Links 8/29/18

Dear patient readers,

Your humble blogger was very very bad and did not give our Clive the credit he was due with our Marcie Frost hiring fraud stories. Specifically, Clive found critical information on the State of Washington website, most importantly, her gubernatorial application for her appointment to the Executive Director position at the Department of Retirement Systems. So please give Clive a big and overdue round of applause!

Runaway tortoise travels across Duluth, meets mayor Duluth News Tribune (Chuck L)

Bees become ‘addicted’ to harmful pesticides, scientists warn Telegraph

A controversial comeback for a highly prized tuna Associated Press. I did my tiny part to help. I haven’t had maguro or toro for at least 15 years.

Boundary Waters canoe trip provides courage, strength, and starry nights to young East African women Quetico Superior Foundation. Chuck L:

Beginning when my kids were 10-12 or so I took my kids, one at a time, to the BWCA and in a few instances out west to the mountains, as much as I could. Kept it up until they were in their mid-20s or later, until they were too busy with life and loves. Great bonding times with daughters and son.

New Nuclear Engine Speeds Nuclear Power Energy Central (Chuck L)

Letting neural networks be weird • This AI is bad at drawing but will try anyways. AI Weirdness (UserFriendly)

Study shows air pollution may be causing cognitive decline in people MedicalXpress (Chuck L). See also: Air pollution causes ‘huge’ reduction in intelligence, study reveals Guardian (Chris m)

‘Apocalyptic threat’: dire climate report raises fears for California’s future Guardian (David L)

EU tackles cancer risk in football pitches Politico

A future for neuroscience UserFriendly: “Huge if true.”

Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s Favorite Literature Books Nuggets of Thought (Chuck L)


Stocks say China’s economy is in bad shape. Steel prices tell a very different story CNBC

China Has Withheld Samples of a Dangerous Flu Virus New York Times (chuck4)

China’s refusal to share virus is “scandalous… many could die needlessly” ars technica (Kevin W)

North Korea

U.S. military says no plans to suspend more major exercises on Korean peninsula Reuters (furzy)

How Media Failures Complicate The Nuclear Talks With North Korea Moon of Alabama (Kevin W)

Italy’s anti-migrant stance puts EU Mediterranean mission at risk Reuters

Pope Francis Couldn’t Even Give Away Free Tickets to the Papal Mass in Ireland Patheos (Chuck L)

Q&A: What next for Northern Ireland after a record 589 days adrift? Guardian


No-deal Brexit: Plan to maintain medicine supplies ‘could cost £2bn’ Guardian

Why is anyone infatuated with a no-deal Brexit? Gideon Rachman, Financial Times (syndicated)

Brussels: May’s Brexit plan would save UK business billions: EU negotiators proposed boycotting the talks if the UK presented the Chequers Brexit plan. Politico

New Cold War

Skripals – When the BBC Hide the Truth Craig Murray (Chuck L)

Facebook Censorship, Mad Ben Nimmo and the Atlantic Council Craig Murray (Chuck L)


Russia’s fleet to counter US moves ahead of Syrian offensive Asia Times

Syria Spurns US Offer to Pull Out Troops as Trade for Iran Withdrawal – Report Sputnik. Kevin W: “Report sounds legit as Trump wants a cut of Syria’s oil.”

Leaked Scenes from Censored Documentary Reveal Israel Lobbyist Noah Pollak Astroturfing an Anti-Palestinian Protest Grayzone Project (Chuck L)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

If you have a Yahoo account your emails have probably been scanned to figure out what you buy — and they may have been read by employees of the company Business Insider

Report: Baylor Secretly Infiltrated Sexual Assault Survivor Groups DeadSpin (Chuck L)

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Sun Does Not Revolve Around the US Consortiumnews (KF)

Trump Transition

‘He woke us up’: Why these Latinos love Trump BBC

The FBI Informant Who Monitored the Trump Campaign, Stefan Halper, Oversaw a CIA Spying Operation in the 1980 Presidential Election Intercept (furzy)

McCain’s death marks decline of Trump’s GOP Senate critics The Hill (Chuck L)

Senate Democrats want government to say if GDP growth helps middle class Vox. UserFriendly: “Odd they didn’t want this under Obama.”

Republicans Suffer from “Backfire Effect” in Study on Exposure to Opposite Views Inverse (David L). This should not be seen as news. Other cognitive bias studies have found that people with strong views double down on their priors when presented with contradictory information.

Fake News

CNN, Credibly Accused of Lying to its Audience About a Key Claim in its Blockbuster Cohen Story, Refuses to Comment Glenn Greenwald, Intercept

Trump Warns Tech Giants to ‘Be Careful,’ Claiming They Rig Searches Bloomberg. NC no longer appears in Google alerts, FWIW.

Dozens at Facebook Unite to Challenge Its ‘Intolerant’ Liberal Culture New York Times (Darius)

Hurricane Maria caused an estimated 2,975 deaths in Puerto Rico, new study finds CBS

Toyota invests $500 million in Uber CNN (Bob K)

Elon Musk Is Doubling Down on the Pedo Thing Jalopnik (Kevin W)

Tesla, Musk face SEC wrist slap at worst, experts say: Frankel Reuters (UserFriendly)

The irredeemable in pursuit of the insatiable Inside Story

Class Warfare

‘I feel very betrayed’: Basic-income recipients react to one of the world’s largest experiments suddenly being canceled Business Insider. UserFriendly: “I think this is a perfect example of how an UBI would work; get canceled as soon as a conservative gets elected.: Moi: We warned about this early on, with the Speenhamland system leading to the backlash of the Poor Law of 1834, designed to punish the poor and included workhouses which deliberately broke up families.

A social wealth fund proposal: the American Solidarity Fund Vox. UserFriendly:

Sigh. Bruenig’s convoluted, never gonna happen, way to an UBI gets a mixed review from Yglesias. Of course he likes all the bad parts and doesn’t like what’s good.

‘I hate them’: Locals reportedly frustrated with Alphabet’s self-driving cars CNBC. Top story on the site as of now. Get one of the summary points:

More than a dozen locals told The Information they they hated the cars, which often struggle to cross a T-intersection near the company’s office.

Antidote du jour. I am hoisting some old antidotes I missed. From Stephen L in 2015 via e-mail:

A jackrabbit at San Luis National Wildlife Refuge ( in central California. Jackrabbits actually are hares, not rabbits. They were named for their donkey-like ears, which caused some people (including writer Mark Twain) to call them “jackass rabbits.” The name eventually was shortened to jackrabbit. Photo by Steve Martarano / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

And a bonus video. This is hysterical. Does this horse always show off, or only when he knows he’s being filmed? Secretariat, who was a very smart horse, would always pose for the camera: he’s face the photographer, perk up his ears, stand prettily and arch his neck.

And is he really huge or do these happen to be miniature cows?

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. ambrit

    That Freisian horse probably is that big. They are draught horses, bred for plowing, pulling heavy loads, etc. The Wiki says average size is 15 to 17 hands, or over five foot at the shoulder, or withers. Big enough for me.
    If you’ve had a feisty quarter horse try to run you over as it tried to escape the barn, as I have, you’d see anything bigger than you as BIG too.

    1. Mark Gisleson

      I remember my father telling me about how suddenly everyone had tractors and just as suddenly no one had horses. “Hay burner” is another term for draft horses as they ate a lot.

      A quarter horse, btw, is much quicker that a draft horse. With most livestock you worry about being kicked. With a draft horse the main concern is to not get stepped on.

      1. Wukchumni

        There must be a few hundred horses in town here and very seldom do they get ridden, and I kinda wonder why people keep them in lieu of say cats or dogs.

        A horse will cost you upwards of a few thousand a year in comparison, and they generally don’t snuggle up to you on the bed covers, or fetch a thrown stick.

        A few years ago an older lady in town with a ranch asked if i’d like a gift horse, and I told her thanks-but no, and she came back with the rejoinder “they make for good eating too”.

        1. crittermom

          I do hope those horses in your town are not kept alone.
          They are herd animals & need companionship. I learned that lesson quickly with my first horse, who used to break out to join a free-range herd on land down the road.
          I soon got him a goat & he was then content to remain home. (BTW, the goat was named “Dinner” when I acquired him. Same folks tried to give me a piglet–again, they grew critters to eat–but I refused, knowing I could never eat it but that it would instead grow into a 300 lb ‘pet’ sow that could eat me).

          I think the cost depends on where you’re keeping the horses.
          I had enough acreage that it supported horses & miniature burros from Spring into Fall, so only had to supplement with hay in winter. (I had cross-fenced so moved them, as well, to protect from over-grazing).

          I also had Mustangs, who don’t get shod & rarely need their hooves trimmed.

          When hay prices went up & the slaughterhouses were closed for a while, you couldn’t give a horse away due to the costs of keeping it.

          1. ArcadiaMommy

            Yes! I always say you would never leave a dog alone in a closet, but that is what many horse owners basically do. And they wonder why their horses were so frantic.
            My father took on two horses who needed homes, one was a stunt horse who was in movies. He was an incredibly smart guy. And he lived to be 32. The other girl is an amazingly gentle soul and she loves getting brushed, dogs and their pig. I only wish I lived closer.

      2. a different chris

        >“Hay burner” is another term for draft horses as they ate a lot.

        But unlike a tractor, they could be “fueled” with stuff you could grow right on your farm, they didn’t need repaired very often, and most importantly they could reproduce themselves. Put a Farmall H and M together and shortly you will get — well nothing.

        Not saying we could or should go back. Although if we continue our present level of stupidity our population may well crash back to a level again supportable by that (lack of) technology.

        1. Wukchumni

          I agree with you, it’s good to have old reliables as backup.

          Sequoia/Kings Canyon NP uses stock in making deliveries to trail crews in the backcountry, 19th century transportation bringing the 21st century to a 19th century job.

          1. LifelongLib

            There have been a couple of mountain rescue situations here in Hawaii where the terrain was too rough for wheeled vehicles and it was too windy for helicopters. The rescuers had to carry all their equipment in. You’d think horses or mules would be very useful for those times. I suppose eventually there’ll be million dollar robots for that…

          2. crittermom

            I had an offer several years back to spend the summer with & photograph the Forest Service Pack Mules in Colorado as they did their job hauling materials in to build/repair fire spotting towers, or whatever was needed in areas only accessible by the mules.
            I had done some photographic work for them locally & would’ve loved to take them up on the offer, but I had critters of my own to take care of at home, so had to decline.

