Links 4/21/18

A Metaphor for the Planet Baffler. Important.

Kangaroo Dies After Visitors At Chinese Zoo Hurl Rocks To Force Her To Jump Huffington Post

‘Sea Nomads’ Are First Known Humans Genetically Adapted to Diving National Geographic

Government Accidentally Releases Documents on “Psycho-Electric” Weapons Popular Mechanics. This should not be news. Not long after the USSR fell, one of its prominent scientists wrote a book about the government’s parapsychological research program, which was investigating things like mind control and long-distance messaging. They concluded that there were people with real psychic abilities, vastly above random, but still not reliable enough to use for military purposes. The book said the US has a similar research problem….and not the one later described in The Men Who Stare at Goats, which may well have been the DoD funding some cranks to provide cover for their serious programs.

These floating buildings are made from thousands of plastic bottles that can withstand flooding Business Insider (David L)

America’s nuclear headache: old plutonium with nowhere to go Reuters (EM)

Department of Justice reportedly investigating AT&T and Verizon over collusion against eSIM technology The Verge

Impossible Burger draws environmentalists’ ire AdAge (David L)

China

Bike Share Oversupply in China: Huge Piles of Abandoned and Broken Bicycles Atlantic (furzy). You have to look.

North Korea

North Korean Leader Says ‘We No Longer Need’ Nuclear or Missile Tests New York Times

North Korea halts nuclear and missile tests ahead of planned Trump summit Guardian

India’s grand data system: a greater disaster than Facebook? Asia Times

Europe in diplomatic push to ease Russia sanctions Financial Times

Brexit

Brexit: No 10 still ‘confident’ of Irish border solution BBC. And I can run a four minute mile.

Britain risks ‘disorderly’ Brexit, Michel Barnier warns after EU rejects Theresa May’s Irish border solution Telegraph

UK to present new Brexit ‘backstop’ plan on Ireland Politico. We said before this was never gonna fly. The Single Market is not just a matter of having the same rules. The rules are interpreted and enforced by a large bureaucracy. It’s one package deal. The simple reason this is a non-starter is the UK would have to accept the primacy of the ECJ, which is a third rail issue.

It’s time to stop believing in these ‘magic’ Brexit solutions Guardian

Delayed Brexit immigration plans ‘due in months’ BBC

Zimbabwe’s Mugabe summoned over alleged diamond looting Los Angeles Times (furzy)

Myanmar police ‘set up’ Reuters reporters in sting-police witness Reuters (furzy). Wowsers.

Syraqistan

Man linked to 9/11 attacks on U.S. captured in Syria: Pentagon Reuters (EM)

Syria Sitrep – Cleanup Around Damascus – WMD Rumors Prepare For New U.S. Attack Moon of Alabama

Imperial Collapse Watch

Bomb Them Over There So We Can’t Build Our Communities Here Ghion Journal (UserFriendly)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

This is how Facebook collects data on you even if you don’t have an account Recode (David L)

Palantir Knows Everything About You Bloomberg

Trump Transition

Trump’s Oil Rant Misses New Reality: High Prices Can Help, Too Bloomberg (Kevin W)

Sessions told White House that Rosenstein’s firing could prompt his departure, too Washington Post (furzy)

A payday lender is accused of stealing millions from customers. Trump’s CFPB is now letting them off the hook. Vox

Trump’s Plan to Weaponize Space: From “Star Wars” to a “Full-Spectrum Dominance” Security Strategy TruthOut

Engineers Are Leaving Trump’s America for the Canadian Dream Bloomberg (David L)

Trump Stress-Tests the World Economy Bloomberg (furzy)

DNC sues Russia, Trump campaign and WikiLeaks over alleged election interference The Hill. UserFriendly: “Just fucking shoot me.”

Democratic National Committee’s Lawsuit Against Russians, Wikileaks And Various Trump Associates Full Of Legally Nutty Arguments Techdirt (furzy)

Hillary Clinton on Election Night: ‘They Were Never Going to Let Me Be President’ Daily Beast. Furzy: “‘They’ who?”

Two Comey Memos Shared With Friend Are Under Scrutiny Wall Street Journal

Cuomo Team Pressed Officials to Skip Protest of His Pressure Tactics New York Times (UserFriendly)

Beyond Starbucks: How Racism Shapes Customer Service New York Times

Apple shares slide 7% in two days on iPhone fears Financial Times

Why undertakers are worried Economist

The SEC’s “Regulation Best Interest” is in the best interest of Wall Street, not retirement savers and other investors Economic Policy Institute

Now Even a Fed Dove Homes in on the “Everything Bubble” Wolf Richter (EM)

Class Warfare

World Bank recommends fewer regulations protecting workers Guardian. Note that the World Bank is yet another neoliberal enforcer, just not as visible as the IMF. Bill F:

This one should send chills down everyone’s spine. Looks like a synthesis of corporate economic thinking on a world-wide scale. This kind of dangerous nonsense calls into question the (not so) long-term viability of capitalism.

The new language of precarity Financial Times

For those who receive — and deliver — Meals on Wheels, more than nutrition is on the menu Boston Globe (furzy). If I ever have time and money to retire, this is the sort of thing I would do (well, except it seems to require a car and I want never to own a car). I give now to charities that feed homebound people.

Artificial intelligence will wipe out half the banking jobs in a decade, experts say San Jose Mercury News

St. Louis Park unanimously passes first-of-its-kind tenant protection Minnesota Public Radio News (UserFriendly)

Due Process: Lamenting the death of the rule of law in a country where it might have always been missing. Lewis Lapham (witters)

Antidote du jour. MGL: “Sandhill cranes in late August on reserve near Homer, AK. Kenai Mountains are seen across Kachemak Bay.”

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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238 comments

  1. voteforno6

    Re: Meals on Wheels

    I remember, as a young child, going around with my grandmother as she delivered meals. It’s a fantastic program.

    Reply
    1. Whoa Molly!

      Re:”If I ever have time and money to retire, this is the sort of thing I would do (well, except it seems to require a car and I want never to own a car)”

      As I approach 80 I am quickly learning that having to own a car in retirement is a huge deal. Our culture is set up so 90% of everything requires a car. This became quickly apparent to us when my wife and I started to plan for a car free old age.

      Reply
      1. Whoa Molly!

        More on car free retirement:

        Realized after posting that I already know of several car free neighborhoods with walkable access to grocery strores, public transit, doctors, coffee shops, book stores, cafes, yoga studios.

        The ones in California, Oregon and Washington (that I know of) are in neighborhoods where average house is 1.5 million and up. Sometimes way up.

        The government of the ones in Canada, Ireland, and France don’t want old people immigrants. The ones in central and South America are not safe for elderly outsiders like me.

        Best option in US for someone with my needs is probably a small University town

        Reply
        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Is it possible to get just a condo, instead of one of those $1.5 million plus houses?

          Would that be the way to go?

          And I am not sure about loud parties in a small university town.

          Reply
          1. Whoa Molly!

            Re: buy a condo instead of house in walkable US city

            @MyLessThanPrimeBeef… Good catch. I stand corrected.

            Downtown Portland Oregon is one walkable city I like a lot. Public transit, access to things like grocery stores, affordable cafe’s, book stores, etc.

            Cost per square foot downtown for an apartment in this area is $375 according to one informal survey.. So a 600 square foot apartment would–by that measure–run about $225 K. Much less than 1.5 million for a house.

            Reply
    2. WheresOurTeddy

      empathy is a learned skill, and needed more now that ever.

      As Vonnegut said, “Hello babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. On the outside, babies, you’ve got a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies-“God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”

      Reply
    1. jrs

      A heroic and principled act, but unfortunately not one that is likely to change things. For that you need a movement. Only if one has lost all hope of that …

      Those who would pathologize it must never have felt even for brief periods of life that they would gladly risk if not give up their life for a future for the rest of us … but those who have had such thoughts (not of suicide but of gladly dying for something) do know.

      Reply
      1. jrs

        I have had times I think I would gladly die for a movement that meant an actual future for humanity. Are those thoughts constant? No they are quite rare and that is why one remembers them.

        But wanting to die that things might be better is almost TRULY hopeful in a way. It’s the status quo and resigning to things never being better that is truly a resignation to hopeless.

        Reply
  2. Steve H.

    > Bike Share Oversupply in China: Huge Piles of Abandoned and Broken Bicycles

    So beautiful, like tulips in Holland.

    If only there were some way to make the bikes a public good…

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Origami bikes.

      “Fold it and put it in your pocket.”

      I might have seen it in one of the James Bond films. If not, I imagine we will in one of the future movies.

      Reply
      1. meeps

        Absolutely. They expose the broken link between resource deployment and resource need; real resource, anyway. One would think a globally networked intelligence (of any kind) could find a pathway to connect the former with the latter.

        Reply
  3. vlade

    Oh, the irony.
    The Guardian article on “stop believing in magic solution” first sentence:
    “UK’s unlikely proposals to solve Irish border question leaves Brussels wondering if customs union may be most realistic option”

    NO! custom union is just a different magic wand. The only two realistic solutions are sea border or single market. Take your poison.

    Reply
  4. vlade

    @Hillary – if “they” are the US people, then you’re absolutely right. Which is why you’d have never run.

    Reply
    1. WheresOurTeddy

      The “THEY” was “US” in the fixed DNC primary, but WE didn’t have the pull to fix the big one right, and people genuinely dislike me, so…RUSSIA RUSSIA RUSSIA white women are traitors Young people are stupid The left abandoned me not the other way around Etc Etc Etc

      JUST GO AWAY

      Reply
  5. Tomonthebeach

    Let’s start stoning Pandas in retaliation for the poor dead Kangaroo.

    Just kidding.

    And these geniuses are going to bury the US economy? Fictional Forrest Gump had more sense.

    Reply
    1. Edward E

      In a small Arkansas River valley town where I grew up there was a buck deer in an enclosure on the court house lawn. Some local geniuses killed it, cut the fence and took it away. Animals regularly sustain injuries and/or get stolen from local nature parks, drive through safari and zoos all over the world. It’s happening a lot in Europe and Venezuela now.

