Links 7/24/18

Camping only a holiday if your house is worse than a tent Daily Mash

Two Dozen Raccoons Die in Viral ‘Zombie’ Outbreak in New York Inverse :-(

Laos dam collapse: ‘hundreds missing’ after villages flooded Guardian. More :-(

Japan heatwave declared natural disaster as death toll mounts BBC

Smartphone addiction: big tech’s balancing act over responsibility and revenue Financial Times (David L)

Deep Learning Algorithms Help Map Developing Brains Peek (David L)

Fukushima’s nuclear signature found in California wine MIT Technology Review (furzy)

Caves all the way down Do psychedelics give access to a universal, mystical experience of reality, or is that just a culture-bound illusion? Aeon. Micael: “Hilarious description of Western mysticism tourists that are more like drug tourists. Also, important points to keep in mind when big money moves into psychedelics after pot legalization”

North Korea

Proof Kim really IS dismantling his nuclear arsenal: Satellite images show the North Korean dictator’s bomb factories lying ruined after his pledge to Trump at historic Singapore summit Daily Mail. Lead story.

Steve Bannon plans Europe-wide populist right campaign BBC

„Ich will nicht aufwachen und einen Rache-Tweet von Trump lesen“ Die Welt

Italy’s “Dignity Decree” Bruegel. First legislation by the new government.


What Boris Johnson Doesn’t Know About British History Patrick Cockburn, Counterpunch

This “ouch” from guurst:

A dangerous void where government should be Chris Grey (guurst)

Theresa May’s Impossible Choice New Yorker (furzy)

‘Subversive’ civil servants secretly blacklisted under Thatcher and Wilson government used secret unit to smear union leaders Guardian Guardian (JTM)

New Cold War

Putin drives wedge between Trump and GOP Politico


John Bolton backs Trump’s Iran threat: ‘They will pay a price’ Guardian

It’s Been Over a Year Since MSNBC Has Mentioned US War in Yemen FAIR (UserFriendly)

Germany Encourages India To Keep Buying Oil From Iran OilPrice (Kevin W)

UK favours extremism over democracy in Syria Middle East Eye (UserFriendly)

Jewish groups worldwide voice support for pro-Palestine BDS movement New Arab (furzy)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Intelligent Assistants Have Poor Usability: A User Study of Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri Nielsen Norman Group. Dana D: “Summary: the AI’s are bad at everything, except possibly transcription as long as you don’t have an accent.”

American Airlines is using a CT scanner to screen luggage at New York’s JFK airport The Verge

Imperial Collapse Watch

An Army officer is publicly protesting the US government’s ‘war machine’ — and it’s gotten the Army’s attention Business Insider (John C)

Trump Transition

Trump hits Russia probe, Amazon in tweet barrage The Hill

Frustrated Trump Team Sends Public Signals to Boss at National Security Retreat in Aspen Daily Beast

Pruitt May Have Been Poisoned by Expensive Desk Patheos (Chuck L)

A reader sent this tweet. I’m normally leery of appearance-based criticism, but Hillary is a public figure with more than enough money to make sure she’s presentable. Not only is the mumu a bizarre choice for an elderly woman who wants to be seen as authoritative (obviously reminiscent of nursing homes, as in infirmity and senility) but even her hair looks unwashed.

Why So Many Reporters Are Missing the Political Story of the Decade Washington Monthly. Versailles 1788.

I’m A Conservative, And I Went To An Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Rally Daily Caller (UserFriendly)

Wisconsin Regressivism New Republic

CYNTHIA NIXON MEETS WITH COMMUNITY CALLING FOR SHUTDOWN OF AIM FRACKED GAS PIPELINE Sane Energy. Thomas R sent this FB update which I cannot access but per him:

Second day of the proceedings is today. We have a lot of folks up there and in other support roles. Our fearless leader at SEP (Kim) and several other folks on our team crawled inside a piece of the AIM pipeline in 2016. Aside from the standard political sleaze factors involved with Spectra’s development of the project, and the obvious climate-change impacts of fracked gas, the project has brought folks in Westchester out to raise hell due to its insane proximity to the Indian Point nuclear facility.

This is the first time that the climate necessity defense has been allowed in a civil disobedience case in NYS and I think one of the few times it’s been used anywhere in the country. It is definitely an important event in the NY climate struggle.

‘It looks kind of skeevy’: Illinois governor shamed by cash giveaway Politico

BART stabbing: Woman, 18, killed, sister critically injured; Bay Area manhunt for suspect Mercury News. Third BART killing in a week.

Federal Jury Convicts Lawyer and Coal Company Executive for Bribing State Legislator UserFriendly: “Kudos to them, but the press release about the FBI ALWAYS going after corruption is hilariously far from reality.​”

MGM turns to never-tested law to sue Vegas shooting victims ABC News (JTM)

Google’s Ad Business Helps Offset EU Antitrust Fine Wall Street Journal

Where modern macroeconomics went wrong Lars P. Syll

Diversity versus merit is a false choice for recruiters Andy Haldane, Financial Times

Overpromising has crippled public pensions. A 50-state survey Wirepoints

Backlash Against “War on Cash” Reaches Washington & China Don Quikones, Wolf Street

Class Warfare

How Is This Shit Legal The Concourse (UserFriendly). A must read. See also New York Daily News to slash 50% of its newsroom CNN (furzy)

The neoliberal ‘progressives’ and their bankster mates are becoming rattled Bill Mitchell. UserFriendly: “Good 3rd way smack down.​”

New Yorkers Trying to Flee High State Taxes Find Moving Isn’t So Easy Bloomberg

Antidote du jour. Richard Smith, natch:

Plus a bonus video:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. generic

    Jeremy Corbyn to highlight economic ‘benefit’ of Brexit

    I’m not a fan of Corbyn’s Brexit strategy, if he even has one, but that is some bad faith framing in that headline. In the text you can read that he points out that the Brexit vote crashed the pound and UK exporters have not profited from it. Hardly pointing out the benefits of Brexit.

  2. fresno dan

    Why So Many Reporters Are Missing the Political Story of the Decade Washington Monthly. Versailles 1788.

    Frankly, someone needs to tell this guy (i.e., Bernie Sanders) to sit down and shut up for a while. Reinforcing the notion that a party that was led by Barack Obama for eight years has merely been representing the one percent contributes to the divide and reinforces Republican lies.
    party that was led by Barack Obama for eight years has merely been representing the one percent
    BESIDES believing that Obama DIDN’T represent the 1%, I’m sure this reporter believes:
    1. The earth is flat
    2. Elvis is alive
    3. The living head of John F. Kennedy is kept at the CIA
    4. There are 2 Melania Trumps
    5. that Hillary got more white women voters than Trump….
    other examples are welcome

    1. Liberal Mole

      A true and deeply ignorant believer in identity politics above all else. Maybe nothing else.

    2. RUKidding

      Let me go old school and just go: OMG.

      Shakes head. Yeah, the Barackstar was totally, like, representing me. Fer sure, fer sure.

      P.S. I wanna see the CIA’s live JKF head, however. Sounds like an old ’50s SciFi film I saw once.

    3. Roger Boyd

      Take the red pill! (knowledge and the brutal truths of reality), instead of being happy with a blissful ignorance of reality.

      The Dems are simply a slightly more palatable version of the 1% (or 0.01%) courtiers, as Barack Obama has certainly been (why do you think he gets $250,000+ per appearance to the elites, he earned it).

      – Warmongering (Libya, Ukraine overthrow, expanded drone program)
      – Elite Service (Rescue of the financiers in 2008, no prosecutions)
      – Fossil Fuel supporter (marginal climate change legislation while fully supporting the fracking industry)
      – No benefit at all for the working class, and especially the black working class

      Dems = Economically conservative, warmongering, socially liberal
      Republicans = Economically conservative, warmongering (with a few surprises from Trump) and socially conservative

      Unfortunately in Canada we have out own version of Obama, now we are settling the white helmets with other Syrian refugees…..

