Links 11/2/18

Machine learning spots natural selection at work in human genome Nature (David L)

Woman survives six days in Arizona desert after crash Reuters (EM)

Climate change will make America much warmer by 2050. See how these US cities will change Vox (UserFriendly)

‘Hologram’ lecturers to teach students at Imperial College London BBC. Not appealing to people who don’t have depth perception.

The Ethical Data Scientist Slate (David L)

Apple launches vintage repair pilot program to fix aging iPhones, MacBooks and more 9to5Mac

Google says ‘exponential’ growth of AI is changing nature of computers ZDNet (David L)

Major Study Finds ‘Some Evidence’ of Link Between Cellphone Radiation and Brain Cancer New York Times (David L)


China leads market recovery as predicted trade deal emerges Asia Times. Right before the midterms, how convenient.

Four held over ‘gruesome’ theft of dead man’s eyes from Chinese hospital South China Morning Post

The US must avoid a new cold war with China Martin Wolf, Financial Times

WTO reform proposal features penalties and bans, aimed at China Nikkei


Exclusive: Post-Rafale, Dassault Investment in Inactive Anil Ambani Company Gave Reliance Rs 284 Crore Profit The Wire

If everything is so ‘wunderbar’ in Germany, why are the voters so unhappy? Asia Times (Kevin W)

Italy’s Conte ‘confident’ about reaching budget deal with Brussels Politico


Winter Is Coming to the UK Project Syndicate

Downing Street yet to decide on free movement of EU citizens in case of no-deal Independent

EU floats compromise on Irish border backstop with London Financial Times. Note absolutely no one has picked up on this story, even the Irish papers. Moreover, this sounds like a remix of things the UK had rejected.

EU fishing row threatens to snag May’s customs union plan Guardian

Barnier rejects May’s financial deal – EU ‘will control’ UK’s market access Express. So much for the big news of yesterday.

How Brexit burned UK’s Irish friendship Politico

Home Office says minister was wrong over EU right-to-work checks Guardian


By Way Of Deception – False Flag Terror Acts Press Europe To Sanction Iran Moon of Alabama (UserFriendly)

New Iran Sanctions Risk Long-term US Isolation ConsortiumNews

US Blames Iran For Impoverishing Civilians While Prepping Further Sanctions Caitlin Johnstone (UserFriendly)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Nobody’s Cellphone Is Really That Secure Atlantic (David L)

Trump Transition

Feel the love, feel the hate – my week in the cauldron of Trump’s wild rallies Guardian. Joe H: ” I don’t recognize my country and my people anymore.”

Between migrants and US border, an information gap of many miles Christian Science Monitor

Trump keeps spotlight on immigration, but punts on asylum changes The Hill

American Terror Is Not New Black Agenda Report (UserFriendly)

GOP infighting spills into public view The Hill

Who’s Winning the Democrats’ Wonk Primary Politico (UserFriendly)

Judge nixes effort to open new polling site in Dodge City, Kansas NBC (Kevin W)

How anti-clean energy campaigns create a mirage of public support Grist

How the Charter School Wars Turned an Obscure Race Into California’s Second Most Expensive Election Intercept

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Black doctor who tried to help sick passenger claims flight attendants didn’t trust her credentials NBC (Kevin W)

Education Corporation of America brazenly uses an Alabama court to delay lawsuits against it. Is this a great country or what? Condemned to DEBT (UserFriendly)

Start-up Blue Forest secures funding for first privately financed forest fire bond Los Angeles Times (allan)

How to tax digital companies Richard Murphy

Google’s famous Googleplex headquarters was the epicenter for its worldwide walkout over gender discrimination — here’s what it was like on the scene Business Insider

Apple downgraded by Bank of America Merrill Lynch after earnings: ‘We see increased risk’ CNBC

Millennial Men Leave Perplexing Hole in a Hot U.S. Labor Market Bloomberg. You heard it at NC first! Except for the “hot” part, for obvious reasons.

Trade War Could Be ‘Pivotal’ For U.S. LNG OilPrice

Class Warfare

The American People Overwhelmingly Oppose Cuts to Social Security FAIR (UserFriendly)

The Struggle For Rent Control Jacobin (J-LS)

Antidote du jour. Josh’s beloved Burmese died a few years ago of cancer but now he has a happy new pair:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Redlife2017

    RE: Brexit and Barnier’s rejection of May’s financial deal.

    May the gods help us all here in the UK. I had the IA (UK Investment Association – UK asset manager’s respresentive body) send out a stupid note yesterday about how wonderful everything was going to be because The Times said so. The lies and stupid hurt my head at this point. Everyone is lying to keep the pound up, is what it feels like. NO ONE wants to face the truth.

    Everyone who deals with the Brexit Project at work is just confused. Like the government, we have multiple suggested policies, but are completely at a loss as to what to do/ what it means. No one wants to plan for the worst (which would be an inability to do all the fund management and controls from London), cause that would imply that they worst could actually (and probably will) happen. Along with one other person at work (who is keeping me almost sane), I am surrounded by people sleepwalking to get their heart ripped out by Mola Ram from Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom. And they think they’re going for a sauna.

    I just want to start slapping people like they are the hysterical woman in the movie Airplane. WAKE UP!!!! (too many movie references)

    Sorry – it is just really starting to [family blog] me off. I think I need a drink. And it’s only 11:30am…

    1. disillusionized

      The reality is that people who could perceive reality, in general voted remain, and have trouble understanding people who did not perceive reality, and who voted leave.
      Most leavers and remainers did not and do not understand the degree to which regulatory systems have been integrated into the EU (or indeed understand how regulatory systems make everything work in general).
      So most people simply do not understand what’s about to happen, and those who do, cannot fathom that anyone would be so stupid as to do it.
      It’s always funny for me to read UK financial types saying “the EU will play ball, they need the City, and wont want to pay the price for sovereignty”.
      – To which i always feel the need to reply “Brexit” The EU will defend it’s sovereignty just as much as the UK wants to, the EU is just going to be a lot better at it.
      Scary times ahead.

      1. rd

        The most fungible, portable thing on the planet is finance jobs. The financial centers really only exist because of the personal nature of much deal-making. However, that deal-making can easily be set up in a different city. There are several significant financial cities on the continent that can absorb much of the City’s jobs. Even Dublin could scarf up a bunch. I read recently that one financial firm had already started the process of relocating some jobs to Amsterdam.

    2. makedoanmend

      Yeah, Redlife2017, I just walked through the local shopping temple/mecca and people are just going about their daily lives as if the status quo isn’t about to change in any perceptible manner.

      I always wondered how people handled turning points in history – especially unfavourable ones*. Well, this might just be such a turning point. It’s doesn’t really feel that exceptional and most of us believe that the adults in the room are going to start acting like adults any day now even when we have ample evidence that the so-called adults haven’t acted like adults for quite some time.

      We’re stocking up on non-perishable foods but it seems weak tea. But we’re doing it and are prepared to give them away if we flit. However, it seems only sane to start contingency planning involving a sudden flit. Spouse back in Ireland gathering info on several fronts as I write. Timing is everything. Could we wait to the cut off date and maybe find that we can’t get a ferry or a plane? Will we lose our possessions? How do we feel about commitments we made that last well beyond the cut-off date?

      Just Weird.

      *I’ve actually experienced a major turning event back in the late 1960s but was very young and, while it was life defining, it wasn’t on the scale that Brexit might pose.

      1. Wukchumni

        Our English friends were over for a week, and the mere mention of Brexit elicited instant frowns on the countenances, and they practically begged if we could talk about our horns of a dilemma instead.

        1. makedoanmend

          Yeah, it’s enlightening to find out how different people react to changing conditions. A good Canadian friend just got a lovely boost, taking up a job in Beijing as a winter Olympics coach. He was a coach for the UK team and based in Scotland. As his wife told us the story of him being replaced, a complete stranger ear-wigging the story interrupted her by saying that she would just have to move back where she came from – as if moving back to Canada was some sort of penance. Whilst I and the spouse sat there dumb founded, our friend with a big smile informed the lady that not only had her husband secured a more lucrative job in Beijing, but such was the hurry to get a well-healed connected person to replace him that the University paid a 50k+ redundancy for termination of contract. Sweet.

