Links 8/14/18

Rogue goat may have helped dozens of farm animals escape New York Post

Why These Cows Corralled A Suspected Car Thief National Geographic. Seems cute, but the first-person-shooter aerial view is creepy.

More than 100 large wildfires in U.S. as new blazes erupt Reuters (EM).

How Sewage Pollution Ends Up In Rivers American Rivers

One of the largest banks issued an alarming warning that Earth is running out of the resources to sustain life Business Insider

Is the catastrophe business heading for a storm? FT

The Wonder Plant That Could Slash Fertilizer Use The Atlantic. “An indigenous Mexican corn gets its nitrogen from the air.” Good thing NAFTA and/or Monsanto didn’t destroy it.

Musk says Saudi Arabia would fund deal to take Tesla private and Elon Musk’s latest salvo raises more questions than it answers FT. From the latter: “The trouble will come for Mr Musk if the SEC concludes his tweet overstated the nature of his agreement with the Saudis, and either misled investors into buying shares at artificially high prices or unfairly inflicted losses on short-sellers.”


Landmark Caspian Sea oil and gas agreement signed by five nations Irish Times. Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan.

Can Turkey turn to the Arab world for economic support? Deutsche Welle

The Islamic Republic’s Power Centers Council on Foreign Relations

Russian military creates 8 outposts along Golan Heights border AMN (Sic Semper Tyrannis comments; more here).

Radioactive sheep found in Australia bolster claims that Israel conducted illegal nuclear weapon test over the Indian Ocean four decades ago Daily Mail. On the bright side, at least you can find your sheep at night….


China’s Taiwan Strait Provocations Need a U.S. Response Foreign Policy

China’s high-speed rail and fears of fast track to debt FT

How Taming the Mekong Could Give China Unprecedented Power Bloomberg

How China’s green wave is making recycling more expensive in Maine Bangor Daily News

Floods to farmer suicides: for Pakistan and India, real threat is the weather South China Morning Post

New Cold War

‘Too Big to Fail’: Russia-gate One Year After VIPS Showed a Leak, Not a Hack Consortium News. But see what’s at #18 at Amazon right now.

What would the intelligence community’s ‘insurance policy’ against Trump look like? Sharyl Attkisson, The Hill. From Sinclair. Nevertheless….

Kushner’s Ties to Russia-Linked Group Began With Kissinger Lunch Bloomberg. Hillary Clinton’s very good friend. It’s like all these people know each other?

What Dirt Does Russia Have on Barack Obama? The American Conservative

How the financial crisis led to the West’s confrontation with Putin MarketWatch

The next drone assassination Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Trump Transition

The Shadow Rulers of the VA Pro Publica. From last week, still germane.

Newly released official documents show CIA head Gina Haspel directly supervised waterboarding Ray McGovern

Pentagon again delays release of sex assault study, likening report to an untested weapon USA Today

To Address School Shootings, U.S. Wants Students to Learn Bleeding-Control Techniques NYT. The DHS.

‘We Need A New St. Francis’ The American Conservative

Facebook Fracas

Mark Zuckerberg Is Totally Out of His Depth Cathy O’Neil, Bloomberg

Facebook exec: media firms that don’t work with us will end up ‘in hospice’ Guardian. “Nice little paper you have here….”

U.S. think tank’s tiny lab helps Facebook battle fake social media Reuters. The oddly ubiquitous Atlantic Council.

Taibbi: Censorship Does Not End Well Rolling Stone

2016 Post Mortem

New data makes it clear: Nonvoters handed Trump the presidency WaPo. Blame and shame the voters… See this from the New York Times, November 2016.

Puerto Rico

Donations sent to Puerto Rico were found rotting in parking lot CBS

Imperial Collapse Watch

Corporate Power and Expansive U.S. Military Policy (PDF) Mason Gaffney, American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 25 March 2018. Still germane. Long. Summary by Dollars and Sense here. From the abstract:

Military defense is generally treated in economics texts as a “public good” because the benefits are presumed to be shared by all citizens. However, defense spending by the United States cannot legitimately be classified as a public good, since the primary purpose of those expenditures has been to project power in support of private business interests.

War Without End NYT

Trump warns rival nations of ‘frighteningly random’ reaction to any aggression Duffel Blog

When Splitters become Lumpers: Pitfalls of a Long History of Human Rights Law and Political Economy

Class Warfare

“Everybody Immediately Knew That It Was for Amazon”: Has Bezos Become More Powerful in D.C. Than Trump? Vanity Fair

Revealed: the aristocrats and City bankers who own England’s grouse moors Who owns England?

The Relationship Between Women’s Rights and Terrorism: Unpacking the Concepts Political Violence at a Glance

What Happens to #MeToo When a Feminist Is the Accused? NYT

The Airport Shuffle Granola Shotgun (SC).

Ask HN: What is the most unethical thing you’ve done as a programmer? Hacker News

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote (DK):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Roger Smith

    [Mark Warner] – Scoop: 20 ways Democrats could crack down on Big Tech [Axios]

    I don’t remember coming across this here early this month and didn’t see it anywhere else until yesterday, but this has me slamming my head into my desk.

    1. I am beyond tired of this establishment narrative (that has seemingly taken hold) that people are too stupid and dumb to be trusted to use the internet and computers. People have been using this technology for what, 25 years now? Social media/contemporary internet is only different in that tech companies with big money are using that influence to squish smaller sites while they collect data to sell to the government and others. This tech was mastered long ago before these clowns realized it was a tool that could be used to fight against their own corruption. We can’t have that.

    2. Warner actually raises the scepter of MLK against Russia, claiming that, in the past, the Soviets defamed King by spreading fake news about him… a la, information warfare is nothing new. Now maybe they did do this, however I cannot see how this would make sense in any goal and state oriented perspective. King was fostering unity amongst the population and disunity towards the government’s policies, something an antagonistic state could appreciate. King was doing this so well that OUR OWN government had him killed. So spare me this crap Warner, Mr. Big Pharma, pro-health insurance who votes against the masses every chance he gets.

    3. One proposal is federally funded public courses in… media literacy (see 1.). But remember, we can’t afford universal healthcare programs. Or else, who would donate all this money to Warner and their other goons? Here’s how I see that playing out. Congress allocates a few hundred million to some contract, consulting firm who is supposed to host these classes all around the U.S. after the first two months, the program is scrapped for low attendance and the consulting firm, whom has previous associations with at least one or two congressional members, keeps all of the money. Ka-ching.

    There is other nonsense in here too like attempts to destroy online anonymity so you can be tracked forever and a lack of speech about smashing these corporations up.

    A clearer view of the document.

    1. Roger Smith

      Censorship Is What Happens When Powerful People Get Scared [Liberty Blitzkrieg]

      But it’s all out in the open now. Facebook isn’t even hiding the fact that it’s outsourcing much of its “fake news” analysis to the Atlantic Council, a think tank funded by NATO, Gulf States and defense contractors… It doesn’t need outside help, it needs political cover, which is the real driver behind this.

      … (Reuters in link) Facebook employees said privately over the past several months that Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg wants to outsource many of the most sensitive political decisions, leaving fact-checking to media groups and geopolitics to think tanks. The more he succeeds, the fewer complications for Facebook’s expansion, the smaller its payroll, and the more plausible its positioning as a neutral platform.

      You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. I remember when Zuckerberg wasn’t feeling for a presidential run. Now he has his orders. “Now bark boy! Bark! Good boy, now go play while the adults talk.”

      1. Carolinian

        Here’s the most relevant part of your above link

        If I’m right about this, censorship of such voices by SilIcon Valley billionaires will backfire spectacularly. Alex Jones has now been made a martyr by tech oligarchs and deep state think tanks, which gives him more street cred than he had before. De-platforming does nothing to the demand side of the equation when it comes to his content, as we saw with his Infowars app soaring in the charts soon after the purge. If people want to find Alex Jones and Infowars, they will find it.

        While those of us who care about the internet should complain loudly about censorship–it’s very bad for the Google/Facebook business model to have it exposed–the truth is that in this era corporations have almost no real control over information and data short of physically blocking websites and perhaps incarcerating their owners. And even that doesn’t work as seen by the longevity of a once Swedish pirate site whose founders were jailed. Much Silicon Valley utopianism may be hooey, but computers do empower ordinary people. Whether that power can be organized into something socially useful remains to be seen.

        1. Procopius

          I remember dr. dobb’s journal of Tiny BASIC Calisthenics & Orthodontia. COMPUTER POWER TO THE PEOPLE!!!

      2. ChrisPacific

        Facebook said it was doing it because it “couldn’t be sure” that the flagged accounts were actually owned or being manipulated by the Russians. I doubt the Atlantic Council is ever likely to suffer from that particular problem.

        On a related note, is there anyone more familiar with the US political system than I am that can explain the difference between “think tank” and “lobbyist” to me?

        1. Carolinian

          Thinks tanks write papers, lobbyists write checks?

          For campaigns and fancy meals of course. Bribes are illegal unless you call them something else.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      This tech was mastered long ago before these clowns realized it was a tool that could be used to fight against their own corruption. We can’t have that

      Internet has been around 25 years or so.

      The personal computer, a little longer, maybe 35.

      In the beginning, many thought the personal computer was going to give power to the little people, devolving it from the center (super computers).

      In that sense, they knew it could be a tool to fight corruption, from the start.

