Links 7/5/18

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Embryo breakthrough ‘can save northern white rhino’ BBC

America Celebrates Lateral Move From Monarchy To Corporate Rule Consortiumnews (Randy K)

Ex-Navy SEAL predicts fatalities if Thai kids dive CNN (Leroy R). He has better ideas. See vlade yesterday (here and here) for detail as to why having the boys “dive” out (which seems like a misnomer) is a terrible idea.

Uranus hit by huge object that tilted it to the side, scientists find Independent (Kevin W)

Plugspreading is an abomination and it must end today CNET. Haha, this is a pet peeve of mine! Glad to see a rant about it.

Consumer Reports launches special campaign to call out Comcast’s hidden fees Salon

Heat wave kills 19 in Canada PhysOrg :-(

Victims blame FDA for food-recall failures Politico

Financing the war on cancer VoxEU

Patriotism requires skepticism about military action, not blanket enthusiasm Big Think

North Korea

Book Review: Patriots, Traitors and Empires—The Story of Korea’s Struggle for Freedom, by Stephen Gowans Zero Anthropology (UserFriendly)

Mike Pompeo under pressure to secure nuclear progress in North Korea visit Guardian

India must ditch rice to feed growing population, scientists warn Independent (Kevin W)


Jaguar Land Rover: Brexit threatens plan to spend $100 billion in UK CNN

May Pays Penalty as England World Cup Glory Turns Into Headache Bloomberg (JTM)

Corbyn says class still matters in politics BBC. I’m amazed he thinks he has to remind people…

Trump repeatedly suggested invading Venezuela, stunning top aides – report Guardian (Kevin W)

New Cold War

UK counter-terrorism police confirm couple poisoned by nerve agent Novichok Kevin W: “Just in time for that NATO Summit next week.”

The Amesbury Mystery Craig Murray

Eagle-meets-Bear and the tug-of-war over Syria Asia Times

No Fifth Column in the Kremlin? Think again!, by The Saker The Unz Review. Chuck L: “A money quote”:

Now let’s connect all the dots: there is a pro-western (in realty, western-controlled) faction inside the government which is financing those who are attempting to overthrow Putin by making him unpopular with the Russian general public (which overwhelmingly opposes “liberal” economic policies and which despises the Russian liberal elites) by constantly forcing him into liberal economic policies which he clearly does not like (he declared himself categorically opposed to such policies in 2005) and the so-called “patriotic media” is covering it all up. And Putin cannot change this without shedding blood.


Feeding the Monster: Washington’s spinelessness enables Israeli brutality Unz Review. Chuck L flags this section:

Five hours later, when I arrived home in Virginia I went to pull up the article I had read in the morning to possibly use it in a piece of my own and was somewhat surprised to discover that the bit about Israel had been excised from the text. It was clearly yet another example of how the media self-censors when there is anything negative to say about Israel and it underlines the significance of the emergence of recent international media reporting in The Guardian and elsewhere regarding how Jewish billionaire Sheldon Adelson largely dictates U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. That means that the conspiracy of silence over Israel’s manipulation of the United States government is beginning to break down and journalists have become bold enough to challenge what occurs when pro-Israel Jews obtain real power over the political process. Adelson, for what it’s worth, wants war with Iran and has even suggested detonating a nuclear device on its soil to “send a message.”

Israel set to raze West Bank village despite backlash Middle East Online


Macron warning on Africa migrant centres BBC

Turkish-Syrian Border: Confusion, Destruction and Grief Dissident Voice (Selva)

Parents Facing Deportation Are Asked to Decide Whether Children Go Too Wall Street Journal

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Firefox and Chrome Pull Popular Browser Extension Stylish From Their Stores After Report Claimed It Logs and Shares Browsing History, Credentials Slashdot

Germany’s top telecoms regulator has US tech groups in its sights Financial Times

Tariff Tantrum

German Carmakers Meet U.S. Envoy Over Trade Threat Bloomberg

Millennials’ favourite gadgets dragged into trade war Financial Times

China: U.S. Will Shoot Itself in the Foot If It Pulls the Tariff Trigger Wall Street Journal

China and US: the tech fear behind Donald Trump’s trade war Financial Times

Global economy in jeopardy because of trade war between US, China and EU, warns WTO Independent

Shock EU Court Decision Strikes Blow Against Investment Arbitration Angry Bear

Trump Transition

Scott Pruitt directly asked Donald Trump to replace Jeff Sessions with him CNN (UserFriendly)


With Little Leverage on Court Pick, Dems Eye Plan B RealClearPolitics (UserFriendly)

New Poll Shows that Most Americans Still Support Roe v. Wade HelloGiggles (UserFriendly)

Progressives poised to shape agenda if Dems take back House The Hill

Fake News

Is Facebook a publisher? In public it says no, but in court it says yes Guardian. Someone tell Congress…

‘Slo-Mo Credit Crunch’ Has Already Taken Hold, Bond Guru Says Bloomberg

Class Warfare

Hard-up estate agents forced to live in cosy, characterful properties Daily Mash

Why it matters: 23% of Americans have no emergency savings Axios. This is less dire than other data I’ve seen.

‘It’s like the death of a loved one’: as stores close, retail workers lose out to big tech Guardian

Is it great to be a worker in the U.S.? Not compared with the rest of the developed world. Washington Post (Kevin W)

The Alt-Right, the Ctrl-Left, and the Esc-Center Ecosophia. UserFriendy: “Also wanted to highlight this comment. It’s spot on.​”

The Best Paying Jobs Aren’t In Silicon Valley SafeHaven

Social Demand Philosopher (Anthony L). From 2016, still very much germane. I only gave it a quick skim and hope to have time to read it carefully.

Antidote du jour. Tracie H: “Turtle yoga.”

Oops, initially duplicated yesterday’s bonus video. Fixed:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Darius

    Someone appears to have gotten to Krugman in 2011, or so. Maybe he wanted to get invitations to the White House and have Barack smile at him.

    Nevertheless, I think full employment is a better policy than a jobs guarantee. Perhaps a jobs guarantee is a tool to maintain full employment. But it is one aspect of redistributive policies.

    1. Livius Drusus

      We should at least revive Nixon’s revenue sharing policy where the Feds gave the states money to spend. That would help with maintaining full employment. Under Obama there was a lot of austerity at the state and local level. Many of these jobs were fairly decent in terms of pay and benefits and have been replaced by crummy gig jobs or other low-wage, no benefit jobs.

      1. Carla

        If the Feds give more money to Ohio, the Republican Governor and the ALEC-run legislature won’t spend it; they’ll just hoard it and then siphon it off into phony “public-private” projects that further enrich their buddies.

        P.S. Our current Republican Governor Kasich is about to be replaced by forever-politico Mike DeWine, another Republican. Establishment Dem candidate Richard Cordray has barely even risen to the level of visibility.

        1. Julia Versau

          Amen, Carla!
          I live in Indiana, in the heart of what I now call “District 12” [Hunger Games] which includes Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. Total Koch Bros country, all horrific GOP governors and captured politicians. You are correct that any monies given these malefactors would go into pockets very far from the citizens’.

