Links 6/26/18

Scientists Are Sharing The Worst Stock Photos Of Their Jobs And They’re Hilarious IFLScience (PlutoniumKun)

NASA showcases gorgeous new photo of Jupiter that looks almost too amazing to be real BGR (David L). Looks a lot like William Blake…

Woman celebrates 102nd birthday with indoor skydive BBC. She moves very well for her age.

We Are Most Likely Alone in the Universe Reason (PlutoniumKun)

The Coldest Temperature Ever Observed on Earth Is Bonkers EarthSky (David L)

The Tragic Roots of America’s Favorite Cherry Atlas Obscura (Jeff W)

Mumbai bans plastic bags and bottles Guardian (J-LS)

Use of Ritalin and other ‘smart drugs’ has DOUBLED in last decade as Ofsted chief warns parents are trying to ‘medicate away’ children’s bad behaviour Daily Mail

Red Meat Allergies Caused By Tick Bites Are On The Rise NPR (David L)

Genetic Attributions: Sign of Intolerance or Acceptance? University of Chicago Press (PlutoniumKun)


China’s mass indoctrination camps evoke Cultural Revolution Associated Press (PlutoniumKun)

A tragedy in the making as the US confronts China Asia Times. Kevin W: “Goldman being Goldman, he goes off the reservation a bit towards the end but it still interesting reading.”

North Korea

North Korea to move artillery out of range of Seoul as part of peace talks, South Korea suggests Independent (Kevin W)

Failure of the Left Leaves Italy a Victim of the Market ConsortiumNews


Two years into the Brexit disaster Chris Grey (guurst)

Confirmed: Northern Ireland has no back-up plan for a hard border (guurst)

BMW will shut UK sites if customs delays clog supply post-Brexit Guardian (Kevin). Re-reporting, but means this isn’t being ignored.

Nine EU states, including UK, sign off on joint military intervention force Politico

UK democracy under threat and reform is urgent, says electoral regulator Guardian (Kevin W)

New Cold War

Exposing the Russian Hacking Fraud by Publius Tacitus Sic Semper Tyrannis

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

AT&T collaborates on NSA spying through a web of secretive buildings in the US TechCruch (David L)

OpenBSD chief de Raadt says no easy fix for new Intel CPU bug ITWire


Immigration overhaul on life support in the House The Hill

Customs and Border Protection head says agency has stopped referring immigrant parents for criminal prosecution Associated Press

Trump Calls For Deportations Without Hearings Or Judges Jonathan Turley

Democrats once again prove they’re out of touch on immigration New York Post (Li). From a conservative perspective, but has some polling data on policy options.

Feds slip into Portland’s ICE headquarters as protesters sleep outside OregonLive (Li)

Unionsstreit beschert AfD Rekordhoch N-TV. Merkel polls better than the head of the CSU, Horst Seehofer, even among CSU voters, despite his poking a stick in Merkel’s eye over migration.

Tariff Tantrum

Exclusive: Facing U.S. blowback, Beijing softens ‘Made in China 2025’ message Reuters

China’s Xi Tells CEOs He’ll Strike Back at U.S. Wall Street Journal

China Begins to Question Whether It’s Ready for a Trade War Bloomberg

China puts a gun to world market’s head MacroBusiness

Donald Trump hits out at Harley-Davidson decision to move some production out of US (Kevin W)

Trump Transition

Personal attacks on Trump staffers won’t end well for America New York Post (Li). What these Dem top 10% instigators don’t seem to understand is what is good for the goose is good for the gander. If it becomes OK to mob a Trump official who fronts for policies you don’t like, it becomes OK to mob TV hosts, state and local officials, and even rich funders (assuming they can be identified) that stand for things the right or worse, those “deplorables” don’t like. They are greasing the skids of revolutionary violence and assume this is gonna work out just fine for them.

Judge Dismisses Climate Suits Targeting Big Oil Companies Wall Street Journal

What’s the Yield Curve? ‘A Powerful Signal of Recessions’ Has Wall Street’s Attention New York Times (Dr. Kevin)

Starbucks’ Howard Schultz says your morning coffee ritual is under threat (David L)

Why the Online Sales-Tax Ruling May Have Limited Impact Consumer Reports (Rocio)

An Unexpected Carbon Tax Proposal OilPrice

Risks Pile Up Quietly in the US Corporate Bond Market Wolf Street (EM)

Tesla’s prototype Semi has a ‘Mad Max’ Autopilot mode Endgadget (Kevin W)

Nestlé Sued By Former Slaves, Defense Dept Censors Its Crimes, and More Lee Camp

Class Warfare

Anger in America Project Syndicate (David L). Today’s must read.

This Is a Bully’s Language Medium (PlutoniumKun). The left is so fucked:

This is someone celebrating — celebrating — that they helped get an event cancelled, and they’re openly admitting that they did it for NO OTHER REASON than that they had a personal vendetta against one of the organizers. I’ve met plenty of bullies before, and this is a bully’s language.

People are ‘ghosting’ at work, and it’s driving companies crazy LinkedIn. Alex V: “Interesting….. probably should be read with a massive grain of salt. Now if only companies would stop ghosting the population on wage increases. ”

Amazon Workers Facing Firing Can Appeal to a Jury of Their Co-Workers Bloomberg

Antidote du jour. Leroy R:

This picture came off the trail cam I have hanging at the edge of my backyard, taken July 23 2017 at 7AM. The camera makes a barely audible click when it fires, and this instantly attracted the cat’s attention. I am in southern Fairfield County, Connecticut, in an over-developed suburban town about 12 miles from the coastline. However, our backyard abuts a large wooded area of wetland (also known as swamp), enough of which we own to have prevented development over the years. Lots of deer, turkeys, possums, raccoons, skunks, chipmunks, woodchucks and foxes (a family of four was cleaning up under the bird feeder last week). Also, flying squirrels at night (especially if we forget to bring in the bird feeder) — once every few years in the fireplace, but we have a small havahart trap. We have the occasional coyote, and I have frequently seen (and heard) screech owls and barred owls. but I have yet to see a bear. Also, nice selection of birds, with hawks that get a mourning dove every so often. From what I have read, bobcats are keen on self-preservation (article said that they are excellent climbers, but stay out of trees to avoid injury, also that they tend to be solitary to avoid conflicts and fights) so I think I am lucky to have this picture. It was the only one in several years of trail cam use. If he is still out there, he makes himself very scarce, and probably sees me long before I see him.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. Henry Moon Pie

      Exactly. My takeaway is how can we treat such a beautiful and potentially unique planet so cavalierly.

    2. A Farmer

      Well, I’m up for letting the Reason crew start careening around the solar system. With their resistance to safety standards and free market faith, I don’t think they will be too successful.

          1. ambrit

            Doing further investigation, I discover that the ’63-’64 Starfire could come with a 350 Rocket engine. (Actually a V-8 big block 394 c.i. engine.)

    3. Expat

      I am not sure the conclusion is reasonable. The universe is, for all intents and purposes, infinite. The visible universe contains hundreds of millions of galaxies each containing hundreds of millions of stars. If you calculate probabilities with any reasonable number of zeroes after the decimal, you still end up with high probability of life in this galaxy and near certainty of life in the universe.

      I side with those who say that given the challenges of interplanetary and inter-solar travel, it is more likely that life is extinguished before it leave home. Either self-destruction or just a cruel and indifferent universe exploding a star or sending a fragment of rock into the home planet.

      I also concur with the “yikes!”. Do we really want to spread ourselves in our current state? i hope not.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        Agreed. Anybody claiming to have come to this conclusion based on using more finely tuned parameters with the Drake equation shouldn’t be taken too seriously as the Drake equation itself isn’t much more than a back of the napkin estimate to begin with.

      2. blennylips

        Why not indeed!

        The earliest known fossils on Earth date from 3.5 billion years ago and there is evidence that biological activity took place even earlier – just at the end of the period of late heavy bombardment. So the window when life began was very short. As soon as life could have formed on our planet, it did.

        So, the experiment is run gazillions of times in the universe, and someday something may succeed in escaping some gravity well.

        Probably not here.

      3. Jeremy Grimm

        I think it’s remarkable to note that the authors received funding to write this paper:
        “This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 669751).”
        Would they have received funding in the U.S.? Of the three conclusions cited in the paper’s introduction, I think the following conclusion may help explain the funding: “Our third result is that pessimism for the survival of humanity based on the Fermi paradox is unfounded.” We’ll just have to arrive at pessimism or optimism for the survival of humanity based on other arguments. [I wonder why it takes 19 pages of statistical gibberish to conclude that the Drake equation is a tool for making WAGs.]

      4. Procopius

        I’m thinking of the series of stories by Poul Anderson collected as The Technic Civilization, Van Rijn and the Intergalactic Spice Corporation. Or maybe it was John Campbell, editor of Amazing (later Analog) Science Fiction. Anyway, the hypothesis was presented that the most likely evolutionary path for intelligent life was from predatory animals. That means that if we did meet other intelligent beings they would probably be every bit as nasty as we are. Not highly evolved spiritual beings. And they would have more advanced weaponry.

    4. Oregoncharles

      Fortunately or not, the conclusion consisted largely of fudge-words. Not proven.

  1. fresno dan

    We Are Most Likely Alone in the Universe Reason (PlutoniumKun)

    I like this article on the existence of extraterrestrials which I think gives the very good arguments that we are alone in the universe.
    One is that high intelligence is not at all favored by natural selection, contrary to what we would expect. In fact, all the other kinds of living organisms, millions of species, get along fine without high intelligence.
    The other possible reason for the rarity of intelligence is that it is extraordinarily difficult to acquire. Some grade of intelligence is found only among warm-blooded animals (birds and mammals), not surprisingly so because brains have extremely high energy requirements. But it is still a very big step from “some intelligence” to “high intelligence.”
    “high intelligence” in humans is certainly debatable…..

    1. Lee

      A lack of high intelligence is perhaps the smarter evolutionary path. Makes a lot of sense. But then, what do I know?

    2. windsock

      If you take Gaia as a whole-earth organism, maybe planets want to evolve high-intelligence species that can leave their homes to re-create conditions on other planets. What is Terraforming other than Earth reproducing /seeding itself into the universe?

      Which kind of ties in with the article’s final sentence, which made me puke: “the galaxy is ours for the taking. Let’s go.” Well, yes, but can we do it without the war, environmental destruction and remove the profit motive as part of the equation?

      Or has Gaia built that in to its seeding operation? In which case…. bye bye Universe? (Yes, I know this is all arguable, but I find it an interesting hypothesis.)

        1. Wukchumni

          What if our solar system is just a giant bowling alley, and we’d be the blue one, a lane ball?

    3. The Rev Kev

      Maybe they are out there but are waiting for us to develop warp flight before they will make first contact. They consider us too primitive until we do. If we developed subspace technologies then we would be able to at least monitor their communications but until then – nada. Or so I was told by a guy named Ford Prefect.

      1. Brian

        Most of our astronauts have seen things that can’t be explained with modern physics. Many people see and catalog things that can’t exist according to modern physics. Isn’t it too early to consider mankind’s ideas about what they can’t solve to draw conclusions? (as scientist examines dirt clod with stethoscope)
        Ask anyone that saw the show May 16, 1976 at Orange County Airport and LAX.

        1. Wukchumni

          Ask anyone that saw the show May 16, 1976 at Orange County Airport and LAX.

          Ok, i’ll bite. What happened way back when there?

