Links 1/28/19

These Alligators Have Gone Into Deep-Freeze Mode Motherboard

Bride added pockets into her wedding dress and bridesmaids’ dresses I had pockets sewn into my wedding dress: doesn’t everybody?

The Secrets of Lyndon Johnson’s Archives New Yorker. Robert Caro. I’ve read the Robert Moses book, but only one volume of the LBJ bio; the others are in my to-read stack.

Consumers are doing everything they can to avoid ads. Here’s how P&G, one of the world’s largest advertisers, is finding a way around that Business Insider


Drone Sightings Keep Grounding Flights—Here’s Why That Keeps Happening Afar

California Burning

PG&E argues wildfire prevention court order would cost up to $150 billion Jurist

How a California officer protected neo-Nazis and targeted their victims Guardian (Chuck L)

Huawei Hullabaloo

Canada trapped in China-US feud over Huawei extradition Nikkei Asian Review

The Illegal CIA Operation That Brought Us 9/11 Truthdig (BB)

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

The Data Colleges Collect on Applicants WSJ. The deck: To determine ‘demonstrated interest,’ some schools are tracking how quickly prospective students open email and whether they click links. Moi: This is insane – and just one more thing prospective students shouldn’t have to worry about.

Crucial biometric privacy law survives Illinois court fight The Verge. Might have posted on this decision if I’d seen it earlier — maybe sometime soon, once I’ve had a chance to study the opinion.

Pelosi Aghast – Stone Indictment Proves That Trump Campaign Deliberately Campaigned For Trump Moon of Alabama. Missed this yesterday; still germane.

Americans support investigating Trump, but many are skeptical that inquiries will be fair, new poll finds WaPo


Brexit planners could use martial law against civil disobedience Sky News (RS)

Blow for May as Ireland stresses it will not yield on Brexit backstop Guardian

How Brexit Distracted the UK From Its Real Problems Der Spiegel

EU WILL BLINK FIRST! Brussels on brink of ‘CAVING IN’ over Brexit deal Daily Express (The Rev Kev). Thought readers might enjoy a morning chuckle.

Europe will not ratify deal without backstop, warns Coveney  RTÉ

Ban on diesel vehicles drives Germans to the street – to protest Handelsblatt

People Power: 160,000 European Protesters Demand Action on Climate Crisis Common Dreams

Climate Denial Efforts Target Media, Cities Filing Liability Suits Climate Liability News

Gilets Jaunes

Yellow vest leader badly injured in police action during protest Al Jazeera (martha r)

Health Care

Newsom makes health care the centerpiece of California’s resistance to Trump Politico

Costly, ineffective, cruel: How Oregon ensnares mentally ill people charged with low-level crimes Oregonian (martha r)

Class Warfare

There’s a wider scandal suggested by the Trump investigation The Conversation. Not exactly news to regular Naked Capitalism readers.


Sickouts and Strike Threats Stopped the Government Shutdown Jacobin

Stealing from the dead Philadelphia Inquirer (martha r)

Another tech bubble could be about to burst FT (David L)


Iran inches closer to unveiling state-backed cryptocurrency Al Jazeera


As EVMs are debated, this is how the ballot box was made for India’s first 1952 election The Print

Cabinet likely to approve agri-package for farmers on Monday Economic Times

Water could become the major flash point between India and Pakistan besides Kashmir The Print


As questions are raised about ‘belt and road’, projects slow in Southeast Asia SCMP

China Sends Vice Ministers to Washington to Pave Way for U.S. Talks Bloomberg

China has nothing to fear from America’s Africa strategy, as it’s largely bluster SCMP

Democrats in Disarray

Clinton not ruling out running in 2020: report The Hill

Warren stakes out 2020 ground with wealth-tax proposal The Hill

California’s Kamala Harris plants Southern roots in quest for presidency San Francisco Chronicle

Democratic attacks on AOC expose the party’s fear of taking on moneyed interests WaPo. Matt Stoller. From last week; still germane.

The Foolish Quest to Be the Next Barack Obama Politico. I’ll say.


Pompeo Puts Elliott Abrams in Charge of Regime Change in Venezuela American Conservative

The Vultures of Caracas Craig Murray (Chuck L)

Venezuela’s ‘interim president’ is in hiding — despite US backing — and appears to be failing one of his own 3 tests for securing power Business Insider (The Rev Kev)

Antidote du jour:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Olga

    While you were not looking:
    File under the category of “the old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters” (A. Gramsci):
    “There’s near universal consensus across the Global South, including key Eurasian latitudes, that in a new, emerging, extremely complex geopolitical matrix, globalization as we knew it is ‘no longer a universal good,’ given how states are grappling mightily with the rise of protectionism. There’s also plenty of debate on how the dwindling ‘Western liberal order’ will be remixed, side by side with the consolidation of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
    Even if only 25% of this is true, still time to start paying attention…
    And more for the fans PE:
    “An exclusive interview with former Brazilian foreign minister Celso Amorim on how BRICS came into being, how the nuclear deal was done with Tehran, and how the South dealt with Chavez.”

    1. zagonostra

      Great quote by Gramsci. I remember in the intro to PolSci way back in college days that the State was supposed to have formed as a natural organic process of people forming groups that extended from the family to the polis. They did this to protect themselves from external forces. Gataneo Mosca gives a detailed description in Elements to a Science of Politics (

      Now, though, I fear my own country more than I do external threats. I’m not fearful of Russia, Venezuela, Iran, but, I sure as heck am fearful of the ruling elite leading this country to its nasty end. Or, fleecing me to the point where the feasibility of a financially secure life for me and my family is a long gone possibility,

      1. Carey

        Thanks for the link to Jonathan Cook’s piece, which I think is quite good:

        “..We must not be hoodwinked by these posturing, manifesto-spouting liberals: the philosophers, historians and writers – the public relations wing – of our suicidal status quo. They did not warn us of the beast lying cradled in our midst. They failed to see the danger looming, and their narcissism blinds them still…”

    2. Ignacio

      My recommendation for Khazhastan would be the same for any other country: have good relations with your inmediate neighbors and take good care of them. First your neighbors, then the ROW. That is “smart” globalization if you can forgive me for using the “s” word.

      In this case Rusia, Uzbekistan, Tayikistan, Turkmenistan, then China, Iran….

      Brazil should be veeeeery careful with Venezuela

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I agree with the recomendation of getting along with immediate neighbors…and it’s not always easy (see India and Pakistan below, or say, Vietnam and China, Turkey and Syria, or Russia and Ukraine or Georgia, etc).

      2. The Rev Kev

        Turkey use to have proclaimed policy of having zero problems with their neighbours but then Erdogan changed his mind and now look where Turkey is in relation with its neighbours. Even the Arab states that financed the Jihadist attacks on Syria are trying to get that country back into the fold again as a front against an expansionist Turkey.

    3. ex-PFC Chuck

      Thanks for the Astana link, Olga. If the US continues trying to swim upstream against the current of the coming multi-polar world, all the while destroying our own economy and society with radical neoliberalism, the best case outcome will be a very bad end for us. The worst case is a very bad end for everyone on the planet.

    4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      , that in a new, emerging, extremely complex geopolitical matrix, globalization as we knew it is ‘no longer a universal good,’ given how states are grappling mightily with the rise of protectionism.

      Globalization is not ‘a univeral good,’ for marny reason, pre-dates, and is not just due to (or given) the ‘rise of protectionism.’

      And many don’t just ‘knew it,’ but were buried/victimized underneath it.

    1. marieann

      Now those are my kind of pockets.

      I sew most of my own clothes and have always made sure there were pockets. I reject any garment in the store that doesn’t.

      I wonder if ladies purses of today take the place of pockets. I don’t think they used purses (handbags) as much except for the little reticules.

