Links 7/2/18

Norwegian crew member who went overboard found alive 22 hours later by Carnival ship Miami Herald

Stanislav Cherchesov: my tactical strategy was key to toppling Spain Guardian. What a World Cup!

Redoine Faid: Paris helicopter prison break for gangster BBC

CDC lists oil of lemon eucalyptus as comparable to DEET for mosquitoes Treehugger

Lawrence Bacow promises a more outward-looking Harvard Boston Globe

Legalise and tax pot to stop organised crime Macrobusiness

Health Care

Is the NHS the world’s best healthcare system? The Guardian. This week the NHS turns 70.

Patients who have had suicidal thoughts are often excluded from antidepressant trials. The FDA says they don’t need to be Stat

Seeing the same doctor over time ‘lowers death rates’ BBC


Brexit: EU accused of making false claims over aid contracts Guardian

Brexit: ‘Significant planning’ underway to guarantee medical supplies don’t run out in event of no deal, says NHS chief Independent

Brexit: bonfire of the vanities


How a SIM Card Operator in Hyderabad Apparently Created His Own Aadhaar Database The Wire

Bankrupt Indian Companies Are Clogging the Economy—but Now the Clock Is Ticking WSJ

On GST anniversary, Chidambaram terms it ‘RSS tax’, says people consider it a ‘bad word’ First Post

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

At this Chinese school, Big Brother was watching students — and charting every smile or frown LA Times

Google Is Building a City of the Future in Toronto. Would Anyone Want to Live There? Politico

Class Warfare

FEATURE-US capital sued over gentrification ‘pattern’ seeking young, well-educated residents Reuters

Union End Times: The Supreme Court’s Fatal Attack on Public-Sector Workers Counterpunch

HQ2 is making cities consider projects they’ve been ignoring for years — and it shows the power of Amazon Business Insider

Hedge funds favour Democrats in political donations FT

It’s not just at the border. The U.S. separates families all the time. WaPo

Another Hurdle For Former Inmates: Their Teeth Marshall Project

Ocasio-Cortez discusses ‘Democratic Socialist’ label Politico

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Fires Back at Newsmax Host Publishing False Info About Her Background: ‘How Scared You Are’ AlterNet


Democrats cannot win the fight to replace Justice Kennedy. They can only prepare for the next battle. The Week

Tipping the Scales New York Review of Books

Anthony Kennedy’s Liberal Enablers Jacobin

Collins: White House has expanded its list of potential Supreme Court picks The Hill

Top Supreme Court prospect has argued presidents should not be distracted by investigations and lawsuits WaPo (furzy)


CSU’s Seehofer takes Germany to the brink Politico

Power Is Draining Away From Angela Merkel Social Europe

Home Office accused of using children of immigrants as a ‘cash cow’ with extortionate citizenship fees Independent

CBS News interview with ICE whistleblower interrupted by surprise visit from government agents CBS News

Hillary Clinton: ‘What is more uncivil than taking children away?’ Guardian

Unsealed documents detail tactics in Clinton email probe Politico

Trump Transition

Trump and truth: Why the media are losing the battle Christian Science Monitor (furzy)

Trump era ramps up tech worker revolt The Hill

Pruitt’s reading list from the public? ‘Global Warming for Dummies’ Politico

‘Buy American’: Trump’s Top Team To Close Arms Deals At Farnborough Airshow International Business Times

Turkey’s controversial S-400 missile transfer is ‘done deal’ Asia Times


Mexico’s Lopez Obrador Wins Presidential Vote as Rivals Concede Bloomberg

Trump congratulates Mexico’s new president: ‘I look very much forward to working with him’ The Hill

By the hundreds, they crossed to border for the ‘privilege of voting’ in Mexico LA Times

Our Famously Free Press

It’s Still Not About the Sex (II) Once Upon a Time. Arthur Silber.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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      1. Jean

        Look over here!
        A shiny sports object–don’t pay attention to economics and history! Study the ball!

    1. flora

      Hmmm…. is it possible that Soros – hero of the Resistance(TM) – is a wolf in sheep’s clothing? /s

      1. integer

        If you have information that contradicts any of the claims made in the article then I’d be interested to see it. While proof is hard to come by on these kinds of topics, the information contained in the linked article is congruent with the information on Soros’s activities that I’ve pieced together over the years from multiple sources, including various leaked documents. Also, having watched the US intelligence community’s concerted campaign to destroy Wikileaks’ reputation since their release of “collateral murder”, which reached a crescendo after the most qualified candidate ever lost her election, I surmise that this is, and has been, TPTB’s standard operating procedure for dealing with any publisher or journalist that exposes information that makes them uncomfortable.

        1. Lorenzo

          I do not wish to weigh in for either side of this debate, and I’m certainly reading what you’ve linked – the topic very much interests me. But making use of the incredible powers of the internet I started digging up on Mr Engdahl and I found that he has stated the following

          To this day there exists not a single serious scientific paper proving the fossil genesis of hydrocarbons.*

          Being a young avid self-learner, (though I don’t really endorse the term, I make use of what I have) I will duly research his claims, they disturbe me deeply as they should disturbe everyone, before calling him a lunatic and a fool. It’s amazing and somewhat tragic that one can’t be comfortable in one’s knowledge that the absolute bedrock of our real economy -that would be hydrocarbons- is running out and fast or on the contrary that this notion is a fabricated lie with no base in common scientific understanding. One problem with being a self-learner as you can see here is that it is slow going and particularly messy, but alas, it is the path the I’ve chosen at least for the time being.

          *source he’s written a book about it, too

      2. integer

        Also, here‘s a quote from Pepe Escobar about the author of the linked article:

        William Engdahl is one of the world’s top geopolitical analysts. His books – from Century of War to Full Spectrum Dominance – are absolutely essential to understand how the self-described exceptional nation created and expanded its global hegemony tentacles.

        A measure of his influence is that as much as Engdahl may be dismissed or derided across the Beltway, the usual suspects do read him – and are incapable of finding conclusive arguments to prove him wrong.

  1. Samuel Conner

    I’ve become intrigued by essential oils as DIY alternatives to industrial chemicals, disinfectives and pharma. Lavender essential oil is reputed to be a useful sleep aid, for example.

    I’m especially interested in repelling or deterring ticks while digging in the garden.

    Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil is not that expensive.

    Here’s a link (I have purchased from this supplier and received good service and have no direct or indirect interest in the company)

    One caution is that they have an annoyingly high handling fee for the first item in an order, but a much smaller marginal fee on additional items; I guess they are trying to encourage larger orders. It may be good to make a larger purchase with friends to spread this one-off fee over more items.

    Bulk Apothecary also has very good published prices, but I have never ordered from them and cannot report.

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      I use lavender oil– not ruling out that I might be susceptible to a placebo effect, but if so, I don’t think the substance is inherently dangerous, and it does smell nice.

