      1. a different chris

        Well, besides the fact that the numbers don’t match the BBC ones (below), close enough to point out that if a steel mill had a profit margin of less than 2% they couldn’t shutter it fast enough. And the idea of one individual’s stock value exceeding 1/2 of gross yearly revenues would be bizarre.

        >Full-year revenue came in at $177.9bn (£124.6bn), a rise of 31%, while profit hit $3bn,

        1. a different chris

          note: forgot there is a difference (not to us little people, but) between “earnings” and “profits” so both articles could be correct.

    1. blennylips

      Jeff Bezos only funding the Clock of the Long Now – IMO a very cool project.

      Excuse the long Wikipedia quote

      The basic design principles and requirements for the clock are:[3]

      Longevity: The clock should be accurate even after 10,000 years, and must not contain valuable parts (such as jewels, expensive metals, or special alloys) that might be looted.
      Maintainability: Future generations should be able to keep the clock working, if necessary, with nothing more advanced than Bronze Age tools and materials.
      Transparency: The clock should be understandable without stopping or disassembling it; no functionality should be opaque.
      Evolvability: It should be possible to improve the clock over time.
      Scalability: To ensure that the final large clock will work properly, smaller prototypes must be built and tested.

      Anything else Jeff is spending his money on near as cool? Imagine if these were the prevalent design principles instead of the crappification of everything we are enjoying today?

    2. lyman alpha blob

      Does this [family blog]- bag have to get his fingers in absolutely everything?

      I used to link to that project on a website I was an admin at years ago. It definitely wasn’t funded by Bezos at the time. I’m sure he’ll figure out some way to suck the heart right out of it.

  7. Ignacio

    “Giant Family Tree of 13 Million People Just Created LiveScience (Kevin W)”

    Basically an anglosaxon tree.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Even worse! I notice the reliance on existing genealogies, although they did verify them.

      My father, whose grandparents all came from old but utterly undistinguished Maine families, did his genealogy, and one of the places he looked was the Mormon genealogy. It was useful at points to him.

      It turns out for one branch of our family, which is probably descended from a half black freed slave, the Mormons have a total fabrication going back to Peregrine White of the Mayflower (we have other Mayflower ancestors, so this isn’t as crazy as you think). Not a single headstone or church birth or death record to support any of the names spanning something like 7 generations.

      My father joked that the Mormons tried to show how the Whites became the Blacks (the family name in question was Black, the farthest he could go back was to a John Black who he thinks might have been the son of or was a Black John, the freed slave in question).

      The Mormons are big racists, in case you wondered why they might go to such lengths…

      1. Roger Bigod

        Ah, the “one drop” aka “touch of the tahbrush” theory. Thankfully in decline. I have a second cousin who had her DNA tested by 23and Me. It shows some sub-Saharan African ancestry, but the amount is so small it could be lab error.

        It doesn’t bother her at all. At that low level the mixing event was something like 8 generations ago, and there weren’t many Africans around (5% of VA population in 1676). The tarbrush taboo once extended to Native Americans (except Pocahontas), but they’re now cool. A recent article noted that many people are disappointed when an expected native ancestor doesn’t appear in the DNA search.

        The LDS site is notorious among genealogists. There’s some unique, carefully curated material. But adding to the records is part of a religious obligation for some Mormons, and they blow it off.

        In general, because the stakes are so small, many otherwise honest people have no problem making up phony ancestry. In my case, the tacky, middlebrow taste is as embarrassing as the falsification. I have an ancestrix in early Virginia whose mother descended from some Tarletons. They had a frigging _Viscount_, but some people faked the records to make her a Red Bolling (Pocahontas) instead. (Sigh.) My Alabama Lee ancestors aren’t related to RE’s family of the Northern Neck. But someone made a crude alteration of a family Bible to suggest a connection. The DNA doesn’t match. Half the genealogies on for the family claim Robert E., ignoring a more recent and closer relation to Harper Lee. I can proudly boast that I’m related to Atticus Finch. If people object that he’s fictional, I point out that this is true of much genealogical data.

        You’re too critical of yourself. Before 1800 or so, 98% of the population were farmers who left no written records. But just a bare recital of life events gives a sense of the person. I have a ggrandfather who settled in the piney woods of North Louisiana after 3 long migrations from NC, and died a few years after losing his eldest son at Bull Run. If I could pick a relative to go out for a beer with, he’d top the list. RIP.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          My assumption is that anyone who has family in America that goes back to or before the Revolutionary War is going to have some black ancestors.

          1. Roger Bigod

            Probably an overestimate. I recently read a book on the economics of slavery by an academic historian (Kulikoff) with a lot of detail on slave families, but I don’t recall an estimate of mixed ancestry. IIRC I’ve seen an estimate of 10% mixed ancestry in socially identified whites in the Lower South. Unlikely to be significant for the North, because there were so few before the Revolution.

            In any event, we’ll have accurate numbers from the massive genomic databases that are being compiled.

        2. Procopius

          It always seemed to me that the “one drop theory” actually proved the inferiority if whites. If your virtues are so weak that a single drop of contamination will destroy them then that contaminant must be hugely superior.

          1. Roger Bigod

            It doesn’t operate on that kind of logic. Extreme fussiness about contact with biological contaminants has the obvious evolutionary advantage of avoiding infectious disease and toxins of decay. No understanding of microbiology or chemistry necessary. There’s a part of the cerebral cortex (insula) devoted to emotions of disgust. An interesting generalization is that it lights up for unfair social arrangements, e.g. getting a “rotten deal”.