      1. aletheia33

        in the old days they were probably mostly hauling water, harvest they had picked, fish they had caught, meat they had butchered, housing materials, children, and the like. all too big to fit into a purse. they probably were more ornery due to less control by others of their bodies and sex. but then, in the west, came the industrial revolution and millions of 15yo girls fled their farms and parents to earn salaries in factories so they could go out dancing when they felt like it (within strict limits of course) and buy more than one (factory-made) dress, and probably a purse, and ribbons and hairpins to put in it.

        marieann, i am so happy to hear that you sew most of your clothes, something i did up until college and have not done since but may return to in retirement.

        1. marieann

          Thank you, I learned early on I could make clothes better and cheaper than store bought….though now that clothes are so cheap it is more expensive to sew, however the clothes that come form those stores are garbage and don’t begin to compare to homemade.

          I imagine the ladies in times gone by wore aprons all the time to carry all the stuff they had to haul around.

          I don’t know that the girls wanted the dancing, it was probably more a case of , you have to bring in some money now, because we can’t afford to feed you

          1. aletheia33

            well, that was a bit of embroidery about the dancing! nonetheless, at least in new england, both young men and young women flocked to the first big textile factories in lowell, massachusetts, and other places, because farming was such grinding, relentless, lifelong labor, plus one could in fact escape the heavy yoke of one’s parents’ supervision by migrating to a factory town far enough away from them.

            and the anxiety at all levels of american society about young women living away from that supervision, vulnerable to the risks of seduction, loss of virginity, extramarital pregnancy and childbirth, and worse were intense–for some self-appointed and widely followed moral arbiters, i believe, to the point of mass media hysteria.

            the young factory women were accordingly heavily supervised and controlled within their factory setting. but as i recall from various readings, they still had more freedom, and access to more eligible males, than they had had on the farm.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Yeah, I saw this mob on the news tonight and my first thought was Macron’s astroturf. The group looked large but then I reminded myself that this was Paris which is behind Macron. It would be as easy as recruiting an anti-Brexit mob in London or a pro-Clinton mob in California. They said that they were against violence but so are most people. One said that they wanted all the blockades around the country to stop which was odd. Those blockades might effect GDP but not Paris itself. They had a bit of a verbal with some yellow-vests who called them out as Macron’s people. Hey, red scarves are sleek and sophisticated to wear while yellow-jackets are so gauche. Is this the best that Macron’s people can do?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Is this the best that Macron’s people can do?

        Conservatives, which is what centrists are, by their nature aren’t creative and prone to rot. This is the best they can do.

    2. Para

      According to a police trade union “France Police en colère”, they were only 3500 people.
      But the government said that they were more than 10.000 (this govt is full of liars).

      1. Ignacio

        In spanish public TV news this was sold as a reaction for Y.V. violence. It was also sold to be non-partisan. It is clever. Almost without noticing YVs are qualified as a violent movement that so far has only produced non-partisan discontent. It also means that spanish government fears Y.V.’s-like movements.

        1. Cal2

          Spanish TV that spends 20% of its time reporting “news” on gender violence and machista crimes? What a joke RTE is. Although if one thinks U.S. TV is bad, watching the Spanish version will make one appreciate what we have. Horrible sound quality, terrible editing, and worst of all, a kind of dumbed down political pabulum for the masses.
          Great for learning Spanish though.

          I see why the Vox Party is growing in political representation under proportional representation.
          Their platform is “Violence against anyone, children, women or men, is a crime”-versus “Only women can be a protected class.”

          1. Ignacio

            Don’t know because I rarely watch TV news (public or private). Yes VOX cannot distinguish among war, violence, domestic violence, gender crime…cos they are… simple minded?

    3. integer

      ‘Red scarves’ march in Paris against yellow-vest violence BBC

      However, according to French media, a split has already emerged among the red scarves over whether or not to show support for President Macron.

      One of the organisers of Sunday’s march, Laurent Soulié, has rallied supporters on Facebook to back the president, RFI reported.

      Mr Brun, on the other hand, said the “foulards rouges” were “an apolitical citizens’ movement”. He said the best way to resolve problems caused by the yellow vests was to take part in Mr Macron’s “Grand Debate” rather than confronting protesters on the street.

      So, while Mr Brun’s support for the “Grand Debate” essentially amounts to support for the status quo, it appears Laurent Soulié is trying to co-opt the “foulards rouges” on behalf of Macron. Either way I doubt it’s going to gain much traction. Anyway, in case anyone is interested, here is a link to Soulié’s Twitter account.

      Vive l’establishment politique!

  2. PlutoniumKun

    Water could become the major flash point between India and Pakistan besides Kashmir The Print

    India is playing a dangerous game with this. It may seek to control the headwaters of major Pakistani rivers, but China already controls the headwaters of many of Indias most important rivers. And Pakistan is emerging as a major strategic ally of China. An India – Pakistan war would be bad enough, but making water into a weapon could turn it into a three way war, with all three combatants possessing nukes.

    1. Ignacio

      Hating your neighbor is bad policy always. Both would win with any sort of agreement but seem incapable. But the world is not on the mood for agreements, particularly for good agreements.

      And indeed making water into a weapon looks crazy warmongering.

      1. newcatty

        Don’t know enough about the subject, but wasn’t water resources of fresh (non saline) water discussed as being weaponized in what was then “the future”? This would not only apply to India, Pakistan or China.

        Water wars in the allocation of the Colorado River. Fresh water wars regarding the fact that there is increasing salt water intrusions into Florida fresh water drinking supplies for consumption. Protecting vital resources, such as salmon, in the Pacific Northwest. Egregious and devastating pollution of waterways in much of the whole country. Coal ash dumped into the rivers and streams in the southern states. Unfettered development in many states with a wink and a nod to Water Resource Departments’ regulations on such policy as there must be a 100 year supply for the housing stocks. Ridiculous political shenanigans that cater to constituents that have power to determine that high water use mono crops should receive their “fair share”, based on old, antiquated agreements. Not, least to mention, cities like Detroit poisoning their residents with lead and other contaminants in the public water supply not being an outlier, but as it becomes more reported, tragically ubiquitous.

        1. Procopius

          Actually, Detroit water is good, as are the pipes in the city. The poisoning happened in the much smaller city of Flint, and basically was caused by the Governor of the state trying to help his buddies buy the Detroit water utility for pennies on the dollar. He grabbed a chance to put one of his cronies in as dictator of Flint who then broke the contract with the supplier of Flint’s water and turned to a source that had not even been built yet. That source provided contaminated water that leached a protective coating off the insides of the pipes, and then leached lead out of the pipes and dissolved in the water. There were stories in the Detroit Free Press explaining how the whole thing was meant to cut off Detroit Water and Sewage’s cash flow, force them into bankruptcy, and then buy their assets at auction, which would be rigged for them. I’m often skeptical of the media, but those Free Press Stories named names and explained in detail how it worked and convinced me. Completely in agreement with the evil I’ve seen through a long and interesting life.

  3. The Rev Kev

    “Brexit planners could use martial law against civil disobedience”

    Good luck with that. Troop levels have been cut back over the years and the British Army is getting desperate to recruit more. Check this article out and no, it is not an Onion article-

    A few months ago I was reading that troop-levels for front-line service and has not been this low since the beginning of WW1. In fact, it is fewer than countries like Spain and Poland have. The British Army will be stretched to breaking point and may have serious problems policing what are essentially their family and neighbours. Will they pull out their troops from Afghanistan to make up the numbers?
    But then again, since when has the UK government been paying attention to reality?

    1. JTMcPhee

      Needs a Monty Python skit to explain the vast idiocy and insular incompetence of standing armies and particularly the British Rump Empire version. But the Brass in Britain do seem to have a certain competence in mucking things up and making straw out of gold… and now displaying their vaunted Integrity, in lap-dog interference in the US political processes…

    2. PlutoniumKun

      The bigger question is who they’ll be pointing the guns at. Given the popularity of tommy Johnson of the EDL with regular squaddies, it’s not hard to guess.

      1. Mirdif

        Tommy Robinson not Johnson but even that is a misspelling of “convicted fraudster Stephen Yaxley-Lennon”.

        IIRC, the average reading age of of about 40% of army recruits is 11 and a similar amount are able only to do maths aimed at 10-11 year olds. The education system in Britain has a lot to answer for.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Yup, sorry, ‘Robinson’.

