Links 9/18/18

How much plastic does it take to kill a turtle? Typically just 14 pieces The Conversation (J-LS)

Wild rice on Rainy Lake hurt by water levels, climate change, and invasive species Quetico Superior Foundation (Chuck L)

‘Nuclear pasta’ could be strongest material in the universe RT (Chuck L)

Tiny fossils reveal how shrinking was essential for successful evolution PhysOrg (Kevin W)

Ajit Pai calls California’s net neutrality rules “illegal” ars technica

Coca-Cola ‘in talks’ over cannabis-infused drinks BBC (Kevin W)


Meanwhile in China, Implosion of Stock-Market Double-Bubble Wolf Richter (EM)

China, the Port of Haifa and Mideast Peace Times of Israel (Kevin W)

Reforming the EU fiscal framework Bruegel


Deal or no deal? Theresa May’s moment of truth on Brexit Financial Times

Will not allow United Kingdom breakup” From the text: “The British government called on Europeans to be more accommodating in the faltering Brexit negotiations just before the informal EU Council in Salzburg.” Let me know how that goes…

UK will shift Brexit stance in its ‘darkest hour’ claim EU officials Guardian See more outtrades in the article.

Small businesses entirely unprepared for chaotic no deal Brexit FSB

New Cold War

On Putin’s time-traveling assassins (and other huge holes in the Skripal poisoning “case”) Mark Cripsin Miller (furzy)

Russia reveals the MH17 ‘smoking gun’ Asia Times (J-LS)


Push to Execute Saudi Clerics Rattles Kingdom’s Power Structure Wall Street Journal. UserFriendly: “God, MBS is literally the mad King. He’s gone after every segment of society, at what point does it blow up?”

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Amazon Plans To Release At Least 8 New Alexa-Powered Devices, Including A Microwave, Amplifier, and In-Car Gadget CNBC

Speculation over fate of missing Dutchman linked to WikiLeaks Guardian (furzy) Leaks 14M+ Records Brian Krebs (Brian C)

Tariff Tantrum

China promises ‘retaliation’ against new US tariffs Financial Times

U.S. duties spare Apple gadgets but hit cloud industry Reuters (Kevin W)

New Trump Tariffs Won’t Include Fitness Trackers Or the Apple Watch The Verge

A new approach to EU-US trade: Less is more Politico

The economic cost of repellent leadership: Losing soft power lowers exports VoxEU

Trump Transition

Trump declassifies Russia materials in latest effort to undermine Mueller probe Vox. UserFriendly: “LOL the Trump just owned the FBI.”

“The Department of Justice Is a Hydra”: Trump’s Witch Hunt Drives the Deep State Underground Vanity Fair (furzy). Help me. We are supposed to feel sorry for spooks.

You’ll miss Trump one day The Week

Probe of FEMA Chief Brock Long Referred to Prosecutors Wall Street Journal

Justice Department Attempts to Suppress Evidence That the Border Patrol Targeted Humanitarian Volunteers Intercept (UserFriendly)

Manafort’s pro-Ukraine lobbying campaign reached Obama, Biden Politico. UserFriendly: “More interesting than the headline, if true.”


Kavanaugh, accuser to testify publicly on Monday The Hill

UserFriendly: “What, Biden wasn’t available to make this speech?”

Anita Hill’s claims echo in allegation against Kavanaugh. Three decades later, will anything be different? Washington Post (furzy)

Attorney Sent Letter to Chuck Grassley and Dianne Feinstein Claiming Federal Court Employees Willing to Speak About Brett Kavanaugh Intercept. Userfriendly: “Wowzers, difi tried to bury multiple things that would have been disqualifying.”

What America could do with European levels of military spending Washington Post

Fed Interest-Rate Debate Misses the Bigger Picture Bloomberg (UserFriendly)

The Massachusetts Gas Disaster Could Spark An Energy Crisis OilPrice

New York sues U.S. to stop fintech bank charters Reuters

How Millennials Are Shifting the Housing Market Wolf Richer (EM)

The Global Economy Hasn’t Recovered Since Lehman RealClearMarkets (UserFriendly)

Class Warfare

The Recovery Threw the Middle-Class Dream Under a Benz New York Times (UserFriendly)

The new UPS-Teamster worker contract WSWS. Glenn F:

This article examines the collusion between the Teamsters and UPS management in reducing worker pay and increasing harsh working conditions for the Teamster contract covered employees. As a former UPS driver and current Teamster pensioner ($30.50 per month benefit), I am dismayed and disheartened by this contract. When corporations and unions conspire and collude for their own benefit throwing the current full time workers a bone, it spells doom for the rights and benefits of all union workers.

Is California a Good Role Model? New York Times (UserFriendly)

IBM Is Being Sued for Age Discrimination After Firing Thousands Bloomberg. This is not news. Ive been hearing for years of the tricks IBM has used to force older workers out, like giving them postings overseas at a huge cut to their US pay, with not even a flight back to the US (as in the assignment is presented as permanent, when those older employees would typically find it difficult to get permanent residence and would have to come back).

