Links 7/20/18

Buried by the Ash of Vesuvius, These Scrolls Are Being Read for the First Time in Millennia Smithsonian

DIVE UNDER THE ICE WITH THE BRAVE ROBOTS OF ANTARCTICA Wired

Heatwave: Is there more crime in hot weather? BBC

Hidden Gem for Big Oil in Carbon Tax Plan: Ending Climate Liability Suits Climate Liability News

It’s Not Just the U.S. with a Gerrymandering Problem — Look at Pakistan Foreign Policy in Focus

Bangladesh Joins the Space Age Yale Global Online

“I WAS DEVASTATED”: TIM BERNERS-LEE, THE MAN WHO CREATED THE WORLD WIDE WEB, HAS SOME REGRETS Vanity Fair. From earlier this month– still germane.

Syraqistan

The War in Five Sieges London Review of Books. Patrick Cockburn.

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

Throughout Middle East, the Web Is Being Walled Off WSJ

Judge slams FBI for improper cellphone search, stingray use Ars Technica

VOTING MACHINE COMPANY ADMITS INSTALLING VULNERABLE REMOTE-ACCESS SOFTWARE WhoWhatWhy.org

Brexit

Brexit: closing in EUReferendum.com

Theresa May: I will never accept EU’s ideas on Irish Brexit border Guardian

All wildfires are not alike, but the US is fighting them that way The Conversation

China?

Trade war fallout to lead agenda as Xi Jinping gathers elite for strategy session at Beidaihe, the Communist Party’s Camp David-style retreat SCMP

India

Creating a visual map of monsoons and bird migrations The Hindu

Dolphin population declines in India’s only dolphin sanctuary Third Pole

WhatsApp launches new controls after widespread app-fueled mob violence in India WaPo

New Cold War

Trump: I’ll be Vladimir Putin’s ‘worst enemy’ if US-Russia relationship ‘doesn’t work out’ CNBC

Trump Putin: Incredulity as Russian leader is invited to visit US BBC. Posting this for the embedded Coats-Andrea Mitchell yuckfest video.

Senate GOP attempts to wave Trump off second Putin summit The Hill

You’ve Heard the Hysteria About the Trump-Putin Summit. Now Consider the Facts. The Wire

Detente Bad, Cold War Good Craig Murray

Trump is not Putin’s puppet and here’s why Al Jazeera

Trump and Russia: One Mystery, Three Theories NYT. Ross Douthat.

Scholar: Right now, we are in a new cold war Fox News. Tucker Carlson stays out of the way and allows Stephen Cohen to speak.

Climb Down From the Summit of Hostile Propaganda Consortium News

Equating Russiagate with 9/11: When Media Narrative Trumps Delusion Ghion Journal

Class Warfare

The Dickensian Return of Debtors’ Prisons American Conservative

When it comes to inequality, these 5 states are the worst CBS

Long-term fall in crime is over as statistics show spike in robbery and murder Independent. Another consequence of austerity.

In conservative Oklahoma, a Republican raises taxes — and many voters like it WaPo

Wells Fargo’s Latest Challenge: Refunds for Pet Insurance, Legal Services WSJ

Guillotine Watch

How to Spend It: the shopping list for the 1% Guardian

L.A. Mansion Features Its Own Shark Tank—Will a Buyer Bite at $35M? San Francisco Chronicle

Health Care

Three years after steep price hike, Martin Shkreli’s drug company is losing money, documents show Stat

Health Insurers Are Vacuuming Up Details About You — And It Could Raise Your Rates ProPublica

Supremes

Keeping Kavanaugh off the Supreme Court Nation. Wishful thinking?

Trump Transition

Donald Trump Criticizes EU’s Google Fine In Tweet International Business Times

Trump nominee assailed at hearing as unfit to lead consumer bureau Politico

Trump criticises Federal Reserve’s interest rate rises FT. The deck: ’I’m not thrilled . . . but I’m letting them do what they feel is best’

Trump administration introduces proposal to roll back Endangered Species Act protections The Hill

Within 24 hours, 2 of Trump’s top intelligence officials hint that they’ve considered resigning Business Insider

Trump on a 2020 Joe Biden run: “Obama took him out of the garbage heap” CBS

When a U.S. citizen heard he was on his own country’s drone target list, he wasn’t sure he believed it. After five near-misses, he does – and is suing the United States to contest his own execution Rolling Stone. Matt Taibbi.

Antidote du jour:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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165 comments

  1. fresno dan

    When a U.S. citizen heard he was on his own country’s drone target list, he wasn’t sure he believed it. After five near-misses, he does – and is suing the United States to contest his own execution Rolling Stone. Matt Taibbi.

    And yet, nobody is paying attention. While America obsesses over Russia, Stormy Daniels and Kim Jong-Un, almost no one is covering Kareem’s trial. His race-against-time effort to escape the American killing machine is too surreal, even in the Trump era. But it’s also a potentially devastating last-straw moment in the history of America’s recent dystopian slide, with the executive branch asking for the ultimate in dictatorial powers: the right to kill even its own citizens without having to explain itself.
    ……
    A century ago, Franz Kafka wrote a parable about a man who comes to a gatekeeper, begging for entrance to the Law. He is obsessed with questions of guilt or innocence. But the gatekeeper never allows him past, and all he learns in the end is that the heavens are indifferent to his most important questions.
    =================================================
    The LAW is DESIGNED to serve the powerful and moneyed….but I repeat myself.
    and it is only naivete that this isn’t defacto happening in the US – although I suspect dejure killing when necessary of terrorists is just around the corner…

    Reply
    1. fresno dan

      fresno dan
      July 20, 2018 at 7:22 am

      The article the above refers to is: When a U.S. citizen heard he was on his own country’s drone target list, he wasn’t sure he believed it. After five near-misses, he does – and is suing the United States to contest his own execution Rolling Stone. Matt Taibbi.

      Reply
      1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

        Lambert discussed this Taibbi piece in his post yesterday — but I don’t think we’ve linked to the article yet in Links or Water Cooler. If you read one link today, make it be this one.

        Reply
        1. Expat

          Er, is there anyone here who is shocked by anything in this article? And I don’t mean morally disturbed or appalled. I mean surprised, astounded or amazed at learning our government is really just a bunch of murderous thugs. Oh, they hide behind “national interest”, “need to know” and “fog of war” but they are all killers. Some are callous, some are hot-blooded, but everyone…EVERYONE…in DC is part of the killing machine one way or another.

          If you want this to change, vote out every incumbent and bring in sane humans. Of course, the only problem is you have to accept that they will be the only sane ones in government anywhere.

          Reply
          1. perpetualWAR

            If we aren’t shocked, then their propaganda has won. We all need to call our representatives and exclaim our extreme outrage!

            Reply
            1. Wukchumni

              But, we’d jump to attention if a baker’s dozen of Afghan youts were trapped in a cave in Bora Bora, and our military spared no expense in sparing their lives…

              Reply
              1. Expat

                I am pretty sure the military sealed off several hundred Afghan youths in the Bora Bora caves and it cost several hundred million dollars to do so.
                And not one single American cared.

                Reply
                1. ChristopherJ

                  The British SAS were the first there and reported that they had OBL in their sights and sought permission to engage.

                  They were told to wait for US Special Forces (who wanted to be there for the kill) and, by the time they had arrived, OBL had disappeared.