      If you meant to be sarcastic, I apologize. Please use the /sarc in such cases

      1. fresno dan

        July 24, 2018 at 7:33 pm

        the TRUTH is so, so, sooooo brutal. (how the democrats behave versus how they SAY they behave….)
        for some reason, the sanctimony of the church during the inquisition comes to mind….

  3. PlutoniumKun

    Pruitt May Have Been Poisoned by Expensive Desk Patheos (Chuck L)

    I’d so love it to be true that Pruitt would get something nasty, unfortunately its highly unlikely he will suffer from it – formaldyde is extremely common in furniture and fittings, especially cheap products (its less of an issue with solid wood). Its a possible carcinogin, but only with very high levels of exposure. He’s far more likely to get cancer from other Republicans cigar smoke or sharing Trumps diet.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Bit of displaced irony here, Pruitt getting gassed by his desk.

      EPA headquarters were forced into Waterside Mall by Vice President Spiro Agnew, as a favor to a developer buddy. The Mall is a failed condo/retail project that never achieved legal participation to meet condo status. Initially, some EPA staff’s “offices” were in bathrooms in the residential spaces, with plywood bits on the vanities for desks. The building is crap.

      Years go by, up to the late ’80s, and the indoor-outdoor carpeting gets shabby and the paint gets ugly. An Administrator and politics and corruption decide to freshen up the place. So new paint, and new indoor-outdoor carpeting, glued down with contact adhesive. Low-bid contract under some misreading of federal procurement regulations to favor someone or other.

      Turns out all the carpeting and glue and paint were loaded with formaldehyde and other toxic substances, and the crappy air handling and closed spaces in the building led to lots of staffers getting sick, including respiratory, neurological and reproductive (miscarriages) problems. Which led to many of them having to work from home, significantly damaging the few good functions EPA was still performing, after the Reaganauts started swinging the wrecking ball. Some EPA worker comments:

      Here’s an interesting document generated by the bureaucracy to set up a policy and plan for dealing with the new category of human-affecting malaise, “sick building syndrome:”

      Indoor Air Quality Management Plan for US EPA Headquarters, Waterside Mall

      Of particular interest to me is the heavy recognition of the effects of the EPA employees union, the American Federation of Government Employees, in forcing through this recognition of the significant health problems that workers can face in even the supposedly bland environment of a crappy office building. Note that EPA finally was moved out of Waterside Mall, which now will be occupied, after several other incarnations, as a “green building,” by the government of the District of Columbia,

      Nice that Pruitt got a taste of it. You can bet his successor, Andrew Wheeler-Dealer, will have swept the top-floor offices for any hint of toxic stuff, or bugs…

    1. La Peruse

      Thanks for the link, an excellent documentary. It appears two frauds have been committed, the first for the money and the second against a western polity who believe with credulity that ‘Russia is a criminal state’ so Browder’s version must be true. That Australia’s Geoffrey Robertson, a noted human rights lawyer, has, amongst many other notable campaigners, associated his name with the Magnitsky case is very sad.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        +10, a fine piece of actual investigative journalism, so of course they battled to keep it from the sensitive eyes of Western viewers. Historians will quite possibly name Magnitsky as the opening act of Cold War 2.

        But I’ve been thinking about hysterias in American politics and how they seem to erupt every 30 years or so.

        Prohibition (1920’s): “Let’s make a beverage people have sought and happily consumed for 5,000 years illegal”;

        McCarthyism (1950’s): “Red boogiemen are hiding in every pumpkin patch”;

        Cold War 1 (1980’s): “Let’s pretend Russia, with an economy the size of Belgium plus vodka, is an existential threat to the continental U.S.”;

        Cold War 2: “Oh oh Russia again, those highly-civilized Euro-centric white Christians desperately hoping not to be invaded again are actually unspeakable devious enemies ready to murder farmers in Ames, Iowa and shopkeepers in Bangor, Maine”.

        You can’t blame argot rye, so is it something in the water?

        1. Procopius

          I don’t see how you can put Cold War I off until the 1980s. It started in 1947 and ran at a pretty steady level until 1989. It was something we were always aware of. Bomber gap, missile gap, warhead gap, there was always some crisis forcing us to spend more on “defense.” The fact that Russia and China were nearly at war did not in any way diminish the certainty that we were faced with an existential threat from “the international Communist conspircy.”

  4. Steve H.

    > Not only is the mumu a bizarre choice

    Alternative view:

    “Dressed in the flowing robes of a cult leader newly beatified by a year-long silent retreat”

    Of course they were dosed pretty good. From Rolling Stone.

    1. Eclair

      Another alternative view: HRC shops at the trendy Gudrun Sjöden shop in NYC. Their internet ads apparently target women of a certain age (they have haunted my viewing for a couple of years) with flowing and colorful tunics and dresses modeled by svelte silver-haired Nordic types.

      Maybe she is immersing herself in the Nordic social democratic ethos.

      1. Richard

        Agreed and thanks for the link. Best line: “The Democratic Party had made ball-gagged submissives of all of us.”

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Also, too:

          Capital and its faithful administrators have never met a movement they can’t absorb.

        2. djrichard

          “In a cosmic representation of blue balls, storm clouds gathered overhead but would not bust”

          C.J. Hopkins has been hammering on this theme too.

          It has become a sadistic ritual at this point … like a twisted, pseudo-Tantric exercise where the media get liberals all lathered up over whatever fresh horror Trump has just perpetrated (or some non-story story they have invented out of whole cloth), build the tension for several days, until liberals are moaning and begging for impeachment, or a full-blown CIA-sponsored coup, then pull out abruptly and leave the poor bastards writhing in agony until the next time … which is pretty much exactly what just happened.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Hillary has had health problems for a long time. Also, she uses her dress sense to make statements all the time whether it be black leather jackets or pantsuits. Could it be that in this case, Hillary’s doctor has told her to wear very loose clothing on medical grounds, perhaps to do with blood pressure problems? True, this is idle speculation but that mumu seems so out of character for her.

      1. Annotherone

        Her face looks a little more chubby than usual, perhaps she has put on weight, feels embarrassed about it. Her outfit would have looked much better had the mu-mu thingie been lopped off at low hip, with straight white pants (hopefully not tights!) more on show. I’ve often thought when watching her in the past that her fashion choices indicate that she has little sense of proportion. But then, I’m no fashion guru, just an interested onlooker and certainly no fan of the lady in question. :)

    3. Olga

      It looks to me like a shalwar kameez she may have picked up on her Indian trip. The pic makes her look disheveled, though.

      1. oh

        Nah, not a chance. Salwar Kameez would be tighter with tight fitting pants. This one looks like a night gown and goes well with her “just woke up” dishevelled look.

      2. Oregoncharles

        I thought the shalwar kameez was more form fitting? Where’s Jerry-Lynn (sorry about the spelling) when we need her?

    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It looks OK.

      If she makes a comeback, it’s not inconceivable that that dress becomes very fashionable. C’est la vie.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Based on her appearance and demeanor I found myself wondering what pharmacopoeia her daily regimen consists of, we already know it includes rat poison but I wonder what other special treats might be interacting to produce such persistent delusions of grandeur and reality dissociation symptoms. And there’s a Jim Jones aspect to her and her disciples…something something about collective mass suicide being preferable to reality.

    5. Jeremy Grimm

      Hillary Clinton lost the election and had a part in seriously damaging the Democratic Party. The election happened a couple of years ago. Why does Hillary deserve so much comment here? Is she still a player or is she just a strange old woman best forgotten?

      1. pretzelattack

        because her faction currently runs the democratic party, and is trying to beat off a challenge from the left.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          True, and her faction is slowly destroying what remains of the Democratic Party. Perhaps we might direct our comments to consideration of the future of the Democratic party. Though her foundation may own the DNC Hillary is a never-was and who cares what she wears or rants. I agree with Domhoff’s argument that the U.S. political system strongly constrains third parties. Watching the Democratic Party deconstruct makes me wonder if now might be the time for the creation of a second political party.

