2:00PM Water Cooler 12/6/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Politics

“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51

2020

“Bernie Sanders: Concentrated Wealth is Concentrated Power” [The Real News Network]. Sanders: ” My vision is pretty simple. My vision is that we have got to have the guts to take on Wall Street, take on the pharmaceutical industry, take on the insurance industry, take on the 1 percent, create an economy that works for all. And while we do that, we bring our people, and that is black, and white, and Latino, and Native American, and Asian American together. I think that’s the way you do it. And we’re beginning, beginning, beginning to see that. We’re seeing great young candidates who didn’t wait on line for 20 years to get permission to run, but kind of jumped in and beat some long-term incumbents. They’re saying, hey, I come from the community. I know what’s going on in this community, and I’m going to fight for working people, and I’m not afraid to take on big money. We’re seeing that. We got to see more of that.” • Nice get for TRNN!

“Would-be 2020 Dem candidates head for the exits” [The Hill]. Out, or so they say: Deval Patrick, Michael Avenatti, Ratface Andy Cuomo. “‘I think each have their separate reasons for not running,’ said Patti Solis Doyle, who served as campaign manager to Hillary Clinton during her 2008 bid for the presidency. ‘But the reason most potential candidates decide not to run— whatever the office— is not seeing a path to victory.'” • My question: Why is Patti Solis Doyle still in public life?

From the Department of Things I Would Never Have Thought Possible:

Wait ’til ten years from now, when the 9-year-old finds out student loans aren’t dischargeable in bankruptcy, thanks to that loveable, Amtrak-ridin’ goof, Joe Biden.

“The Worst Democraps Who Want To Be President– Part IV, Joe Biden” [Down With Tyranny]. Part 4 of a series. Part 1 is Tulsi Gabbard.

“What Does Beto O’Rourke Actually Stand For?” [Current Affairs]. “Having spent nearly a decade reporting on American politics, I can say there is something very odd about “Beto-mania.” Typically, politicians have both elite friends and enemies, meaning donors, activist organizations, lawmakers, and pundits, within their own political party. O’Rourke has critics in the GOP—they successfully defeated him in Texas’s Senate race. But he should presumably also have critics within the elite functionaries in the Democratic Party as well. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders both have their elite critics across the political spectrum. The former is loathed by Wall Street, the latter is loathed by pretty much everyone who runs a Democratic-aligned think tank or has a rolodex of party mega-donors. But O’Rourke, on the other hand, seems to have received nothing but praise from everyone from Wall Street donors like Wolf to Obama alumni like Pfeiffer to a large liberal following enamored by his skateboarding at Whataburger and his passionate defense of kneeling NFL players. He has become a uniting figure for Democrats, beloved by all and loathed by none. What kind of Democratic politician can be so adored? Maybe one who rarely, if ever, challenged the powerful.” • Indeed…

2018

If I’m following the coverage correctly, the going rate for election theft in North Carolina is $500 bucks. That’s Third World territory:

“Potential Democratic candidate aims to block Manchin from top environmental position” [Guardian].”Jay Inslee, the governor of Washington state, wants to block Joe Manchin from serving as top Democrat on energy committee.”

Realignment and Legitimacy

“This is the all-female number-crunching team that delivered the House to Dems” [McClatchy]. Is it “good enough” that they’re women? Let’s look at policy:

Their unwavering focus wasn’t by accident: Throughout 2017 and 2018, the DCCC’s data team conducted extensive research on the GOP’s health care legislation and later its tax law, devising the messages that would best resonate with voters. For health care, for example, research showed the message needed to connect directly with people’s lived experience of rising health care costs and the number of people who would lose insurance in their community. Criticism of the tax law, meanwhile, worked best when not emphasizing big corporate tax cuts but the harmful effect it could have on Social Security and Medicare, and big breaks for specific corporations such as pharmaceutical companies.

Translating: The liberal Democrat line of “saving the ACA” (and nothing more) also promoted by Democrat front group Indivisible was successful in suppressing #MedicareForAll, by not mentioning it as an option. Since preventing #MedicareForAll is the #1 goal of the Democrat leadership, these women did a great job for the clients they service.

“What is Central to Belief System Networks?” (PDF) [Mark Brandt Chris Sibley Danny Osborne, PsyArXiv Preprints (DK)]. “Here, we test whether operational (i.e. positions on specific issues) or symbolic (i.e. affective attachments to political groups and labels) components are most central by modeling a political belief system as a network of interconnected attitudes and beliefs. Across seven annual waves of representative panel data from New Zealand, we find that symbolic components are more central in the system than operational components (d’s range 0.78 – 0.97). Symbolic components were also closer than operational components in the network to self-reported voting (d = -2.28) and environmental behaviors (d’s = -1.62 and -1.54). These findings are consistent with perspectives that emphasize the importance of symbolic politics in tying belief systems together and motivating behavior, and further the link between political belief system research and network science.” • Then again, in answer to the statement “Most people can be trusted,” 56% of New Zealanders answered “yes,” where only 38% of Americans did (World Values Survey), and if you’re “from Missouri,” surely you’d want to see policy positions, not virtue signaling? So I’m not sure the survey results transfer to this country (although, as somebody who cares about policy, that is what I would say).

“Pueblo Sin Fronteras uses caravans to shine light on the plight of migrants — but has that backfired?” [Los Angeles Times]. “Pueblo Sin Fronteras insists that migrants have decided for themselves where to travel and when to protest, and that it simply “accompanies” those who have already decided to try to reach the United States.” • Little reporting on this (see Buzzfeed in March). Here’s the Pueblo Sin Fronteras website. There’s no contact information or list of board members. Funding goes through a 501(c)3, Freedom for Immigrants (board). Here’s their Wikipedia entry. Here’s the Influence Watch (Capital Research Center) listing; apparently (even they) don’t think Soros funded it. (I started poking through the interpretation they gave to links, and it doesn’t look to me like they’ve really mastered the material.)

Stats Watch

Lots of statistics today.

Productivity and Costs, Q3, 2018: “This is a mixed report showing a positive gain for output but stubborn weakness in real compensation” [Econoday]. • So what’s not to like?

ADP Employment Report, November 2018: “In as-expected results, ADP estimates that private payroll growth in Friday’s employment report will moderate” [Econoday].