      And those who have always opposed that have had plenty of time to respond.

      1. False Solace

        “Public commercial use of the Internet began in mid-1989 with the connection of MCI Mail and Compuserve’s email capabilities to the 500,000 users of the Internet.” (Wikipedia)

  2. lupemax

    Just to share:

    another helpful video on what’s really happening out there. It’s about 10 minutes

    You also really should watch the documentary on William Binney:
    “A Good American” for more infor on him. It’s on netflix or from the library.

    I must admit Senator Schumer was right when he said this about Trump. “When you take on the intelligence agencies, they have six ways to sunday to getback at you.” It’s at the 40 second mark.

    As Binney says above – the NSA etc. are tracking American citizens probably as much as if not more than they are foreigners… – all of which is what he was fired for after 30 years at the NSA just before the Iraq war, for warning that this was a very dangerous path. And it is one Eisenhower warned about when he left office.

    and it’s happening. And it’s frightening.

    1. Carla

      Saw “A Good American” on the film festival circuit several years ago. I never understood why it did not see general commercial release. Excellent movie — be sure to see it, however you can get ahold of it.

  3. JJ139

    Who owns England?
    The main change in ownership followed the Norman conquest in 1066. Instead of loose local anglo saxon fiefdoms, suddenly all the land belonged to the monarch, who then parceled land off to his knights and other loyal followers. Centuries later, the corrupt members of parliament passed enclosure acts, enabling common land to be stolen from the people and enclosed against them. In Scotland, the Highlands clearance was, as the same suggests, a means to clear peasants off the land in favour of wealthy landowners. Of course, various landowning dynasties intermarried to create even bigger landholdings. Apart from the Norman domesday book, a ledger of land ownership, and a similar attempt in the 19th century, not much has been investigated with regard to landownership in England. Remarkably, these incredibly wealthy landowners receive massive ‘farming’ subsidies, either to grow food, or not grow food (set aside) and for ‘allowing’ wind turbines etc., to be installed on their land.
    The Duke of Westminster, the richest man in England (apart from the queen whose wealth is shrouded in mystery) who owns much of London and other parts of the country, died a year or so ago. His multibillion pound estate paid virtually no inheritance tax because it was all in some trust fund accounting scheme. And so the wealth and landownership are ringfenced and kept intact generation after generation.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      The other big issue is that many if not most of those upland moors are former commonage, corruptly ‘enclosed’ in the 18th Century. Most English moors were raised bog, cut out by villagers in the middle ages for fuel, leaving behind an acidic dry heath. This is pretty much useless for anything commercial except grouse shooting. But left alone with would develop into dry open upland woodland, perfect for recreation. But that won’t happen as long as these people make a fortune from shooting (I wouldn’t call it ‘hunting’, as the birds are practically domesticated).

      1. The Rev Kev

        Can’t help but quote from an episode from “Yes Minister” that seems relevant to what is important to the elites-

        Bernard Woolley: “This M40 is a very good road.”
        Jim Hacker: “So is the M4. I wonder why we got two really good roads to Oxford, before we got any to Southampton, Dover or Lowestoft or any of the ports?”
        Bernard Woolley: “Nearly all our Permanent Secretaries went to Oxford, Minister. And most Oxford Colleges give very good dinners.”
        Jim Hacker: “And the Cabinet let them get away with it?”
        Bernard Woolley: “Certainly not, they put their foot down. They said no motorway to take civil servants to dinners in Oxford, unless there was a motorway to take Cabinet Ministers hunting in the Shires. That’s why when the M1 was built in the fifties it stopped in the middle of Leicestershire.”

        Yeah, ‘hunting in the shires’.

    2. SerenityNow

      There is a great book on this subject which you may already be familiar with: The Poor Had No Lawyers by Andy Wightman. It provides a fascinating overview of land “ownership” in Scotland, with discussion of England as well.

    3. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you.

      Two surveys were conducted in the 1870s and 1880s. I have the PDFs.

      The Inland Revenue conducted surveys in the late 1900s and during WW1. These were to pay for the People’s Budget of 1909 and WW1. These are not easy to access, but the Department of Transport’s surveys are considered less confidential.

    4. LifelongLib

      FWIW, I understand the very wealthy in the U.S. also use trusts to shelter money from inheritance taxes, as well as borrowing money for living expenses to avoid income tax. So it’s not just an English thing…

    5. icancho

      Who owns England?

      A good question. Read all about it in Kevin Cahill’s pursuit of an answer to this question in his fascinating book “Who owns Britain: the facts behind land ownership in the UK and Ireland; Canongate, 2001. The surveys mentioned below by the good Colonel and thoroughly discussed by Cahill (Return of owners of land, 1873 : … Presented to both Houses of Parliament by command of Her Majesty. By: Great Britain. Local Government Board. Published: 1875), may be found at, and downloaded as vols 1 & 2.

      Cahill suggests four major land grabs leading towards a highly skewed pattern of land ownership: the Norman Conquest; Henry VIII’s appropriation and dispersion of monastery lands; Cromwell’s Republic, under which church, crown and royalist land was sold off; the Enclosures. The Enclosures are described by Simon Fairlie here:

  4. pretzelattack

    prosecutors have rested the case against manafort. i’m waiting for what comes next with bated breath.

    1. pretzelattack

      the most ominous quote:
      Daigle adds that scientists don’t know a whole lot about what cows do at night besides lying down and sleeping.
      they could be plotting anything!
      larson tried to warn us.

    2. KFritz

      A little over fifty years ago in my young teens, a five month old, five hundred pound male calf blocked my exit from the only gate in a pasture on a rainy, chilly autumn night (Hat tip to Bulwer Lytton). He wanted company, and kept me there for several minutes, finally relenting. Cows grok plane geometry, and they can be playful!

      This happened on a Saturday. On Monday afternoon, the calf became a steer–my father wanted him to be tamer. This happened near the outer edge of the New Jersey suburbs, near today’s Jets’ practice facility. Hackettstown (scene of the goat breakout) was in the next county, and it’s a surprise (to me anyway) that the livestock auction still exists–my family were occasional visitors. Evidently, some agricultural livestock still exists in New Joisey.

  5. Eureka Springs

    New data makes it clear: Nonvoters handed Trump the presidency

    Better headline.

    Had black Suburbans shown up to escort and force non voters to vote for either Clinton or Trump, Trump would have lost.

    Note to WAPO and Dems. I didn’t vote for Trump. Trump voters did. And I hear the Clinton/Dems worked hard to make Trump the Republican nominee.

    1. Enquiring Mind

      Had black Suburbans shown up to escort and force non voters to vote for either Clinton or Trump, Trump would have lost.

      Now they have self-driving voters? /s

      1. DonCoyote

        No, they do blame you.

        Nonvoters are blamed. Jill Stein voters are blamed. And Trump voters are blamed (and women, Bernie Sanders {and Berniebros}, Susan Sarandon, and anyone else who even hinted at the fact that the lesser of two evils is still evil).

        Hillary Clinton will have to run again (she doesn’t want to, obviously) in 2020 just to let all these people “get it right this time”.

        Remember the people that would prefer the giant meteor to either Trump or Clinton? 23% of 18-35 year-olds expressed that sentiment. And that’s also the group that was less likely to vote. And, of course, the companion link, the Wisconsin barbers that didn’t vote and don’t regret it. So good luck with that shaming strategy.

        1. LifelongLib

          Yes, I was told by a relative that by voting Green I helped Trump get elected, even though Clinton got the electoral votes for my state, which is what matters.

          1. John k

            And I helped a bit out here in ca when I wrote in Bernie.
            On the plus side, we’ve avoided ww3 for almost two years… maybe I get to take credit for that?

        1. LifelongLib

          Yup, here in Hawaii Libertarians get about double the Green vote, so if third party voting really affects the outcome it more likely helps Democrats…

    2. Pylot7

      What a ridiculous thing to say “nonvoters handed Trump presidency”.

      Non voters handed every winner their seat! If only a few more voters would have showed up to vote for “insert candidate name here” blah blah blah.

      What a waste of space.

    3. Holding my breath for 3 more years

      It’s not up to the voters to get excited about the candidates — it’s up to the candidates to make the voters excited. This story should be directed at the DNC in particular.

      If people could have voted for “none of the above”, we wouldn’t be where we are today (arguably we might be somewhere worse).

      1. DonCoyote

        “None of the Above”

        Imagine there’s no president
        It’s easy if you try
        Noone has AUMF
        No “kill-list” drones in the sky

    4. Unna

      As I remember hearing; Young Detroit African American non voter: “If the first black president ain’t done nothing for me, what makes you think some rich white woman’s gonna do something?”

      So I guess the Dems are going to blame this guy for her loss.

  6. Henry Moon Pie

    A new St. Francis–

    Thanks for this link. While it’s written by a Catholic layperson, the critique applies to all of modern American Christianity. In a piece filled with striking statements demanding consideration, even meditation, this one stood out:

    If your faith depends upon being respectable, it will be broken.

    The point need not be restricted to Christian faith. If anyone would reject the insanity of a world so fixated on violence, domination and pride, that person must first leave respectability behind. Who is respected in our perverse culture? The butcher who hides behind a uniform and a flag. The thief shielded by a battalion of lawyers. The liar made more believable by the best make-up artists and costumes that money can buy. The death peddler protected by a federal government purchased with his billions in profits.

