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Links 5/19/18

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Giraffes surprise biologists yet again PhysOrg (Chuck L)

See NYC’s Most Adorable Predators: The Baby Peregrine Falcons At 55 Water Street Gothamist. NVI: “Scroll down for the video.”

Putin made a show of crossing the new Crimea bridge. But he was upstaged by a cat National Post

Oklahoma Woman Mauled To Death By Pack Of Wiener Dogs CBS Miami (UserFriendly)

Why do we give dogs a better death than we give ourselves? Aeon (Chuck L). Because overwhelmingly people love their dogs. The motives of those dealing with people who are old or have chronic ailments cannot be assumed to be as pure.

The African Anthropocene The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (JTM)

Having Babies on Mars Is Going to Be a ‘Titanic Challenge’ DailyBeast (furzy). I continue to be amazed at this discussion. Mars has among other things, different gravity, radiation. as this article points out, light in a very different part of the spectrum due to atmospheric differences, and no greenery (greenery has been found to be important to mental health). People who live on Mars are likely not to live very long. Living in lead domes with pressurized air is probably as good as it gets.

CONGRESS’ LATEST MOVE TO EXTEND COPYRIGHT PROTECTION IS MISGUIDED Wired

In defense of fish parasites Salon (Dr. Kevin)

North Korea

Trump’s Newest Threat To North Korea Makes A Deal Impossible Moon of Alabama (Chuck L)

The Scot behind firms which laundered $7 billion out of Russia David Leask and Richard Smith Herald Scotland. That’s our Richard Smith!

India is freaking out about rising oil prices CNN (Kevin W)

Why Germans Are Getting Fed Up with America Bloomberg (UserFriendly)

Syraqistan

‘Killing Gaza’: A New Documentary on Palestinians Under Siege Real Network

Gaza massacre ends American political oath: Israel support is bipartisan Mondoweiss. Chuck L: “I hope this is spot on, but I’ll believe it when I see it.”

How Europe Can Keep Money Flowing to Iran Bloomberg (furzy)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Google Removes ‘Don’t Be Evil’ Clause From Its Code of Conduct Gizmodo (Chuck L)

Steve Wozniak tells us ‘We’ve lost our privacy and it’s been abused’ Business Insider (Kevin W)

Trump Transition

Trump personally pushed postmaster general to double rates on Amazon, other firms Washington Post (Kevin W, furzy)

Wilbur Ross Wakes Up From His Friday Nap Just Long Enough To Prove That He Doesn’t Know What The Commerce Secretary Does Dealbreaker

Michael Cohen seeks to keep Stormy Daniels’ lawyer out of N.Y. case Reuters (furzy)

Farm bill revolt could fuel Dreamer push The Hill

New Trump Administration Rule Will Force Doctors to Stop Saying “Abortion” Slate (Kevin W). This is the sort of thing the Dems should be agitating about, not “RussiaRussia”.

Chinese bank offers clients $150,000 chance to meet Trump Financial Times. Lead story.

Exclusive: Manafort’s former son-in-law cuts plea deal, to cooperate with government – sources Reuters

Talk of unproven FBI ‘plant’ in Trump campaign circulates among Republicans The Hill

CBC endorses Capuano in Massachusetts Democratic primary Politico (Shane)

GOP revolts multiply against retiring Ryan The Hill

‘This Bill Is Killing Us’: 9 Sex Workers On Their Lives In The Wake Of FOSTA Huffington Post. UserFriendly: “I was so pissed that Bernie voted for this.​”

Health Care

Congress and regulators slow to respond to drug pricing and shortage problem The Hill (UserFriendly)

Gunz

Alleged shooter at Texas high school spared people he liked, court document says CNN

‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens The Onion. Bob K: “The Onion runs this piece every time there’s a mass shooting. They must be up to 20 by now.”

The Gun Controversy Is Smaller Than You Think Bloomberg (furzy)

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Call Them by Their Names FAIR (UserFriendly, Chuck L)

Fake News

Time to ditch Wikipedia? A look at a Wikipedia editor’s long-running campaign to discredit anti-war campaigners and journalists Five Filters (Chuck L)

Sinclair Broadcast Group Faces Backlash Over Scripted Promos: ‘This Is Extremely Dangerous to Our Democracy’ Variety. Robert H: “Interesting video compilation.”

The Truth About Banking: Former Top Regulator Speaks Out Epoch Times (Chuck L)

Maersk to Cut Services as It Battles Shipping Glut Wall Street Journal (Kevin W). Lambert has featured this story in Water Cooler.

Companies including Symantec are using ‘ghost revenue’ to calculate bonuses MarketWatch (Chuck L)

Guillotine Watch

Resentment of Crazy-Rich Americans Isn’t Just Envy Bloomberg (UserFriendly)

It’s a fairytale for the modern age. An age filled with flying deathbots and murderous inequality Guardian (Dr. Kevin)

Class Warfare

The fallacy of GDP as a measure of prosperity: prison expenditure counts, but housework doesn’t South China Morning Post (furzy). Another take on a long-standing issue.

Home Depot Employees Are Broke, Sick, and Disappointed SplinterNews (furzy)

Illegal Repo Practices Adam Levitin, Credit Slips and the underlying story: The surprising return of the repo man Washington Post (J-LS)

Antidote du jour (Ray P). From this Tweetstorm, with more snow leopards munching on their tails

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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324 comments

  1. GlobalMisanthrope

    Let’s see if the false flag/crisis actor crowd go nuts over the ammo box elementary school’s being named Parkland.

  2. timbers

    Why Germans Are Getting Fed Up with America

    And the article doesn’t even mention that America wants to force Germany to buy overpriced U.S. LNG instead of cheap Russian gas.

    It must occur to some with influence in German industry that their future lies more towards the East than the West. I still think Germany will “flip” towards Russia and China at some point, and that will either be the crack that opens the flood gates that topple the Evil American Empire, or it will happen after a different tide turning event.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Given the ghosts of German history, Germans would much rather engineer a European flip. But more recently-admitted eastern European states have harder attitudes toward Russia owing to their history until 1989.

      The US is gleefully exploiting this rift by arming eastern Europe to the teeth with missiles and North American occupation troops. What a mess. Besides the possibility of a north-south hard euro/soft euro split, an east-west European split might help achieve Germany’s trade objectives. But eastern Europe would once again be left sandwiched between western Europe and Russia.

      1. SoldierSvejk

        A person with good knowledge of Europe would hardly speak about some sort of a unified “Eastern” Europe. If the reference is to the three Baltic states, then yes (although “their” history includes having been a part of the czarist Russia for several centuries and only ceded to Germany in the Brest-Litovsk treaty, in 1918, which was signed under great duress). Elsewhere in the former socialist countries, attitudes towards Russia vary significantly. If Germany were free, it might have long ago tilted east… With US overplaying its hand – sanctions, wars – with no end in sight, and China extending its investment arms westward, the choice may become more apparent. Although the fear of G/R combining forces (so to speak) has long driven UK and US batty… so we may be in for even more interesting times.

        1. Oregoncharles

          NO one in Europe, including the Germans, wants to see Germany with a strong military – the real reason they aren’t raising their military budget. Exactly the same applies to a G/R alliance. The UK and US are hardly the only ones that would freak out. Rapprochement and trade are different – but even there, I suspect everyone is worried about excessive dependence on Russian gas. Expect to see lots more solar and wind.

          1. makedoanmend

            I don’t think anyone is considering or fearful that any one European nation, be it Germany or France for example, is going to gear up into a military machine any time soon. Certainly there are military-industrial complex factors at play across Europe, but few are on the scale of US, Russian or Chinese dimensions, and of course the US dwarfs all others.

            The trend over the last couple of decades has been to further integrate communications and military cooperation on a more regional basis. I think Ireland’s tiny army coordinates primarily with the Scandinavian countries. There is some noise about further integrating armies across Europe but the ardour for this further integration has lessened in step with the waning of further political integration over the last decade. There have been some slight murmurings lately though.

            Can’t speak for the rest of Europe but in Ireland the whole military thing really doesn’t excite much interest. It seems others, like France, are only interested in using military means to keep their African adventures afloat whilst the rest of Europe couldn’t give a monkey’s about France’s military adventures.

            On the other hand, there are still many in Europe who want access to Russian gas and oil in case they become too dependent on the US. On the other-other hand, the EU seems quite content to allow the US to remain the de facto power while spending as little as possible and sending token support to the US’s other foreign adventures. Some countries, like Denmark, were more committed to US adventures but that may also be waning.

            That doesn’t mean things mightn’t change and change quickly. German capital, like all capital, must grow in order to maintain dominance and the Russian market offers potential future growth.

            As a side note, if the German’s are grumbling about Trump I tend to think they are using him as a scape goat. The wave of refugees and other structural forces at play across Europe happened under Obama’s stewardship afterall.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      I think Russia had the potential to upset the German led EU structure without dominating itself being too distant and separated from Western Europe by the former bloc countries. A country such as Spain, Greece, or Italy could find business opportunities in Russia while sticking it to Germany without risking domination. Merkel didn’t want this. As a domestic leader, she is in power due to the nominal center-left’s own internal issues and the center right not having a strong leader, she was a back bencher promoted as a compromised candidate who wouldn’t hurt one of the existing factions and isn’t the person to push back against the U.S. or drive for a genuine energy independence policy.

      1. Sid_finster

        Russia and Germany are natural allies, in that each has things that the other wants and cannot take.

        Russia has resources, markets for German products and know how, certain know how of its own and educated, skilled workers who want to work in German-owned factories but without actually moving to Germany. Russia needs capital and technology transfer, not to mention markets for resources and finished goods

        Germany has pensioners that need a tax base and return on capital to support them, know-how, consumer goods, and machine tools. Germany needs return on investment.

        1. Oregoncharles

          Maybe Germany shouldn’t be running quite such a greedy, mercantilist trade policy. For instance, they could start cutting their own workers in on the goodies.

  3. ambrit

    Off subject comment.
    Caveat: I am NOT soliciting advice on pain management.
    One of my molars went nuclear on me Thursday night. I managed to slip into a cancellation slot at my local ‘low cost’ dentist practice Friday morning. The prognosis was that a nerve had become exposed. (The entire right side of my face felt like it had done ten rounds with a Golden Gloves finalist.) I would have to wait a week or a bit longer to have the tooth removed. (Finances were the defining issue. A root canal and crown were quoted to me as being in the $1,000 to $1,300 USD range. This is the cheapest dental practice in this area. I checked.)
    So, I ask the dentist to give me something for the pain surges, which happened every time I ate or drank. The dentist prescribes 800 mg ibuprofen three times a day, mixed in with 500 mg acetaminophen in between. “Anything stronger you can give me? Please?” I ask. (I’m a sixty-something white haired Caucasian male.) “No,” the dentist answers, “That’s the best you’ll get.”
    What bothers me is that this is the second time a dentist has done exactly this to me. The other time was five years ago in another town.
    My question: Is this the ‘new normal’ in pain management? (Am I living in the decayed dregs of the sixties “Days of Future Passed Dream?”)
    [This morning, the tooth pain alarm went off when I drank some weak tea to wash down the ibuprofen and my hypertension meds. It has taken about half an hour for the toothache pain to subside.]
    Hope your day goes better than mine.
    -*Ques worlds smallest violin*-

    1. pretzelattack

      that seems odd; at least, the last time i had a bad tooth the dentist gave me a prescription for hydrocodone tablets, don’t remember the size. but that was some time ago. maybe they are more stringent now with all the publicity about the opioid epidemice. i would soak washrags and put them in the freezer, then press them to my cheek by the tooth; the cold seemed to help momentarily with the pain.

        1. ambrit

          Ah ha. I see. However, I see no breakdown of effectiveness by type of pain. This does look to be a meta study, so, on the average….
          Thanks for this clarification. Now, would my trying to insist on opoid be considered a ‘red flag’ in todays’ anti everything culture? Hmmm….
          (The cold rag method, I’m trying the opposite of. A heating pad applied over a capsicum rub. Some relief after a while.)

        2. Brian

          Edmondo; Doubt it. Is Science Daily compromised would be a good question. Do they take orders on what to print? The amount of Ibuprofen and Tylenol at the prescribed dosage could be hard on the liver/kidneys, particlularly if patient has to use them for extended period. Did the dentist ask the patient if they were compromised with liver/kidney issues? Hydrocodone HAS been the choice for decades because it works in a small amount and usually a very short term duration. Far less than the amount of time to develop any negative reactions. A dental problem like this is usually resolved short term.
          ‘At what cost to the patient’ may no longer be politically correct, but this is just my opinion based on experience.

          1. ambrit

            Oh. I should have considered that “Official Narrative” aspect of the messaging. Phyllis is finding a very great deal of just such a bias in her online research on her melanoma.
            When, as you suggest, political correctness supersedes patient outcomes, we are in La La Land for sure.

          2. hemeantwell

            Unless I’m a complete dupe, hydrocodone is superior to the suggested alternative for severe tooth pain. Aware of the claim against hydrocodone I tried this out twice recently when I had a cracked tooth. I’m familiar with the rate of impact of ibu because I occasionally take it after exercise. Both times I had to take the hydrocodone my dentist prescribed.

            It’s terrible that there’s been such an overreaction to opioid addiction.

            1. ambrit

              There is a reason that there is a ‘street market’ for Tylenol 3s, Vicodin, etc. I’ll wager, that ‘street market’ is no longer strictly an addict driven phenomenon.

              1. Laughingsong

                Admittedly anecdotal and just my experience, but truly for me, ibuprofen alone (2, sometimes 3 of the regular, over-the-counter 200mg pill) worked better than hydrocodone. In the early noughties much of my earlier dental work started expiring and I had 4 pancaked/abscessed teeth within a 3-year span. At first I used the hydrocodone which also screws up my digestion something horrible. One time he couldn’t see me right away so I horsed 3 ibuprofen and was surprised how effective it was. When I finally got the prescription I was able to compare and the ibu was better at both pain relief plus lack of stomach discomfort. I’ve refused hydrocodone ever since.

                I know, just one person’s experience.

                1. ambrit

                  It’s cool. You are the, dare I sat it, exception that proves the rule. Now with me, the gastrointestinal effects are reversed. NSAIDs mess with my stomach and opioids do not. Go figure.
                  I’m glad you found something that works. I was eyeing speculatively a rubber mallet used for car body dent work yesterday.

                2. bronco

                  You should be taking the hydrocodone scrips and hiding them away. Some friend or relative who can’t get them will thank you someday.

                  Severe tooth pain I take 4 OTC ibupropens from the dollar store . I think it works better . Might want to take tylenol though if the blood thinning aspect is an issue.

            2. Amfortas the Hippie

              Ja. I once had a dentist like that, but worse:” here’s some nice herbal tea…and meditate”
              for a root canal.
              almost 40 years ago, so before the opioid epidemic and resultant hysteria(and unwillingness to look for the actual roots of the problem).
              IIRC,3500 MG of acetominophin is the max daily dose before liver damage, so be careful.