Challenger Job-Cut Report, November 2018: “First it was Wells Fargo then Verizon and now General Motors making for a third straight month of elevated Challenger results” [Econoday].

Jobless Claims, week of December 1, 2018: “Initial jobless claims did come down in the December 1 week but not as much as expected” [Econoday]. “[C]laims, which are coming off historic lows back in October, are still very low and still point to very strong demand for labor.”

Factory Orders, October 2018: “Held down by downturns in the defense goods and also civilian aircraft, factory orders sank 2.1 percent in October” [Econoday]. “Areas of strength in October include sharp order gains for fabrications, computers & electronics, and also electrical equipment….. Monthly swings in aircraft can badly cloud results this report which focuses attention on the smoother reading of year-on-year change. This remains solidly positive.”

Purchasing Managers Services Index, November 2018: “Steady growth at a solid level is the message from the services PMI sample” [Econoday]. “This is a mixed report underscored by an easing but still positive view of future business conditions.”

Institute For Supply Management Non-Manufacturing Index, November 2018: “[C]ontinues to report robust rates of growth” [Econoday]. “[T]he message from this report is very strong and together with the services PMI released earlier this morning point to a very strong pace of growth for the bulk of the economy going into year end.”

Quarterly Services Survey, Q3 2018: “Year-on-year, third-quarter information sector revenue grew” [Econoday].

International Trade, October 2018: “A slight 0.1 percent decline in exports and a slight 0.2 percent gain in imports made for a sizable 1.7 percent deepening in the nation’s trade deficit in October to $55.5 billion which is just outside Econoday’s consensus range” [Econoday]. “The deficit with China was very deep… [U]nfortunately marks a very weak opening for fourth-quarter net exports.”

Shipping: “Treasury task force proposes sweeping USPS changes, Amazon and e-retailers on edge” [Freight Waves]. This is the Task Force Report discussed 11/28 at NC. “The report calls for stronger oversight by the Postal Service Board of Governors, which sat empty until last April. It also suggests the agency consider other revenue streams, such as renting out unused real estate to businesses, charging outside shippers for access to people’s mail boxes, and issuing hunting and fishing licenses. Some of the proposed changes, including increasing package prices, can be enacted without intervention from Congress, but other proposed changes would require lawmakers to act. The main focus of attention is on Amazon, however, and the proposal to increase prices on the commercial (or non-essential) delivery items.” • If this report is accurate, what is not present is a plan to prepare the USPS for sale.

The Bezzle: “Uber plans smaller, more cautious self-driving car launch” [Reuters]. “After it receives approval from the state of Pennsylvania, Uber plans to begin driving “a handful” of cars on a mile loop between two company offices in Pittsburgh.” • The “loop” is a controlled environment, so the programmers are controlling their inputs tightly. This is an admission that the value of Uber’s algo, insofar as Level 5 autonomy is concerned, is zero.

Tech: “The State of Web Browsers” [Ferdy Christant]. “The web now runs on a single engine. There is not a single browser with a non-Chromium engine on mobile of any significance other than Safari. Which runs webkit, kind of the same engine as Chromium, which is based on webkit. On desktop, Edge’s departure from running their own engine, means there’s only one last man standing to counter the Chromium dominance: Firefox. Which is falling from a cliff, on its way to join the “everybody else” gang of insignificant browsers. With no serious way to truly counter it due to their near-absence on mobile, and their lack of control in pushing browser installs. So Chromium it is. If you’re now waiting for a message of hope or a happy ending, I have none. Just like the IE era, the new monopoly was not created by means of a level playing field where the best browser has won, the world is a lot messier than that. The new monopoly was created by control over markets, and the ability to push a browser to billions of users in ways subtle and not so subtle. In this round, it was done via a capable browser (Chrome) unlike the previous round (IE6).”

Gaia

“How to get the carbon out of industry” [The Economist]. “According to McKinsey, almost half of the CO2 emitted by the entire industrial sector comes from four industries; cement, steel, ammonia and ethylene. Unless consumption patterns change, all of them will have to cut emissions while meeting rising demand for cars, buildings, plastics and infrastructure. And because most of their products are commoditised, higher costs imposed by decarbonisation risk ‘carbon leakage’—the possibility that places with laxer climate policies will produce the commodities more cheaply.” • Hmm. So perhaps there’s a place for tariffs after all?

“Emissions are still rising: ramp up the cuts” [Nature]. “The world is quickly and irrevocably moving towards a clean, cheap and reliable energy system. Over the past decade, the costs of generating solar energy have plummeted by 80%. Morocco, Mexico, Chile and Egypt are producing solar power for 3 US cents or less per kilowatt hour — cheaper than natural gas. Installations are growing. Today, more than 50% of new capacity for generating electricity is renewable, with wind and solar doubling every 4 year…. Coal is being priced out. A record number of US coal-fired power plants will be retired this year, even relatively new ones… Rising emissions are of grave concern. But the low-carbon transition is snowballing, bowled along by the underlying economics.”

“Trump Aims to Lift Hurdle to Coal Plants No One Wants to Clear” [Bloomberg]. “The Trump administration is removing a key barrier to constructing new coal-fired power plants in the U.S. — but don’t expect any utilities to actually build them….. Although that regulatory mandate was one obstacle to building coal power plants, economic and market realities have created much higher hurdles, which analysts say will endure no matter what the Trump administration does.” • So Trump is evil signaling?!

“As De Blasio Touts Climate Change Divestment, NYC’s ‘Designated Banks’ Continue To Invest In Fossil Fuels” [Gothamist]. “But nearly one year after the initial divestment pledge was made, the city is still doing business with the institutions directly responsible for the climate crisis. Rather than hastening the move toward green investment, big banks are ramping up their fossil fuel investments, while collecting billions of dollars in cash deposits from the New York City government.”

“Cargo shipper Maersk pledges to cut carbon emissions to zero by 2050” [UPI]. “”We will have to abandon fossil fuels. We will have to find a different type of fuel or a different way to power our assets. This is not just another cost-cutting exercise. It’s far from that. It’s an existential exercise, where we as a company need to set ourselves apart,” Maersk CEO Soren Toft told the Financial Times on Tuesday.”

