2:00PM Water Cooler 10/15/2018

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By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Readers, this will be an extremely truncated Water Cooler, as I am caught among the rocks of a post to complete, the hard place of a real-life demand, and another rock of Links to do tomorrow. So talk amongst yourselves! –lambert


“The Coming North American Digital Trade Zone” [Council on Foreign Relations]. Despite the Trump administration withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), USMCA negotiators used the TPP’s electronic commerce chapter as the basis for negotiations (or—the TPP is dead, long live the TPP). The USMCA’s digital trade chapter continues the TPP’s ban on customs duties on digital products (though regular taxes remain unaffected). It also requires anti-spam laws in each country. Like the TPP, it bars countries from requiring the disclosure of source code, but it goes further to bar governments from requiring the disclosure of “algorithms expressed in that source code” unless that disclosure was required by a regulatory body for a “specific investigation, inspection, examination enforcement action or proceeding.” The USMCA also reprises the TPP’s safe harbors for internet service providers modeled on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s Section 512, protecting them for copyright liability for the actions of their users….Unfortunately, the USMCA drops the language adopted by the TPP requiring a “balanced” approach to copyright, which might have further empowered user rights.”



Warren releases results of DNA test Boston Globe. “Senator Elizabeth Warren has released a DNA test that provides ‘strong evidence’ she had a Native American in her family tree dating back 6 to 10 generations, an unprecedented move by one of the top possible contenders for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president.” • But see this thread. There are difficulties with DNA testing. But the greater difficulty, if I understand this correctly, is that the tribes consider themselves nations, not races. So it’s not even clear, from that perspective, that the question of a “Native American in her family tree” can be resolved through genetic testing at all.

Stats Watch

The Bezzle: “A Map of Every Building in America” [New York Times (Furzy Mouse)]. From the article:

These images are drawn from a huge database that Microsoft released to the public this year. The company’s computer engineers trained a neural network to analyze satellite imagery and then to trace the shapes of buildings across the country. Such information has been available before in some places, but this is the first comprehensive database covering the entire United States.

• I tested it. The house and adjacent buildings were present, but other buildings nearby were missing (and we don’t build a lot of new buildings near me, or tear them down either). So the conclusion I draw is that now we know that a neural network cannot produce a “comprehensive database,” at least not with the current state of the art/the computing power available to the Times. That’s an interesting result, and also casts a lot of doubt on robot cars that will rely on three-dimensional digital mapping.

News of the Wired

I didn’t get to this Friday. So here it is today:

* * *

Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, (c) how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal, and (d) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. Today’s plant (RH):

RH writes: “Euonymus Americanus or strawberry bush. A North American native to the south and lower east coast.”

As a partial make-good, a final photo of the cat, who, as the nights sink toward freezing, has no doubt returned to winter quarters. Earlier in the Fall:

Expertly lolling, but having spotted potential prey.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Jim A.

    “every building” No. The very idea is more of a “mistakes programmers believe” situation. But it may well be good enough to be useful for many purposes,

    1. Frank

      I wanted to see how accurate such a project would be too. I downloaded the MS data for Vermont from github and read it into Qgis (a great open source gis) then selected data for my little town. I then loaded the Vermont 911 data for my town as another layer. I could easily see a big difference and did a feature count of the buildings shown in each layer and found: MS data = 296 and VT 911 = 455.
      Nonetheless, it is a nice piece of work and I imagine they had fun doing it.

  2. Harold

    Euonymus americanus is incredibly lovely. I don’t know why you don’t see it more often in gardens. It grows in the woods on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, along with Virginia Magnolia, black raspberries, and other delights. There is a more northern kind with fruits that are of a more purple tint. I have never seen it, however.

    1. Harold

      I have a mental picture from an old article in Horticulture Magazine, describing a planting of Autumn Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) which has threadlike, blooms of fragrant yellow, flowering together with red ‘Heart’s a-Busting’ (Euonymus americana), making a beautiful woodland picture with the low sunlight streaming through them from Canadian to American Thanksgiving. But apparently, despite its native status and imperviousness to the allelopathic toxicity of Black Walnut trees, it is caviar to deer.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        I have read that the Autumn Olive ( Eleagnus) is also impervious to the Black Walnut tree toxin. Perhaps the Euonymus, the Eleagnus and the Walnut could be three anchor-partners in a medium-term open-parkland food woodland. The Eleagnus would fix nitrogen and produce humanly edible berries within a few years. The Euonymus could help attract and feed deer for the hunting season if one partially subsisted from deer meat. The Eleagnus and Euonymus would keep performing these functions ( as well as others) while the walnut trees were growing big and old enough to produce edible nut crops. Then you would start getting 3 crops at once ( Autumn Olives, deer, walnuts) till the walnut trees grew so big as to shade the other little two trees out. Unless you planted them so far apart that the other two could live on between the shade-prints of big maturing walnuts.

  3. Wukchumni

    DNA tests are interesting, a friend found out she was 1% Melanesian and went native, devouring frozen fruity cocktails as if it were her birthright. 20 pounds later she came to her senses and realized she was 99% other.

    1. In the Land of Farmers

      Yeah, besides, there is a huge difference between regional genetics and metabolic genetics.

      Can’t even start to tell you how many people think they are “Paleo” but only 10% of Caucasian Europeans carry even one gene that links them to the Paleolithic genome.

    2. fresno dan

      October 15, 2018 at 2:13 pm

      So for years and years I thought I was Irish. And that meant, that if one wanted to tell politically incorrect jokes, one had to pick on one’s own “tribe” – so I knew all the Irish drinking jokes. Turns out that when I went into the Air Force and got a clearance, I found out that the name on my birth certificate had nothing to do with my….genetic heritage. So even though I still come from pale, wan people, and I drink considerably, my license to cast aspersions upon the Irish cannot be justified by my now non existent Irish heritage. Funny…actually its not, but people don’t think my Danish porn jokes are funny….
      carrot top – is there a more hurtful remark?