            It was one of those rare times I almost wished I wasn’t a ‘crittermom’. I’ve no doubt it would’ve been a grand adventure.

        2. Wukchumni

          In a way, my old school manual transmission is akin to riding a horse, something I last did about 30 or so years ago. I’d be a little rusty on technique.

          The riding a horse part?

          A manual transmission is it’s very own theft deterrent, as most would-be car thieves don’t know how to drive one, ha!

          1. crittermom

            I, too, drive a stick & continue to hope it, therefore, won’t appeal to car thieves. I have to make trips to Albuquerque to see my Drs–& Abq leads the nation in car thefts.
            Let’s hear it for old-school!

          2. The Rev Kev

            That’s hilarious guys. Never even thought of that. Kind like having thieves break into your home to steal mobiles and find rotary phones instead.

        3. Amfortas the Hippie

          as an organic farmer guy, I think about all the horse-$hit that would result. It’s my favorite manure.
          a steady supply was essential to the French Intensive System that developed in orbit around Paris.
          I’ve never ridden a horse…but I grew up with a bunch of donkeys(one of whom I called my sister, she was with us so long.)
          They were very fastidious with pooping…choosing a far corner of whatever field they were in…which made it easy to collect for composting.(and Sis would sometimes bring me a stick, for some reason…but didn’t see the point in fetching a thrown one, I guess).
          and unlike horses, donkeys eat all manner of hard and bristly things… like sticker burrs, cactus and mesquite, while ignoring the lush grass right next to them.

        4. Oregoncharles

          The Amish do quite well using draft horses, for the reasons you mention: much less outlay. Net, they make as much on 100 acres as their neighbors make on 600. (Wendell Berry, years ago; don’t have current numbers.)

        5. Procopius

          Well, the point of the tractor is that it can pull loads as heavy as would need thirty or forty horses to pull, if you could figure out how to hitch that many together. My father grew up plowing fields with horses. That’s why he became an accountant.

      3. Anon

        A Friesian is not really a draught horse. It is very powerfully muscled, tall/large, but also very agile (some wood say quick). They’ve been bred in the Netherlands going back 500 hundred years, or so. They were used in war to get a physical advantage, not to pull a plow or freight cart. For that you would get a Percheron; a true draught horse.

        Humans are attracted to these animals for their utility, graceful form, lively demeanor, and beautiful nature.

    2. a different chris

      I’m not sure what the person who filmed it thought was going on, but the final score was Horse 0, Cows (several dozen).

      Cows are not stupid, far from it. (Someday this fact will make me a vegetarian, hasn’t quite yet.) The video is less violent, but not in overall arc that different from the famous one where the water buffalo come back to save a a calf from a (poor, the guys were only trying to get a meal) pack of lions: The initial charge at the small corner group backs off the cows, just like the wb ran when the lions first attacked. But they go think about it for a bit, and then reform into a group with the biggest and baddest at the point. Now when the horse returns, there is some flinching but no real retreat. As the courage begins to build up, the entire dynamic changes. Eventually it’s the horse, after some nose counting, that backs off.

      As did the lion pride.

    3. ArcadiaMommy

      He is gorgeous! They are huge, I think there is one at the barn my father keeps his horses at, although not as fancy as this guy. I wish I had time (and fewer tuition payments) I would love to have my own pony.

  2. Phillip Allen

    “Is he really huge or do these happen to be miniature cows?”

    Friesians are enormous. I like that it thinks the cows will be impressed with dressage footwork.

    1. rfdawn

      My first impression was that horse spends a lot of its time in restrictive harness. But it seems happy enough.

    2. Brooklin Bridge

      Relative distance (closer to horse) and height of camera (down low looking up at horse from an angle) helps, but agree the horse is big. Look at those legs. Remarkably graceful, showoff or not.

  3. The Rev Kev

    Good on you, Clive. That was really a sharp piece of work finding that material. Can always count on you for quality work.

    1. Clive

      The difficulty is how bad search has become. It’s degenerated into a crude advertising push and a load of analytics-generated trivia.

      There are some methods to defeat these scourges (which I am fairly convinced insiders i.e. Google or Microsoft employees use). But they are fiddly and time-consuming.

      But if it exists on the Internet, I can find it.

      1. DonCoyote

        Excellent sleuthing, Clive.

        Now can you confirm that D.B. Cooper killed Jimmy Hoffa? I’m sure the truth is out there…somewhere.

        1. larry

          I was told that he was in one of the struts of the NJ turnpike. But which one. One near the refineries, maybe? :-)

      2. Summer

        Do you have any tricks for getting chronological searches?
        I miss “advanced search” options.

  4. Livius Drusus

    Re: ‘He woke us up’: Why these Latinos love Trump.

    Two things really struck me in that video. First, almost everyone at the table said that the economy was their most important issue except the one guy who said “national security” and the other guy who said “the economy and immigration.” So really just one person did not list the economy as their top issue. This seems to fit with all of the studies and books I have read that state that for most Americans the economy and other kitchen-table issues like health care and education are the top issues. Culture war issues tend to rank low for most voters except hardcore partisans who rank culture war issues higher. Of course if you say this in some circles you will likely be labeled a Bernie Bro or a brogressive or a brocialist. Apparently bread-and-butter politics is only for bros.

    Second, it was interesting to hear the people at the table mention that they understood many of Trump’s more outrageous comments as being part of his public persona and not something connected to his role as a businessman or politician. I recall reading about that same response among many of Trump’s white supporters as well. I think this shows that pundits and political gurus overestimate “optics” and downplay policy statements. The received wisdom is that voters are superficial and emphasize personality more than policy. I think Trump did a lot of damage to this notion. Trump’s campaign was actually more policy-oriented than Clinton’s while Clinton focused on Trump being a bad person. Trump was able to win despite having a lot of personality defects because he offered some change on the policy front, especially on issues like trade and immigration where there was almost a bipartisan consensus.

    I remember after the 2016 election some Democrats saying that Bernie would have lost because he looked too disheveled, because he called himself a democratic socialist, because he had a thick Brooklyn accent, because he was too old and because he supposedly didn’t have a “real job” until he was 40. But would these things have really overshadowed Bernie’s policy message? I don’t think so, at least not for most people. I think most Americans will overlook so-called negatives if you are offering them good policy and leadership.

    1. Loneprotester

      So true. It’s almost like voters have brains and use them! BTW, I live in the Chicago area. Trump didn’t have a lot of supporters that I knew personally before the election, but my friend Louie, the Puerto Rican butcher, was a HUGE supporter. His first choice: Rand Paul. None of us is reducible to a stereotype.

      1. Stillfeelinthebern

        So true. After the election, my Hispanic, small biz owner friend told me Donny is right about the wall. He said it was needed to keep drug dealers out.

        1. johnnygl

          And my die-hard conservative dad (whom i suspect voted for W twice) who works in the defence industry and is a veteran of vietnam war, actually defected….to….the green party…go figure!!!

        2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Shocking! You mean Donny doesn’t care that Vlad the Impaler is about to unleash his bloodthirsty army on the hapless citizens of Germany and Finland? That he controls the U.S. Electoral system?

        3. ArcadiaMommy

          Maybe Americans should quit buying drugs.
          And why would a society not welcome people with the fortitude to scale the already existing wall, godawful desert and a random river or two? I’m talking about a desert where not even a cactus will grow. I am nervous driving through it, can’t imagine walking.

          1. wilroncanada

            The other thought about Still’s comment was: did his acquaintance really believe that the drugs are crossing the border mostly through snail-mule? My guess is that the majority are crossing via military planes, freighters and military or CIA-owned ships, in diplomatic pouches or other diplomatic baggage, and in executive Gulfstreams. Drugs are big business. Local distribution is handled by smallfry. The important part, getting it into the country, would be mostly handled among financiers and their more reliable emisaries.

      2. bones

        Butcher — petite bourgeois — conservative/libertarian

        It might not be race/ethnicity, but it’s still predictable.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Another consideration, beyond conservative/libertarian, beyond race/ethnicity, is contagious diseases.

          How to quarantine a porous border, when confronted with the next deadly pandemic?

        2. Summer

          That point would be more clear if such surveys and polls were centered more around class and aspirational analysis.

    2. Summer

      That a politicians political rhetoric is only rhetoric only seems to apply for any type of universal benefit.
      My experience is that, due to the character of this country, all the rest of the political “rhetoric” has a chance at becoming policy, no matter how heinous.

  5. Bugs Bunny

    Also looks like it was shot with a telephoto lens that caused the horse to look even bigger than s/he is.

    1. jefemt

      Old Fisherman trick— put the fish closer to the lens– it becomes a whopper! On fish photos, I look at fingers holding fish for reference. In this, top wire of fence, or top of backs of cows.

      Same thing– coyote or wolf?

      That is a big horse.

    2. jsn

      But when the horse noses one of the cows about half way through you can see the horse really does tower over the cows.

    3. Wyoming

      Having grown up in ranch country those look like very small cows compared to those I used to deal with. Short things as most don’t seem as tall as the fence.

      I have met Freisian’s and quite a few other draft breed horses and some of them are gigantic. Several of the draft breeds are considerably taller than a Freisian and hit 6 foot at the shoulders.

      So I think both tall horse and short cows..

    4. Angie Neer

      Photography nerd speaking here: telephoto lenses compress perspective, i.e. would diminish the apparent difference in size. Wide angle lenses (such as those on phones) exaggerate perspective.

  6. Steve H.

    > A future for neuroscience

    There is an issue which turns up with talking about quant*, which is also showing up in some ‘deep’ AI work. Because reality or a technique is more complex than our mind/modelling capacity, and because we take precision as a proxy for importance, we as a species tend to project onto them.

    For example, the link the author makes to free-energy is not based in facts, but is an exercise in comparative abstraction. The world seems to work through melioration, not optimization, at least in the long run.

    The problem with applying the methods is that they are algorithms. Humans get different conclusions from the same data set. Analyzing huge data sets with this technique fundamentally incorporates false-positives into the data structure, and the higher number of dimensions / interactions initially looked at the higher the number of false-positives. This leads AI to ‘inhuman but beautiful’ conclusions. Untangling that from solutions that are locally relevant but systemically disastrous is an issue.

