Links 10/9/18

Rare white tiger kills zookeper in Japan BBC

At last — Paul Romer got his ‘Nobel prize’​ Lars P. Syll. UserFriendly: “Somewhat shocking after his trouble with macro paper…. one of my favorites.”

Nobel Winner Vows ‘Zero Tolerance’ for Lazy, Untested Economics Bloomberg

Graduate Student Solves Quantum Verification Problem Quanta Magazine (David L)

Environmental consequences of nuclear war American Institute of Physics (Bill B). From 2008 but worth

Who Is Neri Oxman? New York Times (David L)

Hackers expose frailty of robots Financial Times (David L)

Dual studies question impact of artificial sweeteners on gut bacteria New Atlas (David L)

A Swiss startup will turn carbon dioxide into stone—for a price Quartz (David L)


U.S.-China Tensions Break Out in Beijing Wall Street Journal

Australian government backs coal in defiance of IPCC climate warning Guardian (Kevin W). :-(


U.K. Plays Down Talk of Brexit Breakthrough Bloomberg:

“There is a difference between people talking optimistically about a deal and a deal being done,” Slack told reporters in London on Monday. “There can be no withdrawal deal without a precise future framework.”

So UK rejects EU offer for lots of fudge to help May get Brexit through Parliament?

I can’t wait for Richard North to have a go at this: May seeks frictionless trade in return for deal on Irish border Financial Times. But in the meantime, the FT readers are all over it. For instance, from Blue Horseshoe Loves BINO: “I suspect May will get frictionless trade without signing up to the four freedoms on the same day Wiley Coyote catches Roadrunner.”

But even more presumptuous: Downing Street says there will be no Brexit deal at next week’s summit unless EU leaders concede ‘major ground’ The Sun

Theresa May warns EU that Britain won’t sign up to a £39billion ‘blind Brexit’ deal – as PM demands any future trading is clearly spelled out Daily Mail. Making 11th hour demands is not conducive to reaching an agreement. Either this is to help the Tories with their pretense that the EU is the bad guy, or (worse) May has totally misread the “good cop” pose of trying to help her by offering what could be depicted as concessions after the “bad cop” show at Salzburg as a sign of weakness.

Europe is closing a trading loophole that banks were relying to cope with Brexit Business Insider. Reported in the FT but this is outside the paywall.

A Bulgarian journalist was raped and killed in a case that has shocked Europe Washington Post (Kevin W)

A Greek tragedy: how the EU is destroying a country The Spectator

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Facebook, are you kidding? TechCrunch (Kevin W)

The Death of Google Lauren Weinstein (Chuck L). Given how utterly terrible Google search has become, I am not sympathetic, even before you get to the spying.

Google did not disclose security bug because it feared regulation, says report CNBC. The original story: Google Exposed User Data, Feared Impact Of Public Disclosure Wall Street Journal

Apple Tells Congress That Global Supply Chain Wasn’t Compromised Bloomberg. Erm, isn’t this the sort of negative that is inherently very difficult to prove?

Rattled: China’s Hardware Hack Rayne, emptywheel (Chuck L)

New Cold War

FBI’s smoking gun: Redactions protected political embarrassment, not ‘national security’ The Hill (UserFriendly)

Was There a Connection Between a Russian Bank and the Trump Campaign? | New Yorker. UserFriendly:

Didn’t we go over this already and find out it was spam? Well, if (big if) Trump had a back channel to Trump it would be via Eric Prince or it would have been leaked by now. He’s the only one in that orbit that could possibly keep it secret.


Unhappy 17th birthday, Afghanistan War Washington Examiner (UserFriendly)

Tariff Tantrum

IMF Cuts Forecast for Global Growth as Trade War Takes Its Toll Bloomberg

The “New NAFTA” and Its Revised Dispute Resolution Mechanisms Mayer Brown (Kathleen C)

Trump Transition

Dire Climate Warning Lands With a Thud on Trump’s Desk Dire Climate Warning Lands With a Thud on Trump’s Desk New York Times


Trump: Kavanaugh sex assault claims were ‘all made up’ BBC. Hoo boy, as Lambert would say.

Senators representing less than half the U.S. are about to confirm a nominee opposed by most Americans Washington Post (UserFriendly)

Avenatti’s media honeymoon is over following Kavanaugh accuser backlash The Hill

A Complete National Disgrace New York Times (David L)

In case someone tries blaming Russia…..

Grassley suggests absence of women on Judiciary due to committee’s heavy workload Washington Post. Chuck L “When was Grassley’s “Sell by” date? I missed it.”

Bernie Sanders Shows How To Do Politics Current Affairs (UserFriendly)

Michael Lewis Wonders Who’s Really Running the Government The New York Times (UserFriendly)

GOP’s Brian Kemp Purged 1 in 10 Georgia Voters: I’ve Got the Names Greg Palast, Truthout

Kill Me Now

Cory Booker’s Presidential Debut in Iowa Atlantic. UserFriendly: “There is just enough snark woven in to make this readable.”

The Rise and Fall of Affirmative Action New Yorker (furzy)

Tesla’s Value Sinks by $10 Billion in a Week Bloomberg

Hedge Funds Retreat as Markets Advance Wall Street Journal

10 & 30-Year Yields Surge, Yield Curve “Steepens,” Stocks Drop, as Fed Talks Up Rate Hikes in 2019 Wolf Richter

Class Warfare

It’s Your Postal Service. Don’t Let Trump and Congress Sell It Off. Truthout (furzy)

Economic Mobility Is Better in Rural Than Urban Areas CityLab (UserFriendly)

Who Doesn’t Love Identity Politics? Consent Factory, Inc. (UserFriendly)

Will New Technologies Help or Harm Developing Countries? Project Syndicate (David L)

Are dark kitchens the satanic mills of our era? Guardian. Moi: The idea of using a service like Deliveroo escapes me. PlutoniumKun: “Note comment that Uber is thinking of buying Deliveroo.”

Antidote du jour. This is Stanley, whose human is a friend of Timotheus:

And a bonus video from Robert H:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Janie

    Update: Salem meet up will be rescheduled this spring. In September, after a few months of declining health, my partner Terry suffered a surprise fatal heart attack. Thank you to all who have expressed sympathy.

    1. Oregoncharles

      Oh, no. I’m sorry we didn’t get to meet him – at least I didn’t. My sympathies, and no rush about your generous offer to host a meetup. We’d love to when you feel you’re ready. Take care of yourself in the meantime.

  2. ChristopherJ

    Yes, it is true. The Australian Govt said it would be ignoring the IPCC report on the science. Basically saying they don’t care about human beings and all the other life forms that depend on this fragile little planet as it makes its corkscrew path through the cosmos. Burning bright as, while we expend all that energy in a 100 years or so that took the earth millions of years to place under the ground.

    Making money for a small number of people by burning coal? where do I start?

    People should be paying us to keep the stuff in the ground. Australians are a laughing stock, a global joke of a country. Tonight, the NSW government honored a deplorable undertaking (ie a $ deal) for horse racing (gambling) interests to promote the forthcoming richest race in the world (the Everest) on our iconic opera house. How out of touch are the people in charge?

    Nah, don’t answer that. Great set of links as always.

      1. ChristopherJ

        thanks Kev, yes, abc still attracts the best comedy talent.

        Just about everyone, including AJ, has heard the roar of how dare they, so we might see the back of this.

        Or, they’ll go the full hog and broadcast tv on the sails and then charge admission to watch it….

    1. Wukchumni

      For what it’s worth dept:

      I attended a number of trade shows held inside of the Sydney Opera House back in the 80’s, one of the best venues for arbitrage i’d ever come across, probably tied with a trade show in Copenhagen, where the city band came through playing as they serpentine’d through the aisles.

  3. Henry Moon Pie

    Glenn Greenwald may have to pack. His alarmed and alarming article about the Brazilian election demonstrates that the hard right-wing over-performed far beyond the top of the ticket:

    His analysis of the situation and what it portends for neoliberal regimes elsewhere:

    Instead of acknowledging and addressing the fundamental flaws within themselves, [establishment factions] are devoting their energies to demonizing the victims of their corruption, all in order to delegitimize those grievances and thus relieve themselves of responsibility to meaningfully address them. That reaction only serves to bolster, if not vindicate, the animating perceptions that these elite institutions are hopelessly self-interested, toxic, and destructive and thus cannot be reformed but rather must be destroyed. That, in turn, only ensures there will be many more Brexits, and Trumps, in our collective future.

    1. Carolinian

      Thanks for link which is a must read for anyone interested in foreign affairs. What Greenwald is saying is that Bolsonaro is not Brazil’s Trump but rather the real embodiment of what the Resistance likes to claim Trump is, and in a country with a not too distant history of military dictatorship. Whereas Trump–barely in control of his own administration–is only a cartoonish, reality TV version of a strong man, Bolsonaro is

      known mostly for outlandish, deliberately inflammatory quotes in which he paid homage to the most notorious torturers of the 1964-1985 military regime, constantly heralded the 1964 coup as a “defense of democracy,” told a female socialist colleague in Congress that she was too ugly to “deserve” his rape, announced that he’d rather learn that his son died in a car accident than was gay, and said he conceived a daughter after having four sons only due to a “moment of weakness.”

      Of course the CIA had more than a hand in that first military dictatorship and for all we know the DC regime changers are at the bottom of this mess as well. But what seems definitely to be true is that financial and media interests are poised to push yet another country into chaos. It’s not Trump but America’s establishment itself that is providing the template for growing political regression.

      1. JohnnyGL

        When I read up on history, I’ve seen a lot more US-sponsored counter-revolutions and revolutions that get choked to death in the crib than I have seen actual revolutions

        1. Olga

          An expanded time frame might be of some use here (there was a lot of the world before the US came to be)… Plus, not every revolution achieves truly revolutionary goals.