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Here is a Rohrschach ethnic joke:

        Some guy’s neighbor had an outhouse in the back yard in back of his house. One day a TV antenna went up over the outhouse. So some guy asked his neighbor about it. The neighbor said:
        ” I just rented the outhouse to a dirty ( redacted).”

        After some time another TV antenna went up over the outhouse. Some guy asked the neighbor about THAT. The neighbor said: ” My dirty (redacted) tenant just sub-let the basement to a cheap ( redacted).”

        If your brain automatically filled in some ethnic group’s name where those redacteds were, that would indicate some ethnic prejudices that have gotten into your brain from somewhere.

        1. HotFlash

          Here we had:

          Q “If (your boss, hated politician, whomever) and a/n (ethnic slur o’the day) jumped off the Cn Tower, which would hit first?”

          A “Who cares?”

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I wonder how many Britishers can claim Henry XIII’s DNA in them?

      “We are all royal…have a claim to the throne.”

      And how many Central Asians have Genghis’?

      “We are all Mongols.”

      1. Harold

        From an 2010 article in Harpers by Jack Hitt, whose Southern mother used to tell he was descended from Charlemagne (the fact is that until recently most people used to marry cousins, so the effect is magnified even more):

        “I was in a college calculus class when the teacher made a point about
        factoring large numbers. He dramatized it by giving an example from
        the real world, explaining how redundancy affected genealogy. He noted
        that if you run your line back to 800 AD, the number of direct
        ancestors you would have is preposterously large (today, it would be
        281,474,976,710,656, or a quarter quadrillion). Since the total human
        population for all time is estimated at a sparse 106 billion, the huge
        number makes no sense unless there is massive redundancy far back in

        The upshot, the teacher explained, is that nearly everyone currently
        living anywhere on the planet can claim (and he paused for emphasis)
        … to be a direct descendent of Charlemagne.”–Jack Hitt, “Mighty
        White of You: Racial preferences color America’s oldest skulls and
        bones” (Harpers, July 2005. page 40)

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I did that backward calculation one time and figured the same – that there would have been more people 2,000 years than it was possible.

          And since a genome is some just permutation of a finite number of molecules (on a number of double helix), the possibilities eventually run out, and start to repeat.

          But how exactly?

          Say a person has the same genome as you (a repeat) 5,000 years from today (as permutations are used up through years of human reproduction) , he or she would have to get it from the same parents as yours. So, when does the first repeat occur?

        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          I read somewhere that half of Europeans could claim some measure of genetic descent from Genghis Khan. Which half? The Eastern half. Genghis Khan and his lineal descendants were very active in Eastern Europe.

        3. wilroncanada

          Was just reading that many of the Rothschilds married first cousins throughout the centuries.

      2. Amfortas the hippie

        I love family history.
        I’ve considered asking for one of those dna tests for xmas or something, but don’t trust the Machinery.
        So we do it the old fashioned way.
        I can trace my Bohemian family to 1750’s, one Irish line back to Huguenot France and the court of the Sun King(in this line I’m a direct descendant of the brother of one Davy Crockett), the other Scots-Irish line to Clan Lamont, and all the tragedy and betrayal that goes with all that.
        The last line has been clouded in darkness and myth and shame. Dirt floors, home births with Medicine Women, 2 mules and a buckboard for inheritance.
        Many of my great aunts didn’t want to be Indians…so denied it for decades.
        Turns out, we’re Chocktaw/Cherokee, Texas Band, and were part of that bunch who resisted the Trail of Tears, and were banished from Oklahoma for it.
        I’ve caused my parents and grandparents to write all the anecdotes and stories down ere they go.
        Figger it’s important for continuity, at the very least.
        I’ve never held with the old saw(Tocqueville, maybe?) that Americans are past-less.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          In China, every Han Chinese is descended from the Yan and Yellow emperors (with the latter defeating the former, and the two groups merged).

          Or so it was believed for a long time.

        2. Jak Siemasz

          Can you make an Austin meetup on 11/10? Not sure where, just tryin to set something up for us hill country cousins.

  4. Another Scott

    Tesla (formerly SolarCity) had to pay $13 million to the State of Oregon for overchanging the state.


    Although people are using this as ammunition for their preferred energy policy (see the comments in the article), I think this is really just about the poor structure of the incentives, using tax credits as a percentage of the project’s total cost. This approach simply encourages cost inflation like was seen in Oregon, especially when firms can just move profits from one division to another.

  5. Daniel A Lynch

    6 to 8 generations back translates to 1% or less of your DNA. In other words, Liz is 99% European.
    In fairness to Liz, many families have BS legends about Native grandmothers. Just admit it was BS and move on.

    1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      My great great grandma was a 100% Cherokee or Choctaw from Arkansas on my Maternal side.

      My jaw and cheeks are top o da line chiseled even when im fat af. I guess i loved the FIRE WATER too much!

    2. curlydan

      There’s nothing the Donald loves more than a side issue that he can poke and scratch at. There are others who are trying to play this to Warren’s advantage because Trump offered $1M if she could prove her Native American heritage. But I think the Donald could come out ahead on this one.

      I think Warren’s best strategy would be to admit errors/mistakes on both sides. 1. The Donald was wrong when he said she had no Native American ancestry, and then 2. she mistakenly overplayed her ancestry, not realizing how far back it likely was. Then let this hot coal go.


