Links 1/12/19

New orca calf spotted among Puget Sound’s critically endangered killer whales Seattle Times (furzy)

Former Senator wants Congress to listen to UFO reports Futurism (David L)

Researchers may have witnessed the birth of a black hole Endgadget (Kevin W)

There’s a Tiny Plastic Enemy Threatening the Planet’s Oceans Bloomberg (David L)

The Era Of Easy Recycling May Be Coming To An End FiveThirtyEight (resilc)

The “Right to Repair” Movement Fights Planned Obsolescence (furzy). Wake me up when they stop 5G.

Does Your Box of “Ugly” Produce Really Help the Planet? Or Hurt it? New Republic

Leading cancer expert, 67, described by the Duke of Cambridge as an ‘inspiration’ dies suddenly after a routine yellow fever jab Daily Mail (furzy). Confirms my instincts never to go anywhere where you need vaccines.

Blow to low carb diet as landmark study finds high fibre cuts heart disease risk Guardian. I am showing my priors, but I find it hard to see how this makes sense unless it is about people who are overeating or exercising a lot and so they can have a high food intake. One “large” slice of whole grain bread = 3 grams of fiber. You have to eat 10 of those to get to 30 grams. That’s 1000 calories a day. For oatmeal, one cup = 150 calories with 4 grams of fiber. So to get to 30 grams, you’d need 7.5 cups of oatmeal, which gets you to 1125. And most people will put butter or oil on some of those pieces of bread or milk and sugar on their oatmeal. If you are eating a calorie restricted diet (the CDC should be paying me as a study object), you can’t eat that much without making yourself fat (trust me, I’ve run this exact experiment using oatmmeal when I was younger and exercising hard daily and the results were unhappy). How is that healthy? Even in a normal diet (1700-2000/day calories for women, 2300-2500/day for men) this is a lot of carbs to be eating before you factor in needing to eat fruit and veg too. Plus the implausibility of eating this much fiber without overeating makes me plenty skeptical of the accuracy of reporting about what the study subjects ate, which is a big problem with virtually all diet studies.

Rosa Luxemburg and the struggle for health The Lancet (martha r)


Juncker makes late bid to avert no-deal Brexit Financial Times. Help me. The EU offered help with optics, and that only, a month ago. So May finally takes that up and its treated as a Big Deal by the pink paper, which should know better?

Confirming what amounts to mis-reporting by the FT:

U.K. Businesses Sound the Alarms While Planning for a No-Deal Brexit New York Times

Hitachi set to cancel plans for £16bn nuclear power station in Wales Guardian. PlutoniumKun: “Britain’s nuclear ambitions are falling apart. So are Japan’s… “

French police brace for ninth ‘yellow vest’ weekend protests DW


A Clinton Memo That Killed Half a Million People Consortiumnews (UserFriendly)

Media Worried US Won’t Occupy Syria Forever FAIR (UserFriendly)

U.S. starts withdrawing from Syria amid policy confusion USAToday. Lambert: “It’s not policy ‘confusion,’ it’s a self-licking ice cream cone in the process of melting.

Exclusive: Angela Davis Speaks Out on Palestine, BDS & More After Civil Rights Award Is Revoked DemocracyNow (Kevin C)

In Speech, Pompeo Makes Case for Continued US Intervention in Middle East (resilc)

Pompeo Blasts Obama In Cairo. But in Mideast, Is Trump Obama 2.0? – The Atlantic. Resilc: “All the same empire/war machine R US.”

Long term trajectory of Iran’s economy: All to play for VerityIran. Don’t know the authors and don’t know Iran well enough to assess. Reader views?

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

I Sold My Data for Crypto. Here’s How Much I Made Wired (Glenn F)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Guarded warehouse near airport and mysterious cargos from Baghdad; what is the US embassy in Helsinki up to? Helsinki Times (furzy)

Trump Transition

Democrats call for contractors to get paid after shutdown WTOP (martha r)

Never miss a profit opportunity (resilc):

Trump & GOP Are Wall Hypocrites American Conservative

Compelling Mexico to Pay for the Wall Trump (resilc). From the campaign.

Test of steel prototype for border wall showed it could be sawed through NBC

Brought to Jesus’: the evangelical grip on the Trump administration Guardian (resilc)

FBI agents warn about impact of shutdown investigations, national security WTOP (martha r)

The International Crisis of Donald Trump New Yorker. Resilc: “This started with secstte dulles, or the 1893 overthrow of Hawaii.”

Breaking: Canada Announces That Its Border Wall Is Already Finished The Inertia (David L)

Tulsi Gabbard says she’s running for president The Hill

US BLM delays ANWR lease hearings, comment deadline remains in place S&P Global (Glenn F)

Important thread (Chuck L):

It’s smelly business as usual in LA County CALmatters (jpr)

Seeing pension costs should be easy Top1000Funds (j3). Funny how unions in the UK are pro transparency and ones in the US aren’t.

Fake News

Read the Scientific American article the government deemed too dangerous to publish Muck Rock. Bill B: “This is by one of the scientific giants of the era. I recall watching him stroll out of the Newman Nuclear Research Lab every evening at the same time.”:

What would an all-out war fought with hydrogen bombs mean? It would mean the obliteration of all large cities and probably of many smaller ones, and the killing of most of their inhabitants. After such a war, nothing that resembled present civilization would remain. The fight for mere survival would dominate everything. The destruction of the cities might set technology back a hundred years or more.

In a generation even the knowledge of technology and science might disappear, because there would be no opportunity to practice them. Indeed it is likely that technology and science, having brought such utter misery upon man, would be suspected as works of the devil, and that a new Dark Age would begin on earth. We know what physical destruction does to the moral values of a people. We have seen how many Germans, already demoralized by the Nazis, lost all sense of morality when during and after the war the bare necessities of life, food, clothing and shelter were lacking. Democracy and human decency were empty words; there was no reserve strength left for such luxuries. If we have learned any lesson from the aftermath of World War II, it is that physical destruction brings moral destruction.

People older than 65 share the most fake news, a new study finds The Verge

Commercialization effects in universities Stumbling and Mumbling (UserFriendly)

Slack is reportedly following Spotify in going public through a direct listing. Here’s how a direct listing works. Business Insider (Kevin W)

Oil Fall Gumroad. Matsens: “On the inevitability of renewables. 105 pages behind a paywall, but Gregor Macdonald has his finger on the pulse of energy. Twitter @GregorMacdonald.”

Drugs and syringes have become such a problem in Starbucks bathrooms that the company is installing needle-disposal boxes in certain locations Business Insider (resilc)

Meet The Woman Turning The Payday Loan Industry On Its Head Forbes (David L)

Man Says CES Lidar’s Laser Was So Powerful It Wrecked His Camera ars technica. Important self-drivig car problem.

Carlos Ghosn Faces New Charges in Japan as Pressure Mounts New York Times (Kevin W)

Guillotine Watch

Kohler.Konnect Kohler (Kevin B)

Class Warfare. Hhhm. I always get suspicious when other news overwhelms class warfare stories.

Antidote du jour. Timotheus: “Eagles at Shipman Pond, Mentor Marsh, Ohio (near Mentor Headlands east of Cleveland). Taken yesterday by Jiries Issa Atrash.”

And a bonus video (martha r):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Livius Drusus

    Re: Brought to Jesus’: the evangelical grip on the Trump administration.

    This is one reason why I oppose impeaching Trump. If you are worried about the influence of right-wing evangelicals under Trump a Pence presidency would be even worse. With Pence as president we would likely be at war with Iran within months of his taking office. The media and many Democrats would probably fall in line and support Pence since he is seen as a “normal” Republican unlike Trump who is seen as some kind of unspeakably evil monster because he beat Hillary and is rude on Twitter.

    1. Wukchumni

      Re:Pence now, all ye sinners that cast doubt on the head honcho?

      The evangs scare the hell out of me, nutters not all that different from religious extremists who in other countries, tend to be our enemies.

      It used to be ok to express a keen desire for the end of the world in a biblical sense, as there was no real way to easily accomplish it, but now said nutjobs have the means to go through with their self-fulfilling prophecy, and a mamby pamby President subject to heaping faux gratitude on those that praise him.

      1. Daryl

        > The evangs scare the hell out of me, nutters not all that different from religious extremists who in other countries, tend to be our enemies.

        And in this one.

        “In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.” – Thomas Jefferson.

    2. nippersdad

      It seemed unlikely that we could have had two such perfect examples of the Republican Id as GWB and Trump to play off of, but we actually got pretty lucky in our enemies. They were/are cartoonishly bad, and it is a perfect illustration of how captured the Dems are that they have not managed to capitalize on the almost theatrical stupidity of those two to actually change the trajectory of our governance. They were, and are, an opportunity. There was no worse indictment of Obama than the shiny spin he put on the horrific actions of his predecessor(s) and the efficient way he cemented and expanded upon their legacy. He blew that opportunity, but now we have another chance.

      As you say, Pence would be a much more dangerous proposition because he does “seem” normal, but he really is anything but. I pray we never get to see the American Taliban empowered. Trump and GWB were/are monstrous, but Pence is the archetype that they veil. I, for one, really do not want to see the man behind their curtains. I don’t think that that is something we could come back from.

      1. John

        How about a two for the price of one impeachment if you are ready for a Pelosi presidency?

        What grounds for impeaching Pence? We don’t need no stinkin’ grounds? I cite as my source the impeachment of Bill Clinton.

        1. nippersmom

          I, for one, am not ready for a Pelosi presidency. She might be less crass than Trump, but I have no reason to believe her policies would be better in any meaningful way.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            Her Forced Free Trade Policies would be destructively worse. A President Pelosi would seek ” two, three, many TPPs”.

        2. Carolinian

          How about the Dems and The Resistance drop the impeachment fantasy altogether. They wanted to impeach Trump before he even took office.

          As in the Bush/Gore dispute our elites show their secret contempt for democracy. No audience members allowed to disturb the kabuki play.

      2. Robert McGregor

        “They were/are cartoonishly bad, and it is a perfect illustration of how captured the Dems are that they have not managed to capitalize on the almost theatrical stupidity of those two to actually change the trajectory of our governance”

        I think Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is now starting to capitalize on the theatrical Repub stupidity, and change the government trajectory. Most every other Democrat–Obama, and Pelosi included–have just been focused on satisfying donors, retaining power, and getting set up to line their pockets in the future.

        1. bruce wilder

          It is an illustration of how easy, in one sense only, it is to change the conversation: say the obvious. Occupy was also such an illustration. I would submit that Trump’s political success is also such an illustration: his occasional uttering some truth — even if at random in search of something that got a favorable reaction from an audience frustrated with coded rhetoric from tools of the plutocracy — was one key to his ability to knock off both Republican rivals touting policy positions at odds with the interests of the Republican electorate in their brand of coded rhetoric as well as Clinton’s heavily coded rhetoric.

          We can cheerlead for the Dems, on the basis of some faint memory of a Party of the People, like Thomas Frank, but we ought to pay attention to just how formidable the establishment immune system is, before we even begin to hope for an epidemic of AC-O breaking out.

          Occupy was crushed even as the tame liberal pundits were congratulating that movement on “changing the conversation” (surely a phrase meant to kill).

          The 2018 midterms were a success for a Dem establishment pushing the Congressional party to the right with candidates from the security apparatus. AC-O was the exception. Bernie, Elizabeth Warren, maybe Sherrod Brown and a few others represent a range of policy possibilities, but also represent a serious numbers problem in toto for the genuine left.

          “Older Americans are disproportionately more likely to share fake news on Facebook, according to a new analysis by researchers at New York and Princeton Universities. Older users shared more fake news than younger ones regardless of education, sex, race, income, or how many links they shared. In fact, age predicted their behavior better than any other characteristic — including party affiliation. ” – Casey Newton, The Verge linked above

          My personal, anecdotal experience discussing politics with people I know is that most people have a remarkably uncritical and superficial relation to politics. Older people are different only in that they may spend more time with Rachel Maddow and Sean Hannity. Younger people are too busy, but their critical understanding is composed of sound bites and clickbait headlines, to a similar extent.

          A leftish movement(s) is going to need a sufficient core and its own immune system, its own resistance to the pervasive propaganda in which democracy is drowning.

        2. Jeff W

          I think Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is now starting to capitalize on the theatrical Repub stupidity…

          I think one reason for the Republican/Fox News fixation/obsession with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is that she reveals what a sham their arguments are and it risks becoming a form of common knowledge (i.e., everyone knows and everyone knows that everyone else knows). It becomes a lot harder to sustain that level of theatrical stupidity when everyone knows that everyone else knows that’s what it is (but that doesn’t mean they won’t keep trying). (And that holds, of course, too, for establishment Democrats and what Ocasio-Cortez might be revealing about what they say or do—which is why they are seeking so desperately to rein her in.)

          1. Lambert Strether

            > the Republican/Fox News fixation/obsession with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

            I think the Democrat fixation/obsession with AOC is more dangerous, because more subtle. They can neutralize her ideologically by turning her into an identitarian. If that fails, they can try to buy her off (money or the apperance of some power, like that fool Schneiderman). Or they can start deploying the oppo they have doubtless begun to accumulate for her 2020 race.

