Links 9/24/18

North Carolina woman arrested after sheltering 27 dogs, cats abandoned during Florence CBS News

‘A third of TripAdvisor reviews are fake’ as cheats buy five stars The Times

‘There’s a rock on this beach!’ and other awful tourist complaints Guardian

What are public lands? Treehugger

Solar panels replaced tarmac on a motorway – here are the results The Conversation

Clearing out old cells might help the brain MIT Technology Review

Air pollution rots our brains. Is that why we don’t do anything about it? Guardian

Unlocking secrets of sea level rise in Greenland Reuters TV (UserFriendly)

Waste Watch

Everything you’ve been told about plastic is wrong – the answer isn’t recycling Independent

Japan teams with Southeast Asia to protect its prized fruits Nikkei Asian Review

The rarest fabric on Earth BBC


Russian MoD Presents IL-20 Investigation Results – Israel “Crossed The Line Of Civilized Relations” Moon of Alabama

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard vows to avenge Ahvaz attack Al Jazeera


As China builds biotech sector, cash floods U.S. startups Reuters


PM Modi launches Ayushman Bharat health scheme: All you need to know Times of India.

Ayushman Bharat Trivialises India’s Quest for Universal Health Care The Wire

On A Wing And A Prayer Caravan

India’s Modi faces calls for resignation over French jet deal CNBC

As Rafale Ripples Continue, Modi Govt’s Defence of Cronyism Charge Raises More Questions The Wire


AstraZeneca CEO warns of medicine shortages after Brexit: Sunday Times Reuters

Brexit: a state of chaos

Why Brexiters’ confidence in services trade may be misplaced FT

Class Warfare

Hand 10% of equity to workers, Labour to tell major UK companies FT

The Opioid Crisis Response Act: Looking Ahead, Ignoring the Present Jurist

When Trying to Help Gets You Fired Marshall Project

They Think It Would Be Fun to Run a Newspaper: Billionaires Buying Up Media Is Another Step Toward Oligarchy AlterNet

Low pay, poor prospects, and psychological toll: The perils of microtask work Ars Technica


Putting a dollar value on one of oil’s biggest subsidies: military protection Vox

Wall Street’s Marijuana Madness: ‘It’s Like the Internet in 1997’ WSJ

Kill Me Now

Michelle Obama’s Big Book Rollout: ‘It’s Like You’re Looking at a Madonna Tour’ NYT. $3000 to attend a book launch?

‘No regrets’: world’s biggest election loser runs for 96th time in Canada Guardian. Shh! Don’t tell Hillary. It might give her the wrong idea…

Learning to do a double flip: From red to blue and from reporter to politician WaPo. Profile of Leslie Cockburn and her campaign for Virginia’s 5th congressional district.

California police uphold few complaints of officer misconduct and investigations stay secret LA Times

Tariff Tantrum

The US Will Lose Its Trade War with China Project Syndicate

China warns Iowa soybean farmers of ‘a president’s folly’ SCMP

Here comes the 30-year trade war Asia Times. Pepe Escobar.

China accuses US of ‘bullying’ on trade but calls for cooperation SCMP


Senate Democrats Investigate a New Allegation of Sexual Misconduct, from Brett Kavanaugh’s College Years The New Yorker. Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer.

Kavanaugh to Give Senate Calendars From 1982 to Back Up Denial NYT. Okay, hands up, who kept a calendar of his/her schedule– including names of others who attended parties–  while a high school student? And of those who may have compiled such info, who still retains those records– more than 30 years later?

Kavanaugh’s Lesson For Democrats Is That It’s Always Worth A Fight Huffington Post. UserFriendly: “Shocking that supporting Kavanaugh put Collins approval underwater.” Moi: Note  this was published before the latest Farrow/Mayer New Yorker article appeared.

Obama White House counsel Gregory Craig under scrutiny by prosecutors in offshoot of Mueller probe WaPo

Trump Transition

What’s in a Resume? A Lot, When It Comes to Trump Staffers ProPublica

The House We Built: How the United States Walked Away from Decades of Accountability Jurist

Foreign policy bigwigs: Trump risking war with Iran Politico

Antidote du Jour:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. Fried

      This article is written in such a patronizing tone. I don’t know what people who write like that are thinking.

      1. Katy

        The problem is that the article frames plastic use in terms of personal responsibility (it’s your fault!) instead of corporate responsibility (it’s freaking Nestle’s fault!). Nobody needs a 24-pack of plastic bottles of water for $2.99. If they weren’t being sold, we wouldn’t buy them.

        It’s nearly impossible to opt out of using plastic. No scratch that–it is impossible to opt out. Even if you were to go to the food co-op with your reusable containers and buy foods in bulk, those foods were most likely transported to the store in plastic containers.

        Plastic exists because plastic is profitable. People are getting rich off it, and it’s not going away.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Packaging laws. Buy a broom in the U.S. and you get a non-recyclable plastic condom covering the entire bristle area. Buy one in Germany and you get a small paper sticker attached to the handle.

          Oh, look, government/laws really are useful for something! But I’m sure the packaging salesguy has a sales quota, and his billionaire boss/owner just must have that second private island, so he bought a politician who will make sure we don’t get sensible packaging laws.

          Modern society: really really really great for about 8 white guys, downhill for the rest of us

  1. Amit Chokshi

    Sadly or fortunately the risking war with Iran is only an issue cause trump is president. If anyone else prob would be hearing about the imminent threat Iran poses.

    1. Quentin

      Michelle Obama finally disdains false humility and tells it as it is:

      “It is not easy to tell somebody that you are worth a lot,” she said. “Especially for women. We have a hard time saying that about ourselves, that I know my worth and I can put a monetary number on it, too.”

      Money, money, money, Oprah style schmalz and glitz. Whatever happened to the veggie garden in the White House garden?

      1. Nameful

        “It is not easy to tell somebody that you are worth a lot,” she said. “Especially for women. We have a hard time saying that about ourselves, that I know my worth and I can put a monetary number on it, too.”

        Ah, the common confusion between one’s self and one’s possessions. “I’m rich” is not the same as “I’m worth a lot.” Aside from her possessions, the human being value of Mme. O might not be quite as much as she thinks. And definitely not as quantifiable with a number as she thinks.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Pretty clear that MO was talking not about her large and growing piles of loot, but her estimation of her inherent qualities and properties and characteristics and capabilities, as valued by the oligarchy. Proving that not only privileged white women carry this notion forward.

          Like the offering in the SkyMall advertising booklet in the airline seatback pocket for what is it, Karass or somebody’s self-promotion program (Only $89.95!) — “You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you NEGOTIATE!”
          As any CEO can tell you, male or female or other…

          I doubt she had Madge the waitress at the truck stop, or Sprusza the nurse in the nursing home, in mind when offering this bit of gratuitous advice and excuse for her grasping behaviors. You think BO was a poor excuse? What’s MO going to bring? Try asking that question over to Vox or Huffpo or Dailykos, or the NYT or WaPo, though…

          “The price of everything, the value of nothing.” All for the lack of an organizing principle that serves the general welfare…

          1. blennylips

            > SkyMall advertising booklet in the airline seatback pocket for what is it, Karass or somebody’s self-promotion program

            I saw what you did there!

            You win the internet, for me today, JTMcPhee, thank you.

      2. Arizona Slim

        The garden was Michelle’s project, but she didn’t do the work involved in building or maintaining it. Those jobs were handled by the National Park Service.

      3. The Rev Kev

        Oh god. I just had a thought. You don’t think…you don’t think that she has an idea of running for President one day herself do you? She saw how Hillary nearly did it, that is, until through tone-deafness she threw her chances out the window. She also sees how the Democrats are trying to groom Kamala Harris for an eventual shot at the job whom she probably considers a light weight. Michelle might just be saying to herself that she might have a good shot at the Presidency one day herself. This book may just be an initial step by keeping her image before the public.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Michelle was a run of the mill spouse of the President (First Lady is a nickname for Dolly Madison, the original co-President; not every (most) Presidential spouse warrants this kind of nickname. Michelle wasn’t one of them.). She won’t put the effort into it. Running for office is a nightmare, and you have to get off on the election process and being everyone’s friend. Unlike the Clintons, Obama is a successor to Clinton, despite us not wanting that. His first chief of staff was a Clinton lackey.

          If she had any inclinations, she would have stormed into some district in Illinois. Trying the HRC route is probably tougher as a Republican could theoretically win the seat, so local Democrats might be more keen to put up a strong candidate to replace a guy like Durbin if he were to retire, unlike say Monahan and his NY seat where the Republican almost certainly wouldn’t win. With so many potential candidates, there was no opportunity for an anti-carpet bagger candidate.

          1. Summer

            I think she’s about to establish an ability to campaign fundraise that is far from “run of the mill.”
            In some form or fashion, MO is going to be a big part of the next election cycles.
            Sold out arenas means more to the establishment doing the selection of candidates than “great ideas to benefit the pleebs.”
            But the conversation shouldn’t be about MO. It should be WITH all the people purchasing tickets and books.
            What do you say to them?

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              I’m saying she’s never demonstrated the campaign edge that HRC showed, the co-Presidency was a big deal. Michelle has no interest or drive. Its unlikely she’s developed it at this stage of life. People liked Laura Bush, and she killed a man, maybe thats why.