      1. cocomaan

        She can’t let it go because she used it to her advantage for a long time, at Harvard, in conversation, and so on. Harvard boasted about it. She’s now stuck to her narrative for years.

        There’s nothing she can do. This just ended her presidential run, she won’t get over this. Trump will twist that knife over and over again. Imagine a presidential debate where he circles it back to 1/1024th over and over again.

        What was she thinking doing this so close to the midterms? She needs to fire her chief of staff and her campaign manager.

        It’s incredible how the social justice nonsense that the Democrats insist on sticking to – at the expense of, you know, policy or labor or anything else meaningful – have blown up in their faces. This was their midterm to lose but they’re already losing momentum with this horsecrap.

        1. Kurtismayfield

          She was hoping that her electorate was mathematically illiterate, which is an insulting opinion to have.

          I agree, any presidential run against Trump is over.. and this test makes it clear that she was going to run.

        2. PKMKII

          I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s sunk any presidential aspirations, but I don’t think it’s done anything for them either. The partisans will just feed it into their pre-conceived notions and arguments, and everyone else will shrug and and find it all much ado about nothing. Best thing she can do is stop talking about it and if someone tries to bring it up, change the subject.

        3. Edward E

          All Elizabeth Warren has to do is challenge him to release his tax returns to prove he can pay the money he promised if she could prove her Native American ancestry.

          The family on my mother’s side always told of our great great grandmother being Cherokee. Then I went to Talequah and eventually found records that she was Seminole.

          1. Amfortas the Hippie

            Yup. I just discovered from a scrap of paper in an old letter from an aunt I’d never met the place in the Dawes roles where my great grandma and her dad are. He’s lister as Cherokee, she as Choctaw. Turns out that those two, and the Chickasaw and Seminole and alabamacoushatta are all more or less interrelated.
            Records after Dawes etc are notoriously scant outside of folks actually on the reservations….especially when you look into the numerous exiled “ bands” all over east Texas, Louisiana and all the way to the Atlantic.
            My great granddads siblings and cousins looked down on him marrying an Indian…and that disdain and shame caused much of the confusion.
            I’d bet that this phenomenon was widespread at the time.

        4. JohnnyGL

          My understanding is that she was already working at Harvard and the Ivies were under pressure to do something about ‘diversity’. They had the staff dig into their own family histories so they could play up whatever diversity they already had on hand.

          The big problem was she let Harvard milk this for PR points. I don’t think she got a career boost out of it. When she later got political ambitions, it then got used against her. She shouldn’t have claimed it in the first place.

          Agreed that the DNA test doesn’t really solve much, plus she’s trying to play Trump’s game by calling him on his backtrack about donating $1M.

          What’s that quote about wrestling with a pig? You both get dirty and the pig likes it? More or less?

          Dems keep trying to beat Trump at his own game. They should stop. Just keep pounding the issues, Bernie-style.

          At some point, Trump’s going to start yapping about Bernie’s wife’s failed college administration ventures. I suspect, Bernie’s going to say something brief like, “the whole board tried an ambitious plan, didn’t work out, anyway we need medicare for all”.

        5. voteforno6

          This just ended her presidential run, she won’t get over this.

          In a world in which Donald Trump is President, I have a hard time believing that something like this could end anyone’s campaign. After all, how many things bubbled up about Trump that should have disqualified him? Now, some people seem to view him as some towering colossus. Just remember, the only reason he got even this far is that he had the tremendous luck to be running against the only Democrat that he could actually beat.

          No, if Elizabeth Warren doesn’t become President, it would be for many reasons, but not for this.

          1. Elizabeth Burton

            Well, those billions in free publicity he got from the MSM didn’t hurt either, and the Dems have only themselves to thank for that, according to the DNC emails. Clearly, however, they’ve opted to ignore that, since they just used the same tactic against Kavanaugh. Worked just as well the second time.

        6. SpringTexan

          No, she is SMART to fight back NOW on the Pocahantas stuff, and she has won.

          Instead of lying back and taking it a la John Kerry.

          1. Fiery Hunt

            But she hasn’t won…in fact, she’s lost a lot of credibility. Even the Cherokees have come out to tell her to stop claiming she’s Native! And she’s admitted she can’t claim being Native in the Senate…

            And most people will see her 1/1000% as so much privileged BS.
            And it is.

            So much losing.

            1. nippersdad

              I don’t think she has claimed to be a native, she merely said that she had some native blood. Whether it is 100% or 1%, that wasn’t a lie, and she has the test to prove it.

              She backed up her claim and now Trump needs to pay off his bets.

            2. lyman alpha blob

              I think she brings the wrong kind of attention to herself by continuing to dwell on her ancestry. Saw a campaign poster for this guy plastered on a building in Revere MA yesterday. It said: SHIVA – It takes a real Indian to beat a fake Indian.

              That kind of thing isn’t really good for anyone, especially political satirists.

              1. nippersdad

                What was she supposed to do? Run away? That is never the way to deal with a bully.

                He made a bet, she called him on it and now he has to pay up. That is the point at which the story should end. The fact that he never will goes straight to his own lack of integrity, and now we have a new story that she can work with.

                Also too, that poster may backfire on the SHIVA dude. Native Americans have never liked the term indian. If he wants to go the Colombus route then he needs to be prepared for some pushback.

                1. dcrane

                  In a way I agree with the point about fighting a bully, but she has not done it the right way. She should have done a confident mea culpa on this the moment it first came up and then, every time thereafter, said “that’s so yesterday”, immediately gone right on the attack wherever Trump is weakest at the moment, on real issues, and made fun of Trump for ducking the issues that matter to regular people. I don’t think proving that the genetic claim is technically correct does a thing for Warren. What she has to do is convince regular people that other things are a lot more important. She has let Trump define the turf to be fought on, and it’s not good turf for her.

