Links 10/16/18

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You’ve been grating cheese all wrong! Woman is shocked to discover the correct way to use the kitchen gadget – but do YOU know how to do it? Daily Mail. You’re probably hanging your toilet paper the wrong way, too.

Dangerous Rapidly Intensifying Landfalling Hurricanes Like Michael and Harvey May Grow More Common Weather Underground

Who Is the We in “We Are Causing Climate Change”? Slate

The idea that action against climate change will ‘destroy the economy’ couldn’t be more wrong Jared Bernstein, WaPo

‘I leave the car at home’: how free buses are revolutionising one French city Guardian

Setting The Record Straight On Why Fighter Jets Can’t All Simply Fly Away To Escape Storms The Drive (DK).

The Big Blockchain Lie Nouriel Roubini, Project Syndicate. Roubini really hammering this.

BofA Stung by Shadow Banks as Investment-Banking Fees Slip Bloomberg

A pandemic killing tens of millions of people is a real possibility — and we are not prepared for it Vox


No-deal Brexit scenario ‘more likely than ever before’ – Donald Tusk RTE

Brexit: we are where we are EU Referendum

We won’t pull down government… buts there’s plenty we can do: DUP’s Dodds threatens to frustrate May’s government if Brexit deal cuts Northern Ireland off Belfast Telegraph

The short-term economic impact of a no deal Brexit matters too Institute for Government

Macron cabinet reshuffle delayed France24

Germany’s jubilant Greens storm centre-left stage FT

Brazil’s all-corrupt politics Glenn Greenwald & Victor Pougy, Le Monde Diplomatique


As America’s Élite Abandons a Reckless Saudi Prince, Will Trump Join Them? New Yorker. It occurs to me that when I lamented that “I can’t game out the realpolitik” for the Kashoggi affair, I didn’t include one possible driver. Speculating freely: An alliance between an elite faction of Saudis unhappy with MBS and factions within “our own” intelligence community (and its assets in our media). Since nobody’s talking about this, perhaps it’s what’s really going on.

Settling The Khashoggi Case Is A Difficult Matter Moon of Alabama

Turkish police leave Saudi consulate in Istanbul after nine hours: witness Reuters

Trump suggests ‘rogue killers’ murdered Saudi journalist AP. As opposed to “bad apples,” I guess.

Here’s why people are questioning the story that the missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s Apple Watch recorded him being killed Business Insider. That’s too bad. The Apple Watch story was so relatable.

What International Law Tells Us About the Khashoggi Investigation Lawfare

Washington Think Tanks Still Divided On Whether To Return Saudi Donations Over Journalist’s Disappearance Buzzfeed. I’ll bet.

The Moustache of Understanding. Note the venue, the applause, and the laughter:

* * *

As Assad recovers, Syria is returning to stability The Spectator

Army hopeful new combat fitness test will turn the tide of war in Afghanistan Duffel Blog


Recent developments surrounding the South China Sea WaPo

China’s trade war pain can be ASEAN’s gain: how Southeast Asia is reaping a windfall of shifting trade and investment South China Morning Post

Catalyst or catastrophe? Lessons from Asia’s high-speed rail failures Nikkei Asian Review

Low Food Prices Are a Budget Problem for India’s Modi Bloomberg

Trump Transition

Bezos defends big tech co-operation with US military FT. Ka-ching.

Why the Social Security number needs a digital update Federal Times

Pages purged by Facebook were on blacklist promoted by Washington Post WSWS. Well, well.

Democrats in Disarray

Eric Holder talks Rod Rosenstein, His Work with Uber and Airbnb, and His Record Prosecuting Bankers New York Magazine. Presidential hopeful Holder is still at it:

Let’s say there are, I don’t know, bad executives who’ve done inappropriate things. Well, there are shareholders who can be impacted by a decision the government makes, there are other employees who might number in the thousands who could be impacted by a decision that the government makes. Again — doesn’t mean that you’re not taking action. Deferred prosecution agreement typically involves monitoring the activity of the company, having some degree of assurance that the company won’t repeat, that the company’s conduct will change.

“Bad executives who’ve done inappropriate things.” Periodically I run this YouTube of Holder’s deputy, Lanny Breuer:

Breuer: “I think about a lot of things, including justice. Justice is one of the many things that I have to consider.” It is, perhaps, needless to say that this YouTube is a parody….

Nearly Every Member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Still Takes Corporate PAC Money The Intercept

How Hillary Clinton could win in 2020 The Week. Shockingly plausible.

Health Care

No end in sight: EHRs hit hospitals’ bottom lines with uncertain benefits Modern Health Care. Read all the way to the end [puts head in hands].

Class Warfare

Affluent cities gained at expense of Trump’s ‘forgotten’ America study Reuters (EM).

How tech workers became activists, leading a resistance movement that is shaking up Silicon Valley Fast Company

Homelessness in New York Public Schools Is at a Record High: 114,659 Students NYT

Big Tech, big problems FT

Uber’s secret weapon is its team of economists Quartz. So, Uber’s core competency really is public relations?

Did Uber Steal Google’s Intellectual Property? New Yorker

Apple says ‘dangerous’ Australian encryption laws put ‘everyone at risk’ CNET

Living in a Crumbling World (PDF) Valdai Club Annual Report

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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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. emorej a hong kong

    Fixed that for Holder:

    Let’s say there are, I don’t know, bad [Black men] who’ve done inappropriate things. Well, there are [Children, Wives, Parents, Grandparents, Neighbors, medicinal marijuana customers, local merchants, county tax assessors, etc.] who can be impacted by a decision the government makes, there are [prison guards’ jobs, and fire-threatened suburban homes, and understaffed fire-fighting teams, etc.] who might number in the thousands who could be impacted by a decision that the government makes.

    1. Lord Koos

      The former attorney general of the USA feels that “inappropriate” is a better way to describe “illegal”.

      1. Mary Bess

        When “rule of law” is abandoned, nothing is illegal. Trump did not invent this, he perfected it.

  2. ACF

    re why the fighter jets didn’t get out of the way

    The story is very disturbing. Why do we make and own so many aircraft that are clearly unsuitable for “real” war–that is, can’t just get up in the air/go back up in the air as needed, en masse? Is the assumption that a) we’ll never have a “real” war again, a mobilization on the scale of Vietnam b) that we’ll just up the production and enlistment so that all the missing spare parts aren’t and all the complex maintenance is accomplished or c) just an unchecked corporate greed story where complexity and innovation are prized above simplicity and reliability (because those are cheap)? The description in the article of the reality of our planes is nothing like image most people have in mind, I’m sure, from all the movies…

    1. Loneprotester

      It’s worth considering the “high end race car” qualities of these uber-expensive war planes when we talk about why they are now so many unusable parts strewn across the ruined landscape of Panhandle Florida. On the other hand, what moron who actually OWNS such a machine, let alone dozens of them, would leave them parked in hurricane alley, apparently making not even so much as a phone call pricing out flatbed trucks in the days leading up to the storm? I’ll tell you who: someone who doesn’t actually OWN the machines. This one is on the sucker taxpayers. Let THEM buy us new ones.

      1. ACF

        I found the why of the planes being abandoned on site very compelling given the reality of the situation. The issues are those the author asks at the end of the article, but even bigger picture, why are high end race cars the main vision of plane we own?

        1. PlutoniumKun

          There is a lot of politics involved. Virtually everyone (including the USAF) knows that something like the Brazilian Tucano could do most of the real world combat in likely wars (i.e. close air support), and it could well do it much better than supersonic combat aircraft.

          In theory, the F-22 was supposed to be the race car while the F-35 was the pick up truck. Since WWII the ‘ideal’ for air forces was supposed to be small numbers of ‘racehorses’ and large numbers of ‘cavalry horses’ (to use the analogy of Kurt Tank, who designed the Focke-Wulf 190, the ‘cavalry horse’ to the Me 109 ‘racehorse’), but… well, politics, money, everything else.

          1. DK

            I vaguely remembered a discussion about the inadequacies of the F-35 here before, possibly this one from the March 23 2015 Links, about the Swedish Gripen. It seems to me that a plane that can get into the air reliably, and in large numbers, is far better than one that is stuck on the ground waiting for specialised, time-consuming, expensive repair dependent on an abundance of spare parts (and that’s in peacetime on a domestic air force base).

              1. RMO

                How can they see this as anything but good? Now they need to buy more stuff to replace what was lost, probably at an even higher price – there’s unlimited money available for weapons after all! The primary function of these things is to transfer money to the war industries, not to actually fight wars. Looked at in that light it all makes perfect sense.

                RE: The cheese grating/toilet roll hanging debate. I recently saw Dylan Moran perform. When talking about his children he said he’s so far raised them to be able to look at the world and ask “W.T.F.?!?” and is now working on moving them on to the “O.F.F’s.S.!!!” stage. The second stage seems about the right place to be here.

                1. knowbuddhau

                  You can tell a lot about a society by on what will they spend like drunken pharaohs. Objectively speaking, sure looks to me like war is our way of being in the world. We even weaponize information.

                  If it was peace, there’d be unlimited money for that.

                  And remember, no substituting ontogeny for philogeny. Not every society is in the world the way we are.

                  For example, Caral, “the most ancient city of the Americas,” lacked all signs of warfare.

                  Peaceful society

                  No trace of warfare has been found at Caral: no battlements, no weapons, no mutilated bodies. Shady’s findings suggest it was a gentle society, built on commerce and pleasure. In one of the temples, they uncovered 32 flutes made of condor and pelican bones and 37 cornetts of deer and llama bones. One find revealed the remains of a baby, wrapped and buried with a necklace made of stone beads.[5]

                  Dylan Moran: I love it! Thanks. I’m there. At times, I’m even OFFFFFS. Oh for f^qity f^qity f^q f^qs sake. Apparently, there’s no limit on f^qs, either.

