Links 7/8/18

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Spidey sense is literally tingling! Arachnids detect Earth’s electric field, use it to fly away The Register (Kevin W)

Watch This Frog Light Up After It Swallows a Firefly LiveScience (Dr. Kevin). Eeew! An anti-antidote, particularly if you like fireflies.

65% of Americans Think They Are More Intelligent Than Average RealClearScience (Chuck L). Still better than in private equity, where 77% of the funds claim to be top quartile!

We’ve entered the era of ‘fire tsunamis’ Grist

A man got his leg stuck in molten tarmac because the UK is melting right now Mashable

Beach woman mystery: 53yo found alive on coast 18 months after being dragged into ocean RT (Chuck L)

Japan Reels From Heavy Rains; Dozens Killed and Millions Evacuated – New York Times. Kevin W:

‘“This is a record high rainfall which we never experienced,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said’. Climate change at work?

This is going to end badly:

Many Look To Buddhism For Sanctuary From An Over-Connected World NPR (David L)

North Korea

North Korea: US is making ‘gangster-like’ demands on denuclearisation BBC. You have to give them credit for evocative PR…

North Korea slams ‘gangster-like’ U.S. demands after satisfied Pompeo leaves Reuters

Chris Hedges A quest for truth with investigative journalist, Seymour M. Hersh YouTube (Bill C)

Merkel’s Fading Star Chronicles Magazine (Kevin W)

Brexit

May Tames Divided Tories as Business Cheers Soft Brexit Plan Bloomberg. A function of the Tories making negotiating with themselves more important than negotiating with the EU. This is going nowhere. But Bloomberg, like pretty much all of the press, feeds the delusion. Subhead: “Proposal makes an orderly divorce deal with EU more likely.”

New Cold War

Ukrainian Fascist Leader Speaks in US Congress, While Nazis Launch Racist Attacks Real News

Syraqistan

OPCW Issues First Report Of ‘Chemical Weapon Attack’ in Douma and Mainstream Media Lie About Watchdog Report On The ‘Chemical Attack’ In Douma Moon of Alabama (Kevin W, Chuck L)

Lebanese tourist sentenced to eight years in prison for Facebook post against Egypt Reuters (furzy)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

‘I was shocked it was so easy’: ​meet the professor who says facial recognition ​​can tell if you’re gay Guardian. Brian C:

As well as sexuality, he believes this technology could be used to detect emotions, IQ and even a predisposition to commit certain crimes. Kosinski has also used algorithms to distinguish between the faces of Republicans and Democrats, in an unpublished experiment he says was successful.

Given that the Thais recognize 13 sexualities and Harvard Law School, 12, I question the classification scheme.

Let’s make private data into a public good Mariana Mazzucato MIT Technology Review (David L)

Tariff Tantrum

Wall Street Journal Burns ‘Master Negotiator’ Donald Trump for Starting Trade War: ‘This Isn’t Winning’ Alternet (furzy)

Get ready for the ‘largest trade war in economic history’ Asia Times (Kevin W)

What A U.S.-China Trade War Could Mean For The Opioid Epidemic Kaiser Health News

Trump Transition

US Military Purging Foreign-Born Service Members Sputnik (Kevin W)

Pruitt leaves behind a long to-do list Politico (Kevin W)

Supremes

Did Kennedy Cut His Own Tow Line In His Final Decisions? Jonathan Turley (Chuck L)

Supreme Court contender Kavanaugh faces pushback from social conservatives The Hill

Tax Returns Identify Dark Money Organization As Source of GOP Supreme Court Attacks MapLight (Chuck L)

Our Future Could Look Like El Salvador Mike the Mad Biologist (UserFriendly)

Health Care

When Health Insurance Prices Rose Last Year, Around a Million Americans Dropped Coverage The New York Times (UserFriendly)

Voter optimism holds key to GOP’s midterm hopes The Hill. FWIW, the cab driver in Green Bay says that a lot of local companies are hiring. But who knows what the pay and benefits are like…..

Democratic Socialism Is Dem Doom New York Times. UserFriendly: “ROFL”

Ocasio-Cortez’s Socialism Can Work in the Midwest New York Magazine

The More People Vote, the More Progressives Win VICE (UserFriendly)

Trust the Base Dissent Magazine

Young Leftist Candidates Are Breathing New Radicalism Into Stale Climate Politics Intercept (UserFriendly)

Ex-Host Exposes MSNBC: ‘I Was Told Not To Cover Bernie’ YouTube. UserFriendly: “​In Memory of Ed Schultz.​”

Corruption is Legal in America YouTube (furzy)

Nation Horrified To Learn Child-Killing Death Merchants Have Racist Employee Caitlin Johnstone (UserFriendly)

Paging Dr. Goebbels..

How a natural gas group pushed for new energy curriculum in Texas My Statesman (Kevin W)

Reddit Promises Post Sponsors a ‘Walled Garden’ of Conversation Slashdot

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Listen to St. Anthony Police voicemails about the Philando Castile shooting Tony Webster (UserFriendly)

Research: Women Benefit When They Downplay Gender Differences Harvard Business Review (Dr. Kevin). Haha, I’ve regularly describe that I’ve come to recognize that I am way more gender blind than most people are….the position they advocate is in precise terms I’ve used.

Why Ford is Still Getting Clobbered in China Motley Fool (Kevin W)

Tesla Model S fails auto braking test, Tesla questions validity of the test Elektrek (Kevin W). As Lambert would say, BWAAH!

Guillotine Watch

Mark Zuckerberg Tops Warren Buffett to Become the World’s Third-Richest Person Bloomberg (Wat)

Class Warfare

High-Skilled White-Collar Work? Machines Can Do That, Too New York Times (Kevin W). I’m not sure I would call designing a T-shirt “high skilled”. An algo would not have invented the iPhone….

Bach at the Burger King Los Angeles Review of Books (Dr. Kevin)

Antidote du jour (Lawrence R, from Pleasant Lake):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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209 comments

    1. Harold

      I think the firefly is stuck in the frog’s mouth/throat and has not gone down to the stomach, at least in the video.

      Reply
  1. nyc transplant to south carolina

    Admittedly I have only looked in a cursory manner the cave story. I wonder if this cave was a site that was designated as “tourist friendly” or is it a cave where the scout leader thought the boys would enjoy visiting.
    It seem that from my reading that it has narrow passages that could lead to dangerous situations. I am not by any means a “cave explorer” but have visited Luray and other caves as a tourist and they have well marked areas and are led by professionals. Doubt if pros would lead novices through narrow passages.

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      We have about 250 caves here in Sequoia NP, and the only one really anybody can go into is Crystal Cave, which has been touristified with paved floors & guided tours, etc. Still quite a nice experience and worth a visit.

      On the other 249, NPS does their best to act as if they don’t exist, as they don’t want people getting in over their heads, literally.

      I’ve been in a few dozen, and i’d call myself an intepid explorer, as in I enjoy wide open spaces above ground much more than the tight bowels one must pass through in order to experience what you’re looking for, a nice room the dimensions of the plot of a house with say a 10 foot high waterfall and resultant creek that flows through, and oh yeah, always bring 2 headlamps with you, as it’s inky black sans illumination. If a passage isn’t twice the size of my body, i’m not interested in going in any further, no squeeze plays for moi.

      The most recent cave found was about a dozen years ago, here’s the story:

      https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/09/060926-cave-california.html

      Reply
      1. YankeeFrank

        We used to go to Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico back in the late 70’s. There was the “old” cave, discovered many years before, that was paved with elevators and lights and the “new” cave which had only been discovered recently. To get into the new cave you basically had to lie down at a 30 degree angle and shimmy between two flat massive boulders, one below and one above, that had about a two foot space between them. It was very claustrophobic but once past the entry way it opened up and was very beautiful, with mineral formations everywhere and some that even glowed after the lights were extinguished. I’m not sure if they ever developed the “new” cave but I hope not. They are much prettier without all the colored lights and cement.

        Reply
    2. Odysseus

      Doubt if pros would lead novices through narrow passages.

      Mammoth Cave – Summer Schedule

      An adult must accompany visitors under age 18. Organized youth groups must have at least two adult representatives accompanying minor children. Chest or hip measurement must not exceed 42 inches; if you are larger you may not physically pass through the crawlspaces.

      Reply
  2. Steve H.

    > Bach at the Burger King

    Hmm. Is ‘meta’ still a term? There are good insights and points within, an excellent one on territoriality. But here is the last phrase:

    ” before we forget it could also glorify the dignity of humanity.”

    and I think, what f*ng dignity of humanity does the homeless person have? It’s a bait-&-switch, starting off a-la-resistance ‘think of the people’ and ending with the concern being for the degradation of art.

    As an artist I’ve looked into the dark corners of my soul, or at least the inconsistencies of my modular mind. I find the reinterpretation of artistic value based on the behavior of the artist to be an intricate phenomena. From Michael Jackson to Kevin Spacey, once we have an alternative affect attached it does alter the experience of the art perceived. But that devalues the artist as a human who changes, often from fresh and hopeful to more jaded as they go from being an unknown to a target. ‘And did we tell you the name of the game, boy, we call it riding the gravy train.’

    Mostly there’s not info about those classical artists. Aristophanes was a misogynist womanizer, but you don’t hear much about that now, do you? I’ve also witnessed parents pretty much pimping out their kids to abusers because of the quality of the opportunity the abuser provided, as an elite teacher, for instance.

    This author decries the post-mortem re-use of artistic work as a class signifier. Note by absence, tho, any discussion of the value of rap as the wordiest of genres, most specifically the poetry of life experience. Mostly those subjects are about the lack of dignity of humanity, which does not fit the narrative underlying the affect of this author.

