Link 11/1/18

Scientists Warn That World’s Wilderness Areas Are Disappearing New York Times

‘We’ve never seen this’: massive Canadian glaciers shrinking rapidly Guardian (Kevin W)

Startling new research finds large buildup of heat in the oceans, suggesting a faster rate of global warming Washington Post

Neanderthal teeth reveal lead exposure and difficult winters ars technica (Kevin W)

Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is on Daylight Saving Debate? National Conference of State Legislatures (UserFriendly)

Lime recalls thousands of scooters after reports of some catching fire Business Insider

Third of Britons have stopped or reduced eating meat – report Guardian (furzy)

How do you move a bookstore? With a human chain, book by book MPR (Chuck L)

Experimental AI lie detector will help screen EU travelers engadget. Institutionalizing bad science. Microexpressions have been debunked as a way to catch liars.


Spinal implant helps three paralysed men walk again BBC

From Politico’s European newsletter:

SEXINESS ALERT: We’ll be talking bad, sour, “non-performing,” or whatever else you want to call them, loans for a bit, so read on. EU ambassadors agreed Wednesday on the size of the buffers that banks need to hold on their balance sheets against non-performing loans. In effect, Council agreed on a negotiating position for new rules that will oblige banks to fully cover loans that have gone bad after seven to nine years if there’s anything of value (read: real estate) as collateral, and after three years if not. That’s a concession by the hawks — the Commission proposal foresaw stricter rules.

Why it matters: In the words of Austrian Finance Minister Hartwig Löger, returning “trust and confidence in our financial system” requires “solid prudential rules and effective monitoring tools. Today’s agreement is a significant step toward delivering on these two objectives and ultimately strengthening our banking union.”

Now why it really matters: There’s a long way to go before the EU can reach an agreement on Macronite calls to further integrate the eurozone. The first step in the risk-sharing direction (and a political precondition set by Germany and the Nordics) is risk reduction in the banking system.


EU warns little hope of a deal before December Telegraph. Note Raab has been pushing for an EU summit on November 21.

Brexit: tentative deal on financial services agreed – reports Guardian. However:

No 10 insiders suggested that it was “very premature” to be talking about the future trading relationship but did not rule out that the future of financial services was being discussed. Others dismissed reports in the Times and on the financial wires as “unsubstantiated rumours”.

Brexit: Border Force to open two new processing centres for ‘high-risk’ customs arrivals in Milton Keynes and Hayes Independent

BREXIT BOMBSHELL: EU won’t offer UK Irish backstop compromise because they don’t TRUST May Express

UK manufacturing growth slumps to 27-month low as Brexit and trade wars bite Guardian

US attacks UK plan for digital services tax on tech giants BBC (Kevin W)

New Cold War

Cold War’ Takes New Meaning for U.S. Marines at a NATO Exercise New York Times (furzy)

U.S. Plans Sanctions to Target Venezuela’s Gold Exports Wall Street Journal (Kevin W)


Paper Cuts: The American President and the Prince of War – Pogo. Kevin W: “The real value in this article is in the two embedded documents by Erik Prince.”

Yemen – After 200,000 Died An Embarrased U.S. Finally Calls For Negotiations Moon of Alabama

Authorities probing immigrant Saudi sisters’ mystery deaths Associated Press

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Beware: China may be reading your email Asia Times

New Technology Out Of MIT Could Detect Mass Shooters Forbes (David L)

Turkey’s Erdogan inaugurates ‘world’s largest airport’ in Istanbul Independent. Bill B: “22,000-camera surveillance system.” Compare this against Chicago’s 30,000 cameras.

Trump Transition

Defense Secretary Mattis On Doubling Troops At The Border: ‘We Don’t Do Stunts’ Huffington Post

Fox News Incites Domestic Political Violence More Than Trump Intercept (furzy)

OSCE watcher talks suppression, press safety in US midterms DW

How Stupid Do Stacey Abrams, Lucy McBath, and Most Progressive Democrat Congressional Candidates Think We Are? Black Agenda Report

Outrage after English village used in pro-Trump election ad Guardian

Seven Rules for Running a Real Left-Wing Government Ian Welsh (UserFriendly)

Seema Verma tweet: ‘Scariest Halloween costume’ is Medicare for all USA Today. UserFriendly: “Shoot me.”

How to Have a Mail-Order Abortion Medium (Dr. Kevin)

San Francisco’s planned $8 billion neighborhood has a radioactive past, and it may put people at a higher risk of cancer than experts thought Business Insider (David L)


Guns Send over 8,000 US Kids to ER Each Year, Analysis Says Associated Press (furzy). Here’s the study: Trends in the Incidence of and Charges Associated With Firearm-Related Injuries Among Pediatric Patients JAMA Pediatrics

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Woman declaring ‘I’m white and I’m hot’ fired from job after harassing two black women in North Carolina parking lot NBC

Facebook warned Wall Street that it’s going to spend a lot of money fixing problems that can never be fixed – Business Insider (Kevin W)

Waymo gets first California OK for driverless testing without backup driver Reuters. EM:

God, I am so glad I finally moved out of the South Bay this past summer – the farther away from bloody Google HQ, the better. Isn’t it interesting that they’re not first doing, say a yearlong pilot program in which the cars face realistic driving conditions but are restricted to the Google campus? A couple TechBros getting creamed by a WayMo AV might send a much-needed message to the Geek Overlords at Google.

More than 200 UK shopping centres ‘in crisis’ BBC. Clive: “PE (still…) being the dumb money in the room.

U.S. top court wary of limiting company power to arbitrate disputes Reuters (EM)

Americans Are Willing to Forgo a 56% Pay Raise for Best Job Perks Bloomberg

Class Warfare

Minnesotans Say Amazon Warehouse Endangers Small Community Shadowproof. UserFriendly: “LOL that is a reasonably well off suburb. Since when is Amazon moving to nice suburbs?”

These Candidates Want to Eliminate Your Student Loan Debt Vice

Antidote du jour. Crittermom:

The Cedar Waxwings stopped in today to join the Robins eating the fruit off the tree.
It’s the first time I’ve seen them in this state since moving here almost 7 yrs ago.
It seems appropriate that they were migrating through today wearing their black masks–since today is Halloween.

And a bonus (Ron A):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. emorej a hong kong

    Debbie Wasserman Schultz In Danger of Losing Her Seat?

    Buoyed by Republicans, independents, and liberal Democrats who are disenchanted with the business-as-usual politics in Washington that Wasserman Schultz has come to represent, independent candidate Tim Canova is in a statistical dead heat with Wasserman Schultz for an election day victory next week.

    In … Miami Herald, Tim Canova says:

    “To me, she was the epitome of why the party was failing: a corporate funded incumbent supporting a trickle-down Wall Street agenda of corporate trade deals, payday lending, private prisons, and endless wars…

    1. Kokuanani

      On first read, I thought that said “incompetent” rather than “incumbent.” [Both are true.]

    2. Enquiring Mind

      DWS not being laughed out of the running, that goes to show that some voters will believe anything they are told, and disbelieve anything else they are told. If Washington, DC voters could re-elect Marion Barry after his drug arrest and jailing, then the DWS re-election isn’t so far-fetched :(

      1. voteforno6

        I think that Marion Barry got a bit of a bad rap…the national press, for the most part, never bothered to look into why people kept voting for him. Plenty of D.C. residents got their first jobs from the summer program that Barry set up. To be fair, he definitely had his shady side (and I’m guessing that a lot of D.C. people knew about far more than what hit the news), but at least he tried to do something to help, when no one else would.

    3. johnnygl

      Wow, let us dream…even a little. That would be some ice cold revenge for the left…and for canova himself, most of all. He’s basically gotten no help from anyone, as I understand.

    4. kurtismayfield

      From the Miami Herald article:

      Brenda Snipes, the Broward County Supervisor of Elections, stonewalled my ballot request for months. I filed a lawsuit in June 2017, and while the lawsuit was pending, Snipes destroyed all the ballots, violating numerous state and federal criminal statutes. She concealed the ballot destruction from the court for more than two months and admitted to all this in sworn videotaped deposition.

      They aren’t even hiding the corruption anymore. I wouldn’t trust any vote counts from the Democrats.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Disobeying a court order and nobody goes to prison for at the very least contempt of court? Reminds you of when 200,000 votes went MIA in New York and nobody went to prison for that either.