“The Blob hides in the deep” [GeoSpace]. “Marine heatwaves are not new. But heatwaves are getting more intense and more frequent with a changing climate. Over the fall and winter of 2013 and 2014, satellites detected above normal temperatures in the surface waters of the northeast Pacific. At its peak, the mass of warm water—nicknamed “The Blob”—had water temperatures up to 3 degrees Celsius warmer than normal and covered an area larger than Australia. Scientists repeatedly thought the marine heatwave was abating when satellite observations of sea surface temperatures moderated after winter storms. But satellites cannot measure temperatures below the surface. ‘[The new] work highlights that you cannot effectively monitor the ocean with just satellites,’ says Jennifer Jackson, an oceanographer with the Hakai Institute. Jackson and colleagues showed what satellites missed—that substantial heat remains at depth.” • Oh dear.

“Billions of Ocean Nanoplastics Can Get Lodged in Sea Creatures in Only a Few Hours” [Motherboard]. “In less than the span of a workday, nanoplastics in water can make their way into organisms, a new study shows. In just six hours, scallops placed in water spiked with plastic nanoparticles had billions of particles throughout their major organs.” • Eesh.

Water

“Your water footprint is just as important as your carbon footprint” [Quartz]. “The average American water footprint is 7,800 liters per day. Compare that with Germans who have a water footprint of 3,900 liters or the Chinese with 2,900 liters. Before you buy your next new outfit, pre-order an upcoming mobile phone, or buy more food than you can eat, consider how your water footprint will grow with these purchases.” • Be a better consumer. Oh.

Gunz

“Mother shoots son who pulled out samurai sword during argument, Fort Worth police say” [Dallas News]. The only thing that will stop a bad son with a sword is a good Mom with a gun.

Our Famously Free Press

“Why I Started Blogging” [Inside Higher Ed]. “I cannot recommend blogging strongly enough as a practice which will enhance your work, whatever your work may be…. Everyone should blog. Better yet, everyone should work under conditions which makes blogging possible. If we do that, lots of other things become possible as well.” • #JobsGuarantee….

“Scientific communication in a post-truth society” [Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences]. “Distrust in the scientific enterprise and misperceptions of scientific knowledge increasingly stem less from problems of communication and more from the widespread dissemination of misleading and biased information. We describe the profound structural shifts in the media environment that have occurred in recent decades and their connection to public policy decisions and technological changes. We explain how these shifts have enabled unscrupulous actors with ulterior motives increasingly to circulate fake news, misinformation, and disinformation with the help of trolls, bots, and respondent-driven algorithms. We document the high degree of partisan animosity, implicit ideological bias, political polarization, and politically motivated reasoning that now prevail in the public sphere and offer an actual example of how clearly stated scientific conclusions can be systematically perverted in the media through an internet-based campaign of disinformation and misinformation. We suggest that, in addition to attending to the clarity of their communications, scientists must also develop online strategies to counteract campaigns of misinformation and disinformation that will inevitably follow the release of findings threatening to partisans on either end of the political spectrum.”

Imperial Collapse Watch

Xmas lights:

Class Warfare

“Five-Year Trends Available for Median Household Income, Poverty Rates and Computer and Internet Use” [United States Census Bureau]. ” Some highlights from the report include that, when comparing the 2013-2017 period to the 2008-2012 period, median household income increased in 16.6 percent of all counties (521 counties) between the 2008-2012 period and the 2013-2017 period while poverty declined in 14 percent of all counties 441 counties). Alternatively, when comparing the same time periods, median household income declined in 222 counties (7.1 percent) and poverty rates increased in 264 counties (8.4 percent).”

News of the Wired

“The Last Curious Man” [GQ]. “Gabrielle Hamilton (owner and chef, Prune): [Tony Bourdain] was an awkward dude. When he’s on, you know, he can perform. And perfectly. But I think he has social anxiety. I know he does. Tony’s famously like, ‘Just don’t leave my side. We’re about to walk into this room, and there’s gonna be 450 people in it. And they’re all gonna say hi to me, and can you not be far?'” • I’m probably the last person in the world to have read Kitchen Confidential, but I still think it’s great.

“The Hippies Were Right: It’s All about Vibrations, Man!” [Scientific American] (DL). Big if true.

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Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, (c) how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal, and (d) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. Today’s plant (via):

Glehnia littoralis leiocarpa.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.

107 comments

    1. Lee

      She shot him in the leg causing a minor wound. My mom shot a boyfriend in the foot to prevent him from him from beating her. I’m with Annie Oakley when it comes to gals and guns. If roughly half the population can settle an argument with you with threat of physical force or even kill you with their bare hands, an equalizer is not a bad idea.

      Tangentially, I’ve lately been watching a lot of Nordic Noir and other European crime dramas and have noticed that cops shooting perps in the legs is a preferred practice. This may be a complete made for TV fiction but it does cause one to wonder how come U.S. cops seem always to go for the more lethal center mass shots even when they could safely do otherwise. One can only infer that they are panicky wimps or that their intent is wantonly homicidal.

      Reply
      1. curlydan

        I’ve noticed the lethal shot on American TV series. The worst offender was “24”. I can’t believe I even watched bits of that show, but Kiefer would run into some guy with the very bit of information needed, but the perp would pull out a gun and Kiefer or someone else would shoot him 10 times in the chest when 1 shot in the leg would have sufficed to knock him down. I would at least shout out, “You idiots!” in response.

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          In the late 50’s on account of so much gunslinger violence in tv western shows, Hollywood decided for a spell that those that got hit, would quite often get it in the hand, usually the one the bad guy was holding his gat in.

          Reply
          1. The Rev Kev

            In 60s TV shows like “Rin Tin Tin” when someone got wounded in a gunfight, they always were seen after wearing a sling no matter where the bullet hit them.

            Reply
      2. Big River Bandido

        There was one American Revolutionary War general (I can’t remember which one) who urged his soldiers to “leg em'”. His rationale was in part that while killing an enemy solider only took one off the field, if shot in the legs it required two more soldiers to carry the wounded one off the field — thus taking three soldiers out of battle.

        Reply
      3. todde

        but it does cause one to wonder how come U.S. cops seem always to go for the more lethal center mass shots even when they could safely do otherwise.

        because they are trained too. Why that is I don’t know

        Reply
        1. Chris

          Because it’s the biggest body part to aim for. It’s hard to shoot a moving target. It’s even harder to shoot a moving target while you are also moving. You aim for the center of mass to increase your odds of hitting something. That’s why law enforcement officers are trained to do.