                  1. ambrit

                    I believe I have seen this tree before in the wild down in Louisiana. That bark is pretty distinctive. If I ever see one again, I’ll try to collect some leaves.
                    There is so much hidden in nature….

        3. Harold

          I have found this to be true — ibufrofen is really effective for pain. Opiods just make you not care but the pain is still there. I have always had the same advice from a dentist — alternating the ibuprofen with acetaminophen. I would imagine this has been standard practice for decades. Though they do give you the opioids after they extract the tooth.

          But I don’t see why he is putting it off for a week or why he doesn’t send you to an endodontist. It seems like it would qualify as an emergency.

          My dentist allows me to pay in installments — one or two installments, but it is a help.

          1. ambrit

            We have a quite visible service gap here in the American Deep South. One either has the requsite funds and sees the medico pronto, or one does not and languishes in the doldrums, endlessly playing The Doors’ ‘Horse Latitudes.’
            When giants strode the Earth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Lu1Bi9hPjg

              1. ambrit

                Thank you. Don’t feel too sorry. Your living fairly well is a small but discrete example of justice being seen to be operative. We often wonder to each other, Phyl and I, what we did to have been sentenced to Neoliberal gulag. Then I think back on how much our lives have been kicked around by chance and fate and wonder that we are still plugging along.
                As my wife has been known to say: “Who ever told you that life would be easy?”
                There is no glib answer for that.

    2. Eclair

      Ouch, Ambrit, I truly empathize with you; I have terrible teeth and the past 30 years have been filled with crowns, root canal (one only; that was enough), extractions and implants. Hydrocodone (or a variant) was always a given for the extractions, both in California and Colorado. Last fall I had a rear molar extraction in NY state (crown fell off for the third time and no base left to reattach). Nervous about the pain, I asked the dentist what he was going to prescribe for pain management. He said to buy maximum strength acetaminophen at the pharmacy. When I whined, he stated that NYS regs were very strict on what he could prescribe. So, I am not sure if it is a state thing, or just that the regs have been tightened in the last couple of years.

      Funnily enough, the two tablets of max strength acetaminophen, taken within an hour after extraction and continued for 24 hours, worked. I can only suppose that I am extremely suggestible.

      And, just for the record, my spouse and I are now flying without dental ‘insurance.’ Medicare does not include it and the prices for individual plans are outrageous and seem to cover only the basic twice yearly exams. You are on your own for the really serious stuff.

      1. ambrit

        I counter empathize Eclair. I’m not quite up to Medicare age yet, and running without any insurance. Is it me, or are dental prices increasing the fastest of any Medical Industrial Complex sub category?
        I also expect hydrocodone for the extraction. I’ll bring the subject up at the time and risk the chance of being tagged a “Gentleman Junky.” My problem with the NSAID and acetaminophen regimen is that its beneficial effect wears off really quickly for me.
        ‘Deplorable Dentistry’ does seem an appropriate name for a ‘low cost’ dental practice.
        Good luck with the tooth fairy.

        1. Oregoncharles

          In my experience, post extraction pain is much more manageable than pre-. No pressure, infection going away.

          A suggestion, from a dentist years ago: take a teabag (homemade, if need be) and hold it pressed onto the wound. Might want to moisten it first. It’s astringent enough to stop the bleeding and keep the swelling down, but otherwise harmless.

          1. ambrit

            I’m a big tea drinker. I even, although I’m ashamed to admit it, a user of tea bags. (Any of the UK commenteriat will chime in on how utterly gauche this is.) For my favourite ‘good’ teas, I do have a small pot for the loose leaf stuff. Lapsang souchon being my favourite. Perhaps a wet paper towel with used Lapsang would do the trick.
            I agree on how the pre extraction pain continuum is existential in nature. I’m surprised that Sartre didn’t set his play “No Exit” in a dentist office waiting room.

            1. JohnA

              Clove oil can help alleviate the pain. Soak a cotton ball in clove oil and press it against the tooth.

            2. AbateMagicThinking but Not Money

              Here I am sitting in London for a change, sipping pg tips tea from a pyramidal tea bag (no tag), so keep on drinking tea -bag tea without shame.

              Pip pip!

              1. ambrit

                Ah! PG Tips. We occasionally find that, (is there an export variety?) in, of all places, WalMart!
                Brooke Bond is the brand Mums surviving relatives will send over. Very infrequently of late.
                I remember Mum chanting as she charged the teapot: “One for you, (and you, etc.) and one for me, and one for the pot.” Always poured out through a strainer, which had its’ very own little saucer in the middle of the dinner table to sit in.

    3. Jim Haygood

      Sounds like “pay to play.” Dentists are usually liberal with the opiates after the operation.

      Try laying five fresh Franklins on his desk and saying, “Now how about that hydrocodone, tooth worker?”

      Sorry about your medically-enforced misery.

      1. ambrit

        I’m suspecting as much myself. I’m wondering if one of the local “Pain Management” practices would have a dental aftereffects category program.
        Now, do you know how many retail emporia it takes the relieving of ill gotten gains from to accumulate those five Franklins? Around here, after subtracting uniforms, (nondescript jeans, Atlanta Braves XX large tee shirt, ski mask, cheap sneakers, and gloves, always gloves,) tools, (saturday night special, or stylish bomb vest, Hello Kitty book backpack, [for transport of ‘swag,’]) and transportation to and from jobsite, (stolen vehicle from outside minimum fifty mile radius from jobsite,) one needs to make a serious ‘score’ to break even. Considering that many of the items listed above are one time use items, (for various reasons,) this can become similar to fracking. Lots of money goes in, and less comes out. That said, do you know how much anyone willing to advance money towards such an undertaking demands in return of said investment? Such “Lenders of Last Resort” have definitely heard of ‘Bagehots’ Rule.’
        Anyway, I had considered the ‘junky’ types hanging about the waiting rooms of the ‘cheap’ dental offices as down and out patrons of the establishment. Now I know better. They were working, helping relieve the physical ailments of the genuine patients of said establishments. When the seedy guy psstd to me in the waiting room; “Hey bud!” I ignored him, thinking he was going to put the ‘bite’ on me. I was wrong. He was trying to do me a favour.
        We all used to say: “Live and learn.”
        Now we should modify that to say: “Die and teach.”

    4. kgw

      Despite your caveat: clove oil: a drop or two on the affected area. Hot, but the saliva will build and you can swish it around. From my own experience…

      1. ambrit

        Thanks.
        Phyl, after she got used to my childish whingeing, suggested turmeric and feverfew. I have some clove oil somewhere in the bathroom linen closet/medical dispensary. I’ll give it a try.

          1. ambrit

            Actually, we do have some, since Phyl experimented with it on her tumours. (No obvious effect, one way or the other, for her. She’s the kind of woman who became nauseated the time she tried cannabis.)
            With as regressive as this place is about cannabis products, there is quite a large user base around, and CBD oils are ‘tolerated.’
            I’ve found it and am soaking the offending tooth even as I type.
            Thanks for the word up.
            Now watch my motor skills and cognitive ability descend into Deplorabledom.

    5. Ava

      My long term dentist in Texas is in a private high end single practice and he’s got the best chair side manner and basically advertised himself 15 years ago as a pain free dentist. My teeth have always sucked, root canals, 3 pulled teeth and numerous crowns. Within the last 2 years he stopped prescribing Hydrocodeine for anything, Tramadol (which makes me sick to my stomach) and ibuprofen are all he can prescribe now. He told me his hands were tied, I didn’t ask for the details. It totally sucks. Neither work for the pain and it really pisses me off to not be able to get one script for something stronger and have to suffer in pain now.

      1. ambrit

        Yea and verily. I hear you loud and clear.
        This reminds me of an op-ed a few years ago by the then former Surgeon General of the U S, Koop I believe, about something similar. I remember the piece as saying that Koop was refused an injection of morphia for a cardiac event he was having, the morphia his usual treatment for theat type of event. So, he had to prescribe it for himself and self inject it. Google is so bad now, I couldn’t find a link in ten minutes of searching.
        Good luck with it.

        1. BobW

          When my mother was at the last of her end-stage renal disease and in pain, the MD would not add a morphine drip to the IV bag. My sister and I took him out into the hall and said: “You know, and we know, that she is not leaving this room alive. She won’t be an addiction problem, so at least relieve her pain.” He added the drip.

          1. ambrit

            Sorry about your Mom. I’m struggling with Phyls melanoma right now (me mentally, she is doing the real physical struggling,) and worry because she is allergic to opioids and hates drugs in general.
            Whatever happened to the Hippocratic Oath? Doesn’t the alleviation of pain qualify as a positive thing therein?

              1. ambrit

                Thanks from both of us Clive.
                Phyl seems to be an outlier of the cancer population. She stays positive and takes care of herself. Lots of natural treatment options being weighed, sifted and sometimes experimented with. She was given six to ten months over two years ago. She’s still going strong, though in a ‘degraded’ manner. (She hates my puns.)
                Right now, she is dealing directly with a Dr. Hu, Professor of Melanoma Medical Oncology at M. D. Anderson Cancer Centre at Huston. He has some promising trials involving stem cell therapy. She had a bad reaction to immunotherapy, so natural as far as possible is the watchword now.
                If the NIH wasn’t so badly degraded itself, according to my reading, I’d consider claiming my dual national status and try to get her on some National Health treatment program.
                Does National Health over there also cover dental? I would go for being a lighthouse keeper in the Shetlands for the chance.
                Cheers.

                  1. ambrit

                    Ye gads! Gold no less!
                    If you want to convince some compatriots to support keeping the old National Health, give them a good thrashing and fly them over here to seek treatment. They’ll either die or be convinced of the truth of your arguments.

                  2. Lord Koos

                    It’s one of the baffling things that so many US health plans (including medicare) do not include any dental coverage, even while it has been proved that dental health is very important to overall heath. Dentists must have good lobbyists.

                    1. ambrit

                      There is an ongoing phenomenon of consolidation over here now. chain dentist offices. Bizzarely enough, or perhaps not so bizzare after all, the prices seem to have actually risen. I wonder where the predicted savings from consolidation have made off to?
                      Yves has remarked that dental health is a major class marker. Someone or someones keeping down appearances perhaps? How can you tell the deplorables from the mere elite enablers without the “outward signs of Grace?”

                  3. Grebo

                    Unless things have improved in the last ten years (not what I hear) finding a dentist that will do NHS work is difficult.
                    Unlike doctors, dentists are not employed by the NHS, they are all private, and most of them prefer not to take on new NHS patients for whatever reason.
                    Having said that, I only paid £250-300 for gold crowns privately, though the last one the dentist complained that he should have checked the price of gold first!

    6. Mark Gisleson

      In the 1990s I had a client who was injured in an industrial accident resulting in extremely intense migraines that he described as being like “stabbed in the eye with an icepick.”

      The doctors could not stop the pain with anything short of morphine (not sure when oxycontin came along). Which worked for him. Then he learned that it was almost impossible for him to travel. A prescription for morphine does not translate into the ability to obtain morphine and no piece of paper from a doctor will stop a cop from arresting you if you are found in possession of morphine.

      His life was absolute crap, but the government stepped in repeatedly to make it crappier. This was during a clampdown on painkillers which we cycle through repeatedly thanks to political overreaction to addiction. I have doctor friends who go through stretches when they are afraid to prescribe serious painkillers. This is bad political management of a healthcare crisis.

      1. Mark Gisleson

        Oh, and on a more personal level, I had a dentist refuse to give me anything stronger than ibuprofen for a two-day root canal.

        He was a former client of mine (I wrote his c.v.) and very friendly but I had admitted to being a marijuana smoker to him once, and he was afraid that if he gave me real painkillers I would abuse them. I have zero history of using painkillers (not even aspirin) but he wasn’t listening.

        I don’t know why, but dentists seem to be under much greater pressure not to prescribe opioids.

        1. ambrit

          Thanks for this. It seems no one is immune. “A two day root canal.” Ouch squared!
          (Pain does not build character, from my experience. Just the opposite.)
          The ‘virtue cycle’ is becoming some sort of Inquisition.

          1. Roxan

            Money seems to be the ‘answer’ and you know, for sure, rich people are not stuck taking Motrin. I recently had a badly infected molar dug out, an old root canal that went to pieces. The dental surgeon insisted she would only give Motrin. She was cheap–only $100 with my Cigna dental discount plan which cut the expense by half–but…no way! I went to a guy in a ritzy area, paid $500 and finally got Vicodin. It was barely tolerable even with vicodin + ibuprofen. Nothing seemed to help the infection. As things stand, I worry about needing any sort of surgery. We have gone back in time about 500 years, before opium was available in Europe.

            1. ambrit

              I’m hip to the money angle. About time for some ‘coercion’ to rectify things a bit.
              I should have the courage of my convictions and ‘go long’ on pitchforks and guillotines.

      2. JTMcPhee

        Of course there will never be a crackdown on the behaviors of the Oligarchs that actually are the root cause of the addiction and “excess deaths of useless eaters” phenomenon. Government’s job has become just keeping the wealth and power flowing inward and upward — maybe except for a few dedicated public servants who take that notion seriously and do what they can to regulate the b@stards and mitigate pain and help avert illness and other kinds of impoverishment-induced suffering.

        And of course so many of us get all righteous about the responses of our fellow Americans to being forked over — “WE don’t do that, it’s moral failure and weakness, let ’em die, and hey, I might win the lottery or come up with the Next Really Disruptive App!”

      1. ambrit

        Hey aby, thanks. Both your links end up as “Server not available.” Are you at the library perhaps? I once tried a link in an e-mail sent from a local library computer and had it blocked by the libraries internal censoring program. (And it wasn’t porn related in the least.)

    7. Wyoming

      A bit off topic but related to your post.

      I was just on a week trip with a buddy of mine who is a retired pharacist and we got on the subject of expired medicines. I hate to throw them away due to their expense.

      He informed me that the only medicines which become dangerous as they past their expire date are the anti-biotics like tetracycline which become toxic. So throw them away when they approach the due date.

      The others keep as what happens with them is they just lose their potency – so you just carefully increase the dose. I have a couple of hundred dollars of expired medicine which I have not thrown away which is now my little pharmacy :)

      This could save a lot of us a heap of money.

      1. ambrit

        Yes. I have some stuff hiding in the back of the fridge from years gone by. That information about the anti-biotics is very useful. I’m going to have to do a “Spring Clean” of my ancient meds department soon.
        Everyone should know this. I suspect that this commentariat has an above average number of ‘savers’ in it compared to the general population.

      1. ambrit

        Thanks. Even my limited zazen abilities are of little use against the full onslaught of Maya.
        Did the enlightened ones of yore have to deal with this level of physical pain much? I can’t see even the Enlightened One himself finding much of a positive nature in my present experience. (Maybe that’s the point.)