            1. Jeremy Grimm

              Sorry! I hadn’t thought of that. Hillary does offer a nice comic counterpoint to the antics of the orange haired clown.

    6. Amfortas the Hippie

      I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt, I guess…
      I’ve known plenty of older womyn who wear stuff like that, in the various trailer parks and barrios I’ve lived in.
      apparently Mu-Mu’s are pretty comfortable, if “going out” means “sitting on the front porch for a while”.
      My MIL loves them, but I doubt she’d wear one to a TV appearance.
      as a forcibly retired crippled dude, I certainly abstain from any unnecessary uncomfortableness. In the high summer, I’m likely to be found in a towel.
      Maybe she’s just trying out retirement.
      ,If so, good for her.

  5. Katniss Everdeen

    That photo should put to rest any speculation that hillary is contemplating another run at the presidency in 2020. Elsewhere on the interwebs, someone suggested that her necklace looked like one of those I’ve-fallen-and-I-can’t-get-up alert pendants.

    For a network obsessed with Trump’s appearance–hair, skin color, weight, hand size, tie length and suit fit–msnbs has, curiously, seems not to have noticed this ensemble.

    1. Linda

      Hillary has been dressing in sofa and curtain materials, defining dowdy, for quite awhile now. At least since the last half of her campaign. I suggested she was wearing bulletproof material and making sure it at least covered down past her abdomen for full protection.

      I saw a different story describe her dress as a flowing, light-blue caftan. Apparently if she were standing, you would see she is also wearing long white pants, if that photo if from OzyFest.

      Surely there is somewhere, an intrepid investigative reporter who could get friends or close associates to say off the record, what is up with her!

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        …..sofa and curtain materials…..

        Our very own Scarlett O’Hara.

        Scarlett: As God is my witness, as God is my witness they’re not going to lick me. I’m going to live through this and when it’s all over, I’ll never be hungry again. No, nor any of my folk. If I have to lie, steal, cheat or kill. As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again.


        1. roxy

          I hope you are correct that this weekend’s weird hrc appearance should douse any demented ideas of her running again, and yet…I keep thinking of the last scene in Alien. Ripley and Jonesie the cat have made it to the escape vehicle, we think they’re safe, and then she sees the monster stir in its sleep, curled up in the wall.

        2. Lemmy Caution

          At first I thought you were going to link to the Carol Burnett “Gone With The Wind” skit where, as Scarlett, she makes an unforgettable entrance in a dress not unlike Hillary’s ensemble.

        1. Arizona Slim

          Reminds me of those “She was overheated!” reports at the September 11, 2016 memorial ceremony. Y’know, the one where she had to be whisked away after she collapsed.

          On that day, I was in Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia. The high for the day was in the low 80s, just as it was in NYC.

          Unless she had a fever, she wasn’t overheated.

        2. Oregoncharles

          Multiple Sclerosis? Might fit.

          I agree with Katniss that she obviously isn’t up to running again. She wasn’t 2 years ago.

    2. ObjectiveFunction

      It’s easy. The second she is confirmed to be out, the payola spigot shuts off. Influence buyers foreign and domestic won’t fund a couple of has-beens, or their charmless offspring.

  6. cnchal

    > How Is This Shit Legal The Concourse

    Does this mean that newspaper workers only get something when it happens to them? Stupid men and women that make stuff have been experiencing this for decades, except it wasn’t just half of them, but all of them that lost their jawbs when “management and ownership” ripped the equipment from the plant they were working at and shipped it to China or Mexico, leaving empty shells of factory tombstones everywhere.

    A few links above, and I am sure the irony is lost on Albert, the author of “How Is This Shit Legal” is an integral reason for what happened to him and his coworkers.

    > Overpromising has crippled public pensions. A 50-state survey Wirepoints

    Where does Pirate Equity get the money to roto rooter the rest of us? Oh yeah, public sector pension funds shooting for the investment stars hand money to the pirates. This money is the kindling for the debt bonfire that consumes the company taken over by Pirate Equity. Billions are destroyed so a handful of insiders in Pirate Equity get tens or hundreds of millions, which results in a new corporate tombstone that will never pay a penny of tax again. It is a vicious circle, as the “tax burden” falls on fewer and fewer private sector companies making a taxable profit, as those companies are systematically looted.

    A question for the newspaper workers. When 90% of the people’s pants are on fire, why didn’t you notice the burning until your own caught fire?

    1. HotFlash

      1.) Nice connection, cnchal, wrt the pension funds financing predatory takeovers.

      2.) Didn’t some economist a while back say that workers should own the means of production? Democracy at work, aka co-ops, buy the publication yourselves and then this can’t happen.

      1. JTMcPhee

        I’m sure some hedge fund or VC person or Goldman would be happy to lend the money for the acquisition. For a fee, and a leg, and one’s firstborn child…

        One virtue of the collapse of “traditional media” is that the valuation of these “outlets” has gotten cheaper and cheaper. Brands for sale! 70% off! Maybe that reality might allow the mope reporters and editors a chance to actually do what is suggested…

    1. Lunker Walleye

      Thank you for the link. J’ai raté cet épisode (ou j’ai manqué cet épisode?) Good chance for a little French lesson and for giggling.

  7. fresno dan

    A Georgia state lawmaker refuses to resign over an appearance on a satirical TV show he admits was “ridiculously ugly.” State representative Jason Spencer is seen yelling the N-word and exposing his rear end in the latest episode of Sacha Baron Cohen’s new show, “Who is America?”
    I don’t care for Sacha Baron Cohen, but I saw so much fuss about this I looked at it. With the disclaimer you shouldn’t yell out the N word, this guy charging backwards yelling “USA!!! USA!!!” while reverse charging with his pants (and underroos!) down made me laugh the hardest I may have ever laughed.
    I guess I could rationalize linking to it by saying something about learning a lesson of unquestioningly submitting to authority. Nah – it is just hilarious.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Two Dozen Raccoons Die in Viral ‘Zombie’ Outbreak in New York”

    I hope that what they meant to say was not ‘Zombie’ Outbreak in Raccoon City aka Resident Evil

  9. DJG

    I just read the NC posting about how to talk to liberals, and then I read the Daily Caller article by Virginia Kruta: The neo-con / angry / neo-lib / malignant quote worth looking for therein:

    But then Ocasio-Cortez spoke, followed by Bush, and I saw something truly terrifying. I saw just how easy it would be, were I less involved and less certain of our nation’s founding and its history, to fall for the populist lines they were shouting from that stage.

    I saw how easy it would be, as a parent, to accept the idea that my children deserve healthcare and education.
    I saw how easy it would be, as someone who has struggled to make ends meet, to accept the idea that a “living wage” was a human right.
    Above all, I saw how easy it would be to accept the notion that it was the government’s job to make sure that those things were provided.

    She thinks that these policies are delusions of the left. She (presumably a U.S. white lady) is living in a world of heroic white-lady rightwing fantasy, which is only one step away from RussiaRussiaRussia, which she will be chanting in a week or three, once the loyalty hearings start. Children don’t deserve healthcare and education? She wants to sacrifice children to the Moloch of the free market? And she thinks that she is one of the rational ones? Maybe we should buy her a subscription to American Conservative, which doesn’t espouse opinions as malign as these.

    Sheesh. No wonder the suicide rate continues to rise. With attitudes like hers, only a death cult can provide the answers that she seeks. And she claims to be certain of her understanding of our nation’s founding and history. As a leftist, I keep being reminded that the worst adversaries of the left aren’t conservatives but oooshy comfortable liberals who think that brunch is public policy and bloody-minded doctrinaire rightwingers who think that lessening human suffering just makes it harder to find good help.