        2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          PKK, Chiapas, Iran, Chile, Cuba, Venezuela
          Red October 1917

          Not an insignificant number!

    2. PlutoniumKun

      Yes – whats happening in Brazil is awful – from what I can see, Bolsonaro is not posing, he’s the real deal, a full on, far right, fascist. Greenwald compares him with Duterte, but Duterte both proved himself a capable city admistrator before he was elected President, and never indulged in full on racism. There is no upside to Bolsonaro and his sidekicks getting elected.

      And the blame is firmly on the Brazilian elites who proved happy to blow up Brazilan democracy to prevent even a very moderate progressive force like Lula keeping power.

      1. Olga

        Well, yes, it was the support of the business community that gave the edge to Hitler in Germany – all to avoid the worker parties from coming to power. (Plus, I guess, we’ll be down to RICS from now on.)

    3. Expat2uruguay

      Thank you for posting this. I was very interested to see how the down ticket races went. Not good at all.

      The elections in Uruguay are next year, and there’s an anti-establishment bias running through the populace here as well. it appears that the Frente Amplio Coalition engaged in corruption with the unions. As far as anti-immigrant sentiment goes, I do hear whispers against the Venezuelans…:-(

  4. ChristopherJ

    Yes, and what is happening in Greece is criminal.

    The only reason Brexit is even feasible is the Pound. Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain…

    I can’t see the Euro project lasting much longer. It only takes one to leave.

    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, CJ.

      At a City discussion about Italy in mid-July, the consensus that emerged from the gathering of bankers, academics and officials, including from Italy, is that there is enough juice and political will / support left for the Euro project to last into the next decade. It was felt that the unfinished business from 2008, a breakdown of the international system into protectionist blocs or an acceleration of Italy’s decline, manageable for the EU elite so far, would blow things up. The Italian, German and French contingents agreed. There appears to be a disconnect, hidden so far, between the EU elite and their servants. Please see my comments on yesterday’s related thread.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Colonel, any knowledge on what is happening between the EU and countries like Poland & Hungary that are refusing to accept mass immigration from those refugees that the EU invited into Europe? News on that dispute seems to have gone quiet lately.

        1. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you, Kev.

          I don’t know. I have been away for a few weeks and am just catching up.

        2. Olga

          Funny you should ask… just y-day, I got a much-forwarded email from Central Europe, full of funny cartoons re immigrants. The sentiment is certainly “hell, no.” (And remember, it was Hungary in the 1960s and 70s that went so far as to invent a Hungarian word for TV because folks did not want to pollute their language with foreign invader-words. And they expect them to accept immigrants from another continent? Not likely.)
          This was the latest I saw on the topic:
          Austrians have vowed to keep a very tight policy on immigration (I know some small towns there, with many foreigners (families) and it does not seem to be a very happy co-habitation).
          This is from June –, with The G estimating that the number of migrants has gone significantly down from the high of 2015. So maybe the problem has subsided, although there was no real resolution.
          But it is complicated… while some in EU gripe about Hungary and Poland (and Slovakia and Czech Republic), France has not been too eager to accept more migrants; there are protests in Germany (remember Chemnitz); and trouble in Sweden. I’m sure some in the EU also worry about this issue pushing some members into the arms of the bear (Austria, Hungary, Slovakia) – and we can’t have that, of course. (And for the Vysegrad Group, economics do not work, since the migrants are entitled to get social benefits, when those countries can hardly afford those for their own populations.)
          Personally, one may sympathise with the plight of the migrants, but integrating them into E is such a difficult problem, as to be insoluble.

          1. JTMcPhee

            Widening the historical view, of course, one finds that a whole lot of “immigrants” have moved over and into what we call Europe now. Granted this was when there were lots fewer “I’m entitled because I was here before you” prior invaders on the ground when the various Angles, Saxons, Huns, Vandals and different flavors of Goths did their Volkerwanderungen. Somehow it worked out that you can get great croissants in Paris and knackwurst in Deutschland and paella and ollo in sunnier parts, and mmmm, those Italian cuisines! “Can we… can we… all just get along?” The clear answer is “no,” in any one of the language silos one chooses to reference. Because “I got mine, even though it’s a stinking little bit allowed me by the rentier class, and I am not about to share the table crumbs I live on with YOU PEOPLE.”

            And the best one gets is smidgens of occasional wistful lip service to the notion of maybe stopping the bombing and droning and corrupting and looting of those “little sh!thole countries with extractable resources down closer to the equator,” as maybe the best way to address the reasons why all these disgusting refugees and “economic displaced persons” are risking all by fleeing their despoiled homelands and “Seeking a better life” among the favelas of Magna Europa… But hey, stopping that looting (even if it is accelerating and worsening that climate disruption thing) cuts into our comfortable lifestyle and the enormous wealth of our Elites (genuflects in the direction of Davos…)

            1. Oregoncharles

              And presumably it was the Huns that founded Hungary – Magyar is an Asiatic language, though the people certainly aren’t, to judge by their faces. The Slavs invaded from the East, too, and before them the Indo-europeans.

              Polish resistance to immigrants must look odd to Brits, who resented the number of Polish immigrants! Of course, it’s inspired by the very same economics.

              1. SoldierSvejk

                Hungarian is a Finno-Ugric language (related to Finnish and Turkish somewhat). But presumably – neither the Huns, nor the Slavs expected a central govt to pay them social benefits :)

                1. HotFlash

                  Depends on what you consider social benefits. I believe the old-fashioned form was rape, pillage and burn.

            2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Sometimes, it is ordained that the immigrants can just blow their trumpets and the walls of the natives will simply fall apart.

              Trump should heed this.

            3. SKM

              thank you so much for that (JTM), serves as an antidote for me to the taste left by reading other comments here about immigration – the only topic in NC comments I feel out of tune with….

            4. The Rev Kev

              Ever notice that the people that make the decisions to bring in a million or two “refugees” are never the ones that have to bear the consequences for this? It’s not like they will have to have any of them living where they live or where they go socially nor even where they work.
              Those people tend to be sent to areas that are already hard-pressed just to get by with minimal resources from the state i.e. the poorer end of town. It is with glee that conservatives point out that advocates of refugees like J. K. Rowling live in some of the “whitest” areas in their country.
              In any case, it is not like that they brought these people in on humanitarian grounds. There were geopolitical reasons for doing so as well as keeping a lid on wages for those on the bottom. And the organization was botched. I read of one tiny village in Germany that was told that they were being allocated more refugees than people that lived in the village and to deal with it – and no chance for an appeal.
              Any wonder that there is push back? In Australia about a third of people living here were born overseas which was done over decades. We sure as hell never tried to do it all in one big go.

            5. Plenue

              >Because “I got mine, even though it’s a stinking little bit allowed me by the rentier class, and I am not about to share the table crumbs I live on with YOU PEOPLE.”

              I get where you’re coming from, and certainly there’s selfishness and bigotry on the part of many European natives. But I think there are plenty of people who genuinely want to preserve their own perceived cultural and ethnic cohesion but not necessarily out of outright hatred of the outsider. They simply want things to stay the way they’ve always* been.

              As an American this is a mindset I have a certain amount of difficulty comprehending, because for all its faults and sordid history the United States, or at least significant parts of it, is fundamentally a multicultural enterprise; white, black, brown, and yellow (perhaps not red, not sure many indigenous would even want to identity as US citizens, though legally they are) can and do all equally identify as ‘American’.

              But I think I can grasp at the logic. I can especially understand how a group like Hungarians, who aren’t quite a language isolate but are pretty damn close and are very much their own thing outside the rest of ‘European civilization’ would be extremely loath to let anyone else in.

              Again, as an American, the culture changing based on immigrant inputs is just part of the background. It’s so ubiquitous that the very fact that some things just accepted as American had an ethnic immigrant origin can be obscured or lost. But a society without such a history will fear outsiders and the change they bring as a threat to their (perceived; no society is ever as monolithic as it might like to think) cohesion. Because they will bring change, the very act of letting outsiders in in significant numbers is itself a change.

              I think such concerns are ultimately a bit nonsense. So Scandinavia is a bit less white than it used to be. So what? They’re not full of viking raiders anymore either. Change is a thing that tends to happen, learn to roll with it. So things aren’t exactly like they were when you were growing up, that doesn’t automatically make them bad.

              And the push-back can often take some truly ridiculous forms, like the French banning face coverings and convincing themselves they’re protecting freedom in the process, or Scandinavian bans on Muslim calls to prayer. What, that’s noise pollution but church bells aren’t?

              All the above being said, I think there are also legitimate concerns Europeans can have about immigrants not integrating. It takes two to tango: host countries should be welcoming to immigrants, but the immigrants also have to realize that by moving to a new country they become subject to its laws and social mores. If you aren’t okay with that, well, find some place else to move to. It’s one thing to have your own equivalent of Chinatown or Little Italy, it’s another to think you can set up some sort of immigrant fiefdom that exists outside the jurisdiction of the rest of the country. I know it’s common among Liberals to mock the very idea of ‘no-go zones’ (Snopes insists the concept is a firm FALSE), but I’ve seen too much anecdotal evidence, including I’m pretty sure here in NC comments, of the existence of things like certain areas on the outskirts of Paris where the police never go and where salafists very much run the show. It’s certainly a fact that some amount of honor killings happen in the UK. There are immigrants who apparently think such activity doesn’t constitute murder and shouldn’t be tried in courts.

              I’ll wind up this wall of text by saying your second paragraph is very true. Discussion of immigrants and how to deal with them never seems to ask why there are so many immigrants in the first place. And not just in Europe, the US seems incapable of discussing this as well. “Should we build a wall?” and “nobody is illegal!” and “who’s an immigrant, who’s a refugee?” but no discussion of why there are so damn many of both people just trying to find work and of people fleeing the threat of murder.

