Links 12/10/18

Roger the kangaroo: Enormous roo dies aged 12 BBC

Canada’s Stonehenge older than many great spirit sites of the world Saskatoon Star-Phoenix (martha r)

Investigative report shines light on philanthropic foundation’s use of offshore investments to raise money (Chuck L)

Lance Armstrong is poised to become a billionaire despite doping downfall NY Post

Climate change: COP24 fails to adopt key scientific report BBC (David L)

New governors plan aggressive climate steps The Hill

How a shorter sea ice season is changing life in the Arctic MPR News (Chuck L)

Former mailman builds geothermal greenhouse in the midwest; gets local citrus all year for $1 a day TreeHugger (Bob)

Researchers Just Solved One of the Biggest Problems in Synthetic Biology Futurism (David L)

Eleven researchers publish sharp critique of EPA fuel economy logic Ars Technica

US states to meet at deadline on Colorado River drought plan AP (David L)

A Climate of Violence: Refugees and Global Warming Common Dreams (martha r)

Our Famously Free Press

I’m Sorry But This Is Just Sheer Propaganda Current Affairs (Darius)

Factcheck False Equivalence FAIR (Chuck L). Not obvious to me on this evidence alone that the WaPo has a vendetta against AOC. Readers?

News of the Wired


Groundbreaking study examines effects of screen time on kids CBS News

Half of the world is now officially online, but several thorny new problems now threaten the digital economy Business Insider (David L)

Thieves Can Now Nab Your Data in a Few Minutes for a Few Bucks WSJ

Elon Musk says nobody is approving his tweets after the SEC settlement Wired

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

UK Intelligence Agencies Are Planning a Major Increase in ‘Large-Scale Data Hacking’ Gizmodo

Your Apps Know Where You Were Last Night, and They’re Not Keeping It Secret NYT

Facial recognition has to be regulated to protect the public, says AI report MIT Technology Review


The Wooing of Jared Kushner: How the Saudis Got a Friend in the White House NYT re/silC: “Ez to play people in one culture without knowledge of it and you never really know another, even if you lived in it for decades….”

Mohammed bin Salman, Regional Menace American Conservative

Saudi foreign minister rules out extraditing suspects in Khashoggi case Reuters

Gen. Dunford: US Must Stay in Afghanistan or Get Another 9/11 re/silC: “The brilliance of our ‘leaders’”.

Migrant Watch

Can a two-day conference solve the world’s migration issues? Al Jazeera

As Winter Arrives, Thousands of Migrants Are Trapped in Bosnia NYT (furzy)


VHP seeks ‘judicial action’ against evangelists on tourist visa in Andamans Economic Times

Huawei Hullabaloo

China summons US envoy to protest ‘unreasonable’ arrest of Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou, threatens to retaliate SCMP

The 6 reasons why Huawei gives the US and its allies security nightmares MIT Technology Review

Huawei’s amazing global rise shrouded in controversy Asia Times

Only one valid passport allowed, Hong Kong confirms, after it was revealed that detained Huawei executive Sabrina Meng was in possession of three from city SCMP

Health Care

Bumped Out

A Mississippi judge accused pro-life legislators of “gaslighting” – this is why New Statesman (Chuck L)

Investigation of generic ‘cartel’ expands to 300 drugs WaPo

Democrats in Disarray

‘You don’t just get to say that you’re progressive’: The left moves to defend its brand Politico

Class Warfare

Progressives Pull Back the Curtain on Congress’ Corporate Influence TruthDig

Uber’s Arbitration Policy Comes Back to Bite It in the Ass Gizmodo (PhillyPhilly)

A farewell to arms: The Long run developmental effects of Costa Rica’s army abolishment Universidad de Costa Rica Observer (Dr. Kevin)

Gilets Jaunes

‘Green vests’: Paris climate marchers spot overlap with ‘yellow’ comrades France 24 (flora) Hoisted from yesterday’s comments.

UserFriendly: “Of course you don’t.”

Trump Transition


France tells Trump to stop interfering in its politics Al Jazeera

A Brief History of Everything That Happened Because of George H.W. Bush’s Insecurity Rolling Stone. Matt Taibbi

Antidote du Jour:

And a bonus video (Martha R):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. zagonostra

    Gilets Jaunes>

    “All the News that is fit to print”..,I guess a reality such as described below are not as important as what Mr. Cohn may or may not be thinking based on what they (NYT) chose to put on their front pages this morning. No wonder Neera Tanden is clueless.

    “Throughout the country, police arrested 1,723 people, a level that French Minister of the Interior Christophe Castaner characterized as “exceptional.” Of these, 1,220 were ordered held in custody. Paris police headquarters announced that more than 1,082 people had been arrested, of whom more than 625 are being kept in custody.”

    “The demands being raised—for social equality and against militarism and dictatorship—show that this is a movement directed towards the defense of workers’ interests, not just in France, but also internationally.”

    1. Craig H.

      The best thing about this story so far is definitely that Macron said OK I take it back about the tax and the yellow jackets said we changed our mind and that’s not good enough we are going to keep raising a fuss.

      The cover of the economist has a cartoon of Macron as a god statue with its head smashed in and tipping over.

        1. Craig H.


          Sort of. That is what I can access from my working class computer. Their outfits probably are more like 4X that I am guessing.

    2. jrs

      WSWS and they aren’t spinning? I mean no worse than anywhere else, but when you see life through Marxist ideology (and they really are serious ideologists) then every movement that may involve the working class is the revolution.

  2. Lee

    Antidote: Cooper’s or Sharp Shinned Hawk?

    Yesterday’s: Northern Goshawk?

    C’mon twitchers, help me out.

    1. Judith

      I thought yesterday’s antidote might be an immature Cooper’s. Cooper’s have a longer neck, compared to Sharpies.

      1. a different chris

        It was great but they should have back-to-back’d it with the real-time video. That is no-doubt mind blowing.

        We spend so much money on human sports in this country and humans are such sad-sacks when it comes to doing anything physical.

      2. meeps

        I’m leaning toward your call, Judith, re yesterday’s bird. Today’s antidote looks like an adult red-shouldered hawk.

