Links 4/26/18

European Gaia spacecraft’s first major data dump — the most detailed 3D chart yet of our Galaxy — will keep researchers busy for decades. Nature

Experiment shows Einstein’s quantum ‘spooky action’ approaches the human scale The Conversation (UserFriendly).

Deutsche Bank retreats in investment bank overhaul FT

Bosch Says It’s Made a Breakthrough That Can Save Diesel Engines Bloomberg

Drugs taken by millions for incontinence, depression and Parkinson’s may increase risk of dementia, finds study Independent (original).

Mental Health On A Budget Slate Star Codex


Snipers ordered to shoot children, Israeli general confirms Electronic Intifida. With transcript.

North Korea

Yes, Trump and Kim Can Make a Deal That’s Good for Everyone Foreign Policy (!).

Kim Jong-un made Donald Trump an offer he couldn’t refuse The Interpreter

What North Korea Really Wants: A Normalized Relationship With the United States The Diplomat

Problematic pudding: Korean Summit dessert draws ire from Japan Asian Correspondent


Best 30 Books to Understand Modern China What’s on Weibo. Seems heavy on digital, light on China’s working class and interior. Can readers augment?

Guest Contribution: “Can Media and Text Analytics Provide Insights into Labour Market Conditions in China?” Econbrowser

Everyday politics Aeon

‘Five Eyes’ seek to counter China’s Pacific influence Asia Times

EU ambassadors band together against Silk Road Handelsblatt


UK government paid consultants £680K for Brexit customs plan Politico

DUP threatens to bring down Theresa May’s Government if it crosses Customs Union red line MSN

Wales isolates Nicola Sturgeon over EU powers after Brexit Guardian

Trump Transition

The Consumer Complaints Database That Could Disappear From View NPR. “So far, Americans have filed more than a million of these complaints.”

Michael Cohen says he’ll plead the Fifth in the Stormy Daniels lawsuit Vox

Dems slam CIA offer to view classified Haspel records Politico. If we’d prosecuted the torturers, we’d have plenty of records, but on that, as on so much else, [genuflects] Obama chose not to govern. And here we are. “Slam,” forsooth.

CIA nominee’s insider history raises deep state fears FT

What if the Insider Threat Is You? The Cipher Brief

2016 Post Mortem

Hillary’s aides called the Clinton Foundation ‘Chelsea’s nest egg’, reveals new book whose author is being trolled on Twitter by former first daughter for writing ‘fiction’ Daily Mail. Chozick freezes her eggs to cover Clinton’s campaign and write this book, and what thanks does she get? “Believe the woman”? Lol no. Trolling is the response she gets.

Why can’t liberals accept the truth about Hillary’s 2016 failure? The Week

Democrats in Disarray

Inside A Divisive Fight Over How A Top Progressive Think Tank Handled Sexual Harassment Buzzfeed. “CAP’s handling of the allegations against [Benton] Strong came as a profound disappointment to the young progressive women who joined the organization, many of whom saw their jobs as an entrée to what they expected would be the Clinton White House.” Life’s little ironies…

Joy-Ann Reid’s ‘I Was Hacked’ Story Doesn’t Add Up New York Magazine. I’m shocked.

Facebook Fracas

Should Big Brother Be Public or Private? Sardonicky

How Fake Mark Zuckerbergs Scam Facebook Users Out of Their Cash NYT

Facebook blows through Wall Street’s ad revenue expectations FT

Smart homes are a dystopian nightmare FT. There’s that word, “smart.”

The rise of the cyber-humanitarians New Internationalist

Experts Say AI Could Raise the Risks of Nuclear War Defense One

Imperial Collapse Watch

History notes: A scrap book of words and actions Monthly Review

Anything Can Be Rescinded LRB

Commitment & analysis Stumbling and Mumbling

Class Warfare

U.S. inequality: It’s worse than we thought Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. “We”?

Why the Cause of Full Employment Is Back from the Dead The American Prospect

Failure to record Cook County eviction court hearings leaves tenants vulnerable Injustice Watch

Marxists Look Back on the Russian Revolution The American Conservative

Anti-fracking documentary wins top prize at EarthxFilm GreenSourceDFW. “Unfractured follows biologist and mother Sandra Steingraber as she reinvents herself as an outspoken activist and throws herself into the fight against fracking in New York State.” A successful fight. Let’s not be afraid to use the word “win”!

Take the City Nature Challenge City Nature Challange (EA). “Nearly 70 cities will be competing to see who can make the most observations of nature, find the most species, and engage the most people in the worldwide 2018 City Nature Challenge.” Runs April 27-30. Sound neat!

‘Winds of Winter’ not coming in 2018, ‘Thrones’ author Martin says Reuters

‘We’re doomed’: Mayer Hillman on the climate reality no one else will dare mention Guardian. “So many aspects of life depend on fossil fuels, except for music and love and education and happiness. These things, which hardly use fossil fuels, are what we must focus on.”

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. fresno dan

    Joy-Ann Reid’s ‘I Was Hacked’ Story Doesn’t Add Up New York Magazine. I’m shocked.

    One of the toughest things people can do is admit that they are wrong.
    But what if Joy-Ann said that she was ignorant when she was younger, but has learned and changed her view? My experience is that owning up to error seldom placates critics, and often just inflames them.

    1. Expat2uruguay

      I have the opposite experience. When I own up to my mistakes and be authentic about it, it takes the wind right out of the sails of the person accusing me. But that’s in one-on-one interactions,

      1. ArcadiaMommy

        This is what I have also observed if the people are sincere about wanting to resolve the issue. I also tell my boys that even though it is hard to admit you did something wrong, they will feel a lot better as well.

        1. Procopius

          When I was a child I was a terrible liar. I’m socially inept and have problems with signalling. So I decided my best strategy was to not try to pretend. I didn’t always do that, of course, but in general I found it was a lot better to go ahead and admit my fault. That got the matter settled quickly, usually with a reduction in punishment, and I didn’t have to worry about remembering lies I had told. Don’t know if it works for public figures, but I think it would. Never seen it tried, though.

      2. Jeff W

        Owning up to an error obviously takes the issue of not owning up to the error—which is often a bigger deal than the error itself—off the table. Either the “owning up” satisfies or placates the people having an interest in the claim or it doesn’t—but the story doesn’t have much anywhere else to go. (Providing an explanation that “doesn’t add up,” as New York Magazine says, or that “looks implausible,” as The Atlantic puts it, raises other issues, of candor, judgment, and so on.)

    2. YankeeFrank

      She already did that once and it worked. Now a bunch more instances of her nasty homophobia have surfaced and I think another sorry won’t do it.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I would also add the Bernie Bros narrative happened. I don’t think Joy Ann Reid or anyone from that group can simply apologize. Besides Sanders supporters and the anti-Clinton left, the accusations hurled by the Clinton machine have raised awareness among their supporters who were more naive about the past behavior of certain individuals. Joy Ann Reid isn’t the object of their devotion. She won’t have any allies especially if past (2008 wasn’t that long ago) behavior paints her as ignorant now that awareness has been raised.

    3. WheresOurTeddy

      “ignorant when she was younger”

      She’s 49. The blog posts are from less than 10 years ago, so she was in her late 30s or early 40s.

      People show you who they are.

  2. fresno dan

    Michael Cohen says he’ll plead the Fifth in the Stormy Daniels lawsuit Vox

    amusing to see all the people who USED to think anyone taking the fifth was a criminal. NOW they are a lot more nuanced – ANYONE WHO ISN’T RICH (or defending the rich) WHO TAKES THE FIFTH IS COVERING UP A CRIME

  3. PlutoniumKun

    Best 30 Books to Understand Modern China What’s on Weibo. Seems heavy on digital, light on China’s working class and interior. Can readers augment?