    5. Lambert Strether

      Your comment leaves out a crucial sentence:

      That’s according to a private GOP poll conducted by a candidate or donor.

      The Republican sources who revealed the poll results to the press wouldn’t say who, and no public, official polls have been conducted for this race.

      I can’t game this out, but game it certainly looks like.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        aye. and this part veered into my fantasy land: ” In the past, many nations went out of their way to be self-sufficent. It was Keynes’ position, by the way, that nations should produce all their day-to-day necessities themselves, wherever possible, and import only what they could not produce and luxuries–but to strive not to need anything they couldn’t make.”
        That reasonable,prudent autarky is such a wild and crazy idea always struck me as weird, and potentially dangerous.
        My tale of driving past 10,000 sheep in order to buy mutton chops from Australia is germane.
        Apparently, this makes perfect sense to economists and trade regulators.
        Ian always seems to make a lot of sense.

        1. Oregoncharles

          Ironically, your example makes some sense: lamb is highly seasonal. Australian lamb would be fresh when American lamb would likely be frozen. That doesn’t really justify flying it across the Pacific, but at least there’s some real advantage. The same applies to fruits like apples or grapes, coming up from Chile or Argentina.

          And yes, that terrifying piece of Ian’s makes far too much sense.

          1. Eclair

            Umm, one can live without lamb in the fall and winter. Or eat mutton. Same with apples. Some varieties are keepers. And apples dry nicely. As for grapes, there are raisins. And grape jam.

    1. ChristopherJ

      Thanks emorej. Don’t you love Ian’s list, eh?

      1 – take control of the media back from those who have it;

      2 – control your banks and your own money;

      3 – control your utilities etc…

      Libertarians, liberals, conservatives??? … Leave our press freedoms alone, we need a strong private banking sector, let’s privatise our assets – yes that’s a good idea as we don’t have enough of those ‘taxpayer dollars’ (needed to give some to the banks…)

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        At the risk of aligning with The Orange Man I would add:

        4. take control of your borders.

        Labor (Dems) is the side that always put in and supported strong immigration policies. Duh. Because they had to compete for jobs. Capital (Repubs) always wanted open borders. To reduce their labor costs.

        As Tucker so ably explained to Cenk:

  2. Wukchumni

    Erik Prince-as per his power point presentation, looks to quell the Graveyard of Empires™ with less than 1,000 soldiers-as an exit strategy in a place roughly the size of Texas, meanwhile-we need 15,000 troops in Texas to thwart the caravan’s entrance strategy.

    1. Killing for contracts

      At the time when the maps of the trillions worth of minerals in Afghanistan flooded the media, Jon Stewart congratulated Afghanistan because they would never ever know not-war. Quite right.

    2. The Rev Kev

      I think that I can guess his plan. Step One – occupy the mineral mines. Step Two – Occupy a port that can ship all these minerals away. Step Three – use the remaining forces to establish a military corridor between the two while paying off the locals as a protection force for safe passage. Step Four – Let the Afghans defend Kabul and whatever else they can defend in Afghanistan. Step Five – Profit!

      1. Olga

        Not sure it’d be that easy. What Prince does not know – and probably would not care about anyway – is the real history of the East India Co.:
        “His presentation, passed among his friends in Congress, and presented to the President at Camp David, proposes a “strategic economy of force” in Afghanistan. Prince models his approach on the British East India Company’s 250-year Colonial rule in the Indian subcontinent—a private foreign company with military supremacy blessed by a distant government.”
        While initially a successful plunderer (apparently, “loot” is a Hindu word), EIC had to be bailed out more than once and, eventually, went bankrupt anyway. There is more at this link:
        “Yet, like more recent mega-corporations, the EIC proved at once hugely powerful and oddly vulnerable to economic uncertainty. Only seven years after the granting of the Diwani, when the company’s share price had doubled overnight after it acquired the wealth of the treasury of Bengal, the East India bubble burst after plunder and famine in Bengal led to massive shortfalls in expected land revenues. The EIC was left with debts of £1.5m and a bill of £1m unpaid tax owed to the Crown. When knowledge of this became public, 30 banks collapsed like dominoes across Europe, bringing trade to a standstill.
        In a scene that seems horribly familiar to us today, this hyper-aggressive corporation had to come clean and ask for a massive government bailout. On 15 July 1772, the directors of the East India Company applied to the Bank of England for a loan of £400,000. A fortnight later, they returned, asking for an additional £300,000. The bank raised only £200,000. By August, the directors were whispering to the government that they would actually need an unprecedented sum of a further £1m. The official report the following year, written by Edmund Burke, foresaw that the EIC’s financial problems could potentially “like a mill-stone, drag [the government] down into an unfathomable abyss … This cursed Company would, at last, like a viper, be the destruction of the country which fostered it at its bosom.”

        1. Elizabeth Burton

          And wasn’t the American Revolution, though touted as being against the king, in fact a rebellion against the East India Company monopoly provided it by the British government in part to resolve this very problem?

          Perhaps we need to remind the oligarchs that those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it, and that simply revising it to suit their desired narrative won’t prevent that.

        2. Lambert Strether

          > apparently, “loot” is a Hindu word

          From my OED:

          loot [noun(1)]
          noun1. m19.
          [ORIGIN: Hindi lūṭ, lūṭnā, from Sanskrit luṇṭ(h)- rob.]
          1. Goods (esp. articles of considerable value) taken from an enemy, a captured city, etc.; booty, plunder, spoil; illicit gains made by a public servant. Also, the action or process of looting. m19.
          2. Money. slang. m20.

          Surprised it’s as late as the middle 19th century!

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          I recall reading a newspaper clipping: Afghani suicide bomber kills 5 in attack at British Consulate in Kabul.
          Dated: 1841

    3. Alex V

      I’m also assuming all that mineral ore is going to be flown out of Afghanistan, or did I miss their port on the Indian Ocean somehow….?

          1. jo6pac

            I doubt it but Amerika did have an agreement to move tanks and other heavy war equipment out of the country if we ever leave. I do believe that agreement now is dead because of sanctions on Russia.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              I just hope the Russians find it as easy to get out this time, after getting their rail in.

    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      In the Mexican-American War, or the Mexican War, the American Intervention War, there were about 75,000 regulars and volunteers from the side north of Rio Grande.

      Is the caravan following the same route taken by general Santa Ana?

      1. Wukchumni

        You do realize how underhanded our dealings with the Mexicans were, in the lead-up to us provoking war with them?

        On 10 November 1845, before the outbreak of hostilities, President James K. Polk sent his envoy, John Slidell, to Mexico. Slidell had instructions to offer Mexico around $5 million for the territory of Nuevo México and up to $40 million for Alta California. The Mexican government dismissed Slidell, refusing to even meet with him.

        And then after we beat them on the field of battle, this is what went down:

        With the defeat of its army and the fall of its capital, Mexico entered into negotiations to end the war. The treaty called for the U.S. to pay US$15 million to Mexico and to pay off the claims of American citizens against Mexico up to US$5 million. It gave the United States the Rio Grande as a boundary for Texas, and gave the U.S. ownership of California and a large area comprising roughly half of New Mexico, most of Arizona, Nevada, and Utah, and parts of Wyoming and Colorado.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Yes, I commented on it before.

          The Americans were the ones sneaking into ‘what is Texas now part’ of Mexico.

          Those illegal immigrants came mostly from Tennessee and Kentucky.

          That’s ironic.

          Still, one wonders at the possibility of history repeating itself, if not entirely, perhaps in some ways.

  3. allan

    Monetizing forest fires becomes a thing:

    Start-up Blue Forest secures funding for first privately financed forest fire bond
    [LA Times]

    In a remote corner of the Sierra Nevada, amid 8,000-foot peaks and deep river gorges, a financial experiment is about to begin.

    Once this winter’s snow melts, workers will cut down small trees and burn off undergrowth across 5,000 acres of the Tahoe National Forest. But those workers won’t be paid by the U.S. Forest Service or any other public agency that typically funds forestry projects.

    Instead, the roughly $4 million will come from two foundations, an investment firm and an insurance company — which hope to make money on the deal.

    Investors put up the cash to pay for forest-thinning work. They’ll be repaid over time, with interest, by public agencies or other entities that want to see that work done but can’t pay for it all at once. …

    To use a phrase popular on NC, can’t pay for it is doing a lot of work in that sentence.