          I’m sure she’s in a tiny minority, yet it seems the ear-wigger seems rather happy that Brexit is having such impacts. Time will tell whether the ear-wigger will endure hardships herself – and ones much worse than having to move to Canada. I know its cold, but it can’t be that bad!

          1. Wukchumni


            We keep about $500 worth of canned/dry food on hand, in case of shift happening, or some other circumstance, and truth be said, most of it doesn’t get eaten, and after a couple of years, the use-by dates come and go, and we donate it to our local food bank.

            It starts out as an insurance policy and ends up as a gift to others not so fortunate in out community.

            1. Wukchumni

              My aunt in a hospice in Calgary about a dozen years ago and we went to see her in February, and it was so nice to be there, except for the brutal cold. We went to a mall and parked about 200 feet away from the entrance and hypothermia set in about halfway there or so it seemed.

              Yeah, we’re weather wusses here in the Golden State.

        2. Kokuanani

          Do you think those friends would feel any better attending a US Thanksgiving dinner & talking about Trump?

          1. Wukchumni

            We agreed to concentrate on aged timber instead…

            Somebody suggested Sequoia Anonymous as our secret name, with the proviso being it’s a lot more than 12 steps to get to the big ones.

      2. a different chris

        >I just walked through the local shopping temple/mecca and people are just going about their daily lives

        Well, what exactly do you want them to do?

        1. makedoanmend

          Become concerned citizens and think of what might happen to the more vulnerable of their fellow human beings – that might be a start.

          As my second antidote suggests, the response by some on many levels is contrary to what might mitigate future unfavourable circumstances because current circumstances jive with their world view of being special as opposed the rest of the hoi polloi.

          Really it was a glimpse or a montage of how fundamental changes seem to pass so many people by as daily life goes back and forth. Nothing wrong with that. But if things go belly up, will scape goats be found? Will people then wonder why it all happened?

          (DIdn’t realise the 1st went through because I got some crazy message about my message being “jetted” or something, but I like the second one better anyway.)

      3. Lambert Strether

        UK freight forwarder reports increase in Brexit-related warehousing requests Lloyd’s Loading List:

        Leading UK freight forwarder and logistics service provider Davies Turner reports that it is seeing a definite upsurge in enquiries about the availability of warehousing space, driven by customer concerns about the outcome of the Brexit negotiations and the future of UK trade with the EU after March next year.

        Previously, the company has seen demand for more warehousing capacity often reduce in the early months of the new year as many retailers require less stock following the festive season. 2018 has already been a busy year so that spare capacity is very limited and this is likely to continue into 2019.

        Davies Turner chairman Philip Stephenson said that the increase in enquiries, many of which are originating from the company’s partners in Europe, “seems to be the result of companies deciding to stockpile more goods than usual in preparation for any supply chain disruption that may occur around the still-to-be-negotiated transition period following the UK’s departure from the EU next year”.

        He noted: “We suspect that the ongoing uncertainty over Brexit will only lead to more demand for short-term storage in the event of no deal or an unsatisfactory outcome with no mutual recognition or trading agreements in place. Depending on the final details of Britain’s trade deal with the rest of Europe, this may turn into a longer-term requirement.

        Talking his book, but it’s a good book to be talking.

    3. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, Redlife.

      The IMA was much better when I worked there, reporting to Dick Saunders and Daniel Godfrey.

      Good luck.

      It’s nice in town. Go for a stiff drink at One New Change like I did at 11 am.

      1. Redlife2017

        Oh yes please! I need sanity. I can’t do Mondays – Wednesdays, but Thursdays / Fridays are always possible. Do let me know, dear Colonel. I’ve been known to go for a long lunch every now and then…And it’s Christmas party season (sort of) so no one cares.

      2. Jeremy Grimm

        Ugh! I’m getting confused again. Isn’t New York City — ‘THE’ City? [Small grenade tossed by a non-NYC and non-London resident just to see the sparks fly.]

        1. Oregoncharles

          As far as I know, the financial district of London is the only place actually NAMED “the City.”

  2. Livius Drusus

    Re: If everything is so ‘wunderbar’ in Germany, why are the voters so unhappy?

    Great article. I have brought up the Hartz reforms and Germany’s two-tiered economy to people I know who love to criticize the supposedly lazy and irresponsible Southern Europeans for their bad economies. The truth is that the German economy is not so great. Many of the jobs in Germany are crummy, low-wage mini-jobs much like the jobs that have been created in the supposedly booming American economy. You have to look beyond basic unemployment numbers to really understand what is going on with the economy and to understand why people are voting against establishment parties and candidates.

    1. Fried

      This is never mentioned in articles about Germany, and I have never seen any actual numbers about this, but for the last 10 or so years, more and more Germans have come to Austria to work in (for Austria) low-wage jobs, which probably makes their unemployment numbers look a bit better. When I grew up, almost all of the Germans we met were well-off tourists.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, both.

        I work for the London Branch of Germany’s largest bank and may transfer to its Zurich Branch.

        For many years, well before I joined the bank the Monday after the Brexit referendum from Barclays, I have noticed the amount of German money being sheltered in London. Much is the result of Mittelstand families cashing out.

        One heiress was set up as a designer by daddy. She admits she’s no Jil Sander or Ellen von Unwerth. A French investment bankster she met on a Chelsea dance floor took her to the cleaners in a messy and public divorce.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Came across an interesting article which talks about the current setup in Germany with a bit of intriguing history on how it came to be. It explains how the former East Germany became a home for AfD as a result of the total purging of all leading professions and their replacement by West German carpetbaggers while their industries were stripped out.The main parties treated them as deplorables which led them to support either the Greens or the new AfD instead-

      1. JBird4049

        It’s amazing isn’t it? America, the UK, Germany, Greece, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua either have very large populations, or they themselves are the Deplorable Bad People because the Poor and the Precariat classes refuse to just accept their status as losers and then silently go die; Brexiters might have made the wrong choice, but like the choice between Trump and Clinton, there was no real choice to be made except in the different poisons. Just how you might die might change but you still die. Or to go old school, they had a choice between Charybdis or Scylla.

        The whole economic system has been reformed into an integrated economy that punishes individual countries and even more the individual communities within them for trying to improve their economic well-being. They must decrease, not eliminate that integration to do so, but if they try the political economy will trigger further immediate impoverishment. While in the long term that country or community will almost certainly be better, in the short term extreme pain, maybe even economic death, will happen.

        And so, the question becomes is the system too integrated to be save? That very integration in moderation helps everyone as no one country can produce everything, especially luxuries, but now evermore countries are being stripped of the ability to produce necessities while being impoverished.

        Restated, the economic engines of each country evermore “efficient” but those engines are dependent on every worse fuel made by the other countries which will destroy the engine long term, but those countries now lack the ability to make enough fuel themselves for their economic engine.

        Which is what the economic elites in charge want.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          There are some easy fixes. Put in the income and capital gains tax policies of that dangerous radical Dwight D. Eisenhower. Prohibit corporate borrowing used to buy back shares like they did until 1979. Close Dutch Sandwich and Irish flip tax dodges that let Google, Apple, Mariott, Microsoft and Lockheed pay no taxes to help maintain the countries they operate in. Drop the Obama/Holder Doctrine that says bank crimes should not be prosecuted. Declare victory, bring the troops home and make them build highways, bridges and dams in the U.S. for a change. Prohibit U.S. Senators from being dual citizens (!).

          1. The Rev Kev

            Maybe too separate saving banks from investments banks like they did because of the Great Depression aka the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933?

      2. DanB

        See Also, “East German Intellectuals and the Unification of Germany: An Ethnographic View.” Palgrave/McMillan, 2017. It gives the East German perspective, in their own words, as one of internal colonialism or a takeover of the GDR by West Germany. Further, most East German intellectuals knew the GDR government had to end, but not in the brutal way it ended which it included the destruction of GDR cultural identity, which West Germans -on the whole- viewed as feral or pathological.