                1. NotTimothyGeithner

                  If Michelle had the ambition (the one you need), her project wouldn’t have been “eating healthy.” Its more innocuous than “standing up to cancer” because the pro-cancer lobby is so popular.

                  It does wear. I wonder if this happened to Kerry. There are times I actually like him, but I think he’s sort of the guy who was reaping the accolades of testifying at the Senate committee not the person who is going to shake every hand and show he’s committed to every vote.

                  Corey Booker is a dope, but he clearly has the drive and desire to be liked. He feeds on it, whether its a poor kid on the streets of Newark or Michael Bloomberg. I don’t know about Liz Warren. I sense she’s too reactionary and focused on her issues.

                  HRC lost her edge. When she was holding those parades with huge spaces and held that speech in a room full of flags and not much else, she showed she had lost her edge whereas Trump had that woman pull on his hair to prove it was glued on.

                  Kaine doesn’t have it. He likes to be liked, but he doesn’t have it enough. I saw him and Warner once at a parade. Kaine was governor at the time and waived and shook a couple of hands here and there. Warner was running up to people’s homes and seemed full of boundless energy. He’s too crooked to be President, but Kaine ran for Lt Governor. Mark’s first foray into politics was to challenge John Warner, one of Liz Taylor’s former husbands. Mark lost. He kept at it.

      4. Carolinian

        Michelle’s pitch bears an uncanny resemblance to a one time Clairol commercial: “because I’m worth it.” Shorter Michelle–if I have only one life to live let me live it as a millionaire former First Lady.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          How about, “I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan. An never, never let you forget you’re a man.”

          The complete package. Good times.

          1. roxy

            “You’ve come a long way baby
            To get where you’ve got to today
            You’ve got your own cigarette now baby
            You’ve come a long long way!”

            Original Virginia Slims jingle.

          2. ChiGal in Carolina

            This is unfair. By all accounts she didn’t kow-tow to her husband though she did accommodate his ambition.

            And I don’t think they raised their daughters with an eye to making them high-value competitors in the marriage market.

      5. Ted

        The elite have reached their Icarus moment: I enjoyed the idea that 20,000 people will be paying between 30.00 and 3000.00 for the priviledge of sitting in a huge arena to hear a panel of fab guests chit chat with MO on her fairy tale life with Barak in the White House. We’ll see how that works out… And note the date set in Inglewood … not exactly Michelle’s peeps’ part of town.

      6. jrs

        So pray tell how did she earn that money? Oh wait by who she is married to (and the reasons for his worth which I will leave aside for now) … but it’s “her worth”.

        Does it follow that poor people “aren’t worth much”?

        1. Arizona Slim

          Reminds me of a certain presidential candidate. Y’know, the one who kept talking about her credentials and qualifications.

          IMHO, if Hillary hadn’t married Bill Clinton, she would have made partner in a mid-market law firm. And, maybe just maybe, she would have been elected to the local city council.

          As for an alternate life story for Michelle, I could see her being married to a high-powered lawyer of some sort. They’d probably be profiled in regional publications as “Chicago’s Legal Powerhouse Times Two” or something like that.

  2. PlutoniumKun

    Solar panels replaced tarmac on a motorway – here are the results The Conversation

    I’m glad to see a sensible article on this – solar roads seem a pretty poor idea, only viable or sensible in a tiny number of circumstances.

    Roads don’t actually represent as large an area as we assume. The UK department of transport gives a breakdown of the length of the UK’s different road types.

    Assuming we can clad these in solar panels, four lanes of every motorway, two lanes on the A & B roads and half a lane for C & U roads (a lot are single track roads and just won’t be suitable) we come up with a surface area of 2 billion m².

    Which sounds like a lot, until you realise that buildings in the UK’s urban areas occupy an area of 17.6 billion m². So just covering a fraction of the UK’s rooftops with solar panels would immediately yield more power than putting them on roads. That’s quite apart from the benefits that a more elevated position would yield for greater power generation.

    All of this suggests that only a small fraction of the road network would actually be suitable. And, given the relatively small size of the road network, solar roads could only ever become a niche source of power and never the shortcut to our future energy supply.

    The South Koreans have a better idea – use solar panels as roofs on walks and cycleways. In a hot and rainy country this makes a lot of sense as you get two uses in one.

    In most other countries, the sensible use is to cover carparks and large roofs – especially commercial buildings. You get much more output for your investment and you can then use them to mitigate other impacts – such as rain run-off from roofs and hardcover. The big advantage solar panels have is that they can do more than generate energy – they provide cover – for houses, carparks, hen houses, hay barns, etc.

    1. vlade

      Yep. Solar will IMO start making total sense when it will be able to serve both as a roof and an energy source. Assuming it ever would work.

      Tesla tried to do soemthing like that, but I haven’t heard anything much since it was announced a couple of years back. Should I be surprised.. ;)

      1. JTMcPhee

        His minions are working on it — but like all the other stuff he pushes (with all that help from government subsidies, hundreds of billions) it’s au courant to some, even with its “production quantity issues” and technical deficiencies — just costly, and under-produces other products.

        But, as always, “if you have money…:”

        Scenario 3: You love new technology, want solar, and have money to spend
        There are certainly homeowners out there who simply want the newest technology possible regardless of the price tag. For shoppers in this category who are considering solar or even a new roof, the Tesla solar roof could be a good fit. In fact, we believe that the majority of buyers for Tesla’s solar roof will come from this third category. At EnergySage, we think that more solar on rooftops is always better than less, and look forward to this group of early adopters installing this new roof product on their homes.

        Early adopters of new technologies tend to be more likely to tolerate the hiccups that often occur with new products, too. While other companies have offered solar tiles before, these products have historically been hard to install and offered mixed performance results. Although Tesla has shown to be hit or miss on the initial quality of some of its products, they are also known for working with their early adopters to correct these quality issues over time. We hope that if quality problems do arise, Tesla takes the same action here and resolves them quickly.

      2. PlutoniumKun

        Tesla’s idea on solar roofs was actually very good. My understanding of the basic business model was that they would buy panels on a large scale bulk buy, and then allow businesses and homeowners to opt for various models of paying for them over a number of years – essentially leasing out their roof space to Tesla, and getting the solar panels for free after a certain number of years. It seems to have been a failure, for reasons I don’t know – I suspect they underestimated the costs of installing multiple arrays.

        For now, the basic economics of solar energy is that it only makes sense on a very large scale – i.e. commercial arrays on (cheap) open land, with easy access to the grid. For small scale domestic users, in most situations it still makes more sense to just use solar for hot water heating.

        1. LifelongLib

          My homeowners association was told IIRC that for households with a small number of residents PV is better because hot water heating is a relatively small fraction of the electricity used. Households with a lot of residents should go with solar heating because hot water use scales with the number of people. Granted this info was from a solar company and unfortunately I can’t recall the numbers stated.

          1. Odysseus

            Households with a lot of residents should go with solar heating because hot water use scales with the number of people

            Are you talking about large families sharing one apartment, or are you talking about buildings with large numbers of units?

            Most condo and apartment buildings in the United States have separate water heaters per living unit. It’s ridiculous and massively inefficient, but it’s the preferred mode.

            You would need to do a lot of retrofitting to set up a shared hot water heater for the entire building.

        2. Anon

          Actually, that is not true. If I had not taken down my website for upgrade I would point you to it. Domestic PV (solar) is more cost effective than Domestic HW (solar hot water). (Plumbing can be more problematic than a modular electrical connection.

          With the radical drop in the price of PV panels and improvements in battery storage (Lithium ion) and new very low power consumptive LED lighting, home photo-voltaics (PV) is not only a smart energy decision but also a smart ‘disaster mitigation’ strategy. (About the only appliance that isn’t powered by electricity is a gas oven.)

        3. gepay

          Real world study of actual working of installed solar. Book review by Alice Friedemann at energyskeptic of “Spain’s Photovoltaic Revolution. The Energy Return on Investment”, by Pedro Prieto and Charles A.S. Hall. 2013. Springer.
          Conclusion: the EROI of solar photovoltaic is only 2.45, very low despite Spain’s ideal sunny climate. Germany’s EROI is probably 20 to 33% less (1.6 to 2), due to less sunlight and less efficient rooftop installations.
          This book is the best EROI study that has ever been done. It is based on 3 years of real data from all the PV facilities in Spain. According to Charles Hall: “EROI values in many studies are too high because they used “nameplate” values (1,800 kWh/M2-year) for assessing electricity outputs from PV facilities rather than the actual output. Nameplate is inaccurate since the actual electricity output is reduced by clouds, bird droppings, overheating, dust accumulation, lightning, equipment failures, and degradations over time to less than “Nameplate” value. Also, too much output can fry electrical components at various locations in the grid. We found that the actual output for a facility in Spain with a nominal output of 1,800 kWh/m2-yr was measured at an actual 1,375 kWh/m2-year. Ferroni and Hopkirk (2016) also found measured values considerably less than nameplate values.”
          Prieto and Hall didn’t use guesses from models and focus only on the energy to make solar modules that comprise just one third of a solar facility.

      3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I don’t think solar rain umbrellas would work, except for solar parasol umbrellas.

        But I think solar hard hats and solar hats/caps/helmets in general are worth a try.

        And let’s not forget the wind mill hats, or propeller beanie hats.