    1. Wukchumni

      I’m glad to see that somebody is taking the bull by the horns in clearing out the understory of our clogged forests, and Lake Tahoe homes/cabins are really spendy, and as it benefits them in particular, you’d think you could get them to pony up the do re mi.

      $800 an acre seems reasonable for the work, as long as they get paid, that is.

  4. Roger Smith

    Woman declaring ‘I’m white and I’m hot’ fired from job after harassing two black women in North Carolina parking lot NBC

    I am so sick of stories like this and the internet justice culture. So what, this person was a rude, contemptible toad who acted like a buffoon. That doesn’t mean that this one example can be extrapolated onto everyone (like outlets like the Root or actor for hire –Don Lemon– would have you believe). This also has nothing to do with this woman’s economic security, but I am sure people are dancing around the tribal fire laughing and jeering about how she “got what she deserved”. That is what the law is for, a citation, a ticket, jail time, whatever the corresponding punishment for a ‘crime’ (whatever the base legal term is) might be. Instead the internet dictates how this person will be punished, and the punishments are to rip away this and other people’s potentially only economic life line? How do you think the behavior will change in response to that? Who actually thinks it will get better?

    Going back to Hollywood Don, I’d like to see him take the “Money where the mouth is…” public challenge. Go out and tell some random people they are the biggest terrorist threats to everyone else and see how well people respond to his garbage harassment. No doubt any beatings he received would be just proof of his thesis…. how do cause and effect work again?

    1. A Farmer

      For what it’s worth, being an asshole is perfectly reasonable grounds for the termination of employment. If more people suffered consequences for being assholes, the world would be a better place.

      1. Roger Smith

        Does this mean Paypal is allowed to ban her too? Can Twitter and Facebook block her account because of this? This is a dangerous, merciless, and inhumane cliff we are waltzing off. But at least we can chuckle with contempt for each other on the way down.

        1. A Farmer

          As private businesses that aren’t public utilities, the answer is yes. Am I allowed to boycott Israel. That isn’t as clear.

      2. TalkingCargo

        “… being an asshole is perfectly reasonable grounds for the termination of employment.”
        I’m not sure if this is true of people in management/supervisory positions. However, if more
        of them were held accountable for their actions the world probably would be a better place.

        As for Don Lemon, fortunately I’ve never seen his show but based on the linked article he
        reminds me of a song:

        I could have been an actor but I wound up here
        I just have to look good, I don’t have to be clear

      3. Gary

        Um, am I mistaken, but didn’t the article seem to say she might also have been drunk at the time? What she said was surely assholish, but still…

    2. edmondo

      The more worrying part should have been that when the black woman called 911 to report the harassment she was totally ignored by the dispatcher and no one is sure that the police came after the second call to 911.

      I wonder what the response time would have been if the white woman had called to report an African-American harassing her in her parking lot?

    3. anonymouse

      If you’re “sick of stories like this” imagine how the people who’ve been on the receiving end of it for all these centuries feel! In this case the victim did call the police — although they allegedly hung up on her the first time. What is your desired end state regarding these phenomena? That we should return to the pre-smartphone camera days of not knowing? Ignorance is bliss?

      1. Roger Smith

        Who said we had to ignore anything? The fact that people are responding out of pure emotion, unable to separate their feelings against racist sentiments from what is happening demonstrates the problem. Questioning the mob rule of social media law doesn’t mean being a racist clown is okay. And of course the cop shouldn’t have hung up on the people calling. Just because something is happening that we do not like doesn’t mean we should get hysteric and through reason out of the window.

        I think going back to pre-smartphone days would be a benefit to all of us.

        1. Roger Smith

          Forgot to add, if the person is criminally charged, then I would agree there are grounds for termination, in whatever standard implication that has on someone’s employment. If someone gets a DUI and spends a few days in the slammer, does their employer find out?

          Charter does not seem to be following this order here.

          From the article: “”The incident recorded in Charlotte is a blatant violation of Charter’s code of conduct and clearly disregards the company’s commitment to inclusion and respectful behavior.”

          Since when does a company code of conduct apply outside of work? In most other cases people would be railing against this overreach of corporate hands. Instead, because Identity politics, we are supposed to laugh and be snide.

          1. todde

            I don’t think ‘asshole’ is a protected class for employment.

            and why should the employer assume the risk of lost revenue for an employee’s bad behavior?

            People boycott business for all sorts of reasons, including hiring racist pricks.

          2. Elizabeth Burton

            Like it or not, an employee represents the company for which they work, and being recorded in public doing or saying something odious is going to reflect back on the employer. People can say whatever ugly, nasty thing they want to in privacy, but screech out a racist rant where people can see (and video) it means you’re likely going to be unemployed very quickly.

            I do understand your concern, and share it; but this isn’t an example of mob justice. Would it have been different had one of her fellow employees watched her attack the other women and reported it to HR, and then she was fired? How different?

            There is, however, difference between this kind of situation and one where someone loses their job solely on the basis of an unproved accusation. I suspect the latter is what really troubles you, and it should trouble all of us. Part of the problem is that the machine has adopted “Believe Women” as a slogan for the #metoo movement when it should be “Listen to Women.” As the book most often quoted by the self-righteous everywhere clearly states, faith without acting on the tenets of that faith is useless.

            Is social media too easily corrupted? Of course it is. So is a town meeting. Any gathering of humanity, especially after decades of media corroborated mind-control, is vulnerable to being turned into a mob of one kind or another. I’m seeing it now with people clearly unacquainted with all the facts about Julian Assange sneering he could have left the embassy any time so he should stop whining. People who believe his collusion with Russia and, therefore, his guilt in the election of Trump, has been proved conclusively. And these are intelligent, well-read people. The problem is with what they’ve been reading.

            I have to say it strikes me as a little hypocritical for people who don’t use social media to snuggle into the quarterback armchairs and feel free to criticize it. People with the knowledge and skills to raise the level of discourse should they join the discussion. The old cliché that if you aren’t part of the solution, you’re part of the problem applies, IMO.

            1. Lambert Strether

              James 2:14-17

              14 What good is it, my brothers [sigh], if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

              On “without giving them the things needed for the body,” see “access” to health care.

    4. makedoanmend

      There is being a buffoon, and there is being a racist buffoon. There is a difference. There is a difference between being a racist buffoon who goes out of their way to highlight their racism in civilised society and a buffoonish person who makes embarrassing an social faux pax.

      Being a racist is foremost being a racist. One can then attach any other label one wants because that label is secondary.

      I, for one, do not want to work with people who have pre-determined social/cultural advantages over me and who also feel free to harass me because of these advantages. I mean, come on, because someone has a different skin colour one is allowed to harass that person. Na.

      Is my job security and peace of mind not worth more than their neotrollithic attitudes? Yes. If they cannot behave themselves in a civilised manner, they need to be taught a lesson they obviously never learned as a child.

      Freedom is not be ability to be childish and boorish and brutal, it is the ability to control oneself so as to allow other their freedoms also. Then everyone can share in freedom.

      1. Roger Smith

        “…do not want to work with people who have pre-determined social/cultural advantages”

        How is this actionable? This sounds an awful lot like “All white people are terrorists” or “all men are sexist”. If you don’t want to work with someone else because you think you disagree with thoughts they have, that is on the individual.

        I, for one, do not want to work with people who have per-determined social/cultural advantages over me and who also feel free to harass me because of these advantages. I mean, come on, because someone has a different skin colour one is allowed to harass that person. Na.

        Once it becomes harassment it is actionable. If it happens at work it should be reported. If it happens in public, consult legal counsel/the police etc… There are system in place for this kind of thing, and social media video sharing and doxxing is not one of them. If those systems fail, then that is a whole other question entirely (which they do and it is).

        “…childish and boorish and brutal…”

        How exactly does this not also describe the behavior in response to this event? Was this woman’s harassment equivalent to taking someone’s job away from them? Or does retribution just make are brain feel good? There is a good reason the legal system was developed.

        1. todde

          if you put my business at risk, I will fire you.

          All day, every day.

          even if you do something that isn’t racist, if you put my business at risk, I will still fire you.

          Emotion has nothing to do with it on my end.

            1. Todde

              I don’t pay people to put me at risk.