          1. Olga

            Which begs the question – why are the good folks in the area voting for these captured politicians? What will it take for people to wake up? Or is the country just lost…?

            1. Wukchumni

              It’s no different than the voting bloc here that returns Devin Nunes & Kevin McCarthy to their congress seats with large pluralities, that is despite the to the right of right voters in an Ag capacity being under attack by tariffs by the hard right.

        2. Big River Bandido

          Indeed. This is precisely why Nixon introduced the concept of “revenue-sharing” in the first place. It allows states and localities to allocate the funds where they see fit thus avoiding pesky federal mandates for specific programs that serve people they don’t like.

    2. Samuel Conner

      “Full employment” is a policy goal. “Federal Job Guarantee” is a possible policy instrument in pursuit of that goal. The two are not comparable.

      There are other possible policy instruments, such as “monetary policy” (though by now we know that this is not a policy instrument that is of much use in achieving the policy goal of “full employment”), “fiscal stimulus (directed toward private sector)”, etc.

      FJG may be the least intrusive and most effective of the options available.

      1. Jean

        How about a guaranteed job for any able bodied person who applies for welfare?
        They may not like it, but they can take it or leave it.

        Stop importing foreigners to do the “jobs that Americans won’t do.*”

        *Except agricultural workers who can get paid after they return home.

        1. bones

          *Except agricultural workers who can get paid after they return home.

          Great idea…Not! That sort of system would leave workers open to the worst sorts of abuse. Have you ever read about company towns and workers being payed with script? What you’re advocating is no different.

        2. marym

          Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort requests permission to hire 40 foreign workers

          The Palm Beach resort wants to hire waiters and waitresses who would be employed using H-2B visas, which businesses typically obtain if they can establish that there are not enough American workers able or willing to fill the temporary positions.

          Last year, Mar-a-Lago was granted permission to hire 70 foreign workers to serve as maids, cooks and servers during the 2017-2018 tourist season.

    3. Pat

      Any requirements for what constitutes “full employment”?

      Just for the record, I think both jobs guarantee and full employment are boondoggles that are meant to deflect from a basic guaranteed income. Not that that wouldn’t be gamed like minimum wage was. I just believe it would be a lot easier to start with standards for the other two which do not begin to address the joint issues of not enough jobs and jobs not paying enough, maybe even making it harder to get help because your part time no benefit minimum wage job is considered full and adequate and guaranteed.

      Think of it as health care reform being redesigned to a health insurance bail out for profit health care profits booster and calling it the Affordable Care Act.

      1. Roger Smith

        I agree. Both reframe within the context of the “elbow grease–American Dream” mentality, which we know is bogus. Framing this by the job market only allows for 12 million gig jobs to be created so that people like Krugman and worse can report that “Jobs are there, people just don’t want them”. Well it is no wonder right? Starbucks won’t support a citizens life.

        1. Julia Versau

          Agreed, Roger. I’m reminded of a particularly painful period in my life in the economic downturn when friends encouraged me to take an AmeriCorps gig. It’s a fed program administered through United Way agencies in many places. The monthly take home was $821. My rent alone at the time was $860 (and about the most affordable to be found where I live).

          There were no benefits. The AmeriCorps coordinator said she wished the stint paid more, adding, “But hey — you’ll qualify for food stamps!”

          Worst of all, they tapped my skills to satisfy a client who wanted slave labor; hosted ridiculous monthly meetings that were a waste of time; and had a daily/bi-weekly time accounting sheet designed by a Rube Goldberg wannabe. Needless to say, the United Way execs here make beaucoup bucks, as did the coordinator (all money rises to the top, everywhere).

          Since then, I have realized that government intervention in job creation that is equitable, fair, living wage with benefits work would require very different leaders/politicians (federal, state, and local) than we have now. I am not fundamentally anti-government, believing that government is simply a structure for taking care of ourselves. But it’s so captured it no longer works. My economic injury was treated with a heavy dose of added insult.

          1. Roger Smith

            I hope things are better now. I am glad you make the distinction between government as a process and not as defined by contemporary (or historical) implementation. The failure for people to fail to see the difference between idea and implementation is a pervasive one.

        2. JBird

          Between all the roads, bridges, freeways, trains, subways, and dams not being built, repaired, or even maintained, the hidden destruction of the entire federal, state, and municipal governmental bureaucracy at all levels aside from the police/military state, the closure, or staffing cutbacks, of medical facilities across the entire United States especially in the country, the destruction of most of manufacturing, including R&D, especially in clothing, furniture, electronics, machine tools, glassware, the crapification and union busting of the trades, and of construction in general. How about daycare, teachers, and eldercare?

          All of this at the top of my head and which is mostly hidden from the top 9.9% but is glaring to most everyone else. Much of the unemployment is not from automation, or from laziness, or even from lack of pay, it is from the elimination of much of the work needed for this society to function.

          1. Jean

            Why not combine the Pentagon budget with federal public works?
            One big pool of tax money that can be drawn from for weapons, troops or bridges.
            Dams, roads and infrastructure are part of national security too.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Maybe we can rebuild Ike from his DNA and have him run as a Democrat, he’d be to the left of Bernie on tax, foreign policy, infrastructure, military, health care…

      1. Solar Hero

        One of my standards is the classic “You Promised the Moon (But I Prefer Uranus)”

  2. Montanamaven

    I got a Twitter from David Graebers feed. He has co written a book that has had little exposure. Sounds really intriguing as all of his books are. On Kings

  3. Livius Drusus

    Re: Why it matters: 23% of Americans have no emergency savings. Axios. This is less dire than other data I’ve seen.

    Yeah the numbers I have seen in other articles are much worse. Maybe it depends on how the question is worded. I could see people saving more these days because there is a general feeling that we are due for another recession very soon and that it will be a bad one.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The percentage would depend on the emergency savings amount, no?

      At $400, you get one number.

      At $40, you will get another number.

      1. Expat

        Good question. How much should it be? For what?
        If it’s evacuation money (hurricane, earthquake, etc.) then it’s two tanks of gas, one week of food, one week of motel room, change of clothes, and some candy (cuz you gotta have candy at a time like that). $1000-$1500?
        If it’s home repair, then what? $2000 for new heater, boiler, or roof repair?
        if it’s medical care, then it’s anywhere from $3000 to $50,000.
        If you are a 1%,then you don’t worry. Emergencies are for poor, smelly people. 1%er’s jet off to Gstaad in the winter or Cannes in the summer and stay until the emergency at home is over.

    2. DonCoyote

      The BankRate survey Axios reports on seems more concerned with saver shaming (“people aren’t saving enough but somehow aren’t worried enough about it”).