                  True story

                  Reply
          2. Geo

            After reading the book “Guantanamo Diary” and keeping up on these issues over the years I can’t say I’m shocked but still outraged to my core. This is all done in our name, with our money, and pitched to us as “for our protection” even though a blowback will one day come.

            I was living in NYC on 9/11. Saw the towers fall. Every time I read something like this I think about how the trauma I felt in that day is being done to others every day in my name. It’s horrifying.

            Reply
    2. Jim Haygood

      Another key passage from the article:

      In 2014, former CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden said in a public debate, “We kill people based on metadata.

      According to multiple reports and leaks, death-by-metadata could be triggered, without even knowing the target’s name, if too many derogatory checks appear on their profile.

      “Armed military aged males” exhibiting suspicious behavior in the wrong place can become targets, as can someone “seen to be giving out orders.” Such mathematics-based assassinations have come to be known as “signature strikes.”

      Metadata, comrades: no different than the article “Health Insurers are Vacuuming Up Details About You” — except some metadata denies you access to health care, while other metadata gets you summarily executed.

      Other than one outlier court decision cited at the end of the article, the bulk of drone assassination challenges have produced this response:

      “The court lacks jurisdiction to hear plaintiffs’ claims because they present nonjusticiable political questions, which would require the Court to second-guess the executive’s policy determinations in matters that fall outside of judicial capabilities.”

      In other words, if missiles start inexplicably blowing up your surroundings, your sole appeal is to the Mercy of the Orange One. Murica!

      Reply
      1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

        Glad you pointed this out– perhaps I should have placed the two links closer together, so the connection was more apparent.

        Reply
          1. ambrit

            Oh man! Don’t piss off your medico or they’ll order a ‘Death Panel’, Code: 349087 for you.
            “Uh, dear deplorable sir or madame, you seem to be suffering from a constellation of what we professionals refer to as: Mini Deaths. However, do not fear. We have developed numerous ‘Treatment Options’ over the years. All are extremely effective, and fatal.”
            This is what is now known in the medical profession as ones’ “Deadside Manner.”

            Reply
      2. Bugs Bunny

        How is this any different from the “killer robots” or Skynet for that matter?

        Taibbi in his tweets on the piece concludes that the actors behind these murders are deliberately building a parallel system of “justice” not subject to any due process or the application of even the most basic human rights under treaty obligations.

        Reply
        1. perpetualWAR

          I just called both of my Senators. Murray’s office actually wanted to know what I expected her office to do since Congress cannot control the Executive. I said I wanted Murray to issue a statement about how we as a nation hold our right to due process as sacred. I told them that her standing in Congress would then certainly send a message to the courts and the Executive branch that due process is sacred and not to be taken lightly by its citizens.

          Reply
          1. Richard

            I will message cantwell and murray as well.
            “congress cannot control the executive?”
            sorry, everyone, go back to sleep now
            Your representatives have no power to redress even the most horrific grievance imaginable
            because……
            umm, straight up murder is their deal

            Reply
          2. Lord Koos

            With a few exceptions, I’ve seen an unwillingness of Democrats in the senate to speak out about practically anything, unless it involves some pet project or jobs in their district. It’s about looking good, not being good.

            I’m also a WA resident. Does anyone have any advice on voting for a progressive challenger who might be capable of taking on Cantwell?

            Reply
          3. Oregoncharles

            Murray’s aide was either lying or terminally cynical (and in that case, dangerously candid). I’ll go with lying.

            Congress controls the budget and the LAWS. The Senate controls the key jobs, via confirmation – or not. Then there’s impeachment; murder is an impeachable offense.

            Or, they rescind the AUMF. That’s been tried; how did Murray vote?

            Yeah, I’ll go with lying. Talk about “collusion.” And Wyden, at least, is just as bad. He’s actually made it all too clear that his loyalty to Israel is higher than his loyalty to his own constituents, and he still gets re-elected. For some reason, the Republicans just can’t find an effective opponent for him.

            Reply
      3. Hepativore

        America is shaping up to be some sort of unholy hybrid between the dystopian yet grossly incompetent government in the movie Brazil, and the corporate-run militarized police state that was the OCP in Robocop.

        Reply
        1. Carey

          I never saw Robocop, but it certainly is reminding me of Gilliam’s Brazil.
          I need to watch it again, if I can stand it.

          Reply
          1. Hepativore

            The original Robocop is a very good movie, and the sad thing is that most of its predictions in the mid-1980’s about increasing corporate power, privatized law enforcement and militarized police forces are largely coming true. The second movie is good as well, but it is not as good as the first one.

            Whatever you do, though, do not bother watching the 2012 remake of the first Robocop. They stripped out all of the social and political commentary and just made it a boring run-of-the-mill action movie.

            Reply
            1. perpetualWAR

              Your comment makes me remember a conversation had regarding the censorship of Lady Chatterley’s Lover. I assumed they censored it for the love scenes, but as I’ve gotten older, my thought is that book was censored due to the political commentary provided by her commoner lover, which put the aristocracy in a critical sight.

              Reply
      4. The Rev Kev

        “Armed military aged males”

        Based on that criteria, how many men would not have been target’s in America’s Old West in the 19th century? They not only had Colt revolvers but also Winchester rifles on their horses and probably every home had at least a rifle. Would that have made men like Wyatt Earp and Wild Bill Hickok being nominated by metadata as possible insurgent leaders? Good thing there were no drones back then.

        Reply
    3. PlutoniumKun

      Another thing I found striking in the article is just how reluctant judges are to even enforce quite well established legal norms in cases like this. My usual perception of judges is that they are usually all too happy to throw the net of their judgements and powers as widely as possible. It makes me wonder whether this is more than legal caution, or whether ears are being whispered into behind the scenes.

      Reply
      1. Carolinian

        While it seems like the country is currently losing its mind perhaps it really lost its mind when those twin towers fell in Manhattan. “9/11 changed everything” is something we’ve been living with for almost 20 years now–four times longer than WW2. The rule of law and civil liberties were quickly put aside after this direct attack on the US elites. If a similar event had happened in the middle of America (and indeed did happen at Oklahoma City) the reaction likely would have been quite different.

        Judges, of course, are very much members of the elite.

        Reply
      2. perpetualWAR

        Ears are being whispered to behind the scenes. Why else would courts across the nation continue to rule for the banks to foreclose, especially when the government made money from the banks manufacturing fake documents. Those same fake documents are in every single foreclosure complaint before the courts, yet the courts are not phased. Due process is dead as far as housing issues are concerned. However, if the courts rule in this case that as Americans we are not entitled to due process before being killed by our own government, I would say that ruling will be the final nail in the coffin.

        Reply
      3. Oregoncharles

        If they can blow up Kareem, they can blow up judges, too. That’s why it’s such a big deal when they murder American citizens.

        I find this personally threatening.

        Reply
    4. perpetualWAR

      A lesson for all of us on NC, go read the comments under this article. It’s quite shocking how many Americans believe that since he has a “weird beard” he deserves to be droned. No one seems the least bit worried that our right to due process should be considered sacred.

      Due process? Who gives a sh**. Wow.

      Reply
      1. sparkylab

        This was (by far) the most disturbing part of the article. When you have no right to due process/habaeus corpus, its game over – but people really don’t seem to connect the implications.