            As long as AOC is one person against the hive mind, she’s going to have a hard time. The hive mind is stupid, but numerous and fighting them is wearing. On the other hand, there’s an absolutely enormous open space on the left for AOC to run through, if she wants. If she maintains form, and has a staff that helps her do that* she will.

            NOTE * Details count; TV is a cool medium.

            1. Jeff W

              They can neutralize her ideologically by turning her into an identitarian.…they can try to buy her off…Or they can start deploying the oppo they have doubtless begun to accumulate for her 2020 race.

              They can do that—all of those are subtle and pernicious dangers—but none of them will work. Ocasio-Cortez understands the trap of identitarianism—she knows that her background is a “lens”—it informs her policy (which is class-based), it’s not something she wants used for other people’s projections and the party’s purposes. They can try to buy her off but they won’t succeed. I don’t know anything about Schneiderman (except that he was bought off) but everything I’ve seen about Ocasio-Cortez indicates that she is values-driven and not self-interested in either money or power. Can they deploy oppo? Sure, but she might be fairly clean. (What’s the worst that the GOP could come up with—that her family lived in Westchester? GM never got anything on Ralph Nader, either, and they tried actively to entrap him.)

              I dunno—Ocasio-Cortez might be energized by fighting the hive mind. She certainly gets enough support on Twitter. (And she has an extra four hours a day from not making calls to get refreshed.) Her chief-of-staff Saikat Chakrabarti, who worked on the Sanders campaign and helped found both Brand New Congress and Justice Democrats—to him, Ocasio-Cortez has to be his “dream” politician because she fulfills, beyond his wildest expectations, everything those organizations set out to do. He has to have her back. (In other words, she’s has staff who can help her and has someone she can trust.) I’m sure she gets the stakes here and she understands the potential.

              The Democrats are more dangerous because they have far more to lose if Ocasio-Cortez upends the party but they’re not much smarter than the Republicans, really—40 years of corporate corruption have made them stupider. (It doesn’t take a lot of brains to take the money and vote the way your donors want you to.) Ocasio-Cortez, meanwhile, is whip-smart in an intuitive way—you can see it in how she nails her Twitter responses—so she has a bit of an advantage. And details matter—she’ll master those—but having people feel like you’re genuinely working in their interest, something that seems almost unimaginable with any politician these days, matters more.*

              *The famous story: when Franklin Roosevelt died, thousands lined up to pay their respects as the train carrying his remains passed by. A reporter asked one obvioudly inconsolable man, “Did you know President Roosevelt personally?” “No,” the man answered, “I did not know President Roosevelt. But he knew me.”

    1. Richard

      “When it comes to counterproductive wars of regime change, I’m a dove” – Gabbard
      “In other words, Gabbard would be continuing the Obama administrations’s foreign policy” – Jacobin
      No, that doesn’t follow at all. Syria, Libya, this doesn’t seem to make sense. That and the title : “Tulsi Gabbard Is Not Your Friend” (subtle, eh?), make me suspect hatchet job. Pretty sloppy work, too. But it does seem that Gabbard has some enormous prejudices about Islam. I want to find out more. She has given me the honest impression of thoughtful critique on matters of imperialism. My bs detector hasn’t gone off with her yet. It may be malfunctioning, or she just might be more careful in her dishonesty. But I like her. She’s the only candidate so far I could see supporting over Sanders. She’s has taken a far more public stand against regime change intervention, and that’s a major issue for me.

        1. Richard

          I need to investigate more. I read the article you linked. I may have missed it, but could you direct me to any words or better yet actions of Gabbard that you feel are corrupt or problematic? It seemed to be a lot of guilt by association, i.e. She has significant Hindu support, or support from organizations that are associated with Modi. Disclaimer: I know nothing about Modi or Indian politics. I intend to inform myself a little better. But as a rule, I am very dubious about attacks on a figure by associating them with some foreign badman. We’ve had quite enough of that to last us.
          What exactly is the level of her support for Assad I wonder, which this article also claims? Is her support for u.s. withdrawal considered support for assad? Skepticism about poison gas claims? If that is the standard, then I also support Assad, and our withdrawl from a “civil war” entirely cooked up in Langley.

          1. pjay

            These are taken from the standard anti-Gabbard hit piece template that is trotted out every few weeks. This has been addressed before at NC; the Jacobin article has been discussed before as well. I won’t go through my own deconstruction again; maybe someone else will do so. Suffice it to say they are distortions designed to undermine Gabbard among progressives (surprise!). The blob fears an anti-interventionist foreign policy discussion more than anything else. Gabbard is one of the few willing to engage that discussion.

            1. Craig H.

              She did a two hour interview with Rogan. No commercial interruptions. All of her scripting was very studied; it seemed near to a spontaneous conversation. I thought she came across very well.

              How many congress members get good press at

      1. nippersdad

        The thing about her that really bugs me is that she can claim to be a dove and yet the people she tends to hang around with would all be good candidates for a Hague war crimes tribunal. It just doesn’t ring right to me. I don’t care how many times you meet with Assad, you really don’t get to call yourself a dove when you are actively opposing things like the Iran nuclear arms treaty. I think, and this is just my gut talking, she has a real problem with her associates getting shot up, not the wars that they tend to get shot up in.

        I think that Obama’s casuist drone wars gave us reason for suspicion. He said that he didn’t like stupid wars, and them promptly got us into several even more stupid ones using the rationale that they didn’t require many American boots on the ground. I can easily see her using that rationale.

        Another recent example of contradictions that appear to be calculated for public consumption would be her contretemps with Hirono over religious tests for the courts.

        Everyone knows what questions about religion for Catholics interviewing for lifetime appointments are about. It has been a long time since the Kennedy’s broke that barrier, but for the courts it is a little different; Scalia went out of his way to make it so. For whom is she posing?

        It is said that she takes the long view, that she has a very calculating mind. What better way to get a high profile with a rising part of the electorate than to take stances, like dropping out of the DNC, supporting Bernie for a term or so, or grandstanding about religious freedom and then sliding into the spotlight with a relatively mainstream voting record. It sounds like the Beto routine.

        I don’t trust her. She has so many inconsistencies that I don’t know what she would actually do were she in a position to do something. She will be good for the FP debate, but I think that may be her best contribution.

        1. pjay

          “…she can claim to be a dove and yet the people she tends to hang around with would all be good candidates for a Hague war crimes tribunal.”

          Sincere question: what people are you talking about here?

          Despite the quote, she does not portray herself as a “dove” in the usual sense of that term. Her arguments on foreign policy have always sounded like realist and fact-based positions to me, in the Jim Webb vein. Regarding her “calculating mind”, you could just as easily argue that keeping her powder dry with the Dems was a better long-term strategy (Warren, anyone?), and if meeting with Assad and other Syrians and then speaking the truth against near universal derision is “grandstanding”, then let’s have a lot more of that by U.S. politicians! I frankly can’t believe you would compare these moves to the Beto routine!

          Personally, I do not think Gabbard is ready to run for President. I have not agreed with all of her policy statements, especially early in her career. I frankly don’t know how “calculating” she is. I don’t have enough info yet on the Hirono clash. And yes, OMG she is a member of the CFR! I judge her on what she says and does (vs. almost everyone else) on the policies I care about (which I believe are the same policies the majority of NC commenters care about).

          No need to trust any politician (I don’t). I don’t know what she would actually do, either. But I do know a hit piece when I see it. And it seems pretty clear why she is being attacked.

          1. nippersdad

            I believe that foreign policy trumps everything these days in our government. I think most of its’ policies are designed to advance and defend a globalist agenda. As a result I may be over critical on this topic, but alarm bells are ringing in my ears about Gabbard.

            You ask what people I am talking about and then a para down you mention that she hangs out with the CFR. I think you just answered much of your own question. Jim Webb has been floated as a candidate for Trump’s Secretary of Defense; do you view him as a dove as well? There is nothing “realist” about provoking a war with Iran. Bolton has shown by his actions how well thought out such plans can be. To do so would invite a war with Russia and China as well. We are not so popular these days that we could expect many allies in such a fight.

            Is that a risk you would want to take?

            Pelosi was judged on what she said before she got her majorities the first time, and then promptly took impeachment for war crimes off the table. Obama was judged on what he said, and then promptly legitimized and expanded upon everything his predecessors had done. Pelosi and Obama then spent years co-opting, passing and implementing Republican policies. Rhetoric is cheap in the Democratic Party. Are you so sure that Gabbard would be any different? Had she “kept her powder dry” with the Democratic Party that wouldn’t even be an issue, as Warren will soon learn to her cost.

            You are welcome to your, no doubt, better informed views, but I have only what she says and does to go on as well, and the bells are still ringing in my ears.

        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          She does not claim to be a dove. She claims to reject neo-conservative policies of recreational empire-building and freedomization-democrafication at gunpoint. And THAT is the claim I would study her record against to see if the record matches the claim.

          1. nippersdad

            I just came across this a little while ago and was playing spot the inconsistencies:


            It is a fun game. Compare and contrast her views on Syria with Russia and Iran with Saudi Arabia, for example. There is a lot of interesting stuff here, truth freely intermixed with propaganda, but it prolly won’t meet your bar. I don’t know how one can seriously worry about needlessly provoking Russia in Syria whilst actively provoking them in Ukraine. And what was the Ukrainian coup if not an exercise in recreational empire building replete with cookies on the Maidan Square?………The stuff on her tepid support for the Iran nuclear deal could have been written by Bolton the way sanctions and “nothing being off the table” in the event of something something that might later prove to be a black flag exercise are bandied about. It sounds like the first report of babies being thrown out of their cribs or alleged gas attacks in obscure provinces would have her off in a shot, even after having truthfully described the operations which deposed Mossadegh and imposed the Shah on them and why they don’t trust us……….but Iraq was a real disaster, etc.

            It is like a stream of consciousness exercise in which nothing was ever truly learned; a room composed of funhouse mirrors. My take, obviously. But I found it very interesting.

        3. ChrisPacific

          Being a dove is about solving problems by talking to people, rather than killing them/blowing them up.

          This idea that simply meeting with someone constitutes tacit acceptance or approval of their views needs to end. Ask a union negotiator whether it’s accurate, or whether declaring their opposite numbers Bad Guys and forbidding all contact with them would make them more or less effective at their job.

          1. nippersdad


            However, IIRC, one of the biggest reactions to Bernie’s debate performances was when he pointed out that the leadership of many liberally aligned organizations don’t experience the same reality as their membership. He was then promptly fried in the press for it, in spite of the fact that it is patently true. Rank and file union members do not attend Martha’s Vineyard cocktail parties. It is a big club, and most of us aren’t in it.

            Gabbard has gained a lot of Progressive cred for meeting with Assad and exposing the lack of moderate rebels there for us to support, and that is great. But the fact that she is still a member in good standing of the club that put forth such rationales in the first place makes me wonder if she isn’t controlled opposition. A sheepdog. A union President sipping mojitos in Martha’s Vineyard. A non-interventionist who routinely supports Israeli interventions in the West Bank. A community organizer who will foam the runway for banks with entire communities. A politician with both a public policy and a private policy………..


    2. Carolinian

      Sounds like Gabbard might have a shot at being elected president but would never get the Dem nod given her supposed views on gays and on non intervention (except for those drones and special forces raids).

      But then Sanders and his “bros” are already getting the same treatment, aren’t they? Meanwhile Sanders says very little about foreign policy and when he does it can be contradictory. He has said he’s “certainly not in favor of regime change” but also that “Assad must go.” In part Gabbard seems to be penalized for being open about her FP views. But per above she probably has no chance anyway unless a superficial electorate decides she’s easy on the eyes.

      1. LifelongLib

        She’s been talked about as a running mate for Sanders. Does running for President herself put her in a better position to negotiate for that?

        1. PlutoniumKun

          I suspect thats her motive – its hard to see her coming out top in a field with Sanders and Warren and a gaggle of ‘moderates’, unless she is hoping to position herself between establishment Dems and the Left. I would guess the intention of this is to raise her profile to push for a senior job with whoever wins.

          I don’t know if she’d be a good running mate for anyone though – while on the one hand she has a high profile – and a surprisingly popular one – with the Fox News crowd, she might be just too high profile and controversial for comfort for any candidate. But it is tempting to see her as a good mix with Sanders.

        2. Jeff W

          She’s been talked about as a running mate for Sanders. Does running for President herself put her in a better position to negotiate for that?

          I wondered about that, too, but, to the extent that Tulsi Gabbard’s considered, rightly or wrongly, an “anti-establishment,” progressive candidate—the Jacobin piece is apparently intended as a corrective to the view of her as a “progressive champion”—she risks taking away votes that might otherwise go to Bernie Sanders, should he seek the nomination. So, by putting herself in a better position to negotiate for that, she might be making it less likely that that opportunity even presents itself. I’m not sure if there’s a name for that in game theory but it strikes me as an odd sort of gamble to possibly decrease the other person’s chances overall on the chance that, if you don’t, your own position is improved.