    1. vlade

      “Humans get different conclusions from the same data set.” based on their biases and prejudices.

      The problem with AI is that if a training set has an in-built bias, AI will show the same bias. And the training set will almost certainly have bias, because it was likely a result of human actions. I.e. if you have a training data set on credit allocation, which was biased against race/locality etc., any AI you train on it will likely end up biased even if you don’t include the original variable in the set but can be inferred, and definitely if you do.

      1. a different chris

        And when you (somehow) get in the face of the AI machine and say “hey, your simply wrong about this see right here” — what does it do? That’s only one data point to the machine, but everybody whose ever even had the slightest brush with doing mathematical proofs knows that you only need one example to trash the most elegant precepts.

        But does AI know that? And if so, then what does it do… shut itself off for good?

    2. In the Land of Farmers

      Meh, what bothers me more is that this will ultimately be used to make everyone’s harmonic frequency the same so they will can better tolerate being a coroporate drone.

      Note how he says “we can use drugs to push the harmony”. Why do they always go to drugs as the first answer? What about the person’s environment, working conditions, state of poverty?

      Hate to tell this guy, but I found my resonating harmony without the drugs, and it looks nothing like my doctor’s wanted my life to look.

      1. Summer

        “What bothers me more is that this will ultimately be used to make everyone’s harmonic frequency the same so they will can better tolerate being a coroporate drone…”

        You mean something like Top 40 Radio formats? ;)

        1. susan the other

          Yes, I agree with this bit. My own preferred harmonic signature has always been biased toward disharmony. I’m also wondering, because we understand so little about basic science, if magnetic and accoustic resonances can be separated and etc. It might not be accoustic at all. Aaahh… its Woody’s orgasmitron coming of age. We really should stop here before we get too giddy and resolve to study the neuro harmonix of all the oligarchs. And really, a category, “neuroticism”, might be so broad as to be unfathomable. Just lobotomize me Seymour. ;-)

          1. Summer

            I once read something about the idea for Top 40 Radio came from spooks. Never thought much of that theory, but the format did pop up almost in response to rise of protest music in the 60s.

    3. Tomonthebeach

      Interesting methodology. Do eigenvalues really lead to breakthrough discovery? So far, they just beg harder questions.

      What I found problematic is the primary logical leap. Paramount is the assumption that if I invent the ruler, I can rule the world. That is, if I can measure a foot, I can measure a mile, and thus I can eventually measure the entire globe – therefore, because I have the measures, I can rule the world. Or, in the case of the anonymous author(s), if I can measure neural harmonics, I can can discover stimulus-response linkages, and eventually link the neurotoxic effects of drugs on stimulating/suppressing neurotransmitters that make people batshit crazy or (in the case of these folks) enlightened or transcendent; and then, I can manipulate their cognitive-emotional states.

      The late Tim Leary of LSD fame bought into that notion. It did not end well for him.

      As far as psychiatric cures, if, as the article asserts, drug reactions are idiosyncratic, then you need an on/off set of baseline trends to judge a drug’s benefits. However, idiosyncrasy tends to undermine identifying the target end state (or cure or recovery or restoration to normal) because you hoist your self on the petard of defining “normal.”

      1. Summer

        And the people around you will affect one’s drug experience. Maybe not just in the realm of psychedelics?

  7. cnchal

    > Toyota invests $500 million in Uber CNN (Bob K)

    “This agreement and investment marks an important milestone in our transformation to a mobility company,” Shigeki Tomoyama, the president of Toyota Connected Company, said in a statement.

    Toyota loses all self respect as a car company.

    And another link from CNN

    It’s Saturday night, and you’re planning an evening out. You fire up a ridesharing app to head out to your favorite restaurant.

    But then an ad appears, offering a free ride to a new Thai spot on the other side of town.

    Suddenly, you’re reconsidering plans: Why pay for a ride to one neighborhood when another is totally free? Ultimately, your favorite restaurant could lose a customer.

    Scenarios like this may play out in the coming era of self-driving vehicles. The cost of offering fully autonomous rides could be so low that businesses will be tempted to subsidize the rides to boost their bottom line.

    Where have I heard nonsense similar to this before? Oh yes, nuclear power was supposed to be too cheap to meter.

    Listening to the embedded videos, and the glowing utopian future headed our way when we give up the steering wheel I am reminded of MIT guy.

    Joseph Coughlin, director of the AgeLab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, predicts that companies will have a powerful incentive to do so. “The most valuable thing coming from AV technology is trapped attention,” he says. “If I’m Amazon and I have your undivided attention for an hour, I will figure out a way to eliminate motion sickness and remove all the other obstacles to enjoying the ride so that I can sell you things.”

    “Where is the fucking mute button in this crap car” screams the trapped passenger.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      For many sleep-deprived Americans, the time is best used for catching some z’s when the car drives itself.

    2. Chris

      For the record, nuclear power is almost too cheap to meter. Nuclear safety, regulations, and maintenance, those cost an awful lot.

      And it’s curious to me that in all the self driving boosterism we see, no one mentions how difficult it will be to maintain, regulate, and keep these vehicles safe.

      1. Hepativore

        To be fair, nuclear power stations are forced to keep track of all of their externalities as well as the fact that it is difficult for them to get loan guarantees.

        Compare this to your average coal-burning power plant which releases more radioactivity into the environment in the form of isotopes released in the ash through smokestacks when coal is burned. It is not enough radiation to be significant, but if a nuclear power station ever released the equivalent amount, it would be shut down immediately by the NRC. This is also not taking into account the numerous problems with all of the waste disposal and damage that the coal industry does to the surrounding area, yet nuclear energy is painted as the Worst Thing EVAAAR!

        1. a different chris

          >yet nuclear energy is painted as the Worst Thing EVAAAR!

          Hmmm, I don’t paint it as that. Truthfully if I had to choose between coal and nuclear, it would be nuclear with little hesitation (as long as they don’t put it on the bleeping ocean shore).

          We don’t have to chose. A pox on both of them. Let’s move forward. As I’ve said before, it’s claimed that the sun lays down more energy on the St Lucie site than the power plant itself puts out. I’m not sure this is true, but the fact that the claim has even been made is pretty interesting.

          In any case, I can even (haha, if you know me!) play the National Security card and point out how distributed energy from wind and solar will really keep the Islamic Terrorists oops Russkies at bay.

            1. HotFlash

              Humans, the biggest guzzlers of energy on this planet, are, or are evolved to be, diurnal — not an accident. This should reduce our need for power at night. We are smart enough (well, maybe) to find ways to reduce our energy needs to *only* that work that is 1.) necessary and 2.) cannot be supplied by the simplest, least processed form of energy. Eg, human, wind, direct solar for cooking, heating and farming (this excludes ‘vertical farming’, Power lawnmowers? Air conditioning? Aircraft carriers? Give me a break!

              People survived in hot climates, many wearing totally climate-inappropriate hoop skirts, and in cold climates appropriately bundled.

              How long have humans been driving to work? How *ever* did we survive all those millenia before that? How many earthmovers, cranes, dumptrucks, or even cordless drills did the Pharoahs have to build those pyramids? And don’t tell me about slaves, those were winter works projects and the labourers, mostly local farmworkers, got paid. Although, personally, I would have gone for reforestration.

              What fun, to become extinct due to our progress! Too bad we’re looking to take the rest of life on this planet with us.

        2. JTMcPhee

          And where is the dying Precautionary Principle in these arguments that start from the proposition that Lyndon LaRouche put forward as a matter of inerrant dogma to his followers, some 40 years ago, that “Nuclear power is safer than SEX!”?

          Oh, yeah, “we gotta get our electricity from SOMEwhere, so we can run our X-Boxes and leaf blowers and Teslas and vibrators…” And the crap and problems will drop mostly on other people, now and in the far distant future, so FORK THEM!

        3. The Rev Kev

          Reflect on the fact that if a hydro-dam power-plant collapses, you can go over it the same day. If a coal-burning power plant is destroyed, you can go in and survey the damage the same day. But if a nuclear power plant goes down, then head on up-wind and don’t ever go back. Not for at least decades if not centuries. Nuclear may be too cheap to meter but that never works out when you crank in all the externalities. That is why modern economics is so totally broken. It never takes into account all the externalities of real life but works off an incomplete skewered picture of events.

          1. charles 2

            This is why a nuclear plant should be underwater. Even if it is blown up to pieces, one can always survey the site (provided humans stay 10 meters from it), pick up the pieces and transfer them to a barge with a recycling plant. Not easy (no nuclear recovery operation is easy) but totally within the feasible enveloppe.

      2. a different chris

        For the record, what in god’s name are you talking about?

        Apples are too cheap to price if you ignore clearing the land, purchasing and then planting the trees, trimming the trees, weeding the fields, fending off diseases, and hiring people for picking the apples.

        I mean sun+apple tree and you have a free apple, right? Jesus.

        1. Wukchumni

          Apples are too cheap to price if you ignore clearing the land, purchasing and then planting the trees, trimming the trees, weeding the fields, fending off diseases, and hiring people for picking the apples.

          Sometimes when I tell people I have around 50 different varieties, they ask why so many?

          I inform them that I got a hot tip to buy apple stock…

          1. wilroncanada

            Salt Spring Island was, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the apple capital of British Columbia, but was replaced by the mass production of limited varieties in the Okanagan Valley and eastern Washington state. I the last 20 or 30 years, apples made a comeback there, not as a commodity, but as a specialty item, grown mostly organically. The island has more than 450 varieties on small farms, some of which have cideries, and B&Bs as supplements.

      3. Brooklin Bridge

        And it’s curious to me that in all the self driving boosterism we see, no one mentions how difficult it will be to maintain, regulate, and keep these vehicles safe

        But who will keep track? I suspect the same infrastructure that is used generally to lie to us, to steal from us, to manipulate facts into fictions, oh Russia, Russia, Russia, will be called upon to sweep any unpleasant facts into a nice marketable package that proves beyond any reasonable doubt that automated vomit vehicles are the safest way to extract rent travel if and only if we phase out human drivers as quickly as possible. And, what do you know, although we will have no agency whatsoever in those ambulatory slammers, head phones will still be illegal to wear when being driven unless they are broadcasting the same advertisements and political mind numbing poo we will be listening to non stop every minute we are in those mind sucking multi million liner AI generated code death traps of human soul.