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The Zen part says to be strong and focus on nothingness.

          The Buddhism part says it’s past karma and thus the punishment, maybe you enjoyed some chicken steak too much.

          I’d go with the former.

          If you are a wager like Pascal, you might what to promise eating only vegetables to be painfree.

          1. ambrit

            I like the former exhortation.
            Related to your central insight:
            The Chicken Koan:
            “Cluck! Cluck! Beep! Beep! Splat!”

    8. dcblogger

      I asked for Lidocaine under the same circumstances and was told no, Lidocaine only numbs for about 20 minutes, so ibuprofin for me.

      1. ambrit

        For me at least, ibuprophen lasts little longer. I’ll try a lidocaine patch on the skin above the offending tooth to see if it helps. My present capsacum rub and heating pad methoddoes do something, but essentially immobilizes me while it’s doing its’ work.

    9. grayslady

      I had something similar happen a couple of years ago: run-out-in-the-street-screaming pain at 11:30 at night. Fortunately, I had one remaining hydrocodone pill from a tooth extraction seven years previously (yes, some drugs do remain effective for a very long time). Since I don’t have a dentist, or money for dentists, I went to the county health clinic where, it turns out, they have excellent dentists. You fill out a form and they calculate what they figure you can afford (they also allow payments over time if you need them). My situation involved a vertical crack in a back molar–no way to repair–so I opted for extraction. Total cost: $50. I also received a prescription for hydrocodone. My advice is to try your county health clinic.

      1. ambrit

        Thanks, but, this is exactly the organization, or a close analogue, adjusted for the neo-liberally infested South, I am using: The Rural Health Initiative.
        Here, my office visit the first time is $70 USD. The extraction will run me about $250 USD I’m told. This equivalent of the county Health Office is a, ready for it?, public private partnership between the state and a large local hospital group.
        The “real” County Health Department is a very small practice: https://doctor.webmd.com/practice/forrest-county-health-department-644112c9-4703-e211-a42b-001f29e3eb44-overview
        They have one physician for a county with a population of about 76000 persons.
        Welcome to the South!!!

    10. John Zelnicker

      @ambrit
      May 19, 2018 at 8:04 am
      ——
      Here’s hoping the pain subsides and you feel better soon, ambrit.

      BTW, I recently caught up to your responses in a comment thread on April 22. Your kind words are very much appreciated. I’d still like to meet you IRL. banjo23 (at) comcast (dot) net.

      1. ambrit

        Got ya John.
        (How did I do that strong tag???)
        I’ve got your link and will ping you back one day soon. Life is just a bit complicated lately.

        1. John Zelnicker

          @ambrit
          May 19, 2018 at 12:40 pm
          ——
          I do it this way.

          I use b for bold inside of the greater than and less than symbols. If you click the b button at the top of the comment box, that will also do it by putting “strong” inside of the symbols. Place your cursor at the beginning of what you want bold and click the button. Move your cursor to the end of that part and click the button again. It will have changed to /b.

          Oh, yes, I understand complicated. I hope things get resolved soon. I will patiently await your missive.

          1. Brooklin Bridge

            As follow up to John’s comment, the mark up: “plain <b>this text will be in bold</b> plain” results in: “plain this text will be in bold plain”

            1. ambrit

              Ah ha! And I once had to learn Fortran and the new, amazing language, Fortran Four!
              This old dog can barely learn new tricks, but it’s doable.

              1. John Zelnicker

                @ambrit
                May 20, 2018 at 1:33 am
                ——
                I also had to learn Fortran back in the day (1970). Great programming language for engineering. I was surprised in 1996 to find that engineering schools were still using Fortran. I had to teach my 2nd ex-wife how to do it for her classes.

                1. ambrit

                  Often times, the basic old standbys are still the best. Simple and rugged.
                  Unless you need to get something esoteric done, ‘legacy’ scripts will do.
                  Sort of like how Esperanto did not take the language field over.

            2. John Zelnicker

              @Brooklin Bridge
              May 19, 2018 at 5:58 pm
              ——
              I tried to do that, but it wouldn’t work. The bold text showed up, but the symbols did not. Thanks.

    11. marieann

      Where I am in Canada the go to pain medication for tooth emergencies is Tylenol with codeine. I have been prescribed it a few times for broken teeth, crowns etc. Ibuprofen is very hard on the stomach and needs to be taken on a full stomach.

      If you used a straw to drink the pain might be lessened.
      Good luck with your teeth adventures.

      1. ambrit

        Thanks. I am learning some of my limits today, that’s for sure. Does Canada accept medical refugees?

        1. marieann

          “Does Canada accept medical refugees?”
          it may be worth a try, however I think issues with dental coverage are the same over here.

          An acquaintance of mine has a 39 year old son in a medically induced coma. He had an untreated abscessed tooth that infected his heart. Minimum wage job and no dental coverage is the same over here. At least the coma care is covered :(

          1. ambrit

            Yeah. That is the big problem with non-preventative medicine. by the time things are dealt with, the damage is done.
            Hers’s hoping the man wakes up to a better life soon.

    12. Brooklin Bridge

      Ambrit,
      Many sympathies – I’ve had serious teeth issues for the last 30 years; deep cleaning, bone surgery, bone transplants,5 or 6 root canals; you name it. The last time, a tooth extraction about 6 months ago, went without the benefit of Hydro-anything and the message from the dentist (or oral surgeon) was the same that others are getting; We can no longer prescribe opiods, meaning – they CAN prescribe opiods but will get in trouble if they do so with any frequency. I was lucky that time but am very familiar with excruciating pain so my sympathy for your situation is heart felt. Heaven knows how this general situation will play out, but it looks like a lot of people are going to endure a lot of unnecessary pain in the process. So sorry you have to be one of them.
      -BB

      1. ambrit

        Thanks BB. I do counter empathize, as I did to someone further up the thread. I’m seeing an awful lot of tooth related tales of woe today. Could this be a viable political ‘message’ to deploy in local elections?
        One of my relatives had bone transplants done. Did yours help?
        The unnecessary pain part irks me. Jim Haygoods short but pithy comment above seems to sum it up: “Sounds like pay to play.”
        Hang in there!

        1. Brooklin Bridge

          The bone transplant did indeed help beef up the jaw for a transplant but since then I’ve lost all the surrounding teeth (ha, ha, ha) so it’s sort of lonely and useless. As I said, my teeth are a mess and I don’t have a fortune to make it all better. I’ve been considering an extended trip somewhere cheap but that can have serious drawbacks as well. Oh well, on the bright side, I’ve lost a lot of weight and maintained it since I can no longer eat junk food.

          1. Brooklin Bridge

            That first line should have read, “The bone transplant did indeed help beef up the jaw for a transplant -> an implant, but since then…”

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              I think you mean you had a bone graft before having an implant. A lot of oral surgeons overdo that. It’s helpful IF you don’t have good bone but slows the entire process up considerably.

              I have terrible teeth too but at least good gums I started doing daily oil pulling with coconut oil and it made my “pretty good” gums into “terrific” gums and also whitened my teeth AND restorations, better than bleaching (color more even). Since it makes the gums better by pulling out bacteria (surface tension, this is a mechanical operation, it does not kill them but remove them), it probably reduces decay too. In the “can’t hurt, probably helps” category and not expensive.

              1. Brooklin Bridge

                Yes, bone graft, then implant. I’m pretty sure it was necessary as other dentists have remarked on the poor bone density of my jaw after examining xrays, but it did indeed slow the process. Thanks for the tip with the coconut oil! I’m surprised at the number of teeth issues and sorry to hear that you are a “member” though it sounds like you are on top of it.

          2. ambrit

            Ask Lambert. I think that he did something along that line a year or two ago. In Thailand if I remember correctly.
            “…I can no longer eat junk food.”
            Now if only we could stop drinking junk drinks!

            1. Lambert Strether

              Ambrit, this sounds awful but I’m pleased to hear that Phyllis is hanging in there. (Turns out each individual varies subtly in their experience of pain, and the placebo effect is huge. Who knew?)

              On my teeth: I can’t really compete with the commenters here because my problems are simple. I wrote:

              I had four wisdom teeth pulled in Thailand, and that more than paid for the plane fare. Very competent, and above all no pain and amazingly very little stress. They seemed to be accustomed to patients whose entire bodies would go rigid in the chair because of their experience with the American dental system.

              When I went to get my teeth examined at the clinic in the States, the whole experience was so horrible I couldn’t relax at all, so they recommended general anesthesia. “Make sure to arrange for somebody to drive you home.” No thanks. No thanks to any of it.

              The Thai nurses kept saying “no pain, no pain” and they were right! The American system seems designed to create pain (and then charge for drugging it).

              1. ambrit

                Thanks for the info. It would seem to be a case of cost and time. I agree about how ‘adversarial’ the American style of medical ‘delivery’ is in general. Could the fact that we here are conditioned to view dental and medical as expensive private privileges rather than public rights manipulate the emotional contents of our thinking on such subjects into a fear based frame of reference?
                As to placebo effects. I have an almost morbid fear of needles. Why, I have never been able to ascertain. I mention it to those who draw my blood for tests. One bright young woman tested me by placing the tip of a pen on the skin inside of my elbow. I jumped. She began to chide me while she manipulated my other arm. I started laughing at my reactions to such situations. Suddenly she says: “Hold still. I’m drawing the sample.” She had inserted the hypodermic needle into a vein in my other inner elbow while we were joking about. I never felt it. So, yes, perceptions will determine many outcomes.
                Today I’m in a semi-twilight zone where I feel the pain but am not minding it very much.
                I will continue to recite the “Litany Against Fear.”
                “I must not fear. Fear is the mind killer….”

                1. John Zelnicker

                  @ambrit
                  May 20, 2018 at 1:58 pm
                  ——
                  Meditation can be a very effective way to ameliorate the pain. Another technique is yoga breathing:

                  https://www.amazon.com/Science-Breath-Rama/dp/0893891517

                  This is a reprint of the original Science of Breath published by the Yogi Publication Society in 1904 and 1905, with additional material. At least that’s what the reviews say. I have an original copy and the techniques are amazingly effective. I fall asleep at night within 5 minutes no matter how stressful the day has been. I’ve also used them for pain control (not severe).

                  1. ambrit

                    Ochin horoshaw! This is something I could use. An integrated approach. Thank you John.

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        Really sorry to hear that. I haven’t found that to be the case. My dentist still offers opioids, more freely than I like. Ditto an orthopedist I just saw in another state.

        Having said that, opioids don’t work on me much at all…I wind up taking double doses of NSAIDs (not Tylenol!!!) and get the same/better relief. But I also have high pain tolerance, have only once needed a painkiller after an extraction, and that was only one dose of an OTC painkiller at regular dosage levels.

        1. Brooklin Bridge

          Thanks Yves, I have mixed feelings about opiods as I’m aware of how dangerous they can be. I lost a good friend to opiod addiction that came about due to chronic and severe back pain. At the same time, they have been a huge help to me in the more extreme cases (most times I have been fine with over the counter pain relief). But I have a good idea of what Ambrit is going through now and there is nothing quite like that intense pain for any period of time with little or no relief (though admittedly I’m no expert).

          Our old regular dentist wouldn’t prescribe opiods for anything, period, and that was long before the current crisis. He was such an exceptional dentist, however, that we (my family) willingly put up with those few times where his aversion had me, at least, issuing oaths of blankety blank blank back at the house (alas, he retired). It’s the specialists where I had real pain issues and fortunately, at least until recently, they were not under the constraints of the current crisis.

          1. ambrit

            Back at ya BB. You are right about the variability of responses to opioids. They put me out, with only the cotton mouth side effect to deal with. I too lost a friend to opioids. His case was one of ‘recreational’ usage gone wild. He damaged his heart muscle with combinations that would make a junky think twice before ingesting. That heart gave out on him when he was in his forties.
            Like Yves, Phyllis has sub optimal responses to opioids. Allergic reactions in fact.
            I once teased Phyl, (I can be a callous b—–d when needed,) about perhaps using the “Litany against Fear” (a fictional construct,) in place of drugs. She thought a minute and said: “You’re describing a mantra. I use the Catholic Rosary in that manner.” And D—-d if she wasn’t right. I’ve seen her calm right down whilst ripping off a few decades. I’ll use the “Litany Against Fear” that way now. It does some good, somehow, for me. Crazy, but, I still need to read it off of a card. That part of my brain must have already succumbed to the Mind Parasites.

      1. ambrit

        Thanks. A good link source for some solid evidence. If I can find that old vial of Oil of Clove I remember seeing in the bathroom linen closet/ medical dispensary…

        1. ambrit

          Where do the fish manufacture the antibiotics? I couldn’t find E-Bay on any map I have. Is it supposed to be taken littorally? Is the factory inspected by the FDA (Fishy Deep Authority)?

    13. Carey

      Ambrit, I’m sorry you’re going through this. Have you tried Clove oil, which *sometimes* works well? DAMHIKT. If you haven’t, it’s usually easy to find, and inexpensive. I hope you feel better soon.

      1. ambrit

        Thanks for the reinforcement. Oil of Clove seems to be a commonly respected remedy. I am looking for our old vial now. If I don’t find it, it’s off to the pharmacy for some new. This pain thing does not end. As I joked around with MyLessThanPrimeBeef above, the Buddahs Fire Sermon is becoming more ‘accessible’ to me today.
        “Burning Burning Burning.”

    14. jax

      Ambrit, I feel your pain. Literally. I’m having the same problem getting pain relief for shingles which, if you dear readers have not experienced it, brings excruciating internal pain. Since my doctor would only prescribe Gabapenten, and at a low dose (100 mg 3 x day) at that, insuring it had zero effect, I’d been treating myself with 4,000 mg of acetaminophen interspersed with ibuprofen per day for a month. The result was no real pain control and days nearly sapped of the will to live. Finally I got red-hot angry.

      Yesterday I saw a nurse practitioner and jumped up and down about pain control.. I tried to control the rant, but in effect I told her that, being in my early 70’s and having experienced 10 out of 10 pain a number of times, I knew what kind of pain relief the medical profession held in its armory. And that I judged it cruel that my ‘care’ team would hold opioids back because of the current contretemps. (As a side note, I also detect some kind of nanny-state attitude as an undercurrent to health ‘care’ once one passes 70. I’d be interested in others among the commentariat perceive this as well?)

      She prescribed Tylenol 3 with codeine and upped the Gabapenten to 1600 mgs a day. AND told me to call her Monday if I wasn’t getting relief because she had bigger guns in the arsenal. Which I will do, because while the pain is pushed back with the new Rx, I’m certainly not pain free.