          The thought of some of those guys trying to deal with riots in poor ethnic areas is quite frightening. Bad and all as the police can be, at least they understand what they are dealing with.

          1. Mirdif

            My guess is rioting will be ignored so long as it does not endanger infrastructure deemed to be of national security importance. The may try to rely on the police to quell rioting and that is why the police received a “pay rise” to try to keep them onside in case of civil disorder. Ditto NHS. I guess those last two things sound paranoid but I don’t doubt it was a consideration on some level even though what they were granted is hardly anything when viewed against the previous decade.

      2. Cal2

        The Britain First Party is not going to be unsympathetic to local yellow vests.
        England has been privileged to not have European style ethnic or political violence for a long time. Except “The Troubles” of course.

        If you want to see what Orwell predicted in action watch the interview of Tommy Robinson on Tucker Carlson’s show.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Reading his Wikipedia article I see that both PayPal and YouTube have also given him the treatment. So in the end, they have taken a right-wing figure and made him more sympathetic to more and more people because of his treatment. I bet that nobody saw that coming. Idjuts!

    3. David

      There’s a lot of coverage of this in the UK media, and it’s mostly misleading. Martial law is not really law, it’s just a situation where the military takes control of everyday life, and makes and enforces the rules. It’s only ever found in extraordinary situations (such as the liberation of Europe in 1944-5) and there’s no way a government would allow the military to take that kind of responsibility, and no way the military would want it. I suspect what this refers to is giving the military responsibility for things like traffic control, distribution of emergency supplies etc. As for controlling the population, forget it. It’s been a long time since Northern Ireland, or even Bosnia, and the capacity no longer exists. Anyway, as I’ve pointed out before, the Army is now pitifully small. I just hope that none of May’s people is deluded enough to imagine this is a real possibility.

      1. Redlife2017

        “I just hope that none of May’s people is deluded enough to imagine this is a real possibility.”

        I’m not holding my breath over that one. Remember, as Col. Smithers noted, DD (David Davis) loves to watch WWII movies constantly. The ERG-set in general have a strange romance with WWII tropes.

    4. Lee

      “The over-riding theme in all the no-deal planning is civil disobedience and the fear that it will lead to death in the event of food and medical shortages.”

      So, they’re considering mobilizing the army to shoot the sick and starving? I suppose a bullet would be kinder than a slow, painful death from starvation or disease. Paging Jonathan Swift, white courtesy telephone please.

      1. Mirdif

        There aren’t enough soldiers to deal with civil unrest and thus not enough for a military coup either which would be the other big danger in a crash out scenario. They’ll get the soldiers to do really important stuff like guarding infrastructure and VIPs and everyone else can go fend for themselves. Moral of the story: buy a crossbow.

        However, I still think the deal passes somehow. If it hasn’t passed in the next 5-6 weeks that’s when the crisis begins and I’ll start buying the things i need.

        1. Wukchumni

          Wouldn’t a longbow be more historically correct and give you more pluck in case of Brexit, stage left?

        2. newcatty

          Don’t want to give UK PTB any ideas, but what is the possibility of their asking their cousins across the Pond to “lend a helping hand”, er “hands”? You know, for old times sake? US PTB can smile (smirk) and say, weeeeel (somehow this makes me think of Ronnie), we have the policy of not interfering in other countries ‘ internal affairs. But, our ally, which is our special relationship, needs us to help preserve law and order and their democratic government. We also have some old military food meals on wheels to immediately be shipped out!

        1. Anonymous2

          May has reportedly now asked the UK Parliament to instruct her to go back to Brussels to reopen negotiations on the Withdrawal Agreement.

          If nothing else I reckon this destroys any credibility she might have retained with the rest of the EU as someone who can be trusted.

      2. ChrisPacific

        Silly me. I’d have thought the overriding theme would be how to avoid or alleviate said food or medical shortages in the first place. Reading the article you’d think that they are perfectly OK with people dying of starvation or due to lack of crucial medication, as long as they do it quietly, politely and with a minimum of fuss.

        But yes: if there is a war level mobilization to control civil unrest due to shortages of food or essential medicines – shortages that were self-inflicted for ideological reasons by a government that couldn’t be arsed to apply the same level of effort, focus and urgency to planning for Brexit in the first place – then I think it’s just possible that the body politic might be a bit peeved.

        1. Lambert Strether

          It would be interesting to know where the various warehouses are located, whether in urban areas or out in the boonies. Although, given the UK’s size, nothing is very far away from anything (by American standards).

    1. John

      Great article. Makes me wonder if the NSA has outsourced Surveillance State Amerika to Huawei and the Chicoms. Capitalist greed makes me think of Marx’s comment about the rope: we will hang the last capitalist with rope he has sold us.

    2. Lee

      From the linked article:

      One of the key tenets of neoliberal economic policy is that it doesn’t matter where something is manufactured, or done. Let the cheapest domicile do it, and everyone will benefit.

      This is bullshit, and always was. Making and designing new things is where economic strength, the good life and military power all come from.

      Nations which forget this wind up in the dustbin. Free trade, as an ideology, is the deathknell of great powers, including Great Britain, and likely to include the US. It does work for smaller powers, and should be the default policy mode for all city states, but great powers are not small powers, let alone city states.

      The great irony being that while the U.S. has been a principal proponent for so-called free trade, it at the same time has a greater capacity for autarky than any other nation on the planet. We the people do not need to depend on the vicissitudes of international trade for the basic necessities of a decent life. We can grow and make our own stuff. I do however prefer foreign films.

      1. Carla

        A couple of relatively recent American-made films we really liked: “The Big Sick” and “Puzzle.” (Albeit, Puzzle is a re-make of an Argentinian movie! — but, well-done.)

          1. JEHR

            I, too, am a great fan of foreign films of all kinds–Spanish, French, Mexican, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Russian, Portuguese, Brazilian, Turkish, Afghanistanish, Canadian, Inuit,–etc. One gets a wonderful view of different cultures by watching such films, even in spite of having to regard the sub-titles. That’s why I like Netflix.

            1. newcatty

              JEHR, agree the foreign films are great. And we love subtitles! Long ago we started using closed captioning when it became available for tee vee. Read that young people are using it so they can more easily multi-task (i.e. look at their screens simultaneously). I find that sad…

      2. Ignacio

        I do however prefer foreign films.

        Something happens with the film industry in US that is under steep decadence IMNSHO. Or migth be it is this old fellow that changed his preferences.

      3. rd

        My fundamental philosophy on free trade is that the lower something is on the production chain, the more free trade there should be. Reserve the tariffs for skill requirements or scarcity.

        This is why the steel and aluminum tariffs have been baffling without incorporating higher tariffs on finished products that use steel and aluminum. All we are doing is disadvantaging our manufacturers for a commodity product.

        I have been concerned for a long time that we offshored chip production etc. That is a fundamental long-term security threat.

        1. Procopius

          Heck, we offshored television set production back in the ’50s. There were a few voices warning that it was not wise, but they were treated as Cassandras.

      4. drumlin woodchuckles

        We would need an autarky-based movement and/or party to force that onto the public-discussion radar screen. You can’t have an autarky if you don’t even have a public which even knows what ‘autarky’ even is.

        The word could be introduced as what to have instead of Free Trade. ” Oh! so you’re against Free Trade? Well! . . . you’re so smart, if we abolish Free Trade, what would we have instead?” That would be a fine opening to say: ” We could have Autarky.” With any luck, we would then be asked “what is Autarky?” And that would be our big chance to explain it.

        Free Trade is the New Slavery.
        Protectionism is the New Abolition.
        ( and perhaps Autarky is the New Freedom? Or at least a way to attain it?)

    3. Yves Smith

      I don’t agree.

      First, he’s wrong about the US case v. Meng. It’s based on her lying re Huawei’s investment in a company that was doing business with Iran. One of my buddies who is an international tax expert and very independent-minded said that what Huawei did was dumb, they could have used cutouts to hide their tracks but didn’t bother. And the time at issue is before the JCPOA, so Canada had sanctions on Iran then too and hence the extradition request falls squarely within the US extradition treaty with Canada. Moreover, the US has been working on the case since before Trump took office, so this isn’t due to his “tough on China” policy.

