Links 4/22/18

Why Indonesia’s Bajau people can stay submerged under water longer than you or me Boing Boing

Man Rescued Injured Bird, And Now He Probably Wishes He Hadn’t Bored Panda

Loyal blue heeler stays with three-year-old lost in bush overnight ABC (The Rev Kev)

The Kinder Scout Mass Trespass Jacobin

Quitting a Bad Habit: Germany to Massively Restrict Monsanto Weedkiller Sputnik News (The Rev Kev)

Jeremy Hunt threatens new laws as he blasts social media for FAILING to protect CHILDREN Sunday Express

Kill Me Now

Barnes & Noble Announces Two New York Area Booksignings with President Bill Clinton and World’s Bestselling Author James Patterson for Their New Book The President is Missing(JTMcPhee)

North Korea

North Korea missile and nuclear test halt hailed BBC

Thousands of Windrush Generation landing cards found in National Archives Metro

Banning straws not enough to solve plastic pollution, May warned FT

Don’t Eat Romaine Lettuce, U.S. Says Bloomberg I know Yves linked to something about this last week, but just in case any readers didn’t see that, I’m posting this warning.

ONE of the world’s biggest tobacco companies took a gamble on four new cigarette alternatives — but it appears to have backfired. (The Rev Kev)

Police State Watch

Militarized Cops At Tiny Georgia Neo-Nazi Rally Arrest Counterprotesters For Wearing Masks Huffington Post Huffington Post (furzy)

The best-seller that’s not for sale. How censorship works in 2018. reddit (GA). Censorship in action– this is incredible.

Puerto Rico

Nearsighted Legislation Prohibits Grid Upgrade in Puerto Rico

These economists say a $1 trillion deficit is just a good start WaPo. UserFriendly: ​”MMT portrayed rather favorably in WaPo.​”

Class Warfare

Homeownership Does Not Guarantee Middle-Class Prosperity American Conservative


We must find a compassionate balance on panhandling Charleston Post and Courier (CM)

Bid to repeal rent-control limits in California could be headed to ballot San Francisco Chronicle

Housing discrimination thrives 50 years after Fair Housing Act tried to end it The Conversation

How the Loss of Union Power Has Hurt American Manufacturing NYT. Uh, Duh. So obvious even the Grey Lady gets it.

Voting Laws for Felons Can Be Hard to Follow. Here’s an Overview. NYT

When Robots Take Our Jobs, Platform Cooperatives Are a Solution Reader Supported News (furzy)


A Shocking Lack of Intelligence in Our Missile Strike on Syria Truthdig. Scott Ritter.

Mehdi Hasan, beautiful soul, and his diatribe against the consequential Left Stephen Gowans (TYJ)

Iran vows ‘expected and unexpected’ moves if U.S. exits nuclear deal Reuters

As if Iraq was not enough, they’re lying about Syria to wage war now SCMP

The Media War On Truthful Reporting And Legitimate Opinions – A Documentary Moon of Alabama (PJ)

Yazidis who suffered under Isis face forced conversion to Islam amid fresh persecution in Afrin Independent. Patrick Cockburn.


Emerging infectious diseases in India: the scourge that could boost urban development The Conversation

US Government Finds ‘Make in India’ for Medical Devices Discriminatory The Wire

What caused the sudden cash crunch, and what are the lessons for policymakers Economic Times. Lots of interesting tidbits. Part of the mess created by trying to wage a war on cash in what is still a cash-based system.

India to seize property of super-rich fugitives: document Reuters

ISPs should charge for fast lanes—just like TSA Precheck, GOP lawmaker says Ars Technica


Brexit: serious and dangerous

Mitt Romney fails to secure Utah GOP nomination, will face primary CNN (The Rev Kev)

Trump Transition

Sanders: ‘Trump agenda is dead’ if Democrats win back majority The Hill

How Rand Paul could still stop Pompeo Politico

Canary in the Coal Pond ProPublica

Justice Department Watchdog Probes Comey Memos Over Classified Information WSJ

Giuliani’s history raises legal questions as he takes on Trump defense Politico

The Memo: Trump lowers the temperature on Mueller probe. The Hill.


Raids and tariffs? We’ll take our lumps, say California farmers LATimes

Antidote du jour::

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. The Rev Kev

    “The Kinder Scout Mass Trespass ”

    Colour me prejudiced but is this a case of people organizing and taking back a commons?

    1. Swamp Yankee

      Yes, I think it unambiguously is!

      Now yes, I too am of a strong point of view here (full disclosure: I study 18th century commons regimes in colonial New England), but I don’t see how this can be interpreted otherwise.

      Reminds me of the work of my historical lodestar, E.P Thompson, on the commons and enclosure in early modern England.

      I think it’s also notable that notions of Commons are widespread across space and time. The Constitution of Sweden guarantees a Right to Roam (Allemensratten), the Code of Justinian acknowledges certain natural features — running water, the ocean, the seashore — as common “by the law of nations,” that is to say, universally and from an early time. The Iroquois Confederacy practiced a kind of temporal commons by calling for all decisions to be made with seven generations’ well-being in mind. Other examples abound.

      Now, this was not always lived up to in practice, but it did serve as the legal and moral-economic basis not just of early modern Britain and America, but of highly diverse societies across the human experience. The enclosing force, whether Roman latifundia or Tudor Enclosure, were overwhelmingly experienced as acts of invasion and aggression by everyday people.

      I will say that, locally, I am both frustrated but also deeply heartened on this front. Frustrated, because our “progressive” Democrat Attorney General here in Massachusetts, Maura Healey, is essentially okay with giving a beautiful state forest in the Berkshires as a right of way to Kinder Morgan for a fracked gas pipeline, in return for a nominal fee.,533262

      Heartened, because in the town I live in and surrounding towns up and down the coast and inland on the rivers, as it was among human populations here since the last ice age, communal regulation and preservation of things like our anadromous (river-migrating) herring that serve as a keystone species in our regional ecology, remains extremely strong. Here was a celebration of the herring run last weekend in my neck of the woods —

      Yes, we have problems, particularly giant trawlers sucking herring up and turning them into fish oil pills in federal waters, but at the local level, the maintenance of our piscine commons is going strong. Indeed, people seem more aware of it than they were 20 or so years ago. So I’m cautiously optimistic, there.

  2. Alex morfesis

    Sorry…the fair housing act portion of the 1968 legislation was not designed to eliminate discrimination… It was designed to attempt to offset the much more powerful scotus Jones v Mayer ruling, which the written opinions of the justices show they could see coming…

    but between the removals of rfk and mlk, the noise in Paris mai 1968 and the Terry stop ruling…most have no idea the ruling even happened…

    Most lawyers thinking they are being helpful bringing litigation under the fair housing act of 1968 have fallen into a 50 year trap…

    Jones v Mayer fixed housing discrimination…

    It also made it extremely hard to argue that one did not intend to discriminate by using the term “badges and incidences of slavery” to clarify how to fight against the scourge of hate…

    The fair housing act noise brought it right back before the ink had dried…

  3. begob

    Good set of links, but the one on “censorship in action” is daft – the comments seem to show it’s a conspiracy theory about a conspiracy theorist.