              I’ll be glad to help a person out, but people who dont respect me enough or the job enough, or their fellow human beings waiting for AAA to show up, won’t work gor me.

              You can feel however you want about it.

        2. Yves Smith Post author

          No, she’s an at will employee. You labor under the misapprehension that she has rights. Embarrass your employer and you are gone.

          She didn’t just harass the black women once, she went after them multiple times and tried to get the cops to go after them. And she had to have seen that the women were videoing her. How about “She’s too stupid to work for us”?

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              It would be better if that isn’t where we were in terms of who has power, but employees in the US are in a weak position. And in theory, this woman, as a well paid manager, should be held to a higher standard of public conduct than, say, the fast food workers who were caught refusing to serve people (both cases black women, one for not speaking Spanish, the other for speaking IIRC Somali to the person in the car with her, but she placed her order in English). I recall at least one was only reprimanded.

              The woman also brought her employer into it by bragging about her pay.

          1. Lambert Strether

            > tried to get the cops to go after them

            Good thing the cops didn’t whack her. Black people are, understandably, sensitive about having the cops called on them.

            The video is almost a genre piece by now; I keep seeing examples.

            I understand Roger’s concerns on doxxing and public shaming (and you’d best believe those tactics can be turned around and adopted by political actors who might be seen as, well, unsavory). And I understand the solutions he presents. But, as with #MeToo, these cases/incidents seem to lack a method of adjudication. Hence the move to social media.

    5. HotFlash

      am sure people are dancing around the tribal fire laughing and jeering

      Gosh, what a picture. Could be construed as racist? But perhaps you didn’t mean it that way.

    1. Big Tap

      The comments in Twitter about Verma are interesting. Many are saying since she is using her official Twitter account and advocating her political opinions she is violating the Hatch Act.

  5. a different chris


    This is not news to NC readers, but we used to buy things with our money. We would buy a TV set, and that plus an antenna would be our entire investment. And it would be a one-time, even if you didn’t have the cash for that “great deal” you could put it on “layaway”. Ten years later maybe you would move it to the gameroom/basement and get a nicer one.

    Now we just continuously toss our money into a rushing current of “services”. As an enviro-nazi, maybe I’m not completely uncomfortable with that. But it is weird that even a monster flat-screen is 6 months of the cable bill.

    Yes, I have no point at all, except that it’s a really big change that nobody talks about. But I hope somebody else can come up with one.

    1. Big River Bandido

      Not only that, but you could buy that teevee, or car, or appliance, and then FIX IT when it broke down, and keep it functional for 10 or 20 years.

      “Planned obsolescence” and taking away the consumer’s right to own their own purchases (whether computers, software, or agricultural implements or seed) are two of the most offensive side effects of neoliberal consumer culture.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      The free-enterprise entrepreneurial genius of the Neoliberal Market provides yet another of its bounteous benefits. But did the link forget to mention the ‘high’ quality of the cable service — compared to a soup-can phone?

      1. RMO

        And I used to be able to receive the CBC, KVOS in Bellingham and a very fuzzy CTV broadcast over the antenna – and that was it where I live. Result: my parents paid for cable starting in the early 70’s.

        We also used to get the Admiral and Magnavox televisions fixed when they broke but I haven’t had a television I’ve bought since the 90’s break down at all. The Mitsubishi CRT I got in 1990 eventually got passed on to someone I know who wanted it to partner and old Nintendo system and it’s still going strong. You can still keep a car functional for decades and unlike older cars most of the ones built in the last couple of decades don’t decompose into iron oxide at the sight of a dark cloud. Rust was the biggest killer of cars.

        1. Elizabeth Burton

          I have a 30-year-old Magnavox here in Austin someone can have if they want it. Last time I tried it, it worked fine. Also have a 10-year-old Toshiba that’s still going strong after most of a year as a demo at Costco.

          Doesn’t mean I’ll toss out my little flatscreen Samsung, because I’ve had good results from Samsung products, and it fits atop the dresser in the room where I now spend 95% of my time along with the attendant Soundbar. Will it last as long as the Magnavox? Probably not, but then, as much as I’d like to celebrate my centenary, I’m not going to consider it a done deal.

          Consumerism isn’t about what you buy. It’s about how much you buy that you really don’t need because you’ve been convinced it’s important or better or you’ll look like a poor person if you don’t have it. And it’s not always easy to tell what you need in advance. I swore when the first Apple Watch came out a smartwatch was something I would never have use for, yet here I sit with my refurbed Gear S2 because it’s easier to use for most purposes than hauling the phone around.

          And yes, I did run up credit card debt for both, which I may soon regret. Doesn’t change the fact they serve an important purpose for me.

          1. Jeremy Grimm

            I don’t quite understand the relation between your comment and my comment or RMO’s that comment you are replying to. No offense intended I am just confused.

        2. Jeremy Grimm

          I don’t quite understand the relation between your comment and my comment that you are replying to. Are you pointing out the way the Neoliberal Market has crapified consumer products? No offense intended I am just confused.

          1. Lambert Strether

            Consumer culture used to be you buy as much as possible. Now, it’s you rent as much as possible. I think that’s what people are getting at.

            Innovation = extraction.

    3. Kurt Sperry

      When cable first came about–yes, I’m old, even though I was a child then– my first thought was that in compensation for paying for content as opposed to having it freely available over the airwaves, at least we would be relieved of having to watch the incessant commercial ads that beset free over-the-air TV. Imagine my disappointment when the advertising carried on exactly as it was before!

  6. Wukchumni

    The war game will continue through Nov. 7, and will include mock assaults on Norwegian towns and a ski resort.

    I’m not really sure how you assault a ski resort, aside from hurling yourself down a steep embankment with a pair of long parallel planks attached to your feet, @ breakneck speed while occasionally showing off your stem christie technique. You want to avoid the moguls, as they are hell on your knees. Oh, and pray to Ullr for some fresh powder.

    Maybe take the main lodge and hole up there for snappy cocktails & après ski soaking in the jacuzzi, while waiting for a Russian mail order bride to come down the slopes on a snowboard, yeah that’s the ticket.

    So who the heck is Ullr, you ask?

    A product of Norse mythology, he’s been dubbed the God of Snow, Patron Saint of Skiers, the son of Sif and stepson of Thor, the God of Thunder. Cold-loving, bow-wielding Ullr (pronounced Oool-er) is said to be an expert skater, skier and hunter who would glide around the world and cover the land with snow.

    1. Peter Pan

      I find it interesting that most of the US military land force is Marines. Well, amphibious training operations in cold weather conditions I suppose.

      However, I thought the US Army’s 10th Mountain Division specialized in cold weather operations. No mention of their participation. Indeed, about a year ago they were performing mountain desert operations at White Sands Missile Range, NM.

      Perhaps the US military is trying to diversify it’s operational capabilities?

      1. Wukchumni

        There is a cold-weather USMC training base in the High Sierra…

        The Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center (MCMWTC) was established in 1951 as a Cold Weather Battalion with a mission of providing cold weather training for replacement personnel bound for Korea. After the Korea conflict the name was changed to the Marine Corps Cold Weather Training Center. As a result of its expanded role it was renamed the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center in 1963.

  7. Carolinian

    Re the Minnesota Amazon warehouse proposal–my town has one but it’s a mere 1 million square feet and has been sited in a warehouse district within a stone’s throw of an interstate highway. It does seem odd that they would want to locate in a residential district.

    However if this trend takes hold perhaps they could simply take over the empty malls that Bezos is allegedly driving out of business. This would also put the warehouse workers within easy access to ER facilities and affordable shopping at Walmart and Dollar General.

    1. cnchal

      Reading between the lines, it seems a property developer has been quietly buying up property with either the intent to pitch the amassed properties to Amazon or with the cooperation of Amazon from the start, and then use his local knowledge of the zoning and permitting process and attempt to slip through the cracks a four million square foot satanic mill.

      Another resident, Jenni Corbett, added, “I object to the negative impact Project Hotdish will have on the whole Brooklyn Park Community and the manner in which someone in City Hall tried to use sleight-of-hand and rushed voting to slip this passed residents before anyone knew what was happening.”

      I sure get the resident’s of Brooklyn Park outrage. They moved there to get away from ‘it all’, only to have ‘it all’ sneak up on them. I hope they are successful at stopping this, and to show how really pissed off they are, burn their Prime Membership cards.