      Second, tell me why we need 5G. It’s a more costly tech from the network and consumer side. This is “better technology” masquerading as an excuse for more forced obsolescence and higher bills to consumers. I’d be delighted if this spat with Huawei results in its implementation in the US being delayed considerably.

      1. rd

        I think 5g is how Internet access will be rolled out to many people in the future. In cities, high-speed internet access is usually available by wire, but in many others areas it is not. When I work on construction sites, all the internet access is done through cell phone hot spots or dedicated cellular hotspots (e.g. Verizon MyFi). Drawings, photos etc. are transmitted this way, so a 2 minute download or upload in the office can take a couple of hours.

        1. Yves Smith

          With all due respect this is bafflegab. And I upload photos at least daily, on WiFi much of the time, and I don’t experience anything like what your are claiming. This includes locations where the WiFi modems are pretty low bandwidth and I’m not that near to them. I similarly have not heard any such complaints from Jerri or Lambert, who are on the road a lot and use WiFi regularly (particularly Jerri, who travels in countries like India where there often connectivity problems. She complains regularly about that and never about the quality of signal when she has it.

          1. Anon

            This may be a discussion that missed its connection. 5G (fifth generation) phone service will be sent over the cell service networks. 5G WiFi refers to the bandwidth (5 mHz) of the local wireless access point in your office or cafe’ Hotspot. They are different.

              1. Procopius

                That’s funny, in the advertisements here for more expensive internet phone connections (I think they’re 4G) the speeds are always given as MHz, usually 5 MHz. I’ve wondered why that’s supposed to be good. My desktop’s copper ethernet connection is 50/20 MHz/s. I’m happy with it, but my niece is demanding I upgrade. It would be the equivalent of about $24 a month for 100/50 MHz/sec. Of course if they really mean 5 GHz/s that’s a whole different kettle of fish.

      2. Carla

        Yves: “I’d be delighted if this spat with Huawei results in its implementation in the US being delayed considerably.”

        Well, I agree, THAT would be a happy outcome.

        According to Physicians for Safe Technology, risks from 5G include:

        Damage to the eyes- cataracts, retina
        Immune system disruption
        Metabolic disruption
        Damage to sperm
        Skin damage
        Collapse of insect populations, the base of food for birds and bats
        Rise in bacterial resistance and bacterial shifts
        Damage to plants and trees

        1. ambrit

          Yep. and the higher bandwidth of 5G, said to be up around 60(ghz) causes different symptoms than lower bandwidth, etc.
          Also, the coiled sweat glands evidently act as tiny antennas for millimeter level waveforms. So, the skin would be a strongly effected by 5G waveforms.
          See, (bring your magnifying glass):
          5G is an all around bad idea.

      3. drumlin woodchuckles

        Some people are just technophiles and think that newer is better because it is newer. Maybe someday those people will be ready for “retrovation”. But not yet.

  4. JTMcPhee

    Many of us mopes are curious about and trying to follow the Gilets Jaunes phenomenon, in hopes that it presages, and can offer guidance on how to compel, a rewrite of the current “social contract of adhesion,” There’s lots of mis- and disinformation flooding the tubes, of course, and now we have the state-apparatus astroturf creation, the “Red Scarves,” added to the mix. So trying to parse the zeitgeist on this is a massive challenge.

    For the hopeful, there is this article from OffGuardian that, to my un-nuanced thinking, gives both a good picture of the phenomenon “on the ground,” and also lays out the other important features — the goals and groundswell mechanics that seem to be driving the action now: “The Gilet Jaune and ‘France Profonde,” How acute and accurate are these observations by David Studdert, the author?

    Of course the Davosians and their state security apparatus and control of most channels of communication are hard at work to also understand, in a clinical way so they can figure out how to excise or poison the phenomenon. Is it worth hoping that the deplorables of France Profonde wil somehow prevail, and trigger parallel labors by the rest of the working and disaffected class? To show a way to derail globalization and metropolization?

    1. GF

      I love Craig Murray’s comment in the Vultures of Caracas post: “…Davos serves as nothing but an annual reminder of how very poorly God aims avalanches.”

      1. newcatty

        LOL…now, Davos after they hear this crass and vulgar remark will smirk and a spokesperson will state: Actually, this just is evidence that God is, indeed on our side. Expecting , of course that most people will not know, or will conveniently ignore, that most of Davos attendees are either atheists, pretend atheists or just not really human.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Query: is the Bilderburg gathering still a “big thing?” Not much noise about it, comparatively, and the Koch Coven gets darn little that I have noticed. Where do the Looters and Robber Barons actually lay their plans?

          1. ambrit

            Even this Cynic must observe that no formal Conspiracy is required. Plain old “congruence of interests” will get a ‘fell compact’ very far.
            Individual and small congeries of Looters and Robber Barons make discrete plans. The accumulated evil of the class of Sinister Plots is what we observe, in general.

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              Also, the InnerMost Upper Overclass is probably so few people that they can pass the word around among themselves by Vulcan Mind-Meld, informal discussion among people who know eachother and yet can hide their power in plain sight from all their co-vacationers at the nicest resorts, at informal social gatherings in clubs and hunting lodges and etc.

              Davos is where all the richest and most powerful Master Butlers go. But even the richest Master Butler is still a Butler. I imagine there are secret places where no Davosian is ever invited or would ever be permitted to enter . Or even to know of the existence of.

  5. rob

    The book about the “dogs that didn’t bark”, ought to really be the “sleeping dogs that didn’t stay down”
    That story seems more like a cover than a story. Who knows what the cia was/ is doing?. The FBI was the one who left their “prints” on the mudrer weapon as it were.

    The story of john vincent and robert wright , the two fbi agents in chicago, are the ones who ought to get a hearing. They were never interviewed by the 9-11 commission. They were prevented from speaking out, but they did. And got fired for it. They had their book, stopped from being published. But they are still on youtube, in their multiple press releases and interviews about the two 9=11 hijackers and the saudi business man yasin al qadi, that was funding their part of the 9-11 plan.
    They were fbi agents in chicago, and were building a case against two of the would be 9-11 hijackers from 1998 -2000, and their money man yasin al-qadi. Their FBI superiors directed them to “let sleeping dogs lie”, meaning stop their investigation. The US atty general also told the illinois atty general to stop their case.

    Yasin al-qadi was also an investor behind the software firm “P-tech”, which had above top secret clearance and was working on FBI,CIA,NSA,secret service,FAA,NRO,norad, computer systems . Out of the virginia office. Not the boston office that was later raided by the fbi (to no avail)

    The fact is the terrorists were protected by the FBI, before 9-11. And not the rank and file, the rank and file were the people who were investigating terrorists , doing their job. the top of the pyramid were the ones who chose to allow america to be vulnerable. That is why it is such a joke that people will wait for meuller to “come up with something”. Yeah right. The FBI who coudn’t find horse manure at the kentucky derby. The FBI is the number one terrorist organization in this country. Even the NY times could find that in the past two decades, over 2/3 of the terrorist events that either happened or were foiled for the media to see, had FBI informants integrally linked in some way.

    And lets not forget the way it was say for the “camden 28”, when the fbi got protesters to carry out anti-draft actions during the vietnam war, or when the trade towers were bombed , and the fbi informant was the one who supplied the explosives. The story they did this super investigation and found the axle and found the network… yeah right.. they just kept the reciept for the rental.

    And then there is the architects and engineers, association for 9-11 truth. thousands of architects,engineers,chemists,physicists,demolition experts,ftsb investigators, and others whose professional opinion states that the 3 buildings brought down in NYC, were demolished with explosives. They had aired an hour long program on PBS in colorado in 2012, after years of investigation(by them, and not the gov’t), with audio and visual evidence and eyewitness accounts. The fact that this group is only calling for a scientific investigation, and not going further as to who was behind it, or why;means that what they are trying to piece together is just one facet of the biggest crime against the people of this country that ever happened.