      2. Darius

        C’mon! It’s the 21st Century, where everything is phony as a three-dollar bill, and crooked as a pan of sheep’s guts.

        1. Wukchumni

          where everything is phony as a three-dollar bill

          In essence you’re correct, but wrong.

          Not one Federally issued banknote was issued until 1861, and private banks filled the void. Often the bank only existed on paper, er banknotes.

          At the time they were referred to as “Wildcat Notes”.

          A great read on this interesting epoch of economics is Stephen Mihm’s: A Nation Of Counterfeiters.

          Here’s a 1859 three-dollar-bill from the Bank Of Cape Fear, NC

      3. paulmeli

        This one is on the sucker taxpayers. Let THEM buy us new ones.

        Taxpayers don’t print $. Federal taxes don’t fund federal spending.

        … we have been doing a lot of research in the area of social psychology and cognitive psychology (including the use of language and framing) and what becomes clear is that if one leads with a lie, the lie is immediately privileged – Bill Mitchell

        Can we please stop shooting ourselves in the foot?

        Apologies for being a pedant.

        1. JP

          The problem I have with MMT is the political tilt. Repeat the mantra as many times as you want but I think history is replete with examples of sovereign currencies going in the toilet because they were used to bolster policy. We live in a global economy with real accounting equivalencies. There is a reality in which if there is no effort to produce then people will start to starve. Likewise if a society becomes unproductive due to “free” money the money will become worthless

          What we should be demanding is spending on the health of our society and citizens rather then empire. Healthy people are generally productive and vice versa. I am ignoring the strong dollar weak dollar argument here because if there is no product to export then a weak dollar is no help.

          1. JB

            re: spending on the health of our society and citizens rather than empire…If not through aggressive, revolutionary forces or through a significant reform of thought such as acceptance and application MMT, how do you suppose this transpires? Currently, certain industries (e.g., defense) reap the gains of MMT in action, it’s just not assessed using MMT concepts. Using MMT to evaluate U.S. Fed Govt spending and taxation across the board enables an even playing field.

            1. paulmeli

              Whether you are for or against MMT is irrelevant to the argument. Federal taxes do not fund federal spending. Period.

              Your argument is a straw man. You admit MMT is in operation, it’s being mis-used. If we ignore that the problem will go away. A head-in-the-sand argument.

              The political problem you suggest is exacerbated (greatly) by a misunderstanding of how a monetary system works. You seem to be proposing that continued ignorance will help us in our political quest to change the World.

              Good luck with that.

              Basing policy decisions on a lie is not the way forward.

          2. HotFlash

            Absolutely! MMT does not prescribe, it only describes. You are quite correct, if $$ are not spent for the health of society, it is a *political* decision. To me, this is the scariest aspect of MMT. We can have whatever we need, but we will get whatever They want. Well, I suppose, no change there.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Unlike, say, the theory of gravity, which is used to describe how gravity works, though gravity can not be changed (for now), the Modern Money Theory is used to describe our monetary system, which, in this case, can in fact be changed by the people of the country.

              One change I would like to see is to spend money into existence via the people, not never through the government.

              In that case, the government is run like a household, but the people, collectively, never run out of money.

              1. HotFlash

                Well, MLTPB, I could agree with you but I disagree with your metaphor. What I see is millions err billions trillions for ‘defense’ but if you know how gravity works, or understand the heliocentric solar system, *and the other guys don’t*, you can get away with a lot. Also too, it is a great advantage to pretend to not know but use the knowledge anyway. For instance, suppose you knew when there would be an eclipse, convinced the ‘natives’ that the world was ending, then you *YOU* saved it? Could be pretty convincing, IMHO.

                Also, gravity can be weaponized, despite it being non-political.

                1. JB

                  I weaponize gravity on a daily basis, and unleash it on myself. I’m reminded whenever I look in the mirror.

                2. paulmeli


                  …if you know how gravity works, or understand the heliocentric solar system, *and the other guys don’t*

                  In an attempt to undermine my argument you’ve helped make my point.

                  All we need is little understanding.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      As is often pointed out, the difference between Russian military aircraft and US military aircraft is that the Russian ones are designed to kill people, the US ones are designed to make Lockheed and Boeing shareholders rich.

      Mind you, its not only in the US. At one stage recently, it was estimated that the Luftwaffe could only put four combat aircraft into the skies in the event of a war.

      In theory, this is all built into assumptions about the numbers of aircraft required, etc. The reality is that in any war in the near future, most of the fighting will be done by older, more reliable types (or at least, types that have had all their flaws ironed out after 2 decades or more of use), with the high tech stuff acting a bit like WWII battleships – held in harbours in order to provide a potential threat and as public morale boosters in the war, while not actually doing very much fighting.

      The French, Chinese and Russians are not immune to this – they have high tech weaponry which would probably be of minimal use in a real war. But certainly the Russians are much more pragmatic about cutting out the worst offending technology – hence their probable decision not to follow through on their own F-22 killer, the Su-57, which is rumoured to have all sorts of problems.

      1. ACF

        PK, thanks, I’ll read your links. So it’s an unchecked corporate greed story facilitated by the depth and breadth of the corporate greed integration with the military, aka military industrial complex. I don’t think it was a necessary consequence of the MIC though, we could’ve built many many useful aircraft instead of a few barely useful ones.

        The line about Russian/US jets is funny except it isn’t.

      2. Antifa

        In a real war between modern nation states, the first thing to accomplish is to make your foe blind, deaf, and palsied — take out their digital capabilities, and their electric grid. At which point they collapse inward, and war is no longer needed.

      3. BillS

        That’s why the ancient A-10 Warthog, otherwise known as the “Flying Gun” is hard to retire. It’s slow and heavy, but nothing beats it for close air support of ground forces with its rotary 30mm well as being hard to kill and relatively cheap. These are the guys you call in when you’re taking heat. Not the dandy top guns in F35s!

      4. Oregoncharles

        A historical footnote, on the Luftwaffe: NOBODY in Europe, including the Germans, wants Germany to have a powerful military. Re-unification was predicated on Germany being bound in multiple ways. That’s one reason they focused on ECONOMIC imperialism, with the connivance of other members.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      I couldn’t help sensing a “theme” in two of today’s links.

      From this fighter jet link:

      The harsh truth is that fighter aircraft are not 737s, they don’t just reliably churn out hours upon hours of flight time without a major issue. They are finicky, maintenance intensive, and comparatively unreliable thoroughbred fighting machines that spend far more time on the ground broken than in the air—or even being capable of being in the air in the F-22’s case. And the more complex they are the less consistent they are operationally speaking.

      And from the electronic health records link:

      For many hospitals and health systems, those complexities get in the way of seeing returns on their EHR investments. “In addition to the cost of procurement and deployment, we’re also seeing subsequent increases in higher IT operating costs, higher departmental operating costs,” Kolesar said. “We’re also seeing lower productivity and lower employee satisfaction.”

      Sell junk. The money’s in the “maintenance.”

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Seeing that the French, Chinese and Russians are not immune to this (see PlatinumKun’s post above), I wonder if this is related to the very nature of pushing the technology envelope.

        For example, while the V2 rocket might have limited impact in WWII, and was not reliable in the beginning, it paved the way for others.

        1. Jeff

          Since the Russians are in Syria (September 2015), they fly on average 100 sorties a day, with about 20 – 30 fighters present in Syria. So that is over 3 flights a day per fighter, which is about the opposite from ‘maintenance-heavy’.
          Su-57 is something else. The Russians want bang for their bucks. As the current generation is almost a perfect fit for the current tasks, why go for something else? The Su-57 has been designed, delivered and field-tested, but as long as nobody can find a good reason to build it, it won’t be built in larger quantities.

          1. The Rev Kev

            That ties in with what I have read about Russian doctrine. Same with the Armata tank. Sure it is a world-beater but the upgraded tanks that they have at the moment are adequate to task so why spend the resources to re-equip their forces? Good point about the Russian sortie-rate in Syria and that must have grabbed the Pentagon’s attention that.

          2. PlutoniumKun

            Yes – the Russian sortie rate is very impressive, its unlikely that the USAF could come close to that.

            Even just as one example – all Russian jet aircraft have carefully designed intakes to ensure debris is not sucked into the engines. These are heavy and add drag, but it means that their aircraft can continually operate on damaged or low grade airstrips. All US and European aircraft lack these – which means that the airstrips must be quite literally, pristine – they are swept manually. This is fine in peacetime, but in a war?

            The F-22 may be an incredible war machine, but if its stuck in a maintenance shed its worth less to a battle than a WW1 biplane.

      2. Carl

        Law of diminishing returns. More complexity to solve problems, leading to more resources wasted and eventual collapse. Hmmm…where have I read that before? Tainter, maybe?

      3. Lambert Strether Post author

        Junk = razor, maintenance = blades.

        Thank heavens the Internet of Things hasn’t attacked the old-fashioned Safety Razor yet! Though I’m sure they’re trying….

    4. Oregoncharles

      You beat me to it by many hours. Thanks. My own take is somewhere down at the bottom, with a little different emphasis.

      Bottom line: the whole thing is a scam. They’re probably assuming they’ll never really have to use them.

  3. Steve H.

    > A pandemic killing tens of millions of people is a real possibility — and we are not prepared for it

    At least an order of magnitude off. Primary effects of a great pandemic can wipe out over half of the integrated population, global in this case. Secondary effects, due to breakdown of operations and infrastructure, are both a multiplier and a solution, as spread becomes constrained in dirt-poor areas.

    Local population increase above base carrying capacity predates the industrial age and fossil fuel use. Unsubsidized habitats form the most resilient niches. The meek shall inherit the earth is a possible outcome.