      Note also how grossly inefficient this location is, consuming vast amounts of fuel and energy to ship Amazon crapola all over Minneapolis, the extra distance to bring the crapola to the satanic mill in the first place, and the long distances those tied to the whipping post inside those satanic mills have to drive to get to their ropes.

      Also, it is another example of a handful of people making millions while destroying billions, as the “Hot Dish” developers make out like bandits while destroying Brooklyn Park. I bet they don’t live “there”.

      It would be an insult to the word “groaf” to call this groaf.

      1. UserFriendly

        Well you have a point except for the distance bit. IIRCC the current Amazon location is in Shakopee MN, about 25 miles, 30 min to downtown Minneapolis. The brooklyn Park location is 17 miles, 15-20 min in the opposite direction, so it would be decreasing the overall travel to most places.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Third of Britons have stopped or reduced eating meat – report”

    A more interesting graph would not be based on the age of those tending to give up meat but would be which social groups would be giving up on meat. I think that such a graph would be more informative into who exactly is giving meat a miss.

    1. Paleoguy

      And just wait…1/3 of Britons eating a complex carbohydrate based diet will lead to more obesity and chronic detrimental health effects. Pharma, Big Medica just hit the “ChaChing!” Button on their registers!
      Clap clap

      1. CarlH

        Why do you presume this? I lost a significant amount of weight when I gave up meat and am healthier and feel better than ever.

    2. Skip Intro

      One might then be able differentiate between those who are concerned for the environment or animals, versus those who were forced to eat cheaper dog food made mostly of cereal fillers.

    3. Oregoncharles

      I don’t have a link, as I think this predates the intertubes, but I recall that Americans roughly doubled the amount of meat in their average diet after WWII – which is also when chemical agriculture took off. The percentage may have increased since then. We generally eat it only once a day, and not every day. Beans and tortillas, with a little cheese, is pretty standard for us. I don’t know the precise proportion, but it’s far less than typical, partly because meat is very expensive – as it should be.

      So there are a lot of options in between paleo (a canard – paleolithic people ate a lot of roots) and veganism.

      1. Lambert Strether

        My question is not so much what individuals should do, but what would be the (presumably beneficial) effects on climate if the meat industry were to be destroyed or radically shrunken. It seems to me there are various “choke points” in the modern economy — perhaps “exposed jugular veins” would be more vivid and to the point than “choke point” — the supply chain being one very obvious one, but perhaps Big Meat as well. I started thinking this way because of the Brazilian election. My understanding is that even though Bolsonaro is a [glass bowl] who wants to sell off the Amazon, it’s only the locals who have the actual power to do it. The Beef Barons are those locals. Their slogan: Beef, Bullets, and the Bible. (They sound a lot like reactionary small businessmen in the flyover states. So, taking aim at meat takes aim at the people who have the power to destroy the Amazon. though I suppose increased consumption in Asia is a problem….) The whole tottering structure is like jenga. Is Big Meat a critical piece?

  9. Lee

    Waymo gets first California OK for driverless testing without backup driver Reuters. EM:

    God, I am so glad I finally moved out of the South Bay this past summer – the farther away from bloody Google HQ, the better

    I’m some 50 miles away to the north and I’m not sure it’s far enough. We have been pretty much engulfed by Silicon Valley money, influence and traffic jams. It it weren’t for family ties, I’d be out of here. Plus even at 37.7652° N, 35 feet above sea level, and not far from the bay shoreline, I’m starting to suspect we might be too close to the equator and and lack adequate elevation.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      A couple TechBros getting creamed by a WayMo AV might send a much-needed message to the Geek Overlords at Google.

      First, we say to ourselves that we are on the correct side.

      Then, we can justifiably wish for violence.

      It’s little things like this that we are reminded it’s quite possible* for people from the left to assault those who disagree with them.

      *Be open-minded, but each case must be judged on its own merits.

      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Yeah but this WILL happen. FACT.

        Just like another mass shooting WILL happen.

        Never waste a crisis as Dick Cheney said before or after shooting dat dude in the face.

      2. SubPrimeBeef

        >It’s little things like this that we are reminded it’s quite possible* for people from the left to assault those who disagree with them.

        That is a time honored tradition for left-wingers, its not an if and it is happening right now. the whole “anti”-Fascist movement gaining steam and support from party leaders…

      3. JTMcPhee

        People “assault” each other all the time, The Privilieged Few have been looting and killing us mopes off to provide the Fun Units for their personal pleasure (sex, power, really cool stuff, impunity) for a whole long while. And we mopes are just supposed to be all calm and pacific and turn-the-other-cheeky, even as we have run out of cheeks to turn to the assaults we suffer every day.

        The Tech Bros that would get creamed in the wistful scenario sketched there would be getting creamed not by “the Left,” barring some intervention in the Code by a “leftist,” but by their own Hubris Machines. Out of which they hope to profit massively from “disrupting” the forked-up system of personal transport and “trade” (“self”-driving truck, ships, large “commercial jets,” trains — does a neural network plus receptors and actuators have a “self?”. )

    2. Evan Thomas

      To the original EM comment: Waymo has been testing for years. They’ve been doing a pilot program in Arizona with a safety driver behind the wheel. They have an absurd amount of research behind their vehicles, and are the closest company to self-driving cars. Expansion of their program in AZ without safety drivers is coming this year or early next where regular people are driven by the car with no safety driver. They have 10M miles of actual driving with by far the lowest number of disengagements, including like 25 real cities and their own campus that has can generate most of the problems their engineers can think of.

      If people are worried about self-driving cars, why not worry about Uber and Tesla? Uber has killed a woman that any radar or laser system (and both were in use on the car?) should easily detect at night, and they’re back on the road. Tesla has been hoarding money from those paying for “Full Self-Driving” models, which literally tell drivers that they can’t distinguish between a clear road and a road that has a stationary object in the car’s path.

      These two do not seem to be testing and evolving at a responsible pace, while Waymo has been taking its time (a decade) to put safety first.

      1. Barry

        I’m with Evan on this.

        I happen to live in the neighborhood where the Waymo cars are kept (and have the housing cost increases to prove it). These cars have driving around here for years now — I don’t go anywhere without seeing one. They’ve been doing something much more challenging than freeway driving: operating on surface streets with traffic signs, signal lights, pedestrians, bicyclists, parked cars, etc. And it seems to me they’ve been extremely cautious and methodical about it compared to the other companies (just based on the amount of time they’ve spent testing and developing).

        And since my neighborhood has more and more Google & Waymo employees moving in and doubling home prices in a few years, I would say they and their families have been in constant proximity to Waymo self-driving cars.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          You seem knowledgeable about driverless cars. Why would anyone want a driverless car? I thought America’s romance with the automobile included the fun and joy of driving … flying upon the Earth like a bird. What changed? What happened?

          I can understand why DARPA might fund research in driverless car design.

          1. ChristopherJ

            Jeremy and others, late to conversation, so I’ll try to be brief and to the point.

            The real goal of driverless cars is to get humans off the roads, as they are not very efficient drivers, AND we can eliminate everybody’s home garage and every parking space in the cities and the airports etc.


            Get people to lose their automobile love affair on basis that they can always get a driverless car within (say) a minute of wanting one for a very cheap fare.

            Now, the car becomes a simple business model and speed limits no longer required.

            Oh, and the rich will have aerial drone licenses…not us, you will need money.

            Talking of which, I saw a ‘policeman’ flying a personal flying bike (like a quadcopter) on TV. He looked very cautious as he took off.

            I’ve tried to fly small drones and helicopters and they are not easy. So, why have we gone down the human flying route, when computers are much more able to hold a hover and fly these things?

            ‘Flying’ should be like a take me over there command and don’t crash, one needn’t know how the thing flies, surely?

            New collision avoidance tech and not needing to know how to fly, or drive, is the tech of the future…

            Driverless cars… Once a year, they’ll allow some of us to power up the gas cars for a lap of the city, to show how things used to be.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              How clean or sanitary is a shared driverless car?

              (“Who just threw up in the car…spilled their coffee?”)

              And who is to be charged for that bag of weed (that is not mine)?

            2. cnchal

              > The real goal of driverless cars is . . .

              Ever heard MIT guy?