        And that’s the optimistic outlook.

        1. cnchal

          On a scale of zero to ten, with zero being it will never happen and ten being for sure it will happen, what are the odds that, after millions of self driving cars are on the road a flaw so serious will be found that effectively, millions of them are bricked and unusable.

          Ten. That’s my optimistic outlook. No driving by “tech bro” for me, ever.

  8. Todde

    It seems.most Trump supporters already realize he is an ass.

    Theyre not happy with his treatment of McCain, but they dont seem to mind too much

    1. edmondo

      Oh please, only the McCain family is upset with Trump’s treatment of “the great and glorious John”. No one else gives a rat’s patoot (maybe the widow, Lindsay Graham, but I suspect he will throw himself on the pyre once they light the match.

      1. Wyoming

        Explain the response from the American Legion then. This does not count in some way? I live in a heavy veteran community in AZ and there are a lot of people hot about what Trump did.

        You may be right that his base will let it go (even though many of them are pissed about this) but I still think that his endless disrespect of people will eventually bite him in the ass.

      2. JTMcPhee

        I suggest you take a trip over to Dailykos and Huffpost if you think “only the McCain family” is “upset” at Trump’s McCaining of that awful person. The wailing and moaning and rending of garments is to the distant observer sort of funny, or would be if it were not such a “morbid symptom.” Of course the “upsettedness” is only or largely because this looks to the Blue Dogs like another stick to beat Trump with. The blindness and arrogance and bull$hit are just so very entertaining, or would be if the behaviors of “the Left” were not so dead-end horrible.

    2. carycat

      Trump’s persona as A-hole is well know nationally since his reality show days, so anybody that is shocked, shocked, shocked that people can overlook his shtick and base their decison on other factors are wilfully blind.
      I for one am happy that McCain is finally getting from Trump just a little bit of the treatment that he richly deserves for his lifetime achievements (Keating five, war mongering, votes against veterans benefits, …)

    1. russell1200

      I love the lead with the runaway tortoise juxtaposed by the picture of the near-hare jack rabbit.

  9. AbateMagicThinking But Not Money

    Hares in Australia too,

    I never saw a hare in England, but here in SE Australia – no problem.


    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Not hares, but rabbits could not be deported to England fast enough that they had to construct a rabbit-proof fence in Australia.

      1. Wukchumni

        On one trip over a few months in NZ, when tramping through the South Island for around 200 kms, the only thing other than what comes naturally in that bird world country I saw, was a lone rabbit on the Rees-Dart Track.

        I love the Southern Alps, but you kind of miss seeing the usual wildlife ones sees in the Sierra all the time, so glimpsing that bunny was a bit of a shock!

        That said, the birds are so docile, i’ve been within 20 feet of NZ Falcons many times. That’d never happen here with a large bird of prey, nosireebob.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          About those birds.

          It is an indictment against the whole human race, or human species. They haven’t had to deal us humans for too long; otherwise, they’d be more cautious.

          And we can’t say, ‘I’m innocent. Blame other humans for hunting your guys without mrecy.’

          To the birds and other animals, it’s collective guilt.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              If their meat tasted good, or if something inside them could cure cancer, they wouldn’t have another another decade, much less 20 million years.

  10. funemployed

    “Reports are there was indeed at least one FBI representative implanted, for political purposes, into my campaign for president,” Trump tweeted.

    This mystifies me, as does his general trend of talking about what’s on the news as if he’s just a regular schmo. I mean, doesn’t POTUS, at least in theory, have better access to these sorts of info than journalists?

    1. Bugs Bunny

      Trump probably doesn’t give much credence to briefings since they come from the same elements who want to take him down. Fox is a more reliable source.

    2. John

      He doesn’t give a rat’s patoot if these things are true or not. He likes to stir up his base by saying crap like this.

  11. Wukchumni

    Boundary Waters canoe trip provides courage, strength, and starry nights to young East African women Quetico Superior Foundation.
    The importance of getting youngsters away from their electronic i.v. drip, can’t be emphasized enough.

    And the wilderness only allows for connectivity with your senses, as kids practically hunger for instant information flow and sop it up.

    We did a kayak trip on the Colorado River a few years back with 10 kids aged 4-11, and saw 14 Desert Bighorn Sheep on this foray, and for the children seeing they had no experience in this regard previously, watching the surefooted ones gamboling on nearly vertical cliffs from our floating perches on the river, was something they’ll never forget.

    We took my 11 & 13 year old nephews on their 1st backpack 3 weeks ago, and the younger of the 2 wanted to turn back after a mile, but my sister told him in no uncertain terms that that was a nonstarter, and by the 2nd night at where camped, he pleaded with his mom and me to please please stay an additional night, he was so rapt by the majesty of the High Sierra.

    When we got back to the cabin, I gave him about 8 inches of books on hiking in the area, and a few days later asked him where he wanted to go on the next backpack, and he told me he couldn’t decide between the 4 locations that enticed him, why couldn’t we go to all of them?

      1. Wukchumni

        A friend’s daughter is named Brodiaea, in honor of her mom’s favorite flower in the Sierra.

    1. HotFlash

      Boundary Waters canoe trip provides courage, strength, and starry nights to young East African women Quetico Superior Foundation.

      Good story, but so sad that these young women do not have access to any of these things in East Africa. And yes, that is snark. Smells like ‘white man’s burden’ to me.

  12. Eudora Welty

    Re: tbe reading of Yahoo email accounts for advertising purposes.

    I still use a Yahoo account, and I need to do something about it. But last week, I got 2 consecutive ad-emails: 1) for a damaged-credit business, 2) for a Walmart credit card. My credit score is great (unless it’s about to change), and I’ve only shopped at Walmart once in my life about 13 years ago. So they need to work on their analytics. I’m looking for a new email account.

      1. Michael

        Me too. What, I don’t know yet…
        I did read an article that says you can opt out. If you can find where to do it.
        Then again its Verizon.
        Very strange since I’m an AT&T customer.

    1. Randy

      I got rid of my Yahoo account when they announced they would be spying. It just sits there filling up with spam.

      1. Arizona Slim

        And mine’s doing the same thing. Long may it fill with spam, because I’ll never use it again.

      2. HotFlash

        Same w/my gmail accounts. Hope all that spam costs them server space and inaccurate metrics — a big thank you to Raymond, the spam guy who keeps wanting to sell me a boat hoist (I don’t have a boat) and all those Russian Beauties who want to meet me.

    2. Louis Fyne

      Or alternatively, all the advert $$$ is using Google’s Adsense. And #1 and #2 are the highest bidders on Yahoo.

      I abandoned Yahoo during the Marissa Mayer years when its quality went down the tubes and Yahoo could never roll out a good spam filter.

      I still have my circa 1995 Yahoo account. But I use it as my junk mail address.

      1. JTMcPhee

        “Google claims…” “Don’t do evil…”

        “I try to be cynical, but I can’t keep up.”

        1. Carolinian

          So you are saying stay with Yahoo and get hacked? A friend uses it and after that hack I got a few emails from people I had never heard from before. I didn’t open them.

          1. JTMcPhee

            Of course that is not what I am saying. I’m curious what you are saying — that one can trust Google/gmail not to treat you wrong? That seems a little silly.

            1. Carolinian

              I’m not saying you should trust any of them. What I am saying is that if one chooses a major provider like Microsoft, Yahoo or Google then Gmail has a reputation of being good at keeping out spies not named Google. Of course that assumes you aren’t using “password” as your password,

              Anything truly private should be kept off the web. As Jimmy Carter said, “mail a letter.”

    3. Summer

      People are having trouble accessing their yahoo accounts on certain mobile phones. Been going on for over a year and there is no customer service help for it.

  13. marym

    Trust Me, Mr. President, White South Africans Are Doing Just Fine

    White supremacists think farmers here are getting slaughtered. The truth is, life in this country isn’t much different than it was under apartheid.

    The average household income for white-person-headed households in South Africa, according to a 2016 survey, is five times the average income of a black-headed one. They are almost 10 percent of the country’s population and still possess nearly three fourths of its privately owned agricultural land…I have met only two white South African families that don’t employ black household help, a maid or a gardener.

    There is some evidence that white farmers are more likely to be the targets of crime than white city-dwellers, but there’s absolutely no evidence that this crime is racially motivated. With their isolation and physical assets like livestock, farmers are soft and alluring targets. Yet black people are more likely to be the victims of crime here in general.

    Includes an nteresting analysis of why left and right may be inclined to believe the worst.

      1. Bugs Bunny

        It’s “The Times They are a Changing” by Bob Dylan. Probably a copyright territory issue.

      2. Randy

        If you use Opera’s Europe VPN it is. It’s just a video of Dylan’s “Times Are A’Changin”.

        More Google US-centric censorship?

    1. savedbyirony

      The video appears to be blocked.

      The article mentions the RCC’s opposition to abortions, but i think it is equally if not more important to mention the institutional church’s opposition to contraception. Though available in Ireland, the church has continued to help make contraception for women both hard and expensive to get. While i know many Roman Catholics who have difficulty with legalized abortions, whether they ultimately support them or not, few and far between are catholic laity who do not support easy and affordable access to contraception and the responsible prevention of unplanned pregnancies.

  14. Wukchumni

    ‘Apocalyptic threat’: dire climate report raises fears for California’s future Guardian
    California has had ‘apocalyptic threats’ often in it’s long history…

    We were lucky the 5 year drought broke in the guise of a hefty winter a few years ago, w/o it and the iffy snowpack this past winter, the state would’ve started emptying out toot suite.

    But historically, there is a 200 year drought and 140 year drought in the past, along with massive flooding along the lines of the 1861-2 deluge, but even bigger. The 1605 flood was Epic!

    There was nothing to stop a wildfire prior to Americans settling here, and as a result the forests governed themselves and things never got overgrown, which is the main issue we’re facing.

    I’d start up the CCCC (California Climate Change Camps) and deploy forces all over, burning out the duff and thinning the trees.

    There’s enough work for decades of diligence.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      You left out Man-Made Global Warming, looking at past cycles and the lack of controlled burns.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Looks like a nice, peaceful Roman Catholic place.