          Reply
      4. Bob

        “This may be a complete made for TV fiction”

        It is made for TV fiction. A shot to the leg can sever the femoral artery. The wound is tough to treat and you’ll bleed out quickly if it isn’t stopped.

        Reply
      5. polecat

        You can thank the Israelis for contributing training towards at least some of that ‘lethal’ po-lice action…

        Reply
      6. David

        >how come U.S. cops seem always to go for the more lethal center mass shots even when they could safely do otherwise.

        How to explain to the public why cops don’t shoot to wound

        Some members of the public continue to believe that shooting an armed and dangerous subject in the hand or the leg is not only feasible, but preferable to shooting center mass.

        Not only is shooting to wound not feasible, it is not preferable, and this persistent perception is probably the result of what Force Science Institute Executive Director Dr. Bill Lewinski calls “training by Hollywood…”

        “Hands and arms can be the fastest-moving body parts. For example, an average suspect can move his hand and forearm across his body to a 90-degree angle in 12/100 of a second. He can move his hand from his hip to shoulder height in 18/100 of a second.”

        “The average officer pulling the trigger as fast as he can..requires 1/4 second to discharge each round. There is no way an officer can react, track, shoot and reliably hit a threatening suspect’s forearm or a weapon in a suspect’s hand in the time spans involved…”

        “If an officer manages to take a suspect’s legs out non-fatally, that still leaves the offender’s hands free to shoot. His ability to threaten lives hasn’t necessarily been stopped.”

        First and foremost, we must continually educate the public that cops are not trained to “kill” — they are trained to stop a threat of death or great bodily harm to themselves or another person. That means putting rounds in center mass until that threat is on the ground and neutralized.

        It should be noted that an assailant who is on the ground may continue to present a threat — shot doesn’t equal dead. A downed gunman can still squeeze off rounds. A man with a knife can still stab at officers approaching to handcuff him.

        Put simply, ending violence frequently requires violence — sometimes, a considerable amount of it — and violence never looks pretty…

        Further, it should be noted that cops are also trained to attempt life-saving first aid following such an incident, but their legal, moral and ethical obligations are secure the scene to render aid to the victims first, not the subject…

        It is on us — law enforcement professionals, trainers, educators and leaders — to teach the public, the press and the politicians about the fundamental tenets of law enforcement. We cannot stop trying, even in the face of people who are misinformed.

        Also, see Graham v. Conner.

        Reply
        1. Etherpuppet

          Ahh, the old euphemisms resurface. “We don’t shoot to kill, we just shoot to neutralize. Don’t blame us if the end result is death in either case!”

          Reply
        2. sd

          I didn’t mean to kill nobody. I just meant to shoot the sonofabitch in the head and two times in the chest. Him dying was between him and the Lord.

          RL Burnside

          Reply
    1. neo-realist

      Maybe Bernie wants to declare for the Presidency first then possibly broach the subject slowly. Bucking the MIC can be a dangerous game: At the least, they can work to undermine your agenda in a variety of ways and I’m sure that someone as experienced in government as Bernie is will bring up the issue cautiously and incrementally.

      Reply
      1. FreeMarketApologist

        Because to significantly cut back the DOD/MIC would be to cut back one of the biggest jobs programs that the gov’t runs, without a safety net.

        From 2010, but still relevant:
        https://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Robert-Reich/2010/0813/America-s-biggest-jobs-program-The-US-military

        (not that I’m against cutting it waaaaay back, but who’s got the plan for putting all those people to work somewhere (another gov’t program, private enterprise, ???)

        Reply
        1. polecat

          Tranport them to the Antipodes … on hulks, no less. I’m sure the 4-eyed Aussies will take them in … well, whoever survives the voyage !

          Reply
          1. The Rev Kev

            Historically because of British regulations, it was far safer to take the several months trip from England to the Australasian colonies than from England to America. Not for nothing did the term Coffin Ships become a well known one on the Atlantic run.

            Reply
        2. Old Jake

          Seeing that they aren’t doing anything productive at the moment (breaking things being rather the opposite of “productive”) just keep paying them but have them do nothing. Or let communities that have needs requisition servicepeople to fill those needs.

          Of course all those stationed off shore might have to come home.

          Reply
        3. JohnnySacks

          At the very minimum, we could pay the workers to stay home, cut out the corporate middleman, for a net gain. Where was all this jobs concern during NAFTA and TPP?

          Reply
    2. Wukchumni

      The MIC still very much calls the shots, and as a result we can’t be as trustful as New Zealanders, whose country decided to get rid of the fighter jet compartment of their air force around the turn of the century.

      About 10 years ago we were driving in the South Island, and came upon the Tekapo Military Camp near Lake Pukaki, and the front gate was wide open, and we thought we’d play the dumb American tourist gambit and drove right in, and after driving a bit came across a Kiwi soldier, who calmly asked what we were doing there, and we feigned ignorance and then had a nice 10 minute talk with him, turned around and left.

      Now, could you imagine that happening in the USA? ha ha!

      Reply
      1. Jeotsu

        This last weekend our local little medieval / recreationist club was down at Thorndon Fair doing a fundraiser. A “shoot a knight” where you could fire rubber blunted arrows at us in our full armor. Good fun, and raised a few $ for the club.

        Where were set set up? On the driveway inside the fence of Premier House. Which is the PM’s residence. DPS (diplomatic protection) just told us that if the PM came out, we’d have to put the weapons away. They also thought our armor was kinda cool looking. :)

        I can’t really image ringing up the White House and asking to do a charity shoot on the lawn.

        Yeah, things can be a bit casual down here at times.

        Reply
    3. JohnnyGL

      Because Bernie knows when people hear about budget cuts to the military, they hear ‘job losses’.

      MIC spreads the gravy around very carefully. Bernie had a reputation for bringing at least some gravy back to VT.

      I think he’s been very clear that he wants the troops in the barracks and the planes on the ground (NOT dropping bombs). When he talks about negotiation and diplomacy, that gets the troops themselves on board. They don’t believe in the imperial wars any more than any of us in the NC comments section.

      If Bernie talks about budget cuts, it sounds like austerity talk to defense industry workers and the troops themselves.

      In any case, he’s voted, often by himself, against increased military budgets consistently, repeatedly.