              *of course no culture has ever ‘always’ existed.

      2. ChristopherJ

        Thank you Colonel.

        From your many posts, you observe, read and hear intelligence from many sources and I pay attention. May not have been back to Liverpool in 40+ years, but I still feel English (and Australian) at the same time, so continue to monitor events in your part of the world.

        There appears to be a growing disquiet across much of Europe, but particularly the southern states, who have born the brunt of austerity, have the weakest economies and have been impacted most from the people displaced by war and famine. Sure the bankers and elites may think they have things under control. They’ve beaten down protests everywhere, but you can only beat people so much… The Greeks and the Spanish are nearly at that crossroads from what I see in the tea leaves

    2. Olga

      I’d bet Germany has a back-up plan in case countries start to want to leave the Euro. There have been discussions about so-called “core EU countries” (one can just imagine who that would be) and how this club would come into existence, when trouble erupts. My sense is that having the Euro in EU is not the main problem – it is more the way the currency was “weaponised” (to use the current in-word).
      But this type of “weaponisation” is old news in Europe. Reading the article on Greece, I was reminded of the viciousness, which some E countries turned on Germany after WWI, severely punishing it, even though both UK and France were complicit in the start of the war. Yugoslavia would be another example of wanton destruction, with barely hidden motives.
      There’s something rotten at the shiny and polished heart of Europe.

        1. Olga

          Well, no. I think whatever rotten there is has likely existed for a very long time – way before financialization (funny, the spell checker wants to change the word to fictionalization – that may work, too), which I associate with the later-stage capitalism. I think of it as rather some type of a severely misguided tribalism, that occasionally eats one of its own. And the inherent cruelty is probably what allowed the western Es to colonise so much of the world, engage in two WWs, and then crow about how democratic and advanced they were (all built on the ashes of the previous generations and looted wealth – a nice history if you can have it).

    3. Yves Smith Post author


      We’ve written at considerable length why countries can’t leave the Euro. It will take a bare minimum of three years for all of the parties in fragmented payments systems (as in all the banks, all the credit and debit card payment players) to code for a new currency. This means, given how IT projects usually go, more like 5 or 6 years. It took eight years of planning and three years of execution for the creation of the Euro to go without a hitch, and there is a lot bigger codebase now.

      You can’t even create a new paper currency in less than a year, You not only have to design and print it. you need to refit ATMs and then stock them.

      Greece in July 2015 gives an idea of what happens otherwise. Greece was effectively cut off from EU payments systems save for bank customers being able to make small daily withdrawals. Importers were having to either truck cash to the border or fly it to places like London to pay for goods. You run out of Euros pretty fast that way (and in an exit, everyone would want to hoard Euros, since the new currency would plunge relative to the Euro). Businesses failed and there were shortages of petrol and medicine and food shortages were starting. This took place in a mere three weeks.

      1. Plenue

        What happens when it’s forced on them though? It certainly seems like the EU is headed for disintegration sooner or later.

      2. Oregoncharles

        Just because it’s a disaster doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

        One thing that means is that the right way to reverse the Euro is the same way they got in: all together, and take the necessary time. Whether that could happen in the face of a crisis that would crash the Euro (another possibility, of course) is a good question.

        Evidently Varoufakis knows how hard it would be; that’s why he’s trying to lead a movement to reform the currency, instead. Over the dead bodies of the neolibs and banksters, of course. Which might be what it would take.

  5. Steve H.

    > Rattled: China’s Hardware Hack

    Our kindly Mods often apologize for lack of original content. For true, NC’s primary impact in my life comes from Links. All the news aggregators I used in the past were also filter mechanisms, they just either didn’t know it or were not explicit about it. Not just the items themselves, but how they are ordered and grouped creates a cadence for the Moderator comments to solo over and highlight.

    I don’t follow tech news close enough to have known the fact revealed of teensy extra bits on motherboards, but it was so clearly inevitable that there aren’t near enough all-caps-bold-italic-repetitions enough of ‘duh’ to the idea of the military using chips produced by rivals. Even if not directly ordering, verified counterfeits by suppliers dates at least to Roman times. A supply chain without parity checks is just worseless.

    The extra sauce is what happens when the superintelligences start cooking. Is it that they will be able to see and use all the backdoors and cross-connections and secret passages and use them for quickstrike? Or will the unseen circuits create such a warped qlippothic reflection of the wish for purified logical thought that they eat there makers first? Time will tell.

    1. Huey Long

      I LOVE links and WC!

      They’ve turned me on to so many other blogs and sources I would have never found on my own such as M of A, The Archdruid (John Michael Greer), Wolf Street, etc.

      Hat tip to Yves and the gang for putting these digests together every day.

      1. Procopius

        Yeah, I’ve started following links from the blogrolls at other blogs, but links from commenters have their own charm. Wasn’t that the thinking behind Project Xanadu? The possibility that knowledge about everything in the universe would be linked?

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      I’m surprised by the sudden concern about extra chips showing up on computer circuitboards. Extra circuitry can be hidden within the silicon of the complex circuitry in the processor chip or another chip on the board. A hardware hack doesn’t need its own package. Keyboards with extra ciruits are an old method used for gaining access to computers with poor physical security. The physical security for the supply chains providing our computer hardware are hardly secure.

      The problem of counterfeit chips, components, and subsystems was a topic taken up by the Senate Armed Services committee about a decade ago, around the same time that DoD noticed that the Chinese had a near corner on the production of of some critical rare earth metals. I recall one of the more embarrassing items that came up was the intrusion of counterfeit network routers into some critical Federal networks — although private profit motives rather than the nefarious motives of a hostile foreign government seemed the driver for these and the other counterfeits discovered creeping into our high-tech.

      1. LifelongLib

        IIRC several years ago there was publicity about the NSA or somebody putting backdoor chips in computer hardware. Basically everything you could buy was compromised. Did this turn out to be “fake news” or is this motherboard hack just more of the same?

        1. ewmayer

          I believe the story to which you refer is a Snowden-leaks one about the NSA using targeted inderdiction of computer-hardware-packages sent to targets of interest – interdict package in USPS/private-carrier shipping chain, do hardware implant to backdoor it, send compromised device on its way. The unique capability China has here is to do this sort of thing at scale, due to the oh-so-wise multidecadal neoliberal offshoring of US manufacturing and product devleopment to Asia “for cost savings and efficiency and to help kids who can’t read good, and stuff.”

          1. The Rev Kev

            The NSA intercepting computers is a given. One woman working on the Tor project was depressed that on her newly-delivered laptop was the delivery information that had three listed stop-overs in Virginia. She says that they were not even bothered hiding the fact that they were intercepting computers to implant their spyware on them anymore.

        2. Watt4Bob

          I have a colleague who was military trained in cyber security.

          I asked him today, what he thought of the China hardware-hack story?

          “You know why, right?”


          “It’s because Dell and HP have been shipping all their computers through the government for back-door installation.”

          Long story short, it’s a tit-for-tat move, probably designed as a shot across the bow of our security services.

          The empire has gotten to the point in its decay where the military has been experiencing a massive brain-drain that has now come to negatively effect our intelligence services.

          The stupid, greedy, and amoral have crowded out the folks, upon whom we the people have traditionally relied, those with both intelligence, and a moral compass.

          The dummies at the top of America’s intelligence services seem bent on making profits of different sorts off of cyber-warfare.

          I’m talking about Gen. Keith Alexander, Adm. James Clapper, and Gen. Michael Hayden, all cyber-hawks, of the “bring-it-on” school.

          Cyber-warfare entails way too much collateral damage, so it’s stupid to even pretend to want ‘total-spectrum-dominance’ in the cyber realm because the cyber-arms-race that then ensues is in no way less impactful than the nuclear arms race has been, and continues to be.

          The smart and moral have abandoned the ship of fools that is our military, and left the stupid and amoral to rise to the ranks of General Staff, and now our presidents are naming them to positions they are in no way qualified to administer.

          “Our guys” decided to back-door every PC made in America, and so, China decided that they too could play that game.

          All that CPU power, and all that RAM is busy servicing spies of all sort, Facebook, Google, Amazon, the NSA, CIA, the FBI, and the Chinese.

          It’s spies all the way down, and on our part at least, stupid, greedy spies.

          1. Plenue

            For whatever it’s worth, I haven’t bought a premade computer in decades. The only hardware that goes into my machines are the parts I bought individually. Of course, I can’t do anything about any backdoors those parts came out of the factory with.

  6. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Yves.

    Further to the Brexit links and as per Bell End Cat’s sterling efforts to expose Russian skulduggery, vide, how about the British secret services and Bell End Cat gun after the EU officials et al who don’t want to give Blighty its cake(s). As Johnson said to Hammond when discussing Brexit in mind numbing detail, “Come on, Phil. We can do it.” In any case, with quality flat footers and double O agents like the ones fighting Russia and Johnson at Number 10, this hard Brexit lark will be a walk in the park.

    1. Plenue

      I’m still waiting for the explanation of why a nerve agent 10x more lethal than VX…failed to kill anyone.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Was There a Connection Between a Russian Bank and the Trump Campaign?”

    This story from the New Yorker may be trying to establish a back channel from Trump to Putin but it was the New York Times that clarified what this back channel was through an animated cartoon that they came out with a coupla months ago-

  8. Wukchumni

    Trump: Kavanaugh sex assault claims were ‘all made up’ BBC.
    Is the idea that he possibly had some of the 162 million or so women left in our country to alienate, the cause for this?

    It’d be tantamount to the winning QB in a Superbowl, claiming in the press conference afterwards, that the other team was just a bunch of pussies that wear panties and bra underneath their uniforms.

