Links 10/12/18

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6 Killed As Michael Treks Through Southeast Leaving Florida Beach Towns in Ruins, Flooding Parts of North Carolina, Virginia Towns The Weather Channel

Why miniature horses make such great service animals TreeHugger “With news that Southwest is allowing mini horses on flights, here’s what to know about these petite equine wonders.” No, not The Onion.

Cannabis to be available on NHS from November 1 Metro UK

Rewriting reproduction: With stem cells and CRISPR, scientists breed mice with same-sex parents Stat

Russia opens criminal probe after rocket malfunction forces emergency landing SCMP

How Carbon Trading Became a Way of Life for California’s Yurok Tribe The New Yorker

As oil and gas exports surge, West Texas becomes the world’s “extraction colony” Texas Tribune

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

Amazon patents Alexa tech to tell if you’re sick, depressed and sell you meds Ars Technica

We will find you: DNA search used to nab Golden State Killer can home in on about 60% of white Americans Science

Google faces mounting pressure from Congress over Google+ privacy flaw The Verge

New Cold War

Facebook, Twitter Purge More Dissident Media Pages In Latest Escalation Caitlin Johnstone (UserFriendly)

Facebook purged over 800 accounts and pages pushing political messages for profit LA Times (UserFriendly)

Waste Watch

‘Life Without Plastic: The Practical Step-by-Step Guide to Avoiding Plastic to Keep Your Family and the Planet Healthy’ (book review) TreeHugger

India

Full Text: French Report on Dassault Saying Reliance JV is ‘Imperative and Obligatory’ The Wire

Kavanaugh

Ralph Nader: We Can’t Let Kavanaugh’s Confirmation Go Truthdig

Right to Repair

45 Out of 50 Electronics Companies Illegally Void Warranties After Independent Repair, Sting Operation Finds Motherboard

Brexit

“A hundred years ago a ship sunk in the Irish Sea, causing more than 500 deaths – here’s what its legacy can teach us about Brexit Independent. Robert Fisk.

University ‘dual nationality’ plan for Brexit BBC

Brexit: the wreckers EUReferendum.com

It Once Caused Earthquakes. Now a Driller in Britain Tries Fracking Again NYT

Syraqistan

After Four Decades of Chaos is Iraq Finally Stabilizing? Counterpunch. Patrick Cockburn.

Khashoggi case prompts Branson to suspend $1bn Saudi talks FT

America’s Disastrous Occupation of Afghanistan Turns 17 American Conservative

Jamal Khashoggi case: All the latest updates Al Jazeera

Crown prince sought to lure Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia and detain him, U.S. intercepts show WaPo

Imperial Collapse Watch

Entire US fleet of F-35s grounded for engine inspections Stars and Stripes

China?

Beijing ‘looking into joining trans-Pacific trade pact’ to hedge against US SCMP

EU harbors fears about China’s maritime Silk Roads Asia Times

If the U.S. Doesn’t Control Corporate Power, China Will Foreign Policy. Matt Stoller.

Pentagon report points to US preparations for total war World Socialist Web Site. So, turns out offshoring US manufacturing wasn’t such a hot idea after all. Thanks, neoliberals!

Kill Me Now

Michelle Obama’s vacation is over. Now she’s claiming her own spotlight. WaPo

Class Warfare

‘I Got Stuck’: In Poor, Rural Communities, Fleeing Hurricane Michael Was Tough NYT

Amazon tops up pay for longtime staff after disgruntled workers email Jeff Bezos directly Business Insider

“Too Big” Is Too Little Jacobin

Puerto Rico

POST-MARIA, MANY PUERTO RICANS STRUGGLE TO ACCESS ADEQUATE ID TO VOTE WhoWhatWhy.org

The States Where Democrats Or Republicans Could Seize Full Control Of Government FiveThirtyEight

Trump Transition

Tighter US Foreign Investment Rules Aimed At China Start In November International Business Times

Is there such a thing as too much Trump? Politico

SEC Chair Jay Clayton Says Quarterly Reporting Won’t Change ‘Anytime Soon’ WSJ

Trump Is Mulling Candidates Who Could Succeed Jeff Sessions WSJ

Senate leaders strike deal on 15 judicial nominees, setting up early recess The Hill. Back to bipartisan business as usual.

Trump Signs Landmark Music Bill Into Law Rolling Stone

In Yemen, Trump Is Taking Tolerance for War Crimes to a New Level TruthOut

The Post Office wants to raise the fees it charges Amazon and other shippers CNBC

Exposed: Sacramento Bee Goes After Naked Capitalism Blog…Why? City Watch. Tony Butka

Antidote du jour:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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151 comments

  1. Livius Drusus

    Re: Is there such a thing as too much Trump?

    As some of the people quoted in the article state, no, at least not for Trump’s base. They love to see him so Trump’s strategy of keeping himself in the news seems to be a good one. The Trump strategy focuses on energizing and maximizing turnout among his base. Trump is not going on quests to capture demographics that probably won’t vote for him like the Democrats always try to do with the elusive moderate suburban Republicans.

    Reply
    1. zagonostra

      1.5 Trillion in tax cuts for the wealthy, stolen Supreme Court seat from the Democrats, the Republicans and Trump deliver while Democrats diddle.

      If you were to choose a winning side it would be the Republicans/Trump, the Democrats only feign to represent the common folk, they know who butters their bread…it’s all there in the 1908 book, the Iron Heel, by Jack London…110 years later, nothing has changed except the form the manipulation takes…

      Reply
      1. TheScream

        Americans have been brainwashed to believe that anything left of center is evil, that they can achieve the American Dream, and if they don’t it is because they are losers or inherently inferior. Republicans play to this very well and manipulate most of the population. This allows the ruling economic and political class to lie, cheat and steal and call it Success or Skill.

        The Democrats do the same thing but can’t quite bring themselves to swallow the entire pill. So they rip off America but also give lip service to education, healthcare, and humanity. That makes them look weak and hypocritical, which allows the right to paint them as cynical communists (or fascists depending on how much spittle is coming out of the accuser’s mouth).

        The longer I look at America and weigh the propaganda and mythology against the reality, the more I realize that America is pretty much getting exactly what it wants. Sure, some on the left want healthcare and free, quality education, but they are not willing to sacrifice any of their slice of the pie to get it. The rulers of America, on the left and on the right, were put there by Americans with squishy principles, strong delusions, and tight wallets.

        Reply
        1. John Wright

          I prefer the approach of the late Alex Carey who wrote the book “Taking the Risk out of Democracy”.

          He suggested the elite, of all stripes, appreciate that a true democracy might result in the great unwashed voting themselves economic favors and avoiding what the elite want (such as wars).

          As I’ve stated before, democracy is rather unimportant to most people as most important institutions in their lives are not democracies (my family was not run as a democracy, the Catholic Church, I was raised in, was not a democracy, the schools I attended were not democracies, the corporation I work for is not a democracy and the “fighting for democracy/freedom” US military is not a democracy.)

          You say “I realize that America is pretty much getting exactly what it wants” but I don’t believe this is a fair statement for most Americans in the bottom 90%.

          The American well-connected elite is getting the profits/wars/responsive government THEY want, the mopes are not.

          As Gilens-Page asserted:

          “The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence. Our results provide substantial support for theories of Economic-Elite Domination and for theories of Biased Pluralism, but not for theories of Majoritarian
          Electoral Democracy or Majoritarian Pluralism”

          see: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/perspectives-on-politics/article/testing-theories-of-american-politics-elites-interest-groups-and-average-citizens/62327F513959D0A304D4893B382B992B

          Summing up the US as “The rulers of America, on the left and on the right, were put there by Americans with squishy principles, strong delusions, and tight wallets.” is unfair to most of the US population who only wants to have a job, a safe place to live and good schools for their kids.

          I see this way: “The rulers of America were put there by the political/business elite with squishy principals, no delusions about what they were doing and open wallets.”

          Reply
          1. TheScream

            Okay, let me clarify my ideas. The rulers were put in place by Americans who have been convinced (brainwashed?) that these are the things they want.
            But I still think Americans have squishy principles (No to Abortion because killing is wrong! Yes to Death Penalty because killing is righteous in the eyes of our Lord!. America first but any other country that puts themselves first must be crushed and destroyed! Pretty squishy).
            Delusions: If you work hard you will succeed and be rich (Commie Europe has higher rates of socio-economic mobility). If you go to college you will succeed (succeed in getting into a massive debt you will never pay off). Americans are loved all over the world because they believe in peace and freedom (Americans have invaded more countries than any other nation in history and have a long track record of torture, assassination, etc.)
            Tight Wallets: Along with the American Dream delusions goes the idea that helping others is communist and the road to hell if it is done through the government. Government is evil and taxes are illegal unless they go to building an army to crush nasty foreign countries or hiring police to arrest undesirables. Giving money to education just leads to liberals!