    1. SoldierSvejk

      No, actually this comment is daft.
      “Dr. Udo Ulfkotte a longtime top German Journalist has done a video interview in which he admits that he and other journalists are controlled to a certain degree by intelligence agencies such as the CIA.” His book is serious (he died at 56 in 2016, I believe) –
      What he said can hardly be discounted (except for ‘begob’ and unless one believes in ‘ignorance is bliss’) – plus he said basically what Carl Bernstein admitted back in 1977 ( – except, Udo provides a lot of additional details and explains how the whole thing works. I should know – I was at the receiving end of it all.
      It looks like the interview may have gone missing, but I found some links at

      1. begob

        I don’t doubt the intelligence services are arm-in-arm with the press and broadcasters, but I’m not going to crawl into liveleak to confirm it.

      2. AbateMagicThinking But Not Money

        Manipulation and suppression of Information, propaganda etc.

        It is not that manipulation it is done that surprises me, it is the crudity of the methods that are used, and the gullibility of the general public who never seem to cotton-on.

        In countries where democracy is in the ascendant, public opinion has some leverage, but in the final analysis it is the ruling elite’s sensibilities which the manipulator must confront. It is their paranoia which can be the most useful tool in subversion.

        The main weakness of democratic states is toxic party systems which become a disgusting game of us and them, so that the brightest minds are revolted by politics. Those with the sharpest tools in the box are perhaps the best equipped to resist the paranoia inherent in political power and therefore the least susceptible to subversion*.

        If meritocracy is absent in government, let us hope that the brightest and best are instead at the top of the military, and that they do not treat us mere civilians too contemptuously.

        An indicator of the contempt we are held in is the method and nature of the propaganda.

        Pip Pip!

        * there I go, gratuitously exposing my optimism – naive or otherwise.

    2. DJG

      Thanks, begob: I can’t see how any of what is supposedly censorship pays out. Commenters half3clipse and De Holk give the embarrassing facts. The publisher in Germany is some small conspiracy-theory house. The book wasn’t a bestseller there. The author is dubious, to say the least. The U.S. publisher is some P.O. box and a mess.

      There is no there there.

        1. The Rev Kev

          And that is why the Germans call their media the Lügenpresse – the lying press – a name that dates back to the media of the Third Reich. Think about that one. A best-selling book that is not really covered by any of the newspapers. I am surprised that the Der Spiegel even mentioned it at all. Now why would that be?

      1. Alex morfesis

        Hmmm…no there there…?? the publishing house is an offshoot of a broke author…one of his books is about morning joes dad zbiggie big dog…not that aliens from earth are not a threat to freedom (or other silly notions…)…most books only sell a few thousand hard copies in their lifetimes…

        but you are probably right…the reason Oswald was able to bend that bullet in mid flight and slow down time is…well…he was from the planet…

      2. jonhoops

        Nothing to see here, just some nutters raving, move along…move along. Isn’t that new Kardashian baby cute. When is the Royal wedding. Can you believe that monster Assad gassing those babies?

        1. Matt

          This “woker than thou” game is tiresome but predictable. Are you going to call him a “sheep” and tell him to go back to sleep?

    3. Alternate Delegate

      Spiegel is probably a good source here, and doesn’t mince many words in this article: Gekaufte Journalisten

      This article actually brings some balance in the portrayal of the author Udo Ulfkotte. On the one hand, Spiegel describes him, without qualification, as a conspiracy theorist. On the other, he really did work for 17 years for the respected FAZ newspaper. The “Bought Journalists” book (which was in fact a German bestseller) seems partly aimed at supporting the author’s disability pension claims against the newspaper. The author seems to acknowledge some level of personal corruption on his own part, but accusations against others remain more at the level of dark hints and suppositions, probably to avoid the libel laws. He seems to have drifted off into survivalism and the anti-Islam Pegida movement.

      After reading Spiegel’s take on the author, I think two things:
      1. I wouldn’t believe what this author wrote, but I do think he might be viewed as a credible threat.
      2. The “capture and kill” censorship action as described in the reddit post is probably true.

      1. Alternate Delegate

        Of course, the alternate hypothesis would be that “Tayen Lane” are actually Ulfkotte supporters who had some money to buy the English-language rights (it wouldn’t have been very much money, since the author’s background would appeal mainly to German readers), and then lacked the follow-through to actually publish the book. Such supporters would not be willing to engage with people’s inquiries, either.

        But I would put my money on the buy-the-rights-and-silence hypothesis, which seems to be an increasingly popular modus operandi.

    4. Yves Smith

      Tom Ferguson, a prominent US political scientist who reads German and spends a lot of time in Germany has read the the book, thinks it’s serious, and thinks it is entirely plausible that it’s non-publication in English is no accident. And Ferguson is a very coo-headed guy, not at all the sort to go out ahead of evidence.

  4. Altandmain

    Speaking of housing, one problem is that the NIMBY types are working on screwing the future generations of home buyers.

    They want low property taxes for themselves and high housing prices. They do not care about the rest of society and what that does for future generations. You can see this attitude in California as especially acute.

    They are often very socially liberal and Democratic, but economically quite conservative. I consider this to be a big issue with the Clinton-Bernie split.

    The end result has been some distortions on the market.

    It discourages people from moving, even when it’s in their best interest to do so. Staying in your home longer means you pay a lower effective tax rate, and this provides a strong disincentive for moving to a new home. If you’ve owned a home in Santa Monica for 25 years and get a new job that transfers you to Long Beach, 35 miles across heavily congested LA County roadways, it’s probably in your best interest to move nearer to your new place of employment—or it would be, if not for Prop 13. If that Santa Monica home was purchased for $400,000 and it’s worth $1 million today, its taxable value is just $650,000. To keep the same tax bill you’ll need to find a new, considerably less desirable home at that new price point. People who move take a serious financial hit. Maybe it’s just better to stay where you’re at and deal with the commute (to the detriment of the region’s traffic and your sanity), or maybe you convince yourself that the job’s not so great after all.

    The sad thing is that in America it seems to be the norm in politics. This is partly why California has terrible traffic. Plus it denies the state of revenues needed for education and infrastructure (as a state, MMT doesn’t apply).

    I don’t usually agree with Richard Florida, but I think that he has a point here:

    Perhaps we as a society would be better off with German or Switzerland levels of home ownership. Of course, we would also need to pass German and Swiss levels of tenant protection laws.

    1. Kurtismayfield

      They want low property taxes for themselves and high housing prices. They do not care about the rest of society and what that does for future generations. You can see this attitude in California as especially acute.

      It’s the same in liberal Massachusetts. The small cities that ring Boston see apartment construction, but the suburbs around RT 128 see little home construction because of zoning. They don’t want a population increase, because more population = more kids, and more property taxes.

      Boston suburbs not seeing construction

      So Plymouth, The ‘Boros see construction in the xburbs, but Newton, Arlington don’t.

      1. Swamp Yankee

        Right, and the thing is, KurtisMayfield, in places like Plymouth, which it breaks my heart to see the way it was in my youth vs. today — though because the place is so vast much remains — the new housing construction we do see is almost always luxury housing.

        I have seen too many forests that once housed small communities of cottages where agricultural and fishing workers lived turned into cul-de-sacs that, yes, in my younger years, I thought seriously of engaging in partisan (in the Yugoslav sense) operations against the Developers.

        Even when a project sounds like it should be worthy — e.g., in de-industrialized North Plymouth, formerly home to the largest rope factory in the world and today a post-industrial community in just the same way as places in the Upper Midwest — they are putting in new housing right near the very end of the commuter (Old Colony) line. Now, this should be a good thing – – but lo and behold, they are luxury apartments. Meanwhile, literally hundreds of yards away, are encampments of the thousands of homeless people we have in this cold and still largely rural part of the state. The developers are also enclosing on a de facto common beach to give it over to the Luxurious Ones.