      3. Jeremy Grimm

        I am deliberately ignorant of current affairs in Europe — the US is trouble quite enough — so correct me if I am mistaken. I know Germany has many very large firms that somehow survived the last World War and prospered — surprisingly like the great Japanese Corporate giants that survived the last World War and prospered — but I thought Germany also had special laws to protect and promote small business. It’s been many years since my last visit to Germany — I didn’t see the same wastelands of small commercial space that now seem most characteristic of American commerce. Is that no longer the case?

  3. BDBlue

    Reading Feel the Love, Feel the Hate, reminded me of this article from last month, I can’t remember if it made it into links or not, but it’s worth a read, IMO — The Cruelty is the Point. It starts with a discussion of photos from the African American History Museum of white men grinning into the camera after a lynching —

    Their names have mostly been lost to time. But these grinning men were someone’s brother, son, husband, father. They were human beings, people who took immense pleasure in the utter cruelty of torturing others to death—and were so proud of doing so that they posed for photographs with their handiwork, jostling to ensure they caught the eye of the lens, so that the world would know they’d been there. Their cruelty made them feel good, it made them feel proud, it made them feel happy. And it made them feel closer to one another.

    Its insight of how cruelty can be a bonding mechanism, one manipulated by the powerful, I think is an important one.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      And that’s why we should never be comfortable thinking violence to even Google (or others like it) workers – in reference to a comment I made yesterday.

    2. JBird4049


      What is really horrifying is seeing the grinning children, sometimes in their Sunday best, sometimes right in front of the crowd, watching the whole evil.

      My brain does the whole “does not compute, cannot see” thing. I look at the pictures and I have to force myself to combine the individual parts so that I can see the whole.

      Smiling children and their parents at what used to be a human being who suffered far more than a mere hanging before they died.

      Maybe too many Americans do not know what really happened in their grandparents and great grandparents time because it is too horrible to see such almost routine, normalized evil, just as it was hard for me to comprehendingly see such pictures. Our own historical heart of darkness.

      1. Juneau

        The psychology is pretty simple. Dehumanizing the other-labeling them as another species like lice, a leach, a different species of primate, a witch, a pig, a dog allows for this behavior. It is at the heart of much antisemitic and racist propaganda and it is powerful. To the murderers the photos become trophy shots. Horrid and sickening to see now.

        1. Elizabeth Burton

          Please advise where and when there has ever been a “pro-abortion rally”. I’ve heard of pro-choice rallies, which are very much not the same thing.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            In general, terms evolve.

            From Wikipedia, for one example of name evolving:

            In the late 1960s, a number of organizations were formed to mobilize opinion both against and for the legalization of abortion. The forerunner of the NARAL Pro-Choice America was formed in 1969 to oppose restrictions on abortion and expand access to abortion.[17] In late 1973 NARAL became the National Abortion Rights Action League.

            In conversation, even today, people will talk about abortion or choice interchangeably, and not everyone removes the former completely.

    3. marym

      Its insight of how cruelty can be a bonding mechanism, one manipulated by the powerful, I think is an important one.

      +100 Thank you for this reference.

    4. Procopius

      I remember some of those photos were of parents proudly presenting their children to the camera, as a memorial that they, too, participated. The woman who accused Emmet Till finally admitted she lied. Did she ever say she was sorry she lied?

  4. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Who’s Winning the Democrats’ Wonk Primary Politico (UserFriendly)

    Hilarious comment on this article (once you get through all the “I earned $5000 ultimate month by using operating online only for 5 to 8 hours on my computer and this was so smooth that i personally couldn’t accept as true with before working on this website….huge cash… this internet-website online” pollution that seems to characterize the Politico comment section these days):

    14 Comments at the bottom of this massacre of 1,988 innocent words, after flopping around on POLITICO for at least 13 hours. Excitement is in the air.–Gary Mowery

    1. DonCoyote

      Well, the framing is so Washington insider at to be stifling (i.e. where does ‘Wonk’ come from in the headline? Because in Washington insider terms, anyone who cares about policy is a ‘policy wonk’). So arguably they didn’t want excitement. Ideology is excitement; policy details are ‘wonkery’.

      And, of course, let’s kneecap Bernie Sanders because we can. Hillary focused on policy and Bernie attacked her on ideology? Bernie gave essentially the same speech from when he announced until he conceded, and his policies are there:
      1) 1 Trillion on Infrastructure over five years
      2) $15 minimum wage
      3) Break up the TBTF banks/financial institutions
      4) Overturn Citizen’s United
      5) Medicare for All Single Payer
      6) Free college For all

      Contrast to HRC’s announcement and Lambert’s analysis of her first major speech on the economy, which are both extremely light on any policy specifics.

      And of course Bernie had the Stop Bezos bill, which was so effective he didn’t even need to pass it…he fought for (and won).

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Regarding stopping or breaking up Amazon, we are, perhaps, at the end of the beginning, but not the beginning of the end, yet.

        That will require working with today’s equivalent of some one like Stalin, and having the fiercest battles taking place on his side.

  5. perpetualWAR

    Article on the Trump rally:

    I can attest to even more bizarre behavior with regard to Trump from a number of intelligent Americans who have gone through the foreclosure fight. They have told me very bizarre tales such as, “Trump has engaged a task force and we are all going to get our stolen houses back.”

    Just this morning I received this in my inbox:

    I asked, “where in this entire press release you sent does it claim victims of financial fraud will be compensated and made whole?”

    Trumpsters are as strange as Hillary fans.

    1. JEHR

      perpetualWar: Well, now that executive order should take care of everything:

      Sec. 4. Functions. Consistent with the authorities assigned to the Attorney General by law, and other applicable law, the Task Force shall:

      (a) provide guidance for the investigation and prosecution of cases involving fraud on the government, the financial markets, and consumers, including cyber-fraud and other fraud targeting the elderly, service members and veterans, and other members of the public; procurement and grant fraud; securities and commodities fraud, as well as other corporate fraud, with particular attention to fraud affecting the general public; digital currency fraud; money laundering, including the recovery of proceeds; health care fraud; tax fraud; and other financial crimes;

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Woman survives six days in Arizona desert after crash”

    That’s nothing. Just today I read about a woman stuck for five days in her bath tub in Michigan-

    Seriously, if you get involved in a car crash like this woman did, don’t leave your car. The car itself is full of resources to use and it is easier to find you if you are missed.

  7. Eureka Springs

    The Guardian article on Trump. The photos said the most to me. Oh how I, a man who would have voted Stein if I trusted electronic voting or our system at all, wanted a pair of those custom Trump cowboy boots just so I could walk through places like Whole Foods and feel the love. And the t-shirt cartoon of Trump peeing on the CNN logo. Add Fox, MSNBC and NPR logos to the trickle down effect and I’ll buy a couple of them.

    1. tokyodamage

      Seeing the pictures of Trump supporters made me think: they’re so different from NYT/CNN reporters, they may as well be a different ethnic group. Maybe they should demand NYT/CNN do ‘affirmative action’, and hire the bulk of their writers and editors from the South and Midwest!

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Feel the love, feel the hate – my week in the cauldron of Trump’s wild rallies Guardian. Joe H: ” I don’t recognize my country and my people anymore.”


        I think that’s what the Deplorables have been saying for a long time – ‘What country is this?’

        And now, we say the same of the Deplorables and the cauldron of their rallies.

        1. Ranger Rick

          Ultimately people want someone, anyone, to blame. And their leaders are quite good at providing those scapegoats. In the end though, they’re all just scared Americans, afraid of what the future might bring.

          (The last time people were this scared we got two expensive, ongoing wars. What’ll be the panacea this time?)

          1. JBird4049

            If the manufactured wars abroad aren’t distraction enough, we can always have some manufactured civil “disturbances” here.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            The manufactured civil disturbances mentioned by JBird above, and the blaming will likely to coming from the leaders of more than just one side.

            There is an ominous sense that emotional events around us are not spontaneous.