            I agree that the system is run by the elites for the elites, but the American people still vote for these guys no matter how awful they are. They would rather vote for a pedophile Republican or a kleptomaniac Democrat than switch sides and vote for someone who cares about them. the elites know this and exploit it.

            Reply
            1. CarlH

              You have left out the part where most Americans are working too hard to properly educate themselves about the state of their world, and if they can squeeze a bit of time in to catch up on things, their sources of information are either outright lying to them, lying by omission and left out context, or are so awash in their own ideologies that ferreting out any truth one may find in them requires a certain level of background context that was impossible to gather for the lack of time in the first place. We are bombarded by the largest, most well funded, and sophisticated propaganda machine in history. It has worked it’s wonders. This is why NC is so very, very important to me.

              Reply
            2. drumlin woodchuckles

              And you also left out the part where Americans had leader after leader after leader assassinated by the “magic Lee Harvey Oswald” acting alone with his “magic bullet” over and over and over again.

              And just lately the government terror campaign against the American public, possibly facilitating the 9/11 attacks themselves and certainly launching anthrax attacks to get people scared into compliance.

              Reply
              1. sarah

                The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends,’ Ser Jorah told her. ‘It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace.’ He gave a shrug. ‘They never are.’

                Reply
          2. artiste-de-decrottage

            One of the best comments I’ve ever seen here, summarizing the reality of how our society (if not all modern and maybe really ALL societies) work.

            I will save it for my own reference, for when I need a clarifying structure for my own or a friend’s thinking.

            Thank you.

            Reply
        2. Lambert Strether

          > Americans have been brainwashed to believe that anything left of center is evil

          Big shift after the crash — too lazy to find the numbers — where Americans stopped saying they were “middle class,” and started saying they were “working class.”

          Reply
      2. Procopius

        I’m surprised to see another person who has read The Iron Heel. In some ways it’s awful writing, reflecting the worst hackery of the period, and despite being a Socialist, Jack London was a horrible person, but as you say, the book is surprisingly prescient. Some of the abuses were alleviated, like the story of the guy who lost an arm trying to prevent a stone from going into a machine and was then fired without compensation by the company. We did manage to get Workmen’t Compensation Insurance in many states, but the elites, mostly Republicans, have been chipping away at that for decades. I’m afraid The Oligarchy is actually going to take power within a couple of decades and then it’s going to be very, very difficult to dislodge them.

        Reply
    2. Katniss Everdeen

      “President’s never get overexposed,” said Bryan Lanza, a former Trump campaign aide.

      Unlike apostrophes, it would seem.

      Reply
    3. BGGB

      The Trump strategy focuses on energizing and maximizing turnout among his base.

      What a incredible and novel concept. I wonder if anyone else in this country should try that?

      /s

      Reply
      1. barefoot charley

        Democrats do it too. Remember, their base is 10 percenters. Republicans and Democrats alike focus on voter suppression. Democrats don’t do voter registration anymore because they don’t like most voters (because most would-be voters don’t like them). Repugs focus on suppressing registered voters; Demucks focus on suppressing primary voters who may have wackadoodle ideas about Democracy, such as Bernie’s. The Democrats have done an excellent job of mobilizing pearl-clutchers, identity-poseurs, meritocrats who think their privileges come from merit, etc. Let’s give them all the credit they deserve.

        Reply
  2. el_tel

    re Cannabis: Sativex (cannabinoid-based treatment used in MS) was rejected for funding in Australia. For confidentiality reasons I can’t comment on subsequent work….but suffice to say there is evidence of MS sufferers gaining benefit from it and being willing to pay…rather large amounts….indeed one wonders if individuals wouldn’t be clinically and financially better off by “getting it the old fashioned way” if not covered under “normal” prescriptions under a system like the NHS.

    For the benefit of anyone from the security services reading this I am NOT endorsing the latter! ;-)

    Reply
      1. el_tel

        Usually Australian schemes DO! In my 5 years there (gaining citizenship in the process) I saw a lot of things the UK NHS could learn from. But, like all systems, they have their blind spots too. Unfortunately the “best” public system/country to be in often varies depending on the condition you have….

        Reply
      2. Procopius

        Probably like the States. The brewers and distillers spend huge amounts lobbying against it, because they fear the competition.

        Reply
  3. Olga

    Facebook, Twitter Purge More Dissident Media Pages In Latest Escalation Caitlin Johnstone (UserFriendly)
    So Alex Jones really was “canary in the coal mine.” How will all this end?

    Reply
    1. lyman alpha blob

      Hopefully by FB purging so much ‘content’ that there’s nothing left for anyone to read and they go belly up. So everyone start posting pictures of your naked selves waving the Russian flag today!

      Reply
    2. Wukchumni

      “If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. The free mind is not a barking dog, to be tethered on a ten-foot chain.”

      Adlai Stevenson

      Reply
    3. The Rev Kev

      I don’t think that Alex Jones was when it got real. That dishonour lies with PropOrNot which I regarded at the time as a shot across the bow. That was launched in the quiet period of Thanksgiving two years ago and was a statement more than anything else of what the intentions of organizations like the Washington Post was i.e. Begun the Censorship Wars has.

      Reply
      1. el_tel

        Thanks, very interesting. I won’t/can’t criticise his piece generally but I’d also be interested in getting more of the “Eire angle on it” from someone like PlutoniumKun. My Dad is very up on Michael Collins but this angle is entirely new. I respect Fisk generally but sometimes he IMHO gets so involved that I question his objectivity or ability to fully understand the “broader history” when he delves into a “new area for him”. And, frankly, in such cases, there are members of the NC commentariat whose views I would respect more than his published ones.

        I think this links nicely, however, with the other links about the F-35 and the downside of specialisation and globalisation….if we genuinely wish to stop wasting carbon and are serious about climate change etc then something like BREXIT, although supremely disruptive (I’m not stupid, I’ve read the NC articles on the legal void we may end up in etc – horrid), might be a small part of “the solution” in terms of getting countries to get along with & trade with nearest neighbours to avoid the ridiculous trans-continental supply chains we currently have and which, using the equation concerning “energy return on investment – the EROI” – might help us re-adjust the economy. After all it’s pretty much received wisdom that Ricardo’s “laws” about when free trade is beneficial don’t and have never held true in practice.

        Reply
          1. el_tel

            Thanks. My head says “Another possibly suspect Guardian article that may have missed the point or totally used magical thinking following some off-the-cuff- remarks”. My heart responds with “I really hope this reflects real developments that will solve things – after all the EU has a history of pulling the iron out of the fire at the last minute/kicking the can down the road (use your preferred metaphor).”

            Then my head comes back with “It’s the DUP we’re dealing with – if there’s a chance they’ll mess this up you can guarantee they will…..but roll on the Tory implosion that results. General Election please.”

            My heart concludes with “errrr, be careful what you wish for”.

            Reply
          2. PlutoniumKun

            Its interesting the EU are being this direct. Its no secret that the Belfast business establishment (which generally supports the Ulster Unionist Party, not the DUP) is terrified of Brexit. But the DUP simply doesn’t care. But it does raise the possibility of the DUP facing a fight on its home turf if the business community really decide they want the backstop (and they’d be crazy not to).

            In the meanwhile, the Irish Foreign Minister says not to pay attention to optimistic news – he clearly doesn’t have high hopes.

            Reply
            1. el_tel

              Thank you. I had no idea the (almost defunct vote-wise?) UUP had the ace up its sleeve of the business community.

              W.r.t. the Irish Foreign Minister – might this be bluster? I realise that the advertising in McDonald’s is not a good source of information, but McDonald’s makes a BIG issue out of “our beef is properly sourced UK AND IRISH beef”. When McD’s makes a big issue out of Eire-UK supply chains you gotta wonder what business is doing behind the scenes….

              Reply
              1. PlutoniumKun

                The Belfast establishment would still be strongly UUP, but they’ve been reduced to very little electorally. But while the DUP would have a base in farmers and small businessmen, certainly the ‘real’ business leaders would be Remainers. However, their influence now is very much behind the scenes only, and since there is very little power to be wielded in Belfast, there is not a lot they can do but complain. I’ve heard conflicting stories about their ‘real’ views – some are saying that many are geniunely thinking a united ireland would not be such a bad thing if Brexit happened, others say that there is a ‘get behind the flag’ mentality so even Remainder Unionist business people will (reluctantly) get behind the DUP.

                Its not bluster from Coveney, I think he’s genuinely concerned that all those optimistic stories coming out are generating a false sense of security.

                Reply
                1. el_tel

                  Thanks for the insights. Personally, although my Irish roots (predominantly Southern Ireland Catholic, but with some NI Protestant) have no bearing on my views and religiously I’m agnostic-bordering-on-atheist, I’d quite happily just as a “British born and bred person” get rid of the NI issue straightaway and let Eire sort out the 6 counties (as, I suspect a LOT of people round here would do). Selfish I know but my ulterior motive is exposing the “Conservative & Unionist Party” . It’d be nice to see them hoisted on their own petard.