      Reply
      1. JTMcPhee

        Zoo animals: Good source of healthy protein, fats, and often organs and parts that Asian and African and likely western oligarchs will pay a lot of money for. There will be a heck of a premium for the last few grams of powdered rhino horn, tiger benis, etc.— an Internet auction, like the young maiden who just sold the opportunity to shred her maidenhead to some rich guy for ONE MILLION DOLLARES!

        The neolibertarian core concept: “In the end, there can be only one.”

        Reply
        1. Craig H.

          > like the young maiden who just sold the opportunity to shred her maidenhead to some rich guy for ONE MILLION DOLLARES!

          I am a little bit skeptical that she was really a virgin.

          Reply
        1. JTMcPhee

          Anecdotally, among other perversions, Roman oligarchs ate hummingbird tongues in honey as a “delicacy,” along with a bunch of other exotica.

          Under the heading of “Don’t know much about history,” a random encounter with 6th grade social studies curriculum bit from North Carolina, circa 2003:

          A “Certified” Roman Banquet for Saturnalia
          In this lesson plan for grade six, students learn about the foods, clothing and dining customs of the Romans of the Republic, customs surrounding the Roman Festival of Saturnalia and how we can apply the best of those customs today. The feast provides a framework for presenting results of additional research.
          An activity for grade six Social Studies by Judith Geary
          Learning outcomes
          * Students will discover that many of the foods we connect with modern Italy were not available in ancient times – and connect how exploration and trade has expanded our everyday life * Students will compare how dress is influenced by social class and social customs, both in ancient times and today * Students will discuss what holiday customs can teach us about cultural values, both in ancient times and today * Students will experience something of the life of people of the Roman Republic.

          http://getorixbooks.tripod.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/lessonplanromanbanquet.pdf

          Note how this was “aligned with” the larger curriculum for the year:

          North Carolina Curriculum Alignment
          SOCIAL STUDIES (2003)
          Grade 6
          Goal 6: The learner will recognize the relationship between economic activity and quality of life in South America and Europe. Objective 6.02: Describe different levels of economic development and assess their connection to standard of living indicators such as purchasing power, literacy rate and life expectancy.
          Goal 8: The learner will assess the influence and contributions of individual and cultural groups in South America and Europe. Objective 8.02: Describe the role of key groups and evaluate their impact on historical and contemporary societies in South America and Europe.
          Goal 12: The learner will assess the influence of major religions, ethical beliefs and values on cultures in South America and Europe. Objective 12.01: Examine the major belief systems in selected regions of South America and Europe, and analyze their impact on cultural values, practices and institutions

          I guess there must be a Rome in South America? and a Republic, no less?

          Reply
        2. polecat

          “just how humans roll”

          Well, Not this Humon !
          I select and plant various flowering perennials JUST for the hummers … they ROLL quite will with this biped, thankyouverymuch !

          Reply
        3. Edward E

          Words fail me after reading this. A hummer perched atop my head a few days ago so I knew it was time to hang the feeders. Like polecat, lots of wild flowers are encouraged to grow or get planted around here for the hummingbirds and butterflies.

          Reply
    2. Lord Koos

      There is quite a large gap between the well-educated and less educated in China, I wouldn’t underestimate the former.

      Reply
  6. Eudora Welty

    I’m spending a few days with my 86-year-old mother at her assisted-living place. Ugh! TV on all the time we are at home. And the local T.V. morning programming repeats over & over, just headlines, no dive into anything with details such as, say, healthcare issues. Hyponotic. And older people vote, but you don’t get actual information. When I arrived Tuesday, I knew ahout the Southwest Airlines incident but no mention on TV news until Thursday, when they framed it with the financial renumeration & explanation of what happened. Wednesday morning, they repeated a segment about a new axe-throwing drinking establishment in the suburbs of Milwaukee, I kid you not. I wonder how axe-throwing & beer would go over in a more urban part of the city.

    Reply
    1. a different chris

      One of the not-less-than-horrible things, kindof like Mothra vs. Godzilla, is that Wifi has killed off the constant blaring of idiot “cable news” in the airport waiting areas. I remember being in Seattle in some 20 ft deep by, god 100 ft? wide area. We all got to sit along the wall whilst CNN or somesuch blared at us on 32 inch screens every 8 feet. No escape, unless you wanted to risk missing your plane.

      Now we are in our own bubbles, but you couldn’t really hold a conversation, with strangers anyway, in those places.

      Reply
  7. Clive

    Re: “Government Accidentally Releases Documents on “Psycho-Electric” Weapons”

    A much underestimated area. I am utterly unremarkable in every way imaginable but am off the scale (not that there is any agreed or defined scale so that’s only what I can observe) for intuition. Naturally, you could also call that guesswork. I beg to differ. Such limited success as I have had, and you do then need to define success, but glossing over that, has been down to an ability to tune out the superficial observable (written, spoken, seen) sensory inputs we’re practically drowning in and intuit what I can only inadequately describe as the forces impelling a particular dynamic.

    That all said, it is difficult to then overcome embedded natural character traits. Caution and risk aversity prevented me from capitalising, in every sense of the word, on what I instinctively knew was true when this went against the prevailing orthodoxies in a way which I could have made money on. However, I also avoided a lot of big loses not following the herd when I had a sixth sense it was not going to work out well.

    Reply
    1. Steve H.

      There’s a lot to be said for avoiding ruin.

      As Yves said, “still not reliable enough to use for military purposes.” Most rich occultists and psychics seem to have a better knack for, shall we say, sales than proof of concept.

      I use intuition constantly in theater, which has become a method of building community. And it’s useful for alternate traffic routes, and hand-waving over avocados, where it is highly effective. There’s a similarity to synchronicity, it doesn’t really matter if it’s a statistical figment, I accept it as a mechanism of mind which has costs to resist. Even if it’s just a way to cut through choice paralysis, it has a useful place in my life.

      Reply
      1. Indrid Cold

        Attempts to brush this kind of phenomenon aside are rooted in a mechanistic epistemology in which things have to physically touch other things to affect any change. Under this view, it’s really astonishing we believe in radio or television since these devices depend upon non- physical media to affect change in the physical world. And what “rich” occultists are there? It’s a truism amongst occultists that “millionaires don’t believe in weird stuff, but billionaires invariably do,”

        Reply
    2. John Zelnicker

      @Clive
      April 21, 2018 at 7:58 am
      ——
      When I was a child back in the ’50’s, a good friend of my mother’s made periodic trips to Duke University to participate in ESP research. I’m not sure exactly what they were studying, but apparently she was very good at it, as they kept asking her to participate in the studies.

      Reply
      1. pretzelattack

        if martin gardner was correct, they weren’t sure exactly what they were studying, either, and they left way too many loopholes for unethical subjects to cheat.

        Reply
    3. Eustache De Saint Pierre

      Around twenty five years ago our golden retriever, would alert me to the imminent arrival of my wife from work, by sitting in the hallway by the front door. She would arrive around ten minutes later to withstand the upright affection from a pretty big lad.

      We noted it but did not really give it much thought – but later after they had both sadly died, I came across this which does appear to show that not only Pam & Jesse, were telepathically in league together :

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aA5wAm2c01w

      Reply
    4. Aumua

      Without addressing the possibility of actual psychic phenomena, it should be noted that there are no government documents in the cache of stuff that Muckrock received. The information appears to be coming from the Targeted Individual movement, which if you don’t know are people who believe they are specifically targeted by shadowy government entities for harassment including gang stalking, voices beamed into their heads, mysterious pains etc. Many of these people are clearly mentally ill, and the advent of the Internet has allowed them to come together and reinforce each others world views, building a system of belief to explain their perceptions based on the exact ideas presented in the article. No amount of logic or persuasion will ever convince a true believer that these things are not actually happening to them, and understandably so. They are experiencing it. I had a friend who I believe developed brain damage from chronic heavy methamphetamine abuse, and I watched him descend into these belief systems as his mind deteriorated. It was a very heart wrenching thing to see. He passed away a few years back. Make of all this what you will, but the headline of the article is very misleading.

      Reply
    5. Oregoncharles

      I think the standard, materialistic explanation of intuition is that it’s subconscious analysis, often using data (such as body language) that your conscious mind ignores. The real difference among people, then, is in their ability to access that analysis and act on it.

      Illustrative analogy: this is what’s lacking in Asperger’s people. Social interaction normally depends heavily on intuition, reading and acting on signals we aren’t even aware of. Asperger’s people have trouble doing that; they have to read a situation consciously, then find enough confidence to act on what they see. Most people don’t even think about it, unless they’ve messed up and are trying to figure out what went wrong.

      That explanation would be almost as hard to prove as the immaterial one.

      Reply
      1. Yves Smith Post author

        My few intuitive abilities don’t fit that pattern.

        When I worked at Sumitomo, it was a joke that I would call my team from outside the office precisely when they started talking about me. I do that to people all the time, call when they are just starting to dial me. The way people comment on that says this isn’t something that happens regularly with other people.

        Reply
        1. Oregoncharles

          Eustache’s experience with a family dog is another example of apparently remote sensing. In fact, that story is very common. Dogs often can tell when their owners are coming home, long before even they could hear anything, and from behind closed doors.

          Reply
  8. Kurtismayfield

    Maybe the standard of living is better in Canada

    So engineers may be going to Canada because its a better standard of living? Like the article says:

    The couple eventually sold their home and moved to Mississauga, outside of Toronto, with their 2-year-old. Iyer still works remotely for the same company, but he took a pay cut to reflect the lower cost of living. Taxes are higher, but the government provides more, including health care and preschool.

    The Health care system and day care could be two big expenses that made the difference. If I were moving into the US I would be taking into account hat our health care and other social support systems are awful.

    Reply
    1. Altandmain

      Link is not working.

      Try: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-04-20/h-1b-workers-are-leaving-trump-s-america-for-the-canadian-dream

      The point though is that the engineers are often the upper middle class elite. If things are better in Canada even for them, then how much better is it for the lower middle class in Canada than the American middle class?