    3. Ignim Brites

      Not likely the deep state Dems will let her get to the podium to drag the party to the left of Trump. Right now she is the only peace candidate. If she makes it to the podium she will likely do well.

    4. Oh

      Was that Tulsi in the photo with Pelosi where Pelosi is being sworn in as Speaker or was it her double?

    5. Darthbobber

      This piece makes much of Gabbard’s skepticism on the Iran agreement, but somehow forgets to mention that she eventually voted in favor of it, issued public defenses of it as the best of the possible alternatives, and later condemned the unilateral withdrawal from it. (The last may postdate the article, but the first predates it by a great deal of time.) As to being antiinterventionist for the wrong reasons, virtually any electoral politician would be primarily emphasizing the harm to America and Americans, since that is who votes in American elections.

      Personally, I find her acceptable, but no more than that.

      1. pjay

        Well, if Matthew Yglesias posted it….

        I think this nicely supports the main point I was trying to make above.

    6. IguanaBowtie

      Methinks that Jacobin piece is going to be getting a lot of attention over the next few days. I just hope people have the sense not to expect too much objectivity from any article titled “X Is Not Your Friend”.

      At this point I’m expecting a real knife fight between the Pussy Hat gang and the Bernie crowd over Gabbard. Overdue, I believe: theres some real fault lines on the left that have been papered over for too long, and need to be addressed before any Dem stands up against Trump in 2020. Will be veeeeery interesting to see what Sanders himself has to say, seems to me that he and Gabbard have much more in common than Sanders and Warren & as others have speculated Gabbard might be shooting for a VP spot. That said, Sanders can be pretty picky… and less charitably, he has been a bit gunshy about going against the DNC grain lately, probably since many are happy to hang responsibility for Trump on his shoulders. Even if he wants to endorse Gabbard, he may have to choose between her and continued access to the Democratic ticket.

    1. JohnM

      News Flash! The Guardian is a highly biased source of nutrition info. Just this week they ran a story describing a keto diet as “at best, a passing trend and, at worst, a socially acceptable form of disordered eating. Its followers, however, swear by it for weight loss and health, sometimes with a fanatical passion.”

      Better tell the people who recently published this study which demonstrated a novel metabolic and continuous remote care model can support adults with T2D to safely improve HbA1c, weight, and other biomarkers while reducing diabetes medication use, specifically after 1 year, patients in the [intervention group] lowered HbA1c from 7.6 to 6.3%, lost 12% of their body weight, and reduced diabetes medicine use. 94% of patients who were prescribed insulin reduced or stopped their insulin use, and sulfonylureas were eliminated in all patients.

      Might be more than a passing fad…but certainly not pharma-friendly

      1. Laughingsong

        Not diabetic or pre-diabetic and I tend to no longer read studies of diets, since the ones I can understand are too simplistic and often get refuted, and the ones I can’t understand, well…can’t get anything out of them. But I have struggled with weight most of my life (not obesity, just overweight) and one side of my family, the side I apparently favor, also has weight and diabetes issues. So I have tried a few diets in my time – “Official” diets like Weight Watchers and “unofficial” diets, like vegetarianism etc.

        Nothing worked for me until Keto, including the original Atkins, which allowed too much protein. And other things came good once I was on the diet as well:

        – skin dryness abated (probably due to the necessary increase in water intake)
        – intensity of hunger pangs (I used to HAVE to eat when hunger hit; the “hangry” moment, now I can ignore them for quite a while)
        – small recurring infections
        – vertigo abated
        – sleep
        – exercise endurance

        Note: some keto diets emphasize “net carbs” meaning “total carbs MINUS fiber”. This is the version I follow. In this version, the best carb sources are high-fiber, like fibrous veg and berries. I don’t worry as much about calories as I do about macronutrient ratios, mineral and fiber intake. There is also a strong emphasis on the types and quality of fat; sure, slather it in good olive oil, but not some bottle of questionable cooking oil with a 5,000-year shelf life.

        It’s meant that I have had to finally learn to cook and pretty much make all of my own meals and snacks, but finally I can manage my weight.

        I don’t necessarily think that such a diet would work for everyone. Previously when I was trying all those other diets, others in the programs would respond much better than I did. I was always envious and assumed that I was doing something wrong. But now I just think that bodies are more individual than we think. It seems to depend on trying different things until the one (or even variation of one) that works is finally found.

        And in almost every diet I tried, the food quality also made a difference. Weight Watchers and NutriSystem are great examples. They work better if you cook your own meals with quality ingredients than if you rely on their packaged crap. As Yves said recently on another thread (paraphrase), it doesn’t make sense to just put all emphasis on macronutrient counts. Quality, wholeness, mineral and vitamin balance, water intake… all works together. Good diet plans keep this balance as the emphasis, the best plans start with that framework.

    2. Annieb

      My breakfast:Whole oats (1/2 cup) plus berries (1/2 c) and nuts (17 grams)= 15 grams fiber.
      Do that in similar fashion X 3= 45 grams

      Push the veges, salad, a serving of beans and brown rice or sweet potato, raw fruit. 30 gr fiber/day, no problemo.

      1. BenX

        Yes – it’s not hard to find a palatable, high fiber, low calorie diet, especially if you stick to vegetarian.

      2. Samuel Conner

        This is excellent counsel. I am not there yet and am improvising with psyllium fiber supplementation, which retards bile reuptake at the distal end of the ileum, which obliges the liver to draw cholesterol out of blood circulation to replenish bile. Was able by this means to lower my number enough to end statin therapy, which seemed to be causing episodes of muscle pain.

        This item may be of interest:

        A point to note is that “not all fiber is the same” with respect to cholesterol reduction, or reduction of glycemic index. There are 2 qualities — gel-forming versus non-gel forming, and fermentable versus non-fermentable, that in different combinations have different (and possibly deleterious) effects in the small and large colon.

        For cholesterol reduction, gel-forming is necessary, and non-fermentable is preferable. Psyllium husk does this.

      3. Yves Smith Post author

        Your count is wrong.

        I cup of nuts is 134 grams of nuts and only 9 grams of fiber. That’s 813 calories. 1/2 cup of raw rolled oats is only 4 grams and 150 calories. The berries give you a gram or two. So your fiber count is totally off. You are getting more like one gram of fiber per 17 grams of nuts. Call it 2 and round up for the berries to 2. You are getting 8 grams.

        This is proving my point. Your meal is 150 calories for the oatmeal, a bit over 100 calories for the nuts, a bit under 50 calories for the berries, so call it 300 calories. 3x that is 900 calories and you are still not up to 30 grams of fiber. You have had no veggies which are very important for general nutrients.

        I only eat 1000, max 1200 calories a day (and yes, I’ve been eating that little for decades, I can eat the occasional meal out without hazard but that’s about it). I can’t eat your oatmeal mix 3x a day and not pork up since you also need protein and some veg. If you can’t eat a lot due to having a slow metabolism or being sedentary, you can’t eat this much fiber and not wind up eating too much food and gaining weight.

        1. Harold

          It seems that someone small enough to survive on 1,000 calories a day (near starving for some larger people) would also need proportionately less fiber. In any case, fruits, greens, seeds, and legumes are better than bread, which is loaded with refined flour (sugar) and salt.

          My impression, BTW, is that oats are touted because of the kind of fiber they have, rather than the quantity.

            1. Harold

              They say that there are definite benefits to calorie restriction also, so as long as you are healthy. Everyone is different. The last word is not in.

              1. Yves Smith Post author

                You are straw-mamning what I said. That’s not on for anyone here.

                David claimed calories don’t matter. I said they most certainly did for me,and that appears to be the case for Clive too, as well as some women I know how like me have experimented extensively and found the only thing that enables them not to get fat is undereating in a marked what compared to what most other people can consume and not gain weight.

                So the point was not to recommend calorie restriction but to say that for some of us, the choice is to be overweight, which is not healthy, or seriously limit intake.

                Please read more carefully before disagreeing.

    3. eg

      I have precisely zero interest in telling someone else what they should or should not be eating. Nonetheless, even a cursory look around ought to disabuse anyone of the notion that the Standard American Diet is anything other than a disastrous calamity on an epic scale. It’s more a function of the profit motive in action than anything approximating a health policy.

      So, conduct as many N=1 experiments on yourself as you require to land on an eating regimen that works for you (meaning that your general health and bloodwork are good for your age) and stick with it. In my case it’s minimization of carbs along with a some intermittent fasting. Your mileage will vary, so adjust accordingly.

  2. Steve H.

    > Blow to low carb diet as landmark study finds high fibre cuts heart disease

    30 grams, not impossible:

    “This diet was higher fiber than anything modern people eat. The feces were three-quarters fiber by volume, Reinhard said, and these Native Americans were probably eating between 200 and 400 grams of the indigestible stuff per day. ”

    Of course, the ‘landmark’ study seems to be saying ‘eat moar bread’ but I can’t tell because I can find no link to the primary study. WHO links to IrishTimes ffs. redflag redflag redflag

    Now, the guy is right about sugar. But the core point on fiber is support for gut bacteria, particularly a diverse gut genome, and just shoving in more fiber (and insoluble starches) ain’t it. Same old food pyramid bs.

    1. Juneau

      I can’t find the original study but keep in mind press releases are not written by the researchers. Some science writers mess up the details without realizing it. The article reads like a promotion for the grain industry.
      No mention at all of vegetables as fiber sources which has me wondering. Whole grains can have a variable glycemic index depending on how they are milled etc….as opposed to spinach and kale which don’t mess with your blood sugar. Why the emphasis on grains and beans rather than carrots and celery I don’t know.

    2. Clive

      I agree totally with the “it’s the calories, not some notional target number for fibre intake” comment.

      I am a 6 ft, late forties male, weigh 150lbs and walk, vigorously, a minimum of two miles a day often nearly 5 and that includes doing 1000 (stairs) steps. I consume no more than 2000 calories which are pretty well balanced, most days perfectly so. I fail to consume fibre according to the “recommendations”. If I did so I would blow my calorific ceiling. I don’t lose weight overall and don’t increase it either. So my total energy intake must be fairly optimal for my age, weight, gender and activity levels.

      I wonder just how many people’s healths have been messed up or worse, completely shot up, by such unscientific so-called research.

      No wonder people have had enough of experts.

      1. Tom

        There are foods with a lot of fibre that aren’t the starchy stuff on the bottom of the pyramid. If most of your calories come from fresh fruit and vegetables, you’ll get plenty of fibre.

        1. Darius

          Eat lots of celery and greens. Apples too. I subscribe to the John Adams definition of health. “Today, I produced a fine stool.”

    3. mraymondtorres

      Yeah. For one thing, using the term fiber without soluble or insoluble is a clear indication that something is amiss since the two types do completely different things in the gut.

      Besides, because you get about 30 grams of sugar to about 4 grams of fiber in an avg 100 gram serving of grains, eating grains to get more fiber is like eating carrot cake to get more vegetables.

      1. witters

        Why – given we all agree ‘nutritional science’ has a long way to go – do we so obsess (to the “fact” quoting level) about our diet?

    4. David

      This seems to be part of the cereal industry’s counter-attack on low-carb diets, which have a documented record of improved health, weight loss, lowered inflammation and even reversal of T2 diabetes, but which threaten sales and profits. There really isn’t any doubt now about the virtues of low-carb diets, and if you are interested there are a whole series of expert blogs on the subject like this one as well as more general blogs like this one. The reality is, you should avoid grains as far as possible, since they are, in effect, generically modified grass, and the human digestive system deals with them very badly. You can get plenty of fibre from vegetables, nuts and seeds, which are part of any serious low carb diet, and in any case there is something of a backlash developing against high fibre-intake.
      It also looks as though opinion is moving decisively away from “calories” as such being important. The body doesn’t seem to have any way of registering how many calories it has taken in – calories are just a measure for nutritionists. I have lost a lot of weight and become much healthier over the last few years without ever concerning myself with calories, but rather by cutting out carbs, and substituting vegetables, meat, fish, nuts and seeds in quantities as large as I like.

      1. Cal2

        Off the shelf packaged solutions may met the numbers, but are they otherwise healthy?
        For example, Fiber One cereal is looks great until you realize are eating preservatives, G.M.O.s and pesticide residues.

        The longer the shelf life, the shorter your life.

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        Sorry, I don’t eat any grain and avoid starches, eat very little in the way of fat and no way can I eat very much. I have never ever been able to eat much and not pay for it. And this was true even when I was exercising hard, (a hour of high impact aerobics a day, plus walking to and from the gym; later a regular diet of 2-3 hours on the stair machine at level 8 out of 10; my trainers had to talk me into cutting my cardio to 30 mins a day because as much as I was doing would undermine strength conditioning).