        Oh, and “disposition matrix” – so Obama.

        Reply
    5. Kurt Sperry

      I tried to post a link to Taibbi’s piece on Facebook and the platform refused to link to it. The software breaks the link by adding an “A” to the end of the URL. This is something I’ve never seen before.

      Can someone else try it and see what happens for them?

      Reply
    6. Oregoncharles

      I didn’t make it all the way through the article; not healthy. My reaction necessarily involves language that is not family-blog suitable.

      It’s saying that it’s over; the Bill of Rights is cooked, well-done.

      Maybe we’ll be joining Expat in Uruguay.

      Reply
    7. oh

      Using the courts to sue for justice is a waste of time, especially when you can’t come up with the money. We’ve heard of “Death Squads” in other countries and only we have “Death Drones”.

      Reply
    8. Procopius

      Look, history tells us that once the precedent is accepted, it will be used again. The Star Chamber started out as a higher court to deal with the powerful nobility (who essentially had their own private armies). It ended up being used against innocent people to enrich government ministers. There were reasons why the Founders tried to prevent such things. Obama created the precedent, Trump is using it, another twenty years it will be routinely used in continental U.S. It should have been obvious, but the American people loved it, so Obama was given a pass. There’s no way to put the toothpaste back in the tube.

      Reply
  2. PlutoniumKun

    Theresa May: I will never accept EU’s ideas on Irish Brexit border Guardian

    ‘When you are in a hole…’ As always, it seems pointless trying to work out what on earth May is doing, but this statement is in effect publically admitting there will be a no-deal Brexit – which means the ultra Brexiters and the DUP get their way. The EU has no incentive to compromise on the Irish border issue, and can point out that Northern Ireland always was a separate entity, so an Irish Sea border is nothing new. As one obvious example, abortion is virtually banned in NI, but not in the rest of the UK, and contrary to what she says, the Good Friday Agreement did acklnowledge the provinces unique situation.

    It does seem the EU is determined that it will not get the blame, so will make polite noises and continue to do so (while making preparations for a no-deal Brexit), until someone in London finally pulls down the curtains. It will, of course, be all the EU’s fault, according to the British media.

    Reply
    1. Biologist

      As one obvious example, abortion is virtually banned in NI, but not in the rest of the UK,

      Indeed. This pisses me off so much about the hysteria regarding an Irish Sea border between NI and rest of the UK. We can’t have a border for veterinary inspections, but one for basic human rights is just fine, clearly.

      Reply
    2. begob

      The front page of the Sun has headlined a photo of Varadkar with “AIRHEAD”, after his aviation comments. Maybe Twerp would be more appropriate, as he struck a bargain with the Tory scorpion while expecting not to get stung – just as the Lib Dems did in 2010.

      Micheal Martin’s assessment from a few weeks ago seems right. It’s possible the Tories were agreement incapable in any circumstance, but intransigence from Varadkar would have made it impossible for May to cling on.

      Reply
  3. Jim Haygood

    Prepare for Depression II:

    In a CNBC clip released just after 6 am ET on Friday morning, President Trump said he’s “ready to go to 500” billion and slap tariffs on every single Chinese-made product entering the US.

    “I’m ready to go to 500 [billion],” Trump said, roughly the value of Chinese goods imported to the US last year.

    “I’m not doing this for politics. I’m doing this to do the right thing for our country,” Trump said in a CNBC interview aired Friday. “We are being taken advantage of and I don’t like it.”

    Though he don’t realize it, Herbert Hoover Trump is declaring “lights out” on US prosperity.

    Got soup lines? Hope they have muh clam chowder on Fridays …

    Reply
    1. Jim Haygood

      But wait, there’s more:

      Donald J. Trump
      @realDonaldTrump
      35 min ago

      China, the European Union and others have been manipulating their currencies and interest rates lower, while the U.S. is raising rates while the dollars gets stronger and stronger with each passing day – taking away our big competitive edge. As usual, not a level playing field …

      When Trump’s Republican predecessor Richard Nixon went “full fiat” one random Sunday in August 1971, currency values became a free-for-all with no rules.

      You can’t cry “foul” in a street fight with no rules and no referees. All currencies are manipulated, including the US dollar which is being jacked higher by a cabal of PhDs’ discretionary choice to raise interest rates.

      This, too, the Orange One kvetches about. Some folks just can’t be pleased …

      Reply
      1. Synoia

        And your solution is? In the 1920s the US economy was very different from today. The currency was gold based, not fiat. Comparing Trump to Hoover is probably not accurate.

        Increasing US Labor Participation rate is a good goal. We have much infrastructure to maintain, factories to rebuild and so on.

        It would be good to have a goal of making the US labor participation rate equal to the UK’s.

        Reply
        1. Darius

          There was a link a few days ago about how Trump’s tariffs are different from Smoot Hawley. Perhaps because markets don’t yet believe Trump is serious.

          Reply
          1. zer0

            1. Tariffs promote at-home industry. Yes its going to be painful, but in the long run much better for the US.

            2. The Depression has already happened. Back in 2008. We never recovered, and by We I mean everyone but the top 2/3%.

            3. America is @ a 23% unemployment rate, not the BLS 5%. All of this ‘data’ has been massaged to be meaningless. 23% means 1 out of every 5 Americans hasnt been working for at least 1 year, cant find a job, and isnt actively seeking. “94 percent of the net employment growth in the U.S. economy from 2005 to 2015 appears to have occurred in alternative work” – Harvard 2016 study

            The gig economy is a crying joke. It doesnt support livable wages and does nothing to boost the economy. All the cheap money that piles into these garbage companies like Uber, is the only reason America looks ok. But its akin to the Gilded Age: a thin layer of gold covering a rotting interior.

            I dont see anything positive happening in the US for decades. The Empire is falling very quickly and politics has thrown away its veneer of competence.

            Reply
            1. whine country

              “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing once they’ve tried everything else” – Winston Churchill

              Get over it folks…we’ve got a lot more trying before we get serious about ending the Big Con we are living through. Maybe we need a world depression to prod us along. Just saying.

              Reply
              1. CalypsoFacto

                the First Gilded Age was 30 or 50 years long (depending on if you define the end at the mid-Progressive Era or the Great Depression).

                Reply
              2. Wukchumni

                I’ve witnessed a number of Ponzi schemes through the years-dumbfounded by what made them tick, and discovery only ever came after realization that those duped, were done for.

                Now, keep in mind these were all penny-ante nothings in the scheme of things, but the mechanism is exactly the same no matter the size.

                The funny thing in regards to our Ponzi scheme, is everybody knows it’s a racket, but we’ve all got a vested interest in sustaining it, no matter the consequences.

                When discovery is disclosed, is when the world falls apart under it’s own auspices, financially.

                Reply
        2. Procopius

          The currency was gold based, not fiat. Comparing Trump to Hoover is probably not accurate.

          I don’t get it. What does that have to do with anything? A gold standard causes more severe recessions and depressions. That’s supposed to be good? One reason the “Panic of 2008” was less severe than the long depression that followed the “Panic of 1929” was that the central bank is not as hamstrung now by the gold standard. They still botched the job, but it didn’t get as bad as 1930.