      1. ambrit

        I rub Lavender oil into my temples for relief from tension headaches. Placebo or not, it works for me. Phyllis uses Lavender scented Bronners Soap, a form of Castille soap, for reducing the pain and irritation of her cancerous leg. She has tried several of the different formulations, such as almond and peppermint varieties of the soap, but Lavender, to her, is the hands down winner for efficacy.
        On a related topic, the FDA approved a Cannabis derived anti epileptic drug recently. Who wants to bet that this is patented and the price, appropriately jacked up?
        Who was it here who predicted the commercialization of Cannabis before general legalization? Who ever it was, hats off to their prescient cynicism!

        1. Wukchumni

          Who was it here who predicted the commercialization of Cannabis before general legalization? Who ever it was, hats off to their prescient cynicism!

          I had my Rosetta Stoned moment about a decade ago @ the Playboy Jazz Festival @ the Hollywood Bowl when amidst many 419.9995% users plying their traits up in smoke around me, some gent tried to light up a Camel and was arrested toot suite in his seat. Tobacco is the new Cannabis of olde, in a flipflop of funny and giggles.

          I suspect one will be able to buy packs of ‘Winstoned’ cigarettes soon here @ gas station mini marts.

          1. ambrit

            I can echo, echo, echo, that ‘contact high’ experience. New Orleans had a beat up rock venue called, appropriately enough, the Warehouse. For five bucks you could go in and sit on a carpeted floor in front of the stage and have the Evil Weed passed up and down the row. I didn’t even have to partake. The atmosphere was sufficiently “polluted” to do the trick. The cops were cool. Don’t take your goods out on the street and everything’s jake. Back then, a pack of cigarettes was Fifty cents out of a vending machine. My how times change but the underlying dynamic stays the same.
            As for legal cannabis, my money’s on it being treated like ‘hard’ liquor.
            Oh, and an inside source I once knew said that the Grateful Dead were set up. (Someone who knew people directly involved in the ‘caper.’)

    2. MC

      I have a certification in aromatherapy and help run my family’s small natural product business. Essential oils are useful for some very practical specific things (tea tree for dandruff, lavender for burns, ginger and mint for nausea and mild to moderate headaches, etc) but there are a lot of limits to the scope of what EO can do (it can uplift mood if a the person likes the particular scent, but it cannot cure clinical depression) and the industry is also shady as hell. Verifiable sourcing is a nightmare, the industry is just now hashing our standards for labeling and chemical composition (or arguing if standard chemical profiles are even useful, since EOs are a lot like wine in the fact that year, terrain and place of origin can very different outcomes even on the exact same plant), 2 major MLMs have a disproportionate amount of power in public perception and use for EOs, and on and on. And even if EOs are natural they are still intensely resource heavy to produce. It makes hundreds of lbs of material to make a few ozs of EO so from an environmental stand point you’re better off drinking some mint tea from your garden for a headache than rolling in EO (which should be heavily diluted for safety and thrift anyway).
      I’m not trying to rain on anyone’s parade here. EOs are useful. I’ve managed to do a lot of natural pest repellent with them too. Just be aware that it’s not an angelic industry because, well, crapitalism.

      1. perpetualWAR

        I understand what you are saying. However, I have been using lemongrass oil to repel fleas on my dog for the last 8 months. He’s allergic to the little buggers and I hate applying poison to him year-round. So, really glad that a natural substitute works.

        1. Lee

          FWIW, I have an Airedale Terrier that is allergic to flea bites. I use the prescription flea and tick repellent tablets from the vet. They work well and at 14 years old he is 2 years beyond life expectancy for the breed. Not to say that I wouldn’t be interested in an alternative.

          1. Procopius

            Lemon grass is planted around houses here to repel mosquitoes, so I imagine its essential oil would work for fleas. Of course, it’s also used to season food.

      2. freedomny

        I have found that Eden Botanicals and White Lotus Aromatics are pretty good about disclosing their sourcing – they also have harder to find oils and a larger selection of organic and wild harvested EOs. For larger quantities I’ve used Brambleberry or New Directions Aromatics. Evidence Based Essential Oil Therapy by Scott Johnson is a good book to learn about precautions/therapeutic applications.

    3. The Rev Kev

      At last! Another use found for all those Eucalyptus trees in California – apart from their regular function of burning down the place repeatedly.

      1. Tinky

        You should see Portugal. I recently drove through some of the most heavily damaged areas from last year’s terrible fires, and Eucalyptus trees appeared to have played a major role in around 85% on them.

          1. Jean

            Eucalyptus globulus is the species growing all over California. The Blue Gum.

            Lemon Eucalyptus or E citronella is a different variety.

            Note, there is a difference between Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus and
            Essential oil of lemon eucalyptus.
            One is a natural pesticide, the other is for cosmetics.

      2. Lee

        The Rev Kev
        July 2, 2018 at 8:27 am
        At last! Another use found for all those Eucalyptus trees in California – apart from their regular function of burning down the place repeatedly.

        My understanding is that they were planted in the SF east bay hills to replace the native timber that was cut for building materials, believing that the fast-growing eucalyptus could then rapidly produce more lumber. The story goes that they either planted the wrong species or that the trees simply grew differently here and were useless as lumber.

        In any event, in 1973 a rare hard freeze in the sf bay area killed thousands if not millions of the Aussie invasives. Risking life and limb, some of us made a lot of money with chainsaws over the next several years. Then, as it turned out, the vast acres of severed stumps did not go quietly into that good night, but hydra-like sprouted an abundance of new, vigorous limbs creating the fire hazard that certainly contributed to the 1991 Oakland hills conflagration.

      3. drumlin woodchuckles

        I have long wondered whether parts of California have enough eucalyptus trees growing densely enough in some places to be able to support a population of koalas, if koalas were ever introduced into Eucalyptofornia just to see.

    4. Spring Texan

      But lemon eucalyptus oil smells DISGUSTING. My brother used it when we were in Costa Rica and I didn’t see how he tolerated it. Of course, so does DEET. What doesn’t is picaridin which works very well. There are picaridin-based insect repellants at your local grocery store.

      These are much more popular in Europe than DEET based products but for some reason haven’t caught on here.

      1. Craig H.

        East TX roustabouts and jug hustlers know home remedies beat DEET:

        the best method: Avon Skin So Soft Bath Oil. Google tells me you can now buy an Avon Skin So Soft Bug Repellant so the company has apparently heard; the second best method which is equally effective but has side effects that a lot of people do not want: cigarette smoke.

    5. Lemmy Caution

      This study, published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information site (part of the United States National Library of Medicine), found that Peppermint oil significantly outperformed Minoxidil in promoting hair growth, without causing any harmful side effects.