        1. Laughingsong

          And this speaks again to just how different our bodies can be when it comes to health regimes; my diet would hurt Yves and her diet would have me binging at 2 AM. I also agree that increasing exercise can’t compensate for overeating. I do think it’s very important to have some type of exercise regime because it seems pretty clear that exercise has many benefits but I have stopped believing that weight loss is one of them. I think I posted this here before but as someone mentioned before, it’s way easier to out eat your running than outrun your eating!

          I think now that the only things that seem like good policy for almost everyone are:

          – highest quality food you can afford
          – whole food prepared in your own kitchen
          – limit packaged stuff
          – balance: vitamins, minerals, fiber, macros
          – water
          – exercise

          With the list above one can see how being poor can make eating healthy almost impossible :-(. And they want to cut food stamps even more….

        2. Alex V

          Hi Yves, I’m a bit curious about your numbers… exercising that much and only eating 1200 calories a day doesn’t seem to add up, since BMR for an average person is usually around 1500 calories. Have you ever done a rough energy balance calculation? Not trying to provoke in any way, just genuinely interested in how this is possible. My problem is usually trying to keep weight on, so wondering how life is for someone on the other end of the metabolism spectrum.

      3. beth

        I am glad this topic came up. I have tried to up my fiber but when I check to see how much fiber I eat it never seems to reach the levels recommended. I eat low-cal and now eat more vegetables and am slowly reducing my fruits. I am still doing a little of both, watching calories loosely, but have drastically reduced my sugar. I agree that there is a question of how one gets 30 grams of fiber/mixed soluble/insoluble in one day.

        I was fortunate to no having a problem with gaining weight for the first 35 years then at least 15 years with minimum changes to keep from gaining weight and now it is truly hard not to gain weight so I weigh in every two weeks and make adjustments accordingly.

        Even though I have very little taste and smell left, I still love to eat.

    5. PlutoniumKun

      According to this Mayo Clinic list, a 30g+ of fibre day would involve something like:

      1 cup of lentils (15g)
      1 cup instant oatmeal (5g)
      1 ounce chia seeds (10g)
      1 cup rasberries (8g)

      Basically, oatmeal and berries for breakfast, a daal curry dinner and a smoothie would get you 40+g. I don’t think thats unachievable for most people.

      What I find interesting about that list is that thinks like wholemeal bread and brown rice score surprisingly low compared to lentils, beans and seeds, I wasn’t aware of that. As Deanne above says, beans and legumes are very important.

      1. Bugs Bunny

        I don’t know about you, but when I make daal, I put in ghee and finish it with tempering – which usually includes a tablespoon or more of sesame oil. It’s pretty calorific (and delicious).

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Yeah, daal tastes best with something super fatty. My favourite daal recipe is a daal coconut cashew curry, its my ‘go to’ for a quick dinner if I have visitors. Its super tasty and quick and easy and cheap to make (well, apart from the cashews). I never cook with ghee, the varieties available in my area in some Asian shops don’t look particularly appetising or healthy.

          1. Steve H.

            No sugar. Organic heavy whipping cream. In coffee.

            That’s the three foundation steps of my food pyramid.

          1. Unna

            With grain or dried beans etc, they now use glyphosate to kill the plants to get everything dried out at the same time so that the factory farmers can harvest the crop all at once. So “GMO free” is no assurance that your food has no glyphosate on it. With grains, flours, beans, etc, you’ve got to go organic.

            1. Spring Texan

              Yeah, I don’t buy organic for most things but now I realized they actually spray the crops right before harvest on oatmeal I do and thanks for the info about dried beans too.

            2. Janie

              I’m hoping to be able to buy Russian foodstuffs; I don’t feel as confident as I used to about European imports because the GMO and glysophate change.

      2. Unna

        Diet (ideal….): No sugars or sweeteners except a cautious bit of maple syrup occasionally. Very minimal to no grains. No white potatoes and minimal other starches. All the leafy green and orange-yellow vegetables you want. Plenty of berries, nuts, etc. Fish. Minimal any other meat. Otherwise build a diet around foods with heavy amounts of polyphenols to lower LDLs and keep them low so as to avoid pharmaceutical practitioners otherwise known as doctors. Use cold pressed extra virgin olive oil or organic flax seed oil. Watch the amount of fructose you consume, so limit fruit accordingly. Put the emphasis on what you eat rather than the numbers unless you are that sort of personality or simply need to for other reasons and that’s OK. Target an ideal weight and adjust food amounts accordingly, generally down. Monitor whether you feel a bit hungry for periods of time during the day because that’s good. Move around a lot, join a gym and frequent it. Do long walks in the sunshine, weather permitting, and leave the cat at home if she has a tendency to follow you. I’m sure I’ve left much out.

      3. Yves Smith Post author

        Fiber in a cup of instant oatmeal is only 4 g.

        1 cup of lentils = 230 calories

        1 cup of instant oatmeal = 160

        One ounce of chia seeds = 140 calories

        One cup of raspberries = 100 calories

        This is 600+ calories. I’d gain 20 lbs in no time if I added that to my diet (well I’d have to add only a half cup of berries since I eat a half a cup now). I’m not alone in not being able to eat much and finding diet recommendations based on the idea that you can eat a lot to be depressing.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Its interesting you can get by on so few calories – although I’ve discovered over the past few years I feel much more energetic by significantly reducing what I eat (I’ve no idea by how much, I’m not a calorie counter, but I suspect I’m now significantly under 2000 cals a day on average).

          Chia seeds are pretty tasteless so they go with most things. I make a morning smoothie and I usually throw in a spoonful of chia with some flax for fibre and extra nutrients. I also make my own milk (for my oatmeal and smoothies) by grinding hemp seed (30g fibre per 100g according to the box) and some nuts in a high powered blender. I think if you really wanted to maximise fibre on such a low calorie diet grinding high fibre seeds like chia and hemp as a liquid alternative to milk (but don’t filter it obviously) is the way to go. A drop of stevia in hemp milk makes it surprisingly nice with coffee.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            That is absolutely false and I have over four decades of experimenting with my own diet to prove it. I gain weight if I eat more than 1200 calories a day on a regular basis. Period.

            You apparently are lucky enough to have a forgiving metabolism. I don’t. I have experimented with just about every fad diet when it was hot (high carb, low fat, Atkins, the Zone, the modified Atkins called South Beach, paleo, I can go on). Doesn’t matter. I was a fat kid and got my weight down over a series of diets starting when I was 12 (I’d lose 25-30 lbs, gain ~10 of it back in the next couple of years, and diet again). The result appears to be that I have permanently slowed down my metabolism. Animal studies say that severe calorie restriction is good for longevity, but it’s no fun to be stuck there.

            Even though I have been this way all my adult life, women often suffer significant weight gain when they hit menopause (30-40 lbs) and the only way I’ve seen any of them get back to something approaching their old normal is severe calorie restriction. So there is a cohort in my position. Sedentary people also can’t consume much without gaining weight, and the US is full of sedentary people.

            Don’t prescribe your medicine to other people. It is presumptuous and discourteous, particularly to those of us who have been engaged in a life-long struggle to manage our weight.

            1. Darius

              I have done Weight Watchers and discovered to my surprise that the amonunt of food a 50+ man can consume is a small fraction of that to which I was accustomed and raised to think was practically my right. I have to eat like a prisoner on a punitive diet or gain lots of weight. Americans aren’t used to eating this little.

              1. Clive

                You’re not alone. If I consume more than 2000 calories a day then I’ll gain weight. When I eat the “standard” allowance for reasonably physically active men of 2,500 calories per day I crept up from 150lbs to 180lbs between the age of 25 and 45. That trajectory spelt long term problems. All the weight was on my stomach.

                Eating 1,750 calories for a few years (yes, it took several years at that level to start to shed any meaningful weight) got me down to what my natural body shape and weight should be. Certainly to the point where I can do whatever physical activity I want without feeling uncomfortable. 2,000 calories stabilised that. If I go even slightly over this, say 2,200, I’ll consistently gain weight. There are simply not enough hours in the day for me to exercise that off.

                The allowances which dieticians give us for calorie intakes are a very, very approximate guess. No way can I add the so-called recommended quantity of fibre-containing grains without adding weight long-term. If I substitute other food groups, I’ll end up with no or little protein or missing some essential fats.

                I could probably live on 1,500 calories per day with no need to change my activity levels for at least 5 years before I became significantly underweight. This is 40% less than the “recommend” level, which shows how out of kilter the recommendations are with some people’s realities. And as I age, with the subsequent lessening of natural calorific consumption that brings, that total may be my long-term appropriate figure anyway.

                It’s not just in the US that calorie density is just crazy. At the coffee shop I get my morning coffee from, a “breakfast toasted sandwich”, muffin and one of those ridiculous syrup filled coffees is 1,200 calories in total. I see people buying that kind of thing every day. I’d put on 40lbs in a year if I ate that on a regular basis.

            2. David

              I’m not trying to give you advice – that would be presumptuous and I’m not qualified to do so. But a longer version of my comment would have been:
              It’s clear from lots of studies and observations, as well as personal experiences, that for the average person how many calories you consume is much less important than the type of food and the relative proportions that you eat. In addition, intermittent fasting, and practices such as eating all of your meals in a period of ten hours, have given good results in weight loss and general health, but this is because the body has a chance to recover and clean up, not because of calorie limitations.
              But individual cases will vary of course.

              1. Yves Smith Post author

                “Diet studies” are unreliable due to inaccuracy of reporting of participants. You can’t do double blind, placebo controlled. Participants understand from the press and general society that eating a pint of Ben & Jerry’s or drinking a lot to deal with stress, or having too many sweets or too many potato chips isn’t a good thing, and most participants lie about or understate their bad habits and diet cheating. One of many examples: a friend who is a former alcoholic would tell her MD exactly how much she was drinking. The MD was constantly freaked out because all of his other patients with alcohol abuse problems would report only about 1/3 of what they drank, and her consumption as a result sounded terrifying by comparison.

                About the best you can do in terms of accuracy is compare groups who have certain eating habits for deeply ingrained cultural or religious reasons, like Seventh Day Adventists and many Hindus being vegetarian or nurses, who in their day jobs have to be meticulous about documentation.

                As to fasting, I hate to tell you, but that’s the latest fad advice, and I’ve bene experimenting with diet long enough to wonder how much enthusiasm there will be for in it five years. We’ve also had decades of being told not to eat saturated fats, not to eat foods high in cholesterol (when your body makes cholesterol from carbs). That was scientific diet advice just a few years ago and now the new cutting edge conventional wisdom says something different.

                Remember this story as one of many examples?


                1. PlutoniumKun

                  Yves, I agree with you over the appalling state of diet studies and analysis – especially having suffered as a child from having my family diet go ‘low-fat’ after my fathers heart attack back in the 1970’s. I’ll never forgive Ancel Keys for replacing my delicious Irish butter with Flora margarine. I’d also agree that the only really good diet is the one you develop for yourself from trial and error, its taken me decades to come close to working out what suits me best.

                  I would, however, respectfully disagree about fasting – both longer fasts and intermittent fasts. There are plenty of sound studies out there showing the physiological benefits – including studies comparing controlled groups eating identical diets, just in different patterns (i.e. one group eating within a tight time frame). There is also plenty of good science behind the influence of body clock in how food is absorbed. So in this sense, a calorie is not strictly speaking a calorie (although usually of course it is). There is also plenty of evidence from biochemistry that certain combinations are better or worse than others – a key reason why the fat hypothesis seemed so strong was that animal and human subjects were given fat with sugar (to make it more palatable). It’s now quite clearly established that fat is absorbed differently if it is eaten with sugar/refined carbs than with protein. In other words, bacon eaten with salad is significantly less harmful than bacon eaten with refined bread. This is pretty much mainstream science now so far as I can gather.

                  I’ve been interested in longevity studies for some time – Valter Longo is a particularly interesting writer on this. One key takeout is that the great majority of long lived populations tend to be brought up on relatively low calorie diets heavy in non-refined carbs (i.e lots of beans and legumes and vegetables). Both high levels of refined carbs and high levels of protein* don’t feature (even some keto advocates like Peter Attia now accept this).

                  I always keep going back to Michael Pollen on this – be moderate, avoid anything in a packet with more than 5 ingredients written on it, eat lots and lots of plants, and generally just enjoy life.

                  *The caveat on this is that Longo has written that a surprising number of the centenarians he studied increased their protein consumption in old age, as they moved in with families, etc. He’s suggested that protein is more useful for the old than the young in maintaining muscle mass. There are ongoing long term studies in TCD in Ireland which seem to confirm this.

    6. PlutoniumKun

      I can’t find anything about the research online – or on the WHO website. I assume the article is a sort of taster for soon-to-be-published guidelines (its been in several newspapers so I assume its a press release, not some invention by the Guardian). The lead researcher, Jim Mann, has numerous publications on google scholar, so he seems to be well respected, especially in meta-studies (this seems to be a metastudy).

      But as always with these things, you really need to wait for the primary publication to judge.

      Incidentally, I was reading recently that the Hadza hunter gatherer people eat 100g daily, so it is possible!

        1. PlutoniumKun

          That does look interesting, but its not the one referred to in the Guardian, which seems to be a metastudy focusing strictly on the health implications of dietary fibre.