          3. Procopius

            People are extraordinarily bad at recognizing the real dangers in their lives. We’re more likely to be killed by our spouses than by a terrorist, even if we’re unmarried. Bathrooms are extremely dangerous places. Lots of deaths there. Cleaning the rain gutters is dangerous. Going to the hospital is really dangerous. Infections, doctor’s mistakes, nurses misreading charts. Lots of dangers, and people are worried about a caravan of refugees that’s still a thousand miles away, and dwindling every day

  8. jfleni

    Apple launches vintage repair pilot program to fix aging iPhones, MacBooks and more;

    Make sure it runs on Linux; then deep-six Apple-jack and fix it with normal

    1. Geo

      A buddy and I were discussing our assorted pre-2013 Apple computers (he’s a musician and I’m a filmmaker so we use them for pro video/audio applications) and how the crapification of newer models and operating systems means we have to continue trying to keep these old models running much like Cubans have done with their classic American cars.

      1. The Rev Kev

        That is not a bad analogy that. Not sure, but I have heard that the newer computer chips are designed so as not to run older Windows operating systems but do not know if this applies to Apple products as well.

    2. Elizabeth Burton

      cf. the coincidental lowering of Apple’s stock value later in Links. Shouldn’t those two be together?

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      Your comment reminds me of the problems airports continue to have with their old programs — running ancient undocumented software on dying hardware and all the troubles they’ve had getting new software built to run on new hardware using the most up-to-date software design techniques — to executing the ‘same’ tasks. After all the “successes” these projects experienced I started to wonder why not remake the old hardware … and keep the old software running that worked for the most part.

      Perhaps hardware is easier to update than the software that runs on it.

      1. Etherpuppet

        Last week, we had a hardware failure of a 25-year old system hosting a critical business function. It took 3 days to find replacement parts, one piece of which was shipped in from Iowa.

        This is less than 3 months before the replacement software/hardware stack is scheduled to come online to replace it. The replacement software project has been in work for 8 years. This isn’t an off-the-wall case – not great by any stretch, but not the worst I have seen in corporate America. Software is hard to do right.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Heard about this guy who was being shown a major computer facility but the computers there were really old he noted. He asked the guy in charge how often the computers were rebooted and was told never. The reason was that they were working reliably but because they were so old and had been running so long, there was no guarantee that if they shut them down that they would be ever be able to start them up again. It was reckoned that it was better and safer to just let them keep running until the day they died. Apparently a true story that.

      2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Armys been doing just fine on Linux.

        The software on the ATNAVICS (Air Traffic Navigation And Integrated Coordination System – Thx, Raytheon!) is from like 2001 and still in use.

        If it aint broke, dont fix.

  9. Otis B Driftwood

    “How the Charter School Wars Turned an Obscure Race Into California’s Second Most Expensive Election”, like the Beckles/Wicks race for California’s AD15, hits close to home for a few reasons.

    Tony Thurmond is the current AD15 representative.

    My partner is a public educator and she comes home just about every work day, which for her is usually 10-12 hours, with stories from the trenches about how difficult it is for her to do her job. She is understaffed, particularly in critical support functions. And for reasons I don’t fully understand, in her school they are required to accommodate special needs students. Those students are integrated into the regular classrooms and need aides to assist them in class. Several of these children also have emotional and behavioral issues. And then there are children without learning disabilities who bring heavy baggage with them to school every day.

    She works in the same school district in which Thurmond was a board member.

    I don’t blame Thurmond for the state of her school. I don’t know if it’s just funding or bad policy decisions or the broader problems in our society, and the SF Bay Area in particular – first and foremost, the acute shortage of affordable housing and stress this puts on working class families. The irony is that most of the children do come from stable homes. Her school has a strong PTA and the people working at her school are doing exceptional work. It is only a few children, and their horrible parents, who cause the majority of problems and require a disproportionate amount of her attention and wear on her day in and day out.

    Charter schools have not helped, and will not help, and Tuck will only make matters worse.

    1. JCC

      The biggest thing that impressed me in this article (not being a Teacher or living with one) were the numbers showing how much profit there is available for electioneering in Corporate run Charter Schools… clearly the efficiency of privatization while delivering top-notch education and rational critical thinking skills explains the profits available for election influence, of course… (Not)

  10. Enquiring Mind

    Holograms in education, and elsewhere, are likely to be joined by virtual reality applications. The upsides include reuse of content for a wider audience through delivery at likely lower marginal cost. The downsides include crapification and dilution of teaching through substitution of capital for labor.

    What could possibly go wrong and who will gain from that wrongness? (apologizes to all my teachers for that)

    1. perpetualWAR

      Yes, wonder about when a student raises his/her hand to ask a question…..or will questions be disallowed in the *new* education?

      1. barefoot charley

        Decades ago now, the most popular science prof at the University of Illinois was several years dead and still teaching. Since teaching took place in amphitheaters anyway, there was no difference between live and Memorex.

      2. DanB

        As a college professor of sociology I cannot teach without interacting with my students. I often begin class by asking a general question or asking someone to answer a question like, “Tell me what you learned in our last class?” As far as I’m concerned, if I as an instructor cannot directly know what they are understanding and not comprehending, I’m not really teaching them. For instance, Intro Sociology texts typically have over 20 chapters, yet the semester runs 15 weeks. To go at a pace of one chapter per week is not really reasonably as some chapters are more important than others. And to attempt to cover 20+ is not teaching in any meaningful way.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          As a lifelong student I cannot learn well without interaction with other students committed to learning and most important interaction with a committed teacher. When I attended college I never took more than three classes because I could not otherwise give them the level of concentration and effort each deserved. I am heartened by your comment.

  11. Baby Gerald

    Re: How the Charter School Wars Turned an Obscure Race Into California’s Second Most Expensive Election Intercept

    Reading this article about the race for California’s all-important and highly coveted [/s] Superintendent of Instruction, I found it interesting that the author [Rachel M. Cohen], after pointing out the misleading ads against Thurmond run by Tuck’s campaign, makes this claim:

    ‘The Thurmond campaign, for its part, has been running its own misleading ad, calling Tuck a “former Wall Street banker” and a “paid backer of charter schools,” who is “backed by Donald Trump’s education adviser and financed by the same billionaires behind Betsy DeVos.”’ The adviser referenced in the ad is Bill Evers, a research fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, who wrote an op-ed in support of Tuck in September and served on Trump’s education transition team. But the ad zooms in on a picture of DeVos, confusing viewers into thinking that the education secretary herself endorsed Tuck.

    Tuck sent his own cease-and-desist letter to the Thurmond campaign, calling its ad dishonest for implying that he was backed by DeVos and that he was on the charter movement’s payroll.

    Tuck told The Intercept that his campaign is weighing whether to sue for libel but that it would be an expensive endeavor, and they would have to prove that the ad had long-term damage. “We’re still actively investigating it, and if I could sue knowing it wouldn’t cost us $50,000, I would do it tomorrow,” he said. “It’s just the financial calculation, but we shouldn’t normalize lying being OK.”’

    I’m no attorney, but Tuck’s libel argument seem pretty weak. While he’s at it, he better sue the Intercept author, as well, because in the article’s fourth paragraph she states about Tuck: ‘He’s is backed by the charter school movement, which has spent close to $30 million in support of his campaign.’

    $50K from a campaign coffers totaling more than $30 Million doesn’t seem like much at all, so why not sue? Maybe because nothing stated in the ad is inaccurate at all. Tuck did ‘work in finance’ according to his own bio, he worked for the Charter School privatizers and he is backed by an advisor of DeVos.

    It’s also funny to see Tuck claiming his campaign is supported by regular people, stating that over 4000 people have given him at total of $5M in donations. Divide $5M by 4000 and we get $1250. What a grassroots effort behind him. If $1250 was Bernie’s average contribution in 2016, he’d be emperor by now.

  12. rd

    Re: Social Security etc.

    I think the McConnell stuff about cutting Social Security, Medicare etc. is part and parcel of the overall lack of understanding on how money actually flows to keep the economy moving. This constantly shows up in the tax cut arguments where the claims that tax cuts for the wealthy will trigger waves of investment and spending that will ramp up the economy and increase tax revenues never actually get realized. This is probably because they are giving the money to the one class that can afford to save it and not spend it on anything (other than inflated artwork).