    It is hard to get books that get to grips with whats really going on in China outside the big cities and the usual sources. One fairly light read I’d recommend is Peter Hesslers book River Town, which is his account of his first 2 years as a teacher there. Because he focuses on his own learning experience he doesn’t fall into the ‘I’m now an expert here what I think of China’ trap of so many books on China written by foreigners. A key point about China is that it is a far more diverse (linguistically, culturally, etc) country than is usually acknowledged, not least by the Chinese themselves. Getting to understand China is like ‘getting to understand Europe’. And of course the rate of change is astonishing. There is an old story of a foreign China expert asked for his view on China today. His reply was ‘I’ve no idea, I’m just back from 2 weeks holiday’.

    I’d love to recommend a book on China’s economy, but I’ve no found one really satisfactory that really gets to grip with it. I think live online sources are better.

    1. Louis Fyne

      I’d throw out, watch some Chinese movies… whatever genre you like. In many ways exactly like their Hollywood equivalent, in other ways completely different.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      I really don’t know much about modern China and the following is fiction so not sure how much one might be able to glean from it about actual life in China, but with that caveat, I really enjoyed this anthology of Chinese science fiction, Invisible Planets.

      Some stories are set in present day China and give a decent idea of the living conditions. There was an especially good one about internet censorship which showed how difficult it is to get information without running afoul of the authorities.

    3. oh

      There are so many articles on how bad the economy is. What is there to know? The people who write these articles are such experts! /s

    4. witters

      I think reading the Chinese on China is a good start, and I think starting with an Emperor rather illuminating generally. So I recommend adding to the list Emperor of China: Self Portrait of Kʻang Hsi (Jonathan Spence, Vintage, 1988).

      1. Procopius

        It doesn’t really address current conditions, but back during my government sponsored tour of South-East Asia I found a book by a correspondent named Dennis Bloodworth called The Chinese Looking Glass. I managed to find a used copy at Amazon and re-read it a couple of years ago. To some extent he’s talking about Chinese in Singapore, but it’s largely about Chinese history and myths and customs and stories. I’m not sure how helpful it would be to anybody who has never lived overseas. Still, it tells about aspects of Chinese culture that many people don’t know enough to ask about. He also wrote a marvelous explanation of the Lao civil war, which John Foster Dulles played up as a war of aggression by the monolitic international Communist conspiracy but which bloodworth described as petty squabbles in the royal family and a couple wealthy associated families, but I haven’t been able to find a copy of it.

    5. drumlin woodchuckles

      As I read the little descriptions of the 30 Best Books to Understand Modern China, I note that the descriptions make all the books appear to focus on China’s dominant ethnic group, the Hans. Some of these books may discuss aspects of the violent Han pursuit of Lebensraum for millions of Han settlers in Inner Mongolia, Sinjiang, and Tibet; but the little descriptions don’t appear to indicate so.

      And since the ChinaGov’s pursuit of ethnic Han ” Drang Nach Westen” in Tibet most of all will result in the degradation and attrition of all the major rivers which flow out of China and support life throughout an overpopulated and overpopulating India, Bangladesh and Southeast Asia; I will suggest a little book which talks a little about that. It is called Meltdown In Tibet: China’s Reckless Destruction of Ecosystems from the Highlands of Tibet to the Deltas of Asia. Here is a link.

  4. Steve H.

    > Unfractured

    “…throws herself into the fight against fracking in New York State.”

    One is the smallest group of individual(s) that can change the world.

    Fracking in NY raises red flags and ringing bells for me. It is the case that forced me from the brand loyalty I had built up in environmental law classes. The Natural Resources Defense Council was all over the case histories, and I contributed to the NRDC (and Nature Conservancy) for years after, even when impoverished.

    But NRDC lawyers signed off on fracking in NY, and my environmental science specialties were hazardous materials management (ie, hazardous waste used for fracking) and water resources (ie, which polluted groundwater). The revulsion popped the bubble of sunk cost confirmation, about the same time I realized I was paying Hank Paulson’s salary at Nature Conservancy.

    Now I contribute to a different NC, whose individuals have changed my life with their perspectives. Thanks and thanks again. You can’t stop the signal.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        Also one of my favorite movies of all time. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve watched the DVD.

    1. JCC

      Between this film and Walter Hang’s efforts at, most Upstate New Yorkers are continuing the strong fight against fracking in Upstate NY.

      More power to them, they will need all the power they can get. It’s a never-ending battle against the NRDC, FERC, Cuomo, Halibuton’s PR, and the rest.

      (I specifically mentioned Haliburton’s PR based on a conversation I had with a woman who lived not far from me in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate NY. Her well was completely trashed by Haliburton fracking chemicals which destroyed the value of her home, both present and future value. A local paper did a story on her lawsuit which was settled out of court, getting a comment from a Haliburton PR flack – the chemicals are safe, we’ve never lost a case in Court – which the paper added – true, they make it a point to settle every case out of Court, always adding the proviso that the plaintiff is not allowed to discuss the terms of the settlement)

  5. Mark K

    Re: U.S. inequality: It’s worse than we thought., the article about how poor people don’t use housework “production” to make up for their low incomes.

    “‘Our result is surprising,’ the economists write.” Really? What part of “Working two jobs to make ends meet” don’t these people understand?

    1. Summer

      Doesn’t this imply that they think there is or should be a “standard” for time spent on “home “production”? Whose homes are the talking about?
      “Home production” for people with children in the home would vary greatly from those households without children. And the number and age of dependents would matter as well. Are they old enough and able to work?

      Some people live alone and others with roommates. Some have disabilities and some don’t. Some people eat more than others. Some live closer to stores than others. Some entertain guests more than others.

      The variations go on and on.

  6. Ed

    ““So many aspects of life depend on fossil fuels, except for music and love and education and happiness.”

    Like food. Food depends on fossil fuels. But I read the article and I think this guy realizes that.

    1. pretzelattack

      the food supply will be endangered by climate change, too, and since climate change is caused by fossil fuel
      emissions, the food supply also depends on getting off fossil fuels.

      1. Ed

        I agree, but there is no way to have enough food for 7 plus billion people without fossil fuels to transport them, for agricultural machinery, fertilizer and other chemicals involved in the process. No green revolution without fossil fuels.

        This is really just another way of saying we are f*cked though.

        1. Louis Fyne

          and most optimistically the population is supposed to level out at 10 billion. to feed the world at that level you need massive amounts of energy and GMO. no way around it if you want to stop the relentless expansion of grazing and farmland into wilderness

        2. Solar Hero

          I call BS on this. Switching to a plant-based diet, first. Secondly, huge amounts of wasted food in the “first” world. Thirdly, the “green revolution” is loosing its shine, and it has been shown again and again that traditional farming can produce yields equal to our current industrial system.

        3. Chris

          The ‘Green Revolution’ was a massive US con (with an anti-socialist bent), designed to force smallholders off their land and pass that land on to big ag corporations. And GMOs aren’t a solution, they’re a part of the problem.

          Restorative agriculture is likely to be a much more effective solution for low carbon productivity, and can be effective at local scale.

    2. JEHR

      There is a way to produce food without fossil fuels but it can’t be done on an industrialized scale.

        1. JCC

          This, too, from Gabe Brown in N. Dakota:

          We use minimal herbicide and are striving to eliminate it. We do not use GMOs or glyphosate. Our ever evolving grazing strategy allows most of our pastures a recovery period of over 360 days. These strategies have allowed the health of the soil, the mineral and water cycles to greatly improve. In other words, the natural resources have benefited. This results in increased production, profit and a higher quality of life for us.