    1. The Rev Kev

      If the American health service cannot cope with the current typhus epidemic in Los Angeles, which is the second largest city in the US, then how can they be expected to cope with a massive flu pandemic? You just know that in the present charged atmosphere that it would be politicized by both parties for they own political gain. God forbid that such a flu pandemic occurred during Presidential elections & voting. How safe would those you-beut voting terminals be after being touched by a coupla hundred people? Would you line up with someone coughing and spluttering while waiting to vote?
      How would the American economy cope if regulations that America used back in 1919 were repeated so that any gatherings like movies, meetings, restaurants and the like were banned? Or would a government think it worth the risk and told the people to keep on shopping for the good of the economy? Remember, in 1919 the US government trashed those regs and encouraged people to gather in crowds to buy war bonds leading even more people to catch the flu then. Don’t think that you would be safe ordering everything off Amazon either. Those packers and drivers can fall sick too and you just know that Bezos would expect sick workers to keep on working in his slave mills and spreading the infection.
      Are American prepared to see mass burial pits like they had in American cities in 1919? Would any vaccines be reserved for those people like the military as they would be needed to keep order? Last time around about one out of every twenty people in the world died but what we have now that they did not have back then is jet-liners criss-crossing the world that could delivery this flu pandemic in a matter of hours. People think that it will come from China but forget that last time around it came from a place even more exotic – Kansas.

      1. Duke of Prunes

        It’s also important to remember that in 1919 “germ theory” was still a somewhat radical theory and not everyone (including many doctors and most politicians) “believed in” basic hygiene like washing your hands, or keeping sick segregated from well. There were also 100s of thousands of young men living in tight quarters on ships, trains and in military camps as WW1 was winding down (again, with military brass not listening to the handful a “crackpot” doctors warning against such conditions). It’s “just the flu”.

        I’m not saying that a pandemic isn’t possible, but hindsight on 1919 shows there were many instances were people did extremely ignorant / careless things (e.g. let’s not cancel the big parade in Philly that turned out to be the catalyst to many thousands of deaths) that allowed the pandemic to take root.

        1. Anon

          But we’ll still send the kids to school because we gotta go to work. And the coughing college age son will attend class anyway, because —Tuition. And when I’m at my open-plan desk at work I’ll sneeze into the crook of my elbow. Then take the subway to the airport and mingle with hundreds to greet my feverish Mom for the upcoming holiday visit.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > If the American health service cannot cope with the current typhus epidemic in Los Angeles, which is the second largest city in the US, then how can they be expected to cope with a massive flu pandemic?

        Good point, although for some definition of “cope.” I bet the triage process worked fine, just fine….

    2. Craig H.

      The guys at Fort Detrick are totally prepared for it. They have a filing cabinet full of scenarios to make it happen. And they have an inventory of every candidate sample bug behind three checkpoints of security.

      Support the troops!

    3. HotFlash

      A pandemic killing tens of millions of people is a real possibility — and we are not prepared for it Vox

      Vox, Vox, Vox! Hello, do you not understand that this is the actual plan?

  4. Steve H.

    > No end in sight: EHRs hit hospitals’ bottom lines with uncertain benefits Modern Health Care.

    This last week I learned of problems with medical records being created with autocorrect engaged. Diazepam or digitalis? Please remember the nurses entering the data are front-line workers who often are time-constrained and sometimes sleep-deprived.

    1. m

      Doctors place your medication order, the pharmacy verifies the order and the nurse provides it. I have never seen autocorrect used, more time is wasted finding the specific term the program recognizes for a particular item. These aren’t smart or intuitive, especially the big guys.
      One good thing with the big programs is that we have access to your pharmacy records and if your primary care doctor is part of a health care system we can see a previous medication list. If you are worried open a patient portal for yourself or elderly relative and keep medication list updated, including vitamins and over the counter. Name of med, dose, route, how often, why you take it.
      The real problem with EHRs is that they steal money and time that can be used actually caring for patients.

      1. Steve H.

        You state you have never seen autocorrect used. I have. ‘for yourself or elderly relative’ assumes there is someone else available to doublecheck on patients who don’t have both mental faculties and electronic item savvy. You also assume the health care systems are integrated, which they are not. About 1 in 5 Americans do not have a primary care physician.

        I agree more time for patient care would be better. However, in conjunction with nursing colleges, the goal is to have 80% of RN’s have a BSN degree by 2020. In practice, that means more time on documentation and less on primary care. BSN’s have, to date, been notorious for riding the desk and not tending patients.

        1. m

          Perhaps it’s the physicians free text notes that are the problem.
          Nurses are offered drop down lists and check boxes. Nurses are discouraged from writing notes and placing orders for doctors. In the few times that I have had to, I have never seen autocorrect in that application. Not with EPIC, Cerner, Meditech or Sunrise/Allscripts.
          Advising people to get a med list is helpful advice, paper or electronic. Prevents problems, ensures when admitted to a hospital people can get there meds on time, not wait for a call to mom & pop pharmacy/primary care physician for the list. If you use chain pharmacy we have instant access.
          Nurses too tired from riding the desk, where can I find this job? I thought hitting the loo was my unpaid break.

          1. HotFlash

            My dear M, thank you for this on-the-ground report. One more reason I love NC and Ms Yves knowledgeable commentariat. Domo, domo, domo, Ms Yves; $$ coming soon.

          2. Steve H.

            m, it may be that you are in a particular situation, and if it’s good, that’s a good thing. But what you’re saying does not apply in multiple cases I’ve seen. I’m talking nursing homes, home health (particularly rural), hospice care.

            A particular concern is saying nurses are discouraged from writing notes. Documentation is a cya that I have seen save multiple jobs and perhaps careers.

            Again, I have witnessed autocorrect and predictive text on note-taking engines. I have seen people with no support to have med lists checked. I have seen patients with no internet access. That fact that you have not applies to your particular situation, that fact that I have is a black swan on your assumptions.

            1. JBird4049

              Either way, as the industry shifts away from these traditional “monolithic” systems, Kolesar added, “We’re going to solve the problem of data and workflow interoperability and when that’s solved, all heck’s going to break loose because innovation’s just going to run wild.”

              Good Grief, our entire economy is one big grift machine, I tell you. I have reading wild eyed schlock on the wondrous marvels of the Computers/Robots/Algorithms/AI/Interwebs like this since the 1980s. Stuff will bring on the New Age, or the Singularity, or Paradise, maybe even end bad breath.

  5. Livius Drusus

    Re: Affluent cities gained at expense of Trump’s ‘forgotten’ America study.

    Re: Homelessness in New York Public Schools Is at a Record High: 114,659 Students.

    It is interesting that inequality is so pervasive even within the affluent cities that have done well. In addition to the NYC example above you can also note the poverty and homelessness of the Bay Area where you have tremendous affluence next to some of the worst poverty in the country.

    This is why I don’t think the “just move to where the jobs are” argument makes much sense. Would you really be better off poor in New York City than in West Virginia? At least if you stay in your dying little rural town the cost of living will be cheaper and you might have friends and family who can help you. In the big city not only is the cost of living higher but you will be in an unfriendly, lonely and atomized environment.

    There is also a lesson to learned here for liberals who always tout how great the big cities are. The big cities might be Blue (Democratic) but they are also extremely unequal and produce a kind of elitist upstairs/downstairs liberalism that is really not the kind of liberalism that is of any use to poor and working-class people. Think charter schools and soda taxes. It is the epitome of elitist, moralistic liberalism that has more in common with early progressives who supported alcohol prohibition than FDR’s New Deal.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I think there is a lot of reasons people don’t ‘leave’ big, too expensive cities – sometimes its practical reasons (they literally can’t afford to move), plus there is the knowledge that at least there is a hope of a decent job in a big, vibrant city. Its also worth pointing out that for many ethnic minorities, the ‘community support’ structures are in the big multiethnic cities, not in small towns.

      But I think this is also a solid reason why the Jobs Guarantee makes sense – it helps people stay in their ‘dying’ communities, so giving hope of future recovery.

      1. Wukchumni

        It’s 4 hours to LA or SF from here, where the former could sell their home for double what a similar abode here would sell for, and for the latter triple.

        What would be entailed in the trade-in?

        No traffic, no crime, no gangs, and no jobs, living cheek by jowl near nature, plenty of water, quick enough internet, lots of local volunteer groups, right next to Sequoia NP, a 3 month wildflower fest like you wouldn’t believe, & 100 days of 100+ degrees in the summer (boo hiss) and above the Tule Fog in the winter. (oh yeah baby!)

        How many actually do it?

        Hardly any, as social ties are the hardest thing to sever.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Maybe a few-couple million Coastalfornians will all move to your area and be your new neighbors, after the beautiful picture you paint.

          1. Wukchumni

            I rather have neighbors that are there and wants to live here, versus some out of town buyer that utilizes it for a vacation rental, as has been happening too much lately.

      2. Livius Drusus

        Those are good points too. I have also heard the opposite of the “move to the city” arguments. Some of my friends think that poor city residents should just move to a lower cost suburb or rural area. But then you have the same problems that people have when moving from rural areas to cities (lack of family/friendship networks, cultural alienation) and on top of that there might not be any jobs in a rural area.

        This is why telling people to move just doesn’t make a lot of sense. Sure, maybe for someone with an education in a high-paying or in-demand field it can make sense but for most poor and working-class Americans moving doesn’t really do much to solve your problems. I agree that one of the good things about a Job Guarantee is that it takes people as they are, including where they live.

        Building solid working-class communities is not only good from a social standpoint but from a political standpoint it gives workers a solid base to build their own organizations and political culture. Many of the pro-New Deal politicians came from small towns and working-class urban neighborhoods that had their own distinct political subcultures that were independent of elites.

        1. newcatty

          This is why telling people to move just doesn’t make a lot of sense.

