Links 6/8/18

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Scientists discover bees understand the concept of zero PhysOrg (Chuck L)

Why Scientists Are Upset About A Dinosaur Fossil’s Sale – And $2.4 Million Price Tag NDTV (Kevin W)

NASA rover data shows Mars had ingredients needed for life Reuters (furzy). As if we need to give Elon Musk more encouragement.

Brazilian Footballers Will Have Timetabled Sex During World Cup 2018 – Reports Sputnik (Chuck L)

News drones reveal big companies are draining local water supplies in Peru, Colombia ICIJ (Timotheus)

About that tritiated water: Who will decide and when? Japan Times (David L)


China Deals Shocking Blow To Solar Industry OilPrice

A better way to repel China in the South China Sea Asia Times. Kevin W: “This man’s solution is to actually start a shooting war with China. (bangs head repeatedly on desk).”

U.S. Evacuates Multiple Employees From Chinese Consulate Over Mysterious Illness NPR (furzy)

India Advances Ill-Conceived Plan to Project Military and Economic Power into the Seas Alternet. Curious to get reader reactions.

North Korea

Trump-Kim summit: North Korea leader may get US invite BBC

Venezuela’s Oil Meltdown Defies Belief Wolf Richter (EM)

Venezuela Seeks OPEC Support Against U.S. Sanctions OilPrice


Brexit: what is the UK’s backstop proposal? Guardian. Even the Guardian says it’s silly. You can see so for yourself: TECHNICAL NOTE: TEMPORARY CUSTOMS ARRANGEMENT HM Government. Even a not-very-clued-in reader can see it’s a handwave. And if you understand that a customs union does not produce a frictionless border, it’s even more frustrating to read.

Brexit referendum on final deal possible, Foreign Office minister says Independent (Kevin W). This is silly too since there isn’t remotely enough time for another referendum.

Let Trump Handle Brexit: An Explosive Leaked Recording Reveals Boris Johnson’s Private Views About Britain’s Foreign Policy Buzz Feed (Chuck L)

Is Brexit going as well as you thought it would? YouGov

Police probing fire service over Grenfell Tower disaster BBC (Kevin W)

12,500 TSB customers leave after IT meltdown Sky News. Number seems low but other reports have described how TSB has made it hard to leave. Clive points out:

Clever use of tense “have left” — says nothing about the pipeline (how many customers have begun the switching process but this is still to complete — it takes 7 to 10 days once initiated). Plus you need a good credit score to open anything other than a very basic bank account. If you’ve got an overdraft you want to transfer to another bank (which you can’t afford to clear first) and poor credit, you’re stuck at TSB.

Carillion’s accountants and lawyers will get £70m to manage collapse Guardian (Kevin W)

New Cold War

Austria Offers to Host Summit Meeting Between Trump and Putin Bloomberg


U.S.-Saudi Pressure On Jordan Opens The Way For Iran Moon of Alabama

Be Very Afraid: Israeli forces Are Training American Police Mint Press (Judy B). Not exactly news. Bloomberg bragged about how the NYPD was the seventh biggest army in the world and was getting advice from Israel.

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Homeland Security wants to monitor journalists. Time to sound the alarm. The Week (Chuck L)

Up to 14m Facebook users may have unknowingly posted private information to the public (Kevin W)

Tariff Tantrum

Trump Transition

Ex-Senate Aide Charged in Leak Case Where Times Reporter’s Records Were Seized New York Times

Ryan remarks on Trump ‘Spygate’ leave conservatives fuming The Hill

Senate Investigators May Have Found a Missing Piece in the Russia Probe Atlantic (furzy)

Trump administration won’t defend ACA in case brought by GOP states Washington Post

Exclusive: U.S. sending 1,600 immigration detainees to federal prisons Reuters (furzy). A twofer! Red meat to the hard core anti-immigrant types, and more $ to the prison industrial complex.

Health Care

Justice Dept. argues key parts of ObamaCare are unconstitutional The Hill

The 2 words you can’t say in a Democratic ad: ‘Single payer’ Politico. Important.

Pelosi: ‘Medicare for All’ should be ‘evaluated’ if Dems win House The Hill (furzy). Translation: “We’ll need to find better excuses for not doing it.”

Michigan Court of Appeals rules in favor of Voters Not Politicians Detroit News (UserFriendly)

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Most voters are fine with NFL players’ anthem kneeling: poll New York Post (RR)

Video shows Chicago police handcuffing 10-year-old after call about black male with gun NBC

Texas Student, Mother Detained for Waving to Each Other During Graduation Sputnik

Fake News

Facebook is hiring ‘news credibility specialists’ — after saying it didn’t want to be in the business of judging news trustworthiness Business Insider

Wells Fargo Apology Ad Joins Facebook and Uber in Trend Rolling Stone (furzy)

Funds Like Magellan Need Gamblers Like Bill Gross Bloomberg (furzy)

SocGen chiefs ordered Libor rigging, US records show Financial Times

Bernanke Says U.S. Economy Faces a ‘Wile E. Coyote’ Moment in 2020 Bloomberg

Short-Termism Is Harming the Economy Wall Street Journal (furzy)

America’s Startup Scene Is Looking Anemic Bloomberg

Academic Propaganda Protecting US Financial Imperialism Michael Hudson

Class Warfare

Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants Receive Class Action Status in VA Overtime Lawsuit PR Newsire

Research finds tipping point [~25%] for large-scale social change PhysOrg (Dr. Kevin)

The Steady Enmity of Powerful People Golem XIV

Antidote du jour. Bill B reports on Biggie Mayor:

To follow up on the story of the cat with the winning attitude that we ran into during our evening walk.

At first we suspected it might be pregnant. Nope, it’s simply a tom cat who is well fed. It has a loyal following of around a half a dozen local residents who supply food at various points during the day (e.g. four meals a day plus midnight snack). Hence the name “Biggie Mayor.” At the suggestion of the animal control folks, someone went to a vet’s office nearby and discovered that there was already a file created for the friendly feline. The stated owner on file is missing in action.

Somehow the cat wandered over to our neck of the woods and decided he liked it. Definitely an indoor cat given his gentle demeanor. With one major exception, despite having eye problems the cat refuses to be placed in a box or in a car. Preferring the freedom of the great outdoors to even the hint of confinement. Hence making it difficult to deliver eye drops or other medicine. This cat can smell a set-up a mile away and immediately heads for the border.