    1. Chris Cosmos

      Interesting that 9/11 should come up. First, there was no real investigation into the events–a notional “war” (which was not war) was declared early on after the events and that meant that there would be no, I repeat, no forensic-based investigation that always takes place in any plane crash or building collapse. That’s simply a fact. This is why the government felt comfortable removing all the evidence from all the sites. On most sites on the left ANY discussion of the events of 9/11 that did not agree 100% with the official declarations on 9/11 was banned as it certainly is in the mainstream. Maybe, with sufficient time, we can start talking about the event that changed “everything” and which has married us to a permanent war on “evil.”But I doubt this discussion will get off the ground. My experience is that people on the so-called “left” are usually the most opposed to any deviation on orthodoxy on this and many other matters.

      1. Isotope_C14

        “My experience is that people on the so-called “left” are usually the most opposed to any deviation on orthodoxy on this and many other matters.”

        Then don’t call it left.

        Don’t use the words the 0.001% uses to divide the 90%. Don’t play their game. They are afraid of a united 90%.

        As someone you might consider as on the left, it is fully clear that PNAC needed a new “Pearl Harbor”. Only folks that can’t accept that a cabal of mafia kleptocrats literally murdered thousands of citizens, and toxified millions more in NYC that day. All for god money.

        Check out Sam Tripoli on YouTube, he’s not fake left, and certainly understands that 9/11 was an inside job.

        1. Chris Cosmos

          I hate to use the term “left” which is why I put in quotation marks. There are people on the left who don’t accept the official explanation and who aren’t in some way tied into some “public” that requires them to accept the official view for fear of being branded “conspiracy theorists” and so on. I also hate the to use the term “right” because in that case we see even more diversity. I’m trying to use it in the cultural sense. Upper-middle class listeners to NPR are simply going not listen to anything that deviates from the received wisdom of NYT, NPR, and all the rest of the “leftish” and “liberal” media. In contrast middle and lower middle class people are more likely to not accept the official explanations because they don’t trust the media or the political establishment and tend to lack college training which teaches you that reality is only that which is recognized by the authorities.

          1. Isotope_C14

            “In contrast middle and lower middle class people are more likely to not accept the official explanations because they don’t trust the media or the political establishment and tend to lack college training which teaches you that reality is only that which is recognized by the authorities.”

            Thank you for your clarification above, but as a college trained person I disagree with this last part

            I think that wisdom comes from growing up poor around rich kids. This creates a deep distrust of authority, seeing as it becomes apparent quickly that money does not equate to intelligence…

            No surprise that the rich want their kids educated far away from the poor. They don’t want to the truth to come out that the rich are not fit to lead. I feel great joy in hearing Paul Jay and Chris Hedges make these points, and never tire of hearing these facts.

            Never accept the right-left paradigm, its how they wage class war. Be well and healthy!

  6. The Rev Kev

    “The Vultures of Caracas”

    Jimmy Dore has a coupla videos out about Venezuela that include Abby Martin from Empire Files but there is one that I want to link too that explains how Trump sees things. Remember how he said that the US should have just taken Iraq’s oil after the invasion? Here he is taking about Libya but considering how the US is trying to have Venezuela’s oil company transferred to that muppet Guido, he must be thinking the same here. Just watch the section from 30 seconds in to about the 2:05 mark-

    1. cyclist

      Does anyone else using EFF’s Privacy Badger have trouble viewing Craig Murray’s site? It claims his site has trackers and disabling PB does not seem to improve the situation.

  7. William Beyer

    Nice linkages between Robert Caro’s beautiful reminiscences in the New Yorker and Matt Stoller’s Wapo revelation that AOC’s opponent, Joe Crowley, was in line to be Speaker of the House had he won, mainly due to his major-league fundraising.

    Caro tells of LBJ’s sudden, and then inexplicable, power status upgrade as a fledgling House member after the election of 1940, when he became the funnel for rivers of Texas oil money to other members of Congress via the DCCC. A funnel that made absolutely sure that LBJ was seen as the responsible gatekeeper for the fat checks they were receiving.

  8. Ignacio

    RE: Consumers are doing everything they can to avoid ads. Here’s how P&G, one of the world’s largest advertisers, is finding a way around that Business Insider.

    This pearl within the –horrendous IMNSHO opinion– article:

    And the company is embracing both technology and sustainability

    P&G is also trying to make its brands more sustainable. By using Tide and Ariel in the cold wash mode, for example, consumers can turn the temperature down 30 degrees Celsius because 80% of the laundry machine’s energy use is heating the water. So just by using that in washes and cold water, they’re being sustainable.

    Please… i never buy expensive ariel (paying for brand) and always use washing at 30ºC celsius with excellent results. I strongly recomment it except for special cases.

    1. polecat

      Better yet, make your own laundry soap .. it’s easy to do, with a few basic ingredients .. at low cost compared to buying commercial (and often over-perfumed and adulterated to boot !) soap.
      As for hot water use, we Never run on a hot cycle ..

      1. Ignacio

        Better yet, recommend this to some unemployed neighbor so she/he can earn some money with good service.

        Thank you polecat!

    2. adtena

      I wash all my clothes in plain vinegar. Just add a cup and voilà.

      Get a big jug of vinegar from the supermarket.

  9. remmer

    The Secrets of Lyndon Johnson’s Archives
    This such a good article. An old friend emailed me the digital version three weeks ago, knowing I’d like part II. I read the first two volumes of Caro’s LBJ bio, but this New Yorker piece made me realize how much I’d forgotten.

    1. Carolinian

      Yes, great article. Caro went a bit soft on Johnson in his most recent book–covering the early sixties–but the earlier volumes give us the real Lyndon. If Trump doesn’t seem quite real to this generation then the reign of “Vice President Cornpone,” as the Kennedys called him, seemed equally surreal in the 1960s. Recent attempts to rehabilitate LBJ via his civil rights efforts just show how current Democrats want to toss the “Vietnam syndrome” down the memory hole and let history repeat.

    2. Craig H.

      Does Caro still think Oswald was a lone shooter?

      ‘Cause that is like believing in phlogiston albeit he is a magnificent writer.

    3. The Rev Kev

      I love a good research story and this is one. Yeah, turn every page. That is good advice that when you are researching. And talking to people that were there. A fascinating view of LBJ in his early years. By looking at the flats where he started in life from, you would never think that he would go so far. He may have been ruthless but if he had not, he probably would never have left that Texas plain.

      1. Procopius

        I’ll have to bookmark the article for later reading. LBJ was a fascinating character. I think he really hated the Vietnam War, but having experienced what McCarthy and McCarren and the HUAC and John Bircher Society did to the Democrats in the late 40s/early ’50s he said he could not let the U.S. “lose” to a “fourth-rate pipsqueak country.” One of his quotes from that time that I will never forget, “They will say I’m not a manly man.” Yet despite his many flaws (he and his wife got pretty rich through activities that can only be called “corruption”) he had real empathy for ordinary people. The amazing thing is Sam [family-blog] Rayburn was his mentor and apparently had similar feelings.

    1. Procopius

      A good book on that subject is The Tragedy of American Diplomacy, by William Appleman Williams. Well, the writing is not very good, but the subject matter was a revelation to me. It emphasized criticism of the war to make Vietnam a colony and mostly described events after 1895. The book reads as though it was hastily assembled from several unrelated drafts on the same topic and could have benefited from a lot of editing, but it covers a lot of material that is openly available but rarely discussed. Like you, I felt disgust and shame at what I learned

  10. Chris Cosmos

    I began reading about “global warming” as it was called then when it rose up in the news and alternative publications. Since then I’ve noticed how genuine denialists just hold their positions as if admitting that human beings are largely responsible for it were literally the end of their world–they can accept women’s rights, gay rights but the right to waste energy and consume mass-quantities is simply a sacred right of Americans. As for the others one finds online whenever a climate story comes out even on left-wing alternative web-sites that they are probably paid-for trolls since they are usually so stupid and juvenile that I know right-wing K-Street PR firms (I worked for one for a few months) are getting big bucks to pay recent high-debt college grads to go attack the internet. In the world of Washington consulting etc., everyone knows the Energy companies are the Big Spenders who seem to have money to burn.