          Not having enough money to move is certainly a reality for some folks. It’s easy for some people who do to see that as a potential solution to living in more affordable situation. Just move to a less expensive town! Works for some people. And, the increase in people selling their homes in cities to buy less expensive houses in smaller cities or towns is great for the homeowners. Many are retired, so not dependent on a paycheck like working people to basically survive. Cold reality is that many working people are, in their circumstances, “stuck”. If they lose the jobs they do have, maybe homelessness is next. Also, a fact not considered much, as far as I have noticed, is that separation or divorce within family nucleus can often lead to poverty. Especially for single women with children. Ironically, it is the situation where the couple who break up are not already in the financial lower class, but in the middle. Now two households to support for the two adults. Often, the one former partner has the advantage in situation. Even with child support the single women has much less income than the more monied former spouse. In large cities and suburbs in CA, for example, there are many women working jobs and also raising children. The custody arrangements include access to the father. One would probably say, all well and good. The kicker is that means the mother is truly “stuck”. The father, usually due to having climbed a ladder to a more successful career or other source of income, while married, will have the income to live in nice housing. The mother, because of a much lower income, will be forced to live in a much smaller, and usually not very nice housing. She and her children are living in lower or close to poverty class. She is, though working a job, is struggling from paycheck to paycheck to survive. Most women will put their children first. Many live with the barest of clothing, little social spending with friends or other personal spending. Also, the monied spouse has access to “good” lawyer to make sure this arrangement goes on until children are adults.

          This is social class in America live and well. It can be seen as a form of class warfare. I am not in the situation just described, but have observed it and anecdotal stories of it are all around us in this country. Another example of the moral breakdown of society into the tragic haves and have nots. Trickle down, alright, the trickling down of the oligarchy to its minions.

          1. JBird4049

            Or being a widower. One thing that some don’t think about is the sudden decline in income along with the grief.

      3. Procopius

        (they literally can’t afford to move)

        This is what I think of when I see one of those “move to where the jobs are” recommendations. Usually these come from affluent people who have never moved from one city to another and/or who can easily afford the cost of having professional movers come in and pack up the stuff they want to take with them, and who can pay a real estate agent to find housing for them in the new city, and pay for a hotel to stay in and restaurants to eat in until they have their nice new house.

    2. Otis B Driftwood

      The number, size and squalor of the homeless camps in the Oakland/Emeryville/Berkeley area increase without stop. I know of one camp that has a porta-potty provided by a nearby business. Located at a cul-du-sac with semi-permanent structures. This is one of the “sanctioned” camps. Largely out of sight and out of mind.

      But there aren’t enough locations like this to cope with the increasing number of people camping in this area. Some streets in old industrial areas of Berkeley have been completely taken over by camps. And freeway overpasses are favored locations as they provide some overhead shelter.

      There is no other way to describe this other than to say the situation is out of control. A dystopia astride grossly overpriced housing.

      Along one strip of the Eastshore Hwy (runs adjacent to the I-80/580 through Berkeley), the tents take up just about all available space – carts, old mattresses, random junk and garbage are strewn along the roadside, left by the transient population that moves in and out. Along one stretch of the road you drive past an open-air bike chop shop that is so crowded with bike parts and other debris they spill out into the roadway and drivers need to steer into the other lane to avoid running it over.

      Ironically, this particular camp is only a few yards away from what used to be one of the largest foundries in the U.S. Due to mismanagement, the foundry is closing for good.

      CalTrans occasionally makes the rounds of these camps, piling junk into their trucks while the former occupant hurries away with whatever they can load into one of their shopping carts. CalTrans then moves on to the next camp, and the homeless person returns with their cart and the cycle begins anew.

      1. Wukchumni

        Another small town perk, in that we have no homeless i’m aware of here, although i’m sure there’s a few well hidden away. No squalor or much trash around either. (it’s almost time to volunteer for roadside trash pick up again)

        Sell that million dollar home surrounded by all that ails you, and buy something here for $300k.

        After you’ve cleared the concertina wire and look back, you’ll wonder what it is about a big city that was so important?

        1. JP

          You must not listen to KMJ wringing their hands over the homeless camps in Fresno. There are no homeless where I live (and no dumpsters) but my nearest neighbor is over 100 yards away. It’s not a far drive to the valley floor, where the homeless live. I moved here with the wish that my property values would never go up. I do hope all the people on the congested coast do not discover the Sierra.

          1. Wukchumni

            They’ll finally get it when they tire of their pee’d à terre, and the stench.

            If not relocating here, than elsewhere.

          2. Wukchumni


            There are possibly some things worse than being homeless in Fresno, although nothing comes to mind.

      2. Mark Pontin

        Otis B Driftwood wrote: The number, size and squalor of the homeless camps in the Oakland/Emeryville/Berkeley area increase … one camp … has a porta-potty provided by a nearby business.

        One camp has a big rack of solar power panels permanently set up — it’s alongside a main drag just past the Ashby BART — that I see every Sunday when I drive to my church musician gig in Oakland, It’s been there for approaching a year now.

        If you proceed into Oakland itself, under every BART and freeway overpass between the border with Berkeley and West Oakland’s ‘Ghost Town’ area there are encampments of men and women often sleeping on scummy mattresses in the open air, sometimes with tents if they’re lucky. There are dozens of such sites under overpasses with populations of 6- 40 people, invariably black and brown, who will live there for two-three weeks till the trash and dirt spill out so much that the civic authorities come and clear them out, and clean the space for a while.

        These camps started in 2008, their population sizes have remained approximately the same, and It’s 2018. So those camps have now been there for a decade.

        A decade.

        Pavel wrote: What was that comment about “sh*thole countries” again


  6. zagonostra

    Refer: Affluent Cities “The economic divide between affluent U.S. cities and suburbs and the ailing, often rural, areas where blue collar and middle-tier service jobs are the norm grew wider after the onset of the Great Recession…”

    Well, this is an analogue to the increasing divide between the Oligarchs (been using this word a lot since reading Iron Heel by Jack London) and the rest in benefiting from the rise in productivity in recent decades.

    The content of oppression varies from year to year but the forms persist, as is seen in the kaleidoscope of news from the paradise/panama papers to the recent NYT article on Trump’s Tax evasion.There is no meaningful change or upheaval in who controls the government on the horizon – the content keeps churning while our churches are burning…

      1. Procopius

        A couple months ago I found How the Other Half Lives, by Jacob Riis. I remember finding it online, but maybe I downloaded the Gutenberg Project version. If you google “how the other half lives book,” at the bottom of the page there/s a list of books on poverty.

  7. fresno dan

    It was a place where you could buy everything from a doll to a washing machine to a tombstone. But beyond being a shopper’s cornucopia, it was also, in many instances, the place where people fell in love, found lasting friendships and earned their first paycheck.
    It was a different era – how many Amazon workers will have any spare seconds, and beyond comprehension that any would have the spare minutes to fall in love…..

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      It WAS a different era.

      I seem to remember that, back in the day, a Sears credit card was one of the hardest ones to get. (For those young enough not to understand that, there was a time when a credit card holder was actually expected to pay the card down, not just make minimum payments and wrack up interest and fees in perpetuity.)

      When I got my card, I remember feeling that, with Sears willing to allow me credit, I had “arrived” financially. Everybody who saw the card or was with you when you used it knew it too.

      It seems almost insufferably quaint today, but I remember taking that responsibility very seriously, and I became an appreciative and loyal customer who was determined not to abuse the “privilege” or betray the trust.

      god, are those days ever gone! And it shows.

      1. Wukchumni

        In a way, you can plot the downturn of the country dating from this event, where things went from cash & carry, to the carry debt trade.

        It all began with a forgotten wallet…

        In 1949, businessman Frank McNamara forgot his wallet while dining out at a New York City restaurant. It was an embarrassment he resolved never to face again. Luckily, his wife rescued him and paid the tab.

        February 1950. McNamara returned to Major’s Cabin Grill with his partner Ralph Schneider. When the bill arrived, McNamara paid with a small cardboard card, known today as a Diners Club® Card. This event was hailed as the “First Supper,” paving the way for the world’s first multipurpose charge card.

        In its first year of business, Diners Club® grew to 10,000 members from New York’s business elite, with 28 restaurants and two hotels prepared to accept monthly billing in respect of this select clientele.

        In the 1950s, Diners Club led the way in credit card innovation by introducing a travel insurance policy. The cardboard card turned plastic in the 1960s, and bewitched Audrey Hepburn in the classic film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          So funny you should mention that.

          Significant other and I were talking about Sears’ demise and credit cards last night. He remembered a story that, according to him, made the “national news” from Bloomington, IL (college town, Illinois State University) in ” ’75 or ’76,” when whoever was establishing the Visa card came to Bloomington to purchase the name “Visa” from a local bank.

          The bank had conceived the name for a product–Vacation Inspired Savings Account.

          Saving for a big purchase–more insufferable quaintness–replaced by instant debt with the same name.

          Still searching for a link.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      In the future, we will see robots dream of electric sheep and fall in love at work.

      It will be the same story as it has always been.

      1. polecat

        “Hey Robby !” … “Get your #%$&#@ articulated titainum digits off my posterial locomotor servos .. you Animaltronic you !”

  8. Rostale

    I’ll say it right now, if it’s Hillary 2020 I’ll be voting for effing Trump, because at that point my desire to see the DNC go die in a fire will outweigh any rational concerns for the country’s future.

    Hillary 2020: You WILL eat the dog food.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I can see her campaign slogan now-

        “Don’t f*** it up for me again, America! Get it right this time or else!”

        1. Roger Smith

          “America deserves a second chance.”

          Calling it right now. It will be some misguided attempt to connect the “rigged” election to individuals feelings.

          1. roxy

            The author suggests that hrc could win by being Trump. As Jack Nicholson informed Ann Margaret in “Carnal Knowledge”, “I’m taken, by ME!”

        2. jonhoops

          She signalled her slogan right after she lost. Chelsea and her highness came out with a children’s book which co-opted the “She Persisted” slogan and meme.

    1. Mark Gisleson

      Undervoting. Hillbots were quick to chastise undervotes in MI/PA/WI because undervoting scares them far more than not voting. Undervoting tells everyone you bothered to show up, voted on races you cared about, but chose to leave the top races blank.