      4. Terry Humphrey

        The Veterans Admin Hospital in Kansas City covered much of their parking area with solar panels, I’m sure Trumpers now in charge are thinking of dismantling them like Ronnie Ray Gun did at the White House.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      17.6 billion square meters for buildings in UK urban areas.

      2 billion square meters for UK roads.

      How many square meters for walks and cycleways in South Korea, in comparison?

  3. Brucie A.

    Avenatti says he represents woman with ‘credible information’ about Kavanaugh

    NY Post, September 23

    Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti claims he is now representing a woman with “credible information regarding Judge Kavanaugh and Mark Judge.”

    The reveal came Sunday just minutes before the New Yorker popped a story outlining sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh made by a former college classmate.

    Avenatti says the alleged victim, Deborah Ramirez, is not his client.

    “We will be demanding the opportunity to present testimony to the committee and will likewise be demanding that Judge and others be subpoenaed to testify,” he tweeted Sunday night. “The nomination must be withdrawn.”

    Avenatti had hinted earlier in the day that he had damning info on the Supreme Court nominee.

    “What happens at Georgetown Prep does not stay at Georgetown Prep,” he tweeted.

    No other details were offered about Avenatti’s client, but he is scheduled to speak with CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Monday to discuss what they know.


    BREAKING NEWS: “We’re aware of significant evidence of multiple parties in the D.C. area in the early 1980s during which Kavanaugh, Judge, and others would participate in the targeting of women with alcohol/drugs in order to allow a ‘train’ of men to subsequently gang-rape them.”

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Seth Abramson.

      Author of PROOF OF COLLUSION.

      Now available for pre-order.

      At least michael avenatti is involved to keep things on the up and up.

      1. johnnygl

        A failure of skepticism: how russiagate conspiracy theories trashed the credibility of some formerly excellent names in journalism. (a book not written, but maybe should be)

        Here’s a stab at a list of prelim victims:
        Seth abrahmson
        Michael Isakoff
        James Risen

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          What’s the disease where people only remember the last thing they were told? Insta-bilitation, write a godawful piece, wait a few days, all is forgotten! Really, no, no really, George Bush is not a hapless war criminal responsible for the worst foreign affairs disaster in the country’s history, he’s a really great chap who like to hug Michelle O and Ellen DeGeneres!

    2. The Beeman

      Thought I read in the New Yorker that they were playing spin the penis shaped bottle when this supposedly occured.

      And everyone was drunk….

      and while times have changed and maybe this doesn’t happen much now, kissing and exposing yourself to others (and egging others to expose themselves) was part of the fun.

      Ever hear of Strip Poker?

      1. TheBeeman

        abut forcing someone to play when they were uncomfortable was not cool and wasn’t tolerated in my crowd. Make love not war….

  4. carl

    The article about the NC animal control case fails to mention that Ms. Hedges has faced charges related to pet hoarding and neglect in recent years.

    This isn’t just a matter of closed-minded officials coming down on a good-natured ‘rescuer.’

  5. YeeHaw22209

    I love the article links provided by Naked Capitalism. But for many of them, there seems to be an overriding theme by the authors that most, if not all the problems in the world today; nationalism, global warming, inequality, and the list is endless, that somehow all of these problems began after November 2016.

    I am tired. Tired of the myopia on the part of the global elites or the upper income liberal elites of my local neighborhood here in Arlington, VA who will not do not seek and will not accept their own accountability for much of the problems today. Problems that predate 2016.

    I am tired. Tired that people just no longer want to acknowledge that through something as simple as their own buying choices or something a bit more complex as the employer they work for, might be responsible for doing some truly horrible things to their neighbors, people around the world, or to the planet.

    But with the availability of meds today, I guess its just easier to live with the cognitive dissonance than to take any personal accountability? It’s just easier to lay all the problems in the world at the feet of Donald Trump.

    Or maybe I’m just tired of having the same arguments with people over an over again about the problems in the world today and who in the end might be more responsible for them. And I’m running out of clean shirts because of all the drinks thrown in my face.

    1. Alex V

      In my opinion, “changing the world” by buying “better” things is a Big Lie. It assumes that the range of choices of products or employment available to normal people are in fact good for the planet or society – in many cases they are not.

      The major problems facing us will not be solved by incrementalist consumerism.

      1. JohnnyGL

        This x100!

        Blaming people for “what they choose to buy” gets the elites off the hook for what they did, setting us up with a menu of bad choices in the first place.

        I can’t pick a better cable company or internet provider, can’t pick different power source for my heat and electricity.

        I can’t choose to buy a home that’s affordable, energy efficient, made with long-lasting, renewable materials that no one died to mine or produce, provides my kids with good schools, and links to public transport to reduce pollution and reduce my carbon footprint because that home does NOT F-ing EXIST!!!

        If it did….it’d sell for $1M+ to a celebrity who’s scream it from the rooftops about how awesome they were for building/buying it.

      2. knowbuddhau

        This to the nth. “Two dead ends and you still got to choose!” — Tom Waits, Fumblin’ With The Blues

    2. Darius

      Some, certainly, but not all, or even most. Featuring something in links doesn’t constitute endorsement. All links should be read with appropriate skepticism.

    3. Plenue

      A lot of the ‘nationalism’ going on today is really just people demanding their governments protect their jobs. I’m not saying there aren’t actual xenophobic bigots or that economic distress doesn’t manifest as racism. But there’s also a deliberate bad faith effort going on in the media to present any protectionism and opposition to free-trade as some sort of resurgent Nazism.

    4. Carla

      More than anything, YeeHaw22209, NC’s daily Links reflect a range of what the media are publishing. That’s their value, and necessarily, also their limitation. Those of us who read Yves’, Lambert’s and Jeri-Lynn’s posts are well aware that they all date the vast majority of the problems facing the country and the world back to the bank bailout of 2008 and in many, many cases much farther: the invasion of Iraq, the Clinton administration, the Reagan administration, and prior actions and events as well.

      I understand your weariness with current news coverage, but hope you are not complaining about the messenger.

    5. jrs

      “or something a bit more complex as the employer they work for, might be responsible for doing some truly horrible things to their neighbors, people around the world, or to the planet.”

      And what if a job with such an employer was the ONLY job you could get? In the horrible job market we have these days it might be. I have my lines in the sand I will not cross, but where you draw your lines in the sand depend on how desperate you are. Employment isn’t the kind of thing people necessarily have choices on, it’s actually an area of life they may have the fewest choices of all areas of life including the voting booth.

      1. In the Land of Farmers

        This is why we need unions, or at the very least, worker solidarity.

        But we all have choices, it is just that we like the benefits more than the risks. But this benefit/risk analysis is based on our conditioning and addictions. You say it is desperation that makes us cross those lines. To me, most people I see are very desperate at the moment yet they act in deference to the corporation rather than their coworkers, so it is not desperation. I saw the opposite of this in my Grandfather who was a coal miner in Central PA. They risked everything for each other and were willing to die and starve in the cause. After a lot of sacrifice, they won their battle.

        I am about to be homeless again. The amount of deconditioning it takes to be homeless is huge and it takes meditation, limiting media, and re-framing it as freedom rather than a burden, trail, or failure. So you have a choice. After all you are the one who draws the line in the sand. One swipe of your foot and it’s gone.

        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          I was homeless in Denver for a couple months. I frame my experience as one of freedom. Having been discharged for smoking weed and cheated on by my ex fiancee, i went to Denver with nothing but an iPad to pawn.

          What i found was a community of love and respect.

          From the gutter punks to the juggalos/ettes, i felt acceptance.

          In the end, Heroin became prevalent among my street buddies with one of them overdosing in front of the PF Chengs off 16th Ave, so i moved back in with my parents at the age of 30…

          1. In the Land of Farmers

            I think that is the challenge for me, the stark rise in drugs among the other homeless. Not too many spiritual folk out there which makes it more difficult in term of companionship and safety. So I am looking for a place where maybe it is not so prevalent. which mostly means staying away from the cities.

        2. jrs

          well the lines in the sand were moral lines one will not cross for income, and I have to say they are few but I have some.

          I’m not homeless, just long term unemployed. I can live with others and have shelter in all probability, these others are fairly broke themselves but at least have incomes (whether it’s a job or social security).

    6. In the Land of Farmers

      Hey YeeHaw22209, Back when Obama was delivering his hope-a-dope to the masses I had many drinks thrown in my face as well. All the kings have no clothes.

      I get your fatigue but there is no way out. People do not understand suffering until they suffer, until then it is an abstraction that can be read about and reposted on their Facebook feed while they sit back and drink their slave made coffee at Starbucks.

      I found it best to act out my understanding in the world and let go of the results. It may see like you are alone but soon enough your actions are see by others like you and you find yourself and your group moving in a unified direction.

      Until then, if you want some solace and solidarity, try reading more about Anarchism.

    7. knowbuddhau

      Show me. I distinctly remember often reading, “This started before Trump,” “Obama did it first,” etc., and Yves & her distinguished crew have been at this a lot longer than 2 shart years. (sic – too fitting)

      I never read, “This is all Trujmp’s fault.”

      Links are there for crtical thinking, not endorsements, anyway.

    8. CanCyn

      I’ve been reading NC since well before 2016 and the same problems were discussed then. IMO NCers are practically the only community I know about that truly groks that Trump is a symptom not a cause. Reading here is what woke me up and gave name to my misgivings about Obama and gave me confirmation that he was indeed failing and did indeed fail on his hope and change promise.