        And don’t get me started on this gussied up versions of Levitt-town they built where once were common fishing, hunting, hiking, and camping lands, real wildernesses. The Pine Hills LLC development — I remember when that was actual Pine Hills!

        To add insult to injury, the inhabitants of these New Levitt-towns cul-de-sac hellscapes are in many cases now trying to slash the funding of our public schools (many are retirees), for our sewer system, for conservation, and indeed are trying to change our very form of municipal government from a Town Meeting to a city, in order to further their iniquitous and insatiable greed for more development of luxury housing and destruction of our natural and social commons.

        Fortunately, their main representatives have all the self-awareness of Rhodesian parliamentarians and were recently roundly defeated at Town Meeting.

        But still, yes, the situation here where the metropole and the countryside mix together (the metropole has moved probably 20-40 miles into the countryside in my lifetime — am in my mid-30s) is not a good one.

        Nevertheless, the recent defeat of the Developer-Colonialists has been the first positive sign in a good long while.

    2. Chris Hargens

      But you also have the case of the couple who purchased a house 15 years ago for $200,00 and cannot afford the taxes on its current $750,00 value. Sure, they could sell and leave the area for more affordable housing. But in many cases this would mean a significant separation from fiends and family.

      1. Altandmain

        Simple solution that the article I referenced suggests.

        Make it so that the government gets the difference in property taxes on the sale of property or death of family member that bought the home.

        The way to do that is fairly simple, and it would look like this:

        Let people continue paying property taxes on their homes as though they’re increasing in value by just two percent per year.

        Reassess the actual value of people’s homes every few years, and track the difference between what they’re paying at the two percent level and what they would pay at the full, actual assessed value of their home.
        When they sell their home, collect the difference from the proceeds of the sale.

        Under this system, no one is being forced out of their home by rapidly increasing property tax payments. More property tax revenue is collected, allowing the state government to cut income and sales tax rates. Residents are placed on a much more equal footing, regardless of age or tenure.

        I would take this even further. Say you bought a house in 1980 for $200,000. Today it is worth $1,200,000. Let’s let the government take the $1 million difference. You want to pay property taxes on a $200k property, well you should only get $200k then.

        The money could be used for education which was cut in proposition 13 and for an affordable housing program. This also lowers the price of housing for future generations. As the original owner is only getting the 200k back, the incentive to make a bidding war is over.

        The other twist I would make is, if you want 350k or 500k when you are selling, you gave to start paying for the property taxes of a 350k or 500k home right now.

        1. artiste-de-decrottage

          I like your suggestions! Would that the MICs cared to think of the common good.

        2. WheresOurTeddy

          You’ll never get donor money from developers for your Congressional run with socialist talk like that

        3. bronco

          No lets not raise taxes , lets not reappraise , lets just control government spending. If it didn’t take 6 people to fill in a pothole we could swing it.

          1. marym

            The 6-person pothole crew is a stereotype usually used to demean the workers and the work. However, for the sake of argument, let’s say there’s waste in public projects, and we reduce the pothole crew to 3. All that means is 3 ordinary workers no longer have a paycheck, and the other 3 probably have to make do with reduced safety protocols and on-the-job expertise.

            That’s it for results. There’s nothing inherent in public workforce reduction that changes the political and economic system that funnels vast wealth mostly to a few families, some to the lesser millionaires and the 10%-er professional class that serves the wealthy. The rest of the people precariously continue to get by, or do worse.

    3. Adam Eran

      Better commentary on prop 13 than Florida:

      Meanwhile, don’t forget is sponsoring an initiative on November’s ballot to close the commercial loophole in Prop 13. Property assessments are supposed to be updated when the property sells, and for residential real estate, values update with each transfer. Commercial real estate, on the other hand, gets no re-assessment if less than 50% of the property sells. So Michael Dell (of Dell Computers) can buy a Santa Monica hotel without triggering an updated assessment as long as he, his wife and son split title three ways. With no more than 33% transferring to each buyer in the transaction, no reassessment occurs.

    4. kareninca

      I know a fair number of late middle aged and elderly people here in Silicon Valley because I volunteer with them. None of those who own houses are going to move, ever – well, not until they die. They’d be crazy to – they pay almost nothing property taxes. I have a friend whose mom owns a $2.8 million crapshack in Palo Alto and her property taxes are about $1,400/year, and they would be even lower if she hadn’t put on an addition at some point. I have a friend who is 80 y.o. who lives in a $2 million crapshack in Sunnyvale and his property taxes are comparable. He and his wife would move to Oregon, but they’d lose their low property taxes. So don’t expect any relief in the housing crisis here.

  5. crittermom

    RE: Bill Clinton & James Patterson book signings
    So both are now jumping in to help Hillary get elected this time, as no doubt Chelsea continues to be groomed for her turn?
    Yes. Kill me now. I hate horror movies. Especially sequels.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Hey, that is a really great idea for a book that they did. A story about a President that is missing. That is one story that I would really like to read. Oh wait, I think that I have – the 1967 novel “The President’s Plane Is Missing”. Maybe Bill Clinton & James Patterson caught the 1973 film version of the book on late night TV sometime. It was a really good film.

    2. WheresOurTeddy

      Clinton Campaign V: SHE JUST. WON’T. DIE. (Or take a hint).
      Coming Summer/Fall 2019 to every conceivable screen and surface near you!

      And stay tuned for Clinton Campaign VI: Children of the Neoliberal Corn (tentatively scheduled for Summer/Fall 2031 release)

        1. Skip Intro

          It is a convenient myth that the campaign screwed up by campaigning in, say, AZ, instead of WI. Some have even pointed to this as the masterstroke of Putin and his tool, Mook. The plain fact is that, had Clinton traveled to WI, it would have driven down Dem. turnout in the state. Campaigning was never her strong suit.

          1. Pat

            Unless you are saying that the Clinton Campaign organization was even more incompetent, the theory that they avoided campaigning in WI and others because they knew it would depress turn out doesn’t entirely work. You see that would mean they knew they were losing in states they needed to carry to win the electoral college and yet concentrated on running up the numbers in CA. That would also mean the only person in that campaign organization shocked on election night was Clinton herself. And since not knowing how the votes were counted was how she lost to Obama, hiring most of the same people to run the 2015/16 campaign shows she was not just a bad campaigner, but a terrible leader/manager, and clearly personally incompetent. Oh and bad at math as well as delusional.

            Many of us who ask if Mook was a Russian operative are merely mocking those who try to ignore and deflect how incompetent Clinton was and is. Doubling down on no they/she weren’t is not an effective denial if it makes their choices even less of a comprehensive strategy

  6. Louis Fyne


    Just talk to the person(s) who deliver Amazon packages on your block. Each Amazon package is delivered by a long supply chain of contracted or part-time in-house, non-union labor.

    It’s Mega-Lo Mart without the Big Box

    Crumbs for the supply chain. Cake for Amazon HQ(2).

      1. WheresOurTeddy

        Much like Walmart, as a taxpayer, you subsidize Amazon whether you shop there or not.

    1. Summer

      Think of the entire economic fascism of work requirements for govt benefits. If people were paid well, they wouldn’t need govt benefits.