    1. RUKidding

      Trump is using this specious “claim” to rally the base to get to the polls in November. It’ll probably work.

      Typical Trumpian pile-on, which does work for his base.

      It’s all about the bullying and telling the biggest lies possible. The base laps it up, and it does work, sadly.

      1. marym

        Daniel Dale, Washington Washington correspondent for the Toronto Star, has been fact-checking Trump’s false claims, and how many times he has repeated them, since 01/20/2017.

        The list can be filtered by topic. The total was 2717 as of 09/26/2018.

        The Toronto Star is paywalled after 5 free reads. Dale also usually live tweets when Trump is speaking. Since he’s been fact-checking so diligently, his live fact-check threads are usually accurate, and give some sense of the atmosphere at the rallies; and he goes back later after researching any items where he wasn’t sure or clear.

        Matt Gertz, of Media Matters, tweets correspondences between coverage on Fox and Trump tweets. Today for example, a Fox and Friends segment on Soros supposedly funding protests (7:47) and Trump’s tweet (8:32)

        Toronto Star false claims analysis



        1. JTMcPhee

          Has he done the same for Obama? The Clintons? “All Trump, all the time.” Not that Trump, that diagnostic sign of a carbuncle on the postulant and despoiled behind of humanity, does not deserve such attention — and not that it will make a piffle of difference in the way “the system” operates…

            1. HotFlash

              Used to be able to see them at Lambert’s, but I can’t find that one anymore, either.

        2. Monty

          The founder of Media Matters is that vile HRC propagandist David Brock.

          Hardly an objective, or impartial source. Not an organization I’d want to entrust any fact checking responsibilities to whatsoever.

          1. marym

            That he’s doing it at all reflects a bias, as you say, but he’s just reporting the timing. He’s not analyzing the substance or reporting on a subject that’s obscure or nuanced. He just provides screen shots from the Fox broadcast and the tweet.

            Dale’s reporting is more interesting, imo, because it documents a repetitive public presentation of often readily fact-checkable false statements.

    2. Llewelyn Moss

      It’s right out of the Trump playbook. Turn it around to make the perpetrator into a victim. And the victim becomes the oppressor.
      The poor man Kavanaugh has had his life turned upside down by a Dem conspiracy with Doctor Ford has the lead. The Trump zombies eat it right up.

      I was kind of amazed to see Trump approval spike up as soon as Trump took this approach. At about 40% approval, that means there are a ton of dummies out there (120 million of total US population if they could all vote). That number should scare anyone who cares about the future of the US.

      1. witters

        “I was kind of amazed to see Trump approval spike up as soon as Trump took this approach. At about 40% approval, that means there are a ton of dummies out there (120 million of total US population if they could all vote). That number should scare anyone who cares about the future of the US.”

        Does that mean none of the ‘dummies’ ‘care about the future of the US’? I sense a certain attitude here.

        1. Llewelyn Moss

          Trump people have been conned by The Conman (IMO). Thus, I don’t like their vision of the future. Trumps vision is scarey.

          If you are a Trump supporter, tell me why I’m wrong.

      2. BenLA

        Yeah they are all dummies, None of them have been lied to, had there jobs vanished into thin air, been retrained into computer programmers from machinists, had they kids lives destroyed by lack of opportunity or worse, drugs. They are idiots!
        Give me a fucking break. Lots of reason for despair from lots of people who might like to give a middle finger to the people and groups who they perceive to have put them in this position.

      3. Jon Cloke

        This is surely basic demographics? Pew Institute figures show time after time that white male Americans vote en masse for the worst, most conservative, aggressive policies and Trump *is* that man, your drunk Uncle Pete in the bar declaring his hatred for alla them blacks and migrants who’ve ruined America.

        Irrespective of the demographic changes under way which are the reason for the GOP purging non-white voters everywhere as fast as they can go, there is still a vast mass of white, angry, unreasoning, moustache-wearing, gun-toting hyper-masculinity out there that knows it is losing and is howling at the approaching meteorite…

    3. ChrisPacific

      With a few honorable exceptions (such as the Mormons) women’s views on the Kavanaugh/Ford thing seem to be breaking down along partisan lines. They either believe Ford and are outraged that a legitimate grievance is being marginalized and ignored, or they believe Kavanaugh and are outraged that the Me Too movement is being tainted by politicized and false allegations. This was probably inevitable, as it was always going to come down to character and credibility in the absence of firm evidence.

      Trump’s comments are a dog whistle for the latter group. The former will never vote for him under any circumstances.

  9. vlade

    Banning back2back bookings. I’d really see ECB to try that. Well, they may try, but this is like bailing out with a sieve.

    First, there’s a number of perfectly legitimate b2b transactions. For example, the new risk regulation requires that in banking books, some risks can be transfered out only via a B2B transaction. Oh, and keeping them in banking book is a good fudge for the banks, as then they can ignore a whole lot of risks (Which is precisely why perfect B2B are required, so that no residual, invisible, risk stays in the banking book. Trading books are then expected to identify and capitalise for it.). You could say that it’s only within an EU capitalised legal entity, but that has its own problems too.

    Secondly, there’s a lot of almost back-to-backs. For example a sales book that puts in the client-facing trade, keeps the fee, and books B2B to a risk management book (or the RMbook pays the sales a trade, if the fee is not on the client leg).

    How do you then define B2B then becomes very important, but unless you flat ban them all (which has implications, see above), there will be loopholes. Derivative is a contract, and as such is infinitel malleable. Which is why regulators who try to ban a product usually just create a new one.

  10. pjay

    Re: Who Doesn’t Love Identity Politics?

    Who doesn’t love C.J. Hopkins? (Well, probably a lot of people, but I do.) I was going to post my favorite quote from his latest controlled demolition, but almost every paragraph was a gem and I couldn’t choose one.

    1. georgieboy

      Mr. Hopkins’ little essay is marvelously succinct. In case you did not click on the link itself, an excerpt:

      …Why do we love identity politics? We love them for many different reasons.

      The ruling classes love identity politics because they keep the working classes focused on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and so on, and not on the fact that they (i.e., the working classes) are, essentially, glorified indentured servants, who will spend the majority of their sentient existences laboring to benefit a ruling elite that would gladly butcher their entire families and sell their livers to hepatitic Saudi princes if they could get away with it. Dividing the working classes up into sub-groups according to race, ethnicity, and so on, and then pitting these sub-groups against each other, is extremely important to the ruling classes, who are, let’s remember, a tiny minority of intelligent but physically vulnerable parasites controlling the lives of the vast majority of human beings on the planet Earth, primarily by keeping them ignorant and confused.

      The political parties love identity politics because they allow them to conceal the fact that they are bought and paid for by these ruling classes, which, in our day and age, means corporations and a handful of obscenely wealthy oligarchs who would gut you and your kids like trout and sell your organs to the highest bidder if they thought they could possibly get away with it. The political parties employ identity politics to maintain the simulation of democracy that prevents Americans (many of whom are armed) from coming together, forming a mob, dismantling this simulation of democracy, and then attempting to establish an actual democracy, of, by, and for the people, which is, basically, the ruling classes’ worst nightmare. The best way to avoid this scenario is to keep the working classes ignorant and confused, and at each other’s throats over things like pronouns, white privilege, gender appropriate bathrooms, and the complexion and genitalia of the virtually interchangeable puppets the ruling classes allow them to vote for.

      The corporate media, academia, Hollywood, and the other components of the culture industry are similarly invested in keeping the vast majority of people ignorant and confused. The folks who populate this culture industry, in addition to predicating their sense of self-worth on their superiority to the unwashed masses, enjoy spending time with the ruling classes, and reaping the many benefits of serving them … and, while most of them wouldn’t personally disembowel your kids and sell their organs to some dope-addled Saudi trillionaire scion, they would look the other way while the ruling classes did, and then invent some sort of convoluted rationalization of why it was necessary, in order to preserve democracy and freedom (or was some sort of innocent but unfortunate “blunder,” which will never, ever, happen again).

      The fake Left loves identity politics because they allow them to pretend to be “revolutionary” and spout all manner of “militant” gibberish while posing absolutely zero threat to the ruling classes they claim to be fighting. Publishing fake Left “samizdats” (your donations to which are tax-deductible), sanctimoniously denouncing racism on Twitter, milking whatever identity politics scandal is making headlines that day, and otherwise sounding like a slightly edgier version of National Public Radio, are all popular elements of the fake Left repertoire.

      Marching along permitted parade routes, assembling in designated “free speech areas,” and listening to speeches by fake Left celebrities and assorted Democratic Party luminaries, are also well-loved fake Left activities. For those who feel the need to be even more militant, pressuring universities to cancel events where potentially “violent” and “oppressive” speech acts (or physical gestures) might occur, toppling offensive historical monuments, ratting out people to social media censors, or masking up and beating the crap out of “street Nazis” are among the available options. All of these activities, by herding potential troublemakers into fake Left ghettos and wasting their time, both on- and off-line, help to ensure that the ruling classes, their political puppets, the corporate media, Hollywood, and the rest of the culture industry can keep most people ignorant and confused.

      Oh, and racists, hardcore white supremacists, anti-Semites, and other far-Right wing nuts … my God, do they love identity politics! Identity politics are their entire worldview (or Weltanschauung, for you Nazi fetishists)…..

        1. Buckeye

          The real left should do this:

          1) Adopt the strategy of Jiu-jitsu and Doctor Who: use your enemy’s power against him.
          Find the elites’ power points (money and financial networks are vital) and use the
          vulnerabilities to wipe out their power and influence.

          Like an elitist Robber Baron once said: “You’ve wronged me. I won’t to go to the
          courts or to congress, they both take too long and may rule against me. Instead
          I will RUIN you!”