        7. jrs

          it’s not even social justice in any sense at all really, it’s just individual cheating, which is such an important issue compared to poverty and climate change and … oh never mind.

      2. nippersdad

        Or she could just say that her grandfather gave corn to the pilgrims. His pimped women in bordellos.

        Further: His Father then took that money, evaded taxes on it and invested it in the KKK along with his real estate ventures such that his son could then work with the Mafia. Them genes bred true; does he really want to go there?

        I have really been wondering how stupid he has to be to bring up other people’s ancestors. It is not like his are a group that he would want scrutinized.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          It depends on if she is mean enough and tough enough to bring that up. If she is not ready to “go there” with the Trumpster, then she is not ready to be President.

          1. nippersdad

            I would really rather she didn’t run. We have had enough faux progressives. I will, however, lose a lot of the respect that I do have for her if she allows Trump to get away with trashing her without a fight.

            The man is just a bully, and bullies always need a good punch in the nose on general principles.

      3. drumlin woodchuckles

        I listened to the tape of Trump making that offer. A very close listen reveals that Trump was as Tricky as the Clintons with the terms in which he couched his “offer”. Trump’s words need to be parsed just as carefully as Clinton’s words need to be parsed.

        He didn’t actually offer her anything. He speculatively discussed the tightly bounded hypothetical situation of Trump and Warren in a Presidential Election debate. He said that if he found himself with her In THAT Situation, that he would THEN, at THAT particular time; toss her a test kit and offer to give a million to her favorite charity IF the test was positive.

        Since she has taken the test NOW, OUTside the confines of a Presidential Debate with Trump of the sort he speculatively described, he can truthfully say that her real taking of the test occurred OUTside of the carefully defined hypotheoretical scenario which he described. Therefor the promise of money to be given IN THAT SCENARIO . . . does not aPPLY to any events which were to happen outSIDE of the confines of that scenario.

        Stupid like a Clinton. People misunderestimate the Trumpster to their peril.

    3. remmer

      My family was one of those who claimed to have Indian ancestors. It was on my mother’s side, but how far back they were, or from what tribe, were never made clear. Such claims aren’t necessarily BS. A few years ago, at the urging of my sister, who was very much into genealogy, I took one of those DNA tests. It said I had a trace of Native American DNA, which is probably about what Elizabeth Warren has. It’s not entirely unreasonable. My mother’s side of the family has been here since at least the early 18C, so there was plenty of opportunity for one or two of my many European ancestors to hook up with one of the people whose land we took. On the other hand, the test result could have been a glitch, so I’ll never know.

      1. cocomaan

        Aren’t necessarily BS, sure, absolutely. Anything is possible in ancestry.

        Proving it through a genetic test (already methodologically specious to begin with) and then using a fraction of one tenth of one percent as basis for declaring victory is so tone deaf and idiotic that she should shut her twitter down until the midterms are over.

        This was a supremely idiotic move to do three weeks out from a midterm election.

        God forbid someone find out her ancestor raped a Native American.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I wonder if Obama is more Native American than Warren.

          Is it that hard to be more than a fraction of one tenth of 1% (for an average European American…in Barack’s case, half of that)?

    4. Summer

      When dealing with a number of tribes, you have to trace heritage through the mothers and not the fathers to count on the tribal roles

    5. ChrisPacific

      DNA is a bit of a red herring in my opinion. You can’t have race be selectively important some times and not others. What matters more is culture and heritage (Lambert’s point on nation vs. race). Ancestry provides a potential path for connecting with that culture and heritage, for people that choose to take it (and haven’t been raised in it as children). Not everyone does, and for those that don’t it doesn’t really count for much.

      So DNA test results are an inadequate answer to the question of whether Warren is Native American. What matters is: is it part of her identity and heritage, or does she want it to be? In New Zealand, a DNA test showing that you were 1% Maori would qualify you to be Maori if you wanted, but to realize that you’d have to establish your whakapapa (lineage and tribe), understand Maori values and how they applied in your life, figure out what your position within the Maori community was, learn Te Reo and relevant history if you didn’t know it already, and so on.

      I don’t know if Warren meets this standard, but I would suspect she does not (for one thing, if she knew the genealogy there would have been no need for a DNA test). She should just own the error and move on. If Harvard promotes her as Native American in order to paint themselves as champions of diversity, then they should stop doing that. I think Trump understands all this intuitively, as do most voters, and if she tries to double down she will come off as phony.

      1. Harold

        DNA tests are more accurate when they test large numbers of relatives, because siblings don’t inherit the exact same set of genes from each parent. It also has to be supplemented by a paper trail, and also family legend (oral history) — It seems to me that Warren’s DNA confirms the family oral history that she has some Native American ancestry. That doesn’t mean she is claiming or should claim membership in a tribe today, but how is it a crime to be proud of one’s origins? Nor does it take away from present Native American populations. Even if you don’t share much DNA at all with your third great grandparent, he or she is still your great grandparent.

  6. MichaelSF

    Is there an easy way to go directly to, or at least identify, new comments?

    The 5 “recent comments” displayed on the right of the screen are fine if there have been only five or fewer comments since I last looked, but if there are some hot topics and 50-200 comments they aren’t helpful.

    If I read 50 comments and come back later and find there are another 30-50 new comments interspersed with the earlier ones I’ve got to start at the top and look at all the old ones again.

    Some sites have software that sticks a “new” label next to new comments, but I presume that requires a cookie and maybe NC doesn’t want to use those.

    I like to check for new comments throughout the day instead of waiting until the end of the day when comment posting has largely stopped.