          Reply
      2. djrichard

        I think Trump’s real beef on interest rates is that it puts the Fed Reserve on path to invert the yield curve … right in the middle of his administration. If they were on path to do it at the end of his administration (assuming 8 years), I’m sure he’d be quiet. Just like GWB was quiet when the Fed Reserve raised rates to pop the housing bubble near the end of his administration. And just like Bill Clinton stayed quiet when the Fed Reserve raised rates to pop the dot com bubble near the end of his administration.

        Reply
      3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Are you saying Xi shouldn’t be crying when a nation stands up and says ‘it’s not true you won the trade war, (as SCMP declared a few months back), and we are not ready to sell all our ports for your OBOR?’

        Reply
    2. newcatty

      Sorry Jim, but clam chowder will only be for the elites. Peasants will get delish fish head chowder (from government regulated fish farms). Bread will also be for the elites. Peasants will get a hard “biscuit ” of unknown ingredients. Once in a while peasants will get a “hot “meal”. The main course will be GMO grown “meat” from government regulated food laboratories. Healthy GMO grown hot house “vegetables” as a side. Desert will be GMO grown “apple” pie. Other soups of the day on the line menu: GMO “potato”soup, GMO “vegetable” soup, GMO “meat and dumplings”soup and GMO stone soup. Sarc…hopey.

      Reply
  4. The Rev Kev

    “Theresa May: I will never accept EU’s ideas on Irish Brexit border”

    She thinks that she has a say in the matter? Sure, OK. Whatever. Would not be surprised if a result of Brexit is the reunion of Ireland as one country again in the next coupla years.

    Reply
    1. Synoia

      You underestimate the resolve of the people of Northern Ireland.

      They are called loyalists, because they believe in being loyal to the crown.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        And the crown is only a short boat trip away. Hey, I have Northern Ireland ancestry myself so I have some sympathy here. I figure that it will eventually shake out in a Federation with the offer open to the Counties of Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone to individually join the 26 Counties of the Republic of Ireland.
        Ireland is changing and so are people’s attitudes as seen by recent events in the Republic. Yes, you do have people with hard core beliefs in the north but Germany had even harder issues with its reunification. When push comes to shove, the idea of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland unifying into a single political entity must have been an even more radical idea in its time.

        Reply
        1. Katsue

          The word loyalist is generally used to refer to members and supporters of paramilitary groups* such as the UVF and UDA, rather than the unionist population as a whole.

          * As these sectarian death squads are known in polite company.

          Reply
      2. vlade

        Since Brexit, the support for united Ireland in NI went up a lot. Before Brexit it used to be in low 20s, now it’s in mid 40s. See here.

        If the polls would show 50s, the UK under GFA would be required to hold the poll which may result in unificaton (which I’m sure Ireland would be sooo happy about..). I’m starting to think that the current Tory policy is designed to solve the Irish question once and for all, doing exactly that, while claiming it’s EU’s fault.

        That said, it’d likely mean that you’d not even have rUK but KEW (Kingdon of English and Welsh) left few years down the track, as the Scots would ramp up independence efforts.

        Reply
    2. makedoanmend

      Nationalists and Republicans of the six counties: given recent history, it seems somewhat absurd that their loyalties are being taken for granted and/or ignored…they tend to be loyal to each other historically…who solves their resolve?…hilarity does not ensue

      And what of them non-nationalists/Republicans who voted to remain (the six counties voted in the majority to stay in the EU) – chopped liver?

      Reply
  5. marym

    Experts search for relatives after dozens of bodies exhumed in unmarked Texas cemetery

    FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas — A state agency in Texas focused on historic preservation is calling on people to get in touch if they believe one — or more — of their relatives may have been buried in a recently-discovered unmarked cemetery.

    As of this week, 48 sets of remains believed to have been buried between 1878 and 1910 have been exhumed from the site, which is located in Sugar Land, Texas. In total, 95 sets of remains have been found. They are believed to be African-American prison inmates who were forced to work on plantations.

    Reply
    1. Expat

      Gosh! Well, at least we can be sure this is an isolate incident in which black inmates were executed by prison staff and buried in unmarked graves.

      Reply
    2. ChiGal in Carolina

      Thanks, marym. I don’t know if you listen to the On the Media podcast, but a while back they featured Bryan Stevenson (author of Just Mercy) speaking about the Lynching Memorial in Montgomery AL.

      He speaks eloquently to the difference (and consequences of that difference) between the way Germany has addressed the history of the Holocaust and the way the US has (NOT) addressed the history of slavery in this country.

      This newly discovered site should be made into an Auschwitz-like testimonial to our past, or it will never BE past, just continue on in another form, as it does today.

      This is so much more important than the NYT cartoon of Trump and Putin that has been endlessly discussed in the media, sadly also here on NC.

      Just awful.

      Reply
  6. The Rev Kev

    “L.A. Mansion Features Its Own Shark Tank—Will a Buyer Bite at $35M?”

    Boring! Ancient wealthy Romans had their own crocodile pools which would have been even more cool. You even had shark tanks featured in that James Bond film “Thunderball” and that was over fifty years ago. So passe. See
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHRm9mPw9m0

    Reply
    1. Craig H.

      The sharks in Thunderball were awesome but they upped the game with the piranha in You Only Live Twice.

      googling on the legal statutes pertaining to pet piranha is fun if you are in the mood.

      The piranha scene.

      Reply
  7. Expat

    Theresa May is incredibly dim. She has one negotiating tool: the threat of quitting the EU. So she is now telling the EU that she wants a free pass for Irish trade or else! Or else what? She’s leaving! What will be next, “Keep the Irish border open or we WON’T leave!”?
    Honestly, it’s laughable.

    Reply
  8. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Heatwave: Is there more crime in hot weather? BBC

    A similar question would be – Is there more crime in countries near the equator?

    Reply
    1. JTMcPhee

      Does the category “crime” include all the financial shenanigans and invasion and attempts to overthrow other countries’ governments and corruption and looting of less organized countries’ resources? A whole lot of stolen wealth resides in countries near the equator, said crimes mostly having their lex locus delicti in air-conditioned offices with great look-down-at-the-plebs views in Cities far, far away…

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        You would think that all humans slow down – both physically and mentally – when it gets too hot or too cold.

        For example, you take a Russian email-server hacker in the Saraha desert, far, far away from his temperate climate zone home, how productive can he be?

        Reply
  9. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Trump Putin: Incredulity as Russian leader is invited to visit US BBC. Posting this for the embedded Coats-Andrea Mitchell yuckfest video.

    It’s not ‘Trump, Putin,’ or ‘Trump and Putin,’ etc, but ‘Trump Putin,’

    Is that like the magazine cover merging the two?

    “Hi, my name is Trump Putin?’

    Reply
  10. The Rev Kev

    “Within 24 hours, 2 of Trump’s top intelligence officials hint that they’ve considered resigning”

    Really? Are there a couple slots opening up soon with CNN and MSNBC then? I hope that Rachel Maddow has got her cheque book handy as she may need it soon.

    Reply
  11. Bandit

    Wells Fargo’s Latest Challenge: Refunds for Pet Insurance, Legal Services

    Should have read “Latest Scam“, but leave it to the WSJ to use a euphemism.