    Reply
      1. wilroncanada

        We have more classy homeless on southern Vancouver island. There are public pianos on the street in downtown Victoria which are often played by homeless men and women; everything from rock’n roll to classical to improvised jazz. There are homeless buskers who play all kinds of instruments to make a few dollars.

        Reply
    1. Carolinian

      That’s a fascinating article but I agree that saying classical music is somehow threatened by its pop culture appropriation is a bit of a stretch. It’s likely one big reason classical is popular in commercials and movies is that it is in the public domain and therefore they don’t have to pay for it. Try to incorporate a popular rock song and you are looking at big bucks.

      Back in the first part of the 20th century there was a fad for taking classical melodies and adding lyrics to make them into tin pan alley hits. I doubt that any classical long hairs back in the day got too worked up about it. Vivaldi will survive, as will Beethoven.

      But I do find the idea of using classical to drive away the homeless to be disturbing. Don’t the neighbors also find this annoying? Who wants somebody else’s musical choice–any kind of music–to be blasted in your ear?

      Reply
        1. Oregoncharles

          The style or a particular theme? We’re Pink Floyd fans, my son is looking it up right now.

          Reply
          1. AbateMagicThinking but Not Money

            Oregoncharles, get your son to play “One of these days” at high volume if you still have a hifi.

            Choppers anyone?

            Pip Pip!

            Reply
            1. s.n.

              a continuous loop of the scream from ‘careful with that axe eugene’ should be sufficient for just about any purpose
              btw the authorities who used to play loud classical music at the side entrance of the copenhagen train station and thus kept the junkies at bay for 20+ years have recently switched to very loud military marching themes. Dunno what’s afoot but perhaps junkies have grown immune to the same old tunes. Or maybe it’s a new generation of junkies…

              Reply
            1. AbateMagicThinking but Not Money

              Steve H. (surely you mean half a century?) and another form of chopper.

              Come to think of it “Careful with That Axe, Eugene” reminds me of the corporate axe-man and the pain and woe of creative-destruction.

              Pip Pip!

              Reply
  3. Principe Fabrizio Salina

    Suppose 80% of drivers have no accidents, 10% have one accident, 10% have two accidents. The average is .8 x 0 + .1 x 1 + .1 x 2 = .3. 80% of drivers are better than average.

    Reply
    1. Expat2uruguay

      Doesn’t this only work when a zero is involved? The intelligence scale does not contain a zero…

      Reply
      1. Alex

        That’s the case whenever the median is far from the mean: in Principe’s example the median is 0 and the mean is 0.8. Intelligence distribution is closer to normal (with all the caveats about measuring it) so it’s unlikely that it’s the case here.

        Reply
      2. J Sterling

        No, it works when lots of small numbers and a few large numbers are involved. Consider 1,1,1,1,2,2,3,3,8,9. The median is 2 and the mean is 3.1. 80% are “below average”.

        Reply
        1. Katniss Everdeen

          ….lots of small numbers and a few large numbers……

          Interesting when considering income “statistics” and wealth “inequality.”

          Reply
          1. Procopius

            Well, that’s why the median is often a better measure to use than the mean. Honest reporters use the mean when reporting on income inequality. I forget where I saw it, but mean family income for all Americans is very large, somewhere around $200-300K. I believe that’s why you so rarely see the data item that mean income of Trump voters is $70K, which means half of Trump voters get more than that. That spoils the PTB preferred story that Trump voters are ignorant rural residents.

            Reply
      3. JeffC

        If two thirds of people come in at 110 and one third come in at 80, two thirds are above the average of 100.

        All it takes for the headline to work is a distribution with a long and weighty tail on the downside. Not that hard. (Especially simple in a society that has Dumb Old Rump?)

        That being said, the reality seems likely to me to have more to do with the Dunning-Kruger effect than with statistics that the writer doesn’t quite grok.

        Reply
    2. YankeeFrank

      The original article refers to averages but the comment refers to quartiles, which is something completely different — not averages but relative position. The only way 77% of PE firms could be in the top quartile would be if they had exactly the same returns as each other. And then they would really be able to claim they are in the top 1%. And depending on the distribution of returns over all the firms, the “top quartile” could actually be losing money and still hold the same position.

      In other words, its an utterly meaningless claim without quite a bit more information much of which is unobtainable or derived from garbage data anyway.

      Reply
  4. The Rev Kev

    Re Balls Deep State accusation against Glenn Greenwald: “Does Putin pay you in rubles or hooker?” I would go with rubles as Greenwald is gay so has little use for hookers. Just one of those things (shrugs).

    Reply
        1. ambrit

          The word “hooker” is gender neutral, so, Vlad Vladimirovitch could have sent over one of his catamites as a ‘gesture of goodwill.’ All this does, including my pathetic attempt at explication, is reinforce the theme of the ‘dirtyness’ of sex.
          (Too many puns lying about for comforts sake.)

          Reply
            1. John

              The original Hooker was a man, a 19th Century British General. The name association arose for his willingness to provide for the troops. So who knows.

              Reply
              1. ambrit

                I always thought that the ‘original’ Hooker was Joseph Hooker, at one time commander of the Army of the Potomac during the American War Between the States.
                Curious how location influences ones’ view of the world.

                Reply
              2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Didn’t he or general Joseph Hooker (also of the 19th century) object to its’ being used to imply the generals themselves were servicing clients?

                Reply
            2. Moreland

              For the benefit of those readers who don’t follow rugby, I’ll point out that New Zealand are consistently ranked in the top three in the world — usually #1. Not too many years ago their hooker was a fella named Hore. No joke.

              Reply
              1. Procopius

                That’s an interesting fact, about the boat. In America a schooner is a type of boat (can be a ship) or may be a stemmed glass for serving beer.

                Reply
    1. YankeeFrank

      Its the old question: gigolo or gigolette? I think Glenn, being in a long-term committed relationship, answers “neither thanks”. And as for rubles, he’s got plenty of his own. He doesn’t need Vlad’s.

      These derisive twerps spewing vile, hateful garbage at some of our most revered journalists really need to put down the keyboard. I read a great comment somewhere recently — someone wrote that he hopes in a few years twitter goes the way of radium. You know, that radioactive material used back in the early 20th century to “cure cancer”, and also put into consumer goods ‘cuz it glowed a pretty blue color.

      Twitter causes cancer. There. I said it.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        Yes, but, cancer in which ‘body?’ The Body Politic, or the Body Social, or, heavens forfend, the Body of Received Wisdom?
        I’m beginning to wonder if sitting in front of this monitor screen, and knees next to the processing unit isn’t having some deleterious effects on my corporeal being, not to mention the obvious degradations to be apprehended in my “character.”
        As for the demise of radium, alas, the early lightbringer has been superceded by later and more insidious substances, many now used and overused in medicine.

        Reply
  5. Alex

    Re Democratic Socialism Is Dem Doom

    There is one good point in the article though (with some strawmanning though):

    Today’s social democracy falls apart on the contradiction between advocating nearly unlimited government largess and nearly unlimited immigration.

    And the worst thing is that they don’t admit that the trade-off exists

    Reply
    1. makedoanmend

      Are anarchist, and an anarchist position of open borders, the same as Democratic socialism advocacy of getting rid of ICE (which isn’t the same as getting rid of border controls)? and is social democracy (I’m assuming this is a verbatim quote above ) the same advocacy category as Democratic socialism? and can you point us towards the “they” who haven’t admitted the trade-off exists? and why does there need to be a trade off between immigration policy and government spending*. Surely immigration and job opportunity competition (beloved of capitalism) between arrivals and natives is more of a possible trade off rather than some unspecified government spending to help USians.

      Also many Democratic socialists don’t necessarily advocate “nearly” unlimited government largess but rather democratisation of many facets of society, including many workplaces, first and foremost. Many Democratic socialist also advocate for a government by the people for the people providing for its people’s basic necessities, and not just for defence (though this capital expenditure is a necessity). Money is no problem, it seems, when is comes to US defence boondoggles, but must be curtailed to help ailing US citizens or educating the children of its future. We are told often enough that we must trade off our defence needs against the needs of human well being.

      *leaving MMT aside for the moment

      Reply
      1. barefoot charley

        As the Democratic Party evolved under Clinton/Obama from vote-inflation a la Chicago machine to vote-suppression a la Republican Party, it lost contact with most people’s needs. We can’t expect party stenographers to grasp such subtleties while clinging to their paychecks. So they see Bernie’s successful branding as a commie scarlet letter, rather than a useful shorthand summing up what people want from the duopoly that they don’t get–as they watch alienated voters mystifyingly choose to vote for their own interests. The Times grows ever less interesting and more idiotic.

        Reply
        1. ChrisAtRU

          #Concur

          Also it’s amazing yet again to see limousine liberals trying to frame socialist ideals as extreme.

          I guess inflating the Fed’s balance sheet to protect the criminal FIRE sector doesn’t qualify as “unlimited government largess” in Mr. Stephens’ world; or perhaps he sees bankers as more worthy of government welfare?

          Reply
        2. Procopius

          It goes back to the Carter administration, and has nothing to do with the “Chicago Machine” myth. Carter initiated many of the policies that Reagan and the right have since used to increase wealth inequality, deregulation, and privatization, and a group of Democrats, who came together to form the New Democrats and the Democratic Leadership Council, decided that New Deal policies were preventing them from gaining majorities. Thus, when Bill Clinton was elected President he followed the neoliberal program because that group were agreed that it was the way to gain power. Read Al From’s book, he describes the whole thing very straight-forwardly. He’s not embarrassed at all. In fact, I get the impression he doesn’t even realize what killing the New Deal meant to a majority of Americans.