      OK, quick web search, and we have four years of surveys (2015-2018) and two measures ($0 savings and <$1000 savings, which includes the $0 savings). The 2015-2017 data are all GoBankingRate surveys, collected through Google Consumer Surveys, seemingly online. 2018 data is BakingRate, collected via phone survey (landline and cell), and doesn't include the 5000; $0: 28%; 7000; $0: 34%; 8000; $0: 39%; 1000; $0: 23%;

      My take: not sure which sampling method is better overall, but…if you’re really at $0 savings, do you have a phone and reliable phone service and willing to answer a call from an unknown number that’s probably a bill collector? My gut (truthiness) says no. So I like the GoBankingRate survey better, because of less bad sampling (for the questions being asked), bigger samples, better way to ask questions (again, my gut is a lot of people don’t know what 3 or 6 months savings is, but they know how much liquid cash they have) and less survey-taker shaming attitude. Plus bonus points for asking the same survey over multiple years.

      And notice how the percent with $0 savings has grown over the three years? Even among the 90%, there are have-a-littles vs have-nots (and even have-a-little-more). As Lambert would say, if you’re have-a-little, one medical emergency or big car repair = $0 and Pain City vs lucky stretch = have-a-little-more = Happierville. But the Pain City population keeps rising…

      1. DonCoyote

        Not sure what happened to the formatting (I think I was using the less than sign and it assumed these were malformed html tags) on the actual data (and the under $1000 includes the $0:

        $0 is 28% and under $1000 is 64% in 2015.
        $0 is 34% and under $1000 is 69% in 2016.
        $0 is 39% and under $1000 is 57% in 2017.
        $0 is 23% (different survey, smaller N, different methodology and questions) in 2018.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “Plugspreading is an abomination and it must end today CNET.”

    When I read that headline, I did not know what it was talking about. The word itself sounded pretty obscene and when I read the story, realized that I was right. It’s just that it was a different sort of obscene.

    Just for a bit of fun, I found a map showing the world wide spread of regular plugs. More complicated than I would have figured-

    1. Louis Fyne

      of all the things that should be regulated (from a cost-benefits POV), but aren’t…plugs!

      To the extent possible given voltage/amps, all small electronics should use the USB cords.

      Maybe create a “macro-USB” near-universal plug for larger appliances.

    2. Big River Bandido

      Musicians have long had a better name for these things: wall warts.

      The picture of the Apple converter: this example is not of poor design, but facepalm stupidity by a user. The Apple power converter comes with a detachable 3-prong cable, which plugs very efficiently into that 3-prong outlet in the photo. To ignore such an obvious, standard solution suggests willful ignorance, and that makes me suspect. The example is so phony and contrived that I distrust the other examples pictured (which are unfamiliar to me) — even as I agree with the article’s basic premise that companies should not make wall warts.

      1. Lord Koos

        Yes us musicians have called them wall warts for years. I don’t undersrtand why companies can’t put the transformer in the middle of the cable (like most laptop power supplies) instead of at the wall end.

        1. RMO

          Why? Because it’s cheaper to make them that way. So far my favorite for boneheaded decisions was with some Ibanez guitar effects. They were offering their more traditional line (made by Maxxon in Japan) and the lower cost Soundtank line (made in Taiwan). Both used either a 9V battery or a 9V wall wart with the same concentric socket on the effect. But the polarity of the two product lines were opposite to each other: one was +ring and -tip, the other -ring and +tip. Several times I heard an expletive and smelled the “magic smoke” escaping from the circuitry when a customer wanted to try out an Ibanez effect and plugged it into an Ibanez wall wart, but had unfortunately been given the wrong variety of Ibanez wall wart. Don’t even get me started on how I think the big auto manufacturers should have standardized on an jump start socket format ages ago so we wouldn’t have to play around with big spark crating Dr. Frankenstein alligator clip cables when a car battery dies.

    3. Elizabeth Burton

      Aren’t those big plugs because the manufacturers don’t want to burden the user with dual cords, such as many Windows-using PCs come with? However, as is always the case, instead of stepping back a moment to consider how those cables will be used in the real world, and perhaps putting the converter block down-wire seven or so inches, they just cram it all into the plug.

      As for having all small gadgets use USB, that doesn’t help because most USB plus are also space-hogs, unless you use a block, which may or may not come with sufficient USB sockets for everything. Trust me—I know.

    4. Kurt Sperry

      You can use Italian plugs in the rest of the EU provided it doesn’t require an earth/ground tine.

    5. ewmayer

      Re. plugspreading: Another pet peeve of mine in this vein – the failure by makers of many/most large e-gizmos to simply spend a few cents and ADD A GODDAMNED PLUG ON THE BACK OF THEIR GIZMO TO MAKE UP FOR THE ONE (or more, if a plugspreading-gizmo ), IT TAKES UP. When I buy a stereo/home-entertainment main-unit receiver/amplifier, I expect multiple plugs in back so I can plug associated devices in there and have the whole shebang come to life based on power-on of the main unit. Such plugs typically come in 2 flavors, ‘switched’ and ‘unswitched’, the former for associated devices, the latter as a built-in spare plug which always has power as long as the main unit is plugged in.

      Now for e.g. PCs, especially the large ones in cases, one expects to need to plug in at least a monitor – yet no ATX case I have ever seen has even a single plug for that in back. Fvckers.


      1. Lord Koos

        I have owned at least one desktop computer with a power supply that had an extra “courtesy” plug receptacle on the back of the case.

        1. ewmayer

          Good for you – my point is that this should be standard, not something you have to go out of your way to look for.

          (IOW, “how dare you, sir, attempt to ruin my perfectly sound rant with your ugly ‘facts’?” :)

  5. zagonostra

    Refer: Social Demand.

    “In countries governed by consent, there are at least five broad classes of institutions involved in the delivery of social services: (a) The governments themselves. In social democracies the governments represent the people, and one of their primary concerns must be to administer these institutions in the public interest.”

    I got hung on (a) above so I never made it to (e). Our good author/philosopher is not taking into account in his analysis recent studies studies such as that Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page or older analysis such as that of Marx that sees governments functioning as the “executive committee of the ruling elites.”

    Enjoy political theory, but it has to be grounded in the concrete specific reality.

    1. Louis Fyne

      yes! (10+ years ago streets already were tolerably dirty in SF) now? bleh.

      can you imagine a person finding a literal 20-lbs bag of human waste in Tokyo?

      1. Expat

        San Fran has gone downhill since the Summer of Love. Back then, it was wasted humans instead of human waste.

      2. Wukchumni

        If you’re homeless in San Francisco
        On the cutting edge of despair
        If you’re homeless in San Francisco
        You’re gonna meet some domicile-less people there
        For those who come to San Francisco
        There will be a live-in there
        In the streets of San Francisco
        Forgotten people living on their lair

        All across the nation
        Such a strange vibration
        People in motion
        There’s a whole generation
        With less expectations
        People in motion
        People in motion

        For those who come to San Francisco
        Be sure to use the bathroom anywhere
        If you come to San Francisco
        Summertime will be a live-in there
        If you come to San Francisco
        Summertime will be a live-in there

      3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Not really a sanctuary* for homeless Americans.

        They will not work farm or similar jobs.

        But a working sanctuary for foreign workers who will take jobs Americans ‘won’t.’