  8. Matthew G. Saroff

    So, Suri is blaming slow 5G deployment in Europe on too much competition, which prevents the extraction of monopoly rents.

    That IS what that quote means.

    1. Alex V

      The kicker too is that they have unused capacity. So over-expand, and then moan about being less profitable than expected… while pushing for the next over-expansion in undesired capacity….?

    2. Expat

      Oh, please no. It has taken more than a few years and some law suits to get adequate competition into the French and European markets. But today there is a wide range of options for mobile service. I can use my phone anywhere in Europe as if I were at home. I also get 4G data service for free abroad, though it is limited (much more than enough for email and occasional navigation).
      Europeans moan about taxes and regulations like everyone, but at least we have services as compensation.
      Leave our comm industry alone!

  9. Norello

    “Our military is so full of pork that we’ve made it possible for small countries (Russia despite its land mass has the GDP of South Korea) to be very competitive in weapons systems development. I hope readers who are into this sort of thing will read this post and pipe up in comments.”

    A possibly bigger issue than pork is a growing competency problem with military contractors. Military contractors have not been immune to neo-liberal labor hating practices. One example I am familiar with is a department in one company pushing out older and expensive workers which were then replaced by people that were given six weeks training. Said replacements were tasked with assignments that could only be done properly by people with over a decade of experience. Last I heard from someone working in that department it is a complete mess.

    As to ICBM’s in particular, apparently many believe they have countermeasures that could stop them. THAAD missiles is what the media always talks about but I believe they have more faith in things more along the lines of So I get where Putin is coming from. A faction of people need a wake up call that their ICBM defense isn’t as good as they think it is.

    1. Carolinian

      It’s the American public who need a wake up call and to realize how much the MIC and the would be New Cold Warriors are putting them under threat. While polls show a lack of public enthusiasm over the constant expansion of the military, the electorate is far too passive to make a dent in our ruling class. One difference from the first Cold War is that back then there was an active peace movement with calls to “ban the Bomb.” Today even our most left wing political candidates seem incapable of showing courage on the issue.

      Putin may be a bad guy or a good guy but at the end of the day it’s none of our business unless he’s the one threatening to make war against us (and he isn’t). But to accept this truth or to even accept the possibility would have many of our so-called elites out looking for a new job.

      1. John k

        Who besides the awful trump has said maybe we should be friends with Russia?
        Must made a lot of heads explode… hair on fire…
        course plenty of pushback, not least mueller.

    2. Cowsock

      Missile defense has definitely been hyped up over the last several decades, and while it may be great for selling high priced hardware to the US and to NATO, the jury is still out on their effectiveness (See Ted Postol’s criticism of inflated stats on interception of short range scud missiles in Gulf War I).

      I’m not sure if there needs to be anything all that innovative about these newer Russian ICBMs to make their interception all that more difficult. For one, Russia is *really big*, making interception of the missile while launching from the earth (with a nice hot booster to use for guidance) difficult/impossible. Maybe something could be done to nab an ICBM in space, but that brings up weird tensions mentioned by another commenter. On the way back down… they’re going ridiculously fast, and can jettison countermeasures to confuse an interceptor. Since at this point the missile is just falling, there is no tell-tale heat to identify the correct component. Oh, and these things are also hyped up to be super accurate along this journey from ground to space and back, all along trajectories (between US and Russia) that have never been tested.

      Beyond that, the theory of a preemptive strike to knock out all opposing nuclear cacabilities requires a very preposterous degree of certainty to hit every single site perfectly (to use the standoffish nuclear parlance, this is a counter-force strike). Apparently it isn’t enough for ICBM bunkers to have a warhead go off in the air above them, it has to hit the ground in the right place. Accuracy stats are naturally based off of repeated trials aimed at the same spot.

      The other, other thing is submarines! Good luck getting rid of those preemptively.

      Much of the above comes from this source (from 1980, though I’m not sure the fundamental rocket science type situation has changed a ton): here

      1. Mark P.

        though I’m not sure the fundamental rocket science type situation has changed a ton

        It hasn’t.

    1. Wukchumni

      I can see potential for Gunnado, and it’s many sequels to come…

      The plot:

      Fully loaded guns of every persuasion tumble from the sky onto Los Angeles, all equipped with the latest in AI trigger technology, which seeks out targets farthest away initially, so as not to scare easy opportunities closer in.

      1. fresno dan

        March 2, 2018 at 9:02 am

        where do you get these ideas?

          1. Wukchumni

            My young nephews are enthralled with Sharknado, and I was forced to watch #1-5 with them for the first time, perhaps their 27th effort.

            1. subgenius

              I had the misfortune to occasionally work for Asylum (or whatever variation name they had at any moment-they swap identities frequently) including a few sets built in swimming pools- at least one I believe was for the first(?) sharknado.

              They are the only group I place on par with Tosca (sister of lone skum) as producers of both utter drivel and appalling working conditions/difficulty getting paid/etc.

              And, for the record, most of their ‘product’ makes sharknado look high concept state of the art execution…

  10. nyc transplant to south carolina

    That Fundie church in PA. Had a summer cottage in Greeley many years ago. Used it as an escape from the city during the summer.Had one grocery/gas station/post office. 2 churches one was Lutheran and the other denomination escapes me. Anyways the area was settled by German immigrants as witnessed by the names of many of the inhabitants.

    Was told that one of the former resorts before WWII was a Bund camp. Many Germans from the Philadelphia area would spend several summer weeks at a few of the resorts/camps.