      1. tegnost

        Sharp shin v coopers is really hard, but imo the wings of coopers are more purple/blue in a perch but brown when flying somehow. This one looks to have mottled wings… This link should feed the speculations…

  3. The Rev Kev

    “Gen. Dunford: US Must Stay in Afghanistan or Get Another 9/11”

    Dunford, Dunford. Wasn’t he the guy that said when he was a bird colonel that the “US Must Stay in Japan or Get Another Pearl Harbour”?

    1. voteforno6

      The dirty secret about a lot of generals is that they’re not quite the glorious leaders that the media makes them out to be…a shocking number of them are quite petty and childish.

      1. ex-PFC Chuck

        “…a shocking number of them are quite petty and childish.

        In a peacetime or not-all-out-wartime army that’s how you get ahead.

      2. EGrise

        “Do you not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?”

        – Axel Oxenstierna, Swedish statesman (often misattributed to Cardinal Richelieu)

    2. divadab

      Well there probably are very good reasons for the USA to have a military presence in Afghanistan. It borders China, Iran, Russia, and Pakistan.

      What I object to is the lies our “leaders” tell. What a contemptibly stupid statement from Dunford. He thinks we are as dumb as rocks.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        I can’t recall his name, but one 19th Century British General used to say ‘if your enemy is behind you, you’ve got him surrounded’.

        I suspect that the more thoughtful Russia, Chinese, Iranian and Pakistani generals are all too happy to have the US holed up in those Afghan mountains.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        It strikes me this is a very poor reason to maintain a sprawling operation on the other side of the world dependent on a logistical nightmare.

        Guys like Dunford, probably saw themselves on the horse statues when they were 16. Leaving Afghanistan won’t get them a statue.

      3. Olga

        Not sure how one can object to lies, but not to the deeds. It’s all part of the same package. Destructive deeds lead to destructive lies, which lead to more destructive deeds, which…

        1. Wukchumni

          The ‘smoking pun’ here is that the esteemed general’s name is ‘done for’.

          Irony is officially worth nothing, bupkis.

          1. wilroncanada

            Word play!
            Irony is not a pressing issue.
            By the way, I enjoyed the typo in one of today’s Trump tweets.
            “…there is no smocking gun… Had me in stitches.

      4. Ignim Brites

        Well, this does raise the question of what Al Queda’s terms are for exempting the US homeland from attacks. Or to put it another way, there isn’t too much agitation for eliminating the TSA or the DHS. The failure to take Al Queda seriously pre 9/11 in public policy debates underlay what is universally acknowledged now as wildly inappropriate responses to 9/11. And perhaps Al Queda has no terms. Perhaps Al Queda now regards us as a useful ally in containing Iran and would be loathe to see us depart.

        1. Procopius

          I believe Osama bin Laden’s fatwa basically had two terms. First, remove the 35,000 American soldiers from Arabia. I think we already did that, at the “request” of the al Saud family. Secondly, stop interfering in the internal affairs of all muslim countries. No way we’re going to do that because it would reduce the Bush family’s income.

      5. JTMcPhee

        “Very good reasons? I guess that depends on how the “US government” is defined, and whether one accepts that “The Game of RISK” ™ is the appropriate model for human relations on a warming planet.

  4. Lee

    A lovely link in response to Tanden’s clueless tweet was posted in comments yesterday. A response so nice it deserves to be posted twice.

    December 9, 2018 at 11:20 am
    One-chart explainer for the Gilets Jaunes gas tax position:

    Neera Tanden Verified account @neeratanden – Dec 8
    I don’t understand why any progressive is cheering French protesters who are amassing against a carbon tax.
    1,241 replies 682 retweets 3,951 likes

    ? ??Joshua ?? ? @FaithfulGarden Replying to @neeratanden
    I think it has something to do with the fact that these taxes are aimed at the poor when the big users of CO2 emissions are the rich.

    1. Robert Valiant

      The graph is for world population. I wonder where the typical French Yellow Vest falls on that graph? Nevertheless, I’m all for liberté, égalité, et fraternité. Best wishes to France.

      1. Lee

        That’s a good question. The top 10% if world population would be about 700,000 souls. About a billion people live in developed countries. Here is a link on per capita energy use by country.

        Look at Iceland! Number one by far in terms of energy use. But then, they are 56th in terms of per capita carbon footprint. How do they do that? France is ranked 65th in this regard.

        But this doesn’t really address your question as to the energy footprint by classes and sectors within a country. I’m sure the truth is out there but I’m not up to finding it at the moment. My own personal energy level is at a ebb at the moment. If you or others want to chip in on the effort, please do so.

            1. Lee

              No bank transactions for me today.

              I did once send my mortgage payment to the trash collection service. Fortunately, they called me to inform me of the error and did not slurp up my money. Such is the world we live in that the trash collectors are more attentive, honest and thoughtful than the bankers.

              1. Wukchumni

                Casino owners are more attentive honest & thoughtful than Unabankers. They are on the constant lookout to make sure that neither their employees or their customers, ever cheat.

              2. oh

                In some states the scum utility companies have gotten a law passed where they can cash the check made out to another utility (e.g. power company but sent to the telephone company) if you mistakenly sent it to them.

                This is how corporations buy the state reps and senators and get their own biased bills passed while the people are not looking. A good example is how the internet providers have had bills passed to prohibit publicly provided wi-fi.

        1. Grebo

          How does Iceland do it? I believe they are top for energy use because they have a lot of alumin(i)um smelters. Their low carbon footprint is because most of their energy production is hydro and geothermal. It’s that cheap energy that attracts the smelters.

    2. ChrisPacific

      This is the consequence for establishment Democrats of ignoring class-based politics or pretending it doesn’t matter: things will keep happening that you didn’t predict and don’t understand, and you won’t know why, or what to do about them. Trump is exhibit A, but by no means the only one.

  5. a different chris

    I’m surprised (happily) by the greenhouse story. I always thought that the shortened days, not the ability to maintain heat, would make growing tropical fruit too far out of its range impossible.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Different plants. In general, full sun means plants only need about 4 hours of good sunlight a day. I imagine citrus trees evolved under the canopy. Plants are sensitive to light, but the leaves on trees are competing for sunlight with each other, tending to fall at the same time as the leaves don’t get enough light as the tree “senses” the days are shorter and sheds the leaves.

      Also, mirrors. I don’t know if this is being done in this case, but reflective services can be helpful.