          And this explanation: North Dakota Commercial No Till Farm is More Profitable and Sequesters Carbon in the Soil

          A quote from the well-worth-watching video:

          After giving up synthetic fertilizers, “our yields are more than 25% higher than the county average. Am I the highest in the county? No. Am I the most profitable in the county? Yes.”

          Monsanto will tell you otherwise, of course.

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      As you have pointed out food production and distribution depends on fossil fuels. There are ways to grow food plants using different techniques than our present industrial food production. But the land and the necessary skills are not well distributed to make a smooth transition. Population centers are generally far from where food might best be grown. Fossil fuels are needed to move the food to where it would be eaten. De-urbanization will not be a smooth transition. But these problems with fossil fuels are not the only difficulties we will face in feeding our present and projected human populations. Some other problems include soil depletion and soil loss, the depletion of aquifers in current growing areas, and the declines of pollinating insect populations and that’s just what comes to mind without much thought.

      I wonder whether there might be an even more serious problem for agriculture. Our climate is changing but how will that change transpire? How will the weather behave? Most of our food plants require a certain amount of stability and predictability in the weather along with smooth transitions of season. The weather has been behaving badly where I live. One day I need a winter coat for the cold, a thin T-shirt a few days later, and a raincoat and hat for later in the week and forget the umbrella because of the wind. I haven’t experienced golf ball or baseball sized hail but I did hear stories about it when I lived in the Southwest. I have seen peach blossoms pounded off in heavy rains and watched my sunflowers die in sudden freeze.

      Besides the weather, just how smoothly will the Earth’s climate shift to its new set-point? I don’t know that the existing climate models or studies of paleoclimate can reliably predict the dynamics of the climate change we will experience. There is no promise the transition will be a smooth shift of climate zones further up in latitudes as some of what little planning there is seems to assume.

  7. Alex V

    The Mayer Hillman piece depressed the hell out of me. I’m of the age where I should have kids soon, if I really want them, but am gripped by an overwhelming sense of despair know the world they would be born into.

    Reveals how our so-called “leaders” have failed us for decades. Tragic how their egos can completely negate any understanding of the natural world (or maybe in spite of it).

    1. David May

      Re: We’re Doomed

      “Can civilisation prolong its life until the end of this century?…
      Standing in the way is capitalism.”

      That’s it right there. Capitalism has killed us all. Perhaps we should think about executing the criminals who have committed ecocide, while we still have the chance? As the billboard in Texas says, “You kill someone, we kill you back.”

      1. Alex V

        The really depressing point of the piece though was that even if we kill all the capitalists tomorrow and stop all carbon emissions, we’re still essentially doomed… In any case, I don’t believe in the death penalty, no matter how heinous the crime. We’ve had it as a form of punishment for most of human history, and when has it ever made the world a better place?

        1. johnnygl

          Clearly, there’s going to be profoundly catastrophic effects, but there’s still a lot of things in play that can determine how bad and how soon.

          But let’s be honest, is it going to be WWI and WWII level bad? I don’t think so and have a hard time seeing how it could come close.

          Yes, there’s going to be horrible hurricanes, floods, droughts and migratory crises, but it’ll take time to unfold and humans are actually pretty adaptable over time. But it’s definitely the case that society will look very different in 100 years.

          1. a different chris

            Despite their grandious names, most of the planet did not really participate in WWI and WWII. A few pigs (commited), a number of chickens (involved), but for the majority it was just something in the distance to be worked around.

            1. visitor

              The only part of the inhabited world that was at best marginally touched by WWII was Latin America (although both Brazilians and Mexicans contributed troops to the fighting). Asia and Oceania were, just like Europe, slaughterhouses. Eastern and South-Eastern Asian victims (mostly because of the Japanese rampage) range in the tens of millions and are mostly forgotten in mainstream history presentations. The British caused millions more fatalities in the Raj because of their deliberately inhuman war economic policies.

              While very low in absolute numbers, proportionally the losses amongst the population in the multiple Oceania’s islands occupied or battled over during the Japanese invasion were hair-raising.

              Africa was a battlefield — not just on its Northern fringe, but also because of the early strategically important campaign in Eastern Africa, and the various smaller operations in places such as Madagascar or Western Africa. More importantly, colonial powers flogged African population to produce raw materials to sustain the war effort. Although I remember reading somewhere that a Congolese appraised the situation during WWII as not being as murderous as during WWI. Africa was a battlefield and basically a huge slave labour camp during WWI.

            2. Minh

              4 years ago, few days after 9/11:

              In Saturday’s homily, standing at the altar beneath Italy’s fascist-era Redipuglia memorial – where 100,000 Italian soldiers killed during WWI are buried, 60,000 of them unnamed, the Pope paid tribute to the victims of all wars.

              “Humanity needs to weep, and this is the time to weep,” he said.

              Pope Francis is presented with the document with which his grandfather enlisted to fight for Italy before emigrating to Argentina

              “Even today, after the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a third war, one fought piecemeal, with crimes, massacres, destruction,” he said.

          2. pretzelattack

            yeah, because horrible resource wars and wars over immigration can kick off into the next big one on top of all the other problems.

          3. Minh

            Some VIP called this “7 countries in 5 years” war WW3 already, well, at least the current Pop said so, and consider the beginning of WW2 was just a false flag on a highest wooden structure of Europe (118 meters high in Gleiwitz Germany, now Gliwice, Poland). One German, Franciszek Honiok, a 43-year-old unmarried German Silesian Catholic farmer, was killed by the Gestapo. This current World war, started in New York in 2001, with the highest steel structure of America, twin tower of 416 meters, and killed 3000 people… one would think should be already more bloody, if not for the nukes.

        2. JohnnyGL

          Something else to think about….if you’d been living in Minsk in the 1920s and cranked out a few kids that would seem to be the worst possible time pretty much ever! My understanding of the Eastern Front in WWII is that it was pretty much the most hellish thing you can imagine.

          But for the Russian soldiers who bravely fought and won the war on the Eastern Front, they were immensely proud of their accomplishments and they did the world a huge favor by saving it from the Nazis.

          Perhaps your kids will contribute bravely to making improvements and saving lives and your not having them is leaving the world a WORSE place because of your insecurity and fear of the future!!??!?!?!

          So there…think about that! :) Remember, great crisis brings great opportunity.

            1. JohnnyGL

              Sweet, I did some good today! Now I feel accomplished.

              I’m not entirely convinced by my own statement, but it’s plausible. :)

        3. David May

          Thanks for the reply and I totally agree with you. . I am also against the death penalty, sorry I should have made that clear!

        1. polecat

          Like many ‘woke’ folk, ol’ Al could truly walk the walk, and do much to lower HIS carbon footprint (searches for a dog-eared copy of “Listen Liberal” to throw at his person ! … Grrrrr !)

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            Well . . . he could, but he won’t. So now what?

            It will be up to minimally-powerful mere-citizen-type individuals who understand the problem to live the most low-carbon-emissions/ high-carbon-suckdown lifestyles they feasibly can on a year-in year-out basis . . . Living Their Witness in open view.

            It will have little or no brute-force effect on emissions, or on the emissions-suckdown balance, just as Mr. Hillman says. But if enough millions of people in high-emissions low-suckdown areas choose to Live Their Low-Emissions High-Suckdown Witness in public view, and gain millions of separate little doses of friend-and-neighbor scale credibility for being listened to whenever these issues come up for discussion, or come up for political combat; they may might maybe bring along enough other people to amount to disciplined social force-bunches and movement-loads of people sufficient to conquer political systems and redirect those systems to force an emissions-dropping suckdown-raising outcome throughout whole societies.