    9. Lambert Strether

      > there seems to be an overriding theme by the authors that most, if not all the problems in the world today; nationalism, global warming, inequality, and the list is endless, that somehow all of these problems began after November 2016.

      Not sure where you’re getting this from. I don’t believe it, and in fact ridicule the idea when I encounter it (because it’s a willful refusal to look at systems).

    1. voteforno6

      Ugh. Kavanaugh is exactly the type of swamp creature that Trump supporters claimed to hate. If these were normal times, I would say that he was toast. But, normal left the station a long time ago, so who knows how this is going tp play out.

      1. Another Scott

        In all honesty, I think they probably dislike Kavanaugh because of his elitist, insider background. The hardcore social conservatives don’t care about it because of the way he’ll vote, sorry rule, on social issues and business would love any GOP appointee regardless, but Trump probably would appear more to his base (as opposed to the GOP’s) if he nominated someone who had similar views but came from an outsider background, say as a judge on the top court in a red state.

        On a different note, this also really exposes the double standard that exists for the 10% and everyone else. For them, these type of activities are chalked up as “youthful indiscretions” and swept under the rug, while for others, especially minorities they are viewed as crimes (if reported) and heavily prosecuted to show voters that the DA is tough on crime. I remember talking to someone who even viewed the purpose of the police in his wealth Boston suburb was to make sure that what his children did (referring to drugs, I think) was not reported after they were returned home safe.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          elected Republicans understand (intuitively if not intellectually) their critical bulwark of base support is based on dominance/humiliation psychopolitics and not “policy,” so they grasp that confirming the sex pest only gets more urgent with each revelation

          This tweet is brilliant. “Owning the libtards” is the most important consideration.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Sounds like it applies to Democrats as well…dominance/humiliation psychopolitics, and not ‘policy.’

                1. Skateman

                  I don’t think so. How can they be described by the right as tree-hugging socialists and yet have no actual policies? Cap and trade, Universal Healthcare (even if Obamacare sucked), Minimum wage laws, higher taxes on the rich to fund social spending. These are all policies, no?

                  1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                    It is often mentioned here, not just by me, that the Democrats distract to avoid any policy proposals.

                  2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                    Wow those are great, actual policy positions!

                    Now please point to a Dem who will apply more than lip service and virtue signalling to them.

                    Saint Obama said wonderful things in his mellifluous voice and we were all inspired. Hope, yes! Change, yes!

                    Oops then we got Bush’s third and fourth terms. War, Wall St, Pharma, Billionaire, Spy. You and me? Not so much.

                    Feinstein? Pelosi? Schumer? Biden? Lopez?

                    Anyone? Beuller? Anyone?

                  3. Bugs Bunny

                    Cap and trade is neoliberal policy to enrich Wall Street, not a solution to climate distortion. Dems’ policy is “access” to universal health care, I.e. more money for insurance companies and Wall Street. A minimum wage, not a living wage. And finally, high taxes on the rich should be policy to discourage unjust accumulation of power – taxes do not fund government spending. Dems suck.

                  4. Lambert Strether

                    > How can they be described by the right as tree-hugging socialists and yet have no actual policies?

                    Perhaps the right, for its own reasons, is wrong?

                    It’s also ludicrous to characterize “universal health care” as a policy. Democrat partisans described ObamaCare as universal, until the reality of the program caught up even with them. Generally, like “access,” “universal” is a shibboleth, a gesture that in practice means yet another market-based solution to kick the #MedicareForAll can down the road for another few contribution cycles.

                  5. jrs

                    they can’t really have that many polices, there is too much money in politics for that, no matter who the next fake left hero run up the flag pole for us to vote for is (unless they refuse all corporate money and lobbying). But they can sometimes be somewhat better than the alternative.

    2. allan

      WaPo’s Seung Min Kim @seungminkim:

      One logistical note on the Kavanaugh/Ford hearing on Thursday — the location is set for Dirksen 226, which is a very small hearing room for Judiciary Committee that accommodates roughly six journalists.

      Surely an inadvertent oversight, which noted transparency advocate Chuck Grassley will soon rectify.

  6. PlutoniumKun

    The US Will Lose Its Trade War with China Project Syndicate

    China warns Iowa soybean farmers of ‘a president’s folly’ SCMP

    Here comes the 30-year trade war Asia Times Pepe Escobar

    Just a few points – Kaletsky assumes that any trade impacts on China can be offset with a straightforward Keynesian stimulus. The problem with this is that the impact is not just on output – it could be quite specific to certain sectors and/or regions. In other words, the impact is not symettrical across China, so there would still be losers, even with a big stimulus, and this may make it politically unpalatable for the Chinese to accept, especially if those losers were very big and powerful industrial sectors.

    As always, Escobar is very insightful. He also points out that the general assumption that Trumps aim is to ‘on-shore’ jobs is not actually his real intention:

    The Trump administration plan – which is, in fact, trade deficit hawk Peter Navarro’s plan – has three basic targets:
    1.Displace China from the heart of global supply chains.
    2.Force companies to source elsewhere in the Global South all the components necessary for manufacturing their products.
    3.Force multinational corporations to stop doing business in China.

    Its is a mercantilist policy – the trade version of neoconism. It has nothing to do with domestic jobs, its everything to do with maintaining US global strength (and at the same time, put a leash on US multinationals). Its a nationalist agenda, not an economic one.

    1. Ted

      Well, if you are rgiht then the historical tendency is that this path will lead to war war not just trade war. I don’t imagine for a second that the US with its lumbering behemoth of a military is ready for a war war within any country that actually builds things (by which I mean a crap ton of things). I don’t think the American people are ready for a war war with a country that can already throw ICBMs and tens of millions of soldiers at any city in the country. But that may very well be where this ends, and in shockingly short order. Russia, Russia, Russia is small potatoes compared to China, China, China.

      1. JTMcPhee

        And China, unlike Japan (another country that our rulers “sanctioned” back in the ’30s and ’40s as a potentially competing empire) is not an island, and there’s no more head start in the making of real weapons of mass destruction — like the nuke-loaded ICBMs you mention, and cyberweapons, and no doubt biologicals and nanodevices.

        Bullet (and bomb) points, part of the suppressed story:

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Pearl Harbor – 1941.

          In 1937-1938, a massacre occurred in Nanjing, China.

          It’s all speculation now, but could an earlier conflict between the US and the empire have prevented that?

          1. JTMcPhee

            Humans kill humans, for fun and profit. And what if somebody had garotted Hitler back when he was just Schickelgruber’s kid? The point was that when one empire/nation goes all “sanctions”/blockade, stuff happens. Because “interests,” that are bigger than “human.”

            As you say, “all speculation now.” And apologias.

              1. LifelongLib

                Reminds me of a story in Studs Terkel’s “The Good War”. An American POW was digging coal in a Japanese mine when he heard someone say “Jesus, I wish I was back in Seattle.” He looked around and it was one of the guards. Later the guard came over and whispered that he too was an American and had been caught in Japan when the war started. Instead of interning him the Japanese government made him a prison guard. Meanwhile his family in Seattle had been put in a relocation camp and their restaurant confiscated.

                1. Wukchumni

                  “Six War Years” by Barry Broadfoot, was Canada’s version of oral history in the guise of Studs Terkel, and the stories are doozies…

                  Each vignette is a page to 5 pages long~

        2. Procopius

          Glad to see someone reminding folks of what happened last time we did this. Somewhere I read that Dean Acheson was the State Department functionary who wrote the actual rules governing the embargo, and he made them more strict than either Roosevelt or Stimson intended, which was why the Japanese believed they had no choice. They thought they could wage war for a few months or a year and then gracefully surrender. Anyway, I blame Acheson for turning America to the more hawkish path which then led to the abominable John Foster Dulles.

    2. Robert Valiant

      Its a nationalist agenda, not an economic one.

      I’m not sure I entirely believe this.

      For example: the US has an ENORMOUS prison population; why aren’t those guys assembling iPhones?

      1. JTMcPhee

        Competence? Sabotage? Quality of overseers? And of course you are not advocating using prisoners as slave labor, now are you? I’ll assume snark…

        1. Wukchumni

          To take them away from wildfires, in order to slave in the belly of the F.I.R.E?

          Sounds like something we’d do…

        2. Robert Valiant

          I suggested this sardonically.

          California prisoners fight fires for $1/hour plus reduced time, I hear.

          An additional suggestion: why not build factories + dormotories in the US, and require the unemployed to live and work Chinese-style to receive benefits? In fact, the room and board could be the only benefit.

      2. Procopius

        Because they’re working on other products. Haven’t you heard about the recent prison strike and its causes?

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Escobar needs to think bigger.

      With China, we’re looking a new world order.

      Think these:

      New world financial system
      New world reserve currency arrangement
      New world reserve language (English will get you almost everywhere)
      New world reserve culture and values (the Confucian awards replacing the Noble ones)

      The question of whether Russia is a great power was discussed over the weekend, and if we look at the factors above, we can only say that Russia strong militarily, but culturally or financially, there is a gap – think UK’s spider web, giving her a big role in the world of wealth, and thus power.

      1. Mark Pontin

        think UK’s spider web, giving her a big role in the world of wealth, and thus power.