      1. Cal

        That man deserves a Nobel Prize.
        His figs, and I suspect other plants in there, like the unrecognizable vines, are deciduous so the citrus gets more light in the winter. I’ve had peach trees produce more fruit in partial shade than in full sun nearby.

        Stressed plants, like your daylight example, in general, often make more fruit as they evolved to assure reproduction. This is why dry farming works better than continuous watering which makes for nice bushy and low-bearing trees.

        That clear plastic material with air channels in it that is facing the greenhouse is the biggest expense. Plus you have to seal the ends so that bugs don’t nest in the channels. Since plastic lasts ‘forever’, a high capital investment leads to a great return on EROEI.

        Used building material yards often stock old sliding closet door mirrors. The metal backed ones from the 1970s and before are sturdy enough to use outdoors. Rustproof the backs. The wood and cardboard backed ones sold new are useless as they absorb water and the glass is crapafied thin.

        Plant your peach, apricot and plum pits in a little puddle of compost rich soil wherever you want trees. Think hedgerows and lining fences. Scrape up the dried dropped fruit under a mature tree that you know produces high quality fruit as a source of them. The seedlings that grow from the pits rarely produce fruit but you can graft on them with the appropriate scions. Occasionally you are surprised and get great fruit. This is imprecise and you will never master it, so go with the mystery that nature provides and be glad for it.

        1. Pylot7

          The Walipini was engineered in reproducible form by the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons).

          The engineering plans are available on line for free.

          I am retiring to North Dakota and will be putting one up so that I can grow insecticide free fruit and vegetables year round.

          A walipini just 20 feet long can keep a family of four in food year round.

    2. Lee

      The thermal resources around Yellowstone could be employed to heat greenhouses, thus addressing the local paucity of fresh fruits and vegetables, which as a Californian, I experienced acutely during my extended stays up that way. Too much jerky, trail mix, steak, potatoes, and iceberg lettuce can make a Californian feel ill at ease.

      1. Oregoncharles

        Yellowstone could power the entire country, at the dire cost of industrializing a natural wonder.

        There are other magma chambers available – eg, Long Valley in California, and most of the Cascades here. There is actually a pumped-thermal power project in Eastern Oregon; that is, instead of counting on natural heated water, they pump water down into the hot zone, then condense the steam and reuse it. Otherwise, uses too much water.

        1. heresy101

          Wonder why Long Valley hasn’t been tapped for geothermal energy like the Geysers near Santa Rosa, CA?

    1. Keith Howard

      My immediate instinct upon reading the headline of the WAPO generic drug litigation story was to ask “Where’s the list?” I read through the story quickly, but I saw neither a list of the 300 medicines, nor any link to such a list, nor any explanation of why no list is provided. What happens to people in journalism school that they utterly forget how to read their own writings with the eyes of a stranger? Is there something to be gained by invariably beating around the bush, as a matter of principle? Journalists are not the only sinners in this regard. I used to yell at the radio when I heard Obama say that “some in Congress” were deliberately obstructive. Why, exactly, could he never say that it was Republicans? The intentional use of imprecise and evasive language eventually becomes a moral issue.

  6. rd

    re: Trump’s attack on the Clean Water Act

    The irony is that the negative environmental impacts will be felt most in areas won by Trump. By the time he is done “helping” rural America, there may not be a rural America left.

      1. LifelongLib

        IIRC there was a post here a while ago that called Nixon “the last New Dealer”. Considered a conservative during his lifetime, he also supported a guaranteed income and national health care. Things have changed…

        1. dave

          Nixon was the last President of the New Deal era. An era where there was a belief in a robust Federal Government that could actually take things on and solve them.

          Ford was just mopup after Nixon, and the whole New Deal era crashed around Jimmy Carter.

          They’ve all been Reagan Era Presidents since. There was hope for Obama in 2008, but he merely strengthened the Reagan Era.

        2. John k

          Dem elites are far to the right of Nixon…
          The dem elites of his era rebuffed his proposal for uni health cart.
          Didn’t go far enough cough cough donors.

    1. jrs

      the lifespan will just fall again, this time due to environmental poisoning, but oh well the lifespan is always falling, who can keep track anymore. And anyway people killed because we let businesses pollute the environment should have taken better care of their health, and btw the bronze plan won’t pay for the disease, sure they were drinking poison but maybe they should have ate more broccoli.

      Farms are definitely feeling the effects of climate change already as well, crop production of some crops is down due to climate chaos, won’t be a rural america left to the extent it exists due to agriculture either.

      1. Wukchumni

        I was told by a roadside citrus stand vendor, that the size of oranges this year is a lot smaller than in years past. My Cara Cara navel orange crop (all 23 of them!) are all about 2/3rds the size of last year’s effort.

  7. jfleni

    RE: Thieves Can Now Nab Your Data in a Few Minutes for a Few Bucks.
    Not if you use Linux and trash billy-boy and appple-jack!

    1. Anon

      …Cluck. Cluck! (fixed the ending for you.)

      Actually, you’re correct, but only until it becomes more profitable to hack Linux users. Phishing attacks users, not operating systems.

  8. Ignacio

    RE:Climate change: COP24 fails to adopt key scientific report BBC (David L)

    The headline is misleading. It should read something like: US, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, not surprisingly, boycott COP24 attempts to figth climate change. It fails to identify the suspects.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Gilets Jaunes”

    Isn’t it amazing. You have that Neera Tanden, a Clintonite, tweeting “I don’t understand why any progressive is cheering French protesters who are amassing against a carbon tax” while you have a Republican Trump tweeting “Maybe it’s time to end the ridiculous and extremely expensive Paris Agreement and return money back to the people in the form of lower taxes?”. Opposite ends of the pole and yet they think the riots were just about carbon taxes. Equal intelligence or equally tone deaf?

    1. Jessica

      There is research showing that in people with power, the parts of the brain that empathize with others shrink. On the other hand, those with less power not only retain the natural human capacity for empathy but also pay heightened attention to the powerful folks who could hurt them.
      On the other hand, a lot of what our elites do makes more sense, in a twisted way, once we accept that they are not on our side. They are not even neutral.
      In this case, Trump doesn’t actually care what the Gilets Jaunes actually think. He is just scoring points against opponents of petro-hegemony. Neera Tanden likewise does not have enough relationship with the facts to even be a liar. She is just scoring points against anyone who even thinks of opposing our neoliberal overlords.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I’m convinced Bill and Hill surrounded themselves with the kinds of kids who would repeat back to the professor what the professor just said but in question form, seeking nothing more than an affirmative response. Neera plays studious but only really knows how to please authority figures. Defending Macron is just bizarre at this time.