      Reply
      1. pjay

        Agreed on Bernie discussing military budget cuts. But this logic does not apply to Putin-bashing or contributing to the “Russian meddling” narrative. The latter does not appeal to the majority of the public nor (I’m guessing) many Bernie supporters among Democrats — only the Blob.

        Reply
    4. Mo's Bike Shop

      Where does Eliminating the MIC show up on these surveys of voter concerns compared to say food, housing, or healthcare? It’s taken Sanders years to beat Medicare for All back onto the agenda, but he’s a chump for not immediately taking on the largest Government-Industry syndicate in history?

      Reply
  1. clarky90

    Re; “…implicit ideological bias, political polarization, and politically motivated reasoning”

    “This paper results from the Arthur M. Sackler Colloquium of the National Academy of Sciences” Hmmm, AMS of the Oxycontin Gang.

    I came upon The Sabbatean-Frankists Crypto-Movement a few days ago. It reads like a Marvel Comics story line, only real HIS(HER)TORY. And pertinent to the non-sensical events pushing us towards, The Abyss. (imo)

    Rabbi Marvin Antelman – Discusses The Sabbatean-Frankists

    The Tamar Yonah Show, Israel National Radio, June 20, 2006.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcmWbEgARMs&t=1s

    “Frankism was a Jewish religious movement of the 18th and 19th centuries, centered on the leadership of the Jewish Messiah claimant Jacob Frank, who lived from 1726 to 1791. Frank rejected religious norms, and said his followers were obligated to transgress as many moral boundaries as possible. At its height it claimed perhaps 500,000 followers, primarily Jews living in Poland and other parts of Eastern
    Europe….

    …Unlike traditional Judaism, which provides a set of detailed guidelines called “halakha” that are scrupulously followed by observant Jews and regulate many aspects of life, Frank claimed that “all laws and teachings will fall” and following antinomianism (reject laws or legalism and is against moral, religious or social norms) asserted that the most important obligation of every person was the transgression of every boundary“…

    Frankism is commonly associated with Sabbateanism, a religious movement that formed around the identification of the 17th-century Jewish rabbi Sabbatai Zevi as the Jewish messiah.”…

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

    Reply
  2. Big River Bandido

    The New York chapter of the American Federation of Musicians (Local 802) held elections on Tuesday, and completely swept out its current leadership. The “Change” slate of candidates pulled in 67% of the vote in the first contested elections the union has held in about a decade. Among the issues were the poor performance (i.e., management) of the union’s pension fund, the current leadership’s extensive spending on travel and conference expenses for executives, declining membership and the role of organizing.

    Organizing musicians is about as easy as herding kittens; the unequivocal result of this election suggests a broad consensus among the membership. Insofar as the U.S. labor movement needs new energy, drive, and refocused goals, this election result is a very good omen. Coming on the heels of new “wildcat” activism among the rank-and-file in teacher’s unions and the Teamsters, it will be interesting to see if this trend extends to other unions in the manufacturing trades.

    Reply
    1. Pat

      Wow. That is something. I wish the musicians all the luck and success in the world.

      There was a recent rebellion in IATSE, regarding a contract negotiation. The Editors lost the battle to the International, but I’m pretty damn sure the International’s victory is pyrrhic. Not only were their tactics unseemly during this, the lied out right about aspects of the contract including the supposed improvements to the health and welfare funds. This is going to become obvious to the rank and file pretty damn quick. Not only are there going to be some locals facing changes because of supporting the international regarding this contract, but those changes probably spell the end of current international leadership sooner rather than later.

      Reply
  3. grayslady

    7800 liters of water is slightly more than 2000 gallons. I don’t use 2000 gallons in two months (!), much less one day, and that includes washing myself, washing dishes, washing clothes, flushing the toilet, making food, and just plain drinking several glasses of water per day. As for purchases, other than food, toiletries and household cleaners, my last purchase was a pair of shoes about 5 months ago. Out of 33 families in my immediate neighborhood, I can only think of 4 families that seem to spend money recklessly. So who are these people Quartz is talking about?

    Reply
    1. curlydan

      the food you eat that farmers needed to use water to grow, the electricity you consume and the water used to generate that or generate steam, the water used to make the things you buy, etc.

      Even though that extra water doesn’t flow through you, much of it can be connected to you or a household in general.

      Reply
      1. grayslady

        All food, except perhaps fish, requires water to grow, but I don’t see that I am eating more food than someone in Germany. I don’t eat nuts or out-of-season fruits or vegetables, and I don’t think I’m that unusual. Perhaps it is all the food we grow that is shipped elsewhere–such as lamb that now goes to the Middle East, or nuts that mostly go to China.

        As for electricity, I grew up in a frugal household, learning to turn off lights when leaving a room, etc. With a majority of people in this country not being able to come up with $400 for an emergency, I just don’t think the waste is on an individual level; more likely corporate waste that the article then distributes over the population at large.

        Reply
        1. MK

          Pretty sure that’s the nationwide average. All those millions of urbanites in NYC, LA, Chicago, etc. have very very very long supply lines and likely tip the average way up for the rest of us frugal folks.

          Reply
    2. Wyoming

      You are leaving out of your calculations all of the water consumption required to ‘make’ all of your material goods and consumer goods.

      For instance:

      2500 gal to raise a pound of beef
      25 gal to raise a pound of wheat
      576 gal to raise a pound of pork
      108 gal per pound of corn
      1000 gal per gal of brewed coffee
      296 gal per gal of beer
      872 gal per gal of wine
      518 gal per pound of chicken
      70 gal to produce a gal of gas
      120,000 gal to make a small car
      etc into infinity

      Your share of the water consumed is made up of all the water used to build our entire civilization. Don’t even ask what your share of the US military consumption of water might be.

      Reply
      1. Lee

        But much of that water is recycled through the ecosystem. Of course some of it is not recycled cleanly and much of it does not end up where it can be of further use to us.

        I rather like the silly but somehow appealing notion put forth in the novel The River Why, that for the water, we are merely a means for it to move about. As to why that would be so, only the river knows.

        Reply
      2. Old Jake

        Beyond all this discussion of the hidden water we use in everyday living, there is an implicit message. Aside from a few things like limiting the beef we eat, there is little the consumer can do to alter the amount of water they use. It is built into the society they inhabit. For most people moving to sub-Saharan Africa and becoming a cattle-herder is not a viable option.