        Speaking of which, the poodle hasn’t been very poodle-like about China, and is prepping for the next world order. Although, while appreciating that nice phrasess like the UK’s ” personal ties” with China have to be invoked on these sorts of occasions, the mind does default to China’s history with the UK and think of things like the opium wars, the annexation of Hong Kong and Singapore, and so on. Anyway ….

        UK supports the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ behind the scenes

        ‘British Prime Minister Theresa May was careful to ensure that there was no official backing for China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” when she led a major trade delegation to Beijing in January.

        ‘But there is indirect support as Britain searches for strategic partners in a post-Brexit era. “For the UK, the recognition of its new status – clearly out of the European Union and most likely a hard Brexit scenario – has pushed May towards an intermediary role,” Natixis said in a report summarising May’s visit ….

        ‘“First, the UK will become the first large advanced economy to support the initiative, if not directly. London is also identified as a key participant for financing. British and Chinese banks are invited to collaborate in financing the initiative, and the UK government has agreed to contribute to a new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) fund for the same purpose.

        ‘“Second, Theresa May has clearly pushed for London to connect to China’s capital market. The most imminent action will be a London-Shanghai Stock Connect. A bond connect is also mentioned but is clearly less immediate,” said Nataxis.The visit ended with delegates finalising deals worth about £9 billion (HK$92.34 billion) in areas such as finance, innovation, agriculture and technology, according to China’s Ministry of Commerce ….

        ‘The outcomes included a detailed discussion about potential aspects of cooperation in the “Belt and Road Initiative”, an agreement to implement the Belt and Road Financing Guiding Principle and promote cooperation on investment and financing under the Initiative, and an announcement by British Standard Chartered of further financing commitment to the Initiative.

        ‘A further outcome is both sides agreeing to deepen Belt and Road project identification, research and capacity building. In addition, the UK Export Finance (UKEF) is to support up to £25 billion of new business for projects along the path.

        ‘…China Development Bank and the UK will discuss the possibility of establishing investment funds for better cooperation between Chinese and British companies.

        ”Liam Fox, the Secretary of State for International Trade, urged British businesses to embrace such projects when he spoke at the China All Party Parliamentary Group, saying that exports of British-made goods to China rose by 34.9 per cent in 2017.

        “If well implemented, the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ could help support development and global economic growth across Asia and beyond,” he says.”“We are preparing for a new chapter, post-Brexit ….”

        ‘Jim O’Neill, chairman of British think tank Chatham House, said last week that Belt and Road was “possibly the most important thing for the future of world trade”.’

        1. Procopius

          Singapore was not taken from China. The British established it as a seaport on the Andaman Straits when they took control of Malay. Singapore declared independence from Malaysia after it gained independence from the British Empire. It’s true that the great majority of citizens of Singapore are of Chinese ancestry, but they were all originally refugees from that country, from different minority language groups, which is why they all speak English now.

      2. knowbuddhau

        Srsly? If anything, my favorite analyst of all things Asia thinks too much of China.

        In his latest, he says it’s “slowly but surely” solving the myriad problems of the BRI. “Slowly” is descriptive, “surely” is inferential, even presumptive. I like my observations strictly descriptive, tyvm.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          He could be thinking too much of China, to the exclusion of others.

          When he does write about China, I think (see the first comment) he needs to put that in a wider perspective. Here, for example, when it comes to how people in the current administration view it, and I mentioned what they might be in my comment.

          That should not conflict with your feeling (I don’t follow him all the time) that he thinks too much of China.

      3. Edward E

        Things have changed… what you said was fringe thinking not long ago, now it’s in Newsweek
        ‘I think once again we all become convinced that the dollar system has completely discredited itself, and confidence in it is falling very sharply.’


        You would be foolish to ignore the dramatic change in the world’s attitude towards economic policy. “Tight fiscal and easy monetary policy” is being replaced with “easy fiscal and (somewhat) tighter monetary policy”.

      4. Olga

        U must be joking, surely. I think most of us have noticed that UK is a spent force. Has been totally ever since Eisenhower slapped its little paws in 1956.

    4. Lambert Strether

      > Force companies to source elsewhere in the Global South all the components necessary for manufacturing their products.

      This is interesting for a couple of reasons:

      1) The shift will benefit Southeast Asian countries, not all Chinese satellites, where the United States and the West generally retain enormous cultural capital. (The cool kidz don’t look to Beijing.)

      2) Might end up creating a rust belt in China — and we know the stressors from that. I think Chinese workers are more volatile than Americans, though.

      China hands please correct!

  7. Alex morfesis

    So who replaces kavanaugh as a nominee after November ? And will the kink in the trump armor lead dumbocrats to imagine no change in mindset needed at the top if the fall of kavanaugh leads to massive gains for the dumbocrats ?

    Kavanaugh is not man enough to publicly apologize for his boorish and unforgivable behavior while trying to find his manhood in high school and college…

    now he is trying to pawn off some documents he claims are his schedule and notes from “back in the day”…

    Objection your honor…inadmissible heresay…unauthenticated documents from the personal ramblings of the defendant…

    Someone so (family blog) to keep notes or a diary “with names” of guests at parties since high school is bonkers…just plain bonkers…

    But it would be interesting for a living history to read his “memories” on Elian Gonzalez, Ken Starr, torture in the Bush whitehouse and 9-11/iraqistan…

    If Trump doesn’t make him withdraw his name for consideration, it will be the beginning of the end for donald (no longer THE)…

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      My gut is the GOP is so gross Kavanaugh doesn’t have a simple replacement who can’t walk up right without demanding women who have had abortions face capital punishment, very loudly too.

      The other side is evangelicals. They’ll want one of theirs or someone they can publicly count on. Harriet Miers wasn’t tossed because she was a dolt, but she couldn’t be counted on (cough she was a woman).

      1. voteforno6

        The GOP is in a jam over this. They’re stuck between the elements that want to jettison Kavanaugh, and those that want to stand by him, come heck or high water. The timing doesn’t help, either, with the midterms looming. The longer this goes on, the worse it will be for them. Maybe they were counting on capitulation from the Democrats, which is normally a safe bet. But, this may have reached the point when even the Dems are forced to fight.

        1. Wukchumni

          Alas poor Merrick, We almost knew him, a fellow of infinite quest, of most excellent fancy, though 53 times they turned their back on him, and now how abhorr’d in my imagination he is!

      2. FluffytheObeseCat

        Harriet Miers was tossed because she “couldn’t be counted on” to rule in favor of Wall Street and other economically powerful players, not because of some imaginary weakness with respect to evangelical priorities. Replacing her with Alito was done to please our oligarchs, not our moral Puritans.

        1. Harrold

          Remember Harriet Miers connection to former Lt Gov Ben Barnes, who received $3 million a year from the company (GTECH) who ran the Texas Lottery but could not explain what he did the receive the money, but it definitely did not have anything to do with Barnes remaining silent on how he helped GWB gain entry into the Air National Guard?

    2. Jomo

      “Bonkers” unless you want to casually blackmail someone. “Hey, Jonathon, Brett here, I need a favor, remember when we ……” Just another way to enforce those old school “ties that bind.” And I must also say they sure put together those letters with lists of supporters for Mr. K in record time. Nice that all those good friends of high moral character stay in touch so they can readily vouch for him at a moment’s notice.

    3. Duke of Prunes

      Obligatory I don’t like the guy, but if someone can be trashed based on 30+ year old testimony where the victim doesn’t remember the day (“summer”), exact location (“a house on a golf course”) or how they got there or home with no other evidence (and the other “witnesses” have all turned and run away), I fear for our nation’s future, and perhaps more selfishly my son’s future. If this tactic works here, it will be packaged up and deployed everywhere.

      I guess we’ll see how this plays out, but with Stormy’s lawyer entering the circus tent, I don’t think this is going anywhere good. I’m sure it will get good rating, though.

      1. barrisj

        Here’s the tradeoff: Repubs lose on Kav, they gain on a Rothstein firing “resignation”. Hardball as it’s played in DC.

        1. JohnnyGL

          It’s Rosenstein, but yes, point taken.

          I just had the same thought, actually. They’ll let Kav twist and squirm for a while longer before yanking him, but he might be getting deployed as a ‘weapon of mass distraction’ for a moment, still.

          I’d say a Rosenstein firing and a Kav loss is a net win for American society. No tears should be shed for either one.

      2. Bridget

        From Josh Marshall’s Twitter:

        “In republican Rome one of the most hideous punishments (for parricide) was being sewn into a sack with a dog, a rooster and a snake and being tossed into the Tiber. The modern version is being stuck in a story with Michael Avenatti”

    4. Unna

      Prior Recollection Recorded “…is an exception to the hearsay rule which allows witnesses to testify to the accuracy of a recording or documentation of their own out-of-court statement based on their recollection of the circumstances under which the statement was recorded or documented – even though the witness does not remember the events attested to in the statement. It is sufficient that the witness is able to testify to having made the recording, and to having written an accurate statement at that time.”

      I just read about this somewhere so I thought I’d go look it up. So forget about what K might, or might not have done, while drunk, or not drunk. The real question is: Did K as a high schooler keep a calendar? And what does that say about his moral character and fitness as a judge?