      It’s now all about the ways businesses can be compensated for hiring people.

      I’m now firmly in the camp that if you can’t pay a living wage, your business isn’t ready for “workers” (keep it in the family or run by partners) or you don’t need to be in “business.”

      The cost of living in the USA is too high for this BS.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      While I appreciate yet another article like this and yet more “studies” like those cited, it seems long past time to shit or get off the pot.

      How many times does amazon have to promise things they have no intention of delivering, or renege on any reasonable promises that they do make before government at all levels stops bowing and scraping and taking victory laps for getting their constituencies screwed to the wall?

      The “fight for 15” has gone on long enough and been loud enough that any government official at any level knows that low wage employment is only a viable business model with government subsidies like SNAP. And they can’t possibly have missed that amazon is all about low wages, regardless of what they say during the “courtship.”

      It’s long past time to put the blame where it belongs–on government officials who know the score and couldn’t care less as long as they’re given credit for phony “job” creation and “unemployment” numbers, and campaign “contributions” for selling it to the shell-shocked rubes.

      1. Kevin

        Katniss, True enough!


        Let’s not forget our role in this – our overriding desire for ever cheaper and ever easier delivery of goods – without which it wouldn’t be the behemoth it is. No one bothers to consider at what cost all this convenience comes.

    3. GF

      Louis Fyne

      In our neighborhood the USPS delivers the Amazon packages and, IIRC, they are union workers.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “A Shocking Lack of Intelligence in Our Missile Strike on Syria”

    I use to think that the “White Helmets” featured in this story were a Jihadist propaganda unit financed by the US and the UK but I have been reliably informed that there is a real rescue done by White Helmets on film at where a rescue is done from a slab of concrete. Oh, never mind. That was in Kazakhstan.

    I am calling tonight’s Antidote du jour a Blue-and-yellow Macaw from South America by the way.

  8. Alex

    North Korea missile and nuclear test halt hailed

    Let’s hope for the best but so far it’s nothing really new. Haven’t they frozen their nuclear program a few times already? What’s the point for them to voluntarily abandon such an effective deterrent after seeing what happened in Iraq, Lybia and Syria

    1. Bill Smith

      Yes, this is far from the first time. But isn’t this the first time this guy has been in charge that it was done? He went to school in the West. As a teenager he had some western friends. He as seen common people living with a higher standard of living. Maybe he’ll follow through on improving the lives of his people.

      1. Procopius

        Maybe, but after seeing what was done to Saddam Hussein and Muammar Qaddafi I can’t believe he’s so stupid he would abandon his deterrent without assurances and ironclad guarantees that Trump would never accept even if Congress would let him. I don’t know what’s going on here, but I feel sure we’re not going to get a huge surprise.

    2. JeffC

      The headline says “test” as if some specific test was canceled. Not true. The headline should say “tests” to reflect a policy change wrt future tests.

  9. Dan

    ”MMT portrayed rather favorably in WaPo.​”

    Yes, for tax cuts for the rich. And when Medicare for all is on the table, deficits will be the death of us all.

    Can’t anybody here play this game?

    1. Susan the other

      Not sure what point you are making, but I thought the WaPo link was pretty good, especially for the WaPo. I’m getting the distinct feeling that MMT has arrived. All it takes is 30 monkeys to change the system to something that is logical and actually works. :-) Yes, I’m a monkey.

      1. jsn

        Give us monkeys a chance! The tech squillionaires like MMT because they can understand the underlying logic of double entry book keeping and the abstract nature of money as a “credit relationship” rather than a physical thing.

        Seen from their perspective in this light, it’s the fuel to turn their “platform” based scams into financial perpetual motion machines: get the Feds to give the proles permanent incomes and the proles will keep ordering / searching / clicking / chatting or whatever it is the platform requires to harvest revenue indefinitely.

        I’m all for it because once that cat’s out of the bag, the ability to do other things with it, say enforcing anti-trust, pay for infrastructure, Medicare with teeth, or even, heaven forbid, free higher education and a clean environment, becomes obvious!

    1. The Rev Kev

      For those that can read German, there are plenty of copies of “Gekaufte Journalisten” on Ebay going for very reasonable prices.

      1. JBird

        I do not have any knowledge of the author, or of his book but having German language copies of a title does me, or most other Americans, very little good. That’s the point of course.

        It can take decades, if ever, for even popular works to be translated into even a common and influential language like English, which can very aggravating. Never mind some tome on a topic you are researching. Also the more likely something is to be translated, the better the translation is likely to be, or the availability of different translations, are. To see just how different even even good, but different, translations can be, find a poem that has multiple translations into the same language. You will almost certainly find them fairly different, not because the translations are bad, or inaccurate, though some are, but because each language describes reality in a different way, and poetry is a very dense description. Or read different translations of the Bible.

        And like Craig H. pointed out with the publisher Open Road Media and its imprint Forbidden Bookshelf there is a fair number of known controversial, or bothersome for the influential at least, English language books that strangely failed to be kept in print even when popular at the time of their original printing. This says nothing about the small printings, or the never published, especially in pre-internet days when one either needed a publisher to take a chance on you and pay for the printing, or for you to pay yourself for the the printing.

        If you do not think that behind the scenes censorship does not have much impact, or at least is not considered important, read about the Chinese government’s crackdown on writers, publishers, and booksellers especially in printing translations into and from Chinese. At each stage, the government is enthusiastic in its efforts to stop inconvenient works. This also applies to music, plays, poems, movies, and film documentaries.

        1. Yves Smith

          It would be a violation of copyright to publish a translation. It is pretty much certain that the copyright given to the US company that has done nothing covered the US and Canada, and maybe even all English language publication rights.

          However, the German copyright owners could sue to have the contract voided for failure to perform.

          1. The Rev Kev

            I am given to understand that that US publishing company was a brand new company and not a well established one. If the German publishers awarded the contract to this new company, then there may be an implication that they knew what was intended for English language publishing of this book, hence there will be no lawsuit for non-performance.

        2. none

          It can take decades, if ever, for even popular works to be translated into even a common and influential language like English,

          Maybe machine translation helps with that. You can get the gist of things even though you don’t get a beautiful translation out. Or if you do want a beautiful translation and you have rudimentary knowledge of the language (enough to translate the original by reading with one finger in the dictionary like we all used to spend time doing), then slamming it through a translation program gets a lot of the grunt work out of the way in a hurry. After that, you can clean up the machine output by hand and check suspect passages against the original as necessary.

          For this particular book, maybe you can buy an e-book edition in German (so the authors get their money) and then run it through a machine translator for your own reading convenience. I have no idea how this would sit with the fine points of the industry-captured legal system but it seems ethically ok to me, as long as you don’t circulate the translated result.

          1. Procopius

            This is one of the few cases where I’m sold. I’ve seen the improvement in Google translate for Thai over a few years. Their program uses a technique which I saw called “statistical translation.” It requires large amounts of both original material and translations thereof. Google makes use of their customers to constantly add to their program’s store of material. When you translate something, there’s a note at the bottom of the page, saying in effect, “Got a better translation? Enter it here.” I may not live long enough to see it, but I believe the day will come when the program will be able to give a comprehensible translation of prose. I don’t believe it will ever be able to handle poetry, but then most people can’t, either.

        3. none

          Ok, I looked into this a little more, and the book titles I saw (in German which I can read a little bit) are consistent with the Wikipedia portrayal of the author as a right wing conspiracist:

          He died in May 2017. I’m not too excited about the “suppressed” book at this point, but if someone really wanted to do a new authorized translation, they could probably find out who controls his literary estate and work something out.