                  I’m aware that any “progressive” type of Brexit is a very very high risk strategy with a very possible outcome of strengthening a right-wing Tory/DUP alliance, but still have some hope they’ll both tear themselves apart over the issue. OK I’m an idealist I admit…..I’m a realist when I do a study and have data to make me a realist ;-)

                  Reply
  4. emorej a hong kong

    Entire US fleet of F-35s grounded for engine inspections Stars and Stripes

    Buried lede:

    readiness rate of about 65 percent … there hasn’t been enough focus within the Air Force on sustaining the F-35, instead of focusing on production.

    Easy to see why the supplier prefers this focus (because presumably the delivery of each jet enables the supplier to bank the purchase price, which, even with a cost-plus formula, doesn’t have as much upside profit as pay-as-you-go fixes after delivery).
    Unfortunately, it is also easy to guess why the Air Force goes along with this focus.

    Reply
  5. SoldierSvejk

    Pentagon report points to US preparations for total war
    “It warns that “The erosion of American manufacturing over the last two decades… threatens to undermine the ability of U.S. manufacturers to meet national security requirements. Today, we rely on single domestic sources for some products and foreign supply chains for others, and we face the possibility of not being able to produce specialized components for the military at home.”
    I recall Pepe Escobar reporting on this in 2016 – i.e., the US military realizing that it cannot fight a war against a country that produces its military parts. And that reversing this would be a part of his strategy once in office. There are much bigger forces behind DT than we know.

    Reply
    1. cnchal

      > US preparations for total war.

      What the military needs is massive budget cuts to stop the idiocy of the psychos running the military. Even if every bullet were made in the US what good is manufacturing know how when a trillion is wasted on something like the F35.

      In an odd way, the F35 is a blessing. It’s like a wrench thrown into the total war works.

      War is stupid. War is stupid. War is stupid. War is stupid. Now have each general write on the chalkboard by hand a million times, war is stupid. Think they will get the message?

      Reply
      1. WobblyTelomeres

        Sad to say, but from my experience those that choose the military for a career have never been among the first or second tier intellects. So, no, I do not think they will get the message.

        Reply
    2. Samuel Conner

      The Soviet Union fractured in the early ’90s. Not long after that the WTO was formed and the offshoring of US manufacturing accelerated (IIRC, under the last round of GATT we were losing things like shirt factories).

      It seems that you need a peer adversary for “security” to trump “profit” in trade policy.

      It has occurred to me to wonder whether there may have been some devious thinking about how trade in military components would make wars between trading partners less likely. Relatedly, the F-35 program certainly looks like a “peace through weakness” approach.

      Reply
    3. David

      This really began in the 1980s with the decline of the US electronics industry. There were similar stories in the 1990s about over-reliance on Japanese electronic components. About 20 years ago, if I remember correctly, the US Congress tried to mandate that 60% of the components by value in US military equipment should be domestically made. They were told it was simply impossible since, even then, the manufacturing capability simply did not exist.
      What’s made it worse is that these days electronics is exponentially more important than it used to be. Today’s aircraft (not just the F35 but the Typhoon and the Rafale) are built to be aerodynamically unstable, which is great for manoeuvrability, but means that if the clever electronic systems and software don’t work properly, the plane falls out of the sky.

      Reply
      1. el_tel

        Yeah I’ve, when bored, read a lot on the web/youtube about deliberate aerodynamic instability and how it is used to improve fighter planes. It’s always been something that makes me go “uh-oh”. So you build something that physically CANNOT be flown by a human being without software working properly. (Yes, I know that a controlled descent with all exterior factors A-OK could allow the pilot to fly it, but we know that even if politicians don’t acknowledge variable weather/climate change, the DoD/NASA etc all have taken it as given so you’re basically saying “software failure is ok about 1% of the time”) WTF?!

        Reply
      2. Unna

        When the F35 was first conceived in the early 1990’s my sense is that nobody thought it would actually have to work against anything but third rate countries with no real air defense. China? A peasant country. Russia? They just went out of business. Ill designed, overpriced (a feature not a bug). Maybe this was never a serious weapon for existential war with a peer competitor. Just some military flash and a money maker. Then after 15 years of Putin from 2000 and the Russians show up with their S300s & S400s for sale to everybody with money.

        The big test is whether the Israelis will use their F35s in Syria after Syria’s S300s are fully set up. If one F35 gets shot down Lockheed Martin will have a lot of ‘splainin to do.

        Reply
      3. Lambert Strether

        > aerodynamically unstable, which is great for manoeuvrability, but means that if the clever electronic systems and software don’t work properly, the plane falls out of the sky

        A perfect metaphor for neo-liberalism, whose clever systems all seem to be failing, again, after the last reboot.

        Reply
    4. The Rev Kev

      I find it difficult to see how parts production can simply be imported back to the US. When those original factories were shipped off to places like China, the workers in the US were left to rot and with them their skills and knowledge. A lot of that would have to be built up from the ground up and you would be talking about a multi-decade effort with the forlorn hope that this effort would be kept up and not nickle-and-dimed to death. Then you would have to offer decent wages to this new generation of industrial workers but the trends are to lower all worker’s ages and disrespect their skills and qualifications.
      Another problem that I see if that a lot of the production for these parts would be only short runs. That is why they were off-shored in the first place. Does it make economic sense to open up a factory to turn out the required parts only to close it a few months or years later when you have all the parts that you need? I suppose the run could be kept up and the excess exported but that would depend on how big the overseas market would be for those new parts. A hot war would require more of those parts but I doubt that the low-level sort of warfare that the US military undertakes at the moment would generate the demand to keep those lines going. Not gunna be easy.

      Reply
      1. John Wright

        I work in the electronics industry in Northern California.

        My job out of school involved manufacturing lower level components in Palo Alto, CA in the late 1970s’.

        But that was a long time ago.

        I watched much of the outsourcing happen as lower level components (PCBs, passives, integrated circuits, sub-assemblies and then entire assemblies get moved overseas).

        And dealing with overseas manufacturing is not easy as I can remember being on conference calls with people from China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore all on the line.

        Bringing manufacturing back would take decades, and as you point out, local USA expertise has been lost.

        Furthermore, in the USA, with its bloated financial and educational sectors, there is a tendency to look at manufacturing as unimportant and not something to aspire to, further hurting on-shoring.

        If the USA has such difficulties dealing with countries that are technologically unsophisticated and military resource poor such as Afghanistan and Iraq, I’d guess the USA would have an even more difficult time dealing with a sophisticated foe (China, Russia) who understood and could disrupt USA supply and manufacturing chains around the world.

        In the event of a conflict with a major power, I’d be concerned that nuclear weapons would be seen as the only way to make it a USA winnable short war.

        Reply
    5. Jeremy Grimm

      The provenance for the Pentagon report leaves me wondering whether it should be labeled as a Pentagon report: Trump signed Executive Order (EO) 13806 creating the initial impetus for the report — “To meet the goals of EO 13806, the White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy and the DoD’s Office of Industrial Policy established an Interagency Task Force and authorized a set of working groups. ‡ Multiple organizations within DoD as well as the Departments of Commerce, Education, Energy, Homeland Security, and Labor contributed resources to the 16 working groups.” [p. 15]

      Scanning through the report I am mystified where the headline: “Pentagon report points to US preparations for total war” comes from. Much of the content in the report just repeats findings from past Senate Arms Services Committee hearings echoes concerns long standing concerns about the fragility and insecurity of the DoD supply chains. Many of the concerns in the report are cliche at this point — “STEM talent,” “industry is unable to hire or retain U.S. workers with the necessary skill sets”, single and sole source and fragile suppliers, product security.
      A selection from the report of headings and a few quotes for flavor:
      p. 20 “Sequestration and Uncertainty of U.S. Government Spending”
      p. 32 and 33 headings:
      “Procurement Complexity and Lengthy Contract Timelines”
      “Bespoke Accounting Standards and Burdensome Security Clearance Processes”
      “Lengthy Acquisition and Development Timelines”
      “Requirements-Driven Rather Than Solutions-Oriented Acquisition Process”
      p 45 “Some of the most challenging aspects in the manufacturing sector are recruitment and retention.”
      “… number of STEM degrees conferred in the U.S. still pales compared to China”
      “…as many 25% of STEM graduates in the U.S. being Chinese nationals.”
      The report wants to use national security concerns to direct new policies for revitalizing US industry.

      This report might be evidence of some sort of power play within the government labyrinth. I can’t guess who is behind it. I can’t guess how, where, and whether there are efforts to obtain funding lines for implementing recommendations in this report. I’m also left wondering who benefits? The DoD has a long-standing policy favoring Commercial Off-The-Shelf COTS procurement. If this policy is still encouraged how will security driven re-industrialization affect COTS?