        2. Expat

          I think it was John Glenn who was convinced his orbiter was surrounded by angels or little sparkling aliens. A bit of puzzling later, it turned out to be his crystallized urine orbiting around him.
          A police chief once chased Venus for fifteen miles, reporting that is was veering left and right when it turns out he was on a winding mountain road.
          Water droplets on lenses of telescopes or cameras have provoked UFO sightings.
          And so on and so one.
          There are things modern physics can’t explain…yet, but I don’t believe there are verified, proven sightings of magical alien technology.

          1. Wukchumni

            25 years ago perhaps 1 out of 1,000 people out in public had a movie camera on their person, now the number is probably closer to 666 out of 1,000…

            Where are all the UFO videos, I ask you?

            1. Expat

              Alien technology can directly erase digital while old-fashioned film was alien-proof! The mere fact that there is not tangible evidence is proof that aliens exist because it is obvious that they are erasing evidence of themselves!
              For my next trick, I will need the help of a volunteer from the audience and the loan of a ten thousand dollar bill.

              1. Jag Mayeroffer

                Your dismissive comments aren’t amusing whatsoever.
                Japan Air Lines flight 1628 incident
                There are actual events occurring, witnessed by trained professionals daily, weekly monthly, etc. The above is just one. The ramifications and meaning of these events are what’s important.These events require scientific analysis.

                1. Expat

                  They are analyzed. The US military looks into every single one of these. Not necessarily because they hope to find little, green men, but because they hope they don’t find some amazing Russian or Chinese technology.
                  If I am dismissive and mocking, it is because the answers to mysteries are not God and LGM. The answer is “we don’t know yet.” Making up aliens, angels, and gremlins is fine for the Middle Ages and Middle America but not for rational, sane, inquiring minds.

                  Science does not mean having all the answers. Science means looking for the answers.

            2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              The (space) aliens have gotten more camera-shy, now that they are celebrities???

    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I am forever puzzled by the lack of interest in high compassion, instead of high intelligence.

      Is there compassionate life in the universe (instead of is there intelligent life)?

      Perhaps compassion is not favored by natural selection, or perhaps a big heart consumes even more energy than a big brain.

  2. fresno dan

    Anger in America Project Syndicate (David L). Today’s must read.

    Two recent analyses get to the heart of the issues at play, particularly in the United States, but also in the rest of the world. In his new book Tailspin, the journalist Steven Brill argues that US institutions are no longer fit for purpose, because they protect only the few and leave the rest vulnerable to predatory behavior in the name of the free market. According to Brill, this is an upshot of America’s meritocracy: the best and brightest had the chance to climb to the top, but then essentially pulled the ladder up behind them, as they captured democratic institutions and used them to entrench special privileges for themselves.
    Hard to imagine that Trump is draining the swamp or will in any way ARREST the rate at which inequality is advancing or diminish the suffering.
    Perversely, Trump goads the media into ever more ignoring of the serious economic hardship that the majority of Americans are enduring. One can only wonder how long this can continue and how it will resolve itself…

    1. Wukchumni

      An angry populace armed to the teeth with no sense of national shared purpose or goals whatsoever in a society where most have glimpsed 10,472 murders on tv or in the movies, and are enrolled unwillingly in the school mass murder of the month club by the mere act of watching the aftermath play out, and learning the name of the latest assailant, but seldom his victims.

      What do you really expect to come of us?

      1. Kevin

        no sense of national shared purpose or goals

        Well put. As I mentioned yesterday, once we lose this…our sense of society,, it’s every man/woman for him or herself.

        I would also point out; this is not only an internal issue for the U.S., ut we are pursuing the same agenda outside our borders. Alienate Mexico, Canada, The Eu. Due to our belligerence and unpredictability, we force our allies to seek resources/alliances elsewhere. Russian and China, by comparison seem very stable.

        1. Jean

          “no sense of national shared purpose or goals”

          Also known as “Civic Decay”

          That’s what advertising is for, to get you to buy unique stuff that is your (new) purpose and goal.

      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Shared national goals vs. shared planet goals.

        One example of shared national goals is Made In China 2025.

        That sounds strange, given that people think of Chinese exports when they hear “Made In China” and the Chinese claim about re-balancing their economy.

        1. Wukchumni

          I expect about the only thing we’ll see made here in 2025, is stickers that proclaim “Made In The USA” with old glory as a backdrop.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            The dollar will still be made here in the good old USA, even in 2025.

            “How much more do you need? There is more where that came from. We make American money like no one can. And no one can.”

    2. Sid Finster

      “US institutions are no longer fit for purpose, because they protect only the few and leave the rest vulnerable to predatory behavior….”

      This is not a result unique to the United States. Rather it is the inevitable outcome of the Iron Law of Oligarchy and its corollary, the Iron Law of Institutions.

        1. Procopius

          Didn’t Aristotle hypothesize that forms of government went through cyclical phase changes? Democracy to Oligarchy to Monarchy to Democracy? Rinse and repeat? I’d say that behavior like that, observed for so many centuries by so many people (Machiavelli observed it too, but was still trying to preserve his beloved Republic) could be called an “Iron Law.” Unbendable, unbreakable.

    3. Doug Hillman

      Since taking office, Trump realized that “draining the swamp” is old-school developer-think. As an enlightened environmentalist his revised policy is to preserve America’s wetlands.

    4. Freethinker

      Apparently, the Trump administration’s method of “draining the swamp” exclusively involves attacking federal employees (many working class and minorities) by reducing job protections against discrimination, disemboweling unions, ensuring stagnation in wages through freezes on salary increases and higher pension contributions, and lowering retirement benefits, one should expect a measurable boost to rising inequality and suffering. Keep in mind, as of January of this year, the federal government currently employs just over 2 million full-time civilians, excluding Postal Service workers. An additional 1.3+ million are employed by the military.

    5. Left in Wisconsin

      I guess I’m an outlier on this piece. Yes, absolutely the 10% do everything they can to help their kids and their friend’s kids to get ahead. I think people who expect others not to do this don’t understand human nature very well.

      But the whole argument about “pulling the ladder up after them?” I don’t get that. The metaphor suggests active behavior, not passive behavior. But the problem with the 10% is that they are passive – they DON’T challenge the structure of society. Also, pulling the ladder up suggests that, if you are on the boat, you are safe. But if the 10% were safe, they wouldn’t be so intent on providing their kids with every advantage. Talk to a 10% parent and, once you get past the politicking (my kid is the greatest), you find the deepest unease about their kids’ future. This is not safely on the boat.

      I’ve heard the arguments about legacies, etc. But that is not the 10%, or the kids of the 10%. Probably 1 out of 1000 of the 10% gets their kid into an Ivy, and none of them as legacies. That is why they work so hard and are so apolitical.

    6. Elizabeth Burton

      Trump goads the media

      The media are supposed to be mature professionals, which means they should be immune to “goading.” The fact is, they would perish for want of subject matter if they didn’t turn his every stupid pronouncement into a major incident. He’s not “goading” them. He’s feeding them exactly what they want. Maybe Mr. Mueller should add checking Trump’s bank accounts for payoffs from the corporate media while he’s at it.

      1. Procopius

        You have an excellent point, but it’s by their own choice that they are so dependent on him/them as the only news they have. There’s a heck of a lot. The current election in Turkey is existentially important for the future of NATO. Our MIC is terrified because Turkey has contracted to buy a shitload of Russian SA-400 air defense systems, which are supposed to be able to shoot down F-35s with ease and F-22s with difficulty. Syria is preparing to attack the ISIS/Al Qaeda positions in South-East Syria, which is going to have them moving toward Israely forces, who have been supporting and supplying the jihadis. The South Koreans are talking seriously with the North Koreans for the first time since 1952, and Trump’s inane blathering has nothing to do with it. Canada is legalizing marijuana. Lot’s more if you know where to look. Take a look at Tass. I was surprised how interesting it is.

        1. Elizabeth Burton

          I regularly harvest from RT and Sputnik. I’m very aware of the situation in Turkey, which is probably why the “North Atlantic Treaty Organization: now has a member from Central America. Frankly, I foresee more problems if the US continues to bully the EU and other allies about Iran. I have to say that if Trump can break the hold the US has on the rest of the world for no other reason than his CEO governing style, he may do us all a favor.

  3. MC

    Regarding job candidates “ghosting”: I can’t say I have much sympathy for hiring managers. I’ve applied to no fewer than 50 jobs in the last three months, all of which I am qualified for (advanced degree, 10+ years of research and managerial experience) and haven’t had a single reply back. Hell for 4/5ths of them I didn’t even get a courtesy auto reply email saying they have my resume. It’s just like I chucked 3 hours worth of work down a dark hole, never to be heard from again.
    But the economy is great you guys!!!

    1. Spring Texan

      Job hunting is hell. I’ve often wondered about the aggregate amount of time wasted in this hideous way in this country. I cringe when I see old resumes and cover letters of mine during a period ten years ago when I couldn’t find employment (I did finally luck out but it took several YEARS – though during the last year I did have a non-professional office job, before then I had odd jobs only). So much work and effort. And mostly yes ZERO response; when there WAS a response – people seemed to have a conviction that all my job skills had decayed during the period of unemployment (“oh, but you worked with this software two years ago, everything is different now”) and didn’t hire me, and one place where I did impress people and went for four interviews before they didn’t hire me. Finally I was hired as a raw trainee again at age 57 and worked my way back up the professional ladder – now I’m secure but oh my gosh I sympathize.

      1. SpringTexan

        It’s not easy to get even the crappiest job, it’s a crazy, lengthy process.

        This is why a jobs guarantee is such a political winner. People who are working crazy hard and can’t find say a retail job would JUMP at the chance to actually WORK at something rather than fill out online applications for hours and hours and not hear back.

        1. Bugs Bunny

          It would decrease the labor pool, increasing wages and competition for jobs. Plus the idea of a guaranteed job if you do happen to lose yours is very comforting. Win-win.

      2. Jason Boxman

        Ha, I once got an email back about a job application I did a year prior about an interview. I forget what my reply even was, if I replied.

      3. jrs

        thanks for your inspiration. This job market still really sucks at least here, and employers act like it, seeking only perfection and dumping good candidates willy nilly.

        It’s nice to know people come out of things like that ok in the end, at least sometimes.

    2. Scott

      I’m not disagreeing, but it’s just bad manners to not respond to phone calls or emails, whether you’re the recruiter or the candidates. And it’s probably worse with the companies as they have automated systems, which they could easily use to say they’ve received your resume or that you are no longer a candidate. It creates a perception of the company or individual that will last well beyond the time you spent filling out the application.

      But I have seen this behavior in business development for years (decades according to my colleagues), a firm invites a few companies to bid on a multi-million dollar contract and you submit one and respond to later questions and interviews. And then nothing, not even acknowledging that they’ve gone with another firm.

    3. Ed

      I strongly suspect the article is propaganda, but if its true, its the labor market version of “hypergamy” ( where everyone chases after a handful of candidates, ignoring perfectly good matches, and said candidates are then licensed to act as jerks and so do.

      1. JohnnyGL

        Yes, inequality in our society gets rapidly reproduced and manifested in the job market. Slightly less qualified candidate are dog doo-doo. ‘Perfect’ candidates are lavished with multiple offers.

        Thanks for the new term!

      2. jrs

        yep right at the start:

        “a Washington-based recruiter, found a software engineer she planned to hire, one with skills and experiences so rare she dubbed her a “purple unicorn,” recruiting-speak for a perfect find.”

        THAT IS EXACTLY IT. Although occasionally labor shortages exist in a few fields (trucking maybe), I doubt that is what is going on here. So the question is: WHY are the skills and experience being sought that rare?