    I’ve tried clicking on the “subscribe to post” link thinking that might do something but that always gives me a page of HTML code.

    If this is just something I need to deal with then I can do that, it is not a big issue, just one of those small quality of Internet life things.


    1. GF

      What I do is I look at the most recent comment post time before refreshing the page then only look at comments later than that time after refreshing the page.

    2. Huey Long

      I use GF’s method and implement it by using the find-in-this-page browser feature to search for “X:”, X being the hour I want to search for.

      If you have access to a UNIX command line, I’m sure you could write a quick shell script to fetch the page using Lynx, and then pipe it to perl and chop out the latest comments with a regex. YMMV.

      1. Wukchumni

        I grew up in a keeping up with the joneses neighborhood in SoCal in the 60’s, and somebody got really cute little monkeys that they had in cage on the driveway, and my mom was telling me, before you knew it there were 5 or 6 other primate fanciers in the hood’, that is until they started flinging poo in earnest, and then expulsion set in, with some other fad filling the status symbol void.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      But she seems genuinely involved in lightening and loosening the burdens on the Bottom Ninety by the Black Hat FIRE-istas.

  7. Left in Wisconsin

    The Democrats Have an Immigration Problem
    Family separations, multibillion-dollar border-wall schemes, unleashed ICE officers —the Trump presidency has taught the Democrats what they stand against. Now they have to figure out what they stand for.


    This was in the NYT magazine yesterday. What was most interesting was that after so many words were spilled, it became clear that the Dems have absolutely no interest in figuring out what they stand for. The one or two “what about the jobs impact?” Dems mentioned are given no opportunity to voice a positive program (but there is no reason to believe they have one), mostly seen as dinosaurs. And the rest, most prominently Rep. Jayapal from Wash, are for Dreamers, for not breaking up families, for treating immigrants sympathetically, etc. But unwilling to say anything about what kinds of immigration should be illegal. Which makes it hard to argue they are not for open borders.

    Here was the money part:

    [Rep. Jayapal:]We haven’t been able to put forward a proactive immigration policy — we’ve been so reactive. So we need to show what our strategy is. We need to think about what an immigration policy looks like.”

    [At a meeting of immigration advocates,] they offered an exhausting litany of concerns. Stephen Miller was laying siege to the refugee-resettlement program. H-1B visa acceptance rates had slowed to a crawl. Delays for some naturalization applicants now reached five years. Immigrants were fearful about what might happen to them if they truthfully answered the question about their citizenship on the coming census form. The Customs and Border Protection office in Spokane appeared to be extending its search-and-seizure rights beyond the 100-mile limit prescribed by federal law. But, as Jayapal had observed, these concerns were reactions to Trump’s war on immigration. None of the activists expressed larger thoughts about what she termed “the moral imagination around immigration.” They were, as she sympathetically put it, “mired in the latest crisis.”

    Back in Washington, on the morning of Sept. 26, Jayapal met with representatives from 11 of the nation’s most influential immigration rights advocates — among them, United We Dream, the A.C.L.U., the Center for Community Change and the organization Jayapal had founded, OneAmerica. They discussed 35 pieces of pending legislation that could build toward an immigration agenda for the next two years. Three of the bills — the Dream Act, a measure to guarantee automatic citizenship to certain adoptees and a series of steps intended to reduce the backlog of immigration cases — the group believed could pass the House and the Senate and be signed into law by Trump. Nineteen bills, they figured, could pass only the House. Twelve would require changes to achieve any hope of passage. And one, relating to minimizing bail for detainees, they agreed was “unlikely to pass, but important for movement building.”

  8. Randy

    I got tested and I am related to (insert favorite royal, heroic, famous, historical person/family here).

    1. fresno dan

      October 15, 2018 at 3:02 pm
      I am related to Blackbeard, Hitler, Stalin, and John Holmes….
      unfortunately, the only characteristic of the last one I inherited was his massive shoe size

  9. polecat

    So, who today in the commetariat, has, or is doing something green-related … ??

    Sitting in front of the the compubox all day complaining about big bad petroleum, or other virtued boogies, doesn’t count ..
    What say you ?

    1. marieann

      Does making your own hand lotion count or washing with homemade soap and not taking showers.
      Composting the apple peels from making apple butter and applesauce, I will do the apple shortcake tomorrow.Reusing tea bags.
      Not having mobile phone …wait all this sounds like I’m just cheap & frugal, that does go hand in hand with being Earth friendly

      1. polecat

        Sure does .. All the above, marieann ! … although giving up showering would be kind tough for moi, but I do keep them at short duration.

    2. Copeland

      For brunch: Roasted fingerling potatoes from my garden.

      Later, tomato sauce with pasta, from my garden tomatoes.

      But of course I feel that the food produced in my garden is mostly Gaian magic, and I help, a little.

      1. polecat

        Re. Potatoes ..
        Late last winter I found a cluster of ‘sprouts’ in one of our raised-garden beds. Turned out they were potato plants attached to tiny spuds. Not sure, but may have originated from seedlings, or from last year’s compost, or, who knows .. maybe birds dropped them and they rooted. Anyway, I temporarily healed them under a collection of decomposing leaves and other organic matter, and then planted all of 12 little plants, once the bed was prepped. Fast-forward to yesterday .. I ended up with approximately 40 lbs of really nice, what I believe, are rose or yellow fin potatoes, rather than just the top growth that I was expecting, having started with such tinsy plants .. !
        Just one of a gardener’s happy little surprises. ‘:]

      2. polecat

        Gaian magic ..

        I like that.