    Friend who lived there and worked in Port Jervis called the locals nazis, and he was of German extraction.

  11. The Rev Kev

    Uncovering the Secret Lives of Wolves

    Great article on those wolves. They are beautiful animals and are great parents to their pups. Dr. David Mech’s name is very well know in wolf studies and I am glad that he is still working after all these decades. An interesting point that came up was when it talked about how the wolves were culling beaver numbers even if beavers from other areas would move in to replace them. If the wolves were shot out and there were no more, I wonder if beaver numbers would skyrocket enough so that the dams beavers built would change the landscape of the area. I have read that they do a lot of this when their numbers are unchecked.

    1. blennylips

      Wonder no more. When the wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone, it was the behavior of deer that was key to the subsequent change, called a trophic cascade that actually physically changed the river. This is a wonderfully narrated short (~5m):
      How Wolves Change Rivers

      1. Wukchumni

        We’re seeing similar things in the Mineral King area of Sequoia NP with an increase in mountain lions keeping the buoyant deer population in check.

        Once upon a time a century ago the policy was to hunt & kill most every one in California-even in the National Parks.

        A thing that set mountain lions apart from everything else in their habitat, was they seldom ate everything on their plate after dispatching a deer, and was a banquet for bears in particular, that will not very often kill anything for sustenance, but will gladly partake in all-you-can-eat carcass buffet, given the opportunity. And right on down the food chain, everything gets a portion.

        I once watched 3 bears for about a minute eating what was left of a mule that fell down a 25 foot rock chasm just off the trail, and the mule had died 10 days before, so you can only imagine the stench.

      2. The Rev Kev

        Thanks for that link, blennylips. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Animals, humans, vegetation, trees – we really are bound together in ways that we cannot even imagine.

  12. Tom Stone

    Andrew McCabe is facing some serious charges, I wonder what the odds are that he’ll seek asylum at the Ecuadoran embassy?

  13. Wukchumni

    Went to the Beach Boys concert last night, and searched the audience for somebody under 30 and might’ve spotted one person on the cusp.

    I’d guess the average age was 60.

    They’re really a ghost band now, as are most 60’s music acts still performing. Mike Love is the only original band member left, with 8 other guys. One of them is my brother-in-law’s brother. He’s been playing with them for about a dozen years.

    I’d never seen them before and it was a trip down nostalgia lane, and there’s something profoundly odd about a 76 year old guy singing Be True To Your School, Catch A Wave, or in regards to 409’s & Little Deuce Coupes

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Ha Ha! Had the exact same experience about a month ago when I went to see Air Supply. They had the crowd singing along–I remembered all the words and I didn’t even study.

      Made me wonder what today’s hip hop gyration extravaganzas will look like when they do their nostalgia tours 50 years hence. Hip/knee replacement futures?

      1. polecat

        Don’t forget about those “Grill” replacements ….
        Realignments are uh .. batch !

      2. wilroncanada

        Older guy writing. Most of the concerts I went to in the 60s/early 70s were Hearing aid futures.
        A good friend–went through a music degree with my wife–played and sang with Trooper during their big years in the late 70s, and then with Iron Horse (Randy Bachman’s post Guess Who band).
        Has had hearing aids for both years for many years now.

  14. Wukchumni

    Ce*sored! China bans letter N (briefly) from internet as Xi Jinping extends grip on power Guardian (Chuck L)

    Unfortunate Cookie saying:

    “Beware of continents divided over consonants, leading to an irritable vowel movement in the end.”

  15. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Trump steel tariffs: Trading partners threaten retaliation BBC

    Time to revisit Andy Grove’s 2010 essay entitled “How to Make an American Job Before It’s Too Late.” As far as I’m concerned, if there was such a thing as a “Prescience Index,” this essay would be at the top, right next to Ross Perot’s “giant sucking sound.”

    The first task is to rebuild our industrial commons. We should develop a system of financial
    incentives: Levy an extra tax on the product of offshored labor. (If the result is a trade war, treat it
    like other wars — fight to win.) Keep that money separate. Deposit it in the coffers of what we might
    call the Scaling Bank of the U.S. and make these sums available to companies that will scale their
    American operations. Such a system would be a daily reminder that while pursuing our company
    goals, all of us in business have a responsibility to maintain the industrial base on which we depend
    and the society whose adaptability — and stability — we may have taken for granted.

    I fled Hungary as a young man in 1956 to come to the U.S. Growing up in the Soviet bloc, I witnessed
    first-hand the perils of both government overreach and a stratified population. Most Americans
    probably aren’t aware that there was a time in this country when tanks and cavalry were massed on
    Pennsylvania Avenue to chase away the unemployed. It was 1932; thousands of jobless veterans
    were demonstrating outside the White House. Soldiers with fixed bayonets and live ammunition
    moved in on them, and herded them away from the White House. In America! Unemployment is
    corrosive. If what I’m suggesting sounds protectionist, so be it.

    If you’ve never read this, treat yourself.

    1. Paul O

      Thank you. I had not read that before and it is well done. Grove often said interesting things (I worked at Intel for quite a while).

    2. Jef

      Prescient maybe but ramping up industrial civilization is absolutely the worst thing we can do.

        1. hunkerdown

          False dilemma. A deindustrial civilization is only one of the many civilizations other than the industrial kind available for our implementation.

  16. L

    You can file this under “Class War” or just “The Consequences of Capitalism” but either way the piece is starkly enlightening:

    America’s 24-hour daycare centers: a visit in pictures

    Nearly 40% of Americans now work non-traditional employment hours. Almost two-thirds (64.2%) of women with children under age six are working, and one in five working moms of small children work at low-wage jobs that typically pay $10.50 an hour. They all need to earn more if they are to truly be able to afford daycare, and in a cruel twist, many must work more and stranger hours to do so.