        It seems like companies aren’t even looking for skillsets, career paths, etc. so much anymore, they are looking for EXACT LIFE PATHS. Like you only fit if you have the exact lifepath they are looking for: you worked in this very obscure industry exactly 5 years and that other one exactly 3 etc.. But as opposed to general career paths, there are an infinite number of lifepaths we can go down. What are the odds? Not good!

        1. lyman alpha blob

          WHY are the skills and experience being sought that rare?

          Because the companies doing the hiring are all larded up with bespoke tech.

          There are a zillion companies out there selling tech for just about every single function imaginable. I was astounded to find out that my company can purchase industry-specific software for just about everything they need to do and they have their choice of multiple vendors.

          Now most of this software is hastily cobbled together just to get a product out there and doesn’t work particularly well, and even less so after it gets integrated into an existing system. But after many months or a few years, IT manages to get all the bugs worked out and it all starts working fine at just about the time everything needs to be upgraded because there is no longer any tech support offered for the original version. Rinse and repeat.

          So I imagine more and more companies require very specific skills – they want people knowledgeable in the software they just adopted and don’t want to have to train them on the job. There are extremely few people who have the exact software skills any given company needs at a certain time.

          Pretty stupid, but that’s the way it is because the Musks and Zuckerbergs of the world have managed to convince the MBA crowd that moar tech is ALWAYS better.

          1. Lee Too

            This is right on the money. I worked in IT for almost 30 years. I am pretty sure that hiring managers believe that COBOL and Java programmers can’t interbreed.

    4. JohnnyGL

      I’ve been ‘ghosted’ by hiring managers after interviews internally at my company that I’ve been with for 10 years.

      My sympathy for recruiters and hiring managers is very thin. Many of them are obnoxious.

      1. jrs

        ghosting is also sometimes the only way to get rid of them, the overly aggressive recruiter you just don’t want any more to do with … but they won’t go away. A job hunter needs recruiters much of the time, but a few of them are hard to deal with to put in mildly, and it becomes a quandary.

    5. Doug Hillman

      Many professional job postings are probably the usual labor in-sourcing process, posted merely to satisfy proforma H1B-visa requirements for recruiting lower salary, captive and compliant indentured workers. You get no response because they never officially recieved your resume in the first place. This proves the need for in-sourcing due to a lack of qualified American candidates. The Healthcare racket is a fine example of this process.

    6. perpetualWAR

      I feel your pain. In my case, I have been their “top candidate” until they see my grey hair. Then, I get the response, “Thank you for your interest, but we’ve selected another candidate.” So much so, that I bought some hair dye for my next interview (today). So we shall see if that makes the difference!

      So sorry for both of us!

      1. Paleobotanist

        use the hair dye. it helps.
        also consider some light make-up ie foundation that will not show
        it’s okay for guys to do this, a number do

        best of luck

        1. Wukchumni

          Another option is to X-dress so as to pass as a younger generation if you’re a boomer, and make sure at least a few of the temporary henna tats you get are visible when going in for an interview. If you’re desperate for the position, piercing is always an option and will help your bonafides in terms of not being a baby boomer, I mean which one would ever do that?

      2. Burritonomics

        I’m in a similar situation. Went back to school to get a degree to be competitive. The job hunt has been brutal, as you describe. I’m so skeptical of the “we just can’t find good people who want to work” narrative that typically accompanies these articles about the labor market. Had an interview last week that seems like a great opportunity, but the pay is less than 2x min wage. Felt like it went great, now I’m waiting for the “we’ve gone another direction” call today. :P

      3. neo-realist

        Hair dye is good to cover up the age, but you can’t cover dark skin. In the past, I’ve been in the position of competitive candidate for a position until I showed up to the interview and saw the look of shock, or horror, or fear on the middle manager’s face; the interview may be friendly and or cordial afterwards, but eventually resulted with the followup line “We filled the position, but you were qualified” or words to that effect — from the HR person, not the middle manager.

        1. jrs

          Well that sucks. Although I don’t believe hair dye really covers up age, at all, it’s not fooling anyone. Now some people look more attractive coloring their hair than with grey, it goes better with their complexion, and looking better for an interview is good. But this is different than looking *young* when you aren’t. Nobody is fooled just by a change of hair color.

          1. JBird

            As someone who started getting white hair in his very early thirties, I can see someone using hair coloring. Your face might say maybe 30 when your head is saying maybe 50.

    7. Mark Gisleson

      MC, contact me at I’m retired now (i.e., I don’t charge for advice) but I helped over 5000 people in all fields get jobs. The best advice is NOT generic and best not given in open forums.

      It would help if you could send me as much info as possible but feel free to omit your personal data if you’re not comfortable sending it to a stranger online!

      CAVEAT: Despite loving this blog, I do not work with people in the financial industry and I dislike working with C-suite level individuals from any industry.

    8. Wyoming

      This kind of response is not occurring just in paid positions but also for volunteer positions with non-profits. Over the last 3 years I have tried to volunteer with about 10 different entities which are advertising in the local paper for volunteers. I send in a response via email contact or phone contact as they list on their web sites. And get zero response.

      I mentioned this result last week to a group of fellow retirees i was working with as volunteers for the Forest Service and they say the same thing happens to them…unless you give money first. Then you get hounded every week for more money. But the position almost never happens anyway.

  4. flora


    re: on the connent ‘ What these Dem top 10% instigators don’t seem to understand is what is good for the goose is good for the gander. If it becomes OK to mob a Trump official who fronts for policies you don’t like, it becomes OK to mob TV hosts, state and local officials, and even rich funders (assuming they can be identified) that stand for things the right or worse, those “deplorables” don’t like. They are greasing the skids of revolutionary violence and assume this is gonna work out just fine for them. ‘

    I agree. This play works out for US neoliberal regime change in latin america, a la the Chicago boys. Bringing the play home is another matter. Deliberately disrupting civil society for personal gain sure looks like the neoliberals are getting nervous about their hold on the wheel. For low level participants it requires a large amount of doublethink to say you only object to someone’s policies while attacking them first on their looks with a vile nickname. The people whipped into mob action aren’t thinking at all. That mindlessness serves the neoliberals’ economic and power interests.

    My 2¢: Thomas Frank’s new book ‘Rendezvous with Oblivion’ came out last week. Is the latest Dem 10%’er action against a woman trying to have dinner supposed to distract us from what Frank writes?

    1. The Rev Kev

      Yeah, this has the potential to get real ugly real fast. Want too know something ironic? Saw a clip on the news that showed the Red Hen and it had an inspirational saying in the window. It was about how with love you can convert an enemy into a friend. This was WTF on an epic scale. Did they read it before putting it in their window? Did they understand its message?
      I also saw the despicable Congresswoman Maxine Waters virtually demanding that people harass anybody working for the Trump regime, err, administration. Apart from the blowback that could occur between both sides, this could easily degenerate into a call to harass any people that voted for Trump in the last election and in the upcoming mid-terms.
      A hate-crime is defined as ‘a crime motivated by racial, sexual, or other prejudice, typically one involving violence’ but I think that we are going to be seeing something new arise here and that is hate-crimes based on political choices. People will actually start defining their identities by which political parties that they support – the dumb ****! I suspect that such hate-crimes will feature more and more in the news as the US moves closer to each election such as this November. I hope I’m wrong.

            1. Wukchumni

              Naked jelly slathered on something freshly baked, and if you want to get really kinky, dolloped with whipped cream deliberately.

      1. marym


        Bakery receives bump from RNC after turning down Biden visit

        Chris McMurray, owner of the Crumb and Get It bakery in Radford, Va., turned down an offered visit from Biden on Wednesday. Biden was campaigning in Virginia this week.

        “’LIKE’ and SHARE if you stand with small business owners [sic] and know THEY built their business, not the government!” the RNC posted on Facebook Thursday with a link to the story about McMurray.

        It’s a decision I made in the moment based on conviction and principle,” McMurray said. “I have a difference of opinion than the folks in that campaign and that’s just what it was. Also, taking a stance in my faith, faith in God. Anyway, the response has been wonderful. We’ve been really well-supported, lots of kind calls.”

        Ryan builds on Obama comment in Roanoke

        Roanoke, Virginia (CNN) – Paul Ryan on Wednesday visited the Southwest Virginia town where President Barack Obama made his “you didn’t build that” remark that has since been seized upon by Republicans, including Mitt Romney’s campaign, and has become a major theme of the presidential race.

        The local small business owner who introduced the vice presidential candidate at an outdoor morning rally underscored that point. According to Chris McMurray, owner of Crumb and Get It Cookie Co. in nearby Radford, he turned down an invitation from the Obama campaign for Vice President Joe Biden to appear at his bakery last week.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          “We will not buy from X”

          “We will not sell to Y.”

          Is it always the case that Y is a victim and X is not?

          Do people die or suffer if you don’t buy from them? Here, it could be ‘we don’t do business with that state, or this city…or we don’t patronize shops owned by a certain social/religious/political/etc. group.’

          “Boycott her clothing brand.”

          “Boycott his hotels.”

          Is it only the refusal to sell, and not the refusal to buy, that we are OK to focus on?

        2. JohnnySacks

          So you’re saying that perhaps a business establishment shouldn’t be able to refuse service should they have a deeply religious conviction about their customers’ lifestyles? Not too much difficulty seeing where that defense originated.

          1. marym

            Sorry if I wasn’t clear. I’m saying the exact same thing happened when a high-ranking Democrat was refused service on the exact same grounds of moral conviction.

            The media didn’t go into a frenzy about civility. A high-ranking Republican embraced the tactic. And the country didn’t decline into chaos as a result of it.

            The current brouhaha is ridiculous. If the country declines into chaos it won’t be because the a few people on the left interrupted someone’s dinner. It will be because the right uses it as an excuse to move further right and the Civility Liberals chooses to attack those who stand up to them.

            1. Duke of Prunes

              I would not equate turning down a campaign visit with refusing to serve someone.

              With the campaign, you’re saying I don’t want you to use my establishment to advance views and ideas with which I do not agree.

              Unless there is more to the story, this not quite the same as I don’t want to serve you because I disagree with you.

            2. RUKidding

              Thank you very much.

              While I’m not really thrilled with the tactic of denying someone access to your business, whether restaurant bakery or what have you, I’m entirely CYNICAL about all the massive hand wringing wrought both by the Red Hen owner’s actions with Sarah Sanders & by Congresswoman Maxine Waters.

              I suspect that it’s highly unlikely (while admitting I simply cannot prove it) that most people getting “upset” and/or tsk-tsking and decrying these recent actions ever said one PEEP about the Joe Biden incidents.

              I still have no idea how the Red Hen restaurant owner votes. If anyone has credible information on her political leanings, please inform me.

              Funny how when Republicans do it, it’s just fine and jim dandy, but when Republicans are on the receiving end of the exact same treatment that they dished out to Democrats suddenly civilization as we know it will surely end in extreme violence.

              Sure. Right. Got it.

              Certainly what’s sauce for the Republican gooose, must never ever be sauce for the Democratic gander. Can’t have that.

              1. Elizabeth Burton

                If it’s not wrong (according to SCOTUS) for someone to refuse to make a cake for a gay couple because of their religious, then it’s not wrong for a restaurant owner to refuse to serve someone based on their political beliefs.

                Except the people now praising the Red Hen’s owner to the skies and calling for more of the same are the same people who were screeching bloody murder when SCOTUS handed down the decision on the baker.