        Like the pervasiveness of polymers in our life, the real work must be done far upstream of the consumer, and likely will require significant alterations of the business and legal climate to change course.

        Reply
        1. Darthbobber

          Indeed. I can’t think of a single instance in history in which exhorting individuals to be more temperate prevented the ruin of a commons.

          This is the palliative offered as a pseudoalternative to regulation and rational planning.

          Reply
  4. Mark Gisleson

    Always surprised by water footprint numbers. My monthly water bill shows 2000 gallons used (approx what article says Americans use daily). I’m retired and hope that I’ve already bought most of the clothes I’ll ever need. In the bathroom, I let things mellow. In the kitchen, I begrudge every drop used to wash dishes.

    But then I look at a bag of almonds in the kitchen and realize that every nut took a gallon to grow. It takes a lot of plastic to add up to one pound, but that’s 22 more gallons. A pound of cotton has a 1300 gallon footprint. Out in the garage, my car took 120,000 gallons to build.

    Like my body, my belongings, house and car seem to be made mostly from water.

    Reply
  5. Zagonostra

    “My vision is that we have got to have the guts to take on Wall Street, take on the pharmaceutical industry, take on the insurance industry, take on the 1 percent, create an economy that works for all.”

    Struggling to deal with the cognitive dissonance experienced when reading the the above statement with Sander’s effusive statements on the character of GHWB and John McCain? You want to believe that as a politicians he has to walk a delicate line, and he is just placating the power’s that be, but then maybe he is placating the voters…I don’t know…

    Reply
  6. pjay

    Re ‘The Worst Democraps Who Want To Be President…’

    Since cognitive bias seems to be a theme in today’s links, here’s an example: I read Down With Tyranny’s slam of Biden and completely agreed with it. Yet their “evaluation” of Gabbard the other day was — IMO — total crap. The latter was obviously biased as hell, using selective examples and distortions of the examples used to paint a completely distorted picture of Gabbard.

    Now to some extent I acknowledge “motivated reasoning” here; I support Gabbard’s stance on most policy issues and see Biden as the epitome of a corporate shill “Democrap.” Yet, I also believe the application of “facts” in these two “assessments” (in the intelligence community sense of the word) was not identical. To me this is obvious, but…

    Somebody help me navigate this “post-truth” world!

    (By the way, anyone who believes DWT can “objectively” evaluate anyone has not read some of their stuff on Russiagate – which I suspect may be behind the Gabbard evaluation, however much it is covered up by concern for LGBTQ issues.)

    Reply
    1. pretzelattack

      well i think the original tyrant in their view was abe lincoln. they seem good on stuff like syria, what did they say about russiagate?

      Reply
      1. Carolinian

        It seems to say she’s bad because she’s not down with Russiagate and too mean to Obama. I can’t claim to know much about Tulsi, but she did say our Syria intervention was wrong and her foreign policy views would be far more relevant to picking a president than her views, whatever they may be, on gay rights.You get the impression the writer thinks the opposite.

        Reply
          1. pjay

            It’s BS. Go to votesmart.org. They compile all sorts of voter ratings. Some of these are for groups with narrow interests, others are broad (e.g. Americans for Democratic Action). If you peruse these you’ll see that Gabbard’s ratings are moderately to very liberal, more so in the last few years.

            Reply
            1. pjay

              E.g.: Americans for Democratic Action (social liberalism): 95%
              Human Rights Campaign (liberal marriage/sexual orientation): 88%
              American Family Association (social conservatism): 0%

              All the examples are taken out of context as well.

              Reply
    2. tricia

      Definitely got it right on Biden. His only ‘strength’ in my view is his
      “…kind of status quo ante that looks attractive in light of Trump-exhaustion. He’s the return to normalcy candidate.” A reassuring hearkening back to the (myth of the) Obama years?
      Not nearly enough.

      Reply
    3. Partyless Poster

      DWT is a weird site in that it always rags on worthless democrats, before telling you to go out and vote for the democrats.

      Reply
    4. WobblyTelomeres

      The worry I have is for a Beto/Tulsi ticket. The CDC will have to ask for additional funding so that it may pass out magnesium tablets across the country to address the cramping epidemic.

      Seriously though, if they would name their cabinet early, with Stephanie Kelton at Treasury, Bernie at Labor, etc., I’d knock on doors for ’em.

      Reply
    5. ChrisPacific

      DWT lost all credibility for me with their Trump/Russia stuff and the frequently-recycled Gabbard piece. It’s led me to be suspicious even of their pieces that I agree with.

      I did some independent checking and it does seem to be true that Gabbard inherited some problematic beliefs from her family (which were evident early in her political career) and later changed her mind on them. (I sometimes wonder whether this is behind her willingness to challenge official positions and groupthink, which I consider one of her best qualities). DWT apparently believes that the early Gabbard is the real one, leopards don’t change their spots, and any appearance to the contrary is cynical opportunism on her part.

      Reply
      1. Darthbobber

        It’s largely a cut and paste job, I think. There seems to be a single ur-text of the Gabbard hit piece, and everybody does a little rewording to suit their personal taste or target audience.

        Reply
  7. JohnnyGL

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qrhe5B_DlA
    The Left Will Lose On Environmental Justice Without Attending To Economic Hardship First

    Good stuff from Jamarl Thomas. He’s absolutely right.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JV5o2aPgiC8
    Kyle Kulinski vs. Michael Brooks (from Sam Seder’s show).

    Good conversation overall, but the key for me is where Kyle asks around the 30min mark, “How many republicans do you think are TFG (too far gone) to bring over with a populist left agenda, because they’re too committed to their racism to change?”

    Kyle suggests no more than 1/2 of Repub voters, so around 1/4 of the overall electorate. That’s already in line with HRC’s ‘deplorables’ line.

    Michael Brooks says ‘over 90% of people who voted for Trump’, which I found scarcely believeable?!?!?! I’m thinking, “Does this guy know any Republicans?” That’s several orders of magnitude WORSE than HRC’s view regarding ‘deplorables’.

    Curious what the thinking is around here on what % of Repubs are genuine, committed ‘deplorables’.