    2. Wukchumni

      I was not quite a year old when the Cuban Missile Crisis happened, and my mom told me that occasionally she’d get comments that questioned her bringing babies into a most uncertain world-which is how it always is, by the way.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Khrushchev was our bête noire then (1962). Now it’s Putin.

        You’d think when the USSR collapsed in 1991, we’d have declared victory and gone home.

        But the iron law of bureaucracies (e.g. NATO) requires that they “reinvent themselves” to assure their perpetual existence.

        NATO is value subtraction writ large, doing its part to destroy the future living standards of today’s kids as it blows holes in the ground with munitions, then fills them up again (or not).

        1. johnnygl

          Turned out Krushchev wasn’t such a bad guy. Perhaps decades from now, history will judge putin similarly.

        2. Ed Miller

          “You’d think when the USSR collapsed in 1991, we’d have declared victory and gone home.”

          But the final victory is about more than the USSR or Russia. The multinationals do not yet own every square foot of the entire planet. Channeling Madeline Albright, we have this wonderful military machine, so why not use it! Lots to do yet!

      2. Alex V

        I would ague that climate change is fundamentally different in nature. The Cuban Missile Crisis, or the World Wars were dependent on a few leaders making distinct choices over much smaller time scales, with relatively localized environmental or social impacts (in comparison to climate change). Yes, if the nukes had been launched the effects would have been devastating, but they would still have been a distinct occurrence in time, with a before and after. To quote Detective Carver in The Wire: “Wars end.” I don’t really see that happening in this case. Climate change operates on far larger spatial and temporal scales which we as a species are absolutely horrible at comprehending and therefore avoiding. Yes, the world will always be uncertain – we however know enough about climate change to be able to say some things with certainty, none of them good, most of them tragically avoidable.

        1. Wukchumni

          We’re very adaptable, humans.

          If you placed me in DC in August, why i’d melt and there would be a pile of clothing on the sidewalk on K Street where my body used to be, as humidity and I have an arrangement in that I stay away from it, but given time, i’d get used to it.

          Hard to say what changes are coming on account of something none of us has ever seen before, and the time scale is such that more than likely it won’t be rather sudden, but gradual.

          1. Alex V

            Thank you for illustrating my point perfectly – your example of DC heat and humidity is myopically small scale regarding the adaptability of our species and the systems we have built.

            Environmental change is gradual, until it’s not. Natural systems can collapse in sudden and unexpected ways. That’s the first problem. The second problem is what we’ll do to each other as a results of those collapses – those changes will be sudden and violent.

            1. Wukchumni

              The historical roadmap to climate change in North America was written 900 years ago, when the Chacoan people were chased away from the tallest structures in what is now the USA. They split around year 10 of a 50 year drought.

              Some resorted to cannibalism, while the rest became Hopi & Navajo Indians, far from Chaco Canyon.

              I suspect something similar will happen with us, but in a splashier fashion~

              1. Synapsid


                You could say the Chacoans became the Hopi and the Pueblo peoples of New Mexico, but the Navajo and Apache forebears (Athabascan speakers) came down from the North–roughly what’s now NW Canada and eastern Alaska judging from where their language relatives are now–sometime later. The route was along the east side of the Rockies.

                1. Wukchumni

                  I’d say they more morphed into Navajo culture than anything else, in a similar fashion to some of the culture ending up in northern Mexico.

                  A good read on the subject is, House Of Rain: Tracking a Vanished Civilization Across the American Southwest, by Craig Childs.

                  1. Synapsid


                    The Navajo and Apache incomers were hunters and gatherers. The Hopi had been there for centuries and were agriculturalists, as were the Pueblo peoples along the Rio Grande and other parts of New Mexico. They grew the corn, beans, and squash that the Navajo adopted. Once the Spaniards showed up centuries later everybody started raising sheep.

                    Hopi and related pueblo cultures (Mesa Verde, Zuni, Acoma, and those along the Rio Grande) trace back into the Anasazi culture centered in Chaco Canyon; Navajo culture doesn’t.

              2. drumlin woodchuckles

                The problem is that the Chaco-era drought was not driven by the carbon/nitrogen oxides skydumping we have today. That skydumping will push the heat buildup and climate breakdown beyond what the Chacoans suffered due to whatever natural cycle caused their drought.

                And the Chacoans had someplace to flee to. Modern Man will have nowhere to flee to as all areas suffer one or another or many symptoms of climate d’chaos decay.

                1. Lambert Strether Post author

                  > skydumping

                  Good term. Oceandumping, riverdumping, soildumping… Perhaps we need to focus on capitalist excretion, as well as capitalist accumulation (and the distribution of that which is accumulated and excreted…).

                  1. drumlin woodchuckles

                    Thank you for the kind words. I came up with carbon “skydumping” specifically because it was easier to say than “carbon emissions”. At first I tried using the phrase
                    “sanitary skyfill” which was evocative but was still clunky.
                    So I settled on “skydumping”

                    Just in case other people find “skydumping” useful and would like to use it, I hereby Copyleft the word “skydumping” And if anyone would like to use the phrase “sanitary skyfill”, I Copyleft that too.

            2. Edward E

              Cannot find any long johns in Arkiefornia, the Indians from the state next door bought ’em all up, a sporting goods store says. What are they up to? Gonna need ’em to 2023?

              Breakthrough: new Bosch diesel technology provides solution to NOx problem – Bosch Media Service

              I’m just putting the finishing touches on a two ton high roof van interior, been staying in it while taking care of my dad lately. God, I’ve gotta get back to work. This thing is really impressive, twenty nine mpg, oh better not start bragging about it…
              This new Bosch exhaust tech, if the manufacturers can put it on right and get results close to what Bosch gets that’s a real change gamer. I’d like to have that, but, “The system will be for new diesel cars and can’t be retrofitted, a company spokesman said by phone.”

            3. curlydan

              I think we’re trying to tell you to have kids if you want to. The world may suck, but the love probably is going to make up for it.

              And if you don’t have kids, OK, you’ll find the love elsewhere.

      3. perpetualWAR

        I was going to say the exact same thing: Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam War, the Depression, etc. Throughout history there’s been so many reasons not to have children. But the overwhelming reason TO have children is love, which is a powerful and opposing viewpoint from all life’s miseries.

      4. Wyoming

        Which is not to say the idea was not correct.

        Think of how much better off we would be today if 50% of those mothers had decided not to have children.

        Both of my children and their spouses have decided not to have any children. And they are all mid-thirties or later so it looks increasingly certain that they mean it. I hold them in high respect for making the decision and would do the same if I were their age today. The last thing this earth needs is more people.

        1. Louis Fyne

          irony is that the people/couples who are circumspective enough to ask themselves ‘should i have children’ are probably the ones who should be having children.

          1. Massinissa

            Maybe they should adopt instead. Honestly I wish more people who decide not to have children would consider adoption. Its like having a child without there technically being a new person on the planet, and can fundamentally change a persons life for the better.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Henry Ford’s legacy…

        Anyone remember the once-common bumper sticker seen on lots of Class A Motorhomes (3 miles per gallon, diesel with a diesel generator to power the Lifestyle) that read, somewhat vaguely, “WE’RE SPENDING OUR CHILDREN’S-INHERITANCE!!”?

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        That is just repeating what General Motors did a few decades ago, pursuing every post-recession recovery by selling high-profit trucks and SUVs every time gas prices fell below the levels needed to force consumption discipline upon the public. Each near-death-for-GM gas-price-rise event which tortured GM into paying some attention to building smallish fuel-efficient cars was followed by a gas-price-fall event which destroyed car-customer discipline and left car-buyers feeling free to buy trucks and SUVs yet again, prompting GM to quite reasonably narrow its focus onto the trucks and SUVs which car buyers preferred during every outbreak of low gasoline prices.