                But then, one could ask where were Rachel Maddow and her weeping ilk back in April with the policy all are howling about now first came into effect. And did you know that policy is entirely different from what Obama did because the kids he did it to were “unaccompanied.” Apparently, it’s less traumatic for a child threatened with rape and/or death to be forced from the arms of their families and sent north with no guarantee they’ll survive the trip.

                I’m not sure how much more of this disgusting hypocrisy I can take before I hurt somebody.

                1. Procopius

                  Errr… excuse me but the unaccompanied children were not “torn from the arms of their families,” except in the sense that they decided they needed to leave their families behind to escape an intolerable situation. There was much I hated about Obama’s policies, but he was not separating families because the families were not here, they were back in the old country.

            3. Geo

              Totally agree. Conservatives have been blocking women’s health clinics for decades, targeting gay gatherings, and much, much more for generations.

              If they get pissy because there’s blowback they need to look in the mirror for once.

        3. Arizona Slim

          Here in Tucson, there’s a Mexican restaurant that was patronized by Bill Clinton while he was president. Mi Nidito still has the President’s Plate on its menu, and I’m told that it is quite popular.

      2. voteforno6

        Part of me thinks that they all should be treated with contempt and scorn. Not just the Trump administration, but pretty much every elected official in the country, their staffers, members of elite media organizations, and so on.

        This link that Atrios posted is truly a righteous rant:

        This Is Just the Beginning

      3. perpetualWAR

        It has been interesting moving to the red side of a blue state. I left my ‘Bernie Would Have Won’ bumper sticker on my car. I have gotten more positive comments about the sticker since the move, which surprised me. However, I was being helped by a very nice man at a nursery, but when he brought my purchase to my car, he harumped when he saw the sticker. I wanted to say, “You and I were connecting and there is no reason now to stop. We should be able to agree to disagree!”

      4. Jean

        We get the Nob Hill Gazette dumped on our high income zip code doorstep in San Francisco.

        It’s a slick paper vehicle to showcase expensive product advertisements like jewelry and decca million dollar condos. It heavily illustrates what the rich are wearing to the opera, articles about hobby businesses and other general wealth ephemera.

        Have noticed in the last few years that the truly wealthy, the real power brokers, are no longer allowing their pictures to be taken. Those posing now are basically their glitterati staff, social climbers and the latest trendoids.

        Could it be that the powers that be don’t want their pictures among the general public?

        Google images is great for finding and hoarding pictures for the future.

      5. Wyoming


        I tried to send a response to you on this over the weekend but it never appeared. So once again.

        This be careful what you wish for was started by the conservatives in the US who for the last 50 years have been vocal about their right to serve or not to serve anyone they choose to. There are signs in hundreds of thousands of business windows in the US – especially restaurants – which say “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.” And they are strongly defended by conservatives. Now we all know that these signs are basically used to intimidate but when I was young they were used against me a number of times. And against a host of minorities, gays, hippies, you name it. So what goes around comes around pertains.

        As to your comment that all this is going to lead to violence. Well that started decades ago as well. If you mean it is going to get worse we are in complete agreement. But it will not be a new thing of hate crimes based upon political choices as that has been going on forever as well. There is going to be blood in the streets just as there was when I was young eventually. I fully expect that it will not be an accident that some politicians will seem to be trying to provoke such violence. This country is pretty broken.

    2. integer

      Maxine Waters is fanning the flames:

      “If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”

      Here’s hoping Waters is on the receiving end of some of the “push back” she is advocating for.

      1. Sid Finster

        “Here’s hoping Waters is on the receiving end of some of the “push back” she is advocating for.”

        While I agree that sauce for the (credentialed, articulate) Team D goose should be sauce for the (deplorable, knuckle-dragging) gander, the moment something like that happens to Congresswoman Waters, she will play not the race card, but the entire deck.

        1. ambrit

          I don’t know how well that will work out for her. She is obviously not playing with a full deck.

        2. Expat

          I still don’t understand Trump or the right’s indignation. They started all this. Now that the left and Democrats are stooping to their level, they are pretending they have the high ground?

          A plague on both their houses!

          1. Aumua

            Here here! This is actually a common tactic used by the alt-right called “make the liberals look like the bad guys any way we can”, which the so called left is now playing directly into. I have to wonder if anyone is truly sincere about any of this stuff.

      2. RUKidding

        Maxine Waters has gotten plenty of push back over the years for any numbers of things, including times when she has, imo, taken principled stands.

        I’m very much on the fence with what she did in regards to this incident. I think she’s fed up, but the tactic is not a great one, I agree.

        But thinking Waters can’t “take it”? Well, I think she’ll manage. JMHO, of course.

    3. Oregoncharles

      This is still just posturing compared to the late 60’s. Wake me when the bombs start going off HERE, as they did then.

      Wake me, that is, so I can get out of the country – though I’ve no idea where to.

    4. Procopius

      I don’t follow your argument. Shunning and public shaming were NOT tactics the Chicago Boys used in Chile. They used soldiers and guns and prisons and torture.

  5. fresno dan

    Personal attacks on Trump staffers won’t end well for America New York Post (Li).

    Being a curmudgeonly, cantankerous, confounding old fool, it is just my nature not to buy the conventional wisdom. NOT having personal attacks is helping the ever increasing amount of downtrodden in America….HOW?
    As I recall, the defacto way that the working class was helped the most, i.e., UNIONS, had plenty of violence.
    That’s back when people understood that there was CLASS WARFARE being waged against them all the time, and that they were going to fight back. I don’t know why the battle should be fought on the enemies terms – they know what they want and THEY DON’T care how much suffering they impose. Its naive and absurd to believe that corporate profit centric media has any real moral sensibility or dispassionate analysis of what is going on – always the same jabbering about the same irrelevant crap….

    What ever you think of Gore and Clinton, it is indisputable that they both won the POPULAR vote. Funny how that works in America….
    I just saw a good movie – I, Daniel Blake
    and though it takes place in England, I think it shows the same thing that is happening here with medicare, the subtle, insidious bureaucratization of a program with the intent of destroying it.

    1. flora

      The unions fought for safe working conditions, reasonable hours, fair wages. There was violence. The fight was against owners and power structures. But calling J.P.Morgan, for example, something like “jabba the morgan” as a first and primary tool, attacking him first with ad homenim instead of attacking his policies and control, using that as a rallying cry would have been childish and futile in the extreme. That would have changed nothing.

      1. fresno dan

        June 26, 2018 at 8:05 am
        I disagree – I think the myriad of editorial cartoons and popular discussion that portrayed the robber barons as greedy, rapacious monopolists with undue influence was instrumental in instituting reforms.
        Trump didn’t get attention by being “civil”

        1. flora

          I agree with this. However, I don’t recall books saying taunting the physical appearance of the robber barons secretaries or threatening their secretaries dining arrangements was part the the fight against the robber barons.
          If people want to call Trump himself names or picket at his public appearances I think that’s fine. He’s the president and he has accountability to the public.

          1. ambrit

            This is just a variation of an old prosecutorial method. Start in on the lower level minions of the Crime Boss you seek to discommode. Flip them to work your way up the pyramid of power.
            So, I’ll call this ‘blowback’ from the methods used by the ‘Forces of the State.’
            One aspect of the oft used trope “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander” is that, in each case, we all end up getting the bird.

          2. s.n.

            interesting that you mention j.p. morgan, as wasn’t his firm the target of one of the greatest acts of what could be described as class warfare.retaliation in US history on September 16, 1920?

        2. blennylips

          I’d venture that the evidence is on your side, FresnoD; manipulating emotion can be successful.

          Within a week of Congress declaring war, on April 13, 1917, Wilson issued an executive order creating a new federal agency that would put the government in the business of actively shaping press coverage…Committee on Public Information

          One of the young recruits was Edward L. Bernays, a nephew of Sigmund Freud and a pioneer in theorizing about human thoughts and emotions. Bernays volunteered for the CPI and threw himself into the work. His outlook – a mixture of idealism about the cause of spreading democracy and cynicism about the methods involved – was typical of many at the agency.

          How Woodrow Wilson’s propaganda machine changed American journalism [theconversation]

          6 WWI Propaganda Posters That Rallied People to Fight []

          1. Procopius

            There’s a blog called Whatever It Is I’m Against It. It publishes a selection of the stories of the day from one hundred years ago today. Of course, all of them for the last couple of years have been about life during that time. It was pretty awful. People were fired from their jobs and even lynched for insufficient enthusiasm. People who bought a drink for a serviceman in uniform were arrested for damaging the war effort. I haven’t tried going back in their archives, but I was amazed by the authoritarianism that was accepted as perfectly normal. What we have today is nothing in comparison.

    2. JerryDenim

      Not to disagree with the thrust of your overall comment, I don’t, but I find your mention of the popular vote as pertaining to the first Clinton administration ironic. Yes Clinton/Gore won the “popular” vote with a weak 43%, but they most likely won the election due to the strong showing of an erratic third party candidate- Ross Perot- who claimed 19% of the electorate. In light of this history I found Gore’s bellyaching over Nader’s paltry 2% showing in 2000 very distasteful. Clinton’s even more vocal recriminations and woeful bellyaching have left me even more unimpressed since her opponent’s electoral victory with 46% of the popular vote was still a solid 3% higher than the 1992 tally that swept her and her husband into the White House. I don’t remember any complaints about third party candidates, the electoral college, absent majorities or foreign saboteurs back then. Winning the popular vote and losing the electoral college is just more proof of her campaign’s political malpractice. I wish every surving member of that administration could be blasted into outer space, along with their flawed morals, ideas and policies. The Democratic Party would be so much better off with the stain of Clintonism purged from its DNA.

    3. armchair

      The, “what the attackers don’t understand,” framing is irritating (toning it down). For instance, if I start a sentence, “What NC fails to understand, . . .,” isn’t that already irritating? What NC does not account for, though, is how in-your-face and insulting the current administration is and its Mulligan President. That is a key difference, and it is going to get people fired up.

      1. Brian

        All the administrations have been destructive to our way of life and our chance for a future on this planet. Politicians believe in growth when it is well known to destroy all of our chances. Does this qualify them as diseased idiots that should be institutionalized before they can cause harm?

    4. Fec

      From Anger in America: “inequality has historically been countered through war, revolution, state collapse, or natural disaster.”

      I regularly hang out with poor and black people, but I realize I’m dealing with the small percentage who are sufficiently compliant to get and keep a job. Maxine Waters is speaking to the rest of them, too angry to participate in a neoliberal marketplace which is designed to kill them.

      1. Elizabeth Burton

        Yet the Black bloggers I read consider Maxine Waters a shill for the establishment, and express disdain. The most commonly used epithet is “sell-out.”

        Personally, every time I see a photo of her I wonder if she’s going to be with us much longer. She seems to be shell-shocked.

    5. Oregoncharles

      Bill Clinton NEVER won the popular vote – he was elected the first time with 42%. Granted, that was more than the Republican, but it wasn’t even near a majority.

      Gore’s response to winning the popular vote was very odd; it was almost as if he knew he wasn’t supposed to. Then he dropped out of politics, and refused to run again.

      1. Aumua

        Other points aside, I’m pretty sure that winning the popular vote means getting more votes than any other candidate. I could be wrong.

        1. Oregoncharles

          Actually, to be fair, I think I was guilty of a confusion. However, I would maintain that “winning” with a lot less than a majority is just as bad as winning with less than the other guy. They’re both a travesty of democracy – which the Electoral College was intended to be.