          Reply
      2. Spring Texan

        Thanks, makedoandmend. Well spoken.

        And while we needn’t have completely uncontrolled immigration (although it should be a lot more liberal than at present), we do need INTERNATIONAL worker solidarity rather than concern for only citizens; and yes we can still have nice things if we do. Somehow some good public infrastructure and supports for people, decent pensions and education and housing, is equated with “unlimited largesse.” [No one is proposing unlimited largesse, like billionaires have now with their separate world and numerous houses and nine-thousand-dollar purses.]

        And we can clamp down on the “open borders for corporations” stuff too to get back to some sort of balance, not allow uncontrolled capitalistic money flows.

        Reply
    2. John Merryman

      The problem is our conceptual reality is deeply flawed. The western paradigm is this search for ideals, from monotheism to math, which has effectively been distilled down to the common economic denominator of money, but reality is more a tension of opposites. Say between the social expansion of liberalism and the civil and cultural consolidation of conservatism. So when society is drained of value, due to the economic mining of wealth out of it, aka capitalism, the polarization between these normally balancing aspects breaks down all the normal complex interaction that would otherwise comprise the middle ground. Which those economic elites encourage, to further hide their siphoning of value out of the system.
      Much as government is the communal central nervous system, in its executive and regulatory functions, finance is the circulation mechanism and it is at its; “Let them eat cake.” moment, as those managing it have totally lost sight of their larger purpose. As monarchs tended to do, forcing us to make democracy work.
      The financial markets have mutated from their supposed function of efficiently allocating value, to manufacturing notational wealth as an end in itself and then siphoning off as much as possible, thus diluting what the rest of the communal organism gets. Effectively the head and heart telling the hands and the feet they don’t need so much blood and should work harder for what they do get. Consequently the larger system dies, as those benefiting the most from it become a scab over the underlaying wound. Trump amounts to the puss pocket finally bursting open, hence the vague sense of some relief, beyond the overwhelming stench.
      All part of the education of man.

      Reply
      1. Norb

        Now the people have to take back the stinking mess and rebuild the world anew- making sure not to inadvertently allow surviving parasites to once again hitch a ride onto the rebuilt system.

        People forget, through complacency, and sheer weariness, that the delousing process is never ending.

        That says volumes for education and family values. In America, we have become a nation that breeds and supports parasites. So much for American Aristocracy.

        Reply
        1. John Merryman

          Norb,

          There are no real “final solutions.” If it weren’t for the ups and downs, reality would just be a flatline. Rot is as real as shit and shit is fertilizer.
          People are linear, but nature is circular.

          The problem is that the executive function of government can’t control the financial system, any more than the mind controls the heart, because it is too easy to print up more money/make more promises, when things get tough and kick the can down the road. Nor can the private sector do it, as is currently being illustrated. We need to build a more complex understanding of the social dynamic.
          Money is a medium, like blood, or roads, yet we try to store it, which is more the function of fat, or parking lots. It is the contract(vouchers) allowing mass societies to function, but everyone wants to collect as much as possible and save them. Rather than make people unhappy and insist they try keeping them circulating, its much easier to just add more and more….
          As a hypothetical, what if government were to threaten to tax excess money out of the system and not just borrow it? People would quickly have to find other ways to store value. Given we mostly save for the same basic reasons, from raising children to retirement, if we were to invest in these as communal functions and not try saving for them individually, we would have less atomized communities and healthier environments. Not to mention a less powerful banking system, being used to siphon wealth out of the society.

          Go back to economics as circular, not just reductionist.

          Reply
          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Some of the solutions are quite simple: enforce existing laws.I noted that Jeff Bezos owns $45 billion dollars more than his nearest rival Bill Gates. Count to 1,000. Now do that 45 times. Now do that 1 million times. That is 45 billion. 45 thousand million dollars. 20% of the nation’s children living below the poverty line and yet we tolerate one man amassing a fortune that would make a Pharoah die of shame.

            Reply
      1. Procopius

        At least, and at least a third of it is waste. I refer you to the annual reports from the Special Inspector General for Reconstruction of Afghanistan, which is only part of it. Some of the cases he cites are ludicrous. I don’t think the “audit” of the Pentagon, which is supposed to be finished in November is going to be finished and even if it is I do not believe it’s going to be released to the public.

        Reply
    3. marym

      Today’s eliminationist fervor on the right falls apart on the contradiction between advocating nearly unlimited deportations, closed borders, and the new Jim Crow; and failing to advocate any other policy that would benefit whoever is left among the 99%.

      The worst and most dangerous thing is that 1% and their political allies don’t even bother to pretend a trade-off exists; while their followers expect it to work in their favor.

      Reply
      1. Procopius

        For several decades I believed that the only reason Roosevelt was (reluctantly) allowed to create the New Deal was because the malefactors of great wealth believed that the Soviet Union was able to export revolution. After 1989 that fear had no basis, but it seems to have dissipated by 1980 anyway. We need to recreate a social movement which will frighten them again. The neo-nazis will prevent that if they can, which is why they are supported by the malefactors of great wealth.

        Reply
    4. Massinissa

      My favorite part of the article was towards the end:

      “If Trump is the new Nixon, the right way to oppose him isn’t to summon the ghost of George McGovern. Try some version of Bill Clinton (minus the grossness) for a change: working-class affect, middle-class politics, upper-class aspirations.”

      So basically, PRETEND to do things for the working class but actually be upper class. Which actually is what the Dems have been doing for at least 40 years now.

      Also, Bill Clinton minus the grossness? The grossness is integral to who Bill was.

      Reply
      1. FluffytheObeseCat

        ‘Affect’ in this context means “look like” or “sound like”. And that’s all it means. Stephens is preaching to the New York Times choir, and he’s preaching the Word of the wealthy donor elite. The working class (as they imagine it) is beneath contempt, and deserves nothing but posturing.

        Active anti-dem socialist propaganda from this guy, in this corrupt venue, is a good sign for Ocasio-Cortez and everyone like her. It shows we have passed the “first they ignore you” period, and entered the “then they fight you” part of their long fail.

        Reply
        1. kareninca

          Stephens was hated by the comment posters at the WSJ because he he frequently wrote in favor of vastly increasing immigration. The commenters there argued that presently unemployed Americans should be given jobs instead; that people from elsewhere should not be brought in en masse, thereby lowering wages (yes, these are conservatives, but they wanted better wages for present Americans and fewer unemployed present Americans). In this article he gives the options as being: increase immigration and don’t give benefits, versus cut immigration and give Medicare to all. Well, I guess we see which he wants.

          Reply
    5. Tomonthebeach

      I also found Bret Stephens’ article full of misunderstanding of his topic. He confuses socialism, as so many Americans do, with communism. That is hackneyed red bating.

      Finally, am I alone in not wanting to hear one more story about Ocasio-Cortez? It is very unlikely that her primary victory is a democratic bellweather.

      Reply
    6. John k

      I don’t agree social dems, as a group, advocate open borders.
      I don’t recall Bernie ever advocating that.

      Reply
    1. Norb

      Not really saying no, just asking to renegotiate in order to address certain concerns. China’s response was to agree to stop construction and conform to Malaysian law. They will probably renegotiate the deal with the new government and construction will continue.

      This is an example of the multipolar world in action. How should larger, and stronger nations interact with smaller ones? Neocolonialism is unavoidable- its just a matter of form and purpose.

      US Neocolonialism takes the form of disregarding international law and bombing uncooperative nations into submission- then leave the country in ruins because the real economic motivation was to expend military ordnance. Its a win-win for the US. If the threats work, American corporations can move in and strip the country, if not, lay the country waste and direct taxpayer monies into corporate coffers thru the MIC.

      What approach will prevail- only time will tell.

      Reply
      1. JTMcPhee

        Not just expend ordnance— there’s the profits in rebuilding, the profits in contracting to perform all those ancillary military services, the extraction and profit potential of “native” resources on and under the ground, the wealth to be extracted from crops like Afghan poppies, the transfers of silent billions to “partners,” and so much more. I just re-read Maj, Gen. Smedley Buitler’s “War Is A Racket,” and he spells it out (albeit in dated, pre-nuclear, pre-globalization, pre-we-understand-MMT terms) — all the ways that the war thing profits the few at the cost of the many. Here’s the whole text of his book, if anyone cares to read it and match it up with the current state of world affairs: “War Is A Racket,” https://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.html. And Butler recognizes the “staying power” and extreme difficulty of uprooting the behaviors and preferences that drive the Racket, and his proposed solutions are frustratingly weak. But at least he frames the horror accurately, from the unimpeachable position of a principal participant.

        And then there’s this bit, for those who think “democracy is on the march:” https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uo1hp_LMGF8

        So glad, in some respects, that the “business plotters” like Prescott Bush figured out that their class could have its way by means other than a military coup — they just had to wait and work at it for a couple of generations, albeit getting filthy rich as things like the Powell Memo and PNAC and globalization and supranational corporate power were summoned up from the Dark Pit of Evil.

        Too bad us mopes have such apparent difficulty in developing the same strength of common purpose and action for the benefit of our own future generations… But that’s baseball.

        Reply
        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I read up on him a little in Wikipedia yesterday.