    You need not be a Christian to identify with Jesus’s point about our relationship to this world (John 15:19):

    If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own. Because you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world—therefore the world hates you.

    Respectability is the mark of a collaborator.

    1. DJG

      Henry Moon Pie: As a bad Catholic and a bad Buddhist, I am somewhat skeptical of Dreher, of his informant and her bourgeois preoccupations, and of the “evangelical” response (which, at least, has evolved from All Catholics Are Going to Hell).

      I happen to be familiar with Saint Francis and with the Franciscan mystic Jacopone da Todi: The problem for Americans has nothing to do with respectability. Saint Francis preached poverty. His nickname in Italian is Il Poverello, the Poor Little Man. Unless these anguished souls are willing to engage in the kind of charity that Francis and Franciscans have demanded, nothing will change. And there is no indication that Christians in the U S of A are overwhelmed by a desire to be charitable.

      Further, the message of Saint Francis and Jacopone is (not so) remarkably free of preoccupations with the laity’s sexual behavior. I tend to doubt that the three anguished souls will give up on their sexual puritanism and distorted views of “biblical marriage.”

      All of this is what I call, over and over, the Continuing Crisis of Monotheism. Monotheism is like monocropping. One jealous god eats up the whole world. At least, Catholicism is less dualistic than most U.S. protestant denominations, but that isn’t saying much.

      The Catholic church was lucky to have had Saint Francis, the boddhisattva who renewed Catholicism in spite of itself. But Francis also preached to the birds: He was flexible and witty and uninhibited. He wanted to engage all sentient beings in his idea of divinity. He was concerned with brother Sun, sister Moon, brother Wolf, sister Death, and slept using a stone as a pillow. And he required his followers to be instruments of peace.

      And these three anguished souls are worried about vestments?

      1. DJG

        I just finished Harriet Flowers’s book, The Dancing Lares and the Serpent in the Garden, which is about Roman popular religion–the importance of street shrines and local religious observances and neighborhood piety.

        Who knew of the stress on public and private virtue among pagans? Of the private organizations and belief in civic duty? After all, the Christians have been on a two-thousand-year-long campaign of portraying pagans as bloodthirsty jerks.

        So some of the despair in Dreher’s article comes from what happens when revealed religion turns out not to reveal much.

        Lucky for the revealed crowd: The Apocalypse is upon us!

        1. Unna

          I enjoy reading Dreher’s stuff just like I enjoy reading other right wing diagnoses of our cultural ills. Many times they’re adept at pointing out what’s wrong, but their cultural and political solutions are almost always horrible. The Benedict Option? Please. Being locked up in Benedict’s monastery makes joining Attila’s war band clearly preferable. Why not the Attila Option?

          The traditional critique of the “Liberal” idea that has, for example, liberated finance capital to dominate an atomized humanity of individually free persons and has made a shambles of community, family, culture, prosperity, as well as any ethnic, gender, identity etc, (trust me, it’s coming for identity too) is essentially a right wing critique of liberalism in its original sense. The conservative, non liberal, European reactionary of the 19th Century made similar observations about capitalism as Marx. But monarchy was their solution, about as useless a solution as the Benedict Option. I’d hate to think that Hungary’s “Illiberal” society (Dreher had a link to a recent Orban speech which was an interesting read), a Eurasianist version of Putinism, or Italy’s Liga is the only future defence against neo liberalism. Big Problem: If that’s all that’s on order, which one do you choose? At least these forms of thinking-organizing are somewhat new. Going back to St. Francis? I mean, why not bring back Apollo? You solve the monotheism problem, the exclusive heterosexual problem and so on. Plus, he’ll kill the serpent and teach us all how to sing again. Also, this god doesn’t sleep on a stone, nor does he expect his votaries to do so either.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Re: The St Francis link:

      More than 300 accused priests listed in Pennsylvania report on Catholic Church sex abuse WaPo.

      “Canon law is not equipped for this kind of thing. It’s an enormous criminal sexual underground. It’s been surfacing like jagged parts of an iceberg for 30 years,” [Jason Berry, a reporter and author who has covered the sexual abuse crisis for decades] said.

      Making the prima facie case that Q etc. is cray cray (as they are) more difficult to make. This is more than a moral panic…

      1. DJG


        From the article you linked to:
        The nearly 1,400-page report’s introduction makes clear that few criminal cases may result from the massive investigation.

        In my not-so-humble opinion, the reason that the church(es) would rather call this sex abuse is that the victim can be shamed and dismissed. Calling it “the clergy raping the parishioners,” which is what it is, and the power dynamic changes. It is rape. I’m surprised that the statute of limitations has tolled. I suspect the the report is hoping to downgrade the crimes to “indecent exposure.”

        And, yet, so much of our culture now turns on attempting to make changes by accusations of sexual misconduct.

  7. Brooklin Bridge

    Internet Governance and Net Neutrality —

    An excellent discussion on global Internet governance issues including net neutrality with Richard Hill on Real News Network. Lynn Fries is the interviewer and is very good as is Mr. Hill. A comprehensive and remarkably clear overview of the subject.

    Posted this yesterday at bottom of comments think it worth doing again.

  8. bassmule

    Just saw this, similarly themed.

    Julia Salazar Challenges Silicon Valley.

    “Beyond destroying livelihoods and introducing unsustainable modes of employment, privatized tech platforms convert our most intimate moments into generative labor, trapping us in closed-circuit filter bubbles while ensuring we see none of the profits. Meanwhile, data-hungry corporate surveillance readily translates into punitive state power and discriminatory tools for law enforcement. And uneven access to broadband infrastructure — an essential utility in the 21st century — crushes any remnants of progressive techno-utopianism by ensuring that the internet will sustain, rather than subvert, rampant wealth inequality.”

    Sounds good. Although one cannot help but be suspicious of Democrats (of any flavor) who promise to “fight.”

    1. Carey

      Thank you for that link. It was good to see the word “disruption” put into proper context.
      And I agree with your last sentence, too.

  9. JTMcPhee

    For anyone out there harboring the illusion that ‘thorium reactors’ are a God-given path to true energy independence and local wealth-and-power generation, please read this from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists:

    It appears that thorium reactors inevitably produce protactinium, isotopes of which are subject to further decay into bomb-making atoms of U-233. One isotope of protactinium is itself a nice nuclear weapon material. Separation processes are relatively (compared to other radionuclides) easy. Thus leading to an increase in bomb-grade fissile material, and the potential for ‘diversion’ and weapons proliferation.

    But it is such an attractive idea! Little mini-thorium reactors dotting the landscape, humming along and producing “electricity that is too cheap to meter.” What could possibly go wrong?

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Thanks – thats really interesting. Thorium reactors keep getting raised by pro-nuclear types as a potential solution to de-carbonising the economy, but they seem to keep hitting technical obstacles. The Indians and Chinese seem to have retreated from their proposals (its always hard to tell, but they’ve gone quiet about them and they don’t appear so often in their energy strategies). But certainly the proliferation issue is another big one. Perhaps this is one reason why the big powers have never been all that keen on Thorium.

    2. Alex


      Several nations have explored thorium power for their nuclear energy portfolios. Foremost among these is India.

      But India already have nuclear weapons so there’s no proliferation danger in this case. A bigger question is the economics of such reactors.

    3. Duke of Prunes

      I know I’ve read that the popularity of the current (i.e. 1960s) nuclear reactor design was specifically to produce plenty of weapons grade nuclear material for the DoD. At least I’ve heard this from proponents of thorium reactors, and it’s one of the “reasons” that thorium never “caught on” (no plutonium for the bomb makers). Maybe this will change things…

    4. davidgmillsatty

      I don’t know of anyone in the Thorium community who has ever said that you can’t make bombs out of the thorium cycle. It was actually done. Maybe even by both the US and the Soviet Union. They have always said it is just very hard to do and much easier with uranium 235 and breeding uranium 238 into plutonium. So the only countries this would really effect are the countries that can not get their hands on uranium but have their own supply of thorium. Now since thorium is four times as uranium that might make some countries get a bomb that otherwise would not.

    1. Bugs Bunny

      I was going to post this but hesitated thinking it was just too weird. I now realize that it’s just par for the course in Muskworld.

    2. ScottS

      Reading a quote from Elon I finally understand what this is all about:

      “I fundamentally believe that we are at our best when everyone is focused on executing, when we can remain focused on our long-term mission, and when there are not perverse incentives for people to try to harm what we’re all trying to achieve,” he said.

      He thinks HR and production problems are insiders being paid by TSLA shorts to sabotage things. He thinks that going private means these things will go away. Of course, he is wrong.

      He seemed unusually concerned about the shorts. Now I see why.

  10. zagonostra

    Refer: China high speed rail.

    I wasn’t able to get behind the FT paywall, but anytime I see a story about high-speed rail I can’t resist from railing against an Amtrak that doesn’t offer the most basic services to get me from my mid-State PA residence to Pittsburgh and back on the same day (I live about 2 hours East).

    To go and visit my daughter who attends college there when I’m home on the weekend, I have to drive. There is a train that goes from Altoona, PA, near my residence, but there is no train coming back.

    Imagine a high speed rail system that cuts across PA, from Philly to Harrisburg and Pittsburgh; wouldn’t people from outlying areas go and shop, watch plays, go to museums, and generate all sorts of economic activity?