Steve Hilton: Stop blaming the financial crisis for populism. The elitist rot set in years before Fox

Let’s bring back the Sabbath as a radical act against ‘total work’ Aeon (Chuck L)

Antidote du jour. Tracie H: “Cottontail bunny wondering if I’m ever going to go away.”

And a bonus video:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here

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  1. vlade

    “Will not alow UK breakup” So you’ll have a civil war on your hands. I’m sure that your voters will love that.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      It looks to me like the Brexiters are digging in.

      Reading between the lines of a few different articles I’ve read the last 2 days in the Irish Times, RTE, Politico and the Guardian, there seems to be background briefing going on with the general message that:

      1. Lots of progress has been made behind the scenes on technical aspects of a leave agreement to allow the 18 month transition period to kick in (but with all aspects of future relationships essentially put off for future discussions).
      2. The core problem is the backstop, but the EU is working hard to detoxify the issue by coming up with essentially semantic ways of allowing May to declare a victory on the subject, while quietly an Irish Sea border will become a reality.
      3. The hope is that a carefully choreographed air of crisis will be allowed inflate prior to the November meeting, primarily to allow May to push the less palatable aspects of the agreement through Parliament.
      4. The EU is willing to do whats needed to allow May look good, so long as its core concerns are not compromised.

      The obvious problem with this scenario is that its not the Ultras who are kicking up over the backstop, its May herself. This makes it very difficult for her to climb down in the manner suggested by the Guardian article, which leads me to believe that she doesn’t intend to climb down. Its suggested in the Guardian that she intends to make a very hardline speech in the October party conference on immigration in order to get the Tory base behind her. This to me suggests that at least part of her is reconciled to a no-deal, so long as she is captain of the ship as it goes over the cliff.

      And, as you say, London seems oblivious to the impact all this is having on the stability of Northern Ireland (and, to a slightly lesser extent, Scotland). These people are children playing with matches in a gunpowder store.

      1. vlade

        I believe that the last two years shown conclusively that both of the major parties don’t give a toss about anything outside England. In fact, neither of them gives a toss about anything outside of what is happening in their party, and both (Tories more so) are willing to inflict untold collateral damage in the name of ideological purity and party.

        Democratic? Hah, welcome to the Pyongyang on Thames.

        1. Christopher Dale Rogers


          I’m afraid to say that your comment is completely beyond me in the depth you ignore actual events within the Labour Party and Labour Movement and on going struggle by more than 80% of the membership to ensure the majority of the PLP get behind Corbyn, or get out of the way and move on.

          To be blunt, all we’ve had from the MSM, London Establishment, neoliberals and warmongers and certain parts of the PLP is daily personal attacks on Corbyn and his shadow cabinet members, not withstanding attacks on the engaged membership itself by sitting Labour MPs. Alas, you claim we are ignoring the UK, which is a lie I’m afraid, we, that is the membership and activists, are trying to seize the future of the Party and the UK itself from madmen who detest most of our population.

          Please, also be reminded that Corbyn is not Prime Minister and that the formal capabilities of the Opposition are not as strong as you seem to believe – if it were otherwise our nation would not be in the economic and political mess it finds itself in.

          Now, and moving forward to Conference next week and Open Selection, as soon as we sort our own troubled house out we’ll turn our attention to the urgent matters that require addressing in our Nation. And I’m very much part of this I’m pleased to say with my own efforts on behalf of the Labour Movement and general population resident within the UK.

          1. vlade

            Sorry, but Corbyn entirely ignores Brexit, which is like ignoring a coming war. I do not claim he should fight for Remain, but Labour has exactly ZERO workable strategy for any sort of Brexit (the plans they published as as much lala land as May’s, in some respects moreso).

            I will remind you that Corbyn WHIPPED Labour to vote for A50, and was the ONLY politician who called for an immediate trigger of A50. That tells me he has absolutely no clue whatsoever on what it actually means – or even worse, gives a shit.

            So please don’t tell me how much he cares about the nation. I’m sure May, in her way, cares for the nation too.

            But the nation does not live in vacuum, as much as all UK politicians would like it to – given they behave so. The “nation” voted something, which no-one really knows what it is, and Labour’s contribution to that is to stoke the creative ambiguity. Fine for a fight with Tories, but EU is not going to give any leeway for internal UK squabbles. Even if Corbyn becomes PM tomorrow, the EU’s answer would be “Here are the terms. Take it or leave it”. Which is pretty much the same as with Tories. So how’s Labour better?

            No, I take back that “Labour has no strategy” – it has a strategy where it hopes Brexit will kill Tories and Labour picks up the pieces. But there might not be pieces to pick – by any of the mainstream parties, anyways. I doubt – and a number of polls agrees with me – that voters, in a case of a crash-out Brexit, will forget Labour’s complicity.

            “As soon as we sort our troubled house”. Yep, party before nation. You just confirmed it. Sorting the party less than six months before drop-dead date of Britain crashing out and suffering significant economic downturn, harming mostly the poorest. I can see how’s that the priority – now. How about two years ago? Surely, if it’s so important, it could have been done some time back?

            And don’t give me the shit about you could not do anything to sort the nation before you sorted the party – there was no serious attempt to do that. If you can’t sort the party, in a situation that’s likely the most critical since WW2, in two years, and can’t even present any sort of meaningful opposition to the idiocy that’s happening, not matter the harm to the country, then you’re incapable of governing anyways – and don’t deserve to govern.