      1. crittermom

        I’ve been using cold pressed avocado oil on my hair to help regrow it following chemo. (I cover it with a disposable shower cap–that I reuse several times for just this purpose–& leave it on for at least 2 hrs)
        It’s also supposed to strengthen hair & make it shiny. (My hair was breaking off from wearing bandanas & hats to cover my bald head).

        I’m not sure if it’s working, since I’ve never lost my hair before, but figure it can’t hurt.
        My surgeon suggested it–& even bought a bottle for me!

        I much prefer using natural, plant-based things, over the pharmacy, lab-created, whenever possible.

        I like the hint about lemongrass oil for fleas, provided by perpetualWar.
        I would think it could be used on cats, as well?

        1. marym

          Some essential oils are toxic to cats, including eucalyptus and lemongrass according to the ASPCA. I did see another link that said lemongrass itself isn’t toxic. I’ve also read that rosemary is good for hair regrowth. This is the sum total of my essential oil knowledge.

        2. perpetualWAR

          Do your research. Cats have a harder time with essential oils because they groom themselves and therefore ingest them.

    6. Summer

      I bought it from a sporting goods store. Used it on a tour of rainforest and no bites.

    7. Kevin C Smith

      DEET isn’t the only weapon. Products containing the active ingredients picaridin and IR 3535 are as effective, says Dr. Dan Strickman, with the Global Health Program at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (which is a funder of NPR) and author of Prevention of Bug Bites, Stings, and Disease.

      “Picaridin is a little more effective than DEET and seems to keep mosquitoes at a greater distance,” he says. When people use DEET, mosquitoes may land on them but not bite. When they use a product containing picaridin, mosquitoes are less likely to even land. Repellents with IR 3535 are slightly less effective, Strickman says, but they don’t have the strong smell of other products.

      Speaking as a dermatologist, my family have been using Sawyer picaridin spray as a repellent for the past 5 years or so with great success. Nicer than DEET too. We also use Sawyer permethrin to spray down our ourdoor clothing, and also the inside and outside of our packs, bags, suitcases etc to repel all sorts of insects, and to reduce the chance that we will bring home bedbugs, cockroaches, scorpions etc from our travels.

      Consumer Reports recommended the Sawyer picaridin and permethrin, which we purchase from

    8. Oregoncharles

      I read, recently but I don’t remember where, that catnip is also an excellent mosquito repellent. The smell isn’t as pleasant as lemon eucalyptus, but it’s very easy to grow – unless you have cats; our killed it one time when it was trying to come up in the spring. We have mosquitoes and a couple of large catnip plants, so I guess I’ll give it a try – on my wife; they love her.

  2. Christopher Dale Rogers

    Many thanks for the “CDC lists oil of lemon eucalyptus as comparable to DEET for mosquitoes Treehugger” link, , I live on a small Island in the South China Sea where the Tiger Mosquitoes are a real pain in the butt – frightening too as its not malaria we worry about, rather its Japanese Encephalitis, of which we’ve had a few cases – so, this is on my To Do list as far as shopping for mosquitoes repellant is concerned.

    1. Lord Koos

      Before leaving for our extended stay in Thailand in 2012 we were offered shots for Japanese Encephalitis, but declined as they were very expensive and the risk in SE Asia didn’t seem too great. Not sure how long the shots last or how effective they are, but have you tried them?

  3. Livius Drusus

    Re: the Supreme Court issue, I think it is time to recognize that the Court is too powerful. Both parties have used the Court to try to bypass the hard work of winning victories in the legislature which is why I am somewhat cold on liberals complaining about the Court because they love the Court when it is activist in their favor just like conservatives are.

    As people are living longer these judicial appointments can have an impact that lasts well over a generation. A justice appointed at age 45-50 can easily be expected to be on the Court for more than 30 years. We now have a kind of dictatorship of nine. In my opinion this is even worse than the imperial presidency since at least the president is limited to two elected terms and has to work with Congress to get legislation passed. There are very few checks on the power of the SCOTUS. Judicial term limits should be on the agenda at the very least.

    1. Clive

      While I’m happy to be corrected by US residents, I’d venture that the problem isn’t a too-powerful Supreme Court (it’s supposed to have clout, after all) but in the rampantly political appointment procedure. Here in the U.K. while the appointments are made by the Head of State (the Queen), this is just a formality in the modern era. The meat of the process is a selection commission considers appointees, their recommendations are approved by the government, but the government cannot put up its choice of pet candidates.

      It seems to work well enough in practice. Certainly far better than the three ringed circus that is the SCOTUS selection of Justices.

      1. Scott

        It’s not exactly clear how powerful the Supreme Court was supposed to be based upon the text of the constitution or the early history. The first time it struck down an act of Congress was Marbury vs. Madison. The next was 50 years later, the Dred Scott case, and helped cause the Civil War. In my opinion, the judiciary is supposed to be the weakest of the three branches while congress was to be the strongest.

        1. johnnygl

          Yep, and Brown v. Board of Education showed how little it can do to impose its will.

        2. Expat

          It is true that the Supreme Court can be skewed for thirty years based on a one man majority in Congress and a president elected by 25.7% of eligible voters.

          There is a reason why I live abroad. It’s not because things are necessarily better, but because watching America from the outside is a painful experience after growing up in the propaganda. One such bit of propaganda was how the Supreme Court was the unbiased protector of the Constitution and human rights. In fact, it has long been a misogynistic, racist tool of powerful white men with occasional bursts of left-wing activism.

          1. Yves Smith

            Out of curiosity, where do you live now? I wish I’d been successful in trying to live in Australia. Getting permanent residence looked like too high a bar in the visa category I’d used to move there for two years.

            1. vlade

              If it was early 00s, you might have qualified under points system.

              Or gamed the system a bit, as quite a few people did – get a NZ citizenship first (it was easier to get points for NZ one than Oz around the millenia break), work in NZ for a few years (3 IIRC), get citizenship, move to Oz. A few of my Canadian friends did just that.

              You mentioned you had Hungarian ancestors. If you were able to prove it, and learn Hungarian (a feat in itself!), you’d be eligible for Hungarian passport – which still is an EU one, so could move wherever in EU you liked, settle there, and get citizneship there with time.

              1. Olga

                For the younger bunch (up to 50 perhaps), the Canadian points system is still quite reasonable. Part. if one has some skills/education.

            2. Expat

              I am in France now, where I was born, but I have lived in the UK and in the Far East. Been gone for 30 years now. Married a French woman and got my passport back in the 90’s. I have not renounced my US citizenship because, frankly, it’s very hard to do while my parents are alive and because I truly believe the vindictive US government would give me an even harder time than they do now.

              1. Wukchumni

                In the amazing diary from inside the 3rd Reich “I Will Bear Witness”, author Victor Klemperer wrote that there was a ‘25% Reich Flight Tax’ on German Jews leaving for other countries in the 1930’s.