      1. jsn

        Ok, so what is the explanation for the US publisher purchasing, nominally publishing but then not selling it to people who order it?

        1. HotFlash

          Well, for instance, when the CIA wanted to promote American modern art back in the 50’s, it did so through cut-outs. “

          Matters of this sort could only have been done at two or three removes,” Mr Jameson explained.

          So, an obscure and sleepy publishing company found itself soliciting the purchase of a book (ostensibly) describing the process by which the CIA dictated slants and even whole stories to journalists and news outlets around the world. One might wonder where the idea, and the money, came from.

          In the case of art, it was pretty simple (from the same article in the Independent):

          In 1958 the touring exhibition “The New American Painting”, including works by Pollock, de Kooning, Motherwell and others, was on show in Paris. The Tate Gallery was keen to have it next, but could not afford to bring it over. Late in the day, an American millionaire and art lover, Julius Fleischmann, stepped in with the cash and the show was brought to London.

          The money that Fleischmann provided, however, was not his but the CIA’s. It came through a body called the Farfield Foundation, of which Fleischmann was president, but far from being a millionaire’s charitable arm, the foundation was a secret conduit for CIA funds.

          So, method, motive, and opportunity.

          1. Oregoncharles

            Was the same exhibition still touring in 1963? Or perhaps a successor? Because that’s when I saw it, in Lausanne (where I was studying French between high school and college).

            It was an extremely exciting show, world-illuminating for a teenager who wasn’t nearly as sophisticated as he thought. Promoting that would have been really easy. Don’t see why the CIA would need to get involved.

          2. jsn

            Thanks, I know, I agree, I knew people who were part of this, but that’s not the question I’m asking.

            DJG says,”I have doubts that censorship is involved here.”

            If someone unnamed is purchasing publishing rights in order to not publish a book and it’s not an act of censorship, who, why and what is it?

    1. Harold

      They are considered hazardous to little children. I don’t know why people don’t just go back to paper straws. Maybe they are not suitable for super-sized drinks, but they work ok for 6 to 8 ounces. People shouldn’t drink super-sized drinks anyway, unless preparing for a medical procedure.

  10. diptherio

    Re: The best-seller that’s not for sale. How censorship works in 2018.

    Although I’m inclined to believe just about anything nefarious involving the CIA, and this does seem like the kind of thing that would be par for the course, the comments provide another explanation and some further context that points to something much less nefarious going on.

    1. Oregoncharles

      The author of the article also claims, rather plausibly, that most of his comments are coming from – you guessed – CIA trolls.

      Only independent information – like a German review that calls it a bestseller, up above in these comments, not infested with CIA trolls (yet) – is worth anything.

      1. none

        CIA trolls.

        Meh. There are also several books asking whether Ulfkotte was murdered:

        * David Hoffmann, “Wurde Udo Ulfkotte ermordet?” (Was Udo Ulfkotte murdered?)

        * Jonas Schneider, “The Mysterious Death of Udo Ulfkotte: Evidence for a Murder” and “Der mysteriöse Tod von Udo Ulfkotte: Indizien für einen Mord” (book appears available in both German and English)

        * Christian Müller, “Die Wahrheit über den Tod von Udo Ulfkotte: Wurde er ermordet?” (The truth about the death of Udo Ulfkotte: was he murdered?)

        All of the above are on I avoid Spamazon when I can.

  11. nyc transplant to south carolina

    WOW……… Re the Post & Courier piece,.Thought I was the only one in the Charleston SC area who read NC. Tried to get my “liberal” friends to take a gander but have made no headway. Google and MSNBC feed are more important.

    Moved here 6 yrs ago from NYC.

  12. PlutoniumKun

    Brexit: serious and dangerous

    I think that North is right that there is a very high danger now of the talks failing leading to a chaotic Brexit – it seems the UK simply hasn’t gotten its head around the reality that the EU is very unlikely to back down on the issue of some sort of unicorn tech solution to the Irish border (and other borders for that matter). I don’t see any practical alternative to an Irish Sea border for the short to medium – i.e., Northern Ireland staying within the EU, at least temporarily. There are suggestions in the Irish non-mainstream media that Sinn Fein in NI have been quietly trying to encourage moderate Unionists to the view that it could be an very good option for NI – it could have its cake and eat it solution. The problem is that in Northern Ireland politics is so sectarian that many Unionists will opposite it simply because nationalists support it. This is one reason Sinn Fein have been keeping their mouths shut about this in public.

    But I’m not sure about this statement in Norths blog:

    But if the backstop creates a “wet” border between the mainland and Ireland, there is a whole new world of grief awaiting HMG. Not only can ports such as Holyhead not handle the burdens of managing this border, the creation of a whole new infrastructure will cost hundreds of millions and take years to implement.

    Holyhead would not I think be a vital port in the event of a ‘wet’ border – traffic between Holyhead and Belfast is light (its mostly Dublin-Holyhead trade). The key ports in Britain would be Stranraer (the main ro-ro port connecting to Northern Ireland) and Liverpool. Liverpool has vast areas of unused buildings and space, so I don’t think there are any logistical difficulties there. Similarly with Stranraer. In fact (rarely discussed), Stranraer already operates somewhat like a border. In January I drove a hire van from Dublin to Edinburgh via Larne/Stranraer to help a friend move house. I was surprised to get a full security check on everything in the van, sniffer dogs, checks on individual items, etc. It was ostensibly for security (I assume the dogs were sniffing for explosives, not drugs, but I can’t be sure of that). But anyway, the point is that I don’t see that for the key NI and British ports there is any real logistical difficulties in putting up emergency border posts to check on all traffic, the basic infrastructure is in place.

    1. begob

      In January I drove a hire van from Dublin to Edinburgh via Larne/Stranraer to help a friend move house.

      The one time I travelled that route (about 15 years ago) I went by ferry and train – ended up slow-coaching to Edinburgh around midnight with a group of Rangers supporters at the far end of the otherwise empty carriage. They had a boxy old suitcase, which they beat like a Lambeg drum while chanting about Fenians. Lots of Fenians. My point being that transport links out of Stranraer are “duffecult, aye”.

  13. PlutoniumKun

    ONE of the world’s biggest tobacco companies took a gamble on four new cigarette alternatives — but it appears to have backfired. (The Rev Kev)

    This doesn’t surprise me. I assume the ‘plan’ all along was to get a new generation hooked on vapes as an alternative to cigarettes, and to get cigarette smokers on vapes instead of giving up smoking. But ultimately, a bit like google glasses, vaping just looks stupid and uncool. I’ve not seen any teenagers or youths using them, and my local ‘vape cafe’ always looks very empty. I think they are only been used as a stepping stone by smokers to give up, and maybe an occasional relief for ex smokers when they get the urge. So happily this is one investment that has blown up in the face of the tobacco industry. Their only fall back now for more profits is in getting millions in the third world hooked on their drug.

    1. Jean

      Thank god this trash loser habit forming behavior is declining, at least in America.
      How many tens of millions have died horrible deaths so that these corporate parasites can profit?

      Tobacco, along with nuclear, executives should be identified, named and shamed whenever they appear in public.