      We want to believe that our doctors hear us when we speak in a normal tone of voice and describe sapping pain. Evidently mine didn’t, so now I think you have to make a real crank out of yourself to obtain adequate relief. When my doc equivocated on pain relief and prescribed a laughably low dose of Gabapenten (even the nurse practitioner raised her eyebrow) my next move was to ask for a referral to the Pain Clinic. That prompted a “Well, come into the office because we’re not sure what’s happening. (Although two nurses had already written that it was internal pain from shingles, so what’s happening now? Am I becoming a cash asset paying for office visits?) In any event, I said okay, sure, but TODAY. Well, the doc wasn’t available, but a nurse practitioner was. The moral of the story is you may have to go through several people to get what you need.

      I’ve long known that our health ‘care’ system is absolute crap, and joked for decades that “I’d hate to be sick” and have to navigate this broken system which is only getting worse. Now I AM sick, and after a month of pain, I’ve become super pissed and am ready to do battle. It’s all about tempering my mouth so I don’t totally offend the ‘care’ giver, and DOCTOR SHOPPING.

      Geesh.

      Sorry you have to go through this. There’s really no pain like dental pain and doctors KNOW this. They have the power to provide relief. Evidently we have to hold their feet to the fire to obtain it now. If your dentist won’t give you relief my advice is to go to your doctor – and whoever else you have to go through. It’s an ugly process. But it’s America.

      1. ambrit

        Yep. You have accurately described the situation. I may have to chance being thrown out of some offices next week to get back to a ‘bearable’ level of pain.
        I also know what you mean about doctor shopping. That item came up during the testimony at the “Pill Mill” case I was on the jury for down in Gulfport.
        Sorry about the shingles. That is a very under reported disease.
        s/ Nanny State? Hush up. We know what’s best for you! /s

        1. roxan

          There is, indeed, a Nanny State response to patients over 65. Doctors are supposed to prescribe only tiny doses as we are considered too ‘weak’ to tolerate a normal dose of just about anything except laxatives. I don’t know the present protocalls for pain management, but when I nursed we had to chart that we first offered tylenol before giving any sort of actual pain pill.

        2. Elizabeth

          Ambrit, I’m so sorry about the pain you’re experiencing. I thought back when the crackdown on opioids started that it would make it much harder for people like you to obtain such relief. I can recommend clove oil also. Just a suggestion – I would go for the topical pain killers, and apply them liberally. Tylenol with codeine (if you can get it) helps. I hope relief comes soon.

          This country is so barbaric – the way we treat (or non-treat) people in pain. Good luck.

          1. ambrit

            Thanks. I was told by Mz Dentist to make do with Tylenol without codeine. Curses!
            I’m not much good with Placeben brand placebo.

    15. 10leggedshadow

      use a straw when drinking to bypass the molar…i don’t know if this will help, but try gargling with peroxide, it sometimes helps with the pain.

      1. ambrit

        I’m ready to try the straw trick. The peroxide would work on almost anything but what I’ve got, an exposed nerve. There are some toothpastes with peroxide in them if I remember correctly.
        A decapod eh? Hmmm…

        1. Roxan

          I had the same problem with a tooth–a bad dentist drilled into the pulp. It just felt volcanic. I went to another dentist, who gave me antibiotics. I was dubious that would stop the pain as he claimed, but it did–temporarily. I also had to wait a week to get it fixed, and then the root canal guy (dental school student) wrote the Vicodin script wrong and the drug store couldn’t fill it. At that point, I totally lost it and had a screaming fit.

          1. ambrit

            I know the screaming fit feeling. I’ll look at myself in the mirror and wonder where I could hit myself in the head, and with what, to achieve oblivion without concussion.
            This latest experience, and this comment thread have given me the idea for a “When Good Dentists Go Bad” sub-Reddit. Run with it anybody. If today is any guide, you’ll get a lot of hits.

    16. Doug Hillman

      For professional dentistry at a lower cost than insured coverage in the US, go to Los Algodones, Mex, near Yuma, AZ (about 3.5 hrs from Tucson or Phoenix). Google “dentistry, Los Algodones”. I’ve used Sani-Dental, but there are many clinics; all habla Ingles, have US phone numbers, and post prices for standardized procedures. Quality work below insured costs in the US (someone forgot to prohibit this service in the SHAFTA treaty)

      1. Doug Hillman

        Oh, and depending on lab work needed for crowns or implants, many clinics will incl local lodging in treatment plan.

    17. Oregoncharles

      Tooth extractions aren’t that big a deal; is that dentist really that overbooked? Call a “dental surgeon;” that’s their line of work. Not that expensive the last time I had it done, but that was a long while ago.

      1. sd

        Dental surgeon = Endontist

        They often require a referral but some will see you if they know you need a root canal or tooth removed.

        1. Harold

          My dentist always refers patients to an endodontist for stuff like that. It is also more likely to be covered by routine medical insurance (as I recalled my son’s wisdom tooth extraction — four at once — was not covered, though, and it took a very big bite out of our budget. This c. 20 years ago) But you want to make sure the practitioner is reputable.

          A university dental school is another place one can go for high-quality, relatively lower cost care — though it each procedure takes ages. If your time is valuable, it might not be feasible.

    18. sd

      Did they give you a temporary crown or cap? I carry a little over the counter temporary crown/filling repair when I travel. You can find it usually at local pharmacies.

      1. ambrit

        I never thought of that. I’ll do a little online information gathering on the subject. Thanks.
        By the way, the active ingredient from Oil of Clove (eugenol), is a major component in temporary filling material.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Man I hope that it gets better for you. Given a choice most people would probably accept a broken arm rather than a severe toothache. Reading the number of comments here it seems to have touched a nerve. Like others, I’m thinking clove oil is a good go-to so hope that it works for you. Good luck.

          1. ambrit

            Yep. I’m thinking clove oil mixed with CBD oil.
            What are the dental practices like Down Under?
            As in “The Tasmanian Dental! Run for your life!”

            1. The Rev Kev

              For medical stuff we have Medicare – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicare_(Australia) – but it does not cover dental. For that you need deeper pockets but I suspect that it is not as costly what you get in the US. Using it won’t break the bank but you go when you have to unless you are on a good wage and can go for preventative care.

              1. ambrit

                I’m sure there are some ‘upper class’ types sitting around the Bondi Beach Club grousing about why are those lower orders daring to live so long nowadays. “In grandads day, for the workers it was forty and you were done! Maximum efficiency! Now, the sods want to enjoy retirement. What cheek!”
                We have the same over here.

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        No, no no. I hate to say, I know way too much about dentistry by virtue of being a too regular and inquisitive patient.

        Toothache means the decay has gotten into the nerve. Ambrit sadly does not have the option of not dealing with this. He’ll eventually get an abscess and antibiotics will not clear it out. He has to have to have a root canal or an extraction.

        1. sd

          I have the misfortune of having 6 root canals. 2 were emergency but I still had to wait a week to get in to see the endontist. One was over a weekend and I used temporary filler to get me thru the weekend. It did work short term.

          Once at the dentists, I was given temp caps until the tooth could be operated on. If there is an infection, my endontist wanted it to clear before doing surgery on the root canal.

          Without a cap, there’s a risk of greater damage, for instance, the tooth splitting. While waiting, I was given antibiotics and told to flush with salt water.
          Infections usually results in a “pimple” in the gum adjacent to the tooth.

          Absesses are really bad as the infection can travel to the heart.

    19. Yves Smith Post author

      I had a horrible toothache for a week. Didn’t use opioids. Best you can do is what the dentist said, high does of OTC. I would NOT do Tylenol, alternate among aspirin, ibuprofen, and nasproxin (sp? brand name Aleve).

      Better to get it done now. A root canal is cheaper than an extraction + implant. Ask the dentist if you can wait on getting the crown. The price is about equally divided between the root canal and the crown.

      If you wait it out, the nerve will die and the pain will stop. But then you get an infection and your face blows up. So you do not have the option of not dealing with this.

      And you might wind up needing an extraction. Best to hang on to your real teeth as long as possible.

      1. bronco

        Root canal plus a post plus a crown is $2600 here . You have 32 teeth , you don’t need to die with all of them , save the fronts for appearance sake and triage the molars , you can play out the string with half of them or maybe even just 4 of them on 1 side . Might have to give up steak

      2. polecat

        If the molar is the last (rear) you could have it extracted without perhaps having to have an implant to replace the original tooth.

      3. ambrit

        Thanks for this from a fellow sufferer. Six or seven hundred dollars for a root canal? Just wow. If there is any indicator of how out of balance the medical ‘profession’ is when compared with the average growth of wages, dental charges are it.
        I might have to do the extraction and eschew the implant. I remember my Dad had a permanent bridge at the back of his mouth. A false tooth wired somehow between the two adjacent teeth. My genetic background, Scots, Erse, English and Pole, and my English eating habits when young, lots of sugar, have led me to this sorry state.
        I mentioned somewhere along this thread that you sometimes said that dental health was a class marker. Given how expensive dental work has become while average wages have stagnated, that observation is more appropriate than ever.
        Luckily for me, although there are competing points of view, my parents had myself and my two sisters have our teeth soaked in flouride at the dentists when we were pre-pubescent. I didn’t care about my ‘precious bodily fluids.’ I was having my teeth preserved! Like some Pharaoh in the days of old!

  4. Jim Haygood

    Today the WaPo and NYT have dramatically gone to the barricades to protect our law enforcement heroes from Trump’s poisonous allegation that they planted a mole in his campaign:

    President Trump accused the F.B.I. on Friday, without evidence, of sending a spy to secretly infiltrate his 2016 campaign “for political purposes” even before the bureau had any inkling of the “phony Russia hoax.”

    In fact, F.B.I. agents sent an informant to talk to two campaign advisers only after they received evidence that the pair had suspicious contacts linked to Russia during the campaign. The informant, an American academic who teaches in Britain, made contact late that summer with George Papadopoulos [and later with] Carter Page.

    Lawmakers have demanded documents from the Justice Department about the informant. Law enforcement officials have refused, saying that handing over the documents would imperil both the source’s anonymity and safety. The New York Times has learned the source’s identity but typically does not name informants to preserve their safety.

    Over the past two days, Mr. Trump has used speculative news reports about the informant, mostly from conservative media, to repeatedly assail the Russia investigation.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/18/us/politics/trump-fbi-informant-russia-investigation.html

    Semantics, comrades: the FBI’s bent professor wasn’t a spy; he was an informant. Just like those mythical hookers in Trump’s Moscow hotel room weren’t prostitutes … they were sex workers.

    Remarkably, the NYT’s screed utters not a peep about the pending Inspector General report which — if the rumors in the [shudders] conservative media cited by Trump are true — could blow apart the Russia, Russia, Russia narrative as a scheme concocted by the Clintonites to disrupt the 2016 election using organs of the state, the CIA and FBI [thus “Crossfire Hurricane”].

    The Horowitz hurricane is still several weeks from making landfall in Foggy Bottom. But when it does, some folks’ glass houses are gonna get blown down.

    1. ambrit

      Well, if Preparation ‘H’orowictz doesn’t do any damage to the ‘usual suspects’, we will know that reform is futile and that pitchforks and guillotines must be deployed

      1. Jim Haygood

        Apparently the draft IG report is going out this weekend to official recipients under strict confidentiality. No doubt the FBI and CIA will push back hard. But Horowitz is in a strong position — aided by a strengthening of the IG statute signed by Obama in Dec 2016 — to stick to his guns.

        Given the way the CIA/FBI/MSM axis has dug in its heels on the Russia Russia Russia narrative, an alternative narrative from an official source will unleash partisan warfare that could leave the District of Columbia looking like Beirut during the Lebanese civil war.

        Send lawyers, guns and money …

        1. ambrit

          Perfect. Now, let us adhere to the maxim: “Never interrupt your enemies when they are trying to destroy each other.”

      2. WheresOurTeddy

        whatever it takes to get enough of a plurality there…some have been saying this for quite a while but if we can convince some of you 9.9%ers from the Atlantic article the other day that the empire isn’t worth defending, i say welcome

    2. timbers

      On the other hand why would the FBI need a “mole” when the entire “Intelligence” community was authorized by the Obama Administration via the FISA Court to spy on the political opponent of Obama/Hillary and the establishment- Trump and his campaign? Plus the FBI had it’s hands full protecting Hillary from being charged with the many crimes she committed while SOS and Clinton Foundation.

      And surely the Intelligence community was already spying on Trump and meddling in the election (as in “Russia meddled in the election” – that kind of meddling) long before the FISA warrant.

      Funny how the only nation we know for sure meddled in the U.S. election was….the U.S.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Well, that didn’t take long — the mystery “informant” who the WaPo and NYT declined to name to “protect his safety” is Stefan Halper:

        Days after Carter Page’s high-profile trip to Moscow in July 2016, the Trump campaign adviser had his first encounter with Stefan Halper, a University of Cambridge professor with CIA and MI6 contacts.

        The conversation seemed innocent enough, Page tells The Daily Caller News Foundation. He recalls nothing of substance being discussed other than Halper’s passing mention that he knew then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort. But the interaction was one of many that the pair would have over the next 14 months, through a period of time when Page was under the watchful eye of the U.S. government.

        Page’s encounters with Halper were quite different from those that another Trump campaign adviser had during the campaign with the 73-year-old academic. As The DCNF reported exclusively in March, Halper and George Papadopoulos met several times over a period of a few days in Sept. 2016. Several days earlier, Halper contacted and met with a third Trump campaign official. That official, who has requested anonymity, told TheDCNF that Halper expressed interest in helping the campaign.

        http://dailycaller.com/2018/05/17/halper-trump-page-papadopoulos/

        The Daily Caller first reported Halper’s outreach to Papadopoulos and two other Trump campaign advisers on March 25th, questioning what Halper was up to. Why is this suddenly news two months later?

        Apparently, because according to rumors in the [shudders] conservative media, the Inspector General’s report confirms that Halper was on the CIA payroll, surveilling the Trump campaign. The CIA’s Operation Mockingbird rules for its collaborating MSM outlets forbid naming its agents.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          The DOJ/FBI just needed someone they could position to gain the FISA “Title I” surveillance approval that would retroactively make all prior sketchy campaign surveillance legal. Carter Page and George Papadopoulos checked the right boxes.

          Page didn’t need to be a “plant” or a willing “participant”, he was carrying surveillance authority like an Ebola virus and transmitting it onto everyone he contacted. Both Page and Papadopoulos were useful for the corrupt intelligence apparatus because they could attach a label to them and justify their surveillance and monitoring. Nothing more.
          ——
          Stefan Halper’s role looks simple: make the low-level Trump campaign aides appear dirty… the CIA would relay that information to the FBI; and the FBI counterintelligence unit (Agent Peter Strzok) would take it from there.

          As joy reid is splainin’ to the faithful this morning, “The fbi didn’t even have to believe that there was some criminal activity (!!!!), they just had to believe that there was a reason to ‘go in’ from a ‘counter-intelligence point of view.’ ” Uh, not remotely true.

          She neglects to mention that the fbi hired the cia to hire stefan halper IN LONDON to provide that “reason.”