      Hint: Things are far from perfect here in Canada and we are falling deeper into neoliberalism. It’s just that things are not as bad as the US.

      Reply
    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      1. They took a pay cut.

      2. But the cost of living was lower, and with higher taxes came more provided by the government.

      It is curious why more foreigners already in the US or thinking about coming to America don’t just go to Canada.

      Because Canada prefers only engineers?

      Are Canadian engineers OK with American engineers coming over there? Do the latter have to accept less pay than the former (different from US pay vs. Canadian pay for the same job)?

      Reply
    3. Oregoncharles

      It was reported years ago that car companies were building factories across the river in Canada specifically because they didn’t have to pay for health care of employees over there.

      It was also a big competitiveness issue for American firms vs. those from countries with universal public health care.

      Reply
      1. a different chris

        And yet GM, Ford, Chrysler, USS, IH did nothing when they were the most powerful companies in not just the US but the world. Jerks.

        Eh, I should add, maybe at the top of the list, the unions associated. Think of the extra power, literally of life and death, the control of healthcare gives you.

        Reply
        1. Procopius

          It was often commented on back in the ’60s that providing health insurance was an obstacle to competitiveness for American companies, but I think back then the export market was not much considered.

          Reply
  9. John

    The DNC is suing Russia, Trump, and Wikileaks? This has to be a joke. The 2016 election was 17 months ago and even if it were only 17 minutes ago, you have to be kidding. Grow up. Focus on what you can do now. For example fight like hell to succeed this coming November.

    Reply
    1. Jim Haygood

      Nemesis:

      Donald J. Trump
      @realDonaldTrump

      Just heard the Campaign was sued by the Obstructionist Democrats. This can be good news in that we will now counter for the DNC Server that they refused to give to the FBI, the Debbie Wasserman Schultz Servers and Documents held by the Pakistani mystery man and Clinton Emails.

      7:19 PM – Apr 20, 2018

      Discovery — what’s that? Yep, besides being a poor candidate, Hillary sucks at the ABCs of lawyering too.

      Any armchair attorney could have seen this coming, and in fact thousands of them did yesterday on the internet after this goofball lawsuit was announced.

      By making it stone obvious that the Democratic party hasn’t even begun the essential process of declintonization, the DNC may yet snatch defeat from the jaws of victory come November.

      Now that ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
      Lemme tell ya them guys ain’t dumb
      Maybe get a blister on your little finger
      Maybe get a blister on your thumb

      — Dire Straits, Money for Nothing

      Reply
      1. Pat

        Perhaps someone really is playing 13 dimensional chess at the DNC, someone wanting their current leadership and structure to go up in flames.

        More likely it is a bone headed tantrum by a group who still hasn’t wrapped their heads around having their best laid schemes dashed by their own incompetence and clueless sense of public gullibility.

        Still it would be nice to have stupidity, delusion and incompetence fell the clintonian era of the Democratic Party.

        Reply
        1. flora

          Wonder if they’ve hit up Goldman Sachs and Wall St for more campaign contributions to pay for this litigation. I know I got a call last night from a Dem fund raiser asking for money.

          Reply
          1. Arizona Slim

            And they sent me an email a few days ago. Yours Truly didn’t click the donation link, just the unsubscribe link.

            Reply
        2. tegnost

          hu·bris
          ˈ(h)yo͞obrəs/Submit
          noun
          excessive pride or self-confidence.
          synonyms: arrogance, conceit, haughtiness, hauteur, pride, self-importance, egotism, pomposity, superciliousness, superiority; More
          (in Greek tragedy) excessive pride toward or defiance of the gods, leading to nemesis.

          Reply
        3. polecat

          The DNC is witlessly, with ill intent, playing Stack(ed) Attack …. and oh boy, is their precarious tower loaded, and primed, for invariable defeat !

          “Long Live the Wigs ! .. Long Live the Wigs ! .. Long Live the Wigs !”

          Reply
        4. Steve H.

          I figured it out! I got it! It’s the only explanation.

          This is such a single-question law school washout, I mean ‘You opened your client up to discovery, of servers you kept from the FBI, to (wait for it) Wiki-LEAKS?!’ whudanidjit-level ninniness, that it can only be deliberate.

          Someone inside the DNC is so sicka this malarkey that they snuck this past the mucketys that are clearly insane by Boyd’s definition.

          Look for who’s passed-off. See Deep Throat (Watergate).

          Reply
        5. clarky90

          This lawsuit has the hallmarks of a Russian Security Agency infiltration operation! Are the Democratic Party leadership, in fact, Russian Agents? If Russian Agents now controle the DNC, this has grave implications for our USAin Democracy.

          IMO, this is a dastardly plan to find “crimes” by our universally loved Oligarchs via the “discovery” process, and then lock them up. Oh, The Great Sorrow.

          Damn you Vlad Putin and your 4.5 dimensional chess. I have never been so worried in my entire life! (sarc)

          Reply
      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        I hope the DNC pursues this suit to the bitter end with infinite overzealous persistence. I hope the targets of this suit have what it takes to discover and discover and discover.

        I hope that Hillary Clinton never “goes away”. The longer she hangs around, the more her psycho-fecal odor will rub off on all her associates within smell of every corner of the public. That is what is needed to finally declintaminate every political and civil society group with Clinto-maggots in it or near it.

        Reply
      1. Jim Haygood

        illegal and extralegal activities undertaken to help her win were hardly considered high-risk, because candidate Clinton was sure to win.” — Ray McGovern

        “What is clintonism?” I rhetorically ask my little charges at Ho Chi Minh Elementary.

        A political platform based on lies and crimes!” they chant in unison as I beam approvingly.

        “That’s right, class. And what shall we do to overturn Queen Hillary’s dead hand of oppression?” I respond.

        Marvelously, the kids break into song:

        We don’t need no coronation
        We don’t need no thought control
        No dark sarcasm on the book tour
        Hey — Clintons — leave them kids alone!

        Reply
      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Tit-for-tat?

        Where are all their friends in high places in the government or in the press?

        Does it mean that Rosenstein (or Mueller)

        1. Was never on their team.
        or
        2. is till trying, but is getting nowhere
        or
        3. has stopped trying?

        It just seems like there should be more options to do a tit-for-tat.

        Reply
    2. Sid_finster

      In a certain cynical way, it makes sense:

      Most likely, either through leaks or basic common sense, Team D figured out that the Mueller witch hunt will not deliver, at least not what was hoped for.

      So, keeping in mind liberal discovery rules if they survive a motion to dismiss, Team D is going on a fishing expedition.

      If they don’t survive a motion to dismiss, they scream corruption/”we were defeated as a result of a technicality!”

      Otherwise, they hope for a sympathetic judge and jury, although the “defendants” can engage in discovery of their own, which could be mighty embarrassing for Team D.

      Think of it as a lottery ticket.

      Reply
    3. Pookah Harvey

      Perez was close to the truth, let me help him a little
      ““During the 2016 presidential campaign, Clinton launched an all-out assault on our democracy, and it found a willing and active partner in the DNC,” chairman Tom Perez said in a statement.

      “This constituted an act of unprecedented treachery: the campaign of a nominee for President of the United States in league with a hostile corrupt Democratic National party to bolster its own chance to win the presidency.”

      Maybe Bernie should follow Perez’s example.

      Reply
  10. fat feller

    In all honesty, who cares whether or not Sessions decides to leave the AG’s job if Rosenstein gets fired. There would be another government “expert” lined up to take his place. That’s the problem with government crats. You could literally fire thousands of them and there would be an entire army from which to hire these types of people whose job it is to declare to all the world on national media that despite what ever crime that they are investigating, there is not enough evidence to convict anybody for any wrong doing. Sessions and Rosenstein and Holder and Comey and McCabe can all take their .gov retirement packages and ride off into the sunset to be never heard from again and no one would miss them.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/sessions-told-white-house-that-rosensteins-firing-could-prompt-his-departure-too/2018/04/20/911ca994-44c7-11e8-bba2-0976a82b05a2_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.00fc4fee1c92

    Reply
    1. JTMcPhee

      Speaking of the Agency bosses and interchangeability and succession, it’s kind of like the teeth of sharks and crocodilians: when one gets lost, there’s a whole lineup right behind, in the cloaca channels of the the Imperial swamp, pushing up into the empty spot. Here’s part of the mechanism, in the Imperium’s own official words:

      Senior Executive ServiceThe Senior Executive Service (SES) lead America’s workforce. As the keystone of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, the SES was established to “…ensure that the executive management of the Government of the United States is responsive to the needs, policies, and goals of the Nation and otherwise is of the highest quality.” These leaders possess well-honed executive skills and share a broad perspective on government and a public service commitment that is grounded in the Constitution.
      Members of the SES serve in the key positions just below the top Presidential appointees. SES members are the major link between these appointees and the rest of the Federal workforce. They operate and oversee nearly every government activity in approximately 75 Federal agencies.

      https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/senior-executive-service/

      “Pallid, vetted and ready!”

      Reply
      1. polecat

        ‘cloaca’ ..
        You wouldn’t be ‘psychicly’ be channeling James Kunstler now, would you JTMcPhee ??

        Reply
    2. Lee

      If the greater and lesser of two weevils both hate Comey, he can’t be all bad. ; )

      Evidently, he hates them right back. Previously a registered Republican, he now intends to register “as a neither.” I don’t see this guy as opting for progressives, so I’d guess he’s a man in search of a third weevil.

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        All roads lead to Rome.

        The Republican Way. The Green Way. The Money Way. The Foundation Way. The Democratic Way. The Hope And Change Way.

        Reply
    3. Procopius

      I feel pretty sure Trump would be delighted if Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III resigned. It would allow him to appoint Rudy Giuliani. I think he’d try to appoint Cohn but I am pretty sure he couldn’t get the Democratic votes he’d need.

      Reply
  11. The Rev Kev

    “Palantir Knows Everything About You”

    There seems to be a lot of panic about Palantir but really, we don’t need to be afraid. Thiel just took a random name from the “Lord of the Rings” series is all. Just look at the following film clip which shows you what a Palantir is and what it is all about-

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oz_njsPDGRs

    See? Nothing to worry about.