        So now Ford is quite reasonably doing the same thing because low gas prices are prompting car buyers to choose trucks and SUVs? Ford may well be badly caught by crashing sales of its profit-center trucks and SUVs if gas prices ever again reach properly punitive levels.

    3. Brucie Bruce

      Ian Welsh has an article up about this: Making Sure YOU Stay Alive When Millions Are Dying.

      Even if our governments suddenly were run by people who cared, it would be too late to do anything but prepare and try and reduce how bad it will be.

      But they aren’t doing anything, and they aren’t going to be doing anything soon enough. Heck, soon enough was about ten years ago, and that was optimistic to any sane person. By 2008, I was thinking “Yeah, we’re fucked, but maybe, just maybe, if we act now?”

      Frankly, I was delusional. Hope’ll do that to you. Horrible drug. Obviously, our leaders are psychopathic douchebags with the planning ability of mythical lemmings (the real animals are not as stupid as the legend), and obviously most voters don’t take the issue seriously, and obviously nothing was going to be done no matter who was elected.

      He’s finally seen the light, so to speak.

    4. JeffC

      When my son was born in 1973, I didn’t expect any of us to live to see his adulthood, given the risks of a world with 70,000 or so nuclear weapons in the hands of two paranoid nations. Yet here we are.

      Things DO look grim now. But don’t give up hope, and remember that it may be your children who figure out how to turn things around and save the world. After all, they’ll have a parent who “gets it.”

      1. polecat

        I think I’m in need of some review of the historical documents …. starting with the film “Creation of the Humanoids” .. or maybe “A boy and his dog”, and work upground from there.

  8. zagonostra

    Refer: Einstein’s quantum “spooky” action: Coincidently, I was binge watching a YouTube site called Theoria Apophasis last night which debunks Eienstein’s view of the nature of light and the physical world and wondering if any of the commentators on NC are familiar with the site.

    If nothing else I am indebted to the site for introducing me to the most incredible/smartest person I/you never heard of: Charles Proteus Steinmetz, a 4 foot dwarf who checked Eienstein’s math for him and was on par with Tesla….

    1. HotFlash

      Oh, Steiny! I had the great fortune to be an in-law of a man who worked with him in Schenectady. Great Steiny stories! eg, “But Dr. Steinmetz, I can’t approve an invoice for a hundred dollars, all you did was flip a switch.” “Ok, I will itemize. Flipping switch, $1, knowing which switch to flip, $99.” Another time he was at a meeting with some GE bigwigs, who complained about his cigar. He explained it to them, “No cigar, no Steinmetz.” He grew cactus in his office, and loved practical jokes. Very practical. He had wired the doorknob to his office.

      1. zagonostra

        After watching a brief documentary on YouTube on “Steiny” I was flabbergasted that I had never heard of him before.

        What the heck is a matter with the educational system in this country? Here is a man who is responsible for so many of modern-day conveniences, physically handicapped and a genius an order of magnitude of a Tesla and not a mention of him in my education…jeez.

        1. polecat

          Just look what hash was made of the Real-life Tesla to see how things truly ‘work’ in this greedy world.

        2. ObjectiveFunction

          Great stuff! I did a book report on him in elementary school, actually (this was the 1970s, understand)

          From wiki:

          “Despite his earlier efforts and interest in socialism, by 1922 Steinmetz concluded that socialism would never work in the United States, because the country lacked a “powerful, centralized government of competent men, remaining continuously in office”

          Great insight here! Reminds me of the comment that America hasn’t occupied Afghanistan for 15 years, but for 15 x 1 years.

  9. Tom Stone

    Anyone interested in the Clinton Foundation would be well advised to follow the work of Charles K Ortel.
    The FBI, IRS and the Attorneys General of several States would find a much of their work already done for them…
    Xavier Becerra, where are you?

    1. DonCoyote

      Ortel has done some outstanding work. I would also like to commend the writing of Amy Sterling Casil, reporting on the Clinton Foundation and it’s outcomes(or lack thereof):

      At the end of the line, there simply have to be some type of outcomes, even for these handshake deals. And those are completely non-existent. The “work” of the Clinton Foundation falls apart at the slightest scrutiny. Anybody can say on paper or via a website or in a television interview that they do anything (and certainly the Clinton Foundation does do that). But when a reporting team flies to Colombia and hears that there are no “job programs” and entrepreneurs were asked to buy expensive products or take out high-interest loans benefiting Clinton cronies like Frank Giustra, a Ph.D. from Haiti has devoted her life to covering the extensive, grotesque lack of performance Clinton Foundation has had in that country, or someone like me picks up the phone and calls the number the Foundation lists for its “staff member” in a local “Health Matters Initiative” and gets a University of California staff member who doesn’t know and has never heard of the Clinton Foundation doing “any work” in the area —

      There is a problem.

    2. Whoa Molly!

      Re: Clinton foundation research

      Shocking if true.

      Ortel appears to be documenting what looks like Madoff level fraud.

      True? No idea.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          LOL as if anything, anything, will happen to her now.
          Maybe back in America’s Constitutional Age it would, but we are loooong past that glorious era.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            If the Clinton’s go down, they will take everyone else they know down with them. And everyone else knows it. That gives them all, in their thousands, a personal vested stay-out-of-jail interest in seeing that the Clintons never be touched by genuine legal-financial inquiry.

            Big Bill Clinton didn’t fly down to Pervy Epstein’s Pedo Island all by himself, after all. And everyone else who flew down on those flights knows that he can name them all if he needs to, plus naming everyone that he and the others met already on the island.

            One can imagine both Clintons reminding everyone they know that “we ain’t nobody’s grandmudduh.”

        1. newcatty

          Glad, and not surprised at all that Tucson is standing (and beeping for their teachers). Far out! And, I will say hallelujah in my heart with them. The real game changer is that Republican teachers are joining the cause! They see the light. They need to have a written guarantee that the 20%salary increase will be implemented, not just a disingenuous promise that it will happen in future years. Also, support staff must have dedicated pay increases. The deplorable conditions of many public schools in AZ is a disgrace and inhumane.

          I am a former public teacher who worked in Tucson for many years. I am amazed and heartened by the actions. When you have lost Republican identified persons on never raising taxes, evah…It’s a sea change. Now, I hope it will not turn out to be just salad taxes. It’s corporations that need to pay their honest share.

          1. newcatty

            Oops, said taxes should be: sales taxes. Ha ha, cause salads are taxed at 9 and a half % when eaten at a restaurant already.

          2. Arizona Slim

            If you’re still in Tucson, I would like to invite you to our next Naked Capitalism meetup. Watch this site for the announcement, mmm-kay?

            1. newcatty

              If you see this, I now live in Prescott. Would very much like to attend next NC meetup. Will see what is going on…

  10. The Rev Kev

    “UK government paid consultants £680K for Brexit customs plan”

    Maybe what they should have done was to offer 25% (£170K) of the payment when the plan was complete, another 25% (£170K) if the EU decided to actually study the proposed plan instead of rejecting it out of hand, and the final 50% (£340K) of the payment if the plan was accepted. Give them an incentive to actually delver up a workable plan.