          And the [shudders] conservative media just won’t shut up and let it go.

          https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2018/05/18/president-trump-questions-fbi-and-doj-campaign-surveillance-and-spy-operations-carter-page-and-george-papadopoulos/#more-149429

          1. Jim Haygood

            Questions, questions:

            Carter Page was an FBI cooperating asset in 2013, and remained the primary FBI witness through May of 2016 throughout the duration of the Evgeny Buryakov case.

            If Carter Page was an FBI asset and witness, responsible for the bust of a high level Russian agent in 2013, and remained so throughout the court case up to May 2016, how the f**k it is possible that on October 21, 2016, Carter Page is put under a FISA Title 1 surveillance warrant as an alleged Russian agent?

            Conclusion: he wasn’t.

            The DOJ National Security Division and the FBI Counterintelligence Division knew he wasn’t a Russian agent. The DOJ-NSD and FBI flat-out LIED to the FISA court.

            This is all from a site with the C-word conservative [shudders] in the url, so it can’t be true.

            But if it were … some high level heads within unaccountable three-letter agencies are gonna roll.

            Prudent Americans will prepare for the coming dire popcorn shortage.

            1. Sid Finster

              With all due respect, I do not think you understand. Everyone of influence and authority (excepting Trump and his shrinking team of diehards) is perfectly fine with FBI/CIA/MI6/NSA/whatever interference in the US election, as long as they do so in support of the establishment candidate or to make sure no outsider gets in.

              When we do it, that makes it OK!

            2. Katniss Everdeen

              “I only regret that I have but one outrageously generous, federally-funded pension with healthcare for the rest of my life to give for my country.

              But, dammit, everybody said she was gonna win.”

        2. s.n.

          Glenn Greenwald’s up-to-the-minute revelation of Halper’s crucial role in the 1980 campaign

          https://theintercept.com/2018/05/19/the-fbi-informant-who-monitored-the-trump-campaign-stefan-halper-oversaw-a-cia-spying-operation-in-the-1980-presidential-election/

          Whatever else is true, the CIA operative and FBI informant used to gather information on the Trump campaign in the 2016 campaign has, for weeks, been falsely depicted as a sensitive intelligence asset rather than what he actually is: a long-time CIA operative with extensive links to the Bush family who was responsible for a dirty and likely illegal spying operation in the 1980 presidential election. For that reason, it’s easy to understand why many people in Washington were so desperate to conceal his identity, but that desperation had nothing to do with the lofty and noble concerns for national security they claimed were motivating them.

          1. dcblogger

            It is as if Trump is the banana peal that causes the entire American culture of corruption to slip and crash.

            1. Jim Haygood

              If Halper actually is in any personal danger from having his name outed as an intelligence asset, it’s from his own handlers silencing a potentially incriminating witness.

              The good professor would be wise to avoid doorknobs, which might be dusted with UK-knockoff Novichok. :-0

              1. ambrit

                Come on now. Give our government some credit. I’m sure that there is some perfectly good US made Novichok hanging around Fort Detrick.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        A mole is a member of the intelligence community, directly or indirectly as a private contractor.

        1. WheresOurTeddy

          This.

          It’s times like these i wish we had a “like” button, but then i’d only be able to give you 1

    3. Jerermy Grimm

      Now that the FBI and an alphabet of other dark knights protect our phone conversations, emails, track and follow our movements, scan our computers, now that we are protected in so many ways from the terrorist threat, even to the use of torture [but only when necessary] — how could these forces not assure our continued safety under their five eyes even if it means protecting us from our ‘democracy’? And how did a ‘nice’ guy like J. Edgar Hoover manage to stay head of the FBI for so many years?

      1. JBird

        how could these forces not assure our continued safety under their five eyes even if it means protecting us from our ‘democracy’?

        Hey, don’t worry. I am sure that a politically useful terrorist attack will happen. Think the RMS Lusitania

        (Yeah, I am becoming more jadedly paranoiac as this Circus continues.)

      2. Lord Koos

        I have to wonder, if their surveillance is so great, why do they never catch these school shootings before they happen? Most of these shooters have smart phones and many were on social media sites as well.

        1. JBird

          I don’t have any direct evidence about the police missing these shooters. I can give some examples of how the all surveillance, all the time approach doesn’t work.

          One of the reasons the East German Stanzi had problems keeping the lid on dissidents was that they surveilled everyone, all the time, and recorded everything. If everything is equally dangerous, which means everything has to be under watch, and controlled at all times which is impossible. They buried themselves in useless information which meant they could not do their job well.

          Of the problems of stop-and-frisk, including being illegal and stupid, is that the NYPD officers searched every black or Latino youth, with the occasional poor white, they saw because they suspected them all. They could get that ultra dangerous weed off the street, meet that quota, and get some overtime. What about the actual criminals who are being ignored? Why would anyone want to cooperate, or help, the police in anyway when they are hassled for no good reason? American police often complain about how people don’t cooperate without making the connection of how such policies alienate people and prevent them from focusing on the few criminals instead of the mass of innocent people.

    4. flora

      Today the WaPo and NYT have dramatically gone to the barricades to protect our law enforcement heroes from Trump’s poisonous allegation that they planted a mole in his campaign:

      I’ve wondered about the MSM’s ridiculous coverage of the 2016 (and continuing) election campaigns. Really, why risk obvious reputation damage over just another election? Yesterday’s WC had a link to a Taibbi story about Dem candidates being required to raise money and funnel 75% of that money to the DCCC for “communications”, er, ad buys in media. That’s some gravy train for the MSM. What if Bernie’s $27 donations/word of mouth campaign style catches on? What if Trump’s tweets-for-free style of campaign catches on? zomg! I think the MSM is out to stop that in its tracks. Don’t rock the MSM’s gravy boat, or else. ;)

  5. Emorej a Hong Kong

    CBC endorses Capuano in Massachusetts Democratic primary Politico

    Important distinction in bold:

    The Congressional Black Caucus Political Action Committee backed Rep. Michael Capuano Friday over challenger Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley,

    The PAC is much sleazier than the caucus itself. I don’t know the MA players, but it’s not easy for an incumbent to become vulnerable enough to need this kind of help. The CBC PAC may be pushing its luck by not being more discrete about the fact that its zealous participation, in the insider money game, goes beyond issues that would be intuitively relevant to the constituents of a “Black Caucus”.

    More background:

    Capuano is white, Pressley is African-American … [and] argues that her background and life experiences as a woman, a person of color, and child of an incarcerated father provide her with a different lens through which she would represent the majority-minority district.

    1. Emorej a Hong Kong

      Meanwhile: you’re a racist if you oppose Kamala Harris or Cory Booker.

      1. Jean

        Semantically speaking, in that case, Kamala Harris was a ‘sex worker’ when Harris got her start in 1994 by having an affair with Willie Brown, who was serving as the California Assembly Speaker and then became the mayor of San Francisco. Brown was 60 years old and Harris was 29 when their affair became public knowledge. Harris was so brazen that she came out publicly as his date at his 60th birthday party, despite Brown’s wife of 36 years being in attendance. Now that’s working for womens’ rights.

        1. WheresOurTeddy

          Jean, that is unseemly, but you can get a pedophile you know is guilty acquitted, laugh about it on tape, and still be the nominee

          Plus she’s got something going for her HRC doesn’t have

        2. Adam Eran

          Remember the Italians elected a prostitute (“la Ciccolina”) to their parliament. My guess is that it comes under “voting with your middle finger.”

            1. Oregoncharles

              As Lambert says, that’s unfair to whores – who perform a useful service.

              La Ciccolina was a porn performer; not sure about the rest of her career.

          1. Lambert Strether

            I remember during the Obama administration’s Secret Service “wheels up” sex scandal that the ladies of negotiable affection were by far the least hysterical and most sensible participants.

    2. allan

      “The PAC is much sleazier than the caucus itself.”

      This. In the 2016 Maryland Democratic primary for U.S. Senate (which in heavily Dem Maryland
      is tantamount to the general election),
      the CBC PAC endorsed white, male centrist fundraising machine Chis van Hollen over
      black, female progressive Donna Edwards. The CBC PAC is as bad as it gets.

    3. Swamp Yankee

      For the local Mass. view:

      I think there are several, intersecting levels to the race.

      Yes, there is the split nationally between the two wings of the Democratic Party. That somewhat maps along here, but not in a 1:1 fashion.

      But I also think what you may have here is an older story in Boston, in Massachusetts, and indeed, many old-time or large American cities like Philadelphia or Chicago or NYC: yes, Capuano is white (Italian, which wasn’t so long ago “white-ethnic”), and Pressley is black, a woman of color; but I think that misses the dominant dynamic in the race, which is that Capuano has, despite or aside from being one of the more liberal House reps, been chosen by The Machine.

      Pressley is running as a classic outsider-reformer from rising ethnic groups in the city/region. These often must run against the entrenched forces of The Machine.

      Since there is essential agreement on the issues, the race will be more about larger, and both older and newer, social cleavages.

      In a lot of large, older American cities, the 19th century Tammany-style forces are still with us.

      1. Adam Eran

        Boss Tweed ran Tammany. His motto: “I don’t care who people vote for as long as I can select the candidates.”

        …His spirit lives on.

        1. Swamp Yankee

          Yes indeed! The staggering level of corruption and incompetence, hackery and patronage, among Machine Dems is what allows “good-government” [sic] Republicans like Charlie Baker to be elected Governor.

          The Machine is, in part, one of the key obstacles in taking state Democratic parties in places like MA and IL leftward.

          Maybe a Tammany-Machine-Patronage Watch could be added to Realignment and Legitimacy here at NC? Massachusetts alone could furnish many, many links, and with RI next door, that state’s politics are like something out of post-war Italy…. socialists vs. Christian Democrats c. 1947, all within one (Dem) party. Will probably have to get my act together and email some of those in now that my school-year’s winding down….

  6. Plant Fox

    The DailyBeast article on Mars points out a significant issue about living on Mars. Simply, no reproduction equals no sustainable colony. The article mentions gene-editing as a possible solution, but that presents all sort of ethical and scientific issues. I don’t know if science has created a gene that promotes radiation resistantance in cells; if anyone has knowledge on this please share. Even if the radiation issue was solved you still have the microgravity problem. Perhaps the best solution is to put a radiation shielded space station in Martian orbit and give it a coriolis effect so to simulate a higher gravity. Still leaves the psychological effects of raising a child on Mars as Yves’s mentions. Not going to get into that.

    As an aside, I’m all for space exploration and colonization, but we do not fund it seriously enough to make it a near term reality. Maybe if governments stopped endlessly spending on military, a serious effort on space research could be made. ROI is definitely better in space exploration as it opens up avenues for space industries, mining and such. Yet again if military spending was cut, there are other issues, here on earth, that probably need solving and funding first.

    1. John k

      Colonies are hopeless. There’s no place like home… this planet will be the most hospitable place in the system for humans after GW and WWIII.

      And other stars are bigger fantasies. Telescopes and drones, ok. Humans a hopeless boondoggle.

      1. Wyoming

        Wait! I thought this was a colony.

        Are you trying to say we really came from here? I would not be so sure as I’m pretty certain that I have met a bunch of alien spawn over the years.

        1. ambrit

          “Quatermas and the Pit.”
          The original BBC mini serial is the best.
          It’s three and a half hours long, so, get the popcorn ready: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lmyyzUSn5Y
          Nigel Kneale, the writer of the Quatermass stories had a truly inventive imagination. His BBC teleplays are near the top of the heap.

    2. The Rev Kev

      I cannot see how people acclimatized to Mars could ever return to earth. A person who weighs 200 pounds (90 kilograms) on Earth would weigh roughly 76 pounds (34 kilograms) on Mars. Now turn that around. A person that weighs 200 Martian pounds would, upon return to Earth, weigh nearly three times this amount. It would be like trying to walk around with one person on your back and carrying someone in front of you. Maybe on Mars you could daily use a centrifuge daily to build up your strength but I wouldn’t count on it. In so many ways a ticket to Mars is a one-way trip.

      1. bronco

        You are describing the average American citizen. The answer is scooters like you see roaming the aisles in Walmart

        1. JTMcPhee

          Hey, easy! Those scooter sales contribute directly to GDP!!!!

          And they ain’t cheap, especially if dispensed through the Medicare medium: The retailers are so happy to help, “Does Medicare Part B Cover Motorized Scooters?” https://www.hoveround.com/help/learn-more/medicare/does-medicare-part-b-cover-motorized-scooters. and this has been one result: “The SCOOTER Store, Hoveround blasted by lawmakers, physicians,” https://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-scooter-store-hoveround-blasted-by-lawmakers-physicians/, and not so long ago there was a “crackdown” (for show, not go) against the worst offender, https://duckduckgo.com/l/?kh=-1&uddg=https%3A%2F%2Fmedicarewire.com%2Fblog%2Fthe-scooter-store-frau%2F. As usual, the few spoil it for the many, and the regulatory response tosses the baby out with the bathwater…

          Of course lots of people who are profoundly disabled and need scooters and motorized wheelchairs (that can cost over $30,000 apiece, much of it attributable to MIC-style pricing scams), either are denied medically-necessary and justifiable assistive devices, or wiat forever for the ripoff-artist suppliers to get them fitted and operational, or cannot get any kind of after-sales service or repairs. When I was working still as a nurse in a practice that served so many paraplegics and stroke survivors and even quads with limited functions, the sad stories (and our staff efforts to build fires under the SOBs who operate the sales and repair companies to get care, “medical care,” for our patients, were daily fare.

      2. Lord Koos

        Living on mars long-term would be pretty much impossible, since human bones become weaken quickly without the force of gravity leading to rapid osteoporosis. This is a known problem for people who spend a lot of time in space, where there is zero gravity, but mars wouldn’t be much better. I’m certain there would be many other unexpected consequences attempting to live on any planet that does not closely resemble earth.

      3. The Rev Kev

        Just adding to that. I made a mug of coffee and weighing it, found that it weighed over a pound in weight. For a returning Martian, lifting that mug of coffee would be like lifting a 3 pound mug of coffee. This would be true of everything right across the board even if they had one of those floaty-chairs from WALL-E. If they walked their feet and arches would constantly ache and even if they stayed sitting, their backs would ache as well. Time for Musk to announce that he is working on gravity plating to send with those Martian colonists.

    3. Rosario

      The colonizing Mars thing makes me think back to the age when I realized how to work toward goals realistically, or if I wanted one thing often I had to work through steps, however unrelated they may have seemed at the time, to get to that thing.

      Some stupid examples:

      I lost a toy, but my room was a mess, I cleaned my room, I found the toy.

      There were no dishes to eat off of, the kitchen stunk, I cleaned the pile of dishes in the sink, there were dishes to use.

      Same story again and again as I aged, up to societal level issues with increasing complexity.