    1. noonespecial

      The hits just keep on rollin’. Over at the Washington Examiner, an opinion piece posits that AOC’s brand of thinking is not only (from the article), “bizarre and incoherent”, but her ideas are anti-the-Constitution. The author of the op-ed, Jenna Ellis, enjoins millennials to conclude that AOC and her ilk portends a threat to the US Constitution. ( Clutch my pearls Ethel, how dare someone question the rules of the game.

      To retort Ms. Ellis’ advice, I proffer the not-so-subtle George Carlin’s opinions on rights: Start watching the video at 4:15 thru the end.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      I’ve no idea who this author is, she’s pictured with AOC at the top by the way, but this was a weird article. It almost read as tongue-in-cheek to me, particularly the “It would be easy……” sequence.

      I mean, what’s the counter argument? That it’s the government’s “job” to keep the world safe for israel and trillion dollar “american” multi-national companies and their billionaire ceos?

      If that’s what she’s selling, she’s not trying very hard, publishing in the Daily Caller notwithstanding.

    3. Richard

      “How easy that would be”! is a typical sarcastic refrain of libs who like social programs to be complicated (something you need credentials and years of training to understand is about perfect) and as distant as possible from the concerns of actual, ordinary people.
      Translation: “That should be harder for you!”

    4. JCC

      That was a strange article and a poor attempt at sarcasm… I think.

      She mentioned the important areas with her three bullet points but the entire article wavered between pro and con… unless her final paragraph was meant to be some sort of sarcasm based on her reference to the photo that was taken and the bullet points.

    5. JTMcPhee

      Loyalty oaths. Ready to cut and paste from past “Democrat” archives:

      The Cold War emphasis on containment is often framed in terms of Truman’s foreign policy decisions: the Marshall Plan and Truman Doctrine in Europe, the Korean War in Asia. Yet containment took on a life of its own in the United States as many Americans grew more and more concerned about Communism on U.S. soil, and even more alarmingly, in government agencies. The rise of McCarthyism in the wake of this fear is well-known. Less discussed, perhaps, is the emergence of a Loyalty Program within the federal government.

      Truman’s Loyalty Program has its origins in World War II, particularly in the Hatch Act (1939), which forbade anyone who “advocated the overthrow of our constitutional form of government in the United States” to work in government agencies. After the war, tensions between the U.S. and the Soviet Union grew, as did suspicion of workers in every government department. Several advisors, including Attorney General Tom Clark, urged Truman to form a loyalty program to safeguard against communist infiltration in the government. Initially, Truman was reluctant to form such a program, fearing it could threaten civil liberties of government workers. However, several factors shaped his decision to institute such a policy. Fear of communism was growing rapidly at home, and in the 1946 midterm election, Republicans gained control of Congress for the first time since 1931. To examine the issue, in November 1946 Truman created the Temporary Commission on Employee Loyalty, which stated, “there are many conditions called to the Committee’s attention that cannot be remedied by mere changes in techniques… Adequate protective measures must be adopted to see that persons of questioned loyalty are not permitted to enter into the federal service.” In March 1947, Truman signed Executive Order 9835, “prescribing procedures for the administration of an employees loyalty program in the executive branch of the government….”

      Note that this article is from the Truman Library site. Anything like this on Obama’s or the Bush League’s library catalogs, hmmmm?

      Here’s the text of Executive Order 9835:

      Please note that the McCarthy Era,” 1950-54 and following, was the SECOND “Red Scare” in US imperial history, Welcome to the “bad things come in threes” Third Reich resurrection of a wonderful strain in history, of which manifestation no. 2 gave me nightmares as an impressionable child.

      In my early political awakening, fostered by “duck and cover,” I would go over to a friend’s house to watch the McCarthy “unAmerican activity” hearings on an old Motorola TV, where the “screen” was a mirror in the lifting top of a big cabinet, reflecting the cathode ray tube that produced the images was about 2 feet long and resided facing up in the base of the beautiful maple cabinet…

    6. HotFlash

      Quoting Ms Kruta:

      Above all, I saw how easy it would be to accept the notion that it was the government’s job to make sure that those things were provided.

      Well, duh! The government, *our* government, of, by and for the people, does what the people want. And if it’s being a big buying group for education, or healthcare, pharmaceuticals, or (cough) military spending, or any/all of the things, that’s up to the people to decide.

      I guess irony is alive and well, but self-examination is conspicuously lacking.

      Written from a land where we have govt healthcare, 19 weeks maternal leave plus 17 weeks parental leave (can be taken by any parent), 4% vacation pay starting from your first paycheque, govt employment insurance and old age security. I just don’t understand why Americans, even (especially?!) educated ones, think that Amerians can’t have nice things.

  10. anon48

    RE: Where modern macroeconomics went wrong
    The gist of the article addressed the General Equilibrium Theory of economics “It’s strange that mainstream macroeconomists still stick to a general equilibrium paradigm more than forty years after the Sonnenschein-Mantel-Debreu theorem — SMD — devastatingly showed that it is an absolute non-starter for building realist and relevant macroeconomics…Almost a century and a half after Léon Walras founded general equilibrium theory, economists still have not been able to show that markets lead economies to equilibria…As long as we cannot really demonstrate that there are forces operating — under reasonable, relevant and at least mildly realistic conditions — at moving markets to equilibria, there cannot really be any sustainable reason for anyone to pay any interest or attention to this theory…”

    There was a follow-on comment, posted on that site, that criticised the above conclusion:

    “But the lack of guarantee does not rule out the POSSIBILITY of stability or uniqueness.
    Even more so, SMD does not rule out the possibility or the likelihood of TENDENCIES TOWARD a unique equilibrium point (such as that in Keynes’ General Theory), or TENDENCIES TOWARD a local equilibrium. Whether such situations exist is an emprical matter which cannot be determined by armchair philosophising…”

    OK-seems reasonable. But my takeaway then- is that to rely upon economic theory to predict the results of future consumer behavior with any kind of precision is about as reliable as trying to predict weather conditions more than just a few days out.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Can’t predict “consumer” behavior, I guess limited to the mope set of consumers (who are not “citizens” or “neighbors” in the good senses), but it sure seems possible to predict the behavior of people who work toward monopoly and monopsony and absolute ownership and oligarchic rentier status, way out into the future. If past performance means anything, anyway.

      Anyone see any massive sea change that will have Blankfein and Soros and Carlos Slim and Buffett and Gates and Zuck and the rest establishing food forests, leading the way to no more imperial wars and no more looting via resource extraction, remedying past, present and oncoming externalities, stuff like that, or unloading their offshore accounts into a Planetary General Welfare Fund to at least take a stab as bettering the lot of all of us?

  11. tokyodamage

    Today had the best links in a while! I’m set for days.
    Meanwhile, just for fun, look at the picture of the NSA head, above.
    Compare to this picture . Am I seeing things, or. . . .

  12. Brindle

    re: Caves/Psychedelics

    The writer has a bit too much of a consumerist approach to psychedelic experience, imo. Maybe that’s the point of the article. Each individual’s psychedelic experience is unique and to try and pigeon hole it with a cultural tapestry/matrix is somewhat of a sidebar.. Interesting article but very surface oriented.

    1. RUKidding

      Agree, although the author made some salient points about the differing experiences of those taking psychodelics, particularly the indigeneous people’s experiences in places like Peru and Mexico v. Western tourists experiences.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        How much is an indigenous person’s experience tied to his/her intention (perhaps to help or heal another person)?

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      Check the website at the bottom of the article for help in case of spiritual emergency.

    3. Wukchumni

      A cave is among the last places i’d want to indulge, not that there is anything wrong with your body being in tight egress, while you’re mind is expanding.

    4. BobW

      Back my tripping days I had a religious experience… but it occurred to me that if a chemical caused a religious experience, was a religious experience nothing more than a chemical event in the brain?