            And please, the “all we’ve had from the MSM, London Establishment, neoliberals and warmongers and certain parts of the PLP is daily personal attacks on Corbyn” meme – and what did you expect? That Mail will praise Corbyn to the heaven? That the politics is all flowers and a singalong? Complaining about this again shows either extreme naivety, or finding any excuses for inability to do anything. The above was given the moment Corbyn was elected. Complaining about it is whingeing.

            If you say that it’s all an impassable obstacle for Corbyn’s Labour, then well, tough luck, you’ll never govern.

            1. Christopher Dale Rogers


              I do love historical revisionism, and you are indeed a master, alas, you critique but offer little in the way of anything else.

              Now, lets remind ourselves that it was a Tory Party that called a referendum, and that was part of the Tory Party Manifesto in 2015, or did Corbyn draw that up?

              Further, it was the sitting Prime Minster and actual person who called the Referendum who stated categorically that the result of the Referendum would be honoured in full. Remind me, was Corbyn the PM at the time of the 2016 Referendum and did he not campaign for an actual Yes vote?

              Now, Corbyn, being a believer in democracy, actually did call for Article 50 to be enacted as soon as the result was known, that is he was upholding a democratic decision, one which went against his own view at the time.

              Regardless of your personal animosity to Mr Corbyn, which now seems extreme excuse me for saying, but even the EU Bureaucracy itself understands that overturn a Referendum result in the UK unfavourable to its very existence had certain issues attached, namely how the EU bureaucracy tend to ignore democratic wishes of the electorates in member states, so even they understood at the time to try and overturn the Brexit vote was not a good idea, particularly given their record of sending the electorate back to the voting booths to get the voting outcome it desires.

              Alas, people here whinge about the excesses of neoliberalism and wanton warmongering, but seem to join the chorus of ridding ourselves of someone who actually represents the common folk for a change because they desire the Tories to rip themselves apart over Brexit.

              let us remind ourselves, since when have the Tories, the UK Establishment, the rightwing dominated MSM and Totalitarian centrists within all three legacy UK political parties given a toss about the national interest?

              To my knowledge, they give a toss about themselves and small groups of hanger ons they hang out with.

              I’ll leave it there as as far as I’m concerned you’d rather a continuation of the economic policies that have led us to a dark place, rather than offer some hope, not only to the average Joe’s in the UK, but those who oppose neoliberal economic prescriptions and interventionist foreign policies the world over.

              So, I’ll stick to Corbyn and you can stick with the old guard by your own words I presume on this thread.

            2. bronco

              They will forget Labours part , the same way the insane Hillary voters still don’t see what the problem with her as a candidate was so tie themselves in knots to invent fantasies of why she lost . RUSSIA RUSSIA RUSSIA!!

            3. Unna

              **I’ll take back that “Labour has no strategy” – it has a strategy where it hopes Brexit will kill Tories and Labour picks up the pieces.**

              From my somewhat removed observation, it seems: That’s the Strategy. Whether it’s a good strategy or not, we’ll see. Again, from my somewhat removed view, UK looks like a social and political basket case. Bad to extreme situations call for extreme solutions. Maybe that’s Corbyn’s private thought. I don’t know.

              If I were Corbyn taking over the UK under such circumstances, I’d do some very radical things very quickly. No business as usual. As long as he retains support of the population, and there will be a lot of very angry people after a no deal crash out, I’d push his “class enemies” through the wall to the point that they are eliminated as a political- economic presence. At which point in the future will UK again have a good chance peacefully to get rid of its upper class? Which is what it needs to do.

  2. allan

    It’s not over yet, but it look like large parts of eastern North Carolina are being turned into a superfund site:

    Flooding causes a hog lagoon to breach; others are at capacity [News & Observer]

    … In a statement Monday night, the [N.C. Pork] Council said another seven are at capacity and appear to have overtopped. Still, the Council said after on-farm assessments and industry surveying, it did not believe there had been widespread impacts to 3,000 lagoons in the state that hold hog waste.

    The hog farms and lagoons are just one of several environmental threats to the state from Florence.

    Coal ash ponds, chemical factories, landfills and hazardous waste dumps also are located on or near North Carolina’s two main rivers in Eastern North Carolina, the Cape Fear River and the Neuse River. …

    Some of these sites are 100 miles inland. Septic tanks, sewers, petroleum products,
    dead cattle and hog carcasses, hog waste, coal ash …
    When the waters recede, it’s going to be a complete horror show.

    If Trump thought that since the Carolinas aren’t an “inaccessible island” like Puerto Rico,
    he would be able to just ride in for a savior photo-op on Marine One, he’s in for a rude shock.
    This will be his Katrina.

    1. Doug

      I live in area. Hogs environmental disaster without any flooding. Uncovered hog shit ponds (lagoon is neat industry term) let tons of nitrogen enter our waters through evaporation. Current flooding does make it worse….

    2. Doug

      I live in area. Hogs environmental disaster without any flooding. Uncovered hog shit ponds (lagoon is neat industry term) let tons of nitrogen enter our waters through evaporation. Current flooding does make it worse….