    Can’t the Chinese be invited over to build one for us if our (s)elected representatives won’t…

    1. PlutoniumKun

      On that point, I can’t get behind they paywall either, the old google trick doesn’t work any more for me – have they changed the rules?

      1. Lorenzo

        accessing the article from goolge (so googling the headline) on an incognito window has worked for me for the past week or so (and just now with this article) when I suspect they indeed ‘changed the rules’. I’ve had to do the same with WaPo and others since forever.

    2. a different chris

      >but there is no train coming back.

      Have an image of all those trains (slowly, this is the US) continuing westward to eventually splash into the ocean. :) But I know what you mean.

    3. JCC

      I happen to be on a train right now, Lakeshore Limited. Three hours behind schedule and no water available in the Dining Car.

      I really like traveling by train, this time it’s a round trip from LA to Upstate NY. It’s a civilized way to travel, and if you have the time, are not on a tight schedule, and enjoy relatively primitive ways of traveling, Amtrak is always fun.

      1. Brooklin Bridge

        Do you have a sleeper? And if not too personal, cost range? Thinking of doing the same thing except from the east to west.

        1. JCC

          Yes, a sleeper from LA to Chi and Business Class to Rochester, NY from Chi. One way was around 650.00 meals and drinks (non-alcohol) included. Room was good enough and you’re allowed to bring your own food and drink. Bathrooms are clean and functional. Pleasant, but trains always run late.

          I’m doing it round-trip so total was a little over 1300.00.

          I arrived at Seneca County this afternoon to the aftermath of a major rainstorm, roads closed, houses on the lake destroyed, the usual “new weather”.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            How much of Amtrak “running late” is because Amtrak trains run on Freight Railroad Company tracks and the Freight Railroad orders the Amtrak train onto a siding so the Freight Train can run through instead. And the Freight Line does that over and over and over . . . making the Amtrak as late as the Freight Line pleases.

            Such is my understanding. Am I wrong?

            Seriously, if people want a Europe-quality passenger rail system, people will have to pay European-level taxes to fund it. That’s what they do in Europe.

          2. Brooklin Bridge

            Thanks, JCC, very helpful. The travel agent we contacted gave us stratospheric quotes though I think it was at least partly because we asked for a very popular run.

            Sorry to hear about Seneca County – “new weather.”

    4. PlutoniumKun

      The article points out that while China’s HSR has massive and probably unpayable debts, its probably worth it in the end.

      China’s huge leveraged bet on HSR has also generated many other benefits as it dramatically shrinks distances, transforms lives and boosts regional economies. The now three-hour, 1,100km train ride between Guangzhou and Wuhan used to take 11 hours, and tickets are now priced at just Rmb464.

      Annual travel on China’s HSR lines — 1.7bn trips — exceeds travel on conventional rail services. And about half of all HSR trips are, like Mr Liu’s, business-related. 

      “When you think about that, a staggering 850m people are travelling [on HSR] to meet customers, get to their job, visit research centres and so on,” said Mr Ollivier. 

      If China Railway’s HSR network is ultimately able to pay for itself, it will be a testament to the miracles that can happen when the Chinese Communist party marshals the vast financial resources at its disposal to serve a common good. But if it cannot, there is little doubt who will have to make up the difference. 

      “China Railway’s debt is government-backed,” said Prof Li. “It won’t default.”

      I doubt there has ever been a profitable rail line in history, nearly all had to be subsidised or bailed out at some time in their working lives. But the investment can last more than a century and provide enormous benefits. Even if they are completely unviable, old rail lines can be great tourism routes. The notion that they should have to pay for themselves is one of the worst ideas, among many, that mainstream economists have come up with.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        From Guangzhou to Wuhan.

        From Wikipedia, Wuhan, climate:

        Wuhan’s climate is humid subtropical (Köppen Cfa) with abundant rainfall and four distinctive seasons. Wuhan is known for its very humid summers, when dewpoints can often reach 26 °C (79 °F) or more.[97] Historically, along with Chongqing and Nanjing, Wuhan is referred to as one of the “Three Furnacelike Cities” along the Yangtze River for the high temperatures in the summertime.[98] However, the climate data of recent years suggests that Wuhan is no longer among the top tier of “The hottest cities in summer” list, The New Four Furnacelike Cities are Chongqing, Fuzhou, Hangzhou, and Nanchang.[99][100]

        Not a preferred place to go during the summer months.

    5. NotTimothyGeithner

      Most likely they would be spending their entertainment dollars elsewhere.

      High speed rail is a pipe dream in much of the U.S. The U.S. wasnt bombed to hell in the 1940’s. There is important stuff all along the major corridors. The rail companies dont have the land for high speed trains well to have two tracks anyway. Better rail is what we need, and even then, the primary goal is to get rid of cars which means intra city transit not inter city transit, trolleys, zoning laws to allow mixed use buildings. I understand you like trains. I like them too, but entertainment isn’t the same as moving mined material to a city which would be unavailable without rail. Zipping between Pittsburgh and Philly (I’ve can’t imagine why anyone would ever go to Harrisonburg) is nice but it’s a luxury. Then you have to stops. Where are those stops? What if it’s an hour away? Then you got to deal with getting on the train, and it’s still over two hours for you.

      So you want to see the Pirates? You could have seen McCutcheon and Alvarez for like $5 back in 2009 at your local Pirates affiliate in Altoona. That’s Triple AAA. I don’t know the price.

    6. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Instead of more people going to Pittsburgh to shop, perhaps more shops can go to small towns – there was a discussion yesterday about in rural America, the stores are disappearing.

      1. Brooklin Bridge

        It’s particularly irksome when they “dissapear” just as you are entering… :-) Half way in, half way out so to speak.

    7. Jeremy Grimm

      After imagining real train service between Philli and Pittsburg I would imagine a drive from Philli to Upstate NY that doesn’t cost oddles of tolls and require endless stops at toll stations along the way.

    8. Jeremy Grimm

      Tying your comment about the AMTRAK and with the vignette of BART in the Airport Shuffle link and I think we have part of a response to the closing lines of the Airport Shuffle:
      “A clean low energy society won’t include airports and freeways full of cars. We have to choose. And so far even the people who say they want the clean energy world keep doing things that guaranty it won’t happen.”
      Of course even a better mass transit system [a working mass transit system] would be no more than a stop-gap measure. The full impact of Airport Shuffle’s last line is pregnant of far more than not flying and using mass transit instead. The ‘World After’ will be a much larger and more disconnected place.

  11. Darius

    Saw a wild turkey hen browsing the grass Saturday at the entrance to a grocery store parking lot near Shadyside, Md. We were all amazed.

    1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Ive seen a group of Turkeys as well crossing a dirt road in Ft. Sill, OK.

      And my buddy stepped on ones head doing Night Land Nav(igation).

      Fn Turkeys, amirite!

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Radioactive sheep found in Australia bolster claims that Israel conducted illegal nuclear weapon test over the Indian Ocean four decades ago”

    There was a Tom Clancy novel called “The Sum of All Fears” decades ago where in that book, a sample taken from an nuclear explosion allowed not only which country’s reactors that radioactive sample came from to be identified but even which part of the reactor it came from. Thus I wonder if samples were taken back then that would have pinpointed the source of the fissile materials used in that nuclear weapons test by Israel and South Africa. Then again, perhaps Israel deliberately used fissile materials from a certain country which made it too embarrassing to be generally know hence the cover up since 1979 of that test.

    1. Carolinian

      In this case it may just be that the sheep were downwind of the detected explosion site off the coast of South Africa. Above ground nuclear testing has already been banned so alternative sources wouldn’t have been a factor.

    1. crittermom

      I loved the cat antidote!
      I wasn’t surprised when one cat pulled the dish away. What surprised me was when they began ‘taking turns’ & pushing the bowl back to the other. I never saw that coming.

      Thanks for the smile this morning, NC!

  13. Carolinian

    PBS Frontline is doing a two parter on Iran and the second part is tonight.

    So far it’s a very mixed bag. The show’s host–NYT Iran correspondent Thomas Erdbrink–approaches the subject as a kind of Michael Moore goes to Iran, drawing out quirky characters in man on the street interviews but not offering much big picture insight. His Iranian wife tells him that “behind the veil” takes on Iranian society are a cliche. But he then proceeds to do just that including a long and rather pointless segment on what can be shown on Iranian television. A religious conservative talks about America as the Great Satan which is silly since all Americans know that the Great Satan is Russia.

    Still, it’s a rare look at Trump’s public enemy number one. Those with access might also check into films by the great, late ‎Abbas Kiarostami.

    1. psv

      An Iranian friend recommended the Everyday Iran account on Instagram, for those who use that, and I’ve found it well worthwhile –

      I second Carolinian’s mention of Kiarostami and would mention filmmaker Bahram Beyzai and poet/filmmaker Forough Farrokhzad as two other names worth exploring.

  14. Craig H.

    The HN ethics thread is charming.

    > I would frequently hear people talk about how they received a “System e-mail” with a chill in their voice, not knowing I was the one responsible. People who I ate lunch with sometimes didn’t even really know.

    When Mengele was walking around the Concentration Camp everybody knew who he was and only an utter sociopath is immune to some sense of shame. Automated systems provide armor against this most meager defense that we have against them.