                I think the USA charges a lot more to renounce your consumership status here for other climes, funny that.

                1. Expat

                  I thnk the fee is about $4k or so. But you have to still pay taxes for ten years. I just suspect that I will be denied entry if I renounce. Already, I get harassed when returning.

                    1. Expat

                      Not sure, but right now I think I quality for $27 a month. I intend to use the French system.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Or the Principality of Sealand.


                For DIY (Do It Yourself) hobbyists, a cheaper alternative is to get a dingy and declare yourself a sovereign (and print as much money as you like – be your own central banker).

                For people of Hutt River – I hope there isn’t an Australian preserver of union, and the Australians leave you alone.

              2. Old Jake

                The wallaby that roared. Making it up as he goes along. Delightful reading. “I empty my nose in your direction.”

            3. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Yves I succeeded in repatriating to Australia from the U.S. under the 457 visa program. Even though they have made some changes plenty of people still do it, there are a few hoops. Glad to discuss my experience, etc., we’re really happy in The Lucky Country

          2. Elizabeth Burton

            The reason the majority of the US population has a starry-eyed view of the SCOTUS is because our history textbooks were written to promote it. The only decisions ever contained therein are the “good ones that ended X injustice” or the the bad ones that can’t be ignored because the rest of the lesson depends on knowing about them.

            And now a federal judge has declared that literacy is not a right, so if you’re graduating high school from a rundown ghetto school the funds to adequately run which are going into the pockets of charter-school operators and never learned to read properly, too bad for you.

            Apparently, federal judges aren’t familiar with the Preamble to that Constitution they are now telling us doesn’t really apply unless you’re a corporation or plutocrat.

        3. Sid Finster

          I thought Marbury established judicial review over an executive action, not an Act of Congress?

          Regardless, judicial review is found nowhere in the Constitution (originalists, take note!) nor was it considered an inherent power of the judiciary at the time.

          1. Oregoncharles

            Marbury was a usurpation; I think it was accepted because otherwise there would be no Constitutional restraint on the government. Like some other things, it isn’t an ideal way to do it; in fact, there’s a large portion of b. s. in it.

            I believe it was Pres. Jackson who asked how many division the SCOTUS had, when they found against him – quite rightly, about the removal of the Cherokee, IIRC. He ignored them.

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              I don’t believe Jackson put his reply in those terms. I believe what he said was . . . ” Justice Marshall has made his decision. Let him enforce it.”

      2. johnnygl

        There’s definitely a power grab from the supreme court under way. Power has ebbed and flowed over US history between and among the three branches. Congress and the prez have to enable that power grab and in as much as the other two branches are fine with what the supreme court is doing, it is allowed to continue.

        Matt Stoller’s pointed out that the anti-democratic nature of the supreme court and its very limited ability to enforce its own rulings make it a kind of paper tiger…if the other two branches are willing to confront it.

        But congress and prez are quite happy with the reactionary agenda and thrilled to have someone else to blame for implementing it. Besides, the donor class is cool with it.

        1. voteforno6

          The Court is certainly a paper tiger. What would happen if it issued a deeply unpopular opinion, and a good chunk of Americans just ignored it? As Andrew Jackson once said, “John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it.”

          Sure, the political class might get in a bit of a snit over it, but as we’ve seen from living in the Age of Trump, a lot of norms are getting smashed already.

      3. DJG

        Clive, who is usually so astute about U.S. affairs: You have backed into the part of U.S. history and structure that is the equivalent of forcing outsiders (nonUsonians) to learn the grammar of Tolkien’s High Elvish:
        –The article of the Constitution of the United States that sets up the Supreme Court is deliberately sketchy. The early court, from 1789 to 1801 when Marshall became Chief Justice, could barely hold on to the justices, who kept resigning.
        –As Scott points out, the Marbury case and the McCulloch case established the Court as a constitutional court that could overturn legislation and presidential orders as unconstitutional.
        –Ironically, or not so ironically, because the Anglo-American court systems mainly are about protecting property and not people, it has been pretty much downhill from there. The Court treated slaves as property, hence Dred Scott.
        –The Court has opposed regulation of business, in a long string of cases.
        –The Court opposes unionization of workers. Janus is no surprise.
        –The Court enjoys segregation, as in Plessy v. Ferguson, until the situation became so intolerable that it was affecting the stability of the South. The Court didn’t declare segregation of public facilities like hotels illegal till the Heart of Atlanta case, which I believe was in 1969. In short, in the lifetime of many of us.
        –And have I mentioned the Court’s invalidation of the First New Deal? Roosevelt threatened to pack the Court, and they learned a little justice.
        –Then there is the Court as abuser of human rights in other instances: Korematsu, which justified keeping Japanese Americans in concentration camps.

        And it goes on. One great failure of liberal politics in the U S of A has been to hang policy and political changes on getting the right Supreme Court decision. As we see abortion rights shrink and shrink, one would think that liberals would come up with another idea like winning elections. No, that’s too hard. Let’s live in a fantasy world thinking that Brandeis, Frankfurter, Thurgood Marshall, and Douglas are still on the bench instead of the dwarves like Roberts, Kennedy, and the execrable Scalia–all highly typical of the kind of justices who have served us Americans so well.

        1. Clive

          The more I learn about the US, the more I realise I know diddly-squat.

          At the suggestion of the ever-reliable NC commentariat, I am about two-thirds the way through the book The Silent Majority. And this reaffirms what your say about US justice but in the main shows how little outsiders know or are taught about how the law, civil society and property interplays in your necks of the woods.

          For example, I like as you kindly said, to consider myself reasonably clued-up about US matters. But I was totally ignorant of school bussing in the South. As in, I’d never heard of it. Can you imagine? It’s a side issue, but one does have to wonder why that’s, as far as what is commonly known about the US and what the US frequently communicates about its history in TV and the other media, been left to hide under a mulberry bush.

          And yes, one of the initially passive but increasingly behind-the-scenes active agencies influencing the moves to adopt bussing to desegregate schools that had ended up segregated by default due to white flight into ethnically exclusive suburbia was big business, specifically the burgeoning financial services industry which had decamped to the Sun Belt (such as Charlottesville). It wasn’t for any idealised or wholesome reasons. It was merely that they’d invested a lot in the areas concerned and to resist the court-mandated bussing solution would have been “bad for business” and made them, by locating in the Sun Belt, look supportive of Jim Crow by association. You can’t help but think that if it had been desegregation which had been bad for business, they’d have been trying to undermine the court orders.

          And, oh, yes, if I knew where Scalia’s grave was, I’d happily go and dance on it.