    3. Watt4Bob

      Smithfield Farms which runs the worlds largest hog farm in Tar Heel North Carolina, is owned by the Chinese.

      The Tar Heel ‘farm’ processes 32,000 hogs a day.

      So the USA outsources its manufacturing to China, in large part to escape environmental regulation, IOW, pollute the Chinese environment because it’s not against the law there, Chinese, in turn outsource hog production, and associated environmental damage to the USA where, more and more, it’s not against the law to despoil the environment either.

      When these hog manure lagoons fail, they leave the waterways, and land polluted all the way to the ocean where they create an immense ‘dead-zone’ that can be seen from outer space.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        There is currently a threat of African swine fever infected pigs in China.

        And periodically, we hear avian flu breaking out over there.

        For many reasons the Chinese are trying to secure food sources abroad – here in America, Latin America, Africa, and maybe even Taiwan (where, at least in the early 1980s, about the same amount of rice was produced there as Japan and the Philippines combined – I read that recently).

      2. anonymous

        This won’t stop until people realize what’s entailed by eating pork.

        There is NO humane slaughter in the US, let alone other nations.

        Pigs are brutally abused on factory farms, transported 100s of miles (often through scorching desert heat) without water, for days, then horrifically killed in slaughterhouses. The torture and abuse that these sensitive, intelligent animals endure is unconscionable.

        I’ve attended pig vigils at a slaughterhouse in Los Angeles. The pigs arrive at night on transport trucks, many are dead and dying, the rest desperate for a drop of water.

        Just one example: pigs are typically alive as they’re dipped in scalding water to remove their body hair:

        1. bronco

          what comes after vegan? Someday some prophet will tell us that tomatoes and apples feel pain then what will be allowed to eat?

      3. barrisj

        How many rolls of paper towels will be needed to absorb all the pig shite let loose by flooding? WH ready to fly them down, with Trump throwing out the first ball roll.

    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The economy of North Carolina is structured the way it is, and has been for a long time, under many administrations.

      And a disaster is terrible now, not so much his Katrina, but ours.

  3. Henry Moon Pie

    The Sabbath:

    I’m not quite sure why the author didn’t focus on Deuteronomy 5, the second version of the Ten Commandments, because that passage makes explicit the tie between the Sabbath and the Israelites experience under Pharaoh:

    Observe the sabbath day and keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, or your son or your daughter, or your male or female slave, or your ox or your donkey, or any of your livestock, or the resident alien in your towns, so that your male and female slave may rest as well as you. Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the sabbath day.

    Deuteronomy 5:12-15 (NRSV)

    Deuteronomy connects the Sabbath commandment with the experience of Egyptian slavery rather than than YHWH’s resting after six tough days creating the universive. This focus is in keeping with Deuteronomy’s general push for class justice. While the older Book of the Covenant in Exodus limits debt slavery to 7 years, Deuteronomy goes a step further by requiring the creditor to “give liberally” to the released debt slave at the end of the term, providing at least some compensation and a start for a new life. Deuteronomy 15 also mandates a debt jubilee every seven years.

    While hardly connecting YHWH to advocacy of a socialist paradise, these passages do indicate some interesting development in attitudes toward human equality back in the Iron Age Near East between the time of the compiling of the Book of the Covenant, with its parallels to the Code of Hammurabi, and the law codes in Deuteronomy.

    1. Otis B Driftwood

      I hope I’m not the only individual among the NC readership who can remember that not-so-distant past (my very early childhood to be precise) when Sundays were still honored as a day of rest. Most local stores were closed on Sunday, and families actually spent the day together. But then, gradually, that all changed: by the time I was in middle-school, Sunday store hours were commonplace and aside from the morning inconvenience of church going, Sunday became just another Saturday. Then Saturday became just another Friday, and so on.

      This past Sunday, while my wife was busy working at her elementary school catching up on work, I had two separate visits to my home from those Amazon contract delivery people.

      That’s what this has all come to.

      1. The Rev Kev

        The cultural shift has been remarkable over the past two generations. People may remember the film poster from that awful film “Pearl Harbor” ( that came out a coupla years ago. Seems legit except for the fact that back in ’41 that attack was on a Sunday and on Sundays housewives would not do their washing but would do it on the Monday. Being Christians they kept the sabbath on a Sunday and doing the washing them would have been a big no-no. The people they drew up that poster had no idea of course due to the change in our culture.

      2. roxy

        “I hope I’m not the only individual among the NC readership who can remember…when Sundays were still honored as a day of rest.” Certainly not. Believe it or not, the 80 year old family owned very retro market in my post industrial town STILL is closed on Sundays. Not only that, they close on Memorial Day and Labor Day too. oh the humanity.

      3. Harold

        I am sympathetic to this idea. One problem with it, though, is that different religions have different days of rest (but perhaps that’s why we need a secular religion). But to start off with, how about a more generous vacation and holiday policies, as in most other countries?

        1. Amfortas the Hippie

          I’m not religious, but I’m sympathetic to this,too…so long as there’s one beer store for us seculars.
          In my 25 year cooking career, I strove to always have Sunday off. Bosses found “sabbath” hard to argue with,generally. Given how worklife has devolved,a forced rest period is a good thing.