  6. blennylips

    from “This Is a Bully’s Language” via Medium:

    I challenge anyone to look at this exchange and tell me that this is an open and honest attempt to make sure that an event is accessible to everyone. These are malicious and leading questions (‘What will you do if a Deaf person shows up?’ Oh, shoot them on sight, of course!), and if you think their purpose is anything other than disruptive, I’ve got a bridge for sale.

    A few years ago…The Art of Deception: Training for a New Generation of Online Covert Operations

    1. blkwhiskey

      Re: “The Art of Deception…/This is a bully’s language”

      Most DSA locals organize/disseminate/execute information and info ops via Slack, Google products (Calendar, Forms, and Gmail), Zoom, and others paragons of capitalism. Making this more problematic are the substantiated claims that AWS (backend for Zoom and Slack) and Google are direct open-source and signals intelligence pipelines to every alphabet soup agency in the US.

      I was really interested in the DSA until I found this out. I know that this might be an unpopular opinion, but I really think the DSA is the embodiment of Eco’s “The perfect fake”.

      Thanks for re-posting the link.

      1. diptherio

        uh….most radical orgs are using at least one of the services you mention, not because they are intel agency fakes, but because they are the most convenient, well known services available. Your theory about DSA needs a heck of a lot more evidence besides “they use Slack”.

        1. blennylips

          > because they are the most convenient

          This seems to top all other considerations. The intel agencies loves them some clouds; after all, rowhammer, specter, and meltdown all require the exploit run on the same computer as the target (I believe…) and it is soooo convenient.

          And you thing the intellies do not encourage that? or take advantage of that?

      2. hemeantwell

        Oi, are you going to judge a political organization based on its communication platform? It’s like McLuhan’s “the medium is the message” taken to yet another level of blinkering. While you’re at it, why not dismiss the recent teacher mobilizations for using Facebook?

        As far as security goes, after reading Yasha Levine’s recent work on the origins of supposedly secure systems like Tor, I’ve given up. The best you can do is use a platform that blocks harassers, not spooks.

        And as far as bullying goes, one of the blessings of Twitter for the insanely malicious is that it can prevent them from going on long enough for their nuttyness to become evident. They successfully arouse pity and indignation instead of eye rolls.

        1. Procopius

          Slightly OT, but I have always seen McLuhan’s title as “The Medium is the Massage.” Very startling. Then I see people talking about the message, and feel disoriented. To check it out I just went to Amazon and searched for “The Medium is the Message.” The first entry is “The Medium is the Massage.”

      3. Aumua

        In addition to the other points made, I question whether you know what the term open source means. Any software that is open source would have source code that could be examined, and anyone who knew what they were looking for could immediately see if data was being covertly sent to agencies. So being open source tends to enhance the security of software, through transparency.

    2. JCC

      I had an odd thought as I read through this piece on Medium. First, as hinted in your post, were these people making a hash of the accessibility issue, intentionally trying to disrupt the meeting?

      And then, was the article itself trying to make a hash of the DSA itself. Right off the bat the author states this was not a sponsored DSA meeting, then at the end rejects the DSA due to all the people intentionally making the non-issue accessibility problem a big enough hash to shut down the meeting.

      The whole article ultimately seemed to be nothing but an online covert disruption. Or to put it another way, by the time I was done reading all this, I still couldn’t figure out who was zooming whom.

      Overall, to me, it felt like the article was one big propaganda piece, from multiple directions, against the DSA.

    3. Arizona Slim

      I may not be deaf, but I am a bit hard of hearing. If I showed up at this gathering, I’d use that hard-of-hearing tendency to raise my voice. Oh, would I ever!

    4. JerryDenim

      Agreed. Very suspicious indeed. Although there is a strain of identy politics that encourages a mentality of outrage amplitude and victim gaming where the victim capable of generating the most drama and shame, regardless of outcomes, feels as if they’ve won some kind of role playing game.

      It’s a sick game that works best on members of their own tribe since their cries for special treatment and pity only draws taunts and giggles from those on the right. The whole spectacle is so predictable and pointless it’s really hard to tell if you’re witnessing the work of a master agent provocateur or just a way-too-bored, narcissist, drama junkie. End result is always the same though.

  7. Wukchumni

    The Tragic Roots of America’s Favorite Cherry Atlas Obscura
    Interesting story of how a new variety of fruit comes about, by chance. A bummer of an ending though.

    We have a dozen different varieties of cherry trees near the river, including a Bing among others. It’s early in the game for 7 new arrivals this spring, and cherries have always been a difficult tree to get to produce in my experience, and my dad grew a few down in LA that he planted in 1960, and it’s not cold enough for the fruit to set, so all you’d get was nice blossoms and that’s all she wrote…

    …except for that one lone cherry, circa the summer of 66′

    It had been ripening for weeks, with the color coming a cropper and a 4 year old watching it covetously until he could take no more, and thought he’d take a bite out of it whilst hanging on the tree and yeah, it wasn’t ripe yet. When his father got home from work, he was so disappointed that a bird had bitten into his pride & joy, and that was that for any cherry production henceforth…

    Fast forward to my dad’s 75th birthday, we stop at a nursery and pick up a cherry tree en route to the celebration, and I tell him that I was the little bird way back when, and he’s howling @ my admission 40 years later, and then I go to the car and present him with said tree, and he protests a bit and tells me “you know it won’t fruit here” and we tell him, we’ll plant it and set up a drip system for him, and he relents. Sadly, he passed away a few years later, and a few years hence from then, I get a call from my mom, and she tells me the cherry tree has about 30 cherries on it!

    So, when they’re ripe, we eat some of the bounty, and you know what, it never fruited again…

    1. anonymous

      Speaking of cherry trees in Los Angeles:

      We have native Holly Leaf Cherry and Catalina Cherry trees in abundance in Los Angeles.
      They’re beautiful evergreen trees, with white flowers in spring, followed by lots of berries that birds and squirrels love to eat. The berries are edible for humans, also, but rather pulpy.

  8. Crow

    Red Meat Allergies Caused By Tick Bites Are On The Rise

    I live in the Northeast and have had alpha-gal since 1985. (The affliction had no name then.) Before my allergist determined I was allergic to mammal flesh, I went into full blown anaphylaxis a number of times. That was exciting. No mammal meat all these years. I’m probably healthier for it.

    For those interested, Radio Lab has a podcast on alpha-gal.

  9. Scott

    Looking at the Brexit links, my first reaction was why do dance teachers need licenses? The tweet appeared serious, but it points to the major overlicensing of professions, which hurts everybody except those with the “credentials,” regardless of whether they’re capable.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      The list of professions is just a joke, intended to highlight the issue. The relevant Directive 2005/36/EU is intended to ensure adequate recognition of professions across the EU. The intention is actually the opposite of overlicensing – its to prevent the use of spurious local qualifications or licences to prevent EU citizens from working in other EU countries.

      The note linked in the tweet is essentially notifying everyone that EU professional qualifications will no longer be automatically recognised across the EU once it becomes a ‘third country’. This is actually a huge deal, especially in the construction industry. It has potentially catastrophic implications for architecture and engineering companies based in the UK as they will no longer be able to certify their contracts or designs.

      1. Brian

        “Let me tell you how it will be, there’s one for you nineteen for me, cause I’m the taxman.
        The UK is just one example of the destruction of its own people to make revenue, all are guilty and it needs to end. Taxman Mr. Wilson, Taxman Mr. Heath

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Nine EU states, including UK, sign off on joint military intervention force”

    Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! I love the name – the European Intervention Initiative. What that will mean is sending European troops into the biker bars of the world instead of staying at home and defending, oh I don’t know, maybe Europe? Is this the latest version of a “Responsibility to Protect” force? And “third state participation”? Yeah, I know that that means the UK but you wonder who else would get an invite. Saudi Arabia? Columbia? Australia (we are in Eurovision after all)?
    And just what sort of intervening are they talking about? It is supposed to be about ‘deploying troops in crisis scenarios near Europe’s borders’ but that could change very quickly using a crisis as an excuse. Do they mean for example, being tasked with forming semi-neutral troops on the Israeli border perhaps? Maybe helping the French out with their troubles in Africa (this is all Macron’s idea after all)? Helping occupy illegally parts of Syria to “keep the peace”? Patrol the North African coastline against migrants? Those should all work out well.

    1. Andrew Watts

      Every country that is a member of that European military alliance participated in the war in Mali that started back in 2012. Estonia and Portugal are the exceptions and had no involvement with Operation Serval. The government of Mali was expected to fall to the Arab jihadist rebels who bulldozed their way through Northern Mali and threatened to move their black flag brigades into the southern part of the country.

      Why does that sound so very familiar? Anyway, the War Nerd had a couple of good articles about Mali back in the day. The one where he squared off against Glenn Greenwald over Twitter was the most entertaining and informative about the situation.

      1. Andrew Watts

        Oops. That should say Arab-led as there were other factions involved on the jihadist-rebel side like Tuareg nationalists. The jihadist freebooters were imo the most significant faction.

        The comment fell into moderation so I wasn’t able to correct my mistake.

  11. roxy

    “Outgoing Starbucks executive chairman Howard Schultz is worried about the future of your morning coffee ritual.”

    Is this the first pitch in his presidential campaign? I love coffee. (Made at home by me.) Where’s my lawn sign?

    1. The Rev Kev

      From a fellow coffee addict, I say, “Save the Planet. It’s the only one with Coffee on it!”

      1. Wukchumni

        We like to drink Zimmermans in the backcountry, it’s a concoction consisting of German instant coffee combined with Mexican Abuelitas instant hot chocolate, yum.

        1. Oregoncharles

          Coffee left over from the night before isn’t very appetizing; so try mixing sugar and cocoa into it, instead of milk. Excellent, and very stimulating.

          Your version sounds perfect for camping.

      2. Newcatty

        Rev Kev: As far as you know, or, don’t know…

        Roxy, if you get a sign count me in. “Made at home”slogans is a catchy theme for anti consumerism and a refute of oligarchs in high government positions.

  12. Lee

    Woman celebrates 102nd birthday with indoor skydive BBC. She moves very well for her age.

    How come nobody asked her for the secret to her healthy longevity? Aging enquiring minds want to know. Or at least one does.

    Competitive indoor skydiving is also quite remarkable:

    1. Wukchumni

      The one commonality of the 90 something set @ my mom’s assisted living place, is the abundance of sharp minds. I’ve ate breakfast there with WW2 veterans that can tell you precisely what happened on a given day in the South Pacific, with amazing clarity. Everybody has ailments of some sort, and only 1 or 2 can walk unassisted, it comes with the age territory.

      The facility also has a ‘memory loss ward’ which is code name for dementia, alzheimers, et al.

      Even though the dual facilities are joined at the hip, never the twain shall meet on the premises. As segregated as segregated gets.

      In the nearly 3 years my mom has been there, she related that 4 or 5 have slipped over to that side.

  13. Wukchumni

    The reign of error’s motorcycle diatribes against HD are amusing. It’s tantamount to a toddler on a tricycle yelling @ the Hells Angels.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s just not the same to watch an American pop film about high school kids growing up in 60’s America, say, Modesto, California, only to find out that it was filmed in, say, Beijing, with an All Russian cast who cruised in Trabant or Lada cars.

      1. Arizona Slim

        I can remember seeing Ladas in Ontario back in 1980. What pieces of junk they were. I mean, those cars made Yugos look like they were well made.

        1. Wukchumni

          I remember seeing Škodas in the UK in the early 80’s, the attractiveness being the low entry cost for a new car, the disadvantages being everything else.