        1. Brooklin Bridge

          But looking at the glass 1/100 full, at least she didn’t assign Les Gilets Jaunes a special place to burn in hell like those naughty Bernie-Bros.

    2. Ignacio

      Opposite ends of the pole and yet they think the riots were just about carbon taxes. Equal intelligence or equally tone deaf?

      I don’t think they are opposite ends of the pole. They just compete like apple vs samsung for instance. What is interesting, i believe, is that both competitors use the same symplistic observation and fact manipulation to serve their particular narratives. Answering your question this means equal intelligence but different tone deaf.

    3. Jean

      Opposite ends of the pole? Need one more measure to analyze “Progressives”

      Are they true Progressives?

      Or, are they “PEPs”? Progressives Except for Palestine?

    4. Big River Bandido

      I must agree with Ignacio. “Opposite ends of the pole” applies here only perhaps within the realm of rhetoric, or as the Clinton people so enjoy calling it, “tone”. In terms of substance, and particularly economic policy, there’s very little daylight between them.

  10. tegnost

    same $&!+, different day…the alaskan way viaduct being demo’d to open up space for developers downtown to cash in on what once was the best view of seattle the average mope could get are unsurprisingly balking at any cost to them, in true seattle coddle the rich fashion…
    FTA…”But officials have been unable to wrap up negotiations with property owners who want Seattle to dramatically reduce the $200 million proposed size of the tax and to make commitments related to the maintenance and operation of the waterfront.”
    Charge us less and give us more services.
    This includes 97 million to tear down the viaduct and open up acres and acres of development friendly land.
    Breezing over this document shows give or take washington citizens have paid 2 billion in regressive gas taxes to fund this multi millionaire making project, who will then pay zero income taxes to the state…Yay!
    backing down on head tax (omg bezos doesn’t like it!), backing down on taxing developers who have ruined the city 200 million, which is for these people chump change. And the viaduct replacing tunnel is going to be a toll road…Yay! /s

    1. JTMcPhee

      So glad I exited Seattle in 1997. Florida has problems, but no Big Tech near where I live. No tunnels in our terrain, either.

  11. Ignacio

    RE: Eleven researchers publish sharp critique of EPA fuel economy logic

    This article illustrates why contamination and climate change policies should not be translated to “economic logic” on the first place. Economic logic can yield any result that any policymaker wants to have.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Roger the kangaroo: Enormous roo dies aged 12”

    If you thought that ‘roo was big, Australia used to have megafauna until a coupla tens of thousands of years ago, including a version of kangaroo that was even bigger. Roger ending up being more than 2m (6ft 7) tall and weighing 89kg (196lbs). That megafauna kangaroo – Procoptodon goliah – was 2.7m (8ft 8) tall and weighed up to 240kg (529lbs).

      1. bwilli123

        from Wikipedia
        “There is evidence that supports both of the claims that the extinction of P. goliah may have been due to climate shifts during the Pleistocene[2] or to human hunting.[7] P. goliah, depending heavily on free-standing water, was more vulnerable to drought. This can explain why the red kangaroo survived the increasing aridity and Procoptodon goliah did not. However, there is also evidence that suggests that humans could have a significant influence in the extinction of P. goliah. P. goliah’s need for a constant free-standing source of water, plus its height and its common habitat in open shrub lands, made the P. goliah more noticeable to the human hunters, thus making it vulnerable to humans who were also water-bound like the Procoptodon.”

    1. ewmayer

      There once was huge ‘roo named Roger,
      Who in life was a quite artful dodger.
      But alack! and alas!
      He hath dodgethed his last,
      And gone and snuffed it, the old codger.

  13. erichwwk

    Factcheck False Equivalence FAIR (Chuck L).

    Jerri-Lynn Scofield comments “Not obvious to me on this evidence alone that the WaPo has a vendetta against AOC. Readers?”

    The WaPo (Jeff Bezos/Google?) DOES consistently [IMHO] denigrate those that question the right of the elite to retain their ill-gotten gains, particularly as it relates to military spending. While that one particular example may well not be “enough” to “prove” bias/vendtta (can ANY single observation do that?), readers not familar with what happened at the New America Foudation (old name) might be interested in reading “Has the New America Foundation Lost its Way?”

    1. erichwwk

      Noam Chomsky quotes Orwell‘s original (unappearing) preface to Animal Farm, “Literary Censorship in England”:

      “The press is owned by wealthy men who have every interest in not having certain things appear”

      On 14 April 2006, the Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University in New York brought together John Pilger, Seymour Hersh, Robert Fisk and Charles Glass for a discussion entitled ‘Breaking the Silence: War, lies and empire’.

      John Pilger began his speech at Columbia University with:

      “During the Cold War, a group of Russian journalists toured the United States.
      On the final day of their visit, they were asked by their hosts for their impressions.

      ‘I have to tell you,’ said their spokesman, ‘that we were astonished to find after
      reading all the newspapers and watching TV, that all the opinions on all the vital
      issues were by and large, the same. To get that result in our country, we imprison
      people, we tear out their fingernails. Here, you don’t have that. What’s the secret?
      How do you do it?” — John Pilger Address at Columbia University on 14 April 2006:

      1. Jessica

        Worth checking out the British media’s attacks on Corbyn to see how the US media will go after Bernie if he gets closer to power. Evidence is emerging that the anti-Corbyn smears may have been organized by British Intelligence. Not that US Intelligence would ever interfere in the US media.

        1. knowboudicau

          Like these?

          MI5’s anti-Corbyn campaign and the slandering of Michael Foot

          Professor: It’s ‘Obvious’ Intelligence Services Attempting to Undermine Corbyn

          Won’t it be nice, when the fact that we are being likewise propagandized, in real time, right here in the US of A, moves from open (but unspoken) secret, to common parlance?

          Psyop ain’t speech, it’s kinetic action, ffs. It’s considered battlefield prep and a force multiplier. Assault with verbal weapons of mass distraction. And yet we shrug it off.