          General Butler was in the brutal pacification of the Philippines, and then went to Beijing fight the Boxers, atrocities on both sides – from Gaselee Expedition, Wikipedia:

          he tactics were gruesome on either side. By this time, each side had heard reports of the atrocities committed by the other. Foreign newspapers printed rumors and third hand reports; some turned out true.[11] Witnesses reported that the Allies beheaded already dead Chinese corpses, bayoneted or beheaded live Chinese, and raped Chinese girls and women.[12] The Russians and Japanese were both especially noted for their atrocities by the other allies. Russians killed Chinese civilians indiscriminately.[13] There were widespread reports that Chinese responded with violence and mutilation, especially toward captured Russians,[14] American Lieutenant Smedley Butler saw the remains of two Japanese soldiers whose eyes were gouged out and tongues cut off before being nailed to doors.[15]

          After that, he was in the Banana Wars.

          We can appreciate his book a little better, with some background information.

          Reply
          1. Procopius

            He was also Director of Public Safety (basically, police chief) of Philadelphia for two years. Very successful at it, I understand, but controversial, because he did not recognize the immunity of the rich community and raided their night clubs along with all the other speakeasies. I was very disappointed to find that War Is A Racket does not include any details, just the overall denunciation.

            Reply
            1. JTMcPhee

              What details were you hoping to find? The book was largely written with the capitalist shenanigans of WW I in mind, and there is lots of detail there. And the biggest part of the book, chapters 2, 3 and 4, have prescriptions as well as descriptions, under “Who Profits,” “Who Pays,” and “How To Smash This Racket.”

              Maybe we are looking at two different items. Here’s my source: https://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.html

              Reply
        2. The Rev Kev

          A little side note about Prescott Bush from Wikipedia-
          “Bush was a founding member and one of seven directors (including W. Averell Harriman) of the Union Banking Corporation (holding a single share out of 4,000 as a director), an investment bank that operated as a clearing house for many assets and enterprises held by German steel magnate Fritz Thyssen. In July 1942, the bank was suspected of holding gold on behalf of Nazi leaders. A subsequent government investigation disproved those allegations but confirmed the Thyssens’ control, and in October 1942 the United States seized the bank under the Trading with the Enemy Act and held the assets for the duration of World War II. Journalist Duncan Campbell pointed out documents showing that Prescott Bush was a director and shareholder of a number of companies involved with Thyssen”

          So while his son George (and future President) was training to be a combat pilot in the Pacific, dad was still trading with the Nazis after war had been declared between Germany and the US.

          Reply
          1. JTMcPhee

            Bush League bits: “…son George (and future director of the CIA and active proponent of PNAC and State Security Apparatus and future president who did so much to advance his class’s interests)… Let’s remember he is a Skull and Bones Oil Baron, too, along with the other stuff in his bio: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_H._W._Bush

            Here’s a little take on the soon to be Hail-to-the-Ex-Chiefed Bush 41: https://www.counterpunch.org/2015/11/25/like-father-like-son-george-w-bush-was-bad-his-father-may-have-been-worse/

            And of course there is lots more to learn about Prescott Bush, another Evil Fellow: “How Bush’s grandfather helped Hitler’s rise to power,”https://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/sep/25/usa.secondworldwar. And then there was that little matter of the “Business Plot,” an “alleged” attempt to mount a coup to end even the sham of ‘democracy” in America:

            Every baby step toward guaranteeing American working people a minimum of economic security with new social insurance programs has been greeted with howls of horror and outrage — and predictions that the end of the Republic is near. Every new addition to the safety net has been met with a concerted campaign by conservatives and the business establishment to undermine it. Eighty years after it was signed into law, the Social Security Act, arguably Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s signature piece of legislation, still is under attack from the right.

            Last week, historian Harvey J. Kaye told Bill Moyers how FDR created a progressive generation that helped change American society in dramatic ways. Investigative journalist Sally Denton details a darker reality of that period in her 2011 book, FDR, a Nation in Crisis, and the Rise of the American Right. It was a time, she writes, in which radicals of various stripes questioned the viability of American democracy and a group of bankers went so far as to plot to overthrow the president… https://www.salon.com/2014/04/18/the_plot_to_overthrow_fdr_how_the_new_deal_sent_conservatives_into_a_rage_partner/

            Reply
    2. Olga

      The click-bait headline is not really supported by the text of the article. Malaysia asked to renegotiate – which is likely not a surprise. Plus if the new order is based on trade and economic development (e.g., by building infrastructure) that is always preferable to bombs and destruction.

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        There are

        1. countries who yet have the need to bomb, but will if needed.
        2. countries who are bombing
        3. countries who have renounced bombing

        From Wikipedia, The Kellogg–Briand Pact (or Pact of Paris, officially General Treaty for Renunciation of War as an Instrument of National Policy:

        …signatory states promised not to use war to resolve “disputes or conflicts of whatever nature or of whatever origin they may be, which may arise among them

        After negotiations, the pact was signed in Paris at the French Foreign Ministry by the representatives from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, British India, the Irish Free State, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa, the United Kingdom[10] and the United States

        …into effect on 24 July 1929.

        By that date, the following nations had deposited instruments of definitive adherence to the pact: Afghanistan, Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, China, Cuba, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Liberia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Romania, the Soviet Union, the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, Siam, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey. Eight further states joined after that date (Persia, Greece, Honduras, Chile, Luxembourg, Danzig, Costa Rica and Venezuela[11]) for a total of 62 signatories. In 1971, Barbados declared its accession to the treaty.[12]

        According to the article, it remains in effect, with this (ref. 4) cited; Westminster, Department of the Official Report (Hansard), House of Commons,. “House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 16 Dec 2013 (pt 0004)”. publications.parliament.uk

        It makes one wonder why there are still wars.

        And why to bomb is not necessarily to war.

        But also the uneasy feeling that all nations (of humans) are likely capable of bombing and warring.

        Reply
          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            And to that, it’s still that we can’t be sure that a country, any country, will in fact renounce bombing, but all countries will do it when it becomes necessary.

            Reply
    1. integer

      There have been conflicting reports of how many of the boys have been rescued, with some news agencies saying six and others saying four. The latest update at the above link confirms that the correct number is four:

      “Today was the best situation – in terms of kids’ health, water and our rescue readiness,” Narongsak Osatanakorn, the head of the joint command centre coordinating the rescue, said at a press briefing on Sunday.

      “Four have been [brought] out from the cave site, four have been rescued. We consider that a great success.”

      He said the operation, which was launched at 10am on Sunday, had proceeded hours faster than expected. “It has been our masterpiece work,” he said.

      “Our job is not completely done,” Osatanakorn said. “We will have to do the next mission as successfully as the one we did today. The rest of the kids are in the same spot.”

      “Air tanks and systems have to be put in place again,” Osatanakorn said. “I can’t tell you exact timing of the next operation but I can say it will be more than 10 hours to 20 hours. It will not be more than 20 hours. I have to check all factors are stable. The operation then will be carried out.”

      Reply
    2. bob

      I saw that up to 90 divers are involved in the rescue. That’s some impressive choreography in such a tight space.

      Reply
      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        per the BBC the extraction team is composed of an international team of 18 ace cave divers including some Thai Navy Seals. 13 of them actually participated in today’s rescue of the first 4 boys.

        Reply
        1. bob

          Wondering if the extraction team includes the divers keeping the extraction team alive. I’ve seen lots of numbers.

          Reply
      2. Oregoncharles

        Most of them are probably stationed in the dry, roomy areas, ready to help. If two are assigned to each boy, that would be eight in the water. They’re probably using a relay system.

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          We should get together and form the “Maya Ethical Debt Collection Service.”
          The primary strategy would be to convince the debtor that “it’s all in your head.”
          I’ve mentioned before the dunning call we got from a debt collector who tried to scare us with the threat of “serious consequences” to our credit score if we didn’t fork over piles of cash immediately. My reply was: “You’ve obviously not looked at our credit score yet.” That was the one and only call we ever got over that bill.
          I wonder if one can rack up a negative credit score?

          Reply
    1. BobW

      I got phony collection calls, and looked online for advice – ask them for a debt verification letter (required by law) and to be put on their “do not call” list. That ends calls from them, but there’s always another company.

      Reply
  6. The Rev Kev

    “When Health Insurance Prices Rose Last Year, Around a Million Americans Dropped Coverage”

    Did anybody else notice something in the top photo in that article? There is a prospect for that health insurance company on the table where that young girl is signing up for with the company’s motto emblazoned on the front – “We gotcha covered!” – which is a fair enough motto.
    It may be just me but I notice that that motto is printed in two colours and when you read out the bits in light blue, it says “Gotcha!”

    Reply
    1. Jean

      Being forced to buy something that you don’t want to protect you is what the Mafia does when they suggest that your person or business might suffer otherwise.

      Your car can kill or injure others, therefore you must buy insurance for it.

      And your body?

      Reply
  7. herman_sampson

    If the employers of the undocumented were charged and convicted, you might not need ICE. Most of my fellow employees (who are young or middle age African Americans at the warehouse I work at (thankfully locally owned small business not Amazon) would endorse Bernie Sanders and probably AOC (we do have a few people whose ancestry is south of the Rio Grande).

    Reply
    1. Mark Gisleson

      Just like dram shop laws. We arrest drunk drivers, not bar owners.

      This would be so easy to change and people would be shocked by the impact (on our borders and on our highways).

      Reply
      1. carycat

        Apples and oranges. Legal vs illegal immigrant status is binary. Being drunk is analog and time varying (you can be more or less drunk as you down more drinks or sober up over time). So the decision to drive while impaired is more of the drinker’s responsibility than the bar owner. Hiring an undocumented worker is a choice the business owner makes, no different than cheating on their tax returns or serving unsafe food in the name of profit.

        Reply
      2. John Wright

        As I remember the 1986 Reagan immigration law was supposed to offer amnesty AND have mandatory e-verify of employment status.

        The mandatory e-verify never happened.