One local nailed his medical records to a nearby fence. Biggie Mayor has been sleeping rough for over a decade. Good think he’s plump and furry, it’s been getting cold and windy during the evenings. Some nights I jog by and he’s taking shelter under a the warm engine of an SUV. We’ve tried to supply him with padded shelter material but this cat is stuck in his ways.

Note the holder attached to the fence, it contains Biggie’s medical history as various samaritans have gotten shots and delivered meds. It looks like someone is trying to habituate Biggie to a pet container so he doesn’t flee the next time they try to take him for a checkup.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. bronco

    Those consulate workers in China that got sick, rumor has it that they tried to make encrypted calls on their shoe phones while within the cone of silence.

    It sets up a feedback loop that is very dangerous.

    1. RabidGandhi

      Definitely a sonic attack. Or Novichok. Or Libyans soldiers on rape drugs. Or the Khorasan Group.

      1. John Wright

        Speaking of the sonic attack (on the American embassy in Cuba)


        “American intelligence agencies are the most sophisticated in the world, and they reportedly don’t have a clue as to what’s causing the symptoms. I will bet my house that there are agents in the intelligence community who have also concluded that this is a psychogenic event – but their analysis is either being repressed or ignored by the Trump administration because it doesn’t fit their narrative. Mass psychogenic illness is by far the most plausible explanation.”

        TPtB must maintain the narrative told to the American people as long as it is useful.

        If the narrative becomes untenable to support, then quietly let it drop into the memory hole.

        I wonder if the “Russia, Russia, Russia did it” narrative will simply fade away, leaving the American populace with a vague and exploitable feeling that “Russia did SOMETHING clever” that the USA must counter?

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Best wishes and get well soon to those consulate workers (whether Republicans, progressives or Democrats).

    3. Oregoncharles

      Common factor is the Foreign Service. Are they using overly-toxic cleaning agents?

      1. polecat

        Maybe the Asian Cicadas are conversing with their Carib Cousins … and the humons are just in the way.

      1. bronco

        seems like literally no one picked up on the get smart reference ? Tough crowd in here

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Oh I got it! But I didn’t watch the show enough to have a clever comeback.

          That is one of those TV classics I think I’d like watching if I ever have time. The Avengers is also on my list.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Damn right the Avengers (was on TV again here recently). For the benefit of younger readers, this is not the team of Superheroes currently in vogue (though I am a Captain America fan) but the British TV spy series from the 1960s.
            It had John Steed (Patrick Macnee) and the absolutely gorgeous Emma Peel (Diana Rigg) followed by other female leads as spy trouble-shooters. Images for this program can be found at

            1. bronco

              I think Diana showed up in the recent series ” the detectorists” , check netflix or my new favorite streaming channel Acorn

  2. The Rev Kev

    “Trump-Kim summit: North Korea leader may get US invite”

    I don’t see why not offer Kim an invite to the US. After all, before 9/11, even the Taliban were invited to the US. They even took the Taliban delegation to Disneyland. No, seriously – they did. You can guess how that went down with the Taliban.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Related recall: Reagan and Ollie North sending Reagan’s personal Bible to Ayatollah Khomeini as part of the “we don’t negotiate with terrorists” hostages-for-weapons-and-cash-for-drugs-overthrow-Nicaragua “Iran/Contra” episode of the long-runnng “America Can Idiotic” reality show.

      The Blob only lets us mopes know about this Sh!t at all, solely to reinforce the depressing repressing theme that Resistance Is Indeed Futile.: “ Former CIA Agent Tells: How US Infiltrates “Civil Society” To Overthrow Governments,”

  3. vlade

    @TSB customers leaving – Clive is right on overdraft, but it’s actually even worse for customers with mortgages (who may, or may not, have other products with TSB. Personally, I’d never ever have my main account with a bank I have a credit product with). If you have a fixed rate mortgage in the UK, you have to pay penalty to leave. It may be more expensive now too (assuming you’d even get one, as TSB bought some of the ex-Norther Rock mortgages), etc. etc.

  4. WobblyTelomeres

    From a friend north of the border:

    I thought you were crazy but we just elected Rob Ford’s [the crazy drug addled one] brother to run Ontario. He is a buffoon in trump’s mold.

    1. bronco

      If you are looking to burn shit down , you could hire an arsonist , but why not go with a pyro instead , they love the work and you don’t have to pay them.

      1. perpetualWAR

        My anarchist friend: “Trump is my golden boy. He is the anarchists’ dream. Effectively burning and destroying all he touches.”

        She wears Trump merch all the time and laughs when people wrongly assume she is a Trumpster.

          1. Darthbobber

            Anarchists are great at assuming that if they can get someone else to burn the house down somebody will then be foolish enough to let them build the new one. But this never seems to happen, for some reason.

      2. johnnygl

        I think you just gave a short summary of paul ryan’s career trajectory. He was hired because he’s a true-believer in idiotic ayn rand ideas.

        1. Wukchumni

          It’s odd the cult of Ayn, in that many of the passages in Atlas Shrugged are very true to current events, take Francisco d’Anconia’s words for instance, his money speech sounds eerily current and then some, an indictment of Ryan, et al in the upper echelon.
          “Then you will see the rise of the men of the double standard–the men who live by force, yet count on those who live by trade to create the value of their looted money–the men who are the hitchhikers of virtue. In a moral society, these are the criminals, and the statutes are written to protect you against them. But when a society establishes criminals-by-right and looters-by-law–men who use force to seize the wealth of disarmed victims–then money becomes its creators’ avenger. Such looters believe it safe to rob defenseless men, once they’ve passed a law to disarm them. But their loot becomes the magnet for other looters, who get it from them as they got it. Then the race goes, not to the ablest at production, but to those most ruthless at brutality. When force is the standard, the murderer wins over the pickpocket. And then that society vanishes, in a spread of ruins and slaughter.

          Do you wish to know whether that day is coming? Watch money. Money is the barometer of a society’s virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion–when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing–when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors–when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you–when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice–you may know that your society is doomed.”

          1. bronco

            A lot of people on the left condemn Ayn Rand without having read any of the books, merely on the say so of some left leaning talking head.

            A lot of people on the right exult Ayn Rand without having read any of the books merely on the say so of some right leaning talking head.

            It’s ok to read the book to make up your own mind , you can always burn it later .

          2. Craig H.

            Her family was living comfortably in Russia in 1917; and then the commies took everything and murdered a bunch of her family and friends. So she learned some valuable truths early, deeply, and the hard way. She had oodles of writing talent. A pity she couldn’t have hooked up with a good editor she would have listened to, because the books are not good although they certainly captivated me when I was fifteen years old.