          1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

            Same here.

            Believe it or not but the Army let all us Basic Trainees go to church and then after was this religious lecture that provided FREE SNACKS AND CAPRI SUN.

            I used to flirt with my female battle buddies.

            For an Atheist, i certainly didnt mind chillin with the christians as long as it got me out of waxing the floors or pulling weeds.

            Always Ready Maintaining Yards

        2. HotFlash

          Agreed. Computers are very good at scheduling — why don’t we let them do that for us? Here in Toronto my neighbours are are nearly every possible religion or none. Grocery flyers keep us up to date on when it’s Moon Festival, Eid, Diwali (one of my favourites), one of the many New Year festivals, etc. My postie (great union, that CUPW, gave us *all* 4% vacation pay and paid maternity leave) has his birthday off every year. Surely we can schedule work to fit people’s actual lives and preferences *and* still keep the factories, shops and businesses open whenever? I would also point out that a 30 hour, or even 20 hour, work week might just share out the (un)employment a bit more evenly. We are already making/doing too much stuff that nobody needs and which is killing the planet. Caveat: full benefits, none of this part-time = slavery nonsense, and schedules either fixed or set 2 or more weeks in advance.

          1. Louis

            HotFlash wrote:

            Computers are very good at scheduling — why don’t we let them do that for us?

            I have worked store-level retail and been subjected to automated scheduling. While I can’t attest to all the automated scheduling systems out there, the ones I’ve dealt with are worse than scheduling done by humans.

            Computers are very good at scheduling people within certain constraints: i.e. minimizing payroll or keeping someone under full-time status. However, they are absolutely awful at scheduling people in a way that results in adequate coverage, especially when it comes to funcations that aren’t pure sales: e.g. unloading and stocking inventory.

            1. HotFlash

              Hi Louis, that’s just the computer doing what it is told by the human management, who then have the excuse that “the computer did it”. Which is BS.

              With different parameters you get different results. Computers can match schedules to people’s real needs. Think about how a workers’ coop might design a scheduling project request, rather than how capitalistic HR department would.

        3. roadrider

          I’m not religious and not sympathetic at all to this idea. I like having stores and restaurants and movie theaters, etc open on Sunday. There are other and better ways of limiting work without resuscitating archaic tribal practices and beliefs. I would go in the exact opposite direction and discard the weekend concept altogether and let people flexibly decide which days off they want. I would also discard the idea of national holidays, grant people more generous vacation leave and let them decide which days they want to take off.

          1. Oregoncharles

            Yes. My son worked for a company, known for its treatment of employes, that used “flextime.” No fixed hours; employes got a certain amount of paid time off per year, that they could use as they saw fit, plus a liberal unpaid leave policy. Of course, it was more practical if people’s work times overlapped, and taking time off at crunch time wouldn’t be popular, so there were social restraints.

            Unused time off was paid when people left.

      4. Lee

        Sundays should be reserved for the sacred ceremony of brunch. And kudos to your wife for her dedication to the next generation.

      5. nihil obstet

        In the days when stores were closed on Sunday, people had large mid-day Sunday dinners. It was not a day of rest for the women of the household — before lots of convenience foods and kitchen appliances, cooking and clean-up were pretty labor intensive. The end of the need to cater to the husband and sons’ celebration of rest was rather freeing.

    2. tokyodamage

      nice comment!
      Michael Hudson the economist/historian, is all about Ancient Debt Jubilees, and i think Hudson had some praise for the Sabbath as well? Something to do with the world’s first labor contract mandating time off from work? Any hudson-fans out there got the quote?

      Me, I’m more dubious about bringing back the sabbath: Moses ordered an Israelite killed for gathering sticks on the sabbath. the whole tribe was ordered to stone him to death – the most labor-intensive form of execution! so now you got a dead Israelite AND the whole town is exhausted from ‘working’ on the sabbath. I guess you could say the sabbath was a good plan with a poor execution.

      (source below)

      Numbers 15:32-36 New King James Version (NKJV)

      32 Now while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day. 33 And those who found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses and Aaron, and to all the congregation. 34 They put him under guard, because it had not been explained what should be done to him.

      35 Then the Lord said to Moses, “The man must surely be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.” 36 So, as the Lord commanded Moses, all the congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him with stones, and he died.

    3. georgieboy

      Moon Pie: Many thanks for the back-story on the historical development of the Commandments.

      Gotta a favorite source?

  4. Wukchumni

    Another tariffist attack was perpetrated on the people’s republic yesterday, with an errorist some call the ‘jackal of all trades’, claiming responsibility.

  5. fresno dan

    You’ll miss Trump one day The Week

    The post-Trump era will be less frightening but more dull.
    After Trump:
    Will the chance of war REALLY be less?
    Will inequality REALLY lessen?
    Will heath care INSECURITY REALLY lessen?
    Will the environment degradation REALLY lessen?
    Will the security state and monitoring of citizens REALLY lessen?
    Will the entertainment centric “news” media cover policy, and not personality?