              Joseph Coughlin, director of the AgeLab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, predicts that companies will have a powerful incentive to do so. “The most valuable thing coming from AV technology is trapped attention,” he says. “If I’m Amazon and I have your undivided attention for an hour, I will figure out a way to eliminate motion sickness and remove all the other obstacles to enjoying the ride so that I can sell you things.”

              Expect to be verbally and visually assaulted every time you climb into one of those things.

              The “authorities” couldn’t care less about safety. If they did, cops would be roaming hospital hallways trying to stop the several hundred thousand annual deaths from medical mistakes.

            3. eg

              I still struggle to understand how driverless cars eliminate the need for parking.

              Where will they all be between morning and evening rush hour? Sure, some of them will be used during the day, but what percentage of cars are currently parked during the work day? Why would being driverless change this percentage?

          2. Duke of Prunes

            I never understood the want for driverless cars until I drove from LAX to Burbank the other weekday evening. Stop and go for ~2 hrs. If I had to do this every day, or even just frequently, then I might be in the pro-driver-less camp. Think of the screen time I was missing!

            For some reason the traffic in other major cities that I happen upon don’t bother me as much as the forever traffic jam that is SoCal.

            I’m also of the age where many of my friends’ kids are turning 16, and it seems that at least one in the family has no interest in getting their license. Perfectly happy to continue being chauffeured… This was unheard of back when I was that age. Eveyone was counting the days until they could turn 16, take the test and solo drive

          3. Barry

            I do not consider myself particularly knowledgeable; I just live in the area.

            As you can see from the responses while I was away, there are answers from the corporate perspective; e.g. as yet another vehicle for marketing. There’s lots of talk on interested websites about who will own the fleets of cars, or the platform controlling the deployment of these fleets (and thereby extracting rents). I don’t yet take it for a given, as they seem to do, that the market for individually-owned cars will collapse.

            The market perspective has never been my focus. I’ve always thought about it in terms of safety. Humans are terrible at operating vehicles.

            How many deaths per year from drunk driving accidents alone should we tolerate to indulge our qualms about software making quasi-moral calculations in trolley car scenarios?

            The way I see it, if we can build driving systems that are safer than human operators are, we should.

            1. Jeremy Grimm

              You closed your comment with the assertion:
              “…if we can build driving systems that are safer than human operators are, we should…”
              This seems like a big “if” to me.

              1. Barry

                No argument there. People who believe we can are trying. I happen to think it’s a worthwhile effort.

                1. Lambert Strether

                  I’d speculate that ultimately robot cars will be deployed only in dense urban areas (“commuting as a service”) with infrastructure expensively adapted for them. I’m not sure how to quantify lives saved in that scenario.

            2. Kurt Sperry

              “The way I see it, if we can build driving systems that are safer than human operators are, we should.”

              This, pretty much. When talking about transportation systems, safety should always head the list of priorities. I know this is an unpopular viewpoint around here, but humans are terrible at driving and a self-driving system could be pretty [family blog] and probably still be safer overall. Everyone believes they are a better and safer driver than the norm, but ~1/2 the people are inevitably wrong.

          4. Skip Intro

            It is primarily a scam to distract investors from Uber’s lack of profits… just another shiny thing to wave around, with the promise that once drivers’ wages are zeroed out, the profits will flow. As if they suddenly want to be on the hook for the capital investment, maintenence costs, liability, and depreciation that they currently foist off on their victims drivers. For others there is still funding to be gottin from a coolish almost-solution in search of a problem. Talking about safety or grandmas is laughably disingenuous… at least if it comes from companies with a business model.

          1. Barry

            To be clear, I said the cars have been driving around my neighborhood for years, not that they were without safety drivers. In fact, from outside, you can’t really tell when the car is driving itself and when the person behind the wheel is driving. My point is that they have been racking up mile after mile of surface-street operation.

            1. How is it legal

              …they have been racking up mile after mile of surface-street operation.

              With human Drivers in the ‘Driver’s seat’, who would be immediately jobless/likely unemployable if they were to relay what they’ve witnessed.


              That does not equate, in any way, to proven safety; particularly given Google’s validated propensity of profiteering off of, while deceiving and violating, the population at large.

              1. Barry

                I’m sorry, Lambert, I don’t understand your question.

                Here’s what I figure is going on with all the self-driving cars on the road: every moment of every trip is logged. That is to say, the data received from every camera, every lidar sensor, every operator interaction with the steering wheel, gas pedal, etc.

                So even if the car is not in autonomous mode, it is gathering data for their models.

                The models include how the world around the vehicle works, and how the vehicle interacts with it. How pedestrians behave. How other cars behave. How rain affects the visibility of the lines painted on the road. How some roads have faded lines combined with newly-painted lines.

                The more miles they log, the more data they have to flesh out these models of the world of driving.

                They are also accumulating edge cases and working on adapting their models to be able to deal with them. The software version of learning.

                Say a random human operator in the car in front of an autonomous vehicle slams on the brakes in the middle of traffic, jumps out of the car and starts waving his arms to get everyone else to stop too, so some ducks can cross the road. The autonomous vehicle’s sensors might be better than humans at noting small critters moving about several vehicles up the road, so the model might be revised to say that “if critters then increased risk of aberrant human behavior, so slow down immediately.”

                But it isn’t just that vehicle that learns this lesson. The software update would go out to every vehicle, so every vehicle learns from every accident and every weird event, unlike humans, who only learn from their own experiences (including the experience of being taught — I do understand that we learn from each other thru communication).

                So the self-driving cars are accumulating edge cases and improving their ability to navigate the world — to the extent that humans can devise software that can handle all this variability.

      2. cnchal

        > Uber has killed a woman that any radar or laser system (and both were in use on the car?) should easily detect at night, and they’re back on the road.

        Yes, both were in use, and the system detected something in it’s path, but decided to do nothing or froze and couldn’t decide what to do, and the AI chip ain’t telling. The fly in the AI ointment.

        When the inevitable AI disaster surprises us, there is no way to determine why the decision made was made, because one cannot follow the circuits through the hidden layers to determine “what was the chip thinking”.

        1. Late Introvert

          Am I the only Kubrick nut who is revising an already way too generous assessment of him even higher? Hal 9K was far more poetic in running over an object in its path.

      3. How is it legal

        If people are worried about self-driving cars, why not worry about Uber and Tesla?

        That seems a deceptive, ‘look over there’ response, given that those of us worried – for countless reasons, many which are never discussed in the Mainstream Media – have repeatedly criticised Uber and Tesla, right along with Google.

        In terms of the safety reasons alone (there are abundant other Class concerns, regarding Corporate Ownership (Google has repeatedly shown itself not to be trusted), and Class Warfare in a STATE with the highest poverty rate in the US – where many have been relegated to taking on chauffeurring jobs, on top of other (once upon a time respected) fulltime jobs, in order not to be homeless), and the day one opacity of Google’s Waymo project (who is to really say how many ugly incidents, under Google’s ‘watch,’ have happened and been covered up?).

        Here’s one of the searchable overall valid responses (though I did cringe at referring to Reagan as if he was wise, or kind, maybe the author was attempting to appeal to the so-called Reagan [Clinton, Obama] Democrats,™ so predominant in the most powerful moneyed circles of California) California DMV’s Approval for Waymo to Test Driverless Robot Cars Is Premature – Key Questions Must Be Answered, and Application Made Public, Consumer Watchdog Says

        Waymo’s entire application should be released to the public immediately, the nonprofit, nonpartisan public interest group said.

        “The DMV is letting Waymo turn all of us into human guinea pigs for testing their robot cars, without an adequate explanation of what’s going on,” said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy and Technology Project Director.

        To get a driverless testing permit, a company must certify that has met a number of safety requirements.

        “The problem with the process is that Waymo only had to certify it met the requirements,” said Simpson. “Worse, we don’t even know what Waymo said. Ronald Reagan used to say, ‘Trust, but verify.’ The DMV is simply trusting Waymo – without any real verification – and is putting our safety at risk.”

        Regarding those Safety issues alone, there’s a world of difference between having someone sitting in the ‘drivers’ seat of an intended driverless car, and no one in that seat. And then there’s that still opaque definition of Safety™. Safety for whom and what? Financial Safety? Real Estate Owner Safety? Whose lives (both physically and economically, when so many thousands are now being relegated to living in their old vehicles) will be sacrificed for this Project?