    Reply
    1. a different chris

      The problem is of course, not what Palantir knows about you but what it will “know that ain’t so”. The smarter (but completely ethic-free) people behind stuff like that are well aware of this, and are fine with it. They can send their stupider associates after whoever they please.

      Reply
  12. PlutoniumKun

    Re:

    America’s nuclear headache: old plutonium with nowhere to go Reuters (EM)

    The proposed MOX plant in the US has proven a disaster, and I’d be interested in anyone knowing why exactly its proven so difficult to build, given that two have already been built (and I think at least one in Russia too).

    Instead, under a 2000 treaty, the United States agreed to transform the 34 metric tons of plutonium into MOX, unusable for bombs. Russia agreed to destroy the same quantity using a special type of reactor. But the United States had never before built a MOX plant. No U.S. civilian reactor had ever used MOX as fuel.

    This misplaced optimism led to one of the costliest snafus ever in U.S. government construction. Work began in 2007 to build a MOX plant that was to be operational by November 2016. The Energy Department now estimates that, if allowed to proceed, it will not be finished until 2048. In 2007 the Energy Department said the total cost would be $4.8 billion. Now it estimates the cost at more than $17 billion.

    The British one, in Sellafield, was shut after Fukushima, not from safety concerns, but because it lost its last big supply contract to Japan. The French plant near La Havre still produces plenty of MOX for European reactors – most French reactors burn it.

    I’m just baffled as to why the US has failed to complete its plant – why don’t they just copy the French or British ones? There seems something particularly rotten about that project, and I wonder if there is another agenda. Much as I dislike MOX, the only alternative is to store Plutonium long term (you can guess from my username, I love the stuff). And surely using it as fuel is better than keeping it hanging around.

    Reply
    1. Scott

      Areva is part of the consortium that was building the plant. Presumably they would have knowledge of the French designs (although they have encountered their own problems, leading to a forced takeover by EDF), how much of this knowledge they applied remains to be seen.

      The end of the article points to one of the biggest problems, the cost plus contract. These contracts can be beneficial to both parties; however the DOE, like the DOD rarely appears to provide the necessary levels of oversight on these contracts.

      Reply
    2. third time lucky

      Remember Obama blowing up budget to start “modernizing” our nuclear forces(pun intended)? Masterstoke against social services at same time. That’s why everything is going poof in making it unuseful to arms industry.

      Using Russian (ex USSR) Plutonium to mix with our own to make new threat to humanity. So American, so wow!

      Reply
    3. Skip Intro

      It sounds like a collision of cost-plus contracting with the tendency to ‘phishing equilibrium’. Because the DOE managers were unable or unwilling to rein in the costs, and even ‘ordered’ some ‘improv’ work, the system’s attempts to reach equilibrium had virtually no restoring force to counter the looting by the contractors. The result was a cost spiral, and a technical disaster, since those doing the work knew it would always be in their interest to do it wrong the first N times.

      Reply
  13. Carolinian

    Israeli-American actress Natalie Portman says enough is enough after the Gaza killings and is immediately condemned by many Israelis. The thought police brook no dissenters. Phil Weiss:

    Tonight Hasbara Central is burning midnight oil to try and counter this stunning blow from a woman who was born in Israel, and has in the past spoken out in support of the Jewish state. In the highly-competitive world of media and film, we can only guess what kind of courage this move has taken, not to mention the potential tensions with Israeli relatives.

    http://mondoweiss.net/2018/04/natalie-portman-enough/

    Reply
    1. Bham Dan

      Israel’s despicable crimes against the Palestinians have been going on since long before she was born. Wonder why she’s just now noticing?

      Reply
      1. Carolinian

        If you follow the link it says she has opposed BDS in the past. Weiss thinks the Gaza shootings will prove a turning point in the attitude of American Jews if not American politicians. Of course he’s said that before. But it could be that this time really is different. And after almost 20 years of war there could be a sense among the American public at large that our alliances are dragging us into yet another war and the worst yet.

        Reply
            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              I have read somewhere ( can’t remember where or when) that between intermarriage and less-than-replacement-rate of childbearing, the numbers of younger jews are substantially less than the numbers of older jews when the older jews were younger themselves.

              Someone should run the numbers to see if older jews are even being replaced at all.

              Reply
              1. The Rev Kev

                Different situation in Israel itself. The secular Israelis are having regular size families whereas the ultra-Orthodox are having many, many more children. People talk about the stresses because of the demographics between the Israeli births and the Arab births but the real stress points are arising because of the different birth rates of the secular Israelis and the ultra-Orthodox. See the story at http://www.newsweek.com/israels-ultra-orthodox-problem-64211 as an example but the point is that there is going to be a much bigger gap coming between Israel and the US because of this.

                Reply
      2. Expat2uruguay

        Many people are changing their World Views on many different issues, such as: the so-called Democratic Party, Facebook/social media, the MSM media, law enforcement and incarceration, lgbtq, Etc. So criticizing someone for speaking out against an act now, one that they haven’t spoken out against in the past is not a valid critique, wouldn’t you agree?.

        Reply
      3. Oregoncharles

        Gunning down peaceful protesters, and boasting about it, might have something to do with it.

        Much of the leadership of the BDS movement are Jews. The break started a long time ago. Religious differences are a factor, too; while Israel has a lot of nonbelievers, certain policies, like family law, have been handed over to the most fanatical sects. Most American Jews are either Reform, more or less, or agnostics; somebody said they may find their marriage isn’t recognized in Israel. That sort of thing makes for ill feeling.

        An example: way back in the 60s, a Jewish friend’s sister was in Israel and was being harassed by the local Hasidim for the way she dressed – like an American teenager. Somehow, the word got out that she is descended from the founder of the sect – as is her brother. The tone changed abruptly, and Steve said they were particularly eager to get him to Israel. Not a chance. So the issues go back a long way.

        Reply
  14. John Zelnicker

    @PlutoniumKun
    April 21, 2018 at 8:29 am
    ——
    “why don’t they just copy the French or British ones”

    Don’tcha know the US is too exceptional to copy other countries successes?

    Reply
    1. JTMcPhee

      Maybe “the US,” which is all about intellectual property, did not care to pay licensing costs to a bunch of furriers? So many reasons for incompetence an corruption and destruction of the General Welfare.

      Don’t know the answer to this question: how hard is it to separate weapons Pu from the “mixed oxides” of no longer commercially useable reactor rods? One source on the how to get rid of it other than rocketing it into the Sun: http://www.srswatch.org/uploads/2/7/5/8/27584045/aerospace_final_redacted_plutonium_disposition_tor_april13_final_release_050815.pdf

      Reply
      1. Procopius

        This is not a problem in the case of hydrogen fusion research. I suddenly understood a lot about American propaganda when I learned that the basic tool in fusion research, the Tokamak, was copied by American scientists from plans published in a publicly available magazine in the Soviet Union. Apparently an equivalent of Popular Mechanics. Of course they don’t pay licensing fees.

        Reply
  15. bronco

    So the techdirt article says the lawsuit is crazy for a bunch of reasons except for the part about Russia which did hack the election .

    The Russians still did it according to them.

    Reply
    1. Jim Haygood

      After a quarter century of diligent work, the Clintons have achieved their objective: turning the DNC into their own personal vanity project, as it gamely carries on seeking Justice for Hillary.

      One is surprised only that the lawsuit doesn’t seek the remedial relief of appointing Hillary as co-president. After all, she won two-thirds of GDP. *drum roll*

      Reportedly the bitter, paranoid old granny suspects her Secret Service detail are on Putin’s payroll, since they still rudely balk at toting her luggage when the queen ventures out.

      Reply
      1. Arizona Slim

        According to Ron Kessler, who has written several books about the Secret Service, Hillary’s detail is where you don’t want to be. If you’re assigned to it, you are being punished for some infraction.

        Reply
        1. Sid_finster

          I know one secret service agent who would agree.

          I also heard some stories second hand from a former Arkansas State Trooper assigned to the Clintons security detail that would strongly concur.

          Reply
          1. Arizona Slim

            A friend’s cousin was on the Secret Service detail for the Clintons and Dick Cheney. He and his fellow agents despised the Clintons. OTOH, he liked Cheney.

            Reply
        2. polecat

          Ohhh ! … the OTHER Kessler Effect ..

          ‘Spheres of crony political infuence’ on ‘peripherally altered’ trajectories.

          Reply
    2. Phillip Allen

      Some articles of faith are so deeply embedded that even normally perspicacious people fail to question them, or even see them as faith, not fact.

      Reply
      1. WheresOurTeddy

        we must account for Upton Sinclair’s old adage as well:

        “it is impossible to get someone to understand something when his paycheck depends on him not understanding it.”

        Reply
    3. The Rev Kev

      Maybe the Democrat’s donors ordered them to go ahead with this lawsuit. It is not enough to have lost a thousand legislative seats the past coupla years. Maybe the donors wanted to finish the job – and the Democrats – with the discovery process on them with this lawsuit. I guess that the 2018 mid-terms calculations for the Democrats will change completely now as this lawsuit unfolds. Then again, I guess that it is all about Hillary and not the Party. Tonight’s song at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIsnIt1p978 I dedicate to Hillary in fact.

      Reply
      1. Henry Moon Pie

        It would be wonderful to watch when the RNC, Wilileaks, and, why not?, the Russians bring some juicy counterclaims and begin that discovery. All have their reasons for a grudge against the slimy DNC.

        It could be called “The Great Unraveling,” to follow “The Great Recession.”

        Reply
        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Money doesn’t make a Democratic partisan intelligent. If enough really believe the craziness, they might simply be doing their patriotic duty.

          A ton of money has been sunk into the Democrats. My favorite quote from a donor after 2016 was regret about not giving the money to the Boys and Girls Club. She would have achieved the same elections results but helped people. My sense is their a desire for a return on investments before more money will be forked over.