        2. fresno dan

          Arizona Slim
          June 26, 2018 at 11:55 am
          Your besmirchment of noble proletariat production of workers paradise car, i.e., YUGO aka socialist Cadillac, forcing me to dredge up this posting of Soviet production superiority….

          fresno dan
          December 2, 2016 at 7:01 pm
          December 2, 2016 at 6:48 pm

          A gassed up Yugo, a GPS navigator, and a Dunkin Donuts credit card and you would be surprised what a comrade dedicated to the overthrow of the running dog capitalist pigs can accomplish using an IBM model 5150…and a floppy.

        3. fresno dan

          OK this is the final one….

          fresno dan
          February 23, 2018 at 2:42 pm
          “The hysteria over Russian bots has reached new levels” [Thomas Frank, Guardian].

          You know, when I put on my hammer and sickle bunny ears antenna red commie slippers, and began receiving my orders in my basement lair from Vlad (after Trump’s win, and my nefarious undermining of US democracy by trolling, I now get to call Putin Vlad) to implement my scheme to destabilize America and travelling across the midwest in my 1988 Yugo nicknamed Yugo girl as a pro Hillary false flag operation, all the commissars still are in awe at how I did it. Well, I think it was Lennin who said we will undermine the capitalists with their own 140 characters non-profitable social media scam…..

    2. Expat

      Never a good idea to yell at anyone with a patch. My son is black belt and a champion in various forms of contact martial arts, but I told him to never, ever mess with motorcyclists. Those guys don’t screw around.

      That said, as far as I know, Harley’s are terrible bikes to ride and maintain. They are an American icon, perhaps, but America itself they are loud, overpowered and make everyone near them annoyed.

      1. Wyoming

        That said, as far as I know, Harley’s are terrible bikes to ride and maintain.

        That is a very out of date assumption. It was true in the 70’s-80’s but is completely wrong today. I live in an area which is chock full of HD motorcycles and know many people who own them. They are very good quality bikes and seldom breakdown like the ones from 30-40 years ago. Engine life of 150,000 miles is common. Yes many are loud but not all. It is a personal choice of what you want it to sound like. Overpowered? Not really as HD’s are not super fast sport bikes but touring bikes. And a lot of the people here actually like the rumble of a dozen Harley’s coming down the road – we think of ourselves as a bunch of outlaws at heart you know.

        1. Newcatty


          I don’t know anything about HD motorcycles quality or engine life. I do count myself and my spouse as outlaws at heart going back to our days of being proud hippies ( as so named by the elites and lamestream media). I have no quarrel with the HD owners and riders. If I rcc, we live in the same area. I do wish that the riders would make a “personal choice” to choose the most quiet sound when rumbling down a road in neighborhoods. Loud roars are for many of us are just irritating or not contributing to our peaceful environs. I choose not to blare my choice of music, for example, from my back deck. It’s close enough to neighbors that I might annoy or interfere in their life.

          Peace, Newcatty

      2. Procopius

        They are not supposed to be loud. If you encounter one that is loud, the owner is a vandal who has purposely damaged a work of art.

  14. Jim Haygood

    Richard Breslow rips Peter Rabbit’s market save yesterday:

    Former fund manager Richard Breslow notes, “You are overreacting” is about as loaded a phrase as there is out there. And it’s also becoming more trite by the day.

    In only very limited circumstances is it altruistically meant to help the recipient. It’s far more likely to mean some version of, “Why are you so angry just because I messed up?” Usually with the implied, but unspoken, word “again.”

    It’s the ultimate passive-aggressive non-apology. Thus spake Peter Navarro.

    Meanwhile Trumplary is shrieking rage at Harley-Davidson for doing what is only logical — moving production for European markets to its existing European plant to dodge retaliatory tariffs.

    Donald J. Trump
    2h 2 hours ago

    A Harley-Davidson should never be built in another country-never! Their employees and customers are already very angry at them. If they move, watch, it will be the beginning of the end – they surrendered, they quit! The Aura will be gone and they will be taxed like never before!

    H-D is already being taxed like never before, thanks to this orange-maned, anencephalytic doofus. Don’t ride a hog in your blue muumuu, Trumplary — your cankles will show.

    1. marym

      Southeast Missouri nail company gets hammered by Trump’s tariffs

      “President Trump’s tariff on steel imports that took effect June 1 has caused a southeast Missouri nail manufacturer to lose about 50% of its business in two weeks. Mid Continent Nail Corporation in Poplar Bluff – the remaining major nail producer in the country – has had to take drastic measures to make ends meet. The company employing 500 people earlier this month has laid off 60 temporary workers. It could slash 200 more jobs by the end of July and be out of business around Labor Day.”

    2. Antifa

      In my lovely Southern state, living near a few retirement regions, it’s always fun to browse Craigslist and witness all the $20,000-and-up used Harleys up for sale. It seems to be a rite of passage hereabouts for the early-retired corporate male animal to go out and buy the biggest, shiniest, most decked out gaudy Harley they can afford, and ride it around the twisty mountain roads.

      There’s no doubt that these owners spend far more time polishing the chrome, waxing the gas tank and fenders, and oiling the leather seats and saddle bags than they do riding them. Ater a while they get tired of them, and you find them on Craigslist for half their retail price, still utterly pristine, most with less than 2K miles on them.

      A Harley is a statement vehicle, not a serious mode of transportation. It either says, “I’ve arrived” or “I’m bad to the bone” — whichever message its rider prefers.

      When the internal combustion engine is outlawed in the coming decades, there will be gaudy electric hogs for ex-C-suite types and the Hell’s Angels to preen about on.

      1. SimonGirty

        In a way, I’d almost understood old guys, proud to keep a classic, carburated, pushrod, chain-drive bike they could work on (or, have a quick coronary, pushing), but… now, it’s simply another excuse to block traffic, devoid of helmet or functioning frontal lobes; yet another suicidal, I ‘stanz mah GROUN’ scenario? I’d haunted widow/ divorcees’ yard sales of HSTF/ BOB (somebody, please elaborate… for our more upscale readers?) awaiting the scores of WalMart BushMASTER AR15 rifles, sitting below Gateway laptops, Gameboys, BigLot’s air-fryers, Vornado fans & ersatz bagless sweepers. But, I’m suspecting most surviving HD owners, are mostly holding off the repo-men, deputies, POs, skip-trackers and spooks in their heads with crappy Kel-Tec 9x19s, like their hero, George Zimmerman?

    3. djrichard

      So HOG sets up shop in a foreign land, captures cash flows there, and then through foreign exchange with the US dollar, converts it as cash flow in US dollars. Yay?

      – doesn’t contribute to US GDP
      – in fact it negatively impacts US GDP. It makes the trade imbalance worse because dollars sent to the EU for EU goods will not entirely be flipped around for goods from the US. Some of those dollars will be bought by HOG, to repatriate the profit they made in euros back to the US. Hence keeping the dollar stronger and therefore making US goods more expensive in the EU. And vice versa, making it more attractive for US corporations to outsource their supply chains to the EU, for goods they want to sell in the US. Not that I think this latter point really happens so much with respect to the EU as it does with respect to China.

      Anyways, if we hollow out the US consumers enough, it’s good to know that US corporations are not at risk. They don’t need US consumers to capture dollar-based cash flows.

      And it’s good to know that US consumers, while hollowed out, will still have the benefit of cheaper goods from other countries. Because the currencies of the other countries will be weak compared to the US dollar.

      That’s what I call a win/win.

    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Do car enthusiasts still debate whether German made vs. US made BMWs, or Japanese made vs American made Toyota’s?

      1. SimonGirty

        I think one sees that, amongst yuppies (of ALL ages), where Maybachs, i8s and AMG roam, few realize the poverty incomes, earned by some US based foreign manufacturers (I’m thinking as much, about Daimler, BMW and some of the former Japanese Made, Japanese SUV & crossovers) as Tesla (where three of the best Japanese/American cars were slapped together, formerly). Just wait for these critters to figure out where their autonomic Volvos and Jaguars are being made, and by whom? Be a ril ‘Murikan an’ buy a German designed Slovakian robot built Hyundai or Kia, like baby Jesis intended?

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Use of Ritalin and other ‘smart drugs’ has DOUBLED in last decade”

    Well of course it has doubled in the last decade. Look at the profits to be made in keeping the kids drugged to the gills. And parents who are busting their humps trying to just simply get by can use these drugs as a quick solution to any troubles that their kids have. Note that I did not say a good solution but a quick one.
    Apparently the USA both produces and consumes around 85% of the total global production of Ritalin so at least China hasn’t got a stranglehold on that drug’s production – yet. Just on a cute note, the drug was named after the wife of the chemist who first formulated it and whose name was Rita.
    Me? I sometimes wonder if there are fast and effective chemical-free initiatives that might work better here-

  16. marym

    SCOTUS just upheld the Muslim ban. Dems for whom SCOTUS nominations are supposedly the sole reason to vote for them were civil during McConnell’s obstruction, though, and no one interrupted his dinner.

    What a wasteland of a country the Trump/Sessions/Miller vision is, all the black and brown people banned, deported, incarcerated, a few white billionaires left and the MAGA crowd still with no good jobs.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Is America a Christian nation or a secular nation? Do people around the world have problems with America and Americans because we are Americans or because we are Christians (which would be an incorrect assumption)?

      What is a Muslim nation?

      What is a mostly-Muslim nation?

      Is Denmark a Christian nation? Why is there a cross in its national flag? According to Wikipedia, that’s the world’s oldest state flag still in use. Does that cross intimidate many of its citizens or refugees, like a statue in America does?

      Is it a travel ban or a Muslim travel ban?

      1. marym


        Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump called Monday for barring all Muslims from entering the United States.

        “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on,” a campaign press release said.

        How Donald Trump’s Plan to Ban Muslims Has Evolved

        Trump sticks with his Muslim ban. During Fox Business Network’s GOP debate, moderator Maria Bartiromo asks Trump whether he’s heard anything that’s made him want to rethink his “comments about banning Muslims from entering the country.”

        “No,” Trump responds to laughter and applause. “Look, we have to stop with political correctness…

        Trump and the people with whom he surrounds himself have not made a secret of their opinions and intentions as far as race, religion, and ethnicity.

        “When shows you who they are, believe them; the first time.” – Maya Angelou

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          There are Muslims in ‘Christian,’ ‘Buddhist’ and secular countries.

          And there are Christians, Buddhists, atheists from ‘mostly Muslim’ countries.

    2. RUKidding

      Agree. Too bad, though, that Obama and the Dems in CONgress at the time didn’t, uh, fight just a teeny tiny bit harder to get Merrick Garland on the SCOTUS. Not the greatest choice, frankly, but better than Gorsuch.

      But eh? Let’s all be civil and bi-partisany and plan for Clinton to win and do the heavy lifting. And boom! Here we are.

      Here’s my obligatory: Thanks, Obama!

      1. witters

        Garland would make the difference? I would look at his record. The guy loves executive power. Still, dreams are free.

  17. Jim Haygood

    Tesla’s magic tent — it had better work:

    Elon Musk has six days to make good on his pledge that Tesla Inc. will be pumping out 5,000 Model 3 sedans a week by the end of the month. If he succeeds, it may be thanks to the curious structure outside the company’s factory. It’s a tent the size of two football fields that Musk calls “pretty sweet” and that manufacturing experts deride as, basically, nuts.

    “Words fail me. It’s insanity,” said Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.’s Max Warburton, who benchmarked auto-assembly plants around the world before becoming a financial analyst.