    So the Republican ruling class and its donors don’t really seem to understand that cutting Social Security would be an economic disaster because that “wasted money” immediately flows back into the economy the same month the check is issued. That pays for groceries, rent, utility bills, vacations etc. Very little of it is saved, so it is probably the highest velocity money in the entire economy which drives local economies and provides corporate revenue all around the country. Slashing that revenue stream would likely be felt immediately by many businesses.

    Reducing Social Security would force significantly increased savings in the bottom 90% which is the group that is currently much of the “Consumer Confidence” index touted so often as a primary economic driver. Forcing more savings in a primary spending group would likely hammer many corporation revenues and profit margins.

    As somebody in the top 10% for both income and savings, I know I am planning on sequestering about a $250k or so of retirement savings when we retire in a handful of years just due to the political uncertainty of having a rational healthcare and retirement income system over the coming 2-3 decades. This would be money that otherwise would be steadily trickling out into the economy supplying jobs to people. Social Security can be stabilized relatively simply and other countries have medical systems that cost a fraction of ours, but we lack a political will to even acknowledge this. It is bizarre.

    I think there is a little group of wealthy ideologues who do not realize that their pipe dreams of an impoverished underclass would ultimately be self-defeating.

    1. Carla

      The worst part is that that “little group of wealthy ideologues” has managed to convince almost everyone, and definitely 90% of the Democrats, that Social Security COSTS our society, rather than actually SUPPORTING the economy.

      We should double the current minimum Social Security check, and remove the cap on wages subject to the tax, IMMEDIATELY. That would buy us a little time to institute Expanded, Improved Medicare for All.

      1. rd

        They have convinced people that they are at the table instead of on the menu. Once the reality of the proposals dawns, the political will vanishes like we just saw in the cartoon-like Obamacare battle over the past half-dozen years.

        Imagine what Florida would look like with a 20%+ cut to Social Security. It is currently a 50/50 red-blue state – that would change in a heartbeat.

        Unfortunately, the wake of these irrational discussion debacles is that the outcome is simple incoherence. Bernie Sanders at least has a coherent concept for healthcare but it would require taking on the corporate owners of almost 20% of the US economy to execute it.

      2. willf

        Re: ‘The American People Overwhelmingly Oppose Cuts to Social Security’

        A few days ago there was a story linked here saying that older people have a better time telling news from opinion, as opposed to younger people. Along with the story there was a quiz one could take to test their ability to differentiate the two. In the quiz, it was stated as a “fact” that the government was spending more on “Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid” (conflated into one thing) than on any other expenditure.

        This story shows how those who made up the quiz were incorrect. Now after McConnell’s comments, and after reading the interview with Nancy Altman, I wonder if the whole article was just subtle propaganda from those who wish to cut Social Security.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          That’s a good question and it’s always a good mental exercise to be skeptical, ‘to doubt, so as to be.’

          In fact, I have doubts about myself all the time, and make a point to challenge myself.

          1. RMO

            The quiz was supposed to test readers on their ability to distinguish a statement of fact from a statement of opinion NOT to test knowledge and distinguish true statements from untrue statements. If you read it carefully you can see the statements are made in such a way that (within the limits imposed by the small size of the quiz) the authors include statements that people with varying political stances will agree or disagree with so that they have the chance to view statements they agree with posed as both factual and opinion and the same is done with statements they won’t agree with. The test is to see whether you generally classify statements you agree with as facts and statements you disagree with as mere opinions.

            A “statement of fact” is not necessarily true and a “statement of opinion” is not necessarily false. The Bush administration saying that the Iraqi government possessed WMD’s was a statement of fact (despite it being shown to be untrue), the Bush administration saying that because of Iraq’s possession of WMD they must be invaded was a statement of opinion.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              Are we defining ‘fact’ in different ways?

              According to Oxforddictionaries website,, it is

              1 A thing that is known or proved to be true.

                1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

                  It seems to me the examples given of ‘factual statement’ (is that the same as ‘statement of fact’?) are tautology.

                  All doctors who specialized in eye care are doctors.

      3. JCC

        Thanks, Carla, I’m using this from now on:

        The worst part is that that “little group of wealthy ideologues” has managed to convince almost everyone … that Social Security COSTS our society, rather than actually SUPPORTING the economy.

        Every US Market, those things economists love, would suffer, some greatly, if S.S were eliminated.

        I can think of only two market segments that would gain from the elimination of S.S. and that would be the canned Pet Food Market and some portions (tents, bedrolls and sleeping bags) of the Camping Equipment Market. Their sales would sky-rocket… at first.

    2. VietnamVet

      The corporate media Social Security articles are diversions. The Elite would happily have the remaining middle-class self-finance retirement through Wall Street financial scams. The ruling class opposes Social Security because the companies must pay 6.2% of their employee’s wages to the federal government in addition to the employee’s 6.2%. They want this, and all taxes gone. More wealth for themselves. Fees for service are proliferating. So what if they have billions offshored and you can’t afford to retire.

  13. Wukchumni

    Start-up Blue Forest secures funding for first privately financed forest fire bond Los Angeles Times
    I’m really happy about this, in that our forests are over wade with debris on the floor, dead trees awaiting their match in the guise of Thor’s Hammer, all the ingredients to lay waste to everything in it’s path, with the fire burning so hot that it sterilizes the ground, which allows low creeping chamise, whitethorn, chinquapin et al, to take over like a conquering army, covering everything and never allowing young trees to get purchase. Not the kind of forest i’d want to leave for the future enjoyment of human company.

    5,000 acres @ $4 million, is a scintilla of what needs to be done, and heretofore the will hasn’t been there much, to make the forests healthy in order to withstand ever more wildfire danger.

    And it works…

    When the 151,000 acre Rough Fire was doing it’s thing 35 air miles away from us in 2015, previous thinning out of the forest by prescribed burn in and around the Sequoia groves in the Grant Grove area, stopped the fire from taking them out.

    It was a hellova smoky summer that one. From our perch far away, would rise a huge mushroom cloud that came with it’s own weather system within, that built up to around 13,000 feet, only to fall like a collapsed soufflé, as sunset came calling. And then it would do it again like old faithful every day, for about a fortnight.

    1. Lambert Strether

      I’m not happy about it all. The Forest Service was deliberately under-funded to create “business opportunities” for “start-ups” (a word you should always run screaming from, given that “innovation” = rental extraction. As shown here).

      1. Wukchumni

        In a sane world, our President would consider sending 15,000 troops to clear out our forests…

        Forest Service has always been woefully underfunded. and BLM even more so.

        When I see one of those F-35’s loudly overhead, it’s not hard to think of where the money could have been spent, but there’s no will to do what needs to be done in making our forests healthy enough to withstand calamitous fires.

        NPS is the glamour girl in getting money compared to the aforementioned outsider groups, and it’s being starved as records are being set nationwide in visitation numbers.

        The NPS tree cutting crew for Sequoia NP is around half a dozen men, and they’ve dropped close to 10,000 newlydeads from the drought & bark beetles in the past 3 years, that were near roads, campgrounds, trails, you name it.

        We’ve had dead trees on NPS land within striking range of cabins in our community for over 3 years now, and here in the middle of a fortnight they’re finally getting around to us. One tree they felled last week was almost entirely rotten inside, a widowmaker waiting to happen.

        This start-up is actually claiming to do something tangible and needed, unlike the latest SV juicer venture.

        At this point, i’d gladly do a deal with the Prometheus I know and worry about the fiat accompli later.

  14. allan

    File-Sharing Software on State Election Servers Could Expose Them to Intruders [Pro Publica]

    As recently as Monday, computer servers that powered Kentucky’s online voter registration and Wisconsin’s reporting of election results ran software that could potentially expose information to hackers or enable access to sensitive files without a password. …

    The service, known as FTP, provides public access to files — sometimes anonymously and without encryption. As a result, security experts say, it could act as a gateway for hackers to acquire key details of a server’s operating system and exploit its vulnerabilities. Some corporations and other institutions have dropped FTP in favor of more secure alternatives.