            Also her interview with Mike Wallace is a great demo for showing people what amphetamine eye-glow looks like.

            1. Clive

              The dearth of good editors (due to the cost, which is due to the revenue, which is due Amazon) has made pretty much all modern literature unreadable — certainly for me anyway.

              Online publishing has unleashed a tidal wave of bilge. A lot of it starts okay and you can see the author has some talent and the basis of a good story. But without an editor, you get meandering and soggy pot boilers that try the endurance levels of the reader. A decade ago, I never, ever, gave up on a book before finishing. Now, I probably abandon at least half before the end.

              (And anyone who says “yes, a lot like your writing, then, Clive” will earn my undying dismay).

              1. rd

                Sturgeon’s Law (or Revelation): “90% of everything is crap”

                Theodore Sturgeon came up with that when critics kept claiming about bad science fiction writing. His point was that there is bad writing, music etc. always being produced that nobody ever remembers decades later. It is the remaining good stuff that becomes the “classics”.


            2. Elizabeth Burton

              The operative phrase is “a good editor she would have listened to.” If I charged a fee every time an author refused to accept a suggested change that was actually vital to the quality of their work, I’d have a nice nest egg tucked away.

              As for the dearth of good editors, it has nothing to do with Amazon and everything to do with the Big Five deciding a decade or more ago they could improve their bottom line by no longer hiring full-time staff copyeditors and instead farming the job out to college students at a fraction of the cost.

              The only thing Amazon is guilty of is removing the stigma from self-publishing, which the same Big Five were very quick to embrace when they saw the amount of money to be made. Thousands of aspiring authors, who knew squat about publishing and had no desire to spend the time learning any more than necessary, suddenly became “publishing companies.” The ones who were convinced they were experts in the English language and the craft of writing began hiring themselves out to other aspiring authors as editors and copyeditors.

              Combine the hundreds of self-publishing writers who dismiss the idea they need anyone to edit and/or copyedit their work with the ones who accept they do need such help but don’t want to pay any more than necessary to get it, and you have the current mass of mediocre fiction that’s glutting the market.

              And yes, I am bitter, because I’ve spent the last 20 years working to publish talented writers no one else would accept because their work didn’t fit into neat pigeonholes. Working long hours for no pay to do it, because I love good books.

            1. bronco

              Hang on a second. Right , wrong , or indifferent Rand believed in her idea objectivism . Hubbard was a charlatan , he wrote a story about creating a fake religion , then later basically followed the blueprint . Even calling himself out as a fake in advance he still found people to buy into his schtick . Thats not him , its a reflection on how gullible and stupid humans can be.

        2. Phil in KC

          A rebellious young man, I too read Atlas Shrugged and the Fountainhead during my late teen years and was whipped up to a froth over the ideas. Soon found out that I was no alpha-John Galt and had not much of a desire to be one, for it would entail regarding most of my generational cohorts as undeserving parasites to be avoided. It would have been a lonely life!

          More recently I have regarded Rand as the ultimate free-market capitalist philosopher. As such, what she represents cannot be squared with my Roman Catholic religion. The value systems are simply too far apart to be linked in any meaningful way. Rand was an atheist, and expressed contempt for various religions in a way that eerily paralleled Nietzsche. Ryan is a staunch Catholic and I have often wanted to ask him how he squared Catholic teachings with Randian ethics and morality. What I suspect is that Ryan is not bothered by such inconsistencies and chugs right along. Yeesh.

  5. allan

    Trump Goes on Judge-Nominating Spree, Picking 12 [Courthouse News]

    A very mixed bag, but this stuck out:

    … For a vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Trump chose Judge Rossie Alston Jr., currently with the Court of Appeals of Virginia.

    Virginia Republicans attempted to place Alston on the state’s Supreme Court in 2015 in an effort to prevent former Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s choice from taking a vacant seat.

    Alston has served on the Court of Appeals of Virginia since 2009. …

    Before taking the bench, Alston worked as a staff attorney at the National Labor Relations Board during the Reagan administration and spent five years at the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation before entering private practice.

    Virginia Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, both Democrats, recommended Alston for the federal court seat in December. …

    Remind me again, whose idea was it to try to put Tim Kaine a heartbeat away from the presidency?

  6. Laruse

    Since suicide is a hot topic this week: Anthony Bourdaine is the latest victim.
    I have been a fan for many years, and I was just thumbing through two of his books on my bookshelf last night and setting them in a pile to go to the local used book store for credit. As it happens, they will now NOT be going to the Book Exchange. Instead, they will serve as good reminders for me that no matter how much you can get your life turned around, back on track, and no matter how wealthy, popular, or successful you are, your demons can still take you down if you are unwary.
    I wish his daughter and family peace and healing.
    I wish the same for myself and anyone struggling with those same vicious demons in their lives.

    1. JacobiteInTraining

      Amen to that — Its a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

      I think some who commit suicide feel, in the heat of the moment, that they are not only removing the burdens from their own shoulders…but that they are somehow removing the weight of those burdens from the shoulders of others as well. As if, once they personally are gone…that somehow things will start getting better for those they love, and who they believe they have failed.

      Nothing could be further from the truth….instead,the ones who love(d) the one who commits suicide are merely condemned to yet one more source of heartbreak in their lives: knowing they either were not consulted, or were not _listened_ to, and in any case _failed_ in trying to convince the departed to stay in this world.

      Everyone should know that no matter how dark it looks now, the sun will rise. The flowers and spring will return. Always have, always will….

      Anyone thinks they want to leave, well….don’t – Just don’t….Stick around to see the sunrise, and then..since you made it that far you can make it just a little further…stick around to see the flowers! make it a little brighter when happy comes back by including your presence!! :)

      1. JamesN

        That said, many are no doubt completely lucid and are making the best, most informed decision they are able to, given the facts at hand. I believe suicide is an intensely personal choice that should not be knee jerkingly condemned, not that I’m recommending it either.

    2. Kevin

      He was a classy, respectful, witty and inquisitive traveler who represented America with such class.
      In a time when such people are few and far between, he will be sorely missed by my wife and I.

    3. Alex V

      The thing I respected most about him is that he never looked down on anyone because of their class, especially those that work in kitchens.

    4. bassmule

      I think the cause of death may have been an excess of good fortune.