      It’s literally the only way you can say NONE OF THE ABOVE on a US ballot.

      1. Eureka Springs

        Uh no. Not voting at all can and does mean NO or None of the above, No confidence. Voting for anyone on the ballot ahead of me this Nov. would only validate to some that I endorse this corrupt undemocratic duopoly. I do not. When – none of the above – is a valid option on the ballot your argument could have more merit. Assuming the voting process with individual hand counted paper ballots were honored.

        No way in he** I’m voting this year. Perhaps never again.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          Sorry but I think you’ll find most people — other than those who don’t turn out to vote — consider those who don’t turn out to vote as either apathetic or non-political. I’m with Mark Gisleson. Besides it’s easier to count undervotes than no-shows.

          1. witters

            I consider voters dupes and (so) collaborationists in the evil deceptional farce these voters themselves ‘legitimize’ with their rotten virtue signalling. But that’s just me.

            1. HotFlash

              Oh, FFS. Voting takes what, an hour out of your life, once every two years? You don’t have any local issues? If you don’t vote, They will run your life. Vote Green, Marijuana Party, spoil your ballot, whatever. Do it and then get on with the *real* stuff.

            2. knowbuddhau

              Viewed from afar, I can’t say I disagree. Voting should be one of our high-holy days. What would we think of a church that treated its parishoners so shabbily?

              Ideally, an election is a ritual; the outcome is uncertain. It’s been reduced to a ceremony, the politically correct outcome of which is well known in advance. (The rest of the world must be is laughing themselves sick at our latest “election meddling” gambit. Well done, “Nobel Laureate” Kissinger.) All that’s left for us, is to go through the motions.

              Why isn’t 60% turnout required, like our asinine Senate? Our state-of-the-art voting machines tell you what they think of our sacred right to vote, for which all the sacrifice of blood and treasure is supposed to be about.

              To them, we’re just appetites on two legs, consumers, and we’re ever so easily hacked.

    2. dcblogger

      Hillary is not running. She can no longer raise anything like the money that is required. The only reason she could raise all that money last time is that she was inevitable, now that she has lost that she has nothing.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Hillary is not running

        She will if she can. Nobody in her circle will tell her no. She (and her circle) don’t even believe their 2016 loss was legitimate, and have never assumed an iota of responsibility for it. And nobody’s killed Clintonism with fire, either.

        At the minimum, she wants to be a power broker. Even a few votes would let her do that, especially in a brokered convention.

      1. polecat

        They’re All ‘neoLiberaCons’

        Imnsho, The Supremes pay deference primarily to the Corporate.Gov World, with the ants given second-class consideration with the occasional crumb. The fact that they can secure life-time appointments, while procuring all the benefits that our corrupt government provides — those dream benies that are completely out of reach for us folks in stearage — has me steamed !
        Why should they be given any respect whatsoever ?? These periodic SC grasshopper appointment episodes are nothing but theater for us ants to fight over, same with regard to the two-faced demigods (Congress) .. and whatever ersatz GodEmperor sits in the White House.

        I’m sick of it .. All of it !

    3. Big River Bandido

      I think the writer was on meth when he wrote that crap. Or was there snark in it that I completely missed?

  9. Pat

    First thought on reading the title about upgrading Social Security numbers to something digital was that the author probably has an internet connected refrigerator with a camera and has never thought about what cold and wet and damp can do to electronics. I won’t even get into the ovens with internet connected controls and the ability for fools and hackers to burn houses down.

    Yeah, a new digital identifier for Social Security is going to solve all the problems created by illegally using Social Security numbers as identifiers for more than taxes.

    1. Crestwing

      Just imagine all the fun of discovering that ransomware has taken over your fridge.

      “Pay 100 Bitcoin if you want your artisanal cauliflower back.”

    2. Jean

      Great, another feeding opportunity for the Military Industrial Complex. At present to run a commercial boat you have to go to Lockheed Martin and pay them every couple of years for a new I.D. card.

      This proposal will also force every employer in America to buy a special card reader. What bullshit. Keep the paper cards, and reinforce the govenment’s own databases.

      My card says right on it; “Not to be used for identification,”
      stopped by a cop who asked me for my social security number.
      I cheerfully replied, “Sorry.. “and then the tag line above.

  10. Pat

    Yahoo comments on a Business Insider article about how Mall Owners, mostly REITs, are happy to see Sears demise are almost completely about the empty and failing malls in their areas, with an occasional observation about how these people need to paint a completely erroneous picture about the investment. It is was a striking view of the differences between the terrain in the bubble and on the ground.

    1. JP

      Sure, It occurred to me that the Saudis were probably most interested in who in SA was leaking inside information to Kashoggi, although they obviously intended to dispatch this enemy of the state with prejudice.

      But why would we believe the obvious. Conspiracy is so much more self affirming.

      1. RMO

        Can we start a countdown to when some pundit claims Putin or Iran actually did it in order to sabotage the U.S. relationship with the wonderful kingdom of Saudi Arabia? Or has that happened already?

    2. integer

      MoA has done a good job of putting the pieces together. Although it was written before the Khashoggi affair took place, I think the following article provides an interesting lens to view the state of play WRT Western interests the interests of the Western ruling class in the Middle East:

      International relations: the calm before the storm? Voltaire

      All international problems are currently suspended, awaiting the results of the US mid-term elections. The partisans of the old international order are gambling on a change of majority in Congress and a rapid destitution of President Trump. If the man in the White House holds fast, the protagonists of the war against Syria will have to admit defeat and move on to other battle fields. On the other hand, if Donald Trump should lose the elections, the war on Syria will immediately be revived by the United Kingdom.

      1. integer

        Just had a look at the timeline and it turns out the above article was written one week after Khashoggi disappeared.

    3. Olivier

      @Yves One reason your speculative scenario is unlikely is that several of the alleged murderers are MbS bodyguards.

  11. SerenityNow

    Regarding the Guardian article on free buses in Dunkirk:

    This is an interesting development, but I think it is only likely to have an effect in places where the gap in convenience between using mass transit systems and using private motor vehicles is already fairly narrow. As one dissenting voice pointed out in the article, free buses in many places will not actually do much to discourage driving, which is probably what we should focus on. It’s nice to encourage things to be equitable, but it’s more effective to discourage things from being inequitable.

    1. Oregoncharles

      Corvallis, OR has had free buses for years now. They’re very popular. Passed a fee increase, by referendum, to pay for it.

  12. Wukchumni

    No, NO, not THAT anything except, double-secret-probation!

    Deferred prosecution agreement typically involves monitoring the activity of the company, having some degree of assurance that the company won’t repeat, that the company’s conduct will change.

  13. Eclair

    RE: A Pandemic Killing Tens of Millions of People is a Real Possibility: ….

    The ‘Spanish’ flu epidemic that struck the US in the late summer and fall of 1918, just as the country was mobilizing for entry into WWI, was especially deadly for young adults. In August, thanks to the tendency of my in-laws to never throw anything out, an aunt found and gave my husband a year’s worth of letters written by his grandfather who was in training at Fort Lee, Virginia (and later, in France) at exactly that time.

    His grandfather writes in detail about the epidemic; how they put up canvas partitions around their cots to prevent spread of the disease, how they had to disinfect their mess kits in boiling water, how their sick comrades were taken off in stretchers, somewhere, to ‘receive the best of care.’

    Interestingly, he never mentions death. Ever. I am not sure if that was due to the recruits being kept in the dark about the mortality rates, or if they were under orders to write only good news. I know he keeps reassuring his mother that the food is delicious and plentiful, that he is in the best of spirits and that the marches and exercises are bracing, and that, even when he is in France later in the autumn, he is in absolutely no danger.

    I found, on the internet, the official report on the epidemic, submitted in November 1918, by the Fort Lee camp commandant. The mortality rate for white soldiers (they kept different stats, and facilities, for ‘white’ and ‘colored’) was almost 15%. Given the command’s complement of soldiers, this meant that there were over 6,000 deaths in those few months.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Re your last bit about different stats kept for white and black soldier’s mortality rates. This was more difficult than you might think. In Kansas, those dying soldiers were turning blue because they could not get oxygen to their lungs and when they died their bodies quickly turned black.
      Accounts at the time talked about how after this happened, it was impossible to tell who had been white and who had been black as they both looked the same in death. They could not understand what was killing them.
      I hope that you treasure those letters from your husband’s grandfather and see that a copy goes somewhere where they will be preserved. They certainly sound amazing to read going by your description of them.

      1. Eclair

        My husband has transcribed all of them, and they are saved, with back-ups. He also scanned them, so there are electronic copies, with back-ups. The originals have gone back to his aunt, with advice to donate them to one of the many local history societies in the area. I just hope they survive the house cleaning after her death.

        My grandfather-in-law writes about the ‘colored’ soldiers. He came straight from the farm in rural Pennsylvania and had never seen a black person. He says, rather enviously, that they all had a great time singing and playing instruments in the evenings. Of course, the two groups were not allowed to mix. Except in death, as you point out.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      Some things are so freshly and lastingly traumatic that people or societies will hardly talk about them for years, or not talk about them at all.

      Is the Great Spanish Flu Epidemic one of those things? I notice that people are perfectly willing to talk about the Black Death of medieval Europe when the subject is appropriate, but to this very day “America” is hardly willing to even mention the Spanish Flu at all. Is this cone of partial silence about the Great Flu the same in other countries?

      1. Eclair

        I have wondered about this cone of silence. The letters that my grandfather-in-law wrote, weekly, thanks to the YMCA who provided a space, paper, pens and stamps, were censored. So I expect that the more brutal aspects of both the epidemic and the war were never put in writing at the time. I can’t believe that with 6,000 deaths in the space of a few months, that our family’s soldier boy never saw a death, or had a tent mate who was carried off in the night, never to reappear. But, everything was new and confused and men were arriving and being shipped out, so it is possible.