      Reply
  6. emorej a hong kong

    Even if all parts production was moved back to the USA from China, it appears that the procurement culture simply cant keep up with changing technology:

    The F-35 is estimated to rely on 90% of its avionics specification requirements on software; this has grown significantly over the last four decades when the F15A had just 35% software reliance in 1975. … Unfortunately, software for many weapon systems is being sustained with processes developed decades ago for hardware-centric systems. In addition, much of DoD policy remains hardwarecentric, despite software providing an increasingly larger percentage of system functionality.
    … Currently, there exists limited focus and priority on explicitly addressing software engineering sustainability of software intensive systems during the requirements process, design, and development of systems.
    Source: https://media.defense.gov/2018/Oct/05/2002048904/-1/-1/1/ASSESSING-AND-STRENGTHENING-THE-MANUFACTURING-AND-DEFENSE-INDUSTRIAL-BASE-AND-SUPPLY-CHAIN-RESILIENCY.PDF

    Reply
    1. el_tel

      Sometimes I think we’re heading towards a world like that in the re-booted Battlestar Galactica…..where our reliance on software-wireless tech will doom us and force us back to landlines etc when the people who are better at it bring us to our knees at a single stroke!

      Reply
        1. el_tel

          Yep. Landlines beat cells/wifi …. as we may learn painfully from a country like China should we stop playing nice at all…..

          Reply
    2. Llewelyn Moss

      Add to that the big US Tech Cos that do work for the military have offshored most of their software development jobs. And a favorite destination for those jobs is China. How comforting.

      Reply
    3. carycat

      The use of H1-Bs, if not outright off-shoring for software development is pervasive in large US business concerns. I can’t imagine the MIC is not doing the same as they are even more TBTF and draw from the same “talent” pool. I am sure all the high priced consultants have also pushed Agile as the development methodology even when this weaponized version of kick the can down the road is not appropriate (even in the commercial space, Agile may be good for fussing with some web site that is not business critical and changes at a whim but not for necessarily good for some big complicated hairball where bugs have serious consequences. Quality has a higher first cost, so any share holder value maximizing organization is going to provide as little as it can get away with. Since TPTB are all about profits, and multi-million projects have lots of inertia, don’t expect to see much substantive change.

      Reply
    4. JTMcPhee

      One might come to think that, whether consciously or not, all those high tech weapons systems the Empire has been fielding are not actually intended to be used, to “wage war” and “achieve victory over the foe.” Rather than just catalyzing the generation of “sovereign dollars to cram into corrupt pockets.

      Most folks have this very simplistic and “heroic” view of the Vast Military Eterprise, which given the scope of the wealth transfer into “War is nothing but a racket” activities, is just an amazing success on the all-important, “Stand Up For The National Anthem Watch The Jets Fly By Over The Field of Football Combat” PR front. At last count, what was it, $7 trillion that the Pentagram has simply disappeared into who knows where? On top of $14 trillion that can be sort of accounted for in pursuing all the Holy Imperial Conflicts here and everywhere? And corruption is endemic and one might venture to call it pandemic in the Great Globe-Spanning Imperial Military. But the belief in the Holy Imperial Soldiery That Protects Our Holy Homeland (NOT) By Bleeding It Out.

      And as to H1-Bs, how many of them, by natural inclination or at the point of some “encouragement” from their home governments, assist in the technology transfer and worm-from-within backdooring and such? Bear in mind that the State Department and Pentagram cooperate in approving “contracts” for all kinds of deliveries of weapons and actual technology transfers to questionable “allies” like the Saudi brutal state and of course Israel (which also does its own covert espionage on the Empire and steals tecnhology from the Empire and the supranational corporations that drain the real economy within it, left and right.

      A little vignette: The Air Force and Army were once sort of part of the same entity. Since the split in the late ‘40s, the Air Force worked hard to strip all fixe-wing aircraft out of the Army’s Table of Organization and Equipment — both transport, liaison and artillery spotting, ground attack and the rest. The Army had a lot of fixed-wing pilots not very interested in flying around in helicopters, “20,000 vibrating parts flying in loose formation,”capped by the “Jesus nut” that holds the rotor head to the rotor mast, loss of which allows one to say “Jesus” befor impacting the ground. Many of said Army pilots liked fixed-wing speed and the ability to perform aerobatics like loops and rolls and inverted flight, Earlier helicopters had to maintain a positive G-load on the rotor disk or the blades would smash into the fuselage. So when the Joint Chiefs internal internecine warfare was done, the Air Force won. So the Army brass just had to have helicopters that could do aerobatics. So they gave maybe $250 million to Lockheed to produce a “rigid-rotor” aircraft that would go faster than the “90 knots and shake your fillings out” performance of most Army helps like the UH-1. The Brass got their toy, but from Wiki, the eulogy, at the end of the article on the XH-51 program:

      To meet the US Army’s “Advanced Aerial Fire Support System” programme for an attack helicopter, Lockheed designed a rigid rotor compound helicopter with a pusher tail-mounted propellor which was ordered into production as the Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne attack helicopter. However technical problems led first to delays then to a suspension of production. Compounded by inter-service rivalry and political issues the Cheyenne was cancelled completely in 1972 and it was Lockheed’s last helicopter.

      The current global system in all its manifold parts and transactions, of “trade” and consumption and profit-and-dominion-centric violence. Becomes ever more clearly murderous and suicidal for our and a lot of other species and the habitability of the biosphere.

      Why the mass stupidity regarding all this? Why does it continue? Why is the Imperial military the largest consumer of carbon combustibles on the planet, to do WHAT, again, in the human political economy? Is there any way out of this Klein bottle short of burning the “oikos” down and completing the “geoengineering” that the Industrial Revolution had caused? And now the Techies, in addition to all the raping of our “data” and desecration of our lives, have it in mind to “fix the problem” by Great Ideas like, say, triggering “Artificial Volcanoes” to “cool the planet” like Pinatubo and Krakatoa did. You know that some supranational corporation and/or Big Government Agency will be doing this “for the good of humanity…” or “seeding” the atmosphere with iron or aluminum or sulfur — “chemtrails” for real, eh? https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/10/science/geoengineering-climate-change-global-warming.html

      Effing stupid humans. Seems “teh stupid” cannot be fixed, at least at planetary scale. And we got no Kwisatz Haderach to pull it all together, perceive the path to the future, and force us onto it — though even Frank Herbert could not imagine a good ending to the saga he created… some stuff about Chani and Jessica talking about how “history” would treat them well even though they were just concubines. And the subsequent volumes in the series wandered off into strangeness and proving that even a God-Emperor can’t fix teh stupid and corruption and venality…

      Reply
      1. Mark Pontin

        JT McPhee: One might come to think that, whether consciously or not, all those high tech weapons systems the Empire has been fielding are not actually intended to be used, to “wage war” and “achieve victory over the foe.”

        Think Phil Dick, not Frank Herbert.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Zap_Gun

        ‘The Zap Gun is a 1967 science fiction novel by American author Philip K. Dick …set in a then-future 2004. There is still a (theoretical) Cold War between the United States and its allies and the Soviet Union and its allies. At the elite governmental level, however, both “sides” have secretly come to an agreement. They have decided that … they will pretend to be constantly developing new weapons, which are then … transformed into novel but baroque consumer products ….’

        ‘Most weapon designers are mediums, who create their new designs in trance states. Design of weapons are extracted telepathically from a motion comic book, The Blue Cephalopod Man from Titan, created by mad Italian artist Oral Giacomini.

        One Wes-Bloc weapons designer, Lars Powderdry … is depressed that his industry is little more than a fraud, as none of his “weapons” are functional, having become fashion items instead …There is a further subplot about a conspiracy theorist, who is elected as an “average man” to the governing body of Wes-Bloc ….’

        And so on.

        Reply
      2. Lambert Strether

        Speaking of squillionaires with bright ideas:

        “Intended” is doing a lot of work, there. But apparently the 1% really believes this.

        Reply
  7. pablonium

    Re: Amazon patents Alexa tech to tell if you’re sick, depressed and sell you meds Ars Technica

    Maybe Bezos was reading Forster:

    “Kuno,” she said, “I cannot come to see you. I am not well.”

    Immediately an enormous apparatus fell on to her out of the ceiling, a thermometer was automatically laid upon her heart. She lay powerless. Cool pads soothed her forehead. Kuno had telegraphed to her doctor.

    So the human passions still blundered up and down in the Machine. Vashti drank the medicine that the doctor projected into her mouth, and the machinery retired into the ceiling.

    The Machine Stops“, E.M. Forster, 1909

    Reply
  8. Wukchumni

    Goooooood Mooooooorning Fiatnam!

    The F-35 was the designated workhorse as far as keeping questionable jobs aloft, and struck terra (only once so far) into the heart of the operation, but in for a penny in for a pounding seemed penny ante, ’cause we’re talking about a veritable shitlode of pennies, to keep the Edsel of the air flying.

    Reply
      1. Unna

        Here’s the Su35. My understanding is that the Su35 is Russia’s now main fighter aircraft. best part after 2:30 min.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfYElZi9QTk

        See also the Su47 forward swept wing experimental fighter on you tube. Now, while you swing a glittery object suspended from a chain before your eyes repeat slowly: “Russia is a gas station with a flag….Facebook is our future.”