    1. TimR

      As far as “manufacturing consent” for or against belief in manmade apocalypse, the main thrust is clearly in the direction of belief.

      Energy companies may fund some opposition, to keep up their role as baddies (knowingly or not) but they do not represent the preponderance of elite “guidance” on this issue.

      Elites pushing belief doesn’t mean it is automatically false, but it does pay to be alert to ulterior motives.

      Note this social engineering is being done on a decades long time scale, with controlled dialectics in play— this is why you who are believers feel it isn’t pervasive enough in media, or moving too slowly. They can’t flip the switch overnight on this one.

      1. Chris Cosmos

        It’s not a question of “belief” it is science, not that it is infallible but because it’s much more likely than non-scientific ideas. So here is the thing: is it worthwhile to you to take the chance you are right when the price for being wrong is the end of civilization–is that a smart risk-assessment policy? As for social engineering–the authorities don’t need climate politics to completely dominate the public–they’ve done so through war, elimination of civil liberties, crack-down on most dissent and so on. The authorities have it all sowed up so why do you imagine they need to use climate change as a means for coercion? The scientists who advocate for climate change don’t make a ton of money compared to other fields. What is the logic for them to falsify their findings?

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        The Pilgrims and Puritans and such have left a lot of legacy damage to the brain of the nation. The very idea that global warming is a faith to be either “believed in” or “denied” shows the religionist distortion of analysis and understanding.

        I am satisfied-for-now with the man-made global-warming component of climate theory and climate knowledge because things the global warming hypothesizers predicted starting several decades ago have been happening as predicted more recently. If the things a theory predicts later happen as predicted, that lends support to the reality-based predictive robustness of the theory.

  11. David

    An update on the Gilets Jaunes for those who may be interested.
    The official figure for demonstrators this week was 69,000, although from my own observation the protests are attracting quite a few others not wearing the yellow vests, who may or may not have been counted.
    The French media is covering the story of Jerome Rodriguez, injured on Saturday. Le Monde says that the government was “worried” that this kind of thing would happen, and an official investigation was already under way. The Interior Ministry (which pointed out that 45 police were also injured, including by rocks thrown and acid attacks) said that it could not be confirmed for the moment that the injury was caused by the police, though it’s accepted that Rodriguez was not himself involved in any violence.
    This reflects the confusion that I saw myself, since I was in and around the Place de la République for much of Saturday. The main protest was a march some thousands strong, which passed off completely peacefully. There were plenty of police around, but they did not intervene, and the protesters had marshals who seemed to be cooperating with the authorities. The atmosphere was boisterous but good-humoured, and the protesters carried French flags and sang the Marseillaise.
    The situation had changed radically by the evening when I crossed the Place (the gendarmes were asking people to open their bags before being allowed through). It was about half full of protesters, some in yellow vests, others without, and predominantly young. There were various other groups as well, including students protesting about recent educational changes. The atmosphere was febrile, and there were groups of young people taunting the police and the authorities. The favourite slogan was a reference to the Interior Minister personally, Castaner/Nique ta mère or “Castaner/**** your mother.” Whilst most of the older protesters, generally wearing the yellow vests, were just standing around, some of the younger ones were advancing almost to contact with the gendarmes blocking the access roads, and then sprinting away at the last moment. The atmosphere was decidedly tense, and I wasn’t surprised, later, to see police reinforcements and medical teams heading towards the Place. The sound of sirens lasted most of the night.
    Amid darkness and worsening weather, it was very unclear what was going on. It’s quite possible that Rodriguez was hit by a police round. It’s also possible, given what some of the protesters have been using, that he was hit by one of them. We’ll probably never know, unless the police enquiry finds something in poring over hours of video.
    The Red Scarves (foulards rouges), do seem to be a real movement, and the turnout (10,500) surprised everyone. The answer perhaps is that they represent groups who are basically very sympathetic to the GJ but are also frighten that the situation could disintegrate totally. This is not an unreasonable fear, and fear is the word here. It’s one thing to find street protests and political violence exciting when you see them on TV. Being caught up in them (as ordinary French people increasingly are) is a bit less amusing. For its part, the government seems to regard the FR as a hopeful sign, though I am not sure they are right. It’s not a “pro-government” movement in any sense, and indeed the government itself is trying very hard to avoid having any contacts with the leaders, in order not to appear to be manipulating the movement.
    Act XII next week.

      1. Ignacio

        The FR have been sold here -in Spain- as non partisan fear for GJ violence marking the latter as a “naturally” violent movement. From your commentary I infer that, as usual, the protests are not violent in nature but end overtaken by seemingly violent people. This is so common! It happened during the 15M movement in Madrid. Some people had then the theory that those violent youngsters were in fact mobilized to prove that 15M protests (and by extension sympathisers) are naturally violent. What do you think about it? I think it migth be a clever strategy to neutralize the GJs.

        1. David

          It might be, but I just don’t think the government are that clever. In any event, not all the violence has come from young people, and by no means all of the younger demonstrators are violent. The government just wants it all to go away as soon as possible. Its tactics are a mixture of bluster about the “fascist threat” and attempts too buy off the movement by acceding to some of its minor demands.
          The problem is that in a movement with no fixed membership, appearing in different guises in different places at different times, almost any statement you make can probably be justified somehow. So some of the GJ have been involved in violence, some of them have been victims of police violence, some policemen have been victims of violence, some known extremists from both wings have made use of the demonstrations, some entirely innocent bystanders have been hurt, lots of French people approve of the Gas objectives, some have doubts about some of the methods used by some of the groups …the list just goes on.

  12. crittermom

    Yes! Thanks, David.
    Apparently, from your observations, the younger generation of protesters who came out later could benefit from some advice about keeping it peaceful by not taunting, from the ‘older’ generation of those protesting.

  13. crittermom

    “Clinton not ruling out running in 2020”

    Oh, misery.
    I feared this news each time someone else of those Trump chose to associate himself with was indicted.

    She still thinks she can win & will no doubt use the same dirty tactics to try to make it onto the ballot again.

    If The Onion had written this story, I could laugh it off.

    1. Chris Cosmos

      We shouldn’t underestimate Clinton–I think her hope is to revitalize her alliance of those who embrace identity politics, the mainstream and entertainment media who I think are, in the main, still sympathetic to her despite the obviously gross incompetence of displayed by the national campaign. I though Kerry and Gore were the masters of snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory but Hilary Clinton trumped them both! Even if you support Clinton’s politics or war, Wall Street uber alles and cultural conflict, you cannot pick a person of such well-established incompetence. You would be wise to go with Biden even if he is not a woman.

      1. crittermom

        I certainly don’t underestimate her determination to be POTUS. Never have.

        For months I’ve told a friend that, while relaying some of Clinton’s activities.
        My friend always cuts me off by saying, “She doesn’t matter. She didn’t get elected!”

        Sadly, she’s one of those who will vote for her if she runs because ‘Bernie’s too old’. *heavy sigh*

        She hates Trump while failing to acknowledge Hillary’s evil & incompetence.

        I don’t want yet another election stuck with a LOTE choice. I couldn’t bring myself to vote for either last time.

    2. djrichard

      The media is paving the way for a title match of cartoon characters. In one corner, the very much cartoon-character of Trump, defiler-of-the-nation. Who will be the other cartoon character in the other corner? The defender-of-the-nation and protector-of-the-faith?

      What’s that you say? Somebody who will deliver concrete benefits? Well that’s not fitting the cartoon narrative at all.

    3. John k

      I see it as good news because it further splits thr liberals… bound to directly reduce Biden votes.
      Warren will somewhat reduce Bernie’s, which may be as intended, but imo probably not much, likely to fade early. And Kamala further splits neoliberals, though may do well in SC and other states with enough blacks to affect the primary.