    Reply
  12. Expat

    Studies have shown correlation but that doesn’t mean it is climate related. One theory says that in warm weather/climates people are out and interacting much more (as well as being hair-trigger from the heat).
    Others suggest this is more a socio-economic phenomenon. Poor, uneducated people commit more crimes. Tropical and sub-tropical climates are among the most populated and underdeveloped areas.

    If you look at the US as an example, you have low crime areas in the south where there is wealth and infrastructure. You have high crime areas in the north where there is poverty and ghetto-living.

    I remember an interview years ago in NYC. It was a very cold winter and brutal week with arctic winds and snow. A cop was interviewed about the sudden and sharp drop in crime. He said something like, “Everyone is shivering in their apartments. The only one dumb enough to be out here is me and who’s gonna mug me?”

    Reply
  13. JTMcPhee

    Re debtors prisons: a CBS News “segment” today was about the finding of nearly 100 bodies of post-Civil War people in a prison-related cemetery. Almost all males, from 14 to 70, shown by skeletal markers to have been fitted with swivels and chains for chain gang work, and to have been worked hard and “malnourished.” Probably as rental slave labor for “local plantation owners.”

    Of course the tut-tutting lady newsreaders and on-site reporter made no mention that the practices they sort of deplored in this “reporting” are still a growing part of the neoliberal political economy, just a survival and extension of what’s gone before.

    When I was in the Army in 1966-7 in Alabama and Virginia, and then when I got back from Vietnam in 1968-9 in Texas, I saw chain gangs doing road work and field work under the shotgun gaze of sheriff’s deputies and police. Mostly black prisoners, of course.

    I dated a girl in AL whose momma was an elected state official. I asked about the chain gang practice over dinner at the young lady’s house, still believing in the stuff I learned in Civics and having learned that the War Against Slavery had been fought and won a century earlier. Suddenly the room got pretty cold. Time for a change of subject.

    As always, the question is “What kind of political economy do we want to live in?” And beyond that, two more: “What are the organizing principles we want to drive how that structure operates and proceeds?” and “What are we going to do to make those principles endure as the drivers of policy, in the face of constant pressures of wealth and power toward oligarchy and feudalism?” Those folks have answers to all three questions, and have acted on them in a more or less coordinated and coherent “class action,” for centuries. Interesting that the Mopery has not done the same.

    Reply
    1. newcatty

      JTMcPhee,

      Think we are not being driven toward oligarchy and feudalism. For centuries feudalism existed and now it is still alive and in its techno color octopus form on the global entity. The kings and queens and their Lords and Ladies, the merchants and manors just evolved with the application of science and technology to be what they are today to be that “coordinated and coherant” in their action to rule the waves, the sky, the lands. The mopery (peasants) have done some “class action” in time. Many examples, of course, like the civil rights action under the leadership of MLK. Just as there have been localized rebellions, with the advent of global communication the moperies are, in some cases, starting to wake up. The PTB know and try to control the narratives in their coordinated and coherant way. The genies are being let out of the bottles. What will come?

      Reply
    2. Heraclitus

      I live in SC, and recall when I was a boy in the ’60s the chain gang came and planted the pine trees that surround our house. A cousin had something to do with directing them. I don’t remember if we paid anyone.

      Fast forward to the present: for the past thirty years, our county has been run by prison labor. The dump, the animal shelter, lots of places were dependent on inmate labor. Most of the inmates were there for failure to pay child support. The county jail got a supplement from the state to keep the child support prisoners at our modern jail facility, which is named after another cousin who was Chief Justice.

      Something changed. It wasn’t in the papers or on any news outlet that I’m aware of, but not long ago the state stopped paying the supplement, and the county decided they weren’t going to put people in jail for child support anymore. This became clear when the satellite dump stations (green boxes) stopped accepting recycled plastics, et al, in plastic bags, and stopped handing out plastic bags for one’s recyclables. One of the dump attendants told me that the bags often gummed up the sorting machines, and without prisoners to un-gum them, they weren’t going to take the plastic bags anymore.

      All this is happening with zero news coverage.

      Reply
  14. JohnnyGL

    https://www.alternet.org/world/bilal-abdul-kareem-us-journalist-syria-aleppo-propaganda-extremist-rebels

    Re: Taibbi’s article on Bilal Abdul Kareem….Ben Norton and Max Blumenthal dug into this awhile back and found that he was working as Al Qaeda’s PR man.

    Now, that in NO way justifies illegal, extra-judicial killings. Especially not of US citizens who’ve got rights that need to be respected by law (as laid out clearly in the constitution).

    To his credit, Taibbi does cite Norton/Blumenthal’s work, but I think Taibbi’s a bit too nice to Abdul Kareem. In any case, the real test of the rule-of-law is if it still gets applied to the obviously ‘bad’ people.

    Another question that is too tough to tackle in Taibbi’s piece is what is it about American society that leads people to become Al Qaeda sympathizers? Maybe this is a factor?????

    “One of the guys said, ‘You know what? I heard you get $20,000 for kidnapping an American.’”
    Kareem pauses as he recalls the scene. He would have stood out in that crowd, as he does everywhere in the Middle East: a black New Yorker with a loud belly laugh.
    “You’ve got these nanoseconds to come up with some kind of response,” he explains. “You don’t want them to see you sweat.”
    All the eyes in the room turned toward Kareem. Would this American fetch $20,000?
    “Nah, man,” he said to his audience. “That’s just for the white ones.”
    The room roared with laughter.

    Reply
    1. Procopius

      I don’t know what persuaded Norton and Blumenthal that Kareem is, really, Al Qaeda’s PR Man, but would they be willing to show their evidence to Kareem and let him try to explain that it really means something other than the way they interpret it? That’s what “due process” is supposed to be about, because most “evidence” is open to a number of possible interpretations.

      By the way, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is allied with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Yemen. We were de facto supporting them in Syria, under the names Al Nusra, and later Hayat Tahrir al Shams. Why is being their PR man so bad?

      Reply
  15. fresno dan

    https://www.theringer.com/movies/2018/7/19/17588856/blockbuster-alaska-rental-netflix-soldotna-anchorage

    Kevin was 55. He was not a fan of technology, or Netflix, a word he used like a slur. He’d worked for Blockbuster for 27 years. “I think technology has really hindered us,” he said. “Hindered our social skills. I mean, how many times you see on commercials, You don’t have to leave the comfort of your own home! Well, I’m sorry, I like to leave my home. I don’t want to sit there and do my shopping online.”
    =====================================
    I remember I started renting movies from Errols in Bethesda MD. It turned into a blockbuster. Just walking down the aisles and seeing the titles and pictures on the boxes – what was that about? Quest for Fire
    ….
    “Do you know why the Scarecrow won an Academy Award?”
    “Wizard of Oz?” Kevin asked.
    “Ha! No … it’s because he was out standing in his field.”

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      My little sister worked for Blockbuster when she was in High School, and after. Over about four years she climbed up from peon to key holder and functional assistant manager. The entire time, she never got a raise or bonus. So, one social skill we all should re-learn is “Outrage”. After that, some more active social skills, like: boycotting, picketing, anarcho-syndicalism.
      I must give pause however to reflect on the inherent contradictions of the concept of ‘Anarchist Organization.’ More thought is needed.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        AirBnB killed the video store here…

        We had a place called Chumps that was the last vestige of video, and the property got sold, and is being turned into a vacation rental, and judging from the work I saw being done in preparation for it’s debut, all expense was spared, in that they were using mismatched lumber-some of which was used, in an effort to make slapdash look good, although with scant success.