      1. Lord Koos

        Everything you perceive is a chemical event in the brain, when you get right down to it.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          Is that the red pill or the blue pill? — or are you suggesting they’re both the same in the end?

      2. knowbuddhau

        No. No, it’s not just a chemical event in the brain. For that to be true, it would have to be only and exclusively that reaction. But that’s not the case at all. There’s vastly more to awareness, even consciousness, than that. Where, pray tell, does this “nothing more than” reaction occur?

        It’s takes the entire uni-/multi-/whathavu-verse for that chemical reaction to occur. And the subatomic particles thereof are entangled with the rest of it.

        Don’t be so myopic ;-}

  13. The Rev Kev

    “MGM turns to never-tested law to sue Vegas shooting victims ”

    This is a real scuzz-bag tactic to bail out of any responsibility for what happened. There is a problem with their tactic. They are a media company, right? Well guess what. They have a home address. Here it is-

    245 North Beverly Drive,
    Beverly Hills, California, U.S.

    I wonder how many shooting victims will make their protest know outside of here in the coming months? Can you imagine? That may not be a good look. Well, as they say in the media, any publicity is good publicity, right?

    1. Wyoming

      It would not take much publicity about a drive to boycott the MGM hotels in Vegas to generate a serious financial backlash over this stupidity. Could not be more deserved. They could be bankrupted in a few months.

      Here’s to hoping that is exactly what happens.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The question I have is why they are not working with DHS to find out if they are going to declare the tragedy as terrorism.

  14. Lark

    I’m not sure I quite follow the pension article – it doesn’t chime with what I’ve observed in Minnesota, and while the article does gesture toward an explanation, it still seems misleading.

    In Minnesota, our earnings estimates were too high. We were required – correctly – to revise them in 2016. We have just passed, over the objections of Republicans who would like to destroy the system, a pension bill which bakes in corrected growth assumptions, reduced COLA, reduced the interested paid on withdrawn contributions from 4% to 3% and moderately increases contributions from employers and workers. Minnesotans who pay into the pension system also pay into social security, so if for some reason society is still standing in 20 years I hope to collect both.

    Now, on the one hand it’s a bummer to reduce COLA and increase contributions, etc, but on the other this was a solvable problem. It wasn’t an actual “crisis” except when the GOP attempted to sabotage the bill. Our pension system is a good system. The vast bulk of the promises made under it are reasonable and can be kept as long as we have good governance.

    Relatively moderate changes to the pension system could probably get almost all of these states back on track; it is the political will which is lacking. What sensible person wouldn’t rather kick in an extra $20 a month now in exchange for a stable pension at retirement?

    1. ChiGal in Carolina

      The article struck me as overly simplistic, postulating overpromising rather than underfunding as the source of the pension crisis. There was no mention whatever of what employees AGREED TO SACRIFICE in the short term in exchange for better pensions.

      While I agree that end-of-career salary bumps are outrageous, automatic pay increases for getting a master’s or better make sense. For all its data, this is a polemic, not a thoughtful discussion of the issue. And btw in Chicago there absolutely WAS underfunding as well.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Illinois state workers also tend to retire long before their peers in the private sector. In fact, 60 percent of all current state pensioners began drawing pensions in their 50s, many with full benefits.

        Pretty hard to “oversimplify” that.

        Of course I’m sure the Illinois taxpayers are good with it. Seein’ how well they get treated at the motor vehicle department and all.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Would it better to have just one pension for all, kind of like Medicare for all?

    3. Oregoncharles

      “earnings estimates were too high” – that was the problem in Oregon, compounded by extremely low interest rates. I suspect this is all but universal.

      However, last I heard (I’m not on PERS, so I haven’t followed it as closely as I probably should), it’s still a political hot potato – in a deep-blue state.

  15. JTMcPhee

    Why, lookie here, Rich People At Play!

    “Coastal advocates challenge deal that bars public from reaching Hollister Ranch by land,”.

    Is there any schadenfreudic satisfaction to be derived from knowing that all the coastal “properties” that Rich People dominate will eventually be “under water?”


    The Fokkers will have lived out their lives in smug comfort, very specially enjoying those stirring views and the gnashing teeth of the peasantry, knowing they have exclusivized a big chunk of the commons, and be dead and gone beyond retribution and consequence long before the inundation…

    Of course the peasants demanding access are mostly a bunch of Credentialed and Disruptive 9.9%ers…

    “All your world belong us!”

    1. Anon

      This coastal access issue is much more complex than you would imagine:

      The approximately 7 miles of the Hollister Ranch coast is predominately 60’+ highly erodible bluffs. The approximately 15 miles down-coast is ALL public shoreline access; it is owned by the state of California and managed through the State Parks system. (Walk-in access is available to anyone; camping requires a hard-to-get reservation. (Not enough coastline for the 40 million Cal natives and their visiting friends.)

      The Hollister Ranch is not some exclusive, high-priced, estate. It is mostly 10 acre “ranch” sites with modest sized homes. To say the least, it is remote. And the people who live there are attuned to the landscape; utilities are limited and the fire and flash flood danger is real. Oprah is never going to live there!

      This section of the California coast is some of the most environmentally sensitive: the land is erodible, the beach cliffs crumble, and the coastal marine ecology is rare. More people mean more environmental disruption; the public access shoreline down-coast require monumental effort by parks employees to mitigate the human impacts. The cost and natural degradation of opening the Hollister Ranch will not be without unintended consequence.

      This section of the California coast is sensitive and unique. It is not amenable to unsupervised coastal access. Making it easier to clamber about the sea cliffs will NOT go well. It should also be noted that a much more spectacular landscape is on the up-coast portion of the Hollister Ranch and is publicly accessible at Jalama Beach. A short walk from which is the truly stunning, vibrant, and magical Point Conception!!!

      Recently Jack Dangermond (Landscape Architect, ArcGIS founder & billionaire) purchased the ranch north of Hollister. His stated desire is to protect this impressive coastal ecological zone. The land is being reserved for ecological study and habitat preservation—not public access.

      Like the removal of parking at the Sequoia National Park, Big Trees site, controlled, limited public access is likely the best option. And this is what was proposed in the original agreement between the California Coastal Commission and the Hollister Ranch.

      1. Anon

        For anyone interested in viewing this Hollister Ranch portion of the California coast, it is accessible via the ocean bluff hugging Amtrak ‘Surfliner’ that runs from San Luis Obispo to San Diego. (Santa Barbara to SLO is $38, one-way.)

        Or Google Earth Pro, if you have it.

      2. JTMcPhee

        Ah yes, it’s complicated.

        A whole lot of the planet is “sensitive and unique,” like that section of the California coast, and the as yet “undeveloped” east shore of Lake Michigan, and Hetch Hetchy and so forth. There’s quite a few bits of Florida around here that are “under pressure,” from developers and other privatizers, with no “angels” to protect them from “overuse.”

        Yes, yahoo humans “clamber about” and just for fun will tip over balanced rocks that have stood that way for centuries, and trash slopes that tend to wash away and slump. And rich kids with dune buggies and 4-wheel drives and motorcycles leave esentially permanent scars in desert lands in many places. So private ownership, “ranches” with modest houses on them, and exclusivity, leaving enjoyment to the refined sensitivities of our betters, are the only hope for the wild places that have not been monetized yet. Good to know.

        1. Anon

          Hmmm, interesting comment from someone whom I believe to be generally sane. I guess nuance took a day off?

          I believe I was responding to a comment that suggested this coastal access issue was simply a matter of of the rich keeping out the rif-raf. That is not the case at Hollister Ranch. Whether on private land or public land, environmental degradation has consequences for all.

          Interesting you should mention 4-wheel drives and motorcycles. Just up the coast from Hollister is Pismo Beach where these vehicles are essentially allowed free-run on public coastal lands. Environmentalists refer to these areas as “sacrificial” activities. (They’re outlets that “save” more sensitive areas (like the Guadalupe Dunes, which are just a few kilometers up the coast).