          Presumably, if the visitor is lucky, he/she might catch St. Anthony, looking like Maximilian Schell, retreating and advancing in the air.

    2. The Rev Kev

      I don’t know if it is true or not but I read once that the first two colonies set up in California starved to death. If true, that would make the natural state of California a very precarious one to human life.

      1. Wukchumni

        Mexican Californios had an easy life, mostly on horseback with the lariat, for which they were renowned in usage.

        Zenas Leonard’s narrative from 1839 is good place to start. He was with legendary mountain man Joseph Walker, the first Americans to see Yosemite Valley in 1833. He battles savage bands of Indians along the way from St Louis, and when he gets to California, he finds the Indians here to be laid back, surprise surprise!

        You’ll read of bull & bear fights and lots more from back in the day.

        1. Light_a_Candle

          “Savage bands of Indians” ?!? Seriously?!

          Is that in comparison to the so-called “civilized” English and Americans who practiced genocide non-stop? And continue to wreck havoc around the globe?

          Please reconsider your language.

  15. DonCoyote

    Some commentary on the coming AZ Senate race between McSally and Sinema (although would we get the same spin if it was two male candidates with shifting narratives?):

    Just who are McSally & Sinema? We won’t find out soon, with the subtitle “Arizona Senate race features would-be superstars reduced to shapeshifters”.

    Do voters create this reality by demanding fealty? Unless we’re going to start growing politicians in labs, we are never going to get someone who agrees with us on everything. Demanding obedience as part of the transaction to put someone in power, means you are just electing a sell-out. They’re selling out to you, because they need you. The minute they get a better offer, they’ll cash you out for the next big thing.

    I tend to think voters are more complicated then they let on, so McSally and Sinema needn’t be so scared. Both women are extraordinarily talented and super smart. They can try showing the voters their true selves. I swear to God, there are no failed Senate candidates in line at the food bank. They can die with their boots on. They might find they live longer.

    It would be one thing if Sinema were a true moderate and acted accordingly. U.S. Rep. Tom O’Halleran is a former Republican, now a Democratic congressman, hanging out in Sedona and no doubt plotting his own 2020 run for the U.S. Senate. Good for him.

    It would be fine, I guess, if McSally were an original MAGA type. Maybe she could find less grievance and more empowerment in the strictures of the Trumpian Way and lead the next phase of it.

    I just don’t think either one of them are what they are pretending to be and that’s a shame.

    1. Eureka Springs

      A bottoms-up established party platform in which candidates are bound to represent seems like the way we the peeps should try it. Otherwise this is all just whack-a-mole of the worst disorder. Except for the owners.

    2. Wukchumni

      My far to the right BIL had a dinner for McSally in Tucson a few months ago, and when we got together a month ago, I was going to quiz him in regards to what’s what, but couldn’t get there, as he’s so far gone (one of the 5 or 6 men in their 60’s & 70’s I know who have fallen for Fox news, and are hooked really no differently than a meth addict, oblivious to the obvious propaganda being spewed)
      that once he spilled his gut about antifa being one of the biggest threats to our well being, I had to go take a powder, conversation so over.

      1. RUKidding

        Unfortunately, that’s been my experience with my fundie far-right family members (who are all well educated, well traveled and reasonably sophisticated otherwise) who are addicted to Fox and Rush (it is an addiction). I’ve tried to have conversations with them, but all I ever get are rightwing talking points spewed at me… direct from whatever El Lushbo or Fox & Friends dictated to them that day.

        I never approach them with any hostility or whatever. More like: so why do you think that?

        Convos never go anywhere. I don’t try anymore. Not worth it. Better to talk about other stuff and keep the peace.

        1. Wukchumni

          Until I cut him off on e-mail, he was a spreader of questional news for the plowers that be, who wormed their way into his skull.

          Stories from the very source easily verified as not real or twisted in a knot of wishful syncing, and my brother-in-law trying to pawn off dime bags of ditch weed on my mind.

          You don’t want to go there, but social obligations require decorum, although i’m curious as to what exactly does he get out of it, this from a guy that couldn’t give 2 shits about politics before the turn of the century, which is when shortly thereafter, Fox got their mitts on him.

    3. edmondo

      McSally vs. Simena

      There are no winners in that fight, especially for the people of Arizona, but then, they elected John McCain six times so they deserve these two.

  16. Lorenzo

    The United States and its international partners will respond swiftly to any verified chemical weapons use in Syria and urges Russia to make the point clear to the Syrian government, Department of State spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a press briefing on Tuesday.

    National Security Adviser John “Bolton has spoken to his Russian counterparts, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Chairman [Joseph] Dunford, has as well spoken to his Russian counterparts to make it very clear that the United States government and its partners will respond to any verified chemical weapons use in Idlib or elsewhere in Syria for that matter in a swift and appropriate manner,” Nauert said.

    oh for Pete’s sake not again!

      1. ambrit

        The Biblical Armageddon is set in the Plains of Jezreel, the present day Tel Meggido.
        So, the Neo-Armageddon starting in Idlib is appropriate. Id Lib, a crazed and chaotic subdivision of the Dominionist Neoliberal Dispensation. Yes brethren. Just liberate that Holy Id and send up, down or sideways prayers to Saint Lovecraft.

      1. Eureka Springs

        Could it be reports of white helmets moving to Canada were exaggerated? Either way I can hear them now. Hmmm, go work in a mundane job or freelance another Oscar winning gig with the death merchants?

  17. marym

    Prison Strike

    Strike Statement to the Press and summary of actions from Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC – a prisoner-led section of the Industrial Workers of the World) Link

    IWOC on Twitter Link

    Screen shots of Strike Statement Link

  18. DJG

    As a terrible cradle Catholic and equally bad Buddhist, I noticed that Ross Douthat, notable Catholic convert who will put all of us on the Straight and Narrow Path, is burbling in the NYTimes today about Francis and resignation. Now, no matter what you think of organized Christianity, which is shot through with flaws and fantastical beliefs (salvation by faith alone, wowsers), you don’t want converts like Douthat and Gingrich (yes, Newt) in charge of the Catholic Church.

    So today I went to La Stampa, of course. Vatican Insider:

    It is long. It is detailed. It contradicts most of Viganò’s claims. The salient point: The Vatican was beginning to send signals in the era of Benedict (Ratzi!) that the U.S. bishops were too much culture warriors (note the use of the American word in the middle of the article) and too little pastors.

    So that is Viganò’s gravamen. The churchmen have to be even worse culture warriors. Only a knucklehead would propose that. And it explains the weird way that his screed ends with criticisms of people like Cupich, who was sent to Chicago to repair damage by Culture Warrior George.

    And as Vatican Insider points out, it is Francis who finally forcibly retired McCarrick, not instant saint JP II.

    Given the tone of so much of U.S. religion, you can see why this problem isn’t confined to Catholicism. Why, there’s Mike Pence, Soon to Be Anointed President, who left the Catholic Church because it wasn’t strict enough.

    1. voteforno6

      More than anything, this seems to me to be part of the battle over control of the institution. The abuse scandal is just the terrain they’re fighting on. If any of these people were really serious about addressing the abuses and cover-ups, they would’ve called for criminal investigations by civic authorities. So, conservatives like Douthat and Dreher are rooting for the side represented by Douthat, while liberals are rooting for Francis.

      So, I have a hard time taking any of them seriously, as they all seem to want to keep this in-house.

      1. savedbyirony

        They very much want to keep it all in house. A little history on what is presently often referred to as the “pontifical secret”:

        To be allowed to report to civil authorities requires a dispensation. To not report is not something, by Canon Law, that is required to do nor be punished. I am not even sure that it is allowed to punish a Bishop for none reporting under the present Canon Law. I do know that Bishops who are PUBLICLY caught out not reporting are ASKED to resign (sometimes). The current hierarchy has repeatedly declined to change or even look at changing their Canon Law: not even after the scathing report against the Vatican/RCC by the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child in 2014, not at the strong recommendation of the blue ribbon panel Francis established to look into and deal with the abuse coverups and not at the admonishments of a few of the willing to speak publicly about this issue Bishops.

      2. johnnygl

        I was on the road for a bit yesterday, so i listened to npr’s coverage…never heard words like, “arrest”, “indictment”, “trial”, “prison”.

        Words i heard a lot were “trust”, “anger”, “emotion”.

        It’s clear to me that the church isn’t going to clean up its act in the slightest. The executives are only interested in PR.

  19. The Rev Kev

    “Report: Baylor Secretly Infiltrated Sexual Assault Survivor Groups”

    Oh my. I am trying to think of words to describe this without getting this comment bounced. I’ll try this. Is the Baylor University admin totally f***** in the head? Somebody really thought that this was a good idea? I have no idea what actions lawyers will put together for what just happened. Would criminal conspiracy be one of them? Maybe obstruction of justice? Being a private Christian university sure won’t save them and they have lawsuits over sexual assaults coming out the wazoo already. This sort of behaviour only lends credibility to all those lawsuits already filed and the ones sure to come up.

    1. Julia Versau

      This has been going on for decades. As a grad student at the University of Chicago in 1978, I was assaulted and fought off an attacker. Not long after the police left, I got a call from some “liaison” at the UofC inquiring about my condition, asking if I needed anything. Seemed nice at first. But what followed were pressuring calls made to ensure I wouldn’t be talking to the press, etc. I also realized they had a deal with the Hyde Park police, who immediately alerted UofC of incidents with students. That liaison office never did anything helpful. It added to me stress, frankly.

    2. pretzelattack

      ken starr apparently thought it a good idea. maybe this is why he finally impeached himself.
      the catholics don’t have a monopoly on corruption and coverups.

    3. Swamp Yankee

      In my experience, most university/college administrations in the US are indeed largely [redacted] in the head. These, after all, draw from the exact same social stratum as US corporations and businesses, and they have the same tendency towards clueless sociopathy. This has been true at widely disparate institutions. Part of me thinks it is definitely related to the market-ization of everything since c. 1980; but I also have to remember how cowardly and shameful university administrators were toward any scholar or teacher with any kind of left tendencies during the McCarthy Era; something in the structure, perhaps.