  15. chuck roast

    RE: How China’s green wave is making recycling more expensive in Maine
    This article is so incomplete, off-base and shortsighted I don’t know where to start.
    First, let’s talk about “avoided cost of landfilling” shall we. This guy is “losing money” because he is paying “$25-$40 per ton to get rid of paper”. If landfilling the ton costs $80-$100/ton, then the town is saving over $50/ton by recycling paper. This little tid-bit, always unmentioned in any recycling story, is the key to why China and Vietnam (look out Africa) have undergone an avalanche of American crap for decades.
    This poor fellow is losing money. Since when has recycling (with the exception of paper and cardboard) ever been a profitable enterprise?

    Second, there is really little direct cost to the consumer of packaging that can be readily tossed. Tossed – the externality. Toxic electronic waste, used tires, furans and dioxin from waste incinerators, ground water pollution – you can add to this list.

    Thirdly, the author has ever so much faith in the economics and technology that got us to this point… ”fully recyclable packaging for potato chips using cellulose nanomaterials derived from wood pulp”. Idiots on parade.
    Wanna minimize the recycling/trash problem? Tax throw-away containers a-buck-a-pop at the source. Reward all returnable containers enough to encourage recycling but not theft. Standardize bottle sizes and shipping packaging so that both can be reused. Watch closely as refillable bottles return to your store shelves, bottling plants and local jobs return to a neighborhood near you and your monthly trash bill diminishes.

    1. nippersdad

      All good points.

      In addition, though, I have been wondering why no one has done a start-up using all of those plastic bottles to make building materials. Just grind ’em up and fuse the pieces to make CMU sized blocks. They would have great R values, are free, wouldn’t cost much to produce or to ship, wouldn’t have the carbon footprint of concrete or need to be cemented together; you could just glue them together and use (recycled?) rebar, or whatever, for reinfocement purposes. They wouldn’t be subject to rot or insects and might, theoretically, last forever. You would prolly have to face the blocks with something to keep them weathertight, but maybe using some other form of recyclable would work for that as well…………….There has to be something wrong with this idea. Would they off gas?

      I would do it myself, but have no funds, or even the first clue as to how to start up such a business. This commentariat would be particularly good at figuring out why it would or wouldn’t work.

      What do y’all think?

      1. Wukchumni

        I think that the only thing most municipalities did was have make-work separating centers, where employees sorted out the various recyclables, soon to be sent on their way to China.

        No real effort was made concerning the actual recycling of said items, that would cost a gang of money, which very few cities have, as discretionary dollars just hanging around, and a no doubt about it continual drain on financial resources.

        Thus now that the reverse Cargo Cult gig is over, the majority of ‘recyclables’ are and will continue to be sent to the dump, along with everything else.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          I tend agree with your assessment of the real practicality of recycling, although some items may be of value if sorted before discard. I believe the single flow recycling was definitely a bogus move. Thinking about ‘After’ it might be a good idea to separate where different kinds of recycle of no great value now get put into landfill. It would be especially nice to maintain a map of where each goes.

      2. Jeremy Grimm

        Although I like your idea of using plastic to make building materials I recall there are five or six kinds of plastic in the recycling stream. I have no idea whether they play nice together. Also the labels are difficult to remove and the contents may need to be cleared(?). I have seen some very nice plastic milk crates made from recycled plastic. They weren’t especially cheap though. I also wonder whether plastic ‘bricks’ would be allowed in the building codes.

        If I were thinking of investing in a recycling business in the US, no matter how profitable it might seem now while China is no longer taking our ‘recycling’, I would have to wonder what would happen if China suddenly changed its policy and started taking our ‘recycling’ as before or some other country started taking our ‘recycling’.

        1. nippersdad

          I have no clue as to how well the various types of plastic would play together, but if you were only grinding them up and fusing them it seems like the main issue would be one of binding them together. They shouldn’t have a chemical reaction unless they were melted down together, right?

          As to labels, why not incorporate them as well? Is there any reason why such a small percentage of the overall mass would have to be removed? Further to that, cleaning of the plastic might be as simple as a rinse cycle once they are ground up. Solubles should come out in the wash. Seems like you would want to do that anyway to promote adhesion.

          As for building codes, I think that such builders as found a profit margin to be made on such things would have great input in building code changes. The state of Georgia, for example, used to be (maybe still is) owned by developers. Give them something to drive down construction costs and they would burn the place down to get it.

          As to the China issue, I have no doubt that once such businesses were to place a dollar value on the raw scrap it would quickly lose its’ attractiveness for foreign recycling operations…………..Though, on the other hand, one does read of chickens and fish being shipped from the US to China for processing and subsequent reimportation. So, there is that.

          The downside, of course, is that we should be getting rid of the plastic stuff anyway, not making a new market for it. But…you know…..Thanks for the input!

          1. Jeremy Grimm

            I think figuring out how to make plastic paper, which I believe uses polyethylene plastic like that used for milk and some juice containers, might be a useful piece of knowledge to file away for the times ‘After’. I believe books printed on plastic paper would be more durable and long lived than paper books. Preserving knowledge After will be extremely important and it would be difficult to grow accustomed to life without paper.

        1. nippersdad

          Just spitballing, here, but I think that the manufacture of composite decking is a pretty complex process. IIRC, you have to actually melt the stuff down and spin it into fibers which are then put into a heat press to meld it all together to form a solid product. I imagine they also would need specific types of plastic (?) and they would need to dye it, as it is meant to look finished. Also, too, it is pretty heavy, unwieldy stuff.

          The relative advantage of plastic CMU would be that it would be lightweight and one wouldn’t need to alter the structure of the recyclable inputs to such a large degree: just chop it up, rinse it, glue it into long extruded lengths and then saw it up into individual CMU units. It could probably be done on an automated assembly line. Bottles in and blocks out with little maneuvering in between. You would use it, essentially, as a structural insulation, so no need for it to look finished because you would need to cover it with the weatherproofing of your choice, and as you would be glueing it the types of plastic going into needn’t be the same.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > using cellulose nanomaterials derived from wood pulp

      Maine is pretty focused on replacing petroleum-based packaging with cellulose, for reasons that I would have thought were obvious

      1. JTMcPhee

        Anything that has “nano-“ in front of it ought, in my experience, to get some very awful extra-special burden of proof that the stuff passes the precautionary-principle test with more than flying colors.

        And focusing, on a large scale, by a political entity — forgive my inherent cynicism — seems to me, any more, to become nothing but an invitation for special interests, attuned as they are to every ‘main(e) chance,’ to capture whatever greed-satisfying scams and “opportunities” can be racked out of “progress.” I keep remembering all the “new! improved!” stuff that has come along, from steel (Bessemer process, etc.) to “{up from the ground come a-bubblin’ crude” to even antibiotics that when inevitably abused, as in over-prescribed and animal feed “supplements,” produce resistant organisms where the resistant bits of the genes suprisingly migrate to other species, with unfortunate effects.

        There’s a native understanding of the warnings posed by some of our myths, memes and tropes, like poor Mickey Mouse messing with the Sorceror’s Grimoire and robe, cap and wand, in “The Sorceror’s Apprentice…” Too bad there are no constraints on people messing with stuff that they might better not be, like the “bio-hackers” and their CRSP-R kits…

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      One problem with tires is when they are being used, they wear down and generate lots of tiny tire-lettes or particles, with non-natural rubbers tires, we are looking at plastic chunks and bits from those tires.

      Where do those plastic pieces go? Into the ocean?

    4. Jeremy Grimm

      One time, I started checking into where and how glass was recycled. What I found was disheartening. There were several sources of information from about a decade or two ago and then very little, as if there were a sea-change in the recycling markets. The quality of these earlier sources was very mixed and many of the ways glass proposed for glass recycling waved over problems with color sorting, sorting by glass formulation which affects compatibility between glasses, cleaning the glass and removing labels, and noting the interactions between glass and other components in certain applications of glass waste. For an example, one of the ideas for using glass was to crush it and use it as a source of sand and composites for making concrete. The problem is that few of the sources I found seemed aware that certain glass will react with certain kinds of concrete with unfortunate long term effects which could precede the rust effects of rebar by several decades. Making recycling more practical will require careful thought and government regulation of the allowed forms of initial sources of waste — much as you propose at the tail of your comment — but both would require actions heretical to Neoliberalism. Oh well.

  16. perpetualWAR

    So rather than provide the mental illness help needed within our schools, we are funding how to stop excessive bleeding? This is helpful. /sarc

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think gun control needs to be coupled with zero-tolerance border (arms) smuggle control to be effective.


      To address excess drinking, we prefer treatment and getting help by going to AA. Not Prohibition. We tried it. Didn’t work.


      To address teenage pregnancy, we prefer safe sex and to treat birth as optional. Not banning sex. People the world over have tried it.

      Is mental illness help and first aid knowledge the (additional) way to go here? (The ‘every little bit helps’ approach?)

      1. JBird

        Is mental illness help and first aid knowledge the (additional) way to go here? (The ‘every little bit helps’ approach?)

        The whole thing is a distraction. I have really lost my acceptance on such minimalist approaches.

        Prohibition of drugs, or guns, or abortion, whatever one’s views on the subjects does nothing but make things worse. Murders with guns have been going down for decades Suicides not so much. Much of the violence, deaths, suicides, even mental illness could be stopped with decent jobs, healthcare, affordable housing. So would teen pregnancy and drug use. Even gang violence is symptomatic of poverty, despair, and brutal and often corrupt policing, and strangely, or not, the lack of actual police service. The over-policing and underserving of the poor, especially non-whites.