        Canada needs some new fighters. Maybe our very own Freeland person can go over to Russia and sweet talk Putin into selling us some Su35’s. Oh! She’s not allowed to travel there.

        Reply
        1. Lambert Strether

          I thought I’d try to find out whether the SU-35 was aerodynamically stable. Wikipedia:

          More importantly, when working with the relaxed-stability design and the accompanying fly-by-wire flight-control system, the aerodynamic layout improved aircraft’s manoeuvrability; it enabled the aircraft to briefly fly with its nose past the vertical while maintaining forward momentum. Because of this, theoretically, during combat the pilot could pitch the Su-27M up 120 degrees in under two seconds and fire missiles at the target.[

          What we are seeing in the above video, which is impressive. Relaxed stability:

          In aviation, relaxed stability is the tendency of an aircraft to change its attitude and angle of bank spontaneously. An aircraft with relaxed stability will oscillate in simple harmonic motion around a particular attitude at an increasing amplitude.[citation needed]

          This can be contrasted with the behaviour of an aircraft with positive stability, which, when trimmed to fly at a certain attitude, will continue to do so in the absence of control input, and if perturbed will oscillate in simple harmonic motion on a decreasing scale around and eventually return to the trimmed attitude.[citation needed] A positively stable aircraft will also resist any bank movement. A Cessna 152 is an example of a stable aircraft. Similarly, an aircraft with neutral stability will not return to its trimmed setting without control input, but will oscillate in a stable simple harmonic motion around the trimmed setting continuously, neither increasing nor decreasing oscillation amplitude,

          Although I don’t suppose we’ll be sending Cessnas into battle anytime soon. What I wanted to find out was if the SU-35 could still be effective if all the electronics and computer gizmos got zapped. Apparently not. Russia likes to build rugged, so they must be well-protected…

          Reply
  9. The Rev Kev

    “Why miniature horses make such great service animals”

    Don’t get me wrong as I like horses and we even have a coupla miniatures here but – and you knew there was going to be a but – this is just plain nuts. Picture it. You are at 35,000 feet (10,000 meters) when suddenly there is severe turbulence-

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvEafYHoeFc

    If Fancy Dancer or Glitter Bug isn’t drugged to the gills, then you have a prospect of a panicking animal that at the very least is weighing in at 150 pounds (70 kilograms) charging and cavorting up and down the aisles. Don’t tell me that they can’t kick as they can. Who is responsible if they injure someone? Does that come under liability futures?
    Sorry, but in my church Flight Safety is held as Sacred text and this is just begging for trouble. The mind boggles at how that TV program “Air Crash Investigation” would cover it.

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      This can only escalate to the point where some neo-Noah-nutter brings on a cavalcade of paired service animals, and when the stewardess comes by offering a glass of water, he’ll mutter something in regards to a great flood below.

      Reply
    2. JohnnySacks

      The mind boggles on many levels. I get to deal with horse urine and feces in my (very expensive) travels, the airlines have made it official: have the pleasures and amenities of horse and buggy travel at 35,000 feet.

      Reply
    3. blennylips

      Animals Make Us Human: Creating the Best Life for Animals
      Temple Grandin & Catherine Johnson

      4: Horses
      THE HORSE IS AN animal that survives in the wild by fleeing and kicking at predators that are attacking it. A horse is all about flight, and fear is the dominant emotion.

      …flight, as in fleeing, not flying…

      There are two basic behavior types in these animals: cattle and sheep, which bunch together for safety, and horses, deer, and antelopes, which use flight for survival—basically, the bunchers and the flee-ers. That’s an important distinction to know because flight animals are more skittish and startle more easily than prey animals that bunch, which makes them easy to traumatize.1 Horses are much more flighty than cows, sheep, or goats. What sets off both bunching and fleeing is novel rapid movement, meaning a sudden, unfamiliar, and fast movement the animal isn’t expecting or hasn’t seen before.

      Reply
      1. Steve H.

        Interesting in itself, and then thinking about the F-35. The ‘Fat Duck’ only has one elite function, which is the alleged command capacity. This means it is never supposed to operate by itself. It’s not fast enough, nor maneuverable enough, nor small enough, nor stealthy enough, to escape an elite agent of any of those functions. It has meat in the cockpit, which makes it too heavy for future infighting. It’s too expensive to put anywhere near a random RPG, so saying it can replace the Warthog is impossibly idiotic, that’s got to be trolling. But put it in the middle of a pack, controlling drone swarms doing the dirty work, and it might barely make sense. Until you realize that it’s a primate sensing in tenths of a second on a microsecond battlefield.

        So like the horse on the plane, it’s a twitchy scared unit in the midst of an occupied space. Expect sacrificial lambs and friendly fire from the flying sardine can.

        Reply
    4. Katniss Everdeen

      I’m not paying up for any airline flight with a horse on it. I don’t care how “small” it is or how “calm” it keeps its owner. I choose my flights based on the availability of aisle seats, and I’m not going to make a trip with a horse’s ass in my face for four hours, petite though it may be.

      If that makes me an anti-equine microaggressor, then so be it.

      Same goes for any type of rodent, reptile or bird. I don’t like being up close and personal with those things on the ground, and the prospect of being smashed up against one for hours in the confines of a plane, well, just not gonna do it.

      If airlines are going to allow this, they’d better put some sort of notification on their reservations page that you’re reserving a seat in the livestock car.

      Reply
      1. lyman alpha blob

        Well you are a microagressor because your comment has really triggered me. I think I need to take the rest of the day off now to try to recover. Anybody know a safe space that serves gin and tonics?

        Reply
      2. JB

        I was on a flight from DC to Seattle to meet up with some friends for a vacation (see a couple concerts, and go camping). One of the passengers brought a cat onboard. This was not announced to the rest of the passengers. About an hour into the flight, someone had an allergy attack, couldn’t breath, and had to lie down in the aisle with an oxygen mask to breath. Pretty scary situation, she was allergic to cats, and had no idea there was one on the flight. We made an emergency landing in Detroit, which caused a four-hour delay in our arrival into Seattle. By the time I landed at Sea-Tac, the show at the Crocodile Cafe was half over so I didn’t even bother. There should be a policy that when animals are brought on flights, all passengers are notified ahead of time. I regularly see dogs and cats on board and think to myself ‘hope no one is allergic!’.

        Reply
    5. Jack Parsons

      Old news- these guys have been around for awhile.
      The guide dog industry tried to make dogs the only legal guide animal, to freeze out the horse faction.

      And, yes, they’re house trained.

      Reply
      1. el_tel

        Come on you know (s)he was wanting someone to post that! I love it and can watch anywhere but you probably should have added “NSFW” ;-)

        Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          Thanks el-tel – I should have added a language alert. Frankly I have never wanted to see that film. I prefer the Epic version instead.

          Reply
          1. el_tel

            TBH It wasn’t the language – though as a Brit I curse more than the typical North American and love UK network shows that would NEVER be shown on US network TV (Graham Norton’s original Channel 4 show spring to mind!) – the uncovered boobs in the first few mins would not raise an eyebrow to a UK HR manager but might raise a few to one in an American company….!

            Reply
            1. The Rev Kev

              Agree with you there. As an Aussie I have a tendency to use original Anglo-Saxon words from time to time too. It has never ceased to amaze me though that Americans as a group can be the most laid-back, liberal, shoot-the-breeze people that you could come across and yet their corporations act like 16th century Puritans, especially their media companies.

              Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Somewhere on Biscayne Blvd
        Was a python in somebody’s yard
        Wrapped around her torso only more so
        A desperate hand wave
        The only signal she gave

        Burma Slave

        Reply
        1. newcatty

          I am here to speak up for snakes, of land or sea, horses, miniature or full size, rodents and birds! Taking any of these beings on a plane to satisfy the so called emotional needs for any human to be “supported ” while flying on a plane is one of the most selfish and negligent acts of human exploitation of animals ever. Really, the little horses are not the same as those, mostly, little foo foo dogs who sit on their owners’ laps. I like horses, birds, dogs and cats. I appreciate the niches of serpents and (ughhh) rats in ecosystems. To force horses to be on a plane is iust cruel. Like I need another reason to not fly, as much as possible, anymore.

          Reply
          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Does anyone ever ask if the snake fears flying?

            It’s totally inconsiderate…will likely not be comforted due to bad karma.

            Reply
  10. Carolinian

    That’s a grim Texas Tribune report on the Permian Basin. I’m familiar with the area and have even camped at the mentioned Balmorhea State Park. The gist is that the fracked oil now being produced is unsuitable for US refineries and is sold overseas while back in the region the environmental problems are intense. And–since the gas byproduct is mostly flared off–they are also bad for the rest of us via AGW.

    So in other words the Texans are trading environment and groundwater for money and it doesn’t even help to make the US energy independent. It also of course adds to the global warming problem by adding more oil to the mix–the opposite of what is needed. A better example of the social illogic of capitalism would be hard to come by.