          The Hollister coastal access issue is not about the beach. Surfers (me included) have been accessing Hollister Ranch shore breaks since the 60’s, via boats, as public access to the high water line is preserved by the California Coastal Act. The current issue is about allowing public access across private property. The original agreement by the CCC and the Ranch allowed limited travel in an area that has NO improved roads. Some folks want unfettered access; a recipe for environmental degradation and possible life threatening consequences. As I stated in my earlier comment.


          So private ownership, “ranches” with modest houses on them, and exclusivity, leaving enjoyment to the refined sensitivities of our betters, are the only hope for the wild places that have not been monetized yet. Good to know.

          Obviously not. See Sequoia National Park, Big Trees. Or the more relevant coastal access issue, Santa Cruz Island 30 miles beyond the California Bight from Hollister. Most of the island is owned by The Nature Conservancy (they sold a small portion to the National Park Service). The park portion is public land, but is only accessible by restricted permit (for the protection of the resource). The rest of the island, owned by the TNC (private) is off limits to even rich dudes with high-priced sail/power boats, because TNC is involved in environmental rehabilitation/science. (Like Jack Dangermond.)

          As I said, the issue is more complex than it appears.

  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Camping only a holiday if your house is worse than a tent Daily Mash

    Worse or better, how?

    More likely to be spied on by your household appliances at home instead of a simple plastic tent – would that be considered better or worse?

    I think some would think that plastic tent as a better choice, not worse.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Including the homeless encampments, and the POlice that find it so much easier to “clear them out” when the Very Special People get tired of seeing them on their high-tech bicycle rides on public bike paths and trails,

      It’s all in the context, of course. And who has the money and power and Freedom ™.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The article assumes you have a house. But as you pointed out, not everyone has one.

        For the homeless, a plastic tent can still be be better than no plastic tent at all. For example, when it is raining.

        And also easy, or easier, when without a plastic tent, to ‘clear them out.’

    2. Lemmy Caution

      Camping without a tent is one of the most instructive things I’ve ever done.

      I was with an Outward Bound group that spent 10 days in the mountains with just the food and supplies we could carry. We had sleeping bags, but were only allowed sheets of plastic to use as protection from the elements. As a group we had to navigate from point to point, deciding how to proceeed, when to stop, how to divvy up the food, etc. It rained a lot, and then a freak spring snowstorm dumped 13 inches of snow everywhere. And we got lost.

      After 10 days of being exhausted, dirty, hungry, cold and wet, I have never forgotten how miraculous it was to return to my suburban home.

      A waterproof roof overhead to deflect the rain, and solid walls to stop the wind.

      Bright lights that illuminated every corner of the room with the flip of a switch.

      In the kitchen, fresh water from the tap, as much as you could drink. Opening the refrigerator door revealed a bright, clean interior filled with fresh food and cold drinks of incredible variety.

      The bathroom contained more miracles: a sink with running water and soap. A toilet where you could do your business without having to squat over a hole in the ground. Even a shower where you could stand in a cascade of hot water while washing.

      And the bed … oh my god the bed. It was if I was seeing all these simple luxuries for the first time and it was stunning how much I had taken it all for granted.

      All these decades later I don’t think a day goes by where I don’t remember how that Outward Bound expereince made me appreciate just how good we’ve got it. Which is good, cause that means I don’t need to go tent camping again as a refresher course.

      1. Wukchumni

        I slept on the ground in the back of beyond for almost 2 decades in the High Sierra, and then a friend bought hammocks for him & I for xmas around the turn of the century, and goodbye ground.

        All you need is a couple of trees 10-14 feet apart, and you’re as close to being in a bed in the wilderness as you’ll ever get.

        Perhaps 600 nights hanging out so far…

      2. The Rev Kev

        Did a lot of sleeping out with a sleeping bag, tent and ground pad when going around Europe when younger. You are right that when you get to hot showers, a warm bed and a roof to keep the rain out that you appreciate it more. It could be sheer bliss. Reading your comment was like going back in time.

  17. cm

    Cry crocodile tears for this incompetent bank which, after losing $2.4M, in *two* separate hacks, failed to get their insurance company to pay out.

    But just eight months later — in January 2017 according to the lawsuit — hackers broke in to the bank’s systems once more, again gaining access to the financial institution’s systems via a phishing email.

    This time not only did the intruders regain access to the bank’s STAR Network, they also managed to compromise a workstation that had access to Navigator, which is software used by National Bank to manage credits and debits to customer accounts.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “UK favours extremism over democracy in Syria”

    Now this is nuts. Turkey is occupying a big chunk of Syria as well as a chunk of Iraq and are showing no signs of going home. In fact they are setting up Turkish-friendly administrations and teaching the school kids Turkish. My understanding is that Turkey believes that these lands belong to Turkey from the time of the Ottoman empire and have decided to make their move and seizing them. I am not sure that they are ready to fight the Syrian Army though as their officer corps has been depleted due to Erdogan ejecting all those who may have suspect loyalties. Same with the Turkish Air Force too and their pilots.
    Now the question is does this become a NATO problem as the Syrian Army claims back Idleb province and there is a fight between Syrian and Turkish troops? After all, this is Syria so will NATO troops fight so that Turkey can occupy another country. Will the UK? Also, Turkey is using Jihadists to be their shield. Does the UK think that the Syrians in this part of the country want these Jihadist to stay? We’ll see what happens after the Syrians mop up that ISIS pocket next to Israel.

    1. Shane Mage

      The Turks and their terrorist scum allies occupied Afrin with the full complicity of Putin and his American buddies. Assad is not going to do anything against the common dictates of the Tsar, the Sultan, and the Leader of the Free World. In the name of that holy of holies, National Sovereignty.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Nah, you pick your battles where and when you can. Idlib has been put on the back-burner so that the Syrians could mop up the rest of the country of Jihadists. With that mostly done, it will now be a case of-

        Bad boys, bad boys
        Whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do
        When they come for you…

          1. The Rev Kev

            They’re next after Idlib. The Syrians want ALL their country back again. Take a look at a map and see how many borders Rojava has that they are friends with. There aren’t any – period. Over half their territory is lands taken from the Syrians with western and ex-ISIS help which makes them an occupation force in those territories. In fact, in those territories they are drafting the local Arabs to be in their army. You think that they will fight the Syrian army when push comes to shove or switch sides to their true allegiance?

            1. JTMcPhee

              It’s a kind of sick fun, trying to keep track of the pledges of loyalty of the various war bands playing Gun Men in that part of the world. So few Americans have any idea of the constant shifts, as this or that warlord or generalissimo or captain, with or without their loyalists (sic), swap “allegiances” based on convenience and profit, since one has to pay the guys with the weapons and the combat skills, or bad things happen. Hence the Imperial spooks and “Special Operators” slinking around with big wads of greenbacks (and in Notagainistan, where warlords like little boys to dance and ‘do other stuff” for them, boxes of Viagra,) trying to buy a little love from tribalists and now a huge cohort of stateless, tribe-less, Gun Men. Joshua Landis’s site used to be a good resource for those weird enough to follow the details.

              One has to admire the way the Russians and the national government of Syria have been playing this, leaving the killers a way out of the closing web, and killling off the holdouts. Not that any of this is out of altruism, or is likely to lead to “world peace” or even local calm, this being what is part of the culture there, just a different kind of realpolitik from what Kissinger and Brzezinski wanted to make everyone else play.

  19. Matthew G. Saroff

    Trump has the clearance stuff half right.

    There is a problem with the revolving door and a brain drain in the Pentagon and Intelligence Agencies.

    The solution is to immediately terminate clearances when people and require a definitive showing of immediate need for some period (12 months would be good, 18 months would be better).

    It would prevent people favoring contractors in exchange for lucrative gigs in the future, and make it less likely that people will be poached by contractors.

    The current system is a subsidy for corruption.