    The number of parents forced to rely on 24-hour daycare will only grow. It is simply the nature of everyday – and every night – life in today’s America.

    I suppose I should have always known that in the current economy this was true. But I admit that up until I saw the pictures I had never realized that this was really so typical that it was an industry. No doubt the “family values” crowd would blame the mothers for past decisions but there really is no way to read about children lying awake at “day care” until 10:30pm waiting for their mother to get off her second job and feel that the economy is working. At least not for people.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      As one who has been there, I can assure you–this situation creates sheer terror. Unrelenting. 24/7. Year after year. And my financial position was better than most.

      And then there’s the guilt.

      I’m not a religious person, but I do thank someone or something for our having made it through. The existence of this deplorable circumstance, in this country, at a time when some families have become billionaires exploiting it, should profoundly shame every single american.

      1. ArcadiaMommy

        This is just god awful cruelty. I was crying at my desk. Can’t imagine how little kids who go to bed at 10:30 at night can get up and go to school and actually learn something.

        Those who should be ashamed typically never are.

    1. polecat

      How about a project just working as intended, and on, or ahead of schedule ??

      …. but no, can’t have that can we !

  17. Doug Hillman

    Putin’s revelations are well-timed to temper US’ latest Nuclear Posture. So the winnable first-strike strategy and defining alleged cyber-hacking as an act of war may now need to be rethunk.

    Of course the MIC is now drooling for the coming feast of pulled pork, carnitas, tacos al pastor, cochinita pibil, carne adobada …

    1. polecat

      “I’d like a side of Chilly Muerte’ please .. to go with the Grifter’$ Chalupa Especial.”
      “Oh … and a case of lemons, if you don’t mines .”

  18. The Rev Kev

    Putin’s stunning revelations about new Russian weapons systems

    Not a military person but I will weigh in. This may end up buying us peace for the next coupla decades. The Pentagon has been stationing missiles near Russia’s borders that can be nuclear tipped and could have, I believe, a potential range of 2,400 kilometers. The idea is simple. A threatened quick first strike to take out Moscow and Russia’s defenses as well as missile capacity and it is game, set & match. Russia will be cowed and the US will have a much freer hand to do whatever the hell it wants. That may explain the missiles stationed in the east too in Japan and South Korea. The Pentagon has even been floating the idea about militarising space using the excuse that others may do it first. And who wants to live in a world with nuclear weapons in permanent orbit above our heads?
    With these weapons that threat is neutralised. Indeed, the shoe is on the other foot. I think that one Russian image showed what looked like Florida with one of these weapons in it. If it was a single weapon system them it may be quickly countered with enough effort but it is not. It is an entire suite of weapons which all have their own characteristics, speeds, capabilities and so forth. It will take a colossal effort to counter them while in the meantime the Russians will be developing their next generation of weapons. If the Russians offer to set up some of these units in China itself it will change the entire balance of forces in the Indo-Pacific. i.e. no nuclear first strikes on North Korea.
    When Putin said that the purpose of these weapons was to protect Russia and its allies, I was wondering if he meant that Russia now had a great big beautiful nuclear umbrella that other countries could take shelter under. I am also wondering if that the unmentioned text is to tell Israel not to think about attacking Iran with nukes in mind either through their silos or nuclear-capable submarines. Israel has threatened to do this several times in the past coupla years but now that threat is ended. So hopefully some people’s fantasies about nuclear first strikes may take a rest from it.

    1. Tony Wikrent

      Imho, the best source of defense news remains Aviation Week and Space Technology.

      The US Navy has been testing a shipboard laser defense system for a couple years now. Details are sparse, but I am certain it is designed exactly because DIA knew Russians AND the Chinese were working on hypersonic missiles. There’s nothing that’s going to beat the speed of light.

      Saker is correct that nature of warfare is changing, but I think it is overblown to conclude that carrier battle groups are now useless. It is astounding the number of countries that have or are now acquiring new aircraft carriers: UK, France, India, China, Egypt, Italy, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, Japan, South Korea, and Australia. Now, none of the carriers of these countries are quite comparable to USN nuclear powered supercarriers. They are all mostly helicopter carriers and/or amphibious assault ships.

      That should tell you a lot about how the nature of warfare is changing: force projection and the ability to fight what used to be called “police actions” are becoming ever more important. This is driven in no small part by the rise of “non-state” actors — i.e., terrorists. Carriers will obviously be destroyed in the event of all-out war, but the whole point is to have the capability to fight limited wars that don’t escalate to all out war.

      Here are some of the recent stories. Sorry, can’t provide any text, as access to the full stories require paid subscriptions.

      U.S. Hypersonic Weapons ‘Coming’ As Putin Touts Russia’s Lead
      Graham Warwick | Aerospace Daily & Defense Report
      Darpa’s director has confirmed that the U.S. will flight test operational prototypes of a weapon similar to the Kinzhal air-launched hypersonic strike missile.

      U.S. Navy To Test Lockheed High-Power Fiber Laser Weapon
      Mar 1, 2018 Graham Warwick | Aerospace Daily & Defense Report

      Classified Report On Hypersonics Says U.S. Lacking Urgency
      U.S. is losing momentum in hypersonic arms race as China, Russia catch up, says report
      Feb 14, 2017 Guy Norris | Aviation Week & Space Technology
      “The report, commissioned by the Air Force in early 2015, was published late last year and has already been reviewed by the Air Force Research Laboratory and defense acquisition officials. “The good news is that everyone who has seen it so far says it makes sense,” says Mark Lewis, chairman of the National Academies’ Committee on Future Air Force Needs for Defense Against High-Speed Weapon Systems, which produced the report.”