      I guess it is similar with this idea of “colonizing” Mars. Where is the goals list, and if one exists are those goals framed properly along with other goals on the list? How does one goal work towards the others? Big picture things. The Apollo program simply landed and walked around on the moon (a trivial task relative to colonizing mars or the moon) by spending an incredible amount of capital and human resources and being extremely methodical about setting goals. There were 10 missions before they even landed on the moon, and not until mission 17 was a citizen scientist included in the crew. IMO the pay-off was pretty questionable considering most of the benefits of any research conducted could have been done with probes at a fraction of the cost (this is what the Soviets did). Also, Whitey On The Moon.

      We have totally “colonized” this planet by the accident of biology and the grinding wheel of time and we don’t seem to be managing our colony very well. Also, I’m not of the opinion that our managing a more difficult colony (by every material metric) is going to somehow make our easier colony better. Seems to be backwards.

      I can’t take these discussions about Mars colonization seriously because they don’t seem to take themselves seriously. They resemble fever dreams after reading a sci-fi novel, scattered bits of science blown into a realm of unknown-knowns and unknown-unknowns.

      The best description I’ve heard of this phenomenon to date (I can’t recall from where I heard it):

      These are a group of people creating new problems to avoid the ones they already have. That is human, all too human.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Your first few lines reminded me of that NASA ethos of ‘work the problem’ which, as you pointed out, is not really happening here with dealing with a colony to Mars.

    4. sd

      Why not just find a little spot in the dessert. Build a giant domed colony, “fly” the new colonists in a “rocket ship” borrowed from a sci-fi movie, tint the colony windows orange, and just tell everyone, here you are! Enjoy! And then send along supply deliveries every few months. Like prison only with a mission. Way cheaper for the taxpayer as the colonists will be paying to be there.

      Just make sure tickets are only available for oligarchs and plutocrats.

      1. polecat

        And I would add ‘take all of D.C. with him, friends or not !’

        ‘The Martian Swampicles’ …..

  7. WobblyTelomeres

    Thank you for the Home Depot employee article. I had switched off my radio the other day during NPR’s Marketplace while listening to Kai Ryssdal give Langone a sloppy tongue bath. More specifically, I lunged for my radio’s power switch when bile started rising in my throat. It is difficult to find anything to listen to on the radio dial anymore. At least in this red state.

        1. ambrit

          As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve gotten very askance looks from drivers in nearby vehicles whenever I started to yell back at the car radio, often during an NPR propaganda broadcast.

        2. Jean

          Remember, he’s an ex Navy fighter pilot.
          Definitely spreading the gospel of capitalism.

          “You know what I mean man?”

    1. tegnost

      I resemble the lunge, the visceral reaction to the bs is instantaneous and the offending electronic gadget is summarily denied the power to proceed

      1. HotFlash

        As newlyweds my DH and I killed the radio in our (my) car by both smashing for it simultaneously. But that was for Tchaikovsky.

  8. Alex

    The article on Wikipedia is sensationalist and off the mark. Yes, the information is not *always* correct and there are plenty of people with an axe to grind and possibly editors who are paid for promoting certain content (these are my personal observations after editing it for some time). But the overall result is still very good – I remember someone did a study comparing the incidence of errors in Wiki and Britannica and it was an even contest.

    Specifically in this case it’s obviously bad that this guy has been able to run his smear campaign against people who are critical of the Western narrative in Syria. But the articles on Syrian war itself are much more balanced and have much less pro-Western bias than most of the MSM

    1. Carolinian

      The article isn’t one of those wild haired accusations that Wikipedia is run by the CIA but simply points out that they aren’t reining in an obviously biased editor. The piece seems to be fairly well documented and not “sensationalist.” Wales is probably hurting his enterprise by taking sides in this dispute.

      To say that Wikipedia is at least better than the MSM damns with faint praise. I like Wikipedia a lot and agree that it is a valuable resource. Which is why they need to get their act together.

      1. Carolinian

        Really, a must read for those who care about Wikipedia.

        What is particularly interesting is that “Philip Cross”‘s views happen to be precisely the same political views as those of Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia. Jimmy Wales has been on twitter the last three days being actively rude and unpleasant to anybody questioning the activities of Philip Cross. His commitment to Cross’s freedom to operate on Wikipedia would be rather more impressive if the Cross operation were not promoting Wales’ own opinions. Jimmy Wales has actively spoken against Jeremy Corbyn, supports the bombing of Syria, supports Israel, is so much of a Blairite he married Blair’s secretary, and sits on the board of Guardian Media Group Ltd alongside Katherine Viner.

        https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/05/the-philip-cross-affair/

        Perhaps one should approach the the site in the same way one reads, say, the NYT–i.e. you know in advance that anything they have to say about Russia will be unreliable. That doesn’t mean they don’t also have some good articles.

        1. Alex

          I don’t think that the wikipedia has a bias towards Jimmy Wales’s personal opinions. He has no official position on wiki and while he’s obviously influential, there are many other influential people. Dunno about Blair but the Wikipedia’s treatment of the Syrian conflict is more balanced than that of the Guardian.

          Having said that it has other biases and also a certain level of inaccuracies due to trolling and vandalism, so def caution has to be exercised when relying on it.

          1. Carolinian

            Of course Wales is entitled to believe anything he likes without that discrediting Wikipedia. However defending an obviously rogue editor is different. The site is supposed to be a source of objective information, not advocacy.

            1. JCC

              After reading the article I sent off a quick note to info@wikipedia.org asking why this sort of publicly biased editor was supported and allowed to to edit his bias into articles on wikipedia.

              The was the reply I received

              We understand that there is a campaign among certain groups to influence Wikipedia’s articles, and that as part of this campaign people are comparing notes and co-ordinating messages to this address. Unfortunately, this will have no effect, as content policies are set on Wikipedia by the Wikipedia community, and cannot be influenced by the email response team. Everyone who is prepared to work with others (of all kinds) and edit in a balanced and fair manner is welcome to register an account and become part of the Wikipedia community, but it is extremely unlikely that policy will change to support one or another viewpoint or will allow Wikipedia to be used for this dispute.

              Basicly a non-answer with an inference that I was part of the “campaign among certain groups to influence Wikipedia’s articles, and that as part of this campaign people are comparing notes and co-ordinating messages to this address.

              I politely thanked her for the fast reply even though it really didn’t answer the immediate question, while also informing her I was part of no campaign and that viewpoints were not quite the same as uninformed and obvious bias.

              It looks like wikipedia really doesn’t care about facts, one way or the other.

              1. Lord Koos

                I had a very weird run-in with wikipedia when I attempted to edit an entry dealing with an alternative health modality that I am very familiar with. Wikipedia has an element that is aggressively against any alternative health therapies and options, to the point of censorship — physicians with an axe to grind. I was stunned at the amount of stonewalling and BS excuses given by the “moderators”, of that particular. Wikipedia is not all it appears to be.

                1. ambrit

                  That’s in line with what we have experienced with non-standard medical information of all sorts, specifically cancer treatments on the big search engines.

            2. begob

              The article on the poisoning of the Skripals shows up the limitations of the Wikipedia project: editors are scrupulous in confining edits to those based on reliable sources, but in the background there’s a lot of pearl clutching at suggestions those reliable sources are running a co-ordinated propaganda campaign.

              I ran Goolag translate on the German wikipedia article on the Skripals and plucked this little cherry:

              During a hearing in court on the question of whether blood should be drawn from the scriptwriters and blood samples sent to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OVCW) – the organization monitors compliance with the Chemical Weapons Prohibition – details of Sergei’s state of health were obtained

        2. Harold

          Phillip Mirowsky devoted some space to accusing wikipedia of being a perfect example of Neoliberalism — let the [rigged?] market make all the decisions as to the facts of a subject or situation — which I thought was perhaps a little off base, since I tend to be rather a fan of Wikipedia. I am disappointed to learn that there may be something to his apprehensions.

    2. Craig H.

      > the information is not *always* correct

      It depends on the information. Stellar magnitudes of the stars in Orion, Bob Gibson’s lifetime strikeout total, names of the cast in The Empire Strikes Back, chemist’s name who discovered argon? <—- those will be 99.9999999% accurate 99.99999999% of the time.

      You are really taking your chance on a topic like Turkish Armenian history though.

      Assassination of JFK? Forget it Jake.

    3. Harry

      This seems to miss the wider point. Craig Murray wrote a piece where he noted that editor Andrew Philip Cross had edited wikipedia every day for almost 5 years.

      “UPDATE “Philip Cross” has not had one single day off from editing Wikipedia in almost five years. “He” has edited every single day from 29 August 2013 to 14 May 2018. Including five Christmas Days. That’s 1,721 consecutive days of editing.”

      If it was one person this would be pretty tough to do. So perhaps this is a team? Now i wonder who might fund a team effort which boosts certain pro-establishment journalists and denigrates other anti-establishment characters?

      I have two thoughts, based on a curious coincidence regarding the journalists who have generally been boosted. But do you not think this kind of “work ethic” is a little curious?

      1. The Rev Kev

        If he is doing it every day and with such dedication, plus having direct cover from Jimmy Wales, then I would suggest that it is his ‘day job’ and that brings up the possibility that he is being paid. How does that work? A lot of the media go to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights in the UK for news on Syria. Like Bellingcat, it is just one guy sitting in his house but the guy that does the former, Rami Abdurrahman, was found to have received nearly £200,00 (US$270,000) from the UK government to support his work. Nice work if you can get it.
        So who is Phillip Cross? One Wikipedia contributor tried to put up an entry for him but not only was it taken down straight away, the Wikipedia contributor was banned from Wikipedia forever. Story at-

        https://off-guardian.org/2018/05/15/wikipedia-takes-down-article-on-philip-cross-life-bans-author/

      2. blennylips

        If it was one person this would be pretty tough to do.

        You’ve obviously never known an old style nerd.

  9. nothing but the truth

    “Home Depot Employees Are Broke, Sick, and Disappointed ”

    HD has doubled prices (after killing mom and pop hardware stores), and fired half its store employees.

    1. rd

      We have thriving Ace Hardware and True Value Hardware stores in our community. I know of a really good Ace Hardware store in the U-Street area in Washington DC. The ones that are focused on understanding and helping their customers seem to be doing ok.

        1. Expat

          Frankly, if you are going to start boycotting companies simply because they are evil, you won’t do much buying of anything. The “Support Your Local Commerce” campaign, including local grown food, is impossible in today’s economy. People can’t afford it.

          1. Jean

            You do what you can, when you can. Expecially when there are alternatives, which in the case of Home Despot, there certainly are.

          2. Inode_buddha

            Actually, I do plenty of buying — on the secondary and tertiary markets. In other words, Used. Ebay, thrift stores, yard sales, cars, etc. The only thing I buy new is toilet paper. I figure that way I won’t be encouraging the bastards who play global arbitrage, kill jobs, and I’ll probably get a better product besides.

      1. ambrit

        What income level of ‘customer’ are we talking about here? I will contend that the DIY Bigg Boxx stores have switched focus from hardware store to mid and up scale appliance and ‘gadget’ stores.
        So much of the pressure on floor employees I’ve been hearing about from actual floor employees of said emporia is based on sales metrics, not core competency in the technical fields involved.

  10. diptherio

    File Under: This is why we can’t have nice things.

    How Jacobin and the ISO assisted in the betrayal of the Arizona teachers’ strike

    The strike ended on May 4, after the Arizona Education Association (AEA) and the nominally independent pro-union front group, Arizona Educators United (AEU), ordered teachers back to work without a vote and accepted the Republican governor’s pay and funding plan that teachers overwhelmingly rejected just a week earlier. To steamroll opposition, the AEU deleted critical comments from its Facebook group and banned teachers who opposed the ending of the strike.

    Both the ISO and Jacobin promoted the AEA and the AEU throughout the strike and have responded to their sellout by defending them. This follows their support for the betrayal of the teachers’ strikes in West Virginia and Oklahoma in March and April by the American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association, which have isolated the expanding strike wave of teachers on a state-by-state basis and blocked a unified nationwide struggle.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Thanks for confirming what I suspected. Something about how that strike ended — it just seemed a bit “off.”

    2. hemeantwell

      Dunno about Arizona. But this is baloney:

      This follows their support for the betrayal of the teachers’ strikes in West Virginia and Oklahoma in March and April by the American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association,

      Jacobin headlined coverage of the union’s obstructionism in West Virginia. They placed great emphasis on the central role of grassroots organizing in making the strike possible.

      The WSWS has had good strike coverage, but they always feel obliged to claim other left groups promote selling out, which then obliges them to claim that much more was possible. That kind of sectarian oneupping, especially at this early stage of mobilization, can be disastrous.

      1. Big River Bandido

        In this case, it is *not* “sectarian oneupping”. The WSWS article is absolutely true.

        As an AFT member myself, I have been following the teacher strikes with great interest. I am disgusted
        by the actions of the national union in shutting down the strikes in Oklahoma, Arizona and Colorado. Jacobin is one site that I read regularly, but as the strikes in AZ was shut down, I read the Jacobin accounts and was amazed at the lies I was reading. Jacobin never reported on the national union’s betrayal, it completely adopted the position of the co-opted Facebook group, and made no mention of the censorship on that page of rank-and-file criticism of the eventual bargain. In short, Jacobin has betrayed rank-and-file teachers with its reporting stenography.

    3. Jerermy Grimm

      I thought wild-cat strikes and other kinds of sabotage became such a problem that business finally let unions get started to control the uncertainty wild-cat strikes presented. And around that time sit-down strikes were made illegal but World War II came just-in-time to ease the tensions and let things settle-in. The Woblies emblem is Sabot Cat, not the AFL/CIO.

      “The International Socialist Organization and Jacobin magazine, affiliated with the Democratic Socialists of America, bear direct responsibility for the unions’ betrayal of the six-day strike of tens of thousands of Arizona teachers.” [from your link]

      Thanks for helping me see the true colors of Jacobin magazine and ISO. Makes one wonder who their true financial supports are. “The upper-middle class social layers for which the ISO, Jacobin and other pseudo-left organizations speak …” Maybe I’m paranoid but are ALL the backers of Jacobin magazine and ISO included in the group WSWS identifies?

      “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

      1. The Rev Kev

        I thought that I had dodged that bullet, as it was on nearly every TV station, by turning off the TV itself – until the wife and her friend came in the room and turned onto the Royal Wedding. Gach!

        1. Carolinian

          Is there a Royal Wedding? I love the dramatist take on the royals in the series The Crown–don’t follow the real thing.

          PBS here has been pushing it heavily. The clearly see royal family aficionados as their demographic.

          1. Edward E

            Isn’t today like some anniversary of the revolutionary guerrillas who took to battlefields so we don’t have to pay attention to a wedding in a royal family?

            1. Carolinian

              Half the colonists wanted to keep the king. Those who didn’t decamp to Canada may still be pining.