    I think it’s much lower than Kyle’s number….maybe 1/4 of Republican voters (I’m talking about those that show up for the primaries and the general that are locked in Repub votes).

    Reply
    1. Amfortas the hippie

      my seven year virtual field study of the American Right(on top of a lifetime of Being Jane Goodall in Texas backwaters) indicates that the number of True Believers is more or less stable. I’ve seen this more or less corroborated elsewhere.
      13% totally crazy(John Birch=>Teabilly Madness=>”Alt Right”…all mixed in with variously unpleasant “christians”)
      and 20-25% “rank and file”, committed gop supporters….who don’t generally wear sheets or love hitler or hate black people….but have swallowed the pablum about welfare queens and taxes and bootstraps.
      If we only include people who vote, the numbers are different..
      Social Media has hopelessly clouded these assessments, IMO.
      People behave very differently online than they do IRL.(this was the biggest insight of the entire exercise)
      most people don’t pay much mind to politics….and what mind they do pay, they often cannot spare.(!)
      My findings are all pre-trump. I ended the virtual field study around 2009.
      I’ve got 3 hard-drives of notes, and I’ll prolly never get around to collating it.
      (putting one’s cripplehood to good use)

      Reply
  8. polecat

    X- lites …

    The background, I think, is missing something .. Where are the pulsing, mini-lighted mushroom clouds ??

    Reply
  9. PressGaneyMustDie

    US law enforcement doctrine & personal defense doctrine is that you only shoot when in fear for your life or others. Warning shots or shooting to wound instead of shooting the center of an assailant’s mass does not turn out well in US civil or criminal courts. Massad Ayoob is an instructor and expert witness in the US whose writing can be found on the web and might explain this better (you may or not agree) for those outside or inside the US. Unlike TV, shooting someone in the thigh can cause someone to bleed to death quickly and gunshots to knees and shoulders cripple.

    Reply
  10. Wukchumni

    On the first day of Christmas, my government gave to me,
    Flynn getting off scot-free

    On the second day of Christmas, my government gave to me,
    two chicken-hawks, and Flynn getting off scot-free

    On the third day of Christmas, my government gave to me, three French Le Pens, two chicken-hawks, and Flynn getting off scot-free

    On the fourth day of Christmas, my government gave to me,
    four tariffs against China, three French Le Pens, two chicken-hawks, and Flynn getting off scot-free

    On the fifth day of Christmas, my government gave to me,
    five fifth amendment sings, four tariffs against China, three French Le Pens, two chicken-hawks, and Flynn getting off scot-free
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    …feel free to add on

    Reply
    1. Monty

      On the sixth day of Christmas, my government gave to me,
      six hypocrites praying, five fifth amendment sings, four tariffs against China, three French Le Pens, two chicken-hawks, and Flynn getting off scot-free

      Reply
  11. JTMcPhee

    Re everything being vibration-conscious: Wonderful insight if correct, but as to us humans who are busily constructing AI and autonomous machinery and “new life forms” via CRSP-R and such, where is there any space for mopes just living simple, decent lives? If it’s all connected, and is all “just is” with no “normative” or “moral” fundamentals in it, then I guesss there’s not much room left for us naked apes — the “consciousness complexity” our biochemical/“spiritual” brains have gifted us has us just building a higher order of complexity, that likely has no space for us inefficient, vastly “irrational” creatures.

    And where does entropy and Murphy’s Law enter into all this? Not to mention all that newly noted Dark Matter that apparently holds everything else together (unless that is “strings”)? Is that the Force? Which we are well indoctrinated to believe has a “good” side and a “dark side?”

    Segue from the “Age of Enlightment” to the “Age of Confusion…”

    Reply
    1. Amfortas the hippie

      I’ve always been a believer in “Vibes”.
      but I can’t prove them.
      Still…when my beard itches in that particular way, I’ll leave in a hurry.
      Missed many barfights/raids that way, back in the day.

      Reply
    2. Chauncey Gardiner

      Thanks, JTM. Having some difficulty reconciling quantum mechanics with the vibrations of all matter and the state of consciousness in the concluding link to the article in Scientific American by Tam Hunt. Maybe the resolution to the paradox is to simply make another cat the observer, as reflected in this enlightening video clip posted the other day on an unrelated topic, courtesy of a tweet by Rudy Havenstein (scroll down in the link below to the cat-in-the-box video clip):

      https://twitter.com/RudyHavenstein/status/1070513488869519360

      The Copenhagen interpretation of a superposition of states that stops when observed due to the collapse of the wave function is offset by the quantum entanglement of the observer and the observed. Perhaps all are governed by the same rules of wave function evolution, and both cats may be considered “observers”. :)

      Reply
    3. knowbuddhau

      Pro tip: when you find your self in over your head, lose your head.

      You know why buddhas smile like that? You can lead a being to enlightenment, but you can’t make them be.

      You find out we all share being, and bounce right back into cutting yourself off from your own source.

      So we’re vibration-conscious, are we? Who knew.

      It’s all another way of saying, we’re verbs, not nouns. We keep trying to be nouns: known, defined, delimited things; when it’s quite obvious we’re all events within events within events. Insisting that that false condition be made the center of existence, is the problem.

      Defining yourself, actually presuming, since it’s on no firm ground, as a constant, makes it seem as if the rest of existence (you) is opposed to and exerting force against you. No, you are not, and neither is it.

      Horizon-drawing is a function of the mind. I keep asking for anyone to put a finger on a division anywhere in the whathavuverse, that permanently and absolutely divides one thing from another. Still waiting.

      A persona, you know, is a mask through which sound is projected. It’s not the thing itself. That’s the Play, amirite?

      When people raise their voices in a chorus, where’s the line between them?

      First, there was an ego. Then, there wasn’t. Now, there is. Dig it.