  11. RenoDino

    North Korea

    Pompeo asked Kim up front if he would have a problem if Trump breaks the Iran deal. Kim said, “No problem.”
    That tells you everything you need to know about the coming summit. Iran is not a nuclear power and N. Korea is. Trump can’t tell Kim anything he doesn’t want to hear. He can only accept the fact N. Korea is now part of the nuclear club or start WW3. China and Russia have already lifted sanctions against N. Korea. Trump won’t be getting any more help from them. America will be playing a very weak hand short of bombing Kim. Fortunately, bombing is America’s answer for everything.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I am willing to bet that it would be a matter of trust-and-verify for the North Koreans as far as any deals are concerned, especially when they have seen Trump break one treaty after another because its suits his ideas and the consequences be damned. I doubt that the North Koreans would ever trust the United States and I am sure that they would remember this little episode-

      1. YankeeFrank

        If you like the bioweapons story you’ll love Wormwood — the new documentary series by Errol Morris. Its about the suspicious “suicide” of a top US bioweapons scientist in 1953. I think its his best work ever. Like the coverup of our marvelous experiments in Korea, the CIA is involved.

        1. Jim

          Anyone interested in real CIA tradecraft should watch and study Wormwood (It is a unbelievable learning experience).

          Over a 50 year period the death of Frank Olsen went through the following narrative stories of misdirection and coverup–until the probable truth in 2008:

          1953–some kind of accident (fell or jumped)
          1975–some kind of Drug suicide
          1994–some kind of homicide.
          2008–Execution by the CIA

          Running an empire is not for the faint of heart–and to believe that you can change American society or American foreign policy without taking out/dismantling the CIA is extremely naive.

      2. JTMcPhee

        The North Koreans likely also recall that the US “coalition” conducted a bombing campaign on the peninsula that nominally had as its goal that “not one brick will be left atop another.” Dropped more tons of explosives and incendiaries on Korea than all of Europe in WW II. Gotta love the Empire! Or else!

        And our Rulers, like schoolyard bullies of yore, want the rest of the world to “SAY UNCLE,” but then still keep beating the weakers…

        “Not agreement-capable.”

    1. RenoDino

      He closed the facility because he was done testing.

      Apparently, six test explosions produce the gold standard for establishing nuclear competency. India and Pakistan both did six tests shots as well before declaring themselves nuclear powers. N. Korea is now officially part of the club.

      1. JTMcPhee

        …and now the Empire maybe wants do go back to the good old days of testing? And for those too young to recall, this is the visual history of nuclear “testing” by the Sh!ts who play the Great Game with the wealth and bodies of us mopes:

        A Time-Lapse Map of Every Nuclear Explosion Since 1945 – by Isao Hashimoto

    2. Chauncey Gardiner

      Thanks for the Guardian link, Alex. Given their respective personalities and longstanding issues, my expectations are not high that Trump and Kim, together with their respective networks, will be able to reach a meaningful reconciliation. But maybe they will kick the can forward a bit. IMO, the hidden hand behind this initiative is China’s Xi, who along with the residents of Vladivostok, is likely is not pleased with radioactive contamination from the recent nuclear tests that blew the top off the mountain.

      But for the sake of humanity, here’s hoping for discernible progress (sip of freshly brewed drip coffee). And a quiet acknowledgement of Shinzo Abe of Japan.

    3. PlutoniumKun

      The article is overstated. Its not a surprise that one of the caverns created by the blast collapsed – there is no evidence that the mountain itself is collapsing, and anyway, they can always dig more shafts, there is no reason that they are restricted to that site for testing. So its highly unlikely that this is a factor in North Korean policy.

    1. Wyoming

      Standard procedure.

      He will be taken care of later if he is tough enough to not cop a plea. He needs to wake up every morning to a picture of Scooter Libby for encouragement.

  12. Amfortas the Hippie

    the Linker article in The Week is almost cathartic.
    the linked Lawyersgunsmoney and the twitter wars are representative of the “liberal/progressive/democratic” spaces on the web.
    I don’t have TV, but my mom does, and every time i’m over there for a while(cooking), I can observe the parrot cage that msnbc has become, which sounds suspiciously like the CTR Hilltrolls that formerly “prog/lib” social media are still(!!) infested with.
    Once or twice a week, to their credit, alternet(for instance) will post what I consider an actual policy related story…even stories that are critical of the parasites at the top of the demparty.
    I find it interesting that the policy stories usually have few comments….usually my favorite posters. while the latter have hundreds of mostly 2 line enfilade fire posts.
    Mom watches msnbc all day long, and supplements that media diet with Daily Kos.
    Sadly, but unsurprisingly,she seems to be among the koolaide set…and has imbibed recklessly and with gusto.
    This only manifests when my tongue gets sore from the biting, and I interject some observation regarding the continuity, Bipartisan, over the last 40 years or so, in the areas of foreign and economic policy.
    (Billary engineering the rise of the Russian Oligarchs, for instance).
    It’s disturbing, since prior to the 2016 Primaries, both her and my stepdad were Berners…suspicious of the Demparty, Blue Dogs, the CIA, FBI, Military, and on and on…
    In between the Primaries and the General, I observed a shift…subtle, incoherent, but there…that reminded me acutely of observing the same process in several Ordinary GOPers, as they turned into Teabillies, circa 2008.
    It’s like some Wentiko Mind Virus is loose in the population, feeding on FUD(fear, uncertainty, doubt), and in the service of Moloch, or some primitive grasshopper god.
    I find that this terrifies me more than Trump ever could.

    1. YankeeFrank

      As David Hume powerfully argued: reason, such as it is, is always in service to the passions and not the other way around. That is why one must endeavor to keep an open mind on most subjects. Especially the ones we feel most passionate about.

    2. perpetualWAR

      Without TV and the intense propaganda machine at work, it is so much easier to see the forest through the trees, isn’t it?

      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        thankfully, the cost of obtaining directtv, and then the monthly, is prohibitive…so I can successfully lobby against it(and mom’s house next door has the full nfl(etc) package(which keeps my house quiet during the eternal Season(s).)
        netflix, now hulu, and everyone’s happy.
        as for keeping abreast of current events, I’ve a long habit of trying to get all around it…If there’s an Iran related thing going on, I’ll go read Press, or Iminadinnerjacket’s blog, or whatever…I want a view from all sides, including the obviously propagandistic.
        most folks don’t do this, and just accept whatever their preferred silo has on offer.
        Machine wins!
        an additional problem with all this, is that even if someone does dig around some, it’s all so big, and mazelike,lol…it seems impossible.
        “Fine, so the Lizards are in charge…what do we DO about it?”

    3. Sid Finster

      Are we brothers, by chance? I thought I only had one sister. How the hell did my parents hide another sibling all these years?

    4. polecat

      I swear, there are going to be a whole slew of sci-fi/thriller/film-noir movies made regarding this neo-coldwar syndrome whe all of this over ….
      Should be fun .. in retrospect !

    5. Lambert Strether Post author

      > It’s like some Wentiko Mind Virus is loose in the population, feeding on FUD(fear, uncertainty, doubt), and in the service of Moloch, or some primitive grasshopper god.
      I find that this terrifies me more than Trump ever could.

      I’m really in awe of how liberal Democrats managed to do this. It’s like a horror movie with pod people. They aren’t good for much more than hanging on to power their power and brain damaging the populace, but that they are good at. There must be a psychological mechanism (if mechanism is the word I want) at play that they are leveraging, but I don’t know what it is. (I mean something more concrete than Goebbels or the Creel Commission).

  13. Carolinian

    South Carolina continues to function as lab rat in the ongoing Israel lobby drive to censor criticism of Israel. The state was the first to pass anti-BDS legislation and now the state legislature has enacted a law defining campus criticism of Israel as anti-semitism regardless of whether the views expressed are factually accurate.

    No word on whether the ACLU will step up against this mudpie flung at the Constitution. But we do have a history of nullification. I’m working on my rebel yell.

    1. Wukchumni

      To be fair, Arizona can’t be the crass test dummy for everything the white elephant party attempts to make national policy.