    Reply
    1. Linden S.

      People who advocate for acting on climate change should always hammer on the horrible human and ecological health damages of the fossil fuel economy not associated with warming. Even without warming there would be people in the year 2300 working to clean up the damage we are doing now. I could only make it halfway through the article, I cannot imagine how the people who have lived there their whole lives must feel.

      Reply
      1. newcatty

        Linden,
        This is a key to getting more Americans’ attention. The effects of global warming are here now. To many people it is a fact, based on scientific research. The recent hurricanes in this country would seem to be evidence. The intensity of these hurricanes with inevitable flooding, as well as severe wind damage are literally right in front of us. While watching, for example, PBS coverage on News Hour, we actually heard the anchor , of the moment, say out loud that the warmer ocean water contributed to the intensity of the cat 4 (just “shy” of a cat 5) hurricane. People may still choose to be in denial of global warming or else just rejecting “elite” so called scientists and environmentalist tree huggers. But, what is becoming clear is that

        “People who advocate for acting on climate change should always hammer on the horrible human and ecological health damages of the fossil fuel economy not associated with warming.”

        This is crucial in helping to counter the current propaganda that stark statements about the urgent need to change policies at the federal level to support renewables and energy efficiencies are just fear mongering. The pollution of extracting, transporting and burning fossil fuels is reason enough to stop it. Add to that , the pollution of auto and trucking emissions on the highways and byways. Add to that the poisoning of big ag with herbicide and pesticide usage in our food supplies. Add to that the toxic legacies of concentrated huge “farms” for producing pigs and chickens for residents and waterways. Add those coal ash “ponds” breaking or leaking into waterways, too. We could go on with more examples, of course…

        Reply
        1. WobblyTelomeres

          Those storm surges gave physical form to the octogenarian’s (Koch, Adelson, Murdoch, et al.) freedom cry, “Après moi, le déluge”.

          Reply
          1. purelily@cox.net

            The peasants who are left after the floods can just eat whatever cake is in the care packages at the “shelters”. Maybe, be lucky to get some freedom fries in a “hot meal”.

            Reply
    2. Katniss Everdeen

      “Grim” would seem to be an understatement.

      It’s almost impossible not to see the situation in this country in terms of “two americas.” Not political red and blue, though that’s what they’d like you to believe, but geographical–the vast, flyover middle and the elite, coastal “edges.”

      It’s becoming increasingly obvious that the “middle” will be sacrificed to maintain the illusion of “robust” economic “prosperity” through deindustrialization and agricultural and energy exports, thereby keeping the gravy train going for those cloistered on the periphery. The majority of the middle kingdom beggars have been left no other choice than to accept their fate, and they have been relentlessly conditioned to see it as their own fault as well.

      I couldn’t help but remember quintessential economist larry summers’ learned musings, from a link here two days ago, as he road tripped “across the country”:

      ” Much of the land we saw not only was uninhabited but also seemed to be put to little economic use……”

      http://larrysummers.com/2018/10/09/36229/

      Reply
      1. JBird4049

        Much of the uninhabited landscape is the creation of the jobless economic landscape that Larry Summers’ class’ FIRE economy has created. No economy means no jobs, which means no inhabitants, which means an empty wasteland.

        Somehow I don’t think the man is ever going to make the connection.

        Reply
      2. JBird4049

        Much of the uninhabited landscape is the creation of the jobless economic landscape that Larry Summers’ class’ FIRE economy has created. No economy means no jobs, which means no inhabitants, which means an empty wasteland.

        Reply
    3. Olga

      I posted the link yesterday @ Water Cooler, so glad it found its way to Links. But the funny thing is how I found it – it was not because of looking at the TT. What came across my many energy links was a (substance-free) response by the state’s oil/gas lobby group (and then another):
      “A Texas Alliance of Energy Producers Response to Texas Tribune By Alliance President John Tintara Our West Texas oil fields are the focus of recent reporting that, from the perspective of the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers, is at best one-sided.”
      Yes, pointing to environmental destruction that affects all is one-sided, indeed. On the other side are fat profits for a few, but we don’t talk about that in polite society.

      Reply
    4. Xihuitl

      I was at a stakeholders’ meeting at the Galveston District headquarters of the Corps of Engineers last winter. There was a presentation about the massive work being done to enlarge and upgrade the Port of Corpus Christi in order to handle the booming business of shipping oil out of the Permian Basin to the rest of the world.

      The next presentation was about how much work needed to be done to protect ports and other facilities from sea level rise.

      Reply
      1. Bern

        I’ve seen a couple reports about fracking to this ^^^ effect. The wells run, they shut down. They run, they shut down. The money flows, the money dries up. I think it might just be a way to dump some excess cash while soaking up the tax deduction…

        Reply
  11. The Rev Kev

    “A hundred years ago a ship sunk in the Irish Sea, causing more than 500 deaths – here’s what its legacy can teach us about Brexit”: ‘An independent Ireland which deliberately erased its First World War history after its brutal war for freedom has only in recent decades felt able to acknowledge its people’s sacrifice in British uniform’

    Not only was the First World War erased from Irish memory. During the Second World War about 60,000 Irish volunteered to fight the Nazis, 5,000 of whom had deserted the Irish Army to do so. After the war these men were ostracized in Irish society and it got really bad for them. Nobody wanted to know them. In fact, it was only about five years ago that the Irish government issued a pardon for their “desertion”. For those interested, here are two links on this sad story-

    https://www.irishcentral.com/opinion/others/the-irish-world-war-ii-shame-irish-soldiers-faced-hostility-after-arriving-home-153574625-238132961

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/10041215/Ireland-pardons-Second-World-War-soldiers-who-left-to-fight-Nazis.html

    Reply
    1. el_tel

      Many thanks – exactly the sort of information on the wider issue that we need. It kinda fills in gaps in my family history for one. My paternal grandfather immigrated to the UK from what became Eire as a kid. He fought in the battle of Caen – a battle that was one of the worst killing fields in WW2 on the western front. The Allies resorted to bombing the cr*p out of everything when it became clear the ground troops were not going to secure Caen (and thus Normandy) soon after D-Day, killing loads of Brits/Americans/Canadians and other allied troops.

      My grandfather always told my father and his siblings that he “didn’t do much in WW2” – twas only when in delirium close to death that he recounted the horrors of his friends being dismembered by RAF/USAF bombs. Something he’d – ironically – told me 10 years previous when I chatted as a 16 year old about, following a youth orchestra tour there and our visit to the Peace Museum. Turns out I was the first person he’d ever revealed the true horror of it all to – and how he was desperate to show he was “a Good Brit”, having been born in the 26 counties. I regret to this day never being truly aware of the significance of what he said and its historical context. OK he wasn’t an “Irish deserter” officially (having become a British citizen) but his obvious PTSD was clearly partially rooted in his heavily submerged Irish loyalty and feeling that he “had to be a Good Brit”.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Picked up “The 100 Best True Stories Of World War 2” @ a thrift store book parking lot sale for 2 bits, and it was published in 1945, so the horrors are really fresh and largely untold.

        Imagine being a reporter on board the Repulse as it’s being attacked and sunk by the Japanese air force, and living to tell the tale?

        Reply
        1. el_tel

          Yeah the untold stories are heart-breaking….and probably often because the key players have what we now know to be PTSD, My grand-dad went into the police force after the war (understandable – but he saw the 1953 “North Sea Flood” which did nothing for his mental well-being) and also worked his way up to bank manager…..all very “middle class British jobs”…..whilst none of his family til me knew the horrors he saw – and I didn’t even appreciate it properly at the time *sigh*

          Reply
  12. Big River Bandido

    The Rolling Stone article is a shameful whitewash. The MMA was a corrupt bargain — over the summer cut the negotiators cut all but the Kanye Wests of the business out of the deal. The American Federation of Musicians pulled the plug on its support over the summer for being a goody-grab by the biggest fish. In short, the bill is a gift to a bunch of aging rockers and their lawyers, and no one else. And Rolling Stone should know better.

    I am just praying that the bill did not surreptitiously extend copyright protections for the giants yet again.

    Reply
    1. diptherio

      What, you mean like this?