        From :Alan Neuhauser for USNews and World Report on Jan 22, 2018

        https://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2018-01-22/is-ice-finally-targeting-employers-of-illegal-workers

        “The Obama administration made greater use of administrative fines to punish employers that hired
        immigrants who weren’t authorized to work in the U.S. However, as the Congressional Research
        Service notes in a 2015 report, the number of penalties remained “very low relative to the number of
        U.S. employers.” Companies fined for such violations represented less than 0.02 percent of all U.S.
        employers.”

        Trump is a businessman who has probably made much use of, and continues to make use of, labor that was not e-verified.

        If Trump really wanted to remove unverified workers from the US workforce, he would require strict e-verification (with a plan to accommodate false negatives)

        The entire border wall / family separation spectacle seems almost designed to get the left to do the heavy lifting in a push for more immigration, legal or otherwise.

        Reply
  8. Steve H.

    Thank you, this is interesting. Old/new PM, Mahathir Bin Mohamad, 92 years old, threw serious shade at Bush & Blair, net worth $580 million gained as a politician.

    A side note, had some friends in from Australia the other day. I asked them about attitudes about China, and they talked about a popular young-adult series concerning an invasion by unnamed Asians. Very aware of the indefensibility of their borders.

    Back to Mahathir, this looks like Sunni pushback on foreigners, where Mahathir has been a hardliner before. But boy, that is one rich man, and I don’t find much on how he got it. That could be the main determinant of outcome.

    Reply
    1. Geo

      “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” seems to be the motto of our foreign policy.

      I’m torn between the opinion that our foreign policy is administered by people incredibly bad at their job who are incapable of learning from past mistakes, or the scarier idea that it’s run by people very good at their job of perpetuating instability and hostility around the globe to further expand the MIC and it’s profiteering with no regard for the lives and well-being of the whole of humanity.

      Reply
      1. Norb

        Sheldon Wolin’s thesis in Democracy Incorporated is the transformation of our Democracy is not so much a coordinated effort bent on a specific aim, but the result of uncoordinated cumulative action.

        Inverted totalitarianism, brought about by the means of managed Democracy.

        If you are not familiar with this work, I highly recommend it.

        One of the best insights is that unchecked economic power give rise to new social pathologies. What people lack today is a means to name those pathologies and find remedies- hence the confusion and sense of being torn.

        The effects of the current regime resemble the totalitarianism of old- Nazis and Italian Fascists- but are different in kind so are totally new. The evil perpetrated stems more from not thinking than from a conscious effort toward a specific goal. The continuation of corporate power becomes an end in itself.

        Very scary indeed, on many levels.

        Reply
      2. VietnamVet

        I voted for Barrack Obama twice. It was the Ukraine Coup and the restart of the Cold War that opened my eyes. The rise of the Oligarchy seems to be the answer. But, with the second Novichok poisoning and death in Wiltshire, today, this seems to be a repeat the Anthrax Mailings seven days after 9/11 that helped start the 17-year Global War on Terror. But, I can’t think of anybody in their right mind would start a war with Russia; let alone, a hard Brexit. This is crazy.

        Reply
    2. Unna

      Roughly explained, the Western Ukrainians are a different ethnicity than the Eastern Ukrainians who are Russian at least in a cultural sense. The Western people speak a “different” language. Formerly known as Galileans they were under the Austro-Hungarian empire before WW1, not the Russian Empire and so they don’t identify as Russian. Many are Roman Catholic or Greek Catholic or part of the Ukrainian Orthodox church which is anti Russian. They have a political and historical orientation towards Austria-Germany.

      Without going into detail, they were traded around after WW1 first to Poland and then to the Soviets after 1939. They hated being under the Poles and hated the Russians even more. They were the Ukrainians who welcomed the invading German troops in 1941 whom they saw as liberators, and some formed up military units as part of the Waffen SS and fought along side the Nazis. Some participated in horrific mass murders of Jews and Poles, sometimes in ways which are unmentionable on a family blog, and which actually shocked German SS officers, which has to set the gold standard for shock. Of course after losing the war some escaped to Canada, see Helmer’s writings on Canada’s current Foreign Affairs Minister and her family closet. Many of these cadres, how else to describe them, were purposefully left behind after the war in Ukraine and fought a guerrilla war with the Soviets which didn’t end until the mid 1950’s. During this time Crimea, which is mostly Russian, was traded to the Ukrainian Soviet Republic, which didn’t much matter until the Soviet Union fell apart. Then it mattered.

      Some argue that the country of Ukraine should have been split up into three republics after the end of the USSR and forced into permanent military and political neutrality. These groups don’t seem to want to play nicely in the same sand box together and enjoy hitting.

      My guess is that the US purposefully exploited these long standing differences for their own political purposes and knew exactly what they were doing and have absolutely no problem cooperating and financing these neo nazi groups just like the US has played this same game in Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Sudan etc leveraging pre-existing ethnic animosities.

      An outside chance that Ukraine breaks up officially sometime in the future, with Poland and Hungary grabbing their own coveted bits and pieces.

      (Hope there’s no double post….)

      Reply
      1. flora

        Thanks for this comment which adds important contextual information. The Dnieper River is the geographic divider between west/east Ukraine. Kiev is on the west bank of the Dnieper. Ukraine has the misfortune of being the main land bridge between east and west. (This misfortune goes back at least to Mongol Empire times. )

        Reply
        1. unna

          I don’t speak Russian but my understanding is that the word Ukraine comes from the word meaning “the border lands”.

          Reply
          1. Unna

            Let me add one thing. So that the comment does not seem one sided, there is – was an “ethnic”, or better, a cultural divide between city educated Russian speakers (like in Kiev) and Ukrainian speakers which the Russians refer to as a Barn Yard language which educated people didn’t speak who live in the farming villages, or at least I’ve been told.

            What’s left of the humanitarian in me says that Canada, my home now, could have played a great role is calming things down there what with Canada’s multiculturalism and bilingualism. No love between many groups here but at least the Canadian Army isn’t dug in along the Quebec border while doing bombing runs on Montreal. The two sides got together, compromised, and kept the country together – even Alberta so far. It should have been tried in Ukraine. Then again, eastern European ethnic hatreds ain’t bean bag.

            Reply
        2. flora

          adding: Ukraine is almost due West from Kazakhstan and Mongolia. Ukraine is also almost due East from France; just above the Black Sea ,( Turkey is just below the Black Sea). Due west from Turkey is the Mediterranean Sea, a natural geographic barrier. Due West from Ukraine is Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia. Due West from those countries are Germany and Austria. The geography is important, I think.

          Reply
      2. kareninca

        Wouldn’t the western Ukrainians have been called Galicians, not Galileans? My paternal grandmother told me her parents came from Galicia (around 1906, so fortunately before either world war), and I always thought of them as Galicians. Saying they are Galileans makes it sound like they are from Galilee in Israel.

        Reply
        1. Unna

          You’re right. I can’t spell to save my life. And the Catholic nuns almost made me pay that price on occasion. Helped make me the person I am today.

          Reply
  9. JCC

    A ink to an article at The Rolling Stone courtesy of Jess’s Cafe Americain – Ex-Republican Operative Steve Schmidt: ‘The Party of Trump Must Be Obliterated. Annihilated. Destroyed’

    I hope the same is happening with the Party of Clinton through the actions of the DSA and Our Revolution, but I’m not always hopeful. There is an awful lot of money out there that likes what has happened to the Republicans and Democrats and in turn hates DSA and OR.

    (I also realize there is a little bit of BS on the the part of Schmidt, for example lumping Reagan in with Lincoln and Eisenhower and Teddy Roosevelt, but it’s a good start anyway)

    Reply
    1. Jim Haygood

      It’s worse than you think:

      The messages convey a sense of urgency, and are coming with increasing frequency. They are short, focused reactions to the latest “outrage” committed by President Trump.

      Some end by asking for money, some urge participation in protests. All read as if they are sent from the official headquarters of the resistance.

      Hillary Clinton is up to something.

      The odds are zero that she is playing community organizer just to be a kingmaker. When it comes to money and power, the Clintons assume charity begins at home.

      Because there’s no clear front-runner for the nomination 18 months into Trump’s presidency, Clinton remains the closest thing to an incumbent.

      https://nypost.com/2018/07/07/is-hillary-clinton-secretly-planning-to-run-in-2020/

      Spare us this terrible tribulation, oh Lord.

      She’s the queen of cool
      And she’s the lady who waits
      Since her mind left school
      It never hesitates
      She won’t waste time
      On elementary talk

      ‘Cause she’s a twentieth century pox
      She’s a twentieth century pox

      Got the Dems locked up
      Inside a plastic box
      She’s a twentieth century pox, oh yeah
      She’s a twentieth century pox

      — The Doors, Twentieth Century Fox

      Reply
      1. Summer

        Clinton should run as a Republican in 2020.
        No, this is not insane. It would be a brilliant campaign strategy because it wouldn’t be reactionary hysterics and would throw off the opponents for a while.
        Clinton and Clintonites are geared for talking to, for, and about Republicans. For once she would seem like a sincere candidate. The concept of begging for forgiveness appeals to the more religious among them. The more she makes it seem like a religious conversion, the better. Frame her comeback as a coming home – to her conservatism.

        It’s a wild shot in the dark, but already better than her 2008 & 2016 campaigns.

        They have Biden and others to carry on the neoliberal ways of the Democratic Party. The Clintons’ work is done there.

        Reply
      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        Well . . . if Clinton gets nominated yet again, that would be a tragifarcedy.

        If the Dems nominate their Clinton again, I will vote for Trump again.

        If the Reps nominate Pence, then I will have to find the Third Party which best expresses my rage and my hatred.