    2. WheresOurTeddy

      marijuana legalization is probably accelerating faster than the vape entrepreneurs anticipated too.

      why eat spam when you can have steak

    3. pricklyone

      PK, I have nothing but respect for the commentary you do, but I gotta object here, as a vaper.
      1. One and only one of these platforms is ‘vaping’. Number 4. It will, as all the other Big Tobacco ‘vape products’ be unsuitable for purpose, because they need it to fail.
      2. They need it to fail because the other 3 ‘platforms’ are TOBACCO products, and this is where the money shot is.
      3. Vapers use APV devices, not the crap that cigarette companies push at gas stations. There is a reason for that.
      4.You haven’t seen any teens using them? Please look up “JUUL”, on the Goog. The media and Congress say it is an epidemic among high schoolers! This pisses off vapers, who know what these things are for, and it isn’t kids! It is to keep cigarette users off of cigarettes, which is why they are 45-50mg/ml nicotine devices, using Nicotine salts instead of freebase nicotine.
      5. Vaping, for us former (fingers crossed) smokers, is about harm reduction. The chemical makeup of combusted tobacco is now a widely circulated horror story. Personal vaporizer (vaping) devices are a safer alternative to smoking. Many if not most physicians seem to agree that they would much rather patients use a vaping device rather than smoke. A real vapor device, which I am using, is not a tobacco product, although all of these devices, made of stainless, aluminum, glass, and wire, are required to have a sticker claiming that they contain Nicotine. Including the batteries, and the resistance wire I use to wind my coils!
      6. Looking Stupid/ Uncool… Umm, so this matters? Sucking on a big cigar somehow is cool? Grandpa with his pipe? I can forgive you for missing all this crap on Youtube, ’cause you are not a kid, but they seem to think ‘Cloud chasing’ is very cool. Me, I think they are screwing up my quitting plan! (I have 50 smoking years, and that is most uncool.)
      Thanks for listening, and check out the legislation updates on the many e-cig forums for more, as I could write a book, and not cover this topic in full.

  14. Eureka Springs

    Sanders: ‘Trump agenda is dead’ if Democrats win back majority

    Seems like everything else he says in the article (including the original NYT article linked at The Hill) negates this quote. And he neither states what the Trump agenda is or what Dems would or would not do with one single specific.

    As for the Marsha Blackburn proposal to to redefine net neutrality by further dividing and charging more for fast lanes, that old canard was considered by a great many Dems in ’06 thru ’08, including Senate Commerce Committee members Pryor and Lieberman at the time.

    I would still very much like to know who decided to allow the DNC to file that most ridiculous lawsuit discussed by Glenn Greenwald today? And how is it funded, by whom, etc. Tom Perez is selling it, but who decided, was it a secret committee vote?

    1. Stephen V.

      Since the DNC is arguing at appeals in open court that they have a 1st A Right to rig the primary, not to mention no fiduciary duty to donors / voters: what’s the problem with a frivolous lawsuit?

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      When reading this type of articles, and it’s not just this article in particular, it’s important to ask what Democrats they have in mind.

      1. To some, there are Democrats (and Liberals), in contrast with progressives and the Left.

      2. To the latter in #1 above, the term ‘Democrats in name only,’ is paradoxical. Perhaps, to them, it’s regret should be over ‘Left in name only.’

      And so, what should people care whether Democrats win or not. They probably care more about what Democrats we will get.

  15. RabidGandhi

    Re: Gowans vs ‘Mahatma Mehdi Hasan’

    As far as I can ascertain, the debate is over a mythical race called the “Leftist Assad Supporters”. Since my reading of both Hassan and Gowans failed to find any citations or names of any members of this fabled tribe, it seems both Gowans and Hasan are busily at work barrel-bombing their respective strawmen.

    Of course it should be noted that the Syrian War has been remarkable for its ability to conjure up fantasy groups: “moderate rebels”, “impartial observers”…

    1. pretzelattack

      hassan was claiming that people who questioned evidence that syria actually used chemical weapons in the latest alleged attack are “assad supporters”.

    2. Matt

      I guess it depends on what people mean when they say “supporter.” If it means “I hope the government wins,” then I know a lot of supporters. If someone says “I don’t support Assad,” are they really saying that they are indifferent to who wins the war?

      1. pretzelattack

        what if you just want to see the evidence that we are using to justify supporting isis in syria? and want the us to stop intervening in other countries (which is apparently a great concern when russia may or may not have spent 100k influencing the us election with buff bernie images).

      2. Pat

        What if it means I am unwilling to trust the U.S. government since they have a history of lying about the actions of leaders in other countries to justify military actions and/or all out invasion of those country. Especially since those countries are not a threat to the U.S., imminent or long term. Therefore “we say so” is not adequate evidence of wrong doing. Particularly in cases like the last two gassing events in Syria where there was no reason for Assad to do so, every reason for him NOT to do so, but a whole lot of reason for our puppets to do it.

        You do not have to support Assad to believe that bombing another country is an act of war that deserves a high level of evidence that they should be bombed.

        1. Matt

          I just don’t think people should be afraid of the word “supporter.” The whole US establishment was an enthusiastic supporter of Stalin during the Second World War. Even if you don’t like a person/government/system, it’s understandable to be sympathetic to one side when the alternative is far worse.

  16. fresno dan

    President Barack Obama, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, will leave office in a few weeks with the dubious honor of having sold more weapons than any other American president since World War II. …Most of the arms deals totaling over $200 billion in the period from 2008 to 2015 have ended up in the Middle East, according to a Congressional Research Service report published in December
    So here’s an interesting question: which is worse – (a) quietly equipping the most reactionary government on Earth and much of the rest of the world with lethal, high-tech means of mass destruction while posing as some kind of progressive and noble peace agent or (b) loudly equipping the most reactionary government on Earth and much of the rest of the world with lethal, high-tech means of mass destruction while boasting about the resulting revenue and jobs to reporters and your white-nationalist political base?

    Sounds to me like Obama called up the troops so Border Patrol agents could arrest more illegal immigrants. But I think the young woman’s answer reveals something more fundamental about how many people think about politics. She’s operating on a simple premise: Obama is good and Trump is bad. Therefore Trump sending troops to the border is a bad idea.
    With so much of today’s reporting being equivalent to local news talking sports (GO GO Home team, we CAN”T say anything mean), having sources like NC helps to get to POLICY REALITY

      1. Jean

        Dead on arrival, she’s dumb, corrupt and doesn’t even have her mother’s charm…

        “Through this prism, it’s hard to see how Chelsea Clinton reaches the average voter. She has never struggled for anything. She and her husband, hedge-funder Mark Mezvinsky, live in a $10.5 million apartment in the Flatiron District. Chelsea has held a series of vague high-paying jobs. She worked at McKinsey & Co., a consulting firm, then at Avenue Capital Group, a hedge fund. She was passionate about neither, and her accomplishments remain unknown.”

    1. Jen

      So the party whose finances are underwater pays 1.6M for worthless data from the candidate who sucked the party dry.

      With apologies to Matt Taibbi, the Clintons are vampire squids jamming their blood funnels into anything that smells like money.

      1. Pat

        I have come to the conclusion that the Clinton’s are incapable of suspending their grifting even when it would be to their advantage to do so.

        However much I am immune to any and all reputation improvement of HRC, much of the last year plus has all been about convincing followers and those who stayed home that she was an upstanding and generous public servant who had been maligned by an evil dictator and his puppets and thus had the election stolen from her. And yet it isn’t really working to make her more acceptable to those who doubted her. While the insulting remarks about those who didn’t vote for her will probably bite her more, greedy actions like this will also take its toll.