        1. Wukchumni

          I hadn’t realized that Arizona had the lowest paid teachers in all 50 states, but i’m not that surprised, frankly.

          1. Arizona Slim

            Noon hour update: A cluster of “Red for Ed” tee shirt rockin’ teachers just walked past the coworking space.

            Lots of horn honking and waves! And shouts of “Solidarity!” from Slim!

            1. CaptainPoptart

              According to Phoenix PD estimate, over 50,000 people participated in rally and march on state capital. AZ 15 is covering with surprising positive note.

    2. Jim Haygood

      This new definition declares statements that are critical of Israel—even when factual—“anti-Semitic” and therefore impermissible.

      Considering the great work Nikki Haley is doing on behalf of the little country she represents in the UN, this law is an appropriate monument to her imposing legacy in South Carolina.

      She walks well, she looks good. Let’s see how she kisses.

      — Strom Thurmond, former Senator from South Carolina

    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      Does South Carolina have a powerful Fundamentalist Christian community with Rapturanian Armageddonite leanings which would be sympathetic to banning criticism of the Likudiform Greater Israel which is needed to bring about the War of Armageddon and the Second Coming of Jesus?

      I can’t imagine the Israel Lobby having so much power all by itself in a state with such a small Jewish community.

      Or is my thinking off base here?

    1. Lunker Walleye

      or how about “It’s a Beautiful Day”. Would link to some of their tunes but my “linker” is not working.

      1. audrey jr

        Thanks for mentioning “It’s a Beautiful Day,” LW! I still listen to their debut album on a fairly regular basis and played it in my car when my kids were younger.
        Nice to know that I am not a lone listener out there.

      2. JCC

        Back when FM radio and “pop” music was always new and interesting. I can’t say the same today… I hate to sound like “my old man”, but today it all sounds the same :-)

        Bombay Calling

        Don and Dewey

        I could listen to It’s A Beautiful Day all day long as well as Quicksilver Messenger Service.

  14. Jim Haygood

    Ed Yardeni’s fundamental indicator remains flatlined since its March 1st peak. Chart:

    On the plus side, industrial materials prices picked up, while the 4-week average of unemployment claims fell to 229,250. Subtracting from the index was a mild drop in Bloomberg Consumer Comfort.

    Add ’em up, and we’re suspended improbably in midair like Wile E. Coyote.

    1. RabidGandhi

      You forgot your signature lyrics quote, Comrade:

      Things to lose, things to take.
      Just as she’s about ready to cut it up:
      She says, “Wait a minute, honey, I’m gonna add it up!”
      Add it up!

  15. Craig H.

    > Mental Health On A Budget

    1. Sites like This is first because it’s probably the most important thing most people can do to save money on health care. For example, one month of Abilify 5 mg usually costs $930 at Safeway, but only $30 with a GoodRx coupon. There is no catch. Insurances and pharmacies play a weird game where insurances say they’ll only pay one-tenth the sticker price for drugs, and pharmacies respond by dectupling the price of everything.

    Very interesting usage of the term weird game there. It sounds almost like harmless fun.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      And for more “harmless” budget-friendly, mental “health” fun–split pills. Not in half, but in sixths!!!!

      2. Get and split bigger pills. Remember how a month of Abilify 5 mg cost $30 with the coupon? Well, a month of Abilify 30 mg also costs $30. Cut each 30 mg pill into sixths, and now you have six months’ worth of Abilify 5 mg, for a total cost of $5 per month. You’ll need a cooperative doctor willing to prescribe you the higher dose…….

      O. M. G. Exceptionally pathetic tips for an exceptional nation.

    2. John Oakes

      GoodRx works well. We have great health insurance, but our dog’s vet prescribed generic Viagra for our dog with congestive heart failure. The dog has pulmonary hypertension, and Viagra was originally researched for that condition before they found its other properties. Anyway, the rack rate cost for a 30-day supply was $775 @ CVS. With the GoodRx card, (recommended by the vet), the cost was $35. GoodRx never markets us. Worthwhile for our dog’s needs, and our wallet.

  16. The Rev Kev

    Re Amy Chozick covering Clinton’s campaign

    Madeleine Albright said back in 2016 that there was a “special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.” After reading Amy Chozick’s articles both last night and tonight and reading how she had been attacked, I think that I know what that level of hell would look like. It would be spending the rest of eternity on a Clinton campaign bus tour with other like women, forever chasing Hillary but never being quite able to catch up to her and forever trying to keep charge on your mobile.

        1. polecat

          Remember, HER bus put a whole new effluvial spin to the term ‘crapification’ … on the campaign trail ….. literally !

  17. Kurtismayfield

    Winds of Winter is never coming

    Can we just assume that GRRM will never finish A Song of Ics and Fire, and that the HBO series will be the closest we get to actual closure of his work? It doesn’t seem like the author has any interest at all in finishing writing.

    1. Donald

      I gave up on him a year or so ago. I suspect he doesn’t know how to finish it. The TV show went downhill in the past two seasons and people often say it is because they don’t have Martin’s books to draw from, but the problem is that books 4 and 5 weren’t that good to begin with. He had killed off some of the most interesting characters and replaced them with drones and even the surviving favorites just tread water for thousands of pages. The TV writers at least know they have to wrap things up.

      1. Old Jake

        This sounds a lot like what happened with Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series – which ended up at 13 books (I read them all, I kept thinking something would happen). After # 4 or so it became “and then, and then, and then… forever.” Reminiscent of the couple of hundred pages of Les Miserables that are usually excised as they constitute a rambling philosophical jaunt into irrelevance. At # 11 Jordan died. But he had outlines for the rest, and his wife as editor selected Brandon Sanderson to write them. Sanderson is good and really revved things up, but still ended up with two more, numbers twelve and thirteen.

    2. ChrisPacific

      I reached this conclusion a while ago. I remember thinking when the HBO series was just beginning that (a) given the strict schedules associated with TV, it was very much an open question whether he could get the books finished in time or even stay ahead; (b) if it ever came to a choice between them, TV was going to take priority; and (c ) if the TV series ever got out ahead of the books, it would make finishing them vastly more difficult. Fast forward a few years and surprise! That’s exactly what has happened. Not only that but he has made it even more difficult for himself by making a whole bunch of plot changes in the HBO series, so he now has to do masses of continuity checking to make sure he’s consistent with the story he’s written in the books. Given the (lack of) enthusiasm he has displayed for the task so far, does anyone really think he will be motivated to do this?

      I don’t know why he keeps stringing people along. I would guess it’s because he hasn’t really admitted it to himself yet. He was always up front about how Song of Ice and Fire was an opportunity for him to do what he wanted in his own time, rather than being bound by editorial and publication constraints. It turns out that what he wants is to get two thirds of the way through the story and then give it up to focus on other things.

      I guess it’s the risk you take when you jump on board with a new series before it’s finished. I am concerned that the Kingkiller Chronicle (Patrick Rothfuss) may suffer the same fate. We are supposedly two books into a trilogy, but plot-wise it feels like we’re barely out of the prologue yet and – by the way – it’s been seven years and counting since book 2 was published.

      1. polecat

        I’m pretty confident Mr. Martin has more money than Zeus, so why should he care if the series/sequels are/aren’t completed, on time or otherwise ? If I had his wealth, I’d be finding me a nice doomstead … preferably SOUTH of the equator … like maybe Dorn, that’s the ticket ! It’s the only way to be sure.

  18. paul

    RE: Wales isolates Nicola Sturgeon over EU powers after Brexit.

    If Labour in Wales chooses to cave, that’s their business, I’m sure the UK party will be relieved.