          2) Reclaim the heritage of the American Patriots and the American Revolution.
          Socialism/Marxism/Communism/Trotskyism/dialectical whatever-ism will NOT
          fly in America. It is toxic and hated here. We have our own culture and we are NOT
          Europe. Stop calling yourselves “the Left”. That’s a European political hand-me-
          down. The term “Patriots” should be your label from now on.

          Conservative Capitalist Globalist elites have been using “Patriot” to justify their evil.
          Take America’s Revolutionary Patriot heritage back totally in words, deeds,
          policy and confrontational actions. Learn DEEPLY everything our ancestors did
          and rework it for todays situation.

      1. Alex Cox

        It is an excellent essay.

        Near the end the author describes himself as a satirist. But the piece is entirely serious, as far as I can tell (though one might disagree with its contention that there is no observable reality).

    2. Unna

      As per CJ Hopkins: “The short version is, what we are currently experiencing (i.e., Brexit, Trump, Italy, Hungary, et cetera, the whole “populist” or “nationalist” phenomenon) is resistance (an insurgency, if you will) to hegemonic global capitalism….” and then, “God help me, I believe it might be more useful to attempt to understand those forces…”

      The problem is, and the people on this Blog seem to agree, that the Dems are not a resistance to anything. They signify at best a competing clan of Oligarchs to the Trump Repub clan, or at worst, some Kabuki theatre show for the Everydays and the Deplorables who are together the marks at the national political poker table. And how could you know the difference?

      So my dark fear is that there are maybe two choices of resistance to, in Hopkins’ words, “hegemonic global capitalism”: An idealized Bernie-AOC option or an idealized Victor Orban option. Dreher’s “Benedict Option”, or some other form of escape, even if you were so inclined, is really not an option because they’ll still come and get you because this is still the Empire declining and not 6th century Italy after it got wreaked.

      So now imagine the case where Bernie is either proved to be a sheep dog or his politics of working within the Dem party, though well intended, is finally discredited as a failure. Then what? Do you go get a prescription bottle full of some happy pills, get your mind right, donate to the DNC, and start to love Joe Biden and Kamala Harris? Or do you take the deep dive into the proscribed Index of forbidden books and learn to love Victor Orban and illiberal democracy, with North American characteristics? Isn’t that the implication of what CJ Hopkins is saying?

      Is a third party viable. And what if it’s not?

      1. Left in Wisconsin

        There are no short-term solutions. I would argue we don’t yet have the analysis to offer workable solutions to the problems we can identify, much less the politics (not just ballot box) to implement them. I would love to see Bernie as president but by my last count there were maybe 5-10 sitting congresspeople who had good politics – if Bernie ran and won in 2020, maybe that number would go up to 40 or 50. Still not enough to get anything done. And if we think their side played hard ball on Kavanaugh, wait until we really try to challenge their power.

        Of course, things hold until they don’t.

        1. Unna

          Agree. Even if Bernie got elected he’d face at least as much resistance as Trump if not more because the challenge to their power would be real. “Bernie” as a kind of political direction for where ever you live, seems be be the only rational choice for right now. As for for the longer term, it had better work because who knows what direction politics will take if at first Obama is seen as a failure by those on the “left”, and then Trump comes to be seen as a failure for those on the “right”, and I think that’s very possible because the Deplorables will still be left with empty pockets. Political and social movements/reactions based on cultural and political despair are not pretty.

          1. Adam Eran

            If Bernie were elected, I’d watch for the “economy” (i.e. the stock market) to tank immediately as the covert assassination plots multiplied. This would be proclaimed as evidence that his policies wouldn’t ever work… And if he ever got to appoint or modify the Supreme Court, the Kavanaugh hearings would look pretty tame in comparison.

      2. JEHR

        I don’t see why the so-called Independents couldn’t form a party at the centre of Republicans and Democrats. There are more of them, I think.

          1. Procopius

            I think the Democrats moved much too far to the Right when the Democratic Leadership Council\Blue Dogs\New Democrats\ Third Way ate their brains. They need to move first to the Center, then keep moving until they are slightly to the Left of it.

      3. Elizabeth Burton

        I firmly believe a third party is extremely viable, and that there will be one within the next decade. Hopefully sooner, but good construction takes time, and in this case the construction has to be done with a hurricane on one side and a tornado on the other.

        Those who want one, as I do, need to get off their duffs and help make it. Right now, the group I see laying the actual foundation for such is DSA. The Greens have had 20+ years and, frankly, did squat. If they’d acted like they were serious, we might have a third option. Instead, they’re basically just a protest vote, and haven’t done anything yet to change that despite the clear interest for an alternative to the Big Two.

        I disagree that “socialist” is poison, because it’s been shown clearly the only ones for whom that’s true or those still under Cold War-propaganda mind control. The younger generations, who actually understand what the word means, don’t have a problem with it at all. Hence, my focus on DSA. Not only do they have a plan for developing as a political force, but they encourage the participation of students, beginning in high school. YDSA is an active and growing affiliate.

        Sadly, I also anticipate that if it becomes clear DSA is a serious threat to the status quo there will be a thorough and savage effort on the part of the challenged to infiltrate and undermine. Apparently, the right is already going at it, if the suspicions that James O’Keefe is using spies to gather video at chapters in the DC area prove true. Fortunately, DSA is also well-read in history, and is aware this is likely to happen.

  11. Roger Smith

    “Hoo boy” indeed on Trump’s comments. Interesting play for him when he simply could have ignored it all now that it was over.

    In regards to Stoller, why is he virtue signalling against Facebook for Kavanaugh’s appointment because a lobbyist hosted a party for the now Justice? Too many loose connections here. One, no amount of popular interest has any procedural impact on the confirmation, unless Senators happen to be influenced. Two, what would Facebook have done, or not done to change the out come of 100 senator’s votes? Three, sure lobbyists are scum and so is Facebook (and Patriot Act Kavanaugh), but what does this celebratory affair have to do with anything? I want to say that Stoller writes some good stuff sometimes but he doesn’t, he tweets it in a completely inaccessible format that drives me insane. This tweet doesn’t seem to conform to his usual interesting, well thought…. thoughts.

    1. Jason Boxman

      True enough on the larger issue, that our new era of tweet streams (storms?), rather than coherently writing out long form, is irritating. I rarely read any tweets.

      1. barefoot charley

        Populism *is* a rightwing phenom now, because the Democrats aren’t paid by people. Though I’ve put Bernie and DSA on allowances, I can’t conceive of people ever taking control of the Democrats who brazenly beat down populist upstarts within the party, and squelch primary turnout to inoculate against progressive representation. But hope squeals eternal . . .

      2. Anon

        Kunstler has become a cranky ol’ man. (I met him many years ago when he was more sane.)

        While his writing style is fast-paced, he can get ahead of himself. The Kava issues he writes about in his latest rant are just as speculative as the memes he tries to debunk. Unfortunately, we do not know definitively what transpired between Kava and Christine. So Kunstler and anyone else gets to “believe” whatever they want. The political Kabuki gets nasty because a Supreme Court nominee IS a big deal. Especially in the Senate where the majority of the US population is UNDER represented. (CA: 40M pop.; WY: <1M pop.)

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It (what happened between a few high school kids) was Rashomon gong in, and looks likely to be still that now.

          On the on hand, we hear ‘hoax,’ and on the other, one more victim men fail to acknowledge

          In this world, if you doubt less, make stronger definitive claims, and say it loudly and often enough, you can go further, to many more places, it seems.

          As for Montana having as many senators as CA, that is also how the UN, among many other institutions, works – China gets one vote, as does, say, Yemen.

          1. Procopius

            I would offer Pelau as the example in place of Yemen, but that’s because I’ve just started my first cup of coffee and my memory isn’t functioning yet. I think there are members of the UN whose populations are dwarfed by Pelau. The funny thing is, in the UN they actually have almost no effect, while in the Senate they can be really important.

        2. Carolinian

          Unfortunately, we do not know definitively what transpired between Kava and Christine.

          Well that’s really it isn’t it? But what we’ve had so far is one side that says it’s absolutely sure what happened and the other that says the above and is willing to accept Kavanaugh’s denials. Of course other aspects such as judicial demeanor etc enter in.

          I offered the link as a way of showing that there are people who are going to believe what Kunstler believes, and evidently our president is one of them. If the Dems were going to Bork him they needed better proof.

      3. Unna

        On Col Lang’s blog, of all places, there’s a lot of skepticism about K mainly due to his support of the Patriot Act and Surveillance. But that group of guys, and they are almost all guys, very much disliked the process against K and the Dems because of it. They are experiencing both hatred and fear, (not to bring that up again…)

        Now I’m not taking sides on this here, but it seems that there was a lot of potential to patiently and meticulously explain to and persuade the Col Lang blog commentator types, generally not members of the progressive left (!), that K was simply bad for the Constitution and bad for America. Opportunity lost.

    2. neighbor7

      I think Stoller’s concern is that Facebook has a dog in the fight–quelling antitrust actions, which Kavanaugh will certainly help with.

    3. ewmayer

      “Interesting play for him when he simply could have ignored it all now that it was over.”

      Sure, but c’mon, taking the high road is *so* not DJT’s style. I see this latest broadside as being his way of rubbing the Dems’ noses in their IdPol-is-all-we-got-dom, and I suspect that, more than any enlightened-or-benighted and smart-vs-stupid angle, is why his base likes it.