        My parents would have been 8 years old at the time of the epidemic. And, of course, my grandparents were youngish adults. But none of them ever mentioned the epidemic to me. I learned about it only as an adult, from reading. And I believe it was fiction, Katherine Anne Porter’s novella, ‘Pale Horse, Pale Rider.’ Although, the story was based on Porter’s near-death experience.

        Although, for people living through the epidemic, it may have been just a tiny bit worse than the diphtheria or cholera or whooping cough epidemics that carried off whole families of small children; or the consumption that caused the death of so many young people who lived and worked in crowded urban conditions.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Got interested in the 1919 flu pandemic and found that there was a cone of silence over this event. Medical history books would omit this entire episode and the autobiographies of the top medical doctors who were working on this would pass over what had happened. It was weird squared.
          A top team of doctors was assembled and sent to Kansas to a military base to try to understand what was killing those soldiers and it was just like the “Andromeda Strain” but without the baggy suits. Their visit reads like science fiction story and yet when those doctor wrote their biographies they quickly passed over what they saw there. Strange. Very strange.

      2. knowbuddhau

        How much is it taught? The Black Death is well represented in hundreds of years of art and science. Can’t think of a single Spanish Flu painting. Are there any?

        Doesn’t really fit in the Manifest Destiny narrative, either. How does having a plague, like some sh!thole country, make us Exceptional (fanfare)?

  14. Indrid Cold

    Re: Blockchain:

    I was interested to note how sold Roubini is on ‘centralized credible authority.’

  15. jo6pac

    Hate China much?

    They have a train wreak in 2011 and the world is ending for high speed trains. Yes little or no maintenance is a problem even in the New Amerika. China now has high speed train flying across China and soon Russia. Then in Amerika the country that use to do BIG PROJECTS well in Calif. the high speed train to nowhere is over budget and the project might be killed before it’s finished. How Sad for Us.

    1. Wukchumni

      A few years back, we went to the Del Mar racetrack on a train that left Union Station in L.A., and the station was a perfect period piece from 1939, hardly updated since then. The trains were modern enough, but unremarkable.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Without WTO and exporting to America, Europe and the rest of world, China would not have the money to do big projects…and build ghost cities, ghost shopping malls, bombs, bombers, overseas military bases, islands in South China Sea, lend to Malaysia, Pakistan and other nations that now are having second thoughts, divert water from rivers that flow down to SE Asian countries, manufacture aircraft carriers, stealth fighters, state of the art citizen surveillance systems, build railways and other roadways to move Han Chinese to Tibet, Xinjiang, etc

      A more comprehensive comparison could still show it’s sad of the US, though.

      But if China is just another hegemon, with money, that is aiming to replace the current one (that prints it), that is also sad.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Recently, it was reported that in one city (and probably others too) existing owners rioted when the developers lowered prices by around 30%. Did that have anything to do wither ghost buildings getting filled?

          In any case, Chinese real estate, like those in America, Australia and elsewhere, should be looked at.

      1. Olga

        I hope it’s just me, but I’ve been seeing too many links on NC lately from publications that are highly critical of various Chinese efforts – and with few links to balance out the view. Not sure why that is. Is China perfect and beyond criticism? No, but then what human activity would fall in that category? None. Given that, would it not be useful clearly to understand what the Chinese are trying to do – the complexities, nuances, warts and all, rather than indulge the various attempts to bash it?
        I do believe that it is important to comprehend that China is attempting something fundamentally different from what the West has visited upon our planet for the last 500 years. The US’ hegemonic drive primarily stems from the western European sense of superiority over all other peoples and corresponding historical aggression to subdue them all. Nothing new under the sun – and something that greatly benefited WE and the US. China paid a heavy price for such adventurism and exploitation, and I don’t think anyone should be surprised that it’d rather not repeat the experience. If China now has the means to attempt a change – who cares? (Remember, ‘the capitalist will sell us the rope with which we’ll hang him.’)


        “At the 19th Party Congress, Xi Jinping called for a ‘community of shared human destiny.’ This proposal recognises that human beings have only one earth and proposes that all nations must coexist in this shared space. It emphasises that all countries should give due consideration to the legitimate concerns of other countries while pursuing their own interests. The ideal of this model would be mutually beneficial and win-win international partnership, as opposed to the current dominant conception of international relations — namely one of anarchy, power politics, and a winner-takes-all dynamic. Under Xi’s plan, the security alliances formed during the Cold War would be replaced by ‘common security’. Under traditional models of collective security, the focus is the security of the alliance, and this exclusivity can easily lead to tension between rival security groups. ‘Common security’ emphasises the common strategic interests of all countries and involves a sharing of security responsibilities and benefits through equal participation in security mechanisms. In line with the above principles of common security, Xi advocates that the international community work together to establish new and non-rival international and regional security mechanisms.”

        Call me naive, but this seems to me far better than perpetual war – the only playbook left to the west. For G’s sake, the west destroyed Yugoslavia because it wanted to maintain independence. Or have we already forgotten? If countries trade, they are less likely to fight each other. Plus, if there is beneficial connectivity, maybe we can do away with the concept of constant competition and consequent conflicts. There will be no need for anyone to be a hegemon – the idea would lose its meaning. And given what we all face regarding climate change, doesn’t the concept of cooperation make much more sense?

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > I’ve been seeing too many links on NC lately from publications that are highly critical of various Chinese efforts

          To some extent, Links are driven by the zeitgeist, which is why we always grateful for new sources.* (It’s interesting to compare the not-really-organic goofiness of RussiaRussiaRussia with the more organic move toward a more confrontational approach to China, which seems to come from everywhere and nowhere in the political class, a product of the hive mind.)

          One of the many strategic chickens coming home to roost from the neoliberal dispensation that started in the mid-70s is this: If we were going to move our industrial base to China, we should have moved unions, too. Somehow, the elites thought that “liberal” institutions would magically emerge from liberal markets, and they did not.

          What I really want to know is what’s happening in China on the factory floor, and back in the villages; my priors are that Xi et al. are not nearly as firmly in the saddle as we might think. But that information is hard to come by. I asked a good friend who knows China well whether, if there were an uprising in a large city in the interior of China, would we know about it. Their answer was no.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            It has always been the case, perhaps before Dao De Jing , that people in China view the world through the Yin and Yang combination….water vs. rock, softness vs. hardness.

            Xi and his followers are likely to be seen as manifesting too much Yang…too hard, not soft enough.

            Zhou En Lai or Deng Xiao Ping would be more Yin…they knew the humiliations since the 19th century could not be undone in their lifetimes. They did not back down from confronting the Yankees, nor did they seek to fight before China was ready.

            Chinese history offers many other examples…of biding one’s time.

            King Wen and the founder of the Zhou dynasty

            King Goujian of Yue (Spring and Autumn period)

            Emperor Gaozu of the Han dynasty (submitting to XIangyu, the famous hegemon, Xi Chu Ba Wang, until the former was ready)

            Cao Cao (restraining from proclaiming himself the new emperor, though he was in fact one, in the dying days of the Han dynasty. His son eventually did away from the ‘shogun’ pretense).

            All these from about 2,000 years ago.

            More recently, Nurhaci of the Manchu tribe. He waited, as the Ming dynasty struggled to hang on (tempting Hideyoshi of Japan to contemplate invasion, via Chosen Korea), and in due time, his grandson, Shunzi emperor sat on the throne in Beijing.

            And in Japan, it was the patient Tokugawa who prevailed over Hideyoshi and his son, and ruled from Edo for over 250 years.

            All these are lessons of Yin over Yang.

            And rightly or not, people point out patience being valued among Asians.

            So, there are others, apart from Xi and his followers, in China (or Taiwan, elsewhere) who favor more long term thinking, even if it means yielding short term.

            1. Olga

              I certainly would not disagree about the virtues of patience – in theory. The problem – as I perceive it today – is that neither Russia, nor China have the luxury of waiting. Not any longer…
              We only need to look back 20 years (a historical blink of an eye): destruction of Yugoslavia, Chechen wars against Russia’s soft underbelly (started even earlier), unprovoked attacks on Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, ongoing war in Somalia, NATO expansion, US military bases surrounding the two countries, economic/political attacks on Iran, overthrow of a legitimate government in Ukraine, endless economic sanctions…
              My strong sense is (and I could be wrong) that someone in Beijing, Moscow, and Tehran looked out the window one sunny day and said “OMG, it’s now or never.” Yes, maybe they could have waited – but with the above list, there probably wouldn’t be much left to wait for in a few years. It seems to me niceness, politeness, and consideration for the west’s feelings went out the window with the first bombs on Yugoslavia (and remember, NATO even bombed a Chinese consulate!).

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                Yesterday, there was a discussion about the humiliations since the mid 19th century that China aims to undo now.

                That’s a lot of time, between now and then, including a defeat by Japan, ceding of Taiwan, a revolution, a civil war before fighting the Japanese the second time, another civil war and the Cultural Revolution.

                For many Chinese people, there will always be time to right the wrongs over the last 200 years.

                For Xi and many in the communist party, maybe they don’t have so much time, as many in China can put up with many things when prosperity is over-promised. So there is internal instability underneath.

                One option would be for another faction to replace Xi and back down from the current confrontation, in order to buy time.

                Jiang Baili, the principal of the Baoding Military Academy in 1912, wrote ‘New Interpretations of Sun Tzu,’ was a brilliant military strategist of the early 20th century, and said to be ‘the Little Zhuge’ (the original Zhuge Liang was the most famous strategist of the Three Kingdoms Period, and has come down in Chinese culture as synonymous with intelligence and strategizing, and whose name was Crouching Dragon – yes, the film) of the Chinese Republic, thought the same. From Wikipedia:

                In the summer of 1937, Jiang wrote Treatise on National Defence (國防論), in which he proposed that if war broke out between China and Japan, China cannot win in the short term so it should try to wear down Japan over the long term. In September 1937, he was appointed as Chiang Kai-shek’s special ambassador on official visits to Germany and Italy. After returning to China, he wrote The Japanese (日本人) and Basic Perspectives on a War of Resistance (抗戰的基本觀念) to explain his views on how China would eventually win in a war against Japan.