      I recall an episode of one of his shows where he talks to Eric Ripert, a Buddhist, about karma (Ripert was the one who found him dead in his hotel room). I can’t quote exactly, but he was worried that the life he was living now was so good that he’d have to pay for it in his next one: “What if I come back as a server at Applebee’s?”

      And he could not take a compliment. Freakin’ Ferran Adria praised his work as a guest chef at El Bulli, and all Bourdain could do was give a nervous smile and roll his eyes.

      1. Elizabeth Burton

        Which is sad because that’s not what karma means. Indeed, he seemed to have followed his dharma exactly the way it needs to be done to ensure the result of karma is positive. I hope whatever idiot launched the conflation of karma with the biblical “eye for an eye” is burning in the Bad Place.

    5. Bugs Bunny

      Oh that’s a shock. I have a favorite episode where he eats in the food stalls in Kochi (Kerala) and drinks in a toddy shop. Great stuff that most Westerners don’t do.

      Sometimes I think there’s only so much help a person will accept. You have to keep faith in the future and that can be a hard thing to do. It was raining yesterday in Paris but the sun did return. I hope he enjoyed it before his exit.

      1. Eustache De Saint Pierre

        ” No Frontiers ” being the only show based on cooking that I could stand & ” Kitchen Confidential ” being this Brits best read on the subject. I shall miss him & in my probably very mean way can think of a long list of celebrity BS cooking artists, who I would prefer to have gone in his stead.

    6. Lee

      This is a sad event but there is gratitude too for the body of work he leaves behind.

      My son, a construction worker, is also a self-taught gourmet cook. He is a great Bourdain fan and at his urging I have started watch Bourdain’s show. I’m just getting to know the guy and am so impressed with his humanity, humor, and social conscience. His food knowledge is impressive as well. Damn! There goes my admittedly unrealistic hope of one day sitting down at table with him.

  7. SimonGirty

    Tony Bourdain killed himself? Odd, how difficult it is to believe what folks are hearing on Facebook, from CNN?

  8. The Rev Kev

    So I was reading how the UK’s government was handling Brexit (or not as the case may be) and Boris’s bizarre rantings when I found a passage from that “About that tritiated water” article that strikes a cord-

    “Unfortunately, I think we should be prepared for things to be done the “Kasumigaseki way”: for the decision to be avoided until the last possible moment, and for government officials to claim then that an unavoidable emergency had arisen and it couldn’t be helped.”

    1. Harry


      You ask a question dear to my heart. There is nothing Yves or Clive has written on Brexit that I disagree with. However i still have no idea what is likely to come to pass. I imagine you are right. It will be a whocudanode type situation, and i imagine we will pay paying for a crappy EEA style deal.

      But usually what business wants, business gets. So doesnt that point to a Pam Ewing-style resolution? It was all a bad dream and i so glad none of it was real!

      Doesnt help that a) Corbyn is out of his depth on these matters b) the right wing of the party is using Brexit as a stick to beat him.

      I can see that if your opponent is drowning you throw him a rock. For some reason the Blairites either dont know this or MORE LIKELY they do know it, and have identified Corbyn as the enemy – not the Tories.

      1. Mirdif

        The problem is the business bit of the business party is not listening and instead is focussed on trying to keep Jezza the Marxist out while at the same time working out how to profit from the distress that will follow a crash out.

  9. zagonostra

    Refer: Politico- Single Payer/DNC

    I think the statement that the Democratic Party and those they serve would rather Republicans take control than concede any enduring benefits to the majority of people is true.

    It’s been long known/documented/studied that there is a tenuous if at all existent connection between the concerns/wants of the citizenry and policy that gets enacted or debated. Rather, policy is dictated by those who control the politicians.

    So the corporate Media which is an extension/arm/tool of the ruling class will continue to talk about Korea/Trump/kardashian/etc… ad infinitum even though each day Americans are dying and going bankrupt due to an unconscionable predatory healthcare system in the U.S.

    And so it spins and spins, each day bringing us new stories, outrages, distractions while the same morally diseased people in power, these masters of legerdemain, continue to hold sway.

    1. Detroit Dan

      Re: Medicare for All v Single Payer. The article doesn’t discuss if there are any substantive differences, or if this is all just semantics because we are afraid of Republicans calling us socialists. Let’s not be too poll-driven, but rather make the case for what we think is best and get the public on our side.

      Here’s what the Politico article says:

      About 59 percent of Americans favor a government-run national health plan, according to a March poll by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. Support for the idea increases to three-quarters when framed as a national Medicare-for-all plan option to compete alongside private plans.

      So allowing private plans is more popular by this poll, but do enough people understand the implications to make this a good reason to support Medicare-for-All alongside private plans? I’d prefer an approach of leading on the issue, rather than once again being defined by the Republicans.

    2. Arizona Slim

      Back in the summer of 2009, organized pro-public option demonstrations in downtown Tucson. I went to several of them, and there’s one thing that I remember very well:

      Under NO circumstances were we to utter the words “single payer.”

      Uh-uh. The demonstrations were all about the public option.

      As we all know now, the public option was off the table by the summer of 2009. Obama struck a deal that spring.

      So, why were we out there, parading around in the Tucson heat? Wish I knew.

      1. Lambert Strether

        > So, why were we out there, parading around in the Tucson heat? Wish I knew.

        You were there to help the public option crowd suck all the oxygen away from single payer. They succeeded.

    3. Sid_finster

      Team D demonstrated those in 2016 when they rigged the presidential nomination process rather than allow a Sanders candidacy.

  10. Dirk77

    I want to point out the good news of the Caps winning that Stanley Cup. Caps tickets during the mid-Ovechkin years were always very expensive (buying secondhand). But the last two seasons prices have dropped off. I have no data on this, but I suspect the reason is that D.C. is primarily stuffed with Hillary bots, the Caps having had a strong Russian presence. Also throw in Ovechkin posing with Putin for a picture. Of course Caps fans have had to endure every game the flag waving trotting out of some soldier wearing her Green Zone participation medal, but that’s everywhere. Anyways, look for the DNC and military surveillance complex types to put on their best spin. And surely Trump will host them at the WH!

    1. Wukchumni

      Back in the day Humordor had the Washington Bullets, which I thought blended in nicely with the overall MIC theme of where the Columbian Cartels hung out.

      But words like bullet can hurt, so they became the Wizards, a befitting title in the land of OzymanDCias

  11. Alex

    Dangerous tension such as this is likely to escalate in the Indian Ocean, a region that should be a “zone of peace.”

    Admirable intention but with China building bases in the Pacific *and* Indian Ocean (the Djibouti one) they can’t really complain that others are joining the building spree.