      To me, this illustrates the ongoing inability (or refusal) of our esteemed elitedom to properly understand Trump and the people who elected him. They keep trying to harp on their silly ‘fact checking’ and behavioral-norms-fetishization, blind to the fact that their own self-appointed-guardians-of-truth MSM have been exposed as little more than serial-lying propaganda rags, and to the folks who voted for Trump, ‘little truths’ like whether Blasey-Ford or Brett K was being honest matter much less than the ‘big truths’ – that bipartisan neoliberalism has relentlessly offshored their jobs and devastated their communities and lives, and that none of the official ‘fact checkers’ seem to be talking about that. To them, Trump is their giant electoral middle finger raised to the rapacious corrupt elites who have done the destroying, and Trump taking a wrecking ball to the elite’s precious norms-of-decorum – in this latest episode via his pugnacity Kavanaugh – is what they voted for, at least as much as the possibility of his actually doing something policy-wise to help them materially.

      But recognising such things would require some actual introspection and admission-of-own-faults, which is simply something the establishment players are incapable of. So much easier to just dismiss the Trump voters as stupid or deplorable!

    1. Jeff W

      As a thorough-going behaviorist/evolutionary type, I have never understood the idea that they don’t (or the related ideas that they don’t experience consciousness, pain and so on). Other animals—and I tend to say “other animals” so as not to exclude us humans from the category of “animals”—largely share the same evolutionary history, genes, neural circuitry and so on that we do. How likely is it that they, particularly other social mammals, would not feel something akin to empathy?

    2. HotFlash

      I read the article. I find myself very uncomfortable with the idea that humans are introducing fake animals to real animals and watching what happens for entertainment, er, edification purposes. It seems quite wrong and shocking to me.

  12. Wukchumni

    SEQUOIA AND KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARKS, Calif. October 6, 2018 – The past week saw stormy weather in the Sierra Nevada, including powerful lightning storms that ignited seven small fires in Sequoia National Park. One fire, located near Wolverton Road, was fully suppressed at less than 0.1 acres, and has since been declared out. The other six fires are located in extremely rugged wilderness, and the parks are monitoring them by air while evaluating a range of strategic and tactical options, dependent upon fire behavior in the coming days.

    The total size of all six fires amounts to less than one acre. Of the six fires, five are located in the East Fork drainage of the Kaweah River, and are visible south of the Mineral King Road. The other is located east of Castle Rocks, and is visible from the Generals Highway. Despite their visibility, the fires currently pose no threat to life, property, or infrastructure.

    Cooler temperatures, higher humidity, and precipitation in recent days have hampered fire growth, as is typical at this time of year. Furthermore, the fires are principally located in areas with little recent fire history and no trail access, and it is of high importance to avoid placing firefighters at undue risk.


    I feel certain that if we go with Zinke’s assertions, Thor’s Hammer was aided by a team of ‘environmental terrorists’ in the latest escapade of I Sync The Body Electric.

    In years past, i’d say we’re very nearly out of the danger zone in terms of wildfire activity, but that was then and this is now, the new normal.

    I only saw 2 of the 6 new conflagrations yesterday, and on one of them, to call it “Extremely Rugged Wilderness” could actually be an understatement.

    If only Castle Rocks was easily approachable, it would be considered one of the finest climbing areas in the world, but it’s not…

    John Salathe’, who was on the second ascent, called this the best spire in California outside of Yosemite Valley.

    Arguably the hardest peak in the High Sierra, Castle Rock Spire goes free at IV 5.11 by its EASIEST route. All other routes on the Spire require some amounts of direct aid.

    In spite of this, many say that the approach is the crux of the climb. Several parties have wandered around in the brush for days without ever reaching the base of the spire. Many others have required visits to the hospital for systemic poison oak reactions. Ticks are abundant and hungry, especially in the lower canyons. Twice we have encountered rattlesnakes when stumbling around in the poison oak.

    Since the first ascent in 1950 by Phil Bettler, Jim Wilson, Will Siri, Allen Steck and Bill Long, to date fewer than 65 parties have summited this amazing needle.

    1. ChristopherJ

      That is a wonderful antidote, Wuk. It’s so good, here’s a ‘castle’ (natural one of course) that I am familiar with (I used to live and work in Canberra):

      Slightly related to a previous post of mine about our run/walk up to local peak (Mt Whitfield) on Saturday, we saw a lot of different flora and fauna, a highlight being a face to face meeting with a Rock Wallaby, who proceeded to bound down the side of the steep ridge. We see plenty of wallabies on the few remaining grasslands around Cairns, but the rock wallabies have evolved to evade predation (from Dingoes and man) by living on the sides of cliffs and mountains, so a much rarer sight.

      Seen plenty of metre long Goannas too, but not last Saturday. Took my phone to take some pics, but we stashed the bag at one point as it had water for return journey in it. A km later, I suddenly realised my phone was in the pack too!!

      It was still there on our return. The views up top and over the Coral Sea are stunning. Will take one next time and put on one of those image sites for those here so interested.

      I watch a lot of climbing vids, incl youtube and so on. So your link is a special treat.

      1. Wukchumni

        It’s a beautiful area where you hike, and the flora & fauna is so very different from here in the High Sierra. The classic big wall climb locally is called Angel Wings (or Valhalla) and it’s a 15 mile walk to get to the approach, and to bring enough gear, most need 2 trips out & back, so 60 miles of walking before you put on the harness and start climbing. If it was in Yosemite Valley, it would be as famous as El Capitan.

  13. Livius Drusus

    Re: Senators representing less than half the U.S. are about to confirm a nominee opposed by most Americans.

    This is why Democrats are foolish to write off white working-class voters. Even with demographic trends favoring pro-Democratic groups the American political system and the U.S. Senate in particular is biased in favor of small, rural states with predominantly white populations. On the other hand the Obama coalition of minorities, upscale white liberals and young people is concentrated in large metro areas in a handful of states.This means that the Democrats must try to win in so-called “flyover country.” The Democrats cannot just write off a massive chunk of the country as full of hopeless deplorables.

    1. jo6pac

      The Democrats cannot just write off a massive chunk of the country as full of hopeless deplorables.

      Yes they can and they will do so. It’s how they work.

      1. RUKidding

        Sadly, and infuriatingly, yes. Agree.

        BigD simply doesn’t want to win. Obama chucked out the very successful 50 State strategy implemented by Howard Dean, which, in part, got Obama in office. And BigD has NEVER looked back. WHY did O’Bummer do that?? You tell me. Imma guessing that some richy-rich patron whispered something in his ear. And voila – Barry Bamz leaves office a multi-millionaire as if by magic.

        Here’s another article about how BigD ignores both their potential base (of less wealthy people), as well as potentially quite good politicians:

        Again: Yes it certainly looks like BigD has no interest in winning. Much easier to sit back, let the Republicans do their thing, and count the filthy lucre as it pours into their on-shore and off-shore accounts. Bada boom, bada bing.

      2. JacobiteInTraining

        “…Yes they can and they will do so. It’s how they work…”

        Yup. And if one was a fly on the wall of various key meetings between the ‘In Club’ cocktail parties, secure room discussions, and/or private Caribbean Island Paradise getaways….we would certainly hear the movers and shakers portioning up the pie: “well, you get your city folk all riled up against our bumpkins, we will keep our bumpkins riled up against yer city folk, that’ll keep em all busy. Oh, and then …don’t forget to vote for my pork bill next thursday too right? favor returned!”

        Trouble is, they have to keep plumbing the depths of manufactured anger ever deeper these days to keep everyone divided. Eventually, one mob will get to the point of killing the other mob. Of course, though the elites will be a bit embarrassed at mussing up that nights dinner service a bit….they know Justinian will just wall off the messy zone and do some ‘lawn mowing’….

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          it seems sort of cyclical, but I’m noticing more strident calls for Balkinisation/separation from Team Blue folks I encounter online.
          just let red and blue america separate, before we hafta go to civil war with each other.
          Of course, as a Texan, I take issue with this…even Texas is not monolithically goptea.
          and most people don’t vote at all…so are neither red nor blue.
          another aspect of this fantasy…most recently in the comments for an alternet article about Habermas(!)…is that Team Blue is making an egregious category error. I read somewhere just the other day that something like 63% of Americans favor legalised weed, 70+% favor M4A, and a host of other similar revelations.
          The problem is that our media, and our gooberment, do not represent us…and yet Team Blue is ready to either toss much of the country away…or go on and have a civil war(really).
          Indeed, the Chistopher Browning article in the NYRB that Sheer et alia are hollering about makes the same error…as if the Right is a monolithic army…when everything i’ve seen in my own rummaging indicates that the True Believers (“alt-right” or whatever) are a rather fringe movement, and has been here all along.
          I continue to tell Team Blue that if they really want to nip fascism in the bud, they should, 1…stop being fascist themselves,lol…and 2. remove the fuel that drives people into such movements( eg: despair and want and hopelessness) and get busy and get behind a New New Deal.
          That the mandarins of the party are so averse to this does not make me hopeful.

          1. JacobiteInTraining

            Couldn’t agree more.

            A true multi-party system would let the fringe screaming extremes have their fringe screaming extreme parties, but then let the moderates, the centrists, and many others that either no longer vote…or who may hold strong beliefs to one philosophy or the other – but are willing to work _together_ on things that are common agreements to the many – and actually get something done.

            But I am not hopeful either….if anyone in power was interested in fixing the binary party system, it would have been done by now.

    2. willf

      Is it possible to just say “working class voters” without appending the word “white” to it?

      It seems to be a trope taken from establishment journalists that one can’t write the words “working class” without adding “white”. But the real working class in America is larger than just the whites who are working class, and the addition always seems to be for the purpose of splitting minorities off from the working class, rather than acknowledging the reality that they are included within it.

      1. ewmayer

        ‘Is it possible to just say “working class voters” without appending the word “white” to it?’

        Not if you’re an identity-politics warrior, it’s not.

    3. Procopius

      Well, Howard Dean’s 50 State Strategy worked so well in 2006 and 2008 it had to be destroyed immediately Obama/Rahm Emanuel took over.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Grassley suggests absence of women on Judiciary due to committee’s heavy workload Washington Post. Chuck L “When was Grassley’s “Sell by” date? I missed it.”