  20. Olga

    Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s Favorite Literature Books Nuggets of Thought (Chuck L)
    Thanks for posting this. Takes me back to good ol’ days, reading Moravia’s The Woman of Rome under covers, with a flashlight, so parents would not find out. I’d certainly, though, add Balzac, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Italo Calvino, and more of Orwell – but then, I’m sure we all have our favourites. H. James’ The Portrait of the Lady forever banished the thought that English could not be melodic. And then there is Hundred Years of Solitude …

    1. WobblyTelomeres

      Was pleased to see Borges on the list! But, we could each write our own list and compare, no?

    2. ex-PFC Chuck

      His comments about rereading fiction have motivated me to picking up Durrell’s Alexandria Quartet again. The last of the series, Clea, was one of the books he listed.

      1. Synapsid

        ex-PFC Chuck,

        Read Mountolive first.

        The Quartet is a progression from heavily mannered (Justine) to half/half not heavily mannered (Balthazar) to two fine novels: Mountolive (my favorite) and Clea.

        You might enjoy his early island books: Prospero’s Cell, on Corfu between the wars, and Reflections on a Marine Venus which he wrote during the war while he was on Rhodes.

        If you like Prospero’s Cell then treat yourself and read My Family and Other Animals by his younger brother Gerald who was a kid and budding zoologist during the years on Corfu.

    3. David

      There’s a rather better list, with Taleb’s own comments at
      The list in the links is a bit weird and seems to have been extracted by a computer program or copied verbatim from Amazon. For example Proust’s “The Sweet Cheat Gone” is actually the (excruciatingly bad) translation of “Albertine Disparue”, one of the books in “In Search of Lost Time”.’ it’s not a separate book. “The Lost Domain: Le Grand Meaulnes Centenary Edition” is not by Alain-Fournier, Frank Davison and Hermione Lee: the last two are translators of the French original. “Clea” and “Justine” are in fact two of the four books in Durrell’s “Alexandria Quarter.” Etc.

      1. Olga

        Yes, and The Death in Venice has a wrong author (should be Thomas Mann) – but still, it is a good list, albeit limited (but then, there are so many candidates!).

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          I noticed that too but wonder if a later writer dared to put something out under the same title….but how could anyone think they could outdo Mann?

  21. PNW_WarriorWoman

    Clive…you’ve made it very exciting indeed. Very exciting. You and Yves make a great team! Thank you.

  22. ChiGal in Carolina

    Many wonderful days spent in the Quetico and Boundary Waters when I was young and fit enough to do true wilderness camping. We used the old-fashioned wood and canvas canoes. Great slabs of rock, cool clear water, and oh! the stars at night brighter than I’ve ever seen anywhere else. Lots of mosquitoes though; still pretty much the only creature I confess to taking pleasure in killing.

    Speaking of water, sadly camping this year at Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore in Michigan there was a LOT of algae, the beginning of the end I guess. Very sad.

    1. Wukchumni

      We’ve had the worst green algae blooms on the river this summer, it practically screams to you, “no, you don’t want to go in.”

    2. Kevin

      Check out Ontario’s Provincial Parks – Algonquin, Massassauga, Killarney, all canoe-camping parks.
      A bit far. I’ve been on many trips to all three and they are stunning.

      Unlike Boundary Waters, where I have also been and loved it, you can actually reserve a site on a specific lake in the Provincial Parks.

      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        When I was a kid I went to to Camp Wapomeo in Algonquin PP. For the older campers they ran longer trips, so I got to go to the Quetico and Temagami too. Temagami seemed the most rugged, but maybe because it was less familiar.

  23. jsn

    Does anyone know of a debunking of this Schanberg report from 2010 on McCain and POWs?

    Schanberg is on my “trusted sources” list, so obviously can’t get published much anymore like Sy Hersh or Thomas Frank, This is very damning portrait of the late Senator that the Borg antibodies seem to have contained unless I’ve missed something.

    As a rule I’m skeptical of what Unz writes, but Schanberg has his own reputation.

    1. David Carl Grimes

      Didn’t McCain get the McCain-Feingold electoral reform passed only to abandon it when Obama’s fundraising topped $600 million in 2008. I’m trying to find a link but they seem to have been scrubbed. He was principled only when his principles suited him.

  24. abynormal

    “My loathings are simple… stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty and soft music
    Vladimir Nabokov

    …if the music link doesn’t work please utube ‘Amazing Violinist The Troubled Notes’… street music to ignite anyone’s sense’s!

    1. abynormal

      HEY AMBRIT, this is the video I tried to link you months ago. You posted it must be something good but couldn’t open it….I don’t let myFriends down.

      Love you All

      1. ambrit

        Do you mean “Amazing Violinist The Troubled Notes?” The hyperlink in your first comment works for me.
        Very nice. Almost a Medieval Fair feeling to it. Thanks, I like it.
        I sometimes find the technology behind a lever challenging, much less opening PDFs and Attachments.
        Love from us to you and yours.

  25. Wukchumni

    A 4.4 temblor in L.A., the 1st quake in quite awhile there…

    If it happened in China, they’d be having fits, as ‘4’ in Chinese numerology means death.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I’m not sure if they’d like an 8.8 quake in Hong Kong, as the sound for ‘8’ in Cantonese is similar to that for ‘getting rich.’

      Believed to have originated there, the association of the number 8 with wealth has since spread to all parts of China.

      1. Wukchumni

        Ex-pat homeowners from the People’s Republic will sometimes get an offending digit of their address changed in the City of Angles, I think it was around $500 to change a numerically challenged address such as 16014, to 16012, and obviously not all addresses were capable of being slightly altered.

        Hey, know why the letter B was considered unlucky once upon a time in western cultures?

  26. The Rev Kev

    “China Has Withheld Samples of a Dangerous Flu Virus”

    Lots of fuss, anguish and fury here but I am afraid that I can see the Chinese position here. Remember a few months ago the US Air Force was trying to get Russian DNA samples from within Russia for “research” purposes. I bet that the Chinese took note. I am thinking here that the Chinese take is that any deadly flu samples sent would also end up in Fort Detrick which houses the United States biological defense program. If that is a Chinese flu, then you have a flu sample that developed in a Chinese population, not a Caucasian one. Could you imagine that flu in a weaponized version? This is what happens when you do not have international trust between countries. It comes back to bite you in the most unexpected ways.

    1. tricia

      Yes, and this: “Countries don’t own their viral samples any more than they own the birds in their skies. Given that this flu virus is a potential threat to humanity, not sharing it immediately with the global network of WHO laboratories like CDC is scandalous. Many could die needlessly if China denies international access to samples.”
      Such a laugh given both our history re biological weaponry and US corporate use of patent monopoly- ie pharma and agribusiness -in it’s assorted odious ways.

  27. Wukchumni

    Devil’s Ombudsman Dept:

    I inadvertently discovered what actually gets accomplished in Congress on a regular basis, and rest assured that the USPS isn’t going anywhere soon, as it’s the stage where things get done.

    Went through the entire record of legislation passed or otherwise for my Congressman Kevin McCarthy for about a decade, and his only real accomplishment was the renaming of 3 post offices in Bakersfield, the newest acquisition being the Merle Haggard post office, where the Congressman held a party in honor of, about 6 months ago.

    So, as I was on a forced march through largely failed pet projects that never made it out of the house, I kept coming across successful legislation all in the renaming of post offices across the land.

    Yeah, that’s all they do.

    1. Wukchumni


      I shouldn’t short change Congress, as they also have a penchant for introducing new commemorative coin legislation for every imaginable historical milieu, and this as coin collecting is a dying hobby, funny that.

      1. Lord Koos

        Not surprising that coin collecting has declined, since the actual value of the metal they are made of is now close to zero, the only exception being the nickel, which I believe actually costs a little more to mint than it is worth. Pennies aren’t copper and dimes, quarters and 50 cent pieces haven’t been silver since the 1960s. I mean, who wants to collect zinc?

        1. Wukchumni

          For what it’s worth:

          A cent costs nearly 2 cents to produce, a nickel (really a misnomer as they are 75% copper) about 9 cents to mint, and a $100 banknote, 16 cents to print.

    2. Wukchumni


      I’ve been much enjoying the foibles of Duncan Hunter, and the blame game he’s foisted on his better half, and what made his situation so intriguing was before the dynamic duo went through a quarter million of money that wasn’t theirs in Dumb And Dumber fashion, and the revelation that the Congressman was down to around $15 in savings prior to breaking the public piggy bank, which includes him squarely in the league of around 1/3rd of Americans that can’t scare up $400.

      1. Lord Koos

        Reading the indictment, the couple seemed to have little imagination when it came to spending money, they seemed to have bought mostly from corporate chain stores and restaurants.

  28. Tinky

    I abandoned my Yahoo email account after the company refused to stop pressuring me to supply a phone number “for security”.

    F*ck ’em.

      1. Tinky

        Yes, I didn’t use it for serious things, so it was no loss at all. I am amazed, however, at how willing people are to submit to the growing corporate intrusions.

  29. The Rev Kev

    “Russia’s fleet to counter US moves ahead of Syrian offensive”

    Things are getting real here. For ages as the Syrian Army has cleared pocket after pocket of Jihadists, most survivors opted to be bused to Idlib. Now it is time to clean out that major pocket and Erdogan will not be able to save his Jihadist buddies here. To justify a joint US, UK and French attack on Syrian forces, a staged chemical attack is being readied with the help of the White Helmets who have been transported to Idlib. This time the Russians have had enough and the Russian defence ministry has announced details of the “attack”.
    They state the jihadist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham delivered “eight chlorine tanks” to Jisr al-Shughur town in order to “stage” the attack and that these were later taken to a village eight kilometres away – Kafr Zita. They also state that a group of militants “trained in handling poisonous substances under the supervision of specialists from the private British military company ‘Oliva’” arrived in the town a day earlier. So here they are naming names and companies.
    The US Navy’s destroyer is converging on the area with its 28 Tomohawk missiles along with the USS The Sullivans and a B-1B bomber with 24 cruise missiles has gone to Qatar. There would also be other units of the US, Royal Navy and French Navy also in the eastern Mediterranean getting ready to launch their missiles at Syrian targets at the given word.
    In response, the Russians have amassed a huge task force off the Syrian coastline ( I would guess that this would serve several different purposes. One is to keep Coalition ships away from the Syrian coastline which means any missiles launched would have longer flight times with greater chance of being intercepted.
    The second is the batteries of defensive missiles that these ships would be able to deploy to attempt to take out any incoming missiles coming from these ships. The Coalition may have improved their missile technology as previous attacks have had substantial numbers shot down and that does not look good for foreign sales. The third reason is that many of these ships are armed with Kaliber missiles which may be of use in the upcoming campaign flattening Jihadist targets.
    Russia has also called for an emergency UN Security Council meeting so I expect that some of the worse fireworks will be going on there. I think that the Coalition is hoping for a Hail Mary play here to seize some sort of victory that would allow the Jihadists to keep hold of Idlib but Syria, Russia and Iran will not have a bar of it. Interesting times.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Does McCain’s departure speed up or slow down the show?