          I distinctly remember never seeing “bankster” anywhere, a dozen years ago, except in comments, and now it’s everywhere, tho. So there’s that.

  14. noonespecial

    Re: AntiWar’s Gen. Joe Dunford

    On 12/4/2018, the Senate’s Armed Services Committee held a confirmation hearing for the nominee to be the next commander of U.S. Central Command commander. Concerns over the need to protect the homeland are peppered throughout. Afghanistan does receive some attention at the beginning of the hearing.


    However, the neo-con’s favored boogeyman – Iran – (not surprisingly) cast its long shadow.

    During the hearing, Tom Cotton raised the specter of an attack on US civilians with the nominated general – Kenneth McKenzie. (around 53m25s – 54m.40s) The exchange is about the threat of Irani missiles being launched not only into Saudi territory from Yemen, but also the possibility of said missiles posing a threat to Riyadh’s airport where (in Cotton’s words) Americans fly in and out of everyday.

    Then, Ted Cruz chimes in (1h30m20s – 1h33m) and his exchange with McKenzie touches on two points – Iran’s missiles and Iran-sponsored terrorism. The threat (or as the general calls it an “aspiration) by Iran to develop a nuke-capable ICBM is real, thus being able to target the USA. The general seems to be providing talking points for the state department’s future briefing as to why war me be necessary.

  15. Carolinian


    Hours later his staff showed up on the press plane wearing buttons that said, “We kicked a little ass.” Some reporters started calling the Vice President “Kick-Ass George,” others wore hats made of jockstraps.

    So we’ve gone from the jockstrap hat era to the pussy hat counter reaction. Can we agree that American culture–led by its press corpse–is often a kind of mindless unicellular organism moving from one position to another under the influence of mysterious enzymes? The press of the 1980s lionized Ronald Reagan, who spent WW2 in a Hollywood studio, and made fun of Bush who did, at least, put his butt on the line for the elites who made him. Is it any wonder that Obama thought better PR to be the solution to everything?

  16. Summer

    Re: Mississippi / Abortion

    If govt officials said to themselves, “Gee, I wonder how we can create a nightmare that rivals the war on drugs’ criminalization of society,” then they could be headed that way with incrrasing abortion bans

    I keep thinking of the number of women who have abortions and they already have children. Make the laws stringent and you’vr created a crisis that uphends families on the level of the war on drugs.

  17. Wukchumni

    US states to meet at deadline on Colorado River drought plan AP
    This ties in nicely with the Dunford comments about how we can’t vamoose out of (L*)afghanistan, the difference being it’s imperative
    that what little water there is left ought to stay in Lake Mead, while a myriad of users with metal straws in thirsty states desire it to go to them instead, the hell with the consequences.

    And while we’re in Nevada, it’d be a perfect proxy for the ‘stan box: endless basin & range that just repeats itself, not much of which is worth defending.

    Book tip: Encounters with the Archdruid, by John McPhee

    *gotta stay-wouldn’t be prudent-wouldn’t be wise to leave

    1. Wukchumni


      Opting for unlimited mileage and not getting full comp & collusion insurance on our rental Karzai, was a mistake in retrospect.

    2. redleg

      Lots of basin and range, not much of wich is worth with lots of scarce mineral resources critical to renewable energy technology that’s worth defending.

      1. Wukchumni

        ha ha!

        The classic Nevada commodities inspired boomtown tale, is My Adventures With Your Money, by George Graham Rice from about a century ago.

        Here’s the opening paragraph in the forward:

        You are a member of a race of gamblers. The instinct to speculate dominates you. You feel that you simply must take a chance. You can’t win, yet you are going to speculate and to continue to speculate—and to lose. Lotteries, faro, roulette, and horse-race betting being illegal, you play the stock game. In the stock game the cards (quotations or market fluctuations) are shuffled and riffled and STACKED behind your back, AFTER the dealer (the manipulator) knows on what side you have placed your bet, and you haven’t got a chance. When you and your brother gamblers are long of stocks in thinly margined accounts with brokers, the market is manipulated down, and when you are short of them, the prices are manipulated up.

        Read it online for more gratisfaction:

  18. Lunker Walleye

    A Brief History of Everything That Happened Because of George H.W. Bush’s Insecurity Rolling Stone. Matt Taibbi
    This is an entertaining reminder of who H.W. truly was. The bonus is part of a Simpsons episode, “Homer v. George Bush”.

    1. Carolinian

      The nasty president who has a stroke in the comedy Dave was undoubtedly modeled on Bush. The recent hagiography just shows how remarkably fickle the MSM is. Doubtless they would say “9/11 changed everything” but even that meme is getting stale after almost two decades.

  19. dcblogger

    A longtime community organizer and nonprofit director announced plans to run for governor in 2020.

    Stephen Noble Smith, 38, who ran the West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Coalition for the past six years, confirmed Wednesday he plans to run as a Democrat in the 2020 gubernatorial election.
    anyone here from West Virginia?

  20. Summer

    Re: Two day conference / world migration

    If it’s not a peace conference to end wars and attacks going on , they are starting at zero solutions and ending at zero solutions.
    The only starting point to even begin to get a handle on migrations is 1) stop dropping bombs.

  21. Wukchumni

    Wrote my very first pen pal letter to an ex-GI Joe friend I knew in his mid-teens, who acquired a heroin addiction in Afghanistan, and is in situ in one of Arizona’s finer prisons for the next few years, on account of getting into trouble stateside after he came back. His mom told me he was given around 800 calories worth of food a day and was ensconced in his cell for 23 out of 24 hours per diem for almost a year into his stretch of 6 years, and the White-Black-Hispanic blocs are very territorial as an added bonus.

    His mom told me NOT to send him any money (and she related he’ll plead with me for sum in the first letter I get back…) and another friend told me DON’T use your physical return address!

    It’s a brave new world for me…

  22. diptherio

    Not obvious to me on this evidence alone that the WaPo has a vendetta against AOC. Readers?