                Basically, trading territories for time – which they did, relocating the capitol to Szechuan during the war.

                That’s not different from what the Russians did to stop Napolean and his Grande Armee, or the Soviets against the Wehrmacht.

                In any case, there are others in China Trump or others can work with.

                Similarly, there are pro-Russia and pro-West factions now, and as there were back in the days of Mao and Lin Biao (who tried to flee to the USSR).

              2. The Rev Kev

                NATO didn’t bomb the Chinese consulate. It was an official CIA mission – the only time they had one in the entire war.

                1. Olga

                  Yes, sorry, you’re right – it was Chinese Embassy that got hit:

                  “BELGRADE, Yugoslavia — NATO warplanes pounded Belgrade early today, hitting the Chinese Embassy, setting it ablaze and killing two. The attack, hours after allied cluster bombs killed 15 civilians in the city of Nis, angered Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic’s government as it was signaling a willingness to discuss a peace plan for Kosovo province.” (May 8, 1999)

          2. Oregoncharles

            “I don’t think anyone should be surprised that it’d rather not repeat the experience [of imperialism].”
            You might want to ask the Tibetans, Uighurs, and Mongols about that, to say nothing of Viet Nam.

        2. pjay

          Thank you for this observation Olga. It is not just you. I have also noted that the skepticism toward anti-Russia propaganda here at NC does not seem to apply to China to the same extent. In fairness, progressives are inherently suspicious of (1) concentrated political power and (2) foreign economic expansion, and China evokes both. It is hard for many of us to believe that concentrated state power utilizing market forces and economic globalization would (or could) do so for social ends (i.e. that there could be authentic *socialist* goals behind China’s development). Or, we believe that the logic of capitalist development is simply too powerful to be “domesticated” toward social ends or allow for positive-sum international economic relations, whatever the intention of Xi and the Party.

          I personally would like to believe that an authentic socialist development is possible. As you suggest, every such effort has been attacked and undermined by the capitalist West. I choose to remain skeptically hopeful about China. Concentrated power does corrupt. On the other hand, I’m convinced that every effort by China to become more democratic and open will be exploited by the U.S and its allies in an effort to destroy it. If I have doubts about China, I have (unfortunately) no doubts about the goals of the U.S. and its allies. For this reason, calling out Western media propaganda (and liberal naivete) is essential.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            There is Western media propaganda on China. That relates to China and West (also Russia).

            There are also many smaller countries around the Middle Kingdom. The stories from them about Beijing should be heard too…starting with, perhaps the closest one (socially, culturally, linguistically, etc), Taiwan, and then Tibet, maybe.

            1. pjay

              I am familiar with the Western version of the Taiwan and Tibet stories. I grew up with them, learned them in school and through the media (I was interested in that kind of stuff as a kid). Only much later did I discover that these stories had more than one side. I’m not a China apologist, and I understand the resentment from the perspective of these peoples (though in the case of Taiwan especially this history is complex). If you are referring to the story of China as a threatening expansionary power, I get it. But whether we are referring to the post WWII period or more recent events, we can at least recognize that China also has some reasons to fear Western machinations in these territories.

              1. JBird4049

                I am not an expert, but it seems to me that Chinese nation has many good reasons for not trusting the Western Powers, including Japan, for the unequal treaties, various wars including the Opium Wars, multiple invasions, and arguably an attempted ethnic cleansing during the Eighteenth, Nineteenth, and Twentieth centuries.

                Real evil was done to them, but the Chinese government has tended to be a bully and has done really bad things to every single nation and polity around and within whatever the current borders of the empire during the past two thousand years. It seems to be a thing. Not always, the Chinese aren’t evil and the government often preferred an isolationist policy. Still, I believe that they feel a desire to re-establish their civilization/empire lost preeminence by violence if necessary.

          2. Lambert Strether Post author

            > i.e. that there could be authentic *socialist* goals behind China’s development)

            I don’t think there are. See e.g. “Income inequality in today’s China” [PNAS]:

            Since its beginning in 1978, China’s economic reform has led not only to rapid economic growth but also to a large increase in economic inequality. Although scholars continue to debate about precise estimates (1), the consensus is that income inequality in China has now reached a level much higher than that in the United States (2). As we will discuss below, the Gini coefficient for family income in China has now reached a level above 0.5, compared with 0.45 in the United States in 2010. This finding is significant because China had a very low level of income inequality as recently as in the late 1980s (3). Ordinary persons in China know about this increase, as they have personally experienced it in their own lives (4). Although ordinary Chinese people seem to tolerate the high inequality (4⇓–6), they also recognize it as a social problem needing to be addressed. In fact, out of a number of social issues given, respondents in a 2012 national survey rated economic inequality (more precisely, the “rich-poor gap”) the most severe, above corruption and unemployment (7).

            > skepticism toward anti-Russia propaganda here at NC does not seem to apply to China to the same extent

            Part of it is simply difficulty in processing the news flow, as I point out above on organic vs. inorganic). Since the anti-Russian propaganda is mostly inorganic (see, e.g., the Atlantic Council) it’s easy to dope it out from the sources. We also, even today, have reasonably good sourcing from inside Russia (see the Valdia discussion club stuff I keep running). By contrast, “anti-Chinese propaganda,” which is certainly what one would call any criticism of China if one was a Xi loyalist, so let’s replace “propaganda” with “attitudes,” is organic and pervasive in the elites, so it’s not easy to dope it out; Atlantic Council really stands out from the background; not so, I would argue, with equivalent “thought leaders” on China. All this is compounded by the fact that, unlike Russia, we have very little good sourcing, or any sourcing, from inside China. So we have no baseline.

            Adding, if middle class money fleeing China is really happening, that seems like a pretty good indicator that China has big problems (not unlike the problems that make Musk and Bezos want to leave for Mars). We can link, I suppose, to plenty of “rah rah, high speed trains!” pieces, and in fact I love trains, but I don’t know what good that would do.

            1. JBird4049

              Adding, if middle class money fleeing China is really happening, that seems like a pretty good indicator that China has big problems (not unlike the problems that make Musk and Bezos want to leave for Mars). We can link, I suppose, to plenty of “rah rah, high speed trains!” pieces, and in fact I love trains, but I don’t know what good that would do.

              This might be irrelevant and a non sequitur. Maybe the reason the Chinese government is rolling out its dystopian social credit scoring system is the same reason so many are being financially proactive.

              Like in the United States, the nation’s elites jamming the steam engine’s safety valve shut and and adding too much coal to the fire to go faster will solve the problem. Like screaming Russia!Russia!Russia! to not look at the why of Trump. Or talk about Mars and self driving cars. It is just distraction.

        3. Procopius

          I’ve been living in Thailand for quite a while now. I am not Chinese, and I have never lived in China, but when I was in the Air Force I spent eight months learning Mandarin Chinese. I would not venture to guess what “the Chinese” are trying to do nor why. I strongly recommend, if you can find it, The Chinese Looking Glass byDennis Bloodworth. He explains a lot about the Chinese world view.

      2. HotFlash

        Ah! China is a monetary sovereign, so cannot ‘run out of money’ to do any domestically-produced thing. What it may run out of is resources — fish, sand, water, rare earths, arable land. So, if you want to know what China is up to, watch what they buy, annex, and protect.

    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      It would be sadder if the High Speed High Prestige Train from nowhere to nowhere were to be finished after burning up all the money. And then California woke up to find no money left at all anywhere to build sensible fairly speedy train travel from somewhere to somewhere . . . or to rebuild the destroyed commuter train/trolley/streetcar systems that Greater Ell Ayy and Greater San Diegostan could really use. That would truly be the saddest sad of all.

          1. gepay

            I can remember riding street cars in Baltimore. I liked them and disliked the buses. Then as people who can believe in conspiracies might know – The Baltimore Streetcar system was purchased by National City Lines. in 1948 and started converting the system to buses.”On April 9, 1947, nine corporations and seven individuals (officers and directors of certain of the corporate defendants) were indicted in the Federal District Court of Southern California on counts of “conspiring to acquire control of a number of transit companies, forming a transportation monopoly” and “conspiring to monopolize sales of buses and supplies to companies owned by “…In 1949, Firestone Tire, Standard Oil of California, Phillips Petroleum, GM and Mack Trucks were convicted of conspiring to monopolize the sale of buses and related products to local transit companies controlled by NCL; they were acquitted of conspiring to monopolize the ownership of these companies. The verdicts were upheld on appeal in 1951”
            Wikipedia – not big on conspiracy theories.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Apple says ‘dangerous’ Australian encryption laws put ‘everyone at risk'”

    Not so surprising the Australian authorities doing stuff like this. When mobiles were being introduced into Australia, there was a several month delay while the security organizations made their ‘preparations’. Not sure about this point but I think that burner phones are still impossible to get here like you saw Jason Bourne use.

  17. Stupendous Man - Defender of Liberty, Foe of Tyranny

    Eric Holder has a record of NOT prosecuting bankers. If he runs for Prez in 2020 his campaign slogan could be:

    “Hey Wall Street, just like Obama I’ll stand between you and the pitchforks!”

    1. Wukchumni

      For what it’s worth dept:

      The pike was the workhorse ad hoc weapon of the French Revolution, but who is frightened nowadays by what sounds like a fish?

      Plus, it was easier to parade a severed member around, post beheading.

      1. HotFlash

        My dear Wuk,

        Interesting! Would you happen to have a link to that? Asking for a guillotine-challenged friend.

        1. Wukchumni

          Read it in “Days Of The French Revolution” by Christopher Hibbert.