    7. Yves Smith Post author

      Yes, and people before our modern mechanized age probably needed 4000+ calories a day. Go look at the breakfasts men used to eat: eggs fried in fat, bacon, biscuits with butter, in large quantities. They’d walk to and from field, bale hay, swing an axe from the heels to chop wood. Even women did hard work: pulling water out of wells and carrying it indoors, churning butter, kneading bread, beating out rugs, washing and wringing out clothes by hand.

      My issue which I stated clearly is that for people who are sedentary or have a slow metabolism (I do) and therefore should not be eating much, that much fiber intake will lead to weight gain.

      1. Harvey

        Taking your point re lifestyle, yesterday I spent 5 hours in the garden with the mattock and hoe, and even eating french fries managed to lose 2 lb.

        As regards this “study”, where are the healthy vegetables? Why the main focus on grain-based calorie rich foods ? I would be interested in knowing who funded this.

        A cup of green beans contains about 15g fibre for about 50 cal. A cup of brussel sprouts has about 6g of fibre for about 50 calories. And these aren’t the only high fibre, low calorie vegetables.

        As someone who also has to watch my weight all the time, now a happy 130lb for 5’6′ on 1500 cal/day, I know that steamed vegetables are my friend. I get the fibre without the weight. Vegetable fibre also fills you up.

        The Guardian article is going to have the opposite effect. Who is going to eat a healthy amount of fibre if they think they have to stack on the weight eating bread and oats and pasta?

  3. The Rev Kev

    “FBI agents warn about impact of shutdown investigations, national security”

    Trump said to be sympathetic to their cause, especially after he learned that the FBI was so concerned that Trump was a Russian agent after giving Comey the boot, that they decided to investigate ‘whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests’-

    Give me a break. There is far more evidence of FBI collusion with the Democrats than between Trump and the Russians.

    1. Daryl

      Is it just me or is the Russia idiocy back in full swing again? Weird how it bottomed out during the election, then came roaring right back.

      1. Lambert Strether

        It went quiet, and then came roaring back with the new story on the 2017 FBI investigation. Not sure what the outcome of that investigation was — not that that matters, I suppose — but I think it ended up being folded into the Mueller investigation.

  4. ex-PFC Chuck

    The “A Clinton Memo That Killed Half a Million People” story at Consortiumnews appears to have been taken down.

      1. ex-PFC Chuck

        RI confirms CN has taken down the link. Who got to them? And how?

        The link is a “must read.” It exposes the complete capture of the Dem establishment by the neocons, with all the latter’s infamous foibles: group think; ignor-ance of history & local politics in the countries they mess with; inability to anticipate the other guys’ responses to their policy bumbles, etc. Not to mention utter moral bankruptcy.

      2. Olga

        Thanks. Stunned that CN would take down this (they just announced making $92K in contributions – maybe time to reconsider). Anyway, Trump may have been a small price to pay for the following:
        ““Bringing down Assad would not only be a massive boon to Israel’s security, it would also ease Israel’s understandable fear of losing its nuclear monopoly. Then, Israel and the United States might be able to develop a common view of when the Iranian program is so dangerous that military action could be warranted.””
        I am glad she was worried about I’s security, and planning yet another war – all expressed in cold, calculated, efficient language.

          1. Hameloose Cannon

            It’s a hoax. Is it not a little suspicious that the common theme throughout Russia Insider is that Jews are at the source of the world’s problems? Or should I say globalists? Neocons? Rootless cosmopolitans? Neoliberals?

            1. Plenue


              Judging by this, they now explictily reject any framing other than ‘Jews’.

              It’s actually a pretty stunning display of flawed reasoning. Bausman acknowledges other possible framings, like class (‘elites’), but then just rejects them out of hand. He also rejects Zionism as a valid category on the grounds that no one identifies as a Zionist (which a. isn’t true, and b. is like saying neoliberalism doesn’t exist because no one calls themselves a neoliberal). So to Russia Insider the problem can’t be rich people with too much influence, some of whom are Jewish, or Israel having far too much influence and national ambition. No the problem is inherently Jewishness.

              He also parrots the claim that Bolshevism was dominated by Jews. This is simply a historical falsehood.

              Antisemitism is absolutely an overused and often cynically weaponized accusation, but I think what Russia Insider is doing here qualifies. Literally now having an article category called ‘The Jewish Question’? That’s just gross.

            2. Lambert Strether

              > It’s a hoax.

              Lazare is still listed at CN as a writer. If I were CN, and believed Lazare had pushed a hoax, I would take him down until I had investigated all his stories. He also doesn’t have a history of hoaxing, CT, etc.

              As far as RI, I’m willing to entertain the genetic fallacy in extreme cases, but not this one. Is the Wikileaks memo (here) fabricated?*

              UPDATE Based on Lazare’s record above, it looks more like a fuckup than a hoax. See djrichard’s comment here.

              NOTE * Ack, “from” and “to” fields redacted at Wikileaks:

              Date: 2001-01-01 03:00
              Subject: NEW IRAN AND SYRIA 2.DOC

              But not at Snopes:

              From: James P. Rubin
              Sent: Monday, April 30, 2012 11:03 AM
              To: H

              Subject: Best of luck on China trip

              With a different subject line. What’s going on here?

              1. Darthbobber

                There are other differences. The article uses direct quotes of lines (like the one about no long term consequences for Syria because there weren’t for Libya), which don’t seem to exist in the image of the Rubin letter.

                So are their multiple documents conflated in the article? Does Mrs. Clinton comment on the Rubin memo in the course of forwarding it? Or what?

      3. Plenue

        Not related, but Russia Insider seriously now has a section dedicated to ‘The Jewish Question’? Oof, not a good look.

      1. djrichard

        In the comments section to the mintpressnews article

        Take this down. This story has been debunked multiple times and is no longer even up at Consortium News. The “memo” was a paper written by James Rubin and he sent it to her.

        Hopefully there’s enough wooden stakes in Hillary already that this one isn’t needed.

        1. Lambert Strether

          Ah, very good catch. Thank you!

          (Does show what’s buzzing about in the Clintonite hive mind, but that’s not the same as holding Clinton personally responsible for it.)

      2. anon in so cal

        Re: Consortium News Article:

        The Hillary Clinton memo stating that the best way to help Israel was to topple Assad was from an email released by WikiLeaks, in 2017. It got a lot of attention back then:

        It’s somewhat related to the blurb from Wesley Clark, stating that US NeoCons had a list of nations targeted for regime change, including Syria, Libya, Iraq, Lebanon, Iran.

        There are articles suggesting once Iran is conquered, NeoCons move in to southern Russia.

        Robert Parry discussed how National Endowment for Democracy (NED)’s Robert Gershman wanted US NeoCons to support toppling Ukraine’s president, to create chaos on Russia’s border:

  5. christy

    FYI–Tulsi Gabbard sits on Council of Foreign Relations. Obama 2.0. Being used to fool the masses.

    1. Spring Texan

      Obama 2.0 doesn’t seem apt to me, but she IS really awful. Loved a tweet that said “tulsi gabbard is so anti-muslim i forgot she wasn’t a republican”.

      Complained about Dems questioning of judicial nominee about abortion beliefs and Knights of Columbus, too:

  6. GramSci

    Re KK Konnect

    Growing up sixty years ago within the stench of Kohler Korporation’s main korporate sewer, l remember it as a hive of Birchers and union busters. Haven’t been back, but it appears nothing much has changed. Is every bathroom in DC and Wall Street now bugged? No more flushing for private conversation during power lunches…

    1. Lambert Strether

      I read the the Kohler piece:

      Reimagine your personal space with the world’s smartest bathroom. KOHLER Konnect smart products have the ability to transform your bathroom using light, sound, color and water. And with built-in voice control, it all happens seamlessly. From exotic and energizing and every feeling in between, your bathroom can finally do what no other can — create an experience as unique as you.

      Translation: “My shit don’t stink.”

      Perfectly suitable for the target market!

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Media Worried US Won’t Occupy Syria Forever”

    Trump announces the pullout of US troops illegally stationed in Syria. The media, looking around to the Pentagon, Neocons, Contractors and Israel says: “Don’t worry fellas. We’ve got this!”

    1. JTMcPhee

      Looking at Israel can be dangerous. Especially if you don’t give a great big smile, and “say Dohd.” Observations from Mondoweiss on the state of play of S.1, the Pledge Loyalty To Israelikud Act, under the title “‘Israel has never been so divisive in modern political history’ — anti-BDS bill fails again in Senate,”

      Note the Dem’s concern — mostly NOT the destruction of First Amendment rights of Americans, but the possibility that this “issue” (going along with AIPAC’s demand that the entire country outlaw boycotting, divesting and sanctioning of Likudnik/Israel-ite businesses) might “destroy the Democratic Private Club.

      “One loyalty to rule them all, one loyalty to bind them, Adelson has billions to bribe, and in his preferences bind them…” Bearing in mind that Adelson and many other AIPAC funders are old people, living in the US, with frank dual citizenship, and limited exposure to the violence and disruption that Likudnik policies have and will engender in the MENA.

    2. Briny

      This has been driving me a bit nuts here are I know the region well, economics, intelligence and especially militarily. We aren’t accomplishing anything against ISIS. The remainder are still in the same place, adjacent to US coalition forces which begs the question why haven’t we already killed them. So, there must be some other reason that would explain which set of elites are being threatened.

      Normally, I’m one of the last people on earth to jump on the “must about the oil (and/or gas), but that’s the only thing looking back at me when I look at my maps. Russia, Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria are all adjacent to two of the others. Well, Iran sort of excepted. Looks like good pipeline routes around. Otherwise, I’m mystified which rarely ever happens.

      1. The Rev Kev

        There is only a coupla thousand ISIS dead-enders left in that pocket and the Syrian Army would mop them up in only a few short weeks if allowed the chance. But with ISIS gone, what justification would the US have to occupy a third of Syria? There would be none which is why, except for the occasional airstrike, they are left alone to their own devices. Going by what happened in other areas, would not be surprised that their best leaders have already been choppered out along with their families.

        1. Briny

          Which is the point, why are we still there? Why does some agency desire us to still be there for the foreseeable future? Back when I was career US Navy I would keep track of the players in theatre and out (yet still a local factor). I kind of wanted to know who might be shooting at me and why. I still haven’t lost the habit of keeping track of events over in that part of the world even if the only ones putting bullets in my general direction are local gang members fighting over drug turf.

          The only other reason would be keeping boots on the ground in the area as a tripwire. Shoot at my people and you’ve just given causus belli. Not an unusual role for my Marines but I don’t have to like it. As I said, I’m mystified.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Personally I am dirty with what would have happened in the west had “won” in Syria. You would have yet another Wahabbi-run country that would have been under the indirect rule of Saudi Arabia. Sharia law would have been implemented in spite of the vast majority of the people being a secular-minded people. Tough luck if you were a woman in this country. Saudi Arabia and the Guff counties would not have cared as to them the Arabs of the Levant are an inferior type of Arab anyway. There would be massacres of Christians, Allawites and other groups but the west would close their doors to any refugees from these groups.
            The presence of Jihadists would invite endless western attacks until you had something like a Libya East. Syria’s rich history would be systematically destroyed as shown what happened in Palmyra. The place would also be a source of endless Jihadist attacks on Iran, Lebanon and maybe Jordan but never Israel (seven years of history here proves this assertion). The Syrians have paid a terrible price but they stood their ground as much as the Russians did in places like Stalingrad and Leningrad and for that I salute them.

          2. JTMcPhee

            “Why are we still there?”

            Check the stock prices and executive compensation packages for Raytheon, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and the rest. Look at how much most members of Congress receive in bribes/campaign contributions from those corporations. How many “jobs” there are in every state in war-related businesses and on all the “joint bases” and other installations. And don’t neglect to recall how much of US politics and policy, in the MENA and elsewhere for that matter, is driven by our “democratic ally” right there at the eastern shore of the Mediterranean, and also KSA.

            Also, remember that the neocons are working from the game board and rule book of that classic, “The Game of RISK!” ™. And none of the people who determine doctrine and policy and strategy and tactics are in harm’s way (barring nuclear war, which some of them long for as Rapturist Armageddonists.) Troop “losses” are “to be deplored,” and given full military burial honors to keep the home fires burning, and as little post-combat care as they can get away with.

            And also maybe YOU read and studied Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War,” especially the first bunch of paragraphs about what war costs, what war, especially prolonged war at the end of long logistics chains, does to “the peasants and the state,” and what virtues the General must embody if “war” (a currently undefined term, but “Everyone just KNOWS what it means) is to be “successful” and “victorious” (two more undefined terms that everyone just KNOWS what they mean, in their gut, but just try to get a principled definition out of any of the players, the pundits and the panegyrists.) But the Battlespace Managers and their sycophants and enablers jump right to the latter parts of the book, all the advice on “attack where the enemy is weal, retreat when he is strong, stealth and deception,” that stuff. They could not care less (since they have essentially infinite money to play with, and no consequences for failing to “win”) about those fundamentals that should be the first considerations, since “War is of supreme importance to the State.”