    I don’t know if I want to live long enough to see CNN interviews and commentators that extol the virtues of the Trump appointees. How is it that the “liberal” MSNBC makes a hero out of Clapper and Brennan….
    Nostalgia – its not what it used to be

    1. Wukchumni

      It’s a Faustian bargain at best…

      The devil you know versus, the Christian that scares the hell out of you, as his replacement.

          1. bronco

            I meant Trump will be here until then , then some random democrat will win to take the taste out our mouths

    2. gordon

      From the “Miss Trump One Day” piece: “Not only do we demand entertainment, but we demand it from everyone, all the time, even at the risk of economic collapse, a constitutional crisis, and a few accidental, simultaneous wars.”

      Typical of people living inauthentic lives.

  6. zagonostra

    Ref: Let’s bring back the Sabbath.

    Curious coincident, a friend gave me an old magazine called “Wisdom” with an article from Abraham Joshua Heschel on the subject of the Sabbath. His analysis was similar, although much deeper and insightful, then the article refereed to in Aeon.

    The cover of this magazine, Wisdom, has the picture of Ernest Hemingway and was gorgeously printed in a size similar to those old Life magazines. As I sit and do my business in the morning before coming to work, I read and marvel at it’s quality…what saddens me is that the quality and depth of writing found in this magazine is rarely replicated on online publications, or at least the one’s I’ve discovered..

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Push to Execute Saudi Clerics Rattles Kingdom’s Power Structure”

    I can just see Saudi justice at work now for those three clerics-

    “Crucifixion? Yes, that’s right. Up the stairs, first on the left – one cross only!”

  8. JA139

    Re Russia reveals the MH17 ‘smoking gun’

    There has been literally zero coverage of this story in the MSM to be best of my searching skills. Funny that. There is a new story though, that one of the Pussy Riot members who invaded the field in the World Cup Final has allegedly been poisoned and is in hospital.

  9. fresno dan

    Trump declassifies Russia materials in latest effort to undermine Mueller probe Vox. UserFriendly: “LOL the Trump just owned the FBI.”

    Those text messages could discuss all manner of things, including, potentially, investigators’ suspicions, secret evidence, investigative methods, and information on confidential sources whose lives could be put at risk (if his instruction to release them “without redaction” truly is carried out).
    Whether the material in the Pentagon Papers or the stuff from Snowden, WHO (foreign confidential source) exactly has died? A cynic might be snarky and point out that despite the billions upon billions spent, our investment in intelligence did not prevent 9/11.
    If the sacrosanct “methods and sources” were to be released, I think Americans would be mighty p*ssed off that all that money is going to cultivate sources like the Kremlin toilet cleaner or Putin’s dog walker.

    The clandestine services report:
    Our Kremlin source, deep, deep in the bowels of the Kremlin…uh, actually that was meant to read as our Kremlin source, who has access to what comes out of the bowels of Kremlin occupants, has reported an unusual increase in toilet paper use. This may be due to increasing tensions with Ukraine….or it could be due to some badly prepared borscht eaten at the dinner honoring Putin’s horse. As you all know, Putin rides a horse without a shirt, and Putin doesn’t wear a shirt either….

    1. Elizabeth Burton

      You’ve presented the question I have come to use as my staple whenever the subject of releasing “classified material” comes up. Who, exactly, are all of these personnel who are going to be tragically murdered because Edward Snowden made it public that the NSA was spying on all of us? Who are those who will be endangered if the IC releases the proof those who are convinced of Russia! Russia! Russia! continue to insist they have but daren’t release because “classified”?

      Show me the proof.

  10. LaRuse

    Just want to express my appreciation today for the antidotes, particularly today’s bonus. Between family being trapped in Wilmington (no, they couldn’t evacuate; my dad’s wife works at a hospital there and was put on 24 hour call and couldn’t leave), the gas issue in MA directly impacting my career, and the tornadoes that touched down in my county in VA yesterday afternoon (my house was mercifully never threatened but my Kidlet didn’t get home from school until 1900 last night), a chatty Mamma-Cat was just the antidote my spirit needed this morning. Thank you!

    1. newcatty


      Hope all is well with your family in Wilmington…and that you and other families in VA are safe and well. I loved the mamma-cat talking to her kits, too. We have two female cats. Though both are not mamma-cats, the older one talks to us with just that same tone as the mamma cat. Makes me smile. She usually let’s us know that she is concerned if I happen to be crying. Or it’s time to be brushed, or for more food in their dish. Animals are a way shower of genuine kindness and love. My little cat might put her claws out when scared and hook my hand, but it’s not done with ill intent. May the force be with you and let us keep our spirit up in these trying times.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “Russia reveals the MH17 ‘smoking gun’ ”

    Excuse me! Excuse me! The Joint Investigation Team from Malaysia, the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium & Ukraine has been sitting on fragments of the engine & nozzle of that 9M38 missile – which clearly had their serial numbers still surviving – and this has been for the past FOUR years? WTF? Any serious investigation would have contacted the Russian Defense Ministry for the read-outs of those serial numbers from the get-go. For years now, when given a choice between believing a briefing by the Russian Defense Ministry and a briefing by the Pentagon, I have found the former to be a more reliable source of information.
    Just today there was news of an attack on Syria as mentioned by Edward E. The TV news just fobbed it off as just another attack but it was a game changer by the sounds of what the Russian Ministry said. The French launched missiles from their Navy’s frigate ‘Auvergne’ in coordination with an Israeli attack. Thing is, the Israelis attacked from the same area that the Russians had one of their surveillance planes to use it for cover so when Syrian defenses launched their S300 missiles, they went for the Russian plane as it had a much bigger profile that the Israeli F-16s. They gave the Russians zero time to get their plane to safety but set it up to be destroyed.
    The Israelis blame the Syrians and expressed their sorrow for the crew but the Russians have already said they hold Israel directly responsible. What will they do? I have no idea but I do wonder if Putin remembers, as an ex-KGB, a certain incident involving Russians in Beirut back in ’85 ( when attacked. Watch this space.