          1. Olga

            Having also initially learned about the US from afar (before stepping into the real thing), I am convinced that without Hollywood and the 50s/60s/70s music (which ironically has its roots in the oppressed black community), US could never have persuaded the world to follow it. Economic “help” after WWII, a bit of military power, bribing or overthrowing elites, infiltrating media with paid-for journalists, and a steady diet of colourful Hollywood imagery for the masses did the trick. (Even the high-falutin’ intellectuals were not exempted from covert influences.) The only surprising thing about this is just how effective it all was. Even at the height of the Vietnam war, US somehow maintained its perch as the beacon of democracy and protector of human rights. Quite a feat! Whoever came up with this plan, certainly deserves a prize!
            But of course, internal contradictions can be silver-screened-over only for so long…

            1. Wukchumni

              Back in the stone age before the turn of the century, I worked for a company that bought silver reclaimed from film, from Tinsetown, so there was some residual value even if the movie was a clunker.

          2. JohnnyGL

            “For example, I like as you kindly said, to consider myself reasonably clued-up about US matters. But I was totally ignorant of school bussing in the South. As in, I’d never heard of it. Can you imagine?”

            — Please allow me to rock your world again. School busing wasn’t a Southern issue. Boston, yes, that bastion of lefty liberalism, home to the ‘People’s Republic of Cambridge’, had serious problems with school busing. This was in the 1970s, so very much in the living memory of many people.

            Also, note that it was the working class Irish of South Boston who were pushed to integrate. Wealthier WASP communities mysteriously made out untouched.

        2. Scott

          There is also an argument that Marbury was primarily about Marshall outsmarting Thomas Jefferson. The thinking goes that Marbury wasn’t going to get his appointment regardless and that had SCOTUS ruled the other way, Jefferson would have simply ignored it. By striking down the act, Marshall was able to maintain or expand the court’s role. Jefferson was left with no option but to go along with the court’s ruling.

          This was not Jefferson’s only clash with the Supreme Court. During his administration, the House impeached a justice for letting his partisan views affect his judicial opinions. The Senate acquitted him, but if successful, it was believed that Marshall would have been impeached as well.

  4. QuarterBack

    Re the SIM card article, this is proof of why today’s biometric token authentication technologies are not viable at scale. Biometric tokens are pretty good for use as unique identifiers (although at scale, without more work, they are not as unique as they need to be), but they are a poor choice for large scale authentication. Biometric tokens ultimately end up being just a password, that once stolen, can never be changed.

    Every electronic and mechanical identification, authentication, and access control technology known to mankind can be spoofed or bipassed. The art from security professionals is in designing a system that far exceeds the cost/reward ratio of a nefarious actor. Fingerprints may be suitable for unlocking your phone that you typically have near your person, but I do not recommend relying on it to access the lock on your front door. I also argue strongly against using for any authentication or non-repudiation application between anonymous parties. This article proves that is just too easy to acquire and employ stolen fingerprint data to criminally impersonate a party to a transaction. Unfortunately, the common perception is that biometric tokens cant be faked, which make repudiation of such transactions or documents more difficult, and the crimes easier to perpetrate.

    In my judgment, strong passwords are for now, still superior to biometric tokens for authentication because the expense of stealing them can easily be negated by simply changing a password, plus reuse of passwords known to be compromised can be used to alert that an access may be nefarious. When stolen biometric credentials are passed, there is no such inherent ability to detect.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      I always wondered what the recourse is if someone hacked your bio data…get new DNA? New irises or fingerprints? Or how you would do a 90-day password rotation?

  5. Ignacio

    RE: Stanislav Cherchesov: my tactical strategy was key to toppling Spain Guardian. What a World Cup!

    Spain was predictable, therefore easy to defend. The match was, except for the uncertainty, boring.

    1. Quanka

      That particular match was boring – point conceded. But the whole of this WC has been nothing short of breathtaking for those who love the beautiful game. Yes the game has been over commercialized – another conceded point. But most of the big teams have now fallen. There have been a slew of exciting games. France/Argentina was one of the best matches I’ve seen. I usually hate penalties but the way those keepers defended the goal at the end of the Croatia/Denmark game was awesome to watch. I am excited to see this WC to the final.

      1. The Rev Kev

        But man, that save by Igor Akinfeev against Spain was a sight to behold. Can you imagine the celebrations in Russia right now?

        1. Lambert Strether

          Akinfeev’s kick-save:

          Announcer: “Are you kidding me with this save?!” And it is pretty astonishing, as Akinfeev’s body is going away from the ball, but he manages to kick the ball out of the goal anyhow. All while flying through the air!

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Perhaps it’s a strategy Hillary could use.

            “As she heads to the right, thinking that’s where the prize is, the object of her desire is actually heading to the left. She manages to hit a home run with her foot, just in time. And the rest, as they say, is history.”

            1. wilroncanada

              I thought it was the strategy she has always used. Fly to the right, kick at the left.

  6. ProNewerDeal

    I have a bit of hope for the 1st time in years for the future of politics here in North America, given that Andres Lopez won the Mexico Presidency on Sunday, & Alexandria Ocasio House Rep nomination last Tuesday.

    Social democrats that are seemingly genuinely for the 90-99% actually defeated right-wing neoliberal oligarch puppets, after the 2016 D Pres primary rigging event.

    Murican Exceptionalists: how does it feel that Mexico has a more enlightened, pro-democracy, pro-people humanistic Presidents than any Murican ones since at least the 1981-now Reaganomics era.

    How epic will it be if another extra response to the neoliberal “we can’t afford” may in certain cases in the future be, “oh so you are saying we are not as advanced as Mexico, who already has that program”. Ha! I read Lopez advocates Medicare For All & free public univ tuition.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I wish him success.

      How many ‘Muricans will climb over the Wall to that progressive Mexico to get medical care (for all) and to get free public university education?

      it would be like Texas before the Mexican-American War all over again.

      “Yankee go home.”

    2. JohnnyGL

      It’s not just the presidency, either. His Morena party hauled in a big chunk of seats. This is a real opportunity.

      I get worried at comments like the below:

      “promising central bank independence and economic prudence”

      Maybe he’s just trying to calm the business community, but I hope he’s not planning to fight with one hand tied behind his back.

    3. EMtz

      From an interview with AMLO today when he was asked about the 11 year old militarization of the drug war:

      “More than the use of force, we will deal with the causes from which insecurity and violence originate. I am convinced that the most effective and humane way of fighting these ills involves combating inequality and poverty. Peace and tranquility are fruits of justice.”

      This is not a Chavez. This is a man in the company of Mujica and Lula. Today in Mexico, there has been a huge sigh of relief but tempered with the knowledge that the hard work is just beginning. We will dig our way out of this mess we are in and we will do it with dignity and grace.

  7. zagonostra

    Refer: Trump and truth: Why the media are losing the battle :

    “For that reason, many reporters aren’t willing to use the L-word – lying – when characterizing Trump statements that are false. Lying implies an intent to deceive, and only he knows his intent.”