      1. Alex morfesis

        Kavanaugh purported records…the secret service has a database to see when the ink was created…he could hand them his calendar and insist they authenticate the ink was contemporaneous with the timelines presented…that is how one authenticates an old record made with ink…

        1. Unna

          The calendar would have to have been kept sort of like a business record of his activities where all of K’s social engagements, anticipated or not, would have been routinely recorded by him at or around the time (ie just after) the social event happened. If the document is a fabrication, that’s a crime and then we’re talking about something else altogether. Let’s assume that K won’t try to enter into evidence a recently put together fraud. But still, I wonder how he would establish that every social encounter he had with friends as a high schooler was always recorded by him as opposed to only items anticipated to be done in the future such as class assignments, sports events, games, dances, movies, including important social engagements. Things he needed to prepare for as opposed to everything that happened such as spontaneous drop ins, and so on. Like some friend calling him up on a Saturday afternoon saying, “Come on over, we have beer…” Can K testify that even that would have been recorded in the calendar soon after the event? Is he saying that the calendar is a kind of diary only without the boring teenage introspection? An adult professional might keep a pretty tight written calendar, which might even include significant social engagements the professional needs to prepare for, without including retrospectively every social encounter of every kind recorded even after it happened. Situating the calendar in place and time (written 35 years ago) is only the beginning of the process.

          1. Unna

            Like to know what other people have to say about this. The calendar thing seems iffy to me. Doesn’t prove much of anything. Maybe K made a mistake in bringing it up.

            1. Bridget

              To paraphrase Maizie Hirono, Senator of Hawaii….this ain’t no stinking courtroom and to hell with the rules of evidence and due process and minor sh** like that. We let this Kavanaugh dude on the Supreme Court and the next thing we know, RBG is gonna die (if she hasn’t already (!) and ITEOTWAWKI!!
              Hirono didn’t really say anything about RBG, but she’s a thinkin’ it.

  8. integer

    Russia to supply S-300 to Syria within 2 weeks after Il-20 downing during Israeli raid – MoD RT

    Within two weeks Russia will deliver to Damascus an S-300 air defense system, previously suspended on a request by Israel. It comes as part of response to the downing of a Russian Il-20 plane amid an Israeli air raid on Syria.

    Moscow accused Tel Aviv of failing to inform Russia about its impending attack on targets in Syria, which resulted in a downing of the Russian electronic warfare aircraft by Syrian return fire. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the defense ministry to take several measures in response to the incident, the ministry said in a statement on Monday.

    After plane downed, Russia to give Syria advanced S-300 anti-aircraft system The Times of Israel

    Earlier this year Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman downplayed Israeli concerns over Russia’s purported plans to install the system in Syria.

    “One thing needs to be clear: If someone shoots at our planes, we will destroy them. It doesn’t matter if it’s an S-300 or an S-700,” he said.

    Israel’s former Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin, who currently heads the influential Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, said he assumed the air force would work quickly to destroy the S-300, if it were indeed handed over to Syria.

    “If I know the air force well, we have already made proper plans to deal with this threat. After you remove the threat, which is basically what will be done, we’re back to square one,” Yadlin told Bloomberg news in April.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Israel setting up those Russian servicemen to be killed was just a step too far and totally unnecessary hence the Russians using that term ‘uncivilized’ which apparently translates worse in Russian. Israel had hit targets in Syria over 200 times over the past coupla years with the Russians looking away but deliberately getting Russians killed was just stupid. Did they think that the Russians would not react?
      Maybe they were following Netanyahu’s idea of: “The weak crumble, are slaughtered and are erased from history while the strong, for good or for ill, survive. The strong are respected, and alliances are made with the strong, and in the end peace is made with the strong…”
      Someone should tell Avigdor Liberman to shut up for awhile too while his advisors explain that it is just not an S300 battery to be hit but an entire integrated defensive grid that is being set up. Israel has already lost an F-16 to Syrian defenses but this will be something else altogether and this time they will not be able to blame the pilot. I believe, but am not sure, that the S300’s range means that it will be able to detect Israeli flights taking off in Israel itself which will be an extremely unwelcome development.
      Somebody should tell Israel the maxim of not dumping on your own doorstep.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Israeli trade with Russia has been booming. This is the kind of thing that could see it come crashing down. We focus a great deal on the defense relationship, but Israel’s standing in Europe isn’t too great.

        The Israelis have been uncharacteristically quiet and even regretful. My guess is a bunch of Israel level political donors are about to see their businesses wiped out. Israel has certainly marketed itself as a go to place for evangelicals in the West, a group in decline. Their apartheid situation will make them less than appealing for non-white people around the globe.

      2. PlutoniumKun

        I don’t know if the S-300 can detect aircraft taking off, but it has a range of up to 200 km, which means a launcher in Damascus could, for example, take down an Israeli Awacs plane over Tel Aviv (or F-16’s loitering over Lebanon or the Golan Heights) That gives the Syrians some serious ability to hurt Israel if it makes any more attacks. The thing of course is that there is no way Russia will give Syria the keys to a top of the line system – they will either maintain control themselves, or only sell a relatively degraded version. But the uncertainty alone will make life very uncomfortable for the Israeli air force.

        It will of course take months at least to put in a fully upgraded system (apparently the Syrians are more interested in short to medium range missiles to defend against cruise missiles). And I wonder how much the Syrians can afford to pay, these things aren’t cheap and Russia can’t afford to just hand these things out.

        Reading through a few reports, it seems most likely that this was a genuine miscalculation by the Israelis. Its embarrassing for Putin, but it has set Israels attempt to keep its thumb firmly on Syria back by years. The Russians have been very careful not to push the Israeli’s too far, and seem to have done a lot of backroom deals, but this hurt Putins reputation so he must be seen to make a firm response.

        1. Bill Smith

          Radar needs line of sight to detect something. But yes, this gives them additional ability to reach out and touch someone.

          The S-300 ,while newer than the S-200, is still somewhat old. There have been a number of updates. It will be interesting to see what version the Russians deliver. Various Western military have had a close up look at various versions of the S-300. There are supposed to be parts of an old S-300 radar, on one of the ranges in the western US.

        2. gepay

          my sources say Syria bought the S300 in 2013. Russia didn’t deliver it in deference to Israel. Israel caused the downing of the IL20. No more deference to Israel. I am sure that if the Russian military can think of a way to cause harm to Israel without causing WW3 they will do it.

    2. Carolinian

      Supposedly they already tried to destroy it. A recent Israeli attack on Damascus airport has been said to be aimed at an Iranian cargo plane with the Iranian version of the S-300 on board.

      And from your first link this is interesting.

      The third measure announced by the Russian defense ministry is a blanket of electronic countermeasures over Syrian coastline, which would “suppress satellite navigation, onboard radar systems and communications of warplanes attacking targets on Syrian territory.”

      Will Russia’s supposedly highly sophisticated electronic warfare capabilities be put to the test?

    3. Plenue

      “One thing needs to be clear: If someone shoots at our planes, we will destroy them. It doesn’t matter if it’s an S-300 or an S-700,”

      How are your F-35s doing? Still having ‘bird problems’?

  9. KB

    Beautiful antidote!…My favorite, a raptor….a hawk of some kind and don’t think it’s North American?…..anybody?

      1. KB

        Thanks, Edward:
        I am thinking not a swainson’s hawk….sometimes it is hard to tell with just one picture/view…In fact, I re-visited all of North American’s hawks and don’t see it…..Wish we could just snap/copy picture and put it in some world wide bird encyclopedia and voila!…it would tell us what it is. I am thinking someone can do this…Not me, am not very computer savvy.

              1. KB

                Hum…..thanks Edward…good catch on the photographer….curious it has such a short beak for an eagle……maybe that’s why they call it a hawk-eagle?.I could play Name that Raptor game forever!

                1. Edward E

                  Crittermom probably took a day off or something, she’d have had this figured out. It is addicting when, especially Jerry finds rare birds and if you’re a part of nature way away from the concrete jungles. So while doing chores, thinking about it, I’d take a break and explore.

                  The elk have been bugling all month according to what swimmers on the Buffalo River have been telling. That’s really way early for around here. Wondering what winter’s going to be like?

  10. Wukchumni

    (sometime during the Preppy era)

    Dear diary,

    Kegger #87 is history now, and I may have blacked out, so nothing happened as far as I know.

    Who loves you, I do!

  11. Wukchumni

    ‘A third of TripAdvisor reviews are fake’ as cheats buy five stars The Times

    We have a restaurant locally that I wouldn’t eat at if you were paying, it’s that bad.

    The only joy I get out of the establishment is reading the myriad of 1 & 2 star ratings on TA, as people really let loose when they’re upset. Now, that said, there are an awful lot of fishy 5 star reviews it’s gotten that most certainly don’t jive, fake views, if you will.

    But, it’s what we do, game any possible thing that comes along, look for a weakness, instead of trying harder when it comes to preparing meals.

  12. Craig H.

    > Wall Street’s Marijuana Madness: ‘It’s Like the Internet in 1997’

    Worth doing the open-a-private-browser-window-rigamarole to read. The headline is erroneous. In the middle of the article:

    Federal restrictions make it more difficult for U.S. cannabis companies to make financial transactions, and markets such as the Nasdaq and Toronto Stock Exchange refuse to list companies that have any federally unsanctioned U.S. business, leading many to list on other lightly regulated Canadian markets.

    I would love to invest in cannabis but every time I have looked into it there was nothing suitable, like e.g. a Vanguard Cannabis Mutual Fund. In 1997 I could have put as much of my retirement fund into the internet stocks as I wanted.

    (I didn’t put much and I didn’t make anything. In the latest edition of Alchemy Finance Soros says he lost a fortune shorting the internet bubble too soon.)