              The above mentioned TV series attempts to explain the royals’ appeal as representing the authority of government kept at arms length from the sleaze of politics–patriotic symbols perhaps in the way some Americans worship the flag. Going by this explanation their charm lies in their very powerlessness (the name of that episode was “Marionettes”).

            2. JCC

              Your comment reminds me of a story at my dinner table when I was in High School.

              There was some royal foofara or other going in over there and my youngest sister was about to go over to some prep high school in England (cheaper than the U.S. at the time, late ’60’s, including plane fares). She innocently asked my mother, “What should I do if I ever meet the queen?”, and my mother said, “You curtsy, of course.”.

              Being a bit of a revolutionary, I said, “No you don’t. We fought a war 200 years ago giving us the right to stand on our feet, politely shake hands, and say ‘Pleased to meet you.'”.

              I thought my mother, a dyed-in-the-wool anglophile was going to have a heart attack. My father (a first gen Irishman) said, “Damn right. Thanks for the reminder.”

              I have never understood the American fascination with British royalty.

              1. ambrit

                “I have never understood the American fascination with British royalty.”
                It may be because the American royalty have absolutely no sense of style, nor sartorial standards.

    1. Wukchumni

      Amazing perpetual motion machine of lava in the guise of rooster tails, as you hear one howling in the foreground, ha!

    2. Jean

      4.5 million views.
      Weird overlayed sound track, or where the camera was located live sound.
      Love the guy talking about what sounds like his
      “Honda transmission going out and how he should have bought the Toyota.”
      Bet Honda’s corporate HQ loves that!

    3. Oregoncharles

      Holy family blog. It’s hard to conceive that that is ROCK – even though I’ve visited lots of lava flows, including on Hawaii.

  11. Craig H.

    > Google Removes ‘Don’t Be Evil’ Clause From Its Code of Conduct

    Gizmodo has really been down on the Goog this week. Earlier:

    Google Employees Resign in Protest Against Pentagon Contract

    I guess they accidentally bumped up the frog-water by a couple degrees too quick. Nobody is reporting what the guys resigning on what they thought they were doing the week before they decided this was just too much; or if there is a good story on that part I missed it.

    Also: Kate Conger is the writer on both these gizmodo stories AND there is an open letter to google to stop making robot killing machines; Open Letter in Support of Google Employees and Tech Workers; Researchers in Support of Google Employees; Google should withdraw from Project Maven and commit to not weaponizing its technology; Open Letter To Larry Page, CEO of Alphabet, et al.

    (And there are little text boxes on the open letter for anybody who wants to add their name to the letter asking google to stop making robot killing machines.)

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Regarding your first link and the fact that youtube, owned by Google, is now labeling RT videos and others as funded in part or in while by the Russian government – I’m waiting for a similar warning from youtube that their entire corporation is funded by the US government.

      Wonder how long that will take?

      1. HotFlash

        Use hooktube.com, instead. They pick up all youtube videos, use same ID’s, have an OK (just OK) search function, no ads but they ask you for a few bucks, which is fair, and claim not to track you, which is probably the best we can hope for these days. You know, NSA letters and such.

        Use DuckDuckGo for your on-line searches, bail from any Google Groups, Hangouts, and Blogger.com, use PiratePad for collaborative work, *never* use The Cloud and host your own website. It’s not hard, just a matter of habit.

  12. John k

    Catalonia.
    People still marching noisily in Barcelona. One sign said all leaders including exiles are back in Catalonia. Plenty of tourists though early in the season. Perfect weather.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “The Onion runs this piece every time there’s a mass shooting. They must be up to 20 by now.”

    Close. The news tonight mentioned that it was the 22nd school shooting in the US this year.

  14. tegnost

    yes trump the boilerplate businessman goes to the post office and says WTF, you have the whip hand (family blog) bezos and lets make some of that dough for ourselves
    I don’t like the guy but no tpp and the above make him better than those other people

      1. tegnost

        no we’re family blogged, which I guess is comforting if you can come to accept your place in the handbasket

  15. rjs

    “The fallacy of GDP” is not with the metric itself, but with those who try to make it into something it is not.

    1. rd

      It is a useful measure of total economic activity. It does not attempt to say anything about distribution.

      1. diptherio

        Not useful for much, as economic bads are counted as GDP positive, as well as economic goods. It’s another statistic like the national debt that tells you something, kinda, just not anything particularly worth knowing. So, of course, they’re the statistics we focus on.

      2. Big River Bandido

        I am loathe to quote a Kennedy, but Robert F. was correct in this case:

        We cannot measure national spirit by the Dow Jones Average, nor national achievement by the gross national product.

        For the gross national product includes air pollution and advertising for cigarettes, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors, and jails for the people who break them. The gross national product includes the destruction of the redwoods, and the death of Lake Superior. It grows with the production of napalm and missiles and nuclear warheads, and it even includes research on the improved dissemination of bubonic plague. The gross national product swells with equipment for the police to put down riots in our cities; and though it is not diminished by the damage these riots do, still it goes up as slums are rebuilt on their ashes. It includes Whitman’s rifle and Speck’s knife, and the broadcasting of television programs which glorify violence to sell goods to our children.

        And if the gross national product includes all this, there is much that it does not comprehend. It does not allow for the health of our families, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It is indifferent to the decency of our factories and the safety of our streets alike. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It allows neither for the justice in our courts, nor for the justness of our dealings with each other. The gross national product measures neither wit nor courage, neither wisdom nor learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to country. It measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile…

        — Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, Detroit MI, 5 May 1967

    2. HotFlash

      As an accountant who understood what was *not* measured by “The Bottom Line”, I never fail to be alarmed by those seduced by the beauty of to-the-penny measurements. And we laughed at the Russki’s for making too many enameled washtubs since that met the factory’s production goal more ‘efficiently’ than making the enameled mugs that people actually wanted.

      Ya know, like ‘penny-wise and pound-foolish’ and it may kill us all. ‘Scuse me, only *most* of us.

  16. Wukchumni

    Oklahoma Woman Mauled To Death By Pack Of Wiener Dogs CBS Miami
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    My first thought was, isn’t Anthony in jail?

    My second thought was, how embarrassing to be taken down by dachshunds…

      1. tegnost

        my almost 60 sister in san diego got bitten on both legs by a dog being walked on the sidewalk. I know people love their dogs but this is a real problem

    1. Edward E

      The only concern up until now about dachshunds was that if you live way up nawth where it’s cold they keep the door open too long going in and out of the house. Those miniature ones absolutely love to ride up and down the little tubes at the drive up bank, we do silly stuff like. I cannot hardly believe dachshunds can do something like that.

      Woah, the dogs aren’t dachshunds after all ^∆∆∆

      1. Jhallc

        Only time I was bit when I was a paperboy was by a Dachshund. Snuck up behind me and got me in the calf. Never saw him coming. I’ve been wary of them ever since.

  17. Wukchumni

    NZ is first and foremost a drinking country, they have pretty strict penalties for 420, combined with the tyranny of distance and over 1,000 miles of open ocean in thwarting the supply chain. I read that cocaine had the highest street price in the world there, i’m not surprised.

    About a dozen years ago, they went from having no drug problem, to a giant one in the form of what they call “P”, or which we call meth.

    Now, there are worries that fentanyl & carfentanyl will show up…
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    New Zealand was slow to react to methamphetamine in the early 2000s. Stuart Nash does not want history to repeat itself with fentanyl.
    A deadly drug which kills thousands of people every year could be the ‘next P’ in New Zealand, the Police Minister has warned.

    Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, a painkiller 50 times more powerful than heroin, which killed more than 20,000 people by overdose in the United States in 2016.

    The ‘Opioid Epidemic’ led President Donald Trump to declare a national emergency.

    While only small amounts of fentanyl have been found in New Zealand, Police Minister Stuart Nash has asked the police to draft an action plan in case organised criminal groups try to introduce the drug on a larger scale.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12053949

    1. Musicismath

      About a dozen years ago, they went from having no drug problem, to a giant one in the form of what they call “P”, or which we call meth

      NZ’s a drinking country, sure, but there’s always been a thriving drugs culture. Stevan Eldred-Grigg has written about drugs in Victorian New Zealand. There was a major heroin problem from the late 1960s onward, stemming originally from American soldiers on the US military base at Harewood in Christchurch. (Christchurch has been pretty notorious for its heroin issues since.) From the early 1970s onward, the heroin trade (locally made “homebake” and imported stuff) was controlled largely by the local motorcycle gangs, though in the late ‘70s others tried to get involved as well. (Google “Mr Asia”.) When I was a lad in the ‘90s, the drug of choice was obviously pot (endemic in the regions too), though heroin was by no means unknown at the edges of various social circles.

      As the journalist Russell Brown once put it, New Zealanders are “drug pigs.” Indeed, one of the reasons the P epidemic has been so bad is that it overlaid itself over existing patterns and economies of drug use, only it’s just been so much more destructive as a substance than anything being smoked or even injected in those circles before.

    1. Jim Haygood

      As someone averred on another site, “I have successfully converted a pellet stove into a continuous popcorn maker for the next six months.”

      It’s gonna be a hot summer in Foggy Bottom.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The fallacy of GDP as a measure of prosperity: prison expenditure counts, but housework doesn’t South China Morning Post (furzy). Another take on a long-standing issue.

      Do we count housework in the GDP?

      Is housework work?

      And finally, will houseworking be available in any JG program?

  18. The Rev Kev

    ‘This Bill Is Killing Us’: 9 Sex Workers On Their Lives In The Wake Of FOSTA. UserFriendly: “I was so pissed that Bernie voted for this.​”

    Saving his powder yet again? Didn’t want to vote against something that will lead to working girls getting hurt or even killed? Siding with the bible-bashers and didn’t want to offend them? He is better than most politicians but it doesn’t mean that he will not fold like a cheap lawn-deck chair when push comes to shove.

  19. Hubert Horan

    Key points about FOSTA for this audience:

    1. The power of the new law is that it simply defines any form of prostitution as “sex trafficking”. Just as if you’d suddenly redefined “grand larceny” to cover shoplifting.
    2. All MSM coverage has not only embraced the idea that the law addresses a “sex trafficking” problem, but has enthusiastically supported the idea that that there is a huge sex trafficking problem in America that needs to be addressed, without any evidence that any such a problem exists, or whether the law would actually help any of its alleged victims.
    3. There is zero coverage of any of the people (fairly extreme religious/right-wing social conservative groups) who have funded the programs. I recall an NPR “PR endorsement masquerading as news” story interviewing Cindy McCain, serving as the front person for one of these groups, describing a “big data” research project designed to help identify where this sex trafficking was actually occurring. I don’t recall law enforcement needing “big data” projects to figure out if violation of drug laws, immigration laws, or speeding laws were actually occurring.
    4. Prior to FOSTA online communication about prostitution was effectively protected by the same section 320 of the Communication Act that immunized Facebook when users exchanged info on how to make explosive devices for terrorist activities. It is unclear whether the recent bad publicity meant that the normally ultra-libertarian Silicon Valley folks couldn’t fight this major erosion of internet freedom, or whether the largest companies simply assume they are immune from legislative threats, and left everyone else in the internet world to fend for themselves.
    5. Thanks to the MSM framing, there’s absolutely nothing for any politician (including Sanders, or libertarians like Paul) to gain from opposing these laws. Articles like this, about the safety fears of prostitutes, will not gain an ounce of sympathy among people who didn’t already oppose the law. Attacking the crude dishonesty of the allegedly “anti-sex-trafficking” claims might. Positioning this as part of a larger ultra-social conservative fight against sex and women (including the major new abortion restrictions) would probably work even better. But given the failure of mainstream Democrats and Emily’s List type “women’s groups” on the abortion front, probably shouldn’t expect much

    1. DJG

      Thanks, Hubert Horan: What this sounds like is “voter fraud.” Define a non-problem. Don’t present a real solution such as easing voter registration or decriminalizing prostitution. Apply an authoritarian solution.

      I am reminded of your work on Uber. The non-problem is a supposed shortage of taxis. Or in the EU and IMF view, those ironclad taxi driver associations that are causing the European economy to stagnate. Solution? Ponzi scheme to get around regulations and exploit drivers.

      I’m not sure if this is “late-state fantasies of the capitalist class” or “early-stage transformation of U.S. society into Chinese free-market one-party state.”n

    2. Jerermy Grimm

      Maybe FOSTA is just trying to protect the interests of pimps and other middlemen?

      One thing I didn’t see mention of — doesn’t classifying prostitution as ‘sex-trafficking’ tend to open prostitution to harsher and possibly more prosecution charges? Is this a new way to fill our prisons?

    3. Hubert Horan

      In concept, yes, this could be seen as a way to expand law enforcement expenditures. But local law enforcement isn’t really interested in increasing the resources devoted to prostitution, for the same reason it doesn’t want to devote resources to marijuana offenses, or speeding or lots of similar offenses. Offenders aren’t organized. It takes a lot of effort to arrest offenders one-by-one. Convictions are difficult, and do nothing to reduce the “problem”. In the case of prostitution you have the additional problem that the male clients tend to be wealthier and better able to fight back. Same issues as you have with immigration offenses. If you wanted to reduce the “lawbreaking” police would aggressive target the johns/employers, not the struggling immigrants/girls. If police follow the rational “crime reduction” strategy they get huge political pushback. If they target the workers, nobody cares, but nothing changes.
      The actual dynamic here, as I understand it, is that the ultra-social conservative/religious group strategy has been to target the owners of the online sites used by sex workers and their clients. Like Facebook-Ebay type platforms, these sites have huge network economies, so once widely used they are alleged to be incredibly profitable. The groups go to major donors describing how these sites are based on trafficking in defenseless, underage women who would never trade their bodies for sex but for the blandishments from the owners of these sites. Thus the major campaigns against Craigslist, Backpage, etc–these groups need to go back to their donors with the scalp of a prominent “trafficking” website. They had been protected over time by the same section 320 rules that protect Facebook (website owners not responsible for content published by independent individuals) and by locating servers and other assets overseas. FOSTA ran a bulldozer through those legal protections because the religious groups had been working for years to take down some of these websites, but the same approach basically opens the door for law enforcement and political enemies to threaten ruinous actions against lots of other online speech, and makes it easier for the huge companies to impose all sorts of censorship and arbitrary cutoffs of users who might ever cause inconvenient problems.
      FYI–this sex trade was the only thing keeping the “alternative press” in major US cities alive over the last 20 years. As with mainstream papers, classified ads had always been an important revenue source, but there willingness to take ads for sex, drug and other less acceptable services made revenue mushroom, and made it easy to shift the ads online. Backpage was the online service started by our local Phoenix New Times; it grew to become a national website, and that money allowed the owners to take over a large number of these publications across the country. They later changed their corporate name to Village Voice, one of the papers they took over, and eventually spun off all the newspapers so the owners (not nice people by all reports) could concentrate on the online sex trade. As with mainstream papers, the local papers (often the only source of investigative reporting of local issues–the New Times was the only local media outlet willing to challenge fought Joe Arpaio) no one things they can survive now that the ad revenue that kept them afloat is gone.