            I was just a mope troop in Vietnam, who actually enlisted (1966) to fulfill my Boy Scout indoctrination (“to do my duty to God and my Country”, “fight ‘em there so we won’t be fighting them at home,” all that crap.) But I quickly learned that Smedley Butler and Joseph Heller had it right — “war is a racket,” run by Milo Minderbinder’s “M&M Enterprises,” in which, we are told “everyone has a share.”

            You should have no problem finding all kinds of justifications for “Why are we still in Syria” if you search that phrase. That “our” presence is sort of vastly illegal under both US and international law is beside the point of course. At least that search increasingly turns up a lot of opinion and facts to the effect that “we” should get the F___ out of there, soonest. Of course there are what, at least 40 other “climes and places” where Imperial troops are “taking their guns.”

            And you mention the ‘trip wire’ thing, but the “band of brothers” kind of thinking also comes into play: Your Marines are sent out to patrol, to “kick in doors in Kandahar” and stuff, to “draw fire” and trigger IEDs, on a variety of fool’s errands (see death of Pat Tillman, and so many others), and they “take casualties” at the hands of peasant people whose country they have invaded. So therefore the Troops must ‘get revenge, even the score, teach the hajjis/slants a lesson.’ Which of course involves “taking more casualties,” which then requires more revenge, etc. Around here people use the phrase “self-licking ice cream cones” to describe this kind of idiotic circularity.

            The Imperial Battlespace Managers plopped in their ergonomic chairs exist in a different cosmos, completely insulated from consequences. And they do not give a sh!t whether you or the rest of the troops “like it” that you are all are wasted in futility. They have CAREERS, and opportunities to move on to really good paying jobs in the “contracting branch” of the MIC. And for so many of them, lots of opportunities for corruption-in-uniform. They all swear the “soldiers (or Officer’s) oath” to “protect and defend the Constitution. Maybe some try to do that, and can figure out justifications and “think-arounds” for humping their rucks in “support” of the patent idiocy. Then there are the others…

            I see that once again, the opium production in what I call Notagainistan exceeds all prior years. Gee, one has to wonder how that fits into the doctrine and strategy and policy, speaking now in terms of ground truths…

  8. Wukchumni

    My skiing buddy in the construction biz in Orlando, related that FEMA funds for the recent hurricane that hit up around Panama City were severely lacking-as in none, from what he’s seen and heard.

    According to county records, to date the county has spent about $8.4 million on hurricane disaster recovery and has received around $40 million-worth of invoices for debris removal.

    So far, FEMA hasn’t reimbursed the county for any spending. And it could take up to three years before the county receives the bulk of its expected disaster reimbursement, Majka said.

    The long wait isn’t relegated to Bay County or Hurricane Michael.

    Monroe County, hit by Hurricane Irma in 2017, is still waiting on most of its FEMA reimbursement money.

    “We have as of today, spent up to $42 million on hurricane-related expenses, but we’ve received about $6.6 million in reimbursement,” said Roman Gastesi, county administrator for Monroe County.

  9. OwenFinn

    I don’t know, or care really, if Carlos Ghosn is guilty or not, but as a long-term resident of Japan with kids, I am greatly disturbed by what this case has revealed regarding Japan’s system of (in)justice. No access to a lawyer during questioning, no family visits, – building a case doesn’t seem to matter as much as breaking people down until they sign a confession. It’s medieval.

    1. David May

      Jesus wept. How can you be a long term resident of Japan without knowing that they have a greater than 99% conviction rate? I hope you never think about going to Indonesia to pick up some cheap heroin.

      1. Chris

        I agree. I visit with friends there occasionally and it’s always very clear that citizens and especially non-citizens do not have anything protecting their rights. Just get locked up for being a rowdy gaijin and see how nice it is to have even the weakened form of habeus corpus we enjoy in the US. In Japan they can keep you for a long time before they have to even acknowledge you’re being held.

        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          Claire Danes…Awesome movie.

          I prefer Danny Boyles The Beach.

          Great trippy soundtrack, especially “Porcelain”

    2. Oh

      I knew about the way the accused are treated in Japan a long time ago. This is not news to me. However, in general, gaijins are given a lot of leeway in Japan and most get away with things that you could be jailed for in merica. Ask poor black and brown people how good our “justice” system is here before you go taking potshots at other countries.

      1. Clive

        Yes, foreigners in Japan get a way easier ride than the Japanese do. Mostly because Japan doesn’t want a lot of aggravation from other governments over the treatment of those facing criminal charges or convicted. It does though follow a fairly well-worn routine…

        I knew a guy who was stupid beyond words and got caught with drugs, mostly marijuana but some amphetamines too. If he’d be a Japanese national he’d have got 10 years plus as there was no way he could justify this was for personal use. He’d obviously been dealing, I guess to other equally dumb gaikokujins. He didn’t speak the language, couldn’t read the basic katakana/hiragana let alone kanji and was one of those English types we churn out who think you can get your way with foreigners by talking very loudly at them.

        The Japanese public prosecutor let him rot in a Japanese jail (not somewhere you want to be) for 6 months, let him run down his (desperate and frantically worried) parents life savings on lawyer’s fees (they had to take a HELOC to help too, not least with travel costs for visits) and when the family had been beseeching the British embassy with increasingly desperate appeals to intervene as they had reached the end of their resources, he (the bloke) was offered the chance to cop a guilty plea with no jail time as a result of time served already and a £10,000 equivalent fine (his parents maxed out a credit card) followed by unceremonious deportation with a lifetime ban on visiting the country again.

        The Japanese media ran this tale of woe in the area he worked, presumably under government encouragement, as a warning.

        I suspect the Japanese authorities will offer Ghosn a way out after substantial expressions of mea culpa. The denial of bail is just the softening up process.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Part of the problem is Ghosn isn’t a US car exec. The US wouldn’t tolerate a prominent American being treated that way. Maybe 3 weeks in the slammer and then house arrest. The advantages of having a military protectorate…..

  10. cnchal

    > Blow to low carb diet as landmark study finds high fibre cuts heart disease

    Mann told the Guardian that the research “does contribute to the debate considerably. Here we have got very strong evidence that a high-fibre diet, which for the majority of people is at least high-ish in carbohydrates, has an enormous protective effect – a wide range of diseases including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer benefit from a high-carbohydrate diet.”

    This is absolutely false.

    Who does WHO work for? It seems the client is Davos Man and what is it exactly they are trying to sell you?

    After a lifetime of abuse at the hands of Davos Man, making massive profits for Davos Man with your human capital, when it comes to enjoying your golden years and getting a tiny payback for all your effort, you find out the advice given by the authorities serves Davos Man and not you.

    1. Briny

      I’ve spent some time wondering why practically every immunosuppressant drug in existence, previously only used by transplant patients, to treat previously untreatable conditions. True, profit is surely a motive however it sets up a significant number of the population to be wiped out in the next pandemic.

    2. Grebo

      Dietary fibre is a kind of carbohydrate. So Mann’s statement is not absolutely false (if lots of fibre is good), merely carelessly misleading. Or perhaps deliberately misleading, it’s hard to say from this distance.

      1. cnchal

        > So Mann’s statement is not absolutely false . . .

        Yes it is. Eating lots of carbs will make diabetes worse, and even if you don’t have diabetes, eating lots of carbs will hasten it’s onset. Eating no carbs is a way to keep diabetes at bay.

          1. cnchal

            If the fibre is carbs, yes, it is bad for diabetes. Man says that diabetes along with a whole range of other diseases, would benefit from a high carbohydrate diet. If the word “benefit” means that the effects of diabetes would be reduced by eating lots of carbs, it’s total horseshit. It’s the opposite of benefit, as in inflicting as much damage as possible to worsen diabetes as fast as possible.

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              ” What we have here . . . is a failure to communicate.”

              This appears to be a problem of nomenclature and definitiions. When most people think of “carbohydrate”, they are thinking of sugars and starches. Sugars are absorbable by the human digestive system and uptakable into the blood stream and thence to every cell in/of the body. And starches are break-downable into sugars, which can then be absorbed by the digestive system and uptaken into the blood stream and etc. etc.

              But a more literal and technical definition definition of carbohydrate may be found posted on the Web and attributed to Oxford Dictionaries, and here it is. (It won’t let me copy-paste it so I have to type it by hand). . . .

              ” Any of a large group of organic compounds occurring in foods and living tissues and including sugars, starch and cellulose. They contain hydrogen and oxygen in the same ratio as water ( 2 : 1 ) and typically can be broken down to release energy in the animal body.”

              typically . . . but not always. Notice how that definition mentioned “cellulose” by name. Cellulose is a polymer built up of many chem-bonded glucose molecules. So cellulose is indeed a carbohydrate. But cellulose is entirely non-digestible , non-uptakable, non-assimilable by the human body. If you were able to cut up ten pounds of pure cotton into tiny fibers so small you could ingest them, you would digest zero of them and gain zero body-fat from having ingested 10 pounds of pure cotton fiber.

              Inulin is another humanly non-digestible carbohydrate. Humanly non-digestible but human-gut-borne-microbiome-ly very digestible, which is why one will generate so very much intestinal gas if one eats some inulin-rich jerusalem artichoke tubers. Here is a little article about non-digestible non-uptakable carbohydrates such as inulin, whose first sentence says . . . ” Fiber consists of the carbohydrates that are not broken down or absorbed by your digestive tract.”
              If you eat a diet rich in THOOOOOSE carbohydrates, you are indeed, by sub-definition, eating a hi-carbo diet. But not a high di GEST ible carbo diet.
              Link here.

              This all reminds me of the violently conflicting definitions of “organic” offered by the “organic farming” movement as against the academic “organic chemistry” discipline. The “organic chemist” will tell you that DDT IS “organic”, whereas the “organic farmer” will tell you that the very same DDT is NOT “organic”.

              1. cnchal

                > ” What we have here . . . is a failure to communicate.”

                Perhaps we do. That there are fibres classified as non digestible is beside the point.

                Mr Mann is recommending carbs that are digestible, oats and wheat, and lots of it, and that will make a diabetic’s diabetes infinitely worse.

                Got diabetes? If the answer is yes, eating carbs will kill you. If the answer is no, eating lots of carbs will induce diabetes, and if one continues eating lots of carbs, will kill you.

                Clear now?

                This is what Davos Man is aiming for. After squeezing as much human capital out of you as possible with a lifetime of your wealth creation that he absconds with, there is no more use for you and neoliberalism rule two goes into effect.

                Want to mess with Davos Man’s plan? Get the carbs out of your diet.

                1. drumlin woodchuckles

                  No, it is exACTly the point. The fibers classed as non-digestible are exACTly carbohydrates. They are NON-diGEStible carbohydrates. Exact precision in nomenclature advances correct understanding.

                  Cellulose IS a carbohydrate. Inulin, and ALL the glucans, ARE carbohydrates. So the goal is to find and ingest GLUcans while ingesting the LEAST POSSIBLE diGESTible carbohydrates.

                  Oat BRAN, NOT oats. Lowest energy leaves and stems. Etc.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Dunno what software they use (I am pretty sure not WP) but you can “sticky” posts in WP so they appear as the first post on the landing page even if they are older, similar to the way you can pin tweets on Twitter They may think the piece is super important and want to keep it prominent for a few days.

  11. marym

    Trump Administration Plans Effort to Let States Remodel Medicaid

    System could resemble block grant proposals favored by conservatives

    States would still have to adhere to certain requirements but could get far more leeway in how they design their programs, likely in exchange for some type of cap on federal funding, the people said.

    States may be able to use waivers to get flexibility in exchange for an upper limit to that federal funding, for example. And while certain low-income groups would still have to be covered, states could try other approaches aimed at moving recipients out of Medicaid and into the individual insurance market.

  12. crittermom

    “CES Lidar’s Laser…” story.

    Yikes! Taking a photo of the car permanently damaged his camera’s sensor.

    “Lidar sensors could also damage the cameras on other self-driving cars.”

    Uhh, yeah. That sounds like it could be a problem.

    “So most lidars being tested in public today do not seem to pose a significant risk to cameras.” (emphasis mine)

    Oh. THAT makes me feel better. /sarc

    This only reinforces my belief that self-driving cars have quite a ways to go regarding development (not to mention our infrastructure) before they should be unleashed on us innocents.

    1. JTMcPhee

      The same class of folks who are trashing national parks and such will have a lot of fun with “bootleg” devices that blind and bamboozle “self-driving cars.” Same people who drop boulders and cinder blocks off freeway overpasses into the windshields of mopes zipping anonymously by down below.

      Pedestrian bridges and overpasses over the Dan Ryan in Chicago have small-mesh fencing and rails either over the whole thing (walkways) or along the sidewalks to keep disaffected and anomic people from sharing their death wishes with random drivers below.

      1. Cal2

        JT that’s quite an adjustable brush you wield.