      The third possibility is that he never was a factor, and the program proceeds at the same pace.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Wouldn’t be surprised to read that Trump is trying to reach out to Assad at this time.

        1. Hameloose Cannon

          I would. The DoD is convinced Hafez Assad is responsible for the 1983 Beirut Marine barracks and US embassy bombings, engineered to preempt US interference into the ongoing civil war and fill the PLO evacuation power vacuum. Hafez Assad’s belligerence had momentum after flattening the Sunni uprising in Hama in 1982 with the help of chemistry: Hydrogen Cyanide gas. FF 30 years and, Deja vu, Assad the Younger is doing the exact same thing with less competence [Bashar had to be put through a crash course at army intelligence cram school, Hafez was an air force pro]. Trump could offer Assad amnesty and a lifetime membership at a Mar-a-Lago summit but the entire region is done with the Assad family, including Putin. Who happens merely proving to would-be clients that “word is bond, cuz”, friends get Russia’s unwavering diplomatic support, the dictator birthday package [standard, same deal the US offers — chill], absolute, unconditional, and down for whatever. Hence, the Syrian stalemate. But what do I know? Bupkis.

          1. The Rev Kev

            I don’t know where to start to reply here. The 1983 Beirut Marine bombing was a direct result of the US Navy shelling troops of one faction that were winning in a battle against their US supported enemy. Simple payback. The US lately has been trying to blame Hezbollah recently for this incident but they did not even exist back then.
            Assad, you realize, was a London based ophthalmologist and only became leader when his brother was killed in a car crash so of course he had to learn on the job. The last election he won the popular vote in Syria, mostly because he was not a fanatic, head-chopping, western-supported Jihadist but also because his government is inclusive of all the different people that live in Syria.
            Let me share an article. Go take a look at the people in the image at and reflect. If the west had won, these kids, being Christians would probably be dead. No shorts for those girls in a Jihadist regime but sex slavery and the wearing of burkas instead. ISIS – your taxpayer’s dollars at work.

    2. Hameloose Cannon

      For the sake of debate, consider this Russian snap exercise is flexing ahead of the Erdogan-Putin-Rouhani sit-down next week. Hizbullah’s packing up and going home, Iran’s running around like they own the place, and the rebels are cleaning house of any factions seeking to reconcile with Russian forces. The Russian armada even boasts two minesweepers to handle any Idlib frogmen. With Assad tied as dead-weight in the regional three-legged race, Putin’s hold card is the notion that it is Russia alone that is preventing US Rangers from Halloween trick-or-treating in Damascus, a conspiratorial idea whose far-fetched-ness ranks up with the notion that Oswald acted with clones. But for Syria being the place for the region to send their young and homicidal, the mopping-up would be have done back in 2014.

  30. Summer

    Re: A Future For Neuroscience

    Thanks for posting that.

    Big if true? Big when recognized: Musicians that play together have to “vibe” with each other. How often have we heard that?

    An related personal anectdote. I was once talking to a neuroscientist at a party and he was talking about “dark matter” in brain imaging, places where the brain seemed turned off. He described he regions as “inactive” and their question was does it have a purpose.
    I said, “What if it’s like music? And the rests (indicated by black marks on a score sheet) are a part of the music.”
    He said, “Exactly.”

    1. knowbuddhau

      “Big when recognized.” Boom! Nice.

      Where, exactly, do we think we are, anyway? Where do we think our thoughts occur, are occurring even now? Some extra-dimensional, supernatural space?

      Evidently so. Or it wouldn’t be surprising that thoughts, actions within the universe, can affect the universe. Our thoughts are events in the natural world. They interact with other events. That’s how I’m typing and you’re reading, after all.

      We don’t end at the visible edge of our skin. Even there, there’s a veritable skin cell and microbiota cloud, it’s semi-permeable to gases and EM radiation, etc. Just zoom in on your “edge” and you’re in for a shock. It’s not there!

      Just happened to watch a vid about two of my favorite things: meditating, and the Two-Slit Experiment. The title is overstated. Should be “suggests,” not “shows.” Seems plausible. The replication is ambivalent so far tho. Notably not “non-existent.” (Looking at you, Psychology.)

      1. Summer

        Yes, but I am also wary of some of the narcissistic spiritualism that has spread with regards to our effects on “the universe.”
        I’m not saying that is what you are talking about, but something that comes to mind.

  31. tomk

    The essay on the future of neuroscience was an entertaining and stimulating read. It urged a focus on analyzing and understanding consciousness and brain activity as a harmonic activity, resonating frequencies, consonance and dissonance. It often seemed like baloney but there was enough there to get me through it, and I don’t know much. It was a bit disturbing in promoting the idea of bringing the precision of science to what up to now are manipulative techniques in the domain of religion, art, and politics, without, as far as I recall, voicing any concerns or cautions about the nightmarish possibilities of abuse.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The big problem with Science, the fatal problem with it, as far as I know, is that Science can only be practiced by humans.

      It can not exist in a vacuum.

      And thus, the world is doomed, I fear.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          We are lucky we can see the problem with bringing politics into science

          If we have the same issue with politics as science, we are less aware of the the problem with solving the difficulties in politics by bringing in science. In fact, many people think that’s the solution.

          1. pretzelattack

            yeah hill & knowlton was paid by the tobacco industry to do that, back in the 50’s iirc. but of course there was social darwinism before that, and all kinds of bogus science that purportedly justified racism.

  32. Carey

    RE: CNN story on Toyota’s investement in Uber- the picture is captioned “Driver death rate: Zero.

    Not hard to see how this is going to play out, is it?

  33. paulmeli

    Senate Democrats want the government to say if GDP growth is helping the middle class

    GDP is mostly wages and profits. If profits are up overall then wages must be down overall, especially for the 99%.

    GDP growth is helping the rich mainly, as it always has but for the 30 years post-WWII

    The best measure currently is what basket of goods & services an hour of labor will buy. It bypasses the inflation argument.

    For the past 75 years or more the purchasing power of an hour of labor rose for workers. It appears now to be in decline.

  34. Henry Moon Pie

    An interesting retrospective on events from 50 years ago as Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez interview a panel of Bernadine Dohrn, Bill Ayers and Bobby Seale about the tumult at the ’68 Democrat[ic] Party convention. Seale is especially interesting as he lays out the growth of the Black Panther Party in the wake of the King assassination and recounts the murderous response of Nixon and Hoover.

    Three radicals from the 60s tell it like it was

    1. zagonostra

      I haven’t been over to DN! in quite a while. It seems that something has changed, their stories seem to be “safe,” doing historical retrospectives, environment, gender issues, civil rights, police brutality, etc.., nothing that questions the very legitimacy of the ruling elite. Good stories, don’t get me wrong, but safe…we (most people) are all for a clean safe environment, condemn what happened in 68′ etc..but issues dealing with inconsistencies of official 9/11 narrative, political assassination of RFK/JFK/MLK and other stories, that if true, make all the rest of the roiling of topics inconsequential…

      1. tomk

        Even if all the conspiracy theories (not intended as a pejorative) are true in some way or another, it doesn’t follow that the other topics are inconsequential. The idea of a secret cabal organizing events may sometimes be true but it shouldn’t limit our sense of agency. The notion of conspiracy is too often used as a bright shiny object to distract us from our work of understanding and acting. And it is often used as a comfort, the idea that someone, or some group, knows what’s going on. By whom? help I’m trapped…

  35. a different chris

    this would be funny if it wasn’t so sad/scary:

    >New Nuclear Engine Speeds Nuclear Power

    Basically: “We can’t cost-effectively boil water (or even safely, except maybe for the French) with nuclear power, so why can’t we build an engine out of it?”

    Another taxpayer fleecing in 3, 2, 1….

  36. a different chris

    So never-change Dems are so excited that they caught the Fla Gov Rethug candidate in a “racial slur” because he said the other guy would “monkey it up”.

    If they weren’t so fixated on playing the race card, they could have said “We know he didn’t mean ‘monkey’ as a racial slur. He’s just an idiot in general”.

    They turn their opponents, generally rich white males, into besieged victims in the minds of the people slightly inclined to vote “conservative” anyway. And wonder why they lose.

    Meanwhile, Trump is talking about ANTIFA violence “if the Democrats win”. But that makes no sense, of course. If ANTIFA was really the violent organization they claim, it would be violent if it’s supposedly chosen candidates lose, not if they win. So if ANTIFA violence is the thing you are most afraid of then vote D, would be obvious.

    I suspect even Trump understands that, he just thinks a lot the people who vote for him are that stupid so why not throw it out there.

  37. a different chris

    >WH & GOP, take note: It’s more serious than you think.

    No it’s not. If his handling of McCain bothers them, well “bothers” in this case is an emotional response. They aren’t going to go running to the hated D’s because it isn’t an intellectual change of perspective. And it’s directed at Trump personally, not R’s in general.

    Sheesh. Is this another attempt to con the Democrats into pursuing “suburban Republicans”. Man what a bri’er patch that is.

  38. Lee

    A future for neuroscience UserFriendly: “Huge if true.”

    And then there’s this, which given my age, is of more immediate interest.

    Unique visual stimulation may be new treatment for Alzheimer’s

    Based on a search for 40 Hz strobe lights I’m guessing they’re selling like hotcakes. So maybe all the brain damage caused by drugs ‘n booze while out clubbing is mitigated by exposure to strobe lights. Always the optimist, me.

    1. Wukchumni

      Back when people went senile, granny was pretty convinced that grandpa was out making it with every woman in Alberta, and I think he got tired from hearing all about of the exploits that never happened, but never let it show.

    2. knowbuddhau

      Wouldn’t that be a nice change. At 50something, I wonder which of my cognitive changes is due to aging and which to bong hits, hangovers, and head injuries.