    “The existing line isn’t functional, it can’t build cars as planned and there isn’t room to get people into work stations to replace the non-functioning robots,” Warburton said in an email. “So here we have it—build cars manually in the parking lot.”

    James Womack, author of The Machine That Changed the World, which sprang from an influential study of Toyota’s production techniques, said, “He’s going to need a second tent for repair and rework.”

    “It’s preposterous,” Bernstein’s Warburton said. “I don’t think anyone’s seen anything like this outside of the military trying to service vehicles in a war zone. I pity any customer taking delivery of one of these cars. The quality will be shocking.”

    Looks like time’s almost up for Enron Elon Musk. Shame about all them unsecured thousand-dollar small creditors. I reserved a Model 3 … and all I got was this lousy T-shirt:

    1. RMO

      Back in the 70’s Chrysler used to rent space from its competitors to store the large number of vehicles that came off their assembly lines in unsaleable condition. The CEO at the time was of the opinion that all the shareholders cared about was the stock price and all the analysts looked at was units produced so it made sense to make junk and spend money storing said junk to be sorted out later than it was to bother with quality assurance in the first place. The man was ahead of his time I think.

      Tesla has actually done an impressive job even if the company blows up soon – just look at how many people have attempted to start new car manufacturing companies since 1945 and failed. Even extremely successful industrialists have found it beyond them. I think if it hadn’t been for aspects of the Silicon Valley mindset that holds older industries in contempt and holds people who work with their hands in contempt they could have done a lot better. A CEO that seems to be emotionally and mentally eight years old in some aspects didn’t help either, though it sure made for some amusing quotes.

  18. Jessica

    “Personal attacks on Trump staffers won’t end well for America” is another sign that our directing class and its top servants (10%) have no purpose. Although they can work together to block any change favorable to the rest of society at their expense, they otherwise have no unity. They are not able to discipline themselves even when it would be in their interest.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Intuitively, it seems to me* (no studies to cite here, just intuition) that horses are greener than even electric cars.

      *full disclosure: I’m a wannabee Luddite.

      1. Louis Fyne

        I’m pro-tech and anti-luddite. My point is that Elon/automakers and a certain style of have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too environmentalism are being disingenuous by promoting electric vehicles as green.

        It’s like promoting diet soda over regular coke.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          The true, hard-core Luddites will walk, instead of riding a horse.

          And that’s no so bad…walking is healthy.

    2. John k

      Probably assumes the electricity is generated by fossil fuels.
      In Ca we generate more solar power than we can use during what used to be peak demand period, afternoons. Meanwhile most Tesla cars are probably charged at home at night, when sun not shining. Eventually workplaces will have chargers so charging can be done during afternoons, and temp storage will drop in price sufficient for night time charging to use solar energy.
      Early days. Billions now going into research even with little state support… at least here, China sees the future, heavily supports green energy, leading supplier of solar panels and windmills. Eu autos suddenly copying Tesla, planning new cars and billions of new investments. Not so much here, of course, don’t have much beyond Tesla.
      Investors beginning to look at oil co assets as maybe stranded.

      1. RMO

        The most in depth study I’ve seen came to the conclusion that when everything possible is taken into account electric vehicles give no net reduction in CO2 output – when the electricity is generated by coal burning plants.

  19. Jessica

    “Personal attacks on Trump staffers won’t end well for America”
    “People are ‘ghosting’ at work, and it’s driving companies crazy”
    “This Is a Bully’s Language”
    “Anger in America”
    These are disparate signs of the same phenomenon: A society that measures everything by money is incapable of noticing that it is running down the stores of mutual trust that complex society depends on. That process has been operating since at least the late 70s or early 80s and went into higher gear with the financial crisis of 2007-2008.

    1. Livius Drusus

      Exactly. I think the population is legitimately cracking up. It is not just politics. I have noticed that people are increasingly on edge and prone to angry outbursts. I have had people go ape on me in public (I am talking loudly swearing, giving the finger, etc.) for the dumbest reasons, including picking a song on a jukebox that they didn’t like. I picked a Linda Ronstadt song, when did she become so offensive? If you read the news you see stories about people having fits of incredible anger over botched fast food orders and the like, sometimes leading to violence. Bullying behavior and viciousness have increased dramatically in the last 40 years and as you point out, especially since the financial crisis of 2007-2008.

      I think the problem is that American society defined itself by the American Dream and as that dream becomes impossible to achieve for most Americans they are unable to cope. Other ways of defining your worth in society, like being a good Christian (or Jew, or Muslim, or humanist) mean nothing now that spiritual or humane values are laughed at and seen as crutches for losers. Life is all about winning, which is largely defined in economic terms. Even affluent Americans are angry as they feel the pressure cooker move its way up the food chain. You see this in the way that affluent parents obsess over their children through helicopter parenting, loading their kids up with activities, getting mad at teachers when their Precious Ones get a poor grade. They know that competition for those coveted spots in the top ten percent is heating up and so you see more and more abrasive behavior even among those who are doing well financially.

      I am sorry for the rant but your post really encapsulated something that I have noticed about the United States. Living here is becoming increasingly difficult. Daily life is becoming a depressing slog. It is not that everything was perfect in the past. There was crime, racial conflict, angry politics, etc. But there were also strong social bonds on the grassroots level and those bonds gave you a respite from the bad news blaring at you from the TV and the radio. The social bonds that kept this country livable even during the bad times of the past are now largely gone. It makes me wonder if people like Morris Berman are correct and that maybe Americans who can leave should leave before things get even worse.

      1. Left in Wisconsin

        I think the problem is that American society defined itself by the American Dream and as that dream becomes impossible to achieve for most Americans they are unable to cope.

        I agree with this. But I don’t think people need to win. They just need to be able to live with dignity.

      2. Expat2uruguay

        You have well described the concerns I had when I decided to leave 2 and a half years ago. Thank you.

      3. Elizabeth Burton

        Leaving is fine if one can afford it. May I be excused if I find that action to be a sign of elitism. One can’t commiserate with the 40% of the US population living hand-to-mouth one minute then say it seems the best solution is to bug out rather than take one’s licks with the rest of us and fight back.

    1. Arizona Slim

      I dunno, maybe it’s just me, but I think I’d rather buy a car from a company that knows how to manufacture.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Once I worked on an assembly-line version of Tesla’s tent, in a 1,200-foot pier jutting into New York Harbor.

        The amount of time wasted trudging back and forth to fetch parts, tools, inspectors, etc was astounding, as was the disruption when a vehicle had to be trundled from its station to the paint booth outside … and back.

        Like a dog walking on its hind legs, the production was not done well (or profitably). But one was surprised to see it done at all.

    1. Louis Fyne

      and supposedly the Red Hen owner followed and railed against the Huckabees (and her liberal in-laws) to another restaurant. i wasn’t there :)

      it’s a green light for anti-abortion, anti-fill in the blank people to start getting in the face of people they disagree with too.

      just being honest.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Will we see that in our schools, where students leaning to the right sit on one side of the classroom, and students leaning to the left sit on the other side?

      “We can’t ask you to leave, but at least we will not sit next to you..who are despicable.”

      “Waiter, can you please make sure the people next to our table are Democrats?”

    1. nothing but the truth

      so organized harassment is acceptable now?

      is it OK for unemployed workers to stalk and harass democrats because they let in so many mexicans?

      This will lead to violence.

    2. ewmayer

      “White supremacists need to know their views are not socially acceptable.”

      How about neoliberal economy-destroyers (who killed far more people last year than white supremacists), overseas warmongers and their MSM propagandists, domestic mass-surveillers, killer kops, and student debt-enslavers?

      I await your regaling us with the tale of how you gave those heavily armed miltarized cops what-for at your local Dunkin Donuts, for daring to show up and order something.

    3. hunkerdown

      The same reasoning applies to neoliberals, though. The sordid history of the phrase and their affected bleeding-hearts notwithstanding, I believe we all have a duty to tell them their money’s no good here and neither is their market fetishism, including by running them out of the very same small businesses they’ve sought to crush.

    4. Elizabeth Burton

      Nope, sorry. Nothing is accomplished when those who allege themselves to be on the side of the angels embrace the advice of the enemy to be just as ugly, nasty, and brutish as the people they claim to be better than. As I said earlier, if it’s wrong for someone to refuse to bake a cake based on religious beliefs, it’s equally wrong to refuse service to someone based on political beliefs. “They did it to us first” is schoolyard whining. Somebody has to be the adult in the room.

      It’s also wrong to conflate the two incidents—the protest outside the restaurant and the refusal of service—as if they’re identical. They’re not. In the first instance, no one forced the individual to leave; that was her choice.

      It also doesn’t seem to occur to people that this is a situation perfectly designed for fomenting the kind of violence the establishment is hoping will arise so they can declare martial law in the name of “national security” and throw out what tattered remnants are left of the Constitution. Can’t you just see a band of the local alt-righters showing up and instigating a riot by challenging protesters? Has everyone forgotten all the people arrested for demonstrating in DC on Inauguration Day, including journalists, simply for being on the same street as some hooligans who broke windows and trashed cars? And who could very easily have been infiltrators.

      Corporations are hiring actors to show up at community meetings and take over the comment periods. They’re hiring them as “counter-protesters” at demonstrations. We can’t afford to listen to those who would like nothing better than to end the rebellion by turning it into a schoolyard brawl.

    1. John k

      I once saw one ar the general atomic campus in San Diego. He had wandered up from a canyon, was sitting on the manicured lawn watching people watch him. Unimpressed with what he saw, he wandered back to his canyon.

  20. pjay

    Re China’s Mass Indoctrination Camps…

    Sounds like humanitarian intervention time.

    Seriously, could an established NC commentator who is familiar with Western destabilization strategies in Central Asia (and the MSM’s propaganda role today) please weigh in on this article. I’m not sure my commentary would make the cut. Thank you.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I can only venture an uneducated guess – their TV programming is not as effective as ours at indoctrination.

      Here, when a message like ‘Russia did it’ went out, the indoctrination was hungrily absorbed.

  21. Jim Haygood

    A debt vise is crushing America:

    The Congressional Budget Office projects net interest payments will exceed discretionary spending by 2045 and by 2048 match Social Security outlays of 6.3 percent of gross domestic product.

    Higher interest payments will come as public debt surges from an estimated 78 percent of GDP in 2018 to 152 percent by 2048, a record for the country “by far,” the CBO said.

    The office said debt will go even higher if lawmakers make tax cuts for individuals permanent, as some Republicans have proposed.

    Paying interest is not optional. Paying Social Security is — the Supreme Court ruled in 1960 that it’s merely another government program that Congress can amend or end at its discretion.

    Thus the “debt don’t matter” crowd are paving the way to slashing social benefits, as trillion dollar deficits forever morph into three trillion dollar deficits forever after the next recession.

    “Let them eat bullets,” as national security Depublicrats joke amongst themselves over caviar and mimosas.

      1. Wukchumni

        You think Russia or China will buy more gold?

        One of things that killed the Au standard was the idea that the USA owned the lion’s share of it after WW1, England & France having sold theirs to us, in financing the war. The opponents in the Great War were well and truly broke, and whereas before the conflict, Austria, Belgium, England, France, Germany and Italy all issued gold coins for general circulation, it was a different story after the war. Meanwhile here in the USA, we never skipped a beat and kept striking them for circulation until 1933.

        Ideally, you’d want a like amount of all that glitters owned by both China & Russia, in our coming new world financial order.