  14. EoH

    Ms. Clinton, please stay out of it in 2020, except to campaign like hell for the party’s nominee. Been there, done that.

    Regarding colleges and universities tracking how quickly students open e-mails as a purported measure of “genuine” interest, what IT and marketing service provider suggested that one? I have a few bridges they could help me sell.

    The metric sounds tenuous, at best, but would be a great way to normalize intrusive data collection that primarily benefits the IT/marketing services provider, with the college or university picking up the tab.

    1. crittermom

      >”Ms. Clinton, please stay out of it in 2020, except to campaign like hell for the party’s peoples nominee.”

      There. Fixed it for ya.

    2. Big River Bandido

      Ms. Clinton, please stay out of it in 2020, except to campaign like hell for the party’s nominee.

      If the nominee has any sense they won’t allow the Clintons within miles of the campaign trail. Any politician who’d like Clinton to campaign for them can be written off.

  15. EoH

    Regarding the PG&E estimate of $150 billion for fire prevention work, it should stand as a reminder not to accept at face value the cost estimates of a company in bankruptcy. Its ability to plan, predict, prioritize, and execute is demonstrably bad.

    The idea belongs in the same circular file as the notion that the management team that drove a company into bankruptcy is so exceptional and valuable that it should be overpaid and given priority and authority to manage the company out of bankruptcy. (See, bridge, Brooklyn, for sale.)

    1. JBird4049

      The company has skimped on maintenance of its infrastructure for decades because that’s not profitable, and yet it has a problem finally paying for some it? What do I pay them every month for?

      Almost a decade ago an audit showed that they diverted 100 million dollars from maintenance to salaries and bonuses. From what I’ve read they’re still doing similar grifting. Maybe the courts could clawback some of the dividends and fabulous salaries of the past few decades.

      I do not want to hear anything about increasing my utilities and I do want to see some people go to prison and not some poor lower level manager. The senior executives need to pay for the lives lost and the homes destroyed.

  16. Wukchumni

    President’s pushing the little read book, wants more bible literacy in our schools, which could backfire and make atheism great again.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      My favorite part is asking people which Bible do they want to taught in these hypothetical philosophy classes. I guess every sane person is going to have to learn the differences again to mess with the bible thumpers.

      The only correct answer is the Orange Catholic Bible.

      1. LifelongLib

        Studying the Bible as a work of literature isn’t necessarily an establishment of religion, but I suspect the people supporting the measure would like it to be…

  17. Jason Boxman

    Olay, for example, worked with artificial-intelligence startup Neurologix to create the Olay Skin Advisor, an AI-powered engine that tells users how old their skin looks.

    Lovely, so we can attack someone’s self esteem, so they decide to buy the product to be less awful. What a horror. And who cares what their skin age is? That’s a conversation between a person and that person’s doctor, if it is a conversation at all.

  18. Sastun

    “Consumers are doing everything they can to avoid ads. Here’s how P&G, one of the world’s largest advertisers, is finding a way around that”

    I’ve seen a lot of people in progressive spheres defending the Gillete ad, and I expect similar tolerance towards what seems to be a growing trend as long as the right cultural notes are hit. A corporation can put on its ‘woke’ hat and pretend that there’s sincerity somewhere in its dead eyes.

    Corporations always lag behind changing social mores, and will always serve their own interests before any kind of social good. Being dictated any kind of moral message from them, regardless of content, will always be hypocritical and condescending, it’s just the nature of the game.

    Makes for some great cyberpunk dystopian concept-space though.
    Free apps that offer health checkups only to provide you with certain manufacturers sponsored treatments. (if they’re the source of illness as well it’s just gravy, very ‘farm to table’)

    Focus grouped morality establishing brands as not just status signalers but your ethics as well!
    “Don’t bring up race with him, he’s a gun owner.”

    Then again, maybe this isn’t really science fiction.

    1. Summer

      “Corporations always lag behind changing social mores, and will always serve their own interests before any kind of social good.”

      People keep thinking corps are like govt as if you can contact your locally elected corporate lobbyist.

      1. Summer

        Ha! I just realized what I wrote.
        We have been contacting our locally elected corporate lobbyists about “change.”

  19. Mirdif

    EU WILL BLINK FIRST! Brussels on brink of ‘CAVING IN’ over Brexit deal

    Fabian Zuleeg of the EPC estimated some days ago on twitter the probability of the EU caving in on the backstop/no deal to be about 10% at the moment. However, he warned the pressure will increase and there will be some countries that will be pressuring the EU to blink as 29 March approaches to avoid economic damage. He said if this happens and the EU prioritises a third country over a member then its the beginning of the end for the EU. So although the probability of the EU blinking is low at the moment the pressure will increase.

    Today at a Brexit event hosted by the EPC, Tony Connelly spoke about how the pressure to blink will likely come from grassroots such as trades unions/industry groups. Fabian Zuleeg was pessimistic about the chances of the deal passing while Sir Ivan Rogers thinks it will go to the wire. Meanwhile, Sabine Weyand said the deal was shaped by the British and that May’s secrecy is now hampering selling the deal because nobody is aware of what was discussed/proposed/rejected.

    1. Ignacio

      Yeah, pressure. In this moment pressure is on the EU, not on the UK. I somehow… agree… in unicorns. To begin with, given the state of UK politics, there is nothing coming from May that the EU could take seriously.

  20. Cal2

    To learn how Proctor & Gamble blocks ad blockers I have pay to get around the paywall?
    April Fool!

    Firefox, Ad Block Plus, Ghostery and NoScript, all free, work perfectly.
    I never see ads.
    Yes, Yves gets a check occasionally.

  21. Rajesh K

    IN THE ERA OF ELECTRONIC WARFARE, BRING BACK PIGEONS. But the pigeons will be electronically tagged.

    Heck let’s use ravens and invent a new organization called the Citadel. We need maesters to take care of those as well.

  22. Cal2

    Newsom’s health care policy is predicated on raising California income taxes to pay for illegals’ healthcare. One more inducement to attract even more ‘migrants’ since Newsom and the Democratic Party’s official position is to make California a sanctuary state.
    Such greed. There are already more than enough immigrants, illegals and dreamers to give the Democrats an overwhelming majority to pass policy, to strip mine the state’s buildible land, water and natural resources through population growth, which enriches their cheap labor, anti-union construction and agricultural donors even further.

    “A new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the California Health Care Foundation found 45 percent of residents surveyed ranked making health care more affordable as “extremely important.'”

    Adding millions more who pay no taxes to the charity roles will not make it more affordable, merely raise the taxes on those who already pay and pay and pay.

    Illegals can stay home. No one forces them to come here. Native Californians have nowhere else to go, but are expected to pay for the newcomers.

    1. Roy G

      Cal2, you are simply incorrect about illegal immigrants not paying taxes. It is well-proven that they add billions of dollars to the federal and state taxes and Social Security that they are unable to collect. Here’s just one study, many more are available via a simple web search.

      This new analysis indicates that undocumented immigrants living in the California pay hundreds of millions of dollars each year in local taxes to the counties where they live (more than $1.5 billion) and collectively $3 billion combined in state and local taxes in the state of California.

      Your last line shows your nativist bias. The only Native Californians are/were the Indians and Californios. Everyone else here is an immigrant. You may have been born here, but your relatives were undoubtedly immigrants at one time.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Who is a native?

        It’s like Debt Jubi

        Those with debt before have none afterwards. New borrowers are bound by whategoinver going forward.

        Once Californa became a state (the comparable event to the date of Debt Jubilee example), those who are born here are considered natives (the new governing criteria). Those born in other states, or countries are not natives.

        I think that is how the word is commonly used and understood.

        A native San Francisco is one who is born in that city, for example.

        And a native of Acupulco is one who is born there, whatever the ethnicity (Aztec, Spanish, or what not).

        1. Anon

          …what about when Spain “owned” the land that is now California. And don’t forget when Mexico “owned” Alta California (before the US decided it was part of the Louisiana Purchase, thank you). One needs to remember the “New World” actually was the Old World: there were 10-20 million indigenous people plying the North America continent before 1491.