        Is this the key difference in how they are treated by SF? Because these Americans are no longer useful???

        1. Jean

          I read that the ‘homeless” are used to lower property values so that the in-crowd can buy it cheap. Once they own it, the police move the bums a few blocks away and the city institutes a tax forgiveness program that allows billionaires to avoid the 1.5% payroll tax which includes stock options AFAIK.

          Why do you think Twitter is headquartered in the midst of the Tenderloin?

              1. Wukchumni

                I see homeless people everywhere I go in the big cities of California including many living cheek by jowl in proximity to well, everything.

                Is everybody on the take, in terms of crummyfying their hood, in order to lower property taxes?

              2. Jean

                Thank you Lambert for your tireless work here…



                My thesis, old time property owners, (descendants of original Gold Rush (1840s) families) see homeless ruin the viability of their retail spaces. They sell out cheap.

                Once new politically connected buyers own property, police presence assures their investment. Problem is, there are so many homeless and other recent arrivals pouring in now that no one can control it, to and including the police.


  6. Expat

    -pffft- *giggle* [Makes joke about the planetary tilt headline] *giggles some more*

  7. JTMcPhee

    Re the Ctrl-Alt-Esc piece by John Michael Greer, is he a Libertarian or what? Sounds a lot like vintage Ron Paul.

    1. diptherio

      Why the desire to categorize? Why not address the content of the piece rather than asking which abstract conceptual category he best fits in? And for the record, he’s referred to himself as a “Burkean Conservative” before, as well as an ecologist and druid…

    2. Massinissa

      Assigning labels to his work without actually addressing the contents is exactly the sort of behavior he is complaining about.

  8. Skip in DC

    Regarding Syraqistan/Feeding the Monster: Washington’s spinelessness enables Israeli brutality

    Since 2014 there have been annual conferences examining Israel’s influence on US foreign policy and the damage done to what is in the best interests of the US, and for that matter of Israel, in part through the horrors perpetrated on the Palestinians. These conferences are timed to precede the yearly AIPAC extravaganza in Washington, a fandango which gets considerable press coverage, at which guest speakers like Niki Haley and members of Congress try to outdo each other swearing fidelity as thugs for Nut’nyahoo.

    By contrast, the conference critical of AIPAC influence on America is almost universally ignored by mainstream media, including the NY Times and WaPo. It’s ignored despite being held spitting distance from the White House in the National Press Club’s main hall before a packed crowd, with credible guest speakers including academics, authors, former members of Congress, former intelligence officials, journalists (including Gideon Levy of Haaretz), and knowledgeable former insiders like Col. Larry Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s former chief of staff. The revelations on the techniques and impacts of influence are alarming and it is journalistic malpractice that the mainstream deliberately averts its gaze.

    For those curious as to what they are missing, transcripts, audio and video for the latest and for prior conferences can be found if one does a search for The Israel Lobby and American Policy Conference.

  9. Steve H.

    > The Alt-Right, the Ctrl-Left, and the Esc-Center

    Reflections on recent NC links to ‘resilient systems’ v ‘strong amplifiers of natural selection’:

    : Both advance with heterogeneity (‘hub-&-spoke’ or ‘root-%-branch’).
    : Resilience is increased by high density (high interconnectivity between nodes, ‘nets’), while mutations increase with isolated branches (‘chains’).
    : Resilience increases with symmetry (links without arrows), while amplification maps to directed graphs oriented toward the hub.
    : Self-looping nodes are necessary for amplification.

    This last point can be considered “a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens” [Mead], or when a “process of isolation is essentially the imposition of insanity on a group” [Boyd], doing the same thing over and over again. Depends on your perspective. In the case of the DNC core this would be megabucks donors continuing to emit dollar signals.

    Symmetry can be considered a group of friends, where everyone talks about the same amount of time, regardless of distribution. Amplification happens when directionality is toward the hub. A sad example is parasites in salmon, which migrated downstream to the ocean, spread there, and then went upstream to multiple river branches.

    Note that the opposite of amplification is what the msm does, millions of directed communications outward from the hub with little input coming back. That’s how you suppress change.

    Another point is that “strong amplifiers can only exist in the limit of large population size.” Resilient systems require symmetry, which limits the size of high-exchange relationships and selects for a smaller group of committed nodes. Adaptive systems benefit from high n, which relates to what Greer calls Esc-Center. “Everybody in, nobody out.”

  10. Wukchumni

    Heat wave kills 19 in Canada PhysOrg

    Supposed to be 105-110 degrees here on the weekend, and the newest addition to our climate is higher humidity, I was listening to NOAA radio yesterday and Hanford in the Central Valley was @ 70% humidity, and that ain’t right.

    1. Oregoncharles

      Having grown up in southern Indiana, I can assure you that 70% humidity is luxury.

      OTOH, I’m now spoiled by Oregon’s low summer humidities and generally mild temperatures (around 80 this week, just so you’re properly envious).

      1. ambrit

        You fiend! I just mowed the front lawn, (got to keep the ‘aspirationals happy,) and it was 87 F and 75 percent humidity. Only silver lining is that the grass and greenery grows quickly this time of year. I hope that it all is putting off lots of oxygen.

  11. Wukchumni

    Trump repeatedly suggested invading Venezuela, stunning top aides – report Guardian
    Simón says invade.

  12. Quanka

    If you read all the way to the end of the Angry Bear post – the key fact to understanding US media today is buried.

    You hadn’t heard this news, you say? Despite happening over three months ago, the reporting is restricted almost exclusively to legal and arbitration blogs, almost all European, with nary a peep from the mass media. According to my searches of their websites, there was nothing at the NYT, CNN, the Washington Post, the BBC (!), the Financial Times (!!), Associated Press, and other sources. The only major news source I am sure picked it up is Reuters (European, of course). Let’s hope a few more people hear about it now.

  13. Wukchumni

    Adelson, for what it’s worth, wants war with Iran and has even suggested detonating a nuclear device on its soil to “send a message.”
    The claim is that Iran hacked the Sands Casino, and it must’ve so upset Adelson, that he kept the news under wraps for about a year, but if I was say Israeli hackers playing like I was casting aspersions, why that’d work too.

    Most gamblers were still asleep, and the gondoliers had yet to pole their way down the ersatz canal in front of the Venetian casino on the Las Vegas Strip. But early on the chilly morning of Feb. 10, just above the casino floor, the offices of the world’s largest gaming company were gripped by chaos. Computers were flatlining, e-mail was down, most phones didn’t work, and several of the technology systems that help run the $14 billion operation had sputtered to a halt.

    Investigators from Dell SecureWorks working for Sands have concluded that the February attack was likely the work of “hacktivists” based in Iran, according to documents obtained by . The security team couldn’t determine if Iran’s government played a role, but it’s unlikely that any hackers inside the country could pull off an attack of that scope without its knowledge, given the close scrutiny of Internet use within its borders. “This isn’t the kind of business you can get into in Iran without the government knowing,”

    1. Lord Koos

      They hack Adelson’s computers, and he wants to drop a nuclear bomb on their country in retaliation… seems fair.