          Reply
          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            It depends what various donors want. There are big donors who want to prevent “Bernies” and other “Newer Deal Democrats” from winning any offices.
            As long as the Mainstream Democrats can blight the career and stunt the growth of emerging liberadical Democrats, the donors will keep funding the Mainstream Democrats in order to prevent progressivism or even any progress at all.

            Reply
      2. Expat2uruguay

        The Rev Kev, Is it okay to quote that to Facebook with proper attribution to you and this blog?

        General question, Is there any policy on such actions?

        Reply
        1. John Zelnicker

          @Expat2uruguay
          April 21, 2018 at 12:13 pm
          ——
          If you’ve read the site Policies and haven’t found anything there, then there is no policy as such. What you propose is appropriate and when others have asked the same question, the usual answer has been yes. (Of course, I am not answering for The Rev Kev.)

          Reply
      3. Procopius

        I am not a lawyer, but I feel pretty sure this will take many years to play out. Don’t be looking for depositions this year. I think it was Charlie Pierce who pointed out this case will go to trial during Malia Obama’s presidency.

        Reply
        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          A hearty “mahok” to you.

          The Side Show Bob monologue largely sums up the Clintonistas political philosophy.

          Reply
  16. allan

    Facebook: LinkedIn has operated this way for years. Back in 2015, they settled a class action charging that they
    were spamming users’ email contact lists with invitations to link to the user, without the user’s consent.

    …. In 2013, a class-action lawsuit accused LinkedIn of accessing users’ email accounts without their permission and unwittingly using their names to send email invitations to people in their address books.

    At the time, LinkedIn called many of the accusations false.

    The court agreed that LinkedIn members did give the social network permission to use their email contacts to send connection invitations.

    But the court found that although LinkedIn members consented to importing their contacts and sending LinkedIn connection requests, they did not consent to the two additional “reminder emails” that LinkedIn would send about those requests. …

    So they stopped doing this, amirite? Noiamnot:

    Assuming the settlement goes through, what does that mean for you?

    As a LinkedIn user, you will now see a new disclosure when you send a connection invitation, letting you know that LinkedIn will send two reminder emails to the recipient. By the end of 2015, LinkedIn will also start letting members who are getting reminders stop those reminders from coming by canceling the invitation. …

    A new disclosure in 2 point type. Thank you, class action bar.
    And in the statement from LinkedIn about settling the case:

    … Ultimately, we decided to resolve this case so that we can put our focus where it matters most: finding additional ways to improve our members’ experiences on LinkedIn. In doing so, we will continue to be guided by our core value — putting our Members First.

    Mark Z. couldn’t have said it better more disingenuously.

    Reply
    1. Bugs Bunny

      I was a plaintiff in the class action. Never got a cent. Nor an apology.

      I’m sure the law firm made out very well.

      Reply
    2. ewmayer

      As a never-FB-er, I view this kind of ‘our goal is track everyone, everywhere, at all times, whether they are a Facebook user or not’ stuff as pure evil. I have Ghostery installed on my FF setup which I believe blocks the kind of when-you-visit-a-site-using-FB’s-ad-pixel cross-site scripting described, but can any of our web experts confirm/deny that?

      Reply
      1. ewmayer

        BTW, when I reloaded this page just now to see if my preceding comment had made it out of moderation yet, Ghostery informed me (via ittle self-deleting popup in lower right of my browser window) that it blocked cross-sire tracking from AppNexus, Dianomi, Google Analytics, Open Adstream, ScoreCard Research, Twitter and WordPress Stats. But no Facebook!

        Reply
  17. Jim Haygood

    US sorghum armada repelled from China:

    Twenty ships carrying over 1.2 million tonnes of U.S. sorghum are on the water, according to export inspections data from the USDA’s Federal Grain Inspection Service. Of the armada, valued at more than $216 million, at least five changed course within hours of China’s announcing tariffs on U.S. sorghum imports on Tuesday, Reuters shipping data showed.

    The five shipments, all headed for China when they were loaded at Texas Gulf Coast export terminals owned by grain merchants Cargill or Archer Daniels Midland would be liable for a hefty deposit to be paid on their value, which could make the loads unprofitable to deliver.

    Beijing, which is probing U.S. imports for damage to its domestic industry, announced Tuesday that grains handlers would have to put up a deposit of 178.6 percent of the value of the shipments.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-china-sorghum-exclusive/exclusive-u-s-sorghum-armada-u-turns-at-sea-after-china-tariffs-idUSKBN1HR03Z

    This is your country on Republican flake-o-nomics.

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Leader Kim seems to be a smart young man.

      Perhaps they might get a better price from North Korea in the near future.

      In the end, it could turn into a story like the Zen one told in Mr. Wilson’s War….a blessing in disguise.

      Reply
    2. JTMcPhee

      Will the “remedy” for Cargill and Archer Daniels involve something like “dumping?” As in dumping that 1.2 million tonnes of sorghum into some ocean or sea or river? Followed by a nice write-offable “tax loss?”

      Reply
  18. The Rev Kev

    “These floating buildings are made from thousands of plastic bottles that can withstand flooding”

    It would be good if they could have some sort of floating processor to turn all those islands of floating plastic in the world’s oceans into homes for people. It will also be interesting to see communities of these flood-proof homes develop over time. Saw a doco called “Life in a Day” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaFVr_cJJIY) which was ‘a historic film capturing for future generations what it was like to be alive on the 24th of July, 2010’ and it featured people that lived their whole lives on boats. Perhaps this will be something similar and communities that are on land now will become seaborne communities as the ocean level rises and submerge the land that these communities are on now.
    A coupla months ago a Commentator mentioned the brilliant opening scene to the 2017 film “Valerian” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q68AAT34MbQ) which started off as just two spacecraft uniting together in 1975 – Apollo and Soyuz – and which over time developed into a massive city. I wonder if something along these lines may happen with one of these floating communities. Not so unreasonable a thought. Who could have ever predicted the successful rise of Venice, a city built in a lagoon centuries ago, as an example?

    Reply
    1. Wyoming

      Here on NC just 4 days ago we had an article

      https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/16/scientists-accidentally-create-mutant-enzyme-that-eats-plastic-bottles

      which describes a cool new microbe which eats plastic water bottles. Our favorite scientists are optimizing it as we speak so that it will eat the plastic much faster. Since it is already out and wandering about I can see an eventual occurrence of the Law of Unintended Consequences coming into play here.

      Reply
  19. dcblogger

    I am not a lawyer, but doesn’t the DNC suit open itself to all sorts of discovery by Russia and WikiLeaks? Can’t they demand all sorts of documents?

    Reply
    1. Arizona Slim

      Yes. That’s what makes discovery so much fun.

      This lawsuit has unintended consequences written all over it.

      Reply
      1. Sid_finster

        At that point, unless there are claims against Team D outstanding, Team D voluntarily dismissses before discovery gets too embarrassing.

        Or files a weak response to a motion to dismiss, and when the motion is granted, says that the lawsuit was dismissed on a technicality, eeevil russkies what do they have to hide?

        Reply
            1. Procopius

              Just so. This kind of thing might juice up donations among the Republican base but doesn’t act the same way with Democrats. I’ve read that donations to the DNC are way down since Perez was elected, too.

              Reply
      2. Whoa Molly!

        Re Dem lawsuit – unintended cosequences

        Another unintended consequence may be that in US culture this type thing is seen as ‘whining loser’ behavior. Completely delegitimizes Dem/Clinton brand.

        Reply
        1. Expat2uruguay

          As someone said yesterday, they’ve jumped the shark for sure on this one, except in the eyes of tribalists and benefactors of course.

          Reply
        2. WheresOurTeddy

          In 2012 the GOP shrieked, rent their garments, and then got to the business of figuring out why they lost to the Muslim Kenyan, which was thought impossible. They actually called the process an “autopsy”. Because their party was if not dead, on life support nationally.

          In 2016 (and 17…and 18…) the DNC shrieked, rent their garments, and then…continued doing both of those things indefinitely.

          Dear DNC: The failure is coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE

          Reply
          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            It’s like asking this question many years back: Do you bu Borders, or do you start a new internet retailer, and call it Amazon?

            Do you take over the D party, or do you start something more 21st century like?

            Reply
            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              Different people should do whatever those different people believe in.
              Because people do the best work in service to what they actually believe.
              There are probably enough people to for a big TAG ( Theory Action Group) for each of those two approaches.

              Reply
    2. Steve H.

      In the brief time since I made the comment above, my mind has had explodingly exponential increases in metaphor, from Yuge to Level-10 tsunami to Meteor movie impact and shockwave.

      How many people and organizations and law offices could be impacted by discovery? HRC is known to have conducted illicit backdoor communications. Could discovery be plausibly extended to the DNC network of supporters?

      Go long shredders.

      Reply
  20. RenoDino

    North Korea

    Sounds like Kim is delivering on a promise to end testing in exchange for a security guarantee and economic aid from China. Please prepare yourself for Trump and Kim winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Before Pearl Harbor, I believe the debate with the Imperial Japanese High Command was either to go south, or to go north.

      They chose the Southern plan, meaning, not attacking the USSR, but the US, the British and their allies.

      We just saw the only Chinese aircraft carrier in South China sea. Maybe it’s Clausewitz, maybe it’s Sunzi, here, it seems the course is for one-front-at-a-time.

      Reply
      1. WheresOurTeddy

        The mind reels at the prospect of Yamamoto’s fleet off the coast of Japan providing close air support for the occupation of Vladivostok. Uncle Joe was pretty preoccupied from ’41-’43, though the war with China had been going for 10 years by that point.

        Reply
        1. JBird

          If Japan had gone north, it might have successfully attack the Soviet Union and kept whatever territory it managed to steal. By 1945, the Red Army was running into a shortage of manpower; and still had to occupy its new territory, and the Russians still did not have a navy that could even dream of defeating perhaps the best navy in the world in 1940.