      …H.R. 1551…accomplishes three key things: making sure songwriters and artists receive royalties on songs recorded before 1972;

      Reply
  13. Wukchumni

    1, 2, 3, 4

    Well the war was now seventeen
    You know what I mean
    And the way it looked
    Was way beyond repair

    So how could we depart & have conflict with another,
    Oh, when KBR had standing there
    Well Halliburton looked at fees
    And they, they could see
    That before too long
    They’d fall in love de rigueur
    They wouldn’t dalliance with another
    Oh, when they had standing there

    Well war profits went boom
    When we crossed into the ‘stan box room
    And they held their hands out every time

    Oh they danced through the night
    And they held their money tight
    And before too long
    They fell in love with harm

    Now why be a sutler with another
    Oh, when they had standing there
    Well the war profits went boom
    When we crossed that Rubicon into doom
    And they held their hands out each time

    Oh they danced through the night
    And they held onto to manna tight
    And before too long
    They fell in love with harm
    Now why have a dalliance with another
    Oh, when they have standing there
    Oh, since they have standing there
    Yeah, well as long as they have standing there

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckYKnZSNEqc

    Reply
  14. Wukchumni

    Hello, wall – (hello) (hello)
    How’d things go for you today
    Don’t you miss funding
    Since the house walked away
    And I’ll bet you dread to spend
    Another lonely night with me
    Lonely wall
    I’ll keep you company

    Hello, window of opportunity- (hello) (hello)
    Well I see that you’re still here
    Aren’t you lonely
    Since my shutdown threat disappeared
    Well, look here, is that a drop of support
    In the corner of your pane
    Now, don’t you try
    To tell me that it’s refrain

    HRC went away and left me all alone
    The way she planned
    Guess we’ll have to learn to get along
    Without her if we can;

    Hello, fiscal ceiling – (hello) (hello)
    I’m gonna stare at you awhile
    You know I can’t sleep
    So won’t you bear with me awhile
    We must all stick together or else
    I’ll lose my mind
    I’ve got a feelin’
    This will be going on a long, long time.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWJaDunIwSY

    Reply
  15. The Rev Kev

    “Facebook, Twitter Purge More Dissident Media Pages In Latest Escalation”

    RT has a good page on the top 10 alt-media pages that were banned by mentioning their basic stats. Interestingly enough, half of them were pages that were dedicated to watching the police and its misdeeds. Both Facebook and Twitter must have a coordination center somewhere. Article at-

    https://www.rt.com/usa/441075-facebook-twitter-banned-accounts/

    Reply
  16. Wukchumni

    Donner party of 87, we are ready to (s)eat you…

    One of my favorite authors: George Stewart, wrote the classic tome on the Donners kebab: Ordeal By Hunger, he was a masterful writer of the west.

    Sometime in the mid 80’s somebody found about 600 of these in an attic in nearby Grass Valley, Ca. and donated them to the Donner Museum, and when I visited the museum they were selling them for $15 a piece and I bought 3 of them, and gave a couple away, and now i’ll see them selling on the internets for $420, note to self-should have bought more.

    https://www.cowanauctions.com/lot/donner-party-relic-souvenir-893453

    The most interesting thing in the museum as far as I was concerned, was a photo of the Donner Party silver coins discovered in 1891 (their gold stash has never been found) and it represented the coins that would have been in circulation in 1846 in the USA, and about half of them were silver dollar sized coins of different countries, as we were much more reliant on OPM back then.

    http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/treasure-legends/118797-donner-party-money-may-16-1891-a.html

    Reply
  17. HotFlash

    WRT Facebook deleting Facebook pages *and* the personal profiles of the authors, well da-yum. I am so envious! I have deleted my FB page twice, years ago and years apart, with *no* activity since (playing ‘possum), except the second deletion. But I still get the prompt from some sites ‘Sign in with Facebook’ with my username and (apparently) my password pre-filled, even though I have deleted *that* from Firefox.

    Reply
  18. tokyodamage

    The Matt Stoller article is amazing! It’s crazy that we let the TSA scan our genitals, and let the Border patrol stop all cars on the road 100 miles away from the border, and let the NSA read Grandma’s emails. . . all in the name of ‘national security’ . . .

    meanwhile nobody even cares about the real threat!

    our entire economy is dependent on China. And China can use the profits to buy up our companies. And our big tech firms and our military are giving China the blueprints for our devices so China can make them cheaply. . .

    and any rich foreign oligarch can buy an American company and funnel millions of their own money through that company into American campaign ads, via a dark money PAC.

    China could cripple us without firing a shot, but we’re busy debating about kanye. Sure.

    It’s like the old thing about “the capitalist will sell the revolutionary the rope that is used to hang him”, except there are no revolutionaries anymore, so the american capitalists are selling the chinese capitalists the blueprints for the rope.

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      We’ve been using an MSR Pocket Rocket stove in the backcountry for about 20 years now, it’s the bomb and hardly weighs anything and fits into a triangular plastic case that indestructible. They cost around $40.

      A friend has been buying brand x ones that weigh half as much and cost $4, and the fit isn’t as good, and it seems flimsier, but for well over a year now, it’s worked a-ok.

      Now the kicker is, both are made in China. An odd race to the bottom.

      Reply
      1. homeroid

        Now you have made me go into the shop and digout my MSR of thirty+ years.
        The bottle was made in Canada, the burner assembly is not marked. Could be tricky to make as a dyi thing. Have not used it for 15+ years and thanks to you i found it half full of diesel. Would be interesting to try used deep fryer oil in it.
        When TSHTF could be a great resource. Hard to cook though when every thing smells of fish+chips.

        Reply
    2. cnchal

      > It’s crazy that we let the TSA scan our genitals, and let the Border patrol stop all cars on the road 100 miles away from the border, and let the NSA read Grandma’s emails. . .

      Full spectrum dominance? The fatuously named Patriot Act should be called the “Cancerous growth of the Police State Act”.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        And in turn the British stole a lot of their technology from the Continent to get their start such as in mining and weaving. Centuries before, Elizabeth I invited in German miners into England to teach the locals about new mining techniques and a lot ended up settling in Cornwall.

        Reply
    3. Jeremy Grimm

      The Matt Stoller article is amazing — Barry Lynn’s “Cornered” came out in 2007 and was preceded by his book”End of the Line” and Stohler writes about Cornered as though it were recent. Why all this sudden concern about China when recent events in Puerto Rico make crystal clear the dangers inherent in long supply chains, single sources, and other instabilities deeply embedded in the US economy — as well as the economies of much of the world. The US is heavily dependent on the continued flow of shipping, trucking and rail lines. The number and severity of natural disasters in increasing, further increasing supply-line risks. Our economy has been dismantled at a local, state, even national level as Corporate powers assembled international cartels. I suppose better late than never but why now? Why are we suddenly worried about the structural flaws in our collapsing economic systems? Are we nearing some critical juncture?

      Reply
    4. Olga

      I usually like M Stoller, but find this article plain-bizarre. At best it is totally tone-deaf, at worst …well, there are many options. Matt does not seem to comprehend that what we’re seeing now regarding China is nothing more than a variation on Lenin’s scenario of “capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.” Except in this case, the capitalist willingly transferred all know-how to China, and China will use it to undo the capitalist. Simple… and predicted more than 100 years ago.
      If Matt knew his Marx, he’d know that a capitalist will always seek to reduce his/her cost and seek more profit. All too often, this means reducing expenditures on labour. There is nothing mysterious about it. Additionally, das kapital wants to have no restrictions on its movement. It is now a capital-without-borders, and it has no national allegiance.
      Where is this US patriotic capital that will suddenly back a strong state? I don’t see it. That train has left the station long ago and it ain’t coming back. No “different congressional majority or future administration” can do it, since any such action would interfere with profits a bit too much.
      In his nice dream, Matt does not see that it is this very capital that has helped to create the dystopian reality we all live in. It will not change (of course, there is always the MBS way of locking folks up in a hotel room and shaking them down).

      Reply
  19. Wukchumni

    Never mind the brickbats, but if you write 1,000 pages in regards to the future, some of might just turn out to be completely on target…

    And this is the book Paul Ryan et al adore, eh?

    “Then you will see the rise of the double standard – the men who live by force, yet count on those who live by trade to create the value of their looted money – the men who are the hitchhikers of virtue. In a moral society, these are the criminals, and the statutes are written to protect you against them. But when a society establishes criminals-by-right and looters-by-law – men who use force to seize the wealth of disarmed victims – then money becomes its creators’ avenger. Such looters believe it safe to rob defenseless men, once they’ve passed a law to disarm them. But their loot becomes the magnet for other looters, who get it from them as they got it. Then the race goes, not to the ablest at production, but to those most ruthless at brutality. When force is the standard, the murderer wins over the pickpocket. And then that society vanishes, in a spread of ruins and slaughter.

    “Do you wish to know whether that day is coming? Watch money. Money is the barometer of a society’s virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion – when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing – when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors – when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you – when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice – you may know that your society is doomed. Money is so noble a medium that it does not compete with guns and it does not make terms with brutality. It will not permit a country to survive as half-property, half-loot.”

    Francisco d’Anconia

    Reply
  20. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    ‘Life Without Plastic: The Practical Step-by-Step Guide to Avoiding Plastic to Keep Your Family and the Planet Healthy’ (book review) TreeHugger

    Can life be completely without plastic?

    Some may take it lightly, but for others, plastic surgery gives them their dignity back.

    Reply
  21. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Is there such a thing as too much Trump? Politico

    ————

    All things in moderation….a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

    Yes, even Hillary.