        Or say differently, the lack of jobs, housing, and healthcare, coupled with horrific policing, and usually atrocious governmental service, is the cause of much(most?) of the violence, deaths, suicides, mental illness, teen pregnancy, drug use.

        However, our neoliberal hellscape only the suggestion, and perhaps use of such bs bandages as solutions are acceptable cause the socialism is bad. Or something. So we have DHS’ The School-Age Trauma Training program, which is just baloney. It solves nothing, but it is great for ramping up the fear though, and gives some apparatchiks their sinecures.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I was presenting the skeptics case regarding gun control, and can agree with you that we need to look at the root cause.

          1. LifelongLib

            Well, a while ago there were stats posted here on NC showing that the U.S. is not an outlier for violent crime overall but is an outlier for deaths resulting from violent crime, which suggests that guns increase the lethality of the violence that occurs. So gun control may reduce deaths, if not necessarily violence.

              1. todde

                About 5 years back I decided to take ’emergency response training’ classes being held locally by a federal program created after 9-11.

                They rejected my application because I had a felon arrest record. I never did understand that one.

                Apparently every little bit doesn’t help…

                1. JBird

                  Felony arrest record, not even a conviction? How…stupid. Almost anyone can get arrested by some fool cop for any reason. And presto, you’re unclean with the Mark of Caine forever.

          2. JBird

            Sorry. It’s a trigger for me. Seeing people on either side of the issues virtue signal by using some simplistic slogan as a serious idea is really irritating.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef


      Has she hacked before?

      My age is many multiples of 11, and I have no idea how to crack that code.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Newly released official documents show CIA head Gina Haspel directly supervised waterboarding”

    Not for nothing was Gina known as “Bloody Gina”. Turns out that she gets her jollies watching this sort of stuff. In the same way that I consider the TV program “Madam Secretary” to be a precursor for a Hillary Presidency (which failed), I am beginning to wonder if the film “Zero Dark Thirty” was a precursor for a certain woman to get the top job at the CIA. There is a clip at which shows the woman heroin Maya taking part reluctantly in the waterboarding whereas in real life Gina was probably the one standing by the tap filling up the buckets.

    1. Lemmy Caution

      Haspel may have got her jollies, but more than that seems like a competent bureaucrat dutifully filing her reports. Reading all 16 cables that she wrote, or authorized, fleshes out some of the techniques developed by James Mitchell and John “Bruce” Jessen, the two psychologists contracted by the CIA to develop its Enhanced Interrogation program.

      Walling involved wrapping a towel around the neck of a detainee and grabbing it to slam them back against a wall.

      Waterboarding we have become familiar with, of course.

      A variation was Water Dousing, where a detainee was placed naked on a tarp. The edges of the tarp were then pulled up to form a bathtub around him while it was filled with cold or refrigerated water.

      If a detainee was deemed uncooperative, he would be put in the small box — a cramped box or dog cage that required him to curl up to fit in. After a good session the detaineewas sometimes rewarded by being put in the big box – a coffin-sized box or even one big enough to stand up in.

      Of course these techniques rarely, if ever, worked to produce actionable information, according to FBI agent Ali Soufan, CIA agent John Kiriakou, the Senate Intelligence Committee and others.

      1. JBird

        I always thought there was a direct video feed from the torture chambers at Abu Ghraib to Dick Cheney’s desk. Pure speculation, of course.

        Yeah, well, mustn’t we our jollies somehow?

        I have never read anything that supports the general use of torture, but our government still does it. Because why? Reading this got me to flashback on my readings on the Japanese guards use of punishment in their internment camps and prisons. Sometimes I wonder if our own security forces think being a milder version of the Kenpeitai is a good idea.

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

    There is too much on my plate this week to read the Gafney white paper in entirety, but in reviewing the abstract, and the summary of Polly Cleveland, I am immediately reminded of the comments of Maj. Gen. Smedley Darlington Butler that take the dynamic of the US military being primarily a private security force for corporate interests to 30 or 40 years earlier in the 20th century than Gafney has done.

    1. barefoot charley

      As I recall we sent gunboats to collect private debts in the 19th century, before we invented the IMF to do it more tactfully.

      1. Julia Versau

        “Corporate Power and Expansive U.S. Military Policy” is amazing. The new Bible for people who want to understand what the U.S. has been doing for a century or more and continues to do. Cannot recommend it enough. I’m on page 23 of 62 right now … easy to read … and so much evidence there for the doubting crowd. I’m bookmarking this one for eternity.

        I do not like being a citizen of the country that the world could really do without …

      2. Massinissa

        Remember that time Mexico was unable to pay back its loans to Europe so the Europeans tried to enforce a French Emperor onto Mexico to try and make it the Empire of Mexico? Good times, good times.

        Global capital is much more subtle now. That and no one but Argentina has tried to not repay loans recently, and they eventually bent the knee after years of financial pressure.

        The bankers are much smarter and more tactful these days, which amplifies their power.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      The Gafney draft paper seemed an odd product for an economics department to produce these days — so I checked up on Professor Gafney. He’s a full professor, 86 years old, and the student comments and ratings he receives at [] are revealing about both the professor and his students. He is definitely cut from cloth of a different time. I thought he sounded a little like a kindly “Mr. Chips” character after removing the jingoism of what I recall as a tendency for the movie Mr. Chips to inspire young men to die for God and country. I wonder whether a fellow like Professor Gafney could become a full professor of economics in today’s UC system — certainly not at the University of Chicago.

      1. Julia Versau

        Thanks for that information, Jeremy. Interesting. And no, he wouldn’t be welcome at the University of Chicago (which is now a feeder school — along with Harvard, Yale, etc. — for government and think tank posts that support the current hideous system). I got my masters degree at U of C, unfortunately.

      2. Eudaemon

        To me it’s sad that students today are not inclined to analyze underlying factors like we find in this article. I am hoping that Chomsky is informed of the article, since I think the two of them share similar perspectives. This is the sort of thing that inspires people in the less developed world to hope for a better day where they may realize more of the fruits of their labor or more of the raw materials being exploited in their countries.

  19. Summer

    Re: Non-Voters handed Trump the Presidency

    Seems to me he was paraded around in the media, the preferred opponent of the Clinton campaign, received plenty of enabling from beltway insiders, did everything to make people vote for him out of fear and people still didn’t vote for him.

    Meanwhile, Clinton convince enough people to vote for her and there was no other candidate promoted or available in the general election that people were compelled to vote for. And plenty of people were actual voters who went to the polls and voted for everything on their ballot but the presidential part.

    At the end of the day, after votes were counted, the electoral collage then elected Trump.

    1. Summer

      Correction (no edit buttom again):
      At the end of the day, after the people’s votes were counted and Clinton managed to get most of those, the electoral collage them elected Trump.

      So it was “voter representation” lacking, not lack of voters, for the majority of voters in the Presidential race. The media doesn’t understand the electoral system they want us to worship.

      1. barefoot charley

        I’m fuddled on this point. Without the electoral college, the voters of a handful of large coastal states could (in fact just did) by majority vote select a candidate ignorant of and indifferent to the needs of the rest of the country (as she obviously was). The college forces a national perspective for actual, as opposed to ‘I’m with Stupid,’ success. Maybe even the Democrats will learn this now?

        1. a different chris

          But – and I don’t like the idea of Hillary as president any more than you do – you already have that mis-representation of the majority in the Senate.

          If we would back off from the Imperial Presidency then it would work so that the popular vote would elect the President and the Senate would be the check on that “indifference” you cite. Plus don’t forget that a lot of the House also represents people with more in common across rural areas (that is, somebody that represents Johnstown PA would have a lot more in common with a Kansas representative than the person representing Philly)

        2. Todde

          Hills lwft the midwest to go hang out with wall street in nyc.

          Nobody cares about her problems. Just split the country up and be down with it.

          1. Summer

            It is almost to the point where the choice is: have a unified country or have a President…but there won’t be both.

        3. Summer

          And the fact that millions can go unrepresented in the electoral system for one office that has outsized and dangerous power (whether you voted for who those millions did or didn’t) is part of the case for doing away with the emperial presidency.
          It’s only become divisive and unrepresentative.

  20. a different chris

    he information is currently strewn across some 400 centers, and the Pentagon’s top brass believes that consolidating it into one cloud-based system, the way the CIA did in 2013, will make it more secure and accessible.

    That’s what a “cloud” is, you (family blogging) morons!!??!!! Wow the stupidity it burns. “One” cloud-based system. Christ on a bike.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I don’t believe the 400 data centers can really be called a “cloud” or anything close. Most of the 400 — which is a fudge number for sure — are not coupled in any meaningful way and I believe many of them already have their own separate backup schemes.

  21. Larry

    The piece from Duffelblog is one of the scariest things that I have ever read. We have a pres that openly admits that he does not know what numerous dept’s within the government do, nor can he give us any idea of what his reaction would be to anything. Additionally, he said that the reason he does not know who does what is because he is the busiest president ever.

    Imagine that you are a foreign leader. How do you deal with this guy!

  22. Katniss Everdeen

    So, I know it’s not “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US,” and Judge Sarah Backus is not george w., but…….Seriously????