    Do those geniuses running Wall Street have any idea how much money they are leaving on the table here?

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Indeed – it looks like if its a cold winter, it could get colder than everyone imagines.

      I’m really surprised at this – what do you think is the main dynamic? I thought the producers were struggling to identify markets, but it seems someone is using up everything the frackers can produce.

      1. blennylips

        Mr. McGuire: I just want to say one word to you. Just one word.

        Benjamin: Yes, sir.

        Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?

        Benjamin: Yes, I am.

        Mr. McGuire: Plastics.

        Benjamin: Exactly how do you mean?

        Mr. McGuire: There’s a great future in plastics. Think about it. Will you think about it?

        fracking plastics, that is.

      2. rjs

        the main dynamic is that natural gas production has been rising 10% YoY, but consumption has been rising 11%, so summertime additions to storage have been lower every week…

        consumption increases have been across the board; utility conversions from coal, industrial use, residential, and obviously LNG exports..

        we went from record high supplies in October 17 to 15 year seasonal lows now…

  13. Fraibert

    My late father kept a lot of high school items from his private Catholic high school (not at the same level as Georgetown) , including student newspapers, papers written for assignments, and a whole lot of other documents from his time there that I would not have thought had any sentimental value. He died this year in his sixties.

    So, yes, I can believe that Mr. Kavanaugh kept his calendars.

    1. The Rev Kev

      To be honest, he may have kept all those calendars but going by stories that have arisen lately, he is unlikely to have such episodes as passing out and throwing up in the back of a car or helping reach the target of drinking 100 kegs of beer entered on those calendars. Shocking oversight that.

        1. KB

          I agree….I just checked myself and downstairs I have calendars (the kind you write appointments in)..from 1990….saved them all….
          I used to find them fun to look back at to remind myself of events with my child or people I used to know..etc.
          What kind of calendar he had or what was in them I dunno. But I wouldn’t be surprised if lot’s of people could find something similar to myself…..Of course switched to computer calendaring when I was able to.

      1. ArcadiaMommy

        No sexual assault or harassment on the calendar, so all good!

        We had a school calendar for assignments, practices, games, etc. but I sure as hell wasn’t going to note the date, time, location and guests of that weekend’s kegger. And no I didn’t keep any of them.

    2. Darius

      When I was in high school, I thought a calendar was something with pretty pictures nailed to a wall. Kavanaugh must have been a real geek to keep professional datebooks. Maybe he used a dictabelt to keep records.

      1. Fraibert

        When I was in middle and high school, most people used some kind of datebook to keep track of homework assignments. I think my public schools even sold their own branded books.

        Like Rev Kev was saying, however, overall probative value is limited in terms of what the book says.

        1. David Carl Grimes

          Maybe he was a filofax user. Remember those? He could have archived the calendars in a larger binder

          1. The Rev Kev

            Hey, that gives me an idea. Those 65 women that got together to say what a gentleman Big K was. You don’t think that the GOP found those women in one of Mitt Romney’s “Binders full of women” do you? Har! Har! Har!

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Supposedly, the organizer of the letter was Brit Hume’s daughter. She’s one of the two sticking behind the letter.

    3. Bridget

      Maybe his mother kept them in the basement.

      Mine don’t date as far back as high school, but I have a stack of calendars dating back to my mid twenties up until I began keeping electronic calendars. I do enjoy leafing through the old paper calendars from time to time and regard the transitory nature of my electronic calendars (ditto digital photographs) as unfortunate.

  14. Wukchumni

    What’s in a Resume? A Lot, When It Comes to Trump Staffers ProPublica

    Jason Funes, a special assistant in the Department of the Interior, wrote in his resume that he worked for the Trump campaign in South Florida, targeting Hispanic voters. The document also indicates that he worked as a sales representative for a motorized scooter company in South Florida.

    Well, the good news is Jason isn’t involved in terrorizing cities in regards to motorized scooters, the bad news being that he’s completely unqualified to be a special assistant in the DOI.

  15. fresno dan

    If anyone suggests that the fact that Mark Weiner was released this week means “the system works,” I fear that I will have to punch him in the neck. Because at every single turn, the system that should have worked to consider proof of Weiner’s innocence failed him.
    Astounding prosecution and court mis conduct

  16. diptherio

    Billionaires Buying Up Media Is Another Step Toward Oligarchy

    Toward? Help me. We’ve been living in an oligarchy since around…oh…I don’t know…forever. Or at least since the founding of the country. I can’t recall a period in the history of our country when it wasn’t being ruled by, and for the benefit of, the wealthy. The degree of the consolidation of power within the ranks of the rich has changed over time, but it seems like it’s pretty much always been a few making decisions for the many, for the benefit of the few. Just sayin’.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Be that as it may, people in need will settle for things not getting worse, or more oligarchic.

      And from time to time, a victory – when Standard Oil was broken up, or AT&T.

    2. knowbuddhau

      Preach, brother!

      Pro tip, my punditudinous brothers and sisters who use that tired old trope: you’ve got your mind’s eye binocs backwards. We’re already here.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        We’re already here or there…tathagata….one who has thus come or gone.

        Still, things can get worse while we are here. That’s the present we focus on.

  17. Wukchumni

    Water is for lying over…
    …whiskey is for lying under

    The lush plains east of Yosemite National Park offer a window into a bygone California — a place where sage grouse welcome the arrival of spring with theatrical mating rituals and cattle graze on verdant pastures.

    For nearly a century, these lands have been made green thanks to annual flooding by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, helping maintain cattle forage and keeping alive a culture of ranching in southern Mono County.

    But those days may have come to an end in August.

    Citing climate change, LADWP this year shifted its irrigation policy, saying ranchers who lease grazing areas on its 6,400 acres near Crowley Lake should no longer bank on the promise of ample water when they renew.

    Water officials say the change is necessary as decreased snowmelt leaves them little water to spare. But the move could turn grasslands brown, rattling ecosystems, the local economy and a way of life, ranchers warn.

    “Without irrigation, we’d be looking at mostly cheatgrass and tumbleweeds, which are good for nothing,” said Kay Ogden, executive director of the nonprofit Eastern Sierra Land Trust, as irrigation water flowed ankle deep across pasturelands edging U.S. 395.

    “Does L.A. have the right to destroy habitat and the livelihoods of families, friends and neighbors who have lived here for generations?” she said.

    1. Carolinian

      You don’t quote the whole story. The ranchers also don’t like the sage grouse because it interferes with their welfare cattle ranching. LA said they may continue to supply some water just for the grouse depending on environmental studies.

      I think we should say to all those western cattlemen: cry me a river.

    2. Procopius

      “Does L.A. have the right …” Well, as the Athenian delegates put it, “The strong do as they will, the weak endure what they must.” In the end, of course, the Athenians were not as strong as they thought.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Air pollution rots our brains. Is that why we don’t do anything about it?”

    It does more than that. Air pollution can kill you. Back in 1952 London, for example, had a great fog and it was not until it was over was it realized that it had killed about 12,000 people ( London smog always had a bad reputation and one guy talked of how he was walking down a central London street with a London bus following immediately behind him which he was guiding. People would walk into the Thames as they could not see it until it was right there. That is how thick this smog was once. What do you think that all that smog did to people’s health? Yeah, they cleaned up their act since then but when I got off a ferry boat to England in 1985, you could still smell coal in the air right away.

  19. Wukchumni

    There were oodles of empty seats in the NFL games I watched yesterday…

    You get the feeling it’s days of supremacy over other pro sports are numbered~

    1. JTMcPhee

      And which pro sports are still vying for “supremacy?” MLB and its empty seats? NASCAR? WWE? Monster Trucks? On-line gaming?

      Pro sports largely for the privileged class. Per one of the owners of the Tampa Bay Rays MLB franchise, in the earlier attempt (foiled by the impacts of the global financial collapse) to force the people of Pinellas County to fork over $14,400 apiece to buy the carpetbagger NY owners a “new world class stadium:”

      “The new stadium will be a place for the rich to be seen. Poor people can stay home and watch on TV.”

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        People are better off gardening…preferably in football/baseball stadiums-turned-community gardens.

        As Diocletian said “You should see my cabbage.”

        And today, in Split, you can visit his palace, but no one mentions any gladiatorial arenas to sight-see there.

      2. Wukchumni

        The great lengths the cameramen went to in rapidly panning across the assembled audience, so as to not be able to see the emperors new clothes emblazoned with insignia of the home team, was quite telling.

        The bottom line is the boob tube, and the NFL caught a fat hog on their last tv contract, but that was then and this is now.

        The game itself is caught between mamby & pamby, completely cognizant that yes Virginia, retired players are severely messed up from running into each other at breakneck speed.

        But you wouldn’t go to a demolition derby if there wasn’t any demolition, and therein lies the dilemma.

      3. Wukchumni


        One thing in particular about the NFL, the audience tends to skew hard right (not always, i’m proof) and has been used in particular as a stand-in military arm of the MIC, and a strange thing about the leadership of the various teams, i.e. the QB, a surprisingly huge percentage of them are evangelicals.

        If that audience is tiring of ad hoc war led largely by righteous (not many left-handed qb’s these days) Christians, now the casualties and post traumatic ones that happen long after the games were played, are mounting…

        Could it be said that the segment of our citizenry so in favor of war, is souring on it?