      My conclusion is that Putin is rattling his sabres, which probably means something is making the Russians very uncomfortable. The intense scrutiny on Russian operations in US elections? The killing of Russian military personal in Syria by US forces? The apparent victory of neoconservatives over Bannon and their rising influence over Trump? Probably all these and more.

      1. Mark P.

        My conclusion is that Putin is rattling his sabres, which probably means something is making the Russians very uncomfortable.

        Well, it may just be that the Russian presidential election begins this month. That said, something that disturbs both the Russians and the Chinese — especially the Chinese — is US Space Command’s technological preponderance.

        If WWIII comes, it’ll start in orbit, as one side starts knocking down the other’s satellite networks, taking out their communications and surveillance — actually much of their operational — capabilities.

        While much of the US MIC’s product is overpriced junk like the F-35 and the littoral combat ship, US Space Command has toys like those three robot shuttles, which have capabilities nothing else in orbit has and are up there doing nobody knows what — seeding nuclear weapons in orbit now, for all we know. You can see why the Russians and the Chinese would be uncomfortable.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Remember that movie “Gravity” – the one in which the Russians were to blame? Now imagine a coupla dozen rockets going into different orbits and blasting ball bearings in all directions. Goodbye all uses of space for the next coupla centuries – at least. The only assets that US Space Command would have then would be shrapnel bouncing off each other in orbit.

    2. Webstir

      I emailed Col. Lang over a Sic Semper Tyrannis this morning and he got right back to me saying that he would have an analysis up soon. Stay tuned.

        1. Tony Wikrent

          The comments are much more interesting than Col. Lang’ s very straightforward news report.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            Yes, but . . . it was Colonel Lang’s straightforward news report which set the stage for the comments. (Technically, it wasn’t actually Colonel Lang’s report. It was guest-poster Willy B’s report. But that is being picky-poo, I know.)

          2. Yves Smith Post author

            Particularly the long one toward the end, on how Hillary threatened Russia over a mere Security Council vote in 2012 and how that led Putin to commit a huge amount of funds to modernizing the military. Plus stimulus! A twofer!

  19. Wukchumni

    All winter long, we’ve wanted to ski @ China Peak, our local resort…

    Owning a ski resort in the midst of climate change is nuts, but i’m glad there seems to always be somebody that takes on the task~

    “Friday, March 2, 6 AM … The cruelest move by Mother Nature … no snow for 75 days, then 4-5 feet of snow in 24 hours with a very limited staff. We are doing everything we can to get ready for today, Chairs 2 & 6 plus the beginner area. Sorry we aren’t having a Grand Opening of the new Chair 2, but today’s riders will be the first. Parking is going to be a challenge (huge), please park only where we have plowed, as we will be removing snow 24 hours a day. We will have the Day Lodge open, maybe Buckhorn if we can dig out.

    As you can imagine with us closing mid winter we have lost many staff, including the majority of the 300+ seasonal help we hired back in November/December. We are doing our absolute best to recruit those that might be available as well as cross train many of our full time team, something we’ve done for years. Given many of the staff we are recruiting can only join us on the weekends it is likely we will offer more lifts Saturday and Sunday than on Friday and Monday.”

  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Stephanie Kelton

    Funny how the “radical” observation that the government has unlimited capacity to create the currency is found in every mainstream textbook and the article itself quotes Greenspan saying exactly this. Not exactly a radical MMT original.

    Come to think of it, that has always been known, as in, a government can print as much as money it wants (in the old money printing days).

    Known fearfully…not so much observed radically. That is, It is the irrational fear (rational to those who fear) that creating unlimited money is not something to be too enthusiastic about.

    1. fresno dan

      March 2, 2018 at 9:52 am

      What gets me is the implicit notion that IF ONLY unlimited money creation were JUST acknowledged, why there would be health care, housing, education, and decent jobs at decent pay for ALL our citizens. Medicare is being cut, and defense spending is being increased. Those are not monetary decisions – those are political decisions.

      Good grief, how long has it been since Dick Cheney admitted that deficits don’t matter? Rush Limbaugh concedes he doesn’t care about the deficit….
      The rich don’t care if there is enough for everybody to have some – they don’t want that. F*CKING (and not in a good way) people is a fundamental tenet of the ideology – create 10 times more money and the rich would harvest 99.99999% of it. And the leftovers would be collected by rents, medical co-pays, and utilities going up.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        You’re right.

        Math is not the problem. The brain can handle that.

        It’s the heart or the lack of it (unless the heart is a black heart…of a person of any color).

      2. Elizabeth Burton

        Yeah, a few people have admitted national debt and deficits are a smokescreen, but the rest of the time both parties are still hammering on them. Why should we expect people who know nothing about economics—people like I was before I came here—to understand they’ve been lied to for decades? On the other hand, I’ve had opportunity to refer several people to an excellent piece explaining MMT in the last couple weeks, so all may not be lost.

    2. gepay

      There was a President that had the US government print its own money. It is, of course, a coincidence that he was assassinated.

  21. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    AR-15s Are Biblical ‘Rod Of Iron’ At Pennsylvania Church NPR (LaRuse)

    If that is a concern here, in the land of the exceptional, it is still no less a concern in far away villages whose names we can’t pronounce.