        Just came in from harvesting our huckleberry bushes, which were espesially laden with nice, fat, dark blue orbs. Mr. polecat will be canning huckle/blueberry conserve in a day or two .. last week was raspberry, then loganberry jam, and the week before that was pasta sauce with red wine and fresno chiles, to add to last years’ larder.
        I may not be getting paid in $$ for the effort, but the experience and end results are far greater, as I’m sure it is with you.

    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      I poked around in the compostables bin behind the co-op and rescued some lettuce butts and celery butts for eating later.

      I am keeping my dwelling unit at 62 degrees just now. ( That’s 62 of God’s own natural organic Fahrenheit degrees . . . as first discovered and described by that Great American, Gustav Fahrenheit).

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Oooh! Oooh!

        I just remembered! . . .

        On my way to work, I rescued an empty 5 gallon plastic pickle bucket from behind a Jimmy John’s sandwich shop. I will be taking it home with me for re-use.

        Re-use is the highest recycling.

  10. Angie Neer

    Warren DNA: I was afraid she’d do that. I consider it a huge strategic mistake for her to even acknowledge it as an issue, handing the “fauxcahontus” crowd a new excuse to play it up.

      1. a different chris

        Disagree. The Donald got faced. He now owes her 1 million dollars. That’s the problem ( a nice one to have) with being a billionaire, if I bet you a million dollars you would know I was kidding. If I bet you 100 bucks, which is the Trumpian equivalent given my net worth, you would expect me to stand behind it.

        Stop assuming Trump always wins everything. That’s what he wants you to think.

        1. jrs

          so Warren made up stuff about her own ancestry (or at least was confused), while the Donald made up stuff about Obama’s ancestry (birther-gate). Yea I can’t see how that leaves him ahead either.

  11. dcblogger

    race is a social and political construct. Native Americans suffer terrible discrimination, persecution, and police brutality. Warren has never experienced any of those things, Warren has lived her whole life as a white women.

    she has also shown that she can be pushed around, Trump has manipulated her into this ridiculous DNA test. What else can he bully her into? If she is nominated we will spend the entire election on her DNA test and have no time for health care. Bernie’s brilliance lies in his ability to make the debate all about the American people and not about him.

    1. Annieb

      “Bernie’s brilliance”. Wish he would run again. With his kindness, intelligence,and focus on the issues that count, he would make mincemeat out of Trump, who would never be able to come up with a goofy nickname that would stick to Bernie. In any case, the Democratic Party is too corrupt and stupid to go with a sure thing in Bernie. More likely they will try to come up with a Hilary-Obama clone like Kamala Harris who will never win and then we will have to endure 4 more years of the orange one.

    1. ChristopherJ

      Funny man.

      2/2 Someone posted some links up the other day about NP and the Giant Sequoia, interspersed with some tales of early explorers and, the truly crazy, the men and women who feel challenged to climb very tall slabs of rock. In some ways you are fortunate that the GS was so inaccessible and hence uneconomic. And, those early conservationists which enabled the your national parks to exist.

      We’ve done some conservation here in Australia, but hey, it’s not our strong suit when you look back over things. Today, some of the most travelled tourist places are so that folks can go back and look at nature. See them every day here flying in to see fish and other creatures in the Coral Sea. Nature. It’s a rare sight these days, go figure…

      When Cook sailed into Botany Bay in 1788, the place was about as virgin as you could get. The local indigenous were all hunter gatherers, those on the coast were true fishermen as well and their societies and knowledge of each other was very sophisticated.
      With temperate weather available, they had little need for shelter and they did not live in caves as they need to see the sky (Ranger told me this on a recent tour of the extensive cave systems in out central Queensland). Is just one reason they’ve struggled to adapt.
      They had no need for agriculture as the land was just teeming with tucker. They managed their lands and regularly burned it as a way to manage it and maintain its ability to feed them and provide other things they needed from trees and plants. They were lean and hard. No cancer, no diabetes. They’d been trading with the Dutch, Spanish, Malays and other localised groups for centuries, probably 1000s of years. Indeed, many indigenous in WA have Dutch in their DNA. Very little written history, it was all passed down in words and symbols.

      They weren’t warriors and were easily slaughtered or just shoved onto bad plots of land and told to go die. A huge proportion with no immunity to the diseases we’d brought with us, succumbed, such that perhaps 80% of the original inhabitants of Australia had perished within the first generation of new Australians.

      They were actively targeted with a bounty on their heads in Tasmania and it shows how good they were at blending into and living off the land, that they managed to survive at all.

      There are many descriptions of the early explorers, but the interior of the continent, at least as it looked from the east coast, appeared to be blocked by a vast series of forests, woodlands, mangroves and thick, thick, rain forest – all intertwined by creepers and vines, vegetation of all sorts and sizes. And tree roots everywhere.

      Of course, early Australia had the most bountiful of hardwood trees and we even had a number of stands of Giant Redwoods, one of which was not too far away from where I am now. I can’t find any mention of it online now. Some of the libraries around would have something…

      Anyways, you would know that there is growing evidence that trees and other plants ‘sense’ each other through their roots. And, I’d heard about this one Giant Redwood that the loggers had deliberately left. I wanted to find it, give it a hug and take a pic. Well, we asked some Rangers for directions and were told it had gone. It seems that the tree was not the largest, but somewhere in the vicinity of 40m high. It was a lonely tourist attraction for a while, until Cyclone Yasi blew it over. A number of people wanted some of the beautiful timbers inside, but some official tree guy said it was diseased and they chipped the entire tree.