        Reply
    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Under Trump, he [Scmidt] wrote, the party had become “corrupt, indecent, and immoral.”

      It’s always good for a laugh when schmidt and his 2008 partner in crime nicole wallace, who now has her own daily show on msnbs, start in on Trump’s qualifications for the presidency.

      If you read the book or saw the HBO movie Game Change, you’d know how seriously the two of them took their responsibility of selling sarah palin, a desperate, cynical PR hail mary if there ever was one, as being “qualified” to be one mccain heartbeat away from that same presidency, knowing all the while what an unqualified disaster she really was.

      I guess it takes corrupt, indecent and immoral to know corrupt, indecent and immoral.

      Reply
  10. Carolinian

    Great Caitlin on Northrop Grumman

    Ultimately, what you have is an extremely influential force shoving the entire world away from peace by ensuring that the US government is full of people who are highly motivated to promote the continually increasing consumption of large amounts of expensive weaponry. By pushing continued military expansionism and escalation, they are acting as an effective barrier blocking humanity from moving into health and harmony.

    Meanwhile some left media are attacking the company for having an employee who was at Charlottesville. The MIC will always be the elephant in our particular room.

    Reply
    1. Katniss Everdeen

      The “media” determines what IS “news.” See the Ed Schultz link above for how it’s done.

      Charlottesville happened almost a year ago. I have no idea what the purpose of resurrecting it now is, and for the apparent purpose of polishing the turd of northrup grumman’s human rights “commitment” no less, but I’m absolutely certain that there is one. I’m also absolutely sure it’s a well calculated maneuver to manipulate and mislead the public into thinking something that’s not even remotely representative of “truth.”

      Reply
        1. jCC

          Every time I catch some video of some MSN/DC/BS “newscast” (no cable here so I don’t watch as a rule) I often wonder if their real goal is to get Trump re-elected. All they seem to do is intentionally verify that MSM is, in fact, fake news.

          (Jimmy Dore points out their flat-out lies on a regular, almost weekly, basis)

          Reply
        2. Katniss Everdeen

          Thanks for this. msnbs is, without a doubt, the worst propaganda on cable. Worse, in my opinion, than fox “news.”

          Reply
    2. JTMcPhee

      It’s not just Northrop Grumman. Let us not forget the other Beasts. Lockheed Martin, whose corporate motto is “We never forget who we are working for,” with of course no explication of who the unspecified person(s) who the corporate “we” (related to the imperial “we,” of course), is/are supposedly working for, is right in there pitching its book. I’m no good with balance sheets and such but it looks like its sales of products comes to some $45 billion a year, maybe more. And of course so much of that goes to “other countries” under the Imperial Foreign Weapons Sales Program. To anyone with a little clout and friends and lobbyists in DC. All to help keep the Hellpot stirred and on the boil, just short of the thermonuclear-exchange level.

      And Boeing, a great revolving door company, for generals and colonels to boost their retirement income, as with General Atomic and all the rest. How are the mopes ever going to get the leverage to turn off the spigots? When things like the F-22 and F-35 and M1-AWhatever clumsy tank are sold as “jobs programs”?

      Reply
  11. Wukchumni

    Wall Street Journal Burns ‘Master Negotiator’ Donald Trump for Starting Trade War: ‘This Isn’t Winning’ Alternet
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    ‘Benedict Donald’, a Trader of sorts that plotted against our cause.

    Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        In the original Benedict’s favor, he was considered a hero for the Revolutionary cause before he betrayed it, whereas Benedict Donald is more of a zero.

        Reply
    1. Jim Haygood

      “Winning,” Benedict Donald style — chart of Brazil’s soybean premium vs US soybeans:

      https://ibb.co/hbjSP8

      And — surprise! — Brazil’s premium equals China’s 25% tariff on US beans, as a percentage of the soybean price.

      Econ 101, comrades: they don’t teach this crap at Wharton.

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Sounds like you’re saying soybean eaters in China are paying 25% more from both the US and from Brazil.

        Reply
        1. JTMcPhee

          Those soybeans sold to China are mostly animal feed, not tofu or soy sauce. Feed the pigs, and they grow those neat viruses that get passed along to us humans. While bean traders squawk about losses in arbitrage trades and reductions in trading volume. Pity the poor traders who man the trading desks at ADM and Cargill and maybe Goldman Sax…

          The Beans Must Flow! On ships that burn lots of nasty bunker crude, which if I recall correctly is the largest single source of CO2 and nasty emissions in the Great Web of Trade…

          Reply
  12. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Many Look To Buddhism For Sanctuary From An Over-Connected World NPR (David L)

    Interestingly the article does not mention that in Buddhism (including Zen Buddhism), it is believed that reality is inter-connected, but only that, today (versus say 30 years ago, a monk in the article recalls), people are spending too much on ‘connected’ devices.

    So, the world is inherently inter-connected, from the beginning, till now, and will always be till the end, but somehow we have become over-connected.

    It’s a kind of Zen weirdness this way, through, i guess, the quantum weirdness of the internet.

    Reply
    1. rowlf

      If you look around you’ll find many Theravada monks with cell phones and Facebook/LINE accounts. Try searching Facebook using a Thai keyboard.

      Monks taking selfies always cracks me up.

      Reply
  13. The Rev Kev

    “May Tames Divided Tories as Business Cheers Soft Brexit Plan”

    Looking at that photo of the Cabinet ministers gathered at Chequers I was reminded of an old Victorian painting called “The Last Day in the Old Home” (https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/martineau-the-last-day-in-the-old-home-n01500). A superficial viewing of that old painting and that new photo seems to bear little resemblance between the two until you start to understand what is going on in that painting. I think that if you look at the details in that old painting that will be able to see the parallels between it and what the present UK elite is doing to the UK.

    Reply
    1. PlutoniumKun

      Good catch, oh for some half decent modern artists who could capture the idiocy of todays Tory party. We need a Hogarth.

      Reply
    2. ambrit

      Very good catch indeed. I’ve known people like the father in the painting.
      All we can hope for now is that the Tories cock this one up so badly that their ‘brand’ never recovers.

      Reply
  14. Wukchumni

    We’ve entered the era of ‘fire tsunamis’ Grist
    Japan Reels From Heavy Rains; Dozens Killed and Millions Evacuated – New York Times.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    We’re @ ground zero should wildfires come our way, as we live smack dab in the forest for the trees pretty much (we’ve taken every precaution to make sure nothing is too close, or has been trimmed down as far as low & dead branches go) and in spite of all that, should a wind fueled fuego come our way, both of our places will look like so much campfire residue the day after, toast.

    It wouldn’t be the end of the world as we’re insured on both residences, but if you wanted to scare us into selling perhaps, then having either of our insurance companies drop us like a hot potato, might do the trick.

    But as long as somebody else is willing to take the risk of conflagration, we’re not moving an inch.

    These deluge events are a whole different matter. Hawaii got 48 inches in 24 hours earlier in the year, and there’s really nothing you can do, when confronted with so much water @ once. They are perhaps one of the scariest developments of climate change.

    Also, the impact of really warm storms in the winter, played out this year in the Sierra Nevada, as an early April storm rained from 12-13k on downwards, causing a couple of landslides here in Mineral King, one of which ripped away a 1/4 of a mile worth of pavement, as if it never even existed, a clean sweep. It also wrecked trail sections all over the backcountry.

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      The ‘new’ rain events are hitting here as well. We had 2.5 inches of rain in two hours here Thursday. Street and lowlying yard flooding everywhere about this town. It’s now normal that was once a joke; “If you don’t like the weather here, wait a few hours. It’ll change real fast.”
      The real unponderable factor is crop production. As aquifers are depleted, and rain becomes unpredictable, growing things will become more of a craps shoot.

      Reply
      1. Lunker Walleye

        “Rain events” have become more frequent here, too. Up to 8.72″ fell during a flash flood here in the Heartland on 6/30. The streets ran like rivers and wet, ripped out carpets on curbs defined which neighborhoods got hit hardest. Now we are getting for an outbreak of mosquitos and there are already way too many. I have cabin fever from being inside during all the record-breaking heat and humidity. A few days it felt like this was Vientiane.

        Reply
    2. Oregoncharles

      I’ve worked at several houses in the woods, and I have a practical suggestion:

      Mount impact sprinklers, the kind that go in a circle, at the peaks of your roof, so that the circles cover both the roof and the surroundings. They should be permanently connected to water, so all you have to do is turn them on. Hopefully your water source is also protected from fire. A thorough soaking should give you the best odds you can get.

      I’ve given this advice repeatedly, but no one has had me do it. If someone actually tries it, I’d appreciate a report. But hopefully you won’t actually have to go through a fire.

      The original Permaculture books also have a lot of information on deflecting wild fire, because they’re from Austalia.

      Reply
  15. Geo

    65% of Americans Think They Are More Intelligent Than Average

    “Search for nothing any more, nothing
    except truth.
    And the first question to ask yourself is:
    How great a liar am I?” – DH Lawrence

    Reply
    1. Bugs Bunny

      All the women are strong, the men are good looking and the children are above average.

      – Blacklisted Minnesota Writer

      Reply
    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Median vs. Average.

      For the moment, lets indulge ourselves and assume intelligence = IQ…so everyone can just relax now….yes, yes, they’re not the exactly the same…maybe 30% or 90% the same…maybe 0%…in any case, let’s just pretend briefly…

      More than 50% thinking they are more intelligent than the median iQ would be quite weird.

      When you have more than 50% more intelligent than the average IQ, you look for the extreme cases at the short end.