    Reply
  22. Jean

    “Michelle’s new Global Girl’s Alliance on International Day of the Girl on Oct. 11”

    Young black [and white] men are going to be more likely to vote for Trump when they hear about this, especially after the Kanye West appearance in the Oval Office.

    Reply
  23. Wukchumni

    In what nobody could have foresaw since the 70’s and anything AMF was involved in, we are proud to announce the merger of the Air Force & Tesla as one unit. Both vehicles can keep up with one another for most of the duration of the runway, so it’s a good sync of even more money.

    The new model will go with the designation F-35D, and this one comes with a cupholder.

    Reply
  24. Oregoncharles

    “Rewriting reproduction: With stem cells and CRISPR, scientists breed mice with same-sex parents Stat”

    FEMALE same-sex parents. At least in mammals, female is the default sex. That seems, if I understand it, to be just a quirk of genetics (other types of animals have very different systems), but may be driven by the fact that males are expendable.

    They got babies from male-male crossings, too, but they had to use denucleated eggs and the results weren’t viable. Face it, guys: we just aren’t that important.

    Reply
    1. Unna

      Men are culturally and spiritually important. So they shouldn’t see their sole worth as materials for reproduction. Shocking opinion, I know. But then, as a “pagan” so to speak, I’m permitted to say these things.

      Reply
        1. Unna

          I think I understand. But it’s a hard thing to explain. Animism brings the world to life along with all which that implies – a different relationship to everything. Maybe the most original human understanding. Even for us, in our times, if it’s a chosen perspective or a willed state of mind, that may be enough.

          Reply
      1. Plenue

        Don’t know what ‘spiritually’ is supposed to mean, it’s just gibberish to me, but of course they’re culturally important: culture developed with men existing. If human males ceased to exist (and provided humans didn’t go extinct as a result), culture would change and continue on in a different form. If you’re saying from a social standpoint we ‘need’ men, I don’t really see why. And I’m not self-hating or anything. I just don’t particularly define myself based on my junk. I’m me, whatever that entails. If I became a eunuch tomorrow, I would still be me. Whatever value I bring to the culture has little to do with my reproductive organs.

        Reply
  25. Oregoncharles

    “Facebook, Twitter Purge More Dissident Media Pages In Latest Escalation Caitlin Johnstone ”

    Excellent, as usual. About the only thing I could do about this would be to “purge” my personal FB page, which is minimal. I started it because it’s politically useful, and that issue (lure?) remains for the party. And I’ve reconnected with a couple of people over it.

    Still, more and more evil.

    Reply
  26. The Rev Kev

    “Michelle Obama’s vacation is over. Now she’s claiming her own spotlight.”

    Maybe it would be simpler if these days voters chose a President and the wife/husband of them could then serve as Vice-President. It is a coming trend. I notice that throughout the article Michelle is called Obama instead of by her first name. I am not sure if that was a bit of sarc on the part of the writer or if they thought that the Obama brand would be a good thing for her. Big mistake if the later.
    Would people actually vote for her down the track as a Presidential candidate? I think that the Pink Pussy Hat brigade would as they could easily transfer their emotional attachment to Hillary and give it to Michelle. But would people be prepared to see Barry get back into the White House through the back door like Slick Willy tried to do in 2016? Presidents get two bites of the cherry at most but I think that most people would prefer a clean slate than to see that person go through what could be potentially eight further years in the White House.
    That article admits that she is up to her neck in that Presidential Library development and that it is on a micro-management level. And that trait is a bit of a worry too. Also, she does not see (or does not care) about the damage that Library is doing Chicago. In any case, maybe she got tired of being a high-priced arm-bracelet and wants to make her own mark. Either that or her own dash for cash. I think that we are going to be seeing more and more of her as the years go by.

    Reply
    1. Skateman

      Lousy comment.

      Do people want to see Obama(s) come back? Depends who they’re up against. They would wipe the floor with Trump, in my opinion.

      Michele doesn’t see or care about the impact on Chicago of the library? They’re not displacing anyone. Putting something nice in a bad area is one of the biggest problems in urban development. It increases demand for people to want to live near it causing rents to rise. But then should nothing nice ever get built in a bad neighborhood?

      Michele is a high-priced arm bracelet. Are you fucking kidding me? She’s the first First Lady with a post graduate degree – from Harvard law no less.

      Dash for cash? They already have tons of money dumbass.

      Reply
      1. Yves Smith

        Making shit up is a violation of our Site Policies. You have no business attacking a reader when what you offer is warmed-over tripe.

        First, the library is displacing people, as our many Chicago-based readers have described, at length, in comments, as is also confirmed by the Chicago groups working to halt the library.

        But your comment is just a naked justification of how the profits of real estate developers should take precedence over community needs and priorities. The very sort of real estate play that you are advocating hurt Chicagoans while bringing the Obamas and Valerie Jarret to power, by having them serve as the black faces of a well financed effort to move the black neighborhoods of South Chicago three miles further south, without adequately compensating the displaced community members. From our post Exclusive: How Obama’s Early Career Success Was Built on Fronting for Chicago Real Estate and Finance, quoting Robert Fitch (emphasis original):

        What is the common good that tenants and landlords share? Not a lot I can think of. Maybe that the building doesn’t burn down? But some of you remember the ’70s when landlords burned down their buildings in poor neighborhoods to cash in on the insurance.

        The haves and the have-nots have different and opposing interests—landlords want to get rid of rent stabilization; tenants have an interest in keeping it…

        In fact, as Obama knows very well, for most of the last two decades in Chicago there’s been in place a very specific economic development plan. The plan was to make the South Side like the North Side. Which is the same kind of project as making the land north of Central Park like the land south of Central Park. The North Side is the area north of the Loop—Chicago’s midtown central business district—where rich white people live; they root for the Cubs. They’re neighborhood is called the Gold Coast.

        For almost a hundred years in Chicago blacks have lived on the South Side close to Chicago’s factories and slaughter houses. And Cellular Field, home of the White Sox. The area where they lived was called the Black Belt or Bronzeville—and it’s the largest concentration of African American people in the U.S.—nearly 600,000 people—about twice the size of Harlem…

        But what does this all have to do with Obama? Just this: the area demolished included the communities that Obama represented as a state senator; and the top black administrators, developers and planners were people like Valerie Jarrett—who served as a member of the Chicago Planning Commission. And Martin Nesbitt who became head of the CHA. Nesbitt serves as Obama campaign finance treasurer; Jarrett as co-chair of the Transition Team. The other co-chair is William Daley, the Mayor’s brother and the Midwest chair of JP Morgan Chase—an institution deeply involved in the transformation of inner-city neighborhoods thorough its support for—what financial institutions call “neighborhood revitalization” and neighborhood activists call gentrification.

        If we examine more carefully the interests that Obama represents; if we look at his core financial supporters; as well as his inmost circle of advisors, we’ll see that they represent the primary activists in the demolition movement and the primary real estate beneficiaries of this transformation of public housing projects into condos and townhouses: the profitable creep of the Central Business District and elite residential neighborhoods southward; and the shifting of the pile of human misery about three miles further into the South Side and the south suburbs.

        Second, on top of that, Michele is not the first First Lady to have a graduate degree. Hillary Clinton did, as you ought to know, as did Laura Bush.

        Finally, you are remarkably short on power of observation not to have noticed that people who are wealthy by ordinary Americans standards often want more. Look at the Clintons, who seem to have a voracious appetite for money. Rajat Gupta, who was worth several hundred million dollars, nevertheless engaged in being an insider trader by acting as a tipster and was sentenced to prison.

        The Obamas have been extremely aggressive about monetizing Barack’s status as former president. And they didn’t have the excuse the Clintons had at the outset, of being hugely in debt when the presidency ended.

        Better trolls, please.

        Reply
        1. JBird4049

          We have the Black and the White Misleadership Classes working together to screw the little people. I wonder what Martin Luther King would have thought about his followers going into the “I’m getting mine and to Hades with everyone else.” business?

          It is all part of clutch of excuses that our national and international meritocratic misleadership class uses to justify stealing and destroying. That they “earned it” and what they do will make things better for everyone, that “invisible hand of the (corrupted) market.”

          Reply
          1. Plenue

            This is completely pedantic, but I feel I should point out that Hades doesn’t really work as a ‘fake swear’ version of Hell. Hades was the underworld where everyone went. It was further subdivided into different areas where souls would be dumped based on their behavior in life. Hades contains both Heaven and Hell, basically, with Tartarus being the closest thing to Hell.

            Reply
            1. JBird4049

              No worries. We could use some pendantry since the ongoing dishonest conflating, distorting, and mutilating of language. Seriously.

              Tartarus would be a nice choice although how many people actually know what it is? I already sorta knew but I’m one of those folks who think philosophy including metaphysics as well as the anthropological study of is interesting if not actually fun.

              Reply
      2. skippy

        Remind me of Obama’s pick for Secretary of Commerce and her role in the great predatory sub prime loan scandal that was made full post GFC.

        Reply

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