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    China: US will shoot itself in foot…

    The caring reminder from Beijing doesn’t seem like something Hanxin (the great general during the Chu-Han Contention 2,000 years ago) would do. From his Wikipedia page:

    After his appointment, Han Xin analysed the situation for Liu Bang and devised a plan for Liu to conquer Xiang Yu’s Western Chu kingdom. In late 206 BC, Liu Bang’s forces left Hanzhong and prepared to attack the Three Qins in Guanzhong. Han Xin ordered some soldiers to pretend to repair the gallery roads linking Guanzhong and Hanzhong, while sending another army to secretly pass through Chencang and make a surprise attack on Zhang Han . Zhang Han was caught off guard and the Han forces emerged victorious, proceeding to take over Sima Xin and Dong Yi’s kingdoms. The strategy employed by Han Xin, known as mingxiu zhandao, andu Chencang (明修棧道, 暗度陳倉; lit. “appearing to repair the gallery roads while making secret advances through Chencang”), became one of the Thirty-Six Stratagems


  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Millennials’ favourite gadgets dragged into trade war Financial Times

    Gadgets = toys —–> kids, or adults who are still kids.

    The headline seems to say, ‘oh, no. Kids will be without toys…..time to surrender.’

  16. The Rev Kev

    “May Pays Penalty as England World Cup Glory Turns Into Headache”

    Does this mean that Corbyn could say that, gasp, May is unpatriotic and is not supporting England’s team? What if a photo appeared of Corbyn with the England team? That could get embarrassing for Her Majesty’s Government. What if England won the FIFA Cup? Would May have to meet with them upon their return?

  17. Expat

    Trade Wars:
    When Trump supporters go to Walmart to buy a new tv or toaster oven, they will be shocked to discover that it’s either out of stock or twice the price from the week before. Will they pay up with a smile and savor the images on Fox News showing shuttered Chinese factories and collapsing stock markets?

    I doubt it. They already suppose that China is doomed to fail since it is commie and everyone is poor, rides around on bicycles and gets arrested and tortured at least twice a week. But take away a white man’s cheap plastic crap, toys and appliances and you will hit him hard! If only China were the number one supplier of hand guns!

    China might not want a trade war but it is better equipped to deal with one. Years ago I got into an argument with bosses about Chinese gasoil imports. I suggested that they would cut them off shortly for a variety of reasons. They laughed at me and said they could not and wouldn’t dare try. Two weeks later they did. That was nearly twenty years ago, though, and China has changed. What will happen to their resolved when the ruling class loses 50% of their wealth in a market crash?

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Thinking long term…Made in China 2025…taking a step back to gain victory down the road.

      It doesn’t seem like long term, for which many other cultures are famous for – Japan, China, Persia, etc – when 2025 is only 7 years away.

      The great strategy of trading land to buy time – The Tsar and the Soviets did it, against Napoleon and the Wehrmacht, and the Nationalists did too. From Wikipedia, on Jiang Baili, a Chinese general not often mentioned:

      In the summer of 1937, Jiang wrote Treatise on National Defence (國防論), in which he proposed that if war broke out between China and Japan, China cannot win in the short term so it should try to wear down Japan over the long term. In September 1937, he was appointed as Chiang Kai-shek’s special ambassador on official visits to Germany and Italy. After returning to China, he wrote The Japanese (日本人) and Basic Perspectives on a War of Resistance (抗戰的基本觀念) to explain his views on how China would eventually win in a war against Japan.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      If the Trump supporters who shop at Walmart (remember that Trump voters had a higher median income than Clinton voters) are ticked off that prices have gone up, hopefully they will start demanding a raise. And then striking when they don’t get one. And then winning.

      As I noted yesterday, Trump may be going about this for all the wrong reasons, but the broken clock analogy may be very apt in this case and the trade war could wind up doing some real good.

      1. Expat

        But why would Trump supporters strike? Striking is banding together with fellow workers to force management and owners to change policy. THAT sounds dangerously like SOCIALISM to me!

        Ah, but the same people who you want to go on strike are the ones who stood by and watched the unions get gutted. There are no more unions left to organize strikes. You can’t strike if you don’t have savings or a union war chest to feed your family. Whoops! I guess being left wing has its advantages after all.

        Given the real rate of employment, I suspect that there are plenty of workers out there looking for full time jobs. In any case, do you really think The Donald will back striking workers whining about higher prices for American made goods?

    3. kareninca

      The Trump supporters I know – perhaps a representative group, perhaps not – want manufacturing to return to the U.S.. They understand that that will mean higher prices, but it is worth it to them to get the jobs back. They would (in my experience) argue that there is a transition period – China’s products have to become more expensive for it to make sense to manufacture in the U.S.. The factories won’t be built in a day.

      I wouldn’t count myself as a Trump supporter, but I want the manufacturing back, too. The cheap plastic cr** does no-one in the U.S. good. Microwave ovens are a better example than toasters. You can no longer buy a reliable microwave oven; they are all made by a few places in China and they are all cr** and they all are likely to break soon. I’m actually going to be seeking out an old used one, for this reason. I would love it if I could buy the microwave equivalent of a Speed Queen washing machine. I bought one; it was built in Wisconsin; it was not especially expensive and it is reliable, unlike the horrible imported ones I’d bought.

      1. Expat

        I admire your optimism. If the price of Chinese crap rises high enough to justify making it in the US, why would you suppose that US manufacturers would make high-quality products? The premise is that we raise the price enough to justify making the same product in the US with US costs and profits. So the $25 toaster will be exactly the same crap but cost $50. If tariffs raise prices to $100, then US toaster makers will be the Queens of the Stock Market and their CEO’s will become billionaires.

        If Americans really wanted expensive, high quality products, they would have paid for them and kept those companies in business. Americans, like everyone else, want cheap products. Besides, who even remembers when washing machines lasted thirty years and could be repaired instead of replaced?

        The days of “American” quality are over. Detroit is a fine example, as is Silicon Valley. Trump’s tariffs will only screw over citizens of both countries.

  18. MC

    There’s always this scolding tone when economists or finance people talk about personal savings rate, as if everyone (especially young people) are just out here lighting money on fire on frivolous things when in reality wages for most people can’t keep up with the cost of living and those with wage growth are often also straddled a level of debt in their early career that would have been unfathomable a few generations ago. Do they ever ask if people have had to dig into their emergency fund recently and haven’t had the opportunity to build it back up because their life is still on fire?
    For example, my fiance and I had to move 4 times last year which dented our emergency fund. We keep our finances separate for now, so on paper I actually have more money in my savings account than he does, even though he makes more than twice what I do. I’m actively saving to build up my 6+ month savings while I still have a consistent salary because my full time teaching contract did not get renewed (thanks, austerity policies!) so I’m back to adjunct hell in the fall. Right now I’ve got enough money to keep my head above water if my life goes nuclear (break up + another move + unemployment) for about 3 months, and to pay my share of the bills if I can’t land work for 5+. It is extremely unlikely my life will go nuclear, but it’s pretty high probability I won’t have income for months at a time. I expect my small pile of money to be depleted by the time my fiances finishes residency and starts making good money next year. At which point we need to start paying off his med school debts in earnest, potentially buy a house and pay for a wedding (not my idea, he comes from a big family and it’s the expectation). We will be fine in the next year and more than fine after, but it’s this sort of maddening trap most people fall into of living paycheck to paycheck or just barely balancing a mountain of debt.
    These savings rate snap shots are good overall indicators, but when you do a deep dive into people’s finances you still see massive cracks in the foundation young people are trying to build for themselves–even when they do everything “right”.