    I would submit that intent is at the heart of the MSM’s collusion with the “Deep State,” anyone familiar with “Mocking Bird” and the ongoing process of keeping certain facts out of public consciousness knows that the intent is to misled, dissemble, and yes LIE.

    When people have access to Y-Tube and watch a JFK/RFK/MLK assassination documentary, or view countless historical narratives that run counter to what is being promulgated they are not going to believe what the corporate media are telling us.

    You build credibility/trust by starting with the admission that you have done wrong. The fact they still bury documents surrounding the JFK assassination tells you all you need to know. there was a coup in the 60’s that persist to the present.

    What I can’t figure out is why they haven’t pulled the plug on Y-Tube and other “subversive” Internet sites. Is it that what is in plain site is the most invisible? I don’t know…

    1. The Rev Kev

      I think that I have seen a film clip that Trump must have seen and learnt how to deal with the media. Just think of the cats as the media and the laser point whatever Trump is distracting them with. Think about it. With one tweet he has the media running themselves ragged and then he pops out another tweet while the media is still dealing with the last one. Just like cats chasing a laser light-

      1. zagonostra

        Yeah, but I think there is more to it than that. If you see just how closely the Media/corporations work together to keep the “distribution of power and the means of production” – good old Marxian terms – working in favor of those who hold political power than it’s more than just legerdemain by Trump.

        (Hope to view link when not subject to firewall)

    1. Arizona Slim

      He had eight years to save us from the likes of Trump. And he didn’t.

      Speaking personally, my life got a lot worse while Obama was president. That’s why I didn’t vote for Hillary in the primary or the general.

      Add my experience to that of millions of other Americans, and there’s the answer to why Trump is president.

      1. Doug Hillman

        Same here, life got worse. Obama outdid his idol Ronald Reagan with perception management Teflon. Worse than Hoover, he exploited a significant financial crisis to funnel almost absolute power to the perpetrators and their unaccountable Fedreal (sic) Reserve Cartel, bailed out the Healthcare racketeers, and committed war crimes while expanding the military-security complex, while still idolized by so many blinded by his smile and melanin.

        From America’s most popular charlatan, I have learned the supreme importance of sincerity: if you can fake that you’ve got it made,

    2. Roger Smith

      Is anyone else beyond tired of these “candid” private accounts of Obama whining in his private luxury vehicles, hotels, vacations, and home(s)? I hope this narcissistic baby is in his closet sucking his thumb, where he can do no worse than already inflicted.

      I love that this article assumes Obama was “soooo” important to the country. I can’t imagine what a disingenuous soul it takes to produce such garbage. I feel bad for these people, who have no idea what reality actually is and therefore will miss out on the truly great things in life. I would rather suffer in honesty and truth than to live one of these superficial and phony lives.

      1. Wukchumni

        After a year of the charade, I got to calling Napoleon Obamaparte: “The Great Spelunker”, as he’d cave on anything.

        1. RUKidding

          +100! Love the Great Spelunker!

          I don’t believe that Obama is the most popular American. Spare me. I loathe Trump, but Trump is POTUS because of Obama, in large part (plus Clinton’s shockingly horrible campaign).

          Spare me more Barackstar adulation. I just want that Empty Suit to go somewhere far far away on all of his filthy lucre and ill-gotten gains.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            His presidential library, that would “require no public funds”, is now neither a library nor is it privately-funded. National and Illinois taxpayers footing a bill > $100M. Grifters gotta grift, maybe they can get Oprah for the opening ceremony, and invite a few Illinois pensioners who are now broke

            1. Elizabeth Burton

              Not to mention that, after refusing to sign an agreement said “library” wouldn’t negatively affect the community, he watched as the landlords for the residential buildings around it jacked rents up by as much as 50%.

      2. Doug Hillman

        Well put. As someone else said long ago, “What does it profit a person if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?” As Wall Street’s Trojan Horse, Obama understands the price of everything and the value of nothing.

    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      Where is Obama? Making money, that’s where.

      Oh, but that’s something, not somewhere.

      Okay then, Obama is wherever the big money is most promising.

  8. Roger Smith

    Hillary Clinton: ‘What is more uncivil than taking children away?’

    Hmm…. starving them? No wait, killing them?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s more than just Hillary though.

      How many of us have been banal when a Jean Valjean of today is taken away from his sister and family for stealing bread trying to feed them?

    2. Jean

      What is more uncivil?

      Slowly starving them and providing cluster bombs to kill the little toy-seeking brats?

      Hillary Clinton’s big supporter Madeline Albright:
      “500,000 dead Iraqi children? The sanctions were worth it!”

      Wonder how many kids have died in Libya, in Honduras, Yemen and Africa?

  9. Wukchumni

    Was goofing off on the internet and came across something interesting i’d never heard of before, and the location given only incorporates about 100 square miles, so it’d be like finding a hypodermic needle in a haystack that a smack user left there. Might have to do a little sleuthing around these parts and approximate where it is a bit more precisely, and pay a visit to the past, which @ this juncture is much more comforting than the future.

    Groenfeldt Site is an archaeological site located within Sequoia National Park near Three Rivers, California. The site is located in a remote and relatively inaccessible area of the park between General Grant Grove and the Giant Forest. The site contains a rock shelter from the late prehistoric era and had a “considerable” human presence according to the National Park Service. (Wiki)

    1. Kevin

      I know American Plantain eliminates bee and mosquito bite pain and itching, but never hear Catnip did does the same – thanks for the link Mr. Shuping

    2. Wukchumni

      I never use any lotions, potions, etc. for mossies.

      During the bewitching hours of say 7-9 am and 5-7 pm in the High Sierra, I just cover up and that incorporates the most valuable piece in the ensemble, a headnet.

      Your mosquito hours may vary depending upon location, but the times above are typically when they’re out and about, not to say that in some locales about right now, you might run into them coming at you in V-pack squadron formations, with coordinated attacks on your person.

      Also, if you been bitten about 8,648 times as I have, for some reason they don’t fancy my blood all that much anymore, for I seldom have an itch to scratch.

    3. marieann

      Interesting article. However one would be free of mosquitos but then become a cat attractant

      1. petal

        Having a good laugh imagining the consequences of covering one’s self in kitty crack. Might be a fun experiment.

    4. Oregoncharles

      Thank you. I knew I’d seen that, but couldn’t recall where. I’m hoping that rubbing the plant on exposed areas will work.

  10. perpetualWAR

    Lawyers, I have a question:
    If marijuana is legal in the state you are employed in, how and why should your employment be at risk should they “drug”-test you?

    1. Wukchumni

      That’s a good question…

      I know a fellow that would ‘drug test’ prospective employees to see if they were a good fit.