    1. JTMcPhee

      I’m tired of the suspense. Why not save the species a lot of angst and heartache, and just detonate the over 10,000 nukes scattered around the planet? Just get it over with already, will you stupid barstids? It’s now more likely than ever that the US military at least will “do a MOAB” someplace— Which will trigger who knows what in response.

      Cmon, you stupid humans — — show your cojones and get it over with. The suspense is killing us, or me at least, anyway.

      1. Aumua

        Or just send them out to space, fly them into the sun, dismantle them all. It actually IS an option, humanity.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      China has mastered the current US-must-have-trade-deficits system, accumulating astronomical sums of the global reserve money till now, and more in the future.

      To check their nascent tendency toward becoming another Exceptional Nation, that’s where we have to change (by stopping being so exceptional ourselves).

      We have to be more like other normal nations, alternating between trade deficits and surpluses. Being the lone global reserve currency issuer will change. And we have a lot to catch up with the latter.

  12. Bill Smith

    India Advances Ill-Conceived Plan to Project Military and Economic Power into the Seas

    Indian access to Sabang would be easier to support than operations out of the Andaman and Nicobar islands where the Indians have been building up a base.

    The Chinese are okay with these things when they build up ports in Myanmar and Pakistan. But are objecting to the Indian’s doing it in Sabang?

    There is some irony in the article given the reaction to the US transits near the Chinese artificial islands.
    “China wants the sea lanes to be clear, to be part of the oceanic commons.”

    I’m not sure the US navy base at Diego Garcia is that ‘big’ compared to other navy bases in the Indian Ocean. It certainly doesn’t see as many navy ships as other ports.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Looking at a map showing China’s critical sea routes at shows the reckless lunacy of India setting up a base at this choke point. The only question is whether India is doing this off its own bat or whether they feel that they have the backing of the US to do this. Perhaps the later considering the US Navy changing the name of the US Pacific Command to the US Indo-Pacific Command. And this comes on top of India organizing a military drill of 16 nations that included Australia, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, New Zealand, Oman, Vietnam, Thailand, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Kenya and Cambodia only about several weeks ago with China pointedly not invited. Also ships from South Africa, the Philippines, Mozambique, Brunei, Papua New Guinea, Seychelles and Timor Leste participated in patrol exercises, maritime rescue and other humanitarian missions. Not good optics.
      Because of geography, both counties would find it hard to use their naval force against each other. If India tried to fight China in the Malacca Straits then countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore would come down on this like a ton of bricks due to half of all the world’s seaborne trade going through there. Probably it would be a submarine fight with lots of cat and mouse hunting but any fighting may be more for public show than for a real fight to the death. There is a paper at which talks about how such a war would play out.
      I would also make the point that just because they are Chinese and Indians military doesn’t mean that they aren’t any good. The west underestimated the Japanese too back in 1941 to its great cost. Of course China could start operations on the Chinese-India border or stir up Kashmir. However, all things considered, I would put my money on the Chinese navy in the long run who will now probably reconfigure themselves to be a true blue water navy in case things ever go south with India.

      1. Bill Smith

        Given the map you linked to it sounds like a good idea on India’s part. The real question is if there was a war between Indian and China at sea would Indonesia let the Indians use the port at all?

        I don’t think the article “how china might fight” makes sense as the Indians’ would be blockading and the Chinese would be trying to break the blockade. The word “blockade” is not mentioned once in the article.

        The idea that a Chinese battle group would attempt to operate in the Indian Ocean seems way out there. What would be the logistics chain? The Indians’ have a radar imagining satellite. How hard would it be for the Chinese to remain undetected?

        Why would the Indians use their carrier to attack such a Chinese battle group? I would think they would use their shore based aircraft (P-8i’s or even UAV’s for example) in bad weather with stand off missiles to saturate any Chinese air defense systems. The Indian’s have a small number of tankers which could refuel more conventional strike aircraft that could also do the job.

        If US carriers are vulnerable then other counties carriers are too – and likely to a greater degree given the lack of supporting assets.

      2. Oregoncharles

        “Reckless lunacy”? The same sea route goes right past India itself. And there are alternatives to the Strait of Malacca, if they want to deal with Indonesia or Australia instead. Longer, but they get there. This is just great-power jockeying, much like the show business in the S. China Sea, but in India’s front yard, instead.

        As I said below, the dangerous one is the contested border in the Himalayas. Sea lanes are nothing in comparison – but this Indian move might be a “back off” signal to the Chinese in Tibet. Which we’d all be a lot safer if Tibet was an independent buffer.

    2. Chris

      “…it was the myth of fingerprints.
      That’s what that ‘ol Army base was for.”

      I think Diego Garcia is used as a listening post, and a non-floating aircraft carrier, rather than a naval facility.

    3. Lambert Strether

      Placed as it is at the northern tip of the island of Aceh, Sabang is also well-placed to checkmate a possible (Chinese-funded) canal through the isthmus of Thailand*, which would bypass the Straits of Malacca.

      Thai Canal map-de.jpg
      By Maximilian Dörrbecker (Chumwa) – CIA World Factbook, Public Domain, Link

      * I doubt very much that the Thais would agree to this, since such a canal would create a geographical barrier between the “restive Muslim South” and the rest of the country, but perhaps the Indians, the Indonesians, and one would imagine the Malaysians are making assurance double sure.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Not sure if that is such a great idea showing this map. Sooner or later some neoliberal billionaire will stumble across it and say to himself: “Hey, the Straits of Malacca would be a great place for me to set up a toll booth!”

  13. Alex

    The story about Jonathan Sugarman is one of the most depressing things I’ve read for a long time. Objectively of course his situation is nowhere as bad as that of lots and lots of other people. But it just shows the hypocrisy of the whole system. And also it’s easier to imagine myself in his shoes and start wondering what I would have done in similar circumstances.

    1. Harry

      Oh god yes. I doubt he will work again. He better figure out what business he wants to start up.

      Never whistle blow publically. Always do it via a lawyer cut away. Always

  14. timbers

    Ryan remarks on Trump ‘Spygate’ leave conservatives fuming The Hill

    A vocal bloc of House conservatives are fuming at Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) behind the scenes, after the lame-duck speaker publicly sided with Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) in the debate over the FBI’s tactics in its investigation into the Trump campaign.

    Gowdy shot down allegations last week that the FBI improperly used a confidential informant to “spy” on the campaign, saying that the bureau “did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do.”