    J Mitchell QC has a pithy description of what’s on offer:

    A rapist’s theory of consent

  19. a different chris

    >Hillman accuses all kinds of leaders – from religious leaders to scientists to politicians – of failing to honestly discuss what we must do to move to zero-carbon emissions.

    The problem is, and I’m not saying Hillman doesn’t understand this, but social leadership in human society is not the same as scientific leadership. Trump, Teresa May, Jong Un, whoever, like them or not: their particular skill is getting out in front of the parade. So if, I dunno, Macron or Putin or whoever decided to take a stand directly against what people want to do then they would soon be replaced by new “leaders”.

    Trump is the best example of this, the guy has *no* classically defined leadership qualities – nobody would follow him over the top of the trenches – yet there he is, top of the planet’s pyramid.

    So as far as something like the environment, people at most want to be told they should drive a Prius. Tell them that they need to stay home and you’re done.

  20. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: U.S. inequality: It’s worse than we thought Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. “We”?

    “One could expect that home production tends to compress welfare differences that originate in the market.” But the assumption underlying this expectation, that households without large paychecks ramp up home production to compensate, is unfounded.

    What in the world does that even mean?

    Never one to deny my economic illiteracy, it sounds to me like the “assumption” that is “unfounded” is that one can “compensate” for a low paycheck by cleaning one’s own toilet. Imagine that not working! I happen to clean my own toilets and can unequivocally confirm that it has not changed my financial situation one iota.

    And what the hell does “ramp up” mean? Sounds, to my uneducated mind, like if you have a really low paycheck, you can “compensate” by cleaning your toilet TWICE.

    WTF is this nonsense anyway?

    1. Ed Miller

      My reaction to reading the Fed Res article was that what was not said matters – the elites can leverage their free time developing their newest scam to extract money from public sources, the almost-elites can maximize their portfolios successfully trading the markets, but the poor schmucks who don’t have investment capital nor access to public funds to be scammed are SOL.

      “Think like a criminal” I’ve read that many times, and actually the book “Why America Failed” by Berman goes through an extensive study of how the con has been the American way from the beginning.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      Just because households without large paychecks haven’t ramped up home production to compensate, does not mean that they won’t ever do so in the future, either.

      Some won’t, and some will. Or at least try.

      Or perhaps Mr. Minneapolis Federal Reserve Guy is afraid that they will, and hopes to pre-emptively wet-blanket their brains to make sure that they don’t through a kind of subtle hopes-and-dreams crushing.

    1. allan

      To paraphrase Porfirio Diaz: Poor CAP staffers – so far from God, so Neera to the Misleadership Class.

  21. Circling swans

    3 recent stories on gold from zero hedge (Big surprise )

    But what do all y’all think of gold? The future of gold in world?
    & specifically …. The reason China and Russia buying and stockpiling the ‘barbarous relic’…?

    1. Wukchumni

      Nobody dares say that the financial emperors clothing choice of wearing nothing is apparent, but eventually people will realize that there is no there, there.

    2. Matthew G. Saroff

      You need a Honda with a trunk full of silver.

      The above a reference to a late 1990s website, f%$

        1. Wukchumni

          It sadly regressed to the point where getting in the first comment was indeed, all that.

    3. JTMcPhee

      Always look for the silver (golden?) lining. Personal profit opportunities, even in global collapse.

      1. polecat

        Silver spearpoints, silver bullets, sliver ninja stars .. dare I say, silver ‘patriots’ … with goldenmen’s names etched on their surfaces .. ??

    4. drumlin woodchuckles

      I looked up the “gold spot price today” per ounce on the internet. It said $1,319.02 per ounce. So if you had a spare $1,319.02 just lying around, you could buy an ounce of gold. Or you could buy a lifetime supply of soil ammending-feeding organic fertilizers and ammendments and etc. for your garden to keep it growing nutritious fruits and vegetables for the rest of your natural life.

      But you can’t do both. You can only do one or the other.

      Which do you choose?

    5. expat

      There are many stories about how “these billionaires invest in gold and so should YOU!” But that doesn’t reflect the truth. Most wealthy people are diversified in stocks and real estate for the most part. So while a random billionaire might say he has ten percent of his wealth in gold, bear in mind that represents $100 million, which is more than enough to keep him in his lifestyle if all his stocks and bonds go to zero. For the rest of us mortals, preserving ten percent of our wealth is meaningless.

      The world and its leaders have forced us into a no-win situation where we can’t save enough money (or gold if you consider that to be real money) to live on. We must play the lottery in stock markets and real estate if we are to have any hope.

      Well, at least there is Hillman to give us something to look forward to.

  22. djrichard

    Drugs taken by millions for incontinence, depression and Parkinson’s may increase risk of dementia, finds study Independent (original).

    In the immortal words of Bender, “I’m boned”. I was on one of those prescriptions for 20 years, usually not at minimum dosage.

    On a related note, now that I’ve weaned myself off, I’ve found that choline supplements (in particular citicoline) has been doing wonders for me. Simplistically, choline is what is suppressed by anti-cholinergics. And it may be simplistic to assume that simply taking choline supplements counteracts any damage done by an anti-cholinergic. That said, my own particular experience is that citicoline has definite benefits for me – it’s definitely not just a placebo effect.

    If you’re going to experiment with this stuff or any nootropic, I recommend getting a scale so you can subdivide capsules as needed for a smaller dosage. In my particular case, I’m a lightweight when it comes to this stuff. For instance, citicoline comes in 300mg tablets, and I take at most 25mg. And citicoline itself has a 72 hour half life, which makes it hard to regulate the dosage.

  23. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Facebook blows through Wall Street’s ad revenue expectations.

    Can they keep it up though?

  24. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    Stunning headline in today’s Links:

    “Israel orders snipers to shoot children”

    The story rocketed around the globe, being reTweeted more than 12 million times in two hours. The reaction from world leaders was swift and harsh, and Congressional leaders interrupted their proceedings to state “if these reports turn out to be true then we will have to re-examine our entire financial relationship that supports Israel”. The UN General Assembly went into Special Session and issued a swift condemnation that will include travel bans and financial sanctions. President Trump announced he will be cancelling next month’s foreign aid payment to Israel, stating “We need to get to the bottom of this. America will not condone or support actions like this by any nation”.

    1. Wukchumni

      Rolls over laughing, accidentally hits funny bone on the way down, proving that comedy is indeed the best medicine.

    2. The Rev Kev

      The worst part about it is that the IDF snipers are using explosive bullets on civilians which just happened to be internationally banned. That is what is accounting for the shocking injuries that the doctors are seeing in the hospitals. Someone should really tell the Israelis what happened with the Spartans and their Helots in the long run.

      1. RMO

        Good thing Trump didn’t say that on a University campus in South Carolina or he might be on his way to jail right now…

    3. expat

      I wonder what the founders of Israel would say if you told them their country would invade Palestine, put the native population into ghettos, take away their rights, and slaughter them with impunity. Oh, wait, the founding fathers of Israel were partly composed of terrorists wanted by the British government for killing and torturing British troops.

  25. drumlin woodchuckles

    i just saw an interesting article at the website. Rob Hopkins, the founder of Transition Town, has written a review of David Holmgren’s newest book . . . Retrosuburbia. What’s so special about that?

    David Holmgren was Bill Mollison’s principal assistant and almost-equal in co-founding the formalized worked-out Permaculture Concept and the Permaculture Movement. And David Holmgren decided that Permaculturizing suburbia in Australia might make suburbia ( in Australia) into a high-chance-of-survival place in the face of looming Climate D’chaos Decay. Aside from the text of the review, the review also contains a linkable video-trailer about the book and a linkable leisurely flip-through of the book so the viewer can get a visual view-idea of what is in the book. Here is the link.

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