      I can see the marketing now. ‘Better living through neuroscience! This time, we’ll get it right.’

      Product idea: microstrobes for the micro-dosers. Installed all over the house, all connected on the IoS, with an app that tells you how you’re feeling. Side effects may include seizures, sleep-eating, and sleep-shopping, but what the hey. Oh, and a Google Glass model for microstrobing on the go.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        More than ever, this is the time to remember (because people say that, then forget it) that all scientific knowledge is provisional.

        I would hold off on that strobe light idea for now.

  39. pretzelattack–abc-news-topstories.html

    a(nother) white police officer who shot an unarmed black man and to away with it is teaching cops how to survive being “victimized” by the press and “activist groups”, called “surviving the aftermath of a critical incident”. the black man didn’t get the chance to teach a course because there was no aftermath for him. she also said “i’d rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6”, kind of ignoring that the black guy wasn’t armed or threatening her, no, she was the victim here.

  40. Shane Mage

    On that “basic income experiment”: UserFriendly: “I think this is a perfect example of how an UBI would work; get canceled as soon as a conservative gets elected.” This is to confuse the idea of a *universal* basic income with a tiny “experimental” provincial welfare program. A UBI absolutely cannot be cancelled by any elected government, for the simple reason that no candidate, conservative or other, will ever get any voters to vote to do away with a big and crucial part of their income. Universal means universal, means *everyone*, and Basic means basic, means enough to meet all basic needs. That is why UBI is such a powerful *transitional* demand: it can be established (on MMT principles) without altering in any fundamental way the structure of a market economy, yet by equalizing the distribution of basic income (removing the threat of starvation and dispossession, ie. wage-slavery, from the whole working class) it would revolutionize the social relations of production in a lasting fashion.

    1. Lambert Strether

      > revolutionize the social relations of production in a lasting fashion.

      I think that’s ridiculous. You don’t revolutionize production by changing consumption patterns.

      1. nihil obstet

        The social relations of production now are that the production of goods and services depends on workers driven by “the lash of hunger” as Johann Most phrased it (It is the lash of hunger which compels the poor man to submit. In order to live he must sell – ‘voluntarily’ sell – himself every day and hour to the ‘beast of property.’) You consume food without a UBI. You consume food with a UBI. The consumption pattern doesn’t change. The relationship between the poor man and ‘the beast of property’ does.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I have noticed that there are phenomenons that are of a particular type oof unstable equilibrium, where you need some energy to get it over the rim, like water in a mountaintop lake.

      A UBI, like any other programs, can be cancelled, but the energy needed to get it over the rim, to get rid of it or the water in the lake, can be tremendous.

  41. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Stocks say China’s economy is in bad shape. Steel prices tell a very different story CNBC


    From the article:

    To prevent a dramatic slowdown in growth, Beijing has announced stimulus and easing measures in the last few months, and more support is expected.

    I think this says you take stocks over steel prices…”more support is expected.”

    And this seems obtuse:

    Despite China’s slow transition from being a manufacturing-driven economy toward one based on consumption, the steel industry is closely watched because it remains an important part of the overall economy.

    You manufacture what you consume and you consume what you manufacture, normally. Unless you don’t consume what you manufacture; in that case, you export. That is, more upfront, less obscure, the change is going from export-driven to domestically sustained.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      From the CNBC article:

      That will spur Beijing to take up more meaningful easing measures such as tax cuts and boosts to credit and liquidity in China’s financial system.

      U.S. tariffs appear to be affecting the Chinese economy already as the latest manufacturing data show slowing export orders. Xing said he expected economic activity to weaken further in August, although he suggested Beijing will likely cushion that impact in September and October through new bonds.

      By the fourth quarter, infrastructure spending will also soften the blow from the U.S. tariffs, Xing told CNBC.

      Even though there are many concerns about debt in China, Xing said the easing this time will be “defensive” and not as “massive” as recent stimulus such as what was injected in 2008 during the global financial crisis. Beijing will not cut interest rates or loosen property policies, Xing projected.

      Beijing has been managing a growth slowdown in China after three decades of breakneck growth fueled largely by debt.

      1. No major hit. They can take it. Does that mean we can dish out more, without worrying about it spreading all over the world?

      2. No major hit, for now or for the foreseeable future? Do we persist, show some patience?

      3. tax cuts and boosts to credit and liquidity can avoid a major hit, but it re-directs China’s economy to be more domestically oriented, no? That would be good…due to tariffs.

  42. Susan the other

    Thank you Craig Murray for “The Skripals, when the BBC hide the truth.” I’ve been waiting for this. The Freedom of Info law in the UK seems to be the “freedom from information act.” And god knows we all easily mix up our propositions. Those hapless things. Also thanks to Kristy Eccles, whoever you are. The “exception for journalism” is the most amazing phrase in any lexicon. Also it’s nice to see a new category in Links: Fake News. Or was it there before? Anyway, it’s a nice thing to see.

  43. Lorenzo

    from regularly featured blogger here on nakedcapitalism, John Michael Greer:

    An Astrological Interlude: Brexit

    All told, the ordinary people of Britain are in for a moderately rough ride over the course of the year—but it’s safe to say they’ll give as good as they get

    turmoil in Parliament, public disagreement among members of the Cabinet, probable changes in Cabinet personnel, and movements to increase the power of the voters over the political system.

    it’s safe to say the disputes will stop short of missiles and bombs

    disputes with Ireland (I’m guessing the Republic, but who knows)

    as Britain’s departure from the EU will by and large benefit the ordinary working class Briton

    shows that the government during the period of this ingress will be seen as solely concerned with the interests of the privileged classes and opposed to the interests of the common people.

    I don’t see any sign that there will be a general election called during the year covered by this chart, but there could well be a change of prime ministers; there will certainly be turmoil in the Cabinet; and if there’s a bye-election, the govenrment will not be happy with the results.

    In mundane astrology, a strong Jupiter in the second house has a clear and straightforward meaning; it predicts a significant economic boom.

    This doesn’t mean it’s all smooth sailing. Jupiter square the Moon predicts financial scandals and extravagance, which will put a sharper edge on the backlash from the public. Jupiter square Mercury means that overseas travel and foreign trade will be disrupted.

    Jupiter sextile Venus on the fourth house cusp, on the other hand, predicts a good year for agriculture, though it also warns of heavy rains during the year.

    shows that transport and communications (ruled by the third house) won’t be anything like as badly affected by Brexit as the pundits currently insist. There will be extensive delays and bureaucratic snafus, to be sure, but Saturn is a stabilizing influence, and things will sort themselves out in due time.

    Neptune’s powers of confusion, delusion, frantic excitement and mental vagueness will be exercised to the full in the British media in the year ahead.

    As Brexit nears, expect a torrent of scare stories from pundits who have convinced themselves that Britain’s departure from the EU means the end of the world, aided and abetted by European officials who still haven’t reconciled themselves to losing one of their nascent empire’s richest provinces. Once Brexit happens and life goes on, expect things to get even weirder.

    . The sixth house in mundane astrology governs public health, and also work conditions and the status of employees. Uranus in Taurus in that house warns of a potential epidemic affecting the neck and throat, which are ruled by Taurus; since he’s inconjunct the Moon and semisquare Neptune, this position also warns of labor unrest and the threat of strikes.

    All in all, it’s going to be a lively time, and the British political scene will be shaken good and hard by it. All things considered, though, a great many Britons will be better off once the dust settles and Britain resumes its normal state of wary isolation from Europe’s vagaries and closer ties to its former colonies than to its immediate neighbors. How long it will take the privileged classes and the media to come to terms with that reality is another matter—but the privileged classes and the meida are less important than they imagine, and Brexit is among other things a cogent demonstration of that fact.

  44. The Rev Kev

    “Dozens at Facebook Unite to Challenge Its ‘Intolerant’ Liberal Culture”

    I guess that this explains why Peter Thiel kept his seat on the board of Facebook, even after leaving Silicon Valley to move his businesses to Los Angeles. He must still want to change the culture of Silicon Valley to a more right-wing conservative one and so want to keep a foot in the door. After all, what is the point of being a billionaire if you can’t change and reorder industries, societies and countries to your very whim. It’s almost undemocratic that.

  45. Harry Cording

    That horse looks to me to have had years of gait training, not unlike that of Lipizzan Stallions,

    Here’s a YouTube link cued up to a Lipizzan demonstrating a similar gait. Centuries ago the purpose of the different gaits was useful against foot soldiers in battle. Imagine you’re in close quarters and a big horse like that starts leaping into your personal space lol!

    PS, In a very odd twist, when I can’t find something on Google (which really sucks nowadays) I go to……wait for it….Bing!
    Who knew?
    Cray Cray world here in the Trumpening.

  46. charles 2

    Although I appreciate the cool factor (for an engineer) of managing criticality using the compression cycle of an engine, the truth is that any gaseous nuclear fuel is a bad idea. The reason is that there no way to protect any installation, wether it is on the surface, subterranean, under the sea, or wherever on planet earth, from any destructive action, especially the military category. In such case, a gaseous fuel (or one made of fine particles) gets immediately released in the atmosphere with dire consequences on a wide area.
    Actually “no radioactive gas or dust” is the real criterion for nuclear safety. As long as it stays liquid or solid, nuclear material stays localised or diluted in seawater (quickly at a harmless level), and it is quite easy for humans to put themselves out of harm’s way. Solid (as in PWR reactor, or Lead/Lead-Bismuth Reactor) or Liquid (As in LFTR Reactor) under the sea is therefore the way to go.

  47. bruce wilder

    The linked Glenn Greenwald piece on CNN‘s reaction to Lanny Davis outing himself as a source for its story that Donald Trump had been told in advance of Jr’s meeting with the Russian lawyer promising dirt on Hillary, at Trump Tower also contains Greenwald’s reaction to the New Yorker profile of Greenwald published two days ago.

    The New Yorker piece is much more interesting as an example of the basic malignity of journalists trying to keep the gas lit on the Russia, Russia, Russia story.

    I cannot quite wrap my head around what mindset drives a hit piece of this kind. What place in the world does the author, Ian Parker, imagine he inhabits?

  48. Mary Bess

    The placard that holds the icons of websites I visit often once held that of No more. Who’s making the decision to include or exclude?

Comments are closed.