      On the other hand, a compassionate person never thinks he/she is more compassionate than another compassionate person, and an enlightened person does not think he/she is more enlightened than another enlighten persons.

      Here, numerical scales and math (mathematical inequalities, such as A > B, etc) are transcended. We enter different realms.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        My IQ is merely in the low triple digits, in the realm of average, well actually on the outskirts.

        Reply
        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I’d like to say IQ is over-rated, but there is a theory that if you don’t have it, if you haven’t experienced it or if you are not one, you can’t say much about it.

          That is, for example, if you’re not a persecuted Martian cat, you have no idea what it is like to be one, and you should keep your opinions relating to it to yourself.

          So, maybe I shouldn’t say more about IQ.

          Reply
      2. Chris

        As someone noted above, it’s an example (or a result) of the Dunning-Kruger effect.

        Those in the bottom quartile are so stupid and lacking in insight that they have no way of knowing just how stupid they are, or what ‘smart’ looks like.

        Those in the top quartile are so focused on their own shortcomings that they always suspect that there are others who might be smarter.

        Reply
  16. Wukchumni

    Last month, the House passed legislation that would direct the U.S. Postal Service to “require the provision of advance electronic information on international mail shipments.”

    This bill has been received by the Senate Committee on Finance, where it awaits further action.

    The measure would close a loophole that drug traffickers exploit: While private shippers like FedEx and UPS are required to obtain advance electronic information on most shipments, the Postal Service is not.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    That’s some opioid loophole, any enterprising Mandarin can send an FTD (Fentanyl To Die {for}) arrangement through USPS mail easy peasy.

    Reply
  17. The Rev Kev

    “Let’s make private data into a public good”

    I can see the logic of where this guy is going but to me it seems to amount to ‘If digital rape is inevitable, log on, lie back and make a buck out of it’. No thought that privacy may still be a thing worth valuing in itself. Just the simple idea that markets let you put a price on everything – or anyone. In short, pure neoliberalism. You follow his logic and you get mottos like-

    Secrets are lies.
    Sharing is Caring.
    Privacy is theft.

    and if those seem familiar, it is because they are from Dave Eggers’s novel “The Circle”-
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Circle_(Eggers_novel) and who could see where this could all go.

    Reply
    1. Geo

      It’s already going that way (arguably has already become that way), so much like the proposed “transaction tax” is a clever way to reign in certain forms of Wall Street trading, putting the value on data in the hands of the data creators would make the sale of that data by the agrigators less profitable and therefore help limit the current pilfering of data with no regard for those creating it.

      Will it be abused? Of course. They’ll find a way to do so. But, if we’re going to be sold, we might as well get a cut of it.

      Reply
      1. JBird

        Will it be abused? Of course. They’ll find a way to do so. But, if we’re going to be sold, we might as well get a cut of it.

        Bleep that. I do not want to be sold.

        Reply
    2. Alejandro

      I agree about the value of privacy, and context always matters.

      Value and price are not synonymous, and she did allude to, throughout the article, that value is a function of collective effort. And the value created by collective effort should not be monopolized by a few.

      Reply
    3. JTMcPhee

      I can’t find it (my personal memory hole, no recall of title or who wrote it), but there was an article earlier this year in the Grauniad written by one of the SilValley billionaires proposing the same thing — “You mopes will have to accept that we overlords are going to have all your data, but maybe we could find a way for you to get a little cut of what we collect off selling it.” The comments were opened for a while, and were withering, in the best British manner. With caustic input from far away too.

      Reply
  18. Wukchumni

    I heard it was 120 in Chino in SoCal yesterday, and maybe it had happened previously, but I can’t remember ever hearing of a temp that started with ’12’ ever, anywhere south of the Tehachapis and east of the Mojave.

    What’s the outer limits to being able to exist in such a climate…

    126 degrees?

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It was hot, but I’m not sure if it was 120 F in Chino yesterday….most places were in the 90s, maybe close to 99…maybe in Las Vegas or Phoenix, it broke the century mark.

      Friday was hotter.

      Today is going to be like Saturday, but the humidity will be a little higher and later the week and next week, even higher, over 50%…perhaps less humid up where you and fresnodan are.

      Reply
      1. fresno dan

        MyLessThanPrimeBeef
        July 8, 2018 at 3:02 pm

        It was hotter than hell in Fresno yesterday. Its not well know, undoubtedly the chamber of commerce is suppressing the information, but God initially chose Fresno to be hell. The devil pitched a fit, and besides the fact that it is hot enough to melt pitchforks, the general ambiance is considered too cruel for the denizens of hell…..

        Reply
      2. JCC

        It broke the century mark every day this week at China Lake (about 80 miles north of Lancaster, CA). It’s expected to stay above 105F to 108F every day this week, but that’s normal for this area. I don’t expect to see the 90’s again until sometime in late September.

        (Yesterday, in the shade on my front porch, it hit 115F. Right now, 14:30 Pacific time it’s 109F at the airport and 3 degrees F warmer here).

        I have a couple of seriously overgrown bushes in the backyard that I soak down pretty good so the local rabbits have a place to dig in during the worst of the afternoon. I’ll see three or four there every afternoon nearly buried up to their necks in the relatively cooler and shady dirt. The desert quail do the the same, and often close to the rabbits.

        Reply
  19. Wukchumni

    Anybody on here participating in the annual Running Of The Bullshit-especially in regards to NK, with Pompeo filling in for Pamplona?

    Reply
  20. Wukchumni

    Water is for lying over-whiskey is for lying under, dept:
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    State regulators proposed sweeping changes in the allocation of California’s water Friday, leaving more water in Northern California’s major rivers to help ailing fish populations — and giving less to farming and human consumption.

    By limiting water sent to cities and farms and keeping more for fish, the proposal by the State Water Resources Control Board’s staff likely will ignite a round of lawsuits and political squabbles. Critics immediately pounced on the plan, saying it will take some of the nation’s most fertile farmland out of production and harm the Central Valley economy.

    The board, made up of five regulators appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown, plans to vote on the proposal in August.

    The proposal could put California on a collision course with the Trump administration, which earlier this year released a plan to “maximize water deliveries” from Northern California to the south state. President Donald Trump has promised to bring more water to San Joaquin Valley farmers, who supported him during the 2016 election.

    Scheuring said the proposal will almost certainly lead to farmland being taken out of production — just as farmers are trying to figure out how to comply with new state-imposed rules regulating how much groundwater they can pump.

    “We’re hit from behind and we’re hit from the front,” he said. “Obviously there’s not enough (water) to go around here.”

    https://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/water-and-drought/article214437104.html
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`

    Push is about to meet shove in a couple of years when groundwater rules come a cropper, combined with a much lessened amount of state supplied H20 for the many splendored acres of orchards in the Central Valley.

    You might start looking for deals on almond firewood, eh?

    Reply
    1. fresno dan

      Wukchumni
      July 8, 2018 at 11:31 am

      When I worked at FDA, one of the scientists had this quote posted:
      In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments; there are consequences. Robert Green Ingersoll

      Whether you think global warming is hooey or not, at some point there ain’t gonna be enough water for the trees AND the people. At that point, we will find out how many votes almond trees actually have…
      AND, if planting almond trees in an area of ever declining water is how the “free” market works, we’re doomed….

      Reply
    2. JCC

      I took a drive up through Walker Pass, on the east side of the Sierras to Kernville on the 4th.

      Almost every pine tree in the Pass and above is deader than a doornail. When I first moved out here a mere 8 years ago and hiked around the Pass, that area was a green as green could be. Now it’s that dead pine gray as far as the eye can see. Walker Pass itself is at an elevation of approx 5200 and no water left from winter. The Pine Beatles, I assume, are feasting, and that element known as Fire is sitting on the sidelines just waiting and licking it’s chops.

      Here is the Google Sat picture, but I think it’s an old one. It shows a lot more green than I saw.

      Reply
  21. Wukchumni

    This is an actual quote given in a speech in Montana by the reign of error from a few days ago.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “I have broken more Elton John records, he seems to have a lot of records. And I, by the way, I don’t have a musical instrument. I don’t have a guitar or an organ. No organ. Elton has an organ. And lots of other people helping. No we’ve broken a lot of records. We’ve broken virtually every record. Because you know, look I only need this space. They need much more room. For basketball, for hockey and all of the sports, they need a lot of room. We don’t need it. We have people in that space. So we break all of these records. Really we do it without like, the musical instruments. This is the only musical: the mouth. And hopefully the brain attached to the mouth. Right? The brain, more important than the mouth, is the brain. The brain is much more important.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Sad to see us flame out this way, but shift happens.

    Reply
    1. Summer

      He’s claiming he’s breaking Elton John concert attendance records. Musicians, singers, sports teams, all use more space in arenas for staging, instruments, and other equipment. He says he fills that space with people, because that’s how smart he is.

      No…being able to interpret it does not help.

      Reply
    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I don’t know if it’s just me, but that little speech went in on ear and out the other.

      I would not remember long enough to quote it here.

      Could this be due to ageing?

      Reply
    3. fresno dan

      Wukchumni
      July 8, 2018 at 11:45 am

      Is this designed to be a distraction? I sure hope so….
      “without like” – does our president really have to talk like a valley girl?

      “And hopefully the brain attached to the mouth. Right?” Isn’t the subject of the speech Trump? Trump IS the orator….talking about….Trump. And Trump is saying that hopefully his brain is attached to his mouth?
      Maybe its a legal defense. Your honor, any examination of what I have said and reality shows definitively that there is no correlation what so ever.

      and with regard to “organ” and the campaign, and hand size, etcetera…..I have but two words: family blog….

      Reply
  22. cnchal

    > High-Skilled White-Collar Work? Machines Can Do That, Too New York Times

    Completely “nipply”.