          A great tome for those that knew frighteningly little about it aside from Marie Antoinette, guillotines, etc.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      How would Holder have done, at, say, the Tokyo Trials?

      From above:

      Let’s say there are, I don’t know, bad executives who’ve done inappropriate things. Well, there are shareholders who can be impacted by a decision the government makes, there are other employees who might number in the thousands who could be impacted by a decision that the government makes. Again — doesn’t mean that you’re not taking action. Deferred prosecution agreement typically involves monitoring the activity of the company, having some degree of assurance that the company won’t repeat, that the company’s conduct will change.

      “I think the Japanese, given the current situation (1945), are not likely to repeat. Let’s monitor them for now.”

      That kind of deferral?

  18. Roquentin

    Re: How Hillary Clinton could win in 2020

    He’s not wrong, but he misses how the duality is essential to her personality, to both the Clinton’s. What the author is missing is that both halves of Hillary are necessary to her functioning. She has to give lip service to and use the symbolism of identity politics and progressiveness, it’s the only thing that allows her to sell such thoroughly reactionary politics to her base. This has been the Clinton playbook since day one, since Bill back in the 90s. Run on the Democratic ticket, put on the trappings of the left, and then use it to make the policies and politics of the right palatable to the country on the whole. Arguing for a “real” and a “fake” Hillary misses how these two things 100% need each other to function.

    And it isn’t just Hillary either, this is what most of her supporters want. Many of them want the same things Republicans do, but they don’t want to feel shitty about them. Or at a minimum, they want enough makeup smeared on the pig that some semblance of plausible deniability can be maintained. Even more cynically, it puts enough breathing room between the politics of the right and themselves that they can posture as the hashtag resistance, while participating in most of the same things themselves. People talk about Hillary’s support for progressive issues being fake, but they were never supposed to be real. The Republicans run many female candidates these days too, which is only a slight bit more cynical and manipulative than Hillary’s use of gender.

  19. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    US making friends and securing allies?

    China’s trade war pain can be ASEAN’s gain: how Southeast Asia is reaping a windfall of shifting trade and investment South China Morning Post

    1. ewmayer

      Interesting, but Saker’s take contains the fundamental contradiction that [1] the US pays for ME oil with ‘printed money’, yet [2] US is ‘bankrupt’ and hence desperate for Saudi cash. I just don’t see the need for such a grand narrative – Saudis have always been head-chopping thugs, so MSM hysteria is wildly overblown as usual in relation to matters Trump, and DJT sees an easy opportunity to extort $billions and put the Saudis in their place. Again given that we can and do print as much as we like to support the neolibcon project, the $billions are not so much the issue as is the chance for Trump to play his favorite role, that of yuuge wheeler-dealer and business-savvy dude.

      1. Synoia

        US is ‘bankrupt’ and hence desperate for Saudi cash.

        No, I believe you misunderstand:

        The rich and greedy are always desperate for Saudi cash.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      I get the extortion angle, but nothing I’ve seen answers the question “Why now?” So, why now?

      Unless…. Grant that MBS is a whack job. Here are the players who are not part of the narrative:

      1) Internal anti-MBS Saudi factions

      2) The US intelligence agencies (and media allies/assets)

      3) Israel

      If I were the cynical type, I’d conclude that the players to watch are the ones who don’t seem to be part of the story. (Internal Saudi factions would act from necessity — i.e., MBS will take all their money and/or execute them — but our intelligence community and Israel from opportunity)

  20. Matthew G. Saroff

    Someone needs to quote Keynes to Mr. Scott Kolesar, “Americas health technology innovation and digital leader for Ernst & Young,” who insists that in the long run, everything will work out:


  21. precariat

    Not much daylight between Holder and Trump on addressing subversions of law and trust:

    Holder: doing something about corruption, white collar crime, fraud, destabilizing an intentionally global financial system damages companies, endangers jobs.

    Trump: doing something about premeditated murder of a US resident (regardless of *whatever* else he was) in a Saudi consulate damages companies, endangers jobs.

    The elites in this country have gone off the rails.

  22. Oregoncharles

    From “why the F-22s couldn’t just be flown away from the hurricane”:
    ” If anything, they are far more akin to high-end sports cars that require a lot of expensive TLC to keep operating. The F-22, in particular, is more analogous to an exotic supercar or even a high-end race car than anything else. It requires dozens of hours of maintenance for every single flight hour and deep maintenance can take days or even many weeks”

    I don’t think Mr. Rogoway realizes it, but this is a severe condemnation of the aircraft as a battlefield tool. Imagine all that in wartime conditions. Basically, these planes may fly once, if they’re lucky, and only once. Months later, they might fly again. And every shootdown or crash costs a billion dollars. They’d be a virtual non-factor, or a liability, in actual combat, even if everything were to work properly, just because of the maintenance requirements. And they’re such prima donnas that they’re always unlikely to work properly.

    1. HotFlash

      From “why the F-22s couldn’t just be flown away from the hurricane”:
      ” If anything, they are far more akin to high-end sports cars that require a lot of expensive TLC to keep operating. The F-22, in particular, is more analogous to an exotic supercar or even a high-end race car than anything else. It requires dozens of hours of maintenance for every single flight hour and deep maintenance can take days or even many weeks”

      Good to know! Well, since they are our First Line Defense, hope nobody sneaks up on them. Which reminds me, were they not warned?

      1. Synoia

        No, the hurricane was an Illegal alien, and surprise everybody when it washed up on the Beach, recovered, and jumped into the airfield.

      2. The Rev Kev

        ‘were they not warned?’

        The reason for that was covered in a recent link. That Hurricane had a rapid intensification in the 24 hours before it hit that base and it seems that due to climate change, rapid intensification of storms are now going to be more and more common. And with that, storm predictability has now gone out the window.

    2. VietnamVet

      The F-22s flying over Syria only purpose is to win the first contact if the USA and Russia start shooting at each other. The Sunday Times reported the British planning exercises on the effects of cyberattacks left officials “ashen-faced” at the speed with which confrontation with Moscow could escalate. The hanger prima donnas and the world will be blown up once the strategic ICBMs are ignited.

  23. Wukchumni

    How is the boneyard situation with our various firefighting planes, that are idled typically for a large part of the year?

    1. Synoia

      Yes the F22s cannot be used, because they may be needed for some undefined national emergency.

      That was the precise answer I got from a military quartermaster when I requested some trivial item from his stores.

  24. knowbuddhau

    This is encouraging. Looking for common ground, not into the abyss.

    Researchers develop new method to address deep-seated biases in science, starting with birds

    Before, researchers could only report they did not find a significant difference—a very different statement than saying two things are conclusively equivalent.

    “We’re really hoping this new method is going to address some issues with what kinds of data get published,” Rose says. “The most important thing about being a good scientist is to be unbiased. And the whole tradition of testing for difference really leads to incredible biases in scientists,” Omland says. He adds, “There’s a whole realm of things in nature that we find interesting and important because of their similarity.”

    For example, in addition to similarities in songs between the sexes in birds, researchers could use the new test to ask if two species use the same type of habitat, respond the same way to predators, or consume the same food sources. Answers to those questions could fill long-standing knowledge gaps, or even inform conservation efforts.

  25. knowbuddhau

    And in the very next article, Renewable energy is common ground for Democrats and Republicans,”As the battle lines are drawn for next month’s hotly contested midterm elections, some Americans may be comforted to know there is at least one area of common ground for Democrats and Republicans.”

    FFS, war metaphors are ubiquitous, even in science articles. Are we really drawing actual battle lines? Seriously, take stock of all the war and antiquated metaphors you see in a day, you’ll be amazed. Has anybody thought to declare War on Climate Change? Surely that’ll work.

    Back to the article. 64 people in Washington state were interviewed. Ted was one:

    Ted, a conservative interviewed in the study, said he thinks very highly of people who have solar panels on their home and assumes they are smart, frugal and self-sufficient. When asked if he thinks these people may be concerned about the environment, Ted responded, “I think if people thought to put solar panels on their roof, they would not think that was helping the environment at all. They would think that was helping them financially, because they’re not paying a power bill.”

    Ted’s talking like H. economicus. Someone whose worldview differs sees a different reality.

    When asked if she feels responsible for reducing her personal environmental impact, Caitlyn, a Democrat, responded:

    “Because I enjoy being out in nature, I think everyone else should be able to enjoy it. I think our kids, and our kids’ kids and everyone should have the same benefits…that we are afforded right now. I think that they should all be afforded that as well, if not even more than we have right now.”

    She foregounds being in nature. Oddly similar usage of “afford,” perhaps, in responding to a survey, couching her reply in the presumed lingua franca.

    You say savvy, I say sustainable, who cares? As long as we’re getting on with the decarbonizing already. By IPCC’s conservative, massaged numbers, we have only 12 years. Let’s play it safe and call it 10, shall we?


  26. JBird4049

    Who Is the We in “We Are Causing Climate Change”? Slate

    Noticed this have we? The various screams of alarm and the various solutions shouted out somehow ends up wagging the finger too and the bill as well to those often having the least agency and resources. Interesting that.

  27. anarcheops

    No end in sight: EHRs hit hospitals’ bottom lines with uncertain benefits Modern Health Care. Read all the way to the end [puts head in hands].

    Either way, as the industry shifts away from these traditional “monolithic” systems, Kolesar added, “We’re going to solve the problem of data and workflow interoperability and when that’s solved, all heck’s going to break loose because innovation’s just going to run wild.”

    *heavy sigh* I hope the author of this article only included this quote because they needed to end on some sort of optimistic note. Having only been on the periphery of a Canadian province’s move to Electronic Health Records system(s) (i.e. listened to admin-level doctors and IT people complain), the actual technology is definitely not the problem and if this Kolesar person thinks it is, they should be fired. I have read a lot on what business types call “change management” especially in government and other complex systems and this article only touches upon all the myriad people and bureaucratic problems that comes up when you change idiosyncratic systems that have been in place for decades.

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