    I think they’re not trying to show a vendetta against AOC per se, just that the WaPo’s desire to have examples of “four Pinocchio” lies from politicians of both parties leads them to apply the same label to statements with very different truth values. This example with AOC is just the latest one. Hence, their examples of previous instances of questionable fact-check pronouncements, like this one:

    A Barack Obama ad that called Mitt Romney a “corporate raider” and accused him of being responsible for shipping jobs overseas—which the Post (6/21/12) called “misleading, unfair and untrue,” despite the fact that Romney has been called a “corporate raider” hundreds of times in mainstream news outlets, and despite a Post article (6/21/12) published the very same day headlined “Romney’s Bain Capital Invested in Companies That Moved Jobs Overseas” (, 6/22/12).

    The fact that they’re getting to play their game with someone considedered a far-lefty is, if anything, just icing on the cake for them. I think their main goal is to be able to avoid accusations of being one-sided (which is pretty hilarious when you think about it).

    1. Carolinian

      Newspapers like the WaPo should be fact checking themselves rather than the politicians. However the ombudsman position seems to be on the fade. Perhaps the biggest non-fact is the notion that news outfits themselves are objective sources of truth. In that sense the old yellow press–their biases plainly visible–had a more honest approach.

        1. Procopius

          Pfui. The job of the journalist is to write stories that attract readers, who constitute the asset that will attract advertisers. I really don’t understand why so many people still think rare gems like Jeremy Scahill are common.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      AOC is an outspoken “liberal” (I just want to use the term). I’m reminded of Jon Oliver’s efforts to protect Net Neutrality. All he had to do was raise awareness on his show. Congress and Obama were sufficiently frightened. They tried again when Oliver’s show wasn’t in season.

      The elites sound less terrible when the debate is between a Holocaust denier and a concentration camp guard. For the new “woke” generation of Republicans among Team Blue elite, AOC is particularly dangerous. She doesn’t look like a WASP and can’t be shouted down as a Bernie Bro. Can she be rattled? Maybe. Her seat is probably secure now, but on one hand, how much of her victory was due to gumption versus a completely absentee Congressman. They can’t rattle Sanders. They definitely tried. My gut is they are going to go with the age thing and try to rattle the voters. Sanders isn’t a cult figure, but you know AOC is pretty groovy. Look how important Sanders was to changing…Corey Booker has endorsed Medicare For All at some level. The discussion isn’t “fix ACA” anymore.

      If AOC turns the heat up on Amazon, then, pretty soon every Hispanic and every woman with political ambition is going to have to make a choice, side with Amazon or side with AOC. The state level Republicans around here rail against Amazon skirting the sales tax and ecommerce, maybe not by name. The Washington Post has always been an advocate of political conservatism and the CIA, and we saw what Sanders did for wages of Amazon workers. AOC could be around for a long time. She’s in New York City. She can not be ignored. Going forward, are these Obama style candidates (maybe Beta or that doofus down in Georgia…Ossoff) or are they AOC style candidates? AOC represents a return to normalcy.

      1. Alex morfesis

        Yup…AOC will be the new Bella Abzug for the NYC legacy media companies…great news hole filler upper…hopefully she won’t devolve into doing a fall of Saigon move as Bella did with the consequences still felt 40 plus years later…met a man recently who although thankful for having been able to get to America as a child after the fall, certainly could have done without the thirty years of scratching and clawing to get beyond broke…AOC will soon run out of air…do not imagine she will become a details person and actually dig into exacting facts instead of blurting out slogans learned at some mystery “leadership training” workshops of the Groucho Marx not so left…remember… That Philips lightbulb was brought to you by the same checkbook of the same family that allowed good ole Karl to enjoy a stress free life with his German aristoratic noble wife…you know…the one whose brother was the interior minister of Prussia…

        I know…I know…details details…

  23. Summer

    Re: Digital economy…Business Insider
    “Just 45% of people around the world think that the benefits of the digital economy outweigh the drawbacks, the forum group said, citing data from marketing firm Dentsu Aegis.”

    Hard heads, thick and sick.

    Despite all the major issues, none will be addressed – like politicians they just see a PR issue.

  24. allan

    DOW 24,000!!!

    The good news is that this will extend the shelf remainder bin life Glassman and Hassett’s classic.

  25. Wukchumni

    A couple of timely Adlai Stevenson quotes in regards to the situation in France with Macron.

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

    “The time to stop a revolution is at the beginning, not the end.”

    1. JEHR

      Well, I agree with the description of Lance’s being “a sociopath on a bicycle” but it is just one more instance of lies being thought of as unimportant especially when everyone is doing it. Nice to have a Liar-in-Chief who can carry the load so that no one has to worry about it anymore. It seems as though all the things that make life livable–honesty, truth, empathy, kindness, understanding–no longer seem important and everything opposite to that has taken their place. I guess lies are all of a piece with destruction of truth and destruction of everything else, the oceans, the earth, the air, and all living things. Human beings may not be the last to go, but go we shall along with all the other creatures (except cockroaches!)

      1. Carolinian

        It’s just a bicycle race and arguably not much of a sport at that. It’s not like he was lying about, oh say, weapons of mass destruction.

        In the article Armstrong says he thinks people would have forgiven him for the doping on the basis that everybody does it (probably true) but that the aggressive lying was wrong and deservedly punished. If you think the Tour de France is more spectacle than sport then arguably the attention that Armstrong drew to it did the Tour a lot of good. For example, pre Armstrong did American cable channels even cover the Tour? Now they do.

        However please do condemn Armstrong for investing in Uber which as all NC readers know is a scam.

        1. Harrold

          Armstrong sued and won libel cases against newspapers that reported on his doping.

          He kept the money.

          1. Carolinian

            I’m not defending lying by Armstrong or anyone else. But the press has made a whipping boy out of Lance Armstrong while looking the other way when it comes to far more powerful liars who could, not coincidentally, hurt their careers. Indeed sports doping has even become a weapon being used by some of those liars to discredit our “enemies”–as in the proxy war waged against Russia based on some dubiously sourced accusations before the last Olympics.

        2. human

          Why should I condemn him for having the opportunity to invest in a startup at the ground floor?

          I also don’t condemn him his ill-gotten gains.

          Read carefully and you will recognize that he fully understands the double standards that we all face. He is just a .01 percenter and took advantage where and when available.

          Remember, we don’t call them giver barons.