        “disaffected and anomic people”. Yes, I’m sure it’s a general cross section of “people”, the elderly, disabled, Asians, whites, blacks of all ages, that are dropping stuff on cars, just like
        “The Knockout Game”…watch it on Youtube.

        Yet those particularly bad people who trash parks, that narrow cross section of the population, will also be the only ones who unjustifiably hate autonomous vehicles and their effect on our economy and safety? “Trash a Joshua Tree and then go fight for economic justice?”

        Technical question for How is it legal:
        What do over-the-counter laser pointers do to the receiving end cameras on autonomous vehicles?

        1. JTMcPhee

          Thank you for your response. The disaffected and anomie people category is obviously elastic. I was thinking of the West Side residents in Chicago, subjected to all the worst that Daley and “our” culture has dumped on them, not much future and not much sense of community. If you’d like, I can dig up the reporting on the many incidents where “people” have dropped rocks on cars and train engines and laid logs on rail tracks and sat back in the weeds and shot pistol and rifle rounds into passing cars. As to your implying that I said only those who chop Joshua Trees would be taking out their anomie and rage on autonomous vehicles? I guess I missed that in what I wrote. Made pointers are already a thing, of course, and random hacking of the destructive kind, and cyber bullying. We are not a nice species.

        2. How is it legal

          Technical question for How is it legal:

          What do over-the-counter laser pointers do to the receiving end cameras on autonomous vehicles?

          Interesting question, Cal2 (I personally Loved it, along with the rest of your comment), to which I certainly don’t have an answer. I suspect though, that one of them would at least cause a teeny hiccup. I guess, if someone like myself (in a car driving through Mountain View), could fit as many as they could in one hand – let’s say 6 average, from the pointer size I saw many assholes use while once employed – between their thumb and index finger, while keeping one hand on the steering wheel, that might seriously fk with Waymo, Security, Delivery LiDAR devices.

          A pedestrian, might really be able to tweak a Waymo, with a twelve fister, but read the next paragraph; most people don’t care to wear the color Orange all year long, and all the horror that implies, let alone absolutely not wanting to hurt innocent people – inflicted pain, trauma, and death which Robber Barons have absolutely no qualms about.

          Unfortunately, I’m positive the Waymo’s have 24/7 cameras (a no brainer, since they are rightfully despised, by so very many), just like the Security and Delivery Robots have, or I’d spend a day in Mountain View, gladly testing the results (if I could now afford the laser pointers) on Waymo vehicles; as long as (I’m positive the same as you) I was absolutely positive that no one innocent would be harmed (elsewise Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, on my top 5 favorite read list, along with Franz Kafka’s, The Metamorphosis).

    2. How is it legal

      Let alone the camera issue, the potential eye issue is far more disturbing and there are those saying it certainly hasn’t been resolved. This was a sobering comment at Quora, in April of 2018, in reponse to the question, Is LIDAR system on self-driving cars eye-safe?:

      To the InfoSys developer … your answer oversimplifies. To the answers saying “it must be, they got permission” you’re not thinking straight. They got permission because there are huge amounts of $ and jobs involved. I work in a company doing *detection* of autonomous vehicles, to allow human drivers to make safer decisions and give autonomous vehicles a wide berth and forego human interactions (eye contact, hand signals, etc) if they feel it necessary.

      LiDAR has safety issues that manufacturers typically avoid discussing, for example:

      -multiple autonomous vehicles in proximity, in which case laser energy can sum (in no predictable manner) and nearby pedestrians may receive higher amounts than safety standards specify for the single-beam case

      -spinning/scanning mechanism stops working (mechanical malfunction, accident, etc) and laser energy remains focused on unfortunate pedestrians who happen to be staring right at it

      1550 nm Lasers will help, as will CWFM solid-state LiDARs. But that’s the future, and in the mean time I don’t see transportation authorities requiring autonomous vehicles to display a light bar or other indicator giving pedestrians and other drivers the ability to know who is shining lasers and who is not. Getting it right will take many years and I have no doubt there will be some instances of collateral eye damage.

      Now I’m wishing I hadn’t stared so much at the way too many Waymo vehicles surrounding an intersection (Rengstorff Avenue and Central Expressway, for locals reading this) I was stopped at in Mountain View a few months ago.

      In addition to self driving cars, LiDAR scanning – invisible to the naked eye – is also being used in security and delivery robots which are increasingly being unleashed on the public and at eye level of small children and pets in many municipalities with little, to no, public input. I’m imagining if any eye damage occurs, a parent or pet owner may not discover it till well after the fact and may never realize what caused it. Even if they do realize what caused it, they would be facing a near impossible battle against such a powerful industry unleashed by feckless, amoral, and bought politicians.

      1. crittermom

        Wow. It’s even worse than I’d realized.
        Thanks for the info.
        Now I’m even more anxious to get out of a city & back into the woods somewhere…

        1. How is it legal

          You’re welcome honey, it seems that the LiDAR industry – along with those reliant on incorporating LiDAR in their ‘product[s],’ (the DOD, Alphabet/Google, Security™ and Delivery Robots, et al), and those otherwise unquestioningly supporting it (nasty, greedy, fascist politicians) – has gone to great lengths to obscure any bad press as to likely potential physical harms.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            Perhaps a market will emerge for LIDAR-reflective mirror-shades. Wherever LIDAR-bearing robo-cars stalk the roads, billions of people will have to buy and wear LIDAR-proof glasses.

    3. Summer

      And I still wonder about the intracies of interpreting what is heard. We do many things based on what we hear while driving.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Brought to Jesus’: the evangelical grip on the Trump administration ”

    In an unexpected move, Proconsul Pompeo announces the formation of the 10th Crusade but that this one will be against Iran rather than the Eastern Mediterranean. Furthermore, Pompeo announces as well that he seeks to recruit Moslem armies from the Arabic nations for this Crusade but assure the Arab nations on his word as a church deacon that any Moslem killed will be reborn a Christian, achieve salvation and go straight to Pence Heaven. Says that it is all politics anyway and that it is “a never-ending struggle … until the rapture.”
    I don’t get it. This joker was once head of the CIA. If you are going to be head spook, you need to be the ultimate realist but instead the guy is a bible-basher. Worse yet, he actually seems to mean it. Then again, his Wikipedia entry mentions early contact in his career with Koch Industries and Bain Capital so that was never a good sign-

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      “This joker was once head of the CIA”

      A lack of long term oversight doesn’t mean they simply aren’t up to no good but stupid too. I’m reminded of stories of teachers who hand out condoms to first graders. Those same morons are everywhere, but unlike clandestine services, American teachers get oversight from school administration, ptas, local government, state government, and the federales. Not to mention the billionaire organizations dedicated to destroying public sector unions looking for any problem.

      My godfather was in the CIA with a position similar to Valerie Plame except at the time his position lived abroad. Besides information overload (even in the 60’s), he believed the first basic problem is the power is the White House CoS who controls what rises to the top. Reports sent from areas not under the President’s direct concern will make the Washington Post (he noted the irony) prior to reaching the President or other appropriate actors. Congress had no interest in doing proper oversight. Official secrecy was the other major problem because it’s not like the KGB didn’t know he wasn’t really (they barely even had a cover; mostly he collected reports which were being provided by the same sources as the KGB). The KGB trailed him for a week to make sure he wasn’t leading uprisings or terrorists.

    2. WobblyTelomeres

      Scrapings from the bottom of the barrel. Only the Republicans with nothing left to lose will work for Trump. That’s how we got Pence.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Pence was a leading Republican, considered a dark horse and a Koch brother favorite. The old Bush courtiers are on the outs, but the other Republicans love working for Trump. The Democratic courtiers don’t trash their friends as often, but does anyone remember Bob Novak? Ugh, he use to travel to Maryland basketball away games and I would see him once a year, and he oozed evil. I waited outside to sit close. The lines weren’t bad or anything.

        Republicans have been a gang of cartoonish thugs since the end of Reconstruction. The Bush associates are on the outs now, but if Trump was their patron, they would never shut up about restoring “honor.”

        Trump isn’t new.

        1. Oh

          That slime Bob Novak was placed six feet under or so they think. Methinks he’s several miles under where it’s really hot and fiery. Good riddance.

        2. The Rev Kev

          Something is new and that is Republicans trashing other Republicans. Just read yesterday that Ronald Reagan said that there was a golden rule and that was that Republicans don’t trash other Republicans. So this is a new feature on the American political scene. Imagine if all Republicans shut up and lied up with Trump in public what that would look like.

      2. Cal2

        Imagine Jim Webb running as Trump’s V.P.
        Or, if Trump were really out to destroy the Democrats, asking Tulsi Gabbard to be his secretary of defense in his next administration.
        Two Democratic Veterans, how would that play?

      3. drumlin woodchuckles

        Pence is not “bottom of the barrel”. Pence squats at the nexus of Armageddon-Rapture and Big Koch and Coal. And he has been a Senator and a Governor. He is a member of the Big Club.

        If events grind along towards a Trump Impeachment, the Democratic and Republican Senators may quietly conspire together to make sure that removal “stops with Trump”. and lets Pence be President.
        Gentlemen prefer blondes and Democrats prefer Pence.

        In this scenario, Sanders could raise his credibility among the Deplorables by voting NOT to convict and remove.

        1. WobblyTelomeres

          House, not the Senate. And am I the only one who remembers all the Republican #NeverTrumpers who refused to be Trump’s VP until he got down to Pence? The same Pence who wasn’t running for re-election in red-state Indiana because even they couldn’t stand him anymore?

          But, I digress. You are right. Pence isn’t the bottom of the barrel. I think, somewhere down underneath him, down in the muck somewhere, is my congress critter:

    1. Anonymous2


      On the FT misreporting, my gut tells me that the new owners have told the editor not to make waves. It is a very different newspaper by comparison with 2016 IMO.

  14. jfleni

    RE: Former Senator Wants Congress to Listen to UFO Reports.

    GREAT, but the five-sided Bughouse does not want to hear any such reports
    especially not the multiple and believable reports starting from WW2 and even

    If even one out of ten are valid, then the aforementioned Bughouse is ignoring
    important information!

  15. JCC

    As someone who joined the “Over 65 Club” this week, I felt a little panic when I saw this link, “People older than 65 share the most fake news, a new study finds “.

    The news I pass on to friends (and some others) is nearly 100% the original sources of the articles I read here at NC.

    So, I clicked on the story. What a relief! The study was based on FaceBook sources of “news” and FB membership, so no worries. It is not representative of higher level intelligent life forms.

    No offense to FB members here, of course. You have NC as a mitigation to FB damage, if not actually being a subversive FB’er.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I do believe television news has addled many minds, but on the other hand,

      What kind of knowledge did the people sharing fake news have prior to turning 65 and ideally working less hours or retiring? Not that aren’t issues with aging, but seniors often find they have time on their hands. Age doesn’t equal memory, and now they have time to participate.

      1. The Rev Kev

        It is a fact that watching TV, even for a short period of time, induces Alpha waves in your brain with which state makes you less critical of what you are watching. Google it. I do wonder if this was a factor for setting up Fox TV network. The TV sends your brain into an Alpha state and then the rubbish is poured in. I have read several people complain that Fox TV turned their gentle grandparents into raging nut-jobs. This may explain how it was done.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          I remember when I was a child, that I liked watching the test pattern and listening to the pure sonic tone. Was I getting off on pure Alpha waves?

    2. Massinissa

      Maybe the problem is that the over 65s who use Facebook are more likely to spread fake news than the ones who don’t, and the ones who don’t use fake news don’t use facebook.

      I mean, how many over 65’s even use Facebook in the first place? I would assume most don’t.

      1. crittermom

        “…how many over 65’s even use Facebook in the first place?”

        From my personal experience with others, I would say quite a number of those over 65 use FB. Mainly to keep in touch with family members. Including grandkids.

        For those who can no longer drive, it’s a way for them to ‘visit’ as well as see the latest photos. It makes them feel involved in their lives.

        I’m over 65 & live in a senior complex currently, & in every apt I’ve seen here the walls are COVERED with pictures of grandkids & great-grandkids. Family is important to most of them & they love FB as it’s a way for them to ‘stay in the know’ regarding family.

        And I can see how they could be spreading fake news, as their only source is MSM & FB.

        Sadly, I think a site such as NC would fail to wake them up. They believe what they hear on the teevee, ‘cuz “that’s the ‘real news’. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be on teevee.” *groan*

        Despite the continual urging of friends of all ages to join, I have refused for all these years.

        And, having only one child & no grandkids, my walls display my photos of animals & native art.

        Oh, I SO do not belong here!

          1. crittermom

            Thank you!
            I’m sure that this year will be an improvement over past ones.
            In fact, it already is.

  16. DJG

    Angela Davis interview with Democracy Now. Definitely worth a read. Anti-BDS laws violate the First Amendment, which is one battleground. Also, the skepticism of the U.S. public toward Israeli policies is rising, the U.S. Jewish community has a diversity of interests that don’t include Zionism necessarily, and the big “danger” in Arab immigration to the U.S. of A. is that people here will figure out just what is going on in the Middle East.