      1. sparkylab

        That was the FIRST thing that popped into my head when I saw the article.

        And bullet crowns? WTF?

  22. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Ce*sored! China bans letter N (briefly) from internet as Xi Jinping extends grip on power Guardian (Chuck L)

    From Wikipedia, Naming Taboo:

    A naming taboo is a cultural taboo against speaking or writing the given names of exalted persons in China and neighboring nations in the ancient Chinese cultural sphere.

    When that happens, we will know an exalted person has arrived in China.

    Note, please, that there are two n’s in Xi’s given name.

  23. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Ultra Wealthy Are Being Lured to Italy by Low Tax Rates Bloomberg


    That makes Italy sound like a Venus flytrap.

      1. ambrit

        You could kayak on over from North Africa. “Help us! We’re stray skiers from the Mt Kilimanjaro Resort Complex. We took this “white water” excursion trip and….”
        You could also claim Lombard heritage.

        1. Wukchumni

          I prefer having jumped cruise ship, off the SS Norovirus en route from here to infirmary.

  24. fresno dan

    Someone asked about volunteering at HICAP, but as that was a few days ago I thought I would post it early in the day so more people saw it.
    Wednesday was a typical HICAP afternoon – I helped a guy fill out the medicare application with disability (which is on the social security website – go figure).
    I also helped a guy who moved from Arkansas to CA who wanted Medicare supplements (AKA medigap). I can’t tell you how many times I see this. The individual did not understand that he had Medicare Advantage, the medicare HMO type of health care. It was not a problem once he understood that – I simple refiled all my literature on medigaps and gave him information on Medicare Advantage.
    AND, we don’t tell clients what to do – even though I don’t care for HMO’s they are cheaper, and for a LOT of the people who come in, every dollar counts.

    Anand Shah
    March 1, 2018 at 4:04 pm
    @fresno dan,

    is it possible to provides details of the HICAP volunteerism in CA… maybe people like us who are about to age, could volunteer @ local chapters… to help others down the line… and be a part of understanding policies and changes that would occur over time…

    Reply ↓
    fresno dan
    March 2, 2018 at 9:53 am
    Anand Shah
    March 1, 2018 at 4:04 pm

    here you go:

    Reply ↓

  25. Jim Haygood

    Stocks are getting smashed again today, as is appropriate in an economy under internal assault by nativist, know-nothing Republicans wearing Herbert Hoover campaign buttons.

    President Smoot Hawley Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs will systematically cripple what’s left of the USA’s shrunken manufacturing sector. Companies ranging from Ford to Boeing to General Electric, and thousands of smaller metal-consuming firms, are going to be sucking wind from jacked-up metal prices. Products fabricated from cheap steel abroad will eat their lunch.

    Sell brain-dead, Republican America till the pips squeak … let it bleed.

    1. allan


      The U.S. already imports four times as much steel as it exports, and imports are on the rise again. While the U.S. imports steel from more than 100 countries, three-quarters come from just eight countries, according to the International Trade Organization.

      The top supplier to the U.S. in 2017 was Canada, followed by Brazil, South Korea, Mexico and Russia. Other notables include Turkey, Japan and Taiwan.

      I’m old enough to remember when all but one of these were considered U.S. allies.

      Move fast and break things.

        1. Oregoncharles

          They’ve been talking publicly about imposing these tariffs considerably longer than that. It was a sensible bet even without inside information.

            1. Ellery O'Farrell

              3rd generation Oregonian here. My cohort used to explain that “Oregon” was pronounced “ORygun” for the benefit of all the immigrants. There was even a T-shirt saying so…

    2. Wukchumni

      Is this steel tariff, a Bizarro World variant of the Great Leap Forward?

      Backyard furnaces were used by the people of China during the Great Leap Forward (1958–62). These small steel blast furnaces were constructed in the backyards of the communes, hence their names. People used every type of fuel they could to power these furnaces, from coal to the wood of coffins. Where iron ore was unavailable, they melted any steel objects they could get their hands on, including pots and pans, and even bicycles, to make steel girders, but these girders were useless, as the steel was impure and of poor quality and thus cracked easily. Unbeknownst to the Communist Party officials, the result was not steel, but high carbon pig iron, which needs to be decarburized to make steel.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I think that was when China wanted to stay away from the USSR as far as possible, and stationed all their best divisions in the north, not forgetting what Tsarist Russia had stolen or taken from Qing China before the Treaty of Nerchinsk, like vast territories north of the Amur river, for example.

        With that in mind, one wonders how long the current honeymoon will last?

        1. Wukchumni

          It’s a perfect marriage and no shotgun needed, as both play to their own strengths. I read a book titled “Investment Biker” by Jim Rogers, about his motorcycle trip around the world in the early 90’s and through both Russia & China.

          He remarked at the time how backwards the Russians were in embracing mercantilism-as they had scant historical experience in that regard, whereas the Chinese just picked up where they left off way back when, and were go-go-go in terms of being capable businessmen, if only in an embryonic state.

          …the Russians have the oil & mineral wealth though

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I remember that book, and the only thing I seem to be able to recall now is that mosquitoes were huge in Siberia.

    3. Lee

      Heard on PBS Newshour, IIRC, that the average cost increase as result of tarrifs in price for a U.S. made car will be $37. Hardly earthshaking, if true. Do you have or know where best to look for data of this nature? Trust in God, all others must show data. Frankly, I don’t mind paying a bit more to keep my fellow citizens from deprivation and indignity. But rather than generalizations, actual price tags would be helpful. For some things it might make sense and for others the cost might be prohibitive.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I think the trend has been to replace steel with plastic or composite components.