          1. Hepativore

            Since most states with the exception of Montana are “at-will”, I think that employers could still have their own personal policies on marijuana usage, regardless of what the law says. This is just like an employer can fire you for any reason or no reason at all, as long as it is not for reasons of discrimination against a “protected class”. Somehow, I do not think that marijuana users are going to be considered a “protected class”.

            However, due to the way employment law works, all “protected class” means is that an employer can easily fire you or refuse to hire you because they do not like a particular “protected class”, they just do not have to make it too obvious or they can just invent another reason on the fly.

            1. ambrit

              I’ve been finding exactly that out in my recent job searches. One person, on the side, told me that age was the deciding negative factor. This for a job I fit especially well. That job went to a man half my age with a quarter my experience in the field in question. All the jobs being offered me, and they are few, are the dregs jobs, such as the one I am going in to decline today. (I’ll give them the benefit of some courtesy.) This job requires regular out of town travel. I’m really curious as to the wage and per diem arrangements for this job. It is a masochistic sick prurience, I agree, but, well, some personal failings are fun. I guess that’s why we call them vices.
              I love the internal contradictions of the so called “at will” employment rules. The employer can use the threat of unemployment to pressure the employee to do things he or she normally would not do. The employee has the right to volunteraly cut his or her own throat via starvation, homelessness, or avoidance of medical care. Know Your Rights!

              1. Hepativore

                Part of the problem is the fact that most companies have vastly more legal resources as well as money to aid in their defense should you try taking them to court over things like discrimination or wrongful termination. There is also the problem that such cases can take many years to reach a verdict, with the average person having to shell out money to pay for their legal defense all the while.

                Finally, you had better hope that you win and ask for a large sum in terms of monetary compensation, because future employers will probably not want to touch you with a ten-foot pole for fear that you might try taking them to court as well. No matter how justified you might be in taking a company to court, potential employers will probably peg you as a “troublemaker” from then on.

    2. Queenslawyer

      Generally, because drug user is not a protected class. The employer can have a policy that no employees may test positive for marijuana. That would be considered a term of your private employment agreement with your employer. The employer can terminate for any non-discriminatory reason, at least where “at will” employment is the law of the land. It’s terrible policy but, it is what it is

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Like alcohol, you can be tested.

      (No more Prohibition…at least not now).

      “No marijuana at work. No beer at work.”

      1. Doug Hillman

        Unfortunately, the tests are for residue, not active THC levels; saliva shows use several days prior, follicles show use for many months. Imagine a similar test to discriminate for past alcohol consumption.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          We need better science, it seems to catch the timely marijuana smokers.

    4. Kurt Sperry

      The penalty for excluding cannabis users from any workplace will be significant; pointlessly limiting the talent pool to draw from, pointless employee turnover, and consequently decreased competitiveness. Testing and disqualification of cannabis users in the workplace is a classic instance of self defeating behavior. I believe cannabis users in aggregate will additionally be likely to be more mentally agile and creative as problem solvers for the simple reason that the non-user group will contain a significant percentage of people who were mentally dull enough believe the pervasive anti-cannabis propaganda with little or no factual basis, thus demonstrating poor judgment and comprehension and lack of critical thinking skills. I’ve met very few staunchly anti-cannabis types who possessed above average intelligence. It is, really, a near impossibility.

      Cannabis testing is, in practice, frequently actually selecting for mental unfitness. For jobs like law enforcement, where above-average intelligence is widely mistrusted and overtly selected against, it might make some perverse sense, but that won’t work in any competitive arena where intellect is actually a desirable trait.

    5. Oregoncharles

      I was told the animus actually comes from insurance companies.

      My son has worked for two different companies that were quite careful not to drug-test him. OTOH, the Mormon guy got tested all the time.

  11. Edward R. Shuping

    (Makes about two cups)

     2 cups catnip, stemmed
     1 cup rosemary, cut in 6-inch sprigs
     2 cups grapeseed oil or any light body-care oil

    Roll herbs lightly with a rolling pin and pack into a clean jar. Cover with oil, seal jar and place in a cool, dark cupboard for two weeks.

    Shake jar lightly every day or so for two weeks. Strain into a clean jar, seal and refrigerate for up to 8 months unused.

    To use, rub on exposed skin.

    (Makes about three cups)

    2 cups catnip, stemmed
    3-4 cups mild rice vinegar

    Rinse herbs, roll lightly with a rolling pin, then place them in a clean quart jar and cover with vinegar. Seal jar and store in a dark cupboard for two weeks.

    Shake jar lightly every day or so for two weeks. Strain into a clean jar, seal and refrigerate for up to 6 months unused.

    To use, spritz on exposed skin and around outdoor dining area.

    1. Kevin

      The wife and I will I’ll be making this. We are avid outdoors-people, canoe camping maniacs. Appreciate the recipe – thank you!

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Democrats cannot win the fight to replace Justice Kennedy. They can only prepare for the next battle.”

    Cannot agree with this one. They should fight it to the bitter end. Even when they lose, whatever decisions a future Supreme Court makes, people will remember that the Democrats fought against the new Supreme Court candidate. Not being missing in action. Some will say that this will use up a lot of political capital. I say that it would replenish it. Has anything the Democrats done the past decade or more gotten them any success? So maybe it is time to change tactics.

    1. edmondo


      The Democrats are always “fighting for” us. They never win but they always, always appear to be fighting.

      1. voteforno6

        They never win but they always, always appear to be fighting.

        Correction, they always talk about fighting.

          1. Wukchumni

            The donkey show reminds me of a small mutt of no fixed pedigree that barks and backs up @ the same time.

    2. Expat

      Indeed. Republicans have obstructed and fought tooth and nail, broken tradition and brought the country close to outright revolt in their efforts to thwart Obama. And Democrats shut up about it.

      Democrats should fight as hard as they can. I think they will draw out the ugliest side of Trump if they do so. And I think they might galvanize the left. Of course, most in Congress just want to stay in Congress, take their bribes, and retire to the board of a pharma company or arms manufacturer, so I would not hold my breath.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Real-fighting means acting like Gingrich. Real-fighting would mean being willing to “burn the Senate down” to delay a vote till after the election.

        Faux-fighting is what the Democrats offer now.

        1. Expat

          Democrats have already caved. Republicans have hurled invective, slurs, insults and slander with impunity. Maxine Waters told people to “push back.” She did not mean to push them physically. Trump responded by insulting her and threatening her. The Democrats rallied around Trump.
          It’s over. America is a violent country, born and nurtured in blood and war. Guns and fists are our national symbols more than the eagle we are driving to extinction (hunting it with guns, thank you).

          An intern shouts “Fuck you, Mr. President” and the Democrats criticize him. Sure, Trump doesn’t say “fuck” in public, but he and other leaders say things that are far worse. Democrats should have lauded the intern for expressing his views and wish he had refrained from using a vulgarity to express th

    3. Carey

      But “civility!” But “bipartisanship!”