    And Davis evokes the truly heroic Fred Shuttlesworth. Read the article just to get to know Shuttlesworth better.

    And any government that tears down olive trees is beneath contempt, in my not so humble opinion. (Compare Yves Smith’s posting of today about the slaughtered Joshua trees in the national parks.)

    1. chuck roast

      What I liked was Angela’s narrative on the necessity for a discussion on the meaning of anti-Semitism. And the presumption that any criticisim of the Israeli government de facto constitutes anti-Semitism.
      A big plus that a fellow appeared who called for the one-state solution. Whew! That’s a lot of beef (protein not carbs) in a half an hour. Maybe I should watch more TV.

  17. DJG

    The Matt Stoller thread on Twitter is remarkable. Of course, Stoller is a master at this stuff. Yet he points out the problem: The Democrats have turned into a rotten old fan club that enforces weird rules for membership. You don’t have to be Groucho Marx not to be a member of any organization that would have you or me as a member.

    Stoller also shows how the consultant class and the endless fundraising have destroyed the party. It’s only reason for existence now is to shovel in more money.

    This doesn’t excuse the Republicans. But at least the Republicans have a program: Nihilism, feudalism, incomprehensible biblical exegesis, and return to witchhunts in the 1600s. Also, geocentrism.

    1. Donald

      I thought it was brilliant. I have no DC connections, but if you read the commentariat at Democratic blogs online like Balloon Juice or LawyerGunsandMoney you see a lot of people similar in many ways to the ones Stoller describes. Many of them are leftist in their policy preferences, but they fetishize their notion of pragmatism to a point where it becomes fanatical and not pragmatic at all. Basically you have to work within the Democratic Party as it is, or you are a Bernie Bro, someone worse than Trump.

      That said, some of them like AOC, while still hating Bernie. I’m not sure I understand that, though it probably has to do with her identity as a woman of color vs his being an old white guy. It’s harder to label her a racist misogynist.

      1. Hepativore

        The Clintonites on Balloon Juice also despise Keith Ellison who is not white, either. They were all on board with Tom Perez for DNC chair, and anybody who said otherwise was immediately accused of being a dudebro and then all of the Clintonites would descend on you.

        What can you expect from a blog that was so pro-Osshoff?

        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          John Cole of Balloon Juice is a Clintonite Hack.

          Needless to say, I read Balloon Juice until the Nevada VIOLENT CHAIR THROWING incident made famous by Jon Ralston of Nevada.

          Then i found this place. A sort of anti-Drudgian remedy.


          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            One could snark , mock and troll the #WokeWashers with all kinds of memes and info-bits fittable under the satirical hashtag #WokerThanThou.

        1. DJG

          Thanks, lyman alpha blob. Just when I thought that Lindsay Graham was about as low as one can go as an American politician, you had to remind me of Joe Lieberman and Joementum.

    2. Eureka Springs

      Took him long enough to say this, but I’m glad he finally did.

      Matt Stoller
      ‏Verified account @matthewstoller
      Jan 11

      Unless you’ve worked on the Hill, it’s hard to convey just how weird these people are. It’s not that they are vanilla and lie to the grassroots, it’s that they are incredibly proud of doing so and just loathe and distrust anyone who doesn’t.

    3. voteforno6

      This tracks with what I’ve heard…I have an old acquaintance who’s a lobbyist for a very large corporation. He expected the Republicans to be corrupt when he got to D.C., but was shocked to discover that the Democrats are just as bad. My takeaway from that conversation was, what does it say about our country when a lobbyist has more integrity than the legislators?

  18. Craig H.

    > Read the Scientific American article the government deemed too dangerous to publish Muck Rock

    Not clear why this is under Fake News head.

    The article is not bad. Bethe was not the only one who thought fission bombs were plenty big for defending yourself. Does anybody really see a use for bombs bigger than 10 X Hiroshima? Hindsight is 20-20 but I think Teller was nuts.

    At the end of the article they have a form for a crowd project to file Freedom Information Act document requests for the 10000000000 documents still classified from the 1960’s and 1950’s and before if anybody knows of a particularly useful document (the process requires you to be specific) or if you want to pitch in some $ for the project.

    The Deep State began with building nuclear weapons.

    1. David

      The last word on the effects of nuclear war is probably Jonathan Schell’s 1982 book “The Fate of the Earth.”

      1. Cal2

        At the human level Don’t forget Cormac McCarthy’s The Road,
        Grimmest book I ever read.
        Makes one want to smash all nuclear engineers and weapons designers in the face at any opportunity. And by extension, any politician who foments war with Russia.

      2. The Rev Kev

        Try the 1984 book “The Cold and the Dark” by Carl Sagan, Donald Kennedy, and Paul R. Ehrlich.

    2. human

      The “Deep State” has been around since before John Adams refused to run for a second term due to incessant pressures from special interests.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Being unpopular and losing after a reelection campaign are far less likely explanations…

    3. lyman alpha blob

      To go off on a tangent a bit, a favorite physics story is how Bethe was included as an author of a very famous research paper that he actually had nothing to do with because George Gamow thought it would sound neat. The research was done by Gamow and his student Ralph Alpher and the result was the Alpher-Bethe-Gamow paper.

    4. Jeremy Grimm

      Like you I’m not sure what to makes this “Fake News”. As I recall from long ago watching the play “In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer” — Oppenheimer opposed building the Hydrogen Bomb and for that and other sins he lost his TS security clearance. The Ellsberg discussions of his new book “The Doomsday Machine” already linked to in the past on the RealNews went into some detail about opposition to development of the Hydrogen bomb and the origins of the National Security state. I recall Ellsberg quoting a critic who suggested there is not a Military Industrial Complex in the US government. The US is a Military Industrial Complex — or something to that effect.

      Considering the quoted passage describing the possible impact of nuclear war with hydrogen bombs: “What would an all-out war fought with hydrogen bombs mean? It would mean the obliteration of all large cities and probably of many smaller ones, and the killing of most of their inhabitants.” — Ellsberg pointed out that the dust kicked into the upper atmosphere by a few hydrogen bombs would be sufficient to wipe out life on Earth in a Nuclear Winter lasting decades. The calculations supporting the Nuclear Winter scenario, derived from climate studies investigating the effects of volcanic dust, weren’t available until some time long after the hydrogen bomb controversy had been settled and we were producing bombs and missiles in the thousands. The willingness of the US government to risk potentially catastrophic results from the nuclear tests it ran was a theme running throughout Ellsberg’s talks. The first Hydrogen bomb was 3X more powerful than predicted as a result of some unanticipated side reactions that occurred.

  19. elissa3

    John Lichfield
    Water canon now being used to disperse few dozen GJ’s who are taunting and stoning police on edge of the Etoile. The violent protesters look like hard right youths rather than the provincial GJ’s who made up most of marchers earlier.

    What, exactly, is the “look” of hard right youths versus provincial GJs? Did this guy do any actual reporting?

  20. outsider

    Russia Insider and Helsinki Times stories–at last some investigations making use of Wikileaks bounty! There could be an entire publication devoted to following up Wikileads.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        The goings on in US Embassies is both mysterious and troubling. The site you linked to is more than a little over-the-top. Yes the US Embassy in Baghdad is weird … but a steaming heap of innuendo does not a case build.

  21. Summer

    Re: Sryria/Exit confusion

    As in they don’t even have the language for “leave someone else’s country.”

  22. Cal2

    “Easy recycling coming to an end” IMHO the key is never to allow bad things into your home.
    Soda companies used to refill bottles, could and would, with legislation.

    Good organic markets sell dairy in reusable glass bottles. In addition, they have bulk pump containers from which one can reload their old containers with shampoo, conditioner, liquid soap, laundry detergent etc.

    Raise hell with places,like hotels or any establishment, that put out plastic coffee stirrers or cups. Warn merchants you will send back and get a refund on any item shipped to you in Styrofoam, which is not recyclable. When enough customers do this they will seek other packaging, like double folded or molded cardboard.

    Disposal companies used to have segregated bins in trucks. They could bring them back when this generation of vehicles wears out. Customers should demand it so their recyclables get recycled.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      My special concern relates to glass bottles and jars. I love glass and carefully save as many attractive — repeat attractive — jars and bottles as I can make space for [I am especially fond of the shapes of Korean jars for pepper paste I save which follow a long tradition of Korean genius for container shapes.] I am not happy with the transition from water soluble glues to the contact cements now used for many jar and bottle labels. The glass bottle and jar industry is already very consolidated. I wonder why they can’t agree on a standardized set of glass formulas and label glues for the jars and bottles they make along with a machine friendly ‘tag’ to easily sort various kinds of cullet — making it easier to reuse cullet.

      The setting for our everyday life is constructed of all the small things we daily use. I believe our lives might be much more beautiful if we might be surrounded by beauty in the small things. I didn’t care for the book but I have always loved the title “The god of Small Things”. I do not like the labels and advertising foisted into my eyes by the many small products I buy and use — and whenever possible I move things to more beautiful containers.

      As far as the re-use of bottles, instead of soft drinks, I consume wine and each time I put a wine bottle into my recycling bin I wonder that so much glass could not be re-used were there even the most minimal standardization of the bottles.

    2. chuck roast

      The study of Waste Management is very interesting. I cut my professional teeth on it. I used to tell people, “well ya’ know…trash is elegant!”
      Unless forced to, the average citizen would do two or three sorts. That’s it. Maybe, newspaper, plastic and tin cans. Unless behavior has changed, we will continue to go with co-mingled recycling. You figure if it’s beneficial by calculating avoided-costs-of-landfilling.
      Without priority waste minimization we will continue to mostly burn it and bury it on an a super human scale.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        I’d agree – I worked in waste management consultancy for a few years and its a fascinating industry – its really the inverse of supply chain management.

        Unfortunately, when supply chain management goes wrong, everything goes to hell and the person responsible gets fired. But when waste management fails, the result gets stuck in a hole and its the environment that suffers. Hence the industry is full of stupid non-solutions to real problems.

  23. Alex Morfesis

    Mexico itself does not have to pay for the wall directly…however…firpta and California real estate sales require withholding… So 15% withholding on all transfers everywhere globally in non banking environment… Just mexicans alone that would be on the 25 billion per year, 3.75 billion year one…but by doing across the board for all countries… That would eliminate an easy attack as it being just Mexicans who pay…and obviously at tax time…if the are filing taxes they can they move to have that withholding adjusted and refunded…

    But this is just noise…the republican congress had the capacity but not the will to pay for the wall

    There was going to be a massive real estate crash reported… Almost ? 20% ? drop in new home sales…down last two months…emperor distracto was able to gloss over it by eating up the air from media newshole…

    We will be back open in a few days…had foolishly burped out previously it was to be Friday but had miscounted the days needed for generalissimo donaldo trumpo to be able to proclaim the longest shut down of the government was on his watch…

    on with the show

  24. Wukchumni

    Attended my first fire safe council meeting with about 40 in attendance. Had a few interesting speakers, one informed us that our town is the worst fire risk in the county, another with extensive experience in ‘getting the money’, as there is $100 million in State grants, and $20 million in Federal grants in State (held up on account of the shutdown) just looking for a place to be spent on reducing the risk from wildfire.

    Everybody seemed keen to make things happen…

  25. Late Introvert

    Repost, I’m never caught up reading this site, and always reply to old posts.

    Lambert Strether
    January 8, 2019 at 2:59 am

    I vehemently hate inline attachments. They slow me down. I’ll read them if I want to.
    Reply ↓

    Late Introvert
    January 13, 2019 at 12:24 am

    I strongly suggest everyone use a mail client other than the bundled Apple Mail. Thunderbird works well, and lets you view HTML, PDF or inline images if you want. Or in my case no, thanks. You can also view simple HTML which strips all the trackers, or text only, god forbid.

    There are other advantages: moving your mail off of the cloud to store locally, extensions for encryption, etc. And it’s open source, part of Mozilla and Firefox.

    1. Lambert Strether

      > Apple Mail

      I vehemently hate Apple Mail, too. It has a horrid UI/UX. I understand your point about local storage, but I’m lazy. I use webmail, and for legacy reasons, Yahoo. I keep meaning to move to ProtonMail, but that’s work….

  26. drumlin woodchuckles

    That New Yorker article about Representative Engel wanting to investigate various aspects of President Trump’s handling of foreign affairs quotes Engel as saying . . . ” “It’s the first time in American history that a Secretary of Defense resigned in protest,” Engel reminded me. ”

    I remembered SecState Cyrus Vance having resigned over the failed Iran Hostage Rescue attempt. So I looked it up on Wikipedia. Here is what I found . . .

    “Furious, Vance handed in his resignation on principle, calling Brzezinski “evil”.[7] The only Secretaries of State who had previously resigned in protest were Lewis Cass, who resigned in the buildup to the Civil War, and William Jennings Bryan, who resigned in the buildup to World War I.[7]”

    Mattis was NOT the first SecState to resign. 3 prior SecStates have resigned over one thing or another. How can the foreign affairs expert Rep. Engel not have known that?

    Here is the Wikipedia link, by the way.

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