    1. zagonostra

      I am curious about what you do about healthcare insurance during unemployment intervals. When I’ve been in similar situations it was the single most stressful part of making to the next safe harbor.

      The whole system seems to conspire against being able to save for the future or for emergencies.

      1. MC

        Well, “thankfully” I’ll be making so little as an adjunct I’ll qualify for medicaid! otherwise I’ll buy one of the catastrophic plans from the healthcare exchange and have my fiance patch me up if it’s nothing too serious, which is one of the fringe benefits of living with a doctor that obviously most people don’t have access to. At least in Ohio, you can get a catastrophic plan for $150. It’s terrible insurance, but I’m a low user and I have actually very few other bills beyond housing costs so I can swing it.

    1. Expat

      Interesting. Rice cultivation uses a lot of water but techniques are improving. It won’t be easy to change things either. India’s population is largely rural and under-educated. Getting them to either switch to millet or change thousand-year-old cultivation methods for rice will be nearly impossible.
      In any case, if the premise is that India will add 400 million by 2050, I don’t think the solution is switching to millet. It’s probably more about switching to Soylent Green.

      1. kareninca

        A person can be highly educated and still not want to eat millet. Since it is horrible. Not everything is about education and ignorance.

        1. Expat

          That was not my point and I resent the way you presented it. India’s uneducated and rural population is not aware of the global water problem, ignorant of the benefits of millet, and likely to resent and resist government attempts to force to them change behaviors that have been passed down for generations.

          And I disagree. It’s ALL about education and ignorance…everything is about that. It doesn’t matter if millet is disgusting. It doesn’t matter if you like parking on the train tracks. It doesn’t matter if you believe vaccines cause cancer. Reality doesn’t care so you should learn about reality. Indian peasants need to be educated, which will take longer to achieve than having them die out from continuing traditional rice culture.

    2. Felix_47

      It was interesting that there was not a single comment on population control. An evolving disaster…..the dystopian future…..

      1. Elizabeth Burton

        Or perhaps those who advocate it might consider that “population control” strikes most people as a more dystopian concept. If you seriously want to educate people on the concept, a term that doesn’t suggest a force of reproduction police enforcing sterilization and issuing licenses to have offspring might be more effective.

        1. oh

          It was tried before by none other than Indira Gandhi 9and her enforcer son), the prime minister of India some 40+ years ago and it led to revolt.

          India may need better irrigation systems and farming techniques to increase rice production. Quie a large number of poor Indians eat a bowl of rice as their only meal of the day, I don’t think millets would go over too big.

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      I am having trouble imagining the taste of a spicy millet biryani. I am surprised at the push for growing millet instead of maize (corn?). Have the authors of this study ever eaten a bowl of millet?

      1. JTMcPhee

        And the New Rice is so very tasty in Indian cuisine, thanks to all the interventions that prop up its production, like GMO and marketing and debt creation leading to farmer suicide and such, so we get this,

        I am not much of a cook, certainly not of bespoke Indian dishes, but I bet a good cook or chef could produce millet/based dishes that would satisfy the most special-snowflake palate. At least there’s a whole bunch of web entries for books and recipes for Indian millet dishes, here’s one such: Of course Monsanto and 10%ers are not pleased…

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          Millet isn’t all that different than basmati rice except that basmati rice has flavor — so you just need to dump a little of your favorite chutney on top of your millet glob.

      2. oh

        These guys probably haven’t and what’s more, they’re only looking at their book knowledge on water requirements rather than the culture. They don’t understand what a tall order a change of diet would pose for most Indians.

      3. kareninca

        “Have the authors of this study ever eaten a bowl of millet?”

        I have tried. It is horrible. People eat rice for a reason; it is digestible. Even corn/maize is not all that digestible to a lot of people.

  19. The Rev Kev

    “Shock EU Court Decision Strikes Blow Against Investment Arbitration”

    I seem to recall that Swedish utility Vattenfall is going after German with investment arbitration when Germany announced that they were getting out of nuclear power. Does this mean that countries in the EU that have already been ruled against and have paid can go for a refund as it was paid under an illegal law?

  20. JTMcPhee

    Re the bull elk “rescue:” those guys in the camo hunting gear with their high-tech compound bows and kill-em-quick arrows, how nice of them to pull the bull out of the muck (were they hunting elk to kill, I wonder?) And I watched the video, and they noosed a probably high-strength rope around the elk’s neck to help pull it out, and when the rough beast finally heaved up out of the mire and bolted off, that rope was still around the elk’s neck. To possibly ensnare said elk in some other thicket. So no “Aw, isn’t that nice” from me at least.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Toward the end of the video, they said that the rope wouldn’t be a permanent elk necklace. Or words to that effect.

      And let’s just say that the elk was putting up a pretty good fight. One of the guys got an antler poke in the leg.

  21. DJG

    The Amesbury Mystery. I read yesterday’s news article posted here at NC about the two victims, who didn’t (at least yesterday) seem to have direct connections to the Secret Installations in Salisbury. Murray’s posting today is like the first chapter of a novel. I’m suggesting that Simenon would already have sent in Maigret.

    Two possibilities?
    –Someone at the Secret Installations of Salisbury is send us all a signal. And it isn’t Russia Russia Russia. This seems somehow too complicated to me.

    Using Ockham’s razor (and, lo, I just discovered the good William was born in nearby Surrey–the plot thickens) >>

    –My surmise is that we are seeing a spectacular serial killer with some possible connection to the spying agencies or the high-tech chemical-industrial complex. The Ted Kaczynski of Merrie Olde England.

    And, oh no, Putin wasn’t lying.

    Send in Maigret.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Maigret on UK’s equivalent of H1B visa?

      No thanks. Sherlock is the Deplorables’ choice here.

    2. Arizona Slim

      I’m beginning to think that this is the British equivalent of the post-9/11 American anthrax attacks. Or the Tylenol poisonings that happened during the 1980s.

      In both cases, the perpetrator has never been caught.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Wait, I thought the Tylenol poisonings was just a person trying to axe their spouse and not make it obvious?

    3. a different chris

      I don’t know where “Novichok” came from, but wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t just something from nature, distilled a bit. Those bacteria are our best chemists.

      And having said that, they rarely identify “poisons” by finding some pure droplet and analyzing it down to the atoms. No, they run some tests and see what most closely matches. It can’t be Novichok exactly, otherwise these people would be really, really dead. Right?