    A New Mexico state judge ruled Monday that five alleged Muslim extremists accused of training children to conduct school shootings do not have to remain in jail while they await trial for child abuse.
    Backus said that New Mexico state prosecutors were unable to show that the five defendants should have their bail denied because they posed a threat to the community……..

    I wonder who she thinks is responsible for the dead three-year-old. In the “context” of “a threat to the community.”

    And where is the fbi, texting slurs to each other about Trump that don’t indicate bias or interfere with their doing their jobs?

    I mean, WTF?????

    In more important “news,” omarosa dissed Trump and he dissed her back, Trump snubbed mccain, a bridge fell down in Italy and Paul Manafort is being held without bail because an ankle monitor was not sufficient to protect the public from this crazed, 70-year-old, tax-evading lobbyist.

  23. Synoia

    Radioactive sheep found in Australia bolster claims that Israel conducted illegal nuclear weapon test over the Indian Ocean four decades ago

    Yes, my Father and some of my friends in ZA worked at Pelindaba.

    They were enriching uranium. I saw the pressure vessels.

    1. ambrit

      Are the Voortrekkers secretly continuing the enrichment process up on the Plateau today? Or have they moved it all to the Altiplano?

  24. JimTan

    This isn’t mentioned in the links above but I though I should mention that the U.S. Postal Service task force was supposed to deliver a report to the White House last week with ‘recommendations for reestablishing a sustainable business model for USPS’. Apparently the Trump administration will not make this report public immediately, but may release it in a couple of weeks. It’s been speculated that one goal of this administration is to privatize the USPS because they think this will give it ‘greater freedom to raise prices and negotiate pay and benefits’. Trump’s aiming this squarely at Amazon.

    We’ll soon see what the task force report says and how this plays out.

  25. flora

    re: What would an insurance policy against Trump look like

    Assume, for the sake of argument, that powerful, connected people in the intelligence community and in politics worried that a wildcard Trump presidency, unlike another Clinton or Bush, might expose a decade-plus of questionable practices. Disrupt long-established money channels. Reveal secret machinations that could arguably land some people in prison. (my emphasis)

    Ding, ding, ding! We have a winnah! (imo)

    1. flora

      From a 2013 Anti-War post:

      Which beings with James Madison –

      Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people…. [There is also an] inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and … degeneracy of manners and of morals…. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.

      This profiteering is a bi-partisan effort. I recall a propsosed aumf amendment to prevent profiteering was tabled or defeated.

  26. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Rogue goat may have helped dozens of farm animals escape New York Post


    When we spray, say, roaches, do they scream ‘genocide?’

    Animals have feelings too.

    1. wilroncanada

      I thought all goats were rogues.
      At least all of ours were, but terrific rogues giving exceptional rogue milk.

  27. olga

    The bonus anti-dote is hilarious… and clearly shows that cats are much smarter than humans. It is also particularly apt in light of the “How the financial crisis led to the West’s confrontation with Putin MarketWatch.” Note one of the paragraphs:

    “The events of August and September 2008 taught two painful and deeply disconcerting lessons. First, capitalism is prone to disasters. Second, global growth did not necessarily strengthen the unipolar order. Truly comprehensive global growth breeds multi-polarity, which, in the absence of an overarching diplomatic and geopolitical settlement, is a recipe for conflict.”

    One – we already knew capitalism is prone to disasters (perhaps Mr. Tooze just found out); and
    Two – if cats can figure out peaceful multi-polarity, why can’t humans?!

    (Mr. Tooze may want to study the Nazis’ coming-to-power, following the great depression economic shocks to Germany.)

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Someone up thread claimed the tape is just run forward for 4 pulls of the bowl, and then backwards to make the 4 pulls look like 4 pushes. So I watched it over and over and over again, and I also think it is just one tape run forwards and then backwards.

  28. Ted

    Re: what happens to me too

    Wow, ok … just wow. So, all of the energy about sexual harassment in the workplace, with academics taking the lead, and we discover that it was never about human dignity for labor who depend on their relationship to their employers or, in the case of graduate school, their guild masters for their livelihood in the long and short term, which means that they should be accorded dignity in the work place and that using one’s position of authority for various wierd (and plain vanilla!) sorts of sexual gratification would be strickly off limits. And then we get this sort of behavior from one of our illuminati at NYU (who self describes as a queer feminist).

    The problems began, according to Mr. Reitman, in the spring of 2012, before he officially started school. Professor Ronell invited him to stay with her in Paris for a few days. The day he arrived, she asked him to read poetry to her in her bedroom while she took an afternoon nap, he said.

    “That was already a red flag to me,” said Mr. Reitman. “But I also thought, O.K., you’re here. Better not make a scene.”

    [Ronell would then pull him into the bed and grope him]

    Well, “a red flag” I should think so. So, after an investigation and an official finding that said professor crossed the line (to say the least), she is placed on leave for a year.

    The really galling thing is the way the most prominent professors in the world (i.e., Judith Butler then come to their colleagues defense … with others even trashing the complainant in public fora). So, this is where THAT particular thing (#metoo) went to die.

    Should Judith Butler, perhaps the most famous philosopher of the later 20th century, now resign from public life on principle and melt away to some place of life-long pennance (doing work in a women’s shelter in Riyadh would be nice)? I think the answer is, yes … poste haste.

  29. Oregoncharles

    “Why These Cows Corralled A Suspected Car Thief ”

    All they really did was follow her around, probably for fun – and because people sometimes feed them. Probably did intimidate her into leaving the field, though, which is when she was caught. Maybe the cops didn’t want to play with the cows, either.

  30. Oregoncharles

    The video of the cats sharing is very cute, but reminds me of our dog “sharing” leftovers with a cat she really was friendly with. She didn’t chase the cat away, but somehow, that big dog tongue got all the good stuff before the cat even got started.

  31. Oregoncharles

    “Russian military creates 8 outposts along Golan Heights border” –
    link no good; sorry, no time to look for it.

  32. anon

    Re: “Everybody Immediately Knew That It Was for Amazon”: Has Bezos Become More Powerful in D.C. Than Trump? Vanity Fair

    A quibble with the highlighted sentence in this paragraph:

    During her time at SBD, Donnelly grew close to General Mattis. When Mattis was nominated by President Trump to lead the Pentagon, she was brought on to run his Senate confirmation process. The day after he was sworn in, Donnelly went to work for him as a special advisor.

    Looking at Sally Donelly’s Linked in page, it looks like she was likely close with the current Defense Secretary, James Mattis, when he was the Commander of CENTCOM™, United States Central Command , from 2010 to 2013, and his predecessor — or him— made her the Washington DC Director of CENTCOM™ in 2010.

    The Vanity Fair piece oddly leaves out the not minor ‘tidbit’ that she went straight from Time Magazine in 2007 to being the Special Assistant to the Chairman at the Joint Chiefs of Staff for 3 years, from 2007 to 2010 (how does that happen with an Independent™ Press?), and then was made the Washington Director of CENTCOM™ in 2010. So she was serving under Mattis, just prior to founding SBD in 2012, and possibly even “grew close” with him while being the Special Assistant to the Chairman at the Joint Chiefs of Staff; or even earlier for that matter, during her twenty years at Time Magazine.

    On a side note — speaking of Defense Secretary James Mattis, Sally Donnelly, highly questionable ethics and the despicable Jeff Bezos — there was also a sleazy appearing Mattis, Donnelly, et al, Peter Thiel ‘hook-up’ earlier: Palantir goes from Pentagon outsider to Mattis’ inner circle.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      This link describing DoD’s giveaway to Amazon is very disturbing although the acronym JEDI is cute. Putting DoD data on to the cloud sounds like a really really bad idea. I guess I just have trouble believing clouds are as secure as advertised or as robust. And how is it a good idea to put so much DoD trust into the hands of any one company, or any private company for that matter? Is Amazon better or worse than rivals on this procurement like Google, Microsoft, and IBM? Targeting procurement specifications to a preselected vendor is hardly a new practice in DoD, or any other part of government for that matter.

      Reading more closely:
      “The controversy involves a plan to move all of the Defense Department’s data—classified and unclassified—on to the cloud. The information is currently strewn across some 400 centers, and the Pentagon’s top brass believes that consolidating it into one cloud-based system, the way the CIA did in 2013, will make it more secure and accessible.”
      The DoD data includes what data exactly? If this data is spread across 400 data centers it will also be spread across at least 400 and probably many more database frameworks. Consolidating data centers is not a purely technical problem. Those 400 data centers are 400 little empires with many jobs and careers dangling in the winds of the proposed consolidation into the cloud. Want to guess how well this hash of databases and data structures is documented and just how much cooperation to expect from the lucky souls DoD will task with committing job-suicide by helping with the transition. I would think a consolidation under an Amazon data cloud might undermine one of the ways DoD protects its procurement funding. Grabbing from the Gaffney paper referenced in another of today’s links:
      “One reason why the project has become such a boondoggle is that many states and countries are significantly invested in the plane, relying on its production for income and jobs.”[Bender, Rosen, and Gould (2014)]
      “This is how corporations function in the world of defense contracts. They create “white elephants” that the government is forced to buy to avoid angering the constituency of key members of Congress.”
      I guess Amazon has found a more direct way to buy the hearts of key members of Congress, while obtaining their own special lever over DoD.