        (P.S. Not mentioned at all, is the significant worsening of the already bad Mountian View and surrounding area vehicle congestion, when there are around five Waymo vehicles at every major intersection serving no purpose other than Google’s desire to track, oversee, and then profit off of, the populace at large.)

      4. Lambert Strether

        > They have 10M miles of actual driving with by far the lowest number of disengagements, including like 25 real cities….

        If compared to actual miles driven, that’s quite a small number.

        > …. and their own campus that has can generate most of the problems their engineers can think of.

        A lot of snow in Mountain View, then? Kidding!

    3. ewmayer

      Lee, based on your latitude and altitude you’re in SF? I moved further north to Marin, but even here there are plenty of distinct signs of SiVal money and ‘smart’-fetishism hard at work. But at least those are counterbalanced by a nice dollop of the ‘economy of the real’.

      1. Wukchumni

        A Marinfidel, eh?

        Looks as if 75% of your water is locally sourced, that’s good.

        I fully expect to see climate change refugees descending on here where water is quite plentiful, many possibly escaping their heretofore pricey beachfront property with all the water you could ever want, not a drop fit to drink.

  10. zagonostra

    If you go over to the NYT online site you will experience a queasy sense of how the internet has become a bizarre world of disjointed reality.

    There are two dissonant images on the front cover of their online paper which shows a shriveled up baby being embraced by his/her mom and an embedded video of people enjoying stuffing food in their mouths featuring recipes for Thanksgiving…Marshal McLuhan only scratched the surface of where and what we have become

  11. timbers

    ‘We’ve never seen this’: massive Canadian glaciers shrinking rapidly Guardian (Kevin W)

    Startling new research finds large buildup of heat in the oceans, suggesting a faster rate of global warming Washington Post

    Say what? Global warming estimates revised sharply upward? Sea level rise estimates to follow?

    That’s never happened before. Nobody could have predicted.

    I do recall getting flack for my personal estimates a good while back. I’m sure they will prove to be wrong but…

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The ‘go visit glaciers before they are gone’ tourism tends to exacerbate the melting, I tend to think.

      That ‘in-your-face’ body heat from the gawking human visitors (and the heating on-board cruising ships or other shelter units) is the final insult to the dying glaciers, it would seem.

      “They are so beautiful. So sad they will be gone. I wish I could touch one of them.”

      1. Wukchumni

        Don’t kid yourself…

        It’s the Billion+ cars driving all over tarnation that are causing much of the melting.

        And it’s not a new thing to the Sierra Nevada, the glacial appearing & disappearing act.

        “How old are they? Not very…in geological terms. In fact, 800 years ago it’s safe to say there were no glaciers in the Sierra Nevada. All of our Sierra glaciers are a result of what is known as the “Little Ice Age” which occurred approximately from 1450AD through about 1850AD with it’s peak probably about 200 years ago. During that time much of the Northern Hemisphere saw a period of glacial advance as temperatures cooled and precipitation increased (In the Alps of Europe glaciers even invaded inhabited valleys such as the Chamonix Valley in France). Of course there were many larger glacial periods or “ice ages” stretching back hundreds of thousands of years with the last large one about 10,000 years ago. But 900 years ago there wasn’t a glacier to be found in the High Sierra.”

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It’s not kidding myself, but the rubbing salt in the wound part that I was focusing on (for the moment of course…we must look at the whole picture).

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      The melting of the Canadian glaciers seems much the lesser news between glaciers and the buildup of heat in the oceans. In my opinion this key sentence in the Canadian glaciers link: “The accelerating melt of the glacier has resulted in major shifts to water sources at lower elevations.” Intending no offense to Canada, a country I much admire, the accelerating declines in Canadian glaciers trouble me far less than the declines in the glaciers of the Himalayas and Andes, which both source water for much larger and much more unstable human populations. Besides the more rapid melting of the Canadian glaciers is hardly surprising in light of the dramatic rise in Arctic temperatures and the dramatic declines in the Arctic polar ice.

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      I am not a climate scientist so I hope any commenter who is should correct me if I am wrong — I believe the Nature Letter on ocean warming represents a major advance in climate science.
      “The researchers’ results are the first to come from a measuring technique independent from the dominant method behind existing research…” [Quote from the first author of the Nature Letter, Laure Resplandy]
      “The result significantly increases the confidence we can place in estimates of ocean warming and therefore helps reduce uncertainty in the climate sensitivity, particularly closing off the possibility of very low climate sensitivity,” Keeling said. [Keeling of Keeling curve fame.]
      [“Earth’s oceans have absorbed 60 percent more heat than previously thought”, — a brief report at PHY-ORG on the Nature Letter]
      Lead by our best and brightest — or something l ike that — humankind is experimenting with the Earth’s climate. As the experiment evolves it is extremely important to collect and record information describing that processes of transition. If humankind survives this experiment as more than scavengers wandering a wasteland of our own creation the information recorded from the experiment could be crucial to efforts by humankind in repairing the damages done.

        1. Wukchumni

          Mein gott!

          I never thought of Germany having a drought like that, it’s so reminiscent of California in 2014-15, the worst dry spell of our long drought.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Meine Göttin!

            For (Never Gott, and Never Trump) New Agers, this calls for the Rain Dance.

        2. Jeremy Grimm

          Huh? Not sure how your comment relates to mine. The letter in Nature is not obscure theory [although it is most obscurely written]. It provides strong independent confirmation that, as suspected by many researchers, the heat accumulating in the oceans is much greater than commonly estimated. I suppose you are suggesting the effects of that greater than estimated heat accumulation have already shown up in changes in local climates?

  12. The Rev Kev

    “San Francisco’s planned $8 billion neighbourhood has a radioactive past, and it may put people at a higher risk of cancer than experts thought”

    Had an idea about this one. Google was in the news a coupla days ago for wanting to build what amounted to a surveillance city ( in Toronto’s Waterfront district. How about they get Google to choose San Francisco’s former Navy Shipyard instead. Apart from being much closer to home, they could rig the whole area with sensors to detect radiation levels and by monitoring the health of the new people living in their surveillance community, they should be able to put together quite an interesting health database to do with radiation exposure over time. That should be worth a buck to someone.

  13. Tomonthebeach

    Mattis said. “So we don’t do stunts in this department, thank you.”

    Now we have a SECDEF that brazenly lies to the public.

    The timing? Politically convenient for Trump’s xenophobic base just prior to midterms.
    The threat? Unarmed refugees including families and widows with children.
    Troops’ legal role? To look scary, fetch coffee for the border patrol, and bus arrestees if any to a jail.
    (we need 50 cals and artillery for that?)
    The enemy’s strategy? Flood CIS with requests for asylum. (Do we have anti-asylum-seeking missiles?)

    At least I am reassured that the young, strong, mostly male invaders Trump described will, once they arrive at our border, quickly be rendered harmless due to a litany of diseases which FoxNews described as leprosy, smallpox, hepatitis A-Z, and a long list of zombie apocalypse ailments. (What? Not ebola?)

    1. Eclair

      Yeah, 5,000 or maybe up to 15,000, active duty troops in an advisory capacity (Viet Nam deja vu all over again), armed and massed on the border. As our esteemed site hosts are wont to ask: What could go wrong?

  14. The Rev Kev

    “How to Have a Mail-Order Abortion”

    I could easily see a situation arise where some States will ban the mailing or receiving of these two drugs as they have done everything else to ban abortion in their States. At that point, I think that Aid Access should take to mailing wire coat-hangers through the mail just to make a point.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      There’s pennyroyal in the herb bed, per the request of the local root doctor.
      Not an ideal route, of course…but the rulers of Texas seem hell bent on reversing the clocks to circa 1100AD

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Playing the percentages.

    Experimental AI lie detector will help screen EU travelers engadget. Institutionalizing bad science. Microexpressions have been debunked as a way to catch liars.

    We are playing the percentages every time we cross a street.

    Or when we eat seafood from the Pacific (or any food).

    Also when someone say ‘men don’t ask for directions when lost.’ A number of times, the stereotyping works. And we accept it (by not speaking up against it), or by laughing it off.

  16. Daniel A Lynch

    Re: Japan’s 2.3% U3 and low inflation.

    Doesn’t that prove that full employment and price stability can be achieved without a Job Guarantee?