    Senator Chuck Grassley ( is 85 years old and is still going full bore but it does not matter if he retires any time soon. The reason is that he has a grandson, Pat Grassley ( who at 35 is already a Iowa State Representative to follow in his footsteps.
    If the committee has a heavy workload they should hire more women to get the work done. Even that Kavanagh knows this as he is the first Justice to have an all-female staff. The only thing is that they should note that these women are there to be staff and not to be a harem.

    1. ChiGal in Carolina

      That second link is a fun read for anyone who liked Breaking Bad (as I did). I always thought Nietzsche was more of a radical humanist than a nihilist. The will to self-empowerment–great tweak.

      Not sure I’m convinced though that Walter White doesn’t wind up as a Bad Man, though many of the interpretations along the way ring true for me.

      1. Wukchumni

        Walter White’s character could have been any of us (sans the chemical wizardry) and the idea that he needed to commit crimes to be able to afford medical treatment, was just one of the many absurdities of life in these United States, and didn’t really faze me-which is sad in itself.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          well on the way to my second denial(of four, total) of disability, I wrote a letter that i sent to mine and other congresscritters.
          In it I indicated that my frustrations was dangerously high, and that I was seriously considering robbing a bank, stealing a boat and going to Cuba for my needed hip replacement.
          Suddenly, where there had been total silence(shouting down a well), there were actual phone calls from the various congressional offices.
          Of course, nothing of consequence was done by these people to further my quest for a hip, but the letter sure got their attention.

      2. Carolinian

        The show was called Breaking Bad so it’s pretty clear what the creators thought of Walter. And in truth they gave him the only suitable end and didn’t wimp out as happened with The Sopranos finale.

        Walter was the classic trickster character–his successor Jimmy McGill.

        1. skippy

          If I remember correctly the BB Walter’s life and mindset started with the unethical acts wrt his share of IP going poof. Difficulties that could have been avoided or minimized with the proceeds of that – set the stage – for his mental framing and ultimately his actions.

          Which comes full circle at the end of the series, when he – forces – those responsible, too be responsible – for his child….

          1. Carolinian

            Yes but stealing IP is not the same as dissolving bodies in vats of acid. Gilligan’s show does have a moral point of view even in the midst of all the black comedy.

            What the show is really saying is that everyone is morally compromised to some degree and in that sense it’s miles ahead of typical TV fare that doesn’t deal in psychological subtleties.

  15. Max4241

    re: Environmental consequences of a nuclear war

    Nuclear winter is for amateurs.. If the Americans and the Russians “exchange,” more than 70 nuclear power plants will be vaporized.

    What happens to the atmosphere then?

  16. Louis Fyne

    —Dire Climate Warning Lands With a Thud on Trump’s Desk Dire Climate Warning Lands With a Thud on Trump’s Desk —

    Buried in the IPCC report, all four IPCC-proposed de-CO2 scenarios assume that the world is going to *increase* nuclear fission use, anywhere from 100% on the low end to 500% on the high end. (along with a reduction in coal from -78% to -97%)

    Doubt that nuke tidbit will go over well with Greenpeace or the Sierra Club.

    the news report is burying some important details from the UN report. Just saying. we’re doomed. the political will/action isn’t there from the left (anti-nuke) or right (pro-nat gas). page spm-19

    1. Wukchumni

      “Words calculated to catch everyone may catch no one.”

      “Nature is indifferent to the survival of the human species, including Americans.”

      Adlai Stevenson

    2. Llewelyn Moss

      Dire Climate Warning Lands With a Thud in Trump’s Waste Basket
      There fixed it for ya. UR welcome.
      My favorite part of a Trump rallies is when he boasts “I’ve made historic progress in removing Job Killing Regulations!”. Followed by thunderous cheers by the Trumptards. Cheering for dirtier water and air. What a country!

      1. Louis Fyne

        nothing personal. these types of comments epitomize everything wrong with the left—Trump has consumed all of the oxygen in the room.

        Any topic, any comment, any argument somehow has to be tied to Trump—-even if the issue at hand existed long before Trump was on the political scene.

        One hate Trump’s pro-coal stance and fracking? Fine. Let’s replace my neck of the woods’ 25,000 megawatts of coal-fired electricity and 40,000 megawatts of natgas-fired electricity with nuclear fission or line the entire Atlantic seaboard with wind farms.

        But I imagine I’m just hearing crickets and the Kennedy family doesn’t like the idea of windfarms off Hyannis.

        Or better still. How about winning some elections outside of the east coast or California? we’ll see in a few weeks if Trump Trump Trump is a winning election strategy. or maybe they’ll be a boatload of embarassed DNC strategists soon.

        1. RUKidding

          “Embarrassed DNC strategists” – Why? I think the DNC strategy is to lose. Not snark.

          Agree with most of what you say. BigD had its chance, and we see the outcome.

          What I witness is that now Trump – loathsome that he is – is gearing up to criss-cross the country in a mighty storm of rallying the base to vote come November. Nearly everything I have heard (which is limited, but still) Trump say is a giant Lie of epic proportions, but as Dick Cheney loved to intone: SO??? What Trump does do well is rally his base, and what else he does do well is get offa his butt and fly around the country holding his rallies.

          Who do we see doing something similar on the other side of the aisle? Buehler? Buehler??

        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I agree that the next few weeks would be interesting, as well as the results of the mid term elections.

          Just a feeling that there will be surprises in store.

      2. Sutter Cane

        While no fan of Trump, juvenile epithets like “Trumptard” are beneath the level of discourse of this site (in addition to being unnecessarily insulting to the mentally handicapped).

        Make sure to throw in “Obummer” or something equally witty next time.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          One possibility is that bad people feed on negative energy.

          And calling them that will just energize them.

          For example, if some plastic eating bacteria is somewhat harmful to your health, should you feed them plastic things??

          And the Republicans can do no worse than to shout ‘stupid progressives.’

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              That sounds like a koan.

              And the reference to ink brings to mind that in the West, reed/quill pens used to be used, while in the East, brushes were deployed for writing, and for painting.

  17. Wukchumni

    The Argentine Peso, which was @ par with the US Dollar @ the turn of the century, is now just under 1/40th of the value of an almighty buck.

    What if took 6 Dollars to equal 1 Chinese Yuan, were a similar financial catastrophe to befall us?

    Think of prices of things, the ubiquitous $6.99 cloth and metal fold-up chair imported from China would have a new price tag of $279.99, but on the other hand, we’d certainly get busy making things here again.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Who Doesn’t Love Identity Politics?”

    I think that I saw an early example of this ‘identity’ back about 1980. I was traveling through Germany and I met a lot of American college students then making their trip to Europe. What I found strange watching them talk among themselves was how they would say things like “I’m Polish” or “I’m from Bulgaria”. What they actually meant was that their family had emigrated from that country to America generations ago but nonetheless they used that connection to be their identity to this day. I remember thinking at the time that this may lead to trouble but I wonder now if what I saw was the seeds that led to the arisal of identity politics. After all, politics is downstream of culture.

    1. Roquentin

      He blames identity politics in that article, and while there is some truth to it, I think even that argument is something of a red herring. The more basic mechanism at play is that “politics” in the US is mostly a distraction, a spectacle, as sort of “virtual politics” which all the trappings of political struggle but little to no substance. It’s like fantasy football, watching the Oscars, playing videogames, etc. Everyone feels as though he or she is participating but has no practical influence on the outcome. If I have a criticism of the piece, it’s that he stopped at just identity politics. As if the mainstream narrative on international politics, economics, business, was any less manipulative and phony. He’s recognized the symptom in one area, but has missed how the same thing is endemic in every aspect of political and public life in the US.

      The worst part is understanding and even stating this makes little difference. Past a certain point, you have to deal with a falsehood as if it were real if enough people give credence to it. We’re all forced to inhabit this spectacle and its delusions, even if we spend most of our time and energy trying to explain to others that it is. Bleak, I know, but the short version is that the author didn’t go far enough.

      1. Carolinian

        Civil rights and women’s rights are–of course–legitimate political issues. The problem is that for the majority of voters elections are about economics so ignoring that is not the way to gain political power in the way that Dems of the mid 20th cent did dominate.

        And only by dominating can Dems avoid that other truism which is that politics is the art of compromise. Treating their opponents like horned villains is not likely to inspire agreement.

        1. Buckeye

          Compromise with whom? Republicans/conservatives don’t compromise. All they do is ram their elitist ideology down our throats and smear the victims as “deserving what they get”. When Repubs are in the majority they dictate like the worst tyrant, and when in the minority they block, subvert, and undermine meaningful action.

          Politics is the art of wielding power, and compromise is the language of the Devil.

          1. Carolinian

            No you’re right that the Republicans are also calling the Dems horned devils. But the Dems have a secret weapon which is that they–in theory–represent the economic interests of the majority of the voters. Should they ever choose to use that weapon they could well gain the power that would force meaningful negotiations and results.

            Politics is the art of wielding power but not absolute power except in a dictatorship. In a democracy some compromises will always be necessary. I believe this is my problem with many of our current elites. They have no problem with dictatorship as long as that dictator is not named Trump. There have even been some among The Resistance who have wistfully suggested that the military should step in and “rid us of this troublesome president.” Calling your opponents Devils leads to fanaticism.

              1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                That would make that base more than just deplorable.

                Not sure if calling them worse than deplorables, even if speaking the truth, will help in the upcoming elections though.

                Or perhaps it will.

                In that case, more money should be spent shouting the new name which is worse than deplorables.

        1. Edward E

          Every Ambassador will be a puppet of the Zio…t Banksters and Oligarchs of the United States of Isr..l period.