    Officials in both states said that voter-registration data has not been compromised and that their states’ infrastructure was protected against infiltration. Still, Wisconsin said it turned off its FTP service following ProPublica’s inquiries. Kentucky left its password-free service running and said ProPublica didn’t understand its approach to security. …

    Absolutely. Kentucky’s approach to security is best-in-class, just like its pension system … oh, wait …

    1. Lambert Strether

      > Kentucky left its password-free service running and said ProPublica didn’t understand its approach to security

      The eternal question: Stupid or evil?

      Not even sftp*!!!

      NOTE * Ironically enough, the source for this link, which is first-paged by the Google, is the Center for Computational Sciences at the University of Kentucky. Better cut their funding, I suppose….

    1. IguanaBowtie

      And spent the last year being suppressed by the Govt of Qatar, at the insistence of Israel, if you believe the rumors.

    2. JCC

      Very interesting. And we’re supposed to be concerned about RRR influencing US Govt?

      Part Two is eye-opening when it comes to the amount of money AIPAC and the rest of the Lobby uses to bribe our fed and State Office Holders, many of whom could care less about any of this, but care a great deal about lining their pockets.

  15. Jean

    Re Male employment rates,

    Our county’s website has has the tagline on it’s employment page
    “Women and Minorities encouraged to apply.”

    In addition, the woman running County Human Resources is a Latina and it’s rumored that few get hired without Spanish language skills. So there are hundreds of vocational jobs that are not available to males, for better or worse.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Early in my work-life [I almost said “career” and gagged] I heard rumors of an email that escaped proper channels stating that all promotions to the next level above my entry level were to be set aside for qualified females. Given the levels of nepotism in the company I worked for, coupled with my own lack of connections I became very sour on what passed for an affirmative action. The very small proportion of females in my kind of work further contributed to my disaffections. The same old bastards that promoted men like themselves and their sons now promoted women as much like themselves as possible and their daughters. I was fortunate to join the company before this flavor of affirmative action had significant impacts on hiring. Efforts to shatter the glass ceiling became a steel ceiling for those of us gender-challenged who were fortunate enough to find initial employment. [I did benefit from affirmative action when I was hired as a weekend graveyards switchboard attendant while going to college.]

      1. J Sterling

        Yes, as you say, more women promoted is good, but if not checked against class, it goes from “promote your sons and nephews and some deserving men” to “promote your daughters, nieces, sons, nephews, and sons’ and nephews’ wives” (and then they all met and marry each other, cementing the class divide)

  16. Summer

    Re: Information gap…Migrants, Border:

    “She says she was horrified by the family separations – but they aren’t deterring her. “It was just a day or two of separation, right? I can manage that for long-term safety and a dependable job,” she says…”

    Yep, there is an information gap.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think the UN is the one organization to issue travel warnings to the US.

      “The country is just too dangerous. Even the natives are thinking of moving out.”

      1. Wukchumni

        Robert Young Pelton’s: The World’s Most Dangerous Places, is a fun armchair romp to locales i’ll never be visiting in person.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          It would be more scary than fun for me to confront those most dangerous places.

          Perhaps we have a duty to look at them though.

          1. Wukchumni

            He wrote the first edition in the 90’s, and his description of African countries going through profound climate change while armed to the teeth and in anarchy, reminds me of some other overly armored entity’s possibilities down the road a piece.

  17. Wukchumni

    We watched “Things To Come” from 1936 last night, and it’s a tour de force of art deco war, set in the future and quite prescient in the early stages, as the UK gets bombed in 1940, whoops.

    The interesting thing being, that throughout the film, poison gas is a constant issue, whereas it wasn’t used once in WW2.

    How did we all agree that the use of poison gas was so odious, that we never used it again (yeah, I know there’s been a few instances since, but nothing really in the scheme of things) in actual warfare?

    We could have for instance, laid waste to North Vietnamese supply chain on the Ho Chi Minh trail, by poison gas, it would have been so effective.

    And in the same time, drop more bombs on the country than we did in Europe in WW2, and not be bothered by it all that much?

    1. The Rev Kev

      I’m not so sure that poison gas is so effective. Forget the fact that it is classified as a weapon of mass destruction, it is very finicky to use. More that one gas attack in WW1 descended into chaos when the wind turned and blew it back into the attacking force causing havoc among them. Any chemical warfare troops would also attract the interest of targeters from the other side in much the same way that men carrying flamethrowers do – to their severe cost. There are also large time consuming preparations to do to use the stuff with a close watch being held on the weather when there could be more effective weapons to use. As for the Ho Chi Min trail in a jungle setting, don’t quote me on this but I seem to recall that Australia experimented with the use of gas in a jungle setting and found it to be a dud. One final factor is its vulnerability in transport as they found out in Bari in WW2-

      1. Wukchumni

        Yes, it had mixed blessings in WW1, but delivery issues from an aircraft flying overhead would be minimal.

        It boiled down more to the cost of the living, that survived a poisoning. Must’ve been horrific after WW1.

        Sally Struthers from All In The Family, used to be the benchmark for persuading you to donate 70 cents a day to save starving Ethiopian children, back in the day:

        And here’s the most recent type of donation request, one is likely to see on the tv, messed up veterans requesting that you donate 70 cents a day for fellow wounded warriors.

        1. LifelongLib

          One of my mom’s uncles was gassed while while serving with the AEF in France during WW1, and died of the aftereffects a few years later. I don’t know what the gas was but it affected his nervous system.

      2. Duck1

        Understand that quite a bit of tear gas–CS/CN was used in Vietnam, often against the VC tunnel complexes. If you want to look at the poison from airplanes and leave off the gas Operation Ranch Hand is a notable American experiment in chemical warefare.

    2. Pavel

      I recall seeing “Things to Come” about 40 years ago on TV and thinking it was amazing.

      As for poison gas, a dirty little secret of the beloved Churchill story is that he was an advocate of chemical weapons use:

      Secrecy was paramount. Britain’s imperial general staff knew there would be outrage if it became known that the government was intending to use its secret stockpile of chemical weapons. But Winston Churchill, then secretary of state for war, brushed aside their concerns. As a long-term advocate of chemical warfare, he was determined to use them against the Russian Bolsheviks. In the summer of 1919, 94 years before the devastating strike in Syria, Churchill planned and executed a sustained chemical attack on northern Russia.

      The British were no strangers to the use of chemical weapons. During the third battle of Gaza in 1917, General Edmund Allenby had fired 10,000 cans of asphyxiating gas at enemy positions, to limited effect. But in the final months of the first world war, scientists at the governmental laboratories at Porton in Wiltshire developed a far more devastating weapon: the top secret “M Device”, an exploding shell containing a highly toxic gas called diphenylaminechloroarsine. The man in charge of developing it, Major General Charles Foulkes, called it “the most effective chemical weapon ever devised”.

      Guardian: Winston Churchill’s shocking use of chemical weapons (2013)

      Here is an excerpt from Churchill’s own memo:

      6. If the bombardment of London became a serious nuisance and great rockets with far-reaching and devastating effect fell on many centres of Government and labour, I should be prepared to do [underline] anything [stop underline] that would hit the enemy in a murderous place. I may certainly have to ask you to support me in using poison gas. We could drench the cities of the Ruhr and many other cities in Germany in such a way that most of the population would be requiring constant medical attention. We could stop all work at the flying bomb starting points. I do not see why we should have the disadvantages of being the gentleman while they have all the advantages of being the cad. There are times when this may be so but not now.

      7. I quite agree that it may be several weeks or even months before I shall ask you to drench Germany with poison gas, and if we do it, let us do it one hundred per cent. In the meanwhile, I want the matter studied in cold blood by sensible people and not by that particular set of psalm-singing uniformed defeatists which one runs across now here now there. Pray address yourself to this. It is a big thing and can only be discarded for a big reason. I shall of course have to square Uncle Joe and the President; but you need not bring this into your calculations at the present time. Just try to find out what it is like on its merits.

      Winston Churchill’s Secret Poison Gas Memo (6/7/1944)

      [My emphases above.]

      Imagine if Putin or Assad made these statements today with regard to e.g. ISIS?

      1. Wukchumni

        Poison gas also plays a role in the buildup to the Spanish Civil War, in it’s use in the Rif Wars by the Spaniards in Morocco.