      Another niggle regarding the 400 data centers — weren’t there some 400 data centers that were supposed to be consolidated by DoD’s big initiative to become “auditable”? That multi-year multi-billion dollar effort affected logistics centers. Were those data centers successfully consolidated in each of the services? How many data centers are there in DoD? How will Amazon handle DoD Security requirements for handling Secret Data?

      1. lyman alpha blob

        Not only does it seem like a bad idea from a security standpoint, but if Amazon has access to and control over all of this DoD data, are they really still a private company at that point or a wing of the government?

          1. anon

            I think the evidence is already in that Amazon is a wing of the government, since before Trump; I mean look at the over a decade, I believe, of human rights violations at his multinational warehouses, just for one.

            I was going to make a further comment about Bezos’ clearly major mentor Grandpa, Lawrence Preston Gise as one of his early paths to the horrid gut of DC, referencing a February 09, 2018 wiki page from which I had copied in my notes:

            Jeff Bezos – Early life and Education

            Bezos’s maternal grandfather was Lawrence Preston Gise, a regional director of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) in Albuquerque. Before joining the AEC, Gise had worked for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the research and development arm of the Department of Defense that was created in 1958 as the first response by the US government to the Russian launching of Sputnik I, the first artificial Earth satellite in 1957.[18] Intended to be the counterbalance to military thinking in research and development, DARPA was formed, according to its official mission statement, to ensure that the US maintains a lead in applying technology for military capabilities and to prevent other technological surprises from her adversaries.[18]

            In 1970, DARPA’s engineers created a model for a communications network for the military that could still function even if a nuclear attack demolished conventional lines of communication: ARPAnet, was the foundation of what would eventually become the Internet.[19] Gise retired early to the ranch, where Bezos spent many summers as a youth,

            but then, I checked Bezos’ ‘Current Wiki Page (cause ya never know, and can’t possibly keep track of, the deadly, totally unnecessary Disruption™ going on) and came to realize, after doing way too much checking than I should have had to on that Jeff Bezos Wiki History Tab, that wiki editor, LivinRealGüd, who seems to be the predominant Bezos Wiki Page Editor, deleted — on February 25th, 2018 — half of the data I was going to quote from (which remains deleted as of the time I’ve posted this comment), noting:

            (This has nothing to do with Bezos’s early life and education, if one would like, they could create an article for Lawrence Gise…) (Tag: Visual edit)

            Welp, I beg to differ, LivinRealGüd, it’s vastly important given the power and wealth that Jeff Bezos has strangely been handed, totally undeserved, on quite the silver platter, while simultaneously: treating his world wide employees to horrendously inhumane conditions; putting local businesses, authors and publishers into graveyards; abusing a once publically owned Postal Service which he ultimately intends to put out of business anyway; purchasing an historically corrupted Fourth Estate Platform in the Malarial Swamp of DC; and now overseeing all of the totally out of control and corrupted US DOD data on its own, predominantly non criminal citizens on his own toxic Cloud™, etcetera (including inheriting and buying up much of Texas, from which to launch Space Missions to own Mars).

      2. anon

        Now that you brought all of that up (I was just trying to skim the surface of the scum, as I’m almost suicidal at this point and Can’t take — ——-! siiiigh).

        I’m wondering where Samurai™ Larry Ellison — the Oracle Wizard! — is in this mix, speaking of comingled different databases with likely insane piece of shit accounting ‘software,’ for which Larry had a huge reputation amongst the non VP, etcetera labor force, in DOD subsidized Silicon Valley, whose Ahole professional upper management types who engaged in those Oracle contracts … weren’t even able to navigate that frighteningly crapified accounting software.

        Of course that reputation didn’t matter to Larry or his pals at the CIA (I validly presume) because his databases themselves were the key piece of his fortune and that island in Hawaii.

        (jeesh, I was just trying to quietly drop off the initial surface scum skimming comment — when everyone was at the watercooler — and slurk away, not having to do a further soul sucking deep dive.)

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          I think Oracle took a back seat to SAP in the big DoD “auditability” initiative. And don’t forget DoD and much of the government standardizing on Microsoft operating systems inside government facilities. Software is a fashion statement now and databases are so old-fashioned compared with the max cool factor of clouds.

          Suicide may be painless but don’t even think of suicide! Just put on a happy face and don’t worry, be happy.

          1. anon

            Hey, hey, just now noticed your comment after going back to make sure I hadn’t missed answering any responses.

            Larry’s quite the predator. He had/has Oracle databases which near totally, if not totally, monopolized the secrets of DOD Subsidized Silicon Valley Transactions, so who knows.

            Loved your comment on the Ten Years White Happy NGO Paper; though I do have to say: if suicide were actually painless — for those with no means for the painless option, no garage, for one thing — for one’s loved ones …. and to one’s self, I probably wouldn’t be responding to your comment. I’ve been forced by a hideous and deadly Capitalism into being a burden on my loved ones, whether I live or die, that reality is near unbearable.

      3. drumlin woodchuckles

        Well . . . if you want foreign governments to hack it and drain out all the data, the “cloud” is exactly the place to put it for that.

        Maybe the people who decided to put all the DoD databases and etc. on ” the cloud” are really secret agents working for various foreign hacker-master governments.

  33. olga

    Or we get close to fascism, since some have defined it as a merger of state and corporate powers:
    per Mussolini: Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power.

  34. Plenue

    >The Relationship Between Women’s Rights and Terrorism: Unpacking the Concepts Political Violence at a Glance

    “The culture of nationalism is constructed to emphasize masculine themes such as honor, patriotism, duty, and bravery, which are necessary traits needed to secure and preserve a nation.”

    If you ask 100 men to define what it means to ‘be a man’, you’ll get 101 different answers. The most recurring traits will be values like honesty, courage, doing the right thing, etc. Things I would expect any functioning adult to have or do, regardless of gender. Part of masculinity seems to be about co-opting what are really gender neutral values and claiming them as uniquely masculine.

    One trait that is frequently singled out as manly is protecting what’s yours (often reframed as protecting those you love). This is often invoked as military propaganda. But very little of what armies do, or have ever done, has to do with defense. In fact, I guess ironically, purely defensive fighting is a feminine value in some cultures. Japanese Onna-bugeisha seldom joined field armies. They were trained and equipped to defend the castle/home, if needed.

  35. The Rev Kev

    “U.S. think tank’s tiny lab helps Facebook battle fake social media”

    Just for a bit of perspective on the honesty of this lab. Eliot “Bellingcat” Higgins joined the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab as Senior Non-Resident Fellow in 2016. People like that will get to decide what is allowed to be seen on Facebook.

  36. Edward E

    Magnesite sops up magic gas like a sponge, they’ve been working on this for a while… some interesting things found as I’m often searching how much reflection magic gas sends into outer space. Where we are in the orbital process and stuff like that…

    Scientists find way to make mineral which can remove CO2 from atmosphere

    Earth’s orbital changes have influenced climate, life forms for at least 215 million years
    May 7, 2018

    “Kent points out that according to the Milankovitch theory, we should be at the peak of a 20,000-some year warming trend that ended the last glacial period; the Earth may eventually start cooling again over thousands of years, and possibly head for another glaciation.”

  37. Edward E

    I remember Leif Svalgaard saying that this interglacial should go on for 50k years and he’d show the same cycle graphs as shown in the link below. We may not even be close to peak natural warming, not to mention unnaturally warming, yikes!
    ‘We should be cooling’ used to be the often cited model (Imbre) in the 1980’s but recent work suggests otherwise with NH insolation still increasing maybe for 25,000 years. “Earth’s orbit will become less eccentric for about the next 100,000 years, so changes in this insolation will be dominated by changes in obliquity, and should not decline enough to cause an ice age in the next 50,000 years.”

    *Supposed to be a reply to pretzel

  38. drumlin woodchuckles

    About that Mexican corn fixing its own nitrogen in “air-root” mucilage . . .

    I have grown a small number of plants of a Southern Appalachian variety of corn called Hickory Cane for about 10 years. I am making my small amateur effort to get it more Michigan-adapted.

    Over the years I have noticed that about 1 out of every 10 or so corn plants had a little bit of “root snot” on its emerging prop roots. Till reading this article I just assumed that “root snot” was a protective material secreted to keep the tender young root tip from drying out before reaching ( or failing to reach) the soil. The amounts of mucilage on my plants’ 1-out-of-10 sets of prop roots were vastly less than the amounts visible on this Mexican corn. Still, in light of this article I now wonder whether this is a latent talent in many varieties of corn which could be selected for and amplified over time if seen, noticed and understood.

    If other corn-growing readers were to look at their corn plants, how many would be seen throwing prop roots? How many of those just-emerging prop roots would be covered by a little bit of mucilage?

    I found this little article about the same corn, which mentioned something other articles did not . . . that the corn lives in a steadily rainy place and that the roots produce mucilage right around and after rainfall, but after some time ( maybe days?) without rain, the prop-roots dry out and the mucilage stops. Having read that, I will now look at my prop roots during moist times as against during dry times and see if I see any correlation.

    Here is the link to that article.

  39. Jack Parsons

    The most important thing I see at airports is, “who are the local poor folks?”.

    SFO- Asians immigrants, some US Hispanic (“Born In East LA”)
    Portland- white white white
    Spokane- white
    Atlanta- African-American, exclusively

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