      What were those lumber guys thinking, or not, all those years ago when they decided to leave one. Just to show us what we had? In researching this, I saw some amazing pics of men and women cutting down these giants using hand saws and wedges.

      thanks all

      1. Wukchumni

        Giant Sequoia wood takes many thousands of years to decay after it’s dead, and there are 10-15 foot wide-10 foot high stumps @ Atwell Mill car campground, where some giants were felled circa 1900. The majority of Giants in the area were untouched, perhaps 200 out of 5,000 cut.

        They are all of the 2-step cut variety and it took 2 men about 5-6 days to fell a goliath using a cross-cut saw, and usually Sequoia wood was only useful for making grape stakes, fence posts and roofing shingles, as the trees tended to shatter internally upon hitting the ground in a hurry, but the Sequoia wood here was used for a higher purpose-electricity.

        One of the first hydroelectric projects in California was in Mineral King and Sequoia wood was used in making a flume that would deliver the largess down into town here, with a massive head of power creating the same.

        Although for the most part, Giant Sequoias were relatively untouched, they’re not of use such as coastal redwoods (95% cut) and tend to be secluded even now, forget about 125 years ago.

        A perfect storm of survival.

        What were those lumber guys thinking, or not, all those years ago when they decided to leave one. Just to show us what we had? In researching this, I saw some amazing pics of men and women cutting down these giants using hand saws and wedges.

        Oddly the same thing occurred in the most cut over Sequoia grove in the Converse Basin. They spared the Boole Tree, which has the largest circumference of any giant @ 113 feet around, and is the 6th largest thing in the world.


        1. JacobiteInTraining

          “…using a cross-cut saw…”

          AKA a ‘misery whip’. :)

          On my property on the edge of the Olympic Nat’l Park, the heavy 2nd growth (or maybe its 3rd by now) is mostly all western hemlock, with a smattering of doug fir, alders…and some red cedars here and there starting to get perking — biggest is about 2′ diameter – but its the stumps of the old growth red cedar down in the creek/ravine that get me thinking and dreaming of days of yore.

          There’s a dozen or two with diameters of 6,8, even 10′, still 5-10′ high at what remains of the cut. They would have been fallen in the teens or twenties, but I can still adze down just a teensy bit and get to rock-solid wood.

          I mostly leave them alone, as befits the graves of Elder Giants, but I did handsaw off some from the biggest to provide materials for carving and woodworking of my ‘adopted’ son, who is Tlingit.

          Sadly, I got back into hiking just a touch too late to see the biggest in the area still standing — but my Quinalt trip will go deep into the back of beyond to see what survivors we can see….


          1. HotFlash

            Ahh! “The root damage caused by the trampling of visitors around its base is thought to be the cause of its demise.”

            Trampling. Is thought. Another thing we need to Know.

      2. blennylips

        ChristopherJ, I think you will enjoy this talk from last July as much as I did:

        A real history of Aboriginal Australians, the first agriculturalists | Bruce Pascoe | TEDxSydney

        Indigenous writer and anthologist Bruce Pascoe draws on first-hand accounts from colonial journals to dispel the myth that Aboriginal people were hunters and gatherers and “did nothing with the land that resembled agriculture”. In this powerful talk, Pascoe demonstrates a radically different view of Australian history that we all need to know – one that has the potential to change the course of Australians’ relationship with the land. Bruce Pascoe’s career has spanned teaching, farming, bartending, writing, working on an archaeological site, and researching Aboriginal languages. A Bunurong, Tasmanian and Yuin man born in Melbourne, he grew up on a remote island in the Bass Strait. Bruce has written more than 20 books.
        His non-fiction book, Dark Emu (2014), won the Book of the Year and Indigenous Writers’ Prize in the 2016 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. He says, “Aboriginal people have always had a story to tell. We have always been storytellers and artists and singers and dancers and we’ve just brought this into the general Australian culture. Non-Aboriginal Australians enjoy it and are starting to embrace it”. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.

        1. ChristopherJ

          Cheers, bro. Am a scouser, so what I know I’ve had to dig for.

          The Aussie aboriginals knew how to look after their lands, and the commons.

          They could teach white men a thing or two, but most of us white fellas don’t understand why we have two ears and one mouth.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It makes one wonder about the claim that the rich are using Global Warming to reduce population, when a designer smallpox, for which the rich can incorporate their immunity, will do just as efficiently or cheaply.

      1. Wukchumni

        In the past couple of days, i’ve had a few WW2 flashbacks, the first that of German & Japanese airfields with hangar queen aircraft scattered hither & yon, not unlike our F-22 base @ Tyndall, and then the specter of typhus, reminds me of this situation in Naples from 1943-44, here, there’s nothing DDT can’t fix!:


      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        A designer smallpox epidemic would be too very obviously contrived and engineered. The Victim Majority would know what was happening, even if they did not know specifically the names and Swiss Bank Account numbers of the actual individuals who diddit.

        Remember . . . they want to make it look like an accident. A long-running slow-rolling accident all the way down. Jackpot Design Engineering.

        1. Wukchumni

          Most of the wealth in the world revolves around real estate, and if you kill off the plebes, it craters in price.

          But nobody would really need to build a new anything, as there would be quite the supply.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            Wealth is not money, and money is not wealth. If they don’t want us plebes around, they will go ahead and accept the price craterization as a necessary trade-off to be rid of us redundant plebes. Unless we can stop their plans in mid-rollout. If those really are their plans.

        2. a different chris

          The mal-distribution of wealth is “obviously contrived and engineered” – NC isn’t the only place in the world that recognizes that, ask pretty much anybody on the street – and nobody knows what to do about it. A viral epidemic would just be blamed on Iran and what could anybody do.