        Reply
  16. The Rev Kev

    “All wildfires are not alike, but the US is fighting them that way”

    Hard to account for this one. Take a look at the US Army. They operate in forests, deserts, snowfields, etc. worldwide and adapt to the different climates. In fact, they even have separate sets of uniforms for each climate. So why is it so hard in the US to recognize and adapt to the different landscapes and the demands made by each area for firefighters? Got a book on American firefighters and what often came up in it was the National Fire Academy (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Fire_Academy) over in Maryland. You would reckon that this place would be able to generate the doctrinal requirements needed for each area of the United States in the same way that TRADOC does for the US Army. And yet on the actual firefront it seems to be falling down. The only thing that I can think of is that all this is really a matter of turf wars.

    Reply
    1. PlutoniumKun

      To be fair, the Fire Service usually succeeds in its stated aims and rarely starts more fires than it puts out.

      Reply
    2. Summer

      Hey, how about suggesting the feds militarize fire departments rather than police departments?
      The money still flows $$$, just redirected.

      Reply
  17. JTMcPhee

    Not even trying to hide the obvious any more:

    “Remember Nixon. US spy agencies are vital to bringing down Trump

    Yet Nixon’s ultimate fate should give us hope. Although the “Chennault affair” largely passed into the history books, Nixon was eventually felled in the Watergate scandal thanks to a combination of zealous intelligence and law enforcement work and a belligerent and insistent free press. While the popular myth of the Watergate scandal accords most of the responsibility for Nixon’s downfall to the media, in reality its role was more to publicise the work being done by the FBI, prosecutors and Congress. Without these institutions, Watergate would have gone nowhere.”
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/18/nixon-us-spy-agencies-trump-intelligence-rogue-president

    This piece presents a take from the Borg viewpoint on how the state security apparatus brought Nixon low, “preserving our democracy,” as a result of the “Chennault affair.” https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/02/22/nixon-and-the-chennault-affair-from-vietnam-to-watergate/

    Funny, that’s not exactly how I remember things went, much less how they are supposed to go. But you get what you negotiate, or tolerate, or are unable to prevent…

    Reply
    1. juliania

      Thank you, JT. Limits of toleration have been reached. Unable to prevent? Ah, there’s the rub. This is a test.

      Isn’t this a time?

      Reply
    2. Enquiring Mind

      When recalling Nixonia, I also remember the book Silent Coup, by Len Colodny.

      Reading through that tended to reinforce my dim view of John Dean, not softened by his own little Blind Ambition conceit. To this day, when I see that he is on a TV panel my circumspection meter twitches. I don’t see how he, or that other old fossil, Ollie North, manage to wangle appearances. Neither one has a shred of credibility for me. /rant

      Reply
      1. Procopius

        It’s part of the Right Wing Welfare System. They take care of their own. If people start to recognize you for the sleazebag you are (hi, Dershowitz) and you become unemployable, they make sure you don’t suffer hardship for the efforts you’ve made to advance their agenda.

        Reply
  18. Wukchumni

    All wildfires are not alike, but the US is fighting them that way The Conversation
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    A lightning strike started a fire yesterday in Mineral King shortly before we were driving down the road. It ignited in a place with no recent fire history and rugged terrain, the same makings for the Rough Fire of 2015 that torched 150k acres. We watched a couple of helos making bucket drops on it for an hour and the smoke dissipated quite a bit by about the 22nd splashdown. They weren’t going to let this one live.

    July 19, 2018 – Late this afternoon, visitors on their way to Mineral King spotted the Horse Creek Fire across the canyon south of the Mineral King Road. The fire was approximately two acres upon initial size-up from the parks’ helicopter, and is burning in steep, rugged terrain with no recent fire history. The fire is located in designated wilderness. Due to its location and high spread potential, this fire is receiving a full suppression response.

    The Horse Creek Fire has been determined to be lightning-caused. Park firefighters have initiated suppression efforts with water drops, and crews are being mobilized fight the fire on the ground. There are no trail or area closures associated with this fire at this time. Motorists on the Mineral King Road in the coming days can expect to see firefighters and firefighting equipment, including large engines.

    https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5984/
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Now contrast it with another lightning started blaze in MK last Thursday-the Fowler Fire. This one started in a place not far from a prescribed burn in 2015, so it isn’t likely to spread demonstrably, and NPS fire is content to merely monitor it.

    Every wildfire situation is different in the back of beyond…

    Reply
    1. Lord Koos

      There is a 58,000 acre wildfire about 10 miles from here at the moment… yesterday it was less than a third that size. The land is mostly uninhabited but for a ranch or two. This is a grass fire, which in my youth was a rare event (forest fires were more common), but this is the third one in the county this summer and no doubt there will be more. I’m pretty sure that grass and forest fires are not fought the same way in these parts, the local crews have plenty of experience with both.

      Reply
  19. Jim Haygood

    The US-UK [pronounced “you suck”] alliance closes in on Emmanuel Goldstein Julian Assange:

    “My sources say [Julian] Assange will be handed over to Britain in the coming weeks or even days,” RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan wrote in a recent tweet which was reposted by WikiLeaks. “Like never before, I wish my sources were wrong,” she continued.

    Earlier this week, the Times reported Britain is locked in top-tier discussions with the Ecuadorians in a bid to remove Assange from their London embassy. The Times report comes just weeks before a visit to the UK by the newly-elected Ecuadorian president Lenin Moreno, who has labeled Assange a “hacker”, an “inherited problem” and a “stone in the shoe.”

    The US has been saying that Assange was “engaged in terrorism,” with Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, last year calling his arrest a “priority.” Over the years, WikiLeaks has published hundreds of thousands of classified US files, including the cables on the Iraq War, leaked by whistleblower Chelsea Manning in 2010.

    https://www.rt.com/news/433783-wikileaks-assange-ecuador-uk/

    Both Assange in the UK and Kim Dotcom in NZ appear to be in the late stages of losing battles to avoid rendition to face US “justice” — “a system of pleas not trials” as an already forgotten hack-in-black quipped back in 2012.

    Reply
    1. kgw

      If only I had a suit of Martian Marine armor, a la “The Expanse,” I’d blow thru that embassy like a sharp scythe thru grass, gather Julian up and leave Old Blighty behind us…

      Excuse me for the fantasy…

      Reply
    2. Jeremy Grimm

      Given what he knows and what the CIA wants to know Assange is probably contemplating a variant of Kipling’s poem:

      When you’re cast out and left on Great Britain’s plains,
      And the CIA comes to render your remains
      Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
      An’ go to your Gawd like a soldier.

      Reply
  20. Darius

    A friend recently told me only Biden can unite the Democrats because the Dollar Democrats would sabotage Bernie. This would give Trump a send term. Everyone loves Biden. Except me. I won’t vote for Biden.

    Reply
    1. CalypsoFacto

      Every time I have a painful conversation with another millennial about student loan debt, I passionately tell them that Biden is the one who made it so they can’t discharge their debt in bankruptcy. It’s important to not convey this in ironic or blase or cool terms – I get instantly mad and animated, and really emphasize that HE did it, and later HE joked about it. The goal is to get my counterpart mad and to remember that Biden is always going to be Bad for them, so if the dollar dems are horrible enough to try to run him, they f***ing lose!