    I think a larger portion of Ryan’s “my fellow citizens” would be more interested in the FBI looking into why Hillary’s closest aid was telling callers to the State Dept wanting to speak to Hillary to “contact the Clinton Foundation” and why arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other bad actors who donated to the Clinton Foundation, hit the roof while she was SOS.

    I guess that has nothing to do with all those headlines and articles I’ve read of the FBI being hived with ardent Clinton partisans, some of who saw their mission to get her elected over Trump as job #1.

    And regarding the “missing link” in the Trump/Russia connection, do you think the FBI will ever notice Podesta – Hillary’s other close aid – was a “paid agent” of “Russia” for the longest time and didn’t disclose it, and took lots more than the $10k Flynn took from some nation?

    Maybe it’s past time for Mueller to dispatch FBI agents Molder and Scully to America’s underfunded, crumbling Public Libraries in search of old ladies who speak Russian and have past due books. They could parlee it into a new X-Files season or movie: X-Files: The Missing Link Revealed. The climax could be Molder and Scully crossing swords with Boris and Natasha just as the alien being who planted the human seed on earth transports them up into their spacecraft…movie ends, stay tuned for the sequel…

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Brazilian Footballers Will Have Timetabled Sex During World Cup 2018 – Reports”

    Jeez, it’s only bonking! Seems that different countries are giving their teams all sorts of advice. The Brazilians are saying to dole it out. The Nigerian team’s coach has warned his footballers against engaging in sex with Russian women during the 2018 World Cup. In fact, he said: “Yes, the players can have their wives and family come to visit them at the World Cup. […] However, I won’t allow them to have Russian girls, no, no, no. Only captain Mikel who has a Russian partner can come with her”. Spoilsport!
    The Argentinians took a different approach by preparing a booklet on Russian language and culture which included a chapter on how to seduce Russian women that was written in eight points. Randy buggers! The English, on the other hand, were told to avoid Russian women. The University of Buckingham’s Center for Security and Intelligence’s Professor Anthony Glees, said that they might seduce the English players in order to blackmail them before a big game. All the English that I have ever met would be prepared to risk it.
    I have only ever read one article that advised against dating Russian women called “7 Reasons You Should Never Date a Russian Woman” and that was written by a Russian woman itself-

    1. JohnnyGL

      Perhaps the English players and their ‘advisors’ have seen too many Bond movies?

      The restrictions on copulation might end up backfiring…I can easily envision some player getting sent off in anger after frustration boils over, in part due to harsh restrictions. :)

    2. Jim Haygood

      ‘a Russian woman itself’ *gasps*

      ‘Herself’ would sound a bit warmer, Reverend. ;-)

      Unless she’s a bot …

      1. Arizona Slim

        And that was a good article. I can definitely relate to the part about Russians being reserved. As a student of the Russian language, I know that I’m really getting somewhere when my “privyet” is responded to. (That’s my phonetic spelling of the Russian word for “hi.”)

      2. wilroncanada

        No matter how randy the Brazilian players get, it’s up to their partners to say Nay-Mar. Did any of the rules indicate anything about Russian men? And what about English team members who are from Middlesex?

  16. Wukchumni

    Texas Student, Mother Detained for Waving to Each Other During Graduation Sputnik

    Why did Texans always make for the best astronauts?

    They all took up space in school…

  17. perpetualWAR

    In amongst all the hard and painful news, thought I’d provide my own antidote:

    Yesterday, I went to fill my prescription before I left town (finally finishing the move outta Seattle, YAY!) The pharmacist, who I’ve come to know, asked me if I had any alternate insurance. I told him, no, I was uninsured and that I would pay for the prescriptions. To my surprise, he charged me the same amount as my former co-pay, winked and said “Have a good day.”

    There are some good and decent people in this ever-changing world in which we live in.

    1. Lee

      Everyday, small acts of warmhearted decency keep my faith in the species alive in spite of all I know that would lead me to despond.

      1. Spring Texan

        Yes. I hang on to them and cherish them and they nourish me. Reason things aren’t much worse than they are. Have had several of them this week in a very distressed week. Means the world.

        No matter how screwed up things are, a lot of people are trying to make them better and be kind when they get a chance to.

  18. Wukchumni

    In turning away from our allies, it strikes me a classic pro wrestling move, in that the grappling ones will change sides from being a good guy-to being a heel, there oddly enough being as much interest by the fan base in objectionable ne’er-do-wells, to justify the juxtaposition.

  19. Wukchumni

    We had a spate of 6 or 7 suicides in our sleepy little town the past few years, all of them adult males ranging from 20 to 60, the younger ones being more tragedy laden, but all losses being equally devastating to the living, who wondered why?

  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    China Deals Shocking Blow To Solar Industry OilPrice

    Do we surrender now?

    Do we retreat immediately, but with a new plan in the future that will deal with this issue? Is it likely that future American leaders will do that?

    Do we maintain focus on the main strategic goals, even with this shocking blow?

  21. Bugs Bunny

    So…the NYT is reporting that Trump wants Russia back in the G-7.

    “Russia should be in this meeting,” Mr. Trump said. “Why are we having a meeting without Russia being in the meeting? And I would recommend — and it’s up to them, but Russia should be in the meeting, it should be a part of it. You know, whether you like it or not, and it may not be politically correct, but we have a world to run and the G-7 — which used to be the G-8, they threw Russia out. They should let Russia come back in because we should have Russia at the negotiating table.”

    Then there’s this bit of gas about halfway down the page (emphasis mine):

    “American intelligence agencies have concluded that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia personally authorized an operation to intervene in the 2016 American presidential election with the goal of helping Mr. Trump win.”


    Now I know why it’s called fake news.

  22. Synoia

    “When I was a kid, Russia really mattered. It’s now got an economy about the size of Australia. Yeah, they’ve got a lot of nuclear weapons, but its real importance in the world is greatly [diminished].

    When I was a kid, The British Empire Really mattered. It’s now got an economy that’s smaller than France’s. Yeah they’ve got one aircraft carrier, but Britain’s real importance in the world is greatly [diminished].

    Boris’ bullshit baffles brains.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Remember in 1987 when the Italians were cock-a-hoop over il sorpasso, as Italian GDP exceeded Britain’s?

      Wikipedia describes what followed:

      The United Kingdom regained its position over Italy in 1997.

      In 2009, Britain was briefly overtaken by Italy for a second time, leading the Italian ambassador, Giancarlo Aragona, to talk of a secondo sorpasso.