      3. drumlin woodchuckles

        I have just been reading that article about ” The world according to China” from another post and I begin to wonder . . . the Engineered Jackpot of 7 billion people would have to include a lot of Chinese and Indians. Are the governments of India and China able to prevent the World Overclass from completing their ” Global Autoclaving” plans? If the IndiaChina governments feel they have real cause to believe that various non-Indian non-Chinese members of an interlinked world-scale Overclass are really taking steps ( or preventing others from taking countersteps) which would lead to gigadeath corpse piles in IndiaChina, would IndiaChina try to conduct precision extermination strikes against the danger-posing human members and components of this pro-global-warming Overclass? And if IndiaChina really could achieve these counter-Overclass targeted extermination strikes . . . how exactly should the rest of us feel about that?

  12. JerryDenim

    One of the funniest antidotes ever today- top 5 for sure!

    Seems like it could have been an out take from ‘StepBrothers’. Flashback to Dale’s failed drumming career in Japan.

  13. BoyDownTheLane

    Senator Warren is only trying to count coup. She wishes she had the gravitas to take scalps. She speaks out about the recent gas explosions, but it’s all hot air.

  14. fresno dan

    Whoa Molly!
    October 15, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    those of us 98% monkey, consider ourselves the advanced clade, because the more human in you, the more primitive you are…

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      In the upper north-eastern corner of Australia, on some islands there, there are different groups of aborigines with different languages. It is not uncommon for many of them in various tribes to speak more than 4 or 5 languages.

      Even so, some languages have only a few living speakers today.

  15. Wukchumni

    This will be one of the bunkers we’ll be frequenting in NZ early next year, we were there once a dozen years ago on a warm night watching the Magellanic Clouds overhead, which are quite distinctive down under. This one holds about 40 thrillionaires, and you’re sleeping pretty close to strangers, so bring a bunch of earplugs to pass out to everybody, so you don’t have to hear the snorefest, mmmm,ok?

    When we there last, the Sefton Glacier was calving about 2 miles away from us, and by the time we heard it, it’d already happened, so we started looking in earnest, and then it was just the other way around, ha!



  16. Wukchumni

    It’s almost time to get serious about baseball, done with the yeah whatever prelims in the regular season and slightly more interesting early rounds of playoffs, and because i’m the average age of a World Series viewer, all of the commercials are aimed right at me, the world according to AARP.

    Play Ball!

  17. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    These images are drawn from a huge database that Microsoft released to the public this year. The company’s computer engineers trained a neural network to analyze satellite imagery and then to trace the shapes of buildings across the country. Such information has been available before in some places, but this is the first comprehensive database covering the entire United States.

    Including underground buildings?

  18. Wukchumni

    To have even 1/1024th Indian blood would have been scandalous for a presumptive Presidential candidate a century ago, but I think we can get over it now.

    DNAtive: spit happens.

  19. R

    Can I ask a dumb question? Why is the Elizabeth Warren / Native American thing a big deal?

    Does she look silly because she’s obviously white but claiming indigenous heritage?

    It’s a way for Trump to own the libs?

    Or is there something more that I’m missing?

    1. jrs

      I think it gets people to focus on individuals who cheat to get ahead etc. instead of on issues. That’s the most important thing.

      But as if being born wealthy wasn’t ALREADY all the argument against the system being just anyone needs. But it’s not individual cheating so it passes under the radar.

    2. Whoa Molly!

      Trump idly taunting the libs is my bet. Kind of like getting a cat to chase a laser dot around the room.

    1. jrs

      I saw Hedges in Los Angeles. It’s one of the best presentations I’ve EVER seen. He’s a fantastic orator in addition to a very amusing writer. Now of course none of this actually solves our political problems and I’m not trying to create a Hedges cult of personality. Just that if people have a chance to attend a Chris Hedges lecture they should jump on it.

      1. Richard

        Hey, I should have looked at some comments before posting on the hedges interview with dore (below). He does use his words well.

    1. tegnost

      well yeah, he doesn’t want to be singled out, after all…safety in numbers plus just pushing the window “we’re doing it, we did it, it’s done, get used to it.”

  20. Edward E

    There’s a lot of serious banter going on here, I’m just going to put it out here because of lack of time to decipher it all.
    Tweets by Harald Malmgren

    Harald Malmgren on Twitter: “Almost hysterical Saudi threatening response to Trump warning of hard US action against perpetrators of Khashoggi murder suggests to me Saudis have something BIG they are desperate to hide. What was Khashoggi working on?

  21. Big Tap

    RT has an article about the removal and censoring of sites last week on Facebook and Twitter that have a common source – Prop or Not. Prop or Not is delighted in these actions taken by the social media sites. “Coordinated inauthentic behavior” is one of the reasons for sites being eliminated yet Facebook and Twitter seem to be coordinating their actions in sync. https://www.rt.com/usa/441305-facebook-banned-russian-propaganda/

  22. drumlin woodchuckles

    Just found on the Reddit . . . Official spokesfolk for the Cherokee Nation are not happy with Warren’s taking the “DNA test” and they explain why.


    There are some lessons somewhere in all this but I am not sure what they are yet. Fighting Trump is like mud-wrestling with an electric eel. People are going to have to work out how to do that.

  23. Richard

    My favorite line, from Chris Hedges interview with J. Dore:
    “People are confusing how they are made to feel, with knowledge”
    I want to take part in a teach-in, based around this observation
    I think we should try teach-ins again

  24. Big Tap

    Cherokees tend to be Republican particularly in Oklahoma where Warren is originally from so this letter could just be a political hit job on Warren. The Cherokee letter disapproval about Warren’s DNA test serves that purpose. Cherokees have their own history of racism as slaveholders and held African Americans as slaves. The Cherokees have an ongoing fight with the black descendants of these slaves who claim themselves to be Cherokee which is a contentious issue.

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