      2. Cal2

        Thank you for that interesting link.

        Illegals’ children pay no taxes, but they do use health care, schools and services.

        Show how much illegals cost in the aggregate; subtract the costs of taxpayer subsidized housing “for the children”, their healthcare, public safety, food assistance and prison costs, etc, Then subtract those costs from what taxes they allegedly pay to get their benefit or loss.

        Pay for workers would go up with fewer illegals. Thus more taxes would be paid and fewer natives would be on welfare. The elites however wouldn’t make as much if they had to pay livable wages.

        1. Anon

          One could waste a whole day responding to the mis-perceptions presented in the above comment. Bias is the mother of many untruths.

          Children of American citizens pay no taxes, either. Unless of course they are gifted funds from a relative or old enough to have a real job. The parents of illegals do pay taxes (FICA, sales, property, excise, etc.) but many times do not get much benefit from them.

          The children of undocumented immigrants are automatically citizens of the US if born here. That is why most folks don’t complain about schooling them. That is why the US provides emergency room service to ALL who arrive at hospital ER’s. (That is why extending Medicaid to All will reduce healthcare costs by attending to sick people before it’s an emergency.)

          Undocumented immigrants are not the public safety nightmare that MAGA hats declare; white males with guns are. Food assistance is provided to more white US citizens than you might imagine. It’s a good program for everyone.

          1. JBird4049

            Undocumented immigrants are not the public safety nightmare that MAGA hats declare; white males with guns are. Food assistance is provided to more white US citizens than you might imagine. It’s a good program for everyone.

            Bias is the mother of many an untruth, but apparently this card carrying socialist is a public safety nightmare?


    2. JBird4049

      I am not pro immigration, but the reason many, perhaps most, of the immigrants from south of the border are here is because the American Empire economically destroyed their countries. Perhaps we should stop sabotaging the various countries that these immigrants come from? If their homelands weren’t de facto American colonies most of them would not be here.

      They migrate from where they cannot get work, or worse their lives are in danger; they come to work for the many businesses that knowingly illegally hire them, which displaces Americans, drive down wages, drive up housing costs, hamper unions and make the elites happy.

      Be angry at the immigrants being here, but don’t get angry with them for they are victims like we are victims; instead get angry at the system that drove them here because it profits the elites. Only by changing the system can we fairly demand toughness on immigration. Otherwise it is more of the divide and conquering by the powerful done on all of the rest of us.

      1. Rajesh K

        This is the crux of every problem in the US. State violence. Probably no one would ever need to argue about MMT or Austrian economics theory or what have you if Uncle Sam simply keeps its military at home and the population stops buying drugs. The money spent on those missiles, illegal immigrants etc would just be spent on things like health care and that’s it.

    3. Lambert Strether

      > predicated on raising California income taxes

      Maybe state-level approaches will work. Maybe. Because the states are not currency issuers, the temptation to cut back on health care spending in the first recession that comes along will be overwhelming. Opponents will then argue that the program has failed, and try to nail the cuts in place, permanently. Service then gets cut, queues lengthen… Rinse, repeat.

      1. JBird4049

        I agree that because California does not issue currency, nor can it control its borders like a sovereign state that it is more vulnerable than a country that does; the state is the wealthiest one in the Union and the has a higher GDP than seven other countries, if any American state can, it would be California

        I keep hearing that we can’t afford anything, but the economy is supposedly doing great. Education and transportation have been underfunded while housing and healthcare has been mostly ignored in California for decades, but prisons…always do just fine. We have the second highest number of prisoners in the the country right now although not one of the the highest rates.

        Something needs to be done, and while I understand that the controlling neoliberal ideology and the increasing corruption of California is a serious problem, we have to start somewhere

    4. drumlin woodchuckles

      Illegals can stay home? No one forces them to come here? That is factually incorrect on the basic face of it.

      The NAFTA Conspiracy destroyed peasant agriculture throughout Mexico. The NAFTA conspirators de-protectionised Mexican agriculture so that Midwest corn-belt supplied Corporate Grain-handlers could dump millions of tons of petro-subsidy chemo-corn on the Mexican market. The purpose was to underprice Mexico’s own corn-growers in order to drive them bankrupt and force them off the land and into the along-the-border maquiladoras.

      But the the same economic traitors Clinton, Pelosi, etc. who engineered NAFTA then went
      ahead and engineered MFN for China so most of the maquiladoras got built in China instead of along the Mexico border. So all the driven-into-economic-exile Mexican corn-growers ( and all the people they supported with their earnings) had no along-the-border maquiladoras to stop at, so they kept going into America itself.

      So the fact is that the NAFTAstinian refugees were indeed forced to come here. Forced by the International Free Trade Conspiracy and the NAFTAcrats.

      If we want the illegal NAFTAstinian immigrants to go back to Mexico, we will have to abolish NAFTA and set Mexico free to re-protectionize its agriculture so that the NAFTAstinians will have a viable agricultural economy to go back to.

  23. Alex

    Re the Vultures of Caracas

    Since when has it become acceptable to deduce from people’s looks and the colour of their skin that they are the ones pillaging their country and siphoning its wealth off??

    Also, in many revolutions the ones who rise up against the government do not belong to the most destitute classes. Usually it’s precisely the (lower-)middle class (per John Greer aka Archdruid: when there are too many of those who have been educated to be system’s functionaries but haven’t been able to secure a sufficiently nice place in it). This was the case in Russia, England, the Netherlands etc.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Here are two more links to ad to this conversation. The first is what the supposed comedian Bill Maher said in earnest-

      Did you hear the audience cheering him? The second is John “Yosemite Sam” talking about being in conversation with major American companies to take over Venezuelan oil assets and have American companies invest in and produce the oil in Venezuela because ” It would be good for Venezuela and the people of the United States”-

  24. Odysseus

    Consumers are doing everything they can to avoid ads.

    There might be a message there.

    Why should I have to put up with polluted channels? Find ways to deliver your content that don’t require pollution.

  25. How is it legal

    Re: Newsom makes health care the centerpiece of California’s resistance to Trump Politico

    (As I opined a few days ago) California Governor Gavin Newsom is once again being utterly duplicitous in his ambition to be POTUS.

    From Is Gavin Newsom on a Fast Track to a 2020 Bid? :

    Newsom could always find California money (this is the upside of being governor – donors don’t want to offend the state’s chief executive). And Newsom does have all sorts of connections to Hillary Clinton’s world (beginning with his new chief of staff) [Correction, beginning, at least, with his 2009 Bill Clinton mentoring – How is it legal] should the 2016 nominee formally take herself out of the running, thus freeing up her fundraising empire.

    According to the Politico link: in so many words, he’s ditched Single Payer:

    Meanwhile, Newsom’s reluctance to make single-payer health care his top priority after campaigning on it …

    and won’t push for Medicare for all (weasel words aside):

    Newsom is also likely to face continued pressure from the California Nurses Associations and other supporters of a “Medicare for all”-style system. Though he supports the concept, Newsom has adopted a go-slow approach that could yet antagonize supporters on the left …

    though he does want to reinforce Obama’s punitive mandate:

    Newsom also is proposing to reinstate the Obamacare mandate to buy insurance after Congress zeroed out the penalty for noncompliance.

    which has already pushed so many California residents onto the edge of homelessness in April.

    The last I read, about a third or more legal California residents have been forced onto MediCal (California’s Medicare), thousands of whom couldn’t even find doctors willing to treat them (I heard that directly from someone who works for MediCal), while many legal residents (possibly in the millions) who don’t income qualify for MediCal, can not afford treatment. So, how in the world are illegal immigrants going to be given real healthcare? They won’t, and they won’t have the rights to complain about it either.

    Gavin Newsom is well fed, horrifyingly ambitious, and amoral.

  26. Lambert Strether

    > There’s a wider scandal suggested by the Trump investigation

    Trump’s not a bad apple, it’s systemic and bipartisan. Odd that nobody who is anybody has raised this possibility.

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