        “If beef is too expensive, try pork…unless your religion forbids it, then try chicken, or veggie meat (which can be more or less expensive).”

        “If steel costs too much, try something else.”

  26. beth

    It’s Time to Remember That Fast-Food Companies Are the Worst Grub Street (J-LS)

    …not connecting.

    Please delete after linking.

  27. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Can technology save us from shark attacks? BBC (David L). You are more likely to die from a coconut falling on your head. Seriously. Even after allowing for debate over how far you could generalize from the original study and cutting the extrapolation by a full order of magnitude. But no one makes movies about falling coconuts.

    Give some enough money, and a little encouragement…

    1. Wukchumni

      A danger lurking is large fronds on palm trees, when heavy ones fall on somebody trimming them. Kills a lot more people than sharks, but isn’t as splashy of a way to expire.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Imagine it directed by Hitchcock with Rod Taylor and Tippi Hedren.

        “The Coconuts,” set near the Silicon Valley.

        1. ambrit

          Throw in Vlad Putin, that exotic heart throb, as one of the Marx brothers and I’ll guarantee you backdoor funding from ‘The Company.’
          A scene should also have Alfonso Bedoya as a Fed snarling; “Constitution! We ain’t got no Constitution. We don’t need no Constitution. I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ Constitution!”

          1. newcatty

            Brings to my mind one of my favorite films: “The Gods Must be Crazy”, 1980. In the Kalahari desert a bushman sees a coca cola bottle falling out of the sky. If you have not experienced this masterful story, I invite you to do so.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              I think there was a sequel…something like (Mom,) The Gods Are Crazy Again!!!

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        I pointed that out. It’s an extrapolation from a small scale study.

        I noted that even if you reduce the extrapolated figure by A FULL ORDER OF MAGNITUDE, it’s still bigger (roughly 3x) than Death by Shark.

        So IMHO this is still valid.

        Plus how many death certificates will say “Death by coconut”? They’ll say “cracked skull” or “broken spine” or “complications from concussion” or somesuch.

        1. Aumua

          Yes, well the other place I saw it being used was on gun deaths i.e. you’re more likely to get killed by a coconut than you are by a long gun, or something to that effect. So that’s where my coco-skepticism began.

  28. Summer

    RE: TOR and govt’t/military
    Not surprising.
    There is no totally secure information on the internet and anonymous or fake identities have to be created in the real world.

    I watched the doc “Lo and Behold” about the development of the internet. The attempts at deification of the technology disturbed me. It’s all in the language used at the beginning. But most telling are some drawings of the early Arpanet. It mostly were links between the east and west coast academic and research establishments (not far from a “liberal” bias ;). Yet all the info also flowed through military establishmnets like Tinker AFB in the OKC area.

    I doubt much deviation has been allowed.

    1. gamesjon

      Honestly I don’t even know how this is a story. This has always been known. TOR has never hid this information. The only benefit of TOR, besides being able to access .onion sites, is that people will not be caught up in dragnet surveillance efforts. If the government, or the governments of any developed nation & a fair few developing nations, specifically wants to target someone then there is absolutely nothing whatsoever that person can do to protect themselves in any reasonable sense other than to just not use electronics.

  29. Geo

    The perfect DNC/DCCC politician who can appeal to Republicans and identity-politics Democrats!

    Democratic Florida State Rep. Kimberly Daniels, who is pushing a bill that would put the words “In God We Trust” in Florida public schools, has in the past made a series of controversial statements about slavery and Jews.

    “I thank God for slavery,” she said in one clip. “If it wasn’t for slavery, I might be somewhere in Africa worshiping a tree.”

    “You can talk about the Holocaust, but the Jews own everything!” she said in another.

    Last year, Daniels also posted a bizarre video on Facebook Live in which she urged followers to pray for President Donald Trump while ranting about witches and warlocks.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Maybe it is politicians like Florida’s Kimberly Daniels that led Putin to use an image of Florida in that simulated nuclear attack in his speech.

  30. Polar Donkey

    There is a pharmaceutical manufacturer in a town in deep southern state Ives spends some time in. Every day, the drug maker would get a hertz rental truck and delivery unmarked boxes to an international shipping company’s location at the airport in the bigger city near by. The logistics company used to have a smaller jet fly into this location, but changed to 3 propeller feeder planes to move cargo out of this location to the big hub. Why would they do this? Only 1 person handles the cargo and if something happens to a plane, it has a relatively small amount of cargo on it. Also, jet planes are much more watched by regulatory agencies and many more people would work on them. These unmarked boxes would have destinations of small towns in Iowa, Kentucky, Ohio, etc.

  31. allan

    Shorter Maya MacGuineas: 20 years of deficit hawkery and all I got was this lousy tee-shirt think tank:

    Updating the U.S. Budget Outlook [Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget]

    … Our projections show that under current law, trillion-dollar deficits will return permanently by next year and debt will exceed the size of the economy within a decade. Under potentially more realistic policy assumptions, the country will be facing a $2.4 trillion deficit and debt of 113 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2028. These projections show a fiscal situation that is clearly unsustainable. …
    [emphasis in original]

    What was clearly unsustainable was the charade that the GOP cared about deficits as anything but a useful cudgel.

  32. Jean

    Why do women running for office flaunt their third name?

    Alexandria Cortez sounds better than Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez which seems pretentious and acts as a signifier that they are either superior to, or inferior to, male candidates who have one name. Both perceptions will lose them votes.