      Don’t be surprised if, a year or so from now, they find out that this has a natural cause. Not saying that should make anybody feel any better! Nobodies, like the latest victims, were just written off as druggies and whatnot. Suddenly it happened to respectable (read “middle class white” if this was in the US) people ,so somebody noticed.

      I’m not even saying that some intelligence agent in the deep bowels of Whatever dreamt this up, it’s just said intelligence’s normal idiocy, seeing Russkies under every bed. So these people were somebody They were watching and thus when the Skirpals got sick, conclusions were jumped.

      When competent people finally figure what really is happening in this little corner of Merry Olde Englande, it will come out really, really quietly.

    4. begob

      Simplest explanation is that nerve agent is being placed in blood samples received from Salisbury hospital. Nobody gets hurt. Untraceable by outsiders. Foundation for a massive propaganda campaign.

    5. JTMcPhee

      Who are we mopes to believe? I’d offer the series from bernard at Moon of Alabama. He’s followed and investigated this whole thing pretty closely. Latest entry is here, covering the most recent “incident:”

      Or you could go over to Slate, and drink the Koolaid with the Dembots: Assumption + Narrative = “Truthyish”…

      1. ewmayer

        “Or you could go over to Slate, and drink the Koolaid with the Dembots” — Right, because after the huge international news/propaganda brouhaha which followed the Skripal incident, evil Deplorable Rooskie mastermind V.V. Putin is gonna order his spooks services to use the EXACT SAME method for another poisoning in the same area, because being the eleventy-dimensional geopolitical chess wizard he is, he realizes that the “why would any uber-evil country in its right mind try this twice?” logic will actually work to exonerate him … and I think I just convinced myself that Putin actually *did* do it. :)

  22. Jim Haygood

    Today the 2-year Treasury yields 2.54%; the 10-year 2.82%.

    Subtract the former from the latter, and resulting 2y10y yield curve has shrunk to 28 basis points.

    Which means the next 25 basis point Fed rate hike in September could come close to inverting it.

    Plenty of Fed mongers are chanting, “This time is different” — an inverted yield curve won’t precede a recession, as it has every time before.

    But when they’re dumping bonds at the same time in a crazed attempt to shrink the balance sheet, it does matter. And this time won’t be different.

    Recession 2020: it won’t be ALL Herbert Hoover Trump’s fault. But his gratuitous trade war helped.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If stock markets peak about 7 months before a recession, does it mean you will be invested until at least May 2019 (assuming the 2020 recession starts in January of that year)?

      “Buy more?”

  23. Lobsterman

    I read a lot of JMG (ecosophia), and I get a lot out of it. He’s really good at pointing out where white liberalism is unsuccessful. White liberalism is a mess, because it’s built on rejecting white conservatism (correct) without a lot of understanding of where they’re going long-term. And that’s a hard way to live.

    He’s also apparently completely unaware that there are people who aren’t white people in the world. I mean that sincerely; he seems to think that the backlash against white racism is based on a philosophical difference that doesn’t affect the real world. There’s no acknowledgement that POC exist, work, or vote in meaningful numbers.

    This informs (for example) his opposition to civil rights laws which require public businesses to serve protected classes equally. To him, these are just confusing intellectual exercises which only involve edge cases (hence his foolishness surrounding the Colorado homophobic cake baker). There is (again) no acknowledgement of things like the Green Book, antigay violence, or redlining in his world.

    So I like reading him. But take him with a grain of salt. He’s a very smart man who is good at calling out bad behavior. But his guns are always trained left, because he implicitly buys into the fundamental principle of white supremacy — that only white people matter.

    1. Romancing The Loan

      I referenced the Green Book once in another similarly focused post and got a very condescending reply in return – it does seem to be a big blind spot of his.

    2. RUKidding

      I agree with you about what you term JMG’s “blind spot” on race, ethnicity, etc. He’s a very interesting read and makes me THINK in different ways. He will respond to genuine questions from commenters, which is helpful. I think he makes some very good points, but I agree that his biases skew a lot of his philosopy/writings.

    3. lyman alpha blob

      I thought he hit the nail right on the head with his interpretation of the two Supreme Court decisions. Gay marriage must be legal because not being allowed to marry does do harm – financial harm particularly – so everyone must be given an equal opportunity to marry if marriage is what we’re going to use to decide how to divvy up the spoils of a particular family.

      The decision in favor of the baker is also correct because from my understanding it only says the baker doesn’t have to produce them a cake with a particular subject matter. The baker didn’t refuse to sell them a cake (if he had then that would be a problem) – he refused to decorate it the way they wanted. If the court ruled that the baker had to make a gay-themed wedding cake, where does it stop? Should the baker also be forced into making swastika cupcakes for the local KKK rally? If the answer to the 2nd one is ‘no’, and it should be, then you can’t force the first one either.

      If the baker decided he would only sell undecorated yellow cakes that is also his right. Nobody should be able to force him to make and sell chocolate cakes or frosted cakes if he doesn’t want to and nobody would complain if he didn’t.

      The part where I took exception with the Druid was his claim that Trump’s election shows the political system wasn’t as broken as “extremists” on either side claimed. I think this is a little self-flattery on his part for predicting Trump’s victory but in a political system that worked well, Sanders wouldn’t have been kneecapped in the first place and voters would have had more options than just Trump in the general if they wanted to reject Clintonism.

      1. foghorn longhorn

        The election wasn’t about trump, it was about totally rejecting the carter, reagan, bush, clinton, bush, obama bullshit.
        Pretty simple actually, more of the same or take the fork in the road.

        1. Expat

          I concur. America took the fork in the road and stabbed it straight into its heart. Alas, it really had no choice. And please don’t tell me Hillary was a choice. Trump should be gone in two years along with Republican control of Congress. We can clean house and right all the wrongs. If this does not happen, then I suggest taking the green pill and nice, cool glass of koolaid because, man, there is no hope in that case.

          1. foghorn longhorn

            Not so sure about the two year deal, some sores you have to leave open and drain.
            Who do the d’s have, their bench is barren.

            1. Expat

              Really? We need eight years of this to drain the sore? This is why civility is over-rated. We need to squeeze and poke that sore until it’s emptied and sore.

              I have no patience for “moderate” Republicans or “moderate” Trump supporters who refuse to call out their leader and leadership. If you want civility, denounce the party. If not, No Soup For You!

  24. flora

    re: Is it great to be a worker in the U.S.? Not compared with the rest of the developed world. – Washington Post

    Thanks for the link. Glad to see WaPo reporting the real conditions for most US workers. This is a story too long ignored, leading to D.C.’s shocked surprise when the electorate votes in ways the D.C. political estabs of both parties can’t understand. This WaPo story is a good report.

    1. ambrit

      Valiant effort comrade, but, the text embedded in both is identical. How is one ‘better’ than the other? Both have annoying ad tumours. Slightly different visuals.
      Really, this looks like a prospectus for a ‘real’ piece of journalism.
      I truly hope that this is not being touted as the new standard in journalism.