    1. Quentin

      You can see the statement of the Russian Defence Ministry on You Tube, search ‘Briefing on newly discovered evidence pertaining to the crash of the MH17 flight’. Lots of detail. Horrifying incompetence and bad faith on the part of the Joint Investigation Team led by the the Netherlands.

      1. Hameloose Cannon

        Russian-made missile shoots down civilian airliner by mistake. Russian-made missile shoots down surveillance aircraft by mistake. Remind me again, state-run media, how the Russian gov’t is absolved of any of this. Crackerjack job, Ministry of Defense.

        1. Elizabeth Burton

          So, if you sell your car to someone who gets drunk and runs over a kid with it, that makes you responsible, right?

          1. Hameloose Cannon

            Yes. Especially if that dead kid falling 35 km out to sea is in the Russian Air Force, his government constantly exposes him to the negligence and harm from other governments, and his government doesn’t lift a finger in response. If the Russian government is unable to deploy themselves in defense of Syrian skies, then maybe its time to examine what, exactly, is Russia defending. Commercial flights still fly over Syria, btw.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Completely agree, the government that supplied the missiles is complicit and responsible, no matter who pulled the eventual trigger.

              So let’s apply that logic to USGOV.

              Link below to your U.S. tax dollars at work in Yemen. Complete with serial numbers.

              Your money could be spent instead on affordable day care, or bridges that don’t fall down, or basic clean tap water in Flint, Michigan, or trying to get U.S. infant mortality rates below those of Bulgaria.

              NOTE: severe graphic images warning


        2. The Rev Kev

          This is more akin to waiting until a police car is cruising down your neighbourhood, ducking over to your neighbour’s house, letting off several shots at the police car through his window and letting them see where the shooting was coming from, then ducking back to your own home and watching the police and SWAT team go to work on your neighbour. Afterwards of course you express your condolences and sorrow to the family at the funeral.

    2. YY

      And not too soon, this information. It is perfectly predictable that the, unlikely as a dropped passport, “s/n evidence”, would point to Ukraine owned Buk, as any other s/n would be difficult to produce, as I would doubt that Russian records of their own Buk’s would be available to Western intelligence. So any production of the origin of the missile would rely on what Ukraine has. Imposters would risk exposure as intact missiles are shown as rebuttal proof. What is more problematic is whether Buk’s were involved at all.

      All the sightings of the missile vehicle accompanied by “photographic” evidence just highlight the absence of reported eyewitnesses to the launch of the Buk, let alone photo records. This occurring on clear day in a flat landscape with visibility miles around, even if sparsely populated. Combine this with such stuff as the lack of post-mortum information of the Malaysian pilot who was apparently directly behind the section of the plane shot up by projectiles, more suggestive of bullets than shrapnel from an exploding missile.

  12. Kurtismayfield

    RE:The Massachusetts Gas Disaster Could Spark An Energy Crisis

    The safety of residential gas supply has nothing to do with the pipelines.

    This tragedy, apart from the human loss and considerable trauma caused to the afflicted communities, may also lead to extremely negative consequences for a region that was already having a hard time meeting its own energy demand. For the last few years, state and local governments around New England, but particularly in Massachusetts, have been battling against the construction of several new natural gas pipelines due to environmental concerns and clearly well-founded fears of disaster.

    These pipelines have nothing to do with residential supply.. the pipelines are for gas export. The accident has nothing to do with this.. uggh never let a tragedy go wasted.

    1. Swamp Yankee

      My other comment may have gone into the ether, so this is a shorter version: not only, as Kurtismayfield says, are the pipelines for export (e.g., they’re building compressor stations in working-class ports like Weymouth, MA, and Providence, RI), the gas companies have been credibly accused in a class action suit of fixing prices/manipulating supply.

      While this suit was recently (Sept. 11th, 2018) dismissed by a Massachusetts federal judge, it was on jurisdictional — interstate gas pipelines, the judge said, are the sphere of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission — not factual grounds.

  13. Swamp Yankee

    The OilPrice story on our local gas disaster here in MA asserts that it was shortages in gas last winter that caused New England’s heating crisis. Yet local energy activists have effectively caught the gas companies manipulating prices, and recently sued Eversource for price manipulation. Though the suit was recently dismissed by a federal judge, not on factual grounds, but rather as interfering in the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s power to regulate interstate commerce.