    The punchline?

    The downside is that work as a stylist or financial adviser will probably pay less than the lost jobs of buyers and stock pickers. The good news, said Daron Acemoglu, an economist at M.I.T. who studies automation, is that these jobs may still pay substantially more than many positions available to low- and middle-skilled workers in recent decades.

    And these jobs may be hard to automate in the end.

    “If I’m the customer explaining what I want, humans need to be involved,” Mr. Khatua said. “Sometimes I don’t know what I really want.”

    Reply
    1. JTMcPhee

      Presumes that there will be meatsack customers interfacing with our machine masters in that best of all possible tech futures…

      Reply
  23. DJG

    I regularly read Amor Mundi, the site of the Hannah Arendt Center. I discovered this quote today:

    It is possible that the Democratic Party will swing left, but it is not clear that this kind of swing can sweep through middle-America. Reflecting on the Ocasio-Cortez’s election Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) said:

    “I think it’s the future of the party in the Bronx, where she is. . .. I think that you can’t win the White House without the Midwest and I don’t think you can go too far to the left and still win the Midwest. . .. You need to talk to the industrial Midwest, you need to listen to the people there.”

    This has to be the DNC hive mind at work (forgive me the metaphor, members of the bee family). Better Lambert Strether’s comparison: She is a Daughter of the Confederacy.

    Does this woman get out much? Is she planning on being the Joe Manchin of Illinois? (Yes.)

    I just composed a letter to her and one to Durbin about how happy I will be to vote to end her political career.

    And don’t even get me going on IL state senator Heather Steans, Hillary delegate and Daughter of Charter Schools Enabling Legislation.

    Reply
    1. Hamford

      Wasn’t it but a couple years back that Bernie’s ideas were ubiquitously declared by the MSM as not persuasive for minority voters? I remember the hashtag #BernieMadeMeWhite in 2016, in opposition to the constant homogeneous representation of supporters as white males.

      http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/berniemademewhite

      And of course after AOC’s win, Cuomo attributed that: “… a minority community, largely in this district, that is afraid, that is angry…”

      Hmm perhaps for 2018 a hashtag #AOCMadeMeMinority is in order!

      Reply
    2. Butch In Waukegan

      How about ending Durbin’s career too. He was was one of 13 Democratic Senators who signed a letter demanding Assange’s eviction from the Ecuadorean embassy.

      The problem with singling out individual Democrats is that each and every one of them contributes to the venality of the party. The representative in my district, Democrat Brad Schneider, joined the Republicans in voting for the recent banking deregulation bill.

      Reply
  24. Brian

    “I was shocked it was so easy” Psychologist finds that everything he wanted to happen has come true by fiddling the results of stolen unverified data. There is no mechanism or structure described, no procedure for how the conclusion was written except what the mind believes the machine is saying? Is the study what he wanted in the end? Relying on advertisements people place as a faceborg account with both pictures, text and details about their life, yet the conclusion is alleged to have been determined only by a photo? Hardly scientific.
    I think the psychologist might have gone two streets into the twilight zone and not realized it. The signs are there, dollar signs. Intellectual but idiot perhaps?

    Reply
  25. ambrit

    File this under the IoS.
    Hoo boy: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/nation-now/2018/07/08/wrap-car-key-fob-foil/762338002/
    I’m going to start storing our car keys in that metal tin from now on.
    This gives me a business idea. Someone start producing pants, and purses, with Faraday Cage pockets built in. Some sort of metallic mesh that can be washed can be found somewhere. On the pants, a lined pocket with a zipper close. The same with the purse.
    It’s A Brave New World!

    Reply
    1. cnchal

      My strategy is to drive a rusty four door with a stick shift, that has to be hot wired to steal, so four theft deterrents in one go.

      As for Faraday pants pockets, ask Bombfell to design some new fancy pants.

      Reply
    1. Oregoncharles

      “Word on Twitter is that Brussels already vetoed this as spending in violation of deficit limits.”

      It’s increasingly clear that “Brussels” and the ECB actually MEAN to keep the southern countries in feudal subjection, aka permanent recession. Their purposes are certainly nefarious.

      OTOH, I noted before and others seemed to confirm that the EZ and EU have trouble coping with simple defiance. Poland and Hungary are current examples. Remember, Italy is Too Big To Fail. If they just quietly do stuff, they may get away with it. If not, the crisis may work to their advantage. Maybe Germany will offer to pay their expenses in leaving the EZ, as they did with Greece.

      Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Life of ironies…keeping a gun for safety…and other examples.

      People play Lotto hoping to make money and many in fact lose.

      The same with knowledge.

      People seek knowledge but not sure how much is enough (so that you are no longer in danger). Here, we remind ourselves that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing,* as in, a little learning is a dangerous thing, drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring.

      *Life is full of more examples of too much is dangerous – too much sun, too much water, too much oxygen, too many billions of dollars in the bank account, etc.

      Reply
      1. Summer

        But we have “access” to the lotto. I think of the economy as one big lotto and the best that politicians say they can do is give you “access” to it.

        People say they keep guns in their homes and this is supposed to give them “access” to safety.

        Fun word…”access”

        Reply
  26. fresno dan

    Balls Deep State
    @BallsDeepState1
    Replying to @ggreenwald @Martina
    Does Putin pay you in rubles or hookers?
    ========================================================
    Payment to operative wearing hammer and sickle on fluffy slippers with bunny ear antenna to take radio signals from Putin to undermine American democracy was always problematic.
    Payment was initially kisses…..Hershey kisses, but they do not only melt in your mouth, but also your hand…(of course, actual kisses from Putin would be great honor, but rumor has it that Putin save best kisses for Trump….)
    Flying Russian hookers is expensive, and sadly, my antenna did not measure up.
    We tried bitcoin for a while, but it was too tightly regulated with unimpeachable records and run by people of impeccable honesty compared to all the other payment systems in the world.
    That left only one system that was corrupt, evil, and so immune to international and national oversight that a secret Russian agent of Vlad would be able to carry out his nefarious espionage activities completely insusceptible to the law – a Wells Fargo checking account. (Goldman Sachs would have been just as good, but I got a toaster when I opened my account at Wells…..)

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      Watch that toaster Comrade fresno dan! It is guaranteed to be reporting everything within its’ sensors range back to the spymasters of the ‘Corporate Republic of GE.’ They will sell anything and everything to the highest bidder. (The logical outcome of embracing the “Maximization of Shareholder Cupidity” philosophy.)
      Flying Russian Hookers? Is like Flying Monkeys of movie “Capitalist Exploiter of Oz?” How goes joke? “When Flying Monkeys come out of tail?” This is opposite experience? Strange are the ways of the Kremlin after midnight!

      Reply
      1. fresno dan

        ambrit
        July 8, 2018 at 2:04 pm

        Thank you comrade ambrit! But very well aware of toaster surveillance – that is why I dance only in hammer and sickle fluffy bunny slippers with antenna while singing every hour:
        I love Trump, I love Trump
        MAGA, MAGA, MAGA!!!
        Like Merica’s best orange food – doritos, fritos, and cheetos – Trump is Merica’s best president!
        Trumptos, Trumptos, Trumptos – delicitos, delicitos, delicitos!!!! I can’t get enough-i-tos, enough-i-tos, enough-i-tos of Trumptos, Trumptos, Trumptos!!!
        Only witch hunteros, witch hunteros, witch hunteros, don’t like Trumptos, Trumptos, Trumptos!!!
        I can’t give more song – still get copyright…..

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          Comrade fresno dan;
          Hope this does not go on your ‘rap’ sheet!
          We must sponsor ‘MAGA-zine’ for cointelpro purposes!

          Reply
      1. Carey

        Thanks for that. Ms. Hyde seems quite the piece of work. That the few have to resort
        to this kind of attack is somehow telling.

        Reply
  27. Andrew Watts

    RE: The Pentagon Is Building a Dream Team of Tech-Savvy Soldiers (from yesterday)

    The US military typically recruits from the lower order of society so it isn’t surprising that Lynch would be shocked to find smart people among their lot. It’s class snobbery on display.

    According to DDS, the Jyn 1 project cost the DOD less than $100,000, compared to the hundreds of millions of dollars that have been spent on contractors trying to solve the same problem.

    It’s too lucrative for the war profiteers to actually fix any problems when the continually expanding military budget incentivizes them not to. But hey, it’s nice to see what the largest military budget in the world won’t buy ya. The Russians are putting high-grade explosives on their drones and the Chinese appear to be testing their electronic warfare kits in the South China Sea.

    Uh-oh.

    Reply
  28. Oregoncharles

    https://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/07/ocasio-cortezs-socialism-can-work-in-the-midwest.html

    First: New York Magazine is an ironic if not humorous source for this piece.

    Second: I took a careful look at her platform, as shown, and the environment is nearly missing. It does take a stand against climate change; but that doesn’t cover the kinds of air and water pollution that are immediate, back-yard concerns for people all over the country – the equivalent of Medicare for All. It’s actually very urban.

    That said, she’s also been quoted as supporting a Green New Deal – a direct steal from Jill Stein’s campaign. (I don’t expect Dr. Jill to complain.) But it isn’t in her platform, even though it means both jobs and environmental protection.

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I wonder how much it will further frack the D party with the new ‘abolish ICE’ battle cry a few D’s are voicing these days.

      Or will it unite the party?

      Reply
  29. David Mills

    Odd to see the Hedges/Hersch interview with a YouTube link as it was originally at RT. Hedges’ show, On Contact, has had some really good interviews recently; including John Kiriakou and Norman Finkelstein.

    Reply

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