    Plus there’s the added possibility for name confusion in a crowded ballot.

    1. Wukchumni

      When I think of a woman named Cortez, I get this image of a Hispanic-American politician (or tv news anchor) that fits a perfect voter/viewer dynamic.

      When I think of a woman named Ocasio, I get this image of somebody’s great grandparent who stepped off the boat onto Ellis Island, from Palermo.

    2. j84ustin

      Per the last names in your post, she is likely Latina, and Hispanics have two last names. Men too. Sounds like she hyphenated to make it more easily understood by non-Hispanics.

  33. jo6pac

    Russian weapons aren’t a backwards as some posted here.

    Their cruise missiles are second to none. Amerika thought they still had a short range of 400 miles and as seen in Syria a diesel-electric sub called the black hole the us navy because hear or see them popped up in the Med. a fired 3 cruise missiles over Iran and hit there target in Syria 750 miles away. Then unlike the Amerikan missiles that use Amerikan gps that can be jammed or taken Russia run the own system of gps.

    There more at Saker click on Scott.

    1. Synapsid


      Pardon me if I’m misreading: Are you really saying a sub in the Med fired three cruise missiles over Iran that then landed in Syria?

    1. Edward E

      The tariffs will hurt some countries, though — most prominently, America’s closest allies in Asia. South Korea accounted for almost 10 percent of all U.S. steel imports last year and Japan for nearly 6 percent. Even Taiwan, with a 4 percent share of those imports, could suffer more than China.

      The same is true globally. Canada is the biggest supplier of steel to the U.S. The European Union worries that steel that might’ve gone to the U.S. will now find its way to Europe, pressuring local steelmakers even further.

      I still cannot get to a CB radio to find out why it’s Obama’s fault.

  34. bob

    Elephant saving-

    I’m pretty sure that the people who saved the elephant, with an excavator, were also the ones responsible for the plight of the elephant. They didn’t cover or secure the hole that they dug with the excavator.

      1. bob

        It’s a big excavator, normally used only for digging holes. A hole that happens to be next to an excavator that large is suspicious. I doubt they brought an excavator in to save an elephant, moving them can take a long time, and require lots of planning.

        There is also no plant life on the slopes leading into the hole.

    1. Wukchumni

      I think tootsie pops are one of the few foods left completely in the same packaging as when I was a kid, and unusual in that they are loosely wrapped, can’t think of any other packaged food sold like that.

  35. Wukchumni

    Another school shooting and not quite up to mass murder standards as of late, this time only 2 dead so far @ Central Michigan University.

  36. Shilo

    re: debtor’s prisons

    This is a problem with the courts, which I consider to be nothing less than pirate ships in dry dock, aiding and abetting the various land pirates roaming the land in search of plunder. The rich can guard against this. The poor, who can’t afford a lawyer (because they’re broke in the first place) will find their body warehoused as security/surety against the phony judgment (the money to do it comes from somewhere, and it’s not cheap)

    What follows from my notes is a comment left on Credit Slips, a site often mentioned here, in fact I probably followed a link to get there. (With apologies to the author; I didn’t save their name)


    This is the problem that is not being addressed. The complaints being submitted nominally by debt collectors are fatally defective. They are based on information and belief, are not under the penalties of perjury or are robosigned under the business records exception. in short, there is no competent witness to state there is a debt in the first place.

    To sum it up, people are being imprisoned for defaulting on a complaint that is fatally defective in that it doesn’t not state a colorable claim, which is no claim at all. They are ineffective to give the court jurisdiction to even issue a default warrant. If people in mass started collaterally attacking these robo judges maybe they would start doing their job.

    I don’t know when it started but for a long time courts have been letting fatally defective complaints be filed instead of telling these plaintiffs to get their act together. Judges are just lucky that people think that judges have unlimited immunity. Not when they act without jurisdiction.

    It seems facts and the witnesses that establish those facts don’t matter anymore. Soon the paperwork will be titled: Warrant for Arrest in Lieu of Facts.

    I guess no one wants to deal with the elephant in the room. The complaints that these debt collectors submit are fatally defective. THERE ARE NO COGNIZABLE FACTS SUBMITTED WITH THE COMPLAINT.

    You have to submit facts that would actually support a judgment. Statements from attorneys orally or in briefs are not facts before the court. The bottom line is you need a witness of some sort with first hand direct knowledge of the debt at issue. An unverified/uncertified/unauthenticated/unsworn robosigned statement of account [like the kind I got from Citibank and Chase] is not a cognizable fact. They are arresting people for contempt on a process that is coram non judice and void.

    Put simply these are criminal acts by the courts and associated personal.

    1. Webstir

      Totally agree. See my comment above re State Bar complaints against judges that are allowing it.

  37. timbers

    Wikipedia says Russia’s GDP is about 4 trillion vs South Korea’s 2 trillion. If true that’s rather respectable and might suggest the frequent refrain how Russia is “only” as good as South Korea is outdated. But it’s Wikipedia so correct me if I’m wrong.

  38. Plenue

    “Steve Bannon Is Obsessed with the Fall of the Patriarchy”

    I’ve never understood the overriding obsession with manliness and how it’s supposedly the basis of civilization that conservatives seem to have. And with it usually comes a quite hilarious pathological obsession with male homosexuality, and a thinly veiled (if at all) disdain for everything female. They’ll often proclaim something to the effect that there should be balance; that some things are women’s ‘spheres’, but it’s clear they usually loath anything feminine and use the accusation of being womanly as an insult.

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