    Moreover, these pipelines are built for export, which is why they’re trying to build compressor stations in Weymouth, MA, and the Port of Providence, RI — of course in working class neighborhoods (thanks, Gina Raimondo, Deval Patrick, and Charlie “Mean Boss” Baker!).

    I know OilPrice definitely has a slant, but this seems beyond the smell test.

    Update: Seems Kurtismayfield has beaten me to the punch!

    1. Kurtismayfield

      Thank you Swamp Yankee.. The price manipulation is new to me. But the BS on these pipelines seems to never stop flowing.

  14. fresno dan

    September 18, 2018 at 7:58 am

    I can see president Pence at the White House prayer breakfast, celebrating the abolition of social security and medicare:
    Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
    God helps those who help themselves*

    *yes, I KNOW that is not an actual scripture….but how many Pence voters know that?

  15. The Rev Kev

    “New Trump tariffs won’t include fitness trackers or the Apple Watch”

    I guess that the elites did not like the idea of paying any more for their toys so got an exemption put in.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Not like Mrs. Marcos who had more shoes than she could have worn?

      Don’t the current elites have surplus fitness trackers and Apple Watches, unless there is one hot new version coming out soon?

    1. RUKidding

      These charges by Sanai and other law clerks really should be investigated. It smells too much like a cover up to me.

      I guess DiFi’s and other Democrat’s 1% patrons are demanding Kavanaugh at all costs bc he’ll be a good ole boy corporate stooge all the way. Screw women. Who cares about them??

  16. Livius Drusus

    Re: You’ll miss Trump one day.

    Just wait until we have a really intelligent reactionary in power. People will be praying for Trump to come back. The fact that Trump is a boor and his administration is a circus are all good things from the standpoint of ordinary Americans. It has revealed how morally bankrupt our political class is, including the feckless Democrats who are spending much of their time attacking left-wing populists while rehabilitating Republican warmongers like George W. Bush and the late John McCain.

    Back to my original point, I would rather have this awful, corrupt circus than a really intelligent reactionary in charge. Of course, neither are good but people should be careful about going overboard with describing how bad Trump is. I would rather deal with a corrupt, incompetent reactionary than a smart and effective one. Sadly, I think it is only a matter of time before we end up with an intelligent and effective reactionary government. That will be the time to really worry and be nostalgic for Trump.

    1. RUKidding

      Agree. Always been my argument as well. Trump’s a loser chump, but it’s all right there out in the open.

      Some smooth mover? Look out below! We’ll really be in trouble then. And I agree that day and that person is coming.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Smooth movers…

        To the smooth talkers who sell smooth, they disdain Trump for lacking smooth.

        To those who buy smooth, and many of us had, one time or another in our lives, bought, or bought into, smooth. And many still do. To them, it’s unsightly that Trump is far from smooth.

        But in all cases, the focus should be on that quality.

  17. JTMcPhee

    Reading down the page in Asia Times, below the MH-17 item, the next report today is also interesting:

    Next trade war front: export bribery
    New OECD and Transparency International report shows most Asian countries fail to punish payment of export bribes. It’s only a matter of time before Donald Trump takes notice

    One of the many features and benefits of “globalization:” lots of people who “facilitate trade” get to extend their rice bowls out to participants in that Best of All Possible Worlds “trade” thing, and expect that a lot of the “money” stuff will get dropped surreptitiously or blatantly in.

    German has some great words: Schadenfreude, Weltschmerz, stuff like that. And then for the really world-weary, “Hoffentlich, ist das bald vorbei.” Maybe an apt and applicable phrase too, for those who are not lovers of long lootable and looting supply chains, and who think some version of autarky makes sense for people and the planet… But then, humans at almost any scale of organization (sic) don’t seem to get past the secular meaning of “Wir kann nicht anders…”

    1. The Rev Kev

      I think that at the moment when they hear Trump’s pronouncements, it is more a case of “Das darf nicht wahr sein!”

  18. DJG

    Proof that the Flying Spaghetti Monster exists:

    From the “Nuclear Pasta” article, strongest material in the universe, particularly when cooked al dente.

    According to their research, just one kilometer below the crust of a neutron star, a dense mixture of neutrons and protons forms structures akin to pasta in all sorts of (theoretical) shapes and sizes, including but not limited to: blobs, tubes and sheets, like their real-world comparators gnocchi, spaghetti and lasagna respectively.

    Hmmm. Spaghetti are not tubes. Maybe the writer means bucatini.

    Blessed by the noodly goodness of the FSM. Ramen.

  19. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Anita Hill’s claims echo in allegation against Kavanaugh. Three decades later, will anything be different? Washington Post (furzy)

    With social media, in another three decades, the show should be more dramatic…the rants, sorry, writings of someone when he or she was in pre-school will all be there.

    “Here, you were praising a long-dead white European male. And here, you were praising Confucius, a long dead Asian male. How do you explain yourself?”

  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Coca-Cola ‘in talks’ over cannabis-infused drinks BBC (Kevin W)


    Will kids under 18 be allowed to imbibe those new drinks?

    Can you drink them and drive?

  21. John k

    Second annual int Mmt conference sep 28-30 ay new school in nyc.
    Drinks and snacks apparently after first days discussions… most of the usual suspects will be there.
    why not have meetup after that fri eve maybe there or nearby?

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