        Spain got it’s arse kicked by the Berber tribes early in the war…

        During the Third Rif War in Spanish Morocco between 1921 and 1927, the Spanish Army of Africa dropped chemical warfare agents in an attempt to put down the Riffian Berber rebellion led by guerrilla leader Abd el-Krim.

        These attacks in 1924 marked the second confirmed case of mustard gas being dropped from airplanes, a year before the signing of the Geneva Protocol for “the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare”. The gas used in these attacks was produced by the “Fábrica Nacional de Productos Químicos” (National factory of chemical products) at La Marañosa near Madrid; a plant founded with significant assistance from Hugo Stoltzenberg, a chemist associated with the German government’s clandestine chemical warfare activities in the early 1920s who was later given Spanish citizenship.

        1. Baby Gerald

          Poking around YouTube, I found a couple of fascinating channels featuring battlefield archaeologists who use metal detectors to uncover relics and dud explosives, as well as unmarked graves of fallen soldiers. One especially interesting channel is Russian War Diggers, focusing on the eastern front.

          Curiously, one of these Russian digs recovered lots of presumably unused gas masks for both horses and men in what was an old German trench. IIRC, manufacturing marks on the filter canisters were dated to 1939, but the site they were digging was dated to 1943, when the Germans were conducting their winter defense and abandoned in 1944 during the ‘planmässig Absetzbewegung’- fancy German for organized retreat.

          So it seems there was still a fear of poison gas usage in WW2, at least among the Wehrmacht invaders. The question remains from whose poison gas were they trying to protect themselves- the Russkis or their own. It’s also unclear whether these masks were discarded after Barbarossa or just before they high-tailed out of there a couple of years later.

          1. Conrad

            The US took at least one shipload of mustard gas to Italy. Which caused major casualties when said ship was bombed in Naples Harbour. Look up the air raid on Bari for details.

            I imagine Hitler’s first hand experience with gas attacks played some part in Germany’s non use of it in WWII.

      2. Olga

        Yes, thanks for mentioning this.
        And for those who may be unfamiliar with this history, this year marks 100 years since the west attacked Russian territory (caution: some details are pretty gruesome):
        “In December of 1917 the US, Great Britain, France, and their allies held a conference, during which a decision was made concerning the differentiation of zones of interests on the territory of the former Russian Empire and the establishment of contacts with national and democratic governments. In other words, “western partners” planned to divide up the largest state on the planet among themselves, and it is the representatives of the White movement that were supposed to help them with this. Interventionists came into contacts with them even before the intervention.”

  18. Lobsterman

    Re: Trump’s rallies.

    They sound like all the Republicans I’ve spent my life dealing with. Nothing in that article surprised me.

    If it surprised you, then listen to the folks who said this was normal.

    1. edmondo

      “They want to turn America into a socialistic country. It’s disgusting.”

      I ask Spaeth how far he is prepared to take his hatred. In reply, he tells a story. The other day he talked to his sister, who is liberal and votes Democratic. He said to her: “If there is a civil war in this country and you were on the wrong side, I would have no problem shooting you in the face.”

      You must be joking, I say.

      “No I am not. I love my sister, we get on great. But she has to know how passionate I am about our president.”

      Ponder this article the next time someone tells you “Bernie woulda won” in 2016.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        There is a 2012 German TV drama film, set in East Germany around the 1980’s, called “The Tower (Der Turm, in Deutsch),’ that has a scene where the son was on the policing side and the mother was on the side of protesters where many of them were being beaten. Fortunately, the son recognized her.

        Luckily, because usually, it is more likely to be more chaotic than that.

      2. Wukchumni

        My favorite way right wing moment was about 5 years ago, friends were getting married in Grass Valley, Ca. and we met the brother of the bride in a bar whilst hoisting beverages, and almost at once he cautioned me about the perils of socialism, and went on for too long, when I finally got my say, and asked what he did for a living?

        So he tells me:

        “I’m a guard @ the prison in Reno and my wife is a nurse there, you might say I kick em’ and she fixes em’.”

        Completely oblivious to the idea they both owed their livelihoods to the most crude form of socialism we have going, and so it goes.

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              I wonder how many think that’s a statement of fact, and how many think that a statement of opinion.

              1. Lambert Strether

                It’s a statement of opinion.

                That said, there are many anecdotal reports of conservatives who would have voted for Sanders simply because he’s obviously not a lying weasel.

                Of course, they’d fight him tooth and nail on policy, but politics ain’t beanbag.

      3. drumlin woodchuckles

        Well, Bernie mighta won. Clinton certainly didn’t.

        Bernie wouldn’t have called all those people “deplorables”. So they might not have gone into defeat with the level of hatred which Pink Pussy Hat Nation inspires in them.

    2. FluffytheObeseCat

      The rhetoric is the same as it’s been on talk radio for decades. The difference is the impact of in-person rallying. The camp meeting influence on the emotions of the attendees. They are much happier and more pumped up than they would be after 3 hours of Rush, or when Fox is running on the TV throughout the day in the background.

      The key thing is, Trump rally crowds are old. They are a bunch of old people getting real happy by pretending they are the rising mainstream, like they were in c. 1989. The author probably had to carefully search for the high schoolers he interviewed, while ignoring a few dozen 50-somethings in his path to them. Younger people are working, or actually relaxing in their scant free time…….. not attending rallies where their junior high school besties are sneered at for their ancestry.

  19. rd

    Re: Warmer climate in 20150

    The Great Lakes states are the future. The climate in those locations in 2050 will be the equivalent of Harrisburg, Pa and Cincinnati, OH today. They will also have a ready supply of water and water-based transportation routes along with good farmland.

    So we will likely retire in place in upstate NY and wait for the warm weather to come to us.

    1. Wukchumni

      In our torrid summers, an altitude conditioner is a nice thing to have.

      For every thousand feet you go up, the temp goes down almost 4 degrees.

      A sustained 120 for a week’s spell is not a good situation here in the lower climes, but is a more doable mid 90’s up top.

    2. tegnost

      haven’t you heard? There’s going to be a hyperlink tunnel to drain the lakes into palo alto /s?

    3. Randy

      I have 80 acres of prime Wisconsin swamp land to sell to the Florida climate change refugees. They will feel right at home. I hope I live long enough to realize my profit.

  20. Synoia

    Climate change will make America much warmer by 2050. See how these US cities will change

    My first reaction: Unbelievably creepy web site, as it uses one’s location to make the point.

    My second reaction: It also well illustrates the ability to track one on every action.

    1. Fiery Hunt

      That was my first thought as well. Except it didn’t use my location…it used the town I was born in!
      A small town that I have no connection to anymore…
      Trying to figure out who sold them their data. I don’t think it’s Google but it may be.

      Just creepy as hell.

      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Looked it up using my PlayStation Browser.

        New Orleans immediately popped up.

        I did like the retro font.

      2. JCC

        Many sites use GeoIP nowadays to estimate a browser’s location. Accuracy depends on your ISP and is not necessarily tied to a GPS location (which is much more accurate, obviously)

        When I went to the site it automatically pulled up Lancaster, CA, about 70 miles from my actual location.

        And it doesn’t look good.

    2. Oregoncharles

      It was bang on with my location, I assume because it knows the ISP. I’ve seen other sites do the same thing.

      However, that’s because we’re on a local ISP, located in the town next door. If you’re on a national one, it would depend on the ISP telling them where you are.

      The example of someone’s town of origin popping up really is alarming.

    3. Kurt Sperry

      Interestingly–or not–accessing the page from the Province of Arezzo in Tuscany had the geolocating software guess me to be in Portland, ME which makes a teeny bit of sense. Such geolocation usually puts me around 100 miles South of my actual domicile in Western WA State, I think because that’s close to where the ISP offices/data center are. As for the map, it looks like our climate in Bellingham, WA will become similar as far as highs/lows to S WA or N OR. Honestly if that change were to happen gradually, I’d probably hardly notice it. Very few of the local wild flora or my garden plants would object.

  21. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    By Way Of Deception – False Flag Terror Acts Press Europe To Sanction Iran Moon of Alabama (UserFriendly)

    I think we should mentally prepare ourselves to false-flag operations.