      Reply
      1. Enquiring Mind

        Awaiting inevitable Joe Groped Me headlines. He has been hiding in plain sight, being avuncular when needed, then voting for his masters in Wilmington and New York.

        Joe, please retire far away and take Hillary with you.

        Reply
        1. pretzelattack

          i got turned off when he rolled over during the investigation of reagan’s october surprise. yep, nothing to see here.

          Reply
    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      But if the Bernie Democrats already know that the Dollar Democrats would sabotage a Nominee Bernie, then why wouldn’t the Bernie Democrats resolve equally to sabotage Biden if he gets the nomination? Because they already know that the Dollar Democrats would sabotage Bernie. So under this scenario, who thinks the Bernie Democrats would ever unite with their evil Dollar Democrat enemies to support Biden anyway?

      I wouldn’t “unify” with the Dollar Democrats to support Biden. I would probably vote for Trump again. Holder would certainly make me vote for Trump. Cuomo would make me vote for Trump.
      In fact, the Mainstream Dollar Democrats have quite a few prospective nominees who would make me vote for Trump again.

      Reply
  21. The Rev Kev

    “The War in Five Sieges”

    At least when the Russians helped liberate a city, they made sure to send in teams of sappers and MPs to clear out all the loose munitions and get rid of the booby traps to make the city safe for civilians to return to it. They even made food distributions, retrieved & buried the dead and sent in medical teams while helping the locals reset up the admin for the place. Cities liberated by the Coalition like Raqqa were abandoned afterwards with all efforts going to “security” and diddly-squat done for the civilians. Mosul, for example, is ripe with unburied dead bodies and is full of ISIS booby-traps as Angelina Jolie found when she went there representing the UN.

    Reply
    1. Andrew Watts

      I think Cockburn is being a little disingenuous about the civilian casualties and mass graves which wern’t solely the result of the battle. The Islamic State carried out individual executions in public and there was mass executions which happened regularly in Raqqa. Secondly, more than a few SDF fighters still had family in Raqqa. I’m aware of the fact that there was an Arab fighter who lost both his parents and another one who lost his two sisters when IS snipers fired from their building and it was subsequently hit with an air strike. The parents survived.

      The UN also deliberately held back aid due to the security situation in an attempt to discourage people from coming back. It didn’t work and that resulted in a lot of unnecessary civilian casualties from IEDs.

      At least when the Russians helped liberate a city, they made sure to send in teams of sappers and MPs to clear out all the loose munitions and get rid of the booby traps to make the city safe for civilians to return to it. They even made food distributions, retrieved & buried the dead and sent in medical teams while helping the locals reset up the admin for the place.

      The various Islamist groups that constitute the Free Syrian Army usually never left behind tens of thousands of IEDs or booby traps when they surrendered and/or evacuated their territory. The Russians only had to do that in Palmyra when it was liberated from IS both times.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        I think that they did this in Aleppo as well. At the very least they collected up all the loose munitions as I saw a clip of Chechen M.P.s make the rounds (so to say) to pick up all sort of munitions left over from that siege. Would you believe that the Syrian Army is now one of the best equipped armies in the middle east? Every time they liberate a new region there are massive caches of US, French, UK weapons that they find. Just this week Assad gifted Hezbollah forces two container-loads of US and British anti-tank missiles from what had been liberated. I wonder where they will end up?

        Reply
  22. juliania

    Blessings on you, Jerri-Lynn for the Smithsonian article about the use of particle beams to assist in unravelling the mysteries of ancient scrolls. What a breakthrough that is! I never had thought that particle acellerators had practical uses – this certainly opened my eyes.

    Also, thanks very much both for excellent links on the Helsinki fallout, and for the debtors’ prison article. I may say from experience that the moneterization of prison life exceeds any respect for the incarcerated poor – phone calls to family members go through a system whose expense descends even to the cost of a voice mail. The article describes practices that are a sign of the low our society has reached in caring for all of its citizens.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      Same here, Jerri-Lynn. Good find that. It was riveting reading this article and I found myself short of breath a coupla times reading though it. Just the thought of some of the stuff that might be retrieved is enough to get the pulse racing – stuff like the history of the Carthaginians by Emperor Claudius. They find that and most present textbooks on the Carthaginians can be dropped off at Goodwill. Here is a partial list of what might be possible-

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_work#Classical_world

      Reply
  23. Wukchumni

    Shinil Group, a recently founded company based in Seoul, released submarine footage of what its analysts believe could be the shipwreck of the Dmitrii Donskoi, a Russian cruiser that vanished 113 years ago during the Russo-Japanese war. Shinil is speculating on what the ship may have carried: 200 tons of gold that supposedly might be worth up to $132 billion. (It’s unclear how the company compiled those estimates.) The shipwreck is located more than 1,300 feet beneath the surface.

    There’s more than one reason to remain skeptical, including the fact that similar claims go back decades and were used by at least one company to artificially raise its stock price to avoid bankruptcy. That’s why South Korean officials have announced they will monitor the share prices of a company in which Shinil recently invested for indications of possibly deceptive tactics.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/07/20/claim-that-200-tons-of-gold-may-have-been-found-on-sunken-ship-triggers-question-who-would-own-it/?utm_term=.e5e0acb4e496
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Why oh why would a Russian battle cruiser have 400,000 pounds of all that glitters on board?

    One tactic slimy telemarketers would foist upon the great unwashed, was in the telling-in the selling of a ‘metric ton’ of gold, which as luck had it, never existed. This sounds like a variant of that scam.

    Reply
  24. Andrew Watts

    I forgot to ask yesterday, but did anybody want a rundown of the meetup in Portland, OR? It’d probably be best if it happened while the events are still fresh in everybody’s mind. I’ve always been a little disappointed that we don’t hear about the other meetups.

    Reply
    1. Sammy Glavney

      It was fun! I got to bask in the presence of Yves Smith, Gaius Publius, OregonCharles, CraaaazyChris, and probably others I didn’t catch. Lovely evening, didn’t realize there were so many readers in the Portland Metro area and Salem.

      Reply
    2. CraaaaaaaaaaaazyChris

      It was great! I didn’t attempt an exact count, but I’d estimate about 50 were there. I recognized Yves immediately (from her TV appearances I’ve seen in the past). My one gripe is that unlike every other meetup I’ve been to, there were no name tag stickers. So it took some time and context for me to realize I was sitting across the table from both OregonCharles and Gaius Publius. Yves had a very long and interesting discourse about Talleyrand shaping the map of Europe. I also talked a lot with someone named David (who works at the local Ikea) who said he has never commented here before and was not sure what screen name to use – I suggested CraaaaaaaaazyDavid.

      Reply
  25. Wukchumni

    Maria.
    The most beautiful sound I ever heard:
    Maria. Maria. Maria. Maria…
    All the beautiful sounds of the world in a single word
    Maria. Maria. Maria. Maria…
    Maria!

    They’ve just outed a Russian named Butina
    And suddenly that name
    Will never be the same
    To me
    Maria!

    The NRA kissed up to a girl named Maria
    And suddenly I’ve found
    How wonderful a sound
    Can be!
    Maria!