  20. Jean

    Re Cesium 137 in wine, reduced to ash to measure

    Isn’t the same true for fish? The water in them makes a geiger counter or other measurements inaccurate. The only way to tell if they are contaminated is to reduce to ash and measure.

    Thanks to the Japanese Faustian bargain with nuclear power–and General Electric’s reactor designs, it is no longer safe to eat fresh Pacific Ocean seafood or kelp, certainly not any food produced in Japan.

    We miss our unagi rolls and udons, all spiced with Japanese produced spices and Korean or Chinese shore harvested seaweed.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      California produces a lot of food.

      Will they be like Pacific Ocean seafood now?

  21. Alex

    Central to the pro-Israel effort is the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, which equates criticism of Israel or pro-Palestine advocacy with antisemitism.

    This is some dishonest reporting. The definition specifically says that “criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic.” What they consider non-kosher is applying radically different standards to Israel where something that would not be noticed at all if it happened in Turkey, Ukraine or Russia gets huge coverage if it happens in Israel.

    Compare the coverage of the recent Israeli legislation (stupid and provocative) with the complete lack of interest when the Ukrainian government revoked the regional status of Russian language, or when all the minority-language education was screwed in Russia not long ago

    1. Pat

      Funnily enough I find the “see no evil” trend of our press helps Israel as much if not more than any other nation on earth. There is a lot of pick and choose in our current press coverage of everything. Since America is using Ukraine as a pawn in the full court press on Russia, of course there is little or no coverage of any controversial actions on the part of that government. In Israel’s case, think about the fact that there has been no mention of Yemen on MSNBC in a year, or the distinctly slack coverage of their murderous reactions to protests in Gaza, or …

      As for the little coverage that does occur, how much of it is mainstream. Ask random Americans about the recent Israeli legislation that was stupid and provocative and expect them to know what that legislation was, and you will get a whole lot of blank stares.

      See the bar being set is too high. Even your example makes it clear that the actions of the Israeli legislation is stupid and provocative, why should it be coupled with I feel the same about X’s legislation in ____________.

      I’ll give you an example of no attachment to others actions because well I don’t have an equivalent. Am I anti-Semitic because I say flat out that Israel’s actions of using stolen passports from other countries for their assassins is criminal and an act of terrorism? No, it is an act of terrorism, and the theft that information and creation of those false passports was criminal. No equivalence is necessary. (Although I do admit I would have the same reaction only with added shame if evidence was found that America had done the same. Probably should make that ‘when’ though.)

      1. Alex

        The lack of coverage of Yemen war proves my point. Even though the situation is much worse than in Gaza (actual famine, cholera, etc) nobody cares about it.

        Well, if you think that assassination done with a foreign passport is much worse than one using a drone (US everywhere), or hired killers (Russia – see Sulim Yamadaev’s assassinaton in Dubai), then I’m not going to argue with you.

        1. Oregoncharles

          Actually, the same left-wing sources that cover the Israeli torture of Palestinians also cover the genocide in Yemen, with great indignation, in part with the same justification: the US is paying for it.

          I also noted your discussion of Turkey’s genocidal behavior; you’re right, that deserves a lot more coverage.

    2. Olga

      I doubt that it is “radically different standards” (as you say) that are used for Israel. It is absolutely, though, a matter of context.
      None of the three countries you mention has cordoned off half of its population, making them live in unspeakably cruel conditions and allowing soldiers periodically to shoot at them. An unbearable situation that has lasted 70 years now. (But yes, Ukrainian transgressions are not reported on much, since that would put the 2014 western-led coup d’etat in bad light.)

      1. Alex

        Come on, Turkey has occupied N Cyprus for 40 years now and has been actively resettling mainland ethnic Turks there, and has occupied a chunk of Syria for a few years already, at the same time actively persecuting its Kurdish minority in every way possible (google Cizre siege photos). All that got approximately one hundredth of the coverage that Israeli-Palestinian conflict gets, despite the 10x more casualties.

        Again, this is a very low bar, the point is that radically different standards exist and when they are selectively applied to just one country this indeed looks a lot like Antisemitism

        1. Darthbobber

          It also can look like focusing on things your own nation’s diplomacy might conceivably influence as opposed to things it pretty clearly can’t.

        2. Plenue

          Ahhh, the hasbara trope that criticism of Israel is somehow invalidated because other countries also do bad things and don’t get as much criticism for them. Someone else being an asshole doesn’t make Israel not also an asshole.

          You’re being downright dishonest anyway, since the type of sources that are constantly criticizing Israel are also the ones who draw attention to places like Yemen.

          For the sake of argument though, let’s run with your logic: many of the people (actually no, let’s go full bore: every last one of them), including all those Jewish youth, who criticize Israel are rabid antisemitites who believe The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is real and have constant nightmares about big-nosed merchants.

          How would any of this invalidate the reality that Israel is a racist apartheid state that has been being told by the UN for 50 years to fully abandon the Cccupied Territories? Answer: it wouldn’t.

          Also, on that front, Israel just this morning shot down a Syrian bomber flying over the Golan Heights, ie part of Syria. Because of freaking course they did.

    3. Darthbobber

      But do the Ukraine or Turkey receive the same level of consideration and assistance from the US and it’s poodle that Israel does? Doesn’t the very concept of “special relationship” imply a different standard than one of pure convenience?

      The problem with such a subjective standard is that it make whataboutery decisive, and that decisions flowing from such a thing are inevitably politicized.

      In this country, it also runs into a clear First Amendment problem.

  22. neo-realist

    Re the Daily Mail piece on North Korea supposedly dismantling their nuclear arsenal, I would take it with a grain of salt. When you get past DM’s photo’s of sexy female celebrities in bikini’s, it is very much of a right wing rag that looks for any excuse to show conservatives, the GOP and Trump in a positive light. The North still has material to make bombs and has not evinced a complete shutdown of their facilities. While some may be degraded by accidents, it doesn’t mean they lack the will to rebuild and restart serious activities imo as it is their desire to be considered an equal w/ nuclear capability among the world powers.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Here, the Daily Mail is going up against neoconservatives, and not just a handful GOP leaders, with this article.

    2. JTMcPhee

      No bias possible on the part of a “top us commander” whose rice bowl was passed on to him by the previous “top us commander” and so forth. We must trust him and his predecessors, because there is no history of what do they call it, “lying,” on the part of any of our military leaders, to keep the rice going into the rice bowl. As we must trust the security state people who are true and loyal patriots who rise and go to bed living and breathing the “national interest.”

      Thank you for clarifying the Narrative view!

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      It was also reported on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, which has been going after Trump hard. And it’s quite a stretch to depict any of the UK press as on Trump’s side after he was appallingly rude not just to Theresa May but also the Queen.

      The Mail also often breaks UK political stories and does very good science reporting. You are showing your biases in subjecting it to an ad hominem attack.

      1. neo-realist

        The dismantling of some test sites may not mean outright denuclearization, but rather arms control of some sort (for North Korea, I suspect they equate denuclearization w/ reduction not elimination of nukes.) From Kim’s standpoint, I believe that the public reveal of a few test sites going down is good publicity that makes him look like a statesman. the NK delegations haven’t offered much in way of concrete reduction proposals to Trump/Pompeo when they haven’t been stood up by them.

        Believe me, I’m no Clintonista/Obamanite or Cold Warrior tacking against the administration, just cynical.

        Best case scenario imo–SALT treaty type of agreement resulting in a reduction in ICBM’s that carry nukes, which isn’t a bad thing. I believe the South Koreans would be pleased with such an agreement.

  23. Stupendous Man - Defender of Liberty, Foe of Tyranny

    Is there any higher achievement than bringing happiness, and joy, to another living being? I doubt it.*

    Would that more were inspired to play piano for blind pachyderms (or similar).