      Sounds like a bloody race to the bottom …

      1. Jim Haygood

        Yet another take on what followed Aragona’s awkwardly timed chest beating — a chart comparing Italian and German real GDP:

        Incredibly, Italian real GDP remains below its level of ten years ago. No wonder populists are getting elected.

        Which is why there are so few takers of the Haygood wager — that the equally-weighted GDP of Japan, Italy and the US will rise less than 2 percent p.a. from 2019 through 2028.

        1. Left in Wisconsin

          It completely depends what you spend the money on. If you spend it putting people to work (i.e. U.S. in WW2), you will get strong growth. If you spend it bailing out banks or foreign investors – borrowing to pay off past debts, payday loan style – you will not get strong growth.

  23. Synoia

    Johnson disagreed with a claim by the head of HMRC that “max fac” would cost the UK economy up to £20 billion, by adding additional border checks for businesses. “No, we don’t think that’s realistic at all. It’s out by a factor of 10 or 20,” he said.

    Boris is correct. It is out by a factor of 10 to 20, except it is a multiplier not a divisor.

    Boris’ bullshit baffles brains.

    1. Eustache De Saint Pierre

      I expect he will be fine whatever happens, as Taleb states, skin in the game matters.

  24. The Rev Kev

    “Facebook is hiring ‘news credibility specialists’ — after saying it didn’t want to be in the business of judging news trustworthiness”

    Maybe it would be better if Facebook contracted this function out to Naked Capitalism and have the staff and commentators weigh in and say what is and what is not credible news. I reckon that a lot of what passes for ‘news’ these days would get short shrift on this site.

    1. fresno dan

      June 8, 2018 at 10:42 am

      we ASSUME autonomous driving systems are DESIGNED not to hit civilians…er, pedestrians. Maybe they’re not designed to do that at all……

  25. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Most voters are fine with NFL players’ anthem kneeling: poll New York Post (RR)

    Interesting the question is not, has anthem kneeling inspired you to do something about police brutality.

    Is this diversion intentional (from confronting the sixth largest army in the world that is the NYPD, and their fellow police departments, to that”s-very-nice-you’re-kneeing-I-feel-better-to-answer-I’m-fine-with-it-from-my-comfortable-living-room-watching-Russiagate)?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        What is he skipping the White House for?

        NAFTA? Neoliberalism? 2016 rigged election? Facebook? Amazon?

        Maybe not, but I hope he would.

        BTW, boycotting Canadian hockey players, by definition, are un-American or not American..not saying Mr. Pelly-Smith is a Canadian (I don’t follow hockey).

        1. rd

          “The things that he spews are straight-up racist and sexist,Some of the things he’s said are pretty gross. I’m not too into politics, so I don’t know all his other views, but his rhetoric I definitely don’t agree with.”

          Pelly-Smith was born in Ontario, Canada and is of Jamaican heritage.

          He is the eighth black hockey player to win the Stanley Cup. Madison Bowey, a rookie defenceman on the Cap’s roster, is also a Canadian black.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            He’s right to not go, Canadian or American. There are still many issues to protest. Some might have refused to go when the drone-in-chief was there. I googled but nothing showed up. Probably need more research.

            Racist and sexist fans or paying customers are a more difficult issue. I don’t know what I would do – let it go, or refuse to play when those fans are in attendance.

  26. Jim Haygood

    Good news and bad news, comrades. The good is that ne’er-do-well Argentina has cadged a beastly $50 billion standby credit line from the IMFers. Downside is that, as usual, there are a couple of caveats:

    We welcome the [Argentine] authorities’ intention to accelerate the pace at which they reduce the federal government’s deficit, restoring the primary balance by 2020.

    We also strongly support the redoubling of efforts to lower inflation, which we know eats into the foundation of economic prosperity in Argentina and is borne directly by society’s most vulnerable.

    In this vein, we endorse the central bank’s decision to adopt realistic and meaningful inflation targets and their commitment to maintain a flexible and market-determined exchange rate.

    Partial translation: stop blowing your precious foreign exchange on supporting the peso. Central bank Gov Sturzenegger duly announced last night that a normal foreign exchange regime — that is, one not propped with a US$5 billion official bid at a floor of 25 pesos per dollar — would return today.

    And so it did — today the peso promptly fell through the former floor to 25.50.

    Thus begins another sad saga of foreigners (including our good selves) lending fantastic sums to folks who live la viveza criolla. Our American correspondent Deby in Buenos Aires explains:

    This is the “attorney” in the milonga who tells you he is a lawyer when he washes dishes, or the former president Cristina Kirchner who would inaugurate the same school or public works project several times to make it look like her government was actually doing more than stealing our money. It is a game. If you don’t learn to play it, you will suffer greatly.

    Is it 1998 all over again, with the wily Argies sucking down a few more tens of billions before pulling the plug within three years?

    In any case, Argentina’s unfolding cautionary tale will provide hours of entertainment for the NC commentariat, as the austerity chorus sings a heartfelt a capella dirge about the cruel, surplus-obsessed banksters.

    1. Left in Wisconsin

      Yes. Also routinely worth point out that the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics is a fake Nobel given out by rightwing Swedish bankers. Also that Kissinger won a “real” Nobel Peace Prize.

      1. paul

        Something Krugman has never,to my knowledge, stated when introduced on the idiot box over here as ‘nobel prize winner’

    2. Wukchumni

      I knew somebody that owned a Nobel prize medal awarded to a Cyril Hinshelwood, an English chemist who won it in 1956.

      A hefty chunk of the precious, lemme tellya.

      According to Wiki he bought it for $15k from the deceased’s estate over 40 years ago.

      You very seldom see one come for sale…

      But nothing compares to the heft of an Academy Award.

      Pre 1950 awards can be bought and sold on the marketplace, but nothing past then, and maybe 20 years ago I was @ an auction gallery in Beverly Hills I did business with, and they had one going up for bids for How Green Was My Valley, from 1941. Damn near got a hernia picking it up.

  27. darrell anderson

    Tony Bourdain once broke bread with a Cambodian family whose father was maimed by a Kissinger bomb. I saw this episode in 2008. The family was gracious, humble, sharing and didn’t blame America. Bourdain was struck by their dignity and went on to apologize on behalf of his countrymen. He confessed to shame!
    When have you seen such thoughtfulness on US media? Went up in my estimation.

  28. Jason Boxman

    I always felt like that Wells Fargo logo was just an honest expression: Corporate criminals fleeing the scene of a crime; this was long before the most recent scandals came to light, back during the failed multi-state mortgage settlement. How prescient.