  26. allan

    ‘We’re being mistreated’: Instacart shoppers complain of pay cuts as company shifts to new model [Chicago Tribune]

    After pulling 12-hour shifts as a restaurant hostess, Alid Alvarado was eager for a job that would allow her to spend more time with her three young kids. She found it as a shopper with Instacart, the on-demand grocery delivery service, which allowed her to set her own schedule and earn some $300 a week for 20 hours of work.

    But two weeks after she became a shopper — a job that entails getting customers’ groceries from store shelves to their homes — Instacart changed its payment structure and, Alvarado said, her earnings plunged.

    Those 20 hours yielded less than $160 as she waited for higher-paying orders to come through, embittering her to the gig economy job that at first seemed like a lifeline. …

    Instacart, which boasts a community of 70,000 shoppers across the U.S. and Canada, has attracted $1.6 billion in funding since its founding in 2012 as investors anticipate a surge in consumers ordering their groceries online. Its CEO recently said an initial public offering is on the horizon. …

    “We want to be clear that every shopper and every order matters to us, and we take all feedback seriously,” the company said in a statement. “We’re committed to looking into every issue that our shoppers raise to better understand how we can improve our features and create the best possible shopper experience,” the statement continued. …

    Community = independent contractors without benefits.

    Shopper experience = working conditions.

    Matters to us = talk to the hand.

    You’ve got to admit that the bro-speak quotient is impressive. Can’t wait for the prospectus.

  27. Big River Bandido

    RE: Politico (‘You don’t just get to say that you’re progressive’: The left moves to defend its brand)

    I skimmed the entire article and didn’t see a single mention of a real policy position. Some vague reference to “Medicare for all” but no mention as to what that means. Warren, The Cop, and some other establishment entity (I can’t remember which one, could be any one of them) are identified as “progressives” along with Sanders. (???) Meanwhile, Clinton and Biden are defined as “centrists”. But nowhere are any of these terms quantified or substantiated. I also note the snide reference to progressives’ “exacting standards”. One can almost see the Politico hack’s eyes roll. But I suppose when the word “progressive” doesn’t mean anything to you in the first place, that you would tend to discount other people’s views on it.

    Especially when you’re writing on deadline for a shallow publication.

  28. Wukchumni

    Verizon will shed about 10,400 workers who accepted a severance package as it works to cut $10 billion in costs and upgrade to a faster 5G network-WSJ

    14,000 jobs gone here in autos, 10,000+ jobs gone there in communications, all in the space of a fortnight.

    Meanwhile the statistics show that unemployment hasn’t been this low since the first moon landing…

  29. Jeremy Grimm

    Why do the ‘Gilets Jaunes’ wear yellow coats? It does make them visible and memorable — but is there another reason? There is a wasp where I grew up we called a ‘yellow jacket’. These wasps are widespread, very persistent and protective of themselves and their hive, and very difficult to crush or flee from. Are the yellow coats intended to evoke a symbolic reference to the qualities of this this wasp?

    1. Ignacio

      In France, and in other european countries, by law, you have to have in your car a yellow jacket with reflective bands in case you are forced by accident or any other reason to stop in a motorway and get out of your car. The objective is precisely to be visible. Protestors wanted visibility and these jackets where there, readily available to anybody with a car.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      @diptherio and @Ignacio — THANKS! — That explains the convenience and some degree of anonymity afforded to ‘Gilets Jaunes’. Wikipedia [] talks about the German yellowjacket wasp (Vespula germanica) so I imagine there must be some form of yellow jacket wasp in France. Is there really no tie to that wasp in the French ‘Gilets Jaunes’ protesters? If not, I think they should adopt black baseball caps with the yellow coats.

  30. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Only one valid passport allowed, Hong Kong confirms, after it was revealed that detained Huawei executive Sabrina Meng was in possession of three from city SCMP


    Hainan Airlines launched nonstop flight from Beijing to Mexico (from I just googled) in March 2018…about 8 months ago.

    Will more Chinese executives use those nonstop flights (I understand she was on her to Mexico City)?

    1. The Rev Kev

      That may have been for business reasons. There was one country decades ago that was not on everybody’s popularity list and yet businessmen needed to go there. The solution was for that country to stamp the visas in a piece of paper that was kept in their passports. That way, when they left the country and went to another country that was hostile to that regime, there would be no incriminating visa stamp in that passport. I imagine that people that have citizenships to multiple countries might game which passport they use to travel to different countries. In any case, if Hong Kong was going to chip her about that, it would be up to a Hong Kong court to do that.

  31. ewmayer

    o “Only one valid passport allowed, Hong Kong confirms, after it was revealed that detained Huawei executive Sabrina Meng was in possession of three from city SCMP” — So her counsel’s argument to the effect that “she is not a flight risk” is revealed to be a blatant falsehood. Of course that was obvious to begin with, simply from the fact of her being an oligarch with powerful government connections, but nice to have official confirmation in form of a passport collection rivaling that of Jason Bourne.

  32. KPC

    Jerrilyn, thank you for the discussion concerning Costa Rica from UCR (Universidad de Costa Rica).

    I am Costa Rica and work in these very areas explicitly including our universities.

    This very issue of “removing our military” shortly after our revolution in 1948 needs to be carefully and thoughtfully addressed. “Military” here means “offensive”. We most assuredly did NOT remove DEFENSIVE security explicitly at ministerio level.

    Our web site here at the firm in Costa Rica is a disaster at the moment for which I am responsible. We are actively working to get this issue corrected. E.g., my student intern from UCILAT has been doing an astounding job but is off getting a little dental attention on those wisdom teeth.

    Please feel free to use the e-mail address below.

    We really are working so very hard here in la Republica. This is the land of law and diplomacy and pura vida.

    1. KPC

      The purpose of this discussion is not precision. What we see is sufficient. You will find similar studies centered in Central and South America as well as USA throughout and a bit more elsewhere.

      While I may hale from Central America, I grew up in South Dokata and in the area of the Sioux. There is a current ongoing issue perhaps…which might also relate to a few conveyancing bank operating systems?

      I barely digress. This issue is there are solutions to fix this mess. Some of these solutions can be found in the wisdom and systems we human beings have used to get to a fabulous quality of life or pura vida. Pura vida is found in the Karma Suta and linguistically expands to “pure water, pure air, pure food leads to pura vida or, in English, the pure life. We already know so much about these solutions yet there appears to be a few of our ancestors who might, possibly, have a little better understanding… ? So, we study, we learn, we work to use the optimum technology to achieve to optimum quality of life?