          Also Japan had the plans for and even some airplanes equal it not better than anyone else and tanks that could fight other countries’ tanks; the United States managed to do to Japan what Germany tried to do to Great Britain, which was to cut off most shipments of food, steel, and various other raw materials most importantly oil. Also much of its already inadequate industry was destroyed. The Japanese didn’t have the ability to protect/rebuild its industry, switch production to the new improved weapons while still making the current weapons needed in an ongoing war.

          It would be nice to game this scenario.

          Reply
          1. The Rev Kev

            Probably a non-starter for the Japanese. There were a whole series of border clashes between the Russians and the Japanese during the 1930s (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet%E2%80%93Japanese_border_conflicts) which did not end well for Japan. At the time the Japanese were also bogged down in Manchuria which they invaded as they need the resources there so could never deploy their full land forces in the north.
            True, by ’45 the Soviet army was weaker but Japan still had to go south for the resources they needed to have a war like oil and rubber. There was intense rivalry between the Japanese Army and Navy which extended to assassinations back in the 30s. The Army wanted to go north while the Navy wanted to go south but likely the critical need for the southern resources decided the matter. Also something to remember is that the Germans too had superior tanks and fighter jets but the allies simply overwhelmed them with numbers.
            But you are right. It would be nice to game this scenario.

            Reply
            1. steelyman

              “True, by ’45 the Soviet army was weaker…..”

              I’m assuming this is a typo of some kind because by 1945 the Soviet army may have been the most powerful military force on the planet. Please look up the Soviet Manchurian campaign aka August Storm where they destroyed – absolutely destroyed – the Japanese army in Manchuria in less than two weeks. That was an army of around 700,000 men.
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_invasion_of_Manchuria

              This entire campaign has also been covered quite extensively by the US military historian David Glantz:
              https://www.amazon.com/Soviet-Strategic-Offensive-Manchuria-1945/dp/041540861X

              Reply
              1. The Rev Kev

                What I should have said that was the Soviets were weak in the East until the fall of Germany. A coupla years before a famous Soviet spy found out that the Japanese were not going to invade Russia again which allowed Stalin to transfer desperately needed divisions from the east to the west to defend Moscow – and surprise the Germans.
                After the fall of Germany, the highly-experienced Soviet divisions were transferred to the east which allowed them, as you rightly pointed out, to absolutely destroy the Japanese Army. Probably saw it as payback for the humiliation of the 1904-05 Russo-Japanese War and as a result the Japanese lost the Kuril Islands – the gateway to the Sea of Okhotsk for the Russians.

                Reply
    2. Sid_finster

      Won’t happen.

      The Nobel Peace Prize has nothing to do with peace, but rather is The Transnational Neoliberal Establishment Seal of Approval.

      I don’t see Kim, much less Trump, getting that any time soon.

      Reply
      1. WheresOurTeddy

        When you remember that Alfred Nobel is the inventor of dynamite, giving Obama a peace prize named after him makes complete sense.

        Reply
    3. njbr

      As for NK abandoning a test site–there were numerous reports this past year on radioactive leaks and radiation sickness from that test site and even the possible collapse of the mountain with significant radiation exposure if additional tests were carried out there.

      The closure a reflection of reality, not glasnost.

      A country the size of Mississippi, with a population 10 time that of Mississippi.

      Where could you locate another test site ?

      Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          I had literally no idea that there were any nuke tests outside of the American south-west. Mississippi had better be careful before some bright boy says that as that area is radioactive anyway, wouldn’t it be a great site to store nuclear wastes?

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            Yep. The dreaded salt domes. As the Yucca Mountain concept theorized, place barrels of waste in tunnels dug out of salt deposits. Since salt flows, very slowly, the tunnels collapse and entomb the waste, eliminating any near historical chance of accidental fissioning. Cheaper than shooting it into the sun. (In the short run. Say, a kalabtun or two.)

            Reply
    4. Dee

      His dad promised once too to Clinton in 94, and didn’t stop anything. Also in 04/05 under Bush, they came to an agreement to “freeze” again with China, Russia, US, Japan, NK, SK.

      Google Agreed Framework. Google Six Party Talks.

      Reply
      1. JTMcPhee

        And then google how the US geostrategic Game of Risk! neocons torpedoed that arrangement, as they have done with so many others over the generations… And read some history of the US involvement in the run up to, conduct of, and aftermath of the thing we call the Korean War…

        “America is not agreement-capable.”

        Reply
  21. Katy

    Impossible Burger draws environmentalists’ ire AdAge

    I had one of these burgers at a restaurant. It was…good. It did kind of taste and look like beef. If it is safe to eat and is better for the environment than real beef, I would be willing to give up real hamburgers for it.

    Reply
    1. JBird

      While I am trying not to be too cynical, perhaps the complaints about the possible dangers are astroturfing? With the fake research, the financial incentivizing of both researchers and government employees to make findings and decisions more favorable for some, who knows? If the article is accurate, the complaints and slow responses would then make sense.

      Reply
    1. hunkerdown

      Geez, as if Ossoff weren’t enough, GA-06 now has to deal with another fake-Republican air-dropped by DNC HQ, this time a Clintonite lobbyist who just happens to fit the master narrative of the moment? This is why the Democrat Party needs to be crushed like a ’79 Pinto.

      Reply
      1. Expat2uruguay

        Crushed like a 79 Pinto: I’m starting to think that the DNC lawsuit, occurring as it does during the election cycle, can get that job done. But if the Democratic brand is completely crushed, what happens to our two party system? How would this play out, given the current barriers to third parties?

        Reply
        1. John k

          It’s easier for progressives to take over a weak party than a strong one.
          Move forward by primaring the blue dog and other neolibs… it’s worth it to let reps hold the house for another cycle. The sooner dems see progressives as the only hope, the better.

          Reply
          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            It’s a balancing act.

            One possibility is that it is so weakened that it becomes what the communist party was in Russia, after Gorbachev…so weak, not too many have wanted it anymore.

            From Wikipedia;

            The Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF; Russian: Коммунистическая Партия Российской Федерации; КПРФ; Kommunisticheskaya Partiya Rossiyskoy Federatsii, KPRF) is a communist and Marxist–Leninist political party in Russia. The party is often viewed as the immediate successor of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, which was banned in 1991 by then-President Boris Yeltsin. It is the second largest political party in the Russian Federation after United Russia. The youth organisation of the party is the Leninist Young Communist League. The party is administered by the Central Committee.

            The CPRF was founded at the Second Extraordinary Congress of Russian Communists on 14 February 1993 as the successor organisation of the Communist Party of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. As of 2015, the party has 160,000 members.[4] The party’s stated goal is to establish a new, modernised form of socialism in Russia.[5] Immediate goals of the party include the nationalisation of natural resources, agriculture and large industries within the framework of a mixed economy that allows for the growth of small and medium enterprises in the private sector.[6]

            Second largest.

            But only 160,000 members (versus United Russia with – click United Russia, in the article above – Membership (2013) 2,073,772[3])

            Reply
    1. tegnost

      It’s common conversation among seattle renters that if you have to move you have to leave the region…
      Having a short time to move and find a new job that will satisfy the hurdles inherent in the $100 non refundable screening process can be pretty stressful.

      Reply
      1. 3.14e-9

        Moved to the East Coast six months ago after 13 years of renting in the Seattle metro area. It wasn’t just the rent that skyrocketed. Everything was getting more expensive, including groceries. I was born in Upstate New York and have family here, and where I ended up is flyover country, meaning rent is reasonable (still not what you’d call cheap). It’s a red county, but my consolation is that Bernie won the D primary by a YUUUGE margin. That, and it’s incredibly beautiful country.

        Reply
    2. JTMcPhee

      Time to resurrect “Lesser Seattle”? Pretty sharp writing in this piece on a significant bit of Seattle political history:

      Within Seattle here circa 2015, there’s a cathartic struggle simmering between our city’s poignant past and the feral future that now beckons fiercely.

      While the armies of Amazonia, driven collectively mad by economic fundamentalism, threaten to gentrify every remaining remnant of Old Seattle, pockets of savvy resistance continue to slowly gestate here, catalyzed by the promise of genuine economic democracy and urban citizenship for every New Seattle acolyte.

      Among the best citizen movements of our city’s past was a mirthfully apocryphal one that called itself Lesser Seattle. Catalyzed during the 1950s by the legendary longtime local newspaper columnist Emmett Watson (1918-2001), Lesser Seattle was a collective satirical response to the appallingly absurd concept of Greater Seattle.

      During that postwar boom decade, several city tourism and growth boosters formed an umbrella group which they called Greater Seattle, Inc., aiming to promote local economic investment and expansion. Seattle circa 1955 was much like Seattle circa 2015 — only now the boosters’ collective lust for growth seems more fueled by Heisenberg’s crystal meth than by good old-fashioned Seattle caffeine.

      http://www.seattlestar.net/2015/11/gathering-lesser-seattle/

      Reply
    1. lyman alpha blob

      I miss reading Lapham at Harpers, especially on the months when Rebecca Solnit and her resistance themed word salad takes over the lead editorial.

      Reply
      1. JEHR

        Due Process…: Nader pretty well paints the US as a lawless country that cheats its citizens of most good things including good healthcare, justice, fair play, peace, etc. It is very scary being a country so close to such a one. I have just subscribed to Lapham’s Quarterly.

        Reply
  22. allan

    Probe clears CIA director pick of destroying waterboarding tapes [AP via NY Post]

    Come for the misleading headline, stay for the laughs:

    Countering resistance to President Donald Trump’s pick for CIA director, the spy agency have given lawmakers a declassified memo showing she was cleared years ago of wrongdoing in the destruction of videotapes showing terror suspects being waterboarded after 9/11. …

    The eight-page memo given to the Senate intelligence committee summarizes a disciplinary review conducted by then-CIA deputy director Mike Morell. In the 2011 memo, obtained by The Associated Press, Morell said that while Haspel was one of the two officers “directly involved in the decision to destroy the tapes,” he “found no fault” with what she did.

    Morell, who supports Haspel’s nomination to be the next — and first female — director of the agency, wrote that she drafted a cable ordering the tapes destroyed, but that it was issued by her boss, Jose Rodriguez, then chief of the CIA’s clandestine service.