    1. nycTerrierist

      Bless G.G. for covering this — and also, Direct Action Everywhere,
      an animal rescue group that does courageous work to expose cruelty
      in factory farms.

      Hail G.G.: righteous advocate for man and beast!

    2. Brian

      Ridglan Farms, Wisconsin. Useless tourtourous experimentation on dogs. For those of you that live nearby, the people that work there are no different than the folks that like to torture humans. Worse would be likely, for these dogs are used because of their friendly people loving spirit. This is like torture of your children, because they are easiest and can’t fight back.
      Your community has a large component of beings that are less than human and they live among you. Stop them.
      Dane County, Wisconsin, Madison,
      I wonder if anyone knows someone that works at this torture chamber? Something tells me they aren’t outgoing people that share what they do with their neighbors.

    3. Jerermy Grimm

      Long ago when I attended college there was a section of the biomedical building where a lot of research was conducted using dogs as subjects. Some undergraduates who happened down these usually avoided halls complained to the administration about the dogs frightened and hurt barking. In response, a graduate student from one of the labs was tasked to go from cage-to-cage ‘de-barking’ the dogs.

  20. JeffC

    Mars: “I continue to be amazed at this discussion.”

    Same here. What particularly blows my mind is that its atmospheric pressure at the surface is around 0.6% of that on Earth. If you want to live in what for biological purposes is effectively a vacuum, why not choose the moon? It’s so much handier.

    If you really really reeeeally want to be far, far away, Titan has a noncrazy pressure. Great if you can deal with seas, lakes, rivers, and occasional downpours of frrrigid liquid methane. Plenty of water as rock-hard ice mountains.

      1. ambrit

        “Why, O magic mountain, did you kill the climber?”
        Mountain: “Because he dared.”

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Planetary geologist Amanda Hendrix’ book mentioned in this article is a good read on the subject of Titan colonization. Pretty good when she sticks to the planetary geology but goes out over her skis a bit when she starts envisioning the future society that would evolve there. If memory serves, it seemed like she’d been listening to Elon Musk a little too much when she wrote that part. Better book if she’d just stuck to the science.

  21. TomOfTheNorth

    The Truth About Banking
    .
    Interview with the former head of the FSA. This bit especially:
    “I felt that we were not asking some fundamental questions that need to be asked. I remember a point in autumn 2008 where we were debating whether we should take measure to regulate the credit default swap market,…”

    Well I’m sure glad they got that figured out….

  22. Richard

    I have a question for the best commentariat on the world wide webs. But they weren’t available, so I’m asking you guys :^ Sorry, couldn’t help it. This is the best place.
    I watch Jimmy Dore regularly, and as much as I appreciate him, the way he throws around the word “left” drives me nuts. Did I miss the memo where that word now covers everybody from Pelosi to Nina Turner? Poorly defined labels are a flaw in argumentation, and I can’t see any use in a label that amorphous. Why is he linking oppressors with oppressed? What is he even trying to say?
    Actually, I think I know what happened: Fox News mocks and critiques the “left” because that’s their money, and they run straight at Pelosi and the Clintons as they do so, because let’s face it, they are among the most mockable humans around. Left Clinton, left Obama, left Democrats, left media, and of course left everyone who is actually trying to help, your basic activists and citizens. After 10 million repetitions, this really stupid image infected everyone’s brain and tada!!! here we are.
    I think we should throw the word away. Please respond if you can help shed light,

      1. Richard

        I do not want to be one of the “gross stomach guys”. But then again, perhaps if we just take that name, it will scare away all the straights and nobody will coopt it. Kind of like Hunter Thompson’s idea of renaming Aspen “Fat City” to drive away all the developers.
        O.K. I am a Quato. There. It’s… not so bad, almost peaceful, except agggghhhhh, it’s another, littler guy! He’s coming out of my stomach! Aaaaagggghhhhhh, and nows he’s using his PSYCHIC FORCE to dominate me. Agggggghhhhhh! Thanks a lot JT McPheeeeeeeeee fist shaking as voice trails off

    1. hemeantwell

      It’s easier to keep people in the right-wing ideological corral if they think the only alternative is one run by Clintonites. I don’t go to righty sites much, but Sic Semper Tyrannis veers into this rut occasionally, and they will not reconsider it.

  23. JEHR

    “CBC endorses Capuano in Massachusetts Democratic primary” I was wondering why the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation would be interested in endorsing an American politician.

  24. Jason Boxman

    As it happens, I recently ran into a vodka? that’s from Poland and some of the money is donated to protecting snow leopards. Oh, it’s literally called Snow Leopard, too:

    “The Snow Leopard Trust is the world’s largest organization in the study and protection of the endangered Snow Leopard. 15% of all our profits go directly to the Trust to help them on their mission.”

    Kind of cool. It was good vodka, too!

  25. Edward

    “Time to ditch Wikipedia? A look at a Wikipedia editor’s long-running campaign to discredit anti-war campaigners and journalists ”

    How did Wikipedia end up like this? This is the organization that didn’t sell out like Google. Was Wikipedia infiltrated be someone with an agenda? How often does infiltration happen these days? Wikileaks and PEN were infiltrated. The Communist Party, for example, used to have a strategy to take over other groups.

    1. barefoot charley

      Israel’s famously had a hobby shop of editors monitoring Wiki articles on their fields of fire. They are groomed. Dueling edits about Israel have been the norm for years, and it’s no wonder the Wiki leadership stands back. There isn’t a solution once facts become IEDs.

  26. Altandmain

    Re: Babies on Mars

    It is yet another reason to be skeptical of the claims of Silicon Valley techies.

    There are clearly many, many obstacles that they have not considered. From resupply of the colonists to how long it would take to become self sufficient to how would they get their energy to a ton of other issues.

    I think this is a classic case of “all hat and no cattle”, which means that they talk a lot, but when it comes to actually getting it done, it is not happening.

  27. Oregoncharles

    “Gaza massacre ends American political oath: Israel support is bipartisan Mondoweiss. Chuck L: “I hope this is spot on, but I’ll believe it when I see it.””

    Didn’t talk with Steny Hoyer, did he? Come to think, Hoyer’s been having a lot of foot-in-mouth disease lately.

    1. flora

      An earlier in the week links item referenced the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in 1919 in India ordered by British Gen. Dyer. A 7 minute clip from the movie Ghandi about that event:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LaoamJ3vbs

      “General, how does a child shot with a 303 Lee-Enfield apply for help?”

      I’ve lost confidence that the Israelis – or Netanyahu – have a decent sense of proportion.

      1. flora

        adding: from the Links linked article “Gaza massacre…”:
        As my voice rose challenging him, I was struck how empty the lobby was. The cast of characters was paltry at best.

        When an assumed moral authority becomes dross….

  28. Parker Dooley

    Ambrit–
    Sorry for your pain — hope you are feeling better.

    There is no law against prescribing opioids for the type of pain you are experiencing, but this guideline illustrates some of the complications prescribers are subjected to in providing these meds. Many find it easier simply not to prescribe them, even though they may be subject to legal retribution for “inadequate pain relief”.

    During my career as a primary care doc, the dogma ranged from “prescribe as much dope as it takes to control pain (acute or chronic, the ‘5th vital sign’)” to “avoid opioids in chronic pain and minimize them in acute pain”. I believe Pharma, particularly Purdue Pharma, were major factors in pushing the former, through a constant barrage of detail persons and infiltration of the “continuing education” process as well as the accrediting organizations.

    Currently, barring their own sometimes serious side effects, NSAIDS (I prefer naproxen) and acetaminophen appear to work well for many, clove oil is an old standby with local anesthetic effect (problem is getting it to the source of the pain) and the evil weed may be an alternative to consider.

    Always appreciate your posts.

    1. ambrit

      Thank you Doctor. More solid data from the field. Your suggested formulary is appreciated.
      Your comments on the methodology underlying the situation is also appreciated. Basically, some non-hysterical argumentation ammunition for my next trip to “The Chair.”
      As for better; it comes and it goes. I’ve even started reciting the Bene Gesserit “Litany Against Fear.” As a mantra, it isn’t half bad.
      There is such a doctrine as “inadequate pain relief?” I never suspected such to be true.
      Following a mention from someone above, I’m trying some CBD oil my wife got to try on her melanoma tumours. It’s an experiment in progress. With the oils, placing the substance on the right spot is a bit of a bother, but, I’m trying tiny cotton balls.
      Thanks again and have a great weekend!

      1. WobblyTelomeres

        The dentist you chose may have also lost his/her license to prescribe scheduled drugs because of prior abuse of said privilege. This happens often. This may also explain why said dentist is working where he/she is… Just saying.

        1. ambrit

          There is that, but, wouldn’t that restrict said dentists ability to adequately treat the patients? Given where this is happening, such a consideration invokes shades of malign import. To steal a line from Dr. Johnson: “Nothing concentrates the mind more than knowing that next week ones’ teeth are not going to be fixed.”
          tomorrow, when we go to the God Reps weekly bash, I might actually seek relief from the Great Site Administrator in the Sky.

  29. Heidi's master

    The interesting thing to me about the Mondoweiss article was that people in Israel were aware of the killings as the death count went up.

    1. ambrit

      Curious yes but, we here in America are aware of all those wedding parties we’re blowing up in the Middle East, almost in real time, and we haven’t stopped that yet.

  30. skippy

    For burgeoning abscesses I’ve always used aspirin right on the tooth and let it sit there to dissolve, additionally rinse with scalding hot salt water occasionally. Did the same for a upper left rear molar that had cracked and then came free. The base of still resides there without any detriment.

    In the end the death of the nerve is when the pain stops ambrit, either via natural means or intervention.

    Sorry to hear about the other dramas, as some of say around here when asked how its going we reply “not dead yet”. Both of you are in my thoughts on the other side of the orb.

    1. ambrit

      You were always a tougher cobber than me skippy. I’ll try the aspirin trick. Do you recommend powder or cube?
      I’ll admit to trepidation about killing the nerve myself. Can it be done DIY? I can’t find anything on the internets to address that question. I’ve noticed that much self help information concerning medical or even quasi medical subjects is flagrantly astroturfed by the ‘official’ authorities.
      What was the motto Lord Greystoke was supposed to have on his escutcheon?
      “Je Suys Encore Vyvant.” (I Am Still Living)
      Hugs for all from both of us. Enjoy the antipodeal winter!

      1. skippy

        Nothing tough about it mate, dental pain is in a world of its own and has a propensity to effect so many basic functions such as eating and speaking. Not to mention plenty of tough sorts pass out at the sight of a needle thingy.

        I use tablets or the fizzy type put into water applied straight to the offending site and as another commenter suggested manipulate it with saliva in flowing through teeth and gum.

        The hot water and salt treatment is both to kill any nasty stuff and in a way spike the pain receptors so afterwards the sensation is diminished from a relative point of view. Sorta like slapping a mosquito bite hard in a pinch.

        Ref Oz winter… just in time for sons rugby…. phew, though early morning rowing is chilly. How the wife that is less than 5′ baked a boy that is a 93 kg lose head prop at 14 with the speed of a back… anywho its fun watching him skittle her whilst at the shops.

        Hope it helps.

        1. ambrit

          I get the “shock and awe” idea for nerve endings. Sort of like how hot sauce helps make ‘off’ food palatable. Hah! It overloads your taste buds for a while. I have personally noticed that my blood pressure drops and stays down a good while after some exercise. As above, so below. “They grow them big Down Under I hear.” It sounds like your boy, (he’ll want to thump me proper when he hears this I bet,) will grow into a fine man.
          Thanks for the aspirin application trick. I might apply some CBD oil to aspirin powder and put the paste on the tooth.

  31. JBird

    He also sent a text to a nurse that said, “You need to make this patient go bye-bye,”

    What a nice darkening example of humanity.

  32. kareninca

    I’m sorry to put this info for Ambrit at the end but I’m not sure where else to put it. High doses of vitamin C can be effective for severe pain:

    “VITAMIN C (Ascorbic Acid) ANALGESIA
    At high intake levels, Vitamin C is known to reduce inflammation and act to as a natural antibiotic and antihistamine. These properties are surprising enough to many, but one of the biggest surprises ever occurred during the 1970’s in Scotland at the Vale of Leven Hospital. There, Ewan Cameron, M.D. was giving ten grams (10,000 milligrams) of vitamin C intravenously each day to terminally ill cancer patients. The study was about vitamin C and cancer, but the unexpected finding was in pain relief.
    . . .
    “Cameron and Baird reported (in 1973) that the first five ascorbate-treated patients who had been receiving large doses of morphine or heroin to control pain were taken off these drugs a few days after the treatment with vitamin C was begun, because the vitamin C seemed to diminish the pain to such an extent that the drug was not needed. Moreover, none of these patients asked that the morphine or heroin be given to them- they seemed not to experience any serious withdrawal signs or symptoms.” (page xii)”
    http://www.doctoryourself.com/pain.html

    In case that is too Linus-Paulingy a source, here is a utterly reputable source:
    “accumulating evidence indicates that vitamin C administration can exhibit analgesic properties in some clinical conditions. . . . A number of recent clinical studies have shown that vitamin C administration to patients with chronic regional pain syndrome decreases their symptoms. Acute herpetic and post-herpetic neuralgia is also diminished with high dose vitamin C administration. Furthermore, cancer-related pain is decreased with high dose vitamin C, contributing to enhanced patient quality of life.” . . .
    “Herein we propose a novel analgesic mechanism for vitamin C; as a cofactor for the biosynthesis of amidated opioid peptides.”
    (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5391567/)

    I’ve seen this in anecdote form as well. I’ve read about people thinking that they’d healed themselves of dental problems, but actually hadn’t, but they thought they had because the high dose Vitamin C (which they’d taken orally, not intravenously) had made the pain go away.

    This is not medical advice!! But it does seem that high dose Vitamin C could be harmless, with your doctor’s okay of course.

    1. ambrit

      Thank you, thank you! Another arrow in the quiver.
      Phyl has encountered the Vitamin C cancer connection in her researches. It seems to be one of those therapies that gets scant attention from the “Mainstream Medical” crowd because it is not potentially lucrative enough.
      I’ll up my C intake today. After all, Pauling did live to be an active 93 years old curmudgeon!

      1. kareninca

        It needs to be very high doses. Pretty much as much as you can tolerate without developing a truly upset stomach. Not just increasing a regular dose by a reasonable amount. I don’t think that would typically interfere with regular meds, but you’d need to check.

            1. ambrit

              She is taking the curcumin. We weren’t aware of how high a dose was suggested. Finding out about “unapproved” medicine is made difficult, almost pathologically so. Friends like you are a prime resource. Stay well!

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