  33. KPC

    Thank you for that fabulous discussion and video of that man in Nebraska who has a greenhouse which grows oranges and ZERO carbon or petroleum on the “mas o menos” (more or less) method of administering that gig! Zero computer or similar obnoxious precision tech which would forever break and I am talking pre-1970 tech in South Dakota, no less.

    Today, we are doing this demonstaration on the lot of this firm in Middle Earth with the same flipping oranges!

    Principles of producing pure food without throwing the flipping trade balance out for this Republic and the seriously Great Sovereign State of Nebraska!

    By the way, my fantasy retirement and that of another dear friend and client in the Great Commonwealth of Massachusettes and his greenhouse.

    There are solutions!

    1. Wukchumni

      Big wahooza, potentially 1,500 tons of silver in China, yippee yi-yay!

      Here was the game changer as far as silver went 150 years ago or so in the Comstock Lode, which forever changed the silver/gold ratio from 16-1 which had held up since biblical times, to now where the ratio is closer to 90-1.

      The total production of silver ore extracted and milled in the Comstock District, 1860 to June 30, 1880, was 6,971,641 tons… (Wiki)

      1. The Rev Kev

        Thanks for the tip on the Comstock Lode. I have never heard about that one. Considering when that mine was opened up, I wonder if it helped finance the American Civil War.

        1. Wukchumni

          It most definitely did!

          About the players:

          The Union issued gold & silver coins continually through the war, whereas the CSA was almost in entirety fiat in the guise of paper money.

          1. KPC

            Think Aztec, Hernandez/Cortez and Spain. One can have inflation in a gold based economy. This bankrupted Spain.

            The historical truth is they did not get it all. Some of the pre-Columbian gold reserves directly traceable and authenticated remain in the Central Bank of today which serves the same economic zone.

            1. KPC

              For a small fee paid BY YOU to our Central Bank, anyone on this web site is certainly encouraged to literally audit and certify our holdings in the millennial reserve currency. This is traceable to our Central Bank’s balance sheet which is available on the internet.

              I am very serious. We know how to do this.

              This is well worth the fee. We do provide you with something of true value in return which is a fabulous profound education including in art and technology.

              1. KPC

                Sorry to be so prolific here but this area fascinates me.

                The Aztec treasury and notional entry system used a dual currency economy not too dissimilar to our current system. It has some tone and flavor of the SDR system and that employed in Switzerland.

  34. integer

    In Gaza protests, Israeli troops aim for the legs AP

    Doctors Without Borders said this month that the huge number of patients was overwhelming Gaza’s health care system, which has already been severely weekend by a blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt that has fueled economic stagnation and rampant unemployment, and devastated water and electricity supplies.

    The Paris-based aid group said the majority of the 3,117 patients it has treated have been shot in the legs, and many will need follow-up surgery, physiotherapy and rehabilitation.

    “These are complex and serious injuries that do not quickly heal,” the group said. “Their severity and the lack of appropriate treatment in Gaza’s crippled health system means that infection is a high risk, especially for patients with open fractures.”

    “The consequences of these wounds … will be lifelong disability for many,” the aid group said. “And if infections are not tackled, then the results could be amputation or even death.”

    Gaza’s Health Ministry says it has carried out 94 amputations since the protests began, 82 of them involving lower limbs.

    Check out the photos.

  35. Savita

    12 months ago Uber had all kinds of court cases and headlines. It all seemed to go away. Now they are talking about an IPO as a legitimate possiblity – at least, it’s being hypd seriously.
    This is so depressing.
    anyone have any feedback – a sitrep (situation report) here?

    1. KPC

      Ignore it and it will go away? I am actually serious, as tragic as this is.

      I think we finally got rid of Uber by pulling them into our taxista system, I hope. I cannot imagine why my taxista needs some goosey intermediary from my smart phone in UCR’s or the investment bank’s parking lot direct to his smart phone. E-mail even works.

      My guy is not in the ‘hood? The taxista line up the street or just hail a real licensed taxi, no phone of any kind required but certainly available.

      Fabulous! First time ever. The taxi drivers and taxistas literally marching down the street arms locked!!! Brought new meaning to “junta” and unity in the face of a bunch of “elites” who apparently do not grok culture?

      Beat GM with Nova in Mexico.

      Why pay some jerk intermediary?

      1. Savita

        Thanks, but I understand about half of what you wrote. Americ-globish? I don’t know, for example, what a ‘taxista’ is
        I always thought the Uber IPO was just a big smoke screen ‘look how big mine is’ competition.
        And, the Armstrong piece is admittedly in the NY Post – it was so bad Public Enemy wrote a song about that paper 25 years ago. Maybe they had a look through the early stage investors ‘ hmm, this guy is so bad, if we wheel him out for the cameras and say he’s getting rich, they’ll really believe the IPO is on the way’

        1. KPC

          A taxista is an unlicensed taxi. They are rather common in some parts of the world. Less so in USA but that is the Uber model. I recall in NYC the rickshaw gig? They were taxistas and were maginificent in getting through midtown Manhattan.

          As for the other? I am so sad sometimes. These are illusions, I think is the word in harsh English. They do so much harm to so many… . When we get to these points in collapse, they seem to “flourish” and then sort of “flame out”, I think is how I would say it.

          They are so “vulgar” and cause various amounts of harm and sort of not. In the end, how many actually take them seriously? I really would like your view on that. I have no idea.

  36. Savita

    I can basically tell you are saying ‘Taxis are good, Uber are corrupt and are bad’ but thats about all!
    Respectfully :-)

    1. KPC

      Please use care here. Great care. Uber is nothing but a piece of paper or electrons in some registry. People operate and use the services or system we label Uber. It is us human beings who are responsible for our successes and failures, not some nonsense incorporeal person such as a corporation.

      There are more than one human being in this Uber mess and not all are evil and some is “big time mixed” and some are evil.

      The evil ones need to be held to account and now.

      The rest is painful as I understand this Uber thing and a few other matters.

      As we may say, quien es su amigo y porque y grise… . who is your friend and why and grey… .

      These are troubling times and painful for all. But peace and grace is where we go.

      I would appreciate your views?

Comments are closed.