    Say it loud and there’s Putin playing
    Say it soft and it’s almost like the NRA is praying
    Maria!
    I’ll never stop saying Maria!
    The most beautiful sound I ever heard
    Maria?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jy2VGRDxSvU

    Reply
  26. dcblogger

    Has Naked Capitalism written a post about Wells Fargo where all their crimes are listed? I am thinking of something along the lines of lambert’s great Public Option post where he documents its fraud. It would be great to have a Wells Fargo summary post that we could link to.

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      Wouldn’t it just be easier to list all of the times Orwells Fargo has been honest in their dealings?

      Reply
    2. JTMcPhee

      The inestimable DoJ doesn’t have a readily available scalp belt for WF prosecutions and civil suits filed by DoJ, but they do have a puff section where they report their triumphs (mostly “big settlements” with no admission of wrongdoing, to avoid res ipsa and res judicata boosts to class actions, e.g.), and convictions of little low-level bank managers, also including reports of robberies of WF branches). It’s at this link in the DoJ web site: https://search.justice.gov/search?query=Wells+Fargo&op=Search&affiliate=justice

      Runs to many pages, and goes back many years. Tends not to give a lot of detail, but complaints and indictments are sometimes linked full-text, along I believe with some of the ‘settlement documents’ full of the best text that high priced white shoe lawyers can artfully persuade the DoJ staffers and management to sign off on. In exchange for a payment, maybe deductible, of some cents-on-the-dollar amount, a copy of which payment check will end up on the walls of many of the attorneys involved at Justice in reaching the Big Deal.

      Reply
    1. Mo's Bike Shop

      Scaly-breasted Munia aka Nutmeg Mannikin

      I have added both of those to my list of Haddockisms (see TinTin in case you’re wondering ’cause google don’t know what it is)

      Reply
  27. JohnnyGL

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bc5FHwDO0Hs

    If Alex Ocasio-Cortez is unclear what ‘Occupation’ means, she could do a lot worse than checking out this video.

    Shir Hever explains how Israel is making ‘Apartheid’ much more officially codified into law. Apparently, there was pushback and an attempt to pass legislation making everyone equal, but that was crushed in favor of elevating the Jewish citizens above all others.

    Reply
  28. flora

    re: Equating Russiagate with 9/11

    So stop staring transfixed by the narratives, and begin looking at the behavior and motives of the people advancing them instead. Stop staring at the movie screen they’re constantly drawing your attention to, turn around in your theater seat, and look at the people who are running the projector.

    Yesterday there was a linked tweet purporting to be an old photo of Divine scowling at a young Trump. It was a photo shopped combination of 2 photos pretending to be an original. Always look at the shadows.

    Reply
    1. Oregoncharles

      At best, it was unclear who Divine was scowling at. Trump was way behind her, so probably not.

      But really, it was just a joke.

      Reply
      1. flora

        A joke photo, yes. My analogy was to suggest ways of looking for fakery in photos is also a good way of looking at the “pictures” or “narratives” passed off as real by people with a political or financial interest in getting the viewer to believe what they’re told. Better to look in ways or from angles the foolers expect you not to use. Simple use your own eyes and a skeptical approach. Perhaps my analogy was too vague.

        Reply
  29. Jean

    Voting machine software….

    Paper ballots that can be counted, recounted and stored are the way to avoid all of this.

    Reply
  30. Livius Drusus

    Re: Keeping Kavanaugh off the Supreme Court,

    Are we going to get a better judicial nominee from Trump if Kavanaugh gets torpedoed? It seems to me that it is not likely. We will just keep getting Federalist Society ghouls no matter what. I can even understand some of the red state Democratic senators voting for Kavanaugh if they think it will help them with reelection this year. I would rather see the Democrats keep their senate seats in the red states than risk losing seats in a quixotic battle to stop Kavanaugh.

    Democrats who are so upset over the fate of the Supreme Court should have thought about this when they supported the terrible Hillary Clinton in the primary. This is what happens when your party nominates weak candidates for the presidency.

    Reply
    1. Lord Koos

      “This is what happens when your party nominates weak candidates for the presidency.”

      I’ve had endless arguements with liberal friends on this point. Very few can be convinced.

      Reply
    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      Perhaps a pithy saying will help advance the cause of understanding where long and learned arguments fail. So here goes . . .

      Nominations have consequences.

      Reply
  31. Wukchumni

    If nothing else, we’ve had price discovery in regards to extra-marital affairs with Playboy models. The average rate of payoff being $137,500.

    Reply
  32. Wukchumni

    Looking forward…

    Don’t think the reign of error is meekly going to board a helo on the front lawn and depart gracefully in a similar saga to seventy four when push>meets<shove, that's not his style.

    He's gonna go down swinging (whatever that means, but it is baseball season, so you go with the metaphor that fits) in the manner of a bull in a china shop, savaging the umps.

    What's the aftermath of all that, look like?

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  33. none

    Why does anyone care about keeping Kavanaugh off the supreme court, at least to the point of willing to spend $5M on a “resistance” campaign? Sure he’s terrible, but his replacement, and the one after that ad infinitum, will be every bit as bad. The neolib Dems signed up for this when they nominated Hillary Clinton. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

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  34. Oregoncharles

    “Theresa May: I will never accept EU’s ideas on Irish Brexit border ”
    The sea border (which is the only practical and therefore the likeliest solution). A couple of points:

    The EU cannot impose customs stations between N. Ireland and the rest of Britain. That would involve an act of war. Pretending that they can, as they apparently did to Varadkar, is dishonest. (They might be able to extract inspections, by the UK, as the price of an agreement. That would involve a new government in the UK, so it’s distinctly dicey.)

    Second: There is another possible solution, which isn’t mentioned: inspect materials and people LEAVING Eire for the rest of the EU. That the EU can do, because Eire is in it. But the political effect is similar: it unifies the island, for commercial purposes, and is therefore a step toward unification. Of course, it divides the EU. Neither the Republic nor Brussels will be happy about that.

    Time is running out. It’s now in Ireland’s interest to delay Brexit for at least a year while the Brits hold new elections. Is Ireland’s interest the same as the EU’s?

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  35. Alex

    On the guy who doesn’t like that he’s on the kill list, I think there is an easy way for him to get off it which is to return to the US and face a normal trial by jury.

    Reply
        1. ambrit

          He could also return and be “disappeared.” Ask anyone near to the ‘underground’ in some Latin American countries how well that works out.

          Reply
  36. The Rev Kev

    “New Cold War”

    Or Cold War II as I call it. I think that the Dems and liberals in the US have lost the plot big time. It is verging on a mania and the conversation is actually sounding demented. Right now, they are talking about drawing up bills to give Meuller immunity from prosecution. I wonder if any of them would be for charges of treason and perjury? It gets better. They are talking about subpoenaing the woman that was the US translator in the room with Trump and Putin. This is lunacy of a high order and even normally despicable people like Lindsey Graham and Bob Corker are calling this out as a bad idea. More on this at https://sputniknews.com/us/201807191066486769-Marina-Gross-Translator-Subpoena-Threat/ but if the Dems think that this is all their ticket to getting a blue swell going for the mid-terms, I suspect that it is going to be 2016 all over again. I mean, they are out and out calling Trump and Putin “faggots” as gay-bashing is now being accepted once again. Howsat? It is with interest that I look to the mid-terms as they hove into sight.

    Reply

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