    “I have concluded that she acted appropriately in her role as Mr. Rodriguez’ chief of staff,” wrote Morell, who later became acting CIA director. “Ms. Haspel claims that she believed — incorrectly as it turned out — that Mr. Rodriguez was going to obtain approval from then (CIA) Director (Porter) Goss before releasing the cable.” …

    In his defense, Rodriguez said no one ever ordered him not to destroy the tapes. …

    A virtuous circle of learned ignorance. Having learned at Nuremberg that I was just following orders doesn’t cut it,
    a more creative approach is needed:
    I was just following orders to draft a command assuming that my boss had checked it was OK,
    and he didn’t, but no one told him not to, so lol. Thank you for asking, Senator.

    Reply
    1. Sid_finster

      I thought “I was just following orders!” works just fine as a defense for conduct that The National Security State approves of, regardless of legality.

      Reply
    2. Brian

      After considering your statement about Nuremberg, I must add that Nuremburg began the “if I was following orders” crap. The nazi’s convicted served very little hard time. Nuremburg caused the problem, and it was glorious to those needing an excuse for genocide. Operation Paperclip proves what a good nazi was to our government. But it was never demonstrated to we, the people.

      Reply
      1. WheresOurTeddy

        Operation paperclip made the space program possible. Try to push the uncomfortable feeling down when you next watch the moon landing that the nazi inventors of the V2 made it possible.

        Patton wanted to give them guns and send them east against Russia. He’d be pretty mainstream these days.

        Reply
    3. ewmayer

      “…disciplinary review conducted by then-CIA deputy director Mike Morell” — ah yes, he of “let’s kill some iranians and Russians in Syria fame. Another warmomongering Intel-agency sociopath who would have surely done very well under a Hillary presidency. Then again, these IC creeps as often as not are quite flexible as to which party’s administration they exercise their killing prowess for.

      Reply
    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      There is the banality of it.

      And we also have the collective guilt at work here, which is felt by people for the acts of their fellow countrymen.

      Reply
  23. The Rev Kev

    “Syria Sitrep – Cleanup Around Damascus – WMD Rumors Prepare For New U.S. Attack”

    As these pockets of Jihadist are getting cleaned up, this will leave the Syrian Army with more latitude on an operation level and it sounds like they are going to stop any more land grabs by the Turks in Idlib. Hey, speaking of cleaning up, you know all those missiles that FUKUS sent into Syria a coupla days ago? Well the Syrian Army has been cleaning them up as well and I read the following report-

    “DAMASCUS, Syria – Two cruise missiles found unexploded by the Syrian military after the US missile strike on April 14 have been handed over to Russia, a source in the Syrian defense ministry told TASS on Thursday.
    Two cruise missiles that did not detonate during the US missile strike on Syria overnight to April 14 were found by the Syrian military,” the source said.
    Both are in rather good condition. These missiles were handed over to Russian officer the day before yesterday (April 17),” the source said, adding that both “were sent to Russia by plane yesterday (April 18).”
    The Russian Defense Ministry are yet to make a statement.”

    I hope that there was nothing secret in one of those things.

    Reply
  24. Arizona Slim

    Is anyone else viewing this site with an Android phone and getting those popups? It’s happening to me again. The popups are promoting a $1k Walmart gift card.

    Reply
    1. Kurtismayfield

      I was getting them on chrome, but when I switched to duckduckgo they stopped. It must be something about the browser and allowing those pop ups.

      Reply
    2. 3.14e-9

      As I understand it, the pop-up happens when you visit NC, because the malware learns which sites you visit most often. It started on my Android phone about a month ago. I noticed it was happening whenever I clicked on the NC bookmark, so I deleted the bookmark and added a new one. That stopped it for a while.

      A couple of weeks later, it came back with a vengeance. I did a search and found differing instructions for getting rid of it, one of which was to update Chrome. (I don’t recall a recommendation to switch browsers, but maybe that’s no big surprise.) I didn’t realize that Chrome automatically updates through a Google app I had disabled. Once Chrome was updated, the pop-ups disappeared … for about 24 hours.

      I read somewhere that the malware is able to get into your bookmarks. I also read that there are several ways to get in, and apparently the only way to prevent it is to keep all your Google apps updated. I spent nearly four hours going through them one by one. I probably didn’t have to do that, but once I started reading the fine print in each app about what data it can access in your phone, I figured I’d better know.

      It turned out that the malware was coming in through the YouTube app. I had it disabled, as I was able to access YouTube with Chrome. Since enabling the app and allowing automatic updates, the pop-ups are gone. Makes you wonder who’s behind them …

      Reply
  25. fresno dan

    https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/politics/2018/04/20/dash-cam-kyle-plush-death-case-cops-didnt-get-out-their-car-search-parking-lot-where-he-parked-lot-h/533313002/

    The officers responding to Kyle’s Plush pleading 911 call never got out of their cruiser and appeared to only search one of the three parking lots around his school, at least while their body-worn cameras were turned on.
    …..
    In his first call to 911, which resulted in the officers being dispatched to the school, Kyle gave his location as “Seven Hills” and said he was “trapped in my van.”
    ….
    In his first call to 911, Kyle said he was trapped in his car at Seven Hills School and an operator, five minutes later, dispatched Osborne and Brazile to the school, categorizing the call as unknown trouble.
    ===============================================
    Only because the outcome was so disastrous, does one see the curtain pulled back at the total ineptness of a police department. Maybe this is entirely the dispatchers fault, which makes one wonder how many calls in Cincinnati are poorly handled because of poor recruitment and poor training of dispatchers.

    Reply
    1. Harold

      I think they are paid minimum wages and given no training, except for it being communicated to them that they may shoot to kill if they have “reasonable suspicion”.

      Reply
      1. Expat2uruguay

        Can anyone explain what “categorizing the call” means, in the phrase categorizing the call as unknown trouble?

        Reply
        1. Expat2uruguay

          Based on a PDF from the Oregon Police Department on priority call definitions, it sounds like a priority one event was categorized as a priority five event by the dispatcher. Still, doesn’t the dispatcher tell the cops that a person is trapped in a van? Shouldn’t the cops have taken it more seriously based on that information instead of focusing on what the call was categorized as? It sounds like the dispatcher is being made the Fall Guy for lack of judgment on the part of officers. Or at the very least, her mistakes are being overplayed

          Reply
          1. fresno dan

            Expat2uruguay
            April 21, 2018 at 1:14 pm

            You have brought up very good points and questions (I always wonder if dispatchers are part of police unions – how they are generally made to take the fall, I suspect the answer is no). The thing of it is, even if we were to follow up and read the official investigation (6 months from now, a year from now???) it would be written to exonerate management.

            The poor kid would have been better off calling friends or relatives.

            Reply
      1. Grebo

        Last time I checked the US had a military presence in 132 countries out of about 200. Not all of them by way of invasion though.
        That is all at once, ie. now, unlike Britain which never held all that territory at once, or at all. Some of those British ‘invasions’ are a bit of a stretch too.

        Reply
  26. K

    Furzy, you don’t necessarily need a car to work with meals on wheels. Often drivers need another person to help.

    Reply
  27. Synoia

    These floating buildings are made from thousands of plastic bottles that can withstand flooding

    Yes, when on Canals, sheltered for sea and wind. Waves and 100 mph winds? Floating wind blown trees?

    Ask the Dutch how these would have survived the February 1953 wind-caused Floods.

    Reply
    1. JEHR

      Not a good idea. Plastic eventually degrades and becomes a problem so why would anyone want to use plastic bottles to float on water? Just Wow for Human Beings!

      Reply
  28. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Amazing people, the Bajau people.

    ‘Sea Nomads’ Are First Known Humans Genetically Adapted to Diving National Geographic

    Saw them once on a documentary (BBC or National Geographic, don’t remember now) about the Pacific Ocean (I think).

    I think I also saw them in one of Shohei Imamura’s documentaries in the 1970s (might have been ‘the Pirates of Bubuan’).

    Reply
  29. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Keeping Mueller busy: Is Trump losing Europe?

    Europe in diplomatic push to ease Russia sanctions Financial Times

    Reply
  30. JTMcPhee

    So strategic litigation is in the news today: Here’s another bit of news that points to common-sense awareness (if not realism) on the part of young people and the folks who likely are offering them counsel:

    8 kids from Florida are suing their state over climate change. Rick Scott, who has served as Florida’s governor since 2011, hasn’t done much to protect his state against the effects of climate change — even though it’s being threatened by sea-level rise.
    On Monday, eight youth filed a lawsuit against Scott, a slew of state agencies, and the state of Florida itself. The kids, ages 10 to 19, are trying to get their elected officials to recognize the threat climate change poses to their constitutional rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

    https://grist.org/briefly/8-kids-from-florida-are-suing-their-state-over-climate-change/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=daily

    Darn, got to get my glasses checked— I thought it said “Eight Kids SHOOT Florida Governor Sick Rott…” We do have a “stand your ground” law here in FL now. Not sure how the courts, if above water themselves, would read the law if the “ground” is like so much of FL used to be— under water, and for sale to the rubes from the north, by slick carpetbaggers like Scott…

    As they teach us in civil procedure and federal jurisdiction in law school, “standing is the first question,” so let’s see how this goes…

    Reply
  31. Oregoncharles

    From the Techdirt article on the DNC lawsuit: ” there’s little doubt at this point that the Russians were behind the hack and leak of the documents, and that Wikileaks published them.” Actually a bit of a throwaway line, but this is Techdirt. Did something go down that I didn’t see? Because I had the impression that the TECHNICAL evidence for Russian involvement was highly questionable. And the testimonial (Assange) evidence against it is fairly strong. To say nothing of Seth Rich.

    This is not very relevant to the main point of the article, but highly relevant to the lawsuit. And hey, has anyone done a forensic analysis of the DNC’s hacked server yet, aside from Cloudstrike?

    More generally: there’s nothing like a lawsuit to bring out the evidence on either side. It’s unlikely the Russians will cooperate, but some of the others are Americans, with reason to defend themselves. And Assange can testify from the Ecuadorian embassy. I think bringing the suit is a big mistake for that reason.