    1. John k

      Wait till the next recession, stamp 100 bits of platinum each with ‘1T’, plos in god we trust and good for all debts, public and private, jog over to fed, establish 100T credit, and instruct them to Hoover up all outstanding treasuries.
      No more debt.
      Of course, recession worsens because no longer injecting economy with interest payments… interest rates fall to zero, etc… deflation reigns…
      On second thought, just buy up all treasuries in foreign hands. Better yet, pass law preventing foreigners from ever buying us debt.

    2. Alejandro

      ‘Money’ is debt, and financial constraints on A user, are not the same constraints on THE issuer. This relevant context always seems missing from these “analyses”.

      In the context of the issuer, austerity is a dogmatically imposed constraint, that favors {private} creditors, as they suck the life out of {private} debtors.

  22. Mark Gisleson

    Being judged by a jury of your peers at Amazon?

    Really having trouble wrapping my brain around this managerial dodge. Peers? I’m guessing no one who’s been disciplined for anything would get to be a peer. You would “earn” that right to sit and judge (i.e., take a break) by doing what Amazon wants, and ruling against Amazon would be a sure way to end your days as a peer (someone who gets paid to take free breaks).

  23. todde

    Good for her.

    Anti-arbortion people are known to shoot abortionists at their church. They also line up outside of abortion clinics and shout ‘murderer’ and ‘whore’ at women. Probably not a good example.

    I believe in government by consent of the people governed. If you’re angry about the politics, let a politician know. I care less about politeness.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      1. Angry voters should let politicians know, even rudely.

      2. Politicians telling angry voters to be rude to other politicians and their aides.

      The latter is an escalation and let’s hope the virtuous side wins.

      1. Aumua

        Hey maybe we’ll all just end up angry and rude at all the politicians. It could be a positive.

      1. Goyo Marquez

        Well… you increase the number of “criminals” in the system a 100 fold and it’s liable to slow everything, not just way down, but to a dead stop.

        Next event, a real bad guy crimminal is let go because the system is so overwhelmed with treating political and economic refugees into criminals.

        Who is it that’s the enemy of hubris?

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          A real bad guy criminal (banker) is let go…

          Perhaps resources have been diverted for a long time.

  24. Oregoncharles

    “Failure of the Italian Left,’ key clause: “In the last 15 years the Italian Left and its most important party, the Partito Democratico (PD)”

    I gather that the PD is pretty much like the US Democrats, not a party of the left at all. That would be why they’ve been subservient to the dictates of ECB and Commission. So it’s actually even worse: Italy no longer HAS a party of the left large enough to matter – I saw 3% for the remaining one, whose name I don’t remember.

    What puzzles me a bit is that, when it first appeared, Five Star presented itself as, at least, very progressive; certainly prepared to buck the status quo. Apparently it’s, well, evolved.

    One COULD blame the voters.

  25. Jim Haygood

    Top-secret intel, referenced by Comey, may implicate ex-AG Loretta Lynch:

    In March 2016, the FBI received a batch of hacked documents from U.S. intelligence agencies. One revealed an alleged email from then-DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz to an operative working for George Soros.

    It claimed Lynch had assured the Clinton campaign that investigators and prosecutors would go easy on Hillary regarding her use of a private email server. Lynch allegedly made the promise directly to Clinton political director Amanda Renteria.

    In his recent book, Comey said he took the reins in the Clinton email probe because of a “development still unknown to the American public” that “cast serious doubt” on Lynch’s credibility – clearly the intercepted material.

    The information remains so secret that Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz had to censor it from his recently released 500-plus-page report on the FBI’s investigation of Clinton, and even withhold it from Congress.

    On Thursday, Senator Grassley announced he wants to subpoena Lynch to testify about her role in the Clinton email probe. But he said ranking member Dianne Feinstein “refused to agree to compel” Lynch to testify. Feinstein is close to Renteria, who worked as a Feinstein staffer last decade.

    Oo-ooh that smell … can’t you smell that smell? — Lynyrd Skynyrd

    1. John k

      Odd trump can’t get this moving.
      I’ll vote to replace Feinstein, but not clear whoever the next ranking dem wouldn’t also protect clinton.

  26. Oregoncharles

    “Starbucks’ Howard Schultz says your morning coffee ritual is under threat ”

    This makes me wonder. Years ago, I heard a climatologist explain the global heating makes the ideal temperature range for various wine grape varieties move northward – he was talking about 100 miles over 50 years. What now grows best in Oregon would then do best in Washington, and so on. BC could have a wine industry!

    Why is the same not true for coffee? I’ve seen coffee bushes, growing like a weed around a Mexican house; they aren’t that big, so they mature fairly quickly, rather like grape vines (3 – 5 years). Growers know that as well as I do; surely some are planting coffee, even now, 100 miles further north, or the equivalent. That’s expensive, but Starbucks would be among those with good reason to finance it.

    Maybe this is why Schultz is retiring: getting too stuck in his ways.

    That said, the real danger is that the hottest areas become uninhabitable and species that can’t move fast enough go extinct, besides sea level rise.

  27. lyman alpha blob

    RE: The Tragic Roots of America’s Favorite Cherry

    Oregon was flourishing, but needed labor. All across the West, Chinese workers were building train tracks and working mines, orchards, and farms. But they were always paid less, and their industriousness was denigrated as hurting American wages and stealing jobs. It was in the American West, writes immigration historian Erika Lee, that “arguments in support of Chinese exclusion arose.

    This is true as far as it goes, but it fails to explain why all those Chinese workers were here. Oregon needed not just labor, but cheap labor. And the Chinese weren’t just denigrated as hurting American wages, they did hurt American wages. This is because the railroads actively recruited people from China with promises of prosperity once they arrived in the land of the free, because they didn’y want to pay the immigrants already here the wages they were used to. Once the Chinese got here, their wages were often garnished to pay for their transportation to the US or other various fees and expenses made up by the companies that either employed or transported them, to the point where many were essentially slaves.

    But that didn’t stop the powers that be who brought the Chinese here in the first place from pitting Chinese immigrants against the earlier immigrants who also needed a job. The nascent labor movements were in large part white only and demonized the Chinese rather than trying to achieve some measure of solidarity which only made it easier for the robber barons to divide and conquer.

    Sound familiar? It should because the same dynamic is still going on 150 years later. Same as it ever was.

    1. Wukchumni

      During the Gold Rush, Chinese were afforded the last chance of all nationalities to go at a particular diggins’, perhaps sloppy seventeenths?

      An interesting event happened @ China Camp in the Gold Country, a tong war, between thousands of participants, it must’ve been quite something to glimpse.

      Chinese Camp was the outfitting headquarters for the notorious “Chinese War” which occurred nearby on September 26th, 1856. A minor incident apparently led to the conflict. Reports claim that six members of the Yan-Wo Tong were working a mining claim near a group of twelve men from the Sam-Yap Tong when a huge boulder rolled from one property onto the other. Words were exchanged, threats veiled and unveiled, and blows struck. In order to settle the matter with honor, it was decided the two tongs would meet on the battlefield. Weapons would be needed. Every blacksmith in the area was called upon to create the pikes, daggers, and tridents needed for the coming confrontation. A few firearms were also obtained. On the morning of September 26th, some nine hundred members of the Yan-Wo Tong left Chinese Camp to meet twelve hundred members of the Sam-Yap Tong at a site near Crimea House on the La Grange Road. There, amidst the beating of gongs, the screams of the wounded, and the occasional pistol shot, the battle took place, immensely enjoyed by cheering miners betting on the event. American lawmen broke up the battle before too many casualties occurred, supposedly arresting several hundred of the combatants. When it was over, four men lay dead and four men were wounded. But honor had been restored.

  28. Oregoncharles

    On “This is a Bully’s Language” (he’s right about that), my comment there, plus some detail:

    Marcel - I understand why you were upset and repelled by these events, but personally I’m inclined to be a bit complacent about it. Basically, if you’re doing politics, things tend to get political - in the worst sense of the word. Personal conflicts are always close by. If you want to have an impact, you learn to shrug it off. In this case, that might mean getting in touch with Amber Lee and offering to help with the next workshop - f’rinstance, it might have helped if she’d had a clearer answer to the accessibility question; or joining DSA’s M4A project, as someone else suggested.

    There are also institutional considerations: to persist, an organization has to have ways of getting through personal conflicts and mistakes. They’re going to happen.

    Plus: In fact, I just went through one, over the Oregon Green Party’s recent nominating convention – an event I facilitated. One nomination was, umm, vigorously contested. So afterwards, we get a resignation email from a longtime member. My own response (I haven’t seen the others yet) was to point out that he wasn’t at the convention and hadn’t participated in the party for a long time. IOW, his own fault. It’s entirely possible we made a mistake because he didn’t speak up; time will tell. Participatory democracy is one of our principles – as I reminded him.

  29. nothing but the truth

    “People are ‘ghosting’ at work, and it’s driving companies crazy”

    Just a few days ago my resume got rejected even before the interview, for a job that i am an expert at.

    They hiring manager seems to have said “yes but its not recent enough”.

    I discussed this with a friend who is active in IT politics, and what he said opened my eyes about the mess of IT recruitment and its purported “skill and worker shortages”.

    He said that if a manager is more interested in rejecting resumes than in hiring decent candidates, then it is a red flag as the manager is trying to hire a cousin from India.

    Most hiring managers in IT are now from India, from really shady colleges. These folks are constantly angling to get their people in. For this they are creating charades of jobs on monster etc, which such extremely tight reqs that hardly anyone except the cousin with the fraud resume will get through. And who will check the resume for fraud? The hiring manager who has a conflict of interest.

    Apparently this has become an endemic problem in IT.

    So, don’t let kids buy into the STEM worker shortage. It does not compute.

    1. Aumua

      I’d really like to see some substantiation for your claims, particularly the one that most hiring managers in IT (in the U.S. I assume) are from India.

  30. ewmayer

    Lots of good links from David L today:

    o “The Coldest Temperature Ever Observed on Earth Is Bonkers EarthSky (David L)” — What scale is ‘Bonkers’ in, and what does it translate to in Kelvin? Ah, I see, ‘Bonkers’ is a flexibly defined part of the “Clikcbait scale”.

    o “Starbucks’ Howard Schultz says your morning coffee ritual is under threat (David L)” — Not mine! Howard needs to get over himself.

    o “Amazon Workers Facing Firing Can Appeal to a Jury of Their Co-Workers | Bloomberg” — And I’m sure none of those jurors will feel any pressure at all to ‘rule the right way’ or face retaliation themselves.

    o “AT&T collaborates on NSA spying through a web of secretive buildings in the US TechCruch (David L)” — Cf. “Room 641”. Nice to see nothing has changed except the room numbering.

  31. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: “Indian city to fine or jail residents caught using single-use plastics” — A law to ban plastic bags and single-use plastics seem like a simple way to deal with the problem but the law in Mumbai as described in this link seems remarkably poorly conceived, if banning single-use plastics is really the intent of the law.
    “Mumbai has the become the largest Indian city to ban single-use plastics, with residents caught using plastic bags, cups or bottles to face penalties of up to 25,000 rupees (£276) and three months in jail from Monday.” The fines and penalties are outrageously high and why are people who use the single-use plastic bags, cups or bottles the target of this law instead of the vendors who sell or provide the single-use plastic bags, cups or bottles? Seems like a law intended to foster baksheesh.

  32. jackiebass

    Where I live Bobcats used to be very rare. For some reason their population has increased to the point where NY and PA now have a trapping season for them. It’s a real shame since they are a beautiful harmless animal. The one in your picture is quite big. Probably to survive ,many wild animals have adopted to living near people and are now more often seen.

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