    And also false-false-flag ones…sort of like double reverse psychology.

    As each succeeding generation aims to surpass the proceeding one, false-false-false-flag acts.

  22. Harry

    I think this outrageous hit piece deserves some pushback. I have already written to Bloomberg expressing my distaste with their unsupported suggestion that Josh writes pieces designed to suit his clients positions. I hope others who agree after reading the piece make their thoughts known to Bloomberg too. Fat lot of good it will do of course but we could at least register our views.

  23. susan the other

    Machine Learning Spots Natural Selection at Work in the Human Genome. Is this epigenetics patterning in real time? It almost sounds like an experiment in the accuracy of machine learning which, if understood, could speed up searching the genome. Exponentially. They say they/the machine are looking for the signature of natural selection. Searching a pattern of change with deep learning, black-box algorithms. OK then. “Geneticists don’t know which parts of the genome are being shaped by natural selection.” So they are using simulated data – their best guess. No doubt they are looking for relatively fresh tracks because the older the mutation the more wide spread it is between races and locations and therefore difficult to recognize as a significant change, no? The blind discovering the blind. The DNA molecule itself is a “deep learning algorithm”. So the algorithm is once again in a position to define humanity. Does this leave anybody else uneasy? They should at least run a simultaneous research project that uses hard data and see how the two agree.

  24. audrey jr

    What happened to the NYT Article on brain cancer and cell phones?Getting a “page not found” message from the Times.

  25. Oregoncharles

    “Climate change will make America much warmer by 2050. See how these US cities will change Vox ”

    Somewhat alarmingly, it knows exactly where we are. That does make it easier:
    +5.2 degrees in summer, + 3.7 in winter. Our summers are pretty mild, except this last one, so we can probably bear that; unfortunately, +3.7 is not enough to prevent killing freezes in the winter. Probably will put us securely in Zone 8, but we still won’t be able to grow oranges. There are some hardier citrus, that could be the basis of a breeding program.

    One significant commercial impact, an example: that’s too warm to grow premium Pinot Noir grapes. Oregon’s signature variety. To get premium prices, the vineyards will have to change over, probably by regrafting. That’s a big labor cost, plus a couple years’ crop lost. Basically, everything moves about 100 miles north. Canadian wines! (Looking relentlessly on the bright side.)

  26. boz

    Can I also just say the NC layout is simple, elegant and calming. I’m using Firefox Focus (though I skim my sites using Feedly – a RSS reader).

    Though the news may be unsettling, the presentation is superb.


    (PS Though I do see some SHOUTY EXPRESS HEADLINES on BREXIT appearing more frequently in recent times?)

  27. How is it legal

    Re The Struggle For Rent Control

    I pray California’s Proposition 10 passes.

    Unfortunately, something never discussed is that a large population of renters (who are not considered in polling studies) won’t be able to vote for Proposition 10, because they are H-1B workers, or are not considered ‘legal’ residents.

    For instance, in Silicon Valley/Santa Clara County, where most of its cities have more renters than not, H-1B workers make up a large population of renters, and are as disgusted about insane rents (and the toxic Silicon Valley ‘Culture’) as voting renters are, but they won’t be able to vote for Proposition 10.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It was many years ago we (many of us, anyway) foolish thought workers could be dispersed, connected via the web.

      (Yes, briefly, I daydreamed about making millions day-trading on a tropical island).

      For some reason, the H1B workers couldn’t just stay home (homecountry), and enjoy home (homecountry) cooking.

      1. How is it legal

        It was many years ago we (many of us, anyway) foolish thought workers could be dispersed, connected via the web.

        (Yes, briefly, I daydreamed about making millions day-trading on a tropical island).

        For some reason, the H1B workers couldn’t just stay home (homecountry), and enjoy home (homecountry) cooking.

        Unless you are an H-1B worker yourself, which I’ve never understood you to be from your numerous comments here, I’m not at all clear on the point you’re making as to California’s Proposition 10 Rent Control, and those immigrants who are mostly renters – being unable to vote against it being a major stumbling block; the crucial subject I was referring to.

        As a consequence, I don’t have a clue as to how to understand, or respond to, your response to my comment; particularly the (homecountry) cooking remarks, which you only applied to ‘legal’ immigrants. But, thank you for using – but then immediately ‘retracting’ – the “we” word; because it seemed exactly (to me) like you were applying it to me, and it doesn’t apply to me. It’s probably best not to use the “we” word unless referring to smaller groups of people one actually is well familiar with, and making perfectly clear who that group is.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          We are all impacted by the housing bubble.

          Some can’t afford to rent. Some can’t buy.

          The hype was people could work from home. That way, there would be no need to live in the crowded places like the Bay Area for example.

          Work could be done by workers in Visalia, Fresno, Bombay and elsewhere.

          That is how my comment relates to the Proposition.

          Sorry if it did not address how to pass it, or if it did not relate specifically to any particular type of workers (because expensive housing is bad for all or most of us – the we part) except to mention that native workers could stay home and foreigner workers could stay in their home countries if the hype worked out.

  28. Oregoncharles

    I think NC readers will be interested in the current Scientific American. They have a long section on “The Science of Inequality:” “A Rigged Economy,” by Stiglitz; “The Health-Wealth Gap,” by Robert Sapolsky; “Automating Bias,” by Virginia Eubanks; and “The Environmental Cost of Inequality,” by James K. Boyce. The Stiglitz, at least, is surprisingly good, though this is perpetuating the fiction that economics is science.

    The website is; unfortunately the current issue costs the same as a paper copy, $7.00. But previous issues appear to be available; last month had “What’s Wrong with Science – and How to Fix It,” another NC topic. I think it’s worth the price, or you could wait a couple of weeks. But I thought fellow NCers should know about it.

  29. Pat

    Congratulations to Josh on the beautiful new additions to his family! They look so sweet, and very at home already. Here’s to many years of companionship!

  30. lentilsoup

    Bloomberg’s “Millennial Men Leave Perplexing Hole in a Hot U.S. Labor Market” is a somewhat deceptive headline. Looking at the chart in the article, it’s clear that it’s not only millennial men (age 25-34), but also men between 35-44 and 45-54 who are also less employed than they were compared to pre-recession levels.

    Is the US economy guilty of gender discrimination? It would seem so.
    I would like to stage a walk-out to protest this, I really would.
    I just don’t know where to go.

    The Bloomberg article’s author Jeanna Smialek sagely notes:

    All [these men] are missing out on a hot labor market and crucial years on the job, ones traditionally filled with the promotions and raises that build the foundation for a career.

    HAHAHA!!! Promotions and raises, she says! A career, she says! Good one, Jeanna, tell us some more fairy tales.
    (Meanwhile, a million unemployed men laugh bitterly, as they reach for the nearest pain-killers.)

  31. The Rev Kev

    “The US must avoid a new cold war with China”

    I like what Martin Wolf writes as it rings true, especially the five principles that he gave. Those would be five good working principles to follow with dealing with China. Unfortunately I do not see these coming into effect as too many want to see a US-China win-lose relationship develop – with the added benefit of increasing funds flowing to the defense industries to counter China’s rise. A lot of this animosity seems to be ideological and even personal. When younger I thought that those who practice realpolitik like Kissinger were pretty bad but now I realize that ideologues are much worse.

  32. John Beech

    Rent Control

    That’s like telling investors to put their money elsewhere. While this is fine by me, I wonder why liberals whine and moan about high rent . . . all while restricting building, and imposing rent controls. Since this blog is about capitalism, it strikes me as bizarro to sense the owners are pro-rent control. After all, who in their right mind wants an assets that have limited potential? Obviously I don’t believe rent seeking is bad, and if I’m wrong;

    . . . why is the migrant convoy from central America headed to the USA instead of Venezuela?

    Me? I’d like to see a story about folks cashing in their 401 (k) assets to build rent-controlled apartments.

    1. Oregoncharles

      Direct subsidies might work better than rent control – but that means public money going to landlords.

      I don’t know how anyone can afford to rent in western Oregon – rents up and down the valley are way too high.

Comments are closed.