      1. a different chris

        Well, we’re in real trouble as Haley is maybe the ultimate weather vane of stupidity. She figures Trump will win in 2020 (actually pretty likely*), and then in 2024 Nikki!! Nikki!! Nikki!!… as we all bask in wingnut nirvana so she needs to get it started now.

        What I’m saying is that she will be wrong as she always is, and thus the Trumpapocolypse will be even worse than we expect. The difference between me and the stupid Dems is I know the problems will not rear their head until way farther down the road than they can apparently even think. It’s a big big country, screwing it up takes time esp. when your screwup “direction” is different than your (Obama) predecessor. Actually I think, given Obama’s head start but Clinton’s somewhat -only somewhat- less bleeped up ideas than Trump it would go south early next decade no matter which of those un-worthies had won in 2016.

        *Bernie could win the Presidency in 2020 but he can’t get thru the Kamela Harris’ of the world and they can’t beat Trump. And the dude is impressive but he’s getting old, old, old.

        1. Carolinian

          At least by resigning she finally said something we can all agree with. This sidebar about her always planning to quit after two years could explain Trump’s tolerance of her continuous off the reservation pronouncements.

          Unfortunately Bolton, Pompeo did not resign.

        2. Hameloose Cannon

          If body of top-tier life-long diplomats breaks decorum and laughs at you like you were Castro the Clown, you can slap a tariff on it, go all Hawley-Smoot on it. *Art of the deal* You can throw shade at it on twitter, project your insecurities all over it like a drive-in. Um, ramp up the attacks then sic Rudy on it to baffle it into submission. With an espionage investigation, eventually taint the US ambassador to the UN, who prefers the metaphor for her political future isn’t a stadium implosion caught on high-speed film, and that way you can sign the “friend’s” NDA, and write-off diplomacy all together like the tear-down that it has become. Yup. Just let things deteriorate for so long that you High Castle it and have Philip K. Dick characters just start quantum tunneling into your Oval Office with YouTube clips of Pax Clintonia. Things should clear right up.

        3. John k

          Tulsi balances the old and white male, I predict she (and OAC) join him often on the campaign trail. And pulling huge young crowds also deflects the too old charge… too old for who? The old dem Dino’s?
          Harris has no base outside Ca, and no appealing history. Plus neolib globalism is in decline.
          Also, the anybody but Bernie gang is big, splits neolib vote. Harris, Biden, booker, Hillary, etc. imagine all of them on a stage with Bernie… it will be like what trump did to the reps except less personal.

          My own view of age is I much prefer an old guy that maybe has or will lose a bit of capacity but with the right policies to a young, vigorous person with the wrong ones. And it seems many younger voters agree. I see landslide with coattails.

    1. Carolinian

      Oh holy day.

      Stories say she was always planning to quit at the end of the year, won’t run in 2020.

      1. m

        Nikki Haley put in 14 years of public service, now it’s time to make bank! Lobby for the MIC or some Israeli/Mossad war craziness. She is probably just pulling a Palin.

  19. Summer

    Re: Facebook, Are You Kidding…Techcrunch

    This part should be a sort if disclaimer that anyone writing about such social media platforms should include their articles and books:

    “Reminder: Facebook’s entire raison d’être is to extract personal data from its users. For intimate products — video chat, messaging, kitchen-friendly panopticons — it’s best to rely on companies with a business model that is not diametrically opposed to user privacy. Facebook isn’t the only one of those companies (um, hey Google) but Facebook’s products aren’t singular enough to be worth fooling yourself into a surfeit of trust.”

  20. cyclist

    I find the optimism about carbon capture technology to be puzzling. Regarding the Quartz article about the Swiss company removing atmospheric carbon dioxide and converting it to stone: they intend to scale up the process in Iceland and use geothermal energy. This seems to be a very specific circumstance, because the energy needed to power the process, which must be huge, is (apparently) carbon neutral. And that is neglecting the energy that was used in creating the physical infrastructure.

    Any process like this will involve locally removing entropy (global entropy will always be increased), and this can only come at a large energy cost (dilute CO2 in air converted to carbon in stone is a large decrease in entropy). The laws of thermodynamics will not be violated. Our best be is to probably stop creating the entropy in the first place (e.g. oil burned creating CO2 gas).

    1. Antifa

      The company turns CO2 into stone. How did they fail to name their company Medusa?

      ClimeWorks is a lame name.

    2. Oregoncharles

      Oregon is another place where it might be applicable – lots of geothermal and basalt. To say nothing of the environs of Yellowstone.

      Biological methods of carbon fixation remain the only win-win. For instance, soil carbon storage increases fertility by restoring worn-out soils. Iron fertilization of the ocean is riskier, but larger scale, and would likely improve local fisheries.

  21. fresno dan

    Part of President Obama’s legacy is the health of his party. He’s had many successes*** in office — health care reform, climate change regulations, Wall Street reform….
    When Obama took office, there were 60 Democratic senators; now there are 46. The number of House seats held by Democrats has shrunk from 257 to 188.
    Maybe the reasons given for the democrats losing so many seats are the reason the democrats lose so many seats….maybe if you say that a man is on fire, and throw a bucket of water on him, when he is actually drowning, you only make the situation worse

    *** you can call changes in laws reform, but who benefited and who was worse off? Millions of people were worse off after the mortgage crisis, while only thousands of bank fraud perpetrators served any prison time…WHA!??! thousands of mortgage fraud perpetrators did NOT serve any prison time!?!? Well, at least hundreds did…WHA!? Dozens???

    1. Louis Fyne

      The DC Democrats lost all hope when they gave Jon Corzine (and others) the ultimate get-of-out-jail-free card. and the media, of course, didn’t call them out on it.

      the rot is deep and there is no shame about it.

      And Obama telling the post-industrial Midwest that “those (manufacturing) jobs are gone and never coming back” didn’t help either.

    2. Another Scott

      Climate change regulations? Seriously? The ones he implemented we relatively weak, limited to executive actions. Once again, he could have accomplished something substantial if he wanted. He had the majorities in both houses to get major changes implemented. Instead, he and the senate dems decided that maintaining the filibuster was more important. As a result, we got weak environmental regulations to go along with a weak stimulus, weak Wall Street regulations and poor health insurance law.

  22. Synoia

    Economics Nobel Winner

    Building elegant little models is passé. The future of econ is rigorous, empirical, and always engaged with the real world.

    LAMO. Are they going to include chaos theory?

    Question: What is the intersection between Chaos theory and accurate projections?

    Answer (Choose 1)
    1. A reliable prediction
    2. A null set
    3. What the boss wants to hear

    1. ewmayer

      One didn’t need fancy subtle-differences-in-inital-conditions-amplify-over-time chaos-theoretic capability to recognize the ginormous inflating housing bubble in the run-up to the 2008 GFC, but somehow it was missed by all the elite policymakers’ economic models. Most of us academic-econ skeptics would be elated if their ‘models’ could simply call an enormous and unsustainable asset-price bubble what it is, in something approaching real time. In other words, the bar for ‘models more reflective of the real world’ here is appallingly low.

  23. KFritz

    Neri Oxman has been gifted with a Wikipedia article since September 2010, illustrated with a portrait since 2015.

    IMO, while the main reason that Donna Strickland was denied entry is probably her gender, other factors may include her unassuming nature, (Neri Oxman is not unassuming) and a not very comprehensive community of editors for the field of lasers. Neither Strickland’s name, nor her co-laureates are mentioned in the main Laser article–a week after the prizes.

    1. KFritz

      I’d like to add that the Laser article is well written in language that’s intended for non-scientists, unlike a great many other comparable articles in Wikipedia–another of its flaws.

      Also, that the low percentage of women editors in Wikipedia mirrors, but doesn’t replicate, the percentages of women who are libertarians. Jimbo Wales is a libertarian, and Wikipedia’s a reflection of his libertarianism, IMO.

  24. Oregoncharles

    “A Greek tragedy: how the EU is destroying a country The Spectator”

    Next: Italy. Maybe Italy would be better off playing Samson. (Admittedly, I don’t have to deal with the consequences.)

    The comments on the article about Italy are about just that.

  25. Spoofs desu!

    I choose 3.

    From the Bloomberg link above:

    Romer argued in his 2016 paper that that’s not only wrong, it may lead to the misleading conclusion that government action can’t fix big problems.

    “may lead to the misleading conclusion”!!? May? This is one of the main features of the bull shit story which is macro economics; i. e., what the boss wants to hear, number 3.

    I would like to hear more on how we got here. What was the mechanism by which virtually all econ grad schools teach this opulent garbage? E.g how is it decided that certain things do not and did not get published in econ journals?

  26. Unna

    Guardian Satanic Kitchen article:

    “…the economic benefits of one hour spent cooking [relative to ordering a meal via an app] could decline from £13 per hour to £8 per hour … ie lower than the median wage.”

    Knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing.

    1. cnchal

      Thank you for your comment. It got me to read the article and in answer to the question posed as the title, an absolute unequivocal yes, dark kitchens and as mentioned in the article, Amazon warehouses, are modern satanic mills.

      Those calculations you refer to come from the banksters at UBS and they try to rationalize in terms of money and time what the average cow like consumer would probably do, but there is a scam at the heart of the operation, which I didn’t know about till reading the article, since I naively thought that Deliveroo or it’s ilk would pick up the meal from a restaurant and simply deliver it.

      The food that comes out of them is sold in the name of established restaurants, and innocent customers might assume it somehow still comes from their high-street premises. But no: this is a new reality of “virtual branding”, in which all that sits behind this or that logo are the bare essentials – a couple of ovens, a handful of chefs and couriers frantically delivering what they cook.

      I bet fake made up restaurant names and logos are already being used to cut out the original restaurants, and most customers will never know the difference. Satanic indeed.

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