    *Though perhaps a calling on an equal level would be that of “rubbing out” any that routinely, and intentionally, cause the antithesis either for their own gain, or for its own sake, e.g., sadness, pain, suffering.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It is NO achievement at all to bring happiness to a (living) billionaire (being) by helping him, or her, to get more billions.

      Thus, in practice, I can see some difficulties with that idea.

      “What is your sadistic joy, my overlord of the universe?”

      1. Stupendous Man - Defender of Liberty, Foe of Tyranny

        Given that in my generalized little construct I’ve considered it to be an equally high achievement to rub out, or eliminate, any that routinely cause sadness, pain, and/or suffering to others I think it unlikely there would be any sadistic billionaires. Perhaps no billionaires at all as it is questionable whether anyone can amass that amount of wealth absent the blood of many (whether intentionally, or inadvertently).

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Is it only a problem at just some stations or all stations?

      And does it matter what hours of the day? Are there some hours that are safer – when there are many riders?

  24. Roger Smith

    Caption Contest: Hillary Clinton spotted at San Diego Comic Con sporting her M. Night Shyamalan’s The Visit Cosplay.

  25. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Caves all the way down Do psychedelics give access to a universal, mystical experience of reality, or is that just a culture-bound illusion? Aeon. Micael: “Hilarious description of Western mysticism tourists that are more like drug tourists. Also, important points to keep in mind when big money moves into psychedelics after pot legalization”

    Are we saying that Big Money used pot as a stepping stone to progress to the next goal?

  26. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Japan heatwave declared natural disaster as death toll mounts BBC

    Stay cool, though using the AC tends to make the outside air hotter. So, nothing is free.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      If this is what happens while some Arctic ice remains year round and with less than one degree of global warming I do not fondly look toward what interesting surprises the future may hold.

  27. crittermom

    NC, sorry to say I think you blew it with today’s owl antidote.
    I’m horrified, in fact. I can only hope that was not done intentionally, in that you hadn’t done any research?

    Richard, do you really believe this owl is only sleeping? It would be a hilarious joke if that were the case, but there is no way I believe that the young owl is sleeping. They would never sleep like that. They’d be prey for anything.

    I feel certain it’s dead, which crushed me.

    If you read the tweets from where it came, I am not the only one who thinks this.

    Time to wander outside once again with my camera in search of beautiful, living creatures, while trying to forget this one & only time NC has ever let me down…

    1. StuartW

      I thought that as well, but the original tweet appears to be associated with the Ueno Zoo in Tokyo, which is in the midst of a rather severe heatwave. At least a dozen other tweets from the same period show other animals similarly splayed out to cool off (confirmed by text translation button).

      1. crittermom

        Please provide any link showing that owl is actually alive.
        I’ve been unable to find any & still find the photo disarming. I cannot imagine any owl cooling off in such a fashion.

          1. StuartW

            Here’s the twitter handle for the OP:

            I suppose there’s an outside chance the owl wasn’t just resting (I imagine if enough concern blows n_naga’s way, he/she might consider returning for an update pic), but given that it was sandwiched amidst a bunch of other ‘animals hot at the zoo’ tweets, and the poster appears sincerely well-intentioned, I’m going with not-dead.

            the mouse is dead.

  28. Brooklin Bridge

    “She [Hillary] looked and sounded like a crazy lady who escaped from the attic. […]”

    Ayyyyy!!!! I’m going right up there – right now – and put a lock, no…, a double lock on mine.

  29. Oregoncharles

    “Camping only a holiday if your house is worse than a tent”
    My youthful research on Tibet yielded an odd tidbit: nomad pastoralists and sedentary farmers were intermingled, often members of the same tribe. However, the nomads were the more prosperous of the two, in part because Tibet was right at the limit of sustainability. So the nomad’s tent was generally worth more than the peasant’s house (the aristocracy were another matter), and may well have been more comfortable.

    There were parallels with Arab pastoralists; I wonder if the Bedouins’ tents were also worth more than the farmers’ houses?

  30. Oregoncharles

    The picture of Hillary: also, she’s speaking sitting down. I don’t think she’s running again – she looks, at best, exhausted.

    1. pretzelattack

      ah well, if she doesn’t run, the dems will try to foist biden or somebody equivalent on us.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Or offer us a weekend at Bernie’s (the other one.) The animatronics are getting ever more sophisticated, and manufacturing almost perfect video and audio fake reality is already here, with smart young folks busily working to make it more so.

        Who knows anything, any more? Not that the question itself is anything new…

    2. Brooklin Bridge

      Is she taking on weight? That would be a possible reaction to high stress which she must be under given the energy she expends fooling herself about who and what to blame and the futility combined with the constant Ground Hog Day like repetition of the effort.

  31. oh

    The more money you have, the more justice you can buy and that gives you power and freedom.

    1. flora

      ” Use every man after his desert, and who should ’scape whipping? ” – Hamlet, Will Shakespeare. ;)

    1. flora

      Yes, I think references to death in an ‘ironic cool thanatopsis’ sort of way isn’t really helpful just now. But that’s just me.

  32. flora

    re: Elephant antidote. “Music hath charms….” – William Congreve

    Thanks for that.

  33. Plenue

    >Caves all the way down Do psychedelics give access to a universal, mystical experience of reality, or is that just a culture-bound illusion? Aeon.

    “Hilarious description of Western mysticism tourists that are more like drug tourists.”

    There’s no difference. These two things are one and the same.

    The entire point of soul, uh, ‘theory’, is that there’s a magical ghost inside of you that is you (or at least contains some partial, irreducible part of you). But it’s been demonstrated time and time and time again, whether through psychedelics or in cases like someone getting a railroad spike shoved through their brain, that ‘us’ is a property of our brain, and when you mess with the brain’s chemistry you can induce pretty much any kind of experience or even change the persons personality. But there’s no evidence whatsoever that you’re tapping into anything outside the confines or your own head and its electrochemical processes.

    So go get high, or don’t. I really don’t care. And if by messing with your brain chemistry you bring about some permanent change to your personality, I hope it’s a positive change. But stop elevating the activity by imbuing it with supernatural mumbo-jumbo. No, the indigenous shaman cutting a hole in his skull, or toking up on some plant for some cultural ceremony, does not have any more profound insight into the universe than a drunk vomiting under a street light at 3 am.

    1. flora

      I don’t disagree, necessarily, but am reminded that nature does not care about the individual but cares about the species. And I am reminded of the human poetic formulation from Blaise Pascal (surely a forefather of modern logic and reasoning):

      “The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of… We know the truth not only by the reason, but by the heart.”

      Which is a very long way around to say, ‘Logic is a good servant but a bad master.’
      (see modern neoliberalist ‘economic man’ theorising. Perfect logic. Horrible reality in practice. )

      1. Plenue

        Homo economicus isn’t based on logic though, or at least not logic backed by actual evidence.

        1. flora

          I fully agree. However, I think its sale pitch to the general public was based on fake logic. Sort of a shell-game logic, or a bait-and-switch logic.

      2. blennylips

        > nature does not care about the individual but cares about the species


        Agree with your conclusions, but in fact nature does not care about species either. Species is a human construct. Not without The species problem

        It is difficult to define a species in a way that applies to all organisms.[33] The debate about species delimitation is called the species problem.[28][34][35][36] The problem was recognized even in 1859, when Darwin wrote in On the Origin of Species:
        No one definition has satisfied all naturalists; yet every naturalist knows vaguely what he means when he speaks of a species. Generally the term includes the unknown element of a distinct act of creation

        See “Abundant dissolved genetic material in Arctic sea ice Part I: Extracellular DNA” and try to delimit the species from that data.


  34. Grebo

    The Caves of Deception:

    Are we really leaving Plato’s cave when we trip, or just emerging into another, bigger cave?

    The great lesson, the visceral undeniable experience provided by psychedelics, is that there is a cave and we live in it. Whether or not they provide a glimpse of ultimate reality you can never be so dogmatic about normal reality again.

Comments are closed.