    Reply
    1. Oregoncharles

      Having finished the article: some odd technical assumptions in there, for a site called “Techdirt.” Ignores the Intelligence Veterans for Sanity analysis completely. No hack, no case.

      And it’s, ahem, interesting that the DNC is pursuing a lawsuit that poses a dire threat to the 1st Amendment.

      Reply
    2. flora

      After 2 years the hard drives, held in an unknown chain of custody and with who knows what being done to them, are a doubtful source of any reliable information related to the data downloads in 2016. (was the data downloaded over an internet connection, or downloaded directly to a thumb drive?) I’d guess there is zero chance the Dem estab would let this lawsuit and discovery go forward unless they are sure there’s no good evidence left on the hard drives. (Although, there could be some clever, after-the-fact created shadow-tracks “evidence”. ;) )

      Reply
    3. Tom_Doak

      Assange can’t even order a pizza from the Ecuadorian embassy, last I heard. His communications have been cut off, at the insistence of various Western governments. Which makes pursuing his outfit as part of the lawsuit much more convenient. What a lucky coincidence! /s

      Reply
  32. Oregoncharles

    “Hillary Clinton on Election Night: ‘They Were Never Going to Let Me Be President’ .. Furzy: “‘They’ who?”

    Hillary believes in the Deep State/Blob, too, and she’s in a position to know..

    Reply
    1. Yves Smith Post author

      But the Blob was completely in the can for her, witness its steadfast support for her Russia!Russia! campaign and related efforts to remove Trump by extra-Constitutional means.

      Reply
      1. Oregoncharles

        And Stzrok and Page. But she’s using “they” in a way that means shadowy forces, unless she actually means the Electoral College. Unconsciously revealing? There’s a faction in the Blob we don’t know about? The military seems to like Trump well enough; it’s the “intelligence” agencies that don’t.

        Realistically, it was probably pure shock speaking. Can’t find it now, but I just saw another reminder of how deeply shocking, especially for Democrats, Trump’s victory was. I can testify to it personally, because I was among Democratic Party activists that night. Locally, it was a victory party (also for an initiative the Green Party had worked on, hence my presence); but the pall over the room was extraordinary. And of course, in a lot of ways it hasn’t worn off.

        Reply
    2. Whoa Molly!

      Re: they were never…

      Have been thinking a lot about this HRC comment. It really set off my ‘something odd here’ flag. Best I can tell she believes theres a secret ‘they’ who run everything. Thus ‘they’ ruined the coronation.

      I personally think ‘they’ are not some secret cabal, but ‘the voters’ who could clearly see that things are not going well for them or their kids. And That the system is rigged for the entitled 10%.

      Trump saw this pain clearly, she didn’t.

      Reply
    3. Sid_finster

      She lost the closest thing to a rigged election and to Donald Trump, no less.

      Still, she blames everyone and everything but herself.

      Reply
      1. Richard

        Yes, sometimes people forget (or forget to mention) that the national media were entirely in the bag for Hillary, along with a huge majority of the entertainment industry. I’d never seen anything like it. The uniformity of opinion and language and look scared the shit out of me. So I got rid of my tv. Problem solved /sarc
        Sociopaths never, ever, ever effing reflect. The chutzpah does amaze me though. After losing the presidency to a sad inflatable joke, after losing so many seats and legislatures and governorships, the neo-liberals still feel perfectly entitled to run the party.
        No intention of winning anything with it though. Just want to run it.

        Reply
        1. Whoa Molly!

          re: in the bag for her…

          Yes, the uniformity of opinion and language for Clinton in the national media was shocking. They used the same words!

          Reply
      2. sd

        I take great comfort in knowing Clinton lost to Donald. J. Trump. Every nitwitted tweet just refreshes the enormity of the loss.

        Reply
    4. ewmayer

      If your take the ‘They Were Never Going to Let Me’ line and replace ‘President’ with ‘Nominee’, you get a perfect “and now she knows how Bernie Sanders probably feels about the DNC” line. But of course Hillary, wrapped up in her solipsistic narcissism, wouldn’t know how anyone else feels. That would require empathy, of which she appears to be utterly incapable. (Or maybe she’s just utterly uninterested in exercising it.)

      Reply
    5. Tom_Doak

      I really think everyone is overthinking her use of the word “they”.

      “They” are clearly her many and assorted enemies, who have been conspiring to stop her for the past 25-30 years. Men, and “uneducated” women. Children, maybe. Bernie voters, of course. Russians, certainly, and maybe some ungrateful Haitians, too. Possibly even space aliens … that’s why she’s really interested in UFO’s.

      Reply
  33. kareninca

    Re funerals: I have a friend whose husband’s cousin went to Switzerland recently to have herself euthanized. She was 70 y.o., had no serious health problems, and claimed to not be depressed at all. She was simply feeling older and frailer. She talked about it with her siblings several months ahead of time and they were very upset with her, but she went ahead anyway. Two of them were so mad that they did not go to her memorial service. She was English, and her church (unclear what type) had no issue with holding a service.

    I never thought of Switzerland as a destination for this sort of thing, but my friend doesn’t get stuff like that wrong, and she finds her relative’s case all very fascinating.

    I actually felt like throwing up when I heard about this person’s decision and her success at acting on it, but I suppose views differ.

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      What if the person was 25 years old, also feeling ‘older,’ and perhaps also not as robust as before, but had 3 young kids at home?

      Reply
      1. witters

        You mean, what if this person had been another person, not the person they were? I wouldn’t worry about that. Its a metaphysical impossibility.

        Reply
      1. kareninca

        Yeah, these choices are great when they’re freely made, aren’t they? Your generation is getting to make all sorts of cool decisions re stents and surgeries and medications. I’m guessing my generation – I’m 54 – will instead get a hearty handshake and a couple of aspirin as we’re given a quick shove into the Euthanizer, whether we want it or not, and we’ll get there pretty early since we’re in shitty shape already. The path will have been nicely smoothed by those who chose it willingly. Well, I wouldn’t want to prevent anyone from making such a personal decision on their own, that’s for sure.

        Ah, Jane Brody. She certainly has always been remarkably sure of herself.

        Reply
        1. JBird

          I’m sure that some corporation already has the specs for The Euthanizer™️ and a business plan complete with an ad compaign, lobbyists, and astroturfing ready to roll.

          Now if I could just convince myself that this is only my weak effort at satire and not a realistic possibility.

          Reply
  34. polecat

    I know it’s off-topic, but today I did my pre-GaiaDay duty, and hived a 3 lb. bee package into one of our empty hives … which went spectacularly well, with very few losses and NO stings !
    Everyone’s getting acquainted with their new digs …. will check in a couple of days to see if Queenie has been sprung from her cage. Everyone keep their tarsi crossed !

    Reply
      1. polecat

        Hi Yves …
        I pre-ordered a colony of bees ( in this case, Carniolans, which is a particular ‘race honeybee …. last year I ordered Italians) that I picked up from the nursery this morning. Said bees originate from a bee supplier out of Oregon State. I’ve modified some of my hives, and hope this colony will survive through next winter, with any swarm derived from it (IF they swarm !) To be housed in the other empty hive left. I currently have 2 other colonies housed (swarms caught last year) that survived this previous winter, a first in the 7+ years we’ve been beekeeping. The wet plus varible cold winters here (PNW), interspersed with warm spells, are tough on honeybees !! .. I made sure I left plenty of capped honey last winter to sustain them through the dark months.

        Reply
  35. The Rev Kev

    “Trump’s Plan to Weaponize Space”

    There is a reason why there is not a US Space Force and it is similar to the reasons why you do not have a US Genetics Force – there are far too many ways that that can blow up in your face if you get into an arms race with it. These are verging on extinction-level forces.
    Robert Heinlein wrote a book called “Space Cadet” back in 1948 where he postulated a future where Earth had a network of nuclear weapons circling the Earth in polar orbits. That is precisely the thing that the 1967 Outer Space Treaty was designed to avoid – nukes in space.
    Back in 2002 Bush ripped up the 30 year old Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty because he saw a chance for the US to station nukes around Russia so that it could “win” a nuke war. Russia’s announcement of a new generations of weaponry has put that chance back in the box again.
    If Trump decides to rip up the Outer Space Treaty because he thinks that the US can dominate the world from space, then god knows what other countries reactions could be. Maybe explode millions of pieces of shrapnel in orbit so that nobody gets space? And I have to say that I would agree with that idea when faced with the prospect of nuclear, chemical and biological bombs in orbit.

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      No chance we route everything through Mars, so that wherever wins the battle there gets to rule the world here?

      Reply
    2. JBird

      There already a problem with too much junk in orbit. If someone lobbs some missiles at some satellites it could cause a cascade of chain reactions that would effectively block us from low orbit. It’s called the Kessler Syndrome.

      Reply
  36. marym

    The ongoing need of the Dems for the R’s to be as horrible as possible so D’s have something to be less evil than.

    Dems Meddle In WV To Boost Ex-Con Coal Baron In GOP Senate Primary

    National Democrats have been not-so-quietly hoping that controversial ex-con and coal baron Don Blankenship wins the West Virginia GOP Senate primary in a few weeks, seeing him as by far the easiest opponent for Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).

    Now, they’re stepping up to try to make that happen.

    A new Democratic super-PAC, Duty and Country, has launched a nearly half-a-million-dollar ad campaign blasting away at Blankenship’s two main primary opponents, Rep. Evan Jenkins (R-WV) and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. The group has no spots up attacking Blankenship, who’s fresh off a year in prison for his role in failing to prevent an explosion at one of his mines that killed 29 workers.

    The attacks are reminiscent of a 2012 move by allies of Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) who intentionally helped Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) win the GOP primary by viciously attacking his two primary opponents.

    Reply
    1. pricklyone

      I am way late at reading these comments, and so disappointed. No one (Haygood?) linked to “Lark’s Tongues in Aspic” by King Crimson? (at the hummingbird section)

      Reply

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