      Fighting would not be in the Dem Donor class’s interest.

    4. Eureka Springs

      @ Rev. Fight for what? Whether they could get their own nominated or not, who would they even suggest be nominated which would be worth supporting? Remember Kennedy was their answer to Bork. Aside from id pol / imagery, they play from and for the same book when nominating. Even a legal luddite like myself can see the con plain as day when watching those nomination hearings. The double speak, obfuscation is as apparent as when listening to Greenspan talk about, well anything.

      The system is fubar. The law is on the side of rich/property owners, neo-liberltarians, war, spying, secrecy. It’s not about us except for the control/looting of us. Why oh why pretend a D might be different this time.

    5. RUKidding

      Democrats should fight, but likely they won’t. Not really. Just like how Obama and Big D truly did NOT fight for Merrick Garland to get appointed to the SC.

      Why break a fine tradition and fight now?

      After all, they’ll be labeled as lacking in civilty if they fight, which apparently causes every single democratic pol to rush madly to their fainting couches whilst clutching their pearls.

    6. John k

      For starters, dems could refuse to show up, denying the senate of a quorum, in which case they could not do any business. Veep not a senator, would not be a 51st.
      But not possible… Trump gets dem blue dog votes for all his nominees. Last supreme got several. This one will be the same.
      What we can do is refuse to vote for any of them in the next election.

      1. newcatty

        Isn’t this discussion about the democrats in Congress “fighting for” a “progressive or liberal” supreme court justice or “fighting to block or against” a “conservative or far right” one just a moot point? Until Congress is , on the most part, not signed, sealed and delivered for the corporate and bankster elite than they will support a supreme court that is a party to the elites’ rule. Its your turn …Oh yippee!

        I am not being cynical, have hope when we see Alexandria in Congress. More to come…

  13. Summer

    Re: The two stories under “Big Brother Is Watching You”

    I keep thinking of surveillance and the comcept of a panopticon.
    More about breeding conformity than providing security.

    Google’s Toronto? Rename it “Bubblopolis”

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I think you mean a different word than conformity. I think of conformity as suggesting some degree of choice and the coercion toward conformity as a social coercion by our peers powered by our desire to be liked by others and popular. A panopticon serving Corporate interests and state authority seems considerably less benign than peer pressure — which is not always terribly kind either but given to less aggressive measures for enforcing conformity. I think ‘control’ might be a better word to describe ‘conformity’ coerced by Corporate interests and State authority. Although there were few details on offer in the link’s lengthy and desultory ruminations about ‘smart’ cities what I read suggested plans for building a real-life set for a never ending real-life version of the movie “Brazil.” So instead of “Bubblopolis” a “New Brazil.”

  14. Mildred Montana

    Re Mexico:

    “America is no mere international citizen. It is the dominant power in the world, more dominant than any since Rome. Accordingly, America is in a position to reshape norms, alter expectations and create new realities. How? By unapologetic and implacable demonstrations of will.”

    Socialism on America’s border? Time for some “Krauthammering”!

  15. Jim Haygood

    ‘America is in a position to reshape norms, alter expectations and create new realities.’

    According to figures from Goldman Sachs, the five largest stocks on the planet — Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook and Microsoft — contributed 84% of this year’s gain in the S&P 500 index, which in turn represents close to half the world’s stock capitalization.

    From one perspective, it’s handy to be able to monitor the bulk of what’s happening in finance by tracking just five giant US stocks.

    On the other hand, from a “don’t keep your eggs in one basket” perspective, the increasing concentration of the world’s first global “everything bubble” — Bubble III — is an Achilles heel waiting for the chop. Which Herbert Hoover Trump’s deranged trade war is in the process of delivering.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Are you hoping he doesn’t deliver the chop to the heel?

      Should he deliver it or should he not?

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    ‘Legalize it because it’s the right thing to do’ seems to be enough of a reason and you need more, like the one below?

    Legalise and tax pot to stop organised crime Macrobusiness

    This above reason is problematic when others apply it to money laundering.

    “Legalize and tax money laundering to stop crime.”

    1. Wukchumni

      Seeing as the 420 biz is an all do re mi biz, I gotta say when I saw a cash register on the brink of overly full @ our local purveyor, it struck me that their security measures really weren’t up to snuff, as there had to be $5-10k in long green just sitting there.

      I suspect that pot shops will replace banks in the armed holdup angle, soon.

  17. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    More work to be done at Harvard.

    Lawrence Bacow promises a more outward-looking Harvard Boston Globe

    What the world needs is a more downward-looking Harvard, than a more outward-looking one.

    It’s like this – many among the 10% only look up to the 1% and the 0.1%, and often ignore the 90% below them.

    That’s their upward looking in their upward mobile dream world.

    I hope, instead, we can be more downward looking.

    And so, for Harvard, I suggest ‘Leave No Kids Behind,’ including all (not just a few) C- applications.

    Remember, a great university is judged by how it treats those who are least mentally able.

  18. Jon Cloke

    Guys, as an ex-steward myself, the CounterPunch article is bullshit – no union should be allowed to impose forced fees, which is just a protection racket, any more than a closed shop…

    Really surprised at CounterPunch, which I like most of the time, peddling this anti-democratic crap – like the GOP saying because you live in the US and are protected by our ‘nuclear defence’ you have no option but to pay for it, whether you believe the MAD rubbish or not…

    1. witters

      “Guys, as an ex-steward myself, the CounterPunch article is bullshit – no union should be allowed to impose forced fees”

      Ah, a lover of the free-ride.

      1. Jon Cloke

        A union is the collective democratic will of its’ members, not a fucking insurance company! We have an NHS in my country that provides healthcare for all, free at the point of delivery, because that’s what we as a society decided a decent society does – including for a minority who either can never or will never be able to pay income tax/national inusrance to help fund it… according to your neoliberalism, they should get kicked off healthcare to die?

        A union leads by example to protect the *collective* rights of workers because it has at its’ core the principle that *all* workers have the right to a decent wage, not just the ones who pay union dues – the day it stops doing that it’s just the Teamsters working for the Mob…

  19. Hepativore

    Does anybody else find it odd that practically every prediction that the movie Robocop made about large-scale corruption of government officials, militarized police forces, and private corporations literally running their own city-states has largely come true?

    For all intents and purposes, Google might as well be the OCP with its planned “City of the Future” in Toronto complete with private law enforcement and security forces. All we need now are buggy and poorly-designed police robots like ED-209 to go along with the presumably buggy and poorly-designed “smart cars” that their city will have.

  20. Plenue

    >Trump and truth: Why the media are losing the battle Christian Science Monitor

    For a start the media might try not lying. Countering Trump’s lies with different lies is not a sound strategy.

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