      Reply
  12. ewmayer

    o “The Blob hides in the deep” [GeoSpace] — Lambert, this points up a problem: “The Blob” (as opposed to “The Deep State”) is your preferred term for the DC permanent war/intel/security bureaucracy. When I first saw the above headline, that’s what I thought the piece was about. :)

    o “Your water footprint is just as important as your carbon footprint” [Quartz]. “… Before you buy your next new outfit, pre-order an upcoming mobile phone, or buy more food than you can eat, consider how your water footprint will grow with these purchases.” — Yeah, well there’s a problem: most retailers don’t list “water footprint” in their product details. So maybe we should stick to the simpler rule “don’t buy stuff you don’t really need”? (At the risk of being put on multiple Un-American Activities watch lists as a result, no doubt.)

    o “Why I Started Blogging” [Inside Higher Ed]. “I cannot recommend blogging strongly enough as a practice which will enhance your work, whatever your work may be.” — Especially if your work is blogging! I wonder about the “only so many hours in day” aspect of this, especially when I see links to e.g. academic/policy-wonk tweetstorms and other social-media time-sucking vortices. I tightly restrict my daily online news reading to just NC and a much-lesser dose of 2 other sites, and even so I find it impossible to do more than skim roughly half the articles. (Sorry, hardworking NC authors, that’s the time-limited reality.) And that’s in nearly-pure read-only mode, at most a couple comments thrown in. Were I as profuse in commenting as some NC readers, my work would unavoidably suffer. I am very, very wary of exhortations such as this one to devote so much of one’s daily time and work output to what is inherently a very ephemeral medium.

    o “Finished decorating for the holidays, Rudolph has nothing on this B-52!
    Anything to add about Santa this year @Whiteman_AFB? pic.twitter.com/xRrc2hm7Il” — How about a festive H-bomb drop at midnight on December 31st?

    o “The Last Curious Man” [GQ] — for those who’ve not seen it, I’d like to recommend the highbrow kitchen comedy Big Night for addition to your holiday film-viewing list.

    Reply
    1. whoamolly!

      Big Night is superb.

      I too miss Bourdain, but still have not read Kitchen Confidential. The world IS lonelier without him.

      Reply
    2. knowbuddhau

      Re: the Great Time Suck. Same here. My word-generator can project such a vivid image, and I’m so used to inhabiting it as if it were the real thing, I’m effectively blinded, like Wile E. Coyote, running smack into walls painted by Road Runner. I haven’t any idea how long I’ve been composing this.

      I don’t see how people can spend the time in this periscopic mode that their time stamps indicate.

      It’s useful to keep track of where you spend most of your time: in the symbol-mediated world, or

      ~ ~~ ~ ~~ ~

      Reply
  13. Synapsid

    Cement, steel, ammonia, and ethylene. Industry big emitters of CO2.

    I saw mention in comments of what the cement and steel and ethylene are used for but nothing about the ammonia. It’s used in the manufacture of fertilizer, the fertilizer that underpins agriculture–stuff like food and biofuel and fiber.

    Reply
  14. RMO

    “Cargo shipper Maersk pledges to cut carbon emissions to zero by 2050” [UPI]. “”We will have to abandon fossil fuels. We will have to find a different type of fuel or a different way to power our assets”

    If only there were some way to propel ships using wind power…

    Reply
  15. Eureka Springs

    I still love firefox on my mac. And love it on my iphone as well. Every person I’ve shown FF on my phone who has downloaded it loved it too and thanked me later.

    Reply
  16. Big River Bandido

    The Current Affairs article on Beto O’Rourke is a must-read, and a perfect summary of why I will never vote for the man.

    Reply
  17. Copeland

    This may cross a line but…

    Why do so many politicians look like Beto O’Rourke?

    Is there some sort of Darwinist explanation?

    Reply
  18. McDee

    There is nothing that says ” Peace on Earth” more than Christmas lights on a B-52. I wonder if that particular aircraft was involved in the infamous “Christmas Bombing” of Hanoi and Haiphong. 20,000 tons dropped on Christmas Eve. In honor of the Prince of Peace?

    Reply
    1. Carolinian

      LOL.. Our biggest local Baptist church has a youth center called The Hanger. The centerpiece, hanging from the ceiling, is a vintage propeller driven Navy training plane. I don’t think it has or had machine guns installed but still. WWJD?? I doubt he would say “praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.”

      Reply
      1. RMO

        I’m amazed they are allowed to do anything that would attract attention to the B-52. It could make it harder to keep the money flowing for new machines of destruction if the public noticed that a half-century plus old aircraft still works better than it’s much hyped, exorbitantly expensive successors. Works better as a bomber that it, the B-1 and B-2 certainly work better at sucking money out of the federal government and that seems to be their real purpose…

        Many years ago my gliding club had a display at an airshow and our glider got parked under the wing of a B-52. The crew chief was really friendly and he eventually invited us to tour the inside two at a time. It gave most of us Dr. Strangelove flashbacks – the film set is really accurate. It was an odd feeling to be inside a machine which could have been involved in Armageddon. He was also quite amusing with the withering scorn he had about the B-1b’s that were there and how much time they spent on the ground being serviced for each hour of airtime. He said that the reason there were two B-1b’s at the show was because they couldn’t have a reasonable chance of just one of them being flyable on all of the three days of the show so a redundant aircraft was needed.

        Reply
  19. drumlin woodchuckles

    I notice that Down With Tyranny article on Tulsi Gabbard seems MOST upset that she opposed efforts to topple President Assad of Syria. I notice the article keeps barking and vomiting about “bombing civilians” and “Assad’s tyranny” and so forth. I also notice they keep accusing her of “Islamophobia” which is a Social Justice Warrior slur-word for people who oppose the Cannibal Liver Eating Jihadi scum in their efforts to take over country after country after country.

    One wonders why a site which clearly supports toppling Assad so that the Global Axis of Jihad could conquer Syria and jihadiffy it would call itself “Down With Tyranny”.

    Reply
  20. Wukchumni

    I’m pleased that so many are discovering the outdoors, there was a time as recently as a decade ago, where the average age of people i’d see in the backcountry was pushing 40, but that was then and this is now, and I see so many Millennials on the trail, who will be a voice in regards to conservation in the future, the best kind of ambassador…

    That said, it’s getting a little silly in some photogenic locales, I couldn’t believe this tale from NZ, where people are lined up to take selfies~

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/07/instacrammed-the-big-fib-at-the-heart-of-new-zealand-picture-perfect-peaks

    Reply
  21. Gavin

    I use Vivaldi on the laptop.. it’s built on Chromium but doesn’t let Google hoover up its data.. The guys who made it are escapees from the Opera team.
    For Android I use puffin which loads most sites I visit by far the fastest – and uses the least data. Chrome is only good [by comparison] at not using much memory. Puffin is a memory hog.. that appears to be their tradeoff.

    Reply

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