        She may be running, but I am going to predict that she wastes a whole lot more money only to be clearly out of the running before the primaries are half over. The power brokers would be stupid to think the third times the charm. Her only appeal is going to be her value as a hindrance to Sanders early on allowing another neoliberal darling to step in to be the “compromise” candidate both groups can rally behind.

  17. Craig H.

    > Militarized Cops At Tiny Georgia Neo-Nazi Rally Arrest Counterprotesters For Wearing Masks

    Those are some pretty scary looking cops.

    The law against wearing a mask in public is a very old law and this usage is precisely what it was intended for. When antifa goes out masked it is so they can commit mayhem without being recognized. This is the same reason the Ku Klux Klan did it. This is why they wrote the laws many years ago to fight the Klan saying you can get arrested just for going out masked. Last year in Pikeville KY they wrote a no-masking ordinance a couple weeks before the right wingers and antifa came to town because they didn’t want any violence and they put signs up all over town saying no masks or they would arrest you and they didn’t have any violence.

    This is also the law in Louisiana and Alabama.

    1. Lord Koos

      The law is one thing, the aggressive display of automatic weapons and armored vehicles is another.

    2. Harold

      I always thought masks were banned in Elizabethan England because people committed crimes during holidays like Carnival and Christmas mumming. That’s why in England mummers took to wearing black or white-face and/or strips of paper instead of masks. Also I read that Spain prohibited wide-brimmed hats for similar reasons. But if this is true, shouldn’t cops be prohibited from wearing armor that disguises their faces so they can’t beat people up or shoot them with impunity?

      1. Craig H.

        Yes cops wearing masks is oppressive.

        On the other hand absence of masks hardly seems to inhibit them.

        I first learned about mask laws in New Orleans where the Mardi Gras visitors guide stated in bold print on page one:


    3. Plenue

      Unlike, I think, the vast majority of people constantly screaming ‘fascism!’ these days, I’ve actually read quite extensively about fascism. Goebbels was a big believer in ‘any publicity is good publicity’, and one of the tactics of the Nazi SA was to contrive public confrontations. They wanted violence, and what’s more, they wanted scenarios in which it was the other side that started it, and which forced the neutral police to be seen to step in to defend the Nazis.

      People who counter-protest, to say nothing of the antifa morons, are literally giving the far right exactly what they want. The best ways to fight these Neo-Nazi clowns is to 1. ignore them, and 2. agitate for progressive policies that will fix the underlying conditions these far right parasites feed off of. (What passes for) the American Left has ceded various platforms to the Right.

      The Bourbon Restoration of #Resistance is the opposite of what needs to be done to accomplish this. While it may (or may not) succeed in a ‘Blue Wave’ and/or removing Trump, it will do nothing to fix the underlying rot. Sooner or later our fundamentally broken politics will vomit up something worse then Trump, and this person may actually be a fascist.

  18. Lee

    Who Cares If They’re Cute? This Zoologist Accepts Animals On Their Own Terms

    Interview on NPR with Zoologist Lucy Cooke. Quite amusing and informative regarding popular misconceptions about penguins, sloths, hyenas, pandas, and vultures, and how these misconceptions sometimes render conservation efforts ineffective or harmful. Her serious criticism is delivered with disarming wit and humor.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      There may be evolutionary biological bases for humans to find a particular animal attention-attracting.

      Maybe it’s for its nutritional value. So, when we see a fat pig, we stare.

      Or it could our subconscious urge to want to cage, to enslave our food sources. And we say, oh, they are cute.

      1. OIFVet

        Dunno about that. Most of the animals I admire are predators and pollinators, neither of which are generally part of the menu. Not that I don’t like cows, for example, but there is something about predators and hummingbirds that I find irresistible.

        1. Lee

          Hummingbirds: gram for gram they are the most fearless of protectors of their patch and will take on critters of any size. “Though she be but little, she is fierce!”

    1. Summer

      Which brings up a point: There are no “boomers,” “gen-x,” “millennials,” or “gen-z” groups in trouble, there are only people that can afford this mess and those that can’t.

      1. WheresOurTeddy

        The vast, vast majority of which are millenials.

        Deflection denied.

        People born between 1940 and 1965 in the US had it easier than anyone who has ever lived, and pulled up the ladder behind them. Call me whatever you want, just acknowledge the facts.

  19. George Phillies

    “,,,best seller…” One might wonder what the book is about. At some point if the book is actually that meritorious there will be a pirate translation.

    Unlike our noble hostess, I am actually old enough to remember “Banned in Boston”. That tag was used as a selling point in the rest of America. “Censored by the CIA” also becomes a selling point.

    1. Lee

      Lady Chatterley’s Lover benefited greatly from being banned. I recall my parents had an illicitly obtained copy. It was hot stuff in its day. My, how things have changed.

      On November 2, [1960] after just three hours’ deliberation, the jury acquitted Penguin Books of all charges. Almost immediately, the book became a best-seller. In 15 minutes, Foyles sold 300 copies and took orders for 3,000 more. Hatchards sold out in 40 minutes; Selfridges sold 250 copies in half an hour. In one Yorkshire town, a canny butcher sold copies of the book beside his lamb chops.

      1. Alex morfesis

        Hope so, since without algae how are we to get oxygen…it was her intrigue and curiosity of algae in the pond in her back yard in Dunedin which sprang to life the lifelong works of Sylvia Earle…

        Algae gets my vote…

  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Bid to repeal rent-control limits in California could be headed to ballot San Francisco Chronicle

    If you can’t afford it, don’t come to California.:<

    It's also better if you wear 100% cotton underwear when you're here. That will less likely antagonize the natives, for even a semi-synthetic fiber like Rayon could be troublesome. From Wikipedia:

    The biodegradability of various fibers in soil burial and sewage sludge was evaluated by Korean researchers. Rayon was found to be more biodegradable than cotton, and cotton more than acetate. The more water-repellent the rayon-based fabric, the more slowly it will decompose.[15] Silverfish can eat rayon.[citation needed]

    A recent ocean survey found that rayon contributed to 56.9% of the total fibers found in deep ocean areas, the rest being polyester, polyamides, acetate and acrylic.[16]

    You don’t see it on the surface, but that doesn’t mean much, for one must look beneath the surface.

    And so, perhaps it’s likely one day, all non-cotton, non-hemp clothing* will be banned here in California…not even leather.

    *some exceptions – maybe tapa clothes, which is made of bark.

    1. Craig H.

      As of 31 March it is illegal to bring new fur clothing into San Francisco for retail. I don’t know if this applies to sheepskin coats but I think they are out of fashion anyway.

      1. Oregoncharles

        Probably not. Sheep are domesticated animals, and “furs” usually refer to wild animals. Domestic ones have “wool” or “hair”.

    2. JBird

      If you can’t afford it, don’t come to California.

      I saw that comment when I read the article. Well, I was born here. It is just a tiny bit annoying when those who have ruined it for everyone else to complain about the complainers especially blaming their attributed loserhood, laziness, stupidity, whatever to their poverty. Something earned and not imposed. He probably thinks having Santa Clara Valley morph into Silicon Valley as so worth the cost to everyone else. It would be nice if he left.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      From the other side, on the other hand, life can get at many people as well.

      Instead of being a blessing, instead of acting instantaneously, eggs, slowly and in disguise, work against those with high cholesterol and are diabetic….maybe.