    But seriously, inflation or lack thereof is usually a global phenomena, barring some exchange rate issues. The economics profession (including, but not limited to MMT) does not have a satisfactory understanding of inflation.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      1. Japan used to have some sort of (may still have an even more limited version) life time employment.

      2. Deflation* can be exported from poorer nation (by supplying migrant workers, legal or otherwise). In return nations like Japan or American can export inflation to places like Chinese real estate.

      3. We don’t often link illegal immigrants news about Japan. So, I googled it. There are some articles about it.

      *workers and materials. I think China exports a lot of seaweed from the Shandong province to Japan, and the quintessential Japan mat, the tatami, is mostly made in China now.

    2. prx

      The economics profession (including, but not limited to MMT) does not have a satisfactory understanding of inflation.

      Or economics

  17. How is it legal

    Re: Waymo gets first California OK for driverless testing without backup driver

    Uuughh, given the vast increase in Waymo vehicles in, or near, Mountain View during just the last year.

    Was at the large Mountain View intersection of Central Expressway and Rengstorf last week and counted no less than five Waymos (with same looking male drivers in the ‘drivers seat, and no other passengers; of the ones I had a longer glimpse of), in all four directions, while I was waiting for the light to change.

    The visceral reaction I had was bad enough when there were drivers. I wish I could afford to leave this Valley, it’s been increasingly dehumanized for quite a while now, from behind the closed doors of a ghastly amoral Government Corporate partnership which has no interest whatsoever in the basic needs and desires of it’s populace, particularly those who own no real estate.

    Too bad no one with a large bankroll initiated a Proposition against Driverless Vehicles.

    1. rd

      This is the obvious Bay area solution to the housing crisis. People can simply live in their cars as they drive around aimlessly on autopilot. They can just sleep in the back seat without the car ever needing to find a parking space. Showers and bathrooms are available at truck stops that the car can drive into when the occupant is waking up.

      1. How is it legal

        People can simply live in their cars as they drive around aimlessly on autopilot.

        Nah, it’s far, far worse an event than that. First of all, they won’t be driving (which assumes the free will and ‘agency’ which has been stripped away from millions in the US, if they’re even allowed/can afford to access a Waymo, etcetera vehicle) around aimlessly; they’ll be captively ‘riding’, driven to an Artificial lntelligence determined destination which they most likely would never have chosen.

        Something like:

        Subjects can no longer live in their vehicles, when they lose a roof over their heads, despite being an over all decent human being. If they enter a Waymo, etcetera vehicle, they will be driven to an Artificial Intelligence/Powers That Be determined destination where such subjects will be effectively quarantined to.

        Meanwhile, all of the Billionaire Trillionaire amoral beings running this Driverless™ nightmare will still keep possession of entire collections of: World War Two Fighter Planes; their own personal Jets; yachts; Tanks; Duckboats; Teslas, and Vintage Autos; none of which will be driven by Artificial Intelligence.™

      2. AbateMagicThinking But Not Money

        rd: thats a cracker!

        Driverless (camping) cars for homeless people. It reminds me of people in the UK who take to the canal system to avoid the housing market. They have to move their (house)boats every few days in order to keep their waterways licence.


      3. Lambert Strether

        > This is the obvious Bay area solution to the housing crisis. People can simply live in their cars as they drive around aimlessly on autopilot

        That would be possible of ownership of robot cars was going to be the business model. I would say renting them will be, in which case they will probably not be as cheap as a flophouse (deliberately so).

        “How can we price robot car rentals so people won’t live in them?”

        1. Barry

          It’s so hard to come up with the perfect model for extracting rents without having to deal with renters.

  18. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    From the link, Scientists Warn That World’s Wilderness Areas Are Disappearing New York Times:

    MELBOURNE, Australia — Scientists are warning that if human beings continue to mine the world’s wildernesses for resources and convert them into cities and farms at the pace of the previous century, the planet’s few remaining wild places could disappear in decades.

    Cities and farms…

    Makes one wonder if we should give up, for example, coffee.

    “Just drink potable water.”

    Let’s ban coffee?

    More broadly, this points to

    1. Over population
    2. Over consumption per person (often used to measure progress…”in this formerly poor, there are 1.2 TV sets per family now, etc).

    Notice we say ‘over population.’

    It’s not ‘some humans consume less and are more virtuous, and some consume more and are evil.’

    It’s ‘over population’ — we are back to collective guilt here.

    Just the total number of humans on this driverless spaceship.

    Can we say the same about the GDP? There will be no ‘good GDP’ and ‘bad GDP.’ Just a simple ‘over GDP’ed.’ We are ‘over GDP’ed.’

    In that case, similar to an armed control treaty, should we have a global GDP-control treaty, limiting the GDP per person for each nation?

  19. tricia

    re Yemen. 200,000 dead, immense suffering that will continue, with US complicity at every step and not just Trump.

    Old but still relevant: “…Obama was unwilling to override Saudi policy because of his administration’s firm commitment to the alliance with Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab allies. In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on March 9, 2017, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Dafna Rand recalled that the administration’s policy toward Yemen had reflected “unconditional support for the coalition,” because of what she called “our deep loyalty to our allies…”

  20. Lunker Walleye

    Thank you, Crittermom, for the photo of the lovely Cedar Waxwing. They wear such a beautiful costume — and the mask is the perfect accessory.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Agree! It is a beautiful photo. The color combinations alone are quite beautiful. I wish such birds might visit where I live.

    2. Buckeye

      Cedar Waxwings are beautiful! Every Spring (and sometimes in the Fall) a group of about 20 come to my holly hedges out front and gorge themselves on the red berries. Usually picked clean in a couple of hours.

  21. ChiGal in Carolina

    Does anyone know how to access the Intercept livestream on the midterms that just started? My mom subscribes and got a link to access it but all we are getting is a screen stating the title of the event, can’t seem to get in. Do you have to subscribe to Vimeo to watch?

    HELP (please)!

  22. Mark Gisleson

    Brooklyn Park does not look like a nice burb. It’s where a lot of the welfare families booted from Chicago in the ’90s ended up, and it attracts a lot of crappy attention from local racists many of whom live in the county north of BP. My first resume office was in Brooklyn Center, a couple of blocks from BPk. The Chicagoans hadn’t arrived yet but this suburb was already in decline, with shopping centers from Saturday Night Live’s dying mall skits.

    Unlike many Twin Cities burbs, Brooklyn Park is bisected by a major commuter route for exurban types who never take an exit between home and downtown. It also has higher unemployment than most MN burbs.

    The stats shown in the second link are a classic case of numbers not matching the reality. NOT an upscale burb, not even close.

  23. Alex

    Regarding the wilderness I wonder how much wilderness has (re-)appeared during this period. It’s just my observations (and the plural of observation is not data obviously) but in Russia I have seen wilderness growing rather than shrinking, whether it’s a village 100 km from Moscow where a hundred people used to leave a few decades ago and now you have less than ten villagers and a maybe a dozen city folks who bought a country home and who are there only in summer; country roads that are there on old maps but now are overgrown and not easy to find, former fields full not only of weeds but already of smallish trees. Would be interesting to see data on this and in what degree it offsets the losses elsewhere.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I wonder if China is thinking that open Lebensraum would be a great stepping stone to manufacture and ship to the rest of Europe.

      Russia, centuries ago, invited Germans to populate and develop her vast empire. Will history repeat again? In a few decades, with birthright citizenship, it could be another China.

      1. Alex

        Russia doesn’t have a birthright citizenship (god forbid!). With things going the way they are it would be climate refugees rather than a conscious policy of populating it with one people or another

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            People are leaving Russia, while (other) people are coming to America?

            Are they voting with their feet?

    2. Wukchumni

      Here on the front porch of the back of beyond, there’s nothing but uncultivated, uninhabited, and inhospitable terrain for about 50 miles going east, ah wilderness.

  24. Wukchumni

    >U.S. Plans Sanctions to Target Venezuela’s Gold Exports Wall Street Journal

    It’s a broken link, but I read about it elsewhere…

    A worrying development, in that telling another country what they can’t do with their own wealth, might just end up being domestic policy similar in some guise to 1933-75 Au rules in the USA that forbade Americans citizens from holding in ingot form, or any coins dated after 1933. (but curiously you could own anything minted before 1933)

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