        1. fresno dan

          September 24, 2018 at 1:27 pm
          I remember when I was young, and here on the west coast, free network TV showed 3 games on Sunday – 10am 1pm and 4 pm. I watched every minute of each one.
          I haven’t seen a complete game in 30 years. I doubt I have seen even 10 minutes unless occasionally glancing at the screen while in a bar. (really, I don’t even tune in to “Super” bowls)
          Now a days, you turn on the tap and out comes a football game. Over exposure.
          My mom used to say, “Why do you watch that – all they do is fall down” Yes, mom…your right.

        2. Aumua

          You know, there’s a certain song that goes on about Jesus and football, and I’ve always wondered what the exact connection was.

        3. Musicismath

          Just as a comparative side note, viewing audiences for Rugby Union (both at provincial and international level) are also declining in New Zealand and Australia. The game in NZ has always had a social conservative skew, but it also has a large Maori and Pasifika playing and fan base, and they skew Left. All Black half back TJ Peranara proudly presented his playing jersey to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern after The Bledisloe Cup march against Australia last month, saying his family and community were “proud Labour.”

          So—something is happening to erode the mass viewing audiences for these contact sports across the globe, and I don’t know if it can be isolated to any one thing.

          1. Wukchumni

            It’s an interesting thing, the move away from contact sports, how about attendance of rugby in Europe & South Africa, is that on the wane?

            1. Musicismath

              In Britain and France at least, it’s burgeoning. I don’t know about South Africa—the game there is embattled on many fronts, but there are certainly attempts to make it more representative of the nation as a whole. Springbok form, though, is mixed at best—although they did just beat the All Blacks in NZ. No mean feat, that.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Was it you who noted that there were 57,000 at the first Washington home game? It seats 80,000. I’ve been to games there, both really nice seats and terrible seats, and it was an easy situation. It wasn’t the old Foxborough crowd. People were nice. I went to the USC/VT game on a Thursday or Friday 12 to 14 years ago, and the traffic was moderately annoying because of all the non regulars showing up.

      With the metro population, one would think there would be a passing interest with access to ticket exchanges in going. The high for the game was 80 with cloud cover. I just don’t think there casual potential person would care about the state of team and ownership that much.

      The Vikings might not be the Steelers, but they were in the NFC championship game, are advertised as the best defense, and have a guy who is NFL qb, not Sam Bradford, in Kirk Cousins who should be the villain coming home. I went to four games in 2008 because tickets were available. The only other reason I went is a long term organized trip and tickets because of scheduling issues.

  20. integer

    Exclusive: Rod Rosenstein is resigning Axios

    Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has verbally resigned to Chief of Staff John Kelly in anticipation of being fired by President Trump, according to a source with direct knowledge. Per a second source with direct knowledge: “He’s expecting to be fired,” so he plans to step down.

    1. WobblyTelomeres

      Maybe, maybe not. It could be White House spin that he’s resigning (versus being fired). We should know soon enough.

      1. Carolinian

        Perhaps he decided he could do more damage to Trump at this point by kicking off a Saturday Night Massacre of himself.

    2. allan

      That worked out well: Del Quentin Wilber @DelWilber:

      DAG Rosenstein is NOW attending a previously scheduled meeting at White House as the Deputy Attorney General, says a person familiar. It is a principal meeting. Report that he resigned is not correct, the person says.

      Only the best people.

    3. Alex Morfesis

      NOPE…Rosenstein passes Trump test…Trump to fire Sessions instead and make Rosenstein the queso grande…film at 11…pushing Rosenstein up the ladder keeps him busy with other work…and Rosenstein may like the desk with a view…

    4. integer

      Trump to meet with Rosenstein on Thursday The Hill

      President Trump will meet with Rod Rosenstein on Thursday amid reports of the deputy attorney general’s imminent ouster, the White House says.

      “At the request of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, he and President Trump had an extended conversation to discuss the recent news stories,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement Monday.

      “Because the President is at the United Nations General Assembly and has a full schedule with leaders from around the world, they will meet on Thursday when the President returns to Washington, D.C.”

      1. fresno dan

        September 24, 2018 at 12:28 pm

        I watched all the republican presidential debates and commented. THAT’S ENOUGH

  21. nippersmom

    Tim Kaine, as quoted in Learning to do a double flip:
    “Writing a book critical of U.S. and Israeli foreign policy is not anti-Semitism.”

    Probably the most (only?) intelligent thing Mr. Kaine has ever said.

  22. Eudora Welty

    C-Span this morning had a call-in segment devoted to experiencers of sexual assault, including being falsely accused or anything else germane. It broke my heart a little bit: that tends to be an articulate crowd. A lot of people said it took them years to tell anyone. This is a potent moment.

    1. ArcadiaMommy

      And imagine if you are not articulate or are powerless in some other way. Even the run of the mill harassment fills you with dread. And you know that adults/people in power know what is happening and they really don’t do anything meaningful to help.

  23. David

    China warns Iowa soybean farmers of ‘a president’s folly’

    “Pretty savvy political play being run by China,’’ Tommy Vietor, a former national security spokesman for President Barack Obama, said on Twitter about the tactic.

    From the USDA’s September Report, Oilseeds: World Markets and Trade

    The share of Brazil’s exports destined for China rose to 85 percent in August, 7 percentage points above the previous month….This has resulted in higher prices for Brazilian soybeans that discouraged purchases by importers other than China. This trend seems likely to continue and may strengthen in the coming months…

    Using these projected trade flows and current import forecasts, U.S. trade opportunities for markets outside of China would rise nearly 13 million tons in the coming year compared to 2016/17. In contrast, increased purchases of Brazilian soybeans by China would result in an 8-million-ton decline in potential U.S. and
    other exporter trade to China for the same period.

    But what about price?

    U.S. soybean export bids in August, FOB Gulf, averaged $336/ton, up $1 from July. In comparison, Brazil FOB Paranagua averaged $394/ton, up $2 from last month. Argentina FOB Up River averaged $384/ton, up $4 from last month.

    Brazil and Argentina receive a ~15% premium from China for their soybeans. Both countries can use these Chinese dollars to reduce their dependence on U.S. dollar debt.

    Argentine debt relief via Trump tariffs. Savvy play China.

    1. a different chris

      Their “savvy political play” is paying higher prices for soybeans than anybody else? Ok, sure.

  24. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Kavanaugh to Give Senate Calendars From 1982 to Back Up Denial NYT. Okay, hands up, who kept a calendar of his/her schedule– including names of others who attended parties– while a high school student? And of those who may have compiled such info, who still retains those records– more than 30 years later?


    Is it possible to look at the paper on which it was written, to determine age?

    Or the calendar (what kind? a datebook?) itself?

    Can they check the ink used to determine age?

    Are there other technical ways?

    1. Wukchumni

      On April 25, 1983, Stern magazine—the German answer to Life—held a press conference to make a sensational announcement: their star reporter had discovered a trove of Hitler’s personal diaries, lost since a plane crash in 1945. Now Stern would begin publishing what he’d found.

      The magazine claimed that the diaries—of which, remarkably, there had been no previous record—would require a major rewriting of Hitler’s biography and the history of the Third Reich. The handwritten volumes included everything from descriptions of flatulence and halitosis (“Eva says I have bad breath”), to an account of Braun’s hysterical pregnancy in 1940, and the revelation that a surprisingly sensitive Hitler didn’t know what was happening to the Jews.

      Two weeks later, the diaries were exposed as fakes—and not particularly good ones, written at great speed by Konrad Kujau, a small-time crook and prolific forger.

    2. fresno dan

      September 24, 2018 at 12:51 pm

      Only in the most peripheral sense relevant, but I was a juror on a civil trial in which a couple sued their alarm company for failing to signal the fire department expeditiously. Part of the trial was damages and to get reimbursed some evidence of the worth of their possessions had to be produced.
      The husband had underwear receipts from ?20? or ?30? years prior.
      I kid you not….

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I have seen purchase receipts from the 1880’s to enhance provenance at a few auctions…granted, collectibles have always been more attention-worthy than clothes.

  25. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Everything you’ve been told about plastic is wrong – the answer isn’t recycling Independent

    I notice that some, if not all, solar panels are made with a few layers of polymer film or EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) film.

  26. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Clearing out old cells might help the brain MIT Technology Review


    Not quite the same, but I would suggest similar to what I have said before about the brain being like a waste basket and from time to time, it is useful to empty it of rotting thoughts.

  27. dunning kroger

    Somebody stole some lynyrd skynard tapes out of my cougar in 1986 I want the FBI to look into it. Is there a hotline I can call?

  28. lyman alpha blob

    RE: ‘A third of TripAdvisor reviews are fake’ as cheats buy five stars

    Gee, ya think?

    This online reviewing industry is another whose days, in a sane world, would be numbered. But hey, at least a few people got to be squillionaires first by providing a platform so anonymous people could spout nonsense to everyone else about what they just ate.

    Which reminds me, thanks again to everyone here for providing an oasis of sanity in an otherwise completely crapified internet!

  29. Roland

    About the Kavanaugh thing, I just can’t help but think that the accusations must be purely partisan, because it appears that nobody complained while the man filled a number of important public positions over the 15 years or so. It’s only when he’s nominated to SC that the accusers suddenly come out.

    Back when Kavanaugh was working at the White House, counselling torture, why were no sex crime victims at hand to denounce him?

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