    As they sought to rebuild deposits, I nonetheless assumed the risk and took advantage of a $250 new account bonus. So far, I have been unharmed. I transferred the minimum balance to avoid fees out as soon as the 6th month window passed and closed it.

  29. Jim Haygood

    Yet another take on what followed Aragona’s awkwardly timed chest beating — a chart comparing Italian and German real GDP:

    Incredibly, Italian real GDP remains below its level of ten years ago. No wonder populists are getting elected.

    Which is why there are so few takers of the Haygood wager — that the equally-weighted GDP of Japan, Italy and the US will rise less than 2 percent p.a. from 2019 through 2028.

  30. Bean Counter

    Re: The Steady Enmity of Powerful People

    Gut wrenching. I hope many are able to come to Jonathan Sugarman’s side and at least aid him financially. It’s something for all of us who increasingly buy the occasional lottery ticket (as there’s better odds of winning the lottery for many of us than escaping a very bleak future), to put on our ever increasing dreams of helping list.

    Effectively early retired for doing the right thing from an Industry rife with corruption but which purports to be a watchdog industry of sorts, I think attacks on and silencing of whistleblowers are as old as the hills – though getting far more blatant and ugly as the increasingly palpable corruption and destruction of all that’s decent in life is aided and abetted exponentially by an utterly out of control technocracy of brutal, inhuman algorithms.

  31. Oregoncharles

    “India Advances Ill-Conceived Plan to Project Military and Economic Power into the Seas Alternet. Curious to get reader reactions.”
    Strikes me as an inflated, alarmist reaction to normal great-power jockeying. Remember, the Chinese have been very aggressive in the South China Sea; Indian assertiveness in their own environs is a natural response.

    As in the S. China Sea, both sides are restrained by their mutual possession of nukes (this was actually a theme in Dune). Plus, the Straits of Malacca are actually controlled by Malaysia and Indonesia; they’re the shortest way through, but hardly the only one.

    The real danger is their disputed border in the Himalayas.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Can’t see fighting in the Himalayas go on for too long. The troops from both sides would be mostly occupied with forcing oxygen into their lungs from the thin air at that altitude.

      1. Oregoncharles

        They have nonetheless managed, both with China and with Pakistan. So far, just skirmishes, fo rthe most part. Granted, the Himalayas make quite a wall.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I read about those skirmishes. I can see it now-
          “Ready!” (gasp), “Aim” (gasp), “Fire!” (gasp, gasp)

          Apparently it came down to a rock-throwing contest between the Indian and Chinese troops. Upon hearing this, a Silicon Valley outfit promised to develop a self-guiding stone with variable thrusters and up-gradable software for $20 billion which the Pentagon immediately accepted.

  32. Lord Koos

    Texas Student, Mother Detained for Waving to Each Other During Graduation

    So, it was against school rules to wave from the podium. Aside from this limitation of free speech, why is it necessary for the police to be involved in the enforcement petty school rules, since AFAIK it’s not against the law to wave?

    1. J Sterling

      O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave, o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave? No, waving can get you arrested.

    2. pretzelattack

      i guess they didn’t have any lemonade stands to raid. or loose cigarette sellers to choke.

  33. merd

    I love my NC. Really, I’m here everyday for years and years now, but I really struggle to find things that I saw here in the past. It hurts me because what I’ve learned here is so much a part of how I look at the world, but then I can’t back it up with the charts and articles that I’ve read. I’ve even considered running my own archive specifically of things that I have read so that I can search back through them easier… IDK. Right now I’m looking for a chart that showe how our national debt is just one side of double entry accounting. I can’t remember what balanced it out, private surpluses plus some other things? It made so much sense at the time, and now I just can’t remember. Does anyone know what I’m talking about, and where I might find it, or good search words??? Thank you!!!!

  34. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: “Research finds tipping point [~25%] for large-scale social change.”
    Scientists discovered we have a good chance of enjoying Medicare for all — or at least we must be close?

  35. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Scientists discover bees understand the concept of zero PhysOrg (Chuck L)

    I think I knew the concept of zero before I was taught that in school.

    “Milk or no milk?” (Not-zero or zero).

    “Food or no food?’ (Not-zero or zero).

    ‘Toy or no toy?” (Not-zero or zero).

    Remarkably, they all happened around the age of 1 or 2, before even I could speak, thus, demonstrating it’s possible to thinking before learning words to speak.

    1. polecat

      “Food or no food?”
      Concerning the bees, or a least where my colonies are concerned, when there’s a derth of nectar to be had, they do the next most logical thing … they rob their neighbouring sisters !
      .. the concept of ‘Substitution’ in nature, golden in sting and tarsi ..

      Who knew that honey bees were also students of economics ..

    2. Jeff W

      That’s kind of why I didn’t understand why this finding was so surprising the first time it appeared in the Links and I still don’t.

      Bees that couldn’t discriminate between places with no flowers with nectar and pollen and those with some (or lots) of flowers with nectar and pollen wouldn’t last very long in evolutionary terms. And, as a matter of foraging efficiency, bees could be expected to have some ability to distinguish those places with more flowers and those with fewer. People are thinking in numerical terms but it might be that bees are responding in a more purely behavioral sense (i.e., they’re not really “counting”).

  36. JBird

    Be Very Afraid: Israeli forces Are Training American Police

    We are probably just under 700 dead by the police as of today, and it’s only early June, and now the NYPD is getting some training from the Israelis. Why does this make me uneasy?

    As of May 14, just over 600 Americans are recorded as being killed by police by all means. To say it differently, as of May 03, 2018, 454 were shot dead.

    Good grief. It’s frightening insanity like this that give gun rights advocates, and militia members more paranoia fuel; after the recent massacres at Gaza, and the ongoing militarization of the American police at all levels, with the usually consequence free homicides by police who could blame them? Heck, if a person is black, this also is more fear fuel.

  37. ewmayer

    o “Brazilian Footballers Will Have Timetabled Sex During World Cup 2018 – Reports Sputnik (Chuck L)” — After reading the headline I briefly mis-read the source as “Spunkit” (not to be confused with wildly popular online mag “Spankit”). :)

    o “Facebook is hiring ‘news credibility specialists’ — after saying it didn’t want to be in the business of judging news trustworthiness Business Insider” — Hey, this is slanderous! They’re not getting into the business of news credibility, they’re getting into the business of news trustworthiness, which is, like, a totally different thing.

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