      From Mayo Clinic:

      But the story may be different for people who have diabetes. In this ever-growing population, some research shows eating seven eggs a week significantly increases the risk of heart disease. Other studies have shown that egg consumption does not affect heart disease risk factors. More research is needed to prove the association between egg consumption and developing heart disease in people with diabetes.


      Also less visible…like rayon in deep ocean areas.

      Slow processes are not easy to see for humans as well…modern humans more so than people 2,000 years ago, who were able to decipher the processing of the axis at around 26,000 years.

    2. marym

      Shooter was stopped by a good guy without a gun.

      The 29-year-old hero from Waffle House shooting: ‘I saw the opportunity and I took it’

      A 29-year-old man credited with saving numerous lives Sunday morning after he disarmed a man who opened fire on an Antioch Waffle House said he was just trying to stay alive.

      James Shaw Jr., 29, said after feeling cornered he saw an opportunity to tackle the man shooting into an Antioch Waffle House. He said he doesn’t feel like a hero.

      Police spokesman Don Aaron told reporters Sunday morning that the Waffle House hero rushed the suspected shooter, disarmed him and threw the assault rifle he was carrying over the counter.

      1. fresno dan

        April 22, 2018 at 2:05 pm

        “I don’t really know, when everyone said that (of being a hero), it feels selfish,” Shaw Jr. “I was just trying to get myself out. I saw the opportunity and pretty much took it.”
        In an era of constant unalloyed self absorption and absurdly ridiculous self promotion, all designed to make oneself “liked” I would say James Shaw Jr. speaking the simple truth is the most courageous words spoken in the last 3 decades that I have seen.

        AND who would have thunk it? A regular guy without a gun did more to stop murder than our police officials (put on pedestals as all being heroes) with guns….

          1. JBird

            The man was convicted, rightly, for the crimes he committed when he was a fifteen/sixteen year old cokehead from a apparently poor family. Maybe he should not have a pardon, maybe he is still an actively violent racist, but I think condemning him now for what he did thirty years ago as a teenager seems unfair, maybe unjust. Should we have a Scarlet C for convict, or R for racist, tattooed on his forehead?

  21. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Don’t Eat Romaine Lettuce, U.S. Says Bloomberg I know Yves linked to something about this last week, but just in case any readers didn’t see that, I’m posting this warnin

    1. Nothing in the article on how long one should stay away from eating Romaine Lettuce.

    One week?

    One month?

    One season?

    One years?

    Will consumers ever go back?

    When the D party brand is damaged, will voters go back?

    Will people switch to spinach or something else permanently?

    2. The second article in the link is about the rich and longevity inequality. That’s also something to think about, something that has been talked about here.

  22. flora

    re: Moon of Alabama – The Media War on Truthful Reporting

    Brings to mind the opening paragraph from Vaclav Havel’s 1978 essay ‘The Power of the Powerless’. There’s a resonance wrt today’s US MSM one-voice/one-story product. (Hard to call it reporting.) Vaclav’s essay was written 10 years before the fall of the iron curtain and the Berlin Wall.

    A SPECTER is haunting Eastern Europe: the specter of what in the West is called “dissent” This specter has not appeared out of thin air. It is a natural and inevitable consequence of the present historical phase of the system it is haunting. It was born at a time when this system, for a thousand reasons, can no longer base itself on the unadulterated, brutal, and arbitrary application of power, eliminating all expressions of nonconformity. What is more, the system has become so ossified politically that there is practically no way for such nonconformity to be implemented within its official structures. . . . (my emphasis)

    I make this comparison and comment more about entrenched and ossified bureaucracy and party control (of any persuasion imo) and its determination to suppress any threat to its continued control. This isn’t comment about a particular government or economic structure.

    What has happened to the West’s willingness to entertain new ideas and differing points of view; what happened to the ‘marketplace of ideas’?

    1. '

      I studied Tsarist Russia and the former USSR for several years in college. Had a good professor who was in Leningrad/St Petersburg in ’90-’91.

      I believed then and believe even more so now that all it takes for any system to collapse is one generation losing faith in its legitimacy. People who want to make the fascist comparison like to pontificate at what point between 1933 and 1939 we’re analogous to. Perhaps the better comparison for 2018 USA is 1970s USSR.

      When all the true believers in the American Dream(TM) are dead, the deluge will come quickly. A lot of people will be shocked how many never believed in the first place.

      -WheresOurTeddy (inadvertant ‘ in name column)

    2. The Rev Kev

      It was almost like old home week reading this article and its comments for all the people mentioned such as Naked Capitalism, Vanessa Beeley, Eva Bartlett, Valentina Lisitsa, George Galloway, Maram Susli (Syria Girl), Jimmy Dore, Caitlin Johnstone, Robert Fisk – truth tellers all. Never saw so many good people mention all in one article.

  23. ewmayer

    “Sanders: ‘Trump agenda is dead’ if Democrats win back majority The Hill” — Dead, except for the warmongering, oligarch-enriching, corporate-person-supporting, metastasizing mass-warrantless-surveillance, for-profit-healthcare-cartelism, techno-automated-everything and “the future economy is live-out-of-your-car gigs at the low end, financialization-grift and Orwellian-tech at the high end, and nothing else other than Big War Inc” parts, that is.

    Did I leave anything out?

    1. Aumua

      Right, but what you just described is not really Trump’s agenda though, is it.

      i.e. Trump isn’t really the problem, the problem is systemic. A fact that never seems to sink in with some people, no matter how many times the obviousness of it is pointed out.

  24. barrisj

    Nasty Ruskies carrying out assassinations abroad? Well, here’s the spy agency/“targeted assassination” outfit that truly defined state-sponsored murder:

    How Mossad carries out assassinations

    Not enough? Here, from Ha’aretz:

    Brainwashing and Cross-dressing: Israel’s Assassination Program Laid Bare in Shocking Detail
    Ronen Bergman’s riveting history of Israel’s use of targeted killings reveals for the first time many operations carried out in the name of national security. Some may inspire the reader while others will sicken

    Israelis have been capping “enemies of the Jewish state” for decades now, but nobody in the “West” has ever proposed sanctions against the bastards…well, it’s all about “self-defense”, doncha know. People, it’s all out there, one just needs to look.

  25. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    Germany/Monsanto Ban.

    ACDFACM (American Corporate Death From Above Cruise Missiles) arriving in 3,2,1…?

    Can’t have any pesky so-called “nations” threatening the flow of money to tax-free billionaire offshore Monsanto shareholders now can we.

    I mean we blow these purported “countries” up because they supposedly have chemicals we don’t like, we should easily be able to blow them up when they won’t eat the chemicals we really do like, amirite?

  26. Bandit

    Mehdi Hasan, beautiful soul, and his diatribe against the consequential Left

    Thank you Mr. Stephen Gowans. I would tend to get tongue-tied trying to write a critique of Hasan’s latest nonsense, basically because I have a hard time keeping my blood pressure down when confronting such a fraud as Hasan. So, it was with much cool pleasure that I read your critique, not only of Hasan, but secondarily of The Intercept, the pseudo-progressive mouthpiece of the neocons, that chooses to print such rubbish.

  27. Tyronius

    Come on, guys- all this talk and no one can be bothered to hail the real hero of the day’s links listing?

    Gooooood dog, Max. Thanks for reaffirming my faith in the humanity of non humans.

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