  25. Jim Haygood

    With a big orange-haired dude in juggalo paint at the wheel, the Flake-o-nomics bus careens toward a precipice:

    President Donald Trump is preparing to slap tariffs on Chinese goods early Friday, the first shot in a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies.

    Tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods are scheduled to take effect at 12:01 a.m. in Washington, the U.S. Trade Representative confirmed in an email Thursday. The milestone marks a new and damaging phase in a conflict that has roiled markets and cast a shadow over the global growth outlook.

    U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on June 20 that officials are beginning to hear that companies are postponing investment and hiring due to uncertainty about what comes next. “Changes in trade policy could cause us to have to question the outlook,” he said during a panel talk in Portugal.

    This is why trade wars provoke recessions. Large capital spending is needed to retool domestic production. But companies do the opposite and slash investment when policy goes haywire. One term and done.

    1. flora

      Large capital spending is needed to retool domestic production.

      Ah, if only US manufacturers *had* spent large capital to retool domestic production over the past 20 years… but, alas, they off shored manufacturing to the cheapest labor countries they could find.

      1. ambrit

        Right. Now it’s past time to send the heads of these companies over to those ‘low cost’ labour baliwacks to see how they like having to share some of the conditions their ‘new hires’ must endure. At the least, the extra outlays needed to supply adequate physical security to protect them from various kinds of “malefactors” resident there should give them pause.
        A suggested new ‘economic immigration’ policy: either repatriate some portion of the ‘offshored’ manufacturing capacity, or be sent into permanent exile out of America. Oh, and your money in American banks is now sequestered. ‘For the national good,’ of course.
        “This is why trade wars provoke recessions.” True. The policy goal will be to make the ‘negative’ effects universal. Consider this yet another iteration of the “Burn the whole thing down” political backlash. ‘Average’ people are now, I’m convinced, willing to see the economy collapse if they get to see the wealthy suffer as a result. “Don’t just see my pain. Share it motherf—–s!”
        The American elites are sleepwalking towards extinction.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          If the GDP pie has been cut the wrong way for the last few decades, so that the billionaires got too much every single year during that period, shouldn’t those errors be corrected, first, before we worry about the coming recession?

          1. ambrit

            Correcting such a state of affairs would necessitate a major change in elite policy. Considering all things, such a change in policy would, of necessity, require a revolution in either governance or ethics. I foresee neither.
            Secondarily, make the ‘recession’ an outright depression and facts on the ground will go far to redressing the built up inequalities. The rise in violent crimes alone will have impacts upon the elites that will force changes in behaviour. When your previously Neoliberal Paradise home place becomes an actual Third world H— Hole, you will have to make major changes in your lifestyle just to survive. If one were to counter with the observation that the poor and lowly will suffer mightily as a result, well, I’ll reply that the “poor and lowly” are already suffering mightily.
            Whoever made a holiday of the day a major revolution “officially” began did not think the idea all the way through.
            Happy Fifth of July!

  26. Wukchumni

    From the time that Reagan got shot until later that afternoon, the spot price of old yellow gyrated mightily, I think there was nearly a $100 spread in difference within a few hours…

    … today Iran announces they might close the Straits of Hormuz and spot goes up a whole 50 cents

    1. ambrit

      One can make the argument that both Reagan and Gold were artifacts of ‘Magical Thinking.’ So, both responded in tandem when the Actor in Chief was shot. (And why, oh why, don’t these ‘crazed gunmen’ ever learn how to shoot straight?)
      Contrawise, the Strait of Hormuz is an actual place with real and measurable worth, unlike either Gold or Reagan. (The case can be made that Reagan had negative worth relative to the interests of the average person.)

      1. ewmayer

        “the Strait of Hormuz is an actual place with real and measurable worth”

        The strait is only ‘worth’ what it is because of its value to international shipment of goods, i.e. so long as there is global demand for said goods. Similarly, as long there is global demand for gold … it may not have the same range of industrial uses as, say oil and steel, but when in the history of human civilation has demand for it ever ground to a halt?

        Agree with you re. Reagan, though.

        1. ambrit

          The interesting thing about Gold though is that it is usually thought of in conjunction with ‘high value’ objects, ie. crowns, fancy jewelry, idols, etc. As far as Gold being a store of ‘wealth’, the debate is ongoing and vigourous. Being working class, I have never had any, so I don’t have a dog in this hunt.
          “Inti! Inti! Inti!”

        2. ambrit

          Skynet Monster ate my reply. Short take: Gold is mainly used for ceremonial and display purposes? Right that it has always had a cachet.
          “Inti! Inti! Inti!”

          1. Wukchumni

            Depends on the country…

            I’ve never seen an Indian (Mumbai-not Mohecan) seller of the precious, they are only net buyers, and have done fabulously with the Rupee continually going down in value, combined with gold going up.

            It’s almost like a cult following, nothing in our country compares in terms of the vast amount of Indians that own some.

            Iran is another hotbed of goldbugism as well.

            1. ambrit

              Ah! The culture! As in women needing actual physical wealth to gain access to the marriage market. Talk about objectification of women!
              Indeed, the phrase “Marriage Contract” sows the seeds of strife that germinate in later years.
              Makes me think of Smetanas’ opera, “The Bartered Bride.”

              1. Wukchumni

                Most every Iranian that settled in L.A. circa 1978-9, in the diaspora, only had gold, and for many their timing was excellent, as the
                metals market of 1979-80 which was dominated by silver of all things-thanks to the Hunt Bros trying to buy it all, worked out perfect for them, as they were all strictly net sellers, to start their new life in the City of Angles.

  27. Jason Boxman

    In the FDA story, it’s worth pointing out that the family with the poisoned child, they went broken (doesn’t say anything about their insurance), the mother lost her job (that her employer was acquired shouldn’t matter), and the father got hosed at his (if you’re taking time off, you must be a slacker apparently). That ought to be unfathomable.

    What a screwed up country.

  28. Wukchumni

    Amazon has a new wrinkle, they ‘rent’ out books now.

    A tome I was looking @ is $17.99 to rent, $25.23 to buy outright.

    1. Pat

      Damn. I knew MSNBC was a lost cause when Schultz went. One of the few pro Union/pro Worker voices around even if he did get exiled to RT. (Not that I think of RT as exile, but it is…well…not mainstream see Schultz having to register as a foreign agent.)

      My thoughts go out to his family, and to everyone who he spoke for and to during his decades as a journalist. RIP, Ed, you left us too soon.

  29. Oregoncharles

    About the Corey Robin tweet on Ocasio-Cortez and Sarandon: from “Contrast that with Ocasio-Cortez’s climate stance, informed in part by the fact that several parts of her district are vulnerable to sea-level rise. Per her platform:

    It’s time to shift course and implement a Green New Deal – a transformation that implements structural changes to our political and financial systems in order to alter the trajectory of our environment.”

    See that “Green New Deal”? Straight out of Jill Stein’s Presidential platform. How close are the links between DSA and Green Party?

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